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Friday, October 31, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 36.0° F  Mostly Cloudy and Windy
The Daily

OPINION

What the Overture Center does for Madison

Have we lost sight of what Overture Center is all about? The performances, the creativity, the artistic expression? Through the lengthy civic debate about models, governance and bank debt, the amazing artists and staff continue to make the magic happen to enrich the lives of audiences at Overture. Attendance numbers are up. Broadway subscription sales have increased more than 100% over last season (and last season was The Lion King year). >More
 Wisconsin election proves the power of bad ideas

At a recent discussion on the Nov. 2 election hosted by the local Society for Professional Journalists, UW-Madison political science professor Charles Franklin was expounding on why Republicans emerged triumphant, in Wisconsin and throughout the land. In my questions to Franklin, I noted that the public seemed to vote against its own interests and stated desires, for instance by electing candidates who'll drive up the deficit with fiscally reckless giveaways to the rich. >More
 A victory that can't last

Overnight our state turned red last week -- the biggest political shift in the nation. It was bad enough to stand with Russ Feingold's tearful staff and watch one of the nation's best senators concede to flat-earther Ron Johnson. (Watch Johnson, who won with a torrent of out-of-state money from anonymous donors and made specious attacks on Feingold's independence, to see how often he breaks ranks with his own party.) >More
 Fickle voters call the shots

Does anyone remember Barack Obama's margin of victory in Wisconsin in 2008? Fourteen percentage points. Let me say that again: Fourteen points! Wisconsin voters left little doubt as to where they stood. That's what made last Tuesday's statewide Republican sweep so confusing. Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson and GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker won by nearly identical five-point margins -- almost a 20-percentage-point swing from the Obama vote just two years before. >More
 Consider other options on Overture Center

When pianist Olga Kern began playing the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 at the Madison Symphony Orchestra's season opener a few Fridays ago, the first gentle notes hung in the air. I could hear the faint hum of the piano wires vibrating from her pedal work. What marvelous acoustics Overture Hall has! What a gorgeous place to hear the symphony and the Madison Opera. And what a horrible situation the Overture Center for the Arts finds itself in. >More
 Ron Johnson's dubious strategy

In politics as in life, the devil is often in the details. Luckily for Ron Johnson, he doesn't have any. "I don't believe this election is about details," the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate declared at a recent campaign forum. It's not the first time Johnson has used this particular soundbite, for reasons that, on reflection, seem obvious. >More
 Chad Lee denounces Tammy Baldwin's bouncing breasts in 'Send a Message to Congress' ad

Chad Lee's "Send a Message to Congress" ad begins on a dark, depressing note. The Republican candidate for U.S. Representative tells voters in Wisconsin's 2nd Congressional District that the government is responsible for causing "historic unemployment" and sending "billions to Wall Street." >More
 The inadequacy of rules

Last week, nearly two months after being asked, the Madison Police Department released to Isthmus records of its internal investigation into a 2006 incident involving then-26-year-old Jacob Bauer, the culprit in a bar assault. The investigation's conclusion was already known. The MPD deemed allegations that two Madison cops used excessive force in subduing Bauer were "not sustained." No discipline or other corrective action ensued. >More
 Russ Feingold rediscovers his quirky side in 'Off the Table' and 'No Vikings' ads

After flirting with negative ads, Democratic Senator Russ Feingold is turning back into that amusing, quirky, kind of nerdy guy we first fell for back in 1992. >More
 UW animal research agenda merits closer community scrutiny

Working with others, I spent much of the last year trying to get the Dane County Board of Supervisors to sponsor a study of experimenting on monkeys here in Madison, the "Monkey Experimentation Capital of the World." I learned a few lessons along the way. >More
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