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Saturday, January 31, 2015  |   Madison, WI: 28.0° F  
THE SCONZ: Breaking news and commentary on campus, city and state politics
The Sconz bids Isthmus adieu

Although I will continue contributing articles for the paper, my blog is now returning back to its original home on Wordpress! Come join me at the new location, but by no means stop reading Isthmus! >More
Who to blame for Wisconsin job losses?

Who should Madison voters blame for slow economic growth? President Obama, Gov. Walker, Mayor Soglin? All three? >More
In defense of the Wisconsin State Journal

Many friends of mine are upset with the legal battle the Wisconsin State Journal waged to obtain the 1,000 sick notes Madison teachers used to get off work during the union protests in February. >More
Madison to Occupy Wall Street: Been there, done that

Occupy Madison has been a "fart in the wind." Why? Because Madisonians have better things to do. >More
Do all Madison businesses need websites?

Paul's Book Store and the Silver Dollar Tavern are two businesses that have yet to invest in the interwebs. Can you think of an advantage to that strategy? >More
Soon-to-be Wisconsin Capitol rule: Cameras must be attached to guns

In yet another clarification of the state Capitol's policy against allowing cameras in the Assembly and Senate galleries, Capitol officials announced that photo and video devices are only allowed if attached to a licensed firearm. >More
Madison's sacred separation of bar and cafe

It's worked in Europe. The late-night bar is also a cheery spot to get your morning espresso. But just like socialized medicine, the bar/cafe model is apparently doomed to failure in the United States. And nowhere is the situation better displayed than in Madison. >More
Memo to Madison restaurants: Give me a punch card, a special, or something else

I like coffee whether it tastes like dishwater or a smooth blend of Tanzanian peaberry and citrus, and whether it is produced by a cooperative of well-paid and environmentally conscious farmers in Nicaragua or an army of underpaid, underage employees of a warlord in Somalia. However, as much as possible, I prefer it cheap. >More
Why is drunken driving on the decline?

The father of a buddy of mine told him about how he and his friends used to drive from their Minnesota town, where the drinking age was 21 during the 70's, to Wisconsin, where it was 18. "We'd get wasted and then drive back to Minnesota, which probably wasn't a good idea...but things were different then," he explained. >More
Could Wisconsin Republicans make the Electoral College any worse?

The Electoral College is an undemocratic system developed by a bunch of old white guys who didn't believe the American people were competent enough to elect their own president. Since then, the premise for its preservation has changed. Now people believe it must be kept to ensure that small states have representation in the presidential process. >More
What's wrong with being poor or cheap in Wisconsin?

What do St. Vinny's and Minhas Brewery have in common? They're both great places for poor people to shop, but both are reluctant to admit it. >More
How to keep Prince Fielder with the Brewers

As I'm sure Gov. Scott Walker will tell you, emotional appeal is only part of the game. A multimillionaire needs more assurance than a plea to "Escape to Wisconsin," to set up shop here permanently. So what would be the next step in the Walker plan? >More
Occupy Wall Street is the left wing Tea Party

Both are fed by the frustration and suffering created by economic hardship. Most importantly, both began as grassroots movements but later gained significant institutional support from the establishment from corporations, interest groups, political parties or labor unions. >More
Madison beer is cheap, but it could be cheaper

Apparently, I care about money more than the average Madisonian. That is clearly not demonstrated in my career choices, but it is in my drinking habits. The first thing I always say when I enter a bar is, "Do you have any specials," a question a coworker of mine (and longtime bartender) finds odd. >More
Four reasons Google+ will kill Facebook

There are a few reasons I think Facebook is on the decline and I don't think their recent renovations are going to help. There's a new kid on the block, and he's called Google +. He's going to kick Facebook's ass. >More
Moneyball is a lie

What the movie Moneyball said was largely true. What makes me madder than George Brett is what the movie did not say. >More
Why The Sconz will never be a high school teacher

I think being a university professor might be the only kind of teaching I could tolerate. Teaching elementary or high school sounds like one headache after the next. >More
A better way for Madison Prep

If people want a charter school to be an inspiration to other youngsters in the community, here's a better way to do it. >More
Just in case you thought Tammy Baldwin was invincible

What has irked me recently is the oft-repeated meme that Baldwin's 7 straight victories in the 2nd Congressional district are evidence of her ability to win statewide. That's not even close to being true. >More
It does matter what kind of beer you pour on a legislator's head

I've previously expressed displeasure at Brewers fans who douse Cubs fans with beer. What self-respecting Crew supporter would waste a cold brew on the fan of a team that hasn't won since 1908? >More
Jail in Wisconsin should not be like jail in Monopoly

Last time I wasted my time playing Monopoly, a "get out of jail free card" prevented you from going to jail altogether. It didn't set up a series of tasks for you to complete before you get out of jail. >More
What makes 'liberal' a bad word?

Although it would be a serious breach of diplomatic privilege to disclose any of the specifics of the historic accords between the President of Sconz Nation and the Squire of the Stately Blaska Manor, I will mention that one of the many topics we addressed was the ideological make-up of the United States. Specifically, how many of us should be identified as liberals, moderates or conservatives. >More
The Sconz celebrated communism on Labor Day

One of the best labor days in memory. For one, I didn't spend the day laborin', as I did last year. Nor did I go to the labor fest, where those capitalist pigs charge for beer and brats. Instead, in the true spirit of worker solidarity, I hosted a barbecue for some of my comrades in our apartment building. >More
How to save UW students money: Free textbooks

A friend of mine had an intriguing idea to lower the cost of education for the increasingly debt-trapped students of Generation Y: Free text books. >More
Why Bill Clinton was Sean Hannity's best friend

Many a conservative career were built on the back of Bill Clinton's shenanigans. The Drudge Report evolved from the obscure project of some basement dweller to a go-to news source after it started breaking news about the president's relationship with a White House intern. And of course, the thrice divorced Rush Limbaugh probably increased his dittoheadship exponentially as the nation sought a champion of traditional family values. >More
George Will doesn't know Wisconsin

I get it. There is a conservative narrative that demands unions be the culprits for state budget deficits. But why do national columnists like George Will have to leave out so many facts when they make that case? >More
Tommy Thompson is a Progressive-Liberal!

To our Prog-Lib acquaintances (for they longer our friends), I present you your candidate for U.S. Senate: Tommy G. Thompson. >More
Channel 3000: Whoopsies

Channel 3000, one of the most popular websites in Madison, apparently forgot to renew its domain. There's still plenty of breaking news, but most of it relates to great deals on web hosting. >More
A bang for your buck = Milwaukee Brewers

I just hope other taxpayer-funded ventures are as productive as the Milwaukee Brewers. There's a very good chance the Brewers are going to end the season having spent less per win than just about any other MLB team. >More
I care about the Badgers, but not their autographs

What will be most interesting about the autographs of college athletes 20 years from now is wondering what those athletes become. The successful ones might land a gig selling insurance or teaching gym. The less fortunate will be in prison or blogging for an alt weekly. >More
Tea party ain't buying Tommy Thompson's makeover

Pollster Tom Jensen has some numbers out on Tommy G. Thompson that show the former guv would unlikely make it through a GOP primary if he runs for Senate. Why? The right wing of the Republican Party apparently isn't impressed with his comical overtures to the Tea Party movement. >More
Jon Huntsman: Way too sane for GOP primary

Jon Huntsman believes scientists may be right about a couple things. Sorry Jon, that just won't fly in the Republican Party. >More
The Sconz challenges Blaska to a wager

Blaska is confident Krazy Kim is going to pull it off. Well hell, like any good investor, I smell a profit in that prediction. So I proposed a wager to the Squire: He wins, two drinks on me. I win, vice-versa. He agreed. >More
The Sconz strikes it big on Hippie Christmas

This year The Sconz enjoyed the smoothest moving experience since the blog was founded over on College Ct. in the spring of 2009. Most importantly, this year's Hippie Christmas haul was the best ever. >More
The Sconz is glad to have TV again

Well, I've always had TV. But not by conventional American standards. You see, a year ago, Mrs. Sconz and I decided we were sophisticated enough to get by without cable. >More
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