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This Just In ...

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

A reminder from state Senator Frank Lasee...

Of some of the important bills that have passed this legislative session:

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Yes, I watched Senator Mary Lazich on CNN...

And I smiled.

There was Senator Lazich, responding to disgraced ex-NY Governor Eliot Spitzer, a once prominent member of the Democrat Party

Senator Lazich knew she was going to be sandbagged, but agreed to go on the sham of a show anyway.  Also lined up to double-team was attorney Jeffrey Toobin. To use a pro wrestling analogy, it was like Kenny Jay stepping into the ring against the Crusher and Bruiser. And yet, Senator Lazich held her own.

She told Spitzer that when Madison Judge Maryanne Sumi ruled in voiding collective bargaining restrictions approved by the WI Legislature and signed into law that she “meddled” in the legislative and executive branches of government.

Spitzer interrupted and asked why Republicans don’t just go and vote again on the same issue. The answer is that Republicans contend the vote was legal and doesn't require a do-over.

Senator Lazich used the word, “meddled.” Blogger William A. Jacobson used the word, “interfere” in describing the judge’s action.

Jacobson is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Cornell Law School. He writes:

Having read through the decision, it is clear that Judge Sumi glossed over some key problems in her attempt to interfere in the middle of legislative action.  Remember, she issued an injunction previously to stop the law from taking effect, in essence stopping the legislature from being the legislature. 

It is one thing for a court to rule on the validity of a law, but quite another thing for a court to stop the legislature from making law.”

GAB accused of partisanship, only GOP recalls are scheduled

The latest from Rehorst


The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
In This Issue
Order Online
Absinthe Poster Signing
Celebrate the Danniversary
Spirit Paired Dinner

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Looks like Governor Walker was right

Just ask California.

UPDATE - E-mails, I get e-mails: Death of the Good Samaritan

My most popular blog last week that I also discussed at length while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN dealt with an exhaustive e-mail I received that was written by a woman who, along with her husband, befriended another couple that used and abused welfare benefits. The larger issue, of course, was the bloated entitlement mentality that has exploded in America. Here’s an excerpt from
the local woman’s e-mail (names have been changed):

“When Joe first came here, Mary bought him $200 worth of groceries with food stamps. I was ashamed to have that welfare food in my house, but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to hurt his feelings.

He bought nice, big porterhouse steaks, beef roasts, chicken breasts and all sorts of name brand stuff. But it really wasn't even enough food to last a week.

My husband and I live on less than $60 worth of groceries per week; we eat a lot of chicken leg quarters, not much steak.

We cooked BBQ chicken leg quarters on the grill and Joe wouldn't eat them because he doesn't eat dark meat. Can you say ‘entitlement mentality’???

My husband said later that when they were going to work, Joe said to my husband he didn't like what I had said. My husband said that we are poor and eating chicken leg quarters while he is living high and eating steak, that can make an honest person just a little upset.

Joe actually said that he ‘deserved’ those food stamps, though he could not give any reason why he deserved them.

I could go on and give you a million examples of Joe refusing to eat generic brand food or consider wearing clothes without some fancy label on them. He would only eat Skippy peanut butter, that was one that especially pissed me off.

Don't say that Joe is a bad example of someone on welfare. Every time I go to the grocery store I see someone buying food with food stamps and every single time it's all top shelf, name brand stuff, best cuts of meat, etc. I mean if someone was buying your food and you had no personal responsibility for it wouldn’t you get only the best?”

Now, that is not unfair, false stereotyping. I’ve seen it. Maybe you’ve seen it. My cousin who is a Milwaukee Police Department officer has seen it, in the checkout line, a smorgasbord of luxury items, thanks to you and me, the oh-so generous taxpayers of the state of Wisconsin.

Reaction? Of course I got reaction. On the air I begged for people to call in to defend this waste of hard-earned tax dollars. They stayed away. Only a day later or so did they cowardly emerge and send he hate e-mails.  One of the more respectful e-mails came from a doubting Thomas who wrote:

She claims this acquaintance eats steaks nightly while her and her husband had to endure dark meat chicken. Come on.”

That person suggested I fell for a bunch of BS. Nope. I firmly believe the person who sent me the e-mail, whom I’ve corresponded with in the past, is legit and then some. Anyone who doesn’t think this crap happens is incredibly naïve.

Doug Ross, who does a great blog, offers proof. Yes, fellow beleaguered taxpayers who see steak and lobster as an episode of “Fantasy Island." You are, indeed, being screwed.

Common sense may prevail after all in the state Senate

If you missed it over the Memorial Day weekend…

State Senate Majority Leader appeared on Mike Gousha’s Sunday program and discussed conceal-carry:

"Like any piece of legislation, you have to get to a point where the votes are there," Fitzgerald said. “If I had to guess, knowing my caucus as well as I do and the individual senators, I think we're headed toward some type of conceal carry that probably has some permitting process attributed to it," Fitzgerald said.


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MUST SEE VIDEO: Immense civic pride

Simply amazing!

Protests will return

A Little Known Tax Headed Your Way

Friends of the US Chamber


Little-Known Tax.  Massive Impact.

Join Our Efforts to Repeal the “3% Withholding Tax”

A little-known federal tax that has the potential to bust the budget of your state and
local governments, result in higher taxes, and threaten small businesses, doctors and
farmers is headed your way.

Few have heard of it, but many will be affected – unless we can stop it before becoming
law in 2013.

The “3% Withholding Tax” mandates that federal, state and local governments
withhold 3% from payments for goods and services upfront. It sounds harmless
enough until you consider the small businesses that rely on every penny of cash flow
to keep their doors open and how they’ll be impacted by a 3% loss of revenue.

Last week, the U.S. Chamber announced a grassroots campaign aimed at repealing the
3% Withholding Tax. Visit to learn more about
our efforts and sign our National Letter to stop the 3% withholding.

Here’s how the tax would impact you:

  • The federal government, as well as your state and local governments, withhold
    3% from payments to any business that provides them with a product or service.
    This may include your local office supply store, local builders, electric company
    or even a business selling equipment to first responders.
  • These businesses will then be forced to raise their prices to make up for the 3%
    of  revenue being held hostage — or simply take a huge hit and risk going out of
  • Higher prices could drastically impact government budgets, which are already
    strapped for cash.
  • Local or state governments may be forced to raise your taxes to help make up for
    the budget gap.

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What if it was Sarah Palin and not Anthony Wiener?

Take it away, John Hawkins!

Some inmates prefer to be imprisoned

One of my segments discussed while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN last Friday was a Democrat bill to reduce the number of meals served in our state prisons from three to two.  During the discussion, I noted that some inmates will actually concede that they want to be in prison for what they perceive to be amenities, and when released, will commit a crime so as to get tossed back into the system where they have a bed, a roof, three meals, recreation, a law library, etc. A woman who feeds inmates at a facility called in to verify.

Serve time, be rehabilitated, obtain release, and become a contributing member of society? That is not the goal for every prisoner.

Consider this from the Fond du Lac Reporter:

“Some drug addicts are opting for jail time instead of battling their demons, says a local judge.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge  Peter Grimm recently issued a press release expressing concern about the  number of drug cases appearing in court and the need for friends and family to help  address the problem.

If a user appears in court for drug possession, judges have numerous options to try to help. In the case of a juvenile, probation can be forced upon them, allowing for an agent to oversee their progress in bucking the habit.

‘In adult court, the defendants can actually decline probation, which we are seeing more of,’ Grimm said. ‘That’s concerning for me. By law, I cannot impose it (probation). I have to decide what is the amount of incarceration.

The defendants are picking time behind bars instead of treatment, urine screens and rules.”

They prefer jail time?


Franklin taxes keep growing

That's the perception. 

While City Hall seems content to expand sewer coverage in the western part of Franklin, not every resident is pleased. Many are quite upset.

I completely understand their frustration and hope others angered by taxation in Franklin will speak up. Here is an e-mail I received:

We are not in an area that will receive sewer service yet I will be paying additional property taxes on it?  In this economy the absolute disregard for residents in this area is reprehensible.  Our taxes are already so high we have to escrow almost $400 a month.  We are living paycheck to paycheck and the people who have sworn to represent us are instead turning a blind eye.  Do you know what it’s like to have to use your credit card for groceries or take it out of our savings?  Walk a mile in our shoes.  What a laugh, politicians don’t give a darn about their constituents anymore.”

You are preaching to the choir.

Franklin aldermen need to do important job right

Franklin aldermen are in serious discussions about economic development.

This is a good thing.

Revitalizing our local economy and improving our business climate is right up on the list of critical issues with taxing and spending. I wish our elected officials the very best in their efforts.

However, dampening my optimism is knowing that the approach being submitted by more than one alderman is tired, and old and dreary and lacking vision or originality: Let’s form a committee.

Who will be on the committee? How many members? Who chooses them? Who will they report to? What powers will they have?

It’s all up in the air. Wonderful.

FranklinNOW reports there are three separate plans:

Number one….

“At the heart of the issue is whether the Economic Development Commission will be abolished and reorganized as a Forward Franklin Development Committee under the Community Development Authority or re-established and strengthened through improved member qualifications and job duties. The resolution calls for a seven-member body, including one alderman, that will report to and work more closely with the CDA.”

Number two…

“In response to the resolution, two members of the EDC - Alderman Steve Olson and resident-appointee Joe Haselow - drafted a plan that allows up to 12 members who have ‘passion’ as well as a ‘profile of relevant skills’ who will proactively develop and respond to economic opportunities.”

Sounds vague to me. What does that mean? Define “passion” and “relevant skills,” please.

Number three…

“The third economic development resolution, authored by Alderman Doug Schmidt, also cuts the commission to seven members and consolidates some of the same Forward Franklin elements but does not place it under the CDA. Schmidt was not available for comment.”

Generally speaking, the general public that undoubtedly views this inside baseball stuff as a real snoozer doesn’t care a hoot about process. They want results. How best to achieve them is the key, not the make-up of yet another committee.

So I offer my own friendly, respectful advice on how to get this critical job done. I have stolen it from an article in my blog this past Sunday, “Recommended Reading.” And it comes from an individual who has created tons of jobs, David Kim:

Lower taxes

Cut the red tape

And keep in mind, Franklin aldermen, that you do not create private sector jobs. You do, however, have the power to make it easier for businesses to start or re-locate here to create jobs.

Best of luck.

WATCH: Reporter saves driver in flood

Thank goodness for Ronald...

McDonald, that is.

Remember, we've been lectured for years these are crummy jobs. I don't think so.

Goodnight everyone and have a show-stopper weekend!

 "Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
German novelist Berthold Auerbach

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. 

We end the work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, some selections from artists soon coming to town as the summer music scene gets set to explode.

We begin with a Paul Anka protégé. Like Anka, this guy hails from Canada.

He was introduced to swing music and old standards by his grandfather, who offered his services as a professional plumber for free to musicians who were willing to let his grandson sing a couple of songs with them on stage.

He performs at the Bradley Center Sunday.

We move from a male vocalist to a female vocalist who will appear at this year’s Pride Fest on Milwaukee’s lakefront at the Summerfest  grounds.

While a NY Congressman this week struggled with massive media coverage involving a scandal about his anatomy, our next artist also made news about her body. LeAnn Rimes distributed via Twitter photos taken on her recent honeymoon. She was immediately blasted for being horrifically thin.

LeAnn Rimes

Amy Paterson of Glasgow, Scotland, a Rimes fan wrote to the singer:

"Whoa, you're scary skinny! Sorry don't mean to offend but that's a lot of bones showing through skin. ... Maybe it's just the pic. It just looks to me like your hip bones were protruding. Again, didn't mean to offend, I am a big fan x."

Rimes wasn’t pleased.

"Those are called abs, not bones love," she tweeted.  “Thx but this is my body and I can promise you I'm a healthy girl. I'm just lean. Thx for your concern but no need to be."

In other words, Rimes was attempting to reassure her fan, don't worry about me.

When Rimes does pure country and doesn't try to imitate Mariah Carey, she's mighty good.

Her version of the late great Marty Robbins' classic, "Don't Worry."



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The best political cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Glenn Foden

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Mike Lester

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Larry Wright

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

To my wife, Jennifer

The Barking Lot (06/04/11)

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:  Isolated thunderstorms. High of 85.  "A-"

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 75. "A"

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

I have written many blogs about hero war dogs, past and present.  Kevin’s Dogs In The News segment has been filled with several articles about the dog that was part of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.  Die hard dog lovers and supporters of our troops alike will be glad to know there is another movement to recognize the bond between soldiers and dogs.

From Memorial Day to Independence Day, Dog Bless You, a non-profit community created by founder Charlie Annenberg Weingarten, will celebrate dogs and soldiers in America through a new campaign called Dog Bless USA.  Now through July 4th, will pair up to 100 companion and service dogs with veterans who live with PTSD.

Everyone knows the power of the internet, and particularly the power of Facebook.  There are dog-focused pages too numerous to count, and so many rescue efforts and fundraisers have enjoyed success thanks to a simple click on the “Like” button.

Regular readers of This Just In/The Barking Lot know that Kevin and I are strong supporters of our military, and how much we appreciate the daily sacrifices these men and women make so that we may enjoy our freedoms and liberties.  So I am very, very happy and proud to pass along one more piece of information that could help our veterans who deserve so much.

Please take a moment to “Like” this organization on your FB page.  Such a simple way to help make a difference.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week. We've got a bunch, so let's get to them.

War veteran dog adoptions rising but they are still not officially recognized.

Paying tribute to dogs of war.

Wisconsin puppy mill law prompts fears of dogs being dumped 

Green Bay Police Department raises funds to keep dogs cool while in squad cars.

Family 'too distraught to speak' after
gator kills dog.

Man denies drugging rival dog at dog show. 

Rescued dogs euthanized.

Blind woman refused guide dog in ambulance.

Whatever happened to... Michael Vick's dogfighting compound?

License fee nothing compared to cost of losing your dog.

Dogs help children read with confidence. 

Hero dog runs door to door to get help for stricken owner.

Neglected dog bounces back, now ready for adoption.

Colorado dog found in Salinas heads back home.

Police canines compete for top dog. 

Officer rescues couple’s dog from frigid waters.

Little dog helps make big impact with rescue workers in Joplin.

For working dogs, retirement can be challenging.

How Peebs keep dog owner grounded. 

Stem cell therapy gives dogs new pep in their step.

Understanding Dog Behavior: A New Science.





Thanks for stopping by. Make sure you tell a fellow animal lover about The Barking Lot.

We close as we always do with our closing video, released just this week.

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Week-ends (06/04/11)


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...


Sheriff David Clarke

Eddie Peoples

Stewart King

Leroy Petry...MORE

Daniel Cole

Edward Gardner

James Arness


Francisco Marquez-Luna

William Richerson

Madison protesters

Russellville Middle School

Mikki Kendall


Fumbin', bumblin', stumblin' daddy


“I was perhaps, if you forgive me, a little bit stiff yesterday.”
NY Congressman Anthony Weiner to a female reporter asking about the penis pic he apparently sent from his Twitter account 

He (Weiner) seems overly defensive. It seems he has created a mountain out of what could have been a molehill.”
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd

The public is willing to forgive mistakes, errors in judgment. …What the public won’t stand for is cover-ups and charges of hypocrisy.”
Liz Sidoti of the AP

Hacking. Prank. Distraction. No investigation. Nothing operative is happening at the FBI or Capitol Police. Every indication is that he did it. And because he won’t answer, people are going to jump to that conclusion.”
Major Garrett of the National Journal

“I have respectfully declined the president’s invitation to the White House today. I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a president whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt.”
Rep. Jeff Landry (La.)

“I think that all of our energy subsidies need to be relooked at today and eliminated.  And we need to make sure that we're investing and allowing our businesses to invest in reliable energy products right now that aren't going to necessitate subsidies because, bottom line, we can't afford it. We've got to allow the free market to dictate what's most efficient and economical for our nation's economy. No, at this time, our country can't afford the subsidies. Before, though, we even start arguing about some of these domestic subsidies that need to be eliminated -- should be -- we need to look at ending subsidies and loans to foreign countries and their energy production that we're relying on, like Brazil."
Sarah Palin

(Palin) did a disservice to every woman in America. She knew from the first month of pregnancy that kid was going to be Down’s Syndrome. It’s brain dead. A virtual vegetable. She carries it to all these different political events against abortion, she did it just because she didn’t want to say she’d had an abortion. How long is it going to live? Another 12, 15 years? Doesn’t even know it’s in this world. So what kind of compassionate conservative is she? I don’t think anybody will want her near the White House.”
Larry Flynt

"In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion.  If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth."
From the New York Times article announcing that Jill Abramson is replacing Bill Keller as the paper's executive editor.

“It would serve no purpose to bring a suit with insufficient legal basis. That’s not the kind of lawyer I am..”
Joanne Kloppenberg finally conceding to state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser after 8 weeks.

“But I would say that from a public relations standpoint and a public confidence standpoint the decision to go ahead with recalls of Republicans while delaying a decision on Democrats looks just awful.”
Rick Esenberg, a visiting assistant professor at Marquette University Law School who teaches election law, said he knew of no evidence that the Government Accountability Board was biased, and he wouldn’t level that accusation. However…

"If I had to guess, knowing my caucus as well as I do and the individual senators, I think we're headed toward some type of conceal carry that probably has some permitting process attributed to it.”
State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau)


Karl Strelnick


TV executives admit Hollywood pushes a liberal agenda.



Love it.


Police shoot menacing looking gator twice, then realize...

Gee. For my eighth grade field trip, I think we went to the zoo.

That’s it. Thanks for checking in.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

What you didn't read about in any great detail in this morning's paper...

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release

Joint Finance Committee Action

Means No More Late-Term Abortion

Plans at Any UW Medical Facility

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Franklin: What about girl's soccer?

Little has been said or written about the Franklin girl’s soccer team.

After beating Milwaukee Washington 10-0 Thursday in the WIAA playoffs, the Sabers lost today to Milwaukee Rufus King 2-0 to end their season.

That may surprise some. It shouldn’t. That Rufus King team is pretty good.

My Most Popular Blogs (06/05/11)

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 (05/29/11)

2) Culinary no-no #223

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Photos of the Week (06/05/11)

Photos of the Week

1) Demonstrators began erecting a tent city Saturday evening outside the Capitol in Madison. A group called We Are Wisconsin and other pro-union groups set up the tent city they call “Walkerville” in preparation for Assembly and Senate action on the state budget. Journal sentinel photo: Michael Sears

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) steps onto an elevator after leaving his office in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill June 2, 2011 in Washington, DC. Weiner declined to comment further on the recent incident involving his Twitter account and a photograph that was sent from that account. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Great Adjutant storks stand as a woman rag-picker collects recyclables at the biggest garbage dump in the northeastern state of Assam on the eve of World Environment Day at the Boragoan area in Guwahati, India, on June 4. The UN declared 2011 the International Year of Forests with this year's World Environment Day theme 'Forests: Nature at your Service'.Biju Boro / AFP - Getty Images

Players of the Iranian women's national soccer team react after withdrawing from their qualifying match against Jordan for the 2012 London Olympic Games in Amman June 3. The Iranian team were banned from the match on Friday in the second round of qualifiers in protest against guidelines on their veil. The FIFA woman's association requires that any covering used does not cover the neck and ears. In Iran all women are required to cover their hair in public to conform to the Islamic dress code.Ali Jarekji / Reuters

5) Nicolas B. Rushlow, 13, from Lancaster, Ohio is embraced by his mother Michelle after being eliminated during the semifinals of the 2011 Scripps National Spelling Bee at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Rushlow spelled 'drusy' incorrectly. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

6) The International Space Station and the shuttle Endeavour pass over the sun's disk in a photograph taken by Spain's Dani Caxete through a telescope with a filter. Photo: Dani Caxete

View of the 'Morning Glory' hot spring with it's unique colors caused by brown, orange and yellow algae-like bacteria that thrive in the cooling water, turning the vivid aqua-blue to a murkier greenish brown, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, on Thursday, June 2. Yellowstone National Park was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Grant on March 1, 1872. The park is located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, though it also extends into Montana and Idaho and was the first national park in the world. It is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features, especially the Old Faithful Geyser. Mark Ralston / AFP - Getty Images

In this handout photo provided by the Pukaha Mt Bruce National Wildlife Centre, a rare white kiwi chick is seen in an outdoor enclosure in the forest reserve at the National Wildlife Centre on June 1, 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand. The all-white kiwi, named 'Manukura' is suspected to be the first white chick born in captivity. The chick is the thirteenth of fourteen baby kiwis hatched at the wildlife centre this season. Srdjan Zivulovic / Reuters

Baby ducklings climb up a board ramp to access their "pond" that was made for swimming in the inner courtyard of St. Anne's Retirement Community near Lancaster, Pa. Richard Hertzler / Lancaster Newspapers via AP

A crust of bread hangs around the neck of a pigeon in Leipzig, Germany. Jan Woitas / EPA

11) Brown bear (Ursus arctos) cub Medo plays with the Logar family dog in Podvrh village, central Slovenia June 1. The Slovenian Logar family has adopted the three-and-half-month-old bear cub that strolled into their yard about 30 days ago. Although the family would like to prepare a fenced enclosure for it, veterinary authorities would prefer to move it into a shelter for wild animals.

Los Angeles children, teachers and volunteers use their bodies to form a fish during the 18th Annual Kids Ocean Day at Dockweiler State Beach, Thursday, June 2, 2011, in Playa del Rey, Calif. The children also participated in a beach clean-up. (AP Photo/Los Angeles Daily News, Andy Holzman)

Former home run record-holder and Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron is awarded an honorary doctorate of humanities during commencement for the class of 2011 at Princeton University, Tuesday, May 31, 2011, in Princeton, N.J., for making America a better place with his "imperishable example of grace under pressure." (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

14) People in wheelchairs pull a C130 cargo aircraft weighing 67 tons across 100 metres at the Melsbroek military airport near Brussels May 29. The attempt, led by 84 people, set a new Guinness World Record for heaviest plane pulled over 100 meters by a team of people in wheelchairs. Sebastien Pirlet / Reuters

15) In this Sunday, May 29, 2011 photo, Aaron Fotheringham summersaults while flying through the air in his wheel chair, during practice for a Nitro Circus performance, in Pala, Calif. Fotheringham, who was born with spinal bifida, rides his chair on the "giganta ramp" during performances. Lenny Ignelzi / AP

A policeman walks past a hole in a bridge over Yitong River where a truck accidentally plunged through, in Changchun city, Jilin province, Northeast China, on Sunday, May 29. The bridge partially crumbled, allowing the truck to plunge through the hole injuring the driver and a passenger. The local government has set up a team to investigate the accident. Zhang Yingnan / ImagineChina

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin poses with celebrity look-alike impersonator Cecilia Thompson during a tour of Boston's North End neighborhood, Thursday, June 2, 2011. Palin's father Chuck Heath is at center. Which one is the real Palin? (She's on the left). (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Women run to find wedding dresses at the annual "Running of the Brides" sales event at Filene's Basement in New York on Friday, June 3. The annual sale is known for its long queues and frantic shopping among brides-to-be hoping to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on designer wedding gowns. Eric Feferberg / AFP - Getty Images

Christian Pleister, principal at Canterbury Elementary School in Greendale, leads the Klement's Famous Racing Sausages to the finish line before hundreds of students Thursday during the start of the school’s Olympics Day. Students participated in games and activities such as football toss, potato sack race, jump rope and a kickball game. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood

High-wire acrobats Delilah Wallenda, right, and her son Nik Wallenda, left, simultaneously walk across a 300-foot-long wire suspended 100 feet in the air between two towers of the Conrad Condado Plaza Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Saturday June 4, 2011. Nik's great-grandfather, the German-born Karl Wallenda, tried to perform the same feat in 1978 but fell to his death at age 73. The two Wallendas commemorated the famous family patriarch by successfully completing the same stunt Saturday. Nik Wallenda, a circus high-wire daredevil and the seventh generation of the Flying Wallendas circus family, wipes the sweat from his forehead. Delilah Wallenda lowers her body as her son Nik Wallenda crosses over her during their high-wire act

Recommended Reading (06/05/11)

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).

Too many coincidences in Weiner’s tale

“Those on the left trying to paint this as a conspiracy must deal with an array of odd elements that an increasingly tech-savvy public may find suspicious.”

Weiner’s photo dispute to be settled in small claims court

“Instead of angrily demanding an investigation like anyone else would, Anthony has gone all St. Francis of Assisi on us.

He doesn't want an investigation! How big-hearted is that? Talk about a forgiving nature! He's almost too magnanimous. I wish I had that kind of forbearance.

Maybe he's ready to live and let live, but speaking as one of Anthony's biggest Twitter followers, I am not. Otherwise, Weiner's hacker is just going to go out and hack and hack again.”

Memorial Day, 2011: Golf?!

It’s not that anyone begrudges the president his recreation; it’s not even that most Americans don’t use the day for recreation themselves. But there is an unseemly symbolism is the decision to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown in the morning and hit the links in the afternoon. Barack Obama is, after all, a symbol himself, despite himself, and there are just too many fresh graves at Arlington for a commander-in-chief with 100,000-plus troops in harm’s way  to feel like playing a game — and to let mourning Americans and the world know he feels like playing a game — on the day we set aside to remember them.”

Exposing the Hollywood 'Clique'

“Born blocks from the NBC soundstage in 1984 to parents in the entertainment industry, Ben Shapiro is a natural choice to write a book about Hollywood. For his new book, ‘Primetime Propaganda,’ Shapiro has studied decades of television content and interviewed a bevy of powerful Hollywood producers to document the degree to which they have created a political and cultural revolution of permissive leftism.

Leonard Goldberg, executive producer of ‘Blue Bloods’ for CBS — says liberalism in the TV industry is ‘100 percent dominant, and anyone who denies it is kidding, or not telling the truth’."

LeAnn Rimes becomes the latest victim of tabloid judgment

Every single one of us is a victim of this game, too. We are victims when we play along: when we look at that picture of a star labeled TOO BIG FOR THE BEACH and tsk! tsk! or another picture labeled STARVING HERSELF FOR FAME and shake our heads. Somewhere, some magazine editor thinks these judgments, these stories, these photographs will make us feel better. And that they are viable news. But that’s not true. They can’t make us feel better. And nobody’s body should be news.”

Knut, the $140 million polar bear

“As the world's first celebrity polar bear, Knut used to spend his days feasting on raw meat, swimming in a black-bottom pool, and gazing at the hundreds—if not thousands—of visitors who flocked to see him every day at the Berlin Zoo.

In 2010, however, Knut grew up and became less cute, and attendance waned. Then in March, he unexpectedly died.

Now the fate of Brand Knut—unprecedented in the history of brands and animals—is up for grabs.”

Culinary no-no #224

Culinary no-no's





This week, we're talkin’…

Romance and ...


For the purposes of this week’s exercise, important elements include attractive women...

And not so attractive women...

Handsome men…

And, not so handsome men...

Read more

Claims of Discrimination By MPS Pop Up Again in ED Drug Case

MacIver Institute

Read more

The latest from Pro-Life Wisconsin

The update for Monday, June 6, 2011.

The Latest News You Can Use From WRTL

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute


Read more

A tale of two NY Congressmen

"Rep. Chris Lee (R-N.Y.) resigned from the House  effective immediately, an announcement that came just hours after a Web site reported that the married congressman had sent a shirtless image of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist.

'I regret the harm that my actions have caused my family, my staff and my constituents,' Lee said in a statement announcing his resignation. 'I deeply and sincerely apologize to them all. I have made profound mistakes and I promise to work as hard as I can to seek their forgiveness'."
The Washington Post, early February 2011.

"Any individual who donated to my campaign in 2010 or 2011 will be given back their donation in full.  I felt it was important to return the money because it belongs to my supporters."
Lee during March 2011.

Read more

The collective bargaining fight - State Supreme Court justice: "Where does it stop?"

From the Wisconsin Reporter:

"But in Monday’s hearing, at least one justice expressed contempt for a lower court’s decision to intervene in the work of the Legislature."


A horror movie about abortion

It's called, "The Life Zone."

The premise: Three women are kidnapped from abortion clinics and held captive against their will for seven months until they give birth.

The trailer:

More details.

What's your political IQ?

Take the quiz

The First Six Months: Wisconsin Is Indeed Open For Business


Governor Scott Walker and the newly elected Republican majorities were sworn into office almost exactly six months ago with the promise of making Wisconsin “Open for Business.” And while the state exploded for months in protest and anger in response to the Budget Repair Bill, the measures taken by the Walker administration and the legislature in the special “jobs session” are providing Wisconsin with a balanced budget and a business climate soon to be second to none.


A look at some of the recent pro-business initiatives of the first six months of the Walker administration:

  • The first bill signed into law by Governor Scott Walker was the elimination of state income taxes on Health Savings Accounts on January 25. HSA’s are already exempt from federal taxes and Walker sought to exclude them from state income taxes for the benefit of workers.
  • On January 27, Governor Walker signed into law a tort reform bill limiting liability and capping punitive damages in order to improve the litigation climate in Wisconsin.
  • On February 1, Governor Walker delivered on a campaign promise to attract businesses and job creators to Wisconsin by enacting a measure that would allow companies that relocate to Wisconsin to not pay any corporate or personal income tax for up to two years.
  • In an effort to encourage business and the creation of jobs in Wisconsin, Governor Walker signed into law a tax deduction for businesses that create jobs on February 5. Depending on the size of the business, the tax deductions range from $92 to $316 per job created.
  • On February 11, Walker unveiled his now famous Budget Repair Bill. The Bill included measures that curtailed collective bargaining rights for public employees and paid down an income tax debt to Minnesota. The intent of the Bill was to fix current budget holes without massive layoffs, but it sparked massive protests and an intense battle that lasted until March 11 when Walker was finally able to sign the bill into law. It is currently being considered by the Wisconsin Supreme Court after a Dane County Circuit Court judge issued an injunction against the Bill for allegedly violating the Open Meetings Law when passed in a March 9 conference committee.
  • In a March 1 speech, Walker unveiled his FY 2012-13 budget for the state of Wisconsin. It included significant cuts to state aid and public education, but manages to pay down the $3.6 billion deficit facing the state. The Budget has undergone some minor revisions as it passes through the Joint Finance Committee and will soon be considered by the Assembly and Senate by the end of June.
  • On May 31, the Joint Finance Committee approved an elimination of the capital gains tax on long-term investments of over five years, or deferring capital gains tax if the money is reinvested back into a Wisconsin company. It is estimated to be a $36 million tax break for Wisconsin businesses.
  • On June 6, Republican legislators inserted into the budget a proposal to all but eliminate a tax on production earnings for manufacturers and agricultural businesses. Currently, the tax on production is 7.9% and would be dropped down to just 0.4%  by 2016.

Read more

No Choice Autos

Franklin's sex offender ordinances work...again

Last Friday, the Franklin Police Department received a voice mail from a man who was planning to move into Franklin from Pittsburgh for his job. The man had a prior conviction for 1st degree sexual assault.

Franklin police contacted the man and met with him Monday when they advised him of Franklin’s sex offender ordinances that restrict where released sex offenders can reside. He then informed Franklin police he was going to move to another community.

"7 Responsibilities You Have As An American"

One of my favorite bloggers is John Hawkins who comes up with all sorts of creative lists.

His latest discusses the flip side of rights: responsibilities.

They’re all good.I like #4.

What were they thinking? Shame on Delta


Union protesters disrupt ceremony...for Special Olympics

You're rich, and you're a liberal, so will you help bring down the debt?

“A group of self- described liberal millionaires seeking to raise taxes on America's top earners, refused--when questioned by consider making donations themselves to a Treasury Department
Web site that allows the public to make contributions to help pay down the public debt.”

More from CNSNews.


UPDATE: Culinary no-no #223

Culinary no-no

Culinary no-no #223 dealt with the legislative effort to designate the crsam puff as the official state dessert.

The legislation, Senate Bill 100 was approved today by the state Senate. The only Culinary no-no would be a vote against.



Dear Franklin residents:

It is raining.

It is raining very hard.

If you are outside, please come inside.

If  you are already inside, don't go outside anymore.


Because it's raining.

Really hard.

This has been a public service announcement from city of Franklin officials who believe the nanny state is the only remedy to saving citizens from bad weather.


Banning teachers from striking

There have been 137 teacher strikes in America between 2000 and 2007.

Only 13 states allow teacher strikes. Wisconsin is one of them.

One could argue that now might not be the best time or political climate to propose such legislation, but it’s a good idea for Wisconsin at some point to join the other 37 states that have said NO.


Kyla's Korner - Musings of a Mother (06/09/11)

Kyla's Korner

By Jennifer Fischer

Mother of little angel, Kyla Audrey Fischer

I never want to be Kyla’s friend.

I will be her mentor, her protector, her confidant.  I will be her maid, her short-order cook, her chauffeur.  I will be her nurse, her therapist, her pharmacist.  I will be her coach, her agent, her photographer, her hair stylist and her cheerleader.

But I will NEVER be her friend.

What IS it with moms who want to be their daughter’s BFF’s?  I don’t get it.  Two examples from my life make me shake my head in wonder.  A cousin of a friend wanted nothing more than to be “cool” to her two daughters.  They were beautiful girls growing up and are incredibly pretty young adults.  But the older girl got mixed up with the wrong crowd and the wrong boy.  Not just “wrong” like they snuck a cigarette or partied too late.  Wrong like heavy drug use and jail time.  Fortunately she turned things around and seems to be living clean & healthy these days.  I know the mom learned her lesson but at such a dear price… her daughter’s innocence.  

A relative of a relative is now doing the same thing with her daughter.  Again, the girl is so pretty and so full of potential.  But at the tender age of 19, she has a fake ID that Mommy actually bought!  Mommy has also purchased drinking paraphernalia for the rental house she will be moving in to.  The things that she has posted on a social networking site are enough to make me… well…  I don’t even know.  It’s appalling.  If, or when, something happens to this lovely young lady that lands her in a heap of trouble, I’m sure there will be cries of “Oh, where did I go wrong?”  Hmmm, probably started when you thought it was really cool that she was a waitress (at 17 years old) in a certain wings restaurant wearing orange shorts & a white tank top.  

Currently she is employed as a “waitress” in a nightclub downtown that caters to a hip-and-trendy but hard-partying clientele.  Her uniform shows more skin than a VS model.  If her customers are so inclined to indulge her, she is more than welcome to drink with them.  Again, she is NINETEEN YEARS OLD.  Her mother is so proud that her daughter has “a really good job.”  Just because she buys you designer handbags with her tips does not mean she has “a really good job.”

I’m not saying this girl is going to go down a life-long road of illegal and illicit behavior.  Then again, I don’t envision her as the next Hannah Giles, either.  “Hannah Montana,” maybe.

I know that every parent has their own style of raising their children.  Right now I’m caught up in the debate of Pull-Ups vs. Regular Underwear for Kyla’s soon-to-be potty training experience.  To each their own.   But somehow I don’t think my choice of undergarment for my toddler is going to shape the young adult I will be so proud of in a couple of years.  Again, I understand that what works for one family may not work for another.  I don’t want to judge curfews, allowances, TV time or eating arrangements.  However, there are certain things that just don’t feel right to me for ANY parent/child relationship.  Buying your daughter her first keg for her “apartment warming” is one of them.

Tax $$$ and art


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The Golden Hookah Awards

Goodnight everyone, and have an iconic weekend!

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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

From the Green Bay Press Gazette:

"What could possibly make the man who, with the exception of the Dave Matthews Band, has sold more tickets — 8.8 million — than any other act since 1999 nervous?

Lambeau Field.

Kenny Chesney is country’s biggest concert attraction, not to mention a four-time winner of the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award, but he’s never played the iconic Green Bay Packers stadium. No act of his caliber has. Ever. In more than a half-century.

So when he unleashes his Goin’ Coastal Tour on a Lambeau crowd of 42,000-plus on Saturday for a performance that will be a significant milestone in the stadium’s history, there could be a few jitters under that low-slung straw hat."


“I’m really excited and I’m probably going to be very nervous,’’ Chesney said during an interview with the Green Bay Press-Gazette in November, shortly after the tour stop was announced. “I want to get there early so I can just walk around."

Read more

The best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

The Barking Lot (06/11/11)

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:  Morning showers should end by 9:00. We'll see sunshine around noon. High of 60, in June.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny.  High of 69.  "C"

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

Kevin once had a colleague tell him, “Kevin, you can get to a gut-level reaction about a person or issue in one second.”  He was right.  And, luckily for me, Kevin liked me the first time he met me.  Otherwise, I would have been off the team even before I had a chance to hit!

Over the twelve years that I have known my wonderful husband, he hasn’t been wrong about his assessment of people that we have both met/known.  Right or wrong, like or dislike, he’s been right on the mark.  I will admit that there have been times I didn’t want to agree with him…  either I thought someone was charming & funny and he didn’t, OR he thought someone was sweet & adorable and he said, “Uh-UH.”  Ultimately, though, he’s been right.

There is one time, and ONLY one time that I think we were both taken in by someone who was, literally, a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  But we learned our lesson and it has not been a “once shame on you, twice shame on me” situation… we will never, EVER trust this person again.  Said person will always have our professional and social courtesy but that is about it.  Said person will NEVER, EVER in a MILLION YEARS be considered a friend.  

I am not sure what this says about each of us, but Kevin is much faster to “forgive and forget” and I am someone who can carry a grudge 100 times her weight for the rest of her life.  Really.  I am incredibly good at holding grudges.  Sometimes I consider it a talent, sometimes a curse.  But “I yam what I yam,” as Popeye says, and I’m not going to change after almost 40 years on this planet.

Now, make any connection, inference, or deduction you want between Kevin and the canine persuasion.  Dogs know people.  And they know them immediately, instinctively.  They know who will give them a treat.  (I’m sure the research also could prove dogs know which people will bite them.)  They, like their non-domesticated counterpart the wolf, can judge who will toss them some kibble and who will not.

I could make a judgment call about cats here, but I won’t.  The point is, dogs know.  I believe children also fall in to this category.  No, I am NOT comparing children (or previously mentioned, my husband) to dogs.  My point is, some people or groups of people are more perceptive than others.  

I look to Kyla as a perfect example.  While I will admit she is shy (for the first 15 minutes of seeing you) with even people she knows well, there is a woman in our lives whom she does not know well and does not care to.  The woman annoys all three of us.  And actually frightens at least 2/3 of our family.  Obviously we can’t TALK to Kyla to get her feelings but we certainly get a sense that this woman would never be welcome at a Fischer BBQ.  I had commented to Kevin awhile back that “children know.”  I’m sorry, they just do.  And Kyla knows that this one, although well-intentioned, is one cheeseburger short of a Happy Meal.  One of those people where you say, “I would never let my child alone in her presence.”

So, dog owners, trust your pups…  Parents, trust your children…  They know who will feed them, and whose hands not to bite.
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

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

Dog pack kills animals, terrorizes Wash. town.

Disabled dog's wheelchair stolen.

Canine profiling?

Unleashed: Why Michigan lawmakers shouldn't ban pit bulls.

Blackmailer demanded £500 ransom to return woman's dog.

Is barking at a police dog 'fighting words?'

Was dog rescue a waste of taxpyer money?

In pictures: One abandoned dog per day has to be put down in Wales.

Service dog forced to ride in taxi trunk. MORE.

Police dogs on the chopping block.

Group's 1st Florida canine-therapy dog finds a friend in Orlando Army veteran.

Special dogs track allergens to keep kids safe.

Long term costs add up for dog ownership.

Leona Helmsley's rich dog's death kept secret.

‘For the Dogs’ has a whole new meaning. 

Club bosses blow whistle on saucy soccer mascot.



A child reacts as a dog reaches for a plastic bottle in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 7, 2011.

A child reacts as a dog reaches for a plastic bottle in Beijing, China, Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Photo: AP

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

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Week-ends (06/11/11)


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...


Mike Treciak

Fred "Ted" Morgan

Milt Staley

Xavier Greenfield

Steven Stephens

LeShonda Softy

Carole Markowitz's hero

31-year old dad, human shield

New Berlin residents

McKinnon Galloway


Madison protesters

Maria Aldercon

Margaret Nickerson-Malpher

Delta Airlines

Pennsylvania high school


"I take full responsibility for my actions. The picture was of me, and I sent it."
NY Congressman Anthony Weiner

"I asked him to take a picture and write 'me' on it so I would know [it was him]. I didn't think it was him. I thought for sure, 'Why would someone in that position be doing this?'"
Weiner accuser, Meagan Broussard

“'After a while I said to Anthony (Weiner), why are we writing these messages when we can just speak? I gave him my number and he called me from his office and we proceeded to talk dirty for at least 30 minutes. A few days later, I tried to call him back on that number. But the number wouldn't connect to his office; instead there was a recorded message that it was an outgoing U.S. Congress line only.”
Lisa Weiss

“How did I miss this chance to rock your world by phone? Give me another chance! Stalk me baby. Very hot. (I am a) caped crusader . . . looking for my sidekick. (I’m) dying of boredom over here. Plus my tights really itch, I need a distraction.”
Weiner in a written message to Lisa Weiss after he missed her phone call.

"If his name weren’t Weiner, would we still be talking about this?"
NPR's Nina Totenberg

"That's opportunity knocking for all of us now."
The Wisconsin State Journal reported: “Gov. Scott Walker got his biggest applause line for that off-hand remark, made midway through his keynote address Thursday at an annual housing conference at UW-Madison. It came right after four hard, booming knocks — clearly audible over Walker's words in the packed Fluno Center auditorium — as protesters opposed to the governor's budget-cutting policies pounded their disdain on the outside walls of the building. Walker's quick improvisation broke the rising tension, as hearty laughter and clapping from the rows of housing industry professionals briefly drowned out the competing clamor.”


Alameda police and firefighters


Viagra lawsuit against MPS isn't dead yet.


Sarah Palin's e-mails.


Who left Grandma behind?

Not your typical June wedding...

What do you think happened to Titanic II?

Thanks for checking in.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

My Most Popular Blogs (06/12/11)

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) Union protesters disrupt ceremony...for Special Olympics

2) Photos of the Week (06/05/11)

3) What's your political IQ?

4) Recommended Reading (06/05/11) 

5) TIE

    "7 responsibilities you have as an American"

    Kyla's Korner: Musings of an Mother (06/09/11)

Recommended Reading (06/12/11)

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 Anthony Weiner Scandal: C'mon America, Nobody's Perfect!

"I’m questioning the toxic effect of our confused standards of both public conduct, and of the exposure of private behavior. We live at a time when just about everybody is sucked in, to one degree or another, to the highly charged erotic dimension of the Internet, either in its abundant precincts of pornography or its countless opportunities for harmless flirtation and serious seduction. Yes, just about everybody. He who is without sin among you, let him click first. Isn’t that why the accusatory frenzy is so intense? Because we have all felt that little tug, tickle, or impulse to be antiseptically and impersonally naughty?"
KF NOTE: Ummm, NO!

If you're going through Hell, keep going

"What follows is my attempt to Dr. Phil you folks thru this crap-laden crunch we’re currently getting crushed by with seven hard learned lessons about God and life from the last 25 years of getting my butt kicked."

The accusation that voter ID is racist

"It is hard to imagine a more demeaning statement about black America than labeling demands that all voters show a photo ID anti-black."

The insane California high-speed rail project

California voters approved $9 billion in bonds to pay for the high-speed rail project—hey, sounds cool, who cares if it makes economic sense or not?—but the 2009 estimate of the total cost of the first phase, from Anaheim to San Francisco, is $43 billion.

Ann Coulter on the Mob

"It's easier to round up votes by frightening women about 'assault weapons' and promising excellent free health care to non-English speakers. Yes, a free health care system that is so superior that they exempt themselves and their friends from having to be in it."

Brothers' 92 years end the lifelong way: as twins

"From the moment of their birth in Buffalo 92 years ago, twin brothers Julian and Adrian Riester rarely left each other's side.

Read more

Photos of the Week (06/12/11)

Photos of the Week

1) A member of the media walks along a road covered with ash from Chile's Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano chain near the Cardenal Samore border pass between Argentina and Chile, June 7. The volcano, dormant for decades, erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles (10 km) into the sky, as winds fanned it toward neighboring Argentina, and prompted the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said. Ivan Alvarado / Reuters

2) In this combo of two photos, a ship swept away by tsunami lies among other debris March 12, left, while a man on a bicycle pedals past a pedestrian on the same road June 4 in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, northeastern Japan. Japan marks three month since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami Saturday, June 11. AP photo.

A wild Indian elephant, with a tranquilizer dart in its side, brushes past a car as it causes panic on a street in Mysore, India on June 8. AFP - Getty Images

New Zealanders were mourning the loss of the country's most famous sheep Tuesday, a shaggy national icon named Shrek who was renowned for avoiding being shorn for years. Shrek the merino sheep is photographed before he has his fleece shorn at the Golden Gate Lodge in Cromwell, New Zealand, in this April 28, 2004 file photo. Ross Land, AP file photo.

5) Sharon Deming, of Vancouver, Wash., photographs a 1959 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray at the Allure of the Automobile exhibit Friday, June, 10 at the Portland Art Museum, in Portland, Ore. The Allure of the Automobile examines the golden age of automotive design by celebrating some of the world's finest cars from the 1930s to the early 1960s. During this era of brilliantly designed automobiles, engineering combined with artistry and craftsmanship to produce objects of unparalleled beauty.Rick Bowmer / AP

6) Exterior of a house in Mutenice, a small town in the South Moravian wine region about 145 miles southeast of the Czech capital Prague, decorated with 180,000 wine corks, June 1. Michal Cizek / AFP - Getty Images

7) An art installation of a melting fan sits on display in a subway station Thursday, June 9, 2011 in Atlanta. Sweltering temperatures across half the country had people doing what they could to stay cool Thursday. While relief was in sight after one more day of misery in the Northeast, the South was forecast to stay hotter than usual at least through the end of the week. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Five time Olympic Swimmer Mark Foster holds the London 2012 Olympic Torch during a photo call to launch the Lloyds TSB London 2012 Olympic Torchbearer Nomination campaign on June 9, 2011 in London, England. The 70-day Olympic Torch Relay will take the Olympic Flame on an 8,000 mile journey across the UK before arriving at the Olympic Stadium on July 27, 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron at the Opening Ceremony. Nominate someone who's made a difference in your community at (Photo by Jan Kruger/Getty Images)

9) Fan Frank Perez attends Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball game between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks on June 7. Mark Humphrey / AP

A new series of unpublished images has been unveiled in London. Photographer Mike Mitchell shot the images when he was 18 years old, and have been sitting in his basement collecting dust for 40 years. The collection is comprised of 50 lots of unpublished and never-before-seen photographs of the Beatles' first visits to the US in 1964. The Beatles stand with their backs to the camera in 1964. Paul McCartney, left, and John Lennon in 1964. The works were unveiled on Friday, June 10 at Christie's auction house in London, Britain and will go up for auction in New York on July 20. Photos: Mike Mitchell / Christie's via EPA

In the world of sports, there is a God!

The team that money bought, that thought it won a championship before it even held a single practice, the Miami Heat goes down to a truly balanced team.


 MIAMI, FL - JUNE 12:  Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after making a three-pointer in the fourth quarter while taking on the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida.

Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks reacts after making a three-pointer in the fourth quarter while taking on the Miami Heat in Game Six of the 2011 NBA Finals at American Airlines Arena on June 12, 2011 in Miami, Florida. The Mavericks won the game and the NBA title. Nowitzki was named the Finals MVP. Photo: Getty Images



Interestingly, the Milwaukee Bucks who did not make the playoffs beat Dallas in both of their games this past season, 103--9 in Dallas and 99-87 at the Bradley Center.

Culinary no-no #225

Culinary no-no's

You're hungry and you want to go out to eat.

Maybe you're craving a morning dose of...


Biscuits and gravy. Or how about some.....

Chocolate chip pancakes.

Maybe it's lunch time.


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The latest from Pro-Life Wisconsin

The Monday update for June 13, 2011.

The Latest News You Can Use From WRTL

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

Like us on Facebook

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"I asked LeBron for a dollar, he gave me 75 cents back. He doesn't have a fourth quarter."

Miami Heat's LeBron James walks off the court after Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, June 12, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks won 105-95 to win the series.

Miami Heat's LeBron James answers a question during a news conference after Game 6 of the NBA Finals basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks Sunday, June 12, 2011, in Miami. The Mavericks won 105-95 to win the series.
Photos: AP

Cleveland is laughing at LeBron James
, and rightfully so.

Why Dirk Nowitzki is like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Nowitzki is, in at least one respect, very much like the great LA Laker/Milwaukee Buck superstar.

Like Kareem, Nowitzki has a shot that’s virtually impossible to block/stop.

Just ask Boston Celtic alum (and many others), Henry Finkel, and enjoy this great moment of NBA history (Broadcasters are Pat Summerall and Rick Barry). Notice the not-at-all respect for the Bucks?

I remember where I was. Do you?

Budget common sense returns to Madison thanks to the GOP

You must read Senator Lazich’s latest blog that is absolutely incredible given Wisconsin’s long history of taxing and spending and huge deficits. The news Senator Lazich conveys is unbelievable.

It took GOP legislators just a few months to do what Jim Doyle and his Democrat cohorts in the Legislature couldn’t do in 8 years.

On behalf of Wisconsin children and grandchildren all across this state, thank you, thank you, thank you, GOP legislators for bringing back fiscal sanity.

On this Flag Day, God bless the Stars and Stripes!

I often get asked about my necktie collection. It’s massive, huge.

Many of my ties contain the American flag including traditional designs, one with the Statue of Liberty, another with Mickey Mouse decked out in red, white, and blue.

I wear them, one and all, with deep pride and love of country. During the mid-90’s, those ties would have been the subject of ridicule from the Democrat Party.

I was working at WTMJ at the time and one of my duties was to produce a daily radio commentary. The summer of 1995 I recall as though it was yesterday. On the floor of the US House of Representatives, the debate was over a flag desecration amendment.

In a nutshell, Republicans opposed flag desecration while Democrats supported doing whatever you wanted to the flag. Set it on fire? Why not! Urinate on it? Go right ahead! Put it on the floor in a museum and have patrons walk all over it and call that art? Of course!

I was able to find video of US House floor debate that inspired one of my WTMJ commentaries nearly 16 years ago. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), in a feeble attempt at being humorous, comes off instead as absurd and ignorant. Ackerman says he doesn’t want to trivialize the issue, then does his ultimate best to do just that.

Watch the following video from the 14:55 mark followed by a great retort from NY Congressman Gerald Solomon and the very eloquent Henry Hyde.

God bless our great country and the flag it stands for. And don’t even think about inflicting even the slightest of damage to the Stars and Stripes.


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Legal Plunder

KISS' Gene Simmons wants his vote back

Annual tourney to honor fallen Franklin High School star athlete

The following is a guest blog I am proud to post:

I'm DJ Slater, a Franklin native who's been running a charity a 3-on-3 charity basketball tournament that honors my fallen friend Christine Rathke, Franklin High School's girls basketball star.

Originally, my tournament started as a way for me to get friends together to play competitive basketball in a tournament-style format. But after Christine's death in 2003, it held a greater purpose. The tournament now raises money for the Christine Rathke Memorial Scholarship Fund, which in turn helps a Franklin girls basketball player pay for college expenses.

This will be the 11th tournament, and, like each year, I'm trying to bring in the largest crowd yet. I am aiming for a 32-team tournament, which will be played on Saturday, July 30, 2011 at Franklin High School. As many of you know, I don't have massive funding resources available to me to buy advertising, so I'm left with paper flyers and contacting the media. I know this is not a large priority given all the other news going on in the state, but I wanted to let all of you know about it so you can decide what to do with the information. Either way, I'm grateful you're taking the time to read this e-mail.

With that, I have attached all the information you need to know more about this event. If you have any interest in doing a story or using this information in any way, please let me know. Again, I know all of you have more pressing needs, but I figured letting you know about this event won't hurt. It goes on whether or not I have media coverage.

Thank you all for your time and take care.


DJ Slaterr
(414) 416-2176

P.S. If you can't open the attachments, the information is pasted below (taken from my Facebook page)

Here's the information you'll need to know for this year:

What: DJ's Court Tourney 2011
Where: Franklin High School, 8222 S. 51st. St.

When: Saturday, July 30, 2010

Format: 3-on-3 (one sub allowed) double elimination basketball. 32 team tournament.

$60 per team if paid on or before June 19
$70 per team if paid after June 19, before July 17
$80 per team after July 17, door price

Also new this year: Free Agent List: No team? No problem. $15 puts you on the Free Agent List. Teams will then be formed from that list or free agents will be added to existing teams.

ALL money goes to the Christine Rathke Memorial Fund.

Contact: Call or e-mail me (DJ Slater) if you are interested. All payments should be mailed to me via check. Send checks (made out to DJ Slater) to:

8516 W. Beacon Hill Dr.
Franklin, WI 53132

You can reach me on my cell always at (414) 416-2176 or via e-mail at

Here is what I need from all of those who plan to participate:

1. Your team's name (Blugold Ballas, Slater's Titans, etc.)
2. Your team members, denoting your captain as well.
3. Check for appropriate amount.

I know this is early, but I will NEED to know your status as soon as possible. Look at your summer schedules and make this a priority.

And as you know, I need everyone's help in order to make this a success. I can't do it alone, and I've been grateful for everyone's participation over the years.

Most importantly, SPREAD THE WORD! This is not a one-man operation. I just organize it. You guys all make it possible. Help me, and all of us, keep this tradition alive.

-DJ Slater

P.S. For those who can't make it, but what to help, please consider donating to the Christine Rathke Memorial Fund. Send checks for any denomination to my Franklin address. Make checks payable to DJ Slater.

Again, if you know of anyone who wants to get a team together, send this information their way.

Culinary no-no #226

Culinary no-no's

This just couldn't wait for Sunday for what will be obvious reasons.

Dumb. Just plain dumb.

Culinary no-no #227

Culinary no-no's

All the really goofy ideas start on the left coast.

Culinary no-no #228


We’re on an extremely rare mid-week Culinary no-no kick tonight.

I was alerted to this by an avid This Just In reader.

Do you hear that sound?

I do.

Arteries hardening.

But as the famous song said, “Baby, hurts so good!”

Look out your window, folks

How about that global warming!

Tornado warning sirens = cry wolf = danger

I’ve written extensively about Franklin’s ill-advised decision to spend too much money on outdated tornado warning sirens.

Sorry, but I wasn’t convinced by the less than insightful arguments for sirens:

1) Well, gee, everybody else has them.

2) Yeh, but if we can save just one life….

Ironically, one commenter, fellow blogger dad29 wrote about sirens:

“Boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome to follow.”

Bottom line: Franklin officials that supported sirens did so out of pure emotion, not because of scientific research or cold, hard facts.

Enter veteran television meteorologist James Spann. Spann gets it.

From the air: Apartments in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that were completely flattened by the ferocious winds

Alabama tornado picture: aftermath of a tornado that hit Birmingham, making Alabama news headlines

After devastating tornadoes in Alabama on April 27, Spann recently blogged about the problems with current warnings and alarms:

“I ask the NWS to consider stopping the use of tornado warnings when trying to catch small spin-ups within a squall line (or QLCS). These tornadoes rarely last more than a few minutes, and are next to impossible to detect in advance. And, in most cases, the greatest damage from a QLCS is from widespread damaging straight line winds, not tornadoes.

These kind of warnings force us to go on the air for 40-45 minutes, often after tornado signature has vanished from the radar. Sirens sound, the NOAA Weather Alarm goes off, severe weather apps on smart phones alert users. Getting these kind of warnings over and over and over again totally create an ocean of people that won’t be paying attention when a real tornado emergency is in progress.

I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. ‘I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens’. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous.

Too many people believe they should hear a siren before a tornado strikes.

I think the time has come to take them down. Sirens are not efficient, reach a limited number of people, and can’t be heard in most homes, schools, and businesses. And, in most counties, the sirens don’t sound only in the warned polygon, they sound county wide. In some cases, this means you are hearing a siren when the actual tornado threat is over 40 miles away.

Sirens were born during the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s… their time has come and gone. If the sirens are taken down, then you KNOW you won’t hear one next time there is a tornado threat.

Most southerners still have the ‘siren mentality’, and that no doubt killed people April 27.

*NOAA Weather Radio must be upgraded to the polygon warning system soon, or it will become obsolete.

Sure, it is the best thing we have now, and I still promote it heavily. But, why hasn’t NOAA upgraded their system so the receiver manufacturers can produce models with GPS included so they sound only when the receiver is a in a warning polygon? If something doesn’t change soon, the private sector will be the ones that push the warning process into the new technological era.

The best model I see now for the future warning device is the WeatherRadio app from the iMap weather guys. If you are in a polygon, you get the notification on your smart phone. If you are not, nothing happens. it works beautifully.”

Read Spann’s entire blog here.

And more here.

Wisconsin Schools Pay 324 Guidance Counselors More than $100k/year in Annual Compensation

Wisconsin Schools Pay 324 Guidance Counselors More than $100k/year in Annual Compensation

By the MacIver Institute

Tom Long, a student at the University of Wisconsin, has won $500 for discovering that there are 324 guidance counselors in Wisconsin schools who make more than $100,000 in total annual compensation (salary and fringe benefits). In 2001, that number was zero.

Read more

A special mid-week editon of NewsBusted!

Watch for NewsBusted every Saturday during Week-ends on This Just In...

A ban on goldfish?

In case you don't get the MJS...

Carol Deptolla has a nice round-up of great places to dine outside, including some interesting news about one of my favorite restaurants, The Packing House.

The best Father's Day present EVER?

I know I want one.

It's too late to have it arrive by Sunday, but even a belated gift like this would bring great joy.

This is cool!

Is Franklin even under consideration?

Read more

Goodnight everyone and have a Prince of a weekend!

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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, in honor of...

The music of....

For those of you under 35, that would be the Polish Prince, Bobby Vinton.

Polish fest is underway at Milwaukee's fabulous lakefront. And hold on to your kishka everybody. It's Polish Fest's 30th festival. As Duh Crusher, Reggie Lisowski would say, "Dat's right!"

Read more

Best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

Political Cartoons by Larry Wright

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


The Barking Lot (06/18/11)

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:  Scattered thunderstorms.  High of 72.  "B"

SUNDAY:   Thunderstorms. High of 72. "B"

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

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

“Lunch?  Check.”

“Cell phone/iPhone/Blackberry?  Check.”

“Brief Case and Laptop?  Check.”

How about adding:

“Milk Bones and Rawhides?  Check.”

“Water Dish?  Check.”

“Squeaky Toy?  Check.”

That’s right, it’s the 13th Annual Take Your Dog To Work Day on Friday, June 24, 2011

One of only two arguments that Kevin could ever offer against us getting a dog is the fact that we need to home enough to be fair to our Future Fido.  Now that I am a SAHM, that argument has been shattered.  But for those of you working a Nine-To-Fiver, just think how much more enjoyable your workplace could be if you were allowed to bring your dog with you.  There are many facts you can present to your employer in favor of a canine-friendly cubicle.

Perhaps June 24 will be the pawfect way of introducing your tail-wagging buddy to the office.  In that case you’ll want to make sure Rex is on his best behavior. 


Read more

Week-ends (06/18/11)


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...


Michael Nerandzic

Leonard Pope

Eva Ottosson

9-year old Fond du Lac girl

Green Bay blood donors

Bonnie Fox

A hero and his heroes

Tricia Mundy and John Morgan


Church thief

Texas judge

Even though they finally came to their senses, Montgomery County officials and cops

Daniel Akerson


“I am proud of the work done by the Legislature, which passed a budget today that isn’t built on accounting gimmicks, use of one time money for ongoing expenses, or tax increases. The budget approved by the Legislature is an honest document that balances Wisconsin’s $3.6 billion budget deficit so that our children and grandchildren aren’t saddled with mountains of debt in the future.”
Governor Scott Walker

“The budget Governor Scott Walker and the Legislature approved does not borrow and tax recklessly.  The budget charts a course away from debt and propels Wisconsin into economic recovery. The last four budgets included billion dollar increases. The two most recent budgets each increased by $6 billion. This budget is not increased by even one billion dollars. This budget refrains from increasing taxes and fees, eliminates the structural deficit and sets the stage for economic prosperity.”
State Senator Mary Lazich

“This budget is an unbelievable betrayal of Wisconsin’s values – and kids, working families and our communities will suffer for years to come. The elected officials in the Assembly and Senate who voted for these massive cuts to schools and other services are not representing the people of their state – they are following a national agenda from Governor Walker to balance a budget on the backs of children and workers while offering billions in tax cuts to corporations.”
Mary Bell, president of WEAC

“(Dane County Circuit Judge Maryanne Sumi) stepped all over the people of Wisconsin. You think of all the chaos and discord and acrimony that's gone on in this Capitol as the result of her decision and just doing what she wanted, which she had no cause, no basis, no rule of law. She just did what she wanted for political reasons. To me, it was despicable."
State Senator Alberta Darling after the state Supreme Court overruled Judge Sumi’s decision that legislators violated the state’s open meetings law when they approved the budget repair bill.

"The majority of the Supreme Court is essentially saying that the Legislature is above the law. It's now clear that unless the constitution is amended, the Legislature is free to ignore any laws on the books.”
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha)

“While I don't agree with everything the Republicans are doing at the State Capitol, their actions are not shameful. These are democratically elected officials pursuing legislation that a large percentage of their constituents support. It's hard to believe this here in the bubble of Madison, but lots of people across this state (maybe even a majority) support Walker, and all that he's trying to do.”
Phil Hands, WI State Journal cartoonist

"Yeah, and isn't that a crime."
Sue Stapelman of Baraboo responding to a campaign phone call from Rep. Fred Clark, D-Baraboo, who told Stapelman he is challenging Sen. Luther Olsen, R-Ripon, in a recall election. She then hung up. Clark’s unsuspecting response to a staffer was caught on Stapelman’s answering machine…"OK. I feel like calling her back and smackin' her around."

"In a moment of frustration after a discouraging phone conversation last week, I made a clearly inappropriate comment to my campaign staffer after the call. I understand the statement was completely inappropriate under any circumstance and I want to apologize. I am deeply sorry for any distress this incident my have caused for Ms. Stapelman or anyone in her family."
Fred Clark

"This disturbing and inappropriate comment gives us an unfortunate glimpse of what Representative Clark is like when he thinks no one is listening. Domestic violence is a devastating problem in our state, and abuse is on the rise. To be able to so freely threaten violence against a woman, even in jest, shows a tremendous lack of character."
John Hogan of Committee to Elect a Republican Senate

“To Debbie Wasserman Schultz, thank you for letting me in your district. If you're in the foxhole, you want Debbie alongside you, because not only is she charming and has that dazzling smile, but she's tough as nails. And that’s what’s needed during challenging times.”
President Obama speaking of Congressman Wasserman Schultz, who also chairs the Democratic National Committee, at two separate fundraising events in Miami on Monday.

"This will be the beginning of our country sliding toward ... it's a strong word, but anarchy. How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all the sudden because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or agenda ... and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country. You can't teach something that you don't have, so two men will never be able to show a woman how to be a woman."
Former New York Giant and Super Bowl hero David Tyree during a recent interview with the National Organization for Marriage about a same-sex marriage bill that recently passed the New York state assembly that awaits approval from state senators.

“I have a dream of O.J. Simpson confessing to me. And I am going to make that happen, people.”
Oprah Winfrey during a Q & A at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association's annual Cable Show in Chicago.

“Bye-bye, pervert”; “Were you fully erect? The people demand to know”; “Are you more than 7 inches?”; and "Will you maintain your hot physique?"
Hecklers at Anthony Weiner’s news conference announcing his resignation from Congress.


Weiner's pension and benefits


The media seemed interested in the cost of Republicans using “fake” Democrats in the recall elections. They didn’t and still don’t have the same interest about the cost of the recalls in general.


The media’s obsession with Sarah Palin turns into a witch hunt.


What's that noise?

Would-be knight fails to woo woman.

Ohio judge will  avoid the stairs.

That’s it. Thanks for checking in.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

Culinary no-no #229

Culinary no-no's

On Father’s Day 2007, I wrote a blog about brats.

I think it’s wrong to put ketchup on the sausages.

Clever devil that I am, I called the blog a Culinary no-no.

My plans were to write a few related blogs over that summer and then pull the plug. After all, how many blogs can you come up with that say you shouldn’t salt this or use a heavy cream on that?

But then the blog evolved, and for reasons I can’t explain, became popular, very popular. Here’s that original blog with new material to follow:

Read more

This is always good stuff!


Photo: AP

Gov. Scott Walker addresses the 1st Battalion, 147th Aviation Regiment, of the Wisconsin Army National Guard. About 300 soldiers in the Madison-based battalion returned home from active duty in Iraq on Friday, June 17, 2011.

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For those Franklin residents actually concerned about this headline in today's paper...

State budget will force most school districts to cut property taxes

Not to worry.

I’ll bet leaders in the Franklin School District/ Franklin School Board are talking right now about ways to make sure this doesn’t happen here.

My Most Popular Blogs (06/19/11)

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.

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Recommended Reading (06/19/11)

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).


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Photos of the Week (06/19/11)

Photos of the Week


1) U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., follows his wife, Huma Abedin into their home in Queens, N.Y., on Thursday, June 16, 2011. Weiner has decided to resign his seat in Congress after a two-week scandal spawned by lewd and even x-rated photos the New York lawmaker took of himself and sent online to numerous women. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

2) Amy Balduf, of Richmond, Tenn., is comforted by a Marine at the graveside of her husband, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Kevin Balduf, who was killed serving in Afghanistan, at Arlington National Cemetery, Wednesday, June 15, 2011, in Arlington, Va. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

3) Veterans view the Moving Wall display, a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, following the opening ceremony for Welcome Home 2011 at Navy Pier on June 17, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Welcome Home 2011 celebrates the 25th anniversary of the 1986 Chicago Vietnam Veterans Welcome Home Parade where 200,000 veterans and their families marched in a parade in front of 300,000 spectators. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

4) Sgt. Emily Cash, a Cross Plains native now in Oshkosh, reunites with her daughter Isabel, 3, after landing in Madison, WI this past week. Photo: AP

5) (L-R) Firefighters Wes Odom, Tarcy Wright and Cpt. Jimmy Neisen from Surprise, Arizona, work to put out a hot spot in a tree trunk on June 11, 2011 in Greer, Arizona. A red flag warning had been posted fas firefighters brace for high winds. The Wallow Fire, which is five percent contained, has spread over more than 600 square miles and crossed the border into New Mexico, destroying 29 homes, the majority in the resort town of Greer, and threatened 5,200 more. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

6) John Evans, an employee of the Arby's restaurant, puts up a thank you message for the firefighters who helped save the town of Eagar from the massive Wallow Fire on June 13, 2011 in Eagar, Arizona. The wildfire which is 10% contained has spread over more than 703 square miles as it crossed the border into New Mexico, destroying 29 homes, the majority in the resort town of Greer, and threatened 5,200 more. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

7) A car stands in water on Ferry Road after two magnitude 6.0 and 5.5 earthquakes struck on June 13, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand. The aftershocks have followed four months after the major earthquake which hit the city on February 22, 2011 resulting in the deaths of 181 people. (Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images)

8) US President Barack Obama and US Speaker of the House John Boehner play golf at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, June 18. Larry Downing / Reuters

9) A Dick Jones handout picture of the longest burning light bulb released by taken Feb. 25, 2001, at the Livermore Fire Station #6 in Livermore, Calif., is the world's oldest lightbulb. It turns 110 years-old on June 18. The bulb first lit up in 1901 before the Titanic sank and before the San Francisco earthquake in 1906. The lightbulb has its own profile on Facebook and is watched over by a webcam which offers round-the-clock proof of its continued activity. Dick Jones/EPA

10) Volunteers, stand together to form the shape of a drop of blood, to mark World Blood Donor Day on the place des Nations, in front of the European headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, Tuesday, June 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Keystone, Salvatore Di Nolfi)

11) Australian classical musician Shenzo Gregorio plays an electric violin while suspended under the dome of the historic Queen Victoria Building in Sydney. Shenzo played a range of complex classical compositions, whilst suspended up to 25 meters high in the air, to entertain shoppers during the mid-year sales.Getty Images / June 17, 2011 )

12) A swan holds up traffic near junction 3 of the M4 motorway, west of London, on June 15, 2011. AFP PHOTO/Carl de Souza (Photo credit should read CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images)

13) A schnauzer wears a nappy to avoid an accident on June 17, 2011 at the "Maintier" pet fair in Frankfurt/M., western Germany. 85 exhibitors present animals and accessories for their keeping during the fair running from June 17 to 19, 2011. FRANK RUMPENHORST/AFP/Getty Images)

14) Two newborn fawns, less than five hours old according to a neighbor, rest in tall grass Thursday, June 16, 2011 near the base of Canfield Mountain in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. (AP Photo/Coeur d'Alene Press, Jerome A. Pollos)

15) A woman feeds a seagull with breadcrumbs on June 16, 2011 in Zinnowitz on the Baltic island of Usedom, northeastern Germany. Spring brought unsettled weather to the region with temperatures around 20 degrees Celsius. STEFAN SAUER/AFP/Getty Images

16) Uwe Wuenstel tastes a cockroach bred for consumption by the German company "Der Schabenkoenig" (The Cockroach King), on June 17, 2011 at the "Maintier" pet fair in Frankfurt/M., western Germany. 85 exhibitors present animals and accessories for their keeping during the fair running from June 17 to 19, 2011. FRANK RUMPENHORST/AFP/Getty Images)

17) A Darth Vader actor waits for tourists who want to be photographed together with him, in front of the Brandenburg Gate during a thunderstorm in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, June 14. Michael Sohn / AP

18) Samples of a cuddly toy version of Germany's beloved cross-eyed opossum called Heidi are seen in a box at the Koesener toys factory in Bad Koesen, eastern Germany, on Wednesday, June 15, 2011. The animal came from a zoo in Denmark to the Leipzig Zoo, where they found out that it is cross-eyed. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

19) Ron Mueck's 'Big Baby' sculpture is displayed in front of Jenny Saville's painting 'Interfacing' at the Masterpieces Exhibition at Christie's on June 13, 2011 in London, England. The painting and sculpture feature in the exhibition, open to the public from 13th - 15th June 2011, which showcases some of the £250 million worth of art for sale over the next four weeks. Artists including Michelangelo, Gainsborough, Goya, Stubbs, Monet, Picasso and Renoir are represented. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

20) Model Anneka Tanaka-Svenska poses for a photograph in a Louis Mariette hat as she arrives for the opening day of Royal Ascot at Ascot Racecourse on June 14, 2011 in Ascot, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

21) A visitor passes by a work of art by Maurizio Cattelan on June 14, 2011 during the preview day of the Art 42 Basel fair and exhibition which will take place from June 15 to June 19, 2011 in Basel. SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)

22) Shoppers in their underwear shelter from the rain as they queue to enter a clothing store in London, England, on June 16. The Desigual shop offered the first 100 customers two items of clothing for free as long as they arrived at the store dressed only in their underwear. Luke MacGregor / Reuters

23) Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki, of Germany, fights back tears as fans cheer following his introduction during a celebration following the team's victory parade, Thursday, June 16, 2011, in Dallas. The Mavericks earned their first NBA basketball championship by defeating the Miami Heat. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

24) Fans of the Boston Bruins react during a Stanley Cup victory parade on June 18, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

25) A couple kisses while police walk in the streets during riots following the Stanley Cup finals in Vancouver, Canada, on Wednesday, June 15. Vancouver broke out in riots after their hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, lost in Game Seven of the Stanley Cup Finals. Rich Lam / Getty Images

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Kyla's Korner - Musings of a Mother (06/19/11)

By Jennifer Fischer
Mother of little angel, Kyla Audrey Fischer

There are lots of “fatherly” images we can recall from TV shows.  From Howard Cunningham to Cliff Huxtable to Al Bundy, dads have played a vital role in the lives of their children.  But ask any real-life father and any real-life child, none of these dads mirror the day-to-day challenges & rewards of fatherhood.  Obviously I can’t speak from experience, I’m only the Mommy.  But there are moms in sitcoms too, so I kinda “get it.”

I have been blessed with knowing lots of great dads in my life.  I feel exceptionally blessed because I really don’t know any rotten ones.  Sure, there have been some moments where I shake my head in wonder at what some of them did or might have been thinking but all in all, I’d take any one of ‘em.  However, there are three men that truly stand out among all in my lifetime.  

Charles Xavier Mahaffey came in to my life when I became best friends with his daughter Michele about 25 years ago.  I can’t type this now without my eyes welling with tears, as he was taken from us at far too young an age to a massive heart attack.  Chuck was everything a dad should be:  proud of his children, strict, loving, full of fun and a love of life.  He was a hard worker and excellent provider but while his kids never wanted for anything they were never spoiled brats.  I see Michele raising her wonderful daughter with the same great qualities her father raised her with.  While Emma will never know Grandpa Mahaffey personally, she will be surrounded by great stories and memories that others will share with her.  Chuck truly was a second father to me in so many ways.  I think of him often, and loved him very much.

I often joke that the only reason I married Kevin is because his brother Greg was already taken.  That’s not far from the truth.  Greg is just as amazing as Kevin and in the same breath, as completely opposite from his brother as two siblings can be.  From physical attributes to some obvious personality traits Mr. and Mrs. Fischer could have named them Mutt and Jeff.  Greg is a first-time grandpa (from his oldest son Jason) as of March 2011.  He is also the godfather to Kyla.  There was never a split second when we wondered who Kyla’s godparents would be.  Kyla’s godmother just happens to be Greg’s wife, my amazing sister-in-law Bernie.  Because of all our age differences, my niece Kari is 24 years older than Kyla.  So I get glimpses of what life will be like with Kevin & Kyla in another quarter of a century:  scary at times, but mostly beautiful.  Kari can still send Greg into a plethora of emotions with two simple words:  “Oh, Daddy!”  Depending on the situation and inflection it can mean, in no particular order, “I love you,” “I need help,” “I need money” or “You drive me crazy.”  The love in Greg’s eyes for his three children makes me so proud to be his sister-in-law.

My incredible husband never thought he would be blessed with fatherhood.  After seeing him in action for two years, and during my pregnancy, I can not imagine what that would have been like.  As a “late in life” Dad he has, in my opinion, many advantages to those 25 years his junior.  He’s traveled extensively, had the opportunity to establish his professional career, and has mellowed in a way only added years can provide.  He jokes that his two young ladies are going to put him in an early grave but truly nothing makes him happier than trying to keep up!  His daughter keeps him young-at-heart in a way only a two year old can.  There is literally nothing I love more than watching the two of them together.  His smile, her laugh, their silliness together…  I would pay any price to keep that going.  They already share a bond that makes my heart melt, and I know they are going to have a close and loving relationship.  Every mom I talk to tells me that there is just something so special about a Daddy and his daughter no matter what age.  I am looking forward to seeing our little girl mature into a strong, smart and amazing woman thanks to the incredible examples her dad will set for her.  Of course with Doug Giles as one of Kevin’s role models for fatherhood, I expect nothing else!

Like Emma, Kyla will never know her Grandpa Fischer.  I never had the pleasure of knowing Kevin’s dad either.  He was gone long before Kevin and I met.  But I know what a fantastic man he was from all the loving stories his family tells.  Every member has their own favorite stories, and Kevin has no shortage of anecdotes.  What touches me deeply, though, is how Kevin often says that he will be taking care of us after he is gone just like his dad did for his mom.  His dad was a great provider like Kevin is now, and he set an amazing, memorable example for him after he passed away.  Certainly that is nothing any spouse or parent wants to think about.  Yet it is one more example of my husband’s never ending love and generosity.

Now that I am a parent, and as I age, I truly recognize the sacrifices Dads make for us.  Many of us wouldn’t be where and what we are today without them.  Whether they are with us here on earth or in spirit, we are so lucky to have them and love them, and to be loved by them.

"All of society has a stake in stable marriages and family life"

Final food for thought on this Father's Day.

E-mails, I get e-mails: Kids, listen up!

An avid reader of This Just In stumbled across a piece written by an outstanding conservative columnist, Dennis Prager. I've blogged about his works many times.

This particular column was written last July, long after graduation speeches had been delivered across America. Prager wrote that once school resumed after summer, every high school student in the country needed to hear particular messages from their principals. Prager wrote:

If every school principal gave this speech at the beginning of the next school year, America would be a better place.”

Timely then, timely now.

The latest from Pro-Life Wisconsin

Some of the highlights in this week’s update:

Wisconsin legislature passes budget that respects taxpayers' consciences

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel prints letter-to-the-editor from partial-birth abortionist

Illinois abortion records full of gaps


The Latest News You Can Use from Wisconsin Right To Life

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute

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UPDATE: Week-ends (06/18/11)


In Saturday’s edition of Week-ends, one of the QUOTES OF THE WEEK came from David Tyree.

Don’t know who David Tyree is?

Let’s refresh your memory.

Super Bowl XLII.

New York Giants.

New England Patriots.

It's very late in the game.

Tyree was the game's hero as the Giants came from behind to win in the final seconds.

The Tyree quote featured in last Saturday's Week-ends was about gay marriage:

"This will be the beginning of our country sliding toward ... it's a strong word, but anarchy. How can marriage be marriage for thousands of years and now all the sudden because a minority, an influential minority, has a push or agenda ... and totally reshapes something that was not founded in our country. You can't teach something that you don't have, so two men will never be able to show a woman how to be a woman."

Tyree has strong convictions and naturally he is vilified by the press for having views that don't match their template. Here's the update.

Without a doubt, the absolute WORST Culinary no-no

Culinary no-no's

As of this past weekend, I have posted 229 Culinary no-no blogs.

NONE of them is worse than


Let’s meet this lovely young lady.

Ashley Durham would be the talk of the entire planet today, except...



Hard to believe...

She came in second in a beauty pageant.

Ashley Durham is Miss Tennessee.

Last night in Las Vegas...

Uh one...

Uh two...

Miss California Alyssa Campanella (R) reacts next to first runner-up Miss Tennessee Ashley Elizabeth Durham after being announced Miss USA 2011 during the Miss USA pageant in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 19, 2011.

Miss California Alyssa Campanella (R) reacts next to first runner-up Miss Tennessee Ashley Elizabeth Durham after being announced Miss USA 2011 during the Miss USA pageant in the Theatre for the Performing Arts at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada June 19, 2011. Photo: A very fortunate Reuters employee.

Ashley Durham might have finished runner-up but she's #1 in my heart.

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Why teachers flunk PR

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"We didn't spend time talking about how bad things were"

The Wisconsin Reporter
has a comprehensive article about Governor Walker's appearance at a summitt in DC this week.

More from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Paul Ryan vs.Obama



ABC News tells us the author of a new report sees 10 American industries that are gasping for air and near death.

The business most on the brink: record retailers.

That’s too bad because when they die, so do album covers,



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Brilliant, absolutely brilliant

The latest from the cleverly insightful John Hawkins.

People keep asking us, and of course, my wife and I are thinking about another baby



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The obstacles to economic progress in the city of Franklin

If you haven’t seen Bryan Maersch’s latest blog, Franklin alderman Steve Olson offers a thoughtful analysis in the comments section about the problems that force Franklin to spin its economic wheels.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Bryan Maersch blog without some very revealing videos.

Was the greatest singer ever...a geek?


–noun Slang
a computer expert or enthusiast (a term of pride as a self-reference, but often considered offensive when used by outsiders) 


Cool or not?

Wall Street Journal reports:

Just a few decades ago, a geek was a carnival freak who bit the heads off of chickens and rats.

Then geek became a catchall word for socially maladjusted individuals who loved Commodore 64 computers more than fresh air.

Now geek is a term of endearment among acolytes of technology, imbued with golden marketing potential. Just how cool is geek? Any dweeb who dares to use the word in the computer business just might hear from Best Buy's lawyers.

The world's largest electronics chain recently threatened online rival with legal action, arguing that its Geek On advertising slogan sounded too similar to Best Buy's cartoonishly nerdy tech support service, Geek Squad.

Newegg responded by posting the cease-and-desist letter on Facebook this month—and self-described geeks everywhere blasted Best Buy for trying to commandeer a common word that has enjoyed a bigger metamorphosis than the ugly duckling.”

To answer the previous question, geek = cool.

Turns out the greatest singer of all-time was a geek.

Watch geekbeat.TV….



UPDATE: Week-ends (06/18/11)


Check out the QUOTES, especially one of the very last.

Here’s the update.

E-mails, I get e-mails: Gov't bureaucracy

All you Need to Know about Government Bureaucracy:

** Pythagorean theorem:....................................................24 words.
** Lord's prayer:...................................................................66 words.
** Archimedes' Principle:......................................................67 words.
** 10 Commandments:.......................................................179 words.
** Gettysburg address:......................................................286 words.
** Declaration of Independence :........................................1,300 words.
** US Constitution with all 27 Amendments:........................7,818 words.
** US Government regulations on sale of cabbage:….......26,911 words.

MUST SEE VIDEO: Right on, Rep. Mike Kelly (PA)!

Texas two-step

The Lone Star State gets two gold stars for taking bold steps on behalf of citizens.

1) Several weeks ago, some law makers in Texas proposed legislation that would make it a criminal act to intrusively pat down air travelers. The action was a direct attack against TSA workers who legally assaulted babies and elderly in wheelchairs in the interest of anti-terrorism.


TSA officer pats down a traveler as he works his way through security at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Bloomington, Minn., Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010. (AP Photo/Craig Lassig

The feds responded that they’d shut down airports in Texas. Soon after, the air went out of the aggressive legislation.

Suddenly, the idea has been resurrected with one legislator asking Gov. Rick Perry to defend the "privacy, dignity and constitutional rights of our citizens.”

Game on. Governor Perry has ordered that anti-pat down legislation be part of a special legislative session.

2) Texas might be the only state to avoid next year’s ban on incandescent lightbulbs.

A strange vote in the Franklin School Board

I’ve been involved to some degree in politics for 33 years so I know a strange vote when I see one. What happened at the June 15 Franklin School Board meeting, I assure you, was rare.

Under the unusual to say least Franklin school budget process, the school board was meeting for the second time in a week to consider preliminary approval of next year’s school budget, an endeavor taken even though the district won’t know until the fall final numbers.


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Your #1 health risk the next 30 days: Sparklers

Most people value public safety.

Then along come fireworks.

Green Bay alderman Amy Kocha is the latest to overreact when it comes to a popular summer activity. In a guest column in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Kocha writes:

Whether rationalized for political purposes or done strictly out of ignorance, officials have turned a blind eye (and apparently a deaf ear) to the illegal sale of fireworks. Wisconsin residents have been allowed to believe that it is legal to sell dangerous fireworks to average citizens. As a result, our communities endure needless risk of injury and unacceptable noise levels in the weeks surrounding the Fourth of July.

Fireworks that contain enough explosives to leave the ground are so dangerous they are not intended to be put into the hands of amateurs and certainly not those of teens and children.

Naturally, the great risk of bodily injury and property damage is my primary concern. But also as a public servant, I am held accountable for ensuring that our police and fire resources are put to good use and for guarding against potential taxpayer liability.

And the Green Bay chiefs of fire and police agree with me. It is time to set the record straight in Wisconsin. It is time we all insist that the law be enforced, whatever the political pressure or reluctance has been.”

In other words, the rather silly belief that rules are rules that totally ignores personal responsibility. and common sense.

Here’s a major chunk of a blog about fireworks I wrote one year ago today…

Tucked inside my Sunday church bulletin this past weekend was a flyer produced and printed by the Milwaukee Police Department titled, "THE DANGERS OF FIREWORKS."

One of the bullet points in the flyer states that the majority of fireworks injuries in America occur during a 30 day period (June 23rd - July 23rd). The MPD’s source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, United States Fire Administration, National Fire Data Center, Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Aren’t they supposed to be issuing Orange Alerts when the threat of terrorism is high?


Do you know what this means?

We have officially entered FIREWORKS CAN KILL YOU…TONIGHT ON THE 10:00 NEWS territory.

You have to be a Philadelphia lawyer to figure out Wisconsin’s fireworks law. Try to follow along. The Wisconsin Attorney General’s office writes, “State law allows the sale, possession and use, without a permit, of sparklers not exceeding 36 inches in length, stationary cones and fountains, toy snakes, smoke bombs, caps, noisemakers, confetti poppers with less than ¼ grain of explosive mixture, and novelty devices that spin or move on the ground. There is no age restriction on sale, possession or use of these devices and the statute does not classify them as fireworks”

OK. I get that. State law says among the fireworks that are legal are sparklers.

But wait. Back to the AG:

“Local ordinances may be more restrictive than state statutes and may prohibit any of these items or limit their sale or use.”


Let’s return to the MPD flyer placed strategically in my church bulletin Sunday:

“Remember all fireworks are illegal in the City of Milwaukee, even if they were purchased outside of the City limits. Any item that emits smoke, a bang, or sparkle is considered illegal.”

All fireworks?

Every single one of them?


Even those tiny sparklers?

You bet your bottle rockets.

Because, after all, someone could die. Or have an eye poked out.

The flyer goes on to produce more stats from Homeland Security about fireworks injuries and accidents.

Do these injuries and accidents occur? Of course they do. But I submit only if you are a complete numbskull. Or your parents are clueless. Most fun-loving Americans are fully capable of using the brains the good Lord gave them and celebrate with pyrotechnics safely.

In the city of Milwaukee, the penalties are pretty stiff if you dare light up a sparkler in honor of Independence Day.

“Any item that emits smoke, a bang, or sparkle is considered illegal and is upon conviction subject to a fine of not less than $500.00 or more than $1,000.00 for an adult who uses or consents to the use of fireworks by a minor.”

Here is the MPD flyer.

Shouldn’t the MPD be concerned about more serious matters than sparklers?

Who gets the most out of this Friday?

Today is Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Cats should be very happy.

Can you imagine if...

George W. Bush did this?

PR 101: Release bad news on a Friday afternoon

The MMSD dumpsa lot of you know what into Lake Michigan.

Storm Update - June 21 & 22, 2011



Immediate Release
June 24, 2011
Contact: Bill Graffin, MMSD Public Information Manager, (414) 225-2077

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Does "Cars 2" have a political bias?

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Don't forget this great Franklin festival

It's free and it's this weekend!

Goodnight everyone and have a gentle weekend!

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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun is about to set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

Let's smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, a cowboy leaves us wondering about his ultimate sunset.

The news this week was stunning. The Guardian reports:

“It's some time since popular music was strictly a young person's game, but Glen Campbell's reason for retiring is nonetheless striking: the veteran country singer, now 75, has announced that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.

Campbell – for more than 40 years one of US music's best-loved acts and most instantly recognizable voices – gave the news via an interview with the US entertainment magazine People. His openness was welcomed by campaigners for those with the disease.

Read more

Best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Eric Allie

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Dana Summers

 Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


The Barking Lot (06/25/11)

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 (Can you believe it?)  High of 76.  "A"

SUNDAY:  Isolated thunderstorms. High of 73.  "B"

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

Who doesn’t like a good game of “When I win the lottery, I will…”  I play it often.  There is never an end to the ideas I can generate with several million pretend dollars in my pocket.  As I have mentioned before on this blog, if I ever win a substantial lottery, I am not, repeat NOT, one of those crazy people who would say, “Oh, I’ll keep working” and “my lifestyle won’t change.”  Heck yes, my lifestyle would change!  Do you think I would stay in this ridiculous Wisconsin weather in January?  No, my winter mailing address would definitely include something with the word “Tahiti” in it.

And, for all my fellow dog-loving friends, I would start a cable TV channel.  I haven’t thought of the catchy name of the channel yet, but I certainly have a laundry list of ideas for the programming!  While I realize there is already an “Animal Planet” there is currently no channel devoted entirely to dogs.  In my opinion, that needs to change.  “Is there really enough to start a cable Doggie Digest?” you ask.  Well, rollover Rover, of course there is!

Here is my list of ideas that could change cable TV viewing for dog lovers everywhere.  24-hour programming for this channel would include, but not be limited to:

Infomercials:  For that awful, insomniacs-only, dead-of-night time slot.  Imagine Anthony Sullivan pitching pooper scoopers, dog snuggies, electric water bowls and indestructible chew toys.  C’mon, you KNOW you’ll order something!

A morning show:  Similar to any other cute-and-perky, coffee-mug-holding hosted chatter but with SUBSTANCE.  Several segments of this “canine way to start your day” would include health & training advice, a Q & A portion from owners and experts, and Good Dog and Naughty Dog awards which would feature viewer-submitted photos, David Letterman-like Stupid Pet Trick videos & stories of their prize pooches.  Occasionally an entertainment portion would feature current movies & books showcasing dogs.

Mid-day viewing:  It’s time for talk (or is that bark?) shows and doggie demos!  Portions of this time of day would be devoted to interviews with dog experts, including celebrity trainers like Colleen Paige, Victoria Stilwell, Joel Silverman and the controversial Cesar Millan.  Want the latest in tasty nutrition for your dog?  Look no further than our doggy deli spot!  A dish of R.R.,  anyone?  

The Dogue de Bordeaux is not the latest vintage of pooch hooch… it is one of the 170 American Kennel Club’s recognized breeds. You would learn about that in our breed education segment.  170 not enough for you?  Currently there are also 15 miscellaneous class breeds not yet recognized by the AKC, and an additional 47 rare breeds not able to be registered with the AKC.  You’d learn about them all!

Early evening slot:  Hollywood history just wouldn’t be the same without four-legged stars!  Similar to Turner Classic Movies and American Movie Classics, every evening would treat you to a classic flick whose star eats kibble from a bowl.  Human hosts would give insight and information about the movie and the starring woof.  We’d round out your viewing with light-hearted cartoon a la Scooby Doo.

Evening News:  Kevin’s feature on The Barking Lot, Dogs In The News, is incredibly popular.  We’d expand that, of course, and devote a 30-minute “news/weather/sports” format like any local channel.  The dog walking forecast in our current blog would now follow the national Weather Channel updates.  Perhaps there’d be a Military Mutts portion, as goodness knows there are always plenty of great stories about dogs serving along side our military men & women.  And don’t think that there wouldn’t be enough for a sports segment!  

Finally, throughout the day & evening, there would be a regular segment, Adoption Alley.  I would naturally seek a partnership with Pedigree and feature dogs from around the country that are looking for a loving home.  Sadly there is no shortage of dogs who need families and I would do my very best to help bring paws and hearts together.

Tell me you wouldn’t tune in regularly to this kind of quality programming.  You know you’d love it!  I know I would too.  There are channels devoted to everything:  sports, music, “reality,” cooking, gardening, home care & decorating, movies, news, even religion.  Why not devote a channel to man’s (and woman’s) best friend?

Hello?  Time Warner?  Is anybody listening???
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer. Gee. I wonder if she'd hire her husband to work there? And how long would it last?

Whad'ya mean you want me to work the overnight shift!!!!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made lots of headline the past week.

The most talked-about dog this week. Can that dog survive?

Guidelines issued for treating combat dogs.

Shaken soldier thinks dog could be a tonic.

Demand to adopt military dogs is on the rise.

Video shows bicyclist abandoning dog after it collapses due to heat.

DNA being used to determine if you're picking up your pet's doo.

Dog guards forgotten baby overnight.

Dog helps girl testify against rapist.

Tony is rare.

Teen dies in crash fleeing with cancer-stricken dog.

She stole his dog, now he wants millions.

What's the dog doing in the  jury box?

Prisoner trains dog to help boy with autism.

This time dog bites man is a story.

Dog stoning sentence exposed as hoax.

How many workplaces allow dogs? Where are dogs allowed at work everyday? And don't forget, service dogs show up for work everyday.

Your dog knows a smile. True, but can it read your mind?

Taking canine comforts to new levels.

What happens when there's barely room for your new dog.

Vote for your hero dog of the year. And while we're at it, Packer star urges you vote here.



PETALUMA, CA - JUNE 24:  Terry Schumacher of Hanford, California holds her dog Yoda after Yoda won the 23rd Annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair on June 24, 2011 in Petaluma, California. Yoda won the $1,000 top prize as the world's ugliest dog.

Terry Schumacher of Hanford, California holds her dog Yoda after Yoda won the 23rd Annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin County Fair on June 24, 2011 in Petaluma, California. Yoda won the $1,000 top prize as the world's ugliest dog. Photo: Getty Images

Thanks for stopping by. Please tell a fellow animal over about us.

We close as we always do with our closing video,

Let's take a look at that dog with prosthetic paws...



Week-ends (06/25/11)


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...


Joseph Walker


Daniel Hernandez

Hero Health Hire

Karl Eikenberry

Jack Johnson

Love this one.... Monique Lawless

Tristin Saghin

Rory McIlroy


Marquette U.


Atheists in Red Hook

NPR's Nina Totenberg

Hens United


"Find me one clip of me saying anything but great things about teachers. The union is purposely ginning up this mindset that (teachers) are under attack, they’re under siege --  I think unfortunately creating great fear and division among teachers and other public employees, with the whole idea (to) use this as an issue to try to leverage a change in the political leadership.”
Governor Walker 

"People are ready to move on. And I don’t just mean one party or another. I think just in general. The average citizen in Wisconsin I talk to, it’s like they’ve had it … They want us to be talking about jobs. They want us to be focused on that … And so having another political campaign -- it’s going to happen, it’s not like they can avoid it. But it’s not something they’re particularly interested in. When I talk to people, if that issue comes up, they’re like, ‘Can’t that just be over? ‘”
Governor Walker commenting about upcoming recall elections

"'Shovel-ready’ was not as shovel-ready as we expected."
President Obama

“We voted for our brother Barack, a beautiful human being with a sweet heart, and now he’s an assassin. They turned him into them. You talk about a man killing his own people. When you lie to the American people saying that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. When you lie and then take innocent young men who come to serve their country, and send them to die in Iraq and Afghanistan, over lies, that’s a murderer in the White House.”
Louis Farrakhan

"I think that one of the things the original Muppet movies did amazingly well, and it’s what Pixar does really well now, is that they don’t condescend to children by feeling like they have to dumb things down to the lowest common denominator. And when you don’t do that, you get a family film in its truest sense. And entire family can sit and watch and enjoy it. The worst equivalent is Barney the dinosaur, where parents are having to sit there while their kids watch this, and the parents want to blow their brains out."
Jason Segal who will star in a new Muppets movie coming out in November


President Obama's gaffe


Shelley Moore..."We are not supposed to use school email, but since all of our rights are being taken away, I don't frankly care,"


Chris Abele shaves.


Talk about a hot bikini.

False teeth, real problem.

Poor refereeing blamed for....

That’s it.
Thanks for checking in.

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

Are you ready to play FINAL JEOPARDY?

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


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works.

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

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


Here’s your clue.


Good luck.

Alright players, time's up.

Again, today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


The Final Jeopardy answer was:


The correct question is:

Who is Columbo?

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My Most Popular Blogs (06/19/11)

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.


2) Photos of the Week (06/19/11) 

3) RIP LP 

4) E-mails, I get e-mails: Kids, listen up!

5) Kylas's Korner: Musings of a Mother (06/19/11)

Photos of the Week (06/26/11)

Photos of the Week

1) The head of a lawn deer remains above the flood waters from the Souris River in an evacuated western neighborhood of Minot, N.D. Friday, June 24, 2011. About one-fourth of the city's 40,000 residents have evacuated their homes. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

2) Erik Anderson, an evacuated resident of Minot, N.D., plays various Bach compositions on his cello in the parking lot of the Longfellow Elementary School near the Souris River in Minot Saturday, June 25, 2011. Anderson said playing this music is the core of who he is, so it just feel right. The Souris River neared its crest Saturday in Minot, where city officials hoped to ride out the high water without losing more than the thousands of homes already damaged by flooding. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

3) A man attacks a gay rights activist during a gay pride parade, which was unsanctioned by the city authorities, in St. Petersburg, Russia, June 25. Photo: Reuters

4) Revelers celebrate in front of the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan's west village following the passing of the same sex marriage bill by a vote of 33 to 29, Friday, June 24, 2011, in New York. Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that was narrowly passed by state lawmakers Friday, handing activists a breakthrough victory in the state where the gay rights movement was born. The gay rights movement is considered to have started with the Stonewall riots in New York City's Greenwich Village in 1969. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

5) Officer Elaina R. Ciacchi, right, hugs Officer Sabrina M. Choat after the 128th Police Academy graduation ceremony Friday, June 24, 2011, in Cleveland. Amid tears and cheers, 42 Cleveland police academy cadets joined the force and now face immediate layoffs in a budget cut. The layoffs are among 321 in Cleveland, including 81 police officers. Cleveland blames the layoffs on cuts in state aid. Tony Dejak, AP

6) Sgt. 1st Class Joseph W. Walker with l-r his grandsons Charleston Baglio, 5, and (putting on Walker's hat) Jackson Baglio, 6, and Walker's daughter Amber Baglio as he poses for a family photo after receiving his second Purple Heart Friday. U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick presented Sgt. 1st Class Joseph W. Walker with his second Purple Heart award for meritorious service while serving in Iraq, in a 7 pm ceremony at the 108th Training Command (IET) Headquarters US Army Reserve Center on Westover St. Walker got his first Purple Heart when he was hurt by an IED, and he received his second for a Humvee wreck in Iraq. Diedra Laird - Charlotte Observer

7) Forest works on some homework and Eli sits on the couch, while Smiles types in some new song lyrics he wrote into their laptop, and Space cuddles with Simon. "This bus really makes us a close family, not just because we have to be around each other all the time, but because we want to be around each other" Smiles said. For the Soul of Athens multimedia project, students from Ohio University look at how the American Dream is evolving in the small towns of southeast Ohio. Photographer Meg Roussos focused on a family of five living in a school bus on 20 acres of land, producing an essay titled "The Refuge."

8) This undated handout image courtesy of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), shows a close-up of dirty teeth and a malignant lip lesion with a warning that says: "Cigarettes cause cancer."

9) Combination of six pictures showing Josef Fellner (first row, L-R), Belinda Winkler, Georg Thiede and (second row, L-R) Lidwina Weiss, Waltraud Leitner and Andreas Boehm after stuffing tobacco in their noses during the German tobacco sniffing championship in the little Bavarian village of Kucha near Nuremberg June 25, 2011. About 220 men and women tried to get as much tobacco, at a maximum of five grams, as they could in their nose in one minute. Here's a close-up of Lidwina Weiss. Photos: Michaela Rehle / Reuters

10) Music fans arrive in the mud and the rain at the Glastonbury Festival site.The Glastonbury festival opened its gates on Wednesday to 150,000 fans ignoring forecasts for rain and muddy fields to hear U2 and Beyonce alongside a bewildering choice of smaller acts from Spliff Richard to punk poet Attila the Stockbroker. Now in its fifth decade, the event has grown from a humble gathering of 1,500 people on Michael Eavis's Worthy dairy farm in 1970, each paying one pound ($1.60) and receiving free milk, to a giant five-day celebration of music costing 195 pounds for a basic ticket. Matt Cardy/Getty Images

11) Mckenzie Pollak of Colora, Md., navigates the mud on her belly during the 1st Annual Delaware Mud Run, Jr., benefiting the Leukemia Research Foundation of Delaware, in Middletown, Del. on June 23, 2011. (AP Photo/The News Journal, William Bretzger)

12) Rod Stewart and baby Aiden attend the Salon Prive in association with Audemars Piguet at Syon Park on June 24, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

13) Kate Newman is the engine on a full train as she pulls her triplets around the block on E. Lyon near N. Van Buren streets in Milwaukee. Riding (from left) are Beckett, Adeline and Eloise.Milwaukee Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood.

13) One of 13 newborn ostriches is accompanied by a hen as it explores its enclosure on June 21, 2011 at the zoo in Berlin. The flightless birds are native to Africa.  JOERG CARSTENSEN/AFP/Getty Images)

14) In this photo taken June 21, 2011, and provided by the Alaska SeaLife Center, Cordelia, foreground, a female harbor seal pup born June 8, 2011, at the research institution in Seward, Alaska. Cordelia, rear, is her mother, Atuun. Officials say this is Atuun's first pup. Cordelia is expected to make her public debut within the next week. (AP Photo/Alaska SeaLife Center, Stephen Marquis)

15) Sandy Gallego grimaces after getting a whiff of the order omitted from the Amorphophallus titanum, commonly called the "corpse flower," at the University of California, Davis, Botanical Conservatory, Friday, June 24, 2011. When blooming the plant releases the scent a dead animal to attract flies and carrion beetles for pollination. Also known as Titan Arum, It may take 15 years for the plant to become large enough to bloom, and it is especially rare to see in cultivation. Originally discovered in 1878, on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, the Titan Arum as been coaxed into flower only about 100 times around the world, including four times at UC Davis. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

16) Green Bay Packers cornerback Charles Woodson shows off his Super Bowl ring while being introduced as grand marshal before the Milwaukee 225 last Sunday.Milwaukee Journal sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman

17) Bailey Narr, 11, left, receives a kiss on the cheek from Brandon Matchett 12, after they were crowned queen and king after winning the championship rounds of the 88th annual National Marbles Tournament, Thursday, June 23, 2011, in Wildwood, N.J. Both are from both of Allegheny County, Pa. (AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Dale Gerhard)

18) Jackson Perry, of San Diego, takes a bite of a fried Kool-Aid ball at the San Diego County Fair Tuesday, June 21, in Del Mar, Calif. The crispy balls with their red-hot insides are a big seller at the fair this year. Gregory Bull / AP

19) Hedda Lettuce attends the Interactive "Mommie Dearest" presentation at the Ziegfeld Theater on June 23, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images

20) Some 400 people braving the cold waters and chill winds as they take part in a mass skinny dip, in the sea at the Gower Peninsula in Wales, June 19, 2011. (Chris Grubb/National Trust/AP Photo)

Recommended Reading (06/26/11)

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).

State budget lowers taxes

"The new biennial budget approved by the Legislature and sent to Gov. Scott Walker last week doesn't raise taxes, doesn't raid segregated funds, and doesn't rely on one-time stimulus dollars but will still wipe away virtually all of the state's structural deficit."

Ten ways the state budget could be better

"The 2011-2013 Budget for the State of Wisconsin is the most fiscally responsible two-year Badger spending plan in at least a generation.

That being said, it could be better."

The 'Jim Crow' lie

"How could asking for ID be discriminatory only when it comes to voting?"

Who should not carry a gun

"I’m a passionate gun rights advocate. However, there are some types of people who should not carry a gun, and perhaps even not own one! Permit me to explain."

PGA pro not pleased with Golf Channel going liberal

“The PGA pro let loose on the state of the game in general but directing most of his criticism toward The Golf Channel and NBC.

‘If you promise to keep my name out of this, you can print anything and everything I say,’ the pro said. ‘Tim Finchem, the commissioner of our tour, is as politically correct as they come and used to work for Jimmy Carter. He's a huge part of the problem, but I don't need him trying to track me down to make my life miserable. I still have a family to feed.’

I promised.”

Entitled Americans vs Cuban cigar maker

"Aside from Padrón’s generosity in giving cigars to our nation’s finest during our hunt and apart from being impressed time and time again with the quality of their smokes, I was also duly impressed by the story of how Padrón cigars came to be—especially in light of the fact of how many whiners in our nation have become giant, wet-diapered entitlement clowns. Not so with José Orlando Padrón. Check it out in José’s own words."

Even bedtime stories get profane

"The mass-marketing of profanity just won't stop. Now it's topping the best-selling book list — in children's picture books. You might have heard by now that there's a "subversive" little bedtime book for adults. It should not be read to children. It's called..."

Gov. Walker signs balanced budget without raising taxes

Charles Hagen of Two Rivers poses with Gov. Scott Walker at his budget signing as Catherine Shallue of Manitowoc (left) takes the photo. Journal Sentinel photo: Michael Sears

Just when you thought the TSA couldn't get any worse...

Guess again.

Naturally, the TSA doesn't fathom that it's done anything wrong.

Culinary no-no #230

Culinary no-no's

Americans, seemingly from all walks of life, have recently called for greater civility in thought, words, actions. Some have been more sincere than others. While political discourse is generally the target, the overall goal is, as Rodney King dreamed, for everyone to just be considerate of one another.

It’s too bad this demand for national harmony doesn’t extend to the grocery store.

I’m not a big fan of supermarket shopping. Mind you, it has to be done. But you want to see selfishness exhibited big time? Go get groceries.

Shoppers put on blinders leaving them with a complete lack of peripheral vision. They see nothing but their next stop.  I will go to produce and I will get to produce no matter what. When I get there, I will stop and park my cart wherever I choose, even if it blocks (and usually does) the middle of the aisle so no one can get past me. This bunch is oblivious to anyone around them and frankly don’t care.

Unless numbers are taken at the bakery or deli areas, unscrupulous shoppers will desperately try to bull their way ahead of others. They do so by yelling out as quickly as possible when the naïve, rookie employee sheepishly asks, “Who’s next?”  


The annoying shopper does so without the following:

1) Any conscience

2) Any eye contact with or deference to the other shoppers that have been offended.

Traffic laws pertaining to shopping carts mean no one has a right of way. If I am armed with a cart, I can go wherever, whenever I want regardless of who’s in the near proximity. Again, eye contact with other shoppers is minimal or totally non-existent. If, God forbid, eye contact is engaged, a smile or any polite gesture is verboten.

If I open a door to, let’s say, a frozen food section, it’s perfectly okay if I wander off without closing the door. Again, if you haven’t picked up on it yet, this shopping experience is all about me.

That means that it’s perfectly legitimate to take that pound of baked ham that I suddenly realized I no longer want and dump it on the shelf with the canned baked beans. Let some paid worker deal with it. It’s their job.

Of course, I have license to leave my cart in the middle of the parking lot after I fill up my car.  I can do so, why? Have you not been paying attention? I also do not have to look one way or the other for traffic while I am walking in the parking lot. It is up to drivers to look out for me. If I wish to walk into the path of an oncoming car without looking, that is my right and privilege.

Whad’ya mean I can’t order a three-pound fruit platter ten minutes before closing just because I didn’t order ahead of time?

Sir, are you going to buy that magazine or are you going to stand there for a half hour reading the whole thing thinking this is a library?

Then there is the matter of simple arithmetic and the main issue of this week’s no-no.

Unless you went to a very, very, very bad public school, you should know what’s in a dozen.

A dozen means 12.

Twelve means two more than 10.

Twelve does not mean 15 or 25.

Supermarkets for years and years and years and years have instituted the express line to make it speedier and more convenient for shoppers with few items. In reality, it’s the worst checkout line in the store, manned by the less experienced checkout people.

The sign at the checkout is simple stuff. It reads:


That translates to One Mississippi, Two Mississippi, all the way up to 12 Mississippi.


Easily understood?

Are you crazy?

Have you not been paying attention to all of the above?

In America, when the Express Line says:


It does not mean:


The Express Line means:

Whatever I happen to have in my


Our family is blessed by having a Sendik’s and Pick ‘n’ Save located very close to our expansive conservative Republican mansion. Both retail establishments are mighty good. The problem is they have some suburban patrons who believe by the very nature of their zip code they can personally elevate above waterways. Their noses leave scrape marks on ceilings.

There I was most recently making a beeline for Express, knowing, fearing what goofiness can transpire in that dreaded line. I was clutching but a single item.

I approached the line, adrenaline flowing, heart pumping.

30 feet away.

Light at the end of the tunnel. No one there.

20 feet away.

Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire, I’m almost there.

10 feet away.



It can’t be.

I have been cut off by a short, stocky middle-aged woman along with her daughter, pushing a cart that is filled quite nicely. They had the angle on me. There was nothing I could do.

They stood in front of me in a line with a sign that in plain English read:


The woman in charge of the cart, built like a fire hydrant, stopped dead in her tracks at the entrance to the


I’m in luck, I thought as a momentary blast of relief fell from head to toe.


The woman had, I kid you not, at least 30-35 items in her cart.

Now I ask you…




I waited.

It was coming, for sure.

This woman couldn’t be that dumb or inconsiderate.

Surely she would realize she was, by far, in the wrong line, would awkwardly chuckle and apologize to anyone in earshot, and move to another checkout aisle. I could then move forward, pay for my single item and be done in 30-45 seconds.


The woman doesn’t look at the sign that clearly says:


But she obviously knows she’s not where she’s supposed to be.

Care to guess what happens next?

I could give you all kinds of chances and you’d never get it right.

The woman now looks at her cart, and with extended finger visible to all around points to its contents, and slowly, and I do mean slowly, starts counting.

One by one.

Each and every item.

As if to determine whether she can or cannot be in that line.

WHAT A ****!!!

You might be asking yourself, what am I doing in the meantime. You’re thinking my head has turned purple and has popped off its shoulders, just like that Fred Flintstone episode.

Honestly, I say not a word because I am floored by this woman’s complete ignorance and disregard for others.

Just then, another store employee sees me and beckons me to another aisle. I check out in moments and look back to see that the woman with 35 items has been allowed to proceed through the express line anyway.

So you have not one but two injustices:  the guilty party, the inconsiderate shopper who should never have even attempted to get through the express, and the faulty checkout person who let her violate the posted sign and then some.

Had I been the checkout person, I would have politely informed Ms. Clueless that she could not be in the Express Line and that she needed to wobble over to another aisle..

Because the woman got away with it, in front of her daughter (nice role model), what do you think the odds are she’ll try it again?

And supermarkets with express lines, please enforce them if you’re going to have them.


1) The Great Corn Con.

YIKES! Summer treats will see price hikes.

Wanna lose weight? Eat more Twinkies.

Cherries, olives, or bugs?

British cuisine...yummy. NOT!

6) Get a grip, lady!

You say potato, scale says, Uh-Oh

MUST SEE VIDEO: Amazing catch by a fan...

Over the weekend at Yankee Stadium.

The Latest News You Can Use from WRTL and more

Wisconsin Right to Life Praises Budget Provisions That

Protect Taxpayers and Babies

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The latest from Pro-Life Wisconsin

For Monday, June 27, 2011

Those no good rotten, evil corporartions

The private sector has been taking a beating from some in the public sector during the Wisconsin 2011-13 budget process. The rhetoric has been predictable with these statements coming after the budget was signed into law:

“Throughout the budget process the Republicans have prioritized corporate profits over communities and people.”

“Tax giveaways to corporations and the wealthy.”

The “budget serves corporate special interests.”

“We should be fighting to protect the rights of the people of this state, not wealthy, out-of-state corporations seeking political patronage.”

The budget “gives billions of dollars in tax cuts to corporations.”

And on and on and on and on.

Over and over and over again.

One generality after another.

Businesses that creates jobs….BAD.

Government that taxes and spends your money…GOOD.

Corporations ...EVIL.


Here’s another example of those rotten companies.

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #131 (and #95)

Culinary no-no's


In the state of Washington, they really love their HOT coffee.

In Maine, too.

But especially Washington where some baristas apparently have not learned an important lesson.

Check it out.

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Were you watching one of the greatest college basketball games of all-time?

I remember it like it was yesterday.

The 1983 NCAA men’s basketball championship game, Houston against North Carolina State.

My dad, God rest his soul, and I watched the game together. Dad wanted Houston to win, primarily because the elder Guy Lewis was their coach. I was plugging for the prohibitive underdog that didn’t stand a chance.

Keep your eye on the final seconds.


Watch again.

Lorenzo Charles was the hero.

Lorenzo Charles.

The White House wants to raise your taxes so gov't doesn't get smaller


It is no surprise that there is a fundamental rift in how to govern in Washington.

However, even in today’s polarizing atmosphere, some liberal statements are still so shocking that we’re left in disbelief.

Take for example, Secretary Geithner’s testimony to the House Small Business Committee on Wednesday. He has some interesting views (to say the least) about how the economy works....


...taxes on small business must increase so the administration does not have to “shrink the overall size of government programs."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

Read more

NY Times highlights Ryan Braun, the Brewers' "savior"

As the Brewers get set to face the Yankees in NY, the Times does a nice piece on baseball in Milwaukee.

A first for This Just In...

A video of Keith Olbermann, displayed here because of his remarks about the TSA...


Read more

The daughter of the TSA's latest victim speaks out

The smear job against David Prosser

Read more

Summerfest is back, thank you Henry Maier!

The world’s biggest, best music festival opens for yet another run Wednesday.

Stage after stage after stage of musical talent for eleven days, all for the price on some days at certain times, an ice cream lid or canned goods.

Close to a million if not more patrons will rush through the lakefront gates to drink beer, dance on tables, ride the Sky-Glider. Naturally, there will be some who get out of hand, but the skirmishes and unruly behavior will be minimal, proving the huge smile is the perfect logo for what Milwaukee can boast like no one else.

Sadly, only a few, an overwhelming minority at best will remember the man the Summerfest grounds are named after.

At the time he served, Milwaukee Mayor Henry Maier was, because of his longevity, called the dean of America’s mayors.  Milwaukee voters kept returning him to office. The Milwaukee Journal kept feuding with him. Their disdain for one another was evident

Working at WUWM, I covered many, many, many stories/news conferences involving Maier. The mayor favored us, sending me a kind note calling WUWM, “Radio Free Milwaukee.”

The same could not be said for the afternoon daily. The feisty Maier never held back his distaste for the Journal.

My favorite example came during one of Maier’s many tirades in the 1980’s against the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD) and their pursuit of the deep tunnel project, one that today we know had major flaws. I don’t remember his question, but Charlie Sykes, then working for the Journal, asked one that was quite direct and tough.

Maier didn’t flinch, and in his typical grumble and grouch spouted that he wasn’t about to answer any question from any representative from that news organization located at 4th and State.

Maier then looked around at the news conference for the next question. Without hesitation, my good friend Mark Siegrist, working at the time for Channel 12, asked word for word the exact same question posed earlier by Charlie Sykes.

It was classic.

One could sense a collective if not audible gasp in the room, punctuated seconds later by Maier.

Calmly, deliberately, as if to say touché, Maier answered Siegrist’s, or should I say Sykes’ question in great detail.

I smiled and quickly looked down at my tape recorder to catch the tape counter to make sure I knew where to find this exchange later.

During one of the many (and I might say, entertaining) Maier news conferences I covered, not to mention Summerfest opening ceremonies, the mayor discussed our annual music festival on the lakefront. And he couldn’t resist a jab at the afternoon paper.

Maier oozed with enthusiasm about Summerfest. Even though not so blessed with a horrible singing voice, it didn’t stop Maier from assembling an ensemble designated, if not his then the city’s official band. Naturally it accompanied him to big civic events where Maier would sing where, if there was any luck, the instrumentation drowned him out.

Maier became the city’s singing mayor. But before he sang, he made sure he’d comment and set the record straight about the origin of Summerfest.

Summerfest was Maier’s dream. In later years he’d proudly boast that the wealthy had their country clubs, but city residents could always head as far east as they could to enjoy a part of the summer.

There was nothing precocious about Maier. At one opening ceremony, in full throttle braggadocio, Maier told the crowd how he led a tour of the grounds to mayors from places like Philadelphia and Baltimore. Maier’s counterparts from larger cities gasped when they saw our lakefront musical territory.

Maier said they told him point blank that there was no way their cities could host such an annual event. My memory is backed up by what I captured on cassette tape with Maier telling the crowd his mayoral counterparts saying their citizens would “tear apart” any such festival.

Of course, Maier’s vociferous pride wasn’t just politics and civics. Part of Maier’s in your face speechifying was leveled directly at the Journal.

You see, the Journal early on was steadfast against Maier’s Summerfest vision. The newspaper, in its infinite wisdom, said it would never work. Fueled by their open dislike for the mayor, the paper ripped any and all talk about a Summerfest.

Worse yet, after Summerfest opened, and flourished, the paper was reluctant to acknowledge it was wrong.

Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has vast archives at its disposal. It would be quite interesting to see the same paper that touts Summerfest to report those early and erroneous misgivings by re-printing its negative reporting and editorials, all for the sake of posterity and accurate local history.

Don’t hold your breath. It’ll never happen.

When you visit Summerfest this year, toast one Henry Maier, and then thank God he had the vision that our daily newspaper failed to possess.

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Of course it's what the media wants!


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Do Franklin residents really care?

Let’s repeat the question.

When it comes to politics and being civic-minded, how involved and dedicated are Franklin residents?

A) A really, really, really lot

B) Depends

C) Are you kidding? Not at all


The correct answer is:

B) Depends

A) A really, really, really lot? Not even close.

C) Are you kidding? Not at all.  That’s a bit closer, but not entirely true.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being totally engaged and immersed in interest, Franklin residents register about a 2, maybe a 3 at best.

It’s just a stark reality, folks.

But again, it depends.

It depends on what you’re talking about.

A year ago this time, I wrote a series of blogs on what’s great about Franklin. Here are some excerpts:


Read more

Balancing the Budget at the Expense of American Jobs


Deficit Reduction Can’t Include Tax Hikes

Stop the Latest Attack on Job Creation

Trying to “solve” America’s deficit crisis on the backs of America’s job creators isn’t a real solution at all.

On the contrary, it’s a real threat to businesses, large and small, that are already struggling to recover from the economic downturn.

Unfortunately, some of the politicians involved in deficit negotiations have put a number of dangerous business tax hikes on the table -- tax hikes that would cost jobs by forcing American employers to shut their doors.

Call the White House.Send a letter to Congress.

Read more

Call the president a d**k and you should be suspended...

But what about these other cases?

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