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Yellow Stripes & Dead Armadillos

There’s Only One Hitch

Christopher Hitchens didn’t take many prisoners. The day after the Rev. Jerry Falwell died he went on Fox news to declare, “If you gave Falwell an enema he could be buried in a matchbox.” Hitchens himself was buried, probably in something larger than a matchbox, in 2011 at age 62, the victim of cancer. He left…

Midwest: Heartland Caucus Is a Good Start

House Democrats are forming the Heartland Caucus. That’s good, but it needs to be just the first step. Led by Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-Michigan), a group of Democrats from the Midwest has formed the caucus. They hope to grow the group to around 40 members, but it already includes prominent members like Rep. Ilhan Omar…

The Pretentious Hypocrisy of the Varsity Collective

A Florida Gators booster group offered a hot quarterback prospect $13 million in advertising contracts (called Name, Image and Likeness or NIL) to sign with the team. That was a wonderful thing. It was the free market at work and it meant that a player was finally being paid something close to what he was…

Honesty and the Court

Here’s the way it’s supposed to work. A candidate for a judicial seat is asked a direct question about how she would rule on a hot button issue. The candidate demurs, instead talking in general terms about how her personal views will not impact her decisions. At the same time she winks and nods at…

Promise of Progress

Since the fall elections a strange thing has been happening in Wisconsin politics. Gov. Tony Evers and Speaker Robin Vos have sought a reset on their relationship. Evers met with Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LaMehieu shortly after the election and Vos has talked about working more cooperatively with the Democratic governor. It’s not…

A Developer’s Risky Move

Vermilion Development has done the right thing. Let’s see if they get punished for it. Vermilion is the developer of a proposed apartment complex on Sherman Ave. across from Tenney Park. Late last year they proposed a 445 unit development at the site of an old nondescript office building, which would be razed for the…

And Another Damn Thing

I got nothing this morning. I’ve read the papers and, meh, I dunno. Nothing’s really lighting a fire under me. But I’m going to ramble on for, say, 500 words or so anyway. This violates one of my main rules of life and writing: when you’ve got nothing to say, say nothing. This is not…

The Misuse of History

On February 7th we may see just how serious the Madison Common Council and Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway are about the city’s housing shortage.  That’s the day the council is scheduled to take up a proposal, unanimously endorsed by the Landmarks Commission, to confer local landmarks status on the Filene House, a large nondescript office building…

Following the Money

The campaign finance reports are in. Let’s see what they tell us. The reports cover the last half of 2022 and they were required for anybody running in the spring elections. (They’re also required for anybody who has a campaign committee and is raising money for any election cycle.) The two major races on the…

Ask the Voters

As a rule, I don’t like referendums. It seems to me that people get elected to study the issues and to apply their values and best judgement to the facts. We don’t elect windsocks. We elect legislators. But there are exceptions. In some cases referendums are required by law to, for example, amend the state…

Prospects for the Home Teams

It’s the dog days of winter here in Wisconsin. Grey, grey, grey, punctuated by sleet. So, I thought it’d be fun to ask the YSDA Sports Department, located here on the 48th floor of YSDA Tower, to analyze the prospects for Wisconsin’s six major sports teams. And, no, I don’t care about hockey or volley…

Don’t Fight Bail Reform

The hard-left wants bail reform, but this isn’t what they had in mind. It has become a cause on the hard-left to call for the elimination of cash bail. The argument is that poor defendants have a hard time posting bail and so stay in jail longer than those with more means. And because more…

Jenkins’ Weird Column

Well, that was weird. Madison Schools Superintendent Carlton Jenkins keeps what can most charitably be described as a low profile in the community. But he penned a column on Sunday’s Wisconsin State Journal editorial page in which he flew at 30,000 feet over the big, big picture issue of the need to invest in schools…

Flat Tax Won’t Help Economy

Wisconsin Republicans are arguing that we need a flat income tax — and a huge tax break for our wealthiest citizens that would go with it — to remain economically competitive. There’s no evidence to support that. Let’s look at the states sharing a border with us — Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and Iowa. Minnesota has…

Mayor Needs to Get Religion

Lots of good stuff in the papers this morning. Let’s get to it. She’s not a believer. Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway continues to duck issues. The city has a very good plan to marry transportation with land use by providing for higher development densities along corridors that will soon be served by Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).…

Save UW Richland

Jay Rothman is making a solid, even obvious, business decision. I still think he’s wrong. Rothman, President of the UW System, has decided to shut down the UW Platteville – Richland Center campus. In 2014 that campus had almost 600 students and today it has only 60. When Rothman goes to the Legislature to ask…

Give One City a Chance

These are tough days for One City school. The charter school, founded by native Madisonian and former corporate executive Kaleem Caire, recently announced that it was shutting down its ninth and tenth grade programs this month and the last round of test scores showed poor performance from its students. Those scores were not good, but…

What a Drag

I was surprised to learn in yesterday’s morning paper that Madison East High School had to cancel its drag show. My surprise stems from not knowing that Madison East had a drag show. But, sure enough, somebody at East thought this made sense. The response was what you’d expect. Conservative talk show hosts and commentators,…

Reyes Needs Another Issue

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway probably had little or nothing to do with the significant decline in crime in the city last year, but she’ll get credit for it. That’s fair because had crime gone up she’d get the blame, again whether or not she had had anything to do with the increase.  Last week Chief…

Dog Wagged By Tail

When the predicted big red wave washed harmlessly ashore in November I was delighted. Now I’m not so sure. Democrats, including this one, took no small amount of pleasure in watching Kevin McCarthy twist slowly in the wind for a couple of days, tormented by the very hard-right populist forces he helped unleash. But the…

The Value of Victimhood

Kay Le Clair is a con artist. Le Clair is also an artist. The Madisonian, who grew up in Sussex, claimed to be Native American and lived off that identity for years. Le Clair got an appointment at the UW and an exhibit at the Overture Center. Le Clair also was acknowledged as an expert,…

NFL: How Can We Watch This?

It’s welcome, but odd, that Damar Hamlin’s heart stoppage has produced so much soul searching on behalf of NFL players and fans — and so much well-orchestrated concern among NFL executives. Hamlin’s heart stopped after making a hit in a Monday night game. He plays defensive back for the Buffalo Bills and the Bills were…

770,000

I’m stuck on these two sentences. I keep reading them over and over again: Nearly 1 in 5 licensed drivers in Wisconsin — 770,000 — have at least one conviction for operating while intoxicated. And more than 20,000 have at least five OWIs. These facts didn’t even make it into the headline or the lede…

A Good Day For Democracy

Yesterday was a good day for American democracy at every level. Here in Madison, 45 candidates filed papers for 20 seats on the City Council. Eight districts will need primaries and only six seats will go uncontested. This is further evidence that moves to make the Council smaller and full-time (and therefore less responsive) are…

A Nice Problem to Have

Since November the statements out of Gov. Tony Evers, Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu have been encouraging. They’re talking compromise on the next state budget. They all recognize that when you’re problem is a multi-billion dollar surplus (it’s projected to be somewhere in the $7 to $9 billion range) this is…

Abolish the Postal Service?

Here’s my tale of woe. The front wheel fell off my electric bike. Luckily, this did not occur while I was riding it, but while I was transporting it on the back of my car. Back in September I arrived home after a nice ride on the Vilas County Trails without a front wheel. Today…

2023 in Politics

Unpredictable things will happen next year, of course, but there is a political schedule that must be kept and results will need to be filled in. It will be an off-off year. No national races, no legislative races, except a special election here and there. But still a lot will happen in 2023. Here’s what…

A New Year’s Resolution For Liberals

Here’s a project for liberals in 2023: try to understand Trump voters. Stop hating them. Don’t discard them in your basket of deplorables. And, my God, do not feel sorry for them or try to educate them! Instead, be educated by them. It’s my fervent hope for the New Year that Donald Trump is finished.…

What I Learned From Harry & Meghan

I freely admit it. I watched the Harry and Meghan show on Netflix. The whole thing. All six episodes. Six bloody hours of the damn thing. A fair question is why? Well, for one thing, we like to kick back with some screen time between Christmas and New Years and we had already watched White…

Top Ten Posts of ’22

It was a pretty good year here at YSDA. Readership was up by 30%, though in truth the month-over-month increases trailed off to nothing in the fourth quarter. So, it’s possible that the readers we’ve got are the readers we’re going to have and the growth spurt is over. If that’s the case then please…

The Year in Good News

It’s tradition in journalism and commentary that everybody needs to write about what a rotten year the previous one has been. But that’s emphasizing the negative. Let’s turn that frown upside down, people! Some really good things happened in 2022. Here’s my list. The Mid-Terms, National. Up until the evening of November 8th I thought…

My Updated Resume

It turns out that Rep.-Elect George Santos of New York padded his resume some. And locally it was reported last week that Oakwood’s CEO resigned it seems in part because, among other things, he claimed to have a doctorate… from a university that doesn’t award doctorates. Some lament this new post-fact era of resume writing,…

The Annual Christmas Jokes

It’s Christmas Eve. You may be hosting a get-together tonight or tomorrow or sometime over the next week. You’re a delightful host and so, of course, your guests will want to stay into a night that is so deep. But you’re sleepy. What to do? Try Dave’s Christmas jokes! I guarantee that by the second…

Let’s Retire These Words in ’23

This year has had its share of fashionable words and phrases that have overstayed their welcome, if they were ever welcome in the first place. Here’s my list of language that should be banned starting at midnight on January 1st. Athleticism. I watch my share of sports on TV and I keep hearing that the…

A Panic Weather Update

It’s a Panic Weather Alert Day, people! You know what that means! Run for your lives! Or don’t! Really, you might as well just roll yourself into a little ball in a corner of your bed and whimper! Because this is the STORM OF THE CENTURY! Now, let’s turn to chief Panic Meteorologist Beau Bentley.…

Train of Thought

Today’s headline is a sad double entendre. Madison’s hopes for passenger rail service will, it appears, have to remain just a thought. Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu have said they will oppose any state cost share if the feds decide to build a rail line connecting Madison to Milwaukee. Since a…

Catching Up on Some Stuff

It’s a grab bag today. Honors classes saved. Somewhat to my surprise, the Madison School Board voted last night to keep stand-alone honors classes. Board President Ali Muldrow joined three other members — Chris Gomez Schmidt, Laura Simkin and Nicki Vander Meulen — in voting to maintain the classes. Muldrow also showed leadership earlier this…

People of the Year

I love end of the year lists. Top ten this, top ten that. People who died. All that stuff. Here’s my list of local folks who I think had the biggest impact on our community and state this year.  Tony Evers. God knows, I’ve had my differences with the governor. I even called for him…

How to be Honorable

The latest hot issue in the Madison School District is stand-alone honors classes. This morning’s Wisconsin State Journal offered an excellent primer on the controversy, which is well worth reading. The last few paragraphs of that story did challenge my support for stand-alone honors. My main concern about eliminating the courses, offered to freshmen and…

The Wrong Way To Do Affordable Housing

Madison’s Plan Commission has approved 550 units of low-income housing in a redeveloping former industrial area. That’s good. What’s not so good is that those 550 units are all low-income (no income diversity is allowed) and it’s concentrated in one tightly packed development. There are also some brown fields issues involved because the site had…

Invest in Little Kids, Not Rich Adults

We could skip a step. Gov. Tony Evers could just submit a blank piece of paper in February as his proposed budget. Then Speaker Robin Vos could fill in all the numbers and send it back to Evers for his approval. That would be a more honest and direct process than the sham that is…

Don’t Take the Money

Madison is in line to get another grant from the Center for Tech and Civic Life. They should turn it down. They won’t, but here’s why they should. The Center for Tech and Civic Life has been around since 2012, but it really stepped up its work in 2020 in response to challenges presented by…

Sinema’s Smart Move

The first thing you have to understand is that nothing changes. Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s move from Democrat to Independent has no practical effect. As Majority Leader Chuck Schumer pointed out, “Kyrsten is independent. That’s how she’s always been.” And the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, said that President Biden expected to “continue to…

Some Nice Bipartisan Moments

Maybe everything just isn’t going to hell after all. This week held some good news. For one thing, Donald Trump got taken down yet a couple more notches. His hand-picked candidate, Herschel Walker, lost by 100,000 votes. And his company got nailed for tax fraud. Republican leaders have wanted this guy gone for a long…

What Is Real?

I’m starting to wonder what I really believe in. Are there no eternal truths? Is everything relative? The thing that has brought me to this moment of crisis is soccer. I have spent a lifetime mocking it when I gave it any thought at all, which I almost never did — just like most Americans.…

Was That Your Dagger?

When a game is put out of reach in the fourth quarter, Packers football broadcaster Wayne Larrivee likes to close it out with, “And there’s your dagger!” Unfortunately, too often this season the Pack has been on the pointed end of the knife. But, to borrow Larrivee’s phrase, was last night the dagger for Donald…

Why is MMSD Losing Students?

There has been lots of news out of the Madison School District lately. I’d like to focus on three stories that are interrelated. The first is the reinstatement of Sennett Middle School Principal Jeffrey Copeland. I’ve written about that extensively, so I won’t go over the details here, but his return is a good thing.…

Fickell Helps Sell Madison

You may not have noticed this as it has received scant coverage in the Madison media, but the UW has a new football coach. No, really, it does. You thought Paul Chryst had the job for life? Where were you in October? Okay then, surely the beloved Jim Leonhard was hired to replace him? No,…

Midwest: So Long, Iowa

The Democrats have abandoned Iowa. The party leadership, at the urging of Pres. Joe Biden, has kicked the Hawkeyes to the curb, replacing their caucus with South Carolina’s primary as their first contest in the race for the party’s presidential nomination. Strictly speaking, this is probably just symbolic. In the 10 meaningful caucuses since 1972,…

Copeland is Back, But Where’s Jenkins?

Let’s start by giving the Madison School Board credit for voting unanimously to reinstate Sennett Middle School Principal Jeffrey Copeland in a special meeting last night. Copeland, in his brief tenure at the school in September, had quickly won the respect of teachers and parents and probably students for setting high standards, backing up teachers…

Going Deeper

This week I wrote a couple of posts that prompted responses that made me rethink what I wrote. I’m not changing my position in either case, but the responses were thoughtful and deserve consideration. The first case involved a post from Wednesday in which I praised Madison School Board President Ali Muldrow for indicating she…

Dems Keep Moving Coastal

Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report made a cogent observation in her weekly appearance on the PBS News Hours this past Monday. She noted that the House majority that Nancy Pelosi led when she first became Speaker in 2007 was far more diverse than the group of Democrats, now in a slim minority, that…

Lots To Cover

All kinds of interesting things going on, so let’s cover some ground this morning. Muldrow Makes Sense Last night the Madison School Board was its usual opaque self. The Board was supposed to rule on the appeal of his dismissal by former Sennett Middle School Principal Jeffrey Copeland. After a brief closed session meeting, the…

The Ideology of Entitlement

When the child tax credit program expired at the end of last year I thought there would be a political outcry. There was a shrug. Last December, just as the expanded credit was about to expire, a poll found that 51% of Americans were okay with that and, it seems, the other half weren’t all…

Weak Start For Reyes

Yesterday Madison mayoral candidate Gloria Reyes made her first detailed pitch to voters in a Sunday oped in the Wisconsin State Journal. It left a whole lot to be desired. Reyes focussed her entire column on public safety. On one level that makes some sense as she’s a former cop, she oversaw the Police Department…

Midwest: Cervid habeas corpus

The last time I shot a deer it was 2018. That was the first year we lived in a condo. So when I headed to deer camp I had to walk two blocks on the near west side to my car while carrying my deer rifle. A young woman was coming the other way on…

The World Cup! Eh.

I thought about watching the U.S. play England yesterday in a World Cup game. Then I forgot. Then, while watching Iowa play Nebraska in a surprisingly fun game of real football, I saw the score roll across the bottom of the screen. U.S. 0, England 0. Perfect. All that running around for an hour or…

The Next Crucial Election

I know. You wish you lived in Georgia so that you could be enjoying another three weeks of nonstop political ads.  But don’t despair. Another election is just around the corner and you can be sure that you will receive breathless emails and mailers telling you that this will be the most consequential election of…

Grateful For Fossil Fuels

We’re nothing here at YSDA if not iconoclastic. So, today, as writers across the land go on and on about what they’re grateful for –family, friends, football (though not so much in Wisconsin this year) — let us stop and give thanks for coal, oil and natural gas. I’m mostly serious. Virtually all of the…

Alternatives to Loan Forgiveness

Student loan forgiveness may very well be dead. That would be a good thing because it was always a terrible idea. Two Federal courts have tossed a monkey wrench into Pres. Joe Biden’s plan to unilaterally cancel up to $20,000 in student debt. The Administration is appealing and it seems likely that the issue will…

Hispanics Could Save the GOP

It wasn’t so long ago that Democrats saw America’s growing Hispanic population as their ticket to long-term majorities. But a funny thing has happened on the way to inevitability. The national Hispanic vote has moved ten points toward Republicans just since 2018, accelerating a trend that had begun earlier. This month Republicans won all of…

Eulogy And The Hunt

I’m writing this on Monday, but I know exactly where I’ll be when this posts at 6AM on Saturday. I am in a deer stand on the far side of what we call the “front hill” at the Jordahl farm in Richland County. It is dark and cold, but it was a long, hilly walk…

The Best Day of the Year

Today is the most wonderful day of the year. It’s the Friday before opening day of gun deer season in Wisconsin. If you stop by Farm and Fleet (or is it Fleet Farm?) you’ll find it to be “Orange Friday.” And it’s not about fruit or Protestants in Ireland. About a half million hunters will…

The Wrong Building

Dane County and the City of Madison passed their 2023 budgets this week. The net result is that local government is moving ahead with one flawed and unnecessary building project while it continues to dither about a necessary one. Last night the Madison City Council did what I expected they’d do. To make up for…

Thank You, Donald Trump

Rumors that the Democratic Party is paying Donald Trump to run for the presidency yet again cannot be confirmed. But a person can understand the suspicions (that I just made up). Democrats pour tons of resources into efforts to get out their vote, but nothing works quite like The Donald. There are many intertwined reasons…

Mod Dems: A New Party Within a Party

Going into the midterms Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson was thought to be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent in the nation. His approval ratings had long been under 40%, he had promised not to seek a third term and his public statements revealed an unhinged extremism that should have turned off Wisconsin’s independent voters. He even…

On the Reyes

It looks like we’re going to have a spirited Madison Mayor’s race. On Thursday Gloria Reyes formally announced that she’ll take on Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, who is likely to announce her bid for reelection later this week or next. Rhodes-Conway has served in the oddest of times, so it’s hard to judge her tenure.  First,…

Give ‘Em a Raise

This week the Madison City Council will take up a budget amendment to give themselves a raise. They should nudge their pay up a bit, but not as much as proposed. The proposal before the council would more than double their pay from about $15,000 a year to around $32,000. That’s too much for this…

He Got Fired For That?

In response to open records requests by the Wisconsin State Journal, the Madison School District finally gave the public its own information. Or at least some of it. In September the District fired new Sennett Middle School Principal Jeffrey Copeland only a few weeks into his job. The backlash from parents and staff was strong.…

Trump Loses Big Time

The biggest loser in Tuesday’s election was Donald Trump and his style of politics. Not only did his endorsed candidates get trounced overall, but it’s entirely possible that his aggressive campaigning in the closing weeks tipped the balance away from his party. Don’t forget that Trump isn’t just a polarizing figure; he’s a polarizing figure…

Why the Dems Aren’t Blue Today

Yesterday I tacked on a paragraph to the end of my blog offering some hope to my fellow Democrats. I suggested four reasons that the expected Republican wave might not occur. I wasn’t serious. I was just trying to be nice. But it turned out to be prescient in the way that blind squirrels sometimes…

Three Races to Watch

I’ll have snacks and beer ready to go by 7PM (8 eastern) tonight and I’ll be mentally prepared for a drubbing. Kind of like settling in for a Packer game, now that I think about it. Here’s what we know for sure. Democrats will lose the House and it’ll probably be by somewhere in the…

Let’s Have Lower Turnout

It’s an article of faith among Democrats that high turnout is good for both democracy and them. There’s no evidence to support either claim. This year 40 million votes have already been cast before election day and we’ll likely set a modern day record for midterm turnout. And the result of all that democracy on…

Alien Parade: Installment 11

Here’s the final installment. For those of you who have stuck with this, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed it. Feel free to let me know how you liked it… or didn’t. 39. Alien Parade While three dogged reporters grilled L. Grayson Charlie, the Sunday morning sun rose over Narvik and burned…

Alien Parade: Installment 10

We’re going to wrap up this little clambake this weekend. Here’s the penultimate installment of our story. 35. The evidence Sheriff Harold Rhude did not drive Mayor Claire Kornstedt home from the Alien Dance. Instead, after dropping off his wife at their house, they drove up to the county courthouse in the dead of night.…

The Uphill Road For Moderates

Occasionally, a reader will suggest I run for something, usually governor. That happened again last week. I gently suggest they find a quiet place or maybe a twelve step program so that they can reintroduce themselves to reality. I’m not running for anything. But when somebody suggests that, the old pol in me starts twitching…

Alien Parade: Installment 9

32. Party prep Sam arrived at the school cafeteria at noon to assemble her volunteers and get them decorating for that night’s alien ball. The turnout of volunteers was more than she expected. Everyone who signed up showed up and some brought kids or curious friends. A good sign, thought Sam.  Throughout the afternoon the…

No More Victim Statements

I’m pretty much a law and order guy. Last week I wrote, not for the first time, that we should Lock Up the Bad Guys. But one thing I’ve never liked is the unseemly spectacle of victim statements near the end of murder trials. Under these made-for-television events the family and friends of murder victims…

Alien Parade: Installment 8

30. Lemonade The post lecture party at the Flying Saucer was going nicely. Martin Boyd was holding court with a group of locals near the billiard tables. Pauline was pouring the special one-dollar “alien taps” right and left. Even Sheriff Harold Rhude was having one now that he was off duty. He glanced over at…

Why Dems Should Hope for the End of Affirmative Action

The Supreme Court will hear arguments today in two cases that could end affirmative action. While not a single Democrat will say it out loud, this is what they should be hoping for. Like abortion, affirmative action has been a millstone around the party’s neck for over half a century. And, like abortion, this conservative…

Alien Parade: Installment 7

27. Belief Sam sipped Darla’s strong coffee as she waited in her kitchen for Martin Boyd to finish his afternoon’s meditation upstairs in his room.  Darla couldn’t suppress a smirk at the expense of her friend.  “Wipe that off your face, Darla,” snapped Sam while she sipped and stared at the old linoleum on the…

Lock Up the Bad Guys

In a week and a half Democrats will lose a bunch of elections. The only question is whether all that red will come in the form of a tsunami or a breaker. They’ll lose primarily because of inflation (which they didn’t have much to do with), but also because of crime (which is a more…

Alien Parade: Installment 6

Here’s the sixth installment in my short novel, Alien Parade, wherein we meet Dr. Martin Boyd, UFO investigator. 22. Arrival Now it was inside of two weeks to Alien Days. The weather had turned “ducky,” which is to say cloudy, cold and windy. And Larry Mercer was nowhere to be found. The Mercer Flying Saucer…

The Higher Principle

It has become fashionable for extremists on both right and left to argue that broad principles and time-honored institutions should be shoved aside when they get in the way of some policy goal of the moment. So the hard-right would trash our system of free and fair elections anytime their candidate loses. The hard-left would…

Alien Parade: Installment 5

This is the next installment of my short novel Alien Parade. Previous installments can be found at https://yellowstripsdeadarmadillos.org. In this episode, Narvik Mayor Claire Kornstedt explains politicians. 20. Grand Marshal  The news from Joe about progress on the Larry Mercer Flying Saucer Chevy buoyed Sam’s spirits to the point that she got up the courage…

Can We Throw In For Schneider?

As a Packer fan and a Democrat I have a question. Can we just throw in for Schneider? For those of you who don’t play the game (and if you’re a Wisconsinite you really have no excuse) Schneider is a term from Sheepshead. It means losing but not losing that badly. In Sheepshead, there are…

Midwest: October Snow

There’s the Midwest and then there’s the Midwest. Most people would define the region, south to north, as extending from southern Illinois to Marquette, Michigan. But it was still summer in Carbondale last week while we got a heavy, wet snowstorm up here in the U.P. In Watersmeet, which is on the edge of the…

Alien Parade: Installment 4

17. Just as good Harrison Boyd was dead. It only took a few clicks on Google to learn all about it. He had died in a plane crash about a decade after his appearance in Narvik.  The good news was that he had a son, Martin Boyd, who had taken up the cause. He ran…

The Odds on November

Things are trending the wrong way for Democrats in every respect. Polls show generic Republicans with an advantage, Ron Johnson has a comfortable lead over Mandela Barnes while Tony Evers is in a dead heat with Tim Michels. It seems like the Democrats are likely to lose in the La Crosse area Congressional seat held…

Alien Parade: Installment 3

This is the third installment of my brief novel, Alien Parade. Previous installments can be found at Yellow Stripes & Dead Armadillos.com 11. Big time Harriet Sobelman and Samantha Tucker grew up as close childhood friends on the Upper Westside of Manhattan. When it came time for college Sam Tucker chose to follow previous generations…

Dems’ Problem in Two Charts

A New York Times/Sienna poll released Monday had bad news for Democrats, as if more were needed. The poll found that voters chose generic Republicans over generic Democrats by four points. Democrats held a one point lead a month ago. The poll is more evidence that Democrats peaked too soon and that stubborn inflation is…

Alien Parade: Installment 2

This is the second installment of my short novel, Alien Parade. See the Yellow Stripes & Dead Armadillos website for the previous installment. 6. Opportunity  The Ottawa County courthouse was a beautiful old building in the center of the town square of Bosshardt, the county seat. Statues of young Union soldiers kept guard over each…

Abolish the NCAA

Paul Chryst was fired as the Badgers’ head football coach only a handful of games into the season after being surprised by Washington State, destroyed by Ohio State, and embarrassed by Illinois. The Athletic Department paid him $11 million to clear out of his office.  Meanwhile, Shanel Bramschreiber had to sit out half of the…

Midwest: Last Day on the Trout Stream

Yesterday marked the end of trout season in Wisconsin. So, on Thursday, amid scattered snow showers, I drove out to Gordon Creek in western Dane County to throw flies into cold water and see if anybody was home and interested in lunch. I walked a ways downstream, found some gravel creek bed and an easy…

Alien Parade, Installment One

When I left my last job (I refuse to use the word “retired”, but that’s pretty much what I did), I decided I was going to write a book. I had all kinds of ideas, but I settled on two, a collection of essays on deer hunting and a book about how the Midwest was…

New MU Poll: That Sinking Feeling

We’re out of the prediction business here at YSDA, but the latest Marquette University Law School poll is filled with bad news for Democrats. Rather than trying to predict how things will actually turn out in November, let’s just raise some interesting questions. Is it possible to have a split result? Democrat Mandela Barnes is…

He Loved the Law

If you live in Madison you almost can’t help but know a lot of lawyers. But how many of them seem to really enjoy their work?  Michael May often said, “I love the law.” It was said with a trademark overzealousness that suggested self-mockery. But it also became clear over the seven years that I…

Lunch Pail Joe Has Part of the Answer

It’s not surprising that a guy who grew up in Scranton would see the revival of manufacturing jobs as the key to saving democracy. But that guy is only partially right. I’m in the 40% of Americans who approve of the job Joe Biden is doing. The most important thing about the guy is that…

Midwest: The Summer Ends

This was the week I put summer away. I took my boat out of the water. For instructions on how to do this (actually it’s about how to put a boat in the water, but taking it out is just doing this in reverse) there’s none better than (who else?) Charlie Berens right here. As…

Go After GOP on Crime

Yesterday I offered a somewhat sobering take on the mid-term elections from a Democratic perspective. My analysis basically went like this: Everything is going to hell. The Democrats want to make the election all about abortion while the Republicans want to make it about crime. Crime is trumping abortion. It has occurred to me since…

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