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Saturday, December 27, 2014  |   Madison, WI: 34.0° F  
CITIZEN DAVE: Thoughts and ideas about city building from Madison's former mayor
Citizen Dave: A step away from the Syria crisis on September 11

Like just about everybody else in the world, I'm relieved that the Congressional vote on the use of force in Syria is delayed. I'm skeptical, however, about the proposal by Russia to use the United Nations to secure and destroy Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons. >More
Citizen Dave: We have a moral obligation to act in Syria

Four hundred. Children. Gassed to death in their homes. Apparently, by their own government. If those four statements aren't enough to trigger international outrage resulting in military action against the Syrian government, then what will be enough? >More
Citizen Dave: Paul Soglin scapegoats unions just like Scott Walker

According to Mayor Paul Soglin, a small projected city budget gap is my fault and the fault of the Madison Common Council. But mostly he says it's the fault of the public employee unions. >More
Citizen Dave: In college football, losing has its place, even at Wisconsin

As the new season gets underway, the man to really thank for the glory of Wisconsin football Saturdays is Don Morton. As Morton is mostly a forgotten coach, let's take a moment to remember him. >More
Citizen Dave: The Solidarity Sing Along and the devil it doesn't know

For last week's Isthmus, I wrote a review of Matthew Levin's excellent history of the New Left in Madison, titled Cold War University. Most of us who have been around this town for a few decades think we know these stories, but I certainly didn't understand it all in context. >More
Citizen Dave: Money matters less in elections than the Wisconsin Democrats think

There's one word to describe why Democratic Party of Wisconsin insiders are so intent on anointing a 2014 gubernatorial candidate without a primary: money. In the world of full-time, professional political operatives -- and in the words of Randy Newman -- it's money that matters. >More
Citizen Dave: Welcome back to Madison, kids!

I had to be on the UW-Madison campus today and it was all wonderful congestion. Cars and trucks were lined up to unload stuff into the dorms. Packs of new students and parents were being led around by perky upper classman in red shirts, pointing out where to go for pizza, books and school supplies. (No mention of bars that I could overhear.) It was hot and humid amid hazy sunshine just as it should be. >More
Citizen Dave: Wisconsin should serve up a new license plate

It's long past time to retire the flying barn. For the past few decades, Wisconsin has had the nation's most confusing license plate. In an attempt to get it all in there, we designed a plate so jumbled that it looks like the barn is attached to the sailboat. >More
Citizen Dave: The dilemma of Syria makes the case for a stronger United Nations

Let's say you're Barack Obama. You are the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and, at least for the time being, the only real superpower. Your countrymen, who have never been very interested in foreign affairs much less foreign wars, are tired of our long involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet, a new batch of human suffering now afflicts Syria. >More
Citizen Dave: Ryan Braun's apology is worth nothing

I got an email from Ryan Braun's publicist the other day. Ryan wanted to apologize, at some length, for his use of performance enhancing drugs and for lying about it. One thing was clear from the email: whatever Braun is paying his public relations firm is probably worth it, because as phony apologies go this one was very well-written. >More
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