Enhancing Venture Capital to Drive Innovation
February 11, 2010

To create the new jobs needed in our nation, and make sure our world-leading creativity and innovation ends up creating new businesses, we need deeper pools of venture and early stage capital. Nowhere are jobs needed more than in the Midwest manufacturing belt. A recent Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program report authored by Cleveland’s Frank Samuel suggests how we might better link new technology discovery going on in the ‘Rust Belt” to new firm creation. It turns out the industrial heartland reaching from Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and St.

THE PICTURE: Recession Proof
February 02, 2010

This is the opening shot of The Picture--my new, biweekly column. I’m not planning to restrict myself to the visual arts here, although they will certainly be a central concern. I want to range more widely than I have in the past, writing about the interlocking worlds of books and pictures and culture that are my lifeblood, my passion. I may describe a forgotten novel that I picked up in a secondhand bookstore. Or salute the life and work of a friend who’s not around anymore. From time to time, I'll dedicate a column to a painting that's excited me in a museum in Milwaukee or San Francisco.

Rail Stimulus: Good Politics, But Don't Expect Bullet Trains
January 28, 2010

So the White House has finally announced the full list of where that $8 billion in stimulus money for high-speed rail is going. Here are the two big, headline-grabbing projects: * Florida will get $1.25 billion for a high-speed line between Tampa and Orlando, which is expected to cost about $3.5 billion all told. Read Adie Tomer's critical take on the Tampa-Orlando project below. * California will get $2.25 billion to help with a planned high-speed line between Anaheim and San Francisco.

Education Reform: Venturing into Chartered Territory
January 21, 2010

As January comes to a close, it’s safe to say that it’s been a rough first year for the Obama administration. On the right, he is hammered for being a big government liberal, and on the left for being too cozy with big business and Wall Street (and don’t forget the two wars).

Feds Pony Up Toward Great Lakes Water ‘Magic’
November 04, 2009

If your image of Milwaukee is largely derived from Laverne and Shirley re-runs, think again.

March 06, 2006

POWER OUTAGE IT'S "ENERGY WEEK" AT THE WHITE House. That means President Bush is traveling the country to talk up his new alternative energy initiatives. His Energy Week speeches emphasize the cutting-edge--even startling--nature of his plans to revolutionize power and fuel supplies in the United States, and his rhetoric combines the futuristic with the family-oriented: "Think about how your children or your grandchildren may be able to spend a President's Day in the future," he rhapsodized at Johnson Controls, a Milwaukee auto-parts supplier.

Utopian Designs
April 11, 2005

The decorative arts have always been art history's attractive orphans. While many people have a great affection for certain textiles or ceramics, the scholarly world embraces such objects only fitfully, as if they were really somebody else's responsibility. And much of the attention that is given to the decorative arts—in the shelter magazines, in the auction catalogues, and in specialized studies of rococo hardware or medieval ceramic tiles—has an edge about it, a feverishness that can suggest overcompensation and even overkill.

On the Hill: Invalid License
December 20, 2004

Amid the celebration over passage of the intelligence reform bill this week, one dissonant voice could be heard through the self-congratulatory din. The new reform bill "practically invites terrorists to come into our country," said one speaker on the House floor Tuesday evening. It is "a recipe for a disaster--the same kind of disaster that occurred on 9/11. ...

The Right Thing
October 08, 2001

I. Schools, Vouchers and the American Public by Terry M.

Moral Minority
January 15, 2001

Here are some of the things for which Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson is best known: He opposes abortion rights and signed into law a measure so restrictive the U.S. Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional. He fights with teachers' unions and helped bring a school-voucher pilot program to Milwaukee. Finally, and most famously, he despises welfare, having signed one of the first laws requiring single mothers to work in order to receive government assistance. So it's no wonder conservatives are so gleeful that President-elect George W.