10 December 2006

Glenn Grothman: an imprudent approach to garters.

Hi folks,

Oh and about the Butler's Garter snake: JCRAR voted 7-2 to rescind the order removing the snake from the threatened species list. What was interesting to me about this is Glenn's voting with the majority against his earlier point of view.

He told the Journal:

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), a critic of the DNR's handling of the issue, said he was satisfied that the agency was making progress to accommodate private landowners.
This was all true earlier in the summer. Were the people he'd previously, and bizarrely, dismissed as "so-called" scientists suddenly right? and -- anyway, oh heck. See the previously posted catalogue of Glenn posturing.

Anyway, breathe easier for the little guys. What's good for Butler's Gartersnake is good for Wisconsin -- including our children and grand children.

This sort of thing is yet another example of a lack of either prudence or temperance in Glenn's manipulation of the legislative process.


Glenn Grothman: missing email address.

Hi folks,

I'm tickled to tell you that Glenn took the trouble and time away from finding new ways to cut government services to the people of Washington County in order to send me a big package of documents including:

  • a page of his office stationery
  • his business card
  • a page from the West Bend Daily News Opinion page (including the usual full spread of political opinions available in our local press, from neo-con Bill "Shut up!" O'Reilly, all the way over to the even more neo-con Owen "B&S" Robinson) and, of course,
  • one of the freebie DOT maps he hands out with a Glenn Grothman State Senator sticker stuck on it...

...all with Sen.Grothman@legis.state.wi.us neatly underlined or highlighted -- exactly the address I posted in the comments to the previous message.

Which is darned nice... and darned nice of Glenn to point out that he is accessible in email.

-- but I should note that his email address is still not up in the legislative email address page.

So Glenn, what up with dat?

Oh never mind. It's just a little wrinkle anyway.

I'll be back with the promised bit about Glenn not being a real, traditional American conservative in the next post, later this week.

Keep the faith. Back in a bit.


28 November 2006

Glenn Grothman: cutting off his constituents.

Hi folks,

Sorry I've been busy. I've been reading John Dean's new book Conservatives without Conscience, and it's confirmed a lot of things I had already started to believe. For instance, the reason why I've never been able to understand the reckless non-conservative character of today's neo-cons is that I've been trying to understand them politically instead of psychiatrically. Now, finally, even Senator Grothman makes sense to me.

Anyway, there's more Butler's Garter snake stuff inbound, since the committe is going to have to bust a hump to cause whatever damage they can before they lose the majority in January -- but here's something I noticed, just in passing.

Glenn is one of a handful of Senators who do not have an email address.

He must be too busy.

Here's the listing from the Email directory for the Wisconsin State Legislature.

District Number 13

Senator Scott Fitzgerald
(608) 266-5660 Capitol 317 East

Judi Rhodes-Engels judi.rhodes-engels@legis.wisconsin.gov
Tad Ottman Tad.Ottman@legis.wisconsin.gov
Mike Prentiss Mike.Prentiss@legis.wisconsin.gov
Cindy Block Cindy.Block@legis.wisconsin.gov

District Number 20

Senator Glenn Grothman

(608) 266-7513 Capitol 20 South

Amy Gehrke Amy.Gehrke@legis.wisconsin.gov
Jolene Churchill Jolene.Churchill@legis.wisconsin.gov
James Emerson James.Emerson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Regina Kolbow Regina.Kolbow@legis.wisconsin.gov

District Number 30

Senator Dave Hansen
(608) 266-5670 Capitol 319 South

Eric Genrich eric.genrich@legis.wisconsin.gov
Jay Wadd Jay.Wadd@legis.wisconsin.gov
John Wagnitz John.Wagnitz@legis.wisconsin.gov
Jessica Lundquist jessica.lundquist@legis.wisconsin.gov

You'll notice who's missing.

I note it in passing.


12 November 2006

Glenn Grothman: finally recongnized as caucus leader in a minority view.

Whew. Sorry to have been away. We scheduled Midterm exams during election week this year so I've been grading when I wasn't phone banking.

But here we have a little insight into the great waltz of America -- what goes up, comes down.

Senator Grothman is once again closer to the truth revealed in polls, by the voters, and in constitutional law: he is once again explicitly the representative of a minority political view.

Whether this will give his symptoms the chance to ease off from the crystal meth narcosis of all that services-cutting kool-aid, we'll have to see. Presumably the Butler's Garter Snake has a few years left now, before extinction and, therefore, so do we humans. Presumably Glenn's minority and authoritarian commitments to being pro-birth, but not pro-life, will also have to shuffle away from the firelight and back into the darkness for a while. I'm hopeful that he'll come around to the kind of conservatism that represents the best in American history -- like Barry Goldwater or John Dean, say, rather than Joe McCarthy or George W(rongway) Bush.

But more on that later in the week. Next up, Glenn Grothman: wrong on conservatism.


22 October 2006

Will Glenn Grothman take Tom Reynold's spot in the Republican beastiary?

Hi folks,

The Journal-Sentinel threw its support to Jim Sullivan yesterday. It was an easy call. Jim's a great guy and will make a great Senator.

Still, it set me to thinking about Glenn's future.

With Tom Reynolds gone, who in the Senate will make legislative suggestions stranger than Glenn's? Who will stake out ethical and environmental positions stranger than Glenn's? Who will take the public's attention away from Glenn? Of whom will we chant "T'was brillig?"

While Reynold's departure means one less migraine for me, there is a downside -- it also means one fewer well spring of toxic and fallacious argumentation for use on my logic midterms.

I guess nothing is perfect.


05 October 2006

Glenn Grothman: wrong for putting $700 million at risk.

Hi folks,

Glenn just can't take yes for an answer if it conflicts with his ideologically tastes.

State committee eyes affirmative action

By Tom Sheehan | Tribune Capitol bureau

Committee chairman Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, questioned state administration and university officials about hiring and admissions policies, which he said seem highly subjective. He asked UW System officials to provide a list of items that give applicants a chance to “jump up in the queue” in admissions.

UW System schools don’t assign “points” for race, although race is one factor among many considered in admissions, said Margaret Lewis, System associate vice president for state relations. Admission standards vary by campus, but academic performance is paramount in all cases, Lewis said.

The UW System is obligated by state and federal law to encourage diversity, and $700 million in federal grants could be at risk if federal standards are not met, said UW System General Counsel Patricia Brady, who testified before the committee.

Actually, I'm mostly amazed that Glenn used the word "queue."

Here's my take on diversity. I'm pretty sure I'm right about this too. Y'all will let me know.

1) Education is primarily about discovering the gaps in what you know (since the stuff you do know already is, well, already known to you).

2) You can't figure out by yourself what it is you don't know -- if you knew what it is you don't know, then you'd know what that is (you might want to reread that again, slowly) :^)

-- so you need other people to help you find those gaps in your education of which you remain unaware. In other words, to flesh out your own education, you have to get a handle on the "unknown unknowns." The Sec of Defense, when he made this quip about Iraq, was actually paraphrasing Socrates, so it's been the sort of thing my discipline has been thinking about for some time now. :^)

3) Since you cannot know by yourself what it is you don't know, you have to have people around you with different backgrounds to help you do that -- since people with the same backgrounds will tend, as a rule, to not-know the same stuff you don't know either.

and so 4) to be well educated, students need to be around a lot of other students from diverse backgrounds. This helps everyone locate the gaps in their own experience and knowledge base and, in this way, fill in those gaps and become... tada... better educated.

So it serves everyone if the UW system figures out a way to make sure it has a diverse student/faculty mix.

It seems ironic to me, just now rereading all that, to think that this little logical exercise might be too complicated for Glenn -- who is , remember, a LAWYER and a politician by trade.

Just musing.


03 October 2006

GG continues to embarrass Washington County.

Hey folks,

Here's the crux of Bill Berry's editorial in The Capital Times. Glenn is now bounded in a nutshell with bad dreams, inbound. Here's the nut.

But some in the Wisconsin Legislature have decided they're smarter that the professionals. The Legislature's Joint Committee on Administrative Rules killed the proposed health standard this month. Since the state's ground water law was passed in 1984, health standards have been set for 130 chemicals, but this marked the first time the Legislature has killed a regulation on an agricultural chemical sought by state health and environmental agencies.

At the forefront of efforts to kill the regulation was Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, co-chairman of the rules committee. This is the same legislator who claims expertise in endangered species issues, fighting with the DNR to de-list the Butler garter snake from the state's list of threatened species so that development might proceed in the Milwaukee suburbs.

Grothman, an attorney, offered his own scientific appraisal of Lasso, saying he believes there is little danger from the chemical at the levels it is found in most wells. He added that few wells tested in the state actually exceeded the proposed standard of 20 parts per billion.

Going back to the old well of anti-DNR sentiment, Grothman took a whack at the department, saying among other things that "they just don't like people or what people do." With Lasso showing up in 28 percent of state private wells and 40 percent of the wells in southern agricultural areas, one is left to wonder whether it's Grothman who doesn't like people.

I never used to wonder about this back before Glenn beat Mary Panzer. He was approachable and conversant and hadn't had his wardrobe rearranged and colors done by some media consulting group. Since then it's been nothing but stranger every week.



Glenn Grothman: would probably be wrong about the Ivory Coast too.

Hi folks,

Forwarded from one of the blog's correspondents. Here's why we don't let companies test their own chemicals for public safety -- their task is to make money, not to make things safe for people.

Here's a New York Times story about some toxic sludge dumped in the Ivory Coast.

You could say it's not quite in the same league as Monsanto and Glenn Grothman but now, as Bernard Shaw noted, we're just arguing over the price.


01 October 2006

Glenn Grothman: embarrassing Washington County in the national press.

Hi folks,

Well, he wasn't satisfied embarrassing us in front of the rest of the state, so Glenn is now embarrassing us in front of the whole country. We've been put on display in the Washington Post.


State Sen. Glenn Grothman wants to see the snake removed from the state's register of threatened species, because, he says, the snakes are plentiful and their protected status has cramped economic development and community projects such as a high school sports field and an aquatic complex in Milwaukee suburbs.
"The snake is everywhere. There are probably as many snakes as people," he said.

One simple question: "How do you know that, Glenn?"

Ironically, even the business sector agrees with the DNR and has been working through a plan to provide protection for this species:
Developer Craig Donze, chief operating officer of Simon Group Ltd., hopes the process will result in compromises short of ending the species's protected status.

"There's nothing to benefit either side with a delisting," he said, adding that other options being considered include tax credits and stipends to help owners of snake habitat.

"This [delisting a species without scientific evidence] sets a slippery-slope precedent," said Natural Resources spokeswoman Erin Celello. "If they can delist the garter snake, they can delist other species. It's pretty clear this is politically motivated and not in the interest of good science."
It's not in the interest of good civics either.

We'll probably be on 60 Minutes next.


28 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: wrong on state law.

Hi folks,

Strange words coming out of the junior Senator in Madison this week.

Hearings were held about the Butler's garter snake and, as you can note from some of the comments we've had posted here, a lot of snake experts from around the state (and country now) want to know:

"What the heck is up with this Glenn Grothman guy?"

Apparently during the hearings Glenn was consistently sarcastic and snide about the use of "scientific evidence" to make decisions about wildlife management, and why experts mattered when it came to making decisions like whether a species is "threatened" or not -- which is, for starters, bad manners. And apparently he kept asserting that he didn't believe the snake was rare enough to be threatened.

Unfortunately the DNR cannot enforce the law based on Glenn's beliefs, and neither should they.

Strangest of all, he repeatedly asked the DNR representative "What gives you the authority to tell people what they can do on their land?"

This is strange, of course, because Glenn gives the DNR the authority to tell people what they can do on their land -- the Legislature does. In fact, technically, the DNR doesn't so much "have" the authority to enforce state and federal laws... it "is" the authority.

And the DNR has a choice: they can enforce our environmental laws based on science or based on what Glenn believes.

I'm still okay with the DNR using science, even when it inconveniences Glenn's friends.

[this is starting to make me dizzy. anybody else?]


25 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: private property allows us to kill threatened species.

Hi folks,

Honest, I promise to STOP blogging about the darned Butler's garter snake just as soon as Glenn lets go of it's tail.

Today in the online Journal-Sentinel:

The co-chairman of the committee, Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), said he does not believe the DNR has the authority to limit the use of private land to protect a threatened species.
So the DNR wouldn't have had the authority to stop me from shooting Bald Eagles as long as they were on my property?

[While the bald eagle remains on the Federal threatened list, populations of our national symbol here in Wisconsin are thriving and have been, happily, finally, taken off the list. I suppose Glenn could shoot them now, if he wanted to -- except for the eagle specific acts protecting them. Still, it's a safe damned bet that the DNR had the authority to keep us from shooting them, even on our own property, back when they were still endangered.]

Glenn must know somebody who wanted to put up a fence. I wonder who it was?


24 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: still wrong on snakes and herbicides.

Hi folks,

And just when I thought we'd have to forgo my complaining about Glenn this week, his column appeared in the West Bend Express News (Sunday, Sept 23, 2006 vol 4, issue 39 p.7).

Glenn is long on opinion but the facts, as usual, get in the way.

He starts like this.

"Today we will focus on a lack of common sense in environmental issues."
Politicians usually only appeal to "common sense" when they want something like candy; things they can't -- or shouldn't -- have.

I'll only mention the first two. These should be eerily familiar by now.

"If you expand your business in our area and are near any wetlands, the Department of Natural Resources will require you to look out for a supposedly threatened snake called the Butler's garter snake."
I suppose the Butler's gartersnake is "supposedly threatened" only if you believe what the scientists at the DNR say, although, stranger still, I've started getting email from scientists in other states who ask if Glenn is a shill for land developers or an idiot. It's getting harder to answer this question fairly.

Glenn notes, quite rightly, that the snake is found in a number of other locations and suggests, as far as I can tell here, that it would, therefore, be quite all right to keep destroying their habitat if it means an athletic field for the Timberwolves at Living Word Lutheran HS.

The garter snakes, alas, cannot be expected to rent a truck and move over to the Cedarburg Bog or Jackson Marsh, so you end up killing them locally. Their job in the ecosystem is local, just like Glenn's. Fortunately, if he keeps this up he'll destroy his political habitat first.

And 2)
"Wisconsin's regulatory agencies tried to regulate this product allowing half as much as Minnesota without even doing a peer-reviewed study. At the request of the Farm Bureau and the Pork Producers, we have derailed this new imposition."

Here he tip-toes around the critical details I mentioned in an earlier posting. Specifically: a) that the DNR only wants some standards set and that b), Glenn wanted to let Monsanto, the producer, do the "peer-review "testing.

Um... how is that a "peer-review"? and what part of "fox in the hen house" gets by you on this?

He also leaves out that fascinating detail that the break-down products from this stuff have already been found in 28% of the randomly tested wells state wide --presumably not in Glenn's.

Look, none of this is rocket science.
  1. You don't step on Superman's cape,
  2. you don't spit in the wind, and
  3. you don't ask the fox to guard the hen house, especially when
  4. the chickens have hired you to keep the foxes from using them for BBQ.


20 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: out of touch on TABOR?!

Hi folks,

Glenn had The Big Mo of service-cutting momentum after slaughtering off Mary Panzer (accused venomously by our local TV mullahs of Republican purity as being a R.I.N.O -- Republican In Name Only) in the primary a few years back.

The sword of fire he swung to protect his economic Eden from us sinners?

TPA nee TABOR nee Let's Cut State Services to Give My Friends a Tax Break.

And now this:

Senate rejects
spending limits

By Kurt Krueger
News-Review Editor

MADISON — Last Thursday’s defeat of a proposed constitutional amendment to limit government spending was a disappointment to some legislators, but called a victory by school officials.

The state Senate voted 32-0 to send the Assembly’s version of the bill to committee, saying it didn’t go far enough.

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), one of the amendment’s chief architects, offered a new version that would have limited only state spending. It failed on a 20-12 vote, with seven Republicans joining Democrats in opposition.

Golly. Even Jesus only had one Judas kiss him.


16 September 2006

Glenn Grothman suggests business is an un-necessary evil.

Hi folks,

An article in GM Today reported that James A. Buchen, vice president of government relations for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, endorsed a bunch of GOP candidates, including J.B. Van Hollen and Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Green in West Bend last Thursday morning.

Glenn was present at the speech, along with other local notaries including Rep. Strachota and Serigraph CEO John Torinus.

Grothman thanked Buchen for raising awareness of the state’s legislative policies toward business.

"It’d be nice to have people in Madison who don’t view business as a necessary evil," Grothman said.

It wasn't immediately obvious to me whether he thinks it'd be nice to have people in Madison who don't think business is evil, or who do think it's evil but just not necessary.

He suggests -- and he can't be doing this on purpose -- that either 1) those currently in state government think of business as a necessary evil [which would be crazy since his party is in control of the Legislature] or 2) that he'd like to see people in state government who believe that business is not a necessary, but perhaps an unnecessary, evil.

Anyway, you get the idea. The truth is, you know, I'm only able to warp his statements at all because they're nothing but sticky rhetoric wrapped around an incoherent worldview.

You can't twist what won't bend.

Look, (with considerably less twisting) he's simply humming his favorite old tune: that businesses (and people?) should never have to pay any taxes and should be allowed to do anything they want to without governmental interference.

Unfortunately for Glenn, even businesses have responsibilities and an allegiance to the Republic (and our state!), just like people do.

We cannot shirk our responsibilities to Wisconsin either by ducking reasonable taxes -- which pay for the things we all need -- or by failing to behave in a civic and civil way -- which is something we all need from and owe to each other.

So, sorry Glenn: people and businesses both need to behave properly and accept their civic responsibilities. To do otherwise is both irresponsible and -- not anti-business, but anti-American.

And see? Logic can be used for good instead of evil.


07 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: Safe use of herbicide is anti-farmer.

Hi folks,

This week's puzzler.

Looks like a win for Glenn Grothman and Monsanto this week. Our boy will not let go of this herbicide business.

Here, chopped to the bones, is his argument:

1) Glenn believes the DNR is being too careful because it wants standards placed on the use of a particular herbicide


2) he didn't see anything wrong with letting Monsanto, the manufacturer, set the standards and run tests to see how much of own herbicide is safe to use


3) the DNR wrote a rule, based on its science, that would try regulate the amount of bad chemicals that could end up in well water,

4) Because the DNR wants these standards, Glenn believes the DNR is "anti-farmer."

THEREFORE: Glenn's assertion means that the DNR's attempt to protect farmers from chemicals in their well water is "anti-farmer."

You just can't make this stuff up.

I included a bit more of the article than usual in case some of you were tired of doing sudokus. ;^)


Here it is:

The Capital Times
Herbicide rule killed
By Anita Weier
September 6, 2006

As expected, the Legislature's rules committee killed a rule proposed by the Department of Natural Resources that would have regulated the amount of the herbicide byproduct Alachlor-ESA in groundwater.

"We automatically object. We don't have to do anything," Sen. Glenn Grothman, co-chairman of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, said today.

The committee had favored a peer review funded by Monsanto Co., the manufacturer of the corn soybean herbicide Alachlor.

The chemical changes after it is used and breaks down into a byproduct that is more persistent, said Bruce Baker, deputy director of the DNR's water division. The byproduct has been found in 28 percent of wells around the state randomly tested by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture.

State scientists have said that Alachlor-ESA (ethane sulfonic acid) could cause anemia.

"No state in the country except Minnesota has any regulation of this chemical, and Minnesota allows twice the amount that Wisconsin proposed," said Grothman, R-West Bend. "The DNR has taken an extreme anti-farmer position."

A letter from Natural Resources Board Chairman Gerald O'Brien to the committee co-chairmen said that the board "continues to believe the standard for Alachlor-ESA is needed and appropriate."

"We are also concerned that the option presented by the committee will not allow a standard to be set, and needlessly leaves families and their children who get their drinking water from a well with no allowable groundwater standard for a chemical byproduct that has been shown to have adverse health impacts in lab rats," O'Brien wrote. "We already have wells that exceed the standard the board proposed."

05 September 2006

Glenn Grothman throws the first stone.

Hi folks,

Wow, I'll tell you what, it must be good to be without sin -- and Glenn knows how it feels.

Glenn's little column in the West Bend Express News this weekend (2 September 06) went after opponents of the ban-on-civil-unions-amendment that'll be on the ballot in November. The column was the kind of political "discussion" that gives professional logicians like me a migraine. You look for order and coherence and it feels like walking barefoot over broken glass.

Anyway, their arguments about marriage are like broken glass wrapped in the creamy frosting of fear (eg. homosexuals are trying to take over America) and the morphine of righteous indignation (eg. there's nothing wrong with my marriage).

So, let's try this again:

1) Marriage is a religious institution and therefore should lie safely outside legislative whim.

2) Voting to protect marriage is like voting from a lifeboat to patch the Titanic. Half of all marriages fail these days -- an amendment cementing the present form of marriage into law will simply perpetuate a 50% failure rate. And again, this isn't the state's business.

3) The amendment doesn't simply restrict 'marriage' but locks out any 'civil union' that even looks like marriage. Senior citizens who want to move in together and still preserve their pensions and benefits are going to be cut out of legal protection.

From here Glenn launches into an argument that gay people don't have to be gay. This appeared as a kind of "Bat-turn" in the middle of his article and made me raise both eyebrows -- you know that creepy feeling you get when people change the topic a bit too suddenly? It makes you wonder what their real agenda is.

Was Glenn really writing about marriage or about trying to justify his politically test-marketed conviction that homosexuality is a sinful practice?

I assume it must be political and not religious, since no truly religious person would ever be this comfortable throwing the first stone.

So which is it Glenn?


02 September 2006

Glenn Grothman: wrong on environmental conservation.

Another Glenn sighting last week -- this time at the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust.

I'm starting to freak out a little bit with all these sightings: can Glenn continue to frequent these enemy gathering and maintain his street cred as the most right-wing right-winger in the state? Or maybe I was right about that whole 'prodigal son' thing? Could Glenn really believe in helping the downtrodden and in protecting nature from wildcat greed-sotted developers? (except for garter snakes, of course -- see below)

I mean, seriously: first the NAACP and now the OWLT.

At first I suspected he was simply trying to scoot over a little bit to make room out there on the fringes for Rep. Green, but when I mentioned all this to folks in the area, many of them Republicans I'm gratified to say, their guesses for his behavior were uniform:

"They probably had food out."

I suppose there is some rational ground lurking in here, however. Maybe Glenn thinks we could privatize Nature and that the OWLT is the fine edge of the wedge. That would be in keeping with his need to keep government from collecting any taxes whatsoever.

That's probably the reason. You know you can always trust business to be unselfishly moral despite all that claptrap from Milton Friedman.

And think where this could lead:

  • The Interstate Highways, privatized.
  • The Milwaukee River: privatized with user fees.
  • Lake Michigan: privatized.
-- oh, and best of all:
  • The Government of the United States: privatized.
I guess we could outsource running the country to a big corporation. I understand that Glenn's party knows a LOT of people who run big corporations.


28 August 2006

Glenn Grothman: wrong on the morning after pill

Hi folks,

I should be fair and note that Glenn got this wrong last year (and not this week) when he sponsored and introduced the failed Assembly Bill 343. As always with Glenn, some things you just can't make up. Anyway, this is relevant this week because the FDA has let science trump politics for a change and allowed wider distribution of the Morning After Pill.

The idea of Glenn prescribing his personal morality for both Wisconsinites and the University of Wisconsin System seemed normal and, so, appropriate for here -- but he's in it with Pat Strachota so the full story is over at The Motley Cow.


Glenn Grothman: expert on herbicides?

Hi folks,

Glenn was irritable again this last week because the DNR keeps interfering with his fun. I know how he feels.

I was irritable when my-brother-the-doctor told me I had to quit smoking. He's a cardiologist and an expert on the effects of smoking. He called me late one night with some new, and even more awful, details about what smoking does to your heart. I knew he was right, but I didn't want to listen to him. Even though it was bad for me, I loved to smoke.

So I know how Glenn feels when a whole bunch of PhD's and other experts at the DNR tell him that something he wants is a bad idea. He's already irritable about the whole garter snake business, and now the DNR wants to regulate a herbicide that might be a bit too dangerous for humans.

Here's the story from the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Panel wary of plan for herbicide rule
Legislators vow to stop proposed standards unless requests are met



Posted: Aug. 22, 2006

Madison - A legislative committee pressed the Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday to reconsider a plan to regulate a controversial and widespread farm chemical and vowed to reject the rule outright if the agency doesn't agree to its requests.

Under language drafted by Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), the co-chairman of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, the panel wants the DNR to agree to a peer-reviewed study to evaluate the herbicide, which is marketed by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. under the trade name Lasso.


But Republicans said the DNR's proposal was another instance of the agency overreaching its authority - few states are cracking down on the chemical, and only two wells in Wisconsin are thought to have exceeded the proposed limit.


A random study of private wells by the agriculture department in 2001 showed that 28% of the wells contained some level of alachlor's byproduct, known as alachlor ethane sulfonic acid, or ESA.

Its presence in so many wells makes it the most the prevalent synthetic chemical in Wisconsin's groundwater, state officials said.

Right... So, 2 details:

  1. Glenn thinks it's okay to let foxes set up a peer reviewed study of how best to watch the chicken coop. Foxes have definite ideas about chickens. and...
  2. If only two wells have reached the DNR suggested limits -- even though 5 years ago 28% showed traces of the herbicide -- then... well, there is no "then." How many wells should be allowed to reach the limits? How many Wisconsinites should "be allowed" to find this stuff in their wells? 20? 30? 1000? How about only yours?

This much seems clear: Glenn would rather listen to the foxes at Monsanto than the PhD's and doctors hired to look after the interest of us chickens.


21 August 2006

Glenn Grothman: Wrong on Race?

Hi folks,

In my entire life I've only seen 2 pileated woodpeckers.

They're pretty rare -- but not nearly as rare as this:

There was a Glenn-spotting over the weekend at the Ozaukee NAACP picnic. Glenn showed up for about 45 minutes and -- one imagines -- ate.

But I'm trying to work out how Glenn's services-slashing voting record squares with his support of the NAACP vision. It seems that the two should contradict each other.

How do I make sense of his hacking away at services for economically disadvantaged folks -- by supporting whopping big tax breaks to the richest few percent of us -- and his showing up at a picnic for the most visible group working to encourage services to our neighbors who have been institutionally excluded from the good life?

Maybe he's turned over a new leaf. Could Glenn be a prodigal son who has finally come around to a socially compassionate world-view that doesn't require shifting the tax burden to the poor? Will the Republican Party have to dump him? Will I ever see another pileated woodpecker?


18 August 2006

Glenn Grothman: Wrong about Taxes too.

Hi folks,

If nothing else, Glenn loves to cut taxes, whether it's a good idea or not. He's like a 4 year old swinging a machete. He doesn't always know what to cut, just that he likes it -- a behavior reinforced by rich uncles who give him a lollypop every time he hacks up another watermelon in the neighbor's garden.

As this story from the Bill Christofferson's Xoff Files points out, citing the Milwaukee Journal and a recent study by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute [usually a dark-neo-con blinktank], those service-cutting loonies in Madison just cost us $100 million dollars.

If this keeps up, how many more important services and programs will these knee-jerk neo-cons cost the state? (like new teachers say, or sewers! or better water quality! or farmland protection for farmers and habitat protection for hunters and fishermen!) I suppose that if I were in the top 1% of the money in this state, I'd appreciate Glenn cutting my taxes too -- but I don't see that happening any time soon. :^)

Anyway, please click here to have a look at this report from Bill Christofferson at The Xoff Files.

Tax cuts only good if they help the rich?


16 August 2006

Glenn Grothman: Wrong on running against Kohl

Hi folks,

It's been a quiet news week for Glenn, so let's revisit some leftovers I've been keeping in the fridge. Here's something from last month during his aborted-run against Senator Kohl that still has me scratching my head.

You'll remember that he put together the required number of signatures to go for it, but pulled out at the last minute. Anyway, here's an example of weirdness in the Milwaukee Journal from back in July:

FRIDAY, July 14, 2006, 11:23 a.m.
Steven Walters

Grothman produces 3,012 signatures

Madison-State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) showed up at the home of a Journal Sentinel reporter at 9 p.m. Thursday with a box of nomination papers.

"Let's count," he said.

So, the reporter and the senator huddled at a kitchen table, going through a pile of nomination papers Grothman, his friends and local party leaders circulated last weekend that -- had they been filed by 5 p.m. Tuesday -- would have put the Republican on the ballot as a U.S. Senate candidate against three-term Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.).

Grothman produced the pile of nomination papers, each of whom had room for 10 signatures of Wisconsin residents, after accusations by bloggers and others that he didn't run against Kohl because he couldn't get the 2,000 signatures required by the 5 p.m. Tuesday deadline. He picked the home of the Journal Sentinel reporter who had personally asked to see the nomination papers.

But the number of signatures on nomination papers he produced Thursday night was 3,012.

"It just proves they're lying," Grothman said about the bloggers and emailers who suggested that he didn't run because he had failed to get the required number of signatures. "We got them."

Two items about this that made me go "hmmmmm...."

  • I'd have to ask Steve Walters, the reporter here, whether he and Glenn are buddies or whether Glenn knew he was a reporter and just appeared at his back door at 9pm on a Thursday night. Sounds like Glenn just showed up and broke into the guy's kitchen.


  • ... wait a sec, read that again: "Glenn showed up at this guy's house at 9 o'clock on a Thursday night" to 'prove" he had enough signatures to run? I mean, what makes you so insecure that you need to prove to a Journal reporter that you have enough signatures when the election commission -- surely the uber-authority here -- would have guaranteed those signatures? Doesn't this seem a bit... I dunno... hysterical?

Glenn was wrong to pull out of a race against Senator Kohl. Personally, I'm sorry he didn't run and I know that those of us to the left of the Spanish Inquisition feel that way too. It would have been a chance for Glenn to air his politics in the open light of day where everyone could get a clear look at them -- a quick and certain way to make Democrats out of anyone who is raising a child or earning less than $150,000 a year.


07 August 2006

Glenn Grothman: expert on snakes too.

This week Glenn continues his fight to have the Butler gartersnake removed from the Wisconsin DNR's threatened species list. GM Today reported:

Since 1997, the 18-inch-long snake has been classified a threatened species, and that means its dwindling local habitat needs protection, say area conservationists including town of West Bend resident Gary Casper, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee herpetologist and research associate for the Milwaukee Public Museum.

Signe Holtz, the Department of Natural Resource’s Bureau of Endangered Resources director, says the snake remains threatened, based on sound scientific research, and those restrictions should stay in place.

Bah, humbug, retorts Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) and Rep. Daniel LeMahieu (R-Oostburg), co-chairmen of the state Legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, which appears on the verge of striking the colorfully striped snake from southeast Wisconsin off the state’s threatened species list.

Glenn apparently believes it is more important for Living Word High School, a religious school in Jackson and "Home of the Timberwolves" to have an athletic field, than it is to keep habitat available for a threatened species. Apparently Glen supports protecting habitat for wolves ...

-- but not for the little guys.

28 July 2006

Concord and Lexington.

Hi everyone,

Have you noticed that people won't call shenanigans! anymore? Even when it's obvious?

We're so exasperated by the mind-numbing lack of thought in current politics that we just roll our eyes and try to think of something else to do. Do we sit down and figure out the sneaky propaganda hidden in a phrase like "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" or do we think about putting away the dishes in the dishwasher?

The dishwasher usually wins.

Well, Glenn Grothman, my Wisconsin State Senator -- and the most notorious Right Winger in the entire box of nuts -- provides plenty of fodder: enough to keep the dishes in the dishwasher for a while yet.

You don't need a PhD in philosophy and logic to find the holes in his worldview, his political positions, his knock-off neo-con rhetoric, or his efforts at public moral pronouncement -- but I've got one, just so you know.

I guess what has finally made me mad enough not to take it anymore, are his relentless attempts to eliminate as many public and civic programs as possible, if not by hacking up the budget then through the "Taxpayer's Bill of Rights" or whatever
other Orwellian/Rovian double-think they can come up with. To me, paying taxes is just our ante at the card table of the American republic, but for some people paying taxes is an illegitimate government intrusion on their desire for another jet, or a skil lodge in Aspen, say.

Which of us is right, I'm happy to argue about -- but even that doesn't bother me nearly as much as this: Glennn consistently finds ways to cut the budget of the University of Wisconsin when he represents a district with a university campus that has shown some of the highest growth in the System and which provides, demonstrably, the best bang for the educational buck in the state -- all of it, right here at home.

Why he consistently sacrifices the interests of his own constituents to serve the interests of all those anti-civic anti-public program-slashers is beyond me. Maybe he likes hanging out with them. Maybe it's the tax-cutting testosterone -- or that tax-cutting KoolAid they've all been drinking.

So here we are. I'll pick out something each week and just get this out of my system. Glenn, if you or your staff end up reading any of this (he has a great staff, btw) I promise to put your comments up unedited.