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This Just In ...

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

UPDATE: Culinary no-no #105

Culinary no-no's


This past Sunday’s entry dealt with barbecue, specifically the barbecue pork sandwich, or “heaven on a bun” as I referred to it.

The Charlotte Observer reports on a different type of Hog Heaven; are you ready, a new spa barbecue.

The latest from Rehorst

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 21-
Artisan Series Brandy

Some or all of these products can be found in a limited number of places as of 3/25 this includes;


Liquor Stores


Consumer Beverage- Hales Corners
Groppi's- Bayview
Otto's Bayside
Otto's Menomonee Falls
Otto's (Oakland Ave.)
Otto's- Elm Grove
Piggly Wiggly- Wauwatosa
Ray's- Wauwatosa
Sendik's- Wauwatosa
Star Liquor- Madison
Thief Wine Shop -Milwaukee


Bars and Restaurants


Balzac -Milwaukee
Beans and Barley -Milwaukee
Comet Cafe -Milwaukee
Hi-Hat -Milwaukee
Iron Horse Hotel -Milwaukee
Marchese Olive Pit -Milwaukee
Palm Tavern -Bayview
Safe House -Milwaukee
Transfer -Milwaukee

Due to very limited production these are available in Wisconsin only (sorry to our out of state fans).
American Distilling Institute

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


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State buck$ for the Bucks?


*DISCLAIMER: I was and remain a staunch supporter of the approved sales tax to build Miller Park*

The state Building Commission today voted 7-1 in favor of giving $5 million over 10 years to pay for maintenance at the Bradley Center, the home of the Milwaukee Bucks.  Governor Doyle says the 21-year old facility has “"significant maintenance issues."

State Senator Ted Kanavas (R- Brookfield) was the only NO vote. Other legislators on the Building Commission who voted in favor were:

Senator Jeff Plale (D-Oak Creek)

Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison)

Representative Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh)

Representative Spencer Black (D-Madison)

Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah)

Funding must still be approved by the state Legislature.

I love the Bucks and don’t want them moving out of town the way the old Milwaukee Hawks did. And while I wholeheartedly support the tax for Miller Park (I believe we’ve reaped obvious dividends), the stark reality is that sentiment about public funding for sports complexes has dramatically changed since the wild vote in the state Senate on Miller Park led to the end of my dear friend George Petak’s political career.

I’m not sure the public would be receptive to state tax dollars being used to subsidize sports franchises, let alone the mediocre Milwaukee Bucks. We’re not talkin’ Packers or the national pastime here, folks.

And since we’re talking about the Bucks and the team's famed owner, there is this trivial matter to consider…

Franklin decides not to let Uncle Sam fix our roads.....thank God!


Tuesday night, the Franklin Common Council upheld a veto by Franklin mayor Tom Taylor to request federal stimulus money to widen S. 51st Street from Rawson Avenue north to College Avenue. The vote to sustain the veto was 4-2. Aldermen Steve Olson (disappointing, Steve) and Steve Taylor (not surprising, Steve) voted to override the mayor’s veto.

I would like to think that the other four aldermen voted to sustain the mayor’s veto for the right reasons:

1) Neighbors directly affected made a clear and loud stand in opposition.

2) Widening S. 51st Street from Rawson to College (and forgive me if I don’t have engineering degrees sprouting from my armpits) is unnecessary.

3) We should not, aldermen Steve squared, be begging for stimulus money. It is not FREE MONEY!  It is tax money with strings attached. Truthfully, I didn’t expect Alderman (I wish Franklin could be more like La Crosse) Taylor to grasp this, but my friend, Steve O.??? Okay, so we’re at least honest and real. We don’t always have stars in our eyes toward one another.

Sad, but true, when you wave a pot of money in front of all too many politicians’ noses, they can’t help, like Pavlov’s dog,  but go crazy. They’ve just got to have it. The vote prior to last night’s had 5 out 6 Franklin alderman more than happy to stick their hands out to Uncle Sam begging, “Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme.” I’m happy with last night’s vote, but I’m not satisfied the outcome came about for the right reasons.

Which leads me, finally, to the real motivation behind this blog. The whole idea of the magic stimulus is that somehow, the federal government, blowing wads of money WE DON’T HAVE will fix everything, and I mean everything, starting with our roads.

Oh, really.

Award winning ABC News correspondent and columnist John Stossel has another view that I concur with. Read it here.

And there’s more here.

HAPPY ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY, FRANKLIN!


It was one year ago today.

April 1, 2008.

Voters went to the polls in the spring elections in Franklin, and they narrowly ousted two incumbent Franklin aldermen.

Franklin blogger Greg Kowalski, that great political analyst, if not linguist, dubbed it, “A New Day.” He was later joined by others with access to a computer who somehow saw the oh-so-close election results as a mandate from the people and a cause for ticker tape parades.

It was as if Charleston Heston himself had appeared on Rawson Avenue and with a wave of his arm cradling the certified election results set in stone by City Clerk Sandi Wesolowski had cleansed the city of all its ills and troubles.

Oh, sing with me, brothers and sisters!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

HALLELUJAH!

So, what have we accomplished, New Dayers? What gives us pause to look back, reflect and see where we have come?

Oh, New Day in Franklin, let me count the ways:


1) There is no, none, zero, nada, zilch contention in city of Franklin politics.

2) Franklin Common Council meetings are a cacophony of melodious harmony, a symphony of simpatico soliloquy. (Can’t you just hear Kowalski scrambling to find his Funk and Wagnalls?)

3)  Every vote by the Franklin Common Council is now a deliriously wonderful 6-0 tally.

4) There is no longer a reason to have citizen comment periods before each Common Council meeting because no one in the 53132 zip code has any complaints.

5) Fred Keller can spend more time at home writing blogs to build up the Franklin community because he no longer has to attend meetings and interrupt other speakers and say that he’s PO’d and tell Franklin Citizen of the Year Caspar Green to shut up and mumble and grumble while he takes notes and count how many times aldermen roll their eyes (God, he’s talented).

6)  Since Franklin’s troubles are over, Janet Evans no longer has to attend meetings and lovingly stare at Alderman Steve Taylor as she records each and every word he utters and then tell us over and over about how she goes to every meeting and records them (VOTE FOR ME) on her blog. (Gee, I wonder if Steve will return the favor when she’s on the school board. I mean, think about it. Who, by golly, will do the Janet Evans podcast?).

7) Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch will no longer have to blog that Franklin blogger Greg Kowalski makes up stuff on his blog because Kowalski will no longer make up stuff on his blog because everything’s hunky dory in Franklin.

8) There is no longer any need to even discuss road repairs because the New Day has resulted in no potholes, no need of fixes, etc.

9) That Franklin Cultural Center? Coming along beautifully isn’t it?

10)   Ditto the Fountains of Franklin at 56th and Rawson. No need to get lawyers or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel involved. Nobody’s complained except little ol’ me, so everything must be just dandy. We should be shopping there, oh, I’d say about the time I’m ready for Social Security.

11)   Hey, can’t forget  property taxes. My, oh my have they plummeted or what!

12)    And the best reason why the New Day has been SOOOOOOOOOOO successful in its first year in Franklin?

The biggest problem we’ve got is all those damn dogs running around without leashes!

Cue the King….



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STOP THE PRESSES!


Obama breaks a tax pledge.

How big is Obama's ego?


Big.

I'm a big fan, so...


God bless and good luck, Natalie.


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Left-wing hooligans on the loose


Brilliant column by Andrew Breitbart:

"
A digital war has broken out, and the conservative movement is losing. Read the comment sections of right-leaning blogs, news sites and social forums, and the evidence is there in ugly abundance. Internet hooligans are spewing their talking points to thwart the dissent of the newly-out-of-power.

Political leftists play for keeps. They are willing to lie, perform deceptive acts in a coordinated fashion and do so in a wicked way - all in the pursuit of victory."

How true.

More cheesecake!


A few weeks ago, I blogged that Cheesecake Factory was asking you to vote for the next cheesecake flavor.

The votes are in.



If the Final Four comes down to free throws...


And it just might
, the Tar Heels have the advantage. Here are the free-throw shooting percentages of this year’s teams in the Final Four:


1. UNC 76.4

2. Villanova 74.6

3. Michigan State 69.1

4.  UConn 67.7

Is this what it takes?


A new anti-smoking ad is being criticized for going too far.

I have to chuckle when the anti-smoking crusaders bellyache that we just have to, we absolutely must have more education.

Education about what? Is there anyone, from small child on who doesn't understand that smoking is unhealthy?

I don't think the new ad goes too far but it's pretty sad that an adult parent has to be hammered over the head with such a strategy that he/she should be able to grasp on his/her own without the aid of television.


I would love to help, but first, your photo ID...


Governor Doyle has vetoed legislation requiring photo ID to vote, not once, not twice, but three times. Because as we all know, it would be such an insurmountable order to go out and get an ID for something as trivial as going to the polls.

Over on The Right View Wisconsin, Amy Geiger-Hemmer has a great blog that makes the photo ID opponents look even more foolish.

No privacy, or decency left at airports


It’s bad enough that clueless TSA employees, most of whom I’m sure have never taken a Dale Carnegie course, harass babies and octogenarians in wheelchairs. Now technology is allowing them to see more of you than at a visit to the doctor.

Whole body scanners are being used at some American airports. Could Mitchell International be next?

This is nothing new, having been done overseas and here.  So the hassles continue, all in the name of security that I, of course, support.

But what next? Why don’t they just ask us all to get naked?


Remember Ward Churchill?


He's the fortunate recipient of an idiotic jury. Thank God the award was as small as it was.


In case you forgot...


Photos

Tonight on InterCHANGE


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


1 – AUTO INDUSTRY.

Is it right for the government to force the resignation of the top manager, in exchange for a bailout from the taxpayers?  Is it detrimental to have Obama suggest that bankruptcy might be the best available option?  Will the union workers end up taking a major hit, and will that turn the unions against Obama?  Should the government be guaranteeing the car warranties of a private entity?  How will this force the auto industry to change?


2 – STATE D.P.I. RACE

Does Rose Fernandez have any chance of beating Tony Evers for the position of State Superintendent of Public Instruction?  Is Evers simply a tool of the teachers union?  Why have they given him so much money?   Does it really matter who holds that position?  How could it affect the Milwaukee Public Schools?


3 – BREWERS.

Last year the Brewers made the playoffs for the first time in 26 years.  Will it happen again, or are we in for another long wait.  Are Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder enough to carry this team?  Is the new manager the right guy for the job?  Will we be better than the Cubs?  Who says we’re in a recession…they’ve already sold nearly two million tickets!  What do you think most fans are expecting?


UPDATE: There wil not be a repeat broadcast on Sunday. I'm not sure why, but knowing public television, it probably has something to do with begging for money.

The faces of the Democrat Party

This February 15, 2008 file photo shows then Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich during a press conference at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was indicted April 2, 2009 on federal corruption charges alleging "pervasive fraud" after he purportedly tried to sell Barack Obama's vacant US Senate seat. Blagojevich, 52, was charged with 16 felony counts, including racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud, extortion conspiracy, attempted extortion and making false statements to federal agents, the Justice Department said.

 US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi listens during a press conference prior to the budget vote with the Democratic leadership on April 2, 2009 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC.

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That is one helluva forecast


I’ve never met WTMJ-TV meteorologist Craig Koplien. I’m sure he’s a swell guy. All those weather people are. But, c’mon, Craig. You can do better than this.

Back in February, I chided Koplien in the comments section of this blog for not being decisive in his forecast.

He’s doing it again today. Hell, I can go on TV and make that kind of proclamation.

“IT MAY SNOW A LOT THIS WEEKND......... OR NOT.”

No wonder people are running out and stocking up on Wonder bread.

Can’t you see Koplien in a sports bar?

“I think the Bucks will make the playoffs. Unless, of course, they don’t."

“Hey, Craig, great insight, but what about those Brewers?”

“Glad you asked. My prediction is they will win their division, if the Cubs, Astros and Reds don’t."

Brilliant.

Coming up Saturday on This Just In...


Are you up early Saturday morning?  Check out our weekly installment of The Barking Lot.

Jennifer is still out on maternity leave, so I'm walking this blog.

Saturday, we'll explore one writer's rather interesting theory that dogs divide us humans into two very distinct camps. The theory has a Franklin angle that we'll get into.

Also, DOGS IN THE NEWS and our accurate and reliable dog-walking forecast, Saturday, in The Barking Lot.



You probably don't recognize this woman...




But she did something that warrants a mention on my weekly blog, Week-ends.

Find out Saturday.

God bless you, Melodie Wilson


I was stunned and saddened to hear the news that former WTMJ-TV anchor Melodie Wilson's health is deteriorating. I had the pleasure of working with Melodie at WTMJ. She and her husband were always very kind to me and I'll never forget that.

Please join me in praying for Melodie and wishing her and her family the very best.

A very touching story and video from Channel 12.

Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend

It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of theis work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, smooth covers.

In 1968, Young Holt Unlimited had a major hit with Soulful Strut. The name of the artist and title may not be familiar, but the melody certainly is. Ramsey Lewis also recorded the instrumental as did the late Grover Washington Jr. in 1996. Here's Washington Jr's cover...



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The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:    Mostly sunny. High of 45. That's about average for this time of year. "C"

SUNDAY
:  Windy with a mix of rain and snow. High of 35. No good. "F"


*JENNIFER IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE AND WILL RETURN TO THE Barking Lot AT A LATER DATE*


Earlier this year, I blogged that Franklin alderman Steve Taylor has proposed an ordinance to require that all dogs off their owner’s premises be on a leash. The proposal comes as the idea of a Franklin dog park is being floated around. Taylor’s plan would put the kibosh on any dog park discussions.

I’m on record that the alderman’s proposal is silly and unnecessary and somewhere in the gopher’s basement when it comes to our city’s priorities.

I raise Alderman Taylor’s proposal again, not to make fun (seriously) but because I was reminded of the idea once more while perusing newspapers from around the country.

Here in southeastern Wisconsin, where winters are 16 months long, we have no spring, and summer is gone in the blink of an eye, the prospect of a dog park where canines can romp freely with reckless, joyful abandon has tremendous appeal.  A dog park creates and instills great warmth and a strong sense of community. I, for one, fail to see anything to fear or the need to call out the National Guard.

A dog at a dog park. Free to run. Unleashed. My goodness, gracious.

DEAR, GET ME THE NUMBER FOR CITY HALL!!!

Because the good Lord didn’t put us far enough south and didn’t place us near some of the world’s largest bodies of water, we are relegated to dream about dog parks.

To us beer guzzling, brat stuffing fools, the notion of a dog beach is rather foreign or at least California-like (and that could be the very same thing). But that’s exactly where the idea of a dog beach is as common as eating four scoops of custard on a summer night is to us.

With all due respect to West Allis, Cudahy, South Milwaukee, Sheboygan, Potosi, and Platteville, the most beautiful city in the entire continental United States could very well be San Diego.

San Diego was carved out of an artistic masterpiece. The sun shines 400 days out of the year, the average high everyday is 73 degrees, and the average low every night is 72.8. Humidity is non-existent.

When you’re not looking, birds land on your fingertips and chirp Broadway show tunes. Restaurants don’t make entrees, they produce nirvana. There are no ugly buildings. They’re against the law. Gorgeous blondes are tall, tan, and good looking……and that’s just the guys.

In San Diego, California, good ol’ US of A, they leave talk of dog parks for places like, well, you know. Dog parks are so pedestrian. A dog beach? That’s the ticket.

A column this week by Logan Jenkins in the San Diego Union-Tribune caught my attention, not just because of the dustup I caused on my blog recently about Steve Taylor’s fido folly, but by the column’s rather fascinating, and I believe, truthful account of how humans view dogs.

It’s Jenkins’ contention that, “Dogs divide humankind into warring halves. Never the twain shall meet.”

I can never let Jenkins meet my wife, Jennifer. The two, based on their adulation for dogs, would probably run off together to Pago Pago.

Jenkins has a theory that ties in with this whole discussion I raised about the proposed Franklin ordinance. To simplify: you either adore dogs and place them on the food chain above humans, or the very sight of them sends you into a hypochondriac panic.

(God, is this good stuff, or what? I might never give this blog back to Jennifer!)

In his column that I will link to shortly, Jenkins writes magnificently about the Felix Unger attitude about dogs. It is priceless stuff.

Words of caution to these folks: Dog park? Real easy.

Just……….




stay…..



away.



That way…..




you will not …….




go into………




cardiac arrest.




Go home.




Feed your goldfish.




Take your Diovan.




If that doesn’t work, call City Hall.




Guaranteed.....




there will be at least one elected official or bureaucrat ready and willing to say….




THERE OUGHTA BE A LAW.




Read dog lover Logan Jenkins’ column.


The previous Barking Lot blog has been brought to you by Kevin Fischer while his lovely wife, Jennifer enjoys some time off to take care of beautiful Kyla Fischer, born on March 25, 2009. Jennifer will return at a later date.


Now it's time for......

DOGS IN THE NEWS.....Canines that made headlines the past week.

You've seen and read all the stories about the devastating floods in nearby North Dakota, the rescuers handling people in desperate need of help. What about the dogs?

Read the amazing story of Tracy Lindsey.

This was quite the bombshell. PETA, according to a consumer group, killed 95% of its adoptable pets in its care last year.

HSUS =PETA

A World War II dog hero's medal is going up for auction.

Thou shalt not kill because your neighbor doesn't like your dog barking.

Over the past few months on The Barking Lot, we've blogged about the impact of the economy on pets. Don't kid yourself. They feel it, too.

When do pets act their cuddliest? Take a guess. It's no surprise.

Here's an issue that has popped up over and over again, this time in the Aloha State: Should dogs (the answer is yes) be allowed to go into schools (yes, yes, yes) to sniff out drugs?

Time magazine asks the following question...

OK, can you really blame this naughty dog for taking the wheel into its own hands?

Thank you, Colorado State University!!

Well isn't this a bite in the ass??!!

Finally we express our sadness at the passing of Victoria Wellens, the executive director of the Wisconsin Humane Society.

Week-ends

Week-ends


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...


HEROES OF THE WEEK


American Civic Association receptionist.......UPDATE


Carnegie Hero Medal Award Winners


McDonald's


Creative folks


Dick Golembiewski


Melodie Wilson


Matt Steven


Carl Smith


Goran Suton


Tiffara Steward...



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Paul Ryan rips Obama budget

From The Hill:

“Put simply: the Democrats’ budget spends too much, taxes too much, and borrows too much from our kids and their kids," Ryan said. "Their budget puts all the sacrifice on future generations. It makes no tough choices. It’s only tough on our children and grandchildren."


Watch Ryan's address....


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Every cent you make

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UNC is very lucky...


That this didn't turn out to be more disastrous, or they probably wouldn't be in the Final Four.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).


Financial industry paid millions to Obama aide

"Lawrence Summers, the top economic adviser to President Obama, earned more than $5 million last year from the hedge fund D. E. Shaw and collected $2.7 million in speaking fees from Wall Street companies that received government bailout money, the White House disclosed Friday in releasing financial information about top officials."


Europe's giddiness ease a bit for President O-BA-MA

"Barack Obama is back in Europe. Only this time, he's president. On the Continent, the giddiness on display last summer, when 200,000 turned out to hear candidate Obama give a speech in Berlin, has subsided as the weight of the economic crisis unfolds."


Rejecting aid, one governor irks his own

"For a millionaire, Gov. Mark Sanford has a reputation for frugality that borders on the extreme.Former employees say he has been known to require his staff to use both sides of a Post-it note. When Mr. Sanford was a congressman, he slept on a futon in his office and returned his housing allowance. And when, after he moved into the Governor’s Mansion here, tax collectors declared his family’s home on Sullivan’s Island a secondary residence subject to a higher tax rate, he appealed and won. Now, with his threat to refuse more than $700 million in federal money to stimulate the economy, Mr. Sanford’s contrarian streak is taking him from South Carolina, which is second only to Michigan in unemployment, to the national stage."


Wisconsin's transformational governor

"Wisconsin enters the age of Obama with a governor who is exactly on the same page with the new president.  Governor Doyle has been building the foundation for the expansive government that will be needed to carry out Obama’s transformational agenda. What’s that you say, the media is full of stories about upcoming cuts state government?   Well check the facts."


Obama census plan: No illegal alien left behind

"The immediate agenda of the left-wing census volunteer groups: freezing immigration raids. The long-term goal: Exploiting the massive population of illegal aliens to redraw the political map and secure a permanent ruling majority."


Why Obama is losing a faith

"Among Catholics as a whole, his (Obama's) disapproval rating jumped 14 points. And among white, non-Hispanic Catholics, the figure doubled -- from 20 percent to 41 percent. Catholics are having second thoughts, but it could get much worse. If the president and Congress are not careful on several issues, these concerns could open a major rift between the Catholic Church and the Democratic Party."


Our problem is immorality

"Most of our nation's great problems, including our economic problems, have as their root decaying moral values. Whether we have the stomach to own up to it or not, we have become an immoral people left with little more than the pretense of morality."


Spend it in Vegas or die paying taxes

"Today in America you can take your after-tax income and go to Las Vegas and carouse, gamble, drink and smoke, and as far as our government is concerned that's just fine. But if you take that same after-tax income and leave it to your children and grandchildren, the government will tax that after-tax income one additional time at rates up to 55%."


Learning from dummies

"For years, we've heard advice about the glaringly self-evident ills of excessive drinking and drug use. Fine. But because I already have a wife, two daughters and 3,000 years of guilt to keep me perpetually harassed, the last thing I want to see popping up on TV is my 'green'  governor -- who lives in a mansion on the taxpayers' dime -- scolding me about the temperature reading of my thermostat."


'Grandfamilies' come under pressure

"Today, more and more children are being raised by their grandparents. These grandparents provide a crucial safety net, allowing children whose parents can't provide for them to remain in families, instead of winding up as wards of the state. But as the recession hits 'grandfamilies,' that safety net is under stress."


The Obama-Matic (TM) Content-free Euphemism Generator

"Sometimes you just have to hand it to the Obama administration.  What better way to signal a new beginning than to rename the boring old War on Terror as the Overseas Contingency Operation?"


And finally,

Death by DMV

Dog lovers of Franklin, unite!


The agenda for the April 7, 2009 meeting of the Franklin Common Council is out and item G-17 is Alderman Steve Taylor’s wacky proposal to put all dogs and cats on leashes.

I referenced Alderman Taylor’s proposal in today’s Barking Lot.

I suggest respectfully calling your alderman and expressing your opinion on this matter. Alderman Wilhelm, you know how I feel. I'd be interested to hear any feedback you receive.

Here are my previous blogs on Alderman Taylor’s proposed ordinance:


How about this, Franklin dog lovers...


Put a leash on this dog of an idea


This is always worth a read.

The Super Bowl is Sunday


I’ve seen the opera, and the symphony, and the ballet, and Broadway plays and musicals and have attended numerous lectures.

But being the diverse chap I am, I also enjoy polkas, roller derby, and the only true, honest, legitimate sport left in the world, professional wrestling.

My grandfather loved pro wrestling. (Come to think of it, he also liked tuna on his pizza).

So, naturally, his two sons, my dad and my uncle also loved the action in the squared circle, and my brother and I also would gather around the TV to watch Roger Kent announce every week another edition of …


“ALL-STAR WRESTLING! 60 MINUTES OF THE WORLD’S FINEST MAD ACTION!”






















TV wrestling fans in the Midwest saw matches sanctioned by the American Wrestling Association, founded by Wally Karbo and Verne Gagne and based out of Minnesota. Gagne, an outstanding amateur wrestler, also was the AWA’s longtime heavyweight champion.

The AWA boasted a huge stable of stars, including Milwaukee’s Reggie Lisowski, aka The Crusher.

My dad and I often went to see the matches at the old Auditorium. If a card was really popular, it would be staged at the Milwaukee Arena. The best bouts I ever saw in person were a tag match between the Crusher and Dick the Bruiser against the Vachon brothers, Maurice (Mad Dog) and Paul (The Butcher), and a heavyweight title match between champion Gagne and challenger Eduardo Carpentier.

In the tag match, Crusher and Bruiser and the Vachon's just about mauled each other before the favorites, Crusher and Bruiser pulled out the victory.

Carpentier, a very popular and tremendous tactical wrestler from France, had Gagne all tied up in knots throughout their match, but Gagne turned the tide late with three flying head scissor moves, the last resulting in a pin. Carpentier held Gagne’s championship belt and kissed it before turning it over to the champ. Such good sportsmanship would never play out in today’s pro wrestling world where there is always a distinct, clear cut, hero-villain scenario.

The AWA was one of several regional pro wrestling leagues that operated independently, never interfering with one another. Then along came Vince McMahon of the World Wrestling Federation. He turned pro wrestling into a nationwide event, or sports entertainment as it’s now called. After time, the AWA’s could no longer compete and dissolved. Gagne’s league that began in 1960 pulled the plug in 1991.

Today, McMahon’s WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, stands alone as the lone wrestling powerhouse on the globe.

Sunday, the WWE celebrates the 25th anniversary of its biggest annual event, Wrestlemania, the Super Bowl of pro wrestling.

Laugh if you will at these clownish behemoths in tights, but their popularity is immense.

I recall the day of the very first Wrestlemania. I was working that Sunday morning in the newsroom of WUWM. At the time, WUWM carried a Sunday magazine news program from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) that was every bit as elitist as National Public Radio.

So you can imagine how stunned I was while working in the newsroom, monitoring our on-air signal to hear the snobby CBC devoting nearly a half hour of that hour’s broadcast to the premiere of Wrestlemania.

The CBC must have known something because Wrestlemania has gotten bigger and bigger every year.

In the early years, fans had to purchase tickets to see the matches via closed circuit on a huge screen at a local arena or auditorium. Not anymore. It's strictly pay-per-view in the warm confines of your or a friend's living room.

Read more about Wrestlemania here, and then watch this retrospective piece.



Read more

As the baseball season gets ready to start...


This is tough to see:


CC Sabathia, Baseball, New York Yankees

Is it time to trade Prince Fielder?


That’s what Milwaukee should do, according to SI.com in its preview of the 2009 Brewers.

Here are more scouting reports on the Brew Crew:

Fox Sports

CBS Sports

Is anyone, other than a local writer or fan picking Milwaukee to win the NL central?

Nope.

UPDATE: The Super Bowl is Sunday


* DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG DEALS WITH PRO WRESTLING AND ONE OF ITS FEMALE STARS. IT WILL HAVE PHOTOS OF THE YOUNG WOMAN. SHE IS NOT DRESSED LIKE A TYPICAL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL TEACHER. DO WE UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER? TRUST ME, IT IS ALL IN THE PROPER CONTEXT*

I’ve read where one of the first, if not the original of the World Wrestling Entertainment divas, Sunny will appear at Sunday’s Wrestlemania.

I have to relate my story of my experience with Sunny.

My career has given me the great fortune of interviewing the gamut of individuals, and that includes pro wrestlers and the scantily clad women who escort them to the ring, once referred to as valets, now called, divas.

I just say VA-VA-VA-VOOM.

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) It's wonderful to see citizens getting involved in local issues

2) Photos of the Week (3/29/09) 

3) BEWARE what local candidates are suddenly now saying

4) What you can do about sexting

5) Culinary no-no #105

Photos of the Week (4/5/09)

Photos of the Week



A gunman invaded an immigration services center in downtown Binghamton, N.Y., during citizenship classes on Friday and shot 13 people to death and critically wounded 4 others before killing himself. The killing began around 10:30 a.m. and was over in minutes, witnesses said, but the ordeal lasted up to three hours for those trapped inside the building of the American Civic Association, which offers citizenship classes, immigration assistance, personal counseling, family reunification and interpreters. Left, New York State Police officers in an image from television.Photo: WBNG/CNN, via Agence France-Presse


 

After surrounding the building and waiting, officers, who had not fired a shot, closed in and found a sprawl of bodies, 37 terrified survivors and the dead gunman, identified as Jiverly Wong, 42, a Vietnamese immigrant who lived in nearby Johnson City.Photo: Rebecca Catlett/Associated Press


Read more

Cool!


Very cool!

North Dakota is no Katrina


Last June, the astute blogger at Right from the Right, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, nailed it about the media coverage of the Iowa floods:

I have yet to see the telecast of the Governor of Iowa's press conference crying on TV and blaming GWB for not saving them.

I have not seen the coverage of all the mayors of all the towns in Iowa that are completely flooded on TV complaining about the lack of help of the federal government.

In fact, I think this coverage is racist.

All we have are newspaper stories and nightly news reports of people working together and trying to save their towns.

The media has not reported on all the looting and shootings going on in Iowa right now.”

Tom McMahon, via Little Miss Sunshine has a similar post about the rough weather in North Dakota:

1. We don't see looting. 

2. We don't see street violence. 

3. We don't see people sitting on their rooftops waiting for the government to come and save them.”

How true.  Here’s the rest of the list.

And here come the race cards.


Pictures from the North Dakota and Minnesota floods:

85570362SO149_NORTH_DAKOTA_
 

Staff

Read more

The MJS Scorecard (4/5/09)

MJS Scorecard


EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK  BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.


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


TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES

Barack Obama: We must save auto industry 

Not the way you want to, sir!


Another View:  All-year school isn't the answer; letting teachers do their jobs is

The head of the MTEA hopes stimulus money will improve teachers. HUH???


Businesses should back greater unionization 


TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

Ted Kanavas: Smaller, better school districts 


Steven Bergin: Why we sued state over patient fund 

Correctly criticizes the raiding (by Governor Doyle) of the Patients Compensation Fund


William D. Balgord: ObamaCare? Learn from Britain 


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

John Gurda: Here, Socialism meant honest, frugal government 



MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-3

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-30, Conservative-26

"Dirty, smelly, grimy, feral, liberal activists"


Regular readers of This Just In know that irreverent Doug Giles is one of my favorite columnists. Giles is as subtle as a blowtorch to the face.

His latest column had me in stitches as he lowers the boom on all those goons who protested at the G-20 summit in London. Here’s a sample:

Yes, it was quite the freak show last week in Londonistan. The dirty, smelly hyper-activists were smashing the windows of banks, businesses and homes, spitting in cops’ faces, tossing Molotov cocktails at people and property while donning the requisite black-hooded sweatshirts, matching bandanas, face masks and mirrored sunglasses. Y’know, to me nothing screams ‘I own my beliefs’ like anonymity. Grimy, malodorous little wussies.”

Personally, I love that line about anonymity.

Oh, there’s more. A lot more. And it’s good.




 

Read more

Hey, Kev, what is Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor up to now?


I’m glad you asked. Let’s check it out because Alderman Taylor has demonstrated an incredible ability to have the utmost priorities on his mind.

A look at the agenda for Monday night’s Franklin Committee of the Whole meeting shows Alderman Taylor is proposing the following:

The Franklin Common Council President should preside over the Committee of the Whole meetings (Currently, the mayor does).

Lo and behold, who just happens to be the current Franklin Common Council President? Why it’s…………….Alderman Taylor!

(Hey, Steve, you were hoping I wouldn't read the agendas this weekend, weren't cha? Then there's that whole doggie mess, too).

Granted, this isn’t the most provocative issue to pop up in Franklin where acrimony and controversy completely ended April 1, 2008 when two new aldermen, including Taylor, were elected and the ensuing New Day solved everything, I mean everything. This is actually pretty ho hum stuff, a parliamentary procedural matter that will be interesting to no one outside City Hall, save maybe yours truly.

I find it interesting that Taylor would request the change and not one of the other five aldermen. That's very revealing.

Sounds like a power grab to me.

I’d love to hear Alderman Taylor’s explanation as to why he wants to take away this mayoral authority and give it to himself.  Is there some compelling reason why the change is necessary? Will city government be improved immensely if the Common Council President gets to run these committee meetings as opposed to Hizzoner?

As I have posed in writing in the past, what other surprises (SMOKING BAN, SMOKING BAN!)  does Steve (I wish Franklin could be more like La Crosse) Taylor have in store?

Culinary no-no #106

Culinary no-no's


Ponder the following.

Suppose you take......






And combine them with.....






Is that good or bad?

Now don't think too hastily. Again, you've got....






And you toss in some of these...






The conventional practice for growing table grapes for quite some time has been to utilize spiders as an alternative to risky pesticides to ward off many other intrusive insects and mites.

Can you guess where this is headed? You got it…..arachnophobia in the supermarket.

If that sounds like some myth that would be debunked on snopes.com, it’s not. The threat is very real and has been discovered in America and elsewhere.

As the demand by consumers for organic fruits and vegetables has increased, so has the use of spiders in vineyards to prey on creepy crawlers that might kill crops.

There seems to be agreement among industry experts that the combination of grapes and spiders works. But it’s not foolproof.

Most vineyard predators are spiders, but an increasing number of those spiders are the black widow variety. That’s black widow as in dangerous, even fatal. What’s more, as powerful as black widow spiders are, they do little, if anything to protect grapes.

As Gourmet Magazine points out, one Internet grocer actually cautions would-be purchasers that their grapes might have cobwebs. The yucky factor is starting to impact the California grape trade.

The grape industry claims it’s been spending millions and trying to cope with the black widow dilemma since the 1990’s. For now, there are few answers except that greater care is needed during packaging. Inspectors can’t catch them all, so spiders in grapes at the supermarket isn’t some phony scare. And if there’s a cutback on pesticides, we’ll be told other bugs will turn up.

What does that mean to you, the consumer? As Gourmet Magazine writes:

“As organic produce becomes more prevalent and the amount of chemical pesticides and insecticides on farms is reduced, it’s almost certain that more insects will show up on food—both in the fields and on the shelves.”

I think I’ll just pass on the grapes in a bag and stick to jam on my morning toast.


CULINARY NO-NO BONUS

What’s definitely out this Easter when it comes to candy? The Journal Sentinel this weekend reports, “Retro flavors such as horehound, anise, peppermint, sassafras and black licorice.” Also, “exotic chocolate flavors such as jalapeño, chipotle and curry, and sugar-free candies.”

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this weekend...

ELVIS


D.J. Fontana and Bill Black

Kevin Fischer's Official Voting Guide for Tuesday's elections


It’s that time again: spring elections during an odd-numbered year when the vast majority of people who have the phenomenal right to vote opt instead to stay home, eat pizza, argue with their spouses, and watch Family Guy reruns.

Editorial boards all across the state will trot out their obligatory, unoriginal, boring lectures about how it’s your duty to vote. Yankee Doodle. George Washington. Involvement in your government. Apple pie. Your mom. Etc, etc, etc.

I’m on record more than a few times on this blog that I totally disagree with the theory that the more people who vote the better. No way. Insert one word. The more informed people who vote the better. Now you’re talkin’. Because I will say what the editorial writers in their ivory towers won’t, that there are just too damn many folks who have no business voting. And that’s ok. If they go to Chuck E. Cheese instead of the polls, that’s not a bad thing.

When my tooth hurts, I don’t call a plumber. When an election is to be decided, I’d prefer a voter expended a modicum of sweat and brain power on the decision.

Besides, if 80-90% of voters stay home Tuesday, the power of the people who do vote is dramatically increased.

So here goes. Here is my voter’s guide for the April 7, 2009 elections:
 

 
  • If you don’t know when Election Day is, when it does finally arrive, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you don’t know where to vote and don’t have the slightest idea of how to find out where you vote, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you don’t know who’s on your School Board, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think the best form of education is the tried and true, one-size fits all public school system that has worked so well (i.e. MPS) and do not believe in other alternatives like choice or voucher or online schools, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you heard your child say that his/her teacher really likes a candidate and you’re thinking of voting for that candidate, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think school taxes are too low, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re thinking about voting for someone just because they have a blog (and bloggers are really cool, especially those that get a new glamour shot just before the election), please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think your child would be doing much better in class if only there were but 10 students in the room and his/her teacher was paid $80,000/year, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think Johnny’s band class is more important than reading, writing or arithmetic, please don’t vote.
   
  • If you’re going to vote for someone because you saw his/her yard sign, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for someone because you think his/her website is really cool, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for someone simply because you like that person’s thirty-second TV spot, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for someone because you saw his/her ad 30 times as compared to the opponent’s ad 3 times, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for the incumbent only because you think he/she has experience, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for the challenger only because you think it’s time for a change, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you haven’t read a single newspaper story or blog or haven’t heard or seen any radio or TV talk shows or news stories about the elections, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for someone simply because your spouse is voting that way, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’re going to vote for or against someone strictly because of the way he/she looks, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’ve never contacted a local official on any issue and then complained about something he/she did after the fact, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think we don’t spend enough on schools and need to spend a whole lot more, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you voted for the Franklin $78 million referenda during April 2007, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think taxes are too low, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you have never heard of the DPI, please don’t vote.
 
  • Did you know Wisconsin has a state Supreme Court? You didn’t? Please don’t vote.
 
  • Are you thinking of voting for someone who said we must maintain the quality of education while exercising fiscal responsibility? (It’s a liberal trying to come off as a conservative). Please don’t vote.
 
  • Do you think teachers that have to work from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m, every day from September-mid June have it really tough? Please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think we don’t spend enough on schools and need to spend a whole lot more, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think taxes are too low, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you think the wealthy who have worked hard all their lives and have built successful businesses and create jobs but don’t pay enough taxes, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you believe those who don’t pay taxes and don’t work should be compensated by higher taxes on the wealthy, please don’t vote.
  
  • If you think the answer to teen pregnancy is to hand out more condoms in classrooms, please don’t vote.
  
  • If MSNBC is your favorite cable channel, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you cheer for Joel McNally on Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you absolutely can’t stand my blog but just can’t stay away and feel the need to check in numerous times each and every day, please don’t vote.
 
  • If you’ve ever had a dream about light rail, please don’t vote.
  
  • If anyone in your family voted for FDR four times, please don’t vote.
    
  • If you think your vote won’t matter anyway, please don’t vote.
 
  • If any of these points had you fuming and fussing and yelling at the computer, please don’t vote.

 

  • If you intend to vote for the bona fide, authentic conservative of your choice, then by all means, please do vote.

Nuts at the state Capitol


Peanuts that is.

Some feel that peanuts are too dangerous, so they are asking that feeding of squirrels on the state Capitol Building grounds stop.

Here is an e-mail that was sent today from a Department of Administration official to state capitol workers:


Good afternoon:

I write to thank you for taking time to talk and for agreeing to spread the word about our concern with distributing peanuts on the Capitol Park grounds. We regard the Capitol Building as everyone’s Capitol and, I am sure you are aware; the grounds see literally hundreds of visitors daily. With the nice weather coming, we are especially concerned for the many young children who visit the grounds and for the general health and safety of all visitors.

Peanut allergies are common and especially so in young children. Reactions range from mild irritation to anaphylaxis according to information on the Mayo Clinic website. The CDC website has a good overview of the problem at this page. We will soon have regular visits from our youngest citizens and we are anxious to get the word out about peanut allergies.

Recently, someone about which I am told, comes from the doors at 1 E. Main Street, carpets the ground beneath the trees opposite 1 E. Main Street on the park grounds with peanuts. We are trying to get word to whoever, their concern for feeding the squirrels, is creating a much greater hazard to those visitors with allergies.

We’d like the distribution of peanuts stopped.

I’d be happy to explain further to any interested person and I’ve included my phone numbers in case. Please feel free to distribute this email.

Again, we appreciate your assistance in getting word out about this concern.

Ron Blair, Director
Facilities Group 1
Bureau of Facilities Management
Division of State Facilities

Wisconsin Department of Administration


I certainly am not diminishing the severity of peanut allergies, but with all the problems the state is confronting, a Jim Doyle administrator has time to put this out?

This reminds me of a peanut-related topic I talked about on WISN last summer.

I have two questions about tonight's Final Four title game


1) If Michigan State wins, will Detroit go up in flames?

2) If Michigan State loses, will Detroit go up in flames?

I wonder how this idea will go over in Madison


Leftytown, Wisconsin has a coyote problem and residents on the west side are fed up. Some are downright scared. They want to hire a sharpshooter to kill the coyote. A public meeting is scheduled in a few weeks to discuss the option. My guess is gun control nuts, not to mention PETA freaks will storm that meeting. Meanwhile, the coyote attacks will continue.

At least some courageous souls in Madison are making a common sense suggestion, if local law enforcement and the DNR have been, how shall I put this nicely, unsuccessful.

Here in Franklin, this would be the course of action, in the following order:

1) Press conference telling citizens to remain calm.

2) Candlelight vigil

3) Special task is formed

4) Task force meets at least 5 times without resolution.

5) Another candleight vigil

6) Task force announces it can't solve problem on its own and calls in a "special" wildlife expert from a nearby suburb after Alderman Steve Taylor can't convince the rest of the common Council help should be sought from La Crosse.

7) "Save Yourself from the Coyote Day" planned for an upcoming weekend. Citizens are urged to pick up their free noisemakers at Franklin High School to use if they should happen to confront the animal. 

8) Coyote still on loose months later. City officials are baffled.

From the Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin: VOTE FERNANDEZ FOR DPI

The Wisconsin Chapter of Americans for Prosperity is running the following radio ad:

"It seems every day there is another story about how some children aren’t getting the education they deserve.  About how the bureaucracy is getting the money rather than our classrooms.  It's wrong.

Rose Fernandez has called for an overhaul of Wisconsin’s academic standards.  And Rose  says that we can have higher standards for our schools without higher taxes.  Rose Fernandez believes families should have better educational choices, schools should be more accountable, and great teachers should earn more while bad teachers are shown the door.

Our children deserve the best schools and our taxpayers deserve a break.  E-mail Rose Fernandez at campaign@changedpi.com and tell her to keep up the fight for our children’s future.  That e-mail address again is campaign@changedpi.com.  Wisconsin’s prosperity depends on it.

Paid for by Americans for Prosperity–Wisconsin.  Not authorized by any candidate or candidates agent or committee."


To listen to the radio ad go to www.fightbackwisconsin.com

Graceland goes orange

ELVIS


It happens tomorrow (Tuesday).

Why orange? Here's why.

Graceland joins other famous buildings to help ASPCA celebrate.

The 2009 Muzzle Awards


No Wisconsin winners this year.

The Muzzles are awarded by the Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression for "egregious or ridiculous affronts" to free speech.

The envelope please…

For Wisconsin winners of the past, check out the years 2002 and 1992.

The Media Research Center's "DisHonors Awards"


If you haven’t seen these yet, they are definitely work a look. The awards for 2008 include:


“Quote of the year”

The Media Messiah Award" 

"The Obamagasm Award"  

"Dan Rather Memorial Award for the Stupidest Analysis"  


Good stuff.

421 lives saved, Milwaukee media ignore the story


LIBERALS HAVE A FAVORITE SAYING WHEN THEY ATTEMPT TO DEFEND ONE OF THEIR IDEAS, PROPOSALS, POLICIES, OR PROGRAMS. IT GOES LIKE THIS: “BUT IF IT CAN SAVE JUST ONE LIFE….”

Across the United States, in 135 cities including Milwaukee and Wausau, from February 25, 2009 through April 5, 2009, they came, they gathered, they stood vigilant, they prayed, they sent a message.

Unlike so many liberal protests, 40 Day for Life was, in a word, peaceful. Crusaders for unborn children made their presence known outside abortion clinics, morning noon, and night, 24/7, in every kind of weather, for 40 days.

The just-concluded campaign estimates the efforts resulted in the saving of 421 lives. I am not sure how they came up with that figure, but again….

“IF IT CAN SAVE JUST ONE LIFE….”

40 straight days.

40 straight nights.

More than ample opportunity for a newspaper reporter with notebook to stop by for a story.

More than enough time for at least one of the 4 Milwaukee TV news stations to send out a crew.

As I wrote in a blog during the fall of 2007 about a previous 40 Days for Life assembly:


The goal is to silently and prayerfully stand vigil outside abortion clinics, 24 hours a day, for 40 consecutive days.

In Milwaukee, the vigil is being held on the sidewalk outside Affiliated Medical at 1428 N. Farwell.

I don’t know about you, but in my book, that’s a news story.

I’ve been in the news business for 30 years. Whenever a Republican President came to town, and there was a band of liberal protesters gathered outside the venue for the appearance, no matter how small the group, the newspaper and the TV stations were always there to give the placard holders coverage.

So it’s only logical that a 24-hour vigil outside the same place for 40 straight days would fall under the category of bona fide news.

Ahhhh……but this is the news media we’re talking about. Not too many conservatives in the bunch, or running the news shops. Throw in the abortion issue, and news departments decide they’re not going near this one.”


No Journal Sentinel coverage (It’s all about that “A” word).

No local TV coverage (Not sexy enough. Besides, there will be those kind of people there).

That’s rather interesting, this boycott of reporting, especially when media outlets all around the country saw fit to give it space and air time.

421 lives saved. Who knows what they may grow up to be and accomplish. 421 lives.

The Wausau Daily Herald, unlike the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, believed 40 Days for Life warranted their attention.

And again, I congratulate Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran for his great column a few years back about a previous 40 days for life rally.

On the 40 Days for Life website, there is a section about what people said about the peaceful rallies. My favorite is what a clinic worker said to a 40 days for life volunteer at a vigil in San Mateo, California:

“Why don’t you pray at your own homes? You’re making our work here difficult!”

That’s right.

“Crabby Blog Guy Kevin Fischer must be brilliant"


I didn’t hear it, but I’m told my old pals at Wisconsin’s Morning News on WTMJ Radio Monday morning spent a little time talking about………me, and this blog.

The subject of that blog, Craig Koplien has responded. Has he ever.

On his own blog, he called me, “crabby” six times in his 1,068 word post. That’s almost half as long as one of his dynamic forecasts, you know, the ones that start out, “Well, gee Mike and Carole, I just don’t know.”

Actually, Koplien’s blog was unlike other critiques from my detractors. Koplien was interesting, informative, entertaining, and professional. I found the entry to be very well done.

You’re waiting for the shoe to drop, aren’t you?

Where’s the “but,” Kev?

Back away from the computer, slowly everybody. He's about to explode.

Well...............................................................

I do have to take issue with some of Koplien’s War and Peace-like explanation.

There is this defense from Koplien:

“Here's the critical thing though:  The smartest atmospheric scientists in the world still haven't figured out a way to write a computer program that predicts the weather exactly.  The programs are better in some situations than others...and as you might expect...they're usually better at predicting the weather in the short-term rather than the long-term.”

Hey, if that’s the case, then what’s with all those 7-day forecasts?

And Koplien also offers this:

“What's odd is that he( former WTMJ employee, me) didn't learn from my predecessors Paul Joseph, Jim Ott and others about the fact that there are times when it's too early to be too specific about future weather conditions.”

The truth is, those gentlemen, my friends to this day, would never go on the air or tell a newspaper or online reporter that we could get zero inches of snow or seven.

Now I had heard rumors that in Koplien’s next forecast (Thursday morning on AM 620 WTMJ….you’re welcome, guys) that he was going to predict that there was an 80-85% chance that Easter would arrive this weekend. But then again, NO ONE IN THE WORLD, NOT EVEN THE SMARTEST SCIENTISTS, can make that kind of prediction that far in advance. It’s just not possible, people. But next week Wednesday, it will be sunny with a high of 52.

And hey, Gene Mueller and John Jagler, isn't it nice to know that the weather guys can be, and I'll be diplomatic, inaccurate due to circumstances beyond what they claim is their control, and only face the wrath of a crabby blogger, but if a news reporter is "inaccurate" but one time..............HELL BREAKS LOSE!

Truth is, I loved your blog, may I call you, Craig? After all, we've never met, meaning I could in reality be sweet as hell for all you know.

Oh, and one last note.

That closing line of yours, the clincher, the one writers use to cinch the deal and make an emphatic, decisive point (emphatic and decisive….think about those adjectives, Craig), my new favorite swell guy meteorologist Craig Koplien says:

"Crabby Blog Guy Kevin Fischer must be brilliant.”

On that assessment, Craig, you’re 100%.

Channel 4 drops the ball on election coverage


While Channels 6, 12, and even 58 were running crawls at the bottom of the screen with the latest election returns during their 10:00 news broadcasts, Channel 4 decided not to run any crawl.

All the stations subscribe to the same service that provides the numbers. Why would WTMJ, in the competitive TV news market that is MIlwaukee, opt to go without the on-screen tallies?

Speaking of errors by WTMJ-TV, it sure was great to see Mike Gousha reading and analyzing the election returns on WISN-TV Channel 12 tonight.


The idiotic French


What a bunch of boobs.

Spring Election Day is over with, and you know what that means


No more election speeches.

No more election debates.

No more election forums.

No more election yard signs.

No more election literature.

No more election robo-calls at dinnertime.

No more promises.

No more real promises.

No more phony promises.

No more TV ads.

No more radio ads.

No more he said-she said.

No more talk radio discussion.

No more laughable, ridiculous Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsements (Yeh, those editorial guys really analyzed the candidates in a fair, reasonable manner).

No more arguments at the office.

Now come on.

Think about it.

Was that so tough to take?

It was?

Not to worry.

The overwhelming majority of you reading this won’t have to endure the pain of voting the rest of the year.

An Easter culinary no-no


From 2008


Shame on the Beloit teacher's union


Just prior to Tuesday’s election, the Beloit Daily News published an article exposing a  false ad the Beloit teacher’s union wanted to place in the paper criticizing two school board members.

The ad reprehensibly crossed the line by going after and lying about the children of these elected officials. Family members of politicians, especially children, should be off limits. Teacher unions know this, but they don’t care, so they recklessly attack. This is indicative of the level they will stoop to, using any means possible, including lying about children of elected officials in order to win. How utterly vile and disgraceful.

Please read the article.

I repeat. Shame on the Beloit teacher’s union.


HT: Foxpolitics.net and J.E.

Please don't eat the green nuts...


From Sendik's.

As the state tries to ram roundabouts down our throats...


The state obviously hasn't taken into consideration situations like this.

Want to save the state $2 million?


Eliminate certain jobs, these to be exact.

Considering the current Lieutenant Governor's #1 talent is staying out of the way, this isn't a bad idea. But it is indeed, DOA.

CNN left-wing moron

This is Richard Poplawski.

poplawski_330

Poplawski shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers.

Poplawski is responsible, unless you ask CNN's Rick Sanchez.

In comments made that are beyond outrageous , Sanchez blames conservatives and a rival cable network.

Your liberal news media in action, folks.


Hot dogs dumped onto the freeway?


It happened near Oshkosh.

Hot dogs?

That's nothing.

Justin Nickels is only 22 years old...


And he's poised to be the new mayor of Manitowoc.

22-years old. Great interest in politics. Ran for and won his election.

Boy, I bet the whippersnapper can really spell.

COOL! COOL! COOL! When can I order?

Nostalgia


As John Lennon once bellowed, a la Chuck Berry:


"JUST LET ME HEAR SOME OF THAT ROCK AND ROLL  MUSIC!"



45 years ago this month.....




Read more

Throw the book at him


In cases like this, swift charges must be filed and serious punishment need to be meted out in order to send the appropriate message that you just don’t leave a child unattended in a vehicle……..ever! It's the only way we can reduce or prevent such crimes.

It is not unfortunate. It is not a mistake. It is not a situation where we slip it under the rug and say the poor person has suffered enough. It is extreme criminal negligence.

This latest incident could provide momentum to legislation state Senator Spencer Coggs is seeking.

Here's a topic we need to talk about a lot more


About a year ago, maybe more, I was chatting with my friend and colleague, state Senator Jeff Plale (D-South Milwaukee) at the state Capitol. I asked him if his he or his office knew how many lives had been saved as a result of Wisconsin’s Safe Haven Law, a law he co-authored. Plale wasn’t sure offhand but we informally discussed how we’d find out and talk again.

For whatever reason, we never did. Now we know the answer.

Listen to the radio. Watch television. There are public service announcements about just about anything and everything. Do this. Don’t do that. You can get help here.

When’s the last time you heard or saw or read anything about Wisconsin’s Safe Haven Law? Have you even heard of it? Do you know what it is?

This case in the news this week finally brought some much needed attention to one of the best laws on the books in Wisconsin.

Fox 6 News Milwaukee reported:


"Since the Safe Haven law passed in 2001 nearly 80 babies have been given up to proper authorities, said Terri Spevacek Walsh, executive director of Safe Place for Newborns of Wisconsin.

‘I think that number shows the law is working,’ she said. ‘As I see it, that means we have 80 babies alive, 80 mothers who can go on with their lives.'

Read more

47% aren't true Americans


How else do you explain this?

Are Democrats afraid of Scott Walker?


You bet they are.

Here's the ad.

Could this be why?

Yep. They're scared.

Good for you, Bishop...


John D'Arcy!

The media bashes the holiest of weeks


This is Holy Week, the most sacred time in the entire Catholic Church calendar.

When it comes to religion, if you're anything but Catholic or Christian, you are off limits to the liberal news media. If you are Catholic or Christian, it's open hunting season, every day, 24/7.

Colleen Raezler of the Culture and Media Institute writes:

"This Holy Week has been typical. Newsweek proclaimed 'The Decline and Fall of Chrisitan America' on its cover. The Washington Post/Newsweek 'On Faith' blog featured a post that belittled the significance of Jesus’ death and resurrection. The Discovery Channel aired a documentary that painted Jesus as little more than an opportunistic politician who caught a bad break in a trial. These are just the most notable recent instances of secular media’s disdain for traditional Christians and the tenets of their faith. Anti-Christianism is the last acceptable prejudice. The assault on Christian beliefs and morality is ongoing."

Here's her entire column.

The beauty of Holy Week


It's captured in this photo gallery courtesy of the Houston Chronicle.

And also enjoy this photo collection from St. Fiacre's Garden.

Happy Easter weekend!


Photo radar update


Governor Doyle’s proposed 2009-11 state budget includes the following:

“Under current law, law enforcement officers are prohibited from using any
radar device combined with photographic identification of a vehicle (photo radar speed detection) to determine compliance with motor vehicle speed limits. This bill allows state and local law enforcement agencies to use photo radar speed detection to identify speed limit violations in highway work zones (work zone speed violations). The bill also allows DOT and local authorities to use traffic control photographic systems to identify motor vehicles that fail to stop at red traffic signals at intersections (red light violations). Subject to certain defenses, the bill allows liability to be imposed on the owner of a vehicle involved in a work zone speed violation detected through photo radar speed detection or involved in a red light violation detected by a traffic control photographic system.”

The governor is obviously a George Orwell fan.

The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) this week issued a memo identifying what it thought were 80 non-fiscal, policy items that were in Governor Doyle’s budget. One of them was the photo radar provision.

The budget is now being reviewed by the Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee. The committee’s two Democrat co-chairs issued their own memo following the LFB’s opinion on policy items. The Joint Finance Committee co-chairs tossed out of the budget 45 of the 80 items cited by the LFB. One of them was photo radar.

That was a wise move. The implementation of photo radar should be debated by the proper legislative committees as a separate bill.

Jim Doyle raises taxes, but it's somebody else's problem


Under Governor Doyle’s proposed 2009-11 state budget, property taxes for the average Wisconsin home would go up $91 on bills this December and an additional $134 next year.

What’s the governor’s response to this news? If school districts would simply spend their stimulus dollars wisely, those property tax increases would come down.

Oh, that’s lovely. He’s going to raise property taxes, and it’s now up to the school districts to do the heavy lifting to make sure those property tax increases are redcued? It’s now their problem?

What a lame reaction from a pathetic governor.

This year's Easter controversy


A naked woman on a cross.

The artist says:

"It is the duty of an artist to question society's beliefs in religion and to test people about those beliefs, which this sculpture will do." 

I had no idea. You learn something new every day. I never realized it was an artist's obligation to degrade and defame the widely held images of a popular religion. Sculptor Mitch Mitchell has certainly done that. I wouldn't cross the street to see his junk for free.

Good Friday: Jesus, the unpredictable

An unidentified actor dressed as Jesus Christ walks with a cross as he reenacts the crucifixion after visiting the stations of the cross while Israeli border policemen stand guard near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, during a Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, April 10, 2009. Hundreds of Christian clergymen, worshippers and pilgrims marked Good Friday at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christian tradition says Jesus was crucified and resurrected.

An unidentified actor dressed as Jesus Christ walks with a cross as he reenacts the crucifixion after visiting the stations of the cross while Israeli border policemen stand guard near the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed to be the site of the crucifixion and burial of Jesus, during a Good Friday procession in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, April 10, 2009. Hundreds of Christian clergymen, worshippers and pilgrims marked Good Friday at Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Christian tradition says Jesus was crucified and resurrected. AP photo


I hope you will take time to read a column written by Leith Anderson in Christianity Today 12 years ago. Anderson writes about the "surprises" that transpired as Jesus Christ confronted death.

Please read...

Franklin, be on the lookout


Franklin
students say 3-4 men offered them gum earlier this week. Franklin police are investigating.

Watch this report from Fox 6 News, and read more from FranklinNOW.

This column by state Senator Mary Lazich from 2006 is also worth a look.

It's a new Good Friday tradition at the White House...


A gigantic pizza party.

This blogger asks, what if a CEO had behaved this way?

And who's paying for this?

Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend


*THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY DAD, WHO WOULD HAVE REALLY APPRECIATED ITS CONTENT*



It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

When you hear the name Jackie Gleason, what comes to mind?

Comedian?

The Great One?

Arguing with Ed Norton, wife Alice, or both?

Minnesota Fats?

Joe the Bartender?

How about, music?

 

Read more

Franklin's Easter Egg Hunt is today!


Saturday, April 11 — 10 a.m.

Lions Legend Park
(Behind Franklin City Hall,
Loomis Road & S. Legend Drive)
Candy and Surprises
Dozens of Eggs
Visit by the Easter Bunny
For Children 10 and Under


Who will the Easter Bunny be?

The Mayor? I never heard of a singing rabbit.

Alderman Steve Olson?  NAH, he'd be a better Santa.

ALDERMAN KRISTEN WILHELM AS THE BUNNY!!! (Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch, control yourself).

Might it be.......me? Bunnies multiply, you know. Oh dear God, I hope it's not.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:    Sunny. High of 45. Slightly below average for this time of year, but it will be dry.  "C"

SUNDAY
:  Mostly sunny. High of 50.  "C"


*JENNIFER IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE AND WILL RETURN TO THE Barking Lot AT A LATER DATE*


ITALY EARTHQUAKE LOST PETS

A carabinieri police officer feeds an abandoned dog next to the collapsed church of San Michele, in the village of Villa Sant'Angelo, near L'Aquila, Thursday, April 9, 2009. With rescue efforts well under way for the human victims of Italy's devastating earthquake, help started to arrive Thursday for the estimated 2,000 cats and dogs left homeless by the temblor. (AP Photo/Sandro Perozzi)

Read more

Week-ends

Week-ends

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...


HEROES OF THE WEEK


Slain Pittsburgh officers


Captain Richard Phillips


Marcus Luttrell


Courtney Spaude


Jim Mullen


John Miller



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Richard Poplawski


Faye Schilling and Jean Crump


James Sebero


Eliot Brandon Zayas


MPS


Beloit teachers union



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."
President Obama at a news conference in Turkey.


"It's an inconvertible fact of history that the overwhelming population of people who were involved in the drafting of the constitution ... came out of the tradition of Western Christian civilization. I think there's a strong body of Jews, Christians, certainly Evangelicals that would find such a statement to be very offensive." 
Dr. Timothy O'Donnell, president of Christendom College and professor of history, reacting to the president's comments.


“President Obama is seeking an additional $83.4 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, a request that will drive the cost of the two wars to nearly $1 trillion since 2001.”
Julian Barnes of the Los Angeles Times


"Testing his political capital: How many Democrats will vote no?"
ABC's Rick Klein on President Obama's request for additional war funding.


"I remember President Bush saying to me one time in the Oval Office, ''Well, Joe, I'm a leader.' And I said: 'Mr. President, turn and around look behind you. No one is following'."
Vice President Joe Biden


"It didn't happen. it's his imagination; it's a made-up, fictional world. He ought to get out of it and get back to reality. He's making this up out of whole cloth. I hate to say this, but he's a serial exaggerator. If I was being unkind I would say liar. But it is a habit he ought to drop. You should not exaggerate and lie like this when you are the Vice President of the United States.”
Republican strategist Karl Rove on Joe Biden.


"Spring elections have such low interest. That doesn't mean they're not important. We had 5 percent of people determining who we were going to be choosing (as state superintendent) this month. We're not cutting down the number of elections, but just trying to do them differently. Choosing a Supreme Court justice is tremendously important, and more people should be involved in it."
State Representative Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay), one of several lawmakers sponsoring legislation that would put nonpartisan spring elections on the fall ballot.


"Wisconsin voters respond positively to a positive campaign. Wisconsin voters would rather vote for something than against something."
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson, after her victory Tuesday.


"I ran a good race, and kept it clean. I think money was a huge difference. That makes a big difference in how you can get your message out."
Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick after his loss to Abrahamson.


"People recognize that in order to make the changes necessary, we need a candidate with a broad base of support behind him, and we need a candidate with experience behind him."
Tony Evers after winning the race for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.


"We sure gave them a run for their money."
Rose Fernandez following her loss to Evers.


"Those numbers will come down significantly if school districts take the federal stimulus money they have coming and don't spend it beyond the revenue limits."
Governor Doyle's response to the news that under his propsoed state budget, property taxes on the median valued home would increase $91, or 3.2 percent, in the first year and another $134, or 4.5 percent, in the second year according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. 


"It is irresponsible to raise taxes on families when our state is in one of the worst economic declines in decades and unemployment is increasing at an alarming rate each month. People shouldn't have to worry over whether they can afford to live in their own homes."
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald reacting to the report that property taxes go up under the governor's budget.


"(A) shocking display of fealty to a foreign potentate."
The Washington Times, describing President Obama bowing to King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia at a G-20 meeting in London.


"
It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hand with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah."
An Obama aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.


“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” 
Texas state Representative Betty Brown (R) during House testimony on voter identification legislation. Brown said that  Asian-Americans should change their names because they’re too hard to pronounce.  Refusing to apologize, Brown later told Organization of Chinese Americans representative Ramey Ko, “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


Rosa Freeman



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Is the economy on the rebound?



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Michelle Obama's garden. Or is it the dog? Or what dress she's wearing?



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


Ron Blair
needs to get his priorities straight.


Read why she called 9-1-1.


She knows her beans.



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.

The days of flying the friendly skies....


Are over.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading


Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).


Tax facts to make your head explode

"Time to be patriotic people!"


A nation of moochers

"As April 15 rolls around let us take a moment to recall why we Americans pay taxes: Because some of our country's good-for-nothing bums are too chicken to rob us at gunpoint. That would be members of Congress and the executive branch. How come we keep electing politicians who will tax the bejeezus out of us? Especially Democrats? At least Republicans are smart enough to lie about it."


Hillary Clinton breaks into laughter discussing piracy

"Earth to Hillary: This is no laughing matter."


Presidential groveling

"President Obama's recent whirlwind overseas tour did little to restore respect for America among friends or foes, despite adoring crowds who treated him like a rock star wherever he went."


The president has become a divisive figure

"
His campaign promised post-partisanship, but since taking office Mr. Obama has frozen Republicans out of the deliberative process, and his response to their suggestions has been a brusque dismissal that 'I won'."


Seven reasons why the GOP comeback will begin in 2010

"The odds would seem to heavily favor a GOP comeback in 2010. Here's why the smart money should be on Elephants instead of Donkeys:"


Governor on a wire: Doyle's balancing act

"While up on his tightrope, the things Jim Doyle has to explain to us are:


--Why the governor believes more state spending is the key to economic 'stimulus' within the state – when he has increased total state government spending by 32% since he took office, and it 'stimulated' Wisconsin into the fourth worst budget deficit in the United States."


Marriage and family turned on its head

"Do not miss the significance of the Iowa and Vermont decisions, that now place these states alongside Massachusetts and Connecticut.  In addition to marriage being redefined, so is family."


Parent skills take work, not luck

"Pick up any parenting magazine while waiting for your kid's name to be called in the pediatrician's office and discover just how confusing it is to raise a child these days. You can easily learn how to make 'green parenting' choices and serve organic snacks after school, but the advice on asserting authority in the home while forging close family ties tends to defy common sense."


Is Obama afraid of the J-word?

"America's founders built this nation upon religious freedom. They valued denominational pluralism. They were unified in their diversity. They all believed in a Creator. And they were almost all vocal about their Christian beliefs. And we should be as well, especially during this week."


Christ is Risen--Run away!

"In the last couple of years, we've seen a strange phenomenon: fear of good news."

'Our Father'

"When the 42nd man said yes, it was unanimous. We had 100-percent commitment to hold church next Sunday. At that instant, Ned knew he would end up in the torture cells at Heartbreak. It was different from the previous Sunday. We now had a goal, and we were committed. We only needed to develop a plan."

Your attention, Franklin residents...


Here is an update on the child enticement case reported this week in Franklin.

Franklin police have found those who were involved in the reported child enticement incident at 35th & Dory.  It turns out the suspects were Oak Creek High School students as well as residents of Franklin. The passenger has confirmed making comments to the children, but says he was just joking, imitating a character on a television show. 

Franklin Police Chief Oliva says this was not an incident of child enticement, but a case of disorderly conduct for which citations will be issued. The suspects are Arab Americans, not African Americans as initially reported.

I commend the Franklin Police Department for their expediency in addressing this crime.


UPDATE: Oak Creek students charged

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) Kevin Fischer's official voting guide for Tuesday's elections

2) I wonder how this idea will go over in Madison

3) Graceland goes orange

4) UPDATE: The Super Bowl is Sunday

5) Is it time to trade Prince Fielder?

Finally...


A new dog in the White House.

The MJS Scorecard (4/12/09)

MJS Scorecard


EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK  BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.


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


TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES

Another View:  New council will drive improvement in city schools

Tom Barrett is right. MPS is a mess. But he and Jim Doyle are going to fix it?

Tim Sullivan: Jobs await; we need a modern system of transit to fill them 


TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

George Will: Avarice as a principle of governing


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

Timothy M. Dolan: These days bring what every human heart needs: hope 

Valerie Chuchman: Practically, year-round schooling works 

Eric Gass: Public health moves 'upstream' 


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-32, Conservative-27

Photos of the Week (4/12/09)

Photos of the Week

 ITALY EARTHQUAKE

A toy blackboard and an icon of the Virgin Mary are seen amidst rubble in the city of L'Aquila, two days after a powerful earthquake struck the Abruzzo region in central Italy, Wednesday, April 8, 2009. Aftershocks from the earthquake that has killed at least 260 people in central Italy sent new fears through the tent camps that shelter thousands of survivors, and Pope Benedict XVI said Wednesday that he would visit the shocked and injured people of the area as soon as possible. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)


 APTOPIX ITALY EARTHQUAKE

Cars are covered with debris in L'Aquila, central Italy, Wednesday, April 8, 2009. The death toll in Italy's quake has risen to 250, officials said Wednesday, as strong aftershocks cause further fear among residents sheltered in tent camps. The Civil Protection said that 250 people have died, including 11 who remained to be identified. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)


Read more

Culinary no-no #107

Culinary no-no's


OK, Wisconsinites, a question for you (And if you’re not from Wisconsin, that’s ok. Read and play along).

Can you think of a food item, Wisconsinites that you probably shouldn’t order in a Wisconsin restaurant?

This is not a trick question with some weird answer. I’m particularly thinking of a bona fide, genuine, and quite popular food.

So that leaves out liver and onions.

Let’s give you just a little bit of time to figure this out.

If this was FINAL JEOPARDY, the answer would be:

FranklinNOW blogger Kevin Fischer says this food item is best not ordered in a Wisconsin restaurant.

You have :30




Read more

Obama breaks promise to Milwaukee


Deroy Murdock documents it, and the losers are poor, minority kids and their parents.

Murdock is not surprised:

"Why should Democrats care about disadvantaged black children trying to learn and improve themselves?"

Brewer fans, are you worried yet?


The pitching that was expected to be questionable has been woeful. Milwaukee has given up 36 runs in its first 6 games.

Look at where Fox Sports ranks the Brew Crew.

Although it's early, it appears that the Chicago Cubs are indeed the team to beat in the NL Central Division.

Next in town, the Cincinnati Reds who just might be what the doctor ordered. They've scored two or less runs in three of their last five outings.

As much as I hate the Chicago Cubs...


I've gotta admit, that catch Reed Johnson made Sunday night was incredible.



Read more

RIP Harry Kalas


As a huge baseball fan and having been involved in broadcasting since 1978, I was very sad today to learn of the passing of the legendary Harry Kalas, longtime Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster.

I recall the mid-70' on summer nights in the backyard, when the signal was just right, switching back and forth on my transistor radio from the Brewers and Cubs to Kalas announcing the Philadelphia games that featured players like Mike Schmidt, Greg Luzinkski, Bob Boone, Steve Carlton, Tim McCarver, Larry Bowa, Garry Maddox, and Bake McBride.

Kalas collapsed in the broadcast booth prior to today's game in Washington. The World Series Champion Phillies were to be honored at the White House Tuesday. The team has postponed the reception.

Kalas was 73.

He just might be the most amazing guy in baseball


Pitcher Jamie Moyer got his first win of the seaosn today as the Philadelphia Phillies, mouring the detah of their beloved Hall of Fame announcer Harry Kalas, hung on to beat the Nationals in Washington, 9-8.

The 46-year old Moyer, yes, 46-years old, is an incredible story.

As the Brewers get set to open a home series against Cincinnati...


All I kept thinking about today were two comments made by a whole bunch of naysayers in the 90's:

1) We don't need a new stadium.

2) We don't need a stadium with a roof.

I would be remiss if I let the chance go by to mention the following


I am the first to admit that I have been blessed my entire life and career. Doors have been opened to wonderful experiences and I have enjoyed meeting many fantastic people. Certainly, I hope that more great opportunities are in my future.

Every once in a while, some new surprise that you weren’t expecting bursts out of the blue to add another exciting life chapter.

That happened to me last week. And I must tell you, it was rather humbling. What occurred has to rank right up there with personal events that have been the most rewarding and gratifying.

What an honor, rendering me nearly speechless, to be named Jerk of the Week by the respected Shepherd Express.

Do you have any idea what it feels like to be recognized by that highly-acclaimed bastion of outstanding journalism, known the east side over?

The home of Jupiter's greatest political mind, Joel McNally.

What a classy paper, tremendous writers, a terrific sense of humor, and such a prestigious award.

How good is the Shepherd Express? I'll tell you how good it is. It's so good they have to litter the streets of southeastern Wisconsin with copies begging and hoping that you will pick up a copy.........FREE!

I now join these others who were recently given the same distinction:



Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis. , ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 12, 2009.

File:Jim Sensenbrenner, official 109th Congress photo.jpg 

Read more

And lest we forget...


Here is the infamous blog that got the Shepherd Express' undies all in a bundle, enough to name me their Jerk of the Week last week.

Can you imagine, those clever hateful lefty bloggers who like to take shots at me and Sykes and McIlheran, all in a tizzy. (Their stuff usually escalates to the intellectual level of,  "Fischer. bad. Very bad!).

Oh my God! What cujones!

He actually linked to our favorite weekly newspaper, the Shepherd Express, ripping him!  He actually did that!

We were right about that ***********************!

EVEN THE SHEPHERD HATES HIM!

What a *********************!

Who will be the first to put up a sophomoric You Tube or picture on a blog laced with profane name-calling?

The warm, compassionate, and I might add, intelligent left.

The best corned beef in the country?


Would you believe it's not in New York, but right here in Milwaukee?

That's according to Jane and Michael Stern, weekly contributors to "Splendid Table" heard on American Public Media. I catch the show on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio or the podcast because neither WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio nor Wisconsin Public Radio carries this interesting foodie program.

So who has the best corned beef in America? You'll just have to.......

Listen.......to this segment from this past weekend's program.

The latest news from cousin, Doug, Great Lakes Distillery, and Rehorst

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 22-
Quick Links

Where Can I Buy A Bottle?
Where Can I Buy A Drink?
Order Online
More About Us
Press
FAQ
Friends
American Distilling Institute

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

Read more

What gives, Kev?


Baseball?

The (Pee-youuuuuhhhh!) Shepherd Express?

Corned beef?

Gin and vodka?

When you gonna get to the serious stuff?

RELAX!

It's coming!




Drop that scalpel!


You're fired!

America’s Not a Christian Nation—and I’m a Fat Black Lesbian Who Hates Hunting


That is the title of Doug Giles' latest piece. Regular readers know that Giles, who is irreverence personified, is one of my favorite columnists.

This week, Giles takes issue with President Obama's proclamation while overseas that America is not a Christian nation. Giles writes:

"America’s not a Christian nation? Well, it’s not a Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim (yet) or Tai Chi nation. I know Barack is auguring for the USA to become an Obamanation, but heretofore from what I’ve read regarding our founders’ beliefs and original intent for this experiment in self-government, this Republic has a massive intentional Judeo-Christian bent to it and not a religiously neutral one. Stevie Wonder can see that."

Of course it's good, and of course you want to read the rest.

A bad economy, sadly, means more abortions

From Wisconsin Right To Life:



Wisconsin Right to Life Anticipates Increase In Emergency Grant Requests

Read more

President Obama wants to jack up the cost of energy

From the U.S . Chamber of Commerce:


Friends of the US Chamber
Friends of the US Chamber About Media News Issues Take Action Donate
 
President Obama in his own Words:

"Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."

Making our Economy Worse, Hurting American families

Dear Kevin,

Obama higher energy costsAs you know, there's a lot wrong with President Obama's budget.

Higher taxes and massive spending...no surprise.

But you may not know about the painful energy provision that he also added to this boondoggle budget. This poison pill heaps skyrocketing energy costs on the backs of hardworking American families.

That's right - the Obama budget will mean higher energy costs for you and your family during these tough economic times...on top of the higher taxes and massive spending.

But don't take our word for it.

During an editorial board with the San Francisco Chronicle earlier this year, Barack Obama gave us a preview of what we can expect:
Under my plan ... electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.
Watch the video to see Barack Obama clearly explain how he wants to take more of your hard-earned money as part of the dangerous energy provision included in his budget.

Sincerely,


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

We're having a Tea Party!


TEA as in, TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY!

A Tea Party is scheduled Wednesday in Tax Hell, USA, Madison on Wednesday. (By the way, these tea parties scare the bejeebers out of the left).

From Americans For Prosperity:

Today I'm writing to ask you for a very important favor.  It's not a favor for me but for you, your family and our nation. On April 15 there will be taxpayer tea parties literally across this nation.  I'm asking you to attend one of these taxpayer tea parties and bring as many friends and family as possible. For a list of these important rallies, please visit www.TaxpayerTeaParty.com. You'll be able to choose the one closest to you. 

These tea parties will be closely watched by the media, by elected officials and by the Obama Administration. We must demonstrate that hundreds of thousands of Americans are willing to take time out from their work and from their busy lives to stand up for our economic freedoms. At Americans for Prosperity we know the power of grassroots Americans. You've seen it yourself in recent months. These taxpayer tea parties are the biggest opportunity we have to show the grassroots fire against the spending, debt, tax increases and freedom-killing big government. That's why I need for you to attend one of these taxpayer tea parties. If you're willing to come, please click here to let us know which one you'll be attending. 

In addition, we'll be offering anybody attending a tea party the chance to win $1,000! AFP Foundation and Heritage Foundation have joined forces to launch the Stop Spending Our Future initiative, which offers four contests and $5,000 in total prizes. Our "Spread the Word" contest will award $1,000 to the individual that collects the best video testimonial from an attendee at one of these tea parties. For more information, please visit www.StopSpendingOurFuture.org.

We are going to win if we stand up and fight every day.  These taxpayer tea parties are just the kind of fight we need. I hope to see you at one of the rallies.


Sincerely,

Tim Phillips
President, Americans for Prosperity


PS: I was recently at one of our Americans for Prosperity rallies in Annapolis, Maryland. We were at the state capitol kicking off our new AFP state chapter and I noticed a young mother with her two young children. I walked over and shook her hand and thanked her for coming. She said she had driven over an hour to attend and that she was bringing the entire family back for the taxpayer tea party rally there in a couple of weeks. That's the kind of commitment and passion it's going to take for us to win and that's why I hope you'll make the same commitment to attending a taxpayer rally in your area. 


Kevin's closing note: Chris Mathews couldn't take the heat from a Wall Street Journal writer about Tea Parties.

A blog worth repeating


Not my sexiest or most controversial or most visual or most creative, I'll grant you.

Just really, really important, especially this time of year.

Remember, what you are about to read came before the trillion dollar bailout here and trillion dollar bailout there. Those expenditures will be new spending categories the future.



It is that time of year again


This Saturday, it’s Medicine Collection Day. It’s true. Here is the announcement from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD).

So, I repeat what I said last year:

The MMSD has got to be kidding.

UPDATE: 40 Days for Life


The local media ignored the recent 40 Days for Life peaceful gathering on behalf of unborn children.

However, the Milwaukee Catholic Herald wrote this nice wrap-up.

An excerpt:

“While McGartland and other pro-lifers were praying for the unborn in front of Affiliated Medical Services, a woman stopped her car and called out to those keeping vigil outside the abortion facility.

‘She said, ‘Thanks for being here. Last year I was going to abort my baby, and you folks were here and gave me literature, spoke with me and I didn't,' McGartland explained. ‘Then she opened her cell phone and displayed a photo of the baby. It doesn't get any better than that, does it’?”

Congrats, Wisconsin brewers!


Two Wisconsin breweries make the list of the top 50 brewing companies.

Many, many years ago, the number would have been much larger than two.


We believe you, Contessa

When she worked at WTMJ-TV, Contessa Brewer wasn't exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer. She proves it quite often in her current role on MSNBC.

Take, for example...


And does anyone believe her real name is Contessa Brewer? Contessa? give me a break? And I bet her last name has 28 consonants in it.

*MOONBAT OVER MADISON WARNING*


The FranklinNOW.com blog, This Just In has issued a severe moonbat warning for the city of Madison Wednesday.

The warning remains in effect from 10:00 a.m. Wednesday until 3:00 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.

This has the potential of being a loud, obnoxious, buffoonery storm. If you are in its path, prepare for loud, obnoxious, nasty, foul-mouthed, cantankerous, ugly, horribly dressed crowds dominated by union thugs and students wasting their parents’ hard-earned tuition money.

Moonbats should be seen congregating near the state Capitol, the site of a TEA (Taxed enough already) Party rally, mid-morning Wednesday. They will be characterized by individuals who normally cry out for free speech, but only if it’s their speech, who will sleazily attempt to blend into the audience, only to break in with catcalls and ridiculous outbursts during speeches by Vicki McKenna and Paul Ryan.

While the conventional wisdom and common sense would dictate that these morons should allow this rally to go on without sophomoric protests, the lefty news media will give the moonbats as much coverage as the rally itself.

The Moonbat over Madison warning should expire around 3:00 as the hard-working union thugs and diligent, grade-conscious students finally realize what an exhausting day they’ve had and retire to a nearby watering hole (Madison bar owners, prepare for an onslaught of incredibly bad tippers) to congratulate each other with such accolades as, “Damn, we sure showed dem!”

Stay tuned to This Just in for further Moonbat over Madison updates.






Protesters hold signs at a tax day rally on the steps of the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Madison, Wis.





Jon Lohr of Waterford, Wis., holds a sign at a tax day rally outside the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Madison, Wis.






Marianne Stumbauch of Waukesha, Wis., holds a sign at a tax day rally outside the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Madison, Wis.






U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) speaks at a tax day rally outside the Wisconsin Capitol Wednesday, April 15, 2009, in Madison, Wis.

Above photos: Morry Gash, Associated Press


Read more

Archbishop Timothy Dolan meets the press....


In New York.


Obama on taxes


“We've given tax relief to the Americans who need it and the workers who have earned it.”
President Obama, 4/15/09

So, is the president suggesting that those who make over $250,000 didn’t earn it?

It was the Taxpayer Pee Party...


In New Hampshire.

UPDATE: Throw the book at him



This is Precious Marney. Yes, Precious. His mother didn't name him right by any stretch. Marney has been charged with the death of 4-month-old Jalen Knox-Perkins who was left alone in Marney's day care van for about five hours.

In one of my blogs last week, I wrote that this incident would give momentum to a bill introduced by state Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee) that would require licensed and certified day care centers to have alarms installed. The alarms would have to manually disarmed every time the vehicle’s engine is stopped.

The next day, a joint legislative hearing was scheduled on Coggs' bill. so there is, indeed. momentum.

Some clarification is in order. I don’t want anyone to assume that because I made mention of Coggs’ legislation that I am supportive. On the contrary.

It is an incredibly sad commentary that the state has to pass legislation and enact a law that an alarm has to go off to signal to a supposedly responsible adult that:

A)  I placed a child in the back seta of the van I am driving, therefore…

B) When I get to my destination to drop off the child, I need to get the child out and not leave the child unattended for any period of time.

Being a day care van driver requires:

A) Some short term memory skills. I put 4 children in the back seat. I need to remove 4 children.

B)  
The ability to count.

C) 
Common sense.


A law to have an alarm go off to remind you that there’s a young child in the back seat of your van is not required unless you are incredibly stupid, and if so, then you should never be given the responsibility of caring for young children in your custody.

I have known Senator Coggs a long time. I know his staff very well. I don’t question their deep concern over these incidents that occur all too often. 

No one who has heard me spend hours on WISN Radio passionately discussing this issue can question my concern, either.

However, this type of legislation is not only unnecessary, but gives common sense a bad name.

The solution is swift, stiff punishment against the offenders who have no excuse.

New report says illegal immigrants are dispersing

In other words, they're everywhere now.

She deserves the death penalty


She...



Melissa Huckaby, 28, looks emotional in a Stockton, Calif., ...

is accused of murdering...




Body of Missing California Girl Found in Suitcase



Melissa Huckaby, a Sunday school teacher, is charged with the murder of 8-year old Sandra Cantu whose body was found stuffed into a suitcase, 0 days after the second-grader disappeared from the mobile home park where she lived in Tracy, California.

Huckaby faces the death penalty if found guilty of kidnapping, raping, and murdering little Sandra Cantu.

Will she be executed?

Are you kidding me?

Huckaby is already building her defense by letting the teardrops flow.

Let's face it. In some cases, American juries just don't have the stomach to impose the death penalty.

If this woman....






didn't get the death penalty (and she should have), what makes anyone think Melissa Huckaby will?


Complete coverage of the case



Overall crime is down in the city of MIlwaukee


That's what the police chief tells us.

But do city of Milwaukee residents have a greater confidence and feel much safer?

I bet not.

The Green Bay Packer schedule for 2009 is out


I see, optimistically, 9 wins.

It could very easily be only 6.

Uncertainty is for certain, meaning it will be another long season.

The schedule...

CNN bashes tea parties


No surprise, coming from the leftist news media.

Observe.

If given the chance, I would gladly hug and kiss Ann Coulter


In her latest column, Coulter writes:

"I had no idea how important this week's nationwide anti-tax tea parties were until hearing liberals denounce them with such ferocity. The New York Times' Paul Krugman wrote a column attacking the tea parties, apologizing for making fun of 'crazy people.' It's OK, Paul, you're allowed to do that for the same reason Jews can make fun of Jews.

On MSNBC, hosts Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow have been tittering over the similarity of the name 'tea parties' to an obscure homosexual sexual practice known as 'tea bagging.' Night after night, they sneer at Republicans for being so stupid as to call their rallies 'tea bagging.'

Every host on Air America and every unbathed, basement-dwelling loser on the left wing blogosphere has spent the last week making jokes about tea bagging, a practice they show a surprising degree of familiarity with.

Except no one is calling the tea parties 'tea bagging' -- except Olbermann and Maddow. Republicans call them 'tea parties'."

You go, Ann!

One of Obama's biggest fears


Recently, Chuck Norris wondered if President Obama is afraid of the J-word.

I guess we know the answer.

Why college students get too many A's


My good friend, retired history professor Tom Reeves has written a column that appears today on the National Association of Scholars website, examining how professors hand out A’s and B’s like candy at Halloween. Reeves writes:

“Grade inflation continues because, on the whole, it works. It is in the best interests of students, faculty, and administrators. Of course, there are always professors who uphold their academic standards and grade honestly and remain popular, at least in the better schools. But an individual professor’s conscience, like his reason, can be easily swayed when faced with the demands of self-interest. Leftist ideology no doubt eases the pain. The path of least resistance is to give everyone an A or a B in a class that demands little or no individual study and thought.”

It’s an outstanding piece.

Hey, big spender


According to the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), Congress has never been this bloated. There are more members receiving lousy scores from the NTU on fiscal restraint than ever before.

The NTU writes:

“The scorecard, the only one to utilize every roll call vote affecting tax, spending, and regulatory issues, was based on 286 votes – 182 in the House and 104 in the Senate -- in the second session of the 110th Congress (all of 2008). In 2008, only 48 lawmakers attained scores sufficient for a significantly ‘curved’ grade of "A" (at least 80 percent in the House and 76 percent in the Senate) and hence were eligible for the "Taxpayers' Friend Award" -- a drop from the 52 who earned top grades in 2007. Meanwhile, a record 267 Senators and Representatives captured the title of ‘Big Spender’ for posting "F" grades (even more heavily curved at 25 percent or less in the House and 15 percent or less in the Senate). This tops the 2007 Rating's 266 biggest spenders and is an even more significant jump from the 224 biggest spenders in 2006.”


The NTU rates everyone in Congress. How did the Wisconsin delegation do?

There are no surprises.

So Herb, Russ, Gwen, Susan, Dave, Ron, and Steve, this one’s for you:



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What happened Wednesday is only the beginning


From Americans For Prosperity:

Americans for Prosperity

Yesterday, literally hundreds-of-thousands of American citizens from all walks of life stood up for their freedoms by standing up and cheering at almost 1,000 Taxpayer Tea Parties across the nation.

Standing on the same stage Sean Hannity would later speak from in Atlanta, Georgia last night, I looked out over a crowd of more than 15,000 people – a young couple with their three young children in tow holding a sign that said, “Our children…Our future.”, an elderly gentleman standing with the assistance of a cane wearing a 101st Airborne Veteran baseball cap and waving a sign that said, “Got Freedom?", two University of Georgia t-shirt-wearing coeds holding a large sign that said “Tell the Politicians to cut THEIR budgets – we’re already cutting ours," dozens of folks holding "I am AFP" signs and so many more. 

The day before the Atlanta rally, FOX News covered the pre-event preparation party with our own Georgia AFP team, Virginia Galloway and Jared Thomas. 

Our Americans for Prosperity Texas state director, Peggy Venable, helped organize the rally in Austin, where thousands of folks showed up, including Governor Perry -- one of the few governors in the country fighting the good fight for our freedoms. 

In Madison, Wisconsin – yes Madison, one of the most liberal big government areas of the nation – our Americans for Prosperity State Director Mark Block welcomed more than 8,000 people to a rally for freedom, for lower taxes and less debt! 

In Sacramento, California – home to the largest state budget deficit in American history last year – our Americans for Prosperity team, David Spady and Jennifer Kerns, were partners in the coalition welcoming more than 5,000 grassroots activists demanding an end to tax and spend policies that are literally killing what was once a vibrant state economy. 

In Oklahoma, AFP's Stuart Jolly called me from the road as he criss-crossed the state hitting some of the approximately two dozen rallies he was a part of organizing there. 

Attached you can see several pictures from these rallies and media clips.  For more pictures and more information on the Taxpayer Tea Parties go to our website at americansforprosperity.org.

At nearly 40 rallies across North Carolina, our AFP State Director Dallas Woodhouse had volunteers getting folks signed up for future battles. 

And that’s what I want to talk with you about for just a moment more.

You see, we cannot view these Taxpayer Tea Parties as an end.

Instead, we must use them as a beginning. 

So today I want to share with you the next steps.

First, on October 2nd in Washington, D.C. Americans for Prosperity will be hosting the National Taxpayer Tea Party at the Capitol.  Why October 2nd?  That’s when we expect the final debates to be occurring over the massive Obama budget. 

Please make plans now to attend this massive event.  For more information click here.

Second, please consider hosting a local grassroots organizing event at your home or somewhere in your community.  We will provide a “Home Organizing” kit to help guide you through the process but it’s pretty easy.  You may get 12 people out or you may get 50 – either way you’ll get more people involved.     

It’s so important for grassroots activists like you to get to know the folks who care as much as you do, who believe like you do.  These local events are not that hard and they’re a lot of fun.  Plus, we will help you organize these events.  More information is coming on these home events! 

Third, go to our website, americansforprosperity.org and pull down the contact information for your two U.S. Senators, your member of the House of Represenatives  and your state representatives.  Then, commit to contacting them on a consistent basis about key issues such as taxes and spending beginning with the outrageous Obama budget.  Also commit to forwarding their contact information to your friends and family whenever an important issue comes up. 

Not long ago, I was speaking with Senator Jim DeMint and I asked him if it mattered when people call, email or fax their members of Congress.  Senator DeMint said, “Tim, it matters more than ever before." Most Senators get a daily update on the number of people contacting their office and where they stand on the issues. 

I realize we’re asking a lot from you. 

But, we face the most dangerous threat to our economic freedom in generations.  The very fabric of our lives – from the way our health care is handled, to the way our children are educated, to the way our incomes are taxed, to the way our businesses are run, to the way we use energy, to the way the government impacts the basic personal decisions we make – hangs in the balance. 

Unfortunately, we face a President and Congress determined to make government bigger, stronger, and more dominant. They really believe that government knows best. And if they get their way, freedom – your freedom and mine – will wane. 

So, we must do what Americans always do when faced with a challenge: We must work and fight and sacrifice our time and treasure in order to protect our freedom.

Thank you for all you are doing and more importantly, for all you are going to do for freedom.

Read more

Meet Melika Willoughby


In the past, I have tried to highlight truly great young minds with real writing and thought skills. One of them is this bright University of Minnesota student.

At Wednesday’s Tea Party in Madison, the crowd was wowed by 17-year old Melika Willoughby. Click on the video to the right on the home page of the MacIver Institute to hear her rousing speech.

It’s so refreshing to know that there are intelligent, insightful young people that will ensure the future of our great country is in good hands.

Should Franklin have a full-time mayor?


Franklin
residents, make sure you read John Neville’s latest article, "Should mayor be full-time position?” Mayor Tom Taylor and the Franklin Common Council are reviewing current duties of elected officials and possible reorganization of city government, including making the mayor’s office full-time.

To be quite honest, I’m not sure a city with 35,000 people needs a full-time mayor. Mayor Taylor has proven the city can run just fine with a part-time person in charge. (Yes, I’m aware and so are many others that Taylor can afford to be part-time).

I am more intrigued with the idea of cutting the size of the current Common Council from six to five aldermen. It’s silly to have the legislative body of a city comprised of an even number of members. There’s too great a risk of tie votes. In Franklin, that means the mayor casts the deciding vote. But the mayor also has veto power over any Common Council vote. That’s arguably too much mayoral power.

If Franklin redrew its wards and went to five aldermen and let them serve a term of four years, with elections for all five seats on the same day rather than staggered as they are currently, I could live with that.

However, that’s an issue, possibly, for another day. I think Neville has focused on the item that will garner the most attention.

Alderman Lyle Sohns says give the mayor more money so we can attract mayoral candidates. I would remind the alderman this is an elected, public servant position. We’re not looking for a university chancellor. If we expect to lure candidates by dangling more cash, I submit that’s the wrong motivation to enter public service.

I would remind Franklin residents that if you ask anyone involved in city government, they will tell you that they went through a very difficult city budget process last year (because for the first time ever, they actually had to exhibit major fiscal restraint). There was talk of real cuts and layoffs. The same scenario could play out later this year. Earth to City Hall: Do you really want to go public with chat about increasing the role and salary of the mayor when the people who pay the bills are facing their own job and salary cuts?

Finally, pay very close attention to those who are supportive of making the mayor’s office full-time. Pause and ask yourself what they’re really angling for? Do they really have the city’s best interests in mind, or someone else’s?

By the way, the Franklin Common Council meets this Saturday at noon to discuss this and other government structure items. It will be 60 degrees and sunny this Saturday when the meeting starts. Don't expect a standing room only crowd.

Military veterans are a threat to America


That ridiculous assertion is being made by, of all people, our own government. The Obama administration, specifically t
he Department of Homeland Security wrote a report that says there are veterans who could be “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war" that might be prone to joining radical movements.

The Washington Times editorializes:


“The claim that veterans are more disposed than other citizens to become violent extremists is reminiscent of President Obama's slur during his campaign about rural Americans who ‘get bitter, cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them ... as a way to explain their frustrations.’ The claim is wrong. It is a sad commentary on our politically correct government that Muslim Arabs cannot be profiled as potential extremists while our own veterans are.”


Despite the outrageous accusations, the Washington Times writes, “(Homeland Security Secretary Janet) Napolitano is standing firmly behind her department's controversial report that veterans are prone to violence and more likely to join extremist movements. She told CBS News: ‘They're not accusations. ... The contents of that report are not anything that's inconsistent with what we have seen in the past.’ She told Fox News that when she was briefed on the report, it ‘rang true’ to her based on the anecdotal mention of Timothy McVeigh as exemplary of the ‘disgruntled veteran’."


What an incredibly despicable position to take about our proud veterans. Yes, every time I visit the VA Center, I fear for my life.

This is the most reprehensible action taken by the Obama administration, second only to their total disdain and disregard for unborn children.

Read a pair of Washington Times editorials:

Scared of veterans

Smearing veterans

Wisconsin is soooooo good for business


The headline was blaring:

Harley to shed more jobs

400 to be exact.

The story is in today’s business section of the MJS that not everyone reads. That means they would have missed this paragraph:

A change in Wisconsin's tax law resulted in Harley-Davidson taking a $22.5 million charge against this quarter's earnings.”

For you Franklin readers:

“It (Harley) also is closing its Franklin distribution center this year.”

But as the liberals always tell us, Wisconsin is not punitive to business.

And we’re not a tax hell, either.

UPDATE: Good guy or bad guy?


Two months ago, I posed that question about Green Bay’s Kris Walker who refused to return to Iraq because he considered the war to be immoral.

Walker has now been punished.

I rarely say this but fair is fair....


BRAVO MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL EDITORIAL BOARD!

Tonight on ABC's Nightline...


"Raised in Milwaukee, where the staple was ham and Velveeta, he packed octopus salad and an eggplant sandwich, which caused a bit of embarrassment in the second grade."

Who is it?

Watch Channel 12 tonight at 11:00.
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Alright, alright!


LP's and 45's


Saturday is National Record Store Day.

Time to reminisce about those golden oldies, so here's a timely blog of mine from that magical year of 2007 I hope you music lovers will enjoy.

24 Things Headed for Extinction in America


Have you seen this yet? Pretty interesting....

How do conservative bloggers feel about gay marriage?


The National Journal asked.

This weekend on This Just in...

All our regular features.

On Saturday, The Barking Lot, Week-ends, and Recommended Reading.

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

And probably some other stuff, too.

So, thanks for stopping by.

Fess up, Franklin


What would be more interesting Saturday?

Attending a special meeting of the Franklin Common Council at noon (when it will be 70 degrees and sunny outside) to listen to (some) aldermen talk about how our city needs a full-time mayor and how we need to lay out what the duties of an alderman should be?


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!

Or this:








Brewcity Bruisers
 
 
4 2009 bout 
 
Be Cool!  Be Green!  Save Green!
Take the Party Bus!

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

5:00 Roast Cafe
2132 E Locust St.
5:15 Landmark Lanes
2220 N Farwell
5:30 Club Garibaldi 2501 S Superior St.
6:00 Blackbird Bar 3007 S Kinnickinnic Ave

$5 round trip, returns to all locations. 
 
$10 Bout tickets can also be purchased on the bus!! 
 
Come party with us at Blackbird AND at Lee's Luxury Lounge in Bayview! 
 
((psst....Blackbird & Lee's are right across the street from each other!  Stop in for a BREW at both!))
 

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Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend


It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in. The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Herbie Hancock is, and almost always was, a musical genius. Hancock
performed a Mozart piano concerto with the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was only 11 at the time. His teenage influences were Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans.

At that tender young age, Hancock had, not one, but two passions. Besides music, Hancock was fascinated with electronic science, so he pursued a double major in music and electrical engineering at Grinnell College.

The legendary trumpet player Donald Byrd discovered the 20-year old Hancock in 1960. Three years later, Hancock made his debut album. That same year, he got a phone call that cemented his place in music history. On the other end of the line was another musician destined for stardom asking Hancock to join his quintet: Miles Davis.

Hancock stayed with Davis until 1968 and in the 70’s, Hancock dove head first into electronic synthesized jazz funk and even crossed over into the pop charts.

The versatile Hancock has written for movies and television. Since 1991, he has been the Distinguished Artist in Residence at Jazz Aspen Snowmass in Colorado; a non-profit organization devoted to the preservation and performance of jazz and American music. Herbie also serves as Institute Chairman of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, the foremost international organization devoted to the development of jazz performance and education worldwide.

I recall a night my wife, Jennifer and I were in Blu at the top of the Pfister enjoying Berkeley Fudge and his ensemble. Jennifer nearly sent the musicians into a group heart attack when she asked if they'd play Maiden Voyage (Obviously, they don't get many requests for that one). It's a shame more people aren't hip to Hancock's wonderful stuff. 

Now in his fifth decade of his professional life, Hancock turned 69 this past Sunday.

In the 70’s, when everyone was doing disco, the great Henry Mancini included this very nice Hancock composition on his Symphonic Soul LP. Here's Hancock performing in 1974.



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The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:    Partly cloudy during the day with occasional showers in the evening. High near 70.  "B"

SUNDAY:  Rain early, with the possibility of more showers in the afternoon. High of 45.  "D"

*JENNIFER IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE AND WILL RETURN TO THE Barking Lot AT A LATER DATE*

Big doing’s going on this past week at the White House. Have you heard? After a long wait, there is finally a new First Dog. He’s Bo, a 6-month old Portuguese water pup. Bo-mania has erupted.

By the end of this month, it’s quite possible the NY Times bestseller list will feature a children’s book about Bo written by Naren Aryal with illustrations by Danny Moore, “Bo, America’s Commander in Leash” (I kinda like that). Aryal founded Mascot Books, a publisher that features books about university and school mascots.

Ty, Inc. has gotten into the act, with a Beanie Baby Bo doll in stores as of Thursday. Selling for $4.99, each Beanie Baby Bo has a secret code that leads to more fun at the manufacturer’s website.

Can Bo’s own website, a la his 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
predecessor, Barney be far behind?

The whole planet has been swept up into the odyssey of Bo, surrounded by cameras and microphones.


Photo: NY Times


News broke over the Easter weekend that Bo was a
gift to the Obama girls from U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.

Decision finally made. Obama girls are ecstatic. Bo is a media darling. The world develops a massive crush on Portuguese water dogs.

End of story?

No.

Even though this chapter of American history involves a liberal president, a liberal president’s family, a liberal president’s family dog, and a liberal news media that worships the aforementioned liberal president, even the liberal news media can’t help themselves. You must remember how they operate. Understand what’s in their blood. Their role is to be adversarial. Ergo, they must seek out the negative.

So history is in order. The president said, and it became news for months, that he would get his lovely daughters a dog. Not just any dog. Mr. Obama said the White House dog would be adopted and would not come from a breeder.

And the president didn’t just make this claim at the end of the campaign and election. Truth is he’s been talking about this for a long, long time.

Bo is not a shelter dog, and that has some people picking a Bo-ne with the Commander-in-chief.

When the president was merely a Senator, he met Dr. Jana Kohl, who wrote a book about Baby, a three-legged rescue dog and puppy mill survivor. In “A Rare Breed of Love,” Obama is seen in a photo holding Baby. He promised Kohl he would adopt a shelter dog. The news of purebred Bo isn’t sitting well with Kohl.

Kohl says, “I feel like he’s made a mockery out of the book and the things I wrote about him. I read what I said about him and it makes me cringe. This will fuel the breeding industry which will fuel the puppy mill industry, which will increase homeless dogs at shelters, and increase the numbers of dogs euthanized every year. To add insult to injury, during these tough economic times it is incredibly insensitive and elitist of them to do this. People are tearfully turning in their pets to shelters because they can’t afford them anymore. We see it on news all the time. How can they be so out of touch?”

When Kohl was reminded that the president, knowing he has angered folks will now make a donation to the Washington D.C. Humane Society, Kohl reacted, “That’s baloney. It’s farcical. They’re donating money to urge people not to do what they did.”

Also upset is Abbie Moore of Adopt-a-Pet.com:

“This is truly a missed opportunity to set a pet-adoption trend among Americans. If Obama had adopted a pet from a shelter, it could have been the turning point for the pet-overpopulation problem in this country. With pet relinquishment up 20 to 30 percent due to the poor economy, pets in shelters can use all the help they can get.”

Ryan O’Meara of Dog magazine scoffs, what do you expect from a politician, saying, “When he was resoundingly elected to office we were promised change. But, it seems, true to type the new American president is a politician at heart so should we really have expected anything different?”

Indeed, Vice President Joe Biden took some heat when he opted to use a breeder to get his dog. I’ll get another dog and it will be from a shelter, Biden told us. We’re still waiting, Mr. Vice President.

But as
John Dickerson of Slate reminds us, there is another camp, the faction that isn’t acting as if its owner just turned on the vacuum cleaner. Dickerson writes there are others who feel this way:

Obama said he would try to get a shelter dog but that he also had to take into consideration his daughter Malia's allergies. Getting her a dog she couldn't play with would have been dumb. Give him a treat and move on. OK, everybody: That was a nice break from debates about a depressed economy, the continuing threat of terrorism, and the possibility of war crimes committed by U.S. officials. But sometimes a dog is just a dog.”

Look, this isn’t the controversy of the week. Not even close. But it is a no-brainer. Did Obama break a promise? Of course he did. He said over and over and over and over and over and over again to the whole world he was going to adopt, that the next dog running rampant in the White House would be a shelter.  This isn’t tough stuff, folks.

BO IS NOT ADOPTED! PERIOD!

At the same time, is this news?

Man bites dog. Now that’s news.

President Barack Obama breaking a promise. That falls into the category of dog bites man.


BUZZ!

President Obama, lying and betraying many Americans is not news. Relax, everybody. This won’t be the first or last time.


It's time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Here's the story of a woman who
taped a dog to the fridge, and a subsequent editorial.

Another week, another pit bull atrocity...............and another.

Read what's happening to many purebred dogs.

This black labrador was stabbed many times trying to save its owners.

This husky ran off into the Utah desert after surviving an accident that killed its owner and two weeks later...

How about these
wonderful folks........volunteers walking dogs adorned in neon green vests proclaiming "shelter dog needs home."

A couple saved a poodle, by applying
CPR.

Which of the nation's 30 largest cities does not require dog licenses?

That's some dog-friendly automobile.

Here's one The Barking Lot missed a little over a month ago, but it's  quite a story involving tent dwellers keeping themselves warm.

And was that a dog I saw at a
Tea Party?

That's it for this week's bo-dacious installment of The Barking Lot. Before we hit our closing video, meet the White House dog's best friend.

Thank you for stopping by!



Read more

No!!!! Say it ain't so, Kev!!!


You're not possibly thinking of making Archbishop Timothy Dolan one of your VILLAINS OF THE WEEK, are you?

Week-ends is coming up.


UPDATE: The archbishop did get a mention. Check it out on Week-ends

Week-ends

Week-ends


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...


HEROES OF THE WEEK


Everyone who attended a Tea Party this week


Richard Phillips and the U.S. Navy


Jim Dancy


Alice Smith


Shannon and Allen DeWall


Anne Fleming



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Janet Napolitano


Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.)


Hine Laloulu


Lori Perl


Christopher Purseley


Kristy Hammonds Thompson and Michael Setzer


The state of Vermont


United Airlines



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“The White House says the president is unaware of the tea parties and will hold his own event today.”
ABC’s Dan Harris on “Good Morning America” on April 15. In reaction, please read the many great responses in the comments section of this blog.


It’s not inevitable that these things must happen. … If you believe in the principles that founded and built this country, join us."
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), at the Madison  “Tea Party,” that drew an estimated 8,000 to the state Capitol Wednesday.


"It is irresponsible to raise taxes on families when our state is in one of the worst economic declines in decades and unemployment is increasing at an alarming rate each month."
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), on a Legislative Fiscal Bureau report showing that the Doyle budget would raise property taxes on the median house by $91 this year and an additional $134 in 2010.


"
My decision to not accept federal stimulus money was not popular with liberals, but it was the right thing to do."
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker in a four-page fundraising plea sent this week to the state's "most committed Republicans." Democrats have accused Walker of flip-flopping for opposing the stimulus bill and declining to submit a list of projects to Governor Jim Doyle when the federal stimulus bill was being drafted, then preparing a list detailing $130 million in funds the county will pursue.


"Watching Walker is making me dizzy. Walker says one thing to the media, another to his donors - one thing in Milwaukee and another out state."
Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Joe Wineke on Scott Walker's fundraising letter.  


"
Working in a bar is not like working in a coal mine in West Virginia in 1915. Second- hand smoke is a minor problem. … It’s not that dangerous of a thing."
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), dismissing the statewide smoking ban included in Governor Doyle's budget as “one more freedom we’re taking away.”


"It is a very serious public health issue."
State Representative Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee), defending the ban’s placement in the state budget. Republicans had requested the non-fiscal, policy item be taken out of the budget.


"
I am sending the message to our community that Milwaukee is open for business. This is a safe place for everyone to come to enjoy all that this city has to offer and the Milwaukee Police Department is clearly having a positive effect. Our presence is being felt"
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn announcing that city’s violent crime and major property crime rates continued to drop in the first quarter of 2009.


And from Journal Sentinel Tom Haudricourt’s Brewer Notes today about Friday night's Brewers-Mets game in New York:

Special visit:Timothy Dolan, who left his position as Archbishop of Milwaukee to become Archbishop of New York, visited with players and officials on both sides of the field before the game. Those in the Brewers delegation couldn't help noticing that Dolan was wearing a Mets cap.

"We lost CC Sabathia and didn't get a first-round pick (from the New York Yankees) and now we lost Archbishop Dolan and didn't get any draft picks back," general manager Doug Melvin said. "Shouldn't we get something back? He has to be a Class A free agent."

D
olan spent several minutes with right-hander Jeff Suppan, a devout Catholic who visited with Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican during the 2005-'06 offseason. Dolan also spent time with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, who traveled from Los Angeles back to his hometown to see new Citi Field and watch his team play.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


The Deparrtment of Homeland Security claims military veterans are a threat to America.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Another Wisconsin business decides to leave and Jim Doyle does nothing.   He'd rather be watching golf.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


The suspension of South Milwaukee Fire Chief Jay Behling. Of course he was wrong to use a racial slur. It's always wrong to use that word. But the amount of the subsequent news coverage and punishment handed down are open to debate.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


This
is not a recommended field trip.


I've just been shot! Would you like some tea?


Couple delivers after surprise pregnancy with help from 9-1-1.



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

Recommended reading

Recommended reading


Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).


Republicans and the Tea Parties

"Americans are reacting to runaway government spending that they were not told about before last year's election, and which Americans are growing to resent. Derided by elitists as phony, the tea-party movement is spontaneous, decentralized, frequently amateurish and sometimes shrill. If it has a father it is CNBC's Rick Santelli, who called for holding a tea party in Chicago on July 4. Yesterday's (Wednesday's) gatherings were made up of people who may never meet again (there's no central collection point for email addresses). But the concerns driving people to tea parties are real, growing and powerful. Politicians ignore them at their peril."


Tax Day becomes protest day

"So who's behind the Tax Day tea parties? Ordinary folks who are using the power of the Internet to organize. For a number of years, techno-geeks have been organizing 'flash crowds' -- groups of people, coordinated by text or cellphone, who converge on a particular location and then do something silly, like the pillow fights that popped up in 50 cities earlier this month. This is part of a general phenomenon dubbed 'Smart Mobs' by Howard Rheingold, author of a book by the same title, in which modern communications and social-networking technologies allow quick coordination among large numbers of people who don't know each other."


CNN vs. the Tea Parties

"One reporter, Susan Roesgen, who 'covered' the Chicago tea party for CNN, was downright confrontational with attendees she interviewed, challenging a protestor who referred to Abraham Lincoln with 'What does this have to do with taxes?' The man attempted to explain. But the reporter interrupted him. 'Did you know that you are eligible for a $400 rebate? Did you know that your state, the state of Lincoln, gets $50 billion from the stimulus? That’s $50 billion for your state.' She then tossed back to the anchor, remarking, 'This is clearly not family viewing'.”


All aboard the gravy train

"There are now a staggering 1,804 subsidy programs in the federal budget. Hundreds of programs were added this decade, and the recent stimulus bill added even more. The result is that we are in the midst of the largest federal gold rush at taxpayer expense since the 1960s."


I am an extremist

"According to the U.S. government, I am an extremist.I am a Christian and meet regularly with other Christians to study God's word. I am a veteran with skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat. I fervently support the sovereignty of the United States, am deeply concerned about our economy, increasingly higher taxes, illegal immigration, soaring unemployment and actions by our government that will bury my children beneath a mountain of debt."


Liberty-loving Gen-yers will reshape politics

"The truth is, this generation, which seems not to fit in any neat political category, is more ideologically consistent than either Democrats or Republicans."


The union war on charter schools

"With voucher programs facing termination in Washington, D.C., and heavy regulation in Milwaukee, the teachers unions have now set their sights on charter schools. Despite their proclamations about supporting charters, the actions of unions and their allies in state and national politics belie their rhetoric."


Is Obama hypocritical to put his dog over dogma?

"While the Obama girls welcomed Bo, the pure-bred and specially trained six-month-old Portuguese Water Dog, the Obamas attended Easter services at St. John's Episcopal Church - the 200-year-old 'Church of Presidents' across the street from the White House. Presidential staffers, however, indicated that the First Family hadn't even come close to a final decision on a new spiritual home, after their mid-campaign repudiation of the long-time Chicago church where they worshipped with the bombastic, America-loathing pastor, Jeremiah Wright."


A timeout for the MJS Editorial Board

"I hear all the time about how difficult it is to take newspaper editorials seriously any more.  If you want to understand why so many people feel that way, you only need to look to the editorial gem that appears in today's local newspaper .... and no, it's not a spoof."


Not-so-quiet library

"Visitors to Hot Springs High School will find no 'Quiet' signs posted in the school library. In fact, laughter - and even music - could be heard from the library during a reporter’s visit."

ELVIS: 34, BEATLES: 33

ELVIS


That's the score.

What's the game?

My most popular blogs

Most popular


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


1) Photos of the Week (4//12/09)

2) *MOONBAT OVER MADISON WARNING*

3) We believe you Contessa

4) We're having a Tea Party!

5) Congrats, Wisconsin brewers!

Photos of the Week (4/19/09)

Photos of the Week





Crowds gather Wednesday outside the Capitol in Madison for a “Tea Party Taxpayer Rally,” taking the term from the famous Boston Tea Party protest. Gov. Jim Doyle insisted that middle-class taxpayers will see tax breaks. Journal Sentinel photo: Joe Koshollek


 

Milwaukee Pastor David King gives a pink slip to his state representatives during Wednesday’s “tea party” rally at the Capitol in Madison. Journal sentinel photo: Joe Koshollek


Read more

The rough New York press


Saturday’s final:

Cleveland Indians 22

New York Yankees 4

From the NY Daily News:

"There are people who inexplicably pay $2,600 a pop to watch the Cleveland Indians play baseball in the Bronx. And for those crazies who didn't reach their cushioned Legends seats yesterday until the bottom of the second inning (when Cleveland scored 14 runs), the Yankees offer no refunds."

Ouch!

Awful stat from Brewer loss on Saturday


From the NY Times report on Saturday's victory by the Mets over the Brewers, 1-0:

"The Brewers became the first team this season not to have an at-bat with a runner in scoring position, and only the fifth since 2007, according to Stats, LLC."

The Brewers are on a pace to lose 108 games


Of course that's ridiculous and won't happen. However, this is not the way Brewer fans envisioned the 2009 season would begin.

A recent InterCHANGE exchange on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10:

Kevin Fischer: "The Brewers are simply not as good as they were last year."

Joel Mcnally: "No, they're better."

Yes, it's very early, but after that explosive season last year, their 4-8 record out of the box is extremely disappointing.

The MJS Scorecard (4/19/09)

MJS Scorecard

EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK  BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

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



TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES

Jim Price: Just slashing staff won't help MPS 

Classic liberal stuff. It criticizes a critique of MPS spending with this closing line that includes the code word for more spending, investment:

“If we help her to make that investment now, we will realize savings and success sooner. If we simply slash her budget and staff, we will guarantee loss and failure.”

Nope, can’t cut the budget. Can’t make any cuts in personnel.


TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

Jim Sensenbrenner: 'Cap-and-tax' means costs will go up for everyone

Another View:  Public safety should be a state priority

George Will: Withering of Russia is the reality 

Leonard Pitts: Sometimes, evil is the only answer 

How true. Sometimes it’s just a matter of evil people doing evil things, not because they had a bad mother and no father, went to ineffective schools, were poor, or there weren’t enough jobs or social programs.


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

Derrick Krenke: Bukosky death shows need for stiff penalties 

Walt Ferguson: Lessons from Detroit's failure 


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-1, Conservative-4

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-33, Conservative-31

Who are the bad people of America?


It’s the weekend. That means columnist Doug Giles (featured often on This Just In…) is out with another gem. This effort rips the shreds out of Homeland Security czar Janet Napolitano and her office’s view that military veterans and anti-abortionists are akin to terrorists:

“According to the Whitehouse’s Wizards of Obfuscation, who are the terror threats America needs to be on the lookout for? Is it anti-American douches like Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright? Nope. Is it G20esque smelly-as-a-goat-*** eco freaks? Wrong again. Is it Muslim radicals who are sprinkled about our country in both covert sleeper cells and plain as hell death camps? Quit being silly, that’s so yesterday. I know, I know, our cultural Dennis the Menaces are the drug cartels and their rabble that are pouring through our southern borders and kidnapping our kids? No, you lunatic, Pepe ain’t the problem. Quit being so judgmental. Hey-Soos said, ‘Thou shalt not judge.’

No, serfs of Obamaland, the bad people, the extremists, according to the Department of Homegrown Stupidity are……”


Read all of the great stuff.


Saturday was such a nice day


And if you had any common sense you were more than likely OUTSIDE enoying the near perfect day and not INSIDE your local CITY, TOWN, or VILLAGE HALL attending a meeting because, after all, what municipal government in its right mind would schedule a meeting on a lovely Saturday afternoon where absolutely nothing would be accomplished. You may have missed Saturday's regular features on This Just In...

And that's okay because it was so, so nice especially right around, oh, I'd say NOON with that bright sunshine and 70 degree temperature. Until about 3:00 when the clouds rolled in and temperatures dropped into the 60's. So if you were stuck inside someplace you more or less wasted one of the nicest days of the year so far.

I would appreciate if you check out The Barking Lot, Week-ends, and Recommended Reading.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

And if you somehow messed up and did something silly that made you miss a terrific weekend afternoon, try not to do it again in the weeks and months ahead.

That billboard kinda hurt


Have you seen it?

It has a picture of Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun and it says, "When he heads for home, he flies with us."

Midwest Airlines?

Try Air Tran.

It was bound to happen


Since the birth of my beautiful baby daughter, Kyla, some have asked how that's going to affect my blogging. They essentailly want to know if I'm going to cut back and by how much, etc.

The hateful lefties would love to see me hang it up. Since they can't go toe to toe with me on substance, they have to resort to sophomoric attacks. My favorite is the third-grader-like plea to my boss:

"WAHH! WAHH! Kevin Fischer is being a bad boy!!"

We've got a multi-billion dollar budget on our hands but we're supposed  to stop everything because, GASP, yours truly might actually have had a disagreement with a neighbor. 

Then there's the sour grapes from another blogger who thinks that just because I work in the public sector, that somehow it means I gave up my First Amendment rights. How dare I have a blog and write about, ANOTHER GASP, political stuff! How dare I, YET ANOTHER GASP, say yes when WISN asks me to fill in for one of their talk show hosts!! What nerve that I appear, OH MY GOD ANOTHER GASP, every single week on a half hour pundit roundtable discussion on public television!! He just can't come to grips that this lowly, state employee's views are actually in demand, and then blogged about by many others. That's just not right, fists pounding! It's not fair! It's just not fair!  (THE BIGGEST GASP OF ALL. THERE HE GOES, BEING TOTALLY BOMBASTIC AGAIN!)

No, I'm not going anywhere, and while it's a bit more challenging as you parents are well aware, I will try to maintain the same blogging pace that I have in the past.

I 'm also intrigued by another comment that I've received in the past few weeks since our baby was born. It goes something to the effect of, let's get this straight, Kevin. You and your wife, Jennifer don't have a dog. Yet every Saturday morning, you post this elaborate blog production about dogs that takes two hours to read. You do have a baby now, but you don't do a baby blog. Is one, so to speak, in the oven?

Hmmm. That's interesting. You'll just have to stay tuned.

Culinary no-no #108

Culinary no-no's


This week’s installment of Culinary no-no is going to be political.

Awwwww, Kev, why’d ja have ta go and do somethin’ like that for? Can’t ya just write about whether the right amount of pickles on a burger is three or five? (The answer is five)

Not this week.

Liberals. They see problems everywhere. Hundreds, nay, thousands and thousands of problems.

Yes, here a dilemma, there a dilemma, everywhere a dilemma.

But only one single, solitary solution.

People drink too much. Increase the beer tax.

People eat too much. Increase the tax on foods that are bad for you.

People smoke too much.

No need for the George Harrison You Tube. You get the message.

The food Nazi’s, food police, or whatever you want to call those useless bureaucrats (told you this would be political) have been relentless in their pursuit of demonizing your eating habits through your wallets.

They’ve been successful in their nutjob, over-regulating frenzy of removing trans fat from restaurant cooking. They have forced some restaurants to post calorie counts of their food items, hoping to play the guilt card. There have been attempts to restrict the number of fats food restaurants that can open in certain areas.

All of this nanny nonsense isn’t good enough. The latest assault has been launched on soda.

Slate, not the most conservative of publications, reports:

“Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, Thomas Frieden and Kelly Brownell, the director of Yale's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, propose a penny-per-ounce excise tax on ‘sugared beverages.’ That's nearly $3 per case. Why so much? Because this tax, unlike the petty junk-food taxes of yesteryear, is designed to hurt. Its purpose is to discourage you from buying soda, on the grounds that soda, like smoking, is bad for you.”

Slate then lays out the absurd arguments being made in the “war on junk food.”

This past week marked the annual ripoff of Americans by the Internal Revenue Service. To mark the occasion, the nonpartisan Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. released the results of its 2009 nationwide survey on attitudes of American taxpayers. The survey was conducted between February 18 and 27, 2009 among 2,002 adults (aged 18 or older). State Senator Mary Lazich has written several blogs about the survey findings that you can find on her blog here.

As part of their survey, the Tax Foundation asked respondents to tell whether they support or oppose a government tax on the food items considered unhealthy such as: sugary drinks, foods with salt, and “junk food” in general.

Ready for the results? The food Nazi’s are not going to be happy.

Adults are most opposed to taxes on foods with salt (71 percent). That’s followed by opposition to taxes on sugary drinks (59 percent) and junk food (55
percent).

The Tax Foundation also writes:

“Respondents with different levels of education give very different answers when it comes
to sugary drinks and junk food. Those with a high school diploma or less oppose a tax on sugary drinks, 66 percent to 27 percent, while those with a graduate degree or more favor that tax, 52 percent to 45 percent. Those with a high school diploma or less oppose a tax on junk food, 60 percent to 33 percent, while those with a graduate degree or more favor that tax, 55 percent to 43 percent. Respondents with children in their household are more likely to oppose taxes on sugary drinks and junk food (65 percent and 61 percent, respectively) than those without children (56 percent and 53 percent, respectively). New England is the only region to favor a tax on sugary drinks (52 percent to 47 percent) and junk food (56 percent to 44 percent).”

The fact is, just about EVERYBODY hates the junk that’s going on right now against junk food.

From the Tax Foundation survey:

Q662
For each, please indicate if you would favor or oppose a government tax on that item.
Strongly favor-Somewhat favor- Somewhat oppose -Strongly oppose

Sugary drinks 15%- 21%- 17% -41%

Foods with salt 16%- 17% -21% -50%

“Junk food” in general 16% -23% -15%- 41%


The taxpayers have spoken. Are government Wally Cox look-alikes listening?

Sadly, no-no.

Read more

Franklin, WI makes international news


Here's the newest Miss USA, Kristen Dalton:



©Miss Universe L.P., LLLP, Patrick Prather/AP

Kristen Dalton, 22, poses on Las Vegas Boulevard after being crowned Miss USA 2009 in front of the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Sunday, April 19, 2009. Photo: Patrick Prather, AP


No, Dalton isn't from Franklin. She actually hails from Wilmington, North Carolina.

But take a look at her crown.



©Eric Jamison/AP

Photo: Eric Jamison, AP


The crown was made by Diamond Nexus Labs in Franklin.

It's worth $202,000.

Nice work!

You can see more of that crown in the TV News video at this site.

Good for you, sweetheart!


Miss California Carrie Prejean at last night's Miss USA pageant (She was chosen 1st runner-up).
 

Read more

Run, Scott...


RUN!

Send the message that our government is wrong


"The willingness of a small percentage of military personnel to join extremist groups during the 1990s because they were disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war is being replicated today."

From a report, "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment," produced by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).


“I think it is important for all of us to remember that Americans are not the enemy. The terrorists are.”
American Legion National Commander David Rehnbein, in a letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano.


It seems now would be a great time to thank a veteran.

The 6th worst team in MLB?


Yep.

My condolences to the Rufus King basketball program

I am very involved in MPS athletics, so I was very sad to hear this news.

Excuse me, MSM and Hollywood elites...


But most of California agrees with their beauty queen on gay marriage.

Never go to Florida with a friend who has three friends looking after a dog


Doug Moe explains in his Wisconsin State Journal column.

The Second American Revolution


Good stuff.

HT: The Absurd Report

Read more

If you know and love a smoker, show him/her this blog


Smoking is not illegal. I’m on record opposing government overstepping its bounds and imposing smoking bans on businesses that trample personal property rights and plunge daggers into those private operations.

I also am of the opinion that smoking is stupid. There isn’t anyone from small child on who isn’t aware that smoking is definitely unhealthy. There are no and’s, if’s, or but's. 

Bloomberg News reports that if the urine of smokers finds levels of two particular chemicals, the smokers have a much higher probability of getting lung cancer. This revelation could result in the creation of a new test that could detect the lung cancer risk soon enough to ensure prevention.

In addition to lung cancer and heart disease, U.S. News and World Report offers a dozen more reasons smokers should consider kicking the habit.

The latest from Americans For Prosperity

AFP Wisconsin
Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin Newsletter
April 20 - 2009  Events and Updates

 

Read more

Again, I say, good for you, sweetheart!


Miss California stands by her answer in the Miss USA pageant and remains true to herself and her convictions. Perez Hilton proves what an incredible buffoon he is.

Watch.

BTW, Matt Lightweight Lauer should have asked moonbat Hilton if he did indeed give Miss California a lower score because of her response.

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


The egregious strip search of a young girl by overzealous, zero-tolerance freaks at an Arizona middle school is back in the news.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case today.

NBC has this report and pay close attention to the clueless school superintendent who equates the need to keep kids safe from guns and drugs to a strip search for over the counter medication.

Bartolotta's and Bradford Beach


Milwaukee
’s lakefront has never been a dining destination.

Pieces of Eight?

Traditionally, that’s where you took a date, not to impress her with wonderful food, but to try to get beyond first base later.

Sometime in the late 70’s or early 80’s, someone, and forgive me, I don’t remember who, bandied the idea of a McDonald’s somewhere on the fabulous shores of Lake Michigan. 

Well you would have thought it was the Apocalypse.

Leading the opposition was guess who?

You got it. Those ultra sensitive, hyper-environmentalists.

Put up a Golden Arches on the lakefront? Are you out of your mind??!!!! (At least 20 tree huggers reading this blog just fainted reading the last few paragraphs. I’ll bet Jim Rowen, pomposity personified was close to having a stroke).

We can’t have a McDonald’s there!!! (Alterra, where we can sip our lattes with our pinkies pointed to the sky, now that’s a different story).

Same goes for that eyesore of all-time, the Northpoint snack bar, an absolute toilet that somehow fooled the health inspectors for decades.

Hell, we can’t put up a nice place to eat. Let’s just keep going to that dump where Sheriff Clarke’s deputies can always rack up a few dozen arrests every weekend. That’s cool. A McDonald’s or heaven forbid, anything a notch or three nicer…….NO WAY!

That’s going to change, thanks to Milwaukee County and the Bartolotta’s.

Milwaukee County asked the Bartolotta’s to submit a proposal for the old Northpoint snack bar near Bradford Beach. The two sides agreed and this summer, a newly renovated and painted Northpoint Custard and Burger operation run by the Bartolotta’s will open at the lakefront this summer serving great burgers, shakes fries and custard. You know. All that healthy stuff.

There will be plenty of outdoor seating. Hours of operation: 10 a.m. -10 p.m. On weekends, Bartolotta’s plans to serve breakfast from 7 a.m. -10 a.m.

I can’t wait.

(REACTION IN JOURNAL SENTINEL NEWSROOM: Oh my God, we didn't know that! Carol!! Where the hell's Carol? Carol, get on this, would ja please??!!)


UPDATE: Nice piece by Carol Deptolla. Note, the MJS did a blurb on North Point in a Regional News Brief last December.



If you haven't heard, today is Earth Day....spare me


Diane Medved, wife of conservative talk show host/ columnist/author Michael Medved puts it quite well about today:

“Spare me any more newspapers and magazine cover stories. This has gone way overboard.

Again, I wouldn't want to harm the earth; to the contrary, I love the healthy, unspoiled outdoors. I revel in the springtime blossoms; I lie in the sun so its rays can seep into my skin and soul. What I don't like, however, is this fakery about the 'green' properties of everything from cereal to paper towels.”

Amen, sister.

Check out this comment made to the blog in the above link:
Eugene writes:
Earth Day Celebration
My Green Day Celebration Traditions:

1. Open all windows and turn on AC.

2. Turn on all lights, TV's, radio's and other household appliances. (I am a rich conservative. I can afford it)

3. Bar B Q some big juicy steaks.

4. Fill gas tank to the brim. Drive around town with no particular place to go until bored.

5. Use remaiing gas by leaving car in the driveway running in park with brick on the gas pedal.

6. Drink 26 Cokes. Leave cans with the rest of the trash.

7. Spray DDT at the park.

8. Contact Adopt A Cow.

9. Burn trash in back yard.

Everybody have a lovely Earth Day! I will!!!

Should we really pay all that much attention to Earth Day?


Not if 1970 is any example.

Is Earth Day just another Tax Day?

 From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:


Friends of the US Chamber
Friends of the US Chamber About Media News Issues Take Action Donate
 
Earth Day ... or Another Tax Day?



Earth DayToday is Earth Day - a day when many Americans make resolutions to voluntarily conserve more energy and work toward cleaning up their local environment.

Unfortunately, some politicians in Congress are using Earth Day to ultimately push more taxes on American employers and working families.

And they're doing it all in the name of the environment.

As we emailed you last week, President Obama has already admitted his "climate bill" will mean higher taxes on energy use for everybody in America.

Now, Congressmen Waxman and Markey have proposed a new bill to limit greenhouse gas emissions and create regulations on everything from:
New homes "with slanted roofs," ...to meet a "solar reflectance" standard if they use "fiberglass asphalt-shingle roofing."

...furnaces, laundry machines, dishwashers, "showerheads, faucets, water closets, and urinals," even jacuzzis.
Jacuzzis?

We're all in favor of going green, but not at the cost of American jobs, economic recovery...and household appliances.

In honor of Earth Day, tell us your thoughts on Congress' climate change agenda.

Post your comment now and read what others have to say.

Sincerely,


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

P.S. If you didn't have the chance to watch Obama's "Higher Energy Costs" video last week, view it here.

UPDATE: Is Milwaukee's police chief a closet liberal?


Last year, I asked that question. I think we have our answer.

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said he'll continue to tell officers they can't assume people are carrying guns legally in a city that has seen nearly 200 homicides in the past two years.

‘My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we'll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it,' Flynn said. 'Maybe I'll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I've got serious offenders with access to handguns. It's irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them’.”

I attended a meeting last year where Chief Flynn mentioned that in some parts of the city of Milwaukee, criminals feel their only way of survival is to have a gun.

Well, then, Chief, how about the rest of us?

Perez Hilton gets taken to school


Complete fool Perez Hilton who made a mockery of the Miss USA pageant made the mistake of trying to debate Dennis Prager about gay marriage on the Larry King show.

Watch as the clueless, helpless Hilton has no answer to an intellectual, honest discussion.



Read more

On DHS: Congressman Peter King tells it like it is



Congressman Peter King (R-NY) believes the Department of Homeland Security has its eye on the wrong target.


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Sensenbrenner reacts to remarks about repealing REAL ID

Illegal immigration

Janet Napolitano once again exposes the lunacy that is the Obama presidency.

During the question and answer period following a speech to the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Conference, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she wants to repeal the REAL ID law. Here’s the question and Napolitano’s response:


Question: “Dave Coleman from McLean, Va. After the Holocaust, many survivors were very wary of any kind of government documents or identifying papers. Many Jews were even scared to circumcise their children for fear that the government could too easily identify them. How do we balance our need to identify people to protect our security with the kind of American feeling that they have a right to privacy and you have a right to not have to identify yourself to the government, and you should be able to just live anonymously about the government knowing too much about who you are or what you do every day?”

Secretary Napolitano:”It's tough, because we do have a sense, and really, a need for privacy. But on the other hand, you've got to have a Social Security number. You've got to pay your taxes. There are responsibilities that go along with being a citizen of the United States. There's a contract, in a way, between individuals and the United States.

So how do you have that contract and have it be a vital part of existence without undue infringement on privacy? One issue that has come up on is an issue called REAL ID, which was a bill passed by Congress several years ago, but they never put any money behind it. And the states, Democrat and Republican governors alike, resisted it because they didn't want to pay for it, quite frankly.

And so we've been, over the last weeks, meeting with governors of both parties to look at a way to repeal REAL ID and substitute something else that pivots off of the driver's license but accomplishes some of the same goals. And we hope to be able to announce something on that fairly soon. So, you know, that is a balance. But nobody really lives in the United States in a complete bubble. Right? There is a relationship there. The question is: how do you have that relationship in such a fashion that people's privacy rights are not violated?”


Napolitano’s remarks received sharp criticism from the author of the REAL ID law, Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. Here’s an excerpt:

I am angered to hear Secretary Napolitano’s comments today about repealing the REAL ID Act.  REAL ID is a necessary program for keeping America safe, it is the will of Congress and also a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

“Four years ago, I shepherded this bill through Congress to protect our nation from another 9/11 type attack.  The bill enhances our border security while disrupting terrorist travel.  Additionally, REAL ID makes it more difficult for terrorists and criminals to alter their identity by counterfeiting documents, such as a birth certificate, or using a false social security number to legally obtain a valid ID.  Without being able to change their identity, terrorists are easier to detect and their plans easier for law enforcement to thwart – making everyone safer. 

“We learned in 2001, that the 9/11 plane hijackers each had multiple forms of ID from various states.  In the hands of a terrorist, a U.S. driver’s license, or other form of valid ID, proves just as dangerous as a bomb. We absolutely cannot just hand out state drivers’ licenses to anyone, whether they are here legally or illegally.”

Read Sensenbrenner’s entire statement.

Remember, there’s a clear and simple reason why the Obama administration wants to go easy on those who desire to entire the country illegally.

Obama just can't seem to shut off the Janet Napolitano gaffe machine


Now she's got the Canadians all mad at us.

The woman is dangerous, and an idiot.


Note to safe robbers


Always leave the chewing tobacco at home.

Carrie Prejean: Honest, mature, intelligent

Read more

Public meeting will discuss Doyle recall

 CRG Network      
PO Box 371086  Milwaukee, WI 53237       414-801-0800        www.crgnetwork.com      crg@crgnetwork.com     

PRESS RELEASE

April 22, 2009
For Immediate Release    

Doyle Recall Exploratory Committee to Hold First Public Meeting to Discuss Recall Strategy   

Wisconsinites Interests Now (WIN) will hold the first in a planned series of public meetings to gather citizen input and answer questions regarding the potential recall of Governor Doyle. 

T
he meeting will be held at:
 

Thursday, April 23rd, 8:00PM
Fun World
19800 W. Bluemound DriveBrookfield, WI 53045  

The meeting was triggered as a planned response to achieving the group’s preliminary milestone of recruiting the first 1000 volunteer organizers and petition circulators.  The current plan calls for starting the recall after recruiting a minimum of 10,000 volunteers as part of a signature gathering infrastructure that incorporates all 72 Wisconsin counties. 

Additional information and a map to the event can be found at www.recalldoyle.com

Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work Day


The right decision was made in 2003 to make this event for boys as well as girls.

Has the economy forced changes on this annual affair?

You bet.

I couldn't have said it any better


This completely blows up months and months and hundreds of hundreds of liberal editorials and blogs.

This, too.



And how did the Obamessiah spend Earth Day?


It's just too good.

The DNR to Madison about coyotes....


1) It's no big deal.

2) Gee, they haven't been that bad.

3) It's your fault.

Read.

The over and under for Milwaukee police chiefs


Using the gambling vernacular, the over-under on Milwaukee police chiefs is about six months.

What I mean is that these law enforcers ride into town into the top position with promising resumes, somewhat to downright impressive backgrounds, and great potential.

They’re going to make an impact, we are told and promised.

And then about six months later, the clock bongs midnight. Cinderella’s gown, elaborate coach, and famed glass slippers are gone, along with all that hope of cleaning up crime in the big city.

I’ll give current MPD chief Ed Flynn this. He beat the 6-month over. But unfortunately, he’s like all the rest, all blow and no show, a major disappointment.

Let’s review.

Last year, Flynn proudly held a news conference to proclaim that violent crime went down in the city of Milwaukee………..during the winter. Never mind that violent crime always goes down during the winter time every where in the world, except possibly Juneau and Fairbanks. The conventional wisdom: Umm, Chief, you sounded, ummm, kinda foolish.

Remember the report the MPD did on voter fraud in the city of Milwaukee? Instead of embracing and applauding the research and hard work associated with the report’s findings and expressing outrage about the problem, Flynn had a tizzy that he was not informed about the report’s release to the public.

Hmmmm, Flynn refuses to address voter fraud. Mayor Barrett to this day claims voter fraud doesn’t exist. Hmmm.

This week, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen tells law enforcement all across the state that it’s not illegal to openly carry a weapon. Law enforcer Flynn’s reaction?  Ignore the top cop in the state’s legal opinion.

“My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it. Maybe I’ll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I’ve got serious offenders with access to handguns. It’s irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them.”

I guess ol’ Chief Flynn wipes his nose with that there 2nd Amendment.

This should come as no surprise. Flynn was essentially chosen as police chief by Mayor Tom Barrett. Barrett’s idea of fighting crime is basically comprised of two elements:

1) When a crime wave breaks out, go to New York, attend a seminar, and hope the New York Times notices you for a photo op.

2) Hand out Brewer baseball cards and Summerfest schedules to gangbangers.

Imagine the criminals in their lairs tonight. You think they’re worried?

Not when Tom and Ed, their good friends, are in charge.

Photo radar turns tragic in Arizona


I have blogged about the folly that is photo radar here  and here and here and here.

There have been attempts to get around photo radar ranging from pranks to flat out vandalism.  But now, photo radar has turnded deadly.

Don't get me wrong. The blame for this killing lies with the perpetrator. But photo radar will only exacerbate road rage.

WOW! Friday is going to be sooo nice!


Are you kidding me?

I mean seriously. Have you heard how NICE it’s going to be Friday?

If you haven’t, let me tell you, okay?

My good friend, Craig Koplien over at WTMJ says the high for Friday, are you ready for this, is going to be between 65 and 85 degrees!

That’s right!!

Craig Koplien’s fearless forecast, eyes open all the way, is that our high temperature will be somewhere between 65 and 85 degrees!

And you know what?

I BELIEVE HIM!

I HONESTLY BELIEVE HIM!

Oh yes I do!

How, someone please explain to me, how does he do it???

But enough about Craig. He gets enough fan mail ever since I made him what he is today on my blog not too long ago.

Because the weather will be fantastico, and it will be a Friday, and 95% of the people in these parts will be at a fish fry and the other 5% will be bowling, that means 0% will be reading the blogs.

Now I get that. Maybe my fellow bloggers disagree. That’s ok. This is America. Go ahead. Disagree with This Just In. That doesn’t happen all that often, but if you feel the need to blog  after say, ohhhhhhhh, 5:00, be prepared for the big fat zero in number of views on your stuff.

C’mon everybody. Let’s say you have the blog of the century. Listen to me. Stuff it in your back pocket. Leave it for Saturday or Sunday or Monday.  After 5:00 on Friday, cloistered nuns and grounded teenagers might, I say, might give your blog a whirl.

That’s why I’m taking this opportunity now to promote my weekend blogs.

OK, Fischer you egomaniac, why do you always promote your upcoming blogs? Well. That’s easy. One, it’s a throwback to my radio days when you consistently promoted the station, the call letters, etc., and two, nobody else will.

So, here they come, the weekend promos. We’ll start with Friday night.

WHOA!  WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!

Didn’t you just say that blogging Friday night was a waste of time?

Well, yes, I did. But I just so happen to have a regular feature come sundown every Friday night. I must remain consistent and blog it again this Friday night.

Hey, yeh, I’ve seen that thing you’re talkin’ about. I read it Saturday morning and it says goodnight or some junk. What’s that all about?

I’m so glad you asked.

Being the music lover that I am, and recognizing that Friday night is a light blog night, it’s my feeling that at the end of the week, everybody wants to unwind, take it easy, and not read a lengthy blog about the discussions at an environmental seminar in Brussels. I could be wrong, of course, but that’s my view.

A Friday night blogger is competing with the start of the weekend, Friday night fish fries, new movies, or maybe the wife bought a new dress.

I understand that. How self-centered can a blogger be than to think someone might actually be interested in relating that  #1 son (who, like the rest of the family shall remain nameless, why, who the hell knows) is coming over to mommy and daddy’s house to bake a strawberry pie?

Everybody runs their blog the way they wish, I guess. Personally, the vegetables I'm using to cook for dinner because nameless  #3 daughter suddenly stopped by doesn't seem to be a grabber, in my opinion, for most people.

I choose, and you’ve got to play along with me, people, on Friday night, to share some of musical favorites along with what I consider interesting information about the artists that is best read and listened to, not at noon on a Saturday, but when I post on Friday night.

Maybe you’ve just returned from a fish fry. You’re getting ready for the Friday night 10:00 News. (God, are you old).

Relax. Come to my blog. Enjoy the music. Maybe you’ll be inspired to run out and buy a CD or, better yet, move the furniture and dance with your wife/husband (Yes, I love Miss California).

I think we’ve covered Friday.

Then it’s Saturday.

This week, a not to miss BARKING LOT.

What do the following have in common?
 
 

Chandler police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, right, listens to his attorney, Robert Kavanagh, during Lovejoy's trial Friday at San Tan Justice Court in Chandler. POOL PHOTO

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Goodnight everyone, and have a great weekend


It's Friday night. Time to unwind with our regular Friday night feature on This Just in. The weekend has finally arrived. The sun has set. The evening sky has erupted. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Singer Natalie Cole, a This Just In favorite, has had a rolllercoaster career. The latest turn came last fall.


Read more

The Barking Lot (4/25/09)

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:  Thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. Very windy. An early morning high of 68. Then temperatures will drop to around 50. More rain Saturday night. Low around 40.  "B" very early, "F" the rest of the day.

SUNDAY:  More rain. High of  62. "F"

*JENNIFER IS ON MATERNITY LEAVE AND WILL RETURN TO THE Barking Lot AT A LATER DATE*


You often hear news stories of children who die after being left unattended in hot cars. This is the story of a dog that died the same way. He was left in a police vehicle???.by his very own handler, a police sergeant.

August 11, 2007.

Chandler, Arizona.

Sergeant Tom Lovejoy of the Maricopa County Sheriff???s Department Tom Lovejoy leaves K-9 Bandit, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois alone in his patrol car from 9 a.m. until after 10 p.m.., about 13 hours. The high temperature that day in Phoenix was 109 degrees.

What was the officer doing during those 13 hours?  News reports say Lovejoy took a nap, ran some errands and had dinner with his wife.  He later found Bandit, dead in his car, and admitted he forgot the dog.


Chandler police Sgt. Tom Lovejoy, right, listens to his attorney, Robert Kavanagh, during Lovejoy's trial Friday at San Tan Justice Court in Chandler. POOL PHOTO


After a two-week investigation, Lovejoy was arrested and charged with a simple misdemeanor of animal cruelty. The public cried out for more serious charges. The local police union argued Lovejoy shouldn???t have been charged at all.

???(The) decision to charge, arrest and book Sgt. Lovejoy is weak at best and completely outside the realm of being fair and reasonable," said Paul R. Babeu, President of the Chandler Law Enforcement Association. "We are confident Sgt. Lovejoy's actions do not rise to reckless behavior as required in charging and fail to meet the requirement for a criminal act," Babeu said.

Others disagreed.

"This incident was the needless and cruel death of an animal who was devoted to serve the public, and we are glad to see charges brought in this case," said Kari Nienstedt, Arizona State Director of the Humane Society of the United States. 


BANDIT: The police dog died after being left unattended in a squad vehicle for almost 13 hours.


"I am certain Sgt. Lovejoy has suffered greatly from leaving his police dog in a sweltering car," Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said at a news conference. "I do not relish the idea of compounding his sadness. However, Lovejoy must be treated like anyone else in similar circumstances."

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office had jurisdiction because the vehicle was parked outside Lovejoy's home on county land at the time of the dog's death.

Lovejoy  could have served up to six months in jail or been fiend up to $2,500. Instead, he was found not guilty by a local judge who said there was no criminal intent on Lovejoy???s behalf.

Lovejoy has now filed a $350,000 lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, claiming he was the victim of "malicious prosecution.???  It???s Lovejoy???s assertion that Arpaio filed animal cruelty charges against Lovejoy because the sheriff thought it would gain him fame and votes come election time.

The police vehicle Bandit died in was equipped with a sensor to alert handlers when temperatures get too hot. However, a spokesman for the Chandler Police department said the key has to be in the ignition for the device to work. It was not in this case.

At times, dog handlers leave their animals unattended inside their vehicles with the air conditioning running. The vehicles are equipped with an engine monitor that triggers an alarm and sends a page to the officer if the engine stalls. The pager also beeps in case the vehicle gets hotter than a set maximum temperature. A high-speed fan at the back kicks on if the temperature reaches that level, and the back windows roll down automatically. The horn also goes off like a burglar alarm.

Earlier this month on the Arizona Republic newspaper website, azcentral.com, the ???Ressless Blog??? wrote, ???Idiot???s Guide to Owning a Dog,??? The blog, a reaction to news that special warning systems were being installed in Peoria, Arizona squad cars to protect police dogs from oppressive heat, even when keys are removed from the ignition, was dripping in sarcasm;


???What you need, you see, is a SENSOR to REMIND you when you FORGET that your dog is in your car.  Because, even though you are old enough to DRIVE and carry a GUN and kick in people's doors in the middle of the night and point your guns at their CHILDREN, you obviously can't be expected to REMEMBER to let your dog out of the car when you get home from work.  And although you are sworn, trusted and paid to PROTECT the public, you obviously can't be held accountable when your NEGLIGENCE causes the DEATH of an animal in your care.

Who's paying for this idiocy?  Oh, yeah, the same folks who paid for the dog that Officer Lovejoy failed to take care of. Not that Lovejoy is the only officer to do so.  Left in cars, shot by their handlers, allowed to run across highways; these officers' blatant disregard for the safety of their K-9 partners is appalling, as is the complete lack of accountability for their actions. 

If any of us (that would be the public, remember us?) left a dog to die in a car in the heat of the summer, we'd be looking at some hefty fines and possibly even jail time.  But then, who can expect gods to bow to the laws of mere mortals????


That brings to the mind the recent case of 4-month old Jalen Perkins of Milwaukee who died after being left alone in a day care van for several hours.


Jalen Perkins, a four-month-old Milwaukee boy, died Thursday after he was left in a daycare van.

In reaction to this and other similar tragedies, state Senator Spencer Coggs has reintroduced legislation that would require licensed and certified day care centers to equip vehicles used to transport
children with occupant alarms. The alarms, that  are installed inside the vehicle by the back row of seats, must be manually disarmed each time the vehicle???s engine is stopped.

Let me repeat what I wrote in an earlier blog.

It is an incredibly sad commentary that the state has to pass legislation and enact a law that an alarm has to go off to signal to a supposedly responsible adult that:

A) I placed a child in the back seat of the van I am driving, therefore???

B) When I get to my destination to drop off the child, I need to get the child out and not leave the child unattended for any period of time.

Being a day care van driver requires:

A) Some short term memory skills. I put 4 children in the back seat. I need to remove 4 children.

B) The ability to count.

C)  Common sense.

A law to have an alarm go off to remind you that there???s a young child in the back seat of your van is not required unless you are incredibly stupid, and if so, then you should never be given the responsibility of caring for young children in your custody. I have known Senator Coggs a long time. I know his staff very well. I don???t question their deep concern over these incidents that occur all too often. 

No one who has heard me spend hours on WISN Radio passionately discussing this issue can question my concern, either.

However, this type of legislation is not only unnecessary, but gives common sense a bad name.

The solution is swift, stiff punishment against the offenders who have no excuse.

THE SAME HOLDS TRUE IN CASES OF DOGS.

An alarm system in place didn???t save Bandit, and he was being cared for by a police officer.

Tom Lovejoy is lucky that he was only charged with a misdemeanor and was found not guilty. He has a lot of chutzpah suing his employer.



It's time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

In California, truckers grieve for homeless man who cared for stray dogs.

Some good news for dogs on death row.

This Portuguese water dog made the news this week, and no, it wasn't that one.

Only a hero could save this man's dogs.

Another week, another pit bull story........and another.

This is a good thing. Franklin's neighbor, Oak Creek is reconsidering its arbitrary and rather silly two-dog limit.

Want to track your dog? Try Zoombak.

You say you're looking to find a place to rent, but you have a dog? Come with me.

And finally, the Obamas' new dog is kind of "crazy." But you didn 't hear that from me!


That's it for this week. Normally we close with a dog-related video. Not this week.

On Earth Day, Disneynature's new film, "Earth" opened in theaters across the country.

Please watch the trailer that features some amazing footage.



Week-ends

Week-ends

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...


HEROES OF THE WEEK


Lucille Nassery


Two hair stylists


Ted Mazetier


Elliott Sadler


Kenyatta Ashley


Kathleen McClain


Patrick Schuster


Cousins Subs


Fred Knueppel


And, of course, Carrie Prejean



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


5 thugs


Michael McLendon


Apple


Teacher in Yakima, Washington


Convicted drug dealers


The village of Ashwaubenon



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"The Department believes that mere open carry of a firearm, absent additional facts and circumstances, should not result in a disorderly conduct charge." 
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in an advisory opinion to state district attorneys saying he believes state law allows citizens to openly carry firearms. 


"
My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we'll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it. Maybe I'll end up with a protest of cowboys. In the meantime, I've got serious offenders with access to handguns. It's irresponsible to send a message to them that if they just carry it openly no one can bother them."
Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn who told his offciers to ignore Van Hollen’s memo on open-carry weapons. 


"
It defies common sense that the day after we announce over $95 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for Milwaukee Public Schools that they would be talking about a double digit property tax increase. Management needs to be held accountable. This really emphasizes the need to move forward with the State Superintendent’s power to oversee the use of the federal funds as outlined in our recent report findings.”
A joint statement from Governor Jim Doyle and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in response to MPS officials warning that another double-digit school tax increase may be ahead for Milwaukee taxpayers, despite Milwaukee's acceptance of federal stimulus dollars. 


"
Some time between now and October we’ll be getting into the race."
Former  Wisconsin Congressman Mark Neumann (R-Nashotah), confirming his intention to run for governor in 2010.


"
I've got a lot of other things to do. I'm not going to be thinking about that for quite awhile."
Governor Jim Doyle on whether he will run for a third term. 


"Adding more revenue to the transportation fund with Governor Doyle in office is like pouring water in a bucket that has a hole in the bottom."
Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon).


"
This is a total disgrace in its barbarity."
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), on the practice of performing late-term abortions at the Madison Surgery Center. Grothman opposed two appointees to the UW Hospital & Clinics Authority Board Thursday because of their votes to approve the performance of the procedure at the facility. The nominations were approved 17-15.


"
Without being able to change their identity, terrorists are easier to detect and their plans easier for law enforcement to thwart -- making everyone safer."
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee Falls) defending his REAL ID bill after Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said she's working to repeal the law.



O
UTRAGE OF THE WEEK


Apple

What were they thinking in the first place?



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Dianne Feinstein's sweet deal.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


The media's outrage over Miss California's stance against same-sex marriage, even though the majority of America agrees with her.


That, and Earth Day.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


Rapist stabs cellmate. Why?


Man pretending to fall off bridge, guess what?


A pregnant woman, a bear, and a car...


The life-saving bra.



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.

It certainly took her long enough


Janet Napolitano finally apologizes to veterans.

CNN tries to buffalo Miss California


Ahh, but Carrie Prejean showed she's pretty sharp.


Read more

Miss California has bigger stones than some pastors


No, I don't take credit for that headline.

It could only mean that it's Saturday.

And on Saturday, Doug Giles comes out to play:

"What in the heck is Perez doing judging gorgeous women anyway? You have your queens. Leave ours the hell alone. Shouldn't you be on the front row of the Idol finals shoutin' up Adam Lambert or something? Get a life, dude."

Love it.

UPDATE: Some outlets that carry Giles' column have changed the original title.

Changes in the school calendar


John Neville of FranklinNOW writes, “
Franklin High School students are well advised to enjoy summer vacation. Because once they return to classes in September, the school day will be 14 minutes longer than it is now.”

He may have to alter his story in the future.

Legislation has been introduced in Madison to do away with the state law that prevents schools from starting class earlier than September 1.

So not only will students be spending more time in the classroom, they may be starting class sooner.

I prefer for the sake of business, commerce, and our tourism industry that we leave the law as is.

Besides, who wants to teach or go to school in sultry, steamy August?

Recommended reading

Recommended reading


Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author and may point that out. Despite my disagreements, I still feel the piece is worth a read).


Presidential poison

"Mark down the date. Tuesday, April 21, 2009, is the moment that any chance of a new era of bipartisan respect in Washington ended. By inviting the prosecution of Bush officials for their antiterror legal advice, President Obama has injected a poison into our politics that he and the country will live to regret"


The truths behind the tea parties

"So why did people rally across the country when they should have been planning how to spend their tax refunds? Because their true dismay is about the mushrooming of federal outlays, which the demonstrators regard as a future tax increase in the making. Which, of course, it is."


Media struggle to understand non-violent non-smelly protesters

"All those in the media had to do was read a few of the signs to 'get it.' The complaints were pretty straight forward: Stop the spending. Get out of our business. Let us keep more of the money we make. Stop the bailouts. For some reason such common sense concerns were beyond the comprehension of most of those reporting on the events."


Conservatives can learn from the other side to mount comeback

"Mark Block has a simple plan for getting conservatives back into power. Copy the liberals."


The top ten reasons conservatism is as dead as disco

"Conservatives are NEVER, EVER, EVER going to get back into power again."


The end of the world as we know it

"Call me crazy, but I’ll bet that in 15-20 years the planet will still be here along with most of the 'environment' — your flora and fauna, your polar bears and three-toed tree sloths and whatnot. But geopolitically we’re in for a hell of a ride, and the world we end up with is unlikely to be as congenial as most Americans have gotten used to."


Must we be a nation of haters? (Beloit Daily News)

"Online, a culture has developed which demands anonymity. Electronic audiences have grown expansively and brought their own values with them. Newspapers and other Web sites, trying to build the readership of the future, have struggled to find ways to mesh with that social framework. Some papers post every reader-generated comment immediately, without any identification requirement, and without a moderator. Others, like us, require would-be posters to register with the paper first, and our webmaster reviews comments before posting. We withhold some for reasons of taste, but try to be accommodating within the prevailing culture of the Internet. And, we know, lying takes place. The registration requirement doesn't mean people give us their real names before posting comments, anonymously, using just a created screen name.

I'm old school. It bothers me. I think people ought to stand up and be identified when they exercise that greatest of all American rights, the right to free speech and political participation. The Internet culture of ambush attack strikes me as more than a little un-American, blasting away from hiding. But go here, go there, go anywhere online, and it's what you will find."


KF comment: BRAVO!


Pretty woman

"(Susan) Boyle is the Scottish singer who blew away the judges, the audience — and by the millions of YouTube hits — much of the world with her performance on the 'Britain’s Got Talent' television program. Susan Boyle’s performance is not the entire story, however. She’s had her magnificent voice since she was a young girl. We are the story because of our reaction to her."


Generation Me

"A new book says we're in a narcissism epidemic. Why you're not so special."


Should 'sexting' be decriminalized?

Point: "Really? That’s how we fix this? A boy in Texas is arrested on child pornography charges for simply having a racy photo on his phone."

Counterpoint: "It is flat-out wrong and dangerous, often with life-impacting consequences for those involved. Especially for the female subjects who are left with their reputation in tatters and future in doubt, while the teen male traffickers get off scot free."


Come visit. Live life. Eat cheese.

"Wisconsin has 'Live Like You Mean It,' which sounds less like an invitation to vacation than a self-improvement project."


Dear President Obama

"Letters from children offer advice to the president."

My most popular blogs

Most popular


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


1) Photos of the Week (4//19/09)

2) It was bound to happen

3) Culinary no-no #108

4) Bartolotta's and Bradford Beach

5) ELVIS: 34, BEATLES: 33

Photos of the Week (4/26/09)

Photos of the Week

 US President Barack Obama (C), sitting alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaks during his first cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on April 20, 2009.

US President Barack Obama (C), sitting alongside Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaks during his first cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington on April 20, 2009. Photo: Getty Images


 Clinton US Afghanistan

As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 23,2009, before the House State and Foreign Operations subcommittee, Alexa Schiff, 10, the daughter of Rep.Adam Schiff D-Calif., second from left, and the daughters of his chief of staff Tom Bergreen, Abigail, 7 and Emma, 4, watch during the annual "Take your Children to Work Day." (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)


Read more

The MJS Scorecard (4/26/09)

MJS Scorecard

EVERY SUNDAY I REVIEW THE MOST COVETED EDITORIAL PAGES OF THE WEEK  BY OPINION-MAKERS AS WELL AS THE MOST WIDELY-READ, THE SUNDAY “CROSSROADS” SECTION OF THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL. I WILL KEEP TRACK OF THE CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL PIECES CONTRIBUTED BY NON-JOURNAL SENTINEL WRITERS AND KEEP A RUNNING SCORE THROUGHOUT THE YEAR.

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


TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES

Peter Blewett: School Board welcomes MPS review 

“Blewett writes, “The (MPS) board will continue to examine every opportunity to become more efficient so that we can invest our dollars where they do the most good, in the classroom.”

Sorry, I don’t believe it. Not when he also states, “If Healthy Wisconsin, a proposal to provide affordable healthcare to all state residents, had been passed by the Legislature last year, it would have saved Milwaukee taxpayers, and MPS, millions of dollars.”

Laughable.



Anthony Pedriana: Science of reading deserves more notice 

The author denies it, but much of this is a sob story about teachers.


TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

James A. Buchen: Change course to keep jobs here 


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

David Petering And Carolyn Aita: Plenty of space for growth on east side campus and nearby

Jacquelyn Fredrick: UWM's innovators belong where science is happening

Bruce C. Wilson: Heart Hospital, too late, is proved right 

Elmer Winter: Job search not easy but pays off 


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-35, Conservative-32

Two must read opinion pieces in today's MJS


Make sure you read James Causey's piece, "Too bored to read a book?" It's outstanding.

Also, the paper's editorial, "Adult men, young girls. One word: Illegal" is well done.

UPDATE: From the LA Times-"Lila Rose, a UCLA student, goes undercover at Planned Parenthood clinics to pose as an underage girl pregnant by a 31-year-old. Her surreptitious videos go on YouTube, and inspire outrage.

Read more

Please allow me to be brief


You ever notice when someone says they’re going to be brief, they never are? (State Senator Bob Jauch on the floor of the state Senate is a perfect example).

This morning, at our usual Mass marathon (Hey, guys, it’s not Christmas or Easter so can we lose the 90-minute Mass?) when I thought the merciful end was near (Sorry, God) , a member of the parish council, a good guy I might add, got up and walked to the lectern to say “Thank you for allowing me to briefly…….”

OH NO!

It then took him about ten minutes to briefly tell us about the need to contribute to the annual Catholic Stewardship Appeal fund drive.

You can lose a lot of generous souls in ten not so brief minutes when you’re putting the bite on people.

Care to imagine...


Just how much raw sewage is being dumped into Lake Michigan as you read this?

I'm not sure though my guess is a lot.

I do know this. You won't hear an angry peep out of the hypocritical enviros.

There oughta be a law


Newspaper stories didn’t help.

Neither did television, nor radio.

The sheer stupidity continues.

Maybe it’s high time the state Legislature got involved and creates a new law to prevent babies dying from “unsafe sleeping arrangements" (Only the Journal Sentinel or the Pentagon could come up with that doublespeak).

How about this idea?  Why don’t we become the first state in America to require that all beds/mattresses sold in Wisconsin be equipped with some sort of bell or buzzer or alarm that would go off every time you laid down, forcing you to shut the damn thing off. After you hit the “off” button, the alarm would stay on an additional 15-20 seconds, proving ample time to thoroughly search the bed to make sure you weren’t going to sleep with a baby and putting the innocent child at great risk.

Is that not a great idea?

Ridiculous, you say.

Care to re-examine that hasty reaction?

Here is the analysis provided by the Legislative Reference Bureau for Senate Bill 141, the day care van alarm bill that has been introduced in reaction to children who have died after being left alone in vehicles:

“Under this bill, a child care provider or contractor of a child care provider that owns or leases a child care vehicle must install a child safety alarm, which has been approved by DCF (Department of Children and Families), before the child care vehicle is placed in service. Under the bill, “child care vehicle” means “a vehicle that has a seating capacity of six or more passengers in addition to the driver, that is owned or leased by a child care provider or a contractor of a child care provider, and that is used to transport children to and from the child care provider.” Under the bill, “child safety alarm” means “an alarm system that prompts the driver of a child care vehicle to inspect the child care vehicle for children before exiting the child care vehicle.” The bill, however, grants to a child care provider or contractor of a child care provider that owns or leases a child care vehicle that is in use before the effective date of the bill a grace period of three months after the effective date of the bill to install a child safety alarm.

Under the bill, any person who knowingly transports a child to or from a child care provider in a child care vehicle in which a child safety alarm has not been installed, is not properly maintained, or is not in good working order may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year in the county jail or both. The same penalty
applies to any child care provider or contractor of a child care provider that knowingly permits a child to be transported in a child care vehicle it owns or leases and in which a child safety alarm has not been installed, is not properly maintained, or is not in good working order.”


Let’s suppose we just change the wording to correspond to a proposed bed alarm bill. It might read something like this:

“Under this bill, bed sold in the state of Wisconsin must be manufactured with a safety alarm system which has been approved by DCF (Department of Children and Families). Under the bill, “bed” means “A piece of furniture for reclining and sleeping, typically consisting of a flat, rectangular frame and a mattress resting on springs, a bedstead, or mattress that is used for, among other purposes, sleeping.” Under the bill, “safety alarm means “an alarm system that prompts anyone who sits or lies down on a bed to inspect the bed for children before the person can continue to occupy the bed. The bill, however, grants to anyone owning a bed that is in use before the effective date of the bill a grace period of three months after the effective date of the bill to purchase a bed with a safety alarm.

Under the bill, any person who knowingly occupies a bed  in which a safety alarm has not been installed, is not properly maintained, or is not in good working order may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year in the county jail or both. The same penalty applies to anyone who knowingly permits a child to be in a bed in which a safety alarm has not been installed, is not properly maintained, or is not in good working order.”


Ridiculous, you say?

Not if it’s legit for Senate Bill 141.

As the liberals always implore through fake sincerity, “But if we can save just one life!”

Paul Ryan gets some press, and some press, and some more press....



Kevin Fischer: “Paul Ryan is the future of the Republican party.” (9 words)

Journal Sentinel reporter Craig Gilbert: Paul Ryan is the future of the Republican party. (
2835 words)

Nice article.

Culinary no-no #109

Culinary no-no's


It reminds me of hot summer Friday nights. It was always a Friday. Never any other night.

In those days, the ice cream truck didn’t play the nauseating recording of, “The Entertainer.”  He’d just pull up down the street, turn on his bright inside lights, open the windows, and ring a hand bell alerting everyone in the neighborhood that it was popsicle time.

About two years ago, I blogged about childhood memories of Mitchell Street, including Graeven’s Bakery, just one block south of Mitchell on S. 8th street:

“Graeven’s would do something unheard of on Friday nights in the summer months. All week long, the bakery would close up for the day around 5:00. Then on Friday nights in the summer, when the sun was down and evening darkness had arrived, a side door to the bakery on S. 8th Street would fly open. A baker clad in long white apron and white hat, full of flour would open that door to see a long line of people waiting in the hot, humid sticky night. These people should have been home sitting in front of a fan or parked near air conditioning. Instead, crazy south siders stood in line to get a chance to walk inside a hot steamy bakery to buy the only product on sale at 9:00……………hot rolls. You stood in line hoping and praying they wouldn’t run out before it was your turn.

My mother proudly talks about how she walked home with the bag of rolls held closely across her chest to keep them warm. When Mom arrived back home, though it was ungodly hot in the house, out came the butter, and we ate rolls.”


Street food. Businesses popping and opening up at strange hours of the night to sell their wares, and people (sometimes kids) lining up in the process.

In America, everything that is cool originates in California. The latest Los Angeles trend is being called the “hippest food” in the country: Korean barbecue tacos, out of a truck.

Here’s how it works. A former chef at some high-end LA restaurants came up with the idea of cramming cooks elbow to elbow inside a truck who head out to a pre-determined street corner at some very late hour (midnight). Meanwhile, a large group of hungry folk who fit into no single category of description awaits, unaware of where the barbecue on wheels will stop.

As the wagon barrels to its destination, the word is sent out, 2009 style, via Twitter. The diners explode into action, contacting one another, and then racing to the truck stop where they wait with great anticipation.

And they wait. 
And they wait.  And they wait.

Sometimes for two hours.

And for what?

Kimchi (Korean pickled cabbage) in a tortilla.

Kogibbq is the current culinary sensation.

The glowing news reports about this food phenomenon claim there’s a lot to be excited about. In no particular order:


1) The use of current technology. Twitter is part of the appeal, the excitement about the unknown. Where will the wagon strike next? BAM! Head over to the corner of XXX and XXX, NOW!

2) The camaraderie. This isn’t a typical restaurant. This is a meeting place, a club, a fraternity, even an unusual pickup joint.

3) It’s ethnic. And ethnic is cool. Way cool.

4) It’s different.

5) The food is a blend of exciting, flavorful tastes.


Now, granted. I’m not a hip, trendy, cool Californian. I’m a middle-aged Midwesterner who lives in a neighborhood that just recently discovered The Twist.

Why would I want to get up around pre-Midnight and head downtown and stand around on a dark street corner and wait to be Twittered by some long-haired freak with multiple tattoo’s.

“Hey, dude, the wagon’s gonna be at Hollywood and Vine at 12:30. Bring your old lady. See ya there, man!”

I’m on record saying I eat anything, that I’m not fussy (Insert Fischer is overweight joke here). Y’know, I’d love some Korean barbecue beef with some spicy sauce in a taco. But kimchi in a quesadilla, after waiting two hours???

Wow (no exclamation point).

Ok. I’ve stood in the damp cool LA weather without a clue as to where that damn wagon will be, waiting for the phone in my pants to vibrate. (CAREFUL!).

I stand. I wait, I shiver. I am Twittered. (I never thought I would coin that word twice in a blog).

I rush to find the wagon. I stand in line. I get to window, I get my kimchi in a taco shell. I totally forget about beer-soaked brats (Well, not completely. I’m just saying that for effect). It’s now 2:00 in the morning. Some transvestite has just asked me what my sign is.

I walk away with my kimchi taco and I realize…….there is no place to go, no place to sit.

This kind of craze always starts out west and then moves to the unwashed dullards to the east. New York is desperately hoping for this magical truck to appear.

Call me dull, call me behind the times, call me square (Hell, I knew what Twiitter was). But what’s stopping some restaurant owner, keenly observing that people actually want Korean/Mexican food to just start serving it in the warm confines of their indoor eatery?

Believe me, I tip my hat to the entrepreneurial spirit of this venture. But I’ll take my buffalo chicken sandwich at Kopp’s, leaning on one of their indoor stands at 10:30 p.m. anytime.

For the, AHEM, full flavor of this hot new trend, watch ABC’s NIGHTLIINE report from this past week.

And here's a great piece about what it's like to work inside this famous taco truck.

Those first 100 days


Here are two great pieces about President Obama’s first 100 days from:

PolitiFact


NY Post

We don't want your stinking stimulus money


Two Ohio Congressman will introduce a bill that would allow communities to refuse stimulus money and have it returned to the U.S. Treasury.

The idea has the ringing support of Warren County, Ohio Commission President Mike Kilburn. Kilburn says he’d rather see Warren County “go broke before taking any of Obama’s filthy money. All I want the government to do is leave Warren County alone. If we need something, we’ll take care of it and we’ll buy it.”

Good for Kilburn and for the Ohio lawmakers for coming up with this taxpayer-friendly concept.

No swine flu here....


For now.

The best advice is reminiscent of the cryptosporidium outbreak in the 90’s, though you shouldn’t have to be lectured by the government about this: Wash your hands, a lot.

Read more...

Should you wear a mask to work?

Meanwhile, columnist Hugh Hewitt thinks the outbreak could be Obama's Katrina moment:

"From Friday afternoon forward tens of thousands of people have come from Mexico into the United States --legally-- and the U.S. government has done nothing to impede or delay their arrival and their melting into the U.S. population. Obviously the flu had already arrived in many places before anyone could reasonably be expected to know its advance, but from Friday forward the president and his team have been on notice that a pandemic could be developing, and did nothing about the only realistic way of limiting the spread of a contagious illness --quarantining those with the bug."

How much do Dems and the mainstream media fear Scott Walker?


They are literally begging and hoping and wishing and pleading for a bloodbath between the Milwaukee County Executive and Mark Neumann

Another beautiful woman, another courageous stand


Supermodel Kathy Ireland gave Planned Parenthood every opportunity to win her over. But PP’s argument was nowhere near persuasive.

So Ireland is now blasting the pro-choice movement.

That means she replaces Carrie Prejean as #1 on the Hollywood and mainstream media hit list. The smears and attacks will, no doubt, begin soon.

The story...

Whoa, Nellie! The stumblin', bumblin', fumblin' White House!


The Wall Street Journal headline says it all:


A 'Classified' Photo Op Turns Into a Soaring Blunder for the White House

Mission to Get Beauty Shots of Presidential Jet at Statue of Liberty Panics 9/11-Wary New York

We love Obama, oh yes we do!


The big, fat, wet kiss from the liberal media continues.

Just take those old records off the shelf....


I know you fellow nostalgia buffs joined me recently in celebrating National Record Store Day.

The advent of the CD brought a sad farewell to those great album covers, many that you can see here.

Is it too late to shut down the border with Mexico?


The answer is yes.

The bulk of the damage has been done. The swine flu is here.

The border should have been closed last Friday or Saturday.

The pork flu



From Michael Ramirez, Investor's Business Daily

Moron=Day care van driver who can't remember if there's a child in the back seat


The state Senate today on a voice vote approved Senate Bill 141 that requires day care vans to be equipped with alarms so that the drivers don’t forget they have children inside.

Watch the debate about the bill on the Senate floor. Click here for Wisconsin Eye coverage, then scroll to
04.28.09 | Wisconsin State Senate Floor Session (Part 2) and click "watch."

Then move  31:26 into the video to see the start of the discussion with the bill’s author, state Senator Spencer Coggs (D-Milwaukee).

One certainly can empathize, but it takes the always interesting state Senator Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) to put the proper perspective on this bill. Ellis follows Coggs.


UPDATE from the Associated Press:

"The state Senate approved the measure on a voice vote. The Assembly voted unanimously to approve it hours later with no debate.The bill now goes to Gov. Jim Doyle for his signature, the last step before it becomes law. The governor supports the measure, his spokesman, Lee Sensenbrenner, said."

Here's the AP story. You will notice there is no quote from Senator Ellis. No quote from any dissenter. Was the AP reporter not paying attention to the extremely quotable Ellis, or did he just not care?

Anti-business legislative Democrats are killing the state's economy


The state Legislature, in this case, the state Senate (Can Green Bay Democrat state Senator Dave Hansen talk on the Senate floor without a multi-page script?) has approved another anti-business bill.

The Democrat-controlled state Senate is throwing up every roadblock, every obstacle to allow business to flourish, make profits, and create jobs in Wisconsin.

Watch Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s floor speech today about how anti-business the Democrats in the Legislature are. Click here for Wisconsin Eye coverage, then go to 04.28.09 | Wisconsin State Senate Floor Session (Part 2) and click "watch."

Then move 2:03:01 into the video to watch Senator Fitzgerald’s stark, cold, honest, true floor speech about how Democrats are killing the state’s economy.

Arlen Specter lied....


To Newsweek, less than three weeks ago,

I write a culinary no-no...


I do not write a fashion no-no.

But if I did, this (YUCKIMUNDO!) would be on my list.

President Obama gets a near failing grade...


From a friend and fellow liberal Democrat.

Your teenager and porn


Stunning stuff from columnist Rebecca Hagelin:

According to the London School of Economics, nine out of 10 teens who go online will view pornography. The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that 70 percent of those who viewed porn stumbled across it - many while innocently doing their homework - and had not been looking for it.”

Teens are being targeted and they are highly susceptible and accessible to porn.

Hagelin offers some advice to parents.

Miss California goes campaigning


Miss California Carrie Prejean goes to Washington Thursday to help launch the pro-marriage campaign, “No Offense.”

From a National Organization for Marriage press release:

What happens when a young California beauty pageant contestant is asked ‘do you support same-sex marriage?’ She is attacked viciously for having the courage to speak up for her truth and her values.  But Carrie's courage inspired a whole nation and a whole generation of young people because she chose to risk the Miss USA crown rather than be silent about her deepest moral values.  ‘No Offense’ calls gay marriage advocates to account for their unwillingness to debate the real issue: gay marriage has consequences.”

Earlier today, Prejean defended her views on traditional marriage during an appearance at Liberty University.

It’s about time this country had a pro-traditional marriage movement.
 



 

Read more

We are not arrogant, Mr. President


“In America, there is a failure to appreciate Europe’s leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.”

President Obama in a prepared speech delivered before a campaign-style town hall meeting at the Rhenus Sports Arena in Strasbourg.


Columnist and radio talk show host Peter Heck of Kokomo, Indiana blasts President Obama for pulling a Jane Fonda: going overseas and apologizing for the United States.

What the president pulled was garbage. Peter Heck sums it up eloquently
:

Americans need not apologize to the world for their arrogance; rather, Americans should apologize to their forefathers for the arrogance of their president.

If Obama wishes to continue trampling the presidential tradition of showing class to former office holders and publicly trash Bush for his own personal gain, so be it.  But all Americans should make clear that no man - even if he is the president - will tarnish the legacy of those Americans who have gone before us.  Ours is not a history of arrogance.  It is a history of courage, self-sacrifice, and honor.”

It’s a great column.

And let's not forget....


Read more

High school soccer game in Milwaukee postponed due to swine flu


Tonight’s high school varsity girl’s soccer game between Milwaukee Riverside and Milwaukee South was postponed after Riverside became one of four Milwaukee Public Schools to be closed indefinitely because of the wine flu outbreak.

The game was scheduled to be played at 7:00 tonight at South Stadium. The Riverside team was on the field going through pre-game warm-ups when it received a call from a school official to leave the stadium immediately.

South Division had received a call before the team’s bus left the school for the stadium notifying the team that the game would not be played. Fans, officials, and stadium security were at the stadium, unaware of the development about Riverside High School.

And in a related story, this is huge.

Panic, but don't panic!


That describes some of the swine flu rollercoaster coverage in the media.

Fox 6 says don't fall for scams.

Christina Applegate is beautiful alright

Christina Applegate has been chosen as the 2009 People magazine's Most Beautiful and graces the cover of the special issue on newsstands May 1.

Christina Applegate has been chosen as the 2009 People magazine's Most Beautiful and graces the cover of the special issue on newsstands May 1. (AP Photo / September 21, 2008)


She's also inspirational.

Here's more from a blog I wrote last summer.


UPDATE: Photo radar turns tragic in Arizona


The first blog.


The update.

Throw the book at her


Lori Drew
gets sentenced today.

The ecomony is so bad...


HOW BAD IS IT?


The economy is so bad that...


Adults are moving back home to live with their folks.


College cafeterias are going without trays.


Casinos are instructing dealers not to talk about the gloomy economy with paying customers.


More women are going from jobless to topless.


Vasectomy rates are up.


More and more window smudges.


Couples are still getting divorced, but fewer lawyers are handling the cases.


A dentist shortage led this poor guy to super-glue his own tooth.

You mean to tell me there's no one in America who can do this job?


There is a silver lining in this rotten economy.

Isn’t it great to know that when those who are truly in need because of these rough times can always go to the phone and inquire about their government assistance, their U.S. government assistance and get all the help, all the answers they need from a warm, friendly voice on the other end of the line………………………..in India.

Yep. We can still create jobs in these dire straits, in other countries.

Just when you thought PETA couldn't get more outrageous...


There is this.

State Democrat to businesses: "Get your ass back down South, I don't want you here"


Want to know how harsh the vilification of Wisconsin businesses is on the part of legislative Democrats?

Here is quite possibly the perfect, and not very eloquent, example.

While debating yet another anti-business bill on the floor of the state Assembly Wednesday, state Representative Phil Garthwaite (D-Dickeyville) voiced his sentiments about businesses for all the world to see and hear. It’s rather revealing.

Is it any wonder our business climate is one of the worst and businesspeople are made to feel like 3rd class citizens.

Click here, then click Watch under
04.29.09 | Wisconsin State Assembly Special Session.

Then move 1:15:30 into the video to hear the great orator, Phil Garthwaite.


UPDATE:  I guess the ever so sharp Capitol press corps (Would someone please wake up Steve Walters) must have missed this..

*BREAKING NEWS: HOLY ECONOMIC CRISIS!*

Nostalgia


OMG!



BATMAN IS BROKE!


The Golden Girls were cool

Nostalgia


Predictable, but a good programming move, the Hallmark Channel will broadcast a Golden Girls marathon on Sunday. This week, one of the “Girls,” Bea Arthur passed away.

Somehow, some way, an 80's sitcom about older women in the age-conscious world of television marketing managed to become a hit.

Slate says the show was beyond cool. It was sit-com genius:

Golden Girls boasted characters who were sharp in their humor and secure in their freedoms, which included the freedom to be mean. The show's most biting laugh lines—which are shaped so well that these scripts would work for radio—achieve that ideal bitchiness animating The Women. That the characters insult one another so viciously indicates their intimacy.”

Would the show work today? Too old, you say? It was funnier and more creative than most of today’s comedic offerings.


Read more

UPDATE: A photographer's labor of love for City Hall


I tend to use photos whenever I can on my blog. I find them very interesting, and speaking for This Just In, they tend to be very popular.

Far from a photography buff, I struggle with a box camera. That’s why I am in awe of the material I come across day to day. It’s even more impressive when a so-called amateur produces work that would make professionals stand up and take notice.

That’s the case with Paula Haberman. I introduced you to her amazing work last December.

I’ve learned that one of her hundreds of photos of Milwaukee’s City Hall graces the cover of the May 2009 edition of Wisconsin Builder magazine. I don’t have a photo of the actual cover, but here’s the shot Haberman took that is on the cover:


 

Read more

To all FranklinNOW blog readers


FranklinNOW bloggers were given the utmost advance warning (7:22 tonight) that our blogs were being switched over to....

OOOOOOOHHHH!

The same blogger system used by........

OOOOOOOOOOHHHH!!!

The blogging system used by the Journal Sentinel bloggers.

You mean like, JIM STINGL, LAUREL WALKER, TIM CUPRISIN, and EUGENE KANE?

Goodness gracious, Kevin, control your emotions!

DO NOT BLOG ANYTHING ON FRIDAY BECAUSE THAT'S WHEN THE CHANGE WILL TAKE PLACE SO DON'T, DO I  MAKE MYSELF CLEAR DUMKOPF, DO NOT BLOG ANYTHING FRIDAY. WE WILL GET BACK TO YOU WHEN IT'S SAFE TO BLOG AGAIN, AND DON'T WORRY. NO  ONE AT BROWNDEERNOW.COM HAD ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNY TROUBLE WHATSOEVER WHEN WE MADE THE SWITCH.

Wow. Comforting.

Folks, I worked at the empire known as Journal Communications. I've blogged for them for awhile and they've made as many techncial switches as I've changed my socks.

As we head into a weekend  when readers know I have a series of regular features, I merely point out that if there are problems, be patient with, not me, but the techno-guru's at 4th and State.

And if there are problems and you can't be patient, something the Journal folks don't understand (That is, people get upset, it's murder to get them back), please return.  It wasn't my fault.

Joe Biden needs to do what Dan Quayle did


Hit some of D.C.'s best golf courses, and shut the hell up.

The most important news story of the week

Without a doubt.

Yes, even more important than the swine flu.

It is...

More from NY Times.

What if this was the good ol' USA?

A billboard featuring an illustration of German politicians ...

A billboard featuring an illustration of German politicians including German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) wearing only underwear is displayeed at a press conference in Berlin The ad from underwear company 'Bruno Banani' reads 'we are giving everything to increase demand. Locals weren't too happy. Photo:Victoria Bonn-Meuser/AFP


 Now here's Merkel in formal regalia:




And I'm trying to think, what if we did the same thing here in the good ol' USA. What would these people would do a la Angela Merkel?

Do we really want to see it?





Nancy Pelosi






Barbara Boxer






Barbara Streisand




Susan Sarandon




Hillary Clinton


No thanks!

Why are all the best movies today...

Nostalgia


Based on old comic books?






Watch.

The critics hate the damn picture. That means it's gotta be good.

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