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Wednesday, July 30, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 74.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily

OPINION

The scandals that aren't

First it was Tim Geithner, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City and America's newest Treasury secretary, who disclosed he skimped on paying his personal taxes between 2001 and 2004. Congressional lapdog Democrats immediately jumped to Geithner's defense, saying that these were "honest" or "careless" mistakes and that, as "the only man in America who understands TARP" - the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program - Geithner simply had to get this job. Question: If the smartest moneyman in America doesn't understand IRS tax rules, what chance do the rest of us mere mortals have? >More
 Karen Dawn busts stereotypes as wisecracking vegan ambassador

The other day I was telling a friend, a fellow journalist, about Karen Dawn's 2008 book, Thanking the Monkey. My friend has a deep sense of personal as well as social morality, an encompassing sense of curiosity and an active sense of humor. I felt sure he'd like it. But as soon as I said it's a treatise on animal rights, he rolled his eyes and mentally erased it from his to-read list. He needed only one sense -- common -- to grasp the truth: Oh, those people. >More
 UW Hoofers bringing Statue of Liberty back to Madison: An inside story

I'm working with a group of people in Hoofers to bring back the original Statue of Liberty -- a stunt pulled off by the pranksters in the UW's Pail and Shovel party. Our plan is to return it to the ice of Lake Mendota in front of the Memorial Union for Valentine's Day weekend. >More
 The Wisconsin State Journal's editorial page con job

In a column last Sunday introducing the redesigned section, State Journal editorial page editor Scott Milfred vowed to feature the syndicated columns of self-described "independent, libertarian" Chicago Tribune columnist Chapman. (Warning: Anyone claiming to be independent and libertarian is a Republican.) >More
 I'm not on your side

An Isthmus colleague who sits within earshot has often heard me doing triage with callers on the phone, weighing whether and when it makes sense to write about a given situation. He suggests this might make a good column topic. Maybe he's right. >More
 Criticize me, please

Vikki Kratz once wrote that, "(Madison) has never experienced such a surge in national popularity -- and it clearly has Dave Cieslewicz to thank." That line appeared in a longer column all of which took a similar tone. I thought it was so great that I had it framed, and it sits in a place of prominence in my office. >More
 How to fix Overture

While the latest proposal to retire the debt of the Overture Center for the Performing Arts was dismissed by Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and the city's Board of Estimates, the discussion does not end there. >More
 Madison-Rafah Sister City Project report from Gaza: After the ceasefire

After being out of communication for several days, Prof. Said Abdelwahad was finally heard from on Sunday, January 18. Following the most intense night of bombing since the assault began, he and his family fled their apartment for a safer location, where he was unable to communicate via the Internet. >More
 Madison-Rafah Sister City Project report from Gaza: Death is everywhere

Professor Said Abdelwahad is a middle-aged English Professor at Al Azhar University in Gaza City. Or he was, until Israel began its bloody offensive against Gaza. Al Azhar now stands empty and heavily damaged. Its students and teachers have scattered to their homes and other places of refuge, seeking to hide from the terror of the finest U.S. weapons that our taxes can buy. >More
 Our cops need reform -- again

It's been more than 40 years since President Johnson created the last federal commission to look into our justice system and recommend improvements. At the time, I was a beat cop in Minneapolis, following a stint in the Marines. >More
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