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Another great use of stimulus dollars

Your stimulus tax dollars at work…you know, the money that was supposed to give a struggling economy a shot in the arm, create jobs, and get people back to work.

As the Wall Street Journal reports:

Most of the stimulus cash going to states is designated for particular needs, such as Medicaid or schools, but about $8.8 billion distributed through the Government Services Fund is for governors to use as they see fit. Many states have added the bulk of this money to education or police budgets and, in a few cases, initiatives such as tax relief for senior citizens or incentives for the film industry.”

And so, in Arkansas, there’s stimulus funding going toward the Bill Clinton bridge.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Previvors: Courageous, heroic women

Topics talked about on WISN


The following is my blog of September 16, 2007, “Previvors.”

Most people are afraid to take risks.

There is a group of incredible women, however, that bravely take what could be considered one of the biggest risks of all.

They’re called, “previvors,” who exhibit the utmost courage in making excruciatingly difficult decisions about how to fight and conquer breast cancer.

The New York Times just ran an informative and compelling story about one woman’s hard struggle to make the right decision.

Meet Deborah Lindner and walk with her as she attempts to make the most important decision of her life.

After you read the article, watch this emotional video.

Franklin alderman warns about patio doors

Franklin Alderman Kristin Wilhelm warns about break-ins. Here’s her e- newsletter I received this morning:

Dear Franklin Residents,


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Life after breast cancer


Cancer taught me to slow down.”

Cancer gave me the guts to be myself.”

“Breast cancer showed me my purpose.”

“Don't call me a survivor.”

“Cancer is a middle, not an end.”

The Ladies Home Journal offers accounts from “five women who've been there (who) share the unexpected ways that cancer has changed them -- body, mind, and soul.”

Here’s an excerpt from one of the women, Shelley Lewis:

“I realize that the term ‘survivor’ is meant to help cancer patients stay strong and optimistic, and that's important. It's also preferable to ‘victim.’ So go ahead and call yourself a survivor; I'll understand. But I won't be joining you. My concern about making this the standard term for every woman with breast cancer is that it conveys a false sense that everything's going to be okay.

If only! This year about 40,000 women in the United States will die of the disease. And those women are victims, plain and simple -- not survivors.”

Read the entire LHJ article.

"Let them (newspapers) die and get out of the way"

Deeply concerned about the fate of the struggling newspaper industry, President Obama is willing to consider legislation that could eventually result in a bailout. Last month, I blogged the following:

“How comfy, cozy would that be? What kind of coverage do you think the Obamessiah would receive from a doting press that had its collective butt yanked out of the fire?”

At the state level, Representative Marlin Schneider (D-Wisconsin Rapids) held a news conference this week to announce his bill to give Wisconsin newspapers a tax break. Here’s a portion of what Schneider said:

Currently, manufacturing property for newspapers is tax exempt in Wisconsin, but real estate is not. My bill will give all legitimate newspapers, as defined by our state’s current law, a full tax exemption for all property directly and exclusively used in newspaper production. This bill is not about propping up a failing industry, but rather safeguarding an indispensible cog in the health of our public affairs.

I see the demise of newspapers as a very serious threat to our democracy. As a politician I often see things differently from those in the press. Some days I hate your guts. Some days I wonder if I was at the same meeting you were reporting on. Some days I wonder at the almost knee-jerk reaction of the press over open meetings and open records in an age of electronic surveillance. But every day I know that the public would be poorly served by not having you around to keep watch on the affairs of government and to keep the system honest.”

During Schneider’s news conference, he also offered this:

“Many people will ask why we shouldn’t let newspapers die.”

Daniel Lyons at poses that very question, and doesn’t mince any words.

“Why on earth are people talking about a bailout for newspapers?Why is President Obama saying he'd consider it?Why is Congress holding hearings and considering ‘The Newspaper Revitalization Actin a bid to save these ailing old rags with tax breaks and other handouts? It's like introducing legislation to save horse-drawn carriages, or steam engines, or black-and-white TV. It's stupid. It's pointless. It won't work.

Instead of giving newspapers bailouts, we should be hastening their demise. The weak papers need to die. The strong newspapers need to go into bankruptcy and restructure their businesses with smaller staffs and lower cost structures. Yes, it will be painful. But journalists will find jobs—and they'll be working in a better, faster medium.

Meanwhile, all of us need to get over this pious notion about the sanctity of the newspaper.”

Lyons nails it, brutally and bluntly when he contends that the true customers of newspapers are advertisers, bloggers are beating newspapers on stories and setting the pace, newspapers have refused to change with the times, and in Lyons’ words, “a lot of newspapers just stink.”

Society surely would not be the same without newspapers. However, with a wide array of news sources available to consumers, somehow, we’d find a way to survive.

If You're Going Through Hell, Keep Going!

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Right to bear arms advocate pushing to curb straw purchases


Badger Guns on S.43rd Street is getting a lot of media attention because of its recent sign accusing the MPD of being racist (Milwaukee police have been checking out some of the store’s customers after they drive away) and the number of straw purchases being made at the store.

State Representative Scott Gunderson (R-Waterford) is one of the strongest gun advocates in the state Legislature. He has been attempting to pass legislation to address straw purchases for about 10 years. Currently, the penalty for buying a firearm for someone prohibited by law from possessing a firearm is only a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence is nine months in jail.  Gunderson has already authored legislation upping the penalty to a Class H felony with a maximum penalty of six years in prison. 

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Teens get taken to the cleaners on texting

Astounding stats from TIME magazine:

"The average U.S. mobile teen now sends or receives an average of 2,899 text messages per month, according to Nielsen Mobile.”

“Srinivasan Keshav, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and an expert on mobile computing…. found that a text message doesn't cost providers more than 0.3 cent.”

“With a carrier cost of one-third of a penny, when a customer pays 15 cents to send a message, 98% of that 15 cents is pure profit."


Rally in support of Scott Walker, his budget

CRG Network


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Tonight on InterCHANGE

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



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Rio beats out Chicago for 2016 Olympics....I'm not surprised

Maybe Chicago would have had a much better chance if all the news out of the Windy City this week wasn't about blood running through the streets.

Or maybe the Olympic committee just didn't like the smell of what Barack.....was cookin’.

Happy weekend!

I hope you'll check out our regular weekend features on This Just In, starting with our soft, smooth, mellow Friday night music entry this evening, not too long after the sun goes down.

Wake up Saturday to The Barking Lot with our dog-walking forecast and DOGS IN THE NEWS, including the amazing story of this family:

Ella, a lost Rottweiler, is reunited with her family.

Also Saturday, our weekly week in review, Week-ends.  This woman gets a mention even though she thinks she shouldn't:

Which Wisconsin high school football team gets my weekly POO Award for the worst display of sportsmanship?

Recommended reading on Saturday, too......always good stuff.

Then on Sunday, My Most Popualr Blogs, because after all, what's popular is popular, The MJS Scorecard, and Photos of the Week. I kinda like this one:

Oh, and I can't forget...


Could this bunch....

Somehow be involved in a Culinary no-no?

Thanks for checking us out this weekend!

Goodnight everyone, and have a smoooooooooth weekend

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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, we really mean it when we say let's smooth our way into the long-awaited weekend.

On the night of the Grammy Awards in 2000, Mexican-born guitarist Carlos Santana hadn't won a trophy in 13 years. That all changed, big time.

Santana took home 8 Grammy awards that night, tying him with Michael Jackson for the most awards in a single year.

Among the awards he won were Record of the Year, Best Rock Album, Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal, and Album of the Year ("Supernatural").

The Song of the Year went to Rob Thomas/Itaal Shur of Matchbox 20 for writing the album's smash single "Smooth". Some critics wondered if the judges were too sentimental and sympathetic in being so generous to the 52-year old guitarist. Were the album and the hit single really that deserving?
While I appreciate Santana's effort, I prefer Nestor Torres' instrumental version.

Born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, Torres came to the United States, studied at the New England Conservatory of Music; and graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston. Torres’ father played piano and vibraphone and encouraged his son to play drums at a young age. Eventually, Torres switched to playing the flute at the age of 12.

Torres’ father would move to New York in the early 1970’s and play in several clubs. He sent for his son a year later. Nestor told the To Salsa website that coming to New York and meeting Latin legend Tito Puente changed his life.

"It was a cold, rainy December winter Sunday. And after [my father] was done [playing], we go to the Cabo Rojeno because Manchito and Tito Puente were playing there. I have no idea how I got the nerve to ask Puente's band to let me sit in. They let me! ... and after that, Tito would always ask me how I was doing with the music because he knew I was going to the conservatory in Boston,“ said Torres.

After recording some solo albums, Torres moved to Miami in the 1980’s. During a celebrity boat race, Torres suffered life-threatening injuries that put him out of action for months. But recover he did, performing with symphony orchestras and Gloria Estefan. In 2001, he won a Latin Grammy Award for his album, “This Side of Paradise.”

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The Barking Lot (10/03/09)

The Barking Lot

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

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

TODAY:  Scattered showers. High of 55.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 56. High of 56.  "C"

My wife, Jennifer usually writes the main blog here every Saturday, however she was quite busy this week doing what all new moms do, so it’s…….


Dah Dah Dah Dahhhhhhh!!!

Loving, adorable hubby to the rescue!



Bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, bark.

Thank you, thank you.


Time to get serious. In preparation for each week’s DOGS IN THE NEWS segment, I see, read, and reject numerous dog-related articles. Most are about some ornery out of control dog that just don’t fit my criteria for mention on The Barking Lot.

The sad reality is that around the country each and every week, there are all kinds of stories of dogs biting, maiming, injuring, killing. I haven’t kept records, but I’m willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of these sad and sometimes tragic stories involve pit bulls.

I find myself thinking that if I had a magic wand, I would rid the entire planet of pit bulls. I am of the opinion that pit bulls are no damn good.  Are they not the most dangerous dog breed in the world?

So let’s do something about it. How about an all-out ban?


I’ve always been opposed in virtually every instance to the “B” word. Why? Because there’s always an exception.

Are there good pit bulls maintained by conscientious owners? Probably.

But not as many as pit bulls that would tear your throat out or chew your child into shreds in seconds if given the chance.

So how do we approach those breeds like pit bulls that pose a serious threat? The answer is breed specific laws that target "vicious" and "dangerous" animals like pit bulls. Owners of such dogs, like pit bulls face stiffer fines and education requirements.

Don’t like it? Tough. I’m tired of hearing about pit bulls attacking innocent children.

Of course, whenever such a debate ensues, you can always count on a certain someone entering the fray.

That would be, “Little Goodie Two Shoes.”

You know who I’m talking about. The person always sees the sunshine, loves everyone and everything.  

Cue Annie. “The sun‘ll come out, tomorrow!!!”

A pit bull attacking an entire nursing home? Couldn’t possibly be the poor dog’s fault. Those old folks must have done something to provoke sweet, pure, harmless Spike.

Enter Cindy Holliday of West Des Moines, Iowa.

When Holliday sees a pit bull, she sees a St. Bernard to the rescue with wings.

I said she lives in West Des Moines because Des Moines has one of those breed-specific ordinances that she downright opposes.

In Des Moines, the Brussels of the Midwest, vicious dogs (like pit bulls) must be licensed and owners must show proof of at least $100,000 in liability insurance. City officials can remove a pit bull if it is not licensed by Jan. 1 of each year.

Should pit bulls be treated differently than other breeds? Little Goodie Two Shoes doesn’t think so. I’ve got news for her. German shepherds and Labradors and poodles aren’t the dogs wreaking havoc.

You can read more about the Iowa story here. Here's a report about Iowa's efforts to address puppy mils.

No, we can’t ban pit bulls and I wouldn’t suggest it. But I’m all for the toughest breed-specific laws we can put on the books.

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

Who or what killed Otis?

Heroic dog Taz has died.

Woman gets tangled in dog leash, falls and dies.

Michael Vick tells crowd not to dog-fight.

Former French president gives away violent dog..

Owners of noisy dogs could face big fines in Chicago.

The EPA is sued over prairie dog poison.

The best dogs for allergy sufferers....

New York dog park is composting.

Truman survived a police shooting in 2006, but....

A sheriff wants a compassionate release for Kez.

Think you know a dog's DNA?

Are you naughty? Back on the leash for you!

What is ugly, smells and kills dogs? The answer is right here.

How long is it ok to chain a dog?

KLEENEX ALERT: Lost dog gathers clues to find its family.

Dog helps rescue elderly man from mud, water.

An Idaho cowboy finishes a five-day trek with a surprise companion.

Dog days
help college students adapt.

Dog wash and a cuppa joe to go.

doggie hotel with a Presidential Suite?

Can a dog be a supermodel?

How many people can you get to walk invisible dogs?

Do you love your dog too much?

Who's reigning, cats or dogs?  In Ireland, it's no contest.

Former Olympian heavily involved in dog agility.

Which pooch won the online dog beauty pageant?

Nintendo Wii Fit
has gone to the dogs.

"Super Fetch" premieres later tonight on Animal Planet.

That's it for this week. Jennifer returns next Saturday. Thank you for stopping by.

Our closing video:

Dog bites man, as we've always heard,  isn't news.

But man bites dog.........

Now that's a different story.

Defending the American Dream Summit underway


Americans for Prosperity

Even if you are not able to join us at AFP Foundation's national Defending the American Dream Summit, I want to give you a sense of the energy here.

Saturday morning we'll hear from Newt Gingrich, John Fund and Steve Moore from The Wall Street Journal and Fox News, Senator Jim DeMint, Larry Kudlow, Herman Cain, Hugh Hewitt and yours truly!

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Even when Obama fails....

His pals in the media make excuses.

POO Awards- Week 6

This season, I’m handing out a weekly POO Award to the Wisconsin high school football team that commits the most egregious act of poor sportsmanship by trying to humiliate its opponent.

POO stands for Piling On Offensively (Or if you prefer, Pouring it On Offensively).

Week 1
Milwaukee Bay View 62, Milwaukee Marshall  

Week 2
Milwaukee Bradley Tech 70, Milwaukee North 6

Week 3
Waunakee 72, Baraboo 7
(My apologies to a dear friend, Jen-Jen the Engine, my favorite Waunakee graduate)

Week 4
Milwaukee Riverside 75,
Milwaukee Pulaski 0

Week 5
Shell Lake 60,
Siren 0
It was homecoming at Shell Lake, so I guess that makes this drubbing okay.

Week 6
De Soto 62,
Wauzeka 0

Week-ends (10/03/09)


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...


Rebecca Kahlenberg and MoverMoms

Cameron Aulner

Tina Graham

Jonathan McCoy


The state of Michigan

Big time spenders in Washington

Robert Halderman

Baltimore twins

Martez Anderson

Enrique Gonzalez

Indiiana officials

Chris Daniel

The Milwaukee Burger Co.


"I never played or would play for revenge. It's too long of a season. It's only one, maybe two games. What do you do the rest of the time? This stage of my career, it definitely is not worth it to do that. It's human nature to feel, I didn't use the word revenge, but to prove that you still could play. To prove someone wrong, or prove a group wrong. So you can call it what you want. I'm proud of the career I had there. So if there are people at this point that have picked sides, I'm not surprised by it. But you can't take that away. So it is what it is. But I can't control that.”
Minnesota Vikings QB Brett Favre

“I think this is a superficial move. I don't care whose name is on the door. I want real reform.”
State Representative Tamara Grigsby(D-Milwaukee), an opponent of mayoral contro of MPS, speaking  at a panel discussion about the proposal.

“It is surprising to me a program was developed with such loose oversight at the state level.”
Department of Children and Families Secretary Reggie Bicha speaking before the Joint Finance Committee on Wisconsin Shares, the controversial state child care program.

“If the changes fail, who do we hold accountable?”
State Representative Phil Montgomery (R-Ashwaubenon) asking when Bicha would be taking responsibility for the problems in Wisconsin Shares.

“They’re going it alone, they don’t want bipartisanship, they’re writing Republicans off. That’s been the word to us from Day 1, and they’re sticking with that.”
Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) on the debate over health care.

“The fact of the matter is that Mr. Butler lost a state-wide election, held by the people of Wisconsin, to continue serving on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court. Now, the man who was voted off the bench in Wisconsin is being given a promotion, a lifetime appointment and a pay raise.”
Wisconsin Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Menomonee). Falls.President Barack Obama has nominated former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to fill the vacancy on the US. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.


Senate Democrats
reject health care ID requirement for immigrants.

The TSA......why don't they just make us all get naked?


Florida Congressman Alan Grayson (D) insists that Republicans stand behind a health care "holocaust.”


This week, is there any doubt?

MINNEAPOLIS - SEPTEMBER 27: Brett Favre #4 of the Minnesota Vikings walks on to the field for warm-ups before his first regular season home game against the San Francisco 49ers at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on September 27, 2009 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.


9-1-1 operator takes call about his own home.

Thank goodness this stuff just doesn't happen in Franklin.


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 (10/03/09)

Recommended reading

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

Obama's Olympic Failure Will Test the Washington Press Corps

“Now is the time for the mainstream media to show it’s not totally in President Obama’s pocket. The Washington press corps will never fault Obama for pushing hyper-liberal policies in a moderate-to-conservative country. Ideological criticism by the press is reserved for Republican presidents.

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Whatever happened to Billy Lee Morford?

Our friend and colleague over at Badger Blogger, Patrick Dorwin poses the following:

“Remember back about three years ago when the state of Wisconsin released the state’s most notorious child sexual predator, Billy Lee Morford? When they released him, they told us then that he was in such frail condition and he wasn’t a risk because he had less than a year to live…"

Morford is still alive and dangerous.

Read the details at
Badger Blogger.

I recall very well that this was a hot topic on Milwaukee Public Television’s InterCHANGE during December 2006 (Joel McNally actually laughs about it).


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