Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sharpless Quote of the Day!

By Jeff Simpson 

From WPR:

John Sharpless, a former Republican candidate for Congress and who teaches history at UW, voiced his frustration on Friday over the belief that professors aren't working hard enough. He said he arrives no later than 9 a.m. and leaves no earlier than 5 p.m.  During that time, he said he’s either teaching, preparing lectures, doing research, attending required committee meetings, advising students and managing teaching assistants. Sharpless added that he often spends his evenings reading and grading papers.
“None of this seems like work to a guy like Walker because he lives a different life,” he said.  “And I’m not going to make fun of what he does.  I’m sure being a governor is a lot of work.  He has to spend a lot of time in Iowa and South Carolina and North Carolina and courting other Republican big-wigs.  That taxes the man horribly.”

He suggested that to help with the budget shortfall, Walker should give back the money that he makes when he leaves Wisconsin to campaign for a possible presidential run in 2016.

“I think Scott should take a leave of absence and do this on his dime or the dime of the big corporate guys who pay his jet fare,” Sharpless added.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Piecemeal Implementation of Plantation Economics in Wisconsin

We are all aware of Scott Walker's attack on teachers and other public sector workers in 2011 in the form of Act 10. We also are well aware that Act 10 was nothing more than an introduction to plantation economics, sometimes referred to inaccurately and inappropriately as "Right to Work."

The predictable and predicted negative impact to the state happened with the passage of Act 10. Tens of thousands of people lost their jobs. Many more saw a reduction in their take home pay.  Businesses struggled to stay open and many didn't survive.  The state's economy sank so low that Wisconsin was last in the Midwest and in the bottom tier nationwide in most economic indicators.

Last year, when Walker and his Republican cohorts gained an even stronger stranglehold on the state government, many of the Teahadist legislators wanted to quickly finish off the unions and the economy with full implementation of their plantation economics.

Walker, already kicking off his presidential campaign, said that he did not want the legislature to pursue this, calling it "a distraction."

Sadly, the only distraction was Walker calling their economic agenda a distraction.

In the past few days, Walker and his allies have introduced the very same plantation economics agenda.  However, instead of introducing it one fell swoop, they are planning on implementing it in piecemeal fashion.  Walker's hope is that this new version of divide and conquer will leave different groups of people focused on the attacks to their own areas of interest and not seeing the big picture.

Walker himself has announced the higher education version of Act 10, as he seeks to cripple the University of Wisconsin system.

A few days ago, State Representative Rob Hutton introduced the part of their plantation economics designed to go after the building trades unions:
Today, State Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield) unveiled Repeal Prevailing Wage legislation to eliminate the state’s prevailing wage law, allowing for broader participation in the governmental bidding process at wage levels that more accurately reflect market conditions. Prevailing wage is an artificial rate set by government that contractors are required to pay their workers, often times at inflated wage rates. These elevated costs are then passed along in the form of higher taxes to Wisconsin citizens.

“With tight municipal budgets, the elimination of prevailing wage will provide local governments with a critical tool to reduce costs associated with capital budgets,” stated Rep. Hutton.

“It is my hope that the Legislature takes a serious look at this issue, especially at a time when we are trying to make the best use of taxpayer dollars. Any discussion about additional investments in Wisconsin’s infrastructure must include prevailing wage reform. As good stewards of our state budget, we owe this to Wisconsin taxpayers,” said Rep. Hutton.
This will drastically cut the wages earned by the people that erect our buildings, build our bridges and help maintain our infrastructure. Not only will this do even more serious harm to the state economy by cutting workers' wages, but it opens the door for out-of-state companies to come in and take those jobs away from Wisconsin workers.

Not done there, two more of the most rabid and most racist of the Teahadists, State Senator Alberta Darling and State Representative Dale Kooyenga, have introduced the most offensive and most racist piece of plantation economic legislation that this state has ever seen. The bill would include the following:
The economic development proposals would:

■ Eliminate the corporate income tax for companies locating in needy urban zones. The tax cut would apply only if the business is from an industry not already represented in Wisconsin by existing companies, such as auto manufacturing.

■ Establish zones in which labor unions and private employers would not be able to reach agreements that require workers to pay union dues. Some Republicans are already pushing to make this so-called "right-to-work" approach the law statewide.

Opponents of the proposal question whether the state would have the authority under federal law to implement right-to-work in some parts of Wisconsin but not others.

■Eliminate in those zones the so-called "minimum markup" law, which prevents retailers from selling their products at a loss. The markup requirement would still apply to fuel sales.

■ Allow the formation of for-profit limited liability companies that could operate more like nonprofits. The companies would not be tax-exempt, but they would not be obliged to pursue only profits for their shareholders, leaving them more legal flexibility to work on behalf of their communities.

Other education proposals from Darling and Kooyenga include:

■ Streamlining the process for allowing high-performing charter schools to open additional schools.

Allowing high-performing charter schools run by MPS or non-MPS entities to automatically add new schools without official approval, if their students' average reading and math test score results beat the district average for two years in a row.

■ Convert the approximately $40 million MPS receives each year for school integration efforts within the system to a block grant with no state mandates.
This is pure plantation economics where they are giving every advantage to corporations and the wealthy while exploiting the workers.

Keep in mind that states with a plantation economy have average wages less than $5000 less than union states, they have higher levels of poverty, poorer education systems and higher numbers of work-related deaths and injuries.  This is what Walker and the other Teapublicans want to do to all of us.

Make no mistakes about it, the so-called "Right  to Work" agenda is coming to Wisconsin even as you read this.  Are you ready to fight it?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Scott Walker Declares War On Academia

Walker working hard on his budget
Scott Walker is due to release his 2015-2017 budget next week, however, has been leaking parts of it to help keep his name in the news as he starts his bid for president. As one might imagine, his budget is not geared to what is good for the state but what is in the best interest of his presidential campaign.

One of the many horrific things that came out is Walker's proposal to slash $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system and then to cut them adrift. The proposal would have devastating results for the school as well as the state as a whole:
Gov. Scott Walker said Wednesday that University of Wisconsin System faculty and staff could increase their workload to reduce the impact of his proposed $300 million budget cut.

Walker announced this week that the proposed cuts, along with a two-year tuition freeze, would be part of his two-year budget proposal to be delivered to the Legislature on Tuesday. In return, the UW System would be converted into a public authority with more autonomy, though it’s unclear how much money that would save.

University officials have said they might have to lay off employees in the short term, and then raise tuition starting in 2017.

UW System President Ray Cross sent a memo to his administration employees Wednesday saying the proposed cuts would require cost-containment measures, beginning immediately with a hiring freeze on non-essential state-funded positions, a moratorium on out-of-state travel and a halt to any salary adjustments or promotions until further notice.
Walker has described this proposal as being the Act 10 for higher education and that it would have the same "benefits" that the original Act 10 had for local schools. Those "benefits" included thousands of teachers laid off, larger class sizes, programs being cut and whole schools being closed.

Walker, being the chump, er, champ that he is, offered a solution - teach more classes. Only problems is, the professors are already working long hours and are bringing in tens of millions of dollars in research grants:
“They might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class per semester,” Walker told reporters Wednesday in Madison. “Things like that could have a tremendous impact on making sure that we preserve an affordable education for all of our UW campuses, and at the same time we maintain a high-quality education.”

Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at UW-Madison, said the most recent survey data found UW-Madison faculty spend 50 to 70 hours per week teaching and supporting students, participating in research and other activities.

“It should be noted that many also bring in millions of dollars in grant funding that is a direct boost to the Wisconsin economy,” Sweeney said. “Many create their own companies, which go on to create state jobs. We value their work greatly.”

Grant Petty, president of PROFS Inc., the professional group representing UW-Madison professors, said he doesn’t know any UW faculty who don’t already spend 50 hours a week or more doing what are considered the “essential duties” of their job.

“As Governor Walker knows from his own family background, a pastor’s job doesn’t start and stop with the Sunday sermon,” Petty said. “The same is true of university professors and the classroom.”

Petty, a meteorology professor, said a three-credit course typically requires 10 to 15 hours per week of preparation, grading and meeting with students to help them understand the material. He teaches two classes, and also works one-on-one with graduate students, often competing for federal grants to help support those students. He also is expected to stay current with issues and publish in the fields of his expertise.

“I was not able to tell from the governor’s statement which of these things he thought we should do less of to make room for more of something else,” Petty said.
Now, no one can say for sure why Walker is doing this. He might be nursing a grudge from his own school days at Marquette University, where he got booted for cheating. It might be because he was a lousy student. It might be because he is sore at people like Professor William Cronon, who wrote an illuminating story on ALEC and the influence it had on Republicans.

Or maybe it's just Walker following the orders of his corporate overlords.

On a final note, Walker has made it clear that he is not satisfied with crippling the UW system. He's been going around on the squawk radio cycle saying that he feels that this sort of things should be going on nationwide.

Scotty Nonsense

BY Jeff Simpson 

As soon as the folks at Politifact got up of the floor from laughing so hard, they gave him a pants on fire rating!

In any case, the lack of Soviet records described by Walker is clear.
Reagan's own ambassador to the Soviet Union, Jack Matlock, told us: "It's utter nonsense. There is no evidence of that whatever."
Matlock questioned whether Soviet leaders even paid much attention to the firings, saying: "At that point, their big question was whether (Reagan) was going to attack them."

Utter nonsense pretty much describes Scott walker very well.  

Kind of hard to have someone speak about holding schools and teachers accountable when you are either that ignorant of history or are so willing to lie.    Mr. Walker has more in common with Sarah Palin than we knew!


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Abele Offers Compromise To Robbing Retirees - By Stealing From Them Instead

Last April, Chris Abele sent out more than 200 threatening letters to Milwaukee County retirees, stating that if they didn't pay the county large amounts of money in just days, he was going to go after their pensions.

Abele claimed that the retirees were improperly given too much money in their pensions - or that they shouldn't be receiving a pension at all - due to bad advice given to the retirees by the county itself.

Abele didn't care if it caused the pensioners to lose their homes.  He didn't care that he was ruining their golden years that they had worked for for decades.  He didn't care if it meant that people in their 70s, 80s or even 90s might have to go back to work just to keep themselves fed.

All he cared about was getting his grubby mitts on that money.

The union did what it was supposed to do, which is fight back against this unconscionable act.  But Abele was too afraid to meet with them and ran off and hid.

Even though Abele had promised to come out with more information in the near future, he has strung the retirees on for nine months, leaving them to twist in the wind with anxiety and fear for what would happen to them for the rest of their lives.

Finally, the boy king realized that he put his imperial foot into it and offered "a comprise."  Instead of robbing the retirees, he would just rob them a little less:
Abele is backing away from last year's move to seek millions of dollars in repayments. But going forward, he still wants to reduce future pension payments to some 200 retirees and future retirees because of ordinance violations in the lucrative pension program.


Under Abele's plan, pension reductions going forward could range widely, from $35 a month to $1,000 a month, according to preliminary estimates.

Beyond the cold, hard figures, there's this: A small number of retirees even would lose their pensions altogether unless they returned to work or found some other way to get pension credit.

That's because, without the extra years of service they purchased under the county program, they would not have qualified for a pension in the first place.

In total, nearly $26 million in overpayments and interest, plus another $10 million in future payouts, are on the line, according to estimates by county actuaries. If the county were to recoup or avoid paying that total, $36 million, it also would return $9 million that county workers paid to buy back the extra pension time.
It doesn't appear that the Milwaukee County Board wants anything to do with Abele's thievery. Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic laid it out short and sweet:
Dimitrijevic on Friday told the Journal Sentinel that Abele's plan, even with its alterations, is "immoral" and exposes the county to costly lawsuits.

"It seems unfair that an employer who made mistakes, now comes back and harms the security of older adults who served the public," she said.
Supervisor Theo Lipscomb also made a statement regarding Abele's boorish plan. The paper did not quote Lipscomb fully, but he did make his full statement available on his Facebook page:
The ordinance changes from the Pension Board fix the errors, have no increased actuarial cost and essentially no legal risk; Abele's proposal has an unknown actuarial impact, appears to be illegal and is out of touch with common sense fairness.
In other words, Abele doesn't even need to go after the retirees. The pension fund has accounted for the money, there is no extra cost to the board's plan and it is legally sound. Abele can't say the same for his scheme. For Abele to still insist on attacking the retirees shows exactly what a petty, vindicate and immature fool he is.

Abele defended his immoral plan with this (emphasis mine):
Immoral? Abele had this to say: "It is morally indefensible to me to not to recover as much as we realistically can and put those millions into the social services for the needy and vulnerable who need it now more than ever."
Abele's statement can be taken a couple different ways.  One, he is just blowing smoke and wants that money to cover for the sweetheart deals for his fellow wealthy elitists.  Or two, he is speaking honestly (as hard as that might be to believe), which means that his grand scheme for the county's mental health system is already running low on money and he wants to fill his budget holes with the retirees' pensions.

Either way, it stinks to high heaven and shouldn't be considered for even a second.

In fact, Abele should be offering profuse public apologies for even bringing it up int he first place, much less for the deplorable way he has handled this whole debacle.

Whether this whole fiasco is due to his daddy issues or not, Abele has shown himself incapable of finding his way out of a paper bag and definitely unfit for public office.


By Jeff Simpson

Maybe an actual reporter could ask Mr. Walker what laws we should and should not follow. Maybe a good follow up would be should we hold politcians to a higher or lower standard than what we hold everyone else?

More on the Rick Perry Indictment here!

What is the governor being charged with?
A Travis County grand jury indicted the governor on two felony charges. Abuse of official capacity is a first-degree felony  and carries a five-to 99-year prison sentence while coercion of a public official is a third-degree felony and is punishable by two to 10 years in prison. Photo: Handout, Getty Images / 2014 Travis County Sheriff’s Office

Robin Vos - Quote of the Day

By Jeff Simpson

Continually, time after time after time, you have embarrassed the state of Wisconsin, said Rep. Robin Vos, R-Burlington. Seated just feet from him were the targets of his fury: Kevin Reilly, University of Wisconsin System President, and David Ward, interim chancellor of UW-Madison.

I wonder if these people would agree?

 There are more than 400,000 UW-Madison alumni living around the world. UW alumni or faculty have been awarded 17 Nobel Prizes and 26 Pulitzer Prizes. More than 1,050 UW-Madison alumni serve as CEOs and nearly 16,000 hold an executive management position. Following is a compilation of notable and famous alumni in a variety of fields.

Arts and Entertainment

  • Jim Abrahams (x’66), filmmaker, founder of Charlie Foundation to Help Cure Pediatric Epilepsy
  • Mason Adams (‘40, MA ’41), Emmy Award-winning TV actor (“Lou Grant”)
  • Don Ameche (x’31), actor (“Cocoon”)
  • Iris Apfel (’43), fashion icon
  • Andrew Bergman (MA’66, PhD ’70), film director/producer and writer (“It Could Happen to You,” “Blazing Saddles”)
  • Chester Biscardi (’70, MA’72, MMusic’74), composer
  • Jerry Bock (’48), co-composer of “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Fiorello”
  • Phyllis Bramson (MA’64), artist
  • Carol Helen Buele (’69, MFA’72), Emmy Award-winning costume designer (“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”)
  • Stephen Burrows (’84), actor, film director
  • Dale Chihuly (MS’67), glass artist (“Mendota Wall” in the Kohl Center)
  • Joan Cusack (’84), actress (“Working Girl,” “In & Out,” “Grosse Pointe Blank”)
  • Lee De Boer (’74), HBO mogul
  • Andre DeShields (’70), Emmy award-winning actor (“I Dream of Jeanie”), Broadway actor (“The Full Monty”), director
  • August Derleth (’30), author
  • Howard Dratch (’67), filmmaker
  • Michael Feldman (’70), host of public radio show “Whad’Ya Know?”
  • Sandy Fellman (MFA’75), photographer
  • Kit Reuter Foss (’79, MA’82), opera singer
  • W. Jerome “Jerry” Frautschi (’56), donor of $205 million to create Madison’s Overture Center
  • Zona Gale (1895, MA 1899), author
  • Erica Gruen (MS’75), former president and CEO, Food Network
  • Uta Hagen (x’41, honorary doctorate ’00), Broadway actress and acting teacher
  • Jane Hammond (MFA’77), artist
  • Lorraine Hansberry (x’52), playwright, author (“Raisin in the Sun”)
  • Kevin Henkes (x’83), children’s book author
  • bell hooks (MA’76), cultural critic, author, poet
  • Frieda High (a.k.a. Wasikhongo Tesfagiorgis) (MFA’71), artist, scholar, educator
  • Mary Hinkson (’46, MS’47), dancer, dance teacher
  • Jim Hirsch (’69) Hollywood screenwriter and producer (“The Incredible Hulk” and “Rome”)
  • Lee Hoiby (’47), composer
  • Mac Huff (’77), choral arranger
  • William Immerman (’59), film studio executive
  • Jane Kaczmarek (‘79), actress (“Malcolm in the Middle”)
  • Ben Karlin (’93), executive producer (“The Daily Show”)
  • Rocco Landesman (’69), Chair, National Endowment for the Arts
  • Sherrie Levine (MFA’72), artist
  • Steve Levitan (’84), TV writer and executive producer
  • Truman Lowe (MFA’73), sculptor; Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2008
  • Michael Mann (’65), filmmaker (“Public Enemies,” “The Insider,” “The Last of the Mohicans”)
  • Fredric March (’20), actor (“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”)
  • Steve Marmel (’88), comedian, writer, TV producer
  • Steve Miller (x’67), rock singer
  • Thomas L. Miller (’62), TV writer/producer (“Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley,” “Bosom Buddies,” “Perfect Strangers”)
  • Walter Mirisch (’42), producer (“The Magnificent Seven,” “In the Heat of the Night,” “West Side Story,” “The Apartment”)
  • Linda Montano (MFA’69), artist
  • Erroll Morris (’69), movie, cable TV, and documentary producer (“The Thin Blue Line,” “Mr. Death” and others)
  • Bruce Nauman (’64), artist
  • Tracy Nelson (’67), country singer
  • Joyce Carol Oates (MA’61), novelist
  • Zorba Paster (’69), public radio host (“On Your Health”)
  • Meinhart Raabe (’37), actor (“The Wizard of Oz”)
  • Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (’18), Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Yearling”
  • Gena (Virginia) Rowlands (x’51), actress
  • Neil Sandstadt (MFA’75), designer
  • Richard Schickel (’55), Time film critic
  • Michael Schultz (’61), actor, director, filmmaker
  • Al Schwartz (’53), retired TV producer, longtime producer and director of the Golden Globe Awards and American Music Awards
  • Ben Sidran (’67), jazz pianist
  • Boz Skaggs (William Royce, x’66), rock singer
  • Sue Solie (MFA’82), designer
  • Richard Steiner (’68), co-producer, Broadway musicals
  • Peter Straub (’65), gothic author, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2009
  • Susan Straub (’66), founder of New York City non-profit “Read to Me,” Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2009
  • John Szarkowski (’48), photographer, director emeritus of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  • Peter Tiboris (’70, MS’74), conductor and founder of Mid America Productions
  • Daniel J. Travanti (’63), Emmy Award-winning actor (“Hill Street Blues”)
  • Butch Vig (’80), music producer of bands Nirvana, Garbage
  • James Watrous (’31, MA’33, PhD’39), painter of Memorial Union’s Paul Bunyan murals
  • Eudora Welty (’29), Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist
  • Michael Wilmington (x’68), Chicago Tribune film critic
  • Tom Wopat (x’74), TV actor (“The Dukes of Hazzard”), Broadway and movie actor and singer
  • Frank Lloyd Wright (x1890), architect
  • David (’70) and Jerry (’72) Zucker, movie producers (“Airplane,” “Naked Gun”)


  • Alan Ameche (’56), 1954 Heisman trophy winner (football)
  • Kenneth Behring (’51), former owner, Seattle Seahawks
  • Steven Bornstein (’74), president and CEO, National Football League
  • Ron Dayne (x’00), 1999 Heisman trophy winner (football)
  • Harold “Bud” Foster (’30), longtime UW basketball coach
  • Suzy Favor Hamilton (’91), track star, competed in 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympics
  • Eric Heiden (x’81), Olympic speed skater
  • Phil Hellmuth Jr. (x’86), professional poker player, youngest winner of the World Series of Poker
  • Elroy “Crazylegs” Hirsch (x’45), UW football star
  • Beau Hoopman (’03), gold medalist, rowing, 2004 Olympics
  • D. Wayne Lukas (’57, MS’60), thoroughbred horse trainer
  • Buddy Melges (’51), America’s Cup skipper
  • Eric Mueller (’94), silver medalist, rowing, 1996 Olympics
  • Carly Piper (x’05), gold medalist, swimming, 2004 Olympics
  • George Poage (‘03), African-American medal winner in track in 1904 Olympics
  • Allan “Bud” Selig (’56), commissioner, Major League Baseball; chairman, Selig Executive Leasing Corp.; former owner, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Judith Sweet (’69), first woman president of National Collegiate Athletic Association
  • Al Toon (’95), Badger wide-receiver turned businessman
  • Professional football: Tom Burke, Lamar Campbell, Ron Dayne, Terrell Fletcher, Aaron Gibson, Donald Hayes, Cecil Martin, Chris McIntosh, Pete Monty, Bobby Myers, Joe Panos, Cory Raymer, Michael Roan, Tarek Saleh, Mike Schneck, Tony Simmons, Jason Suttle, Mark Tauscher, Donnel Thompson, Mike Thompson, Troy Vincent, Jerry Wunsch
  • Professional hockey: Chris Chelios, Tony Granato, Dany Heatley, Sean Hill, Curtis Joseph, Scott Mellanby, Brian Rafalski, Paul Ranheim, Steve Reinprecht, Barry Richter, Mike Richter, Gary Suter, Dave Tanabe
  • Men’s professional basketball: Michael Finley
  • Women’s professional basketball: Keisha Anderson, Robin Threatt, Katie Voigt
  • Professional volleyball: Kelly Kennedy, Colleen Neels


  • Carol Bartz (’71), chair, president and CEO of Yahoo! Inc.
  • Kenneth Behring (’51), former owner, Seattle Seahawks
  • Oscar C. Boldt (’48), chair, Boldt Group
  • G. (George) Steve Burrill (’66), CEO, Burrill & Co.
  • Jerome A. Chazen (’48), Chazen Capital Partners, former CEO, Liz Claiborne Inc.
  • C.K. Chow (’72), CEO, MTR Corp.; former CEO, GKN, London
  • Paul J. Collins (’58), vice chair, Citigroup, London
  • Susan A. Davis (’68), chair and CEO, Susan Davis International (public relations), Washington, D.C.
  • Kenny Dichter (’90), CEO, MarquisJet, 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
  • Marshall Erdman (’48), architect and builder, protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright (x’1890)
  • Thomas Falk (’80), president and CEO, Kimberly-Clark Corp.
  • David W. Grainger (’50), senior chairman, W.W. Grainger Inc., Lake Forest, Ill.
  • Elzie Higginbottom (’65), chair and CEO, East Lake Management
  • Hugh Jones (’85), president and CEO, Travelocity Global
  • Aaron Kennedy (MBA’89), founder, chair and president, Noodles and Co.
  • Kenji Kitatani (MA’78, PhD’81), president, Tokyo Dome Enterprises Corp.
  • Kay Smith Koplovitz (’67), founder, USA Network
  • Erick Laine (’55), chair, former president and CEO, Alcas Corp.
  • Joan Lappin (’64), chair, Gramercy Capital Management
  • Michael Levin (’72), founder and CEO, e-STEEL Corp.
  • Sheldon (’51, LLB’53) and Marianne (x’54) Lubar, UW Board of Regents President ’97-’98, former assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Sheldon), Philanthropists; Distinguished Alumni Award winners 2008
  • John P. Morgridge (’55), chairman, Cisco Systems, San Jose, Calif.
  • David Nicholas (’83), president and CEO, the Nicholas Co.
  • Arthur C. Nielsen Sr. (’18), founder, A.C. Nielsen Co.
  • Arthur C. Nielsen Jr. (’41), former chair emeritus, A.C. Nielsen Co.; former director, Dun & Bradstreet
  • Bill Nygren (MS’81), mutual fund analyst and manager
  • Tadashi Okamura (MBA’73), president and CEO, Toshiba Corp.
  • Steven Pogorzelski (’83), former president, Monster North America
  • Tom Pyle (MBA’63), chair and president, Pyle Group; former chair and CEO, Rayovac Corp.
  • Lee R. Raymond (’60), chairman and CEO, Exxon-Mobil, Irving, Texas
  • John Rowe (’67, JD’70), president and CEO, Exelon Corp.
  • Bob Schlicht (’73), president, M&I Bank
  • Toni Sikes (MS’83), founder, president and CEO,
  • Carol Skornicka (’62, MS’64, JD’77), senior vice president, Midwest Express Airlines
  • Joan Edelman Spero (’66), president, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
  • Peter Tong (MA’65), high-tech entrepreneur; president, Mandarin Management Partners
  • Charlie Trotter (’82), chef and owner of Charlie Trotter’s restaurant, Chicago
  • Scott Vandersanden (EMBA’00), president, AT&T Wisconsin
  • Peter Weil (’70, JD’74) Los Angeles-based Attorney, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2009
  • William B. Winter (’51), president and CEO, Becor Western
  • Duane Zitzner (’70), executive vice president, Hewlett-Packard; president, Hewlett Packard Personal Systems Group


  • Ann Amore (’69, MA’76), president, Rosemont College, Pennsylvania
  • Marjorie Pfankuch Bakken (’58), former president, Wheelock College, Massachusetts
  • Roland Barden (MS ’66, PhD ‘69), president, Moorhead State University, Minnesota
  • Daniel Bernstine (MLaws ‘75), president, Portland State University, Oregon
  • Elizabeth Burmaster (’76, MS’84), president, Nicolet College, Wisconsin; former state superintendent of schools
  • Mickey Burnim (PhD ‘77), chancellor, Elizabeth City State University, North Carolina
  • Joanne Creighton (’64), president, Mt. Holyoke College, Massachusetts
  • Pat (Pascal) De Luca (PhD’80), president, Marycrest International University
  • Joanne Disch (’68), Director of the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership at the University of Minnesota; Distinguished Alumni Award winner 2008
  • Phillip Dubois (MS’74, PhD’78), president, University of Wyoming
  • Michael Engh (PhD’87), president, Santa Clara University, California
  • Lesley Hallick (PhD’72), president, Pacific University, Oregon
  • Peter Hoff (’66), president, University of Maine, Orono
  • Robert Ivany (MA’76, PhD’80), president, University of St. Thomas, Texas
  • Jolene Koester (MA’72), president, California State University-Northridge
  • Ryan LaHurd (PhD ’73), former president, Lenoir-Rhyne College, North Carolina
  • Dianne Lynch (’79, MA’86), president, Stephens College, Missouri)
  • Carolyn “Biddy” Martin (PhD’85), chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Alan Merten (’63, PhD’70), president, George Mason University, Virginia
  • Kathryn Mohrman (MA’69), former president, Colorado College
  • Pornchai Mongkhonvanit (MBA’83), president, Siam University, Thailand
  • John E. Murray (JD’59), chancellor, Duquesne University, Pennsylvania
  • Kitt Saunders-Nordeen (MS’66, PhD’77), first UW Women’s Athletic Director
  • Mark Nordenberg (JD’73), chancellor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Thomas Patton (’71, MS’73, PhD’75), president, St. Louis College of Pharmacy
  • Susan Resneck Pierce (PhD ’72), former president, University of Puget Sound, Washington
  • Richard Peck (MS’62, PhD’65), former president, University of New Mexico
  • Harry Peterson (PhD ’77), former president, Western State College, Colorado
  • Paul Risser (MS’65, PhD’67), former president, Miami University, Ohio; president, Oregon State University
  • Patrick Schloss (PhD’79), president, Valdosta State University, Georgia
  • John Strauss (’59), president, Harvey Mudd College, California
  • Frederick Jackson Turner (1884, MA 1888), historian who devised the “frontier thesis” about the American West
  • David Ward (MS ‘62, PhD ‘63), former chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Helen C. White (PhD ‘24), pioneering English professor at UW-Madison
  • John Wiley (MS ‘65, PhD’69), former chancellor, UW-Madison
  • Linda Wilson (PhD ’62), former president, Radcliffe College, Massachusetts
  • James Wright (MS ‘66, PhD ’69), former president, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire

Government and Politics

  • U.S. Vice President: Dick Cheney (PhDx’68)
  • U.S. Senators: Herb Kohl (’56), Wisconsin; Russ Feingold (’75), Wisconsin. Former: Jon Blair Hunter (’64, MS’66), West Virginia; Robert Marion La Follette Jr. (x’17), Wisconsin; Charles Robb (’61), Virginia.
  • U.S Representatives: Tammy Baldwin (JD’89), Wisconsin; Tom Barrett (BA’76, JD’80), Wisconsin; Marcy Kaptur (’68), Ohio; David Obey (BA’76, JD’80), Wisconsin; F. James Sensenbrenner (JD’68), Wisconsin. Former: Bob Kastenmeier (LLB’52), Wisconsin; Mark Green (JD’87), Wisconsin; Scott Klug (MBA’90), Wisconsin; M. Bob Carr (’65, JD’68), Michigan.
  • Governors: James Doyle (’67), Wisconsin. Former Governors: Lee Dreyfus (’49, MA’52, PhD’58), Wisconsin; Phillip Fox La Follette (LLB’22), Wisconsin; Richard Lamm (’57), Colorado; Patrick Lucey (’46), Wisconsin; Russell Peterson (’38, PhD’42), Delaware; Tommy Thompson (’63, JD’66), Wisconsin.
  • Mayors: Dave Cieslewicz (’81), Madison; Laura Miller (’80), Dallas, Texas. Former Mayors: Sue Bauman (’65, JD’81, MS’81), Madison; John Norquist (’71, M’88), Milwaukee; Paul Soglin (’66, JD’72), Madison; Sergio Fajardo Valderrama (MA’81, PhD’84), Medellín, Colombia.
  • Others: Iajuddin Ahmed (MS’58, PhD’62), president of Bangladesh
  • Thomas Barnett (’84), Pentagon adviser, senior strategic researcher, Naval War College
  • Charlene Barshefsky (’72), former U.S. trade representative
  • Jodie (Joan) Zeldes Bernstein (’48), former director, Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection
  • Cecil Blake (PhD’76), chief government spokesperson, minister of information and broadcasting, Sierra Leone
  • Lynne Vincent Cheney (PhD’70), spouse of vice president Dick Cheney (PhDx’68); former head, National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Florence Chenoweth (MS’70, PhD’86), former minister of Agriculture in Liberia
  • Piyabutr Cholvijarn (’72), vice minister of education, Thailand
  • Ada Deer (’57), former head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs
  • Lawrence Eagleburger (’52, MS’57), former Secretary of State, diplomat
  • Abdel Rahman Hamad (MS’72, PhD’75), Palestinian minister of housing
  • JoAnn Jones (’82, MS’83, JD’87), former president, Ho-Chunk Nation
  • Richard Jones (MS’76, PhD’80), former ambassador to Lebanon
  • Robert M. La Follette (1879), former Wisconsin governor and congressman, leader of Progressive movement
  • John Lange (’71, JD’75), former ambassador to Botswana
  • Jon Leibowitz (’80), chair, Federal Trade Commission
  • Patrick Lucey (’46), former U.S. ambassador to Mexico
  • Doris Meissner (’63, MA’69), former head, U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service
  • Gaylord Nelson (LLB ’42), former Wisconsin governor and U.S. Senator; founder of Earth Day
  • Vel Phillips (LLB’51), first woman and African-American elected to Milwaukee’s Common Council, first African-American judge in Wisconsin, and first woman and African-American to serve as Wisconsin’s secretary of state
  • Joy Newberger Picus (’51), former Los Angeles city council member
  • Conchita Poncini-Jimenez (MS’64), president, Non-Governmental Organizations Committee on the Status of Women
  • Rafael Rangel-Sostman (MS’67, PhD’73), president, National Council of Lifelong Education and Workforce Development, a cabinet position in Mexico’s national government
  • Daniel Speckhard (’80, MA’82, MS’83), former ambassador to the Republic of Belarus
  • Tommy Thompson (’63, JD’66), former U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services
  • Hung-mao Tien (MA’66, PhD’69), minister of foreign affairs, Taiwan
  • Frances Ulmer (’69, JD’72), former lieutenant governor, Alaska
  • Jean Wilkowski (’44), former ambassador, Distinguished Alumni Award winner 2009
  • Yeshey Zimba (’75, MA’76), prime minister, Bhutan

Journalism and Media

  • Stephen E. Ambrose (’57, PhD’63), author, biographer, historian
  • Avi (Edward Wortis) (’59, MA’62), children’s author; Newbery Medal winner
  • Lowell Bergman (’66), former “60 Minutes” producer; Pulitzer Prize winner as New York Times journalist
  • Deborah Blum (MA’82), author; Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Walt Bogdanich (’75), “60 Minutes” producer, New York Times investigative editor, Pulitzer Prize winner, Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2009
  • Steven Bornstein (’74), chair,; former head of ABC Sports
  • Rita Braver (’70), national reporter, CBS News
  • William Broad (MA’77), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, New York Times
  • Jane Brody (MS’63), health columnist, New York Times
  • Christopher Bury (MA’77), correspondent and backup anchor for ABC News’ “Nightline”
  • Kelly Cobiella (’93), CBS Evening News correspondent
  • John Darnton (’67), Pulitzer Prize winner and writer for New York Times
  • William Evjue (x’1906), founder of The Capital Times
  • John Geddes (MA’76), co-managing editor, New York Times
  • Peter Greenberg (’72), chief travel correspondent, Travel Channel; travel editor, “Today”
  • Jeff Greenfield (’64), news analyst, CNN
  • Ina Jaffe (’72), NPR correspondent
  • Carrie Johnson (MA’96), NPR justice correspondent
  • Haynes Johnson (MS’56), author and journalist; former columnist, Washington Post; Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Kay Koplovitz (’67), former president and CEO, USA network
  • Belle Case La Follette (1879, LLB 1885), journalist, Progressive movement leader
  • Dale Lang (’55), former chair, Lang Communications (publishes Working Woman)
  • Harriett Goldhor Lerner (’66), psychologist, author
  • David Maraniss (x’71), Pulitzer Prize-winning associate editor, Washington Post; author
  • Bruce (Rudy) Martzke (’64), sports columnist, USA Today
  • Patricia McConnell (’81, MS’84, PhD’88), co-host, “Calling All Pets,” Wisconsin Public Radio
  • Robert D. McFadden (’60), Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, New York Times
  • Karl E. Meyer (’51), editor, World Policy Journal; former reporter, member of editorial board, New York Times
  • Edwin Newman (’40), author, journalist
  • Eric Newhouse (’67), Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Pongsak Payakvichien (MA’71), Thai newspaper-journalism pioneer
  • R. David Pittle (MS’65, PhD’69), senior vice president of technical policy, Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports
  • Steven Raymer (’67, MA’71), former director, National Geographic Society News Service
  • Rhonda Wolter Rowland (’84), former CNN correspondent
  • Richard Schickel (’55), book author; former movie critic, Time/Life
  • Anthony Shadid (’90), journalist, Washington Post; Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Leonard Shapiro (’68), sports columnist, Washington Post
  • William Siemering (’56, MS’60), a founder of National Public Radio, creator of “All Things Considered”
  • Robert Sims (MA’71), former executive vice president, National Geographic Society
  • Steven Smith (’72), CEO, Journal Communications, Milwaukee
  • Alair Townsend (MS ’64), vice president and publisher, Crain’s New York Business
  • Greta Van Susteren (’76), attorney, CNN legal analyst
  • M. Mitchell Waldrop (PhD’75, MA’77), author, public affairs specialist, National Science Foundation
  • Patricia K. Wells (MA ’72), cookbook editor and author; restaurant critic; former food editor, International Herald Tribune
  • Michael Wilmington (x’68), movie critic, Chicago Tribune
  • Jonathan Wolman (’72), chief editorial-page editor, Denver Post; former executive editor and vice president, Associated Press
  • David Zweifel (’62), editor, Capital Times, Madison


  • Shirley Abrahamson (SJD’62), chief justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • William Bablitch (’63, JD’68), former justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Ann Walsh Bradley (JD’76), justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Louis Butler (JD’77), first African-American Wisconsin Supreme Court justice
  • William Callow (’43), LLB’48), retired Wisconsin Supreme Court justice
  • Barbara B. Crabb (’60, LLB’62), chief U.S. district judge, Western District of Wisconsin
  • Judith Dobkin (’65), prosecuting attorney, Chicago Justice Department Strike Force
  • James Doyle (’67), former attorney general, State of Wisconsin
  • Nathan S. Heffernan (’42, LLB’48), chief justice (retired), Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Richard B. Lowe III (’64), justice, New York Supreme Court
  • David T. Prosser Jr. (JD’68), justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Donald W. Steinmetz (’49, JD’51), former justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court
  • Greta Van Susteren (’76), attorney and CNN legal analyst
  • JB Van Hollen (JD’90), attorney general, State of Wisconsin
  • Jon P. Wilcox (JD’65), justice, Wisconsin Supreme Court

Nonprofit Leaders

  • Paula Bonner (MS’78), president and CEO, Wisconsin Alumni Association
  • Josh Bycel (’93), founder, OneKidOneWorld, 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
  • Kaleem Caire (’00) and Lisa Peyton-Caire (’96, MS’99), co-founders, Next Generation Education Foundation, 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients
  • Abigail David, (’96, MS’98), director, Helping Hands Center, 2009 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Clayt Freed (’97), founder and director, Progressive Voter Network, 2009 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Shihoko Fujiwara (’03), coordinator with the Polaris Project, non-profit organization that combats human trafficking; 2008 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient
  • Matthew Geck (’92, MD’96), founder, SpineHope, 2009 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • James Kass (’91), founder, Youth Speaks, 2008 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Janet Olson (’92), founder, Basic Animal Rescue Training, 2008 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Ben Schumaker (’03, MS’06), founder, The Memory Project, 2008 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Kathy Dwyer Southern (BBA’68, MA’72), president and CEO, Capitol Children’s Museum, Washington, D.C.
  • Zoe Timms (’97), director, Women’s Education Program, 2009 Forward under 40 award recipient
  • Neil Willenson (’92), CEO and founder, One Heartland, 2009 Forward under 40 award recipient


  • Fay Ajzenberg-Selove (MS’49, PhD’52), physicist; recipient of 2007 National Medal of Science
  • Ethel K. Allen (’28, MS’30), co-author of the “encyclopedia” of the role of legumes in nitrogen fixation
  • John Bardeen (’28, MS’29), winner, two Nobel Prizes in physics
  • Günter Blobel (PhD ’67), winner, 1999 Nobel Prize in medicine; head of cell biology lab at Rockefeller University in Manhattan
  • Laurel Clark (’83, MD’87), astronaut, space shuttle Columbia
  • Raymond Damadian (’56), inventor, Magnetic Resonance Imager for diagnosis
  • Hector DeLuca (MS’53, PhD’55), UW faculty, pioneer in synthesizing Vitamin D
  • Carl Djerassi (PhD’45), chemist, Stanford University professor; “father of the birth control pill”; novelist; playwright
  • James Dumesic (’71), discovered process for turning biomass into hydrogen
  • Conrad Elvehjem (’23, MS’24, PhD’27), former UW professor and president; discovered cure for pellagra
  • Jack St. Clair Kilby (MS’50), physicist; inventor; winner, Nobel Prize in physics
  • Charles Lindbergh (x’24), aviator who completed the first solo trans-Atlantic flight
  • Karl Paul Link (’22, MS’23, PhD’25), discovered blood thinner dicumerol
  • Jim Lovell (x’50), astronaut, Apollo 13 mission
  • Alan MacDiarmid (MS’52, PhD’53), professor, University of Pennsylvania; winner, Nobel Prize in chemistry
  • Abraham Maslow (’30, MA’31), psychologist, devised “hierarchy of needs” theory
  • Karl Menninger (’14, MS’15), psychiatrist; founder, Menninger Clinic
  • John Muir (x1863), naturalist, father of national park system
  • John Allen Paulos (’67, PhD’74), mathematician, author of 1989 bestseller, Innumeracy
  • George Schaller (MS’57, PhD’62), animal behaviorist
  • Brewster Shaw (’68, MS’69), astronaut, space shuttle Columbia; former director, Space Shuttle Operations, NASA,
  • Linnea Smith (’81, MD’84), founder and medical director of Yanomono Medical Clinic in Peru; Distinguished Alumni Award Winner 2008
  • Fredrick J. Stare (’31, MS’33, PhD’34), founder of Harvard’s department of nutrition
  • Harry Steenbock (MS’10, PhD’16), professor, discovered and patented Vitamin D irradiation method
  • Stephen Turner (’91), founder and chief technology officer of Pacific Biosciences; Distinguished Alumni Award winner 2008

Monday, January 26, 2015

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Scott Walker Confesses

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker has told so many tall tales, that he can not keep them straight.  This weekend he clarified one of them for us.

At one point, Mr. Walker was whining that the people who dared to oppose him were actually all from out of Wisconsin.

When it comes to protesters in Madison, "almost all" are now from outside of Wisconsin.
— Scott Walker on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011 in a secretly-recorded prank telephone call
He was very generously given a false rating on this, but we now know where he was coming from. Walker actually was correct about Wisconsin being infiltrated with out of state people trying to influence the WI elections, he just had the candidate wrong.  The people from out of state were coming to help Scott Walker.

This from his latest "Freedom Summit" presidential campaign stop:

I guess Mr. Walker should have listened to Mark Twain's advice:

#BlackLivesMatter But Chris Abele Doesn't Want To Hear About It

On December 19, 2014, Chris Abele quietly had something posted on the Milwaukee County website.  It was done without his usual grandstanding or vain boasting in a vain effort to stop his popularity from spiraling even further downward.

What Abele posted was his new, unilaterally imposed rules about access to the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  As I read through them, it seemed oddly familiar.  They were all about stifling free speech in the courthouse and in other county buildings.

Sure enough, Abele copied heavily from his best buddy and mentor, Scott Walker, and his efforts to squash the protesters and especially the Solidarity Sing Along in the Capitol Building.  Abele even wants protesters to do the permit system like Walker did.  Not only is the verbage nearly identical, Abele even copied the layout.

Oh, there are some differences, of course.  Abele put courthouse in for Capitol.  Abele also included this odd paragraph (on page 4):
This Policy follows the Negotiated Management recommendation of the United Nations:
According to this approach, the task of [law enforcement and government] is to protect rights and facilitate, rather than frustrate, demonstrations; they should help to diffuse tension and prevent a dangerous escalation of the situation. Several countries that follow this approach have also formalized the role of the so-called “safety triangle” during demonstrations, based on continuous communication and interaction between the organizers of the protest, the local or State authorities and [law enforcement], aimed at averting risks and ensuring smooth management of the assembly.
What? Is he expecting riots with hundreds of thousands of people like they have in Europe? Or is it that he saw the words "best practice" and just had to use it, even though he doesn't know the meaning of the phrase?

An even odder statement is on the bottom of the same page:
Peaceful events and exhibits can take place in public areas (i.e. Rotunda and Halls, but not offices and restrooms) of the Courthouse Complex and Courthouse Grounds...
Huh? I try to keep up with the news as much as I can, but I don't recall protests in the bathrooms ever being an issue. However, I do agree that I don't want to see any exhibits in the bathroom, although I haven't heard of that being an issue either.

Another interesting thing about this new policy is the timing of it.  Abele issued this anti-free speech policy just days before District Attorney John Chisholm was to announce that he was not going to charge former police officer Christopher Manney for the killing of Dontre Hamilton.

Another not so fun fact is that on the first day of the policy, Abele sent his other buddy, Sheriff David Clarke out to harass the seekers of justice.  Clarke and the Milwaukee Police ended up arresting 74 people and keeping them in jail for up to 24 hours.

Again, doesn't this remind the gentle reader of the way Walker went after the singers in the Capitol, harassing them and arresting them unjustly?

Abele is just like Walker and the oligarchs that support Walker in that they just don't care and don't want to hear about the injustices and harm they are causing to the 99%.  This is especially true if the victims of their plantation economics are minorities.

Seems to me that it is time to let a red, heart-shaped balloon loose in the Milwaukee County Courthouse.  I also wonder if we could get some singers that know some black folk songs.

Instead of Courthouse Proud, it just might be time for Courthouse Loud.

I can almost hear the chants, "Whose courthouse? Our courthouse!"