No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for November 20th, 2007

The ever-growing gubmint monster – counties edition

by @ 20:37. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

(H/T – Owen)

The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance looked at county government taxation and spending between 2000 and 2005. The very quick Cliff’s Notes summary:

– Wisconsin’s 72 counties spent a total of $6.70 billion between operations ($4.42 billion), debt service ($250 million) and golf courses/hospitals/civic centers/nursing homes ($2.03 billion) in 2005. If memory serves, Milwaukee County was responsible for just under $1.2 billion of that.

– The operations portion represented a 4.3% annual increase from 2000, and a 3.3% per capita annual increase (funny; I don’t recall getting a 3.3% annual increase in pay).

– Over that time frame, state aid went up 2.04% an an annual basis, while county taxes went up 5.73% on an annual basis and revenues from fees, fines and permits went up 9.58% on an annual basis.

– Overall, health and human services spending took up 46.1% of county expenditures, easily outpacing public safety (19.9%), general government (13.9%) and highways (9.5%).

– Exactly one of the 72 counties reduced taxes on a per-capita basis; La Fayette (0.28% decrease annual rate). The lowest per-capita increase was in Dane, which raised taxes 2.1% per year).

– Five counties had per-capita public charges (i.e. fees) more than double in those 6 years; Jefferson (152.6%), Milwaukee (146.6% – ‘thank’ you very much, Thug Holloway), Dodge (137.0%), Washburn (119.2%) and Door (101.3%).

SCOTUS will rule on D.C. gun ban

by @ 15:41. Filed under Guns, Law and order, Politics - National.

The news has been flying around the Net all day, so I’m a bit late to this party. The SCOTUS Blog has the best legal summary I’ve seen:

– The Supreme Court has accepted Washington, DC’s appeal in the case District of Columbia v. Heller. Specifcally, they worded the granted issue this way: "Whether the following provisions "” D.C. Code secs. 7-2502.02(a)(4), 22-4504(a), and 7-2507.02 "” violate the Second Amendment rights of individuals who are not affiliated with any state-regulated militia, but who wish to keep handguns and other firearms for private use in their homes?"

– They did not act on a cross-petition of five District residents seeking to join the case. SCOTUS Blog cautions that this is not necessarily a rejection of that cross-petition.

– Left unmentioned by the Court are a whole host of issues that may or may not be decided in this case, including whether the Second Amendment would apply to state and local governments (D.C. is a federal enclave, and that was the reasoning in the D.C. Circuit’s voiding of those three gun laws).

Jim Geraghty wonders whether this would affect the 2008 election. Given the likely timeframe of a March hearing (strongly suggested by SCOTUS Blog) and a June ruling, I would have to say that any ruling would not affect the primaries, specifically the Republican primary, at all, as I expect things to be settled before Wisconsin’s scheduled turn in the “limelight” February 19.

The fact that the Supreme Court has taken the case, however, does have the potential to influence the Republican primaries. Rudy Giuliani, who would be gravely conflicted should the Supreme Court hold the Second Amendment trumps local gun bans, will face a very difficult choice between his lifelong desire to grab guns and his late public professions of support of Constitutionalist Justices. While the side he decides to come down on probably would not cement the nomination if he chooses wisely, it would likely have the effect of ending his chances should he choose poorly.

Similarily, the ruling has the potential to have a major influence on the general election. It will energize both sides of the gun-laws debate, especially whichever side loses. There is a caveat; if Giuliani is the Republican nominee and the Supreme Court sides with the District, that additional energy on the pro-gun side will likely gravitate to a third-party candidate.

Pencil-wielding teen 1, would-be kidnappers 0

by @ 12:54. Filed under Miscellaneous.

(H/T – MKH)

Reason number one to keep that No. 2 sharp:

TUCKER, Ga. — Quick thinking by a DeKalb County teenager may have saved her life, police said Monday.

Two men tried to kidnap the girl near Tucker Middle School Monday night, police said.

The 14-year-old was on her way home from dance practice when a black van pulled up, and the men tried to grab her, Police said, adding that the girl got away when she stabbed one of the men in the arm with a pencil. The girl was not seriously hurt, police said.

No word on whether it was a wood or mechanical pencil. Each has its advantages in self-defense. Wood pencils can be made extremely sharp, and the wood can leave one heck of a splinter, but they get dull. Mechanical pencils are always sharp, and some of them have metal tips that aid in penetration, but the lead tends to break off if extended too far, and most mechanicals don’t penetrate as deeply as woods.

It also pays to pay attention to one’s surroundings; the story also notes she recognized the van the perps were driving lurking around the middle school a few days prior.

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