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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.

New year, new laws

With the start of a new year comes an onslaught of brand new laws in states all across the country. Here are a couple of good ones.

Several months ago, I blogged about what a great idea this was, and beginning today in neighboring Illinois, the Cindy Bischof law goes into effect. Blago got this one right.

Here’s another new law worthy of merit. Taggers in California will now be required to clean up their criminal mess. Graffiti is not art, it’s destruction.

But not every law is a good one. Take for example this gem in Arizona. Some lawmaker really got too creative when this got concocted. It’s now a no-no if motorists don’t make sure their license plate holder allows the name, “Arizona” on the plate to be seen. If the view is obstructed, it could mean a hefty fine.

Excuse me, but Arizona seriously wants their law enforcers to be out searching high and low for this grave injustice? Don't they, as is so often said, have more important things to do?

Here’s a rundown of many of the news laws that go on the books today from Stateline.

This is not surprising

According to a new poll, most active duty military personnel are not optimistic about their soon-to-be new commander in chief.

Hmmmm. Couldn't be Barack Obama's willingness to sit down and talk nicey-nice with terrorists, could it?


No InterCHANGE tonight or Sunday

The panel roundtable discussion returns next Friday night at 6:30 on Channel 10.

Franklin should ban sick leave mandates

alderman Steve Olson does not want to see a repeat of what happened in the city of Milwaukee last November. Olson has introduced a resolution that will be taken up at Tuesday’s Franklin Common Council meeting that would ban a sick leave mandate.

On November 4, 2008, city of Milwaukee voters approved a referendum to create a sick-leave law. Under the law, employees are required to receive up to one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked in the city of Milwaukee, even if the employer is based outside Milwaukee, amounting to nine days each year. Employees of businesses with less than 10 workers would receive to five sick days per year. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is suing the city over the law.

MMAC correctly argues that the new law is a jobs killer.  The struggling economy will prevent businesses from increasing their budgets to pay for the additional sick days. They will have to resort to cutting jobs or benefits.

Milwaukee’s law led West Allis and South Milwaukee to pass their own laws barring sick leave mandates, West Allis on December 2, South Milwaukee on December 16. Olson wants Franklin to adopt a similar law.

Here’s Olson’s resolution:

An Ordinance to Create Chapter 191 ­of the Municipal Code Relating to the Non-Regulation of Employee Wages or Benefits for Private Businesses (Ald. Olson)

Attached is a draft ordinance as above-entitled and as requested by Aldermen Olson.  Also attached are copies of news reports of like ordinances being adopted by the Cities of South Milwaukee and West Allis, and of litigation being commenced against the City of Milwaukee to enjoin the enforcement of certain direct legislation, where a November 2008 referendum produced the direct legislation which requires private businesses in Milwaukee to provide sick pay benefits to employees.  The South Milwaukee and West Allis legislation are presumably based upon the following rule of law in an attempt to in effect preempt any direct legislation in those municipalities as had occurred in Milwaukee.  Direct legislation cannot be used to compel a city council to repeal an existing ordinance or resolution or to compel the passage of an ordinance which would be in clear conflict with one already in existence, such that it would act as a repealer of the existing ordinance. Heitman v. City of Mauston Common Council, 226 Wis.2d 542, 595 N.W.2d 450 (Ct. App. 1999), review denied 604 N.W.2d 572, 230 Wis.2d 275.

 STATE OF WISCONSIN           CITY OF FRANKLIN        MILWAUKEE COUNTY ORDINANCE NO. 2009-_____ AN ORDINANCE TO Create CHAPTER 191 ­of the Municipal Code Relating to THE NON-REGULATION of Employee Wages or Benefits for Private Businesses

WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Franklin seeks to foster a positive and growing business climate within the City; and

WHEREAS, Franklin is home to many small and medium sized businesses; and 

WHEREAS, the Common Council of the City of Franklin recognizes its responsibility in promoting a free market and limited government intrusion into private enterprise.  

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

SECTION 1:              Chapter 191 of the Municipal Code of the City of Franklin, Wisconsin, is hereby created to read as follows:

                                “Chapter 191 PRIVATE BUSINESS EMPLOYEE WAGE AND BENEFIT NON-REGULATION                                     

§191-1.  Limitation of municipal regulation.
No ordinance of the City of Franklin nor any other municipal ordinance, rule, or regulation shall mandate that any business entity, other than the City itself, shall provide certain wages or benefits to its employees or set forth the amount or type of any employee wages or benefits provided by an employer located within the City limits.” 

SECTION 2:              The terms and provisions of this ordinance are severable.  Should any term or provision of this ordinance be found to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining terms and provisions shall remain in full force and effect. 

SECTION 3:                  All ordinances and parts of ordinances in contravention to this ordinance are hereby repealed.

ORDINANCE NO. 2009-_____

SECTION 4:                 This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage and publication.

Introduced at a regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Franklin this ______ day of __________________, 2009, by Alderman


Passed and adopted at a regular meeting of the Common Council of the City of Franklin this ______ day of _______________________, 2009.


Thomas M. Taylor, Mayor


Sandra L. Wesolowski, City Clerk   

This is a sound resolution that needs to be approved by the Franklin Common Council next Tuesday.

Milwaukee, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., have the sick-leave mandates.

Those old troublemakers at Mayfair

Friday’s Journal Sentinel carried this letter to the editor:

Trouble does not belong to the young

During the week ending Dec. 27, Mayfair Mall saw a 36-year-old woman attempt to shoplift $850 in merchandise, a 70-year-old pervert try to touch other moviegoers inappropriately and a brawl involving several 20-something men.

So, Mayfair, are you ready yet to admit that trouble is caused by all age groups, or are you going to continue with your doctrinaire teenage chaperone policy?

Matthew Timothy Phillips
St. Francis

So what's the point? Adults should have to bring even older adults with them before they're allowed into Mayfair?

My guess is Mayfair will continue with its current teen chaperone restrictions, and for good reason…. they work.

Here’s more.

Let the arguing begin

Utah blasted Alabama in last night's Sugar Bowl to finish the season 13-0.

Oklahoma and Florida play Thursday for the national championship. Each team has one loss.

College football needs a playoff system in Division 1.

Whiny school boards and voters that cave

J.Gravelle, my top guest blogger, had his column published in Friday’s Journal Sentinel.

Using his clever, razor-sharp wit, J. was, as usual, right on the money.

Way to go, partner!

This wouldn't be happening in Green Bay


The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

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

TODAY:  Warmer with some early morning sun will give way to clouds, then freezing rain later in the day (around 6 p.m.) that could change to a mix of rain and snow late tonight. The National Weather Service says, "

SUNDAY:  A wintry mix. You'll wake up to rain, sleet, and snow. "F"

Ask any pet owner and they will tell you of course the toughest part of it all is “the end.”  When it is time to say goodbye to a furry part of the family that has made you laugh, greeted you at the door, and more than likely shared a table scrap or two with you.

I was in fifth grade when my pet rabbit died, and fortunately for me, Mother Nature took Thumper on her own.  There was no need for vet-assisted euthanasia.  I didn’t need to deal with those issues until I was in college, with my two dogs and cat.  Needless to say no one in our family wanted to have to make the final decision as to when they should be taken to the vet to be “put to sleep.”  But in all three cases it was very obvious when the time came.  They certainly can’t tell you in words what they want but when you look in their eyes, you know.

The most-debated topic Kevin and I have about getting a dog is that they are with you for such a relatively short time and the good-bye is so painful that it makes him think twice about the whole thing.  I, of course, feel that the last days of heartbreak are outweighed by the many years of love and joy.  (I feel that if you applied this same theory to the rest of your life you would never love another human for the chance of heartbreak and loss years later.)

Recently a dear lady I know had to have the family Golden Retriever put down after a long battle with cancer.  He was a very special dog to the family, deeply loved by all, especially her children.  I don’t know how she and her husband handled the situation with them.  I am guessing that she was kind and gentle in her explanations and let each child deal with it in the way they needed to, whether that was saying goodbye privately or being at the vet’s side when the dog was put down.

As we are getting ready to bring a new, precious life into this world, Kevin and I talk about lots of hopes, dreams, and plans for our baby.  While he’s talking about a happy healthy baby that will someday earn a full scholarship to the University of Hawaii, I’m dreaming about the day we bring a fat, fuzzy puppy home and say, “She’s all yours!”  But I do wonder how parents deal with the situation of young children learning about the death of a family pet.

Perhaps this article can offer some insight and helpful ideas when you are faced with a similar situation as a parent.  Another resource offers thoughts on how you will know it is “time” and coping with pet loss. 

To date, one of the most difficult things I have ever done is to be with each of my pets during their final moments.  I held each one of them in my arms as the vet administered the shot that would bring them peace.  When I got home I could still hear the echoes of their paws on the floor, the clanking of their tags on their collars.  I would dream about them.  It would take me a long time to get over the experience.  Yet when the time came again, there I was.  I felt it was the very least I could do for a companion that had given me so much.  I wish I would have had this poem when I still owned Sugar, Skippy, and Tommy.  But now that I know about it, it will have a prominent place in our future dog’s life…  perhaps hanging above her own special doggy bed.  I think it is a lovely tribute to our four-legged friends. 
---Jennifer Fischer

Thank you once again, Jennifer. For newcomers to this blog, we always open with the dog-walking forecast, followed by Jennifer's main blog. Then it's my turn, with DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the previous week.

In Florida, Coco digs up dead baby.

White House dogs get wary, driver arrested.

Here's a picture of Murphy who was beaten.

Happy ending: Murphy is getting better and had a special honor this week.

We've blogged quite often about dogs in the movies. In "Marley and Me," as many as 22 dogs are used to portray the lead character. It begs the question: Should dog actors be allowed to go out on strike?

And here's a leftover from 2008, an article that made the news before Jennifer and I started our dog blog, the story of Yeppa and Harriet.

That's it for our inaugural installment of The Barking Lot for 2009. Last week, we featured a piece from the Wisconsin Division of Tourism about traveling with your pooch. We close this week with news that will have you shaking your head, wondering if certain pet travel is worth it.




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...


USC Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez warms up before the start of the 95th Rose Bowl game against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2009. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Photo: Reuters

That's USC Trojans quarterback Mark Sanchez as he warms up before the start of the 95th Rose Bowl game against the Penn State Nittany Lions in Pasadena, California, January 1, 2009. USC won easily, continuing the Big Ten's pattern of laying eggs in bowl games.

Take a look at the message underneath Sanchez's eyes.


What does it mean? Here's the answer with details from September and  November......and this video.

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"The kids are simply being allowed to graduate with less skills"

That's how one blogger who just happens to be an MPS teacher simply and succinctly reacts to a report that MPS graduation rates are up, but students aren't improving their performance. He's right, by the way.

Read the Journal Sentinel story, then the blog.

Brand new feature coming to This Just In...

It debuts tomorrow, Sunday.


That can't be possible.

ANOTHER weekend feature on This Just In?


ANOTHER weekend feature on This Just In.

I'd love to give more details, but that might give it away. So just return Sunday (You know you will) to find out.
I just love surprises, don't you?

Food for thought

This is fascinating.

A Canadian study has found that too much thinking can make you fat.

That’s right. Too much use of your though process can cause you to put on weight. Apparently too much brain work causes stress that results in overeating. Again, absolutely fascinating.

However, with all due respect to the researchers at the
Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada, I’m afraid I have to express some skepticism. I’m not sure I buy the study’s findings. I can easily think of an example close to home that defies the study’s conclusion.

Allow me to elaborate…



Kevin, Kevin, Kevin.

This is your conscience speaking.

You are to be reminded that this is a new year. We still bask in the season of peace on Earth, good will to all men.

It is quite apparent the direction you are headed.

You need to seriously reconsider.

You are about to engage in totally sophomoric, juvenile behavior.

Do you really want to do this, Kevin?

It is beneath you.

Do you honestly want to sink to the childish levels of others?

Do you?

So unprofessional, so unbecoming of an adult.

The choice is yours, Kevin. Choose wisely.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.



Anyways….Anywho…..It was just a thought. (Gosh, I hoped I spelled everything right)

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

This is a must-read, from the highly under-rated Lakeland Times, A perfect storm for WEAC's, Democrats' greed.”

“All the pieces of the puzzle are sitting on the table known as the state of Wisconsin. And all the players have been elected to sit at the table and put the pieces together. When it's done, it shall no doubt be called The Shafting of the Wisconsin Taxpayer. Let me tell you a thing or two about the players who are so eager to take your money. They are tax-and-spend liberals, in the old-fashioned sense of the word. They control the state Assembly. They control the state Senate. Worst of all, they are led by the biggest tax-and-spend liberal of them all, Gov. Diamond Jim Doyle.”

Another outstanding piece from the Lakeland Times, Is Doyle telling the truth on state budget deficit?” 

“Why would the governor mislead? All of which begs the question: Why would Doyle throw out such a misleading and large number, knowing it contained, at the very least, $2.76 billion in new spending requests from individual state agencies, much of which was unrealistic and unlikely to be approved, even by the governor himself? One answer, of course, could be that federal money and a chance for the state to get its hands on it.”

Income tax holiday could be right idea

“If you want to encourage people to spend money, give them greater access to money through the tax system. Specifically, as proposed by U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, suspend income tax withholding for two months, in lieu of allowing the treasury secretary to spend the second half of the $700 billion bailout bill from earlier this year.”

Obama Will Ration Your Health Care

“It is nearly certain that the process of determining which drugs and which treatments would be approved for use would be quickly politicized. The details of health-care policy may not be kitchen table conversation, but the fact that a Washington committee can deny grandma a hip replacement due to her age, or your sister a new and expensive drug, is. Health care is personal and voters will pressure lawmakers on access to care. Liberal experts believe that America needs to ration new technology and drugs.”

After 6 months, drivers ignoring cellphone ban

The twenty biggest stories of 2008

Everyone does lists. This is a very good one.

Make 2009 the year of useful information

"So here’s a New Years Resolution for our friends in the media: fewer unqualified experts, less wild speculation, more legitimate and even useful information."

Wild speculation? A Franklin story from 2008 comes to mind: Boomgaard.

Red light districts, secret votes taken behind closed doors. Wild speculation? That’s all it was. There's a stronger word that comes to mind.


Tonight, the San Diego Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts in an NFL playoff game, 23-17, in overtime.

The Chargers won the toss in overtime, opted to receive, and drove down the field for the winning touchdown, aided by several penalties to advance to the next round.

I again raise the issue that if the team that wins the toss in overtime scores on its first drive, the opposite team should get the ball for one last drive. I wouldn't mind seeing the current rule of sudden death changed. A playoff spot shouldn't come down to the toss of a coin.

Whatever happened to Billy Lee Morford?

Remember, we were informed by authorities that our most infamous sex predator was so fragile, so frail, and so near death that he could be released without supervision, that he posed no danger.

Badger Blogger has the update.

Sticking it to motorists

In my Week-ends blog yesterday, one of my OUTRAGES OF THE WEEK was the increasing chatter about raising gas taxes. Sure, just when gasoline falls to a manageable price, political dunderheads want to jack up taxes, while the economy is still struggling.

There are more crazy ideas aimed at attacking you right in the wallet in hopes you’ll abandon your automobile.

In the city by the Bay, motorists could be charged a fee if they dare wander into heavier-traveled areas.

But here’s the real stinker. Some states want to charge you based on the number of miles you drive. How would they know your mileage? They plan to plant a GPS monitor in your car, that’s how.

Tax, tax, tax, tax, tax. Fee on top of fee.

It’s the solution to everything.

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 (12/28/08)


3) Week-ends (12/27/08)

4) The Barking Lot (12/27/08)

5) Dodging a bullet

Thank you for the off the charts response to the HEROES OF 2008 series on New Year's Eve!

Photos of the Week (1/04/09)

Photos of the Week

 APTOPIX Obama Inauguration Prep

Early morning preparations continue for President-elect Barack Obama's Inaugural Reviewing Stand on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2008. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)


Palestinian protesters throws stones at Israeli troops, not seen, during clashes at a demonstration against Israel's military operation in Gaza, in the Shuafat refugee camp, on the outskirts of Jerusalem, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. Israel showed no sign of slowing a blistering seven-day offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers, destroying homes of more than a dozen of the group's operatives Friday and bombing one of its mosques a day after a deadly strike killed a prominent Hamas figure.(AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

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The MJS Scorecard (1/4/09)

MJS Scorecard

Last October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Managing Editor George Stanley tried his best to convince readers that the paper is fair and balanced. He cited some examples and then wrote,
n these cases the press, in all its forms, is not leading public opinion but reflecting it.”

He added, “We're here to serve all readers - conservative, liberal, independent and nonpolitical.”

Stanley was referring primarily to the paper’s reporters. I don’t buy it, and my skepticism applies to both the news and editorial coverage.

In my blog last October, I challenged the paper: “Stop telling us you’re fair and balanced. Prove it.”

Today, I begin a new feature on This Just In. Every week, I’ll review the most coveted editorial pages of the week by opinion-makers as well as the most widely-read, the Sunday “Crossroads” section of the Journal Sentinel. I will keep track of the conservative and liberal pieces published and keep a running score throughout the year.

I will not count pieces by Journal Sentinel columnists or Journal Sentinel editorial writers, short Quick Hits or Advisory Hits. Judgment is, of course, subjective, but I’m pretty sure I can perceive if an opinion piece is conservative or liberal.

What about Monday through Saturday? Sorry. I’m going to concentrate on the Sunday pages. If others want to take on the task of monitoring the other days, God bless them.

What about reviews based on column inches or word totals? Sorry. I have a life. The article is either conservative or liberal leaning. In the box scores, it doesn’t show how a basket was made, it just adds them up. That’s what I’m going to do. Let’s start.


Gregory Nemet and David Weimer: Now's the moment to levy an import tax for energy research

Dan Kohler and Andy Jorgensen: Let's capitalize on our energy assets  (Uses the term, “investment, “ code for spending)

Mary T. Wagner: How about a tax on what leads to trouble?


Michael J. Mathias: Elections a cure, not curse

Labeling Mathias’ piece “conservative” wasn’t easy. Mathias is a liberal blogger who is running for the Milwaukee School Board. He takes the position that the board should remain an elected body, unlike the Journal Sentinel that recently editorialized for an appointed board.

This is nothing new. Liberals often turn swiftly to the right when running for office. I can’t speak for the level of sincerity in Mathias’ statements, but his is a conservative view and the paper did publish an opposing stance.

But isn’t it interesting. The only “conservative” piece on the editorial pages today doesn’t come from a true conservative.


TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-3, Conservative -1

Culinary no-no #93

Culinary no-no's

Believe it or not, there is a fair amount of thought and research that goes into each week’s Culinary no-no. Unlike the millions of other food blogs, mine focuses on the taboo. It would be much less arduous a task writing about culinary elements that work.

However, this week the no-no came like an Acme Company safe out of a Warner Brothers cartoon window, a virtual no-brainer crying out, “Write about me, Kevin! Write about me!”

Admit it. When was the last time you ate this combination: Ham, pork, sugar, salt, sodium nitrate, water, and potato starch? I believe I was 10 at the time.

What concoction do you get when you mix ham, pork, sugar, salt, sodium nitrate, water, and potato starch?


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The friendly skies: "Hands off" illegal immigrants

Illegal immigration

I have often said that we (the United States) are our own worst enemy when it comes to our illegal immigration dilemma. Here's another example.

Illegal immigrants are being smuggled into America through the Las Vegas airport. Federal agents are aware. So are local agents in Las Vegas. The response the local agents get from the feds: ignore the problem.

HT: Dad29 via Moonbattery.

Prepare to be outraged.

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The Buckhorn irony

Tuesday night, the Franklin Common Council will take up the Buckhorn controversy. Specifically, aldermen will consider the License Committee’s vote that a special prosecutor’s recommendation that the Buckhorn have its license suspended for 75 days be rejected. On Christmas Day 2007, Eddie Lynn Keck was reportedly over-served at the Buckhorn, left the tavern and struck and killed two people that night in a drunk driving accident.

Almost a year ago, the Franklin Common Council retained Roger C. Pyzyk, a private practice attorney who also is the Greenfield city attorney, as a special prosecutor to see if Franklin officials could take action against the tavern.

Franklin aldermen regarded the Buckhorn controversy as a hot potato, refusing comment and deferring the entire matter to Pyzyk. The city has left itself wide open to criticism that it has bungled this entire affair. The slow wheels of the criminal justice system passed judgment on Keck months ago. Franklin City Hall continues to stumble.

While I’m on record supporting a much stronger action against Buckhorn, and still do, and that is a revocation of its license, I find it highly ironic that the Franklin Common Council, in the interest of due process, stepped aside to bring in an impartial prosecutor. The prosecutor after months and months of review, paid for with Franklin taxes, came up with a recommendation, and now the Council is poised to turn it down. So, we’ve made what progress at the city level in over a year?

Personally, I believe it’s time for the aldermen to take a stand and tell the public exactly what it is they want. They ultimately have to vote on something, and the time to keep hemming and hawing is over.

Franklin aldermen, if a 75 day suspension isn’t right, what is? You were elected to make tough decisions. This is one of them, one the public is running out of patience over.

For more details on this entire story, read my recap in TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2008: # 9.

The government wants to regulate your TV

Last year, state Senator Mary Lazich blogged that the government is going to regulate your lawnmower.

You can add “television” to the list.

Memo to Big Ten Conference football teams...

Next year, when you get invited to bowl games, do yourselves a favor.

Say no.

Stay home.

Save yourselves a lot of embarassment.

The hottest debate topic of the week

It has nothing to do with Congressional, state, or local politics, breastfeeding in public, Brittany Spears, or even Brett Favre. But it is a sports topic.

No matter who wins the FedEx National Championship Thursday night, Oklahoma or Florida, the victor won't stop the avalanache of discussion about how Division I college football is the only college sport that's decided without a true playoff format. Polls, computers, subjective analyses by coaches and reporters all have a say in who plays for the so-called national title. Again, it can be argued the game doesn't matter. Just ask the folks in Utah and their undefeated Utes.

While listening to SIRIUS Satellite Radio this week, I heard Tim Brando, often seen on CBS, argue vociferously for a playoff system. I can hear you, loud and clear. Yeh, yeh, yeh, that same, tired old debate. Brando, however, has a different take. His plan would result in what hecalls a Final Four of college football. The words, "Final Four," in sports are madly magical. The NCAA semifinals in basketball are not just games, they are a happening, an event embedded in the fabric of America.

Brando would keep all the bowl games, and then take the winners, and I can't remember from which games, but it would be four of the following five: Rose, Cotton, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta.

The four teams would be seeded with # 1 facing # 4 and #2 facing #3. The two winners would then meet for the national championship.

As compelling as such a system might sound, it appears a playoff format isn't coming anytime soon. There's just too much love for the current way of doing things.

But a Final Four in college football sounds incredibly appealing.

Strange, but very nice

There I was earlier this evening on Broad Street in downtown Greendale, making some quick returns to the local library before heading to a high school basketball game where I was the official timer.

A dark sky, light flakes filling the air, and just off in the distance, the bells chiming from Greendale Village Hall. The melody was so easy to pick up. For a brief moment, I had to stop and think. This is January 6th. But the bells were appropo tonight, and unfortunately in these parts, could be that way right through April.

"And since we've no place to go......"

I smiled as I hopped back into my car at the wondrous timing of Mother Nature and those Greendale bells.

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Buckhorn to close: Watch Eddie Keck get over-served

Millwaukee TV stations are reporting the Franklin Common Council has agreed to close the Buckhorn tavern for 90 days for its role in the tragic deaths of two people struck down by a drunk driver on Christmas Day 2007. The driver had reportedly been over-served earlier in the day at the Buckhorn. Eddie Keck is serving a 36-year sentence for killing a West Allis couple after drinking heavily at the Buckhorn.

The Council's License Committee had voted to reject the recommendation of a special prosecutor to close the Buckhorn for 75 days. Franklin's Police Chief  Rick Oliva said closing  Buckhorn for 90 days sends a powerful message. Indeed, in this economy, when a business is forced to close down for three months, that's a serious punishment.

Even so, the 90 day closing, while unprecedented, will be little consolation for those who wanted Buckhorn's license stripped away permanently.

The question I've posed in the past remains: What would have to happen in Franklin for a liquor license to be taken away for good? I would love if someone could answer that for me.


WISN-TV has EXCLUSIVE video of Eddie Keck being over-served at Buckhorn




More background in TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2008: #9

So what happened to Franklin's ban on sick leave mandates?

Lost in all the coverage surrounding the Buckhorn controversy at Tuesday’s Franklin Common Council was the Council’s action on Alderman Steve Olson’s proposed resolution to ban the type of sick leave mandates now in effect in the city of Milwaukee, Washington D.C., and bleeding heart liberal San Francisco.

A motion was made to review Olson’s proposal further because that’s the way we do things in Franklin, folks. We think about it, and think about it, and think about it, and think about it some more. Or it’s quite possible those who wanted to delay taking action really WANT to impose the very liberal sick leave mandate upon Franklin employers.

Gee. A true conservative, not a phony one pretending to be a conservative would never want to do that, would he/she?

There was plenty of discussion about the job-killing sick leave mandate when it went into effect in beads and sandals country, San Francisco. Here’s an excerpt from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“San Francisco resident Katherine Redenius voted for the law because she'd felt the pain of such a trade-off. A few days after starting work at the St. Francis Market in the West Portal neighborhood last year, she needed surgery. She missed a week of work and pay.

 ‘I voted for it because if I get sick again, like I was last year, I would not be able to pay my rent,’ said Redenius, 23. ‘Rent is the scary thing.’

But Redenius also sympathizes with her boss, grocery store owner Venkat Tangirata. Like Christiane Schmidt, Tangirata was unaware of the pending law until informed by a reporter this week. He doesn't provide paid sick leave or paid vacation to his four full-time employees, but he will have to starting Feb. 5.

‘We don't have large margins in the grocery business,’ Redenius said. ‘This will hurt. If we increase our prices to cover this, will customers come back or will they just go to chain shops like Safeway or Wal-Mart that are able to pressure vendors for lower prices? This is not fair for us, especially when the minimum wage is also going up.’

Although the new law affects all firms with employees in San Francisco, its impact is likely to be felt most strongly by small businesses, especially retailers and restaurants. Big corporations often provide some form of paid sick leave already, and they have large personnel and accounting departments that can figure out how to track employees' accrued sick leave.

Some small-business owners say that the sick leave law by itself isn't a problem: It's the combination of sick leave with other city mandates. San Francisco's minimum wage just rose to $9.14, which is higher than the statewide minimum of $7.50. The city levies a 1.5 percent tax on businesses with payrolls over $166,667. And in July, San Francisco will start phasing in a new requirement that companies with 20 or more workers spend at least $1.11 per hour per employee on health coverage.

‘Between this sick leave law and raising the minimum wage, pretty soon the only ones who can afford to do business in the city will be chains,’ said Richard Crain, owner of the Village Grill, a restaurant with nine employees down the street from the St. Francis Market. ‘How can we afford this? You can only charge so much for a hamburger, and then people will stop coming. I'm 52 and was hoping to do this until I retire, but the city is going to force me out of business.’”

That was 2007. Fast forward to NOW. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Patrick McIlheran correctly writes about the devastating impact a sick leave mandate will have:

“Employers will no more sit still for this hunt than do deer. Take Capitol Stampings, which employs about 90 people on the north side. The owners also own a couple of plants in Hartford. They're seeking a big contract, says President Gary Wenzel, one that could mean six new hires.

But the ordinance makes Milwaukee workers more expensive - another $100,000 a year for Capitol, Wenzel estimates. ‘We'd very strongly consider moving that work,’ said Wenzel. He'd rather not: He serves on a group promoting the 30th St. industrial corridor. Still, ‘we just can't pass that on to our customers,’ not when the plant competes with China.”

Thus, a lawsuit has been filed to try to stop the chilling effect on our already struggling economy the sick leave mandate would create.

he sick leave mandate is a horrible idea that will cost employers and will cost jobs. The sooner the Franklin Common Council adopts its ban on sick leave mandates, the better.

Sorry, freeloaders: We're out of coupons

One of my OUTRAGES OF THE WEEK in this past Saturday’s Week-ends entry was our warm and fuzzy, out of money, but warm and fuzzy nonetheless federal government offering coupons if you needed help adjusting to the digital TV conversion coming in February.

I guess that no matter how many money-grubbing hands are out there, eventually even Uncle Sam cries “uncle.”

My goodness, liberals. You’ve got to be crying and bleeding all over the floor. How, my God, how are these oppressed people going to manage without their three household TV’s?

I think they’ll find a way. The solution will probably involve getting on one of their many cell phones…


Everyone, I mean EVERYBODY is writing/taking about the abrupt closing of Heinemann’s. What does that tell you?

Last year, Jennifer and I attended a wedding reception at the Heinemann’s in Greendale before it closed. We had no idea the restaurant had such wonderful space for receptions and the like.

Back at the beginning of this decade, Heinemann’s ran a restaurant in what is now the US Bank building across the street from the state Capitol that I patronized often for great, I’m talkin’ great bakery goods. The rent must have been too much because it was gone much too quickly.

The MJS is looking for Heinemann’s memories. I’m sure that pound cake will be mentioned a lot. I’ll miss the best muffins I’ve ever had.

Tradition. The best thing about tradition is that it does provide great memories. The worst thing about tradition is that it’s sometimes involves something good that finally came to an end.

Two out of five's not bad

President George W. Bush, center, poses with President-elect Barack Obama, and former presidents, from left, George H.W. Bush, left, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, right, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The story.


Late term abortions at UW clinic need to be stopped

The plan is to have a UW clinic provide second trimester abortions. Here are details from the Wisconsin State Journal.

Thank God state Senator Glenn Grothman is asking tough questions.

Here's a press release about this travesty issued by Wisconsin Right to Life:

Wisconsin Right to Life Condemns UW Hospitals and Clinics, UW Foundation and Meriter Hospital Decision to Perform Second Trimester Abortions
Plan Re-Ignites Public Indignation Over Babies Who Survived Abortion Attempts at These Hospitals

For immediate release:
Wednesday, January 7, 2009

“Wisconsin Right to Life unequivocally condemns the decision by UW Hospitals and Clinics, the UW Medical Foundation and Meriter Hospital to open up a secondtrimester abortion operation at the Madison Surgery Center,” declared Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of Wisconsin Right to Life. “The decision brings these medical facilities full circle back to the early 1980s when six babies within a short time span survived abortion attempts within their corridors.”

In 1982-83, two babies survived abortion attempts at UW Hospitals and Clinics and four babies survived abortion attempts at Madison General Hospital (now known as Meriter Hospital). All of the babies died within 27 hours of birth. The abortions were performed up to the 26
th week of pregnancy.

“Intense public outcry rose from these live births which were the subject of numerous media articles,” stated Lyons. “Wisconsin Right to Life will join other organizations to work to overturn this horrendous decision which is a blight on what should be the life-saving, not life-taking, work of medical professionals and facilities.”

Wisconsin Right to Life
Barbara L. Lyons
Executive Director, Wisconsin Right to Life
Phone: 877-855-5007
Wisconsin Right to Life | 10625 W. North Ave. | Suite LL | Milwaukee | WI | 53226-2331

Florida vs. Oklahoma: Who will liberals root for?

Thursday night, Oklahoma meets Florida for the national championship of college football. It’s a matchup pitting last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow of Florida against this year’s Heisman recipient, Oklahoma’s Sam Bradford.

Conventional wisdom would have liberals cheering for Oklahoma. There’s no way lefties could pull for any team led by Tim Tebow for two reasons:

1) Tebow of Florida: Nice, solid young man. But he’s always talking about, you know……(whisper) God.

2) Tebow’s not even supposed to be around. He should have been dead a long time ago if not for his mother.



Elvis is recession-proof


Elvis, the King of Rock and Roll would have been 74 years old on Thursday.

The King is so powerful, even more than 31 years after his death, that nothing, not even a bad economy can stop him.

Happy Birthday E., and thanks for all the great memories!

Here's classic Elvis. From Jailhouse Rock, the title song. Elvis arranged all of the choreography.

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Utah investigating college football bowl system

I sympathize with fans of the Utah Utes, the only major undefeated team in college football. Utah feels it should hav eplayed for the national title, and even though it didn't, dserves the crown because they're 13-0. The two teams fighting for the championship, Oklahoma and Florida, each have one loss.

Unfortunately, Diviision I college football doesn't have a playoff system, and the champiosnhip should be decided on the playing field, not in the courts.

InterCHANGE returns Friday night

After a holiday hiatus, InterCHANGE returns Friday night at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10.

The topics we’ll discuss:


Why did Israel choose now to go after the folks in the Gaza?  Is it because they know their White House support is coming to an end?  Is it because they don’t want the Gaza to be used as a staging area if and when Iran attacks Israel?  Why is the world so seemingly united in condemning Israel for its actions? What effect will this have on the United States.


Obama is urging a massive and urgent economic stimulus plan be enacted immediately.  Without it, he says the recession could last for years, double digit inflation could arrive, and we could see the worst times since the great depression.  Is it wise to spend so much money to stimulate the economy, at the same time he says he’s going to cut wasteful spending?  Would a package of just tax cuts which allow people to keep more of their own money, be better than spending still more federal “bailout” money?  Are we continuing to saddle generations to come with an almost unbearable debt?


A Milwaukee institution shuts its doors after nearly 90 years in business?  Is it because they didn’t know how to run a business in the current economic climate, or is this simply a result of a competitive market.  The owner claims that one reason for the decision, is the new requirement that Milwaukee provide sick days to all full and part-time employees.

4- 2009.

Predictions about any big things that might happen in the year ahead.

How foolish do the Heisman voters look now....and, Tim Tebow, the next Brett Favre

Tim Tebow led the Florida Gators to the college football national championship Thursday night, beating Oklahoma, 24-14. Sam Bradford of Oklahoma won this season’s Heisman Trophy Award, but Bradford couldn’t lead his team to the national title.

Here’s how the Heisman Trophy Award voting went this season:

1) Sam Bradford of the University of Oklahoma polled 1,726 points to capture the award.

2) Colt McCoy of Texas polled 1,604 points.

3) The 2007 Heisman winner, Tim Tebow of Florida received 1,575 points.

It seems the Heisman voters only looked at Oklahoma’s explosive offensive numbers instead of also factoring in guts, courage, heart, toughness, leadership, and ability to inspire. In all of those categories, Tim Tebow wins handily.

As I write this, the conventional wisdom is that Tebow will return to play in his senior year at Florida. Then he will go pro and I believe he will be the next Brett Favre.

He is bigger and probably stronger than a young Brett Favre that could mean great longevity for Tebow.

He has all the charm and personality that makes him extremely likable. Football fans all across the country will love him.

He has class and a wonderful, inspirational story that will follow him every day of his life. I firmly believe it is impossible not to see him, hear him, or learn about him and not like him.

Again, thank you Mrs.Tebow for choosing not to abort your baby who turned out to be an incredible role model.

Shame on the weather folks!

The weather advisories said starting at 6:00 this morning (Friday), the snow would start and wouldn’t stop for 24 hours.  Be prepared for 5-8 inches, maybe more we were warned.

When did the snow stop? 10:30, 11:00 this morning?

But because the weather people speak, and we, like blind sheep, listen and obey, what did we do? We freaked.


How many people stayed home tonight when the weather was calm and the roads were in great shape?

How many businesses that look forward to Friday night took a soaking because the weather people were WRONG?

How is it possible that weather people with millions of dollars worth of state of the art equipment can be so wrong so often, AND keep their jobs?

Coming up on This Just In...or, where've you been, Kev?

I've been a bit busy with my personal and professional life lately, so I haven't power blogged as usual.

Of course, I could write like some who treat their blog as a computer form of home movies. It usually goes something like this:

Guys, I'm sorry but I won't be blogging much today. I'll probably be out in the garden all morning planting petunias. Then I thought I'd run to the mall. I hear they have some great bargains so I might be there for a few hours. Then #1 son is over for dinner so I might make a pot of chili and throw a pie in the oven. So, sorry guys, you're on your own for today.

Oh my God! Blogger X is out in the garden! Blogger X is shopping! Blogger X won't blog today! How in the world are we going to get by today?? How will we survive. Oh, the pain, the pain!

Nothing wrong with that, of course. Everybody blogs about what they want to, but that's not my cup of tea. Personal experiences on the blogs, in my opinion, are fine if they segue to a larger point or theme. Otherwise, who the hell cares if you're tired or not in the mood or out gardening or won't blog for 24 hours because you're planning family dinner and # 8 daughter has volleyball practice or #5 son's acne has him all depressed.

I'll just say that the regular weekend features on This Just In are coming, including Week-ends and The Barking Lot Saturday.

Also, my announcement of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel scorecard got some reaction this week and apparently touched some nerves. I'll have my reaction and then I will continue my scorecard on Sunday along with My Most Popular Blogs, Culinary no-no, and Photos of the Week.

And don't forget Recommended Reading. I can't blog all day every day like some, so I like to pass on some good stuff that I couldn't get to during the week.

That's what's coming up. No long, boring, who the hell cares explanation why I haven't blogged much the past 48 hours.

And thanks for stopping by.

It's ELVIS' Birthday Weekend: OK, admit it guys...


You'd love to be ELVIS, not even for one day, but for just under 3 minutes...

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Even the President can't say no to his mother-in-law

Marian Robinson is moving into the White House.

But no word on whether there’s any space available for the President-elect’s half-brother.

Coyotes on the prowl again

This time, they've been seen on Milwaukee's south side.

The ever so helpful Department of Natural Resources says it will supply concerned citizens with a list of licensed trappers. That'll work, especially when a coyote is gnawing on your child or pet.

You'll recall this was a problem not too long ago in our quiet little Camelot, Franklin. Franklin residents do have options if they spot a coyote:

1) Start clapping your hands loudly

2) Scream, "Hey, get out of here!"

3) Run to the phone and dial 9-1-1

4) Pray

5) Cross fingers

6) Hope

But do not, I repeat, do not, if you are licensed gun owner attempt to shoot that animal, even if it is attacking you, a family member, neighbor, or pet. That would just be so wrong.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

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

TODAY:  Light snow this morning. Otherwise, cloudy skies. Snow covered roads and sidewalks. 

SUNDAY:  Some snow showers. Otherwise, mostly cloudy. "F"

Time is on my side for February 2009.  Usually on Monday evenings in the Fischer household it is guaranteed that ONE member of the family will be yelling and screaming at the TV from September to December.  But I have no worries that NFL broadcasting will interfere with a program I faithfully watch when it airs Monday February 9th and continues Tuesday February 10th  Of course I am talking about the Westminster Kennel Club annual Dog Show.  This is one competition that I cheer and clap and holler for… especially last year when Uno one, the very first beagle to win Best In Show.  That is, ahem, truly an UNDERDOG winning!

We know the state of California can be trailblazing when it comes to drafting and/or enacting new legislation.  Many times the law is loopy, strange, nutty, downright crazy.  That’s the Golden State for you.  So it did not surprise me to read an article about PETA in the LA Times.  Get this:  PETA wants the USA Network to stop airing the Westminster Kennel Club’s annual show.  

know I have written many times that I personally favor adopting a mixed breed (my favorite term is, and always will be, “mutt”) over a pedigree.  That is just my feeling and I would never criticize people for purchasing and owning a pedigree.  Pedigree dogs are bred for qualities and characteristics, and there is fascinating history behind the many reasons why they have evolved into the standards of today.
 The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show was established in 1887 with a history as proud as the breeds of dogs it showcases.

The LA Times suspected its readers “would take issue with PETA's premise: that breeding dogs for the show ring locks in genetic defects that, it argues, plague ‘as many as one in four purebred dogs ... with a serious genetic problem.’  Well, apparently they were wrong.  As of today, 96% of voters in a poll do NOT agree that the USA Network should cancel showing the WKC Dog Show.  I am proud to say I am part of that 96%.

I honestly don’t know where PETA gets these ridiculous ideas.  I can just see a bunch of them clad in organic cotton, wearing their vegan shoes…  eating a bowl of sprouts and beans, drinking water they collected in rain barrels in the back of their building…  sitting on recycled cardboard-based furniture…  discussing what they can whine & cry about next in the world of animal abuse…  Suddenly one brain child declares that nationally televised dog shows are the root of all evil and must be stopped.  In the meantime, two blocks away from their headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia, an elderly woman is hoarding 125 cats in her studio apartment.  But let’s get that nasty dog show off the USA Network and all will be right in the animal world!

Thanks but I will be sitting on my couch the evening of February 9th cheering for my favorite breed.  This will, of course, be after I finish my dinner of beef, or chicken, or even fish…  Drinking a glass of COW’S MILK to support my growing baby, and maybe having a piece of chocolate for dessert that isn’t wrapped in an organic wrapper with a picture of a panda bear and facts about the dying rainforests.

PETA:  People Eating Tasty Animals…  That’s MY version of the acronym.

---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer! Take the Westminster show off the air? That would be a sacrilege, or at least Communistic.Leave it to the moonbats.  Oh, and I DO NOT  yell and scream at the TV, unless it's MSNBC.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

As we've written in the past, the news isn't always good.

Tanya Martin deserves to be punished (Read some of the comemnts that follow. Not much sympathy for this woman).

Thank goodness Lou Beddow's neighbor noticed he hadn't been walking his dog.

Here's the story of MissyToo and Mira, cloned dogs. Why don't they look alike?

Back in October, Jennifer blogged about proposed legislation in California that mandated the spaying and neutering of pets. Jennifer ended her blog writing, "I wonder what California will try to legislate next…  how many times a day a dog can bark?"  Well, guess what?

We've also referenced several articles about the impact the tough economy has had on pet owners. Here's a story with a different outlook and perspective: The sacrifices dedicated owners are willing to make to keep their pets. Of course, you can always splurge on your pet in many ways. Just make sure that chew toy is safe.

And finally, an effort is underway to return red dogs to proud hunting status.

That's it for this week. Thank you dog lovers, one and all! In keeping with the theme of this week's entry, let's review last year's Westminster Dog Show where history was made...

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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...


US Marines

Citizen soldiers

John Surinchak and his grandson

Priscilla Presley

9-year old Drew Heredia


Erin Caffey

Danny Platt


"I think this woman was assassinated by the media."
John Ziegler, a conservative radio talk show host turned filmmaker referring to Sarah Palin. His new DVD is entitled, "Media Malpractice: How Obama Got Elected." 

"When did we start accepting as hard news sources bloggers, anonymous bloggers especially? It's a sad state of affairs in the world of the media today, mainstream media especially, that they're going to rely on bloggers, anonymous bloggers, for their hard news information."
Sarah Palin, who said that her press office is still getting calls about rumors that she is not the mother of her infant son. She called this "quite absurd," saying she is "frustrated that I wasn't believed that Trig was really my son."

"Katie, you're not the center of everyone's universe."
Palin on CBS' Katie Couric.

"...trillion-dollar deficits for years to come."
President-elect Obama warning Americans of dire economic times.

“It is embarrassing and sad. With Obama being elected, the city was on such a roll.”
Chicago Mayor Richard Daley conceding that Chicago’s name has been tarnished because of the scandal surrounding Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

"You ought to be angry. You ought to be disgusted. We have no choice but to vote 'yes' today."
Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross said Blagojevich "repeatedly and systematically" violated his oath of office and the trust voters placed in him.
The Illinois House of Representatives voted Friday to impeach Blagojevich on a 114-1 vote. A trial in the state Senate will decide if he should be removed from office.

"I'm going to continue to fight every step of the way. I am not guilty."

"It’s like a rich uncle giving you $1,000 to make a down payment on a car, and you rush out and buy a Maserati. Sure, you have that down payment, but you still have to figure out how to pay for the rest of the car."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker questioning the wisdom of a  proposed stimulus plan. Walker did not send the Obama administration any requests for Milwaukee County projects to be included in the package. 

"Increasing taxes, any taxes, will only make the burden higher." 
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), in a speech on the Senate floor vowing to fight any tax increases.


Porn industry wants bailout

UW Hospital plans to open abortion clinic

Franklin takes away Buckhorn license for 90 days. Hvaing covered Milwaukee City Hall politics for many, many years, I've seen stiffer penalties for bars whose patrons did far less than killing two people.


Other than two paragraphs on one of its blogs, will the Journal Sentinel ever get around to covering this?


Israel is the bad guy because it finally decided after about 10,000 missile attacks to defend itself. Sorry, world. I side with Israel. They have every right to fight for survival. 


Really dumb criminal

Today's collection will be used to, ahem, snip snip.

Longtime lobster liberated

PETA offended....again

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.

Keep an eye on the moon tonight

It'll be hard to miss.

Week-ends UPDATE

In last Saturday’s edition of Week-ends, my MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK was that Wisconsin ended the fiscal year 2008 with a $2.5 billion deficit.

Not very sexy, but important as hell.

It was good to see the Journal Sentinel finally blog about it this week.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

DNR to hunters: Hand over your guns on demand

"The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has a simple, blunt message for hunters in Wisconsin: When a DNR warden asks you to give up your legal firearm, do so, plain and simple, no matter what.What's more, that goes for all citizens, the agency has asserted. Citizens with firearms, the DNR argues, should always do exactly what law enforcement officers tell them to do, regardless of the circumstances of the situation.

To which one former hunter education instructor for the department has an equally simple and blunt response: The agency's directive is unconstitutional, plain and simple, and citizens don't have to hand over their firearms without any probable cause."

Inaugural Windbaggery

"Once again, WisconsinEye is doing the Lord’s work by bringing us our Wisconsin elected officials live and uncut.  On inauguration day 2009, the channel conducted a number of interviews with legislators, in which they ruminate on the upcoming legislative session. One interview that caught my eye in particular was a 17-minute sit-down with State Senator Pat Krietlow of Chippewa falls.  I think this interview, ably conducted by Stacy Forster of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, perfectly captures some of the windbaggery that Wisconsin residents are going to see from their elected officials in the near future."

Night of the Living Dems

Beware the 'undead' ideas of our Democratic legislators rising up to haunt the state, at least until the next election in two years."

Drilling a Hole in the Economy 

"Wisconsin Senate Democrats went to Home Depot and bought a drill on Thursday.  With the state expecting unemployment to hit 8% later this year, the Senate Dems introduced a package of three bills that effectively yank the life vest away from any business hoping to stay afloat."

Calls Grow to Cap Property Taxes

"Support for property-tax rollbacks is building from Arizona to New York, fueled by angry homeowners in some locales who are seeing rising tax bills despite plunging home prices."

Chicago Public Schools' cappuccino bill: $67,000

"Chicago public school bureaucrats skirted competitive bidding rules to buy 30 cappuccino/espresso machines for $67,000, with most of the machines going unused because the schools they were ordered for had not asked for them,"

Coulter v. The Counter-Coulters

The so-called 'objective' media clearly feel threatened because they are the very liberals Coulter is attacking. If they weren't liberals, none of her mockery of liberals would bother them. Oh, they might not appreciate her style, as some conservatives don't. But they wouldn't have pitched debates inside their walls about how they will savage her in interviews -- and I defy the networks to deny this -- or how they would remove her from their airwaves altogether."

It's ELVIS Birthday Weekend Final Jeopardy!


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....time once again for another This Just In edition of:


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I’ll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players……… your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here’s your clue.

It's the percentage of Americans today that has seen an Elvis Presley movie.

Good luck! (please click)


OK, time’s up.  Today’s Final Jeopardy category is ELVIS.

The Final Jeopardy clue was, The percentage of Americans today that has seen an Elvis Presley movie.

The correct Final Jeopardy answer is:


What is 70%? (Source: Sirius Satellite Radio).

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 (1/04/09)

2) The MJS Scorecard (1/04/09)

3) Culinary no-no #93

4) Whatever happened to Billy Lee Morford?

5) My most popular blogs (1/04/09)

Photos of the Week (1/11/09)

Photos of the Week



U.S. President-elect Barack Obama waves as he boards his plane for Washington, DC at Chicago Midway Airport January 4, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. Obama will join his wife and children who are already in Washington as he prepares to take office on January 20. (Photo by Tannen Maury-Pool/Getty Images)

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The MJS Scorecard (1/11/09)

MJS Scorecard

Last Sunday, I began a new feature on This Just In called, “The MJS Scorecard.” My goal is to subjectively track the number of liberal and conservative pieces printed in the Sunday “Crossroads” editorial section of the MJS (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel).

I am shocked, SHOCKED that this little ol’ blogger and his little ol’ experiment in just a matter of days garnered reaction. Of course, it came from the usual suspects: some lefty bloggers, and, not surprisingly, the newspaper!

Sonya Jongsma Knauss of the MJS. I think it’s a pretty good guess she showed up for work earlier last week not expecting some higher up to walk into her office space, muttering and sputtering that something had to be done about that no good Kevin Fischer and that she, unfortunately, had drawn the short straw.

I am convinced that some folks (Kevin Fischer detractors) don’t fully read my entire posts, or if they do, they simply don’t or refuse to comprehend the message.

The MJS’ Knauss and some others opined that I didn’t know George Stanley of the paper from George Jetson. Stanley doesn’t run the Crossroads pages, Ricardo Pimentel does.

Let’s go to my blog, shall we? I distinctly wrote;

Last October, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Managing Editor George Stanley tried his best to convince readers that the paper is fair and balanced. He cited some examples and then wrote, ‘In these cases the press, in all its forms, is not leading public opinion but reflecting it.’

He added, ‘We're here to serve all readers - conservative, liberal, independent and nonpolitical.’

Stanley was referring primarily to the paper’s reporters.”

Let’s see. Stanley’s name correct? Check.

Stanley’s official title correct? Check.

Stanley’s name spelled correctly? Check.

Reference made that Stanley is talking about the newsroom? Check.

Any mention at all that he is in charge of editorial pages? None.

So what the hell?

Some skeptics also suggested that I bear no resemblance to a Harvard or Yale statistician. They’re right. I don’t.

But I know a liberal column when I see one. Ditto for a conservative piece.

But Fischer’s doing it all wrong. He’s not  (whine) including works by Journal Sentinel writers. My goodness, that’s a hoot.

No, I’m not including newspaper employees like Patrick McIlheran whose work is in every Sunday edition. That would only skew the results. And do lefties really want me to score every product from Eugene Kane, Jim Stingl, Laurel Walker, and Pimentel as well as the actual editorials? I don’t think so.

For the record, I’ve received many “You go, Kev” notes, encouraging this watchdog weekly. So I repeat the parameters of my project:

I’ll review the most coveted editorial pages of the week by opinion-makers as well as the most widely-read, the Sunday “Crossroads” section of the Journal Sentinel. I will keep track of the conservative and liberal pieces published and keep a running score throughout the year.

I will not count pieces by Journal Sentinel columnists or Journal Sentinel editorial writers, short Quick Hits or Advisory Hits. Judgment is, of course, subjective, but I’m pretty sure I can perceive if an opinion piece is conservative or liberal.

What about Monday through Saturday? Sorry. I’m going to concentrate on the Sunday pages. If others want to take on the task of monitoring the other days, God bless them.

Let’s go to today’s paper:


Jerry Resler: Manufacturers could help recycle e-waste

I know Jerry, a retired member of the MJS Editorial Board, a good writer and a good guy. While he writes about a bipartisan proposal that has the support of the MMAC, his piece endorses a mandate on businesses. Not by much, but I toss this one under the “L” column.


Scott Walker: Don't use stimulus to build in swell budgets

George Will: Culture of law sues us into a stupor

Willie L. Hines Jr.: It's wrong not to teach what's right

Hines of the Milwaukee Common Council calls for ethics, morals and values in the Milwaukee Public School System. Definitely a conservative theme, even if Hines never attends the right-wing conspiracy meetings.

The paper also ran two pieces with differing views on the current Middle East conflict. While more conservatives and few liberals have come out in support of Israel the past week, this issue is difficult to label ideologically. I give the MJS credit for running both columns, but they’re not part of this week’s tally.


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-4, Conservative -4

Hmmmmm. Could we be making a difference already?

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #91

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #91 was devoted to crummy airport food. I wrote:

“Culinary prognosticators swear airports will substantially upgrade their fare in 2009. I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Here’s a start, right here in Milwaukee.

Culinary no-no #94

Culinary no-no's

The slowly deteriorating Southridge Mall is a veritable wasteland when it comes to dining options, especially when you compare it to other malls.

Disregarding the obligatory food courts, Mayfair has Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Maggiano's Little Italy, McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory and Panera Bread.

Brookfield Square has Paciugo, Bravo Cucina Italiana, Claim Jumper, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, Houlihan’s, Mitchell’s Fish Market Restaurant & Bar, and Stir Crazy. 

The Bayshore Town Center has Applebee’s, Bar Louie, BD’s Mongolian Grill, Bravo, California Pizza Kitchen, Cheesecake factory, Chocolate Factory, Devon Seafood Grill, and Ovation Restaurant.

Southridge has……….not much. Well, it has……..nothing.

Down the street is Red Robin. Further down the street is an Olive Garden and a Carabbas. But the floundering Southridge Mall has nothing like its counterparts, save an ordinary food court. Its best and most popular restaurant changed dramatically when the Boston Store was forced to shut down Bingo games at its cafeteria.

The last time the mall had a decent place for sit down dining physically inside the mall was many years ago when it featured a Ruby Tuesday. That’s been long gone.

Before Ruby Tuesday, remember JoJo’s with those porthole windows? JoJo’s was right on 76th Street, near the current bank and Border’s.

The southwest corner of Milwaukee County cries out for more and better retail shopping and dining destinations. Southridge shoppers know that if they want something other than fast food on a tray with the huddled masses, you have to leave the mall and drive somewhere else. This will change on Tuesday.

Like the phoenix rising from the dead, another Ruby Tuesday officially opens on S.76th Street. Ruby Tuesday is a quality chain, a welcome addition to the restaurant.-barren landscape known as the Southridge area.

No standing in line to order. No lugging your tray hunting for a place to sit that’s actually clean. No looking into a speaker telling a pimply-faced 16-year old who can’t read, write, or understand basic English that you don’t want apple pie with that.

Finally, an honest to goodness, decent, reputable, tried and true place to eat.  Sigh upon sigh of relief.

Having said all that, when Ruby Tuesday’s opens on Tuesday (how clever is that), don’t go. That’s right.


Not Tuesday. Not Wednesday. Not next week. Not in two weeks. Not this month.

“Did you hear that, Edith? Kevin Fischer says we  should stay away from that there new whatchacallit, Judy Thursday Place.”

“That’s Ruby Tuesday, Archie.”


So what kind of community/business promoter am I if I’m urging readers, and this is no joke, not to patronize a place I’ve already defined as a “quality” establishment? It’s really quite simple.

Ruby Tuesday, through no fault of its own, is like any other comparable restaurant. It can’t help itself. Through no fault of its own, Ruby Tuesday will have all kinds of kinks and bugs to work out, being a spanking brand new place.

Go there on opening day or week and you might have a delightful experience. The odds are better you’ll encounter service delays, botched up orders, questions that employees can’t answer, confusion, apologies. It goes with the territory. Problem is it could lead to an unfair assessment on your part preventing a return visit. Now how’s that for good business?

The late Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dining critic Dennis Getto used to say that you should wait 4-6 weeks before venturing into a just-opened restaurant. Four to six weeks?  Won’t that spell economic disaster? Not for a chain. And you’ll probably enjoy your first trip there a whole lot more.

As Mick Jagger once sang, “Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday,” At least for a few weeks.


A restaurant with food to die for.

Ok, that place is still a helluva lot better than this.

All eyes on MPS this week

Mother Nature throws the kitchen sink at us the next several days with snow, wind, and cold.

Our corner of the world will revolve around the Milwaukee Public Schools, anxiously awaiting how they will react to the hodgepodge of weather. They close and just about everyone else tosses in the towel, too.

Many, many years ago, an MPS insider told me any announcement to close isn’t based on amount of snow, the temperature, or the wind chill factor. Whether or not to have classes depends on the school buses. If they start, the school bells ring. I'm not sure if the same criteria holds true today but it does seem to make sense.

Breast-feed or bust

Nursing moms are in a tizzy. They want to breast-feed.

Go ahead.

They want to have pictures taken of them doing so, and they want to be able to show you those pictures on their Facebook accounts on the Internet.

Sorry, sweetheart, but not everyone wants to see that. And not everyone wants to see you breast-feeding wherever you darn well feel like it.

The controversy will soon hit Wisconsin. Read about it in my post on The Right View Wisconsin.

An e-mail I have to share

We all get 'em, those mass e-mails that come in over and over again. people keep forwarding and you just keep deleting. But some are very good, worthy of sharing. Here's one I recently received that is worth a look:

Great Orators of the Democratic Party...

'One man with courage makes a majority.' 
- Andrew Jackson

'The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.'
- Franklin D. Roosevelt

'The buck stops here.'
- Harry S. Truman

'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.'
- John F. Kennedy

And for today's Democrats...

'It depends what your definition of 'IS' is?'' 
- Bill Clinton

'That Obama - I would like to cut his NUTS off.' 
- Jesse Jackson

 'Those rumors are false .... I believe in the sanctity of marriage.'
- John Edwards

'I invented the Internet.'
- Al Gore

'The next person that tells me I'm not religious, I'm going to shove my rosary beads up their ***.'
- Joe Biden

' America is--is no longer, uh, what it--it, uh, could be, uh what it was once was...uh, and I say to myself, 'uh, I don't want that future, uh, uh for my children.'
- Barack Obama

'I have campaigned in all 57 states.'
- Barack Obama

'You don't need God anymore, you have us Democrats.'
- Nancy Pelosi    (said back in 2006)

'Bill is the greatest husband and father I know. No one is more faithful, true , and honest than he.' 
- Hillary Clinton    (said back in 1998)

Were the Tennessee Titans robbed?

I think so.

Even if the Titans were too classy to complain, I submit they were screwed.

I do a great deal of timing for college and high school basketball games. Timers like to say there is a certain, albeit brief amount of "reaction time," the time it takes when the timer hears a whistle to actually stop the game clock. It can be anywhere from zero to a few tenths of a second.

In the NFL, giant play clocks show how much time a team has to snap the ball. It's pretty basic stuff. The clock gets to zero, the ball isn't snapped, it's a delay of game penalty on the offense.

Not so this past weekend during a crucial play in the Baltimore-Tennessee playoff game. The referees scoff, chalking the failure to throw a flag on a "natural delay."

Then why have the play clock for all the world to see if, when it gets to zero,  it's just going to be ignored?

Another bad year for NFL officials, and it's not over yet.

President Bush's last news conference



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This girl needs some serious lifestyle adjustments. Her parents need to administer some laying the law down pronto.

The liberal answer would be some legislation with the word "ban " in it.

PETA's latest target...

Marquette University.

Dear PETA:

Get a life.

They just don't make them like they used to...


The "stars" of today, pictured at Sunday's Golden Globe Awards


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It's tough being a corporate executive at GM....just ask him

This man is General Motors Vice Chairman Bob Lutz:

GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz unveils the Cadillac Converj electric car at the auto show Sunday.

Photo: Stan Honda

National Public Radio (NPR) received a lot of listener feedback following a comment made by Lutz during an interview with NPR’s Robert Siegel at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit that was broadcast Monday during NPR’s All Things Considered.

Before you hear Lutz’s comment, I pose these questions in advance that you should consider before you make your own personal reaction:

1) Do you sympathize with the poor man?

2) Are you indifferent?

3) Do you say to yourself, “Yeh, I can relate!” 

4)  Do you wish Lutz well in his adjustment? (This will become clear after you hear his comment)

5)  Do you chuckle as Lutz did while he was answering?

6) Are you outraged?

7)  Are you incredulous as to how he could say something like that?

Choose to listen to the entire eight minute piece, or scroll 7:06 into the story when you will hear Lutz respond to Siegel. Lutz’s comment comes after Siegel says;

“Lutz has been in the car business for 45 years, so it's a change for him to operate on the federal government's nickel.”

Here’s the NPR story.  (
Please note that NPR's Siegel DID NOT follow up with any hardball question).

Rallying around Scott Walker

The Scott Walker tar and feather brigade, led by irresponsible tax and spend lefties, has been out in full force the past several days. They are aghast that Walker won’t accept part of an $80 gazillion federal stimulus package for useless government projects. They forget that Walker is a man of principle who was elected big time because of his fiscally conservative principles, and that there’s no such thing as free money.

Some asinine suggestions have even been made to recall the Milwaukee County Executive. Hey chumps, good luck trying to get signatures where I live. Franklin gave 80% of its vote to Walker last April.

Today, many conservatives, including myself received an e-mail from Franklin resident and political insider Orville Seymer that read, in part:

Why is it that the left is very good at rallying around a cause or a candidate yet the right allows there causes and candidates (Scott Walker) to sit out there all alone and fend for themselves?

Yesterday, the left (Milw. County labor unions) held a rally to denounce Scott Walker for not taking Federal stimulus money and there is talk that they are gearing up for a Recall effort against Walker. I have not heard a single word from any conservative about this or an effort to stand up for Walker and his principles. 

I think we all know in out heart of hearts that what Walker is doing or not doing in this case is the right thing to do, even if we don't completely understand all of the economic principles behind his decision. So why is it that conservatives are so reluctant to stand up for Walker and his principles?”

Seymer just may have awakened those sleeping conservatives. I can tell you that conservatives are buzzing today, united in their quest to get the message out that Walker is to be supported at a time when the tax and spend crowd, knowing it has the daily newspaper in its hip pocket, is out to crucify one of the few sane political voices left in our area.

Beginning today, watch for conservative officials, bloggers, and talk show hosts to counter the smear campaign being waged against one of our finest elected officials. Count me in as I will try to do my part to stand up and support my friend and colleague, Scott Walker. We will use reason, logic, and facts to proliferate our message as opposed to the demagoguery and juvenile, sophomoric commentary and name-calling being customarily tossed out by the left.

The lefties who would tax and spend us into oblivion want a fight? They’ve got one.

The Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee are holding their monthly "Happy Hour" this Thursday evening at 5:30pm and Scott Walker is the special guest. This is a special shout out to turn this event into a pro-Scott Walker rally to show our support for fiscal sanity and responsibility against the selfish tax and spenders that continually have their hands out, even in a recession when the taxpayers have been tapped too much and then some.

Date: Thursday, January 15, 2009
Time: 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Location: Karma, 600 East Ogden Avenue, Milwaukee

Watch my blog and others in the days and weeks ahead for news about why Scott Walker deserves our strong support for his defense of the beleaguered taxpayers on Milwaukee County.


Others who have written on this subject:

Mark Belling

Badger Blogger

Jessica McBride

No Runny Eggs, Part One

No Runny Eggs, Part Two (contains link to audio from Charlie Sykes' show)

North Shore Exponent

Letters in Bottles

Scott Walker's explanation

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker laid out his case in last Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel why he’s opposed to accepting federal stimulus package money. Walker, you see, isn't like most money-grubbing politicians who, at the first sniff, want to get their hands on and then spend tax money foolishly. Here were some of his logical, on the money points:

“How many people would take a gift of $1,000 and go out and buy an expensive sports car? While the gift might be nice, it makes no sense if you cannot afford the monthly payments.”

“Federal money nearly always comes with strings attached.”

“The federal government should not be bailing out failed operating budgets of state and local governments.”

“The real way to stimulate the economy is not to put more money into the hands of the government but into the hands of the people. For months, I have called for tax cuts to get this economy going again.”

“Forty-six years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy told members of Congress that: ‘It is no contradiction - the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today's economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates.’ He was right.”

Read his entire column for some fiscal sanity.

"Scott Walker is showing leadership”

The Wisconsin Republican Party is expressing support for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker:

“The County Executive who fought to keep Milwaukee County from fiscal ruin after the Pension Scandal deserves praise for his caution while other politicians go on spending sprees…”

Read the entire release.

Thank your lucky stars because you could be...

This guy...

Winter Blast Sweeps Nation
Winter Blast Sweeps Nation

Eich Motor Company detailer Jesse Spencer had perhaps one of the coldest jobs in St. Cloud, Minn. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. There are 348 cars in the dealer's lot and between Spencer and another employee, it's their job to blow all the snow off every car in the sub-zero temperatures. The job must be repeated every time it snows.
(St. Cloud Times/AP Photo) 

These guys and gals have a really tough job...

Winter Blast Sweeps Nation

Fred Sorensen makes his way back to his US Postal Service truck after dropping mail off at a home in Albert Lea, Minn. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2009. Temperatures crashed to Arctic levels Tuesday as a severe cold wave rolled across the upper Midwest on the heels of yet another snowstorm, closing schools and making most people think twice before going outside.
(Albert Lea Tribune/AP Photo)

OK. Why?

Winter Weather

A group of skiers practice on the race trail in the subzero weather at Kincaid Park in Anchorage, Alaska, Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009 before the U.S. Cross Country Ski Championships were canceled due to frigid weather. Alaska is experiencing the third-longest cold snap in its history.
(Al Grillo/AP Photo)

Roller Derby back in Franklin this weekend

Brewcity Bruisers


Be Cool!  Be Green!  Save Green!
Take the Party Bus!

Since drinking and driving isn't cool, take the party bus instead!  
Check it out, Bayview! We're heading out your way! 
Shuttle departs at the following times and locations:

5:00 Roast Cafe
2132 E Locust St.
5:15 Landmark Lanes
2220 N Farwell
5:30 Club Garibaldi 2501 S Superior St.
6:00 Cataldo's / VFW  2860 S. KK in BAYVIEW!! 

$5 round trip, returns to all locations. 
$10 Bout tickets can also be purchased on the bus!! 
Come party with us at Cataldo's/VFW in Bayview!  The kitchen is open!  Karaoke!

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Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panels discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public television Channel 10 at 6:30, with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:

1 – President Obama.

Obama gets ready to take the oath of office.  Is it any more historic than any other inauguration because he’s a black man?  Is the media making it a bigger deal than any other inauguration in our lifetime?  Is that because it is?  Is Obama carrying his admiration for Lincoln a little too far, or is that admirable?  Is it responsible to spend tens of millions of dollars on inaugural activities?  Is it right for the Milwaukee School Board to order teachers to concentrate on inaugural activities that day, instead of regular class work?  What’s the point?  What do you expect will be Obama’s first major act as president?

2 – Racine Mayor.

What in the world was this guy thinking?  Was his sexual drive so strong that he lost all common sense?  He takes his home computer into work so computer techs can fix it?  He doesn’t realize that many sting operations are run by police agencies trying to get people trolling the internet for underage partners?  He doesn’t think anyone will recognize him at a major metropolitan shopping mall?  Will there be more about his mental health that comes out in the days ahead?

3 – Cold.

Once it gets to about 40 degrees below zero you start to wonder why you live in this kind of climate?  Why do you?  What makes it worthwhile?  Is family more important than weather?  Do you go where the jobs are?  Does the media make it out to be worse than it really is?  Do you ever think of living somewhere else? What must the rest of the country think when they see pictures of us walking down the street with frozen eyebrows and ice hanging from our mustaches?  Is putting up with the cold and snow any different than putting up with the dust storms on the plains, or the tornadoes and hurricanes in the gulf states, or the constant rain in the northwest?  Down deep, do we all want to live in California?  Does the ability to handle the seasons contribute to any sort of Midwest specific personality traits?  Are we “tougher” than most?

Jim Doyle: OINK OINK

Jim Doyle can’t help himself, hand extended, begging without shame for countless federal dollars. He is the ultimate Porky Pig.

It has caught the attention of, among others, national columnist Cal Thomas who accurately says Doyle is among some governors demanding that Washington pay $1 trillion for their pie in the sky programs.

If the governors don’t get what they want? C’mon people, you assuredly know the next line: “People will die.”

Thomas writes:

“Notice the sleight of hand about to be perpetrated on hardworking taxpayers. In the end, it is we who pay for the plans of politicians who are unable, or unwilling, to control themselves when it comes to other peoples' money. When Republicans cut taxes, Democrats scream about growing deficits. But Democrats never worry about the deficit when they spend more than what the government takes in. So it really isn't about the deficit at all. It is about how much of our hard-earned money the Democrats, mostly, will allow us to keep. When you understand this, you understand everything about politics and politicians.

Every program created and sustained by Democrats (and increasingly some Republicans) must be kept. Once created, they must continue, no matter how unnecessary, outdated, or corrupt they become. The proof of eternal life is to be found in government programs, which are harder to kill than a vampire, another blood-sucking beast.”

Read the entire column over the background snorting sounds of governors like Doyle.

Ready, aim.....ALERT THE PUBLIC!

The village of Hales Corners is trying to figure out how to improve getting the word out when sharpshooters are targeting deer in Whitnall Park. Apparently this exercise is going to take a few more weeks.

I’ve got some suggestions:





Journal Sentinel

Channel 4

Channel 6

Channel 12

Channel 58

WTMJ Radio

WISN Radio

Simple signs at certain park entrances that read: SHARPSHOOTERS OUT TODAY/TONIGHT

It took about a minute and a half to write this blog.

City of Milwaukee idling ordinance is just plain dumb

You want to warm up your car so you start it and let it run while you're inside trying not to get pneumonia.


In the city of Milwaukee, of course that's against the law. Why? Because you're just inviting some thug to steal your vehicle.

Once again, the focus is all wrong, punishing the law abiding citizen out of apprehension over what some real crook might do.

Channel 4 has more.

“America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil"

That cannot be denied.

If you missed it, here's coverage of President Bush's farewell speech:

ABC News

Fox News

NY Times

LA Times

The transcript

Wisconsin pilot a hero in New York miracle


APTOPIX New York Plane in River

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Saturday morning on Week-ends....

This couple makes one of the Week-ends categories...


Find out why on Week-ends.

Also, Jennifer (Mrs. Fischer) has this week's installment of The Barking Lot.

There's Recommended Reading, Photos of the Week, Culinary no-no, My Most Popular Blogs, and our newest feature, The MJS Scorecard, and maybe some stuff in-between.

You will stop back, won't you?

Keep this, and these Democrats' names in mind...

State Senator Mark Miller (D-Monona) and state Rperesentative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) are demanding to know how much it cost Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to sue the Government Accountability Board to verify the identities of thousands of voters dating back to 2006 before the Nov. 4 election.

Suddenly, these tax and spend liberals who have voted for one huge bloated budget, tax, and fee increase after another have transformed themselves into fiscal conservatives. They are trying to pass themselves  off as oh so concerned about the taxpayers when they should be worried (but are not) about clean elections. These are the same guys who have voted against every attempt to require photo ID for voting.

Good for the Attorney General who informed mega liberals Miller and Pocan the cost of his lawsuit was $155.

Miller and Pocan, by the way, support a $15,2 billion state government health care program that would be the largest tax increase in the history of America. But $155 to ensure clean elections? My God, we can't have that!


What do SE Wisconsin and Hawaii have in common today?

Take a look...

Birds messing up planes? It happens, a lot...

Try 4,000 times a week.

Important wiretapping ruling comes just days before inauguration

How convenient.

George W. Bush is leaving office in a few days and a ruling states wiretapping of suspected terrorists is okay.

Want to bet that when President Obama resorts to wiretaps there won’t be a peep out of  the hypocritical left?

UPDATE: City of Milwaukee idling ordinance is just plain dumb

The city of Milwaukee is softening up on the enforcement of its stupid ordinance prohibiting idling cars when its really cold .

Here’s the update.

There's  a better idea. Just chuck the entire law.

Yes, yes, yes...a thousand times, YES!

FACT: The Green Bay Packers haven't had official cheerleaders since 1988.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, that outstanding source of great journalism, is asking a critical question.

I can't believe the number of "no" votes. Who's voting no? A nunnery?

The poll answer, I believe, is obvious. 

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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...


US Airways Flight 1149 crew.........and the rescuers.

Jayne incredible must-read story.


Racine mayor Gary Becker  (Becker was scheduled to attend the inauguration on your dime)

Marcelino de Jesus Martinez

Marcus Schrenker

Duck killer

These thugs


"You may not agree with some tough decisions I have made, but I hope you can agree that I was willing to make the tough decisions."

"As the years passed, most Americans were able to return to life much as it had been before 9/11 -- but I never did. Every morning, I received a briefing on the threats to our nation. And I vowed to do everything in my power to keep us safe."

"There is legitimate debate about many of these decisions. But there can be little debate about the results. America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil."

"In a tradition dating back to our founding, the presidency will pass to a successor chosen by you, the American people. Standing on the steps of the Capitol will be a man whose story reflects the enduring promise of our land. This is a moment of hope and pride for our whole nation. And I join all Americans in offering best wishes to President-elect Obama, his wife Michelle and their two beautiful girls.”

"And so, my fellow Americans, for the final time, "good night."
President Bush in his farewell address to the nation.

"As the din of debate and argument fades, things that were once thought to be impossible are remembered years later as, well, inevitable. That is why, Mr. President, history's judgment is rarely the same as today's headlines."
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, predicting history will be kind to President Bush.

“We were getting to the point where I felt very comfortable. The flight attendants began shouting ‘tuck and brace' over and over again. And then I looked at a co-pilot, who was sitting behind me. I asked if we were crashing. And (he) nodded, yes.I thought I was dead. And, then, we hit the water.”
Denise Lockie, one of the survivors of Thursday's crash of US Airways Flight 1549.

“The flight attendants started chanting in unison, ‘Lean forward and brace yourselves.' It was actually pretty calming (and) got everybody focused on what we needed to do.I just told people to grab your seat. I grabbed my seat and went out the left side door over the wing. I looked up and realized we were in the Hudson. I just got on the wing. Some crazy people jumped into the water."
Lee Fazzi, another US Airways Flight 1149 survivor.

"There were people talking behind me who thought we hit birds, but I dismissed that because it was harder than that. I actually thought we might have grazed another plane. Next thing you know, we're over the water and the pilot said, 'Brace for impact.' I was thinking -- no, I was positive -- we were all going to die. The stewardesses started chanting, 'Lower your head! Brace for impact!' You could smell smoke. We couldn't see smoke, but we could smell it. The engine on my side of the plane was shaking. The whole thing was shaking. I thought it was going to fall off. It was making a horrible noise. People on the right side, they could see flames coming out. We hit the water. The stewardesses in the front of the plane were fantastic. They deployed the raft. Because I was in the first row, I was first in. I jumped into it as it was inflating. The pilot was a stud. He was the last one into the raft. He was calm, processing everything. He asked us to do a head count (they counted 34). He was just a stud. It was clear he was in control, clear he knew what he was doing. We all got out orderly. When the boat came, we helped people up the netting -- women first, then the guys who'd been in the water. It was like we'd done it before. It was really a miracle."
US Airways Flight 1149 survivor Paul Jorgensen.

"We're crashing. This is it. I just want to tell you I love you, I love the kids, I love you, I love you, I love you."
US Airways Flight 1149 Vicki Barnhardt's voicemail left to her husband, Mike.

"That's it, I'm a single parent. Half your life is gone in one fell swoop. It's not something you wish on your worst enemy."
Mike Barnhardt's reaction to his wife's message."Just as an instinct, I erased it. It's not something you want to hear again. It's just nauseating to hear something like that, I'm glad I erased it."

"I've never quite been in this situation before of getting a massive pay cut, no bonus, no longer allowed to stay in decent hotels, no corporate airplane. I have to stand in line at the Northwest counter. I've never quite experienced this before. I'll let you know a year from now what it's like." 
GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz in an interview with NPR

"....seducing all age females into being hot sluts."
Racine mayor Gary Becker describing his interests duirng an online chat with an undercover investigator posing as a 14-year-old girl. Becker agreed to meet at the mall, saying, "It will be hard to keep my hands off u in public" and "I would luv to get a hotel room and have lots of fun with u."

"We've maxed out our credit cards and now we're turning to our 'rich"'Uncle Sam and asking for his credit card to bail us out for the next two years.Suppose we get our share of the $500 billion to pay for ongoing educational and other programs. What happens when the federal funding runs out?"
State Senators Michael Ellis (R-Neenah) and Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) on Wisconsin's structural deficit and a propsoed federal stimulus package to the states.

"Forty-six years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy told members of Congress that: 'It is no contradiction - the most important single thing we can do to stimulate investment in today's economy is to raise consumption by major reduction of individual income tax rates.' He was right. And it worked for President Ronald Reagan. In 1983, the year that the Reagan tax cuts went into effect, the national economy started the largest peacetime economic boom in American history. During this time, 5 million new businesses and 20 million new jobs were created. Tax reductions led to economic prosperity. Even President-elect Barack Obama is now calling for tax cuts."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker in a column last Sunday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Gary Becker undoubtedly is at the top of the list, but don't forget these items:

Governor Doyle wants to build high speed rail linking Chicago to Minneapolis.

The state fired, then re-hired a tech expert for a six-figure salary.


Dear mainstream media: Disgraced Racine mayor Gary Becker (see VILLAINS OF THE WEEK above) is a Democrat.


American (yawn) Idol is back.


I triple dog dare you!

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Memo to Laurel Walker at MJS: Relax

We all know the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is not a liberal newspaper. Why? Because the paper says so.

Lefty columnist Laurel Walker couldn’t help but wear her liberal stripes on her sleeve in today’s edition:

Ever notice how some things take for-evvv-er?

George Bush's goodbye, for instance.

I'm generally not an impatient person. But really. Let's get on with it. Move on. Enough with the exit interviews that attempt to rewrite history already.”

Not very gracious, are you Laurel? Don’t worry. You’ll get your ultra-liberal President in just a few days.

I would note that Walker writes, “I'm generally not an impatient person.” But in the same column, she also writes, “How long will it take to get a statewide - or national - smoking ban in workplaces, including taverns and restaurants?”

I just keep telling myself, “You fool. The Journal Sentinel is not full of lefties. The Journal Sentinel is not full of lefties.”

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

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

TODAY:  Snow, possibly 1-2 inches. seasonal temperatures. 

SUNDAY: Snow showers. Colder than Saturday. "F"

“OK we know you’re in there…  Come out with your paws up and your tail between your legs!!!  That’s it… nice and slow…  put the squeaky toy down and no one will get hurt.”

“But officer, I can explain!  Max was just doing his job!  He was protecting our family!  He heard a strange noise in the garage and wanted to alert us.”

“Mister, you have the RIGHT to remain silent.  Your dog, on the other hand, is ORDERED to remain silent.  If Max disobeys this order he will be sentenced to debarking.”

Sound as far-fetched as a Frisbee on a day with 45 MPH winds?  Maybe not.  Those Loony Toon bureaucrats in California with nothing better to do are going to start enforcing a new Anti-Nuisance Ordinance beginning next month.  Is your dog barking too much ACCORDING TO YOUR NEIGHBORS?  Get ready to fork over up to $500 for each “violation.”

Never mind that there are already laws on the books in Riverside County that address this issue.  Let’s take the resources to create and enforce NEW legislation that by comparison won’t necessarily change the dog’s behavior, it will only cost its owner more money.  Or could it change the dog’s behavior?  From a CBS News article:

“Remedies might include obedience training, containing the dog within an enclosed space, such as a garage, restricting the amount of time the animal is allowed outside -- or debarking the dog so it doesn't vocalize beyond a whisper.  OK, so my neighbor thinks my dog barks too much…  let me just take it to the vet to have it’s vocal cords ripped out.  There’s a great solution!  You can read the entire article here.  

Of course there are no statistics offered as to how much this new system will cost the taxpayers.  It’s just one more example of government stepping in and over-regulating when it is not necessary.

In the City of Milwaukee, the Department of Neighborhood Services follows this process:


All animal noise complaints should be referred to the Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS). A letter stating the animal's address, the complainant's name, address and phone number and a general description of the problem must be sent to DNS–Nuisance and Environmental Health Division, 4001 S. 6th St., Milwaukee, WI 53221. After the DNS verifies both addresses, a warning letter will be typed. The inspector will attempt to personally serve the letter on the animal owner along with literature and a copy of the applicable ordinance. If the inspector cannot make contact after a few tries, the letter will be mailed to the animal owner's home. The complainant will then be sent a follow-up letter informing he/she of what was sent to the animal owner along with a petition for commencement of prosecution. If the noise problem continues after the complainant receives the petition, the complainant must document dates and times that it is occurring and return it to DNS. He/she should also try to get at least one person from another household, who is bothered by the noise, to sign the petition. Once DNS receives the petition a citation will be issued. A CITATION WILL NOT BE ISSUED UNLESS THE COMPLAINANT IS WILLING TO APPEAR IN THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE. To make further complaints call DNS at 286-2268.

Check out the sentence at the bottom in CAPITAL LETTERS.  It seems to be perfectly reasonable to me to expect the person complaining about my dog to show up at the hearing.  I could have a neighbor who dislikes dogs on principal.  The fool could just be a “cat person.”  Suddenly Neighbor Of The Year is calling Animal Services once a week saying that Max is at it again, and I’m trying to figure out if I should take the fine out of his Doggy Treat fund.

It must be nice for California to have so much time & money on its hands that they can revise a way to regulate dog barking.  It’s a good thing they’ve solved all the issues for homeless and unemployed persons, and that immigration is as tight as a Master Lock.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer. As far-fetched as a Frisbee on a day with 45 MPH winds? I like it.

Time once again for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Let's start off with a really nice, warm, fuzzy story. Tanker is headed for fame and a starring role in movie, despite having just two legs.

More good news......Michou, an abandoned miniature poodle is recovering. And Java  is safe and sound, too.

Dear Mr. President: Pick a mutt. The experts say, take your time,  but the choice is down to two breeds. And how much will that dog cost?

Jennifer has written about our neighbor, George and his great dog, Mickey who has been spotted this winter wearing sweaters. If George tries that in Britain, he could go to jail.

We all know that dogs eat some weird things. Have you ever heard of this?

Who knew that besides a mother, father, spouse, and offspring that dogs would also be responsible for an award-winning acting effort.

That's it for this week. Jennifer and I thank all of you dog lovers and just plain This Just In patrons for stopping by. We close with news of yet another dog flick that just opened this weekend in theaters. Here's the trailer for "Hotel for Dogs."

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Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

10 things the President got right

"His presidency was far more successful than not. And there's an aspect of his decision-making that merits special recognition: his courage"

10 Bush mistakes

"As he heads to Texas, Bush should reflect on these 10 more important mistakes that shaped his presidency.."

What went right for Bush

"Obama is likely to engage in some powerful symbolic gestures while keeping much of his predecessor's policies in substance. Obama is even keeping some of Bush's key personnel, most remarkably Defence Secretary Robert Gates, and some key Bush administration figures in the National Security Council. Obama acknowledges the success of the Bush troop surge in Iraq and wants to imitate it in Afghanistan. In truth, there is no greater compliment in political life than for a political opponent to adopt his predecessor's policies once he gains office."

The Bush legacy

"We can only hope that it will not take the sight of an American city lying in radioactive ruins to wake people up to the dangers that George W. Bush protected us against, despite an unending chorus of carping."

Media mudballs unlikely for Obama inaugural

"While most presidents do start with a media honeymoon, a review of the past 20 years finds reporters are more celebratory when Democrats are taking over the White House, while coverage of GOP inaugurals has included a fair number of anti-conservative stinkbombs.."

A Modest Proposal: Ensure that New Public Works Projects Employ American Workers

"If we are going to spend billions, perhaps even trillions, of borrowed dollars to create public works jobs, an absolute prerequisite must be an insurance policy that the beneficiaries of the program are U.S. workers."

Cellphone bans? Hang up

"This is, plain and simple, an anti-business initiative, whether intended or not."

Teen + cell phone = porn

Here’s a very disturbing trend: “sexting.”

Sexting occurs when individuals take nude or semi-nude photos of themselves or others and then send them on their cell phones or post them on the Internet.

More and more teenagers are sexting. Why? It’s become the new method of picking up a date. Apparently simply asking someone out is just so last year.

Beyond the sheer immorality, other ramifications of this incredibly foolish act include humiliation, the very real possibility of a backlash, lost scholarships and jobs, maybe even criminal prosecution.
A stunning pronouncement comes from an official at a high school in Cincinnati:

"If I were to go through the cell phones in this building right now of 1,500 students, I would venture to say that half to two-thirds have indecent photos, either of themselves or somebody else in school.”

If it’s happening to such a degree in one Cincinnati high school, it should come as no surprise that it’s a national problem. A national study conducted by
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and last fall showed the following key findings on “Sex and Tech”:

Note: Unless otherwise stated, teen means ages 13-19 and young adult means ages 20-26.

A significant number of teens have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude pictures or video ofthemselves.

How many teens say they have sent/posted nude or semi-nude pictures or video of themselves?
20% of teens overall
22% of teen girls
18% of teen boys
11% of young teen girls (ages 13-16)

Sending and posting nude or semi-nude photos or videos starts at a young age and becomes even more frequent as teens become young adults.
How many young adults are sending or posting nude or seminudeimages of themselves?
33% of young adults overall
36% of young adult women
31% of young adult men

Sexually suggestive messages (text, email, IM) are even more prevalent than sexually suggestive images.
How many teens are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages?
39% of all teens
37% of teen girls
40% of teen boys
48% of teens say they have received such messages

How many young adults are sending or posting sexually suggestive messages?
59% of all young adults
56% of young adult women
62% of young adult men
64% of young adults say they have received such messages

Here's the summary of the study.

The question is how to handle the young perverts: A timeout? You’re grounded? Take away the cell phone?

Better parenting is the obvious answer, but that can’t be legislated. Today’s parents seem to be on the misguided mission of making their offspring their friends and peers.

Are the courts the solution? Prosecutors say they must examine each case and try to discern intent.

Danger for too many teens, at the risk of sounding crude, can be found in their pants. And now, that includes the cell phone in their pockets.

Read more in the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Australia knows U.S. politics pretty well

Take a look at some Australian political cartoons. Why don't we ever see this kind of material in U.S. newspapers? I think we know the answer.

HT: Thomas Reeves

One more act of decency from a compassionate President

President Bush is deeply compassionate about the unborn (a feeling his successor does not share). The President has declared Sunday, January 18, 2008,
National Sanctity of Human Life Day,” saying, “All human life is a gift from our Creator that is sacred, unique, and worthy of protection.”

Barack Obama, the abortion President, will be sworn in two days before the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. Obama is the most dangerous man to be elected President.

Read more

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 (1/11/09)

2) Culinary no-no #94

3) It's ELVIS Birthday weekend Final Jeopardy!

4) They just don't make them like they used to

5) TIE

The MJS Scorecard (1/11/09) 

Recommended Reading (1/10/09)

If you missed InterCHANGE Friday night....

Watch panelist and sex offender defender Joel McNally express more concern about the arrest of Racine Mayor Gary Becker as opposed to what Becker did.....11:00 this morning on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10.

UPDATE from Badger Blogger

2nd UPDATE here.

The MJS scorecard (1/18/09)

MJS Scorecard


This week's Crossroads section is, not surprisingly, a Barack Obama lovefest, dominated by vignettes about gushing Milwaukeeans headed to the inaugural. I would point out another fine piece by Patrick McIlheran who is quite gracious as he refelects upon the incoming administration.

By the way, the paper writes, "There is something special about this one (inauguration)." I've got news for the MJS. All inaugurals are special. All inaugurals are historic.

There are no guest op-ed peices per se this week in Crossroads, so the scorecard goes unchanged.


TODAY: Liberal-0, Conservative-0

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-4, Conservative -4

Photos of the Week (1/18/09)

Photos of the Week


U.S. President George W. Bush (R) holds a news conference in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House January 12, 2009 in Washington, DC. Bush spent nearly an hour fielding questions during his last news conference as president of the United States before President-elect Barack Obama is sworn in on January 20. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


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Here's a place Obama's face should never grace

When I arrived at church this morning to perform my weekly ushering duties, I quickly sought out this week’s Sunday church bulletin. There on the cover, just like every Sunday, was a color illustration of a Biblical scene, this one under the banner, “Behold the Lamb of God, John 1:36.”

I was very pleased to see our traditional Sunday bulletin after being concerned earlier this morning when I read Mary’s blog over at Freedom Eden that some Catholic church bulletins in the Milwaukee area today have a picture of Barack Obama adorning the cover.

It’s abominable that so many Catholics voted for the most pro-abortion backer in Congress, and now the church promotes him in their publications, on National Sanctity of Human Life Day no less.

We all wish the incoming President well and pray for him and his family. But his atrocious record on the unborn is clear, a fact that should not be lost but apparently is for too many Catholics. 

Nothing against any of those churches, but I certainly wouldn't have put Obama on those bulletins.

Congratulations Ben, Stephanie, and James Weiler!

Not many people know about Wisconsin’s Safe Haven Law and that’s unfortunate. Those that do can save lives.

Jim Stingl has a nice column today in the Journal Sentinel that illustrates why this is such a good law.

Thanks to whoever dropped off that baby, and congratulations him and his new parents.

Culinary no-no #95

Culinary no-no's, ELVIS

NOW Online Editor Mark Maley | | (262) 446-6630

I have never been to, nor do I have any strong desire to visit the town of Vassalboro, Maine, located near Augusta. Its official web site describes the locale of 4,335 as a quaint slice of Americana:

"Vassalboro is a community nestled between the banks of the Kennebec River and the West Basin of China Lake. Fertile farmland, small villages, and gentle rolling hills give our town a unique character. Settled in 1760 and incorporated in 1771, Vassalboro has developed into a community committed to quality of life, economic opportunity, and a sound education system."

In the 2008 election, the town voted 1,291 for Barack Obama, and 1,059 for John McCain.

Like most small towns in the good ol' U.S. of A., I'm sure Vassalboro is hurting for business and, let's face it, excitement. What could little Vassalboro possibly do to help resolve both problems in one swift move? What would increase business, possibly tourism and create jobs and give the Vassalboro townsfolk something to buzz about?

Give up?

Try a topless coffee shop.

On January 6, 2008, after a three-hour meeting, the Vassalboro town planning board unanimously approved a proposal by local businessman Donald Crabtree to open a coffee shop featuring topless waitresses. The new venture, set to open as soon as next month, would be at the former Mac Daddy's Pub at the Fat Cat Grille (naturally) that has been vacant for over three years.

According to a published report, there would be "Topless service between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. to 25 tables arranged on a checkerboard floor behind blacked-out windows and a cordon of security."

6 a.m.?  Talk about your eye opener!

Small town politics can be more fascinating than Peyton Place in the 1960's.  I love this, again from a published report:

"My husband doesn't drink coffee," said Erlile Pelletier, as she worked the cash register at Ferris Variety. "But I told him if he became a coffee drinker, we were getting a divorce."

That must have been some meeting on January 6 when the planning board threw up their hands and proclaimed their hands were tied.  Their weak defense was that they had no choice because there was no local ordinance prohibiting a topless coffee shop.

Well then, create one!

Again, from a published report:

"We have limited authority," Planning Board Chairwoman Virginia Brackett said. "You can yell at us all you want, but it doesn't change what we can do."

Uhh, excuse me. You did have a choice, especially considering that a crowd of up to 60 showed up at the meeting to oppose topless coffee. You could have, in the best interests of the town and in deference to the large crowd that attended your meeting voted...


I am not a prude, but I'm not a pig. A topless coffee shop? This isn't Vegas or LA. It's Vassalboro, Maine. I would bet that at least one person reading this blog spent two weeks there one night.

And I will write what I'm sure many men and some women readers are thinking. Just what in the hell would a topless waitress from Vassalboro look like in the first place? Might be enough to curdle your half and half.

Townspeople in Vassalboro, as much as it might sting, you lost to a bunch of cowardly morons. A cup of coffee just isn't worth it. Boycott the damn place, put it out of business, and then vote the el stupidos out of office.

Now, because I don't believe I've provided you "full" coverage of this story, here's more:

The Kennebec Morning Sentinel

The Boston Globe

Local TV report


While caught in the frenzy of Obama-mania, some (lefties?) thought the Great One and Mrs. Great One would barrel into the White House and fire that no good W's chef. After all, Presdient Bush ate (Horror of horrors) hamburgers and hot dogs and pork rinds.

Guess again.

And there's more, yes, there's more.

Here's a leftover from ELVIS Birthday weekend. If you've stayed this long, and given your imperial taste for patronizing this blog I'm confident you have, you are in for yet another bonus treat, a first for This Just In...

Oh, this is almost far too good to just unleash on you without some previous warning.

But I have faith that you're a hearty bunch and can more than handle this special surprise just sprung on you....

Are you ready?

Take a deep breath.

Uhh one.

Uhh two.

It's time for.....


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....time once again for another This Just In edition of:



Are you ready?

Well then, let???s play!

Today's Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I'll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here's your clue.

The one food Elvis would not allow inside or to be cooked at Graceland.

Good luck!


OK, time's up.  Today's Final Jeopardy category is ELVIS CULINARY NO-NO.

The Final Jeopardy clue was, The one food Elvis would not allow inside or to be cooked at Graceland.

The correct Final Jeopardy answer is:


What is seafood? (Elvis couldn't stand the smell. Source: Sirius Satellite Radio).

MLK spoke like a conservative

The following is a blog I posted on MLK Day 2008:

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Martin Luther King Jr. in his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963.

On more than one occasion on Channel 10’s InterCHANGE, I’ve surmised that if alive today, King would oppose affirmative action. He would denounce racial quotas.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

That sounds to me like a perfect conservative value.

Character- conservative candidates say it matters, and conservative voters look for it in various candidates.

On this Martin Luther King Day,
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial page editor Paul Greenberg says:

Martin Luther King Jr. meets the very definition of an American conservative, that is, someone dedicated to preserving the gains of a liberal revolution.

After he was gone, a new black intelligentsia arose that knew not Martin. His would not be the name embroidered on the baseball caps of another generation. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. would give way to the frustrations of a Malcolm X, the demagoguery of a Louis Farrakhan, and the general hucksterism of the Al Sharptons and Jesse Jacksons.

You can tell a lot about an age by the heroes it chooses. While the Malcolms and Farrakhans come and go in favor, Martin Luther King Jr. remains the standard by which all other leaders are measured, and not just black leaders. That's a hopeful sign.”
---Kevin Fischer blog, 1/21/08

Given King's famous remarks, it makes one wonder why so many liberals today relish playing the race card. Wouldn't King find that offensive and insulting to minorities?

Is the Super Bowl no longer a Super Bore?

One of my fellow ushers at church yesterday and a big sports fan, Ralph agreed with me that the NFC and AFC Championship Games tend to be more exciting and better ballgames than the Super Bowl. The overall history of the Super Bowl has produced more clunkers and blowouts than nail-biters.

But the trend might be changing. If you examine the more recent contests, the Super Bowl is becoming more competitive from a final score standpoint.

In the previous 10 NFC Championship Games, including Sunday’s, the average margin of victory was 15.1 points. In the previous 10 AFC Championship Games, including Sunday’s, the average margin of victory was 11.9 points.

In the previous 10 Super Bowl games, the average margin of victory has been 11.1 points.

Pittsburgh is an early 7-point favorite to beat Arizona in this year’s Super Bowl.

Remember last year's game? It was kinda exciting...

Read more

RIP Bob May


 Bob May
AP photo

The best robot ever.

Read more

Cruisin' with Steeler fans

Because there is a great deal of truth to that cheery Disney ditty, "It's a Small World," maybe, just maybe some Pittsburgh Steeler fans I met over a year ago will stumble onto this blog. If not, I'm sure they're thinking about me today.

What a difference a year makes.


Has MLK's "Dream" been fulfilled?

Most blacks, 69% believe that the United States has "fulfilled the vision King outlined'' in his speech on Aug. 28, 1963.

Let’s ask MLK III.

“Where would the U.S. be without the Bush presidency?"

US News & World Report
asks that very question. Some e-mails from readers praised Bush, others did not. Here are a couple of the more thoughtful responses:

We will miss President Bush

On September 11, 2009, we are going to remember President Bush.

Whenever a terrorist attack in the world happens, we are going to remember President Bush.

Whenever we have a fight for the life of innocents, we are going to remember President Bush.

For his faith in God and this nation, we are going to remember President Bush.

George Bush's Presidency

The United States of America is without a doubt deep in the debt of gratitude to a man that kept us safe for 8 years after the 9-11 invasion. If the Democrats had not been so hell bent on destroying GWB, we would have not seen the economic debacle thst has ensued. There would have been a mild correction in the market in early 2008, then the rules would have been changed quietly that allowed people that did not have the money to buy real estate, to buy real estate. Those rules were changed in 1998-99, and has caused the present economic meltdown. GWB and his administration tried tirelessly to quietly change these rules, but the pay for play reached so far into the Democratic leadership, and their mouthpieces were so determined to derail his efforts at a time when the safety of our country was front and center, and a united government was a necessity.

Al Gore was the Benedict Arnold that lead the Democrats, still angry about 2000, into the politics of destruction and doubt that has been the worst thing that could happen to a people united to defeat the enemy that has been seeking this countries destruction now for 30 years, Osama Bin Laden could not have had a stronger ally than Al Gore and his ilk. History will show him as a snake oil selling Elmer Gantry, and that is painful to me because I grew up with him in Middle Tennessee. We saw him for what he is, and denied him the Presidency in 2000. On 9-11-01, we knew precisely why we felt so strongly that he must not be allowed to control the reigns of power ever again.

Care to offer your own reply?

Will Greenfield be the next Franklin?

Tuesday night, the Greenfield Common Council hears from the public and considers taking action a la  Franklin to restrict where released sex offenders can live and loiter. Greenfield aldermen have been taking their good natured time making a decision on this common sense measure proposed by Greenfield alderman Linda Lubotsky. Over 30 communities in Wisconsin have either approved or considered Franklin-like ordinances.

Meanwhile, here's good news in the fight for kids and their parents and against offenders: the type of information on sex offender registries across the country is expanding.


Want a last minute invite to the inauguration?


Become a hero.

Office slackers Tuesday?

It'd be interesting to know the scope of workplaces allowing employees to watch the Obama coronation. Won't that be bad for business? It is come Super Bowl time.

Granted, the inauguration is only about an hour or so and it comes during lunch time on the East Coast.

Still, all that lost productivity adds up........or does it?

Lefty reporter Sally Quinn says even "sour" Republicans are "excited" about inauguration

Oh, yeh, Sally? Name one.

Watch this typical softball interview with lefty suck-up Quinn from the Washington Post.

Cold chicken salad and plain pound cake? Not at this inauguration

The mainstream media keeps reinforcing their view that America is suffering the worst economic downturn since the Depression.

I’m not sure I buy that, Exhibit A being the horrific Carter years. But if we take the Obama worshippers in the press at their word, then how do you explain the ridiculous, over-the-top spending for this inauguration?

Even MSNBC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party questions the price tag:

"In 2005, Reps. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., and Jim McDermott, D-Wash., asked Bush to show a little less pomp and be a little more circumspect at his party.

'President Roosevelt held his 1945 inaugural at the White House, making a short speech and serving guests cold chicken salad and plain pound cake,' the two lawmakers wrote in a letter. 'During World War I, President Wilson did not have any parties at his 1917 inaugural, saying that such festivities would be undignified.'

The thinking was that, with the nation at war, excessive celebration was inappropriate. Four years later, the nation is still at war. Unemployment has risen sharply. And Obama pressed Congress to release the second half of a $700 billion bailout package in hopes of rescuing a faltering banking industry."

Doesn’t matter this time around folks because it’s the liberals throwing the party, and we all know how they love to spend your money.

Mark it down, January 20, 2009...

most unobjective day in the history of the American news media.

Dear mainstream media:

1) Not everybody voted for this guy. Stop acting like he got 96% of the vote.

2) He hasn't done anything yet.

3) His only accomplishment is that he's run for office.

UPDATE: If you missed InterCHANGE Friday night...

Some bloggers have been asking what fellow pundit Joel McNally said on Friday's broadcast of InterCHANGE pertaining to the arrest of former Racine Mayor Gary Becker. Channel 10 has informed me that this was Joel's direct quote:

"I don't particularly like these kinds of stings.  I think they prey on some pretty pathetic people, who are having their sex lives through their computers.  And then, they entice them somewhere in public so they can arrest them and embarrass them... I've always been a little disgusted that law enforcement spends so much time entrapping these people....they were having their usual sex lives through their computers, and someone is telling them 'Come and get me.'"

Ratchet is reunited

Here's an update on a story my wife, Jennifer and I have blogged a lot about. It is such a good news story that it just couldn't wait for this Saturday's Barking Lot.

Over 30 years later, Elvis' friend Tom Jones wonders...


Could he have saved the King?

They were very good friends.

I thank W

And so do many more.

Watch the video.

HT: Karen, one of my guest bloggers

Here's what happens when you have liberal judges....

You can't even talk tough to criminals.

Greenfield is no Franklin

The Greenfield Common Council voted 3-2 Tuesday night against a restrictive sex offender ordinance.
Here are details from jsonline and GreenfieldNOW.

No surprise, Alderman Tom Pietrowski voted against the measure. He hasn’t hid his deep concern for sex offenders as opposed to the innocent children in his district. Alderman Shirley Saryan also voted against the proposed ordinance. I wrote about Saryan on a blog after attending a previous committee meeting she chaired on this issue:

“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 don’t try to snow me. I think her mind was made up against this proposal a long time ago.

A Greenfield resident sent me an e-mail today:

“Sex offenders for miles around are lining up at the border….it’s going to be like the Oklahoma land rush of 1889.”

Greenfield parents, do not forget this vote.

Julie Becker takes a different approach

We’ve seen it many times. The scumball, cad of a husband who just happens to be a public official who got caught with his pants down, standing in front of the media while victim wife who deserves a heckuva lot more than this creep stands motionless, eyes fixed intently on her not-so-better half, trying to fake support.


It's called a "Stand By Your Man" moment.

None of that Tammy Wynette junk for Julie Becker, the soon-to-be ex-wife of former Racine mayor Gary Becker.

During those "moments," you can almost hear millions of women screaming at their TV's, "DUMP THE SOB!"

So why don't they?

Liberals are all about choice, right?

No way says John Stossel of ABC News:

"Strangely, today, liberals are mostly about what Americans should not be allowed to choose.”

Stossel lays out his case quite nicely.

Hey Franklin, Cudahy might shut down a tavern because...

It's a nuisance.

Just an observation.

What about the men?

Early in the 1990’s while working for WTMJ, I covered a news conference held by several women who wanted to speak out on their sorrow and the regrets they had about their abortions. Abortion proponents and opponents always found their way into the news, but this was an entirely different aspect of this highly emotional and volatile subject, and it was playing out as TV cameras and tape recorders rolled from all the various news stations in town.

One by one, with pained anguish, the women told their stories and wished they could reverse their decisions. They spoke and wept openly.

If a similar event was ever held for the news media locally since that day, I can’t remember, although it seems more and more women are shedding their shame and discussing their personal tragedies. There’s even a national/international movement encouraging women to speak out about the effects abortion has had on their lives.

But what about the men?

What about them?

The truth is that men become fathers at conception and it follows that the intentionally caused death of their unborn child can seriously impact them as well as their partners.”
Vincent Rue, Ph.D., director of the Institute for Pregnancy Loss in Jacksonville, Fla.

Like those women at that early 90’s news conference, men who come forward to discuss how abortion has affected them are rare. But male silence may be slowly changing. Conferences are being held, studies are being conducted, and men are starting to talk, as they should. They are, after all, one of the key pieces in this troubling puzzle.

We can safely answer the question of how abortion impacts men this way: men suffer the same consequences as women.

Vincent Rue, quoted above, supplied specifics in this interview.

Thursday marks the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. By some accounts, over 50 million unborn babies have been killed ever since.

For many of those babies, there are mothers who still grieve, who will never forget. We shouldn’t forget the same holds true for many fathers. Their newfound courage to step out of the shadows of silence hopefully will inspire and encourage more future parents to make the choice of life.

Roe vs. Wade in numerical perspective


During these catastrophic events in American history, there were the following number of deaths:

Hurricane Katrina fatalities: over 1800

Pearl Harbor: approximately 2350

9/11 victims: approximately 3000

American deaths in the Iraq War thus far: 4,229

American deaths in the Vietnam War: approximately 58,000

World War Two American casualties: approximately 418,500

There have been more than 49 million abortions in the United States since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 36 years ago today that abortion was legal.

All of these deaths were significant. All of the victims’ lives were important. All of these moments in history deserved massive attention.

So where is the news coverage about the millions of unborn children?

And when there is coverage, if it isn’t on C-SPAN2, are the stories objective and unbiased?

Back in 1990, the not-so-conservative Los Angeles Times wrote a four-part series on
a comprehensive study the newspaper conducted that found the press often favors abortion rights in its coverage, even though journalists say they make every effort to be fair.

Even though the study was done in 1990, I daresay the situation hasn’t changed. In fact, the coverage has probably become even more unbalanced.

Highlights of the LA Times series' findings:
  • The news media consistently use language and images that frame the entire abortion debate in terms that implicitly favor abortion-rights advocates.
  • Abortion-rights advocates are often quoted more frequently and characterized more favorably than are abortion opponents.
  • Events and issues favorable to abortion opponents are sometimes ignored or given minimal attention by the media.
  • Many news organizations have given more prominent play to stories on rallies and electoral and legislative victories by abortion-rights advocates than to stories on rallies and electoral and legislative victories by abortion rights opponents.
  • Columns of commentary favoring abortion rights outnumber those opposing abortion by a margin of more than 2 to 1 on the op-ed pages of most of the nation's major daily newspapers.
  • Newspaper editorial writers and columnists alike, long sensitive to violations of First Amendment rights and other civil liberties in cases involving minority and anti-war protests, have largely ignored these questions when Operation Rescue and other abortion opponents have raised them.
  • Most media organizations, including the Associated Press , the world's largest news agency, use the label "pro-choice", the preferred label of abortion-rights advocates, but not "pro-life", the preferred label of those who oppose abortion. During the first nine months of 1989, the TV networks used "pro-choice" in 74% of their references to abortion-rights advocates and used "pro-life" in only 6% of their references to abortion opponents.
  • When the Supreme Court issued Roe, initial news accounts emphasized the part of the ruling that said a woman would be allowed to have an abortion without restriction during the first three months of pregnancy. Even now, some in the media write about Roe in terms that suggest it legalized abortion only during that first trimester, even though it made abortion legal for any reason throughout the first and second trimesters of pregnancy (and for broadly-defined "health" reasons even in the third).
  • The Alan Guttmacher Institute in New York is probably the single-most widely quoted source for studies and statistics on abortion, for example, but the media rarely point out that the institute is special affiliate of Planned Parenthood of America, a major leader in the battle for abortion rights.
  • The media is generally careful to include comments from abortion-rights advocates in stories about abortion protests, but coverage of abortion-rights activities sometimes fail to include balancing comments from abortion opponents.
  • When Roman Catholic bishops individually spoke out on abortion or, collectively, hired a public relations firm to aid them in the battle against abortion, some in the media grumbled about the church's intrusion into the political arena. Similar media lamentations were forthcoming when bishops criticized (and raised the specter of ex-communication for) public officials who refuse to oppose abortion. But no such criticism was levied at the bishops in earlier years, when they endorsed a nuclear freeze or opposed Reagan Administration economic policies.
  • The major media paid no attention to the discovery by Bob Woodward of the Washington Post that two justices who had played a major role in the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion had conceded, in private memos, that they knew they were "legislating policy and exceeding (the court's) authority as the interpreter, not the maker of law," as Woodward wrote.
  • “When pro-choice candidates win, it is perhaps more easily accepted than it should be that their pro-choice position was the reason, and when pro-life candidates win, perhaps it is more easily accepted (than it should be) that that was really irrelevant to the race," says Douglas Bailey, an abortion-rights supporter who publishes the nonpartisan "Abortion Report," a daily compendium of news on abortion and politics. There have been a number of races in which the media said an abortion-rights advocate's victory showed the political strength of that movement when, in fact, most of the votes in the race actually went to anti- abortion candidates.

Here is the 4-part LA Times series, July 1-4, 1990, on a study of major newspaper, television and newsmagazine coverage over 18 months, including more than 100 interviews with journalists and with activists on both sides of the abortion debate that confirms that this bias often exists.   





And from an editorial in the January 22, 2008 Washington Times:

"While politicians and activists have much debated the question of whether human life begins at conception, in the womb or outside it, we should give ear to former President Reagan, a convert to the pro-life movement, who in 1983 wrote that 'when we talk about abortion, we are talking about two lives — the life of the mother and the life of the unborn child... Anyone who doesn't feel sure whether we are talking about a second human life should clearly give life the benefit of the doubt. If you don't know whether a body is alive or dead, you would never bury it. I think this consideration itself should be enough for all of us to insist on protecting the unborn.'

Indeed, we must guard life with the vigilance due to our most vulnerable population: the unborn."

Does this mean that...

...people cried and screamed and got all gooey and messy all over again?

A wise woman's thoughts on abortion

Today is the 36th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion. A very famous woman had these thoughts on the issue:

“America needs no words from me to see how your decision in Roe v. Wade has deformed a great nation. The so-called right to abortion has pitted mothers against their children and women against men.”

“I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child - a direct killing of the innocent child - murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”

“By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world.”

“That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching the people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want.”

Who is the wise woman who made these statements?


Mother Teresa

While Greenfield puts out the welcome mat for sex offenders....

Theinsville and possibly Manitowoc take action to protect their children via restrictive sex offender ordinances.

This week, the Greenfield Common Council rejected such an ordinance by a vote of 3-2. The issue isn't dead. Stay tuned.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

1 – President Obama.

What did you think of his inauguration speech?  Was it inspiring and uplifting?  Was the media a little over the top?  Was it discourteous to Bush?  Now the real work begins.  Will he force the economy back into shape?  Will he end the war in Iraq in 16 months as he repeatedly promised during his campaign?  Will the honeymoon with the media last his entire presidency?  Does the fact that he is an inspiration to so many people make him a good president?

2 – Judge Joe Wall.

An appeals court slaps former Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Wall on the hand for a lecture he gave to a drug dealing coke-head in court on sentencing day.  Wall ridiculed the unemployed convicted felon for finding a “Baby Mama” who worked and went to school, while the defendant sat at home and watched his kid, and the judge said “Where do you guys find these women?”  22-year-old Landray Harris was given two years in prison, but now will get another judge to give him a new sentencing hearing?  Was Wall being insensitive and racist?  Was he simply trying to use ghetto street language to make an impression on the defendant? Or, as Wall says,
"The comments, reasoning and conclusion of these two judges are legally incorrect and shameful, and are a transparent stretch to appear politically correct at a politically correct moment.”


Does it make any sense to extend the contract of MPS Superintendent William Andrekopoulos (Which is set to expire in March) by another 15 months at a time when both the state and the city are looking into dissolving, reshaping, or taking over the district?  Or, does it make all the sense in the world not to hire a new Captain for a sinking ship?  Does it make sense to stick with this guy until June 30, 2010 when most would argue that MPS hasn’t improved much in the 6 plus years he has been in charge? 

Good morning, class! I'm your substitute teacher name is Rush

Let’s see. A middle school class teacher in the Green Bay area wants students to hear Barack Obama’s inauguration, so it turns on the radio, WTAQ to be exact.

WTAQ is airing live coverage of the momentous occasion, but it just happens to be during Rush Limbaugh’s program. Naturally, El Rushbo is interjecting his commentary because, after all, that is his job.

Public school class room, public school teacher….you can imagine what happened. The teacher had a hissy fit, complaining that the students were “shocked, angered, and saddened” by Limbaugh’s remarks. I wonder if this liberal teacher wasn’t really just describing his/her personal reaction. Kids crying because the radio was on? I don’t think so.

Conservative commentary in the classroom? We can’t have THAT!!

You see, it was ok to interrupt reading, writing and math instructions, but it was wrong to have the kids hear Rush’s “interruptions.”

Limbaugh has offered to give some civics classes, and even fly the students around in his private jet. The cool thing to do would be to accept his offer. But the school won’t.

Read the story.

Meanwhile from the blog of WTAQ talk show host Jerry Bader:


4:01 PM, The "speech" Rush Limbaugh, etc...

Barack Obama was sworn in today as the 44th president of the United States. First, reaction to the speech. It's being reported President Obama wrote this himself (most of his speeches to this point have been penned by David Axelrod). I would argue both the writing and delivery were flat. Yes, there was talk of how hard-working Americans are what make America great. But Obama wasn't his usual oratorical self and it sounded more like a campaign speech than an inauguration speech. In fact, Obama still seems to be in campaign mode.

Rush Limbaugh: Rush chose to provide commentary during Obama's speech. I don't agree with that call. I also don't agree with the emails and calls I've received saying Rush's language was "offensive, hateful and bigoted."

Edison Middle School, I am told, used our station's audio for provide the speech to a student assembly of 1200. I am told Rush's comments made children cry, I was skeptical, and told the teacher who e-mailed me I found it hard to believe. Her response to my question was equally difficult to believe:

Dear Jerry,
You have got to be kidding...Black African American students who have been waiting for hundreds of years to hear their strains for equality answered have only heard loud and clear the voice of a true bigot belittle this "DREAM"... in front of the world!

So, how exactly do middle-school aged children wait "hundreds of years" for anything? As I emailed her in response, this sounds a lot more like SHE was upset than her students were. By late afternoon it was pretty clear that the school was recruiting people to call and email. I, in fact, have let Premiere Radio Networks know I disagree with Rush's decision to do this. I do think it disrespected the office. The notion it was racists, offensive or hateful, I just don't see.


2:28 PM -- Update on Rush and the Edison Middle School use of WTAQ's audio of Rush on inauguration day....I'm receiving scores of calls and emails from around the country; Rush listeners who heard the story of WTAQ airing Rush's commentary of the inauguration and are voicing their support. Edison piped the broadcast throughout the school and one teacher claimed "children were crying" as a result of Rush's commentary.

Local hatemail also continues to come in, but is dwarfed by the number of support calls and letters coming in.

You can say NO to the stimulus

Why say NO?

Because a stimulus means YOU PAY!

Say NO right here.

Obama goes soft on terrorism

That didn't take long.

"I don't know of any city that would be thrilled to have Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Abu Zubaydah living down the street," Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., said of two high-level al-Qaida operatives who are being held at Guantanamo.

We are going to sit down and talk nicey-nicey with insane people who want to kill us.

This is just the beginning, folks.

Is global warming a top priority?

Not according to this poll.

HT: FoxPolitics.Net

As predicted, the attack on the unborn...

...has begun.


Congratulations Mark Carstensen...

...for a well-deserved award.

Anger in Greenfield over sex offender ordinance vote

Earlier this week I noted on This Just In that the story surrounding the Greenfield Common Council's rejection of a Franklin-like restrictive sex offender ordinance wasn't over yet. A protest rally is scheduled next Thursday.

Greenfield Alderman Linda Lubotsky who introduced the ordinance told the Journal Sentinel that people are pretty upset. I'm not surprised and I certainly wouldn't want to be one of the three aldermen who voted against the measure.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

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

TODAY:  Dry, partly cloudy, but very cold. A high of 10.  

SUNDAY:  Mostly cloudy, cold. A high of 13. "F"

When I hear the term “animal rights” or “animal rights groups” I usually think of PETA members marching around in fake fur covered in red paint or stuffing themselves in cages not wearing any clothes, in efforts to bring attention to the fur industry.  Years ago, I worked for the local chapter of the March of Dimes.  We would get calls from people who accused us of being animal killers.  Apparently decades ago, there was a research scientist who worked for the March of Dimes who did some cruel experiments on kittens in the name of saving babies’ lives.  Obviously these techniques are not used in March of Dimes research today.  But there still are people who connect the events of long ago to the group of today.

There are times, however, that I read about animal advocacy groups and their projects and programs and think, “Now THAT makes sense.”  A “No-Kill” shelter policy is one of those times.  New York City is working on becoming a “No-Kill” city by 2015.  (That means not euthanizing cats & dogs in shelters.  Goodness knows they will never have a murder rate of zero!)

I fully support any shelter that does not euthanize an adoptable animal.  Of course the key word is ADOPTABLE.  There are animals surrendered with such severe behavioral issues or health issues that it is not feasible to adopt them out to another family.  The other issue at hand is feral cats.

hey pose many unique challenges and are generally not considered adoptable because they are generations of “wild” cats who have never socialized with humans. 

The Wisconsin Human Society will not euthanize any animal that has been placed up for adoption.  Again there are issues of health & socialization problems but if the animal is suitable for adoption, it will remain at the shelter until an appropriate home is found.

REASONABLE opponents of a no-kill policy could argue about having enough room for all these animals and of course there is the cost associated with keeping these animals for sometimes lengthy stays. Then there are the loonies at PETA who seem to think that KILLING some strays is actually MORE humane.  HUH?  

Personally, I will continue to support the no-kill shelters.  I applaud their efforts in not euthanizing perfectly adoptable animals.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thank you, Jennifer for that timely piece. Every week, following the dog walking forecast and Jennifer's opening blog, Jennifer is kind enough to allow me to bring you DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Our neighbor to the south, Illinois is taking  a serious loook at puppy mill legislation.

Here's a bill that's a new one on me. The state of Washington is considering legislation to allow you to be buried with your pets.

In New Mexico, female inmates are training dogs to be obedient.

You've heard of the dog ate my homeowrk? How about the dog bit my granddaughter...

And finally, what is the most popular dog in America?

That's it for this week. Thanks again, dog lovers for checking in. We close with a preview of some doggone good TV coming soon.

Next Saturday, the cable channel Animal Planet broadcasts one of the biggest events in canine competition. From the AP website:

"Man's best friends are putting their best paws forward for the cameras and legions of fans as they vie for 'Best In Show' and the title of National Champion at 'The Planet's' greatest dog show. Coats trimmed, nails filed and gaits perfected, top dogs from around the country and the world come together to compete in one of America's most prestigious dog shows. The eighth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship will air on Saturday, Jan. 31, at 8 PM e/p, on Animal Planet.

More than 2,400 dogs headed to Long Beach, California in December to compete for a total of $225,000 in cash prizes. The AKC/Eukanuba National Championship is the largest prize money dog show in the world, bestowing a $50,000 cash prize to the dog crowned National Champion.

Hosted by Bob Goen, this high-profile dog show features invitees from the country's top 25 dogs in each AKC-recognized breed. Invitations to dogs are based on breed points accumulated over a set period. In addition, every dog awarded Best in Show at a licensed or member AKC all-breed dog show during the same time period was extended an automatic invitation to enter the competition. Dog show insider Lee Arnold and American Kennel Club judge Edd Bivin also assist with the play-by-play."

Here's a sneak peek at one of the honorees:

Read more



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...


Jill Stanek, Lucy Talbot, Anita White

Wisconsin students


 Judges Joan Kessler and Patricia Curley

Milwaukee County Supervisors Clark and Jones

Two priests

Sam Adams

Julieta Clinton

De Pere restaurant


“I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President.”
What the oath is supposed to read.

“”I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear [pause] that I will execute the Office of the President faithfully.”
What US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said while swearing in Barack Obama.

"Lord, in the memory of all the saints who from their labors rest, and in the joy of a new beginning, we ask you to help us work for that day: when black will not be asked to get in back, when brown can stick around,  when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man; and when white will embrace what is right."
Text excerpted from the benediction delivered by Rev. Joseph Lowery at the inauguration.

“I would say that he would be Joshua going across to the Promised Land. Martin Luther King Jr. went to the mountaintop like Moses, and he said, ‘I might not get there with you, but I can see the Promised Land.’ But we gonna’ get to the Promised Land. So Joshua carried them across. Martin Luther King, Jr. was prevented from going into the Promised Land.”
oxing promoter Don King referring to Obama.

"It’s a difficult thing. As a Republican, I am convinced his plans will not work. As an American, I hope they do."
State Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine) on the mixed feelings of conservatives on Inauguration Day.

"I was just one of the fools who stayed too long. I don't understand how people with families can afford this job."
Former State Representative Dave Travis ( D-Waunakee) on news that he benefited from retiring early in order to avoid the market downturn’s effect on his pension. Travis estimated his pension and future Social Security benefits to be about $60,000 a year -- more than his final annual legislative salary of $47,413. Hundreds of other state workers took the same advice and retired before the end of 2008.

"The mayor's resignation today, for all, was viewed as a good thing and allows for the partial closure of one chapter of this book."
Racine City Administrator Ben Hughes on former Racine Mayor Gary Becker's resignation Tuesday. Becker was arrested last week on charges related to possession of child pornography, misconduct in public office and attempting to arrange a sexual liaison with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

"Where do you guys find these women, really, seriously. I'd say about every fourth man who comes in here unemployed, no education, is with a woman who is working full-time, going to school. Where do you find these women? Is there a club?"
Former Milwaukee Judge Joseph Wall during sentencing of a drug dealer in 2007. The drug dealer was living with the mother of his one-year old child who was working to support them. Wall's remarks led an appellate court to reverse Wall's ruling. Wall also called the woman a "baby mama."

"The trial court's intemperate sentencing remarks were sarcastic and demeaning, the antithesis of 'patient, dignified and courteous.' As is evident by the many sentencing transcripts that cross my desk, it is possible for a sentencing judge to mete out stiff (and often well-deserved) sentences without belittling the offender."
Appellate Court Judge Patricia Curley ripping former judge Wall's above comments.

"Tell whoever is bellyaching to stop their whining. If they don't like the change, they can find some work somewhere else in the weak economy."
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, responding to a reporter's question about a union official's complaint that staffing changes at the House of Correction could result in safety problems.

"Assuming the Healthy Wisconsin program were to become law in 2009, the regression analysis predicts that between 2009 and 2015, an additional 143,000 people would be drawn to the state by the prospect of readily available health insurance, or would remain in the state so as not to lose their Healthy Wisconsin coverage. In dollar terms, the annual—and currently unbudgeted—cost of adding these 143,000 individuals to Healthy Wisconsin would be $550 million (in 2007 dollars). This figure could be expected to grow rapidly, however, to keep pace with medical inflation, and possibly to accommodate new arrivals with unusually costly health care problems."
From a Wisconsin Policy Reserach Institute report, analyzing the impact if Wisconsin approves government health care.


No class at the inauguration from poor winners.


becoming central gun rights issue.

Oh, and there was that March for Life in Washington...


The Obama coronation.


Clerk's mistake= $1M

Shelly Koontz is a criminal. Read why.

He wasn't dead after all.

Coming to a civics class near Green Bay...

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.

Forget the Wisconsin-Illinois game today...

UW Madison students this afternoon will attempt to set a world record for the largest snowball fight.

Now kids, just remember. Don’t let things get out of hand!

The state of blacks in golf

That's the focus of a piece in today's Wall Street Journal.

I can't wait for their next sports analysis: The state of whites in the NBA.


Why don't we just put the kid in a suit of armor?

The nanny state lives on and on.

You can sense the bill being introduced in Madison, can't you, because if we can save JUST ONE KID.....




In the state of Wisconsin, under a Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) football rule, whenever the point differential between two teams reaches 35 points or more in the 2nd half, there is a running clock that only stops after a score, a charged timeout, the end of the 3rd quarter, or a serious injury, as long as the margin remains 35 points or greater. If the margin becomes less than 35, the game resumes with the regular clock rules.

It’s a very good rule because it helps to avoid unnecessary injuries, or even fights out of frustration from breaking out.

No such rule exists in basketball. And so, you get high school games in Milwaukee like these last night reported in the Journal Sentinel:

GIrl's games

• In the City Conference, Milwaukee King opened with a 52-1 run en route to a 69-7 drubbing of Bradley Tech. King didn't allow a single point in the first half and led, 36-0, at the break.

Milwaukee Custer kept Milwaukee Ronald Reagan scoreless in the first half of a 58-26 blowout. 

Boy’s game

Destiny scored 34 unanswered points in the first quarter of its 94-28 shellacking of Wisconsin Career Academy. Destiny sprinted to a 55-7 halftime lead.

Those games are nothing compared to what happened in Texas. The Associated Press reports:

“Last week, Covenant, a private Christian school in Dallas, defeated Dallas Academy 100-0. Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime.

A parent who attended the game said Covenant continued to make three-pointers - even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

‘I think the bad judgment was in the full-court press and the three-point shots,’ said Renee Peloza, whose daughter plays for Dallas Academy. ‘At some point, they should have backed off.’

Dallas Academy coach Jeremy Civello told the Dallas Morning News that the game turned into a ‘layup drill,’ with the opposing team's guards waiting to steal the ball and drive to the basket. Covenant scored 12 points in the fourth quarter and ‘finally eased up when they got to 100 with about four minutes left,’ he said.

Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is winless over the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with ‘learning differences,’ such as short attention spans or dyslexia.”

I don’t blame the Covenant girls, but I certainly have a major problem with their coach who allowed this to happen. There are actions the coach can take to prevent this shameful debacle.

Take out your starters.

Call off the full court press.

Stop shooting three’s.

On offense, pass that ball around, a lot.

Ask the officials and the opposing coaches if they would agree to a running clock in the second half.

The Covenant coach should be ashamed of himself. He is a horrible instructor and role model.

I don’t want to hear the argument that the object of the game is to play hard and win. That’s garbage. The outcome of this game was decided when Covenant walked into the gym.

And this isn’t the WNBA or college basketball.

Other coaches, I'm sure, are taking note of what Covenant did. I wouldn’t feel sorry if some other team waxed Covenant the same way they plastered Dallas Academy.

Here’s more on the story from ABC News.

This ain't your parents' Miss America Pageant

Back when I was a kid, there was no cable television with 354 channels. You had ABC, NBC, CBS, public television and a sometimes snowy UHF channel. With limited options, making a viewing choice was easy, and nightly television became a family event.

Every September, there was a nationwide buzz when the Miss America Pageant was broadcast. Legendary host Bert Parks was mega popular. I recall my neighbor friend’s mom, Barbara Ahnert talking with my mom in our kitchen one September Saturday many, many years ago, literally swooning over Parks.

“Oh, I just LOVE when he sings that song,” she sighed, referring to, “Oh there she is….”

Bert Parks, unfortunately, is long gone, so we are left with amateurish replacements. Parks was as big a part of the Miss America Pageant as say, the swimsuit competition.

Here’s what the contestants looked like in those suits in 1960.


It’s 49 years later, the contest is now staged in glitzy Las Vegas, and with the changing times come changing fashions…….and how.

Read more

Getting away with murder

The way to do it in America:

1) Plead insanity.

2) Claim you heard voices telling you to kill.

3) Claim you’re not a bad person and really need help.

4) Get your case to be heard by liberal judges.

A three judge panel in Ohio ruled that on October 1, 2007, Amber Hill didn’t realize the wrongfulness of her actions when she drowned her 4-year old and 2-year old daughters. Hill held their heads underwater in a bathtub.

Hill’s defense attorney Myron Watson has no shame, telling the court, “She was a good mother.”

All good moms drown their babies.

Here’s more from the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Amber Hill....

"She was a good mother."

When it gets really cold, do you say, “so what?”

From one of my readers:

 65 above zero:


Read more

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

Reasons for pro-lifers to be optimistic

"The movement refused to give up and went on to make some very impressive gains during the 1990s—gains that remain today, and should give pro-lifers plenty of hope for the future."

My “To Don’t” List for the Right

"DON’T move to Canada.
DON’T say you’re going to move to Canada and then stay here. (I know it’s too late for Stephen Baldwin, but not for the rest of you.)"

The Collapse of the Left Wing Press

"The uber-liberal, Bush-hating MSNBC network ranked 31 in total day ratings for the first two weeks of January. I think that's right behind the 'Roller Derby Channel'."

Shut Up and Lead

"Barack Obama is president. Get over it, and start coming up with new ideas and counter-ideas of your own, instead of making hateful or smart-alecky remarks just to sell books or attract attention."

Pol quotes

"President Barack Obama, immediately following his election to the Senate in 2004: 'I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years. . . . I am a believer in knowing what you're doing when you apply for a job, and I think that if I were to seriously consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. There may be some who are comfortable with doing that, but I'm not one of those people'."

Farewell Mr. President

"Bush did what he thought was right—and on the biggest issues, what was right."

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 (1/18/09)

2) Mark it down, January 20, 2009

3) "Where would the U.S. be without the Bush presidency?"

4) Culinary no-no #95

5) Has MLK's dream been fulfilled? 

Photos of the Week (1/25/09)

Photos of the Week

 Obama Inauguration

People camp out at the Washington Monument on the National Mall in anticipation of the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


People fill the National Mall all the way back to the Washington Monument in the early morning hours before the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America January 20, 2009 in Washington, DC. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Read more

Another NOW blogger questions "Crossroads"

I just stumbled across the fact that I am not the first CommunityNOW blogger to raise fairness questions about the Milwaukee Journal’s Sunday “Crossroads” section.

MequonNOW’s Warren Stumpe criticized the editorial pages in November of 2006 and then the "Crossroads" section in March of 2007.

Good for you, Warren!

Outrage of the Week?

Regular readers know my weekly Saturday feature, Week-ends always has an OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK.

Here's an early candidate for next Saturday.

The MIlwaukee Journal Sentinel did a super job on this one.

The MJS Scorecard (1/25/09)

MJS Scorecard



The Obama odyssey

I had the pleasure of meeting David Maraniss when he was the featured speaker at a Milwaukee Press Club event I was the master of ceremonies. I have great admiration for him and his work. He's a phenomenal writer.

Maraniss’ lengthy front page piece is a glowing look at Barack Obama’s road to the White House. Don’t get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with that, but the entry lacks any critical notes about the new President. Therefore, for purposes of this exercise, it gets dropped into the “L” category.

Wisconsin is missing its share

This column endorses Governor Jim Doyle’s proposed hospital tax.

Jay Bullock: To fix MPS, fix city's problems

Jay Bullock is a liberal blogger. His desire for an improved MPS system is admirable, but he trots out the same, tired old excuses for MPS's failures, refusing to affix any blame upon MPS administrators, teachers, students, and parents. It is also insulting to suggest poor children are incapable of learning because they're poor.



Visiting author and expert on Afghan affairs, Neamat Nojumi writes a scholarly piece: Neamat Nojumi: Time for a new start on Afghanistan policy

Nojumi believes stability in Afghanistan is critical to U.S. interests. In my view, his piece cannot be labeled liberal or conservative.


TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-0

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-7, Conservative-4

Culinary no-no #96

Culinary no-no's

The late restaurant critic of the Milwaukee Journal sentinel, Dennis Getto was my friend. I had a high regard for Getto and his reviews.

I will never forget his scathing April 2003 review of one of the most popular steakhouses in town, Coerper’s 5 O’Clock Club, now known as the 5 O’Clock Steakhouse.

Getto wrote:

I've visited and reviewed Coerper's many times and have always been put off by the place.

I dislike its loud, smoky atmosphere (numbers for orders are called over a loudspeaker; smokers are allowed at the bar and all tables), its ban on walk-ins (exceptions made, but who knows when?) and its cookie-cutter approach to grilled meats (they're all covered with the same dark crust and set in the same dark meat juice).

Coerper's sticks with an old-time Wisconsin tradition by making you sit down in the bar and order from there (presumably, while you also have a drink). If you are unlucky enough not to know the system, Jimmy will set you straight, pronto. I saw him bark at one clueless group of men who were milling around the hostess stand.

You are not required to ask permission to use the restrooms. If you do, be prepared to negotiate your way around a bottle of disinfectant bleach, a toilet brush and a plunger.

Most of the customers at Coerper's come for the red meat, and especially the steaks. With options in town like Mr. B's, the Chop House, Eddie Martini's, Mo's and Butch's Old Casino Steak House, I won't be joining them.”

As much as I liked and respected my friend, I thought Getto’s review was very unfair. A plunger in the restroom? Thank goodness it wasn’t in the kitchen.

Memories of my friend and that particular review were rekindled this past week when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel updated its database on city of Milwaukee restaurant inspections.

Getto’s last roundup of his 30 best restaurants was written in June of 2007.  The old Coerper’s, of course, never made his list because of that plunger, the toilet brush, the same au jus, etc. But many impressive restaurants did pass Getto’s scrutiny.

I decided to check on how the city of Milwaukee restaurants that made Getto’s top 30 list in June 2007 that are still around fared in the latest health inspections. Here’s what I found with the restaurant listed along with the latest inspection date(s):

Bacchus 6/18/08

Post the State certificate for your certified food manager Employees must properly wash their hands. Employee was seen running hands under water for 2 or 3 seconds then drying them. Proper hand washing should be using soap and water and vigorously washing hands for 15 to 20 seconds, rinsing and then drying with single service towels. Be sure all employees are aware of the proper hand washing procedure and following it. Several employees were noted touching ready to eat foods with bare hands. There is no bare hand contact policy at this establishment. See handouts given by inspector to apply for a bare hand contact approval. In the mean time all employees touching ready to eat foods must wear gloves, use tongs or deli paper or other acceptable method to avoid touching ready to eat foods. Raw meats are being cryovac sealed at the establishment. You must have a HAACP plan and have two barriers in place to control the growth of C. botulinum for vacuum packaging of food. The 2 barriers are met in keeping the food below 41 degrees and the food is raw meat, however you still need to have a HAACP plan on file. See handouts given by inspector for how to fill out a HAACP plan. The slicer has some old food debris on the back blade area. Also the large mixiing bowl in back kitchen area had some old food still visible on inside. Proeprly clean all equipmen to remove all old food debris and then properly sanitize. There was at least one cutting board in kitchen that was badly scored and uncleanable. Resurface or replace the board to return it to a cleanable smooth surface.

There was also a broken container in a cooler in the desert area of kitchen. Discard the broken container as it is no longer smooth and cleanable. Discard any other equipment that is broken as well.

4-205.11 There is a Kitchenaid mixer in the dessert area that is for home use only, it is not a commercial NSF approved peice of equipment. Remove the mixer from the kitchen. All equipment used in a commercial kitchen must be NSF or equivelent sanitation listed equipment.

1) There was a container of cooked bacon and some clean plates being stored on the hand wash sink at far end of main cook line. The hand wash sink is not a clean area for any type of food or food equipment storage. Store food and equipment in a clean sanitary area.

2) There was a cutting board siiting on the counter directly next to the hand wash sink for the salad prep area of the kitchen. Again this is not a clean surface for food prep of any kind. Either install a splash guard between the hand sink and counter area or discontinue to use this surface for food prep.

3) There is a dipper well installed in the counter directly behind a hand wash sink in the dessert area creating a possible contamination issue if there was a scoop stored in there. Do not use this dipper well or provide a seperation/splash guard between it and the hand wash sink.

Karl Ratzsch's 3/14/08

Several of the cutting boards in the kitchen are badly scored and unable to be properly cleaned. Replace or resurface any cutting surface that is no longer cleanable and smooth.

6-501.11 There is a roof leak over the kitchen areas and water is leaking into the kitchen through the ceiling tiles in a couple areas. Repair the roof to stop any water leaking into the kitchen. Do not use the 4 compartmetn sink for dishwashing until ceiling is fixed. The hand wash/prewash sink by the 4 compartment sink was being blocked by dirty dishes. This is the only hand wash sink in the area and must remain accessible at all times for hand washing. Some cooked meat that was being hot held had a wet cloth sitting directly on top of it. The cloth my not be used in direct contact with the food. Disconitue the use of cloths to keep food moist with direct contact. Dirty and clean wiping cloths are being stored in a drawer sitting directly on top of clean utensils. Diiscontinue to store cloths in same drawer as the clean utensils to prevent any possible contamination of hte food utensils. Some grease accumulation was noted under and between cooking equipment under the hoods. Clean all equipment, floors and walls to remove any grease or dirt that has built up.

The Savoy Room  8/12/08

No hand towels at the hand sink by the back door. Provide single service toweling for all handsinks. An employee was doing prep work in the basement when I arrived. There is not a hand sink in the basement. Discontinue doing food prep in the basement or install a hand sink in the basement. The cook used bare hands to place cooked onions on a burger. Employees may not touch ready-to-eat food with their bare hands. Use utensils or gloves to handle ready to eat food. Raw meats on shelf above Granita frozen dessert in freezer. Store all raw animal foods below and away from all ready to eat foods. The consumer advisory was missing from some menu's and was incomplete. Add an asterisk to each item on the menu that is available raw or undercooked. Make sure all menu's have the complete advisory. See the attached handout for details.

Jackson Grill 9/26/08

No consumer advisory posted for required items. Provide an appropriate advisory for raw or undercooked animal foods to Code and asterisk or otherwise mark these items in the menu.

a) A few flies noted inside of kitchen areas. Provide effective pest control to eliminate flies.
b) Bag of rodent bait lying on floor near ice machine in basement. Remove from premise. Only approved means of pest control can be used in areas where food is held/served, etc. Not all required foods being datemarked (cooked ribs, etc.) All potentially hazardous food held for more than 24 hours must be clearly marked to indicate the day by which the food is to be consumed on the premise, sold, or discarded. Use a 7 day use-by date. Cook using broken/chipped spatula. Remove spatula from use -no longer easily cleanable. Cook not aware of proper reheating temperatures. Refer to Food Code Fact sheets given to operator on cooking, reheating, and proper cooling techniques. Make certain that temperatures are being monitored during all phases of cooking/reheating/cooling. The Person In Charge must make sure the requirements of the Food Code are followed

a) Walls/ceiling/interior of hood, etc. very greasy. Clean/remove grease build-up on all surfaces.
b) Broken, greasy coverplate on outlet to right of utensil sinks in kitchen. Replace with approved cover.
c) Floor underneath fryer has grease residue. Clean floor area and sides of fryer (greasy). Open beverage on salad prep table in kitchen. Any employee beverage must be covered and stored in an area not subject to contamination of food/food surfaces. Pans, bowls, etc. stored upright on shelves. All items must be stored inverted on shelves.

Cubanitas 11/13/08

Post the State certificate for your certified food manager There was little to no date marking on ready to eat potentially hazardous foods in the coolers. All ready to eat potentially hazardous foods held for more than 24 hours must be marked with a 7 day use by date. There was no sanitizer solution set up in the kitchen during food prep. Wiping cloths are left out on food prep surfaces. Set up and maintain sanitizer solution in the kitchen and instruct employees to keep wiping cloths in the buckets in between uses. Potentially hazardous food must be held hot at 135 degrees or above. There was a container of garlic oil and saut?ed onions that were at 60 degrees. These are potentially hazardous foods and must maintain the proper holding temperatures.

Nanakusa 6/19/08

1) The ceiling in nearr the cook line in kitchen is browned from grease off the cook line. Be sure all equipment is under the hood properly so hood can capture. Clean all ceiling tiles to remove grease accummulation.

2) There was a ceiling tile removed near sink area of kitchen. Replace the missing ceiling tile. All toxic materials must be stored so they will not contaminate food. Some spray bottles of sanitizer and other chemicals werre stored hanging on a shelf directly next to clean dishes. Store the chemicals below and away from food and equipment. The plumbing on the food prep sink is air breaked, but nor air gapped. There must be an adequate gap between the piping and the drain in the floor; the pipe may not sit in the drain. Repair the plumbing to code. The chemical sanitizer for the glass wash machine in the bar area was at 200ppm+. The concentration for the chlorine sanitizer for the glass washer is to be 50ppm per the data plate on machine. Adjust the concentration to the proper level. There was no sanitize bucket set up on main cookline for sanitizing surfaces. Set up and maintain a sanitizer bucket during food prep times of operation. Keep wiping cloths in the bucket in between uses for sanitizing surfaces. There is only one hand sink currently set up in the kitchen with soap and towels. Provide a soap and single service towel dispenser wither at the dish machine pre-wash sink or the 1st compartment of the 4 compartment sink to be used for the dish wahser. There is a bare hand contact policy at this establishment, however it is not being properly followed. Sushi chef was not wahsing hands at necessary times of food prep. Re-establish the proper and safe hand washing proecdures with all employees. If procedure for bare hand contact allowance can not be followed, it may be revised or revoked. Sushi chef was storing a wiping cloth in the cooked rice container. The chef was using the cloth to wipe his hands off and then replacing it in the rice. Discontinue to store wiping cloth in the rice maker.

Zarletti 10/8/08

Post the State certificate for your certified food manager. At time of inspection a certification card could not be found. The add on faucet and overhead spray arm at the four compartment sink are not functioning properly. This sink is a hand wash sink and the add on faucet is to be used for hand washing. Repair the Faucet to function properly. The hot water at the hand wahs sink near the prep sink was not working. All sinks must have working hot and cold water faucets. Repair the hot water at this sink to function properly. Provide effective pest control methods to eliminate pests. There are many fruit flies noted behind the bar area. See hand out for information on prevention and control of fruit flies. The walk in cooler had many boxes of food stored on the floor. There were recent deliveries, but it appeared there would not be enough shelf space for all the food. Provide an additional storage rack in the walk in or provide additional refrigeration if the walk in can not hold all the cold product. Discontinue to store food on the floor.

Sanford 12/30/08

An ice cream machine and smoker are located in the basement in an area not approved for food preparartion. Provide soap and hand towels at the wash tub sinks. A drop cieling and other changes to the room and/or removal of the equipment may be ordered after consultation with the Equipment/Construction supervisor. Little or no sanitizer found in wiping cloth buckets. Use a test kit to ensure chlorine sanitizer is at 100ppm. The doors are broken and insulation is exposed on two of the chest freezers in the basement. Replace the doors or the freezers.

Sanford 1/6/09

Food smoked/cured without a variance. Discontinue smoking/curing food for preservation. Remove the smoker unit from the premises. Ice cream/gelato is made in the basement as well as smoking/curing. The basement is not approved for any food preparation. Remove the smoker and the ice cream units from the premises.
* Contact the district inspector regarding requirements for building a prep room in the basement.


Restaurants, especially those that garner multiple stars, need to be up to par and then some. Personally……

Some pencil pushing, nitpicky bureaucrat just itching to find fault out of self-preservation is NOT, I repeat, NOT going to stop me from patronizing places like Bacchus, Karl Ratzsch’s, or Sanford.

I would take some of these reports with a grain of salt.


Remember John Pinette's comedy routine, "Chinese Buffet?"


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Have you seen Megan?

Megan and her family need your help.

UPDATE: 100-0

When Covenant defeated Dallas Academy in a girl’s high school basketball game in Texas, 100-0, I did not call for the head of the Covenant coach.

He was a complete embarrassment and needed to be ashamed of himself, but one would hope this idiot would learn from the multitude of coaching and instructional mistakes he made.

Micah Grimes, the coach who just wasn’t satisfied with winning by 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, or 90 points, was fired by Covenant. Some will say it’s because he refused to apologize for the humiliation he caused a team of girls, some afflicted with learning disabilities.

If that’s why he was fired, the pink slip was issued in error. This bozo should have been fired because to this minute he doesn’t realize what an absolute moron he was.

Am I tossing out a lot of names? You bet I am because this poor excuse of a coach deserves them all.

Just read some of the comments this jackass made as reported by the Dallas Morning News:

"I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel 'embarrassed' or 'ashamed.’ We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy."

That, of course is a bunch of bull. The ever-classy Grimes continued:

"So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity."

Mr. Grimes, you have no integrity.

There are a lot of jerks in the coaching profession. Micah Grimes is one of the biggest.

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To all you phony Catholics, are you satisfied now?

I have chastised Catholics for voting for Barack Obama in big numbers. Some reports indicate 54% of Catholics who voted chose Obama.

Two points:

1) Shame on them

2) I hope they're happy now

Less than a week in office, the new president has shown he is morally bankrupt and the worst enemy of unborn children.

One of my favorite columnists is the blunt, to the point, and very witty Doug Giles.

Giles scolds the ministers who lobbied for Obama, and the flock that followed those ministers like blind sheep.

In his latest column, Giles outlines Obama’s radical pro-abortion, pro-homosexual agenda and tosses in these zingers at you phony Catholics and other phony Christians who voted for turning the White House into a baby slaughterhouse:

Yep, I wanna give a special shout out to all the ‘major’ ministers who fawned and swooned over Barack and swayed their congregations to vote for him in spite of his anti-scriptural stances on life, marriage and sexuality.

If it’s change you wanted, ‘Christian,’ it’s change you’re about to get, as in more unborn babies are going to get offed, more Brad and Chad, and if things go Obama’s way, chunks of Scripture will officially get tagged as hate speech, your church will have to hire RuPaul or face punishment, and our military will have to make room for Chippendale dancers on the base partly because of you, the Obama evangelical, who voted for such a change.”

The sanctity of innocent human life now means nothing in the Oval Office, thanks, in large part, to many foolish and hypocritical Catholics.

Read Giles’ entire column here.


Should there be a Miss America do-over?

Miss Indiana, Katie Stam was crowned the new Miss America on Saturday night.

I didn't watch the show but she appears to be a lovely, charming, and I'm sure, very deserving recipient of the title. Here's how she looked in the swimsuit competition:


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New development in Greenfield sex offender ordinance saga

The Greenfield Common Council holds a special meeting Wednesday night to possibly reconsider its vote last week to reject a proposed Franklin-like ordinance that restricts where released sex offenders can live. The vote angered many Greenfield residents, and a protest rally is scheduled outside Greenfield City Hall this Thursday night.

Who asked for reconsideration? Greenfield aldermen Don Almquist, that's who. Almquist voted with aldermen Tom Pietrowski (who's also running for Mayor) and Shirley Saryan in opposition to the ordinance propsoed by alderman Linda Lubotsky.

The hastily called special meeting gives little notice to residents wishing to attend. Here are more details from GreenfieldNOW.

A special meeting was requested and scheduled after word got out about the protest. Merely a coincidence?

I don’t think so.

Meanwhile, two new sex offenders notified Greenfield police today they have moved into Greenfield.

UPDATE: Almquist confirms he will change his vote.

UPDATE: Mark Belling discussed this issue on his program Tuesday afternoon. You can hear the audio by going to the podcast, Hour 1 Part 2. Click on LISTEN. The Almquist segment is 10:00 into the podcast.  NOTE: This segment will only be available online until 6:00 p.m. Wednesday.


Obey vs. Ryan

That’s quite a contrast in economic philosophies between Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey and Paul Ryan featured in today’s New York Times.

The newspaper portrays Obey as a big-time spender who views the proposed stimulus package as his own personal pork machine. Obey is one of the key architects of the plan. The liberal Times also points to well-known Obey criticisms, that he’s impatient, has a temper, and can be rude.

The newspaper calls Obey “unapologetic" about the stimuus:

“You have to take into account the fact that there are certain people in this society getting crushed by this economy,” said Mr. Obey, whose work on the package left him worn down and struggling to regain his voice. “They lose their jobs, they lose their health insurance, they lose their ability to keep their kids in college.

“If you didn’t have two million additional people out of work, you wouldn’t have to be looking for ways to help them. What the hell do you do if the economy goes to hell and two or three or four million more people are out of work?”

Enter the voice of reason, Paul Ryan:

“This is 1936 economics,” Mr. Ryan said. “But it reflects David’s ideology and his economic doctrine. They took everything in their file cabinet that has been piling up for 100 years, threw it in this bill and called it economic stimulus.”

Read the NY Times piece here.


Vaya con Dios

Each and every one of you.


What Governor Doyle won't say in his State of the State

Here are the top 10 statements you won’t hear Governor Doyle make when he delivers his State of the State address Wednesday night:

10) (Applause) “Thank you. Thank you. Relax everyone. Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em.”

9) “I stand here tonight to deliver the annual State of the State address because…Barack Obama did not ask me or want me to be part of his administration.”

8) “We must repeal the QEO for two reasons. One, WEAC told me we have to.”

7) “The other reason we must repeal the QEO is so Wisconsin property taxes can remain the highest in the nation.”

6) “I call it a hospital assessment because I actually think there are plenty of people in Wisconsin who don’t realize that it’s actually a hospital tax.”

5) “I vetoed photo ID…….three times.”

4) “I am the governor of one of only two states in the country where law-abiding citizens who have undergone extensive training and background checks cannot carry a concealed weapon to exercise their Second Amendment Rights and protect themselves and others.”

3) “Wisconsin has a huge structural deficit. I have no idea how to fix it. Legislators, you figure it out.”

2) “Come to Wisconsin. It doesn’t matter if you have health care, a job, or citizenship. We’d be glad to take care of you.”

And the #1 statement you won’t hear the Governor make in his State of the State address Wednesday night (or if he does, you best not believe him):

"We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes."

Springsteen: Screw you, Wisconsin

I don't see Wisconsin mentioned here.

The Packers want it...

The question is, are you willing to part with it?

Those poor kids in Oshkosh

Their last day of school is scheduled to be June 16 thanks to weather cancellations. They'll wish they had tredged their way to school when they're sitting in a classrom and temps are in the 80's.

Cutting corrections=more victims of crime

States all across America are hurting financially so they’re looking for ways to save money. Every spending item could be on the table, including corrections. reports:

“From California to Connecticut, states are under mounting pressure to bring corrections spending in line with the reality of gaping budget shortfalls.

Lawmakers in some states are slashing prisoner rehabilitation programs, releasing inmates early or packing them more tightly into crowded facilities to save money. Others are using technology, such as satellite tracking, to monitor sex offenders, drunken drivers and other criminals instead of keeping them behind bars. To avoid building new prisons, many states ship inmates to private facilities that often are thousands of miles away.”

The big problem with slicing corrections is that you run the very serious risk of increasing crime and victimizing society. In short, it would cost more to cut corrections.

States need to think long and hard before they get too cute with their corrections budgets, especially releasing inmates early.

Looking for a job?

How about this one?

The National Association of Counties is seeking the right person whose duties will include, “combating anti-government/anti-tax efforts."

In other words, the NAC wants someone to fight against taxpayers.

Read for yourself.

Arizona or Pittsburgh?

TODAY has compiled a list of key stats that are critical in determining who has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. The paper compared those stats for both the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers.

In my view, because the Steelers had the better record when it came to turnover differential, I think Pittsburgh has the better chance of winning this Sunday.

If you look at every NFL game every Sunday, the team with the fewest turnovers wins an overwhelming number of times.

Read the USA TODAY piece.

Selling (and spending) our country down the river

The House,
as expected, approved the porkiest of pork packages, 244-188.

Just how does all that politically correct, liberal junk that’s in the bill create jobs and get people off the unemployment line?

And how many members of the House actually read all 650-plus pages of the stimuls package?

How many know what’s actually in that, as my friend Charlie Sykes calls it, “crap sandwich?”

Consider all that fat:

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Keep fighting, Rome!

I appreciate the Vatican turning up the heat on a President to whom the life of unborn children means absolutely nothing. I just wish the Church would have taken a much more vigorous stand a long time ago. Maybe the debacle of so many hypocrite Catholics voting for the abortion President could have been prevented.

Greenfield acts, but too late

Sex offenders do pay attention to the news.

State of the State notes

Jim Doyle is no Barack Obama.

His sour puss and sour delivery made our economic crisis feel even worse.

Doyle’s speech was 7 pages long. It seemed like 70.

The governor blamed a lot of people at the beginning of his speech for the pickle we’re in. I checked the Blue Book. Doyle’s lived in the governor’s mansion for six years.

Doyle said he “inherited” a $3.2 billion deficit when first elected governor. Later in the speech he noted the deficit is now $5.4 billion. Do the math. So he’s been a great governor….how?

Doyle said, “We eliminated the tax on Social Security.” Actually, Republicans in the Legislature pushed that through.

“I refused to raise taxes.” The governor’s funniest line of the night, and there were very few. He just had to be joking.

He said we dropped out of the top 10 in taxes. Oh, really!!!

"From December 2007 to December 2008, the state lost 62,600 jobs and the unemployment rate went up to 5.8 percent." I'll bet Scott Walker caught that line.

“So when people lose their jobs and stop buying things, and the demand for state services go up, states have deficits.” No, Governor. When states spend more than they take in, that's when states get deficits.

Doyle said we shouldn't wait around to be the 48th or 49th state to enact a statewide smoking ban. Great logic, Jim. What about conceal-carry?

"This is a national problem, so I started working closely with a bipartisan group of governors across the country to call attention to the unique situation states are in." No, Governor, you joined forces with  a few other Democrat governors to demand that the economic stimulus package be $1 TRILLION.

Cheesy ethanol, a global warming task force, and begging Washington D.C. for the moon won't create jobs.

Biggest cheer of the night: The mention of Supreme Court Justice (and former Assembly Speaker) David Prosser. A close second was the intro of the copilot of U.S. Airways Flight 1549, Jeffrey Skiles of nearby Oregon, Wisconsin.

Biggest dud of the night: Doyle calling for sobriety checkpoints. As the governor paused for recognition, only a few in the Chamber quietly clapped.

Unlike most State of the State speeches, not a single mention of any Wisconsin sports team or athlete.

Congratulations, Charlie!

Give 'em hell!

Is the White House getting sloppy?

And taxpayers, isn't it nice to know you're paying to waste all that energy so our new Presdient can be real nice and comfy.

Sorry, Mr. President...

Not everyone buys what you're selling.

Note this full page ad.

No Saturday mail?

Could someone explain why, during the week, I'm told my neighborhood's mail comes anywhere from 3:00 to even 6:00 p.m. but on Saturday's, it arrives around 2:00 or even earlier?

If they don't deliver on Saturday, will MONDAY'S mail come even later than it does now?

I'm on WISN

I fill in for Mark Belling this Monday afternoon, February 2, from 3-6 on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

The welcome mat for sex offenders is still out in Greenfield

The Journal Sentinel
has the latest.

If the Greenfield Common Council, most notably aldermen Tom Pietrowski and Shirley Saryan would have used common sense and not dilly-dallied on this issue for the past umpteen months, Greenfield wouldn't be having this problem.


Wisconsin pilot to get another honor

Jeffrey Skiles of Oregon, Wisconsin was given a special citation by the state Senate Wednesday, but I think this is cooler.

Congrats, Arthur Panter

Arthur Panter of Franklin is one lucky guy after winning a SuperCash drawing. Once Uncle Sam takes his cut, Panter will get $238,000.

Now some might say that’s a lot of money. I sure think so. But here’s another way of looking at Panter’s winnings.

Remember those Franklin referenda in 2007, the questions asking voters for a $78.2 million tax increase? Panter’s winning ticket amounts to .3% of the referenda. Panter could have personally paid for, what, a few doorknobs and some sinks?


$4 cappucinos? Pass

This one’s not tough to figure out.

While Starbucks struggles, McDonald’s business is booming.

I’ve never understood the Starbucks attraction. Their pastries are very good, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay those latte, café au lait, cappuccino prices. Some of my colleagues at the state Capitol patronize the Starbucks on the Capitol Square several times a day. You can set your watch to their daily ritual.

McDonald’s had toyed with doing away with their dollar menu. I wouldn’t, not with profits soaring.

As for the coffee, with no apologies to the coffee snobs, the McDonald’s brew is cheaper and pretty good. In this survey, it’s the preferred choice.

Want something more current? A new national survey by the Pew Research Center's Social & Demographic Trends project shows that a slight plurality would rather live in a place with more McDonald's (43%) than one with more Starbucks (35%).

Another bill that sounds nice...


A few legislative sessions ago, state Senator Shirley Harsdorf suggested Wisconsin make Veterans Day a state holiday. The only state in the nation where Veterans Day is not a state holiday is Wisconsin.

Harsdorf’s bill died, never coming up for a vote in either house of the legislature.

State Representative Bob Turner (D-Racine and quite possibly that city’s next mayor) has proposed legislation requiring all employers in the state to give veterans the day off on Veterans Day.

God bless our veterans, but this is a mandate on businesses, and they’re struggling right now.

Another tired old idea from state Democrats

State Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee)  and state Representative Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay) are introducing legislation to put in place a procedure to object to what the lawmakers call offensive school logos and mascots. Under the bill, “a school district resident may object to a school board's use of these objectionable race-based practices. This bill outlines a process for a fair hearing of the objection and for accountability on the matter.”

Anytime a school district resident would complain about a nickname, logo or mascot, the state superintendent must schedule a hearing. The school district would have " the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence" that the use of the mascot, logo, or nickname "does not promote discrimination, pupil harassment, or stereotyping." If the state superintendent finds in favor of the complainant, the local school board must terminate the use of the mascot, logo, or nickname within 12 months. The school board would be subect to a forefiture, yes, a forefeiture of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each day that it uses the logo, mascot, or nickname.

Now I may have missed something but I don’t believe there’s been a lot of hootin’ and hollerin’ about this issue for a long time. Chalk it up as one of the ridiculous priorities of the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

What price clean elections?

Remember when Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said his lawsuit against the Government Accountability Board to get the GAB to verify the identities of thousands of voters dating back to 2006 before the Nov. 4 election only cost $155?

Some Democrats, suddenly transformed into fiscal conservatives, went crazy, asserting that the actual cost was much, much higher.

Well, it was higher. Van Hollen says the lawsuit didn’t cost $155. The price tag was $720  (And the Dems are still yelling).

Remember, the crowd screaming about Van Hollen, who was only doing his job by enforcing the law, likes to spend money hand over fist. They also cry voter suppression. Yeh, the idea is to suppress votes…fraudulent ones.

The people who don’t want voter records checked or photo ID requirements (liberal Democrats) favor dirty elections because they believe the shenanigans help them win.

I think $720 is well worth it to fight to return honesty and integrity to our voting system.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

1 – State of State.  

As expected, Doyle paints a pretty gloomy picture of state finances in the midst of a struggling international economy.  He will propose his budget next month, but in his annual State of the State, he gave a few indications of what lies ahead.  He didn’t say he wouldn’t propose any new taxes, or new tax increases, so most expect that is right around the corner.  The deficit will be larger than expected, but will that be paid for at least in part by federal bailout money?  He doesn’t propose any new programs, but you wonder if maybe he shouldn’t have created or expanded things like BadgerCare and the Wisconsin Covenant in years past?  Who is going to get hurt, and who will escape the budget knife?

2 – Digital TV.  

Congress is still debating whether to push the switch from analogue to digital TV back a few months so the folks who haven’t been able to get their converter boxes have more time.  The great majority of folks are prepared for the switch, so does it make any sense to delay it any longer?  Why is Obama even concerned with this issue?  Doesn’t he have a great many more important things to worry about, like war and the economy?  If the few million aren’t ready now, will they be ready a few months from now?  Should we feel bad for those who still don’t have cable, satellite, a new digital television, or at least a converter box?  If Obama can’t get enough Republican support for this (not to mention his bailout bill) is it an indication that there won’t even be a honeymoon for the new president?  

3 -- Bucks.  

It was hoped this would be a big year for the Milwaukee Bucks.  But, with the loss because of injury of Michael Redd (their biggest scorer) it makes some wonder if the Bucks days in Milwaukee are numbered.  Some say Sen. Kohl loses money on the team year after year.  But, will he recoup all his losses once he sells the team?  He has promised to sell the team only to an interest that would keep it local.  Is that still possible?  Is it possible to make this team profitable without a new arena?  Would Milwaukee contribute to the construction of a new arena?  Is this the time to ask taxpayers to contribute anything?


This would be the talk of any Super Bowl party

I hesitate to use the descriptive words, “best” or “ultimate” or “awesome” that are highly subjective.

Take for example the topic of Super Bowl parties and snacks. There are a gazillion websites and blogs with ideas claiming to “the best.”

This snack may not be “the best” but it’s pretty darn cool.

(Incidentally, I can’t speak for the quality of the rest of the highlighted website, designed by and for horny young college guys. But that snack is awesome, the ultimate……..well, you get my drift).

Lena Taylor on InterCHANGE?

State Senator Lena Taylor has been invited to be a guest panelist on InterCHANGE Friday night on Channel 10. She was invited before this hit the news.

I wonder if she'll show.

Doyle gets McCallum-itis

During an appearance in Milwaukee today, Governor Doyle discussed Wisconsin’s budget crisis, saying everything’s on the chopping block, including shared revenue to local units of government.

When former Governor Scott McCallum proposed phasing out shared revenue to address a state budget crunch earlier this decade, it was his death knell. Democrats called for his head. They played the usual fear card of liberals that men, women, children, and pets would die in the streets without shared revenue.

Will hypocrite liberals react the same way if Doyle keeps talking about cutting shared revenue? Please…

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s response today was that the city would push for a big sales tax increase if the state cuts aid to the city.

McCallum suggests shared revenue cuts…...BAD!

Doyle makes the same suggestion………….TAX INCREASE!

Appleton Post Crescent calls Doyle on flip flop

Recently, my boss, state Senator Mary Lazich wrote about Jim Doyle's change of heart on gas tax indexing.

The Appleton paper does the same.

How the mighty Badgers have fallen

This Oshkosh Northwestern blogger has nailed it, undfortunately, for the Wisocnisn basketball team's fortunes this season.

It's over, Badger fans, and it might get worse.

NCAA has sudddenly turned into NIT.


Yet another example of the disregard for human life

Inside the abandoned Roosevelt Warehouse in Detroit, a body lies frozen in a block of ice. (Max Ortiz / The Detroit News)

Here's the story.

If it was so awful, why didn't she get the hell outta here...

A German magazine quoted Kim Basinger saying that her husband, Alec Baldwin would leave the country if George Bush won the 2000 election.  Baldwin denied making the statement and he never did leave.

American film director Robert Altman said in September 200, “If George Bush is elected president, I’m leaving for France.” Altman never left.

Former White House press secretary Pierre Salinger said, “If Bush wins, I’m going to leave the country and live the rest of my life in France.”

Why always France? Those folks are snooty and arrogant and in times of crisis, utterly useless as they hide under their mattresses.  Sounds like Baldwin and other libs would fit in nicely.

Fast forward to 2009.

Ashley Judd.

Lovely, talented, Ashley Judd.

Lovely, talented, stupid Ashley Judd.

Where exactly were you living, Ashley, when you had it soooooooooooooooo tough between 2001 and 2008?

In Iraq...

There's still work to be done.

"Is religion an important part of your daily life?"

If this was a question about taxes, Wisconsin would rank in the top 10, despite that foolsih statement made by Governor Doyle in his State of the State about dropping out of that lofty ranking.

But the question is about religion, and Wisconsin isn't in the top 10 religious states, or 15, or 20, or 25.

Try 31st.

More from Gallup.

Gallup: Wisconsin is solidly Democratic

Hard to argue if you consider Wisconsin went for Obama, has a Democrat in the governor's mansion, and both houses of the Legislature controlled by Democrats.

But the margins in the state Senate and Assembly are quite close. Previous presidential elections have been extremely tight.

Democrats are now in the hot seat and face the task of actually having to govern. They could easily blow it.

Gallup says there's an 18 perecentage point difference between Democrats and Republicans in Wisconsin. Sorry, but this remains a center to right country and I have a hard time believing the gap between the parties is that great in our state.


Too much pork

Read more

Almost a million people in Arizona voted for Barack Obama


Wonder how they feel about this...

Everywhere I go, people keep asking me...

What is your wife, Jennifer going to write about next on The Barking Lot?

Are you kidding me? You think she's going to tell me?  Sorry, folks, but you'll just have to wait until Saturday morning.

Also Saturday morning, this week's installment of Week-ends. Who will be a villiain? Who will be a hero? What happened that was really, I mean, really strange this past week?

I'll also have Recommended Reading. I can't blog about everything I notice that's interesting, so we put it all together in one post every Saturday.

On Sunday, My most popular blogs, Photos of the Week (that, by the way, is on one heckuva streak as being my #1 blog of the week), my new blog that has really drawn attention, the MJS Scorecard, and we can't forget the ever-popular Culinary no-no.

You do want to check in this weekend. Don't wait until next week to come back and try to get cuaght up. My blog is like my days in radio. It's immedaite. If you wait a day or two, you miss something. No, you miss a lot. So thanks in advance for stopping by Saturday and Sunday. I know it's Super Bowl weekend, so we'll make every atempt to post our regular weekend features in a a timely manner since heaven knows you'll be in front of the TV or at the snack table and not readfing blogs this Sunday afternoon and evening.


Oh, Jennifer?

What are you writing about Saturday?


Folks, this is a family blog.

I cannot repeat what I just heard.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

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

TODAY:  Some morning sun. Snow showers and flurries. Possibly some freezing drizzle. Temps slightly above normal.  

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy, warmer.  "D"

I think it is clear to anyone who reads this blog that I LOVE dogs.  Big ones, tiny ones, mutts and purebreds.  I have a healthy respect for dogs as well.  I never pet a dog until I ask the owner if it is OK.  Then I go to the dog’s level, put my hand out for it to sniff me and then proceed to pet, usually the back so that it doesn’t think I’m lunging for its face.    While I generally am not afraid of dogs I do realize that a strange dog is just that:  strange until we get to know each other.

I’ve only met one Pit Bull in my life.  He belonged to the in-laws of a friend.  The first time I met this dog, I must admit I was uneasy around him.  He did nothing to make me think he was going to push me to the ground and rip my face off.  But just KNOWING his breed raised MY hackles.  This dog’s disposition was actually “wimpy” to me.  He stayed by his owners or other people he knew, begging for head rubs.  He just had to be in the room where everyone was, wanting to be the center of attention.  He was so clingy I actually found him to be annoying.  But on top of the general annoyance of a dog who wouldn’t leave people alone, there was the fact that he was a Pit Bull.  It just made me nervous.  I thought to myself, “If I don’t pet this dog or show him the attention he wants is he going to go for my jugular?”

As with any controversy, there are two sides to the Pit Bull debate.  For every person who fears this breed you can find a Pit Bull owner who can’t sing their praises loud enough.  While I generally want government to stay out of my life and let me use the brains God gave me to make my own decisions on my own free will, there are times I feel a bit of extra legislation can help society remain safe and orderly.  This brings me to the topic of breed-specific bans.

I supposed you can find at least one attack story for every breed registered with the American Kennel Club.  But tell me…  when is the last time you heard about a vicious attack on a person or another animal by say, a Schnauzer, miniature Poodle, or Shih Tzu?  It’s much easier to site instances of Pit Bull attacks.  On January 25th of this year a woman in Indianapolis was mauled by two of these dogs.  It is a miracle she survived.

The Humane Society of the United States, in part of its statement against breed-specific bans tells us:  “There are over 4.5 million dog bites each year. This is an estimate as there is no central reporting agency for dog bites, thus breed and other information is not captured. Out of the millions of bites, about 10-20 are fatal each year. While certainly tragic, it represents a very small number statistically and should not be considered as a basis for sweeping legislative action.”

That’s interesting because a brief internet search led me to the following information…  From

2008 U.S. dog bite fatalities
Information gathered by is verifiable through Internet archive services and our Fatality Citations section, which contains a copy of each article cited.

2008 statistics

¨       23 U.S. fatal dog attacks occurred in 2008. Pit bull type dogs were responsible for 65% (15). Pit bulls make up approximately 2-9% of the U.S. dog population.
¨       In 2008, only one U.S. citizen over the age of 3 was killed by a breed other than a pit bull. 74-year old Lorraine May was fatally mauled by her two dogs: an Australian shepherd-mix and a     golden retriever-mix.
¨       70% of the attacks occurred to children (11 years and under) and 30% occurred to adults (21 years and older). Of the children, half (8) occurred to ages 1 and younger.
¨       39% of fatal attacks in 2008 involved multiple dogs; 9% involved chained dogs.
¨       78% of the attacks occurred on owner property and 22% off owner property. All off property attacks (5) that resulted in death were attributed to pit bulls.
¨       61% of the victims were male; 39% of the victims were female. Of the male victims, over half (8) were 3 years and younger.
¨       In at least three fatal attacks, a grandmother was watching a child aged 2 and younger. Two of these attacks occurred in Las Vegas; both involved pet pit bulls. 

Hawaii is currently considering prohibiting ownership of this breed. Now, I understand that our current administrations, local and national, have much higher priorities than if Pitt Bulls should be legislated.  But as I stated before, I feel that if legislation can help prevent dog mauling tragedies I fully support it.  Don’t whine, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.”  There are both, and BOTH should be locked up.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

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

Dog bites are no fun, but they are avoidable. So are dog germs.

Nose cancer is rare in dogs. But Max contracted the disease, after sniffing cocaine.

Rufus battles back.

Cloned dogs may look the same, but...

Two weeks ago, Jennifer wrote about foolish ordinances designed to curb dog barking. Phoenix is trying dog-noise mediation.

Jennifer blogged in a previous Barking Lot about Jana Kohl and her amazing dog story. Kohl's book got a review this week in the Christian Science Monitor.  CSM also reviewed, "Animals Make Us Human."

How about this idea to raise money for animal shelters?

Dogs in Oregon this weekend are real gourmets.

These dogs don't look agile, but they are.

New TV show will teach old dogs new tricks.

Stetson is a good reason to watch the upcoming Westminster dog show.

Which Super Bowl team has the most pets named in its honor?

That's it for this week. Don't forget, on Super Bowl Sunday, it's the 5th edition of the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet.

Here's a preview...

Read more



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...


House Republicans.
Every single one voted against the outrageous stimulus package.

Raquel Rutledge of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Ben Underwood


Eric Tavulares

Father-son charged with prostituting teens

David Liskany



"Devious, cynical, crass and corrupt.”  "Without a doubt unfit to govern."
Illinois state Senators describing Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich before they voted  59 to 0 to remove him from office.

"I believe our state must enter rehab. Moral rehabilitation."
Illinois Senator  Randall Hultgren (R)

Blagojevich describing the vote.

"The fix was in from the beginning.  There are tens of thousands of people across America just like me who are losing their jobs, or who have lost their jobs. To the people of Illinois, God bless all of you. I want you to know that I haven't let you down."

"Our point was on his words, his secretly recorded words, and who in the world was more qualified to testify about the governor's words than the governor himself?"
Illinois House prosecutor David Ellis asked during his closing argument.

"Allow me the right to call witnesses like Rahm Emmanuel, like Valerie Jared, like Congressman Jessie Jackson. Allow me also to call witnesses like Governor Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, and Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas or Senators Ted Kennedy or John Mccain who all worked with me on the issue of importation of prescription drugs."
Blagojevich, asking that Doyle be a witness during his impeachment trial.

"This is not a time for big new programs. What isn't needed will be cut. And unfortunately, some of what is needed will be cut, too."
Governor Jim Doyle in his State of the State address.

He has not taken responsibility for it and he didn’t tonight again."
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), saying Doyle shares some of the blame for the state’s current fiscal mess. 

"You have to take into account the fact that there are certain people in this society getting crushed by this economy. If you didn’t have two million additional people out of work, you wouldn’t have to be looking for ways to help them."
Wisconsin Congressman David Obey (D-Wausau), one of the chief architects of the economic stimulus package passed Wednesday by the House.

"This is 1936 economics. But it reflects David’s ideology and his economic doctrine. They took everything in their file cabinet that has been piling up for 100 years, threw it in this bill and called it economic stimulus."
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), on the stimulus bill.

"We can't expect government to fix every problem."
Nancy Mistele, in her first debate with Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

"I disagree with that. When times are tough … it's government they look at to build infrastructure, help build jobs and have that cushion for the most vulnerable."
Kathleen Falk


 Child care scams uncovered by the Journal Sentinel


If not for conservative bloggers and talk radio, would anyone know what's really in that God-awful stimulus package?

And this could be the most under-hyped Super Bowl ever.


How great that stimulus package is. (It's not)


The bride gets beat her sister.

Boys will be girls.

Is Olivia Newton -John's ex-boyfriend alive?

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.

Important Stimulus Payment Information

From a This Just In fan:

This year, taxpayers will receive an Economic Stimulus Payment.

This is a very exciting new program that will be explained using the Question and Answer format:

Question: What is an Economic Stimulus Payment?
Answer: It is money that the federal government will send to taxpayers.

Question: Where will the government get this money?
Answer: From taxpayers.

Question: So the government is giving me back my own money?
Answer: Only a smidgen.

Question: What is the purpose of this payment?
Answer: The plan is that you will use the money to purchase a high-definition TV set, thus stimulating the economy.

Question: But isn't that stimulating the economy of China ?
Answer: Shut up.  

Below is some helpful advice on how to best help the US economy by spending your stimulus check wisely:

- If you spend that money at Wal-Mart, all the money will go to China .

- If you spend it on gasoline it will go to the Arabs.

- If you purchase a computer it will go to India .

- If you purchase fruit and vegetables it will go to Mexico, Honduras, and Guatemala (unless you buy organic).

- If you buy a car it will go to Japan .

- If you purchase useless crap it will go to Taiwan

And none of it will help the American economy.

We need to keep that money here in America.  You can keep the money in America by spending it at yard sales, going to a baseball game, or spend it on prostitutes, beer (domestic ONLY), or  tattoos, since those are the only businesses still in the US.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

Voter ID Was a Success in November

"Turnout was higher in states that took a simple step to prevent fraud."

Blago: Impeach Doyle, too

What are they buying?

"No matter how many times President Barack Obama tells us that these 'extraordinary times' call for 'swift action,' the kind of economic policies he is promoting take effect very slowly, no matter how quickly the legislation is rushed through Congress. It is the old Army game of hurry up and wait."

Our need to revive

"Generally, one jumpstarts a car when the battery is dead, but America's 'batteries' (its people) are not dead. The vehicle has stalled because too much government meddling and loss of personal responsibility has flooded the engine. More meddling will not revive the U.S. economy anymore than holding down the accelerator on a flooded engine will start a car."

No apologies from David Obey

“Mr. Obey’s impatience, temper and occasionally cutting tone are well known. Even as he outlined the economic plan before Mr. Obama’s inauguration, he flippantly referred to the new president as ‘the crown prince’.“

The day America lost the war on terrorism

"On Nov. 4, 2008, America lost the war on terror. Our enemies must be happily celebrating their great good fortune in America’s election of this platitudinous, morally relativistic, Jimmy Carter carbon copy in the midst of battle."

Obama breaks promise

Because I just love my readers....

The Cheesecake Factory

Read more

How about this, Franklin dog lovers...

I understand that a great deal of This Just In readers don’t live in Franklin and quite frankly don’t care all that much about Franklin. They really should because this municipality of some 35,000 is a troubled city facing a myriad of several major problems.

Franklin residents, before you go to bed tonight, say an extra prayer thanking God for Franklin alderman Steve Taylor. It’s obvious he clearly sees the real problems in town and wants to take swift action to address them. For example, there's our current epidemic of dogs without leashes.

I see from the Franklin Common Council agenda for Tuesday, February 3 that Alderman Taylor has this item up for consideration:

Ordinance To Require All Dogs And Cats Off The Owner’s Premises To Be On A Leash (Ald. Taylor).

Yes, it’s true. Alderman Steve Taylor wants a REQUIREMENT that all dogs and cats be on leashes when off the owner’s property. Because that’s another responsibility we certainly want to place on our police department. And what happens to violators? No doggie treats for a week?

There are talks going on between Franklin and Milwaukee County to establish an off-leash dog park in Franklin. Is this Alderman Taylor’s back-handed attempt to kill any such plan?

Currently in Franklin, dogs and cats can be off-leash if they are within 6 feet of the owner and under control. What’s wrong with that? Why does the current law need changing?

Is this such a big problem in Franklin? Have the aldermen and City Hall been inundated with numerous complaints about dogs and cats unleashed?

I am so glad and relieved that Alderman Taylor has his priorities in order. Gee, if I didn’t know any better, I’d swear this was grandstanding.

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