Anyway, I'll be back. Meantime, there'll be a new column Tuesday over at FoxPolitics.net, and we'll be picking from the Best of Lance Burri collection next door.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Former state Sen. Tom Reynolds, an ultra-conservative religious Republican from West Allis who lost his seat in 2006, is trying to get back into politics by undermining the Democratic primary on Sept. 9.It’s not at all clear, regardless of what Kaiser says, that these Democrats are running on a Reynolds-endorsed “conservative platform,” or that Reynolds has specifically recruited candidates to do that.
Reynolds formed a political action committee (PAC) called Clean Sweep Wisconsin, which is running “anti-incumbent” candidates on a clearly conservative platform: privatizing health care and education, capping all taxes so the government can’t invest in the public good and preventing Wisconsin from “being an illegal alien state.” These are hardly the issues held dear by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.
US wildlife officials who tried to capture a bear that had a jar stuck on its head, have shot the animal after it wandered into a busy Minnesota town.Witnesses claim to have heard Rabbit muttering under his breath: "That danged Tiggr's next. Just wait and see."
The bear, a male about two years old, was killed by police after six days of failed efforts to catch it alive.
"When it got into town, our main concern was public safety," said Rob Naplin, a local wildlife supervisor.
The wild black bear could breathe but could not eat or drink, and was probably hungry and dehydrated.
...Mr Naplin said the bear was "in pretty tough condition" after being unable to eat or drink for several days because of the 2.5-gallon (9.5-litre) plastic jar on its head.
He said the jar was the type that holds sweets or popcorn, and had probably become lodged on its head as the bear was foraging for food.
As Fester-in-Chief Ed Garvey wrote immediately following this year’s annual progressive spew-fest: “Message to Congress: thousands of progressives are watching to see if you have the courage to follow the people. Bring the troops home!”At the time, I was assuming that Hillary Clinton would be the Democrat nominee – she’d been polishing her hawkish credentials for a while by then, while Obama and Edwards – her two biggest rivals – were racing each other for the Kossite anti-war Left.
And…when Congress doesn’t?
And when the Democrat candidate for President won’t?
What then, Ed? Whatchagonna do?
Beloit, Wis. – Mike Hahn, candidate for the 45th Wisconsin Assembly District, announced he will be deployed on September 7th by the United States Army in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Hahn made this announcement at a press conference held this morning at Beloit’s Eclipse Center, where he stated his intention to remain in the race.Hahn is challenging two-term incumbent Charles Benedict for the 45th AD. It's a tough row to hoe, trying to run without actually being here (not to mention missing most of your first year in office), but I know Mike personally, and he's a very smart guy who'd make a great Representative. Temporary absence or not, the 45th would be making a good choice by electing him.
“I want to assure everyone that my campaign will continue so that after I have finished serving my country overseas, I can come home and serve the people of this district with the same commitment to duty,” Hahn said.
In 5 years, Europeans will prefer George Bush to a “We are right behind you” Obama.I'm skeptical.
The New York Jets, with their ho-hum quarterback camp battle between Chad Pennington and Kellen Clemens, continue to be a strong contender to acquire Favre. The Jets canceled their scheduled training camp practice on Tuesday, with speculation that coach Eric Mangini may have needed the day to meet with Favre. The others in the running for Favre's services include the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.Screw the Vikings. Trade him to the Jets.
It’s a house divided for the Murphys, who live on Virginia Street just south of 21st Street. Russ, 27, a packer and tester at Ruud Lighting, has long been a Brewers fan, although he gets more excited about the Green Bay Packers.So she wasn't even a baseball fan until her husband took her to a game, and that's when she decided to go Cubbies?
Lisa, 29, operates a home-based business and is kind of a Jane-come-lately to baseball and the Cubs. It started three years ago, she said, when she and Russ went with friends to a Cubs-Brewers game.
Bayside police found an urn in a Milwaukee County park.
Now they're trying to find the urn's owner.
The urn with ashes inside was found under a tree Saturday in Doctors Park, which straddles Bayside and Fox Point. Authorities said they believe the urn and contents were left inadvertently, and they would like to return it to the owner.
Anyone with information is asked to call Bayside police at (414) 351-8800.
Instead of a new round of arguments in Congress over whether the wealthy need a super soaking by rescinding the tax cuts, the nation would be better served by acknowledging that the tax cuts have not impaired federal revenues, coupled with an agenda that works toward a balanced budget.This is the second time in a month that I've noted a conservative position coming out of the RJT editorial team.
Green Bay - Running back Ryan Grant did not report to training camp Sunday and based on how angry his agent was Sunday with the Green Bay Packers' first offer, it could be a long time before he's back in uniform.Grant is not currently under contract with the team.
"It's insulting," agent Alan Herman said of the offer he received from negotiator Russ Ball at 5:15 p.m. Saturday "Ryan Grant gave them a running game last year. They know what he can do."
Herman said the most insulting part of the offer was the $1.75 million signing bonus the Packers offered on a six-year contract extension. Herman noted the $3 million linebacker Brady Poppinga received on his four-year extension that was signed last week.
WASHINGTON -- During an inspection tour last week NATO Gen. John Craddock accused member nations and leaders of broken promises in the ongoing effort to support the Afghan army.
"As soon as we begin to set up troops we fall on our nose," the Supreme Allied Commander for Europe told Financial Times Germany.
"My deputy writes letters, I call, he calls and I write," Craddock said. "I am frustrated about it."
The four-star U.S general said his frustration is about the units promised to support the efforts of the Afghan army, in order to fight together against the Taliban and Al Qaida.
Craddock said 19 of 73 promised units of 25 to 30 soldiers strong have yet to arrive. The structure of the army relies on the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for Afghanistan to win the war there.
SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The bride and groom grasped one another's dart launcher-clad wrists and stared into each other's starry eyes.For those of you who aren't cool enough to already know, Boba Fett was a Mandalorian. So, basically, these are Boba Fett geeks - a large and vibrant subspecies of the more generic Star Wars geek.
Fifty armour-clad guests, including several "Jedis" and a white caped "Elvis" in a rhinestone-studded ammo belt, stood reverently at attention. A couple of superheroes showed up late.
...Friday's wedding ceremony, based on the language, costume and lore of a fictional Mandalorian race in the "Star Wars" movies, was the brain child of Tenille Kuhlman, 30, and Thomas Kuhlman, 39, avid fans who decided that the convention was a perfect place to gather far-flung members of their close-knit "Star Wars" fan club to celebrate their special day.
The couple met online two years ago...Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Who'da thought?
Last winter they married in a civil ceremony and settled in Yuma, Arizona, yet Thomas Kuhlman longed to receive a Mandalorian blessing of their union.Whoa. Didn't see that coming. Who'da thought?
...The bride and groom held their helmets in their hands, a solemn sign of Mandalorian respect. As they grasped wrists, Tom Hutchens, a 30-year-old IT professional...
...and erstwhile Mandalorian preacher, began the ceremony.Just consider the vastness of the geekiness. And I say that as a closet Star Wars geek myself. Okay, sure, so I'm not up to Owen's level, but still (make special note of the comments to that post!).
"Vodas," he said, using the Mandalorian word for "friends," "Outsiders, Jedis, everybody, welcome. This is a contract between two Mandalorians who made a journey and future together and bled together and will continue to bleed together until their last day," he said.
After reciting their vows in both Mandalorian and English translation, the jubilant crowd shouted: "Oya!" which in Mandalorian language means "celebration."
"I now pronounce you Mandalorian husband and wife," Hutchens said.
Washington — The odds are against Democrat Marge Krupp in a possible match-up against Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Janesvillein November. Even so, she has managed to raise about $77,500 in campaign contributions so far.Inclined, as I am, to assume the media favors liberals and Democrats, that right there seems like a real stretch to make a negative story into a positive one.
Although it’s not much compared with the nearly $1.2 million that Ryan has raised for his re-election, it’s more than any other Democrat has taken in for the congressional seat since Ryan’s first race in 1998.What? That's an incredibly weak amount of money for a congressional race. We've got Assembly candidates raising more than that!
“People are investing in my campaign because they’re anxious for real change in Washington,” Krupp said in a telephone interview.No, Ms. Krupp, apparently they're not.
"People say typically prices shoot up like a rocket, fall like a feather. But this time ... it looks like it's different," Sundstrom said. "The retail sector is interested in bringing these prices down as fast as they can to stimulate business in their convenience stores."Prices at the pump have fallen a quarter or more per gallon since early last week. I paid $3.82 today.
In the trading pits, oil continued on a two-week sell-off. Light, sweet crude for September delivery fell $2.23 to settle at $123.26 a barrel in on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Earlier the contract dropped as far as $122.50, its lowest point since June 5.
Many analysts say the market's momentum points to further declines. Crude has fallen in seven of the last nine sessions, and is down more than 16 percent from its peak above $147 a barrel earlier this month.
He said Monday he is planning to enroll for fall semester classes in an effort to get his degree in sociology. He's 36 credits short.Hey, Devin, that's awesome. Seriously. A great example to others, not to mention your own family.
"I've been promising to do this for a while," said Harris, who hopes to take six credits in the fall and complete them online. "You have to do it sometime."
Some might argue that point. The Milwaukee native is a successful NBA point guard making millions of dollars every year. Why does he need to go to back to college?
"It's still important," answered Harris, who plans to take many of his classes online but will spend parts of the next couple of summers on the Madison campus attending classes.
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (AP) — Chicago Bears kick return star Devin Hester returned to training camp Friday, but the team did not say whether he had signed a new contract.He’s got two years left on his current contract, by the way. He’s supposed to make less than half a million dollars – yeah, I know, that's a lot, but considering his ability and stardom and importance to the Bears offense...they'd be stupid not to renegotiate with him. And nobody’s that stupid.
Hester skipped the Bears’ first practices this week in a holdout.
Bears spokesman Scott Hagel said he didn’t know if the two-time Pro-Bowler will practice or if he has signed a contract.
Devin Hester, who has electrified the NFL with 11 punt and kickoff returns for touchdowns in his first two seasons, skipped the Chicago Bears' first training camp practice Wednesday in a holdout.And that’s too bad for the Bears, because punt and kick returns could be their only chance to score any touchdowns next year:
Hester, a two-time Pro Bowler, was placed on the Bears' Reserve/Did Not Report list.
"I'm not coming," Hester told the Chicago Tribune in a phone interview. "I have to make a statement. I showed by going to (organized team activities) that I was a team player. But then, I just felt like they weren't taking it seriously that I wanted to get a new deal."
A quarterback competition promises to heat up the Chicago Bears' training camp, and coach Lovie Smith wanted to make it clear there was no perceived favorite between Rex Grossman and Kyle Orton.Grossman vs. Orton. A battle for the ages.
"It's dead even," Smith said Tuesday as the Bears reported to Olivet Nazarene University for a camp that kicks off with a first practice Wednesday.
UTICA, New York -One in five American adults - 22% - believe that any state or region has the right to "peaceably secede from the United States and become an independent republic," a new Middlebury Institute/Zogby International telephone poll shows.Ann Althouse has more:
And it's 40% among those aged 18 to 24, 43% among Hispanics, and 40% among African-Americans.Unfortunately, the Sovereign State of Burri currently relies on money earned in the U.S. and sent into our borders, and the tax rate on that money here is 100%.
This is not a right-wing thing. Liberals are most likely to buy it — 32% compared to 17% for conservatives.
So all these people have the law wrong and don't seem to know the basics of the history of the Civil War. They think secession is possible, but would they support secession in their own state?
18% said yes. In the South: 24%. And 35% of the under 30 group were ready to secede.
WASHINGTON - Some 90 billion barrels of oil and a third of the world's undiscovered natural gas lie beneath an area north of the Arctic Circle, government scientists estimate in the largest-ever survey of the energy resources there.Go get it!!!
The U.S. Geological Survey, which announced the findings Wednesday, called the region, which includes parts of the United States, Russia and Canada, "the largest unexplored prospective area for petroleum remaining on Earth."
All told, the area accounts for about a fifth of the world's recoverable oil and natural gas reserves, the USGS says: 13 percent of the oil, 30 percent of natural gas and 20 percent of natural gas liquids.
At today's current consumption rate of 86 million barrels a day, the yet-to-be-tapped oil in the Arctic would supply global demand for three years.Well that’s kinda disappointing, although we can hope the estimates were low.
Pursuing it is sure to be controversial with environmental groups that want to protect the pristine wilderness and the area's endangered species.Sky’s blue. Water’s wet. Environmental groups are up in arms.
The oil is considered "technically recoverable" using existing technology, but the survey did not consider the cost of overcoming obstacles to drilling, such as permanent sea ice or deep ocean waters. Melting caused by global warming has opened up some areas that were previously considered too difficult to reach.Let’s hear it for global warming! Then we use that oil to power our cars, thus causing more greenhouse gases and thus more global warming, which then opens even more areas up to exploration!
LEOPOLIS – A black bear was killed Friday night when it was struck by three vehicles on Wisconsin 29 about two miles north of this western Shawano County community.What if you hit the bear, damage your car, and the bear runs off? I'm betting car vs. deer accidents are common enough that the insurance companies just say, yeah, okay. But a bear?
“The first lady who hit it said it walked straight into the back of her car,” Andrea Happli, 20, of Mosinee, told the Shawano Leader. Her car was the third, and last, to hit the bear.
“The second person hit it straight on, I was told. I saw their car on the right side of the road smoking, so I got over into the left lane, hit something, and my car went flying through the air.”
The bear was about 6 feet tall and was believed to be about three years old. There was no estimate of its weight.
“A bear-vs.-vehicle encounter is not an uncommon thing, but definitely not a weekly occurrence,” state Department of Natural Resources wildlife technician James Robaidek said. The state doesn’t specifically track such accidents, but lists them under vehicle-other animal crashes.
“To say it happens a couple times a year would be accurate,” Shawano County Sheriff’s Department Capt. Tom Tuma said.
GREEN BAY (AP) - The Dodge County Sheriff's Department is investigating the death of a pilot killed this morning while inspecting his helicopter in a rural area just east of the Horicon Marsh.
Authorities tell the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel the man was struck and killed by a helicopter rotor blade.
Sheriff's officials say a preliminary investigation shows the helicopter could not fully lift off because it was overloaded with crop-dusting material. The pilot returned to the ground, got out of the helicopter and was struck by a rear rotor blade.
NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices shed nearly $4 Wednesday, tumbling below $125 a barrel for the first time since early June on growing fears that high prices and the weak economy are destroying demand.And the answer to your question is: yes, I’m going to keep obsessing about this.
This is pretty extraordinary. A candidate for the American Presidency is using flyers printed in German to turn people out for his campaign rally in Berlin on Thursday. This flyer can be found on a bilingual page on BarackObama.com advertising the eventCampaign funds spent rallying citizens of a foreign country. Because, why? Because they think seeing a big crowd in Germany will convince U.S. voters that, oh yeah, Obama's our guy?
"If they decide to strip me of my status, they decide to do something un-American," Bartoshevich said. "It’s not democracy. It doesn’t stand for unity, which the party wants."I hate to say this, but…no, wait: I don’t hate to say it. I love to say it: Democrats have brought this on themselves. Maybe not the big-D Democrats so much as the liberals and progressives who form the base of the Democratic party, but still.
Developers to build sports resortCool.
A proposed resort for Wisconsin Dells will offer year-round skiing as well as indoor and outdoor waterparks, restaurants, a BMX/skateboard facility, retail stores, a spa, a convention center, an arcade and a condominium hotel.
Joshua Schultz of dRMR Development, LLC, Lake Mills, joined by an attorney and engineer, presented plans and a developer's agreement to the Wisconsin Dells Plan Commission for the $57 million resort that is proposed to be built on 13-acres owned by Ron Flock. The project, called the Wedge Adventure Resort will be on Grand Cambrian Drive off Highway 16.
The NFL Network reported Tuesday that the Packers have contacted a number of teams about their interest in trading for quarterback Brett Favre.I'll repeat what I've said before: this will have absolutely no effect on my hero worship of Brett Favre, and if it affects yours then you are a no-good fairweather fan.
"The Green Bay Packers have spoken to multiple teams to see what they would be willing to offer for Favre," wrote Adam Schefter. "It is unknown exactly how many teams the Packers have spoken with, but what is known is that they have not relegated thier exploratory calls strictly to AFC teams. Green Bay has called at least one team in the NFC as well."
The Packers had no comment on the report.
A "Green New Deal" is needed to solve current problems of climate change, energy and finance, a report argues.That puts us right around November of 2016. You may want to sell the stocks before then.
According to the Green New Deal Group, humanity only has 100 months to prevent dangerous global warming.
The Earth's temperature may stay roughly the same for a decade, as natural climate cycles enter a cooling phase, scientists have predicted.Phew. Good thing we've got some global warming, then, or else everybody'd start screaming about a new ice age.
A new computer model developed by German researchers, reported in the journal Nature, suggests the cooling will counter greenhouse warming.
I would still classify it as rumor at this point, but Bob Novak says: Sources close to Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign are suggesting he will reveal the name of his vice presidential selection this week while Sen. Barack Obama is getting the headlines on his foreign trip.If they do make the announcement soon, I sure hope it isn't just to stop the flow of positive Obama headlines from overseas. You only get the media for a Veep announcement once. Using it defensively like that seems a sign of weakness.
NEW YORK—Hailed by media critics as the fluffiest, most toothless, and softest-hitting coverage of the presidential candidate to date, a story in this week's Time magazine is being called the definitive Barack Obama puff piece.In good humor there is at least a grain of truth. And the obsession with the Drive By Media to avoid any real hard reporting on the Chocolate Jesus but rather to aid and assist in anyway his inevitable coronation makes it a solid target for satire.
"No news publication has dared to barely scratch the surface like this before," columnist and campaign reporter Michael King wrote in The Washington Post Tuesday. "This profile sets a benchmark for mindless filler by which all other features about Sen. Obama will now be judged. Just impressive puff-journalism all around."
The 24-page profile, entitled "Boogyin' With Barack," hit newsstands Monday and contains photos of the candidate as a baby, graduating from Columbia University, standing and laughing, holding hands with his wife and best friend, Michelle, greeting a crowd of blue-collar autoworkers, eating breakfast with diner patrons, and staring pensively out of an airplane window while a pen and legal pad rest comfortably on his lowered tray table.
According to political analysts, the Time piece features the most lack-of-depth reporting on Obama ever published, and for the first time reveals a number of inconsequential truths about the candidate, including how he keeps in shape on the campaign trail, and which historical figures the presidential hopeful would choose to have dinner with.
Madison, Wis. – The fight over Alliant Energy’s proposed coal plant in Cassville intensified today when Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental organization, launched an advertising campaign highlighting the economic and environmental concerns with the plant in response to a series of Alliant advertisements pushing the proposal.Questions about CW's funding to begin in three...two...one...
“The coal plant Alliant wants to build in Cassville is both bad for the environment and the economy,” the radio ad reads. “It would spew three million tons of global warming pollution every year, cost more than one billion dollars, and set back the Governor’s goals on global warming.”
And that's a direct quote.
All over the world, nuclear power is making a comeback. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has just commissioned eight new reactors, and says there's "no upper limit" to the number Britain will build in the future. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has challenged her country's program to phase out 17 nuclear reactors by 2020, saying it will be impossible to deal with climate change without them. China and India are building nuclear power plants; France and Russia, both of whom have embraced the technology, are fiercely competing to sell them the hardware.
The tame session unfolded as oil rose on concerns that the threat of new sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program may escalate tensions in the Middle East. Light, sweet crude rose $2.16 to settle at $131.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.Tropical Storm Dolly might have had something to do with it, too.
Former Green Bay Packers starting quarterback Don Majkowski has entered in a bitter dispute with his former organization, admitting he is “guilty of retiring too early” 12 years ago, while demanding he be reinstated as the team’s starter or given the opportunity to play elsewhere.Hat tip to the non-blogging Mark for emailing that to me.
“I was mentally drained after the 1996 season,” says Majkowski. “I couldn’t commit myself fully at that time to coming back, so I stepped away. That’s the kind of guy I am. I have to be able to promise that I’m going to give my all.”
But before long, Majkowski started to have second thoughts.
“I guess it was nine or 10 years later, I called up Packers GM Ted Thompson and told him I was thinking of coming back. That would have been 2005 or 2006, I guess,” said Majkowski. “But he just sighed and said it was too late. That the team had moved on to Brett Favre and had even drafted this Aaron Rodgers kid to follow in place of Favre. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t even open to considering my return after all I’ve done for the franchise.”
NEW YORK (AP) -- A stunning sell-off dragged oil prices to their biggest weekly drop ever and gas prices at the pump slipped by the more than they have at any point since February, giving consumers a rare breather in a year of record fuel prices.Good work everybody, but this is a big slowdown from the last three days – light, sweet crude fell $15 in three days Tuesday through Thursday. This is no time to slack off - we're trying to create sort of an echo chamber of despair, here. An earthquake-like buzz informing the investment world that it's time to get out of oil.
… Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell 41 cents Friday to settle at $128.88 on the New York Mercantile Exchange -- well below its trading record of more than $147 a week earlier.
Some analysts said a nationwide average of $4 or even lower could be in the offing -- almost unthinkable in a summer when there has seemed to be no relief at the pump -- although they cautioned that there is no guarantee prices will stay low.“Almost unthinkable?” Not only is that editorializing in what’s supposed to be a news story, it’s the exact kind of thinking that got us into this mess in the first place. It’s not “unthinkable” that prices will come down, it’s unthinkable that they won’t!
Possible solutions —Now I admit, invading a country and grabbing their oil would help. Two or three countries would be better.
…If you’re going to try and grab middle east oil by invading a country, like, have a plan to win. Because the failure of Bush and company to use the greatest military personnel in the world effectively is tragic and only encourages enemies who wish to do us harm.
The rivalry between the Green Bay Packers and the Minnesota Vikings just got a lot hotter.Sounds like it might be time to start planning the invasion. I already figure to be in St. Paul the first week of September...although I'd hope we could get things moving faster than that.
A National Football League source said Wednesday night that the Packers had filed a tampering charge with the league against the Vikings in connection with alleged contact with Brett Favre.
The source said the Packers had provided evidence and information about the alleged contact. At this point, investigators for the league will look into the matter and decide what, if anything, to do. The source added that the Packers feel the case against the Vikings is strong.Yes! Take their draft choices!
Allegations of tampering are touchy subjects among professional sports franchises, and the penalties can include the loss of draft choices and fines.
NEW YORK - Oil prices fell below $130 a barrel for the first time in more than a month Thursday, as a dramatic slide entered a third day along with a sharp sell-off in natural gas.So the price of oil is down in part because of the economy, but we’re worried about the economy in large part because of energy costs. Go figure.
The declines accelerated amid growing concerns about the weakening U.S. economy.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery dropped $5.31 to settle at $129.29 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices have fallen more than $15 in just the past three days.By the way, I love the phrase "light, sweet crude." How'd they come up with that, exactly? Guys in overalls carrying oversized wrenches with grease all over their faces sipping small glasses of thick black oil and saying "fine bouquet on this, I'd say. Nice and light." "Mm, yes, a bit sweet, too."
Natural gas futures for August delivery fell more than 8 percent Thursday, marking their biggest one-day drop in nearly a year, according to Nathan Golz, researcher at Wachovia Securities in St. Louis. Prices for the key heating, cooking and power generation fuel have tumbled more than 20 percent since their peak before the Fourth of July, and are now trading at their lowest point since April.
A number of market observers say there was nothing supporting the run up in natural gas prices, which peaked in early July, and that this week's sell-off of oil has only helped speed the declines.
NEW YORK - Oil prices settled sharply lower for the second time in a row Wednesday, leaving crude more than $10 cheaper in just two days of frenzied trading and prompting speculation that the hard-charging market may be running out of steam.Tell you what, if I were a trader, I’d sell off my oil interests pronto. I mean, maybe the price keeps falling, maybe it doesn’t, but this looks like a good time to sit back and count the profits you’ve made the last several months, instead of risking them all in what is an obviously volatile market.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery fell $4.14 to settle at $134.60 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier sinking as low as $132. The drop follows a $6.44 sell-off Tuesday, crude's biggest since the Gulf War.
…Analysts are unsure whether the drop represents a long-term shift in sentiment or simply a brief correction to crude's monthslong bull run. But the dizzying decline is prompting market veterans to ask how much support remains for such high prices.
"It's a sign that maybe the bull market is losing strength," said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research Inc.
…"I do expect this bubble to burst. Is this is it? It might be ... but I'm not ready to say so yet," analyst and trader Stephen Schork said.
Read the whole thing.
In an election campaign in which not only young liberals, but also some people who are neither young nor liberals, seem absolutely mesmerized by the skilled rhetoric of Barack Obama, facts have receded even further into the background than usual.
As the hypnotic mantra of "change" is repeated endlessly, few people even raise the question of whether what few specifics we hear represent any real change, much less a change for the better.
NEW YORK - Oil prices fell harder than they have in 17 years Tuesday, as fears that record fuel prices are spreading broad economic pain exacerbated the third big sell-off in just over a week.Quick, sell, sell, sell! Sell now! Sell fast!
Light, sweet crude plunged $6.44, or 4.4 percent, to settle at $138.74 a barrel in an extremely volatile session. Prices at one point plummeted more than $10 from the day's high.
A local writer is going to Minneapolis this September to cover the 2008 Republican National Convention.I haven't heard back yet about giving the keynote address, but I'm sure the invitation is in the mail.
Lance Burri, who has been writing at several online web logs for the past 4 years, found out Monday that he will receive special press credentials to cover the Convention as an independent blogger.
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- Like most in the football world, Minnesota Vikings coach Brad Childress has watched with interest as the Green Bay Packers and Brett Favre appear headed to a messy divorce.Childress, you'll remember, was an offensive coordinator for the Wisconsin Badgers before taking the Vikings job.
While there has been some speculation that Favre would be a good fit to make one more title run with the Vikings, Childress says he remains committed to third-year quarterback Tarvaris Jackson.
Childress tells The Associated Press that "it's been interesting to watch" the contentious interactions between the rival Packers and Favre.
But the coach also says he "can't waste a lot of energy" thinking about Favre becoming available. He also says he thinks Jackson is going to be a winning quarterback.
The last time the Legislature approved a hike to the beer tax was 1969. Several members of the current Legislature weren't even alive to see that hike take effect.Yeah, they don't dare raise that tax while I'm around.
Today, as it did in 1969, Wisconsin levies a $2 tax on every 31-gallon barrel sold, or six-tenths of a cent per 12-ounce serving.So since we way over-tax for those things, we should way over-tax for other things, too?
Compared with other Wisconsin taxes, the beer tax in minuscule.
For example, smokers in Wisconsin pay a $1.77 per-pack tax.
A beer drinker would have to down nearly 300 cold ones to pay as much as a single-pack smoker.
The beer tax is even smaller compared with the taxes drivers pay on gasoline.
Wisconsin's gas tax is 32.9 cents a gallon, so a person who fills up her car with 12 gallons pays about $3.95 in state taxes.
A drinker would have to consume more than 650 beers to pay as much tax as a driver does with just one fill-up.
Wisconsin has the third-lowest beer tax in the nation. Its neighboring states all have beer taxes two to three times higher. Only Wyoming and Missouri levy lower beer taxes.Fine states, Wyoming and Missouri. I've always admired them.
Dale Knapp, research director of the Wisconsin Taxpayer's Alliance, said Wisconsin's low beer tax, probably can be attributed to the past strength of the state's brewing industry...Low taxes and industrial strength...linked? Has he been talking to Barbara Lawton?
...and the role of drinking in Wisconsin life.I'm no expert on South Carolina, but I did live there - at Ft. Jackson - for a few months. You couldn't buy alcohol at all on Sundays. Other than that, seemed like people drank as much as anyplace else.
For example, South Carolina's beer tax, At 77 cents a gallon, is more than 12 times higher than Wisconsin.
Knapp said attitudes about drinking probably are different in the Southern state.
I loved this show in the 90s and I still love it now. I suppose I have the writers' strike to thank for it. The packaging is really cheesy, but the games look like a lot of fun.Robin had a brother? Huh. MLB.com lists four Younts - one from the 1930s, one current (2007 only, no stats available), Robin, and Larry, who played in 1971. That would have to be him, right?
Tonight, one of the contestants (there's always two men and two women competing) was introduced as having a former Olympic-class swimmer for a mother, a former major-league baseball player for a father, and an uncle who's a MLB hall of famer. Her name is Tatum Yount. I know who I'm rooting for.
NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - Beer drinkers could reap some unexpected short-term benefits as Anheuser-Busch's "King of Beers" becomes a vassal in a much larger empire run by Belgium's InBev.That sounds positive. I mean, they're Belgian, right? That's almost German.
Once InBev's $52 billion takeover of Anheuser gets approved, it will be able to use Anheuser's far-reaching U.S. distribution network to sell its own beers, introducing brews such as Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Staropramen to drinkers across the United States.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- The last thing Green Bay Packers general manager Ted Thompson and coach Mike McCarthy want to do is engage in a public shouting match with Brett Favre, even after the three-time MVP put the team in a tough spot by changing his mind on retirement and demanding a release from his contract just weeks before training camp.My thoughts:
But by detailing Favre's dizzying decision-making process this offseason, Thompson and McCarthy hope Packers fans will understand why the team isn't necessarily tossing aside all its plans just because Favre recently decided he wants to play again.
Making their first public comments since Favre demanded his release this week, Thompson and McCarthy told The Associated Press on Saturday that the team had no plans to release Favre. They says Favre is welcome to rejoin the team, but he would be doing so without a defined role.
McCain is an authentic hero. He endured years of confinement and torture because he refused to cooperate with the North Vietnamese when his plane was shot down in their territory. However, being a hero does not make one a military expert.The letter goes on to criticize other things about McCain. I added the emphasis, because I want to address that point specifically, but first:
McCain stresses his military career as making him peculiarly fitted to be president. Being a veteran does not automatically make one a good military strategist or foreign policy expert. His career as a Navy bomber pilot did not make him an expert on military strategy any more than my experience in the infantry made me one. We were both just instruments for delivering death and destruction at the direction of our generals.
Ty Pennington and the crew of the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will knock on the door of a needy — but lucky — southern Wisconsin family on July 24.Extreme Makeover is that show where they find a needy and deserving family and totally remake their home in a few days by recruiting hundreds of volunteers and working around the clock. There are, according to the story, five finalist families. And one of them might be...
The family's identity is secret, but Veridian Homes of Madison is organizing a work crew to tear down the existing home and build a new one in four days.
Although the identities of the five finalist families haven't been revealed, ABC staffers interviewed the Sue Klang family of Cazenovia in May. They also videotaped and interviewed faculty, staff and students in the Weston School District. Klang is the widow of John Klang, former Weston High School principal who was murdered while trying to disarm a student in 2006.I wrote about Mr. Klang here. Since I don't know who any of the other potential finalists are, I won't hope the Klangs get it.
GREEN BAY — Brett Favre had his chance to come back to the Green Bay Packers at the end of March, but the legendary quarterback reneged on an agreement then to unretire — part of the reason why the Packers aren't now welcoming back the legendary quarterback.
According to two NFL sources, Favre informed the Packers during the annual NFL meetings in late March — less than a month after his tearful March 6 retirement news conference — that he wanted to play again. FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer first reported that information Friday afternoon.
The State Journal's sources along with Glazer's sources said that, at the time, Packers coach Mike McCarthy and general manager Ted Thompson told Favre they would welcome him back, and plans were made for him to return — a colossal commitment to a player who had just publicly said he no longer wanted to play anymore, wiping away tears while saying he didn't have "anything left to give."
In fact, Thompson — he has been criticized publicly by Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, and by members of Favre's family for supposedly not wanting the quarterback back — made the final call on whether the team would welcome Favre's return. Thompson agreed to bring back Favre, even though it meant forcing heir apparent Aaron Rodgers to sit yet another year behind the future Hall of Famer.
The Packers went so far as to charter a plane to Mississippi to finalize the agreement.
But two days before the meeting was set to take place, Favre called and informed McCarthy that he had changed his mind yet again and had decided that he wanted to stay retired.
Burned by the change of heart, the team decided to commit fully to moving on without Favre, the sources said. Rodgers was told the starting job was his, and the Packers drafted a pair of quarterbacks — second-rounder Brian Brohm and seventh-rounder Matt Flynn — as backups. They also began altering the offense to accomodate Rodgers' strengths.
Then, three weeks ago, Favre contacted McCarthy and said he had the "itch" to play again, and the team was cool to the idea. That led to what transpired Friday, when the Packers received a letter from Cook asking for Favre's unconditional release.
For those who aren't from the Green Bay media market, Jason Wilde isn't just the Packers beat writer for the State Journal. He's a frequent commentator on WBAY 2's "Monday Night Countdown," a MNF set-up show. He's usually the one with the best inside information about what's actually going on behind the scenes in the front office.
Which means, this news is likely very, very true.
It's becoming pretty clear to me that Brett Favre never got along with Packers GM Ted Thompson from Day One of their time together and has used his status as "Living Legend" with the Green and Gold faithful to make them side with him. Favre never liked the idea of having the team build through the NFL Draft, where they got young, untested, and unproven talent to re-build the defense, running game, and receiving corps. This meant time to watch them grind out the rust and rub out the green in the young talent (including his own eventual replacement); time Favre knew was not on his side in his waning years of play. What Brett wanted was proven, experienced free agents who were dedicated to winning now, things Thompson wasn't willing to get or cripple the team financially.
Last year's very public blow-up about the team's inability to get WR Randy Moss clearly showed the dynamic between the two at work.
Did Thompson fail Favre? Who knows, but when you create the youngest team to ever reach the NFC Championship Game, missing the Super Bowl in Overtime, it shows he was indeed; on to something.
Was the retirement in March for real then? Likely. Favre's a very passionate, emotional guy who likely let the guilt of how last season ended get to him. And he wouldn't be the first human being to do something rash because of the guilt they were feeling.
Everything after that seems to be an extension of his personal war with Ted Thompson.
What should the Pack now do with Favre given the situation that's now been tossed in their lap? Who knows, but I don't envy them for the PR nightmare they've been handed. The team clearly is not going to release Favre as he requests, which sets up a clear stalemate on all sides.
Admittedly, the vengeful, very angry, life-long Packers fan in me says there's only one thing the team should do...hold Favre hostage, like he's held them.
Washington - Fighting an attempt by the state Democratic Party to unseat her from next month's national convention, Clinton delegate Debra Bartoshevich said that to "strip me of my status is undemocratic."I stand by what I said before: this woman was elected to be a delegate to the Democratic National Convention – it’s a position of honor and respect. If she can’t support the Democratic nominee, she should resign.
That plea is part of a letter Bartoshevich sent this week to the Democratic National Committee — her formal response to the credentials challenge.
The state party moved to strip Bartoshevich of her delegate status after she told the Journal Sentinel last month that she will support Republican John McCain over Democrat Barack Obama if Obama is the party’s nominee.
Bartoshevich is believed to be the only Hillary Rodham Clinton delegate nationally who has publicly taken that position. The state party says she is violating party rules requiring convention delegates to back the nominee.
The credentials challenge is now before the DNC.
Hoping to expand on his advantage with women voters, presidential candidate Barack Obama on Thursday enlisted the help of two prominent Wisconsin backers of his Democratic primary rival, Sen. Hillary Clinton, to sell his economic plan as a boon for working women.Translation: "I'm delighted that Sen. Obama is closing in on the presidency so he can appoint Diamond Jim the hell out of here and make me governor!"
"I'm delighted that Sen. Obama is narrowing his focus on how we can position women to succeed, knowing that businesses will profit and the state economy and national economy will grow if we get this right," said Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton, who backed Clinton until her loss in a bitter primary battle, but is now solidly in the Obama camp.
In a conference call organized by Obama's Wisconsin campaign Thursday, Lawton joined U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and others to laud Obama's plans to improve the economic status of women, only a day before the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John McCain, heads to politically divided western Wisconsin for an all-women town hall meeting.Two high-ranking Democrats backing the Democrat nominee for President? This is a news story?
Sources tell Newsradio 620 WTMJ's Bill Michaels, and ESPN has confirmed, that Brett Favre's agent, Bus Cook, sent a letter that the Packers have received, stating his wish for a release from the team which he has quarterbacked for 16 seasons to 15 .500+ seasons, seven division championships, two NFC titles and a Super Bowl title.From ESPN:
HATTIESBURG, Miss -- Three days after a conference call with Green Bay Packers team officials on Tuesday in which quarterback Brett Favre emphatically expressed his desire to play in 2008, Favre on Friday formally asked for his contractual release from the Packers in a letter, sources close to Favre and the team said.Here's a link to the Packers' statement, which, as they discussed on the Green House this afternoon, was classy while still not really saying anything.
The letter was sent by Favre's agent, James "Bus" Cook, via overnight mail on Thursday and arrived at the Packers facility Friday morning.
...the Packers own the rights to Favre and have three options:Of these, I would choose the first (hey, I didn't want him to retire in the first place) or, if this whole thing is just irreconcilable, the third. Get something for him, and have some control over where he goes.
• Not grant his release and keep him under contract for the remainder of her two-year contract. Historically, no NFL team has ever denied a request by a retired player to have a release from their contract.
• Allow him to go to another squad.
• Trade him to another squad. This option would allow the Packers to handpick the squad Favre would go to. Typically, a team would make a point to avoid sending a player like Favre to go to another squad.