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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 30.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily

OPINION

Commuter rail in Dane County will likely be a major issue in 2011

Anyone tired of talking about trains yet? I hope not because, to quote Karen Carpenter, we've only just begun...to discuss this issue in Dane County. In fact, the passenger train issue will likely be more important in the next election, for Dane County executive, than it was in the race for governor. It's also about to get wrapped up in a bigger debate about transportation policy. >More
 Reflections of a grateful voter

With one whole election under my belt, I felt like a pro. On Nov. 2, I stood in front of a blue plastic voting booth in the library of Glendale Elementary School quickly skimming position, name, party affiliation, then filling in arrows. The entire process took about five minutes. >More
 David Blaska is not telling the truth

Normally I don't get involved in the ongoing controversies over David Blaska's commentaries on The Daily Page. Isthmus has given Blaska license to say pretty much whatever he wants and I usually don't feel the need to quarrel even if I disagree, as is often the case. I'd like to make a rare exception, though, regarding Blaska's post from earlier this week, "Blaska's Blog is 'stupid' for voting for Scott Walker and Ron Johnson." >More
 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
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