Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Need a new swimming pool Mr. Gehl? Lay off more of your workforce.

Hi folks,

It's good to know that the Gehl Company is landing on its feet now that it's laid off its West Bend workforce.

MONDAY, Oct. 30, 2006, 8:59 a.m.
By Journal Sentinel staff

Gehl earnings rise 30%

Gehl Co. (GEHL) said third-quarter earnings rose 30.4% before a gain on the sale of its agricultural implement business.

The West Bend maker of compact farm and construction equipment said income from continuing operations rose to $7.37 million, or 59 cents a share, from $5.65 million, or 52 cents, a year ago. Two analysts surveyed by Zack's Investment research had estimated Gehl would earn 56 cents a share.

Sales rose 13% to $121 million from $107.3 million.

"Our record third-quarter results showed continuous progress as we achieved solid revenue growth and improved gross margins," said Chairman and Chief Executive William D. Gehl.

On April 3, Gehl announced the discontinuation of its agricultural implement product lines. Gehl recorded a loss from discontinued operations of 309,000 and income from the disposal of discontinued operations of $1.28 million, or 8 cents a share, making net income for the recent quarter of $8.35 million, or 67 cents a share. The year-ago earnings included a loss from continuing operations of $594,000, or 5 cents a share, making net income for the 2005 quarter $5.06 million, or 47 cents a share.

It's always best, apparently, to lay off workers when they're cutting in to your profits.


Sunday, October 22, 2006

Mark Green: a big, fat, liar about Doyle on education.

Hi folks,

Just something that annoyed me. There are plenty of issues about which Mr. Green can disagree with the Governor without having to simply make stuff up.

The latest glossy mailing from the Green campaign asks whether Governor Doyle really cares about the University of Wisconsin. Two details:

1) the slick cardboard sheet says that tuition increased for Wisconsin students
2) that tuition decreased for out of state students.

Cleverly enough, both are true. What Mr. Green's marketing team is hoping you don't know is the following:

1) tuition increased because the Republican run legislature has slashed state contributions to UW tuition (the amount we all pay in taxes to help offset the cost of university for all our college age friends and neighbors) over the last few years. The Regents repeatedly warned the Legislature that tuition would have to be raised to compensate but the Republican legislators went ahead. Now, Mr. Green and the same jokers who forced UW to raise tuition, are blaming the Governor for it.


Oh, and 2) out-of-state tuition didn't go down so much as return to earlier, lower, levels. UW did that in order to recover the students we lost when rates were jacked up to accomodate whining in the Legislature. When UW raised its out-of-state tuition rates we lost a TON of out-of-state students and their money. Turns out if you lower their tuition a bit, MORE OF THEM COME ... um, and bring their slightly higher, out-of-state tuition with them. So, it actually made the state MORE money to lower tuition and thus attract more out-of-state students. Volume volume volume.

Anyway, it always annoys me when politicians have to make stuff up in order to fan the fires of resentment somewhere.... this one is particularly hypocritical.

Personally, I want to know now where Mr. Green stands on evolution. I'm guessing he's against it, just like the President he supports so firmly.


The Journal picks Jim Sullivan for 5th Senate district seat.

Hi folks,

And an easy choice he is, too.

From the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Oct. 20, 2006

Tom Reynolds is a hard-right conservative in a district that has long skewed moderate. But it's what he has done outside the Senate chamber that attracts the most attention - and the most disdain. He has asked job applicants for their views of heaven or whether they're divorced. He has attended a rabidly anti-gay conference on "homo-fascism." He has considered advancing outlandish ideas that often are related to a personal experience - like the idea to create a private autobahn parallel to I-94. It came after he was pulled over for speeding.

But it's not only Reynolds' bizarre behavior that makes Jim Sullivan the better pick. He would be anyway. Sullivan, an attorney and Wauwatosa alderman, is a moderate on a variety of issues, including health care, in which he supports allowing citizens to buy into the same plan that legislators have and business pools to lower costs. He supports school choice but not expansion. He supports a get-tough-on-crime approach and has been endorsed by a number of police associations.

Seriously. Here's the data on Jim.

For heavens sake, help vote Mr. Reynold's out of office where he can only goof up his own life and not the taxpayers'.

We'll work on Glenn Grothman next.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

The End of Habeas Corpus?

Keith Olbermann, once again speaking truth to power. Now, if only the power would listen to it.

Here are Keith's comments on the end of habeas corpus.

Hey, is anybody awake??


Monday, October 16, 2006

St. Joseph's hospital in West Bend a model of efficiency in fashion industry.

Hi folks,

Just some irony for those of us who've lost a hospital because... well, we're still not absolutely sure about that here in West Bend. In any case, the "old" hospital was closed and a new version relocated 20 highway minutes away at a snazzy new spot out in the countryside -- because the old version mentioned here, was old-fashioned. Apparently industrial standards weren't enough.

Nietzsche would love this. :^)

Innovate Forum

In addition, by employing the use of small teams arranged in clusters of U-shaped workstations (similar to those used by Japanese electronics makers), worker efficiency at Louis Vuitton has been greatly increased, there is greater production flexibility, and workers are able to detect flaws earlier.

Such benefits are not unlike those experienced by St. Joseph’s hospital based in West Bend, Wisconsin, when it elected to employ manufacturing techniques to aid its efforts.

Like Louis Vuitton, efficiency was also the goal of St. Joseph’s hospital management, when it decided to apply proven manufacturing methods in the design and layout of its facilities. As noted in a recent Innovate Forum article, Innovative Approach to Patient Safety Leverages Proven Manufacturing Methods, by standardizing on the placement of lighting, medical equipment, patient beds and bathrooms in each room, hospital workers at St. Joseph’s were able to not only reduce patient error, but to more efficiently manage patient care, overall.

The lesson here? The principles of lean manufacturing are applicable in many settings. At the very least, any organization seeking to streamline either its manufacturing processes or its operations overall would be well advised to look to Japanese automakers like Toyota for insight and guidance.

If only we could get patients to act more like automobiles, then we'd really have something.


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Sensenbrenner's connection to Foley.

A news release from the Bryan Kennedy campaign to help Mr. Sensenbrenner get on with his life. -- another example that Sensenbrenner has been in office too long.

October 5, 2006
Contact: Jordan Aberman

Kennedy Calls on Sensenbrenner to Explain Connection to Foley Scandal

WHITEFISH BAY – Bryan Kennedy, Democratic candidate for Congress in Wisconsin's 5th District, called on Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner to divulge any connections he may have to the Foley scandal currently gripping Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Former Congressman Mark Foley was forced to resign on Friday when sexually suggestive emails he wrote to a male, underage congressional page finally became public.

"Congressman Sensenbrenner has been one of a select few to face the press on behalf of his party regarding former Congressman Foley's appalling crimes," said Kennedy, referring to a briefing held with House Majority Whip Blunt, Speaker of the House Hastert, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and Sensenbrenner. "I think our Congressman owes his constituents – the people he's supposed to represent – an honest and complete explanation of any knowledge he had about Congressman Foley's disgusting behavior."

For months, Republican House leaders were in possession of Foley's sexually-charged emails to the underage youngster, although Foley was never disciplined or prosecuted. "I do not want to make any unfounded allegations," Kennedy said, "but I call on Congressman Sensenbrenner to fully explain any and all connections to this scandal and Mark Foley's reprehensible actions."

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Sensenbrenner latest gun bill hand cuffs police officers.

Hi folks,

A follow up to a Sensenbrenner Watch story. Here's our boy trying to figure out the latest gun regulation package.


Anyway, this Sunday's Journal Sentinel reports on Sensenbrenner's latest contribution to the wingnut fringe of the NRA (not, emphatically, to civic and socially responsible NRA members). Greg Stanford notes that:
...the congressman is pushing through the House a bill that would make federal information on the sources of guns found at crime sciences secret. Even police agencies would have a tough time sharing that info.

Sensenbrenner is handcuffing the police in their fight against crime.

Of course, this is the same guy who impeached a sitting president for lying about an affair, but won't impeach a sitting president who has admitted lying about illegally wire-tapping American citizens.

Um, and who is morally confused again?