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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.

UPDATE: Week-ends (5/30/09)

Connor Sorensen definitely deserves mention in our HEROES section in this past Saturday's blog, so I've updated.


Recession? What recession?

The New York Post
writes about the Obamas' night on the town:

"Taxpayers footed the bill for the big night on the town, which included a total of at least $24,000 for the three aircraft used to ferry the Obamas, aides and reporters to New York and back. Dinner costs and orchestra seat tickets -- at $96.50 apiece -- were paid by the Obamas.

Obama's jet, a Gulfstream 500, served as a more modest Air Force One for the day in place of the customary presidential Boeing 747.

The White House declined to say how much the trip was costing taxpayers."

Let's hope they don't make a habit of "date night."


Franklin superintendent one of the highest compensated in the state

Franklin Superintendent Steve Patz is the 4th highest compensated public school administrator in the state of Wisconsin.

Franklin School District Business Manager Jim Milzer (who likes to stand up at meetings and say the Franklin schools don’t have enough money because the big, bad state won’t give us enough so taxes have to go up 5.6% and then they really go up almost 12%) isn’t far behind.

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Even the Russki's can see the deterioration of the USA

Pravda is causing international waves with an opinion piece that nails what is transpiring in
America: the not so slow, ugly transformation into socialism.

Granted, the current day Pravda is more supermarket fare than the traditional Pravda during, say, the Reagan years (Actually, I kinda like those articles about vampires and such). Even so, they oughta know Marxism when they see it.

“First, the population was dumbed down through a politicized and substandard education system based on pop culture, rather then the classics.

Then their faith in God was destroyed…

The final collapse has come with the election of Barack Obama.”

Sounds right to me.

If we move the focus of attention to publications here in the good ol' US of A, here's an editorial cartoon from the Chicago Tribune, April 21, 1934 that is quite prophetic.


Explanations for historic refernces made in above cartoon:

Stalin- Joseph Stalin (18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee from 1922 until his death in 1953. In the years following Lenin’s death in 1924, he rose to become the leader of the Soviet Union.

Wallace-Henry Agard Wallace (October 7, 1888 – November 18, 1965) was the 33rd Vice President of the United States (1941–1945), the 11th Secretary of Agriculture (1933–1940), and the tenth Secretary of Commerce (1945–1946). During his stay as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture he had to order a very unpopular strategy of slaughtering pigs and plowing up cotton fields in rural America to drive the price of these commodities back up in order to improve American farmers financial situation.

Ickes- Harold LeClair Ickes (March 15, 1874 – February 3, 1952) was a United States administrator and politician. He served as Secretary of the Interior for thirteen years, from 1933 to 1946, making him the longest serving Cabinet officer of any department in U.S. history. Ickes was responsible for implementing much of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal”.

Tugwell- Rexford Guy Tugwell (July 10, 1891 – July 21, 1979) was an agricultural economist who became part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first “Brain Trust,” a group of Columbia academics who helped develop policy recommendations leading up to Roosevelt’s 1932 election as President. Tugwell subsequently served in FDR’s administration for four years and was one of the chief intellectual contributors to his New Deal.

Richberg- Donald Richberg. Head of the National Recovery Administration (NRA) from 1934 - 1935. The NRA, symbolized by the blue eagle, was popular with workers. Businesses that supported the NRA put the symbol in their shop windows and on their packages. Though membership to the NRA was voluntary, businesses that did not display the eagle were very often boycotted–making it seem to many mandatory for survival.

Jesus the Torturer

Let’s check in on one of my favorite columnists, Doug Giles.

Why do I love Doug Giles?

He’s thoughtful, witty, insightful, funny, irreverent, and not to mention diverse. By diverse, I don’t mean he has 14 different ethic backgrounds that would make him a favorite for the guys who write the various pamphlets for the DMV spots.

I mean he is a minister, writer, and radio talk show host.

His latest column deals with terrorists. Does the minister in Giles have him turning the other cheek, offering loads of excuses, government programs and support groups for people in turbans who want to blow us to smithereens?

Hell no!

Giles relates how he, in my estimation, successfully and surgically tore a Christian radio talk host into ribbons.

“As a patriotic white male Christian redneck, as far as I can deduce from the holy text, Jesus and the balance of Scripture seem to be okay with dunking Achmed if said butt munch has the 411 regarding the 10/20 of the next mass slaughter of innocent Americans.

Please note: If Christ wasn’t cool with irrigating irate Islamicists for facts, I must admit, I would still have to green light our boys getting data from enemy combatants 007 style. Stick a fire hose up their tailpipe and turn it on full blast. I don’t care. I’m not as holy as most of you super saints or as evolved as some of you progressive atheists purport to be. Security beats spirituality in this scenario, as far as I’m concerned.”

Giles continues that the radio talk show host did his best to put on his “60 Minutes” routine:

He then asked me, in kind of a tsk-tsk tone, for a proof text or two from Jesus’ lips and la Biblia that would come even close to him wishing or implementing ill on those who would harm or kill the innocent. This was like taking candy from a baby for me.”

Dear God, he is so good!

“WWJT: Who Would Jesus Torture?”

U.S. health care is worth every penny

In Washington, Congress is poised to put HillaryCare on the front burner even though it would break the bank for the 932nd time. 

Closer to home in Madison, we’re in the middle of a state budget battle that’s not really a battle. Those who want to tax and spend Wisconsin into oblivion control the Joint Finance Committee. They control the state Assembly. They control the state Senate. And the chief tax and spend jester lives in the governor’s mansion who just can’t wait till the state Legislative socialists send him their budget so he can take out his veto pen, and tax and spend some more!

Do you play pool?

I do.

I’ve been playing since I was just a kid.

You don’t focus on the ball you’re shooting at. You plan your shots, two, three, four balls down the table.

So it is with the state budget.

The Democrats who’ve wanted control for so long now have it, so every Communist plot is being hatched, every attempt to separate you from your wallet is underway.

The budget Democrats want is going to pass. If it’s not nailed down, it will be taxed. If it is nailed down, it will be taxed.

The day after a major business leaves, Jim Doyle will hold a news conference feigning ignorance and blasting corporate America

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This would be an outstanding talk radio topic

On May 19, 2009, a pharmacist is confronted by two holdup men at a drug store.

The pharmacist pulls out a gun and shoots one of the robbers once in the head. He then proceeds to chase the other holdup man away.

All of the action is caught on a surveillance camera behind the drugstore counter.

After chasing one of the robbers away, the pharmacist goes behind the counter to get another gun. News reports indicate the wounded robber is unconscious on the floor and unarmed.

You are the pharmacist. What do you do?

The district attorney has filed a charge of first-degree murder against 57-year old Jerome Ersland, a former Air Force lieutenant colonel and disabled Gulf War veteran who wears a back brace on the job.

After chasing away one of the assailants, Ersland gets another gun behind the counter and shoots five more times into the abdomen of the robber on the floor.

Ersland is now free on $100,000 bail, courtesy of an anonymous donor and has received a cult hero’s backing. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

From one of the news accounts:

”His adrenaline was going. You're just thinking of survival,” said John Paul Hernandez, 60, a retired Defense Department employee who grew up in the neighborhood. “All it was is defending your employee, business and livelihood. If I was in that position and that was me, I probably would have done the same thing.”

The district attorney, David Prater has been all over the map on this case.

“District Attorney David Prater said Ersland was justified in shooting 16-year-old Antwun Parker once in the head, but not in firing the additional shots into his belly. The prosecutor said the teenager was unconscious, unarmed, lying on his back and posing no threat when Ersland fired what the medical examiner said were the fatal shots.”

Prater has done his best Tasmanian Devil imitation, doing his damndest to sit on the fence.

Remember, Prater has charged Ersland with first degree murder. However, he also asked the judge to let Ersland, who is out on bail, have a gun at work.


Though Prater admits his request “sounds crazy,” he contends that under the law, Prater has the right to defend himself and others at the pharmacy and that he is worried other criminals will now realize it’s “open season” at the pharmacy if Ersland is on the job and he is armed.

Oh, really!

Of course, you dimwit, criminals will think twice about walking into the pharmacy armed with the knowledge that an armed Ersland might be on duty. More from a news account:

Prater said the pharmacist would not be in court if the two robbers had not come into the drugstore. The judge said, ‘Then, why did you charge him, Mr. Prater?’ The district attorney replied that Ersland went too far. A clearly irritated Prater also told the judge, ‘I’m the one who filed the charge so my butt’s on the line.’”

Yes it is, Mr. Prater.

Let this be a message to the criminals in 48 states that have made the right decision to allow carrying concealed weapons. Listen, you punk, if you walk into a store with the intent of robbing and possibly even killing anyone inside, someone inside  might be packing and you might be dead. Got it?

Ersland is alive today and so are his co-workers because he took the action he did. The liberals are always talking about the need for a level playing field. Guess what? The playing field was level this time, and the crooks lost.

More details and the surveilance video

More here, including details about Oklahoma's "Make My Day" law.

Government-Run Health Care is the Wrong Prescription

Friends of the US Chamber
Friends of the US Chamber About Media News Issues Take Action Donate

Government-Run Health Care is the Wrong Prescription for an Ailing Economy
Share your views at this critical time

Congress is about to take up the most important debate on health care in the last 30 years. At the U.S. Chamber, reforming our health care system so that more Americans have access to quality, affordable health care is a top priority.

And we'll work with anybody in Washington, DC, toward this goal.

But we must approach this issue in a responsible way. Recent discussions including costly employer mandates and government-run insurance plans are reason for concern and would have devastating effects.

According to a recent study, an estimated 130 million people would drop private insurance for the government plan, leaving bureaucrats to ration the types of treatments available.

As a matter of principle, no American should have to wait in line for care or be denied lifesaving treatments.   Congress should avoid putting government bureaucrats between you and your doctor. 


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I want this for Christmas, Santa!

The Beatles: Rock Band video game.


How ya enjoying this "nice" weather?

The other night I was outside grilling pork chops. Some dog-walking neighbors passed by wearing what appeared to be parkas.

We exchanged the obligatory jokes about the less than balmy weather.

The average high temperature for this time of year is 74 degrees. We may not hit 74 until Independence Day.

In the not to distant past, I have read on  the word, “nice” to describe this sudden onslaught of global warming.

Not to be outdone, local TV anchors in their non-scripted chat with the weather folks have also borrowed the term, “nice” as a lead-in to the 4-minute weather presentation where the actual forecast takes 15 seconds (The more the weather guy rambles on and on and on and on, the less time for the good stuff, like sports).

Apparently, the weather guys and the non-confrontational TV anchors who never give the meteorologists static pull out the over-used adjective, “nice,” whenever the sun is out.

For example, “Wasn’t it a nice day today, Mr. Isobar?” 

“Oh, yes (insert anchor person’s name here), you’re so right. It was very, very nice.”

You betcha the sun was out, but it was 55 degrees. In June. When the rest of the country is wearing shorts and bikinis.

Sorry, but that just ain’t “nice.” Please, weather people. Have some guts. Tell the God’s honest truth. When it’s 20 degrees below normal, go on the frickin’ airwaves and say, “I don’t know about you, folks, but this is depressing. I’d really love it to warm up around here, wouldn’t you?”

Your inbox would be flooded with e-mails commending you for your candid honesty.

When the thermometer hits 54 in January, it’s “nice”, real “nice.” Not at noon on June 2nd.

Who's really tingly warm all over about that silly idea to make the Franklin mayor a full-time position?

In my blog Sunday about the need for Franklin City Hall to get its priorities in order (there’s a call to make the mayoral position full-time instead of part-time), I wrote:

“Pay close attention to the arguments in favor of making the mayor’s position full-time and WHO’S making them. Could there be a personal agenda at stake here? You betcha.”

o, who’s really excited about this idea and pushing the hardest for the change? Is it:

A) Franklin taxpayers

B) Franklin bloggers

C) Current Franklin mayor Tom Taylor

D) Franklin Common Council President Steve Taylor

E) Franklin alderman Steve Olson

F) Franklin alderman Kristin Wilhelm

G) Other Franklin aldermen

H) All of the above

I) None of the above

J) No one because it’s such a foolish thought

Lots of choices there.

And one of them is correct.

Think you know the answer?

The correct choice should be, I say, should be, “J.”

However, it’s not.

The correct response is “D,”  Common Council President Steve Taylor.

Here’s an open invitation to Taylor to submit to me a guest blog as to why the long-time, part-time mayoral position suddenly needs to be expanded during tough budget times to full-time, other than the fact he’d like the job someday.

Don’t hold your breath for any response.

What's happening with the Doyle recall?

Amy Geiger-Hemmer writes on The Right View Wisconsin that it's gaining momentum.

When will Wisconsin start to recover from the recession?

Try July 2010.


Most Americans opposed to the onslaught of government intervention

That's according to Rasmussen Reports.

Thought we were done with high energy prices?

Remember how George Bush took a lot of heat over high gasoline prices?

Prices have tumbled from those $4/gallon days but they’re on their way back up, and with help from our democrat-controlled Congress.

The Heritage Foundation has done an analysis of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. and here’s what it has found:

“Gasoline costs will rise $118 annually for a typical four-person household once the bill's provisions take effect in 2012.”

There’s more.

“The bill likely would reduce coal use and replace it with more expensive options for producing electricity. The costs would filter down to consumers and boost electric bills by $235 in 2012, rising to $468 by 2035. That's a 90 percent increase over current rates.”

Hope and change.

Elections matter.

You wanted Democrats in control.
You got it.

Police officers around the country to raid Krispy Kreme outlets

The raids will take place this Friday.

Take the poll on a full-time Franklin mayor

FranklinNOW is running a poll asking if you think Franklin should have a full-time mayor.

This is not a scientific poll, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Ask the media what's the bigger threat: Muslim terrorists or abortionist killers?

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America's failing public school students continue to get worse and worse (or dumb and dumber)

Kevin's favorites


It’s rare to find myself agreeing with the Reverend Al Sharpton, but I think he, sadly, is accurate in the following assessment:

“Today, a public school education is the same as sitting in the back of the bus for black, Latino

and other minority students.”

A study released by McKinsey & Company in April paints a very grim picture of our public schools with the shocking conclusion that the longer our kids stay in school, the dumber they get. The achievement gaps are real, and are costing America dearly.

It’s not easy getting the masses to take notice of 24-page institutional report. America needs to take this seriously. It is very scary stuff.

“The Economic Impact of the Achievement Gap in America's Schools” examined four achievement gaps in education: (1) between the United States and other nations, (2) between black and Latino students and white students, (3) between students of different income levels, and (4) between similar students schooled in different systems or regions.

The findings are alarming. Socio-economic status doesn’t matter according to this report that states (emphasis mine):

The United States lags significantly behind other advanced nations in educational performance and is slipping further behind on some important measures. In addition, the gap between ours and others’ performance widens the longer children are in school. The facts here demonstrate that lagging achievement in the United States is not merely an issue for poor children attending schools in poor neighborhoods; instead, it affects most children in most schools."

A public school education in America is merely a slow, agonizing trip that starts at mediocrity and ends up at miserable failure. Again, quoting from the report:

“The longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By age 15 these rankings drop to the bottom half. In other words, American students are farthest behind just as they are about to enter higher education or the workforce.”

Again, I submit, scary.

All of this has an incredibly devastating impact on our nation’s economy.  From the report:

“• If the United States had closed the international achievement gap between 1983 and 1998 and raised its performance to the level of such nations as Finland and Korea, US GDP in 2008 would have been between $1.3 trillion and $2.3 trillion higher, representing 9 to 16 percent of GDP.

• If the United States had closed the racial achievement gap and black and Latino student performance had caught up with that of white students by 1998, GDP in 2008 would have been between $310 billion and $525 billion higher, or roughly 2 to 4 percent of GDP. (The magnitude of this effect will rise in the years ahead as blacks and Latinos become a larger proportion of the population.)

• If the United States had closed the income achievement gap so that between 1983 and 1998 the performance of students from families with income below $25,000 a year had been raised to the performance of students from homes with incomes above $25,000 a year, then GDP in 2008 would have been $400 billion to $670 billion higher, or 3 to 5 percent of GDP.

• If the United States had closed the systems achievement gap so that between 1983 and 1998 states performing below the national average on NAEP were brought up to the national average, GDP in 2008 would have been $425 billion to $700 billion higher, or about 3 to 5 percent of GDP.

Put differently, the persistence of these educational achievement gaps imposes on the United States the economic equivalent of a permanent national recession. The recurring annual economic cost of the international achievement gap is substantially larger than the deep recession the United States is currently experiencing. The annual output cost of the racial, income, and regional or systems achievement gap is larger than the US recession of 1981–82."

Suddenly the occasional rosy numbers we’re spoon fed that are spun by the public school monopoly in Wisconsin known as the state Department of Public Instruction don’t seem so optimistic.

So what’s the answer?

I agree with columnist Walter Williams who asserts that the competition that can be derived from decentralization of pubic schools and the voucher system can turn things around because let’s face it, folks. What we’ve got right now just ain’t working!

Williams also makes the case that more money being tossed at the almost guaranteed to fail public school system isn’t the solution.

Williams’ column is

The McKinsey & Company report is here. Please take some time to read, and think.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

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


One of the icons of American industry files for bankruptcy.  Will General Motors come back stronger, or will the public have lost faith in the brand?  Was it wise for the government to get involved, or should we have let the free market take its course?  Will Washington start to dictate what kinds of cars GM can build?


In a speech in Cairo President Obama reaches out to the Muslim world and attempts to repair relations with Muslims?  Will it work?  Was it necessary?  Was it anything more than just a speech?  Is it important for us to have the Muslim world like us?  Will this drive us farther away from Israel?  Is it realistic to think that closer ties with Muslims will get them to partner with us in the fight against extremist terrorists?  Does Obama want everyone to like us?


Did Judge Charles Clevert make the right decision when he refused to issue an injunction barring Brookfield high schools from holding their graduation ceremonies at Elmbrook Church?  Do the atheists have a point though?   Isn’t this what separation of church and state is all about?

Great sports night tonight on TV

You’ve got Brewer baseball.

You’ve got Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

And at 8:30 on Channel 10, you've got a documentary about the best baseball team to ever play in Milwaukee:

Braves New World
Channel 10.1
In 1953, the Boston Braves became the first major league team in 50 years to relocate. They made their home in Milwaukee, and in 13 seasons, they never experienced a losing season. Award-winning documentary producer William Povletich captures the history, drama, excitement, and surprises the Milwaukee Braves had in Milwaukee and the world of baseball. Povletich is a Wisconsin native and UW-Oshkosh graduate. He is also the author of "When the Braves of Bushville Ruled Baseball” for the Wisconsin Magazine of History, and "Milwaukee Braves: Heroes and Heartbreak from the Wisconsin Historical Society Press".

Touching stories from the NBA Finals

Tonight, the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Orlando Magic in Game One of the NBA Finals in Los Angeles.

There are some emotional sidebar stories.

The Orlando Magic organization has touched the lives of a young autistic child and his family. Watch the ABC video, Orlando provides magic to four-year old. Below that video is another story about the significance of Laker Trevor Ariza's tattoos.

And a great story I have blogged about and talked about on WISN: Derek Fisher of the Lakers is all about his little girl.

Not everything about professional sports is motivated by selfish greed.

Yes, it's time once again to play FINAL JEOPARDY!

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


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

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

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


Here’s your clue.


Good luck.

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Our president continues to disappoint, and disgust

Barack Hussein Obama, in just a few short months, has managed to be an absolute attrocious leader, an embarssment in office.

Just when you think he couldn't come up with anything worse than what he's already done, he wakes up and starts a new day on the job.

He came into office as the most pro-abortion (baby-killing) president ever.

Then he went on an all-out personal crusade to socialze every aspect of American government.

Now, he apologizes and sucks up to the Muslim world, many of whom want to finish what they started on 9-11.


Barack Obama's Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower

The president is quite adept at saying, "I'm sorry."

From the Heritage Foundation...

Beware: Anti-smoking Nazi's not satisfied with smoking ban

During the smoking ban in Wisconsin, I cautioned that the anti-smoking zealots (and yes, that is exactly what they are) are very much like the  moonbat left in this regard: They are relentless and they work incrementally.

They didn’t stop and kept pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing until they got what they wanted: an anti-business erosion of personal, private property rights that will shut down business and kill jobs, just so they can selfishly feel better.

Are they done? Will they stop now? Will they take their crying towels and sob stories and go home?

Are you kidding me?

How does that Internet lingo go?



They won’t rest until you can’t smoke sitting in front of YOUR television in YOUR house that YOU own with the second mortgage that YOU are paying.

Here’s a perfect example. Let’s look at Nebraska and see if you notice any parallels between the Cornhusker State and the Badger State.

On Monday of this week, June 1, the Nebraska smoking ban (they call it the Clean Indoor Act so it sounds all nicey-nicey, feel good all over) went into effect.

In Nebraska, smoking is prohibited in restaurants.

Smoking is prohibited in bars.

Smoking is prohibited in other public places.

Do you see a pattern here?

There are exemptions in Nebraska.

The exemptions include cigar bars.

Tobacco shops are exempted.


Okay. Nebraska has its Clean Indoor Act.

Victory for the anti-smoking pitch fork and lantern mob?


No way.

Not even close.

This is just the beginning of the trampling upon rights in Nebraska.

Smoking ban signed into law and now in effect in the land of corn: Enter a pack of zealots called GASP, The Group to Alleviate Smoking Pollution.

Oh testify for me, would you please, just one time!

GASP isn’t satisfied with the far-reaching smoking ban. No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, nooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

GASP wants more. They won. So they want to step on the throats of smokers even more and press even harder. From the Omaha World-Herald:

“GASP's proposals would ban smoking in outdoor beer gardens and dining areas, as is done in Iowa, and within 25 feet of a doorway of a public building….the group also seeks to raise the legal age to buy tobacco, now 18, to 19 or even 21, to further restrict tobacco access to minors. It proposes to ban smoking in vehicles carrying minor children, near ballfields and playgrounds, and in state foster homes and in-home day care facilities.”

I know these people are basically on Mars but would someone just remind them that tobacco is a legal product, and smoking tobacco just happens to be a legal activity.

Doesn’t matter to these anti-smoking Nazi’s. They claim to hate smoking. That’s not the true picture. They really, deep down inside, hate smokers.  They will not be happy until they ban smoking everywhere.

Read more in the Omaha World-Herald.

It is just a matter of time before the anti-smoking zealot movement in Wisconsin, a la Nebraska, begins its next rampage on rights with new targets,

I don't know...I thought it was kinda funny

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Very cool!


Oliver North tells it like it is

North on the Obamessiah’s Great Apology Tour 2009:

“Endlessly apologizing to everyone for everything the United States
has done ‘wrong’ or ‘failed to do’ denies the reality of our past and present enemies, and it denigrates the American people. Just prior to the president's departure for meetings with Saudi King Abdullah and the group hug with Muslim leaders in Cairo, an abortion doctor was murdered, and two U.S. soldiers were gunned down in front of an Arkansas recruiting office by a Muslim convert.

Before getting on Air Force One, Mr. Obama took time out to tell a French television reporter, ‘I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam,’ and then he ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to start protecting abortion clinics. Too bad he didn't do the same for military recruiting stations.”

Did Douglas MacArthur bow down to our enemies?

Did Harry Truman suck up to them?

What about Ike? JFK? Ronald Reagan?

Any U.S. President in recent memory?

Maybe Obama’s next move is to have an Al Qaeda ice cream social on the White House lawn.

Tearful military wife slams Obama's Cairo speech in call to Mark Levin

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The weekend is here!

Coming up this weekend on This Just In...

Wake up Saturday to The Barking Lot. WTMJ's Craig (It might rain, and it might not) Koplein has nothing to do with our dog walking forecast so you can bet it will be quite accurate.

This woman gets a mention in this week's Barking Lot:

Actress Jennifer Aniston arrives at the 2009 Vanity Fair Oscar Party in West Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.

Find out why, Saturday morning.

It wasn't tough finding HEROES  for this week's Week-ends.

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading.

On Sunday, My most popular blogs, Photos of the Week, the MJS Scorecard, and the ever-popular Culinary no-no.

If you miss a little over the weekend, you miss a lot.

And in just a few minutes, our Friday night musical goodnight.


Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, I'm feeling a little sentimental. Romance, ladies and gentlemen is in the air.

Let's open by dipping into country, a musical form I have yet to highlight during our Friday night feature. George Strait comes to town in a few weeks to perform at the Marcus Ampitheater. It would take him four or five nights to play all his hits.

Here he is on the 1997 American Country Music Awards doing one of his 17 #1 country hits of the 1990's. Strait is introduced by a young woman who was in the news this week, accused of stalking.


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The Barking Lot (06/06/09)

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. 

Choose your dog walking opportunities carefully this weekend.

TODAY:    Cloudy skies in the morning. On and off showers in the afternnon, with showers likely in the evening. Much cooler. High of 55.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Scattered thunderstorms. High of 62. "D"


There’s no question the nation’s airlines are hurting. They have two strikes working against them.

1) The economy is affecting everyone.

2) The airline industry just might be the most inept in the country. There is no rhyme or reason for why they run their business the way they do.

Southwest Airlines is reeling, having suffered three straight quarterly losses. The airline has discovered what it thinks is a great new way to increase revenue, and the airline claims it’s responding to demand. Southwest is going to allow dogs and small cats aboard for a $75 fare each way.

Southwest calls its program PAWS (Pets Are Welcome on Southwest). You can bring your dog or cat aboard the plane as long as the pet is in a well-ventilated, leak-proof container. It must fit under the seat in front of you.

Can’t bring those little bottles of shampoo with you, but your French poodle is just fine.

A Southwest spokesperson is predicting the new policy will bring in tens of millions of dollars each year. Tickets are being sold for air travel on or after June 17.

Southwest might think it has a money-making winner here, but as you can imagine, people are starting to howl, and not just at the moon. Complaints have been raised about onboard barking, dog and cat smells, and passengers whose allergies might be affected.

Pat Anderson of Littleton, Colorado told the Denver Post, "They are catering to the Paris Hiltons of the world. When do we start paying attention to people and not the bottom line?"

Another spokesman for Southwest is playing dumb, claiming they didn’t hear any opposition until AFTER they announced the new policy.

Hmmmm. You think Southwest didn’t do its homework?

The same spokesman offered this brilliant defensive reply: "We will quickly make accommodations if a pet is causing any disruption in flight.”

Other than moving people around, I’m not sure what that means. Do they pull out a can of Glade? Lysol? Another trip down the aisle with the beverage cart?

This is not an airline first. American, United, Delta and JetBlue charge anywhere from $100 to $150 for pets to fly. American flies about 100,000 dogs and cats each year.

The airlines swear it’s no big deal with the exception of Frontier Airlines. It put the kibosh on its pet policy, reverting back to shipping dogs and cats in the pressurized cargo hold. I have heard the horror stories about pets caged in that part of the plane. I understand. However, I think a pet policy on planes is a bad idea.

Flying today is uncomfortable to say the least, sometimes excruciatingly so. This new policy can be just another nuisance for many fliers who may not be as pet-friendly or accepting as the next guy.

Southwest and all the rest can certainly adopt such policies and let the market decide. Being an opponent of smoking bans, I understand that, too.  

I, for one, would certainly understand passengers having second thoughts about patronizing these airlines. The answer, of course, isn’t to bitch and moan selfishly. Just choose another airline.

It is time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the previous week.

Here's an update on a previous story in DOGS IN THE NEWS. A pit bull set on fire that was rescued had to be euthanized. The officer who helped rescue the dog was honored this week.

This is major. The FDA has approved the first drug to fight cancer in dogs.

When La Jolla, California wanted to use real dogs to get rid of real seals, the courts had to get involved.

The pup of a fallen soldier in Iraq comes to the United States.

Stray dog Lulu needed eye surgery. Care to guess what happens next?

Katrina separated them. Now they're back together, after four years.

The owner of a pet spa in Tennessee killed himself and his wife. There is some good news.

You think your job is difficult? How about this one?

An incident in Ohio should remind us that this is the time to watch out for coyotes.

There isn't much a dog's snout can't smell.

Quiz time: How many calories in these dog treats?

And finally, what famous person would you trust to sit for your pet?

That's it for this week. We close, as we always do, with a doggy-related video. 

The Barking Lot extends its deepest apologies for missing this important week:

Read more

Week-ends (06/06/09)


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...


Hugh Riley

Jouett Faulkner

Bonnie Roark

And many more

Georgette Clemons

Andrew Podeweltz


Yolanda Kruse

Whoever screwed this up

Wisconsin Assembly Democrats

The Grammy Awards


"No single nation should pick and choose which nations hold nuclear weapons."

"9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals."

“I reject the view of some in the west that a woman who chooses to cover her hair is somehow less equal.”
Quotes from President Obama’s speech in Cairo.

"We need to be aware of the creation of a fearful population, and fearful lawmakers, being led to believe that big government is the answer, to bail out the private sector, because then government gets to get in there and control it. And mark my words, this is going to be next, I fear, bail out next debt-ridden states. Then government gets to get in there and control the people."
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin

“I hope that we can count on some Republican votes with all the cuts in this budget. This is what they ask for all the time. But what I've seen so far, I'm not counting on that.”
Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan (D-Janesville), announcing the state budget will be taken up next Wednesday.

“It would have to be changed more dramatically than you could probably imagine for me to vote for it. ... You never say 100 percent, but it's pretty close to that.”
State Representative Bob Ziegelbauer (D-Manitowoc), who has joined Republicans in criticizing the Joint Finance Committee budget.

“Our job is to be Paul Revere. That’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to go statewide and talk to people because we have nine days to try to get some of the most egregious parts out.”
State Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia). The GOP says the JFC budget will increase property taxes by $459 on a $250,000 home.

“Number one, it’s basic safety on the roads. Everybody should know how to drive. … Number two, we should know the identity of people behind the wheel.”
State Representative Pedro Colon (D-Milwaukee) defending a budget provision allowing the state to give limited use driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants.

“Permission to drive equals mobility to go around and get a job and do whatever you want to do.”
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls), the  author of the federal REAL ID law, criticizing Democrats for the license proposal.

I can tell you what’s wrong with it (the state budget) in just one sentence.

The Democratic budget will drive high-income earners out of the state by raising the income tax and the state’s tax on capital gains while forcing further layoffs at major manufacturers like Harley-Davidson by increasing the taxes on their out-of-state earnings and will drive up the cost of senior living by doubling the state’s tax on nursing home residency and gouge motorists by costing them 6 cents for every gallon of gas with a new oil franchise fee along with exploding the cost of telephone service by creating a new $9-a-year tax on every single cellular or landline phone which will be especially tough on university students because University of Wisconsin tuition is being raised 5 percent while financial aid is being slashed for all students except illegal immigrants because they will be given in-state tuition at the same time the state becomes a lawsuit haven with the toxic provision that individuals who are only 20 percent at fault can be forced to be responsible for 100 percent of the damages in any civil award which will benefit trial lawyers who also get a windfall with the new requirement that motorists increase their auto liability insurance which will raise premiums at the same time property owners are going to be hammered by massive local tax increases as their communities deal with major cuts in state aid but have to pay for the doubling of the state garbage tax on landfill dumping which will only partially be offset by earmarks like $43,000 for recycling bins in Wrightstown which seems like a small amount when compared to the creation of a Regional Transit Authority in southeastern Wisconsin which is being funded by an increase of a full 1 percent in the Milwaukee County sales tax with half the money going to the parks system although the biggest increase of all will be in school property taxes because the budget gets rid of the so-called QEO or Qualified Economic Offer which put limits on annual increases in teacher pay which will now be passed on to taxpayers because revenue limits on local school districts will be increased with a series of new exemptions at the same time the brand new hospital tax that was enacted a mere four months ago is raised another 20 percent before its ink was even dry just as social policy is radicalized by allowing all gay and unmarried heterosexual couples to tap lavish state health insurance benefits by registering their domestic partnerships even though those couples will have to pay dramatically higher electric and gas bills along with the rest of us because of the big increase in the state low-income energy assistance program which seems like a crime but the actual criminals will be getting a giant break because the budget will release thousands of felons from prison before their sentences are up while development is going to be slowed on many new construction projects because of the new requirement that all workers be paid union scale on any project that receives public subsidies even as a terrible new provision is created that will result in the unionization of every single home health care worker in the state which will make it much harder for seniors in need of services to remain in their own homes and will drive out of business many of the smaller home health care agencies but even younger people are hit hard with a big tax on all digital downloads even as the cost of both birth and death certificates is doubled and the tax exemption for health insurance is eliminated.”

WISN talk show host Mark Belling in his weekly column in the Waukesha Freeman

“I'm not going to let him tell you lies about me.”
A Milwaukee police officer quoting State Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) in a civil complaint that accuses Taylor of being present at a polling place in November for purposes other than voting during an election in which her name was on the ballot.


The government posts a listing of our nuclear sites online.


The killing of an Army private
outside a recruiting office in Arkansas.


The murder of abortionist George Tiller. The liberal mainstream media used this legitimate news story to villify and demonize the right.


Bodega man's amazing grace

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 (06/06/09)

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).

Never Forget D-Day

"The American dead and wounded on Omaha beach was so severe that American commanders considered abandoning the beach.  But what our commanders had not counted on was the tenacity and fighting spirit of the Greatest Generation."

5 Character Flaws That Are Destroying America's Future

"As a society, we encourage a ‘victimhood mentality’ and an overweening government that never met an issue it didn't want to dive into with both feet; so we shouldn't be surprised that so many Americans expect to be rewarded for failure."

49 million to five

"So in a country that is more than 50 percent pro-life -- and 80 percent opposed to the late-term abortions of the sort performed by Tiller -- only five abortionists have been killed. And in a country that is less than 0.5 percent Muslim, several dozen Muslims have killed thousands of Americans."

Is it wrong to murder an abortionist?

'There are reasons why we pro-lifers don't kill abortion providers (The last murder of this sort was way back in 1998) even though I consider describing them as 'baby killers' to simply be an accurate description of what they do for a living, not inflammatory rhetoric."

Obama's Cairo speech will cost lives

"In 6000 words, the president managed to prove that everything conservatives worried about -- his naivete, lack of expertise and belief in moral equivalency -- was correct and even understated."

Dr. Frankenstein, meet Barack Obama

"As bad as Republican politicians are, they're better than the Democrats. But the biggest difference is between the two sets of voters. By and large, Republican voters are more patriotic, more mature, more logical and far more honorable. If only the politicians measured up to the civilians in the party, a lot of us could stop holding our noses when we entered the voting booth." 

School reforms on the brink

"The education establishment and its political allies employ multiple methods to keep kids trapped in rotten schools. One tactic is to use control of school boards to prevent or limit the creation of charter schools. Another is to smother existing voucher programs with rules and red tape. Real world examples are currently playing out in Milwaukee and New York City."

So what are they thinking?

Here’s the most interesting political question of the year: why do Jim Doyle and the Democrats think they can get away with this budget?

No money to catch child molesters, but cash for an opera house in Oshkosh.

How’s that going to look on a bumper sticker next year?"

Teens used to attack forces in Iraq

"The military has frequently said it believes al-Qaida in Iraq and other insurgent groups are recruiting children and women because of their ability to avoid scrutiny and evade heightened security measures."

The only statue that is smiling

"Ronald Reagan had been rightly lauded all day, but my thoughts were on what a beautiful bipartisan moment we had all experienced, for Republicans and Democrats together had formally embraced the Gipper's memory, and a Democratic House had made the ceremonies possible."

Thomas tells high school grads: Always do right, even when it's hard

“Life is not easy for any of us. It will probably not be fair, and it certainly is not all about you,” he said. “The gray hairs and wrinkles you see on older people have been earned the hard way, by living and dealing with the challenges of life.”

Pay for your own rescue

"I have something to say to all those people who take dumb risks and then expect the rest of us to pick up the tab: Pay for your own stupid mistakes."

A liquid, living legacy

"So, this summer and for many summers to come, I hope, enjoy the David F. Schulz Aquatic Center. Remember the man in the world's largest jam shorts, which were handcrafted by his beloved wife, Jo Ann, going down the first water slide at one of Milwaukee County's parks in the mid-1980s."

Chicago dosen't deserve the 2016 Olympics

"The City of Chicago, led by Mayor Daley and a vast and tumorous army of aldermen and bagmen and yesmen and opportunists and spineless, parasitic political-machine halfwits of forms never seen outside the roiling cesspool of governmental slop-trough greed, has proven itself unworthy of something as potentially delicious and fulfilling as the 2016 Olympic Games."

Former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist takes his party to task

in a column that will appear in Sunday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist and his wife, Susan Mudd blast Wisconsin Demiocrats for their attempt to gradually eradicate school choice. They write:

"Unlike congressional Democrats' efforts to outright kill Washington's choice program, in Milwaukee, the state Legislature seeks to inflict a more gradual demise. Their method is a regime of public school-style regulation meant to strangle many of the 125 private schools that participate. Opponents understand that excessive regulation will limit the promise of school choice. Now they see a chance to begin to deconstruct a program that former Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan recently called 'a genuine blessing.'

As lifelong Democrats and former Milwaukee residents, we find this shameful."

Read the entire piece.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #80

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #80
dealt with the sorry lack of a quality fine dining establishment on MIlwaukee's fabulous lakefront.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran touches briefly this week on why the defunct Pieces of Eight can't be turned into another restaurant.

It's funny to watch supposedly do-gooder liberals argue about why Milwaukee can be host to a major water research facility, but oh my God, where do we put it? The lakefront? The old Pieces of Eight site? Have you gone mad?!!!

Raze the Pieces of Eight. Let the Bartolotta family build a great restaurant that will comply with the pencil-necked state bureaucrats, let's do something truly phenomenal for our lakefront, and then let's move on and let the hyper enviros arm wrestle and beat each other up over where the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences should go.


UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #95
this past January created quite the buzz. It focused on all the fascinating small town politics surrounding a topless coffee shop in the Brussels of the Northeast, Vassalboro, Maine.

You always hate to see commerce brought down because of the acts of some hooligans.

Quite frankly, if I am not all that thrilled about seeing one of Vassalboro’s females strut her stuff while she’s serving me my bacon and eggs, I just hit McDonald’s.

I do not commit arson.

On the morning of June 3, 2009, the local press was reporting that the owner of the topless coffee shop was thinking about adding topless dancing to his menu.

The very next day, the headline in the same paper was, Topless coffee shop set ablaze.”

Those women couldn’t have been that bad, could they?

(Before I start getting nasty e-mails, seriously, the culprits need to be caught and punished severely).

Firefighters look over the ruins of the Grand View Toples... (Joel Page / AP)

Firefighters look over the ruins of the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop on Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in Vassalboro, Maine. The coffee shop went up in flames just hours after the owner went to the town's planning board to discuss expanding the business. (Joel Page / AP) 

Donald Crabtree, owner of the Grand View Topless Coffee S... (Joel Page / AP)

Donald Crabtree, owner of the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, right, joined by his brother Paul Crabtree, center, and Krista MacIntyre, left, a waitress at the coffee shop, gather outside of the coffee shop early Wednesday, June 3, 2009 in Vassalboro, Maine. (Joel Page / AP)

"It's sad to see people driving by and acting happy about it." 
Coffee shop owner Donald Crabtree 

Maybe Crabtree should pay a visit to Franklin. Someone's always grumbling and moaning up a storm here about how we need more coffee shops.

Photos of the Week (6/7/09)

Photos of the Week



Normandy Veteran Eric Buckley, 85, from Leicester places a wooden remembrance plaque on what was the British Sword beach at Colleville Montgomery on June 5 2009 near Caen, France. Ex-Royal Navy sailor Eric Buckley lost two of his mates on the beach 65 years ago on D-Day. Several hundred of the remaining veterans of the Normandy campaign are travelling to France to take part in commemorations to mark the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 1944. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)


Read more

Thank you, dear Lord for a wonderful day

Kyla’s baptism was beautiful.

A special thank you from Jennifer and me to all our family and friends who made this day so memorable!

The MJS Scorecard (06/07/09)


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.


Gwen Moore: Boost spending on programs that make Pell Grants work 

Another View:  UWM can have what it wants - just not there


Susan Mudd and John Norquist: Disgracing our party's own ideals 

George Lightbourn: Why the payoffs amid crisis? 


Nature heals amid history

Tom Still: City's economic future vs. yet one more place to see lake 

Bill Hibbard: Why block public from shore when university's building can revitalize another site? 


TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-46, Conservative-45

Culinary no-no #115

Culinary no-no's

In my early days working at the state Capitol in Madison in charge of media relations for state Senate Republicans, I worked in the same office with Katy Crooks. A lawyer, Crooks is the daughter of state Supreme Court Justice Pat Crooks.

On a rather warm spring day in Madison (they actually have spring in the state capital), Crooks brought her lunch to work. It was one of those frozen diet chicken, noodles, and sauce deals. You got it. Yuck.

Inside the communal microwave the cheapo lunch went, and it didn’t take long before something was obviously wrong, very wrong.

Imagine a raw egg in an unwashed sock inside an old jar of pickled herring under a porch in the woods in northern Wisconsin in the middle of August. Or, if that’s too much, just some dead animal.

Our office had rather large windows……………that didn’t open.

Since it was already right around lunchtime, most of the workers had left. The others departed quickly. Paint was peeling. The carpet was curling. Eyes were running.

Crooks shrugged the episode off with an, “Oh, well,” and sauntered off to find carry-out. The darn near toxic fumes lingered and lingered. An old aunt’s Avon was nowhere near as bad.

Certainly Crooks didn’t mean to pop a chicken de-lite gone bad frozen entrée into the microwave, stink up the whole place and then take a quick powder to avoid further embarrassment. But I don’t recall hearing an, “I’m sorry, guys” either.

I was reminded of this a few weeks ago reading about what happened in San Jose. Let’s go right to an excerpt from the San Jose Mercury News:

Nobody really knows what it was in the offending refrigerator that prompted an evacuation Tuesday morning and ambulance rides to the hospital for seven people, who were overcome by the stench and fumes from an ill-fated attempt to clean it.

It finally became so unbearable that the San Jose Fire Department's hazmat team was summoned to the North First Street office complex just before lunchtime. Before they could determine that it wasn't an attempt by terrorists to disable the information grid — maybe just some broccoli from the Bush administration gone really, really bad — a second alarm was issued.

Read more

The National Debt Road Trip

Read more

Republicans seize control of state Senate

Unfortunately, not here.

And it would never be that easy.


I see Brett Favre is back in the news

Yes, yes, I know. You know. You know.

Usually sports blogs and sports talk shows are void of any intelligent thought. But I found this comment on the Journal Sentinel’s Packer blog to be of high quality:

Brett Favre:

1. Took the Packers to two Super Bowls, winning one.
2. Was MVP three years in a row.
3. Made the Packers a contender 17 years in a row.
4. Doesn't seek revenge against the Packers, only T. Thompson.
5. Wants to continue his career.

Packer Fans

1. Lack gratitude for the the thrills Favre provided.
2. Should appreciate Favre's desire to continue playing.
3. Aim anger at Ted Thompson for causing this debacle.
4. Compare Thompson's draft successes against Favre's career
and see who is the better performer.
5. Wish Favre success in any future endeavors.

I am a life long Packer fan who has a brick in front of Lambeau Field and have lived and died with every Packer win/loss; however, I will always have gratitude for Favre's contributions and will probably be cheering for the Vikings when the play the Packers if Favre is their QB. That was VERY difficult to type!!!

Midwest flooding: June 2008

2008 Wisconsin flooding photos

One year ago, massive flooding pounded southeast Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Over a period of several days, I blogged and updated a series of photos chronicling the disaster. The response was overwhelming. Here are some of those photos from June 2008:

One home falls into the water after the land was washed away at Lake Delton. Photo: Joe Koshollek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The home near the 254-acre Lake Delton in Lake Delton, Wisconsin was damaged when flood waters breached the bank and drained the lake Monday, June 9, 2008. Floodwater washed away three houses and threatened dams in Wisconsin as military crews joined desperate sandbagging operations to hold back Indiana streams surging toward record levels.

The back of a house falls into Lake Delton Monday afternoon as the lake overflows, taking homes and roads with it. Photo: Joe Koshollek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


Jim Dahlgren of Wausau walks along an emptied Lake Delton after Dell Creek Dam was breached on Monday afternoon. Andy Manis/AP 


An airboat returns with an evacuated family in Columbus on Monday. Families living along the Crawfish River that were trapped from the flooding waters were rescued by airboat and hovercraft. Cory Schaefer/Beaver Dam Daily Citizen/AP

Daniel Buyeske stands in the Marcus Cinema's parking lot Sunday afternoon. Megan Sheridan/ of The Oshkosh Northwestern 


JoAnn Neyhard, Kenneth Neyhard, Betty Waters and Brian Heidl gather on the steps of the Neyhard home as their basements flooded after the heavy rains. According to the residents their area often floods during heavy down pours. Oshkosh Northwestern photo by Joe Sienkiewicz 


Read more

2nd UPDATE: Cheesy culinary no-no

Culinary no-no's

When I learned a former Wisconsinite had opened a gourmet grilled cheese place in Denver, I thought the concept would be ideal for America's Dairyland. Sure enough, the Cheesy Grill opened near Miller park.

Unfortunately, the economy has struck another local restaurant.

That's too bad. The Cheesy Grill was a very nice place. Best of luck to the O'Hare's.

And so I say again, that whole grilled cheese's a natural for these parts. Someone's got to market it, don't they?

Imagine what it could be like...

The Cheddar Tribune

Spring 09

A New Chedd's is Opening!!!!

All Chedd's Gourmet Grilled Cheese lovers in Austin, Texas- get ready- we will be opening at "The Triangle". The address is:
4601 North Lamar Blvd. Suite #504
Austin, TX 78751
We have a scheduled open date of 7/1- this is of course assuming that all goes well- we will keep you posted.
See the progress on Facebook.
Chedd's is now on Facebook!!!!

Come Check Us Out And Become A Fan!! Come and meet the founders, see some video of what we do, pictures of where we have been and where we are going. We will have facebook only specials and announcements so come and check us out.

click here to get to facebook
Wisconsin Cheese Highlight- Asiago

Asiago derives its name from a small town in northern Italy. In Italy, Asiago usually means Asiago Fresco (fresh), which has a mild flavor and semi-hard texture. In Wisconsin, cheesemakers age Asiago to develop sharper flavors. It resembles a cross between sharp white Cheddar and Parmesan.Mild when young becoming sharp, buttery and nutty when aged. Texture changes from elastic and firm to hard and granular with age. Try it on our "Old World" Gourmet Grilled Cheese Melt.
Chedd's Cheesy One Week Promo

From Monday June 1st through Sunday June 7th, bring in a copy of the newsletter with the purchase of any grilled cheese sandwich or melt, you can get a FREE MEAL DEAL. That is one fountain drink and either a cookie, bag of chips, or any side salad FREE.

This cannot be combined with any other coupon or offer and is good at either location, one per person, per day.
code: freemeal
Chedd's Cheesy One Day Promo

For Cheddar Tribune Members Only. Come to Chedd's this Tuesday June 2nd with a print out of this newsletter with your email address on it, order any of our gourmet grilled cheese melts or sandwich's and get one
Here is the deal though- it is one coupon per member only on 6/2/09- copies won't work.
This is for you and you only. #106
code: freesoup
This cannot be combined with any other coupon or offer and is valid at either location.


Liberals are so warm and fuzzy.....just ask conservative women

One of John Hawkins’ 20 hypocrisies of liberals that I blogged about last week was this:

“They're the people who are really looking out for women, but they strongly support sexual predators like Bill Clinton and they regularly hurl grotesque sexist insults at feminist role models like Sarah Palin who don't toe-the-liberal-line.”

Ashley Herzog, the author of “Feminism vs. Women” picks up on that theme with a column today pointing out the vicious hatred and disregard that, as she puts it, “liberal sexist pigs” have for conservative women:

“Male politicians are allowed to have opinions; young beauty pageant contestants aren’t. Even editor Jessica Valenti acknowledged that they were ‘fighting homophobia with misogyny’.”

Oh, but this compassionate bunch is so pro-women. I don’t think so.

Read Herzog’s piece.

UPDATE: Liberals are warm and fuzzy.....just ask conservative women

More outrage about a Playboy magazine article that featured 10 conservative women lefty men would love to hate rape. This time, it comes from Janice Shaw Crouse of Concerned Women of America:

“This latest incident is just another in a long line of insulting articles filled with 'hate speech' about Conservatives that Liberals routinely churn out, while screaming about the supposed prevalence of incendiary right-wing language. The reality is that those who talk the loudest about women's rights and equality are frequently the ones who heap abuse on women and deny their equality in the workplace and respect in the public square.”

Again, you won’t hear any condemnation from the left.

Here’s the full column by Janice Shaw Crouse.

If you watch the NBA Finals tonight, try not to miss the national anthem in case...

This girl sings.

ABC should dump Jeff Van Gundy

Jeff Van Gundy has done an outstanding job as an NBA color analyst on TV.......until now.

Now we're down to the NBA Finals featuring the Los Angeles Lakers and the Orlando Magic. The Magic are coached by Jeff Van Gundy's brother, Stan Van Gundy.

There is no way, no how that Jeff Van Gundy can be objective and as good as he normally is as a brodcaster, and it has started to show during the Finals.

It reminds me of when CBS insisted upon using former Boston Celtics player and coach Tom Heinsohn as its main analyst during playoff games, even during Boston games when Boston was in the playoffs a lot. Good Lord, it was painfully obvious Heinsohn wasn't just announcing, he was cheerleading. The same goes for Van Gundy.

ABC won't dump Van Gundy. Tonight, we're already  into Game 3 of the Finals. The decision should have been made before Game One.

Here's more.

What nationality was Jesus?

Too good not to share:

There were 3 good arguments that Jesus was Black:
1. He called everyone brother
2. He liked Gospel
3. He didn't get a fair trial

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Jewish:
1. He went into His Father's business
2. He lived at home until he was 33
3. He was sure his Mother was a virgin and his Mother was sure He was God

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Italian:
1. He talked with His hands
2. He had wine with His meals
3. He used olive oil

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was a Californian:
1. He never cut His hair
2. He walked around barefoot all the time
3. He started a new religion

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was an American Indian:
1. He was at peace with nature
2. He ate a lot of fish
3. He talked about the Great Spirit

But then there were 3 equally good arguments that Jesus was Irish:
1. He never got married.
2. He was always telling stories.
3. He loved green pastures.

But the most compelling evidence of all - 3 proofs that Jesus was a woman:
1. He fed a crowd at a moment's notice when there was virtually no food
2. He kept trying to get a message across to a bunch of men who just didn't get it
3. And even when He was dead, He had to get up because there was still work to do

Can I get an Amen!

Joe the Plumber coming to Wisconsin

AFP Wisconsin
Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin Newsletter
June 9- 2009  Events and Updates


Read more

Free abortions in Philly

The murder of abortionist George Tiller, of course, was wrong,

So is this type of tribute to Tiller whose legacy does, indeed, continue to be death.



That is one beautiful baby on the home page of FranklinNOW under, "Your Photos."

Congratulations, Franklin High School!

says FHS is one of the 1500 best schools in the country, #1460 to be exact.

That is simply amazing, what with all those nasty trailers that had to be set up when the referenda got shot down in 2007.


Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor breaks ankle on way to Capitol Hill

Breaking trend

My guess is she'll be just fine

Carrie Prejean
  is no longer Miss California.

Yep, her career's done.


2nd UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95

Culinary no-no's

From topless to shopless.

The story involving that topless coffee shop in Vassalboro, Maine has had many twists and turns.  There has been the customary community flap when the place opened earlier this year with bickering politicians and neighbors. Most of the building was burned down by an arsonist this month. Seven people were inside the coffee shop at the time, including two four-month old children. All escaped.

Now the business is refusing to go away, and the community is refusing to let that happen.

The latest…

Newt Gingrich calls it a scandal

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich says these numbers would normally constitute a scandal, but nobody’s using that term:

“Between 2000 and 2008, the United Auto Workers (UAW) union gave $23,675,562 to the Democratic Party and its candidates.  

In 2008 alone, the UAW gave $4,161,567 to the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama.

In return, the UAW received 55 percent of Chrysler and 17.5 percent of GM, plus billions of dollars.”

I’d say that’s

A Franklin referendum on a full-time mayor is a colossal waste of time

Mark Schaaf reports on FranklinNOW that Franklin alderman Steve Taylor (Cue the Lion King soundtrack: Oh, I JUST can’t WAIT to be mayor!) is drafting a referendum that would ask Franklin voters if the position of mayor in urban metropolis Franklin (Population an estimated 35,000) should be full-time instead of the current part-time status.

Mayor Tom Taylor and Alderman Tim Solomon are reportedly also assisting in this drafting effort.

Sorry, but a standard joke comes to mind. How many city of Franklin elected officials does it take…..

Gee. The referendum has to be “drafted.” In other words, it has to be worded just right. Boy this is a real toughie. Hmmmmmm. What could such a referendum read like? How about………………

“Should the elected position of mayor in the city of Franklin be changed from part-time to full time, begiining (fill in the blank)?

I think that took me about five seconds. We’re told that something could be ready for consideration by the full Franklin Common Council later this year.

Keep in mind that as far as Election Days are concerned, we‘re done for the rest of 2009. I would certainly hope that there isn’t any thought whatsoever to hold a costly special election for this silly question.

The next regularly scheduled election could come in February if there is some sort of primary. If not, then it’s April 2010. The next mayoral election in Franklin comes during April 2011.

I submit Franklin officials should just drop this foolish idea of a referendum. We elect our aldermen and mayor to make decisions and while some issues deserve being put to a referendum, this isn’t one of them.

Franklin aldermen, do you want to gauge public opinion?  Get out in your neighborhoods. Talk to folks. Hold a community meeting. Send out a newsletter asking for feedback.

The poll being conducted right now by FranklinNOW on this very subject isn’t scientific, but since it began, it's interesting that the numbers supporting a full-time mayor have struggled to barely stay above 20%.

No one is clamoring for this change. Why? Because Franklin doesn’t need or want a full-time mayor.

There is also a larger issue and a principle at stake here. At a time when the private sector is handing out pink slips and cutting pay and benefits, why should local government be expanding?

Franklin, let’s dump this crazy notion and get back to more serious priorities.

The Party of Know

Green Bay talk show host Jerry Bader has launched a great web site in advance of Thursday's Barack Obama trip to Packerland, , drumming up support among the many of us who do not want socialized medicine.


Friday night on InterCHANGE

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

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Sad, but true: The season to leave babies to die inside hot cars is underway

Even though we’re struggling to hit 60 degrees around these parts at almost mid-June, that doesn’t mean it’s not warm anywhere else.

When it gets hot, people do really stupid things. They leave babies locked inside cars. And then they leave them alone. They leave long enough to kill, yes, kill the children.

Sometimes, these neglectful dolts get off because enough dummies feel sympathy for them.  They buy into the ridiculous defense that it was a mistake, that they flat out forgot they had a baby in the back seat.

It also doesn’t help when a brain dead media comes to the aid of these parents/guardians of the year. Note the following lead sentences of a recent story from the San Francisco Chronicle:

“The death of a 4-month-old boy who was left alone for hours in a car at the El Cerrito Plaza BART station is a reminder of how easily parents - even conscientious ones - can forget that their children are in the backseat, child-safety experts said Tuesday.

Even if Everett Carey's death Monday was an accident, however, the father who left him in the car could face criminal charges. Parents involved in similar tragedies in the Bay Area have been prosecuted on charges including involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.”

Are you kidding me? The reporter is more or less absolving the parent of any wrongdoing.

We’re going to be hearing more and more stories like this. Sympathy for the idiot adult is not in order. Reserve your sympathy for the innocent dead baby. The moron who left the baby to die needs swift and severe punishment. Anything less sends the horrible message that you can get away with this indefensible act.

2 + 2 =6 is a mistake. Leaving a baby abandoned inside a hot car is a CRIME!

Franklin, you're being set up for a big school tax increase

The headline on FranklinNOW almost sounds looming

School budget cuts are unavoidable

Ooooooooooooohh.. How awful.

Julie Becker goes on to report that, “the Franklin School Board is considering about $833,000 in possible cuts, including more than $530,000 in personnel-related costs.”

Trust me, here is what’s going on inside the minds of those purportedly having to make these cuts:

1) They regard slashing the budget as being gut-wrenching and oh-so difficult.

2) If and when the cuts are made, they will high five each other, congratulating themselves for doing such a great job in the face of adversity.


If Julie Becker’s report is true, that the goal is to cut $833,000, I and many others might be tempted to say, “So what!”

The total school budget levy for this school for the Franklin School District was $
29,464,517. A cut of $833,000 amounts to a cut of 2.8 percent.

2.8 percent.


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How low can Democrats go?

Disgustingly low.

Don't ever fall for the crap that the Democrat Party is the party for the downtrodden, the poor, the disadvantaged, the MINORITIES.

Democrats that control the state Assembly want to cap Milwaukee school choice enrollment at 19,500 students. The current enrollment is 22,500.

Tell me, compassionate, liberal, non-racist Democrats, which of you, a la George Wallace are going to stand in the doorway and which 3,000 young kids are you going to tell that they can't go to their school anymore?

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The weekend on This Just In...

We have our regular weekend features, starting tonight with our Friday night smooth musical selections, sometime after sundown. What will the theme be this week?

Wake up Saturday morning to The Barking Lot to find out why this woman gets a mention:

Then it's Week-ends. Will this Republican member of Congress be a HERO or VILLAIN?

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading.

On Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, Photos of the Week, The MJS Scorecard, and Culinary no-no (Don't ask me what number we're up to).

And thank you so much for stopping by!

Goodnight everyone, and have a summer-like weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, our theme is the change of seasons with long-awaited summer just around the corner. 

We open with one of the most popular easy listening artists. This performer was a music prodigy, learning to play the violin at 7 and playing piano at movie theaters for silent pictures at 11.  At the age of 15, he gave his first recital at Massey Hall in Toronto. However, he injured his hands in a fire when he was 18. His sister’s clothing caught on fire and he used his hands to put it out. Doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to play piano for at least five years. His dreams of being a concert pianist took a twist as he turned to arranging and conducting.

During the 1930’s, he worked at the Canadian Broadcast Company (CBC), but after the budget for his radio program was cut, he moved to Chicago in 1940 and eventually New York. After joining Columbia records in 1950, the true style of his “mood music” sound fully developed.

In 1960, Percy Faith recorded the most popular instrumental of the rock era. “A Theme from ‘A Summer Place’” was the #1 single of the year.

You’ve probably heard this piece countless times, but have you ever actually seen Percy Faith in the conductor’s role?

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The Barking Lot (06/13/09)

The Barking Lot

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

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  Cloudy skies with rain in the morning, giving way to sun in the afternoon. High of 67.  "B"

SUNDAY:  REVISED FORECAST- Partly cloudy. High of 77. "A"


Our  weekly dog blog always tries to be informational, and we also want to feature as many positive, uplifting, emotional stories about dogs as possible.

As we frequently mention, the news isn’t always good. This week is a perfect example. The SPCA of Texas is offering a $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for the skinning and killing of a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. The dog was let outside to go to the bathroom and was abducted. Bonny was found in a field across the road from his owner’s home.

We have written about the case in the Green Bay area of a man putting the dog of an ex-girlfriend in an oven.

Recently, a pit bull was set on fire in Baltimore. Though rescued by a police officer, the dog still had to be euthanized.

Why do we include such disgusting, horrible, arguably offensive stories with all the warm, fuzzy, funny, inspirational tales? They are legitimate news items. And they illustrate that there are bad people who do very bad things who need to be caught and punished swiftly and severely to send the proper message to other would-be hooligans.

The Baltimore pit bull story raises a compelling issue. The outcry from the public was overwhelming. Thousands of dollars were raised in donations to try to capture the evil, twisted person(s) responsible.  Shaking her head in utter disbelief at all the attention was Veda "Pat" Allen. As the Baltimore Sun reports:

“When her 22-year-old son was shot in the head in 1992 in what city police said was a motiveless crime, she wonders, where were these people with their outrage, their tears, their checks?

I think it's very disheartening when a dog's life is more valued than that of a human,’ says Allen, who still lives in the crime-riddled Northwest Baltimore neighborhood where her son died and leads a victims group called ‘SAVE,’ Survivors Against Violence Everywhere. ‘Twenty-six thousand dollars to find out who murdered a dog? Where are our priorities?’”

Allen’s argument is well-taken. Generally speaking, in my many years in the news business, it seems that a story involving the abuse of a poor, defenseless animal is never short of a host of outraged sympathizers. However, that’s not always the case when the victim is a child. Will the courtroom be more filled when the Green Bay guy who killed the dog in the oven makes an appearance or during a Green Bay court hearing of child neglect, abuse, kidnapping? How about a child left inside a hot car?

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you love animals. No one wants to see any pet maimed or worse yet, killed. The life of a dog or cat, obviously, doesn’t elevate to the status of a human life. (I’m sure you’d get plenty of arguments from devout animal lovers who feel certain pets are far better than certain people. On that specific point, I’d have to agree).

Thank goodness it doesn’t have to be a case of either or, that there are good-hearted souls who care about the very needy among us, the two-legged variety or four.

Read more in the Baltimore Sun. 

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week. We start out right where we left off, the pit bull story in Baltimore. Two teens have been charged. And letters keep coming into the newspaper.

This is one of the biggest dog stories in recent times. A dog dies after alerting the family to a fire.

Did police have to shoot this dog?

I shot your dog barked.

So, what you got there, pooch?

Does your unemployed dog need help with a resume?

Baby is gone, but not forgotten.

Never complain about your job. You could have this one.

This dog got stoned.

Would you cuddle with a pet ash pillow?

Hey, it's summer. How's about giving that dog of yours a beer?

Hey, doesn't Paris Hilton have dogs? How does Paris take care of them?.

Is your dog's shampoo safe?

And from today's comics section...

That's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by. We close with a video checklist for adopting pets.


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State Assembly passes budget

The state Assembly passed its version of the tax and spend like nuts budget shortly after 5:00 this morning. The budget passed 50-48 with Representatives Ziegelbauer and Krusick voting no and Representative Wood, the Assembly's only Independent voting yes. 

Representative Milroy did not vote because his pregnant wife was rushed to the hospital.

The budget needed 50 votes to pass.


Week-ends (06/13/09)


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...


Milwaukee police officers Graham M. Kunisch and Bryan J. Norberg, and taxicab driver Anthony Thompson
UPDATE: Thomas Aldana

Angelina Colton

Omar Gutierrez.........more.

Davonte Kelly

Sarah Palin

Geese rescuers

Emeril Lagasse

85-year old George Herbert Walker Bush

NFL Coaches Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants, Jeff Fisher of the Tennessee Titans and John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens will be visiting U.S. troops in the Persian Gulf region this summer. Former coaches Jon Gruden and Bill Cowher also will be part of the USO tour involving NFL personnel.


James von Brunn

Tammi LaFave

Bernice Watson

U.S. Senators

David Letterman

Kyle Busch


"Them Jews ain't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office. ...They will not let him to talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is. ... I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do." 
The Rev. Jeremiah Wright in an exclusive interview at the 95th annual Hampton University Ministers' Conference. Wright told the Daily Press that he has not spoken to his former church member since Obama became president, and he implied that the White House won't allow Obama to talk to him.

"I hope Americans watching this story unfold, take away the most important lesson I have learned through all of this: nothing is more important than standing up for what you believe in, no matter what the cost may be. I've done my best under the difficult circumstances to handle the vicious attacks with integrity and show respect to others, even those who don't agree with me.

"I worked in good faith to meet my responsibilities as Miss California USA. I have met every scheduled appearance, and responsibility, as recently as May 31st. I have followed the proper protocol requested of me and haven't made any appearances or speaking engagements without the consent or approval from the Miss California USA or Miss Universe Organizations. I have not signed with any book publisher or taken on any business proposals. As of today, June 11, 2009, I have done everything possible to honor my contract.

"I am proud to be an American, and blessed to have had the opportunity to exercise my freedom of speech. I am excited and looking forward to where God leads me in the future. I know He has big plans for me. I am proud to be the strong woman God has molded me to be. I will always stand for the truth, respectfully, and never back down.

Thank you and God Bless."
Carrie Prejean after she was stripped of her title as Miss California.

“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game, during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
David Letterman on his late night TV show, noting that Sarah Palin while in New York took her daughter to a Yankee game.

"To attack a 14 year old, underage daughter of an upstanding American family, is to attack the safety of every 14 year old girl. Especially from a viagra'd-up 62 year old who few would be willing to leave their 14 year old alone with on a television stage, much less a private conversation with."
Conservative columnist Kevin McCullough, ripping Letterman.

"We have successful schools in the choice program where kids are learning, kids are succeeding and achieving their dreams and we're going to kill it.”
State Representative Leah Vukmuir (R-Wauwatosa), blasting Assembly Democrat amendments to kill school choice.

“This is a case where a proposed ordinance's reach exceeds its grasp.”
Circuit Court Judge Thomas Cooper, striking down the city of Milwaukee’s sick leave ordinance.  In his ruling, Cooper noted that the ballot question that led to voter approval of the ordinance never mentioned provisions that allow victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to use sick time for legal action or relocation.

“We think it's a big victory for the city of Milwaukee and its economic competitiveness and a big victory for all the workers who rely on a competitive economy here in Milwaukee for their job."
Steve Baas of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce that challenged the ordinance.

“Earlier today, President Obama spoke at a town hall meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Half of the Wisconsin crowd had never seen an African-American and the other half had never seen a skinny person.”
Late Night talk show host Conan O’Brien.

“I know he’s trying to be funny, but really, in his heart he needs to know what a great community this is. We’re going to invite him here for one of our great summer events or for a Packers game, at his expense. I think we owe it to him to educate him.”
Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt reacting to O’Brien.

“Conan could probably use a good tailgate party in Green Bay. We’re probably heavy by his standards and he’s too thin by our standards.”
Paul Jadin, president of the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce.


Legislative Democrats' continued assault on school choice.


I guess those 1,000 Obama protesters in Green Bay must have been invisible to Journal Sentinel reporters and editors.


Did you know that Adam Lambert is gay?


Naked man
found tied to rock says he doesn't need any help.

Wong Way no more.


How much would you pay for a parking space?

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 (06/13/09)

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).

Dear David Letterman

"Will you teach your son to talk about women and girls the way you talk about Sarah Palin and her daughters?

Face it: David Letterman, late-night entertainer-turned-partisan hack/hitman has a deranged obsession with Sarah Palin and her family that has crossed into rank bigotry and hatred."

The Party of 'Know,' not 'No'

"Let the guitar boy help the spelling-challenged Democrats understand what the bedrock of the Republican Party -- conservatives -- instinctively know."

Fretting over torture

"It seems plain that a state is justified in undertaking any action that will deter or interdict an enemy whose capabilities and intent demonstrate, beyond all judgment and argument, a violent act that will kill citizens whom the state is obliged to secure. Assuming the evidences are beyond question, and the imminence of the act is certain, then the state may take the life of the assailant, or, if taking his life is unnecessary, may do those things required to make it impossible for him to carry out his intended act."

The case for getting off base

"How Republicans got cast as the party of angry white males"

Voight calls Obama a 'good actor'

"It is a very, very slick, relentless campaign to build Obama as the answer to all our needs. They know what people want and they give it in a package that can be read off a teleprompter. That's not what our country is based upon."

Obama's health cost illusion

"The main White House argument for health-care reform goes something like this: If we spend now on a hugely expensive new insurance program for the middle class, we can save later by reducing overall U.S. health spending. This 'tastes great, less filling' theory could stand some scrutiny, not least because it is being used to rush through the greatest social spending program in American history."

Efficient Nationalized Health Care? Not So Fast...

"Apparently the agreed-upon approach is to give health care to 47 million new beneficiaries without massive new costs by being 'more efficient' in allocating the currently available health care assets. Well, efficiency is good, right? Not necessarily. 

Here is what this 'efficiency' would mean in stark terms: severely restricting health care services to our elderly, and the severely and terminally ill."

How to stop socialized health care

"If Democrats enact a public-option health-insurance program, America is on the way to becoming a European-style welfare state. To prevent this from happening, there are five arguments Republicans must make."

Obama hovers from on high

"Not that Obama considers himself divine. (He sees himself as merely messianic, or, at worst, apostolic.) But he does position himself as hovering above mere mortals, mere country, to gaze benignly upon the darkling plain beneath him where ignorant armies clash by night, blind to the common humanity that only he can see. Traveling the world, he brings the gospel of understanding and godly forbearance. We have all sinned against each other. We must now look beyond that and walk together to the sunny uplands of comity and understanding. He shall guide you."

The Fawn Patrol: How embarassing can the coverage get?

"Richard Wolffe covered the 2008 presidential campaign for Newsweek, and he really likes President Obama. No--I mean, he really, really likes President Obama. How much? Here's how much: Evan Thomas, a Newsweek editor, recently appeared on cable TV and said, 'In a way, Obama is standing above the country, above the world--he's sort of God.' And Evan Thomas says that Wolffe's coverage of Obama was too positive. That's how much."

Missing in action: American mainstream media

"Today we witness the greatest government intrusion into our economy in history. As these tax-and-spend, socialist, job-destroying, prosperity-restricting practices take hold, we witness another transformation. Our traditional media switch from anti-Bush attack dog to Obama-swooning lap dog."

Media driving customers away

"The slow decline of the MSM has been largely caused by its liberal bias."

Here is the cartoon mentioned in the above column)

Don't forget, Sunday is Flag Day

An illustration of the Grand Union Flag of 1776 is on display. This was the first flag used by the American colonies to symbolize their unity during the War of Independence.

An illustration of the Grand Union Flag of 1776. This was the first flag used by the American colonies to symbolize their unity during the War of Independence.(Kean Collection/Getty Images)


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More liberal bias in Sunday's Journal Sentinel

MJS Scorecard

Sunday’s Crossroads section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will reprint a New York Times op-ed piece that is based on a false premise that is all the rage since the recent murder of abortionist George Tiller. Columnist Paul Krugman writes:

Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.”

It’s pure garbage. It’s also incomprehensible (but maybe not considering the lefties that dominate the editorial pages and management of same at the MJS) that the paper would run such a volatile, explosive piece without a side-by-side piece written in rebuttal.

But that’s the Journal Sentinel.

I submit to you, not one, but two columns with opposing views.

The first is by conservative talk show host Martha Zoller who writes:

I am a pro-life, born-again, conservative Christian, and most of the media is afraid of people like me.  They assume ‘right wing nuts’ were secretly cheering the death of George Tiller. Nothing is further from the truth.”

The second is by cable talk show giant Bill O’Reilly who writes:

“By exploiting the death of Tiller, the far-left is seeking to silence Americans who are appalled by late-term abortion. By demonizing people like me who believe that terminating viable fetuses must only be done when there are catastrophic health ramifications, the pro-abortion zealots are trying to inhibit dissent on the abortion issue in general.”

Inhibiting dissent is exactly the motive in this Sunday’s Crossroads section. I’m not surprised.

My most popular blogs (6/14/09)

Most popular

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

1) Liberals are so warm and fuzzy.....just ask conservative women


3) How low can Democrats go?

4) Photos of the Week (5/10/09)

5) Franklin, you're being set up for a big school tax increase

Information was unavilable last Sunday, so here are the top five from two weeks ago:

1) Our president continues to disappoint, and disgust 

2) Beware: Anti-smoking Nazi's not satisfied with smoking ban 

3) Dear Franklin City Hall: Please, please get your priorities in order

4) care is worth every penny 

America's failing public school students continue to get worse and worse (or dumb and dumber)

Photos of the Week (06/14/09)

Photos of the Week



US President Barack Obama speaks focusing on the need to reform health care system as an secret service agent keeps guard during a town hall meeting at the Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on June 11, 2009. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images


US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with people after speaking on the need to reform health care system during a town hall meeting at the Southwest High School in Green Bay, Wisconsin, on June 11, 2009. AFP PHOTO/Jewel SAMAD JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images


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The MJS Scorecard (06/14/09)

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.


Can Water Works slake city thirst for revenue, too?: No: Public asset belongs in public hands 


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And these people vote

If I was Brett Favre...

And I decided to come out of retirement, again, and I signed to play with the Minnesota Vikings, I’d seriously consider refusing to talk to any Wisconsin media, a la Sterling Sharpe.

And I’d start with Milwaukee Journal Sentinel sports columnist Michael Hunt. Did you see his attack piece on Favre today? This gem stuck out with me:

“While Favre was overly mythologized - and the media bears responsibility here - at the end of the day he was not a whole lot more than Will Ferrell throwing footballs.”

What is that????

At the risk of sounding less than insightful, such a printed statement is really dumb. I’d love to see Michael Hunt put on a helmet, have a defensive front four and blitzing linebackers pour down on his behind and see what happens. I mean, after all, Favre is just Will Ferrell in green and gold.

What brought on this verbal assault? I guess the less than creative Michael Hunt had nothing more to give today. Maybe, to use his own lingo, he’s just an “aging” columnist who may not be “fit” to write in a “young man’s game.”

Culinary no-no #116

Culinary no-no's

Do you have any idea what’s in your garbage right now?

No, that’s not a smart aleck question. Yes, I know you have garbage in your garbage. Specifically, what’s in there?

An old McDonald’s cardboard box and bag?

Bones from barbecued ribs?

Coffee grinds?

Banana peels?

For the benefit of this blog, it’s best if you play along and know what’s in your garbage bags. So let’s take a brief timeout…


No, just humor me.

Play along.

Just click the upcoming video, we’ll take a short break, you check out your garbage, and it will mean so much more as we go along.


You can do it.



We’ll wait.


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"If he had to stand before the voters today Jim Doyle...

...would probably not get reelected."

So claims the president of a polling organization that has just released numbers that look dreadful for Wisconsin's tax and spend governor.

Doyle trails both Scott Walker and Mark Neumann.

There has been talk circulating around the state Capitol that Doyle will not run again. If he does, he'll have to somehow defend that obscene state budget he's about to sign into law in a few weeks.

What could be even better for the Obamessiah than a teleprompter?

How about plants in the audience?

HT: Charlie Sykes

Digging deeper into that absurd idea of a full-time Franklin mayor

Franklin Common Council President Steve Taylor is leading a chorus of one that Franklin’s mayoral position should be full-time. Currently, it’s part time.

Taylor wants the change because he wants to be mayor. The only argument he offers is that Franklin is a growing city. Actually, Franklin has already survived its biggest growing pains, and it did so with a PART-TIME MAYOR.

Albeit unscientific, the current poll on FranklinNOW on this very question shows overwhelming opposition to a full-time mayor. The “no” responses are in the two-thirds zone. The “
Who cares? Franklin is doing fine as it is” responses, in my book, are as good as a “no.” So, close to 80% say the full-time idea is full of it. That doesn’t really help Steve Taylor’s batting average when it comes to brilliant proposals (Gotta put those horses on dog leashes).

In a previous entry, I asked Alderman Taylor to submit to me a guest blog explaining why Franklin needs a full –time mayor. In the past, many other Franklin officials and candidates have taken me up on my offer of guest blogging, including former mayoral candidate Basil Ryan. Taylor, for the record, is the first to fail to respond to get his message out on my popular blog. Yet another bad move by Mr. “Gee, if only Franklin was more like La Crosse.”

Of course, I don’t live in Taylor’s district. So in his view, I am not that important. That doesn’t speak well for a guy who dreams of someday representing all Franklin residents, and guess what Steve? That would include me!!

Since Alderman Taylor won’t shed light on his very own high falootin’ notion, allow me to offer some analysis for you to ponder.

Let’s just begin with a simple, honest, common sense question. Just what in the hell would a full-time Franklin mayor mean and entail?

Would the full-time mayor have to be at City Hall, every day, all day?

What would the working hours be?  8:00 start? 8:30?

When would the official working day end? 4:30? 5:00?

Here’s a beauty for you, Franklin taxpayers, especially those who answered “yes” on the FranklinNOW survey that the mayoral position should be full-time. How much do we then pay the mayor?

Oooooooooooooooooooooooooohh! I bet you hadn’t thought of that one, didja?





Ol’ Steve Patz is sitting there in his office (laughing) running a school district of 4,080 Franklin School District students at a compensation of $236,573 (SUCKERS!!!).

Using that formula, the mayor of Franklin’s roughly 35,000 residents should demand a salary/benefit package totaling $2,029,323.00.

Just what is the proper salary to entice someone to give up their real job to run for Franklin mayor? You tell me. I haven’t a clue.

What would the job qualifications be for a full-time mayor? Sorry to ask such a tough question but just what would he/she be required to do to earn that full-time salary, whatever the hell it is?

OK,  so now we make the mayor full-time. What do we do with our full-time Director of Administration? Dump him? Demote him? Keep him full-time? If so, why?

Has Steve Taylor answered any of these questions?

Better yet, has Steve Taylor even THOUGHT of any of these questions?

The answer is NO.

So is the whole foolish question of whather Franklin should have a full-time mayor.

The latest car for women


Pervert David Letterman apologizes to Sarah Palin: Too little, too late

Big deal. David Letterman finally apologizes to Sarah Palin, after how many days since his brutal attack on the Alaska governor and her 14-year old daughter?

On the sincerity meter, this ranks below zero.

I seem to recall that when nationally syndicated radio talk show host Michael Savage made his outrageous on-air comments about autism, lefty bloggers, including some locally, called on conservatives to condemn Savage. Some, feeling guilty, took the bait and commented about how horrible Savage was and that WTMJ should dump his show and advertisers should stop advertising, etc, etc, forgetting that there is an on-off apparatus on every AM radio.

Even though I agreed Savage was out of line, I refused to join in the blogosphere crusade against the talk show host because I know the hateful, hypocrite left will never reciprocate and join in the condemnation of their own when conservatives are smeared.

The David Letterman assault is Exhibit A. Liberals I talk to say it was hilarious. They see absolutely nothing wrong.

Lefties want righties to join them all the time in the interest of bipartisanship. Lefties will never cross the aisle to return the favor. They’re phonies, which is why I refuse to suck up to them or ditch my principles just to get them to like me. I know a ton of liberals and we get along swimmingly. You either like me or you don’t. But I’ll be damned if I am going to compromise myself just so you’ll put me on your silly blog roll.

I close with this interesting blog from a parent written on Redstate. The parent writes:

“Letterman’s jokes are reminders that liberal society advances the image of women embracing promiscuity and degrading behavior as something laudable. They are also something as Governor Palin pointed out, that would never be leveled at the Obama girls or any other liberal offspring for that matter. The hideous attack on the young Palin children is both morally reprehensible and a glaring example of a horrific level of media bias that could accurately be depicted as outright propaganda.

The comments against Governor Palin are equally egregious. Referring to an accomplished woman as a “slutty flight attendant” merely because she (a) disagrees with you politically and (b) is attractive, is a slap in the face to women everywhere.”

The piece is entitled,
“For My Daughter: Standing Up to the Liberal Assault on Women.”

UPDATE: Palin accepts Letterman's apology.

The latest on health care reform from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

TODAY’S NEWS - Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Dear Kevin,

With health care dominating the headlines, we wanted to keep you up to date with the most timely stories on the issue. Read more below.


Bill Miller
Bill Miller
Senior Vice President and National Political Director
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Chamber's Johnson Questions Health Care Reform Plan
FOX News
FOX News aired an interview with the U.S. Chamber's Randel Johnson. He discussed health care reform. Watch the video | Take Action Now

Obama, AMA At Odds Over Health Care Reform
The Washington Times
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told a Senate panel that current proposals are "not reform."

"It would make the system even worse for employers and those who value free-market competition," said Randel Jackson, the chamber's vice president of labor, immigrant and employee benefits. Read more | Take Action Now

CBO Says Kennedy Plan Would Cost At Least $1 Trillion, Leave 36 Million Uninsured
The Associated Press
A leading health care bill under consideration in Congress would cost the government an estimated $1 trillion over the next decade and reduce the ranks of the uninsured by about one-third, or 16 million individuals, congressional budget officials said Monday in a preliminary estimate.

In a letter to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas W. Elmendorf said the estimate was based on major provisions contained in an incomplete draft of the bill. He noted that "taking all of its provisions into account could change our assessment of the proposal's effects on the budget and insurance coverage rates though probably not by substantial amounts relative to the net costs already identified." Read more | Take Action Now

To read more of today's top stories, visit our News Center.

© 2007-2009 Friends of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1615 H Street, NW, Washington, DC 20062
Home · About · Media · News · Issues · Action · Donate · Contact Us

Van Hollen among a group of AG's opposed to weapons ban

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is one of 23 Attorneys General to sign a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder expressing opposition to the reinstatement of a ban on semi-automatic weapons.

More from the NRA…

Another great list from John Hawkins

This time, the conservative columnist gives us, "5 myths the left has created about itself."

My favorite line:

"It doesn't matter whether it's a college professor, a rocket scientist, or Barack Obama -- they (liberals) all turn into cousin Cletus, the mountain simpleton who lives out by the hog pen, when you try to get them to explain why they believe what they believe."

Read Hawkins' piece...

Democrats don't care

Last week, when the state Assembly was scheduled to take up the state budget on Wednesday, floor action was delayed a day because Democratic state Rep. Ann Hraychuck of Balsam Lake was out of state due to the death of her mother-in-law.

The state budget goes before the state Senate Wednesday at 1:00. The funeral for the 91-year old father of state Senator Dale Schultz also takes place Wednesday on the far western side of the state. Schultz is a Republican.

Have Senate Democrats delayed floor action on the budget by a day? No they have not.

That’s class.

Attitude is everything

Do you know someone who’s grumpy, angry, and upset all the time?

Do you know someone that’s been dealt a bad hand and chooses to sit and sulk and be negative and mean about their lot in life?

Do you know someone who thinks their only salvation is a government program?

Do you know someone who, despite not being terminally ill or very old, still wishes that he/she was dead?

Sadly, I know someone in each category.

Maybe they need some inspiration in their lives. All they needed to do was turn on their TV sets during any of the last three games of the NBA Finals to see little 7-year old Gina Marie Incandela of Orlando, a victim of autism, confidently, happily sing the national anthem in front of a sellout crowd and a national TV audience. The little girl smiled, curtsied, and blew kisses during those truly touching scenes. It was impossible, I submit, to witness this beautiful young girl in song and not be moved.

This past Sunday when I attended Sunday Mass to usher, the parade of visiting priests at St. Anthony’s continued. I had never seen this rather old-looking feeble man who needed a cane to maneuver. Yet he impressed by his delivery and the way he celebrated the Mass.

Come homily time, he positioned himself on a stool right behind the main altar. The priest sermonized with an ease and comfortable flow while still being reverent. He joked about admiring the architecture of our magnificent church during the Responsorial Psalm. The humor was that he knew he could take a moment to soak in the beauty because this being his second Mass of the day at St. Anthony’s he knew when the Responsorial Psalm was happening.

Obligatory polite laughter.

And then came the jaw-dropper.

Out of nowhere.

I really can’t tell you most of what he said to lead up to what followed. But after that rare infusion of humor in a Sunday homily, the visiting priest stunned with this:

“Look, I’m dying. I’m dying.”

Stunned silence.

“Oh, we’re all dying,” he continued. “I’m just dying faster than most of you.”

If anyone thought this was a plea for sympathy, they were quickly and sadly mistaken.

With a smile and almost laugh in his voice, he proclaimed, “I am thrilled to death to be a priest!”

Father Robert Joseph Switanowski has every reason to question his fate and ask God, “Why?” Switanowski has a rare heart disease that is slowly sapping his life away. Yet there he was, at 10:00 Sunday, offering his second Mass of the morning.

I stood just a few feet away from Father as he distributed Holy Communion along that long Communion railing at St. Anthony’s. He could have sat it out, or just stood and distributed Communion to churchgoers in a straight line. With obvious pain in his face, having trouble breathing, Father walked along the rail, cane in hand, with an altar boy on one side, a Franciscan on the other while he reached into the chalice and lovingly picked out each host.

At the end of each Mass, as the priest, deacon and acolytes process to the rear of the church, the first person they see is usually me, prepared to hand out weekly Church bulletins. I told Father what a wonderful job he did, and he managed, though it wasn’t easy, a difficult, “Thank you” thorough a huff and puff.

Despite his deteriorating health, Father Switanowski refuses to let go of his vocation. His attitude is refreshing, remarkable, amazing.  He deserves a special blessing from heaven for the inspiration he provides. This man of the cloth has every right to let doubts determine how he lives the rest of his days. Instead, he humbly, devotedly, willingly has decided not to give up.

God be good to this very fine man. You can read more about Father Switanowski in the Catholic Herald.

Franklin resident causes a little excitement during state Senate budget debate

Orville Seymer of Franklin, a member of Citizens for Responsible Government (CRG) along with two other gentlemen staged a silent protest outside the state Senate Chamber as senators debated the state budget tonight.

Yes, that would be a protest of a whole three.

They held large red and white signs that said, “Recall Doyle” that also had the address of the Recall Doyle website. It was the smallest, quietest protest I’ve ever seen at the state Capitol.

Still, it got under the nerves and skin of the Senate’s most long-winded member, state Senator Bob Jauch (D-Poplar). Normally Jauch spends most of his time at his microphone pontificating and lecturing everyone with an “R” after their name. But when the press left their seats to go out into the hallway to check out the protest, Jauch called for the Capitol Police to investigate, not once, but twice I was told by Seymer.

The officer did nothing to the THREE quiet, harmless protesters. Even so, Jauch nervously kept pacing back and forth outside the Senate Chamber to periodically keep an eye on Orville and his First Amendment-toting desperadoes.

I’m sure Jauch didn’t like one of the protest signs that read:

“In Doyle we trusted, now we’re busted.”

The budget passed the Senate,

Senator Sullivan explains his vote against the state budget

State Senator Jim Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa) joined with the 15 Republican state Senators in voting against the state budget.  Sullivan told, “But in the end there were some things in here that I could not vote for and believe that I was keeping up with the promise I made two-and-a-half years ago to represent a district and not a party or ideology."

Oh, really?

Is that why Sullivan joined with Democrats to vote against every single Republican amendment (over 30) that would have improved the budget Sullivan claims he could not vote for?

There is a simple two-word solution to America's health insurance crisis

Conservative columnist Larry Elder asks a compelling question: Just who are those 45 million Americans that don’t have health insurance?

“Nearly half of the 45 million fall in the category of my 26-year-old nephew. He smokes cigarettes, dates, eats out, goes to movies and, like all young people, lives through his cell phone. With a slight change in priorities, he could afford health insurance, the cost of which at his age and health starts at about $100 a month. Take a look at a Reason Foundation video of interviews with a bunch of non-health-insured 20-somethings.”

Yes, do take a look at that Reason Foundation video, a bit dated, but certainly not outdated.

And read Larry Elder’s column.

Two big issues highlight latest Tea Party

Americans for Prosperity

Monday night I spoke at the Arkansas Tea Party event in Little Rock, Arkansas. The folks there held a great event with hundreds of fired up citizens keeping the pressure on Washington politicians to rein in spending and stop the tax increases on our families and businesses.

Read more

45 life lessons and 5 to grow on

E-mails. I get e-mails. Jokes, cartoons, stories, articles. Some are good. Others are very good. A few are great. Most are, well……hit delete.

A good friend of mine understands what I like to see in my inbox and I must admit his batting average is pretty impressive.

He sent me one of those travelling e-mails that included a column written by 90-year old columnist Regina Brett of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Brett is a columnist.

And she does write for the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

But 90 years old?

If she's 90, she better not hang around any retirement homes, for her own safety.

OK, so she's not 90. But she did write an extremely popular column in 2006 that continues to make the rounds. It's truly worthy of the all the attention years later.

"50 life lessons" and more can be read here.

Franklin School Board + 2 new members = same old school board

Tucked inside the latest entry of new Franklin School Board member Janet Evans’ exciting blog is actually some important information other than upcoming district bake sales.

Janet informs us, albeit buried, that the proposed Franklin school tax levy for next year will be $30,607,191 compared to last year’s levy of $29,464,517.

I think if you take away the superintendent’s salary and benefit package and those of all the other administrators and personnel, the levy might be around $5 million, but please don’t quote me on that.

Now there are a couple of ways to view Janet’s information, and it is valuable information:

1) That’s a 3.8% increase in the levy from last year. Given what those highway robbers who call themselves Franklin Public School District administrators and school board members have gotten away with in the past, 3.8% might be cause to pop open the champagne.

2) During a time of recession, and after the School Board approved major salary/benefit increases for administrators (in other words, it's kinda late, but that's not Janet's fault)
, why in the world would the school district be increasing spending by $1.14 MILLION???

While I appreciate Janet’s conveyance (finally) of some critical information, she doesn’t express any feeling about the proposed tax levy in her blog and that’s very surprising given her highly opinionated past. I guess if you want to know how she really feels, you’ll just have to obtain an audience with her 20 minutes before some meeting down the road.

Janet also writes that at a previous meeting, she noted that, “a salary freeze for Administrators should be considered.”

Wrong. How about, “a salary freeze for Administrators should be enacted.” The school board already has the power to make it happen. The next time salary issues come up, JUST SAY NO TO ANY INCREASES.

No, I am not enthused at all that the Franklin School Board has two new members. So far, it looks like the same taxpayer be damned attitude. It appears more housecleaning might be in order.

So Kev, what's happening over at Fountains of Franklin?

And by Fountains of Franklin, I don’t mean the Sendik’s at 51st and Rawson or the CVS that’s currently under construction. Those are projects that are already up or soon to be up and running, moving in the right direction.

I’m talking about David Hintzman’s non-development development at 56th and Rawson.

I haven’t blogged about Fountains of Franklin since December of 2008. The reason is obvious. As usual, NOTHING has happened at the site all year long. Just like all of 2008, and 2007, and 2006.

But there could be something stirring.

A new sign is in front of that dust bowl that reads:




186 foot frontage

1 or 2 story

Approved plan

56 parking spaces (and by the way, that’s all that’s there)

Fully improved

Call (414) 423-9453

That is the number for Equitable Development that has this catchy website.

Equally as impressive is this website.

While I have always wanted that site to be developed and be successful despite my critical observations, it’s clear that under the current management, this project has been going nowhere.

My goodness. Wouldn't it something if Mark Carstensen ultimately purchased and developed that site?

The background on this story...

More tea parties coming to Wisconsin

AFP Wisconsin
Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin Newsletter
June 18, 2009 Events and Updates


Read more

OUCH! Governor Doyle's power rankings are where????

Try 45th out of 50.

From US Chamber of Commerce: Tell Congress to oppose flawed health care plans

Next week, ABC News will interrupt programming to broadcast a White House special promoting their health care proposal.

With the issue quite literally on prime time - and without any other perspectives - we want to make sure you know there is more than one view on this important issue.

Let us be clear, the U.S. Chamber supports health care reform; but not at the cost of our economy or your health care benefits.

With the health care debate front and center, now is the time to oppose any legislation that would create a government-run insurance plan, force employers to pay-or-play, or establish an unelected, unaccountable bureaucracy to make your health care decisions.

Just this week, a non-partisan report was issued estimating that the Kennedy/Dodd proposal would force 15 million people out of employer-sponsored coverage. This figure is in direct opposition with President Obama's promise that if you like your current health care you can keep it.

Bankrupting our economy, strong-arming employers and employees, and tacking $1 trillion onto the federal deficit will wound businesses of all sizes, and hurt the economy and American workers.

Oppose flawed health care proposals and encourage Congress instead to commit to real reform: lowering costs, increasing quality, and expanding coverage.

Write Congress now.


Bill Miller
Senior Vice President and National Political Director
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Ed Flynn and Jessica McBride

My take on this will be brief.

Yes, one's a married police chief. Yes, the other is a married conservative media pundit and ethics professor.

Is it news? Sure......of the tabloid variety. Channel 4 led with this last night at 10:00, their way of telling the audience that this is the most important news of the day.

I am not condoning marital infidelity. But if this hasn't affected or won't affect Flynn's job performance, enough.

This is none of our business. Dump all the sarcasm and attempts to be cute. This isn't funny.

Leave these two alone.

The weekend has arrived!

Make sure to check back for all weekend long for our regular features.

It starts tonight with, for me, a very special Goodnight Everyone.

Wake up Saturday to our dog walking forecast and DOGS IN THE NEWS as Jennifer makes a return (sort of) to The Barking Lot.

Then it's Week-ends that will include...

Image: U.S. Army captains Jennifer Williams and Nathan Williams

their story.


Thomas Parkin pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including grand larceny and criminal impersonation.

what he did to get into trouble.

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading.

Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, Photos of the Week, The MJS Scorecard, and Culinary no-no.

And you never know what else.

So, thanks for stopping by!


Goodnight everyone, and have a Daddy-O weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, a very special musical theme. In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, I’ll dip into my late father’s record collection.

Those old LP’s are quite memorable. Music was often played in the Fischer house. Naturally, I had no idea back then how good some of those albums were and still are. Any time something with more than one violin came through the speakers, all I could think was, “why?”

To best describe my dad’s rainbow of music would be to categorize it as ultra-lounge. Oh yeh, when it came to music, my dad was very cool. Andre Kostelanetz and Arturo Toscanini? You bet. He also loved The Beatles and the Dave Clark Five.

So let's begin.

He was the most successful orchestra leader of the rock and roll era, enjoying great success in the 50’s, some success in the early 60’s, and then falling victim to the full blown onslaught of rock, he was forced to retire from the music business in 1970.

His sound was characterized by smooth saxophones.

Read more

The Barking Lot (06/20/09)

The Barking Lot

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

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  Sunny and warm. High of 85.  "A"

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 81. "A"


The following is a re-print of a blog written by Jennifer that appeared June 14, 2008. It has been edited in order to update.

By Jennifer Fischer

Your morning rush-out-the-door ritual probably sounds something like this:

“Lunch?  Check.”

“Cell phone?  Check.”

“Brief Case and Laptop?  Check.”

How about adding:

“Milk Bones and Rawhides?  Check.”

“Water Dish?  Check.”

“Squeaky Toy?  Check.”

That’s right, it’s the 10th Annual Take Your Dog To Work Day  Friday, June 26th.

A friend and coworker enjoys the company of two Pomeranian pooches.  Fortunately for her, she lives so close to work that she can go home on her 30-minute lunch break to let them outside.  I don’t know many people who have that luxury.

One of only two arguments that Kevin can offer against us getting a dog is the fact that we are not home enough (in his opinion) to be fair to our Future Fido (The other argument is that for all the love and enjoyment we get from them, dogs have a disappointingly short life span.  He dreads the day we would eventually need to have a pet euthanized).

Just think how much more enjoyable your workplace could be if you were allowed to bring your dog with you.  There are many facts you can present to your employer in favor of a canine-friendly cubicle. 

If you need further ammunition to sway your boss, you could mention that this system works well for Las Vegas tycoon Steve Wynn. 

If all else fails, you could consider relocating with your four-legged friend to Greensboro, North Carolina.  Get a job with Replacements, Ltd. and you’re all set!  

So next Friday, pack your sandwich and chips but save room in your lunch bag for some kibble. 
---Jennifer Fischer

It's time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week, and we've got a lot, so let's get to it.

Again, as we frequently point out, not all the news is good, and there are reasons we post even the horrible stories. Here's an update on a recent item in the news that I advise is disgusting and difficult to read.

This one will also make you very upset.

The life expectancy of dogs in China isn't very good.

The biggest dog item of the week: 9/11 hero dog is cloned ito 5 puppies.

Over 50 dogs were set to be euthanized. And then....

It's Yorkie-mania in Tampa.

Americans have changed the way they care for pets.

Is there no justice for Justice?


Bo, say "cheese."

Dog owners can create dog guilt.

Those dogs in those dog shows? Their job isn't done when the show's over.

Here's proof that dogs are musically inclined.

Walking the dog
can be anything but dull.

his columnist says enjoy your puppy a lot because they change so quickly.

Here are some summer activities for kids and pets.

That wasn't a dog that crawled through the dog door.

Alright, kids. Never, ever, ever do this.  Let's go to the video.

That's it for this week. Thanks so much for stopping by.

Our closing video this week deals with a new world record.

Time for a look at some new bumper stickers


Read more

Week-ends (06/20/09)


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...



David Rohde

Jennifer and Nathan Williams

Franklin's own Frank Ruebl

My good friend, Jim Hughes

On Monday, June 15, the Franklin Sabers won their 700th baseball game under the guidance of Coach Jim Hughes. The Franklin School District would like to congratulate Coach Hughes for his long running success as the Franklin Sabers Baseball coach and thank him for his years of dedication. Photo: Tanya Ruder, Franklin Public Schools

Emma Dausman and Judy Conner

Gertrude Frishman Brog

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner

Read more

Some interesting stuff going on at...


Read more

Culinary no-no #117

Culinary no-no's


Mother's Day is the biggest day in the restaurant business. The National Restaurant Association says two out of five Americans dine out on Mom’s special day.

Dad doesn’t get the same respect. Maybe one out of four of you will eat out this Sunday.

The discrepancy probably lies in the fact that Dad, more than likely, will be manning the grill.  Can you imagine having Mom prepare the family dinner on Mother’s Day? Might not be pretty.

That’s the difference between the sexes. Guys don’t get all bent out of shape if they don’t get treated out on Father’s Day. That gives them another chance to fire up the Weber in the great outdoors.

Then again, I bet Dad wouldn’t turn down a filet at a swank steakhouse.

Whad’ya say, ladies? You’ve still got time to make those reservations.


Read more

Our financial problems...

Set to music.

Recommended reading (06/20/09)

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).

Doyle's new friend Rosy

"Doyle thinks in one year we’re going to be all the way back to the 5% growth that he sneered at McCallum for predicting.  Doyle ripped McCallum for his forecast saying tax receipts are going to grow 5% in a mild recession, and now Doyle has them growing 4.5% in a disastrous recession.

It gets even better."

The Obamacare horror story you won't hear

"The White House, Democrats, and MoveOn liberals are spreading health care sob stories to sell a government takeover. But there’s one health care policy nightmare you won’t hear the Obamas hyping. It’s a tale of poor, minority patient-dumping in Chicago — with First Lady Michelle Obama’s fingerprints all over it."

Schizophrenic America

"One thing I’ve always agreed with was the title of Michael Savage’s book 'Liberalism is a Mental Disorder,' as it seemed to be such an obvious explanation for why the left is so devoid of logic.  And perhaps it’s also an explanation for the results of the latest polls on Obama, the economy, deficits, etc.  I can think of no other excuse than mass public schizophrenia."

The fly in the ointment

"Obama is finding out that honeymoons, like house flies, don't last forever."

Why Obama scares me, too

"You promise to defend the U.S. against all potential enemies, yet you pacify those who harbor terrorists, fight for the rights of combative detainees, and enable the enemies of Israel."

Some psychos can't be reached

"As someone who believes in giving kooks enough rope to hang themselves, the right course of action would be to sever all communications with rogue, whacky regimes until they prove to the world they no longer have rabies. In the meantime, America should walk loudly, proudly, and carry an oil-soaked 2x4 wrapped with rusty barbed wire and always be ready to swat international kooks upside the head."

Are 46 million in America without health insurance? Yes and no.

"There is a difference between health care and health insurance
.   Everyone has access to health care.   They may not have health insurance, but the law mandates everyone who shows up at emergency rooms must be treated, insurance or not."

The recession is great

"This recession might be a good thing. Job losses and property devaluations have inflicted much pain, but relentless focus on catastrophe leaves out the flip side of market logic..."

How to save $5000 fast

"Looking to raise some money fast?"

LA County officials offer a novel idea to save millions

Read more

Happy Father's Day isn't so happy

For the past two years, I’ve offered a lengthy, but pertinent blog on Father’s Day. Out of all the days we set aside for special attention during the year, Father’s Day just might be one of the saddest.

The following blog first appeared in 2007. Thank your lucky stars if none of the following applies to you.

This should be a day of celebration. For far too many, it's a reminder of a national crisis.

UPDATE 6/18/12
: The blog I linked to is no longer available. However, many of the findings I posted in that blog can be found in this article.

My most popular blogs (6/21/09)

Most popular

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

1) Pervert David Letterman apologizes to Sarah Palin: Too little, too late

2) So Kev, what's happening over at Fountains of Franklin?

3) Ed Flynn and Jessica McBride

4) Photos of the Week (5/10/09)

5) Attitude is everything

Photos of the Week (06/21/09)

Photos of the Week

Iranians pack Azadi (Freedom) Square in the capital, Tehran, on Monday, June 15, 2009, as demonstrations against the announced outcome of the presidential election raged around the country. The protests sparked violence by authorities, which drew condemnation from world leaders. Photo: AP

Iranian police sit on motorcycles as they face protesters during a demonstration in Tehran on June 20, 2009. Thousands of Iranians clashed with police as they defied an ultimatum from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for an end to protests over last week's disputed presidential election. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)


Iraqi Special Operations troops escort a suspected leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, following his capture in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, June 17, 2009. Acting on tips Wednesday, they arrested 45-year-old Ahmed Abid Uwaid, who was believed to be a mastermind of the assassination of a prominent Sunni lawmaker in Baghdad, officials said. The announcement less than a week after Harith al-Obeidi, the leader of the largest Sunni bloc in parliament, was gunned down as he left a mosque following Friday prayers in Baghdad. (AP Photo/Ahmed Alhusseiney)


Read more

Recommended Father's Day reading

Especially for dads with girls.

Here is the article referenced in the above column.

The MJS Scorecard (06/21/09)

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.


Herb Kohl: We can cover all Americans for less money  

“We must expand (health) coverage to all our citizens. And, again contrary to conventional wisdom, it will save us money to do so.”

And once again, shame on the MJS for not printing a side-by-side rebuttal. The paper has been fond of running George Will's columns, so why didn't it publish this today?


Michael Deane: Efficient, effective - and run privately 


Susan McGovern: Make motherhood safe for all 

Jerrianne Hayslett: Different time, different Iran 

Neil Hoffman: Time for action in support of arts in our city's schools 

I don’t disagree with Hoffman’s general premise, but shouldn’t he just come out and say he wants to spend more money? If he would have been that specific, this would have gone in the liberal column.


TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-51, Conservative-48

Culinary no-no #118

Culinary no-no's




Apparently I did a very foolish thing a few weeks ago. I had my landscaping service people come to the house and fertilize the lawn.

Wrong move.

Instead, I should have let those weeds grow, pulled them, and then sold them. Yes, sold them.

To who, you ask?

I could have set up a stand in the driveway like a vendor at farmer’s market. Or I could have approached grocery stores or certain restaurant chefs.

Weeds are the new hip and trendy food item. Some were selling in the nation’s capital for $9 a pound. They’re selling like hotcakes at grocery stores, racking up millions in sales.

Is this newly accepted delicacy a product of the poor economy? Or is it considered an exciting addition to gourmet menus? It seems the answer is both.

Dandelions, purslane, lamb’s quarters, pokeweed, and sting nettles are no longer ending up in the garbage. They’re finding their way onto dinner plates.

Culinary history tells us edible weeds were in vogue until World War II when processed foods became the norm. Now the pendulum has shifted again. If you’re trying to save because of the economy, some experts say you can succeed by harvesting in your own neighborhood, and the search will be invigorating to boot. Upper-end consumers are also reportedly seeking out the new greens.

Because weeds have what we all know is an uncanny ability to survive almost anything, they are regarded in some circles to be superfoods able to unleash all kinds of health benefits.

At the same time, some weeds are considered extremely dangerous. Go out hunting for them alone? Not on your life is the advice given by the same folks who are insisting this stuff is really good for you.


Am I missing something here?

I haven’t seen any of this junk being sold at Sendik’s or at any other grocery store.

Have you seen any of the above-mentioned items on any menu lately?

For that matter, no signs have popped up like weeds selling them at any roadside stand.

I am unaware of any weed-foraging clubs or scavenger hunts.

Is the economy really that bad that I need to whip up a salad of onions, garlic, and dandelions?

And if I’m following this correctly, eating this is cool and neat and trendy and healthy and it might kill me.

Count me out and pass the watercress.

Read more in the
Wall Street Journal.

It takes a lot of agallas

At 7:30 Monday morning, buses will leave Milwaukee and Racine for the state Capitol in Madison, organized by the militant, pro-illegal alien group, Voces de la Frontera.

They will lobby in Madison for special driver’s license cards for illegal immigrants, as a flyer from the group says, “NOW!”

They will also lobby for in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants, as a flyer from their group says, “NOW!”

Their demands are nothing short of astounding. What part of illegal don’t they quite grasp?

People here in Wisconsin illegally are not asking, but demanding they be given state-sanctioned driver’s licenses. They also are demanding that they get the same tuition rates the kids of LEGAL Wisconsin taxpaying residents receive.

Yes, that certainly takes a lot of agallas (guts).

Take a good look, this might not happen again

Wisconsin Right To Life concurs with President Obama.

Good for state Senator Tim Carpenter

He stands his ground against the ridiculous demand for illegal immigrant driver's licenses.

One more reason I'll stay in my car and reject government transportation..

Goofiness like this.




Read more

The Socialists are going after food next

Legislation approved by Congress and  gleefully signed into law by President Obama gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority over tobacco products for the first time……ever.

Tobacco is a legal product.

Doesn’t matter.

In this tsunami of unprecedented government takeover of American industries, it’s no surprise that the socialist who now run everything in our country would set their sights on the most evil commodity on the planet.

U.S. President Barack Obama joins in the applause after signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, June 22, 2009.

U.S. President Barack Obama joins in the applause after signing the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, June 22, 2009. Photo: Reuters

What does it mean?

The FDA can now set far-reaching limits on tobacco advertising.

There will be enhanced and larger warnings on tobacco products because as we all recognize, nobody, I mean nobody knows that smoking is dangerous, so the more “education” the better.

Please. Everyone on the planet knows smoking is bad for you.

How much more does more education mean? Warnings will cover at least half of tobacco packages. Ads could only be in black and white. The First Amendment? What the hell is that?

Candy-like tobacco lozenges and sweet-flavored products will no longer be sold.

Please. Is there anyone on the planet who doesn't know smoking is bad for you?

Uncle Sam can also restrict the levels of nicotine and other ingredients in tobacco products.

On the surface, oh my goodness, that sounds so, so, so, wonderful!!! The Obamessiah, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank et al will able to essentially control Big Tobacco.

Sorry, but this news doesn’t thrill or excite. In fact, it scares me. Why? Because I am a pool player. I don’t look at the ball I’m shooting at right now. I plan my next shots, two, three, four balls down the table.

I worry about the next ball in the sights of our fast-growing socialist government and I see food. Food that’s considered bad for me.

Don’t laugh. I see one national columnist brought up an example of a food item I enjoyed just this past week: a Big Mac. I don’t fancy
Two All-Beef Patties Special Sauce Lettuce Cheese Pickles Onion on a Sesame Seed all that often, but when I do, I gotta admit that baby goes down real nice. Oh, yum!

I’ve also read the news (actually it’s no longer news, it’s pretty old stuff) about how God-awful the Big Mac is because it has all that sodium.

Does Big Brother intend to regulate nasty foods just like they intend to control nasty tobacco? You betcha!

Lots of non-smokers are deliriously happy about the trampling of rights brought on by heavy-handed smoking regulations. Why? Simple. Because they don’t smoke! What happens when those non-smokers who eat and drink like crap are the next targets?

I love this. Even those who have been pushing for more government interference when it comes to tobacco aren’t happy. Researcher and anti-tobacco activist Stanton Glantz at U.C. San Francisco Stanton Glantz says about the new law signed by President Obama, “It's kind of like trying to push a balloon into a box that isn't quite big enough.”

The crowd that wants government to step in and control everything (generally liberals) is NEVER satisfied. That’s why they refuse to back down and just go after something else.

Recall Doyle organizers to expose Pigs In the State Capitol Rotunda


Recall Doyle to expose Pigs in the State Capitol Rotunda
Wisconsinites Interests Now/
Contact: Vince Schmuki
cell 414-217-5721
Wisconsinites Interests Now, sponsoring organization of the Recall Doyle Exploratory Committee, is announcing a protest in the Capitol Rotunda at noon on Tuesday, June 23rd.
Vince Schmuki said "WIN- Wisconsinites Interests Now, as the legitimate voice of the WI people, has a duty to provide a counterpoint to the pressure of the lobbyists and special interest groups seeking special legislative breaks and offering large campaign contributions in return. To this end, "we can not we must not and we will not" allow the conference committee sessions to go forward without a protest in the Capitol to take place on Tuesday 6/23 at 12 noon in the Rotunda area. The protest is to take place for approximately one hour and will feature a piggish theme that will highlight the low-life pigs that are posing as Legislators and gorging at the public trough of taxpayer money! And as we all know pigs get slaughtered -figuratively of course. In real life they will suffer the shame and disgrace of the Wisconsin recall process. Please join us for a colorful expose of the barnyard antics that pass for legitimate politics in Wisconsin!"
With an overall apporval rating of just 34% and a disapproval rating among independents of 69%, Jim Doyle is among the least popular Wisconsin governors of all time. After declaring "We should not -- we must not -- and I will not -- must raise taxes" - Doyle's tax, fee, and spending hikes in the 2009 budget have proved him unfit for office in the eyes of thousands across the state who are organizing to conduct a statewide recall.
Over 4,400 residents from 71 of 72 counties have signed up to help at Rallies and organizational meetings have been held in Green Bay, Chilton, Manitowoc, Oshkosh, Richfield, Menomonee Falls, and Milwaukee; and events are currently scheduled in Appleton, Fort Atkinson, La Crosse, and Waukesha.
Wisconsinites can join the Doyle Recall by logging on to, or calling 414-801-0800.
About Wisconsinites Interests Now:
Wisconsinites Interests Now (WIN) is a grassroots consortium of citizens from Wisconsin led by Vince Schmuki that periodically meets across the state. CRG has been working with WIN to launch a recall of Governor Jim Doyle.
Authorized and Paid for by Recall Doyle PAC, R. Radosevich, Treasurer

5 more myths liberals have created about themselves

An update to a blog I posted last week.

John Hawkins comes up with yet another amazing list.


Wisconsin Democrats see another chance to impose a tax and ...

They can't help themselves.

They're big time taxers.



Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League


All this past winter, 12-year old Devin Baehr of Franklin worked hard in rented out gyms, throwing fastballs. His dream was to make the Little League All-Star team this season.

The regiment seemed to be successful. Baehr was a pitching powerhouse, leading his Franklin Rockies to first place with a record of 6-0. Virtually unhittable, Baehr went 4-0 as a starter, striking out 36 batters, walking only three while compiling a sparkling earned run average of 0.50 that would make Yovanni Gallardo envious. He pitched two shutouts and gave up only two runs in four complete games. It was customary for Devin to reach an 85-pitch count each game. Those are amazing numbers.

His father, Carl Baehr told his son during the off-season that it would be “ridiculous” if he didn’t make the All-Star Team, and his incredible statistics, the best of any starting pitcher in the league made Devin appear to be an All-Star shoo-in.

On June 8, 2009, the All-Star Team was announced and Devin’s name was missing.

‘I was devastated,” Carl Baehr told me in an interview.

“I was pretty mad,” said Devin Baehr. “I felt cheated.”

The All-Stars are selected by the managers of each Little League team about halfway through the season. While Devin’s name was noticeably absent from the final list, other players on teams that lost to Devin, players who were sons of managers from other teams that lost to Devin and his Rockies were curiously named All-Stars.

Upon learning that Devin was omitted, Carl Baehr told his son, “Politics happens, the world isn’t fair. What do you want to do?”

Devin who is a 6th grader at Southwood Glens Elementary School in Franklin knew immediately.

“I didn’t want to play anymore,” Devin told me. “I didn’t think the league was fair.”

Devin quit the team with about a week of games remaining. His father uses a different word, saying his son is now boycotting the Rockies, and he fully supports the decision he says Devin made on his own.

“He felt it would be more meaningful to walk away from it. If being the best doesn’t get you in as an All-Star, why continue?”

“I feel I made the right decision,” said Devin.

After Devin departed, his former team has gone 1-3.

Being named an All-Star is a big deal. Each All-Star receives a special jersey and a plaque. What’s more, the only way for a player to get into the Little League World Series and play for the championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is to be declared an All-Star.

“I’m not one of those parents who thinks their kid is perfect,” said Carl who felt All-Star selections should be based solely on performance.

Here’s where the story goes from ugly to uglier.

The proud but distraught father circulated flyers around the Little League field in Franklin that proclaimed the Franklin Little League was corrupted by nepotism and the good ol’ boys. He soon got a phone call from the Franklin police informing him that the president of the Franklin Little League had complained about the flyers and that if he showed up at any Franklin Little League games, that he could be arrested for trespassing.

I repeatedly asked Carl Baehr, who is hoping the Little League will change its process for selecting All-Stars if there was more to this story, if there was a personal axe to grind or any other possible reason his son was blackballed.  He insisted there wasn’t.

“Devin’s a very likeable kid,” said Baehr.

This is a very unfortunate story that illustrates all that’s wrong with what should be the wonderful experience of Little League.

I have no idea what would motivate opposing coaches not to put whatever competitive feelings they have aside and select Devin Baehr as an All-Star. If what Devin’s father says is true, then there are petty, personal jealous parents unjustly and unfairly penalizing a deserving young boy and depriving him of what he has worked so hard for and has rightfully earned. The numbers don’t lie.

To rob this young boy of what he unquestionably achieved on the field is one thing. To then involve the local police is another. How pathetic!

Another kid played better than your kid. Be a man. Be a proper role model, Do the honorable thing, explain to your child that this is part of life, and congratulate the other child.

As for Devin, he’s not done with organized baseball. He wants to play again, “just not for Franklin.” He told me his dream is to be a major league pitcher someday. I hope he gets his wish.

But I had to ask. Devin, isn’t there a part of you that wanted to keep playing Little League and show them what a terrible mistake they made? What do you say to those people who think you should have hung in there and kept going despite how badly you felt?

Read more

UPDATE: Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League

I received the following e-mail in response to my blog on Devin Baehr and the Franklin Little League:



Read more

I wish the Franklin School Board could be more like the one in New Berlin

It’s budget time all across Wisconsin. That means city, village, town, county budgets and school district budgets.

In New Berlin, there’s a healthy and informational discussion going on amongst New Berlin school board members about the upcoming school district budget. School board members are being open, honest, and candid.

Take a look.

Then there’s Franklin.

As a public service to Franklin citizens who read my blog and pay exorbitant taxes, let’s check out what our elected school board members in Franklin are saying publicly about what every taxpayer deserves to know: information pertinent to next year’s school budget.


Dave Szychlinski

The head man. The guy in charge. The leader.

Public statements about the school budget: NONE



Vice President
Debbie Larson

What? Me?

Comment publicly about school taxes?


Read more

I've lost a lot of respect for CBS's Bob Schieffer

Here's why.

Give me a break!

Why must taxpayers support PBS garbage?

I worked for taxpayer supported public radio for over 11 years.

I can honestly say it's time to totally stop any taxpayer subsidization of public broadcasting.....NOW!

Here's one of many reasons why.

PBS does so many things so well, and then there's the questionable stuff.  It certainly could survive without taxpayer funding.

You know what's great about global warming?

You don't have to...

People shovel snow on a street in Jeongeup, about 280 km (174 miles) south of Seoul, after heavy snowfall, January 12, 2009.

Shovel it.

You know you've been saying, "I wish it would warm up" for quite awhile, haven't you?

Open CHILD ABUSE SEASON begins in Milwaukee Thursday

That would be the opening day of Summerfest.

Then we have the July 3rd fireworks.

And the ethnic festivals.

And the church festivals.

And State Fair.

Open child abuse season in Milwaukee.

It happens every single summer.

I've blogged about it.

And I've talked about it in the past on WISN.

People in agreement are as passionate as I am on this topic.

The brain dead souls who disagree are waiting in line to tar and feather me. That's okay. I love getting under their skin.

What am I talking about?

A topic I know will be of interest to the many (And I do mean many) new readers to this blog since I last wrote about this important issue.

Who will issue the special alert I'm about to?

Not Channel 4.

Not Channel 6.

Not Channel 10.

Not Channel 12.

Not Channel 58.

Not the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel.


Facing budget shortfalls, Franklin mayor imposes hiring freeze, suggests cuts might be necessary

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has informed City Department Heads and members of the Franklin Common Council the city faces a $1.8 million revenue shortfall for 2009 and a $1.4 million revenue shortfall for 2010.

Taylor has implemented a hiring freeze on vacant positions (with the exception of seasonal positions) effective June 18, 2009. No vacancy can be filled without the written approval of the Mayor.

The directors of Administration and Finance and the Treasurer have been asked to develop ways to reduce the shortfalls. Mayor Taylor has asked Department  Heads to cooperate with them and to help come up with ways to reduce or eliminate expenses withing departments.

In a memo to department heads, Mayor Taylor wrote, "I may need to ask you to prepares 5%, 10% and 15% reduction scenarios in net budgets if additional budgetary issues surface."

Taylor said freezing of vacancies is a good place to start, and that alternatives are needed to avoid or minimize employee layoffs.

A quick update on the Franklin Little League story

I received a lengthy, thoughtful e-mail today from a source close to the Franklin Little League story who sides with the Little League. However, in the long e-mail, this individual tells me Devin Baehr was nominated for All-Star consideration. The e-mailer then writes, “I can not begin to guess as to why Devin did not receive a single vote.”

Not a single vote? You can’t tell me there’s nothing fishy about this.

In my original blog, I wrote that the Rockies were 0-4 since Devin Baehr left the team. They are actually 1-3 since Devin's departure and I apologize for the error.

Devin's father denies he used profanity in a discussion with Franklin LIttle League officials and denies he refused to shake hands with one of them, as were the allegations made by a Franklin Little League Board member on my blog. Unfortunately, there has been a lot of he said/he said that has emerged during this story.

I have also received a handful of e-mails suggesting that I have a personal relationship with the Baehr’s. I’ve never met them, seen them, or heard of them until recently. They are not my neighbors. The only contact I’ve had with father and son is one brief phone conversation.

Charlie Sykes discusses the Franklin Little League controversy

WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes discussed the Franklin Little League story on his program today from shortly after 10:00 until about 11:30.

You can hear the first hour here that begins a few minutes into the podcast.

You can hear the continuation of the program

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

Back in March, I blogged about the ridiculous strip search of a 13-year old girl by idiotic school officials in Arizona who were in desperate search of ibuprofen. I wrote:

“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.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled. My only question is, what took them so long?

The school employees who humiliated little Savana Redding, if they’re still employed which is a good bet these days, should be terminated.

The updated story…

Check out this ad against cap and trade legislation

Read more

Nice job, Janet

This week, I took the Franklin School Board to task for its silence thus far on the Franklin school budget and its inaction on cost-saving measures. I was critical of board member Janet Evans. She has two blogs, one geared especially to what’s happening with the school board. It has been lacking, in my view of hard news, which is a departure from the Janet Evans of blogging past.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that following Wednesday night’s school board meeting, Janet immediately posted a comprehensive account of what happened.

She reported that the board unanimously voted in favor of a salary freeze for Administrators and other school district employees. Don’t get me wrong, that was the right call. But it’s much too little, far too late. This school board, minus Janet Evans and Diane Bialk is responsible for previous votes handing over the bank to the Franklin School District in the form of big increases in salary and benefits. They’ve already got their big, fat pots of gold.  Note to you taxpayers: SUCKERS!!!

Again, this notion of a freeze sure sounds nice, but as Janet conveyed in her blog, it amounts to a paltry savings of $74,000. In the big scheme of things, that’s nothing. There are other measures the school district can and should take: furloughs, shorter work weeks, budget cuts.

The board also considered an expensive fiber optic cable purchase. The price tag is $875,000. The vote in favor of the purchase was 6-1 with Janet Evans being the lone no vote. She made the right move.

Then there was the question about a 3.8% school property tax levy increase. Keep in mind that this school board wants to jack up spending by over $1.14 million as I reported on my blog. To pay for that whopping increase during this recession, the board is eyeing a nearly 4% tax increase. Tell me, dear fellow taxpayer…..did you get a 4% raise this year? No, you say? Another indication how out of touch this school district administration and school board truly are.

Janet writes in her blog, “Tonight Linda Witkowski and I made an argument against a 3.8% Tax Levy.”

So that means there would be at least two votes against the 3.8% levy, right? Wrong!

Janet Evans was the only no vote, and again, this was the right move. I’m not sure what Linda Witkowski was thinking or smoking. You argue against a 3.8% levy increase, then you vote for it?  I’m telling you, this board is goofy.

And this is really scary, Franklin taxpayers. Janet writes about NEXT YEAR’S SCHOOL BUDGET, “Most likely there will be a much higher tax levy.”

Are you kidding me?? This tax-happy bunch hasn’t come close to figuring out this year’s budget and they’re already salivating about A BIGGER TAX INCREASE NEXT YEAR???!!!!

There was no FranklinNOW reporter in the audience. That’s because 19 of the CommunityNOW reporters were recently let go. Are you paying attention, Franklin school board members? We are in a recession. People are losing their jobs and you keep jacking up their taxes. How do you expect them to pay them? You either don't know or don't care.

The absence of FranklinNOW reporters at these meetings allows these modern day Jesse James’ to try to get away with any effort to screw the taxpayers. That’s why it’s important that Janet Evans who has a blog uses it effectively to keep us informed on the big issues. Then she has to vote the right way.

She did both last night and I commend her.

Jenny Sanford, wife of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford...

She's no Mrs. John Edwards, or Mrs. Eliot Spitzer, or Mrs. Larry Craig, or Hillary Clinton, or Susan Mudd...

Watch InterCHANGE Friday night

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


Will the election dispute in Iran, and the alleged nuclear weapon carrying ship from North Korea test what kind of president Barack Obama really is?  Is he tough enough to do something, or smart enough not to do anything?  Are Iran and North Korea pushing the envelope, just to see what how Obama will react? 


Local control of Milwaukee’s Midwest Airlines is coming to an end after 25 years.  Do you expect travelers will notice much of a difference?  Will Milwaukee eventually lose the community support that Midwest always came through with?  Losing Midwest might hurt our pride, but will it hurt our airport?


The 42nd annual Summerfest kicks into gear.  Is it still a great festival?  Is it still fun?  Is it stiff affordable?  Is it for all of Milwaukee, or just young white people?  Should they tinker with the formula, or leave everything the way it is?  Is there any difference between Summerfest under Don Smiley and the Summerfest under Bo Black?


As we told you in The Barking Lot last Saturday....

Friday is Take your Dog to Work Day.

For some, that day is everyday.

If the government takes over health care...


Wisconsin was truly a getaway for gangsters

Read more in the NY Times.

"Public Enemies"
opens next week.

Don't forget this Franklin festival...

This weekend...

West Allis blogger tells Franklin (and rightly so) to wake up!

Oh, man this is good.

Over on WestAllisNOW, Michael James, a fine, upstanding citizen gives the other fine, upstanding citizens in Franklin and Oak Creek some great advice.  He warns that we're about to be steamrollered.....with roundabouts.

James has cut through all the brochures and pamphlets and spin from the crowd that wants fewer cars on the roads. I've seen it and heard it all, too, having sat in more than one meeting with Department of Transportation folks who worship at the altar of roundabouts. Yada, yada, yada.

Amidst all the roundabout PR, James raises his hand and says, "Excuse me, but, really, is all this really necessary?"

Amen, brother Michael!

To my knowledge, there isn't a groundswell of support from people demanding an avalanche of roundabouts. And yet, they're being shoved down our throats, not just one or two, but tons of those suckers!

The pro-roundabout bunch says if you oppose them, you're just afraid (of change) or just too stupid. How analytically clever.

And here's my favorite: Well, gee, they work just fine in places like Brussels.

Yeh, and I think they've got light rail in Portland, too, but I don't that anywhere near here.

Michael James has touched a nerve. Hey, Michael, I'm awake. I don't want a roundabout every few blocks on ultra-busy S. 27th Street. Can you imagine the accidents and the traffic backups?

Read his blog.

It's the first full weekend of summer

This Just In celebrates with our regular hot weekend features starting this evening with our Goodnight Friday musically themed smooth segue into Saturday and Sunday.


A Summerfest headliner in a way you may have never seen them before.

Wake up Saturday with The Barking Lot, complete with the dog-walking forecast, DOGS IN THE NEWS, and our lead story updates a news item from last summer involving two dogs shot to death by sheriff's deputies.

Our weekly week in review, Week-ends is anything but weak.

What's this guy's story?

Michael Corcoran and daughters

Also Saturday, enough Recommended Reading to keep you busy for awhile.

Sunday, Photos of the Week, the MJS Scorecard, My Most Popular Blogs, and what could be my most controversial culinary no-no ever.

Yes, it's summer. You've got things to do. I invite you to spend some time here as well.

Goodnight everyone, and have a toddlin' weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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


Chicago the band


Read more

Is Governor Doyle really leaving? Maybe

Rumors are fast and furious that Governor Doyle, after he signs the worst budget in Wisconsin history into law will leave to become the Director of the Peace Corps.
I heard this from an extremely reliable source.

That would put lightweight, powderpuff Barbara Lawton in charge.

Do I hear Governor Walker?

*NEWS BULLETIN: Obama caught in tawdry love affair*

Political Cartoon by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoon by Glenn McCoy

The Mark Sanford story just gets sillier and sillier

He kept asking his wife permission to see his mistress?

You can't make this stuff up.


The Barking Lot (06/27/09)

The Barking Lot

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

We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors. 

TODAY:  Slight chance of a thunderstorm. High of 79.  "A"

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 82. "A"


Our main blog this week updates a story we first reported on The Barking Lot last summer. This, to me, is a perfect talk radio topic. Pay close attention to the details and gather it all to form your opinion for the question I will pose.

Berwyn Heights, Maryland is a town of about 3,000, or less than one-tenth the size of Franklin, Wisconsin.

On July 29, 2008, members of a SWAT team were parked in unmarked black vans down the street from the town mayor, Cheye Calvo. They sat, and waited, and waited, ready to pounce.

Calvo works part-time as the mayor and also as director of expansion for the SEED Foundation, a group that operates public boarding schools. His wife (are you soaking in the details) is a finance officer for the state.

Calvo walked his dogs upon returning home early, saw the vehicles and assumed there was a party in the neighborhood.

Why were the authorities keeping a bead on the Calvo residence? A package containing 32 pounds of drugs had been delivered to the front door by undercover officers. A police dog at a shipping facility in Arizona sniffed the package that was identified as marijuana. So the SWAT team waited for someone to answer the door and accept the goods.

Calvo’s live-in mother-in law answered the door, but told the delivery person to place it on a table on the porch.

The SWAT team continues its vigil until Calvo arrives home and takes the package inside. Calvo would later say he brought the big package that was addressed to his wife into the house because he thought it was something for his garden.

He begins to change clothes when he hears a scream. It’s his mother-in-law. Calvo looks out a window to see SWAT team members in full gear running onto his property.

The raid was on.

"I heard a loud crash and then 'bang, bang, bang,' "Calvo said. “I hit the floor."

Calvo said the SWAT team shot his 7-year-old black Labrador retriever, Payton, near the front door and then his 4-year-old dog, Chase, also a black Lab, as the dog ran into a back room.

Read more

Week-ends (06/27/09)


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...


Cynthia Orel

Michael Corcoran

Deante Walker and Japlin Cureton

Luis Romero

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel continues its great series about World War II veterans.

Hector Henry........the video.

Al Roker

Mississippi mom

Michele Bachmann


President Obama

Michael Miller

Kamala Harris

8 Republicans

Mark Sanford

George Stephanopoulos



Kimberley Vlaminck

State Representative Gary Sherman

Perez Hilton


“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife.  I developed a relationship with what started out with a dear dear friend from Argentina.”
SC Governor Mark Sanford

The e-mails between SC Governor Mark Sanford and his mistress.

"I think he is toast politically.

And resigning from the Republican Governors' Association chairmanship is not going to do it, and the reason is that there is a dereliction of duty here. I know there's the titillation of the reason for [his disappearance], but even apart from that, he is the governor of the state.

The governor of the state is chief executive, and if there is a disaster in the state, and this guy is incommunicado, he is nowhere to be seen and he doesn't transfer authority to his lieutenant governor who calls out the National Guard, you cannot recover from that. I think he doesn't last a week in the office of governor.

And the idea that he could actually have an affair in Argentina as an acting governor is sort of insane. If you go to Argentina, you have to have your passport stamped. You can't hide it.

I don't want to play psychiatrist on the show every night. However, the oddity of this and the self-destructiveness would suggest even to a layman that this is a near-intentional political suicide."
Conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer on Sanford.

"Could you say 'senator' instead of 'ma'am?"
U.S.Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) interrupting a general at a Capitol Hill hearing.

Democrats David Obey of Wisconsin and Maxine Waters of California get into noisy floor flight.

“This is the deepest, darkest budget I have ever seen negotiated in this building.”
Senate GOP Leader Scott Fitzgerald.

“As a legislator, I'm not going to change laws just because someone says they're going to do it anyway.”
State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) on his opposition to the driver's license provision for illegal immigrants in the state budget.

When the economy soured, some politicians in Madison were concerned only with how to raise enough tax revenue to fund their spending addiction.”
State Representative Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), announcing her candidacy against State Senator Jim Sullivan.

“It looks like I will be running against one of Wisconsin’s most extreme and divisive politicians once again.”
Sullivan (D-Wauwatosa), on Vukmir. Sullivan defeated conservative Republican Tom Reynolds of West Allis in his first run for Senate in 2006.

“It's like my 7-year-old daughter's lemonade stand competing with McDonald's. There is no way it's a level playing field.”
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), criticizing Democrat claims that a public option in their health care reform bill would complement private insurance.


The state Legislature, controlled by Democrats, has already this legislative session that began in January approved $5 billion in tax increases.


The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District says heavy rains caused 935.7 million gallons of sewage and storm water from combined sewers to be dumped into area waterways.

Reaction from enviros:



The death of Michael Jackson. Sorry, the guy wasn't Elvis or Sinatra. Plus, there's all that, well, you know, other stuff...


Hospital mix-up

Chips for sex

Embarrassed firefighters

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.

Jacko and RR

From last month's Harper's Magazine...

FILE-this May 14, 1984 file photo shows Michael Jackson standing with President and Nancy Reagan on the south lawn of the White House prior to receiving an award from the president for his contribution to the drunk driving awareness program.

AP photo, May 14, 1984

Recommended reading (06/27/09)

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).

Sex Americana

"For all the talk of yet another politician dragged down by an uncontrollable libido, it may well be the sheer strangeness of Mr. Sanford’s behavior, rather than his original sin, that will do him the most political harm."

Please cry for me, South Carolina

"Yes, I know, shocking. Another Republican affair. Next thing you know, we'll learn that a Democrat hasn't paid his taxes."

Governor Mark Sanford and liberal hypocrisy

"Oh sure, we hear the usual liberal talking point about how Republicans stand for 'family values.' And how ALL Republicans are now hypocrites because a handful of Republican leaders cannot behave.  Yet, even though that statement is false, one could look at that statement in a different way.  What do Democratic politicians stand for?  Anything?  Do they have any values?  If they don't, then I guess it is OK for them to absolve and forgive all the Democratic politicians like the Kennedy's, Clintons,' etc. for their reprehensible and illegal behaviors."

More about the McBride affair

"I neglected to demand from McBride all of the e-mails between her and Flynn. I have now done that and was taken aback at what I received." 

Are the uninsured really 'victims'?

According to a new study from the Employment Policy Institute, authored by two economists from City University of New York (one, June O'Neill, spent four years as head of the Congressional Budget Office), 43 percent of the 47 million can afford insurance and choose not to purchase it."

Throw the bums out

"I'm not exaggerating here. Doesn't it make sense that before enacting legislation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the purpose of reducing man-made global warming, Congress would investigate whether significant man-made global warming is occurring (as opposed to watching Al Gore's propaganda film and simply declaring, by fiat, that scientists have reached a consensus on the issue when they clearly have not)?"

The most dangerous credit card

"Enough is enough.  A trillion dollars here, a trillion there -- doesn’t this new Democratic Congress understand there is no 'free money'?"

Cultivating gratitude

“Recently I was with a friend whose oldest son, having just completed his junior year, is home from college. The young man has not yet found a summer job and, much to my friend’s chagrin, has been spending significant hours of the day just hanging around the house. ‘Why don’t you get a job waiting tables?’ my friend asked the boy. ‘Dad, those jobs suck,’ was the reply. The conclusion my friend drew: his son considers some jobs beneath his dignity. Ultimately, my friend was concerned that his son was profoundly ungrateful or at least acting in a way that does not reflect a grateful disposition. What, if anything, can parents do to help cultivate this virtue?”

700 NYC teachers paid to do nothing

"Hundreds of New York City public school teachers accused of offenses ranging from insubordination to sexual misconduct are being paid their full salaries to sit around all day playing Scrabble, surfing the Internet or just staring at the wall, if that's what they want to do."

The man who would be God

A while back, I heard Obama bragging about his first few months in the White House. When he claimed he had done as much in that period as any president in history, my initial thought was that for the first time in his life he was being modest. Frankly, I think he’s done more, much more, and I only wish that some of it had been good for America."

We need fathers to step up (by Barack Obama)

"We need fathers to step up, to realize that their job does not end at conception; that what makes you a man is not the ability to have a child but the courage to raise one. As fathers, we need to be involved in our children’s lives not just when it’s convenient or easy, and not just when they’re doing well—but when it’s difficult and thankless, and they’re struggling. That is when they need us most."

Obama tosses kids a fraud for Father's Day

'Why was a lowlife like Miami Heat (and former Marquette University) superstar Dwayne Wade invited to participate in these Father’s Day celebrations?  And how could the President expect young black men to take his message of personal responsibility seriously when he sends Dwayne Wade into their midst parading around as a role model for young people?  Is the President so enamored with the rich and famous that he would turn his Father’s Day events into a meaningless shame just so he can shoot the breeze with the NBA superstar?"

I think the Michael Jackson stuff can stop now

On my Week-ends blog today, my OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK is the death of Michael Jackson.

That's not to say Jackson's passing isn't news. It is, and awfully big.

But as I mentioned on InterCHANGE Friday night, Jackson couldn't sell records or concert tickets the past 15 years. Real icons were producing quality stuff right up until they met their maker.

Tim Rutten writes in today's LA Times that the obits on Jacko might have been a bit much:

"On cable TV and on newspaper websites, it was all Michael, all the time. So, how did a pop singer heavily in debt and desperately hoping for a comeback, one who hadn't really sold any music for years, one who was best known for his bizarre life, obsession with cosmetic surgery and for the allegations of pedophilia against him, become in death the most beloved media figure since JFK?"


And another voice heard from...

Why Milwaukee needs a County Executive like Scott Walker

Because the Milwaukee County Board is stacked with tax and spenders like Supervisor Patricia Jursik.

In Sunday’s Crossroads section in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel, Jursik writes a piece opposing the demolition of the Hoan Bridge.

Read this bit of wisdom from Jursik that includes a call for a tax increase, toll roads, and insults to senior retirees all in the same argument:

“Our South Shore communities have experienced billions of dollars of development since the Hoan Bridge was built. I have received from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission a footprint for the extension of the 794 freeway to Ryan Road and am now calling on the Department of Transportation to discontinue studies on demolition of the bridge and instead begin to fund the completion of this South Shore asset.

If the state wants to know where it can get funds to pay for the re-decking of the bridge and the extension of the 794 freeway, it can come from a toll road from the Wisconsin/Illinois state line to the county line. My constituents understand the need to collect money from snowbirds who earned their pensions here but no longer pay state taxes and only return to enjoy our parks and festivals. Many of these individuals visit Milwaukee County from places that already charge tolls to tourists from Wisconsin.”

No clue.

House Democrats and their "moment of silence"

As the House of Representatives debated the cap and trade bill that would impose the largest tax increase in the history of America, House Democrats interrupted discussion on the monumental legislation for other priorities.....


Read more

My most popular blogs (06/28/09)

Most popular

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

1) Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League

2) UPDATE: Franklin All-Star snub is perfect example of what's wrong with Little League

3) Charlie Sykes discusses the Franklin Little League controversy

4) A quick update on the Franklin Little League story

5) I wish the Franklin School Board could be more like the one in New Berlin

Photos of the Week (06/28/09)

Photos of the Week

A woman holds a picture showing a woman Neda Agha Soltan lying in a Tehran street moments before she died, during a demonstration outside of Iranian embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, Tuesday, June 23, 2009, to protest against the outcome of the Presidential elections and post election violence in Iran. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)


U.S. Marines from the 2nd MEB, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines fire mortars at Taliban positions from inside their base at Now Zad in Afghanistan's Helmand province on Monday June 22, 2009. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

South Korean kindergartners stand under a monument memorializing the Korean War at the Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, June 24, 2009. South Korea will commemorate its Korean War Day on June 25, to mark the 59th anniversary of the 1950-1953 war and to honor those killed. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

An officer puts a stamp on the arms of candidates during Indian Army's recruitment rally in Allahabad, India, Friday, June 26, 2009. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford enters the State House to explain his six-day absence to members of the news media in Columbia, SC on Wed. June 24, 2009. Staffers said the governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail but The State Media Co. reported he spent time in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Photo by TIM DOMINICK/ The State

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford speaks during a press conference at the State Capitol June 24, 2009 in Columbia, South Carolina. Sanford admitted to having an extramarital affair after returning from a secret trip to visit a woman in Argentina and said that he would resign as head of the Republican Governors Association. (Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images)


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Obama so far

From a colleague who correctly told me, “this sums it up.”

Observations on the President's early days:

 1.  Offended the Queen of England.

 2.  Bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia.

 3.  Praised the Marxist Daniel Ortega.

 4.  Kissed Hugo Chavez on the cheek.

 5.  Endorsed the Socialist Evo Morales of Bolivia .

 6.  Announced we would meet with Iranians with no pre-conditions.

 7.  Gave away billions to AIG also without pre-conditions.

 8.  Expanded the bailouts.

 9.  Insulted everyone who has ever loved a Special Olympian.

10.  Doubled our national debt.

11.  Announced a termination of the space defense system the day

      after the North Koreans launched an ICBM.

12.  Despite the urgings of his own CIA director and the prior 4
      CIA directors, released information on intelligence gathering.

13.  Accepted without public comment the fact that five of his

      cabinet members cheated on their taxes and two others withdrew

      after they couldn't take the heat.

14.  Appointed a Homeland Security Chief who quickly identified as

      "dangers to the nation", groups including veterans of the

       military, and opponents to abortion on demand, and who ordered that

       the word "terrorism" no longer be used but instead referred to

       such acts as "man made disasters."

15.  Circled the globe so he could openly apologize for America 's


16.  Told the Mexican President that the violence in their

       country was because of us.

17.  Politicized the census by moving it into the White House

       from its Department of Commerce origins.

18.  Appointed as Attorney General the man who orchestrated the

       forced removal and expulsion from America to Cuba of a nine-year

       old whose mother died trying to bring him to a life of freedom in the

       United States.

19.  Salutes as heroes three Navy SEALS who took down three

       terrorists who threatened one American life and the next day announces

       Members of the Bush administration will likely stand trial for

       "torturing" a terrorist who had played a part in killing 3000 Americans by 
        pouring water up their nose.

20.  Air Force One over New York City.

21.  Sent his National Defense Advisor to Europe to assure Europe

       that the US will no longer treat Israel in a special manner and they

       might be on their own with the Muslims.

22.  Began the process of nationalizing the auto industry and the

      insurance industry.

23.  Announced that for intents and purposes the health insurance

      industry will be nationalized.

So, how many people were shot and killed Wild West style?

Using the flawed (as usual) logic of the left, the scenario in Louisville Saturday was just begging for mass carnage and bloodshed.

Approximately 200 people attended a Louisville church where the pastor allowed worshippers to openly carry weapons. Obviously, this was an invitation to disaster because, as the left is always telling us, the 2nd Amendment be damned; everyone will just start shooting each other.

The pastor did lay down the rule that there could be no bullets. But that wouldn't stop people, would it?

So, how did things go?

The MJS Scorecard (06/28/09)

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.


Sotomayor and limits | Ed Fallone: Sotomayor and limits A craftsmanlike interpreter of law 

Ralph Hollmon: Government should offer jobs 

Patricia Jursik: Keep and improve connection 


Why does she revel in 'indefinite' law?

Sarah J. Worthman: A driver's license to validate the earlier breaking of laws 

Another View:  Cap-and-trade legislation will be costly for consumers


Dale Kooyenga: The one picture on the wall was of your 'free' money 


TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-54, Conservative-51

EPA suppresses report critical of global warming

This is not surprising.

Declan McCullagh of CBS News has learned that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) put the kibosh on a lengthy report critical of globing warming. McCullough writes:

“The Environmental Protection Agency may have suppressed an internal report that was skeptical of claims about global warming, including whether carbon dioxide must be strictly regulated by the federal government, according to a series of newly disclosed e-mail messages.

Less than two weeks before the agency formally submitted its pro-regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty "decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data."

Read more

The first Independence Day controversy of 2009

It's Juan Castillo Day.

Culinary no-no #119

Culinary no-no's

I've been wanting to do this particular no-no about 150 no-nos ago but it always got put on that back burner. A few months ago, I was reminded and inspired by a Paris-based writer for the LA Times, and this could be one of the most controversial no-no's I've ever written.

In this land of ours that celebrates another birthday next week, there are just some things that are sacred you don't mess with:



Read more

What a quote...

“It must be nice to live in la-la-land where trees are made of chocolate, where cigarettes fall from heaven, where you can print trillions of dollars and idiots approve it, where your administration can Pac Man the private sector, tax the crap out of our people, rob their health care, hard sell us bogus energy bills, while gutting the constitution—a place where you get to be the leader of the most powerful place on the planet simply because you can read a mean teleprompter.”

That can only mean, it's Doug Giles time!

When it comes to NBA cities..

Players aren't exactly crazy about coming here.

SI ranks the teams on how attractive they are to free agents.

We're 4th worst in the NBA.

A very sad day for Milwaukee County liberals

They’ve got to be in total anguish, sobbing in front of their Jim Doyle shrines.

How could the big tax and spender do this to them?

They thought this one was in the bag.

Deliriously happy the night of November 4, 2008, Milwaukee County liberals were celebrating what they believed would be another tax increase after Milwaukee county voters narrowly approved a 1% sales tax increase referendum.

The chairs were set up in their favor. They controlled the Assembly. They controlled the Senate. Get all those other tax and spenders to go along and Hallelujah, the final step is big Madison liberal taxer Jim Doyle.  

He couldn’t possibly let them down. Yahoooooooooo! More taxes!!

Ahhh, but you can’t always soak everyone when you want.

After all those closed-door secret meetings, Democrats in the Legislature eventually knocked the county sales tax increase down to .65%. Not as big an increase as the tax crowd was salivating for, but it was still an increase.

For a brief moment today, Jim Doyle appeared to have experienced common sensinitis. He vetoed, for the wrong reasons, the sales tax hike. He said new revenues (code verbiage for tax increases) should fund regional transit (i.e. exorbitant trains no one will ride), not local transit systems.

That sound you hear are tax-loving liberals in Milwaukee County screaming in agony, wailing and gnashing teeth, collectively crumbling into the fetal position.

Remember what the advocates for this big increase in the Milwaukee County sales tax were saying as they campaigned for yet another tax boost. I know this because I attended several of their hand-wringing meetings.

County parks will disappear.

The transit system will be decimated.

Milwaukee County’s quality of life will be like Biloxi.

People won’t die, but close.

Of course, none of this will occur, just like not a penny of that sales tax increase would ever have gone towards property tax relief.

Don’t feel bad, Milwaukee County liberals. There are still billions of dollars in tax increases in that budget Diamond Jim signed today.

Finally, this is vindication for the 6 Milwaukee County Board Supervisors who made the correct vote against putting the sales tax referendum on the November 2008 ballot. Congratulations to them:

Mark Borkowski

Paul Cesarz

Joe Rice

Lynn DeBruin

Joe Sanfelippo

James "Luigi" Schmitt

UPDATE: Milwaukee County Democrats blast Doyle

Get ready, Wisconsin for big property tax increases

Today, Governor Doyle signed the biennial state budget into law that eliminates the Qualified Economic Offer (QEO) that helped keep property taxes down for over 15 years. Without the QEO, property taxes would have been much worse than they are. The QEO stipulated that local school districts could avoid binding arbitration with unionized teachers if the school districts offered an increase in salary and benefits of at least 3.8 percent.

As the Tomah Journal editorialized late last year, “The QEO operates as both a cap AND a floor for teachers salaries. There are many private-sector workers in Wisconsin who can only dream of a mechanism that guarantees a 3.8 percent annual compensation hike. If teachers start getting raises of 5, 6 or 7 percent instead of 3.8 percent, the money must come from somewhere.”

The QEO now disappears immediately.

The money to pay teachers increased salaries and benefits has to come from somewhere. Guess who, taxpayers???

Another option would be to chop teacher positions. But does anyone actually believe school boards will even go there? I don’t.

It’s much easier to take the lazy way out and jack up school taxes. My school district will almost certainly do that because it hasn’t met a big tax hike it doesn’t like. The heavy taxers dominate the Franklin school board.

Keep in mind no one other than the whiny teacher’s union was clamoring for an end to the QEO.

And think about this. At a time when taxpayers working in the private sector are taking pay  and benefit cuts, even pink slips, the moaning and groaning teachers are crying that a 3.8 percent increase in salaries and benefits every year just isn’t good enough.

Did you get a 3.8 percent raise last year? This year?

Elections matter. Last November when Democrats took over everything, the path was cleared for them to tax and tax and tax and tax. You will pay for it on your next property tax bill, no matter where you live.

Government controlling your car isn't cool

All the really cool ideas start in California and work their way east.

All the really bad ideas start in California and work their way east.

The Golden State wants to get rid of those nasty greenhouse gases and will do anything to do so. Hmmmm. How about we regulate the kind of paint put on cars? The plan earlier this year was hatched to mandate a specific type of paint to reflect the sun’s rays and cool off cars. The requirement for all California cars to be “cool” would be in place by 2016. Not only would the paint be mandated but so would smaller, less effective air conditioners.

The rule never took effect. So it was back to the blackboard of bad business.

The emphasis is no longer on the paint. It’s on the glass. The latest brainchild would require solar-reflective glass, the kind that now is exclusively reserved for automobiles of the rich and famous.

Patrick Bedard who writes for Car and Driver Magazine calls it, “rich-guy technology to save on air conditioning.”

If it happens in California, it’ll find its way across the land, meaning much more expensive cars. And then what?

As Bedard writes, “What’s next in the micromanagement of our lives—a white-tuxedo law?”

Read Bedard's column from the July issue of Car and Driver

"You might have a much bigger story here"

I continue to receive reaction to my blogs about the Franklin Little League.  The above headline came from an interesting e-mail sent to me from Mike in Michigan:

"My son also pitched to a 6-0 record for a team that ran away with the championship at 17-1. He also batted .428 with one HR and didn’t make his All Star team. In fact, only one kid from his team made it.  The two All Star coaches, whose teams combined for 20 losses, have their players filling half the slots.  

I think you’ll find this story of politics and 'inside baseball' to be very common."

I wouldn't doubt that.  The Little League is a terrific organization. It's a shame politics played by some parents have to spoil things.

Watch for some final thoughts on the Franklin Little League situation soon on This Just In.

Is it a miracle?

The last serious talk about a new saint circulated a few years ago with the name of Gwen Coniker.

Coniker is a great story. So is the one about Mary Ellen Heibl and Francis X. Seelos.

Read the
amazing details.

Those Asians, they're just so dull

In a recent essay, Ward Connerly, president of the American Civil Rights Institute and a former Regent of the University of California writes:

“It is time to confront the not-so-subtle hand of discrimination against Asians that masquerades as ‘building diversity’ at many elite college campuses.”

Connerly relates the following anecdote:

“About five years ago, shortly before my term ended as a Regent of the University of California (UC), I was having a casual conversation with a very high-ranking UC administrator about a proposal that he was developing to increase ‘diversity’ at UC in a manner that would comply with the dictates of California's Constitution and the prohibition against race, gender and ethnic preferences.

As I listened to his proposal, I asked him why he considered it important to tinker with admissions instead of just letting the chips fall where they may. In an unguarded moment, he told me that unless the university took steps to ‘guide’ admissions decisions, UC would be dominated by Asians. When I asked, ‘What would be wrong with that?’ I got an answer that speaks volumes about the underlying philosophy at many universities with regard to Asian enrollment.

The UC administrator told me that Asians are ‘too dull - they study, study, study.’ He then said, ‘If you ever say I said this, I will have to deny it’."

You can read Connerly's essay, “Study, Study, Study- A Bad Career Move,” here.

Connerly calls the current concept of diversity that permeates university and college campuses, “arrogant.”

Conservative columnist Walter Williams calls liberals who profess to this arrogant diversity policy, “vicious” and points out the complete lack of diversity in professional and college basketball.

We have lost common sense when we fail to recognize and even penalize hard work and achievement and reward laziness. This is the accepted practice at too many places of higher learning.

An academic friend of mine told me he thinks young people today would be wise to go to a technical college and learn a profitable skill.  That way they would be saved from communicable leftist ideology.

And arrogant and vicious diversity.

Sotomayor disappoints, Sowell does not

Thomas Sowell, quite simply, is a brilliant columnist. He rarely, if ever disappoints.

His latest piece opens with a powerful one-two punch of stark reality and a pointed question:

“For the fourth time in six cases, the Supreme Court of the United States has reversed a decision for which Judge Sonia Sotomayor voted on the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. If this nominee were a white male, would this not raise questions about whether he should be elevated to a court that has found his previous decisions wrong two-thirds of the times when those decisions have been reviewed?”

Sowell writes that the nominee has not proven she belongs on the highest court in the land.

Great stuff, as usual.

Thou shalt do what's right, after you are paid

Here’s a disturbing trend. It seems that in order for some folks to do what's appropriate that normally would be done subconsciously and matter-of-factly, there needs to be an incentive.

Almost two years ago, I blogged:

“It has come to this.

In order to entice citizens to do their duty, to do what’s morally right or appropriate, they need to be paid off.”

In an ideal world, all girls would know the perils of getting pregnant too young or out of wedlock. In today’s world, they need to have their palms greased.

A program in North Carolina pays girls not to get pregnant.

Sound commendable? Sounds sad to me. Is this what it takes?

Here’s more on
the program.

Franklin loses a Sendik's

blogger John Michlig broke the news Monday that Sendik’s on Highway 100 would be closing and would re-open as a Pick ‘n’ Save.

Monday night, I contacted a relative of mine who works at a Pick ‘n’ Save to try to learn more. I was told Pick ‘n’ Save employees have heard the rumors for weeks that Sendik’s was going to close, but they had heard nothing about Pick ‘n’ Save taking over.

Very, very  early this morning, my relative called me to tell me a higher-up confirmed Pick ‘n’ Save was moving into the Sendik’s facility and that no Pick ‘n’ Save outlets in Franklin would close.

I am very surprised and saddened by this news.

I have patronized both Sendik’s stores in Franklin. I found them both to be of high quality. For many reasons, I found the Sendik’s experience at 51st and Rawson to be more pleasurable. I never dreamed the Sendik’s on Highway 100 would fold up, that it would always tough it out. That’s been the successful pattern of Sendik’s, a model for high quality and achievement. I respect the owners' decision to close.

So what happened?

Was the Sendik’s at Highway 100 too close to the one at 51st and Rawson? No, that’s a foolish theory.

Was the Sendik’s at 51st and Rawson so far superior to the one that is about to close? I don’t think so, though I could make a case as to why one had advantages over the other, including opening earlier.

Was it the economy?

Maybe. That’s an obvious, convenient answer.

The true answer is one that far too many just don’t understand. The market decided. It had nothing to do with the cuts of beef, pedestrian access (Gimme a break), ripples in the parking lot, or number of bike paths. The market (consumers) made its voice heard.

This is sad news. Sendik’s opened with great splash (I was there) and great promise. No other community had two Sendik’s stores.

Some will lose their jobs. Franklin loses a top-notch tenant.

However, there is no blight of an empty building for months to come. Pick ‘n’ Save ain’t chopped liver. Unlike some developments that never were, this property continues to operate and grow.

The owners of Pick ‘n’ Save are smart. Hopefully they will learn from what troubled Sendik’s.

A Pick ‘n’ Save insider says it would be wise to adopt a program where locals, i.e. the consumers across the street in that nice swanky subdivision, could call in their complete shopping orders for pick-up and have Pick ‘n’ Save comply.

Do it, Pick ‘n’ Save.

The fact is Franklin consumers still have top-shelf quality options to choose from. 

While we feel terrible about the loss of Sendik’s, we should feel good about the possibilities that await Franklin shoppers.

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