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

The best cartoons of the week (12/01/12)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley


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The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (12/01/12)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Mostly cloudy in the morning giving way to partly cloudy skies late in the morning. A few showers could develop by 5:00 and continue through the evening and overnight. High of 54. On December 1. Are you kidding me?   "B"

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny, then becomimg sunny. High of 54.   "B+"

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


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Week-ends (12/01/12)


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...


Lawrence DePrimo ...MORE

Colts cheerleaders

Secret Santa


Jazz Little


To some Democrats, Bob Wirch

Jamie Foxx

Michael D'Antuono

Arlington Heights, Illinois

A real-life Grinch

These teachers

San Antonio school district

State of Florida


"I've worked far too hard to become the governor and governor again to worry about anything else after that."
Gov. Scott Walker insisting he is not thinking about running for president in 2016.

" in 2009 (Barack Obama) outlined his strategy for economic success. Alas, poor Obama did the opposite but nevertheless was re-elected. Bye, bye Miss American Pie. The Communists have won in America with Obama…Recently, Obama has been re-elected for a 2nd term by an illiterate society and he is ready to continue his lies of less taxes while he raises them. He gives speeches of peace and love in the world while he promotes wars as he did in Egypt, Libya and Syria. He plans his next war is with Iran as he fires or demotes his generals who get in the way."
The Russian newspaper Pravda

“A pledge you signed 20 years ago, 18 years ago, is for that Congress. For instance, if I were in Congress in 1941, I would have supported a declaration of war against Japan. I’m not going to attack Japan today.”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) discussing his decision to end his commitment along with other Congressional Republicans to an anti-tax pledge they signed from American for tax Reform’s Grover Norquist.

“Hey, if you think a commitment is not for as long as you make it for, the commitment for the pledge, as Peter King well knows when he signed it, is that as long as you’re in Congress, you will [rein in] spending and reform government and not raise taxes.  It’s not for 500 years or two generations. It’s only as long as you’re in the House or Senate. If he stayed too long, that’s his problem. But you don’t tell the bank, ‘Oh, the mortgage, wasn’t that a long time ago?’ The pledge is not for life, but everybody who signed the pledge including Peter King, and tried to weasel out of it, shame on him. I hope his wife understands that commitments last a little longer than two years or something.”
Grover Norquist

“If you're going to run from the police, you'd better be in better shape."
Monroe, WI police chief Fred Kelley, after a
Rockford man was arrested Thursday after he led police on a high-speed chase that ended on foot and ultimately winded him.

“Nice way to start the week.”
N.Y.P.D. Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne on Monday, which was the first day in recent memory when there was no report of someone being shot or stabbed in New York City


Tampon Nativity scene is a hit.

DHS promotes gov't handouts to immigrants on its website.

Sandy victim upset at being played by Obama.


What recession?




Woman raises baby girl as a boy for two years.

Take another look at that woman in church.

That's it for Week-ends. 

We close with the latest from NewsBusted.

Recommended Reading (12/01/12)

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).

7 reasons to be optimistic about America's future

"...anyone who tells you that our nation isn't in serious jeopardy right now is either ignorant or lying to you. Yet and still, there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about this country's future."

Welfare soars led by huge increases in immigrant usage

"The questionable practice of inviting immigrants to access costly taxpayer funded services when they should be self-sufficient is a problem that has been escalating for nearly a decade."

When the fighting stops

“After surviving four tours of duty, a suicide bomb and a bullet wound to the chest, Sgt. Karl Martin wonders whether he'll ever again feel so intensely alive now that his war is almost over. Sgt. Martin, a 27-year-old Marine, has been going off to fight his entire adult life, and, in frank moments, he admits he's going to miss it.

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Photos of the Week (12/02/12)

Photos of the Week

Al McGuire (left), Hank Raymonds (center) and Rick Majerus are shown in the closing seconds of Marquette's national championship game in 1977. Majerus, a former Marquette head coach, died Saturday after years of heart trouble. He was 64. Journal Sentinel file photo.

2) Wisconsin players pose with roses clenched in their teeth following the Badgers' 70-31 win over Nebraska in the Big Ten championship team. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood

3) President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney talk in the Oval Office following their lunch, November 29, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Pete Souza/The White House/MCT)

4) Mark and Cindy Hill hold a Powerball check with their three of their four children, Jarod, left, Cody and six-year-old Jaiden in Dearborn, Mo., Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/Orlin Wagner)

5) An aerial view shows a house pushed into marshland almost a month after the Oakwood neighborhood in the Staten Island borough of New York was left devastated by Hurricane Sandy, November 28, 2012. Photo: Adrees Latif / Reuters

6) An elderly couple prepares to be evacuated as flood waters surround their home in St Asaph, north Wales on Nov. 27. Hundreds of people were urged to flee their homes in north Wales on Tuesday after a river surged over flood defenses, as torrential rain fell across Britain for a seventh day. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images

7) Police officers are sprayed with milk by European milk farmers during a demonstration outside the European Parliament in Brussels on Nov. 26. Photo: Geert Vanden Wijngaert / AP

8) Filipinos light candles which are shaped into an AIDS symbol to mark World AIDS Day Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012 at the Heroes Shrine at suburban Quezon city northeast of Manila, Philippines. The activists are calling for increased awareness to the rising number of HIV infections and AIDS-related cases and called on the government and other sectors to help break the social stigma brought about by the disease. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

9) A Hindu devotee offers prayers after a dip in the Yamuna River, surrounded by industrial effluent, during Karthik Purnima in New Delhi, India on Nov. 28, 2012. Karthik Purnima is celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu calendar month of Karthik and considered very auspicious by Hindus. Photo: Manish Swarup / AP

10) 1st Lt. Aaron Dunn kisses his wife Leanne, holding their baby Emma, age 14 months, following an arrival ceremony for soldiers returning from a deployment in Afghanistan, at Ft. Carson, in Colorado Springs, Colo., before sun up Friday Nov. 30, 2012. 1st Lt. Dunn, with the 4th Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, had not seen his wife and baby since he deployed in February. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

11) A volcano on Hawaii's largest island is spilling lava into the ocean, creating a rare and spectacular fusion of steam and waves that officials said could attract thrill-seeking visitors if it continues. Lava from a vent in Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii began flowing into the ocean 7 miles away a week ago Saturday. The volcano has been erupting continuously from its Pu'u O'o vent since 1983. Photos: Hugh Gentry / Reuters

12) A vast alluvial fan blossoms across the desolate landscape between the Kunlun and Altun Mountains in western China. The river appears electric blue as it runs out of the mountains at the bottom right corner of the scene and then fans out into scores of intricate, braided channels that disappear into the desert. Dry channels — the river's former paths? — appear as silvery etchings at lower right. This scene was acquired by NASA's Terra satellite on May 2, 2002. Photo: NASA

13) A swimmer stops short of a red algae bloom at Sydney's Clovelly Beach on Tuesday. Clovelly and Bondi beaches were closed to swimmers. Photo: William West / AFP - Getty Images

14) The Ob River, a ship carrying liquefied natural gas, left Norway in November and has sailed north of Russia on its way to Japan. The specially equipped tanker is due to arrive in early December and will shave 20 days off the regular journey. If this trip is successful, it would be the first ship of its type to sail across the Arctic. Photo: Dynagas Ltd via EPA

15) A tiny mantis larva in an American poppy flower. (Photo by Fabien Bravin/National Geographic Photo Contest)

16) A male paradise riflebird (Ptiloris paradoseus) practices the circular-wing post used by adult males when courting a female in National Geographic’s “Birds of Paradise” exhibit, which represents 18 expeditions by the team of photographer Tim Laman and ornithologist Edwin Scholes. (Tim Laman/National Geographic.)

17) Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, centre, plays hockey during her visit to St. Andrew’s School, where she attended school from 1986 till 1995, in Pangbourne, England, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. The Duchess of Cambridge has gone back to school. The royal, formerly known as Kate Middleton, played hockey and revealed her childhood nickname — Squeak — when she returned to her elementary school for a visit Friday. Kate told teachers and students at the private St. Andrew's School in southern England that her 10 years there were "some of my happiest years." She said that she enjoyed it so much that she had told her mother she wanted to return as a teacher. (AP Photo/Arthur Edwards, Pool)

18) NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Dodge, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, drive during the NASCAR Victory Lap on the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday. Photo: Chris Graythen / Getty Images

19) The sprinklers go off as the Miami Dolphins play against the Seattle Seahawks at Sun Life Stadium on November 25, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. Miami defeated Seattle 24-21. Photo: Marc Serota

20) Jordy Nelson scores a touchdown on a 61-yard catch to tie the game 7-7 in the first quarter.last Sunday against the New York Giants.. The Giants would win, 38-10. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood

21) People cheer as cyclists participate in the NY Velocity Roller Race at The Parkside Lounge in New York's Lower East Side on Friday,  November 29, 2012 in New York City. The annual roller races at the bar feature professional and amateur cyclists who compete in a festive spirit that marks the end of the racing season in New York. Riders are paired against each other on colorful antique British rollers where large arrows track their speed against fellow competitors. The riders, cheered on by spectators only feet from the bicycles, compete in 500- or 1,000-meter sprints that are over in less than 30 seconds. Roller races have a long history in cycling with the first races occurring in theaters at turn of the last century.  Photos: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

22) Bicycle designer Dieter "Didi" Senft presents his latest creation, a reindeer cycle, in the rain in Storkow, Germany, on Nov. 29. Photo: Patrick Pleul / EPA

23) Angel decorations frame the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, after it was lit during the 80th annual tree lighting ceremony in New York City, on Nov. 28. Photo: Kathy Willens / AP

24) Lauren Rae, left, and Olivia Marlow look at the ornaments in the Grand Foyer, during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 28. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

25) Christmas decorations in the China room during the first viewing of the White House 2012 holiday decorations. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

26) A nearly 300-pound gingerbread White House on display at the State Dining Room on Nov. 28. A stuffed replica of Bo, the presidential dog, is at lower left.  Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

27) Christmas trees in the State Dining Room. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP - Getty Images

28) A diver dressed as Santa Claus swims with dolphins at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Yokohama, Japan, Nov. 27, 2012. The underwater feeding session involving divers dressed as Santa will take place every day until Christmas. Photo: Yuriko Nakao / Reuters

29) Penguins wearing Christmas-themed outfits waddle around during a holiday event at Hakkeijima Sea Paradise in Tokyo on Nov. 27. Photo: Yuriko Nakao / Reuters


This photo 
provided by Jennifer Foster shows New York City Police Officer Larry DePrimo presenting a barefoot homeless man in New York's Time Square with boots Nov. 14, 2012 . Foster was visiting New York with her boyfriend on Nov. 14, when she came across the shoeless man asking for change in Times Square. As she was about to approach him, she said the officer came up to the man with a pair of all-weather boots and thermal socks on the frigid night. She took the picture on her cellphone. It was posted Tuesday night to the NYPD's official Facebook page and became an instant hit. More than 350,000 users "liked" it as of Thursday afternoon, and over 100,000 shared it. (AP Photo/Jennifer Foster)

Culinary no-no #305

Culinary no-no's



The beautiful state Capitol in Madison.

For many, many years I worked as a legislative aide in that fabulous building. During that time we saw some spikes in one particular product's prices.

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Major announcement by Franklin alderman Steve Olson

Olson sent this e-mail today:

Dear Neighbors:

This morning I submitted paperwork to the City Clerk announcing that I will NOT be seeking re-election as your alderman this April.

As my bosses, I feel it important to let you all know right away.

I’ve had the honor to represent you for what will be nine years.  I represented the 2nd district for three years prior and have been involved with economic development and various city committees since 1991.  It’s been a tremendous opportunity and with you, we’ve accomplished a lot.  

My wife and I did not take this decision lightly.  There is a lot of work left to be done in the city.  

We spent a lot of time discussing the responsibility and came to the conclusion that the trade-off between my experience and the possible energy and vision that could be provided by a new alderman balanced to opening the opportunity to someone new.  

I am now required to travel extensively for my work and that causes me to want to spend as much time with my family as I can when I’m at home.

I’ll continue to work hard for you to the election and installation of a new alderman.

As always, don’t hesitate to call me with your needs.


Steve Olson
Alderman, 1st District
8091 S. Meadowcreek Ct.
Franklin, Wisconsin  53132


I respect Alderman Olson’s decision and thank him for his years of service to Franklin. Olson is the only consistent fiscally conservative voice on the Franklin Common Council. It is imperative his district elect a like-minded individual that best represents the sentiments of a vast majority of Franklin taxpayers.

When Olson’s term expires, he has a standing invitation to guest blog on This Just In…

A summer-like rain falls upon Franklin

As I write, it’s 64 degrees and raining in God’s Country/Tax Hell, Franklin, Wisconsin, USA.

It’s gotta be global warming, right?

A man walks along the road surrounded by snow covered fields on La Cumbre mountain on the outskirts of La Paz, Bolivia, Friday, Nov. 30, 2012. Snow fall is unusual at this time of year, as the South American nation just started its summer season. (AP Photo/Juan Karita)

Read more here:

The latest pro-life news (12/03/12)

The latest from Right To Life Wisconsin.

Legalize marijuana?

A couple more states have legalized marijuana. Of course, it's for compassionate, medical means.

Here, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has taken on the issue as well, its latest cause du jour. That's no surprise.

In case you missed it, watch this 60 Minutes report done prior to November's Election Day.

The latest from Rehorst (December 2012)



The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
In This Issue
Order Online
Custom Mini Bottles
Hold an Event at the Distillery
Repeal Party!
Thursday Night Live Music
Drink of the Month

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Wherefore Goeth Wisconsin GOP?

By guest bloggers
Bob and Jean Dohnal, Publishers and Editors
Wisconsin Conservative Digest

Another deer season has come and gone with my usual results, an empty  freezer. Same with the Wisconsin GOP.  After pulling off an incredible recall win for Scott Walker in June, we stumbled badly.  We were thoroughly outworked, out organized and outsmarted for the Big One, the presidency. We also put Tammy Baldwin in the Senate.

Now we have to ask, why?  What could we all have done to remedy this almost 30 year long losing streak?

I commended Reince Preibus and Brad Courtney for improving the Grass Roots effort, by the state GOP, the last 6 years, but serious problems remain.

GOP membership statewide is at the lowest level in my lifetime, probably a lot less than 10,000 members.  We used to have that number in Milwaukee County alone in the 60's and 70's.  It has been decades since the party had a major membership drive.  Why do we need membership?  We need boots on the ground, going door to door plus the membership fees can help staff year round headquarters, to keep on organizing.

We had 26 Victory Centers to their 126, plus they had been working non-stop since last year or more on the recall, organizing every voter in the state.

Bruce Murphy, former editor of Milwaukee magazine details how he got tons of letters from the GOP but the Dems were all over the place in person.  In the Latino section, groups made 10,000 phone calls but went to 27,000 doors.

Phone banks are great, but largely outmoded in the days of cell phones, call waiting, caller ID and answering machines.

We have a lot of people watching at the polls that would be far better off working the last two days, in their neighborhoods, to get out the vote.  By the time the people come to vote the damage is done.  I have supervised the polls for 40 years and you cannot do much except see what is happening.

We have the new generation of Conservatives organizing in the Tea Party groups that want nothing to do with the GOP. I know, as I have talked to most of the leaders almost weekly.  They meet regularly and are now forming legislative agendas.  They worked in many of the local campaigns, for local legislators, and also the big campaigns.  They are manpower that the GOP desperately needs, if we want to win something.

We have seen the development of the "Ruling Class", as termed by Rush, in Madison, that overshadows the GOP.  These lawyers, former legislators, political operatives, lobbyists and donors control the operation.  They are desperately afraid of Conservatives and keep pushing the Casper Milquetoast candidates that continually lose.  Many of them pushed Romney because he would lose less badly, than anyone else, and help us gain the Senate.  What happened?  Now they are immediately pushing Jeb Bush for 2016.  When we get the marshmallow candidates the Conservatives stay home.

We need monthly training programs for people, that are just getting involved, for fundraising, precinct organization, rallies, phone banks, door to door, electronic communications and many other things.  

We are up against master organizers who use Saul Alinsky methods, organizations developed by Tammany Hall, Cook County and the Unions, for decades.  They flood Wisconsin from all the solid blue states, organize, get out the vote and many also vote, the ones that are here for months. How do we counter that?  By working and out organizing them.

How many GOP leaders know how Tammany Hall was run?  How did they transfer their Cook County organizational plans to the whole country?  What are the rules of Saul Alinsky?  How did George McGovern manage to organize South Dakota?  How did the 7 people that met in Green Bay in the 50's manage to re-organize the modern Democrat party to take over so many offices? How do union organizers work?

If you bring pea shooters to gun fights, guess what happens?

First the party has to take a long look at the county units.  Over the last few years, I have encouraged Tea Party members to join the GOP, so that they can vote at the conventions, in the endorsement races.  But all I get back is the word that they are not wanted.  Many counties, especially Milwaukee County have developed into little cults, just as Ken Clausen and I predicted, when they reformed Milwaukee County in 2005.

The same people are in charge, doing the same thing and watching the county go down to Obama by 69/30 this fall.  That is the definition of insanity.  Why should the rest of us work our butts off when the leaders cannot formulate winning plans?

How can new people get into the mix, become leaders, when there are not any meetings to go to, any avenue for them to come out and become leaders, as there was in the 60's through the 2004 elections?  Wauwatosa, of which I was an officer for over 30 years, does not even meet anymore. This was a club that had 1500 members and supplied many dollars to our candidates forty years ago.

Worse, several people who were instrumental in the really stupid campaign follies being investigated by the John Doe, are still in charge.  You go to the HQ and there they are, surly at best.  How many good, honest people want to be involved with that kind of a situation?

The party has to do serious work on the fraud problem. This time it made no difference, but in the future it will.  Investigate the early vote and the on site registrations. How many of those voters are still here a month after the election?  People in this state do not want to see their vote negated by illegal votes.

We need to survey the people that did not vote, that have done so before, to find out why they failed to show up and help elect Obama. Were they lazy, didn't they like Romney?  Was it some issue?

Since the 90's, we have seen a disastrous disintegration of the GOP in Wisconsin.  Former strong areas, except for Waukesha County and other spots, at least six counties really kill us; Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Winnebago, Dane and Brown plus the whole Southwest go to hell.  What is done in between elections in those areas to rebuild?

The leaders from the 90's were only interested in big dollars and ads, screw the grassroots, they are just in the way.  Well, we have spent untold millions the last few years and where are we right now? Have we tremendously improved the Voter Vaults?  Can we field a precinct organization for Roggensack and Walker in the next two years or are we just going to dump in millions and pray?

The Dems put up the straw men, same as FDR, in the 1% and then beat on them making Tommy and Romney look like greedy rich guys, all unanswered. They zeroed in on the groups that make up their coalition:  Dems, libs, union guys, youth, minorities, Latinos and young women, all vulnerable groups that are scared of reducing government.  They convinced them and they got them to vote.  End of story.

We need to have the party do some education with these groups, we have a good message but it does not get delivered.

When Scott Walker ran for County Executive, he went after the inner city vote and got some of it.   We can easily make a good case for the education of minorities, families and future jobs to young women and our youth.

In a simple message:  “Keep it simple Stupid, change minds, influence people and get them out to vote.”

Another economic development setback for Franklin

The Milwaukee Business Journal
is reporting that Northwestern Mutual Life will build a $300 million office tower in downtown Milwaukee and not Franklin.

Given NML’s long history, stature, and presence downtown, that’s not a shocker, though I’d love to know more about why Franklin lost out.

Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor still thinks there’s hope that it’s not soup yet. I’m afraid Don Meredith is singing, “Turn out the lights…”

If I’m not mistaken, I believe some in Franklin awhile ago actually thought we had a shot at relocating Kohl’s HQ here.

A serious reexamination of what’s wrong about our economic development approach is desperately needed in our city.

It’s either that or we should have had those glossy brochures printed a long time ago.

A very scary Democrat

And a very scary stance.

For those of you Americans who actually do pay taxes, hold on to your wallets.

(Watch the doofus MSNBC host nod in agreement)

Could Notre Dame defensive star and all-around great guy win the Heisman Trophy?

Reports are it's between ND linebacker Manti Te'o and Texas A & M freshman Johnny MaNziel. A freshman has never won the Heisman. At the same time, defensive players are rarely even considered for the trophy.

Meanwhile, here's a great video cleverly mixed with a re-do of Harry Belafonte's "Day-O."

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How Do We Win Again?

How Do We Win Again?
By guest bloggers
Bob and Jean Dohnal, Publishers/Editors

Wisconsin Conservative Digest

This date is prophetic, the attack on Pearl Harbor, rallied the US against the Axis powers and saved the world from the tyranny.  We have this same problem in the US.  We lost a battle, the election, but now must go out and win the continuing war.

Special Note to all of those Weenies and Wimps who want to give up.  One battle does not constitute a war and it will go on.  "When the going gets tough, tough men get going".

For those of us that have been in this battle for half a century, we know that just because you get knocked down once in a while, that if your message is on, clear and we work hard, we can prevail.  If that were not true, we would all be wearing hammer and sickle flags these days.  Thanks to patriots like Harry Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Reagan and others we defeated the Commies.   Look at Reagan, ran for president twice before winning. He destroyed the Soviet block, as Thatcher said:  "Reagan defeated the Soviets without firing a shot".

So, those of you that want to quit, get off your rears, pick up the pieces, reassemble them, kick the leaders that lost, either out or in the butt, and put a new team together.  We must put Pat Roggensack back into the Supreme Court and keep Scott Walker in the governor’s seat.  It will not be easy.

Where do we start?  First, examine the GOTV for the last election.  While it was better than we have had for decades, it did not match the opposition.  We put the hands of the world into ORCA, a secret electronic system for GOTV and it failed.  Bad Idea.  "Keep it Simple Stupid".  I heard that first in the training meetings to defeat George McGovern for president in 1972.  Somebody proposed a complicated program for GOTV and the campaign chair, John MacIver, very simply said, "Keep it simple".  And it is simple.  Organizing a precinct means getting responsible people that understand the problems, train them and put them in charge of one area.  Furnish them with the data they need on who are our votes, who we might work on and who are the enemy.  You go to work on the voters in your precinct by going door to door to meet them, put up yard signs, ask them to go around the block, talk to their neighbors and hand out literature and then ask them to help GOTV.  Doesn't take a genius, it takes hard work.

David Axelrod, according to Steven Welcenbach of Reality News, told his minions in Chicago that it was their job to make sure that every Democrat in their ward voted on Election Day.  That works.

There is no doubt that we lost this election because they did a better job of GOTV. Real Clear politics asks:  "Where were the 7 million white votes that were missing?" We can argue forever about Romney's candidacy and how much Tommy added to the ticket, but the fact is that we left our horses in the barn, eating oats.

The worthless GAB stated that we got 70% of the vote out, but that is deceiving. It was actually less.  They take the number of registered voters and compare that to the numbers of people that voted, including the on site registrations.  That is inaccurate.  In order to get an accurate number, we had 120% or so in my precinct, you need to add the number of on site registrants to the number that voted and then compare.  When we do that, we drop down to 60% or so.  That 40% was our voters, sitting in their easy chairs while Obama romped to victory.

Did they stay home because they did not like the candidates, as they did in 2006 and 2008, or did we fail to motivate them????  Whatever the answer, that is why we lost.

Issue Problems:

Our conservatives fail to realize sometimes that there are really important issues and there are marginal issues.  We get hung up on some marginal issues and let the elephant issues run right over us.

The real issues are:  War, Economy, Jobs, Deficits, Debt, SS, Medicaid, Medicare and size of government.  Why then do we get hung up on some minor things like immigration?  Our society is barely reproducing at a replacement rate in this country at present.  We need some hard working, dedicated people to help, get college degrees and become dedicated citizens.  Those people are on our doorstep, just south.  They want to come up here to work and raise families.  Let us find an answer.

This issue is easy to solve.  Rick Perry, down in Texas, has worked closely with these people, working to get the kids that came here, brought by their parents, into college and become producing citizens.  What state would not like to have 30,000 or so college educated Spanish people?  Immigration is not even their key issue, so why did we not go into the Latino sections and work for their vote.  Voces de la Frontera, a Spanish group made 25,000 door to door contacts in Milwaukee Latino area.  How many did we make??

We have a good message to take to them and have them join us.  Not some figureheads, head of some committee, but forming a hard working group that makes a pitch for families, homes, economy, jobs, small businesses.  We can get them on our side. We have to, if we ever want to win.

When Scott Walker ran for County Exec, he went into the Inner City and asked for their votes.  He got lots of them.  We must do the same.

Several years ago, when I was Milwaukee City GOP chair, Ken Clasen, 4th dist chair and I proposed a program to put together just such an effort in the Latino area.  The state Chair laughed at us.  The ideas are still there, we must utilize them.

Youth vote.  We have the best message of all for our youth: jobs, family and a robust economy.  Reagan won that vote.  Where is our effort in that area?  We can get in there and make an impression.  We must do it for many reasons.  We cannot just run ads and hope that these kids will watch them.  We need to talk to them.  We know where they are, let's go get them.

Young Women:  this was the biggest disaster of the election, losing all of those votes.  They want the same thing that we all do, jobs, families, economy.  Why did we let it get hung up on birth control?  Our idiotic talk show people, on this issue, demagogued this to death.  

As a pharmacist, I have watched women fight to get their companies to add birth control pills to their companies list of allowed drugs.  This has gone on for 50 years.  Why was anyone surprised that Sandra Fluke wanted the school to do that?  Yes, some birth control programs do cost over $100 per month, a dozen or so.  Many of the old BC pills had lots of side effects, unacceptable to young women. We made her a heroine to that group by calling her all kinds of names and deriding her.  A few little notes on the radio or TV would have sufficed.  She helped them mightily to sew up that vote and win.

My Dad used to say that it helps to think a little bit before you open your mouth.  We didn’t and they won.

The Libs have looked at these groups as vulnerable to their messages, even if they never deliver anything.  They were right.  We ignored these groups, expecting that they would just love our stupid TV ads and run out and vote for them.  They didn't and we lost.

GOTV Efforts in Future:

People running the Walker campaign need to get ready now for that effort.  This gubernatorial race will be the top race, in the country in 2014 and they will throw everything at us.  People will be looking at Scott's record, it will come down to a lot of things but also the national mood at that time.  

We cannot lose because we do not get all of our votes out.

How do we do that?  First look at the counties in which we lost that we have won before? Milwaukee, Racine, Kenosha, Brown, Winnebago.  In those counties and almost every major GOP county, we need a Victory center.  We must work with the local candidates to accomplish that. Then we must set up separate groups, from the party in those areas under the leadership of the campaign, working with the party to lay out a door to door effort to maximize the vote.  Organize every precinct that is 35% or more GOP. All of them if possible.

Get candidates in every possible race for Assembly, Senate and the courthouses and get them working together.  That can happen.  The more manpower the better.

Energize the Tea Party and other Conservative groups.  These are our people. I work with them daily and they want to win.  We no longer can do the same things over and over and expect different results.

Money put into winless worthless ads should be canned in the GOTV.  Ads can do only so much. Energy put into phone calls, that produce little, needs to be put into direct voter contacts.

All around this state we had thousands of paid Union operatives, from all over the country, at every event with their little clip boards signing people up and then getting them out to vote.

For over a year I have warned everyone, in these columns, about this incredible effort, that the Libs were fielding, but the powers that be, in Mad city, still do the same old thing.

This Ruling class, in Mad city, consisting of political operatives, lobbyists, donors, layers and miscellaneous hacks cannot be allowed to own this state.  We lost and they still walk with pockets of money, the commissions off of these endless ads.
If there is anyone that got a real kick in the butt this time, I hope anyway, is the Karl Roves of this world.  Not only did their ineffective presidency cost us the White House but their 300 million dollars in ads, sucked up money that the candidates can use and put it into worthless ads that did more to turn out their base than ours.  I actually liked to hear Tammy Baldwin say: "Damn right we're making a difference", it showed she has some cajones.

Tommy worked harder than any man I have ever seen run for office. I have worked with all of them, but his message never got through the clatter.

I believe that Tommy, a very positive person and problem solver, would have been far better off putting together a good message. A positive one and then sticking to it through the campaign.

All of us have to stay in and fight.  The grass roots Conservatives, Tea Party leaders and others need to work with our local officials, assemblymen, and senators etc to make changes.  If you know local GOP leaders, challenge them.  Lots of them worked very hard, but we must work hard and smart to win.

The future belongs to the hardiest in this game.  "Politics is a game for adults; all other games are for children".

I love the story of the elderly lady with cancer that sent her son to get an absentee ballot because she did not think that she would live till Election Day.  She was scared that the country, she grew up in, was going over a cliff and she wanted to get her vote in, no matter what.  That is what we need to offset the dedication to filling their pockets with our money that the other side has. 

Goodnight everyone, and let loose this Christmas weekend!


“Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'."
Bing Crosby


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The best cartoons of the week (12/08/12)

Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert


Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail


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The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (12/08/12)

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:  Early risers wake up to snow showers. By 8:00, skies become mostly cloudy. Throughout the day, mostly cloudy to mostly sunny skies.  High of 38.  "D"

SUNDAY:  A rain/snow mix beginning at 5 am and lasting throughout the day until showers at 5 pm. Wake up to 36, a high of 38.  "F"

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

When I tell people that I have never asked Kevin for anything for Christmas they look at me like I am nuts.  (Actually I’m pretty used to “that look.”)  It’s true:  I have never, ever asked for anything.  Why?  Because he knows what I like, what I don’t like, what size I am, etc.  He’s never failed, partly because he never strays from his own rule:  “Don’t buy her anything with a cord.  That’s not a present, that’s a necessity and it doesn’t belong under the Christmas tree.”  He can’t help but laugh at the befuddled guy at the department store wandering around mumbling, “I just don’t know what to get her.”


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Week-ends (12/08/12)


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...


Syl Puccio

Pushpa Basnet

Simon Chapman

Anonymous donor

Carlton Williams

Justin Kievit

Law enforcement and Meijer


Australian DJs

Corey Curtis

Paul Schroeder

Carl Michael von Hausswolff


“I have yet another thought on how we can fix this. Why don't we let the Democrats pass whatever they want? If they are the party of higher taxes, all the Republicans vote present and let the Democrats raise taxes as high as they want to raise them, let Democrats in the Senate raise taxes, let the president sign it and then make them own the tax increase. And when the economy stalls, when the economy sputters, when people lose their jobs, they know which party to blame, the party of high taxes. Let's don't be the party of just almost as high taxes.”|
Sen. Rand Paul

“O.K., let’s see if we’ve got this straight: Bret Bielema spends much of his six-season tenure as Wisconsin’s football coach bashing the Southeastern Conference for being slimy and unfair and just plain mean. He does this to try to make his dwindling Big Ten neighborhood look more spiffy by comparison, to gloss over the fact that Jim Delany’s kingdom would love to crack the slimy, underhanded market. He does this to win over the Wisconsin faithful, who will never forgive him for not being Barry Alvarez, no matter how many Big Ten titles he wins. And despite all of that, two minutes after Arkansas backs up an armored truck to his house, he bolts the whole scene to coach an SEC also-ran, best known as the site of Bobby Petrino’s motorcycle accident.”
Lynn Zinser, NY Times

“You want some actual perspective on this? Well, a bit of it comes from Kansas City-based writer Jason Whitlock, with whom I do not always agree, but who, today, said it so well that we may as well just quote or paraphrase from the end of his article. ‘Our current gun culture,’ Whitlock wrote, ‘ensures that more and more domestic disputes will end in the ultimate tragedy, and that more convenience store confrontations over loud music coming from a car will leave more teenage boys bloodied and dead. Handguns do not enhance our safety. They exacerbate our flaws, tempt us to escalate arguments, and bait us into embracing confrontation rather than avoiding it. In the coming days, Jovan Belcher’s actions and their possible connection to football will be analyzed. Who knows? But here,’ wrote Jason Whitlock, ‘is what I believe: ‘If Jovan Belcher didn’t possess a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.’”
Bob Costas on Jovan Belcher’s murder/suicide.

“Bob Costas quotes KC sportswriter to make gun control case re: Jovan Belcher murder/suicide. Cites all known gun control cliches.”
A tweet by Fox News Senior Political Analyst Brit Hume

“Not only should we not eliminate the word ‘lunatic’ from federal law when the most pressing issue of the day is saving our country from bankruptcy, we should use the word to describe the people who want to continue with business as usual in Washington.”
Rep. Louie Gohmert, the only member of the House to vote against a bill to remove the word “lunatic” from federal law.

 “I wonder what the makers of ‘The Simpsons’ would say when they hear their jokes are taken literally in a country called Turkey. Perhaps Homer will get a Muslim neighbor.”
Turkish newspaper columnist Mehmet Yilmaz, after a Turkish television station was fined for airing an episode of “The Simpsons” that was understood to “mock God.”

“The Pope is not going to be walking around with a Blackberry or an iPad and no one is going to be putting words into the Pope’s mouth.”
Senior media advisor to the Vatican Greg Burke, on what to expect from Pope Benedict’s new Twitter account, @pontifex.

“The police department believes that, under state law, you may responsibly get baked, order some pizzas and enjoy a ‘Lord of the Rings’ marathon in the privacy of your own home, if you want to.”
Message from Seattle police spokesman Jonah Spangenthal-Lee, upon Washington State’s legalization of marijuana becoming official.


Those folks that want to raise your taxes.


Where are the new jobs?


Kate is pregnant!

Mayan apocalypse


The manliest way to shave.

That's it for Week-ends. 

We close with the latest from NewsBusted.

Recommended Reading (12/08/12)

Recommended Reading

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

The truth about Costas, Belcher, and guns

"What Costas ignores is that guns save a lot more lives than they cost each year. And that's not even mentioning the roughly 2 million times a year that people use guns defensively."

The Costas anti-gun lecture series

“Really, who asked Bob Costas to offer his very one-sided ‘perspective’? When liberals get arrogant like this, they assume they speak for all humanity. It is not surprising that there was an uproar in response. People are fed up with liberal pontificating.”

The underworked public employee

"The cliché is true: Government workers do tend to take it easier than their private counterparts."

Big Labor's right to work panic is an admission of worthlessness

"Thanks to Michigan’s approval of right-to-work legislation, the head honchos of the labor movement are positively freaking out.  It took less than four hours for pro-union demonstrations to turn violent, and since then they’ve been running around calling people 'Hitler,' screaming about fascism, and telling everyone who will listen that their 1st Amendment rights have been eliminated. Of course, this is all false."

Food stamp fraud needs to stop so we can really help the poor

“Liberals love to cry foul at those evil Republicans calling for welfare reform ... because how can we hate the poor so much? Obviously, we must want children to starve to death. Otherwise, how could we even THINK about touching SNAP?  Here’s how…”

Dec. 7, 1941- Few survive, but we must all remember

“..most Americans can name the date of only one great American military engagement, and that was a stunning defeat. What event do we pause to remember each year on June 4? On Aug. 6? Oct. 17? Oct. 19? Dec. 26? Many will scratch their heads.”

Dear Santa, Please bring me a Fiscal Cliff and a Tickle Me Petraeus

"Make room for this post-election season’s hottest toys, crafted straight out of one of the oddest years in American politics. Your political kids will go gaga over these lovable dolls, dashing action figures and exhilarating table games."


Photos of the Week (12/09/12)

Photos of the Week

1) The defense team for George Zimmerman on Monday posted a high-resolution color photo of the Florida neighborhood watch leader taken by police the night 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was fatally shot. The Feb. 26 photo, which was previously released as a black-and-white photocopy, was provided as a high-resolution digital file to the defense on Oct. 29. The shooting took place when Zimmerman encountered Martin, who was unarmed and walking through the Sanford, Fla., neighborhood where his father lives. Earlier this year, Zimmerman, now 29, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder in the shooting death of Martin. Photo provided by

2) People stroll with their shopping bags past a woman begging for money in downtown Rome, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. The European Central Bank warned of another gloomy year for the 17 European Union countries that use the euro, cutting its forecast for economic growth in 2013 from plus 0.5 percent to minus 0.3 percent. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

3) Pearl Harbor survivor Ed Kmiec, 95, salutes upon departing the USS De Wert after a ceremony remembering the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor aboard the USS De Wert at the Naval Station Mayport in Jacksonville, Fla., Dec. 7. Photo: Bruce Lipsky / AP

4) Ruth Nicolaci, left, hugs her son and firefighter Lt. G. Bourne Knowles Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, for the first time since learning that the landscaping business that she started with Mr. Knowles’ father had been destroyed by fire in Fairhaven, Mass. Lt. Knowles, a volunteer firefighter, was among those who fought the four-alarm fire at the landscaping business that was started by his parents. (AP Photo/The Standard-Times, Peter Pereira)

5) Pope Benedict XVI waves as he arrives for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception prayer in Piazza di Spagna in downtown Rome on Dec. 8. This papal tradition marks the beginning of the Christmas season in Italy as the Pope crowns a statue of Mary with a garland of flowers. Photo: Max Rossi / Reuters

6) Forty three-year-old parapalegic Robert Woo walks with an exoskeleton device made by Ekso Bionics during a demonstration at the opening of the Rehabilitation Bionics Program at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Center on December 6, 2012 in New York City. Woo is an architect who was paralyzed from the hips down during a construction accident and thought he would never walk again. The new strap-on exoskelton uses motors and sensors to physically move the legs. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

7) Dustin, left and Paul, both from Puyallup, Wash., and both of whom wouldn't give their last name, smoke marijuana beneath the Space Needle shortly after midnight on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, in Seattle, Wash. Dustin and Paul were two of about 100 pot smokers gathered in Seattle's City Center to celebrate the legalization of the possession of marijuana.  Photo: Jim Seida / NBC News

8) Britain's Prince William stands next to his wife Kate, Duchess of Cambridge as she leaves the King Edward VII hospital in central London, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Prince William and his wife Kate are expecting their first child, and the Duchess of Cambridge was admitted to hospital suffering from a severe form of morning sickness in the early stages of her pregnancy. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

9) This image from Dec. 7, 1972, shows a view of Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew - Gene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmitt - as they traveled toward the moon. The view extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to Antarctica. This was the first time the Apollo trajectory made it possible to photograph the south polar ice cap. Photo: NASA / AFP

10) The night lights of the Americas shine in this visualization of our planet at night, which is based on data acquired by the Suomi NPP satellite in April and October. The image, released by NASA Earth Observatory last week, has been nicknamed the "Black Marble." Photo: NASA Earth Observatory

11) A Brocken Railway train steams through snow covered pine trees as it approaches its destination on the Brocken Mountain in the Harz mountain range, Germany, on Dec. 8. Photo: Stefan Rampfel / EPA

12) The National Christmas Tree is illuminated during the 90th annual National Christmas Tree Lighting on the Ellipse of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Dec. 6, 2012. U.S. President Barack Obama and others attended the event which included performances by Jason Mraz, Ledisi, James Taylor, Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds, Colbie Caillat and American Idol season 11 winner Phillip Phillips. President Calvin Coolidge lit the first National Christmas tree, a 48-foot Balsam fir, in 1923. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

13) Aviculturists at the Audubon Species Survival Center in New Orleans, wearing crane costumes, round up four endangered Mississippi sandhill cranes and transport them from their current habitat, to the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge in Gautier, Miss. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP. Aviculturist Meg Zuercher takes an endangered Mississippi sandhill crane out of its crate with the help of Scott Hereford, a senior wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to introduce it to a temporary transitional habitat.. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP

14) Orazio Martino poses with his 23-year-old Mississippi alligator, Black, at his house in Dietzenbach, Germany, on Dec. 4.  Photo: Frank Rumpenhorst / AFP - Getty Images

15) A young ray swims in an aquarium in Toenning, Germany, on Dec. 3.  Photo: Carsten Rehder / AFP - Getty Images

16) A large Pacific sideband snail slowly crosses a wet road on Dec. 2 in rural Douglas County, Oregon.  Photo: Robin Loznak

17) A red panda peeks over a tree during the grand opening of the Giant Panda Forest at the Singapore Zoo on Nov. 28. Photo: Stephen Morrison / EPA

18) Knoxville Zoo visitor Madison Jones watches a 11-month-old black bear cub get accustomed its new home Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, in Knoxville, Tenn. The cub comes from the Wildlife Center of Virginia, a Waynesboro, Va., center that treats and rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife. If he hadn’t found a permanent home in Knoxville, the cub would have been euthanized. (AP Photo/Knoxville News Sentinel, Amy Smotherman Burgess)

19) Utah assistant coach Tommy Conner wipes his eyes during a moment of silence in honor of former head coach Rick Majerus, who died Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, before an NCAA college basketball game between Utah and Boise State, Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, in Provo, Utah. Numerous video tributes and a patch on Utah uniforms memorialized Majerus. The coaching staff all wore sweaters in the memory of Majerus and they placed an empty chair courtside draped with one of his actual trademark cream sweaters. Utah won 76-55. (AP Photo/The Salt Lake Tribune, Steve Griffin)

20) Arkansas athletic director Jeff Long, left, presents former Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema with a cap as Bielema is introduced as the school's new head coach Wednesday. AP photo.

21) James Starks' touchdown run in the third quarter put the Packers back in front, 20-14 last Sunday against Minnesota. Green Bay won, 23-14. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti

22) In this photo taken on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, Syady Sheikh Ismail, bottom, of Malaysia lines up his putt with his father/caddie during the Kids Golf World Championship at Glenmarie Golf and Country Club in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Golf is no longer just an adult's game in Asia. It is fast becoming child's play as many parents nurture their kids from increasingly young ages, giving them a head start on a path to a professional career. (AP Photo/Lai Seng Sin) 

23) Workers clean a model replica of Cheops Pyramid of Giza, after snowfall in landscape park Miniwelt (Miniworld), in Lichtenstein, eastern Germany, Friday, Dec. 7, 2012. The cultural park Miniworld presents about 100 original and true-to detail buildings and technical facilities at a 1:25 scale. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)

24) People walk past a gallery with an art piece titled, "Boy on Tightrope" by Yinka Shonibare as Art Basel opens at the Miami Beach Convention Center on December 5, 2012 in Miami Beach, Florida. The 11th edition of the art show runs from December 6 through the 9th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

25) Members of the 'Werdenfelser Alphornblaeserinnen,' an all-female Bavarian Alphorn band, prepare their instruments for a concert near Muensing at Lake Starnberg in Germany on Nov. 30. Despite being a male-dominated tradition, the band regularly tours the surrounding southern Bavarian towns playing this traditional Alpine instrument. Photo: Michael Dalder / Reuters

26) Sydneysiders take part in the 'AIME Strut the Streets' in an attempt to break the Guinness record for the world's largest swimwear parade in Sydney, Australia, Dec. 7, 2012. The event was organized to raise funds and awareness for the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams / Getty Images


"The man in the picture has his back to the camera. He's desperately clawing at a subway platform, looking right at the train that's bearing down on him as he stands on the tracks. It's a terrifying, heart-wrenching image, and it's generating a lot of criticism for the newspaper that used it on its front page -- the salty, sensational New York Post."

Newspaper takes heat over haunting subway photo.

3RD UPDATE: Culinary no-no #291

Culinary no-no's

Previously on This Just In...

The update.

Culinary no-no #306

Culinary no-no's


Lately I’ve had an affinity for a certain snack Jennifer picks up at Sendik’s.

In our house, little Kyla refers to them as "cheese puffies."

I’ll chew on the puffies while I’m at the computer. Not one by one, but generally a small handful.

While blogging one of my masterpieces recently, one of those beautiful crunchy morsels inexplicably fell on the floor. Horrified, I wasn’t about to waste a single orange crumb.

Keep in mind that 999 times out of 1,000 that puffy is headed right for the garbage. Except this time. I scooped that puffy up like a Hoover vacuum in record time.

Of course, wouldn't you know. There behind me ready to pounce and scold was Jennifer doing her imitation of Felix Unger.

Too late. The puffy was just about digested.

I should know better, having pride in being a rather neat bloke myself. When I was News Director at WTMJ Radio, the cryptosporidium crisis broke.  Hard to believe that it was necessary, but we actually had one of our talk show hosts voice a public service announcement reminding listeners to wash their hands frequently, especially after using the facilities.

Yep, I get all that.

But let's get back to my swiping of that cheese puffy in...






Seems I’ve heard some old school of thought that my swift action swiping up that puffy made me completely immune from the kajillion germs that are, at this very moment, forming a cocoon around the entire city of Franklin.

In the previous 300-plus no-no blogs, I haven’t touched this dirty dining issue. So, let’s bring in Michael from Vsauce videos for a discussion, albeit sometimes technical, about eating cheese puffies off the Fischer floor.

It comes your way in…






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The latest pro-life news (12/10/12)

From Pro-Life Wisconsin and Right To Life Wisconsin.

Last week's submission from Pro-Life Wisconsin was delayed, so it never made it on my blog. Here it is.


Back by popular demand, it's FINAL JEOPARDY!

We haven't done this in awhile so, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....time once again for another This Just In edition of:


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


Now, you know how this works, and I have to tell you  this one's a toughie.

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

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


Here’s your clue.


Good luck.

Alright players, time's up.

Again, today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


The Final Jeopardy answer was:


The correct question is:

Dear Franklin: It's not the tax RATE!!!

When I attended grade school at St. Anthony’s on Milwaukee’s south side, a parish priest once told me something I’ll never forget:

“Repetition is the mother of all students.”

The latest city of Franklin newsletter came in advance of this year’s whopping property tax bills. I’m not sure who writes these babies, but they need a lesson in municipal government. In reference to taxes, the word “rate” and “rates” were used nine times. The word “levy” was used only once.

The writer on behalf of the city was attempting to use the words “rate” and “rates” to justify our astronomic property taxes.

“Repetition is the mother of all students.”

For the umpteenth time, the tax RATE is meaningless! It’s the tax LEVY that matters. This is a fact completely lost on Franklin’s mayor, staff, and the majority of members of the Franklin Common Council and Franklin School Board.

High taxes? We don’t have high taxes.


I’ll see some cousins of mine from Waukesha over the holidays and we’ll once again compare tax bills. They have a great property, great services, very good schools. Their house is twice the size of mine, the land they own twice the size I own, and they pay HALF of what I pay in property taxes.

Sorry. And yes, if you Google, here’s yet another mention that Franklin is indeed, a TAX HELL.


Franklin property taxpayers, liberal tax and spend candidates are coming forward to run for office. They will tax and spend to levels even greater to take even more out of your hard-earned paychecks.  We need fiscally responsibly-minded individuals to step up NOW to run for aldermanic and school board positions. DO NOT LET THE TAX AND SPENDERS ACHIEVE POWER TO DRAIN US EVEN MORE!

Yes, they are union thugs

[Lansing, Mich...] Union protesters tore down the Americans for Prosperity tent in Lansing on Tuesday morning. Fights then began to break out.

Are they goons?

Are they crazy?

You be the judge.


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Here's what liberal talk radio sounds like

Any outrage from the left?

Are you kidding me!

The real fiscal cliff: Not a game

Friends of the US Chamber


Not a Game

Click here to take action

This isn’t a game. There are real lives and real small business livelihoods at stake in the
debate over the fiscal cliff, and that means our economic recovery is at stake too.

According to U.S. Chamber small business members, 83% of those surveyed say the
impeding fiscal cliff will negatively impact their business. 59% will reduce their
workforce as a result and 73% will forgo plans for expanding their operations.

We’ve heard economists and policy experts tell us going off the fiscal cliff will lead to a
recession – but now we’ve heard from real small business owners saying they will lay off
employees, shrink operations, and forgo investments, all of which will lead to declined

But numbers only tell part of the story. Our small business members have been
 sharing their stories with us by explaining the gravity of their situation as we
count the days to the end of the year.

Read their stories first hand below:

“Because Washington bureaucrats continue to play poker with our
 nation’s economy my business plans are on hold. I would have hired
more people this month if the tax and budget issues had been dealt with
properly. So now we wait to see what will happen. This is not a game to
my employees this is their livelihood and they need answers now.”

-    Clinton, CT

 “We have no plans for hiring or making any major business purchases
next year given the fiscal cliff likelihood.  The failure of the President and
Congress to provide tax reform and entitlement reform or even a marginal
agreement to prevent the fiscal cliff will make economic conditions difficult
for any business to survive.”

-    Bethesda, MD

“I've already had business drop off by 50 percent due the pending
tax increases”

-    Jasper, AL

“We have already downsized staff causing others to work harder.
Any tax increase will be dealt with by further decreasing expenses.
This will mean layoffs and cause us to not make capital expenditures
for new equipment and software.”

-    New Orleans, LA

Read more

Uhhh, I think you have the wrong number

I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I answer the phone despite what the caller ID tells me, out of a sheer natural curiosity.

Tonight, a badly recorded message (no surprise, it was from the federal government)  asked me to participate in a town hall discussion on important issues that was organized by the pro over-regulation, anti-business, common sense challenged EPA (that would be your Environmental Protection Agency, the same geniuses that brought us ethanol and reformulated gas.

I was invited to stay on the line to ask questions or express opinions or whatever.

What, are you crazy?


I think the call was really intended for Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm.

That God-awful photo ID law

This news caught my attention out of New Hampshire. A new state law there requires photo identification to vote. In
New Hampshire’s September primary election, about 7 percent of voters in Nashua did not show or have photo identification.

Not to worry. They could still have their votes counted with nothing else required. But in the November general election, voters without the necessary photo ID had to sign an affidavit before they could cast a ballot.

To the small minority that vehemently opposes the common sense practice of photo ID, this was no doubt quite shocking, a blatant attempt at disenfranchising, and a civil rights atrocity.

Because 7% in nashua didn’t have photo IDs in September, there was great wailing and gnashing of teeth that as many as 50,000 voters in New Hampshire would, without the necessary IDs, be forced to sign affidavits.

Didn’t happen.

Only 1% of voters in November did not have or show the proper ID. So much for the argument that an avalanche of folks would be denied the right to vote.

Seems that between September and November a whole bunch of folks somehow, someway managed to overcome all kinds of tremendous obstacles and obtained a photo ID good enough to vote.

Imagine that.

New Hampshire is now in the process of contacting voters who signed affidavits to verify their vote. The state has 60 days to follow through.

That evil photo ID law. In New Hampshire, no one was turned away from voting.

12 Days of Solutions

12 Days of Solutions - Downsizing Government
Right now, Washington is discussing how many billions of your hard-earned incomes don’t belong to you. Rather than cut spending, your elected officials want to increase your taxes.
When it comes to balancing the budget, hard choices must be made across the entire federal government’s budget., a project of the libertarian think tank, has outlined ways to cut well over 10% of the federal budget through devolving of the federal government’s powers back to the states and elimination of certain federal spending. These include reforms to subsidies, the Defense Department, Transportation, and many other agencies and spending.
Unfortunately, it seems that Republicans and Democrats alike are okay with taking your money to make up for their corruption and errors with the federal budget. We urge you to call your Member of Congress and tell him or her to instead consider Cato’s great work, and begin returning federal spending to that to which it is limited in the Constitution. 

Go to for more information.

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Christmas Blessings to You & Your Family

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Goodnight everyone, and have a Windy City Christmas weekend!


In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!’

Dave Barry

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people once a year.
 Victor Borge

The one thing women don’t want to find in their stockings on Christmas morning is their husband.
Joan Rivers

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.

This week the latest entries into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. Rock group Chicago wasn’t on the list. The snub is mystifying given the band’s body of work that stretches over 40 years. In my book, they’re beyond deserving.

Tonight, we continue the sounds of the season. In 1998, Chicago released its first Christmas album. A few years ago, another was produced. It’s good stuff: holiday tunes done Chicago style.

Let’s begin with a rousing opening.


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The best cartoons of the week (12/15/12)

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


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The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (12/15/12)

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 steady rain early with a chance of rain throughout the day. High of 46.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Considerable cloudiness.cloudy. High of 44. "D"

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

It just boggles my mind that every year the same sorts of “warnings” and “advice” must be shared with the public.  You know what I mean:  on days when it is 108 degrees in the shade you have some Barbie Doll bubble head news reporter telling you to make sure you drink enough water and try to stay out of the sun.  At Thanksgiving time there are always articles telling you to be incredibly cautious if you are going to attempt to deep-fry your turkey.  Then inevitably you hear about some yahoo who torched his house because he thought it would be a good idea to cook the bird that way in his garage and used way too much oil.

Here’s another bit of advice that comes out this time of year:  Don’t buy a dog for your kids for Christmas.  Seems logical, right?  But trust me, by the middle of January shelters all over the country will see a spike in surrenders because said puppy didn’t fit with the family’s lifestyle.

Think about how hectic your Christmas week is… families to visit with, gifts to exchange, meals to make, baking to do, last-minute shopping, etc.  Do you really think that adding a rambunctious fur ball to the mix is a GOOD idea?  Everyone knows how puppies love to, and need to, chew.  So in addition to all the regular goodies that your new addition can ruin, there are all sorts of holiday-related items that can cause damage to your house and even worse, your pup.  Think ornaments and ornament hooks; toxic plants; wires from lights; and of course plants like poinsettias, holly, and mistletoe.

If your kids’ attention span is limited to the amount of time it takes to open the next present, how will they handle a 24/7 commitment like a dog?  Are you perhaps just trying to recreate some Rockwell-inspired “moment” when Billy and Susie discover a beribboned bundle of fur under their tree?  If your family is truly ready to make a commitment to a puppy there might be a better time of the year to do so.  Think about these points before you decide.

---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer. Well, I was going to surprise you and Kyla with a puppy as a Christmas gift, but you've convinced me. Not a good idea.

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

family searches for stolen dog.

Dog's vomit
hospitalizes four.

Airport scam dupes unsuspecting pet buyers.

Dog trained to sniff out "super bug."

Dogs pick up scent of diabetics in danger.

Smart dog.

This dog
was lost in the snow for two weeks.

Three-legged service dog gets help.

Stray dog + motherless deer = friends.

Brazil opens a love motel for pets.

Here's Glenn Beck's best friend.

"Why we love dogs, even though 'dog culture' is annoying and it sucks when they die."

is a hero.

Who's the better driver?

Dog works magic In Texas.

Will you join this study?

How pampered are pets in Singapore?



Adam Womersley and his English Springer Spaniel, Stella walk in the snow on Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in Minneapolis.  (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Richard Tsong-Taatarii)

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

Thanks for stopping by!


Week-ends (12/15/12)


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...


Vicki Soto and Dawn Hochsprung

Maryrose Kristopik

Allan Fonseca

Sick Belgium teenager

William Traynor

A suspicious dermatologist

Martin Rodriguez

Victor Samuel

Nathan Charles Norman


Adam Lanza

Annette Morales-Rodriguez

Violent unions

Derek Johnson

James Irvine

The Pentagon

Federal judges


"It's alarming, especially in Newtown, Connecticut, which we always thought was the safest place in America."
Stephen Delgiadice said his 8-year-old daughter heard two big bangs and teachers told her to get in a corner. His daughter was fine.

"I saw her and it was the happiest moment of my life.”
Brenda Lebinski, whose 8-year-old daughter attends the Connecticut elementary school that was the scene of Friday’s mass shooting was among the parents who raced to check on their children.

“Let’s be honest. We’re broke. The plan we offered is consistent with the president’s call for a balanced approach. We’re still waiting for the White House to do the same. Longer the White House slow walks this process, the closer we are” to going over the fiscal cliff.
House Speaker John Boehner

“President Obama railed against the Michigan legislation, calling right-to-work ‘giving you the right to work for less money.’ Well, there is a principle at stake here: A free country should allow its workers to choose whether to join a union. Moreover, it is more than slightly ironic that Democrats, the fiercely pro-choice party, reserve free choice for aborting a fetus while denying it for such matters as choosing your child’s school or joining a union.”
Columnist Charles Krauthammer

“Work like a Third World dictator and just put all these guys in jail.”
Harry Belafonte offering some friendly advice to President Obama, on what to do about those who think we should rein in entitlement spending.

“This has got to be the largest collection of old English musicians ever assembled in Madison Square Garden. But I’ve got to say, if it rains in London, you’ve got to come and help us, OK?”
Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger irked some fans with an attempt at humor during Wednesday Night's 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy at Madison Square Garden. During his set with The Stones, Jagger told the crowd that there should be a benefit show the next time it rains in London. Many fans quickly took to Twitter after hearing the remark to express shock.

“I went into the last game and approached it like any old game. And, you know, I don’t like the Green Bay Packers. I’m not going to use the word hate. But I really dislike the Green Bay Packers and their players. But the talk has to back it up. We’ll go out there and do everything we need to do to get a win. I’ve never felt this strong in sports versus any team or any players. I’m going to play like it’s my last game.”
Chicago Bear Brandon Marshall. The Bears play the Packers on Sunday.

"If you read me regularly, you’ll know that there are very few things that I feel strongly about ;-). I’m kind of a wilting violet in print, who tries hard not to impose his views on readers. Instead, I paint words pictures of objective fact, interlaced with strongly-reasoned logical progressions that allows readers to form their own opinions unguided by me. (Take a deep breath here, and clean the coffee off your nose, chin, lips and computer screen)."
Columnist John Ransom


The massacre in Connecticut.


This is leadership?


Tired of hearing about the fiscal cliff?


Care to erase all memories of your ex?

That's it for Week-ends. 

We close with the latest from NewsBusted.


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Recommended Reading (12/15/12)

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).

New rule: All teachers should be required to carry guns

"Would idiot boy have been able to slay 20 children and 6 teachers? I doubt it. But then again … who knows? However, I’m guessing that this terminal turd might not have dealt out as much death (if any) if the good guy with the gun drew down on him and double-tapped the center mass of this jackass with a couple of jacketed hollow points."

Don’t criticize the Taliban!

"The Wall Street Journal obtained a copy of a new Army handbook for soldiers destined for Afghanistan. The manual instructs soldiers on how to get along with their counterparts in the Afghan Army. Some of the manual’s recommendations are ludicrous."

Moms keeping kids illiterate to get more welfare money

"This is what poverty sometimes looks like in America: parents here in Appalachian hill country pulling their children out of literacy classes. Moms and dads fear that if kids learn to read, they are less likely to qualify for a monthly check for having an intellectual disability."

School teachers act like bullies

I grew up in the downriver suburbs of Detroit, Michigan. Most of that time in a community (first a township, then a city) called Taylor—a place in the news recently for having closed its public schools in the wake of a massive wave of teachers calling in ‘sick.’ However, these ‘educators’ apparently made a nothing-short-of-miraculous group recovery immediately after their illness laden phone calls and quickly made their way en masse to the state capital in Lansing to join the angry mob protesting the recent legislative move to successfully make Michigan the nation’s 24th ‘right to work’ state. This was, to sort of borrow a cliché from Vice President Biden, a big deal."

26 moments that restored our faith in humanity this year

“Sometimes you need a reminder that people can do wonderful things.”

Manti Te'o takes a victory lap as Notre Dame's fifth horseman

The linebacker picks up seven major awards around the country in an outstanding though emotion-filled season. Although the Heisman eluded him, Te'o is arguably the best player in the game this year.”

23 rules of the office holiday party

“You worry if you're prepared. You worry about the venue. You panic about your outfit, like a nervous Tom Hanks descending the staircase in an all-white tuxedo in the movie ‘Big.’ You wonder if someone—the boss?—is keeping score. You stay on your feet. You dance. You sweat. You drink plenty of fluids…or at least vodka. The next morning, you'll probably be hurting.

“We're about to dive straight into the office holiday party season. Here's how to survive an epic night of company cheer.”


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Photos of the Week (12/16/12)

Photos of the Week

1) State police personnel led children from the Connecticut elementary school, following Friday's shooting. Photo: Courtesy of Shannon Hicks, / December 14, 2012

2) The second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history sent
crying children spilling into the school parking lot as frightened parents waited for word on their loved ones. Photo: Michelle Mcloughlin / Reuters

3) A mother rushes three children down Dickinson Drive after 20 children and 6 adults were shot and killed in a shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant / December 14, 2012

4) A woman waits to hear about her sister, a teacher, following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14. Photo: Jessica Hill / AP

5) A young girl pauses as she stands in the parking lot at the Sandy Hook Fire Department near where 28 people were shot and killed in a shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant / December 14, 2012

6) Mourners console each other outside the Sandy Hook Fire Department and try to make sense of the senseless killing of 28 people, including 20 children, in a shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant / December 14, 2012

7) People console each other in the parking lot of the Sandy Hook Fire Department near where 28 people were shot and killed in a shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. The firehouse was used as a gathering place for families of the victims.  Photo:Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant / December 14, 2012

8) A man delivers pizzas to a Sandy Hook firefighter for the families of victims of a shooting Friday morning at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown where 28 people, including 20 children, were killed. Photo: Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant / December 14, 2012

9) Like a grim sentry, a Connecticut State Trooper stands watch outside the home of a victim of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in NewtownPhoto: MICHAEL McANDREWS, Hartford Courant / December 15, 2012

10) President Barack Obama wipes tears as he makes a statement in response to the elementary school shooting in Newtown. We have to "come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this regardless of the politics," he said. Photo: Mandel Ngan / AFP - Getty Images

11) Residents from around the region streamed Friday into St. Rose of Lima Roman Catholic Church in Newtown, Conn., to mourn the 20 children and six adults who were killed when a gunman opened fire in an elementary school. The church was packed, and hundreds of people who couldn't get in stood silently outside, where 26 candles were set up by a tree wth a cross. Some held hands, praying as a group. Others reverently touched a statue of Saint Rose, the first person native to the Americas to be canonized by the Catholic Church, before crossing themselves. Photo: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

12) A mother hugs her children after paying tribute to the victims of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn, on Dec. 15. Photo: Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images

13) Andrea Jaeger on Dec. 15 places flowers and a candle at a makeshift memorial outside the firehouse that was used as a staging area for families following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Photo: Mario Tama / Getty Images

14) Sandy Hook Elementary School library clerk Mary Ann Jacob speaks to the press in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 15. Squeezed into a library storage room with 18 crying and confused fourth-graders, Jacob thought it appropriate to tell a lie in the interest of survival. "We told them it was a drill, so they knew what to do," Jacob told reporters. Photo: Robert MacPherson / AFP - Getty Images

15) A U.S. flag flies at half-staff at the White House in Washington D.C., Dec. 14, 2012. A tearful President Barack Obama expressed "overwhelming grief" on Friday for the victims of a shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School and called on Americans to set aside politics and take "meaningful action" to prevent further tragedies of this kind. Photo: Yuri Gripas / Reuters

16) A flag at the U.S. Capitol flies at half-staff in honor of the Connecticut school shooting victims in Washington D.C., Dec. 14. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

17) Shop owner Tamara Doherty paces outside her store just down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in Newtown, Conn. The massacre of 26 children and adults at the school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

18) Gary Seri, general manager at the Stone River Grille, hangs a message written on a table cloth in honor of the teachers who died along with students a day earlier when a gunman open fire at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012, in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn. Seri, who put up red balloons that were not used when a sweet 16 party was canceled the night before in light of the massacre, said the teachers were scheduled to have their holiday party at his restaurant. The massacre of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school elicited horror and soul-searching around the world even as it raised more basic questions about why the gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, would have been driven to such a crime and how he chose his victims. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

19) Kim Jong-Un smokes a cigarette at the General Satellite Control and Command Center after the launch of the Unha-3 (Milky Way 3) rocket in Cholsan county, North Pyongan province on December 12, 2012. Photo released by the state-run North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on December 14.

20) Deputies of the opposition fight with deputies of majority party during the opening of the newly elected parliament on December 12, 2012. Photo: Sergei Supinsky / AFP - Getty Images

21) Other inmates look on as one of dozens of protesting prisoners is buried up to the neck in El Abra prison in Bolivia's Cochabamba Department on Dec. 13, 2012. The protesters were demanding the payment of a food subsidy from the state which has not been paid since last October. The prisoners dug pits in the courtyard and were buried in shifts. Photo: Jorge Abrego / EPA

22) Female Afghan National Police (ANP) officers trained alongside men at a training center near the German Bundeswehr army camp of Marmal in Mazar-e-Sharif, northern Afghanistan on Tuesday. German police are mentoring the training program for ANP, as part of an ongoing International Security Assistance Force mission, according to Reuters. Photo: Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters

23) Capitol Hill police check an unidentified man dressed as Santa Claus with a metal detector as he enters the U.S. Capitol on his way to Speaker of the House John Boehner's office on Dec. 12, in Washington, DC. The man was working with the group Catholics United, and wanted to urge Speaker of the House John Boehner to pass pending "fiscal cliff" legislation before Christmas. Photo: Win Mcnamee / Getty Images

24) Priests celebrate Notre Dame Cathedral's 850th anniversary in Paris, Dec. 12. Photo: Yoan Valat / EPA

25) A combination picture shows Pope Benedict XVI posting his first tweet using an iPad tablet after his Wednesday general audience in Paul VI's Hall at the Vatican on December 12, 2012.  Photo: Giampiero Sposito / Reuters

26) A guide gives a sense of direction to S Bidyarani Chanu during a shot put event of the 18th National Sports Meet for the Blind in New Delhi, India. Photo: Saurabh Das / AP

27) Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who perform at "12-12-12" a concert benefiting The Robin Hood Relief Fund to aid the victims of Hurricane Sandy presented by Clear Channel Media & Entertainment, The Madison Square Garden Company and The Weinstein Company at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2012 in New York City. Photo: Larry Busacca / Getty Images

28) A shopkeeper shows a wall clock to a customer at 12 hours 12 minutes on 12-12-12 at a shop in Hyderabad, India, Dec. 12, 2012. Photo: Mahesh Kumar A / AP

29) Harry Jackson, 13, the head chorister at St Paul's Cathedral School sings Christmas carols inside the cathedral in central London on Dec. 10. Christmas is a busy time for the choir who will sing to over 20,000 people during the Christmas season. Photo: Andrew Winning / Reuters

30) A worker puts freshly-painted traditional Christmas toy figures on a tray for drying at Richard Glaesser factory in Seiffen, Germany, on Nov. 28.  Photo: Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

31) 40 years ago, Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt faces the American flag on the lunar surface with Earth in the black sky above, during a moonwalk on Dec. 12, 1972. Photo: Gene Cernan / NASA file

32) Dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, a diver swims through a school of sardines at the Coex Aquarium in Seoul, South Korea, on Dec. 11. Photo: Ahn Young-joon / AP

33) Dolphins jump near a man dressed as Santa Claus at the Marineland aquatic park in Antibes, France, on Dec. 11. Photo: Eric Gaillard / Reuters

34) Whippets Zoey (left) and Little Tigger wear holiday wreaths while participating in the Reindog Parade at the Atlanta Botanical Garden in Georgia on Dec. 8. Photo: Erik S. Lesser / EPA

35) A hummingbird flies close to a flower during the Birding Rally Challenge at "Aguas Calientes" in Cuzco, Peru, on Dec. 5. The Birding Rally Challenge is a competition, involving teams of well-known birders, in which participants attempt to see or hear the greatest number of birds possible during a fixed period of time. Photo: Ernesto Benavides / AFP - Getty Images

36) A zookeeper holds a newborn penguin at the zoo in Budapest, Hungary, on December 8. Junior was born in September. Photo: Ferenc Isza / AFP - Getty Images

37) A young polar bear wallows in snow at the public zoo in St. Petersburg, Russia, on December 7.  Photo: Olga Maltseva / AFP - Getty Images

More: 12 Days of Solutions

12 Days of Solutions

Over the last week we have been highlighting various solutions on our website in what we are calling our 12 Days of Solutions. Many of these solutions have been proposed by other organizations and legislators, but the point is that there are several ideas out there that would push us in the right direction. Washington can't seem to get past this idea that they have to continue taking more money from the people to compensate for their irresponsibility.

Take a look below at some of the solutions that have been posted over the last few days:
  • Day 7 - Repeal Obamacare: As Washington continues the debate over how many of your taxes to raise and how little spending to cut, the Affordable Care Act continues its seemingly inevitable move towards full implementation. Even with states nullifying the law’s exchanges, other things are settling into place, including hundreds of billions of dollars in tax increases... Click to Read More
  • Day 6 - Cut, Cap, and Balance: Last year’s debt ceiling debate highlighted many things broken in the Washington budget process, including Harry Reid’s infamous quote, “It can’t all be spending cuts.” Of the multiple solutions offered, “Cut, Cap & Balance” offered the most hope for fiscal restraint... Click to Read More
  • Day 5 - Tax Reform: Two of the most popular forms of tax reform in today’s politics are the “Fair Tax” and “Flat tax.” Either one is better than the current tax code, yet neither is being considered by the establishment leaders in either party... Click to Read More

Go to to see all the solutions we are proposing.
Tea Party Patriots, Inc. operates as a social welfare organization organized under section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to Tea Party Patriots, Inc. are not deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.

Copyright © Tea Party Patriots, Inc. 2012
Tea Party Patriots
1025 Rose Creek Drive
Ste 620-322
Woodstock, GA  30189
Support: 404-593-0877

Culinary no-no #307

Culinary no-no's



The best one I ever had was here…


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Imagine if Adam Lanza was alive

He would be under intense costly security.

He would be subject to all kinds of costly mental exams.

Defense attorneys would be scrambling for a chance to represent him. How they would sleep at night is beyond me.

His costly trial wouldn’t take place for a long, long time.

Defense would argue for a change in venue, that he couldn’t possibly get a fair trial in Newton or anywhere close.

Networks would be tripping over each other trying in an attempt to get a potential interview.

Defense attorneys would try to create sympathy by exploiting the media.

We would hear incessantly about his terrible childhood.

Blame would be placed everywhere but on Lanza.

Lanza would try to manipulate the system by claiming an insanity defense.

Taxpayers would fund every aspect of his existence while the wheels of justice move painstakingly slowly.

The death penalty, though the obvious punishment, would not be possible. Earlier this year, Connecticut’s governor repealed the state’s death penalty law. I wonder if he’s having second thoughts.

That means Connecticut will house and feed and medically treat Lanza for the rest of his life, possibly 50 or 60 years at taxpayer expense.

If Lanza was still alive and the death penalty was in effect, anti-death penalty weenies would be crying out that he should not be executed.

They would even cite that lethal injection was cruel and inhumane. Thus, appeals would go on interminably, meaning the evil executioner would live on thanks to American taxpayers.

I’m glad the evil Lanza is dead. I just wish he had taken his life before he went on a rampage against so many innocents, including children.

The latest pro-life news (12/17/12)

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"What a ghoulish trade, and no wonder Americans loathe the media"

Columnist/talk show host Hugh Hewitt nails it, blasting the vulture-like media coverage of the Newtown massacre.

And here’s info lost on most members of the anti-gun news media. It comes from Carl Cannon at Real Clear Politics:

“Yet one maddening aspect of the Newtown shooting is that it seems that no reasonable precautions would have stopped it. The school itself had a security system, reportedly installed recently by the principal, making access to the building controlled. The gunman simply forced his way in, according to Connecticut police.

“Authorities also reported that Lanza shot his victims with a deadly semiautomatic Bushmaster, an assault rifle modeled after the M-16. But he also carried two deadly handguns: a 9mm Glock semiautomatic and a 9mm SIG Sauer pistol, and all three firearms were duly registered by Lanza’s mother, whom he apparently also killed. The point is that even if the federal restrictions on assault weapons envisioned by Dianne Feinstein and Kirsten Gillibrand had been in force, the staff and first-graders at Sandy Hook would still have been confronted by a well-armed and mentally unstable invader.

“In other words, this country has a larger problem than the Second Amendment.”

Read Cannon’s entire piece here.

E-mails, I get e-mails: A Canadian's Version of David Letterman's Top 10

TOP-10 "Only In America " Observations

10)  Only in America...could politicians talk about the greed of the rich at a $35,000.00 a plate campaign fund-raising event.

 9)  Only in America...could people claim that the government still discriminates against black Americans when they have a black President, a black Attorney General, and roughly 18% of the federal workforce is black while only 12% of the population is black.

 8)  Only in America...could they have had the two people most responsible for our tax code, Timothy Geithner (the head of the Treasury Department) and Charles Rangel (who once ran the Ways and Means Committee), BOTH turn out to be tax cheats who are in favor of higher taxes.

 7)  Only in America...can they have terrorists kill people in the name of Allah and have the media primarily react by fretting that Muslims might be harmed by the backlash.

 6)  Only in America...would they make people who want to legally become American citizens wait for years in their home countries and pay tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege, while they discuss letting anyone who sneaks into the country illegally just 'magically' become American citizens.

 5)  Only in America...could the people who believe in balancing the budget and sticking by the country's Constitution be thought of as "extremists."

 4)  Only in America...could you need to present a driver's license to cash a check or buy alcohol, but not to vote.

 3)  Only in America...could people demand the government investigate whether oil companies are gouging the public because the price of gas went up when the return on equity invested in a major U.S. oil company (Marathon Oil) is less than half of a company making tennis shoes (Nike).

 2)  Only in America...could the government collect more tax dollars from the people than any nation in recorded history, still spend a Trillion dollars more than it has per year - for total spending of $7-Million PER MINUTE, and complain that it doesn't have nearly enough money.

 1)  Only in America...could the rich people - who pay 86% of all income taxes - be accused of not paying their "fair share" by people who don't pay any income taxes at all.

Dear Jennifer, this Christmas...

Am I worth $79.99?

Show Your Support for the Families and Community of Newtown

As we begin to pause for the holiday season, please take a moment to remember those families who have been so deeply affected by the unspeakable events in Newtown, Connecticut.

Newtown is a community like any other in America, and they need our nation’s support now more than ever. With your donation, we can help them through this incredibly difficult time and offer our condolences.

Below, please find a link to the ‘Sandy Hook School Support Fund’ that has been set up by the United Way of Western Connecticut to help the families and community of Newtown recover.

Thank you in advance for your generosity and for assisting our fellow Americans during their time of great need.


Rob Engstrom
Senior Vice President
U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Franklin taxpayers, the Franklin School District isn't done screwing you yet


Fellow Franklin property taxpayers, if you’re like me and the Franklin School District accounted for a whopping 41% of your whopping total property tax bill, here’s food for thought as you prepare to pay those whopping property taxes (remember, the people in Franklin with taxing power submit to us lemmings that Franklin is NOT a tax hell).

The Franklin School administration and majority of the members on the Franklin School Board have absolutely no shame when it comes to taxing and spending.


High unemployment?

People receiving unemployment checks for well over a year?

Record number of people on food stamps?

Doesn’t matter to the Jesse James Gang running our schools. When it comes to taxing and spending, their chutzpah has no ends.

Let’s examine how they without blushing have screwed the taxpaying public.

1) They passed a school budget with property tax levy increase beyond the rate of inflation.

2) They hornswoggled the public into approving two of three needless school referenda with a mantra we’ve heard before. It’s for the children who would suffer tremendously if we voted NO.


OK. Taxpayers have bent over and taken it, AGAIN. Sensing yet another kill, does anyone honestly think the greedy school administration would stop now? Of course they’re out for more blood because they understand how naive the Franklin taxpaying public really is, and the number of pawns they’ve got on the school board.

Will they roll over?


Given that scenario, why wouldn't the Jesse James Gang go for the kill while taxpayers foolishly think they couldn’t possibly be taken to the cleaners one more time. Periodically (and more often than they should) the Franklin school administration submits a proposal to the Franklin School Board for administrative pay raises.

Did I neglect to mention recession and unemployment and foreclosures and a school tax levy increase?

According to the latest data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, here are the salaries and benefits of the current Franklin School District administrators. The salaries are mentioned first followed by their benefits.

FranklinSchool Superintendent Steve Patz:
$161,558 / $61,747

James Milzer, Franklin Public Schools:
$137,065.00 / $53,860

Michael Cady,
Franklin Public High School:
$115,634 / $49,420

Christine Cody, Southwood Glen Elementary
$95,000 / $36,221

Jamie Foeckler, Pleasant View Elementary

$96,835 / $42,796

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The latest from Rehorst (December 2012)


The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
In This Issue
Holiday hours
Order Online
Custom Mini Bottles
Hold an Event at the Distillery

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Coming very soon to This Just In...

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The liberal media is Obama's lapdog

MRC Media of Mass Corruption: Don't believe the Liberal

The liberal media is Obama's lapdog

Read more

Goodnight everyone, and have a Christmas weekend any child would love

"Christmas is sights, especially the sights of Christmas reflected in the eyes of a child."
William Saroyan

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 about, for, and including children. No explanation why is necessary.

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The best cartoons of the week (12/22/12)

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel


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The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (12/22/12)

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:  Early risers in my area wake up to 12 degrees. YIKES. Sunny skies today, but don't let them fool you. A high of 28.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 30. That means more icy sidewalks and streets. "F"

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

I have some very simple rules for our future dog:


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Week-ends (12/22/12)


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...


Unnamed 6-year old girl

Beth Howard

Carnegie Heroes

Senator Daniel Inouye

Robert Bork

Boston police officer

Michael Sciaraffo

Gerard Depardieu

Gavin Harvey

Rhiannon Taggart


California school district

Georgia school district


“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society…In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine.”
President Obama

“I heard a popping sound. Some noises were coming over the loudspeaker, that sounded like weeping. I just kept reassuring them that they would be okay. That they were loved. That their mommies and daddies would be there soon. And that we had them, that we would hold them tight.”
Connie Sullivan who teaches the third grade said her children were happily engrossed in a project when she heard gunshots. She quickly told her students to hide and begged them to stay quiet.

“Kids that weren't picked up yet by parents went in one room and the parents who were without kids went into another room. That was a very difficult scene.”
Teacher Kris Feda

“Like Jesus, Annie laid down her life for her friends. Like Jesus, Annie's life and death brings light, truth, goodness and love to a world often shrouded in darkness, evil, selfishness and death. Because I know Jesus, I feel as if I know Anne Marie McGowan Murphy quite well. Like Jesus, Annie was an excellent teacher. Like Him, she had a favored place in her big, tender heart for children, especially those with struggles.”
Cardinal Timothy Dolan giving the eulogy for special education teacher Anne Marie Murphy who died trying to shield her students from bullets after gunman Adam Lanza opened fire at a Connecticut elementary school. Murphy, a married mother of four, was found still cradling Dylan Hockley, who she had tried to protect.

Listen, for the past three days, I have been on the verge of tears every second, and most of the people here have been crying 24 hours straight. Yes, we need to address mental health, but mental health in this particular issue -- let's not get it twisted -- is a secondary issue. If someone who has a mental issue did not have access to guns that should only be available in war zones, we would not be dealing with this. Who needs a bullet piercing, armor piercing bullet to go hunting? Who needs an assault rifle to go hunting? You can't even use the prey that you kill with an assault rifle if you indeed do it. no one needs an assault rifle to go out and shoot a deer.

“That's the issue that we need to deal with. So to say that gun violence is down does not make sense. To me, it's insulting to everyone who lost a loved one here and who was dealing with that. It doesn't matter if gun violence is down. 20 children are dead here and 6 adults are dead, and the mother of a person who was not mentally -- who is mentally challenged in some way is dead. so to say that gun violence is down -- we need to talk about mental health, yes. mental health is a secondary issue. We need to get guns and bullets and automatic weapons off the streets. They should only be available to police officers and to hunt al Qaeda and the Taliban and not hunt children.”

CNN's Don Lemon

“And I’m not so sure — and I’m sure I’ll get mail for this — I’m not so sure I wouldn’t want one person in a school armed, ready for this kind of thing. The principal lunged at this guy. The school psychologist lunged at the guy. Has to be someone who’s trained. Has to be someone who’s responsible.”
Bill Bennett, US Secretary of Education 1985-1988

“Once we have this actually open dialogue about the situation you find out…every mass killing of more than three people in recent history has been in a place where guns were prohibited, except for one. They choose this place. They know no one will be armed. You know, having been a judge, having reviewed photographs of these horrific scenes and knowing that children have these defensive wounds, gun shots through their arms and hands as they try to protect themselves and hearing the heroic stories of the principal lunging trying to protect… I wish to God she had had an M4 in her office locked up so when she heard gun fire she pulls it out and she didn’t have to lunge heroically with nothing in her hands, but she takes him out, takes his head off before he could kill those precious kids.”
US Rep. Louie Gohmert (R – Texas)

“Those of who are pro-gun control have to admit that there is a Second Amendment right to bear arms… once we establish that there is a constitutional right to bear arms we should have the right admit, and maybe they’ll be more willing to admit, that no amendment is absolute after all.”
Senator Chuck Schumer (D – New York)

“In 1996, a man went into a gym class in Scotland, killed 16 5- and 6-year-olds and the teacher. A few years ago in Norway, a young — deranged young man killed, what, 69 people on an island, mostly teenagers. Connecticut has among the toughest gun laws in this country. Didn’t help. Scotland and Norway have very tough gun laws. Didn’t help. We did — remember, we did — we did have a ban — we did have a ban on assault weapons. When we put the ban in place, these incidents did not really decline in a measurable way. And when we took it off, they didn’t increase in a measurable way.”
Washington Post columnist George Will

“I don’t think it’s about more gun control. I grew up in the South with guns everywhere and we never shot anyone. This [shooting] is about people who aren’t taught the value of life.”
Actor Samuel Jackson

“We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn’t have a sort of influence. It does.”
Actor Jamie Foxx


Congressman wants murdered children 'exploited'


This ruling.


Gotta ban guns.


And happy holidays to you!


That's it for Week-ends. 

We close with the latest from NewsBusted.  

Recommended Reading (12/22/12)

Recommended Reading

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

The roots of mass murder

"Every mass shooting has three elements: the killer, the weapon and the cultural climate. As soon as the shooting stops, partisans immediately pick their preferred root cause with corresponding pet panacea. Names are hurled, scapegoats paraded, prejudices vented. The argument goes nowhere. Let’s be serious..."

10 facts for liberals: Why gun control can't stop another Newtown massacre

"There are now calls from the Left for gun control legislation in response to Adam Lanza's unconscionable mass killing of innocent children at Sandy Hook Elementary. However, very few people seem to be asking the most basic question of all before getting started: What gun control legislation could have stopped Adam Lanza? The answer is 'none.' Let's consider a few alternatives..."

Let's have that conversation about guns

"For once I agree with liberals. It’s high time to have a conversation about guns. Let’s start with the problem that there are far too few guns on our streets. Wait, we can’t have that conversation. In fact, we’re not supposed to have what people might commonly describe as a 'conversation' at all. We’re supposed to shut-up and listen as liberals, barely masking their unseemly delight at the opportunity, try to pin the murder rampage of one degenerate creep on millions of law-abiding Americans who did nothing wrong. The conversation is then supposed to end with us waiving our fundamental right to self-defense."

Milwaukee Sheriff Clarke on firearms freedom

"Liberals don’t care about curbing violence because if they did they wouldn’t coddle and call for more leniency for criminal perpetrators.  When a hold-up man sticks a gun in someone’s face and takes their money, liberals want to offer job training, they want the criminal to serve their sentence walking round in the community with a monitoring device on. How crazy is that."

Even experts can't spot the next violent shooter

"But even psychiatrists struggle to pinpoint who could turn violent. 'We are really terrible at anticipating behavior, or predicting behavior. There’s no theory—in psychology or psychiatry—that gives us a good basis or framework' to predict what will cause a young person to act violently, said Dr. Victor Schwartz, medical director at suicide-prevention group The Jed Foundation."

Scott Walker: Conservative of the Year 2012

"Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin has been named the Human Events Conservative of the Year 2012, succeeding Rep. Paul Ryan, Human Events announced Thursday. The Editors said Walker was chosen because..."

Fight for the unborn, Notre Dame

Bill McGurn, columnist for The Wall Street Journal and an alumnus of the University of Notre Dame, is urging Notre Dame to use its national platform in the national championship game against Alabama to make a statement in defense of the unborn. He writes that a pro-life TV ad by Notre Dame during the football championship would send a powerful message.”

The Christmas spirit

"Anyone offended by public displays of Christmas needs to see a psychiatrist. Are we clear on this? You are a loon if the sight of baby Jesus arouses anger or sadness in you. Get help. This brings us to the governor of Rhode Island, Lincoln Chafee."

We're winning the War on Christmas

“The ‘War on Christmas’ began in earnest in the 1980s when the American Civil Liberties Union was filing one lawsuit after another attempting to ban manger scenes on public property.  In the 1990s, the Christmas wars morphed into the multicultural agenda of the nation’s schools, affecting curricula and school concerts. Worse, even the private sector began a campaign to neuter Christmas in the workplace. But after peaking circa 2005, there has been increasing evidence — especially in the past three years — that the anti-Christmas activists are losing.”

An incredibly inspiring Christmas cease-fire

"As the first Christmas of World War I approached, Pope Benedict XV on Dec. 7, 1914, asked the leaders of all warring governments to agree to an official cease-fire. He begged 'that the guns may fall silent at least upon the night the angels sang.' Sadly, his plea was ignored by government leaders. But many of the soldiers in the trenches declared their own unofficial truce."





In June of 2011, the
Forward Franklin Economic Development Committee was created to jump start Franklin’s employment and business climate.

OK, everyone, repeat after me.

Uh one!

Uh two!

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Dear Dad, I'm sorry

Dead Dad, who worked so hard for well over 30 years for the USPS, I should have included this nice piece in my HEROES OF THE WEEK portion of my Week-ends blog posted on Saturday.

God bless you, Dad. Please take care of Mom.

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Photos of the Week (12/23/12)

Photos of the Week

1) Pictures of Newtown shooting victims are imprinted on fake roses at a memorial in the Sandy Hook village of Newtown, Conn., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. The funerals for the victims of the school shooting are wrapping up after a wrenching week of farewells. Twenty children and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14. Adam Lanza, the lone gunman, killed his mother before going on the rampage and then committed suicide. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

2) People at the Blue Colony diner observe a moment of silence for victims of the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 21. Photo: Eric Thayer / Reuters

3) Comfort dogs Libby and Cali receive attention from two women near a memorial for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims in Newtown, Conn. on Dec. 20. Photo: Joshua Lott / Reuters

4) A portrait of Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, one of the students killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting last week, stands outside of Trinity Episcopal Church as two men embrace each other before his funeral services, on Dec. 20, in Newtown, Conn. Photo: Julio Cortez / AP

5) Firefighters salute as a hearse passes for the funeral procession of 7-year-old shooting victim Daniel Gerard Barden, on Dec. 19, in Newtown, Conn. Photo: David Goldman / AP

6) Mike Garbowski of Newtown, Conn., begins to erect a fence he built on Dec. 19 that will bear the names of all of those killed in the Dec. 14 shootings at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Photo: Mike Segar / Reuters

7) Students return to Hawley Elementary School on Dec. 18, in Newtown, Conn., the first day of classes since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Photo: David Friedman / NBC News

8) A man hugs his daughter while visiting a memorial to the victims in Sandy Hook Village in Newtown, Conn., Dec. 16. Photo: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

9) Eric Mueller places wooden painted angels outside his home in Newtown, Dec. 16. Photo: Joshua Lott / Reuters

10) Shawn Cavana, a member of the NRA who says he personally owns an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, looks into the closed Riverview Gun Sales shop while gun shopping with friends on December 21, 2012 in East Windsor, Connecticut. According to the Hartford Courant, sources investigating the massacre at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown have said the Bushmaster rifle used by the gunman Adam Lanza was legally purchased at the shop by his mother Nancy Lanza. The Courant also reports that records show the guns used in a previous mass shooting in Connecticut in 2010, where Omar Thornton killed eight people and himself at Hartford Distributers Inc, were also purchased at Riverview Gun Sales. On Thursday agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and local police raided and closed the gun shop. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

11) A demonstrator from CodePink holds up a banner as National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre delivers remarks during a news conference at the Willard Hotel December 21, 2012 in Washington, DC. This is the first public appearance that leaders of the gun rights group have made since a 20-year-old man used a popular assault-style rifle to slaughter 20 school children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, one week ago. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

12) Chief Operating Officer for Amendment II, Rich Brand, shoots a child's backpack with their Rynohide CNT Shield in it on December 21, 2012 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their orders for the bulletproof shield have gone up dramatically since the school shooting in Connecticut last week. (Photo by George Frey/Getty Images)

13) 13-year-old Matthew Kolen, who was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome at age eight, hugs his mother Suzanne at their home in Long Island, New York on March 30, 2012. Matthew's diagnosis will soon be dropped in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM-5, the American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic reference book, to be subsumed into the broader category of autism spectrum disorder. Photo: Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

14) Indian schoolchildren hold placards and shout slogans during a protest against the Dec. 16 gang rape and beating of a young woman on a city bus in New Delhi, India, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. Police in India's capital used tear gas and water cannons Saturday to push back thousands of people who tried to march to the presidential mansion to protest the recent gang rape and brutal beating of a 23-year-old student on a moving bus. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

15) A Syrian refugee, crosses illegally to Turkey on the border fence, in Cilvegozu, Turkey, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)

16) A snowball fight rages among University of Wisconsin-Madison students on Bascom Hill in Madison, Wis., Dec. 20, 2012. Photo: Michael P. King / Wisconsin State Journal via AP

17) University of Wisconsin-Madison students try to help a food delivery truck driver free his vehicle from snow after it made a stop at Wasabi Japanese Restaurant in Madison, Wis., Dec. 20. They were not successful. Photo: Michael P. King / Wisconsin State Journal via AP

18) Luke McHenry, left, and his son Sebastian Wells dig out their snow-buried vehicle in Madison, Wis., Dec. 20. Photo: John Hart / Wisconsin State Journal via AP

19) Frank Gloss pulls his grandson, Liam, 17 months old, along a sidewalk December 21, 2012 in Madison, Wisconsin, a day after Wisconsin was blanketed with a record snow storm. (Photo by Andy Manis/Getty Images)

20) Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, the second-longest-serving senator in history, lies in state in the Capitol rotunda in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.  Another photo. Photos: Susan Walsh / AP

21) A woman soaks up the sun after its rise at the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, on Dec. 21. Doomsday hour is here and so still are we. According to legend, the ancient Mayans' long-count calendar ends at midnight Thursday, ushering in the end of the world. Didn't happen. "This is not the end of the world. This is the beginning of the new world," Star Johnsen-Moser, an American seer, said at a gathering of hundreds of spiritualists at a convention center in the Yucatan city of Merida, an hour and a half from the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza. Photo: Matt Dunham / AP

22) Pilgrims from Italy join a procession through the Church of the Nativity down into the 'Grotto,' traditionally accepted as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Dec. 21. The church is one of the oldest in the world and pilgrims, tourists and Christian faithful are flocking to the town where Jesus was born in the lead-up to the Christmas festivities. Photo: Jim Hollander / EPA

23) Residents of Alcala de Henares, a suburb of Madrid, Spain, react when their number is called as the 4-million-euro jackpot in the Spanish National Lottery on Dec. 22. The world's biggest lottery dished out prizes worth 2.5 billion euros (3.4 billion dollars). Photo: Fernando Villar / EPA

24) "Sandy Claus" Michael Sciaraffo makes a toy delivery to a home in the Bell Harbor neighborhood of New York on Dec. 18, 2012. Using Facebook, Sciaraffo started a charitable enterprise to collect and personally deliver toys to children affected by Superstorm Sandy. Elizabeth Sampol holds her daughter, Ella, 14 months, as she receives a toy from Michael Sciaraffo in the Belle Harbor section of Queens on Dec. 18, 2012.  A rainbow appears as Michael Sciaraffo leaves the home of Ella Sampol in Belle Harbor, Queens on Dec. 18, 2012. "You don't see that every day," Sciaraffo said, grinning as his beard slipped down his face a little. "Amazing." Photos: Bebeto Matthews / AP. See video.

25) A 14-foot Christmas tree appears to be crashing through the roof of a one-story house Thursday, Dec. 20 in Seattle's Magnolia neighborhood. Homeowner Patrick Kruger created the illusion of the tree crashing through the roof by cutting a 14-foot tree into two pieces and attaching the top six-foot section to a piece of plywood that's bolted to the roof. According to, Kruger, who is an architect, studied the physics of an object breaking through a roof then added sheathing and typical roof construction materials to create the effect. Photo: Elaine Thompson / AP

26) A woman walks along Natal Circle viewing Christmas lights in Gilbert, Ariz. Photo: Matt York / AP

27) Christmas lights and ornaments adorn a house on Castro Street in San Francisco. Photo: Jeff Chiu / AP

28) A view of the "Casa di Babbo Natale" (Santa's house) illuminated with thousands of lights in Melegnano, outside of Milan, Italy, on Dec. 18. Massimiliano Goglio, the owner of the house, decorates his house every year at Christmastime, to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone. Photo: Tiziana Fabi / AFP - Getty Images

29) People gather to look at Christmas festive lights that adorn a detached house in a suburban street in Melksham, on Dec. 8, in Melksham, England. The lights, a popular festive attraction, have returned to the town after a two-year absence and have raised thousands of pounds for charity for a local hospice, Dorothy House. The display, which is estimated to involve over 100,000 bulbs, worth over 30,000 GBP and even needed an up-rated electricity supply installed to cope with the additional power needed, is the brainchild of householder and electrician Alex Goodhind. This year, the display which Mr Goodhind began fifteen years ago now takes a team of professional electricians five weeks to complete, and even includes a snow machine. Photo: Matt Cardy / Getty Images

30) Santa gives a thumbs up to a young photographer as she takes Santa's photo with a toy camera as young boys and girls line up to visit Santa and Mrs Claus in their chalet Saturday December 22, 2012 in LaPorte, Ind. (AP Photo/The LaPorte Herald-Argus, Bob Wellinski)

31) Aaron Rodgers reacts with lineman T.J. Lang after James Jones' touchdown in the third quarter of last Sunday's 21-13 victory over the Chicago Bears. Rodgers was 23 of 36 for 291 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood

32) NFL Hall of Fame running back, Pittsburgh Steelers' Franco Harris stands on the spot where he caught the "Immaculate Reception" 40 years ago after a marker was unveiled on the sight where Three Rivers Stadium once stood on the Northside of Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. It is the 40th anniversary of the play in which Franco Harris caught a deflected Terry Bradshaw pass intended for Steelers' running back John "Frenchy" Fuqua, and returned it 42- yards for a game winning touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

33) A peacock walks in its snowy enclosure on Dec. 14 at the Hagenbeck zoo in Hamburg, Germany. Photo: Malte Christians / AFP - Getty Images

34) A baby collared peccary interacts with its mother "Jave" at the Melbourne Zoo in Melbourne, Australia, on Dec. 14. Photo: Julian Smith / EPA

35) A diver dressed in a Santa Claus outfit swims next to leopard sharks to celebrate the Christmas season on Dec. 17 at Siam Ocean World in Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Sukree Sukplang / Reuters

36) A dog dressed in a Christmas costume takes part in a contest in Lima, Peru, on Dec. 16. Photo: Mariana Bazo / Reuters

37) Olivia Culpo, newly crowned Miss Universe 2012, poses with Miss Universe organizer Donald Trump during the press conference after the 2012 Miss Universe Competition in Las Vegas on Dec. 19, 2012.  Photo: Valerie Macon / Miss Universe Organization via EPA




Some key figures have decided to leave city of Franklin government.

Fire Chief Jim Martins retired this month after a decade of service.

And Aldermen Steve Olson and Tim Solomon announced they will not seek re-election to the Franklin Common council. Their terms expire next April.

I will especially miss Steve Olson whom I consider the only consistent fiscally conservative voice on the Common Council. His greatest accomplishment as alderman was his crusade to enact two solid sex offender ordinances. In this blog, I give background on the issue and credit Olson for his devotion to the cause. But his work didn’t stop with the passage of the Franklin laws. Olson lent his expertise to other municipalities seeking similar ordinances.

I thank all three men for their service and wish them the very best in the future.


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Culinary no-no #308

Culinary no-no's



The federal government says it’s dangerous.

A local website called it “barbaric.”

Some contend if you looked at it under a microscope, you’d never eat it again.

Don’t tell that to
Judi Jacak of Allenton. Jacak submitted her Christmas Eve ritual to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and it was published in today’s paper.

We always begin Christmas Eve by going to Mass at 4 p.m. After Mass, the 20 of us, including two girlfriends, meet at the house for snacks, wine and gift opening. It's a tradition for us to have cannibal sandwiches and peel-and-eat shrimp. The raw beef is served with sliced sweet onions and salt and pepper on rye bread. Half of us love it, and half of us hate it. But tradition is tradition, and we've had a few converts over the years…”

Cannibal sandwiches.

That would be your…

Placed on top of some...

Add some...

Sprinkle black pepper.


With all due respect to Judi Jacak, I've always associated raw beef and onions with New Year's Eve, not Christmas Eve.

In the mid-90's when I worked at WTMJ, I was filling in for Charlie Sykes on the morning of December 31. The out of touch local daily newspaper had decided, not surprisingly, to publish an article bashing that Wisconsin year-end tradition of the so-called cannibal sandwich. So I began my program making raw beef and onions the opening topic du jour.

The phone lines went bonkers. My favorite call was from an octogenarian who claimed he had been eating raw beef and onions for decades, he was still alive, kicking and healthy, the newspaper was full of it, and nothing was going to stop him from enjoying steak tartare that evening. 

According to the USDA, that elderly gentleman and all the other callers who weighed in to say they love their raw beef are complete fools despite my favorite caller saying he was close to 90. From the USDA website:

"Is it dangerous to eat raw or undercooked ground beef?
Yes. Raw and undercooked meat may contain harmful bacteria. USDA recommends not eating or tasting raw or undercooked ground beef. To be sure all bacteria are destroyed, cook meat loaf, meatballs, and hamburgers to a safe minimum internal temperature of 160 °F (71.1 °C). Use a food thermometer to check that they have reached a safe internal temperature."


I don't know of anyone who has perished welcoming in the new year by devouring uncooked beef. And I don't know anyone who uses a meat thermometer when cooking hamburgers.
But even this combination that could very well be considered a no-no can be turned into a no-no by its own aficionados. I know from my exhaustive research on this week’s topic. Some raw beef and onion lovers are screwing it all up.

Some are using white bread.


Rye bread. Rye bread, Rye bread.

Some are using mayonnaise.


Some are using mustard or horseradish.


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Santa Claus is comin' to town!

Track Santa here.

I'm on WISN

I fill in on Newstalk 1130 WISN on Wednesday from 3-6, Thursday from 8-10 am, and next Monday from 8-10 am.

2012: The End is Here!



When you run for and win elected office, you form a public record that is subject to scrutiny. By the very nature of the business, not everyone will like or appreciate what you say or do.

Following the school board elections this past year, incumbent board member Judith Bialk lost, Janet Evans kept her seat, and newcomer Aimee Schlueter was elected. At the subsequent organizational meeting, Evans was elected board president and board members Debbie Larson and Jeff Traylor were ousted from their leadership positions as board president and vice president, respectively. However, the two did not relinquish their posts quietly or graciously.

Franklin’s Bryan Maersch blogged that both, primarily Traylor made insulting and derogatory comments on Facebook about Franklin bloggers that have been critical of the school board, including Evans. The bloggers were referred to as cyber bullies.

This went beyond sour grapes. It was petty, personal, and childish.

Franklin voters made clear choices in last April’s election. They wanted a more fiscally responsible, taxpayer-friendly board and board leadership. When Larson and Traylor insulted the bloggers who advocated for such change, they also insulted Franklin citizens who went to the polls.

I’m not surprised that Traylor doesn’t understand the meaning of cyber bully. This is a guy captured on video claiming he doesn’t know what it means to be fiscally responsible. And he's entrusted with overseeing the education of our children? Scary.

The whiny Traylor played the victim card, but for as long as I’ve been blogging, I’ve never received an e-mail or phone call from the oppressed Traylor. He’s never left a comment on my blog. It’s ok for him to rip away on Facebook, but apparently community bloggers are supposed to clam up and ignore the actions of their elected school board.

Larson and Traylor actually give the bloggers too much credit. We can write and opine as passionately and as often as we want. We can’t make people go out and do what we hope and say. No, the voters saw what was transpiring, didn’t like it, and took matters into their hands.

Larson and Traylor hate the very notion that people, the people they work for, and the people who pay the bills are actually paying attention and exercising their First Amendment rights. Next April, both are up for re-election. Here’s hoping quality candidates are thinking about running to replace the big sore losers. Maybe then we can have even more members that truly understand what it means to do what school board folks always promise: providing a great education at a reasonable cost to taxpayers.


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President Kennedy says America’s objective is to be the first to land on the moon.

John Glenn orbits the Earth.

The Cuban missile crisis.

Marilyn Monroe dies.

he Beatles, Bob Dylan, and the Beach Boys release their first records.

Audio cassettes are invented.

The first Wal-Mart and the first K-Mart open.

Johnny Carson takes over “The Tonight Show."

James Bond, 007 premieres.

Stan Lee and Steve Ditko launch Spider-Man.

The Supreme Court bans prayer in public schools.

And Franklin High School opens. It all happened in 1962, 50 years ago.

Read more in this newsletter and here.


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Ever since I moved into Franklin in 1992, I‘ve learned not to get too excited about promising new prospects. New developments, retail, restaurants…all too often high expectations are dashed.

An amazing bright spot materialized in 2012. Franklin’s Mike Zimmerman offered to put up Millions of dollars to build a multi-sports complex at the Crystal Ridge site at 7900 W. Crystal Drive, complete with baseball diamonds, indoor batting cages and soccer fields. The facility would be named Rock Sports Complex.

This will put Franklin on the map," said Mayor Tom Taylor.

Groundbreaking for the project took place in November. The city of Franklin December newsletter reported:

“Construction is underway on the first phase of The Rock Sports Complex located at 7900 Crystal Ridge Drive in Franklin. The $4 million first phase will include six baseball fields consisting of a four-diamond, clover-leaf baseball complex with each field based on the design of a famous major league baseball field and two smaller fields for Little League and softball; a 3,500 square foot sports-themed restaurant; improvements to the ski hill; and a new BMX bike track. A second phase to start in a year includes four softball fields, upgrades to the ski hill chalet, and indoor/outdoor volleyball courts. A final phase could also bring four fields for Little League football and lacrosse.

“The Rock Sports Complex is a joint enterprise between Zimmerman Ventures, the City of Franklin, and Milwaukee County to promote youth and community development through a common passion for sports and recreation at both a practice and tournament level. The goal of the Rock Sports Complex is to provide a state-of-the-art sports complex that is affordable and accessible to the community.”

This sounds very exciting. Fingers crossed.

In a somewhat related story, the much-anticipated Drexel Avenue interchange opened last month. The new interchange, we’re told, will spur economic development in Franklin. The jury’s still out on that one.


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"Diabolical...the devil's invention to bring out the worst in us"

Anonymous commenters.

This is the column I referred to today while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN along with
the other column mentioned.



Imagine receiving a reassessment notice in the mail from the city assessor indicating the value of your home went up 25%. You’re astounded, so you call the office to inquire why. You’re informed that the increase is due to the new backyard swimming pool you’ve installed. The problem is…you don’t have a swimming pool.

That kind of describes the kick in the stomach many Franklin property owners are feeling having learned that with the completion of a sanitary sewer system, all of Franklin is now under the jurisdiction of those Lake Michigan poop dumpers at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Sewerage District (MMSD). MMSD, an unelected, unaccountable body, now has the authority to tax all Franklin properties, even those that do not use the sewer system.

The city of Franklin reported in its December 2012 newsletter to residents “some properties will see charges for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) for the first time on these property tax bills. MMSD is a separate, independent taxing body from the City. In 2011, after a public hearing, the MMSD Commission approved an action requiring all properties in Franklin to be included in the MMSD district and subject to the MMSD tax. Properties not previously in the MMSD district will now see this added line and cost on their property tax bill. For additional information on this action, please contact MMSD directly at 414-272-5100.”

People are ticked.

FranklinNOW reports that the Common Council was admonished at its December 18 meeting by some residents including Pat Shawgo ("We resent paying for something that we are not using”) and Judy Napientek (“Our taxes are up and your credibility is very impacted”).

Franklin mayor Tom Taylor responded with a Pontius Pilate impersonation:

"MMSD's action and decision directly expanded the district and applied the new property tax levy to these parcels. This action was outside the direct control of the city and was not approved by the city."

You can read more details from FranklinNOW.

Franklin bloggers Fred Keller and former alderman Basil Ryan want to start a class action lawsuit on behalf of residents that use septic tanks who are now subject to the MMSD tax.

What a mess.

But remember, folks, Franklin is not a tax hell.


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Some #s about mass shootings

Can you believe what the liberal media are saying about YOU?

MRC Media of Mass Corruption: Don't believe the Liberal

Read more



Do you hear that, Franklin?

Tick, tick, tick.

The clock keeps moving.

No, not the countdown to our going over the fiscal cliff.

Will Meijer build a store in Franklin or not?

Franklin’s quest to attract Meijer’s to build one of their successful stores here has been a complete debacle. I’m not surprised.

When it comes to luring businesses and economic development, Franklin has a dreary obstructionist history of being the tortoise rather than the hare. Without exception, city of Franklin officials have been in complete and utter denial about this dismal track record, making all kinds of excuses for our sorry inability to attract job creators on a consistent and reasonably timed basis.

Let’s go back to the beginning. April 2012.

Meijer Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich., is planning a 191,000-square-foot store in Franklin.

The Milwaukee Business Journal  reported that Meijer was planning to open one of its huge big box stores in Franklin at the Crossroads site at Highway 100 and Loomis.  I blogged:

“Meijer would provide Franklin consumers (who currently live in a desert of shopping options) another retail choice. The nearby Target would face competition. That's good news, not bad…It's very early in the process but keep in mind Franklin fails when it comes to economic development. Watch for the city to do everything in its power, even if it's unintentional, to mess this up.”

May 17, 2012. An open house is held for informational purposes. To inform about the open house, Alderman Steve Olson sent out a notice that read, in part:

Meijer is a family-owned company based in Grand Rapids, MI which operates over 190 stores in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois. Meijer is now evaluating opportunities to enter the Wisconsin market with the Franklin site to be among one of the first stores.

Meijer started in 1934 as a grocery store chain but now offers a complete one-stop shopping experience in over 40 other departments including grocery, health and beauty care, fashion, automotive, home decor, pharmacy, electronics, pets and more. Meijer’s focus is on delivering higher standards to customers at lower prices. The high standards carry through from the customer service in its stores to the quality of the merchandise itself. Meijer operates its stores 24/7 which is part of the founding family’s dedication to customer service. More information about Meijer can be found at

Meijer is currently under contract on the subject property. If the project proceeds, it will result in the demolition of the dilapidated structures, including the closed Illusions nightclub.

On Thursday evening, Meijer will display the updated Site Plan, the Exterior Elevations (architectural design) and other materials. To summarize a few key elements, our plans include:

• A sizeable stormwater detention pond (designed to enhance the water quality at discharge) that will be surrounded by landscaped site amenities,

• A signature landscaping feature at the northeast corner of Loomis & St. Martin’s.

• Proposed total landscaping of approximately 61% which exceeds the zoning code requirement of 40%.

• Installation of a traffic signal for the main vehicle entrance on Loomis Road on the north side of the site.

• Reconfiguration of the Puetz/St. Martin’s intersection per the DOT’s plans.

• Locating the truck loading docks on the north end of the building as far away as possible from residential properties.

• Bringing 200-250 new jobs to the community.

• Enhancing the City’s tax base though investment in an underutilized property resulting in additional tax revenues for the City and School District.

More hearings. More delays.

And Franklin was divided. Here are comments left on my blog and

“So they wouldn't allow a Wal-Mart but now they will give permission to Meijers? As far as I can tell they are the same. This is just another example of how f*****g stupid Franklin officials are. Grrrrrrrrrrrr”

“I sure hope this is rejected by the community. (GRIN) I really love the Cross Roads just the way it is, with it's incredible gas stations, it's luxurious abandoned restaurant and all that prairie style landscaping. (GRIN) After all with it being open 24 hours ‘those’ people" are going to end up there. You know what happens when ‘those people’ come to shop! You guessed it, they are going to break into all the houses in the area and steal all their stuff. (GRIN)”

“Let's not bury our heads in the sand. This is 2012 and the "country" days of Franklin and other communities in the area are long gone. We need this project to happen in an effort to keep development and commercial growth moving forward in our city. So what if you have several other grocery store options within a few miles. A corporation like Meijer does their homework and obviously they are not concerned about being successful in Franklin. It's a huge step to build your first store in the Wisconsin, and we should be welcoming them with open arms. Unlike Ms. Anderson in the story, I hope to God this attracts other businesses and development. We NEED more development to create jobs and to help our dreadful tax situation. And let's not forget...I don't see a line outside City Hall with corporations beating down the doors wanting to build at that location, or in the city in general. This is a great opportunity and I sincerely hope the city leaders and residents keep an open mind and work TOGETHER with Meijer to make this a reality.”

Fliers were left in Franklin mailboxes near the proposed Meijer’s site that contained all the usual (phony) arguments among the scare tactics, none of them substantiated or based in fact.

Photo: Just got this flier on my mailbox today. I'm somewhat concerned about the assertions and assumptions being made about this project. Fun Fact: When Target was proposed back in 2008 (I believe), the wealthier residents living directly across from Target had similar concerns to those presented in this flier. Did those living near the proposed Meijer today really care about them back then? I wouldn't say so - people wanted to shop at Target closer to their homes. In addition to this, what we learned about Target, and what we should learn about Meijer if they get the opportunity to build in Franklin, is that a lot of the concerns simply never materialize.

It was the kind of action and mentality that prevents Franklin from progressing as a community and is highly embarrassing to the entire city and all of its residents.

In November it was very interesting to read the angry comments of Franklin alderman Steve Taylor about the problems associated with dotting all the I’s and crossing all T’s in getting Meijer’s to build here. Taylor expressed his dismay in an interview with The Daily Reporter, a Milwaukee-based construction industry daily newspaper. The print edition of this story appeared in The Daily Reporter on Monday, November 12 with the headline:

"Meijer puts brakes on store”

To this cynic, the immediate reaction was not one of surprise.

The article opened stating that Taylor “blames the city” for “dragging its feet” on approving a Meijer store at Highway 100 and Loomis Road.

Taylor told the paper the city goofed when, during the project’s FIRST city public hearing, witnesses were not sworn in. Now that sounds like a minor, trivial matter. Nevertheless, it necessitated a SECOND public hearing.

Good grief, a technicality throws a monkey wrench into the operation, a technicality that maybe someone with years of municipal experience should have picked up on? So we as a city drop the ball on an innocuous procedure.

If you’re keeping score, give this one to Taylor.

Taylor also told the paper “the city should have given approval a long time ago.”

I certainly would agree. While trying to kiss Franklin’s ring, Meijer has also been negotiating to, if I may use an over-used phrase, move forward to build stores in other WI communities.

Oh, if only the story ended here. But there’s more.

The city’s response to Taylor is that from their perspective, the city has okayed just about every approval it needed in order to, my goodness I’m going to write it again, move the project forward.

Who asked for a delay in the entire approval process? Not the city of Franklin, but ironically, Meijer.

Meijer hasn’t specified why. A Franklin official told The Daily Reporter he believes the self-imposed delay is due to Meijer's requirements with the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the US Army Corps of Engineers. In essence there are still city, state, and federal hurdles.

Once again, hyper-enviro concerns are standing in the way of much-needed progress and business/job creation in Franklin. The Meijer project, you see, could threaten some wetlands.


So Meijer has three keisters to smooch…the DNR, the feds, and the city. At the city level, Meijer has to, according to The Daily Reporter, meet Franklin’s environmental standards (you know, the kind that keeps our city in reverse) at the SECOND public hearing that is necessary because city officials didn’t swear in witnesses at the FIRST public hearing.


Dealing with the DNR isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s less difficult than in the past under Jim Doyle’s tenure. State Senator Frank Lasee wrote in a November e-newsletter:

"Because of the leadership of DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has been improving greatly. Reforming the 2300 employee DNR is a huge undertaking, and will take more time. I've been hearing from people that the DNR is now working for the environment and for you, not against you (there is still room for improvement).

"The new Office of Business Support and Sustainability (OBSS) has been created to help businesses navigate the DNR's bureaucracy by helping them comply with DNR rules and the permitting process.

"The OBSS is a special help line for getting permits to increase job growth in Wisconsin by cutting red tape while protecting the environment. We can probably poach some businesses from our neighbors to the south. Since Illinois has declared 'open season' on job creators with more taxes, out of control spending, and tons of red tape, it’s not 'poaching'.”

With sharks in the water, the Milwaukee Business Journal under the very capable reporting hands of Sean Ryan weighed in. Again, the headline was gloomy:

Meijer store in Franklin hits hurdles

The paper reported in its lead paragraph that city officials are worried that Meijer’s may “abandon its plans” for a megastore in Franklin.

Enter another city voice: Alderman Steve Olson whose district includes the Meijer site.

While Taylor blames a slow city view, Olson says road accommodations at the site are a problem. The state even pushed a roundabout at the site, adding to the mess.

But the Business Journal noted Meijer is working through similar issues in Grafton where they want to build, and guess what? No problemo there.

And some in Franklin don't want Meijer's to be open 24/7.

So here we go.

This is a full-blown fiasco with finger-pointing and no one, I mean no one at the city of Franklin level accepting blame or responsibility. It's everyone else's fault.


The conventional wisdom seems that the threat to wetlands (Are you kidding me?) is a major hang-up.

Meijer’s lawyers outsmarted our lawyers and insisted on a second public hearing addressing primarily those wetland issues where witnesses are sworn in. Now, Meijer's wants no part of a second public hearing on wetlands issues. They won’t say why. That doesn't look good. Oh, no. Bye bye economic development, bye bye jobs? Thanks, Franklin.

Alderman Taylor was right, but only to a certain degree. While the city is open to criticism, there are other roadblocks, along with Meijer walking away from the table. I think Taylor picked the wrong case to blame the city for a failure to seal the deal.

What is Meijer doing rather than working to get this done expeditiously? Taylor has doubts Meijer will return to talk turkey with Franklin. I submit he may be right on that count. My guess is that Meijer is back home discussing what’s in their best interests. Jumping through all these hoops ain’t it. Meijer could decide to simply take their ball out of Franklin and play somewhere else, more easily and quickly. That's a real possibility.

If that happens, you can forget all the finger pointing. Enough blame to go around, and everyone loses. And again, given the way we do things in Franklin, no surprise.

Franklin has a bizarre, unexplainable approach to economic development. Most communities welcome the concept. Franklin desperately tries to find roadblocks, reasons to block progress.

When Andy’s was set to move in at 51st and Rawson, I contacted Mayor Tom Taylor and then-Alderman Alan Hammelman. “Is this the best we can do?” at such a prime location, I asked.

Both gentlemen told me that was indeed the case.

With hindsight being 20-20, Andy’s is ok. The point is Franklin’s acceptance of a glorified gas station was the consensus.

How long did we fight and squabble and nitpick over Target?

Now Meijer’s.

Are we asking a hippo to jump through a hoop?

The pattern I’ve seen in Franklin since I moved here in 1992 is that the powers that be, when it comes to true economic development and job creation and bold moves, lack the stomach to pull the trigger, leading one to question their real commitment to critical economic growth.

We may still get a Meijer’s. But trust me, other businesses are watching that may not want to play the long guessing game that hinders Franklin’s growth. We hurt ourselves whenever a high profile business decision has to be made. Sadly, the people in charge don’t see it, understand it, or seem to care.

In an Oct. 18 letter to city of Franklin officials, Milwaukee attorney Brian Randall who is representing Meijer requested a delay on an Oct. 25 hearing about the wetlands issue, and indicated he will provide more updates before the end of the year. That’s just a few days away and we’ve not heard back from Meijer. The clock is ticking.

Meanwhile the Milwaukee Business Journal reported last Friday, “Meijer Inc.’s proposed store in the city of Franklin is still stalled, but the retailer is clearing challenges in three other area communities despite continued pockets of opposition from residents. Meijer is racking up approvals it needs for mega-stores in Grafton, Wauwatosa and the town of Lisbon near Sussex.”

P.S. On his blog, Franklin’s Bryan Maersch took issue with Alderman Taylor blasting away to the Daily Reporter, a trade publication widely read by builders and developers. Maersch contends Taylor might have seriously hurt our chances for a Meijer store and/or future developments just so he could spout off in the press. That’s entirely plausible.


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Goodnight everyone, and have a wonderful Christmas isn't over weekend!

"What is Christnmas even like in a place where it doesn't snow? A whole element is missing there"

Author unknown

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, it's still Christmastime, so more sounds of the season.

They just don't make album covers like they used to. Oh, that's right. They just don't make album covers.

That was  Al Caiola, Riz Ortolani and Jimmy McGriff with a medley you can find here:

The white stuff is in our weekend forecast.

So, from the same Christmas Cocktails CD, George Shearing and Billy May...


Brrrr. Cold and snow. What's so hot about that?

Let's get another opinion, shall we?


One of the best contemporary jazz groups is Fourplay.

I think you'll enjoy their take on Christmas children's classic.


Read more

The best cartoons of the week (12/29/12)

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez


Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


Read more

The Barking Lot-America's Finest Dog Blog (12/29/12)

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. 

TODAYSteady snow tapers off by 9am. Snow showers this afternoon and tonight. High of 30.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Becoming mostly sunny. High of 22. "F"

y lovely wife, Jennifer and I have agreed to post a year-end Barking Lot. With help from, here are the top animal stories of 2012.

We totally agree with their #1 choice.

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

Racist comments made about dog owners.

Barking Lot update:

It's a 1,000 year old mummified dog.

Barking Lot update: Rex.

Barking Lot update: Kabang

Santa to the rescue.

pet project.

Ivan might have a park named after him.

An improbable journey home for
missing blind dog.

Christmas miracle.

Dog noses put to good use.



Read more

Week-ends (12/29/12)


This is a special year-end edition of Week-ends, a look back at the people and events that made news the past year. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Brian Murphy

Victoria Soto

Steve St. Bernard

Dylan Smith ...and others.


The mass shooters


Remember one of Paul Ryan's great lines at the RNC...

"There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it -- that that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. ... These are people who pay no income tax. ... [M]y job is not to worry about those people. I'll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives."
Mitt Romney
at a private fundraiser in May that was secretly recorded and posted online in September by Mother Jones magazine.

"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet [in Massachusetts]. I went to a number of women's groups and said, 'Can you help us find folks?' and they brought us whole binders full of women."
Mitt Romney during the second presidential debate in Hempstead, N.Y. in October.

"If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you've got a business — you didn't build that."
President Obama at a campaign appearance in Roanoke, Va., July 13.

"You mentioned the Navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go underwater, nuclear submarines."
President Obama during the third presidential debate in Boca Raton, Fla., Oct. 22.

"If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Missouri senatorial candidate Todd Akin during a KTVI-TV interview, Aug. 19

"You hit a reset button for the fall campaign; everything changes. It's almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and we start all over again."
Romney senior campaign adviser Eric Fehrnstrom during a CNN interview, March 21.

"I'm an honorary consul general, so I have inviolability."
Socialite Jill Kelley, telephone call to a 911 dispatcher, Tampa, Fla., Nov. 11, about media crews that came to her home as news broke of her involvement in the scandal over the resignation of CIA director David Petraeus.

"Under current law, on January 1st, 2013, there is going to be a massive fiscal cliff of large spending cuts and tax increases."
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifying before the House Committee on Financial Services hearing, Feb. 29.

"I care more about my country than I do about a 20-year-old pledge."
Georgia Sen. Saxby Chambliss about the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

“No… [applause], but I will. I think the destructive, negative, vicious nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country, harder to attract decent people to run for public office, and I am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate on a topic like that.”
Newt Gingrich after being asked during a CNN debate if he’d like to respond to allegations by an ex-wife that he wanted an open marriage.

“You know, back in my days, they used Bayer aspirin for contraception. The gals put it between their knees, and it wasn’t that costly.”
Foster Friess, a Rick Santorum supporter.

“Ann drives a couple of Cadillacs actually.”
Mitt Romney

“This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.”
President Obama to Russian President Medvedev.

“Well, you know, I guess we better unzip him and let the real Mitt Romney out because he is not!”
Ann Romney when asked by a radio host about the criticism that her husband “comes off stiff.”

“Guess what? His wife has actually never worked a day in her life.”
Hilary Rosen, Democratic strategist, referring to Ann Romney.

“The private sector is doing fine.”
President Obama in June.

“The highest Court in the land has now spoken. We will continue to implement this law. And we'll work together to improve on it where we can. But what we won’t do -- what the country can’t afford to do -- is refight the political battles of two years ago, or go back to the way things were.”
President Obama on the health-care law being upheld, 5-4, by the Supreme Court with Chief Justice Roberts being the deciding vote.

“Join me in welcoming the next president of the United States, Paul Ryan."
Mitt Romney introducing Ryan as his vice presidential pick. Romney came back on stage: "Every now and then I'm known to make a mistake. I did not make a mistake with this guy. But I can tell you this. He's going to be the next vice president of the United States."

"They gonna put y’all back in chains."
VP Joe Biden

“I’m a Catholic deer hunter. I am happy to be clinging to my guns and to my religion.”
Paul Ryan

“I’ve got a little bumper sticker for you: Osama bin Laden is dead and General Motors is alive.”
VP Joe Biden

America, I never said this journey would be easy, and I won't promise that now. Yes, our path is harder, but it leads to a better place.”
President Obama

“It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.”
Mitt Romney

“I think the best answer is as little as possible.”
Mitt Romney when asked what he wears to bed at night.

“And congratulations to you, Mr. President, on your anniversary. I’m sure this was the most romantic place you could imagine — here with me!”
Mitt Romney during the first presidential debate.

“I like PBS, I love Big Bird. I actually like you, too.”
Mitt Romney to moderator Jim Lehrer of PBS in the first presidential debate.

Obviously, I had an off-night.” 
President Obama to Jon Stewart in reference to his first debate performance.

“Life is that gift from God. And even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Richard Mourdock

“The president has been all over this and he deserves great credit”
Chris Christie on the response to Hurricane Sandy.

“I pray that the president will be successful in guiding our nation.”
Mitt Romney in his concession speech.

“He was a charismatic African American president with a billion dollars, no primary and media that often felt morally conflicted about being critical.”
Stu Stevens

“He [Mitt Romney] wanted to be president less than anyone I’ve met in my life. He had no desire to . . . run.”
Tagg Romney


The mass shootings.


Election polls, many of which were wrong.



Locally, Governor Walker's constant visits to businesses that are adding  jobs.


We could list dozens, but I pick this one from Franklin.



Franklin elections were important news stories in 2012.

Alderman Steve Taylor was elected to an open seat on the Milwaukee County Board and now represents parts of Franklin and Oak Creek. Taylor decided to also keep his aldermanic position, and he didn’t take long to make waves


Read more

Recommended Reading (12/29/12)

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).

DC pols can't even cut 3%

"I am absolutely amazed that nobody has put any of the proposed 'fiscal cliff' spending reductions in the context of a simple percentage. We somehow get lost in the diatribe about the defense industry being devastated, how it will take years to receive a hip replacement, and that poor grandma may be forced to eat dog food.  The fools of both political parties just can’t stop spending, which apparently is the only way to be elected in this socialist driven country."

Everybody crazy 'bout a gun-free zone

"Many are shouting, these days, 'Schools are no place for guns.' Even some police spokesmen say this. Yet strangely enough, when a police officer answers a call at a school, you'll never see that officer take off his sidearm and leave it locked in his car."

NEA vs NRA: one teacher's perspective

"I am proud to be a member of NEA. But when my union leaders pander to the unrealistic utopian fantasies so many people hold, it doesn't serve our profession well. More importantly, the focus on guns themselves distracts us from the real problem our country is facing: WHY are we producing so many people who want to kill innocent children?"

Laws are for little people, not David Gregory

"This is, declared NYU professor Jay Rosen, 'the dumbest media story of 2012.' Why? Because, as CNN’s Howard Kurtz breezily put it, everybody knows David Gregory wasn’t 'planning to commit any crimes.'

"So what? Neither are the overwhelming majority of his fellow high-capacity-magazine-owning Americans. Yet they’re expected to know, as they drive around visiting friends and family over Christmas, the various and contradictory gun laws in different jurisdictions."

Newtown a microcosm of government failure

"I have tried in vain to imagine my 7-year-old grandson, his defenseless classmates and their equally defenseless teacher being shot to death one by one while waiting 20 minutes for police to arrive. It is a scenario too terrible to conjure in my mind. To imagine local law enforcement personnel taking a full one-third of an hour to respond to such a monstrous event is infuriating. And yet, there it is.”

WI: The dreaded 'r' word topped the news in 2012

"Wisconsinites tired of elections and campaign ads probably will bid a welcome adieu to 2012, the year of seemingly endless political campaigns and elections. It’s easy to forget, however, in the shadow of all-consuming elections, everything else that happened this year."

School condom dispensers: Do they pass the test?

"I’m bowled over by the irony in all this. Supposedly, if religious materials are allowed within 500 yards of a school, the impressionable teens will be sucked into a life of cult membership. But if you place free condoms within easy reach of the 'good' kids and make premarital sex sound as school-sanctioned as pep rallies and fundraising carwashes, they’re not going to be the least little bit curious??? ('Sorry, voluptuous classmate, the only experimentation I’m interested in is my project demonstrating Newton’s Second Law of Motion. Stop blowing in my ear.')”


Photos of the Week (12/30/12)

Photos of the Week

This week, we look at Photos of the Year for 2012 from various news sources.

There are over 500 images, some duplicates, for you to view.

I know, it’s quite the task. But look at this way. The Packer game doesn’t start until 3:25.

Wall Street Journal

Denver Post Part 1 Part 2 Part 3



The Photo of the Year? How about...

Carlee Soto

From the Daily Mail:

“It is a picture that paints a thousand painful words and one that sums up the tragedy that befell the picture-postcard Connecticut town of Newtown…Carlee Soto screams into her cellphone, the agony etched on her face, her hand placed over her broken heart. This is the moment she found out her sister Victoria was dead. This iconic image is one that has come to represent the horror of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, in which 20 children and six adults were killed. It was one of the most poignant pictures released by the Associated Press that tragic day, and was circulated by media worldwide.”



On March 1, 2012, reported a pipe bomb was found in Franklin. Not surprisingly, the paper in its inept suburban coverage left out critical information such as: where was the pipe bomb found, who had it, and what, if any action (charges) was being taken.

As usual, it was left to conservative bloggers or conservative talk radio to flush out the story.

On March 12, 2012, Newstalk 1130 WISN talk show host Mark Belling reported the following.

He said he had a “contentious conversation” (off the air) with FPS Superintendent Steve Patz about the pipe bomb incident. Belling said Patz “doesn’t think he has any need to justify any actions they (the school system) need to take or don’t take.”

The following are details you didn't find at the time in the Journal Sentinel or

After an investigation by the Milwaukee County Bomb Squad, Alex (17) and Matthew (20) Matecki were charged with multiple felonies.

Alex & Matthew Matecki
Alex (L) and Matthew (R)

The charges: possession of an improvised explosive device, delivery of a controlled substance , possession with intent  to deliver a controlled substance, and possession of a firearm by a felony.

Found: a 6-8 inch pipe with a live electronic explosive device. The device contained an explosive powder. It was removed from the house and detonated several times.

In case the ACLU is reading, with a search warrant, police recovered a large number of drugs, homemade guns, one pipe bomb and other bomb making materials.

The 17-year old, Alex Matecki was still walking the halls at Franklin High School and was not removed. 

Belling asked Patz about this. Why hasn’t he been expelled? Patz gave the same answer repeatedly: When it warrants that we take disciplinary action, we do.

Belling: Is it a good idea to have an accused pipe bomber in the high school?

Like the robot in “Lost in Space,” Patz gave his rehearsed answer from his index card.

Belling pointed out that when the mildest, least threatening incident occurs, schools take every action possible.

In Franklin, multiple felonies are charged with a live pipe bomb and the superintendent plays the stupid defense.

Belling also reported that when he gave Patz the names of the charged, Patz played dumb.

“I don’t run the high school. I wouldn’t know (who they are).”

Given the serious nature of the incident, shouldn’t he know?

When pressed by Belling, Patz said, “Oh yeh, I read the story.”

Shouldn't Patz be on top of the issue?

Belling described Patz’s answers as something from "the planet Mars,” that Patz didn’t “seem to care or be bothered by it.”

For a guy with several degrees, Patz came off sounding foolish. Again, no surprise as educrats often fail miserably in the common sense department. If I had children in Franklin, I’d sincerely worry about their welfare during the day led by a guy like this who’s only in Franklin because another school system rejected his resume.

A concerned resident wrote me:

"There was NO district communication about this from the district however, we WERE made aware of the whooping cough outbreak. What on earth is he doing in our non metal detector school."

Here's a related blog from 2009.

Shortly after the story broke, this e-mail was distributed:

Good evening FHS Students and Parents:

Please take a minute to read the attached letter regarding an incident involving an FHS student that was a subject on Milwaukee talk radio today.  Due to student privacy concerns, we had not previously communicated about this situation to parents.  However, because the police report has been released and it has been a topic in the media we felt it important to provide this information to our school community.

Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Have a nice evening,

Mike Cady

March 12, 2012

Dear FHS Parents and Students:

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Culinary no-no #309

Culinary no-no's


When my older brother and I were growing up, we didn’t have one of these…


In our bedroom.

We both were thin, but not unhealthy. My brother is still thin. I need to lose some weight. But we are void of heart trouble.

The great political food issue of 2012 is that seven out of 10 American kids are too damn fat. The nanny states has made every attempt to intervene and disrupt our lives by pontificating what we eat, where we eat, and how much we eat.

Now here comes yet another one of those "new studies."

The Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana studied children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 18 “to examine relationships between having a TV in the bedroom and TV viewing time with total fat mass, abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adiposity, and cardiometabolic risk in children and adolescents.”

What did it find? According to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, “Having a bedroom TV and TV viewing time were related to high waist circumference, fat mass, and abdominal subcutaneous adiposity. TV viewing time was related to visceral adiposity, and bedroom TV was related to cardiometabolic risk in children, controlling for moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and an unhealthy diet.”

What does that mean?

Kids with bedroom TVs are twice as likely to be fat. They’re also almost three times as likely to be prone to heart disease and diabetes as those kids who don’t have bedroom TVs. These kids have big stomachs, more fat, and if they watch the boob tube more than five hours per day, they have twice the risk for fat around their internal organs.

Seems to make sense.

The above tubbo should be out playing touch football, tag, or riding his bike.

So is the problem the TV?

I don't think so. Not even its location, especially if fat child simply watches TV elsewhere in the house.

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Outrageous recommendations to screw WI motorists

Topics talked about on WISN

It could very well be the most under-reported news story in Wisconsin in 2012.

A commission entrusted with advising the governor and Legislature comes up with all sorts of new taxes and crazy ideas.

Here are the details I talked about this morning on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

12 liberal pledges for the New Year

The column I read on Newstalk 1130 WISN today.



Un-elected officials that run Franklin’s public schools (and some elected school board members) desperately wanted to pass a referendum (or three) in 2012 that would enact a huge property tax increase to pay for new school construction or remodeling that would have absolutely no guarantee of improving student school performance.

In Wisconsin, a binding referendum is required for certain school district bonding measures.
A referendum’s genesis usually can be narrowed down to two sources:

1) Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria are all on the high school swim team.  Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria don’t like the school’s swimming pool. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria also don’t like the condition of their locker rooms. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria vent their frustrations to their parents. Gina and Jamie and JoAnne and Pam and Brenda and Dawn and Maria all have parents who closely follow and support their daughters’ athletic endeavors.  They talk to other parents who don’t have kids on the swimming team, but do have kids involved in other sports or activities.  Over time, a consensus develops that school facilities need improvement or that completely new facilities are in order. A la the greasy wheel, they squeak long and loud enough to school officials before they ultimately agree to take their case to the taxpaying public to ask for lots and lots of money.

2) Just the opposite scenario of #1. School officials who have a strong in-bred desire to spend and spend profusely look around one day while attempting to come up with ideas on how to spend profusely.  One or more comment how this or that building hasn’t seen considerable maintenance since Eisenhower was President. To curry favor with parents and students alike, they begin to openly discuss the idea of building changes. To achieve greater acceptance, they call for public input. Supporters smile, nod their heads in approval and start dreaming.

School Board members, school administrators, and school employees, I’m sure, are pretty nice people for the most part. As a group, they are well-intentioned. However, something happens to these supposedly well-educated folks every day within the confines of those school buildings. Maybe it’s in the water, but they tend to shed common sense and any financial acumen, rendering them helpless when it comes to complex or even simple decision-making.

I described it this way in a blog in May 2011 referring to a topic Mark Belling discussed on one of his radio programs:

He addressed a school board issue in Menomonee Falls (MF). By coincidence, MF has about the same population as Franklin and like Franklin is immensely conservative. In MF, the voting patterns are overwhelmingly Republican. As Mark put it, the last place you’d expect victories by the teacher’s union with public officials thumbing their noses at the will of the people would be MF. I would add you could toss in Franklin, except that the Franklin School Board is beyond out of touch.

Mark mentioned that in some communities, especially smaller ones like MF (and I might add, Franklin) with 30-35,000 population, the teachers are often pals with the school board. They bump into one another and see each other in the community, at church, at youth school sports. They become buddies.

When a school board member’s “friend,” aka teacher asks for help, the school board member, rather than upset a “friend” and stand up for the electorate, instead caves.

Another factor needs to be considered.

Folks run for office with the best intentions. They are going to strive for fiscal responsibility. They will not be beholden to special interests. They will represent the taxpayers.

Then they get elected and rub elbows with the entrenched administration. They go native,

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