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

UPDATE: The Barking Lot (08/27/11)

The Barking Lot

Last Saturday’s Barking Lot included a must-see video account of the dog that grieved next to the coffin of its soldier owner. That might be the dog story of the year.

Here’s the latest about

UPDATE: Are kids in my Franklin neighborhood crooks?


First it was lemonade.

Now it’s…

UPDATE: Is honesty always the best policy?

We posed that question recently.

Here’s the update.


Important information from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm

Dear Residents:

Please distribute the break-in notice to help keep Franklin a safe

BURGLARY - Be sure to secure your home especially before going to bed.
Recently, I received two reports from our police department where break-ins
or entering through an unlocked door have taken place. These incidents
happened in the early morning hours when the residents were home sleeping.
Please make an extra effort to secure exterior doors, close and lock garage
doors and lower level windows and call the police immediately if you see or
hear any suspicious activity.

SEPTEMBER 6TH - Also, a reminder of the upcoming Council meeting Tuesday,
September 6 (after Labor Day). You may want to check your email again prior
to Tuesday. I will make every effort to notice you of items of interest
after I have a chance to read through the meeting packet. The agenda comes
out on Friday's around 5 pm. You can also view meeting agendas online by
clicking the calendar tab at or Click here for City
meetings calendar <>.

ST. MARTINS FAIR -St. Martins Fair takes place on St. Martins Road (County
Hwy. MM), from W. Forest Home Avenue to W. Church Street, the first Monday
of every month, weather permitting, and then Sunday and Monday of Labor Day
weekend. Fair vendors sell a wide assortment of merchandise, while music
groups provide entertainment throughout Labor Day weekend.

First Mondays of each month - 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sunday of Labor Day Weekend - 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Monday of Labor Day Weekend - 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.

I hope you are able to enjoy time with family and/or friends over the Labor
Day weekend.


"The changes are saving taxpayers millions"

WLUK investigates and finds Governor Walker's reforms are working.


Read more

Q. How many WI school superintendents have a higher salary than Gov. Walker?

A. A whole bunch.


Hope Unseen

Inspirational stories

Today in Kennewick, Washington, Scott Smiley, a Kennewick native signed copies of his book, “Hope Unseen” at a local Barnes & Noble.

Smiley is an Army veteran.

He served in Iraq.

A car bomber blew himself up in front of Smiley’s military vehicle in 2005.

Smiley is an Army first.

From CBS' "Sunday Morning" September of 2010:

"American combat operations in Iraq drew to a close this past week, seven years and five months after we first committed our forces to topple the government of Saddam Hussein. Operation Iraqi Freedom claimed more than 4,400 American lives and wounded another 32,000. Behind every one of those numbers is a story, and some of those stories are above and beyond . . . like the one our Tracy Smith will tell in our Cover Story."


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Franklin developer files for bankruptcy


The Milwaukee Business Journal is reporting that well-known, highly-regarded Franklin developer Mark Carstensen has filed for personal Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The newspaper notes Carstensen “has developed more than $100 million of commercial projects.” However, according to the paper, “Carstensen lists assets of $3.2 million and liabilities of $46.4 million, which mainly are from personal guarantees on real estate development loans.”

Carstensen is not alone. Other area developers who have filed for bankruptcy include Robert Patch, Jeff Klement, Scott Fergus and John Kuhn.

Read more

925 days

Goodnight everyone, and this weekend, don't over-exert

"The joy of music should never be interrupted by a commercial. "
-Leonard Bernstein

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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday….and this week, Monday.

Tonight, some work-related music to segue into the holiday weekend.

Let's get started...


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The best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

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The Barking Lot (09/03/11)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Tough forecasting today. Rain and there could be lots of it depending where you are. Scattered thunderstorms. Chance of rain is 50%. Normal high of 79, but it looks like a wet Saturday.  "C"  If you can avoid those storms, "A"

SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. High of 71. "C'

MONDAY: Partly cloudy. High of only 64, far below normal. Won't feel like Labor Day. A decent d dog-walking day, but unseasonably cool... "D"

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

Read more

2011 POO Awards - Week 3

Each week during this year’s high school football season, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1
Luck 73,
Birchwood 22

Week 2
Coleman 63,
Sevastopol 13

Week 3
Edgar 71,
Chequamegon 7

Edgar usually ends up on my list once a season. It led 59-0 at halftime of their blowout.

UPDATE: Green Bay columnist needs to "chill" about women, football, and underwear

Yes he does
and hopefully has done so by now because...

Lost in all the hoopla about the Brewers and Packers and Badgers was this: The Lingerie Football  League season is underway.

Bad news, though.

In the first game of the season played at the Resch Center this week, the Minnesota Valkyrie defeated the Green Bay Chill, 28-25.  I don't think many of the Chill fans were all that upset.

Week-ends (09/03/11)


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...


Marie Rose Abad

Doug MacMillan and his friend

Thomas Sephton

David Reichenberg

Branndin Phillips-Laramore

Michael Perry

Tom Lashinski

Robert Friscia

John Atzbach

The Kragthorpes

Oscar Pistorious

Jeremy Shockey

Emmanuel Marlow

Jon Simpson


Kimberly Garrity's adult children and their father

Michael Ray James and Tina Alberson

Minenetta Walker

Jill Green


“Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me ...hanging on a tree. Some of them right now in Congress are comfortable with where we were 50 and 60 years ago but it's a new day with a black President and a Congressional Black Caucus.”
Andre Carson

“All of us, especially Congressman Carson, Congresswoman Waters and others who have engaged in racially-motivated rhetoric, should follow the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., not the example of Reverend Jeremiah Wright.”
Allen West

“As reported here previously, African-Americans are hardly underrepresented in the U.S. government.

Though only 12 percent to 13 percent of the U.S. population, blacks hold 18 percent of all federal jobs. African-Americans are 25 percent of the employees at Treasury and Veterans Affairs, 31 percent of State Department employees, 37 percent of the Department of Education, 38 percent of Housing and Urban Development. They are 42 percent of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., 55 percent of the Government Printing Office, 82 percent of the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

According to The Washington Post, blacks hold 44 percent of the jobs at Fannie Mae and 50 percent of the jobs at Freddie Mac.

The EEOC, where African-Americans are overrepresented by 300 percent, has been asked to oversee the new ‘government-wide initiative to promote diversity and inclusion in the federal workforce.’
I'm not making this up.”

Pat Buchanan

‘I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
Michele Bachmann

“The liberal talking points have been established. Perry is dumb, Romney is weird and Bachmann is scary. Expect that to be repeated endlessly until one is established as the nominee, who will then inherit all three descriptions.”
You Too, Congress

“I have a home on South Carolina’s Atlantic Coast. I know that the Atlantic Ocean generates hurricanes, and they can be dangerous and unpredictable. That said, this too must be said: Florence Nightingale said, ‘Whatever else you can say about hospitals, they shouldn’t make their patients sicker.’ And whatever else you want to say about journalism, it shouldn’t subtract from the nation’s understanding and it certainly shouldn’t contribute to the manufacture of synthetic hysteria that is so much a part of modern life. And I think we may have done so with regard to this tropical storm as it now seems to be.”
George Will

"The City is a co-sponsor of the Labor Day parade event, because we provided the payment for the insurance premium for the event, and we agreed to erect a stage and provide city services at no cost to the Marathon County Central Labor Council.

The banning of a political party from participation at any event co-sponsored by the City is against public policy and not in the best interest of all the citizens of the City of Wausau. And therefore, we encourage the event organizer to invite all interested parties, or reimburse the city for other costs."
Wausau mayor Jim Tipple after the Labor Council announced it would refuse Republican elected officials to be in the Labor Day parade. The Council later reversed its decision.

"...unions didn't invent labor. Labor is something we do with our hands, brains and backs and can be successful without the aid of unions."
Swannie Tess of Brookfield in a letter to the editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

‘Disenfranchise is the word of the day and the context will be as to “deprive (someone) of the right to vote.” This argument is disingenuous on its face and an outright lie that is perpetuated by the same people that mindlessly parrot this canned spiel.

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Recommended Reading (09/04/11)

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).

Have Wisconsin unions jumped the shark?

“There’s an old TV saying given to the moment when viewers realize a series has peaked – it’s called ‘jumping the shark.’ It’s in reference to the fifth season of Happy Days, when the Fonz, is waterskiing – complete with leather jacket – and proceeds to jump over a shark. The scene was so outlandish and ridiculous, that viewers realized the show as creatively bankrupt. The popularity of the series declined from there.

We may have just witnessed the Wisconsin public employee unions’ shark jumping moment.”

Where does David Prosser go to get his reputation back?

“There are some people who need to apologize to Mr. Justice David Prosser now that he has been cleared and soon. They took a shallowly researched and preposterous allegation -- that Prosser held fellow justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold -- and ran to the guillotine with it.

Here is a list of people who should apologize for their rush to judgment. These named should be ashamed of their lynch mob mentality. Their judgment, blinded as it was by partisan fury, should forever be suspect. Their names must be synonyms for ignominy, the triumph of willful ignorance over patient fact-finding. They are practitioners of the dark arts of ‘by any means necessary.’

They put our democracy in a chokehold.”

Health care law: More insured, but...

"In a key finding, the report said the newly passed law will slice the number of uninsured (WI) residents by 340,000, or 65 percent, primarily because of government subsidies and the existence of an individual mandate that all residents must buy health insurance.

(That latter requirement has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court of appeals, it should be noted, and is now headed to the Supreme Court for disposition.)

But that's about all the good news the study contained."

Obama WAS trying to use speech one-upmanship as political ploy

“The American left and its handmaidens in the Old Media spent 24 hours desperately trying to spin Obama’s attempt to schedule a joint session of Congress on the same day as the GOP debate as an example of how the GOP is refusing to work with him. These leftists categorically deny that Obama was simply engaging in political brinkmanship, using his selection of Sept. 7 as a political ploy. But the very night that Obama was shot down by Speaker Boehner on the date he chose for his jobs address…”

Six ways Obama might win young voters in 2012

"What potent potion, pray tell, will he  concoct to get the 18- to 35-year-olds to actually get off their unemployed butts, leave their mommies’ basements, drive their chitty Chevy Volts to the polls, and wait for hours in a snaking line only to punch a ballot for four more years of this economic hell?

One tactic that might garner the youth’s vote for Obama would be for him to turn to Hollywood again. Do some celebrity stuff! Young people love them some Hollywood. Woo Hoo!  

For instance, howzabout the following considerations for 2012’s election, Mr. President?

1.    Show up to all the debates in an egg like Lady Gaga did for the 2011 Grammys. You could have four of your men—Biden, Geithner, Holder and Napolitano—carry you into each contest like an avian Cleopatra. The kiddos would love it."

What liberals fear more than Obama losing

"He cannot claim a single success.  His resume is a bibliography of failure.  His signature achievement, the dubious namesake ObamaCare, was designed by someone else.  Its central feature, the individual insurance mandate,  is destined to be overturned by the Supreme Court.

Read more

My Most Popular Blogs (09/04/11)

Most popular


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

1) Photos of the Week (08/28/11)

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My Most Popular Blogs (09/04/11)

Most popular

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

1) Photos of the Week (08/28/11)

2) DRAGNET: The case of the missing alderman from Franklin

Read more

Photos of the Week (09/04/11)

Photos of the Week

1) The top layer of blacktop on River Road lies peeled off due to flooding on the West Branch of the AuSable River, because of Hurricane Irene in Lake Placid, N.Y,. on Monday, Aug. 29. Photo: Mike Lynch / Adirondack Daily Enterprise via AP.

2) Billy Stinson, left, comforts his daughter, Erin Stinson, as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irene in Nags Head, N.C., on Aug. 28. The cottage, built in 1903, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. Stinson has owned the home, which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, since 1963. "We were pretending, just for a moment, that the cottage was still behind us and we were just sitting there watching the sunset," said Erin afterward. Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images. This is what the cottage looked like. Photo and related story from

3) Mavis Powers puts her hand on her forehead as she looks over the damage to her home in South Creek, N.C., Sunday, Aug. 28, 2011 after Hurricane Irene hit the North Carolina coast. The storm killed at least 18 people and left 4 million homes and businesses without power. It unloaded more than a foot of water on North Carolina and spun off tornadoes in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

4) A young couple from Germany rests on a cot as other passengers arrive at LaGuardia Airport on Aug. 29. The couple is scheduled to take a flight to Dallas on August 30. New York-area airports reopened on Monday as airlines gradually restored service after cancelling more than 11,000 flights. Photo:Toby Talbot / AP

5) Phillip Henry, left, of Morehead City, N.C., and Henderson Douglas, center, of Newport, N.C., wait in line for gas at a Shell Station on NC 24. By early afternoon on August 28, only two gas stations were reported to be pumping gas in the area. Supplies waned as residents looked to fuel their generators. Photo: Chris Carmichael

6) Norma Jack and Bobby Richards talk on the steps of her son's home in the Laurelton neighborhood of Queens on Sunday, Aug. 28. Both moved from the Caribbean 30 years ago and reunited while walking down the street after Hurricane Irene. "It's crazy how the storm can bring people together after 30 years," Richards said. They took time to catch up on life while watching crews removing a large tree that fell on a house across the street. "I praise God that we are all ok, but I would like the power to come back on," Jack said. Photo: Jonathan D. Woods /

7) This picture was taken in Puerto Rico shortly after Hurricane Irene ravaged the island of a shark swimming down the street next to a car. Photo:

An unidentified man hangs on to a branch in a rain swollen creek as he waits for rescuers in New City, N.Y., on Aug. 28. He and three others went tubing in the creek and had to be rescued by New City and Stony Point fire departments' water rescue teams. With the rains and wind of Tropical Storm Irene heading north, some people went out for recreation in the unusual conditions left in the storm's wake. Photo: Peter Carr / The Journal News via AP

9) A wildfire roars through dry trees near Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas, Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2011. Texas and Oklahoma are in the grips of a record-setting drought, and a summer of soaring temperatures and little rain has meant the wildfire season, which usually ends in spring, didn't end this year. Lm Otero / AP

10) The damaged antenna from the North Tower of the World Trade Center and newspaper front pages about the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks are seen in an exhibit at the Newseum in Washington, DC, on August 31, 2011. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

11) The shoes used in the failed attempt to blow up an airplane by shoe bomber Richard Reid are displayed alongside an FBI model of the shoe filled with explosives on August 31, 2011 as part of a new exhibit marking the tenth annivesary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, at the Newseum in Washington, DC.

12) A Libyan rebel fighter walks inside the house of Saif al-Islam, son of Libyan fugitive leader Moammar Gadhafi in Tripoli on Aug. 28. Normal life began returning to the Libyan capital Tripoli, almost a week after rebels swept into the city. Photo: Ciro Fusco / EPA

13) A Libyan rebel fighter sits in the sitting room of Moammar Gadhafi's private plane at the international airport in Tripoli, Aug. 28. The Arabic words translate as "Be thankful and we give you more". Photo: Zohra Bensemra / Reuters

14) Army Spc. David Ibarra embraces his daughter, Hailey Ibarra, 10, Friday, Sept. 2, 2011 in San Antonio, during a surprise homecoming at her school. Spc. Ibarra completed a one-year duty tour in Iraq and surprised his three children while they were at school. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Lisa Krantz)

15) Supporters of the New Berlin School Board applaud Monday during a meeting that attracted hundreds as the board voted on a new handbook. Journal Sentinel photo: Gary Porter

16) Firefighters and rescuers stand near a Cessna sport plane in the city of Stockstadt am Main, Germany, on Aug. 28. The pilot of the private plane clipped the side of a house and a lamppost while guiding his Cessna into an emergency landing on a 16-foot wide residential street in western Germany. Police in Stockstadt am Main say no residents were injured and the 47-year-old pilot and his co-pilot suffered minor injuries in last Sunday's crash in the densely populated area, the news agency dapd reported. They said the plane was forced down due to a technical problem, but gave no details. Photo: Juergen Mahnke / AP

17) In this image provided by the University Medical Center in Tucson, a CT scan shows a pair of pruning shears embedded in the head of an 86-year-old Green Valley, Ariz., man before it was removed by Medical Center surgeons in Tucson on July 30, 2011. Leroy Luetscher was accidentally impaled through his eye socket after falling on the shears while working in his yard, the handle penetrating his eye socket and reaching down into his neck. He is expected to make a full recovery. Photo: University Medical Center, Tucson, Arizona via AP

18) A young man - a 'mozo' - dodges a bull during the fifth 'encierro' or bull run held at San Sebastian de los Reyes in Madrid, Spain, on August 30. This local fiesta is known as 'Pamplona Chica' (Little Pamplona) after the larger festival held in the northern Spanish town every July. The bull run left seven people with minor injuries and one in hospital. Photo:  Luca Piergiovanni / EPA

19) Arab Israeli children pose with a pet snake at an amusement park in the northern Israeli city of Acre on August 31 as Muslims celebrated the Eid al-Fitr holiday which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Photo: Menahem Kahana / AFP - Getty Images

20) A street dog popularly known as "Lengua," or "Tongue" sits on a sidewalk in Havana, Cuba, Friday Sept. 2, 2011. (AP Photo/Javier Galeano) 

21) From left, Lee Brewer, veterinarian technician, Dr. Maya Rodriguez, veterinarian, Laura Kousari, animal keeper, and Jodi Tuzinski, animal care manager, from the Miami Seaquarium release Independence, a 10 pound juvenile Green Turtle, in back, and Blondie, a 77 pound adult Loggerhead turtle, front center, on the beach of Bill Baggs Cape Florida Park at Key Biscayne on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011. Independence was rescued from Dania Beach on July 3, 2011, and was found to have partially ingested a hook. The hook was later removed surgically from the throat by Miami Seaquarium’s  staff veterinarian where the turtle received medical attention until its release. Blondie has been in rehabilitation since June 5, 2011, when he was rescued from the waters of Turkey Point channel in Biscayne National Park found floating lethargically and underweight.

22) A praying mantis is seen during the U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York, Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

23) Dale Marshall is dwarfed by an Atlantic Giant Pumpkin that he estimates to be around 1,780-pounds inside a greenhouse in Anchorage on Aug. 29. The giant pumpkin was started by seed on April 1 and has a 202-inch circumference. He plans to enter the pumpkin in the Alaska State Fair during the weigh-off on Wednesday in Palmer. Marshall holds the state record with a 1,101 pound pumpkin that he entered in the state fair last year. Bill Roth / AP  Now the UPDATE: Dale Marshall checks a small hole on the bottom of his 1,723 pound pumpkin that kept him from winning or setting a record at the Alaska State Fair grounds in Palmer, Alaska on Wednesday, Aug. 31. The giant gourd was grown by Marshall in his backyard greenhouse. Puncture or not, the pumpkin is in rare company. The world record weight for a pumpkin is 1,810 pounds. The winner was a 1,287-pound pumpkin that is the biggest pumpkin ever grown for the annual Giant Pumpkin competition at the state fair. Photo: Bill Roth/ AP

24) A reveler is covered with tomato pulp after the annual "Tomatina" (tomato fight) in the Mediterranean village of Bunol, near Valencia August 31. Heino Kalis / Reuters

25) Visitors look at an octopus made out of pumpkins at the pumpkin exhibition of the asparagus and experience farm Buschmann and Winkelmann in Klaistow near Beelitz, northeastern Germany on August 31, 2011. Photo: Patrick Pleul / AFP - Getty Images

26) Excited Fans at DC Comics Midnight Madness Event Celebrating the release of New No. 1 issue of "Justice League" at Mid Town Comics on August 30, 2011 in New York City. Michael Loccisano / Getty Images 

27) Couples take part in the World Kiss Marathon for Education at a square in Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 1, 2011. The students are demanding better education opportunities in their country. Photo: Felipe Trueba / EPA

28) Official mascot Sarbi imitates Usain Bolt of Jamaica after Bolt won the men's 200 metres final at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, Sept. 3. Photo: Kai Pfaffenbach / Reuters

29) Eric Anderson, right, of the West team from Huntington Beach, Calif., celebrates while scoring the winning run in the sixth inning to win the Little League World Series Championship baseball game in South Williamsport, Pa., Aug. 28. Nick Pratto drove in the winning run with a walk-off single as California beat Japan, 2-1. Photo: Rob Carr / Getty Images

30) The University of Wisconsin student section greets the visiting team, the UNLV Rebels Thursday night in the season opener in Madison, won easily by the badgers, 51-17. Journal Sentinel photo: Tom Lynn.

31) Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers can only laugh after tripping around third base as he tried for an inside-the-park home run against the St. Louis Cardinals last Wednesday at Miller Park. Journal Sentinel photo: Jeff Sainlar. During batting practice the next day, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals is seen among outlines depicting Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun falling down trying for an inside the park home run during Wednesday nights game.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps). Here's another look. Photo: that reported, "Pitchers Yovani Gallardo and Shaun Marcum and bullpen catcher Marcus Hanel went to considerable expense to put outlines of Brauns' tumble on the field today, using athletic tape for the police-like 'chalk' outlines of victims.They had two outlines on the field, representing the initial landing and then the second fall upon trying to get up. Particularly ingenius was the use of a protective screen used during BP to put an outline in 'the air,' representing Braun going airborne after rounding third on what could have been an inside-the-park homer against St. Louis. That's a bat taped to the ground, by the way, to represent the 'speed bump' that Braun tripped over."

Culinary no-no #242

Culinary no-no's

has a girth dilemma, a waistline predicament.

Collectively, our nation is too fat and too lazy.

According to national data, one of every three Americans is obese. More than 60 percent of Americans is overweight or obese.  Obesity costs a male sufferer $2,644 annually, a female $4,879.  Portion sizes are larger. Eating habits have become more atrocious. 78% of Americans are not meeting basic activity level recommendations.

A study reported last week in The Lancet found that t
he percentage could rise from 32% of men who were obese in 2008 to around 50% in 2030, and from 35% for women in 2008 to between 45% and 52% in 2030. The number of obese people in this country could increase from 99 million in 2008 to 164 million by 2030. The result will be higher health care costs with more Americans developing weight-related diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

No one questions the severity of the problem. America’s litany of government-mandated responses is dubious.

·       Requiring posting of calorie counts on chain restaurant menus

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Let's talk "work" on this Labor Day

The Tax Foundation has prepared The Tax Bite in the Eight-Hour Day for this year.

“In 2011, Americans will devote 2 hours and 13 minutes of every eight-hour workday, or over a quarter of their working hours (27.7%), to paying taxes. In a nine-to-five workday, it takes until 11:13 a.m. to earn enough to pay that day's share of taxes at the federal, state and local level.

If we add the federal deficit to the picture—that is, if the federal government were planning to col­lect enough in taxes during 2011 to finance all of its spending—Americans would work until lunchtime, 12:07 p.m., for the government, before keeping any of their earnings for themselves.”

Broken down is the amount of time we work for each individual tax.

Individual income taxes:  46 minutes of work in an eight-hour workday.

Social insurance taxes: 29 minutes of work.

Sales and excise taxes:  20 minutes of work.

Property taxes: 16 minutes of work.

Corporate income taxes: 16 minutes of work.

Which state has the biggest tax bite? That honor belongs to Connecticut. Wisconsin ranks at #7 indicating we still have some “work” to do to free ourselves from tax hell status.

Read more from the Tax Foundation.

And here’s a Labor Day extra: How Unions Kill Jobs

Culinary no-no #243

Culinary no-no's

This is a special edition of Culinary no-no that includes a Labor Day picnic assortment of dinner table taboos, in no particular order.

1) Retired Channel 6 anchor/reporter John Drilling is one of six
Milwaukee TV veterans to enter the "Silver Circle" of broadcasters who've put 25 memorable years into their business. They will be honored at a Sept. 10 induction ceremony at the Italian Community Center (Congratulations to all the deserved winners).

Many years ago, Drilling would report on what it was like to work on certain jobs like sanitation worker, for example. I can’t remember if he ever took on being a waiter, but if he did, I’ll bet he discovered it wasn’t so easy.

Greedy restauranteurs are just plain wrong.

3) Take restaurant critics with a grain of salt.

4) Here's a new way to use Spam.

5) I love a good beer with a nice
cigar flavor.

6) We gave our dinner guests salmonella. Should we tell them?

7) This is the future of eating? I don't think so.

8) That label?
Don't trust it.

9) My prime rib has how many calories????

10) Oscar Meyer goes to court.

11) Why are restaurant websites so bad?

Goodbye summer

Technically, a few weeks of summer remain. However, the end of the Labor Day weekend is traditionally considered summer’s farewell.


A regular This Just In reader submitted this photo taken in Door County at Welker’s Point in Peninsula State Park last month.

Hello autumn.

September news from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm

Dear Residents,

Here is good news from our Chief of Police and a few items of possible interest.

Read more

In case you missed them over the holiday weekend...

Here are some of our regular weekend features:

Culinary no-no #243

Culinary no-no #242

Photos of the Week (09/04/11)


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I want to be Joe Cahn


Cahn is the Commissioner of Tailgating.

He’ll be in Green Bay this week (scroll down for article).

Read more

2nd UPDATE: The Barking Lot (08/27/11)

The Barking Lot

Previously on The Barking Lot...

Dogs mourn. What can you do to help a grieving pet?


Well, I don't think so, but I bet a lot of folks would say yes.


A new look Notre Dame this Saturday

This Saturday, Notre Dame renews its rivalry with Michigan.

Check any list about college football’s coolest helmets and Michigan is at the top. Notre Dame is usually near the top as well.

Some might consider the Fighting Irish hat rather plain. Not so given its great tradition.

This Saturday, the ND helmet and uniforms will sport a new look. According to the university’s website:

Notre Dame will wear retro-style adidas football uniforms this Saturday at Michigan to celebrate the first night game ever played at Michigan Stadium.

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UPDATE: OK, Franklin, let's try this one more time

Previously on This Just In...

OK, so up and down my subdivision, what the hell do you think happened today?


The latest pro-life news

From Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right To Life...

Wisconsin Right To
                        Life News You Can Use Contribute

Wear the Pin that suits you!

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NYC mayor has contempt for Catholics

The Catholic League issued a news release today that reads, in part:

“Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's duplicity in handling the 9/11 memorial ceremonies scheduled for Sunday:

Last week, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law [click here] the ‘Workplace Religious Freedom Act,’ a bill designed to award new rights to Sikhs and Muslims. But when it comes to showing sensitivity to Catholics, the mayor shows nothing but contempt."

Read the entire release and send the mayor a message to dump his 9/11 gag rule.

Read more here.

I must admit I'm disappointed in Archbishop Timothy Dolan's take on the matter. Dolan met with Bloomberg about a month ago.

"I think other people were involved in the planning not just him,” Dolan said in an interview with the cable news outlet NY1. “He was very honest and up front. I think it’s very limited. It may not be the way I want it, but it’s just going to be immediate family and the political people who were in office then and political people now. I’m fine with that.”

This is more like it:

“Nobody was turning religious leaders away from the scene 10 years ago. Why are they being banned from the 10th anniversary?” said the Rev. Richard Land, who leads the public policy arm of the Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant group. “The only answer pure and simple is anti-religious prejudice.”

UPDATE: 9/7/11


Catholic League president Bill Donohue will join New York City Council Member Fernando Cabrera and others on Thursday, September 8, on the steps of City Hall at noon. Participants will appeal to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to reconsider his decision to ban the clergy from speaking at Sunday's 9/11 memorial ceremonies. 
Donohue will also address religious leaders who are feigning criticism of Bloomberg while taking aim at people like himself who have been critical of the mayor.

MUST SEE VIDEO: Witness to history-The photographers of 9/11

Now HE'S a real whippersnapper!

Miguel Suarez of Franklin...

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #230

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #230
dealt with shoppers who abuse the express lanes.

I suggest supermarkets alter their signage.


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Seems the left is still experiencing great difficulty embracing this new era of civility.

More of them really do need to read my blog.

Franklin, you asked for it and you just might get it

Franklin School Board member Janet Evans
informs that tonight the board is holding a special meeting to hear from an architect. Here’s hoping she follows up with a blog describing what’s really going on.

I wrote the following last December about the facilities planning surveys:

The Franklin School District intelligentsia gets the public all lathered up by painting the picture of crumbling structures and kids that will be forced to sit in trailers (yeh, right) and sports teams that  will be worse than the Bad News Bears unless you, yes you, struggling taxpayer, open up your wallet for the millionth time and fork it over.

They think they’ve got your number. They will send out sob story of a survey, one after another, begging for just the right answers, and when you politely, innocently tell them, you bet, we’d love to see an improved this and a new that……..BAM!  They’re introducing proposals to raise taxes by a bundle to build and/or improve all these facilities THAT YOU THE PUBLIC DEMANDED.

FranklinNOW reporter Mark Schaaf noted, “Many have complained about the state of Franklin's athletic facilities.”

Yeh, I know. That’s a heartbreaker.  Major frustration.

Being the sports-minded fellow I am, I commented to my wife, Jennifer what a crummy season the high school baseball team had.

The football team? Struggling. Just struggling. Year after year.

I think the boy’s soccer team made the playoffs this past fall. Yes, yes, I think I’m right. Did you know they only managed three goals....... against an MPS team? Now, you build two more soccer fields and we won’t be embarrassed like that ever again!

And the high school basketball teams, boy’s and girl’s…….it’s no wonder they haven’t been to state for a few years. It’s you cheapskate taxpayers. All your fault.

At first I urged residents to "Toss the survey in the trash where it belongs."

A few days later, I had a change of heart.

There it was in my mailbox.

What the hell, I thought. I paid for it. Might as well open it up and take a look.

The survey was stunning in its lack of transparency, written and presented with an all too obvious woe is us, we must tax to the max mentality.

We learn that a study was conducted this past summer of the conditions and use of our school facilities, and whad’ya know??? OF COURSE our facilities are going to hell in a hand basket. Those poor, poor, children. Whatcha gonna do about it, Franklin taxpayers? Let us give you some idea$.
We’ve got all kind$ of option$ about the middle $chool, the high $chool, a $wimming pool, performing art$, indoor and outdoor phy$ical education and athletic $pace, and a community center. My oh my, we sure need a lot.

I took out my trusty calculator, and let’s suppose a resident decides to support every one of the spending options, including the most expensive choices. That translates into spending an incredible:

$235.4 million

I urged Franklinites to fill out the survey by checking all of the NO or NONE OF THE ABOVE choices. The Franklin School District was setting a big, fat trap for you taxpayers.

The final results showed this non-shocker: About 70 % of school district staffers support big spending on all kinds of new facilities.

Want to know the crux of the president's jobs speech in about two minutes?

From the MacIver Institute:

For nearly three years as Americans have struggled through this Great Recession, President Obama has given speeches that relied on failed Keynesian economic theory and the politics of class warfare and envy. As his big government policies have spent this nation to the brink, the employment picture continues to worry families across the nation.

His rhetoric is nearly as lofty as the nation's unemployment rate.

On Thursday, September 8, 2011, President Obama will deliver a major economic address before a Joint Session of Congress. The MacIver Institute expects it will be more of the same rhetoric and promotion of government-first solutions we've been hearing for the last 3 years.

The timing of the speech also conflicts with the pomp and circumstance surrounding the kickoff of the 2011 NFL season. As a public service, we've combed through the hundreds of speeches President Obama has already made to give you a concise two-minute preview of his latest 'big speech.'

You can watch this and not miss one second of Thursday's football festivities as the 13-time World Champion Green Bay Packers begin their defense of their latest title.


"9/11 firefighter: Pride in his heart, dust in his lungs"


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"The Man Who Predicted 9/11"

I’ve blogged in the past about Rick Rescorla, one of the many unsung heroes of 9/11 who is now the subject of an opera.

The History Channel premiered a Rescorla documentary in 2002. On its website, the History Channel writes:

“In 2001, Rick Rescorla was the 62-year-old head of security at the Morgan Stanley Bank. The bank's offices were situated high up in the South Tower at the World Trade Center. Rescorla was convinced that Osama Bin Laden would use jet planes to try and destroy the World Trade Center.

Long before September 11th, he developed an evacuation plan for the bank. The plan and its preparation were hugely unpopular with the Morgan Stanley staff, many of whom thought Rescorla was mad. Ultimately, however, the plan saved 3,000 lives. It was put into effect after the first jet hit the North Tower--even though WTC managers were instructing everyone to stay in the buildings. When the second jet hit the South Tower, Rescorla averted panic and organized a rapid evacuation. Rescorla went back inside to help the injured and trapped get out. He was still inside when the building collapsed and his body was never found.”

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Is there something wrong with tonight's Packers/Saints game?

Wall Street Journal columnist Jason Gay thinks so.

He'd feel differerently, I'm sure, if he was anywhere near Lambeau Field, or the Badger State for that matter.

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Government spending DOES NOT create jobs

President Obama's jobs plan announced tonight spends

Check out my blogs about 9/11


Culinary no-no #241

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Remember Chris Gizzi?


Green Bay Packer Chris Gizzi carries the United States flag as he leads the team onto the field at the start of the Packers game against the Washington Redskins at Lambeau Field on Monday, Sept. 24, 2001. (Steve Apps/Wisconsin State Journal)

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Goodnight everyone, and have a 6-point weekend!

“Music and sports more or less go hand-in-hand these days. You can't attend a professional sporting event, whether it be wrestling, baseball, basketball, football, soccer or even lacrosse, without getting pummeled by a variety of music. Stadium speakers routinely blast player's ‘theme’ songs and fan favorite standards used to build up excitement in the crowd, and that's not including down-n-dirty chants from the bleachers. Music's inescapable interaction with sports doesn't just reside in the professional realm, either. The same holds true for minor league sports, the Olympics, all the way down to college, high school, and junior high events where cheerleaders intermingle their home spun cheers with pre-recorded music.”

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, pigskin performances.

That was an electrifying game last night, going right down to the final play.

Photo: Journal Sentinel

With Thursday's Packers-Saints game, the high school, college and pro football seasons are now all underway.

And music, whether it be a high school ensemble, the big brassy bold UW marching band, or raucous tunes played over the PA at Lambeau is a major component of the football experience.

Let's begin tonight by walking into the Time Tunnel. If you're my age, you remember this tune being played at every high school game, a perfect selection for any high school band. The perfect blend of horns and percussion.

Do you remember...


The Horse?


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The best cartoons of the week

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The Barking Lot (09/10/11)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 76.  "A"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 78. "A"

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

Kevin has commented many times that if he ran a TV news network, he would open each and every segment with scenes from 9/11.  He feels, and I agree, that we became complacent far too soon after the tragedy and that we continue to take our freedoms for granted.

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POO Awards 2011 - Week 4

Each week during this year’s high school football season, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1

Luck 73,
Birchwood 22

Week 2
Coleman 63,
Sevastopol 13

Week 3
Edgar 71,
Chequamegon 7

Edgar usually ends up on my list once a season. It led 59-0 at halftime of their blowout.

Week 4
Ashwaubenon 64,
Green Bay West 0

The halftime score: 57-0.

Are the Wisconsin Badgers, GULP, cowards?

That's the dust-up this week,

Week-ends (09/10/11)


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...


Mychal Judge

They were just doing their jobs

Welles Crowther

Ric Rescorla

Mickey Kross

Rescue dog teams

Nice kids in Eau Claire

And the countless other heroes of 9/11. God bless them, one and all.

Sadie Sipes

Alan Moore


Marietta College (Ohio)

Paul Ryan protesters

Richard Trumka

Michael Bloomberg

Abortion clinic workers


President Obama said the following during his jobs speech last night:

'Millions of Americans rely on Medicare in their retirement….But with an aging population and rising health care costs, we are spending too fast to sustain the program. And if we don’t gradually reform the system while protecting current beneficiaries, it won’t be there when future retirees need it. We have to reform Medicare to strengthen it.'

Isn’t that what Paul Ryan and the House Republicans have been saying for months, while Obama has been busy demagoguing their plan
The Weekly Standard

“We waited 30 months for this?”
Herman Cain’s one-sentence news release reacting to the president’s jobs speech.

“Obama is still suffering from the Speech Illusion, the idea that he can come down from the mountain, read from a Teleprompter, cast a magic spell with his words and climb back up the mountain, while we scurry around and do what he proclaimed.”
Maureen Dowd

“(Obama) believes people are stupid, or at least not smart enough to catch onto him. ...He’s going to put some things out there and dare Republicans to block it. If we agree with it, then we own it with him. If we block it, then he can blame us when the economy doesn’t get better. So he’s playing a game with this.”
Jim DeMint

"It would be like Al Gore saying he created the Internet."
Mitt Romney at the GOP debate commenting on Rick Perry claiming credit for jobs related to Texas having oil.

"This president is a nice guy. He doesn't have a clue about how to get this country working again."
Mitt Romney at the GOP debate.

"Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt."

Perry to Romney at the GOP debate.

"Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor."
Romney to Perry.

"No, but it means that, if he wants to write another book, I'll write another foreword."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, when asked if his foreword to Perry's book was an endorsement of its contents.

"I kind of feel like the pinata here at the party."
Rick Perry at the GOP debate

"We got to keep an eye on the battle that we face: The war on workers. And you see it everywhere, it is the Tea Party. And you know, there is only one way to beat and win that war. The one thing about working people is we like a good fight. And you know what? They've got a war, they got a war with us and there's only going to be one winner. It's going to be the workers of Michigan, and America. We're going to win that war. President Obama, this is your army. We are ready to march. Let's take these son of bitches out and give America back to an America where we belong."
Jimmy Hoffa

“No, I don't support a fence on the border. The fact is, it's 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso. Two things: How long you think it would take to build that? And then if you build a 30-foot wall from El Paso to Brownsville, the 35-foot ladder business gets real good.”
Rick Perry

“If there is a common theme in the various rubble of cultural ruin, it’s the urge to enter adolescence ever earlier and leave it later and later, if at all. So we have skanky ’tweens ‘dry humping’ at middle-school dances, and an ever greater proportion of “men” in their thirties living at home with their parents.”
Mark Steyn


No way to treat a hero.


Media overlook violent talk on the left.


The president's (ho-hum) jobs speech.


Win a baby, for real, on the radio.

Dutch woman refuses to let go.

Guys, if they want sex, you best oblige.

Men's fashion goes feminine.

That’s it for this week. NewsBusted has the week off and will return next week.

We close with CBS photojournalist Mark LaGanga narrating his incredible video from 9/11.

A 9/11 announcement from Franklin Fire Chief Martins

James Martins
Subject: September 11 Ceremony Announcement
On Sunday September 11, 2011 Zone D Fire and Police Departments will join at Whitnall Parks Botanical Gardens, to remember the events of September 11, 2001 and honor those who lost their lives that day. We would like to extend an invitation to all of Franklin and other citizens to be part of this short ceremony.  Please invite family and friends to attend.  Any questions contact myself or Cathy Heder at the Fire Department. 

Thank you.
Chief Martins   

Thanks to  Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm for passing along this reminder.

A preview of Culinary no-no #244

Culinary no-no's

We’re up to Culinary #244 that will be featured here tomorrow (Sunday).

To prepare you so you have a better appreciation of what’s to come, please read Culinary no-no #217.

Recommended Reading (09/11/11)

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).

The 9/11 overreaction? Nonsense

"America's current demoralization is not a result of the War on Terror."

The experience of a lifetime

"As we passed through security to begin our tour, a cell phone rang. One of the members of our tour was being notified that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We proceeded to a small star-like emblem on the floor of the Capitol under the dome. It is recognized as the center point of Washington DC. It was a fateful place to be when you become aware of the most infamous day in American history.

We noted a quickened pace in the steps of the staffers passing us. Some began to move in a trot or near running pass. My wife, showing worry, questioned the guide as to whether this behavior was unusual. The guide, a long-time Capitol staffer, stated in a calming way, ‘No.’ It was only appropriate to say that at this point that all hell broke loose.

A lady officer started running at me screaming ‘Get out of here.’ It is an image burned into my mind forever."

Florida students witnessed the moment Bush learned of 9/11

"For approximately seven minutes the president stayed in the classroom while the students proudly read 'The Pet Goat' to him. He was later criticized for not leaving immediately, but to the young people in that classroom, he made the right decision."

Ten years after

"Before TSA was created, private contractors paid airport inspectors not much more than minimum wage. They weren't very good. Now we spend five times as much, and they're still not very good.

Today even the TSA knows that private security is better. In one of its own tests, its screeners in Los Angeles missed 75 percent of explosives planted by inspectors. In San Francisco, one of the few cities allowed to have privately managed security, screeners missed 20 percent."

 We'll never get over it, nor should we

The look on the face of a young Asian woman on Sixth Avenue in the 20s, as she looked upward. The votive candles on the street and the spontaneous shrines that popped up, the pictures of saints. The Xeroxed signs that covered every street pole downtown. A man or a woman in a family picture from a wedding or a birthday or bar mitzvah. ‘Have you seen Carla? Last seen Tuesday morning in Windows on the World.’ The bus driver as I fumbled in my wallet to find my transit card. ‘Free rides today,’ he mumbled, in a voice on autopilot. The Pompeii-like ash that left a film on everything in town, all the way to the Bronx. The smell of burning plastic that lingered for weeks.”

Never forget 9/11? If only it were that easy

"It's also inappropriate to feel grateful for the attack on the World and the Pentagon. But I am."

12 words to describe Obama's jobs speech

Thursday night’s show by President Obama struck me as…”

Now You’re Messin’ with a Son of a B*tch!

"Originally, “son of a bitch” (n), was a term chiefly used in the United States to describe an odious scallywag whom everyone disliked or something that was very difficult or unpleasant, such as, 'that lug nut on that wheel was one tight son of a bitch.'But the culture has changed, and with it the Church."
Trade Center

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I read the news today, oh boy...






My Most Popular Blogs (09/11/11)

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) 9/11 IMAGES: "Powerful and disturning"

2) Photos of the Week (09/04/11)

3) "The Man Who Predicted 9/11"

4) A new look Notre Dame this Saturday

5) I want to be Joe Cahn

6) Franklin developer files for bankruptcy

7) Recommended Reading (09/04/11)

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Don't forget today is...

Photos of the Week (09/11/11)

Photos of the Week

1) Remembrance:Flags for the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on World Trade Center at New York City's Battery Park line the ground as beams of light stretch in the background from the footprints of the Twin Towers. Photo: The Daily Mail

Standing tall: One World Trade Center and the September 11 Memorial are ablaze in lights on Friday. Photo: The Daily Mail/AP

3) Pushing on: A team has been working around the clock, and under heavy rain, to make sure the Tribute in Light is ready for Sunday. Photo: The Daily Mail/Getty Images

Tribute: Two memorial pools now sit where the World Trade Center towers used to stand. Photo: The Daily Mail/Getty Images

2,753 empty chairs remain empty on Bryant Park's lawn that face south toward the World Trade Center site September 9, 2011 in New York City. Part of a project called "Ten Years Later, A Tribute 9/11," the chairs represent the lives lost on September 11, 2001 in the attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Photo: The Daily Mail/Getty Images

6) Workmen at the World Trade Center site in New York unfurl a flag following the moment of silence observed by all the workmen on the site at 9:08 am on September 9. They will not be working on Sunday. Photos: John Makely /

7) Jose Ignacio, a tourist from Spain, ties a ribbon onto a post outside St. Paul's Chapel on September 9, 2011 in New York City. St. Paul's Chapel is encouraging people to tie ribbons around their premise from September 6 - 12 in remembrance of the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

8) U.S. Coast Guard Academy Second Class Cadet Stephen Nolan, 20, of Ft. Riley, Kan., prays Friday, Sept. 9, 2011, at the academy in New London, Conn., during a chapel service held in remembrance of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. (AP Photo/U.S. Coast Guard, Petty Officer 1st Class NyxoLyno Cangemi)

9) From 9/11, a heavily dented and damaged mass hardly recognizable as the helmet it once was. Thinking about how powerful the destructive force must have been still makes her lose her breath. "George was such a tall, strong man'', says Nancy Nee. And yet looking at the black relic brings her a certain measure of peace. Her brother George Cain was a firefighter to the core and the helmet was an integral part of his life. On Sept. 11, George helped evacuate hundreds of guests from the Marriott Hotel, close to the World Trade Center. When the towers collapsed, he did not stand a chance. The hotel was destroyed, but most of the guests survived. To this day, her children miss their uncle very much, says Nancy. She still hasn't shown her two youngest the helmet. Photo: Henry Leutwyler / Contour by Getty Images

Joe Patrick, of Rhode Island, looks up at his U.S. flag he is carrying in honor of the fallen of 9/11 as he walks along Route 46, Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Wayne, N.J. Patrick, who set on his journey on Aug. 8, has walked from the Pentagon to the Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, PA, and is planning on arriving at Ground Zero for the tenth anniversary. Photo: Julio Cortez / AP

U..S. Army Specialist Sergio Cano wipes tears from his face during a pregame ceremony commemorating the Tenth Anniversary of the September 11th attacks on September 7 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Photo: Christopher Pasatieri / Getty Images

President Barack Obama takes the podium before addressing a Joint Session of Congress on Sept. 8, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Obama laid out a jobs plan before the US Congress that includes middle class tax cuts, infrastructure spending, help for the unemployed and the passage of trade deals designed to boost US exports. Photo: Saul Loeb / AFP - Getty Images

About a dozen demonstrators shout "What do we want? Jobs! When do we want them? Now!" underneath a painting of former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, outside the room where the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction is holding its first hearing on Capitol Hill September 8, 2011 in Washington, DC. U.S. Captiol Police quickly surrounded the demonstrators who wandered away peacefully after a few minutes. This was the first meeting of the so-called "Super Committee" formed to make further cuts in the U.S. deficit. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

14) Protesters use a light pole to knock down a concrete wall built in front of the Israeli embassy in Cairo September 9. Activists on Friday tore down the wall, built to protect it from demonstrators, witnesses said. Photo: Amr Abdallah Dalsh / Reuters

15) Egyptian protesters wave Egyptian flags after climbing up to an apartment affiliated with the Israeli Embassy and taking the Israeli flag down, in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 9. Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the building housing the embassy, breaking down a concrete wall meant to protect the building.The protesters were angered over the killing of five Egyptian policemen on the border with Israel. Photo: Mohamed Omar / EPA

Tanzanian police carry bodies of children from the sea in Zanzibar, Tanzania, Sept. 10. An overcrowded ship sank in deep waters off mainland Tanzania with about 600 people aboard, and about 370 people are believed missing or dead. The ferry, M.V. Spice Islanders, was heavily overloaded and some potential passengers had refused to board when it was leaving the mainland port of Dar es Salaam, said survivor Abdullah Saied. It sank in an area with heavy currents between mainland Tanzania and Pemba Island at about 1 a.m. Saturday. Roughly 230 people had been rescued and 40 bodies had been recovered, said Mohamed Aboud, the minister for the vice president's office. Photo: Sultan Ali / AP

17) A woman teaching her nine-year-old son Yang Weihao schoolwork in Hefei, in eastern China's Anhui province, on Sept. 4. Weihao's face was badly burned in a fire at his home in June and he has already undergone two skin grafts. The family has been left badly in debt after paying the medical expenses. Now the boy and his mother are begging on the street to help pay for further treatment. Photos: AFP - Getty Images

Another boy suffering from burns in a similar incident, Wang Gengxiang, known as "Masked Boy", plays with other children in a kindergarten classroom in Mijiazhuang village, Shanxi province, China, on Sept. 8. Reuters reports that he is not allowed to attend classes there. This is for his personal safety and due to concerns about how his presence might affect other children, according to his father. He is only allowed into the kindergarten to play during media visits. Here's another photo of the boy playing in an alley. Photos: Jason Lee / Reuters

Fans of Russian ice hockey team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl light candles in memory of the victims of a plane crash, outside the Arena 2000 stadium in Yaroslavl, Russia on Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011. Photo: Maxim Shipenkov / EPA

Homes destroyed by wildfire are seen Wednesday, Sept. 7 in Bastrop, Texas. The fire has destroyed more than 600 homes and blackened about 45 square miles in and around Bastrop. A search team on Wednesday will begin looking for more possible victims of the fire, which has killed two people and forced thousands to evacuate. The fire somehow spared one home. Photo: Eric Gay / AP

A statue of a woman holding a water bucket stands in front of the remnants of a burned down home on the east side of Lake Bastop on September 6 outside Bastrop, Texas. Several large wildfires have been devastating Bastrop County for the last two days. Photo: Erich Schlegel / Getty Images

A construction crane being used to make repairs of earthquake damage lies overturned at the National Cathedral in Washington DC, Sept. 7. The cathedral was damaged during the 5.8 earthquake, but was planning on hosting a 9/11 10th anniversary service this weekend. Photo: Shawn Thew / EPA

Spectators defy yellow tape at the entrance of the bridge to take a closer look at the destroyed section of the "Slabtown Bridge" in Eldred Township, Lycoming County Pa. on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Nearly 100,000 people from New York to Maryland were ordered to flee the rising Susquehanna River on Thursday as the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee dumped more rain across the Northeast, closing major highways and socking areas still recovering from Hurricane Irene. (AP Photo/Williamsport Sun-Gazette, Mark Nance

24) Republican presidential candidates are greeted by former first lady Nancy Reagan, center, before a Republican presidential candidate debate at the Reagan Library Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011, in Simi Valley, Calif. From left are, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, businessman Herman Cain and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman. Photo: Chris Carlson / Pool via AP

A laser beam and lightning light up the night sky above the Allgau Public Observatory in southwestern Bavaria, Germany, on Aug. 18. A summer thunderstorm happened to coincide with tests carried out on the European Southern Observatory (ESO) Wendelstein laser guide star unit. Photo: Hipydeus / ESO / M. Kornmesser

Argentinian artist Uriburu and the German Lifeguard Association pour green dye into the water in front of the Museum Weserburg in Bremen, Germany. Photo: Ingo Wagner / EPA

A surfer watches a pair of dolphins jump the waves at Daytona Beach Shores, Fla. Photo: Nigel Cook/The Daytona Beach News-Journal via AP

In this March 15, 2011 photo, provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, a Taylor's checkerspot butterfly is seen in Oregon. A federal judge on Friday, Sept. 9, 2011 approved a pair of sweeping settlements that require the government to consider endangered protections for more than 800 animal and plant species. (AP Photo/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service)

Celine Monrad-Haslum, a competitor taking part in an uphill race, lays injured after being attacked by a moose (background) in Nittedal, some 18 miles north of Oslo, Norway, on September 5. Monrad-Haslum was evacuated on a helicopter to a nearby hospital to be treated for the injuries sustained during the attack. Photo: Knut Haavard Solberg / Varingen - Scanpix via Reuters

A moose is seen stuck in an apple tree in Gothenburg, Sweden, on Sept. 6. The police believe the moose was trying to eat apples from the tree and became intoxicated by fermented apples. The moose was freed by police officers and after a doze on the lawn, he sobered up and returned to the woods. Photo:

31) This surveillance video taken Sept. 5, 2011 and released by the San Diego Police Dept. shows a suspect dressed like Gumby telling a convenience store clerk he is being robbed, fumbling inside the costume as if to pull a gun, dropping 27 cents and leaving. Police say the attempted robbery took place Monday Sept.5, 2011 at a 7-Eleven in Rancho Penasquitos, Calif. Photo: San Diego Police Department via AP

Jesse Rauscher, 5, gives a hug to East Great Plain firefighter Bill Guile after getting a ride to his first day of Kindergarten at Mahan School in Norwich, Conn., Tuesday, Sept. 6. Rauscher was one of seven kindergarteners in the district who won a ride to school on a fire truck. Photo: Sean D. Elliot / AP

Volunteers help paint "The Original Packer Fence" during the Friends of Fred Harrsch 2nd Annual Fence Paint & Tailgate Party in Green Bay on Monday, Sept. 5, 2011. This year's slogan is "Pack Org., Players, Fans - Champions All!" Photo: Evan Siegle/ Green BayPress-Gazette.

34) Christopher Handler paints a new Green Bay Packers-themed slogan on a fence at 1219 Shadow Lane in Green Bay on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2011. Photo: H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette.

Check out the head gear. Dean Haberle is flanked by David Bowman and James McNally before an NFL football game between the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans SaintsThursday, Sept. 8, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

36) Green Bay Packers fans cheer as the covering is removed from the numerals denoting the 2010 NFL championship inside Lambeau Field before the game against the New Orleans Saints at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011. Photo by Evan Siegle/ Green Bay Press-Gazette.

The pre-game atmosphere at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Thursday night for the Packers-Saints game. Photos: Matt Ludtke, Milwaukee Business Journal.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) is sacked by Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (52) and Green Bay Packers linebacker Erik Walden (93) in the third quarter during the game between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on Thursday, September 8, 2011. Packers 42, Saints 34. MICHAEL DeMOCKER / THE TIMES-PICAYUNE

39) Wisconsin's Antonio Fenelus breaks up a pass intended for Oregon State's Markus Wheaton. The Badgers easily won on Saturday in Madison, 35-0. Journal Sentinel photo: Tom Lynn

Milwaukee Brewers' Casey McGehee bowls into Philadelphia Phillies' Carlos Ruiz to score in the 2nd inning at Miller Park Saturday, September 10, 2011. But the Brewers lost their 5th game in a  row, 3-2 in 10 innings. Journal Sentinel photo: Benny Sieu

41) Many seniors benefit from the caring support and assistance that they receive when residing in an assisted living and memory care facility. Lake Terrace Community extends quality of life and years of living: Just ask resident, Eleanor Ratke, who reached a milestone in life by celebrating her 100th birthday on September 7. Mayor Tom Taylor marked this centennial celebration by presenting Eleanor with a special proclamation. Photo: Bob Kaun

Culinary no-no #244

Culinary no-no's

There’s a lot to ponder when venturing out to eat.

ATTITUDE: I just don’t feel like cooking.

NECESSITY: Maybe the frig isn’t as well stocked as you’d like.

WHAT: What am I hungry for?

STYLE: Do I go fancy or casual?

LOCATION: Do I head across town or stay close to home? Is getting there easy, and can I park with ease?

REPUTATION: A familiar spot or new place?

SPECIAL OCCASION: Does it call for a celebration?

How about this as a deciding factor: I want my dining choice to be

HASSLE-FREE.  You shouldn’t have to, for example, purchase tickets that might be only available, and quite expensive at that, on the black market in order to secure a table.

When it comes to restaurant arrogance and elitism, I thought I’d heard it all when I blogged about Next.  Wrong. There’s the brand new Rogue 24 in Washington D.C. that’s creating all sorts of buzz. You’d never know by its appearance. says Rogue 24 is “
a renovated 1920s car garage tucked behind a red brick-paved alley near the convention center.  If you can find Rogue 24 among the dilapidated buildings in Blagden Alley, it's the one with the wooden exterior and graffiti of a chef's knife hanging over the doorway.

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But once inside...

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They've got two tasting menus, an a la carte salon, fancy equipment and vintage furnishings.”

The fabulous tasting menus include The Journey  and The Progression. Either will take hours to finish.

And oh, yes...the kitchen is in the middle of the dining room.

Image Gallery

The swank Rogue 24 seats 52. Everybody wants a chance at dining there and empty tables are rare. Chef/owner RJ Cooper, recognizing a hot commodity, decided if you want in, you must comply with a requirement that could very well be a first in the restaurant business.

You must sign a two-page contract. That’s right. A contract. To eat out.

As part of the contract, you agree not to bring cell phones or cameras. The intent is to eliminate dining distractions to have the ultimate experience.

You must surrender credit card information.

Then there’s the cancellation policy. Cancel your reservation within 72 hours up to 3 p.m. of the day of your reservation and you are charged 50% of the tasting menus selected.  Cancel after 3:00 p.m. on the day of the reservation or show up 30 minutes late or more and there’s a 100% charge.

The contract must be submitted within 72 hours of making the reservation or the whole deal becomes void.




So Major that as Rogue 24 recently planned for its exciting grand opening, focused not on the rose veal or sea urchin or partridge egg or hog jowl or foie gras or violet potato or chocolate tennessee. No no,. It lasered in on “the contract.”

Obviously, the tremors were felt because Cooper immediately made changes.  Gone is the 100 percent charge for cancellations made after 3 p.m. on the day of the reservation
or for those showing up more than 30 minutes late.

Then Cooper went on damage control, and gave less than convincing arguments in defense of his contract, cell phone and Twitter ban.

From the Q and A with Cooper:

You wouldn’t ask a guest to leave if you saw them taking a picture?
No, because it’s not about being a cop or a Nazi.

Why the stringent cancellation policy?
It’s not set in stone. Do we abide by it? No. The policy gives us a chance to fill the table and it gives the diner a reason to call and cancel. Have we charged anybody? No, because that’s not what it’s about. It’s about making sure we are able to fill the seats of our revenue base. This also guarantees diners a seat. We’re sold out tonight and we’re sold out all week.

Have you had cancellations?
Absolutely. We had a cancellation today; the woman’s sick. What are we going to do? Charge her? No, she’s sick.

So why have it in the contract?
Actually, we just modified the contract today.

What’s the new policy?
It’s basically, "Please call and cancel." We’re not here to win it all. All we’re saying is, "We’re a 52-seat restaurant. If 10 people no-show, that’s one fifth of our revenue gone." All we want is the opportunity to fill the table.

I get the sense that you had no idea this contract would be a point of controversy.
No, I didn’t. But it’s not any different than going to Minibar or Alinea. The difference is that Alinea has six reservationists that can handle that; we have one. Minibar has six seats; we have 52. Komi has a no camera and phone policy in their restaurant. What’s the difference? Is it going to make experience better to have a phone? If it does, please tell me, because I hate my phone. I'd rather not have to deal with the 500 emails and 60 voice messages I get every day. I’d rather just sit and really enjoy the experience of a place like this. Are we doing this out of arrogance? No. Are we doing it out of being hyped? No. We’re doing it to make sure you as a diner have a valued experience.

"Are we doing this out of arrogance? No. Are we doing it out of being hyped? No."

Sorry, but he is arrogant and does want the hype. He just doesn’t want the controversy. So he changed course. But not enough. A contract to eat at a restaurant? I’m not marring the place. Cooper erred twice, once with the original contract, and twice when he simply modified the damn thing instead of dumping it altogether.

These supposedly trendy concepts begin on either coast and take their time getting to us plain folks in the heart of the country. Here’s hoping this one starts and ends at Rogue 24.


Restaurant workers that don't get the limelight...but should.

About those  portion sizes...

The potato war
goes to Congress.

A feel-good 9/11 story

In honor of September 11th, "Gowns for Good" provided over 100 free wedding gowns to brides engaged to a member of the military at the Belle Vogue Bridal Shop in Overland Park, Kansas last Friday and Saturday.

Take a look.

The latest pro-life news

From Pro-Life Wisconsin.

And Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

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Chuck Woolery: Taxing the Rich


Time to fret

There it was, right on the front page of an edition the New York Times editors had to know would be seen extensively.

Check it out, right at the bottom…

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GAB Grants Walker Foe's Request to Make Recalls Easier, More Likely

Board’s Action Done without Legislative Direction

MacIver News Service | September 12, 2011 | Updated 6:45pm

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Hiring Our Heroes

Friends of the US Chamber 


Business Steps Up: Hiring Our Heroes

Following the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of 9-11, we ask you to recognize
the sacrifice that our military community makes every day to defend the freedoms we
enjoy as American citizens.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce believes that there is no
better recognition of that service than to ensure veterans and military spouses have jobs
that take advantage of their extraordinary leadership and advanced technical skills.

In that spirit, we launched Hiring Our Heroes in March of this year. Hiring Our Heroes is
a commitment to connect over 100,000 talented veterans and military spouses to jobs
through local Chambers of Commerce in 100 communities across America. Begun in
partnership with  the Joining Forces initiative, we have already worked with 20 local
Chambers to host hiring fairs that have brought together more than 20,000 veterans and
military spouses with 1,000 different employers in 16 states.

But our work is just beginning. Though veterans and military spouses make exceptionally
talented and dedicated employees, unemployment levels remain stubbornly high – for that
reason, we are expanding our efforts from 100 hiring fairs to several hundred
communities in the next three years.

We are asking for you help in this effort. Everyone has a role to play.  Visit the 
Hiring Our
page to find out how to host a hiring fair in your community, join an already
scheduled event or be a volunteer. 

Not sure how to help? Have questions?  Email us at
and we’ll figure it out together.

To learn more about the program, and to stay up-to-date with events and happenings, follow
us on Facebook and Twitter.

Let's work together to put our Heroes back to work.


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

 P.S. Help us spread the word of Hiring Our Heroes by or forwarding  this email to anyone
you think may be interested.

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Do you have respiratory problems?

The state is recommending
you take action against that foul odor.

UPDATE: DNR issues advisory


It's the "F" word.

In case you missed Monday night's GOP debate like me...

Rick Perry got hammered over his since-rescinded executive order mandating HPV vaccinations for middle-school-aged girls in Texas

The candidates also went at it on immigration.

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10 years ago today...

Inmates' Receipt of Unemployment Bennies Costing State Big Bucks

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The Path to Prosperity (Episode 3)

How many jobs, Mr. President, how many?

It’s a retread, the same old failed solution to our struggling economy. President Obama’s misguided jobs plan offers more runaway spending, increased taxes, and adding to the deficit.

It took almost a week, but finally some news people are asking the obvious question: How many jobs do we get for that $50 billion? Simple question. Certainly someone had done the numbers crunching and had developed at the very least an educated prognostication and prepped the Obamessiah to handle such an inquiry even without a teleprompter.

So what’s the answer? You can probably imagine. Let’s go to the tape.

CNN correspondent Dan Lothian to Office of Management and Budget Director (OMB) Jack Lew: “How many jobs will be created with this plan?”

Lew answered that the administration had not proclaimed an estimate.

Lothian to Lew:
“Why not?”

Lew: "We’ve seen the same numbers that you’ve seen that private forecasters put out. [i]t's always a challenge with these kinds of projections because they're subject to a lot of things other than just what you're proposing in the package.”

The conservative website HUMAN EVENTS cited predictions by the White House in January of ’09 that President Obama’s stimulus package would bring unemployment down to 6.8%, and that these figures were never realized. 

HUMAN EVENTS to Lew: “How can there be confidence in any figures you offer on jobs created or what the unemployment will be, based on that record?”

Lew: “As you know, I was not a member of the economic team then, and I have an outsider's knowledge of the deliberations that were going on at the time. I will say that the Recovery Act produced the level of new jobs that was expected.  What changed was that the economy was in a much deeper recession than anyone knew at the time.  The hole was deeper, and it was that much harder to get out.
So I think there's a danger of ever predicting unemployment rates, because as I said in response to the earlier question, there's a lot of things that determine what the unemployment rate is and will be.  So even if you create x-million new jobs, if you started out farther behind in economic growth, it's going to take longer to hit a certain level of employment/unemployment.”

HUMAN EVENTS asked Lew if there would be any more predictions of employment figures.

Lew: “I’m not making any other predictions.”

Typical White House. In over their heads. Never was, never will be ready for prime time.

An Obama lapdog, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel headlined a story today that Wisconsin stands to gain millions from the jobs plan.

No quote in the article from Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner who says the jobs plan will hurt Wisconsinites and increase taxes by $405 billion.

Back at the White House, the greatest orator God ever placed on the planet can only muster, “No comment.”

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Dear JFC: Think twice before paying them a cent

You recall the Capitol chaos earlier this year when angry union mobs did extensive damage to our beautiful state Capitol building.  Numerous law enforcement personnel needed to be called in to help an inundated, outmanned Capitol Police force.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Legislature's budget committee Wednesday approved paying $8.2 million to cover the costs of having scores of law enforcement agencies provide security at the Capitol during this year's protests.

The Joint Finance Committee voted unanimously to have the state pay the costs - $7.4 million of it immediately - to 199 local law enforcement agencies, four state agencies and three University of Wisconsin campuses for helping provide security at the statehouse. The remaining $751,500, most of it due to the city of Madison, will still have to be reviewed by the committee before it's paid.

Republicans and Democrats clashed over whether to pay the full costs for the aid provided by the City of
Madison, with some GOP lawmakers questioning whether Madison police and Dane County deputies had been trying to help in good faith. The Madison police chief and the Dane County sheriff stressed Wednesday that they had.”

That last statement is dubious. Several state lawmakers wrote to the chairs of the Joint Finance Committee saying that “the security costs incurred by the state of Wisconsin during the siege were increased by the decisions of local officials in the city of Madison and Dane County. The lawmakers stated that comments and actions by these local officials “encouraged the behavior of the siege participants in an attempt to achieve a partisan political outcome during this governmental crisis.

I love this part of the lawmakers’ statement: “We also note that (Dane County) Sheriff Mahoney openly admits to spending a significant amount of time in the building as a protester.”

In a nutshell, from all accounts, certain law enforcement officials didn’t do their job. They allowed protesters to run wild, wreaking havoc in our state’s most cherished taxpayer-supported building. And this is coming from yours truly who has a reputation of undying support for our police and sheriffs.

As a taxpayer, I urge Joint Finance Committee members to carefully review all requests for reimbursement and reject them if need be. Maybe that will send a proper and strong message that when you put on the badge, you leave your politics at home.

E-mails, I get e-mails: In a nutshell...

In a nutshell............


The folks who  are getting free stuff,
Don't  like the folks  who are paying for the free stuff,
Because  the folks who are paying for the free stuff,
Can no longer afford to pay for both the free stuff and their own stuff.

The  folks who are paying for the free stuff,
Want the free stuff to stop.
And the  folks who are getting the free stuff,
Want even  MORE free stuff on top of the free stuff they're getting already!

Now.....The people who are  forcing  people to PAY for the free stuff,
Have told  the people who are RECEIVING the free stuff,
That the  people who are PAYING for the free stuff,
Are being  mean, prejudiced and racist.

So.... the people who are GETTING the free stuff,
Have been convinced they need to HATE the people who are PAYING for the free  stuff because they are selfish. And  they are promised more free stuff if they will vote for the people who force the people who pay for the free stuff to give them even more free stuff.  

And - - -  that's the Straight Stuff.

What does Kevin Fischer have in common with Johnny Depp?



And Depp.

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MUST SEE VIDEO: Nice nonchalant catch

September 14, 2011

Arlington, Texas

Cleveland vs. Texas

Watch carefully.


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Renowned baseball writer: Brewers are on a "whining steak"

Tracy Ringolsby is a veteran, highly respected Hall of Fame baseball writer. His latest column on is about the latest goings-on with the Milwaukee Brewers. It opens this way:

The Milwaukee Brewers had been baseball's feel-good story.

Emphasis on the past tense.

Just when the Brewers, who reside in the smallest market in the major leagues, get to crunch time in their bid to claim the National League Central title, the squeaky wheels start to make noise.”

It closes this way:

“It's time for the Brewers to get their focus back on the field and put the self-pity party on hold.”

Read the beginning, the end, and all that’s in-between here.

E-mails, I get e-mails: The Federal Budget - In understandable terms

For current fiscal year:

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Franklin's motto: Spend, Spend, Spend

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.”

A quote attributed to US Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois) during the 1960’s.

An exchange that took place at the last Franklin Common Council meeting on September 6 was anything but controversial. But it was quite revealing, demonstrating the mindset that permeates the vast majority of the Franklin Common Council and yes, I’ll toss in Mayor Tom Taylor.

They just can’t say no to any spending item.

At issue was this item on the agenda:

Resolution awarding contract to D.C. Burbach, Inc. in the amount of $11,981.70 for the installation of concrete sidewalk in easement from W. Forest Hill Avenue to a Franklin High School drive.


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Did anyone in Franklin make this list?


Back to the S.27th Street drawing board

Efforts by Franklin and Oak Creek to lure developers to S. 27th Street are explored in this week’s Milwaukee Business Journal. The complete article is not on-line. But here are some of the key portions of the piece by Sean Ryan:

“The economy was booming in 2004 when Oak Creek and Franklin drafted the long-range development plan for the six-mile stretch of 27th Street between College Avenue and County Line Road.”

“Since then, the real estate industry went soft, and the reality of development on South 27th has not lived up to the optimism that preceded the recession. City officials are looking at new public incentive programs, a business improvement district and modifying zoning along the street to attract projects in an economy with fewer development opportunities and heavier competition from other communities.”

“A source of optimism in Oak Creek and Franklin is the planned Interstate 94 interchange at West Drexel Avenue, which connects to South 27th in the center of the redevelopment corridor.
Projects in the corridor include Dental Associates’ $9.5 million headquarters and clinic that will open this month. A restaurant and banquet center is planned to replace the former golf dome on South 27th Street that closed. Among the largest planned projects is Ener-Con Cos. Inc.’s proposal for the southeast corner of West Rawson Avenue and 27th Street. Greenfield-based Ener-Con has plans for a 50-room hotel, six office buildings with a combined 60,000 square feet and 90 senior housing apartments split between two buildings.”

“The (Forward Franklin Economic Development) committee is considering creating new city incentive programs, (committee chairman Craig Haskins) said. One proposal, modeled after a program in Minneapolis, would give money to developers to pay off the interest on project loans. A challenge with that program is finding the money in city coffers to pay for it, Haskins said.
‘We’re not sold on it, we’re not really sure how we would pay for it, but it’s being kicked around,’ he said.”

“’It comes down to is the city serious about budgeting dollars for economic development and, if they’re not, this is all a waste of time,’ (Alderman) Steve Taylor said.”

Goodnight everyone, and enjoy the last weekend of the summer!

“Summer is kind of like the ultimate one-night stand: hot as hell, totally thrilling, and gone before you know it.”


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, one last grasp of summer, my favorite season of the year.
In the upper Midwest, summer is cherished, cradled, fondled, elevated to a gigantic, almost constant ongoing party, until suddenly, it's gone, blown away by frosty winds.

Three months of summer are instantly replaced by a week or two of fall, followed by 14 months of winter. Alright, I know that's mathematically incorrect, but you get my drift.

Summer this year officially began on June 21, 2011. That wasn't that long ago. Remember what was going on at the time? Here are just a few items:

North Carolina man robs store for a dollar so he can get health care in prison for medical problems.

New bride arrested for biting, beating her husband during attack just hours after their wedding.

Woman pleads guilty to stashing stolen mink coat in her underwear for 3 days.

Bruce Springsteen gives 'The Big Man' a memorable send-off at funeral of Clarence Clemons.

Jack McKeon returns to manage Florida Marlins at age 80, second oldest in MLB ever to Connie Mack.

St. Louis Cardinals lose Albert Pujols for approximately six weeks due to fractured left wrist.

LeAnn Rimes shows off bikini body in Twitter photo, continues to shrug off scary skinny criticism.

Summer was just beginning.



The nights have been chilly this week, that's for sure. I hope you haven’t forgotten last Monday and had the good fortune to be outdoors and soak in what might have been the most beautiful night of the entire year.

Perfect temperature, around 80 degrees.

Little humidity.

And that breeze.

I was working a high school soccer game in the press box, running the clock. We opened the windows as far as we could and smiled as that wind blew in. My partner, Mike Wenzel and I agreed. It wouldn’t get any better than this the rest of our high school soccer schedule.


It really, really was that nice.

Next up, a mix of classical and jazz.

Remember the early 70's and that great instrumental of 2001: A Space Odyssey? It was performed by Eumir Deodato.

From those early years of his career, "The Spirit of Summer."

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The best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


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The Barking Lot (09/17/11)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Sunny. High of 66.  That's below normal, but it's sunny and dry and not all that terrible. "B"

SUNDAY:  Afternoon showers. High of 69. "C"

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

As I have stated in the past, I am not a big lover of pit bull breeds.  I would never feel comfortable around one and never in a million years would I let Kyla anywhere near one.  I know, I know… there are no bad dogs, only bad owners.  I know, I know…  YOUR pit is just a big lover/teddy bear/baby/sissy/dog-that-is-afraid-of-its-own-shadow.  I know, I know… the media is out to get your favorite breed.  Save your arguments for someone whose mind you can change.

For every cute and cuddly story about a reformed pit bull that has saved a life literally or figuratively, there are probably a hundred or more about one who has taken a life or dramatically changed it for the worse.

Do I feel terrible that a breed has been used for horrific crimes that have somehow fallen under the label of “sport?”  Of course I do.  I think it is sick, inhumane, disgusting and appalling that people could do this to animals for so-called “entertainment.”  But you won’t find me looking to pit bull rescue groups when it comes time to adopt the first Fischer dog for our family.

Great for all the dog-loving do-gooders out there who rescue these poor things and consider them rehabilitated.  Personally I don’t know why anyone would put themselves willingly in a situation like that but as they say, “whatever.”  I do think that if you are going to rescue a dog like this, you shoulder more than the usual amount of dog-owning responsibility.  It is up to you, angel with kibble, to keep your propensity-to-maul dog away from any other warm-blooded being.

While the following local blog may seem pertinent to residents only of Seattle’s Green Lake neighborhood, I think it raises an interesting question of who is responsible if (when) a pit bull attacks another dog in a dog park.

Apparently a pit owner is disturbed that other dog owners are letting their dogs go off leash in a park that is specifically a LEASHED park.  She is afraid of what could happen if that sweet but too-assuming lab came too close to her “VERY aggressive” dog.  Technically and legally, she is right.  However if her dog is that anti-social why is she taking it to ANY dog park?  Yes I know that all dogs should be socialized.  But is a dog park the best place to start?

And I love her additional argument:  “It’s not just me and my dog issues,” she added, “it could be a kid that the big, goofy, friendly dog knocks over.”  Hmmm…  I don’t recall ever reading about a medical catastrophe caused by a St. Bernard running over a toddler.

You can read the entire exchange here. 
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.I must admit my patience has run out regarding pit bulls. Poodles and terriers aren't terrorizng. We know the breed that is.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week, and we've got a bunch.

Today happens to be National Puppy Mill Awareness Day. A Michigan woman is on a  mission to end puppy mills everywhere.

Ayen's Law gets tough on owners of killer dogs.

Police chief wants big dogs kept away from children.  
Find out where.

Woman charged with animal cruelty  wants dog back.

Utah man, service dog  thrown out of restaurant.

Woman fighting for her life wants to find her missing dog.

New study: 9/11 search and rescue dogs suffered minimal setbacks.

Military to train more dogs.

Bill approved to make VA service-dog friendly.

Small dog rescued from crack caused by drought.

A dog rescue that moved into Michael Vick's former house is now
facing problems.

Dog survives arrow through head.  Another survives a nail gun.

Dog saved, then lost.

Dog's disobedience saved man's life.

Hunter beefs up his resume.

One-eared dog is a hero.

Guide dogs deal with

Yes, you can get your  dog used to a car ride.

Therapy dog comforts airport passengers.

train dogs to help others.

Noisy dogs can threaten backyard diplomacy.

Are you a responsible dog owner?

Why do we love our pets?

OK, one more time...can you afford a dog?




Eight-year old combat dog Fitas is seen with a French soldier from chef dog unit of Warhouse Camp in Kabul on 10th september 10, 2011. Fitas the dog, injured in his leg, was captured and keptby the Taliban for five months before being found by Afghan National Army soldiers and returned to French troops.

Eight-year old combat dog Fitas is seen with a French soldier from chef dog unit of Warhouse Camp in Kabul on  September 10, 2011. Fitas the dog, injured in his leg, was captured and kept by the Taliban for five months before being found by Afghan National Army soldiers and returned to French troops. Photo: Getty Images

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

13 dogs from Japan's "Super Wan Wan Circus" now hold the record for the most dogs skipping rope.


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POO Awards - 2011: Week 5

Each week during this year’s high school football season, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1

Luck 73,
Birchwood 22

Week 2
Coleman 63,
Sevastopol 13

Week 3
Edgar 71,
Chequamegon 7

Edgar usually ends up on my list once a season. It led 59-0 at halftime of their blowout.

Week 4
Ashwaubenon 64,
Green Bay West 0

The halftime score: 57-0.

Week 5
Walworth Big Foot 61,
Clinton 12

Last week Big Foot scored 57. They outdid themselves this week.

2011 POO Awards - Week 5

Each week during this year’s high school football season, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1

Luck 73,
Birchwood 22

Week 2
Coleman 63,
Sevastopol 13

Week 3
Edgar 71,
Chequamegon 7

Edgar usually ends up on my list once a season. It led 59-0 at halftime of their blowout.

Week 4
Ashwaubenon 64,
Green Bay West 0

The halftime score: 57-0.

Week 5
Walworth Big Foot 61,
Clinton 12

Last week Big Foot scored 57. They outdid themselves this week.

UPDATE: The POO Award is posted each week on Saturday morning. However, some high school games are played on Saturday afternoon. After Saturday's action, I am adding another POO recipient:

University School 70, Hope School 16

Week-ends (09/17/11)


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...


We begin with bystanders in Logan, Utah:

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Doug's daughter Regis lays the smack down

Regis is Regis Giles. Her father is Doug Giles, one of my favorite columnists and authors.

Regis will be the host of a weekly hunting show on cable next year entitled, "Primal Urge." Here's a sample of the shooting, and I do mean shooting for the program.

Good for you, Regis! You are awesome! (Make sure to watch the following in full screen).



Recommended Reading (09/18/11)

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).

Wisconsin Lawmaker Warns of Escalating Violence

“Somebody is seriously going to get hurt…or killed.”

Stupid in America

"School spending has gone through the roof and test scores are flat.
While most every other service in life has gotten faster, better, and cheaper, one of the most important things we buy ---education --- has remained completely stagnant, unchanged since we started measuring it in 1970.  Why no improvement? Because K-12 education is a government monopoly and monopolies don't improve."

Make September 11 a National Holiday

"September 11th was an attack on all Americans and that’s why a fitting commemoration of our mutual resolve to never forget those who gave their lives that day would be to preserve September 11th on our calendar as a national holiday."

The Luckiest - How 9/11 Saved My Life

"(On 9/111) I brought my daughter home for the first time. I sat alone with her in a recliner in my apartment, when she began to cry. Her father was truly petrified, as nothing was putting this baby at ease. I knew that I had to do something.

Just then, a frightened man with a wretched voice began to sing. The song was The Luckiest, by Ben Folds, and it meant the world to this little girl. If the song stopped for even an instant, she would begin to cry again. She needed me to sing that song for her in that moment. She needed me to embrace her, but nowhere near as much as her father needed the same. The ‘culture of life’ had found us both. And on that day, I had become – The Luckiest."

Five Reasons Black Americans Should Give Up On The Democratic Party

"Americans should have given up on the Democratic Party a long time ago.

1) Black Americans have been voting for the Democrats en masse for almost 40 years. What do they have to show for it economically?"

I agree with the people who yelled "yes," we should let him die at the debate

"One of the dirty little secrets of health care in this country is that a lot of the people who don't buy insurance can afford it, but choose not to do so."

Should faking a name on Facebook be a felony?

"Imagine that President Obama could order the arrest of anyone who broke a promise on the Internet. So you could be jailed for lying about your age or weight on an Internet dating site. Or you could be sent to federal prison if your boss told you to work but you used the company's computer to check sports scores online. Imagine that Eric Holder's Justice Department urged Congress to raise penalties for violations, making them felonies allowing three years in jail for each broken promise. Fanciful, right?

Think again. Congress is now poised to grant the Obama administration's wishes in the name of 'cybersecurity'."

Hero Irish cleric calls for end to holy celibacy

''I think priests should have the freedom to marry if they wish. I'm worried about the decreasing number of priests and the number of older priests

My Most Popular Blogs (09/18/11)

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) 9/11 IMAGES: "Powerful and disturning"

2) Photos of the Week (09/11/11)

3) Did anyone in Franklin make this list?

4) Franklin's motto: Spend, spend, spend

5) E-mails, I get e-mails: In a nutshell...

6) Remember Chris Gizzi?

7) The Barking Lot (09/17/11)

8) Culinary no-no #244

9) "The Man Who Predicted 9/11"

10) Week-ends (09/17/11)

Photos of the Week (09/18/11)

Photos of the Week

1) Relatives of 9/11 victims listen to the US national anthem during the ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack. In the September 11, 2001 attacks, Al-Qaeda hijackers crashed passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, while a fourth jet crashed in Shanksville. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV

2) New York police and firefighters and Port Authority police salute during the singing of the Star Spangled Banner at one of the entrances of 9/11 Memorial Plaza during the tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site, September 11, 2011 in New York City. New York City and the nation are commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on lower Manhattan which resulted in the deaths of 2,753 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center. CHIP SOMODEVILLA/GETTY IMAGES

3) Former first lady Laura Bush  wipes away a tear as former President George W. Bush listens during ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, September 10, 2011. Picture taken September 10, 2011.  REUTERS/JASON COHN

4) Family members gather at the edge of the North Pool during anniversary ceremonies at the World Trade Center site in New York on Sept. 11, 2011. Photo: Robert Deutsch / AP

5) Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial during tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center on the morning of Sept.11, 2011. New York City and the nation are commemorating the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Security has been heightened in both New York City and Washington D.C. following a possible car bomb threat. Photo: Justin Lane / Pool via Getty Images

6) A woman mourns the loss of her son, ten years after he died in the attacks on the World Trade Center during the tenth anniversary ceremonies at the site of the World Trade Center September 11, 2011, in New York. AFP PHOTO/POOL/CAROLYN COLE

7) U.S. flags stand among a list of victims' names on a memorial pool during tenth anniversary ceremonies of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center site September 11, 2011 in New York City. The nation is commemorating the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and one crash landed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  Photo: Lucas Jackson-Pool/Getty Images

8) A man looks at the names on the wall of the newly opened "Empty Sky" memorial to victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey September 10, 2011. The memorial displays the names of people from New Jersey who died in the attack. REUTERS/Gary Hershorn

9) The "Tribute in Lights" illuminates the sky over lower Manhattan  on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, September 11, 2011. Photo: Jim Young / Reuters. Here, the Tribute in Lights lights up the sky over the Brooklyn Bridge and lower Manhattan, Monday, Sept. 12, 2011, in New York. Photo: Julio Cortez / AP

10) Representatives of 87 fire departments from the U.S. and Canada hold flags to be presented to family members of firefighters who have died this past year. They were attending the annual IAFF Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial Observance at Memorial Park in Colorado Springs, Colo. on Sept. 17, 2011.  Phyllis Cash hands a tissue to her husband, O.P. Cash, after they received an encased flag in honor of their son, Paul Cash. Paul was serving with the fire department in Great Basin, Nev. when he died. Photos by Jerilee Bennett / The Gazette via AP

11) Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyers, 23, from Greensburg, Ky., Sept. 15, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Cpl. Meyers was in Afghanistan's Kunar province in Sept. 2009 when he repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops. He is the first living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

12) First lady Michelle Obama, left to right, Mike Meyer, Dakota Meyer and President Barack Obama after Obama signed the Medal of Honor citation in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington on Sept. 15, 2011. Meyer, a former Marine sergeant, received the award for courageous actions while serving in Afghanistan. Photo: Joao Silva / New York Timesa via Redux

13) A P-51 Mustang airplane is shown upside down, then vertical, right before crashing at the Reno Air show on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011 in Reno Nevada. The plane plunged into the stands at the event in what an official described as a "mass casualty situation." Photo: Tim O'Brien/Grass Valley Union via AP. The crash was captured on video.

14) In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2011 image taken from video, a group of people tilt a burning BMW up to free Brandon Wright, on his back on the ground, who was pinned underneath after he collided with the car while riding his motorcycle on U.S. 89 in Logan, Utah. Authorities said Wright was riding his motorcycle near the Utah State University campus in Logan when the 21-year-old collided with the BMW that was pulling out of a parking lot. Tire and skid marks on the highway indicate that Wright laid the bike down and slid along the road before colliding with the car, Assistant Police Chief Jeff Curtis said. Police officers quickly extinguish the flames. Photos: Chris Garff / AP

15) In this aerial photo, an area of the Pagami Creek wildfire shows active burning and creates a large smoke plume on Tuesday Sept. 13, 2011 in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota. The haze from the fire was heavy enough that some people reported burning eyes and difficulty breathing in the Chicago area, 400 miles south of the forest fire, the National Weather Service said. Photo: Clint Austin / The Duluth News-Tribune via AP

16) Lightning flashes over the Las Vegas Strip during a thunderstorm early on September 13 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images

17) Saltwater crocodile 'Cassius' is pictured in Marineland Melanisia at Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, Australia, on Sept. 15. Cassius was officially declared the 'World's Largest Crocodile in Captivity' by the Guinness Book of Records, measuring 5.48 metres and weighing close to a ton. Photo: Brian Cassey / EPA

18) A Siproeta Ephaphus butterfly lands on the leaf at the Botanic Garden Jose Celestino Mutis during an exhibition in Bogota on September 14, 2011. Colombia is one of the countries with the greatest diversity of butterfly species, with some 5,000 diurnal and over 20,000 nocturnal. Photo: Luis Acosta / AFP - Getty Images

19) Richie Moretti, right, and other staff members at The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla., perform a final examination of a Federally-protected loggerhead sea turtle before releasing it off the Florida Keys near Marathon, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 14. The turtle suffered a spear gun shot to its head in early August and a veterinarian surgically removed the spear that missed vital structures. Keys residents and businesses have amassed a $16,000 reward fund for tips leading to the arrest and conviction of the guilty party. The x-ray taken prior to surgery is displayed on the monitor in the background. Photos: Andy Newman /Florida Keys News Bureau via AP

20) An albino sea pup with rare reddish-brown fur was spotted in August under some logs on a Russian beach by photographer Anatoly Strakhov. The seal was rejected by his family and left to fend for himself, according to Caters News Agency. "He was hiding and waiting for his mother to come and feed him," Strakhov told the Daily Mail.  "I was pleased to be able to capture such an unusual animal, but the poor seal is almost blind and so was unlikely to survive in the wild." Good news! The Daily Mail reported that the seal was taken into the care of a dolphinarium. Photos: Anatoly Strakhov/Caters News Agency

21) Veterinarian Doctor Maria Diaz gives milk to a newborn lion at the Zoo and Eco Park 'Joya Grande' in the Santa Cruz de Yojoa municipality, department of Cortes, Honduras, on September 17, 2011. Photo: Orlando Sierra / AFP - Getty Images

22) A visitor poses in front of a beluga swimming inside an aquarium at the Laohutan Ocean Park in Dalian, in northeast China's Liaoning province, Saturday, Sept. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

23) Gardener Peter Glazebrook poses for photographers with his world record breaking onion at The Harrogate Autumn Flower Show on September 16 in Harrogate, England. Peter Glazebrook from Newark, Nottinghamshire claimed a Guinness World Record with his giant onion weighing 8.150kg. Photo: Christopher Furlong / Getty Images

24) The Toronto Blue Jays Edwin Encarnacion (10) loses his hold on his bat as Boston Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek catches the pitch in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts September 14. Photo: Brian Snyder / Reuters. Moments later, a  fan reaches up to make the grab on the bat. Photo:  Charles Krupa / AP

25) Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, left, encourages a youth member of the Singapore Basketball Association to complete his set of push-ups during a basketball clinic on Saturday Sept. 17, 2011 in Singapore. Bryant says he's still considering playing overseas as an owners' lockout of players threatens to sabotage the upcoming NBA season. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

26) Wisconsin players take the field before Saturday's game against Northern Illinois won by the Badgers, 49-7. Note the empty seats at Soldier Field. The announced attendance was 41,068. Journal Sentinel photo: Benny Sieu

27)  Miss Angola Leila Lopes is crowned after being named Miss Universe 2011 in Sao Paulo, Brazil on Sept. 12. Photo: Reuters

28) Cheerleaders dance during the EuroBasket 2011 second-round match between Greece and Russia at Siemens Arena in Vilnius, Lithuania.Photo: Getty Images

29) A waitress carries beer mugs in the Hofbraeuhaus-tent after the opening of the famous Bavarian "Oktoberfest" beer festival in a beer tent in Munich, southern Germany, on Saturday, Sept.17, 2011. The world's largest beer festival, to be held from Sept. 17 to Oct. 3, 2011 will see millions of visitors. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader). Here are great photos from last year's Oktoberfest.

30) Underneath a flowing tiered skirt, Lady Gaga wore sky-high shoes and stilts during a photo shoot Monday on a New York street next to a hotdog stand. She took a tumble after losing her balance. But she was quickly helped to her feet and the shoot continued. Photo:

31) Chris  "The Dutchess" Walton shows off her record breaking fingernails in New York, Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011. The Dutchess holds the world's record for the longest fingernails on a pair of female hands, according to the new Guiness World Records 2012 book. Photo:  Seth Wenig / AP.  Walton's nails measure 10 feet 2 inches (3.1 meters) on her left hand and 9 feet 7 inches (2.92 meters) on her right hand and has been growing her nails for 18 years. Photo: Stan Honda / AFP - Getty Images

32) Garry Hine, left, and Gary Wychocki help move a giant chocolate bar to a scale Tuesday, Sept. 13, in Chicago. The chocolate bar weighs 12,000 pounds and measures 3-feet high and 21-feet long. It includes 1,200 pounds of almonds, 5,500 pounds of sugar, 2,000 pounds of milk powder, 1,700 pounds of cocoa butter and 1,400 pounds of chocolate liquor. The bar will tour schools across the United States as part of a portion-control education campaign called "Think Big. Eat Smart." Photo: Brian kersey /World's Finest Chocolate via AP

33) A volunteer holds the end of a 47-foot long bratwurst as Chicago's Berghoff Restaurant goes for the Guinness World Record for the Midwest's Longest Brat on Thursday September 15, 2011. Photos: Mira Oberman / AFP - Getty Images


APRIL 21, 2011
: Wakana Kumagai, 6, waits for her mother Yoshiko after visiting the grave of her father, who was killed by the March 11 tsunami, at a temporary mass grave site in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi prefecture, April 21, 2011, after attending an entrance ceremony of Omagari elementary school. Her father Kazuyuki called his wife Yoshiko just after the March 11 earthquake to tell her to take the children to Omagari elementary school which was serving as a shelter. He was found near the shelter four days after the tsunami, Yoshiko said.  Photo: Toru Hanai / Reuters

FIVE MONTHS LATER: From "One day, one of Wakana’s dolls was miraculously found in the rubble. The doll was her favorite when she was a baby, to the point where without out it she would immediately begin to cry and complain.

'Maybe it’s a gift from my Daddy, " Wakana said while smiling.

Read more

They arrive at the Emmy Awards

Tonight, I'm busy watching watching ESPN baseball and NBC Sunday Night Football. But I  recognize the great interest in tonight's Emmy Awards. I'm not a fashion guru, thank you, but...


LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actress Gwyneth Paltrow arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Actress Gywyneth Paltrow arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actress Claire Danes arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Actress Claire Danes arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actress Nina Dobrev arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Actress Nina Dobrey arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Actress Louise Roe arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

Actress Louise Roe arrives at the 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards held at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.


Read more

Culinary no-no #245

Culinary no-no's



The never ending pasta bowl

Read more

Speaker's Suggestion that Protesters Start Urinating on GOP Lawmakers Draws Applause, Laughter at Fighting Bob Fest

MacIver News Service | September 18, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] Thousands of liberal political activists, gathered here Saturday for an annual conference, cheered and laughed as a speaker recounted the recent assault of a GOP lawmaker.

Read more

The latest pro-life news



September 19, 2011
In This Issue:



Contact Us



by the Web
or Call (877) GOD'S-WILL

Debate heats up regarding use of aborted
fetal body parts in Wisconsin research

On Sunday, September 11 there was a column in the
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opposing a ban on aborted fetal
tissue research.

PLW’s communications director Virginia Zignego had a
letter to the editor on the issue in the Milwaukee Journal
on Sept. 14 and the Wisconsin State Journal on Sept.

The Milwaukee Journal editorial board weighed in, stating moral
concerns hold no sway in this brave new world we’re living in.
Read the editorial board's statement here.

Rep. Andre Jacque had the below op-ed in the Milwaukee
Journal Sentinel
on Sept. 15:

Respect for human dignity is essential in the
authorization and conduct of scientific research, a point
underscored by numerous and horrific past failures to
establish or follow such protocols. Yet as a University of
Wisconsin-Madison graduate with substantial coursework
in the biological sciences, I heard the declaration from more
than one of my professors that the ethical questions
surrounding pushing the boundaries of scientific inquiry should
be “set aside and dealt with later” if there was “great potential”
for medical breakthroughs.

Imagine what atrocities can be justified by such a
philosophy! We can do better. I have introduced Assembly
Bill 214 to establish reasonable standards for human tissue
research and to prohibit the sale or use of aborted fetal body
parts for experimentation or other purposes.


Read more

A question as the new Fall TV Season gets underway...

Who will be the first to get the axe on DWTS?

DANCING WITH THE STARS - CHAZ BONO -- Chaz Bono is an LGBT rights advocate, three time author, speaker and the only child of famed entertainers Sonny and Cher. He teams up with LACEY SCHWIMMER, who is back for her 5th season. A dynamic lineup of stars will take the stage performing either the Cha Cha Cha or The Viennese Waltz for the two-hour season premiere of "Dancing with the Stars," MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 19 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/CRAIG SJODIN

Chaz Bono, or...

Read more

UPDATE: The Barking Lot (09/17/11)

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot research/production team missed an item for this past Saturday’s blog and it’s a dandy.

Scroll down to the final question in Dear Abby?

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #221

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no #221
dealt with the school district of San Antonio where five elementary schools placed cameras in cafeteria lines to spy on what kids were and weren’t eating.

The update: The state of Michigan is going to require BMI reports on kids.

Hey lady, would you like to smell my thigh?

World famous soccer player David Beckham went undercover in a Target store for the Ellen DeGeneres show. Beckham, with Ellen coaching in his ear, tried to sell cologne.

The video is hilarious.

MUST-SEE VIDEO: The world from outer space in 1 minute

Science educator James Drake assembled this time-lapse video of Earth at night from International Space Station imagery. Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. (Credit:
Infinity Imagined)

Features to look for: city lights, lightning flashes in the clouds, the stars in the night sky above, and the dawn at the very end.

Read more

WX for late fall, early winter

Take a look.

Planned Parenthood could care less about adoption

Here's the proof.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #245

Culinary no-no's

The potato was prominent in Culinary no-no #245.

The update
: A Democrat Congressman tries to block proposed school-lunch standards that discriminate against potatoes.

Say it ain't so, Tony

On June 9, 1972, the day before he was to begin some concert dates at Madison Square Garden, Elvis Presley held a rare news conference. Watch how he responds to a question about Vietnam and a follow-up about :38 into this video...

It's a shame and deeply disappointing that the legendary Tony Bennett did not take Elvis' approach.

Read more

UPDATE: Speaker's Suggestion that Protesters Start Urinating, etc...

I honestly don’t expect the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times, or any other newspaper in Wisconsin for that matter to weigh in on this.

However, the Wisconsin 9/12 project rightly condemns what happened at last weekend’s "Fest" where participants served as poster children for incivility. Wisconsin 9/12 Project nails it when it writes that Greg Palast’s remarks were purposefully provocative and deeply irresponsible.

The group is calling for an apology.

UPDATE: Speaker's Suggestion that Protesters Start Urinating, etc...

I honestly don’t expect the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the Wisconsin State Journal, the Capital Times, or any other newspaper in Wisconsin for that matter to weigh in on this.

However, the Wisconsin 9/12 project rightly condemns what happened at last weekend’s "Fest" where participants served as poster children for incivility. Wisconsin 9/12 Project nails it when it writes that Greg Palast’s remarks were purposefully provocative and deeply irresponsible.

The group is calling for an apology.

Tommy Thompson is in the race

The former governor has released the following video:

Read more

"No evidence that (Obama) has rhetorical powers"


I love this judge's idea...

He's Judge David Ticehurst.

I love this judge's way of thinking

He's Judge David Ticehurst.

So America, who do you like best? CNN, FOX, or MSNBC?



Memo to the Franklin School Board

And that goes for you, too, Franklin aldermen...

It can be done.

UPDATE:  Yes, I’m aware that at a recent meeting, the Franklin School Board unofficially endorsed a tax levy that was -0.4%. However, this is Franklin we’re talking about. I’ll believe it when I see it in the adopted budget.

The latest from Rehorst



The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
In This Issue
Travel Green Wisconsin
Pumpkin Spirit Available This Week!
Pumpkin Seasonal Spirit Release Party!
GLD Products Available in Minnesota
Martin Hintz New Book
Pumpkin Old Fashioned

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3RD UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change

Previously on This Just In…

The latest: Vos
says recalls ‘like a cancer' - State recalls cost taxpayers estimated $2.1 million

The MPD lays the smack down on a 68-year old TV cameraman

I started working in broadcast journalism in Milwaukee in May of 1978. I’m still involved in the field to this day. That’s over 33 years of experience.

During that time, I’ve not been aware of any photojournalist being arrested while on the job shooting video of a fire. That is, until now.

I am not the biggest fan of Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn. Believe me, I know more than a few police officers who are in the same boat.

Throughout my years in journalism, I got to know Clint Fillinger, a photojournalist at Channel 6 in Milwaukee from seeing him at many of the same assignments we both covered. Fillinger is affable and always professional.

But Fillinger, who is 68, was recently roughed up by some of Flynn’s officers while he simply was doing what so many have done so many times before him, and including him…shooting video of a working fire while on the job, representing a local TV news station.

This situation could have been handled much better by the local police. It is amazing to me how much harassment they are subjected to and will take from criminal scum, but they have no trouble playing tough against a 68-year old man with a camera simply doing his job.

Hopefully justice will prevail in this case (Watch all videos).

If computer problems were real


2ND UPDATE: Speaker's Suggestion that Protesters Start Urinating, etc..

Previously on This Just In…

The update: Lo and behold, the Wisconsin State Journal says knock it off!

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel???

4TH UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change

Previously on This Just In…

The update: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says, yes, changes are needed.

Goodnight everyone, and a have a daddy-o weekend!


“Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music.”

Ronald Reagan

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

The weekend has finally arrived. 

The sun has set. 

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday

This weekend, my Dad would have celebrated a birthday. We miss him dearly, but we hold on to many wonderful memories, including the music he loved. 

Tonight, as I've done in  the past, some selections will be shared from Dad's record collection.

Let's start with a rather appropriate instrumental that was one of Dad's all-time favorites, performed live with not only the traditional take, but a jazzy interpretation as well.


Read more

This video's for you, Kyla!


Our sweet daughter has loved the one or two hummingbirds that descend on our backyard flowers.

Imagine if she saw these.

Around 100 hummingbirds show up daily on the front porch of Ernie Blanco and Kathleen Gillespie in Ragley, Louisiana. The birds started showing up after Hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008. 


Read more

The best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Read more

Franklin shutout?


When was the last time this happened?

I read the news today, oh boy!


The Barking Lot (09/24/11)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Showers. High of 60.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Scattered showers. High of 60. "D"

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

Several years ago when Kevin and I were first dating, we went to a brew pub we both enjoy.  One of my favorite items there is a wonderful, warm, crusty-yet-soft dinner roll.  I could eat a basket of them all by myself.


Read more

Obama's spin goes country

First, there was the Man in Black...


Now there's a president who has run the country into the ground, but blames everyone else rather than himself and his policies.

Take it away, Lars Larson!

Read more

2011 POO Awards - Week 6

Each week during this year’s high school football season, I’m giving out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that committed the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1

Luck 73,
Birchwood 22

Week 2
Coleman 63,
Sevastopol 13

Week 3
Edgar 71,
Chequamegon 7

Edgar usually ends up on my list once a season. It led 59-0 at halftime of their blowout.

Week 4
Ashwaubenon 64,
Green Bay West 0

The halftime score: 57-0.

Week 5
Walworth Big Foot 61,
Clinton 12

Last week Big Foot scored 57. They outdid themselves this week.

UPDATE: The POO Award is posted each week on Saturday morning. However, some high school games are played on Saturday afternoon. After Saturday's action, I am adding another POO recipient:

University School 70, Hope School 16

Week 6
Milwaukee Riverside 67
, Milwaukee Bay View 13

Leading 54-0 in the second half, Riverside threw for two more touchdowns.

Extremely reliable sources tell me that when the score became 47-0 in the 2nd quarter, the commissioner of athletics for MPS instructed the official timer to implement the running clock, even though WIAA rules order a running clock not be used until the second half.

Assistant coaches for Riverside positioned just in front of the press box complained loudly to the press box officials including the timer, inquiring as to why the clock was running. That’s a clear indication they wanted more time on the clock so as to run up the score. The coaches were informed by a stadium official of the commissioner’s decision and were instructed to call him Monday morning if they had issues. They said they would not.

Riverside is the best team in the City Conference. They’ve had a problem with sportsmanship and pouring it on the past several years. Here’s hoping they clean up their act and fast.


Edgar 63, Phillips 0

Elkhart Lake 67, Stockbridge 0

Week-ends (09/24/11)


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...


Six Japanese men

Matt Collins

Drew Champagnie

Ben Campbell

Parishioners in Lakeland, Florida

CNN's Top Ten, including one from Wisconsin

Keith McVey

I love this one...Josh Ripley. MORE.

Angela Mauer-Pfister's father


President Obama

Governor Deval Patrick

Shirley Anderson

Josh Rendon and Ebony Jackson

Noble Wray

Illinois politics

City officials in San Juan Capistrano

Uninsured drivers

And this one was mighty disappointing...

Yes, entertainers would be best to just shut up.


"My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration."
Gary Johnson

If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House. There is  a less-volatile reaction in the CBC  (Congressional Black Caucus) because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president."
CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.)

“We are far past sending out talking points. Do not attempt to dumb it down.  We cannot stand any more explanations.  Have you talked to any Democratic senators lately?  I have.  It's pretty damn clear they are not happy campers.”
Renowned Democratic strategist James Carville

“His nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate could be in jeopardy.  He’s trying to drag Democrats out on a limb with him.  It’s hard to believe Democrats will follow him. Aside from hard-core Democrats with safe seats, he’s just not going to get much support from his own party.”
Cheri Jacobus, political strategist and president of Capitol Strategies, talking about President Obama.

“In a fact sheet published by Office of the Press Secretary, the White House itself has estimated that president’s new jobs plan will cost a total of $447 billion. $447 billion divided by 1.9 million (jobs to be created) equals approximately $235,263.”

"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart."
Rick Perry

"Governor Perry, no one is suggesting up here that the students that are illegal in this country shouldn't be able to go to a college and university.... The point is, why are we subsidizing? Not that they can't go. They can go. They just have to borrow money, find other sources to be able to go. And why should they be given preferential treatment as an illegal in this country?"
Rick Santorum

"I don't try and define who is rich and who is not rich. I want everybody in America to be rich."
Mitt Romney

“Not with my brother, with my dad, not with me at all. I admire him.”
George W. Bush, denying rumors of a tense relationship with Texas Governor and Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry, who served as Bush's lieutenant governor in Texas.

"$16 muffins and $600,000 for event planning services are what make Americans cynical about government and why they are demanding change."
Chuck Grassley, U.S. senator and senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, on a recent report describing the Department of Justice's wasteful spending.

“This guy pushed every one of the media’s buttons. He was liberal, he was different, he was new, he was black. Oh my God, it was the potpourri of everything. They are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to protect him. They, I believe, will spout this racist line if some of their colleagues up here aren’t doing it aggressively enough. There is going to be a real desperation."
Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Ill.) about the media and President Obama.

"Barack Obama ran against the wars – then expanded them.
Barack Obama ran against federal wiretapping programs – then expanded them.
Barack Obama ran against Bush’s faith based initiatives – then expanded them.
Barack Obama ran against Bush’s debts – then expanded them."

Blogger Aleister

"He was the sweetest, kindest kid you'd ever know. He would give all his heart to you before he gave any to himself."
Tracy Rodemyer, a resident of Williamsville, New York, said of her 14-year-old son, Jamey, who committed suicide Sept. 18 after years of bullying both at school and online because of his sexuality.


New hotline opens in Illinois to help illegal immigrants facing deportation.

Milwaukee police take 4 hours to respond to burglary call.


Wisconsin's business climate still bad, but turning around under Walker.


Chaz Bono.

And Troy Davis is innocent.


This traffic jam
really stunk.

Congratulations, ma'am. It's a boy. By the way, we land in one hour.

Parents sue to kick 41-year old son out of the house.

That's it for this week. We close with the latest from NewsBusted.

War hero wants to be fireman, but...


President Barack Obama awards the Medal of Honor to former Marine Corps Cpl. Dakota Meyers, 23, from Greensburg, Ky., Sept. 15, during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. Cpl. Meyers was in Afghanistan's Kunar province in Sept. 2009 when he repeatedly ran through enemy fire to recover the bodies of fellow American troops. He is the first living Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions in Iraq or Afghanistan. Photo: AP

Recommended Reading (09/25/11)

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).

Why Obama should resign

"The sputtering economy is about to stall out, unemployment is high, his jobs program may not pass, foreclosures are rampant and the poor guy can't even sneak a cigarette."

Four minutes to explain all that is wrong with America

"In a three minute, 51-second song, Mr. EBT champions his eponymous card -- or rather, his sister's EBT card. (Yes, that's fraud.) Because, as we all know, government dependency is a family value. As he wanders aimlessly through the aisles of corner stores, he chants, 'Sandwiches, chips, Snickers, Twix ... I'm eating good. Potato chips ... a big box of Oreos ... cereal, Kix ... my EBT, my EBT...walking down the ave', there's food I got a hunger for.' He doesn't have a hunger for grammar, but he has hunger for taxpayer cash. 'It's the EBT, it's not food stamps,' he says. 'If I don't have my card, I use someone else's!'

Welcome to Obama's America, where shame is no longer allowed."

Cop-killer is media’s latest baby seal

"For decades, liberals tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument: hysterical sobbing.

Only when the media began lying about innocent people being executed did support for the death penalty begin to waver, falling from 80 percent to about 60 percent in a little more than a decade. (Silver lining: That's still more Americans than believe in man-made global warming.)

Fifty-nine percent of Americans now believe that an innocent man has been executed in the last five years. There is more credible evidence that space aliens have walked among us than that an innocent person has been executed in this country in the past 60 years, much less the past five years.

But unless members of the public are going to personally review trial transcripts in every death penalty case, they have no way of knowing the truth. The media certainly won't tell them."

Top 0.1 percent pays more income tax than bottom 80 percent

"Now, I don’t know how much Warren Buffett pays his secretary, or how much either of them really pays in income taxes. But when 0.1 percent of the population is collectively paying more in income taxes than 80 percent of the population is collectively paying, it’s clear that there’s not a whole lot of need for the 'Buffett Rule'.”

What we owe the extraordinarily brave

“Last Sunday was television’s night, what with the Emmy Awards and all.

And yet as I watched the funny and jubilant, I couldn’t stop thinking about the blank, distant expression of Marine Sergeant Dakota Meyer on 60 Minutes less than an hour before.”

How to fix our illegal immigration problem in 5 steps

"The reality is that if the people in D.C. actually want to put an end to illegal immigration, they could do it within a year or two without resorting to the open borders and amnesty crowd's favorite imaginary bugaboo: rounding up millions of people, one by one, and deporting them. How do we do it?"

Don't let cheerleaders wear short skirts to school

"Are the skirts these days obscenely short? Yes. I really do think they are in the context of class, when you have to sit in a desk and people are like two inches away from you. It's really hard to sit comfortably without showing more than you want to in a cheerleading skirt. Especially the newer ones without pleats. The end.

I always thought it was totally stupid that cheerleaders had to wear their uniforms to school, but I never really thought about it until now. 

None of the sports teams wore their uniforms to school in my high school. I'm pretty sure they don't today, either. Why make the cheerleaders do it? Or better -- why LET them even if they want to?"

Hot Dog Time

“Okay, so we’re broke. Not ‘have to stretch to next payday’ broke. Really broke. Our accounts are overdrawn, the credit cards are maxed out and if that’s China on the phone, tell them we just stepped out. Yes, again.

We’re in an economic hole so deep we’re bumping elbows with blind moles. Can feel the heat from the core of the earth on the soles of our feet. Need a co-signer to play pinball. We’re so broke, Greece won’t play backgammon with us anymore.”

My Most Popular Blogs (09/25/11)

Most popular

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

1) Photos of the Week (09/18/11)

2) Memo to the Franklin School Board

3) Franklin’s motto: Spend, Spend, Spend

Culinary no-no #245

5) 2ND UPDATE: Speakers Suggestion that Protesters Start Urinating etc

6) If computer problems were real

7) Week-ends (09/24/11)

The MPD lays the smack down on a 68-year old TV cameraman

9) Week-ends (09/17/11)

10) The Barking Lot (09/24/11)

Photos of the Week (09/25/11)

Photos of the Week

1) Ryan Braun swings and connects on a three-run homer Friday night to beat the Florida Marlins, 4-1 and capture the NL Central Division crown, the first such title for the Brewers in 29 years. Photos: Tom Lynn, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

2) Ryan Braun holds a championship belt as the team and  their fans celebrate at Miller Park Friday after Milwaukee clinched the NL Central Division crown. Journal Sentinel photos: Benny Sieu

3) A  campaign staffer helps a glass repairman clean up broken glass in the early hours of Friday, Sept. 23, after President Barack Obama's West Los Angeles campaign office was vandalized. Photo: Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

4) The crime scene where two trucks were found with 35 bodies along an avenue in Boca del Rio, Veracruz metropolitan zone, Mexico, on Sept. 20. According to authorities, the victims, 23 men and 12 women, were alleged members of Los Zetas cartel and were killed by their rivals of Gulf cartel. Photo: Veracruz En Red / EPA

5) Emergency responders work at the scene where a building collapsed onto a street and bus on the corner of 125th Street and Frederick Douglass Blvd. in the Harlem neighborhood of New York on Tuesday, Sept. 20. Seventeen people were injured and fire officials said the injuries were minor and not life-threatening. Photo: Andrew Kelly / Reuters

6) The fountains at the Milwaukee Art Museum are bubbling with pink water in preparation for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure that will begin at 9:15 a.m. Sunday at the museum. An estimated 16,000 people are expected to attend the event, which is a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. Photo: Gary porter, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Japanese athletes swim the final stretch into the Suao harbor, northeastern Taiwan on Monday in a two-day, 95-mile swim. The athletes swam from Japan's Yonaguni Island to Taiwan to thank the island for its disaster aid after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Photo: Wally Santana  /  AP

Ana Julia Torres kisses Jupiter, a lion who was rescued from a circus 12 years ago, on September 17, 2011, at Villa Lorena shelter, in Cali, Valle del Cauca department, Colombia. Torres, a 52 year-old teacher, founded the Villa Lorena animal shelter 17 years ago, which protects about 600 animals seized from drug traffickers, circuses, animal traffickers or abandoned by their owners. (AFP/Getty Images/Luis Robayo)

9) Mi
sh Whalen writes on “A poor little featherless penguin born Aug. 17, 2011, was abandoned by its parents just days after its birth. An aquarium keeper said: ‘Its parents kicked it out from time to time, or even left it on the icy ground to let it die,’ according to Rex Features. Keepers at the aquarium decided that the sad baby penguin's lack of feathers and weak condition were due to difficulties digesting food and absorbing nutrition. Spokeswoman Wang Dan said: ‘In the beginning we tried to send it back to its parents, hoping they would still take care of it and help it grow stronger, but they neglected it and even kicked it out. We then decided to feed it by ourselves’. The keepers at LHT Pole Aquarium in China set up a penguin group to care for the youngster around the clock. After a month of hand-feeding, the little penguin was much stronger and, to the delight of keepers, even grew feathers. It was then successfully reintroduced to its family group.” Photos: Quirky News China via Rex USA

The next Friday night fish fry sensation?  Chef Tim Creehan, right, and chef Philippe Parola prepare Asian carp at Christ the King Jesuit College Preparatory High School on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011, in Chicago. Launch of a campaign by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to try and change the fish's image and teach people how to cook the ultra-bony meat. Photo: Nam Y. Huh / AP

11) Wisconsin defensive back Marcus Cromartie (14) breaks up a pass intended for South Dakota wide receiver Dustin Nowothy during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011, in Madison, Wis. The Badgers won handily, 59-10. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

12) Carolina Panthers fans watch the team play against the Green Bay Packers on September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Green Bay won, 30-23.  Photo: David T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer

13) Carolina Panthers' Brandon LaFell (11) falls back after catching a touchdown pass against Green Bay Packers' Jarrett Bush (24) during the first quarter on September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Green Bay won, 30-23. David T. Foster III/ Charlotte Observer

14) Green Bay Packers' Charles Woodson (21) intercepts a pass intended for Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (89), as Nick Collins (36) closes in, during the second quarter on September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Green Bay won, 30-23.Photo:  David T. Foster III- Charlotte Observer

15) Carolina Panthers' Steve Smith (89) watches the ball bounce away after being stripped of it while being hit by Green Bay Packers' Morgan Burnett (42) and Nick Collins (36) during the third quarter on September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Green Bay won, 30-23. Photo: avid T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer

16) Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) streaks down the sideline in front of the team's bench on his way to the endzone against the Carolina Panthers late in the fourth quarter on September 18, 2011 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Green Bay won, 30-23. Photo: David T. Foster III / Charlotte Observer

17) BAM! Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb, left, is sacked by Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo in the first half of in Landover, Md., Sunday, Sept. 18. Photo: Evan Vucci / AP

18) Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) listens to quarterback coach Shane Day during a time out in the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans, Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)

19) Combo picture dated on September 20, 2011 shows fans wearing glasses during various rugby matches at the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Photo: Stf / AFP - Getty Images

20) A general view of the La Monumental bullring on September 22 in Barcelona, Spain. The Catalonian parliament voted to ban fullfighting on July 28, 2010 and Sunday September 25 will be the last bullfight in Catalonia. Photo: David Ramos / Getty Images

Dolores Hope leans over to talk with her husband, entertainer Bob Hope, as they ride in a car as Grand Marshals for a parade in his honor in Toluca Lake in this May 30, 1998 file photo. Dolores Hope died on September 19 at age 102. Photo: Fred Prouser / Reuters

22) A German Motorway Police handout photograph dated September 20 shows a vehicle which was stopped by police on the motorway near Holzkirchen, Germany. Reports state that the car, in the form of a pirate ship, was heading towards Munich when it came to the notice of German Police patrol officers. After a negative alchohol check on the four people in the car from England, it was found that the men were taking part in a contest for the most iconic vehicle through Europe. All of the required paperwork and permits were on hand. Photo: Autobahn Police/ EPA

23) Mexican cooks make a 50-metre-long "Taco" (Mexican typical food) at Garibaldi square in Mexico City, on Sept. 22 in the framework of the 2nd Taco Festival, in an attempt to break a record of the most long "Taco" of the world. Ronaldo Schemidt / AFP - Getty Images


It's not the photo of the year, but for a lot of you, it just might be.

A koala takes an afternoon nap in a tree at the San Diego Zoo, California September 23, 2011.  Photo: Mike Blake / Reuters.

The wording above simply doesn't do the picture justice.

Culinary no-no #246

Culinary no-no's


It was the busy lunch period at a suburban Milwaukee restaurant many years ago and we had, after about a 15 minute wait, been seated next to a circular-shaped table of about six. They were, upon a quick first glance, just about finished with their dining.

We ordered, waited for our lunches to arrive, then ate, and were just about done. The adjacent party of six was still occupying the table. Their check had been presented. They paid it. Asked for more coffee and water. They yacked. And yacked. And yacked some more. And then a few pulled out the daily newspaper, spread it around, and proceeded to start reading. And they read. And read. And read some more.

Meanwhile, a large crowd had assembled in the lobby areas waiting for their opportunity. The inconsiderate six, in absolutely no hurry, were unfazed. Finally, a restaurant manager’s patience tank hit empty.

“I’m sorry, folks, but I could please ask you to leave. I have people waiting and need this table.”

Still unfazed and nowhere near apologetic, the discourteous six quietly, silently folded their newspaper sections, got up, and left.

Bravo to that manager because this...

Is not this...

In the restaurant business, table turnover is critical to the bottom line. The owner wants to seat as many as possible. The wait staff wants to service as many potential tipsters as possible.

In a city where many, if not most dining trends originate, many New York restaurants have decided that if you won’t leave, they’ll make you leave by instituting time limits ranging from 60 minutes to two hours. Some are using stop watches. One is actually resorting to an hourglass.

Good idea or not? Let’s explore.

You have the above-mentioned example of the morons who thought they were in a Christian Science Reading Room.

Then there’s the last time Jennifer, Kyla and I went out to eat. It was this past Friday night. Our dining experience lasted somewhere between 75 and 90 minutes. But consider that we ordered about 5-10 minutes after getting our menus, we passed on appetizers, took dessert to go, and paid our bill in while leftovers were being packed. Otherwise, our total time on the watch could have been close to or exceeding two hours meaning in NYC, we would have been reprimanded.

Appropriate or bad business?

Think about it. Two hours should be more than enough, correct?

But why punish customers by rushing, and potentially, losing them?

On the other hand, you waited and waited and dropped some heavy cash at the bar doing so. Now you’ve finally been seated. Isn’t it only fair that someone else now be forced to be just as patient for that same table?

The hope is that diners will readily recognize that a busy restaurant is filled with people who would prefer that you not dilly dally when you’ve basically done all there is to do.

Zagat has just released The Ten New Rules of Dining Etiquette. Here’s one of them:


Don’t overstay your welcome at a busy restaurant. To clarify: Take your time and enjoy your food, wine, conversation and after-dinner treats. Nobody should ever feel rushed.

Common courtesy should prevail, but in this age of bad manners and selfishness, it doesn’t. Thus, in NYC, the clock is ticking the moment your keister hits the chair.

But get this. For all the griping about these new time restraints, a nationwide Zagat survey shows 60% approve.

I say no. Until 2011, restaurants have understood table turnaround is vital and have somehow managed to deal with poky patrons. Time limits seem to be a somewhat desperate maneuver. I may have jumped through hoops to secure a reservation and still had to wait. Now the wait staff is handing me a menu. I want the best dining experience possible, and that means not having to sweat out a stop watch.

Read much more from the New York Post.


Fast food and food stamps... 
The point is, the program shouldn't be a program at all.

Meet blogger Curtis...idiot.

This is what you eat in a year.

20 years ago vs. today.



Grilled cheese vodka?

With tomato soup chaser, I imagine.

Read more

The latest pro-life news

From Pro-Life Wisconsin.

And Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
Wear the Pin that suits you
Monday September 26, 2011
National Right to Life and Allies Victorious in Achieving Permanent Ban on U.S. Patents on Human Embryos
See Fox News Contributor Laura Ingraham - April 19, 2012
Limit researchers, respect life
Watch Our Newest Television Ad
Help Wisconsin "Opt-Out" of Obamacare's Abortion Subsidies
National Right to Life and Allies Victorious in Achieving Permanent Ban on U.S. Patents on Human Embryos

State Regulators Tell Lawmakers Two-Mile Milwaukee Train Project Could Require $70 Million in Related Utility Work

MacIver News Service
| September 26, 2011 | 9:40 am

Read more

ObamaCare about to go to the SCOTUS

The latest federal court ruling is that ObamaCare is unconstitutional. The Obama administration could have asked that the case be re-heard, thus delaying the inevitable, that the issue would go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. It chose not to.

This tactic is open to interpretation. It seems 2012, an election year, will provide the backdrop for the ultimate ruling on socialistic medicine.

Personally, I can't wait for the case to finally hit the highest court in the land. A binding decision must be rendered, and I'm confident the Supremes will strike down what is obviously an unconstitutional mandate.

Here’s more from Politico.

Get ready to play FINAL JEOPARDY!

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.

Alright players, time's up.

Again, today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


The Final Jeopardy answer was:


The correct question is:

What are Samoas?

We the People Need More Jobs

Friends of the US Chamber


We the People Need More Jobs
Encourage the President to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline,
and Create Jobs Now.

With the national unemployment rate stuck above 9%, President Obama has rightly
chosen to focus on job creation with a tremendous sense of urgency.

However, urgency is only half the battle.  America doesn’t just need a plan—we need
action now.

There is one thing the Administration can do right now to create upwards of 250,000
new, long-term American jobs:
Approve a Presidential Permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Read more

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #246

Culinary no-no's

Previously on This Just In... (check out the final item).

The update...

THE LATEST: Billboard stays, but cheesehead comes off.

Head over to Cold Stone Creamery...NOW!
Find A Store Today!
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Today is a huge day for Elvis fans. RCA has released, "Young Man With the Big Beat," a new 5-CD super deluxe set highlighting Elvis Presley's 1956 RCA debut with RCA master recordings, live performances, outtakes and rare interviews.

Here's a great review from Goldmine Magazine.

Also today, has posted a gallery of rare Elvis photos. TIME writes:

Read more

Does the Franklin Public School administration really want a referendum?

They may want to reconsider.

The Wisconsin Reporter writes in a piece about how the state budget is saving local municipalities money as a result of the state budget proposed by Governor Walker and approved by legislative Republicans:

Referendum is a tool in Act 10 (the state budget) that hasn’t received much attention. School boards are free under the law to take teacher salary increases to district voters, and let taxpayers make the final call.

But the odds of voter approval drop in tough economic times. And school referenda have fallen in recent years, said (Dale) Knapp, of the  (Wisconsin)Taxpayers Alliance. School-related spending questions have dropped from about 80 per year between 1998 and 2001, to around 30 in the past few years, Knapp said.

Asking for money to cover salaries and benefits, however, is a tough question, the researcher said.

‘Many in private sector, many in public sector, are getting by with minimal raises at best,’ he said. ‘To ask them to pay for higher salaries is probably going to be a real difficult sell’.”

My guess, Franklin, is the same could be said about “facilities.”

Go Bucky, stick it to Bo Pelini!

There are a few reasons why I truly hope Wisconsin beats the dickens out of Nebraska this Saturday night:

I am a Badger fan.

I’ve never really liked Nebraska.

This is Wisconsin’s biggest game in the Big Ten Conference this season. Win this one and you could be on your way to a national championship.

Nebraska’s head coach, Bo Pelini is not very nice. Beat him, Bucky. Beat him bad.

UPDATE: Photos of the Week (12/19/10)

Photos of the Week

Remember this photo?

A cross-eyed opossum (didelphis) called Heidi sits in its interim enclosure, in the zoo in Leipzig, Germany, on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2010. The animal came from a zoo in Denmark to Leipzig, where they found out that she is cross-eyed. (AP Photo/dapd, Sebastian Willnow)


Read more

"Please, Sir, your country needs you to run for President"

Quite a question.

Quite the response.

Read more

Is a -0.4% Franklin school property tax levy good enough?

I don't think so.

"Vegetarian - that's an old Indian word meaning lousy hunter"

He's a slice of Americana.

Andy Rooney

After 33 years, 92-year old Andy Rooney leaves CBS' "60 Minutes" after this Sunday's broadcast.

Read more

The latest from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm

Dear Residents,


Read more

INCREDIBLE VIDEO: Unbelievable is right

2ND UPDATE: Let's pass Caylee's Law in Wisconsin

Previously on This Just In…

The update: The Green Bay Press Gazette tracked down some professors who pooh-poohed the proposed legislation. It’s the usual lame arguments: Knee-jerk reaction, unnecessary, taking advantage of sensational headlines.

It’s tough on crime. Good enough for me.

Photo IDs a hardship???


Read more

NEWS BULLETIN: WI still spends a lot on public schools


With all the acrimony earlier this year in Madison over Governor Walker’s state budget that was approved by legislative Republicans, all the ugly protests, the storming of the Capitol, the property damage, the threats of death and sexual assault, teachers abandoning their classrooms to picket and then seek fake doctor’s excuses, one would have thought Wisconsin schools were going to hell in a hand basket.

Facts are foreign and actually painful to liberals. It hurts when they don’t fit nicely in a four second sound bite or on a bumper sticker or rhyme nicely in a protest chant.  That’s why they won’t accept, or at the least understand new numbers crunched by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).

In a memo to the entire Wisconsin Legislature, the LFB compares state support of statewide K-12 education between school years 2009-10 and 2010-11.

Total state funding for school year 2009-10 in millions:  $6,219.5

Total state funding for school year 2010-11 in millions:  $6,234.2

Those no-good, evil Republicans.

The Milwaukee Brewers and Lou Holtz

The current Brewer euphoria is wonderful and more than understandable. After all, Milwaukee hadn’t captured a division crown in nearly 30 years until last week.

But now the regular season is over. Everyone left standing is 0-0. The Brewers have a losing record against every team in the playoffs except St. Louis.

Celebrations, though warranted, need to end while the focus be on the future.

As a Notre Dame fan, I’m mindful of what former ND football coach Lou Hotlz said after the ND-USC game at the Los Angeles Coliseum where the undefeated #1 Fighting Irish beat the previously undefeated #2 Trojans, 27-10. Despite the huge victory, Holtz cautioned that Notre Dame hadn’t won anything just yet. We, Holtz said, just put ourselves in a position to do something special.


Franklin city budget good but could be better


Franklin mayor Tom Taylor has submitted his proposed 2012 city budget.  It now goes to the city’s Finance Committee for review. There will be a public hearing before final action is taken by the Franklin Common Council later this year.

Here’s the bottom line. The mayor’s budget includes a city property tax levy decrease of 2.4 %. In his budget message, the mayor also has, as he has done in the past, placed a great deal of emphasis on the city tax rate that falls 7.18%. In a city budget document, the rate by formality must be included, but the rate is meaningless. It’s the levy that counts.

Some would argue a decline in the levy by over two percent is commendable. I submit the cut could be even bigger, especially when you have this quote from Franklin Finance Director Cal Patterson in the mayor’s proposed budget:

Read more

Something doesn't smell right in the proposed 2012 city of Franklin budget


Here is an excerpt from Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor’s proposed 2012 City of Franklin budget written by Finance Director Cal Patterson:

“The City of Franklin has for many years included solid waste charges as part of the services funded by the property tax levy. The Mayor is proposing starting in 2012 that these charges be funded by those citizens that receive the benefit of garbage collection, recycling collection, leaf and brush collection and residential drop off services at the DPW yard. This funding will be in the form of a special charge that will be added annually to the property tax bill.

The amount of the gross charge is calculated to be $140 per year for each single family home. The amount of the actual charge will be about $104.”

Got that?

I’m not sure how an actual charge has to be described by the word about.

We’ll come back, but first, some important background is in order.

During 2010, and especially around budget time, I wrote several blogs about Franklin being a tax hell and backed them up with factual, numerical data. Last December, following passage of our city budget and about the time property tax bills were to be mailed, Steve Walters wrote a column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comparing property taxes in Wisconsin from 2002-2010, or Governor Jim Doyle’s tenure in office.

From one of my blogs:

Here is one of Steve Walters’ findings:

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that the December 2002 net property tax bill on that mythical median-valued Wisconsin home was $2,517, and the bills that will soon be arriving in that homeowner's mailbox will be for $3,000 - a $19.1% increase."

Walters’ column got me wondering how the city of Franklin’s tax numbers changed during the same 8-year period.

The property tax levy is the most important tax piece. In 2002, Franklin’s property tax levy was $15,606,851. The recently-adopted Franklin budget has a property tax levy of $ $20,426,000.  That’s an increase of 30.8 %.

Rather than focus on the levy, Franklin City Hall leaders have been concentrating on the tax rate. They submit that Franklin’s taxes when comparing our tax rate to the rates in other communities aren’t all that bad.

OK, so let’s look at the tax rate. In 2002, Franklin’s tax rate was $8.17. The recently-adopted city budget has a tax rate of $24.76. That’s an increase of 203%.

Even if you just look at the past four years going back to 2006, Franklin’s property tax levy increased 10.4%. The tax rate increased 15.3%. The current recession began in late 2007.

Is Franklin a tax hell? You be the judge.
This Just In…December 13, 2010.

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Goodnight everyone, and have a weekend that will leave you speechless!

Music is love in search of a word.

Sidonie Gabrielle

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