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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Upon further review, CC shouldn’t be awarded a no-hitter

One of the beauties of sports is the debate the games stir among fans:

He was safe! No he was out!

The pitch was a strike! It was a ball!

It was a base hit! Are you crazy, it was an error!

A no-hitter in baseball is special. To achieve one, a player has to earn it. A pitcher has to endure the intense pressure of the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings where every pitch, ground ball, and fly ball is magnified.

CC Sabathia of the Brewers didn’t go through that Sunday in Pittsburgh. Once his no hitter was gone midday through the ballgame, all of that pressure was gone, whether the official scorer was right or wrong.

A no-hitter decided by an office in New York instructing a Pittsburgh scorer to reconsider who then changes his mind would forever be tainted.

More from ESPN...

If Obama wasn't the worst candidate ever, he'd be OMG totally awesome

One of my favorite columnists is the blunt, irreverent Doug Giles. Writing with humor isn’t easy. Giles excels at it.

His latest effort is a must-read as he describes why he’s (tongue in cheek) voting for Barack Obama.

“I will give the Obama camp this: They do know how to hit us emotionally, don’t they? From Michelle’s sea foam dress and her new skinny Oprah persona makeover, to their darling girls being Kathy Lee’d out on stage, to Biden showcasing his grandkids and his cool old mama, I was getting—Lord forgive me—all verklempt! The only thing that Hallmark convention lacked was puppies, bunny rabbits and dancing candy canes running across the stage in a stadium filled with laughing gas.”

Oh, there’s more. Very good stuff…

So the whole Brett Favre deal is all in the past, right?

Brett Favre is still talking about the entire fiasco surrounding his coming out of retirement. The Associated Press has a lengthy piece providing more background on what happened, including this tidbit about Packers genius General Manager Ted Thompson. The AP writes:

“Thompson flew to Favre's Mississippi home, and the quarterback thought the general manager was there to ask him to come back. Instead, Thompson told him that the team was going to do something special for him...”

To find out what “special” idea Thompson had planned for Brett, read the article.

Thank you, Jim Doyle, for all Wisconsin has to celebrate on this Labor Day

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Just how big was Harley-Davidison's 105th anniversary?

WTMJ-TV reports tourism officials say much bigger than expected...

1) The event brought over 120,000 bikers and riders to town.

2) City of Milwaukee businesses raked in over $25 million.

3) There's now talk of having an annual Harley-Davidson reunion.

Obama gets classy, will supporters follow suit?

Barack Obama says Alaska Governor and GOP VP nominee Sarah Palin's 17-yera old daughter is off limits. Today, Palin announced her daughter is five months pregnant, will have the baby, and will marry the baby's father.

When asked about this development, Obama commendably said the issue is irrelevant, that children of candidates should not be discussed, and he's correct.

But will Obama's surrogates and supporters follow his lead? After all, the charming left has been suggesting Palin's 17-year old daughter was the actual mother of Palin's Down syndrome baby we've heard so much about. When that part of the Democrat dirt machine got plugged in, Palin made her announcement.

From a strategic standpoint, Democrats would be extremely wise not to lay a glove on Palin's teenage girl or even bring her up. It would also be the decent approach to take. (By the way, the same holds true for one of the wings of the Democrat Party, the mainstream media).

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, foreground, waves during a campaign rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio. Her daughter, Bristol (holding the VP pick's son, Trig), is seen in the background.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, foreground, waves during a campaign rally Friday in Dayton, Ohio. Her daughter, Bristol (holding the VP pick's son, Trig), is seen in the background.By Matt Sullivan, Reuters

It's back to school time, which begs the question here in Franklin....

After those referenda got shot down big time in April 2007, whatever happened to these?

Obama's goons

Here’s another key difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are content to let Democrats stage their bloviating at their convention without interference. How many GOP protesters did you see in Denver?

On the other hand, the Obama thugs have landed in the Twin Cities.

Obama's voting record is a doozy

And mighty scary.

Just take a look.

Franklin residents, take note of his position on sex offenders.

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So it's the Foxes' fault?


The quotes by David Hintzman are very interesting.

I love the Foxes, but I'll file a complaint againt them anyway?


I'll have more later...

Sorry to pick on the DNR, but it’s sooooooooooooooo easy!

Today (Tuesday) and Monday were beautiful days, weren’t they?

Above normal temperatures. Lots of sunshine. Helluva lot better than many parts of the country.

Did you enjoy these late summer days?

What are you, nuts?

Don’t you understand? These past two days were horrible. You weren’t supposed to go outside, fill your gas tank, run a lawnmower or you'd be risking God knows what.

Our know-it-all friends at the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) who absolutely know what’s best for all of us declared air quality watches in eight counties on Labor Day and today, including Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine and Sheboygan counties.

I find this very interesting. Most of last week, especially the latter part of the week, we were bathed in sunshine and 80-degree plus temperatures. Then add in the fact that you had over 100,000 Harley-Davidson’s all over this part of the state with those huge exhaust pipes, spewing so many more fumes into the air.

And guess what?

Not a single peep out of the DNR.

No bells and whistles.

No warnings.

o alerts.

But the minute the motorcycles leave…..





This is the almighty, all-powerful DNR speaking!


The DNR. They never disappoint.

There are no heroes in Franklin development mess

Bloggers have been writing about it for weeks (I’ve more or less stayed out of it) and now the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today writes about a Franklin development issue that has become downright ugly. Since the big daily has now gotten involved, I’ll share my thoughts on this fiasco. Realizing many of this blog’s readers don’t live in Franklin or really care about our provincial matters, I can assure them this is quite interesting. You’ll need some background, so here are pertinent details, in my view, in a chronological fashion:

1972: Leonard and Verna Fox open a multi-faceted business at their home at 5510 W. Rawson Avenue in Franklin, known today as Castle Concrete Products and Franklin Storage.

UNKNOWN: The Foxes allegedly violated city of Franklin ordinances. At what point they may have begun violating the ordinances is unclear, but it may have been as long ago as the first day they opened their business. Who knows?

APRIL 2003: Lyle Sohns defeats an incumbent to win a seat on the Franklin Common Council. That was over 5 years ago.

2006: Developer David Hintzman of Equitable Development purchases land just west of the Foxes’ property at 5610 W. Rawson to build Fountains of Franklin, an 80,000-square-foot retail and office complex.

SOMETIME THEREAFTER: According to today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Developers began wooing the elderly couple (The Foxes) -- one even approached the city about having their property condemned--but they resisted."

EARLY 2007: I begin my blog on FranklinNOW. I had met Hintzman and offered my support in any way possible toward his project. When the project is plagued by inactivity, I begin to chide Fountains of Franklin on my blog. This year, I became more critical, raising the issue of lost tax revenue the longer the project is delayed.

JUNE 2007: According to today’s Journal Sentinel, “An attorney filed a complaint with the city’s Planning Department on behalf of an unnamed neighbor — Hintzman won’t say if it was him — alleging violations (by the Foxes).”

UNKNOWN: Alderman Sohns, whom I actually like and respect, but tends to pull some questionable things every now and then (keep reading), has a “grandstanding” transplant performed. The exact date is uncertain, but it probably came after….

MARCH 2008: In a meeting with me, Franklin blogger Fred Keller, Franklin citizen Scott Thinnes and Franklin Alderman Steve Olson, Sohns glares at me as he informs Fred and I that he will not sign a pledge to promise to keep the next city of Franklin budget tax levy increase to a maximum of 3%. Sohns makes it emphatically clear that he believes he understands budgets and knows how to put them together and resents the charge that Franklin taxes and spends too much (Sorry, Lyle, it does) and offers one excuse after another why Franklin can’t toe the line.

Still glaring, Sohns tosses onto the table charts containing the property tax records of every Franklin blogger and Common Council member.

AY 20, 2008: Sohns produces the same charts that he did at the private meeting in March and brandishes them at a Franklin Common Council meeting.

MEANWHILE: There is little, if any activity or progress whatsoever at Hintzman’s Fountains of Franklin site. No tenants have been procured.

JULY 2008: Hintzman takes pictures of a Cadillac owned by well-known hometown Franklin developer Mark Carstensen parked at the Foxes’ property/business. Hintzman supplies the photos to Franklin blogger Greg Kowalski, knowing full well Kowalski will write blogs critical of Carstensen, whom Hintzman regards as a competitor (competition is good, by the way) suggesting a conspiracy that Carstensen is working in concert with the Foxes. Or maybe Carstensen was just paying a friendly visit.

The seed is planted that the Foxes have violated city ordinances. The paper today reports the city has been working with the Foxes since February on compliance.

UNKNOWN: The light bulb goes on and Alderman Sohns, a Common Council member since 2003, realizes that not only does Franklin have ordinances, but they’re not being enforced. Earth to Lyle: Franklin also has running water, stop signs, and a McDonald’s.

AUGUST 2008: Sohns (Remember, he likes to grandstand) issues a letter to Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor suggesting he may have broken state law by suppressing complaints about ordinance violations against the Foxes. Sohns does so without consulting the Mayor first. Was a courtesy call in order? Sohns says he’s received e-mails and phone calls complaining that ordinances aren’t being enforced.

In unison, other Franklin aldermen like sheep, nod their heads and say we must enforce ordinances. We must enforce ordinances. We must enforce ordinances.

The issue is raised at the next Franklin Common Council meeting and Mayor Taylor comes out guns a blazing. Taylor responds, “I believe that unless Alderman Sohns can substantiate his claims and explain his actions that he should resign immediately.” Taylor says he, too, is getting correspondences from city residents worried that the city is forcing the Foxes out of their property.

SEPTEMBER 2, 2008: Today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Again, there are no heroes in this mess.

If you want to blame the Foxes, they certainly haven’t exercised criminal intent. And if they’ve been in violation for over three decades, my goodness, where has the city been?

David Hintzman surely knew the lay of the land when he made his purchase and proposed the Fountains of Franklin. The Foxes were entrenched, he knew it, and now is crying foul. It’s like the guy who moves into a house along the expressway and then complains he can’t sleep at night.

Hintzman told my wife and me at the VIP party for Sendik’s last October that he never failed in one of his endeavors and wasn’t about to now. He can’t so much as get a dandelion to pop up on his site and it’s the Foxes' fault. Hintzman wants us to believe he’s not behind the complaint filed against the elderly couple. Sure. And he didn’t take those pictures of Carstensen’s car either and feed them to a blogger he knew would aid his cause.

Hintzman, not an expert in PR, didn’t do himself any favors in today’s article discussing the Foxes, both in their 70’s, one who is now having chest pains over this ordeal.

Hintzman said,  “I love these people. I go to church with them. It isn’t about us and them. This is not the kind of business retailers want to be next to. Am I saying shut them down? Not necessarily directly. But indirectly? Maybe.”

What’s that old expression? With friends like these….

I’m not sure what political dance Alderman Sohns is doing. I think he just set the Guinness World Record for fence-sitting. The paper says Sohns isn’t “carrying water for anyone” — not Hintzman, not the Foxes, not Carstensen. He wants ordinances enforced, yet he feels for the Foxes. Paging Alderman Sohns and his true motivation, please!

Finally, for a guy who told me he never fails, he’s now willing to possibly file complaints against a relatively harmless pair of octogenarians because he can’t get a hamburger joint to sign a contract.

So there are plenty of players, not a single hero.

The old saying goes that politics is the art of compromise. That never occurred in this case, so no one’s happy, and the issue may not be resolved for a long, long time. That’s a shame.

This bumper sticker says it all


Remember, Barack (Baby killer) Obama believes a baby is a punishment to a young woman.

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"President Bush kept America safe"

A great line from First Lady Laura Bush at Tuesday night's Republican National Convention.

Mrs. Bush also reminded the crowd that her husband appointed great judges to the U.S. Supreme Court: Sam Alito and Chief Justice John Roberts, justices that will not trample on the Constitution, depriving Americans of their rights.

Point well taken. When you vote in November, you're not just picking the President, you're choosing the man who will nominate justices to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Want your individual rights taken away?

Want justices that will side with criminals over victims?

Want God taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance?

Vote for the Obamessiah.

Please take the time to read about John McCain's character

During former U.S. Senator from Tennessee Fred Thompson’s speech Tuesday night at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota, the former Law and Order star spoke at length about John McCain’s captivity as POW in Vietnam. It is a story I believe isn’t told enough.

Senator Thompson said being a POW doesn’t qualify an individual to be President, but it does show the character that individual possesses.

Between now and Election Day, I am going to end my blogs with a link to an entry I posted in May where John McCain, in his own words to the U.S. News and World Report, tells of his time held prisoner.

Maybe you already know the story. Maybe you don’t.

Maybe you won’t read the article today and will skip it.

And maybe between now and November, you’ll click the link out of curiosity, or because you simply want to be informed.

Read it, and then ask yourself, who has more character to be in charge of our Armed Forces and the security of our nation.

I will tell you up front, it’s a lengthy article. Is our election important enough for you to spend a few minutes reading up on this fine American?

Information is power. This information comes right from the candidate. Please read and take into full consideration as you make your choice for America’s next leader in our domestic challenges and the fight against terrorism.

John McCain in his own words


Do you subscribe to this theory?

Or do you feel that even in the application of rules, common sense should come into play?

The rigid argument that rules are rules, period and they must be followed religiously 100% of the time is foolish.

Do we arrest every jaywalker? Should we pull over the motorist going 60 in a 55? Should the State Patrol give tickets to parents of kids who don’t look like they’re properly placed in a booster seat? Should I never put even the slightest piece of garbage in my recycling bin, or recyclables in the garbage? And what about those mattress tags?

You get the point. Of course, there have to be rules, and there have to be laws. But there has to be common sense.

An elderly couple finds itself in the middle of a development controversy in Franklin, and it didn’t take long for Franklin’s most naïve, most irresponsible blogger to raise the argument that RULES ARE RULES DAMN IT AND THEY MUST BE FOLLOWED!

I don’t have to tell you who that is. I doubt he’s heard of mitigating circumstances or even knows what the word “mitigating” actually means. It’s why we have judges and juries and other authorities to sort these issues out.

To use the logic that RULES ARE RULES, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, is this blogger suggesting police arrest the couple that is believed to have unwittingly violated some ordinances? Should we cuff them? Take them into custody? Do we fine them? If so, by how much? Well, what does Mr. Tough Talkin’ blogger have to say about that?

I don’t see him offering any solutions. Hell, I don’t see him offering an ounce of sympathy for this couple. That’s because RULES ARE RULES!

Oh, you’ve got to have rules. But common sense must be exercised as well. That, of course, is something the naïve blogger would never understand.


Tavern closed

No, not the Buckhorn in Franklin.

A tavern in Green Bay was selling beer and liquor that was untaxed. In Tax Hell, USA? Did they really think they were going to get away with it?

But speaking of the Buckhorn, I'm told the special prosecutor in that case may announce his recommendations soon.


We $pend a lot on our $chool$

State Representative Frank Lasee of Green Bay is right when he says if schools in Wisconsin are in trouble, it’s not because of the money. We’re not cheap when it comes to education, especially in Franklin.

Lasee has spread sheets of school expenses for every school district in the state. Take a look at the Franklin numbers from 2000-2006.

Here’s Lasee’s School Spending page that includes links to all school districts.

And did you catch this on FranklinNOW?

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 3, 2008, 11:17 a.m.
John Neville

Teachers, district settle contract

The Franklin Education Association ratified a teacher contract agreement yesterday.

The package includes a retroactive 4 percent increase in wages and benefits for the 2007-08 school year. For 2008-09, the agreement includes a 4.31 percent hike in wages and benefits.

Teachers also voted to approve a switch to a less-expensive health insurance program.



What Sarah Palin will say

has a preview.

So does My Way News.

Sounds like the Alaska Governor is going to give a rousing speech at the GOP Convention.

Here's hoping she blasts the media, more biased than ever since she was announced as McCain's running mate.

Sarah Palin was outstanding...

But so was Rudy Giuliani at the GOP Convention Wednesday night:

GIULIANI: To those Americans who still feel torn in this election, I'd like to suggest one way to think about this to help make a choice in 2008.

Read more

Tom Moe was there with John McCain

Sarah Palin introduced Tom Moe during her electrifying speech at the GOP Convention tonight. Moe was held captive in Vietnam with John McCain. From the blog Covertress:

Moe was asked to explain his support of John McCain's candidacy. He answered by harkening back to his years of captivity. He described looking through a hole in the door of his cell and watching McCain being returned to a cell across from his. He said, "I think of that now, watching him come back from beatings and torture. He knew I'd be looking at him. He'd look over at the door and give a big thumbs up, no matter how beaten he was. The message was, they're not going to get us down. I look back at that, and I know personally of his strength.... Here' a guy with the qualities that can get the job done."

Read more, including a piece Moe wrote about his captivity for Notre Dame Magazine.


The sexist left

The warm, compassionate left strikes over and over again.

Jim Geraghty of National Review Online has a tally of some of the more sexist statements made about Sarah Palin.


Those doggone racist potholes


As I predicted earlier this week, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel race columnist Eugene Kane would devote a piece to his paper’s investigation of city of Milwaukee pothole repair. He did.

Let’s cut right to the chase. Guess Kane’s premise? You got it. City government is racist.

And Kane doesn’t believe the injustice stops with potholes:

“A friend of mine used to drive a car so beat up that his favorite joke was, ‘If I hit a pothole, it might actually make my ride look better.’ He meant that living in the ’hood, potholes were considered a fact of life for some folks. Just like with trash pickup, police protection, pizza delivery, etc., some central city residents always accepted the fact they didn’t get the same quality of service as everybody else.”

Kane lists quotes from an online forum on the topic, discounting readers with views like this one:

"The north side has more crime, the worst schools and students in the world, corrupt local politicians and their (sic) worrying about pothole racism? Brilliant."

The Journal Sentinel went looking for racism and believes it found some. Sorry. I know Eugene Kane thinks his employer caught the city in a “Gotcha” moment but I don’t see blatant, racism here. Someone is going to have their garbage picked up, their streets plowed, and yes, their potholes filled up….first.  This “investigation” and its findings do not rise to the level of angry marches with torches and lanterns on City Hall. And since it ain’t Watergate, no Pulitzer this time, JS.

UPDATE ON 9/05/08: What a surprise. The JS Editorial Borad has finally decided to take a stand. Take one guess what they have to say...


The vote is NO in Milwaukee County on November 4

I admit I’m disappointed, but not terribly. The Milwaukee County Board had the numbers today and voted successfully to override County Executive Scott Walker’s veto of an advisory referendum to increase the county sales tax by one cent. The referendum will be on the November 4 ballot.

The vote to override was 13-6. The bad guys voting in favor of the override were Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Toni Clark, Elizabeth Coggs, Marina Dimitrijevic, Lee Holloway, Willie Johnson Jr., Patricia Jursik, Christopher Larson, Theo Lipscomb, Michael Mayo Sr., John Thomas, John Weishan Jr. and Peggy West.

The good guys voting against the veto override were Mark Borkowski, Paul Cesarz, Lynne De Bruin, Joseph Rice, Joe Sanfelippo and Jim "Luigi" Schmitt.

What does it mean? Milwaukee County voters get to decide if they want their county sales tax TRIPLED, that’s right, TRIPLED, from 0.5% to 1.5%. The county's sales tax is tacked on to the state's 5% sales tax and the 0.1% Miller Park tax.

Supporters say the money will go to the parks, buses and property tax relief. The revenue from targeted taxes, as we all know, often doesn’t go where it’s intended. Property tax relief? You do not raise a tax to lower another tax. It simply doesn’t work.

So why am I not terribly disappointed?

1) This referendum asks voters in Tax Hell, USA to essentially go to the polls with the belief that their taxes aren’t high enough and must go even higher. They won’t do it. I predict this baby goes down in flames. If so, it should send a message to the tone deaf Milwaukee County Board and other local politicians that taxpayers are fed up.

2) If I’m wrong, and the referendum is approved, it is advisory in nature. The Legislature and the Governor would still have to approve the tax increase.

So let me at this referendum question in November. I can’t wait to say NO!


More evidence our election system is screwed up

The state’s Government Accountability Board announced in a press release today that, “ In a test comparison of Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) data with state Department of Transportation (DOT) data, four of six members of the Government Accountability Board (G.A.B.) failed the initial data cross-check…Three Board members’ DOT data did not match exactly with their voter registration information due to differences in the first and last name or middle initial, and one member’s birth date did not match.”

Just last week, this very same board  voted not to perform retroactive checks of names on the statewide voter database back to January 2006 and not to impose penalties against registrants whose identification information did not match.

Two of the four GAB members who didn't match driver records are William Eich and Gordon Myse. Last week when the GAB took a pass on any effort to clean up the voting rolls, Eich and Myse had an especially cavalier attitude.

Eich said he wasn’t convinced voter fraud is widespread in Wisconsin. He didn’t think it made sense make sense to check the names of people who have voted in multiple elections since January 2006. Myse said people should just be allowed to vote unconditionally and fraud should be checked into later. Uhh, by then it’s too late, pal. The fraudulent votes are cast and nothing can be done.

This is why Wisconsin’s election system is dirty, desperately in need of repair. There is ample evidence that the system is fraught with problems, begging for fraud. Yet officials in charge want nothing to do with reform, even though we’re dealing with the precious right to vote. There are no assurances your vote next week in the primary and/or your vote in November won’t be cancelled out by a voter claiming to be someone he/she is not.


Greendale votes Greenfield next?

A la Franklin, the village of Greendale has approved a tough ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live or enter. The Village Board voted to enact an ordinance that prohibits registered sex offenders from living in or entering within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, park pathways or day-care centers. The vote was unanimous.

Here’s the story and a map of the safety zones. As you can see, there are few areas sex offenders can go in Greendale. Oh, well.

Greendale’s move, coming after Franklin’s sex offender ordinances held up in court, could spur action in next door Greenfield that is also considering such an ordinance. A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting of the Greenfield Common Council’s Legislative Committee/ Franklin Alderman Steve Olson engaged in a lengthy discussion with the Greenfield aldermen, explaining Franklin’s ordinances and taking questions.

Greenfield Alderman Linda Lubotsky supports a restrictive sex offender ordinance, Alderman Tom Pietrowski sounds to me as though he’s opposed, and Alderman Shirley Saryan has loads of questions. Saryan is on record calling the Franklin ordinances, “confusing.”

Greenfield, in my view, would be wise to follow in Franklin and Greendale’s footsteps.


What John McCain will say tonight

In his speech tonight at the GOP Convention, John McCain will promise to, “reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again."

“Again and again, I’ve worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed and call for ending “the constant partisan rancor that stops us from solving these problems. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not.

And let me offer an advance warning to the old big-spending, do-nothing, me-first, country-second Washington crowd: Change is coming.”

Source: MSNBC

He has a mighty tough act to follow in his running mate, and Rudy Giuliani was terrific, too. I think McCain will do just fine.


One of the great things about fall...

High school football. I follow it religiously and have since my dad first took me to South Stadium in Milwaukee in the mid-60’s. I don’t think I’ve missed a high school football since, taking tickets, working on the chain gang, and now public address announcer since about 1977.

The NOW coverage of high school ball is exceptional. If you follow the sport like I do, put your knowledge to the test and enter this NOW contest for a chance to win weekly prizes. Do it before kickoff Friday night.

And take in a game and support these fine young athletes.

My fill-in has connections?

I think I'm stickin' close to this Gravelle character...

Son of Ronald Reagan sees his father reborn

Michael Reagan writes this about Sarah Palin's amazing performance wednesday night at the GOP Convention:

"I've been trying to convince my fellow conservatives that they have been wasting their time in a fruitless quest for a new Ronald Reagan to emerge and lead our party and our nation. I insisted that we'd never see his like again because he was one of a kind.

Read more

Another reason Democrats have to worry

Lots, I mean lots of people were interested in Sarah Palin's Convention speech.

From Fox News:

"Gov. Sarah Palin’s speech Wednesday night at the Republican National Convention drew 37 million viewers, which is more than those who watched Democratic vice president Joe Biden or potential first lady Michelle Obama or even Hillary Clinton during the Democratic National Convention in Denver. According to Nielsen ratings, Palin’s number was just 1.1 million viewers shy of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s record-breaking speech at the Democratic meeting Aug. 28, according to the most recent Nielsen Media Research ratings."


Highlights from John McCain's GOP Convention speech


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Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics we discuss on InterCHANGE Friday night on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30 with a repeat broadcast at 11:00 Sunday morning:

1 - GOP Convention and the Presidential Campaign.

Was it a great speech by Sarah Palin, or just a scripted performance?  Is she a pit bull or a hockey mom?  Was she effective at bashing Obama?  Does the fact that she has a pregnant 17-year-old daughter hurt her or help her?  Will she steal any of the female vote from Obama?  Does being a fairly inexperienced, small town Washington outsider help her or hurt her?  Does she bring the conservative Christians to the polls?  Will this selection prove to be brilliant or disastrous?  The floor at the Democratic convention was filled with African-Americans, but there’s hardly a black face visible when they take a shot of the floor at the Republican convention.  Why is that?

2 – Milwaukee Potholes.

The Journal Sentinel runs a front page headline story “investigation” about how it took a few days longer to patch pot holes in poor minority neighborhoods than it did in more well to do white neighborhoods?  Who cares?  Big deal or no big deal?  An indication that City Hall ignores poor black neighborhoods?  An example of the type of “investigation” that might be one reason the paper continues to lose readers?

And more...

The video you didn't see at the GOP Convention

Rudy Giuliani gave a phenomenal speech Wednesday night at the GOP Convention. But it went long.

As a result, an introductory bio video of Sarah Palin wasn't shown as scheduled.

While the Democrat sleaze and dirt machine is in full operation, watch the video of a woman who has the left in a full panic.

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Culinary no-no #59 UPDATE

Culinary no-no's

Apparently that $14.95 fish fry at Serb Hall didn’t go over too well.

Today, American Serb Hall is advertising its Friday Fish Fry in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel………for $8.95.

But you won’t get cod or haddock for your $8.95. Instead, you’ll be served Alaskan Pollack.

Still beats $14.95.

A major Milwaukee culinary no-no is no more

Culinary no-no's

Dream Dance could very well be the best restaurant in Milwaukee. It recently re-opened in a new location at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino with changes that make this stellar dining spot even better.

There was nothing wrong with the “old” Dream Dance per se. It boasted exceptional food and service. But it didn’t have convenient parking. Once outside of your car and inside the casino, to get to the restaurant, you had to maneuver your way through the labyrinth of bells and flashing lights and smoke and yes, some of the great unwashed. There were no restrooms in Dream Dance. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dining critic Carol Deptolla in her review today says things have changed:

“And the physical changes at the restaurant, part of a $240 million expansion at the casino, are a vast improvement over the restaurant's previous home.

Longtime patrons will recall scurrying through the flashing, ringing, smoky maze to get to Dream Dance upstairs. Once inside, they found a fine restaurant, albeit windowless. If they needed a restroom, back into the casino they went.

The restaurant is on the first floor now, easily accessible from the outside (if not particularly well-marked on the exterior). Just leave your car with the valet at the main driveway or park in the ramp and head for the far eastern end of the complex. Giant doors in the lobby lead to the restaurant, sealed off from the din of the casino like an inner sanctum……. Restrooms are just down a short hall - inside the restaurant.”

Fine, but how’s the food?

Deptolla was impressed.

Coming up on This Just In...

Why did this woman make Week-ends?

Watch for Week-ends Saturday morning, plus our weekly edition of The Barkling Lot with my wife, Jennifer.

Sunday, you'll find what my Most Popular Blogs were the past week, and I'll also post the Photos of the Week and Culinary No-no....gee, what # are we up to?....well, it'll be there Sunday. And lots in-between. So thanks for stopping by!

My deepest sympathies to Alderman Sohns

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Franklin Alderman Lyle Sohns’ mother Louise who passed away today.

Details will be in Saturday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Alderman Sohns, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE ON 9/6/08: Louise Sohns obituary

The biggest bust since Dolly Parton

Milwaukee Brewer reliever Eric Gagne gave up the tying run in the eighth inning Friday night against San Diego in yet another disastrous outing, and then left the game to a loud chorus of boos.

Journal photos: Rick Wood

$10 million down the drain.

Ned Yost, please, please stop using this bum.



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Michael Phelps

Chellsie Memmel

Millie Kleinschmidt

Christian the Lion and his friends

School nurse


The Metro Hotel in Woking

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and the city of Milwaukee

MIlwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, again

MIlwaukee County Supervisors who successfully voted to override Scott Walker's veto of a sales tax increase referendum: Supervisors Gerry Broderick, Toni Clark, Elizabeth Coggs, Marina Dimitrijevic, Lee Holloway, Willie Johnson Jr., Patricia Jursik, Christopher Larson, Theo Lipscomb, Michael Mayo Sr., John Thomas, John Weishan Jr. and Peggy West.

(The tax and spend crowd is alive and well in Milwaukee)


"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place, but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's." 

"I fought for the right strategy and more troops in Iraq, when it wasn't a popular thing to do. And when the pundits said my campaign was finished, I said I'd rather lose an election than see my country lose a war."

"Again and again, I've worked with members of both parties to fix problems that need to be fixed.  That's how I will govern as President. I will reach out my hand to anyone to help me get this country moving again. I have that record and the scars to prove it. Senator Obama does not."

"I'm very proud to have introduced our next vice president to the country. But I can't wait until I introduce her to Washington. And let me offer an advance warning to the old, big spending, do nothing, me first, country second Washington crowd: change is coming."

"Let there be no doubt, my friends, we're going to win this election. And after we've won, we're going to reach out our hand to any willing patriot, make this government start working for you again, and get this country back on the road to prosperity and peace." 

"We face many threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it should not do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace."
John McCain at the GOP Convention

"Victory in Iraq is finally in sight; he (Barack Obama) wants to forfeit."

 "Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America; he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights."

"Government is too big; he wants to grow it."

 "I’ve learned quickly these last few days that if you’re not a member in good standing of the Washington elite, then some in the media consider a candidate unqualified for that reason alone. But here’s a little news flash for all those reporters and commentators: I’m not going to Washington to seek their good opinion. I’m going to Washington to serve the people of this country." 

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a ’community organizer,’ except that you have actual responsibilities."
Sarah Palin at the GOP Convention

"He is the least experienced candidate for the president of the United States in at least the last 100 years. This is not a personal attack. It’s a statement of fact — Barack Obama has never led anything. Nothing. Nada." 

"Governor Palin represents a new generation. She’s already one of the most successful governors in America and the most popular. And she’s already had more executive experience than the entire Democratic ticket combined."
Rudy Giuliani at the GOP Convention

"A week ago, most Americans had never heard of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Now, following a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters. Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%."
Rasmussen Reports

"Mrs. Palin accomplished several things last night. First, she introduced herself and her story to the American people in a compelling and warm manner, complete with effective pictures of her proud family. Secondly, she praised John McCain's leadership, service to country and independence in a way that made him come alive. Thirdly, she effectively deflected the media and liberal criticism of her by saying they really represented an attack on the small-town and suburban values she grew up with. Lastly, she skewered Barack Obama with gusto but without meanness. Her line about her job as a small-town mayor being 'sort of like a community organizer,'except that you have actual responsibilities' brought the hall to its feet in a frenzy."
John Fund, Wall Street Journal

"NOW WE SEE why the liberal establishment has been trying for the last few days to destroy Sarah Palin. She is a threat to their hopes to take the White House this year, a threat to their broader claims to speak for youth, for women, and for the future, and a threat to their attempt to control the high ground in the culture war. After her stunning success last night, some in the liberal media may retire from the ring for a while. Others, with the threat now even more evident, may redouble their assaults and become even more desperate and vicious. Surely they'll fail. A star was born last night."
Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard

"A WEEK ago nobody had ever heard of her. Today she is the most talked-about woman in the world. And with good reason. Sarah Palin's sensational performance at the Republican Party Convention may turn out to be the tipping point of this rollercoaster American election. Obama fans hoping she would fluff her big night were in for a nasty shock.This speech has turned the election upside down. It was simply stunning."
British newspaper, The Sun

(She) may look like Barbie, but if anybody questions if she's going to fight like G.I. Joe they weren't listening last night.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on Palin’s speech

"I've got to get the moose tracks, please. Moose tracks, you know, near and dear to my heart. I can't go wrong with it."
After speaking at a rally in Cedarburg Friday, Sarah Palin ordered ice cream at 
The Chocolate Factory. She was given a waffle cone with a giant scoop. John McCain ordered sorbet; Cindy McCain ordered a brownie.

“Maintaining infrastructure is not free.”
Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman, on a $20 vehicle registration fee the Common Council approved by overriding Mayor Tom Barrett's veto on an 11-4 vote. Residents will begin paying the "wheel tax" in November.

“I don't think we should be doing something to benefit absentee landlords.”
Barrett before the override.

“Starved to the point of anorexia.”
Milwaukee County Supervisor Chris Larson describing the state of Milwaukee’s transit system following a vote to override Scott Walker’s veto of a 1-cent-on-the dollar sales tax increase. Advocates say the tax, which passed 13-6, would pay for parks and transportation while providing property tax relief.

“I feel confident that when the voters fully realize this is a $130 million tax increase, come Nov. 4 they're going to vote overwhelmingly against the tax increase and for some degree of fiscal sanity.”
Walker forecasting defeat for the measure.

“I love these people. I go to church with them. It isn’t about us and them. This is not the kind of business retailers want to be next to. Am I saying shut them down? Not necessarily directly. But indirectly? Maybe.”
Fountains of Franklin non-developer David Hintzman, talking about Leonard and Verna Fox who own property adjacent to Hintzman's. Hintzman claims the elderly Foxes have violated city of Franklin ordinances, and that prevents him from attracting tenants to his site.

“They’re going to kill us."
Verna Fox, 74.

“We had a very peaceful life here until a year ago. We just want to be left alone.”
Leonard Fox, 78, who told the Journal Sentinel he believes he'll die if he retires.


The mainstream media was quick to report rumors about Sarah Palin's baby, the same bunch that IGNORED rumors for months about slimy John Edwards screwing around on his cancer-stricken wife. The Palin rumors were false, the Edwards rumors were true.

Read more from NRO.


When Governor Doyle spoke at the DNC, he may have violated the state's ethics code. Read...


The untrue, repugnant assaults on Sarah Palin by a disgustingly sexist, liberal media.


Minnesota governor spent Sunday night riding with a rock star in a stolen van. Here's the story.

Flasher nude beach.

Duck stamp program error sends a sex line.

And maybe this isn't so strange after all.....Palin-mania is sweeping the country.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Even though I was very young at the time, I will never forget when Sugar was first diagnosed with cancer.  I don’t remember the details except there was a tumor on her hip that quickly grew in size and needed to be removed.  Surgery would not be cheap but it was our only option to keep her alive for any length of time.  Our family chose to have the operation performed.

It was successful and for several years she remained cancer-free.  It did come back a second time, however.  This time we chose comfort measures because she was simply too old to put her through another operation.  That time, the surgery alone could have taken her life. 

She put up a great fight and stayed with us for quite some time.  Eventually one illness on top of another took its toll and we had to make the excruciating choice to have her euthanized.  She was the first of three pets (Tommy my cat and Skippy would be the second and third respectively) that I would hold in my arms those last moments of their lives.

That’s the downside of pet ownership.  It’s a BIG downside.  But it is also the “circle of life” that you commit to when you adopt a four-legged family member.

Ted Schneck is the founder of The Dog Cancer Ride.  He has dedicated his summer to raise money for dog owners faced with helping their pets with cancer.  You can read more about his story here.   

His website offers more information on his ride:  Click on the video link for his heartfelt story of why he decided to ride from the Oregon coast to the Atlantic coast.  In his video he talks about the people who say, “You’re riding for dogs???!!!” as if it is the most ludicrous thing in the world.  OK so maybe canine cancer doesn’t rate right up there with world hunger, AIDS and the babies that Angelina Jolie has yet to adopt.  But for some owners, their dog is literally the last thing they have in their life, as documented in this letter to Ted:

“I am disabled and on Social Security.  My dog is ALL I have in my life.  I suffer from manic depression and to lose this dog who I have had for 13 years would literally kill me… I cry every night with my precious boy sleeping next to me, hoping that god will make him better.  He has been through everything with me, homelessness, a divorce, just everything.  He is literally my reason for breathing.  I sold my transportation to pay for the last surgery he had.  I have nothing left except him.  Please, help me...”

I think his mission is commendable and I wish him the best of luck in his quest to help owners of dogs with cancer.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer and I concur.

It's time for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week. As I've mentioned in the past on The Barkling Lot, the news isn't always positive. Machine, a bullgog, died during a delayed Delta Airlines flight, prompting an investigation.

Another dog's death in California has spurred a call to speed up the tracing of cellphones.

Here's an update on story previously reported on The Barking Lot. The mayor of Berwyn Heights is not happy with the findings of an inquiry into a raid at his home by sheriff's deputies in which the family's two dogs were shot and killed. Shame on those deputies.

How about we change the mood? Meet Antoine.

Antoine is one of the many great stories we hear about dogs assisting veterans.

Whatever happened to the 48 pit bulls trianed to kill that were taken from Michael Vick's illegal dogfighting scheme? The National Geographic Channel explored that question in a two-hour special Friday night but the program will be repeated. Details, including a preview video can be found here.

And the city of Houston is seriously considering a law to spay and neuter pets.

That's it for The Barking Lot. We close by noting we're now in the fall movie season. Two upcoming movies won't be classics, but they are based on dogs. Take a look.

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Week-ends postscript

From a loyal reader:

“Can I nominate (MSNBC’s Keith) Olbermann for *******, moron and idiot of the week?  Do you have a category for that?”

No, I don’t have a category for that, but yes you can nominate Olberman, for VILLAIN OF THE WEEK.

The Commie Olbermann is such a hateful lefty he could be mentioned on Week-ends every week. This week, when the GOP Convention ran a tribute video to 9-11, Olbermann made asinine comments following the video, making him the perfect *******, moron and idiot of the week.

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VP humor

Submitted by another loyal reader....

Top Ten Things Barrack Obama can ask Sarah Palin when he meets her the first time.

10- How do you load a gun?

9 - Is hunting scary?

8 - How do you get the bait on that hook thingy?

7 - What's it like having a spouse that isn't angry all the time?

6 - You were Mayor, then Governor,.......what's a budget?

5 - I've never delegated. Do you have a canned speech for that?

4 - What does "meeting a payroll" mean?

3 - Why do you have so many kids; haven't you ever heard of an abortion?

2 - What's it like actually being an executive?

1 - Yeah, but do the Germans like you?

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Culinary no-no # 74

2) So it's the Foxes' fault?

3) Tom Moe was there with John McCain

4) So the whole Brett Favre deal is all in the past, right?

5) There are no heroes in Franklin development mess

Photos of the Week (9/7/08)

Photos of the Week

CHRIS GRANGER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Walking with his belongings, Palmer Adam of Lafitte, walks through Gretna to catch a bus which will then take him to the Alario Center in Westwego to go he says "where ever they ship me to." He was evacuating early Saturday morning because of Hurricane Gustav.

RUSTY COSTANZA / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE Early morning traffic on west bound Interstate 10 is heavy headed away from New Orleans. Many had decided not to wait until a mandatory evacuation order was given to leave.

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The first major controversy in this college football season

After decades of working in high school and college athletics, I’ve met many referees, umpires and officials. The overwhelming majority work very hard and try to make calls correctly. They do so, incredibly, most of the time. We quickly forget the good calls but we certainly recall the glaring mistakes, especially when they cost ballgames.

It seems that when officials mess up, they really, really, really mess up. It happened in Saturday’s college football game between heavily-favored Brigham Young and underdog Washington.  Washington scored with two seconds left in the game to Washington within a point of BYU, 28-27. Now all they needed was the tying extra point to send the game into overtime.

However, a Washington player, according to an official (whether or not he is a Mormon is unknown) crossed the line in celebrating the touchdown. The football slipped out of his hands, an action determined to be throwing the ball into the air. A 15-yard yard penalty was assessed on the extra point that was subsequently blocked. Game over.

Here was a case of an official not letting the players on the field decide the game. He literally gave the game to BYU. That’s wrong.

Here are the details for you to make the call.

UPDATE: Watch the final seconds, and then read a great column belittling the official's call.

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Too much of a good thing (CC)

At the end of July, I blogged about the Milwaukee Brewers wearing CC Sabathia out, using him too much.

The New York Times is now raising the same questions. Brewer manager Ned Yost’s answer:

The skipper is only trying to use one of his aces to build his stats so CC can make more money.

More great managerial wisdom from the man who will singlehandedly keep the Brewers out of the World Series.

Here’s the NY Times piece.

I guess ol' #4...

Can still play.

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The American Flag: Just another piece of garbage to the Democrats

Democrats are mighty phony when it comes to patriotism. They vote consistently against bans on flag burning. Barack Obama came up with all kinds of excuses why he wasn’t wearing a flag lapel pin.

Of course the DNC had thousands of flags and flag-waving donkeys. But that was for the national TV cameras. What happened when the convention was over? Call Waste Management.

Apparently, the Democrats were done with their props so it was time to toss Old Glory into the trash, thousands and thousands of flags. Caught red, white and blue handed, the Obamessiah lovers are now in full Tasmanian devil spin mode.



More pictures...

Culinary no-no #75

Culinary no-no's

There are words in the English language that are overused. One of them is "awesome." A standard rule is that the younger you are, the more you utter the word, 'awesome," because it's just so awesome to say awesome.

Another word used excessively is, 'best."  He's the "best." She's the "best." They're the "best." It's so awesome it's the best.

When I was News Director at WTMJ Radio, one of my program directors, a good guy by the name of Steve Wexler used to preach that when we were on the air discussing/promoting/teasing upcoming stories or talk show topics, we???d better be able to deliver what we were promising.


That is NOT what Wexler had in mind.

Hyperbole often occurs in the subjective culinary world. Culinary no-no #63 was a perfect example. No, that burger didn't change my life.

There is, I don't want to say danger because that would be an exaggeration, but a definite risk when so-called food experts take on the challenge of selecting the "best" (there's that word again) of a particular category.  The Food Network just broadcast a special called, "Top American Restaurants: Bon Appetit Picks the Best." Food Network presents Bon Appetit magazine's best picks for American eats.

Can't you just smell trouble brewing? Do you envision chefs tossing aprons at their TV sets? Would you like to be in charge of reading the Food Network's e-mails?

Bon Appetit's "experts' chose America's "Best' Restaurants for steaks, burgers, ribs, tacos, fried chicken, and pizza. This edition of Culinary no-no will focus on the magazine's choice for the best pizza place in America. Remember, this is the better than anybody else, numero uno.

Take a guess where this primo pizza palace is located.

One immediate guess would have to be that deep dish variety from the Windy City.


If you pick Chicago, that leads to an all-out shouting match with aficionados
 of the New York style pie.

So what city did Bon Appetit Magazine choose as having the best restaurant for pizza?

It would have to be Chicago or New York, right?

No no.



As in...


Bon Appetit Magazine selected Pizzeria Bianco as the restaurant with the best pizza in America.


Owner Chris Bianco is portrayed and described in the Food Network special as having a tremendous passion for his business and for crafting pizza.

He makes his pies in a traditional brick oven that result in an amazing crust.

There is the Margherita Pizza...


The Rosa has Arizona pistachios.


The Sonny Boy has salami and olives...

The Wise Guy has plenty of fennel sausage...


Gotta admit, that one loaded with sausage looks mighty tempting.

Okay, I sense a bit of uneasiness on the part of readers. Yeh, this is all fine and dandy, Kevin, but what's the no-no?

My wife, Jennifer was out of the room for a few moments while we watched this TV special and I caught one of the many rapid fire shots causing me to yell to my wife, "I can't believe this, it looks like one of their pizzas is full of green beans."

It wasn't long before we learned what exactly was on that pie. It wasn't green beans. It wasn't asparagus. But it was green, and patrons and the program host spoke with high praise about the Biancoverde.

The Bianocverde had three cheeses: f
resh mozzarella, parmigiano reggiano, ricotta.

But what about that green stuff?

It was arugula.

Nice three cheese pizza right out of this beautiful brick oven, covered with a salad.


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A big question on talk radio Monday

: ESPN quotes a New England Patriots player that QB and MVP Tom Brady is lost for the rest of the season.

New England's Tom Brady (12) fires a pass downfield just as Kansas City's Bernard Pollard (out of the photo) hits his leg and buckles it.

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34.5 million more reasons for the Democrats to be worried

Americans really were interested in the GOP Convention.

Americans really wanted to see and hear what happened at the GOP Convention.

Republicans have captured the imagination and curiosity of the American people. The numbers don’t lie, ladies and gentlemen.

An average of 34.5 million viewers watched the GOP convention over three days. The Democrats had an average audience of 30.2 million over four days according to Nielsen, the firm that keeps track of television viewership.

The sleazy left may try to trash Track Palin...

But it probably won't work.

Here's why...


MSNBC demotes biased anchors Olbermann and Matthews

Top executives at liberal cable channel MSNBC have come to the realization that their channel's coverage of the Presdiential race is indeed, extremely biased and that the American public knows it and doesn't like it.

To that end, they have demoted irresponsible Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, both blatantly liberal, from their anchor roles for the remainder of the election. They will remain as analysts.

Olbermann just recently made a fool of himself, objecting to a 9-11 tribute video shown at the GOP Convention, less than two weeks before the 7th anniversary of the tragic murders. Matthews has been a royal suck-up to the Democrats. Their dual behavior led GOP delegates to chant "NBC" whenever the subject of media bias came up in St. Paul, Minnesota last week.

MSNBC will continue to be one-sided, but how embarassing for the left wing media that immediately following a successfully popular GOP Convention that one of its main mouthpieces has to publicly admit they've been far from objective, leaving them no choice but to demote two of their supposed "stars."

Obama lead....GONE!



Wiped out.

New poll results are significant because the poll surveyed likely voters.

Now scared and worried, watch the left crank up the dirt and sleaze machine.


One of my readers says, "This is all you need to know"

About a week ago, I blogged, "The liberal mistake about Sarah Palin: Women couldn't possibly like her."

It contained the following photo:


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Vote for Jim "Luigi" Schmitt for Milwaukee County Clerk Tuesday


Voters in Milwaukee County go to the polls Tuesday (tomorrow) to vote in the Democrat primary for Milwaukee County Clerk. The winner advances to the general election in November and for all intents and purposes will be the county clerk because there is no Republican running.

I recommend voting for Milwaukee County Supervisor Jim “Luigi” Schmitt. A supervisor since 1998, Schmitt understands county government. Not the perfect candidate, Schmitt, nevertheless, is the most moderate of the candidates in the race and without a conservative Republican on the ballot, he stands out.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker has not made an endorsement, but I believe that Schmitt would work the best with Walker out of all the candidates.

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Yes it's election time and yes, there will be cheating

Tuesday, somewhere in Wisconsin, most likely in the southeastern corner of the state, fraudulent votes will be cast on primary election day. This is almost certain meaning your vote could be disenfranchised by someone voting claiming to be someone they’re not.

Voter registration workers in Milwaukee recently attempted to add the names of deceased, imprisoned or fake individuals to the voter rolls. The group that hired the workers, ACORN, caught the attempt at fraud and reported it to authorities.  What about the fraud that isn’t caught?

Recent news stories point out that over 20% of people who registered in August to vote provided information that does not match driver's license records. The state’s toothless Government Accountability Board failed to pass a proposal to require voters to show ID at the polls if they hadn’t fixed mismatched information. The board also voted not to perform retroactive checks of names on the statewide voter database back to January 2006 and not to impose penalties against registrants whose identification information did not match.

Two board members had an especially cavalier attitude about how to handle our once squeaky clean voting system. One said
he wasn’t convinced voter fraud is widespread in Wisconsin and didn’t think it made sense to check the names of people who have voted in multiple elections since January 2006. Another board member said people should just be allowed to vote unconditionally and fraud should be checked into later. That’s a major problem because irregularities can be fixed later. Once a fraudulent ballot is stuffed, the damage is done.

There have been shenanigans in the past. With same day registration and the relative ease of cheating at the polls, Election Day in Wisconsin is ripe for problems.

Remember, there is no photo ID requirement in Wisconsin. It’s important to recall why Wisconsin doesn’t have this common sense measure in place. This past March, with one week left in the legislative session in Madison, I went on the air at WISN to fill in for Mark Belling and brought up the issue that had been essentially forgotten. The state Senate was the last hurdle keeping a photo ID constitutional amendment from going to voters in a statewide referendum. Democrats in charge of the state Senate were refusing to schedule the amendment for a vote on the floor of the state Senate before the session ended. They wanted to kill a measure that had 75-80% bipartisan support in Wisconsin.

My phone lines were jammed with angry callers. The next day other talk show hosts picked up on the topic and the state Capitol was buzzing. Senate Republicans held a much-talked about news conference to draw attention to the issue and made attempts on the Senate floor to bring the amendment up for a vote. Senate Democrats voted the effort down. That is critical to remember. The reason there is no photo ID requirement at the polls Tuesday or during the key November election is because 18 Senate Democrats were obstructionists, standing in the way between you and your vote on photo ID.

It’s too late for Tuesday’s primary, but I recommend Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn put a Milwaukee police officer inside every voting location for the November election, just as officers were utilized in the city of Milwaukee for years and years in the past. I would urge other municipalities to consider placing law enforcement inside polling spots, given the absence of a photo ID law. No honest citizen would need to feel threatened or intimidated.

Hopefully, the November elections will result in winning candidates at the state level that support, like the overwhelming majority of voters in Wisconsin both Democrat and Republican, photo ID legislation.

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It's so refreshing to see a truly gifted young blogger around here for a change

He calls himself the Conservative Casanova. No, that is not my nickname at the state Capitol.

He is a 21-year old from Greenfield who is attending the University of Minnesota. Do you want to read a truly impressive political blog from a gifted young person? I highly recommend this blog for the following reasons:

1) It has great content.

2) It has great commentary.

3) The material is well thought out with strong factual background.

4) The writing is solid.

5) You won’t find a litany of embarrassing spelling mistakes and grammatical errors.

How refreshing it is to see a truly intelligent young writer involved in politics that not only understands today’s issues but has a command in written communications.

Some folks around here could really learn more than a few lessons reading his stuff.


When I grow up, I want to be just like Doug Giles


Regular visitors to my blog know I appreciate the talents of talk show host/columnist Doug Giles. The guy is just way too talented.

Everybody’s talking about Sarah Palin, and with good reason.

Let’s see. She’s run a state, the largest in the nation. That means she’s put together budgets, looked over state agencies, been in charge of the National Guard. Still want to play the experience card, Messiah?

She hunts.

She fishes.

She loves her husband.

Her husband loves her.

She has a son in the military.

She’s pro-life.

She’s pro-special needs kids.

She's a hockey mom.

She’s a former star athlete.

She’s a former beauty queen.

She’s va-va-va-voom!

Enter Doug Giles.

Giles writes in his latest column:

“Sarah Palin is hotter than Georgia asphalt (and my wife doesn't mind me saying that 'cuz she too is muy caliente).

I feel very confident that Palin will be able to hold her own with Biden in the upcoming debates. Matter of fact, he'd better wear a cup and hope to God she doesn't mention how obvious his micro mini-grafts are.”

Read why Giles likes Palin “besides her looks and Bulldog attitude” in Giles’ latest column:

“If Bill Clinton Could Juggle Five Chicks, Sarah Palin Can Manage Five Kids.”


Why isn't this guy dead, or at least super fat?

He's not famous because he looks liike John Lennon circa 1974.

Don Gorkse has devoured a Big Mac every day for decades.

 Big Mac

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Paul Ryan a rising star, Dave Obey is just plain mean

So claim Congressional staffers on Capitol Hill.

They were surveyed about the best and worst of Congress.

The results from both Houses are in Washingtonian Magazine.

Men (and women) are dreaming about Sarah Palin

I kid you not.

More evidence Palin is a phenomenon.

Obama is very, very worried

He's changing his view on the surge in Iraq.

He's flip-flopping on gigantic tax increases.

And now this.

It's one of the oldest tricks in the liberal playbook. The closer you get to the election, the more you shift to the right.

This is startling, Obama, talking like a Republican.

Yep. He's in trouble alright.

Getting away with murder

Another outrageous travesty of justice.

On September 2, 2003, Amanda Hamm, 27, called 9-1-1 after a car slid off a boat ramp into Clinton Lake in Clinton, Illinois with Hamm’s three children inside ages, 6, 3, and 23 months. Hamm and her boyfriend Maurice Lagrone Jr., 28, allegedly made it out of the car. The three children did not.

Sheriff’s deputies responded and pulled the children out who were then flown by helicopter to area hospitals. Within two days, all three died.

Reports indicate Hamm and her boyfriend did not own a boat, so what was the car doing on the boat ramp? Here’s a surprise. The couple may not have been inside the car at the time it went into the lake. They provided few answers to investigators’ questions, claiming it was an accident caused by the boyfriend parking the car too close to the edge. Both Hamm and LaGrone did tell authorities the car had accidentally rolled into the lake as LaGrone tried to reverse the car from the boat ramp. Neither LaGrone nor Hamm tried to rescue the children from the immersed car. Police said the vehicle was in water that was only four feet deep. The drownings reminded the community of a similar case in South Carolina.

Three months later, the pair was arrested and charged with several counts of first degree murder. In April 2006, Lagrone’s attorney got his trial moved out of Clinton to Bloomington, Illinois but a jury there convicted Lagrone of three counts of first degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Three years after the death of her three children, after sitting in jail, Amanda Hamm went on trial.  The jury deliberated for five days, a total of 27 hours. Hamm was convicted in December 2006, not of first degree murder, but of child endangerment. She was sentenced to ten years. Ten years for drowning her own three children.

Authorities believed LaGrone plotted the drownings and that Hamm knew about his plan but did nothing to stop it. Or help the children once the car went into the lake.

That was 2006. Ten years for killing three babies.

Today, Amanda Hamm is a free woman. She left prison just after 9:00 this morning, out on parole.

Do the math. It adds up to about 21 months in prison, or 7 months for each tiny victim. The authorities calculate the three years (39 months) she served in jail awaiting trial means she actually served five years. Total time behind bars: 60 months, 20 months for each murdered child.

The outrage of Hamm’s light sentence and early parole is exacerbated by this stark news reported at the time of the drownings by CBS News Correspondent Cynthia Bowers:

reports, surprisingly, 1 in 3 children under the age of 5 who are killed in this country, are murdered by their mother. And one of every 33 homicides in this country is a parent killing a child, including 450 times last year (2002).”

All the more reason murderers like Amanda Hamm should not be given slaps on the wrist by the courts and then early passes out of prison by Corrections officials.

Hamm’s three children were denied the justice they truly deserved.

The ultimate in poor sportsmanship

In Wisconsin, the WIAA has a rule for high school varsity football games.

If after the first half of play there is a 35 point or greater differential between the two teams, there will be a running clock in the second half as long as the point differential remains 35 points or more.

It’s a great rule. This is not Jack Kevorkian in action, putting one team out of its misery. It’s common sense.

I’ve been watching high school football every fall weekend for the past 40 plus years. I have never, ever seen or heard of a high school team down 35 points or more in the 2nd half that has rallied for a victory.

When there’s a blowout, everyone involved, if they’re smart, wants one thing: the game to be over. You don’t want anyone getting seriously hurt in a mismatch that was decided when the school buses pulled into the parking lot. You also don’t want fights to break out by frustrated kids having their faces rubbed in it.

I’m not sure what similar rule you’d apply in women’s international hockey but something was terribly wrong in Slovakia’s recent lopsided win against Bulgaria. Slovakia scored often, once every 40 seconds in their 82-0 victory.

There’s no reason for that, none.

Whad’ya mean! Let ‘em play! It’s not Slovakia’s fault they’re so much better! It’s up to Bulgaria to stop ‘em!

Slovakia could have easily prevented this on-ice slaughter. You stop shooting at the goal, you pass the puck back and forth, you skate around with the puck, etc, etc, etc. Not only was it extremely poor sportsmanship, but bad coaching. Slovakia’s coach should have instructed his players to lay off.

The unsportsmanlike display certainly did nothing to promote women’s hockey.

Someday Slovakia will get theirs. I sure hope so.

Franklin aldermen approve a tax increase

Oh yes they did.

John Neville of FranklinNOW reports the Franklin Common Council at its meeting Monday night unanimously approved a measure to begin charging license fees to Franklin-based nonprofit civic and service-based organizations. For the past 16 years, the groups had the fees waived.

Neville reports, “Common Council President Steve Taylor said such fees - which include those for signs, vendor licenses for fund-raising purposes, parking on municipal property and use of city park space for picnics and concerts - add up to more than $5,000 per year.”

Alderman Taylor is quoted that the idea isn’t to raise revenue but to cover city costs, a necessity given Franklin’s tight budget.

Taylor is probably right. The city doesn’t stand to gain all that much, and what it does save certainly won’t make a dent in any budget savings.

But let’s be very clear here. A fee is just another name for a tax. Every alderman, even those who consider themselves conservative, voted for a tax increase on local nonprofits.

My concern, and my reason for writing, is that I hope this doesn’t even slightly set the stage for future fee (tax) increases. It obviously was very easy for the Council to enact this increase. They voted unanimously.

If they could do this to nonprofits, who or what could be next? Just look at what’s going on in the city of Milwaukee where fee increases and creative new charges are being approved.

A fee is just like a tax. And the Franklin Common Council just made it a bit more difficult for nonprofit groups to perform their work for worthy causes.

The new Alaska license plate

The public is wise to the mainstream media's biased tactics

Barack Obama’s not-so-secret weapon, the Democrats’ wholly owned subsidiary, the mainstream media isn’t doing the Messiah any favors. The public is wise to the incredibly unfair, trashy, biased treatment the press is giving the GOP ticket.

The Rasmussen Reports, not exactly a conservative polling outfit, has the telling numbers. Americans believe the press is on a mission to hurt Sarah Palin. They also believe, in bigger numbers, that reporters try to help the candidate they want to win.

The left continues to take one dirty potshot after another. They’re joined by the liberal media. There’s now a backlash.

Obama? Oh no!

The Messiah’s in trouble.

Just a thought...

Sarah Palin runs for, and wins the presidency in 2012. Her running mate is Paul Ryan.

Palin wins again in 2016.

Ryan runs for the White House in 2020 and wins at the age of 50.

He runs for a second term in 2024.

As I was saying, just a thought… 


Packer party poopers

There are many reasons to flat out dislike government. Here's one. When government busybodies, lacking common sense, intervene when and where they shouldn’t, it can leave citizens shaking their heads in disbelief, wondering whose side are they on?

Consider what’s going on in Green Bay. The mere mention of Green Bay conjures up one and only one immediate topic: the Packers. One would think that on Packer Sunday, the whole town is one big happy green and gold fraternity. It seems that in Titletown USA, there are football parties, and then there are football parties, and not everyone’s pleased.

I’m not talking about drunken brawls that lead to arrests. I’m actually referring to civilized indoor affairs with responsible adults. And yes, some people are upset and some local officials want to “review” the matter. You know what that means. They want to stick their big, fat bureaucratic noses in and ruin a good thing.

Shadow Drive is located across the street from the NFL’s greatest shrine, Lambeau Field. Packer fans from just about everywhere are buying properties on Shadow Drive, refurbishing them, transforming them into Packer-themed vacation homes. Some owners are renting the homes out to groups that hold Packer parties.

A view of the Lambeau Field Atrium is seen from the living room inside the house of Paul Hillens, of Minneapolis, Minn., off Shadow Lane in Green Bay before the Minnesota Vikings game at Lambeau Field on Monday, Sept. 8, 2008. Photo by Evan Siegle/Press-Gazette

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State AG gets tough on election issue

Republican Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has come under heavy criticism, most of it from conservatives, that he has done little since being the only Republican victor in the Democrat tsunami of November 2006.

Score one for the AG today.  Van Hollen is suing the state’s incompetent and impotent Government Accountability Board (GAB) for essentially failing to take proper measures to ensure a clean vote in Wisconsin.

The Wisconsin State Journal reports, “In the suit filed in Dane County Circuit Court, Van Hollen argues that the board should check voter registrations for accuracy going back to Jan. 1, 2006, the date the state was supposed to be in compliance with the 2002 law (Federal HAVA). Instead, the board said it would check the accuracy of registrations only dating to Aug. 6, 2008.”

Last week, I blogged about the ineffective GAB and their lackadaisical attitude toward voter fraud. Congratulations to J.B. Van Hollen for taking aggressive action on one of the most critical issues we face in Wisconsin: the preservation of the credibility of our voting system.

Read Van Hollen's news release.


We must never forget 9/11

Some people actually want us to. We can never allow that to happen.

Here’s my blog on the subject from 2007, still timely today.

A 9/11 Tower of Courage

It’s a shame John Wayne isn’t alive today to portray Rick Rescorla, one of the remarkable heroes of 9/11.

On September 11, 2007, I filled in for Vicki McKenna on WISN and read portions of an outstanding column about Rescorla.

This site has the column in its entirety. It is a lengthy, but incredible piece, and highly recommended reading.


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Can't cry hard enough

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Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics we discuss Friday night at 6:30 on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10:

Presidential Campaign

9-11 Anniversary



Last week, the 11:00 Sunday morning broadcast of InterCHANGE was pre-empted for an on-air fund drive. InterCHANGE is back this Sunday morning.

The Greendale School District: How'd they do that?


Greendale High School will be an exciting place Friday night. The talented, high-scoring Panthers, ranked 2nd in the CNI weekly poll of area football teams, play their first home game of the season at 7:00 against archrival Greenfield, and unveil their brand new artificial turf.

I had the chance to see the turf up close this week and it’s gorgeous. If you only saw that turf, you’d swear it was an NFL or college field.  Every yard line and hash mark is beautifully marked. The pro-style goalposts have those little flags on top that let you see the wind direction. The turf is surrounded by a spotless running track.

So how much did it cost? Half-million? Three quarters-million? One million? And is there a big tax increase on the horizon?

The new field cost $689,000, but the school district paid $250,000, a little over one-third of the cost. The rest came from donations. Greendale NOW reports, “The (Touchdown) club received several anonymous donations, the proceeds of a brat fry by Greendale’s Youth Football Organization and $60,000 from the Greendale Panther Athletic Booster Club.”

Tax increase? Early estimates have the Greendale district REDUCING the school tax levy by almost five percentage points that would put next year’s school tax levy increase at under two percent.

Franklin increases its school tax levy by 11.7% and what do we get?

Congratulations, Greendale for a job well done!

This site has pictures of the new field.

Greenfield, it's your turn to make a stand for your children

The Greenfield Common Council’s Legislative Committee may not have enough votes to send a proposed ordinance restricting where released sex offenders can live on to the full Common Council. The measure would then be killed, even though neighboring Greendale recently approved a similar ordinance modeled after Franklin’s groundbreaking laws that have been ruled constitutional.

The Legislative Committee meets this Monday, September 15 at 6:30 at Greenfield City Hall to consider the proposed ordinance that is in serious trouble of going down to defeat.  The only sure vote is from the Greenfield alderman who’s introduced the ordinance, Linda Lubotsky.

I attended the August 18th meeting of the committee and watched as Franklin Alderman Steve Olson testified and fielded questions, many from Greenfield Alderman Tom Pietrowski. Pietrowski clearly has issues with the idea and from his statements appears more concerned about the sex offenders than their potential victims. Greenfield Alderman Shirley Saryan doesn’t sound too promising when she admits she’s confused by Franklin’s ordinances.

Here is the portion of the minutes from the August 18th committee meeting about the proposed ordinance that have been posted on the City of Greenfield website:

Discussion was held regarding the restrictiveness of such an ordinance.

Ald. Pietrowski voiced his concerns regarding the people who have served their time in prison and have paid their due. He is concerned about excluding people from the community and not dealing with the real issue of rehabilitation and counseling.

Matt Rajala, 4611 South 46th Street, addressed the committee stating that we’re dealing with sex offenders who prey on children and they need to be monitored.

(Franklin) Ald. Steve Olson addressed the committee citing examples of sexual assault victims. He said “our part is to manage the safety of the community and we as aldermen do not provide treatment to offenders, that’s not our responsibility”.

Ald Lubotsky referenced a list of municipalities who have adopted and failed to pass sex offender

Scott Jaquish, Director of Parks and Recreation, addressed his concerns and asked about the child
who’s parent is a sex offender, and can they not go to the child’s summer activity at the park?

A lengthy discussion continued and this item will be placed on the next agenda.

The Greenfield Common Council has on file a letter written by state Senator Mary Lazich in support of the proposed ordinance:  

Alderperson Linda Lubotsky
City of Greenfield
7325 West Forest Home Ave
Greenfield, WI   53220

Dear Alderperson Lubotsky,

I write in support of efforts by the City of Greenfield to enact an ordinance placing restrictions on sex offenders. Sex offender restriction ordinances provide protection for families and children. 

During previous sessions of the Wisconsin Legislature, I pursued sex predator legislation and worked with the group Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin based in Franklin. Through our efforts, a bill I authored was approved and signed into law that eliminated funding for a proposed Milwaukee County facility for sexually violent persons and also disbanded the special committee assigned to find a location for the facility. Another bill I authored that was signed into law makes first degree sexual assault of a child punishable by life in prison. A bill I co-sponsored was signed into law requiring that the worst sex offenders in the state be monitored by Global Positioning System or GPS. 

These bills served as the catalyst for Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin to help City of Franklin officials draft a milestone ordinance approved late in 2006 and amended in early 2007 that restricts sex offenders’ living locations. Franklin’s ordinance has served as the model for 35 other Wisconsin municipalities that have either adopted or considered similar ordinances. Franklin’s ordinance provides that sexually violent persons on supervised release may not live within two thousand feet of various places children congregate. The Franklin Police Department has used the city ordinance force offenders out of areas they are not welcome.

Restrictive sex offender ordinances have held up to court challenges. Jim McCarthy, a member of the City Council in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania wrote the following in a letter to the editor in the American City and County Magazine during the summer of 2007. McCarthy was responding to an article that predator protection laws around the country are coming under fire. McCarthy writes: 

My research shows the majority of such laws have already passed court muster. Currently, 30 plus states, and hundreds of local communities, have passed such laws. The courts have ruled that these laws do not infringe upon a person's rights in that they are a form of civil regulation and not a form of punishment, they are intended to protect children and are rationally related to that end, and they represent a rational argument that prohibiting sex offenders from places children congregate will advance a community's interest in protecting children. 

There have been some isolated cases where a poorly written law was struck down by courts, but that was because the authors failed to do the research required to make their law iron-clad. It is up to us, the legislators, to make sure “they” do not have access to our little children, whose rights far outweigh the rights of someone who preys on the weakest of our society.”

I applaud the City of Greenfield for initiating action to protect children and all citizens, and wish you and your colleagues success in this effort. 

I hope this information is helpful. If you have any questions, comments, concerns, or advice for me, please contact me. 


Mary Lazich
State Senator
Senate District 28

The Franklin-based group,  “Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin” has  written an open letter to Greenfield residents posted on GreenfieldNOW that says, in part, “local municipalities are acting in their own defense to enact residency restrictions to protect themselves from t he bulk placement of sex predators. We believe local communities are best suited to assess their own areas that are most appropriate for sex predator residences in terms of population density, physical terrain, etc... “

What can Greenfield residents do? Plenty. But there isn’t much time.

1) Attend the Greenfield Legislative Committee meeting Monday at 6:30 at Greenfield City Hall.

2) Attend the Greenfield Legislative Committee meeting Monday at 6:30 at Greenfield City Hall and testify in support of the proposed ordinance.

3) Contact the aldermen on the Legislative Committee, especially Pietrowski and Saryan and politely, respectfully voice your support for the proposed ordinance.

4) Tell as many other Greenfield friends and neighbors about this issue. Forward them this blog.

5) All of the above.

What’s it going to be, Greenfield?

Do you really want this ordinance to be shot down, leaving your city without sex offender restrictions while Greendale and Franklin have tough restrictions in place?

Do you want Greenfield to be an island?

Or will you take a stand for your children, your families, your neighbors, your community?

How important is the safety of your children and neighborhoods?

It’s your call, Greenfield.



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


9/11 survivors: Maimed, trying to be whole again

JB Van Hollen

Wal-Mart (CAUTION to touchy, ultra-sensitive liberals: opening this link could cause you to implode)

Todd Murashige

Tony Romo


Stephen Bryant

Summer Lee Many White Horses

Rev. Christopher Layden

Wisconsin Congressman David Obey


"You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig."
Barack Obama, in a reference to Sarah Palin.

"Cocky wacko." 
Former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chafee -- a charter member of "Republicans for Obama" -- describing Sarah Palin.

"She is the only one of the four candidates for president, or the only vice presidential candidate who wears lipstick. I mean, it seemed to me a very gendered comment." 
Former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift, a member of the Palin Truth Squad.

“Governor, let me start by asking you a question that I asked John McCain about you, and it is really the central question. Can you look the country in the eye and say ‘I have the experience and I have the ability to be not just vice president, but perhaps president of the United States of America?’”
ABC’S Charlie Gibson questioning Sarah Palin in her first interview.

“I do, Charlie, and on January 20, when John McCain and I are sworn in, if we are so privileged to be elected to serve this country, will be ready. I'm ready. I answered him (John McCain) yes because I have the confidence in that readiness and knowing that you can't blink, you have to be wired in a way of being so committed to the mission, the mission that we're on, reform of this country and victory in the war, you can't blink. So I didn't blink then even when asked to run as his running mate.”
Sarah Palin’s response.

“The reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln's words when he said -- first, he suggested never presume to know what God's will is, and I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words. But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that's a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side. That's what that comment was all about, Charlie. And I do believe, though, that this war against extreme Islamic terrorists is the right thing. It's an unfortunate thing, because war is hell and I hate war, and, Charlie, today is the day that I send my first born, my son, my teenage son overseas with his Stryker brigade, 4,000 other wonderful American men and women, to fight for our country, for democracy, for our freedoms. Charlie, those are freedoms that too many of us just take for granted. I hate war and I want to see war ended. We end war when we see victory, and we do see victory in sight in Iraq.”
Sarah Palin, responding to Charlie Gibson’s question about Palin’s alleged comment that the Iraq War is a task from God.

"He was the world's biggest celebrity, but his star's fading. So they lashed out at Sarah Palin. Dismissed her as 'good looking.' That backfired, so they said she was doing, 'what she was told.' Then desperately called Sarah Palin a liar. How disrespectful. And how Governor Sarah Palin proves them wrong, every day."
The text from a new McCain ad.

"You didn't have any government experience when you became lieutenant governor. You learned on the job. ... Her problem is she's not liberal enough for the major voting bloc of women who probably were supporting Hillary Clinton."
Former GOP Lt. Governor Margaret Farrow defending new Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in a debate with current Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton. Farrow has been named to the "Palin Truth Squad," set up by the McCain campaign to respond to attacks on the Alaska governor.

"This isn't a liberal or conservative question. This is about the economy and jobs."
Lawton in reply.

"We're not overstepping our bounds at all in trying to tell the Government Accountability Board (GAB) how to do their job. We're just making sure that the first step in the process, which is legally required and clearly set out in the law, be followed and that they not replace the law with their judgment."
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen on a lawsuit filed against the GAB seeking to force the agency to double-check new registrations going back to Jan. 1, 2006, and remove anyone from the rolls whose information doesn't match up with other state databases.

"The board is committed to properly protecting the electoral process from potential fraud. At the same time, the board is equally committed to protecting the right of every eligible person to vote in Wisconsin, and that every valid vote must be counted."
GAB director Kevin Kennedy in a statement on the lawsuit. 

"Do we want to be compared with Seattle, with Denver, with Chicago, or do we want to be compared with Fargo and Dubuque?"
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett advocating a streetcar loop for the city during a debate with County Executive Scott Walker over how to spend $91.5 million in federal funds reserved for public transportation in Milwaukee.

Think rail, and use buses."
Walker on his transportation strategy for the county. 


And we should keep spending more and more money on them....why?


The Democrats are nervous, ladies and gentlemen, very nervous.

One of the reasons they've got the jitters: their guy has lost control of the campaign. (And this admission from a liberal columnist. Of course, you have to get through the obligatory trashing of Republicans).


Boy, that Aaron Rodgers was really great in his very first start for the Green Bay Packers, wasn't he? Makes you just want to forget #4, right?

Well, no and no.

Rodgers was ok in the victory against Minnesota, but certainly wasn't spellbinding.


Would you turn down 3 million bucks?

If you know where our missing time capsule is.....

Saugatuck, you owe me!

The pride of Fond du Lac....Don Gorske

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

I have said many times that I would gladly take an exact duplicate of my Basenji-mix Sugar.  She was such an outstanding dog that if I could wave a magic wand and have her from puppy to old age all over again, I would do it in a heartbeat.

I truly hope that someday I will have a dog that has the same wonderful qualities as Sugar did.  I want a dog that is gentle, loving, and fun to be around.  I want a dog whose behavioral qualities include not jumping, minimal barking and who wouldn’t harm the fleas on its back.

I loved Sugar with all my heart.  But I would not consider CLONING her to have her in my life again.  Oh, I could give all sorts of bioethical arguments, religious arguments and coin the much-overused phrase, “it’s a slippery slope.”  I was a Philosophy minor, I know all about the slippery slope rebuttal.  The most succinct way to express my feelings about this is, “It creeps me out.” 

Wave a magic wand?  Yes.  Sell my home to have it happen?  Um, no. 

This is not to say that I don’t understand, to some extent, why Bernann McKinney sold her home for money to have her beloved Pit Bull Booger cloned into five puppies.

Pet owners throughout history have gone to financial extremes to help their four-legged friends.  Last week I blogged about Ted Schneck, founder of The Dog Cancer Ride.  This is just one example of pet owners making sacrifices for their pet’s health. 

We’re not talking about cloning for medical research and I’m not even going to get in to that arena.  We are talking about “everyday” people paying money to a private firm to clone their pets.  The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals takes this position on cloning pets.  The San Francisco SPCA furthers this opinion with their statement.  

Cloning your pet comes with a steep price tag.  It also carries several other consequences…  not the least of which is (almost certain) compromised health for the clones.  I’m sorry, but I feel there are many other opportunities to bring new joy into your life after the loss of a pet.  If you had a fondness for that particular breed you could adopt from a breed rescue.  If you are not able to adopt another pet right away, you could donate money to your local shelter in memory of your pet.  If you can not offer financial support to a shelter, consider volunteering.  You would be helping the organization and you would have the benefit of animal interaction to help ease your pain.

Perhaps someday cloning pets will be as common as dog parks.  But I certainly hope not.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thank you once again, Jennifer.

When Jennifer's done, it's time for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

We have some dog heroes this week. There's Sadie......

And Lexi .....

And Pebbles.

I hope UWM students weren't involved in this one. Some rather large bulldogs are missing.

This too shall pass....but not easily.

Save a Dog, Win a Hog!

That's it, fido fans. We close with this week's announcement of the winner of the CBS series, "The Great American Dog."

Another Week-ends hero

If you watch The Weather Channel as I do, you've seen him.

The network always seems to send poor meteorologist Mike Seidel out to do live reporting from the nastiest weather locations. Today is no exception as Seidel is in Clute, Texas.

Not an easy job.

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Notre Dame students, you done good

I'll be watching the Notre Dame-Michigan game this afternoon, cheering for the Fighting Irish. In the stands at South Bend will be thousands of students wearing, "The Shirt."

The Shirt 2008

The Shirt has raised millions of dollars for charitable causes. I may have to pull mine out from years ago that has the Four Horsemen on it today.



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Politics: Who am I?

I am under 45 years old.

I love the outdoors. 

I hunt. 

I am a Republican reformer. 

I have several children. 

I have a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office.  

Who am I?


The answer… 

I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900.

HT: K. Reeves

Why we (conservatives) love Sarah Palin

John Hawkins, a blogger who runs Right Wing News and Conservative Grapevine, offers the Top 7 reasons conservatives love Sarah Palin:

#1) She's conservative

#2) She's a reformer

#3) She is the right person at the right time

#4) A lot of people can relate to Palin

#5) She is from outside of Washington

#6) She's our chance to be "first"

#7) The left’s hate and fear of Sarah Palin

Number 7 is my favorite. Palin is literally driving the left nuts to the point they’ve gone on an-out, no holds barred smear campaign against here and her family.

Hawkins expounds on his 7 reasons here.


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Just how Catholic are Pelosi and Biden?

“If we claim to be Catholic, then American Catholics, including public officials who describe themselves as Catholic, need to act accordingly.”

What a concept. This is the view of Charles Chaput, Archbishop of Denver and James Conley, Auxiliary Bishop of Denver written in an open letter to Denver Catholics. The bishops call out high level Catholic Democrat politicians.

It’s been my experience that when members of the cloth talk politics at the pulpit, I cringe. They make me uncomfortable for several reasons:

1) They’re wishy-washy.

2) They’re too strong, pontificating arrogantly. (This is when I’ve noticed people walk out and never come back).

) Even when they’re right on the money, their presentation lacks persuasiveness or the presentation is so bad the message is lost.

Chaput and Conely nail it, not in a homily, but in print by lasering in on the hypocrisy of Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden. How refreshing to see, in this case, bishops enter the political fray who actually know what they’re talking about.

Here is their letter.


UPDATE: Even if Sarah Palin loses, society wins

Last month, I blogged that even if Sarah Palin should lose in her bid to be the next Vice President, society wins because Palin will have raised awareness about the blessing a Down syndrome baby can mean and the joy it can bring to a family. Studies show the overwhelming majority of Down syndrome babies are aborted.

Shannon McCaffrey of the Associated Press this past week wrote a lengthy piece about the impact families of Down syndrome babies are hoping Palin will have on this issue. McCaffrey writes that it all started when Palin had just finished her rousing speech at the Republican National Convention and she took her Down syndrome infant into her arms onstage.

It was an electrifying moment for those parents and their advocates.

Parents of children with Down syndrome say they often feel misunderstood by those who question their decision to have a child with a disability. They said many people fail to realize that medical, educational and legislative advances have dramatically improved life for those born with Down syndrome.

nd they hope Palin's example will convince more parents that they, too, can handle the challenge of a Down syndrome child. Up to 90 percent of women who learn their fetus has Down syndrome terminate their pregnancy, studies suggest.”

AP photo

Heidi Moore poses with her Down...
Heidi Moore poses with her Down syndrome son Jacob, 8, in their Alpharetta, Ga., home. "Look at my son," she said. "He’s reading at an age-appropriate grade level. He’s writing his name. He’s playing piano."

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My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) The new Alaska license plate

2) It's so refreshing to see a truly gifted young blogger around here for a change

3) Obama lead...GONE!

4) When I grow up, I want to be just like Doug Giles

5) Just a thought...

Notre Dame's Weis injured: Fluke or dirty play?

DISCLAIMER: I am a Notre Dame fan. I am not a Michigan fan.

In the 2nd quarter of Notre Dame’s 35-17 butt-kicking of Michigan Saturday, ND head coach Charlie Weis suffered two serious knee injuries.

The mainstream media’s account is that Weis was hurt “unintentionally” when an Irish player hit Weis from behind after being blocked by a Michigan player.

Oh, Notre Dame’s John Ryan was blocked alright….illegally. The replay clearly shows an illegal block in the back by a Michigan player on Ryan, with the play many, many yards down the field. The hit was illegal, dirty, a cheap shot. There was no flag thrown, but that doesn't mean it wasn't a penalty. 

You can see the replay :35 into Weis’ post-game news conference.

Photos of the Week (9/14/08)

Photos of the Week

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A Wisconsin sports fan's best friend this afternoon...

The remote control.

That, and John Kitna.

(The Bears blowing a big lead....that's got to be in there, too).

Greenfield mayor supports a restrictive sex offender ordinance

Greenfield Mayor Michael Neitzke will sign a Franklin-like ordinance into law that restricts where sex offenders can live if the Greenfield Common Council gives its approval.

The Greenfield Common Council's Legislative Committee holds a very important meeting Monday night to discuss the proposed ordinance. 

Greenfield residents, it's critical you make your voices heard.

Joe "Ebenezer" Biden

What a mean, miserly, cheapskate.

Here's more.

What the NFL should do to Ed Hochuli

If you were like me, today you watched the Packers and Brewers this afternoon, with remote in hand, then you watched Brett Favre and the Jets take on New England. When that game was over, CBS switched to the wild finish of the San Diego-Denver game.

With less than two minutes remaining, the Broncos trailed San Diego, 38-31. Denver reached the Chargers' 1 but on third-and-goal,  Bronco QB Jay Cutler reared back to throw and the ball slipped out of his hands, bounced off the turf and into San Diego linebacker Tim Dobbins' hands.  

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"9-1-1 operator..."

"This is Ned Yost calling..."

UPDATE ON 9/15/08: Yost fired

Franklin mayor makes wise veto

Franklin Mayor Thomas Taylor made the right move last week when he vetoed a Common Council resolution eliminating license fee waivers for Franklin-based non-profit groups. The waivers cover such costs as fees for signs, parking and park space for Franklin civic and service organizations.

FranklinNOW reported that Taylor said, “I believe it important that at least one more meeting take place so that interested parties may weigh in with their concerns. It is conceivable that thousands of citizens may be affected by the passage of this resolution and therefore giving citizens the opportunity to voice their arguments may well be in the best interest of Franklin and its citizens."

I’m not sure what the Franklin Common Council was thinking. This resolution made no sense.

It is a tax increase. Fees are taxes, just with a different name.

It’s a tax increase on NON-PROFITS, groups that are working for charitable causes. Imposing additional fees, i.e. taxes, only makes it more difficult for the groups to raise money for worthwhile efforts.

If the aldermen thought they were going to make significant headway on a tough city budget, they were sadly mistaken. They’d be better off sending Franklin police out en masse, setting them up in speed traps.

Sorry, guys. You, too, Kristen. What you did is no different than what those lightweights at Milwaukee City Hall are doing, creating wheel taxes and snow removal fees.

This isn’t rocket science. 





And then the Common Council goes and imposes fee increases on groups working for CHARITY and our QUALITY OF LIFE.

Good grief, this may have been the easiest NO vote in the history of the Franklin Common Council.

Congratulations to Mayor Taylor for stepping in with a common sense veto.

Franklin aldermen, the mayor has bailed you out. You now have the chance to vote to SUSTAIN his veto and save face by voting AGAINST a tax increase. Or you can stay the course, and for the SECOND TIME, VOTE IN FAVOR OF A TAX INCREASE.

Do the right thing. Let this bad idea die.

Another word about Culinary no-no #75

Culinary no-no's

Last week’s Culinary no-no #75 may have been a slice of sacrilege. My designated no-no was what some experts believe is the best pizza place that also serves the best pizza in America, Pizzeria Bianco in Phoenix.

Bon Appétit Magazine claims it’s the best.

Forbes raves about it. So does Ed Levine, author of “Pizza: A Slice of Heaven.”

The James Beard Foundation named owner Chris Bianco, described by one reviewer as a “skilled, pizza-obsessed human being,” the Best Chef in the Southwest in 2003. Bianco’s establishment is the only pizzeria to receive an award from the famed Beard.

I’ve never eaten at Pizzeria Bianco. As I wrote last week, some of those pies look pretty good. And I don’t question the passion Bianco is noted having for making each and every pie himself.

But I stand by my no-no. Standing in line for three hours outside in an outdoor pizza oven for a pie topped with arugula?

No-no way.

Culinary (or should I say, Coolinary) no-no #76

Culinary no-no's

OK, everybody.

Just work with me, please.

To get you in the proper mood and frame of mind for Culinary no-no #76, please take the :30 to observe the following video.

I would greatly appreciate it.

Thank you.

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*BREAKING FRANKIN NEWS: Mayor Taylor unveils his budget proposal*

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has released his proposed budget for the city of Franklin. Here are some key details:

The property tax levy in the mayor's budget increases 3.002%. Mayor Taylor keeps his pledge made prior to the April election to keep his proposed budget levy increase to a maximum of 3%.

The tax rate, not as important as the tax levy, increases 1.2%.

Six full time employee positions are cut.

I will have more details when I've had a chance to further review the proposal.

The budget proposal now gets reviewed by the Franklin Common Council. Here's hoping the Council either keeps the tax levy increase at 3% or finds a way to reduce it even more.

Greenfield delays action on sex offender ordinance

The Greenfield Common Council’s Legislative Committee took no action at its meeting tonight on a proposed Franklin-like sex offender ordinance that restricts where released sex offenders can live or congregate. A final draft of the ordinance has not been prepared, but committee members suggested a vote would be taken at their next meeting next month.

Nine Greenfield residents spoke before the committee, all in favor of the proposal.

Karen Koterman said it was shocking and ridiculous that “we’re even discussing this,” and that “society cares more about criminals.” With Franklin, Greendale and other communities having already approved restrictive ordinances, Koterman said Greenfield stands to become “a dumping ground” if the city rejects the proposal.

“This floors me,” Koterman said that approval hasn’t happened yet.

Nina Kohl said, “I strongly support this ordinance,” calling sex offenders, “the scum of the earth.”

A new father, Jacob Lovo called the proposal, “a good idea, a necessity. I want my family safe.”

Lovo’s wife, Jean Lovo said sex offenders made bad choices and must suffer the consequences.

One of the first speakers, an angry John Butschli told the committee he lives two doors down from a man who was convicted in the early 90’s of 1st degree sexual assaultof a child. He has contacted local police at least a dozen times after seeing the offender watching children play at a nearby school. Butschli said police have told him the offender can hand out candy on Halloween.

Butschli wanted to know if the proposed ordinance would apply to his neighbor. Committee chair, Alderman Shirley Saryan responded that the committee “doesn’t have to answer questions.” That drew some groans from the audience, and deservedly so; not a good move for the chair of a committee to say at a public meeting that the politicians don’t have to  provide answers to concerned citizens.

Franklin Alderman Steve Olson was asked how Franklin’s ordinance handles a situation like the one presented by Butschli. Olson said Franklin’s ordinances grandfathered offenders who had been convicted prior to the ordinances taking effect out of fairness and to limit constitutional challenges to the ordinances.

Greenfield Alderman Tom Pietrowksi asked Butschli whether the victim of the sex offender that lives near him was a boy or girl. Pietrowski’s question drew howls from the audience who spoke out, “What difference does it make.” Pietrowski, who’s not shy about expressing his concerns for the sex offenders, responded that it matters because the sex of the victims affects recidivism rates.

Matt Rajala, another citizen in support, noted other communities have taken the lead on this issue but he admitted he’s nervous about the ordinance’s prospects in Greenfield. Rajala is right to feel apprehensive, based on what was said at tonight’s meeting.

Alderman Pietrowski said, “The problem I see,” is that the proposed ordinance is “curbing where an individual can live,” and that society is,” taking away freedoms.”

Maybe Alderman Pietrowski should focus on what a sex offender has stolen from a young child victim. Pietrowski, I would venture to guess, is solidly opposed to this ordinance based on comments he’s made publicly at two consecutive meetings. Good luck running for re-election on a pro-sex offender vote.

Jerry Bubb responded to Pietrowski’s comments saying, “People have rights, but I’d rather let a murderer go free before a predator” because the murderer can be rehabilitated whereas the predator can’t. “Franklin is setting up an opportunity” for Greenfield said Bubb in support of the ordinance.

Alderman Linda Lubotsky, the author of the proposed ordinance said, “It’s our (Greenfield’s) turn."

Despite the unanimous support in the audience, Pietrowski asked that the matter be held over for one more Legislative Committee meeting. The committee agreed.

A final note: As I was leaving the meeting and waved goodbye to committee members and thanking them for having their discussion, Alderman Saryan made it a point to tell me publicly from her committee chair position that, “Just because I ask questions” doesn’t mean that I’ve taken a position one way or the other. In a recent blog on this issue, I wrote, “Greenfield Alderman Shirley Saryan doesn’t sound too promising when she admits she’s confused by Franklin’s ordinances.” During tonight’s meeting, Saryan noted she reads my blog. I appreciate that, Alderman.

But there comes a time when you can’t sit on the fence and must take a position and vote.

I’ve covered politics as a reporter and/or worked in politics for over 30 years. I know every form of politician-speak there is. I think Alderman Saryan is a pleasant, well-intentioned person. But here are public comments made by Alderman Saryan the past two meetings that she chairs:

Tonight, she told a Greenfield resident who had questions about a map showing where the exclusion zones would be for released offenders that, “As you can see, there aren’t many places they can live.” My response would be: So!

She also said tonight that restrictive ordinances can make matters worse. Where did she read that? On my blog, in comments made by sex offender sympathizers from out of state. Ask parents of children how these ordinances can “make matters worse,” and see what they have to say.

If you’re for the ordinance, then say so, Alderman! All those questions and concerns of hers lead me to believe she’s leaning against. I hope I'm wrong.

As one Greenfield resident said emphatically, why are we even talking about this? It does seem to be a no-brainer, to everyone except the Legislative Committee of the Greenfield Common Council.

This issue is growing. More and more people in Greenfield are becoming aware of what’s at stake. The delay gives residents even more time to contact their elected officials to make their voices heard on behalf of our most vulnerable citizens and prized commodity: our children.

Bye, bye, Steve Hanke

Under a court order, convicted sex offender Steve Hanke has one week to move out his home in Franklin located 538 feet from a middle school, or else it becomes very expensive.

Hanke’s home has been up for sale for some time. Sources tell me Hanke is attempting to purchase a home outside of Franklin.

And by the way, for all the sex offender sympathizers out there, the ones who always like to belly-ache:


Steve Hanke was able to make a sizeable purchase when he bought his soon to be ex-house in Franklin. He’s very close to making another large expenditure on a home in a city outside of Franklin.

Shed no tears for these creeps.

Goodbye Steve Hanke and good riddance.

UPDATE on 9/18: More from FranklinNOW

The charges against Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, in perspective


Janet Evans does a good job with her informative blog that Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has been charged with ………………election violations.

I repeat.

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has been charged with (not found guilty of) election violations.

Who complained about Taylor? Former disgraced Franklin alderman Basil Ryan, the same Basil Ryan who was recalled by his own constituents, the same Basil Ryan who had his hat handed to him by Taylor in the April 2008 mayoral election.

It appears that there were four violations, all on March 11, 2008, all within a few hours of each other or less.

spoke with Assistant DA Bruce Landgraf a few weeks ago. We agreed that I wouldn’t publicize our conversation, but I gathered from our chat that no charges would be filed because of the nature and source of the complaint: Basil Ryan was setting the stage for an embarrassing defeat, and that is, indeed, what happened. Ryan was trounced by Taylor. I guess my read of the tea leaves about the complaint was wrong.

We need to get a grip everyone. I will say from the outset I supported Tom Taylor for mayor. I like him. I respect him. In my view, he was head and shoulders the far better candidate. And I say that even after today’s news.

Mayor Taylor has been charged. He has not been found guilty.

He’s been charged with .........election violations. I don’t dismiss the allegations, but state officials (none that I’ve been associated with) often put the comma in the wrong place (and I’m not exaggerating) on a campaign finance report, and are charged with election violations. You know what happens to them? A small forfeiture, a page 20 story, and it's over with.

Mayor Taylor isn’t guilty of graft or any incredibly serious offense. If, and I emphasize the word, “IF” he’s guilty of anything, it’s this:


Maybe he even wrote a press release in his office. For shame!

I submit that these allegations were made before the April elections. Tom Taylor still won by a hefty margin and I believe would have won even if these charges had been officially issued prior to April 1, 2008. Why? Because the vast majority of Franklin residents remembers Basil Ryan and rejected his brand of politics and political behavior.

When you boil it all down, Mayor Taylor has been hit with…….a fine.

Major political scandal? No way.

Taylor's detractors might say otherwise, but like Basil Ryan, all they’re tossing out is sour grapes.

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Kevin Barrett, you don't have to prove you're a nutjob...

Kevin Barrett, the wacko who subscribes to the moonbat theory that America plotted and carried out 9/11, suffered a setback today in his bid to unseat Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind.

Got to have those cue cards

The Messiah has decided he’ll take a teleprompter with him on the campaign trail.

Good idea.

Because No-bama with no prompter no good.

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Come ride the bus and leave the shooting to us

Let’s see.

Can’t let pilots have guns in cockpits.

Can’t have teachers coming to school armed.

Can’t let law-abiding, trained citizens in Wisconsin carry concealed weapons.

What about bus drivers?

I don’t have a problem. These poor guys/gals need protection.

But it sure isn’t a great ad to get more people out of their cars and onto mass transit.

Ladies, you, too can look 18 years younger!

There are a lot of crazies out there, folks claiming to be people they're not.

Yes, the woman in this story is nutso, but how come our super-sharp public school edcuators couldn't figure this out?


Another Mother of the Year candidate

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover, but c'mon! 

This woman made a really, really, really stupid mistake.

She left her 10-month old baby home alone while she gambled.

How utterly idiotic is that?!?

She should have taken the child, driven to the casino, and left the baby inside the locked car while she played the slots. Had she done that, she would have been the recipient of all kinds of sympathy from folks who surely would have cried the same excuses we hear all the time.

She didn't mean it.

She forgot.

It was a mistake.

They'd have been better off doing it in a park like everybody else


The Wisconsin State Fair has cream puffs, eight dozen things to eat on a stick, and blue ribbon livestock. The Indiana State Fair has dirty wedding pictures.

Well, I don’t happen to think so, but that's because I am not a prude.

The Hoosier Fair has a blue ribbon competition for wedding photography. This year’s award winning couple was surprised to learn that their wedding picture was taken down from a display at the Fair.

Some people complained, so the picture came down.

Guess what their complaint was?

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A very ugly American

Josh Howard of the Dallas Mavericks.

He needs to remember he was born, raised in, and works in this country that has given him the opportuinity that allows him to make millions of dollars.

Voter fraud is easy-That's why you can count on it


Dead people can’t do it.

But they do.

Underage people can’t do it.

But they do.

Non-citizens can’t do it.

But they do.

People who don’t live where they say they live can’t do it.

But they do.

Maybe the better way to put this is that these people may not do it, but they do anyway. They vote.

Columnist Phyllis Schlafly asserts the obvious when she writes that the potential for voter fraud in November is high:

“With the 2008 elections as close as they are predicted to be, Obama's best chance to win is to flood new names on the registration rolls who may or may not be eligible voters.”

Schlafy points to a new book by John Fund on voter fraud and how easy a caper it is to pull off. Fund was writing about this travesty four years ago:

“Ironically, Mexico and many other countries have election systems that are far more secure than ours. To obtain voter credentials, the citizen must present a photo, write a signature and give a thumbprint. The voter card includes a picture with a hologram covering it, a magnetic strip and a serial number to guard against tampering. To cast a ballot, voters must present the card and be certified by a thumbprint scanner. This system was instrumental in allowing the 2000 election of Vicente Fox, the first opposition party candidate to be elected president in seventy years.

But in the United States, at a time of heightened security and mundane rules that require citizens to show ID to travel and even rent a video, only seventeen states require some form of documentation in order to vote. ‘Why should the important process of voting be the one exception to this rule?’ asks Karen Saranita, a former fraud investigator for a Democratic state senator in California. Americans agree. A Rasmussen poll finds that 82 percent of Americans, including 75 percent of Democrats, believe that ‘people should be required to show a driver's license or some other form of photo ID before they are allowed to vote.’

The reason for such support is that citizens instinctively realize that some people will be tempted to cut corners in the cutthroat world of politics. ‘Some of the world's most clever people are attracted to politics, because that's where the power is,’ says University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato. ‘So they're always going to be one step ahead of the law.’”

: The overwhelming majority of Wisconsinites, Republicans and democrats, support a photo ID requirement.

FACT: Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle vetoed photo ID legislation three times.

FACT: 18 Senate Democrats that control the state Senate killed a proposed constitutional amendment on photo ID back in March that would have allowed voters statewide to cast ballots on the issue.

FACT: The constitutional amendment would have passed overwhelmingly.

FACT: There is no photo ID requirement in Wisconsin.

FACT: There will be voter fraud in Wisconsin in November, perpetrated by the party that opposes photo ID because it benefits from voter fraud, the Democrats.

UPDATE on 9/18/08: AG worried about fraud

You've been fired.......SHHHHHHHHHHH!

Last week, my friend Melanie Scott called me to tell me she had been fired by Metro Networks. I worked with Melanie for many years in the 90’s in the newsroom at WTMJ. I wish her the very best.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s radio/TV critic Tim Cuprisin picked up on the changes at Metro in his column today. The fact is Cuprisin is more than gleeful to report ASAP the firings in the not so kind, rough and tumble broadcast business. Many moons ago, when I was let go by WTMJ, there was a brief headline on Page One instructiing readers to turn to another page. On that page, a few paragraphs with more instructions to turn to Cuprisin's column. My firing, however, somehow failed to make it in the sports section.

Here's my question. Why doesn’t the paper use the same speed and joy in reporting its own pink slips?

The worst kept secret around town is that numerous people were shown the door at 4th and State not too long ago. Why don't we see those obits in the Journal Sentinel?

The warm compassionate bunch strikes again

It doesn't get more twisted and warped than this.

Do you love your country? Give the government more money

It may not be the most ridiculous comment made during this Presidential campaign, but it’s in the top two.  Democrat Vice Presidential candidate Joe Biden says it’s patriotic to pay higher taxes.

That might be the best and only way for Democrats to display patriotism.

Biden might as well come out and say that he and Obama want to raise taxes. They’re sure as hell going to if elected. And Biden is playing the same, tired, old class warfare, suggesting the wealthy need to pay more when in reality the top 50% are paying 95% of the taxes with the wealthy paying the most.

I recall 1984 when another Democrat made an incredibly stupid comment on taxes. We all know what happened to him.

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Now that's real astute political commentary

The big story in Franklin this week is, of course, the four election charges filed against Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor by Milwaukee County Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf.

I’ve written one, just one blog on the subject, and yet my name or references to me and my opinions (with jabs tossed in) have been mentioned on at least eight other blogs (and there probably will be eight more). The beauty of the blogs is that there will be disagreement from time to time. And that's fine. But if people are going to take shots at me, there just might be rebuttals. I feel that it’s only fair that I respond to some of what’s out there, because it borders on the absurd.

First off, some bloggers have apparently forgotten that you’re innocent until proven guilty. They have already tried and convicted the mayor. Those bloggers would be Janet Evans and Greg Kowalski, Franklin’s newest dynamic duo. Boy, didja ever think those two would be in cahoots?

If Greg, the President of the "I Hate Mayor Taylor Club” had his way, Taylor would be sitting in Waupun.

Greg asks on one of his blogs, “Where’s the criminal charges?”  Once again, his English teacher at Franklin High School just aged another year. I guess it never occurred to our resident whippersnapper that a prosecutor, as part of his decision-making process, usually only considers charges he believes can stick and that he has a case for.

By the way, Greg is all in a tizzy because I spoke with the Assistant DA on this matter a few weeks before charges were issued. It’s a good thing my car wasn’t parked at the Courthouse that day.

This might be shocking to Greg but I talk to a lot of important people........ all the time!

It turns out that prior to talking to Landgraf, I received a tip from a very close associate of Basil Ryan’s that charges were about to come down against Taylor. Obviously, the former mayoral candidate wanted me to have this information. So, on my own personal time, I contacted Landgraf who confirmed he was reviewing the matter, asked that I not blog about it and check back later. Then the story broke.

So much for Greg’s typical wild speculation. He does tend to shoot his mouth off without supportive evidence.

My first blog on this matter attempted to put the issue in perspective. Franklin blogger John Michlig did a good job of that in his piece earlier this week when he wrote, “On the scandal meter, I'd put this pretty low. Sounds like a misappropriation of already-scarce city resources at best - - and certainly worth public note and rebuke if true - - but nothing Nixonian (or even Bushian, for that matter). The information that Mayor Taylor requested was available to anyone who asks for it and/or knows where to look…”

Michlig then referred to Greg’s blog filled with angst and consternation, “Alleged corruption with the Mayor's office: Holy crap...” as “rather breathless.”

Greg didn’t like that, and left a comment on John’s blog:

"Breathless," John?”

To which John replied:

“Once you exclaim ‘Holy crap!’, it is reasonable to characterize the item as ‘breathless,’ don't you think?”

That brought this clever retort from Greg:

“This is definitely a holy crap moment, John. 125% holy crappage.”

Now you can’t get more analytical, more insightful, more astute than:

“This is definitely a holy crap moment, John. 125% holy crappage.”

That’s why I repeat…..

Ed Hochuli responds

Hate is a strong word. I don’t hate anybody. I may hate what some people do or say. But hate them? Murderers and pedophiles violent criminals may generate some very intense emotions, but hate, as I said, is pretty strong stuff.

I would never advocate anyone sending out hate mail or e-mails, and I’ve been on the receiving end of some sick stuff.

I hated Ed Hochuli’s botched call Sunday in the San Diego-Denver game, as did a lot of football fans, no doubt. But to send hate mail?

That’s always wrong.

But here’s a twist. Hochuli is actually responding to some of this despicable stuff.

Ed, they don’t deserve a response or your time.

Those sneaky Obama pollsters

I recommend people check out the other site I occasionally blog on, The Right View Wisconsin that has a host of interesting contributors.

Jerry K has written some revealing blogs about phone calls he’s received from the Obama folks. They had no idea what they were getting into when they first called this 61-year old conservative Teamster/Vietnam veteran.

Read how these pollsters operate. It’s good stuff.

The first call….

And a second....

And they called Jerry back again ….


Friday night on InterCHANGE


Here are the topics Gerard Randall, Joel McNally and I discuss Friday night at 6:30 on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00:

1 – Wall Street.

Is the worst over?  If the people who ran these titans of Wall Street couldn’t figure out what was wrong, how are the rest of us supposed to understand this labyrinth of economic policies?  Will the problems now start dripping down to the local banks?  What caused the credit crisis, which led to the housing crisis, which led to this banking crisis?  Is it time for all of America to go on a forced financial diet?  Were things going great, or where they just out of control?  Is it right, or necessary, for the government to step in and prop up all of these failing firms?  Or, should they have just been left to crumble?

2 – Presidential Race.

How does the Wall Street crisis affect the presidential race?  Does it help Obama or McCain more?  Why?  Is Palin still the asset she was a few weeks ago?

3 -  Brewers.

The Brewers fight to keep their wild card hopes alive.  Did it make sense to dump Yost this late in the game?  Should it have been done a long time ago?  What does the move tell you about Attanasio?  Was Dale Sveum the right guy to put in charge of this team?  How long can the team survive without Ben Sheets on the mound?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: We're slow but we're worth waiting for

That’s a nice round-up of great places to patronize on Blue Mound Road before and after a Brewers game in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today.

But the timing of the article is strange, with the season almost over and only six home games remaining.

Wouldn’t this have been better had it hit the paper in April or May?

Next week in the Friday Cue section: Restaurants with great outdoor patios.

Honey, we could use some new furniture

Let's go shopping Saturday.

Class, your assignment today is to trash Sarah Palin

Academia in America is dominated by liberal philosophy in classrooms where liberal professors rule. Their job is to teach, not to indoctrinate or peddle their political views.

It’s an outrage when a professor in a taxpayer-supported institution assigns an essay to his students who are told to write negative papers about Sarah Palin.

An investigation is underway in Colorado.

Here’s more in this ABC video.

Coming up on This Just In...

Our regular weekend features..

Better half Jennifer takes you inside The Barking Lot where I bring you Dogs In The News with another incredible canine hero story.

Speaking of heroes, who makes our heroes and villains list in Week-ends? Check it out Saturday morning.

On Sunday, the top five blogs from the past week, Photos of the Week, and the ever popular Culinary no-no.

This Just In might have a found a culinary no-no in Franklin. I’ll have that for you as well this weekend, and lots of other stuff in-between.



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Kelley Becherer......the pride of Sheboygan

Good Samaritan

Steve Oswald


William Murray

Son brutally murders mother

Ryan Mueller

Congressman Charlie Rangel

MPS: Pancakes =higher taxes


“I hadn’t even sat down on the couch and Doug said, ‘We’re going to make a change.’Over the next 15 minutes, I did say that I didn’t have answers for what happened the last two weeks. It’s been difficult for everybody. I don’t know if this is going to do it. I really don’t.I put my heart and soul into this team for six years,” said Yost, who spoke from his residence in Milwaukee. “We were 16 games over .500. Nobody’s going to tell me we weren’t going to make the playoffs.”
Ned Yost, about being fired as manager by the Milwaukee Brewers.

“I was really surprised at the timing of it. I, at least, thought they’d let the season play out and see what happened, but they felt like they needed to make a decision.”
Brewer All-Star Ryan Braun

"It's time to be patriotic ... time to jump in, time to be part of the deal, time to help get America out of the rut."
Democrat VP candidate Joe Biden on the need for higher taxes.

"Today, Senator Obama's running mate said that raising taxes is patriotic. Raising taxes in a tough economy isn't patriotic, it isn't a badge of honor, it's just plain dumb."
John McCain

I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face."
Barack Obama

"Face-to-face contact with undecided voters is the single most effective way to grow this movement. No experience is required, and we'll help you make the trip as easily as possible with either housing in Nevada or discounted group rates at an area hotel."
Obama's California field director Mary Jane Stevenson, organizing a bus trip of Obama supporters and using housing incentives to increase the numbers.

"Barack Obama, you see, is done fixing souls. It's time to crack heads. Prodded by panicked Democrats to take off his white gloves, he issued a Call to Strong Arm to his legions of angry followers on Wednesday. Hope is out. Hellfire is in.Yep, a bunch of angry Obama cultists and left-wing ACORN drifters are coming to your neighborhoods to accuse you of racism, call you unpatriotic for not bowing down and forking over more taxes to keep the Mother Ship afloat, and check your tire pressure and thermostats while they're at it. Feel the power of positive change."
Blogger Michelle Malkin

‘‘People shouldn’t make a decision this time based on, ’I like that guy’ or ’she’s cute. And I’m talking about me.’'
Michelle Obama

“I think Sarah Palin is an excellent choice, and not just because she’s a woman. It’s good to have a governor on one of the tickets. … I think she brings a different set of skills.”
Kathy Riordan of Wausau at the McCian/Palin rally in Ashwaubenon this week. Riordan is a registered Democrat who planned to vote for Sen. Hillary Clinton. Now she intends to cast a ballot for McCain.

"I’m deeply concerned with the rights of every eligible citizen to cast a vote and have it count. That’s why I have brought this suit. The fact is that following the law disenfranchises no one. Our law creates safeguards, such as same-day registration and provisional balloting, to ensure that every eligible voter can cast a ballot on Election Day and have it count."
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, on his lawsuit against the state's Government Accountability Board. The GAB has refused to retroactively check the verification of voter registrations back to 2006.

“Rather than get hung up on exchanges that aren’t going to lead anywhere, I want to give the operators an option today.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke renewing his call for safety shields and pepper-spray training for Milwuakee County bus drivers.

“I can tell you right now, if the sheriff is willing to train our members and allow us to do this (carry pepper spray on the job), I could get you 3, 4, 5, 600 operators willing to do this right now. They want the protection. They need the protection.”
Brandon Jensen, financial secretary-treasurer for the bus driver's union.

"There's nothing wrong with our furniture."
Jennifer Fischer to Kevin.


Killing babies in Sarah Plain's name.


The free market didn't cause this week's fiscal problems. Government interference in the free market was the culprit. The federal government mandates that financial institutions make loans to just about anyone, regardless of their credit rating. Neal Boortz explains in his latest column:

"Acme bank didn’t want to loan money to Joe Homebuyer because Joe had a spotty job history, owed too much money on his credit cards, and wasn’t all that good at making payments on time. The politicians told Acme Bank to figure out a way to make that loan, because, after all, Joe is a bona-fide minority-American, or forget about opening that new branch office on the Southside. The loan was made under politicial pressure; the loan, with millions like it, failed – and now we are left to enjoy today’s headlines."

t's the honest explanation and story the media won't tell.


The media told us this week that our financial crisis was the worst our country had even experienced, worse than the Depression.

Most Americans don't have a clue what a Depression is really like.


What would you give up for Packer tickets?

How much should an inmate get for having to sleep on a wet mattress?

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

: The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just by my wife and yours truly. Jennifer provides the opening blog and then I bring you DOGS IN THE NEWS.

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  “A” all day and this evening.

SUNDAY:  Ditto. A picture perfect dog-walking weekend is in store.

Everyone plays the dreaming game “If I ever won the lottery…”  For me the list includes charitable donations, paying off our home, a European cruise, and purchasing a second home in Arizona to escape the terrible Wisconsin winters.  After those are accomplished I have only half-jokingly said that I would seek out the best Hollywood plastic surgeon and come home with a new body.  Then common sense takes over and I nix the nip-and-tuck plan.

In recent research for The Barking Lot I noticed topics on animal welfare websites discussing cosmetic surgery for dogs.  I must admit it isn’t something I’ve given too much thought to in the past.  As I have mentioned before I am NOT a card-carrying member of PETA.  I am proud to be a carnivore and feel we are at the top of the food chain for a reason.

I have always said that I would never choose to crop my dog’s ears or dock its tail.  I feel that nature made the dog a certain way and I would not want to alter that.  I do understand that show dogs have this done quite often to conform to breed standards.  And for as many dog shows as I watch I really don’t sit there and think, “They never should have docked that Soft Coated Wheaton’s tail!”

Since my dog Sugar was half Basenji hound, she displayed every Basenji physical characteristic including curly “pig tail” and perky ears.  She also did not bark.  She could, but only on occasion would she let out a soft chortle.  Skippy, on the other hand, was a rambunctious Springer Spaniel who would, literally, bark at leaves blowing down the street in the fall.  Were there times we all wished she would suffer a bout of extended laryngitis?  Of course.  Would we ever consider having her surgically “debarked?”  Never.

Most people are familiar with tail docking and ear cropping, and some are familiar with debarking.  But how VAIN are you if you need cosmetic surgery for your DOG???

May I suggest any money you would spend on this surgery, you put towards some psychotherapy for yourself?
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks again, Jennifer. My turn. Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

We've had some pretty serious weather the past few weeks. Federal law requires that state and local governments help animals during an emergency or natural disaster.

No muskrat love in Kaukauna.

It works for Superman and Batman. Can a cape turn your dog into a superhero?

In today's Journal Sentinel Cue section, kids and pets.

A star is a shelter.

And  here's a great story about the heroics of Buddy, including video.

Finally, let’s dip into the e-mailbag and see what’s on the minds of Barking Lot readers, shall we?

Dear Kevin:

You seem to collaborate well with Jennifer every week on your dog blog. I find that amazing. My wife and I could never do anything like that. We’d be at each other's throats into the first paragraph. What’s your secret?

Frying pan head

Dear Frying pan head:

There’s really no secret. It was either let Jennifer write a dog blog or have her mother over every weekend.

Dear Kevin:

We have to be totally honest. We can’t stand The Barking Lot. Frankly, it gives us the creeps. How about a blog about cats?

Felix and Sylvester

Dear Felix and Sylvester:

Sorry you feel that way. To answer your question, no way. Dogs are much cooler than cats.


Let me get right to the point. What is your problem?

Your wife seems so nice. And you won’t get her a dog! What is wrong with you? Do you hate dogs or something

Have a heart

Dear Have a heart:

It’s not that I hate dogs. It’s that my wife loves them more than she loves me.

Mr. Fischer:

I have another bone to pick with you. You may recall I wrote some time ago when you had a video of Rowlf from the Muppets on your blog, singing “Egg Suckin’ Dog” in a barn with Johnny Cash.  I found that to be very unfair because Rowlf has such awesome talent.

You responded with another Rowlf video, this time butchering a Gilbert and Sullivan opera.

How dare you portray Rowlf in this manner. He is a caring, kind, deeply sensitive and sentimental animal. You’re just plain mean.

Rowlf fan

Dear Rowlf fan:

After conducting some research, I indeed owe you an apology. Rowlf is, in fact, quite sentimental. I am very sorry.

Read more

Racism a problem for his own party

Last night on InterCHANGE, I commented that Barack Obama and the Democrats have become so nervous that they will get dirtier, nastier, and pull out their favorite trick a lot more during the rest of the campaign: the race card.

But it appears the Messiah should worry about the huge problem of racism among Democrats. 


How often do you agree or disagree with Barack Obama?

Take the Barack Obama Test.

There are 51 questions, but don't let that deter you. The test doesn't take too long.

FYI, I disagreed with Obama on all 51 questions in the test.


Ed Hochuli deserves a break.......NOT!

Referee Ed Hochuli has been the talk of the NFL this week after his blown call last Sunday cost the San Diego Chargers a victory against the Broncos in Denver. Late in the game, Hochuli blew his whistle during a fumble by Denver QB Jay Cutler that was recovered by San Diego. Because Hochuli’s inadvertent whistle stopped the play dead in its tracks, Denver kept the ball, and then scored the winning touchdown and two-point conversion.

Since last Sunday, Hochuli has taken a lot of heat, including tons of hate mail. That’s unfortunate. Hochuli doesn’t deserve hate mail, but he certainly has heavy criticism coming his way. There are those who feel sorry for Hochuli, including Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports columnist Greg Bedard. In his Saturday column, Bedard writes that because San Diego couldn’t stop Denver, Hochuli warrants a break:

“The Chargers still had ample opportunity to recover from the call. They were the ones who gave up the touchdown and the two-point conversion. How about a stop? How about a pass deflection? Anything?”

HELLO!!!!!!  If Hochuli doesn’t blow an easy call, San Diego gets the ball and Denver never gets the chance to score the touchdown and convert the two-point conversion. San Diego would not have been put in the position of making the game saving plays on defense, if not for Hochuli’s blatant blunder.

Hochuli doesn’t deserve a break. Here’s hoping no NFL referee screws anybody else today.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) The charges against Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, in perspective

2) Culinary (or should I say, Coolinary) no-no #76

3) What the NFL should do to Ed Hochuli

4) Greenfield delays action on sex offender ordinance

5) Another word about Culinary no-no #75

Photos of the Week (9/21/08)

Photos of the Week

 Specialist Henry Becker, left, directs trading at the post that ...

Specialist Henry Becker, left, directs trading at the post that handles AIG on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Tuesday Sept. 16, 2008. Stocks extended their decline and bond prices jumped Tuesday, a day after Wall Street's worst session in years, as nervous investors grappled with concerns about insurer American International Group Inc. and awaited the Federal Reserve's decision on interest rates.
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

Trader Christopher Crotty rubs his eyes as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday Sept. 17. Wall Street stumbled again Wednesday, with anxieties about the financial system still running high even after the government bailed out the insurer American International Group Inc. AT 1:30 pm EST, the market was down more than 280 points.

) Trader Christopher Crotty rubs his eyes as he works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Wednesday Sept. 17. Wall Street stumbled again Wednesday, with anxieties about the financial system still running high even after the government bailed out the insurer American International Group Inc. 


Dozens of caskets that surfaced from grave sites sit along a fence line at the Hollywood Community Cemetary, Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008, in Orange, Texas. Dozens of caskets floated to the surface due to the flood waters caused by Hurricane Ike. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

 Charles Graves, left, consoles Diane Hasler, his neighbor of 25 years, after Hasler found her home devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Seabrook, Texas, Friday, Sept. 19.

Returning to Damage in Texas( MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS) Charles Graves, left, consoles Diane Hasler, his neighbor of 25 years, after Hasler found her home devastated in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Seabrook, Texas, Friday, Sept. 19. 


An alligator crosses Gulfway drive into Hurricane Ike flood waters on the Bolivar Peninsula, near High Island , Texas, on Monday.


Fish remain stuck in a fence as flood waters caused by Hurricane Ike recede, in West Orange, Texas on Monday, Sept. 15. Eric Gay, AP

Read more

Culinary no-no #77

Culinary no-no's

Milwaukee's fashionable east side.

Yeh, right.

Read more

And you thought "Boomgaard" was bad?


A simple word.

An innocent word.

It merely translates into “orchard” in Norwegian.

And yet seeing it in print or hearing it spoken has caused some in Franklin to break out in hives.

But this blog isn’t about Boomgaard. It’s about another foreign word: “Arschegeweih.”

We’ll come back to that. Just bear with me, folks.

Do you like tattoos?

I don’t have any and I’m not very fond of them, especially on women. Quite frankly, the whole appeal escapes me.

Last year when my wife and I were on a cruise, there was one woman that caught my eye. She was about 30, had reddish hair, and was somewhat attractive. What I noticed the most was that when she wore a sleeveless top and denim skirt, it exposed for all the world to see her abundant tattoos. Tattoo upon tattoo. They covered each arm from wrist to shoulder.  Both legs were saturated from above the knee down to her ankles. Despite the fact she was in good shape, the woman’s body looked awful.

I never saw her in a swimsuit so I can’t say for sure if she had any common man artwork on any other parts of her body, say right around her posterior. But I’m thinking the odds were pretty good.

Again, I’m not sure what motivates people to artfully, if you want to put it that way, engage in self-mutilation.

That brings us to “arschegeweih.”

It’s a German word, and yes, it is related to this topic.

For the, as the legendary voice says on the radio, “The rest of the story,” I turn it over to a radio guy, my friend and former WISN morning man Dan Deibert who provides the full explanation for arschegeweih.”

HT: No Runny Eggs

Why should Franklin taxpayers pay mileage/expenses for elected officials?

The Franklin Common Council will consider a proposed ordinance at its meeting Tuesday to suspend expense and mileage payments for City of Franklin elected officials. The ordinance is being proposed by Alderman Steve Olson.

WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City of Franklin have duly elected the members of the Common Council, the Mayor and the Aldermen of the City to provide policy making decisions relating to, among others, the financial stability of the City; and 

WHEREAS, the exceptional growth in property values in new construction and in existing properties has slowed substantially over the past fiscal year; and 

WHEREAS, the State of Wisconsin Legislature has enacted limits on the City’s ability to increase the tax levy to fixed percentages of growth in new construction or 2 percent; and 

WHEREAS, the Common Council has negotiated compensation packages with the employees of the City, the financial impact of which may exceed the capabilities of the City to pay without reductions in expenses and/or personnel; and 

WHEREAS, the Citizens of the City look to the Common Council to provide leadership not only in word but in action; and 

WHEREAS, the Legislature of the State of Wisconsin has vested authority in individual Members of the Common Council to refuse salary for themselves under Wis. Stat. § 66.0505; and 

WHEREAS, the Common Council may reduce its Members’ expense and mileage payments as are established under §55-3. of the Municipal Code.  

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Common Council of the City of Franklin, Wisconsin do ordain as follows: 

SECTION 1:                All regular payments to Common Council Members of mileage and expenses shall be SUSPENDED under order of this ordinance. 

SECTION 2:                Payments for mileage and expenses shall be suspended through City fiscal years 2008 (period of time remaining from time of enactment and effective date), 2009 and 2010. 

SECTION 3:                This ordinance shall take effect at the next regular pay period for each Common Council Member following the publication of this ordinance.

This proposal makes perfect sense. In these tough budget times, why should the city taxpayers fund gas mileage, dining, or any other expenses for the mayor and aldermen? If they wish to travel out of town to attend a government-related seminar or conference, let them pay out of their own pockets.

If any alderman plans to vote against this proposal, I would dearly love to hear that alderman explain his/her opposition to city taxpayers.

Congratulations to Alderman Olson for proposing this common sense ordinance.

The proposed 2008 city budget allows a total of $15,600 for the mayor and aldermen for mileage and expenses and $78,356 for salaries, a nearly 20% cut in pay.

Who is Gianna Jessen, and why does Barack Obama think she should be dead?

Barack Obama is an unborn child’s worst nightmare.

He voted against an amendment in the Senate to prevent taxpayer funding of groups that promote or perform abortions in other nations.

He voted twice against measures that would help enforce dozens of state laws allowing parents to know when their minor daughter is considering an abortion.

He worked to prevent a bill in the Illinois state legislature from going to the governor that would have allowed for appropriate medical care when newborn infants survive failed abortions.

He admits he has no idea when life begins.

If elected, Obama, the most dangerous candidate ever to run for the White House, will be the abortion President.

So who is Gianna Jessen? She’s alive and Obama wishes she wasn’t. Jessen survived an abortion.  She travels the country giving speeches about something Obama doesn’t fully cherish or understand….the sanctity of life. Obama prefers that babies that survive abortions be given no treatment and be allowed to die.

It’s the subject of the latest column from one of my favorites, Doug Giles who writes:

Barack Obama voted four times against affording these “born alives” their most basic human right. Chilling, eh? How progressive of you, liberals. Hitler would be proud, and I’m sure Satan is just giddy with your creative ways to slay that inconvenient little baby even if it survives your initial assault.

Liberals love being painted as the defender of the underdog. Yeah, if you feel like you are being abused, oppressed, preyed upon, neglected, entitled to something or endangered in any way . . . do not fear! The Dems are here! Their protection extends not only to the human victim, but also to the translucent hair lice, the gargling nut warbler, a warming globe, a rare venereal crab, and a whooping crane’s egg.

Yep, the liberals will ramp up to Mach2, set their hair on fire, and fight, yell, picket, protest and blog their fingers bloody for animal rights and for your rights—that is unless, of course, you’re an unborn child.”

It’s stark reality.

Read the entire column...........then visit Gianna Jessen's website.

Since when are jokes about incest ok?

When the liberal media makes them about conservaties.

So, where is Steve Hanke?

I don’t know.

No one knows for sure, except possibly his attorney.

Hanke has until midnight tonight to move out of his current Franklin residence in order to comply with Franklin’s restrictive sex offender ordinances. Failure to do so would result in heavy fines.

Here’s what I have been able to find out.

Hanke’s house is up for sale but has not been purchased. Hanke’s attorney has notified the court, making a motion requesting that Hanke be given more time so that he can sell his home. A hearing on the motion is scheduled this Thursday. It’s believed that Hanke has an offer to purchase a home outside of Franklin.

In the interim, Hanke is staying at an unknown location, either a hotel or another residence that does not violate Franklin’s ordinances. The City Attorney’s Office in Franklin is confident that Hanke’s attorney is not misrepresenting himself or his client to the court. The last thing they’d want to do is anger the judge in this case, John Franke.

So the Steve Hanke saga plays out just a bit longer.

Stay tuned.

Franklin aldermen about to take a dubious vote

Suppose you’re a locally elected official. Would you vote for the same tax increase, twice, in 15 days?

That’s not something I’d like on my resume. But Franklin aldermen are poised to do just that.

On September 8, all of the Common Council members present voted in favor of removing the waiver of certain fees for non-profit organizations.  Mayor Tom Taylor wisely vetoed the ordinance (proposed by Aldermen Steve Olson and Steve Taylor) that would make it that much more difficult for groups to raise funds and hold fundraising events for worthy causes in Franklin.

Tomorrow, Tuesday night, the Common Council meets to consider an override of the mayor’s veto. If they vote to override, they will have approved the same tax increase in just over two weeks.

My free, friendly advice to the aldermen is to take the out that Mayor Taylor has presented. Vote to sustain the veto and say no to a new fee (tax) in Franklin.

When I covered the Milwaukee County Board for WUWM and WTMJ, there was a supervisor named Gerald Engel. Engel kept a small sign on his desk that read, “A tax is a tax is a tax.”

This isn’t rocket science. Franklin aldermen, heed the words of Jerry Engel.

Could Favre have a big night tonight against the Chargers?

The latest stats and scouting reports say………………………..yes.

From the San Diego Union Tribune

San Diego is next-to-last in passing yardage allowed and last (by a lot) in receptions surrendered. Brett Favre generally is harder on cornerbacks than Jake Delhomme and Jay Cutler, first by throwing a lot of quick slants, but also by escaping the best of pass rushes and finding his receivers downfield. In the vernacular of NFL pass coverage, the Chargers have to have Favre's targets ‘plastered.’”

Anchors aweigh, or.....Revenge is sweet

On Saturday, Navy got a late field goal to beat Rutgers 23-21.

Take that Rutgers! This makes up for last year’s contest when Rutgers beat Navy, 41-24, with Rutgers fans acting like ********.

Is Obama losing ground?

That's the question his home newspaper asks after John McCain drew 10,000 to a rally last week in Green Bay.

Today, an Obama rally. Same city. Same arena. Four-thousand less people turn out.

I'm on WISN

I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN from 3-6 pm this Wednesday and next Monday.

Watch for J. Gravelle of The Daily Scoff to guest blog here Wednesday.

UPDATE: "The Pastie Lady"

"The Pastie Lady" has moved from California… Oregon, just as nutso as ever.

She’s just gotta be a liberal.

John McCain and Sarah Palin, if you were a sandwich, what would it be?

Sounds like an old film clip of Barbara Walters.

But this new creation is all the rage, going for about $13, and always selling out.


My special guest Wednesday on WISN...

Wednesday I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN from 3-6. My special guest in the 5:00 hour will be conservative columnist Dinesh D’Souza, author of What's So Great About Christianity, What’s So Great About America and Enemy at Home.

We’ll discuss the other Obama......not Michelle, the other one.

Don't forget......J. Gravelle lends his unusual brand of humor and political commentary to some guest blogs here on Wednesday.

Make Donaldssss

By guest blogger J. Gravelle

There's a new ad for McDonald's restaurants that features an animated "Wisconsin Guy" pitching us their menu of healthy, wholesome foods from what some advertising agency determined would be a quaint, localized perspective.

Here's the problem:  Wisconsin Guy talks like Mike Ditka.  The character is "Chicago Guy" with a green face and a foam cheesehead.  Madison Avenue executives have determined that there's no grammatical distinction between Ill-annoy-ans and Wisconsinites.  They assume that the entire midwest always pronounces the letter "A" as a long vowel, and that any word ending in "S" should be stretched out for a few seconds so it sounds like the speaker is losing air.  Aceholesssss.

Criminy.  Who don't know da dif-rinse between da way us normal people talk and dem flatlanders, hey?  Somebody oughtta (as my Sout' Side bud Diamond Jim once said) call 'em on da phone an' set 'em straight right to their face.  Youse agree, ain'a?

I'm definitely going to complain to the McDonald's corporation about this.  I was going to say something at the drive through at breakfast this morning, but I forgot.  Hadn't had my McCoffee yet.  Maybe I'll register my complaint at lunch, if they're not too busy.  Otherwise, I'll definitely tell them off at dinner.

They can't take THIS Wisconsin customer for granted...

- J. Gravelle

(Gravelle is guest-blogging today.  His court-appointed therapist thought it might be good for him... )

The Fatal Position

By guest blogger J.Gravelle

People offer moral justification for arguments on both sides of the death penalty.  My pro-death penalty stance isn't philosophical.  It's pragmatic: 

We need the parking.

Those of you who can't accept that there are terrible people out there who society is better off without have apparently never watched the news.  Or for that matter, C-SPAN.  But I digress.

Most folks have heard by now that a Wisconsin jury this week awarded the murderer of a little girl over a quarter million dollars to buy himself a top of the line Sleep Comfort Select Number prison bunk mattress, with a special vibration setting for cell-block sodomy.  His is one name on a countless roster of useless bodies sucking our valuable air and, I might add, exhaling dangerous carbon dioxide which we all know kills cartoon polar bears.

So join me in helping to re-instate capital punishment, won't you?  Send the below email to the most powerful politicians in Wisconsin, like Governor Doyle, State Treasurer Dawn Sass, and the board of MATC.  Remember, if you're not a part of the extermination, you're part of the infestation:

Dear Exalted Overlord,

There are way too many of us.  The freeway's usually clogged, there's never an open register at Target, and car wash lines... I mean, forget about it.  Oh, and now hair salons do this thing where they SAY they don't take reservations, but then you go down there and your name has to go on a list, and I'm all like, well "this IS a reservation" and they're always like "no it isn't" and you have to wait forever because there are too many other people on their stupid non-reservation list.

What I'm trying to say is... well, face it:  it's time to thin the herd.

Fortunately, our prisons are full of subhumans who, by virtue of their horrific crimes, have all but volunteered for expatriation to the hereafter.  I'm enclosing a copy of Logan's Run so that you can see for yourself just how beautiful a well choreographed mass extermination can be.  Don't watch the whole thing though, it gets preachy.

I was on the fence for this whole death penalty issue for quite some time, until the Associated Press broke this story.  The crime described is horrific and unforgivable, and I hope that it will move you (as it did me) to endorse a return of capital punishment to the State of Wisconsin.


Lowly Taxpaying Peon

I'm counting on your help, people.  Remember, this sort of activist letter is like a Democrat straight-party ballot.  You can submit as many of them as you want to...

- J. Gravelle

(Kev is filling in for Mark Belling today, and he left his blog unlocked with the keys in the ignition.  We're sorry you had to see this...)

Embracing sprawl

By guest blogger J. Gravelle

FRANKLIN, WI [ LINK : JSOnline ] A good test of one's character is to see if we can adhere to our stated principles even if that sort of inflexibility would prove costly to us.

I, for example, am against redistributionism, e.g. - robbing from Peter to pay Paul. But I am also, you may be aware, outrageously handsome. So even though it would be in my best interest for Wisconsin to adopt a tax on the ugly to subsidize the more beautiful among us, I would have to stick to my 17-inch, chiseled, sinewy, muscular guns and oppose that initiative. Otherwise, I'd be unprincipled. I'd be a hypocrite.

I'd be... well, a liberal.

One particularly vociferous left-wing congregation in the Church of the Latter Day Sanctimonious routinely opposes something they call "sprawl". From what I've been able to ascertain, "sprawl" is loosely interpreted to mean "anything that benefits human beings". There are certain exceptions, but you apparently need a Liberal Arts degree to comprehend them. For example, tearing down a church to build a Costco isn't "sprawl", but tearing down a Kmart to build a Walmart IS.

Sprawl is progress.  People who oppose progress call themselves "Progressive".  Don't re-read that last sentence, or a vein in your head will pop.

It's also not considered "sprawl" if the thing you develop is "green". In Waukesha County they're tearing down a golf course to build a swamp-- I mean, a "wetland", with winding pathways that will allow us to walk through and admire how very wet the land truly is. I'm assured this isn't sprawl either, probably because it doesn't benefit human beings. Just environmentalists.

(As an aside, I'm not certain how one "tears down" a golf course, nor how one "builds" a wildlife sanctuary, nor why it costs bazillions of taxpayer dollars to accomplish either. Anybody who has managed to trim a decent putting green into their backyard knows it'll go away on its own overnight. And wildlife sanctuaries build themselves. We used to have a cabin up north that would start turning itself back into a natural habitat the second we pulled out of the driveway.)

Anyway, to re-cap, "sprawl" is usually the byproduct of evil capitalist developers developing their capitalistic evilness. But one such entrepreneur has managed to win the Nader-esque naysaying non-sprawlers over to HIS side with his proposed "Fountains of Franklin" development at 56th and Rawson.

Proponents cite the "green space" in his plan, but we shouldn't discount the psychological leverage the word "fountains" can garner either. That's the sort of wordplay that gave us "office parks", a label that brings to mind men in three piece suits on a teeter-totter, and women in business skirts riding the swingset.  (I picture that last thing a lot, actually.)

The Fountains of Franklin developer has amassed further gravitas among the left thanks to a stubborn old couple (aptly named the 'Fox'-es) who are daring to use their adjacent property to earn a living. That's right: they're private land-owning capitalists, making them handy diversions for the corporate, land-developing capitalists.

Ordinarily, I might find it hard to pick a dog in this fight. I support any private landowner's right to do whatever the heck they want with their own land. But I oppose coercive redistributionism in all its forms, and that principle, specifically, lands me on the Fox's sideline.

They've made no demands upon their neighbors. Conversely, the neighborhood (and the neighborhood hoods) are doing everything in their power to run these folks off their land under the guise of [*shudder*] "the greater common good". The principled way for one person to have a say in the property usage of another is to simply buy the land in question. The Fox family doesn't want to sell. That should be the end of the discussion, but it isn't.  This sort of symbolic purchase offer is the perfect subterfuge, allowing the redistributionists to move in and make a land-grab.

Enter the politicians and the lawyers, who will try every trick in the book (and a few that aren't IN the book, but are "implied" by precedent case law) to threaten, coerce, and cajole this elderly couple off their property.

Perhaps Franklin should worry less about the Foxes on their land, and more about the sharks in their Fountains...

- J. Gravelle

( Gravelle isn't supposed to write for this blog, or even contact Kev any more.  The restraining order was very specific.  We don't know how this piece got published, but we suspect he had help from the Democrats who hacked Sarah Palin's email account. )

Dinesh D'Souza on George Obama

Topics talked about on WISN

This afternoon while filling in for Mark Belling on WISN, my special guest was Dinesh D'Souza. Here is his column we talked about.

D'Souza wrote this in another column:

"I invite people to send me small contributions--$5, $10, $25, whatever you can spare. Send them to P.O. Box 3384, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067. Make your checks to "George Obama." I will then contact the Obama campaign and offer them the money on the condition that they forward it to George Obama in Kenya. The advantage of this approach is that not only does George Obama benefit from our generosity, but also Barack Obama can use the opportunity to improve his relationship with his half-brother. Let's foster Obama family values, and give a break to a guy who really needs it."

More from The Telegraph...

Great job, J.

My sincere thanks to guest blogger J. Gravelle for his marvelous contributions today while I was trying to keep the lawsuits to a minimum at WISN.

He’s back on Monday when I fill in again for Mark Belling.

Beloit Superintendent lucky to have his job

Topics talked about on WISN

The Beloit School Board investigates and finds Superintendent Lowell Holtz violated two district policies by allowing a crew to work inside a high school on a pro-Obama video last March.

It’s blatant politicking in a public school funded by the taxpayers. And yes, it would be wrong if the video was about McCain but let’s be real.  That would never happen. Public school officials aren’t stumping for the GOP.  Schools are to educate, not to lobby for votes.

Here’s the story I talked about today on WISN.

She doesn't really care about the right to vote

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton.

Proof that there is a modicum of fiscal sanity left in Tax Hell, USA

On Thursday, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker will once again propose a budget without a tax increase.


I guess that's why he got 80% of the Franklin vote. If only the Franklin School Board had a brain.

Pennsylvania sex offender story: It's Wisconsin deja vu

Since Franklin adopted their groundbreaking sex offender ordinances, over 30 communities have either followed suit, considered similar action or are thinking about enacting restrictive laws of their own.

The latest include Sheboygan Falls, and closer to home, Greenfield were progress is being held up by one alderman who cares more about the offenders’ rights than those of  families with children, and another alderman who wants it clearly known that she is firmly, strongly, solidly non-committal.

That’s why I find this story out of Pennsylvania so fascinating. The Franklin debate isn’t just going on in Wisconsin. It’s happening in other states.

The parallels are amazing.

Steve Hanke pleads for more time

Convicted sex offender Steve Hanke was supposed to move out of his Franklin home this past Monday under a court order or face stiff daily fines. On Thursday, he’ll ask a judge for more time so that he can sell his house.

The City Attorney in Franklin will rightfully argue against the request. Hanke knew during this entire process he stood a good chance of losing because he was in clear violation of Franklin’s restrictive sex offender ordinances. He’s had more than enough time.

A hearing is scheduled before Judge Maxine White on Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Hanke is living in either a hotel or another residence outside Franklin's restrictive zones. He has an offer on a house outside the city limits of Franklin.

UPDATE: Steve Hanke pleads for more time

This morning, Judge Maxine White denied Steve Hanke's motion requesting more time to move out of Franklin's restrictive zones so he can sell his Franklin home.

Here is the story Channel 12 News did last night at 10:00.

DNR bullies get sand kicked in their face

Wednesday afternoon while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I recognized the famous voice in my headphones during some of the spot breaks. Legendary Milwaukee radio celebrity Bob Barry was promoting a new restaurant in Oconomowoc called, “Porticello.”

With glee, I smiled. You have no idea how happy I am that Porticello is up, operating, has a website, and is advertising on a 50-thousand watt radio station like WISN. It has to be driving the tyrannical Department of Natural Resources (DNR) out of their power-hungry minds.

For months, the owner of Porticello, located on Silver Lake, desperately tried to open but ran into roadblocks from the state agency that absolutely loves making life for ordinary citizens as miserable as possible. That would be the DNR, not so affectionately referred to by some as Damn Near Russia.

The DNR tried to put its collective foot down (as always) that a restaurant couldn’t open in what was a vacant, deteriorating building because it was just too darn close to the lake. After all, who ever heard of a restaurant with a water view? How preposterous! We can't have that!

But in the end, the DNR lost, and a persistent and patient entrepreneur won, and it’s just got to grind the DNR’s beans. They had an opportunity to not only make it agonizing for a business, but prevent it from opening altogether. But like Eric Gagne in the 8th inning, the DNR blew it.

They have to be kicking themselves knowing that this…..

is right next to this:

Silver Lake

In June, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, "Last month, (Porticello owner Anthony) Pipito was granted the city zoning variances he needed to legally open Club Porticello on the shore of Silver Lake, despite opponents’ claims that the business will degrade the lake environment.The state Department of Natural Resources has sued the city in Waukesha County Circuit Court, challenging the approval of the zoning variance. The state also sued the city in 2006 and succeeded in getting overturned several zoning variances granted to Pipito by the Board of Zoning Appeals. The small shoreline restaurant/bar building, just 17 feet from the water, underwent a $1 million renovation that transformed it from a beach house to a mini-villa."

It’s everything government bureaucrats hate……a business with great potential for success, drawing in people who will spend money that will help the economy and create jobs. Capitalism in action, virtually on top of a lake!

Ooooh, I bet some DNR minions were taken to the woodshed for dropping the ball big time. Just check out these pictures.

A restaurant, and a bar, only a few steps away from the lake! What an atrocity! The horror! How on God’s green earth could we, the all-powerful, all-knowing DNR allow this injustice to happen????

Even a bully loses a fight once in awhile. It’s nice to see the DNR suffer a black eye.

I wish Porticello the best of luck.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics this week on InterCHANGE, 6:30 Friday night and 11:00 Sunday morning on Channel 10:

1 – Presidential Race & Wall Street.

Was it a smart move by John McCain to say he was going to suspend his campaign, skip the debate, and head to D.C. to work on the Wall Street bailout?  How will it be perceived?  Was it noble and honorable, or just a dirty campaign tactic?  What was his intent?  Do you think the public thinks the economic meltdown is as pressing as Washington insiders are making it out to be?

2 – Walker Budget.

For the 7th time Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker introduces a no tax levy increase budget.  Yes, the county board will increase the taxes, and yes Walker will sign it and use it as his base again next year, but how high would the tax levy be if Walker didn’t make this stand every year?  Once again Walker is proposing privatizing more things, and downsizing the county workforce.  If he is able to cut the county workforce by his proposed 235 employees next year, there will be nearly 2000 fewer county workers than there were when he took office in 2001.  Is it a good time to give some of your top administrators big raises, you’re your telling all of your departments to cut back?

3 -  Brewers.

Are the Brewers up to the task?  Do they have new life?  Will they be able to handle what the Cubs throw their way?  Are the Mets in meltdown mode?  Is this Major League baseball at its best?

I’ll be joined by Joel McNally, former Journal political reporter Ken Lamke, and state Representative Tamara Grigsby.

Congratulations, Dan Jones!

Congratulations to my colleague, Dan Jones, the host of Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE, one of five  veteran Milwaukee broadcasters to be inducted into the Silver Circle of The Chicago/Midwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS).

I have worked with or met four of the five inductees (I’ve never met Vince Condella) and they’re all very deserving of this prestigious honor. Congratulations to all!

It's the weekend This Just In...

That means Week-ends and The Barking Lot on Saturday.

On Sunday, Photos of the Week, Culinary no-no and My Most Popular Blogs.

And you never know what else you may find, but you've got to stop by.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

Want to make sure Halloween is a HOWLING success for all the members of your family?  Then remember Fido would like a little Trick-Or-Treating too!  Your four-legged friend probably won’t be wagging his tail at the thought of dressing up in a costume but face it, you can’t resist.    When you find what you think is the pawfect costume to suit your Poodle’s personality, remember these tips. 


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A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Jane and Timothy Strand


Truman Duncan

Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski, Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor, current Franklin aldermen Steve Olson, Lyle Sohns, Ken Skowronski, Tim Solomon, and former Franklin aldermen Al Hammelman and Pete Kosovich. They are responsible for Franklin's two restrictive sex offender ordinances that have become the model for the rest of the state.


Hospital workers

Whoever did this

Saturday Night Live


"We are in the midst of a serious financial crisis. Our entire economy is in danger. I propose that the federal government reduce the risk posed by the troubled assets and supply urgently needed money so banks and other financial institutions can avoid collapse and resume lending."
President Bush in an address to the nation Wednesday night.

"He admits he still doesn't know how to use a computer, can't send an e-mail, still doesn't understand the economy, and favors $200 billion in new tax cuts for corporations, but almost nothing for the middle class."
A campaign ad mocking John McCain

"I thought that was terrible, by the way. I didn't know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we'd have never done it."
Joe Biden, condemning the above-mentioned campaign ad

"You are even more gorgeous than you are on the [TV]. Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you.I might hug." 
Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari gushing while greeting GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin at the InterContinental hotel in New York.

"I do not want to cut 56 police officers, and I do not want to close any neighborhood libraries in this budget. I didn't set the stage for this. It's the way that I'm required to submit the budget."
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who submitted two budget proposals to the Milwaukee Common Council.In one budget, the city would close two neighborhood libraries, leave 56 police officers' jobs vacant and eliminate two firefighting companies.In the other budget, the city would raise the garbage fee by 28%, keep all 12 neighborhood libraries open and maintain current police strength, but would still shut down one fire company.Both budgets would raise property taxes by 4.8%, reduce library hours, slice into public works services and trim ladder truck crews from five firefighters to four in every company that hasn't already been cut back.

"You have two bad choices here."
Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy, reacting to the pair of budgets submitted by Barrett.

"We understand some people really truly need absentee ballots but some folks are just plain lazy. They don't want to be bothered by having to stand in line."
Brookfield City Clerk Kristine Schmidt, who is doubling her staff to eight full-time employees to handle the influx of absentee ballots.

"I know it won't get done. There's no way it can get done with the amount of absentee voters and the amount of work surrounding this election. That extra level of work process physically cannot get accomplished."
Appleton City Clerk Cindi Hesse. Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has sued the Government Accountability Board, demanding checks of thousands of voters' identities back to Jan. 1, 2006. A judge isn't expected to make any rulings in the case until 12 days before the election.

"The unelected GAB,(Government Accountability Board) made up of former judges, was instituted by the Wisconsin Legislature in 2007, in order to more aggressively enforce existing elections laws.  Instead, the Board has deigned it necessary to make new laws which have never been considered by the Legislature.  (Also known as those who represent the people of Wisconsin.) For instance, the GAB is trying to make itself the sole group that decides what can and can’t be said during an election.  They are looking into promulgating rules that would allow them to regulate the timing and content of political speech in Wisconsin by determining what is and what is not 'express advocacy.'"
Christian Schneider of the Wisconsin Policy Reserach Institute


In America's waiting rooms, you wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait....


Racism in the Democrat Party. 
 Why wasn't this a 3, 4, 5-day story? Well, we know why.


John McCain single-handedly ruined approval of a financial institution bailout. Oh, really?


He was charged with battery on a police officer because he......passed gas.

Hi yo Silver!

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Virus warning

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Sarah Palin" in the subject line, do not open it. It might contain a virus.

If you get an e-mail with "Nude Photos of Hillary Clinton", do not open it.  It might contain nude photos of Hillary Clinton.

The Big Ten is a bust......again

Year in and year out, the Big Ten Conference proves how the so-called experts overestimate its football strength, especially when the bowl games roll around.

Ohio State was supposed to be untouchable. They go to LA and get thrashed by USC. Then USC lays an egg against lowly Oregon State.

Notre Dame, not the best team that’s ever come out of South Bend, annihilates Michigan. Michigan rallies from a 19-0 deficit today to beat previously unbeaten Wisconsin.

Today, I heard more than a handful of national sportscasters rave about Penn State. We’ll see.

UPDATE on 9/28/08: The latest polls

God bless a brave young woman

She’s a pretty young woman with blonde hair and a beautiful smile.

Her name is Angie. Angie has been married to a nearly lifelong friend of mine’s son for about a year and a half.

Earlier this month, Angie had a double mastectomy. Some lymph nodes were also removed. Her relatives and friends hoped and prayed the worst was over.

But Angie developed severe headaches, and when the pain got too intense, she went to the hospital where she got more gut-wrenching news. The cancer has spread and she’s now fighting a brain tumor.

Today in Chicago, more than $1 million was raised to combat breast cancer during a special run and walk. Milwaukee gets its turn to help fight this deadly disease Sunday.

Friday night at the high school football game I worked at, I spoke with an older gentleman who has been through several bypasses. We agreed that modern medicine has made tremendous strides. But there are two sides to that coin. Despite all the funding and generous donations and ongoing research, there remain unsolved questions that leave far too many people asking why? Why? Why me? Why now?

Life isn’t even close to being fair.

Angie is 28 years old. 

UPDATE on 9/28/08: From today's USA WEEKEND, scroll down to read, Better way to detect breast cancer.

Lots of Cub fans in town

My wife and I saw them while dining last night at America's at the Wyndham hotel near the airport.

They were the ones inside the very nice restaurant with their Cub t-shirts, denim shorts, and sneakers, and their Cub hats firmly on top of their heads.

Please don't boo this blog

It’s a blog about this guy….




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Two icons together in today's paper


The Hamilton Collection Disney Mickey Mouse And Elvis Collectible Figurine: Jumpsuit Salute



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Something to think about today in church

 It happens rarely at St. Anthony’s where I usher every Sunday, but when it does, I cringe. I head to the church vestibule and pace.

When a priest starts talking politics from the pulpit, my uneasiness is brought on for several reasons:

1) Personally, I live it all week and don’t feel the need for it or want it on Sunday morning.

2) OK, what side is Father going to take?

3) Generally, the message, no matter how well-intentioned, is anything but interesting and is delivered poorly.

In all my years of attending Sunday Mass, I have never heard a priest tell me who to vote for. Wouldn’t do any good. I wouldn’t listen anyway.

When the subject of politics is broached, a member of the cloth takes a chance that he’ll alienate some parishioners and their pocketbooks. As a veteran usher, I’ve seen two subjects that have led people in the pews to get up, walk out, and never return: Moolah and politics.

Even though I get queasy, I firmly believe priests and ministers should be allowed to talk politics if they choose, despite a federal law prohibiting religious organizations and other non-profits that except tax-deductible donations from involvement in political campaigns.

Today, across the country, 33 ministers will walk up to the pulpit and endorse a candidate for President in defiance of the federal law. Pulpit Freedom Sunday hopes to draw attention to the need to change the law and the Internal Revenue Service is fully aware of this protest. The IRS says it “will monitor the situation and take action as appropriate.”

I’m not sure what that means. Will the IRS have agents attending services, ready to pounce when Father Joe says, “Vote for John McCain,” and put the cuffs on?

This is a freedom of speech issue. Let them speak.

Goodness knows other entities that receive tax money, and lots of it, are involved in political campaigns.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (9/21/08)

2) Culinary no-no #77

3) Why should Franklin taxpayers pay mileage/expenses for elected officials?

4) Who is Gianna Jessen, and why does Barack Obama think she should be dead?

5) Is Obama losing ground?

Photos of the Week (9/28/08)

Photos of the Week

 Presidential Debate

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. left, shake hands with republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., after their presidential debate Friday, Sept. 26, 2008 at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Miss. Republican presidential candidate, (AP Photo/Chip Somodevilla, Pool) 

 U.S. President George W. Bush delivers a nationally televised address from the White House to discuss a $700 billion financial rescue plan that he feels is needed to shore up the U.S. economy, in this frame grab taken in Washington on September 24, 2008. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

U.S. President George W. Bush delivers a nationally televised address from the White House to discuss a $700 billion financial rescue plan that he feels is needed to shore up the U.S. economy. (Photo: Reuters)


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It's amazing he's out there playing

One could certainly understand if Tampa Bay kicker Matt Bryant decided not to play today, but he's out there giving it his all against the Packers after suffering a personal tragedy this week.

UPDATE @ 3:12 Sunday afternoon: Matt Bryant kicks the game-winning field goal for the Bucs. Tampa Bay 30, Green Bay, 21.

If I'm not mistaken...

One of my colleagues on InterCHANGE, Gerard Randall said during one of our programs last month that Packer QB Aaron Rodgers would be injured by the fourth game of the season.

Looking for a Christmas present for Aaron?

Oh, and by the way, how did Brett do today?

Brewers vs. Phillies playoff schedule

Game 1:
Brewers at Phillies, Wednesday

Game 2: Brewers at Phillies, Thursday

Game 3: Phillies at Brewers, Saturday

Game 4: Phillies at Brewers, next Sunday (if necessary)

Game 5: Brewers at Phillies, Oct. 7 (if necessary)

The games will be telecast on TBS.

Another belated HERO OF THE WEEK

Matthew Daus

2nd UPDATE: Even if Sarah Palin loses, society wins

I’ve been blogging that even if Sarah Palin should lose in her bid to be the next Vice President, society wins because Palin will have raised awareness about the blessing a Down syndrome baby can mean and the joy it can bring to a family. Studies show the overwhelming majority of Down syndrome babies are aborted.

Last week, the House passed the Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act, introduced by Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. President Bush will sign the legislation into law that requires that parents be given the most up-to-date information on conditions and treatment for children diagnosed with Down syndrome, Cystic Fibrosis, and other prenatally or postnatally diagnosed conditions.

Thank you, Congressman Sensenbrenner, for this compassionate and critical legislation.

Ed Hochuli needs a vacation

Hochuli does it again.

Culinary no-no #78

Culinary no-no's

In Amarillo, Texas, they call it the Big Texan Challenge. No one asks, “Where’s the beef?" at the Big Texan restaurant where your four and a half pound steak is free, if…..

I’ll let Lindsay explain.



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I'm on WISN Monday

I fill in for Mark Belling from 3-6 on Newstalk 1130 WISN.


J. Gravelle from The Daily Scoff pinch-hits for me Monday with some more exceptional guest blogs. 

Scoff the charts

By guest blogger J. Gravelle

Last week, my guest postings for Kev here on Franklin Now's "This Just In" blog resulted in enough traffic over to my site, the Daily Scoff, that we surpassed our 10,000th visitor threshold.  I wanted to make a point of sincerely thanking you, Mr. Fischer's readers, for helping make that possible.

Of course, it occurred to me that people might mis-interpret this expression of my humble gratitude for some sort of thinly veiled promotion for my blog, the Daily Scoff, found online at  Nothing could be further from the truth.

You see, integrity is a key component to the success of the Daily Scoff.  When people click on, they know that they're entering into a world of insight unlike anything found anywhere else except at the Daily Scoff, my renowned personal blogging site.  I'd hate for people to believe that this incidental mention of my Daily Scoff blog was in any way self-serving, or that the Daily Scoff   was just some cheap, promotional vehicle for me to promote myself by say, selling books (like my autobiographical "Homeless to Homeowner" available online, autographed and inscribed for under ten bucks on the home page at the Daily Scoff) or that I was more interested in generating revenue by encouraging readers to click the ad banners that appear with each day's Daily Scoff editorial.

No, it is my strict adherence to professionalism, unencumbered by the distractions of capitalist motivations or my own self interests, that have made my site, the Daily Scoff, such a phenomenal success.  This has come about in the absence of any manner of indulgent, egotistical interests, despite how awesome the Daily Scoff blog truly is.

But enough of that.  I'm here to fill in for Mr. Fischer again today, and not just prattle on about my site ( so let's get on with it, shall we?

Today, I'd like to talk to you about-- oh man, not a lot of room left here.  Um...

Go Brewers!

- J. Gravelle

[ Kevin Fischer is filling in for Mark Belling today.  WISN's gain is your loss.  Gravelle works cheap.  Deal with it... ]

Oh What a Tangled Webb

By guest blogger J. Gravelle

This weekend, my son and I had just stocked up on our pre-game Packer™ supplies.  For him, it was BBQ potato chips and fruit punch, two of the four basic food groups.  (Good parents like me are conscientious of things like that.)

For me, since it's my duty as a Dad to be a role model, I stocked up on Lynchburg Lemonade and jalepeño Krunchers™.  Sadly, I only bought a six-pack of booze, which did little to numb the pain of watching the Buccaneers beat us.  The level of suffering was largely my fault though, because half way through the fourth quarter I started cramming the red-hot potato chips in my eyeballs, preferring that searing physical pain to the emotional torment of watching another futile drive start with a feeble off-tackle run for negative yardage.

But I'm not bitter at the Packers.  I'm peeyoed at the George Webb's™ in Germantown for getting me upset twenty minutes before kickoff.  You see, Green Bay can't have a good game if I'm not in the right frame of mind.  They need me in a good mood to wish all the right stuff on them.  (All true football fans understand this.  If you don't get it, just stop reading right now and go back to your knitting.)

Up until this weekend, I really liked George Webb's.  Their food is a lot like me:  cheap and a little greasy, but enjoyable if you're willing to overlook a few things.  But being completely ignored by a wait staff can't be dismissed, nor excused.  But it can be publicized.  Let's!

11:25 AM - My son and I enter the restaurant.  Being a (former) weekly regular, I know how long it takes to cycle in and out of Webb's, and I know how to adjust that expectation depending on how many staff are on duty and how full the restaurant is.  We're in luck.  There are three empty tables in the non-smoking section, two booths available in smoking, and only three of the stools are occupied.  Further, they're running a full shift, with two working the kitchen, one bus boy, and at least two waitresses visible at any time.  We take our seats at a non-smoking table, adjacent to the counter.  "Certainly, we'll make it home in time for the kickoff, son" I assure the apprehensive youth, patting him Dad-illy on the head.

11:30 AM - Nobody has said "boo" to us.  This despite the fact that everybody going to and from the kitchen has to walk right past us.  They've managed to avoid eye contact entirely.  My son and I discuss the possibility that we've turned invisible, but he rejects my suggestion that a naked table dance could test our theory.  We instead opt for feeble waves, offering "Hi? Hello?  We're ready to order..."

11:35 AM - My phone rings.  Nobody hears it but me.  Thinking perhaps that I AM invisible, I start to unbuckle my pants.  But my ringtone isn't really music to strip by, so I opt to answer the telephone instead.  It's my girlfriend, and I give her the synopsis I've just given you.  Here, I notice that the people at the next table, who were done eating when we sat down, are equally frustrated that the waitstaff is completely ignoring them.  They are, effectively, hostages.  I toy with the idea of convincing them they're invisible, but I didn't really want to see any of them naked.

11:40 AM - Eye contact!  My waitress, whose name tag bore what I believe is the Swahili word for "up yours" saw my hungry, pleading expression.  She answered by rolling her eyes and visibly exhaling in the universal sign for "what the h*ll do YOU want"?  She shuffled over to within four, maybe five feet of our table (staying just beyond arm's reach was a wise survival mechanism) where she greeted us with "You want some ta drink?"

"Actually," my restrained diatribe started "we need-ED something to drink AND need-ED something to eat when we walked in here fifteen minutes ago.  At this point, we don't have time for either.  All I need is your manager's business card with his or her full name and store number."  Our cheery waitress shuffled back to her supervisor, the people at the next table clawing at her sleeve like teenage girls trying to get Johnny Depp's autograph, but to no avail.

The elderly supervisor made her way to our table, her face in a confused scowl, and asked "You don't want nothin' to eat?"  I repeated my explanation, and reiterated my plea for the business card.

I didn't get a business card.  I didn't get an apology.  I didn't even get a disingenuous attempt at "we're really busy and under-staffed".  Here's what I got:

If that looks suspiciously like a torn and folded placemat, that's because it's a torn and folded placemat.  I've obfuscated the phone number until I can contact "Vicki" and give her a sporting chance to win me over.  Plus, the "waitress" may have fabricated this number.  I know, it's hard to imagine that a woman could give a guy she met over the weekend a bogus phone number, but it could happen.  No, really.

Hey, stop with the giggling.  Weren't you supposed to be knitting?

- J. Gravelle

[ Gravelle is filling in for Kevin today, and on his lunch break, will be looking for a new burger joint (while eating hamburgers is still legal).  He welcomes your suggestions for alternative restaurants... ]

Why Conservatives Should Love Tom Barrett

By guest blogger J. Gravelle

A conservative mayor couldn't have spearheaded as ambitious a crime fighting initiative in Milwaukee's inner-city as Tom Barrett has.

Any right-wing leader who would dare recruit an out-of-town white guy to displace a female Chief of Police and start locking up inner-city gangstas (in disproportionately melanin-rich proportions, mind you) would face the unrelenting wrath of editorial boards, political activists, and haughty minority pontificators like Eugene Kane and Joel McNally.  (McNally is TOO a minority, dammit.  He's a hippie with a lifelong career that didn't involve a tambourine player.)

I like to think I'm a good judge of character.   I've been wrong about folks before, but I have a pretty good lifetime batting average when analyzing people.  And I know I'm not the first person who, while being 180 degrees out of phase with Tom Barrett's political philosophy, thinks he's probably a nice guy.

I met Tom Barrett a couple times before he became mayor of Milwaukee.  He seems genuinely sincere, genuinely concerned, and genuinely committed to public service.

Being a liberal, he's also often genuinely wrong about a lot of things, which I've written about many times before, on my blog, the Daily-- nah, I won't start that again.

But he was (and is) right to be aggressive toward inner-city crime.  It is a cancer eating Milwaukee from within, and Doctor Barrett wouldn't be allowed to hold a scalpel anywhere near that tumor if he were a right-winger.   Take the Hugo Chavez poster off his wall, hang an autographed Ronald Reagan 8-by-10 in its place, and imagine what a different scenario it would be.

A Republican Tom Barrett would be pilloried for Ed Flynn, for every task force, for every re-assigned officer, and for every stepped-up law enforcement effort aimed at curtailing crime anywhere north of Wells Street, by the same people who are currently willing to look the other way just because Hizonner doesn't have any lapel pins with elephants on them.

The fact of the matter is that, at least when it comes to addressing inner-city crime, the best conservative for the job is probably a liberal:  Tom Barrett...

- J. Gravelle

[ Every so often, Gravelle stops rambling long enough to make a salient political point.  If you see his pharmacist, thank him for that...]

Thanks once again, J.Gravelle!


You’re too young, J.Gravelle, but there was once a guy who played for the Detroit Tigers named Gates Brown. All he did was pinch hit, and opposing pitchers could never get him out. He was the best. You are the Gates Brown of the blogosphere.

But as good as you were today, it’s tough to top your entry from last week entitled, “Embracing Sprawl.”

It hit all the right nerves. Your blog jabbed liberals. It took a shot at………GASP……people tired of living in the city who move out to the suburbs and actually expect that there be places to buy gas and milk (that whole sprawl deal). And you were critical of non-developer David Hintzman. Since we were talking baseball earlier, at least the really good guys get acknowledged if they get a hit three times every ten at-bats. Hintzman is O for the last 3 years. But it’s not his fault. As your guest blog pointed out, it’s those nasty Foxes. How dare they, like, stay in their own house.

You know what you’ve done, J.Gravelle? You’ve made Hintzman one nervous Nellie. His oh-so busy day just got busier thanks to you.

Now when he gets to the office, in addition to feverishly checking my blog to see what I might have written about his non-development, he now has to check The Daily Scoff to make sure that you, too, haven’t blogged about that veritable dust bowl at 56th and Rawson. That, of course, is before he gets his coffee and donut and reads the paper and watches Oprah, etc. What is it that you and I are up to again? Oh, yeh. We have an agenda. Silly us, actually wanting development to go up at a development site.

Well, you done good today. But I have to admit, I’m still lovin’ that post from last Wednesday.

(Announcer whispers) The password is "grandstanding"

Last week was another wild one in Franklin politics. I lost track of how many times elected officials and Franklin bloggers used the word, “grandstanding” to describe Franklin alderman Steve Olson’s proposed resolution to do away with the  $150 bonus checks Common Council members get every month courtesy of the Franklin taxpayers to spend however they choose.

Franklin is fortunate to have concerned, well-intentioned community bloggers who follow issues, attend meetings, and do some digging. On the Olson resolution, they, along with elected officials, crossed the line.

They certainly can and should question the merits of any proposal, and they did. But they also questioned the alderman’s motivation, to the point of being petty and personal, calling Olson lazy, a politician hogging for the limelight.


Blogger Bryan Maersch was correct when he wrote, “
Last Common Council meeting (September 8th) Council President Steve Taylor proposed and received the abolishment of fee waivers to Franklin Non-Profits which was quickly vetoed by the Mayor on September 11th.  A supposed $5,000 dollar savings to Franklin taxpayers.  I guess there was no political grandstanding going on there!!!!”

But it was “grandstanding” when an alderman some people just don’t like was behind the proposal.

Citizens have been instructed on these blogs to check the agendas of public meetings, and yet nobody would have known about Olson’s proposal unless I had blogged about it a few days before the last Council meeting. Suddenly everybody had an opinion.

Alderman Olson can handle the criticism and doesn’t need me to speak on his behalf. But it is extremely unfair to say an alderman, any alderman is “grandstanding” for introducing a legitimate, thoughtful proposal.

Obama and the bracelet

Topics talked about on WISN

Barack Obama just couldn’t stand to be upstaged during a memorable moment at last Friday’s debate with John McCain.

McCain had just answered a question about Iraq by referring to a bracelet he wears to honor a soldier killed in the war. Obama said that he, too, had a bracelet.

Then he hesitated and stumbled because he couldn’t remember the name of the young man on the bracelet that he’s been wearing since February. And he proceeded to talk about the bracelet, even though the soldier’s mother asked him last February not to discuss the bracelet anytime on the campaign trail, during speeches or at debates. Since the debate took place, the mother said she didn't have a problem with what Obama did.

No big deal, you say?

Breaking a confidence is substantial, especially betraying the trust of a woman who lost a son in Iraq. It also doesn't matter what the mother says today, it's what she asked Obama months ago that matters and the fact Obama did just the opposite.

It made for quite the discussion today as I filled in for Mark Belling on WISN. Here are details from ABC.

UPDATE: There are reports that Obama has been consistently talking about the bracelet on the campaign trail despite Jopek's request back in February. Thus, Obama refuses to respect the wishes of the family and last Friday was not the first time Obama brought up the bracelet in public. Here's just one example from May of this year.

The latest from Great Lakes Distillery

 That's where my cousin Dog MacKenzie works. He's pictured near the end of this newsletter


The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 17-

Something Special from Wisconsin

Great Lakes Distillery is the only distillery member of  the Wisconsin State Agriculture Departments "Something Special from Wisconsin" created to promote Wisconsin produced products.

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Could the Brewers phlop vs. Philly?

Of course they could. This Philadelphia team didn’t phinish in phirst in their division because they’re some kind of phluke. Taking nothing away from the Brewers, let’s analyze what they’re up against:

1) The Phillies have the home field advantage. If the series goes to Game 5, that's critical.

2) When we last saw our Brew Crew heroes in Citizen’s Bank Park, they were being swept by these Phillies, four straight. The meltdown almost cost them the wild card. It did cost them their manager.

3) The Fightin’ Phils have the last two National League most valuable players. Last year, it was shortstop Jimmy Rollins, the year before slugger Ryan Howard. Howard could win the honor again this year. Second baseman Chase Utley might be the best all-around player in the league.

4) There are no CY Young Award possibilities on this team, but the rotation for the Phillies is far from terrible. They’ll open with Cole Hamels, a talented left-hander with a wicked changeup. Next up will be Brett Myers, a hard-throwing righty. Myers was horrendous at the start of the season and spent time in the minors. He came back and looked sensational, but has come back to earth the last couple of outings. Advantage in Game 2: CC and the Brewers, but don’t sell Myers short.

In Game Three, the Phillies will send 45-year old lefty Jamie Moyer to the mound. Opposing batters hate going against him because he throws off-speed and with little velocity.  Brewer batters will have to contend with, and adjust to, three distinctly different pitching styles the first three games: a brutal changeup, a more conventional hard-thrower, and then the sleepy Moyer. The Brewer starters, save Sabathia, will have their hands full while Brewer hitters could be thrown off-balance going up against a lefty, then a righty, then another lefty. And will Sabathia’s marathon outings finally catch up with him?

Relief pitching: Huge advantage for Philadelphia. They have an outstanding group of relievers and the best closer in the National League, Brad Lidge who is 41 out of 41 in save opportunities this season.

5) The Brewer offense is not as potent as that of the Phillies.

6) Don’t forget the intangible, and quite possibly the most important factor in this series. I sense the rollercoaster Brewers, after a series of gut-wrenching, emotional, must-win performances may be just happy to get into the playoffs. It’s happened to many teams before, and if that’s the case, it could spell doom.

Last year, the Phillies came down to the wire and won their division, sending them to the playoffs for the first time since 1993. Then termites got into their bat racks, and they suffered an embarrassing sweep to the Colorado Rockies. This time, the Phillies want to avoid a similar first round departure. The desire to advance further than last year could be the difference.

The Brewers need to win Game 2 (Yes, I'm conceding Game One) that could bring them home tied in the series 1-1 with the next two games at Miller Park.

The Phillies have better hitting, starting pitching, defense, and bullpen relief. Plus, they’ve been there before. This won’t be easy.

UPDATE: Here's a foreboding stat from Fox Sports..."(Ben) Sheets has never pitched in the postseason, and  (CC) Sabathia, in four playoff starts, has an ERA of 7.17 ERA."

Will the weatherman cooperate? Showers are in the forecast most of the day for Game One in Philly.

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