Rick Berg

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Some head home to town hall meetings to face down the mobs; the president goes to sanitized town hall meetings in airport hangers (who said all of "W"'s ideas were bad?); Sarah Palin walks away in search of a higher calling; and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle says he's had enough and won't be running for a third term in 2010. more

Aug 20, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion

Rick Berg took a lot of photos while he visited Freiburg, Madison's German sister city, particularly of the car-light Vauban neighborhood. more

Jul 26, 2009 12:00 PM Isthmus Cover Stories

On a warm Saturday night in June, the city of Freiburg hosted a rather remarkable community event. Dozens of streets were closed to auto traffic and tables were set up along a route that snaked through the old city center. more

Jul 24, 2009 2:00 PM Isthmus Cover Stories


Rick Berg

I have seen "The Greenest City in Europe" and lived to tell about it. I know what you're wondering: Did one of the Madison area's more likeable conservative thinkers take an unlikely carbon-neutral, Al Gore-approved "green vacation" in Europe this summer? Has he finally starting thinking globally so he can act locally? Did some mysterious transformation take place at the edge of the Black Forest? Not quite. more

Jul 24, 2009 2:00 PM Isthmus Cover Stories

I hate to say "I told you so," but I did. Early last year, I warned in "Isthmus" of an impending collision between property-tax-paying homeowners and property-tax-spending government, due to the economic downturn and collapsing home values. more

Jul 9, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion

Madison has often been called the "Berkeley of the Midwest." But these days, our state capital has more in common with Sacramento. California politicians in Sacramento have run up a $21.3 billion hole in their state's budget, while their counterparts in Madison have managed to dig a $6.6 billion grave for Wisconsin. more

May 28, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion

Before closing the book on the last week's electoral showdown, let's wander one last time onto the battlefield to shoot the wounded, award medals for bravery and acknowledge other achievements. more

Apr 16, 2009 2:00 PM Opinion

President Obama and the Democrats have passed a trillion-dollar spending bill (next stop: quadrillion) that contains more political IOUs than stimulus. Obama also wants to seize one-seventh of the U.S. economy with a new Washington-driven national health-care plan. more

Mar 5, 2009 3:00 PM Opinion

First it was Tim Geithner, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York City and America's newest Treasury secretary, who disclosed he skimped on paying his personal taxes between 2001 and 2004. Congressional lapdog Democrats immediately jumped to Geithner's defense, saying that these were "honest" or "careless" mistakes and that, as "the only man in America who understands TARP" - the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program - Geithner simply had to get this job. Question: If the smartest moneyman in America doesn't understand IRS tax rules, what chance do the rest of us mere mortals have? more

Feb 5, 2009 3:00 PM Opinion

The end of the Falk era in Dane County may be at hand. Twice in recent years, Kathleen Falk, who is preparing to run for an unprecedented fourth four-year term, has tried to ditch her gig as county exec. more

Dec 11, 2008 3:00 PM Opinion

Last week, U.S. Rep Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) was serving as High Inquisitor du Jour at yet another hearing on "what went wrong" with the American mortgage/financial markets. more

Oct 30, 2008 2:00 PM Opinion

Even in the primaries, Obama couldn't sustain his Wisconsin breakthrough with white Americans and blue-collar voters, who delivered wins to Hillary in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. Obama will have trouble with these same voting blocs in November, especially given the Jeremiah Wright sermons and Bill Ayers association. more

Sep 29, 2008 3:51 PM Isthmus Cover Stories


Joeff Davis

Pat yourself on the back, America. For the first time in 32 years, neither a Bush nor a Clinton appears on the national ticket for either major political party. Yippeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! more

Sep 29, 2008 3:42 PM Isthmus Cover Stories

Even with the passage of time, the images remain vivid: jets crashing into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field; fireballs exploding in the sky over Manhattan; bodies hitting the pavement after leaping or falling from the towers; heroes rushing into buildings others were desperate to flee; the collapse, the horror. And it all started as just another ordinary sky-blue Tuesday in September. more

Sep 11, 2008 2:00 PM Opinion

Barring another 9/11 attack or the collapse of America's financial system, the dominant issue in the presidential race will be the sky-high cost of energy and its ruinous effect on the economy. Barack Obama gets it even if his Democratic colleagues in Congress remain clueless. more

Aug 7, 2008 2:00 PM Opinion

In "Normal Land," consumer rage over record-high fuel prices has 70% of Americans supporting calls to "Drill here, drill now." However, in Madison, a community comfortably insulated from any reality known to working-class Americans, the soaring price of gasoline is being used to justify a $255 million commuter-rail boondoggle. more

Jun 26, 2008 2:00 PM Opinion

The most extraordinarily gifted politician in my lifetime, Robert Kennedy brought passion, romance and poetry to American politics. more

May 29, 2008 2:00 PM Opinion

The official word from the Madison real estate community is that houses are still selling and the deleterious effects of the national housing slump have largely passed us by. The truth is that the local market is hurting, and there's a deep and growing anxiety that things will get worse. more

May 8, 2008 2:00 PM News

By any measure, 2008 seems destined to yield a bumper crop of political hypocrisy. Democratic lawmakers in Madison have joined with the anti-smoking Gestapo to push for a statewide smoking ban, warning that failure to get on board will turn Wisconsin into the "ashtray of the Midwest." more

Mar 13, 2008 3:00 PM Opinion

Kudos to Sen. John Sydney McCain III for winning the Wisconsin primary and wrapping up the nomination of the RINO (Republican in Name Only) Party! more

Feb 21, 2008 4:00 PM Opinion