NOW:53132:USA00949
http://widgets.journalinteractive.com/cache/JIResponseCacher.ashx?duration=5&url=http%3A%2F%2Fdata.wp.myweather.net%2FeWxII%2F%3Fdata%3D*USA00949
43°
H 44° L 36°
Partly Cloudy | 10MPH

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.

Crack (ed) security under the great Obamessiah

Political Cartoon by Dana Summers

AFP: Live from Copenhagen

 
Americans for Prosperity

In 8 days President Barack Obama will go to Copenhagen, Denmark for the United Nations Climate Change Conference.  No doubt, the President intends to commit the United States to an energy rationing scheme that makes the U.S. accountable to U.N. bureaucrats, kills jobs here, dramatically raises the price of gasoline and electricity, and infringes on our personal and national freedoms -- all in the name of a radical global warming ideology that is called into question more and more each day.

Read more

Is there a UW connection to Climategate?


The MacIver Institute has more....

Brett Favre for MVP?


With his stats, his team's record, and how he has elevated the play of his teammates, he certainly deserves to be in the mix.

The latest News You Can Use from WRTL

http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/22/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcv&x=fe9af036
                        http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/97/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5XaXNjb25zaW5SaWdodFRvTGlmZS5vcmcv&x=460b39cd http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/43/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbGVnaXNsYXRpb24vY3VycmVudGxlZ2lzbGF0aW9uL3N0YXRlLmFzcHg%3d&x=887d9e08
                        Legislative Page http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/44/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbmV3c3Jvb20vY3VycmVudHJlbGVhc2VzLmFzcHg%3d&x=410146b7
                        News Releases http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/65/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53cnRsLm9yZy9yZXNvdXJjZXMvcHVibGljYXRpb25zL2xpZmV2b2ljZW5ld3NsZXR0ZXIuYXNweA%3d%3d&x=281311a0
                        Newsletter Archive http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/46/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvZXZlbnRzLw%3d%3d&x=e34ec655
                        Upcoming Events http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/47/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbGVnaXNsYXRpb24vZXZvaWNlLmFzcHg%3d&x=0df87230
                        Sign Up for E-Voice http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/444266/30159454/48/0/?u=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cud3J0bC5vcmcvcGFydG5lcnMvZW1haWxwcmVmZXJlbmNlcy5hc3B4&x=50c45058
                        Change Your Preferences
Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
In This Issue:
 
Important Right To Life Links

Urge Senators Kohl and Feingold to Oppose Sen. Reid's Pro-Abortion Health Care Reform Bill

Where is Bill Proxmire....


William Proxmire,



When you need him?

Good grief, Mr. President!


Millions of American families will settle down in front of their televisions tonight in great anticipation of one of the greatest and most loved Christmas specials of all-time.


They are not going to be happy.

For the longest time, President Obama dithered and limped and paused and staggered and stammered and stumbled and wavered about what to do in Afghanistan.

He has finally approached coming close to being presidential by making a decision, albeit long overdue, and will announce it 8:00 Eastern Time tonight, right when CBS had scheduled its annual broadcast of, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Of course, the president’s plans for our military are extremely important to the nation and the world and they need to be heard. Try telling that to Sue and Billy.

All is not lost because of Ebenezer Barack Hussein.

As a public service of This Just In, here is, in its entirety, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

 





UPDATE: CBS should have politely informed the Great Obamessiah that he's already on dozens of other TV and radio channels and therefore, the network was going ahead with its long awaited Christmas programming schedule. Of course, CBS would never do that, unless George W. or some other "R" was in the White House, hmmmmmm....

Read more

Obama stole Christmas from millions of kids by pre-empting Charlie Brown........


But here's a
holiday special he won't interrupt

Tea Party: The Documentary Film


Tea Party: The Documentary Film premieres Wednesday, December 2.



Read more

*BREAKING NEWS: WISCONSIN IS NOT A TAX HELL*

Topics talked about on WISN


That is, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the newspaper that stomps its feet and screams to anyone that will listen that it’s not a liberal newspaper, yet hasn’t encountered a tax or spending increase it won’t embrace.

If you missed it last week, the paper had a blaring front page headline the day after Thanksgiving:


”Wisconsin improves its ranking on taxes”

It first jumped out at me early that morning as I retrieved the paper and started walking back into my humble abode. A few hours later I was to be on the air at Newstalk 1130 WISN and when I saw….


Wisconsin improves its ranking on taxes”

I believe I yelled out loud right on the street by my mailbox:


“BINGO!”

For a conservative talk show host, it was manna from heaven.

Here are the first few paragraphs from this article that, I’m sure, had everyone involved pounding their keyboards saying to themselves, “Oh, good God, this is incredible. Man this is good stuff!”

AHEM!

The story begins:

“Dented by income tax cuts and a marked spending slowdown on education, Wisconsin's national status as a tax hell is fading.

Hell has not frozen over.

But in comparison to other states, Wisconsin's total tax bite on incomes plummeted to just above the national average in newly released figures.

And the Badger State's consistent top-five tax perch has slipped steadily down to 15th in the latest rankings.

Wisconsin even dropped below the U.S. mark on both taxing and spending based on another common measure, dollars per person. That is a first on taxes going back at least two decades. On spending, it's the second straight year.

The Journal Sentinel analyzed 2007 census figures on taxing and spending by state and local governments to reach the conclusions. The data is the latest available.”

Interesting.

The paper says it analyzed 2007 census data, yet doesn’t go into any detail about the methodology used to obtain its rather dubious claim that suddenly all is hunky dory and taxpayers should just calm down, relax, and clam up.

Who did this earth-shattering crunching of the numbers?

Ricardo Pimentel?

Eugene Kane?

Jim Stingl?

Carol Deptolla?

The obvious question for Wisconsin taxpayers is, after reading or hearing about this news, are they sighing relief?  Do they even buy this nonsense?

Think about it. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was telling readers to ignore the gazillion reports and studies and rankings that show Wisconsin taxes are the worst in the entire solar system.

Why?

Because taxes aren’t all that bad here.

Why?

Because they said so.

When I opened the phone lines on WISN last Friday, you’d have sworn that laughing gas was eking out of radio speakers all over town.

The astute listeners immediately analyzed the highly questionable piece, its findings and conclusions as a Christmas present gift-wrapped to the Tom Barrett for Governor Campaign.

Earthlings, don’t you see?

Taxes aren’t catastrophic. We don’t need Scott Walker riding into Madison and slashing taxes and spending and ruing the nice tax and spend climate we’ve got going. In fact, there’s room to tax even more.

The populace, the folks the MJS must think are really stupid, actually are pretty sharp and get it.

The MJS claims it analyzed figures from the US Census Bureau, the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), and the nonpartisan Wisconsin Taxpayer Alliances (WISTAX).

Really!

The LFB analyzes numbers for the Legislature and is the best in the business, the best in the entire country. I read their memos constantly and sit in on their legislative briefings.

WISTAX is the best in tracking taxing and spending information in the state. I read their publications constantly.

If we are to believe the MJS, that Wisconsin’s tax rankings are not that awful and are much lower than advertised, then we are to dismiss the work of the Tax Foundation in Washington D.C. that has been analyzing tax data for decades. The Tax Foundation with more up-to-date data says taxes in Wisconsin are atrocious with rankings among the worst in the nation.

If we are to believe the MJS, the same paper that won’t divulge how it conducted its research and arrived at its conclusion, then we are to dismiss the outstanding work of the LFB and WISTAX whose many reports for years and years have shown Wisconsin continues to increase its taxing and spending at high rates.

If we are to believe the MJS, then we are to dismiss the paper’s own terrific coverage during the entire 2009-11 state budget process that uncovered huge increases in taxes, fees, and spending.

If we are to believe the MJS, then we are to dismiss the paper’s own reporting and graph a few weeks ago showing huge school property tax increases.

As usual, the MJS is guilty, just like many newspapers of burying key information. You have to get to paragraphs 15 and 16 to read this critical part of this phony story:

To be sure, the twin spires of taxation in Wisconsin - the property and individual income taxes - still cut far deeper into incomes here than in most states. Taxpayer anger continues to bubble up over those taxes, in part because they are so visible compared to the sales taxes and user fees on which other states rely more heavily.

Indeed, tax collections continue to rise, just not as fast as in some other states, which helps drive the change in the rankings.”

Did you catch that, Wisconsin taxpayers?

Tax collections continue to rise.

Of course they do. You didn’t have to lock up the average MJS reader in a room with Census Bureau figures to tell him that.

Our taxes, according to MJS the year it examined data just didn’t go up as much or as fast as taxes in some other states.

A-HA!

Because other states had some hellish tax increases and the MJS surmised passed Wisconsin, we, by default are better off.

What kind of logic is that?

It’s idiotic is what it is, and taxpayers are too wise to swallow this snake oil.

I have worked in the state Legislature for over 12 years and in broadcast journalism for over 32 years. I have yet to pick up the phone and hear a caller on the other end tell me that his taxes are too low and need to be raised.

Granted, my on-air conversation was far from scientific, but I’ll bet if I took any 100 taxpayers off the streets of Wisconsin and presented them with the MJS article, the overwhelming majority would scoff in my face.

So I ask you? Who’s a better barometer of the true tax climate in Wisconsin? The people who actually pay the bills or the lefties at the MJS?

And they wonder why their circulation is hurting.

About those climate research files...

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez


 

Members of Congress, are you paying attention?


Most Americans do not want their tax dollars funding abortion.

While legislators were out, taxpayers were paying attention


The Wisconsin 9/12 Project


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Kirsten Lombard

Read more

Maybe it is time to blow up Milwaukee County government


Well-known Milwaukee businessman Sheldon Lubar is calling for a complete makeover of Milwaukee County government.

I do not dismiss the idea outright.

The argument can be made that the manner in which Milwaukee County government operates has long outlived its usefulness.

I wrote this blog on this subject over two years ago and believe it to be just as timely today.

Unions "often seem remarkably oblivious to the way they are perceived by the public"


A GREAT editorial in the Wausau Daily Herald...

Hey Franklin, you thought the city budget was over and done with....


I sure did.


NOT SO FAST!

The Franklin Common Council will hold a special meeting Thursday night at 8:30 to discuss more budget cuts.


Currently, the budget as adopted last month has the same tax levy as last year, a 2.9% increase. However, the tax rate is $6.04 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, a 21 cent increase over last year.

In order to cut the tax rate, there must be cuts in the all-important tax levy.

The special meeting is an opportunity for everyone involved to improve on a budget that wasn’t bad but could be even better, much better. Try a 0% property tax increase, a la Oak Creek and New Berlin.

Thursday night is a reprieve for some aldermen and the mayor to call for and approve more cuts during this recession to attain a budget that is more in line with the ability of taxpayers to afford (Most of them didn't get ANY salary increase this year).

Given the chance, will they do it?

If they care about the taxpayers they will.


CITY OF FRANKLIN
SPECIAL COMMON COUNCIL MEETING*
FRANKLIN CITY HALL COUNCIL CHAMBERS
9229 W. LOOMIS ROAD, FRANKLIN, WISCONSIN
AGENDA
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2009, 8:30 P.M.

I.          Call to Order and Roll Call

II.          Citizen Comment Period

III.         Reports and Recommendations

1.         Ordinance to Amend Ordinance No. 2009-1987, An Ordinance Adopting the Annual Budgets and Tax Levy for the City of Franklin for Fiscal Year 2010, To Retain A City Tax Rate Not To Exceed $5.94, Rounded, Per $1,000 of Assessed Property Value. The purpose of this subject matter is for the Common Council to decide and act upon whether, and if so, how, to reduce the tax levy and  appropriations made under Ordinance No. 2009-1987 by at least an amount sufficient to retain the approximate $5.94 per $1,000 of assessed property value tax rate understood to result by the adoption of the annual budget on November 17, 2009, after the effected increase of that expected tax rate to $6.02, resulting from the application of the Equalized Value calculations as required by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. The Common Council may change any  amount levied or appropriated under Ordinance No. 2009-1987.  Without limitation of the foregoing subject matter, it is noted that the Mayor and City Staff are proposing, for action by the Common Council at this meeting, the elimination of the City Hall and Fire Department parking lot reconstruction project from the budget, which together with a further reduction from the Street Improvement Fund, amounts to $300,000, to attain the approximate 8¢ per $1,000 rate reduction.

IV.        Adjournment

*Supporting documentation and details of these agenda items are available at City hall during normal business hours.

[Note:  Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of disabled individuals through aids and services.  For additional information, contact the City Clerk’s office at (414) 425-7500.]

Bucky Beats Duke!




Wisconsin forward Jon Leuer dunks over Duke's Mason Plumlee in the first half of the Badgers' 73-69 victory on Monday.  Photo: Craig Schreiner/Wisconsin State Journal 






Trevon Hughes, who had 26 points, drives past Duke's Kyle Singler for a shot. Journal Sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman






Keaton Nankivil finishes off a dunk. Journal Sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman




Image

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan reacts to a move by one of his players during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, in Madison, Wis. Wisconsin beat Duke 73-69. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)




 Trevon Hughes, Jason Bohannon, UW men's basketball vs. Duke

Wisconsin senior guards Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon celebrate near the end of the second half of the Badgers' 73-69 victory over Duke at the Kohl Center in a Big Ten/ACC Challenge game.
Craig Schreiner/Wisconsin State Journal



 


The Kohl Center student section rushed the court and engulfed the Wisconsin players after the Badgers upset Duke 73-69 in the Big Ten-ACC Challenge on Wednesday night. Craig Schreiner/Wisconsin State Journal

12/3/09


 TEST

DEC 3, 2009


 TEST

DEC3,2009


TEST


The Obama plan for Afghanistan....

Political Cartoon by Steve Breen

It's starting already.....The Tiger Woods Family Christmas Portrait




Now for the non-fiction...


In this magazine cover image released by US Weekly Magazine, the Dec. 14, 2009 issue of 'US Weekly' featuring Tiger Woods, is shown. The issue is available nationwide on newsstands on Friday, Dec. 4.

In this magazine cover image released by US Weekly Magazine, the Dec. 14, 2009 issue of "US Weekly" featuring Tiger Woods, is shown. The issue is available nationwide on newsstands on Friday, Dec. 4. (AP Photo/US Weekly)






Rachel Uchitel arrives from New York at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The National Enquirer published a story alleging that golfer Tiger Woods, who was involved in a car accident near his home on Friday, had been seeing the New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters. Uchitel denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the Associated Press. Gloria Allred, left, met her at the airport. (AP Photo/David Zentz)




This undated publicity photo provided by <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="ORCRP000016197" title="VH1 (tv network)" href="/topic/economy-business-finance/media-industry/television-industry/vh1-%28tv-network%29-ORCRP000016197.topic">VH1</a> shows <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB00005041" title="Jaimee Grubbs" href="/topic/human-interest/jaimee-grubbs-PECLB00005041.topic">Jaimee Grubbs</a> on VH1's reality series, "Tool Academy". Us Weekly magazine, which hits newsstands Wednesday Dec. 2, 2009, features a cover story alleging that Grubbs, a Los Angeles cocktail waitress, had a 31-month affair with <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PESPT008527" title="Tiger Woods" href="/topic/sports/golf/tiger-woods-PESPT008527.topic">Tiger Woods</a> and that the proof was in 300 text messages.

This undated publicity photo provided by VH1 shows Jaimee Grubbs on VH1's reality series, "Tool Academy". Us Weekly magazine, which hits newsstands Wednesday Dec. 2, 2009, features a cover story alleging that Grubbs, a Los Angeles cocktail waitress, had a 31-month affair with Tiger Woods and that the proof was in 300 text messages. (AP Photo/VH1)




tiger woods golf

In this May 13, 2007, file photo, Tigers Woods' wife Elin, walks the course during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. Tiger Woods said he let his family down with "transgressions" he regrets "with all of my heart," and that he will deal with his personal life behind closed doors. His statement Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, follows a cover story in Us Weekly magazine that reports a Los Angeles cocktail waitress claims she had a 31-month affair with the world's No. 1 golfer. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)




Radio show personality Meredith Walusek holds a sign reading, &#8216;Tiger- They offered  me $500,000- I&#8217;m keeping my mouth shut!", in front of a gate to the Isleworth community where Tiger Woods has a home on December 2, 2009 in Windermere, Florida. Tiger Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree next to his Florida home in the early hours of November 27. FHP charged Woods with careless driving which carries a $164 fine and four points on his driving record. Woods released a statement on his website stating, 'I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.'.

MJ Radio show personality Meredith Walusek holds a sign reading, "Tiger- They offered me $500,000- I'm keeping my mouth shut!", in front of a gate to the Isleworth community where Tiger Woods has a home on December 2, 2009 in Windermere, Florida. Tiger Woods crashed his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree next to his Florida home in the early hours of November 27. FHP charged Woods with careless driving which carries a $164 fine and four points on his driving record. Woods released a statement on his website stating, 'I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.'. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)




WINDERMERE, FL - DECEMBER 02:  An entrance gate to the Isleworth community, where Tiger Woods has a home, is seen on December 2, 2009 in Windermere, Florida. Tiger Woods has reportedly not spoken with media or Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) since he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree next to his Florida home in the early hours of November 27. FHP charged Woods with careless driving which carries a $164 fine and four points on his driving record for the accident. Woods did release a statement on his website stating, 'I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart.'

An entrance gate to the Isleworth community, where Tiger Woods has a home, is seen on December 2, 2009 in Windermere, Florida. Tiger Woods has reportedly not spoken with media or Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) since he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and tree next to his Florida home in the early hours of November 27. FHP charged Woods with careless driving which carries a $164 fine and four points on his driving record for the accident. Woods did release a statement on his website stating, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart." (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)



Kim Montes Florida Highway Patrol trooper sergeant Kim Montes speaks to the media about the Tiger Woods accident case on December 1, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. The Highway Patrol said Woods would be cited for careless driving and that it's investigation into the accident has been concluded. Tiger Woods has not spoken with media or Florida Highway Patrol since he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree at the entrance to his driveway at his Florida home in the early hours of November 27.

Florida Highway Patrol trooper sergeant Kim Montes speaks to the media about the Tiger Woods accident case on December 1, 2009 in Orlando, Florida. The Highway Patrol said Woods would be cited for careless driving and that it's investigation into the accident has been concluded. Tiger Woods has not spoken with media or Florida Highway Patrol since he drove his SUV into a fire hydrant and a tree at the entrance to his driveway at his Florida home in the early hours of November 27. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)


MEANWHILE....

The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #10


She’s only 15, just a sophomore in high school.

Get this.

She never leaves home.......
 
Without a book in her hand.

She writes a blog about how cool it is to read.

She is Jill Metzler, and her blog is entitled, Reading is Bliss.”

Go there.

Enjoy.

And remember.

She's only 15.

Metzler does what far too many at her age (and older)  fail to do, and she does it well: read and write!


THE KEVIN FISCHER "WHIPPERSNAPPER HALL OF FAME"

1) The Conservative Casanova

2) American Sweetheart

3) Eva Lorraine Molina

4) Matt Kallerud

5) Hannah Giles

6) Jillian Bandes

7) Jonathan McCoy

8) James O’Keefe

9) Jackie Seal

10) Jill Metzler

Say hello to winter


Are you ready?

MPS wants to hand out free condoms.....I have a better idea


This is just plain nuts, especially the incredibly foolish argument that kids are fooling around anyway.

Instead of handing out a free invitation to kids to go have sex, I suggest taking one of my blogs and reading the column that I link to in every MPS high school classroom as often as possible. Make copies available. Put it on blackboards, in school libraries, publish it in the school paper.

Mail the column to the home of every MPS student and urge the parent, parents, or guardians to go over it with their child/children.

Handing out free condoms isn’t prevention. It’s enabling dangerous, risky behavior we want to prevent.

Chinese, English, Hmong, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Somali, and Spanish

Topics talked about on WISN


Last week while filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I discussed the inaction on the part of the states and Washington to deal with REAL ID.

During the call-in portion of the program, a caller referenced the DMV, leading me to mention how many different languages our DMV offices use to, how shall I put it, accommodate individuals (I won’t say citizens).

According to U.S. English, the state of Wisconsin uses 8 different languages for its driver license exams. The languages are listed in the title of this entry.

California uses four times the number of languages we do.

Here’s some good news from the organization:

Recently, U.S. English, Inc. has successfully pressed for the end of driver’s license exams in languages other than English in Arizona, Kansas and Oklahoma.”

Get more details here.

Some might call this art


I call it a waste of time and money.

Look out for 'Loophole Louie'


Jack Park tries to warn America about a judge we know every well in Wisconsin, Louis Butler.

Tossed on his ear by statewide voters, Butler is still good enough for President Obama who has nominated  “Loophole” for a lifetime position. Park writes:

“Judicial elections provide voters with a way of holding judges accountable for their performance. The voters of Wisconsin did precisely that when a majority of them voted against him in 2000 and again in early 2008. In his first run, he failed to unseat the incumbent, Diane Sykes, who has since been appointed to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. In the second, Wisconsin voters who knew of his record declined to elect him to a term in his own right. Even with the support of the public employee unions, the tort plaintiff trial bar, and Indian casinos, he lost 51.2 percent to 48.5 percent -- in a state that President Obama carried later that same year by nearly 14 points!”

Read the entire column.

No religious songs in public schools this Christmas!

Tonight on InterCHANGE

 

Read more

Overkill


Forgive me, but I do not lay awake nights worrying about Asian carp. Maybe I should because the little monsters are reportedly a threat to the Great Lakes.

I DO get concerned about government inefficiency and wasteful spending and a story in today’s MJS is riddled with one public sector goof after another. It sounds almost too crazy to be true, but it is.

The paper reports, and see if anything jumps out at you:

“Thousands of gallons of fish poison, called rotenone, was dumped in the (Chicago Sanitary and Ship) canal around 8 p.m. Wednesday in a drastic attempt to destroy every fish in a six-mile stretch of waterway so an electric fish barrier on the canal can be turned off for maintenance.”

See, with the electric fish barrier turned off, (Who designed that? The people who built the U.S.Mexico border fence?) lots of naughty fish, like the dreaded Asian carp could slip through.

So into the river we dump “thousands of gallons of fish poison.” And why not. We pollute Lake Michigan with raw sewage all the time.


How much is this carp cleansing costing?

I’m glad you asked.

Try $3 million.

The expectation is, according to our daily paper, “about 200,000 pounds worth of several species of fish, including at least some Asian carp, to surface by Sunday.”

What’s been the Asian carp catch thus far?

One measly fish.

One.

Not one of government’s shining moments.

For the second time this week, I cry out for Bill Proxmire.

Giving these so-called “experts” the benefit of the doubt, the Asian carp kill could increase by the end of the weekend. But if it doesn’t, may I suggest the perfect wipe-egg-off- face spin:

“But if we could kill just one Asian carp, it was all worth it.”

Hey, hey, it's the weekend!


All the regular weekend material begins tonight on This Just In with our regular Friday night Goodnight music post, and this week, it’s more Sounds of the Season with a decidedly retro lounge feel.






Oh, it's going be a party, Santa Claus' party!

Saturday morning, wake up to The Barking Lot, our weekly dog blog with the dog walking forecast, my wife Jennifer's main blog, and DOGS IN THE NEWS including a story involving….



Then it's Week-ends, our weekly week in review and oh, do we have the material this week.

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading....... guaranteed good stuff inlcuding one piece that explores, I kid you not.....





S
unday, My Most Popular Blogs, the MJS Scorecard, Culinary no-no, and Photos of the Week. Here is a photo that DID NOT make the final cut for Sunday, but it is interesting. Who knew that chicks dig this?




A group of young women watch as University of Texas at Dallas student Jacek Stopa, left, competes against Lelys Martinez as the school's chess team visits Cuba for matches on October 19, 2009. (Tom Fox/Dallas Morning News/MCT)

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Goodnight everyone, and have a lounge around 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
.

We continue the Sounds of the Season we began last Friday.

Tonight, we open up the Christmas Lounge for some Christmas Cocktails. These are wonderful selections we need to hear more often that provide the perfect setting for an intimate get-together or a full-fledged Christmas party.

Let’s start with the famous piano duo of Ferrante and Teicher followed by the King of Exotica music, Les Baxter.




Read more

Journalism 2009



 


Political Cartoon by Steve Breen


Political Cartoon by Larry Wright















 

The Barking Lot (12/05/09)

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 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. A high of 30.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Mostly cloudy. A high of 38.  "D"

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

I have a dear friend (“Katie”) who has been exclusively dating a guy (“Steve”) for almost a year.  Things are going very well for them and she cares for him quite a bit.  Not long ago, she asked him:  “Honey, am I marriage material?”  His response was, “Yeah, if you didn’t have that dog.”

Now don’t jump to conclusions that boyfriend is a dog hater.  He, in fact, owns a dog himself.  He just has a bit more control over his better-behaved dog than my friend has with hers.  Steve has taught Katie some tips on helping “Bennie” listen better and has worked on some behavior issues with the naughty dog.  All in all, it seems to be working out.

However, Katie has pointed out to me that Bennie has been in her life longer that Steve has.  While I know she wants to settle down with “Mr. Right” at some point, she has become very attached to her dog.  She has pretty much told me that if it came down to it, she would choose Bennie over any potential mate.

While the question of “would you choose your dog or your mate” is probably more in line with the “tastes great – less filling” argument than anything Plato pondered in The Apology, it can certainly spark a heated debate. 

Truthfully for as long as I have known Katie and for how deeply I know she wants to find “The One” I think she is a little off in saying she would choose Bennie over a husband.  Oh, I don’t DOUBT her.  I just think she might want to reconsider.

Again, Steve is NOT anti-dog.  He is anti- poor behaved dog, which Bennie often is, since Katie had always let him get away with murder like a spoiled child.  (I have witnessed first-hand how over indulged this pup is).

Ever since Katie told me about their conversation I wondered what I would do in her situation.  It’s difficult to say.  I would of course want my significant other to “love me, love my dog.”  But if I fell head over heels for Tall, Dark and Handsome and he felt the same about me, sans dog, it could be a tough choice.  Like all philosophical questions there is no one right answer but it certainly makes for lively conversation! 
---Jennifer Fischer


Thank you, my darling, Jennifer.

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


New law regulates Wisconsin puppy mills.......advocate lives long enough to see bill signed.


Armor to guard $50,000 dogs


Can attack dogs be rehabilitated?



Inside the booming dog meat trade in SE Asia.


Jetstar......villains.


Australia wants to mandate dog walking.


Chicago makes another attempt to limit dogs per household.


Dogs cannot roam unsupervised.


Michael Vick
wants what?


Chase dies in the line of duty.


Remembering Baxter.


Deaf, bling dog
offers lesson in compassion.


Cena: Marines' best friend.


Dog trapped 10 days in foxhole.



Replacing a guide dog
isn't easy.


Hey, Cody, you're fired!


Chapman U. to try dog therapy.


UGA says NO to PETA.


Sit, Nipper, Sit. Good Dog!


Katherine Heigl......hero.


Colorado's $1 million dog.


Is it OK to put sealed dog poo in a neighbor's trash?


That's it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by The Barking Lot.

We close with our closing video. If you missed it over the Thanksgiving weekend, ABC Family repeats, "The Dog Who Saved Christmas" this morning at 9:30.



Read more

Week-ends (12/05/09)

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


Patti Bringe-Blomquist and Richard Blomquist and the MSO


Brian Butzler


Volunteers


Ira Hayes


Brian McKeever and Dave Sayers



Michael Scalia


Big Business


WebMD Health Heroes



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Rev. Carlton Veazey


Rembert Weakland


Van Barfoot's homeowner's association........MORE


Chris Matthews



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone. I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology."
Tiger Woods, after reports that he cheated on his wife.


"Even Walmart has a greeter."
Rep. Loretta Sanchez of California told NBC's "Today" show she believes Congress has a right to hear White House social secretary Desiree Rogers  explain how a Virginia couple got into the state dinner without invitations.


“See that it gets done.”
The last words of puppy mill opponent Joyce Kitsemble  as she was wheeled out of a Capitol bill signing ceremony Tuesday, suffering from what would turn out to be a fatal heart attack. Governor Doyle was about to sign a bill cracking down on puppy mills. Kitsemble was 70.


"There's a lot of dissatisfied hunters. It's one thing to not get a deer. It's another thing entirely to not even see a deer."
Ed Harvey, chairman of the Wisconsin Conservation Congress. Hunters registered the fewest deer in 27 years in the Wisconsin gun deer season that ended Sunday, according to preliminary data from the Department of Natural Resources. The 2009 harvest of 195,647 deer included 86,251 bucks and 109,396 antlerless deer. It represents a 29% drop from 2008, when hunters registered a preliminary total of 98,840 bucks and 178,145 antlerless deer.


"Current polling among likely voters by Rasmussen shows Republicans with a comfortable advantage.  Lest you think that Rasmussen is to be dismissed, Daily Kos recently published information showing that 81% of Republicans will either definitely or probably vote in 2010, compared to only 56% of Democrats.  Even Democracy Corps shows Democrats only ahead by 2% among likely voters.  This means Rasmussen is not really much of an outlier, and Republicans are well positioned to make major gains.  Retaking the House is even a possibility for the GOP."
From OPENLEFT.COM


“There’s no doubt Democrats will be better off with a newer face as their candidate for governor next year than Jim Doyle.”
Dean Debnam of the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling.. According to its new poll, Gov. Jim Doyle’s approval rating has dropped to 29 percent.


“The 232,300 people looking for work in Wisconsin need answers about what will be done to create jobs in Wisconsin. Some may be able to take small comfort in reports released on Tuesday by the construction industry declaring that next year there could be 50,000 jobs created or retained in Wisconsin. If it comes true, this will be great news.

I find it interesting, however, that after this announcement, Democrats in Madison were none too quick to release statements touting their ability to ‘deliver’ (as one representative put it) for the people of Wisconsin by creating jobs. That's nonsense. You'd have to be a fool to believe that these new jobs had very much to do with the actions of the state legislature. This surge of new construction jobs has mostly to do with a huge influx of one-time federal stimulus money, not the budget supported by liberal democrats that raised taxes on Wisconsin families and businesses by $5 billion.”
State Representative Robin Vos (R-Racine)


“I am not sitting here saying it is not possible that human activity can impact the earth’s climate ... but I guess, on the other hand, I haven’t seen conclusive evidence that whatever warming we do have is caused by man. I guess my feeling is that what we really should be doing is developing a sensible energy policy, both in Wisconsin and in the country.”
State Representative Jim Ott. He said that temperatures have remained steady for the last decade and have been cooler the past two years.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


MPS' ingenious plan



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Navy Seals



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Tiger Woods, with Adam Lambert left in the dust.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


School employee used computers for.....take a look.


Jesus Christ dropped from jury duty.


Illinois zoo is selling jewelry made out of.....read.


Ceramic chipmunk doesn't stay stolen for long.


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 (12/05/09)

Recommended reading


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


Tiger falls, takes last sports hero with him

"Woods had so much hubris, he believed he could see a socialite in New York and a waitress in Los Angeles and that nobody would ever know. Meanwhile, we were dumb enough to believe he could possibly live up to his persona."


Another 'hero' bites the dust

"It turns out that the guy who has more money than any of us could ever imagine - the up-to-now oh-so private man off the course who draws so much attention world wide when he's on it - is not Superman after all."


Does Obama listen to himself?

"Barack Obama is demonstrating bottomless reservoirs of gracelessness. A full 13 months after his election, in the course of justifying the deployment of 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan, President Obama could not spare a word of praise for George W. Bush — not even when recounting the nation’s 'unified' response to 9/11. To the contrary, throughout his pained recitation of the choices we face in Afghanistan, he adverted at least half a dozen times to the supposed blunders of his predecessor.

It’s beginning to sound whiny — and unpresidential."


Do smoking guns cause global warming, too?

"The way this episode is unfolding, the environmentalists may be forced to drop their phantom threat of global warming and go back to the phantom threat of global cooling."



What happens when a PI dumpster dives behind a San Diego ACORN office?

"He strikes the flippin’ mother lode! At least that’s what happened to private investigator Derrick Roach at the National City (San Diego) ACORN office. Yep, Roach scored big-time on the cockroaches of ACORN when he staked out their San Diego workplace.”


Working two jobs and still underemployed

"Mr. Crane is part of a growing group of underemployed -- people in part-time jobs who want full-time work or people in jobs that don't employ their skills. Since the recession began two years ago, the number of people involuntarily working part-time jobs has more than doubled to 9.3 million, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest number on record."


When it's time to pass the baton

"This New Year's Eve, Dick Clark will again be on TV, counting down the seconds to midnight. But in his slurred speech, the result of a 2004 stroke, some of us can't help but hear the countdowns in our own lives—to the end of our careers, to the difficulties of old age, to the decisions we must make about closing chapters that defined us."


More men have something they want to get off their chests----their shirts

"Man cleavage -- plunging necklines slit open to reveal chest hair, pectoral muscles, maybe more -- is back."

UPDATE: Overkill


For the second day in a row, those clever editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in their infinite wisdom have decided that with all the important news items going on in the world, the most important warranting front page above the fold attention was a massive fish poisoning.



WI_MJS.jpg

 

Read more

Obama and the Dems are anti-business: This says it all

Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel

My Most Popular Blogs (12/06/09)

Most popular


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

1) It's starting already.....The Tiger Woods Family Christmas Portrait

2) Culinary no-no #142

3) In case you missed it last Thursday....

4) Photos of the Week (11/29/09)

5) TIE

    Overkill
 

    *BREAKING NEWS: WISCONSIN IS NOT A TAX HELL* 

    Maybe it is time to blow up Milwaukee County government


The real St. Nicholas


Today is the feast of St. Nicholas. From Christianity Today:

“In the most famous story about his life, he threw bags of gold through the windows of three girls about to be forced into lives of prostitution. At least that's the most common version of the story; there are others, including an excessively grim one where the three girls are beheaded by an innkeeper and pickled in a tub of brine until Nicholas resurrects them.”

Ooooohhh, not good storytelling while you’re going through those stockings this morning.

You did remember to hang them last night, didn’t you?

Read how St. Nicholas is celebrated around the world, including Austria where St. Nicholas doesn’t work alone. He’s aided by a gruesome monster.


Read more

Photos of the Week (12/06/09)

Photos of the Week






US President Barack Obama addresses the nation on Afghanistan at the United States Military Academy at West Point in West Point, NY, December 1, 2009. Obama said sending 30,000 more troops into Afghanistan is in the "vital national interest" of the United States. JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images




U.S. soldiers listen to President Barack Obama's speech on TV at the U.S. Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009.

U.S. soldiers listen to President Barack Obama's speech on TV at the U.S. Camp Eggers in Kabul, Afghanistan on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. AP photo


WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 01:  Cardboard figures are placed in a mock coffin during a protest against 'escalation of the war in Afghanistan' in front of the White House December 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama will layout his plan for the ongoing war in Afghanistan during a prime time announcement this evening from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Cardboard figures are placed in a mock coffin during a protest against 'escalation of the war in Afghanistan' in front of the White House December 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. U.S. President Barack Obama will layout his plan for the ongoing war in Afghanistan during a prime time announcement this evening from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Photo: Getty Images






Protesters in Highland Falls, N.Y. gather nearby the U.S. Military Academy at West Point N.Y. Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009, before President Barack Obama outlined plans to deploy more troops to Afghanistan in a speech at the academy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)






United States Marine Cpl. Joseph Kelly of Va., from the 2nd MEB, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, walks past Afghan youths during a patrol near Khan Nashin in the volatile province of Helmand, southern Afghanistan, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)






LCpl Gamble is approached by Afghan children wanting food near the end of the patrol naer FOB Hassanabad, Afghanistan. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)






With CodePink demonstrators behind him, Joint Chiefs Chairman Adm., Mike Mullen rubs his forehead on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009, prior to testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)






A homeless street child climbs outside of a train window inside of a train carriage at Central Station, Rio de Janeiro's main train station on December 4, 2009 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Street children, a continuing problem in Brazil with an estimated 25,000 children living on the streets, often congregate in trains and the stations. As an increasing number of Brazilians migrate to urban centers in search of work, farcicalities like the Central Station train depot are witnessing a surge of riders. In 2009 Central Station had over 135 million people using the train services, which mainly serves outlying suburbs of Rio, the second largest city and former capital of Brazil. Spencer Platt/Getty Images




In this image made from video provided Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 by NBC Universal, Tareq and Michaele Salahi are interviewed on the "Today" show. The couple that got into the White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister without invitations denied Tuesday that they were gatecrashers. Appearing on the same program, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs insisted the Salahis had not been invited.

In this image made from video provided Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009 by NBC Universal, Tareq and Michaele Salahi are interviewed on the "Today" show. The couple that got into the White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister without invitations denied Tuesday that they were gatecrashers. Appearing on the same program, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs insisted the Salahis had not been invited. AP Photo




WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 01:  Michaele Salahi leaves the Halcyon House in Georgetown on December 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. Michaele and Tareq Salahi are under investigation for allegedly crashing a White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister.

Michaele Salahi leaves the Halcyon House in Georgetown on December 1, 2009 in Washington, DC. Michaele and Tareq Salahi are under investigation for allegedly crashing a White House state dinner for the visiting Indian prime minister. Photo: Getty Images




The empty table where Virginia couple Tareq and Michaele Salahi were to testify December 3, 2009 before the House Homeland Security Committee is shown on Capitol Hill in Washington December 3, 2009. The head of the U.S. Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, testified today on how the Salahi's entered the White House November 24 without invitation to attend the Obama administration's first state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Singh. Neither Michaele or Tareq Salahi attended today's hearing.

The empty table where Virginia couple Tareq and Michaele Salahi were to testify December 3, 2009 before the House Homeland Security Committee is shown on Capitol Hill in Washington December 3, 2009. The head of the U.S. Secret Service, Mark Sullivan, testified today on how the Salahi's entered the White House November 24 without invitation to attend the Obama administration's first state dinner honoring Indian Prime Minister Singh. Neither Michaele or Tareq Salahi attended today's hearing. Photo: Reuters






Rachel Uchitel arrives from New York at the Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009. The National Enquirer published a story alleging that golfer Tiger Woods, who was involved in a car accident near his home on Friday, had been seeing the New York night club hostess, and that they recently were together in Melbourne, where Woods competed in the Australian Masters. Uchitel denied having an affair with Woods when contacted by the Associated Press. Gloria Allred, left, met her at the airport. (AP Photo/David Zentz)



 

Journalists wait outside the chalet of Polish-French filmmaker Roman Polanski after he arrived at the chalet named "Milky Way", in Gstaad, Canton of Bern, Switzerland, Friday, Dec. 4 2009. The Swiss court has approved on 25 November 2009 Roman Polanski's bail offer of USD 4.5 million to be released from prison and kept under house arrest and electronic monitoring at his Swiss chalet. Polanski has been arrested on 26 September 2009 as he arrived in Switzerland to attend the Zurich Film Festival. He has been wanted in the US on charges of having sex with a 13 year old girl in 1977. (AP Photo/Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott)






New York state Sens. Ruben Diaz, D-Bronx, left, and Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan, shake hands after a debate over same-sex marriage in the New York state Senate at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. The bill, supported by Duane and opposed by Diaz, was defeated 38-24. (AP Photo/Tim Roske)






Glenn Carlson of Tacoma reacts at a make-shift memorial near the site where four police officers were killed in an ambush at the Forza Coffee company in Parkland, Wash., on Sunday Nov. 29, 2009. (AP Photo/The News Tribune, Lui Kit Wong)






Debbie Seelye, right, comforts Terry Roy, left, as they visit a growing memorial to four slain Lakewood Police officers at the Lakewood Police Dept. headquarters Monday, Nov. 30, 2009, in Lakewood, Wash. Four Lakewood Police officers were fatally shot Sunday morning as they sat in a coffee shop in Parkland, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)






Police officers and medical assistants escort defendant John Demjanjuk, who lies on a stretcher, during a trial break in the court in Munich, Germany, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2009. Demjanjuk goes on trial on charges of being an accessory to the murder of 27.900 Jews at a Nazi death camp, opening the final chapter of some 30 years of efforts to prosecute the retired Ohio autoworker in Munich. (AP Photo/Christof Stache)






Maria Anne Pilgrim, originally from Canada, cries as she takes the Oath of Allegiance from Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to become an American citizen December 4, 2009 at Ellis Island in New York. Pilgrim served in the US Army as both enlisted and an officer as an occupational therapist, serving part of her time at Walter Reed Medical Center. Napolitano presided over the naturalization of 110 new citizens during a visit to New York. Chris Hondros/Getty Images






LCpl John Westwood gets instructions from a fellow Marine on the ground as he puts the finishing touches on the American flag he planted at the main gate of FOB Hassanbad which Golf Company of the 2/2 calls home in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan.He said aftererecting the flag, "I was putting up the American flag and the Afghan flag and I felt all the honor in the world to be able to do something like that , to put up our flag in a foreign country I think was a great deal. When I was finished putting those flags up...the words couldn't...can't express the way it made me feel. (Chuck Liddy/Raleigh News & Observer/MCT)






Medal of Honor recipient Col. Van T. Barfoot, 90, lowers the flag outside his home in the Sussex Square subdivision in western Henrico County, Va., on Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009. According to the subdivision's homeowner association's board, Col. Barfoot is in violation because he flies the flag from a flagpole instead of a pole attached to his porch or doorway. Col. Barfoot has been ordered to remove the pole by 5pm on Friday or face legal action. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Eva Russo)






A World War II-era F6F-3 Hellcat fighter is seen at Larsen Marine in Waukegan, Ill., after it was recovered from 250 feet of water in Lake Michigan on Monday, Nov. 30, 2009. The plane crashed into the lake during a training exercise in January 1945. The plane will eventually be displayed at a museum. (AP Photo/Lake County News-Sun, Thomas Delany Jr.)






The last surviving U.S. veteran of World War I, Frank Buckles (age 108), shakes hands with Sen. John Rockefeller (D-WV) prior to appearing befofe the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks December 3, 2009 in Washington, DC. Buckles appeared before the committee to show his support for legislation to authorize re-dedication of the District of Columbia War Memorial as a National and District of Columbia World War I Memorial. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)






Grace Aiko Amemiya, 89, left, and Edith Kimiyo Tanita, 90, right, look emotional after seeing each other after many years before they received an honorary degree at a ceremony at the University of California, San Francisco, in San Francisco, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Sixty-eight former students of the University of California, San Francisco who were interned because of their Japanese descent during World War II received their degrees. UCSF held a ceremony to award honorary degrees to the former students. Many are being honored posthumously. More than 700 UC students were affected in 1942, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order allowing the U.S. military to send people of Japanese descent to internment camps. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


 

Read more

Madonna and Sleeping Child


Once again, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued a beautiful Christmas stamp.



This image is a larger version of the Christmas: Madonna and Sleeping Child by Sassoferrato product.



The stamp has to just frost atheists like fruitcake Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation based in Wisconsin.


There’s a wonderful story behind this year’s stamp. The image of Madonna and the Christ Child is from a painting  by Italian artist Giovanni Battista Salvi dating back to the 1600’s that is part of the collection at the magnanimous Hearst Castle in California.  






You can read more about the stamp and its historical significance here........and here.

And speaking of the Post Office...

Hope you survived last week's "big storm" because another "big storm" is on its way


Last week, a serious weather advisory was issued that I posted on my blog.

Yes, we got snow.

Yes, it accumulated on our driveways.

Yes, it accumulated on our lawns.

And yes, it all just about melted within 24 hours.

Milwaukee TV stations went into full-blown scare mode. But despite their sky is falling warnings, a storm never approached (Even so, one neighbor decided to pull out his snow plow at 6 the next morning. I bet he ran out and stocked up on milk and brad the night before, too.)

So the weather crowd that cries that it’s impossible to really know what’s going to happen in a 24-hour period but insists on making 7-day forecasts is warning of a “big storm” this evening. And it could happen. I guess it all depends on what your definition of “big storm” is.

Apparently, if you’re a TV weather person, a dusting is all it takes to haul out all the bells and whistles and warn people to bunker down.

Having worked in commercial broadcasting with some of the best TV meteorologists, I understand marketing, competition, and ratings. Solid, accurate information is one thing. Alarmist hyping is another.

On the scare-o-meter, the weather folks are 1 for 1 this season. On the accuracy of their “big storm” warnings, they are 0 for 1. Personally, I’d rather get the latter correct.

Once again, the MJS pontificates that WI is NOT a tax hell

Topics talked about on WISN


The day after Thanksgiving as I filled in on Newstalk 1130 WISN, the listeners and I had a good time chortling over the Journal Sentinel’s front page announcement that Wisconsin was no longer a tax hell.

Of course, that infers that at some time, Wisconsin was a tax hell. That’s odd, but all those years that Wisconsin should have been, using the paper’s logic, a tax hell, I don’t recall many stories and /or editorials by the geniuses at 4th and State about such a significant news item.

I predicted on WISN that this caterpillar would have legs, that the paper that knows better than the rest of us taxpaying slobs would editorialize about their supposed scoop that no one calling in to my program was buying.

Sure enough, today’s editorial section contains this “we know better” piece:



"Not a tax hell, but state still needs better revenue mix”


Love how those crafty editorial writers try to play both sides.

This out of touch with reality editorial contains the following:

“Taxes are one important factor in the intricate calculus of business, but they are by no means the only one. A competent, trained workforce is far more important to many businesses. This is not to discount the damage done from years of riding atop the lists of high-tax states, but the impact of taxes on development is often overemphasized to score political points. Hyperbolists in the Legislature, or on the radio, do the state no favors when they play this game.”

Oh, was that supposed to hurt? I don’t think so.

I’ll stick with my stance that Wisconsin is down there with the red-adorned bad guy sporting a pitchfork.

To believe otherwise means you need a head from sand-ectomy.

The MJS Scorecard (12/06/09)

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

NONE.

A first for the year.


TODAY'S CONSERVATIVE PIECES

Michael Trepanier: Veterans lose as secretary is dumped for political reasons  

One of the most partisan, conservative pieces to run all year. Too few and far between.

Patience Drake Roggensack: The vote was about protecting state's voters  


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

John Gurda: One people, many paths  

The Rev. John R. Walton: This church is doing something about it  

Nyerere C. Davidson: Black churches can do more on teen births  

Varsha Shah: Task force right on mammograms  

Liberals and conservatives alike have panned the recent government panel findings on breast cancer prevention procedures. This writer supports the findings on mammograms. Bizarre.


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-0, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-112, Conservative-84

Three weeks to go.

Culinary no-no #143

Culinary no-no's


If we weren’t at the county park swimming pool, we were in the alley behind the building that housed the Juneau Theater and Juneau apartments.

Me, Stanley, Eddie, Mike, John, Carol, Skipper, Duane, Rheiny (short for Rheinholdt; yes, his parents actually did that to him).

The long water pipe running down the side of the building was first base, second was the manhole cover in the middle of the alley, third was some gravel across from first, and home plate was lined up with a telephone next to Eddie and Mike’s house.

About ten feet behind home plate was a huge, unmarked green door, an exit for the Juneau Theater. It never, ever opened because I can’t recall anyone ever leaving through that door.

We were just kids, and couldn’t attend too many movies. They were pretty strict in those days about letting kids in to certain flicks. I remember getting some cold stares from the ticket seller and taker when friends and I somehow managed to get into “The Silencers” with Dean Martin.







Sure, we went to movies in the Juneau, mostly the innocent Elvis, beach, horror, sci-fi movie stuff. But most of the time, we didn’t care. It was baseball time in the alley.

Standing as close as we could to that ominous green door, we could, at times, pick up on the audio from the big screen. We rarely wasted our time, though. If we couldn’t see the film, why bother.

An exception was in 1964. “A Hard Day’s Night” had hit the Juneau.



A Hard Day's Night Masterprint



Cool. Very cool.

It was one thing to hear the Beatles on WOKY or WRIT. Now they were on the big screen.

Cool. Very cool.

So we dropped our bats, ball, and gloves. And we pressed next to that door like a bunch of record-setting hopefuls jammed into a phone booth.

And we listened.

And we heard…..

Not a single sentence of dialogue.

Not one guitar lick.

Not one Ringo drum beat.

Not one Paul or John vocal.

It was impossible.

The earth-shattering shrieks and screams completely obliterated the soundtrack.

“Stupid idiot girls,” we unanimously agreed.

Even so, we were dying to see that movie. And with that door always staring us in the face, we often were tempted to slide our way in, but never tried in fear of being met instantaneously by the high school dropout usher who walked on his knuckles.

Again, we never tried, but we thought about it many, many times.

When it came to sneaking, one area never given ANY serious consideration was hiding food on our way inside. For one thing, it was something you just didn’t do. And there was no need to. The concessions inside weren’t all that expensive and they were the bomb.

What was I going to do? Jam a ham sandwich into my jeans pocket?

So when we got past the long line waiting OUTSIDE the theater, bought our ticket, and handed it over, it was a mad dash to get in line at the concession line to purchase all the essentials before hunting for a seat (Yes, a line at the concession stand. You ever see that now?)

Times have changed since John, Paul, George, and Ringo were on the marquee. The price of movie theater concessions naturally has jumped dramatically while the quality has declined especially with popcorn.

When I was a kid (I will refrain from pulling out the ‘we travelled a mile on our knees in the snow to get to school’ speech), we marveled at the popcorn popper actually popping popcorn. At times, you had to wait in line for your Goobers because the concession stand worker had to dump real Wisconsin butter into the popcorn popper that was popping popcorn.

When you bought popped popcorn with real Wisconsin butter in those days, you sometimes got change, but always made your way to your seat with both arms and both legs intact.

For decades, movie-goers have cavalierly trotted into theaters armed to the gills with you name it: popcorn, beverages, candy bars, whatever they could stuff into and onto themselves.

The rough economy has hit everyone, including theaters that have lost revenue. Reacting to the bottom line, AMC Theaters, numbering over 300 around the country has announced they will no longer allow any outside food to be brought in to any of their locations.

Penny-pinching movie buffs hoping to save some cash are outraged.

I am glad to see this happening.

AMC and other theater groups are businesses. They are in business not to exhibit films or furnish gourmet food. Their goal is to make a profit.

It’s real simple. You don’t bring food into an establishment that sells food.

Would you bring any sort of food item into a restaurant?  Of course not.

Lifelong friends of mine run a neighborhood tavern in Milwaukee. They sell all kinds of snacks. So you can imagine that they are not very enamored when guys walk in with plastic bags filled with salted in the shell peanuts they bought at Pick ‘n’ Save.

It’s just plain wrong.

You don’t like the popcorn at Marcus because you feel like one of Jesse James’ victims?

THEN DON’T BUY IT.

Besides, the stuff is no damn good for you.

And I’m not fussy or a calorie counter but OMG, this crap will audibly harden your arteries. Remember, we've banned private businesses from allowing smoking because it's so unhealthy. The same bunch that clamored for that ban should be doing cartwheels about this move.

If the movies, including the concessions sold are just too much, then maybe it’s best folks stay home and consider a concept called “renting.”


CULINARY NO-NO BONUS

30 secrets your waiter will never tell you

"Christmas with a Capital C"


The group is called, "Go Fish."

From their album, "Snow".........




 

Read more

"Obamas would like to neuter Christmas"


"The Spotlight’s Bright Glare”
New York Times
December 6, 2009

Paragraph 8:

“As social secretary, Ms. (Desirée)  Rogers is responsible for every event that goes on in the White House residence, from the Easter egg roll to Christmas  parties to visits from heads of state.”

Paragraphs 12 and 13:

“When former social secretaries gave a luncheon to welcome Ms. Rogers earlier this year, one participant said, she surprised them by suggesting the Obamas were planning a 'non-religious Christmas' — hardly a surprising idea for an administration making a special effort to reach out to other faiths.

T
he lunch conversation inevitably turned to whether the White House would display its crèche, customarily placed in a prominent spot in the East Room. Ms. Rogers, this participant said, replied that the Obamas did not intend to put the manger scene on display — a remark that drew an audible gasp from the tight-knit social secretary sisterhood.”

Here
is the entire article.

The Catholic League offers this reaction.

Vote on Gov. Funding of Abortion Could Occur as Early as Today

 
Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release


Vote on Government Funding of

Abortion Could Occur as Early as

Today


Wisconsin Right to Life Urges Kohl

and Feingold to Support

Nelson/Hatch Amendment

Monday, December 7, 2009

Kohl Says He Opposes Abortion Funding But Was He Being Truthful

 
Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release


Sen. Kohl Tells Audience at

Marquette He Opposes Government-

Funding of Abortion But How Will He

Actually Vote on the Nelson-Hatch

Amendment?


Call Senator Kohl IMMEDIATELY and

Hold Him to His Word!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Under Obamacare, do you get to keep your insurance?


Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute provided the answer as he spoke recently to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

The MacIver Institute was there.



Read more

Pearl Harbor: Saving a sinking memorial


WATCH.











Elvis Silhouette     







 

Read more

Misery loves company

Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Once again, the end of the college football season is all screwed up


Let’s see.

The nation’s best college football team with the nation’s best quarterback lost last weekend, convincingly to Alabama. So Florida, because of some screwy system won’t be in the national championship game and their multi-talented QB, Tim Tebow will not win the Heisman Trophy.

Alabama will play for the title against Texas that needed a last-second miracle to beat not so mighty Nebraska. As a result, Texas’ QB, Colt McCoy, who is a Girl Scout compared to Tebow, will win the Heisman this Saturday (It should go to that brusing RB from Stanford who will be a marvelous NFL player).

And like most Heisman Trophy winners, McCoy more than likely will go to the pros, and stink.

Read more

A holiday oldie but a goodie


Top Ten Reasons Why Liberals Hate the Holidays

The nation's first purple president, or.....


Guess who has visited the White House the most this year?

A new restaurant at the lakefront?


Is there a better, more scenic location for a restaurant in Milwaukee than our fabulous lakefront?

Of course not, but we can’t make any kinds of improvements development-wise, including restaurants at that spot for fear that dozens of ultra-sensitive enviros would launch themselves out of windows.

From the “I’ll believe it when I see it” file:

The Daily Reporter is reporting that a new restaurant could be opening at the site of the old Pieces of Eight.  Michael Cudahy and the Bartolotta Restaurant group are attempting to jump through the necessary hoops to make it happen.

Here’s hoping the heavy-handed bureaucrats at the DNR don’t muck things up like they usually do.


The details…

UPDATE: Week-ends (12/05/09)

Week-ends


This past Saturday, one of the VILLAINS OF THE WEEK in my weekly Week-ends was Van Barfoot’s Homeowner’s Association.

Here’s the latest.

I love a happy ending, but the folks running that homeowner’s association need to get a life, be very ashamed, and turn the reins over to someone else.

NRLC urges defeat of health bill after abortion vote

 

Read more

Explaining Washington Math on Health Care Reform


Recently, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute spoke to the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. The MacIver Institute was there.

Their first report appeared on This Just In Monday. In Part Two, Tanner discusses some of the gimmicks and outright dishonesty used to try to make government health care appear to far less expensive than it really is.




Read more

When it comes to politics, pro wrestlers are on the up and up


Yours truly is truly a diverse individual.

Elvis, the Beatles, the Stones?

Yep.

Sinatra, Bennett, the big bands?

Check?

The symphony?

Yes.

The ballet?

 

Read more

Goodbye and God bless to a good friend and official


Throughout 2009, I’ve blogged about individuals I’ve known that have been taken from this life too early. They knew their fate, but never let that dim their optimism or diminish their desire to make a difference.

Because of my heavy involvement in high school and college sports in the area, I’ve come to know many referees and officials. One of the nicest and best was John Maniscalco. I pass along the following news sent in an e-mail, hoping to reach friends of a very good man I missed seeing on the soccer field the past year. Now I know why he wasn’t working games.

God bless you, John.

Here is an e-mail I received today:

“It is with deepest sympathy that I send you a copy of an email I received today about our friend and fellow official, John Maniscalco. He was loved by all of us and a conscientious official in many sports. He will surely be missed.

Our friend and basketball, volleyball, softball, baseball and soccer ref, John Maniscalco died of leukemia Monday at home after a year-long battle with the disease. He was 66 years old.

Funeral arrangements are pending and I will report them as soon as announced. His leukemia had been in remission but came back two weeks ago. Things moved very quickly from that point.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Cheri, daughter Aimee of Chicago, son Dean of Phoenix and four grandchildren that were the light of his life.

After graduating from Riverside High School where he was class president, John earned a degree in education from UW-Madison in 1965. He taught elementary school, first at St. Vernonica Catholic School on the south side and then for many years with Milwaukee Public Schools, most notably at Henry David Thoreau School.

He was from a very large family -- one of 13 siblings -- and it is no exaggeration that he had hundreds of friends. Those included teachers, area referees and officials in five sports, a tight circle of high school classmates, a circle of college friends and in Milwaukee's Italian community. He officiated soccer, baseball, basketball, volleyball and softball for nearly 25 years in southeast Wisconsin.

He was proud of his efforts to win equal pay for soccer officials and for the membership growth of the Southeast Wisconsin High School Soccer Referee Unit (from about 80 members to more than 150) during eight years as president.

A group of friends are asking the family's permission to establish in his name an appropriate gift or scholarship for a high school graduate who intends to pursue a teaching degree.”

Barack Dukakis

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

 

Global warming hits Madison

Americans for Prosperity

*** MEDIA ADVISORY ***


WISCONSIN
WEATHER FORCES

POSTPONEMENT OF 
MADISON VIEWING OF

LIVE WEBCAST

Read more

Seen in Greendale Tuesday....


A minivan.....

With license plates from.....















 

 
 
 
 
 
Why?

Read more

Does the news media overhype snowstorms?


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
poses the question on its website.

As of this posting, 3036 respondents out of 3844 say YES.

That's 79%, folks.

You'd think that after seeing the movie hundreds of times every December this wouldn't happen...


1983....


 

Read more

"That is not a baby....it's just a clump of cells."


Evidence of counseling abuse at Planned Parenthood continues to surface in undercover student video taken in Appleton.

Read and Watch…

HT: Dad29

"BIG storm?"


UPDATE from WISN.COM @ 12:38 p.m.:

Snowfall as of 8 a.m. Wednesday:

Milwaukee (downtown): 2 inches

Mitchell International Airport: 2.2 inches 

Our meteorological wussification


The debate rages every winter, and every wicked, cold, snowy season the people we depend on to bring us timely, accurate weather information open themselves wide up to the overhype argument, more so every year.

It began last week when 4-5 inches of snow was the forecast. We got a dusting that melted within a day.

Then came the weekend. One TV weatherman without a dog to hold as a prop was able to emphatically use his fingers to excitedly warn in one of those five second promos that not one, but TWO BIG STORMS were headed our way.

The first of those supposedly big storms, again, never materialized.  The second hit Tuesday night. And while most of Wisconsin was, indeed, bombarded, the viewing area of Milwaukee TV stations and their weather folks was spared. Predictions were that the Milwaukee area would get 6-12 inches. As of 8 a.m. this morning, Milwaukee’s Mitchell International Airport was reporting a snow total of 2.2. inches. The city of Milwaukee cancelled its snow emergency at noon today.


Milwaukee weather prognosticators so far this season

3 for 3 in the Scare the Bejeebers out of Everyone Department

0 for 3 in the Accuracy Department


In TV newsrooms when inclement weather approaches, the meteorologists will inform TV newscast anchors and producers of the very latest information.  It’s at this point that highly critical programming decisions are made by individuals who don’t even know who their school board members are.

The decisions include determining how much time Meteorologist X gets on the 10:00 News. Meteorologist X will lobby for X amount of extra time that he/she swears is necessary and will probably get about half of what’s demanded. (Ever wonder why the sports segment was so short the other night? Something had to be cut)

Another critical news decision will be which ace journalist draws the short straw to be sent out with a live truck to Oblivion, Wisconsin to report back, wearing five layers that it is, indeed, snowing. If the reporter is enterprising, he/she will ask the photojournalist to follow him/her as he/she stoops down to actually pick up a handful of the white stuff to place in front of the camera.

Meanwhile, back at the studio, meteorologists yack and yack and yack and yack and yack and yack for their allotted time. But the producer has agreed to give the weather person an extra minute. It’s like giving government extra money. They will spend it every time. Yack, yack, yack until the final 15-30 seconds which contains all the pertinent information we really need and want:

Tonight, tomorrow, tomorrow night, extended forecast.

I know they have a difficult job but their job is not that difficult.

Tell me the following:

When will it start snowing?

What will the snow totals be in what areas?

When will it stop?

It’s that simple. I bet you could lose at least three “yack and yack’s” following those guidelines.

They won’t do it.

Trust me, I know how competitive the TV news business is and has become as of late in Milwaukee. It’s a three-way horse race because WTMJ-TV no longer dominates the news ratings ever since they let the best anchor in Wisconsin get away from them a few years ago.

So TV news stations try to out-promo, out-gimmick, out-shout, out-warn, and yes, out-hype one another. There is a wolfpack mentality among TV news departments. If one does it, they all try to do it. Try monitoring all the TV newscasts one night as best you can quickly flipping with your remote. There’s an uncanny sameness to each product. Each station does keep track of what the others are doing, and if one misses a story someone else had, it’s discussed, if not in the hallway, in a staff meeting.

Armed with too much data and too large of a script, TV weather folks put on their Paul Revere act. Or would Chicken Little be more appropriate?

Suddenly everyone is scrambling. Schools must decide if they should open. Businesses, too. Working parents must make alternative plans.

These forecasters have amazing power. They can turn the inhabitants of entire communities into hermits in a matter of minutes if the impending warnings sound serious enough. Talk to businesspeople, restaurant owners and they will tell you how infuriated they become with the Armageddon-like forecasts. They may as well put the CLOSED sign up because the entire area  has been told they will die if they go out for a meal, to a movie, or a mall (The exceptions are places that sell Wonder Bread, milk, and frozen pizza).

Meetings and social events are postponed before a single flake falls.

Then when the “big storm” turns out to be a simple case of winter in Wisconsin, the mea culpa never comes. The wind shifted, a front came through, or my personal favorite, it’s not a perfect science is the most humility you’ll hear.

It’s like dominoes. Weather person learns of approaching storm. Weather person informs people who put the newscasts together. Newsrooms go into full WE’RE UNDER ATTACK mode. Weather person goes on air, predicating imminent doom. Panic permeates every town and village within the sound of weather person’s voice. Businesses suffer, losing money. Weather person’s reaction: Hey, not my fault.

And what about us? What’s with this freaking out for days and days when we hear that snow is coming? Isn’t this winter in Wisconsin? We have become total wusses, that is a sad fact. However, the meteorologists are partially culpable for this wussification.

I truly feel bad for the areas that did get socked with a “real” storm. But our corner of the world wasn’t one of them.

The most novel assault on Christmas this year


It’s happening in Howard County, Indiana.

The Catholic League has reaction.

Congress' Newest Budget Buster

             

Congress' Newest Budget Buster


CFPA Will Increase Deficit by $4.5 Billion




We already know that Congress' flawed bill to create a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA) will create massive bureaucracy and onerous new regulations for American employers.

But now we're learning that the bill also is a budget buster. According to The Hill:

A wide-ranging House bill to crack down on Wall Street and revamp the nation's financial markets will increase the nation's deficit by $4.5 billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The more we know about this bill, the worse it becomes -- and the House is set to vote on it by this Friday.

Click here to email Congress now and tell them to oppose this costly bill.

In addition to being a direct threat to our country's job creators, the CFPA will heap huge debt on future generations of Americans.

We've already added more than $9 trillion to the budget this year -- don't let Congress add even more.

Click here to email Congress before this week's vote.

If the CFPA passes -- every American taxpayer will be left footing the bill.

Sincerely,


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

 

I'm going to show you a picture and you tell me what you see


Here we go....




Ready?










 

OK.

I believe I can make out the White House logo at the top.

Very good.

Now go on.

The object underneath the logo appears to be some sort of chocolate.

Maybe some candy.
Yes.That's it. A piece of chocolate candy.

Read more

Those new EPA rules...

Political Cartoon by Gary Varvel

Help a hospitalized veteran this Christmas


Every year, my friend and colleague at Newstalk 1130 WISN, Jay Weber asks for help for the annual Christmas with the Hospitalized Vets.
The event this year takes place on Saturday

I apologize for the short notice, but you still can help with a donation if you act quickly.

Take a look and please consider brightening the Christmas holiday for a veteran who served you and our country.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Read more

Congress Needs To Start Over

             


Yesterday, small business owners, state and local chambers and concerned Americans from more than a dozen states descended on Washington, DC, to fight for a more responsible health care bill.

The health care fly-in could not have come at a better time. With the health care debate now being vigorously debated in the Senate, it was critical to have our members talk directly with their Senators and key staff about the real world impact. Regardless of whether the plan creates a "public option" or government-run "private insurance", the health care bill would kill jobs, increase costs, and raise taxes to pay for it.

The fly-in attendees' message to Congress? Start Over!

As the U.S. Chamber's Bruce Josten said, "Despite broad opposition from constituents, the Senate is debating legislation that will cost American families higher premiums and increased taxes." Read the full press release for more about yesterday's events.

Many of you have echoed those concerns through letters and calls to Capitol Hill. Those efforts have been invaluable -- but our work is far from done.

As we learned yesterday, if we're going to defeat these measures, now is the time to do so.

Yesterday's fly-in made an important point about the country's opposition to Congress' health care bills. But we need you to keep the momentum alive. Learn more about what was said yesterday on Capitol Hill and continue to send your own message to Congress opposing these flawed bills.

We need your help, now more than ever.

Sincerely,


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

P.S. Already sent an email to your legislators? Write again and share this link with your friends.

One of the new hot toys

Heartwarming Story of the Week


My weekly week in review, Week-ends, seen every Saturday morning on This Just In doesn't have such a category.


But if it did...
 

Read more

Bring on the weekend!


A slight warm-up without snow is the rather quiet, ho-hum forecast.

TV weather people are bummed.

We have all our regular weekend material and it starts tonight on This Just In with our regular Friday night Goodnight music post, and this week, it’s more Sounds of the Season with some obscure holiday selections.

Oh, I promise, nothing weird.

Saturday morning, wake up to The Barking Lot, our weekly dog blog with the dog walking forecast, my wife Jennifer's main blog, and DOGS IN THE NEWS including the amazing story of Liza......


Fuad Omar, seen with his brother's dog, Liza, in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009.



Then it's Week-ends, our weekly week in review.

Now they say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but c’mon….



Lead Photo


Also Saturday, Recommended Reading....... guaranteed good stuff.

Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, the MJS Scorecard, Culinary no-no, and Photos of the Week. Here is a photo that DID NOT make the final cut for Sunday......

Read more

UW may not be so thrilled about unionizing


One of the goofier provisions (and there were plenty) in the 2009-11 state budget worked out by Jim Doyle and Democrats in some secret, dark, sinister closed meeting(s) allows University of Wisconsin System faculty and staff to unionize.

The Oshkosh Northwestern quotes Bill Wacholtz, former president of UW-Oshkosh’s faculty senate:

"Right now it's really hard to know what the mood of the faculty is on this. As you can imagine, this is a huge decision for us."

Why aren’t university faculty and workers knocking down doors at this prospect?

A friend of mine in academia who happens to be a staunch conservative (so I won’t disclose the individual’s in order to save his life) wrote me the following:

“One would think that faculty on all campuses, being lock-step leftists, would welcome unionization with glee.  The recruiting campaign by this same union was underway when I joined the System….Two people (at my campus) signed up.  The others, apparently, thought that unions were beneath their professional dignity---you know, rubbing elbows with all those mere teachers.  (Heaven only knows how they blend this attitude with Marx.)  Consequently, faculty outside Madison have been starved nearly to death.  (Some campuses) are on Tier 4 (the bottom) of the U.S. News rankings and are likely to stay there indefinitely.  There is no money for anything. 

Read more

Goodnight everyone, and have a horizon-expanding weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, more Sounds of the Season.

Let's open with a big bang.

Here's one of the best of all-time, backed by the Count Basie Big Band.




Read more

Empty prize for an empty suit

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

House Passes Dangerous CFPA Legislation

             
BREAKING NEWS:
House Passes Dangerous CFPA Legislation

Endangers America's Economic Recovery



Despite our warnings, the House of Representatives Friday passed the deeply flawed, so-called "Consumer Financial Protection Agency" Act (CFPA).

The Washington Post reports that the bill is "the most sweeping package of financial reforms since the Great Depression."

This bill is also a clear and present threat to American employers -- and a budget buster for the American economy.

The focus is now on the Senate. Please click here to email your Senators to ensure that this bill advances no further.


There's not much more we can say about this bill that we haven't already warned you about: the sweeping new regulations, the massive bureaucracy, the addition of an estimated $4.5 billion to our federal deficit.

We know how dangerous this bill is -- now we need to make sure our voices are heard.

Click here to email the Senate today.

This bill puts America's economic recovery in jeopardy, and will leave each and every taxpayer footing the bill for yet another massive expansion of the federal government.

Your voice is needed now more than ever.

Thank you for your immediate support,


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

Letters to editor @ MJS blast planned MPS condom giveaway


I was stunned but very pleased to see the MJS print a pair of outstanding letters to the editor ripping the proposal to hand out condoms. They were in Friday’s paper:



CONDOMS IN MPS

Wait

Conservatives often wonder whether our society has not only lost its way but its mind as well. The proposal to make condoms freely available in Milwaukee Public Schools gives new reason to worry.

We live in a sex-soaked society, so the logic goes, let us "reduce risk" by making sex even more convenient for kids who allegedly cannot control themselves. One wonders whether the proponents of this fallacy have ever read the instructions on "safe" condom use. Do they consider at all the ability of these same youth to carefully perform the instructions for "safe" condom use once aroused?

Many young men will not use condoms correctly because they are satisfying an immediate need for pleasure and are not committed to the well-being of their partner. Likewise, adults expose young girls to disease, disappointment and possible pregnancy when they enable a false message that sex out of wedlock is OK, provided a condom is used.

The proposed condom handout will hurt kids, but it will benefit adults who have helped create this crisis of sexually transmitted disease and disappointment. Those adults include misguided educators who favor "comprehensive" sex education, as well as the pornography and abortion industries. MPS youth deserve a strong, consistent and unqualified message that the best way to escape poverty and find happiness is to wait to have sex until marriage.

Kathleen S. Lawlor
Mequon

***

Gasoline on a fire

Your efforts in highlighting the problem of teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases should be applauded (Editorials, Dec. 6). However, your arguments are confusing and analogies ridiculous.

Any measure to condone sexual activity among teens will only exacerbate the litany of bad outcomes, including the rate of teen pregnancy and STDs among Milwaukee's youth, which are far in excess of averages in other cities. If parents want their children to use condoms, they should supply them just as you advocate while they "teach children well what (they) want them to know" about sex generally. This is a responsibility that begins with and should involve parents and is not a responsibility of Milwaukee Public Schools.

You also argue that "a condom giveaway" would not be sanctioning having sex and would be "tantamount to blaming the fire department for fires." The argument that "efforts to thwart teen pregnancy and STDs are tantamount to blaming the fire department for fires" is faulty. The analogy should more correctly ask if the fire department provided matches and gasoline and instructions for starting fires. If so, could it be blamed for any increase in the rate of fires? Of course!

Likewise, if the Milwaukee Public Schools system made condoms available to high school students, it effectively would condone sexual activity among teens for which this district would then bear direct responsibility. I doubt if providing condoms would result in any difference in the rate of teen pregnancy and STDs.

J. Michael Steinhardt
Pewaukee

 

Read more

The Barking Lot (12/12/09)

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:  Partly cloudy. A high of 31.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Cloudy. A high of 34.  "D"

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

Every Christmas, our pets got gifts just like the rest of the family.  Tommy (our Sumo-sized cat) and Sugar and Skippy all knew what packages where theirs, so they remained hidden away until it was time to open all our “loot.”  Actually, they all got gifts on their birthdays as well.  And why shouldn’t they?  They are, after all, part of the family.  And if you are wondering…  Yes, they all wore red ribbons around their necks for the Christmas season.  Big surprise that Tommy wasn’t too fond of that tradition---I guess that’s why I’ve become even more of a dog person over the years!

In the Thanksgiving Weekend 2009 edition of The Barking Lot, Kevin mentioned that over half the pet owners out there will buy their pets Christmas gifts this year, up from 43% last year.  But according to a survey from the American Animal Hospital Association, 80% of pet owners give birthday and holiday gifts.  

Every year my dear friend Kim sends her Christmas cards with a photo of her beloved Bichon mix.  Just recently she told me she will always send a photo of her pup in her Christmas cards.  Truth be told, I look forward to that card because I rarely get to see him.

I know the economy has affected almost everyone.  I am willing to bet that all the pet owners I know personally will still get a treat for the four-legged companions in their lives.  Even in our house, in the transition from a dual to a single-income household, (because of our beautiful baby daughter) if we had a dog, it would most certainly receive a present.  Granted, this year it might not be this doggy bed.  But our (future) pet, as part of the Fischer Family, can always anticipate an extra treat under the Christmas tree.  (Oh, it can also expect a stocking stuffer on St. Nick’s.

B
ONUS:  In case you are wondering what the best way to include your pup in the festivities might be, consider these tips.  

You have about 12 shopping days until Christmas…  that is PLENTY of time to find a new collar, rawhide bone, or Snuggie for your fuzzy friend.
---Jennifer Fischer


Thanks, Jennifer! More on gifts for pets later.

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


Liza is a very lucky dog. More photos here.


Chihuahuas
flooding shelters in California.


Woman bitten defending dog from pit bulls.


Two fighting dogs shot to death at Dulles.


Little Brown Dog case advances.


Tango and Kash are the first of their kind in the nation.


Iditarod mushers to be tested for drugs.


Where are you Zulu?


Skip saves his papa's life.


Dog race canceled in Alaska.....not enough snow.


They're calling it a remarkable reunion.


Autistic boy chases a boy and gets lost. The rest of the story....


Mourning for her uncle, she loses her dog.
The rest of the story.....


Dog falls through the ice in Black River Falls.


Dog thrown from car
is recovering.


Buddy survives 98-day ordeal.


Hiro lends a hand, and an ear in class.


Mike Bridges has an unusual job.


The search is on for homes for Dairyland Park racing dogs.


They go from abandoned to "Wonder Dogs."



Finding a future in doggie day care.


A foster dog
for the holidays?



Utah newspaper has pet reminders for frigid weather.


The top recommended toys for dogs...... and another great gift list.


It is a colossal showdown: Dogs vs. cats.
UPDATE: So, who won?


And this one's just about dogs.


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

We close as we always do, with our closing video. This one was sent to us by a regular Barking Lot visitor. Type in commands and watch what the dog does (Try "fetch" and "kiss")


Click here: I Do Dog Tricks

The best conservative blogs


John Hawkins
has the rundown.

Week-ends (12/12/09)

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


Navy SEALs


Kisha Makerney


Heroes at Ewa Field


Monica Benning


Paul Myatt


Jamie Capp


Luther Smith


Abby Johnson


John Laux


Roy Lee Gant


Unidentified student


Curt Cusker


Michael Rusiniak


Jared Scott



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Senator Max Baucus


Nina Gershon


University Medical Center in Las Vegas


Westchester Medical Center


Pickpocket


Jeremy Paul Olson


Quality Inn


Matthew Colletta



Climate deal



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"I receive this honor with deep gratitude and great humility. It is an award that speaks to our highest aspirations — that for all the cruelty and hardship of our world, we are not mere prisoners of fate. Our actions matter, and can bend history in the direction of justice."
President Obama after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.


"The American president is acting like an elephant in a porcelain shop. In Norwegian culture, it's very important to keep an agreement. We're religious about that, and Obama's actions have been clumsy. You just don't say no to an invitation from a European king. Maybe Obama's advisers are not very educated about European culture, but he is coming off as rude, even if he doesn’t mean to."
Norwegian public-relations expert Rune Morck-Wergeland after Obama snubbed the King of Norway and refused to attend his own Nobel exhibit.


“[Obama] called me and told me that he heard that I was demeaning him and I had to explain to him that it wasn’t anything personal, it was an honest difference on the issues. And he said, ‘Well, let’s talk about it.’”
Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) whose critical remarks appear to have irritated the president, known for his calm demeanor.


"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all Republicans have come up with is this: 'Slow down, stop everything. Let's start over. You think you've heard these same excuses before? You're right. In this country, there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down. It's too early. Let's wait.' Things aren't bad enough about slavery. When women wanted to vote, slow down, there will be a better day to do that. ... Some senators resorted to the same filibuster we hear today."
Remarks on the Senate floor by Senate Leader Harry Reid, comparing the GOP to opponents of the civil rights movement.


"At pivotal points in American history, the tactics of distortion and delay have certainly been present, They've certainly been used to stop progress. That's what we're talking about here. That's what's happening here. It's very clear. That's the point I made — no more, no less. Anyone who willingly distorts my comments is only proving my point."
Reid, defending his comments made on the Senate floor.


"Why are women being singled out here? It's so unfair. We don't tell men that if they want to ... buy insurance coverage through their pharmaceutical plan for Viagra that they can't do it."
Senator Barbara Boxer on the Senate floor, comparing an effort to limit women's access to abortion to restricting men's access to Viagra.


“He had never mentioned his wife.”
Tiger Woods’ mistress, Jaimee Grubbs.


“Hey, sexy, I can't come out this week. Something came up family wise.”

“I hope everything is fine. I would have liked to see you.”

We will make this happen.” 

“See you 8pm on Sunday in Newport. Don't text me back till tomorrow morning. I have to [sic] many people around me right now.”
Old text messages allegedly between the Woods and Grubbs that were broadcast on Thursday morning's TODAY show. 


“His sponsors will attempt to limit his face time. The best thing he (Woods) can do is get back on a golf course.”
Andy Donchin, director of media investments at Carat North America, an advertising agency in New York.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


I have two this week.


1) Planned Parenthood in Appleton

2) Frosty the pervert



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


44% want Bush back



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Again, I have two.


1) All this silliness going on in Copenhagen.

2) Snow........in December......in Wisconsin. Go figure.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


That's not David.....it's St. Nick!


You want a roll??!!! I'll give you a roll!!!!


Holy cow!


I'm sorry, Sir, your insurance policy doesn't cover that.


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.

Making its way around the blogs: The picture is self-explanatory

 

This is a picture of an event during Sunday’s game during a timeout at the Texans/Jaguars game this past Sunday.

Read more

Never underestimate an old broad


He is 29.

His great grandmother is 92.

Watch.

 

Read more

Recommended Reading (12/12/09)

Recommended reading


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


Time to apologize for future generations

"It took nearly 150 years for Congress to pass a resolution apologizing for slavery. We should apologize now to future generations for what we’ve done and are doing to America."


Democrats commit political suicide

"The declining popularity of one of the most popular and charismatic presidents in memory is no accident.  He and his political party, led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), are committing political suicide in three stunningly inexplicable steps."


The racism of the black community

"It's the racism of the black community that explains his approval rating's continued buoyancy. How can blacks truly approve of Obama more highly than they did when he was elected?"


Our justice system and ticking time bombs

"Please, look closely at the recent case of 37-year-old Maurice Clemmons, the career criminal who got break after break from civil servants in two states (Arkansas and Washington) and then fell through the cracks of our justice system's so-called safety net......It's what can happen when a parole board, a governor or a judge fails to keep the rest of us safe."


It's got to suck to be a climatavangelist!

"What will chunky Al Gore do seeing that he has officially slammed into a veritable inconvenient truth? I hear that Gore hasn’t been this gauche since he was busted in 2001 by Warren Christopher while lip-synching to 'Dancin’ With Myself' in the Lincoln Bedroom wearing only Tipper’s pantyhose, Madonna’s snow cone bra, and Janet Reno’s glasses."


Conservative women concerned about more than just a Tiger

"His choice of white women with mostly blond hair is more interesting than the effects of numerous extramarital affairs on his wife or the effects of a possible divorce on his children."


Financial advice for Mrs. Tiger Woods

"
You're Elin Nordegren. You're hurting and humiliated. And in two weeks you've watched your home life go from a car crash to a train wreck. But what are your options?"


Christmas foes walk a minefield

"This is a tricky season for those who delight in warring on Christmas."


Why Congress has no business meddling with the college football playoff system

"Leading the charge is Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican—the party that doggedly refuses to stick its nose into other people's business unless that business leads to gruesome things, such as skewed playoff systems. Barton has decided that Congress should try to eliminate the Bowl Championship Series. "


New twists to the games people play

"One of the hottest and hardest-to-find games this holiday season owes its life to medical science."

New endorsement deal for Tiger

Political Cartoon by Steve Breen

My Most Popular Blogs (12/13/09)

Most popular


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

1) MPS wants to hand out free condoms.....I have a better idea

2) Goodbye and God bless to a good friend and official

3) Photos of the Week (12/06/09)

4) Culinary no-no #143

5) Madonna and Sleeping Child

Photos of the Week (12/13/09)

Photos of the Week






Mike Garcia replaces an axle on a sidewalk tractor at the City of Milwaukee Department of Public Works garage, getting it ready for the anticipated snowstorm. Journal Sentinel photo: Gary Porter


 



Domonic Eubanks loads bags of salt for customers at the downtown Milwaukee Ace Hardware on N. 4th St., where business for salt, shovels, and snow blowers was brisk Tuesday as people prepare for the predicted snowstorm. Journal Sentinel photo: Gary Porter





A motorist passes a car that spun out Wednesday morning on Highway 45 near Fond du Lac. Journal Sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman


 

Read more

*ONE OF THE MUST READ COLUMNS OF THE YEAR*


Especially if you missed Recommended Reading Saturday, but seriously,  how could you?

Here it is........make sure you read down to the author's 12 points.

The MJS Scorecard (12/13/09)

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

David R. Riemer: Jobless need government to create jobs  

Mark Pocan: Let's help patients in pain  


TODAY'S CONSERVATIVE PIECES

Tom Schneider: Without parents, schools can't succeed  

"The simple fact is that having a parent or guardian who is involved every day with his or her child's education is a critical factor in obtaining academic success."

When is the last time you heard a liberal make that argument?

Mary Weigand, The Rev. Bruce Dunford and Diane Osberg: Sex ed bill has no value  

Bill Kraus: Wisconsin wimpy on investing  

Another View | Phil Kerpen and Mark Block:  Don't forfeit Wisconsin's economic future to the U.N. 


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

Terrence Crowe: Technology offers an ambiguous good  


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-4

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-114, Conservative-88

Two weeks left.

Seen in today's MJS: Common sense


Naturally, it came from readers and not the Editorial Board:

WEATHER FORECASTS

Enough with the bluster

With another season of wintry weather upon us, I am not surprised that our local broadcasters have once again spent so much air time on the recent snow storm.

Read more

Hey, Franklin taxpayers, how'd ja like that nice surprise in your mailbox?

 

Yes, how about that increase in your property tax bill?

Of course it's reasonable and affordable because you got a nice, fat salary increase this year to cover it.

Right.

Read more

"Franklin taxes are an embarrassment"


I received the following e-mail from a Franklin 1st Aldermanic District taxpaying couple. I am withholding their names. I must point out that one of the authors told Alderman Steve Olson that she understands he did everything he could to try to stop the tax increase. The couple's comments were primarily directed at the mayor and school board:


"
Dear Mayor Taylor, Alderman Olson, and members of the Franklin School Board:

 
When opening our tax bill today, we were appalled at what we saw - not surprised, as we knew it was coming - but appalled! When are the tax increases in Franklin going to STOP?! We do not live in a mansion by any means, however, our taxes are now over $8,000! For what?!
 
I'm tired of hearing excuses as to why Franklin cannot live within its means, just like any other business or family. All cities and districts are short on funds. The responsible ones find ways to work with what they have, not take other people's money to pay for what they don't have. Please don't tell me, "if you feel this strongly, then you should run for school board or office." We've been to several meetings over the years and realize our voices really wouldn't matter, so there's no sense in wasting our time talking to the wind.
 
When are the elected officials and board members going to realize that the average person cannot afford to live in Franklin anymore? The expansion and growth of Franklin is eventually going to stop and begin to decline, due to the exorbitant amount we have to shell out every year for the "privilege" of living here. We don't see a 'Welcome to River Hills' sign anywhere. We don't care how good the schools might be, or how green our pastures are, the taxing and overzealous spending needs to stop! Can you say "Fiber optic network?"
 
We're not sure about any of you, but we haven't had a raise in over 5 years. In fact, we've had to take pay cuts in order to keep our jobs. Yet, members of the board and common council feel that it's just and right to keep spending above what is truly needed. We honestly don't think any of you would run your household budgets the same way you vote to run our city and schools. But, it's not your money, right? Unless you are receiving raises every year that cover the increase in taxes, we don't expect any of you to vote for ANY kind of tax increases now or in the future.
 
Our house's 'fair market value' according to our tax bill is at least $55,000 more than what we could actually sell this house for right now. No realtor will touch trying to sell this house for that amount - trust me, we've looked into it. We wish we could move out of Franklin into a more responsible city, however, we'd never recover the loss. If any of you feel you'd like to pay 'fair market value' for our house, let me know.
 
So, in the meantime, we'll just continue to try and squeeze blood from a stone every single year around this time and hope someone figures out how to grow money trees in Franklin.
 
It's time to wake up and budget responsibly."


Pretty powerful stuff.

Culinary no-no #144

Culinary no-no's


*THIS WEEK, A TOTALLY DIFFERENT, UNIQUE TAKE ON CULINARY NO-NO*

I am very fortunate. While so many in America are facing job, salary and benefit cuts, I am gainfully employed with a wonderful employer.

That is why publicly, on this blog and on television, I have welcomed my Jim Doyle-imposed furlough days as opposed to many state employees who foolishly whine and moan and show up at meetings with placards crying about how tough they have it.

Baloney!

If it’s such a hardship, go get a job in the private sector, if it will have your lazy posterior.

Spare me the lectures about unemployment and tough times. I totally empathize because I’ve lived them.

Broadcasting and politics aren’t the safest bets around. Yours truly has faced involuntary unemployment not once, not twice, but four times in his career.

But I have been lucky. Out of work for many uneasy months, I managed. Didn’t have to sell the house, go on welfare, or take any handouts.

I wouldn’t know what a food stamp looks like unless I looked it up on the Internet.



foodstamps_LG.jpg Food Stamps image by seaglass_bucket



Lo and behold, our economy is in the toilet.

Instead of taking care of our very neediest, the government increases taxing and spending making that goal more difficult to achieve.

Almost automatically, when times are tough, politicos increase unemployment and food stamp benefits, if not the amount the time allotted to receive such assistance.

Washington D.C. has more stimulus projects than Rocky sequels. So when the poor get poorer, and the jobless get hungry, guess what? Food stamps aren’t as readily available as they’ve been in the past.

The fed’s response from on high in omnipotent D.C.? Blame the states.

In May of this year, Stateline.org reported that the average increase in number of food stamp recipients in the states was over 17%. In Wisconsin, the increase was over 27%.

That was seven months ago.

Today, the Agriculture Department is concerned that states aren't properly managing food stamp programs.

Imagine that. Our government not running one of its programs efficiently. No way!!

The Associated Press (AP) got its hands on a letter from the Agriculture Department’s Kevin Concannon, lamenting the delivery of food stamp services in the states.  The AP reports:

“Several states have run the program in a way that is ‘problematic and resulted in a more complex and difficult enrollment process,’ the department said in a letter to state administrators dated Nov. 20 and obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The letter, signed by Kevin Concannon, the department's undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, says practices in those states ‘have not served our clients or our taxpayers well.’

The letter comes as the department released an annual report on food stamp enrollment and eligibility showing that just 18 states enrolled 70 percent or more of those eligible for food stamps in 2007, the time period covered by the report. Dozens of states failed to reach some of the country's most needy citizens, the report stated.”


And this is earth-shattering news? The AP report continues:

“The department's letter was a sharp rejoinder to states with high numbers of eligible citizens and low participation rates.”

And where does Obama-utopia think the states are supposed to find all this extra food stamp money?

In August, state Senator Mary Lazich wrote that Wisconsin was suffering social service program scandals because the state had failed to learn from its previous food stamp debacle. Senator Lazich wrote:

During 2003, the Legislative Audit Bureau reported that ‘Wisconsin’s food stamp benefit payment error rate…has been at an historical high of 4.4 percentage points above the national average.  Since FFY 1993-94, the federal government has imposed a total of $10.6 million in sanctions as a result of Wisconsin’s high error rates.’ They continued:  ‘Wisconsin had the third-worst error rate in the nation during these two years (FFY 2000-01 and 2001-02).  Only California and Michigan had higher error rates than Wisconsin.’

The Legislative Audit Bureau further reported that the Department of Health and Family Services (DHFS) was implementing plans to reduce that error rate, and in fact may have already succeeded in doing so, spending $6.2 million to reduce that error rate. Yet just a few years, and millions spent to eliminate fraud, later the Legislative Audit Bureau reported that prison inmates were improperly receiving food stamp benefits while in prison.

Granted, food stamps and Wisconsin Shares are not the same program.  However, until July 1, 2008, they were administered by the same department.  Serious errors happened in the food stamp program, followed by fraud in Wisconsin Shares.  Where else are errors and fraud happening?  Are these isolated occurrences, affecting only food stamps and child care?  Where there is smoke, there is fire. “

Wisconsin and more than likely other states couldn’t run food stamp programs six years ago. It should be no surprise that come the end of 2009, the situation hasn’t changed.

The feds say we aren’t covering enough people. Hello! The states with budget problems the size of Paul Bunyan can’t afford more food stamps. Why? The people that normally pay the bills for the food stamps, the haves if you will, are sitting home unemployed themselves. Comprende?

We have all heard the horror stories of being behind someone in line at Pick ‘n’ Save who has food stamps. Yes, those are sirloin steaks and shrimp and lobster in the cart, along with the chips, candy bars and soda, because as we all know, the children must be well nourished.

That is not what this blog is about.

It’s about making sure the truly needy are truly taken care of. That becomes impossible if the government continues to mandate or expand coverage it can’t possibly pay for or manage.

Hey Mr. Unemployed reading this blog: How much of your grocery bill did the state or federal government pay for last week?  You mean you were raised in a family that refused any government aid out of a sense of pride dating back to the real Depression?

I fully understand.


CULINARY NO-NO BONUS

Newsweek says we should do away with peppermint at Christmas. I don't think so.

The article...

Read more

2nd UPDATE: Culinary no-no #54

Culinary no-no's


I’ve mentioned many times that lawmakers (and their staffers) regularly monitor legislative happenings in other states, looking for good laws and policies to emulate.

Nothing inherently wrong with that except it can and often does lead to bad proposals.

Culinary no-no #54 last year dealt with a new law in New York City that requires certain restaurants to post the number of calories for each item on their menu boards or face fines imposed by brooding, pencil-pushing geek bureaucrats.

It was bound to happen.

State Representative Chuck Benedict (D-Beloit) is proposing a similar law that would, according to his news release, “require chain restaurants to provide calorie information for each item in their menus and on their menu boards.”

An American Heart Association official is quoted in the release saying the legislation would require “chain restaurants of 20 of more locations to display calorie information at the point-of purchase.”


Benedict’s mission and rationale behind the bill is to fight obesity.

The logic is flawed. It’s not McDonald's fault Bob is obese. It’s Bob’s fault and responsibility. The solution isn’t more government anti-business intrusion and regulation. The solution is Bob goes on a diet.

The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #11

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame


Who would be the ideal fact-checker for members of the Washington press corps?

A retired journalist?

A journalism professor?

How about 19-year old George Washington University sophomore
Ron Fournier….


THE KEVIN FISCHER "WHIPPERSNAPPER HALL OF FAME"

1) The Conservative Casanova

2) American Sweetheart

3) Eva Lorraine Molina

4) Matt Kallerud

5) Hannah Giles

6) Jillian Bandes

7) Jonathan McCoy

8) James O’Keefe

9) Jackie Seal

10) Jill Metzler

11) Ron Fournier

Spreading Christmas joy (and OT) at the House of Correction


Yes, Sheriff Clarke, please get to the bottom of this.

Sneak attack on America

No mention of Christmas in this year's White House Christmas card



The Obama Christmas card.....






The George Bush 2007 Christmas card complete with Bible passage....



Who's worse?


President Obama, the devout family man.....







Or Tiger Woods, married man who has had the following mistresses, among others..........



tiger woods mistress count scandal photos pic images photo rachel uchitel holly sampson joslyn james


Tiger Woods Mistress #12 is Loredana Jolie






 


 

Read more

Why men hate shopping

?fh=2085512fef160257c8780aae334d27c7 

THEY ARE COMING....


To This Just In….

Beginning December 22, 2009.

Is it just me or.....


Does the same crowd that wants to let anyone in Wisconsin suffering from an illness light up a marijuana joint the same bunch that fought so far hard for a statewide smoking ban?

Murder someone? Don't hire a lawyer, demand the death penalty


I am a proponent of the death penalty. I mention that for the benefit of those who, through no fault of their own failed to hear me mention that on radio or TV or read that in print over the last 20-25 years.  

OMG!

Kevin Fischer supports capital punishment!

Well guess what? For the umpteenth time, now you know.

A few weeks ago I filled in at Newstalk 1130 WISN ( I love mentioning that for the idiot bloggers who post lies about me who almost two years ago wrote without any factual background that WISN was done with me. So why do I keep getting checks from Clear Channel?)

A topic I couldn’t get to in time because of heavy phone volume and the fact you never get to all the issues you prepare for dealt with the death penalty.

What is the #1 argument that death penalty opponents who defend serial murderers and scumbags that commit horrible, unspeakable crimes always pull out as their trump card?

Repeat after me in a snide, I told you so schoolhouse delivery:

“The death penalty is not a deterrent.”

Again.

“The death penalty is not a deterrent.”

The response from death penalty schmoes like me:


Of course the death penalty isn’t a deterrent! How can it be a deterrent when you administer it once for every 2,000 or so death row inmates? How can it be a deterrent when Joe Ax Murder gets more appeals than Tiger Woods had blonde bimbos?

And it doesn’t help, boys and girls, when our own way too nice criminal justice system bends over backwards to help those who slaughtered numerous victims including children (Sorry folks, I am not turning the other cheek).

What am I talking about?

I am talking about an American criminal justice system that gives serial murderers chance after chance after chance.


These monsters that deserve not an ounce of sympathy from any bleeding heart Christian get appeal after appeal after appeal after appeal. Explain to me, oh defender of death row inmates, how many chances Mr. Murderer gave his victims?

That’s bad enough, but the scoundrels who, in my view, don’t deserve the time they’re allowed to breathe vs.their victims are actually getting more privileges in prison that other inmates.

The LA Times tells the story of one of these dirt bags, Billy Joe Johnson.  Johnson asked for a death sentence.

The natural common sense approach is to execute the slime bucket.

NO NO NO!

Turns out Johnson is wiser than all the justice officials involved in his case.

Why did Johnson ask, beg, plead to die? Because as the LA Times reported:

‘It was the expectation that conditions on death row would be more comfortable than in other maximum-security prisons and that any date with the executioner would be decades away if it came at all.”


And guess what?

Stupid ol’ Uncle Sam went along because the inmates run the asylum. And while Johnson’s victims cry out for justice, lily-livered folks shout, yes, justice has prevailed.


I’m sorry all you do-gooders but there’s a lot wrong with this picture. I don’t buy your crying towel garbage. Again, from the LA Times:

California has the nation's largest death row population, with 685 sentenced to die by lethal injection. Yet only 13 executions have been carried out since capital punishment resumed in 1977 and none of the condemned have been put to death since a moratorium was imposed nearly four years ago. Five times as many death row inmates -- 71 -- have died over that same period of natural causes, suicide or inside violence.

Though death row inmates at San Quentin State Prison are far from coddled, they live in single cells that are slightly larger than the two-bunk, maximum-security confines elsewhere, they have better access to telephones and they have ‘contact visits’ in plexiglass booths by themselves rather than in communal halls as in other institutions. They have about the only private accommodations in the state's 33-prison network, which is crammed with 160,000-plus convicts.

Death row prisoners are served breakfast and dinner in their cells, can usually mingle with others in the outdoor exercise yards while eating their sack lunches, and have exclusive control over the television, CD player or other diversions in their cells.”

Kill a person or persons? Not to worry! You will be housed, fed and clothed far better than you were on the outside, and you’ll get health care to boot. And a whole bunch of sympathizers will not only fight for your defense to live, they will pray for you!

The death penalty is now a God-send for vicious, evil, cruel murderers in America.


I weep for you, the victims of these crimes. I shake my heads at those who would defend your killers.

Holiday scratch

Read more

In Wisconsin, housing values go down while assessments stay the same


Like states all across the country, Wisconsin has been mired in a housing market slump. Property owners have been caught in an awful bind. While their home values have declined, their assessments have remained steady.

Lakeland Times investigative reporter Richard Moore in a well-researched and informative series uses boxing analogies to describe the dilemma for homeowners:

“Here comes an uppercut: no matter that home values have gone south during the recession, most bottom-line property assessments have remained pretty much the same. So now many homeowners are paying taxes on a value their property can no longer command on the open market.

Here's comes a left hook: Because there are no limits on assessments for tax purposes in Wisconsin, or on tax rates for that matter, local governments can continue to rake in cash even when the good times aren't rolling. Overall levy limits are in place, but that doesn't protect property owners from paying on values that don't really exist.”

Puzzled property owners that have asked for reassessments are left scratching their heads, asking their local authorities the obvious question: Why? Shouldn’t the declining market be a key factor in consideration of assessed value?

The simple answer is that case law and statutes in Wisconsin allow a system of declining home values without a commensurate drop in assessments. A more detailed explanation is offered in Moore’s series the Lakeland Times that I will link to. The result is a large number of homeowners who appeal to local assessors, only to be frustrated when they lose. Some resort to lawsuits.

Moore writes in the Lakeland Times that the Wisconsin Department of Revenue understands public sentiment. Even so, it stands by the current appraisal process.

The scenario is different in California that has instituted a complicated process that nevertheless is considered fair, reasonable and popular by residents. It is called a decline-in-value reassessment that began following passage of a 1978 constitutional amendment. A temporary reduction in assessed value is allowed when a property incurs a decline in market value. That was Proposition 8.

Californians adopted another property-tax friendly measure, Proposition 13. The New York Times
reports, “Now, for the first time in more than 30 years — since a law was enacted limiting the amount property taxes could rise — property tax bills will reflect negative price inflation, reducing most homeowners’ tax bills come January.”

Moore writes in the Lakeland Times:
 
“The bottom line is, in Wisconsin, a falling real estate market does not trigger a reassessment of property value, as it does in California. Even if it did, a local government could still make up the difference by raising tax rates.

Californians defend the adjustment mechanism, saying a decline in assessed values is only fair because homeowners have lost so much of their home equity.

Or, to express that argument with a boxing theme, in California, the decline-in-value constitutional amendment allows homeowners to get up off the matt after the real-estate market has knocked them down; in Wisconsin, case law and statutes invariably give the state's taxing entities a technical knock-out.”


Here are the articles in Moore’s series:

Part One

Part Two

About that magazine cover...


For a while this week, I thought TIME’s Person of the Year was going to be…

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>






What a lasting tribute it would have been.

The year that Kennedy passes away, his nearly lifelong dream, socialized medicine in America is oh so close to becoming reality.

TIME picked Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.









ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Andrea Bocelli and who?


A David Foster production, recorded at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood.

Read more

Obama on Oprah

Political Cartoon by Eric Allie

Action Alert: Key Health Care Vote This Week

           
 


Key Health Care Vote this Week:


Now, More than Ever, We Need Your Voices Heard




The months of debate over health care legislation are starting to come to a head -- and a key Senate vote could come as early as Friday.

The House has passed their fundamentally flawed bill. And the Senate's version isn't much better: forcing you to pay higher taxes, heaping over a trillion dollars on to the federal deficit, and imploding the private health care system in favor of a government-run public option.

It is vital that you make your voices heard before Friday's vote: click here to email your Senators today!

Why should Americans accept a bill that raises their costs, threatens their jobs, and makes it harder to get health care coverage?

Our position is clear: Congress needs to start over and write a new, common-sense bill that actually improves cost and access to care.

Help deliver this message to your Senators by clicking here today.

Friday's expected vote in the Senate is our opportunity to stop this bill in its tracks.

Now, more than ever, we need you to weigh in on this issue and support REAL health care reform.

Sincerely,


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

Recession? What recession?


Shouldn’t members of Congress be travelling less and not charging so many luxury-laden trips to the taxpayers?

Prepare to be outraged. The Wall Street Journal reports:

Lawmakers travel with military liaisons who carry luggage, help them through customs, escort them on sightseeing trips and stock their hotel rooms with food and liquor. Typically, spouses come along, flying free on jets operated by the Air Force. Legislative aides come too. On the ground, all travel in chauffeured vehicles.”

To get even more angry, read
the entire article.

The latest from Rehorst

 
 
     
 

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 30-
 
     
             
 
In This Issue
Twitter / Facebook
Cocktail Database
Holiday Gift Boxes
Festivus
Tour
200 Santas
 
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.
Featured Article







New! Twitter, Blog and Facebook
 
We're pleased to announce we have gone social!

Follow us on Twitter at;

www.twitter.com/rehorstvodkagin

 If you're on Facebook check out the Great Lakes Distillery page at;
Facebook.com/GreatLakesDistillery

We've also begun "Distilled!" a blog where we spew about alcohol related topics a bit more frequently than the newsletter allows. Keep an eye on the blog for the latest products we may be working on, as well as cocktail recipe's and events.
 
 
Cocktail Database Now Online
Ever been thirsty but didn't quite know what you wanted? Got a bottle of our Pumpkin Spirit and looking for a unique recipe to enjoy it? Planning a party but can't come up with a drink to impress your guests? We've got the answer.

Great Lakes Distillery has gone live with our very own cocktail database!

Visit our cocktail database and we'll do our best to guide you. Anyone can view recipes in the database- no registration needed, but a simple registration will allow you to submit recipes as well.

Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or a casual imbiber, you should check out the Cocktail Database.
 
     

Happy holidays! Our holiday boxes are available, we have a Festivus event planned and we have expanded hours for the tasting room and tours to tell you about. Details below...



These Absinthe imbibing Santas visited the distillery recently- their story a few articles down.
 
Holiday Boxes Now Available


Gift giving doesn't come any easier than this... You will find our gift boxes in many liquor and grocery stores. Just grab a box of our award winning Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka, Citrus & Honey Vodka, or Gin - and slap a bow on top! What could be better?!?!?
 
Festivus December 23rd 4-8PM

We're having a Festivus holiday event Wednesday December 23rd from 4-8PM. What is Festivus you ask? Read this.

Come mingle, enjoy spirit samples, cocktails, air grievances (forms provided or bring your own sticky notes to place on the Festivus Pole), and prepare for feats of strength! Wagner Industries (official Festivus Pole Manufacterers) will be here showing their wares! We'll be raffling off prizes including "Festivus in a Box Gift Packages!"

While you're here, you can get that last gift for your husband, wife, dad, mom, brother, sister, friend, uncle, etc...Stop by the distillery and pick up some Rehorst/Great Lakes Distillery swag! Featuring branded glassware, shirts, T's, golf balls, hoodies, absinthe supplies, etc...

Can't make it to festivus? Check our tasting room hours below and stop on down.


 
Holiday Tasting Room Hours and Tours

Visit our Tasting Room/Store and tour our facility.
Got company in town and not sure what to do with them? Send them down to see What Milwaukee Magazine says is "Milwaukee's Best Alcoholic Tour"!!





Holiday Hours
 

-Fri Dec 18th Open Noon to 7PM with tours at 4:30 & 6PM
-Sat. Dec 19th Open Noon to 6PM with tours at 1:30 & 3:30
-Closed Sunday
-Mon Dec 21st Open Noon to 7PM
-Tue Dec 22nd Open Noon to 7PM
-Wed Dec 23rd Open Noon to 8PM (Festivus Party starts at 4PM)!
-Thur. Dec 24th Open Noon to 5PM
-Fri Dec 25th Closed
-Saturday Dec 26th Open Noon to 6 Tours at 1:30 & 3:30

-Open Mon Dec 28th thru Thur Dec 31st Noon to 5PM
-Sat Jan 2nd open Noon to 6PM with Tours at 1:30 & 3:30

Hope to see you soon!


 
 
Stop me if you've heard this one...

200 Santas Walk Into a Distillery... It's no joke! December 12th 200 Bicycling Santas from the Santa Cycling Rampage dropped into the distillery!



All of us at Great Lakes Distillery hope you and your family have a great holiday this year! If you have company visiting bring them down for a tour.
 

Cheers,
 
Guy Rehorst
Great Lakes Distillery, LLC
 
             
     
 
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Vodka is 40% Alcohol by Volume (80 Proof).
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Gin is 44% Alcohol By Volume (88 Proof).
Rehorst Premium Milwaukee Citrus & Honey Flavored Vodka is 40% Alcohol By Volume (80 Proof). 
Artisan Series Pear Brandy Eau-de-Vie, Grappa and Kirschwasser are 40% Alcohol by Volume (80 Proof).
 
Drink Responsibly.
Great Lakes Distillery, Milwaukee WI

"If your family earns less than $250,000 a year, you will not see your taxes increased a single dime"



Remember that gem? It's one of the quotes of the year.

The Wall Street Journal wonders, as do I, if President Obama can/will keep that promise.



 

The president is a pervert

NOTE: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS GRAPHIC INFORMATION SOME READERS MIGHT FIND OFFENSIVE. AND YOU KNOW WHAT? IT IS OFFENSIVE TO EVERY PARENT WHO HAS A KID IN SCHOOL!

 

Read more

UPDATE: The Legend Park band shell


The Franklin Common Council voted Tuesday night to have staff develop a policy on naming parklands and city structures, which is probably best. There should be established criterion to follow.


Who knows? The band shell could get renamed after all, once those guidelines are in place.

Police are safer where there's conceal carry


The number of permits issued for carrying concealed weapons is on the rise and with it comes a commensurate dip in the number of felonious police officer shooting deaths.

 

Read more

Where's the call for photo ID?


Oh, that’s right.

This is Wisconsin.

We don’t have voter fraud here.


No need for stricter requirements.

But by golly let’s clamp down on popular absentee ballots!

I generally detest most versions of "The 12 Days of Christmas"


I make rare exceptions here.


Read more

Maybe the donkeys should have been nicer to....

Political Cartoon by Scott Stantis

Friday night it's InterCHANGE


It’s our last show of the year, Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00.


Topics include the continuing state audit of Wisconsin Shares, another tax increase in Milwaukee, and health care.

Mild winter?

 

That’s what our local weather folks are saying.

What about the Farmer’s Almanac?

Here was their December through January forecast for our region:


DECEMBER 2009: temperature 32° (3° above avg.); precipitation 3" (1" below avg. east, 0.5" above west); Dec 1-2: Snow, cold; Dec 3-6: Rain, mild; Dec 7-13: Lake snows, cold; Dec 14-17: Sunny, then rain, warm; Dec 18-21: Rain and snow showers, seasonable; Dec 22-24: Rain, mild; Dec 25-30: Snowstorm, then sunny, mild; Dec 31: Rain, mild.

JANUARY 2010: temperature 22° (2° below avg.); precipitation 2.5" (avg.); Jan 1-2: Rain, mild; Jan 3-5: Snow showers; Jan 6-12: Lake snows, very cold; Jan 13-18: Snow to rain, mild; Jan 19-23: Lake snows, very cold; Jan 24-28: Snowstorm, bitter cold; Jan 29-31: Sunny, then rain, mild.

Looks like we go in the deep freeze after New Year’s.

And finally, we absolutely must check in with WTMJ’s ace meteorologist, Craig Koplein:

“This winter could be unseasonably mild, or it could be below normal with very cold temps. Daytime highs from now through January will range between -5 and 35 degrees, take your pick.”

Two very different meetings

Americans for Prosperity

 

Read more

"Yes, I wasn't wearing any clothes but...."


Should you be allowed to be naked in your own home?

That question was at the center of a case in Virginia that went to trial and was decided today.

First, watch this news report from October of this year.

Read more

So, if someone forgets to flush at the White House, is it Obama's fault?


The state Democrat Party took pictures of dirty Milwaukee County Courthouse restrooms (that are supposed to be cleaned by union workers) and is using them against County Executive Scott Walker. The national blog Politico has picked up on the story, and now, so has Reason that opens its entry with the following:

“Forget getting in the gutter to screw over a political opponent.”

That’s right. Democrats have found a way to get even dirtier. However, this stinky tactic actually backfires on the geniuses in the state Democrat Party.

Reason writes:

“Do you get that? Public-sector janitors walk off the job because they're pissed; trash and other awful stuff piles up (as is to be expected); and the slacker janitors and their Dem overlords expect this is an argument in their favor?

Color me stupid, but I don't get the logic here. If anything, this sort of pique will almost certainly make every sap who had to use the bathroom that day vote GOP for at least the next six months, especially if the new, privatized crew is halfway on the ball.”

The cleanliness of Milwaukee County restrooms has been questionable since I was a kid roaming through county parks. This ploy by the Democrats is one of the stupidest they could possibly come up with.

WRTL Files Lawsuit Re: Funding of Supreme Court Races


Bopp, Coleson & Bostrom
1 South 6th Street
Terre Haute, IN 47807-3510
 

Read more

We just love when the weekend arrives!


This is the final shopping weekend before Christmas. Tomorrow is the biggest shopping day of the year. 

I know you're awfully busy, but don't forget all our regular weekend material starts tonight on This Just In with our regular Friday night Goodnight music post, and this week, it’s more Sounds of the Season as we getinto soem good ol' fashioned Christmas love. Ooh-la-la,

Saturday morning, wake up to The Barking Lot, our weekly dog blog with the dog walking forecast, my wife Jennifer's main blog, and DOGS IN THE NEWS including a mention about.....





Sorry. But it's in the news this week.

Then it's Week-ends, our weekly week in review.


Sen. Schumer



Yep, he gets a mention.

Also Saturday, Recommended Reading.

Sunday, My Most Popular Blogs, the MJS Scorecard, Culinary no-no, and Photos of the Week. Here is a photo that DID NOT make the final cut for Sunday......


Read more

Goodnight everyone, and have a love-ly holiday weekend


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, more Sounds of the Season, and this evening, we get romantic.

Oh yeh.

So, call someone you love and gather around the computer you sentimental fools.

And since Christmas love is our theme, why not open with a great composition written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and Johnny Mandel sung beautifully by the Manhattan Transfer….the Christmas Love Song.

Read more

The Barking Lot (12/19/09)

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:  A few snow showers. A high of 31.  "F"

SUNDAY:  A few snow showers.  A high of 28.  "F"


This is Kevin filling in for Jennifer this week who is extremely busy buying my presents and baking and buying my presents and decorating the house and buying my presents.

OK. What really bugs you?

What are your pet (pardon the pun) peeves?

How about those annoying Internet pop-ups?

The guy ahead of you in the right lane at a stop light who is not turning right.

At the fast food joint, either in the drive thru or inside, the family of a gazillion that just can’t decide what they want.

Being misquoted. Oh, yeh. That’s a biggie.

Being lied about. YES. BIG TIME PET PEEVE.

For Scandinavian, press 1. For Norwegian, press 2. For Tanzanian, press 3. For Portuguese, Press 4. For…….

The customer service person over the phone that does absolutely nothing to resolve your problem, then asks, “How else may I assist you today?”

The overly friendly TSA knuckle draggers at the airport.

The person in line at the grocery store with enough food in the cart to feed the Packers who won’t let you pass through with your two or three items.

The guy in line to pay his property taxes who wants to argue with a city worker and demands that his payment be stamped, “Under protest.” Do two things, Sir: 1) Get a clue and 2) Get a life.

At the drive thru, would it kill the pimply faced 16 year old who hates her job, parents, and life in general to toss in some napkins.

NO I DON’T WANT AN APPLE PIE!

And this is the best. How about……

Uhh, Kev, would you mind getting back to the subject of this dog blog?

Consumer Reports has listed the Top Ten Gripes of Americans and #6 on the list is dog poop.

Does that sound reasonable, with all the crap (I’m sorry) going on that could drive us nuts?

I think it’s perfectly legitimate.

In my neighborhood, the dog walkers are the ultimate. Even before the dog squats, out comes the plastic bag. The owner ever so delicately and thoroughly scoops up the mess and then travels along.

Emily Post would cry boxes of Kleenex in just one day in my subdivision. 

That doesn’t happen everywhere. In the city of Milwaukee where I grew up, it was SOP that if a dog had to go, it just went, wherever the moment struck. There was no pooper scooper, no gloves, no doggie bag.

If it happened on your lawn or on the sidewalk or on the street, too bad. That’s where it stayed. Take issue with the dog walker and you got a one-finger salute, a string of profanities, a dirty look, but never an apology.

Imagine this multiplied by every urban setting in America. The problem piles up.

Let’s face it. People are pigs. What happens in my neighborhood every day is a rarity, the exception to the norm. Dog owners don’t want their dogs to do it on their property, so they visit yours. Maybe you’re inside watching TV, whatever and won’t notice the present your supposed friend up the street just dumped on you.

New York has bureaucrats watching for potential poop and run violators, ticket book in hand.  I like that a lot.

Refuse to scoop? Shame on you!

Here is the Consumer Reports report.



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


Faith gives hope to disabled vets.


Bomb-sniffing dogs save Marines' lives.


Court must decide what a dog's love is worth.


Court tells school to allow dog for autistic child.


108 charges in sled dog case.


Dog shot, makes way home to owner.


Dogs that ate owner are up for adoption.


Killer dog 'owner' carries tot's coffin.


Sears is sorry for killing dog.


Dragged dog has Facebook.


Another dog is exiled.


Senate approves funding for service dogs.


W
ould you like your dog to talk?


Dog snatched by owl falls out of sky.


Best walking partner: Dog vs. man.


Dog's Trust launches Christmas dog menu.


Pet-friendly hotels can cause problems for dog owners.


What about dogs in restaurants?


Animal shelter welcomes kids on Date Night.


The many ways to help a pet over the holidays.


Finally, it's the Scot that ends up on top..........MORE...............PHOTOS.


And that's it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

Our closing video features Rudolph, the blind dog.

Your Unprecedented Grassroots Action

             
Your Grassroots Action is Unprecedented

Our Job Isn't Over -- We Need Your Continued Action



The Senate could vote as soon as this weekend on health care legislation in what is being called 'one of the most significant pieces of legislation ever considered.'

However, only a select few have actually seen the bill.

As Senator Mitch McConnell said yesterday: "The final bill we'll vote on isn't even the one we've had on the floor. It's the deal Democrat leaders have been trying to work out in private."

Why are Senate Democrats keeping so many in the dark about such a monumental piece of legislation?

Because this bill is a political nightmare for those who support it.

With more than 61% of the American public opposing the bill and continued grassroots opposition against it -- their flawed health care legislation faces a bleak future.

Just this week, I talked about your efforts in Reuters:

"The contest has become the biggest grass-roots campaign around an issue in years.

'It's in a league by itself...there's been nothing like this in 10 years...'

The Chamber of Commerce has marshaled more than 600,000 letters to Congress on healthcare reform."


But despite recognition from Congress and the national media, our work is far from done.

Help keep the momentum alive by continuing to send letters to your Senators.

We are humbled by your support and heartened that you've responded to such a serious challenge.

Thank you for emailing your Senators today.

Together, we can stop this bill and push Congress to work toward real reform.

Sincerely,


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

Week-ends (12/19/09)

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


David Kirkness


Krishna Agrawal


Victor Flores


Anthony Perez


Adrian Zavala


Mike Kosowski


Pregnant woman.............MORE.


Sheriff Joe Arpaio


"Sully" Sullenberger


Chris Blair


Rudolph



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Chuck Schumer


MPS Board


Wisconsin Center District Board



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"A good, solid B-plus"
President Obama told Oprah Winfrey that he deserves that grade for his work as the nation's chief executive during his first year in office.


“The Senate version is not worth passing. I think in this particular iteration, this is the end of the road for reform. No one will think this is health care reform. This is not even insurance reform.”
Former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean referring to health care legislation.


“Yet perhaps what angers liberals the most is that Obama himself never seemed willing to push hard enough for the public option — and, in fact, all but took it off the table in August when he said he could sign a bill that didn’t include it. Once Obama said he didn’t need a public option, these progressives argue, there was no cost or penalty to be paid by a (Joe) Lieberman or a Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) or a
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) for taking to the Senate floor and opposing it, too.”
The website POLITICO.


 “It’s hard to believe that the two most powerful people in the country — arguably the world — could not do more to achieve their desired objective than to hand the keys over to Joe Lieberman. They would not be where they are if they are that bad at negotiation.”
Jane Hamsher, publisher of the liberal blog Firedoglake.


"When your doctor looks at you and says, 'If we cannot get weight on you will die' - you whatever you . . . that's what it comes down to, 'You will die' - you do have to do. We've never wanted to break the law, but sometimes you have to."
Jacki Rickert of Mondovi, testifying in favor of a medical marijuana bill at a hearing at the state Capitol in Madison this week.


"I am concerned about people who have illnesses, and there are ways to take care of those people. But this isn't what this is about. I think I wish you would be a little more honest about it. It's nothing more than a ruse for you to move forward for full legalization of marijuana."
State Representative Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) speaking at the hearing on medical marijuana.


"You actually think I want to legalize marijuana for everybody in the state of Wisconsin? Honestly? You don't even know me crying out loud. You really don't. This is all about health."
State Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Waunakee,) the author of the marijuana bill cutting Vukmir off.


"Make no mistake, the marijuana possession permitted by the bill to a user or caregiver is illegal under federal law, with penalties of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. If the bills are enacted as drafted, law enforcement's and prosecutors' ability to enforce what would still be illegal is seriously disabled.”
Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen in a written statement in opposition to the medical marijuana bill.


"I've been here long enough to see the bills like this come and go, and they do no good. This is going to cost taxpayers a huge amount of money for extra jail time because it goes from 30 to 45 days for the amount of time people will spend in jail, and that's going to put a burden on every county."
State Representative Marlin Schneider D-Wisconsin Rapids), the only legislator to vote against drunk driving legislation.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


Fetus found wrapped in gift box



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


From Charlie Sykes:


"Forget MPS. The City of Milwaukee has been handing out rubbers to kids as young as 12

Oh, and lubricants, too."


How would that look on a Barrett for Governor lit piece...



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Copenhagen




STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


She was just too noisy when she had sex.


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 memory of Favre's dad lives on

Interesting stuff in USA TODAY:

“Six years ago Christmas week,  (Brett) Favre's father and high school coach, Irv, died from a heart attack at 58. The quarterback says that loss still resonates.

‘I  have never really discussed this before, especially publicly,’ says Favre, wearing a blue T-shirt, blue jeans (yes, Wranglers) and scruffy brown work boots. ‘But after (last) season was over, I didn't have the passion; I had lost it. I always felt … that I played for me, but that was always to prove myself to him.

Read more

Recommended Reading (12/19/09)

Recommended reading


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


Welcome to the Democrat Party Civil War

"It's the left, not the right, cracking up. It's the party donkey, not the elephant, now in a rabies-crazed frenzy."


The health bill is scary

"I recently suggested that seniors will die sooner if Congress actually implements the Medicare cuts in the health-care bill put forward by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. My colleagues who defend the bill—none of whom have practiced medicine—predictably dismissed my concern as a scare tactic. They are wrong. Every American, not just seniors, should know that the rationing provisions in the Reid bill will not only reduce their quality of life, but their life spans as well."


Obama , fight to win or get out

"Instead of praising this President for his 'courage' in making a 'politically difficult decision,' or for his halting, passionless speech that continued to undermine our mission ('our unity on national security issues [is] in tatters'), conservatives should demand that Obama either fight toward clear victory, or withdraw now before the blood of another U.S. soldier is spilt."


Aloha, segregation

"President Obama speaks proudly of his childhood in Hawaii, so we wonder what the state's voters think of his support for a bill that would redistribute its wealth based on race."


Reading this column while driving is dangerous

"We all know it’s dangerous to be driving a car while talking on a handheld cell phone or texting someone, right? It’s the driver’s fault for driving distracted and causing a collision. Bizarrely enough, certain trial lawyers might disagree with you. The finger is now being pointed not at the negligent driver, but at....."


Entrepreneurs take on sexting and child safety online

"Parents' concern for their children's risky behavior with new technologies is an untapped market."


Managing uncertainty: Five simple solutions

"The key point to coping successfully with uncertainty is to stay calm, keep a cool head, and apply logical, rational, and effective ways to mastering the perils of uncertainty (i.e., good tactics). Staying calm means controlling the intensity of your negative emotions: anxiety, fear, anger, grief, sadness, rage, helplessness, alienation, cynicism, and the feeling that you have no future."

Really?


Michelle Obama makes the best dressed list of 2009.

Really?







Yeh, that's real grace and style right there.
 

"He lives up in a mountain like a hermit in a cave, he never had a haircut, he never took a shave..."


On Tuesday night, Brian Setzer walked offstage 20 minutes into his Christmas concert in Albuquerque. After collapsing to his hands and knees, Setzer was immediately rushed to a hospital.

A statement on his website said, “Brian was briefly hospitalized…..after a combination of dehydration, high altitude, and vertigo made him unable to continue his performance at the Isleta Casino after several songs. Brian has completely recovered…….and will continue with the remainder of the tour uninterrupted.”

That is great news because Setzer brings out the boogie woogie in ol’ Santa Claus.



Christmas Rocks!
 

Read more

North Carolina press far more respectful of Brett Favre...


Than the Wisconsin press or Packer fans.

"There's never been anything in the NFL quite like what Brett Favre is doing this season. He's having an MVP-caliber year at the age of 40, a feat no previous quarterback ever has accomplished."
The Charlotte Observer

My Most Popular Blogs (12/20/09)

Most popular


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

1) Hey, Franklin taxpayers, how'd ja like that nice surprise in your mailbox?

2) The Travis Manore Band Shell or just.......The Band Shell

3) Photos of the Week (12/13/09)

4)
 "Franklin taxes are an embarrassment"

5) TIE

    Who's worse?

    Culinary no-no #144

Photos of the Week (12/20/09)

Photos of the Week



A rendering of Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, is seen on the cover of Time Magazine's "Person of the Year" issue in this handout image release to the media on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009. Bernanke was named "Person of the Year" by Time magazine for leading the "most-powerful, least-understood government force shaping our lives," Managing Editor Richard Stengel said. Source: Time Inc. via Bloomberg






How about that global warming!!! US President Barack Obama arrives in Air Force one in Copenhagen Airport for the climate conference in Copenhagen, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Jens Dige/POLFOTO)


 



Bob Kelly (C), Chairman and CEO of Bank of New York Mellon, is surrounded by reporters after members of the financial services industry met with U.S. President Barack Obama December 14, 2009 in Washington, DC. During the meeting, President Obama was expected to discuss ongoing economic recovery, small business lending, improving lending practices for homeowners and the administration's plans for financial reform. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)


 

Read more

Kyla's Korner - Musings of a Mother (12/20/09)

Kyla's Korner


By Jennifer Fischer

Mother of beautiful angel, Kyla

The fist time I heard the Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know?” I felt that the lyrics were very thought-provoking.  Of all the Christmas songs I know, that is the only one that looks at Jesus’ birth from his mother’s perspective.

This year, the song touches me even more deeply.  Kevin and I share hopes and dreams for our beautiful baby daughter… when I think about what they are, they certainly pale in comparison to having a son who is our Savior.  I don’t mean that to sound disrespectful.  I truly can’t imagine what Mary & Joseph went through, for many reasons.  The song makes me think about the beauty of Jesus as an innocent, precious infant looking up at his parents with love in his eyes.  It helps me reflect on the power of the love God had for us to give up His only son.  It causes me to try to imagine all that Mary went through in the most basic sense of being a mother to a child.

Obviously the bible does not offer many stories of Jesus’ childhood.  Of course there is the story of him teaching in the temple when he was thirteen.  No disrespect again, no irreverence, but there isn’t a single story about Jesus taking his first steps, saying his first words, etc.  I’m not looking to rewrite the bible or suggest that it is incomplete.  Most people would say “So what that toddler Jesus isn’t mentioned?”  Naturally nothing compares with the miracles he created or the lives he transformed as an adult.  But if we as Christians truly believe that not only was Jesus the son of God, “For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.”  So isn’t it natural to ponder the relationship Jesus the man had with his mother from infancy?

This year as I am sitting in Church on Christmas Day with Kyla in my lap, I will be thinking about many things:  how grateful I am to have all that I do; how lucky I am to be a woman of faith; how fortunate I am to be a mother to a happy, healthy baby; how fortunate we ALL are that Mary was the ultimate mother for all of us.

I know it is easy to get caught up in all the crazy rushing and preparation for Christmas.  I am guilty of it myself.  (Staying up past midnight to make gingerbread biscotti is just one example of it for me!)  But I urge everyone who is reading this to please do two things:  Think about your good fortunes:  If you are running around like a nut buying gifts and making cookies, you are blessed with family and friends to buy for and cook for.  Most importantly, if you are buying gifts and making cookies and decorating, you are celebrating CHRISTMAS, the birth of baby Jesus.  So instead of humming “Jingle Bells” to yourself on December 25th, how about a round of “Happy Birthday” instead?

Merry Christmas to you all from me, Kevin, and our lovely Kyla Audrey.
 

Obama in Copenhagen - an amazing video of his audience


Americans for Prosperity


Friday, President Obama was at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. That morning, he spoke from the same podium that Venezuelan socialist strongman Hugo Chavez used to decry the "silent and terrible ghost" of capitalism - to declare that "capitalism is the road to hell." 

The enraptured global warming radicals at the Copenhagen conference rewarded Chavez with a standing ovation for his anti-freedom diatribe, telling us everything we need to know about the modern radical environmental movement headed by Al Gore. 

If you have any doubt that many global warming extremists are self-proclaimed communists and socialists, here is an AFP video showing these extremists marching through the streets of Copenhagen.



Read more

Pittsburgh 37, Green Bay 36


Maybe the "schlub"  should refrain from high-fiving and body-bumping and celebrating until the game is actually over.

The MJS Scorecard (12/20/09)

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

Elizabeth Warren: The financial markets are feasting on the middle class  

Warren does a good job portraying the plight of the middle class.

Then there's this:

"Families are ready for change. According to polls, large majorities of Americans have welcomed the Obama administration's proposal for a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency."

Really? Ameericans want more government control via yet another new bureaucracy to jump-start the economy?

Please.

Jennifer Nordstrom: Don't weaken state's nuke law  


TODAY'S CONSERVATIVE PIECES

Bradley A. Smith: Signed and unconstitutional  


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

People are driving, dying | Judy Jenkins: Whose interests are more special?  

People are driving, dying | Peggy Krusick: This legislation is about deterrence  

Another View:  Laws will create new 'criminals' and won't deter chronic offenders


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-1

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-114, Conservative-89

One week to go.

Here we go again


Days before the Christmas holiday, a WTMJ TV weather guy is predicting a possible holiday travel storm mess.

These guys can’t predict the next 18 hours and they once again are attempting to scare holiday travelers 5 days in advance of Christmas.

Have they no shame?

And yes, I'm talking about WTMJ, but this time it's not Craig Koplein. It's the guy sans dog. 



It's the kicker's fault?


The Packer coaching staff and the press that falls for their BS ought to be shamed of themselves. They are placing partial blame for the Packer loss to Pittsburgh on a missed field goal by Mason Crosby.


I guess that defense that gave up over 500 yards had nothing to do with the defeat.

Culinary no-no #145

Culinary no-no's

OMG!

STOP THE PRESSES!

STOP THE PRESSES!


I have eaten in some top notch restaurants including places run by celebrity chefs like Emeril Lagasse and Wolfgang Puck. My experiences have always been wonderful. If pressed to find an issue, I couldn’t come anywhere near anything disastrous (though my experiences with my lovely wife, Jennifer on two occasions at Emeril’s at City Walk in Orlando were quite interesting and warrant future blog material).

This edition of Culinary no-no is a first. I have never written about anything like it because I have never witnessed anything like it. That’s not to say it hasn’t happened before. It means I personally have never seen or read anything like what I’m about to relate before.

I read a lot. I don’t read fiction at all. No time for that stuff in my life. I read newspapers, blogs, magazines, most, if not all current events and non-fiction.

That includes the entertainment, lifestyle, food and drink sections in daily newspapers.

A recent restaurant review in the LA Times caught my attentions.

Seems Fabio Viviani has opened a new spot called the Firenze Osteria. Not too long ago, Viviani won the Top Chef contest on the Bravo cable network. If Viviani wins Top Chef honors and opens up a new restaurant, one would think it offers a memorable dining experience.

Firenze Osteria was reviewed by LA Times restaurant critic S. Irene Virbila.  One can sense snootiness thousands of miles away.

Here are portions of Virbila’s review:


“Everybody's eager to taste the cooking of Fabio Viviani, the Tuscan-born chef…..

Read more

The One Wise Man

How 'bout those Warhawks!


If you missed the highlights from the Alonzo Stagg Bowl Saturday....

The latest News You Can Use from WRTL

  http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/22/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcv&x=16bd47ce
                        http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/97/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy5XaXNjb25zaW5SaWdodFRvTGlmZS5vcmcv&x=ed30e8df http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/43/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbGVnaXNsYXRpb24vY3VycmVudGxlZ2lzbGF0aW9uL3N0YXRlLmFzcHg%3d&x=1626b32d
                        Legislative Page http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/44/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbmV3c3Jvb20vY3VycmVudHJlbGVhc2VzLmFzcHg%3d&x=3b130ccd
                        News Releases http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/65/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53cnRsLm9yZy9yZXNvdXJjZXMvcHVibGljYXRpb25zL2xpZmV2b2ljZW5ld3NsZXR0ZXIuYXNweA%3d%3d&x=1bf55877
                        Newsletter Archive http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/46/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvZXZlbnRzLw%3d%3d&x=3fb5dd9c
                        Upcoming Events http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/47/0/?u=aHR0cDovL3d3dy53aXNjb25zaW5yaWdodHRvbGlmZS5vcmcvbGVnaXNsYXRpb24vZXZvaWNlLmFzcHg%3d&x=336e79a9
                        Sign Up for E-Voice http://lyris.wrtl.org:81/t/453371/30159454/48/0/?u=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cud3J0bC5vcmcvcGFydG5lcnMvZW1haWxwcmVmZXJlbmNlcy5hc3B4&x=65472161
                        Change Your Preferences
Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
In This Issue:
 
Important Right To Life Links

Selling Abortions - Planned Parenthood Style

Senate Forces Midnight Vote

             


Last night, the Senate forced another key vote on health care legislation in the dead of night -- on a 383 page amendment that few were allowed to see or further amend.

The only things known about this bill, as stated in a Washington Post op-ed are: "It will not cover everyone. It will not control costs. It will worsen the budget outlook. It will lead to higher taxes. It will disrupt how, or whether, companies provide insurance for their workers."

With the final vote expected on Christmas Eve constituents need to weigh in now.

As Senator Olympia Snowe said:

"Ultimately, there is absolutely no reason to be hurtling headlong to a Christmas deadline on monumental legislation affecting every American... When 51 percent of the American people in a recent survey have said they do not approve of what we are doing, they understand what Congress does not -- and that is, that time is not our enemy, it is our friend.

We deserve better than midnight votes and secret agreements -- click here today to tell Congress to start over.

What happened to transparency and cost containment?

Tell Congress that America deserves better.

This nightmare of a bill could become closer to a reality as soon as Christmas Eve -- please act now.

Sincerely,


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

P.S. Please forward this email to five friends now. We need to make the American public aware of what's happening on Capitol Hill and how it will impact them.

 

Senate Health Care Bill Unacceptable

 
Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - News Release


U.S. Senate Health Care Bill is

Unacceptable

Monday, December 21, 2009

Illinois to protest Gitmo terrorists from coming


An Illinois panel is scheduled to meet to decide whether to sell a state corrections facility to the federal government so that Gitmo detainees can be housed, clothed, fed and given medical treatment there on Uncle Sam’s dime.

Big Government reports a big rally in protest will be held Tuesday.

A comment left on the Big Government site reads:

“So now let me get all this straight, according to the memo, other articles, & the media, these prisoners/detainees, many of whom where never on U.S. soil before being detained at Gitmo, never applied for green cards, never applied for U.S. citizenship, are not even illegal aliens but enemy combatants, are being moved from a military prison system where they should be, to the FBOP & given Constitutional rights in court, like a common criminal, so that U.S.A.G. Holder can make an even bigger ass out of himself by pushing a strictly self serving political agenda of putting the prior administration on trial, endangering U.S. security, compromising U.S. Intelligence & opening the doors for another attack as what was seen on September 11, 2001.

Am I missing anything here?”

Ummmm, nope.

THEY ARE COMING....


To This Just In….

Beginning Tuesday, December 22.

So, what are the lyrics to Linus and Lucy?


Trick question.

There aren't any.

 

Read more

Twas the week before Christmas...

Political Cartoon by Steve Breen

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #10

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


Every year I count down what are, in my view, the Top Ten Franklin News Stories of the past 12 months. When I informed a fellow
Franklin resident about my plan, he was intrigued because he thought the year in Franklin news was pretty quiet.

Indeed, it was, but there was still enough to grab our attention.

We start today with #10 working our way with another story each day right up until  #1 on New Year’s Eve.


Franklin High School’s brand of shoot-em-up, throw it all around football is always exciting. But how far can that style take them?

In 2009, it took them deep into the playoffs.

It must be difficult to prepare against Franklin. The vast majority of high school teams live predominantly by the run, three yards in a cloud of dust.

Not Franklin.

Franklin’s MO is we want to throw, we will throw, and you go ahead and try to stop us. Every team on Franklin’s schedule never plays against that kind of offense except once a year.

It’s tough to execute this type of offense at this level. Franklin not only does it, it depends on it.

But can it take you far? Can it sustain itself over the length of a season, including the playoffs if you’re fortunate enough to get there/ After all, isn’t defense the key to championships?

Before a football was even put in play in 2009, you had to give Franklin all the credit in the world for their schedule. No cupcakes, mind you as the Division II Sabers scheduled non-conference Division I foes Milwaukee Marquette and Kenosha Bradford.

In very early September, Franklin's Brady Oates scores a TD in the first quarter, and at the half, the Sabers lead Marquette, 17-16.


 


Journal Sentinel photo:Tom Lynn


But it’s an entirely different second half.

Marquette 46, Franklin 17.


A little over a month later, a rainy, muddy field at Franklin awaits a powerful Kenosha Bradford squad.



Journal Sentinel photo

No matter.

Bradford 40, Franklin 19.

Those were the only two blemishes on the Saber schedule as Franklin headed into the playoffs.

OPENING ROUND

Franklin 27, Greendale 0

SECOND ROUND

Franklin 29, Waterford 21

That set up a third round matchup against dangerous Lake Geneva Badger.

Late in the game, Franklin led 27-20. The Journal Sentinel reported:

"Badger (9-3) scored a potential game-tying touchdown on a 6-yard run by Kyle Poplar with 3 minutes 43 seconds left in the fourth quarter. But the extra-point attempt was blocked by Levon Myers, as well as most of the defensive line, and Franklin held onto a tenuous one-point lead."

Franklin escaped in a thriller.

One game away from the state championship. Standing in the Sabers' way, the Warriors of Waunakee.

As satisfying as the win over Badger was, it was also prophetic. Despite the victory, Franklin gave up 404 yards on offense, 400 on the ground.

In the state semifinal, Franklin was no match for the Waunakee juggernaut. The Sabers scored first, but it was a runaway after that.

Too big, too powerful, too tough was Waunakee.

Franklin fell 42-14 to the eventual Division II champion that beat Kimberly easily for the title.

The missing ingredients simply weren't there for a Franklin title: a bit more on defense, a lot more size on the lines.

The Franklin Sabers put on a great run and were a great story for over two months in 2009.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?

7) ?
8) ?

9) ?

10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINAL

The Fight is Still On

Americans for Prosperity

At 1:00 a.m. Monday, literally in the dead of night, the United States Senate on a straight party line voted to move closer to the health care takeover. 
 
60 Democrats voted YES and 40 Republicans voted NO. 
 
In my 25 years in the political arena I thought I had seen it all for political pay-offs, crass deal cutting, and bare-knuckle threats.  But, Majority Leader Reid, and sadly, even President Obama reached a new low.  To avoid the blizzard of calls from their constituents, folks like you and me, most Democrat Senators actually turned off their phones as they prepared for the dead of night vote on Monday morning.  
 
A couple of examples:
 
*Senator Ben Nelson got an unprecedented deal to force federal taxpayers to pick up 100% of the cost of Nebraska's Medicaid expansion--forever. 
 
*Connecticut's Senator, Christopher Dodd, got a $100 million earmark for a hospital at the University of Connecticut. 
 
*Vermont Senators Pat Leahy and Bernie Sanders, who had been threatening to oppose the bill from the Left, got an extra $250 million in Medicaid funding. 
 
*In Florida, Senator Bill Nelson got three counties carved out of Medicare Advantage cuts that will happen everywhere else in the country.
 
*Of course we know about the "Louisiana Purchase" where Reid and Obama paid $300 million of our taxpayer dollars to the pet projects of Senator Landrieu to secure her vote. 
 
Yes, this is frustrating.  Yes, we lost a round in the Senate and it was a tough one. 
 
But, we cannot give up the fight.  And, we're not.  After Senator Nelson's cave-in on Saturday, Americans for Prosperity sponsored a rally Sunday with one day's notice in Omaha, which Mike Huckabee flew out to headline.  On the last Sunday afternoon before Christmas, the press reported that over 1,800 fired-up grassroots activists showed up to tell Senator Nelson what they thought of his sellout!  CLICK HERE FOR PICTURES AND STORIES.

Read more

Coming Thursday to This Just In...

Read more

I'm on WISN


I fill in for Mark Belling this afternoon from 3-6 on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

The craziest Christmas stories of 2009


Catholic League president Bill Donohue has
the list.

Based on my blog, is the rest of FranklinNOW so non-newsworthy?


While I was filling in for Mark Belling today on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I received the following e-mail:


Sir,

      How is reposting a "Citizens for Prosperity" email any sort of blogging?  Is the rest of "FranklinNow" as full of non-news?

Read more

Democrat playbook: We need your vote.....what will it cost?

Topics talked about on WISN


A few years ago, I was in the back of church at the end of Mass handing out bulletins ( part of my usherly duties)  and one of the regular parishioners,  a super family guy said to me nicely, “And by the way, I’m pro-life and Democrat.”

His remark was a reference to a comment I made that weekend on Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE that if you were pro-life, the Democrat Party really didn’t care much for you.

“Well, that’s great,” I replied. “But trust me, the Democrats don’t want anything to do with you.”

Go ahead and think otherwise. Democrats felt Senator Ben Nelson (D-Nebraska) a supposed pro-life holdout on the health care vote was a PIA.

How do you handle a PIA? In the Democrat playbook, you buy him off.

As I discussed today on Newstalk 1130 WISN, Politico.com reports, “
With the bill hanging in the balance, Nelson won a provision exempting his state from paying the usual share of costs for new Medicaid patients. The deal critics have dubbed the Cornhusker Kickback is expected to cost the federal government $100 million over 10 years.”

S
o much for all those unborn kids hey, Ben.

What’s the big deal?

 

Read more

*BREAKING NEWS FROM FRANKLIN ALDERMAN STEVE OLSON*


Dear Neighbors:


Beverly, Bella (the wonder daschund) and I wish you and your family a wonderful Christmas and prosperous New Year.  This year has seen many challenges for us all and I hope that the coming New Year brings you and your family happiness.

A few things for you as you prepare for the holidays:

New Trash Hauler

A reminder that the city has contracted with a new waste hauler for the next three years.  John’s Disposal will take over the job on January 1.  YOUR PICK-UP DAY WILL REMAIN THE SAME, AS WILL YOUR RECYCLING WEEK.

John’s will handle recycling a bit differently in that they use a system called “single stream” which means that if you so choose, you may co-mingle your recyclables in the blue tubs.  Although I suspect that we’ll all continue to separate our cardboard and bag our newspapers for convenience this is no longer necessary.  Johns will put all recyclables in one truck that will be labeled for recycling and they’ll sort it at their recycling center.  This truck will be the same type as the normal garbage trucks so don’t be alarmed.  They are recycling.

Also, please be aware that the TIME of your pickup may change based on how they manage the routes, so make sure your trash and recycling are out at 7:00am on your pick-up day.  After a month or so we’ll see what their timing is.

Should you have any issues with the pick-up or if you’re missed (keep the timing in mind), please call John’s directly at  262.473.4700 or by e-mail at: office@johnsdisposal.com.  If you’d like to learn more about John’s, their website is:  http://www.johnsdisposal.com.

And don’t forget that the holidays are prime burglary time.  Turn boxes that advertize that new 50” LCD TV or the new computer inside out.  Don’t leave your gifts in plain sight.  And remember to be cautious with candles and holiday lighting.

As always, you can contact me with any comments or concerns.

City Plowing and Salting

The city remains committed to providing safe roadways as usual this winter.  This first snowfall was a bit tough on some mailboxes due to the heavy snow sliding off the plow blades.  Should your mailbox get “plowed,” call the Department of Public Works and let them know.  

This year we’ll be trying a new method of ice control on our major streets with a combination of salt, sand and calcium chloride mixes as well as BEET JUICE in the mix.  These methods will help control the ice and the budget.

Remember our Fire Department after big snows.  Please adopt the fire hydrant near your home and clear the snow from around it.  It may save precious minutes in the event of a fire.

Taxes

You should have received your tax bill by now.  The Treasurer’s Office maintains longer hours through the holiday season up until New Years Eve for your convenience.  Remember that you can avoid the lines by using the drop box in front of city hall.  Use one of the envelopes, enclose your bill and check and your receipt will be mailed to you the next business day.

Election

It’s coming up on election season for the city.  I will, with honor, stand for re-election as your alderman this coming April.  This will be a contested election.  I look forward to a spirited debate of the issues in a campaign that I hope will be based on facts and record.  I will be humbled with your support.  But there’s plenty of time for campaigning later.  You’ll notice that my campaign logo is attached to this e-mail.  State election law and my ethics prevents use of my aldermanic title for any distribution greater than 49 people.

That’s it for now.  As always, feel free to pass this e-mail to your friends and neighbors in the city.  If you’re receiving this as a forwarded message, reply and I’ll put you on the list.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

Read more

The last great original Christmas song


The two greatest Christmas songs of all-time, without a doubt came from the 1940’s:
Bing Crosby’s White Christmas and Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song.

For the past four weeks or longer, I’ve listened to SIRIUS Satellite radio in my car and their two back-to-back Christmas music stations.

One is contemporary: 98 Degrees, Destiny’s Child, Christina Aguilera. Bah Humbug!

The other is classic: Sinatra, Bennett, Elvis, etc. JOY TO THE WORLD!

The discrepancy got me thinking. Even entertainment lightweights like Boyz II Men are recording holiday traditions. Those will never die. What happened to originality? Are all the great Christmas songs decades old? What is the last great Christmas song?


What about the 50’s?

"Jingle Bell Rock," Bobby Helms

“Blue Christmas," Elvis Presley

"Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," Brenda Lee

"Run Rudolph Run," Chuck Berry

"Santa Baby," Eartha Kitt

"The Little Drummer Boy," Harry Simeone Chorale

"I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," Jimmy Boyd

“Mary's Boy Child," Harry Belafonte


All good stuff, but certainly something earlier came along that we can categorize as great.


The 60’s

Please Come Home For Christmas," Charles Brown

"Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," Darlene Love

"The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," David Seville and the Chipmunks

"A Holly Jolly Christmas," Burl Ives

"Merry Christmas Baby," Otis Redding

"Pretty Paper," Roy Orbison

“Christmas Time Is Here," Vince Guaraldi Trio

"Little Saint Nick," The Beach Boys

"Someday at Christmas," Stevie Wonder

Read more

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #9

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


“The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science
Teaching are the Nation's highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. The Awards recognize outstanding K-12 teachers for their contributions in the classroom and to their profession. Since 1983, more than 4,000 teachers have been recognized for their contributions to mathematics and science education. If you know great teachers, nominate them to join this prestigious network of professionals."
From the website for The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching


Add Karen Nesbit’s name to the honor roll.

Nesbit teaches 1st grade  at  Pleasant View Elementary School in Franklin. She is the recipient of the
 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science.

Nesbit also received $10,000 and a trip to the White House, just like all the 100 recipients.
Pleasant View Principal Jamie Foeckler said in a press release, “Karen is the type of person who is always reflecting on her own teaching and learning so that she can pass that knowledge on to her students in a meaningful way. It is an honor to work with Karen because of her passion for learning, whether it be in or out of the classroom. She is a person who truly cares about each of her students and their learning and she works to always do what is best for them."

Congratulations, Karen!


Here’s more from the White House.

THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?

7) ?
8) ?

9)   KAREN NESBIT
10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINAL

Read more

Recommended Reading: The Christmas edition


Away with the Manger


"Gone are the days when presidents and most politicians publicly rejoice in the birth of Christ. But things were not always this way."


The War on Christmas: It's a Commie Thing

"Secular elitists within academia, the courts, the media and elsewhere proudly carry Communism’s anti-Christian mantle, goose-stepping en masse over the Christmas Nativity."


Guess who invented 'holiday trees'?

"Today’s secularist zealots should be unhappy to learn exactly whose company they are travelling in."


One Solitary Life

"The message is profound and has impacted my life deeply – I hope it will impact yours too."


It's Still a Wonderful Life

"The most unsettling aspect of the popularity of "It's a Wonderful Life" is the realization that nostalgia for certain values tends to set in just as they are disappearing."


A Christmas Tale-1944

"As I sit down with my family for Christmas dinner this year, we will give thanks for that as we remember the dark Christmas and uncertain future my grandmother and mother faced at the end of World War II."


A Christmas Story


"It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas---oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it-overspending...the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma---the gifts given in desperation because you couldn't think of anything else. Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way."


Town gets sentimental feeling about for injured tree

"Someone had hacked through the tree's dense evergreen branches -- and even through strands of lights that had been carefully strung around it -- and attempted to saw it down. Now, the alleged perpetrator's fate depends on whether the tree lives or dies."


You are the Nativity scene

"Take a good look at a Nativity scene. What do you see? Appropriately, the Baby Jesus is at the center of attention, surrounded by Mary, Joseph, the wise men and the shepherds. Do you see yourself in the crèche?"


The greatest gift

"A mother's generous approach to food in an era of limited choices still sustains."

UPDATE: Illinois to protest Gitmo terrorists from coming

Topics talked about on WISN


Here’s an update on the Gitmo story I talked about Tuesday while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

You’ll recall that during his campaign, Barack Obama promised to close Gitmo at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. What he didn’t tell America was that he was planning on bringing the Gitmo detainees, i.e., terrorists, into America inside an American prison.

If that wasn’t good (or bad) enough, the Obamessiah was going to dump them in a facility right in his home state of Limos. Backed by the Democrat governor, Pat Quinn and ultra liberal, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, this was their idea of economic development.

The New York Times reports the efforts by our bow-to-dictators president have hit a snag, big time:


“Rebuffed this month by skeptical lawmakers when it sought finances to buy a prison in rural Illinois, the Obama administration is struggling to come up with the money to replace the Guantánamo Bay prison.

As a result, officials now believe that they are unlikely to close the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and transfer its population of terrorism suspects until 2011 at the earliest — a far slower timeline for achieving one of President Obama’s signature national security policies than they had previously hinted.


While Mr. Obama has acknowledged that he would miss the Jan. 22 deadline for closing the prison that he set shortly after taking office, the administration appeared to take a major step forward last week when he directed subordinates to move “as expeditiously as possible” to acquire the Thomson Correctional Center, a nearly vacant maximum-security Illinois prison, and to retrofit it to receive Guantánamo detainees.

But in interviews this week, officials estimated that it could take 8 to 10 months to install new fencing, towers, cameras and other security upgrades before any transfers take place. Such construction cannot begin until the federal government buys the prison from the State of Illinois.”


What a shame. Those poor, unfortunate detainees will just have to wait a bit longer before they can sample free American prison food, beds, clothing and health care. Liberals across America are crying in their tofu.

Meanwhile state officials in Illinois held a hearing Tuesday about a possible sale of an Illinois prison to the feds so that Gitmo detainees could be housed in that facility. The hearing and the planned sale drew protests.






Protesters gather outside a Illinois legislative hearing Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2009 in Sterling, Ill. regarding an Obama administration decision to buy the underused Thomson Correctional Center in Thomson, Ill. to house up to 100 Guantanamo Bay detainees. (AP PhotoS/M. Spencer Green)


MEANWHILE:

“’Absurd, if not obscene’ is how former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey characterized the recent claim by Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) that relocating terrorist detainees from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to the Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois will create new jobs in the surrounding area.”

Read more
here.





Christmas Eve Vote on the Flawed Health Care Legislation: Bah Humbug!

             

Christmas Eve Vote on Flawed Health Care Bill:

Bah Humbug!




Proponents of the deeply flawed and costly Senate health care bill are going to get their Christmas wish: a Christmas Eve vote.

Don't let them give the American people a huge lump of coal in their stockings -- click here to email your Senators to oppose this bill.

A real present wouldn't include new taxes on working families, onerous mandates for employers, and almost a trillion dollars in new debt.

Contrary to the Christmas spirit of giving, this bill takes away more of our hard-earned money and our health care choices.

Bah humbug!

Email your Senators now.

Both the House and Senate should go back to the workshop and craft a bill that actually makes our health care system better.

A victory this week for those of us who want real reform will help us all have a brighter holiday.

Thank you,


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

Culinary no-no #146

Culinary no-no's













OK moms and dads, boys and girls. Make sure that on Christmas Eve before you go to bed, leave a copy of the Christmas Cookie Liability and Indemnification Agreement out for Santa to sign, along with the cocoa and cookies.

This year, it is very, very important that you read this and follow the directions.



UPDATE: The last great original Christmas song

Nostalgia


Yesterday, I posed the musical question, what was the last great original Christmas song?

What happened to originality? Are all the great Christmas songs decades old? What is the last great Christmas song?”

My conclusion was you had to go back until 1970 before you found an originally written Christmas song that could be considered stand the test of time standard material.

That was yesterday.

Great minds think alike.

Today, the Wall Street Journal offered this query:

Could “Last Christmas” Become the New “White Christmas”?


The article lead with, “Quick: can you name a popular Christmas song that was written after 1960?”

It continues:

“Artists have written plenty of holiday tunes in recent years, but many of the most popular are aged. Over the past decade, however, one modern song has quietly become an unexpected holiday standard….”

While my blog and the WSJ examine a similar issue, we come up with different conclusions.

Read the entire WSJ article here.

It's the best ever and here's why


White Christmas by Bing Crosby isn’t just the most popular Christmas song of all-time, it’s the best-selling record, ever.

Why?

Roy Harris, Jr. explores that question in the Wall Street Journal.

In short, it was composed by a songwriter whose talent was second to none.

Romantic, casual sound.

A blended message of love and yearning for Christmases of old.

Harris writes, “
Longing for Christmas snowfall was hardly a common image before Berlin's song.”

Often played on radio these days is David Foster’s wonderful take on Carol of the Bells. Seldom heard from Foster’s Christmas album is White Christmas.

Here’s Foster in his 1993 TV special with help from Johnny Mathis, Wynonna, Tom Jones, Michael Crawford, CeCe & BeBe Winans, Vanessa Williams, and Peabo Bryson.



Read more

This Just In's Merry Christmas schedule


Stay tuned to my blog throughout the Christmas holiday. Here is what’s coming up:

We continue our countdown of the Top Ten Franklin News Stories of 2009. Number 8 comes your way at midnight tonight.

CHRISTMAS EVE

Come to my blog to get easy access to the Santa Tracker as we follow Santa’s travels all around the world. It begins very early Thursday morning at 1:00 a.m.

CHRISTMAS DAY

It’s our weekly Friday night Goodnight musical feature with some appropriate tail end of the holiday selections.

SATURDAY

Read more

UPDATE: Based on my blog, is the rest of FranklinNOW so non-newsworthy?


A reader, I presume a new one this week, asked why I post blogs/newsletters from people like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce?

Because it works.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #8

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


Today’s entry wasn’t the biggest or the most important Franklin story of the year, but it certainly garnered the most attention.

A longtime Franklin resident told me that there’s an entity even more political than Franklin City Hall and that’s the Franklin Little League.

This past June I learned about the story of 12-year Devin Baehr of Franklin. His dream was to make the Little League All-Star team this season. Hard work and training seemed to pay off.  Baehr was a pitching powerhouse, leading his Franklin Rockies to first place with a record of 6-0. Virtually unhittable, I blogged that Baehr went 4-0 as a starter, striking out 36 batters, walking only three while compiling a sparkling earned run average of 0.50. He pitched two shutouts and gave up only two runs in four complete games. It was customary for Devin to reach an 85-pitch count each game. I found those to be amazing numbers.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Devin who goes to Southwood Glens Elementary School in Franklin knew immediately.

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

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

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

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

After Devin departed, his former team struggled.

Being named an All-Star is a big deal. The only way for a player to get into the Little League World Series and play for the championship in Williamsport, Pennsylvania is to be declared an All-Star.

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

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

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

As I wrote in June, “This is a very unfortunate story that illustrates all that’s wrong with what should be the wonderful experience of Little League. I have no idea what would motivate opposing coaches not to put whatever competitive feelings they have aside and select Devin Baehr as an All-Star. If what Devin’s father says is true, then there are petty, personal jealous parents unjustly and unfairly penalizing a deserving young boy and depriving him of what he has worked so hard for and has rightfully earned. The numbers don’t lie.”

Young Devin didn’t help his cause when I closed by initial blog on this story with the following:

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

‘They’re not in my shoes,’ said Devin.”

The story immediately picked up steam. WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes spent about 90 minutes discussing the topic on his program. During the broadcast, Franklin High’s veteran baseball coach, Jim Hughes who has won over 700 high school baseball games called in to say he saw Baehr pitch and in his opinion, deserved to be on the All-Star squad. That assessment is good enough for me.


Franklin Little League officials defended their process and keeping Baehr off the team claiming there are other intangibles besides numerical stats that kept him from being an All-Star.

An unfortunate element of the story was that as it got more attention, comments became quite personal. To use a sports term, things got “chippy.”  It seemed to validate my point that pettiness on the part of some parents created an unfair attitude where a deserving kid suffered.

Franklin’s National League Little Leaguers won the Wisconsin District 6 championship, but finished 3-3 in the state Little League Tournament, giving up 45 runs.

Here’s hoping a more fair process of All-Star selection is the rule in 2010 and years to come.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ?

7) ?
8)  FRANKLIN LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR SNUB

9)  KAREN NESBIT
10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINAL

Did you shop at the "naughty" or "nice" places?


Which retail outlets proudly proclaimed, “Merry Christmas” and which succumbed to political correctness and advertised, “Happy Holidays?”

Liberty Counsel kept track. Liberty Counsel describes itself as, “A nonprofit litigation, education and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of human life and the traditional family. Established in 1989, Liberty Counsel is a nationwide organization with offices in Florida, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., and hundreds of affiliate attorneys across the Nation.”

Here’s what they found.

Christmas Nativity in Cartoons

 











 

 

Read more

KIDS, PHONE OR E-MAIL SANTA!


Santa trackers at Norad.com will begin answering phones and replying to email at 5:00 a.m. Central Time on Christmas Eve.

Children of all ages can call the Norad Santa Tracker toll free number 1-877-Hi-NORAD (1-877-446-6723) or send an email to noradtrackssanta@gmail.com.
  

TRACK SANTA NOW!


Right here
,
boys and girls!

Il Est NĂ© (He Is Born)


The music of Michael Gettel....

 

Read more

A Christmas message from Ronald Reagan (12/23/81)

Read more

Twas the Night Before Christmas....


The U.S. Senate version.....

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #7

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


The news was stunning in July 2009.


59-year old Rosann Lewandowski of Franklin was charged with three counts of theft by the Milwaukee County District Attorney’s office, and admitted to the thefts, one involving stealing $880 from the Franklin Little League. The theft was captured on video on a “nanny cam” installed in another Franklin woman’s home.

The criminal complaint says the thefts all occurred within a month between April 23 and May 21 of this year.

 

Read more

What ARE you doing December 26th?


By guest blogger Jennifer Fischer
(This blog first appeared on Christmas Day 2008)

What ARE you doing December 26th? 

Well, since we are one of the few countries who don’t celebrate December 26th, I doubt you are participating in Boxing Day festivities.

Perhaps you are one of the brave souls who head to a mall the day after Christmas… either to snap up some post-Christmas sales (who can pass up a Chia pet for 80% off?) or to return the P.J.’s  Auntie Mary bought you that bring nothing but images of Aunt Clara’s gift in the Christmas Story: 
 

Read more

Goodnight everyone, and continue to have a wonderful Christmas weekend


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

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

We smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday, the rest of a long holiday weekend.


Tonight, our final installment of Sounds of the Season.

No "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas."  Christmas Day is almost over, though the Christmas season officially continues.

We have some appropriate tail end of Christmas music to close out what I hope was a magical and memorable holiday experience for you.

Great distance can keep loved ones apart this time of year. But the bond of love and family at Christmas keeps us close and strong.

Bradley Joseph performs an original composition, "Far Away on Christmas Day."


Read more

How to pass socialized medicine

Political Cartoon by Steve Kelley

The Barking Lot (12/26/09)

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 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:  Snow showers. High of 26.  "F"

SUNDAY:  A few snow showers. High of 26.  "F"

My lovely wife, Jennifer has the week off.

Last week, I blogged that yes, dog poop is a nuisance that can cause frustration and rightfully landed in the top ten of a list of pet (no pun intended) peeves. Rob Madeo at timesunion.com has a theory that when winter sets in, dog poop etiquette cools off.

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


Dog in NY diagnosed with swine flu.


War vets, shelter dogs heal together.


Burglars take presents and family dog.


Five injured when traffic slows for dog.


Dognapping on the rise.


Brothers die trying to save dog.


A dog census?


Chinese put these dogs on a pedestal.


Which dog is the smartest?


Your dog, some claim, is more dangerous to the environment than the SUV.


Dog helps sniff out bedbugs in Ohio.


Dog travels around the world for good cause.


Don't buy puppy mill dogs.


A supplement added to water helps dogs get what they're missing.


AND FINALLY,


The top 125 dogs in pop culture.



That's it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by!

Week-ends (12/26/09)

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


Airline travelers...........UPDATE


Nick Harris


Matt Norton


Kelly Ayotte


Carnegie Medal Awardees


The top ten CNN  Heroes


Mysterious Guardian Angel


Colonel Robert Howard............MORE.


Firefighters


Drivers for Schneider National


Scouts


Alitha Dorsey


Chloe McCourt


Carter Kettner



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Hitmen in Mexico


Phillip Wise's killers


Woman who knocked down the Pope


12 anti-family gifts from Congress


St. Louis Dept. of Health


TIGER Airways


The teachers union in DC


Anthony Stancl


He's a villain around here
, but not in Pittsburgh



HERO & VILLAIN IN SAME STORY


Jerry Gunderson, HERO; Shopko, VILLAIN



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"There's just no doubt for ordinary people living in Wisconsin or in any state, 2009 was a very tough year. But in very, very tough times, I'm proud of how Wisconsin responded. It wasn't just me as governor or the people in politics. It was business people ... it was local officials."
Governor Jim Doyle in an end of the year interview.


"A lot of energy is going to go into jobs in the next few months."
Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, (D-Janesville)



“Our focus should be on jobs and I haven’t seen a lot from the other side on this issue. Unfortunately we’ve done some things in this Legislature that have added to that job loss.”
Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon). The Wisconsin State Journal reported this week, “Republicans say the (Democrats’) proposals don’t go far enough and are too late, coming after Democrats hiked state taxes by more than $2 billion over two and a half years to help erase a more than $6 billion state budget shortfall.”


"Small stuff."
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). Harkin dismissed deals dubbed vote-buying by GOP senators as "small stuff" that distracted Americans from the primary focus of the health care bill.


"It has gotten so bad now that Republicans don’t want to be seen publicly in the presence of Democrats or have a Democrat profess friendship for them or vice versa.”
Political science professor Ross Baker at Rutgers University, discussing the lack of bipartsanship in Washington.


“Nobody goes there anymore. When I was here 10, 15, 30 years ago, that was the place you would go to talk to senators, let your hair down, just kind of compare notes, no spouses allowed, no staff, nobody. It is now empty.”
Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, and chairman of the Finance Committee, referring to the empty tables in the senators’ private dining room.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


We have a few this week:


1) Mother murders child and walks away


2) British priest


3) Pork greased reform's passage.........MORE



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Lawyers now going after cell phone manufacturers.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Favre vs. Childress



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


So this guy walks into this diner, and he's got this knife....


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.

UPDATE: Week-ends (12/26/09)

Week-ends


Let's add the following:


HEROES OF THE WEEK

The Weather Channel.............MORE.


VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

Build a Bear

The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #12

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame


15-year old Jake Shafer
of Alvin, Texas.


 

Read more

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #6

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


This year I chided the Franklin Police Department for what I believe was an unnecessary traffic stop and detention  that made its way as a talk show topic on WTMJ Radio.

OK, nobody’s perfect. Instead of an A+, give the department an A for 2009.

The fact is, Franklin police do an excellent job, and their high level of service continued during the past year.


In September, because of the outstanding work of a Franklin police officer, a serial murder suspect was apprehended.  The suspect was linked to 8 deaths.

Then in late October, Franklin was experiencing an unusual rash of break-ins and burglaries.
 An arrest was made a few weeks later.

These are some notable examples that should come as no surprise. The Franklin police routinely provide service we all can be very proud of.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6)
GREAT WORK BY FRANKLIN POLICE
7)  ROSANN LEWANDOWSKI
8)  FRANKLIN LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR SNUB

9)  KAREN NESBIT
10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINAL

$$$ for a vote on government health care

Political Cartoon by Michael Ramirez

My Most Popular Blogs (12/27/09)

Most popular


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

1) Culinary no-no #145

2) THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #9

3) TIE
    
    
TRACK SANTA NOW! 

    
Photos of the Week (12/20/09)

4) Kyla's Korner - Musings of a Mother (12/20/09)

5) *BREAKING NEWS FROM FRANKLIN ALDERMAN STEVE OLSON* 

    

Photos of the Week (12/27/09)

Photos of the Week



Cpl. Frederick (No first name given) of the Wayne County Airport Police and his bomb-sniffing dog Spencer patrol at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport December 26, 2009 in Romulus, Michigan. On Friday, a Nigerian man allegedly attempted to blow up a Delta airplane that was landing at Detroit Metropolitan airport by igniting an incindiary device while aboard the aircraft. Cpl. Frederick's dog was wounded while working in Iraq and was brought back to the U.S. to recover. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)


 



Airport police operate a checkpoint for vehicles entering Los Angeles International Airport in Los Angeles, Saturday, Dec. 26, 2009. Aviation security officials worldwide boost safety restrictions on travelers after an attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack on a flight from Europe to Detroit, imposing extra screening and new limits on carry-on luggage. (AP Photo/Jason Redmond)






Victoria Kennedy, widow of Sen. Ted Kennedy hugs Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 24,2009, as Sen. Banking Committee Chairman Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn, looks on at center, after the Senate passed the health care reform bill. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)






Three bullet holes are shown in the window of the post office in Wytheville, Va. on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009 where authorities say Warren Taylor took three people hostage for about eight hours before surrendering himself to authorities. One of the hostages said that Taylor said he was angry at the federal government because his son had died in Afghanistan and his beloved truck was about to repossessed. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Stephanie Klein-Davis)






Out of his wheelchair and on the ground, suspect Warren Taylor lies on the ground after surrendering to a police robot after holding hostages at a post office in Wytheville, Va., early Thursday. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


 

Read more

The MJS Scorecard (12/27/09)

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

Edie Brengel Radtke: Release full, unedited video  

Is PP for real? Sadly, they believe their own garbage.

Walt Ferguson: New way to elect a governor  

No. Let's keep the system we have.

John Patterson: No sense in relying on feudal capitalism  

Government is our only economic solution? Please.

Michael Rosen: Milwaukee shouldn't squander its competitive advantage  

A Crossroads, MJS favorite....the militant liberal, union apologist extraordinaire, Michael Rosen.

Michael Mathias: What's lacking in MPS governance debate: Leadership  

I'll give Mathias this. Some of his ideas aren't bad. But he claims they will reduce property taxes. They won't.

And let's face it. He's a lib.


TODAY'S CONSERVATIVE PIECES

NONE.


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

Henry R. Nothhaft: Patent 'reform' will stymie innovation  

Some Republicans also support this legislation that small business says will kill them. A hair away from being dumped in the "L" column.


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-5, Conservative-0

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-119, Conservative-89


KF NOTE: This week's Crossroads just may have been the most egregious example of how blatantly leftist this paper is. I'll have final thoughts on my year-long experiment later in the week.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #5

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009

Sometimes, the biggest and best news doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

This past summer, the
Franklin Common Council considered a proposal by The Priests of the Sacred Heart to build a four-story apartment building across the street from the Sacred Heart School of Theology.  State Senator Mary Lazich sent the following letter of support to Mayor Tom Taylor and members of the Franklin Common Council:

Dear Mayor Taylor,

 

Read more

Culinary no-no #147

Culinary no-no's


For this week’s installment of Culinary no-no, I beg your indulgence.


Aww, hell.

 

Read more

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #4

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


JANUARY 5, 2009


One day before a very important Franklin Common Council meeting, I blogged:

“(Franklin)
aldermen will consider the License Committee’s vote that a special prosecutor’s recommendation that the Buckhorn have its license suspended for 75 days be rejected. On Christmas Day 2007, Eddie Lynn Keck was reportedly over-served at the Buckhorn, left the tavern and struck and killed two people that night in a drunk driving accident.

Almost a year ago, the Franklin Common Council retained Roger C. Pyzyk, a private practice attorney who also is the Greenfield city attorney, as a special prosecutor to see if Franklin officials could take action against the tavern.

Franklin aldermen regarded the Buckhorn controversy as a hot potato, refusing comment and deferring the entire matter to Pyzyk. The city has left itself wide open to criticism that it has bungled this entire affair. The slow wheels of the criminal justice system passed judgment on Keck months ago. Franklin City Hall continues to stumble.

While I’m on record supporting a much stronger action against Buckhorn, and still do, and that is a revocation of its license, I find it highly ironic that the Franklin Common Council, in the interest of due process, stepped aside to bring in an impartial prosecutor. The prosecutor after months and months of review, paid for with Franklin taxes, came up with a recommendation, and now the Council is poised to turn it down. So, we’ve made what progress at the city level in over a year?

Personally, I believe it’s time for the aldermen to take a stand and tell the public exactly what it is they want. They ultimately have to vote on something, and the time to keep hemming and hawing is over.

Franklin aldermen, if a 75 day suspension isn’t right, what is? You were elected to make tough decisions. This is one of them, one the public is running out of patience over.”


Christmas Day 2007,
49-year old Eddie Lynn Keck, according to information he gave to police, drank six beers and three shots before leaving the Buckhorn. Keck got into a vehicle and struck and killed Gary and Barbara Kitchen of West Allis. The Kitchen’s were standing outside their truck on S. 35th Street in Franklin after visiting friends when they were hit. Keck drove away, telling police later he thought he hit a mailbox.

Keck was charged with two counts each of homicide by intoxicated use of a vehicle and hit-and-run causing death. He entered a plea of guilty on the two homicide charges and was later sentenced to 36 years in prison.

What shocked, stunned, and outraged so many, and not just here in Franklin, was the inaction on the part of Franklin City Hall. Surely this horrific tragedy would spur the mayor and aldermen to take the only action they could: strip the Buckhorn’s license. Instead, it sounded like they all got together behind closed doors and rehearsed their lines ever so carefully. Early in January 2008, every alderman who made a statement cautioned that “due process” needed to take place. Very early in 2008, city officials opened themselves up to criticism for mishandling the entire situation, a claim that would hound them throughout the year.

Then-FranklinNOW blogger Janet Evans summarized a Franklin Common Council meeting in January 2008 where two citizens stepped forward to address aldermen about the Buckhorn fatal hit-and-run controversy.


“Orville Seymer spoke first and told the Council he lives just around the corner from where the incident occurred and has family and friends who have been involved in accidents and death related to drunk drivers.  He said, ‘I am opposed to taking the liquor license away from the Buckhorn because that simply will not solve the problem. In my opinion, what will solve the problem is tavern owners and bar tenders who take more responsibility for their actions. In other words, they simply cannot refill a patron glass just because it is empty and they have money laying on the bar.

I am willing to go with any person who is willing to go with me and speak to every bar owner along 27th St. and exert a little peer pressure on them in a nice way so that they understand the consequences of these senseless deaths.’

Shari Hanneman spoke and said she disagrees with Orville Seymer. This also happened in her neighborhood.  She is a Mother Against Drunk Driving. She believes the Buckhorn's license should be revoked. She said the employees admitted that Eddie Lynn Keck had repeatedly been over served. The Buckhorn should lose the privilege of having a license.
 “

Hanneman, along with her Citizens For a Safe Wisconsin colleague Sandy Maher-Johnson did extensive research on one of the Wisconsin statutes that applies to this case. Hanneman referred to the statute in her testimony before the Common Council. Hanneman gave me permission to re-print her testimony

“The tragic accident of Christmas night occurred in my neighborhood. We heard the commotion and hoped that someone had simply burned their Christmas dinner.  Unfortunately two people died for no reason.  I am heartbroken and I am really angry that this happened and that it happened in my neighborhood. This incident is a black mark on the soul of this community.

I’m sure you have all read the criminal complaint.  I am sure you are as shocked as I am that the bartender at the Buckhorn Tavern discerned that the alleged killer was already ‘intoxicated at that time’ when he continued to serve him beer and shots. The bartender also discerned that when the defendant left the establishment, his ‘ability to operate a vehicle was materially impaired because of consumption of an alcoholic beverage.’  There is no indication that any employee of the Buckhorn made any concerted effort to keep the defendant from driving away.  It was ‘assumed’ that he would sleep it off as he had done in the past.  This indicates that employees of the Buckhorn Inn knowingly and repeatedly over-serve intoxicated customers.  This would seem to satisfy Wisconsin Statute 125.12, paragraph 2, item #3 which lists selling or giving away alcohol beverages to known habitual drunkards as grounds for license revocation.

I will say that if the criminal complaint is indeed truthful and reliable, I believe The Buckhorn Inn to be a very serious threat to our public safety.  In my opinion, a business that is that cavalier about the responsibilities that come with the privilege of holding a liquor license has no business doing business in my neighborhood.  I want that liquor license revoked!  I understand the complicated legal process that you are charged with.  I don’t like it but I understand it.

I am a Mother Against Drunk Driving.’  One of the core values of that organization is  Leadership- As the acknowledged leaders in the fight against drunk driving and underage drinking, we have the courage to set high standards of responsibility for ourselves and others, the will to work tirelessly for change, and the proven ability to achieve excellent results.

I will argue that we are a City of great Leadership – We are not afraid to stand up to the state, push for change, and do what is right.  YOU each must have the courage to set high standards of responsibility for those that you grant a liquor license.  YOU need to set the standard that anything less will not be tolerated by our people.”


On July 29, 2008, WTMJ-TV Channel 4’s John Mercure did a special report on Wisconsin law pertaining to over-serving. Mercure reported on the case of a young man who went out drinking on the eve of his 21st birthday with friends to the Slammer bar in Waupun. He drank 18 shots of liquor in an hour before the bartender stopped serving him. His friends (some friends) took him home, where he died later.

Mercure interviewed the Fond du Lac County District Attorney on camera who said he felt he couldn’t, based on current Wisconsin law, prosecute the bartender. Mercure reported that it takes about an hour for the young man in the story to have become intoxicated and that the bartender stopped serving while the customer did not appear to be drunk.

The Fond du Lac County DA also said he knows of no case in the state of Wisconsin of a bar being prosecuted and found guilty of over-serving.

In July 2008, I wrote:

“It’s clear the Buckhorn over-served and that Keck, who has since entered a plea of guilty on two counts of homicide by intoxicated use of a motor vehicle, will be going to prison. The Buckhorn should have come up for a review of its license by city of Franklin officials a long time ago. The excuse that the city has to wait while the criminal justice system plays out is a copout. Franklin has a responsibility to ensure the public safety of its boundaries. I submit the Buckhorn license should have been stripped.”

The community was still waiting in August 2008 when I wrote:

“One can certainly understand the anger and frustration at the slow-moving wheels of justice in this case. There’s an outcry as to why the Franklin Common Council isn’t taking any action on the one area it has leverage in this controversy: Buckhorn’s license. Like it or not, there’s a specific process that is being followed.

I spoke with Franklin City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski to get some answers. You’ll recall that several months ago, Franklin named Greenfield City Attorney Roger Pyzyk as the special prosecutor in this matter. Pyzyk’s responsibility is to examine the case and make a recommendation. His recommendation could be to strip the license, plea bargain, take action against the bartenders and/or the establishment, or do nothing.

Pyzyk’s recommendation will be submitted to the Franklin Common Council’s License Committee comprised of Aldermen Tim Solomon, Steve Taylor, and Kristen Wilhelm. Solomon years ago was instrumental in changing the city’s licensing procedure that now incorporates intensive reviews by building inspectors and comprehensive reports submitted by Franklin Police.

The License Committee can then conduct a hearing before being required to prepare a written report with its recommendation to present to the full Common Council. Then the Common Council can convene and take action.”

The criminal complaint in the case was damning.


JANUARY 6, 2009

The Franklin Common Council agreed to close the Buckhorn tavern for 90 days for its role in the tragic deaths of two people struck down by a drunk driver on Christmas Day 2007. The driver had reportedly been over-served earlier in the day at the Buckhorn. Eddie Keck is serving a 36-year sentence for killing a West Allis couple after drinking heavily at the Buckhorn.

WISN-TV had EXCLUSIVE video of Eddie Keck being over-served at Buckhorn

The Council's License Committee had voted to reject the recommendation of a special prosecutor to close the Buckhorn for 75 days. Franklin's Police Chief Rick Oliva said closing Buckhorn for 90 days sends a powerful message. Indeed, in this economy, when a business is forced to close down for three months, that's a serious punishment.

Even so, the 90 day closing, while unprecedented, was little consolation for those who wanted Buckhorn's license stripped away permanently.

As I wrote on January 6, 2009:

“The question I've posed in the past remains: What would have to happen in Franklin for a liquor license to be taken away for good? I would love if someone could answer that for me.”


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4)  BUCKHORN CLOSED, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY
5)  SACRED HEART AT MONASTERY LAKE
6)  GREAT WORK BY FRANKLIN POLICE

7)  ROSANN LEWANDOWSKI
8)  FRANKLI LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR SNUB
9)  KAREN NESBIT
10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINALS

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #3

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


When Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor was putting his proposed 2010 city of Franklin budget together, he had no idea what 32-year old Shawn Winters was plotting.

More on that later.

In late June, Mayor Taylor
informed city department heads and members of the Franklin Common Council the city faced a $1.8 million revenue shortfall for 2009 and a $1.4 million revenue shortfall for 2010. Taylor implemented a hiring freeze on vacant positions (with the exception of seasonal positions) effective June 18, 2009. No vacancy could be filled without the written approval of the Mayor.

The directors of Administration and Finance and the Treasurer were asked to develop ways to reduce the shortfalls. Mayor Taylor asked department heads to come up with ways to reduce or eliminate expenses within departments. In a memo to department heads, Mayor Taylor wrote, "I may need to ask you to prepare 5%, 10% and 15% reduction scenarios in net budgets if additional budgetary issues surface."

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

We later learned the shortfall for 2009 wasn’t $1.8 million. It had ballooned to $2.5 million. Even so, there didn’t seem to be any sense of urgency.

Case in point: A Franklin Common Council meeting in early August 2009.

FranklinNOW reported that the meeting had some debate about replacing an eight-year-old ambulance that has an odometer reading of 99,000 miles.

Aldermen Steve Olson, Lyle Sohns and Ken Skowronski, according to FranklinNOW  “said while they are strong supporters of the police and fire departments, the city should try to get more mileage out of the ambulance due to the tough economic times. ‘At some point you have to say no’ to more spending, Olson said.”

Everyone acknowledges the importance of ambulances. But when you’re $2.5 million in the hole right now and another $1.4 million in the hole projected for next year, you, as the Rolling Stones professed, can’t always get what you want.

Olson, Sohns, and Skowronski made the right move, voting against purchasing a new ambulance. Aldermen Steve (I am so a conservative, really I am!) Taylor, Kristen Wilhelm, and Tim Solomon voted for the purchase. Apparently the attitude is, we’ll buy now and worry about it, and our deficit, later.

Mayor Taylor broke the 3-3 tie and voted in favor of buying the ambulance.

Our city leaders voted to INCREASE SPENDING when the budget shortfall for a $20-million city budget is $2.5 million.

At the time I asked, “When personnel, i.e., real living, breathing city workers have to be told they’re losing their jobs, how important will that new ambulance look to those folks?”

When Mayor Taylor unveiled his 2010 budget, the document failed to replace two vacant police department positions and one vacant firefighter position.

Enter Shawn Winters.

Smack during the budget deliberations, an unusual rash of burglaries took place in Franklin. Police Chief Richard Oliva informed me his department had stepped up its patrols. Then Oliva sent me the following e-mail I posted on This Just In…


”On Monday, November 2nd a house was broken into in the 4100 block of W. Carmel between the times of noon and 1:30PM while the owner went out to the store.  Through investigation, we arrested a suspect who lives directly across the street from the house that was broken into.  We believe that the suspect is responsible for many of the recent burglaries  in  that general area.  He is denying involvement at this time.  We are continuing our investigation attempting to connect him to these other burglaries.  There is physical evidence that is being analyzed at the Crime Lab and we recovered numerous items of jewelry and coins  from his home that we are attempting to have previous crime victims identify as being taken from their homes. 

In addition to the burglary, he was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a switchblade knife, resisting an officer and violation of probation.    This morning the District Attorney's Office issued the burglary charge on Shawn V. Winters age 32, of 4126 W. Carmel Drive.  We feel confident that the burglaries in the neighborhood will be significantly reduced because of this arrest.”


From then on, the focus of the city budget discussions centered on the need to replace the police positions, but at what cost? What would/could be cut?

On November 4, I suggested a property tax freeze that would also save much-needed personnel.

Oak Creek passed a 0% increase budget. So did New Berlin.

Not Franklin.

The Common Council met in early December to take action to bring the tax rate down from $6.04 to $5.94. The aldermen took no action on the far more important issue, the property tax levy that remained at a 2.9% increase.

Franklin taxpayers are mighty upset and rightfully so. During a recession when people are losing their jobs or taking salary and benefit cuts, their elected representatives voted to jack up their taxes.

Sadly, Franklin City Hall doesn’t get it.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009

1) ?
2) ?
3)  RECESSION? WHAT RECESSION? CITY TAXES GO UP
4)  BUCKHORN CLOSED, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY
5)  SACRED HEART AT MONASTERY LAKE
6)  GREAT WORK BY FRANKLIN POLICE

7)  ROSANN LEWANDOWSKI
8)  FRANKLIN LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STAR SNUB
9)  KAREN NESBIT
10) FRANKLIN HIGH FOOTBALL GOES TO STATE SEMI-FINALS

The Top 10 Conservatives Of 2009


We’re getting into end of the year list territory.


Conservative columnist John Hawkins, who’s been featured on my site a lot, regularly writes about lists.


Here are his Top 10 Conservatives of 2009.

How true

 Political Cartoon by Dana Summers

JB Van Hollen, are you.....


Next?



MORE.

Wisconsin roads are filled with illegal immigrant drivers

Illegal immigration


If you missed it, the December 25, 2009 issue of Franklin Citizen re-published an article by Andy Szal and Jacob Kushner about the connection between illegal immigrants and the dairy/farming industry in Wisconsin.

Though the article leans to sympathizing with both dairy farmers in need of filling jobs and illegal immigrants needing to drive to get to those jobs, it provides some eye-openers for us legal Wisconsin residents beginning with this open:


“Drivers beware: There’s a woman driving a stretch of Interstate 90 between Sparta and Tomah — without a license or any training about Wisconsin’s traffic laws.

Her name is Victoria. She’s a 23-year-old undocumented immigrant from Mexico who works on a Tomah dairy farm with other undocumented immigrants whom she says ‘all understand our boss through signals’ because of language barriers.

Victoria, who arrived in Wisconsin 13 months ago, hasn’t taken any drivers’ training in the United States because Wisconsin law prohibits her from obtaining a license. She says she hasn’t had any run-ins with police, but requested that her last name be withheld out of fear she might be pursued as an illegal immigrant.

She is among a growing number of illegal immigrants who are finding work on Wisconsin dairy farms, located in rural areas where the only way to get to work is by car.”

Eyes not opened yet?

“Immigrants now account for about 40 percent of the state’s dairy labor force, up from just 5 percent a decade ago.”

Yeh, I know. I know. Nobody else wants those jobs. Not even in a recession. Right.

The writers refer to a failed attempt during the 2009-11 state budget process to create special limited driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

“It shows that neither the Republican Party nor the Democratic Party in Wisconsin or nationally have the intention to fix the problems that are most urgent to our people,” said Alex Gillis, co-founder of the Madison immigration rights group Immigrant Workers’ Union.

No, Mr. Gillis. It shows that illegal immigrants refuse to take the same steps that other immigrants have taken to become legal American citizens. That’s the problem.

Next eye-opener:

“State Department of Transportation data show that after the law requiring applicants to submit proof of legal residence took effect in 2007, the number of people taking the Spanish-language version of the road skills knowledge test plummeted 91 percent — from 42,500 in 2006 to fewer than 4,000 in 2008. The number of applicants taking the English version of the test also declined during the period, but by just 23 percent.”

Hmmmm......

Now it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out that since the law took effect, illegal Hispanic immigrants have gone into hiding, refusing to apply for licenses, petrified they will be nabbed red handed. Obviously, the fear of God has set in to law breakers who know they are breaking the law.

Balanced, the article isn’t.

Worth a read, it is.


So is this oldie but goodie from This Just In that caused quite a stir when I talked about it on WISN over two years ago.

Rabid heterosexuality, and surviving life by chilling


I’ve blogged that President Obama’s “Safe Schools” Czar (what a joke), Kevin Jennings should never be allowed any school child.

Regular readers know that as far as I’m concerned, conservative columnist Doug Giles never ceases to impress. One of his latest efforts is highly critical of Jennings. Giles lambastes by proudly touting his heterosexuality:

“I’m a rabid heterosexual. There, I said it. I’m outing myself. I know it’s not cool in this gay day to like the opposite sex. And I’m sure there will be those reflexively irate gays who will call me latent. As far as I can tell, however, I’m straight and wholeheartedly love the fact that God blessed us boys with girls. Yep, good job with the girlies, God, and muchas gracias, Señor Yahweh, for creating the chicas bonitas. As far as I am concerned, the lovely lady lumps, in all their shapes and sizes, trump a dude any old day.”

Giles says that unlike Jennings, he wouldn’t push any sexual preference in discussions with school kids:

“I, personally, would like all children everywhere to forego hearing about foreplay, penchants and peccadilloes until they at least hit 18-months old. Geez, people. Why can’t we let the kids just ride their bikes and pick their noses without trying to turn them into Jenna Jameson or Ron Jeremy before they get their braces off?”

Amen.

Giles, a minister, also discusses in his latest column how he uses Scripture to deal with today’s beyond weird culture. My favorite excerpt:

“I’m certain most of the faithful get that ‘life is hard work, a sweat of the brow’ subsistence (except, of course, the metrosexual 30-year-old males who live with mommy and won’t get a job).”

Man, that's good!

Coming up on This Just In....


Tonight, the #2 story on my list of the top news events in Franklin during 2009.

Beginning shortly after midnight and continuing throughout the day, New year’s Day, the annual tradition on This Just in….THE HEROES OF 2009.

Also Thursday, the #1 Franklin story of 2009.

During the holiday weekend, our regular features, PLUS, a special year-end edition of Week-ends.

And much more.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2009: #2

TOP TEN FRANKLIN NEWS STORIES OF 2009


It’s true, the Franklin Common Council voted to increase city property taxes. But, at least the aldermen (two in particular, Steve Olson and Lyle Sohns) argued for greater spending cuts to help the beleaguered taxpayers. Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor took action back in June to address a projected budget shortfall. Aldermen met ther first week of December to consider even more spending cuts.

When it comes to the Franklin School Board, the MO is pick a number to represent this year’s big tax increase, everyone nods their heads in brain-dead concurrence, there is no discussion about alternatives, and before you can say “How the hell am I supposed to pay for this?” the tax increase is approved like, cue John Travolta, Greased Lightnin’!

In the spring of 2009, there were two vacant school board positions open and oo and behold, a whole whoppin’ two candidates. Janet Evans and Judith Bialk were gift-wrapped spots on the school board.

New school board members….same old school board. Translation: Screw you, taxpayers!

The budget process used to attain a school property tax levy increase in Franklin is our city’s biggest sham. Anyone who disputes that is either a school district employee, clueless, a liberal, or all three.

Mark Schaaf of FranklinNOW covered the Franklin School Board’s annual meeting in August 2009 and you’ve got to feel sorry for Schaaf. He couldn’t report what an absolute atrocity of a process this meeting truly is.

Someone should film this annual affair and post it for all the world to see to show how not to run a local government meeting. This is clearly democracy NOT in action.

Let’s begin with the headline that topped  Schaaf’s story on this very website:

Voters approve 3.9 hike in school levy

Now, reporters will often argue, and they’re absolutely right that they have zero input on how the headline is written for their stories. Headline writers will, on the other hand, counter that they’re limited by space and the fact that they weren’t at the event in question and don’t know all the details.

Schaaf writes that, and I quote,  Franklin voters at the annual meeting approved the 2009-10 budget that includes a property tax levy increase of an estimated 3.9 percent. About 25 district residents approved the $30.6 million levy. Because some factors have not yet been determined, the budget could change between now and when it becomes official later this fall.”

That is Schaaf’s reporting. Let’s just say that I have a different perspective on what actually is the truth here, based on over 30 years of covering local government and having attended this farce of an annual meeting in Franklin in the past.

Again, here was the dubious headline:

Voters approve 3.9 hike in school levy

Sorry, folks. Voters didn’t approve crapola. There was no election.

A small band of merrily frolicking members of the School District machine (all 25 of them) raised their hands like blind sheep, like lemmings at the annual meeting and basically told the Jesse James Gang, i.e. the Franklin School Board, please ladies and gentlemen, as you can see, we’re bending over quite a bit. Please tax us some more.

Voters? Are you kidding me?

The voters were home after working hard all day to pay the ridiculous Franklin taxes, spending time with their loved ones. Attend the annual meeting in the middle of August? Most, if not all, had no idea it was happening! And even if they did, why bother showing up and trying to talk common sense to this tax/spend happy bunch? Their minds are made up. They will tax you to death because, as I’ve mentioned so many times, they don’t care.

Recession?  So what! Who the hell cares?!

Voters? How in the hell do we know if the 25 people who attended that meeting and nodded their heads like mindless robots when the question was asked about a levy increase were actual voters?

Did they check ID’s at the door?

Did they cross check against actual voter lists and Franklin addresses?

Voters?

You want voters?

How about the turnout (actual registered voters) during the spring April 2007 election in Franklin that voted on two school referenda, including a tax increase of over $78-million?

In case anyone forgot, let me remind you of what the taxpaying voters of Franklin decided with a loud and clear message in April of 2007 on TWO referenda.

(Are you paying attention, Franklin School Board members? Probably not. After all, it’s a clueless bunch):
 


QUESTION #1 (GENERAL OBLIGATION BONDS)

YES     2,495 (39.57%)

NO       3,811 (60.43%)


QUESTION #2 (Exceed revenue limits)

YES     2,365 (38.05%)

NO       3,851 (62.95%)



NOW THIS IS CLEARLY A STORY OF VOTERS DECIDING AN ISSUE, NOT A COUPLE DOZEN FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF SCHOOL DISTRICT PEOPLE TURNING OUT AT A WHO CARES MEETING IN SUMMER, ATTEMPTING TO SPEAK FOR OVER 30,000 CITIZENS.

Want to know what really happens at this charade of a meeting?

The voters in reality have nothing to say about it.

Franklin School District Business Manager Jim Milzer (A true enemy to the taxpayers who, as reported accurately on this blog informed Franklin School Board members in the past they’d be voting on a 5 percent tax increase when it turned out to be just under 12 percent) tells the School Board members in advance of the cattle call of lemmings at the annual meeting what he deems the school property tax levy increase should be.

The School Board members react by nodding in near unison breathlessly (One board member, Janet Evans, would spit out the Kool-Aid and vote NO) yes, yes, yes, there must be a school property tax increase. The recession be damned. Pink slips in the private sector be damned. School taxes up! YES!!!!!!!  YES!!! YES!!

So the brain dead school board, and that’s exactly what they are, refusing to question or debate the potential tax and spend increase before them, simply goes along and like Nights of the Living Dead rubber stamps a big tax increase.

Am I going too fast, Franklin taxpayer? You get it, I know. The School Board doesn’t.

Shyster Jim Milzer comes up with a tax increase figure. The brain dead (sorry to be so repetitious but it fits so well), afraid to raise a peep Franklin School Board nods like mummies in approval.

The same walking dead School Board goes to the farce of an annual meeting. Before the meeting starts, brain dead sheep in the audience of an entire off the charts 25 are asked to take index cards and when called upon at the meeting, read them out loud:

“I move that the annual school property tax levy increase be set at 3.9%.”

After reading, they smile from ear to ear. It’s for the children. Never mind they have no semblance of what they just read. My neighbor sitting next to me said it was OK.

And by the way, anyone who wants to take issue and debate that this garbage isn’t orchestrated and used to pull one over on the taxpayers, save your breath and don’t insult my or any other Franklin resident’s intelligence. The annual meeting is a total disregard for democracy and the wishes of the majority of taxpayers.

So, the 25 potted plants at the annual meeting nod proclaiming, of course we want our taxes to go sky high, and the School Board votes yes, and then the School Board votes yes again in the fall and taxpayers open their bills in December wondering what the hell happened.

That’s how your school tax increase is approved.

Voters approving a big school tax increase?

Not on your life, Mark Schaaf or Franklin taxpayers.

Voters did nothing at that ridiculous annual meeting. If voters knew, and actually cared enough, taxes might be reasonable.

Shame on school board member David Works who actually told me personally he hates the taxing and spending for schools. Works also tried to assure me that Linda Witkowski really cared about cutting taxing and spending. Both voted for big school tax increases.

I lampooned the school board about that annual meeting, but I believe this is close to the God’s honest truth.

By the way, this is basically the same brand of school board thieves that tosses your tax dollars around like candy that approved big salary increases in 2008.

Prior to being elected to the School Board, Janet Evans used to attend School Board meetings, record them, then tell us oh so proudly over and over and over and over and over  on her blog that she did so and here’s what I found out., yada, yada, yada.

Problem was that Ms. Astuteness never reported this most important action taken by the school board in 2008. Aww, shucks!  I guess that ol’ trusty recorder must have had the pause button down. And now she’s on the school board when she missed the biggest school board story of 2008. Hope she’s paying a lot more attention now that she’s on the other side of the table.

Franklin, your school board is arrogant. Witness how they flaunted the state’s open meetings laws in 2009.

THEY
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
JUST
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

Read more

It's New Year's Eve...Time for a This Just In Tradition


All day long, as we did last year on This Just In, we present the stories of the heroes of the previous year.

Here's our first entry, Wisconsin troops.

God bless them!



3,200 Army soldiers fill the floor during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis. The one-year deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard to Iraq will be the largest since World War II. Photo by Corey Wilson/ Green Bay Press-Gazette






Family members and friends stand for the national anthem during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis.  Photo by Corey Wilson/ Green Bay Press-Gazette


Read more

HEROES OF 2009: Jasper Schuringa


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


He leapt into action

HEROES OF 2009: Jesse Coltrane


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

His call to authorities saved a life.

HEROES OF 2009: Nick Harris


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


A modern day Superman.

HEROES OF 2009: Blind bowlers


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

They came to Wisconsin for a big tournament.

HEROES OF 2009: Matt Norton


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

This hero is only 12.

HEROES OF 2009: Carnegie Award Winners


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Extraordinary acts of heroism.

HEROES OF 2009: Mysterious Guardian Angel


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Who was that hero?

HEROES OF 2009: Patti Bringe-Blomquist and Richard Blomquist


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Gift helps MSO strike up a holiday tune.

HEROES OF 2009: Brian Butzler


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Land mines don’t deter
this runner.

HEROES OF 2009: A hero's heroes


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Heroes help out another hero.

HEROES OF 2009: David Kirkness


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Dead soldier’s Christmas message.

HEROES OF 2009: Carol Haertlein Sells


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Uncle Sam wanted her, too.

HEROES OF 2009: Rudolph


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


The blind dog.

HEROES OF 2009: Anthony Perez


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

He saved a motorcyclist’s life.


HEROES OF 2009: Pregnant woman


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

The story.


The video.

HEROES OF 2009: Adrian Zavala


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

11-year old saves his brother.

HEROES OF 2009: John Surinchak and his grandson


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

They nab a suspected a killer.

HEROES OF 2009: Chris Blair


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Pilot makes a special stop.

HEROES OF 2009: Priscilla Presley


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She wants to keep Graceland the way Elvis left it.


HEROES OF 2009: Kisha Makerney


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She fights for your life, then fights for hers

HEROES OF 2009: Drew Heredia


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

9-year old to the recuse.

HEROES OF 2009: Monica Benning


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


She was a nurse at Pearl Harbor.

HEROES OF 2009: "Sully" Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

The New York Miracle.


HEROES OF 2009: Jamie Cap


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

He gets to shoot again.

HEROES OF 2009: Jayne Soliman


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

An incredible must-read story


HEROES OF 2009: Luther Smith


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

A lifelong dream fulfilled.

HEROES OF 2009: Jill Stanek, Lucy Talbot, Anita White


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Heroes for life.

HEROES OF 2009: Abby Johnson


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

An ultrasound changed her life.

HEROES OF 2009: Wisconsin students


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Aboard the USS Green Bay

HEROES OF 2009: Kimberly Munley


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Thank God for her at Fort Hood.

MORE

HEROES OF 2009: John Burson


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Pretty impressive for a 74-year old.

HEROES OF 2009: Michael Rusiniak


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

A guilty hero.

HEROES OF 2009: Ellen Basinski


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

BAM!!!

HEROES OF 2009: Lewis Coulbert


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Shot and awe.


HEROES OF 2009: Aaron Ware


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

A young boy turns his grief into a positive.

HEROES OF 2009: Nigel Haskett


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

McDonald’s worker steps in to help.

HEROES OF 2009: Make-A-Wish Foundation


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Dying wishes.


HEROES OF 2009: Nadya Vessey


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Mermaid dream comes true.


 

Read more

HEROES OF 2009: Mary Woodward Lasker


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She’s on a stamp.

HEROES OF 2009: The Boehms


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

That’s quite a family.

HEROES OF 2009: Advocates for rape victims


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

“We’re not going away.”

HEROES OF 2009: Chad Lindsey


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Subway hero.

HEROES OF 2009: Jerry


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

He’s legally blind.

HEROES OF 2009: Mark Graham


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

A general’s personal battle.

HEROES OF 2009: Debbie Wasserman Schultz


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


She had secretly been battling breast cancer for a year.

HEROES OF 2009: Shirley DeLucia


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


She played dead.

HEROES OF 2009: Creative folks


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


Unemployed, but creative.

HEROES OF 2009: Matt Steven


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


A blind kid as a designated shooter.

HEROES OF 2009: Marcus Luttrell


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


They killed his dog, and he helped catch them.

HEROES OF 2009: Jim Mullen


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


Former officer now sells applesauce.

HEROES OF 2009: Richard Phillips and the US Navy


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Rescued captain praises “superheroes.”

HEROES OF 2009: Jim Dancy


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Lottery winner, at least, for awhile.

HEROES OF 2009: Alice Smith


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She's 80 years old.

HEROES OF 2009: Michael Corcoran


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Amid tragedy, he kept his cool.

HEROES OF 2009: Anne Fleming


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She helps ease trauma for certain women.

HEROES OF 2009: Daniel Firpo


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

From rookie to hero in minutes.

HEROES OF 2009: Lucille Nassery


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

People cheered Nassery and her team on, and mommy, too.

HEROES OF 2009: Ted Maztier


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

One tough 84-year old.

HEROES OF 2009: Patrick Schuster


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Amazing.

HEROES OF 2009: Purple Heart recipients


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Ceremony held at Walter Reed.

HEROES OF 2009: Andy Mackie


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Modern Pied Piper cheats death.

HEROES OF 2009: Georgia college student


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

“We could have all been killed.”

HEROES OF 2009: Beth Biskobing


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Teacher attacks gangs, in a different way.

HEROES OF 2009: Carrie Prejean


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009


Carrie Prejean


The most famous runner-up ever.

HEROES OF 2009: Zachary Boyd


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Zachary Boyd......"Just imagine seeing that — a guy in pink boxers and flip-flops has you in his crosshairs."

HEROES OF 2009: Wall Washers and Connor Sorenson


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

They do it for free.

Teen honors veterans.


HEROES OF 2009: John Krahn


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

He made a heroic rescue.

HEROES OF 2009: Lori Schneider


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

She overcame MS.

HEROES OF 2009: Gina Marie Incandela


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

This little girl was magic.

HEROES OF 2009: Cynthia Orel


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

“You’re done.”

HEROES OF 2009:Keith Zeier

Read more

MY #1 FRANKLIN STORY FOR 2009


Because of the deluge of HEROES OF 2009 posts (Yes, there were tons of good people this past year) watch for my #1 Franklin News Story of 2009 sometime Friday during New Year’s Day.

I’ll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with the foolish wishful thinking that cash-strapped Milwaukee County would even think about paying for an aquatics center in Franklin. Only someone with an idiotic tax and spend mentality would even consider such a possibility.

HEROES OF 2009: Hugh Riley


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

He was at D-Day.

HEROES OF 2009: Angelina Colton


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Stand back.

HEROES OF 2009: Davonte Kelly


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

A bullet didn’t stop this Little Leaguer.


HEROES OF 2009: Jennifer and Nathan Williams


THROUGHOUT THE DAY, A LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE HEROES OF 2009

Finally together.


 

HEROES OF 2009: Moshe Kai Cavalin


11-Year-Old Graduates College With Degree in Astrophysics

HEROES OF 2009: Isabelle Redford


What she does with her artwork...

HEROES OF 2009: Deloris Nissen


She was so tired of seeing Obama on TV...

HEROES OF 2009: My final hero, and it's personal


I hope you have enjoyed my annual New Year’s Eve listing of just some of the HEROES OF 2009 that I’ve discovered during the past year. Since midnight, I’ve posted over five dozen heroic figures and actions from 2009.

Of course, there are many more, and they make America the greatest country in the world.

I close with this HERO OF 2009, my dear, blessed mother who I love with all my heart and soul.

On Christmas Eve morning, my mother fell and broke her hip. I discovered her and immediately called 9-1-1. Responders were there in less than two minutes.

My deep love and admiration for my mother, the sweetest, kindest individual God has ever put on Earth has never been in question. I had no idea my love and respect for her could grow ever more. It has.

With tubes in her and in pain, my mother since her fall has never, ever complained.

Her surgery went well, and she is recovering ever so slowly. She is an incredible inspiration.

I deal with a lot in my public life. Those that foolishly attempt to take their hateful shots at me haven’t a clue as to the depth and strength of my love of God, family and friends and their support that far surpasses any petty, personal attacks that may come my way.

Read more

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!


Thank you one and all, whether you agreed or disagreed, for stopping by and visiting my website that I share with my wife and lovely daughter from time to time.

Regular readers know my love of music of music. I close 2009 with two wonderful selections, the first by the amazing Andre Rieu and a New Year’s Eve classic.




Read more

Page Tools