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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.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Photos of the Week (2/22/09)

2) Culinary no-no #100

3) UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95-rated XXX

4) Lefty flake Keith Olbermann...

5) Paczkis for the Archbishop

Photos of the Week (3/1/09)

Photos of the Week


President Barack Obama addresses a joint session of Congress in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., Tuesday, February 24, 2009. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool/MCT)


Mary Ann Herrera is seen at her home in San Antonio, Monday, Feb. 23, 2009. Under the threat of foreclosure, Herrara asked her brother to paint the words "Help!!" and "Foreclosure!!" on her home recently in hopes of getting assistance. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

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Thank you, Journal Sentinel for the walk down Memory Lane

Since I criticize the daily newspaper, it's only fair to compliment when they do something very well. A great example is in today's sports section.

Does the name, "LaMont Weaver" mean anything? It does to me. My dad and I watched on television 40 years ago as Weaver became a Wisconsin sports celebrity. 

Gary D'Amato writes a very special piece about the shot heard 'round the state.

NOTE: You do not have to be a sports fan to appreciate this excellent feature article.


Would I get in trouble if I said a woman shouldn't be allowed to breast-feed in a situation like this?

The state Senate recently approved a bill to allow breast-feeding in public. Proponents argue that a woman should be allowed to breast-feed anywhere she is authorized to be.

I wonder what they'd say about the interesting case of Genine Compton that is sure to raise internal conflicts. There's the right to breast-feed, and then there's that whole issue of yakking on a cell phone while driving.

I smell the "Genine Compton" bill coming.

UPDATE: Apparently, this is nothing new.

Recommended reading

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. However, my disagreements notwithstanding, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

The Obama Revolution

"With yesterday's fiscal 2010 budget proposal, President Obama is attempting not merely to expand the role of the federal government but to put it in such a dominant position that its power can never be rolled back."

Obama unbridled

"The new President made clear in his first State of the Union address that he believes in government power as the answer to our current difficulties, and he intends to use it."

Judging Obama

"What if the economy is still in bad shape a year or two from now? Will we get apologies from Obama and the stimulus advocates in Congress? Not a chance. Their excuse is already prepared: The stimulus was too small."

Why I'm not lining up for stimulus handouts

"Recently, a firestorm ignited in Wisconsin when I, as Milwaukee County executive, refused to submit a wish list to Gov. Jim Doyle for items in the federal 'stimulus' package."

We are NOT entitled

"One of the most dangerous words in the English language is 'entitlement.' It helped create, and continues to fuel, the current economic meltdown. It underscores a dangerous lack of accountability and honesty by some of our leaders - and ourselves."

The right not to be offended?

"It's a discredit to our national confidence that each time some impolite thought — perceived or otherwise — is uttered, sketched or typed, a faction of professionally offended Americans engage in a collective hyper-sensitivity meltdown."

Locals can make such decisions

"It's conceivable a nickname with strong support in a given local community, but which allegedly offends someone outside that community, could be deemed illegal by a distant state official. And the taxpayers of a district could be fined for daring to defy a state edict to dump their school's mascot."

Bloggers Can't Fill the Gap Left by Shrinking Press Corps

"Across the nation, it's not just that fewer reporters are covering state government; newspapers and TV stations are also devoting far less space and time to that news. Does that mean citizens are less well-informed? Do blogs and other new media fill in where old media are cutting back? Is it really a loss if reporters cover fewer legislative debates?"

MJS Scorecard (3/1/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Ellen Bravo: Sick days make economic sense  (Dear Crossroads staff: where's the adjoining rebuttal piece?)

Jon Richards: We must fund future via plans of UWM 

Laudable, well-intentioned goal, as usual, with huge price tag, as usual, with no explanation as to how to pay for it, as usual. Plus, I'm not sure my friend Jon Richards would appreciate if I called his writing, "conservative."

James Rowe: When democracy leaves MPS kids uneducated, we must act 

Rowe's piece starts out, like so many op-ed peices in the past, that we must salvage and improve MPS. I'll go along with that. But then Rowe spoils it by calling for an appointed Milwaukee School Board. Not exactly a conservative point of view. No way do I want unelected school board members with no accountability having wide taxing authority.

Irina Bystrova: With Obama, a Russian thaw? 

Another "Things go better with Obama" piece.


Doug Neilson: Business travel helps Milwaukee 

Another View:  In present form, the RTA plan doesn't work for Racine County


Been down before

Another exceptional local history piece by John Gurda.


TODAY: Liberal-4, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-20, Conservative-13

Victoria's Secret- The Sexy List 2009

Before you scoff and dismiss the blog title as a lead-in to a tawdry, cheap attempt to draw in readers (that would only be about 5% of the intent of this entry), I challenge you to look at the "sexy" crowd in the photo gallery and see if you agree with me that in many cases, the VS people nailed it (And I ain't talkin' Kelly Ripa).

Are the Fighting Irish rising like the Phoenix?

It is now officially the month of madness. Nothing, I mean absolutely, positively nothing is more important this month than basketball. Let me clarify that.  As much as I love high school ball, I'm talkin' college hoops.

Marquette's Dominic James fractures a bone in his foot and Wisconsin, though not as impressive as they've been in the past still plods along. Both teams make it into the NCAA Tournament according to the latest bracket forecast from Fox Sports.

Memphis, Elvis' team and one I keep my eye on is safely in and extremely dangerous. They've won 20 in a row.

And my Fighting Irish who lost 7 in a row earlier and have had trouble playing defense and don't look anything like the team they should be...... still have a shot?

UPDATE: Probably not....

Culinary no-no #101

Culinary no-no's

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama (sleeveless, I might add) laughs with White House executive chef Cristeta Comerford as she gives a kitchen preview for the Governors dinner at the White House in Washington February 22, 2009. Photo: Reuters

Our nation is discovering that Barack Obama is the liberal’s liberal.

The new president in just a few short weeks has called for the greatest expansion of the scope of government in our country’s history. There isn’t a component of the average American’s lifestyle that President Obama doesn’t want to intrude upon, and that includes eating.

According to the mainstream media, just about everyone is deliriously happy about the Obama victory and now bows at his altar. Count elitist, snobby, look down their noses chefs in that crowd. They view an Obama White House as their ticket to pontificate as to how America should eat.

The conventional wisdom in some 4-star kitchens goes like this: George W. Bush was a pork rind chewing, unhealthy, stay at home eater-in-chief who considered restaurants off limits. Barack Obama is an adventurous soul who could teach all of us the finer points of dining.

Gag me with a spoon.

Despite many websites that claim George Bush prefers Mexican food, the London Sun reports his favorite dish was something else.

Turns out Obama also loves pizza.

Ahhhhh, but the Great One is more than sauce on pressed out dough. He is much more than that. Obama is not afraid to experiment, to choose healthy meals made form healthy ingredients inspired by local farmer’s markets.

Anything wrong with that? Not at all. When it translates into greater government bureaucracy and regulation….then it’s a problem. The top cheerleaders: chefs at high, higher, highest end restaurants, one who admits he’s an elitist. They want less government support for large corporation farms and increased subsidies for smaller farms that produce what they consider to be healthier food, even if, as they concede, most won’t be able to afford to dine at their establishments anyway.

Elitist snobbery doesn’t begin to describe how arrogant these high-priced cooks really are.

They want to dictate how we should eat?
Dan Barber, the chef at New York's Blue Hill restaurant according to the Associated Press cooked a $500-a-plate meal for incoming Obama aides and other guests at a small charity fundraiser the night before the inauguration.  It included passed hors d'oeuvres of raw carrots, lettuce and cauliflower.

“Hog snouts left over from slaughter were used as a garnish on a plate of Maine sea scallops.”


I wonder what hog snouts at Barber’s restaurant go for, if they’re even offered?

At the very least, according to these sudden Obama advisors, the nation’s first family could be doing a great service if they, like those announcements on some Milwaukee radio stations the past 50 years of the daily menu at MPS, would just tell us each and every day what Barack, Michelle,
Malia and Sasha are eating.

I don’t need to know or want to know what the Obama’s are having this Thursday or wait with baited breath about their bill of fare. The same would have held true for the Bush’s.

I also don’t need the Obama’s or the federal government telling me what’s healthy, or what to buy at a farmer’s market.

As for some of America’s chefs who are orgasmic about Obama, I would politely suggest you save your pomposity for the next soufflé you concoct and keep it there.

Here are more details from the Associated Press.


One of the awards I received while News Director at WTMJ-AM that I am very proud of was for our news department's ongoing coverage of the Cryptosporidium outbreak.

Back then, it was considered scandalous if bottled water companies were caught selling tap water.

Today in New York, it's all the rage.


"Everybody burps."

So says Dr. Tedd Mitchell in the USA WEEKEND insert in your Sunday paper today.

Everybody. That would mean Douglas MacArthur, General Patton, Emily Post, Timothy Dolan, all Catholic nuns and the Fonz.

Is burping really all that bad? The father of a young gal I dated when I was in my early 20's (Mary S., if you're reading, please send me an e-mail) used to say, "Better to belch and feel the shame than hold it in and feel the pain."

If this is an occasional


problem for you, read USA WEEKEND.

Then enjoy the late, great George Carlin expound on the topic beginning at 2:20 into the following (until 5:15) as he describes his old classmate, John Pigman.

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Conservatism may not be dead

There were some fascinating quotes that came out of the just-completed  Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington as reported by Salena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, including the following:

"Conservatives certainly have more a lot more energy, creativity and ideas this year opposing the Obama agenda than they did supporting the Bush administration.”

"The biggest thing that Republicans should avoid is to become the party of no.”

"With the exception of Sarah Palin, McCain and Bush are now part of our past.”

"We now have more than enough evidence of what this administration thinks of the American people. Let me say to Attorney General Holder: I welcome the opportunity to have a dialogue with you about cowardice, anywhere, anytime."

"Thanks to the stimulus package, Republicans have this great moment to distinguish ourselves from the Democratic Party. “

"When we (conservatives) look at a group of people, we see Americans -- we don't see groups of people, we don't see victims, we see potentials."

To find out who said the above and in what context, read this.

The 11th Commandment

Some related incidents in the news had me thinking about what recently happened to the wife of a friend of mine and the troubling reaction it received.

Andy’s at the busy intersection of 51st and Rawson in Franklin has been robbed twice in less than a week.

Ellen Basinski was one of my HEROES OF THE WEEK in my Saturday “Week-ends” blog because the 70-year old would not give in to robbers who broke into her home, attacking one of them with an Emeril’s frying pan.

Keep those in mind as I relate the following story. My friend’s wife is employed at what I will call a local Catholic workplace. One day on the job not too long ago, she noticed that the locker area where she and others keep their valuables had been broken into. Her purse and its contents, including cash, had been stolen.

Local police were summoned and questioned those on the scene, including my friend’s wife who was quite distressed. At some point, a Catholic priest emerged, and if his purpose was to provide a calming influence, he was about as successful as Goliath against David.

The man with the Roman collar nonchalantly said to the robbery victim, “You know, times are tough all over.”

The woman couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She had just been violated, a victim of crime, and she was now being given the “turn the other cheek” speech from a man of the cloth who sounded more sympathetic to the robber. The priest’s comment was, though not intended to be, lacking in compassion and tact.

A devout Catholic, I still have been known to blast my religion here on my blog, on radio and TV when warranted. Is it any wonder the pews are empty when the people of faith we look to for strength, wisdom, counsel and leadership totally disappoint us?

“Times are tough all over.”

Is that what this priest would have told the owner of Andy’s? Would he have chastised Ellen Basinski for swinging her frying pan in defense because the break-in robbers were probably just hungry and destitute?

Undoubtedly, the current recession will mean even more crime committed by thugs and punks. Hoepfully none of the investigating offciers will be ex-priests.

The good Lord, I submit, presented this particular priest with an opportunity to console. Instead, he inflamed an emotional setting.

If there was such a declaration as an 11th Commandment, this priest was clearly in violation:

Thou shalt not make excuses for breaking any of the previous 10.

Nobody's perfect, especially the hateful left

An associate of mine recently reminded me that life is too short to worry even in the slightest about what people say about you, and believe me, I've been called everything under the sun (those clever, warm, compassionate devils!).

So rather than engage in the hateful, personal, evil, vindictive attacks of the left (and other detractors), I will simply link to this blog and ....




UPDATE: Will Wisconsin be the last to deprive citizens self-protection?

Last month, I blogged that there is growing support in Illinois to approve the right to carry a concealed weapon.

UPDATE: Illinois is getting closer.

Does Doyle want people to quit smoking or not?

From the Wisconsin State Journal:

" Gov. Jim Doyle proposes to raise $291 million more in taxes on smokers and tobacco users over the next two years, he is proposing to cut state help to programs that help smokers kick the habit by $1.8 million — on top of $2 million in cuts already being made this year."

Can't wait to hear the libs spin this one...

The truth about American teenagers you never hear

The vast majority of teenagers today does not cheat on exams, get high, rob, engage in sexting, or sleep around. In other words, most kids today are pretty darn good.

Problem is, studying, getting good grades, eating all your vegetables, and remaining abstinent doesn’t get you on the 10:00 news. Screwing up big time….now that will get you noticed.

During my speaking engagements at youth events, I often mention that the news media where I spent a great deal of my career is generally absent when there’s good news to report about our young folks. That’s just the way the business is.

Occasions like those I speak at are solid reminders that despite what we read in the papers or see on television, the majority of today’s youth are good, honest, decent, productive citizens and the future of our great country is in very good hands.

Some qualms, at least for me, remain. There’s the whole work ethic. And political astuteness.  And general knowledge about the basics of reading, writing and math. And being involved in their communities. And drugs. And sex.

But how bad are today’s teens? How morally bankrupt are they?

National radio talk show host and columnist Michael Medved shoots holes in the commonly held notion that today’s teens only care about and engage in three things: sex, sex, and more sex.

Armed with an arsenal of substantiated data, Medved makes the strong case that most of today’s teens are not promiscuous to the nth degree.  Medved lays out the supporting evidence, then the subsequent fact-based conclusions that are great news warranting front page coverage in every daily paper in the country:

“Journalists failed to mention the one most obvious and logical explanation for the rise in the pre-twenty birthrate: it reflected a sharp increase in fertility and childbearing for women of all ages, all races, and all economic situations. The general fertility rate hit its highest level since 1971 – showing a one year-increase among older women at least as notable as the rise among teenagers.

In other words, the rising number of teenage mothers connects with the rise of motherhood in general – and the dramatic decline in abortion.

In this context, the small increase in teenaged births doesn't demonstrate a breakdown of moral discipline among the young, but rather shows the society-wide improvement in attitudes toward human life and child-bearing. In every age group, women proved more eager to welcome babies and far more reluctant to terminate their pregnancies with abortion.”

I encourage you to take the time to read Medved’s column, as well as a New York Times article he refers to.

Medved writes about positive trends involving our youth who aren’t recognized enough for their positive lifestyles. Here’s hoping this good news continues.

UPDATE: Make it stop! Make it stop! Make it stop!

In 2007, a Colorado judge gained fame for using Barry Manilow as a deterrent.

The judge continues to make national news….

And now, international news. His influence has reached across the world where New Zealand is attempting to calm the youthful masses.

I just wonder what kind of post BM stress syndrome this might cause for mall employees who would be forced to listen all day.

Here's a thought...stop hiring brain dead van drivers

Boy left in day care van overnight.....the same day another child left alone in van for an hour or two.

It is indefensible. There isn't an excuse in the world that can justify an adult in charge of a child's transportation leaving (I don't buy the "I forgot" routine) that child in the vehicle unattended for any amount of time.

My friend and colleague, state Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) is reintroducing his bill to require day care vans to be equipped with alarms.

It's not a bad idea per se, but I have a better one. How about day care centers hire drivers with enough brains and common sense to not leave any child alone ever. What a concept.

Delafield, be careful what you DON'T ask for

Because of the city of Franklin's courage, vision and leadership, other municipalities around the satte have considered and/or approved Franklin-like ordinances restricting where sex offenders can be or live. Some have thought it over and decided no. That, of course, is their prerogative. Each community must decide what is best for their neighborhoods.

Personally, I would hope more communities would take Franklin's lead. Delafield did not. Their city attorney said the idea of a restrictive ordinance sounds good on paper, but there are so many other issues to consider. He doesn't outline what they are so that they be formally and thoroughly addressed. Delafield aldermen nod their heads in agreement. Not a one offers a dissenting voice.

Hey, if that's what you want, Delafield. But you've just sent a loud and clear message to released sex offenders that as far as they're concerned, Delafield is open for business.

Franklin should thank it's lucky stars for City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski.

Plenty of villains in this story that didn't have to be

How evil. And then, how incredibly stupid.

First, the evil, from the Belleville News Democrat:

"A Belleville teacher's aide is accused of trying to drown one newborn in a toilet after giving birth at a family party in Columbia in November, and is being investigated in the death of another, whose decomposed body was discovered at her home last week."

Now, the incredibly stupid:

"Despite the protests of police, who argued that Elyse J. Mamino put her tiny daughter face-first in a water-filled toilet bowl and left her gasping for air and kicking her legs, child protection workers returned the child to her care."

These two cases, a murder and an attempted murder were preventable. Because the criminal justice system can be too lenient, it enables individuals to repeat their crimes. Illinois, like every state in the country, has what is called a "Safe Haven" law. As I blogged last July, under a safe haven law, all an individual has to do if she doesn't want a newborn child is hop in a car and drive to the nearest police station, drop the baby off and go home, no questions asked:

"Even though most states have safe havens laws, many babies are still being abandoned illegally instead of being dropped off at safe places. I submit the reason more babies aren’t being tenderly taken to safe havens is because many people, especially mixed up babies having babies don’t know these laws exist. There needs to be one of those 'awareness' campaigns, a public education effort we always hear about. Amidst all the talk in public schools about safe sex and condoms, could we spend a few minutes on safe havens? Innocent newborns don’t belong in the garbage. I’d much rather have unwanted babies dropped off at places where they’ll receive all the attention they truly deserve rather than having to place a call to the undertaker."

Here's my blog from last July.

In closing,

1) The woman in the Illinois case needs to be aggressively prosecuted.

2) The social workers who ignored the advice of police need to be fired immediately.

3) The word about Safe Haven Laws needs to get out.

I'd pay to see/hear....

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 13: Radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh attends a Medal of Freedom ceremony at the White House January 13, 2009 in Washington DC. During the ceremony U.S. President George W. Bush presented the Medal of Freedom to former British Prime Minister Tony Blair,  former Australian Prime Minister John Howard and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. From Getty Images.


The Limbaugh transcript from his show today.

Obama without the cue cards....

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Making its way around the Internet, this important message...



My fellow Americans,

As your president I want to thank voters of all political stripes for their mindless support, despite my complete lack of any legislative achievement, my pastor's ties with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan dictator Moamar Quadafi, and my blatantly liberal voting record while I present myself as some sort of bipartisan agent of change.

I also liked how my supporters claimed my youthful drug use and criminal behaviour somehow qualified me for the presidency after 8 years of claiming Bush's youthful drinking disqualified him. Your hypocrisy is a beacon of hope shining over a sea of political chicanery.

I would also like to thank the Kennedys for coming out in support of me.  There's a lot of glamour behind the Kennedy name, even though JFK started the Vietnam War, his brother Robert illegally wiretapped Martin Luther King Jr., they both slept with Marilyn, and Teddy's negligence caused the death of a young girl.  I'm not going anywhere near the Kennedy cousins, especially Michael Skakel.

And I'd like to thank Oprah Winfrey for her support.  Her love of meaningless empty platitudes was the force that propeled me to the White House.

Americans voted for me, not because of my lack of experience or achievement, but because I make people feel good. White people who voted for me got some relief from their racist guilt.

I said things that sound meaningful but don't really mean anything because Americans are tired of things having meaning.  If things have meaning, then that means you have to think.

Americans are tired of thinking.  It's time to shut down the brain and open up the heart.



The latest news from Great Lakes Distillery, makers of Rehorst

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 20-
American Distilling Institute

Something Special from Wisconsin
Great Lakes Distillery is the only distillery member of  the Wisconsin State Agriculture Departments "Something Special from Wisconsin" created to promote Wisconsin produced products.

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Think green!


The Official Irish Fest Newsletter
Irish Fest 2009 - August 13-16

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You ain't got no clue what is today, does ya?

Well, I should be glad to fill youse in.

Without some more adieu, here go.

I am posed to announce that today is….

Ain’t that cool, irregardless of what you think of I and my writing.

Anywho, this could help, aina? ...... 

Top 10 Grammar Tips (from SPOGG)

Me, myself & I

A million well-meaning parents are to blame for the rampant abuse of the letter I."It's Bathsheba and I, not Bathsheba and me." How many times have you heard that?Sometimes, "Bathsheba and me" is correct. It depends on whether you are the subject or object of the sentence.

You can figure this out easily by leaving Bathsheba out of the question. You wouldn't say "Me went to the store” unless you were Cookie Monster. So "Bathsheba and I" is right here. Nor would you say "Jocko gave I the ball." This is why "Bathsheba gave me the ball" is correct, as is "Bathsheba gave Jocko and me the ball.

Myself, meanwhile, is not a fancy substitute for me. It’s an intensive or reflexive intensive pronoun. You use it for emphasis, or to refer to yourself as the subject of the sentence. For example:·                     I looked at myself in the mirror. (reflexive)·                     I myself never eat live goldfish. (intensive)

Do not, for the love of grammar, say “Talk to myself about your problems.” That’s just wrong.

2.            Is it “good” or “well”?

There are people out there who insist that “I am well” is the only acceptable answer to the question, “How are you?” They are wrong, bless their starchy little hearts. It is true that adverbs modify verbs, and “am” is a form of the verb “to be.” This is a special kind of verb. Called a “linking verb,” it connects a subject to additional information. It’s not an action verb. Just as the sentence “Kermit the frog is green” is correct, while “Kermit the frog is greenly” is not, “I am good” is a correct way to answer the question. Here’s the kicker, though. “I am well” works, too. It has a slightly different meaning, and describes your state of health. So, if you want to reveal your glowing physical condition, by all means say, “I am well.” If you merely want to say stuff in your life is hunky-dory, “I am good” is just fine.

3.            Less vs. fewer

While there are some people who insist the distinction between these words is meaningless, we decline to attend their party. Your speech and writing will be more elegant if you know the difference: -   Use “less” when you’re talking about an amount of something that can’t be divided into units. For example, “I have less time than I once did.”- Use “fewer” when you’re talking about a quantity that can be divided or measured. For example, “I spend fewer hours watching TV than I once did.” This can get tricky. For example, is it “fewer than 50 percent of voters showed up at the polls”? Or is it “less than 50 percent”? In this case, we’d recommend going with “fewer than 50 percent”—Latin for per hundred—because the voters didn’t show up as one big group. “Fewer than 50 people in 100 showed up.” They showed up one at a time, or maybe in groups of two. But even if entire book clubs arrived together, the individual units matter.We’d say “He used less than 50 percent of an egg in his cake batter.”  Even though per cent literally means per hundred, you still wouldn’t divide an egg into 100 pieces unless you were performing some sort of unusual religious miracle akin to the loaves and fishes, but for vegetarians. This is a really minor point, and people might persuasively argue either side. Let’s just say if you find yourself in this sort of debate, actually caring about the outcome, you should feel good about your regard for language. 

4.            Which vs. that

Use "that" for restrictive clauses and "which" for non-restrictive ones. In other words, if the meaning of your sentence depends on (and is restricted by) a qualifying statement, use "that." Here’s an example using "that": -                      The dog that barked is mine. (This means the quiet dog isn’t yours.)Here’s an example using “which”:-                      The dog, which barked at a tree, crossed the road. (There is no other dog. This one first barked at a tree, then crossed the road. Why did the dog cross the road? Probably to meet the chicken on the other side.)Some people insist there is no difference, and you can use whatever you want. You definitely can find examples in fine literature of “which” being used with restrictive clauses. But a newspaper editor wouldn’t permit it. And, if you set off a “that” clause with a comma, you’d just be wrong.

Right: He put the cup on the table, which had a wobbly leg.

Wrong: He put the cup on the table, that had a wobbly leg.

5.            i.e. vs. e.g.

The New York Times called Latin a dead language that’s still twitching a bit. That twitching, we think, comes whenever people misuse Latin, making the language roll over just a bit in its grave. Here’s how to remember when to use i.e., and when to use e.g.-           i.e. stands for id est (that is).

Use it when you’re explaining something. You can remember this by pretending that the i.e. really stands for “in essence.”  I like cats and dogs, i.e., animals you can teach to go to the bathroom outside.

-                      e.g. stands for exempli gratia (for example).

You can remember this by pretending that e.g. stands for example given.
I like big dogs, e.g., Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds.In American English, set off both i.e. and e.g. with commas.

6.            affect vs. effect

Generally, affect is a verb, and effect is a noun.  There are a couple of exceptions: -                      to “effect change” means to bring about change.-                      To have a flat “affect” means you don’t show a lot of personality. These exceptions aren’t all that common. It’s pretty stiff to use “effect” as a verb of change, and “affect” as a noun is usually reserved for clinical settings. If you can simply remember to use affect as a verb and effect as a noun, you will almost always be right.

7.            insure vs. ensure

Insure and ensure are sound-alike words with slightly different meanings. We even see these words messed up in well-edited publications such as The New York Times and The New Yorker. -                      Insure means to protect against risk.-                      Ensure means to make certain.Use “insure” when you’re talking about things that are related to insurance—you know, those bills you pay twice a year? Use “ensure” when you’re not talking about anything you’d pay premiums to protect. Use insure when you’re actually talking about insurance. You can get away with using these words interchangeably, and indeed, some dictionaries list them as such. But why muddy the waters? We love a fine distinction; it makes language infinitely richer. A similar-sounding word—“assure”—means to convince someone or make someone confident.

8.            To split, or not to split: the truth about split infinitives 

An infinitive is a “to” plus a verb, e.g. “to tickle.”Generations of teachers have reprimanded their students for splitting infinitives and sticking an adverb between the “to” and the verb. It turns out all those teachers were needlessly stiff. We can follow the lead of Gene Roddenberry’s “Star Trek,”—to boldly go where English teachers said we mustn’t. The bias against split infinitives came from grammarians who wanted English to be more like Latin. In Latin, you can’t split an infinitive. It’s one word. In English, there is sometimes good reason to split the pair with a modifier. If, for example, you were complaining that the president plans to almost triple your taxes, then you’d be perfectly justified in splitting the infinitive. One alternative—to say he plans almost to triple your taxes—makes it sound as though the plan isn’t complete. The other—to say he plans to triple almost your taxes—is unacceptably stilted. Generally, it’s a fine practice to keep the infinitive whole. This gives you the best shot at clarity. But when an exception arises, don’t hesitate to boldly go.

9.            A preposition you can’t refuse

You can’t end a sentence with a preposition. Chances are, you’ve heard this from a well-meaning teacher. This isn’t true, though. Experts think this is a bit like the ban on split infinitives—another vestige of our language’s love affair with Latin. In Latin, preposition means “put before,” so how could it possibly be used at the end of a sentence ?You might have memorized list of prepositions when you were in school. It’s worth remembering, though, that words on that list don’t always function as prepositions. Sometimes, they can be adverbs. Here, they’re fine at the end of sentences.For example, “Let’s give them something to talk about,” a line from a very kicky Bonnie Raitt song. Some purists might say, “No, no. It must be ‘Let’s give them something about which to talk’.” This is unnecessarily stilted. It’s turned “about” from an adverb to a preposition (a word before a noun), but it’s only made the sentence stilted—not more correct. There is one case where a preposition shouldn’t come at the end of the sentence. “Where’s he at?” is an unpleasant idiom. The “at” is unnecessary. Where provides all you need to know about his location.

10.         Conjunction function

Don’t start a sentence with a conjunction. This is another one of those fake English-teacher rules. You probably wouldn’t want to start a sentence in a really formal paper with a conjunction—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. But there’s no problem in most other cases. Award-winning journalists, novelists, and other writers do it all the time. Same with sentence fragments. We’ve been told not to use them, but when we do it with a light hand, they can improve the flow of our writing, making it easier to understand.

And more seriousness, from WYPR in Baltimore. Midday man Dan Rodricks celebrates National Grammar Day with his guests Martha Brockenbrough, author of Things That Make Us [Sic] and founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, and John McIntyre, director of the copy desk at the Baltimore Sun who runs the blog "You Don't Say."

Listen to the podcast here. Click at the appropriate spot under Wednesday, March 4.

Unlikely Wisconsin duo pushing for less pork


Toss in John McCain?

Uh huh.

If Jim Doyle has the power, the POTUS should, too.

Here's the trio's announcement. Ryan: "Our goal is to embarass the pork out of Washington."

Read more

The WORST reaction to Nadya Suleman

Politicians calling for arbitrary limits on embryos.

"Infertility doctors argue that decisions on how many embryos to transfer should be left up to medical experts familiar with a patient's individual circumstances."

Legislators need to stay out of this one.

Not ready for prime time

Barack (AARP) Obama.

This isn't Springfield where you can just vote, "present," all the time. The job is getting to him.

Look at the face of a killer

Here she is, Belkis Gonzalez.

"She (Gonzalez) delivered a live baby during a botched procedure and then threw the infant away. The teenage mother, Sycloria Williams, has filed a lawsuit alleging that Gonzalez knocked the infant off the chair where she had given birth, and then scooped the baby, placenta and afterbirth into a red plastic biohazard bag, and threw it out. The baby's body had decomposed by the time authorities found it eight days later....."

Remember, while a member of the Illinois Legislature, Barack Obama voted against legislation to protect infants scheduled for abortion that were born alive.

A very sad day Thursday...

In the state of Washington.

Another strike against the culture of life.

Who is the favorite to win the World Baseball Classic?

The opinions among the experts vary as to who will win the tournament that begins today.


Blogger MLB2009

Team USA opens play Saturday. The schedule.

It's what all of America will be talking about the rest of the week

Read more

UPDATE: Unlikely Wisconsin duo pushing for less pork

Wednesday, I blogged about Paul Ryan, Russ Feingold, and John McCain teaming up to seek line-item veto power for the president.  I’ve always thought that was a great idea.

Back in my early radio days at WUWM, I recall many interviews with former Wisconsin Congressman Jim Moody, a Milwaukee Democrat and economist.  Even with the popular Ronald Reagan in office, Moody staunchly backed the White House having line-item veto authority.

So what does the current White House think?  The Hill reports:

“White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said he did not know whether Obama was asking for the line-item veto.

Last month, by contrast, he suggested that the president ‘would love to take that [the line-item veto] for a test drive.’  On Wednesday, Gibbs clarified that statement.

‘I guess I should have been more clear that we seek to take only constitutional ideas out for said test drive, yes,’ he said.”

The words, “softening” and “backtracking” are now being used to describe Obama’s stance on line-item veto. That’s odd. During the debates, Obama loved the prospect of putting a line by line laser beam to the budget….

Read more

School kids hurt by unions

Blogger John McAdams cites a piece by Stanford University’s Terry Moe in the latest edition of the American Journal of Political Science asserting that unions are hampering the education of our young students. Moe writes:

“The unions use their power—their basic work-denial power, enhanced by their political power—to get restrictive rules written into collective bargaining contracts. And these restrictions ensure that the public schools are literally not organized to promote academic achievement.”

McAdams has more in his Marquette Warrior blog.

A 9-year old bearing twins

Last August while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I delved into an extraordinary topic that I, for one, had never heard discussed on local talk radio: Why women make the, as I said numerous times on the program, incredible, inspirational decision to go through with their pregnancies after being victims of rape and incest.

After my program I also blogged about the emotional issue, attempting as I did on WISN to make my stance very clear:

I admire women who forego abortions after being victimized, but I personally could not and would not criticize them for choosing to abort in such cases.”

My entire focus was to present the issue from the perspective of the assault victims and explain why they refuse to abort. My phone lines were flooded, and everyone who called in got on the air. I didn’t hang up on anyone. I did get agitated with some pro-lifers who misunderstood my position. Apparently, I was too honest in saying that I do have the utmost respect and admiration for the women who keep their babies, but I could understand the decision of those who choose to abort and would not criticize them for it. Never did I say the abortion was the right choice. Some pro-lifers wanted to turn this very specific discussion into a general debate on abortion whereas I wanted to keep the focus narrow.

Here’s my blog on the subject from last August.

I raise this issue because there is a story in the news out of Brazil that would make for another provocative talk radio topic. MSNBC reports:

A Roman Catholic archbishop says the abortion of twins carried by a 9-year-old girl who allegedly was raped by her stepfather means excommunication for the girl's mother and her doctors. Despite the nature of the case, the church had to hold its line against abortion, Archbishop Jose Cardoso Sobrinho said in an interview aired Thursday by Globo television.”

The church’s position is clear: the babies should not have been aborted. For many, this scenario does not constitute an open and shut case. Making a quick judgment would be difficult, thus making the story ideal for talk radio.

Was the bishop right? Was he wrong?  Would you insist that the 9-year old have the twins? Would you, should you be critical of a decision to abort?

I do know this after my last experience on WISN. If you are 99.9999999% pro-life, that won’t be good enough for some. But a great talk radio topic? 100%

Here’s more from a Fox News blogger.

I thought the guy was the greatest orator God ever put on this planet...

Apparently not.

UPDATE at 9:00 p.m. The NY Times has just chimed in.

Dolan's NY honeymoon interrupted


SNAP news release

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics to be discussed on InterCHANGE Friday night on MIlwaukee Public Television at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:


The funeral will be held Friday for the 15 year old Whitefish Bay girl who apparently died from a drug overdose, just days before she was to check in for an inpatient treatment program.  Such an incredibly sad story.  How does a 15-year-old get to this point?  Is it impossible for the non-addict to fully appreciate the pull of the addiction?  Is it mind boggling that someone would give a 15 year old “recreational” narcotics?  How could the 53-year-old father of the suspect help “dump” her body in a driveway?  Is it unfair that the media plays this up more when it’s a pretty white girl, as opposed to a minority resident of the inner city?  Or, is it just more “newsworthy” because it’s more unusual?  What can a parent do to prevent this from happening? 


Citibank, once the most powerful bank in the world, today fell below a dollar a share.  An auditor report released today indicates that bankruptcy for General Motors is a real possibility, unless its recover plan goes perfectly.  In some cities (including Madison and Milwaukee) you can buy a stock of the newspaper company for less than it costs to buy a copy of the newspaper.  Today, Channel 6 TV canceled some of its newscasts.  More than one out of ten mortgage holders is either behind on their house payments or already in foreclosure.  Is the worst yet to come?  What will that be?  Has the crummy economy had absolutely any effect on either you or your friends?  Is the media making it out to be much worse than it really is?


Who is the spokesperson for the Republican Party?  Is it Michael Steele, the first African-American head of the Republican National Committee, or is it radio talker Rush Limbaugh?  Who is more representative of the average Republican?  Who is more popular?  Who can better deliver the vote? Is there anything wrong with Rush saying he wants Obama to fail?  Is this a plan by the Democrats to intentionally make Rush look like the head of the party, so they can portray the party faithful as hate mongers?

Rick Horowitz commentary:
Rick tries to look on the bright side when it comes to our economy.

Obama the baby-killer strikes...


Are Franklin schools as safe as they should be?

Why do I raise the question? It first came to mind actually last fall when an article on GreenfieldNOW caught my attention.

The Greenfield Police Department offered to conduct a safety analysis of Glenwood Elementary School following concerns raised by area residents. GreenfieldNOW’s Stefanie Scott wrote last October:

The board asked for an analysis of the building and outlying property, where incidents of vandalism — as well as middle- and high-school age students loitering on the playground, smoking and drinking in the woods, and even climbing onto the roof with skateboards — have been reported.”

Complaints focused on activity after school hours and on weekends, but Greenfield Alderman Linda Lubotsky, who is also on the Greenfield School Board, worried about safety during school time, especially given that Glenwood Elementary kept a door near the school office open all day. The view of the door from the office is obstructed.

Despite some pooh-poohing by Greenfield school officials, Lubotsky persisted and the school board did approve a safety analysis by the police.

The results? Mark Schaaf wrote in GreenfieldNOW last December:

“It is pretty easy for someone to enter and walk around in Glenwood Elementary School, something Greenfield school officials should address in the coming months. T
hat was one of the conclusions from the Greenfield Police Department’s security analysis of Glenwood School, presented to the Greenfield School Board on Dec. 15 by Greenfield police Deputy Inspector Brad Wentlandt. He was struck by the ease in which he was able to walk into the school and move around the building, he said. He entered unannounced, went upstairs and into classrooms and hallways before going back downstairs. The easy accessibility could make the building too attractive to ne’er-do-wells, he said. ‘You don’t want to make it so easy for someone to come in that it becomes an easy target,’ he said.”

The door that was once unlocked at Glenwood Elementary is now locked and visitors must ring a doorbell to gain entry. However, this rudimentary, simple, common sense measure took numerous complaints from neighbors, pressure from a local alderman/school board member, approval from the school board, and an analysis from the police department before it could be put in place.

Following the October GreenfieldNOW article, I did receive some e-mails about Franklin schools from some Franklin parents. Here are some excerpts:

1) “
Yes, they keep the main doors open to watch the people coming and going to make sure everyone checks in with the office to get a pass. Some schools aren't designed to have a great view of the main doors so that is a problem.”

2) “Oh Kevin, this is SUCH a hot topic with me. Some doors are locked but not all.  The front door is not locked at Southwood Glen.  I have raised issues with this on more than one occasion.  The principal at Southwood Glen wants to maintain an ‘open’ atmosphere for the parents and students.  She doesn’t think it would ‘feel good’ to have the school totally locked up all day.

Visitors are supposed to sign in at the office when they come into the school but it really is on the honor system.  The secretary does not have a direct view towards the door and cannot monitor comings and goings.  It would be SO easy for a predator/perpetrator to walk right in, hide in the bathroom or the library or into a classroom and do the unthinkable.”

I would have to agree. The obstructed view problem at Greenfield’s Glenwood Elementary seems to be an issue in some Franklin schools.  And the suggestion that something bad just couldn’t happen here, in Franklin, is quite foolish.

But don’t take my word for it. Remember what the Greenfield Police Department discovered. Think the Franklin police might come up with the same conclusion if it performed a similar safety analysis?

And so I ask, are Franklin schools as safe as they could/should be? Sadly, I’d have to say no.

Of course, you don't want to miss This Just In Saturday and Sunday

SPECIAL NOTE: All of the community blogs on the various NOW sites have been affected by a transfer to a new server. At various times over the past 7-10 days, you have probably noticed some glaring glitches. If they sent you away and you've returned, thank you. I appreciate your patience.

That said, watch for our regular features this weekend on This Just In.

My wife, Jennifer and I will take you to The Barking Lot Saturday morning with some amazing video. That's right. Amazing.

Could I be over-hyping The Barking Lot? Amazing video? You'll just have to check back Saturday to find out.

Also Saturday, why is this woman....

featured on our weekly round-up, Week-ends?

There's also Recommended Reading.

On Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, The MJS Scorecard, Photos of the Week, and the ever-popular Culinary no-no, inspired in part this week by this fellow:

Read more

Goodnight everyone, and have a nice weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, two show business giants, tops in their genres. Enjoy classic 60's variety television, complete with vintage, cigarette-smoking Frank Sinatra and special guest. From the 1967 special, "A Man and His Music".....

Read more

The Barking Lot

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!

: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Cloudy skies, icy cold rain.  "F"

SUNDAY: Rain in the morning, mixed with snow in the afternoon. "F"

These last weeks of pregnancy are bringing all kinds of changes to the Fischer household…  What was once a spare bedroom and “catch all” room has quickly morphed into an adorable, Mickey Mouse-themed nursery.  The laundry room has been taken over by bottles of Dreft detergent and socks so small they need to be washed in a lingerie bag so that they don’t get lost.  I’m looking at the living room fireplace I love in a whole new light, wondering when I need to buy the protective foam edge for when our little bundle starts to crawl.

The fact that I have wanted a dog since the day we said “I do” is the worst kept secret in the blogosphere.  But I must admit that in these last weeks of preparation and anticipation for all the crazy wonderful changes that are about to happen, I AM grateful that I don’t have to add “worry about dog-baby relations” to my list of things to do.

I know that there are plenty of couples who become dog owners as a “trial run” for parenthood.  That may work for some, but then comes the time when the REAL baby joins the family, and pet parents-turned baby parents have a lot of adjustments to make.

Some people worry about if they should even keep their dog after the baby is born.  How can you adopt a dog, take care of it, love it, etc. and then think you should get rid of it because your family is going to expand?  To me, that is not being a responsible pet owner or a responsible parent.  What happens when the second child is going to come in to your life?  Do you get rid of your firstborn?  I am in no way comparing the importance of a child to a dog but I am pointing out that once you make a commitment to own a dog you really need to carry that through.  (Obviously if you feel your dog would be a true DANGER to your newborn, your infant’s safety is first and foremost.  Then again why would you own a dangerous dog to begin with?)

There are many resources to consult about blending dogs and babies successfully in to one family. offers straightforward information.  Additional tips on introducing your four-legged family member to baby are available from  Closer to home, Aurora Healthcare offers a free class on blending your family.

I am truly looking forward to the day when we get our first family dog, as much for our toddler as for myself.  It will be a wonderful experience when we are ready for the next layer of commitment for our family.  The site has a questions-and-answers section at the bottom of their dogs and babies page: 

Q: I'm going to be having a baby soon and I was thinking about getting a puppy so we can all go out on walks together etc. Do you think it's a good idea?

A: No. The new baby will require all of your attention and it will be virtually impossible for you to take care of and train your puppy the correct way. It's also not suggested because puppies are very rowdy and they like playing roughly and it could hurt the baby. The best suggestion is for you to wait until you child grows a little, and then get him or her puppy.

Personally I think the answer was extremely polite and perhaps not emphatic enough.  I can’t quite speak from experience yet but I’m sure any parent of a newborn would have answered the question with THIS response:

A:  Are you out of your freaking mind???
---Jennifer Fischer

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

As we often say, the news isn't always good. In Madison, the deaths of two dogs have authorities thinking coyotes.

If there's a dog controversy, you can bet it normally involves pit pulls.

Texas is considering a bunch of pet ordinances that the rest of the country might look at as well.

The BBC wants no part of an international dog show.

OK. I promised amazing video for this week's Barking Lot. Here it is.

Zak, hop on in. Way to go, Zak!

A woman gets caught for days in a recycling bin. Naturally, it's the dog's fault.

All the dog in this story wanted to do was get some sun.

A little girl manages to get to Alpine.

Boy, you've got to hand it to Wisconsin. Yes sir!  We know how to get rid of, you know, doggie doo-doo. With the sha-poopie, of course!

Meet Muskego's top dog.

And that's it for DOGS IN THE NEWS.  We haven't dug into the Barking Lot e-mail bag for awhile, so let's open it up, shall we?

Oh oh. Looks like someone's not too happy.

Ay, caramba! Have you gone loco??!!

Who do you think you are? Some kind of TV weather guy?

I get up one Saturday morning and you call the dog walking forecast an “F.” I go outside. It is muy sunny out.

Aren’t you just more than juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust a tad embarassed? Sun, sun, sun and you give the forecast an “F.”

Esplain yourself.

Juano Malano

Dear Juano Malano,

We take a lot into consideration when we post the dog walking forecast, including the fact a lot of areas are like Franklin without sidewalks meaning Fido has to walk on sometimes icy, slushy, snow covered roads. The sun might be out but it could also be windy and cold. Not the ideal conditions for taking your best friend outdoors.

If it’s any consolation, Juano, as I write this response, I’m dressed really, really funny.

Dear Kev,

Man, me and the rest of the band, being the characters that we are think you are one cool dude. Read you every single week. Love it, man. But we’ve got a serious question.

Would it hurt, Kevvie boy if once, just one time you or Jennifer post something about cats? That would be really hip.

It is your blog after all and as I always like to say, “Free speech, baby!”  But how about it, Kev? Whatever you decide, your blog is still simply to die for!

Josie and the Pussycats

Dear Josie,

This is strictly a dog blog, but just for you, because you’ve been so loyal and I certainly wouldn’t want you to go off and do something regrettable, I give you this. Call it CATS IN THE NEWS.








Dear Jennifer's friends,

I must admit you are right. I also refuse to let Jennifer have a 52" plasma flat screen TV. Maybe you could talk to her about ways to convince me to change my mind??

Dear Kevin,

Even though you haven't blogged about it all that much, I understand a baby is on the way. How will that impact your Barking Lot blog?


MyCommunityNOW Editor Mark Maley

Gee, Mark. I love you too, man.

No, we haven't blogged about it all that much. Truth is, we believe that most people don't really care if Jennifer has had cravings, etc.

As for your question, Mark, for now, we'll take it under advisement and have a definite answer in next week's Barking Lot.

Readers, I fully understand the wonderful happiness a pet can bring. That joy makes the day an owner must say farewell to a pet companion almost unbearable. Within the past year, my freinds, Franklin alderman Steve Olson and Shari Hanneman of Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin have had to let go of pet dogs. This week, my co-worker in Senator Mary Lazich's office, Tricia Sieg said goodbye to her beloved Reilly. I don't think it's overstating it that a pet after a certain amount of time becomes one of the family. So enjoy them for as much as you can because unfortunately, their time with us is much too short.

Thank you for joining us again and we close, as we try to do every week with a video that you will enjoy. This one features Chips, the flying sheepdog.



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...


Paul Ryan, Russ Feingold, and John McCain

Liz Clarke

For her recent 97th birthday,

Arizona Sen. John McCain's campaign-spirited mother, Roberta, celebrated by cooking beef stroganoff, by herself, for 20 family members and friends. 


Two charged in death of Madison Kiefer

Julio Cruz...and others

Belkis Gonzalez

Elyse Mamino

Michael Tessmer

Kari Heath



“You're a very courageous man, Mr. President.  I am, after all, just The Last Man Standing.  If you take me out, if you can wipe me out in a debate and prove to the rest of America that what I say is senseless and wrong, do you realize you will own the United States of America? You will have no opposition. I will cover the cost, Mr. President, so that the taxpayers do not have to pay for it, as they did your Super Bowl party, and as they do your Wednesday afternoon cocktail party. So you have no excuses. I, Mr. President, will send my jet, EIB One, to pick you up and bring you here and take you back to wherever you want to go. You'd love it. It's not as big and luxurious as your jet, but it's got enough seats for your Secret Service detail. . . .  I worked for it. I paid for it. Taxpayers pay you for your travel. Nobody pays me for mine. I pay for it. I pay for the airplane. I pay for the travel. I pay for practically everything I do. We can talk about that, too. I could tell you what that's like.” 
Talk show host Rush Limbaugh challenging President Obama to a debate.

"I'm not voting for this. I don't -- I have typically not voted for omnibus bills because they always end up like this. And you know, the president should veto it."
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold, D-Middleton, on the omnibus spending bill approved by the House last week. Feingold objected to the earmarks in the $410 billion legislation.

Both parties have contributed to the mess we have. Our goal is to embarrass the pork out of Washington."
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, on a new bill to restore line-item veto power for spending measures. Ryan introduced the bill with Feingold and U.S. Senator John McCain, R-Arizona.

"After promising that he will reduce taxes on 95 percent of Americans, the administration's budget establishes a $646 billion energy tax hike that will impact anyone who uses electricity, drives a car, or relies on energy in any way."
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, on President Obama's federal budget proposal. Boehner says unless an American lives in an igloo that is heated by whale blubber and serviced by dog sled, they won't be receiving the president's much-ballyhooed tax cuts after all.

"I believe this suckulus package spawned by the Obama administration is going to leave the Americans who are looking to it as the grand societal salvo more disappointed than Lisa Marie was when she finally locked lips with Michael Jackson."
Radio talk show host and columnist Doug Giles

For them to propose this dangerous experiment shows how out-of-touch they are with the reality of criminal behavior. For the governor to make policy decisions on public safety, solely for budgetary purposes is reckless, irresponsible and an abdication of his most elementary responsibility--that being to secure the personal safety of citizens."
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, ripping Governor Doyle's budget proposal  to allow felons to be released from priosn early.

If we can't do something like this, I don't think we deserve the majority."
State Senator Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, claiming the domestic partner registry will stay in the state budget. 

"If they are going to proceed with this, this is going to be settled in court."
Julaine Appling of the Family Research Council on Doyle's domestic partner budget proposal.

It's no great surprise, and even though I'm not saying it, I usually get introduced as the next governor or the guy who should be the next governor."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

"We are leaning very heavily toward getting in this fall and barring anything unforeseen at this point, that is the direction in which we are headed."
Homebuilder and former 1st District GOP Congressman Mark Neumann on his likely run for governor.

"There's nothing like rounding the bases with 'USA' on your chest."
Atlanta Brave Chipper Jones, a member of Team USA playing in the World Baseball Classic.


This element of the Madison Kiefer story, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"The man who helped his son dump Madison Kiefer in the driveway of a Whitefish Bay home said Wednesday that he believed the 15-year-old girl had only passed out, but that 'looking back now, I wish I had done something different.'

About 9:30 a.m., according to court documents released Wednesday, Matthew and Richard Laughrin arrived at the 14-year-old's home with Kiefer in the back seat.
They dumped Kiefer and her belongings in the girl's driveway, threw her cell phone in the grass and drove off.

Richard Laughrin, 58, a Shorewood resident, said in an interview that only his son carried Kiefer out of the car and he didn't see where his son put her. He said a girl had come outside to meet them.

'I had no idea what was going on,' the elder Laughrin said.

The 14-year-old girl told police that Kiefer was breathing when she was brought to her home. But the girl's mother, a Columbia St. Mary's Hospital nurse, told police that when her daughter summoned her minutes later, Kiefer was not breathing, had no pulse and was cold to the touch.

The police report says Matthew Laughrin, who has two felony drug convictions, is a 'known drug user and suspected drug dealer'."


Governor Doyle wants to unionize the home care industry, and is going about it in a sneaky fashion.


Quite a few this week. American Idol. Chris Brown. Michelle Obama's bare arms.

But the nod has to go to President Obama's greying hair. The NY Times saw fit to put this baby on their front page!  Please.


I guess those nudists take their nudity very seriously.

What do you mean you're out??!!!

Guys, just get down on one knee and ask, ok?

At least he was, "polite."

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

Recommended reading

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. However, my disagreements notwithstanding, I still feel the piece is worth a read).

It's no the economy, stupid, it's Limbaugh

As the tax-and-spend policies of the Obama administration extend and deepen the recession, the new administration's strategy to deal with the fallout becomes clearer and clearer. Blame Rush Limbaugh."

The tiger is not dead

"There's an old adage that explains that one does not shoot arrows at dead tigers. If there is a fusillade of arrows flying in the direction of a tiger you can be sure of two things: the beast is very much alive and is seen as a dangerous threat to the people manning the bows. We are now watching this played out in the current scandal of a White House expending energy -- better spent on reviving the economy -- on an all-out and not-so-covert attack on a single talk-show radio host, Rush Limbaugh."

He's my president, but I don't have to like it

"Frankly, I don't know why anybody continues to hold Obama in high esteem. Maybe it's like those women who marry charming fellows only to discover after the vows have been exchanged that he's an abuser. In spite of the black eyes and split lips, the ladies are just too embarrassed to call the cops and have their friends and relatives discover what a dunderhead they've been."

Paul Ryan's road to recovery

"A constructive opposition party should be willing to call out the majority when it falls short. More important, Republicans must offer alternatives. In this spirit, here is what I would do differently."

Obama as Hitler

"This week President Obama exercised for the first time a policy decision that shares a trait held in common with Adolf Hitler."

Could St. Louis lose its Catholic hospitals under federal abortion legislation?

"A proposed bill promising major changes in the U.S. abortion landscape has Roman Catholic bishops threatening to close Catholic hospitals if the Democratic Congress and White House make it law."

WEAC'S evolving standards

"Doyle announced his intention to increase school aids by $426 million over the biennium.  Even public school children in Wisconsin will recognize this as $46 million less than the increase authorized by McCallum in 2001."

The next airline fee

"There are fees for checked luggage, reservation changes and even pillows and blankets. And now, one airline is poised to start levying a fee when you....."

Luxury strikes out

"In a case of monumentally bad timing, this year three of the biggest names in pro sports -- the Yankees, New York Mets and Dallas Cowboys -- are opening three of the most expensive stadiums ever built, filled with premium-priced seats and luxury amenities. At a combined cost of more than $3.5 billion, the stadiums were conceived and financed in a vastly different environment, a time when corporations and municipalities were flush with cash. Now they're opening just as corporate America is going through a massive belt-tightening -- and trying to avoid the appearance of extravagance at all costs."

Harvey and me

"Were it not for Paul Harvey, who passed away last weekend, I would never have had the great honor of writing for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and many other leading Republicans from the early 1980s until the present."

Doyle recall effort announced

The "Defending the American Dream Summit" continues for a couple more hours at the Midwest Airlines Center, a gathering of state conservatives.

Jsonline reports a Franklin resident created the biggest stir:

"The biggest roar of the day occurred when Orv Seymer of Citizen's For Responsible Government announced plans to stage a petition drive for a recall of Gov. Jim Doyle.

'We're going to need close to 10,000 circulators' of the petition, he said. 'It's a massive undertaking.'

'To hear about a recall of Doyle, that was the best news of all,' said attendee Anita Rudman of Milwaukee. 'We have to give the government back to the people. The government is not listening to actual Americans'."

Seymer's group knows a thing or two about recalls, having led successful efforts against former Milwaukee County Executive Tom Ament and a number of former Milwaukee County Supervisors.

Read more.

Of course, this is a massive undertaking, but even if unsuccessful, it will provide a whole new database of potential campaign volunteers and donors.

UPDATE: Week-ends

This morning, in my weekly "Week-ends" post, I mentioned my OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK:


This element of the Madison Kiefer story, as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

"The man who helped his son dump Madison Kiefer in the driveway of a Whitefish Bay home said Wednesday that he believed the 15-year-old girl had only passed out, but that 'looking back now, I wish I had done something different.'

About 9:30 a.m., according to court documents released Wednesday, Matthew and Richard Laughrin arrived at the 14-year-old's home with Kiefer in the back seat.
They dumped Kiefer and her belongings in the girl's driveway, threw her cell phone in the grass and drove off.

Richard Laughrin, 58, a Shorewood resident, said in an interview that only his son carried Kiefer out of the car and he didn't see where his son put her. He said a girl had come outside to meet them.

'I had no idea what was going on,' the elder Laughrin said.

The 14-year-old girl told police that Kiefer was breathing when she was brought to her home. But the girl's mother, a Columbia St. Mary's Hospital nurse, told police that when her daughter summoned her minutes later, Kiefer was not breathing, had no pulse and was cold to the touch.

The police report says Matthew Laughrin, who has two felony drug convictions, is a 'known drug user and suspected drug dealer'."

Here’s an update from the Journal Sentinel.

Nude photos

Responding to the burgeoning phenomenon of sexting, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee is putting up billboards near schools with this message

"Protect yourself. And your reputation. Never send nude photos to anyone."

Okay. Who can argue with that.

But wouldn’t a better message be that kids shouldn’t be taking nude photos in the first place?

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Photos of the Week (3/01/09)

2) Week-ends (2/28/09)

3) The Barking Lot (2/28/09)

4) Would I get in trouble if I said a woman shouldn't be allowed to breast-feed in a situation like this?

5) Are the Fighting Irish like the rising Phoenix?

Photos of the Week (3/8/09)

Photos of the Week

 APTOPIX Economy Jobless

Anthony Bellantoni joins a line of hundreds of people at a job fair sponsored by on Thursday, March 5, 2009 in New York. Bellantoni, of Stamford, Conn., is looking for work in administrative support. The number of new jobless claims and the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits both dropped more than expected last week, though they remain at elevated levels and are unlikely to fall substantially in the coming months. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)


Wheelchair bound Sarah Olson wheels a wagonload of donated food home from an aid distribution site March 5, 2009 in Hugo, Colorado. Eastern Colorado has been hit hard by the recession, as the agricultural economy was already in trouble due to more than a decade of drought. The Care and Share food bank trucks food to the rural community once a month to aid a growing number of residents in need. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Read more

No InterCHANGE this morning

My understanding is that our panel discussion program has been pre-empted so that taxpayer-supported public television can beg for more money.

If you missed Friday night's show, yours truly made fun of this PORK spending in the federal spending bill while ultra-liberal Joel McNally staunchly gave his defense. Imagine that.

McNally failed to mention how this spending helps the minority individuals who listen to his radio talk show.

When the closing credits are rolling during InterCHANGE...

It's a question I get a lot.

The show's over, you guys just argued for almost a half hour, and you're all smiley and laughing and lovey-dovey. What are you talking about?

It varies from program to program, but this week I just have to mention what happened. Host Dan Jones gave his customary farewell and hoped everyone watching was going to enjoy, "what is sure to be a gorgeous weekend."

The end music started to be piped in to the studio monitors and I nonchalantly replied, "It's supposed to rain all weekend."

Dan Jones: "IT IS?"

And maybe snow, too.

I thought Gerard Randall was going to have an accident.

That's ok. We need a huge laugh after Rick Horowitz's commentaries.

The WIAA can't be too happy

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA), the governing body that regulates high school athletics in the state has a history and reputation of ruling with an iron fist. Last week, in an effort to exert its mighty power, the WIAA filed a lawsuit against a group of Wisconsin newspapers. 

Seems the WIAA, as the Sheboygan Press editorializes, “filed the lawsuit because it wants to control just about every form of communication imaginable at state events it sanctions. The WIAA is seeking to restrict the content local newspapers provide to their communities including  'Internet stream, photo, image, film, videotape, audiotape, writing, drawing…' The WIAA is attempting to control the dispersal of content from these events, not because the organization is worried about high school student athletes and the sanctity of amateur sports here in this fine state, but because the WIAA is interested in two things: control and money."

Anytime anybody wants to go to court, they’re not very pleased. The WIAA also can’t be too thrilled with certain developments surrounding their biggest events of the year, the boy’s and girl’s state basketball tournaments.

I’ve been involved in local high school athletics in some form or fashion for over 40 years. During that time period, I’ve met and worked closely with numerous high school athletic administrators, officials, teams, and coaches. Many of my colleagues share the view that the WIAA, headquartered in Stevens Point, has a major bias against southeastern Wisconsin, especially the city of Milwaukee.

When it comes to football, the WIAA has nothing to worry about. MPS hasn’t had a serious state football contender since 1986 when Frank Budzisz’s Milwaukee Tech Trojans lost their only game of the season in the state title game to Manitowoc, 28-20.

But basketball….now that’s a different ballgame.

Year after year after year after year after year, somehow, someway, the WIAA brackets for the state basketball tournaments work out in such a way that all of the Milwaukee and southeastern Wisconsin powerhouses knock themselves out during the regionals and sectionals. With all due respect to the Wausau’s and Green Bay’s and La Crosse’s and Oshkosh’s of the world, the best Division 1 high school basketball teams in the state every year are not the ones playing in mid or late March in Madison. Many are sitting at home watching on television. And that’s just the way the WIAA wants it. The feeling is Appleton Xavier will bring more fans that will spend more money and behave themselves more so than say, for example, Milwaukee Bay View.

This coming week, the girl’s state tournament will be held. Two-time defending Division 1 state champion Milwaukee Vincent is back. Also making the trip to Madison is Milwaukee Rufus King. The way the tournament is set up, the two Milwaukee schools could meet in the championship game Saturday night.

Over on the boy’s side, there are still the sectionals to get through, but Milwaukee could have two teams, Milwaukee Washington and the surprising Milwaukee Hamilton making the 90-mile trip west at the end of next week.

Hiring lawyers. Suing media giants. Possibly dealing with several Milwaukee schools and their fans. No, the WIAA can’t be too happy.

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!


MJS Scorecard (3/8/09)

MJS Scorecard



Labor's Day? : Let's bring corporate excess to heel


Labor's Day?: Right to vote, privately, is fundamental

Mary Lazich: One-time, needed projects await 

Tom Shannon: Don't criminalize the Romaine 


Bruce Fuglei: What was; what could have been prevented 


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-21, Conservative-16

Culinary no-no #102

Culinary no-no's

In the classic Disney Pixar film, "Ratatouille," dreaded critic Anton Ego, expecting the worst, is instead surprisingly swept back to a wonderful childhood memory when dining at Gusteau's. (The video runs 4:49 but for the purposes of this Culinary no-no, you only need to watch the first 2:00).

Read more

Jobs for illegals

National unemployment is on the rise.  Jobs are being cut. Salaries are being frozen or slashed. 

How does Uncle Sam respond? By giving jobs to people in the country illegally. 

This was predicted and reported. But President Barack "Hope and Change" Obama and the Democrats rammed a stimulus package down America's throat.

Seems the liberals in Washington were right about one thing. That bloated stimulus package did create jobs......for illegal aliens.

Doyle vs. Walker, Doyle vs. Neumann

No one has officially declared his candidacy against Governor Jim Doyle next year. Even so, early indications are that Doyle could be in trouble.

The MacIver Institute for Public Policy based in Madison conducted a statewide survey of 500 likely voters and found the 2010 gubernatorial race could be close. Keep in mind the campaign isn’t even underway yet, and there are rumblings that potential candidates are already well within striking distance. From the MacIver Institute:

“Former Congressman Mark Neumann and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker are both believed to be considering a run for Governor in 2010 against Doyle. Poll results show that if the race were held today, Doyle holds a slim lead over both GOP candidates. In a contest featuring Doyle and Walker, 43% say they would likely back Walker, while 50% say they would probably support Doyle. 7% of the respondents were undecided between these two candidates.

The numbers are nearly identical in a match-up featuring Doyle and Neumann, with 42% saying they would probably vote for Neumann and 49% saying they would likely back Doyle. 9% of the respondents were undecided between these two candidates.”

Just keep defending those tax and spending increases, guv.

The mother of a botched abortion speaks out


Belkis Gonzalez was one of my VILLAINS OF THE WEEK in Saturday’s Week-ends. As reported, “She (Gonzalez) delivered a live baby during a botched procedure and then threw the infant away.”

Gonzalez, through her attorney denies any wrongdoing. She will be arraigned on March 24, 2009.

Sycloria Williams who sought the abortion has now filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Williams gave the Florida Catholic an exclusive interview detailing her side of what happened:

Williams remembers feeling worse as her labor intensified. She was curled up in a ball with the receptionist by her side. ‘I was supposed to be asleep for all of this. I wasn’t supposed to see anything. Just wake up and it will all be over,’ Williams said.

What happened next haunts her to this day, Williams said. ‘It was like everything inside was coming out at once.’

Williams recalls grabbing the armrests of her chair and elevating herself to a squatting position, heels at the edges of her seat. The receptionist and staff kept telling her to sit down and close her legs, but she couldn’t comply. ‘There was just no stopping it,’ she said.

Williams said she delivered her baby, Shanice, onto the recliner almost immediately after squatting. First amniotic fluid spilled out, then the baby dropped onto the cushion.

‘When I saw that happen, I jumped off the chair and turned away, facing the wall,’ Williams said.

Shanice’s body slid on the blood and amniotic fluids into the rear corner of the recliner because she was still attached to Williams by the umbilical cord. ‘When I jumped off I pulled her like into the back of the chair because she was still attached,’ she said.

According to Williams and the lawsuit, the receptionist and the staff began screaming and rushing, trying to figure out what to do. Williams said she stood against the wall, glancing in horror at her newborn baby. ‘She wasn’t moving much. Twitching, gasping for air. She wasn’t crying though, just hissing. Hissing sounds only.’

The sight of a fully formed baby was a complete surprise to Williams.

‘I thought it would be a blob thing, but bigger, not a baby,’ she said. ‘She looked like a Water Baby. Like those dolls you fill up with water. She was really little, like this,’ she said, holding her hands about 12 inches apart.

(Water Babies are sold in stores such as Toys ”R” Us. A product description on the Toys ”R” Us online store reads, “Water Babies are water-filled dolls that replicate the warmth, weight and feel of a real baby.”)

According to the lawsuit and Williams’ recollection, Gonzalez, the clinic’s owner, who has no health care licensing, came into the waiting room, cut the umbilical cord, and scooped Shanice’s body into a red biohazard bag, sealed it and tossed it into a trash can."

Read the entire Florida Catholic article.

While a member of the Illinois Legislature, Barack Obama opposed legislation protecting the lives of babies that survive abortions. 

Read more

Franklin Alderman Kristin Wilhelm isn't that good!

I spoke a few weeks ago with Franklin alderman Kristin Wilhelm who wanted to explain her recent vote to abstain on the ban on sick leave mandates ordinance. During our chat, Wilhelm told me that there are plans to widen S. 51st Street that will require the demolition of Franklin landmark St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

At the risk of sounding less than insightful, that’s a pretty big deal. An issue of this magnitude deserves a great deal of public scrutiny and input and, quite frankly, time to make well-thought out, informed, appropriate decisions.

Wilhelm sent me the following update via e-mail late last night:

I know many of you are concerned about future expansion plans for 51st St. so I hope you will pass this email along.

In an email from the City Engineer:

Email subject -51st St (CTH ZZ to CTH BB). ‘Please be advised that this item will be placed on the March 10 Board of Public Works agenda for a recommendation to the Common Council for their March 17 meeting.’

I have not seen the plans but I have heard future plans for 51st are to expand the road between Rawson, north to College. Also, that St. 

Paul's Church would not be able to remain in its current location due to any action to expand 51st.”

Here’s where it gets a bit, how shall I put this, interesting for Wilhelm:

“It is not likely I will be timely to the meeting regarding 51st. One hour before the Bd of Public Works meeting, I will need to be at the License Committee meeting to hear the ‘Matter of the Complaint’ against the operator's of the alcohol beverage license - bartender's for the Buckhorn Inn.

March 10, 7:00 PM Board of Public Works, Inspection Conference Room

Supporting documentation and details of these 
agenda items are available at City Hall during normal business hours.

Tuesday, March 10, 6:00 PM License Committee, Common Council Chambers”

The Buckhorn discussion is also a big deal. So, two hefty agenda items in two separate meetings with two separate entities are scheduled within an hour of each other. What’s up with that? Who flunked Scheduling 101?

It’s not like Wilhelm has a trusty aide she can send to one of the meetings while she sits in the other. Can she read a transcript or listen to a tape or video of the meetings? Please.

Alderman, you’ve got a point, but you can do it. It does help that you’re in the same building. Get as much info as you can at that 6:00 meeting, ask lots of questions before you head to your 7:00 meeting. If you’re late, you’re late. I know I understand.

More evidence the suburbs can get pretty nutty

I have it on good authority that one aldermanic candidate in a local burb tried to hit his opponent with his car today while the two were out campaigning. At this point, that's all I know but the daily newspaper apparently is hot on the trail. I'd check it out Tuesday morning.


"Obama couldn't handle a trip through a Wendy's drive-in window without a teleprompter telling him what to order"

John Hawkins is out with another of his outstanding lists of 10, this time pointing out President Obama’s outrageous blunders committed in what amounts to be the political blink of an eye. Hawkins writes:

“Even though Obama has been in office less than two months, he has already made more boneheaded errors than most Presidents do in an entire term.”

This is beautiful stuff.

UPDATE: More evidence the suburbs can get pretty nutty

This one
just gets better and better.

The latest.

Barack as Jesus

There are misguided, sorry individuals who idolize and worship our new president as though he were some sort of god. That is not hyperbole or an over reactive criticism. These people are foolish, to say the very least.

Barack Obama may be president, but he’s not a god. This man has managed to do one thing well: win elections. He has no legislative accomplishments to speak of, with the exception of possibly setting an Illinois record for voting, “present.”

And yet, a sizeable number of ordinary citizens regard him as beyond extraordinary.

Watch Craig Boswell’s report for Fox News as the president reverses a George W. Bush order and opens the door for expansive embryonic stem cell research, i.e., destroying human life. Listen to the comment made by wheelchair bound Roman Reed.

Reed says, “I promised my son that I would one day walk and this day will make that day possible.”

For Reed’s sake and for the hopes of countless others, I hope he’s right. But there are no guarantees.

News flash: Obama does not walk on water. He does not perform miracles. That means nothing to a great many who believe that with the stroke of a pen, the lame will walk, the blind will see.
The deaf will hear.

This is how some to choose to envision him:

Barack as Jesus.

God help us.

Here's more from Redstate.

The biggest NCAA Tournament ever

Funny stuff from Onion TV via Enjoy my Dairy Air.

Conservatives disagree on a Doyle recall, and that's ok

I consider my very good friend, George Petak, a hero. Without him, the Milwaukee Brewers would have packed and left for Charlotte a long, long time ago.

At the time a WTMJ Radio news anchor/reporter/talk show host, I was there the day, night, and early morning that the state Senate considered state funding for what would turn out to be Miller Park. You know the story. The first two votes rejected taxpayer money for a new ballpark. On the third vote, Petak literally sacrificed his political career by changing his vote from no to aye. The Brewers had been saved, and Petak was headed for a recall.

Democrats went after Petak because of a single vote. That’s why I generally oppose recalls. To go after a conscientious, hard-working, principled individual like Petak because of a solitary vote is wrong. Petak, as you know, would lose to Kim Plache who promised over and over that she wouldn’t rest until she got Racine County removed from the stadium sales tax. The fact is Plache never lifted a finger to do so once she got into the Senate. She now wants to be the mayor of Racine, but that’s another story.

Another friend, Orville Seymer of Citizens for a Responsible Government (CRG) brought the house down at a conservative conference this past weekend when he announced CRG was planning a recall effort against Governor Doyle. This would be a monumental and quite possibly insurmountable task. Conservatives disagree on the move.

Some argue it is a waste of time and energy. The timing, they claim, is ill-advised since Doyle is up in November of 2010. Put your eggs in the basket known as “the election.”

I am not in that camp.

I get tired of conservatives sitting back, coasting, becoming victims of inertia. Would a recall of the governor be incredibly difficult, if not impossible? Of course. So that should stop us?

A recall would energize conservatives, Republicans, and moderates unhappy with Doyle, giving them a head start on the November 2010 race. The effort would galvanize forces, recruit volunteers, and uncover new donor sources, not to mention create a buzz and momentum that could catapult a conservative to victory in November if a recall is unsuccessful.

I thought you oppose recalls, Kevin? Generally yes, and always when they’re unleashed because of one vote. Jim Doyle’s tenure has been a checkered history, a dismal pattern of one damaging move after another that has had a detrimental impact on taxpayers, businesses, and our state fiscal climate.

Conservatives can politely, respectfully disagree on a recall, but they are in unison that Doyle has to go, whether it is now or next year. I prefer sooner than later.

Hoggish Herbie Kohl

Taxpayers for Common Sense
reports there are $7.7 billion worth of earmarks in the federal spending bill. With America’s economy suffering crisis proportions, our elected officials in D.C. don’t understand that the country is in no shape to keep spending.

Naturally, they see nothing wrong with running up the tab.

Some are bigger porkers than others.

Ever wonder what Herb Kohl actually does?  He never says anything, proposes anything, does anything. Wisconsin’s senior U.S. Senator has about the same number of legislative claims to fame as our president (that would be none). For that, Kohl gets a big fat pass from every reporter and editorial board in the state.

We do know that like Emeril Lagasse, Kohl knows pork fat when he sees it, and loves it. Fox News has released the top 20 list of earmarks, lawmaker-by-lawmaker, in the $410 billion federal spending bill, and guess who’s on it?

UPDATE: Those poor kids in Oshkosh

Snow cancellations had originally threatened to extend the school calendar to June 16 in Oshkosh.

Some members of the Oshkosh school board didn’t like it, but a plan has been approved to extend a few school days instead by 16 minutes each day. That way, the kids don’t have to bake in class until mid-June.

Good move.

UPDATE: The WIAA can't be too happy

A few days ago, I blasted the WIAA for its power-driven lawsuit against Wisconsin media.

The Wisconsin State Journal weighs in with a critical editorial:

“High school sporting events and the cherished memories they create belong to the athletes, their families, friends and fans.

They don't belong -- every word, image and sound from the biggest games -- to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association.”

Read the entire editorial.

When the charity stripe isn't so charitable

When I played on my 8th grade basketball team, the league our school participated in held a free throw contest for every player on every team. Each kid got to go to the free throw line and was given 25 attempts.

I can remember which basket I shot at in that old recreation center. You know the routine. Bounce, bounce, bounce. You eye it. You try it. You hope you buy it.

I wasn’t keeping track (someone else was) but I knew I was doing better than ok. At the end of my turn, I was officially informed I had connected on 16 tosses, good for 64%. I still have my plaque for winning the free throw shooting competition.

64%. For 8th grade, that’s pretty amazing. For some teams in Division 1 NCAA men’s basketball, that would be an improvement.

March Madness is about to kick into high gear and with no dominant team, no one has a lock on the championship. The final game could very well come down to the final free throws. It certainly did last year.

Memphis had the title practically in the bag in the final moments against Kansas. All season long, the Tigers sheer talent had allowed them to get away with shooting 61% from the free throw line as a team. But their luck ran out in the biggest game of them all.

Memphis entered that championship game as the team to beat, #1 in the country with an incredible season and tournament run. They lost because they couldn’t make a simple shot they collectively made thousands of times in practice, in high school, and on the playground. Some of this year’s top college teams might also suffer from Memphis-itis.

Here’s the current Associated Press Top 25:

Read more

Another dead baby in taxpayer-supported child care

When is government going to stop subsidizing mothers who are a danger to their babies, scamming the system, or both?

The latest candidate for mother of the year is Rose Prescott.

Last April, Prescott’s two-month old baby girl, Brianna Buchanan-Prescott, died after sleeping with her mother.

This past Sunday, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “Prescott found her 6-day-old daughter, Ceianna Buchanan, dead on her living room couch. Prescott, 30, told police she was too drunk to remember placing the baby on the couch and whether she slept on the couch with the infant.  She (the infant) appeared to have been smothered.”

There’s more.

“The mother of the infant girl who died Sunday appears to have provided Milwaukee County with bogus employment information to qualify six of her children for taxpayer-funded child care. Two of the kids don't even live in Wisconsin. The cost to taxpayers: more than $1,300 per week.”

Some people just shouldn’t have children. Rose Prescott, queen of negligence is one of them. And it’s time to put the heavy clamps down on these social programs that essentially give a license to horrible moms to mistreat their innocent babies.

Of course, that kind of talk gets the racist card treatment. Sorry, critics aren’t the villains. Rotten moms like Rose Prescott are.

The Journal Sentinel has published the obligatory story with tips for safe sleeping. It’s come to this. The newspaper is now the unofficial, “How to properly parent” source.

Meanwhile, police are calling the latest smothering death an accident. How does that phrase go? Fool me once….

The latest from the Journal Sentinel...

Obama's not impressed? Neither am I

The president answered his critics today:

"The buck stops with me, and we're responsible. Opposition is always easy. Saying no to something is easy. Saying yes to something and figuring out how to solve problems and govern, that's hard. I'm not impressed by just being able to say no."

Look, Mr. President, there's nothing wrong with saying no to your outrageous plans to spend our country into oblivion. Those of us, and there are many who don't drink the Socialism Kool-Aid are quite concerned about the devastating impact your ill-advised plans will have on the future of our great country, and the ever-increasing debts you will burden our children and grandchildren with. We have every right, a duty and an obligation to point out the damaging ramifications.

I'll say no to huge bailouts and gargantuan spending bills every time.

You're not impressed?

You haven't exactly been so hot these past two months.

Over 90% support mandatory auto insurance

Here's the poll..

Support grows to 100% among those who were clobbered by some jerk who didn't have any coverage.

Obama proves again he's not ready for prime time

Obama signs $410 billion spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 earmarks.

TODAY: Obama calls for earmark reform.


State Democrats who want to undermine the National Guard.

State Representative Steve Nass appropriately expresses outrage.

How'd he do that?

Houdini hailed from Appleton.

Could this Tennessee man be his descendant?

Be on the lookout for a blonde woman, tall, thin, built, and extremely dangerous

I began writing This Just in on January 27, 2007. Over 4,500 posts later, I never, ever, thought I’d blog about Barbie.

Why now? Political reasons, of course.

A state lawmaker in West Virginia, a Democrat, of course, wants to ban the famous doll who just celebrated her 50th birthday. Apparently every major crisis in the Mountaineer State has been addressed and rectified. Doofus!

You see, that no good Barbie only makes young girls think about having great bodies. That’s odd. So does Barack Obama.

Girls, you shouldn’t try to look and feel your best. Barbie bad. Very bad.

Internet stories report that if Barbie was a real woman, she would be 6 feet tall, weigh 100 lbs., and wear a size 4. Her measurements: 39-19-33.  The average woman is about 5’4”, 145 lbs, and wears between a size 11 and 14. Her measurements are 36-30-41, and she’s probably on a diet.

My wife and I are expecting very soon, and if we are blessed with a girl, she will have Barbie dolls. The theory that Barbie corrupts tiny little girls is preposterous.

Here’s a great commentary from, of all people, an editor at

"I've had the opportunity to speak at colleges and parenting groups across the nation with mothers. More times than not, a well-intentioned mother asks: 'What can we do about Barbie and those terrible Bratz dolls?!'  The answer? 'Forget about Barbie or the Bratz. Worry about what you say at the dinner table every night.'

The truth is that none of these dolls has ever held or will ever hold a candle to how much power our own mothers' lives have to influence our ideas about femaleness, bodies, and power."

Here's the entire piece by Courtney Martin.

Happy birthday, Barbie, and here’s to 50 more.

The new face of American greed

Bernard L. Madoff arrived at Federal Court in Manhattan on Thursday. Photo: Michael Appleton, The New York Times


What is an historical (and hysterical) skit on The Tonight Show?

Read more

Should we ban TWSL?

That would be, texting while selling liquor...

Widening S.51st Street in Franklin

Put me down as a no.

I’m not convinced that making S.51st Street from Rawson Avenue to College Avenue four lanes instead of two is necessary.

I am not privy to any city engineering or traffic data, but as a resident who frequents the area, I see no pressing need. I’m also concerned that the public hasn’t been adequately informed about what might transpire and that this project is on the fast track, simply because stimulus money is on the way. Why the rush?

The city should do what the state Department of Transportation does when road projects are in the works: hold informational meetings complete with city officials on hand to answer any and all questions. Maps, charts, grants and any audio/visual presentations that will help citizens become better informed should be included.

This would be a major project that would also be quite disruptive. Could I be persuaded there’s an urgent need and that four lanes will reap significant benefits? At this point, that would be a tough sell.

Franklin exploring 4-year old kindergarten

That's what John Neville is reporting.

My thoughts:

1) I thought Franklin schools had a serious problem when it comes to space.

2) What did ever happen to all those trailers?

3) How much would this cost?

4) We are talking school tax increase here, folks.

5) 4-year old kindergarten........isn't that just taxpayer-supported day care?

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics to be discussed on InterCHANGE Friday night on MIlwaukee Public Television at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:

1) Prevailing wage

2) Whitefish Bay drug death

3) The 2010 race for governor

The Doyle recall: Another view

This one is from Chris Lato (pronounced, Lahhh-toe), proving my point that conservatives can disagree in a decent manner.

2009 is not a good year if you suffer from...


Dolphins really are amazing creatures

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Time Warner Cable ******* up

There's a shock.

It happened in the middle of this afternoon. You may recall there was bright sunshine, the winds had died down, and although many degrees below the normal temperature, there was zero threat of dangerous weather, ozone, or an attack of gypsy moths.

Right about that time, Marquette was in a dogfight with Villanova in the Big East Tournament. Down 16 at the half, the Golden Eagles had clawed their way back into the game and with about 40 seconds remaining were up by a point.That's when Time Warner decided to cut in with....


Of course there was no emergency, no weather watches or warnings, just an ill-fated interruption that ended with viewers being returned to the action with the game over and Villanova players celebrating. Time Warner will state that it had no choice, that this is a required broadcast, blah, blah , blah, blah. Your complaints will do no good.

When it comes to customer service, Time Warner is down there at the bottom.

Don't sympathize with Tim Geithner

The Treasury Secretary was grilled by Republicans and Democrats today leading some on Capitol Hill to say they felt sorry for him.

What did Geithner expect at today's hearing, ribbons and medals?!

Watch the video in this ABC News story.  I found it quite entertaining.

Is that dog leash really safe?

I’ve written about Franklin alderman Steve Taylor’s proposed dog leash mandate here and here.

This is interesting. ABC News is reporting some dog leashes are quite dangerous.

A sieve for a border fence

Illegal immigration

On February 22, 2009, this picture was featured on my Photos of the Week blog:

Border Transformed

People at the beach in Mexico look through gaps in the U.S.-Mexico border fence at Border Field State Park in San Diego Sunday, Aug. 3, 2008. The park is often used by families to communicate through the fence. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

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Don't you just love a parade?

Wear your green, show your Irish pride

Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Our new Friday night feature is special this week as we get in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day next Tuesday. We open by taking you here…

Matt Malloy’s in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland.  Malloy is a member of the world famous Chieftains who play the pub often.

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The Barking Lot

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!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Lots of sunshine. Warmer. High of 48.  "C"

SUNDAY: Sunny with some passing clouds. High near 50.  "C"

Heres a special announcement from the barking lot co-blogger, jennifer fischer:

For quite some time, I had been after Kevin to write a weekly dog blog.  I knew that certainly I am not the only person obsessed with all things canine, so I thought it would be an interesting feature for his readers. 

He refused.

Not because he didn’t think it was a good idea.  He, in fact, thought it was a great idea… but only if I would write it.  He often tells me, and others looking to write or speak about something, that if you are passionate about a topic it will show in your work.  I hope that my weekly Barking Lot blog has done that.  I have wanted to touch hearts, educate, entertain, enlighten, and share my passion for dogs.  I have also said that for now, the closest thing I will get to OWNING a dog is to write about them.

I know that my life is going to change dramatically in the coming weeks, and I am looking forward to every new adventure our baby is going to bring.  I plan on taking an extended period off of work, so that I can focus on our baby and everything he or she will need.

I am also going to take a temporary “leave of absence” from writing the Barking Lot.  I am the type of person who wants to give 110% to everything I do, and that includes writing my weekly installment about man’s best friend.  Since my attention and focus will be elsewhere I feel it is in my best interests to take some time off from writing, even if it IS just one small, weekly feature. 

However, The Barking Lot is NOT going away!  My narratives will be temporarily suspended but Kevin’s great features of Dogs In The News and the Dog Walking Forecast will still be available to you every Saturday morning. 

So thank you to all the readers of The Barking Lot.  I appreciate you reading every week, and thank you for all your support.  I look forward to returning to writing my portion when I settle in to my new routine.  In the mean time, please continue to read and enjoy.
----Jennifer Fischer

Me? In total control of a dog blog? For an indefinite period of time? Let me get this straight. I get to write about topics like how much I hate that WWE wrestling is pre-empted by that silly Westminster show? Or how spoiled dogs are? Or how they stink when they get wet?  Actually, I will try to maintain the type of blog that a large number of readers Jennifer and I are gratified to say has come to enjoy. I will miss my weekly collaborations with Jennifer, preparing for Saturday morning. But if I know my wife, she’s got the blogging bug. I know how much she has enjoyed this experience and she’ll be anxious to return at the right time. Here’s this week’s main blog from yours truly.

A good friend and colleague of mine recently had to make the painful decision of putting her dog down. She referred to her pet as her best friend, thus elevating the animal in a sense to human status.

Depending on your individual faith, you might have a strong belief in an after life. What about pets? And when a cherished animal perishes, how should the extremely delicate question about whether dogs go to heaven be handled when posed by a young child?

Dr. Paul Thigpen of Southern Catholic College tackles this touchy subject in the Catholic Answer. 

When that oh so sad time unfortunately arrives for pet owners, and it ultimately does, they should keep these touching words in mind:


If it should be that I grow weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done,
For this last battle cannot be won.

You will be sad, I understand
Don't let your grief then stay your hand,
For this day more than all the rest,
Your love for me must stand the test.

We've had so many happy years,
What is to come can hold no fears.

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


Carol Haertlein Sells


Blind bowlers


Donovan Espinosa

Alex Edwards

Brian Jay Nellis


"If  we see (stimulus) money being misspent, we're going to put a stop to it."
President Obama speaking to a gathering of state officials.

"The needs far outweigh the money."
Gary Wolter, MG&E executive and head of the state Office of Recovery and Reinvestment, warning that some worthy projects may get shut out of billions in federal stimulus money reserved for the state. 

"It tells small businesses, it tells consumers, it tells the markets: Guess what, big tax increases are coming. So if you're a small business, an entrepreneur; you want to take risk, you want to start a business? Don't bother because we're going to raise your taxes."
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, criticizing President Obama’s federal budget bill.

I am tired of talking about doughnut holes. Let me know when you want to get back to substance."
Wisconsin Congressman Dave Obey on the nearly 8,500 earmarks in the omnibus budget bill signed by President Obama. 

An "individual choice."
A reference to abortion made by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele in an interview with GQ magazine. 

"Chairman Steele needs to reread the Bible, the U.S. Constitution and the 2008 GOP platform. He then needs to get to work or get out of the way."
Former Ohio Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell, who endorsed Steele in the RNC chairman's race.

"I tried to present why I am pro-life while recognizing that my mother had a 'choice' before deciding to put me up for adoption. I thank her every day for supporting life."
Steele in a statement after his GQ comment caused controversy.

"When you wrestle with a gorilla, you don't quit when you're tired. You quit when the gorilla is tired."
The slogan for Siren High School at this week's state girl's basketball tournament.


Whitefish Bay police


State Republicans have invited businesspeople to speak out about their concerns with Wisconsin's horrible business climate. Here's the story.


American Idol. ENOUGH!


Monkeys flossing teeth with human hair

The curse of Colonel Sanders

Check out the last item in this column about the New Jersey Nets.

"If you are a golfer who has played for any length of time, this story may make you want to quit the game. Or throw your morning coffee in disgust."

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

New poll on seat belts

Thanks to a grant from the state Department of Transportation, the Franklin Police Department will be stepping up its enforcement of seat belt violations through March 20.

This week, the MacIver Institute released a poll on seat belt laws. It found, “slightly more than half the people polled say they oppose plans to allow police to stop and ticket people for no other reason than not wearing a seatbelt. 41% of the respondents said they ‘definitely’ oppose the plan, and another 13% ‘probably’ oppose the idea. Governor Doyle's budget would allow police to make stops strictly on the seatbelt issue. 45% of the people polled say they support the budget idea.”

I wonder if buckling up applies to a mannequin as well.

Brewcity Bruisers return to Franklin tonight!

Brewcity Bruisers
march 09 bout 
Be Cool!  Be Green!  Save Green!
Take the Party Bus!

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

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

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

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March Madness: Does PU have a mascot?

You've got cheerleaders and bands and crazy fans.........and mascots.

Xavier mascots the Blue Blob, left, and D'Artagnan perfor... (Al Behrman / AP)

Xavier mascots the Blue Blob, left, and D'Artagnan perform during a college basketball game against Dayton, Thursday, March 5, 2009, in Cincinnati.  Xavier student Abby Strietmann is the Blue Blob and Arick Stall is D'Artagnan. 

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Do we really want Arizona-like photo radar here?

Governor Doyle wants to implement photo radar in Wisconsin.

The device is being used in Arizona primarily to build up government coffers. Patrick Bedard who’s been writing for Car and Driver magazine for over 40 years has discovered that the state of Arizona could care less about motorist safety, just as long as they get their cash.

UPDATE: MSNBC published this story today.

Recommended reading

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).

Obama's first 50 days in office

"Tuesday marked President Obama's 50th day in office.  The timeline below shows a series of broken promises, repeated calls for bigger government and higher taxes."

An agent of cynicism

"In the matter of just 50 days, a fissure has widened into a split; the split has become a gap; and the gap is becoming a gulf. I have in mind the extraordinary contradiction between what President Obama says and what he does."

Why Obama wants America to fail

"Pretending to be doing something about the problem is only half the strategy for Obama. He truly intends to see socialized health care, and European styled labor agreements become reality in America. He knows the consequences of doing such things, he's seen all the projections and what the outcomes would be, but he's doing it anyway."

Obama's new strategy: Blame Bush

"In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed 'an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.'It hasn't taken long for the recriminations to return — or for the Obama administration to begin talking about the unwelcome 'inheritance' of its predecessor. Over the past month, Obama has reminded the public at every turn that he is facing problems 'inherited' from the Bush administration."

Democrats wanted Bush to fail

"One guy – Rush Limbaugh – publicly wishes for Obama's liberalism to fail, and it's call out the dogs. But when the majority of Democrats rooted for Bush's failure, where was the outrage?"

10 of the greatest pieces of conservative wisdom: John Hawkins

Who cares about voter fraud?

"One investigator, after examining Milwaukee's election system, was quoted as saying: 'I know I voted in the election, but I can't be certain it counted.'

Examples of incompetence included the fact that between 4,600 and 5,300 more ballots were cast than actual voters recorded as having shown up at the polls. Election officials declared more than 1,300 registration cards filled out at the polls were 'un-enterable' or invalid. The sloppiness was so bad it hampered and often prevented efforts to prosecute wrongdoers."

MPS' Parental Enticement Porgram spent freely, widely

“Tax dollars intended to help parents improve their children's academic achievement have for years routinely been spent by Milwaukee public schools on everything from roller skating to bowling to water-park field trips, an investigation by Wisconsin Interest has found.Thousands of dollars were also spent on fast food, DJs, prizes, gift certificates and other goodies and giveaways. One school spent $556 in parental-involvement money to buy 250 pumpkins. Another spent $686 for a Milwaukee Bucks Family Night."

This is NOT what the WIAA wanted, but it's great for fans

As I write this entry, Milwaukee Vincent and Milwaukee Rufus King are tied, 12-12 after one quarter in the WIAA Division 1 girl's state basketball championship game.

This marks the first time in the history of the tournemanet that the title game is featuring two teams from the same conference, and they're from the city of Milwaukee, a scenario the WIAA isn't thrilled about, though the power-hungry association will never admit that it would prefer Oshkosh North vs Wausau East in the big game (ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ).

Tonight's game is an entertaining affair, featuring the two best teams in the state battling for the state title, as it should be, not the way the WIAA would like it to be.

UPDATE:  WHAT A GAME! Milwaukee Vincent 48, Milwaukee Rufus KIng 47  FINAL

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #101

Culinary no-no's

Just a few short weeks ago, Culinary no-no #101 focused on our Socialist president wanting to stick the government’s Jimmy Durante-size nose into what we eat.

I wrote, “Our nation is discovering that Barack Obama is the liberal’s liberal. The new president in just a few short weeks has called for the greatest expansion of the scope of government in our country’s history. There isn’t a component of the average American’s lifestyle that President Obama doesn’t want to intrude upon, and that includes eating.”

Earlier today, President Obama chose his candidate to run the Food and Drug Administration and also is forming a Food Safety Working Group, a brand  new bureaucracy. Undoubtedly, we now have what amounts to a food czar.

How well this will work out remains to be seen. I am not optimistic. The feds could mess up a one car funeral.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) "Obama couldn't handle a trip through a Wendy's without a teleprompter telling him what to order"

2) Week-ends (3/07/09)

3) Doyle recall announced

4) The Barking Lot (3/07/09)

5) More evidence the suburbs can get pretty nutty

Photos of the Week (3/15/09)

 Foreclosure Rally

Edith Adachi of Chicago, center, who lost her home to foreclosure six months ago, gets a hug from Loretta Lucas of New York, during rally with foreclosure victims, Tuesday, March 10, 2009, on Capitol Hill in Washington. . (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke)

 APTOPIX Home Auction

Bidders' assistant Jeff Johnson keeps the auctioneer informed of bids with arm and body motions at a foreclosed home auction run by Real Estate Disposition Corporation at the Javits Center in New York Sunday, March 8, 2009. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

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The NCAA brackets come out today

Fox Sports makes projections. Look at where they place MU and UW.


7 of 11 Big Ten Teams make NCAA

Three of the seven, including Wisconsin were some of the last teams to get selected.

Can Wisconsin win their opener against Florida State? I think it's doubtful.

Will the Big Ten representatives fall by the wayside because they're overrated? That's a possibility because they're simply not as good as teams from other conferences.

And Marquette has to stop thinking, "what if," and forget that they're without Dominic James or face an early exit.

Here come three weeks filled with intense drama and excitement, the best sports period of the entire year.

The MJS Scorecard (3/15/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Michael J. Sheridan: Smart choices built in budget 

Democrat Assembly leader tries to put positive spin on Governor Doyle's ugly budget.

Robert Kraig And Amy Stear: The popular will deserves defense 

Defends the city of Milwaukee's sick leave mandate proposal that was approved in a referendum.


Another View:  Mandated work force housing can end up backfiring 

I love this excerpt:

"Ultimately, these mandates are just another form of social engineering. Scratch a smart-growth proponent, and you'll find someone who's annoyed that people spend time in private backyards instead of public parks, in living rooms instead of community centers and in their own autos instead of public transit.

Wherever aggressive anti-sprawl policies have been implemented, notably in Portland, Ore., the quality of urban life has deteriorated dramatically. Traffic congestion grows, air quality deteriorates and housing prices soar even as lot sizes shrink, all thanks to the policy of forcing new development into existing urban areas."

Ken Harwood: Things the stimulus missed 

Rips the stimulus. Certainly not liberal.

Christian Schneider: Guess who's recession-proof? 

Clearly conservative and another nice job by a good friend, colleague and former Mary Lazich staffer.


Leo P. Brideau: Health care reform is imperative 

Brideau just wants health care reform, but doesn't advocate for any specific plan.

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Culinary no-no #103

Culinary no-no's

Green beer on St. Patrick's Day.


Now sure and you're not gonna be goin' on your blog and be sayin' green beer on the holy day of St. Patrick's Day is taboo, are ya?

No, I'm not. At least not in this country.

In the year of 1992, me mother and I were in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day. My dear sweet mom, God bless her heart, had always wanted to see Ireland. Before I was about to get married (to my first wife as it turned out), I decided as a 1991 Christmas present to take the incredible woman to Ireland.

March 17th in Ireland is, to a much larger degree than in the good ol' USA, a sacred holiday. And I do mean holiday. Schools and most businesses are closed. The St. Patrick's parade that goes on and on for at least three hours or more, when completed and only then leads to the opening of the doors of pubs and restaurants.You won't find a single green beer to save your God-fearing soul.

Everyone who stumbles out of a Wisconsin pub on Tuesday knows bloody well that the proprietor has slipped some green food coloring in to the cheapest beer on the premises. Does it really matter? Mother Macree, of course not. It's all in good fun.

But what about other concoctions? I'm talking about creative potables that are designed to be green.

In this day and age we have taken the martini and have turned the classic cocktail into alcohol's Baskin Robbins times twenty. Want a chocolate banana cherry watermelon pineapple upside down cake version, shaken not stirred? Coming right up.

Martini-palooza has turned out to be extremely popular. Why not do the same with Irish whiskey? Because there's something about messing with the stalwart Irish whiskey that is sacrilegious.

When I traveled to Ireland with my mother, I brought back bottles of 10-year old Bushmills for gifts for the guys who would stand up to my wedding.


Who would be so stupid as to fool with quality Irish whiskey in order to cocktail-ize it for an occasion like St. Patrick's Day? Idiot fool Americans, that's who.

In New York establishments and probably elsewhere as well, instead of just pouring this nectar as it was mean to  be served, straight up, mixologists are tossing in all kinds of garbage, even whole eggs. In Ireland, the natives have to be holding wakes.

On Tuesday, everyone's Irish. That means, unfortunately, that poor bartenders will have to put up with amateurs insistent that they whip up something cool and neat as long as it's green or has Irish something or other in it.

Don't be dumb on St. Patty's Day. Have a green beer, some honest to goodness Irish whiskey, or some Bailey's with nothing, I mean nothing in it.

I agree with this New York Times writer: Wear the green but don't drink it.


Here's last year's St. Patrick's Day culinary no-no.


Recession? What recession?


A loyal reader of This Just In writes:

"I love to cook and eat, but I was starting to feel ill by the time I got to the 6th page of pix.  I could go no further."

Here is what he was referring to.

Thank God for those wonderful lifesavers at the Wisconsin DNR

If you are alive and breathing and able to read this blog, it’s entirely possible you can thank those compassionate souls at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for issuing this timely alert about the dangerous conditions that existed today as the thermometer reached above normal high temperatures in the low 50’s under mostly sunny skies. From the DNR website:

Air Quality Advisory for Particle Pollution (Orange)
Issued: 10:49 am on Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is issuing an Air Quality Advisory for Particle Pollution (Orange) for Milwaukee County effective 10:49 am on Sunday, March 15, 2009 through 11:00 pm on Sunday, March 15, 2009.

The advisory is being issued because of persistent elevated levels of fine particles in the air. These fine particles come primarily from combustion sources, such as power plants, factories and other industrial sources, vehicle exhaust, and wood burning.

The Air Quality Index is currently in the orange level, which is considered unhealthy for people in sensitive groups.

People in those sensitive groups include those with heart or lung disease, asthma, older adults and children. When an orange advisory for particle pollution is issued, people in those groups are advised to reschedule or cut back on strenuous activities.

People with lung diseases such as asthma and bronchitis, and heart disease should pay attention to cardiac symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath or respiratory symptoms like coughing, wheezing and discomfort when taking a breath, and consult with their physician if they have concerns or are experiencing symptoms. Fine particle pollution deposits itself deep into the lungs and cannot easily be exhaled. People who are at risk are particularly vulnerable after several days of high particle pollution exposure.

By golly, as I ventured around the Milwaukee area today, did I see couples young and old, walking hand in hand in the dangerous outdoors? No sir.

Did I see pet owners walking their dogs in the bright sunlight? Nope.

Did I see joggers running in their shorts and sneakers?  Are you nuts? There’s a DNR alert out, you fool!

Instead, I couldn’t believe what I witnessed. My travels today took me through Franklin and Greenfield and Greendale and Wauwatosa and the south side and far northwest side of Milwaukee. GASP! I saw one after another, brave souls who obviously didn’t hear about the DNR alert or simply ignored it, keeling over, right there in broad stunning sunny daylight. Oh, the horror. The carnage. And it all could have been avoided if only they had listened to the wise folks who run our DNR.

And to think, I went to church today. I could have been killed.

If you survived today’s horrible weather, be advised the DNR is issuing similar warnings about the next few days when, GOD ALIMIGHTY, we might get into the 60’s!

Thank you, thank you Wisconsin DNR. There’s no telling how many innocent lives you may have saved today,

What they're saying in Utah...

About Marquette.

Thinking of picking MU in your bracket?

Fox Sports says don't.

And what about those Fighting Irish, Kevin?

They've been relegated to the NIT.  Notre Dame does play its opener at home on St. Patrick's Day. Talk about your home court advantage.

Hard to believe that just a month ago, the Irish beat Louisville, the #1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament, by 33 points.

Obama by the numbers

They ain't pretty.

Doug Giles comes through again

His latest column is about this consummate gentleman...

Singer Chris Brown is arraigned at the Superior Court of Los Angeles County on March 5, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Chris Brown is being charged with two felonies for assault on the alleged victim "Robyn F.", who is reportedly singer Rihanna, who's real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, during an argument on February 8, 2009. (Photo by Bob Chamberlin-Pool/Getty Images)

Giles writes:

"You guys know who Chris Brown is, don’t ‘cha? He’s a young, black hip hop 'artist' who wears diamond stud earrings, tennis bracelets and recently beat up his gorgeous girlfriend, recording artist Rihanna, after she caught him arranging a booty call with 'a ho from another zip code.'  What a winner, eh? I’m sure George W. Bush, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and the Religious Right are somehow to blame for Brown’s bad behavior.

Don’t you just love hip hop culture with their clunky Ebonics rhymes about bitches, ho’s, weed, cop killers, weed, drugs, hoochie mamas, weed, gangbangers, ho’s, bitches, hoochie mama’s and weed?"

has some great advice for Rhianna: dump the no good bum. And there's also some advice for other women, and fathers of young girls.

Putting GPS on RO violators

Cindy Bischof couldn’t rid herself of her ex-boyfriend, Michael L. Giroux. He continually stalked her, making Bischof’s life a living hell for almost a year.

She tried everything including Mace, installing security cameras in her homes, and hiring a security guard.

It didn’t matter as threats and property damage continued. Giroux eventually shot her dead and then killed himself.

Bischof’s murder was not in vain. Last summer, then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed a bill into law that requires violators of restraining orders to be tracked by GPS.  I blogged about the new law last August.

Here in Wisconsin, state Representative Richard Zipperer (R-Pewaukee) plans to introduce legislation similar to the Cindy Bischof law in Illinois.

You can read a lot more details about this worthy legislation in State News Magazine.

Despite its merits, this bill isn’t a certainty. The problem is Governor Doyle, who would have to sign such legislation into law, actually prefers that the state not use GPS all that much.

Did Franklin alderman Steve Taylor speak out of turn on the Buckhorn controversy?

I'm not raising the question. Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch is.

According to Maersch, the city attorney instructed all Franklin aldermen not to comment publicly about the ongoing Buckhorn licensing matter concerning two bartenders so as not to prejudice the still to come full Common Council vote on the matter, scheduled Tuesday night. Every alderman was contacted by Fox 6 News for an on camera interview. They all refused, except one, ignoring the city attorney: Steve Taylor.

Here's Maersch's blog complete with comments from, no surprise, Taylor's one defender, stars in eyes and all.

Casa di Giorgio? For St. Patrick's Day?

That Italian restaurant?

In Franklin?

At 37th and Rawson?

That's the one.

I have been assured it has the best corned beef.

How is that possible?

One of their two chefs is Irish.

Ireland begs for tourism

Like everyone else in the world, Ireland is having a tough time. It wants you to come pay a visit,  and it wants the natives to do their part to save the Emerald Isle.

Wearing of the green in Baghdad


U.S. soldiers stage their first St. Patrick's Day in Iraq.

The truth about St. Patrick

He wasn't even Irish.

And in case you missed this...

And just for fun...

Hope you survived this God-awful weather

One of the arrogant, lefty, snobby, environmental bloggers referred to this post of mine as ignorant and embarrassing.

That was after he engaged in hyperbole to say the least by describing our recent sunny warm weather as,  "LA-style polluted air," and urged people to wear their face masks.

Ignorant and embarrassing? He ought to know.

How low can President Obama go?

Pretty low.

Groups including The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America sent a letter to the White House in protest.

If Bill Proxmire was alive today...

He'd go nuts with this one: stimulus money, and lots of it, to help red wolves breed.

Because we all need help with our brackets...

The Charlotte Observer
ranks all of the NCAA Tournament teams.

We love Obama, oh yes we do!

Today, WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes interviewed author Bernie Goldberg about his new book, “A Slobbering Love Affair,“ a blistering, brutal look at the media’s incredibly subjective coverage of the new president.

The interview is worth a listen.

And remember...

When it comes to the news media....

There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

There is no liberal bias.

UPDATE: How low can President Obama go?

Obama changes his outrageous position.

My previous blog...


Granted, it was nowhere near as monumental as this...

Read more

Raped and pregnant

Topics talked about on WISN

It was the most explosive, most emotional topic I think I have ever discussed while filling in at Newstalk1130 WISN. Last August, I brought up the subject of abortion in a manner I don’t believe had ever been addressed on local talk radio.

What about victims of rape who refuse abortions? Granted, the number of cases involving rape victims who become pregnant is small, but they happen.

I attempted to make it clear during the program and in a subsequent blog that I admire women who forego abortions after being victimized, but I personally could not and would not criticize them for choosing to abort in such cases.

During the discussion, I took some heat from hard-line, 100% pro-lifers, and that’s fine. It’s all part of discussing a highly charged issue on a 50-thousand watt radio station. However, I’ve been, and I don’t know if this is the proper word or not, fascinated, definitely compelled by this topic ever since because of the wide range of emotions and opinions it can and did spark.

This past Sunday, while ushering at church, I noticed a pamphlet in the vestibule:

Raped & Pregnant

Three Women Tell Their Stories

Each made a different decision and commendably, courageously shared the experiences openly and publicly. 

"The next morning I tried again to wash away the dirty feeling, but nothing worked. I lost my appetite, was haunted by nightmares, and couldn’t concentrate in school. I kept looking over my shoulder, certain he was coming back for me. Somehow I thought God must not care about me. Maybe He was even punishing me.
The thought of pregnancy hadn’t occurred to me at first, so for four months I denied the possibility. I insisted to myself that my queasiness was just a touch of the flu, and my missed periods were due to shock. But a doctor’s exam finally erased all doubt. I cried all the way home from his office."

"Abortion was still illegal, but my sister made the arrangements. I met a man in Griffith Park, who took me blindfolded to a doctor’s office. But the doctor wouldn’t do an abortion because I had such a bad case of strep throat - if the infection went into my uterus, I could die. So he told me to go home and live with the fact that I was pregnant, and somehow I’d make it through. I later found a very caring doctor who helped me see that every life was valuable. I began feeling love and acceptance for my child, especially as I felt my baby moving. I became excited about the new life within me and almost forgot how it had begun. When I finally told my parents, my dad was in shock that I was pregnant, especially from a rapist. A family doctor got my dad in touch with Planned Parenthood, where I was told that abortion was 'the only solution.' They offered no alternatives. I believed them when they said my nightmare would be over and I could go on with life after the abortion as if "nothing ever happened."

"As I picked myself up and walked home, I couldn’t stop weeping. I felt dead inside. Everything within me was crushed - he stole from me something I could never get back. And what was worse was that my disobedience led to the rape. Since I wasn’t "pulled off the street," I figured it probably wasn’t a real rape - it must be my fault. So I hid my guilt and shame. Somehow I knew I’d get pregnant. One month went into another, and as I waited for my period I became withdrawn and desperate. In despair I cried out to God and made all kinds of promises, but God didn’t take this man’s child away. Abortion wasn’t legal then, so I tried to kill my child myself. I drank ant poison, jumped off tall haystacks, and punched my stomach as hard as I could, but nothing worked. I hated the baby, I hated the guy, and most of all I hated myself."

Here’s the article originally published in Americans Against Abortion magazine that offers real human perspective on an issue rarely discussed or studied. 

Is Mark Miller for real?

Madison Democrat, state Senator Mark Miller demonstrated zero tact and zero smarts a few weeks ago when he blasted the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) while speaking to the group at their very own annual Business Day. Miller, co-chair of the Legislature's powerful Joint Finance Committee said:

"I wouldn’t be doing you a service if I didn’t say this. This organization (Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, WMC) has badmouthed Wisconsin more than any other. We try as hard as we can to bring business in here." 

When you screw up once in public on a topic, you should just avoid a repeat performance. But Miller is a Democrat, a MADISON Democrat. Today he defended his remarks made in February by saying:

"We have a very fair tax climate for business in Wisconsin."

Oh, we do, huh...

That has to be the most shocking news bulletin Wisconsin businesspeople have heard in years. Acccording to the nonpartisan Tax Foundation, here's the latest on the business climate Senator Miller thinks is so great: Among the states, with #1 being the best business climate, Wisconsin ranks 38th.

Senator Miller, I don't think you're going to be too persuasive with the WMC.  Care to take the size 10 out of your mouth?

Aren't you glad the Democrats are in control?

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau added up all the tax increases in Governor Doyle's proposed budget and came up with over $1.7 billion.

If that's not bad enough, the budget repair bill that was railroaded through the Democrat-controlled Legislature and quickly signed by Democrat Jim Doyle contained $1.2 billion in tax increases.

Using private school math, that's over $2.9 billion in tax increases.

But I forgot. We are NOT living in a tax hell.

Makes sense to me

This bill, that is.

Gosh, if only we'd get this passed so once and for all we could have office pools at the state Capitol.

New state slogan

It fits, not like the Governor's stolen idea of "Live Like You Mean It."

This one comes from state Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine).


Don't forget the high schools

The NCAA isn't the only action going.

The boy's state high school basketball tournament begins Thursday.

Steve Tietz has an in-depth preview. So does the Journal Sentinel.

Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

Over the past several months, I’ve blogged about a friend, 28-year old Angie Wenzel, a courageous woman battling for her life. Tonight, there was just too much cancer, too much sickness to fight any longer.

God bless you, Angie. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your wonderful family.

God bless a brave young woman

Meet Angie who is fighting for her life

The not-so-happy holidays

UPDATE: Angie's wake will be held on Monday, March 23, 2009, from 3pm-7pm, at St. Roman's Church, 1710 West Bolivar, Milwaukee, with a Mass to follow.

Read more

Good move by Franklin mayor Tom Taylor

I received the following e-mail today from Franklin alderman Kristin Wilhelm regarding Tuesday's 5-1 vote by the Franklin Common Council to apply for stimulus funds to modify S. 51st Street from Rawson to College Avenue:

"It was another double work day with evening meetings and this is the first chance to get back with all of you. Thank you to all who attended the Tuesday evening Council meeting. I started to write several times about the meeting but I just couldn’t find the words to express my displeasure with the process that took place. Those who attended would probably agree.

However, good thing I had to wait since you will be pleased to learn that your voice HAS made a difference.

I just received notice from the Office of the City Clerk that the Mayor will Veto the Council's action taken on Tuesday for 51st North of Rawson Ave.

More to come soon….."

Wilhelm was the only alderman to vote against the application.

More from John Neville of FranklinNOW.

The Common Council has the votes to override the mayor's veto if it chooses to do so.

Check out the home page of this website to vote in a poll on this issue.

Dumbest quote of the year so far

"We've always had discussions about how to cut money."

MPS Superintendent William G. Andrekopoulos made that comment to a gathering at South Division High School about how to spend MPS' share of stimulus money.

Sure thing. We've always, always, always, always talked about cutting.

Like here.

And here.

Oh, and then there was this time...

If those are examples in Andrekopoulus' screwed up world of math that are cuts, I wonder what an increase would be.

Is it any wonder we have an illegal immigration problem?

Illegal immigration

“I think it's un-American. I think it's un-American."

The words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, speaking to a group of legal and illegal immigrants abut raids enforcing America’s immigration laws. Nancy Pelosi is an embarrassment, Joseph Biden-like, a gaffe machine just waiting to go off.

Fox News has the story and the exclusive video.

It’s unfortunate that John McCain, during his woeful presidential campaign essentially caved and threw in the towel on the immigration issue. America, arguably, is its own worst enemy when it comes to the uncontrolled explosion of illegals here because it continues to enable the problem to spread like cancer.

We have a border fence that’s a joke.

Illegals are getting jobs from the stimulus money……….as predicted.

Yep, just come on in all you illegals! Uncle Sam wants you! The welcome mat is out!

The latest "ban"

Politicians at all levels of government like to propose bans. That's one of their knee jerk reactions to problems.

Need a solution? Something bugging you? Just ban it.

Here's the newest brainstorm.

The face of the poster child for capital punishment

This photo of inmate Charles Manson was taken Wednesday March ...

This photo of inmate Charles Manson was taken Wednesday March 18, 2009 at Corcoran State Prison, Calif. The photo of the 74-year-old Manson was taken Wednesday as part of a routine update of files on inmates at Corcoran State Prison, where he is serving a life sentence for conspiring to murder seven people, said Seth Unger, spokesman for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.(AP Photo/California State Prison, Corcoran)

Why did corrections officials release this photo of the nefarious Charles Manson, and why is the news media so willing to publish?

Is part of the motivation to garner sympathy? After all, Charlie’s suffered enough, hasn’t he? He’s just a pathetic, old man. No need to imprison this harmless guy any longer, is there?

My built-in natural curiosity actually wants to see what the monster looks like today and compare to what he looked like when he was an evil hippie in the 60’s.  But I shed no tears.

Here’s a challenge to the nation’s media. You want America to see what Charlie looks like today? How about also showing what Charlie’s victims looked like?

Don’t want to do that? Why not? Care more for Charlie than the innocent who were slaughtered?

Here is a website with links to graphic photos of the Manson Family Murders. Click on if you wish. The choice is yours.

For my money, Manson would have been put to death a long time ago. Despite my curiosity, I could care less that Manson is wasting away at taxpayer expense in some God-awful prison cell. That’s far too good for him.


Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television at 6:30, with a repeat broadcast at 11:00 Sunday morning.

1 – A.I.G.

Do we have a right to be angry about the giant bonus checks given to A.I.G executives?  Shouldn’t the government had taken steps to stop this before it happened?  Did the lawmakers who approved the bailout bill for A.I.G. know that these compensation packages were going to be paid out?  Is it fair to ask the recipients to give the money back?  Aren’t they contractually entitled to it?  Should the contracts have been “renegotiated” just as U.A.W. workers contracts were renegotiated?  Does this show yet another incredible disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street?  Does this hurt Obama?  Is his reaction just a little too late?

2 – U.W.M

Governor Doyle proposes a huge $240 million investment in UWM, which would be the largest cash infusion in the fifty year history of the school.  Does it make sense at this point in time?  Is it hollow rhetoric, or a sincere pledge of faith?  Will lawmakers go along with it?  Is this long overdue?  Does it make sense for U.W.M. to be proposing a new School of Health downtown, a new School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Wauwatosa, and a new School of Freshwater Sciences at the lakefront near Discovery World?  Is U.W.M. finally getting the attention that it deserves?


Friday night,  Barack Obama becomes the first sitting president to be a guest on The Tonight Show.  Is this brilliant politics, or the dumbing down of the presidency?  Is he simply trying to reach out to the people who watch TV, or is he degrading the office of the presidency?  At this point in time, when there is an economic meltdown, is it wise to go on a comedy talk show?  Does Obama crave rock star status, or is he simply demonstrating an incredibly astute and sincere awareness of identifying with the common man?  Is this the same quality that helped get him elected?

Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend!


It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, guitar survivors.

Wayman Tisdale no doubt is keeping a close watch on this year’s NCAA Tournament. His alma mater, Oklahoma, is one of the better teams in the tourney with one of the best players, Blake Griffin.

The 6’9” Tisdale played for the Sooners from 1982-85 where he was named first-team All-American in each of his three years of college play, averaging 25.6 points and over 10 rebounds per game. He became a member of the then-amateur U.S. Olympic basketball team in 1984 that won the gold medal. A 12-year career in the NBA then followed before Tisdale began concentrating on his true love: music.

Playing the bass, Tisdale released his first album in 1995 and is one of the top stars of smooth jazz today. But the road hasn’t always been easy. A few years ago, Tisdale fell down a flight of stairs in his home. Doctors discovered cancer in his knee, and when chemotherapy failed, Tisdale had part of his right leg amputated.

Wayman Tisdale has always had a reputation of being a happy, positive individual. He’s still performing better than ever.

Read more

The Barking Lot

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!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Mostly cloudy early, then sunny skies around 9 a.m. with an above average high of 54.  "B"

SUNDAY: More sunshine, dry conditions, above normal high temperature of 54. "B"


If I was filling in on WISN anytime soon, this surely would be a topic that would generate lively and emotional discussion. The story comes out of Durham, North Carolina. Take a look at this dog.


That’s Timber. He’s 13, a boxer-shepherd mix.

Timber got past a gate in front of his home earlier this month and bit a woman in the leg. For that, Timber was sent to the local shelter to be quarantined for 10 days while his owner, Jeff Kessler paid a required $500 fine.

Sounds reasonable so far, right? Here’s where the story takes a horrible turn.

On the 10th day, Kessler went to retrieve Timber, but the cage Timber was supposed to be in was housing a different animal. Where was Timber?

Timber was dead.

Failing to check records about Timber, a shelter technician accidentally euthanized the dog.

The shelter refuses to identify the worker who made this awful error, but says the technician has been suspended indefinitely from the task of euthanizing. The indefinite suspension implies the technician could once again be given that task and yes, that could happen because the technician has been suspended from working at the shelter for a grand total of……… week.

Again, if this was WISN, I’d open up those phone lines right now. Is that a fair penalty for killing a dog? A one-week suspension with the possibility of regaining the job of euthanizing at some point in the future?

Sorry, but the shelter needed to relieve this individual of his/her job immediately and permanently, don’t you think?

One of the readers commenting on the Charlotte Observer website that has the story wrote:

“…heck we don't even put down killers so why put down a dog that bites once.”

Boy, if that isn’t true.

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

You know those immensely popular dog shows you see on TV? They could be making some dogs sick. ABC has the story and video.

Speaking of inhumanity, is the famed Iditarod in Alaska cruel to dogs? The Iditarod winner.

People. People. Why would you do this?

Recently Martha Stewart lost her dog. Now it has happened to Oprah.

Remember Ratchet, the dog from Iraq that was reunited in America with his solider-owner? Here's a Ratchet update.

Meanwhile, strays are a menace in Iraq.

About those puppies from Petland...

Everybody's giving the Obama's advice on dogs. The latest?

Older dogs return love they're given.

Want to see the world's oldest dog?

Want to see a really naughty dog?

Do those dog wipes really work?

The MPD gets another shelter dog, Dozer.

Meet Olive....

Olive, a year-old collie mix, and her owner, Jane Hollander, keep a brisk pace in Lake Park on Wednesday. Hollander, a musician, has produced a “Doggie Dreams” CD that features her playing the cello and piano with the goal of soothing both canines and people, she said. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo: Jack Orton

That's it for this week. I'm already missing Jennifer! HELPPPPPPP!!!

We close The Barking Lot with a CBS story about a very unusual friendship.




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...


Chad Lindsey


Good Samaritans


Alec Baldwin and other Hollywood hypocrites

Mark Kostreva

George Lambus

Some Wisconsin teenage girls

Michael Cramer


"It's like - it was like Special Olympics or something."
President Obama on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, describing his bowling prowess, or lack thereof. Obama said he's been practicing in the White House and rolled a 129.

"This was a degrading remark about our world's most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world. These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama's comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community."
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Her son Trig has Down's syndrome.

"I know where his heart is at. He loves Special Olympics, and he will do everything he can to help Special Olympics. And every one of us sometimes makes a mistake. Something comes out of your mouth and you say, 'Oops, I wish I wouldn't have said that.' I've had many of those."
California Governor Arnold Scharzenegger

"He expressed his disappointment and he apologized, I think, in a way that was very moving. He expressed that he did not intend to humiliate this population, certainly didn't want to embarrass or give anybody any more reason for pain or just suffering, I would say. He was very sincere, expressed an interest and an openness in being more engaged in the movement, and said he was a fan of the movement and I think, importantly, he said he was ready to have some of our athletes over to the White House to bowl or play basketball or help him improve his score."
Tim Shriver, chairman of the Special Olympics board about a telphone call of apology he received from the president.

"Madame Secretary, in your first testimony to the US Congress as Homeland Security Secretary you never mentioned the word  'terrorism.' Does Islamist terrorism suddenly no longer pose a threat to your country?"
SPIEGEL posing a question to Janet Napolitano, President Obama's new Homeland Security Secretary.

"Of course it does. I presume there is always a threat from terrorism. In my speech, although I did not use the word  'terrorism,' I referred to 'man-caused' disasters. That is perhaps only a nuance, but it demonstrates that we want to move away from the politics of fear toward a policy of being prepared for all risks that can occur."
Napolitano's response

They are not going to get a federal trademark. I just wanted to let them know that."
Ellyn Luros-Elson, a Napa, California  dietitian who is co-author of a 2006 book that has the title of Wisconsin’s new state slogan, “Live like you mean it.” The phrase had been trademarked in 2007 by the liquor maker Bacardi, but the company  allowed the trademark to lapse when the ad campaign ended.

We have certainly done our due diligence to be sure that we could use this."
Sarah Klavas, brand manager for the state Department of Tourism

“The first thing that would make me feel a little bit better towards them if they’d follow the Japanese model and come before the American people and take that deep bow and say I’m sorry, and then either do one of two things — resign, or go commit suicide.”
Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) commenting about AIG bonuses.

I’m outraged. … I didn't vote for the bailout in the first place, because I didn't think there was adequate oversight. And now we're seeing the problem. I think maybe a lawsuit that challenges these bonuses may be appropriate. We want AIG to cough up the facts."
Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) about his letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner seeking ways to stop $165 million in taxpayer bailout funds being paid as bonuses to AIG executives.

"This legislation was put forth by the Democrats to cover up the fact that they are the ones who inserted the provision into the stimulus bill that authorized the payment of these bonuses to AIG and then called for a vote before anyone could read the 1,000 page bill. It is only a matter of time before this bill is declared unconstitutional and overturned by the courts because of the bill of attainder."
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls), the only Wisconsin member to vote against the bill on Thursday. He was joined by 86 other Republicans and six Democrats. 

"At least apologize. Take ownership for it. Say 'Folks, listen, I don't have the huevos to tell you I need more money. Instead, I'm going to go behind your back and steal your money'."
State Representative Phil Montgomery (R-Green Bay) on Governor Doyle’s budget plan to transfer $25 million in rebates promised to cell phone users to boost shared revenue.

And we can't forget the MPS Superintendent.


President Teleprompter announced plans to charge wounded soldiers for their medical treatment. He backed off within a day.

He then made fun of Special Olympians, and apologized within a day.

And then there's his budget.

Don't blink or you'll miss the next blunder from our not ready for prime time president.


wants to invade your home without a warrant.


Obama on Leno.


A San Francisco criminal needs to be caught, so Clorox offers a reward???

This guy just couldn't stomach losing his job.

Naked boy out for a walk with his dog assaults woman.

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

If Obama was really smart...

He'd accept.

UPDATE: The latest "ban"

Previously on This Just In...

And now this...

New Jersey decides not to ban genital waxing.

"It was an unnecessary issue," said spa owner Linda Orsuto. "In New Jersey especially, where the government has been picking our pockets for so long, it was like, 'Just stay out of our pants, will you?'"

Here's the story.

Shame on Notre Dame

I hate saying that, but I must.

Have they not been paying attention?

HT for this to Dad29.

Recommended reading

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).

Obama's gutter ball threatens to haunt him

"President Obama offended many disabled Americans, their champions, and others who puzzled over how a man who rarely misspeaks could make such a joke. Some of those most upset are among his staunchest supporters."

Why the polls say Obama is worse than Bush

“In nearly every category of governance he has messed up royally, and is clueless, or wantonly stubborn to do the things that will fix any of the problems.”

The bogus bonus smokescreen

"I ask you now to turn away from the bogus bonus smokescreen over $165 million in taxpayer-backed compensation packages for AIG employees. It is a pittance compared to the gargantuan spending spree happening right under our noses."

Neither a hedgehog nor a fox

"The president seems everywhere and nowhere, not fully focused on the matters at hand......
This is why the teleprompter trope is taking off. Mr. Obama uses it more than previous presidents. No one would care about this or much notice it as long as he showed competence, and the promise of success."

Taxes, traitors, and popularity polls

“When it comes to taxes, our elected officials are as insatiable as hogs at a trough. To their way of thinking, double-taxing us is only a poor substitute for triple or quadruple-taxing us.”

Why South Carolina doesn't want 'stimulus'

"Many people do not realize that the stimulus money runs out in 24 months -- at which point South Carolina will be forced to find a new source of funding to sustain the new level of spending, or to make sharp cuts. Sure, I could kick the can down the road; in two years, I'll be safely out of office. But it would be irresponsible."

The burden of battle

"None of this helps recruiting or retaining the brightest and best-educated, -trained, -led and -equipped military force the world ever has seen. Had this ploy worked, the new recruiting pitch to some bright young person about to graduate from high school would have to include this warning: If you are wounded in the service to your country, we're going to make you pay for any medical care you receive after we get you off the battlefield."

Wisconsin's small business feels besieged

"It looks as though government has declared war on small business."

Was this use of force necessary?

Normally, I'm 150% in favor of law enforcement. But they're not perfect and do make mistakes.

Are you telling me that three officers could not subdue a 54-year old woman and needed to pull out a Taser, a device that has been known to kill those on the receiving end?

The story...

Care to put a face on people who use false identities on the Internet?

It can't be done.

Cyper predators could be just about anyone. Your neighbor. A police officer. An elected official.

There is one constant. Their motives, and they themselves, are evil.

The Associated Press has more.

"So, attorney husband of mine, how did your day go?"

"Oh, I tried to get a sex offender off."

UPDATE: Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

Here is the obituary in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for Angie Wenzel, the young woman I've blogged about in the past.

Please consider signing Angie's guest book.

Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

The MJS Scorecard (3/22/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


Tom Barrett: Rails necessary for Milwaukee's future

Tom Still: Hope trumps fears for most Americans on stem cells 

I don't believe Still, an excellent writer, is a liberal. But this piece leans to the left.

"Responding to Obama's executive order, which aims to advance federal support for research in Wisconsin and other stem-cell centers, opponents again equated embryonic stem-cell research with abortion. That argument has not worked so far, and it is unlikely to work now."


Moving Debate: Scott Walker: Bus rapid transit is swift and effective

John Nothdurft: Doyle should heed own advice

Daniel J. Steininger: Greed will ruin our economy 


Ed Zore: We're lucky to have quality care of Children's Hospital

Rich Meeusen and Paul Jones: Why our water wins are big


TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-25, Conservative-22

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

2) If Bill Proxmire was alive today...

3) How low can President Obama go?

4) Did Franklin alderman Steve Taylor speak out of turn on the Buckhorn controversy?

5) The truth about St. Patrick

Photos of the Week (3/22/09)

Photos of the Week

Members of the White House Press Corps watch from a holding room inside NBC Studios while U.S. President Barack Obama appears on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno in Burbank, Calif. Thursday, March 19, 2009. (AP / Gerald Herbert)


Code Pink protesters hold signs as Chairman and CEO of the American International Group Edward Liddy prepares to testify before the House Financial Services Committee March 18, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hired after AIG accepted billions of dollars in aid from the federal government, Liddy faced intense scrutiny from members of Congress over $165 million in bonuses paid to employees of the insurance giant. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Read more

Culinary no-no #104

Culinary no-no's

You remember the classic game show, “Password,” don’t you?

I say, “Teleprompter,” and your response, naturally would be, "television."

You'd be wrong, of course. The correct password would be, “Obama.”

I’m thinking of a particular password. Throughout this culinary no-no, there will be all kinds of clues. They won’t be the one-word type under the Password rules, but every bit of information you’re about to read should, if you can figure out my thought process, help you come up with the “password.”


Jenna Bergen is the author of this book:


Photo: How to Combat 'Your Big Fat Boyfriend' Eating Healthy to Help Keep Off

In this great public service to all dating couples, Bergen analyzes one of the most perplexing dilemmas confronting society today: why is it that whenever a gal enters into a brand new, exciting, promising relationship with some guy, she blimps up?

I guess I never heard of that one, you know, the “I got really fat because I’ve got this new en fuego beau syndrome.”

It’s Bergen’s contention that a woman head over heels about her latest hunk suddenly forgets all those incredibly healthy eating habits she obviously had been exercising until “I think he just might be Mr. Right” came along. Carrot sticks seem to transform into carrot cake. Why? True love you ninny. See that stud on her arm? It’s stupid’s fault.

That poor woman on cloud nine. She has no other choice but to emerge into a “before” ad for Weight Watchers. Seems only natural, doesn’t it. Gal meets guy. Guy is nice to gal. Gal flips for guy. Gal needs to have someone take the air out of her dress.

Bergen is an author, meaning she must know what the hell she’s talking about. Generally speaking, the woman who falls deeply, passionately, madly in love has no clue what she’s doing. Add in this critical factor. Romeo would turn any dietician’s hair gray and send their blood pressure skyrocketing.  Johnny Angel eats like a heart attack in a bag. Therefore, the object of his affection does, too.

Bergen’s solution: Ladies, you’ve got to stand by your man and get him to eat healthier because it’s oh so clear he’s killing you. He’s the one shoving filet mignons and banana splits down your throat. If you love him, make HIM change.

You’re gaining weight? You’re getting unhealthy? No, no, no. no. no. HE’S the one that needs to get healthier.

Bergen says guys come in all shapes and sizes and categories. Depending on where he fits in dictates what approach needs to be taken by woman getting fatter because  they are now dating.

If your man is one who’s never a weight problem despite being on a Big Mac diet, but is now battling the bulge because he like, has a job, then Bergen suggests





















Start making him healthy meals. Because nothing is more romantic than steamed fish and broiled broccoli.  Or is it broiled fish and steamed broccoli?  I don't know.  I'm a guy.  I don't eat that crap.

Get him to go to the gym. Hell, even get him a personal trainer. “Darling, it’s not because I can’t fit into my old clothes anymore. It’s because I love you.”

And remember all those old dishes you used to love before you met him? Mmmmmm, those wonderful salads and meatless pastas?  Convince him to start eating more of those.

In a nutshell, here’s Bergen’s mindset:

1) Ladies, congratulations. You’re in love.

2) You’re also getting out of shape.

3) Those damn guys!

4) It’s not your fault. It’s theirs.

5) Teach them.

6) Train them.

7) Treat them condescendingly like little puppies.

8) You will listen to me.

9) You will eat this.

10) You will join a health club.

11) Why?

12) Because you made me fat.

The culinary no-no: If a woman gains weight, how much blame do we put on Cupid as opposed to Ms. Shove It In My Face?


Have you figured out the “password” yet?

The “password” is:



And that means, bye bye boyfriend.

Here's an excerpt from Bergen's book.


Have any idea what this is?

It's a creation of Milwaukee culinary genius Sanford D'Amato.

But even Pete Rose struck out every now and then.

Two thumbs down.

Say Barack, 'ja hear the one about the economy in the toilet?

Talk of our fiscal crisis puts the Obamessiah into stitches.

Everybody's talking about it, including the British.

This media column that contains the video calls Obama's reaction, "appropriate and understandable."

It doesn't matter what the president said the rest of the interview on "60 Minutes." His gaffe, yet another, stands out. Good for Steve Kroft for jumping all over the not ready for prime time, lost without his teleprompter prez. The media crucifixion would have been much worse had it been W.

Franklin mayor Taylor's S.51st Street veto needs to be upheld

I received the following e-mail from Franklin alderman Kristin Wilhelm:

I have attached the agenda for the Special Council meeting related to 51st St.


THURSDAY, MARCH 26, 2009 AT 6:30 PM
Item A. The Mayor's Veto
Item B. Staff's recommendation




Kristen Wilhelm
3rd District Alderman
City of Franklin
9229 West Loomis Road
Franklin, WI 53132
Home phone 414.423.1606

MY TAKE: The appropriate vote is to sustain Mayor Taylor’s veto. Widening 51st Street is unnecessary and unwanted. While I oppose the stimulus concept in general, if we are going to use stimulus money, it should be used for something else.

WRTL News You Can Use- 3/23/09

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
In This Issue:
March 23, 2009
Important Right To Life Links

FOCA is Coming!

"Creativity"- Is that what they're calling it these days?

In the political world, there is a group of individuals that has tunnel vision when it comes to advocating solutions to problems. This group has but one page in their playbook: raise taxes.

They are called Democrats.

With the economy spitting and sputtering, with people out of work, with people being asked to take wage cuts, with layoffs, Democrats still can’t get it through their thick skulls that now is the worst possible time to raise taxes, when the well is damn near dry.

Ahh, but those clever tax and spend devils. They just never stop. You say your household is suffering. Too bad! We, the Democrats don’t care. We are going to tax and tax and tax and tax, whether you can afford one tax increase after another or not.

I honestly have no idea what this feels like. And yet so many folks (they’re called Democrats) do. It comes naturally to them with no sense of shame. People are hurting? So the hell what! Cue George Harrison circa 1967 and the Taxman.

What comes over them? What possesses them?  Does Jim Doyle send a mass e-mail out? Do they all get together in the middle of the night behind closed doors and bounce all kinds of tax increase ideas off each other?

Wow, John! Tax the actual beds that nursing home patients have to sleep in? That’s marvelous!

Gee, Julie! Increase fees (the same as a tax) for bobcat hunters, boat owners, and pig slaughterers? Fantastic!

They walk out of their clandestine affair, arm in arm, patting each other on the back.

Hallelujah tax and spend brothers! Tonight we came up with three dozen new tax and fee increases! Won’t the Journal Sentinel Editorial Board be simply orgasmic?

This disease, Democrat tax-itis is a nationwide affliction. Want to save the economy? Tax everything that does and doesn’t move, by golly.

And so the “creative” ideas, as their architects and the news media like to call them, come flying out of the woodwork. And that includes suggestions on how to trim budgets and increase revenue. No one and nothing is spared:


Marijuana growers

Paperwork in court

Red light runners

Calling 911







Where does it all end? It never will as long as there are......


ABC has the details.

Thanksgiving dinner will be served...

AFTER 3:00 p.m. this year.

What would Al say?

I’m old to enough to remember those wild bumble bee uniforms the Marquette Warriors wore under Al Mcguire and all the other crazy designs that followed. Loved ‘em, each and every one.

This season’s aren’t quite as noteworthy, but they’re certainly not horrible. But don’t ask the people at Fox Sports who’ve put out a grouping of the worst college basketball uniforms. Marquette makes the list. 

Paul Harris Picture
Getty Images

Fox Sports writes:

“Bright, sunflower yellow jerseys with powder-blue and navy color-blocking going up the sides, around the neck and arms? Watching Marquette play in these awful uniforms is like looking through a kaleidoscope and seeing a bunch of colliding bruised bananas. Added penalty - if you stare at the powder blue trim and then stare at the yellow, your eyes will cross.”

Here’s the gallery.

I don't know. If anything, Al might say they're too conservative.

Fox has no sense of taste or history.

Update: Shame on Notre Dame

My original blog on the issue...

Barbara Lyons of Wisconsin Right To Life isn’t impressed with Notre Dame’s response.

Neither am I.

MPS board member Peter Blew-it

Milwaukee School
Board member Peter Blewett would like voters to think he is responsible for what would ultimately be a miraculous 38% increase in the MPS graduation rate.

It’s not true. Blewett is flat out fabricating. Peter simply blew it.

Or maybe he didn’t. Maybe he knew all along his MPS math was beyond fuzzy. And he’s on the school board.

North Shore Exponent broke the story.

In Poynette, if everyone is satisfied, the school board isn't

When I worked at WTMJ, my friend and co-worker, broadcast Hall of Famer Jim Irwin once remarked on-air that if one person, just one person was offended by an Indian nickname or logo, that was good enough to eliminate it.

What if nobody complains?

In Poynette, that still warrants a ban.

Better to make a foolish move like that when no one is in the room, I guess.


Wisconsin's hatred of businesses

Senator Mary Lazich captured the mood of businesspeople attending Monday’s WISCONSIN JOBS NOW Task Force meeting in Brown Deer. They feel like they’ve been assaulted, demonized, and vilified.

They have every right to be upset. The current treatment of state government to job creators is reprehensible. Here are all the examples from Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Is it any wonder businesses want to leave?

Could this be a good move by Governor Doyle?

The governor has appointed someone with great credentials to monitor if the state's stimuls money is being spent properly.

He's former state auditor Dale Cattanauch (pronounced Cat-in-naw). The audit people in Wisconsin have a nationwide reputation of being outstanding.

Here's the problem. What does it mean in the world of Jim Doyle to spend the stimulus money wisely?

I hope Cattanauch does his job and forgets who appointed him.

And the whole stimulus concept is still a horrible idea that will dig deeper deficits.

The story...

Stunning development about the Great Obamessiah

Despite what he said during the campaign and despite all that junk we've been fed by the news media, the smartest, most articulate, greatest, most incredible human being God ever put on this planet admits he doesn't have all the answers.

And what's with that darn teleprompter again?

Not ready for prime time.

When school officials (crotch inspectors) who should know better go too far

And they do it a lot.

I keep a file of topics I believe are worthy of discussion when I fill in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. For the longest time I’ve wanted to talk about the case of Savana Redding but have never gotten around to it. The controversy is still in the news, more so than ever.

If I was this young girl’s father, I would have had her teachers, administrators, principal, etc. for lunch.

From the New York Times:

Savana Redding still remembers the clothes she had on — black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt — the day school officials here forced her to strip six years ago. She was 13 and in eighth grade.

An assistant principal, enforcing the school’s antidrug policies, suspected her of having brought prescription-strength ibuprofen pills to school. One of the pills is as strong as two Advils.

The search by two female school employees was methodical and humiliating, Ms. Redding said. After she had stripped to her underwear, ‘they asked me to pull out my bra and move it from side to side,’ she said. ‘They made me open my legs and pull out my underwear.’

Ms. Redding, an honors student, had no pills. But she had a furious mother and a lawyer, and now her case has reached the Supreme Court which will hear arguments on April 21.”

What happens to the inside of a brain of a supposedly trained and educated school official when the school bell rings and kids file in for the day?  How stupid can you be?

It’s unfortunate that the highest court in the land has to decide for the country what should be common sense.

Here’s a 2008 column on the story, and the latest from the New York Times.


IT’s a girl!

Kyla Audrey Fischer was born at 10:45 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2009.

Kyla is 6 pounds, 21 inches long, and beautiful.

Baby, Mommy, and Daddy are all doing great.

A special thanks to Dr. Leung and all the nurses and staff at West Allis Memorial Hospital for their loving care.

Thank you!

Jennifer and I greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and well wishes about our wonderful news.

Thank you one and all!

Tonight on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panel discusses tonight on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television, Channel 10 at 6:30 with a repeat broadcast on Sunday morning at 11:00:


Just a half year into her tenure the new UW Chancellor demonstrates that she’s not that much different from the previous one.  She suggests hitting students from middle and upper income families with an additions “surcharge” on top of whatever other tuition increases are approved by the Board of Regents.  Students from wealthier families would be asked to pay $250 extra next year ($1000 a year extra by the fourth year) so that the University can hire more faculty, create more class sections, shrink class sizes, and have more financial aid available for needy students.  Is it fair for a state university to charge wealthier students more for an education? Should it be the responsibility of those families to supply financial aid for needier students?  Should the Board of Regents simply set tuition at a rate that is needed and apply that same rate to everyone?  Should the UW be contracting in these difficult financial times, instead of expanding?  Should the non-stop building projects on the UW campus be put on hold?  Is Chancellor Martin looking more like a friend of the staff than a friend of the student?


The Governor wants a “prevailing wage” standard for all publicly funded construction projects all over the state, but Milwaukee’s aldermen beat him to it here in the state’s biggest city.  The aldermen vote to force contractors who accept public funding to pay the “prevailing wage” and hire a certain number of unemployed minorities.  I don’t see a heck of a lot of construction going on in the city right now.  Is this just one more way to force developers to go to neighboring communities that desire growth, but don’t dictate what wages should be?  In good times it might be an admirable measure, but today?


As newspapers around the country die, or cut back to a few days a week, or go completely online, can the same fate be that far off for Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel.  Circulation continues to fall, the stock is worth less than a buck a share, the layoffs and forced unpaid leaves continue.  What’s next?  Does the quality of the newspaper product and management practices have anything to do with the precarious position of this newspaper, or can this all be blamed on a national economy, and the loss of advertising?




The weekend approaches

All of our regular weekend features will be here as I return to my usual blogging pace (It's been an interesting week).

Saturday, get the weekend dog-walking forecast and DOGS IN THE NEWS from The Barking Lot. (There will be an item Franklin alderman Steve Taylor might find interesting).

Also Saturday, our weekly installment of Week-ends.  This person will get a mention.....


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Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind. 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 the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, music for the littlest ones. 

We begin with the Princeton Jazz Quintet.

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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!

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  WINTER STORM WARNING 7 PM TONIGHT UNTIL 10 AM SUNDAY. Mostly cloudy early, windy with afternoon snow showers. Snow 3-5 inches Saturday night. Highs only in the higher 30's. "F"

SUNDAY: Rain and snow most of the morning, and cold. Another 1-2 inches possible. High 36. "F"


In case you haven’t heard the story, I will relate it to you and as we go along, keep measuring your sentiment for the key woman in this report, okay, and see if it changes at all.

Let’s start at the beginning because, as you probably know, that’s always a great place to start.

Milwaukee woman adopts dog from Wisconsin Humane Society.


Two thumbs up for the woman, wouldn’t you agree?

Nice gesture!

But along comes boyfriend.

Boyfriend takes woman's dog.

Boyfriend has dog in car.

Boyfriend attempts to get out of car with dog and proceeds to……….


Drop dog.

Dog breaks its front paws.

There is of course, an alternative of medical treatment, but it will cost plenty.

Woman with dog can’t afford, so what then?

It is, as we’ve blogged about often on The Barking Lot during these tough economic times, owner gives up dog.

That’s what happened in this case, so the Humane Society takes the dog back, spends thousands of dollars to mend the pooch back to normal.

And can you guess what?

Of course you can.

It’s like so many cases of parents giving up babies to foster care while one or both parents try to straighten up their lives. Then when other parents do the dirty work and offer their love and support, suddenly the birth mother has miraculously recovered, and she and the so-called experts demand that the foster parents who have raised and bonded with the child must somehow, without feeling and emotion, give the child up.

Same thing here....the woman wanted her dog back.

I will be more to the point than Jim Stingl was in his column on the story.

Look lady, you gave the dog up because you couldn’t adequately care for it. What makes you think that now that the dog’s medical care has been paid for that you can address its needs in the future?

You should be eternally grateful that the Humane Society took the dog back and saved it, at their expense! Is “Thank you” not in your vocabulary?

Are you in pain? Then get another dog, and be prepared to fully take care of it!

Here’s the Stingl story.

It’s time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Dogs competing in the Iditarod are dying.

What's really going on inside puppy mills?

Earp, a downed police dog is recovering.

No one breaks out of this Idaho prison.

Seeing eye dogs go to high school.

The owner of 25 dogs almost had to give them up.

LOOK OUT FOR THAT DOG! More details in this report from the CDC.

Franklin alderman Steve Taylor has proposed an ordinance that would require all dogs to be on leashes when off the owner's property. If the ordinance was to become law, it would prevent Franklin from opening a dog park. I think Alderman Taylor might find this interesting.

If an individual wants to be a vegan, fine, though it ain't my cup of tea. Just don't turn your dog into one (HT: WISN's Jay Weber).

This is called too much dog food.

No Alpo for this woman's dog.

That's it for this week. We close with (How'd you come up with that, Daddy?), an appropriate video...

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


Citizen soldiers

Mark Graham

Natasha Richardson

Democrat Florida Congressman Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Dave Blask


Robert Powell, an early candidate for VILLAIN OF THE YEAR.  (UPDATE: 4/1/09)

Corrupt judges

The more you hear about
this woman....


“I’m not some faceless b**tard. I’m a capitalist. I encourage you to put a face on real businesspeople. We’re not out to cheat or oppress people.”
Sue Symczak of Safeway Sling in Greendale, speaking at a meeting of businesspeople before the WISCONSIN JOBS NOW TASK FORCE in Brown Deer Monday. They addressed Wisconsin’s business climate and policies.

“We’re being demonized as businesspeople for making profits. That’s wrong. We’re making jobs. We invest our hearts and souls into business. Being a success is not a crime. We started with nothing. We’re scared because we’re seeing everything evaporate before our very eyes.”
Al Schmitz of Schmitz Ready Mix in Milwaukee at the WISCONSIN JOBS NOW TASK FORCE meeting.

“The people locked up for drug offenses are mainly dealers who belong to notorious street gangs.”
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke urging the Joint Finance Committee to remove a provision from Governor Doyle’s budget proposal to release some felons early.

We gave it a try and we sort of see what the result of it is, and I don't think most people in the state want to see $4 million going to big movie production companies at a time when we're struggling to make sure we're funding education and health care and trying to maintain manufacturing jobs in the state.”
Governor Doyle on the state’s tax credit for film and other productions. There’s debate as to how cost-effective the credit has been.

While the county maintains cash solvency and a reasonable debt service level -- indicators that insolvency is not imminent -- it is clear that annual reductions have not achieved financial equilibrium, and that its long-term fiscal outlook is grim.”
A Public Policy Forum report on Milwaukee County's fiscal condition.

“From 2003 to 2007, the cost of benefits increased by $73 million. If no action is taken, these costs will likely continue to grow at that rate (or higher) over the next five years. As a result, the County cannot achieve fiscal sustainability without reforming employee pay and benefits.”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker in a reform plan issued after the Public Policy Report.

"With this budget, the President and the Democratic Majority are attempting nothing less than the third and great final wave of government expansion, building on the Great Society and the New Deal.”
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan on the federal budget approved on a party-line vote by the House Budget Committee.

State Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) tries to go toe to toe with Charlie Sykes. He shouldn't have done that. Listen.


Daniel Acker


Three dozen Wisconsin businesspeople sitting around a table, telling state lawmakers how state government is making it difficult for businesses to do business. Read...


Can we just crown American Idol and get it over with?


There's always more than one.

The oddest book title is kinda cheesy.

If not for that darn Plexiglas.

Never give your gas tank the finger.

And what does he.....


have in common with her?

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Recommended reading

Recommended reading

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

Earth Hour is stupid. Leave the blasted lights on.

"Tomorrow night, (Saturday) between 8.30pm and 9.30pm local time all over the world, the lights will go out. The Empire State Building will go dark. The Coca-Cola Co. will switch off its signs all over the world. Why? Climate change, of course."

Turn on, tune in

"Reader, if you are against global-warming hysteria, high taxes, socialized medicine and a weak foreign policy, Sunday is your day. Show how you feel about the issues by turning on your lights in the evening and leaving them on until you go to bed. If you go out for a drive after dark, make sure you turn your headlights on too."

Do new bulbs save energy if they don't work?

"A lot of people these days are finding the new compact fluorescent bulbs anything but simple. Consumers who are trying them say they sometimes fail to work, or wear out early. At best, people discover that using the bulbs requires learning a long list of dos and don’ts."

Why we must fight for school choice

"Here in the nation’s capital, generations of children have passed through the District’s public schools without being prepared to succeed in life. Historically, they have been told by the government which school to attend, and if that school wasn’t good, they have been told by politicians that reform was underway and things would be better soon.  But these promises have never materialized."

Property taxpayers to shoulder the burden for schools

"Despite all his self-congratulatory rhetoric that he 'protected schools' in these harsh economic times, the fact is Governor Doyle didn’t lift a finger to help fund K-12 education. Instead, he foisted the responsibility completely onto property taxpayers. He even took a massive infusion of federal stimulus money that could have been used to both increase funding for schools and provide property tax relief and instead used that money to reduce the state funds going to support education. Once again, Doyle left Wisconsin taxpayers holding the bag."

A Moral Exemplar?

"Should the University of Notre Dame honor our most anti-life president?"

Obama soaks the rich: churches, day care, homeless shelters

"It is totally dishonest for Obama to pretend that his curtailment of these deductions won’t hurt the poor. It will most directly impact them since most of the charities Obama is hurting focus on helping the impoverished."

"Imagine if 'President McCain' Joked About the Special Olympics"

"Imagine the uproar if a President John McCain made the Special Olympics comment. For that matter, imagine if a President McCain mistook a White House window for a door; his secretary of Treasury had not paid taxes; he granted two dozen waivers to his no-lobbyists-in-government rule; and he had promised bipartisanship but got only three across-the-aisle votes for his "stimulus" package."

Media circus

"Liberals may be ascendant around much of the nation — in control of both houses of Congress, a majority of governors' mansions and, of course, the White House — but times could hardly be better at the Fox News Channel, the cable channel liberals love to hate."

Paperless future

"The newspaper world, Wisconsin's included, was one big car crash, with bodies strewn all over the road. Revenue was hemorrhaging like blood from a ripped artery. Readers were fleeing the scene of the accident."

Stimulus to pay for anti-suicide fence

"Akron hopes to curtail future deaths on what has been dubbed 'Suicide Bridge' by installing a fence. The controversial fencing — some have been pushing for it, while others think it's a waste of money — was among the local projects the state approved Thursday for federal stimulus funds."


"At a time when the federal government is spending billions of stimulus dollars to stem the tide of U.S. layoffs, should that same government put even more Americans out of work by buying cheaper foreign products? In this case, Chinese condoms."

Wisconsin official defends new state slogan

"State officials who picked 'Live Like You Mean It' as Wisconsin's slogan knew the phrase had already been used to promote everything from a television network to a Montana lodge, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press. Nonetheless..."

Which TV news station may have hurt the Daniel Acker investigation?

Greenfield Police Deputy Inspector Bradley Wentlandt isn’t very happy with one local TV news operation and I don’t blame him. Wentland issued a statement today that the actions of a TV news crew may have severely hampered the department’s investigation of suspected pedophile Daniel Acker:

"I wanted to take a moment to address the practice of media outlets waiting in our front parking lot and approaching all males exiting the building, questioning them about the Acker case.

"While you all have the absolute right to conduct your investigative reporting in any legal way you see fit, you should be aware that your reporting practices have harmed our ability to prosecute one of the worst pedophiles this area has ever seen.

"Previously cooperative victims have contacted us after they were approached by this particular media outlet in our parking lot and have advised us they WERE willing to come forward and cooperate, but after being confronted by this media outlet, and were put on the spot after a difficult interview with our investigators, they no longer feel willing to cooperate.

"I would ask that you balance your desire for the big scoop with the privacy interests of sexual assault victims and our need (and your viewers' desire) to put this pedophile away.

"If this practice continues, I intend to publicly identify this media outlet on Monday and specifically outline the heinous details of the cases that were damaged, the victim cooperation we've lost, and the fact that Mr. Acker might end up walking the streets, because of this media outlet's decision to conduct themselves in this fashion."

This is a classic example of reporters going too far.

UPDATE on 3/29/09.......and the news is good.

There's no getting around it

Last fall, state Senator Mary Lazich wrote, “The state of Wisconsin seems to be on a roundabout binge.”
She was right.

The state Department of Transportation (DOT) could be open to ramming a bunch down Franklin and Oak Creek’s throats.

Is either community demanding they be installed? I don’t think so.

Remember, the MJS is NOT a liberal newspaper

From tomorrow's edition:


State Supreme Court

Abrahamson for chief justice

Cherry-picked cases don't make the case for removing a chief justice whose judgments have been, on the whole, fair and well-reasoned.


Experience makes Evers the better choice for school chief

Both candidates have enthusiasm, but that is not enough to make educational improvement in the state and in MPS a reality.

My endorsements: The votes are, RANDY KOSCHNICK for state Supreme Court, ROSE FERNANDEZ for state Superintendent

Look who, no surprise, is coming to the defense of "sexting"

"Sexting" is back in the news locally, this time in West Allis.

I don't believe there's any need to hammer on how disgusting, despicable, and criminal this behavior is.  And because we have lawyers ready to sue at the drop of a hat, the fact that the perverts are fighting back in court is not a shocker. The group that's coming to their defense is also not a surprise: The ACLU.

Here are the results of the first study of its kind on sexting.

While the river Rio Bravo flows along (for 50 years)

One of my favorite movies of all-time is 1959's "Rio Bravo" featuring a cavalcade of stars: John Wayne, Dean Martin, Walter Brennan, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, and Ward Bond.

Critics weren't kind, but I think it's a great Western and never tire of seeing it.

Allen Barra writes in the Wall Street Journal that even after 50 years, "Rio Bravo" has a great cinematic combination of being hip and popular.

Here's the trailer...

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Something to make the snow come down a little easier


My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) Photos of the Week (3/22/09)

2) Culinary no-no #104

3) "So, attorney husband of mine, how did your day go?"


5) UPDATE: Goodbye and God bless you, Angie

Photos of the Week (3/29/09)

Photos of the Week


A women watches on prior to Earth Hour on March 28, 2009 in Sydney, Australia. A WWF global initiative, Earth Hour will take place in over 900 cities and towns in 80 countries to highlight the world's need to reduce emissions as a shared global responsibility. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

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What you can do about "sexting"

Your teenager won’t like it, but you, as a parent, can help prevent "sexting."

The video.

The web story.

How does one un-invite the President of the United States?

The University of Notre Dame needs to find a way.

Charlie Sykes gets the view of Archbishop Timothy Dolan.

And the ridicule of a proud university continues.

Still to come today on This Just In...


Culinary no-no.

Hungry? You won't be.

The MJS Scorecard (3/29/09)

MJS Scorecard


It should also be noted that this exercise is a categorization. Most, if not all of these articles submitted to, or solicited by the Crossroads staff are well-written, thoughtful, and provocative. I enjoy reading them as I have every Sunday for as long as I can remember. This weekly compilation is an ideological scorecard, not a writing critique.


George Meyer and Marc Smith: Go strong on ballast regulations

Piece supports tighter regulations to be imposed by the already heavy-handed DNR and praises Democrat members of Congress.

Janice Wilberg: Rethink child welfare from start  

This effort opens with some universal themes regarding care of children:

You cannot hit or sexually abuse your child.

You must protect your child from physical and sexual abuse perpetrated by others.

You must provide basic food and shelter to the best of your ability.

You must not leave a child alone if he/she is under age 12.

You must ensure that your child attends school and receives basic medical care.”

But then…

Give up on the foster care system.........Drastically reduce the number of kids placed in out-of-home care. Likeabortion, out-of-home placement should be safe, legal and rare.”

That kind of thinking, keeping too many kids or reuniting them with a birth parent or family has led to too many abused and sadly, dead children.


Higher beer taxes hit wrong target 

Anti-tax column. Liberal? No way.




TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-27, Conservative-23

Photo radar will make you mad

Last weekend, I blogged that the installation of photo radar has nothing to do with making roads safer. It’s all about the cash.

Photo radar is catching on, big time despite its obvious disturbing Orwellian characteristics. Motorists, as you can imagine, aren’t doing cartwheels over a system that sends them a ticket in the mail after the fact, based on some photographs. They are understandably upset.

When I say upset, I don’t mean they dash to their computer to send a nasty-gram. I mean they’re UPSET.

Victims of photo radar, or plain, ordinary citizens who are not enamored with this new law enforcement tool have resorted to chicanery, not to mention violence and property damage.

Apparently even Santa Claus, who tends to have a heavy foot in the first place, hates photo radar.

Even though government yahoo’s and bureaucrats think they’ve outsmarted everyone, the press has figured out the true MO of photo radar: to make mucho dinero and screw you, the guys and gals behind the wheel.

The Wall Street Journal has more.

And while we’re on the subject, here’s more evidence to demonstrate that when some public sector pencil pusher, guy with a badge, or elected official denies that writing all those tickets is a money-making operation, he/she is lying.

The above-mentioned Wall Street Journal article makes mention of a recent study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis with conclusions that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Tickets are used to generate revenue. Not only that, the number of tickets doesn’t decline when revenues increase:

There is ample anecdotal evidence that local government use traffic tickets as a means of generating revenue, implying that traffic law enforcement may be motivated by political interests as well as public safety interests. Our paper provides the first empirical evidence to support this view by examining how changes in the number of traffic tickets issued in North Carolina counties are effected by changes in local fiscal conditions. The results indicate that, while changes in local government revenue are significantly correlated with the number of tickets issued, the response is asymmetric to positive and negative changes in local revenue. Positive changes in local revenue have no statistical effect on the changes in the tickets issued, but we find evidence that law enforcement officials issue significantly more tickets in the year following a decline in local government revenue. Specifically, a one percentage point decrease in last year’s local government revenue results in roughly a 0.32 percentage point increase in the number of traffic tickets in the following year. In terms of elasticity, we find that a ten percent decrease in negative revenue growth results in a 6.4 percent increase in the growth rate of traffic tickets.”

Here’s the shortened version of the study, and the actual study.

Culinary no-no #105

Culinary no-no's

Regional cuisine is sacred.

In New York, pizza is nowhere near as thick as a pie in Chicago.

My wife, Jennifer and I had just arrived at the incredible Opryland Hotel in Music City, Nashville, Tennessee. The short flight from Milwaukee put us at our destination in the Volunteer State at about lunch time, so we meandered to the food court.

"Gotta have Corky's," I told Jennifer. Corky's at the Opryland was one of many locations based on the famed Memphis barbecue restaurant. This was strictly the stand in line and order variety of quick food stops.

We both ordered the barbecue sandwich, quite possibly the finest sandwich in the world. Yes, it's that good.

First, the perfect bun. Nice and soft.

Then, the young gal behind the counter piles on the luscious, picture perfect pulled pork. If Rembrandt did food, he would have painted Corky's pork.

And then, oh this isn't fair, out of nowhere appears a squeeze bottle with barbecue sauce, a tantalizing red hue, that cannot be duplicated anywhere else on this planet, and it is squirted lovingly in nice circles around and around on top of the mountain of pork.




We interrupt this blog to alert the author to

return to appropriate topic immediately.

Readers have been led to believe this entry

is about a culinary no-no. Thus far, the

post has been anything but. Please adhere

to the high quality standards of said blog

and return to the mission at hand.

The management of

I'm gettin' to that part!

I'm gettin' to it!

Now before we tell the Corky's employee what sides and drinks we wanted to order, we made it clear, as directed by the signage inside the establishment and our faint but adequate knowledge of Southern cuisine that she was NOT to go any further with that work of art.

Take a look at the Corky's menu under sandwiches. Read the description.

You're in the South, Yankee, where they're a might bit serious about BBQ. You don't open up your yap, and you're getting that beautiful barbecue pork sandiwch served like this:

With cole slaw, not on the side, but right smack dab in the middle of all that wonderful sauce and pig in between those nice, soft, chewy slices of bun.

I admit, I was inspired to write about this particular concoction by an LA Times review this week of a BBQ restaurant that serves authentic Southern barbecue, including this item:

Scottie's Smokehouse

When in Rome, do what the Romans do.

But may I also quote that great philosopher Arthur Fonzarelli who once said that ketchup and ice cream, when set apart are great, but put them together?  WHOA!  Thumbs down. Yuckimundo.

This is one of those culinary no-no's like ones I've wriiten about in the past like ketchup on a brat or green peppers on a pizza that are highly subjective.

At the risk of insulting anyone below the Mason-Dixon line, don't ruin that succulent sandwich with cabbage. Leave it on the side, thank you very much.

If you insist, can the cole slaw be the oily and not the creamy variety? But that's another blog.


Josh Kowalczyk, an intern with the West Michigan Whitecap... (Rex Larsen / AP)

You know, this burger might be ok if it only had some Stadium Secret Sauce.


No explanation necessary.

From Franklin alderman Kristin Wilhelm...

Dear 3rd District,

Many of you want to know what you can do to influence the outcome for 51st St.(specifically north of Rawson). I believe the issue begins with the City's outdated wide-road design standards. More than eight years ago the concept of "street calming" was introduced. This and several other concepts used elsewhere provide alternatives that allow for safer and better road design. If we want to maintain and improve the aesthetic appeal of our community, we need options beyond basic road plumbing. Below the meeting notice are some ideas to support re-thinking our present point A to point B, with nothing in-between, travel concept.


AGENDA in brief- (full agenda at, see information page for calendar and city contacts)

A. Presentation of the Mayor’s Veto regarding previous action to apply for Stimulus funds for 51st St. between Rawson and College (Possible -Veto stands or a Veto override).

B. Staff's road recommendations for the Stimulus application

Please travel 31st Street behind Northwestern Mutual to see the design purposed for 51st St. between Puetz and Drexel. This 48 ft. wide road with dual sidewalks (total 80 ft) is the theme being recommended by staff. While there is a strong desire to improve pedestrian access and traffic near the school, I am disappointed that this design is as creative as it gets. The design as purposed will increase traffic and speed and may result in the northerly continuation of this design beyond Drexel.  (The Mayor's letter mentions the fast-track design as one reason for his veto).

There is a growing emphasis for safe pedestrian movement along 51st and throughout Franklin proving the perfect opportunity to be creative and apply innovative planning efforts used elsewhere.

What we need is an interest in designing something different. A well-planned design could provide livable character; a design that could serve more than the basic need to get from point A to point B. FACT - Safety is less about how wide and more about slowing traffic. Multi-use lanes or a paved walkway versus dual sidewalks as well as many other measures add a more friendly and distinguished street (usually at less cost).

While it may be very difficult at this stage to influence the southern portion of 51st Street, there is time for an alternative design to the north. Before we take irreversible steps forward we MUST adequately define the problem, purpose, need, community desire, and finally the City’s marketability that will result from what gets built. There is much more to consider than projected traffic count and certainly much too lose.

Here are some ideas if you want to make a difference. Please attend Tuesday and ask that the Council take action to:
           Provide public interaction - not just posting meeting notices.
           Suggest using an outside consultant for a different design perspective
           Research the value of narrower roads - safety and appeal, build and long-term maintenance costs
           Develop a range of alternatives for the northern section of 51st St.

With your voice we can build a sense of community.

Kristen Wilhelm
3rd District Alderman
City of Franklin
9229 West Loomis Road
Franklin, WI 53132
Home phone 414.423.1606

MY TAKE: I don't want to suggest that my posting of my alderman's latest e-mail update means that I concur with everything she has written. I oppose expanding 51st Street. I oppose the use of stimulus money for such a project. Moreover, I totally oppose the stimulus concept. I especially oppose the notion that we should oppose widening 51st Street so that we can make the area more pedestrian friendly. That is the LAST reason to oppose widening. This is 2009, not 1959. South 51st Street, while used by pedestrians today, is not and can no longer be intended to be more pedestrian-friendly. If a bagel and coffee is that important to you, do what everyone else does. Get in your car, drive to Panera, park real close to the entrance, get out, go in, and buy whatever you want and join the 21st century like the rest of us.

You're a better man than I am...

Ryan Moats.

The officer Moats had a confrontation with was one of my VILLAINS OF THE WEEK Saturday.

It's wonderful to see citizens getting involved in local issues

Here are a few friendly reminders for citizens to consider when distributing political or issue-oriented literature:

1) It is appropriate and quite helpful if the individual and/or group that is distributing the literature provide full disclosure on the pamphlets, brochures, etc. with contact information including name, address, telephone number, e-mail address.

2) Technically, it is illegal to place this information inside a mailbox. It must be placed outside the mailbox
(That's why all that lawncare advertising lately is tossed in my newspaper slot or at my front door).

This information, I hope, will be useful for future reference.

BEWARE what local candidates are suddenly now saying

It’s nitty gritty, crunch time as we get closer to those odd-year spring elections. The closer we get, the more we will suddenly, and I do mean suddenly, hear about the candidates for various local elections.

I have long advocated that voters seek out and obtain as much information as possible before casting a ballot. But along with that recommendation about doing one’s homework comes this note of caution: Beware and read very, very, very, very carefully what you’re being fed by each candidate today and in the days ahead.

Again, suddenly we’re hearing about who’s running and what they’re running for on April 7 and what they NOW have to say. Let’s look at Franklin.

In our quiet, humble city, there are three school board candidates on the ballot for two open seats. One of the candidates has announced that if he wins, he won’t serve, but he’s still a player because if he wins, the Franklin School Board (scary) would choose who sits on the board (very scary).

Here we are, with March 2009 breathing its last gasp. There are three, count ‘em, three candidates, two of them viable for the Franklin School Board, and I have heard nothing, zero, nada, zilch from any of them. Not a phone call. Not an e-mail. Not a brochure. Not a flyer stuck in my mailbox or on my front door.

Apparently my vote, and the odds are great that I will vote on April 7, means nothing, absolutely nothing to these candidates.

My blog is quite popular, or so I’m told. I have been more than happy to run unedited guest blogs in the past from candidates in local races. This year? Cue the crickets.

But April 7 is just around the corner. AND NOW THEY WANT MY VOTE AND OTHERS! Where were they this whole month? February? January?  If they were out door-to-door, no one rang my doorbell. Again, does my vote not count?

And this is going on, not just in Franklin, but in many other communities that are covered on the various CommunityNOW websites. You will be asked to read answers given by the candidates to questions posed that are published on the suburban NOW sites and on the Journal Sentinel's website.



1)  BEWARE the inability of a candidate to answer a DIRECT question with a DIRECT answer. Just tell us what the hell you mean, please.

2) Keeping #1 in mind, BEWARE the glittering generalities, especially the glittering generality of all-time. It kind of goes like this in a local school board election:

“In the name of fiscal responsibility, I support using every creative way possible to keep spending within our means to protect taxpayers but at the same time do whatever is necessary to improve the quality of education for every student in our district.”

Sounds nice, doesn’t it. Says the right things. Covers the bases. But what the hell does it mean? Zero specifics in that glad hand response.

3) BEWARE the oldest trick in the liberal (and phony conservative) playbook: As we get closer and closer to Election Day, move as far as possible to the right. Then when elected, drop your entire liberal agenda like the A-bomb.

There are lots of liberals running this April, especially in school board races, disguised as conservatives. Don’t buy their snake oil. Vote against them or be prepared to surrender your hard-earned wallet.

Candidates who have decided that now they need your vote may say anything to get it.


Idiot Judge of the Year (so far)

James Munley.

Nice message to send, your honor. Hey all you horny out of control teenagers, keep on sexting, baby!

Fonzie, cool; Ronald Reagan...not so much

Those are the priorities of one Jim Doyle.  From the Manitowoc Herald Times:

A group called The Ronald Reagan Legacy Project recently asked governors to sign a proclamation declaring Feb. 6 Reagan Day.

The group requested proclamations from all 50 governors and followed up to see who did — and didn't — issue proclamations. In a news release, the group listed the 19 governors who declined.

It's a little disappointing,’ said Grover Norquist, the group's chairman. He calls the proclamations ‘a useful, symbolic thing that governors can do.’

's Jim Doyle was among governors who did not proclaim Reagan Day. His spokesman, Lee Sensenbrenner, said incoming proclamation requests are screened by Doyle's staff. Reagan Day ‘just didn't meet the criteria. It was something we opted not to do,’ Sensenbrenner said.

But Henry Winkler made the cut. On Aug. 19, Doyle issued a proclamation as Milwaukee unveiled a statue of Winkler's ‘Happy Days’ character, The Fonz.”


Thomas Sowell wasn't good enough for The Milwaukee Journal

Back in the mid-90’s, one of my many hats at WTMJ-AM was to write and produce a daily two-minute commentary to run twice during the morning drive period. We cleverly called it, “Kevin’s radio column,” because it was a radio version of a newspaper column.

One morning, I lamented the Milwaukee Journal’s decision to no longer run Thomas Sowell’s column in the daily paper’s editorial section. I did more than lament. I blasted.

At that time, the paper had as many regular conservative columnists as it has today: few, if any. It certainly had no local conservative columnist, and Sowell, a black writer to the right was a refreshing voice on those lefty pages. Then the paper dumped his contributions, and I criticized the move on the newspaper’s sister AM station.

Later that day, I got a call from Ken Roesslein, the paper’s Editorial Page Editor. He was basically a nice fellow, a guy I got to know as we were both members of the Milwaukee Press Club.

Roesslein was incensed that I would dare question such an editorial decision on his part and then go and  talk about it on the most listened to drive period on Wisconsin radio. Sowell’s work didn’t belong anymore, I was lectured, because he was dull and boring and not a very good writer. Yes, that’s exactly what Roesslein, now retired, told me.

I thought it odd that I was being chastised for having an opinion by the editor of an opinion page.

Today, Thomas Sowell remains one of the best and brightest and most read columnists in America. But he wasn’t good enough for the Milwaukee Journal.

I read Sowell’s latest offering earlier today and felt it was too good to wait for my Saturday round-up, “Recommended reading.”

Here it is, The Rookie President.

In defense of Gerard Randall

The Milwaukee County Board has voted to uphold County Executive Scott Walker’s veto that will not renew Gerard Randall’s contract with the county to serve as a consultant on finding employment for minority youth.

I am sure this wasn’t easy for Walker. Randall has been a longtime supporter of the County Executive (as have I).

This isn’t easy for me to see unfold. As many of you know, Randall appears with me weekly on Milwaukee Public Television’s “InterCHANGE.” As such, he has become a very good friend.

Gerard Randall is one of the most honest, decent individuals I’ve ever known. I believe he’s gotten a bad rap.

But I am confident he’ll bounce back. He’s too much of a quality individual not to.

Guns in restaurants

Thanks to Jim Doyle, just about everyone in America is allowed to carry a concealed weapon except law abiding, trained Americans who live in Wisconsin.

In Tennessee, there’s currently a debate about expanding conceal-carry. Currently, those with permits to carry concealed weapons can’t do so where alcohol is served. There is proposed legislation to allow conceal-carry in restaurants that serve alcohol.

The knee-jerk reaction to such an idea is probably similar to the response this issue gets in general, that people will just start shooting willy nilly, carnage will be everywhere, and blood will flow in the streets.

Just not happenin’, folks. The guy sitting and having chicken alfredo isn’t about to start blasting. But some pistol packin’ crook might, and the law abiding, trained citizen who’s armed just might save a bunch of lives.

The details…

Awards for MJS

We talk about the nails in the newspaper coffin. Yours truly questions the daily’s ideology. It’s only fair, then, to commend the Milwaukee Journal when it makes noteworthy achievements.

The team of photojournalists at the paper is solid. I have blogged about one of them, Kristyna Wentz-Graff often:


And here….

And here.

Plus her work has often showed up in my Sunday feature, Photos of the Week.

From jsonline:

Kristyna Wentz-Graff was named WNPA Photographer of the Year, the second year in a row, for her 2008 portfolio.

She also won Best of Show for her photo story on Marine reservist Cpl. Richard "Ricky" Nelson, who was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The photo essay was a part of her year's work showing how the Iraq war affected Wisconsin residents.”

Congrats to Wentz-Graff and all the other award winners.

You're on welfare? Guess what? Your kids don't have to go to school!!

That's the way it would be in Governor Doyle's world.

Taxpayers must pay for child's killers

And they shouldn't have to.

From Wausau. Two parents who stood by and prayed while their child  died are now charged in connection with her death. A judge has ruled the mother is indigent and local taxpayers must pay for her defense to help her and her husband get off.

Voters need to remember that judge and boot him off the bench.

The story got the attention of the NY Times.

More from the MJS.

You've just got to love Terry Evans

Evans is a college basketball player from UWGB. He'll be participating in a nationally televised dunk contest this week.

And he might be using a special prop.

UPDATE ON 4/3/09

What bugs baseball fans the most?

Not enough cheese on the nachos?

A cold dog?

Vendors nowhere to be found when you need them?

The two-fisted slopper?

Sure, they hit a homer when I’m in the john!

Whad’ya mean you’re outta secret sauce??!!


Here’s your answer.

And here’s the poll with all the results.

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