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Saturday, February 28, 2015 |  Madison, WI: -2.0° F  Fair
The Paper


Will we ever agree on anything again?

We are a deeply divided nation. It isn't just that we want different things; we have two completely different world views, with a completely different sets of facts at our disposal. >More


Physicians Plus wrangles with UW Health over insurance coverage for midwives

Even after Dana Hurda moved from Madison to Evansville, she continued to go to the UW Health West Clinic in Madison, a 35-minute drive from her home. The reason? Midwives. Hurda has come to depend on the specially trained nurse midwives who work out of UW and provide hospital-based midwifery services for women in childbirth. Even now that she's no longer focusing on childbearing, Hurda has relied on the UW clinic's midwifery program for her primary gynecological care. >More
 Wisconsin Capitol Police crack down on old-timey music

Capitol Police Chief David Erwin has followed up on his promise to crack down on anyone who strays from state Capitol permitting rules, including those who sing at noon with the Solidarity Singers. He's even sent deputies to deliver tickets to people's homes and workplaces. >More
 Madison parks superintendent clarifies comments on Brett Hulsey

When Isthmus first reported that state Rep. Brett Hulsey (D-Madison) pleaded no contest to a charge of disorderly conduct, we decided not to publish two pieces of information. >More


The Democrats' teacher dilemma

The Chicago teachers' strike put President Obama in an awkward position. Caught between his own former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and his base of support in the teachers union, he was easy prey for Mitt Romney, who declared that the president had taken the teachers' side (not true) and that Democrats and unionized teachers are the enemies of parents, schoolchildren and quality education. >More
 Tell All: Paul Ryan, sexy? Blecch!

Dear Tell All: I question the taste of GOP Convert, who thinks Paul Ryan is sexy and yearns for a chance to hook up with him ("Paul Ryan Is So Cute!" 8/23/2012). I admit that I considered Ryan vaguely handsome during his years as Janesville's U.S. representative, but I didn't give it much thought. Now that his mug is in every newspaper, on every website and in endless TV-news close-ups, I've had a chance to take a better look at him. >More


Synths, laptops and loops are slowly changing Madison music

Electronic music is not taking Madison by storm, nor is it creating a new scene. This year, it's been grabbing ears and imaginations one at a time. No one group is responsible for this surge in popularity, and the artists don't rally around the same set of musical clichés. They make cheery synth-pop songs, gloomy avant-garde soundscapes and nearly everything in between. >More
 Matthew Sweet to revisit Girlfriend, his magnum opus from 1991

Glimpse certain touring acts' recent set lists, and you'd swear time stopped during the 1990s. Dr. Octagon reprised 1996's Dr. Octagonecologyst at two July shows, and Green Day played 1995's Dookie at England's Reading Music Festival in August. This Wednesday, Madison gets a visit from Matthew Sweet, who'll perform Girlfriend, his power-pop masterpiece from 1991, at the High Noon Saloon. >More
 The Jesus and Mary Chain have sweetened up their infamous live shows

Proto-shoegazers the Jesus and Mary Chain -- who'll hit the Majestic Theatre for a reunion concert Sept. 19 -- have changed some of the ways they pulverize crowds with distorted guitars and primal drum-pounding, even though they don't have much new material. >More



Old standbys, new hangouts: These local haunts reflect Madison's past, present and future

Madison's identity is indebted to a colorful history. It's hard to imagine how the city might look and feel without its proud culture of protest and progressivism. Locals question and resist almost everything, from war to neighborhood zoning. Though this passion has given Madison its "surrounded by reality" reputation, it also makes the city great. >More
 Karen Crossley 'loved every day' of leading Dane Arts

Where to go after a five-year stint as director of the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission? Disney World? Make that Canada. On Aug. 31, Karen Crossley stepped down as head of the commission, whose marketing name is Dane Arts. Almost immediately after that, she traveled to Ontario for a week at the Toronto International Film Festival. >More
 Revolution imagines a world with no electricity

J.J. Abrams' Revolution plunges you into an alternate reality. Ben (Tim Guinee) hurries home to tell his wife (Elizabeth Mitchell), "It's happening." And then "it" abruptly happens. The electricity shuts off all around the world. We see stunning images of lights going out down a highway, then all around the Earth. >More


A Lonely Place for Dying needs more action and fewer phone calls

Justin Eugene Evans' Cold War thriller A Lonely Place for Dying has an impressive resume: It's earned 27 awards at 46 film festivals, and its $250,000 budget delivers more production values than one might expect. Evans, a Milwaukee-area filmmaker, will screen the film at more than 20 theaters nationwide, including Madison's Barrymore Theatre. Unfortunately, his ambition is more thrilling than the first half of his thriller. >More
 An unlikely genius: Bill W. profiles the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous

Most people are at least glancingly familiar with Alcoholics Anonymous. Its slogans and clichés are common coin. Its 12-step philosophy for recovering from addiction is the model to which all others are compared. The program isn't widely understood, though, and that's by design. AA tradition discourages members from discussing the group publicly. >More
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Driftless Depot in Spring Green is a doozy of a deli

When the Michelin tire company began publishing its famous star-based restaurant guide in 1933, it was to encourage the then-new pleasure of driving to dining destinations. The guide helped -- and still does -- advise motoring foodies where to go for superb cuisine in the French countryside. >More
 Goat salami is the base of a Wisconsin-centric sandwich (recipe)

Got your goat? I got mine. And these days, it's getting easier to come by, as are pheasant and rabbit. Long perceived as too gamey by some, goat is quite palatable. Despite the fact that goat is the most consumed meat in the world, it's been largely overlooked in the U.S. >More


Life is harsh in the Big Ten

In the 1988 football season opener, Wisconsin lost to Western Michigan, 24-14, in front of 38,230 fans. The Badgers' few first downs were greeted by cynical chants of "Rose Bowl! Rose Bowl!" from the student section, whose occupants were much more interested in choreography during the Fifth Quarter than the game itself. "Who gives a shit? We came to see the band!" was another popular chant. >More
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