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This Just In ...

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

A Super story about a Super Wisconsin business


From Baraboo. The product has quite a history.

The response from liberals: Yeh, but is that company paying enough taxes?


Super Bowl Steelers Football

Steeler fans at this year's Super Bowl. AP Photo.

Best NFL commercial star?


The NY Times examines.

My vote is for Joe Greene.

My most popular blogs

Most popular


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


1) This would be the talk of any Super Bowl party

2) Friday night on InterCHANGE

3) Lena Taylor on InterCHANGE?

4) Doyle gets McCallum-itis

5) TIE
    What price clean elections?

    Another tired old idea from state Democrats 

Photos of the Week (2/1/09)

Photos of the Week

 

In his State of the State, Gov. Jim Doyle said, “Staying even is the new increase,” referring to state expenditures.
Journal Sentinel photo: Joe Koshollek


 APTOPIX Illinois Governor Impeachment

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich reaches to sign an autograph after leaving "The View," Monday, Jan. 26, 2009 in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)


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Culinary no-no #97

Culinary no-no's


Are you going to or hosting a Super Bowl party today? If you are, you’re going to eat, and eat, and eat. When the game ends, Americans will have consumed 156 billion calories. Today is the second biggest eating day of the year. (Thanksgiving is #1).

Since everybody is watching their weight because of all those New Year resolutions (insert huge guffaw here), there are a kazillion websites encouraging healthy Super Bowl snacks. Take this one, for example, that opens with:


“Just because its Super Bowl time doesn’t mean you have to pig out on chicken wings and nachos.”

Excuse me, but yes it does!

“We here at Twirlit have got some great suggestions for the healthiest, tastiest and most recession proof snacks this Super Bowl Sunday:

1) Spicy Asian Lettuce Wraps- You can’t go wrong with sweet-n-spicy chicken wrapped in a crispy lettuce bun.

2) Plain yogurt and fruit cups w/acai berry- Plain yogurt makes a great substitute for whipped cream and acai berries are the new diet superfood.

3) Veggie platter w/celery, carrots, broccoli and low fat dip- Substitute those greasy old potato chips and head over to the produce section for some healthy alternatives.”


My response?

Then there’s the food police and their all-knowing advice. Eat this but don’t eat that.

This could be the worst: Animal rights advocates masquerading as cancer sympathizers in an effort to get you to eat tofu during the game.

I congratulate Center for Consumer Freedom Director of Research David Martosko who said, “Super Bowl Sunday is about watching football and eating food, not hugging cows and saving chickens. This phony-baloney Cancer Project group shouldn’t try to ruin the big game with a health scare. I’m throwing a flag on this whole nonsense campaign. Fifteen yards—personal foul for unnecessary buzzkill.”

Here are the details.

Wolfgang Puck says, “Live, love and eat!” I say eat, whatever the hell you want: cheese puffs, dips, meatballs, cheese, deli meats, sub sandwiches, nachos, pizza. Calories? Bring ‘em on!

Counting calories and adhering to a strict diet today is a SUPER culinary no-no.

Here’s another no-no dieticians and nutritionists lined up from Walla Walla to Miami would agree on.

I don’t care.

I want it.

I want it right now.

It has me drooling.

I have to have it.

Don’t lecture me about how it hardens the arteries,

Please carve off a slice for me pronto!


CULINARY NO-NO BONUS:

Worst airline in-flight meal

Say it ain't so, Michael


This is very disappointing.

I may talk about this Monday when I fill in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

Rolling Stone, The Boss, and Super Bowl betting

It sounded innocent....asking readers what songs they thought would make up Bruce Springsteen's Super Bowl halftime playlist.

It proved dramatic enough for Vegas to notice, big time.

It is now 2:00...


And Jennifer has Animal Planet tuned to Puppy Bowl V.

Please, please, please, if any of her friends are reading and want to call her and keep her occupied on the phone until, say, 5:20....

The MJS Scorecard (2/1/09)

MJS Scorecard


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


TODAY’S LIBERAL PIECES:

James Rowen: A focused, green stimulus would do us good

I didn't even have to read the piece to know that this offering from environmental elitist, far leftie Jim Rowen goes immediately into the "L" column. But to be fair, I did read the column that endorses a fedeal stimulus package with obscene spending, suggestst "green" be the top priority of state agencies like the DOT, calls Scott Walker's objection to the stimulus concenpt, "absurd," insists that road builders not build new highways or addtional lanes, and requests greater rail construction.

Joseph Stiglitz: Federal takeover required

The federal government should take over America's banking system (MJS lifted the column from CNN.com).

Wayne S. Smith: Time to re-engage Cuba, at last

Throughout UWM's annual Great Decisions lecture series, the paper is allowing presenters to write columns. This week, Wayne Smith is delighted that President Obama has a different approach to Cuba than his predecessor, whom he's happy to criticize.


TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

Peter Boone and Simon Johnson: Stock warrants are better

The federal government taking over America's  banking system is not such a good idea.

ANOTHER VIEW: Wisconsin banks didn't cause crisis, remain strong

Kurt Bauer defends Wisconsin banks in a response to today's main MJS editorial.


NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

John Gurda: Milwaukee TV's days of invention


MJS SCORECARD:

TODAY: Liberal-3, Conservative-2

YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-10, Conservative-6

Super Bowl tidbits


From Slate:


• "More Americans watched the Super Bowl last year than voted in the 2004 presidential election."

• "The 17 most-watched programs in TV history have all been Super Bowl games."

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SUPER photos


Singer Faith Hill gestures after singing "America the Beautiful" prior to the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Florida February 1, 2009. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

Singer Faith Hill gestures after singing "America the Beautiful" prior to the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Florida February 1, 2009. Photo: Reuters
 


AMFOOT-NFL-SUPERBOWL

US singer Jennifer Hudson performs "The Star Spangled Banner" prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. Oscar-winner Hudson, making her first major public appearance since three members of her family were slain last October, received a stirring ovation at Super Bowl XLIII for her rendition of the American National Anthem. Hudson's mother, brother and nephew were murdered last October in a shattering tragedy for the celebrity singer and actress, whose star turn in "Dreamgirls" earned her an Academy Award for best supporting actress in 2007. Photo: Reuters




84271141ZZ007_Super_Bowl_XL

Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III, Jeffrey Skiles of Oregon, Wisconsin, and the US Airways Flight 1549 crew stand on the field as singer Jennifer Hudson performs the National Anthem during the pre-game show prior to the start of Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)






Pittsburgh Steeler quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (#7) is pulled down just short of a touchdown by Darnell Dockett (#90) of the Arizona Cardinals in the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. Photo: Getty Images






Gary Russell (#33) of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a touchdown past the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida on February 1, 2009. Photo: Getty Images


 

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I'm on WISN today...


I fill in for Mark Belling from 3-6.

J. Gravelle of The Daily Scoff will have a guest blog later. 



ELVIS and Super Bowl XLIII

ELVIS


Remember this Coke ad?

Elvis did it first, back in 1970.



Read more

UPDATE: Have you seen Megan?


Good news

For $20,000, I'd Go Back to High School Too


By Guest Blogger J. Gravelle

In lieu of attending my senior year of high school, I took some time off to find myself.  Twenty-one years, in fact.  (Seriously, I looked everywhere.)

One of my gym teachers had told our entire phys-ed class that "You don't need a high school diploma."

He was right.

"You could go out into the world today and start earning a living.  Lots of young men have done that in their teens."

He was right about that, too.

"Of course, you'll have to work harder than most, at lower paying jobs than most, and even if you end up with a decent career, you'll have to prove yourself over and over again to try and get ahead because you'll be up against people with diplomas and degrees."

I should have paid more attention to that last part, but I didn't.  So I put off graduating for a generation or two.

You know what would have kept ME in school that last year?  A check for more than $20,000.

Not only would I have stayed, AND graduated, but my tookus would have a Manitowoc Lincoln High logo tattooed on it too, were that part of the deal.

There was no such program back then, but Franklin has one today, in the guise of the Franklin High Saber Academy.

No, they don't cut checks to the kids.  Too bad, too.  According to this story, they're spending over twenty grand per kid to get them to graduate.  They aren't paying the students though, they're paying teachers to not grade their papers and coo "Oh, good try!"

Me, I'd have preferred to get the money myself instead of paying professional patronizers.

Maybe we should ask Franklin's marginalized students which way THEY'D prefer it...

Through the magic of podcasting...


If you missed today's Mark Belling program on Newstalk 1130 featuring yours truly as guest host, here it is.

HOUR 1- Super Bowl stuff, Firefighters call in sick on Super Bowl Sunday leaving city vulnerable

HOUR 2- Michael Phelps

HOUR 3- Smoking bans in prisons

"Blue flu" in Milwaukee?

Topics talked about on WISN


It happened in Atlanta Sunday when firefighters, upset with proposed budget and salary cuts, called in sick on the most heavily watched television day of the year, leaving a large metropolis vulnerable to arsonists and fire damage. Innocent residents, including children, could have been killed because the Atlanta Fire Department was essentially non-functional Sunday.

I spoke about this while filling in for Mark Belling on WISN today.

Shame on those firefighters that called in sick (they probably weren’t) for putting their city in jeopardy and peril. Don't insult the taxpayers' intelligence by saying this was just a coincidence.

Shame on the city for proposing cuts to public safety. Find other ways to fix your budget mess.

Atlanta firefighters, while I recognize you’re upset, fight at the bargaining table and honor your commitment and job responsibilities. Do not protest by sitting on your couch eating nachos watching football while potential fires kill innocent people.

During my program, several Milwaukee firefighters called in, with some willing to go on the air. Others were not. They claim the same pattern of absenteeism could hit Milwaukee because of proposed budget cuts.

I do not support any budget cuts affecting police or fire protection. As I said on the air today, I will look into this, and if a similar situation resulting in a near total collapse of fire protection could take place in Milwaukee, I’ll write about it here and blast it on WISN.
 Here’s the Atlanta story I talked about today.

No smoking in prison...period!

Topics talked about on WISN


Wisconsin
is one of 18 states that bans smoking in its corrections facilities. Inmates can’t smoke, period. Employees at the Kettle Morraine and Jackson correctional facilities can smoke outside as part of collective bargaining agreements.

Otherwise, a ban has been in place since September 2006 in Wisconsin. Inmates can’t smoke. Employees, including the guards can’t smoke.

Michigan became the 18th state to ban smoking in its prisons. Their ban went into effect yesterday, February 1, 2009.

In the 18 states that have banned smoking in prisons, there have been no insurrections, no uprisings, no riots. And corrections workers aren’t quitting their jobs.

I support this ban.

Wait a minute, Kevin. You are vehemently opposed to a statewide smoking ban in Wisconsin. How can you be in favor of this ban?

Easy. Real easy.

Inmates, in addition to their housing, food, recreation, law library opportunities, etc, are guaranteed health care. Why should the taxpayers, when health care costs are skyrocketing and many are without health insurance, subsidize the care of criminals when they smoke?

I’m for any measure that makes life difficult for inmates. They are to be punished. This isn’t supposed to be pleasant or a Hilton.

What about the workers? Don’t they deserve a smoking break for the crummy job they have to endure?

The state already bans smoking in many, if not all state workplaces. How can we make an exception for corrections officers? The state is trying to use a heavy hand and tell businesses they can’t allow smoking on their own property. If that’s the case, how can we allow prison guards to smoke, inside or outside a facility?

Here are details on the Michigan ban I talked about on WISN while filling in for Mark Belling today.

The night the music almost died in the northern Wisconsin woods

Nostalgia


January 31, 1959


The Day The Music Died
AP



50 years later, we still remember


The story of "Peggy Sue"

Good news, unless you're a liberal


The liberal NY Times is crying the blues that the rough economy has not resulted in an explosion of welfare. The paper went out of its way to find quotes from folks who are alarmed.

Fewer people on the welfare rolls means more people who are self-sufficient. Reduced dependency on the government is a good thing. Take a look at what’s happening in Wisconsin. Food stamp aid is increasing while the number of welfare recipients is declining.

 

State

Welfare recipients, 2007 Welfare recipients, 2008 Pct. change in welfare recipients Unemployment rate, 2007 Unemployment rate, 2008 Pct. pt. change in unemployment Food stamp recipients, 2007 Food stamp recipients, 2008 Pct. change in food stamp recipients
Wisconsin 38,803 37,811 -2.6 4.8 5.1 0.3 394,494 469,853 19.1

Are the poor being served?  Liberals examining food stamp data would perform a double spin. The increase in the number of food stamp recipients, they’d claim, is an indication that the poor aren’t being helped enough because they’re having to apply for assistance. On the other hand, if the number of recipients goes down, again, the spin is that the poor aren’t being helped enough.

When it comes to government handouts like the Porky Pig stimulus package, it’s never good enough for the liberals and the crowd that can’t wait to get their grubs on the money and spend it.

I raise the question that I have in the past: just how poor are the poor? You’d be surprised.

Greenfield's on a roll


Tonight, the Greenfield Common Council voted 5-0 to approve a ban on sick leave mandates. Last week, the greenfield Common Council voted to reconsider its rejection of a Franklin-like ordinance restricting where sex offenders can live, and passed that ordinance unanimously.

Both common sesne ordinances were proposed by Greenfield alderman Linda Lubotsky. Lubotsky is not a candidate for mayor this April. Someday, she just might be.

Like Ohio, like Wisconsin


Take this story and wherever it says Ohio, replace it with Wisconsin. Wherever it says Governor Strickland, replace with Governor Doyle.

The Ohio governor's approach to the state budget sounds eerily like a document Jim Doyle might propose. Ohio's Strickland wnats to incease 120 state fees. God, I hope Doyle isn't paying attention.

90,000 sex offenders


They've been booted off MySpace.

That's an astonishing number.

They're out there, folks. The fight to protect the innocent from falling victim to these perverts never ends.



Is it Denny's?

Dennys Free Breakfast


Or is it state and local government officials, like pigs at a trough, waiting to be fed fatty federal stimulus funds?

Democrats don't commit crimes...


They make mistakes.
 

 PHOTO In this Dec. 11, 2008 file photo, President-elect Barack Obama, right, stands with Health and Human Services Secretary-designate, former Senate Majority Leader Thomas Daschle,
Charles Dharapak/AP Photo



Michael Reagan writes:

"No Democrats ever commit crimes. They merely make mistakes.  Not so with Republicans. If you tell a joke at the 100th birthday party of a retiring and dying Senator, your career in the Senate will be in shambles, as Trent Lott discovered. If you're a Democrat, however, well, you simply make a mistake when you do something wrong. Democrats can do just about anything they want. They can avoid paying taxes, wrap $90,000 in bills in tinfoil and put in a freezer, and it's written off as just another mistake."

Read...

Posing as someone else on the Internet


It's a huge pet peeve of mine. In an ideal world, everyone who writes or comments on the Internet would have to divulge his/her true identity. Not all but far too many that choose to use a false identity or nickname have an ulterior motive at hand.

These cowards hide behind a false name to pump themselves up in their feeble minds, cause mischief, be mean or cruel, or at worst, commit crimes.

Here's another example.

Put a leash on this dog of an idea


On Sunday morning, January 25, Kathy Lueneburg’s golden retriever, Megan jumped over a fence at the Animal Campus kennel on Loomis Road. Megan is a companion to 17-year old Michelle Lueneburg who has Down’s syndrome.

The Lueneburg’s of Oak Creek were planning to embark on a road trip, but those plans came to a sudden halt and a search for 2-year old Megan soon began.

For days, Franklin police and an alerted community looked for signs of Megan. Day after day passed with no luck. Finally, after nearly a week, Megan crawled into a dog crate left by Lueneberg at the Polonia Soccer Club on Loomis Road. The ordeal was over. Megan was happily, safely back home.

For seven days and six nights, Megan roamed, no one knows where, but she was out there, somewhere……..without a leash. That’s right. An entire week, Megan wasn’t within 6 inches, 6 feet, or maybe even 6 miles of her owner.

Under a proposed ordinance by Franklin alderman Steve Taylor, this story would not have had a celebratory ending. Taylor wants a requirement that all dogs, cats, and even tiny horses, when off the owner’s property, be on a leash.  That means that Megan’s owner, if Taylor’s plan would have been Franklin law, would have been in violation. Megan’s owner would have been the bad guy. Megan’s owner would have been the villain.

The Megan story clearly demonstrates what a farce Taylor’s nonsensical idea truly is.

Franklin Common Council delays action on proposed dog leash ordinance

Tuesday night, the Franklin Common Council put off a vote on Alderman Taylor’s proposed dog leash mandate.

During debate, questions were raised about the proposed ordinance’s effect on the two dog daycare facilities in Franklin that have dog run events and a possible dog park in the city. City Attorney Jesse Wesolowski answered that Taylor’s ordinance would apply to both the dog runs and the dog park. In other words, the ordinance would prohibit such events or parks.

Sensing his resolution would go down in flames, Alderman Taylor moved to refer his plan back to the City Attorney for review. Taylor plans to bring forward a new dog leash mandate, possibly in April that would exempt the dog runs and dog parks.

Even with those exemptions, it’s still a foolish idea. It makes me wonder what other similar plans Taylor has in the works. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of his unnecessary proposals.

The wise move for Taylor would be to simply withdraw the entire dog leash requirement and get his priorities in order.

Here’s more from FranklinNOW’s John Neville.

Super Bowl at the White House


It was "pretty rowdy."

How did UW do today?


Today was signing day in college football. Alabama ranked #1 in the rankings of signings of high school athletes.

In the Big Ten, Ohio State was 3rd, Michigan was 7th, Michigan State was 16th, Penn State was 25th,  Illinois was 32nd,  Minnesota was 39th, and Wisconsin was  43rd.

My Fighting Irish had the 20th best recruiting class.

More on Wisconsin,  and for you fellow Golden Domers…

College football is less than seven months away, one of the only good things about the end of summer.

Is the Pro Bowl ever interesting?


Other than the travelogue pictures of gorgeous Hawaii, or fans in the stands in bikinis?

This year, the game could be very interesting.

Now that the money has poured in, Assembly Democrats pose for holy pictures


The Democrat-controlled Assembly is falling all over itself about its new policy that members of the Assembly cannot raise funds during state budget negotiations.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? That whole good government thing. However, there is a loophole.

And why weren’t the Assembly Dems hootin’ and a hollerin’ about this before? Too bad the executive branch won't follow suit.

Can you say....this?

Dick Cheney will get blasted...


But I think he's right.

Note to Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor...


Please, please, please, please don't read this...

Where is the **** outrage?


Can you **** imagaine if a Republican had proposed this?

South Carolina Democrats would rather ignore their colleague.

Deport Obama's aunt?

That's what one group is demanding.

What will the Great One do?

What will his aunt do?

What will the INS do?

Answers to above:

Nothing.

Nothing.

Nothing.




Democrats LOOOOOOOOVVE taxes..


So why don't they pay them?


Isn't the U.S. government great!


They've been telling you for over a year the digital TV conversion is coming.

Your favorite TV shows have been interrupted over and over again with that nauseating crawl at the bottom of the screen that the digital TV conversion is coming.

You've been inundated with announcements on TV, radio, newspapers, the Internet that the CHANGE (the buzzword) is coming.

But despite the fact that over 90% of America is ready for the original conversion date of 2/17/09, because some are just too lazy or stupid to take the simple action necessary to make sure they can watch American Idol and House, and even though a delay will cost millions of dollars, the scheduled conversion has been put off for another few months.

This is yet another example of the wussification of America. The federal government has to step in because some folks won't have television, even though they had over one year to do something about it, including applying for coupons to make the transition.

On last Friday's edition of InterCHANGE on MIlwaukee Public Television, ultra-lefty Joel McNally took issue with my argument that folks had plenty of time to adjust. Some folks didn't see the announcements on TV, Joel proclaimed, because they don't watch TV. Well then, what the hell do they need a delay or a coupon for if THEY DON'T WATCH TELEVISION!!!!

What a country. Because you're too lazy or dumb to do what you've been told to do for the past 365-plus days, we'll just give you more time. We'll even PAY for whatever you need to watch TV, you lazy bum.

What's next?

Can't get your refrigerator to make perfect ice cubes? Here's a coupon for a new icebox.

Your microwave won't reheat French fries just right? (Don't you just hate that?) Call 1-800-FREELOAD for a coupon.

That toaster won't pop up because the bagels and Texas French toast slices are too big?  Call Gwen Moore. She'd be happy to tell you how to get a coupon for a new toaster.

Again, tell me how this spoiled rotten generation would have fared during a REAL Depression? I know. They'd be under the mattress, sucking their thumbs.

Even the lefties are ripping the Journal Sentinel


Have I started something?

Some left-wing bloggers jumped all over me for daring to suggest their favorite in-their-hip pocket newspaper was too biased, all because I started to pay closer attention to their coveted Sunday editorial page.

Now a liberal blogger attacks the paper for bragging about itself.

Liberals crying the blues that the MJS isn't liberal enough? I love it. That's the laugh of the year so far.

We must, we must, we must have smoking bans until...


The money stops coming in.

The do-gooder smoking ban advocates seem to run out of steam when the bottom line goes south.

More disregard for human life


In the past, I have blogged and discussed on WISN the extremely disturbing pattern in America of a total disregard for human life.

This behavior is most apparent in the brain dead parents or guardians who leave small children, babies, or pets in locked cars during hot weather days. They get no sympathy from me.

As great as America is, there are too many intellectually and morally bankrupt individuals walking the streets. ABC News put a laser beam on just how ignorant and/or uncaring our society has become.

Despite it being winter on the calendar, ABC dedicated a segment of “What Would You Do?” to the sudden encountering of a baby locked inside a hot car.

Watch. I love the passersby in this video.

But there’s more, what you didn’t see on the video.

ABCNews.com reports, “What we learned both surprised and alarmed us.”

Read...

Sadly, when summer arrives, young babies are going to die because the children were left unattended in an automobile furnace. The negligent parents will cry and cry and cry and cry some more and claim sorrow at such a tragic mistake. And a lot of naïve people will be sucked in and buy that malarkey and foolishly say in the so-called parent’s defense that mistakes happen. And then there’s my personal favorite: Hasn’t that person suffered enough?

Who’s buried in the cemetery underneath a tombstone? The sobbing sore excuse of a parent/ guardian or the innocent child?

I kid you not..


I had to laugh, with the blogging I've been doing about that proposed dog ordinance in Franklin to receive this e-mail today:

 

Improvements
Free Dog Leash with purchase of a Tru-Fit Smart Harness
Shop our Pet Collection for many other smart ideas
for your best friend.
Expanding Pet Gates Pet Crate End Table Metal Pet Bed
Pet Stairs Cat Washroom Pet Ramps

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs


This couldn’t wait for Saturday’s edition of The Barking Lot.

Next week, it’s the Westminster Dog Show.

But TONIGHT at 8:00 Milwaukee time, CNBC has a sneak preview of the show and takes a closer look at the $43 billion and growing pet industry.


Read more

Friday night on InterCHANGE

 Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 at 6:30:


1 – New Berlin Student.

A male New Berlin High School student gets not one, not two, not three, but thirty-one fellow students to send him nude pictures of themselves via the Internet while he poses as a fellow female student!  He then allegedly blackmailed many of them into various sex acts.  Can you imagine anyone you know sending nude pictures of themselves to anyone over the internet?  When you were in high school could you imagine giving nude pictures of yourself to a female student? Why did thirty-one teenage boys do this?  Is this a new reality of the Age of Technology?  Is this just an example of stupid, inexperienced, horny, teenage boys who think that the internet is “private.”  Can parents use this as a wakeup call and a teaching moment to show their kids the tragic damage that can be done by foolish behavior?  Is this another example of the pressures on kids today that just simply weren’t there thirty or forty years ago?


2 – Obama So Far.

Well, how do you think the president is doing so far?  Is he impressive, or unimpressive?  During the campaign, all the reports said he surrounded himself with the best political minds.  If so, why has he had so many failures and tax dodgers amongst the people he had hoped to name to his cabinet and inner circle?  Is he wasting his time looking for approval and support from the Republicans?  Is it smart to be making himself so available to the media while he tries to sell his stimulus package to the American public?


3 – Michael Phelps.

Should people be upset and outraged that Michael Phelps, the superstar gold medal winning Olympic athlete is caught via cell phone camera taking a hit off of a bong?  Why would he be so stupid?  Is he still just a young, immature guy trying to fit in with the regular folks?  Is it any big deal?  Both the current president and the two preceding ones admitted smoking pot.  Is it time to make pot smoking legal?

C'mon, Franklin!


Franklin should be on this list.

You think the Great One would know his way around by now


Obama is perfect. That's why the media ignores stuff like this.

The president is no pauper


"When I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves $20 billion worth of bonuses -- the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004 -- at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them, and when taxpayers find themselves in the difficult position that, if they don't provide help, that the entire system could come down on top of our heads, that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful."
President Obama, 1/29/09

The president doesn’t exactly have it that tough, either.

Will Wisconsin be the last to deprive citizens self-protection?


There are just two states that don’t allow the right to carry a concealed weapon: Wisconsin and Illinois.

In Illinois, support is growing to make a change, support from an unlikely source.

Speak out against late-term abortions at UW

 The UW makes a horrible decision about abortions. You can make your voice heard.

Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - Alert

The Authority Board of UW Hospital and Clinics Approves Late-Term Abortions

But It is Far From Over - Keep the Petitions Going!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Taking you inside a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic


A new hidden camera video shows a Planned Parenthood facility in Tucson refusing to take required measures under law and reporting statutory rape and instead working to hide the rapist's identity.

Read more

Could this be up Alderman Steve Taylor's sleeve?


Yesterday in a blog about Franklin Alderman Steve Taylor’s proposed dog-leash ordinance, I wrote:

“It makes me wonder what other similar plans Taylor has in the works. I don’t think we’ve heard the last of his unnecessary proposals.”

I question if Alderman Taylor is poised to introduce a controversial proposal he did when he was an alderman in La Crosse. From the La Crosse Tribune, March 11, 1999:


" The proposed ordinance would ban smoking from restaurants with no alcohol sales or with no separately ventilated enclosed smoking room. Smoking would be allowed at a full service bar in a restaurant or a separate ventilated enclosed smoking room. Bars would be exempt from the ordinance.

Steve Taylor, 6th District La Crosse alderman, said he will introduce the ordinance at the April council meeting and the full council will consider the ordinance in May.

Taylor said he postponed introducing the ordinance at the March council meeting because he wanted to wait until after the spring elections.

He supports smoke-free dining simply because smoking is hazardous to one's health, and secondhand smoke is worse for customers and employees in a restaurant.

‘I look at this as a health issue,’ Taylor said. ‘I don't think this proposal is a matter or politics; only a matter of health.’

He said the ordinance is controversial, but it has a shot at being approved by the council. Taylor said he is influenced by the fact that his grandparents died of lung cancer.

‘I care about the well-being of the citizens of La Crosse, and this legislation is a step in the right direction,’ Taylor said. ‘I don't think you should be able to smoke in any public place.'

The local and state restaurant associations view the ordinance as unneeded, overregulation and restricting choice. Kirsten Van Horsen, president of the La Crosse area chapter of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, said whether restaurants are smoke-free should be left up to the individual owners.”


To be fair, Alderman Taylor hasn’t made any overtures that I’m aware of that he’s going to repeat in Franklin what he attempted in La Crosse. I certainly hope Alderman Taylor isn’t thinking about introducing this unnecessary, anti-business, over-regulating plan. If a private business wants to allow smoking on its premises, government should not intervene. This is also a property rights issue.

The last time Franklin considered a smoking ban, the idea was divisive and tore apart the community. The city doesn’t need to go through that again.

I cordially invite the alderman to comment here or to send me an e-mail to clarify if he so chooses.

Wear red today


It's for a good cause.


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A Rehorst update

 The latest from Guy Rehorst and my cousin, Doug MacKenzie, a Rehorst distiller:

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First Craft Distillery      -Number 19-
American Distilling Institute

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

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It's not March Madness yet...


But it's not that far off and it's cool to start thinking about who'll get in and who won't.

This writer has the brackets configured as they might stand right now. If you're a Badger fan, open the link at your own risk. 

Make sure to stop by this weekend


Don’t forget our regular weekend features are coming your way on This Just In.

On Saturday, Jennifer has her dog blog, The Barking Lot. I do believe there will be a topic or two worth mentioning. Also Saturday, our regular installment of Week-ends. Who was a hero? Who was a villain? What was an outrage? Recommended Reading features some of the best, in my view, opinion pieces of the week.

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

Saturday morning, I’ll have a special photo blog just for this weekend.

And I’m sure there will be lots of other stuff in-between, so thanks for checking us out.

Goodnight, everyone, and have a nice weekend


This could just evolve into a new feature on This Just In...

Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

I love the music of the 60's that featured just about everything, including a few dozen smash compositions by Burt Bacharach. The man was a genius.

A few years ago, the multi-talented and lovely Diana Krall did a cover of Bacharach's, "The Look of Love." Since this is the month of love and Valentine's Day, I close the regular week with this smooth rendition of a 60's classic ballad.


File:Diana Krall - The Look of Love.jpg

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Special PHOTOS OF THE WEEK- Getting ready for Westminster


The Westminster Dog Show will be held next week.

84515342AW015_WESTMINSTER_D

Brando, a Dougue e Bordeaux, is photographed at the Westminster Dog Show pre-event press conference at the Hotel Pennsylvania's Skytop Ballroom on February 5, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)


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The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


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

TODAY:  Some early morning fog and drizzle. 
"F" in the morning. But then becoming partly cloudy and warm with a high near 50. "B" the remainder of the day.

SUNDAY: Partly cloudy, an above average high of 40. "B"


Let’s go dog shopping!  Or, at least pretend to.  Have you ever played the “What would I do if I won the lottery?”  I do something similar; I play “What kind of puppy will I get some day?”  I follow that up with a round of “What will I name my puppy?”  It’s fun and about the closest thing I will get to four paws in the house for awhile.

So… you’re at the dog shelter  (Remember, this is my game, and my rules are you get your dog from a shelter, not a breeder). Cage after cage, you peruse the aisles of furry faces, eyes looking longing at you just begging “Please take me home with you.”

You don’t have a specific type of dog in mind; you just want to provide a good home to a dog that needs one.  Some of your choices are:







  

 

 



OK, narrow it down to two, choosing one black dog and one golden dog from the above photos.

Now pick just one of your remaining two.

Which one did you choose? 

Wait. 

Let me guess. 

You picked........




A GOLDEN DOG. 




If you did, you followed a very common pattern with dog adoptions, and have just given in to what some people call “Black Dog Syndrome.”  Many shelter workers believe that there is a true problem with black dog bias. 

You
may or may not believe this theory but this website is devoted to showcasing black dogs and encouraging people to adopt responsibly.  Other stories support the black dog bias idea, such as the experience Pamela Gregg had with Molly.

I know that there isn’t much scientific data supporting this theory, but it does make me stop and think, and I will be more aware of not overlooking a black dog that is up for adoption when the time comes to add another member to our family.
---Jennifer Fischer


Thanks, Jennifer! What an interesting topic! You know, I was thinking about running out and getting a dog, but now I'm torn. Light color or black? I guess I'll just have to think about this a bit longer.

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

In last week's edition of The Barking Lot, Jennifer wrote about pit bulls. The breed is cauisng so many problems that many locales are taking action, including outright bans. One expert thinks this type of dog can be rehabilitated.

There's also a twist in the story about Faith we told you about last week.

M
eet Palmer Neuhaus who has a very difficult job. For many dogs, Neuhaus is the last step before being put down.

When an arson dog dies, he's not easily replaced.

Here's a story about a rare detective who specializes in finding lost dogs.

Animals assisting autistic children is quite complicated, So how does an autistic child communicate with a dog?

Here in Franklin, we had plenty of dog news. Megan returns home, and Alderman Steve Taylor pushes a dog leash mandate.

Mayday is back on the job. And the bedbugs won't bite as long as Hershey is around.

Man bites dog? Nahhh. This story's a lot better.

And don't laugh at dogs playing poker. That's some pretty serious artwork.

Sorry, dog lovers, but we've come to the end of this week's Barking Lot. Thanks so much for dropping by. Don't forget the Westminster Dog Show Monday and Tuesday. While you're watching, keep an eye out for the brand new breed in the competition...



 

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Remember, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is not a liberal paper


No other editorial headline says it better than this.

Think the Journal Sentinel would print this letter?


Kudos to Cal Voight of Lomira.

Week-ends

Week-ends


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


HEROES OF THE WEEK


Company B in Green Bay


Jesse Coltrane


Girl Scouts



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Vera Morehouse


Anthony Stancl


The University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics Authority Board



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


The audio from the Hudson splashdown


The octuplet mom speaks


Obama: "I screwed up"
  



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Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:


 What is Congress stimulating?

"What's most striking is how much 'stimulus' money will be spent on the government itself."


Government speak

"I have selected some of the favorite words and sayings that immediately identify the speaker as a politician."


Eight is more than enough

"The stunning announcement that a California woman had given birth to octuplets was greeted warmly in some circles. The birthing doctors were all smiles, and the media hyped the "human interest" part of the story. Eight babies! Wow!  But behind the high-fives lies a very troubling situation. This may be child abuse at the highest level."


Secondhand children

"It's been weeks since the last one, so on Sunday, The New York Times Magazine featured yet another cheery, upbeat article on single mothers. Why isn't the number of smokers treated as a fait accompli that the rest of us just have to accept? Smoking causes a lot less damage and the harm befalls the person who chooses to smoke, not innocent children."


Indoctrination at Marquette University

"Another post that’s not news: a 'diversity' course at Marquette that is one-sided indoctrination. A course which, like all politically correct courses, divides all Americans into two groups: 'victim' groups and 'oppressor' groups. Of course, all claims of victimhood are to be accepted at face value, else one risks being called a 'racist' or 'sexist' or 'homophobe'.”


Did you lose a license plate?

"Frustrating – another example of how out of touch our state government has become with the people who pay their bills and their wages."


You might be a liberal if...

  • After spending 5 years in college, you still don’t know when the Civil War took place and you are absolutely certain it had nothing to do with freeing black slaves.
  • Meat is bad for you. So is milk. But marijuana gets you ready for your finals.
  • You want to outlaw cigarettes and legalize marijuana.
  • There's something fishy about that cover


    Milwaukee Magazine gets caught.

    HT: MJS, Charlie Sykes

    A Canadian's defense of America


    Gordon Sinclair turned his June 1973 speech into a hit recording.

    "The Americans" was climbing the charts and in the top 40, 35 years ago this week. It sounds ironically contemporary.

     

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    My most popular blogs

    Most popular

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


    1) Photos of the Week (2/1/09)

    2) The Barking Lot (1/31/09)

    3) Week-ends (1/31/09)

    4) Recommended Reading (1/31/09)

    5) Important Stimulus Payment Information


    And juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust missing the top 5:

    How about this, Franklin dog lovers...

    Photos of the Week (2/8/09)

    Photos of the Week

     84663633CS015_JOINT_ECONOMI

    Congressional Joint Economic Committee staff member moves a chart measuring job loss during a committee hearing on the employment situation on Capitol Hill February 6, 2009 in Washington, DC. The U.S. Labor Department reported that unemployment hit a new high of 7.6-percent as 598,000 jobs were lost in the month of January. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


     APTOPIX Economy Unemployment

    Cheryl Fellows, 47, of Germantown, Md., searches for jobs on a computer at the Germantown Public Library on Friday, Feb. 6, 2009. "I'm looking for electrical jobs, plumbing, I'll do any kind of manual labor like that," says Fellows, a mortgage broker who has been out of work since April 2008, "it's really bad out there." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


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    What you won't find in the Journal Sentinel Crossroads section today


    The gushing, bragging, and falling all over itself about what a great newspaper it is that we've read the past few Sunday's.

    UPDATE: My mistake. The self-congratulations are on Page Two of the main section

    Could there possibly be anything wrong with this weekend's weather?


    Well, yeh.

    UPDATE: Recommended reading

    A regular visitor to This Just In recommended I review the following and was right. It's worth a look and should have been included in Saturday's Recommended Reading roundup:

    Blue Skies for Obama

    "Media: Katrina crashes into New Orleans, FEMA responds feebly and President Bush is blamed for the loss of life and limb. Winter smacks middle America, killing 55, FEMA's late again, but President Obama gets a pass."

    Marriage is like taking a bath


    Once you get used to it, it’s not so hot.

    Or so a friend of mine likes to joke. 

    The institution has long been and will continue to be a source of ribbing. But when marriage works, really works, it’s magical.

    Today is World Marriage Day. At Mass today, our church bulletin contained a reprint of a column written last August by Lorraine Murray, the author of “Confessions of an Ex-Feminist.”
     

    Read Secrets Of A Happy Catholic Marriage.

    Congratulations, Marty Kaiser


    That's quite an honor.

    The MJS Scorecard (2/8/09)

    MJS Scorecard


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


    TODAY’S LIBERAL PIECES:

    None.


    TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

    Paul Ryan: 'Bad bank' simplest solution to crisis 

    I will say this. For the longest time, if the Journal sentinel ran a Sunday column written by a conservative Republican, more often than not the paper wouldn’t let it stand alone without liberal rebuttal. Not so today. Hmmmm……


    NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

    There are several thoughtful pieces today that do not blatantly fall into either category.

    Rob Henken: Child care aim should be quality

    Henken asserts that Wisconsin needs to stamp out the fraud in the taxpayer-funded Wisconsin Shares program (tough to dispute that view) and make significant investments in early childhood care. Short on specifics, Henken's piece arguably could be categorized as liberal for not spelling out how to eliminate fraud and invest mor ein early care without designating  a price tag. That being the case, his column is a wash when you consider:

    Charity Eleson: Stop fraud, but keep this vital program

    Eleson concentrates more on what precise measures need to be taken to eradicate fraud while at the same time echoing Henken's sentiments about the need to preserve Wisconsin Shares.

    Tom Still: A lifeblood for state's economy

    Still's writing often has a conservative flavor, but this piece trumpets the value of the Blood Research Institute at the Blood Center of Wisconsin.

    Douglas Savage: Time to push human rights in Egypt

    At the end of the column, Savage praises President Obama's line from the Inauguration that his administration will "reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals." That's a clear jab at the former Bush administration, but not enough to put this in the "L" column.

    Lessons from Lincoln to a modern President

    The MJS reprinted this column by the editor of Pittsburgh's daily newspaper. In my view, it would be a stretch to attempt to place an ideological label here, even though most newspaper editors are lefties. 


    MJS SCORECARD:

    TODAY: Liberal-0, Conservative-1

    YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-10, Conservative-7

    Franklin's sex offender ordinance has been a success


    Franklin
    alderman Steve Olson copied me on an e-mail he sent to members of the Franklin-based Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin. It reads:


    In January of ’07, thanks in huge part to your efforts, the City passed a landmark ordinance restricting the locations that a convicted child sex offender could reside and visit.

    Since that time the City of Franklin Police Department and City Attorney’s office have worked diligently in enforcing the terms of the ordinances.

    Because of their efforts, the children of the city are safer today.

    It’s important to note that this report shows only those offenders in violation of our ordinance.  Not listed is the offender who has returned to Franklin.  The offender was living in the city at the time of his offense and has subsequently returned to live here just as the ordinance has been designed.  ‘We’ll take our own, just don’t give us everyone else’s.’

    I attached a copy of a report that I requested from the Chief for your information.  This is public information.  It documents the diligence of our law enforcement men and women and is testimony that such ordinances, when enforced, do work.

    I continue to be grateful for your involvement and hard work for the benefit of the children of the state of Wisconsin.

    Keep up the good work!

    Thanks.

    Steve”


    Olson attached a February 2, 2009 letter from Police Chief Richard Oliva to Mayor Tom Taylor and members of the Franklin Common Council outlining 11 examples of the successes the city has seen in its enforcement of Chapter 167 of the Franklin City Code, one of Franklin’s restrictive sex offender ordinances, including the Steve Hanke case.

    Oliva writes:

    “The Franklin Police Department has devoted, and continues to devote, a significant amount of resources to ensure the city is safe from sex offenders. Enforcing the city’s sex offender residency ordinance is an exacting process. It takes constant monitoring and a steady commitment of time, personnel, and money to ensure the ordinance is effectively enforced. I intend to continue the active and thorough pursuit of violations and potential violations of Chapter 167 as long as resources permit.”

    Congratulations to Chief Oliva, his department, the mayor and aldermen who worked on and approved the ordinances, and of course, my friends and colleagues at Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin.

    Culinary no-no #98

    Culinary no-no's


    Last month, Wisconsin Commerce Secretary Richard Leinenkugel delivered a grim message at the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s quarterly board meeting at the Best Western Midway Hotel Riverfront Resort in La Crosse.  Leinenkugel said 2009 would be “very difficult” for Wisconsin restaurants.

    Wisconsin Restaurant Association President and CEO Ed Lump told the La Crosse Tribune that the industry is flat, in other words, slow. Lots of new dining establishments have opened, but in a rough economy, Lump says that only means “the pie is sliced pretty thin.”

    The National Restaurant Association reports industry sales are expected to reach $566 billion in 2009, with the industry employing 13 million individuals in 945,000 restaurant-and-foodservice outlets nationwide. Overall restaurant industry sales will increase in current dollars by 2.5 percent over 2008 figures.

    That’s the good news. The bad news is that those numbers translate to an inflation-adjusted decline of 1.0 percent.

    Technomic, a Chicago consultant has been tracking the performance of the food service industry since 1972 and expects 2009 will be the industry’s worst year ever.

    The first quarter of 2009 will be especially challenging for restaurants when patronage drops after the heavy holiday season as cash-strapped diners are thinking about their wallets, tax time, and not to mention New Year eating resolutions.

    “People need to understand how tight the margins are in the restaurant business,” Alfred Portale, the chef and one of the owners of Gotham Bar and Grill in New York told the New York Times.

    Every dollar, every butt in a restaurant chair seat counts.

    So what’s a restaurant to do to survive?

    Simple, according to New York restaurateur Stephen Hanson. The man who closed two restaurants in Manhattan says “the consumer will just shut down” in 2009.

    Unless….









    Unless…









    Unless restaurant owners decide to get physical.

    The NY Times reports Hanson told a group of his colleagues at a Manhattan conference in January that this is the key to keeping their businesses: “You need to hug the customer.”

    What does that mean? Whatever it takes, go the extra mile to go out of your way for the customer. That could mean discounts, providing more for less, being less demanding (we’ll get into that later), throwing in some perks.

    It starts from the second patrons walk in your establishment. Personally, I’d have the equivalent of Miss America standing at there to greet diners, dressed, how I shall put this…provocatively. But whoever is stationed there to deliver the all-important first impression, the welcome better be friendly, warm, natural, and real.

    If a caller phones in asking for a reservation that simply can’t be met, do not sadly reply that you’re sorry, goodbye. Implore the caller to book another day and/or time. Do not hang up before you get a contact number to call back in case a cancellation results in an open table.

    Wait staff, and this is tricky because it borders between attentive service and being too bothersome, need to check as efficiently as possible that everything, and I mean everything is OK.

    How about some wine discounts or special lists highlighting vintages that won’t cost a house payment?

    Have some early bird specials….discounts at those early hours when no one’s walking in and wait staff is folding napkins.

    If you’re that stuffy (and not many restaurants are these days so you can walk in looking like a bum to one of the best places in town), think about easing up and being less demanding on that dress code. To be honest, I hate this suggestion, but in the long run, if the guy spends a bundle and tips well (odds are he won’t), does it matter if he’s wearing a tie?

    Free parking? I like this idea, being used at the Chicago restaurant Everest. Drive 15 miles or less to Everest and you can get luxury car service for $15.

    And would it kill you to send a plate of onion strings or whatever to the table of a regular patron? Not too long ago, I dined at Casa di Giorgio, my favorite Franklin restaurant. My good friend, Joliet, a waiter there whom I’ve known since his days at the Boulevard Inn, knowing that I liked both the clam chowder and the minestrone, brought them both to my table. It did not kill their business.

    Restaurants have been trying to cope with rising food costs, but it's not enough now that the economy has gotten even worse.


    Work harder. Be nicer. Give deals. Lots and lots of deals.

    The culinary no-no is that if you don’t hug real good and tight, your customers aren’t going to hug back.

    More from the NY Times.



    CULINARY NO-NO BONUS.

    This one speaks for itself.


    A woman washes a snake on January 25, in the Yopougon neighborhood of Abidjan, where a restaurant, "Restaurant du Zoo," serves African game. Patrons can eat crocodile, python soup or braised crocodile or viper dishes for about 4.5 euros (6 US dollars) each. The animals come from all over Ivory Coast, but their origin is kept secret by restaurant owner Felix Boussin.

    A woman washes a snake on January 25, in the Yopougon neighborhood of Abidjan, where a restaurant, "Restaurant du Zoo," serves African game. Patrons can eat crocodile, python soup or braised crocodile or viper dishes for about 4.5 euros (6 US dollars) each. The animals come from all over Ivory Coast, but their origin is kept secret by restaurant owner Felix Boussin. KAMBOU SIA, AFP/GETTY IMAGES)


    DON'T FORGET THAT IN JUST TWO WEEKS, IT'S CULINARY NO-NO #100!

    Too good not to share

    If you’re like me, your inbox gets flooded with mass e-mailed jokes, cartoons, stories, articles, and urban legends. Some junk, some are mildly funny, some are just okay, and others are good. Really good. Too good not to share.

    Here’s one that’s been floating around I believe for less than two months.

    DIVORCE, CONSERVATIVE STYLE

    Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists, Obama supporters, et al:

    We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right, so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile, slate it up to irreconcilable differences, and go our own ways.

    Here is a model dissolution agreement:

    Our two groups can equitably divide up the country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes. We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU.

    Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA, and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore, and Rosie O'Donnell (you are however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move them).

    We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart, and Wall Street. You can have your beloved homeless, homeboys, hippies, and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan Hockey Moms, greedy CEO's, and Rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and Hollywood.

    You can make nice with Iran, Palestine, and France, and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protestors. When our allies or way of life are under assault, we'll provide them job security.

    We'll keep our Judeo-Christian Values. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism, and Shirley McClain. You can have the U.N. but we will no longer be paying the bill. We'll keep the SUV's, pickup trucks, and oversized luxury cars. You can take every Subaru Station Wagon you can find.

    You can give everyone healthcare, if you can find any practicing Doctors (that is practicing, Howard Dean) who will follow to your turf (sic). We'll continue to believe healthcare is a luxury and not a right.

    We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach The World To Sing, Kum Ba Ya, or We Are the World.

    We'll practice trickle down economics, and you can give trickle up poverty its best shot.

    Since it often so offends you we'll keep our History, our Name, and our Flag.
    Would you agree to this?

    In the spirit of friendly parting, I'll bet you ANWAR on who will need whose help in 15 years.

    Sincerely,
    John J. Wall
    Law Student, American

    P.S. Please take Barbra Streisand.

    P.P.S. We will keep all oil rigs offshore, all oil refineries, all big oil companies and exploration teams. You can keep your windmills and solar panel

    So how did Obama do?


    That was the first probing, hard-hitting, insightful, tough question a CNBC moderator posed to a guest pundit immediately following the president's first prime time news conference.

    Who was the guest pundit? A friend who went to law school with the president.

    But as we all know, there is no liberal bias in the media.

    Of course Obama went to Elkhart


    President Obama chose to play on the economic fears of Elkhart, Indiana today for good reason. The city of over 50,000 is in the grips of rough unemployment.

    And why? Why is Elkhart suffering?  Elkhart just happens to be the RV capital of the world. RV’s dominate the economic landscape of this Indiana. And sales are down, big time.

    Who’s to blame for the sorry state of affairs in the RV capital? There’s only one political party that has been on a mission against cars and big vehicles, only one. And it ain’t the Republicans.

    Who’s been telling America that RV’s are evil gas guzzlers? Not the Republicans. Who’s been screaming that huge RV’s contribute to global warming?  Republicans? No sir.

    Democrats hate RV’s. They hate cars, too.

    What's better than a Grand Slam?


    They came. They stood in line. They finally got inside the door. They ate a free Denny's Grand Slam.


     

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    Democrats dust off same old failed policy


    If you saw Senator Lazich’s blog detailing the state Senate’s calendar for Tuesday, you noticed that tired oldie from the liberal Democrats’ playbook: increasing the minimum wage. Note that the bill is Senate Bill 1, the very first bill, one of the highest priority pieces of legislation for the Democrat-controlled state Senate.

    The bill will pass Tuesday but before it does, Democrats will stand up, wring their hands and bleed all over the Senate floor giving speeches about why it’s so important to raise the minimum wage. Businesses and jobs be damned, the Democrats will use as one of their key arguments that current minimum wage jobs do not provide living, family wages. Earth to Senate Democrats: they’re not supposed to be head of family jobs with head of family wages.

    The Heritage Foundation reviewed U.S. Department of Labor data that clearly shows most minimum wage earners are teens in entry levels positions. These are not jobs that mommy and daddy hoping to provide for a family should be seeking.  The Heritage Foundation reports:

    Most minimum wage-earners are young, part-time workers and that relatively few live below the poverty line. Their average family income is over $50,000 a year. A minimum wage hike, then, is a raise for suburban teenagers, not the working poor.

    Relatively few Americans earn the federal minimum wage. In 2006, 1.7 million Americans reported earning $5.15 or less per hour—just 1.3 percent of all workers in the United States. But these numbers include workers who also earn tip income. Many of those earning less than the minimum wage work in restaurants and so make more than the minimum after taking tips into account. Another measure of earnings that includes tips reveals that 1.2 million Americans earn the minimum wage or less per hour—just 1.0 percent of the total working population.

    Minimum-wage earners fall into two distinct categories: young workers, usually in school, and older workers who have left school.”

    So when you hear a bleeding heart liberal whine about a minimum wage increase being necessary to sustain families, don’t buy it. Increase the minimum wage and you temporarily make a 16-year old happy. It does nothing for the full time heads of household.

    That won’t stop the Democrats from playing the poor card on the floor of the state Senate in an attempt to mislead the public.

    Say it ain't so, A-Rod


    I will say this about Alex Rodriguez. At least he readily admitted his steroid use. Compare that to the lying, cheating Barry Bonds.

    "Sexting" comes to New Berlin


    "In this court's 7 1/2 years on the bench, this is the most horrific complaint the court has ever reviewed," Waukesha Circuit Court Commissioner Laura Florian Lau said. "The defendant is facing 293 years if convicted on these 12 counts. . . . This is a crime allegedly that involved many, many, many victims. The court is extremely concerned as to whether defendant will return to court."
    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/05/09

    By now you've heard the repulsive news.  New Berlin Eisenhower student, Anthony R. Stancl, 18, posed as a female on Facebook, and managed to persuade at least 31 boys to send him naked pictures of themselves and then blackmailed some of them to performing sex acts under the threat that the pictures would be sent  to the rest of the school.

    As I mentioned on MIlwaukee Public Television's InterCHANGE last Friday night, this is a problem that is more widespread than we imagine. That's why I am glad to see Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen make sex crimes on the Internet one of his top priorities.

    Three weeks before the New Berlin story broke, I blogged about "sexting." The blog is worth repeating.

    If the state Senate was SPORTSCENTER, this would be the #1 highlight today


    The state Senate debated and approved a job-killing minimum wage increase today. The highlight of the floor discussion that clearly demonstrates how out of touch the Democrat Party is about the dire economy came during this exchange.

    State Senator Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield) mentioned a contractor friend in his district that has a few trucks and employs bricklayers, drywallers, etc. The contractor had to lay off 10 people last November because there are no housing starts in Wisconsin. Increasing the minimum wage at this time, Kanavas argued would make it even more difficult to create and retain jobs.

    The next speaker was state Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) who said:

    “It’s time to grow our economy from the ground up by putting more money in the pockets of the people who work for a living rather than protecting the lavish lifestyles of a Wall Street elite.”

    Senator Kanavas then replied:

    “The senator from the 30th (Hansen, Senate District 30) is a passionate speaker but I got to tell my buddy, the contractor back in my district that now he’s apparently a member of the Wall Street elite because that’s exactly what I just heard was that somehow that guy who employs 10 people who go out and work in a truck every day is suddenly a member of a Wall Street elite.”

    George, you're still #1 to me


    George Thompson is no longer the all-time scoring lead in Marquette University basketball history. Jerel McNeal is.

    That’s quite an achievement by McNeal, given the crowded field of stars Marquette has seen since Thompson graduated.

    But keep in mind that when Thompson played, there was no three point line. There was no shot clock, and MU Coach Al McGuire played that slow, deliberate, milk the clock offense.

    Oh, and one more point. Thompson only played three seasons to McNeal’s four.

    GEORGE THOMPSON:                                     1773 CARRER POINTS IN  87 GAMES

    JEREL McNEAL (as of 2/10/09):                        1776 CAREER POINTS IN 119 GAMES

    I recall cheering for Thompson as a young lad, listening to MU games on WISN Radio called by the legendary Tom Collins. Later, I had the privilege of meeting Thompson when I worked at WUWM and WTMJ and he was at Briggs-Stratton.

    The old Warrior will always be #1 in my book.

    Shock of shocks


    State Democrats say they're close to a deal to fix our whopper of a budget deficit, and guess, just guess, just one time what's in there....

    Coddling our criminals


    It's happening big time in California. From the LA Times:

    "The battle over California prison inmates' constitutional rights has come down to this: finger-pointing over who dreamed up the idea of giving convicted criminals taxpayer-funded bingo and yoga rooms. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown have lambasted effortsby J. Clark Kelso, the court-appointed overseer of prison healthcare, to spend $8 billion on a 'gold-plated utopian hospital plan' for 10,000 inmates. It features a 'holistic' environment with natural light and space for yoga, music, horticulture and art therapy.

    Sexual predators forced to live at Coalinga State Hospital, which opened on Schwarzenegger's watch, have access to an electronic bingo board, a state-of-the-art gymnasium with a rubberized floor, a weight room and eight landscaped atriums."

    Is it any wonder California's budget is out of whack. Money should be spent on corrections, but to incarcerate and punish, not to pleasure.

    I could have sworn Obama was a savior....


    Martin Wolf of the Financial Times writes:

    “I
    t is extraordinary that a popular new president, confronting a once-in-80-years’ economic crisis, has let Congress shape the outcome.”

    Closer to home, the Oshkosh Northwestern editorializes:

    His  (Obama’s) tactic appears to be one of intimidation with constant reminders to Republicans that he won the election. It is a tactic that does not reflect the change he promised and it is an affront to the independence of Congress as a separate branch of the government.”

    Has the second coming of Camelot crashed and burned in just a few weeks?

    Gerald Ford, Dan Quayle.......Barack Obama???


    Oh, yes!

    Who is Bar Refaeli?


    The whole world knows now
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    Read more

    Take action against UW abortions

    People have been asking me what they can do about the outrageous plans to perform late-term abortions at a UW clinic. Wisconsin Right to Life has some answers:


    Life - Wisconsin Right To Life - Alert

    Although UW Late-Term Abortion Plan Has Been Approved, You Can Still Make A Difference

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    We may not be able to deliver your mail anymore on Saturday's...


    But we're going to raise the price of stamps.

    Actually, I don't have a problem with the occasional increase of just a few pennies.

    But again, I just have to ask...

    Congratulations Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor!


    Charges that Franklin mayor Tom Taylor used city staff to do election work have been dropped by a Milwaukee County Court Commissioner. The charges, brought by former disgraced and recalled Franklin alderman Basil Ryan, were frivolous and outrageous and should never have been filed in the first place. Taylor walloped Ryan in the April 2008 Franklin mayoral election.

    Ryan’s claims were without basis and did nothing but waste the District Attorney’s and court’s time for at least a half year. Ryan has a history of engaging in divisive politics. Hopefully, his bag of tricks is empty. How often can a guy have his hat handed to him?

    This new development has to be an utter and total embarrassment for Franklin bloggers, Janet Evans and Greg Kowalski. Forgetting the basic right that an individual is innocent until proven guilty (Remember, Evans wants to be on the School Board), the two merrily had Mayor Taylor convicted and hung before the ink on the charges was dry. It has to just drive them nuts to learn that Taylor has been vindicated.

    The court commissioner used common sense in making the proper ruling. I doubt Evans and Kowalski will do the decent, courteous thing and admit they were wrong and apologize about their irresponsible and incorrect rush to judgment. But after the dynamic duo consults with one another, their obligatory rip on me might be somewhat entertaining.

    I close with this comment made about me by Evans on one of her blogs on this subject where she childishly refused to call me by name:

    “Sometimes someone may think they are helping a situation, but in essence, they may be making it worse.”

    Ooooooooooooooooohhh! Boy, she really got me on that one! Yeh, I really made matters worse, didn’t I!

    Again, good for you, Mayor Taylor!

    The rush is on by Wisconsin Democrats to raise taxes


    It was announced today that the Legislature will consider a bill next week to reduce the state’s deficit. Governor Doyle and Democrat legislative leaders early this afternoon detailed the specifics of their proposal they claim will leave a $361.5 million deficit in the current biennium. Governor “Tax and spend” Doyle promised more definitive answers during his budget proposal next Tuesday night.

    Get this. Papers with details on the bill are not expected to be released before Monday. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will consider the bill on Tuesday, with the Assembly and senate taking it up the next two days. That leaves very little time for legislators that have to vote, the news media, and the taxpaying public to thoroughly review the contents.

    We know at this early juncture that a hospital tax and a tax on Internet sales are both included and who knows what else.

    This is how tax and spending liberals govern. Put out the tax and spending plan Monday. Have the JFC, Assembly and Senate vote on it within the next three days. Democrats can’t wait to raise your taxes. If they could have done it yesterday, they would have.

    That’s how the tax and spenders operate.

    "Goodbye, Honey, I'll be right back!"


    I have blogged nothing about my wife being pregnant since I made the baby announcement several months ago. I just feel that’s like home movies. Nobody cares, and if they do, they’ll ask.

    But I have to pass this along. Out of the blue a little while ago, Jennifer put on her coat, said she’d be right back, and left the Fischer household. Apparently she understood I was set for the night and wouldn’t leave the house on any errand of any kind, including a trip to Kopp’s where today, one of the featured flavors is:
     

    Red Velvet Cake

    We are still uncertain as to the origin of this rich and delicious cake with it’s dark red coloring. Some say it originated in the south and others are giving credit to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York. The passion of this renowned dessert has now moved to the Midwest where Kopp’s will again revive it’s popularity.


    Those of you who really know us realize I am not speaking out of school or badly about my dear, lovely wife when I say that even without a baby on the way, she can eat. BOY can she eat, but doesn’t seem to gain an ounce (until now, that is).

    Jennifer has had the ultimate pregnancy, zero complications, but her appetite that was the size of New Jersey to begin with has kicked into another gear.

    She will be home soon with a pint, maybe a gallon of Red Velvet Cake custard. It will be like having a baby shower in the house without all the giggling females and silly games.

    And how much of that custard will I see?

    Try zippo.

    Doesn't DATELINE have more important issues to address..


    Than this?

    Kicking smokers in the can again


    That's what Governor Doyle might do.


    "We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes."
    Governor Doyle statement during his 2003 State of the State address

    Folks, where I come from, that’s called a lie.

     

    A Wisconsin Democrat who gets it...


    On the minimum wage.

    Remember this name: David Ogden


    Recently, Senator Mary Lazich blogged about the attrocious, flippant remarks made about abortion by President Obama’s nominee for Deputy Attorney General, David Ogden. In a nutshell, Ogden believes abortions are jolly good fun. The news about Ogden made my MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK in Week-ends.

    Possibly because it’s a Deputy position but more than likely because the mainstream media isn’t interested in placing a laser beam on this nominee, we’re not hearing much about Ogden’s background.

    Enter Janice Shaw Crouse, political commentator for the Concerned Women for America Legislative Action Committee who points out that this dude is scary. Remember, Ogden would be in charge of enforcing laws against child pornography and obscenity.

    Crouse does the job that the Obama-worshipping press refuses to execute.

    It turns out Obama, who has had a miserable record thus far of picking people for his team, has struck out again with Ogden.

    Ogden, while an attorney in private practice, ‘filed briefs pushing for gays in the military, for continued racial preferences, and for a virtually unlimited abortion license.’ Worse, Ogden argued for Playboy, Penthouse and the ACLU in obscenity and pornography cases. According to Fidelis, Ogden opposed the Children’s Internet Protection Act (***) and the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act (CPOEA). The *** Act includes a provision requiring Internet filters in federally-funded libraries. The CPOEA Act requires verification that models in pornographic films be certified over age 18. Ogden argued that these requirements placed too heavy a burden on pornographers and infringed on filmmakers’ Constitutional rights. Ogden pushed for taxpayer funding to publish Playboy in Braille, he tried to get Playboy off the list of ‘pornographic’ magazines, he argued for ‘consenting adults’ to have telephone sex, and the list goes on and on in terms of his advocacy for lowering the barriers to moving pornography and obscenity into America’s mainstream.”

    Nice choice, Barack.

    Read more.

    Thank you, Brett


    Rather than pile on with the fair weather Packer fans who chooose to use a few minutes of an emotional  press conference to erase almost two decades of thrilling memories and outstanding athletic achievement and take ridiculous pot shots, I instead opt to reflect on a great career.


    Read more

    Henrietta, Henrietta, Henrietta...

    This isn't like when Elvis was alive and he gave away cash, jewelry, cars, and homes. You don't pose this to the president....


    Read more

    Friday night on InterCHANGE


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

    1 – Gerard Randall.

    The Journal Sentinel calls into question his consulting record for Milwaukee County.


    2 – Banks.

    Wisconsin’s Associated Bank is just one bank facing criticism for irresponsible spending after receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal bailout money.  Is there anything wrong with the bank sending one-hundred of their best employees to a resort in Puerto Rico as a reward for doing a good job?  Is it an example of wasteful spending, or is it an investment in your workforce?  Should the government be telling these banks how to conduct business as a condition for receiving the bailout cash? How to advertise?  For example, is it right to criticize Citibank for spending hundreds of millions to attach its’ name to a new stadium in New York, or is that simply responsible advertising?  Interesting that Associated Bank says it didn’t even need the bailout money, isn’t it?


    3 – Brett Favre.

    Brett Favre retires again.  Is he truly done this time?  Will he ever play again?  Would Green bay welcome him back? Would he be better than Rodgers?  Is his image in Green Bay tarnished for good, or will all be forgiven?  Will he show up for a “Retire #4” ceremony if ted Thompson is still the general manager?


    4 – Hank Aaron.

    In light of all the developments surrounding A-Rod and Barry Bonds, Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says (implies?) that he’s thinking about reinstating Hank Aaron as the all-time homerun king.  Does that make any sense?  If Barry Bonds is found to have lied to Congress, does that make his homerun record any less of a record?

    Need to send a quick Valentine?


    The GOP
    can help you out.



    Plane crashes into Buffalo house


    The story.

    The video.

    Mickey, Minnie, and chorus girls


    That bloated stimulus package that’s going to create jobs and be a miracle cure for our ailing economy is loaded with pork, including a rail system linking Disneyland to Las Vegas.

    I thought the president didn’t want people traveling to Vegas?

    It's another big weekend on This Just In...


    I hope that between the heart cards and chocolates and flowers and champagne you’ll make time for This Just In this weekend.

    Check back later tonight for a special V-Day musical blog.

    Saturday, Jennifer takes us into The Barking Lot and I’ll toss in DOGS IN THE NEWS. If my recollection is right, there was some big dog event or other earlier this week.

    Who were the heroes and villains of the week? What story got too much coverage? What story didn’t get enough?  Find out in Week-ends.|

    I’ll share some of my favorite columns of the week in Recommended Reading.

    Sunday, look for My Most Popular Blogs, Photos of the Week, MJS Scorecard, and Culinary no-no #99.

    And thanks for stopping by.

    Goodnight everyone, and have a nice weekend

    Nostalgia


    It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday. And it's a special weekend, so call someone you love, snuggle around the computer and enjoy this Valentine's musical e-card (Because deep down inside, I'm just a romantic, sentimental fool).


    Read more

    The Barking Lot

    The Barking Lot


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

    TODAY:  Morning snow showers, then partly cloudy skies. Low 30's.  
    "F" .

    SUNDAY: Mostly cloudy, cold. Might not hit the freezing mark.  "D"


    My parents smoked since they were teenagers.  Back then, everyone thought it was cool.  There wasn’t a lot of information about how addicting nicotine is, how tough it is to quit, and how dangerous it is for your health.  Despite the fact that I was raised by two smokers (or in my opinion BECAUSE of it) I have never wanted to smoke, never tried.  Although I support smokers’ rights, I personally find it a money-wasting, stupid, and disgusting habit.  

    For many years I begged my parents to quit.  I tried everything from the “If you really love me” line to cold hard facts about how much their health would improve if they would quit.  Nothing, and I mean NOTHING worked.  So eventually I just gave up.  But I never thought about asking them to quit for our dogs and cats.  If it had occurred to me, I honestly think that would have been an incentive to them.  I can’t begin to tell you how spoiled the pets were in our house.  

    It amazes me how teenagers today actually start smoking, no matter how many PSA’s they have seen, no matter how many health classes they have taken, or despite losing a friend or relative to smoking-related health problems.  To me, there is no excuse to start such a ridiculous habit.  But for the people who have smoked for many years (I have plenty of friends and relatives to fall in this category) the question is what kind of incentive can you provide to help them kick the habit?  Well, do they have pets?

    A new study documents researchers looking at the smoking behaviors of people who live with a dog or cat. Results of this study show that pet owners may be more motivated to quit if they knew their habit was harmful to their dog or cat.  Veterinarian Marty Becker sites examples of how secondhand smoke can be toxic for house pets.  

    I’m not an expert on this topic but it seems to follow a logical pattern…  If secondhand smoke is hazardous to humans, why wouldn’t our pets fall under the same perils sharing a house with smokers?

    Personally, I feel that ANY reason or incentive to get a smoker to quit is a good one.  I know different people respond to different reasoning tactics.  Some do it for the love of another person.  Some do it because of a personal health scare, such as a heart attack.  I’m sure that with the rising cost of a pack or carton of cigarettes, some are financially motivated.  So if Fido wags his tail at you, and you think he’s saying “Please Mom, put out that stinky thing so I don’t get sick” why shouldn’t you listen?
    ---Jennifer Fischer


    Thanks, Jennifer. When my wife finishes her contribution, that means it's my turn. Time once again for DOGS IN THE NEWS. Say it along with me, folks....canines that made headlines the previous week.

    Of course, the big doggie news of the week was all about Stump  who proved to be inspirational.  Dog show-related work isn't over yet.

    Some good news out of the Michael Vick controversy.

    It sounded like an attempt at a world's record. It wasn't, and it's not funny. Take a look.

    This dog exhibit needs help.

    So Chloe,  what are you doing this weekend?

    Brian Justice will paint your dog.

    Door County has goats on a roof. Minot, North Dakota has, well, you guessed it...

    That's it for this week. No more dog shows. No new dog movies to promote. So we leave you with this very sensitive public service announcement:

    Read more

    What's all in there


    If you want to have your eyes glaze over, take a look at what's all in that ridiculous pork package, the stimulus bill. I dare you. You'll  at least give it more scrutiny than any member of Congress did.

    Look.

    Meanwhile, South Carolina's governor is poised to refuse any stimulus monmey, saying the package could lead to a "savior-based economy."

    The positive spin on the stimulus


    ABC writes about what's in it for you.

    Don't kid yourself. It's a horrible bill.

    I vote AYE even though I didn't read the damn thing


    The buzz this morning is that members of Congress didn't even read the nearly $800-billion stimulus package that they voted on.

    “It is over a thousand pages,” said Representative Tom Price, a Georgia Republican. “It is physically impossible for any member to have read this bill.” That's why several months of review and debate were needed to address this monstrous document.  Instead, there was a rush to approve.

    Wisconsin will soon experience that same rush.

    Another disgusting column by Laurel Walker of the MJS


    In the past, I’ve written about lefty Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Laurel Walker when she published a despicable piece defending pedophiles.

    That was tough to top in the outrageous category but Walker goes out of her way today to demonstrate the clear hypocrisy of the left who masquerade as do-gooders with hearts bigger than anyone else. Walker opens her column with this:


    Not to be hard-hearted on Valentine's Day, but don't you just love this?

    Republican state Rep. Scott Newcomer and his physician wife, Julianne, moved into a $1.5 million Delafield lake home in 2006, only to stop making the mortgage payments on their former Elm Grove home last September.”

    Yeh,  Laurel, don’t you just love a story about a young couple falling victim to these tough economic times, especially, Laurel, when the couple includes a conservative Republican elected official?

    She just couldn’t resist exuberantly taking potshots at Newcomer proclaiming he “should have known better.”

    Where’s the Walker column on those individuals who took out loans they had no business securing that led the country into the housing crisis, many of them poor minorities? Where’s that column full of gleeful jabs? Where’s that piece admonishing thousands of people and lecturing them that they should have known better?

    Let's imagine that State Senator Lena Taylor or Spencer Coggs found themselves in the same predicament as Newcomer and MJS columnist Patrick McIlheran wrote how happy he was to hear the news. My guess is there would be hell to pay.

    Walker’s column today is beyond what she terms, “hard-hearted.” It’s malicious and hateful. But that’s the real left.

    My sympathies to Dave Marcello


    I was saddened to hear the news Friday that an old friend, Patty Marcello had passed away from breast cancer. Patty and I became friends in the 90’s when I was at WTMJ where she worked in the sales department.

    Patty, a terrific, sweet person, was married to Dave Marcello, a member of the Elmbrook School Board. My sympathies go out to Dave and his entire family.

    What happens when you tell hot-blooded Latins not to do something?


    This.

    Week-ends

    Week-ends

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


    HEROES OF THE WEEK


    Dr. John Burson


    Julia Jones


    Aaron Ware


    Rape victim


    This 7th grader, who prepared the following speech for her class...


    Read more

    UPDATE: The Barking Lot (CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES)

    The Barking Lot


    This normally would have been included in the DOGS IN THE NEWS portion of today’s Barking Lot, but it deserves special attention.

    This week, CNN reported on the killing of stray dogs in Iraq.  WARNING: The CNN video is graphic and very disturbing.

    The SPCA has a petition to sign in protest.

    Recommended reading

    Recommended reading


    Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend  (You will note that on occasion, I do not endorse the opinions of the author).


    Thirty years later, a return to stagflation: Paul Ryan 

    "CONGRESS has made a terrible mistake. Amid a rhetorical debate centered on words like 'crisis,' 'emergency' and 'catastrophe,' it acted too fast."


    Associated Bank witch hunt

    "Sorry, but spending tens of thousands of dollars on such rewards for hard work doesn't go over too well when a bank is participating in a program with government funds. No rewards for the top-performing employees. Tough luck. New rules are being formed in the crucible of this New Depression. The private sector isn't really private anymore."


    We are all socialists now

    "In many ways our economy already resembles a European one. As boomers age and spending grows, we will become even more French."
    KF NOTE: Speak for yourself, moonbat. I am NOT a socialist.


    There goes retirement

    "Across the country, retirees who never imagined themselves returning to the workplace are polishing résumés and knocking on employers' doors. The problem: Most are running smack into the worst job market in almost three decades."


    "Too old" for hip surgery

    "President Obama and Congressional Democrats are inching the U.S. toward government-run health insurance. Last week's expansion of Schip -- the State Children's Health Insurance Program -- is a first step. Before proceeding further, here's a suggestion: Look at Canada's experience."


    Random thoughts

    "There are too many people, especially among the intelligentsia, who will never appreciate the things that have made this country great until after those things have been destroyed-- with their help. Then, of course, it will be too late."


    The audacity of audaciousness

    "It takes a certain amount of nerve to have an event at the National Press Club and then ban the press from covering it."


    The war on home runs

    "Baseball's singular purpose, some seem to have forgotten, is to entertain us. So the moral panic surrounding Alex Rodriguez's use of steroids is unquestionably counterproductive. If an athlete decides to sacrifice his testicles to the gods of baseball, who am I to say no?"

    My most popular blogs

    Most popular

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


    1) Photos of the Week (2/8/09)

    2) "Sexting" comes to New Berlin

    3) Who is Bar Refaeli?

    4) Congratulations Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor!

    5) Gerald Ford, Dan Quayle......Barack Obama?

    Photos of the Week (2/15/09)

    Photos of the Week

     APTOPIX Congress Stimulus

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., second from left, shares a laugh with, from left, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., and Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Feb. 13, 2009, during a news conference after the House passed the stimulus legislation. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


    84713256JS008_CAREER_FAIR_H

    A line of job seekers snakes around the Whitcomb Hotel as they wait to enter the California Job Journal HIREvent February 10, 2009 in San Francisco, California. With the nation's unemployment rate at 7.6 percent, hundreds of job seekers flocked to the California Job Journal HIREvent job fair where approximately 1,700 jobs from a variety of different companies were available. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


    Read more

    Think Franklin's taxes aren't that bad?


    Or wherever you may live in SE Wisconsin?

    Guess again.

    The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today has a complete breakdown of the area’s tax rankings.

    Remember, folks, we are not a tax hell.

    Vegas on verge of collapse?


    If so, you can thank Mr. Business/Job Killer, the great Obamessiah.

    I know there are many transplanted Wisconsinites living in Sin City who read This Just In. I'd love to get your reaction.

    MJS Scorecard (2/15/09)

    MJS Scorecard


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


    TODAY’S LIBERAL PIECES:

    'Water is worth fighting over'

    While Waukesha thirsts for water, Miner opines that the city's request for Lake Michigan resources shouldn't be addressed too quickly, that there's no need to rush. Miner quotes a UWM scientist and Mark Twain. It might have been nice to hear what a Waukesha official or two might think about having to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for water.

    So much for the regional cooperation that city of MIlwaukee folk typically like to whine and moan about. This piece sounds like it comes right out of the Tom Barrett playbook. 


    Douglas Savage: Time to undo Bush's damage 

    The headline says it all about this Bush-bash column. ("The Obama administration must quickly and forcefully reverse and repudiate policies that have placed our country among the ranks of the world's major human rights violators in the eyes of many in the international community.")


    Another View:  Funds could help provide more teachers, services

    Oink oink! MPS superintendent William Andrekopoulos is one of far too many local officials who can't wait to get his hands on stimulus money and spend, spend, spend. Shamefully, his guest view appears in the MJS just a few days after the very same paper reported, "Milwaukee Public Schools spends significantly more per student than comparable systems around the United States, but, by one measure, has some of the weakest academic results."

    There's a shock. More money does not equal improved academic achievement.


    It's no time to cut public investments 

    A gaggle of guest writers combine to criticize cuts in government spending:

    "Some argue for reduced spending, falsely claiming that profligate public outlay is the cause of today's economic crisis. This analysis is wrong. Wisconsin has been careful in its overall taxing and spending."

    Just what are they smoking? Of course, any piece that militant far lefty Michael Rosen has a hand in is going to be looney.


    TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

    Christian Schneider: Years of budgetary deceit catch up 

    Schneider acts a counterpoint to the Rosen, et al piece calling for more government spending. His analysis is right on:

    "Over the past decade, in every year except one, Wisconsin government has spent more than it has collected in taxes."


    NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

    Michael Brophy: Despite trouble, Midwest is still serving Milwaukee well 

    Finally, Howard Snyder who runs the Northwest Side Community Development Corporation offers many general ideas on how to build Milwaukee's future now: education, training, reform MPS, stop the "brain drain," reduce crime. I disagree with his view that politically correct lending did not lead to the housing crisis, but without more specifcs on how the city should be fixed, this one's a wash. Snyder's column is not online.


    MJS SCORECARD:

    TODAY: Liberal-4, Conservative-1

    YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-14, Conservative-8

    Excuse me? Did you say something?


    Forgive me. My ears are still ringing from today’s Wisconsin Badger Band Concert at Oak Creek High School, the 20th annual at that location. And may I say right from the start that last fall’s negative stories about a few bad apples in the band who resorted to hazing didn’t seem to matter one iota once the members stampeded into the gym.

    I will merely repeat what I blogged two years ago:

    “The concert is a great family outing. Your heart feels like it’s going to pound right out of your chest when those percussionists lead the high-stepping band into the gym.

    The band is special. For decades, the highly-talented students have been proud ambassadors for the marvelous UW. The visit to Oak Creek is usually a rehearsal for the band’s sold out spring concerts at the Kohl Center.

    These young Badgers can really play. But one of the reasons I like to attend this concert every year, and this will sound as corny as one of (Director Michael) Leckrone’s jokes, is that seeing these terrific students restores my faith and confidence in our youth. The vast majority of our young people today are good, decent, hard-working individuals we can be proud of. The Wisconsin Badger Marching Band proves it.”


    With my lovely wife, Jennifer being so pregnant this year, there was no repeat of last year’s concert.

    If you’re planning on seeing the band in the near future or in April at the Kohl Center,  they perform tributes to Isaac Hayes, women rockers, a Lion King medley, a Jesus Christ Superstar medley, and an 80’s mix (I always tease Jennifer, an 80’s fan, that very little, if any good music came out of that decade).

    Thank you, Oak Creek for continuing this tradition. Thank you, Badger band members for accepting the invitation to play here every year as you have for the past 20.

    BADGER BAND UPCOMING SCHEDULE

    • Feb 17: National Guard Send-Off (Madison)
    • Feb 27: Milwaukee Admirals Hockey
    • Mar 1: Hartford
    • Mar 2: Kiel HS
    • Mar 9: Mosinee
    • Mar 10: Hamilton Fine Arts Center (Sussex)
    • Mar 29: Weidner Center (Green Bay)
    • Apr 16, 17, 18: Kohl Center Spring Concerts

    Culinary no-no #99

    Culinary no-no's


    My Sunday morning regimen is pretty standard.

    Wake up. Look at Sunday paper. Blog. Go to usher at weekly mass at church. Have late breakfast at Meyer’s Restaurant and Bar in Greenfield.

    At Meyer’s, I’ve come to know the entire staff, from owner Larry Meyer right on down to the busboys. And yes, I call them busboys.

    These two young guys are like well-oiled machines. Once patrons leave, they dive on the tables like Jason on a sex-craved teenager in, “Friday the 13th.”

    BAM! Before you know it, the table is filled with new patrons.

    I see the same lightning-quick attention at the Greek family restaurants like Omega at 27th & Morgan.

    These busboys or bussers or whatever you want to call them may be lower than a gopher’s basement on the restaurant hierarchy, but they are extremely valuable.  They not only clear dirty dishes and get tables ready for the impatient mob waiting in the lobby, they restock condiments, fold napkins, haul ice, clean the kitchen, mop floors, pour coffee and water. In essence, they free up the wait staff so it can take care of you quickly and more efficiently.

    Problem.

    Big problem.

    The economy.

    Some restaurants in Wisconsin and all across the country are making the foolish, but sometimes necessary decision to cut busboys. The ramifications add up to a much less pleasant dining experience for patrons. You will wait longer for a table. You will wait longer for your plates to be cleared. You will wait longer for your check. You will wait longer for a dirty knife or fork to be replaced. You will wait longer for that second cup of coffee or for that ice water you requested.

    There is also the issue of the minimum wage. Last week, the state Senate approved an increase in the minimum wage. The Democrat-controlled Assembly may follow suit, possibly leading to the bill being signed into law by Governor Doyle. That will mean added expenses to running a restaurant business. Who will cut? Who will lose their jobs? Wait staff? Busboys? Both. And then what happens to restaurant service?

    Culinary no-no: Understanding (as I have blogged recently) that times are tough for the restaurant business, why risk turning off the customers that are still showing up by firing busboys?

    The Wall Street Journal has more.


    CULINARY NO-NO EXTRA

    I swear the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editors instruct their columnists to be as ludicrous and bizarre as possible because some of the stuff they write is just plain laughable. And that includes the food section.

    Yes, I read the papers. The economy is in a downturn. I can’t even spell “lobster” or “filet” these days. But I don’t see people with coaster wagons in bread lines, like in the 1930’s, do you?

    The fact is America’s so-called, by definition, “poor” have cars, TV’s, cell phones, stereos, iPod’s, leather jackets, and athletic shoes with fancy labels. Oh, and they eat, too.

    Seriously, do you know of any family of four that eats the same meal three or four nights in a row? That’s what Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Food Editor Nancy Stohs is recommending.  This week, Stohs thought she was doing a tremendous public service by suggesting ways to save on meals, including some nauseous slop called potato peel pie. 

    She apparently got the idea from her book club. That leads me to wonder what else they might be reading. Ptomaine for Dummies?

    Stohs also wrote that rotisserie chicken can be spread over several days:


    "
    First night: Serve chicken as your entrée.

    Second night: Make pot pie.

    Third night: Make soup."


    For her next brilliant column, Stohs will tell how a family of four can actually make a rotisserie chicken purchased at Sendik’s or Pick ‘n’ Save last for an entire three days. In fact, I challenge her to attempt this at home if she honestly and truly believes this is such a wonderful idea.

    “Gather round everybody! We’re going to take turns passing the carcass and picking off the leftover meat!”

    It has to be an absolute miracle. How do we actually live from day to day without those wise sages at the Journal Sentinel.


    NEXT WEEK: CULINARY NO-NO #100

    It just wouldn't be a holiday...


    Without a controversy.

    So cool, so very cool

    Nostalgia


    The economy is in the toilet. McDonald's with its dollar menu is enjoying 80% profits as people carefully consider every purchase. The president visted Elkhart, Indiana recently, a town that specializes in RV's that no one is buying these days.

    And yet over the weekend, over 30,000 turned out at the local World of Wheels to look at cars, one in particular.

    HOLY CATALYTIC CONVERTER! That car was amazing!
     

    Read more

    An early contender for Photo of the Year

    A koala named Bob (top), rescued from last week's deadly bushfires, puts his paw around new friend and fellow fire survivor Sam as she recovers from her burns at a wildlife centre near Melbourne.

    A koala named Bob (top), rescued from recent deadly bushfires, puts his paw around new friend and fellow fire survivor Sam as she recovers from her burns at Southern Ash Wildlife Centre near Melbourne February 11, 2009. A love story about two koalas rescued from Australia's deadliest bushfires has provided a glimmer of hope after days of devastation and the loss of more than 180 lives.  Photo: REUTERS/Southern Ash Wildlife Centre/Colleen Wood (AUSTRALIA)

    We bash PETA a lot, but the organization does the right thing by giving a much-deserved award to David Tree.

    Look at more koala-ty photos.



    Franklin poised to adopt ban on sick leave mandates


    Tuesday night, the Franklin Common Council once again takes up a proposed ban on sick leave mandates. Last month, the proposal was delayed for further review. 

    A sick leave mandate imposes additional costs on businesses that cost jobs.  It’s an anti-business concept.

    I believe there are enough votes to approve the proposed ban, but I’m not sure the vote will be unanimous. If an alderman or two vote against this pro-business, pro-jobs measure, it will be very telling.


    UPDATE From FranklinNOW

    UPDATE: Think Franklin's taxes aren't that bad?


    I want to expound upon my Sunday  blog about property tax rankings in our corner of the state.

    Franklin’s dubious ranking, I believe, is well deserved. The tax climate here is atrocious. Only after intense public scrutiny did local taxing entities, namely the Common Council and School Board, finally put a halt to customary, obligatory, annual hefty stick-ups. I’m sure every homeowner realizes that the December surprise in the mailbox is comprised of several taxing authorities. So, who’s deeper in your pockets?

    Without any intervention by Franklin alderman Lyle Sohns, who loves to dig up bloggers’ tax records and use them as props at public meetings, I pulled out my latest property tax bill and found the following breakdown on my own property taxes:


    Franklin school district:              40.8%

    City of Franklin:                         25.5%

    Milwaukee County:                    18.4%

    MATC:                                      8.5%

    MMSD (sewerage district):          6.0%

    State:                                        0.8%
    _________________________________

                                                    100%

               

    To their credit, the School Board and the city decreased the percentage of their taxes slightly, but the horse had long been out of the barn. The actual level or dollar amount of taxes is quite high after years of passive, nobody’s paying attention budgeting.

    Even so, it’s important to note that the biggest pickpockets are the folks on the School Board. Will the new board members be fiscally responsible? Will they remember the people paying the bills in addition to the special interests, the school district machine, the school district intelligentsia? I sure hope so.

    Meanwhile, the school board takes almost half of my and other people’s property tax bill and who do local bloggers breathlessly direct all their angst and frustration at? City Hall. The gang that would make Jesse James proud, the Franklin School Board gets a free pass.

    The largest percentage increase on my property tax bill came from, no surprise, MATC. It’s a hopeless cause. The MATC Board is made up of unelected, unaccountable members. I have no recourse as a taxpayer. There is no way to voice my displeasure at the ballot box.

    So when it comes to our high property taxes, and yes, they are high, remember there are plenty of folks with their hands in the cookie jar, some a lot more than others.

    What no Wisconsin newspaper editorial will say Tuesday


    So I'll say it.

    Primary elections in odd-number year elections get little attention. The odds are most people don't know what's on the ballot and they simply do not care.

    If you are one of these individuals, do not listen to some newspaper editorials that claim it's your patriotic and civic duty to vote. If you have no clue about what Tuesday is all about, stay the hell home.

    Why is a same-sex registry needed in the state budget?


    It's totally unnecesssary, but the governor is putting the registry in strictly to pander. What part of "NO" doesn't Governor Doyle understand?


    Definition of Marriage Constitutional Amendment
    November 2006 statewide referendum

    Total vote: 2,127,234

    Yes: 1,264,310 (59.43%)

    No: 862,924 (40.57%)

    "Welcome to hell, America. Can I take your coat?"


    Every Saturday in my Recommended Reading blog, I feature columns that caught my eye during the week that I feel are worth a look. Doug Giles, one of my favorite columnists, simply can't wait until the weekend.

    Giles is (tongue cemented in cheek) suggesting that since our country is foolishly selling itself down the river with a spend-us-into-oblivion stimulus package, why stop there.  Let's take a terrorist to lunch!

    "We’re courting other failed strategies, why not be nice to those who want us on ice?"

    Giles is just so good. Enjoy!

    I've got to get him on as a special guest when I sub for Mark Belling.

    Quite possibly the worst legislative proposal in American history


    This
    would probably cause riots in Wisconsin.

    OMG, it's the end of the world...


    NOT!

    Was a Memphis newspaper wrong to print names of gun owners?


    I think so.

    All the reasons the Memphis Commerical Appeal use to defend its publication of names of gun owners who are carrying concealed weapons are pretty lame. Seems to me the arguments raised against the newspaper are pretty valid.

    What possible motivation could the paper have had other than retaliation and punishment?

    Read.

    How not to act...


    When you're too late for your flight...

    VOTE ROSE FERNANDEZ TUESDAY FOR STATE DPI SUPERINTENDENT


    Rose Fernandez, the parental advocate running for Superintendent of Public Instruction, issued the following statement after she was not endorsed by WEAC-PAC:

    "After they spent a few millions in a court and lobbying effort to try to close my children's public school, I didn't think I'd be their favored candidate in this race. But I gladly met with them and shared my thoughts on a variety of issues, and I appreciated their courtesy.

    "I take a back seat to no one when it comes to support for good teachers. WEAC however, is obligated to support all teachers, regardless of their quality and commitment to children. With WEAC's leadership, the focus is always on money.  On that we have a fundamental difference.  For me, everything is about children and learning.  In that I have much in common with the actual members of the union. My support for merit pay, the QEO and School Choice, as well as my belief that homeschoolers should be left alone puts me at odds with WEAC, but not with all their members. 

    "Like any large organization, there is a diversity of opinion within the ranks of the union. Many union members have already pledged their support and for that I am most grateful.

    "During their battle to stifle the innovation of public charter virtual schools, WEAC and I were adversaries. I was fighting for educational opportunities for children and would not back down. During the effort to save public online charter schools, I fought for the jobs of veteran, superb, licensed teachers when their union, ironically, sought to put them out of work.

    "In the event the voters of Wisconsin give me the honor to serve at DPI, the teachers of Wisconsin can take heart that my student-focused administration would not be adversarial to the hardworking educational professionals who devote their time to helping students pursue educational excellence. Much like we had to build a broad coalition to save public charter virtual schools, I'm interested in building bridges wherever and whenever possible to benefit kids.

    "But I won't change my position on issues for the sake of an endorsement from a special interest group. No matter how large, no matter how powerful."

    For further information, contact: Rose 262-565-7003
    Paid for by Families for Rose Fernandez, Paul Nyffeler, treasurer
    Rose Fernandez for DPI Supt.

    Goodbye Archbishop Dolan


    Some, according to the comments issued in this article, will be happy to see him go.

    Rips on Dolan are that he has been ineffective on the entire priest abuse scandal and that he was AWOL when the state Legislature considered a bill to require hospital emergency rooms to give rape victims the morning-after pill on request.

    For cryin' out loud, just tell me when it will start snowing!!!


    Some big stories over the next 24-48 hours: Election Day, the latest on the stimulus, legislative action on a Wisconsin stimulus package.

    And then there’s that snowstorm. Remember, it’s still February.

    Ever notice that TV weather people get their allotted 3-4 minutes and by golly, they’re going to use it and fill it up with a lot of useless, trivial junk.

    Who cares! Would you please just get to the point and give me the cotton pickin’ forecast!!!!

    Let’s face it, we’re going to get slammed. This won’t be a dusting, and when they (the weather gurus) prognosticate (If you’re reading, Greg Kowalski, that means, “predict”) a bad forecast, they’re normally correct.

    But it will take them forever to get to the most coveted details, to the point that the sportscaster who’s next in line on the news is ready with his hook because “isobar breath” is still yakking away.


    WHEN THE HELL WILL IT START SNOWING?


    The sources I’ve checked indicate that as of this posting, the answer is between 6:00 and 7:00 Tuesday night. Snow will continue for at least 24 hours into early Wednesday night and accumulate anywhere from 4-8 inches.

    That’s another of my favorite points about TV weather people. With their gazillion computers, maps, graphs, and radar screens, they still manage to land themselves a promotion after they’re inaccurate 60% of the time.

    At any rate, in literally seconds you have now been given information it will take Sally and Mark and Vince and John paragraphs or numerous minutes to tell you.

    I could be wrong, but then again, they probably are, too. 


    THE FOLLOWING IS A SPECIAL WEATHER BULLETIN BROUGHT TO YOU COURTESY OF THE FINE FOLKS AND YOUR FRIENDS AT THIS JUST IN....

    Goodbye, good luck...


    God's speed.


    Today, 3,200 Army soldiers from the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team got a send-off ceremony in Madison before their one-year deployment to Iraq. It's the largest since World War II.

    The governor's attempt to smoke out businesses


    Sources in Madison say Governor Doyle will include in his budget address tonight a proposed statewide smoking ban that would include bars and taverns. The ban could take effect sometime this year.

    That means it’s time to reach into the This Just In vault and pull out an oldie but a goodie.

    6,400 chicken wings



    Members of the University of Wisconsin marching band send the 3,200 Army soldiers off with songs during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis. The one-year deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard to Iraq will be the largest since World War II. Photo by Corey Wilson/ Green Bay Press-Gazette


    I am told that the UW Band, led by the incomparable Micahel Leckrone, somehow managed to persuade all 3,200 National Guard members to get up, shake their tail feathers, and do the Chicken Dance!  I sure hope someone caught that on video, but in the meantime....



    Read more

    Many flaws in Governor Doyle's budget address


    Governor Doyle opened his speech outlining his priorities:

    “As I put together the budget I am presenting to you tonight, five principles shaped the decisions I’ve made.

    First, protect what is most important to Wisconsin – protect education, our health care, our public safety and our ability to create jobs and grow the economy.

    Second, cut what is not essential.

    Third, use the federal money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan wisely.

    Fourth, protect the middle class against tax increases.

    And finally, leave this state in better shape than it was before.”

    Notice what’s mentioned first, right out of the box by the WEAC Pinocchio? Protect education.

    The governor mentions we must protect our ability to grow jobs, yet nowhere in his speech do I see a job creation plan. |

    Protect the middle class against tax increases is his 4th priority. After public safety, that should have been #2.

    CONCLUSION: The governor’s priorities are mixed up.


    The governor then said his budget “rejects new spending requests, however worthy. “ How does that explain Wisconsin Covenant?  The new registry for gay couples? The new regional transportation authorities?

    CONCLUSION: The governor is increasing spending when he says he’s not increasing spending.


    The governor said, “By investing in our schools, the state of Wisconsin is protecting the local property tax payer. Property taxes hit families hard – especially families who have lost jobs – and this budget holds the line on property taxes.“

    Following the speech, Wisconsin Public Television interviewed the state’s #1 expert on taxes, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance President  Todd Berry. Berry said the governor’s budget increases school aids. The result will be statewide property tax increases of 5-7%.

    CONCLUSION: The governor is increasing your property taxes.


    The governor boasts of making big cuts. Cuts in increases aren’t cuts. Lapsing expenditures isn’t cutting.

    CONCLUSION: The governor warned of pain. In reality, there’s not much here. After the governor’s “cuts,” the state is still in a deep deficit.


    The governor said, “Some say we should raise the sales tax. I’ve never done that, and I’m not going to now. “

    No, he’ll just find other ways to tax, along with fees to raise.

    He said, “This budget calls for taxpayers to pay one percent more on any earnings above $300,000 a year…….We can pass an oil assessment  (tax) so that big oil companies, which are still making record profits, pay their share for our roads…… I am proposing an additional 75 cent tax on a pack of cigarettes.” The governor is also re-introducing his hospital tax.

    CONCLUSION: When Doyle said in his 2003 State of the State address,
    "We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes," it was a lie.


    Governor Doyle didn’t fix anything. Just as in the past, he has left the mission of fixing Wisconsin’s finances to the Legislature. Only this time, the Legislature is controlled by Democrats. That could mean even more tax/fee and spending increases.

    Sex offender sympathizer will NOT be mayor in Greenfield


    Greenfield
    alderman and sex offender apologist/defender/sympathizer Tom Pietrowski had his hat handed to him today in his bid to be the city’s mayor. He came in 3rd in a field of 3 and does not move on to the general election in April. Unfortunately for the people of Greenfield, he remains on the Greenfield Common Council.

    During long deliberations over a Franklin-like ordinance that restricts where sex offenders can live or congregate, Pietrowski, as documented on my blog, repeatedly made statements at meetings that were far more caring and accommodating to the perverts than innocent families and children.

    It all came back to haunt him today. And Greenfield, through the patience and hard work of Alderman Linda Lubotsky who authored the sex offender ordinance, now has the law on its books.

    Thank you, thank you, Governor Doyle!


    I know it took great self-control. You must have agonized  hours and hours over this. The pressure had to have been beyond intense. And yet there you stood, as Wisconsin's top dog, in total defiance. You refused, as enticing as this idea was, to include it in your budget address Tuesday night.

    You must be second-guessing yourself, Governor. After all, this is so up your alley. To reject this notion and leave it out of your speech..........wow. I just can't believe you were able to demonstrate such incredible self-restraint.

    Thank you, Governor. Thank you. I don't know how or why this didn't make it into your 2009-11 budget proposal, but boy am I.............relieved!

    Let's talk baseball


    Fox Sports is out with its first power rankings for all 30 Major League Baseball.teams.

    Coming off their first playoff appearance in decades, one might assume the Brew Crew might impress analysts, right?

    Not really.

    Common sense prevails at Franklin City Hall or.....My alderman does an Obama


    Kudos to the Franklin Common Council for taking the necessary step to protect businesses and jobs by approving a much-needed, common sense ban on sick leave mandates. The vote was four in favor, one opposed, and one abstention.

    It sounds from John Neville’s report on FranklinNOW that most residents let their aldermen know they support the ordinance. Of course, some bloggers have their noses out of joint, I suspect, though they won’t admit it, primarily because of the author of the ordinance, Alderman Steve Olson.

    Common Council President Steve Taylor was absent last night when the vote was taken but I will remind everyone that Taylor had a chance to vote up or down  on the measure last month. Instead, he moved to send the ordinance to three committees for further review. Why would an alderman do that if he was truly in support? And I'm not buying the junk that he felt it needed more study. Everyone knew exactly what was in the ordinance.

    My alderman, Kristin Wilhelm acted in a very puzzling manner way by voting to abstain. Abstain? What the hell is that? That’s worse than taking a yes or no position. There goes Alderman Wilhelm, firmly planted square on the fence a la Obama who made voting “present” an art form in the Illinois Legislature. If Wilhelm was so opposed to this idea, why not just vote NO?

    Wilhelm didn’t think a vote was appropriate on the sick leave mandate ban Tuesday night because Alderman Taylor was absent. That didn’t stop Wilhelm last year from making one of her first votes as a new alderman in favor of Alderman Taylor as Common Council President even though Alderman Olson was absent.

    But the main thing is a very good ordinance, despite the false and fake outrage of a few voices on the Internet is now in place.


    HEY FRED, GREG, JANET, JOHN …. HOW’S THAT NEW DAY WORKING OUT FOR YA??!!

    Governor wants to gut GPS, endanger safety of children


    I received the following today from Shari Hanneman of the Franklin-based group, Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin:


    It has come to our attention that as part of the Governor’s budget proposal, many of the advances that we have made in monitoring and managing sex offenders in Wisconsin are now proposed to be scaled back dramatically.

    Please see the attached press release. 

    Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin has always promoted that active GPS monitoring of sex offenders  is the most cost effective system of monitoring available and it has been proven time and again in other states that this method promotes community safety.  If these proposed changes go through, Wisconsin will once again be a safe-haven for sex offenders with a sub-standard monitoring/management program.

    There will be hearings coming up in the near future regarding the budget proposal.  We ask each of you to write you state representative and your state senator as well as to contact Governor Doyle’s office to let each of them know that you do not support these changes to GPS monitoring.  

    Ask Governor Doyle to stand by his campaign commitment to keep our children safe and to protect all of Wisconsin’s communities.

    Remember – Say YES to GPS!!

    Thank you,
    The Board of Directors of Citizens for a Safe Wisconsin, Inc.


    This is not the first time Governor Doyle has tried to water down GPS.

    What a disgrace.

    Franklin blogger lies about Senator Lazich


    For several weeks now, former FranklinNOW blogger Fred Keller has been making personal, vicious, nasty attacks against state Senator Mary Lazich on his BULLSEYE blog. He and a handful of sometimes anonymous individuals have also made it a point to pounce on every blog she writes, even simple, harmless informational entries. They apparently have a total disregard for the Senator’s long history of being a fighter for conservative values and ideals and fiscal responsibility.

    Tonight, Keller went too far. He gleefully told his readers to read the comments posted on the Senator’s blog reacting to Governor Doyle’s budget address. One of those comments was from Keller himself, blasting a Lazich supporter:


    GENO53151,

    "
    Keep up the good work Mary?"  Where have you been?

    The "good Sen. Mary Lazich" VOTED AGAINST TABOR!  Yeah, Mary, "keep up the good work!" Flip-flopper!


    There’s a major problem with Keller’s comment. It is blatantly false. Worse yet, Keller knows it’s false, but he made the comment anyway.

    Last year, Keller posted a blog about Senator Lazich’s stance on the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) that was considered in the Legislature a few years ago. I found Keller's blog to be grossly unfair and incomplete so I politely sent him the following e-mails.

    The first was at 7:14 a.m. on 8/13/08:


    Fred, I read your blog on TABOR. Initially Senator Lazich had some reservations based on early numbers she received from the Fiscal Bureau. She then became one of the staunch proponents of the measure. Please see some of her columns on the issue:

    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen28/news/Press/2006/col2005-004.htm

    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen28/news/Press/2006/col2005-010.htm

    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/senate/sen28/news/Press/2006/col2005-015.htm



    Then I sent Keller a second e-mail the same day at 7:23 a.m. with Senator Lazich’s recorded vote on TABOR and a Journal Sentinel article about her vote:


    The roll call

    http://www.legis.state.wi.us/2005/data/votes/sv0672.pdf


    The story

    http://www.pahouse.com/trap/documents/050806%20TRAP/Milwaukee%20Journal%20Sentinel%20-%20GOP%20Wisc%20Senate%20Rejects%20Budget%20Cap%20-%205.5.06.htm


    Fred Keller has known since last August that Senator Lazich voted in favor of TABOR. But tonight, he chose to submit a comment he knew was false.

    Fred Keller, a man my wife and I showed hospitality to, a man I responded to when he reached out to me asking for blogging advice, a man I considered a friend has sadly resorted to these kinds of tactics for reasons I’m not entirely sure of other than they are petty and personal.

    Reasonable and fair criticisms of any elected official are acceptable in our democracy that enjoys free speech. Publishing an outright lie is not. Fred Keller’s motivation is clear. I left my own comment on Senator Lazich’s blog in response to Keller’s:

    Fred, your comment that Senator Mary Lazich voted against TABOR is false and you know it. Several months ago, after you printed an inaccurate attack on your blog about the Senator and the TABOR issue, I respectfully sent you the actual voting record on TABOR. Senator Lazich has always voted in favor of TABOR.

    Y
    our above comment could not be ignored. In your zealous and reckless effort to smear the good name and hard work of an individual, you have gone too far.

    I would advise everyone that Fred Keller is on a personal crusade to tar and feather Senator Lazich and to do so will print anything and everything, whether he has the facts to back it up or not.

    I challenge Fred Keller or anyone else to produce documentation that Senator Lazich voted against TABOR. No such documentation exists. Therefore, Fred Keller's credibility on past vicious attacks against Senator Lazich and any other blogs or comments he chooses to make about Senator Lazich in the future should seriously be taken into question or rejected outright.

    FranklinNOW's John Neville is slow, but worth waiitng for


    Almost two weeks ago, I blogged that Franklin’s sex offender ordinances are working.

    Ten days later…


    Governor Doyle wants to unlock the prison door...


    And throw away the key.

    Why don't they just ask us to take all our clothes off?


    Who is they?

    The TSA.

    Think before you post


    14-year old Tosa girl arrested for sexting.


    Read more

    Still looking for good news out of this economy?


    I have found some but before we get to it, please watch this brief clip from a 70's movie classic...


    Read more

    Friday night on InterCHANGE


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


    1 – DOYLE BUDGET AND THE STATE ECONOMY.

    Is Governor Doyle being responsible as he tries to budget for the tough times that lie ahead?  Is it wise to raise taxes on businesses and the wealthy, or should you be giving them tax breaks?  Is it unfair to propose such a giant tax increase on cigarettes?  Is he really protecting education from kindergarten through college?  Is UWM a big loser because it will now have to put its’ planned expansion on the county grounds on hold?  What about his statement that he’s open to the idea of putting tolls on the interstate, in order to make up for the tax money the state is losing because people aren’t buying as much gas?


    2 – NATIONAL ECONOMY.

    A $787 billion economic stimulus package, a $275 billion package to come to the aid of those whose homes are being foreclosed, hundreds of billions for Wall Street and banks across the country, billions for the automakers who now say they need billions more.  Yet, the stock market continues to tumble.  Why doesn’t Wall Street like the programs this administration is putting forth?  Can our country continue to come to the rescue of failing industries and struggling homeowners, or is that exactly what our government is supposed to do?


    3 – THE JOURNAL SENTINEL

    The Journal Sentinel announces it will freeze wages and may furlough employees as it continues to attempt to deal with a worsening economy.  Can the company really trim any more fat?  Is it on the verge of getting out of the newspaper business?  Or, should they simply try putting out a better newspaper?

    Just how stupid are we?


    That’s the title of a book I’ve just finished by Rick Shenkman that was written before the November 2008 Presidential election. It’s emphatically clear that from his very first sentence, Shenkman is a flaming liberal Bush-basher.

    His book, however, tackles an issue that I’ve blogged about extensively: the sheer stupidity of far too many people who vote. Being the unabashed lefty that Shenkman is, he bases his view and much of the book on the, to him, nauseating fact that George W. Bush was elected not once, but twice.

    The inside cover proclaims, and I don’t doubt this one bit, that “Today’s voters are far less equipped than their grandparents were to grapple with the challenges facing the nation, and thus far more susceptible to soothing myths, bumper sticker slogans, and raw emotional appeals.”

    Raise the voting age to 35? I swear I could make a case for it.

    Shenkman opens with this indictment:

    “We regularly call attention to the dumb things our politicians say and do. But who takes the voters to task for their foolishness? Any dolt can make fun of a politician. What if the real problem isn’t with them but with us---or, to be more precise, those among us who exhibit habitual stupidity?”

    The myth, as he calls it, of “The People” is the “most dangerous” because of their gross ignorance. The author provides plenty of ammunition as to how brainless Americans have become. For example, only one out of four can name more than one of the five freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

    What constitutes stupidity according to Shenkman? He breaks it down five ways.

    1)  Sheer ignorance about basic facts: current events, how government works, who’s in charge.

    2) Negligence: The disinclination to seek out facts.

    3) Wooden-headedness: The inclination to believe what we want to believe, despite the facts.

    4) Shortsightedness: Supporting policies that are detrimental to our long-term future.

    5) Bone-headedness: Being easily susceptible to phrases, stereotypes, irrational biases.

    How stupid are we?

    A 2007 report by the Intercollegiate Studies Institute revealed that, on average, over 14,000 randomly selected college students at fifty schools around the country scored under 55 out of 100 on a test of basic American civics.

    Shenkman is brutal and damning:

    “Young people by many measures know less today than young people forty years ago."

    “Just 20 percent of young Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 read a daily paper. There’s now ay of knowing what part of the paper they’re reading. It is likelier toe encompass the comics and a quick glance at the front page than dense stories about Somalia or the budget.”

    “When one college teacher required a class to listen to NPR for an hour, one student summed up the general reaction to the experience by calling it ‘torture’.” (Having worked at public radio for 11 years, I can vouch that often, that’s a true assessment).

    “This generation is less well read than any other since statistics began to be kept.”

    I do not disagree that too many of our citizens are just too stupid to vote. Shenkman offers some solutions that I do have problems with.

    He believes foundations should finance polls to show just how ignorant Americans are. I think foundations have far better ways to spend their money. Actually, plenty of studies have been done to embarrass voters. Jay Leno’s idiot on the street interviews come to mind. The news media simply needs to keep publicizing our idiocy.

    Shenkman says there should be an emphasis on civics in the classroom. But shouldn’t that just be a normal function of American education? Why must there be legislation to force or mandate this instruction? Shouldn’t it be presented naturally?

    And here’s a beauty. Shenkman says students should be required to read newspapers. Since they can’t be forced to read anything, current events tests would be required so that students would have to read news sources to be able to pass.

    I’m sure a lefty like Shenkman would just love to see liberal indoctrination forced inside classrooms nationwide with students reading one liberal paper after another. Shenkman says not to worry. The kids would have top read the Weekly Standard and National Review, too. Ahhhh, the token conservative publications.  What does that break down to? Two out of hundreds?

    Shenkman also endorses the establishment of a fund providing federal tuition subsidies if they pass the mandated current events tests. It’s bad enough Shenkman wants to make kids read liberal papers but he wants to tax you to provide the benefits from reading all this lefty material.

    Just how stupid does Shenkman think we are?

    MATC Board votes to terminate Darnell Cole


    We'll talk about this Friday night on InterCHANGE at 6:30 on Channel 10.

    Keep an eye on those Badgers


    Not the basketball team, though they're back on the winning track. I'm talking about the Badger men's hockey team.

    From the Badger men's hockey insider:

    UP NEXT

    Wisconsin (16-11-3, 13-7-2 WCHA) revs things back up for the last three weeks of the regular season when No. 8 Denver (17-9-3, 13-7-3 WCHA)visits the Kohl Center this weekend in what could be an elimination series with regards to the MacNaughton Cup standings.

    Friday’s game will air live on NHL Network and MyMadisonTV, while Saturday’s contest will air on FSN Wisconsin and FSN Rocky Mountain. Both games will also air tape-delayed on Wisconsin Public Television.

    Check the UWBadgers.com game day page for live stats, game notes and live postgame news conference video.

    Both games can be heard live on the radio on WIBA-AM 1310 in Madison. The game will also air on the Badger Radio Network (check your local listings) and on the internet at Yahoo.com for a fee.



    UPDATE FROM UW ATHLETICS

    TOP STORY

    Wisconsin (16-11-3, 13-7-2 WCHA) revs things back up for the last three weeks of the regular season when No. 8 Denver (17-9-3, 13-7-3 WCHA) visits the Kohl Center this weekend in what could be an elimination series with regards to the MacNaughton Cup standings.

    Friday’s game will air live on NHL Network and MyMadisonTV, while Saturday’s contest will air on FSN Wisconsin and FSN Rocky Mountain. Both games will also air tape-delayed on Wisconsin Public Television.

    The Badgers are expected to welcome sophomore defenseman Brendan Smith back to the lineup after an eight-game absence.

    Check the UWBadgers.com game day page for live stats, game notes and live postgame news conference video.

    Both games can be heard live on the radio on WIBA-AM 1310 in Madison. The game will also air on the Badger Radio Network (check your local listings) and on the internet at Yahoo.com for a fee.

    ST. NORBERT’S ADDING WOMEN’S HOCKEY

    St. Norbert’s College, in the Green Bay area, announced this week it is adding women’s ice hockey to its sport offerings, another boost to the growth of ice hockey and women’s ice hockey in the State of Wisconsin.

    P.B. BLOGS

    Wisconsin television play-by-play announcer Paul Braun is back again for this week’s installment of his blog at UWBadgers.com. This week, P.B. takes a look at the Badgers who have played in the NHL and what his lineup would be if you could make up an team of former Badgers to try to win the Stanley Cup.

    McBAIN FOR HOBEY

    Visit hobeybaker.com to vote for who you think is the nation’s best player. Among those nominated is junior defenseman Jamie McBain, who leads the nation’s defensemen with 34 points.

    The latest coverage for McBain includes this article in The Daily Cardinal.

    You’ve surely noticed the big photo of McBain welcoming you to the men’s hockey page at UWBadgers.com. Well now a page is set up describing McBain’s Hobey credentials at UWBadgers.com/McBain. Visit the page for links of videos, photos, features, bios and other tidbits regarding McBain.

    ARTICLES AND STUFF

    WCHA.com – Badgers rise from 0-6-1 to battle for WCHA lead

    USCHO.com – This week in the WCHA

    Insidecollegehockey.com – Checking in around the WCHA

    Insidecollegehockey.com – Stick salute…

    Collegehockeynews.com – NCAA bracket ABCs

    Wisconsin State Journal – Small details could make big difference

    Wisconsin State Journal – Outdoor game update

    Wisconsin State Journal – Proposed facility update

    Badger Herald – Men’s hockey to host 1st place UD

    Badger Herald – Craig Johnson makes noise on ice

    Daily Cardinal – UW ready to battle for top spot

    Wisconsin State Journal – Wiercoch is UW’s loss, Denver’s gain

    Rocky Mountain News  - Pioneers face tough test against Badgers

    PICK YOUR FINAL FIVE

    The WCHA and the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., have put together a new contest called “Pick Your Final Five Sweepstakes.” The contest gives college hockey fans a chance to win four ticket packages to the 2010 WCHA Red Baron Final Five tournament by predicting which five WCHA teams will making the 2009 tournament, which two teams will face off in the championship game, which team will ultimately win and how many goals will be scored during the 2009 Final Five tournament.

    BADGER ELITE HOCKEY CAMPS

    During the summer of 2009, the Kohl Center will play host to hockey camps for the first time. For more information about the camps, which run in July and August, visit uwcamps.com.

    BIRDS TWITTER, DO BADGERS?

    Birds twitter, do Badgers? They do now. You can sign up and follow the Badgers on your computer or your phone. Click here to find out how.

    DOWNLOAD THE BADGER HOCKEY SCHEDULE TO YOUR CALENDAR

    You can now download the Wisconsin men’s hockey schedule into google calendar and to other personal calendars, like your phone. Visit UWBadgers.com here for instructions.

    WANT SCORES TEXTED TO YOUR PHONE?

    You can have scores texted to your phone after all of Wisconsin’s men’s hockey games via the Wisconsin Athletic Department’s text-message service. The service is free to subscribers (standard text-message rates apply) and is available on all cell phones. 

    -To subscribe text "BUCKY" to 72645

    -Throughout the athletic season, registered users will be provided three to five alerts per week

    -content delivered right to your mobile phone

    -Featured content includes score updates, breaking team news, ticket announcements, promotional information, special event invitations, and more.

    -The service is free and available on all phone carriers in the United States.

    -Standard text message rates apply.


    UPDATE: Badgers fall Friday night in OT

    UPDATE: Badgers get shut out Saturday night

    Our winter weather: Here we go again


    One of my blogs this week that got a lot of attention took aim at the TV weather crowd. In case you’ve forgotten, their earliest predictions for that “storm” a few days ago were for 4-8 inches. What did we get? An ever so slight dusting that blew off the driveway the next morning.

    Well, as Yogi Berra once said, it’s déjà vu all over again. One of the TV weather gods tonight said the next “storm” (OH MY GOD!)  this weekend could be in the 6-8 inch range.

    I figure I have two options:


    1) Run out and stock up on Wonder Bread and whatever milk the missus is drinking these days.

    2) Buck up, realize it’s February in Wisconsin, and wait once again till they’re wrong and laugh like crazy.


    I choose #2.

    What's $800 BILLION x 2?


    God help us.

    Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan told Kent Wainscott of WISN-TV News tonight that Congress is considering  ANOTHER federal stimulus package if the current porkalooza doesn't work. If Congress is already  discussing Plan B, it's clear the first stimulus will bomb.

    Don't forget.....Culinary no-no #100 is this Sunday

    Culinary no-no's


    Until Sunday’s 100th installment, some appetizers.

    The economy has some chain restaurants skimping.

    And I’m not a picky eater. I like just about anything. But if I had to think about and come up with the five worst foods in the world, I’m sure I could write that list.

    Meredith Ford-Goldman did.

    Miss This Just In this weekend and you miss a lot


    Our regular weekend features come your way on This Just In….great reading material since we’re going to get 28 inches of snow, unless, of course the wind changes.

    Jennifer has her dog blog, The Barking Lot Saturday morning.

    Why is this little guy........
     

    RIGHT_THING


    Featured on Week-ends? And which Democrats made my HEROES OF THE WEEK? Find out Saturday morning.

    Also Saturday, I'll provide some Recommended Reading.

    Sunday, it's My Most Popular Blogs, Photos of the Week, the MJS Scorecard, and the 100th edition of Culinary no-no.

    So thanks for stopping by!



    Goodnight everyone, and have a nice weekend


    It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

    You may not recognize the name, Eumir Deodato.





    But you'e probably heard his work. An accomplished talent, his bio is incredible.

    In 1973, he had a #2 hit instrumental of Also Sprach Zarathustra, the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Deodato usually paid homage in his albums to a classic artist or recording. His "Artistry" album included a live version of W.C. Handy's, "St.Louis Blues."

    Here's Deodato from a 1975 broadcast of the Italian TV show, "Punto e Basta" performing "St. Louis Blues" followed by his own composition, "Super Strut."



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    The Barking Lot

    The Barking Lot


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



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

    TODAY:  Winter storm warning in effect. Snow, 3-5 inches.  
    "F" .

    SUNDAY: Decreasing clouds, windy and cold and all that snow and ice on the ground. Horrible for dog walking. "F"

    I was only two years old when I got my first dog, Sugar.  Needless to say I had no opinion in the breed, much less in how to raise this new puppy.  All my parents knew was that they wanted me to grow up with a four-legged companion.  Sugar was indeed, that perfect companion, and so began my love for dogs.

    There are pictures of me, diapered and “Nuk” in mouth, sharing my sandbox and play area with Sugar.  The family photo album includes many other pictures of us through the years…  Sugar with some ridiculous costume that I made her wear, Sugar and I asleep together on the couch or in my bed, Sugar sitting up and begging for a treat I was holding over her head.

    All we knew in my family about raising a dog was that it needed to be housebroken, have regular veterinary check ups, and be loved unconditionally.  Seemed pretty easy to us.  There was not a PSYCHOLOGY behind raising a dog; it was just something that you did.  And it included an occasional slap on the rump if the dog was particularly naughty.  In our house, the food and water dishes were always full; none of this twice-daily feeding for our pets.  Somehow, miraculously, Sugar and all our subsequent pets lived long, happy, food-and-love-filled lives.

    But now, we are told we need to demonstrate Alpha behavior over our dogs.  No longer is it good enough to praise your dog when it learns a new trick.  You must be in control at all times or risk owning a mal-adjusted, anti-social mutt that growls at you.  We NEVER and I mean NEVER had a behavior problem with Sugar.  She was a sweet, gentle soul that just wanted to be petted, loved, and fed.  But if she had turned out to be a misfit, it would have been OUR fault as irresponsible owners who didn’t take on the role of alpha dog.

    I know, and have known, many dog owners in my life.  Some of these owners merely regard their pet as just that… a pet.  A dog, a companion, but not what they would consider part of the FAMILY with whom they would share their plate of food.  Some of these owners are on the opposite end of that spectrum… who regard their dog as their CHILD and literally dress them up on a regular basis and talk to them in baby talk.

    I prefer something in between these two extremes.  I have always felt that a dog IS a member of the family.  As such, they should receive plenty of love and attention, as well as have all their nutritional and medical needs met.  If I want my dog to curl up on the couch next to me then that is what I am going to do.  If I want to give my dog a treat simply because I got an extra tail wag or hand lick, then by all means my dog is going to get a treat!  And I’m sorry but my dog’s water dish is ALWAYS going to be full, he is not going to have to WAIT until I feel it is appropriate to quench his thirst. 

    I suppose that there are extremely valid reasons for adopting this dog-raising philosophy.  I agree that a dog should be a wonderful and loving addition to a family, and that you should never tolerate dangerous behavior in a dog.  Certainly that is not why you adopted Fido in the first place.

    Somehow I think the dog-raising business has gotten out of hand.  I see nothing wrong with raising your dog the “old fashioned way.”  It’s like child-rearing these days…  now parents need books and classes and videos and 24-hour help lines and support groups to assist them when their child goes astray.  We can’t just discipline our child with strong words and grounding; we have to be their FRIEND.  Blah, blah, blah.  The same is now happening with our pets.  We must be psychologists and out-THINK our dog or our entire family will be in turmoil.

    If Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith, Denise Richards, Daisy Fuentes, Nicolas Cage, Scarlett Johansson, and Hilary Duff need the help of Cesar Millan to rehabilitate their pooch perhaps they should stick to acting.  Then again with the list I just mentioned I’m not so sure they’re cut out for that, either.
    ---Jennifer Fischer


    Thanks, Jennifer. Nice job as always.

    That means it's now time for........DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made...

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    HEADLINES the past week!

    Last week, Jennifer wrote that some smokers finally have found a reason to quit: the health of their pets. The New York Times wrote about the issue this week.

    As we often report, the news isn't always good. This week's sad news comes from Hollywood.

    Back to good news. Actually, this is great news....honors for dogs from Congress.

    Rock'O is a hero. You know why? Rock'O can sniff peanuts.

    Patricia and Tom Collins are also heroes.

    Pet trends that must die...

    Here's some advice from the experts: Don't leave dog training to amateurs.

    This one defies description, so here it is. 

    And finally, why we love dogs.  "Why we love cats and dogs" is a PBS "Nature" special this weekend. You can see it on MIlwaukee Public Television Channel 36.3 (Channel 550 on Time Warner)
     on 2/21 (That's today) at 7:00 am, 1:00 pm , 7:00pm, and 11:00pm. 

    That's it for this week. Jennifer and I say, thank you, dog lovers!



    Read more

    Pewaukee is #1


    I am shocked, SHOCKED that taxpayer-friendly Franklin lost out on this ranking.

    Week-ends

    Week-ends


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


    HEROES OF THE WEEK


    The Boehms


    CNBC'S Rick Santelli


    Darrell Thompson


    Pastor Charles Jacobs Jr.


    Wisconsin legislative Democrats Annette Polly Williams and Bob Ziegelbauer


    The Franklin Common Council



    VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


    Taxer Jim Doyle


    Spender Jim Doyle


    A criminal's best friend, Jim Doyle


    Denise Novotny, Angela and David Schmidt


    Tiffany Burkhardt


    Overzealous cops



    QUOTES OF THE WEEK


    "Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot,in things racial we have always been, and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards."
    Our nation's first African-American attorney general, Eric Holder in a speech to employees of the Justice Department. 


    "If a federal agency proposes a project that will waste that money, I will not hesitate to call them out on it and put a stop to it."
    President Obama at a gathering of 80 mayors at the White House.


    "I've told all my friends: You better like me today, because you're not going to like me on Wednesday."
    Governor Doyle, joking before he proposed his biennial state budget.


    "
    It's hard to dream up a more foolish time to raise taxes on Wisconsin businesses. This is just as foolish as it gets."
    State Representative Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin), during Assembly debate on the budget repair bill package. 


    "I heard the governor say that Wisconsinites don’t curl up and hide beneath the covers. But I think taxpayers better do that."
    Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), reacting to the governor's budget address.


    "
    We’ve got domestic partnerships, prevailing wage law, red light traffic cameras, primary seatbelt enforcement, statewide smoking ban -- these are things that don’t belong in a budget bill; these are issues that should be debated individually."
    State Senator Neal Kedzie (R-Elkhorn), on the non-fiscal policies included in the governor's budget proposal. 


    "It makes no sense. It'll shut down the industry. They won't come. They can't."
    Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, disagreeing with a provision of Governor Doyle’s budget revising the state’s tax credits for film production.


    "I feel there are people who are only using this as a means to facilitate the removal of Dr. Cole, so if it wasn't this it would have been something else they would like to use."
    Activist Lamonte Harris on the firing of Darnell Cole as Milwaukee Area Technical College president after Cole was charged with drunken driving.


    "
    This bold move would provide immediate incentive to put money back into the market place. Imagine the impact on builders, auto, truck and motorcycle dealers, retailers and all others who are hurting under this economy."
    Milwuakee County Executive Scott Walker, calling for stimulus money to fund sales and property tax breaks during his State of the County address. 


    "
    We live in a morally sick society when our supposedly 'finest' medical professionals promote, rationalize and carry out the destruction of our young. What a disservice we do to women when the solution we offer is to destroy their children."
    Barbara Lyons of Wisconsin Right to Life



    OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


    Millions down the drain



    MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


    Election night was a bad one for the teachers union.



    MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


    The snowstorm earlier in the week that never came.

    And Oscar previews.



    STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


    The chimp


    I saw Mommy suing Santa Claus


    Mice falling from the ceiling


    Male homecoming queen



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

    Recommended reading

    Recommended reading


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


    Limbaugh: Mr. President, keep the airwaves free

    "You have singled me out directly, admonishing members of Congress not to listen to my show. Bill Clinton has since chimed in, complaining about the lack of balance on radio. And a number of members of your party, in and out of Congress, are forming a chorus of advocates for government control over radio content. This is both chilling and ominous."


    Pardon the interruption

    "In this interlude between health czar nominees, and before we legislate government as the solution and final arbiter of medical care, it may be a good time to consider a few unheralded facts about America's health-care system. For instance, did you know:"


    A tale of two Democrats

    "More mixed messages from our state government (read: Democrats in Charge)"


    Henny Penny and the right to vote

    "I believe that any individual who is receiving a government subsidy should lose his/her right to vote for as long as s/he receives that subsidy
    ."


    Democratic leader to business: you're the problem

    "The powerful chairman of the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee had a blunt message for business leaders gathered at a Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce conference in Madison last week: The state's economic woes can be laid right at their doorstep."


    Democrats acting badly

    "I hope that the next time President Obama holds a press conference one reporter in the room asks him if he supports his Attorney General's opinion that America is 'a nation of cowards'."


    Our battered American

    "I’ve never said or done a racist thing in my life, not one. Always supported equal opportunity, always will. So don’t call me a 'coward' or my countrymen 'cowards,' not when you’re my Attorney General. You are The Attorney General of the United States of America, so please, no more playing Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson."


    President ignores tragedy of abortion

    "President Obama offered remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast that made a few pro-lifers stand up and take notice.  He said..."


    Media bias doesn't have to be national

    "We all know that there is liberal bias at the national networks, but we tend to trust our local media not to have that same bias. However it's unfortunately there, just better hidden it seems."


    You don't need a weatherman

    "Coleman’s life has been dedicated to studying and presenting weather and the science that creates it—so shouldn’t we at least hear him out? He thinks we should, and he has supporters. He says the science we’ve digested is erroneous."


    Big hit beats global warming

    "Global warming is for sissies. Here's a macho problem for dedicated environmentalists."


    Sex and the single priest

    "It is perfectly acceptable to spew intolerance against Christians in general and Catholics in particular. But the bonanza of prejudice is reserved for Catholic priests."


    Stripping your way to success

    "Why so many big screen strippers and hookers?"

    Just how out of touch is Governor Doyle?


    Plenty.


    “We should not, we must not and I will not raise taxes."

    Governor Doyle statement during his 2003 State of the State address.

    Good guy or bad guy?


    Army soldier Kris Walker doesn't want to return to Iraq. I don't blame him, but his reasoning is questionable. Walker says the Iraq war is immoral.

    You have to wonder what motivated him to join the Armed Forces in the first place if he felt that way.

    A Pentagon spokesman says, " He’s actually turning his back on his battle buddies. By just not reporting, you’re letting down your teammates. When you raise your right hand to defend the country, you knew there was a time you could possibly be deployed.”

    I tend to agree.

    Here's the story.

    Could UCLA students do...


    What our military intelligence has been unable to?

    OMG, I am one sexy devil


    I mean, would you just look at that face.









    Now everyone knows what a shy, unassuming, quiet, humble guy I am. For the longest time, I’m talkin’ years, baby, I’ve known how truly sexy I am, but I’ve always kept it inside of me. I figured others knew it, too, but again, I’m just too modest to go broadcasting this obvious fact all over the place.

    I can stay silent no longer. Not after the whole country read that piece in USA WEEKEND not too long ago. Is it any wonder so many bloggers write about me and include my picture. They can’t help but realize it, too. Granted, my glasses aren't that retro geeky style. But it seems glasses in general are considered to have great appeal. 










    Good God almighty. I am the total package.

    Not every governor is a walking talking Porky Pig..


    Like Jim Doyle.

    Not at all.

    My most popular blogs

    Most popular


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


    1) Photos of the Week (2/15/09)

    2) Many flaws in Governor's budget address

    3) For cryin' out loud, just tell me when it will start snowing!!!

    4) Franklin blogger lies about Senator Lazich

    5) VOTE ROSE FERNANENDEZ TUESDAY FOR STATE DPI SUPERINTENDENT

    The MJS Scorecard (2/22/09)

    MJS Scorecard


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


    TODAY'S LIBERAL PIECES

    Robert Pollin: Green energy means more jobs 

    Mark Muro and Sarah Rahman: Can metro areas untangle the stimulus mess?


    TODAY’S CONSERVATIVE PIECES:

    Scott Fitzgerald: Doyle's budget shows impact of one-party rule in our state

    The MJS re-printed this column from the Washington Post by George Will:  Feingold’s Constitution

    David Walker: Stop digging ourselves further into national debt. Walker is a former comptroller general of the United States. I could not find the article online.


    NEITHER LIBERAL NOR CONSERVATIVE

    Barbara Beckert and Karen Avery: Improve county services now

    James Sonnenberg and Stephen Paske: Critics of MPS just won't see for themselves

    It’s tempting to label this, “Liberal.” But the authors, commendably, point to some of the good that’s going on at MPS. And we all want more of that.


    MJS SCORECARD:

    TODAY: Liberal-2, Conservative-3

    YEAR TO DATE: Liberal-16, Conservative-11

    Photos of the Week (2/22/09)

    Photos of the Week



    3,200 Army soldiers fill the floor during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis. The one-year deployment of the Wisconsin National Guard to Iraq will be the largest since World War II. Photo by Corey Wilson/ Green Bay Press-Gazette






    Family members and friends stand for the national anthem during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis.  Photo by Corey Wilson/ Green Bay Press-Gazette




    Dozens of the 3,200 Army soldiers salute for the national anthem during the send-off ceremony for the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Feb. 17, 2009 at the Dane County Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Madison, Wis. Photo by Corey Wilson/Green Bay Press-Gazette


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    Is that the "best" Hollywood can do?

    Nostalgia


    A good friend of mine and his wife singlehandedly (Can they do that if they’re two people? Well, you know what I mean) keep Hollywood in business. They go out to the movies lie clockwork every weekend.

    Actually, I believe it’s more accurate to say that more often than not, she drags him to the theater. Most weekends, they go twice.

    Do the math. Even if they hit a movie twice a week for only half the year and once a week the other half, that’s about 75 movies.  Everyone, of course makes their own choice about how to spend their discretionary income. But excuse me; those egomaniacs in Hollywood can’t make 75 decent movies in 10 years.

    I’m a firm believer in that age old phrase that “they just don’t make 'em like they used to.” Let’s take a look, in increments of five years, at the previous Academy Award winners for Best Picture:
     

    1927-1928 - Wings
    Wings Poster



    1928-1929 - The Broadway Melody
    The Broadway Melody Poster



    1932-1933 Cavalcade
    Cavalcade Poster




    1938 - You Can’t Take It with You

    You Can



    1943 - Casablanca
    Casablanca Poster



    1948 - Hamlet
    Hamlet Poster


    1953 - From Here to Eternity

    From Here to Eternity Poster



    1958 - Gigi
    Gigi Poster




    1963 - Tom Jones
    Tom Jones Poster



    1968 - Oliver!
    Oliver! Poster



    1973 - The Sting
    The Sting Poster



    1978 - The Deer Hunter
    The Deer Hunter Poster



    1983 - Terms of Endearment
    Terms of Endearment Poster



    1988 - Rain Man
    Rain Man Poster



    1993 - Schindler’s List
    Schindler



    1998 - Shakespeare in Love
    Shakespeare in Love Poster



    2003 - The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Poster



    2008- ???

    The nominees:

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
    Frost/Nixon
    Milk
    The Reader
    Slumdog Millionaire

    Again, would someone tell me that movies of today are that much better than movies of the past?

    (Source of movie posters: www.movieposteraddict.com)

    And take a look at this...

    Lenny Briscoe and the Oscars

    Nostalgia


    There are certain offerings it seems you can always find on cable television:

    The movie, “Jaws”

    M*A*S*H*

    The Andy Griffith Show

    Law and Order

    I love Law and Order. Even with the 427 cast changes. But I prefer certain episodes.

    There should be a law that any reruns of Law and Order must be the ones that have Jerry Orbach portraying veteran NYC detective Lenny Briscoe. The ultimate compliment for Orbach came from many real members of the NYPD that say he, more than anyone, truly captured the authentic persona, attitude, and mannerisms of a New York cop.

    Orbach died in late 2004, but I thought of him this week as I saw an L & O rerun just days before the telecast of the Academy Awards.

    Not many movie fans remember the legendary tough guy James Cagney as a better than average song and dance man. Ditto Jerry Orbach.

    I recall and loved his performance on the Oscars many years ago of an Academy Award nominated Best Song from Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast."


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    We really shouldn't care, but we do...

    They arrive in Hollywood to fall all over themselves, wildly exaggerate their importance, and tell each other how great they are.




    Actress Virginia Madsen arrives. at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009.


     Singer Miley Cyrus arrives at the 81st Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 22, 2009. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

    Singer Miley Cyrus arrives. 


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    Culinary no-no #100

    Culinary no-no's, Kevin's favorites


    When I first met former MenomoneeFallsNOW blogger Karen Taubenheim, she made a comment I thought was odd. Some time ago, MyCommunityNOW editor Mark Maley had convened a meeting of the community bloggers. Once the meeting concluded, seated near the back of the room, Karen and I and other bloggers talked about our blogs and writing experiences following the meeting.

    One young blogger, and forgive me I can’t remember who, told me that even though he rarely agreed with me, he enjoyed reading This Just In. A few other remarks were made, and then Taubenheim chimed in, smiling.

    “I really like the culinary no-no’s.”

    With raised eyebrows, I responded profoundly.

    “You what?”

    “I really like the culinary no-no’s.”

    There was a definite echo in the room.

    “You have got to be joking.”

    Taubenheim also said she wished that I posted earlier in the day and hated waiting at times until Sunday night to read. Poor woman.

    The weekly Sunday blog had only been around for a few months, so I was surprised to hear Taubenheim, whose work I enjoyed and respected, single out from all my work this feature that started out as a complete whim.

    Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinions, ruins brats by squirting……..ketchup on them.

    No no no. Eureka! We had a blog title.

    Other dining taboo’s quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. There are more food blogs than stimulus dollars, but not that many (one?) that go the opposite direction.

    Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. Why? To this day, I honestly don’t know, but this effort is consistently one of my most-widely read pieces each week.

    Here are the five most popular Culinary no-no’s:


    5) Culinary no-no #53: This one had an “earthy” flavor

    4) Culinary no-no #59:  How can a fish fry be a no-no?

    3) Culinary no-no #74:  Do I really want to know? Must I know?

    2) Culinary no-no #52:  Possibly the most serious, most important no-no

    1) Culinary no-no #60:  BAM!


    The Culinary no-no that generated the most comments: Culinary no-no #42.

    Thank you very much for your continued support and interest. I am gratified, if not totally surprised.

    Here’s Culinary no-no #100:


    Once a week she visited our 7th grade class.  A sweet, charming, bubbly lady, she hailed originally from Cincinnati, but had an accent thicker than Scarlett O’Hara’s.  Her mission: to groom a bunch of 13-year old kids.

    Because after all, as she often drawled, “You wanna be nice, good lookin’ and clean all over, dontcha, huhhhhhhhh?????!!!!”

    Manners. We had to learn and practice good manners.

    As hysterical as this may sound to some of you,  I was an extremely good boy. To this day, I always try to be a perfect gentleman. I owe it all to that woman.

    She hammered proper etiquette into us like a drill sergeant with a perpetual smile. Over and over and over and over and over again. Want another analogy? It was Vince Lombardi-like. Then came the real test, the time to execute.

    Maybe she could sense that I was not an insensitive kid. Whatever the reason, when she issued an assignment pairing up a boy with a girl to put the grooming lessons into practice, I got matched with Sharon Clock.

    Everyone in the 7th grade knew that I had a thing for Debbie Huck and vice versa since the 1st grade. Debbie was pretty, very smart and sweet, and built beyond her 7th grade status. Sharon Clock was short, dumpy, fat, and had a silver front tooth. Kids didn’t dislike her. They just pretty much ignored her.

    Instead of Debbie Huck, for the next several weeks, I would shadow Sharon. I pulled out her chair. I held the door for her. I hung up her coat. I held her coat when she put it on. I carried her books.  I talked nice to her.

    “Is there anything else I can do for you, Sharon? Is there anything I can get you, Sharon? Do you have any other request before I kill myself, Sharon?”

    When you’re in the 7th grade, you possess Superman-like peripheral vision and hearing. You can see and hear the smirks and laughter as you help Little Miss Fatty into her seat.

    At a Friday afternoon in-classroom party, the occasion escapes me, other kids were spinning records and dancing and laughing and joking.

    “Would you like to go hang out with other kids, Sharon?”

    "
    No, not really, Kevin.”

    “Well, what do you wanna do?”

    “Are you serious, Kevin?”

    Her words echoed through my brain: "You wanna be nice, good lookin’ and clean all over, dontcha, huhhhhhhhh?????!!!!”

    “Sure, Sharon.”

    “I’d like to play chess.”

    “Excuse me?”

    “Chess. I want to play chess."

    It’s amazing how a 7th grader’s thoughts can quickly turn from good grooming to homicide in a matter of seconds. So we played chess, and I tried to ignore the 45’s blaring in the background, and the laughing, and the snickering.

    This is a lengthy lead-up to the point that there are obvious differences between the sexes. That’s a very good thing. As such, in certain situations, the sexes should be treated differently. That, too, is a very good thing. This includes treatment at restaurants.

    Since Fred Flintstone was ordering racks of ribs at outdoor diners, it has been customary that women and men are not served the same way.

    Women get menus first.

    Orders are taken from women first.

    Women are presented their plates first.

    Women get their plates cleared first.

    Did you know that at most higher-end restaurants, software allows servers to make a note of the places at tables that dishes are going to and if the diner is female? For example, a server can punch in, “L” for “lady.”

    Some upscale restaurants are moving away from gender-conscious treatment of patrons. Everybody’s the same. If a guy gets his steak served before the gal gets her broiled fish, is it cataclysmic? Of course not. I can and would argue it’s still wrong (You hear that, Mrs. Cincinnati, whoever you are?!).

    One New York restaurant owner has informed staff to try to read tables to see if they’d care or not about the whole gender treatment deal. That’s pretty risky, if you ask me, especially at a time when restaurants are begging for every patron that comes through their doors. Most restaurateurs, I submit, must and should consider sex differences if they want to be successful.

    NY Times dining writer Frank Bruni says these old ways could be considered, “chivalrous” or “chauvinistic.” How about, “proper?”

    There’s more. Is it wrong for the proprietor of a fine dining establishment to take the female gender into consideration when designing menus, choosing the menu wording, selecting the color the dining rooms are painted, or setting the restaurant’s temperature?

    Gender matters. Bruni of the NY Times concedes:


    “I’m regularly struck by that difference when friends hit me up for restaurant recommendations.

    Men rarely ask me about lighting. Women frequently do, wanting reassurance that it isn’t too bright.

    W
    omen more often ask if a menu has leaner, healthier options. Men more often ask if they can get a decent steak.”


    The same holds true, Bruni writes, for restaurant décor:


    “At the Greenwich Village restaurant Elettaria, where the bound linen dinner menu evokes a diary and elements of the décor bring to mind a dollhouse, I spotted more women than men.

    At the Greenwich Village restaurant Cru, decorated in clubby brown tones and distinguished by a wine list that lets high rollers rack up breathtaking bills, I spotted more men than women.”


    While women should be treated differently, they also should not get poorer service simply because they’re female.

    Do they? You bet. But could that be because they’re their own worst enemies? Oh, yes.

    They don’t spend as much, they yak and yak and yak and tie up a table, and they don’t tip as well as men. So what goes through a waiter or waitress’s mind when a group of 10 women get seated?

    Bruni of the NY Times writes, “Although the goal in many public places and in much of public life is to treat men and women equally, most upscale restaurants haven’t reached that point.”

    Yet.

    That’s a good thing.

    Let’s keep it that way.

    Remember: What's better than a Grand Slam?


    This...

    CNN: The Censorship News Network


    Take a look at this ad, sponsored by Fidelis and CatholicVote.com.

    It was rejected by NBC for this year's Super Bowl.

    Now, CNN refuses to air it during President Obama's State of the Union address Wednesday night.

    That's called censorship, folks.


    Read more

    THEY'RE COMING

     File:Ponczki.jpg

    Don't come to a gun fight with a pea shooter


    Listen and watch as a reporter makes a horse's *** out of himself questioning Jim Calhoun, the coach of the #1 ranked Connecticut Huskies (UCONN is in town this week to play Marquette. Local sports reporters, watch this video and take heed).



    Read more

    Hey, kid, today you get a raise, next week, you lose your job


    Two weeks ago, the state Senate did a very stupid thing. Senators approved a bill to raise the
    minimum wage from $6.50 to $7.60 per hour. That’s a 17% increase, folks. Those of you who got a 17% salary increase this year, please raise your hands.

    Yeh. That would be none of you (Unless you're a teenager, the predominant recipient of a minimum wage).

    The increase was bad enough, but the Senate, controlled by Democrats compounded the damage to businesses and jobs by including an annual increase in the minimum wage tied to inflation. That’s right. Automatic increase.

    Democrats like Tim Carpenter who are argued a few years ago that it was soooooooooo wrong to have an annual automatic increase in the state’s gasoline tax without a vote by the Legislature felt there was nothing wrong whatsoever in sticking it to businesses with this automatic hike.

    My boss, state Senator Mary lazich voted against this measure as did 13 other Senate Republicans. The measure now goes to the state Assembly.

    Automatically increasing the minimum wage based on the rate of inflation is called indexing.

    Kristen Lopez Eastlick writes a solid op-ed piece in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and Lakeland Ledger. Here’s an excerpt:


    Minimum wage proponents argue that people have to come before profits. But when so many small businesses operate with razor-slim profits to begin with, those companies that are forced to pay their low-skilled employees a premium are faced with two options: Drive up prices and make their products less competitive, or shut down completely. And no one profits from a shuttered storefront.”


    Here’s her entire piece.

    Contact your state Representative in the state Assembly. Tell him/her you want to protect businesses and save jobs. Please vote against the bill increasing the minimum wage that includes indexing.

    Bad, but not Jimmy Carter bad


    My friend Joel McNally’s summer home is on Mars. Ultra-lefty McNally, the king of the outrageous statements, uttered another in his long line of preposterous pronouncements last Friday night on Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE when he yammered one of the popular talking points of early 2009: We’re living in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    Anybody who’s been alive or read a newspaper the past 30 years knows that’s not even close to being true so I simply had to interject that the embarrassing years of the Carter Administration when America was at one of its lowest points in its glorious history were worse than what we’re experiencing today. I reminded my co-panelist of the double-digit percentage everything we as a nation suffered under the peanut farmer who invented the “Misery Index.”

    The flustered McNally took my assertion as an assault on a liberal president. Oh well…

    Actually, it was a fact. I made it clear on television that the current economy is rough (And don't anyone lecture me about tough times. I've been unemployed four times in my career). But the worst since the Great Depression? No sir.

    Under Jimmy Carter:

    16 percent inflation

    2
    2 percent interest rates

    18 percent mortgage rates

    10 percent unemployment

    70 percent marginal tax rates

    One of the reasons the economy that, I’ll grant you has seen much better days, is viewed as so horrific is summed up well by Bruce Bialosky, the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California:


    “The problem with most of the people regarding the current economy comes from never having experienced a real recession.”

    But does the economy warrant a panic?

    Bialosky writes that we need to get a grip.

    Photo radar


    As we learn more and more about what's in Governor Doyle's proposed state budget, it gets goofier and scarier.

    In the mid-90's, during a talk show I hosted on WTMJ Radio, I gauged the audience's response to a photo radar proposal. You'd have thought I asked them what they thought of toll roads. The reaction was overwhelmingly negative.

    Governor Doyle wants to implement photo radar. James Orwell. A camera in the sky. A ticket in the mail.

    Is our governor out of touch? What if he had campaigned on this issue when he was up for re-election?

    Funny how this junk comes out after someone is safely back in office.

    *WARNING: FAMILY BRAGGING ALERT!*


    There are new Rehorst products brought to you by my talented cousin Doug MacKenzie. My lovely cousin, Claire also had a hand in the production.

    Take a look.

    Paczkis for the Archbishop?


    This Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent for Catholics. The day before Ash Wednesday, today is Paczki Day.

    Two years ago, I blogged one of my personal favorites about the pre-Lenten ritual of paczki's.

    I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

    "Americans can do anything"


    The mainstream media, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Democrat Party will be filled with gushing accounts of the president's State of the Union Address.

    How about a positive, upbeat, uplifting response?

    And, this follow-up.

    Criminals, don't worry...Governor Doyle's got your back


    Law-abiding citizens of Wisconsin, Governor Doyle is NOT your friend.

    He wants to let a whole bunch of bad guys out of prison before they’re supposed to be released.

    On top of that, he wants to have fewer prosecutors going after bad guys to lock them up.

    The robbers, rapists, burglars, arsonists and murderers thank you, Governor Doyle.

    Budget deficit solution: a reprieve from the governor


    Some states actually (foolishly) think one of the solutions to their budget woes is to perform fewer executions.

    Sure. Take more deterrence out of capital punishment. 

    You must see an ultrasound FIRST


    This is a good bill,
    being considered in Texas.

    Lefty flake Keith Olbermann...


    Utters "Oh, God"
    before GOP response to Obama's State of the Union.

    And Obama's approval ratings went...


    Down, down, down...

    UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95-Rated XXX


    Culinary no-no #95


    “No cameras, no touching, cash only.”

    "What's your flavor?"


    The Cheesecake Factory wants to know.

    The USA TODAY didn't ask Wisconsin


    “Almost no one believes that Americans are getting good value for their health care dollars.”

    That’s what the USA TODAY writes. The USA TODAY would be wrong (By the way, that's some whopper of an idea the presdient has, isn't it?).

    Even though Governor Doyle and legislative Democrats want to tear apart our health care system and replace it with a Socialist-style government plan, the fact is our state offers some of the best health care in the country, with many satisfied customers.

    Wisconsin was ranked first in the nation in health care quality based on information compiled by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The state's hospitals also were given the highest score in the country.

    Milwaukee hospitals ranked number one in patient satisfaction when patients were asked to evaluate their experience in the emergency departments in that city. That was the finding in another national survey of more than 1.5 million patients treated in more than 1,500 acute care hospitals around the country.

    The report also ranked the metropolitan areas with a population of 500,000 or more with the highest levels of patient satisfaction about their emergency room experience. Milwaukee ranks #1.

    Why ruin a good thing by letting the government take over?

    You might wanna just stay in bed Thursday


    You've got the ugly weather...about an inch of rain is in the forecast. Maybe some snow, depending on where you are.

    The president unveils his budget. Bye bye wallet.

    And you've got bad news coming from everywhere in new reports:

    Weekly jobless claims

    January numbers for durable goods

    January numbers for new-home sales

    General Motors reports its quarterly earnings

    JIm Doyle announces he's learned about a whole new bunch of tax increases while in Spain.

    OK, that last one probably won't happen. We think it won't. Maybe not. It shouldn't. Well, knowing Doyle, it could.

    Rally supporting government intrusion to be held in Green Bay


    Advocates of government over-regulation, government trampling on property rights, government intruding into private businesses,  government banning the use of a legal product, and government killing jobs will gather at noon Thursday at the Brown County Courthouse in Green Bay. They will demand a statewide smoking ban.

    If they're successful, they won't stop there. Can't smoke in your own business? How about not being able to smoke in your own car?

    Ultimately, these opponents of freedoms won't rest until you can't smoke in your very own home.

    HT: Ban the ban Wisconsin

    Do not bow at the altar of Obama


    "Americans, including many Catholics, elected a gifted man to fix an economic crisis. That’s the mandate. They gave nobody a mandate to retool American culture on the issues of marriage and the family, sexuality, bioethics, religion in public life and abortion. That retooling could easily happen, and it clearly will happen -- but only if Catholics and other religious believers allow it."


    Those comments about President Obama are from Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput, who also says, "Whatever his strengths, there’s no way to reinvent his record on abortion and related issues with rosy marketing about unity, hope and change........We can’t claim to be ‘Catholic’ and ‘pro-choice’ at the same time without owning the responsibility for where the choice leads – to a dead unborn child."

    Chaput has issued a warning that worshipping Obama needs to be put in check.  That means you hypocritical Catholics who voted for the guy.

    UPDATE from the Denver Post

    "Almost as much a character as (Al) McGuire"


    That's what the NY Times says about Marquette coach Buzz Williams. The paper's profile of the head man of the Golden Eagles portrays him as geeky, strange, peculiar, and consumed.

    It's an interesting piece.

    If Jennifer and I have a girl...


    I'm thinkin' this is an investment.

    $20 ....


    Well spent.

    UPDATE: Bad, but not Jimmy Carter bad


    Earlier this week,  I took issue with the mantra that we are living in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

    Today, Victor Davis Hanson writes in the National Review that while we’re not in the best of times, it ain’t exactly 1932:

    “The majority of working Americans are not yet pulling out their sinking retirement funds. Most are still putting away pre-tax money each month, apparently confident that within a few years their portfolios will return to their former value. Some are even consoled that they are now buying mutual funds at rock-bottom prices rather than investing in sky-high investments at the peak of a bull market.

    Times are bad for those out of work or those who bought expensive homes with paltry down payments. Yet for those hurting, there is a vast array of government help. Both private companies and public agencies offer all sorts of ways to either walk away from mortgage obligations or have them renegotiated. The same is true for credit-card debt.

    Unemployment insurance, welfare, food stamps, and even more new social programs on the way have redefined poverty from what our grandparents told us of the Great Depression.”

    Here’s the entire piece.

    Friday night on InterCHANGE


    Here are the topics to be discussed on InterCHANGE Friday night on MIlwaukee Public Television at 6:30 with a repeat Sunday morning at 11:00:


    1 – NATIONAL ECONOMY.

    Obama sends a $3.5 trillion dollar budget to Congress that marks a pretty dramatic shift in national priorities and leaves unprecedented deficits, including $1.75 trillion this year, nearly four times last years record $455 billion dollar deficit.  Will Congress go along with this? Is he doing exactly what he told his supporters he would do, i.e. make the nations priorities health care, education, and energy?   Are we supposed to believe the financial experts this administration uses, and not the ones that were used the previous eight years?  Is this too massive a measure for someone who has only been in office for one month?  Is this an investment in our future, or a redistribution of wealth?  Which advice to you follow?  That which says “Don’t spend what you don’t have” or that which says, “You have to spend money to make money.” 


    2 – DOLAN TO NYC.

    Milwaukee Archbishop Timothy Dolan heads to New York City.  Will he be missed in Milwaukee?  Was he really that important to Milwaukee Catholics?  What kind of Archbishop will replace him?  Will it be a liberal like Weakland, or a conservative like Dolan?  Will Dolan be able to handle the media scrutiny he is sure to face in New York?


    3 – MPS Residency.

    Once again, there will be a legislative effort to end the requirement that MPS teachers live in the City of Milwaukee?  Will it pass this time?  Should it pass?  Is it absurd to require people to live where they work?  Would better teachers be attracted to MPS if they didn’t have to live in the city?  Would there be a huge migration out of the city if the residency requirement was lifted?  Do outstate lawmakers care about the requirement?  Who will have more pull with this new state legislature?  The teachers union, or City of Milwaukee officials who want the requirement kept in place?  Will it be a trade off for lifting the Qualified Economic Offer?

    The government wants to regulate your jigs and reels


    Are you aware that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act went into effect February 10, just a few weeks ago? You mean you missed that breaking news bulletin??!!!

    Suffice it to say that this is a new federal law designed by our government in D.C. to make those representatives feel good that they are taking action to essentially save the world when in reality all they’re doing is imposing more needless, senseless regulation.

    The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, that for the rest of this blog will be known as the CPSIA was passed by those geniuses we call Congressman last year as their answer to recalls of dangerous toys, you know…..the ones with lead. In the nanny state of 2009, if a toy has, like, parts to it, and those parts have lead in them, and a kid might lick them or put them in his/her mouth, it’s not the parent’s responsibility to monitor the child you stupid fool. No, it’s government’s role to step in and say….BAD TOY MANUFACTURER! NO MORE!

    The LA Times writes, and please ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, read carefully, “The law, aimed at keeping lead-filled merchandise away from children, mandates that all products sold for those age 12 and younger -- including clothing -- be tested for lead and phthalates, which are chemicals used to make plastics more pliable. Those that haven't been tested will be considered hazardous, regardless of whether they actually contain lead.”

    Can’t you just feel the liberals (and the phony conservatives who kiss up to them) who read my blog) getting all gushy and warm and gooey all over when they read that paragraph?  Tears running down their cheeks, fighting through the emotion that grips their very soul, they manage to cry out:

    “BUT IF IT CAN SAVE JUST ONE CHILD!!!!!!”

    While they compose themselves, my reaction is, what the hell is this? More nonsensical government overreaction. Here’s a perfect example why. It comes from the blogger at Irishdancemoms.com who asks the legitimate question:

    So, how does this affect Irish dance?”

    Let’s see. Pretty little girls, costumed to the nine’s with sequins and rhinestones and tiaras and other assorted bling that just might have some lead in there.

    Are those Rhodes Scholars that work for the TSA in-between stopping 90-year old women in wheelchairs and newborn infants for damn-near strip searches going to launch into a hissy fit when little Shannon’s luggage has an ethnic dress inside?

    You’ve got to hand it to wise ol’ Uncle Sam.

    OMG!

    Just look.

    This is some mighty dangerous stuff….



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    Things were never like this when I went to Catholic schools


    Georgetown's basketball team, only 5-10 in the Big East Conference, lost this week to Marquette and to Louisville and will probably lose Saturday at Villanova. Could it be their minds are on something else?

    Being nice isn't impossible, just less probable


    "Friendship should be part of politics."

    George Lightbourn, who worked in the Tommy Thompson administration, makes that remark in a column for the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

    "Clearly, there is simply no place on the political landscape for friendship, not with the other tribe.  Our politicians would instinctively join right in the street fight between the Montagues and the Capulets in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet.  An unwritten but firm rule is that Ds flock only with other Ds and Rs only with other Rs.  Armed with press releases and printouts, these two camps are forever spoiling for fight."

    I'm not sure I totally agree with Lightbourn. Yes, there's far more partisanship today at every level of government than ever before. But it's not the WWE 24/7.

    The news media that covers state politics concentrates only on the skirmishes, the partisan debates and differences. There's a great deal of respect and friendliness in the Capitol amongst legislators and staff members from both parties that you wouldn't realize if you didn't work there. However, it's undeniable that politics has become uglier, and as Lightbourn writes, that's a shame.

    I was happy to see Franklin alderman Steve Olson make this comment recently on my blog:

    "Printed political discourse in this city has turned from an expression of ideas to vendetta and personal destruction."

    Olson was referring to blogs. There are plenty examples in the Wisconsin blogging community of untruths, wild and unfounded accusations, sophomoric commentary, hateful and sometimes profane language.

    Whether it be politics or the blogosphere or the workplace or whatever the scenario, I admit we could all probably engage in a better effort on civility.

    Goodnight everyone, and have a nice weekend


    It's Friday night. Time to unwind. The weekend has finally arrived. The evening stars are out. Let's put controversy and provocative blogs aside for the rest of the day and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

    Sunday they handed out the Oscars. Think of movie music and the first name that should come immediately to mind is Henry Mancini, the most famous artist associated with theatrical themes and scores. Mancini won 4 Oscars and 20 Grammys.

    Pink Panther 2 is now in theaters. Mancini, of course, wrote the familiar and popular theme. Here he is at the piano with the Terry Gibbs band.


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    The Barking Lot


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


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

    TODAY:  Partly cloduy. High of 27. So, dry but cold.
    "D" .

    SUNDAY: Mostly sunny. High of 25. So again, dry, but cold. "D"


    I must admit it is a few years since I graduated from college with my business management degree.  While the general concepts of my classes will always remain “somewhere” in my brain, I wanted a refresher on what contributes to a successful advertising campaign.  Why?  The reason will become clear very soon.

    So, let’s explore the concepts of effective advertising.  A brief Google search brought me to AllBusiness.com, an online media company.  They share their Top 10 Tips for an Effective Advertising Campaign.  Their advice seems to make sense.  It is straightforward and easy to understand.  Read the ten points carefully…  In any of them, do you see anything about making people feel warm and fuzzy?  Do you see anything about making sure you don’t upset anyone who sees your ads?  I didn’t think so.

    Dog lovers have their hackles raised at the latest ad campaign from Alpo dog food, a Purina company.  The campaign features posters for “lost dogs” whose owners have succumbed to doggie day cares, pet spas and rhinestone collars; losing sight of the fact that dogs should be allowed to be, well, DOGS.

    Photo editor Guy Reynolds of The Dallas Morning News reports there are “lost dog posters” with coupons for Alpo products posted in Exall Park. (Click on the Polaroid photo for a larger screen shot.)

    People have been leaving comments about how they thought they were legitimate posters for lost dogs and were very upset to find out that upon closer inspection they were Alpo ads with a web address for an Alpo coupon attached at the bottom.  Mr. Reynolds states that he will indeed use the coupon, while some comments practically call for a boycott of the brand.

    The poster would certainly catch my eye, as I always look at those lost dog/cat/parakeet posters no matter where they are.  I would probably figure out very quickly that it is not a REAL “lost poster” when I saw a Collie lounging in a bubble-filled tub, cucumber slices on her eyes, and surrounded by candles.  I would probably chuckle at the cleaver ad, mumble a “thank goodness it’s not a real lost dog” and get on with my day.  If I fed my dog Alpo, I would probably take advantage of the attached coupon as well.  I wouldn’t have fits about how deceiving the ad is and threaten to never buy Purina products again.  Truthfully I think the Collie in the tub is pretty cute.

    The ONLY issue I have with this entire ad campaign is whether or not Purina has the right to post these ads in public places such as Exall Park.  Clearly if there are ordinances prohibiting this sort of thing, the company should comply.  But it’s nothing to get a (cold, wet) “nose out of joint” over.
    ---Jennifer Fischer


    Thank you, Jennifer for another great blog. I would have to agree. Don't like the ads, don't buy the product.

    We have reached that part of The Barking Lot where I take over. It is that time, oh yes. Time once again for DOGS IN THE NEWS.............

    Canines that made headlines the past week.

    Without a doubt, the biggest doggie news of the week came from the White House.

    From the Big Apple, there's this dog mystery.

    There's a new twist in the story about Leona Helmsley's dogs.

    Honey is a hero.

    Fozzie is a hero, too.

    PETA is looking for the sexiest vegetarian.

    The SPCA is being sued after a dog taken into custody dies.

    And speaking of the SPCA........


    SPCA InternationalMake a Difference Now!

    SPCA International Newsletter
    February 2009

    Shelter Focus: Blind Cat Rescue
    Simsim Have you ever wondered who is looking out for the severely disabled animals of the world? Well, you can meet one group in North Carolina doing just that – Blind Cat Rescue. Feline blindness is very common and it takes particularly caring people to help these cats enjoy the colors of life they can’t see. Learn More
    Video Update: Operation Baghdad Pups
    DogWorld Get updated on Operation Baghdad Pups' successes and goals by video. You can watch a news story about a dog and sailor Baghdad Pups recently reunited and another video about Pacino, a dog still in Iraq who SPCA International hopes to bring home for Sgt. Daniel Schaefer in March. Watch Now
    Winter Isn’t Over Yet!
    Winter Although spring is on its way, cold weather is still lingering. Your pets are as vulnerable to cold temperatures as humans. SPCA International recommends you always keep your animals indoors during extreme cold and only let them outside for short periods of supervised time. Read More
    Nominate Your Local Shelter for a Grant!
    SOTW Nominations Is your local shelter struggling in this tough economy? SPCA International gives regular grants to local animal shelters, rescue groups, rehabilitation centers, foster networks and wildlife support centers through our Shelter program. Your local shelter may be eligible for a $1,000 Shelter grant. Get the Details
    Hey…Did You Know?

    Read more

    Week-ends

    Week-ends


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


    HEROES OF THE WEEK


    Ellen Basinski


    Good Samaritans


    Sully and his crew


    Nigel Haskett


    Make-a-Wish Foundation


    Nadya Vessey


    Governors turning down stimulus money


    Mary Woodward Lasker


    J. Innes


    Jeff Van Zytveld



    VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


    Amanda Knox


    TV show protesters


    Greenpeace


    The officer who gave out this jaywalking ticket



    QUOTES OF THE WEEK


    "We are not quitters. While our economy may be weakened and our confidence shaken, though we are living through difficult and uncertain times, tonight I want every American to know this: We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before."
    President Obama in his State of the Union address.


    "This spend-a-thon that Obama and the Democrats in Congress have been engaging in places a huge burden on our children and also threatens to make inflation so severe that it wipes out those who have prudently saved for retirement."
    Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner reacting to the State of the Union speech.


    "Bill Clinton declared more than a decade ago 'the era of big government is over.' With his new budget, President Barack Obama has brought it back."
    Steve Holland of Reuters on President Obama's proposed federal budget.


    "The taxing aspect of this is worse than Robin Hood. He's resurrecting class warfare for political gain."
    Economist Peter Morici, a University of Maryland professor


    "Conservatives, it is the time to begin the job of taking back our government. Democrats want to use this crisis to move America toward the sort of Europeanized economy that runs counter to the freedom and entrepreneurial spirit of our people, to usher in an era of greater government control and micro-management of our economy."
    Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan


    "I can't emphasize enough that we believe we can do this safely. We're not opening the back door and saying it's time to leave."
    Wisconsin Corrections Secretary Rick Raemisch on Governorr Doyle's plan to release 3000 felons early.


    "He is letting people off of sentences that they were given by a jury and judge. And worse yet, he is letting unelected bureaucrats - not judges and juries - make those decisions."
    State Representative Scott Suder (R-Abbostford), reacting to the governor's plan on releasing felons early.


    "I see the rationale as very different, so I didn't raise the beer tax. I want to be very clear. We don't want young people to drink. But we actually like people to drink beer in Wisconsin. We don't want people to drink beer irresponsibly and excessively. But unlike tobacco, it's a very different substance. Alcohol and beer used responsibly and for enjoyment and so on is not inherently a dangerous product. There's no healthy way to use tobacco."
    Governor Doyle on his decision not to call for an increase in the beer tax.


    "Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard. Giving every worker the right to smoke-free air is an important public health issue that is supported by the vast majority of people in Wisconsin. Personally I hope that clock doesn't tick too long. Because every second marks a second that someone in Wisconsin is needlessly being exposed to the dangers of secondhand smoke."
    Pat Finder-Stone, a volunteer with the American Cancer Society at a rally to support a statewide smoking ban.



    OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


    The Obama tax and spend us into oblivion budget



    MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


    Obama nominee
    likens pregnancy to slavery. Can you say, "nutjob?"



    MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


    Bobby Jindal's performance during his rebuttal to the State of the Union address.



    STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


    Perfect timing on this raffle.


    My, my, my, but gas is really expensive.


    The Hat Man can wear his hats again.


    Not surprisingly, this happened in Hollywood.


    And there's no way to crawl under this stall.


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

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