Now we know why Mayor Cieslewicz is having his troubles. He does not avail himself of the wisdom imparted from Stately Blaska Manor. WIBA producer Dave McCann captured this audio of the mayor making his embarrassing admission. × Gee, Dave, I read your blog. Can Mayor Dave survive this scandal? I like the mayor, I really do, even though he returned my check to his re-election campaign, made out for $1.25. Perhaps he is holding out for more. I am writing a new check for $1.75. What's more, I am rushing a two-week free subscription of Blaska's Blog to Mayor Dave. I feel it is my civic duty. We may be able to save this city, yet! Soon, you'll be hearing Mayor Dave sing this tune: Budget woes The Mayor is asking city departments to propose cuts of up to 6 percent in their budgets, which are due to the comptroller by August 9. That is to compensate for a reduction in non-levy general fund revenues that were down almost $2.5 million compared to the 2009 budget and a 3.3% decline in the assessed value of real estate. Without the cuts, taxes would go up 10 percent on the average home, an increase the Mayor called "unacceptable" in a letter to city department heads today [pdf]. Bailing out the profligate teachers union We know now that the Detroit bailout wasn't about saving GM or Chrysler but about saving the UAW. After all, someone would have built the cars they sold only profitably and probably, without the sclerosis of the United Auto Workers union. What else to conclude when the management of those companies got the hook, the stockholders got the shaft, and even the bondholders were left holding an empty bag? Only the UAW survived. Now comes Washington porkmeister Dave Obey with another bailout -- this one for $23 billion of our tax dollars. Understand, he's not bailing out our schools. He's bailing out cowardly school boards who cannot stand up to the militant teachers unions which are, the Democrats' wet nurse. Says the Wall Street Journal's Stephen Moore: Before Congress succumbs, it should know about the unfolding fiasco in Milwaukee. Wisconsin is a microcosm of the union intransigence that's fueling the school funding crisis in so many cities and states and leading to so many pink slips. It also shows why a federal bailout is a mistake. ... It is hardly sensible to force taxpayers in Mississippi, Colorado, New Hampshire and elsewhere to step in and save the union's bacon. A federal bailout only further entrenches bad policies-especially unaffordable benefit packages-that led to the school funding crisis in the first place and leave every child behind. The edit may be behind a paywall -- I can access it but then I subscribe. If so, catch more of its flavor here. "Former journalist" and now educator Alan J. Borsuk flays the teachers unions -- the most regressive force in America today. Noting the teachers unions' opposition to reform and its iron grip on the taxpayer for gold-plated pensions and health care plans, Borsuk concludes: "the collision between teachers unions and the forces of change is pretty amazing. For one thing, it pits Democrats against Democrats in a battle that may have major repercussions on the 2012 presidential race." Any reader of Ed Garvey, D-Teachers Union, can tell you that (quoting a third-party) "If the union rails against the Obama administration, it signals that it can't work with anyone short of a hand puppet. An 'us against the world' battle cry works wonders for union activism, but it's problematic because 'the world' has a lot more votes." [- in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Is there room for both teachers unions and new policies?] BTW, the answer is No. Back atcha The Tea Party in St. Louis has condemned the NAACP as racist. Whereas the very term "racist" has diminished meaning due to its overuse by political partisans including members of the NAACP, and Whereas, the NAACP had an opportunity to preserve some semblance of legitimacy by standing up for Ken Gladney, the victim of a vicious racist battery conducted by a black avowed communist, even labeling him an "Uncle Tom", but chose instead to use the opportunity to mock the St. Louis Tea Party, and Whereas, the NAACP has refused to denounce the New Black Panther's call to murder white cops and their babies, ... Now let's cue one King Samir Shabazz. High-speed and high cost State Rep. Brett Davis cites a Legislative Audit Bureau Report that a round-trip ticket on the proposed Milwaukee to Madison high-speed train would cost around $60. "In addition, the initial price tag for taxpayers is expected to be close to a staggering $1 billion. This is not even taking into consideration the $10,000,000 per year in subsidies the LFB is expecting to be required every year by state taxpayers." I still hope the inter-city passenger rail can work but perhaps wish is father to the thought. Let the people decide! What makes less sense is the proposed Dane County transit authority. I've said it before: who is going to take the train from Middleton to Madison who doesn't already take the bus? What's more, it enables an unelected board appointed by a congeries of politicians to impose a half-cent hike in the sales tax to raise $42 million a year in extra taxes. And each projected rider on its short haul will be subsidized to the tune of $40 each! Dane County Fair begins Wednesday. Stop by the booth at the Expo Hall and sign the petition urging a November 2 referendum on the Dane County Regional Transit Authority. Let the people decide! Selective outrage watch Imagine the strum und drang in Progressive circles if a high-level Tommy Thompson aide secured a $245,000 sinecure without competitive interviews. But when the skids are greased for a Doyle insider to get a plum job with the UW system at nearly double the pay? Mum's the word at The Capital Times, the Democratic party, you name it. Thank god for Steve Nass and J.B. Van Hollen! AG J.B. Van Hollen said UW System President Kevin Reilly didn't follow a 22-year-old Board of Regents policy in giving the $245,000-a-year job to former Administration Secretary Michael Morgan because Reilly didn't appoint a hiring committee to advise him or consider at least five qualified candidates. Journal-Sentinel What part of illegal ...? Rick Esenberg is a Marquette University law professor whose blog the Shark and the Shepherd reacts to a Journal-Sentinel headline that worries that "More illegal immigrants being deported for lesser offenses." No, the professor corrects, "Illegal Immigrants Are Deported Because They Are Illegal Immigrants." Compost recycling The city of Madison is considering adding a third curbside bin for recycling organic kitchen waste: egg shells, watermelon rinds, coffee grounds -- things like that. They already do that in San Francisco. Me, I've had an active compost pile on the grounds of the Stately Manor for the past 20 years. Early this spring I schlepped a couple year's worth onto my extensive gardens -- especially the perennial beds that cannot be worked up, such as the asparagus patch. About twice a year I take my little Mantis-type of garden tiller (actually a Honda) to the pile to aerate it. The earthworms it produces are huge! The Capital Times has the story. Do not ration my speech George Will deserves a Pulitzer Prize for his long opposition to so-called campaign finance "reform." Such "reform" is nothing more than the progs long desire to use taxpayers' money to not only fund campaigns but to ration speech. The U.S. Supreme Court struck down an Arizona law that, as Will writes, "punishes people who do not take taxpayer funds. Its purpose, which the Supreme Court has said is unconstitutional, is to restrict spending - and the dissemination of speech that spending enables - in order to equalize candidates' financial assets. This favors incumbents, who have the myriad advantages of office." So, of course, the Democrats in Congress are seeking other ways to divert the full flow of free speech, with something called "Disclose." Beware when the political class preens about protecting us from "special interests." The most powerful and anti-constitutional interest is the political class. [George Will, July 10, 2010] Buy this book It is "Young Guns" by three Republican members of the House: Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy. Simon and Schuster is expected to release Young Guns September 14. Politico has the story. We wuz robbed! Madison only ranked #95 on Money Magazine's Best Places to Live this year. Waukesha is 50 and Eau Claire is 69. Tune your crystal sets Hey kids! Be sure to tune in to 970 on your AM dial Friday, July 16 from 8 am - 9 am -- a date that will LIVE in infamy! That's when your host will lock horns with an unfortunate liberal over the WHA airwaves for the Week in Review.