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This Just In ...

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

Wisconsin Right To Life Applauds Komen Decision

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Wisconsin Right to Life Applauds

Susan G. Komen Foundation for

Ending Contributions to Planned


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The GOP creams Obama in November...

According to this analysis.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #260

Culinary no-no's

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What about my husband, Mr. President?

Timothy Dolan vs. Obama

Franklin (and a whole lot of other places in WI) could use more guys like...

Bill Signorile.

Of course you remember

From my blog Photos of the Week (02/06/11) that included pictures taken on 02/02/11:


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UPDATE: Culinary no-no #262

Culinary no-no's

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Stuff liberals say

How a referendum becomes a referendum

In Wisconsin, a binding referendum is required for certain school district bonding measures. Franklin is poised to go to referendum. The only questions are when and how much.

A referendum’s genesis usually can be narrowed down to two sources:

1) Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria are all on the high school swim team.  Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria don’t like the school’s swimming pool. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria also don’t like the condition of their locker rooms. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria vent their frustrations to their parents. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria all have parents who closely follow and support their daughters’ athletic endeavors.  They talk to other parents who don’t have kids on the swimming team, but do have kids involved in other sports or activities.  Over time, a consensus develops that school facilities need improvement or that completely new facilities are in order. A la the greasy wheel, they squeak long and loud enough to school officials before they ultimately agree to take their case to the taxpaying public to ask for lots and lots of money.

2) Just the opposite scenario of #1. School officials who have a strong in-bred desire to spend and spend profusely look around one day while attempting to come up with ideas on how to spend profusely.  One or more comment how this or that building hasn’t seen considerable maintenance since Eisenhower was President. To curry favor with parents and students alike, they begin to openly discuss the idea of building changes. To achieve greater acceptance, they call for public input. Supporters smile, nod their heads in approval and start dreaming.

School Board members, school administrators, and school employees, I’m sure, are pretty nice people for the most part. As a group, they are well-intentioned. However, something happens to these supposedly well-educated folks every day within the confines of those school buildings. Maybe it’s in the water, but they tend to shed common sense and any financial acumen, rendering them helpless when it comes to complex or even simple decision-making.

I described it this way in a blog last May referring to a topic Mark Belling discussed on one of his radio programs:

He addressed a school board issue in Menomonee Falls (MF). By coincidence, MF has about the same population as Franklin and like Franklin is immensely conservative. In MF, the voting patterns are overwhelmingly Republican. As Mark put it, the last place you’d expect victories by the teacher’s union with public officials thumbing their noses at the will of the people would be MF. I would add you could toss in Franklin, except that the Franklin School Board is beyond out of touch.

Mark mentioned that in some communities, especially smaller ones like MF (and I might add, Franklin) with 30-35,000 population, the teachers are often pals with the school board. They bump into one another and see each other in the community, at church, at youth school sports. They become buddies.

When a school board member’s “friend,” aka teacher asks for help, the school board member, rather than upset a “friend” and stand up for the electorate, instead caves.

Another factor needs to be considered.

Folks run for office with the best intentions. They are going to strive for fiscal responsibility. They will not be beholden to special interests. They will represent the taxpayers.

Then they get elected and rub elbows with the entrenched administration. They go native,

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Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release re: Komen

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Wisconsin Right to Life’s

Parent Organization,

the National Right to Life Committee,

Responds to the Komen Decision

Regarding Planned Parenthood

Friday, February 3, 2012

Goodnight everyone and have a XLVI weekend!


“Football is like life - it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority.
Vince Lombardi

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The best political cartoons of the week (02/04/12)

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok


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The Barking Lot (02/04/12)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Mostly cloudy skies early, then partly cloudy in the afternoon. High 40. "C"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 36. "C"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

This Sunday while Daddy is watching Super Bowl XLVI, Kyla & I will be watching Puppy Bowl VIII and enjoying every minute of it.  (We won’t, however, be yelling loudly at our TV.)  Could Mommy & Daughter help PB VIII draw a better rating than the Giants & Patriots?  Um, probably not.   

However, for those of us enjoying PB VIII we will have a new ref in charge as well as an incredible lineup of cuteness.  Better than just “cute” though, the show does more than highlight who looks good on the field.  This bowl game focuses on the adoptability of these darling doggies.  They are always happy to share the success stories of people-and-pooch pairings like this one.   

If you are like most sports enthusiasts, clearly you favor the NFL’s offering over Animal Planet’s.  Although they can’t compete with NBC this Sunday, every participant is surely a winner.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

True confessions. I’ll watch Puppy Bowl for awhile to see and enjoy the delightful laughter from Jennifer and Kyla.

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

Congressman wants probe after Ranger stuns dog walker.

Dog activists form group to oppose Romney.

Struggling actor commits suicide after putting dog to sleep.

Barking Lot update: Suspect caught in snatching of $1800 puppy.

Can a drug-sniffing dog be wrong?

In Georgia, dog ordinance would require insurance.

In Minnesota, a lawmaker wants to ban body grip traps.

Healing soldiers
, one dog at a time.

Treating dogs' spinal injuries could help humans.

Andre recovers incredibly.

Tips to help your dog deal with... divorce?

In Norway, dog lockers are popping up.

Who was that lucky dog?

Your dog's good looks start from the inside out.

Toto the official state dog could only be ...where?  Look who's upset.

Dogs star in 2012 Super Bowl ads.  MORESome folks aren't happy.

If your dog could talk...

At The Barking Lot, we love happy endings.



A soldier places his helmet on Timothy, an army explosive sniffer dog, near the site where a car loaded with explosives was control detonated by an army anti-bomb squad in Pradera, southwestern Colombia, Friday Feb. 3, 2012. Fifteen people were killed this week in two attacks with explosives in southern Colombia, blamed on rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by President Juan Manuel Santos.

Timothy, an army explosive sniffer dog, wears the helmet of a soldier who placed it on his head at the site of a car loaded with explosives that was detonated by an army anti-bomb squad in Pradera, southwestern Colombia, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Fifteen people were killed this week in two attacks with explosives in southern Colombia, blamed on rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by President Juan Manuel Santos.

Timothy, an army explosive sniffer dog, wears the helmet of a soldier who placed it on his head at the site of a car loaded with explosives that was detonated by an army anti-bomb squad in Pradera, southwestern Colombia, Friday, Feb. 3, 2012. Fifteen people were killed this week in two attacks with explosives in southern Colombia, blamed on rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, by President Juan Manuel Santos. AP photos

Thanks for stopping by The Barking Lot. We may not be the best dog blog, but we're in the top two! Please tell a fellow dog lover about us!

We close with our closing video:

Service Dog's Licks Save Arizona Woman's Life...


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Week-ends (02/04/12)


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...


Sister Barbara Anne Hallman

Nazir Al-Mujaahid

Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle

Bev Meska

Dr. James Hickman

Laura Herzog

Antonio Vandal

Matt Cassel


The Government Accountability Board

Mark Berndt

Thaddeus Matthews

Seattle libraries

Nancy Pelosi

The 27 House Democrats who voted against H.R.3567, the Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011 which makes it illegal for welfare recipients to use an EBT card in a strip club, liquor store or casino.


The Komen Foundation:  HERO  to VILLAIN


“A competitive primary does not divide us, it unites us and we will win.
Mitt Romney, GOP presidential candidate, on his victory in Florida's Republican primary.

“It is now clear that this will be a two-person race between the conservative leader, Newt Gingrich, and the Massachusetts moderate. And the voters of Florida made that clear.
Newt Gingrich, in a statement after polls closed in Florida, where he lost to Mitt Romney.

“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich. They’re doing just fine. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who are struggling.” 
Mitt Romney

“If I could give you an idea of what it looked like, I would say it looked like the end of the world.
Steven R. Camps, a motorist involved in a multiple-car pileup that killed 10 and injured at least 18 in the early hours of Sunday morning, Jan. 29, on Interstate 75 just outside Gainesville, Fla.

"I felt like some of the guys on the NFC side embarrassed themselves. I was just surprised that some of the guys either didn't want to play or when they were in there didn't put any effort into it."
Green Bay Packer QB Aaron Rodgers on the lackluster play of his teammates in the NFL Pro Bowl last Sunday. The AFC beat the NFC, 59-41.

I thought it wouldn't be good to show up the first lady so I stopped.
Ellen DeGeneres, after losing a push-up contest with first lady Michelle Obama, who was on the chat show to promote her "Let's Move" campaign.


Suspicious spending found in Wisconsin's FoodShare program.


Why isn't the mainstream media aggressively scouring the recall petitions for errors?


Is there a game this Sunday?


Gotta go potty? Don't forget your phone.

Don't call 9-1-1!

He just always wanted to do it.

Gamer dies at web cafe, but no one notices.

That's it for Week-ends. Thanks for stopping by.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

Federal Spending: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly



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A terrific Super Bowl ad you won't see Sunday

It comes from the marketing geniuses at Budweiser who produce separate Super Bowl ads for audiences in Canada, including this one:

The future of America...Ay yi yi

But maybe we should build them new high schools with new football fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, and theaters.


Recommended Reading including SUPER BOWL material (02/05/12)

Recommended Reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Charlie Sykes makes the case that we are a 'Nation of Moochers.'

"...what Sykes is exposing is that we are on the march to becoming Greece. Not just a European welfare state, but the kind of welfare state where the populace has been engineered by a nanny state to riot at the very thought of not being able to mooch the life to which they have become accustomed."

Susan G. Komen vs the morality parasites

"The health services Planned Parenthood performs with respect to breast cancer become an absolute moral imperative that shields all of its other activities, including abortion services that many people find deeply objectionable (to put it mildly.)  If you question any aspect of PP’s activities, you want women to die.  Many of PP’s most ardent defenders will use exactly those words."

Aborting Hitler

"Someone once asked me whether I would abort Adolf Hitler if I knew in advance he would try to launch a Holocaust against millions of Jews. I said I would not. That is because..."

Who would Jesus tax?

"I can’t believe that hot coffee didn’t spew from hundreds of Christians’ mouths when Obama took a text that refers directly to believers’ judgment and contorted it to be interpreted as a ratcheted-up government imposed higher tax rate upon those who already bear the brunt of the tax burden."

Getting nowhere, very fast

"California has a huge state debt and Washington has a huge national debt. But that does not discourage either Governor Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama from wanting to launch a very costly high-speed rail system.

Most of us might be a little skittish about spending money if we were teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. But the beauty of politics is that it is all other people's money, including among those other people generations yet unborn."

The happiest wives in America

"Let's take a break from politics to ask the burning question: How did Karen Santorum and Ann Romney get so lucky? Just who are the happiest wives in America? According to a new report by the University of Virginia's National Marriage Project, 'When Baby Makes Three,' the surprising answer is: women who..."

The Super Bowl is over when this happens

"After an interminable wait for Super Bowl XLVI, we should get a good idea who's going to win very quickly."

The 21 rules of surviving a Super Bowl party

"The Super Bowl is the sports world's biggest amateur day, and if you're a hard-core fan who's spent all season paying rapt attention, you will be chagrined to discover you're suddenly in a room with chattering dilettantes, asking if that guy on the screen is really named Ochocinco. You could see this as a bad thing, or a healthy positive—football returning to its proper place as trifling entertainment, and not the bombastic life-consuming gladiator saga it's become. Everybody has been to a good Super Bowl party and at least one miserable one. Whether you're a guest or a host, here are some rules to make it a success."

Odds are, Super Bowl will be fun

"With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, what are your favorite prop bets and why?"

The NFL has an 'L' of a problem in 2016

"The NFL is four years away from its 50th Super Bowl, which means it is already trying to plan around a peculiar self-inflicted marketing nuisance."

We close Recommended Reading with Recommended Listening, perfect for getting you in the mood for Super Bowl Sunday. I swear you'll be humming this all day.


Super Bowl Super Fans COLOR © Parker,Florida Today,sports, football, NFL, championship, Super Bowl, New England Patriots, New York Giants, game, Madonna, half, time, show, fans

Superbowl Prediction © Steve Nease,Freelance,Super Bowl,prediction,Groundhog,football,winner,game,NFL


My Most Popular Blogs (02/05/12)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the five most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.

1) Photos of the Week (01/29/12)

2) When candidates come knocking at your door

3) One of the biggest mistakes of my married life

4) How a referendum becomes a referendum

5) Franklin (and a whole lot of other places in WI) could use more guys like …

6) Culinary no-no #262

7) The latest pro-life news

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Photos of the Week (02/05/12)

Photos of the Week

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What to do when you don't particularly care for either Super Bowl team

It’s the dilemma I face during Super Bowl XLVI. I’m not enamored in any way with either the New England Patriots or the New York Giants.

By kickoff I’ll have to choose a favorite. Can’t watch without choosing someone to cheer.  “I just want to see a good game” will never come from my lips.

But who?

Some Packer fans are plugging for the Giants so they can proclaim that at least we lost to eventual champions. Lame. Very lame.

Suppose the Packers would have lost in the NFC Championship Game last year to Chicago. No way in hell I’d use that bizarre logic to root for the Bears in the Super Bowl. I want the Bears to lose every game, even if it was against the Russians.

A more rational decision would be to hope the Patriots smash the Giants for knocking out our Packers.

Head coaches? New York’s is more likable. And I like the Manning family. And underdogs.

So my dog in the hunt is New York. And here’s what, or should I say who finally persuaded me.


Gisele Bundchen Model Gisele Bundchen attends "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Gisele Bundchen

That's Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bundchen who just happens to be married to Patriots star QB Tom Brady.

In a highly-publicized e-mail sent to her family this past week, Bundchen wrote, "
“I feel Tommy really needs our prayer, our support and love at this time. This Sunday will be a really important day in my husband’s life… and now they need us more than ever to send them positive energy so they can fulfill their dream of winning this Super Bowl.”

Now I'm all for talking to God and doing it often.  But c'mon.

During the 2010 season, Brady signed a 4-year, $72-million contract. Do the math and you get $18 million/year. He also earned over $10-million in endorsements last year.

He's won three Super Bowl titles and is goping for number four today.

Plus he’s married to ...

All of that should be enough.

But get this.

His wife makes more than twice his salary.

According to Forbes, Bundchen, the highest paid model on the planet, earns $45-million/year.

So, there's no doubt that we all could stand someone putting in a good word for us with the Man upstairs. But let's just say some guys need prayer a lot less than others.

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Culinary no-no #263

Culinary no-no's

It was a shining campaign moment for Newt Gingrich that earned him a huge Atta boy from the many who are frustrated by the liberal mainstream news media. Last month during a South Carolina debate when Juan Williams foolishly played the race card, Gingrich took Williams to the wood shed and blasted the President in the process.

Close to home, a story from the state Capitol that broke last week should have generated huge outrage. The highly regarded nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) released its findings on Wisconsin’s Food Stamp program called FoodShare. State Auditor Joe Chrisman wrote:

Eligibility for FoodShare benefits is based on the composition of an “assistance group,” which generally includes all or most members living in a household. Federal law requires that assistance groups be able to spend benefits anywhere in the country, and $32.9 million of the $1.1 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2010-11 FoodShare purchases, or 3.0 percent of the total, were made outside of Wisconsin and in every state in the nation.

It may be more convenient or economical for FoodShare recipients who live in border areas of Wisconsin to purchase food in a contiguous state. However, we identified FY 2010-11 FoodShare purchases made outside of Wisconsin that may indicate inappropriate benefit use. For example, we found 152 assistance groups that had purchases exceeding $500 that were made exclusively outside of Wisconsin and more than 50 miles from their reported Wisconsin residences. These assistance groups, representing 0.04 percent of the 382,449 assistance groups receiving benefits on June 30, 2011, made purchases totaling $324,187, including $151,187 (46.6 percent) that was spent entirely in noncontiguous states. We also identified 334 instances in which a FoodShare card was used to make a purchase in Wisconsin on the same day that the card’s account number was entered manually to make a purchase in a noncontiguous state.

We are providing this information to DHS so that it may promptly identify and address instances in which assistance groups used their FoodShare benefits inappropriately.

The audit also reported the following:

During FY 2010-11, the card numbers of 4,408 assistance groups were entered manually in noncontiguous states to make 19,040 purchases totaling $623,933. While some of these purchases are legitimate, we believe additional attention is needed to address instances in which benefits are being accessed by individuals outside of the approved assistance groups in violation of federal rules.

2,892 FoodShare assistance groups made no purchases in Wisconsin in FY 2010-11. Of the $2.1 million these assistance groups spent, purchases made entirely in noncontiguous states totaled $908,547 and accounted for 43.1 percent of the purchases they made.

Four of the assistance groups included aliens, including two groups with aliens who were lawfully admitted for permanent residence and two groups with refugees.

We found that 80 of the 152 assistance groups, or 52.6 percent, continued to receive FoodShare benefits in December 2011. Of the 72 cases that had been closed by December 2011, 26 were closed because the assistance group head “does not reside in Wisconsin.” This was the most frequently cited primary reason for case closure.

In some instances the cases of FoodShare recipients who left the state were closed promptly. However, most remained open for many months, which increases the potential for fraud and the length of time benefits continue to be provided to some individuals who are ineligible to receive them.

Purchases according to the audit were also made in the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Guam. That begs the obvious question: What is a food stamp recipient anywhere in the Badger State doing purchasing food or goodness knows what else … in the Virgin Islands?

And we’re just one state inviting and witnessing food stamp fraud.

Newt Gingrich was correct. According to a Wall Street Journal article last November, the US Department of Agriculture reported that nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in August 2011, as the number of recipients hit a record high 45.8 million. Never before in our nation's history had the rolls surpassed the 40-million mark.

he average recipient receives $133 per month, totaling $5.5 billion in government spending each month. By contrast, last week’s Wisconsin audit reported, “In October 2011, the average assistance group in Wisconsin included two individuals and received a benefit of $243 per month.”

Townhall magazine's November 2011 issue published an astounding expose on the rampant giveaway America’s food stamp program has become. On the magazine cover is this tease: Food Stamps: The Cost Will Shock You.

Food stamps nationally are administered by the USDA through SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Most would agree that the truly needy should receive government help in the form of food stamps. However, as Helen Whalen-Cohen reports for Townhall, the swelled food stamp rolls are a result of not only the horrific economy, but because Uncle Sam is openly and aggressively marketing SNAP and has dramatically loosened restrictions for applicants.

There is an income eligibility rule. It’s a joke.

If you live at 130 percent of the poverty line (which still has families with cars, multiple TVs, microwaves, cell phones, iPads, jobs that put food on the table, etc) and have $2000 in resources, you get food stamps. Whalen-Cohen reports in Townhall that there are exceptions to the income test that vary from state to state. Wanna bet the states that have more generous income regulations see greater welfare migration?

President Obama relaxed income restrictions in 2009 and gave states the power to change them, opening the floodgates for more applicants, more recipients, more fraud.

Income resources are supposed to be counted to help determine eligibility. However, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefits or Supplemental Security Income do not have this aid counted. What if a recipient owns a vehicle?  Does that count? Depends. That’s up to the states to decide and 39 exempt vehicles completely.

Taking the lead offered by President Obama, Washington D.C. officials decided in 2010 to expand income eligibility to 200% of the poverty line. Not surprisingly, there was an immediate increase of 5,000 recipients. Twelve states followed suit and another thirteen expanded eligibility to 160% of the poverty line.

States get full reimbursement by the federal government so why wouldn’t they tear down the walls of an income test.

Then there are the deductions including earned income, medial bills, dependent care, child support, even utilities. These all result in major reductions in a household’s income resulting in even more recipients.

In 2004, SNAP went from paper coupons to electronic benefit transfer or EBT cards. Just last week, the House voted overwhelmingly to approve  H.R.3567, the Welfare Integrity Now for Children and Families Act of 2011 which makes it illegal for welfare recipients to use an EBT card in a strip club, liquor store or casino. Unbelievably, 27 House Democrats voted against the resolution.

Why would welfare recipients be using their EBTs in such places for healthy, nutritious food purchases? And what could possibly be the rationale to vote against the resolution?

The explosion in food stamp recipients apparently isn’t good enough as Townhall reports the USDA is actively trying to recruit as many applicants as possible. Their sense, according to their Secretary is that the food stamp program acts to stimulate the economy. Critics respond that if more food stamps result in higher employment, then where is the record jump in job creation?

Finally, we’ve all either heard the anecdotes or witnessed them in person, the stories of food stamp recipients walking off with their share of luxury items like steak and crab legs and plenty of junk foods like Doritos and cinnamon rolls. A Milwaukee Police officer I know very well has seen it many times standing in the checkout line. I trust him as an extremely reliable source., not exactly a bastion of conservative journalism, was referenced in the Townhall article for quoting Gerry Mak, a 31-year old food stamp recipient in 2010:

“I’m sort of a foodie, and I’m not going to do the ‘living off ramen’ thing. I used to think that you could only get processed food and government cheese on food stamps, but it’s great that you can get anything. It’s not a thing people feel ashamed of, at least not around here. It feels like a necessity right now.”

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UPDATE: What to do when you don't particularly care for either Super Bowl team

Previously on This Just In...

Since that blog, as you undoubtedly know by now, New York beat New England, 21-17 to win the Super Bowl.

Here's one of the plays from the game:


New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) reacts to a missed catch from quarterback Tom Brady as New York Giants cornerback Corey Webster (23) runs by during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Now the update.

Oh, and a look at one more play...


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On Reagan's birthday, a comparison with Obama


Today, we celebrate President Ronald Wilson Reagan's 101st birthday.  At AFP we're honoring President Reagan with a very special "Happy Birthday" message with a twist -- and putting it on national TV. Our ad compares two contrasting visions of America: the Gipper's belief in economic freedom and optimism, and President Obama's big government philosophy and class warfare rhetoric.

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The latest pro-life news (02/06/12)

From Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

Monday February 6, 2012 
The Komen Flip
Poll: The Race for Wisconsin's U.S. Senate Seat
Answering Deceptive Arguments Made by Planned Parenthood
2012 State Conference - Saturday April 28
Register Online Now for Laura Ingraham!
Important Right To Life Links
The Komen Flip

Yes, there are singers who can still do the national anthem properly

Did you watch Sunday’s Super Bowl pre-game ceremonies?

AP photo

The reviews of Kelly Clarkson singing the national anthem have been generally positive.

Of course, any performance would have looked terrific following last year’s butchering by Christina Aguilera who couldn’t remember the words.

Christina Aguilera

Photo: Getty Images

Personally, I thought Clarkson was just okay. I would have preferred simply letting those dozens of kids sing the Star Spangled Banner. But there was Clarkson in a blasé dress and a hairdo completely out of fashion.

And try as she might, Clarkson had to compensate for her inability to hit certain notes by warbling. Like so many before her, she was a white gal trying to sound like a black woman.

For this I blame…

Part Irish, part black/Venezuelan, Mariah Carey could get away with her vocal style that was natural and not a struggle for her copycats. Now every female pop singer wants to be just like Mariah, and they wind up bombing.

I would suggest the NFL in special games where the networks actually broadcast the national anthem stick to country singers who do the national anthem with pride, respect, and how it’s meant to be performed.

Another option is people who can really sing who are members of the Armed Forces. Witness this year’s Pro Bowl.

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3RD UPDATE: Voting for Franklin School Board is very easy

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UPDATE: Yes, there are singers who can still do the national anthem properly

Previously on This Just In...

The update:

“As a person who thinks a lot about small business.  it's the national anthem that strikes me as the part of the game with the most salient business lessons to offer. Why? Because the national anthem provides the perfect analogy for doing business.

Here are a few memorable national anthem performances and the lessons we might all learn about the importance of knowing your audience and staying true to your brand."

FOX NEWS debate: Does voter fraud exist in America?

Watch a spirited debate between Dee Dee Menkie, Republican National Committeewoman and Mark Mellman, CEO of the Mellman Group.

GAB Decides to Ignore All Independently-Provided Evidence of Recall Petition Fraud

MacIver News Service
| February 7, 2012

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These folks did it...couldn't Franklin?

The Franklin Public Schools intelligentsia is hell bent on scheduling a referendum to address what it perceives as facilities in need of repair. The district has hired architects that have said they will even help “spin” the referendum, has sent out several surveys asking what improvements residents favor, and has scheduled upcoming workshops with the end goal a ballot question asking residents  to voluntarily give themselves a property tax increase.

Never mind that high school sophomore Jimmy reads at a 6th grade level.  Jimmy would like a nicer swimming pool and lockers.

Spiffier facilities would be great, but only if we needed them and we could afford them.

I couldn’t help but think of Franklin’s impending tax increase question (referendum) as I read a recent edition of the Milwaukee Catholic Herald newspaper about a major development at Pius High School:

“After years of staging productions elsewhere, this May the Pius XI High School performing arts community will finally have its own home in the form of the Father Robert V. Carney Performing Arts Center and Wendy Lindsey Theater.

'What this will really be is the home we need, the home we’ve never had,' said Bonnie Scholz, chairperson of the Performing Arts Department at Pius. 

The performance space is a $3 million project that has been a 10-year effort on the part of Pius administrators and alumni. Construction began in August and is on schedule for completion this May. The center will feature a 500-seat theater and a 7,600-square-foot “pre-function” multipurpose area with two art galleries and a reception space."

Pius, of course, is a private high school and can’t resort to referendum to pay its bills. So how did it pull off a $3 million performing arts center and theater?

“The project has been financed almost exclusively by private donations from alumni and parents.”

Well isn’t that interesting.  Good for Pius! 

Here’s another example of terrific community involvement from a public school that does have referendum as recourse.

In September of 2008, Greendale High School played its first game on its brand new artificial turf football field. On September 11, 2008, I posted a blog, “The Greendale School District: How’d they do that?” Here’s an excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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


There’s more. Projects completed in Greendale the summer of ’08 according to GreendaleNOW included the new football field, renovation of the art rooms and asbestos removal and new flooring in 21 classrooms.

Franklin really loves Franklin. I’ve seen it at parades, fundraisers, and athletic events. Franklin cares deeply about families and neighborhoods. There’s tremendous civic pride. Franklin is decent, humble, hard-working, a values-oriented community.

Could Franklin pull off what Pius and Greendale did, galvanizing community support, no matter what or how long or how much it takes to reach a common goal?  I believe Franklin could.

Maybe I'm wrong but I’m unaware of any serious grassroots effort in Franklin to fundraise for school amenities that would require minimal or zero tax dollars. Please, someone set the record straight if I’m mistaken.

And if such ideas haven’t been discussed or attempted in the past, I’d dearly love to know why not.

Stand against Obama mandate violating 1st amendment

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Obama Administration Mandate Violates Right to Religious Freedom – Is Abortion Mandate Far Behind?

Read more

MacIver Investigation: Doctors in Union Sick Note Scam Claim They Were Victims

MacIver News Service
| February 8, 2012

[Madison, Wisc...] Doctors who handed out sick notes to protesters last year told the Medical Examining Board they did not write fake sick notes, but  rather that they were the victims of “fake patients.” These accusations were gleaned from records recently obtained by the MacIver News Service through an open records request with the Medical Examining Board.

Read more

Here are the Franklin School Board candidates...they don't say!

FranklinNOW asked the candidates for Franklin School Board some rather basic questions, the type that won’t win them any Pulitzer.  Pretty simple stuff. Remember these are experienced adults who want to run our school system. Let’s see how they did.

Judith Bialk

What's the No. 1 issue in this race?

I cannot say there is one outstanding issue in this race, but rather a complexity of issues. Each time we gather, we look at issues dealing with finance and budget, business administration, human services, administrative policy, governmental relations, curriculum, special needs services, personnel issues, disciplinary issues involving students, to name a few. Every board member must be prepared to deal with each issue at its level of importance. This complexity of service provides all of us with interesting challenges.

TRANSLATION: I have absolutely no idea how to answer but I’ll try to sound like I do with a wordy response that says nothing.

Janet Evans

What's the No. 1 issue in this race?

I see the upcoming 2012-13 budget as the most important issue in the district at this time. This goes hand in hand with the need for reduced spending and the anticipated rise of energy and insurance costs. Franklin has yet to see any changes to the health insurance plan for the district. Just over 79 percent of the budget goes toward employee salaries and benefits. We need a transparent budget where taxpayers understand how funds are allocated.

TRANSLATION: She regards the budget and addressing it responsibly as the #1 issue. Direct question. Direct answer.

Don Petre

What's the No. 1 issue in this race?

It is essential to improve our facilities in order to meet the current needs of the students, parents and our community. We need to provide our students with better classrooms, modern technology labs, improved athletic facilities and support for the fine arts. I travel locally and throughout the state watching my daughters' tournaments. I have seen too many communities with much better facilities than we have in Franklin. I look forward to helping the School Board make decisions regarding these improvements so that the entire community will benefit, not just the families with children in our schools.

TRANSLATION: He will support a referendum, details unseen, no matter what in hopes voters will approve a massive property tax increase. He is of the foolish mentality that shiny new floors and locker rooms will result in better teachers and students.

Aimee R. Schlueter

What's the No. 1 issue in this race?

I feel there is no No. 1 issue as there are several issues and concerns that have come to my attention. One issue can and will directly affect other issues. I understand there are concerns about the possibility of the new building/addition referendum, state budget concerns and communication. I am interested in and look forward to tackling these and the many other issues with creativity and enthusiasm.

TRANSLATION: I can’t answer a simple question about school issues because I don’t know the answers. But I still want to be on the school board!


John Paul Thompson

What's the No. 1 issue in this race?

Forming a cohesive board that has the best interests of the community at large, as well as the staff and students in mind to keep Franklin the best school system that it is.

TRANSLATION: I have at least thought about the issues even though I’m not going to get specific. However, my vague answer only raises more questions, like, what does he mean?

David A. Works

What's the No. 1 issue in this race? 

The current state funding formula has provided major challenges to our school district that will require innovative methods and techniques in order to maintain the high quality of education that is essential for our students. With a successful career in private industry, I have had to lower operating costs while continuing to improve quality in order to maintain our competitive advantage.

TRANSLATION: Wahhh! Any problems the Franklin School District is facing, it’s all the big bad state’s fault. I know how to cut costs (wink wink) except that time I was on the school board.

Read for yourself.  If some of these people have no concrete, specific thoughts about serious issues and can’t articulate them if they did, that doesn’t speak well for their qualifications.

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Verify the Recall Organizers Are Prepared to Go to Court Over GAB Ruling

MacIver News Service
| February 8, 2012

[Madison, Wisc...] Citizen volunteers are entering signatures from recall petitions into a massive, searchable database at the rate of 2.7 every second–hoping to uncover any evidence of fraud. However, all that work could go to waste if the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board gets its way.

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Rick Santorum: A time for choosing


From Rick Santorum                                           Tues, Feb. 7 at 2:32 a.m. ET

Dear Patriot:

What a night! We did it again! We shocked the moderate establishment and pulled off what the media elites said was impossible by winning three HUGE contests that we were told we couldn't win.

I'm exhausted, but I'm so elated. Before I try and get some sleep, I had to sit down and write you this letter.

As I watched the returns come in tonight, my thoughts kept turning to Ronald Reagan in 1976 when he ran against the moderate President Gerald Ford. In the beginning of that campaign, he lost the first EIGHT primaries. The media and the establishment made fun of his campaign; they said he had no shot, and told him to get out of the race. But then, Reagan got on a roll, winning in North Carolina and a slew of states after that. The conservative base rallied to him, despite all odds. He went all the way to Convention.

Just like Ronald Reagan said at the Republican Convention in 1976, Conservatives must stand for something – even if our party establishment hesitates. Reagan said that we must have a "banner of bold, unmistakable colors, with no pale pastel shades".

Will you join with me to support this vision for our party? Will you support my campaign as we take this message across this great land?

Read more


I’ve blogged in the past about my cousin, Doug, who makes...

Rehorst Vodka & Gin

Rehorst products.

Here’s the latest.

6TH UPDATE: The recall process in WI needs dramatic change

Previously on This Just In...






The recall process in WI needs dramatic change

The update: A public hearing was held today on a proposed constitutional amendment to change Wisconsin's recall process. Very few attended, but the MacIver Institute was at the state Assembly's Committee on Election and Campaign Reform hearing on Assembly Joint Resolution 63.

Brian Fraley of the MacIver Institute says, "The left is fixated on tangential issues. It's as if they are catering only to MSNBC conspiracy buffs. Note also how they really don't like the fact the recall signatures are being examined.”

Read more

That's the way the cookie may crumble

Topics talked about on WISN

Late last December while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I discussed stunning revelations about the Girl Scouts that were confirmed by several parents of Scouts and ex-Scouts for that matter.

The topic also included a report that the Girl Scouts handed out highly objectionable Planned Parenthood literature at a UN meeting to girls when adults were not allowed in the room.

The following weekend, many people approached me to say they were shocked, that they had no idea this was going one. One man said to his wife that he doubted he’d purchase Girl Scout cookies this year. I reiterated that on the air I stated I was not advocating a cookie boycott. That decision is up to consumers.

But the reality is the more this became publicized and the more the Girl Scouts pooh-poohed these stories with hardly a hint of damage control, the more backlash the organization would receive.

Tax Raising Tammy Baldwin

Friends of the US Chamber


Tax Raising Tammy Baldwin
Baldwin’s Policies Will Cost Wisconsin & American Jobs

Economic times are tough enough without politicians trying to make the problem
worse. Yet, when Wisconsin needs jobs above all else, that’s just what Congresswoman
Tammy Baldwin is doing.

When our employers need tax relief — Tammy Baldwin wants to raise their taxes by
$900 billion.

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True the Vote Finds Serious Questions in WI Recall Petitions


Contact: Catherine Engelbrecht

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Goodnight everyone and have a many-splendored weekend!

Love is a game that two can play and both win.
Eva Gabor

"With her first hello
She gave new meaning to this empty world of mine
There'd never be another love, another time
She came into my life and made the living fine
She fills my heart"
Theme from "Love Story”

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

We need a musical theme. Hmmmm.

This Sunday the Grammy Awards will be presented.

And next Tuesday it's Valentine's Day.

So, we've got...

Valentines Day


Tonight, it's love at the Grammys!

We begin by going back to 1993...



When Cole referred to "the last one" she was talking about her huge successful album of Nat King Cole songs, "Unforgettable."

Next up, the Album of the Year Award in 2000.

One of the nominees is “When I Look in Your Eyes.”

The artist is Diana Krall performing one of the tracks in Paris, the Harold Arlen 1933 jazz standard.


Read more

The best political cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

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The Barking Lot (02/11/12)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just inWritten by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then its DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Not a good weekend for walking the pooch.  Today, partly cloudy and windy, not to mention all the residual snow and ice on roads and sidewalks. High of just 18.   "F"

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 31. Sorry. We won't be fooled by the sun.  "F"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

I have stated many times on The Barking Lot that I am a proponent of rescuing a dog rather than paying a breeder for one.  I understand the appeal of pedigrees and support the American Kennel Club, but personally I feel a shelter dog is a fabulous choice in many instances.


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Week-ends (02/11/12)



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...


Timothy Dolan

William Stacey


Lelia Boroughs

Justin Tuck

Karen Handel

Brittney Baxter

MTA worker

Lindora Richardson



Neal Barnard

Los Angeles County

Constance Johnson


"One of the things about being president is you get better as time goes on."
President Obama

"For me, it could be something in my future. It's something I'll have to think about and definitely pray about. I have no idea right now, but yeah, possibly."
Tim Tebow about the possibility of running for public office.

”I don't stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney. I stand here to be the conservative alternative to Barack Obama.
Rick Santorum, GOP presidential candidate, who beat front runner Romney in three primaries — Minnesota, Colorado and Missouri — on Tuesday, throwing the race into "a little bit of no man's land"

“If a football team gets a parade, shouldn't our veterans?
Paul Rieckhoff, founder and executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The New York Giants will be feted with a parade on Tuesday, but the fanfare has touched off anger among some returned Iraq veterans, who are awaiting their own recognition.


Wisconsin's Government Accountability Board refuses to consider findings by independent groups showing recall petition discrepancies.


The recall numbers don't add up.


So... what do the Santorum victories mean?


My smelly Valentine?

That's it for Week-ends. Thanks for stopping by.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

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The son with the big temper

Regular readers of This Just In know how nostalgic I can be.

Growing up, I loved TV westerns. But my favorite wasn’t “Gunsmoke” or “Bonanza.” It was “The Big Valley” that starred the legendary Barbara Stanwyck, the lovely Linda Evans, Richard Long, Lee Majors, and Peter Breck who played the hot-headed Nick Barkley, one of Tom Barkley’s sons.

Cast Photo

The action took place post-Civil War on the Barkley ranch in Stockton, California. You couldn’t help but love Nick Barkley’s character.

Peter Breck died in Vancouver Monday after a long struggle with dementia. He was 82.

The first episode of “The Big Valley” that aired on ABC from 1965-1969 is a classic.

And no, they don't make television like they used to.

Read more

Gov. Walker at CPAC: "When we prevail, it will send a powerful message to every politician in America"

In case you missed it Friday night during a fish fry or reading This Just In…

Here’s Governor Scott Walker’s outstanding speech at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Recommended Reading (02/12/12)

Recommended Reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

A Fairness Quiz for the President

"President Obama has frequently justified his policies—and judged their outcomes—in terms of equity, justice and fairness. That raises an obvious question: How does our existing system—and his own policy record—stack up according to those criteria?

Is it fair that the richest 1% of Americans pay nearly 40% of all federal income taxes, and the richest 10% pay two-thirds of the tax?

Is it fair that the richest 10% of Americans shoulder a higher share of their country's income-tax burden than do the richest 10% in every other industrialized nation, including socialist Sweden?"

Obama Says He Deserves a Second Term

"Well, let's see..."

Clint Eastwood's Political Super Bowl Commercial Was Insulting

“Seriously? We all ‘came together’ to bailout failing auto companies? I don’t remember that. I remember politicians in Washington doing that, without the popular support of the American people. That’s not coming together, that’s having something rammed down our throats.”

The Media's Abortion Blinders

"If you’ve followed the media frenzy surrounding the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation’s decision — which it backpedaled from, with an apology, after a wave of frankly brutal coverage — to discontinue about $700,000 in funding for Planned Parenthood, you would think all these millions of anti-abortion Americans simply do not exist."

Holder v. Racist Photo ID Cards

“As a black man, I say, ‘Power to (Attorney General)Holder!’ I just hope this brave public servant can find the time to fight all the racists who are imposing on blacks, and everyone else, the extreme indignity of showing ID cards.”

5 Things Conservatives Can Learn From Liberals

"There are a lot of things NOT to like about liberals, but you have to give them some credit. These are people who are badly, dangerously, and devastatingly wrong on almost every issue of consequence and yet, year after year, they hang in there at a rough parity with conservatives. So, they may do a lot wrong, but there are things we can learn from the Left."

A Nation of Moochers

“Therein lies the danger of government dependence. It reduces the incentive to seek employment and sets up a tension between those who pay taxes and those who receive benefits. The fiscal balance also worsens as politicians boost the freebies, hoping grateful recipients will deliver votes to keep them in office.”

Why the World Needs America

“Foreign-policy pundits increasingly argue that democracy and free markets could thrive without U.S. predominance. If this sounds too good to be true, writes Robert Kagan, that's because it is.”

How Clinging to Mommy and Daddy is Ruining a Generation

“As children grow up and venture out into the world, the transition from a bustling household to an empty one can be difficult – so, why not skip it all together? That’s what millions of families are doing, not just in the U.S., but across many developed countries. In Italy, the culture of ‘mammismo’ or mamma’s boys, is widely accepted – today, 37 percent of men age thirty have never lived away from home. In Japan, “parasite singles” are chastised in the media for depending on mom and dad, but having few other options, they do it anyway.”

'Conservative' Movies Make More Money

"Wanna make money in Hollywood? Release patriotic movies that promote conservative values and do not denigrate Christianity."


A pie chart breaking down reasons why people want to be liberal

My Most Popular Blogs (02/12/12)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the ten most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.

1) 3RD UPDATE: Voting for Franklin School Board is very easy

2) Here are the Franklin School Board candidates...they don't say!

3) Photos of the Week (02/05/12)

4) These folks did it...couldn't Franklin?

5) True the Vote Finds Serious Questions in WI Recall Petitions

6) The Barking Lot (02/11/12)

7) Culinary no-no #263

8) Verify the Recall Organizers Are Prepared to Go to Court Over GAB Ruling

9) Week-ends (02/11/12)

10) Goodnight everyone, and have a many-splendored weekend!


Photos of the Week (02/12/12)

Photos of the Week

1) GOP presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum talks with Natasha Trett, an employee at the Bemidji, Minn., Woolen Mills store, the manufacturer of the official Santorum for president sweater vest, during a campaign stop on Feb. 5, 2012. Photo: Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

2) Maybe there's something in that sweater. Republican presidential candidate former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum speaks as his wife Karen, right, listens during a primary night watch party Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012, in St. Charles, Mo.
  Santorum scored victories in Minnesota and Missouri nominating contests Tuesday night, winning him no actual delegates, but nonetheless blocking Mitt Romney's bid to keep alive a streak of victories in the Republican presidential primary. Photo: Jeff Roberson / AP

3) Supporters of gay marriage react outside the James R. Browning United States Courthouse after a federal appeals court declared California's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012 in San Francisco. A federal appeals court on Tuesday declared California's same-sex marriage ban to be unconstitutional, putting the bitterly contested, voter-approved law on track for likely consideration by the U.S. Supreme Court. (AP Photo/San Francisco Chronicle, Lea Suzuki)

4) Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmaker Mahmut Tanal and the countries ruling AK Party (AKP) lawmaker Muhittin Aksak scuffle during a debate at the parliament in Ankara late Feb. 8.Photo: Reuters

5) A soldier stands in a room full of barrels containing white and yellow powder after a seizure of a small ranch in Tlajomulco de Zuniga, on the outskirts of Guadalajara, Mexico, on Thursday. According to the Mexican army, 15 tons of pure methamphetamine were seized at the ranch, an amount equivalent to half of all meth seizures worldwide in 2009. Photo: Bruno González / AP

6) Flo Watson, 61, and her daughter Nina Watson, 34, view Flo's late postal service co-worker Robert Sanders, 58, at the Robert L. Adams drive-thru funeral parlor in Compton, Los Angeles, on Wednesday, Feb. 8. The funeral parlor has been in business since 1974, and is thought to be the only drive-through funeral home in southern California, according to office manager Denise Knowles-Bragg. The parlor offers a convenient alternative to older people who find it hard to walk, those who want to make a quick stop during the lunch hour, and the families of well-known deceased people who expect many visitors. Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

7) A man paddles a raft to a concrete island, meant to be part of an overpass construction project but now derelict, as he searches for items to salvage in the holy River Yamuna, in New Delhi, India, on Feb. 6, 2012. Photo: Kevin Frayer / AP

8) Photographer Chad Blakley captured this view of the northern lights over Sweden's Abisko on Feb. 6. "The lights started around 6:00 p.m. and continued into the very early hours of the morning," Blakley told Check out Blakley's gallery on for still more stunning views. Photo: Chad Blakley / Lights Over Lapland

9) The rippling northern lights share the skies with a nearly full moon over Yellowknife in Canada's Northern Territories early Tuesday, as seen by the Canadian Space Agency's AuroraMAX wide-angle camera.

10) Smoke rises from a chimney atop Pascal Prokop's 1990 Volvo 240 station wagon near Zurich on Thursday, Feb. 9. Prokob built and installed the wood-fired stove himself and got an operating permit from the Swiss technical inspection authority. Photos: Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters

11) Panama City Beach, Florida -- Fog rolls up along the shore of Panama City Beach, Florida on Feb. 5th, 2012. The online community has dubbed this a "cloud tsunami." Photo: JR Hott / Panhandle Helicopter

12) A hiker stands behind icicles as he takes snapshots of a frozen waterfall in Bad Urach, Germany, on Feb. 7. The cold wave sweeping across Europe is expected to bring even more snow and frigid temperatures in the upcoming days. Photo: Anna Schuermann / EPA

13) A car drives through the snowy landscape on the Grosser Inselberg mountain in eastern Germany, on Feb. 6. The deadly cold snap that has gripped Europe for more than a week wrought more havoc across the continent, straining emergency services, grounding flights and pushing the death toll past 200. Photo: Martin Schutt / AFP - Getty Images

14) A view of the Cannaregio channel, partially iced because of unusually low temperatures, in Venice on Monday. Schools were closed in Rome on Tuesday, as Italy coped with unusually heavy snow for the Mediterranean country. So far, ten deaths have been linked to winter weather, including two people who were crushed under a collapsed roof south of Rome, and a 91-year-old woman in the northeast port of Trieste who was knocked down by strong winds. In the north, rescuers had to pluck people from their homes, as piles of snow reached 3 meters (10 feet) in some areas. In Milan, Italy's fashion and financial capital, temperatures fell to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on Monday, and the authorities opened a section of the city subway to shelter some 100 homeless people. Photo: Luigi Costantini / AP

15) Meerkats stand under a warming red light in their enclosure in the zoo in Schwerin, northern Germany, on February 3, 2012. Zoo keepers have to take measures to handle the cold weather.The Arctic cold snap that has hit Europe for over a week had claimed nearly 300 lives by February 5, 2012, brought air travel chaos to London and dumped snow as far south as Rome and even North Africa. Photo: JENS BUTTNER/AFP/Getty Images

16) Japanese macaque monkeys huddle together to protect themselves against the cold weather at Awajishima Monkey Center on Feb. 10 in Sumoto, Hyogo, Japan. Severe winter weather has hit Japan.  Photo: Buddhika Weerasinghe / Getty Images

17) Fishermen tie ropes around the carcass of a whale shark in a harbor in Karachi, Pakistan, on Feb. 7, 2012. The 40-foot whale shark was said to have been found dead in the Arabian Sea. Photo: Rehan Khan / EPA

18) A Great Horned Owl is photographed and videotaped by Lance Ketterer (holding his daughter Stella) and Katherine Sharlow before being released back into the wild Wednesday. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman

19) Conservation group, Rhino Rescue Project, demonstrating an anti-poaching method for reporters at the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, in the Cradle of Humankind outside Johannesburg accidentally killed the rhinoceros they were using in the demonstration on Feb. 9.  Photo: Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

20) U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists inspect flowers for any foreign pests or diseases at the UPS facility at Miami International Airport on Friday. As Valentine's Day approaches, the airport will see about 85 percent of all flowers imported into the United States. Most of the flowers come from South American growers. Lo and behold, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist uses a magnifying glass to look at a snail that he found and placed in a bottle to identify later while inspecting flowers for any foreign pests or diseases at the UPS facility at Miami International Airport. Photos: Joe Raedle / Getty Images. Maybe I'll just give chocolates this year.

21) Football fans pray at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church near the Super Bowl Village before Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and the New England Patriots, Feb. 5, in Indianapolis, Ind. Photo: Eric Gay/AP

22) Victor Cruz #80 of the New York Giants celebrates with his teammates after catching a two yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning #10 in the first quarter against the New England Patriots during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Joe Robbins/Getty Images

23) New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady reacts after passing to Danny Woodhead for a touchdown during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game against the New York Giants, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Paul Sancya.

24) Singer Madonna performs during the Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  Rob Carr/Getty Images. Here's a view from above.   Photo: Andy Lyons, Getty Images. And another.  Photo: Robb Carr, Getty Images.

25) New York Giants linebacker Chase Blackburn, left, intercepts a pass intended for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012, in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara

26) New York Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw (R) comes in to score the winning touchdown as New England Patriots outside linebacker Brandon Spikes (L) and offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer look on during the fourth quarter in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

27)  Osi Umenyiora #72, Steve Weatherford #5 David Carr #8 and Derrick Martin #22 and the New York Giants celebrate in front of Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after defeating the New England Patriots by a score of 21-17 during Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 5, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.   Jeff Gross/Getty Images

28) Dylan Snee, 8, son of New York Giants player Chris Snee and head coach Tom Coughlin's grandson plays in the confetti after the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLVI football game in Indianapolis, Indiana, February 5, 2012. Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

29) In this handout image provided by Disney Parks, Super Bowl XLVI MVP and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning throws a pass to a fan during a celebratory ride with Mickey Mouse on February 6, 2012 at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The celebration at the theme park took place only one day after Manning led his team to a 21-17 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis. Immediately following the game, Manning looked into TV cameras and shouted "I'm Going to Disney World!" He is the latest star in the famous Disney commercial series. (Photo by Gene Duncan/Disney Parks via Getty Images)

30) Streamers and confetti rain down on the New York Giants Super Bowl XLVI victory parade through the Canyon of Heroes along Broadway in New York February 7, 2012. The Giants defeated the New England Patriots in the NFL's Super Bowl XLVI football game. Photo: Gary Hershorn / Reuters

31) Moses Morgan  of the DePaul Blue Demons falls over Darius Johnson-Odom  of the Marquette Golden Eagles at Allstate Arena on February 6, 2012 in Rosemont, Illinois. Marquette beat DePaul, 89-76. Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

32) A Russian man climbs out from an ice hole after swimming in a lake on the outskirts of St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, Feb. 5, 2012. The temperature in St.Petersburg hit -23 Celsius (-9.4Fahrenheit). (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)

33) Visitors  view ice sculptures at Yanqing Ice Festival also for the Chinese Lantern Festival which falls on February 6 and traditionally marks the end of the Lunar New Year celebrations on February 6, 2012 in Beijing, China.The Lantern Festival also known as the Yuanxiao Festival or Shangyuan Festival in China. Photo:  Lintao Zhang / Getty Images

34) A devotee has his body pierced with hooks before taking part in the Thaipusam procession at Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple on February 7, 2012 in Singapore. Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai. Devotees pray and make vows, when the prayers are answered they fulfill the vows by piercing parts of their body such as their cheeks, tongues, and backs before carrying a 'Kavadi' along a four kilometre route. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

35) A three-story sculpture "tower of books" representing over 15,000 titles that have been written about Abraham Lincoln, are part of an exhibit at the Ford's Theatre Center for Education and Leadership in Washington on Wednesday. The new museum, located across from Ford's Theatre and next door to the house where Lincoln died, will open in time for President's Day. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

36) President Barack Obama reacts as 14-year-old Joey Hudy of Phoenix, Arizona, launches a marshmallow from Hudy's "Extreme Marshmallow Cannon" during a tour of the White House Science Fair in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 7, 2012. Obama announced new policies to recruit and support science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) teacher programs, including requesting $80 million in his upcoming budget for teacher preparation, with the goal of training one million additional STEM students over the next decade. (Getty Images/AFP/Saul Loeb)

37) Dustin Kruse, 4, of New Berlin loves everything about toilets. For Christmas, he asked for a Kohler dual-flush toilet, which the company gave to him. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo: Kristyna Wentz-Graff

38) Alex Morgan of the U.S. women's soccer team is one of three female athletes to pose in bodypaint for the upcoming Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. The issue won't be released until Tuesday, February 14, but's Hot Clicks revealed the first picture of Morgan in her bodypaint bikini. 

39) Singer Whitney Houston accepts the Winner of International - Favorite Artist Award onstage at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles, Calif. Houston was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel room. She was 48. Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images file



40) "The international jury of the 55th annual World Press Photo Contest announced Friday that it had selected a picture by Samuel Aranda as the World Press Photo of the Year 2011. Jurors said the photo of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen captured multiple facets of the 'Arab Spring' uprisings across the Middle Eastlast year. It was taken at a field hospital inside a mosque in Sanaa on October 15.The winning photo was selected from 101,254 images submitted by 5,247 photographers from 124 countries."

Johnny Mercer and WHO?


The annual freak show known as the Grammy Awards takes place tonight, second only to the Oscars for the biggest room of no-talents who believe they are a) extremely important and b) really, really good.

I’ll not watch but for an occasional check-in because, FOGEY ALERT, I am of the view that the overwhelming majority of contemporary music stinks. Just compare this year’s flock of nominees to entertainers of the 60’s and 70’s. The gap in actual talent is Grand Canyon-like.

From the “That would never happen today” vault comes, at the risk of sounding trite, a really nice Grammy story dating back to the early 60’s.  One of the central figures is a woman with the not-so-Hollywood type name of Sadie Vimmerstedt.

In 1957, the 58-year old grandmother from Youngstown, Ohio sent a letter to one of the greatest lyricists of all-time, Johnny Mercer who published over 700 songs during his illustrious career.

Vimmerstedt requested that Mercer write a song and she supplied the opening and only the opening lyric:

“I want to be around to pick up the pieces when somebody breaks your heart.”

This is akin to yours truly in 2012 jotting down a line on a napkin and jettisoning it off to Elton John encouraging him to finish the rest.

Because Vimmerstedt had no idea where Mercer lived, she addressed the envelope to: "Johnny Mercer, Songwriter, Los Angeles, California." Since this is such a cool story, of course her letter somehow got to Mercer’s mailbox.

Mercer did not immediately reject Vimmerstedt’s wish. In February of 1959, two years afer receiving Vimmstedt's letter, Mercer wrote back:

"Dear Sadie:

I'm sorry I've taken so long to reply to your note.   I've been very busy with many things, including completing the song, ("I Wanna Be Around") and getting the right singer to sing it.   I've finally gotten Tony Bennett to be the vocalist and he will sing it on the Steve Allen show."

The crooner recorded what turned out to be a monster hit. On the record label, Vimmerstedt enjoyed equal billing with Mercer as co-writer and Mercer also arranged that Vimmerstedt receive half the songwriting royalties amounting to tens of thousands of dollars.

When “I Wanna Be Around” was nominated for Record of the Year in 1964, Mercer, who had never met Vimmerstedt, had her flown out to California for the Grammy Awards ceremony. The only element missing from this terrific story is a happy ending. Henry Mancini took home the gramophone for “Days of Wine and Roses.”

I heard about this piece of musical history while driving to church last Sunday on WRIT that broadcasts old Casey Kasem Top 40 programs every Sunday morning.

On second thought, maybe the napkin idea isn’t all that bad.






Tony Bennett performs in Milwaukee on March 6.

How will Whitney Houston be remembered?

Of course it's sad to hear about the death of Whitney Houston. If she died, as many presume from drug use, who will be the first to condemn her lifestyle and choices as opposed to the obligatory sanitized tributes.

For some cartoonists, the honeymoon period normally associated with a celebrity obituary is long over with.


Culinary no-no #264

Culinary no-no's


This week, we address not one but two Culinary no-nos.

The holiday of amour is this Tuesday, VD…that’s AHEM Valentine’s Day. Many a beau will take his sweetie out to dinner or, because the romantic occasion falls on a Tuesday, the dinner reservation will have to wait until the following Friday or Saturday.

Dining out for VD? Nothing wrong with that. Just be prepared for trimmed down menus with inflated prices.

Eating at a fancy restaurant with the woman of your dreams is a nice touch. Want a nicer touch, guys? Stay home and cook dinner yourself.






their minds.

The problem is a mass of male homo sapiens deathly afraid, intimidated, horrified, wussified at the very thought of actually having to handle cookware let alone prepare any portion of a meal intended to knock her socks off.

Foolish, stupid, boring men.

Kevin Pang wrote last week in the Chicago Tribune:

This article isn’t for you, dear reader who willfully clicked on the food page.

If you know that gastrique is a sauce and not an antacid, no need to read on. Kindly pass this along to the men in your life whose preferred cooking apparatus remains the microwave, despite this being the 21st century.

Everyone else gone? Men scared of kitchens, come closer… SLAP!

What’s wrong with you? Are you so thick that you don’t see the benefits of cooking for women at home?

Let us count the ways:

More impressive to women. Much cheaper. More privacy. More romantic. You can choose the music and lighting. Distance from dining table to couch much shorter than restaurant to couch. You can control the portion sizes – nothing kills the mood like two stuffed people after dinner.

Again guys, women dig you in an apron hustlin’ and bustlin’ in the kitchen just for them.

Men’s health and Cosmopolitan surveyed women about male chefs. Two-thirds said if their guy prepares dinner, it’s music between the sheets later. Capiche?

What are you talkin’ about, Fischer? I can’t make Chicken Kiev or Beef Wellington. Do you really want me to make a complete fool of myself?

Of course not.

So I offer solid advice guaranteed to elicit oohs, ahhs, and mucho love.

We actually are going to sprinkle in some yes-yeses in this no-no.

Are you ready?

Here goes.

The entrée of love is surf and turf.

And you’re going to make it…outside.



Nope. You will prepare a can’t miss combo outdoors, in this case, on your charcoal grill. My tip is based on the fact that I have a Weber and what I’m about to share works 258% of the time.

Back in November of 2008 I wrote in Culinary no-no #86:

The rain is falling,

The winds are swirling.

And cold, mighty cold.

It's a perfect time for.....

I live in a quiet, humble subdivision in the quiet, humble city of Franklin, or as I like to call it, "God's country."

For all the booming growth this quiet, humble city has seen since I first moved in, it's still pretty...quiet and humble.

A rockin', happenin' place, it's not. And maybe that's ok. My guess is many people enjoy the solitude. Let me tell you, there are many times I think Max Sass is the mayor.

Take summertime. The sidewalks, as my late father used to say, get pulled up around 7:00, no later than 8:00.  Are people outside? Not if they don't have to be. Houses locked up tight. Lights off. Backyard patios? Oh, Franklinites got 'em. They don't use them, but they've got 'em.

Warm weather is grilling season. So when it's warm, that would be spring, summer and fall, I grill. A lot. It's that manly rite of passage. Fire, smoke, sizzling meat. Yet up and down my neighborhood, when I grill, all summer long, no one else is barbecuing. My neighbor across the street, maybe once or twice, but only if ten carloads are over.

Now the calendar says November and winter is in the air. Sunset is early, before 5:00. If my house catches on fire at 4:30, no one, I mean not a doggone soul will know. Drag the Weber out for a nice grilled steak? Are you crazy???

I grill all year round. It's why God invented the garage and spacious driveways. He did it for grills. This is so dumb. A guy will grill outside Lambeau Field with the snow coming down, but won't grill at home with all the comforts of home.

Franklin, and anyone else petrified of grilling after Labor Day, may I suggest you be adventurous. Be a rebel. Toss on the charcoal. Light away. Brats soaked in beer. Burgers. Steaks. Chicken. You name it. In November, December, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, January, February. All year grilling!

Afraid of the cold? Get a stopwatch. I use it to time the cooking while I'm in the house yelling at whatever football game is on television.

Did you hear that, Ethel? That Fischer guy has lost his briquettes this time.

He's telling us to pull out the barbecue..........when it's less than 80 degrees.............after 5:00.

Why, the next thing you know, he'll be pushing for one of those nasty Target stores.

You know how good a lobster tail tastes on the grill for shut-ins on December 31st?

Don't be wimps. Grill out. Today. Tomorrow. Next month. All year.

Not grilling because its' not summer is a culinary no-no.

Have you seen the forecast for Tuesday, Fischer?

Yes I have.

Buck up, Romeo.

Put a coat on. Hat and gloves if necessary.

Now follow along carefully to ensure a perfectly positive passionate response from your dinner mate.

You will need filet mignons. My choice is the nearby Sendik’s.

Have the butcher wrap them with a slice of bacon. At my Sendik’s that means Nueske’s.

Also pick up in the frozen section some lobster tails.

You may also want to grill some veggies. My guess is once your main squeeze realizes what you’re doing, she’ll agree to make some sides in the house.

Try to marinate the filets for at least 30 minutes in some Worcestershire sauce.

On to the grill.

You’re going to move the coals to each side leaving the middle of the grill without coals.

Once the coals are hot, take the filets and put one on each side of the grill directly above the coals.

If you have a stop watch, use it. I do whenever I grill, even if it’s simply hamburgers. You’d be amazed at how wonderful your food turns out.

Cover the grill and leave it alone. Don’t hover above lifting the lid every 30 seconds. This defeats the entire purpose.

After 5 minutes take the thawed out lobsters and place them in the center of the grill, shells down. The steaks will be over the coals, the lobsters will not. They will be grilled indirectly. Feel free to smother the lobster meat with butter when you first put them on the grill and about ten minutes later.

About 12 and a half minutes after you put the steaks on, turn them over. Twelve and a half minutes later you will remove the steaks and the lobsters at the same time.

Total cooking time for filets: 25 minutes will give you a nice medium, close to medium rare depending on your heat.

Total cooking time for lobsters (1 pound each): 20 minutes.

Remember, after you take these items off the grill, they will still cook for a bit.

Champagne or sparking wine is the perfect accompaniment.

Dessert: Anything chocolate. Buy a nice box, or how about some individual slices of Godiva cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory. My Sendik’s has plenty of individualized desserts. Just get there early while selection is still good.

Background music: I recommend anything by The Love Unlimited Orchestra or, don't laugh, John Tesh.

We have blown two Culinary no-nos out of the water: men cooking for their women, and grilling in the winter.

Good luck, guys.

Do it right, and you and your sweetie might both thank me later.

RELATED READING: Dudes do food


Michelle Obama is now telling our military what they should eat.


Recommended Reading: The Westminster Dog Show Edition

Wisconsin dogs going to Westminster

"Top purebred dogs from Wisconsin will be among those to watch among the 2,077 entrants in the 136th Westminster Kennel Club Show at Madison Square Garden, airing live Monday and Tuesday."

Viewing tips

“If you've never watched a dog show, here are a few tips to help you enjoy the event over the next few days.”

Martha Stewart's dog is a champ

Stewart’s chow chow, Ghenghis Khan, won best in breed at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.  He will now compete with the non-sporting group Monday and if he wins that, best in show on Tuesday evening.”

Backstage: Brushes and Nerves

By 8 a.m., backstage at Madison Square Garden was a maze of hair-straightening irons, leashes, coffee cups, mousse, dog bones, and canines in booties and overcoats.”


The latest pro-life news (02/13/12)

From Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

Monday February 13, 2012
Obama Scam Paves Way for Abortion Mandate
Wisconsin Right to Life Launches Groundbreaking Mobile Website
Georgia Supreme Court Strikes State’s Assisted Suicide Law
Register Online Now for Laura Ingraham!
2012 State Conference - Saturday April 28
Important Right To Life Links
Obama Scam Paves Way for Abortion Mandate

Tommy Thompson: Listen To Our New Radio Advertisement

Dear Friends,

Read more

Kick-Off Anniversary Protest Shows Outrage Declining, Labor Desperate

Media Trackers

Media Trackers is a conservative non-profit, non-partisan investigative watchdog dedicated to promoting accountability in the media and government across Wisconsin through cutting edge research and communications initiatives.

MILWAUKEE – The Wisconsin State Journal on Monday reported that a commemorative protest to mark the one-year anniversary of the start of the Madison demonstrations over Gov. Scott Walker’s collective bargaining reforms drew only 500 people. According to the story, Ileen DeVault, a Cornell University professor, believes that the protests “reinvigorated the labor movement” in addition to reshaping Wisconsin politics.

Media Trackers Communications Director Brian Sikma responded to that comment, and the planned week of protests saying, “A mere 500 people showing up a year after thousands of people marched in opposition to common sense reforms is not exactly the sign of a reinvigorated movement. If anything, the fact that they couldn’t muster more than 500 people to attend this event indicates that a large number of Wisconsin citizens believe the difficult reforms were necessary and are now benefiting the state.”

Collin Roth, a researcher for Media Trackers, noted in a report on the organization’s website that union membership in Wisconsin and the nation is down and has been declining for several years. Roth said that labor unions appear “to be a movement in its last desperate death throes with the most radical core fighting for their lives to preserve gold-plated pensions and expensive entitlements that are bankrupting governments across the country.”

In the year since common-sense collective bargaining reforms were enacted Wisconsin has:

Read more

There's something happening in Franklin

I did not attend the one and only Franklin School Board candidate’s forum tonight (Monday) at the Root River Lanes. It’s my only night of the week with no commitments so I decided to spend the night at home with my family. I offer no apologies.

Listening to Judith Bialk and David Works and Donald Petre…or quality time with my beautiful wife and daughter? Not even close.

So I don’t know on this wet, frosty evening how many voters attended, which candidates were there, what was asked, what was answered, etc.

But I do know this. I sense a development in Franklin I haven’t seen since I started blogging in 2007. For the first time in many years, I actually sense a genuine interest in the local school board election as opposed to the laissez faire, apathetic, I don’t give a damn attitude that has dominated our city.

People are reading up on the elections. They are familiarizing themselves with the candidates. They are grasping the issues. They are developing a sense of what’s really happing when it comes to our public school system. They are not sitting back. They are not turning the other cheek. They are asking questions and are not happy to accept the status quo.

I’m not sure what might have caused this shift, and I’m not all that sure how dramatic the shift is. Election numbers in April, not February will tell the story. In February, turnout is low. The Franklin Public School intelligentsia will get their people and their people’s spouses out. The question is, will the political climate in Wisconsin that has more and more people politically energized than ever before translate into more voters upset with public employee unions and local units of government (including school boards) gouging taxpayers turning up at the polls in February and again in April.

While those who want to return Wisconsin to the double digit tax increase budgets and budget deficits suffered under Jim Doyle went around and collected recall signatures for 60 days, the silent majority sat, and waited, and waited, and waited for an opportunity to get into the game. That time has arrived now that the recall signature collection nonsense has ended. By the thousands, they’re verifying signatures. They’re making phone calls. They’re knocking on doors. They’re distributing yard signs.

Property taxes are down. School class sizes haven’t changed. Public employee layoffs haven’t happened in municipalities that took Governor Walker up on his more than reasonable and fair budget fixes.

For the first time in a long time, it appears Franklin voters are angry enough to lift their heads out of the sand. It’s a long road ahead, but at this point, the drive looks more encouraging than ever before.

Lots of people want to see, so let's just get to it

Kevin Fischer, This Just In,, May 18, 2011

In this cover image released by Time Inc. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, model Kate Upton graces the cover of the "Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue." The double issue is now on sale at newsstands, tablet, mobile and on

In this cover image released by Time Inc. on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, model Kate Upton graces the cover of the "Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue." The double issue is now on sale at newsstands, tablet, mobile and on

Upton was raised in the Sunshine State: "In Florida, people walk around in their flip-flops, bikinis and jean shorts, so I'm very comfortable in a bathing suit."

Here's another photo of Upton from inside the magazine.

In this image released by Sports Illustrated on Monday, Feb. 13, 2012, model Kate Upton  is shown in a photo from the "Sports Illustrated 2012 Swimsuit Issue." Upton also graces the cover of the double issue now on sale at newsstands, tablet, mobile and at

Already, there's the usual controversy that the issue is indecent and immoral.

But how about this?

As for me, I just read SI's articles.

Is your sweetheart worth 1.8 million Vietnam dong?


Read more

Happy SAINT Valentine's Day 2012 and ladies, remember...

No matter what you get today, it could always be worse.

“Music is God's gift to man, the only art of Heaven given to earth, the only art of earth we take to Heaven.”

Walter Savage Landor

For the ladies...

One in Eight Voter Registrations Inaccurate

That's according to this study.

Remember, there is no voter fraud.

On this Valentine's Day, an inspirational love story

Read more

The Golden Toilet



OK, a few more Valentines...

Courtesy of the RNC and Wisconsin's own Reince Priebus...


Will Tim say "yes?"


Popping the question: Jamie Walden,  a 20-year-old active-duty member of the Air Force.

UPDATE: Rape/incest victims who refuse abortions

Topics talked about on WISN

Previously on This Just In…

The update:  Ken Connor takes on the issue that I still wrestle with in his latest column:

When it comes to the hot-button issue of abortion, there are some questions that make even the staunchest pro-lifer uncomfortable: What do you say to the woman who finds herself pregnant due to rape? What do you do with the adolescent girl who is impregnated by her father, brother, or uncle? What if it was your wife, or your daughter that was the victim? Would you expect her to bear a child conceived in violence and fear?

"Presidential candidate Rick Santorum recently made waves when he stated that his respect for the sanctity of human life precludes an exception for instances of rape or incest on the question of abortion.

"Given the highly traumatic nature of these crimes, it is hardly surprising that many Americans, pro-lifers included, disagree with Mr. Santorum, viewing such an exception as a necessary and compassionate concession in the abortion debate."

EXCLUSIVE: Media Trackers Catches WEAC President Mary Bell Lying to Press, Public

From Media Trackers

Bravo, Jerome Listecki!

“Scott Walker did what he thought was right. He was a leader who stood up and was willing to ‘take the heat.’ Only time will tell about the course of action. In his mind, he saw that as the right action. As a leader, I respect him for doing it.”

Donald Petre-itis spreads in Franklin

We’ve documented on This Just In that union member and union-backed Franklin 
School Board candidate Donald Petre initially put up yard signs, none of which contained the required legal disclaimer. That would be the simple language informing who paid for the sign.

Rules? What rules? I don’t have to follow da rules. I’m in da union.

Only after he was exposed did Petre begin to post the disclaimers, and then on only some of the signs not all. Petre commented on the blogs that it was not true that the disclaimers were missing, that they were posted on his signs. But that was done only after he was caught in violation.

The disclaimers Petre does have up are so miniscule Mr. Magoo couldn’t find them if you gave him a month to do so.

Gee, the guy who’s incapable of following a basic campaign law and then lies about it would make a great representative of Franklin, wouldn’t he?

Turns out Petre isn’t the only Franklin candidate suffering from this affliction.

On Wednesday I came home to find a poorly produced homemade flyer in my mailbox from Franklin School Board member Judith Bialk. The bizarre content is laughable, but we may touch on that in a future segment.

Bialk’s flyer that I understand has been distributed for a couple of weeks now, a la the unionista Petre's signs is missing the appropriate disclaimer. Bialk is an incumbent. This is the second election cycle she’s been a participant. The woman, if she had a clue, or if she really cared, should know better. That goes for her fellow school board members who typically coach her and hold her hand. How did they blow something so simple?

On the surface and taken by themselves, the missing disclaimers are not a tempest in a teapot. However, they demonstrate a lack of caring and attention to detail, not to mention a defiant ignorance of basic law. Makes you wonder what other shenanigans Petre and Bialk could pull, especially with an all but certain building referendum coming down the road.

If these two can’t do something that's so innocuous right, they have no business on our school board.

The latest from Rehorst


The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
In This Issue
Custom Mini Bottles
Holiday Hours

Read more

Michael Reagan Endorsement for Tommy

Dear friends,

Read more

When you can't even give them away...

If you recall during the years, yes years (plural) long debate about photo ID in Wisconsin, the always whiny, crying, moaning, groaning 20% (80%, including many Democrats favored photo ID) complained loudly that too many folks couldn’t get to a place that had the IDs and even if they could, they couldn’t afford it.



Never mind that in today’s day and age you can’t live or survive without photo ID that is required for:

Obtaining food stamps

Buying alcohol

Adopting a pet

Purchase a gun

Writing  a check at the grocery store

Making a credit card purchase at Best Buy

Applying for a loan to purchase anything

Starting a new bank account

Getting married

Getting a marriage license


Closing on a house

Getting medical care

Picking up a mailbox key from the US Post Office

Getting on a plane

Getting insurance

Renting an apartment

Renting a video

Applying for a job

Getting a hotel room

Renting a car

Offering free IDs was the final blow in the arguments of foolish photo ID opponents. Surely, now all these civic-minded folks who were being disenfranchised of their right to vote would rush to get their free IDs so they could continue to vote for liberal Democrats.

Guess what?

Further proof Planned Parenthood is despicable

The American Life League has posted a video outlining the materials being used by Planned Parenthood for kids as young as 10 demonstrating how vile and evil they are. For days I’ve been aware of the video. For days I’ve grappled with how to present it on my blog.

Hot Air examines the issue in-depth and includes the video.

Caution: it contains graphic material and rightfully so to inform how utterly despicable this organization is and why Susan Komen should have never caved.

The voting dead?

UPDATE: Photos of the Week (02/12/12)

Photos of the Week

Previously on This Just In…


"The international jury of the 55th annual World Press Photo Contest announced Friday that it had selected a picture by Samuel Aranda as the World Press Photo of the Year 2011. Jurors said the photo of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen captured multiple facets of the 'Arab Spring' uprisings across the Middle Eastlast year. It was taken at a field hospital inside a mosque in Sanaa on October 15.The winning photo was selected from 101,254 images submitted by 5,247 photographers from 124 countries."

Here are more contest winners:

1st Prize Contemporary Issues Stories: Tahani, who married her husband Majed when she was 6 years old and he was 25 years old, poses for a portrait with her former classmate Ghada, also a child bride outside their mountain home in Hajjah, Yemen, June 10, 2010. Nearly half of all women in Yemen were married as children. (Stephanie Sinclair/VII Photo Agency/National Geographic Magazine

1st Prize Daily Life Stories: Marco leads Monica from their bedroom to the living room in Buenos Aires. Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. (Alejandro Kirchuk). Another of Kirchuk's photos:  Monica lies in bed, while Marcos talks on the phone. Marcos, 89, and Monica, 87, have been married and living in their apartment in Buenos Aires, Argentina, for 65 years. In 2007, Monica was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Since that moment, her husband devoted all his time to take care of her. The disease is considered a future epidemic because it mainly affects older people, and as life expectancy is annually increasing in global population, the disease is becoming increasingly common.

1st Prize People in the News Stories: Chieko Matsukawa shows her daughter's graduation certificate, after she found it in the debris in Higashimatsushima City, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, April 3, 2011. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP)

1st Prize Nature Singles: A male polar bear climbs precariously on the face of a cliff above the ocean at Ostrova Oranskie in northern Novaya Zemlya, attempting to feed on seabird eggs. (Jenny E. Ross)

2nd Prize Sports Singles: A rugby match between Old Belvedere and Blackrock, Dublin, Ireland, Feb. 5, 2011. (Ray McManus/Sportsfile)

Spot News, Honorable Mention singles, Salil Bera: A male leopard preapres to pounce on a forest guard. The animal, out of the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary at Limbu village near Siliguri, India, was eventually subdued with tranquilizer darts, but died due to injuries sustained in the rescue operation. The leopard is one of 260 to die in 2011 in India as a result of human encroachment on jungle habitat.

Contemporary Issues, 1st prize singles, Photographer: Brent Stirton: Maria, a drug addict and sex worker, in between clients in a room she rents in Kryvyi Rig, Ukraine. Maria injects drugs on a daily basis and sees many men every week but claims she remains HIV negative. She says she needs the money to support herself, her drug habit and her nine-year-old daughter.

You can see all of the winners here.

Goodnight everyone, and have a weekend with words, oh, so sweet that knock you off your feet!


Old days
Good times I remember
Fun days
Filled with simple pleasures
Drive-in movies
Comic books and blue jeans
Howdy Doody
Baseball cards and birthdays
Take me back
To a world gone away
Seem like yesterday
The rock group, Chicago

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, a new voice helps us remember the standards.

During 1960’s TOP 40 AM radio, an oldie was considered a record that was no longer on the charts. If it was a year old, it was in that golden category.

Milwaukee powerhouses WOKY and WRIT would have never thought of playing Glenn Miller on the air in 1965. Late 50’s, early rock and roll? Yes. Go back further? No.

However, the music of the 20’s (yes, 20’s), 30’s, and 40’s, contemporized with a 70’s sound helped expose a whole new audience, lovers of disco, to real oldies but goodies.

Who’d have thought that remakes of “Baby Face,”  Brazil,” or even Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony would send teens rushing to the record stores by the millions.

And it wasn’t just disco. Bette Midler capitalized on the “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company B.”

In the 90’s, Natalie Cole softened her style to emulate her legendary father. “Unforgettable” was just one of many real oldies she covered including “As Time Goes By.”

Cole opened the floodgates. Suddenly, it was cool to be not so cool, cool to be like your father or even your grandfather. Now everybody is doing the standards, like Rod Stewart who reinvented himself to the point that my 80-year plus mom fell in love with them over his rendition of the 1933 song, “Moonglow.”

So who’s next from the 21st Century to take a long, long, long walk down memory lane?

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Honoree Sir Paul McCartney performs onstage at the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute to Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California.

Sir Paul McCartney, seen here performing onstage at the 2012 MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute to Paul McCartney held at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 10, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Photo: Getty Images

The cute Beatle, who is now 69 years old, has just released his latest album, and it’s not a rocker. “Kisses on the Bottom” (think about where that comes from along with the title of this blog) is Paul McCartney’s foray into America’s musical time machine.

The album is filled with ancient classics, but there is the contemporary composition based on classics from decades gone by.

It’s not surprising that Sir Paul would have affection for soft oldies or a smooth tune.  In the very early stages of his career, he loved the tender ballad. Today, this one’s almost 50 years old.


Hey, didn't I just hear them on the radio singing, "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and now they're doing Broadway?


Think Paul had something to do with this one?

Let's all get up and dance to a song
That was a hit before your mother was born.
Though she was born a long, long time ago
Your mother should know ...




Back to the new album.


That’s it for this week’s segment.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

The Wall Street Journal writes:

Mr. McCartney taped the album at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles, and has said repeatedly that he felt intimidated at the idea of working where Cole once played and sang. There are more songs from the Cole songbook than any other (and none associated with Sinatra), and all the principal players on the album, including pianist-arranger Diana Krall and guitar soloist John Pizzarelli (as well as Mr. Loston Harris) are overt Cole disciples.”

We close with a bonus track from the deluxe edition of the album that does have a Sinatra association.

The very thought of you makes
My heart sing
Like an April breeze
On the wings of spring
And you appear in all your splendour
My one and only love

The shadows fall
And spread their mystic charms
In the hush of night
While you're in my arms
I feel your lips so warm and tender
My one and only love

“My One and Only Love” dates back to 1953, written by Guy Wood and Robert Mellin. Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald recorded the tune. It's actually the flip side of Sinatra's "I've Got the World on a String." Sting does a version on the “Leaving Las Vegas”soundtrack.

Read more

The best political cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok


Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


The Barking Lot (02/18/12)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it
s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 36.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 36. "C"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

What’s that saying about great minds thinking alike?  I’d have to say in this instance, it’s GRRRReat minds thinking alike.

Read more

GAB PROTEST: Dane County judge rejects Walker request

Week-ends (02/18/12)



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...


Timothy Dolan

Savannah Aulger

Frankie Ford Jr.

Juan Dominguez

Justin Bieber

Anastacio Diaz DeLeon

Kelvin White

John Glenn


The TSA (Now what have they done?)

Madison couple

Ohio couple

Our voter registration system


“You have a recall when you have corruption, you have clearly something that's done that's illegal. If there was something which was morally detrimental to society, I think you do that. Otherwise you have an election, you live with an election for four years, and you vote the person out of office.”
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki

“The rate of unemployment in the United States has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, making the past three years the longest stretch of high unemployment in this country since the Great Depression. Moreover, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the unemployment rate will remain above 8 percent until 2014. The official unemployment rate excludes those individuals who would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part-time but would prefer full-time work; if those people were counted among the unemployed, the unemployment rate in January 2012 would have been about 15 percent. Compounding the problem of high unemployment, the share of unemployed people looking for work for more than six months—referred to as the long-term unemployed—topped 40 percent in December 2009 for the first time since 1948, when such data began to be collected; it has remained above that level ever since.”
Congressional Budget Office

“If liberals like it, it’s subsidized; if they don’t, it’s prohibited.”
Ann Coulter

“When I told my dad I wanted an allowance, he asked me, ‘How much are you going to pay me for food & the roof I put over your head?’”
Bobby Jindal

“If you tried to hold a series of potluck dinners where a majority brought nothing to the table, but felt entitled to eat their fill, it would probably work out badly. Yet that’s essentially what we’re doing. In today’s America, government benefits flow to large numbers of people who are encouraged to vote for politicians who’ll keep them coming. The benefits are paid for by other people who, being less numerous, can’t muster enough votes to put this to a stop. Over time, this causes the economy to do worse, pushing more people into the moocher class and further strengthening the politicians whose position depends on robbing Peter to pay Paul. Because, as they say, if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote.”
Glenn Reynolds

“This contraception thing, my gosh, it’s [so] inexpensive. You know, back in my days, they’d use Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”
Conservative financier Foster Friess, a backer of Rick Santorum

“Last week my joke at the Conservative Political Action Conference generated laughter and media attention. Today on Andrea Mitchell’s show, my aspirin joke bombed as many didn’t recognize it as a joke but thought it was my prescription for today’s birth control practices. In fact, the only positive comments I got were from folks who remembered it from 50 years back. Birth control pills weren’t yet available, so everyone laughed at the silliness on how an aspirin could become a birth control pill.

After listening to the segment tonight, I can understand how I confused people with the way I worded the joke and their taking offense is very understandable. To all those who took my joke as modern day approach I deeply apologize and seek your forgiveness. My wife constantly tells me I need new material—she understood the joke but didn’t like it anyway—so I will keep that old one in the past where it belongs.”
Foster Friess

“I have a question for President Obama: Do you hate all rich people or just the ones that aren’t campaign contributors?”
Rand Paul

"I never thought she had the potential to be a great singer...I missed that one."
Henry Hamilton, principal of Whitney Houston's elementary school, remembering the pop star who died Feb. 11.

“This looks like a bad-faith attempt to profit from Jeremy Lin's recent acclaim.
Milord Keshishian,
an attorney with Milord & Associates, a patent, trademark and copyright firm in Los Angeles, commenting on an attempt by Yenchin Chang, an Alhambra, Calif., resident, to patent the word Linsanity.


Here come the  lunch police.


About those  gas prices...


Whitney Houston is dead.


Valentine's Day in Portland

That's it for Week-ends. Thanks for stopping by.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

Read more

Second thoughts about Donald Schwartz


Read more

A Franklin resident's school board analysis is almost, almost dead on

A concerned Franklin citizen identified as Wisconsin Oathkeeper sent me the following. My comment follows:

*Please plan to go to the polls on Tuesday, Feb. 21st and Vote for… Aimee Schlueter and Janet Evans only.*


Read more

February 2012 E- News from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm

Dear Residents,


Read more

February 2012 E-news from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm

Dear Residents,


Read more

Recommended Reading (02/19/12)

Recommended Reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Great Scott

“Throughout the 2012 election cycle Republicans have pined for a bold, conservative reformer—a leader courageous enough to make difficult choices and articulate enough to explain them to a skeptical public. The good news is they have such a candidate. The less good news: Scott Walker isn’t running for president. He’s running to hang on to his job as governor of Wisconsin.

Walker is the target of a recall effort funded by national labor unions. Why? Reforms he made to balance the budget have dramatically diminished the influence of public employee unions. If not reversed, these reforms will inspire similar efforts across the country, and the outsized power of public sector unions will finally be reined in.

The election in Wisconsin—which will happen in late spring or summer—could have a profound impact on the 2012 presidential race, with the winning side emerging from the battle organized and energized in one of the most important swing states this November.”

Top 10 reasons to vote for anyone but Obama

“While Republicans are locked in a brutal battle over their presidential nomination, let us not forget that anybody the GOP picks will be far superior than the current resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Not convinced? Here’s the evidence:”

Who for No. 2—Contest for Veep begins

“The Republican vice presidential choice will be critical this year especially if former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney takes the top spot. He has not been able to excite the conservative base, and he has made several verbal gaffes on the campaign trail. The vice presidential choice could even determine the fate of the GOP nominee, as the contender faces a president who is a master campaigner, buttressed by a multi-billion-dollar machine that will churn out his message and attempt to eviscerate Romney.

HUMAN EVENTS editors looked at the top-tier Veep candidates who could appeal to the Hispanic and evangelical vote, as well as pump some excitement into the campaign. Other Veep candidates might well be able to deliver Reagan Democrats in important Midwest and industrial states. And, as in any race, there are a few dark horse candidates who may turn out to be the ‘mudders’ of the race who perform well in stormy and uncertain circumstances.”

Whitney Houston critics called her 'too white'

"Whitney Houston died at the age of 48. Most articles about her death said something like, ‘Houston struggled with drug and alcohol problems for years …’ But Houston also struggled with something else that black Republicans and black non-Democrats can understand: ridicule and ostracism for ‘selling out,’ or ‘acting white,’ or not being ‘black enough’.”

Whitney Houston was correct: Crack was wack

"For the life of me, I don’t get why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to award this unheroic, pathetic and scary tale with flags flown at half-staff. Are we going to honor the life of every other singer who dies a drug addict with that which I believe is supposed to be reserved for presidents, vice presidents, chief justices, speakers of the House of Representatives, governors, members of Congress, leading citizens such as Martin Luther King, Jr., or people who have died while serving the United States?"

"Obama to poor kids in rotten schools: Drop dead."

“But somehow, in all these trillions of dollars, not a penny could be found for the D.C. voucher program, a stunning success that has produced a 91 percent graduation rate, at a cost of about $8000 per student – less than half of the $18,000 per student spent by the District’s terrible public schools. 

And Barack Obama wants to zero it out completely, even as he demands 300 times as much money to play with high-speed trains, and over five times as much to subsidize the purchase of an electric car nobody wants.”

Solyndras in the Classroom: How We Vastly Overrate Education

"Barack Obama hardly ever gives a speech without mentioning the need to 'invest more in education'. Many so-called 'Conservatives' voice agreement with this notion. The unstated assumption on both sides of the aisle is that 'investment in education' produces an attractive return. But is this true?

No, it’s not. The numbers strongly suggest that, at least in economic terms, America has gotten nothing for the enormous increase in educational 'investment' that we have made over the past 60 years."

Internet on, inhibitions off:  Why we tell all

“It is now well known that people are generally accurate and (sometimes embarrassingly) honest about their personalities when profiling themselves on social-networking sites. Patients are willing to be more open about psychiatric symptoms to an automated online doctor than a real one. Pollsters find that people give more honest answers to an online survey than to one conducted by phone.

But online honesty cuts both ways. Bloggers find that readers who comment on their posts are often harshly frank but that these same rude critics become polite if contacted directly.

Why is this?”

Dutifully, she made way for U.S. hero, trailblazer

"The day I gave John Glenn 'wings' to fly, I couldn’t have felt prouder.

The upcoming 50th anniversary of his Earth orbit sparked my memory of the 2008 exchange.

I had just arrived at Philadelphia International Airport from Toronto after seeing a cousin’s son star in Jersey Boys.

I was already skyrocketing, full of pride and happiness — and then I had the good fortune of running into the man with the 'Right Stuff'.”

My Most Popular Blogs (02/19/12)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the ten most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.

1) Donald Petre-itis spreads in Franklin

2) Photos of the Week (02/12/12)

3) Culinary no-no #264

4) OK, a few more Valentines

5) EXCLUSIVE: Media Trackers Catches WEAC President Mary Bell Lying to Press, Public

6) The voting dead?

7) Second thoughts about Donald Schwartz

8) Recommended Reading (02/12/12)

9) Lots of people want to see so let's just get to it

10) The Barking Lot (02/18/12)

Photos of the Week (02/19/12)

Photos of the Week

1) Newly appointed cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, center, archbishop of New York, receives congratulations from other cardinals at the Saint Peter's Basilica on Feb. 18, in Vatican City, Vatican. The 84-year-old Pontiff installed 22 new cardinals during the ceremony, who will be responsible for choosing his successor. Photo: Franco Origlia / Getty Images

2) A Serbian police helicopter delivers food to sailors stuck on stranded boats on the Danube river near Smederevo, Serbia, on Monday, Feb. 13. Photo: Vladimir Gogic / AP

3) A snowed-in car is seen in the woods north of Umea in northern Sweden, Feb. 18. A middle-aged Swedish man was found alive in the car on Friday after sitting in it for the past two months, with only ice and snow to keep him alive, according to local police. Photo: Scanpix Sweden / Reuters

4) A US Marine drinks cobra blood offered by a Thai navy instructor during a jungle survival program at a navy base in Sattahip, Thailand, on Feb. 13, 2012.  The training, which also featured edible bugs and at least one beheaded chicken, is part of a joint military exercise involving 13,180 personnel from more than 20 nations. Photos: Pornchai Kittiwongsakul / AFP - Getty Images and Narong Sangnak / EPA

5) A dog named "Lucky" runs through the snow on the frozen lake Helenesee near Frankfurt (Oder), eastern Germany, on February 12, 2012. Temperatures remain cold in Germany as the death toll from Europe's big freeze rose past 550. Photo: PATRICK PLEUL/AFP/Getty Images

6) Great undwater shots. A Yellow Labrador retriever pursues a ball under the water.  Fetch!  A black Labrador retriever says hello underwater. Photos: Seth Casteel/

7) Sturgeons lie on blue plastic tarps covering the pool table and surrounding floors at Woodeye's Bar in Winneconne, Wisconsin on Saturday. Opening day of sturgeon fishing in Wisconsin is a day of celebration and socialization within the communities around Lake Winnebago. Woodeye's Bar in Winneconne, on the north end of the Lake Winnebago, rolls out the "red carpet" for the catches of the day. Dan Loftus, a chiropractor from Germantown, Wisconsin, sits patiently in his ice-fishing shack on Lake Winnebago. Photos: Sara Stathas / Reuters

8) A man surfs on the wave on the small man-made river Eisbach with snow and temperatures around freezing in the English Gardens in MunichGermany on Thursday. The standing wave in the Eisbach is a favorite spot for daring water sports enthusiasts the whole year round. Photo: Peter Kneffel / EPA

9) Every mid-February, the setting sun backlights Horsetail Fall in Yosemite National Park. Photo: Bethany Gediman

10) 2 year-old Isabella De Sisti catches snowflakes with her tongue outside her home in Bayside on Friday as brief, but at times heavy, snow showers fell around the area. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti.

11) Members of the audience applaud as singer Whitney Houston, who died Saturday, is shown on a video screen in a 1994 Grammy performance during the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 12.  Photo: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

12) Yamda Johnson, kisses a signed photo of Whitney Houston as she and her friend Regina Kujemya both from Staten Island, N.Y., pay their respects at New Hope Baptist Church, in Newark, N.J., Wednesday, Feb. 15. The 48-year-old pop star was found dead in the bathtub in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Saturday, hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy gala. Houston's funeral was held at the church on Saturday. Photo: Rich Schultz / AP

13) Bobby Brown, right, is denied entrance to the funeral service of ex-wife pop singer Whitney Houston at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, N.J., Feb. 18. Photo: Carlo Allegri / Reuters

14) Singer Adele holds her six Grammy Awards at the 54th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, Calif., Feb. 12. Soul singer Adele triumphed in her return to music's stage on Sunday, scooping up six Grammys and winning every category in which she was nominated. Photo: Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

15) Guillermo Rodriguez and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover model Kate Upton arrive at Club SI Swimsuit hosted by the Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace at the Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace on February 16, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

16) Course officials show Phil Michelson where his shot from the eighth fairway landed - between a plant and a stairway at a hospitality suite, lower left - during the third round of the Northern Trust Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

17) The Duchess of Cambridge talks with 8-year-old Jaqson Johnston-Lynch after she visited The Brink in Liverpool, England, Feb. 14. The Duchess was visiting as Patron of Action on Addiction. The Brink is an alcohol-free bar in Liverpool, linked to Action on Addiction's SHARP recovery service in the city. The bar is a social enterprise run primarily to help people recovering from drink and drug addiction. Photo: Tim Hales / AP

18) The traditional Columbine descends from Saint Mark's tower bell on an iron cable during the Venetian Carnival in Venice, Italy, Feb. 12. Photo: Manuel Silvestri / Reuters

19) A mock-up of an electric chair is displayed during a media preview tour of The Mob Museum on Monday. The display refers to the 1944 execution of mob boss Louis "Lepke" Bucharest. The museum, in a renovated former federal courthouse and post office, had its grand opening February 14. Photo: Steve Marcus / Reuters

20) A newly-wed couple, Thai-Swedish groom William Timhede, left, holds the hand of his bride Napatsawan Timhede, second from left, as they run away from a mock-pirate during their adventure wedding challenge in Prachinburi province, Thailand, on Monday, Feb. 13. Photo: Natita Phodee / EPA

21) A model has dye rinsed out of his hair over a garbage bin backstage before the Custo Barcelona show Fall/Winter 2012 collection show during New York Fashion Week, Feb. 12, 2012. Photo: Carlo Allegri / Reuters

22) Laksana Tiranara, left, takes an energy drink while kissing her husband Akechai Tiranarat during the World's Longest Continuous Kiss Competition in Pattaya, southeastern Thailand, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012. Photo: Sakchai Lalit / AP

23) Blogger Dana Loesch seen at the annual CPAC, Conservative Political Action Conference. Photo: Right Wing News

24) A woman flashes the V-sign in the middle of men and women gathering during a 'singles fair' as they look for potential partners at Living Mall on Feb. 11 in Beijing, China. Preparations for Valentine's Day begin around China after the Spring Festival. (ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images)

25) Bowling Green State University ROTC Air Force Cadet David Harless held hands with Hazel Ellis on Feb. 14 at Heritage Corner Health campus in Bowling Green, Oh. Harless and other cadets spent their lunch hour passing out roses and valentine cookies to residents. (J.D. Pooley/Sentinel Tribune/ Associated Press)

26) An African penguin named Howard carries a valentine heart written by a visitor at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco on Feb. 13. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

27) Couples participate in a kissing contest in Hefei, China, Feb. 18. A total of 63 couples took part in the contest in which men must carry their partners while kissing and try to last as long as possible. The winner will be rewarded a 1-carat diamond ring. Photo: Jianan Yu / Reuters

28) John Spasaro of Sing A Song Telegram is dressed as a pink gorilla as he surprises Ryan Manis, assistant branch manager with Landmark Credit Union in West Allis, with a Valentine’s Day singing telegram Tuesday. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

29) Isabella Ferone, 5, left, and Kyo Burgos, 5, dance Tuesday,  Feb. 14, 2012 at the annual Cinderella Ball. Photo: Mike Hensdill / The Gaston Gazette via AP


30) This week winners were announced in the University of Missouri's prestigious Pictures of the Year International.  Here's the General News, Award of Excellence winner: "I had to be here and look and feel if there was anything here," says Gil Harrington, left, supported by her husband Dan Harrington while visiting the site where their daughter Morgan Harrington's remains were discovered. She went missing after a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Va. in 2009. Photo: Sam Dean / The Roanoke Times

Everybody's talking about it

The mild winter that is.

That would include the organist at my church, the incredibly beautiful 
St. Anthony’s.

Lee Erickson...

Mentioned to me at Mass this morning a simple observation that I hadn't thought of:

Not only do we not have to shovel, but we don't have to mow the lawn.

That is nice!

They're almost here


Will you help fight voter fraud in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin is Just the Beginning

UPDATE: Second thoughts about Donald Schwartz


Read more

If not Steve Taylor or Donald Schwartz for Milwaukee County Supervisor, who?


The third candidate in the race for the 9th district seat on the Milwaukee County Board is Oak Creek alderman Ken Gehl who contacted me today after hearing from friends I wrote that I really didn’t know that much about him.

Read more

Why people like Kevin Fischer suck

The latest news from Franklin alderman Steve Olson

Dear Neighbors:

There are a few items that I want to bring to your attention.  

As always, feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends and neighbors and if you’re receiving a forwarded copy, please send me an e-mail with your address and I’ll add you to my list.


Although there are no City of Franklin municipal primaries, there is a primary for Franklin School Board and the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors.

There may be some confusion with the re-districting that took effect on January 1.

For those of you who live on the west side of Forest Meadows Drive west to Legend Creek between Drexel Ave. and Forest Hill Avenue you are now in the 2nd Aldermanic District and you will change your voting location to the Franklin Police Department on Loomis at Forest Hill.  You do NOT vote at City Hall.

For those of you who live on the west side of 68th Street south of the creek (south of Drexel) and those between Drexel and Puetz, you are now in the 1st Aldermanic District and you will change your voting location to Franklin City Hall, 9229 W. Loomis Road.  You will NOT vote at the Sports Complex.


For the past two years the Franklin Department of Public Works has pioneered a new snow/ice control process that has produced substantial savings to the taxpayers.  

After substantial research, Franklin’s DPW has been using a liquid solution on our collector streets that’s a mixture of beet juice (yes, the vegetable) and salt brine.  This solution gets applied with a sprayer before a snow/ice storm.  The water evaporates leaving the beet/salt mixture.  Once the snow or ice hits the brine it reconstitutes itself and with traffic friction, disperses on the road preventing the snow and ice from bonding with the roadway.  This allows for quicker snow plowing and less salting.

Pedestrian Safety Reminder

Please take a moment with your family to remind everyone who walks here in Franklin to use the available sidewalks.  If there isn’t a sidewalk, please remember to wear light colored clothing; walk AGAINST traffic and walk on the shoulder.  These simple precautions may prevent injury on our streets where sidewalks don’t exist.

And here’s another reminder for drivers.  Do NOT use your high beams in fog or rain.  Not only does the practice not help you see better but your high beams blind on-coming drivers.


The area known as the crossroads has sat dormant since 2004.  The reasons for that will continue to be debated until a development happens.  This area was a topic of conversation at a recent Plan Commission meeting at which time that the conclusion came down to the plan that was implemented in 2005 was too stringent.  The Plan Commission directed city staff to issue a memo to the Common Council stating this and that it was their intention to use the plan as a “guide” only.

My issue with the recent discussions is simple.  That plan was developed in conjunction with you, the citizens and taxpayers of the area.  If it is the intention of the Plan Commission and the Common Council to move in a different direction, then you, the people who generated the plan in 2004/2005 should at least have the opportunity to offer your input to any changes to the document.

I’ll be working to get you the opportunity to speak on changes to the “Crossroads Trade Area Development Plan.”

Please call me or Mayor Taylor should you have questions in the mean time.

As always, don’t hesitate to call or e-mail me with any concern.


Steve Olson
Alderman, 1st District
8091 S. Meadowcreek Ct.
Franklin, Wisconsin  53132

Culinary no-no #265

Culinary no-no's



This week, let's talk...

Yummy, that looks good. And I know it's good. That's a favorite since childhood, Maria's Pizza on Forest Home Avenue on the south side of Milwaukee, a must-experience kind of place (BTW, if you stop in, tell them Kevin, Bernie's brother-in-law sent you).

Last month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel picked the top four pizza toppings and asked readers to submit #5 that turned out to be onions.

I’d gladly devour any pizza with those five toppings.

What don't we like on our pies?

No matter what survey or study you find, you’ll discover that the least favorite pizza topping is…

You knew that.

For me, it's green peppers, the subject of Culinary no-no #2 way back when. The Reader's Digest: You can plop twelve toppings on a pizza but if you add green peppers, they'll just nullify the taste of everything else.

OK. So what else would be horrible on a pizza? Let’s be reasonable and avoid answers like Cool-Whip, molasses, watermelon, zucchini, M and M’s, kale, rutabaga, etc.

I’ll give you some time to figure it out.

Admit it. You just love Culinary no-no, dontcha.


Alright. Put your thoughts on hold for a bit as we head out to a restaurant in Roanoke, Virginia.


Read more

The latest pro-life news (02/20/12)

From Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

Monday February 20, 2012
Contact your state senator today on SB 306 - Action Expected Soon
Amendment Proposed to Establish Conscience Rights and Overturn Obama Mandate
Important Federal Legislation Focuses on Pain of Unborn Child,
Discrimination in the Womb and Conscience Rights
Online Registration Now Available for Laura Ingraham!
2012 State Conference - Saturday April 28
Important Right To Life Links
Contact your state senator today on SB 306 - Action Expected Soon

Was today really President's Day?


And no.

This columnist explains. He’s got a point.

I wonder how many public school classrooms in Wisconsin with union supporting teachers talked about this today.

UPDATE: Week-ends (02/18/12)


Previously on This Just In…


About those  gas prices...

I should have included the following. Last Friday marked the 3rd anniversary of the stimulus that didn't stimulate, a total failure on the part of the Obamamessiah. Not a peep from the media.

Read more

UPDATE: Recommended Reading (02/19/12)

Recommended Reading

Previously on This Just In…

I should have included the following:

Enough clownish behavior

“MEMO TO Gov. Scott Walker: If you want to win a recall election (and, I assume, you do), get out of the bunker and out among the people at every wide open public event you can find.

That may make your handlers nervous. They’ll tell you there will be scenes, that protesters will stake out the place, hooting and hollering and shouting you down so bad the audience won’t hear a word you say.

They’ll warn you that loudmouths with bullhorns will harass you and everybody else who comes to see you. Demonstrators may shout profanities and make obscene gestures. They might even try to physically block entrances, or clog up traffic. A mob scene. Ugly.

PRECISELY WHY you should get out there, every chance you get, if you want to win.

Face it, governor, after your first year one would think it’s impossible in Wisconsin to make Scott Walker look like a sympathetic figure.

But some of these folks — rude, crude, sometimes indecent — are managing to make that happen.


Because the Midwest and Wisconsin remain home territory for regular folks who still value decency, civility, manners and mild behavior. They are put off by outlandish misconduct.

Even a lot of people who may not like you much, governor, probably like these louts even less.”

Read the entire piece by a newspaper editor showing the boorish, ignorant, hateful left at its worst.

How low can they go?

Mighty low.

A solid column by a former Democrat

For many years he was a registered Democrat in the WI Legislature.  Now he’s an independent. State Representative Bob Ziegelbauer writes a great column in the Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter. Here's an excerpt:

ublic sector employees were largely protected from economic reality by tax increases and the political power of their unions, which kept costs going up as if things were normal. While unemployment got worse and inflation was virtually non-existent, the gap between their compensation and the rest grew farther apart. We needed to adjust and realign that. We simply could not afford not to fix it.

This was a message that no one wanted to hear. For too long, public sector employees had been told by their union leaders that they deserved more, and they had the power to get it with collective bargaining rules they largely controlled. Continuously raising taxes and borrowing more money only made things worse. Only when we ran out of time and money were we finally able to fix it."

Here’s the entire piece.

Some final thoughts on Tuesday's primary elections

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, is Primary Election Day. Remember to proudly take your photo ID along and when the poll worker asks for it, display it with a smile and thank the poll worker for requesting.

My analysis for Tuesday’s primary, like any other Election Day is simple. I’m looking for the most conservative people on the ballot who have earned my vote.

We live in a Tax Hell. For years and years we have been forced to relinquish hard-earned tax dollars with little to show. Enough is enough. I am gratified that my voce and others have begun to make a difference. More people are listening. More people are outraged. More people are prone to action. The status quo, for all too long comfy in their taxpayer supported lifestyle of nice salaries, and even better benefits, are now seeing taxpayers saying they’ve had it. It’s a whole new ballgame. And the fat pigs that were feeding at the public trough are starting to realize the taxpayer-funded salad bar is no more.


Six candidates are running. Two of them are incumbents. The top four candidates advance to the general election in April.

Janet Evans is a solid choice. Somehow she balances her deep concern for the taxpayers with caring for the students. It’s an approach that all members of the school board should share an embrace, but unfortunately don’t. Evans refuses to follow blindly in lock step with the school administration. For that she is ridiculed and looked down upon by those I submit do not match her in IQ. The fact that the school superintendent, Steve (Get me out of here, here’s my resume) Patz and liberal school board members roll their eyes and talk down to Janet Evans speak volumes. Evans is a clear vote on Tuesday.

The rest are all either a joke or questionable.

Incumbent Judith Bialk is a “yes” woman, a veritable doormat for the public school administration, completely void of any independent thought during her entire first term on the school board. We don’t need a mummy on the school board. We need someone capable of making a decision without being told how to vote by the superintendent and any number of hand-holding school board members.

Judith, here’s an idea: Knit one, pearl two, knit one, pearl two. While you knit, I can save more tax dollars for my family.

Donald Petre is a union puppet. Franklin is, I submit, 80% behind Governor Scott Walker and his polices/moves. Petre would be a disaster on the school board.

David Works is a previous disaster on the board. If we dumped you once, David, what makes you think we want you now?

John Thompson: The man has offered little. We’ve heard the teacher’s union likes him. Guess what? That just disqualified you, John.

Aimee Schlueter: Many people are trying to talk me into voting for her. Kevin, she showed up at the candidates’ forum. Not good enough. I’ll pay attention to her if she advances to the general, but for now, on Tuesday, the only candidate that has EARNED my vote is Janet Evans.

Now, I am not foolish. I know that 4 out of 6 candidates advance. I know that only 4 candidates turned up at the recent candidates’ forum. Clearly, some of those if not all that stayed home were afraid to face voters and tough questions. They took the risk that they would advance to the general and could bypass the face-to-face forum. We will remember how cowardly they were.

If I had my druthers, the two candidates that would not advance would be Judith Bialk, extremely unfriendly to the taxpayers, and Donald Petre, the most dangerous candidate in the race because of his union backing and anti-Walker stance. Remember, Petre supports the union thuggery on our beautiful state Capitol, the fake signatures used for doctor excuses for teacher protests at the Capitol, the death threats against state legislators, the sexual assaults against female legislators...

5 of the 6 candidates do nothing for me. That’s why I am only voting for one.


I really, really wanted to support Donald Schwartz, even though I can’t vote in this election. He sounded when he first contacted me that he was quite reasonable with his message of fiscal responsibility and economic development.

But then the more I found about him, the less I liked. He won’t respond to easy to answer questions.  He’s wishy-washy, wussy, not ready for prime time, even if it is a county position.

Good guy? Sure. I know lots of good guys. I’d never vote for them.

A big liberal? Yep. We’ve got plenty of those on the Milwaukee County Board who care zero about Franklin and the suburbs. We don’t need another who will work against us.

What about Franklin alderman Steve Taylor whose claim to fame is that he supported big tax and spending increases and proposed dogs, cats, goats, zebras, llamas, giraffes, and pandas always be on leashes in Franklin. I’m hearing his detractors, and there are many, would gladly vote for him to get him the hell out of the Franklin Common Council.




Don’t reward this putz by giving him a promotion.

Work by working against him in the Franklin Common Council.

Again, Franklin taxpayers who’ve been screwed one too many times by local officials, make sure you vote for the most conservative candidates.

When I vote Tuesday, it will be for Janet Evans because my vote is precious. I don’t just give it away.

PS. Aimee Schlueter?

Still waiting to hear from you.


Why should I vote for you?

If you lose Tuesday, it’s too late.

UPDATE: I did hear from Aimee Schlueter who was courteous and gave me important information, good enough that I intend to vote for her Tuesday.


Before you vote today in Franklin, Oak Creek, or Hales Corners, consider...

And this golden oldie from Steve Taylor...


The Great Paczki Caper

Since 2007, I have annually posted a blog around Shrove Tuesday to mark the yearly feasting of paczkis.  It’s been for many years an extremely popular blog.



The day before Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent in the Catholic Church is a big deal. Lent begins the dull, dreary, dreadful, long, long, long period of sacrifice where good Catholics fast and give up treasured commodities, like sweets and brandy.

That’s Ash Wednesday. The day before is Shrove Tuesday, a virtual all-out gorging orgy. Any fat left in the house? Get rid of it in the form of fried doughnuts filled with prune (Raspberry jelly for wimps). Dust them with powder sugar and enjoy the day before the daily diet gets miserable. The doughnuts are called paczkis (poonch-kees). They are magnificent.

National Baking on S. 16th Street in Milwaukee just south of Oklahoma Avenue becomes a temple, a paczki shrine on Shrove Tuesday.

National Bakery & Deli baker Rory Sheridan cuts off a portion of paczki dough. (jsonline photo by Mike De Sisti)

Live TV news trucks descend on the bakery just across the street from St. Francis Hospital because this bakery cranks out thousands and thousands and thousands of paczkis on Shrove Tuesday, and that’s just in the first few hours of business.

Circa 1980’s, a dear friend of mine a short drive away from National Baking woke up on Shrove Tuesday to a frantic wife.

“GET UP!”  she screamed, I mean, “Get up” she gently prodded her beloved spouse of many jubilant and extremely fulfilling years.

My friend was in a fog, but even in the midst of his mental haze, he knew where he was and he knew who was speaking to him and in what particular manner.

His wife demanded, I mean his wife politely called upon every sweet bone in his body to drag his sorry carcass out of bed and race at the speed of sound to S. 16th Street and buy paczkis and do it right now and do it fast.

This was not a good start to his day but my friend realized that if he darted out to National Baking on a morning there was a nip in the air just to buy doughnuts, it would be like a marital oil change. He’d be in good standing with the better half for the next six months.

And so without so much as a shower or a comb through his hair, he wiped the sleep from his eyes and struggled to his car and pointed it in the direction of the Paczki Capital of the Year.

Typical February morning. Grey clouds. Cold. Damp.

As he got closer and closer to his destination, my friend knew what he was up against. Remember when the Brewers opened the season with 12 straight victories and George Webb’s had to finally make good on its promise to hand out free burgers?

The car made its way to S.16th Street and sure enough. Every cotton pickin’ person living in a flat or bungalow was inside, but more were jaw droppingly standing outside that damn bakery. The line was longer than the folks waiting to see The Godfather in the 70’s.

When National Baking is CLOSED there’s no frickin' place to park. Eight different varieties of paczkis on Shrove Tuesday? It was like Elvis had risen from the dead and was handing out free scarves.

My friend wasn’t in the best of moods to begin with. Now this. Where the hell was CNN? Everyone else was there.


A noisy abrupt stop. My friend inexplicably brought his vehicle to a halt on the street directly in front of the main entrance of the bakery. He turned off the motor of his sparkling new auto just off the showroom floor, clicked on his emergency flashers, and calmly and boldly marched past the horde of dozens and dozens of shivering folks in line.

“Excuse me” he said as he paraded past them all. One by one, he passed them up, no matter the dirty looks. Then to the door, and now inside his mission kept him going, going, going right up to the register where people who had been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for God know how long were trying to check out.

My friend stood there, both hands firmly placed on the counter by the cash register. There he met face to face a National Baking employee who looked like this….

Only 40 years older and a helluva lot more unfriendly.

“You’ve got to wait your turn!” she barked.

“I need paczkis,” he replied. “Two dozen, prune.”

“We’ve got a line going in case you didn’t notice, ace,” she responded.

Those in line were getting impatient and were ready to start hitting my friend with their purses.

“Yeh, yeh, I know, but I can’t wait,” my friend continued.

“You have to wait, I’m sorry. You have to wait your turn.”

And then, it happened.

It was like Charlton Heston’s magnanimous moment in “The Ten Commandments” when, as Moses, he parted the Red Sea.

“But you don’t understand!”

“What don’t I understand, Sir?"

My friend proceeded to blurt out unforgettable words.

“It’s for....
It's for the Archbishop!”

One thousand one.

One thousand two.

One thousand three.


Suddenly, bakery ladies, each with more than one type of arthritis immediately went into fast motion, dropping whatever they were doing.

“The Archbishop,” one muttered as she ran for a bag. “The Archbishop!”

Behind my friend, they began whispering among themselves in the long line.“It’s for the Archbishop.”

In moments, breaking the speed of sound, a woman with a hair net and bobby pins presented my friend with two bags, each containing a dozen prune paczkis.

Reaching for his wallet, he pulled out currency for which to pay. His outstretched hand had more than enough to settle for two dozen prune paczkis, only to hear this from the octogenarian woman across from him:

“Oh, no, no, no. No, Sir.


It’s for the Archbishop.”

After she refused payment from my friend, he hurriedly walked out to his car that was double-parked illegally, and drove home.

To this day, I never stand next to him during an electrical storm.

Read more

For anyone moaning about photo ID today

A poll worker in Milwaukee checks a voter's driver's license. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo

Tuesday's primary was the first election for which Wisconsin's new photo identification law, requiring people to show ID in order to vote, was in full effect.


An elderly Indian voter displays his voter identity card as he arrives to cast his vote at a polling booth in Lucknow, India, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. The fourth phase of polling in the seven phased elections in India's largest state Uttar Pradesh was held Sunday. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

A polling official marks the index finger of a woman voter with indelible ink before she casts her vote inside a polling booth in Lucknow, India, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012. The fourth phase of polling in the seven phased elections in India's largest state Uttar Pradesh was held Sunday. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

Is Questionable National Org with Democratic Ties Trying to Suppress Conservative Vote in Wisconsin?

MacIver News Service
| February 20, 2012

[Madison, Wisc…] Over the weekend, a strange pamphlet began appearing in mailboxes across Wisconsin. It looks like a voter registration form and return label read, Government Accountability Board, but the return address included the incorrect post office box number.

Read more

Wisconsin Union Bosses: Mo Money Causin Mo Problems

No election chaos Tuesday

"The photo ID law imposes a severe and undue burden on the fundamental right to vote.”

From a federal lawsuit filed late last year against Wisconsin photo ID law.

"The state of Wisconsin has created a voter ID system that is making it very hard or impossible for residents to exercise their cherished right to vote."
Larry Dupuis, legal director of the ACLU of Wisconsin.

"Across the nation, legislators are robbing countless American citizens of their fundamental right to vote, and in the process, undermining the very legitimacy of our democracy.”
Jon Sherman, an attorney with the ACLU Voting Rights Project.

Now the reality.

No banner headline in the Journal Sentinel today about minorities and elderly being "disenfranchised."
(Though editors, I'm sure, were hoping for a meltdown).



Wisconsin Right To Life Commends State Senate's Action

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Wisconsin Right to Life Commends

State Senate for Passage of Bill to

Protect Women Seeking Abortions

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

It's the day after the primary and I'm very happy

In any election like Tuesday’s primary, a voter can’t expect to get everything the voter wants. This voter came pretty darn close.

For many years the conservative city of Franklin has contradicted itself by filling the Common Council and School Board with mostly tax and spend liberals. The stark reality only comes home to roost for residents when their property tax bills arrive. By then, it’s far too late. The damage is done, and your wallet has just been pilfered as friends and relatives in other municipalities laugh in your face, incredulous that you would a) live here and b) do nothing and just sit back and take it.

Conservatives and property taxpayers in general finally got some relief when Governor Walker’s budget reforms resulted in local savings all across the state. Try as they might, aldermen on the Franklin Common Council did their damndest to ruin our good fortune by increasing spending by a whopping 25%. Imagine our savings if they’d just for once budget responsibly.  The school property tax levy actually went down, again no thanks to the local pols. Even so, the school portion of the property tax bill continues to be the deepest assault on our hard-earned funds.

This election cycle seems more encouraging with more citizens engaged and, here’s the key, paying attention.  Just ask Judith Bialk.

Entering Tuesday’s primary, Bialk was an incumbent on the Franklin School Board seeking a second three-year term.  Bialk contributed little to any discussion, offering the same on policy proposals. She excelled at rubber stamping the school administration’s every wish. Her rationale to be returned to her seat was that she was entitled. Oh, and she wanted to give back to the community in some fashion.

Voters were not impressed. Bialk finished sixth among six candidates. I was hoping she would not advance to the general and she won’t.

My support is always with whom I believe to be the most conservative candidates. In the school board race, a clear choice was Janet Evans. At the 11th hour after figuring I’d only vote for Evans, I decided to also vote for the newcomer Aimee Schlueter.  Evans finished first, Schlueter third. Both are positioned well in the general.

Not surprising is Donald Petre’s second-place finish. Primaries bring out the red meat supporters. The union-backed Petre surely had teachers, their spouses and the school system establishment turn out. However, more voters will head to the polls in April, the same day as Wisconsin’s presidential primary. As a conservative, I feel confident to a certain degree, not overly so, that Evans and Schlueter can win and provide even greater fiscal stability to the school board.

I couldn’t vote for Milwaukee County Supervisor. As I stated I was initially in Donald Schwartz’s corner. Admittedly I, like most Franklin residents, knew practically nothing about the Hales Corners official. I knew about the same when it came to Oak Creek alderman Ken Gehl who didn’t contact me until late in the campaign. I managed to expose Schwartz’s true political stripes. It’s ok to be a liberal. Just be forthright about it and tell us.

Again, I can’t vote for this position, but after learning what I did about Schwartz, I suggested my choice would be Gehl, if I lived in the 9th district. Schwartz didn’t survive which should be a lesson to him and other potential candidates who would withhold critical information. You really shouldn’t try and snow the voters.

This sets up an interesting general election between Gehl and Franklin alderman Steve Taylor, a tax and spender who masquerades and campaigns as a conservative, but is not.  Moving Franklin Forward? If he happens to come to your door, kindly ask him how his efforts at economic development by committee are going.

So I didn’t get everything I wanted Tuesday, but I got most. I’ll take it, and like a whole lot of other folks, I’ll be paying very close attention between now and April 3.

Sorry, God, but Lent sucks

Lent is a four-letter word. I’m reminded of that simple fact every Lent. Did I mention Lent sucks?

For this and many other devout Catholics, Lent began today, Ash Wednesday, and doesn’t end until Easter, 40 days from now.

Lent means sacrifices, generally of the food and snack variety, and meat on Ash Wednesday and every Lenten Friday.

Every year it happens, and it did again this morning. Upon waking up, I had a craving for…

gyro omlette with home fries or hash browns

A gyro omelet.

At least I'm making progress, I think. Last year on Ash Wednesday all I could think about was...

Big Mac

Jennifer sent me off to work with a tuna salad she prepared last night. Despite it being very good (I sampled a spoonful the night before), as I walked out the door with meager lunch in hand, I gotta tell ya, I felt like…


Get a grip, Kevin. It’s Ash Wednesday. No double cheeseburgers or chili cheese dogs or banana splits.

I arrive at work and the Girl Scout cookies I ordered from a colleague are on my desk, staring me right in my drooling face.

Then there’s the vending machine whose Hostess cupcakes never looked as sinfully delicious as they did today.

Come this Friday is the requirement to abstain from eating meat. As I wrote in April of 2007:

Normally, that’s not a huge sacrifice because most of us eat fish on Friday no matter what time of the year it is.

But something mysterious happens to Catholics on Fridays in Lent, or at least, to this Catholic. There has to be a name for it like tennis elbow. Maybe it’s fish-free-Friday-itis.

Do you know what I’m talking about? I can’t possibly be the only poor Catholic soul afflicted with this annual virus.

It strikes the first Friday after Ash Wednesday. You know there are a million and one places to get a decent fish fry. But all you want, all you desire, all you can think about is…Mo’s, the old Coerper’s, Eddie Martini’s, Sabor, Carnivore, Mr. B’s.

I’m talking 100% USDA certified prime choice Angus serve it to me medium rare I want it sizzling overflowing with au jus hey where’s my onion rings on top can I get crumbled bleu cheese it’s what’s for dinner BEEF!!!!!!!

That first Friday of Lent, I swear, I’d rather have liver and onions and Brussels sprouts than beer battered cod, potato pancakes and cole slaw.

Friday night dinners with my wife, I want to shout and scream. THOSE HEATHENS, I mutter and grumble to myself as I see waitresses saunter by with platters of prime rib and filet mignon. THOSE NO GOOD DIRTY ROTTEN MEAT-EATING……………..LUCKY DEVILS!!

Every single Friday during Lent, I’m overcome at lunch by a craving for a Big Mac. And I NEVER order a Big Mac!

No beef jerky, no leftover cold cuts, no Slim Jims, no Sausage McMuffin with egg, no ham on rye, no Jimmy Dean, no chicken dumpling soup, no Swedish meatballs, no Polish meatballs, no meatballs from any country in the universe…AARRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


This is quite the serious matter. Don’t think so? Take a look...

Read more

Something to think about as you look out your window today

The Weather Channel reports this is Milwaukee’s sixth warmest winter on record.

Not good enough, I say.

I want to be around for the warmest winter.

And yes, of course it could be much worse.

Indian-controlled Kashmir today (AP photo)

Franklin voters fed up with high taxes and spending...

Pay close attention to the great comments early on in this article.

UPDATE: I have always loved Raquel Welch


Previously on This Just In…

The update:
The headline nails it.

Another great Newt Gingrich debate moment

And Mitt wasn't bad, either.

Read more

On this day in history...

67 years ago.

UPDATE: Gas Price Hypocrisy

Previously on This Just In…

The updates:

Gas prices and tempers...up.

President Obama says, hey, don't blame me.

The hard truth.

The next chapter in the Ryan Braun story


The local media will portray the collector as the villain and proceed to make his life miserable.

Goodnight everyone, and have a statuesque weekend!

"Nah, I just don't think I'm cut out for music.
Marvin, you gotta play. See that's where they kiss for the first time on the dance floor. And if there's no music, they can't dance. If they can't dance, they can't kiss. If they can't kiss they can't fall in love, and I'm history."

From the film, "Back to the Future."

It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just In.

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.


Read more

The best political cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel


And finally, a candidate for best cartoon of the year thus far...

Read more

The Barking Lot (02/25/12)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of this just in
Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it
s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

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

TODAY:  The once clean streets and sidewalks are no more. Flurries. High of 30.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Cloudy in the morning. Sunny and windy in the afternoon. High of 43. "C"

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog:

When deciding what infant formula brand to feed Kyla, I stayed with what we were given in the hospital:  Enfamil with iron.  I was familiar with the brand and Kyla tolerated it well.  So well, in fact, that there was never a question about changing brands or formulations for any reason.  I was more than willing to pay a higher price for the brand name than replace it with a store brand.  After being given the green light by her pediatrician, however, I was quite happy to switch to whole milk the very day she turned one.  (The cost savings was dramatic.)

Finally, we close as we always do with our closing video.

Recently on the Barking Lot we told you about the new cable channel geared towards dogs.

Here’s a sample of the relaxing programming.

Read more

Heard this morning on Wisconsin Public Radio...

More men ages 18-25 would rather be trapped in an elevator with….

Jon Stewart-AES-046102.jpg

Jon Stewart


Megan Fox

God help them.

Thompson Leads Baldwin In U.S. Senate Race

Read more

Week-ends (02/25/12)


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...


Tim Tebow

Ryan Potocnik

Congressman Jeff Miller

Austin Smith

Shamel Lawrence

Wendell Tuttle III


Peter Kantorowski


The DPW in DC


We were able to get through this because I am innocent and the truth is on our side.”
Ryan Braun

“I flung the middle finger. That was for the suits at the Brit Awards, not my fans. I'm sorry if I offended anyone but the suits offended me.
on her lewd gesture during the Brit Awards Tuesday night; the singer's acceptance speech for winning best album was cut short due to the show running over time.

"Rick Santorum was a sitting senator who, in re-election, lost by 19 points. Then he goes out and says, 'Oh, OK, I just lost by the biggest margin in history, now I'm going to run for president.' Tell me, how does that work?"
Donald Trump, a Mitt Romney supporter

“I think there’s a possibility of something happening nobody’s talking about — and that’s the reemergence of Newt. Keep a sharp eye. Anything’s still possible.”
Rush Limbaugh

“But I just want to point out you did not once in the 2008 campaign, not once did anybody in the elite media ask why Barack Obama voted in favor of legalizing infanticide. So let’s be clear here, if we’re going to have a debate about who the extremist is on these issues it is President Obama, who as a State Senator voted to protect doctors who killed babies who survived the abortion.”
Newt Gingrich

“If they (federal government), can give me my son back, I’ll pay my taxes, but that’s not going to happen.”
Cindy Sheehan

“They will attack any conservative who boldly proclaims their faith and talks about there is good in the world and there’s evil in the world and that’s what Rick Santorum was talking about. And this was a speech that he gave back in 2008 where he named evil as Satan. And for these lame-stream media characters to get all wee-weed up about that, first you have to ask yourself, ‘Have they ever attended a Sunday school class even? Have they never heard of this terminology before’?”
Sarah Palin

“Half of all children born to women under 30 in America now are illegitimate. Three in 10 white children are born out of wedlock, as are 53 percent of Hispanic babies and 73 percent of black babies.”
Pat Buchanan

“How can one be for racial diversity considerations in the police or fire department, but not in the NBA or NFL?”
Cal Thomas

“Look, it is relatively simple. Graduate from high school, get a job, keep it, get married, and stay married. You won’t live a life of poverty and degradation.”
Bill Quick


Abortion investigation at British clinics ... and a follow-up.


Gas prices are high. Could Obama be to blame?


The Oscars


"America's diner is always open."

That's it for Week-ends. Thanks for stopping by.

Recommended Reading (02/26/12)

Recommended Reading

Better than the Sunday paper!

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

Braun decision unsatisfactory

"It is the first step in restoring my good name and reputation," Braun said in a prepared statement. "We were able to get through this because I am innocent."

Or really lucky. Or that it helps to be an MVP who happens to play for the Milwaukee Brewers? Which happens to be the team Bud Selig owned before being chosen as commissioner. Yes, the problem with glaring conflicts of interest is that, in a crisis, people suspect something fishy is going on. Arbitrators have ruled against every player until Selig's team's superstar comes along? Really?”

Aren't high gas prices what Democrats want?

"If Democrats had their way, after all, we would be enjoying the economic results of cap-and-trade policy these days — a program designed to increase the cost of energy by creating false demand in a fabricated market. As the theory goes, if you inflate the price of fossil fuels, the barbarians might finally start putting thought into how peat moss might be able to power a toaster."

America's baby boomers entering into new era of 'work till you drop'

"Like 78 million other U.S. Baby Boomers, Symons and her husband had the misfortune of approaching retirement age at a time when stock market crashes diminished their 401(k) nest eggs, companies began eliminating defined benefit pensions in record numbers and previously unimagined technical advances all but eliminated entire job descriptions from travel agent to telephone operator.

At the same time, companies began moving other jobs overseas, to be filled by people willing to work for far less and still able to connect to the U.S. market in real time."

I tried to open a lemonade stand

“…kids trying their first experiment with entrepreneurship are being shut down all over America. Officials in Hazelwood, Missouri ordered little girls to stop selling Girl Scout cookies. It made me want to try to jump through the legal hoops required to open a simple lemonade stand in New York City. Here's some of what one has to do”

"It’s happening again now. The age-adjusted death rate in the U.S. declined by 2 percent from 2007 to 2010, according to preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As a result, projected life expectancy at birth rose to 78.7 years in 2010 from 77.9 years in 2007, an increase of 0.8 year. In contrast, from 2004 to 2007, when the economy was much stronger, life expectancy rose by only 0.4 year.

How could this be?"

If you're ever murdered

"An easy way to let murder victims speak from beyond the grave. In order to make this as clear as possible, here is my proposal: Americans should be able to declare what they want the state to do on their behalf if they are murdered."

Why are the people in charge of teaching our children so stupid?

"Send your kid to college and he may be taught by real live, terrorists, Communists, and other worthless degenerates. And that’s after he’s already gone to high school, where no one in charge seems to have any common sense whatsoever…”

Department of Education: Catholic schools beat public schools

"When two schools meet in a basketball game, the winner is indisputable. One team outscores the other. The same is true in certain types of academic competition. When students take standardized national tests, students from some schools outscore students from others.

In the most recent round of National Assessment of Educational Progress tests, which are administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the winners were indeed indisputable. Catholic schools thrashed public schools.

It wasn't close."

Act of Valor trumps Hollywood's asinine squalor

"Finally, a 21st century movie that doesn’t portray our military as corrupt, stupid, confused torturers who murder innocent babies."

10 things the Oscars won't say

"Our backstage pass to Hollywood's biggest night of the year."

My Most Popular Blogs (02/26/12)

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the ten most read blog entries of mine from the previous week. NOTE: some entries may have been posted prior to the past week.

1) UPDATE Second thoughts about Donald Schwartz

2) Some final thoughts on Tuesday's primary elections

3) Franklin voters fed up with high taxes and spending...

4) The Great Paczki Caper

5) If not Steve Taylor or Donald Schwartz for Milwaukee County Supervisor, who?

6) Culinary no-no #265

7) No election chaos Tuesday

8) Before you vote today in Franklin Oak Creek or Hales Corners consider...

9) It's the day after the primary and I'm very happy

10) Photos of the Week (02/19/12)

Photos of the Week (02/26/12)

Photos of the Week

1) Ryan Braun gets a hug from teammate John Axford after his news conference Thursday at the Brewers’ spring training camp in Arizona. Braun won his drug case appeal and avoids a 50-game suspension. AP photo.

2) Ryan Braun is
greeted by cheers Saturday as he and Rickie Weeks head to the practice field in Arizona. Photo. Roy Dabner.

3) A man
walks past a homeless man sleeping under a blanket on February 19, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Following a meeting on Wednesday, finance ministers across the Eurozone are calling for greater scrutiny and oversight of Greece's proposed budget cuts in order to approve the latest 130 billion euro bailout package. The package, which is anticipated to be finalised on February 20, 2012, is essential for Greece to avoid defaulting on a 14.5 billion euro bond it is due to repay in mid-March. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

4) Michael Glazer and Tambor Hepner
protest during a march in downtown Wichita, Kansas Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 as part of "Occupy Koch Town". The rally and march were organized by the Sierra Clubs of Kansas and Missouri and area Occupy movements. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle/, Fernando Salazar)

5) Pro-choice advocate Margaret Doyle from Richmond, Va., is
removed by Capitol Police from the General Assembly Building in Richmond after HB1, the bill that states human life begins at conception, passed the Senate Education and Health committee on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. Eight Republicans voted for the measure, and the committee's seven Democrats opposed it after an hour-long hearing on the bill that is similar to one in Missouri. The vote now sends the bill to the full Senate where Democrats and Republicans hold 20 seats apiece. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bob Brown)

6) Soldiers
stand watch on the beach in front of the hotel where U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is staying in Los Cabos, Mexico, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2012, for the G20 foreign ministers summit. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, Pool)

Sen. John Glenn talks, via satellite, with the astronauts on the International Space Station, before the start of a roundtable discussion titled "Learning from the Past to Innovate for the Future" Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Columbus, Ohio. Glenn was the first American to orbit Earth, piloting Friendship 7 around it three times in 1962, and also became the oldest person in space, at age 77, by orbiting Earth with six astronauts aboard shuttle Discovery in 1998. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

8) A two-stage Terrier-Black Brant rocket arcs through an auroral display 200 miles above Alaska's Poker Flat Research Range as the MICA mission investigates the underlying physics of the northern lights. In this
long-exposure photo, the rocket's first stage has just separated and is seen falling back to Earth. The green arc toward the top of the photo is a scientific laser that's shooting into the sky to make profiles of the atmosphere. The beam only appears curved due to the wide-angle lens used to capture the photo.

9) A man takes a picture of
big chunks of melting ice moving on the Danube River in Belgrade, Serbia, on Feb. 20, 2012. Photo: Andrej Isakovic / AFP - Getty Images

10 A skier makes his way in front of
snow covered roofs in Lech, western Austria, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. Photo: Matthias Schrader / AP

11) A Kashmiri villager
slips as he clears snow off the roof of his house in Gagangeri, northeast of Srinagar on Feb. 23. Photo: Dar Yasin / AP

12) Newly-elected Cardinal Timothy Michael Dolan, center,
laughs with his mother, Shirley Dolan, left, during a special audience with Pope Benedict XVI held for newly-elevated cardinals in the Pope Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. Benedict XVI formally created 22 new cardinals on Saturday Feb. 18. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

13) Jim Alberty
receives ashes from Rev. Shirley Bowen on a sidewalk in downtown Portland, Maine, on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 22. Rev. Tim Higgins, left, and Rev. Peter Bowen look on. Photo: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

14) Students from Saint Hubert High School for Girls, in Philadelphia,
celebrate following the announcement that their school will remain open, on Friday Feb. 24, 2012. Church officials said Friday that people have come forward with donations large and small to keep the endangered high schools open for several years. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)

15) In this Feb. 9, 2012, photo, onlookers with a group from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission watch as
three bighorn sheep run toward cover moments after being released into their new habitat at Sowbelly Ranch near Harrison, Neb. A group from the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission traveled to Canada in early February to net and transport bighorn sheep back to the Sowbelly Ranch near Fort Robinson State Park in northwest Nebraska. (AP Photo/The Omaha World-Herald/Alyssa Schukar)

16) In this Feb. 23, 2012 photo,
Chassis, a lively pure-bred husky, romps with Mia Musel and her brother Mason, while their mother Teresa Musel talks of finding her dog during an interview in Duluth, Minn. A Siberian husky who broke loose from her chain in rural Duluth on New Year's Day was found safe seven weeks later, almost 300 miles away near the Iowa border. (AP Photo/The Duluth News-Tribune, Bob King)

17) Palle-Jooseppi, a male brown bear,
wakes up after winter hibernation at Ranua Zoo in Ranua, Finland, in Lapland on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012. After a short stroll he decided to continue a nap in a soft snow bank. (AP Photo/LEHTIKUVA, Kaisa Siren)

18) Bears
wait to be fed at the bear farm of Guizhentang pharmaceutical company during a media tour in Hui'an county in southeast China's Fujian province on Feb. 22. Last week, Chinese voiced outrage when the pharmaceutical company that sells tonics made with bear bile announced plans for a public listing. Dozens of Chinese entertainers, writers and other celebrities signed a petition to the China Securities Regulatory Commission urging it to withhold approval for the initial public offering by Guizhentang, a Chinese medicines maker. Photo: AP

19) Megan Chance and her son Alex
visit with Burma, left, and Lulu in Washington, N.C., Jan. 31. Megan rode Burma as a child in New Jersey and planned to bring her to North Carolina where she was starting a new stable. But, after leaving her on a year breeding contract, Burma vanished. For years Megan searched in vain, eventually deciding her horse must be dead. Last summer, Burma was rescued from the "kill pen" at a New Jersey auction and test facility and the two were recently reunited. Photo: Gerry Broome / AP

20) Maine State Aquarium Manager Aimee Hayden-Roderiques is pictured holding
"Rocky"the 27-lb lobster donated by a shrimp dragger to the Aquarium in this handout photo obtained by Reuters February 23, 2012. The lobster, the largest ever recorded caught in Maine, was released into the ocean Thursday.  Photo: Reuters

21) A
carnival float depicting German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy made from papier-mache at the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf Feb.20, 2012. Photo: Ina Fassbender / Reuters

22) A Dancer of Porto da Pedra samba school
parades on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 20, 2012.  Photo: Felipe Dana / AP

23) A reveler with the iconic Yellow Submarine painted on her face
participates in the Beatles-themed street party, "Sargento Pimenta," Portuguese for "Sergeant Pepper," at the Aterro do Flamengo urban park in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20. Photo: Dado Galdieri / AP

24) Revelers from the Imperatriz samba school
parade on the first night of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome on February 19, 2012. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

25) A man in costume
passes a ticket control gate in the train station during Carnival in Cadiz, Spain on February 20, 2012. (Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters)

26)  To celebrate President's Day,
mascots dressed as US Presidents compete in a race between periods of the game between the New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on February 20, 2012 in Uniondale, New York. The Senators defeated the Islanders 6-0. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

27) Utah Jazz Jeremy Evans
jumps over a man sitting in a chair as he competes in the slam dunk contest during the NBA All-Star weekend in Orlando, Fla., Feb. 25. Photo: Jeff Haynes / Pool via Reuters

28) Swedish model
Marcus Schenkenberg competes in the 4th international naked luging toboggan championship in Braunlage, northern Germany, on February 18, 2012. He placed fifth.The only garments allowed in this competition are helmets, shoes and underpants. Photo: MATTHIAS BEIN/AFP/Getty Images.

29) Kyla Gronau's dining room is stacked
floor to ceiling with cartons of Girl Scout cookies in Minneapolis. The North Minneapolis girl sold 3,806 boxes of Girl Scout cookies last year, making her the top seller among nearly 45,000 girls in the three states and 49 counties that make up the local council, the Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys. Photo: St. Paul Pioneer Press via AP

30) Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder
holds on to his hat while talking to the media on his early arrival to baseball spring training camp during the team's first official pitches and catchers workout during baseball spring training, Monday, Feb. 20, 2012, in Lakeland, Fla. The Tigers' first full squad workout is Feb. 24. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Tampa Bay Rays fan Nathan Vetter, 13, holds out his David Price baseball card to autograph as Price passes by after a spring training workout on Feb. 20. Photo: David Goldman / AP

32) Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia
reacts after clearing the bar to win the women's pole vault, setting a new world indoor record of 5.01 m at the XL-Galan  Indoor athletics meeting in Stockholm Thursday Feb. 23, 2012.  AP Photo: Jens LÉstrade

Bradley Tech's John Jude celebrates his Division 1 285-pound title with some victory splits after his pin of Kimberly's No. 2-ranked Brady Stumpf Saturday. Photo for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Joe Koshollek

34) Chariot riders
battle in a "Ben Hur"-like chariot race at Chariot Wars during a three-day Mini Bike Winter Olympics Saturday, Feb.18, in Portland, Ore. Armed, variously, with all manner of foam-padded apparatus, at least five teams did battle on Saturday under gray skies for the pleasure of hoisting a three-foot-tall, homemade skull-bearing piece of welded junk, called the "Ben Hurt" trophy. Photo: Rick Bowmer / AP

35) Crew members
cut the red carpet for the 84th Annual Academy Awards to be held tonight. Photo: Michael Buckner, Getty Images

36) B.B. King, left, Buddy Guy and Warren Haynes, right,
perform during the White House Music Series saluting Blues Music in recognition of Black History Month, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

37) A 
couch shaped from sand is seen on the bank of the Thames River in London on Feb. 24. Photo: Stefan Wermuth / Reuters

38) A couple
writes love messages on a board as they take part in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest love letter in Bucharest on Friday during Dragobete, the traditional Romanian lovers' day which is similar to Valentine's Day. The previous record for the longest love letter was set in the U.S. in 2008 and involved 1,075 contributions. Photo: Radu Sigheti / Reuters

39) Men and Women
dressed as zombies walk through Hyde Park on February 25, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. The annual Zombie Walk raises money for the Brain Foundation and this year teamed up with FX channel in promotion of 'The Walking Dead' series premiering in Australia this weekend. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

40) Chandra Bahadur Dangi, 72, who claims to be the world's shortest man standing at a height of 22 inches,
walks along a passage at a hotel in Kathmandu, Nepal, Feb. 26. Dangi is scheduled to be verified as the world's shortest man by the Guinness World Records committee today in Kathmandu. If certified, Dangi will beat Junrey Balawing of Philippines, the current Guinness World Record holder who stands at a height of 23.5 inches. Photo: Navesh Chitrakar / Reuters

The economy is so bad that...

Our fiscal woes have even affected this.

So, who’s to blame that even this index has been impacted?

With the nation’s unemployment rate at 9%, millions of Americans out of work, the debt and deficits skyrocketing, and White House that wants to increase taxes, you might be tempted to suggest President Obama.

If you did, you’re obviously a racist.

What about you local officials, say your aldermen or village or town reps or county supervisors, your school board members, the unelected folks who control your sewer fees. Did you examine that property tax bill of yours last December? Did you blame any or all of them?

If you did, you simply don’t understand that such increases are unavoidable, they’re really the fault of the spenders, and don’t forget you fool, it’s for the children.

Clearly the blame if you’ve been paying any attention lies on the shoulders of Scott Walker.
But not all of it.

You need to throw in George W. Bush.

And Ronald Reagan, too.

Oscar's Best was Better Years and Years Ago


We've done this the past couple of years. Here's the 2012 version:

Tonight that nauseating mutual admiration society of leftist, America-hating Hollywood elitists will pat themselves on the back and overestimate their worth and importance.

Oh for the days when Bob Hope was the emcee and real talent walked up to the podium to accept their awards.

I’m a firm believer in that age old phrase that “they just don’t make 'em like they used to.” Let’s take a look, in increments of five years, at the previous Academy Award winners for Best Picture:

1931-32 Grand Hotel
Grand Hotel Poster

1936 – The Great Ziegfeld

The Great Ziegfeld Poster

1941 – How Green Was My Valley

How Green Was My Valley Poster

1946 – The Best Years of Our Lives

The Best Years of Our Lives Poster

1951 – An American in Paris

An American in Paris Poster

1956 – Around the World in Eighty Days

Around the World in Eighty Days Poster

1961 – West Side Story

West Side Story Poster

1966 – A Man for All Seasons

A Man for All Seasons Poster

1971 – The French Connection
The French Connection Poster

1976 – Rocky

Rocky Poster

1981 – Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire Poster

1986 – Platoon

Platoon Poster

1991 – The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs Poster

1996 – The English Patient

The English Patient Poster

2001 – A Beautiful Mind

2006 – The Departed

The Departed Poster

2011 - ???

This year's nominees for Best Picture are: "The Descendants"; "The Artist"; "Midnight in Paris"; "Hugo"; "Moneyball"; "War Horse" "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"; "The Help"; and "The Tree of Life."

We have a gazillion new readers, so, to illustrate our point even more…

Here's our 2011 version.

And our 2010 version.

Culinary no-no #266

Culinary no-no's


In preparation for this week’s segment, I told my wife, Jennifer that a male colleague asked if we could do lunch someday at this place.


hooters 999

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I really miss Kevin Hunt

Official State of Wisconsin Study Confirms Choice Schools' Success

MacIver Institute

By Christian D’Andrea

MacIver Institute Education Policy Analyst

Students attending private schools in Milwaukee with publically funded vouchers showed stronger gains in achievement than their public school counterparts, according to the latest release from a University of Arkansas sponsored, and State of Wisconsin authorized, longitudinal study.

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The latest pro-life news (02/27/12)

From Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

Monday February 27, 2012
Urgent Action Needed on Legislation to Protect Conscience Rights
Wisconsin State Senate Passes SB 306, Legislation to Protect Women
from Coerced and Webcam Abortions
Good Grief: Euthanasia for Macular Degeneration in the Netherlands
Register Online Now for Laura Ingraham!
2012 State Conference - Saturday April 28
Important Right To Life Links
Urgent Action Alert from the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC)
on Legislation to Protect Conscience Rights

Bowing to Obama



[hahy-pur-buh-lee] noun Rhetoric .

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Don’t look now, Franklin taxpayers, but an extremely minute faction of the Franklin citizenry is playing directly into the clutches of the Franklin Public Schools administration and setting the rest of us up for a huge tax increase of a referendum.

On February 20, a workshop was held with mostly parents seated at various tables who were spoon fed loaded questions right down the middle of the plate about school facilities including what do you want District facilities to provide for students and the community, and what are your priorities for district facilities.

With those types of softball questions, just what kind of responses do you think school officials salivating for a referendum got?





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When Hollywood meets Fox News


Sometimes blog ideas fall like manna from heaven

Remember the long, drawn out debate in Franklin over...

...tornado warning sirens?

Supporters for antiquated, expensive installation argued over and over and over and over again.

We just gotta have 'em.

We gotta.

We gotta.

We gotta.

We gotta.

One of their lamest reasons why was


Well, gee, duhhhhhhhhh. Everybody else has got 'em.

Oh really?



Congratulations, Franklin!

Instead of looking like...

It's more like...


Previously on This Just In…

The update:

Asking a roomful of Franklin parents how school facilities should be improved or added to is like asking my little girl 13 years from now what she’d like for her 16th birthday.

Cue Pavlov’s dog.

I’ve looked through the solid gold wish list of Franklin residents who want everyone else in Franklin to pay for their child’s swimming pool and auditorium. Here are my favorites, some real jaw-droppers with my comments in red, including the WAHHH response when the only reply that’s really necessary is “get a grip and stop your whining.”

Restrooms for all patrons. Because right now only certain people are allowed to piddle. WAHHH!

Facilities need to be current or people will not buy homes in Franklin. No kidding. One of the top priorities for people moving to Franklin is whether or not the actors in the school play have an adequate place to rehearse. WAHHH!

Auditorium built for the HS. Less make-shift facilities and more state-of-the art facilities. The sky’s the limit, baby!

Take advantage of the market and the timing with low and competitive pricing right now for upgrades to our facilities. Who knows what the cost will be in the future? Spend and build. Spend and build NOW baby!

Weight room needs upgrades to keep our sports teams competitive. How’d our wrestling team do again this season? WAHHH!

Lack of a space to share community pride. Yes, indeed. Let’s build a special room where people can gather to sing en masse the Franklin theme song…Spend and tax, build and tax, spend and tax!

Safety is a key issue (space), the technology needs to be covered and accessible. So, Franklin is suddenly so dangerous because we can’t host a WIAA swim meet?

With the space issues it is a problem from the teaching perspective. Can’t expect them to execute a lesson plan unless they’re in a Taj Mahal-like atmosphere. Poor things.

How can you provide a quality education without the facilities to support it? I don’t know. Sounds like an MPS teacher’s argument. They’d kill for facilities like ours. WAHHH!

There isn’t space for choir concerts. WAHHH!

Don’t like seeing kindergarten kids with 6th graders. Say what? Welcome to the way it is and always has been. WAHHH!

Classrooms have old carpeting and other items that need general upgrade. Why stop there. Let’s put in plasma TVs.

Would like performing arts center attached to the high school. I’d like an in-ground swimming pool in my backyard.

We can rent out our facilities (ie dance companies, middle school, etc, community/school organizations can use). Love this one. We’re told that our facilities don’t match those in surrounding communities. Yet if we build new stuff, people from those areas will come. Really? Why would they if their buildings are so good and so much better than ours?

Varsity and JV sports having to share a gym at Christmas holiday; shortage of gym space. There’s a real hardship. Communities across the state are sharing police, fire and other services. We can’t have Johnny sing “Little Drummer Boy” in Oak Creek. WAHHH!

Pool is currently unsafe. My wife and I and our little girl were scared to death when we attended swimming classes the last two summers.

Big field house to host tournaments. Yeh, that’ll lead to more “A” students!

It is embarrassing what we have. Embarrassing. Meanwhile, how many Franklin High School students can spell “embarrassing?”

Built a house 20 years ago and thought that things would have been improved by now.  I would not have built my house here if I knew things were not going to improve. And you continue to live here? Through all the shame and embarrassment?

The value of our homes are negatively impacted by poor facilities because people may not to want to move here. No, the value of your homes and the willingness of the people to move here are affected by the aldermen and school board members who rob us blind with their obscene tax and spending

The curriculum is changing, we need to acclimate to those changes. We can’t be stuck in the old ways of teaching because we don’t have the right facilities. The old way that generated top notch students and exemplary contributors to society

Keep taxes low by using facilities more efficiently. Another great comment by a sure Einstein. Because popping up new buildings and refurbishing others will certainly lower our taxes.

Friends come to see my daughter perform. OK. Uh 1, uh 2, uh 3…WAHHHH!

Sinks for science, classrooms that are conducive to student learning. I admit, I am open to being educated on this one. How are sinks conducive to student learning? Should we move classrooms to the restrooms?

Porta-Potties are full before games start. Then go before you leave home. WAHHHH!

Let’s get this done! Tired of talking about the referendum process, we need this done. YEH! Forget the lawful process. Screw the voters and taxpayers. Let’s just jack up everybody’s taxes now! YEH!

I think that FPMS needs a dedicated choir and band room. Sniffle. Sniffle. Oh, hell, I can’t control myself any longer. WAHHHH!

Science classrooms are a priority. Reading and writing are 6th and 7th, tops.

Want facilities that I can use after my children are out of school. It’s all about me.

There were the rare common sense comments, but too few and far between. Can you imagine the looks these people got at their table when they made these suggestions:

Not athletics, we are in the business of educating students.

Consider conducting school year-round.
Work all year? Are you crazy?  I’ll bet every teacher in the room had his/her blood pressure skyrocket.


Page one above the fold, Journal Sentinel style

In the newspaper business, page one above the fold is where the major story goes, the #1 story, bigger, more important than any other story for that market, whether local, state, national, international.

On Tuesday of this week, most newspaper newsrooms in America devoted their page one above the fold story to the Ohio school shooting. Not 4th and State in Milwaukee, WI.

The Pulitzer Prize winning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel went with a totally different page one above the fold, those clever devils. Here’s their front page with the stipulation that this grab will disappear soon.


In the event the above is blank, here’s what a portion of the 2/28/12 MJS front page looked like:

Cousins' 1,470-calorie Big Daddy sandwich is a mouthful
Jason Laqua, a 20-year-old sophomore at Marquette University from Eagan, Minnesota, takes a bite of the Big Daddy sandwich at Cousins Subs, 1612 W. Wisconsin Ave.  Photo: Mike De Sisti

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Tommy's first TV ad

Dear friends,
I have exciting news to share with you! Tommy Thompson just launched the very first television ad of any candidate for U.S. Senate in Wisconsin.
Click here to be one of the first to view the ad and share it with your friends!

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"So much for that recall effort"

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One Republican single-handedly kills 2,834 jobs in Wisconsin

That would be state Senator Dale Schultz (RINO-Richland Center).

He’d rather side with extremist tree hugging job killing Democrats.

I worked with Schultz in the state Legislature for almost 15 years. If he’s a true Republican, I’m John Lennon.

He’s begging for a bona fide conservative Republican opponent in 2014. Here’s hoping he gets one.

Daddy, can we talk about Ryan Braun? photo

Picture the following scenario:

Somewhere in Wisconsin.  A Milwaukee Brewers fan, a young boy in the 6-8 year range is discussing Ryan Braun with his father. The boy is aware of and has been following the Braun controversy.

BOY:  “So Ryan won his argument, right?”

FATHER: “That’s correct, son.”

BOY: “He won’t be suspended for 50 games?’

FATHER: “No he won’t.”

BOY: “That’s because he fought his case and won.”

FATHER: “Yes he did.”

BOY: “That means he didn’t take those drugs, right?”

FATHER: “Well…”

Well, indeed.

The only correct answer would be a totally honest answer, even though it may only lead to more wide-eyed questions and a possible broken heart and shattered dreams for the young fan.

“Well…we don’t know for sure, and we may never know.”

Gary Wadler, a physician and former official with the World Anti-Doping Agency told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week the 44 hours Braun’s urine sample were kept in basement of the Collector would not have affected the sample results leaving these possibilities: someone deliberately smeared a testosterone gel onto Braun's skin without his knowledge, someone tampered with Braun's urine sample (that is looking extremely remote), or that Braun did take an illegal substance.

Thickening the pesky cloud that won’t disappear is the fact that Braun didn’t initially question the results. He questioned the now familiar “chain of custody.” Braun successfully beat the rap on a technicality, that being that the Collector didn’t follow exactly the letter of Major League Baseball’s policy for collecting samples and sending them within the proper timetable to the designated lab.

When the appeal was won, Braun stepped to the microphone and said all the right things: H
e had passed drug screenings at least 25 times in his career, the elevated level of testosterone allegedly discovered was three times greater than the level detected in any previous drug test by any player, and that his weight, speed and strength have never fluctuated. 

Then Braun committed a PR error. He went after the Collector, strongly inferring he may have tampered with the sample, despite having no evidence to back up such a theory.

When the Collector crawled out from under the bus this week to staunchly defend his career and character, the story sprouted more legs.

Baseball is not limited to Brewer Nation, and not everyone buys that Braun didn’t take performance enhancing drugs. These doubters find his case unconvincing.

That brings us to the youngsters. Athletes may deny it, but they are role models that have a tremendous influence on kids who will have a difficult time believing that one of their tall heroes could behave badly.

A colleague of mine described the Braun case this way. It’s like the driver pulled over for going 80 in a 55 by a very experienced, upstanding officer. Later in court, the speeding ticket is tossed because the defense lawyer was able to find something mechanically wrong with the radar gun.

Young people deserve and should know the truth. Professional athletes have violated rules in the past. Braun tested positive. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last time a ballplayer will find himself in trouble. Two out of three judges (arbitrators) decided that Braun should not be suspended because, in their view, despite no evidence of tampering, a rule is a rule. The sample was to have been mailed the exact day it was taken. It was not. End of case.

That leaves the door open, as Gary Wadler suggested, that Braun did take something he shouldn’t have. Does that make Braun a bad person? No. It means that good people do dumb things.

There’s a teaching lesson here for parents. Professional athletes are not and shouldn’t be regarded as infallible creatures. Like all humans, they are capable of big mistakes that can haunt them for a long, long time.

Too many lingering questions remain to keep the honest, albeit painful truth from any inquiring young Brewer fan.

Don't forget to read:


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