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Flap’s Links and Comments for March 15th on 14:23

These are my links for March 15th from 14:23 to 14:54:

  • Poll Watch: Boulder, Colorado, Leads U.S. Metro Areas in Wellbeing – Community leaders stand to learn a great deal from cities like Boulder, Lincoln, and Washington, D.C. where wellbeing is the highest.

    Boulder, for example, is second in the nation in opportunities for its residents to "learn something new or interesting," a common feature of the highest wellbeing metro areas in America. Book stores, museums, art exhibits, and non-traditional learning environments, such as topical community seminars at local colleges or Elderhostel programs, could all contribute to enhanced opportunities for residents to learn and grow, which can lead to higher wellbeing.

    Lincoln is third in the nation in having workplaces with supervisors who engender high-trust environments, a characteristic of top management talent and a vanguard of a highly engaged and productive workforce.

    The Washington, D.C.-Arlington-Alexandria metro area has one of the lowest smoking rates among large metro areas in America, at 15%, and a high percentage of residents who visit a dentist at least once per year (72%). Smoking and choosing to skip the dentist are both lifestyle choices that have substantial negative health outcomes downstream.


    Not really shocking but read it all.

  • On Wisconsin! How Republicans Won the Battle of Madison – It was Wednesday, March 9, and Governor Walker had decided to visit the Wisconsin State Capitol before he headed off to give his “Ag Day” speech that afternoon.

    Walker figured he had been very patient. Four weeks earlier he had proposed his budget repair bill, and he had the votes to pass it. But one week after that, all 14 Democratic state senators fled to Illinois to deny Republicans the quorum they thought necessary to hold a vote on the legislation. In the days that followed, top Republican legislators and senior aides to Walker spoke regularly with Democrats in an effort to forge a compromise—several times believing that they had reached a tentative understanding that would allow the senate to take up the controversial measure, only to have the agreement collapse. The more this happened the less likely a compromise seemed. 

    So, shortly before 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Walker addressed a meeting of the senate Republican caucus. It was time to end the standoff and move forward, he said. The world didn’t know it, but Republicans had been given the tools to do that two days earlier, in rulings from three nonpartisan bodies that allowed them to tweak the bill slightly and pass it with only a simple majority present in the senate. But Walker kept his comments general. He said that while Wisconsinites were divided about the wisdom of his proposals, there was widespread agreement that the stalemate had to end.


    Read it all.

    A good piece on the last days of negotiations with the Wisconsin Fleebaggers

  • Wisconsin Dem Senator Wants to Ban Tactic Used to Hold Up Budget Bill – Democrat Tim Cullen, one of the 14 Wisconsin state senators who fled to Illinois in order to prevent a vote on Scott Walker's budget repair bill, wants to make sure that the tactic he employed cannot be used in the future to hold up state business. The Wisconsin State Journal reports:

    One of the Wisconsin 14 is working on a law that would prevent other lawmakers from stopping legislation by running away and hiding — a move that could be seen as an olive branch to angry members of the GOP.

    Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, a key member of the Democratic senators who fled the state in a failed effort to stall Gov. Scott Walker’s budget repair bill, said Tuesday he was drafting a state constitutional amendment that would allow the Legislature to vote on and pass fiscal bills with a simple majority. The constitution requires each house to have three-fifths of all members present to vote on bills that have a fiscal impact.

    “I was part of creating this divide,” Cullen tells the Journal. “I need to be part of fixing it.”


    Should have been banned long ago. What about initiative and referendum?