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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.

Remember Carmen Kontur-Gronquist?

Topics talked about on WISN

She’s the Oregon mayor who posed for a calendar in her underwear.

Remember in my blog I wrote that constituents weren’t happy?

So what happened?

Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser last night. 

It was an amazing event.

More details later.



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...


Sgt. Wayne Leyde.  Meet him.

Prince Harry

The Milwaukee Police Department

State Senator Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) 

Three angels in Merrill.

Everyone in that great turnout at Friday night’s Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser!


State Senator Democrats who abruptly gaveled an end to a state Senate floor session immediately after Senator Joe Leibham asked that the Senate take up the photo ID constitutional amendment.

Jerry Hilbelink

Cook accused of stuffing hair into steak


"We need to be prepared across the board for what a new president will bring. I do worry about a rapid withdrawal. . . [that would] turn around the gains we have achieved and struggled to achieve and turn them around overnight." 
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, commenting in response to a question about what the Joint Chiefs are doing to prepare for a new president, given that two of the candidates have called for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

"Consumers have really been hit from all angles right now. We've seen gas that may creep upwards of $4 a gallon come spring and in the supermarkets, staples like meat and eggs and milk, those are also creeping upwards, making consumers have to make tough decisions about spending."
Wall Street Journal columnist Wendy Bounds.

"It's 3:00am and your children are asleep. There's a phone in the White House, and it's ringing. Something is happening in the world. Your vote will decide who answers that call. Whether someone knows the world's leaders, knows the military, someone tested and ready to lead. It's 3am and your children are safe and asleep. Who do you want answering the phone?"Hillary Clinton ad.

"We've seen these ads before. They're the kind that play on peoples' fears to scare up votes. The question is not about picking up the phone. The question is: what kind of judgment will you make when you answer? We've had a 'red phone moment'. It was the decision to invade Iraq. And Senator Clinton gave the wrong answer. George Bush gave the wrong answer. John McCain gave the wrong answer."Barack Obama’s response to the Clinton ad.

“It’s all about political backbone. His party has been gutless, clueless, spineless and he’s got to turn it around. If you look at his Senate record, it’s not reassuring. It’s a relatively mediocre one when it comes to standing up to corporate power.”
Presidential candidate Ralph Nader on Barack Obama

It is because of campaign finance laws like McCain-Feingold that big men don’t run for office anymore. Little men do. And John McCain is the head homunculus. You want Reagan back? Restore the right to free speech, and you will have created the conditions that allowed Reagan to run.
Ann Coulter

“I feel confident that we can do this in a way that does not raise taxes — in a way that we make cuts, but we make cuts in the areas that do not harm the basic priorities of this state, [which are] assuring that our school system is good, assuring that we continue to expand access to higher education and making sure that the basic health care plans of Wisconsin are available.”
Governor Doyle, saying he will not raise taxes to fix state budget shortfall.

Think about the real children. Many real children in their cribs today, or unborn, will need these unique public schools. This isn't about sides. This is about the education of Wisconsin's children.
Rose Fernandez, president of the Wisconsin Coalition of Virtual School Families. Four of her children attend the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, and another has graduated. The Legislature continues to debate the future of virtual schools in Wisconsin.

"We've so much gotten off our heritage ... too sexy, and we use the word sexy a lot and really have forgotten the ultra feminine. I feel so strongly about us getting back to our heritage and really thinking in terms of ultra feminine and not just the word sexy and becoming much more relevant to our customer."
Sharen Turney, Victoria's Secret's chief executive, in a call with industry analysts.


State Senate Democrats who quickly gaveled an end to Thursday’s Senate floor session rather than vote on a constitutional amendment to require a photo ID to vote.


Barack Obama raises $45 million in a month. Hillary Clinton raises $35 million.

Someone is giving them money.

You’d think these warm, compassionate liberals would give some of it back so that people could afford gas and groceries and wouldn’t lose their homes.

The under-reported story of the week is that maybe the economy, while not terrific, isn’t as horrible as we think. (HT: Patrick McIlheran)


SNL’s portrayal of Obama.


Students punished after buying lunch with pennies.

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


Interesting demographics about Franklin from

Georgia schools could be tracking students' BMI

Topics talked about on WISN

This is an awful bill that could become law in Georgia.

The Georgia Legislature wants to mandate thats chools weigh and measure elementary school kids twice a year. Data would be kept on a website comparing the figures from all schools.

This is none of the schools' business. It is a parental responsibility.

As I mentioned on WISN yesterday, lawmakers watch and review legislation in other states for ideas, meaning some Wisconsin legislator could pick up on this one. I hope not.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Senate wants kids on scales
State lawmakers vote to combat childhood obesity by making schools track students' body mass index.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 03/01/08

Georgia's public elementary school students would hop on the scales twice a year for weigh-ins as part of an effort to curb childhood obesity, under a bill that passed the Senate on Friday.

Read more

Lowering the drinking age would be lethal

Topics talked about on WISN

In 1984, a federal law was enacted that required states to set the drinking age at 21 or face losing millions of federal highway dollars.

Over twenty years later, there’s a movement in some states to shun the highway aid and lower their drinking age.

The topic generated a heavy volume of calls during my WISN program yesterday and reaction was mixed, as you might expect.

Lowering the drinking age in Wisconsin would be a horrible mistake.

I have seen the figures from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. By far, the worst drivers are the 16, 17, 18, 19 and 20-year olds.

Lower the drinking age to 18 and you would unleash thousands of potential killers on our roads. The combination of alcohol and car keys for this age group would be deadly.

Giving an 18-year old the opportunity to have a beer is simply not worth it. I’d rather have them legally wait until they’re 21 than see them at their funerals.

NOTE: In the 2005 Wisconsin legislative session, a bill was proposed to allow Wisconsin members in the military as young as 19 to drink. The bill did not get through the Legislature.

Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser a big success!

The 1st Annual Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser was a smashing success.

What a great turnout of terrific people who had a marvelous time and were also very generous. Their heartfelt donations will go a long way to protecting children across the state of Wisconsin.

Entertainment was first-rate.

Band X was sizzling as the opening act. Their opening rendition of Otis Redding’s, “Hard to Handle” was smoking.

The Boogiemen followed with their usual high-quality tribute to the last decade that brought us decent music, the 70’s.

CFSW leader Shari Hanneman was somehow able to shake her booty in those big glow in the dark pink pumps. Talented lady!

Di Carlo Trattoria Pizzeria in Oak Creek did a super job on the food. Make sure you thank them the next time you visit their restaurant.

The volunteers are also to be commended for skillfully decorating the Oak Creek Community Center.

Seen in the Friday night crowd:

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor

Franklin mayoral candidate Basil Ryan

All the Franklin Aldermen

City of Franklin Economic development Director Doug Wheaton

Franklin Aldermanic candidates Kristen Wilhelm and Steve Taylor

Franklin School Board candidates Ed Holpfer and David Works

Milwaukee County Circuit Judge candidate Rebecca Dallet

David Hintzman of Fountains of Franklin

The camaraderie was amazing:  elected officials having friendly conversations with their opponents, citizens uniting to have a wonderful time for a wonderful cause.

Once again, I thank the entire CFSW organization for giving me the honor to serve as the master of Ceremonies for this splendid event.

I thank everyone who attended for their kindness and generosity.

If you couldn’t attend and would still like to make a donation, please contact CFSW.

And please patronize and express your gratitude to all of our fantastic sponsors listed below. (Some very lucky people are going to enjoy a private fireworks party courtesy of the Bartolotta Fireworks Company).

I am very proud of CFSW and a community that cares so deeply about children and families.

Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin
Welcome to the 1st Annual Fundraiser
Friday, February 29, 2008  

Board of Directors
Sandy Maher-Johnson
Shari Hanneman
John Pellmann
Ruzica Bartoshevich
Tony Martinez      

Master of Ceremonies
Mr. Kevin Fischer 

Band X 

Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin Highlights
Sandy Maher-Johnson & Shari Hanneman

Featuring The Boogiemen 

 Auction / Raffle   

Since 2005, Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin, Inc. (CFSW) has been working to protect our children from violent sex predators.  We are a state-wide advocacy group focused on policy change and public educations with a goal that no child will be victim to sexual abuse and exploitation.CFSW was formed by volunteers in response to the fact that Wisconsin leads the nation in the number of sex offenders who are released back into the public with minimally sufficient monitoring and management programs.  We strive to see Wisconsin become the national model for protecting children from repeat sex offenders. There is still much to be done in terms of how Wisconsin handles where to put the most violent sex predators that are placed on supervised release from the state’s Chapter 980 civil commitment program.  We are promoting the philosophy of Burden Equity -- we believe that no community in Wisconsin should be forced by the State to house all of these potentially dangerous people.    

Our Generous Sponsors

Bartolotta Fireworks Corporation

diCarlo Trattoria Pizzaria

The Bartolotta Restaurants

Tri-City National Bank


Linda Carol Weber
Financial AdvisorChartered Retirement Planning CounselorA.G. Edwards is a Division of Wachovia Securities, LLC

ACP Properties, LLC


Mark E. Carstensen Construction & Development Companies

Centec Security Systems, Inc.

Doering Leasing

Fine Print

Scheer Photography

Wisconsin Tech Sales, Inc. 

Auction Items 

Personal Fireworks Display    
Donated by Bartolotta Fireworks

Scotty Cameron Putter        
Donated by Titleist 

Outdoor Photo Sitting                   
Donated by Scheer Photography 

Titleist Golf Bag                   
Donated by Titleist 

2 Tickets to Milwaukee BucksGame March 7th, 2008 withBradley Center Food Card
Donated by Wisconsin Tech Sales, Inc. 

Free Tax Preparation
Milwaukee Brewer Tickets Front Row – date TBD
Donated by Doering Leasing 

Auction Items 

Pandora Bracelet w/charm and gift certificate
Donated by Prescott Miller Jewelers                           

Wine Bouquet                                         
Donated by Martinez Private Cellar 

Bartolotta Restaurant Certificates               

Richlonn’s Gift Certificates (2)                   

Gyros West Gift Certificate                           

Mary Kay Cosmetics and Gift Certificate
Donated by Judy Gill                                                              

Casa Di Giorgio Gift Certificate                  

Dance Bag, Clothes and Gift Certificate
Donated by Next Step Dance Studio                              

Pallas Restaurant Gift Certificates (2)     

Boulder Junction Gift Certificate                 

Police Chief's anger misdirected

New Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn is ticked.

Remember that much talked-about report by the MPD this week that focused on all the problems with city of Milwaukee voting in November of 2004?

Seems it was released to a whole bunch of people before he got to see it.

Flynn is launching a full-blown internal investigation.

Does Flynn have a beef?

Sure he does.

But where is the outrage about what is in the report?

And if Flynn had seen the report first, what would he have done with it, given his comments in today’s Journal/Sentinel that the MPD is not in the business of policy recommendations? Sit on it? Alter it in any way?

Last Monday, I spent an hour on WISN resurrecting the photo ID issue. A constitutional amendment that would require photo ID needs approval from the state Senate so it can go to the voters in a statewide referendum. Senate Democrats refuse to schedule the amendment for a vote.

That was Monday.

The next day, the MPD report was released or leaked, however you want to term it.

More talk show hosts started discussing the issue.

On Thursday, Senator Joe leibham tried to bring the amendment to the floor of the Senate for a vote. Senate Democrats immediately gaveled the session to an abrupt adjournment.

I played that portion of the Senate session on WISN Friday and listeners were angry.

Milwaukee's police chief should be, too............................about what happened in November of 2004.

Chief, find out what happened and take the action you deem necessary.

Then back up your department and the findings in their report.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) CFSW has worked hard to protect your family- Now it's time to say thank you 

2) Two Shocking Facts about Wisconsin Teens – What You’ve Probably Never Been Told by School Personnel 

3) I bet church is crowded today 

4) My most popular blogs 

5) Another cougar sighting

One of Milwaukee's top chefs makes the WSJ

Sanford D'Amato, chef-owner of Sanford restaurant, Coquette Café and Harlequin Bakery in Milwaukee shares a recipe featuring, what else?

Culinary no-no #44

Culinary no-no's

The National Restaurant Association says this is one of the top trends to keep an eye on from fast food joints to multi-star establishments.

Take a look.

Here are more details.

Now, I could see a kiosk in a McDonald’s or Chuck E. Cheese, but not at a sit-down restaurant.

You eliminate part of the personal experience of dining out, not to mention a large number of jobs.

I’m with the skeptics.

I want to be waited on.

own with digital dining.


1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's

Why are we paying for this?

Most high school kids in San Francisco who are eligible for free lunch don’t want it and don’t eat it.

They feel stigmatized because they’re eating off of a different menu than the kids who pay for their meals.

Apparently, eating a free lunch just isn’t cool.

Here come the self-esteem police.

OK, if the kids aren’t eating it and if the kids don’t want it, why should taxpayers be expected to pay for this monumental waste?

Baptism and the feminazi's


In the Catholic Church, there are sacraments. Those sacraments have rules that must be followed when a sacrament is administered and received.

Some baptisms have been performed using a feminist ideology that has become quite popular.

According to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the proper formula to baptize is to use the words, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” the words Jesus instructed the apostles to use as cited in the Gospel of St. Matthew.

But baptisms have been performed saying, "in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier."  The words “Father and Son” were replaced because they were considered chauvinistic.


Big problem.

The feminist version is invalid.

A statement by the Vatican on Friday says the feminist formula undermines faith in the Holy Trinity. If a celebrant uses the terminology, "in the name of the Creator, and of the Redeemer, and of the Sanctifier," the ceremony is not a true sacrament and the baby needs to be baptized again.

My pastor talked about this in church today.

He suggested that if you know of anyone who was baptized with the invalid formula or know of anyone who is using the invalid formula that you contact the Archbishop’s office.

The reach of the feminists has even gotten to Catholic baptisms.

Shame on them.

The plot to assassinate Mick Jagger

It's the subject of a BBC documentary.

Would Jesus be cool about conceal-carry?

I am a fan of talk show host/columnist/author Doug Giles.

He’s funny, witty, edgy, blunt, and right on the money.

His latest effort has him writing about Jesus and concealed weapons.

Would Jesus carry a concealed weapon?

No, but...

Can you hang on for another week or so?

Crazy weather is back in the news as Mother Nature is getting set to throw the kitchen sink at us again.

But at least we’ve hit March.

Here are the high temperatures Milwaukee hit on the following days in March in 2007:

MARCH 11:       51

MARCH 12:       58 

MARCH 13:       72 

MARCH 14:       61

MARCH 21:       63

MARCH 22:       64 

MARCH 23:       51 

MARCH 24:       60 

MARCH 25:       79 

MARCH 26:       80 

MARCH 27:       67 

Source: National Weather Service

So, hang on everybody.

Some other weather notes:

In February of 2007, Milwaukee had 23.7 inches of snow. This February, we had 31 inches.

In March of 2007, we had a total of  only 4.4 inches of snow.  The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel is reporting that for tomorrow, Monday, “Forecasters expect the Milwaukee snow total to reach about two to three inches by noon.”

No apologies from the woman too sexy to be Mayor

I've blogged about her.

I've talked about her on WISN.

Now see her defend herself.

Sing it with me everybody! Chicago, Chicago, that tax-lovin' town.....

The Windy City.

A great place to visit.

But I
sure as hell don’t ever want to live there.

Not even Franklin is this bad.


Read more

They're illegal immigrants, take their cars

Illegal immigration

In Wisconsin, local law enforcement recently were given a manual courtesy of the Attorney General’s office on how to handle traffic stops of suspected illegal immigrants.

In a nutshell, if police stop an individual and discover after a check that he/she is in the country illegally, the illegal immigrant is not to be detained.


Such an absurd policy has to be frustrating for some (not all) law enforcement officials.

Contrast that to the policy procedure now being discussed in Georgia, one that eminently has far more common sense.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution:

Some Atlanta police welcome law that allows seizure of illegal immigrants' cars

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 02/29/08

A proposal that would allow police to seize vehicles from illegal immigrants could help remove egregious drivers from the roads, some metro police say.

"I think it has the possibility of being a good thing," said DeKalb County Police Department spokesman Officer J.T. Ware. The seizure powers might be best used to focus on habitual traffic offenders, he said.

The proposed law, House Bill 978, was approved by the state House of representatives this week. It still must pass the senate. The measure would allow police to seize cars of illegal immigrants who are involved in accidents or violate traffic laws.

While the proposal stimulated debate on the House floor, including questions about how police could identify illegal immigrants during a traffic stop, the reality is that police already impound cars.

"It's really not going to change anything," said Gwinnett County Police Corporal Illana Spellman.

"If they don't have a valid license, the vehicle is going to be impounded anyway."

The usual procedure in DeKalb and Gwinnett counties is to arrest those found driving without a license rather than issue a ticket. As part of that arrest, the vehicle is often impounded because the officer can't leave it on the side of the road. In some cases, if a relative or friend has a valid driver's license, the officer allows that person to drive the car home.

Illegal immigrants cannot get a valid Georgia driver's license because they don't have the proper paperwork.

If the seizure bill were enacted into law, it's an open question how a police officer would identify a driver as an illegal immigrant.

Police say it would likely be up to the jail to determine.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has officers in some jails who review jail records and determine which inmates are here illegally. That's the case in Gwinnett and DeKalb counties. Cobb County has a special program where every inmate's legal status is checked, no matter the charge.

Other jails don't have ICE officers, and it could take longer to determine legal status. For the system to work, jails and police would have to cooperate.

"You have to work out what the line of communication would be," said DeKalb County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Mikki Jones.

Frank Rotondo, executive director of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, opposes the legislation, saying it would make extra work for officers. In many cases there are hearings before property can be seized and there's lots of paperwork to fill out.

"It could be very time consuming," Rotondo said.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

And if you need a good reason and reminder why we should take their cars away…



Just how tough is our military? The media's not interested makes a fascinating numerical study of just how skilled American military forces are.

Of course, classify that as another one of those positive news stories the mainstream media loves to ignore.

HT on MRC: Right from the right

You still want to lower the drinking age?

Last week on WISN, I discussed the movement in some states to lower their drinking age.

That’s a dangerous idea.

Here’s more proof:

  • More than half — 54 percent — were riding with a teen driver. Drivers younger than 16 were the most dangerous.
  • The risk of death for kids riding with drivers aged 16 to 19 was at least double that of those riding with drivers aged 25 and older.

1958: In order to vote, you better know what you're doing

I have blogged several times that I’m more than ok with a low voter turnout on Election Day.


Oh, the horror!

Yes, I know that such a notion sends newspaper editorial writers into orbit.

Then again, I don’t really care what editorial writers think.  They’re notoriously wrong, most of the time.

If you haven’t read a single newspaper article about a certain election, you should stay home.

If you don’t know who the candidates are, you should stay home.

If you don’t know where the candidates stand on the issues, you should stay home.

If you’re basing your vote on the 30-second ad you saw the night before the election, you should stay home.

If you’re voting for a candidate because your spouse is, you should stay home.

If you’re voting for an incumbent because the incumbent has experience, you should stay home.

If you’re voting for the challenger because you feel it’s time for a change, you should stay home.

If after a gazillion months of campaigning, zillions of ads, trillions of news stories, and billions of speeches you wake up on Election Day and are undecided, please, please, please stay home.

I have nothing against a high voter turnout if somehow we could get more voters to the polls who have studied the issues and the candidates.

If voter turnout is low because people could care less or are unsure of who to choose because they just don’t know enough, I’m not going to lose any sleep.

Enter into the discussion my friend and former colleague at the state capitol Christian Schneider.

Schneider blogs about an interesting article he found in the 1958 edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book.

Lo and behold, the article says, “It is essential in a democracy that the people keep informed about the objectives and operations and operations of their government, exercise the privilege of voting and participate in the activities of their government.”

Schneider puts it bluntly, and well, I might add when he writes:

Basically, the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau had no problem essentially calling people dopes if they either made an ill-informed vote, or threw their vote away as a “protest.”

Schneider’s blog
is worth a look, especially given the renewed controversy over photo ID.

Thanks, Brett

Last October, while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I asked the audience if Brett Favre was the greatest QB ever.

Thanks for the memories, Brett.

Read more

Favre's announcement: Get a grip

Except for those who could care less about football, Brett Favre’s retirement is tough to take.

Football fans all around the country were sad to hear the news. My office colleague, Tricia Sieg was in tears.

We all love the guy and admire, respect, and appreciate what he did.


Perspective, folks.

Channel 6 did a nice piece last night on a woman who has her entire house decorated with Packer and Favre paraphernalia (love the Brett in the box, jack-in-the-box toy).

The woman, an obviously obsessed fan, said Favre’s announcement was “like a death.”

Uhhh, no it wasn’t.

No one lost their life.

There will be no funeral.

This is not a tragedy.

Someone's got to say it.

Let’s not go overboard.

Elvis served his country


48 years ago today, Elvis Presley, who never gave second thought to serving his country, was discharged from the Army on March 5, 1960.

From the web site, "How Stuff Works":

The End of Elvis Presley's Military Career

Elvis Presley managed to life a relatively normal life during his time in the U.S. Army.
Elvis Presley managed to live a
relatively normal life during his
time in the U.S. Army.

Read more

An increase in crime...iPods to blame?

Violent crime, after being on the decline for many years, is up again.

Several explanations can be offered as to why.

One of them comes from the non-partisan organization, the Urban Institute. The Institute blames iPods.

The Urban Institute writes:

The recent increase in violent crime defies easy explanation, and many hypotheses have been put forward for debate. In this brief, we propose that the rise in violent offending and the explosion in the sales of iPods and other portable media devices is more than coincidental. We propose that, over the past two years, America may have experienced an iCrime wave.

Developed by the Apple Corporation, the iPod is a portable media player and data storage device that lets users listen to music on the go. A relatively expensive consumer electronics product, iPods retail for up to $400.

In spring of 2004, Apple had sold a relatively modest 3.7 million iPods. In the fall of 2004, a new generation of iPods was introduced and consumer demand exploded. By the end of 2005, more than 42.3 million units had been sold, and by the end of 2006, the total was almost 90 million.
In 2005, for the first time in 12 years, violent crime increased—a trend that continued in 2006. This followed a relatively long period of decline. From 1993 until 2004, the violent crime rate fell every year, for a total decline of 38 percent. At the same time that violent crime rates began to rise, America’s streets filled with millions of people visibly wearing, and being distracted by, expensive electronic gear. Thus, there was a marked increase in both the supply of potential victims and opportunities for would-be offenders.

Past crime waves are thought to have occurred in a similar way—triggered by the introduction of a new high-status and expensive product. For instance, in the 1980s and 1990s, the proliferation of such valuable products as expensive basketball shoes or North Face jackets may have led to new crimes. However, in past instances where the supply of crime creating products increased, the consumer population purchasing these goods—and the would-be offenders coveting those products—made up a relatively small part of the U.S. population. By contrast, iPods are everywhere, and, unlike a jacket or a sneaker, one size fits all.

Here’s the entire report.

I have to say this one’s a stretch.

Sometimes we over-analyze.

An increase in crime?

Could it be........More bad people doing more bad things?


Maybe we should do something about it?

The St. Patrick's Day parade is when?????

First, the disclaimer.

I’m Irish.

I’m very proud that I’m Irish.

Every year, I make it a point to attend the annual St. Patrick’s parade downtown.

 That’s the disclaimer.

How could the Shamrock Club be so foolish as to plan this year’s annual parade this Saturday, March 8?

Historically, the parade has always been the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day.
 Using that formula, this year’s event should have been Saturday, March 15.

Why the parade is being held on the 8th is beyond me.

As I post this, the projected high temperature for this Saturday is 21 degrees.

Say goodbye to families with strollers.

This is like holding a 4th of July parade on June 16.

This year’s St. Patrick’s Day parade downtown, on March 8th instead of the 15th.

Bomanta. Bomanta. Bomanta.

That’s Irish for dumb, dumb, dumb.


Hey guy, wanna put her in the mood? Pull out the vacuum cleaner

I first wrote about choreplay almost two months ago.

Choreplay….that’s where the husband helps the wife with jobs with tasks around the house, and it turns the wife on.

I toyed with the idea of discussing choreplay on WISN when I filled in last week. But it was one of the many topics I just didn’t have time to get to.

Still, choreplay is getting a lot more attention.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal recently wrote about choreplay. Here’s an excerpt:

Every night after dinner, David Zinck scoops up his two young daughters and escapes into the "jam room" where they rock out to Rush or Queen.

Meanwhile, Mommy gets 30 minutes of alone time.

Holly Zinck turns on the computer. She flips magazine pages. The clamor fades. Serenity creeps in.

And, behind that feeling, something else. Holly gets, well, highly interested in David. Let's put it that way.

Forget crimson roses and chocolates.

Grab a broom. Unload the dishwasher. Play with the kids.

Now, that's hot. That's "choreplay."

"I call it the new romantic gesture," said Scott Haltzman, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University and author of the new book, "The Secrets of Happily Married Women."

"Women are looking for something that gives them the message they've gone the extra mile and they've done something that matters to them. Being in the kitchen and emptying the dishwasher is a real clear signal you are fighting for her love."

It's not that women get turned on watching their sweethearts iron sheets, but they respond to being relieved of work and having time to relax.

And that downtime helps switch gears.

But choreplay can also backfire if the deeds are calculated moves to get lucky. Many women are secretly resentful of the prospect of their husband pitching in around the house expecting something in return.

"If that's the case, he'd be better off with roses," said Jen Singer, editor of

"They act like there should be a parade down Broadway for making the bed. I hear from moms, 'Of course you should help, it's your underpants on the floor.' "

This morning, a national Associated Press story about the, AHEM, “benefits” of helping the Mrs. made the front page of the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel. A report out today indicates helping around the house with chores results in more sex.

The findings are quite interesting. Men's contribution to housework had doubled over the past four decades. During that same time frame, men tripled the time spent on child care. The trends are expected to continue as more women enter the workforce.

Here’s the report by the Council on Contemporary Families.

If that’s all it takes, if it’s that easy, hell, I’ll start taking the garbage out more often.

I'm back on InterCHANGE

After being off the past two weeks because I was filling in for Mark Belling on WISN, I return to InterCHANGE Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10.

Here are the topics we’ll discuss:


Did Hillary surprise everyone by winning Texas and Ohio?  Is she back in the race?  Howard Dean is calling for Florida and Michigan to “re-do” their primaries.  Is that fair to Obama?  Is the support of President Bush a positive or a negative for John McCain?  What did you think about the Clinton “If the phone rings at 3:00 am in the White House” commercial?  If she’s the nominee, couldn’t McCain run the same kind of commercial?  What would you think of a Clinton/Obama ticket?  Why is she now saying that she is open to that idea?  Is it simply a ploy to appeal to Obama backers?

2 – FAVRE.

Can we say anything that hasn’t been said?  Well, let’s try anyway.  Were you surprised? Is it about time?  Is it overdue, or should he have played one more year?  Should the Packers have tried harder to keep him?  Would he have stayed if the Packers got Randy Moss?  Are you confident Aaron Rodgers can step in and do the job?  Do they need to go out and find another quarterback?  Did the media go overboard on this thing?  Why are the Packers such a huge topic in Wisconsin?  Is it because the rest of our lives are so boring?  Could the Brewers ever generate this kind of excitement?

The fat lady hasn't sung- Hillary is still alive

Stop the presses.

Cancel the obituary on Hillary Clinton.

The latest version of the “Comeback Kid” isn’t dead yet.

Here’s what national columnists are saying about Hillary’s resurrected campaign.

Robert Novak 

Clinton's transformation of the political climate by her decisive victory in Ohio and unexpected narrow win in Texas coincided with Obama facing adversity for the first time in his magical candidacy, and not handling it well. The result is not only the prospect of seven weeks of fierce campaigning by the two candidates stretching out to the next primary showdown April 22 in Pennsylvania, but also perhaps what Democratic leaders feared but never really thought possible until now: a contested national convention in Denver the last week of August.

By chance, this critical week for Obama began Monday with jury selection in the Chicago corruption trial of his former friend and fund-raiser Tony Rezko. For the first time, the story of this political fixer's connections with the Democratic Party's golden boy spread beyond the Chicago media. In a contentious press conference Monday, Obama was uncommunicative. He ended the session by walking out and announcing that eight questions were enough.

Less obvious than his Rezko performance but more disturbing to insiders was Obama's handling of the North American Free Trade Agreement. With NAFTA having become an expletive in economically depressed northern Ohio, the two Democratic candidates competed with each other in pandering -- denouncing the trade agreement that was a jewel in President Bill Clinton's crown. The trouble began when Canadian CTV television reported Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee had visited Canada's consulate in Chicago to reassure officials there.

Old Democratic hands cringed when both Clinton and Obama in their Cleveland debate blithely advocated the dangerous renegotiation of NAFTA. They were really disturbed by what happened next. Obama denied the Goolsbee mission, then had to back down after a Canadian diplomat's memo confirmed the visit. A longtime Democratic political operative, neutral between Obama and Clinton, told me this was a serious misstep in what he had considered a flawless performance by a political neophyte.

Obama this week lent credence to longtime claims by the Clinton camp that the young challenger would melt under Republican heat. Now he must face weeks of struggle against a revitalized Clinton, with no sign when it will end.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

There remain 800 superdelegates, each entitled to a full vote. No matter if Obama leads among elected delegates, they can still deliver the nomination to Hillary.

Do they dare?

If Clinton is able to score a series of popular-vote victories in these late primaries, she could lay the basis for an appeal to the superdelegates to disregard the results of January and February and look instead at her success in the later contests.

The battle of Hillary is over. The battle of Obama has begun.

The question of his readiness and experience looms ever larger in the minds of the media and of voters.

Her red-phone ad, citing her supposedly superior readiness to be commander in chief, evidently cut deeply among the electorate.

It's time that Obama counters her strategy by hitting back. His lofty politics of hope will avail him little in the aggressive, rough-and-tumble world of modern politics.

Maggie Gallagher

Let Barack be the symbol of hope; Hillary this week transformed herself -- OK, improbably, but persuasively -- into a symbol of working-class toughness: "For everyone who's been counted out, but refused to be knocked out; for everyone who has stumbled and stood right back up; for everyone who works hard and never gives up -- this one is for you!"

She jabbed Obama again on his inexperience in a time of war. Rather, in a time of "two wars abroad," as Hillary put it, we need a president "tested and ready to be commander-in-chief on Day One." She promised to "end" the Iraq war but also to "win" that other war in Afghanistan -- a preview of general election themes designed to counter the GOP riff that Democrats are military defeatists.

"Of course we can ..." she said deftly if indirectly accusing Obama of offering low expectations, because we're Americans. "Yes, she will!" the well-prepped crowd chanted on cue.

Ann Coulter

If Hillary is serious about becoming president, she's got to make some changes. I say this as a Hillary supporter and strong opponent of divorce. Hillary: You've got to divorce Bill. You've already fired one campaign manager. Now it's time to get rid of your No. 1 buzz-killer.

Not only is the media's group-lie about Bill Clinton being a "rock star" over, but -- one can hope -- the use of the excruciatingly stupid phrase "rock star" to refer to wonky politicians is over. It's become such a cliche that music critics have begun referring to actual rock stars as "leading Democratic contenders."

Liberals believe, often accurately, that if they say the same thing over and over again 1 billion times, people will believe it: "Bush lied, kids died," "We've lost in Iraq," "Reagan is stupid," "Bush is stupid," "Republicans are stupid," "Global warming is destroying the planet," "Gloria Steinem is good-looking" and -- their most provably false assertion -- "Bill Clinton is the most talented politician of his generation."

Not to be a stickler, but Bill Clinton is the guy who could never get as much as 50 percent of the country to vote for him. And that was in two presidential elections that the Republicans basically sat out (as they are doing this year).

So no matter how preposterous it was, liberals just kept telling us that the chubby kid with the big red nose whose greatest moment on the football field involved a wind instrument was "Elvis." According to Nexis, that appellation has been applied to Clinton approximately 1,000 times. In print, that is. There's no telling how many drunken cocktail waitresses have whispered it in Clinton's ear during late-night elevator assignations.

You can stop lying for the voters now, Hillary. This is me, Ann Coulter, your supporter.

This charade of a marriage has gone on long enough. Even if you were stupid enough to marry him back in the '70s, Bill is just so over, girlfriend. He can't even get Holiday Inn cocktail waitresses anymore. Last I heard, he was hitting on the Motel 6 housekeeping staff.

You're too good for him, Hillary. Obama has now denounced and rejected Louis Farrakhan. It's time for you to denounce and reject Bill Clinton.

Obama excites voters by offering to be the first black president. You've got a chance to make history by becoming the first divorcee to win the White House.
 And finally, putting the next seven weeks in perspective,

Salena Zito

"Pennsylvania is about to become a marathon that may turn into out-and-out war between Clinton and Obama," said University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato. "It will be a long twilight struggle with millions and millions of dollars spent."

After a caucus Saturday in Wyoming and Tuesday's Mississippi primary, Clinton and Obama will face a six-week stretch of bare-knuckle campaigning in the Keystone State -- the last big prize of the primary season and another "must-win" for Clinton who still trails Obama in the delegate count, Sabato said.

Pennsylvanians should prepare for an onslaught of robo-calls, targeted direct mail, e-mails, invitations to town hall meetings and campaign signs on every street corner, said Democratic strategist Mark Siegel.

It's the kind of hand-to-hand, delegate-by-delegate combat that makes Republicans giddy.

"She can’t put him away, and he can’t put her way," Sabato said. "Meanwhile, while nobody is looking, John McCain will be organizing, raising money and preparing for the fall."

Must see video: Senate Republicans call for photo ID, Dems interrupt press conference

Instead of calling their own news conference, two Democrat Senators abruptly interrupted a Republican news conference on photo ID at the state Capitol today.

Republicans were calling attention to the refusal by Senate Democrats to schedule a constitutional amendment on photo ID for consideration by the full state Senate.

Here’s video from WKOW-TV in Madison.

The speakers in the video:

Senate Republican Leader Scott Fitzgerald

Senator Joe Leibham, the Senate author of the constitutional amendment

Senator Alberta Darling

State Representative Jeff Stone, the Assembly author of the constitutional amendment

Senator Spencer Coggs, who chairs the Senate committee that refuses to hold a hearing on the amendment

Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker who refuses to schedule the amendment for Senate action


Read more

Sure 'n begorrah, it's a sacrilege, a sacrilege I tell ye

This just can’t be.

Truly it’s as shocking as the time someone put trousers in Mrs. Murphy’s chowder.

A New York City Irish pub is banning, “Danny Boy.”

Watch the story.


On February 5, 1976, Elvis Presley was recording an album in a studio set up inside his Graceland home. On that day, he recorded, “Danny Boy.”

Four months later, Elvis did something he rarely did in concert. As he mentioned the new album, fans started yelling out requests from the new recording, one of them being, “Danny Boy.”

Unrehearsed, Elvis launched into the request, a song he rarely performed live. The King does a great job.

Read more

He was so cool, of course I remember Mike Smith


If there had been no Beatles, the Dave Clark Five would have taken their place as the world’s favorite band.

For a brief time in the 60’s, the Dave Clark Five rivaled the popularity of the four lads from Liverpool.

I’ve blogged about this in the past. I recall going over to my Uncle Claude and Aunt Rose’s house with my parents on Sunday evenings. There would be my cousins, Claire and Claudia, fighting over the mirror in the bathroom as they ratted their hair so it could touch the ceiling.

Then in the living room, the TV would come on…..Ed Sullivan, of course. Ed would introduce the Dave Clark Five and Claire and Claudia would scream at the television. Grampa Fischer would just roll his eyes.

Like the Beatles and many other British Invasion groups, the Dave Clark Five were clean-cut, good-looking young guys. And man, were they good.

Last week, the lead singer and keyboardist for the group, Mike Smith died at the age of 64. Smith suffered a spinal cord injury a few years ago and was paralyzed from the waist down.

Another member of the group, Denis Payton died of cancer in 2006.

The Dave Clark Five are to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this Monday.

Here are the Dave Clark Five appearing on the 60’s TV show, “Shindig.” They are introduced by the show’s host, Jimmy O’Neill.

Read more

I hate to say I told them so, but...

Isn't it a lovely day for a parade?

Getting around smoking bans: Bravo! Bravo!

It’s called survival.

An intrusive busybody government imposes a smoking ban, trampling on individual and private property rights in the process.

First it was Las Vegas that got creative in getting around their ban.

Now look at how Minnesota is fighting back.

I love it.

Good for them!

Those 70% issues

A belated hat tip to my friends Jay Weber at WISN and Patrick at Badger Blogger for pointing out the hypocrisy of Jim Doyle.

At a rally this week in Madison to support a smoking ban, Doyle told the crowd, “
This is about basic democracy. When you have legislators of both parties who support it, it seems the simple thing to do is put it out on the floor and take a vote.” 

Doyle invited Tour de France superstar Lance (I don’t take steroids) Armstrong to the rally. Armstrong dropped this line:

"When 70 percent of the people say yes, the people we elected should represent that and should certainly not stand in the way and hold pieces of legislation hostage."

No doubt Doyle was nodding in approval.

OK, Jim, if we’re going to use that argument about 70% issues, then give us:




USBC...please stay

It’s rare the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel Editorial Board gets it right, but they did today.

Of course, it’s tough to bungle this one, as they root for the home team.

The United States Bowling Congress (USBC) could be moving out of Greendale. A decision could come this weekend.

The Journal/Sentinel editorializes today:

The United States Bowling Congress' board of directors will meet Sunday in Atlanta and could decide whether it stays in Milwaukee. We thought leaving Milwaukee for Arlington, Texas, was something approaching a done deal, but we are encouraged that the governing body for bowling is not calling the movers just yet. Dare we hope that this delay represents second thoughts? Let us reiterate our point that bowling is to Milwaukee and Milwaukee to bowling as armadillos are to Texas and vice versa. May we suggest that tradition should count for something? May we submit for the Congress' consideration that the rush minute in Milwaukee pales in comparison to the rush hour of the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington megalopolis and that, though Mitchell International Airport doesn't have as many flights as those coming and going from Dallas' airport, we have no problem getting from point A to point B - and we get chocolate chip cookies to boot. We're a fit. C'mon, you can do it. Stay.

No, Jennifer

You’re not getting one!



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...


Legislative Republicans who are working to bring a  constitutional amendment on photo ID to the state Senate floor for a vote before the legislative session ends next Thursday, March 13.

State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee).
Carpenter was the only Senate Democrat to show some backbone and courage by voting to bring the constitutional amendment on photo ID to the state Senate floor for a vote.

Will Wegner

Andrew Symonds

The village of Pewaukee

Scott Walker

Read more

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1)       Can you hang on for another week or so?

2)       Georgia schools could be tracking students’ BMI

3)       Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser a big success

4)       Why are we paying for this?

5)       53132

Culinary no-no #45

Culinary no-no's

Culinary no-no # 18
focused on respecting your waiter/waitress.

In this week’s edition of Culinary no-no, more on the subject from someone who has walked the walk and is now talking the talk.

Phoebe Damrosch has written a book about her experience waiting tables at Thomas Keller’s four-star New York City restaurant, Per Se.

The inside cover notes of Damrosch’s book, Service Included say, “After reading this book, diners will never sit down at a restaurant table the same way again.”

Damrosch includes numerous dining tips that fall under the no-no category. Here are a few:

  • Please don’t ask waiters what else they do. That implies they shouldn’t aspire to work in the restaurant industry even if it makes them happy and financially stable. It also implies they have lots of free time because they have such easy jobs and that they are not succeeding in another field.
  • Don’t send something back when you’ve eaten most of it.
  • Don’t make faces or gagging noises when you hear the specials. Someone else at the table might like to order one of them.
  • Don’t bribe the host. If there’s no table, there’s no table.
  • Don’t touch your waiter.
  • Don’t say this to the host or a waiter: “Do you know who I am?”
  • Don’t begin a sentence with, “Give me….”
  • Don’t get angry at your waiter if you don’t like something. Your waiter didn’t make it
  • Don’t steal the waiter’s pens. Usually, they have to provide their own.

I first learned about Damrosch after hearing her apearance on American Public Media's "Splendid Table." The program is heard on public radio stations arouind the country and on Sirius Satellite Radio.

From the "Splendid Table" website:

February 16: Service Included | Listen 
This week it's a peek into the life of a waiter at one of the world's most demanding restaurants. It's a profession and high craft, and not for the faint of heart. Our guest is Phoebe Damrosch, former waiter at Chef Thomas Keller's acclaimed Per Se in New York City. Phoebe tells all in her book Service Included: Four-Star Secrets of an Eavesdropping Waiter.

*The Damrosch interview begins 14:20 into the program*


1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's
44) Digital dining


Mark Belling slams the Great Lakes Compact

WISN’s Mark Belling offered a synopsis of the Great Lakes Compact on his program Friday afternoon.

Mark did a great job pointing out why the Compact is horrible for Wisconsin.

I highly recommend listening to the audio of that segment before Mark’s podcast is updated Monday afternoon.

Click on LISTEN on Hour 2 Part 2.

Mark’s segment on the Compact is 13:18 into the audio.

Sounds like Mark actually read the Compact and knows what he’s talking about.

Barack Hussein Obama is very, very dangerous

Columnist John Hawkins outlines the major changes President Obama would make.

They're not pretty.

Because men are creeps, more women choosing to (and need to) protect themselves

Reacting to more stories of young women being murdered, radio talk show host/columnist/author Doug Giles writes that he has a dream that more women will stand up to their attackers:

“I’d like to see a nationwide tsunami of ladies equipped to the teeth with the physical prowess and the firearm capability to kill any and all would-be murderers and rapists should such creeps ever accost them.

I have a dream!

A dream where instead of reading about a cute college coed left dead and naked out in a vacant lot or bloated and floating in a river, the story reads, “dead jack ass found double-tapped and dead on the curb as his soul wings its way to hell, all because he messed with the wrong mama.”

A dream where it’s normal for girls to know Jui Jitsu and mixed martial arts. A dream where they can shoot golf ball sized groups with their .38 at 15ft. A dream where they have a BS detector that’s so sensitive they can read people and environments with godlike clarity within a nanosecond.”

Giles offers some staggering statistics:

• One rape or sexual assault occurring every two minutes

• 172 women being physically and/or sexually assaulted every hour

• 261,000 rapes and sexual assaults occurring in the US in 2006

• 2.8 percent of college women experiencing rape (according to a six-month US Department of Justice study)

• 17 percent of rape or sexual assault victims being victimized by someone they knew

Giles’ solution:

“We’ve got to make certain that our babies know how to leave a bad guy severely inoperative and, if need be, kill them all by their lonesome. That is my definition of “girl power.” This is my dream: all girls of every conceivable stripe having the attitude, skill, and force to pulverize a felonious punk.”

Read Giles’ entire column.

Giles might take some comfort in that many women are taking his advice.

Unfortunately, we live in a state with a governor (who is an attorney) and a Legislature filled with too many Democrats who choose to trample on the Constitution and deny law-abiding citizens the opportunity to carry a concealed weapon to protect themselves.

Now this is the kind of quality restaurant Franklin needs

I’m on record that I wish a Cheesecake Factory would open in Franklin.

Heck, FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski and I even collaborated on a joint blog on the topic.

Since that blog, Greg has written that several other restaurants need to open in Franklin, all of them national chains.  They’re all good restaurants, to be sure. I side with Greg on Cheesecake Factory because I believe that’s a national chain that is almost guaranteed to be successful (and I've documented that in a previous blog). But I’m not so sure I want to see Franklin saturated with national chains.

Would I like to see a Bartolotta’s restaurant in the 53132 zip code? You bet.

Why can’t more locally-run restaurants the caliber of Casa di Giorgio and Wegner’s pop up in Franklin?

Guess what?

One just did.

Gus’ Mexican Cantina is open for business on Lovers Lane Road in the Garden Plaza across the street from Menards.

One of my readers tells me he had dinner there today, arriving at 5:15 this afternoon to a restaurant only ¼ full. When he and his wife left after 6:00, the restaurant was packed with a party of 60 expected in the banquet hall.

Gus informed my reader that he opened Friday night and quickly there was a 2-hour wait. Ditto on Saturday night.

This is exactly the kind of restaurant Franklin needs: a local entrepreneur bringing his vision to life and a community craving more quality dining options responding.

I hope this is the start of even more great restaurants debuting in Franklin.

(By the way, I’m told Gus’ food is great).

Illegal immigrants, repeat offenders, detained at Milwaukee County Jail

Illegal immigration

That’s quite a story UWM’s online newspaper came up with.

After a three-month long investigation, Frontpage Milwaukee discovered that 188 previously deported felons identified as illegal immigrants by federal and local officials were booked into the Milwaukee County Jail on new criminal charges, municipal violations, and other violations in the past four years.

We’ve got illegal immigrants in our community offending and re-offending, being deported, yet finding their way back to commit more crimes.

Kudos to the student journalists at UWM. Here’s their story.

HT: Jessica Bucher

Banning anonymous posters

I am not a big fan of anonymous Internet posters.

Not all are bad, but let’s face it. Using a fake name to hide behind can give the author what he/she believes to be license to engage in innuendo, unsubstantiated rumor, mudslinging, or hate speech.

A Kentucky lawmaker thinks he has the solution.

But his idea, government intrusion, is absurd.

What is he waiting for? Resign already!


“Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s political career teetered on the brink of collapse Monday after the corruption-fighting politician once known as “Mr. Clean” was accused of paying for sex with a high-priced call girl.

The scandal drew immediate calls for the Democrat to step down. At a news conference before about 100 reporters, a glassy-eyed Spitzer, his wife at his side, apologized to his family and the people of New York.

But he gave no details of what he was sorry for, did not discuss his political future and ignored shouted questions about whether he would resign.”


Read more

Gov. Doyle breaks his promise...again!

I am not surprised that Governor Doyle has done a complete turnaround on the issue of taxes because he has done it before.

His latest flip on taxes comes as the state now faces a projected revenue shortfall of $652.3 million.

On Friday, January 25, 2008, Governor Doyle met with the editorial board of the Wisconsin State Journal. The newspaper reported the following:

“Gov. Jim Doyle pledged Friday not to raise taxes to cover a threatened state budget shortfall, promising instead to manage the gap by cutting or delaying spending.

"We've got through $3.2 billion without raising taxes," Doyle said, referring to the budget shortfall when he took office in 2003. "So we can get through a tenth of that without doing it."

Here is the Wisconsin State Journal article, complete with headline of Doyle’s promise on taxes. 

Not long after that, Doyle made the same statement to the Associated Press:

Doyle didn't say where cuts would come, but said the state could get through without raising taxes.”

That line is in paragraph seven of the Associated Press story. 

Here comes the flip.

The governor was considering a tax on hospitals and a repeal of the suspension of the estate tax. The details were reported in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel in mid-February.

Confirmation of Doyle the flip-flopper came today. Not only is he proposing a tax increase but another raid of the Transportation Fund.

He has no shame.

I think we know that when the governor says he is not going to raise taxes that we can take that statement with a grain of salt.

Hero's son making tremendous progress

I have blogged many times about a former Capitol colleague, Scott Southworth.

Southworth is a bona fide hero. While serving in Iraq, Southworth adopted a boy with cerebral palsy.

Here's an update. Southworth's son, Ala'a is making great progress.

Hookers and politics really don't mix

Read more

The taxpayer's friend: Bubba or Dubya?

So, fellow taxpayers, were you better off under Bill Clinton or George W. Bush?

Let’s go to the numbers:

U.S. Federal Individual Income Tax Rates  

Individual Income Taxes Under Presidents Clinton and Bush, 1999 Law and 2008 Law
For taxpayers who take the standard deduction and have no children
Taxpayer Tax under Clinton, 1999 tax law Tax under Bush, 2008 tax law
Single, income of 30,000 $3,157.50 $2,756.25
Single, income of 50,000 $7,262.50 $6,606.25
Married, income of $50,000 $5,085.00 $4,012.50
Married, income of $60,000 $6,585.00 $5,512.50
Single, income of $75,000 $14,262.50 $12,856.25
Married, income of $75,000 $9,426.50 $7,762.50
Single, income of $125,000* $29,378.50 $26,472.25
Married, income of $125,000* $23,426.50 $19,462.50
*This chart does not take into account the Alternative Minimum Tax

Here’s my source for the above numbers.

Remember, Barack Hussein Obama and Hillary Clinton both want to repeal the Bush tax cuts.

Voters of Franklin: Meet the candidates

I have extended an invitation to Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor and his opponent, Basil Ryan, Alderman Alan Hammelman and his opponent, Kristen Wilhelm, and Alderman Pete Kosovich and his opponent, Steve Taylor to submit guest blogs to “This Just In…” to explain to voters why they should be elected April 1.

There is, of course, no obligation to respond. However, I believe all should in order to get their message directly to voters. I sincerely hope all the candidates will participate.

For those that do, their guest blog will be posted here the week of March 25th.

Stay tuned.

Eliot Spitzer- (?-NY)

This should come as no surprise.

With New York Governor Eliot Spitzer's world collapsing around him because he messed around with prostitutes, the news media is omitting one rather important element of the story:

That he's a Democrat.

OK all you lefties.

Stand side by side.

Click your heels.

Repeat after me.


There is no liberal bias in the media.

There is no liberal bias in the media.

There is no liberal bias in the media.

Stand by your sorry excuse of a man

I remember it like it was yesterday.

With snow falling, former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist stood next to his wife, with TV news cameras rolling, to divulge he had an affair.

A similar scenario played out Monday as soon to be former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer apologized for what reportedly was his involvement with a prostitution ring. Spitzer’s wife stood next to her husband, appearing to be in a zombie-like daze.

I’ve never truly understood this kind of behavior……on the part of the women.

Make the SOB stand there in front of all of the world to see and take his lumps all by sorry self.

Jan LaRue, a member of the Culture and Media Institute’s Board of Advisors says it best:

"Why does a man who says he needs to regain the trust of [his] family, further abuse whatever trust remains by using his traumatized wife as a prop at his press conference or as his defender-in-chief? 

Recall the following with wife at his side:

  • Former Democratic President Bill Clinton did have “sex with that woman.”
  • Rep. Bob Livingston (R-La.) resigned after admitting extramarital affairs.
  • Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) whose phone number appeared on the client list of the “D.C. Madam.”
  • James McGreevey, former Democratic governor of New Jersey, admitted to having a sexual relationship with a man.
  • Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) who pled guilty to disorderly conduct after trying to seduce an undercover police officer in a public restroom."


Read more

Better to lock them up

A few weeks ago, I discussed on WISN, and then blogged about, the cost of crime.

No one really wants to talk about that. They’d rather attempt to shift the focus on all those poor guys that are locked up who didn’t do anything wrong and would be upstanding citizens if we’d only give them treatment, counseling, and then……..let them out really, really early.

Columnist Thomas Sowell also writes about the cost of crime with a rare, refreshing approach that’s based on, HALLELUJAH, the victims.

Gubernatorial scandals

Disgraced DEMOCRAT Governor Eliot Spitzer is the 22nd governor to see a career destroyed by scandal.

Does the list include Republicans?


And a few more Democrats.

Franklin, it's road construction time

Be advised of the following road projects:

rexel Avenue will be CLOSED from Loomis Road to Hwy. 100 beginning MONDAY, MARCH 17 and will remain closed until approximately June 20. 

The road will be re-built with the current concrete roadway being pulverized and re-used as road bed, new storm sewers as well as curb and gutter.  The road will be widened. Two more lanes will be added. Sidewalks will be put on both sides. 

This project will be done in two phases. The first phase will go from Hwy. 100 to just in front of Risen Savior Church.  If you go to church at Risen Savior, you will need to enter the church from the east during the first phase, then from the west during the second phase. Franklin will get its first round-about with the new entrance to the Shoppes at Wyndham Ridge.  Drexel to the west will be a divided roadway.  Drexel to the east of the round-about will be four lanes undivided. 


This project is being paid with impact fees collected from new development (residential and commercial).

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation will be re-paving Hwy. 100 soon. Traffic will be restricted to one lane in either direction during the project.  Paving will start at Puetz Road and run north to the city limits.  This project is scheduled to be completed by June.

Note to any and all Franklin candidates....

I will not be voting for any of you based on how pretty your website looks.

The pri¢e of pothole$

One out of four city streets and highways in America are in horrible shape.

We don’t have potholes in Wisconsin. We have craters.

Just how much do all those potholes cost each individual driver a year?

Take a guess.

The answer?
Deteriorated roads and pothole infested streets cost the average driver $400/year.

Read the story and the study from a national transportation research group, TRIP.

A huge victory for Franklin in the state Legislature

Franklin and other municipalities that have enacted ordinances to prohibit where sex offenders can live got a big victory as the legislative session in Madison ended today.

Assembly Bill 702, introduced by state Representatives Don Friske (R-Merrill) and Fred Kessler (D-Milwaukee) that would have prohibited cities, towns, and villages from enforcing ordinances like Franklin’s did not get through the Legislature.

The Assembly laid the bill on the table on its last session day, killing the bill. Even if it had passed in the Assembly, its fate in the Senate was uncertain where no Senator signed on to the bill as a co-sponsor.

Had the bill been approved and signed by Governor Doyle, tough sex offender ordinances throughout the state would have been eliminated.

A huge victory for Franklin and other municipalities and their parents and children, a huge defeat for sex offenders.


Racine's St. Patrick's Day Parade is Saturday

Bundle up if you go.

Noontime temperature in Racine Saturday will be 34 degrees under moslty cloudy skies.

Here are the parade details.

Tonight on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panelists discuss tonight on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30 (repeat Sunday morning at 11:00):


Why did New York Governor Eliot Spitzer do the things he did?  Is it a deep psychological problem?  Was it simply sex?  How could such a smart man not know that he would eventually be caught and that his entire life would come crumbling down?  Why do so many men in positions of power get caught doing this stuff?  Should he be despised for engaging in consensual sex between two adults?  Should he have resigned?  Should he be prosecuted?

2 – OBAMA.

Is the fact that he’s a Black man have any thing to do with Barack Obama doing so well in this presidential race?  Is Geraldine Ferraro simply telling the truth in a politically correct world?  Are the things she said racist?  Are they true?


Because of problems with the economy, state tax collections (and thus state income) is going to be down dramatically.  Governor Doyle proposes a fix that includes two things that weren’t too popular last time he brought them up: a tax on hospitals, and a raid on the state transportation fund.  Does he have any other choices?  Should he do more to cut spending?  Will both ideas sale through the legislature this time?  Last  night the Assembly passed its own plan, but Democrats vow to block it.


The United States Bowling Congress makes the decision to move from Greendale, Wisconsin to Arlington, Texas.  Is there anything the Milwaukee area could have done to make them stay here?  We lose nearly two hundred jobs, and millions of dollars in annual payroll.  Is it that big of a deal or not?  Is Miller Brewing Company going to be the next to leave?

In case you missed it...

There was a great letter to the editor in today’s Journal/Sentinel.

Remember, Senate Democrats killed your opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote. Senate Democrats refused to take up the amendment on the floor of the Senate before the legislative session ended yesterday. If the Senate would have approved the amendment, statewide voters would have had their say in a referendum.

Here’s the letter from today’s paper.


Double standard on proposed voter ID?

Sen. Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) co-introduced Senate Bill 473, which includes this text: "A dealer may purchase nonferrous scrap, a metal article or a proprietary article from any person over age 18 if the dealer does all of the following: 1) obtains photographic identification from the seller or deliverer . . . "

This is the same Plale who voted not to allow the voter photo ID amendment to come to the Senate floor. Notice this measure requires a photo ID. I'd like to know why Plale believes people must show a photo ID to sell scrap metal and not to do the same when voting.

I understand it would make it easier to catch perpetrators who attempt to sell stolen scrap metal. Wouldn't it do the same for those who steal votes? Plale doesn't want to make it inconvenient for voters. But isn't he making it inconvenient for the honest guy just trying to make a few extra bucks by selling his own scrap metal?

Plale should explain why curbing stolen scrap metal is more important than curbing stolen votes.

Tom Christensen
Oak Creek

No, no, no, Franklin! We can't have those!!!

I caught this interesting item in the Shepherd-Express:

Driven to Distraction
City debates electronic signs

Why stop with cell phones, texting, DVDs, CDs, the radio, fast food, traffic, construction, snowbanks and pedestrians? Add electronic billboards to the list of drivers’ distractions. On March 18, the city’s Zoning, Neighborhoods and Development Committee will debate—yet again—regulations for electronic billboards in residential neighborhoods. If passed, “automatic changeable message signs” would be allowed every 1,000 feet and could change every eight seconds, or about seven times a minute. Right now they’re only allowed on federal highways, but a test sign has been up at Oakland and North avenues without much fuss.

Outgoing Alderman Mike D’Amato has been pushing for this ordinance locally, and Clear Channel Communications has been advocating for it nationally. But push-back has come from Aldermen Mike Murphy and Bob Bauman, who are concerned about safety and light pollution coming from these TV-type signs.

Although the Federal Highway Administration is going to launch a two-year study this summer, the ordinance would allow for these signs before their effect is totally known. The ordinance would allow the city’s Department of Public Works to order signs to be turned off if they interfere with traffic signals or controls, create a “confusing or dominating background” or otherwise obstruct a driver’s line of sight.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with electronic billboards.

I recall all the fuss when Milwaukee County Stadium put electronic messages on the stadium facing I-94. A Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department official made a comment on a local radio newscast that there would be all sorts of accidents because motorists would be reading the messages and not paying attention.

I don’t believe there’s been any evidence of billboard-related highway carnage.

But can you imagine if someone proposed putting one of these up in Franklin, where some people’s calendars still say 1956?

Electronic billboards may already be banned here. I can’t say for sure. I do know all hell would break loose if someone wanted to prop one up in the 53132 zip code.

It would start with a petition drive to stop this evil intrusion into our lives. Why, we can’t have lights and words and information on a billboard. That would be………contemporary.

Then we’d have to set up another useless un-elected board or commission to hold dozens of meetings to study this controversy.

And on and on and on and on and on and on……you get the picture.

I guess I should cringe every time I drive by Casa di Giorgio at 37th and Rawson. Haven’t gotten into an accident yet, but it’s always nice to know what their specials are.

Despicable: Attacks against our military, right here in America

The nation's largest pro-troop organization, Move America Forward, issued a report today detailing the numerous attacks against U.S. troops right in our own country.

The organization’s Chairman, Melanie Morgan says the latest came on March 6 when a bomb exploded at the military recruiting center at Times Square in New York City.

Morgan says “this attack against a military recruiting center was just the latest incident in a rash of attacks against military recruiting centers. Recruiting centers have been shot up (as happened in Denver, Colorado), bombs have been planted (a real one in St. Louis, fake ones in Oregon and elsewhere), windows smashed, manure dumped on recruiting offices, human blood and *** smeared on the offices, recruiters cars have been firebombed (in Alabama and Maryland) etc...  And I don't need to tell you about the campaign against the Marine Recruiting Center in Berkeley that was blessed by the city council and featured protestors blocking the entrance to the recruiting center there.”

Several attacks have happened right here in Milwaukee, and are included in the organization’s report.

Move America Forward today unveiled a national television advertising campaign.

Morgan says, “Our troops deserve the highest respect and appreciation.  Instead what they get is ridicule, condemnation and now acts of violence from ingrates in the anti-war movement who are egged on by a news media that too often seems sympathetic to their cause. Well no more.  We are at a critical juncture in American history to sit back and allow these attacks to go on any longer.

Please view our report on the attacks against military recruiters at the Move America Forward website.  Watch our new national TV ad.  You can find all of this online at:

Happy Birthday D.J.


D.J. Fontana celebrates a birthday today.

From his own website:

D.J. Fontana was Elvis' drummer for 14 years and played on over 460 RCA cuts with Elvis.

D.J. Fontana began his incredible career as a staff drummer in 1953 on the famous LOUISIANA HAYRIDE. While working the Hayride in 1954 D.J. met Elvis. They formed a common bond of friendship and admiration for each other's immense talents.

D.J., Scotty Moore and Bill Black formed Elvis' original band. D.J. was the man behind the beat for the first 14 years of Elvis' career.

D.J. Fontana turns 77 today.

There have been efforts to get Fontana into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Here's D.J. and the gang on the Ed Sullivan Show:

Read more

UPDATE: Getting around Minnesota's smoking ban

You knew the anti-smoking Nazi’s would eventually get involved in this one.

Remember how bars in Minnesota were working to get around the onerous, property rights trampling smoking ban?

Here come the pencil pushing bureaucrats with their threats of $10,000 fines. 

Curtain's coming down at Minneapolis-area bar that staged theater acts to evade smoking ban

By GREGG AAMOT , Associated Press
March 14, 2008

- The show won't go on at The Rock, a hard-rock and heavy metal bar in suburban Maplewood that has been staging faux theatrical productions to get around Minnesota's smoking ban.

Owner Brian Bauman said the city attorney paid him a visit on Wednesday and told him The Rock's liquor license could be reconsidered by the City Council if the bar keeps up the acts.

"He told me we need to cease what we're doing out here immediately," Bauman said.

The Rock is one of about three dozen bars in Minnesota that began staging the fake productions to exploit a loophole in the law — which went into effect Oct. 1 — that exempts performers in theatrical productions. The state Health Department got wind of the shows and announced last week that it would begin cracking down on "theater nights" with fines of as much as $10,000.

A few bars have encouraged their patrons to dress in costume and attempt a little improvisation. Others, like The Rock, have done little more than print cheap playbills to tack over the entrance, listing the patrons as "actors" who are then entitled to smoke.

Several reported a boost in business since they began allowing smoking again.

Maplewood City Attorney Alan Kantrud did not immediately respond Thursday to an Associated Press call seeking comment.

John Stieger, a spokesman for the Health Department, said Thursday the agency didn't know how many bars had stopped putting on theater nights since the threatened crackdown. He said the agency hoped a combination of local law enforcement and the threat of fines would put an end to them.

Bauman said The Rock couldn't risk losing its liquor license, so its final "show" — dubbed "Before the Ban" — will be held Sunday, despite the risk."Then we'll go back to losing money," he said.



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


Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donovan and John Larsen

Milwaukee County Supervisor Joseph Rice
for his great piece in the Journal/Sentinel.

My former colleague at WTMJ and current colleague at the state Capitol, State Representative Jim Ott, for standing up to the trash ads running against him on the Journal/Sentinel website.

Kara Walla


Senate Democrats, who refused to take votes on a constitutional amendment requiring a photo ID to vote, a bill banning partial birth abortion, and a bill eliminating sick leave for legislators.

Eliot Spitzer,
the hero who became a villain


"Over the course of my public life, I have insisted, I believe correctly, that people, regardless of their position or power, take responsibility for their conduct.  I can and will ask no less of myself. For this reason, I am resigning from the office of governor. I am deeply sorry that I did not live up to what was expected of me...I look at my time as governor with a sense of what might have been. There is much more to be done, and I cannot allow my private failings to disrupt the people's work. The remorse I feel will always be with me.”
Former NY Governor Eliot Spitzer.

"The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing 'God Bless America.' No, no, no, God damn America, that's in the Bible for killing innocent people."God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme."
Barack Obama’s pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, in a 2003 sermon.  An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

"There are times when people say things that are just wrong. But I think it's important to judge me on what I've said in the past and what I believe.”
Barack Obama, reacting to criticism of his pastor.

"If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position. And if he was a woman (of any color), he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept."
Geraldine Ferraro.

"Any time anybody does anything that in any way pulls this campaign down and says let's address reality and the problems we're facing in this world, you're accused of being racist, so you have to shut up. Racism works in two different directions. I really think they're attacking me because I'm white. How's that?"
Geraldine Ferraro defending her comment on Obama.

"The homosexual agenda is just destroying this nation" and that homosexuality poses a bigger threat to the United States than terrorism.
Oklahoma state Representative Sally Kern (R-Oklahoma City) in a speech given earlier this year. The remarks were made public this week.

“This budget shortfall should not be used as an excuse to raise taxes.
Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) on fixing the state’s huge revnue shortfall.

“This has to be done right for all the citizens of Wisconsin. A strong compact is one that’s strong and fair -- fair for everyone”
State Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) and chair of the Assembly Natural Resources Committee, on the Great Lakes Compact.

I had a lot of regulars leave who I've never seen again, and I don't blame them.
Terry Harvath, owner of the Wishing Well tavern in Appleton and head of the Outagamie County Tavern League. He claims a majority of Appleton bar owners are still unhappy about the smoking ban.

Fighting the smoking ban is just prolonging the inevitable. I think Wisconsin will be totally nonsmoking eventually. It's just a question of when.”
Marsh Shapiro, owner of the Nitty Gritty bar and restaurants in Madison.


26% of teenage girls have an STD.

Time for some blunt talk about STD’s.


Senate Democrats proposed a bill that
would force all licensed Wisconsin pharmacists, regardless of their medical and moral judgment, to dispense the morning-after pill and other FDA-approved abortifacient contraceptive drugs. The legislation also redefines the statutory definition of abortion to exclude all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.

A hearing was held in the Senate Health Committee this week, and Senate Democrats didn’t count on amendments from one of their own members, Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), amendments that dramatically altered the bill.

In complete disbelief and horror, Democrat Senators John Erpenbach and Lena Taylor tore into Vinehout at the hearing, badgering her over and over. To her credit, Vinehout stood her ground and principles. Vinehout voted with the three Republicans on the committee.

Abortion rights groups were beside themselves, taking Vinehout to task here and here.

The story, Democrats pouncing on and attacking their own, got zero play in the media. You can see the exchange on Wisconsin Eye from the 3/11/08 Senate Committee on Health meeting on Senate Bill 232. I highly recommend watching.


The Eliot Spitzer revelation. Yes, the story warranted all the attention. But as usual, the media went overboard with some of the sidebar stories like, Is prostitution a victimless crime?


Without a doubt. Strangest story of the week, the month, the year, maybe the millennium.

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

This is why they call it March Madness

Read more

Can Milwaukee Vincent repeat?

Last year when the Milwaukee Vincent girls basketball team played for the state title, they were playing for more than a trophy.

Winning a state championship is tough. Repeating is even tougher.

Vincent goes for their second straight championship tonight against Oshkosh West.

The Stations of the Cross: 2008 style


Sunday is Palm Sunday, the final Sunday in Lent and the start of Holy Week in the Roman Catholic faith.

Also called, “Passion Sunday,” palms are blessed and distributed to the congregation, and the Passion, the story of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ is read during Mass.

One of the traditional customs of Lent and Holy Week is the Stations of the Cross, the depiction of the final hours of Jesus. Many churches, including mine, have beautifully framed paintings of each Station of the Cross on the walls.

The Stations of the Cross are:

I Jesus is Condemned to Death

II Jesus Takes Up His Cross

III Jesus Falls the First Time

IV Jesus Meets His Mother Mary

V The Cross is Laid on Simon of Cyrene

VI Veronica Wipes the Face of Jesus

VII Jesus Falls the Second Time

VIII Jesus Meets the Women of Jerusalem

IX Jesus Falls the Third Time

X Jesus is Stripped of His Garments

XI Jesus is Nailed to the Cross

XII Jesus Dies on the Cross

XIII Jesus' Body is Removed from the Cross

XIV Jesus is Buried in the Tomb

Mel Gibson produced a dramatic account of the crucifixion that through its graphic nature provided a more realistic understanding of what truly happened than any reading from Scripture could convey.

Read more

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1)  Now this is the kind of quality restaurant Franklin needs

2) Because men are creeps, more women choosing to (and need to) defend themselves

3) Mark Belling slams the Great Lakes Compact

4) Week-ends, 3/8/08

5) Barack Hussein Obama is very, very dangerous

I love Shari Hanneman, but...

She’s an Illini fan. 

Big time. 

That’s right. 

My very good friend who is one of the leaders of Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin that does so much for the children and families of the entire state of Wisconsin will be rooting for Illinois this afternoon when Wisconsin plays the Fighting Illini for the Big Ten Tournament Championship.

Dearest Shari,

Please understand that for two hours today, you and I simply cannot agree.

After Wisconsin beats Illinois, I will return to adoring you.



"Do you guys get along?"

There I was yesterday, waiting to respond to the woman behind the deli counter at Pick ‘n’ Save.

“Can I help you?” she asked.

My mouth opened but no words came out.

At that exact moment, someone slapped me on the arm.

I turned to see a middle-aged woman with a somewhat troubled look on her face.

“How do you put up with those guys on InterCHANGE?” she asked, referring to the weekly public television show that I’m a regular panelist. The woman proceeded to give me atta-boy’s for standing up to the program’s liberals as I ordered my Badger ham and American cheese.

Just about everywhere I go, people who watch InterCHANGE stop me and say one or more of the following:

1) Kathleen Dunn seems like a really nice person (She is, she’s just ultra-liberal).

2) How can you stand Joel McNally? (I’m sure Joel gets the same comments about me).

3) Do you guys get along? Are you guys friends?

As to #3, there’s a long answer and a short answer.

First, the long answer.

Because of the nature of the program, the discussion often gets heated. There’s nothing wrong with that. You have individuals who are passionate and steadfast in their views and beliefs. God forbid the program ever become dull.

The program is like a sports bar argument or blog chatroom.

On one episode, Joel McNally told me to “Shut up.”  Joel apologized the next week, but in the next breath, ripped me again.

This week’s program got intense because I dared to criticize Kathleen Dunn’s beloved Barack Hussein Obama and I blasted Wisconsin’s awful taxes and business climate, that rankled Joel who loves big taxes and anything that’s anti-business.
 Yours truly also didn’t appreciate being interrupted by Dunn and McNally after I sat silent for about seven minutes while I had to listen how wonderful Barack Hussein Obama is.

So, do we get along?

I could refuse to answer to keep the mystery alive.

However, Joel pulled the mask off the Lone Ranger a few years ago when he wrote a column about an InterCHANGE-related incident.

It’s a custom for some, if not all of the InterCHANGE panelists to stand outside MATC and chat after the Channel 10 taping. On a warm Friday, Joel, Gerard Randall and I were standing on the corner of 8th and Highland, engaged in conversation.

A car pulled up to the stop sign and the male driver pulled down the passenger-side window.

“I knew it,” he yelled out the window.

We all abruptly stopped our discussion to look at the motorist.

Observing the three of us in non-combative mode, the man continued.

“I knew all that yelling and screaming was all for show.”

We burst into laughter.

Suddenly, I realized that like Vince McMahon telling Congress his industry was purely entertainment, we had been busted.

I approached the man’s open car window and implored him not to tell anyone.

He drove off with a big smile as we chuckled on the street. Joel wrote about it in his column a few weeks later.

I’ve known Joel and Kathleen for over 20 years. We rarely agree. But we all respect each other. Before and after each show, the panelists laugh and joke about topics totally unrelated to what’s discussed on television. When the talk gets a bit emotional, it’s generally forgotten by the time we hit the elevator. No one stays angry. No one carries it any further.

Like pro wrestling, we disagree and argue for 26 minutes every week, but all go home in the same car.

Sorry to pull the mask off again, but the short answer is, yes, we all get along and have been friends for a long, long time.

Don't miss the most under-reported story of last week

I know a lot of people read my weekly Saturday feature, “Week-ends.” There’s no way of knowing which segments of “Week-ends” they read.

I want to highlight one category that I think is fascinating: the most under-reported story of the week.

Watch Democrats beat each other up. The way Senators Taylor and Erpenbach bullied Senator Vinehout is must-see video. That is news, ladies and gentlemen. No TV, radio, or newspaper reporter was in the room to see it, but WisconsinEye did record it.

Take the time to see a legitimate news story the news media missed.



Senate Democrats proposed a bill that would force all licensed Wisconsin pharmacists, regardless of their medical and moral judgment, to dispense the morning-after pill and other FDA-approved abortifacient contraceptive drugs. The legislation also redefines the statutory definition of abortion to exclude all FDA-approved contraceptive drugs and devices.

A hearing was held in the Senate Health Committee this week, and Senate Democrats didn’t count on amendments from one of their own members, Senator Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), amendments that dramatically altered the bill.

In complete disbelief and horror, Democrat Senators John Erpenbach and Lena Taylor tore into Vinehout at the hearing, badgering her over and over. To her credit, Vinehout stood her ground and principles. Vinehout voted with the three Republicans on the committee.

Abortion rights groups were beside themselves, taking Vinehout to task here and here.

The story, Democrats pouncing on and attacking their own, got zero play in the media. You can see the exchange on Wisconsin Eye from the 3/11/08 Senate Committee on Health meeting on Senate Bill 232. I highly recommend watching.

Gun owners are angry over a Wisconsin man's conviction

Is the federal government going after gun owners?

The case of the felony conviction of a Wisconsin man who previously had no record and who served his country is disturbing because it raises serious questions about our government coming down hard on a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.

CNN has the story.

There's more here.

Culinary no-no #46

Culinary no-no's

St. Patrick’s Day menus across America will be dominated by corned beef and cabbage, potato dishes, stews, and fish and chips. Chicken and beef entrees will incorporate sauces from Guinness and Irish Mist.

I love it all but the fact is if you’re hoping to re-create a traditional Irish St. Patrick’s Day menu, none of that stuff will do.

The combo of corned beef and cabbage was concocted in America.

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “
In Ireland it's more common to eat 'boiler bacon,' which is brined pork shoulder, more like American ham. But when Irish immigrants arrived in New York, corned beef was the closest thing on hand.”

If you ‘re dining out on St. Patty’s Day and order Irish stew, the odds are it won’t be Irish stew even if it says Irish stew on the menu.

Nation’s Restaurant News reports Los Angeles restaurateur and Ireland native Gerry Gilliland says a real Irish stew is greasy with a lamb bone boiled with potatoes and onions. In her restaurant, she uses beef that’s been braised in Guinness with carrots, parsnip and rutabaga.

"What we do is not a traditional Irish stew because Americans wouldn't like that," she says.

Care for some black and white pudding?

Paul Wilson of Boston’s Black Rose Restaurant and Pub says it’s part of a popular, traditional breakfast in Ireland.

Barley, bread, and seasonings are used to make the white pudding along with bacon, onions and herbs.

What makes the pudding black?

Pig’s blood.

Try asking for that at Mo’s tomorrow.

Wilson says if you want to prepare a traditional St. Patrick’s Day meal, “
Don’t go with the typical corned beef & cabbage or the 'boiled dinner'. Do something different. Get a decent piece of gammon (it’s a cut of ham). Instead of doing chunks of cabbage, sauté it a little, put some mustard cream sauce over it. Instead of regular potatoes, try some colcannon."

Travel writer Stuart Buchanan MacWatt recalls a St. Patrick’s Day dinner he had in Kilkenny, Ireland, distinctly remembering the steak and kidney pie. I will post the recipe and his article but the ingredients include:

Two lbs. round steak of beef.
Half lb. beef kidney.
Two tbs. flour.
3 ounces lard or vegetable shortening.
Six medium sized onions.
Two tbs. brown sugar.
Six slices Irish or Canadian Bacon.
Four field mushrooms, or one Portabello mushroom.
One pint of Guinness, or Murphy's Stout.
A good sprig of fresh parsley, chopped.
Shortcrust pastry.
Salt and pepper to taste.
A well-filled glass of Irish Whiskey.

All of this traditional Irish fare may not sound all that appetiizing, but the fact is Irish cuisine is no longer bangers and mash and lamb casserole.

Vincent Fanari runs the Plough & the Stars in Philadelphia. He says some of the best restaurants in Ireland have calamari tabbouleh on their menus.

And again, from Nation’s Restaurant News:

“Dublin has become a very, very cosmopolitan city," John Conolly, the 34-year-old chef and owner of Connollys Restaurant in Los Angeles, says of his hometown. "There's Indian food and Mexican food. When I was growing up, paprika was about as spicy as it got. All you did with garlic was kill a vampire. Now my brother in Ireland talks about using cilantro."

Whatever you eat on St. Patrick’s Day, you certainly will be following Irish tradition if you down a Guinness and/or Irish whiskey. Some traditions never die.

Here are articles I used for this Culinary no-no:

Rebirth of Irish cuisine stirs up ballyhoo in dining circles

My St. Patrick’s Day dinner in Kilkenny

Interview with Paul Wilson of Boston’s Black Rose Restaurant & Pub


1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's
44) Digital dining
45) Tips on what not to do to your waiter


Ireland cracks down on drinkers

Mother Macree!

And on St.Patrick's Day.

The Irish police will be out ready to bust hooligans.

How much will you spend on St. Patrick's Day?

The National Retail Federation has the answer.

The NRF has never been to Water Street on March 17 if you ask me.

America rejects Obama's racist pastor

Image: Barack Obama, Jeremiah Wright

Only 8% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the incredibly racist statements made by Barack Hussein Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright, according to Rasmussen Reports.

Quite frankly, the percentage shouldn’t even be that high.

Obama, who keeps pandering to blacks by saying, “It’s our turn, it’s our time,” claims he doesn’t want race to enter into the campaign.

That’s funny.

I don’t see a definitive display of outrage from Obama about Wright's racially charged statements, which, if you haven’t seen or heard......

Read more

Potholes, the governor, and Joel Mcnally

This past weekend’s edition of InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 may have set a record for the number of times I was interrupted by Kathleen Dunn and/or Joel McNally.

One of the interruptions came when I was discussing Governor Doyle’s solution to the $653-million revenue shortfall. Doyle wants to raid the state’s Transportation Fund to help balance the books. I tried to point out that the Transportation Fund is financed by the state’s gas tax, one of the highest in the nation that in turn is used to pay for road projects including the potholes that have made the Interstate and other roads look like World War II battlefields.

Joel then yelled across the studio at me, that there was no way the potholes wouldn’t get fixed.

Oh, really?

I make it a point to prepare for each and every week’s show. Joel should do the same.

He could at least read a newspaper he should love, the ultra-liberal, Communistic Capital Times, a paper his column occasionally appears in.

If he had, Joel would have read this in the paper the day before we taped InterCHANGE:


Read more

Franklin candidates, here's what I want

With Election Day just two weeks away, we’re starting to see TV ads and campaign literature. Candidates are knocking on doors.

I’ve always been out when the people who want my vote have rung my doorbell.

Alan Hammelman spoke with my wife and beamed about getting our subdivision its welcoming sign. No, alderman, our homeowner association fees paid for that. Besides, the doggone thing looks like a big old cemetery headstone.

His opponent, Kristen Wilhelm left literature that says a priority will be the quality and not the quantity of developments. I interpret that to mean even more loopholes and obstacles to moving forward.

So here’s the deal. Since I haven’t been home to speak to any mayoral, aldermanic, or School Board candidates, and because I know they do check my blog once in awhile, as do a few other Franklin residents. I’ll make this real simple.

As a voter, here’s what I want.

1) Fiscal responsibility. Can we please actually DO something about the outrageous amount of taxing and spending rather than just TALK about it at election time, and can we approach the problem without blaming the state? The state is broke. It can’t help us. It has its own problems, believe me.

The way to reduce taxes is to cut spending. I have yet to hear any candidate discuss specifically how they’ll go about it. Any candidate who forwards such a plan could score big points with over-taxed voters who have had enough.

I would include both City Hall and the School Administration and School Board in my challenge to tighten the reins on spending. The School Board will get two new members that will work, I hope, independently of a Board that has little vision and has totally mismanaged the budget process.

2) Economic development. Some argue we move too slowly. Some contend we move too fast. Whatever the case may be, Franklin can and must do a better job in attracting new business and creating more jobs.

3) Public safety. Franklin has excelled in protecting its citizens due to the cooperation between city leaders, the police, a strong and active citizen’s group, and representatives at the state level. Those collaborative efforts must continue.

4) An emphasis on improved student performance. Franklin spends big bucks but gets little bang in this area.

That’s it. That’s my list.

I know basic services like garbage collection will continue. They’d better for the price we’re paying. And the schools will survive without spending into oblivion.

My concerns aren’t subdivision signs or “quality vs. quantity” of developments. My definition of quality may differ from a candidate who doesn’t define “quality” on her brochure.

No, I’m more interested in what I consider to be high priorities: Reduced spending, lower taxes, a pro-business climate, safe streets, setting the bar higher for student achievement.

Put those at the top of your agenda, and you just might get my vote.

Make or break time for Obama

The Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting:

Barack Obama will give what his campaign is billing as "a major address on race, politics and unifying our country" in Philadelphia Tuesday morning.

In the comments section of the newspaper’s website below the article, you’ll find this gem:

Jack Klompus said:
Awesome! Later Bill Clinton will speak about marital fidelity, and Rosie O'Donnell will speak about diet and exercise. I certainly hope that all of g-d racist America will atone for the sins that are keeping him and his wife from paying back their loans for their multiple Ivy League degrees and the mortgage on their million dollar house.

Seriously, this could be make or break time for Barack Hussein Obama.

Let’s see.

He can’t blast his church of over 20 years, lest he alienate the black audience he often refers to when he says, “It’s our time, it’s our turn.”

And he can’t defend the explosive remarks made by his racist pastor.

So what’s the poor guy who hasn’t been subject to any media scrutiny at all thus far in the campaign to do?


Obama will softly disassociate himself from the incredibly divisive and hateful remarks made by Jeremiah Wright.

He will save most of his powder for those who would seize this opportunity to use it, in his view, as a ploy to torpedo his steamrolling successful campaign. Obama will forcefully claim the bigger problem isn’t what Wright said, but what people are now saying about Obama and his pastor. They are trying to use race to divide this country and he will repeat his mantra, that he will not allow race to be a factor in the campaign (Even though it’s “our turn”).

The mainstream press will be mesmerized.

Editorial board will be weeping in adulation.

Hillary will cry foul.

The press will vilify Hillary.

The racist Jeremiah Wright will continue to spew his hateful venom at church this Easter Sunday.

Brain dead liberals will swoon.

“Isn’t Obama wonderful?”

God HELP America.

The outrage of the year so far

The late William Proxmire, creator of the Golden Fleece Award must be turning over in his grave.

Another member of Congress, Ric Keller (R-Florida) is pouncing on a travesty that would have the legendary Wisconsin Senator chomping at the bit.

"This is the most insane waste of taxpayer money that I have seen in my eight years in Congress," said Keller.

Keller is referring to sex predators that have been released from prison and are now at treatment centers. Because they’re no longer imprisoned, they are eligible for thousands of dollars in federal aid to pay for their classes. Any money left over, the predators can use to buy TV’s, DVD’s, you name it.

"It is a national embarrassment that we are wasting taxpayer dollars for pedophiles and rapists to take college courses while hardworking young people from lower-class families are flipping hamburgers to pay for college,”
said Keller who is working to put a halt to this outrageous practice that is going on in 20 states, including Wisconsin.


Convicted rapist James Sturtz has received thousands of dollars of federal aid to take college courses through the mail from his treatment facility. Without taxpayer money, Sturtz said he could not further his education to get a better job if he's ever released

Last month, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel wrote about this injustice:

Some of Wisconsin's worst sex offenders living in a state-run treatment facility wrongly received college financial aid last year, its director said.

At least one offender living in the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center was scamming the system by receiving aid and pocketing the money after dropping classes, said director Steve Watters. A handful of others took classes and claimed money for living expenses even though taxpayers already pay for them, he said.

The Mauston center houses 270 sex offenders deemed too dangerous to be released from state custody after finishing prison terms.

Watters said the center has told the state Higher Educational Aids Board not to send room and board expenses to its address anymore.

What was the reaction from the Higher Educational Aids Board?

No big deal.

Connie Hutchison, executive secretary of the Higher Educational Aids Board, downplayed the scope of the problem.

She said the problem was limited to one offender even though minutes from the board's November meeting said multiple sex offenders received aid.

A facility employee notified the agency that "some incarcerated patients were receiving financial aid that far exceeded their actual need," the minutes say. "Apparently, patients had not indicated that their room and board is already covered by the state because of their mandatory incarceration."

You’ll love this next part.

Neither Watters nor Hutchison knew whether the state had tried to collect the money. Watters said the person he described as a scammer has not been charged.

Again, more stupidity.

The federal financial aid form the state relies on to award aid does not ask whether students live in state facilities, (Hutchison) said.

Well, HELLO!. Then put another line on the form and demand that information.

Florida Congressman Keller got involved when he learned that in 2003, 54 offenders at one Florida center received $200, 000 in Pell Grants in one year.

Keller is correct when he says if this practice were to end, taxpayers would save millions.

Guess who’s standing in the way?

You guessed it.

Some Democrats in Congress, according to the Associated Press, feel this procedure will help the offenders in their rehabilitation and that any effort to pull the plug would be……you guessed it…….mean-spirited.

That’s why it’s important for anyone reading this, no matter where you live, to contact your Congressman and tell him/her to support Florida Congressman Ric Keller’s efforts.

The Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel reported on this story in early February. The story didn’t appear to have legs.

But now the national Associated Press has picked up on the controversy.

Imagine a family, raising a small child, working hard to build up the youngster’s college fund.

Now the child is assaulted by one of these pedophiles. The pervert goes to prison, then a treatment center, and begins to take courses paid for by you and me, and the family he attacked.

Go ahead.

Tell me that’s right.

Tell me that’s fair.

You can’t.

Because it’s not.

Two black columnists on Obama & Wright

Two columnists.

Both of them black.

Both writing about Barack Obama’s pastor, Jeremiah Wright.

Both with contrasting opinions.

Let’s start with Milwaukee’s own Eugene Kane and some excerpts from his column in today’s Journal/Sentinel. In a condescending piece, Kane predictably explains that what happened in Wright’s church is ok because, don’t you see, it happens in a lot of black churches. Here are some of Kane’s lines, with my reactions in red:

“People who have never attended a black church don't understand a black preacher's use of hyperbole - even outrageous hyperbole - to make a point.”

You just don’t get it.

“They also fail to understand how black preachers link their sermons to the black experience in America.”

You’re too stupid to get it.

“As someone "born and raised in the church" - for the uninformed, that means I attended a Baptist church every Sunday as a child because my mother made me - I know the experience as a deeply spiritual one that taps the well of African-American emotions.”

Let me try to explain because you’re not as smart as I am.

“Frankly, as long as Sunday morning remains the most segregated time in America, it doesn't seem fair for people to judge if they don't have a clue what's really going on.”

Once again, you’re just plain stupid.

Contrast Kane’s poorly written defense to the words of nationally syndicated columnist Thomas Sowell from his latest offering.

Sowell begins with Obama praise, saying it’s “
heartening that the country has reached the point where a black candidate for President of the United States sweeps so many primaries in states where the overwhelming majority of the population is white.”

But Sowell then switches gears, asserting that Obama, like Eliot Spitzer, has been leading a double life.

“While talking about bringing us together and deploring "divisive" actions, Senator Obama has for 20 years been a member of a church whose minister, Jeremiah Wright, has said that "God Bless America" should be replaced by "God damn America" -- among many other wild and even obscene denunciations of American society, including blanket racist attacks on whites.

Now that the facts have come out in a number of places, and can no longer be suppressed, many in the media are trying to spin these facts out of existence.

Spin number one is that Jeremiah Wright's words were "taken out of context." Like most people who use this escape hatch, those who say this do not explain what the words mean when taken in context.

In just what context does "God damn America" mean something different?

Spin number two is that Barack Obama says he didn't hear the particular things that Jeremiah Wright said that are now causing so much comment.

If Barack Obama was not in church that particular day, he belonged to that church for 20 years. He made a donation of more than $20,000 to that church.

In all that time, he never had a clue as to what kind of man Jeremiah Wright was?”

Read and compare for yourself:

Kane’s column

Sowell’s column

HT: WISN’s Jay Weber

Surprise announcement in state Senate

State Senator Carol Roessler (R-Oshkosh) will not run for another term.

About this guy....

Why is he still living?

Not everyone is happy to see Johnny Depp filiming a movie in Wisconsin

Like this woman.

Norma, Johnny Depp is "acting" in a "film."

The violence you hear about on TV news and in the papers.....that's what you should get angry about.

That stuff is real.

Actor Johnny Depp is seen driving in downtown Columbus, Wis., on Monday, March 17, 2008, during the filming of the movie

Actor Johnny Depp is seen driving in downtown Columbus, Wis., on Monday, March 17, 2008, during the filming of the movie "Public Enemies." (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Wisconsin is hostile to business: A perfect example

Who usually stands in the way of economic development in this state?


Over-regulatory bureaucrats and politicians.

After reading this, I wouldn’t blame Tony Pipito if he told Wisconsin to go to hell.

Teach your teens about taxes

The vast majority of teenagers, and I would venture to say a large number of twenty-something’s are clueless when it comes to the issue of taxes.

This is extremely important because these young people vote.

The president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, Carrie Schwab Pomerantz says that if you’re a parent and have teens, it’s high time you sit down and have a chat about the T-word.

Her advice?

Show them your pay stub. Let them see the chunk of income the government swipes away.

Show them your tax return, line by line. I love this one: Explain why a refund isn’t a windfall.

Help them with their own tax return.

As Schwab Pomerantz says, who better to teach them about taxes than you, Mom and Dad?

Here’s Schwab Pomerantz’s column

OK, I admit it...

The fact that I'm an Elvis fan is well-documented.

I have NEVER....


watched Dancing With the Stars...

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Let us pray, Chuck Norris

A lot of low-life’s, yes, you read that correctly, low-life’s, will march and rally this week in total contempt of the great country they call home, the country that allows them to speak out against the government that protects them.

Speak the same disdain in other countries and they’re calling the undertaker.

Rally against our country, our President, our brave servicemen and women?

I prefer to pray, pray with Chuck Norris.

Chuck Norris?


Chuck Norris.

Here are, undeniably, the best teams in the NCAA Tournament (guaranteed)

The absolute best teams in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, without a doubt are the following, in this order:

1) Western Kentucky

2) Butler

3) Notre Dame

4) Purdue

5) Davidson

6) Xavier

These are the top echelon teams competing.

These are the teams that deserve all the accolades, honors and distinction.

I know what you’re thinking.

Wait, wait ,wait!

Hold on!

Wait just a cotton pickin' minute!

Are you out of your mind, Fischer?

I filled out my bracket.

My picks have been selected in the office pool.

Western Kentucky, Butler, Notre Dame, Purdue, Davidson, Xavier….

I didn’t pick any of those to make my Final Four.

You know what?

I didn’t either.

Because this particular bracket isn’t looking at the basketball court.

It’s looking at something far more important.

The classroom.

Read more.

Kevin Fischer's Official Voter's Guide

The following is my Voter’s Guide for Franklin, although in many instances, it can also apply to voters just about anywhere.  


Read more

I wasn't going to write about racist Barack Obama anymore this week but this is so good that I have to blog just one more time

Some good stuff from national columnists on …… don’t faint on me you gushing flaming liberals……..Barack Obama’s speech on race…..


 From columnist John Hawkins:

“Did he give any sort of genuine explanation as to why he has been hanging around the black equivalent of David Duke for 20 years? No.

Did he say he was going to distance himself from a virulently anti-American, anti-white preacher? No.

He just asked people to stop covering his remarks in the name of unity. In other words, Barack's version of unity is, "Everybody talk about race in the way that I say it's Ok to talk about race or you're part of the problem."

Did he pledge to put an end to Affirmative Action? No. In fact, he basically just told white people to get over it.

However, when he said black Americans have legitimate racial grievances, he came up with a long, albeit relatively non-specific list of things that have to be done to address their grievances.

What is currently the biggest group of people in the country calling people racists for no good reason? Barack Obama's own supporters. Did he call any of them out besides Wright? No. Did he ask them to stop playing the race card on his behalf? No.

Moreover, he made reference to white voters pulling the lever for McCain. However, it's very obvious that a large percentage of black Americans in this country are voting for Barack just because he's black. How else can you explain the fact that he and Hillary are both very similar on the issues, yet Obama is pulling in 80% of the black vote?

Take away the black Democrats who are voting for Obama because he's black and he wouldn't have a prayer of winning the nomination. But, did Obama call any of those black racists that are supporting him out? No.

PS: You've got to love the fact that Obama kicked his own grandmother under the bus and portrayed her as a racist while simultaneously embracing a loathsome, anti-American bigot like Jeremiah Wright. That showed a lot of class.

PS #2: If Barack becomes President, will Jeremiah Wright be swearing him in on the Bible?

PS #3: Obama is way too inexperienced to be President. He's just not qualified to hold the job. So, how has he tried to get around that? By claiming he has great judgment. But, if he has such great judgment, how did he end up in this whole mess with Wright? It's not as if there aren't lots of other churches in Illinois. It's not as if he couldn't have left the church for another when he got into the Senate, right? Pretty much every politician not named Larry Craig or Eliot Spitzer could have seen a disaster like this coming years away. So, how is it that a man selling himself based on his judgment thought he could get away with being joined at the hip to a guy like Jeremiah Wright? Simple: his judgment isn't all that great.

And, from columnist Thomas Sowell:

“The great unasked question for Senator Obama is the question that was asked about President Nixon during the Watergate scandal; What did he know and when did he know it?

Although Senator Obama would now have us believe that he is shocked, shocked, at what Jeremiah Wright said, that he was not in the church when pastor Wright said those things from the pulpit, this still leaves the question of why he disinvited Wright from the event at which he announced his candidacy for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination a year ago.

Either Barack Obama or his staff must have known then that Jeremiah Wright was not someone whom they wanted to expose to the media and to the media scrutiny to which that could lead.

Why not, if it is only now that Senator Obama is learning for the first time, to his surprise, what kinds of things Jeremiah Wright has been saying and doing? No one had to be in church the day Wright made his inflammatory and obscene remarks to know about them.

The cable news journalists who are playing the tapes of those sermons were not there. The tapes were on sale in the church itself.

Obama knew that because he had bought one or more of those tapes.
But even if there were no tapes, and even if Obama never heard from other members of the church what their pastor was saying, he spent 20 years in that church, not just as an ordinary member but also as someone who once donated $20,000 to the church.

There was no way that he didn't know about Jeremiah Wright's anti-American and racist diatribes from the pulpit.

Someone once said that a con man's job is not to convince skeptics but to enable people to continue to believe what they already want to believe.

Accordingly, Obama's Philadelphia speech -- a theatrical masterpiece -- will probably reassure most Democrats and some other Obama supporters. They will undoubtedly say that we should now "move on," even though many Democrats have still not yet moved on from George W. Bush's 2000 election victory.

Senator Obama has been at his best as an icon, able with his command of words to meet other people's psychic needs, including a need to dispel white guilt by supporting his candidacy.

But President of the United States, in a time of national danger, under a looming threat of nuclear terrorism? No.”

Thank you, Barack.

Thank you, Jerremiah.

For the GOP, the path to the White House is starting to look much, much better.

Want to kill a business? Impose a smoking ban

Here is a yet another example.

It is not the end of the world, despite what you've heard

A new Great Depression? It's different this time

Fear is spreading with the financial system in disarray. But the global boom is ongoing, unemployment is low and the government has new tools to address the downturn.

By Michael A. Hiltzik
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

5:28 PM PDT, March 19, 2008

Dysfunctional capital markets, frantic central banks, stressed-out consumers, fear and uncertainty -- all these are alarming echoes of the global economic cataclysm of the 1930s.

Which raises the inevitable question: Could another Great Depression be lurking over the horizon?

TV news programs show grainy footage of Depression-era bankers as reporters tick off grim economic statistics. The Federal Reserve invokes powers it hasn't used since the 1930s. Critics of President Bush's economic policies are emboldened to use the "H" word: "Hoover."

On the surface, there are some disquieting parallels between economic conditions in the early 1930s and those of today. There was the popping of an enormous asset bubble -- stocks then, housing now.

And, as in the Great Depression, the financial system is in disarray. It was symbolized back then by the failure of thousands of banks, mostly small local outfits -- 2,300 in 1931 alone. The parallel today is the crippling of one-time giants such as Bear Stearns Cos., Countrywide Financial Corp. and Ameriquest Mortgage Co.

Many economists believe the U.S. will find it almost impossible to avert a recession, if one has not started already. Housing remains mired in a deep slump, with some analysts projecting that Southern California home values could plunge 40% from their peaks last year. The Commerce Department reported this week that new residential building permits nationwide plummeted 36.5% in February from a year ago.

Then, like now, stock prices were highly volatile. The S&P 500 index, which fell more than 56% from 1928 through 1940, nevertheless recorded four up years in that span, including a 46.5% gain in 1933.

The shadow of the '30s looms over every economic downturn or crisis, no matter how modest.

Pundits loved to invoke the Depression as a cautionary model during the stock market crash of 1987, the bailout of hedge fund Long-Term Capital Management in 1998 and the dot-com meltdown of 2000 and 2001.

But there are vast differences between the 1930s and today. U.S. unemployment reached 25% during the Depression; last month it was reported at 4.8%. The worldwide industrial economy was in a shambles in the '30s, thanks to World War I. Today it is coming off a global boom.

"I've been asked many times whether we will have another Great Depression," says David M. Kennedy, a Stanford University history professor and the author of "Freedom From Fear," a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the Depression and World War II. "My standard answer is that we won't have that one again -- I'd be surprised to have one of that seriousness and duration. But that doesn't mean we wouldn't have a catastrophe we haven't seen before."

Economists and historians say the most important difference between today's economic environment and that of the old days is the governmental response.

"There's a perception now that you don't stand around at the central bank and whack people with a ruler for making bad decisions," says Robert Brusca, chief economist at New York-based Fact and Opinion Economics. "Instead, you do something."

Nothing demonstrates that as vividly as the Fed's orchestration of the takeover of Bear Stearns by JPMorgan Chase & Co. over the weekend. The deal staved off a possible Bear bankruptcy, which the central bank feared might traumatize financial systems worldwide.

The resolution was in stark contrast to the Fed's role in the 1930 collapse of the Bank of the United States, a New York bank largely serving Jewish immigrants. The failure was then the largest in American history, and the Fed's inability to arrange a rescue by Wall Street banks -- including J.P. Morgan & Co., predecessor of the "white knight" in the Bear Stearns case -- caused a cataclysmic loss of confidence in the entire national banking system. That fueled a banking panic that modern historians regard as a key cause of the Depression.

The Fed's relative powerlessness in 1930 led directly to New Deal reforms that vastly expanded its authority. Some of its new powers, such as the ability to lend directly to brokers and investment banks, were seldom or never used until the current crisis.

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, an expert in the Fed's Depression-era history, is knowledgeable about the instruments at its disposal in a crisis.

In a 2002 speech -- he was then a member of the bank's Board of Governors but not yet chairman -- he outlined a number of drastic steps the Fed could take in extreme conditions and still remain within its legal authority.

Among them: buying up foreign government debt to influence dollar exchange rates, and even lending, if indirectly, against private assets. The subject of Bernanke's speech was how to combat deflation, a broad decline in consumer prices that is not currently a problem on the Fed's agenda. Still, the powers he described could apply in a wide range of dire scenarios.

But as Fed Vice Chairman Donald L. Kohn conceded in testimony before a Senate committee this month, the most serious challenges before the Fed and other policymakers generally arise not from scenarios that can be forecast, but from the unforeseen.

Alluding, in effect, to the tendency of regulated industries to burst at their weakest seams, Kohn blamed "the most sophisticated banks" for allowing credit rating agencies such as Moody's and Standard & Poor's to paper over the unsoundness of mortgage securities on their books.

The agencies bestowed lofty AAA ratings on some extremely complex mortgage bundles even though their inherent risks were not understood. The banks and firms that packaged the securities and hawked them to clients simply accepted the rating agencies' conclusions, which were often favorable to the packagers, instead of making their own judgments.

They "outsourced" credit assessment, in Kohn's words. The dubious valuations of many of these securities are at the core of the credit crisis roiling the financial markets today.

"There was an undue reliance on the credit ratings, and that shouldn't happen," Kohn said. "I think there is a very fundamental lesson that has come out of this."

Brusca, the economist, adds that the most dangerous behavior often occurs just beyond regulators' reach -- in the hedge fund industry, to use a contemporary example.

"We have a far more extensive regulatory network now," he says, "but it's always the unregulated sector that pushes change. Does it make sense to put a capital ratio rule on banks but let them have an unregulated hedge fund?"

There are also limits to what monetary policy -- the Fed's responsibility -- can achieve on its own to forestall a drastic economic downtown. The Franklin D. Roosevelt administration not only reformed the Fed but experimented with stimulative fiscal policy too.

New Deal programs aimed at staving off a wave of home foreclosures may be especially relevant today. Among the most important was the Home Owners Loan Corp., or HOLC, which is one of several models for homeowner relief being considered by Congress.

HOLC took over 1 million residential mortgages in default starting in 1933, worked to keep the owners in their homes and made new loans to strapped mortgage holders. When the agency was finally liquidated in 1951, it even returned a small profit to the U.S. Treasury.

The Fed's recent actions were "a temporary palliative" to the fundamental problem in the economy, which is the rapid fall in home prices and its ripple effect on mortgage bonds and other securities, says Barry Eichengreen, a professor of economics and political science at UC Berkeley. "You have to reorganize the system, but the discussion about that has only begun."

Omaha, Nebraska and give 'em hell Al

The Wisconsin Badgers face Cal-State Fullerton in an opening round game of the Midwest regional in the NCAA Tournament Thursday night in Omaha, Nebraska.

Yet the talk in Omaha isn’t about the cardinal red of the Badgers. It’s about Wisconsin’s nemesis, Marquette.

You see, Omaha was the site that launched Marquette on its way to its only NCAA Championship in 1977.

The Marquette Warriors'  road to the title was saved in Omaha.

It all started in a locker room.

With an angry coach.

And a star player.

And  a slap.

A slap right across the face.

After that slap in the face in ho-hum quiet Omaha, there was no stopping the Marquette Warriors.

"Give me one month"

That’s what Dave Hintzman of Fountains of Franklin (FOF) told me at the Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin fundraiser on February 29th.

“Give me one month,” he said, implying there would be some movement at his ghost town on 56th and Rawson.

Today, Hintzman leaked the information to FranklinNOW blogger Greg Kowalski that Azana Salon and Spa would be opening its second location at FOF.

So now we have a Dairy Queen and a spa.

Well, it’s a start.

Still no great restaurant.

Still no shopping outlets.

I’m curious as to how excited people really are about this announcement.

There’s an interesting sidebar story about Azana that involves the state Legislature.

The Brookfield Azana was victimized by a spa bandit in October 2006. An Illinois man received treatments totaling $400, but left the spa without paying.

The Waukesha County District Attorney's office didn’t file charges against the “bandit” because Wisconsin doesn’t have a law on the books pertaining to stealing services.

A bill was introduced on retail theft and passed the Assembly, and then passed unanimously in the state Senate’s Judiciary Committee.

And then….

You guessed it.

The state Senate didn’t take up the bill before the session ended last week.

If and when Azana opens in Franklin, I’d make sure nobody walks out without cashing in, otherwise they’re out of luck.

Good Friday can be hazardous to your health

Around the world on Good Friday, Catholics will fast and refrain from eating meat.

That’s not so difficult.

Try whipping yourself so intensely that you open up deep cuts and wounds.

How about actually being crucified?

It will happen in the Philippines where health officials are warning penitents who participate in annual Good Friday rituals to disinfect their whips to prevent tetanus.

The BBC reports some people plan to be nailed to crosses:

In the northern city of San Fernando alone there will be three separate improvised Golgothas - the biblical name for the hill where Jesus was crucified.

Four people there have pledged to have their feet and hands nailed to wooden crosses, while others will flog themselves while walking barefoot through villages.

ometimes people repeat the penance year after year, like the fish vendor who will be nailed to the cross for the 15th and last time on Friday to give thanks for his mother's recovery from tuberculosis.

With long hair and a beard, wearing sandals and a crown of thorns, he is tied with cloth to the cross but also has nails driven through the flesh of his hands and feet, avoiding the bones.”

Filipinos nailed to crosses on Good Friday in 2002

A Filipino is nailed to a cross on Good Friday in 2002


Watch an ABC News report on re-enactment of the crucifixion in Phillipines.

Your green card for sex

The New York Times has the story of corrupt immigration officials who resort to sexual blackmail.

March 21, 2008

An Agent, a Green Card, and a Demand for Sex

No problems so far, the immigration agent told the American citizen and his 22-year-old Colombian wife at her green card interview in December. After he stapled one of their wedding photos to her application for legal permanent residency, he had just one more question: What was her cellphone number?

Read more

Badger fans, send your angry letters to Robert Weintraub

Every year, has a group of writers expound on the teams they hate in the NCAA Tournament

Now I understand Wisconsin doesn’t run and gun like UNLV of 1977, dunk like Phi Slamma Jamma, Houston of 1983, or spin the basketball on their fingers like the Harlem Globetrotters. But what did this clean-cut, blue-collar, hard-nosed, disciplined bunch do to generate hate?

Robert Weintraub, a freelance TV producer and writer says this about our beloved Badgers:

Everyone bags on Big Ten football, and appropriately so, but the Midwestern brand of pigskin is easy on the eyes compared with Big Ten hoops: a raft of mediocre teams, plenty of flow-restricting physicality, and, all-too-often, Brent Musberger, looking live from Champaign or Iowa City. The most painful Big Ten team to endure is the Badgers, a team that combines brutishness and blandness into an unwatchable goulash.

I blame Bo Ryan, the coach who has created a top program in Madison by installing all manner of defensive tactics while forgetting the game is supposed to be entertainment. To use a soccer analogy, the Badgers always appear to be playing for a draw but manage to get enough muscled-in offensive rebounds from the likes of Brian Butch to get past the league's weak competition. Wisconsin will muck along in the tournament until it runs into a team that knows how to execute a crossover dribble. Until then, I'll be singing my own version of the Badgers' fight song every time they clog up my TV: "Off, Wisconsin!"—Robert Weintraub

Here’s the entire list of teams that drew disdain from the writers at Slate.

Goodbye Lent


Good Friday, the last Friday in Lent, is the final Friday we Catholics are required to abstain from eating meat. Normally, that’s not a huge sacrifice because most of us eat fish on Friday no matter what time of the year it is.

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

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

It strikes the first Friday after Ash Wednesday. You know there are a million and one places to get a decent fish fry. Hell, Dennis Getto gave you at least 30 suggestions in his column in the paper that morning.

But all you want, all you desire, all you can think about is…………Mo’s……..the old Coerper’s…….Eddie Martini’s………….Yanni’s………………Sabor………..Carnivore………….Mr. B’s…….....Boulder Junction.

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

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

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

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

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

One question: Saturday morning……..can I get a triple Whopper somewhere for breakfast???

One year ago today....

The high temperature in Milwaukee was 63 degrees.

Amount of snow on the ground that day: 0 inches

We did have 0.96 inches of rain that day.

Source: National Weather Service

Yes, Barack Hussein Obama is a racist

Earlier this week, I called Barack Hussein Obama a racist.

I’m sure there were those of you who disagreed.

I stand by my assertion.

Obama cemented my claim when he called his grandmother….you remember his grandmother, the woman he hung out to dry rather than completely and definitively denounce his racist pastor……a “typical white person.”

Read more about it and actually hear what Obama said, here.

No InterCHANGE tonight

We're off for a few weeks, saving Joel McNally and Kathleen Dunn the embarassment of having to defend Barack Hussein Obama.

Coming Saturday morning on This Just In...

The weekly edition of Week-ends and....

A special Easter edition of Culinary no-no

Coming next week on This Just In...

I invited the candidiates for Franklin Mayor and Alderman to write, in their own words, unedited and unfiltered, why they should be elected.

Read their guest blogs here next week.

In this corner, a Democrat...and in the opposing corner.....

A Democrat!

The party is falling apart.


You think I'm enjoying this?



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...


Departing soldiers

State Representative Roger Roth (R-Grand Chute)

Lieutenant William Echevarria and Fire Paramedic Jason Oberg of the Milwaukee Fire Department

Nick Nesvacil

Joey Vento


Jay McMullin

For winning their conference and their post-season conference tournament, the Wisconsin Badgers.


Barack Hussein Obama and his racist pastor, Jeremiah Wright

State Senate Democrats whose answer to a $653 million revenue shortfall is to raise taxes. What part of “economic slowdown” don’t they understand? Their plan includes spending for the ridiculous boondoggle, the Kenosha-Racine-Milwaukee commuter rail line (KRM).

Christophr Conell

Congressman John Dingell (D-Michigan)

The Federal Bureau of Prisons


(NOTE: You will see various quotes made by and about Barack Obama this week elsewhere on this blog.)

"She is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, well there's a reaction that's in our experiences that won't go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it."
Barack Obama in an interview, referring to his grandmother whom he also referenced in his speech on race.

"His full speech text was an appeal to the intellect, but the short-hand version of this affair packs a visceral punch. Some voters will simply reduce it all to a few sentences: Why didn't Obama, upon hearing something vile or hateful, simply get up and walk out? How could Obama stick by a reverend who stands in the pulpit and says 'God damn America?' "
The Philadelphia Inquirer's Dick Polman on Barack Obama’s speech on race, saying that Obama's not in the clear.

"High-level hooey. When you ponder what he was actually saying ... you see that he didn't address [his relationship with Wright]. He didn't make it go away."
Peter Robinson, a Hoover Institution fellow and Reagan speechwriter, who wrote the famous "Tear down this wall!" speech. He says Obama tried to diminish the importance of his close relationship with Mr. Wright by backing up to look at several centuries of race relations in America.

"The Democrats have never encountered a problem that they couldn't try to tax and spend their way out of.”
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) after Senate Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee endorsed a budget repair bill that includes a tax on hospitals, a car rental tax increase, and an increase in sales tax collections.

“It has been a long session with a lot of wrangling, with the two houses being split politically for the first time since Tommy Thompson was governor. The break will bring relief to tension between the houses.”
State Senator John Erpenbach (D-Waunakee) about the end of the legislative session in Madison.

“Assembly Republicans successfully stopped encroachments on property rights, massive tax increases and government interference in health care; Senate Democrats successfully prevented the elimination of the sick leave benefit, economic development measures, and protection for prison guards from harassment by anonymous complaint.”
Badger Blog Alliance blog on the close of the legislative session.

Isn't it incredible just how much Gov. Jim Doyle resembles a cucumber?”
Richard Moore, investigative reporter for the Lakeland Times. What in the world is he talking about? Read this to find out.

"The majority of Wisconsin sheriffs and district attorneys have endorsed Judge Gableman, due in part to Louis Butler's record of tying the hands of law enforcement and siding with criminals."
Darrin Schmitz, campaign adviser for Burnett County Circuit Judge and state Supreme Court candidate Mike Gableman, commenting on an ad by Gableman’s opponent, state Supreme Court Judge Louis Butler.

"If Mike Gableman is willing to mislead the public and violate the judicial ethics code merely for political gain, think about what he would do on the bench."
Robert Kraig of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, on an ad by Gableman accusing Butler of being soft on crime.

“March Madness distractions could cost American companies about $1.7 billion in lost productivity.”
Sarah Kliff,


Barack Hussein Obama throws his grandmother under the bus rather than disown his racist pastor.

From columnist Ann Coulter:

Obama cravenly compared Wright's racist invective to his actual grandmother, who "once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe."

Rev. Wright accuses white people of inventing AIDS to kill black men, but Obama's grandmother -- who raised him, cooked his food, tucked him in at night, and paid for his clothes and books and private school -- has expressed the same feelings about passing black men on the street that Jesse Jackson has.”

From columnist and author Mona Charen:

“Wasn't it a bit of a cheap shot to take public aim at grandmother, who sacrificed so much for Obama, who served as his surrogate mother during his high school years? If she used racial and ethnic stereotypes, that was wrong. But the episode about the bus, as related in his book, is hardly a damning indictment of a secret racist. After Obama's grandmother confessed to having been harassed by an aggressive panhandler, Obama writes:

"He (Obama's grandfather) turned around and I saw now that he was shaking. 'It is a big deal. It's a big deal to me. She's been bothered by men before. You know why she's so scared this time? I'll tell you why. Before you came in she told me the fella was black.' He whispered the word. 'That's the real reason she's bothered. And I just don't think that's right.'

"It was like a fist to my stomach, and I wobbled to maintain my composure."

I don't claim to know Obama's grandmother and am in no position to judge her racial sentiments. But it does seem to an outsider that Obama's judgment upon his grandmother is as harsh as his tolerance of Wright is benign.”

From columnist Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post:

"I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother." What exactly was Grandma's offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus's time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright.


Two this week….

1) Wisconsin taxes businesses more than any other country in the developed world.

2) Governor’s pardons: you never hear about them.


The predictable gushing by the mainstream media about Barack Hussein Obama’s speech on race.

Several students of political rhetoric suggest Senator Obama's moving speech in Philadelphia Tuesday could stand with some of the great speeches in American history.”
The Christian Science Monitor

“Well, this may be hyperbole but I think this is probably the most important speech on race since Martin Luther King gave his "I have a dream" speech.”
Sally Quinn, Washington Post

This searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. It is a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation.”
Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

“Illinois senator Barack Obama delivering a speech that, in many ways, was sweeping, some would suggest stunning. Anybody that expected Obama to play it safely today was wrong.”
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC


Workers told to use urine bags.

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


Culinary no-no #47

Culinary no-no's

This time of year, the world goes absolutely bonkers over….

Personally, I’d prefer a chocolate or marshmallow egg. Peeps are ok, they’re just not my first Easter candy choice.

But there’s no denying their popularity with 4.2 million made every day. People even eat them frozen, dipped in chocolate and rolled in nuts or coconut. They’re called............what else...........Peepsicles.

Thomas Vinciguerra wonders what all the excitement’s about. He wrote in the New York Times two Easter’s ago, “There is something vaguely creepy about Peeps. They are blob-like and ubiquitous. Their eyes have no expression. With little taste, no nutritional value (though only 32 calories apiece) and a shelf life of two years, they hover somewhere between foodstuff and material object.”

Vinciguerra notes there is a real obsession with these little candy creatures, and therein lies the issue with Peeps.

Not everyone eats them.

So then why buy them?

“Devotees use them in decorations, dioramas, online slide shows and other unlikely venues. David Ottogalli, an artist in Washington, D.C., makes sculptures out of them,” writes Vinciguerra.

And that’s not all, according to Vinciguerra.

“On some of the more than 200 Peeps Web sites, you can see fetishists skewering, microwaving, hammering, decapitating and otherwise abusing the spongy confections. In 1998, two Emory University scientists, Gary Falcon and James Zimring, produced what may be the definitive Peeps study. They dunked Peeps in liquid nitrogen, subjected them to 350-degree heat, and put them in a vacuum chamber, among other procedures. The results can be found at”

But nothing tops this when it comes to an innovative, albeit, unusual adaptation of Peeps
  All of this is just too weird.  Look, if you’re gonna buy ‘em, don’t  freeze, drill, hammer, microwave, sauté, boil, shish-kebob, stew, pan-fry, fricassee, marinate, slice, dice, brine, puree, beer batter, chop, blend, bake, flambé, roast, barbecue, baste, whip, shred, or poach those Peeps.

For heaven’s sake, just eat ‘em!

SIDENOTE: Every year, the company that makes Peeps asks different survey questions about the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy. The 2008 questions:

If “PEEPS® came to life, what male public person or celebrity might it become?”

The male person most resembling
PEEPS® either in physique, colorful attire, or sweet nature/personality is:
  • Will Ferrell won for the 2nd consecutive year with 27.6% of this year’s vote.
  • Will Smith came in 2nd--a first time PEEPS® winner.
  • Johnny Depp came in 3rd this year, having been 2nd in 2007.
“What female public person or celebrity might PEEPS® become?”

The female celebrity most resembling PEEPS® either in physique, colorful attire or sweet nature/personality is:
  • Ellen DeGeneres won, up from 3rd place in 2007!
  • Reese Witherspoon came in 2nd .(15.5%).
  • Jessica Simpson came in 3rd tied with Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana.
“What public person or celebrity is most in need of PEEPS®?”
  • President Bush came in first (21.3%).
  • Hillary Clinton came in 2nd with 16.5 % of the votes.
  • Simon Cowell came in 3rd, with 10.5% of votes.
“Who is cooler, the PEEPS® Chick or PEEPS® Bunny?”
  • CHICK with 59% of the vote!
Consumers were also asked, “If the PEEPS® family hatched a new shape, which one of the following would you like?
  • Smiley Face won with 29.2% of the vote.
  • Teddy Bear came in 2nd
  • A peace sign came in 3rd.

1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's
44) Digital dining
45) Tips on what not to do to your waiter
46) If you want a traditional St. Patty’s dinner, as good as it is, corned beef and cabbage ain’t it

Barack Hussein Obama had a bad week

While Democrats scratch and claw each other, John McCain sits back and reaps the benefits.

Rasmussen Reports says, “Looking ahead to the General Election in November, John McCain continues to lead both potential Democratic opponents. McCain leads Barack Obama 49% to 41% and Hillary Clinton 49% to 43%.”

Rasmussen Reports also says the odds of a Clinton nomination are slim. goes so far as to claim there’s no way that Clinton can win the nomination.

The problem for democrats is that she’s not going away, meaning the mud continues to fly.

The chasm that is the Democratic Party is starting to look like the Grand Canyon.

On the mark press release from Scott Walker

And oh so true.

Lena Taylor is no friend of the taxpayer.


Read more

Not only do they steal our bowling HQ...

Then they rub our faces in it.


Vote for Tom Taylor and Basil Ryan?

Many businesses in Franklin have yard signs on their properties, not from just one candidate, but several, including the incumbents’ and their opponents’.

So you will see a Tom Taylor for Mayor sign, and right next to it, a Basil Ryan sign.

If you’re scratching your head as to why the neutrality, it actually makes sense.

These businesses have to work with the next mayor and the next alderman, no matter who that individual is. It’s best not to burn any bridges.

In my view, those yard signs are over-rated.

Sure, they’re a part of every political campaign.

They make the candidate feel good.

They make the candidate’s supporters and campaign workers feel good.

And that’s about it.

For example, if I walk down the street and per chance happen upon two or three or four Lena Taylor yard signs, which, for the record, I have not, I am still voting for Scott Walker.

Oh, one more thing about yard signs.

If you’re planning on selecting a candidate based on how nice his/her yard sign looks, please don’t vote.


You can't have a Christian holiday without some bashing

It’s Easter Time, the holiest time of the year for Christians.

You know what that means.

Some cowardly bigot hiding behind the First Amendment takes it too far.

In this case, it’s a cartoonist at the University of Virginia’s student newspaper, the Cavalier Daily, a publication with a reputation of ruffling feathers, then apologizing, then getting into the same trouble over and over again.

The extremely offensive cartoon, according to The Bulletin,vulgarizes the conception of Jesus by depicting an imaginary sex scene with the Virgin Mary and a man identified as God.”

The cartoon ran on March 14, just prior to the start of Holy Week, and has since been removed.

Surely, the cartoonist knew his work would anger many people. He simply didn’t care.

It’s a disgusting display that an institution of higher learning should be ashamed of.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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

1) How much will you spend on St. Patrick’s Day?

2) OK, I admit it… 

3) The outrage of the year so far

4) America rejects Obama’s racist pastor

5) Gun owners are angry over a Wisconsin man’s conviction

76% believe

 Rasmussen Reports says:

A recent Rasmussen Reports survey found that 83% of American adults believe the person known to history as Jesus Christ actually walked the earth around two-thousand years ago. Just 7% do not while 10% are not sure. Seventy-seven percent (77%) believe that Jesus was who Christians say he is--the Son of God who came to earth to die for our sins. Seventy-six percent (76%) also think that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.

Among popular Easter traditions, 72% say they will have a family meal to celebrate the holiday, 56% say they will attend an Easter church service this year…

Remember why we celebrate today.

A happy and joyous Easter everyone!

Read more

The Franklin candidates respond

I'm happy to report all of the Franklin mayoral and aldermanic candidates I invited to submit guest blogs have accepted my offer. I will post their guest blogs, unedited and unfiltered, this week.


OK Franklin candidates, have very clear answers Monday night


There is a candidates’ forum at the Franklin Public Library Monday night, March 24 at 6:30. All of the candidates for mayor, alderman and School Board will be there.

OK, everybody, please don’t try to Obama-ize the audience. By that I mean, lay off the platitudes and substance –free glittering generalities.

Be specific. Be clear in your discussion.


Mayor Tom Taylor, explain how Franklin taxpayers are getting lots of bang for their buck.

Basil Ryan, explain specifically how you can make the claim as you do in a recent mailing that government spending is rising faster than spending on public safety.  Where are the numbers to back up your claim about public safety? They’re not on your lit piece. And are you suggesting Franklin isn’t a safe city?

FranklinNOW asked the aldermanic candidates this question:

Some residents claim the city's portion of the property tax levy has risen too much in recent years. Do you agree? Why or why not?

I have to be honest that I was astounded to read Alan Hammelman’s answer:

I disagree that the city's portion has risen too much. A home valued at $244,500 saw a city tax increase of $42.69 in the 2008 budget. Our tax rate increased at the rate of inflation, despite soaring medical insurance costs.

What would be “too much” Alderman?

You may want to reconsider the answer you gave to FranklinNOW as a talking point for Monday night since the city tax levy, which is far more important than the tax rate that you refer to, went up 5.7% last year and 5.3 % the year before, well above the rate of inflation.

Hammelman’s opponent, Kristen Wilhelm also answered the same tax question:

“It's clear to Franklin taxpayers that all portions of the tax levy have increased over the years. What's worth asking is whether this money provides durable benefits to our community, such as our library, or whether it supports projects that place a burden on services with little public benefit.”

Kristen, how about answering your own legitimate question? And be specific about what you’d do about our high spending and taxation.

Just some free advice from a concerned taxpayer and voter.

if you can't attend the forum Monday night, remember...

Judge finally, finally sentences sex offender in Sheboygan

Here's an update on the crazy case of a crazy Sheboygan judge who last September overturned a jury's guilty verdict in a sex offender trial.

Four months later, the judge, under heavy public pressure, changed his mind and overturned his own ruling.

It took him awhile, but he now has sentenced the offender to 8 years in prison.

My reaction?

He's an embarassment to the bench and needs to be voted out.

Here's the latest on the story I discussed months ago while filling in on WISN.

"Stick a fork in him, baby"

 A liberal blogger claims Barack Hussein Obama is toast.

From the Best of the Web in the Wall Street Journal:

'A Typical White Person'
"Stick a fork in him, baby," writes blogress Taylor Marsh of Barack Obama. "If he makes it to the general election, he's done."

Marsh, a liberal-left backer of Hillary Clinton, is referring to this comment Obama made on a Philadelphia radio station, explaining why he likened his grandmother to his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright:

"The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn't. But she is a typical white person who, uh, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know, there's a reaction that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and that sometimes come out in the wrong way and that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it."

Marsh asks, "Can you imagine if Hillary Clinton said someone was a 'typical black person'?"

Never mind if a Republican said such a thing.

HT: Charlie Sykes

This is the woman who wants to run Milwaukee County?

Some bloggers have taken notice of some revealing and incredible remarks made by Milwaukee County Executive candidate Lena Taylor at a recent forum.

Asked about a county issue, she refused to answer, saying she’s not a “county expert.”

And yet she wants to run the county?

Watch and try not to have the word, “embarrassing” enter your mind…

My series on the Franklin mayoral and aldermanic guest blogs...

Begins Tuesday morning with guest blogs from Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor and opponent Basil Ryan.

The incumbent's guest blog will run first, followed by the challenger's. Both blogs will run in the same post.

How do we get more young people to vote?

The numbers don’t lie.

Young people just don’t vote.

Especially 18-20 year old’s.

Each and every newspaper editorial board in the country will holler and scream between now and Election Day.

“Get out and vote.”

“It’s your duty.”

“We need a higher voter turnout.”

It doesn’t matter.

They’re not listening.

They’re not interested.

They don’t care.

So, since a lot of people are very gung-ho about the sheer number of voters as opposed to my way of thinking, having more informed voters, how do we get this group of unconcerned, inertia-inflicted citizens to lift themselves off their collective deceased posteriors and make the effort to cast ballots?

Blogger Cicero at has an interesting, albeit farfetched suggestion.

Cicero says Congress should repeal the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, the amendment that gave 18-20 year old’s the right to vote.

Cicero's reasoning is that the reaction will be like that of spoiled kids.

As every child wants most what he or she cannot have, this will inevitably get young people all over the country, even those who would not have voted anyway, up in arms about being disenfranchised. We let them protest and picket for a few months until September when Congress will repeal the repeal of the twenty-sixth amendment. America’s youth will be so excited over their newly re-found freedom to vote that they will turnout in unprecedented numbers to show everyone that voting matters to them.”


What if something goes wrong and Congress never gets around to repealing the repeal?

Cicero has an answer for that, one that I love:

“So what? In this, the absolute worst case scenario of my plan, 18-20 year olds will lose their right to vote, which a majority do not use anyway. Frankly, I am not exactly in love with the idea of allowing the same generation that heralds The Gilmore Girls and Laguna Beach as the great dramas of the day to help decide the leader of the free world. The risk of 18-20 year olds losing their right to vote is a risk I am more than willing to take.”

Here is Cicero’s blog.

One certainly could make an argument why the clueless shouldn’t vote… 

Insane left goes too far, interrupts Easter Mass, throws fake blood

The nutjobs on the extreme left sink to a new low......interrupting an Easter Mass in Chicago, tossing fake blood to protest the war in Iraq

Because, of course, this is the way normal, rational human beings express their views.

Throw the book at them.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Up to $35,000 bail set for 6 Holy Name protesters who hurled fake blood

By Azam AhmedTribune reporter

6:34 PM CDT, March 24, 2008

The six Iraq war protesters charged with defacing church property as they disrupted Cardinal Francis George's Easter homily were held Monday in lieu of up to $35,000.

The demonstrators, who called themselves Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, despite having both male and female protesters, squirted fake blood on themselves and nearby worshipers as security guards tried to usher them from the parish's auditorium, where mass is being said during repairs on the downtown Chicago cathedral.

Each protester faces felony charges because the damaged property belonged to a religious entity and the church will have to spend $3,000 to replace chairs and carpeting, prosecutors said. A $400 cleaning failed to remove stains left by the fake blood.

The syrupy red substance, which one protester later described as "stage blood," initially drew horrified gasps and a few shrieks from the 600 worshipers at the mass. The shock, however, quickly gave way to anger as people booed the demonstrators while they were being removed from the hall.

Several churchgoers then rushed to the bathroom to wash off the sticky liquid. Others cried openly. A few livid parents followed the protesters into the lobby and berated them for scaring children at mass.

"Are you happy with yourselves?" Mike Wainscott of Chicago shouted at the demonstrators as they were being handcuffed by police. "There were kids in there. You scared little kids with your selfish act. Are you happy now?"

The protesters were all charged with felony criminal defacement of property and two counts of simple battery for defacing church property and the worshipers' clothes with the fake blood. Chicago police identified the six arrested as: Donte D. Smith, 18, of Chicago; Ephran Ramirez Jr., 22, of Chicago; Ryne Ziemba, 25, of Chicago; Mercedes Phinaih, 18, of Bloomington; Regan Maher, 25, of Chicago; and Angela Haban, 20, of Prospect Heights.

All except Smith received $25,000 bail. Smith, who spent time in prison for illegally entering a U.S. military installation, had his bond set at $35,000, prosectors said.

Mike Harding, a friend of the protesters, described them as a group of students and local activists who do good deeds for their community, such as teaching classes, planting gardens and distributing food to the poor. If the demonstrators' actions ruined some people's Easter, then perhaps they'll have more empathy for Iraqi citizens who have seen their holiest days marred by violence, said Harding, 21.

"The idea is to bring that back here, not necessarily in a brutal way, but in a peaceful way," said Harding, who went to a police station after the arrest for information about his friends.

Speaking to reporters afterward, Harding said officers were being verbally abusive toward the protesters and were denying one of them medical treatment for his asthma. He said the accusations against them were "trumped-up" charges.

Protests aren't uncommon at Holy Name, the home parish to George and the epicenter of Chicago's large Catholic community. Some parishioners, however, said the faux bloodshed protest ventured into frighteningly unacceptable territory.

"The fact that people have to come to Easter mass and do something like that is disturbing," said
Carroll Baker, whose face was splattered with the fake blood during the fracas. "It's very sad, and it's very irritating."

Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, however, may have been preaching to the choir, literally. Both Pope Benedict XVI and the
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have opposed the war since its inception, with the pope using his own Easter homily Sunday to renew calls for an Iraq resolution that would "safeguard peace and the common good."

After the service, the cardinal reiterated the Catholic Church's opposition to the war, but he said mass is not the place to protest the U.S.-led invasion.

"We should all work for peace," George said, "but not by interrupting the worship of God. It's an act of violence to come among a group of believers and try to manipulate worship to your own purposes, no matter how noble and good they are."

In a statement issued by Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War, the group said it protested at the cathedral "to reach both Holy Name's large Easter audience, including Chicago's most prominent Catholic citizens, who commonly attend Easter mass at the church, and the many more viewers and readers of the local press, which usually extensively covers their services."

The statement lauded protesters' efforts to remind the churchgoers that George and Mayor
Richard M. Daley met two months ago with President Bush, described as the "principal public figure responsible for initiating the carnage in Iraq." 

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Kevin you asked why I should be elected as Mayor of Franklin:

I contend that there is no comparison between my opponent and myself when it comes to my years of experience as an elected official and as a long-term public administrator. The difference between my opponent and me is dramatic as it relates to how local government works and the experience and knowledge necessary to run a multi-million dollar municipal corporation. Administering a City with hundreds of employees in a fast growing community with a population of some 33,000 residents is a very complicated and multifaceted business that one does not learn overnight.

There is a very large difference between being an alderman and being the Mayor. There is also a great difference between being appointed to a committee and being elected as the chair of a committee. Being a chairman brings with it the responsibility to get things scheduled, voted upon and accomplished and to get people of all occupations to work towards achieving a common goal. I believe my list of accomplishments as a chairman clearly shows that I can get things done.

I was elected and served as an alderman and I was elected as the Common Council President. I served as chairman of the finance committee, the personnel committee, the licensing committee and chairman of the public safety committee of the City.

As chair of finance, I automated the annual budget process, established a methodology for meeting with department heads, and streamlined the process for recommending a budget to the full Common Council.

I created the personnel committee of the city, and I was elected as its first chairman. This committee makes recommendations to the Common Council on subjects like, wages, hours, benefits and working conditions. The personnel committee also oversees the collective bargaining process and it makes recommendations to the Common Council. I would say that roughly 80% of the City's annual budget is directly related to personnel costs and therefore my experience as a labor relations professional and as a former human resources director greatly helps in holding down personnel costs and protecting the city from being successfully sued.

As Mayor, I have chaired the Common Council, the Committee of the Whole, the Plan Commission, and the Community Development Authority (Business Park). I also served as an Environmental Commissioner, a Technology Commissioner and an Economic Development Commissioner.

The mayors and village presidents of the nineteen municipalities within Milwaukee County elected me as Chairman of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Council of Milwaukee County (ICC). On behalf of all of the communities stated above I negotiated a three year contract for the continuance of the world famous Paramedic Program, that appears to be a success.

As chairman of the ICC, I authored a resolution that calls for a strong Great Lakes Compact that will keep our clean water from being diverted to places like New Mexico.

I am pleased to report that the City of Franklin still has one of the lowest municipal tax rates in Milwaukee County. In 2006, I proposed a budget that reduced the tax rate in a non-reassessment year and some residents received tax bills that were lower than the previous year. I went over my last three years of tax bills and my wife and I paid an additional $111 in new city taxes for years 2005, 2006 and 2007 even though the assessed value of our home went up. As you know, the mayor and the Common Council are only responsible for the City taxes and not the school district or other taxing units of government.

I am also pleased to state that we have new restaurants. Some of these restaurants are opening and many are being constructed. Places like Gus' Restaurant are now open.

In the last few days the opening of the Wheaton Franciscan Medical Center, a new five story hotel near 76th and Rawson and a new multi-million dollar AZANA Spa for the Fountains of Franklin were announced. All of these new commercial developments will help pay for expenses for the city and our schools.

Since I have been mayor, we have many new shops like Sendik's, Lowe’s, a Target and many smaller stores. We will have hundreds if not thousands of new family supporting jobs created with the new addition to NML at a time when other communities are losing jobs.

I gained valuable experience as a top administrator and a human resources director. As the Human Resource's Director for Milwaukee County, I had seven divisional managers that reported to me with overall responsibility for a payroll of approximately $240,000,000, and health benefits costing approximately $70,000,000. I had a compensation division, an IT division, an affirmative action department, a retirement division and a testing and examination division. I also had the overall responsibility for a workforce of some 9,000 employees.

As a manager and as a director it was my job responsibility on behalf of the citizens of Milwaukee County to be intimately involved in the handling and administration of thousands of grievances and hundreds of grievance arbitration cases. Some of these arbitration cases involved millions of dollars of taxpayer’s money.

While it is the aldermen that really vote on the annual city budget, I do make recommendations to the Finance Committee and they in turn make their recommendation to the Common Council. I have historically made significant cuts to operating departments before making my budget recommendation. I believe the Finance Committee has done a very good job of fiscal management and the last three audits show that the City of Franklin is financially strong and well funded.

Any one that knows me knows that I am very fiscally prudent, and I do not like to raise taxes unless it is absolutely, positively necessary.

In the last three years, the city has moved forward, and its reputation as a place to live and work has increased significantly.

Based on the information above and based on my experience and accomplishments, it is my position that I am the best person to continue to lead Franklin forward for the years 2008 to 2011.

Thank you for this opportunity.

Tom Taylor, Mayor of the City of Franklin


On April 1, Franklin voters will have a clear choice in the mayor's race: Between an incumbent mayor who defends the fact that taxes have risen in double digits since he took office and a challenger with a proven track record of reducing taxes and a vision for Franklin's future.

I'm the challenger in the race, Basil Ryan, a former two-term alderman, and I thank Kevin Fischer for the opportunity to address the public through his weblog. I believe that Kevin is offering voters a public service by giving candidates this platform.

Since Mayor Thomas Taylor took office, city property taxes have risen 16% and spending is up almost 30%, according to the city's own records. I think that's too much. We can do better without sacrificing the quality services that Franklin residents appreciate. Most other cities have done better, and there is no reason Franklin can't do so as well.

Numbers compiled by the respected, non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliance found that three fourths of Wisconsin cities had lower tax levy increases than Franklin during Mayor Taylor's tenure.

135 cities did better than Franklin, and only 55 cities did worse. I will reverse that trend.

When you add in schools and other taxing entities, Franklin's overall tax increase was the worst in Milwaukee County and also one of the worst in the state. But, even when looking at only the city in isolation, as one must do in a mayoral race, we are still shouldering one of the fastest growing tax increases in the state.

In a March 13, 2008 article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, reporter Anyssa Johnson wrote: "Taylor defended the increases, saying most of that was offset by new development, and that cuts in revenue were beyond his control, including the loss of state aid and landfill fees."

See the story here:

Taylor also recently underscored on his campaign website that he never promised to NOT raise taxes.

This is where we differ. I AM promising to not raise taxes. I am also offering a vision that is in line with Franklin's character and past while building on its vitality. I am concerned by the mayor's pattern of not showing enough concern for the taxpayer. As a Milwaukee County labor official, the mayor accepted a pension buyback and lobbied for workers trying to get them. The media reported that the buybacks are in apparent violation of IRS rules. They could cost taxpayers another $50 million.

I will accomplish protecting the taxpayer as Franklin mayor through greater efficiencies and prioritizing spending. For example, under Mayor Taylor, administration/general government spending has grown at a faster percentage than public safety. I do not agree with that priority.

Here's another way the mayor and I differ. I believe that controlling taxes and spending IS in the mayor's control. The mayor can recommend efficiencies, and he can veto any budgets that don't provide them.

Furthermore, as an alderman, I delivered, passing one of the largest tax reductions in Franklin history. When my colleagues were set to raise taxes 1.8 percent one year, I successfully froze items to show them there was another way.

As an alderman, I tried to make sure residents felt their concerns were addressed. When response times needed improving, I helped secure the building of a new fire station. When residents experienced flooding problems in their homes, I helped them fix them.

I've offered a strong leadership agenda as mayor in many ways. I will ensure that development is thoughtful and planned. Franklin must ensure that development is not haphazard and that it fits into our community's character. I will ensure that new development has a direct, immediate effect on the city's tax base, rather than being tied up in TIF districts for years.

Together, we can get Franklin out of the negative tax rankings. Along with my wife, Karen, and our four children, I've been a proud member of this community for years. I've lived here for 34 years, raised a family here, run a business here, and farm my land here.

I believe in Franklin and its potential. Together, we can make sure that becomes a reality.



I'm sorry, I just don't see it

Take a look, a good look at the following picture and study it before moving on to the rest of my post.

What do you see:


 Vogue's April Shape Issue

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Has Brett Favre retired? Not really

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking.

But Brett Favre has not taken the official action to actually retire from the NFL.

This may be all Packer fans have in order to be optimistic.

How do you rate Bo Ryan?

There are 16 teams left in the NCAA tournament.

Sixteen teams, sixteen head coaches.

If you were seeding the head coaches, where would you rank Bo Ryan of Wisconsin?

Here is where one so-called “expert” placed Ryan…

The Badgers get no respect.

Priscilla Presley mambos

In case you missed it, Priscilla Presley made her second appearance on Dancing With The Stars Monday night. With her parents in the audience, Priscilla, in leopard top, performed a catlike mambo with great precision.

Before we go to the video....


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Clinton has to break Obama's back

A few weeks ago on an episode of InterCHANGE on Channel 10, I said Hillary Clinton will say and do anything she possibly can to defeat Barack Obama.

After the show, InterCHANGE contributor Rick Horowitz told the panel that when I made that remark, he leaned over to someone in the stuido and said it was the first time in the history of the program that he ever agreed with me. First time in over 10 years?

Anyway, what I said is apparently true, according to an anonynous Democratic Party official who says Clinton has a chance to pull off the delegate tally, but only if she tears Obama to shreds.

The official says Clinton has to resort to the "Tonya Harding" option.

With an option named like that, you know the Democrat campaign is going to get uglier and uglier.





Re-elect 3rd District Alderman
Alan Hammelman
Tuesday, April 1, 2008

“Let’s keep Franklin moving forward!” 

What we have accomplished in the first term
  1. Taken a fiscally conservative approach with City tax dollars for the three years I was seated on the Finance Committee. (Completed -Franklin has one of the
    lowest assessed Municipal rates in Milwaukee County; the City bond rating went up one level to AA2 in 2006 due to sound fiscal practices.)
  2. Created 31 Street from Rawson Ave. to Drexel Ave. (Completed in November 2007).
  3. Established a pro-business approach to growth in Franklin. (Completed – Sendik’s Grocery, Northwestern Mutual – Building #2, Johnson Bank, etc.).
  4. Returned 90%+ calls and emails from constituents in 48 hours or less. (Completed).
 My commitment to you for the second term
  1. Continue fiscally conservative practices – this will protect our new bond rating and keep City tax increases reasonable.
  2. Continue pro-business growth policies with a special emphasis on quality, high-end development of the 27th St. Corridor area shared with Oak Creek.
    This step will shift more of the tax burden on to businesses and provide much needed relief to our residents. I do not want 27th St to become another
    Bluemound Road development.
  3. Continue offering a high level of constituent responsiveness to calls and emails.
 Points which set me apart from my opponent include:
¨    Proven political experience:  Franklin 3rd District Alderman (2005 – current); 4th District Wauwatosa Alderman (1990 – 1995).
¨    Endorsements from Franklin Mayor Thomas Taylor, Common Council President Lyle Sohns and widely known senior civic leader Casper Green among others.
¨    Proven ability to work effectively with a diverse group of stakeholders, including constituents, City department heads/staff and developers. 

Address:  6781 S. 35 St. (Franklin homeowner for 13 years.)
Phone:  414.421.3451 (Home); 414.430.4580 (Cell).
Occupation:  Corporate Trainer at Fidelity National Information Systems (21 years).
Education:  Masters in Education (M. Ed) from Alverno College, December 2000.
Committee assignments:  Finance Committee, License Committee, Personnel Committee.

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The bad news continues for the Democrats is reporting the following:

“Twenty-eight percent of current Hillary Clinton supporters say they would vote for John McCain over Barack Obama in the general election. Nineteen percent of Obama supporters would vote for McCain over Clinton.”

Read more.

Keep fighting, you Democrats, keep fighting.

All Franklin eyes are on Elmbrook Tuesday

Proponents of mind-blowing school referenda, i.e., tax increases, are relentless. If they fail, they keep coming back, over and over and over and over and over again until they get enough yes votes.

Case in point: The Elmbrook School District where voters decide next Tuesday if they want to impose upon themselves a whopping $62.2 million tax increase, scaled back from the $108.8 million referenda they rejected last year.

Keeping a close watch on the Elmbrook results will be the Franklin school machine: the Superintendent, the current members of the School Board, and district employees who I’ll bet are secretly salivating, hoping that the Elmbrook referendum is approved.

Make no mistake about it. The current Franklin school administration is impatiently waiting on the sidelines, longing for the day that a la Elmbrook, they can trot out yet another tax increase proposal (referendum) to force down the throats of taxpayers who have given and given to the point they can’t give anymore.

This is why Tuesday’s school board elections in Franklin are so critical.

The current board members are entrenched with a spend, spend and then spend some more mentality and can’t be trusted to ever change. A new set of members that will be given the voters’ trust next Tuesday and possibly more new members in the near future need to charge into their new assignments as full-fledged friends of the taxpayers. They must guard against being intimidated by their new role and falling prey to heavy influence from the returning members who have lost the faith of the public.

If the Elmbrook referendum passes, and I hope it does not, Franklin’s machine will be overcome with exuberance, and will confidently use the results as their catalyst for launching another huge tax increase campaign, trampling over the big majority of voters who told them in no uncertain terms a year ago to take their ill-conceived tax increase and stuff it.

The new Franklin school board members, I hope, will serve as goalies, protecting the taxpayers from the tax and spend volleys that will come their way.

Unlike those who see a tax increase as the only savior for our schools, I’m on record that vast amounts of money are no guarantee for success. School performance and achievement can be attained without robbing the taxpayers blind.

Here’s what needs to happen Tuesday and beyond:

1) The Elmbrook referendum must fail.

2) Franklin must elect two members to the school board that will stand tall for the taxpayers. The two candidates that can best assure me they will do so will get my votes.

3) The new members must help turn the corner and clean up a school board that has been a fiscal and ethical disaster and not be rubber stamps for the current regime.

One more note.

For the crowd that moans and cries and wails and gnashes their teeth that school districts are dying and they don’t have one doggone red cent to spare on anything because they’ve been cruelly cut to the bone………….read this.

A dog, a fireman, and a kiss

Kevin's favorites

“You don’t blog enough about dogs!”
Who said that?
My wife, Jennifer.
When did she say it?
What time is it?

We all get them. I seem to get swamped with them.

I’m talking about the e-mails from friends who you just know as they’re hitting the “send” button are chuckling to themselves, “this is the most incredible story ever,”  or, “Oh my God is this hilarious.”

Reminds me of my days as a broadcast news manager. Ninety-five percent of my mail and phoned-in tips, like these e-mails, never lived up to their billing.

E-mail jokes and urban legends just clutter up the inbox.

Here’s one I received recently that has been going around for a long time that you may have seen. This one, though not entirely true, is still worth a look, especially when you go, as I did, beyond the initial e-mail. Here’s the story:

She is pregnant, he had just saved her from
a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying

her out of the house into her front yard,
while he continued to fight the fire.

When he finally got done putting the fire out,
he sat down to catch his breath and rest.

A photographer from the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper, noticed her in the distance looking at the fireman.

He saw her walking straight toward the
fireman and wondered what she was going to do.

As he raised his camera, she came up to the
tired man who had saved her life and the lives
of her babies and kissed him just as the photographer snapped this photograph.

Scroll down for photograph.


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Will Franklin's Target be pretty enough? Again, I don't really care...

But there is a Target issue that I am deeply concerned about.

How about a management policy that fires an employee who tries to stop a teenager from stealing alcohol?

Watch the Fox 6 News on play on the video screen.

RELATED STORY FROM CALIFORNIA: Another worker does her job, and gets fired for her trouble.





Kevin, Thank you for the opportunity to be heard through your blog.

A little over 5 years ago, I became involved in Franklin, because the politics were an embarrassment to the city. Basil Ryan was not conducting business in a respectful, professional manor. He was driving developers away through his actions. He was playing games. Mr. Ryan and other aldermen were abstaining from voting, which resulted in the lack of a quorum, blocking action on certain items. Mr. Ryan even sued the city over the reappointment of long standing committee members to the Planning & Parks Commissions. Franklin was establishing a very negative reputation. Mr. Ryan also has had many encounters with the police and the court system as can be verified through the CCAP

In Dec. 2002, I learned of an effort that was looming on a recall of Basil Ryan. It was suggested to me by a local business that I run for Alderman. I was directed to a group of concerned Franklin citizens who were organizing the recall effort. I won their confidence, and we were successful in the recall of Mr. Ryan on Nov 3rd, 2003. In April 2005 he ran again for Alderman of the 4th District and simultaneously ran a write in campaign for mayor. When Mr. Ryan was defeated, he said he was done with politics in Franklin. He is back again, in an attempt to become Franklin's Mayor. God help us!

Over the last few years, I have been part of the progress we have experienced in Franklin. We have received National recognition as a City of the Future. We are the envy of many communities on the quality of commercial development coming to Franklin. We have brought the second phase of Northwestern Mutual to Franklin. We have brought a Sendik's, the Wheaton Franciscan Medical Complex, The Fountains of Franklin is underway, Staybridge Suites is being built. There was a recent announcement of an additional $70 million medical complex, and a Franklin Hilton. The Business Park is nearly sold out and TIF tax relief dollars will be kicking in soon.

Franklin is expanding with quality commercial & residential development. I would like to serve another term to continue to be part of its growth. I bring a voice of common sense to city issues and I am a "Man of the people". I am a small business owner for 28 years and have a business sense about city matters. I am always accessible at my business, and I am able to respond to peoples concerns in a timely manner. I believe we can keep Moving Franklin Forward under the current leadership.

When I became involved in Franklin politics, I did it for the good of the City.  I was there when we were fighting to keep sex predators out of Franklin, I will continue the fight. I will keep working to hold your taxes down by attracting quality Economic Development. We will continue to improve the quality of life in Franklin. Keeping it safe, and maintaining our country-like atmosphere.

Things are running very well under Mayor Taylor and the current Council. I believe in the old saying...If it isn't broke - don't fix it!

Please vote for Pete Kosovich on April 1st, Thank you!

Thanks Kevin,

Sincerely, Pete Kosovich 


The reason that I want to be the next alderman on the 4th district is because I feel it is my civic duty to serve the public.  No matter where I have lived I have always gotten involved in some capacity.  I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with bachelor’s degrees in political science and public administration.  I figured that while I was studying how government works I might as well apply it in a practical manner.  I ran for the La Crosse City Council as a junior and got I elected to a four-year term.  I served all four years, three of which I was the vice chairman of the finance and personnel committee.  I moved to East Lansing, Michigan in 2002 with my future wife so she could get her masters degree.  While living there I was appointed and served on the Zoning Board of Appeals for two and a half years.  In December, Mayor Taylor appointed me to the Environmental Commission.  As an alderman, I will be able to make a positive impact by combining the experience I gained from serving in those two other communities along with what I have learned while living here in Franklin.

While campaigning many residents have told me that they want a more vocal representative.  They want someone who is more responsive and more willing to take a stand on the tough issues.  I respect Alderman Kosovich a great deal.  It is refreshing that two candidates running for the same office can conduct themselves in a positive manner and only on the issues.  At the end of the day I know that the two of us will continue to have a positive working relationship.

As for the issues, I think there is a difference in some areas.  I believe our local taxes have increases too much.  Every taxpayer has a budget.  When economic times are tough, we have to tighten out belts.  The city should have to do the same.  It can not continue to pass the buck on to its taxpayers.  There are for sale signs popping up everywhere around the city.  People are leaving because they can’t afford the taxes.  We have seniors on fixed incomes that want to be able stay in their homes until they are ready to go.  I know these things because while out campaigning this is what they are telling me.  I will take a long and hard look at how we spend your tax dollars.

We need more nonresidential development in the city in order to lower our tax burden.  Projects should take forever to get approved.  Why does a project in Franklin take nine months to get final approval while other communities take ninety days?  I am not saying that we give in to all of a developer’s demands but we need to be more business friendly and speed up the process.

I got into this race to try to make a difference.  I will answer only to those who reside in the 4th district, those who take the time to vote.  I am aligned with no one.  At the end of the day, the people in the 4th district will decide who they want to represent them.  If they elect me, they are my bosses.  If I don’t do they job they sent me to do they will be able to vote me out three years later.  I will be honored to receive their vote on April 1st.

Steve Taylor

You can see all the guest blogs at:


Also see:
Franklin School Board candidate interviews-2008

I thank all the candidates for their participation in this project. Please review all the information you can about the candidates, and then make an informed vote Tuesday, April 1.

Who's more compassionate? Liberals or conservatives?

You’re heard it time and again.

Conservatives are mean and evil and cruel.

Liberals… there’s a warm, loving, compassionate, charitable bunch.

Frankly, I’m sick and tired of it because it’s not true.

Actually, liberals talk a good game about charity whereas conservatives do something about it.

Columnist George Will writes about a book authored by Arthur C. Brooks, a professor at Syracuse University called,  "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism." Some of the findings:

-- Although liberal families' incomes average 6 percent higher than those of conservative families, conservative-headed households give, on average, 30 percent more to charity than the average liberal-headed household ($1,600 per year vs. $1,227).

-- Conservatives also donate more time and give more blood.

-- Residents of the states that voted for John Kerry in 2004 gave smaller percentages of their incomes to charity than did residents of states that voted for George Bush.

-- Bush carried 24 of the 25 states where charitable giving was above average.

-- In the 10 reddest states, in which Bush got more than 60 percent majorities, the average percentage of personal income donated to charity was 3.5. Residents of the bluest states, which gave Bush less than 40 percent, donated just 1.9 percent.

-- People who reject the idea that "government has a responsibility to reduce income inequality" give an average of four times more than people who accept that proposition.

Liberal supporters of a welfare state believe they are being charitable simply by endorsing a specific give-away policy. Conservatives, on the other hand, feel the need to sacrifice in place of a government handout.

And it’s not just about charity.

Conservatives are also a helluva lot sexier…….and that could spell trouble for Democrats.

I do believe the Franklin School Board candidates are on to something

I’m scouring over all the information I can about the four Franklin School Board candidates, including today’s piece in the FranklinNOW print edition by John Neville.

Neville writes that all four agree there must be better communications with taxpayers.

I agree, especially when they’re going to refuse to tell you that the 5.9% school tax levy being approved is really, wink-wink, 12 or 13 %.

Here are some points of interest in Neville’s article about the candidates:

·         David Works is proposing regular “hearing sessions” to keep track of school district taxpayer concerns

·         Linda Witkowski at a candidates’ forum said, "We've got to listen more rather than just talking out."

This is encouraging, and something I hope the current Board members are paying attention to.

The School Board’s employers, the voting taxpayers, don’t need to be lectured or pontificated to by arrogant members who feel it their duty to “educate” or “explain” (i.e. talk down to citizens).

Board members need to LISTEN to the people they work for who do understand what’s going on and have a voice that clearly has been ignored or disrespected for far too long.

It’s refreshing to hear that some new blood gets it.

Hopefully that mindset is contagious.

The Pope is coming; naturally the MSM is interested in disinterested Catholics

With the Pope scheduled to visit America next month, you don’t think the mainstream media is chomping at the bit to dig up negative, Catholic-bashing sidebar stories, do you?

It’s starting already.

The Journal News that serves New York’s lower Hudson Valley, hoping to rain on the Pope’s parade, is openly searching for lapsed Catholics to step forward.

Take a look.

In years past, Catholics would have shrugged their shoulders, slumped down, sighed, and kept quiet.

Times have changed.

Not to be outdone was Catholic League President Bill Donohue who countered with an in-your -face response.

And who says Catholics have no sense of humor.

Yes, Virginia, there is a way to get rid of illegal immigrants

Illegal immigration

“People who commit crimes who are aliens, whether legal or illegal … need to go back to their home countries. They have no business being in America.”

I certainly wouldn’t argue with the sentiments of Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell, a Republican.

But talk is one thing.
 What is Virginia doing about the problem?

Actually, a lot.

The state has joined efforts with the feds on
Operation Cold Play," a crackdown that  is deporting at least 171 illegal immigrant  sex offenders.

Here’s a report I’ve linked to in the past documenting how serious this problem is in America.

Meanwhile, back home in Wisconsin……how about we follow suit?

Jim Doyle?

J.B. Van Hollen?

Anybody paying attention?


Wisconsin vs. the world

The New York Times is impressed with how the Badgers have been able to build a basketball powerhouse without leaving America's Dairyland.

March 28, 2008
Midwest Region

Wisconsin Is National Power by Staying Close to Home

The Badgers' secret weapon

The ultra-happenin’ at the helm Bo Ryan

Read more

Illinois fights back in the waterpark wars

In most cases pitting developers vs. obstructionists (usually environmentalists run amok) who stand in the way of business, jobs, and progress in general, I typically come down on the side of the developers who perform a common good.

Sure, they stand to make money, but they open the doors for many others to profit. It’s called capitalism, folks.

Despite previous mischaracterizations of my philosophy, I understand a certain degree of time is needed for review, negotiations, permitting, etc., but not an eternity.

Unlike the Franklin Target fiasco that became an endless protest over how often Windex would be applied, there is an honest-to-goodness developer vs. environmentalists case unfolding in Wisconsin that is truly compelling and worth debate.

By way of introduction, head south about 45 miles to Gurnee, the Brussels of the Midwest.

Last month, a new $135 million Florida-themed waterpark called KeyLime Cove opened along I-94 across from the Gurnee Mills shopping mall. The resort has 414 rooms and suites; the waterpark is 65,000 square feet.

What is your strategy if you just put up a waterpark in Gurnee, Illinois? You tell Illinois families to stay put.

The Chicago Tribune is onboard with a recent article headlined, “Why go to Wisconsin when KeyLime Cove is just 45 minutes away from the city?”

Sure, Wisconsin Dells is the waterpark capital of the world, but Tribune reporter Chris Jones writes, “You still have to pay your tolls and drive about 200 miles. Why not jump straight in the water instead of sucking down fumes on the torturous tarmac of the jane Addams Memorial Tollway?”

The rest of Jones’ article relates the many problems he and his family encountered at a just-opened resort that hasn’t worked out all the kinks yet.

What’s my point?

Our neighbor to the south, that just happens to have a much healthier business climate than we do, has just opened a sparkling, spanking brand new resort/waterpark aimed at directly competing for our customers and the dollars they spend.

Here in gigantic slide country, we have waterparks on top of waterparks, but we too are poised to open a sparkling, spanking brand new resort/waterpark, except…………….a bunch of environmentalists have filed lawsuits to try to stop it. (I swear, these people must be an absolute riot at parties).

Plans are in the works to build a $160 million condo/hotel complex, the Grand Cambrian, complete with waterparks, in Wisconsin Dells. The location is the sticky point, in the pristine, historic lower Dells, right next to a state nature area.

This isn’t about whether there will be a place to sit outside Target so I can have my latte and danish and discuss how consistently wonderful Kevin Fischer’s blog is. We’re talking the lower Wisconsin Dells.

Environmentalists reacted like the Tasmanian Devil, literally screwing themselves into the Dells turf.

One of their grievances is that the top floors of the resort will be still be visible to horrified and shocked boaters and canoeists on the Wisconsin River (And I don't think there's a support group for people subjected to this horror).

The Wisconsin wing of the Nazi Party, the DNR did get involved. (“Now we’re getting somewhere” thought the litigious mob).

Those nasty DNR folks went and approved a permit, with some restrictions.

We’re not done, shouted the busybodies. We’ll go to the state Department of Commerce.

And on and on it goes. No table and chairs or coffee and crullers will make them go away.

Seriously, as I mentioned earlier, this particular case has some interest because it does involve some of the most beautiful natural landscaping in the entire state. But enviros go too far, throwing themselves on the tracks of economic development.

Meanwhile, in Gurnee, you hear that sucking sound? Those are Wisconsin dollars being scooped into the Illinois coffers.

Developers vs. obstructionist environmentalists? Not even close. Mark me down again with the developers.



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...


Pennsylvania judge

The late Frank Fabiano

College students on spring break in New Orleans


Joshua Mauldin

Koua Moua

These fine outstanding young folks

George Oesterreich


“The Republicans are completely incompetent in terms of running the country, but they do know how to win elections.”
DNC chairman Howard Dean at a Democratic Party rally in Madison.

“Our Party is made up of a diverse group of individuals who believe in keeping our nation safe and continuing to grow our economy through lower taxes and controlled government spending.”
RPW Executive Director Mark Jefferson in a statement reacting to Dean.

“If we can’t talk about our professional background, if we can’t talk about our judicial philosophies, then what on Earth can we talk about in this race”
Burnett County Judge Michael Gableman defending a TV ad that implies Louis Butler found a “loophole” that made it possible for convicted child molester Reuben Lee Mitchell to re-offend.

“Quite frankly it’s disgusting, and it’s embarrassing, and it should not have gone up in the first place.”
Butler saying a Gableman ad accusing him of being soft on crime was a poor reflection on Gableman’s campaign and judgment.

“We are passing a bill today that no family in Wisconsin would ever suggest as a solution to their economic crisis. No household in Wisconsin can do that.”
State Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah,  criticizing the Senate version of the budget repair bill that increases taxes.

“The governor is so tightly in line with the teachers union and that’s making the Legislature reluctant to work with him. Really, I don’t see it getting done until we get a new governor.”
State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) on fixing the state’s school funding formula.

"We have a county executive who lacks vision, who lacks the skills to get things done.”
State Senator Lena Taylor commenting on Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker at a forum. Taylor is opposing Walker.

"I'm not running for county lawmaker. I'm running for county executive. That means being cool-headed, the ability to handle tough situations and not just flying off and attacking people who disagree with them."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker

"Vets don't want flags made in foreign countries.”
George Mara, vice-president of sales for Action Flag Company, as Governor Doyle signed a bill into law requiring that all flags flown at public buildings in Wisconsin be made in America.

According to a 2006 Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report, Wisconsin spent $2,404 per pupil on benefits in 2003-'04, the third-highest in the United States and 57% higher than the national average. Benefits accounted for more than 26% of Wisconsin school spending, compared to the national average of 18.5%. This is not sustainable. As benefits continue to rise faster than inflation, fewer dollars are available for instruction, leading to large class sizes, reduction in extracurricular activities, elimination of the arts, etc. As benefits continue to escalate, fewer dollars are left "for the children." So the next time you hear, "It's all about the children," what you are really hearing is, "It's all about the benefits." Where is a Ronald Reagan (who broke the air traffic controllers union) when you need him?
Barbara Fischer (no relation) in a guest column in the Journal/Sentinel.


A few this week….

Untreated diabetes

People unjustly fired for doing the right thing.


Dallas club where girl, 12, stripped will keep license

10:39 PM CDT on Wednesday, March 26, 2008

By TANYA EISERER / The Dallas Morning News

The mere fact that a 12-year-old girl danced nude at a northwest Dallas strip club isn't enough to close its doors.

That's because the city ordinance that regulates sexually oriented businesses does not allow authorities to revoke the license of such a business for employing someone under the age of 18.

The sixth-grader danced at Diamonds Cabaret over a two-week period late last year, authorities say. They also say they found a 17-year-old girl working in the club in January.

"If they're not shut down, it's like they're giving them permission to have underage girls dancing and working in that club," said the mother of the 12-year-old. The mother is not being named because her daughter, a runaway at the time of the incident, is considered a sexual assault victim.

Operators of the Diamonds Cabaret at 2444 Walnut Ridge Street did not return calls for comment. Their sexually oriented business license expires in November.

Demonica Abron, 27, who worked as a stripper in the club, and David Bell, 22, are facing charges in connection with the 12-year-old girl's dancing in the club. Mr. Bell does not appear to have been employed by the club.

Police officials are continuing to investigate whether the club's management knew she was underage.

The 23-page city ordinance does allow revocation of a club's license if, for example, the club knowingly allows prostitution, the sale or use of drugs at the club, or if there are two convictions for sex-related crimes at the club within a 12-month period.

The department also can suspend, but not revoke, the license of an escort agency for up to 30 days if it has employed anyone under 18.

But the ordinance does not give the department similar power over adult cabarets such as Diamonds Cabaret.

"There's a laundry list of things we can use to deny or revoke a license, but having a 12-year-old dancing in their establishment is not one of the things that automatically enables us to revoke their license," said Lt. Christina Smith, a vice unit commander who oversees licensing of such establishments.

The mother of the 12-year-old girl said her daughter ran away in early November. She said the family frantically began looking and her husband finally found their daughter in late November. She was then interviewed by police.

According to court records, the runaway gave the following account:

Mr. Bell and Ms. Abron, who went by the stage name 'Jewel,' offered the runaway shelter. Mr. Bell told her that she would be stripping at a club called "Diamonds."

Mr. Bell dropped them off at the club one day and introduced her to a man named "David" in the club's office.

"Suspect David asked complainant if she had ever danced before, she said no," the court records state. "David" then gave her an application, which she filled out with a fake name. She also told him that she was 19.

When "David" asked to see her identification, she told him that she didn't have one. He told her to bring one when she came to work as a dancer.

"Complainant couldn't think of a fake birthday, so she told suspect 'David' she forgot her birthday," the records state. "Suspect 'David' gave her a funny look and told her she would have been born in 1988 if she was 19."

A couple of days later, Mr. Bell drove Ms. Abron and the victim back to the club where Ms. Abron introduced her to a man named "Steve."

"Suspect 'Steve' told" the girl "to take her clothes off to see if she was too shy to dance nude," the records state. He told her she would have to pay a fee ranging from $10 to $30 each time she danced nude.

She danced that night and made about $100, of which she gave $30 to "Steve," the records state.

The court documents are unclear on how many nights she danced.

The mother of the 12-year-old says she believes the club must have known her daughter was underage.

"I think they just didn't care," her mother said. "She's 12, but she's got the body of a 20-year-old. All they were thinking about was the money she could bring in."

She said her daughter is now living with her grandmother in Arlington and again attending school.

Ms. Abron and Mr. Bell were indicted in late February on one count of felony sexual performance of the child in connection with making the 12-year-old work at the club. Both are also accused of engaging in organized crime.

Mr. Bell is accused of two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and aggravated kidnapping. He is still being held in the Dallas County Jail in lieu of $450,000 bail.

Ms. Abron, who also faces a prostitution charge, has been released on bail from jail.


Blogger Dad29 points out Barack Hussein Obama is now on his THIRD VERSION of explaining his involvement with an incredibly racist pastor.

The MSM is too busy fainting to pick up on the story.


American Idol
(They're getting the hype, now if they could get their phones to work).


Luke Prittard, you just won the lottery. What are you going to do next?

I’m going to…………McDonald’s????

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

Sign controversy on Milwaukee's south side

On the city of Milwaukee’s near south side, the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel is reporting today:

“Billboards that showed a popular south side priest endorsing Milwaukee Ald. James Witkowiak for re-election have been replaced.

Father Eleazar Perez, a Spanish-speaking Mexican priest at St. Adalbert Catholic Church, complained when billboards went up last week that showed him apparently endorsing Witkowiak, who is running for re-election against former Ald. Angel Sanchez.

The billboards now show Witkowiak being endorsed by a group of other south side pastors, including street minister Marty Calderon.”



Read more

Mayoral drama unfolding on This Just In...

In a development that could only take place in the blogosphere, both Franklin mayoral candidates have been challenged to sign a pledge to vote against tax increases that go beyond the rate of inflation.

Franklin’s high level of taxing and spending well above the rate of inflation has been a key campaign issue.

Franklin blogger Fred Keller issued the challenge to Mayor Tom Taylor and opponent Basil Ryan on Wednesday, one day after the candidates’ guest blogs were posted on This Just In…

Keller posted the following on my blog Wednesday:

I have one question for both Mayor Taylor and Mr. Ryan:

I turned in this question at the Candidates Forum the other night, but it wasn't asked.

Would you be willing to sign a pledge – TODAY – stating, if (re-)elected, you would vote against a City Budget, in each year of your three-year term, that included a TAX LEVY that is greater than the latest available Consumer Price Index data, published by the U.S. Labor Department, Bureau of Labor Statistics?

I would appreciate a yes or no answer.  And If not, why not?

Thank you

A few hours after Keller’s challenge on Wednesday, I received a personal e-mail from Mayor Taylor that said, in part:

“I would need to see the language in the pledge but if it is specific to the CPI average for the Milwaukee Racine Area I would have little or no problem with such a pledge and I would not vote for a budget that exceeded the CPI average.”

Taylor told me in the e-mail there had to be agreement on the data and source of data used for the pledge, and then he would like to see the pledge before making a commitment.

That was Wednesday.

It is my understanding that the mayor and Keller have been in communication with one another.

On Friday night at 10:52, I received the following communication from Basil Ryan that I have posted in the comments section of the mayoral blogs entry:


My answer to you and Mr. Keller is as follows: Yes, I will sign the pledge.

In fact, such a pledge is nothing new to me; it represents the essence of my work as alderman.

When I was an alderman and sat on the Finance Committee, we made it clear to department heads that their budgets had to stay within the cost of living increases. The fact that the city was growing in leaps and bounds and additional money was coming in, and additional tax money was coming in, I sent a clear message to my colleagues on the Finance Committee that this temptation was not to be used as an excuse to request budget increases.

My philosophy was that if department heads operated their departments within the cost of living, new growth would be able to sustain those demands and thus allow the city to place the difference in contingency funds which could be used for projects to better Franklin, thus eliminating an additional burden on the taxpayers.

That philosophy worked well. I was able to get the largest tax reduction through the Finance Committee. One of my pieces of campaign literature talks about how I was able to freeze a 1.8% increase that was above and beyond the cost of living at that time. The reason I bring up this point is that many people will pledge things just to get votes. In my case, I did exactly what you are asking. Part of my plan to balance the city budget is to bring back that practice. It worked in the past and it will work in the future.

So, yes, I will sign the pledge.

Basil Ryan

I understand the candidates are quite busy in the final days of campaigning. I suspect we’ll hear definitively from Mayor Taylor soon. Keep checking my blog for updates.

Keller posed the same challenge to the candidates in his aldermanic district, Ald. Alan Hammelman and opponent Kristen Wilhelm. You can see their responses in the comments section here.

The VOGUE cover: Where have I seen that picture before?

Remember this, the magazine cover that shook the world?


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Guys and spring cleaning

The USA Weekend section in Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel will feature a cover story with TV’s Matt Lauer happily promoting spring cleaning.

Lauer admits cleaning offers great excitement.

Guys, before you instantly dismiss Lauer and scoff at the very idea of housecleaning, remember this…

Cheesy Culinary no-no update

Last October, Culinary no-no #22 focused on the universally-popular grilled cheese sandwich.

No longer just for kids and featured on the menus of some multi-star restaurant, I wrote, “Seems that it would make great business sense if someone would open a restaurant that specialized in good ol’ grilled cheese sandwiches.”

Someone did.

Someone is former Wisconsinite Dirk Bruely who opened Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese in Denver in the spring of 2003. As dynamite as Bruely’s three dozen varieties are, I’m not going to Denver for a cheese bacon and tomato….not with these gas prices.

I don’t have to.

A restaurant that highlights a grilled cheese, the Cheesy Grill has opened near Miller Park.



On the Base-Hit Parade, 100 years later


Hard to believe with all these great March Madness NCAA college basketball games going on that baseball starts in just a few days.

The Milwaukee Brewers open their season on Monday in Chicago against the Cubs. The Brewers’ home opener is Friday, April 4 vs. San Francisco.

Attend a Brewers game at fabulous Miller Park and there are plenty of popular rituals to partake in to make game day a memorable experience.

There is, of course, the obligatory tailgate.

Inside the ballpark, a stirring National Anthem.

Some beer.




A brat , Italian, or hot dog.

The famous sausage race.

And then, in the middle of the 7th inning……

Everybody get up!

The 7th inning stretch!

Singing along to the “Take me Out to the Ball Game” is a must.

Stay with me, baseball and music lovers.

We need to get psyched for the upcoming baseball season, and what better way than with this golden oldie.

Now, I’m old enough to remember as a youngster the  60’s ABC-TV show, “Shindig” with host Jimmy O’Neill. Shindig was American Bandstand without the lip-synching.

I remember the show, but I don’t remember this particular program. For whatever reason, this Top 40-oriented teen program decided one night to end with a Take Me Out to the Ball Game finale with twin piano rockers Jerry Lee Lewis and Neil Sedaka.

Read more

Coming Sunday to This Just In...

Oh my goodness, you’ll want to check in often.

Sunday on This Just In...

1) My favorite blogs for the week.

2) This week’s culinary no-no, with a very, very serious tone this week.

3) More updates on the mayoral candidates. Will they/did they sign a pledge to keep taxes at the rate of inflation.

4) Why you shouldn’t vote for Lena Taylor, especially if you live in Franklin. Vote for County Executive Scott Walker.

This Just In…

We don’t rest on the weekend.

New exhibit at Graceland


If you travel to Graceland, a brand new exhibit is in place focusing on Elvis’ Army years.

The new feature is timely. Fifty years ago March 24, Elvis was inducted into the Army.

Read more

Franklin the 10th Best Place to Live in America

Franklin, Massachusetts that is.

Franklin, Wisconsin did not make the list compiled by Money Magazine. We were 90th last year.

Brookfield and Madison crack the top 100.

Fantastic photo gets top honor

Last August, I blogged about a photo that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel showing a young girl watching and smiling as their parents are just about to kiss, her father having just returned from Iraq.

The picture is priceless.

The woman who took the photo, Kristyna Wentz-Graff of the Journal/Sentinel, has been named Photographer of the Year by the Wisconsin News Photographers Association.

Her photo of Jamie and Allen Lane about to kiss won Best of Show, deservedly so.

Congratulations to Kristyna Wentz-Graff.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

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



3) OK Franklin candidates, have very clear answers Monday night 

4) Insane left goes too far, interrupts Easter Mass, throws fake blood 

5) The Franklin candidates respond

Just missing the top 5:


Culinary no-no #48

Culinary no-no's

You’ve heard of the Rat Pack.

In this week’s installment of Culinary no-no, I introduce you to the Fat Pack.

It’s a club I’m not a member of.

Oh, sure, I need to shed some poundage.  But the Fat Pack’s members share a different characteristic. Their common obsession with gastronomic delights led them to begin food blogs.

These writers eat, drink, breathe, and sleep their themed blogs. I merely write once a week on the topic, and with a somewhat twisted approach at that.

So as far as the Fat Pack is concerned, I don’t pay dues or know the secret handshake.

And that’s just as well because the Fat Pack has a death wish. Some realize it, others are in denial.

Take the case of Jason Perlow, the co-founder of egullet, an online discussion forum that connected foodies with one another.

Kim Severson of The New York Times recently wrote:

“It (the online forum) put him at the center of a community where no food was too fatty and no field trip too extreme. Ferreting out the best place for an empanada or the perfect way to braise pork belly meant tasting countless versions, often in the same day. Being the first in the group to find it was golden.

In October, Mr. Perlow was in Denver on business for his day job as a systems integration expert. He fell ill, and what seemed like a case of altitude sickness turned into a three-day hospital visit. There he heard the grim truth: He was diabetic. He weighed more than 400 pounds, his blood pressure was dangerously high and his blood was thick with glucose and cholesterol.

A doctor told him he would be dead in five years.

‘I wasn’t shocked but I thought maybe it’s time the party’s over,’ he said.”

Writing a culinary blog can kill you. Some comfort food.

The New York Times describes the Fat Pack as an eating machine out of control.

“The journalists, bloggers, chefs and others who make up the Fat Pack combine an epicure’s appreciation for skillful cooking with a glutton’s bottomless-pit approach. Cramming more than three meals into a day, once the last resort of a food critic on deadline, has become a way of life. If the meals center on meat, so much the better.”

Food writer and former New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton admits it, saying, “Most of us who are in this profession are here as an excuse to eat. I’ve never seen such an outward, in-your-face celebration of eating fat.”

Perlow, who is now on a personal mission to become thinner and more fit, says the foodie lifestyle is not unhealthy, but excessive. Maybe it’s because he was told to prepare his casket that Perlow is willing to make that admission. His former colleague who helped him found egullet, Steven Shaw is in complete disagreement.

Shaw is a doubter, telling the New York Times, “I think enjoyment of food has never proven to be harmful to anyone’s health.” By the way, Shaw writes an online column under the faux moniker of The Fat Guy, stands 5-foot-10 and weighs about 270 pounds.

Talk about your denial. Shaw removes his head from the sand long enough to tell a Times reporter, “I think the whole diabetes thing is a major hoax. They are overdiagnosing it.”

That should fit on his tombstone, I would think.

Then there’s Josh Ozersky, the online food editor for New York magazine. Ozersky gets it, but attempts to use humor to soften the blow.

“Obviously, my philosophy on gastronomy can be summed up by saying the fat is the meat and the meat is the vegetable. I’m a Russian Jew, so grease is mother’s milk to me.”

So, are Fat Packers frightened?

Yes, but not enough.

Their answer is something akin to having a Diet Coke with their triple cheeseburger. Faced with the not so pleasant future of no future, the foodies pledge to eat smaller portions and exercise.

Sounds like something I heard back on January 1.

For their sake, I hope it works.

Otherwise it’s RIP (Rest In Pork fat).

The Fat Pack Wonders if the Party's Over


1) Ketchup on a brat
2) Green peppers on pizza
3) The dirty martini
4) Fruity brats
5) A Bloody Mary after dinner
6) Women “manning” the grill
7) Eating pizza at Festa Italiana, brats at German Fest, or tacos at Fiesta Mexicana. (Be adventurous. You can have those items anytime).
8) Eating a cream puff as though it was a hamburger.
9) Taking your own bottle of sauce when invited to a barbecue.
10) Touching the grill if you’re a guest at an outdoor barbecue.
11) Coaching the host on how to grill.
12) Some regional flavored ice cream… black licorice.
13) Taking the husks off before you grill corn on the cob
14) Being afraid to chill red wine
15) Pizza on the grill
16) When serving exotic or strange dishes to guests, do not tell them exactly what it is. Instead, use a more inviting term (caviar) rather than being blunt (fish eggs).
17) In late summer and early fall, this time of year, don’t buy zucchini. Somehow, someway, you will find zucchini or zucchini will find you.
18) Showing disrespect to your restaurant server.
19) Eating out on a Monday night.
20) Pumpkin beer.
21) Mail-order turkey.
22) Grilled cheese is just for kids.
23) Dining in the dark.
24) Ketchup on spaghetti
25) Sneaking healthy foods into treats to get your kids to eat it.
26) Do not throw away culinary gifts received in the mail because you don’t like them.
27) Do not feel guilty about eating Oreos. (Oreos are not to blame for out of control obesity).
28) Doing something so totally ridiculous that you are desperately forced to call the Butterball Turkey Hot-Line for assistance.
29) Don’t forget the sweet potato January-October.
30) Using resource guides from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s on gracious living to plan holiday parties
31) Eating cranberries, the best of the super-foods, only during the holidays.
32) Egg nog that isn’t spiked.
33) Putting hot spices and other weird stuff in chocolate bars and hot cocoa.
34) Don’t disregard fruitcake.
35) Sparkling wine on New Year’s Eve ain’t champagne.
36) Ordering a Coors Light or any facsimile when at an outdoor open-air bar on a tropical beach.
37) Smoking bans in restaurants and bars in Wisconsin.
38) Goat burgers and healthy items at tailgate parties.

39) The restaurant of the future, with all kinds of cameras trained on you for....research.
40) The Budweiser Chelada
41) Replating
42) Sour cream on potato pancakes, as opposed to applesauce
43) Meatless Monday's
44) Digital dining
45) Tips on what not to do to your waiter
46) If you want a traditional St. Patty’s dinner, as good as it is, corned beef and cabbage ain’t it
47) Doing everything to PEEPS except eating them

*BREAKING NEWS: Mayor Taylor signs pledge to hold the line on taxes

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has signed a pledge to, if re-elected, keep the tax levy increase in his proposed budgets at 3 %.

Taylor met earlier today with Franklin resident and blogger Fred Keller to officially sign the pledge.

Keller had proposed that the mayor sign a pledge that he would not propose a budget with a property tax levy  that exceeds the rate of inflation and would not support a budget forwarded to him by the Franklin Common Council that contains a property tax levy increase that exceeds the rate of inflation.

Here is the pledge Mayor Taylor ultimately signed:

I pledge if elected to another term as Mayor of the City of Franklin that I will not recommend an annual budget to the City's Finance Committee that exceeds a 3% tax levy.  This pledge is related to the years 2008 to 2011.

Thomas M. Taylor
Candidate for Mayor

Here are the tax levy percentage increases for the past three City of Franklin Budgets:


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The clear choice for Franklin voters is Scott Walker


Ask Franklin residents what the issues are that get their blood boiling and they’ll probably answer taxes and sex predators.

Franklin families certainly remember the horrifying prospect just a few years ago when discussions were underway to target Franklin as the site in Milwaukee County for a facility to house numerous sexually violent persons.

Busloads of Franklin residents stormed a public hearing at State Fair Park to protest a special state committee’s thought of building the facility. Franklin was considered an ideal location, having the most open space in Milwaukee County.

The loud and strong stand by Franklin residents couldn’t be ignored. The special panel wrapped up its business without recommending any site in Milwaukee County for a sex predator house.

A flurry of activity ensued at the state Capitol. During the 2005 legislative session, Senator Mary Lazich authored Senate Bill 536, a key piece of legislation to kill funding for the facility for sexually violent persons and also disband the special committee assigned to find a location for the facility.

Senate Bill 536 was approved by the legislature and signed into law by the governor. State Senator Lena Taylor, who is running against Scott Walker for Milwaukee County Executive, voted against the bill. Taylor wanted to fund the facility. She wanted it built. She wanted it built in Milwaukee County. She would have had no problem with a facility in Franklin.

Taylor also voiced opposition to sending released sex offenders back to the communities where they came from, the fairest way to deal with sex offenders. Each community should be responsible for its own. Instead, Taylor would prefer locales like Franklin be the dumping ground for Milwaukee‘s criminals.

During the 2005 legislative session, Taylor voted against Assembly Bill 47 that provided there is no statute of limitation for prosecution of first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child. Under the bill, such a prosecution may be brought at any time.

The bill was approved and signed into law. Taylor sided with criminals and voted against the bill.

When she served on a special legislative Council Study Committee on Placement of Sex Offenders, Taylor spoke against requiring more frequent photographs of sex offenders being taken to be placed on the sex offender registry. Taylor argued it would be too difficult for the Department of Corrections. The DA’s, Taylor submitted, wouldn’t have enough time to prosecute offenders who didn’t have their pictures taken.

Taylor suggested that offenders be allowed to mail in their own photographs (like they can be trusted), and that they not be required to meet in person with their probation officer.

As for the tax issue, Taylor has voted with Senate democrats in favor of the largest tax increase in the history of the United States when she voted in favor of the Senate Democrats’ state budget proposal last session.

Franklin voters have a clear choice for Milwaukee County Executive: it’s Scott Walker.

Gableman for state Supreme Court

I plan to vote for Judge Michael Gableman Tuesday in the race for state Supreme Court.

If you want a tough, law and order judge on the Suprme Court, Gableman is the clear choice. Gableman is a former district attorney supported by the Wisconsin Fraternal Order of Police and over 170 police chiefs, sheriffs, district attorneys, and other judges across the state.

Gableman's opponent is Louis Butler, a former public defender who was appointed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Governor Doyle after he lost an election to Diane Sykes for Supreme Court.

The Wisconsin Republican Party says, “Butler's decisions since he has been on the court clearly demonstrate that he has been no friend to law enforcement or crime victims. Butler has cast the deciding vote to reverse murder and sexual assault convictions, suppress evidence in another murder case, limit the ability of the police to investigate crimes and overturn a law that gave prosecutors the ability to block the early release of violent criminals, sex offenders and drug dealers.Butler's votes on the court have clearly made Wisconsin communities less safe and have allowed criminals to escape justice.”

I agree and will be voting for Gableman Tuesday.

Vote YES on the constitutional amendment

The vote is YES Tuesday to amend the state constitution to prevent Wisconsin’s governor from using his broad veto authority to make new words and sentences in the state budget to increase spending never appropriated by the legislature.

Vote YES to end the Frankenstein veto.

Franklin voters, need info?

Here’s great reading material to prep you for the vote this Tuesday, April 1.    
  Find out who's running in the local elections this spring, plus get the latest election stories from Community Newspapers and find out where to vote in our Election 2008 Voters Guide.

Go to Voters Guide

What the "experts" are saying about the Brew Crew

The Milwaukee Brewers open their season Monday in Chicago against the Cubs.

Here are some previews from some of the experts.

Sports Illustrated picks Milwaukee to finish 3rd in the NL Central Division:


"Off-season fixes will aid run prevention. Run generation won't be a problem."

Memo to the baseball blogosphere: Manager Ned Yost doesn't want your help. Same goes for radio jockeys, newspapermen and, for that matter, his mother. "I'm not trying to be Mr. Know-It-All," Yost says, recalling an off-season instance in which Lee Yost passed along an article that suggested some areas of improvement, "but I know where we're going, and I know exactly how to get there."

Where his team was throughout the first four months of last season was in first place in the NL Central. An August swoon (9-18), however, ultimately left Milwaukee two games behind the division-winning Cubs. How did they get there? In large part, according to Yost, because of ineptitude in the field. Despite ranking among the league's top five in runs, homers, slugging and RBIs, the Brewers had the fourth-most errors in the NL. Sabermetrically speaking, in fact, Milwaukee was 28th in the majors in park-adjusted defensive efficiency (the rate at which a team converts balls in play into outs). Slipshod fielding cost the Brewers 44.7 runs -- or about 4.5 wins -- last season, the first since 1992 in which Milwaukee played meaningful games down the stretch.

To fix this, general manager Doug Melvin reshuffled the deck. In January he signed free agent Mike Cameron to a one-year deal to play centerfield, though the three-time Gold Glove winner was suspended for the season's first 25 games because of a positive test for a banned substance. Bill Hall was moved from center to third base, pushing Ryan Braun -- who had the alltime-best slugging percentage for a rookie but also the lowest fielding percentage of any major league player -- to leftfield. There, he'll enjoy the cushion of Cameron's still-considerable range and, Yost hopes, the benefits of simple maturation. Reminds the manager, "Young players develop quicker offensively than defensively."

Those changes will certainly aid Milwaukee's run prevention. Run generation won't be a problem, not only this season but also for years to come. Just ask Pirates lefthander Phil Dumatrait. Last Sept. 9 the first five batters in the Brewers' lineup -- second baseman Rickie Weeks (now 25), shortstop J.J. Hardy (25), Braun (24), first baseman Prince Fielder (23) and rightfielder Corey Hart (25) -- went homer, homer, homer, single, single off Dumatrait, then with the Reds. For the season that group combined for 150 home runs. Fielder blasted 50 homers, making him the youngest ever to hit that many. "We hang out all the time," Braun says of his teammates, "and I think that closeness is one of our biggest advantages as a team."

This year Yost will flip Braun and Fielder in the lineup. As eye-popping as Braun's numbers were, there is one that disturbed Yost: only 29 walks, in 492 plate appearances. "We're trying to get him to be more selective, especially behind Prince. We've talked about it, and he'll be moved out of that four spot if he can't adjust," says Yost, who also batted Braun second in spring training to get his young slugger more at bats.

Alas, the development of homegrown arms will have to catch up to that of the young mashers for the Brewers to take the next step. Only 22, righthander Yovani Gallardo, who had a 3.67 ERA after his June 14 call-up, is a keeper. However, after Gallardo, who will start the season on the DL (arthroscopic knee surgery), and perennially injured Ben Sheets, the most proven starters are the high-contact duo of Jeff Suppan and Dave Bush, both of whom were hit hard in the second half. Righty Carlos Villanueva, 24, and especially lefty Manny Parra, 25, who throws a mid-90s fastball and a big curve, could bolster the rotation. For now, though, they represent a small tweak to a roster that underwent several such improvements this winter, changes that won't be enough to offset the more dramatic moves of the Cubs and the Reds. -- Pablo S. Torre

SI Scouting Reports

-->Click on the team names below for preseason analysis and insight from our SI writers and find out how your favorite team (and your dreaded rival) will fare in 2008.
How They'll Finish
  Team W L GB
1 New York Yankees 94 68 --
2 Boston Red Sox 92 70 2.0
3 Toronto Blue Jays 87 75 7.0
4 Tampa Bay Rays 80 82 14.0
5 Baltimore Orioles 64 98 30.0
1 Detroit Tigers 90 72 --
2 Cleveland Indians 89 73 1.0
3 Chicago White Sox 77 85 13.0
4 Kansas City Royals 73 89 17.0
5 Minnesota Twins 72 90 18.0
1 Los Angeles Angels 87 75 --
2 Seattle Mariners 82 80 5.0
3 Oakland Athletics 75 87 12.0
4 Texas Rangers 72 90 15.0
  Team W L GB
1 New York Mets 91 71 --
2 Philadelphia Phillies 86 76 5.0
3 Atlanta Braves 85 77 6.0
4 Washington Nationals 73 89 18.0
5 Florida Marlins 72 90 19.0
1 Chicago Cubs 91 71 --
2 Cincinnati Reds 87 75 4.0
3 Milwaukee Brewers 85 77 6.0
4 Houston Astros 74 88 17.0
5 St. Louis Cardinals 73 89 18.0
6 Pittsburgh Pirates 70 92 21.0
1 Colorado Rockies 89 73 --
2 Arizona Diamondbacks 88 74 1.0
3 Los Angeles Dodgers 85 77 4.0
4 San Diego Padres 79 83 10.0
5 San Francisco Giants 68 94 21.0
Playoff Predictions
Tigers over Red Sox
Yankees over Angels
Cubs over Diamondbacks
Rockies over Mets
Tigers over Yankees
Cubs over Rockies
Tigers over Cubs


Team Report: Inside Pitch

Inside Pitch
 | Notes and Quotes | Roster Report

The Brewers had several goals entering spring training, with playing better defense and putting together the best rotation possible topping the list.

With newcomer Mike Cameron
in center, Bill Hall shifting to third base and Ryan Braun moving to left field, the Brewers believe their defense has improved. Heading into the final week of the spring, however, the rotation remained something of a riddle.

This much we know: Right-handers Ben Sheets and Jeff Suppan will open in the top two spots in the rotation. The battle for the other three spots was expected to go to the wire, however.

Right-hander Yovani Gallardo was out of the picture immediately after having minor knee surgery. The Brewers hope Gallardo will return to their rotation by mid-April.

Left-hander Chris Capuano was next to drop out of the running, tearing a ligament in his pitching elbow. Capuano, who went his final 18 starts without a team victory in 2007, appears headed for reconstructive surgery and a one-year rehab period.

Then right-hander Claudio Vargas was released, settling the rotation. Right-handers Dave Bush and Carlos Villanueva, plus left-hander Manny Parra, will get the final three spots -- at least until Gallardo is back.

Spring training was a struggle for the double-play combination of shortstop J.J. Hardy and second baseman Rickie Weeks. Hardy was lost for more than a week with an intestinal virus, and Weeks missed nearly as much time with a hand injury.

Yost said he expects Hardy and Weeks to be full-go by Opening Day.

The Brewers used spring training to find a replacement in center for Cameron, who must sit out the first 25 games of the season with a suspension for taking a banned stimulant last year. That choice became an easy one when Tony Gwynn Jr. stepped up and put together one of the best springs of any player.

It could take awhile for the bullpen to settle in. New closer Eric Gagne struggled with his command throughout camp, and setup man Salomon Torres was held back until the late going because of arm soreness. One of the other setup men, Derrick Turnbow, was very erratic, so the revamped relief corps was hardly a fine-tuned machine.

PRIMED FOR A BIG SEASON: 2B Rickie Weeks has been plagued with injuries for two seasons, first his thumb, then a wrist. Finally healthy, Weeks put together a strong finish in 2007, rediscovering his power stroke with nine homers in September and posting an on-base percentage well over .400. Weeks struggled throughout training camp this year, but he's still a player with tremendous offensive upside. He'll bat in the leadoff spot, so the Brewers will count on him to get on base.

ON THE DECLINE: RHP Eric Gagne struggled with his command throughout camp and looked nothing like the dominating closer of a few years back. The Brewers are taking a $10 million gamble on Gagne, so he had better get his act together soon or it could be a rough ride in the early weeks of the season. The Brewers have other choices to go to, such as RHP Derrick Turnbow and RHP Salomon Torres.

Scott Miller's Take

If nothing else, the Brewers ratcheted up expectations last summer -- both their own and those of their fans. Milwaukee stayed in contention into the last week for the first time in years, and though it was a painful end, Ned Yost's team finished above .500 for the first time since 1992. The Brewers set a franchise attendance record. This is a very likable club, and it's about time Milwaukee baseball caught some momentum.
Video Outlook

Few teams can bash with the Brewers. Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun each is a legitimate MVP candidate. Mike Cameron adds a dimension (speed and defense) that this club badly needs -- at least, he'll add it in May when he returns from a suspension for failing baseball's amphetamines test. Rickie Weeks, Bill Hall, J.J. Hardy, Corey Hart ... the bats are here to contend again in '08.

Milwaukee must tighten up its defense -- which is nothing the Brewers don't know already. To that extent, Braun not only moved from third base to left field, his play there exceeded the Brewers' expectations this spring. Hall will be better at third defensively than Braun was. And Fielder, who ranked last among NL first basemen defensively, took hours of ground balls from coach Dale Sveum this spring.

Difference Maker
Ben Sheets. When he's on the mound, the Brewers have a true ace. When he's on the disabled list -- far too often over the past few seasons -- Milwaukee has a big hole in its rotation. The Brewers can hit, we know that. They'll go as far as pitching and defense take them.


We should have known better than to believe the 2007 Brewers were for real. How did this team have 14 more wins than losses on July 1? Best team in the National League? That couldn't last. Ryan Braun was a monster from the minute he was brought up, Prince Fielder has skills, Ben Sheets was healthy, but 47-33? Are you kidding?

The precipitous decline the Brewers suffered, winning only nine games in August and then fighting just to stay above .500 the rest of the way as the Cubs breezed by them, set the stage for the offseason plan, which now appears to be focused at winning this season. Welcome,
Eric Gagne, enjoy the one-year deal. Here comes Mike Cameron to patrol center field on his one-year, um, five-month deal. (He has that 25-game suspension thing, ya know.) The Brewers' figure veterans, especially playing for contracts, will be motivated to stay healthy and productive. The team's defense is better, the bullpen is deeper and the young stars like Braun and Yovani Gallardo are in the majors to stay.

The Brewers are in this thing for the long haul, or at least all six months in 2008. Of course, some of the same problems persist this time around, with the notable exception being Braun's horrific defense at third base. He'll now be doing his
Pat Burrell impression in left field. But is Gagne, who hasn't pitched well in a second-half since seemingly the Reagan administration, a safe closer? Does the lineup have enough punch outside of Braun and Fielder? You can't think J.J. Hardy will do that again! And Mr. Sheets, what ails you today? Hamstring? Blister? Hemorrhoids? C'mon, we know something is going to cause many missed starts, so don't lie to us.

Meet your 2008
Milwaukee Brewers. As "The Who" once yelled, "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss." Just insert the word "Brewers" for "boss."

Ballpark: Milwaukee's Miller Park is pretty neutral in terms of runs scored factor, ranking Nos. 16, 15 and 16 the past three seasons. Tough to get more neutral than that. The Brewers do bring a lot more power to the table than most teams, though it still doesn't push this ballpark toward favoring hitters or pitchers. Despite an unspectacular pitching staff, the Brewers smacked 70 more home runs than opponents in 2007. Don't credit the pitchers, though. Braun and Fielder are legit power hitters who hit 44 of their combined 84 home runs at home. They'll obviously hit 'em anywhere.

Top Sleeper:
Dave Bush. Yeah, yeah, we've been all over this guy for three years now, but the evidence still suggests that Bush has a future in fantasy baseball. A year ago, one had to spend a fairly decent draft pick to get Bush, who was coming off a season in which he had a 1.13 WHIP and showed signs of emerging. OK, so Bush didn't emerge. He went backward, actually. But he's only 28, and the definition of a sleeper, to me, is stealing a player really late in your draft who performs way above expectations. Milwaukee's straight-forward offense doesn't provide anyone like that. One of these years, Bush will figure out how to avoid untimely home runs, improve at pitching from the stretch or whatever his problem has been. Could be 2008.

Intriguing spring battle: Someone has to play center field for the first month while Mike Cameron counts all the money he lost in that potential long-term contract. Cammy will play a very good center field and help fly-ball pitchers like Bush, but he won't do that the first 25 games of the season while he serves a substance-abuse suspension.
Bill Hall is the new third baseman and Braun is safely tucked in left field, so expect one of the team's fourth/fifth outfielders to simply get a lot of extra playing time early -- and a leg up for playing time during the annual Cameron DL stint later in the season. Tony Gwynn Jr. and Gabe Gross would appear to be the logical choices, and Gross is the better player. The left-handed hitter has a respectable .850 OPS against right-handed pitching the past two seasons in Milwaukee … and a grand total of three base hits against southpaws. He's an obvious platoon option, possibly with regurgitated strongman Gabe Kapler.

Trainer's room: The Brewers have a number of important cogs in the machine who just can't seem to stay healthy. Start with Sheets, their 29-year-old ace. The last time Sheets started more than 24 games in a season was 2004. Though he has been effective while averaging 21 starts the past three years, fantasy owners who rely on him as their ace should prepare to be active on the free-agent wire. The positive thing about Sheets' lack of durability, if there is one, is that his injuries haven't been shoulder/elbow related. But by now, we can't simply call his problems mere flukes.

The other Brewer to watch is leadoff man
Rickie Weeks, who has Brandon Phillips-like upside if he could shake his wrist problems. Weeks tantalizes fantasy owners with his potential. He's a low-average batter but has 30/30 capability if you extrapolate his annual 100-game stats over 162 games. The thumb and wrist are supposedly healthy now, so prepare to pay top dollar for Weeks.

Schedule Preview: The Brewers play in a neutral park with what should generally be the same lineup most days, barring injury, so as a fantasy owner, don't expect a different strategy at certain points in the season. The Brewers open and close April with a series at Wrigley Field to play the "team to beat" in their division, then don't visit Wrigley again until mid-September. Expect the Brewers to have something to play for in the final month, and enjoy a 10-game road trip through hitters parks Philly, Chicago and Cincinnati. Well, enjoy it if you have Brewers hitters, not pitchers.

Future closer: The Brewers have three, maybe even four right-handed pitchers on deck in case Eric Gagne falters or can't stay healthy. None of these pitchers are notably young or brimming with potential.
David Riske was given a three-year contract after a solid season in Kansas City, and would seem next in line over wild Derrick Turnbow, rubber-armed Salomon Torres and really wild Seth McClung. Then again, maybe Gagne makes the entire point moot by rediscovering his Cy Young form. Or not.

Backups to watch: The outfield will be relatively deep with Gross, Kapler and Tony Gwynn Jr. around, and Gwynn does offer cheap NL-only speed. Starting catcher
Jason Kendall really can't offer much to fantasy owners, as he hit .242 in 2007 and has a total of four home runs in as many years, but reserve Eric Munson does have pop and could deliver five home runs to NL-only owners. Finally, Bill Hall is the starter at third, but he's coming off a below-average campaign, especially against right-handed pitching. Ageless Craig Counsell didn't hit, either, but does have speed, versatility and a left-handed bat.

Fantasy studs: The Brewers have two of them in the middle of the lineup, as both Braun and Fielder project as second-round picks, or higher. While Braun destroyed left-handed pitching to the tune of a sick 1.480 OPS, Fielder hit 40 home runs mostly against right-handers, so opposing teams won't be able to mix-and-match pitching so well. Don't feel shy about grabbing them earlier if you think they'll up their value by stealing bases. Braun ran in the minors and then swiped 15 bases in 20 attempts with the Brewers, though he was just 2-for-3 in September. If he steals 15 bases this season, be happy.

Prospects to watch for 2008: With future ace Yovani Gallardo already in the rotation for good, the next young arm the Brewers could promote is lefty
Manny Parra, Now fully healthy after rotator cuff surgery in 2005, Parra struck out a batter per inning in 17 starts at two levels of the minors, then helped the Brewers with 26 strong innings. Parra threw a perfect game in his second Triple-A start, and seems ready for the majors now. He's no Sheets; the DL stint in September happened when Parra broke his thumb trying to bunt against the Cubs.

Prospect to watch for the future: While it's uncertain which spot on the diamond Matt LaPorta will eventually play, there's little doubt his bat will be ready for the big leagues soon, possibly late this season. The No. 7 overall draft pick in 2007, LaPorta has big-time power to all fields and has plate discipline, which should lead to high on-base percentages. If a corner outfield spot opens up in 2008, LaPorta could make a Braun-like entrance.

Eric Karabell is a fantasy sports expert for Fantasy.



Franklin mayoral candidate Basil Ryan today signed a pledge to hold the line on taxes if elected Mayor. 

Blogger Fred Keller has the details.

Both Mayor Tom Taylor and Ryan have now signed almost identical pledges.

The developments are significant because both candidates are now on record that they will not submit or support a budget that spends beyond the city’s means.

The pledges are a direct message to the Franklin Common Council that any budget the aldermen craft that contains a 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, or 9% increase in the property tax levy will be a non-starter with the Mayor, regardless who it is.

So the question becomes, if Taylor and Ryan have both signed a similar pledge, now who do I vote for?

Franklin voters must decide who they trust to handle, not only the city finances, but the city in general. I am on record supporting Mayor Taylor though I wrote months ago city leaders can and should be questioned about fiscal matters.

Basil Ryan has raised all the right questions and has also raised discussion about the #1 issue the city faces: taxes.

I’ve had the privilege of working with Mayor Taylor on several issues and based on my experience with the Mayor, he gets my vote Tuesday. I can attest to his devotion and dedication to this community.

Should Ryan win, I would look forward to working with him to make sure his pledge becomes reality.

I'm back on WISN

I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN from 3-6 p.m. this Wednesday and next Monday, April 7.

He's walking a mile for every dead soldier

He wears fatigues and proudly carries a large American flag.

Walking from town to town, he has no money, no place to stay.

Idaho resident, 32-year old Damion Maynard is logging a mile in tribute of every American soldier killed in Iraq.

It’s quite a story, a far cry from the classless Cindy (“This country is not worth dying for”) Sheehan.

Here is a photo gallery of Maynard who recently paid a visit to Wisconsin.

Read more about Maynard here, here, and here.

One year ago, the madness and stupidity ended

One year ago today, April 1, 2007, a new law went into effect in Wisconsin.

Effective one year ago today, in order to obtain a Wisconsin driver's license, you had to show proof that you are a citizen of the United States.

If you want a clear, ugly, and outrageous picture of what conditions were like before that law went into effect, read this eye-opener.

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