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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 Truly Inspirational Story of Life

By Guest Blogger Donna Cole.

 I found this story from the NY Times to be truly inspirational," A Drug That Wakes the Near Dead " and I wanted to share it with This Just In readers.

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HOPE is ALIVE ! Well,sort of....


By Guest Blogger Donna Cole

 The NY Times reports good news,"Jobless Rate Dips to Lowest Level in More Than 2 Years ". Of course, most of the reduction in the unemployment rate is due to over 300,000 people giving up on looking for work. That is an intentional flaw in the governments equation for calculating the unemployment rate. The real unemployment rate is much higher.

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Thank you very much, Donna Cole!


A big thank you to Donna Cole for taking time to write such great guest blogs last week. I appreciate her insightful work very much.

She’ll be back. Meanwhile, check Donna out at her blog.

Here are Donna’s posts from last week:

HOPE is ALIVE ! Well,sort of....

A Truly Inspirational Story of Life

You want a Conservative ? I got your Conservative.

It's a short flight from Athens to L.A.

Barry wants your vote....if....

Mr. Liberal, Please save us from ourselves !

Werewolf Book Author Not Happy !

Meet the Guest Blogger !


My Most Popular Blogs (12/04/11)

Most popular


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

1) Barry wants your vote…if

2) It's a short flight from Athens to LA


3) You want a Conservative I got your Conservative

4) Mr Liberal, Please save us from ourselves!

5) HOPE is ALIVE Well, sort of …

6) A Truly Inspirational Story of Life

7) The Barking Lot (07/03/10)

8) Meet the Guest Blogger

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Right now, it's 70 and sunny in Florida


Going up to 80 today. Oh, well. All good things…

It’s catch-up time as I try to get back in the swing of things.

No Recommended Reading or Photos this week. They return next Sunday. But if I did post Photos, you can bet this would be in there:




Wisconsin's Chris Borland delivers a blow to Michigan State's Kewshawn Martin after a fourth quarter catch in Saturday's Big Ten championship game won by the Badgers, 42-39. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti.

In case you missed the game, here are the highlights:

Ball Leads Wisconsin To Big Ten Title

While I was gone: Tommy made it official


Dear Supporter, 

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While I was gone: Pro-Walker teacher threatened amid atmosphere of political aggression


The warm, compassionate left and the new era of civility.


“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do, it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
Barack Obama

Culinary no-no #255

Culinary no-no's


THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF

FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
NO!


I have written previously that I am not a fussy eater (Insert overweight Kevin Fischer line here). The list of foods I am not crazy about is limited:




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The latest pro-life news


From Pro-Life Wisconsin...

And Wisconsin Right To Life:


Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
border
 

Monday December 5, 2011
Pro-Life Pregnancy Help Centers Targeted by Pro-Abortion Legislators
Planned Parenthood All-In for Walker Recall
Planned Parenthood Prez: Most Difficult Year in our History
Even Barney Frank Wants the IPAB Repealed
Mark Your Calendar for Laura Ingraham
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Pro-Life Pregnancy Help Centers Targeted by Pro-Abortion Legislators

UPDATE: HEROES OF 2009: Marcus Luttrell


Previously on This Just In...

Now, the update:

ANOTHER UPDATE: Dear Mom, thank you so very much-Sincerely, Tim


Previously on This Just In…


Now for the update.




Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen loses his helmet while being blocked by Ryan Clady (78) as Tim Tebow (15) runs during the second half Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011, in Minneapolis. Denver, behind Tebow, beat Minnesota, 35-32 (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

Jason Whitlock of Fox Sports writes:

"Tim Tebow is not a religious symbol. He’s a shrine to the power of a strong, committed, passionate two-parent upbringing. Tebow’s birth — a product of his mother’s faith and refusal to listen to doctors advising her to abort — might very well have been a religious miracle. Tebow’s performance on the football field is testament to Bob and Pam Tebow and what they instilled in their youngest child."

Read the entire column.
 
Here’s another fine piece by Jason Gay:

“Tim Tebow can't do it the normal way. Tim Tebow can't get through an interview without mentioning his faith. Or giving credit to his teammates. Tim Tebow never sounds full of Tim Tebow.

He doesn't even get mad when people say nasty things about him. When people say Tim Tebow needs to improve, Tim Tebow says he needs to improve. Who does that?

Nothing seems to rattle him. He smiles and doesn't sulk. When Tim Tebow is bummed, he doesn't pull down the blinds, blast the Fleetwood Mac and drink red wine out of a Mason jar, like everybody else does. He's a total weirdo.”

"I prayed that moment, please, please let her live"

 

Conservative Rick Santorum is not going to receive the GOP nomination for President. Yet he campaigns on, refusing to bow out. Now there’s a debate whether his campaign that certainly takes a personal tool makes him less of a father. Santorum’s little girl, Isabella has Trisomy 18, a serious genetic disorder. Some now argue he needs to be home, not on the stump, especially given his slim chances.

Santorum has been called "cruel...he should be ashamed of himself." I don't think so.

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Organizer: VerifyTheRecall.com off to Promising Start

MacIver News Service | December 6, 2011

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Don't take my word for it...ask a liberal newspaper if Gov. Walker's reforms are working

 

The editorial writers at the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal no doubt begrudgingly published an opinion piece this past Sunday entitled, Sky isn't falling on public schools.” It opens and closes with an outright refusal to emphatically credit Governor Walker’s reforms for their success, but the body of the editorial contains point after point after point verifying the changes have been effective. Here are key excerpts:

“Here in Madison, the School Board avoided teacher layoffs, launched a 4-year-old kindergarten program, opened a new middle school and gave teachers raises based on years of experience.

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While I was gone: Franklin passed a budget


While vacationing last week, I didn’t think for one millisecond about Tax Hell, WI (That would be Franklin). Realizing the Common Council would take action on the 2012 budget, I gave the notion none of my attention because quite frankly, my expectations were lower than a limbo pole.  Sure enough, city officials didn’t disappoint in their never-ending crusade to disappoint.

I make the following observations in no particular order based on the account by reporter Candace Romano on FranklinNOW. The Council met last week to consider Mayor Tom Taylor’s correct veto of the budget approved by the Council that made huge cuts to public safety in both our police and fire departments.

1) Romano writes “members came up with the four votes needed to uphold the veto. Alderman Steve Taylor voted against it.” That Alderman Taylor voted against the veto, in essence supporting the budget that included massive cuts to police and fire is not surprising. It merely adds to his miserable track record as an alderman.

2) Romano writes, “Then, in another about-face, the council voted 3-2 to adopt Taylor's recommended budget, abandoning one prepared by the Finance Committee and adopted on Nov. 15. Aldermen Taylor and Steve Olson voted against that plan.” I understand Olson’s vote. Taylor’s motivation deserves some comment. Stay with me.

3) Romano writes, “The budget he (Mayor Taylor) proposed reduced the tax rate and levy.” That’s true. And thus, Candace Romano joins a growing list of NOW reporters who, like most elected Franklin officials, fail to understand that the tax rate is meaningless.

4) Romano writes “the crux of the debate Tuesday was over Taylor's plan to charge residents a $104 annual fee for garbage collection… Council members who voted against the mayor's budget, however, said constituents did not have enough time to consider the waste-collection fee and provide input. ‘The reason I don't support it is because this garbage issue needs to be debated,’ said Alderman Taylor.”

As early as September 30, I was the first to report about the mayor’s proposed garbage collection fee and I made my opposition clear.

Alderman Taylor, ex-chair but still a member of the Finance Committee knows that budget debate and discussion was going on at City Hall for several weeks. A public hearing was conducted. The alderman who has been known on occasion to embrace transparency had a perfect vehicle to engage the public in debate and a greater understanding of the garbage collection fee issue: his FranklinNOW blog. But instead of discussing this or any other budget matter, he chose since late September when the fee was introduced to blog about , well… nothing, nothing until after the fact when the budget had been adopted.

5) Romano quoted Alderman Tim Solomon who supported the mayor’s budget saying “it (garbage collection) really needs to go on as a fee." Earth to Alderman Solomon: a fee is just another word for “tax.” You may think the public doesn’t get it, but they do, baby.

6) Here’s the worst part of the adopted 2012 city of Franklin budget. If Romano’s reporting is correct, “The new budget is a $46.7 million spending package, up 24 percent from this year's $37.6 million budget.” Think about that. In this period of recession and high unemployment, the Franklin Common Council actually increased spending by an astounding 24% while at the same time had members supporting cuts to police and fire. They either just don’t understand, care, or both.

7) But Kevin, they cut the levy by 2.4%. You should be happy, right? Wrong.  We’re still spending far too much and that’s irresponsible. And just about every municipality is freezing or cutting their levies thanks to Governor Walker’s tools. He gets the plaudits, not Franklin City Hall that simply rode the governor’s wave.

So, in a nutshell, Mayor Taylor proposed a so-so budget, the Finance Committee responded by submitting a worse budget that was approved by the Common Council, it was then vetoed by the mayor, and the Council approved a budget that increases spending 24%.

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70 years ago today: the date that will live in infamy

ELVIS


Elvis played a role.








 

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The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #22

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame






All children who go to Walt Disney World are quite fortunate.






Some are more fortunate than others.

On my recent visit to Mickey’s parks in Florida, I witnessed a truly remarkable site: many children with Down syndrome. The smiles on parents’ faces were as big and bright as theirs. Remarkable, indeed, because as the website  “Women for Faith & Family” reports:

“According to a 1999 study published in the journal Prenatal Diagnosis, 92 percent of children diagnosed before birth with this chromosomal abnormality are aborted.”

Such a lack of understanding and compassion completely baffles me. Those who make the decision to abort these innocent souls clearly fail to comprehend the happiness a Down syndrome child can bring to a family, a joy I saw on display numerous times at Walt Disney World.

Pro-lifers support public policies in place in Wisconsin and many other states that require medical officials to give pregnant women the option of seeing an ultrasound before an abortion.

Under Wisconsin law, “at least 24 hours before the abortion is to be performed or induced, the physician who is to perform or induce the abortion or any other qualified physician” is required to, in person, inform the woman “that fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services are available that enable a pregnant woman to view the image or hear the heartbeat of her unborn child. In so informing the woman and describing these services, the physician shall advise the woman as to how she may obtain these services if she desires to do so.”
Wisconsin statute 253.10(3)(c)1(g)

In Oklahoma it’s mandatory that a woman see an ultrasound at least one hour before an abortion is scheduled.

A good idea for families informed that they’re about to give birth to a baby with Down syndrome might be to watch a video featuring teens Drew Anderson and Toni Alten-Crowe who were students at Loveland High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. They have Down syndrome, and both were part of a special program in their school to help kids like them mix with others. The two inspired the program to take off and become successful and their story was told in a recent TV episode.

Anderson and Alten-Crowe make my Hall of Fame llist, but I also want to give special recognition to Eileen Haupt and Leticia Velasquez, moms of Down syndrome children who founded KIDS, Keep Infants with Down Syndrome. God bless them for the work they do.

And finally, a young baby girl with Down syndrome recently captured the hearts and imagination of the world. Little Taya Kennedy now has her own modeling agency because her parents envisioned, not a less than imperfect child, but one that is precious and yes, beautiful.


THE KEVIN FISCHER "WHIPPERSNAPPER HALL OF FAME"


1) The Conservative Casanova

2) American Sweetheart

3) Eva Lorraine Molina

4) Matt Kallerud

5) Hannah Giles

6) Jillian Bandes

7) Jonathan McCoy

8) James O’Keefe

9) Jackie Seal

10) Jill Metzler

11) Ron Fournier

12) Jake Shafer

13) Bree McMahon

14) Keli Carender

15) Jessica Watson

16, 17 and 18) Christopher “Kreece” Fuchs, Xavier Helgesen and Jeff Kurtzman

19) Vanessa Jean Louis

20) Zack Goodman

21) Lila Rose

22) Drew Anderson and Toni Alten-Crowe

Will you please help send Christmas meals to wounded troops?

CSAH_HeadlineBanner-2011ChristmasMeals

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A Sneak Peak into the Scott Walker Recall

THE WISCONSIN RECALL ACTION FUND
  Fellow Conservative,

Wisconsin’s spoiled unions are back.

On November 15th, union bosses in Wisconsin formally launched a recall campaign against conservative Governor Scott Walker.

Their goal: Fire Scott Walker, and replace him with a Democrat governor who will pay for their disgraceful behavior by raising taxes.

Hi, this is Greg Langhaim. Working with members of former Wisconsin Senator Dan Kapanke’s campaign – Unions 'top target' in the first recall – I helped form the Wisconsin Recall Action Fund, whose singular focus is to save Scott Walker.

Sen. Kapanke didn’t like to publicize this, but during his campaign, union thugs:
  • Issued death threats
  • Wrote disgusting letters to his wife
  • Staged protests outside of his house
  • Spread nails and glass over his driveway
If these same union thugs defeat Gov. Scott Walker, it would mobilize liberal unions across the country to destroy conservative principles in 2012.

Amongst the mob of union protestors, our voice is getting drowned out. It’s time to get back on the offensive – government unions should bear the same burdens we do!

Fight back right now, and help us save Scott Walker by making a donation of $35, $50, or $100. The Wisconsin Recall Action Fund is running a full-fledged independent campaign. Your money will fund TV ads, radio commercials, and an important door-to-door operation in Wisconsin.


A Sneak Peak into the Union Agenda to Recall Scott Walker

December: Unions have 60 days to collect 540,000 signatures to put the Scott Walker recall to a vote.
February 2012: After the unions turn in their signatures, a Wisconsin filing officer has 31 days to certify the petition results. Seven days are then permitted for challenges to petition signatures.
March 2012: Assuming the petition results are certified and there are no legal challenges, the recall will happen in late March or early April of 2012.

For 50 years, government unions have “negotiated” lavish benefits, extracting taxpayer money from politicians who feared their power. In overturning these union benefits, Scott Walker heroically destroyed the myth that liberal laws cannot be undone.

Join our effort today, and help us stop the corrupt union bosses and their Democratic allies who want to remove conservative hero, Gov. Scott Walker.

Conservatives all over America owe it to Scott Walker to join this movement.

Sincerely,

Greg Langhaim
Treasurer, Wisconsin Recall Action Fund

P.S. The Wisconsin Recall Action Fund is a group of concerned citizens that are dedicated to conservatives principles and free market ideas. We are a registered Wisconsin state committee who will be running a full-fledged independent campaign to save Scott Walker. Join us today, and begin fighting back immediately.
 
 
THE WISCONSIN RECALL ACTION FUND
http://www.townhallmail.com/qpsqmcbvqqptmvqvtvmsbtjffdtffvdbhhscrmpgvmwwmh_yqkffqbllq.html
            Donate Now http://www.townhallmail.com/glkqcfhkqqldckqkdkcghdjttmdttkmhnngfpclrkcyycm_yqkffqbllq.html
            Visit WisconsinAction.com

 

The Scott Walker Ripple Effect


Amazingly it’s being felt in…Rhode Island.

Stateline.org reports, “How did an overwhelmingly Democratic state legislature and a union-backed governor come to approve the toughest public pension cuts in the nation?”

By all means, go ahead and sign the recall petition...


That is, if you want Wisconsin to become more like Illinois.

Illinois deserves to be at the very bottom of the latest list of the best run states in America at #49:

Illinois has fallen from 43rd last year to the overall second-worst run state in the country. The state performs poorly in most categories, but is worst when it comes to its credit rating. Illinois has a credit rating of A+, the second worst given to any state, behind only California. The state has been on credit watch since 2008 because of budget shortfalls and legal challenges against then-governor Rod Blagojevich.”

By the way, Wisconsin ranks #16.

Illinois gets slammed with more national ridicule from Forbes.com that calls our neighbor the State Of Embarrassment."

Just look at the special favors granted to vested interests while the state has imposed a 65% boost in income taxes for middle class citizens. Companies like Boeing and United, which have  head offices in Chicago, get tax breaks and incentives, while everyone else pays the full fare. This game is still afoot.  Even as the state deficit persists, other big players such as the CME group, which operates the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the Chicago Board of Options and Sears are threatening to leave unless their taxes are also lowered.

Thus it’s not surprising then that cronyism has become a hallmark of the Obama administration. Wall Street grandees, a key source of Obama campaign funders in 2008 and again now, have been treated to bailouts as well as monetary policies that have assured massive profits to the ‘too big to fail’  crowed while devastating consumers and smaller banks.

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Dear Franklin Public Schools: When it comes to a referendum, you are not going to spin me


It seems the Franklin Public Schools administration is hell bent on pushing for a facilities referendum to be placed on the ballot and approved, whatever the cost or whether needed or not at the worst possible of economic times.

It also appears the Franklin Public Schools intelligentsia, a la ostriches at the zoo, hasn’t learned their lesson from the previous 2007 referendum that bombed, despite every trick, legal or not, used by the school district.

“Not to worry” is the mentality of the current Jesse James regime at FPS. We’ll get ‘em this time. We won’t fail like we did in the past. We messed up in 2007 because of “ineffective communications.”

In other words, they just didn’t spin that colossal referendum just right.  Couldn’t fool those taxpayers that shouldn’t be as smart as they are.

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My mail yesterday was delivered at...


5:30 pm



Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

I'm on WISN

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While I was gone: Someone saw Santa


That would be...




Jaxson Caracci, five months, of Waukesha has his first visit with Santa at Brookfield Square. Photo: C.T. Kruger


Great photo!

And Photos of the Week returns this Sunday along with all of our regular weekend features including tonight’s Goodnight music blog, Best Cartoons of the Week, The Barking Lot, Week-ends, Recommended Reading and Culinary no-no.

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Goodnight everyone, and have a weekend that makes spirits bright!


“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
Norman Vincent Peale


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, more music of the season.

The Hollywood Reporter reported this week:

“More and more radio channels have been switching their formats to all Christmas, all the time -- a consistent winner for radio even during a brutal 2008-2009 revenue downturn, which ended last year when the U.S. radio industry took in $20.1 billion, up 8 percent from the previous year.

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The best cartoons of the week


Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail



Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

 

Political Cartoons by Ken Catalino


 

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Before we get to this week's Barking Lot...


Need a last minute gift idea?

Axel, Cherry and Anuch are three retired military working dogs in Iraq whoneed you. 
Each of them served honorably sniffing for bombs and monitoring checkpoints in Iraq asmilitary contractors, but now their work is done and they have nowhere to go - unless you help.  

You can sponsor Axel, Cherry or Anuch to give them the retirement they deserve.  Your donation gets us that much closer to getting these 4-legged heroes out of Iraq and into loving, forever homes in the United States.   Please, sponsor one of these true heroes right now!

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The Barking Lot (12/10/11)

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:  Sunny High of 27.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 39. "D"  The consolation for the weekend: It will be dry.


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

It’s a controversial procedure that involves surgically removing a dog’s vocal cords to lower the sound of its bark. Massachusetts and New Jersey have outlawed devocalization, but a growing number of pet lovers are calling for more bans claiming the operation is cruel.

We were spoiled for many years with Sugar’s lack of barking.  Although she was a Basenji-Cocker Spaniel mix, she really exhibited no traits of her mother, the Cocker.  True to Basenji form, she did not bark.  She would let out an occasional chortle and that was it.  Then when Skippy, the English Springer Spaniel, came in to our lives, we learned how a barking dog could really disrupt the family peace.  She would bark to be let out and let in.  Fine.  She would bark at dogs across the street.  Fine.  But she would also bark at the mail man, motorcycles, meter readers and even leaves blowing down the street in the fall.  NOT fine.  We did our best to curtail her canine crooning but she didn’t improve much over the years.  Sadly her barking stopped when she lost her hearing and at that point we actually wished she would bark again.

We weren’t the only ones in our neighborhood who owned a barking dog.  We just accepted it as a part of suburban living and dealt with it.  Really, no one let their dogs out all night or too early in the morning.  Things never escalated to complaints, police visits, or threats.  Although we had never heard of debarking, we never would have considered the procedure.

There are many proponents of the medical procedure to alter a dog’s vocal cords so that their bark is merely a whisper.  Dr. Mike Marder is a veterinarian who owns a debarked dog. 

Apparently this surgery is “necessary” in co-op apartment buildings when neighbors threaten to complain to the board.

Similar to the issues surrounding spaying and neutering as well as declawing, there are two sides to the “debark debate.”  Personally I find many medically compelling reasons to spay and neuter, but I find little reason to consider debarking.  So do these readers of the New York Times.

I understand the frustration of owning a dog who barks too much.  And I sympathize with any owner who faces the possibility of having to get rid of their pet because of the habit.  There are many other options I would pursue before ever thinking of resorting to surgically altering my pooch. 
----Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer.

Amen.

If you don’t like the fact that a dog will bark and bark loudly, THEN DON’T HAVE ONE!

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


Airport worker was fired for helping a sick dog, but now...  The story generated this EDITORIAL.  Here's the latest.


How does this happen?


Pregnant dog stirs controversy.


"I asked my husband where my dog was."


Mess up and they've got the poop on you.


TIME magazine's #1 animal story of 2011 is...


After duty, dogs suffer like soldiers.


Volunteers use Facebook to save dogs from death row.


Pusuke is dead. And that's news because...


Therapy dogs
help get boy's words out.


NO WAY! Dog missing for 8 years is found.


You've got to scoop while it's fresh.


Reagan is a hero. So is Kimberly Wilson.


Oshkosh dog owners go the distance to keep pet alive.


Evelyn Black's wishes come true.


OUCH! That really hurts.


Do dogs really need shoes?


Where do dogs eat free?


Dogs join the welcoming hunt for store bargains.


How are pets getting into the holiday spirit? Read...


THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.

HERE’S OUR DOG PHOTO OF THE WEEK AND TODAY WE HAVE TWO:

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Week-ends (12/10/11)

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


Humble Harlan Searle, Earl Wallen,  and all who served at Pearl Harbor.


William Stanley


Cam Newton



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


George Giuliani


Macy's


Thomas Walker


For the umpteenth time, the TSA


Dasy's killers


Alec Baldwin


Jerry Brown


Patty White


Unidentified Seattle woman



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“Our hearts are broken again.”
Charles Steger, Virginia Tech's president, after a police officer was killed and a second body discovered Thursday night, bringing back harrowing memories of the 2007 shootings when 32 people were murdered at the campus


“I'm not blaming anyone. I was the governor, and I should have known better. I am just so incredibly sorry.”
Rod Blagojevich, former governor of Illinois, speaking moments before he was sentenced on Wednesday to 14 years in prison on 18 corruption convictions.


“I need the ... United States government to answer the requests of the group that has held me for three-and-a-half years. And please help me get home.”
Robert Levinson, retired FBI agent, who vanished in Iran and has reappeared in a video and a series of photographs, transforming a mysterious disappearance into a hostage standoff with an unknown kidnapper.


“Frankly, the fact that the president doesn't like it makes me like it even more.”
Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a leader of House conservatives, on looming deadlock in D.C. as the GOP finalize legislation for a payroll tax cut extension that contains a provision President Obama has pledged to veto.


“And while I am disappointed, there are more than a few silver linings to doing this work outside the context of a presidential campaign. The process by which we choose our nation’s leader is ridiculous. There is little focus on policy substance and even less on candidates’ governing skills. If you’re not warding off some wild accusation, you’re explaining away a ‘gaffe,’ which is usually the sort of slip of the tongue that anyone can make, but because some reporter heard it, it turns into a news-cycle narrative with a shelf life of six or seven days.”
Herman Cain


“Where to begin? A country spending twice as much per capita on education as it did in 1970 with zero effect on test scores is not underinvesting in education. It’s mis-investing.”
Charles Krauthammer


“This is the craziest thing I have heard in my 33 years of law enforcement service.  Now I can truly say that I have heard everything.  What I’ve learned in my time spent in county government is to never underestimate the ability of people here to reach their height of moronic thought.   If someone in my office suggested something this foolhardy to me, I would order them to be immediately drug tested.  

I just sat through a month of county budget hearings listening to one supervisor after another tell me that they didn’t have the money to restore County Executive Abele’s proposal to lay off over 60 sheriff deputies.  This waste of taxpayer money comes at a time when my county transit security initiative was cut by County Executive Abele.  We just witnessed last week another passenger assault on a county bus, and several months ago a transit operator was savagely pulled from his bus and beaten.  

We don’t have money to maintain and improve safety for transit users or adequate courthouse building security, but now they found $65,000 apparently sitting in a drawer somewhere and the County Board comes up with this goofy idea?  The money should be returned to taxpayers instead of being spent on this.  It’s enough money to pay the salary of a sheriff deputy for one full year.  

If this cockamamie idea is so successful, then let it be a requirement for every student at Milwaukee Public Schools, starting in the third grade.  Why are we waiting until a kid engages in violent crime before his exposure to Shakespeare?  

This is what happens when social engineering elitists dabble in corrections.  This therapeutic model erroneously purports that for every self-destructive and pathological behavior, there is a program to cure it.  This is embarrassing.  It is like something straight out of
The Onion newspaper.  With priorities like this it is no wonder why some people have suggested that Milwaukee County government be dissolved.  I believe it’s time to restart those discussions if this type of spending continues out of this Board.   If some conservative or Republican came up with an idea like this for black and Hispanic delinquents the Left and their elitist ilk would cry ‘racism.’  They would say that forcing that old white guy Bill Shakespeare, or any English Literature or other Euro-Centric arts, on minority urban kids is culturally insensitive and doesn’t take into account their urban upbringing or experiences.  What next, teaching them Latin?  How about teaching them to read and write at grade level, maybe some U.S. History or science, and they can later enact experiments.  Somebody please pinch me.   Has this really been approved or am I having a nightmare?  These people are either out of touch or hallucinating and that is being kind.

I am calling on County Executive Abele to veto this nonsense when it gets to his desk.”

A statement by Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. on a plan approved by a Milwaukee County Board committee regarding a Shakespeare in the Courts program.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


Air Force dumping of ashes


Obama's food stamp epidemic



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


NPV



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Donald Trump’s debate deal



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


Wisconsin or Michigan?


Note in bottle found, and read, 2589 miles away.


That's it for this week. We close with the latest from NewsBusted: 

 

Who will win the Heisman Trophy?


The Wall Street Journal reports it won’t be Wisconsin’s Montee Ball.

If so, Ball still had a tremendous season.






Read a nice story a Franklin woman relates about Ball.

And let’s  see if the Wall Street Journal is right.

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - What if?


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


Let’s start out light with a blog that I’m sure was of interest to just about every one who checks in to This Just In…

Enjoy!

 

Thank you very much, St. Paul's Lutheran Church of Franklin


Led by former Franklin Alderman Pete Kosovich, a large contingent of St. Paul’s parishioners including young children sang carols for our family at our door this evening. It was wonderful.

St. Paul’s, located at 6881 S. 51st Street will be hosting their annual "Living Nativity" Saturday & Sunday, December 17 & 18, 2011 with live performances at 6, 6:30, 7 and 7:30pm with actors and animals in an outdoor stable. Free parking and refreshments will be available. Anyone from the community is invited.

What a pleasant surprise tonight given that door-to-door caroling has become a dying art.

This Catholic and his family send Merry Christmas wishes to our Lutheran neighbors.

How about some classic Christmas carols. Let's start here and then continue below.

Merry Christmas.



Read more

Say it ain't so, Ryan


Say it ain't so.


If true, I'm afraid serious consideration should be given to stripping Braun of his MVP Award.

Recommended Reading (12/11/11)

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).


How Walgreens stole Christmas

"One of the most disconcerting aspects of the political arena is when the players expect forgiveness, and credit, when they do the right thing only when prompted by public outcry.  So often a politician is caught in a misdeed (legal or illegal), and expects forgiveness and continued support as a reward for admitting it.  There are dozens of examples in the political world, but a recent move by one of the country’s leading drug stores instantly reminded me of politicians behaving badly."


If there's no Santa in your kid's school quit whining

"Before I go any further here, a word to the parents of the little government indoctrination subjects in this Texas school who are voicing whining about the school dissin’ Santa. It’s this simple: If you can easily afford to have your precious little mini-me in a private school somewhere, yet you turned your child over to the government to be educated; or if you have the means and the temperament to home school your child; or (your last available excuse) you are NOT actively working with your legislators, both local and federal, to promote the cause of school choice, then would you do us all a favor and just keep your opinions about Santa in the classroom to yourself?"


What's wrong with adultery?

"We live in a bipolar culture. We allow ourselves to be drenched in sexual images in movies, on television and on the Internet and then defend First Amendment protection to even the most graphic of them. Then, when a politician acts out what culture promotes, we criticize him, especially if he’s conservative, branding him with the equivalent of a 'scarlet letter'.”


What is it about Tim Tebow that creates TDS?

"I seriously would like to know. Here is a good kid (you know you’re getting older when you call a a twenty something NFL quarterback a kid) who hasn’t had run ins with the law, doesn’t beat women, hasn’t been caught up in a nightclub shooting, doesn’t wander around with a posse, hasn’t failed a drug test, and hasn’t stomped on a player’s arm, among others. He doesn’t taunt the other team, doesn’t show up the other team with a celebration of himself after every good play, and hasn’t gotten into a scuffle with the other team’s fans. He’s a great person. So, what problem do people have with Tebow?"


Rebel, rebel: Tim Tebow

"I wonder if the Tebow critics would be as mouthy about his faith if Tim’s name was Achmed and the god he praised after a TD was Allah."


Here's why there are no jobs and no recovery

"When you have an administration where no one has ever worked in the private sector, let alone managed anything in the private sector, you have a lot of regulators who have no idea what the consequences of their regulations are."


A view of life in the NFL trenches

"NFL fans, people outside, they have no clue what goes on. You ever been in a car crash? Done bumper cars? You know when that hit catches you off guard and jolts you, and you're like, what the hell? Football is like that. But 10 times worse."

My Most Popular Blogs (12/11/11)

Most popular


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

1) A Sneak Peak into the Scott Walker Recall


2) While I was gone:  Pro-Walker teacher threatened amid atmosphere of political aggression

Read more

Photos of the Week (12/11/11)

Photos of the Week


1) Humza Mehbub sent this composite image to msnbc.com of the lunar eclipse from Lahore, Pakistan. The multiple exposures show Earth's shadow creeping across the moon's disk from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Lahore, when the eclipse hit its peak. Anthony Citrano, a fashion photographer from Venice, Calif., captured this pre-dawn view of the eclipse as seen over Malibu and the Santa Monica Mountains. The lunar eclipse competes with the bright lights of Las Vegas in this photo from Jim Werle.


2) Virginia Tech students hold candles during a memorial service and candlelight vigil for fallen Virginia Tech police officer Deriek W. Crouse on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia Dec. 9, 2011. A man who fatally shot the Virginia Tech police officer on Thursday apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Virginia State police said on Friday. The incident prompted a lockdown of the campus on Thursday and revived memories of a gunman's 2007 rampage that left 33 people dead in one of the worst shooting incidents in U.S. history. Photo: Chris Keane / Reuters


3) This image provided by Gregory Bojorquez shows Los Angeles Police officers advancing on a wounded gunman Friday Dec. 9, 2011 at sunset and Vine streets in Los Angeles. Police say the 26-year-old man walked down the middle of a street in Hollywood, firing on passing cars with no clear target until police shot and killed him. (AP Photo/Gregory Bojorquez)


4) Eau Claire, Wis. firefighter Matt Gunderson carries an unidentified infant to a nearby ambulance Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 in Eau Claire, Wis. No injuries were reported in an apartment fire which caused major damage. At least two children were checked for possible smoke inhalation and received shelter from winter temperatures in the teens. (AP Photo/Eau Claire Leader-Telegram, Steve Kinderman)


5) Staff Sgt. Christopher Phelps of Fort Campbell, Kentucky, closely examines an 81mm mortar round as he prepares to safely explode the device during 20th SUPCON Team Leader Training Academy hosted at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. The 12-day training runs through Dec. 16, bringing Explosive Ordnance Disposal team leader candidates from across the country to Joint Base Lewis-McChord. (AP Photo/The Olympian, Tony Overman)


6) U.S. Army soldiers from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, go out on one of their last patrols before heading back to the United States as the Army continues to send its soldiers and equipment home from Camp Adder on Dec. 4, in Nasiriyah, Iraq. The base is preparing to be handed back to the Iraqi government later this month. Camp Adder is one of the few bases remaining that the United Staes controls as America's miilitary continues its pullout of the country by the end of this year, after eight years of war and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images


7) Children play while re-enacting the Battle of Karbala outside Seid Idrees mosque on the day before the festival Ashura on December 5, 2011 in Baghdad, Iraq. Ashura marks the death of Prophet Muhammad's grandson the revered Imam Hussein in the Battle of Karbala, in modern-day Iraq 1,300 years ago. Shi'ite festivals were prohibited during the time of Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein's rule. Iraq is transitioning nearly nine years after the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation. American forces are now in the midst of the final stage of withdrawal from the war-torn country. According to the Iraq Body Count at least 4,485 U.S. military personnel have died in service in Iraq and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died from war-related violence. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)


8) U.S. Army Sergeant James Linville from Brandon, Florida and Justin Herdman from Dover, Arkansas of the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, visit a McDonald's after arriving in Kuwait from Camp Adder in Iraq on Dec. 7, 2011 at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City. Lt. Wilson had been looking forward to fast food after spending seven months serving in Iraq. America's military continues its pullout of Iraq after eight years of war. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images


9) Ship's Captain Andrew Betton is greeted by his 5-year-old son George as HMS Ocean returns to Plymouth on Dec. 9, 2011 in Plymouth, England. HMS Ocean left Plymouth in April for a seven-week training exercise, but was diverted to Libya to support the UN air mission launching Britain's first seaborne Apache raid, destroying pro-Gaddafi military vehicles, installations and communications equipment during the uprising. Whilst at sea, some of the crew of the Royal Navy warship made a Christmas video using the Mariah Carey song "All I Want for Christmas Is You," to celebrate their homecoming, which has had over 1 million hits online. Photo: Matt Cardy / Getty Images


10) Lt Cmdr. David Sagunsky, left, greets his 4 year old daughter Elizabeth Sagunsky, center, after exiting the E-2C Hawkeye at Norfolk Naval Station Chambers Field in Norfolk, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, after a seven month deployment with the USS George H. W. Bush. Molly Curran, back to camera, hugs her daughter Lt. Meggie Curran. The "Bear Aces" of Airborne Early Warning Squadron VAW-124 returned home Wednesday. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, L. Todd Spencer)


11) United States Marine Corps Sgt. Jeremy Grotler kneels at the grave of his friend, Lance Cpl. Tyler O. Griffin, after laying a wreath on his headstone at Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 10, in Arlington, Va. Griffin, 19, died April 1, 2010 in Helmand, Afghanistan. Thousands of military and civilian volunteers laid 100,000 donated holiday wreaths on headstones at the cemetery. Donated by the Worcester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine, the wreaths are now part of a 20-year tradition of decorating and honoring the graves of soldiers, sailors, Marines and guard members who served their country. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images


12)
Indian army soldiers in camouflage take part in exercise "Sudarshan Shakti" at Bugundi in the Barmer desert, Rajasthan, near the border with Pakistan, on Dec. 5, 2011. Photo: AP


13) A protester throws a petrol bomb against riot police guarding the parliament in Athens' Syntagma (Constitution) square during clashes on Dec. 6, 2011. Greek police fired tear gas on Tuesday at dozens of black-clad protesters in Athens who hurled petrol bombs and stones, while hundreds marched to parliament to mark the 2008 shooting of a student by police. Photo: Yannis Behrakis / Reuters


14) Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich leaves the federal building with his wife Patti, right, in Chicago, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, after being sentenced for 14 years on 18 corruption counts, including trying to auction off President Barack Obama's old Senate seat. Photo: M. Spencer Green / AP


15) Passengers are evacuated from a Cathay Pacific Boeing 747 aircraft which aborted its take-off from Shanghai Pudong airport after smoke was detected while the plane was taxiing for take-off, in Shanghai, China, on Dec. 9, 2011. Another photo. Photos: AFP - Getty Images


16) A Dublin Police officer stands near the exit hole of a cannonball in the second story wall after it traveled through the home in Dublin, Calif., on Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011. The cannonball was misfired during the taping of an episode of the Discovery Channel show "MythBusters" at the Alameda County Bomb Disposal Range. Sheriff's spokesman J.D. Nelson told the Contra Costa Times (http://bit.ly/umCZnD ) that no one was injured and the home's residents didn't even wake up until the dust was settled _ literally on top of them. (Doug Duran/Staff)


17) Police officers investigate wrecked luxury cars at the site of a traffic accident in Shimonoseki on Dec. 4, 2011.  Police said  they believe the accident last Sunday was touched off when the driver of one of the Ferraris tried to change lanes and hit the median barrier. He spun across the freeway, and the other cars collided while trying to avoid hitting his car. No one was seriously injured. Photo: Kyodo News via Reuters


18) A neighbor takes a peek at a Nissan Pathfinder which crashed and landed in the house belonging to Gloria Sinclair, 74, late on Dec. 8, 2011, near the intersection of West Market Street and Wickliffe Street in Newark. No one was injured, but Ms. Sinclair was home at the time with her daughter and 2 year-old grandson. A few short minutes before the accident, her grandson had left that room, a computer room, which the SUV crashed into. Photo: Saed Hindash/The Star-Ledger


19) An abandoned, malnourished horse is seen at the Safe Haven Equine Rescue in Gilmer, Texas, in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on Dec. 3, 2011. Reuters reports, "The yearlong Texas drought is taking a heartbreaking toll on horses and donkeys, thousands of which have been abandoned by owners who can no longer afford the skyrocketing price of the hay needed to feed them." Photo: Debbie Fincher / Safe Haven Equine Rescue via Reuters


20) A pair of Western and Victorian crown pigeons eat from a feeding plate at the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Malaysia, Monday, Dec. 5, 2011. The bird park houses more than 3,000 birds representing more than 200 species, in an enclosed aviary. Out of these birds, 90 percent are local birds and 10 percent were imported from overseas. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)


21) A sawfish swims in its new home at the Sydney Aquarium in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Dec. 9, 2011. Sawfish have been placed on the critically endangered list mainly due to a human impact to their environment and being entangled in fishing nets. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)


22) Wild life workers and school children release Little Blue Penguins back into the sea at Mount Maunganui beach on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011. Photo: Marty Melville / AFP - Getty Images. You know you want to see the video.


22) A farmer stops the traffic in Duisburg, western Germany, to shepherd his flock of 150 geese across the street on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011 in Duisburg, Germany. The geese enjoy an outdoor enclosure during the day to feed on fresh grass and move back to their night accommodation in the evening. The young geese, hatched out in May, will be slaughtered for the traditional Christmas dinner. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)


23)
Clay Matthews (52) and Erik Walden of Green Bay combine for a sack of New York's Eli Manning. They also forced a fumble on the play last Sunday. The Packers beat the Giants 38-35 to go to 12-0 on the season. Journal Sentinel photo: Tom Lynn


24) Donald Driver gets both of his feet down for a touchdown reception late in the fourth quarter last Sunday to give the Packers a 35-27 lead. The Giants would later tie the game before Mason Crosby kicked the winning field goal as time expired. Journal Sentinel photos: Tom Lynn


25) Tiger Woods celebrates after his birdie putt on the 18th hole to win the Chevron World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club on Dec. 4, in Thousand Oaks, Calif. Woods finished at 10 under par to beat Zach Johnson by one stroke. It was his first win since the Australia Masters in 2009. Photo: Robert Meggers / Getty Images


26) The Occupy DC Christmas tree, made of plastic bottles and plastic bags, is on display at Freedom Plaza, December 5, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)


27) Behind a makeshift stage in the Eugene Public Library, ballerina Luciana Johnson stretches for her role as the Sugar Plum Fairy prior to a performance of The Nutcracker Short & Suite, a shortened, kid-size version of the classic ballet Thursday, December 8, 2011 in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/The Register-Guard, Brian Davies)


28) Actor David Warren, who has been playing Santa for the past ten years, holds seven-month-old Olivia Ruch at Santa's Grotto in Selfridges department store in London on Dec. 7. Photo: Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters


29) Two men dressed as Santa Claus use a toilet in Citta' Sant'Angelo near Pescara, Italy, Dec. 10. A group of people dressed up as Santa Claus to attend the "European Meeting of Santa Claus" where they sang Christmas carols and interacted with passers-by to spread the joy of Christmas. Photo: Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters


AND FINALLY,


3
0) A member of the Andrew Sisters styled group 'The Liberty Belles' plants a kiss on the cheek of Pearl Harbor survivor Evan Brasset, at a ceremony observing the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011.  Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP


31) Pearl Harbor survivor James Cook smiles after getting a kiss on the cheek from a member of the Andrews Sisters-styled "Liberty Belles" at a ceremony observing the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011. Photo: Gerald Herbert / AP


32) National Parks Service Historian John McCaskill, of Washington D.C., reacts to the national anthem during the Pearl Harbor memorial ceremony, Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Photo: Marco Garcia / AP


33) Navy divers swim with the urn of Pearl Harbor survivor Lee Soucy during Soucy's internment ceremony, Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2011 in Honolulu. Soucy, who died last year at the age of 90, wanted to have his ashes interred inside the USS Utah, his ship that sank during the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in Dec. 7, 1941. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)


34) A B-17 bomber flies by a Pearl Harbor memorial service on the 70th anniversary of the attacks Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011 in Phoenix. Photo: Matt York / AP


35) A satellite picture of Pearl Harbor, acquired by the GeoEye-1 satellite on Sept. 24, shows the USS Missouri docked at Battleship Row as a museum ship, with its bow pointing toward the USS Arizona memorial at lower right. The wreck of the Arizona can be seen below the white memorial, barely visible beneath the water's surface.

Culinary no-no #256

Culinary no-no's


THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF

FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
NO!


Dontcha just love the Muppets.

Each and every one of those adorable characters.




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The latest pro-life news


From Pro-Life Wisconsin, and Wisconsin Right To Life:


Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
border
 

 
Former Planned Parenthood Director to Testify in Support of the Coercive and Webcam Abortion Prevention Act
Former Planned Parenthood Employees Participating in Congressional Probe
More Evidence of Increased Breast Cancer Risk from Abortion
The Gift of a Lifetime
Mark Your Calendar to See Laura Ingraham
 
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Former Planned Parenthood Director to Testify in Support of
the Coercive and Webcam Abortion Prevention Act

Here we go again, Franklin


The unattended to Yellow Pages were bad enough.

Last weekend, all up and down my neighborhood attached to mailboxes were bookmark-size tags promoting Teen Challenge International Wisconsin. I immediately removed the rubber band holding the notice to my side of the mailbox leaving my neighbor’s. Three days later, it’s still there, and many others up and down my street.

Again, what is so difficult about this?

No way, Jennifer!

Topics talked about on WISN


You are not the sexiest woman alive.
 





I don’t care what Men’s Health magazine says.

Not when you consider…







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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Welfare as we knew it isn't dead


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.



One of the most compelling, provocative blogs I posted during 2011 came from a loyal reader’s e-mail that provided great detail about welfare abuses. I read it on the air while filling in for Mark Belling on Newstalk 1130 WISN. During a break in the program, an aide to US Senator Ron Johnson called requesting a copy of the e-mail. The senator, whom I saw in person about a week later, promised to investigate further.

Read about the frustrations of a Good Samaritan.

And there's
more.

Braun voters having regrets?

Topics talked about on WISN

 

The LA Times surveyed voters who selected Ryan Braun for NL MVP and found many would now vote for Matt Kemp of the Dodgers.

Here’s the article I discussed today on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

Hey teach, go easy on me...I'm having a bad day

Topics talked about on WISN

 

I think it’s a disturbing trend.

Read more

He's got a secret


 

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Wis. Election Officials to Accept Mickey Mouse, Hitler Signatures


Happy 86th birthday, Dick Van Dyke!


Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Shades of Dirty Harry


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


First it was the blue-haired old biddies at the totally out of touch League of Women Voters that decided to sue over Wisconsin’s common sense photo ID law. Now it’s the wackos at the ACLU.

This is a perfect time to bring back a blog from January of this year that has a touch of…




File:Harry Callahan.JPG



Take a look.

We take our camera LIVE to the library to ask an age old question





HT: Hot Air

Yet another glaring example of the utter disregard for human life

Topics talked about on WISN

Read more

Time to play "What am I talking about?"

Topics talked about on WISN

 

This morning as I filled in for Jay Weber at Newstalk 1130 WISN, I read the first paragraph of a recent column from a daily newspaper somewhere in America and asked the audience to tell me what the author was writing about. Here’s the paragraph:

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Thank you, Scott Walker


Thank you very much!

E-mails, I get e-mails: Hypocrites


From a listener who heard me this morning discussing photo ID ... and I thank that individual very much.



 Balloting co-chairman Chuck Fromong closes the doors at the close of voting at a Machinists Union hall on Dec. 7 in Seattle. | AP Photo

Photo: AP

TIME's Person of the Year


They should have given it to Paul Ryan (he was under consideration). Instead, the Protester gets TIME’s annual award that every year becomes more irrelevant. TIME along with the rest of the mainstream media crucified peaceful Tea Party ralliers last year.







"These are folks who are changing history already and will change the future."
TIME



Read more

Rabbi apologizes for deranged attack on Tebow

Topics talked about on WISN


Jewish Week Online and Rabbi Joshua Hammerman have apologized for Hammerman’s bigoted, hateful anti-Christian screed blasting Tim Tebow and his followers:

"If Tebow wins the Super Bowl, against all odds, it will buoy his faithful, and emboldened faithful can do insane things, like burning mosques, bashing gays and indiscriminately banishing immigrants. While America has become more inclusive since Jerry Falwell's first political forays, a Tebow triumph could set those efforts back considerably."

 The column was removed from the website, but Human Events was able to obtain a screen copy.

The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #23

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame, Topics talked about on WISN


For new readers:

I am always on the lookout for sharp, young, talented writers. As I have blogged in the past, these young folk must meet certain standards.

They must have a strong ability to write well.

Their efforts must be provocative and insightful.

They should have strong opinions and beliefs that are fact-based.

Their work should be grammatically correct, and they must not regularly and repeatedly flunk spell-check. Doing so would demonstrate a lack of pride and self-respect, not to mention a clear ineptness.

And there must be a consistency of excellence to their product. They wouldn’t dream of posting anything slightly embarrassing that would ruin their credibility in a heartbeat.

I have instituted recognizing special young writers who will be members of the Kevin Fischer “Whippersnapper Hall of Fame.” By the strictest definition, “whippersnapper” may not be the most positive term. However, I can assure you that in this context, “whippersnapper” should be considered in the most complimentary, respectful sense. These young individuals are refreshing.

Any young person with a computer can spit out foolish, naïve, fact-devoid, wild, unsubstantiated junk and call it a blog or creative writing. It takes intelligence, insight, and skill to compose a quality product that is noteworthy. My goal is to showcase these young writers who, by their true ability give us superb confidence that the future of our great country is in very capable hands.

These young stars are the real deal, bona fide talents. In reality, they are in a category far beyond "whippersnapper." I salute and congratulate them for putting their talents to such constructive use.

I will be updating the Hall of Fame when new talent comes to my attention. Readers are invited to nominate inductees by e-mailing me their suggestions.
The following types of young individuals are ineligible:


Crybabies

Whiners

General losers

Anyone ashamed of publicly disclosing what they do for a living

Anyone who can’t spell at an 8th grade level, and/or with grammatical skills to match

Anyone who adores dramatic tax increases but pays no taxes because he/she sponges off at home

Anyone who doesn’t understand that nothing in life comes easy and that hard work is the key to a fulfilling life, not the government


The newest inductee is 
Christine Rousselle, a student at Providence College. Here’s her column about welfare that I read on Newstalk 1130 WISN today.

Rousselle was interviewed by a Portland, Maine TV station.




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Governor Mike Huckabee: Tommy's the Right Choice


Dear Friend,

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OMG! Order A Piece Of The Best Cheese In The Country!

Sendik's Food Market
Sartori Cognac BellaVitano Header

VOTED 'BEST USA CHEESE' AT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

LIMITED EDITION
SARTORI COGNAC BELLAVITANO

Limited Edition Sartori Cognac Bellavitano

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The latest from Rehorst

The Monthly Newsletter of Wisconsin's First & Finest Craft Distillery
 
     
             
 
In This Issue
Tours
Custom Mini Bottles
Holiday Hours
FESTIVUS!
Holiday Gifts
Manhattan

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Fighting the Walker Recall Update Friday Night at Serb Hall


Ten years ago Milwaukee County residents restored fiscal sanity and elected Scott Walker in the wake of the recall of disgraced County Executive Tom Ament.  Today, almost ten years later, many of the same people who still receive the unethical and immoral benefits created by Ament seek to recall Governor Walker.  Citizens for Responsible Government is holding a meeting to update residents on the status of the Walker recall and to learn about update efforts to defeat it.

The meeting will be held TONIGHT at:

American Serb Hall

5101 W. Oklahoma Ave.

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Watch before you head out shopping

The GAB is nonpartisan? I don't think so

Nonpartisan? When headline refers to Republican Senator as ‘Crazy,’ GAB Staffer Tweets “OMG! Headline winner…”

MacIver News Service | December 16, 2011

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Goodnight everyone, and have a bell ringer of a weekend!


“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas
.”

Calvin Coolidge
 

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The best cartoons of the week


Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez




Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

 




Political Cartoons by Robert Ariail

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The Barking Lot (12/17/11)

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:  A few snow showers will make sidewalks and streets a bit messy and wet. High of 34.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Sunny. High of 38. "D"


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

 

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Week-ends (12/17/11)

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


Secret Santas


Anonymous donors


Justin Bieber


Alexis Ortiz


Tian Shengwei


Kevin Peck


Courtney Roth


Christine Rousselle


Lailah Chosa-Saiglin


Brad Humphrey



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Freedom From Religion Foundation


School officials in Westford


CBS film crew for Hawaii Five-0


Riverhead High School


Katherine Windels


11 members of the Milwaukee County Board


Say it ain't so, Rudy!


Kimberly Brown and Marcus Glass


Joshua Hammerman


David Buerger



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“You will leave with great pride, secure in knowing that your sacrifice has helped the Iraqi people to cast tyranny aside.
Leon Panetta, U.S. defense secretary, pays tribute to U.S. troops at a Baghdad flag-lowering ceremony to mark their official withdrawal from Iraq after eight and a half years.


A foreign policy based on pretty please? You have got to be kidding.
Mitt Romney, Republican presidential candidate, during the latest GOP debate, accuses President Obama of being soft on Iran by asking for the return of the crashed CIA drones.


“I hope I am the Tim Tebow of the Iowa caucuses.”
Rick Perry


"My campaign will be relentlessly positive. We're not going to be tearing people down.”
Newt Gingrich


“I would put our legislative and foreign policy accomplishments in our first two years against any president -- with the possible exceptions of Johnson, F.D.R., and Lincoln just in terms of what we've gotten done in modern history."
President Obama in an interview with “60 Minutes.”



“Unemployment has gone up precipitously since he [Obama] took office.”
Fox News host Gretchen Carlson told Democratic National Committee chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla) the above.


“That is simply not true. In fact, unemployment has now dropped below 9%. It's continuing to drop.”
Schultz’s response to Carlson.  The official unemployment rate fell from 9% to 8.6% last month, but when Obama took office, the official rate was 7.8%. He promised to keep unemployment under 8% when he took office, but only three years into his administration has it finally dropped below 9%.


“Millionaire job-creators are like unicorns; they're impossible to find and don't exist."
US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)


“This case is not just about Arizona. It's about every state grappling with the costs of illegal immigration.”
Jan Brewer, Arizona governor, after the Supreme Court stepped into the fight over Arizona's tough immigration-enforcement law on Monday.


"I thought that Jerry was molesting him, having intercourse with him. I didn't see insertion or hear protest. Jerry having some type of intercourse with him, that's what I believe I saw."
Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary testifying in a hearing to determine what Penn State officials knew about Sandusky's alleged child sexual abuse on the Penn State campus.


“This is my body, and I will take advantage of it if I want to. And it's a very beautiful body.
Veena Malik,
Pakistani actress, responding to claims that she has betrayed her country by posing topless for Indian FHM's cover; she says she has received death threats in the wake of the photo shoot.


”Twas the night before Christmas and in the White House,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes a payroll tax cut soon would be there.

There were holiday treats, made of veggies and grain,
No sugar allowed in the anti-obesity campaign.

The president was sleeping -- all snug in his bed,
As low unemployment numbers danced in his head.

He dreamed of the year, with its wheeling and dealing,
And the fight over raising the nation's debt ceiling.

A "grand bargain" emerged in secret talks with the Speaker,
But the president settled for a deal far weaker.

An agreement was reached, despite one glaring hitch,
It resembled a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich."

The president reveled in ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell,"
But questions about Solyndra proved tough to quell.

And then there were charges Obama thought spurious,
Related to the operation known as "Fast and Furious."

With an eye toward the election, he would step up his game
Against GOP challengers -- and he called them by name:

"Now Romney! Now Perry! Now Herman and Bachmann!
On, Gingrich! On, Paul! Santorum and Huntsman!

Your ideas are flawed, your policies I question,
All of your tax cuts would lead to recession.

I'm sure I can beat you in states blue and red,
Thanks to the raid that shot Bin Laden dead."

Suddenly, on the South Lawn, there arose such a clatter,
Obama looked up to see what was the matter.

Republicans had arrived through the Southwest gate,
For yet another presidential debate.

They stood in a line, saluting our troops,
While Perry listed agencies: one, two, uh, oops.

Gingrich bashed the press, his disdain clearly showed;
Romney kept smiling, hoping Newt would implode.

Then what, to wondering eyes, came out of the sky?
But a tiny sleigh with a pizza delivery guy.

The driver was dynamic, a broad smile on his face,
Selling his books and singing "Amazing Grace."

It was one-time candidate Herman Cain,
But his time in the spotlight created great pain.

And I heard him exclaim, perhaps for the last time:
"Merry Christmas to all! Don't forget 9-9-9!"

The annual Christmas poem from the White House press corps.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


The Milwaukee County Board approves Shakespeare for gang bangers.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


Incorrect job loss estimates draw criticism from Wisconsin



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


The continued assaults on Tim Tebow.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


Dear Santa...


On the roof, there arose such a clatter.


Man calls police after being shortchanged by 'escort'... it gets better.  And there's more.


That's it for this week. We close with the latest from NewsBusted:


 

Read more

SEE and HEAR Tim Tebow like never before





Columnist Doug Giles writes:

  1. Tim believes in Jesus Christ. As do, I believe, um, millions upon millions of other folks. Let me check. Yes, I'm right. Google says there are a bunch of Christians out there.
     
  2. Tim's a virgin. You can't be a virgin anymore in our day, right? Yes, not being a whore in the 21st century is a sin to many like Charlie Sheen. Let me ask the ladies this question: Would you be cool with marrying a handsome, multi-millionaire star quarterback who you know doesn't have some STD eating his junk? I thought so. 
     
  3. Tim is public with his praise to God ... as were Abraham, Moses, David, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Jesus, the Apostle Paul and America's founders.
     
  4. The Broncos miraculously keep on winning.

In summary, Tim is guilty of gratitude to God for all that He has given him, purity when it comes to sex and winning football games. Wow, what a loser.

This just couldn't wait for next Saturday's Barking Lot

The Barking Lot


I am not surprised.

Was it really necessary early this morning in Franklin ...



To have a plow driver on Rawson Avenue with his plow down?





I mean seriously?

Was there some snow emergency declared I didn’t hear about?

Was traffic impaired so severely that the city felt the urgent need to send plows out?

And who made that call?

Our DPW on its own?

Did Mayor Taylor, upon waking up and seeing snow flying, pick up the Batphone and order the plows out so motorists wouldn’t rack up a ton of accidents from the trace of snow we got?

Is it any wonder that:

Franklin = Tax Hell, Wisconsin

Recommended Reading (12/18/11)

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).


Black Conservatives Say Attorney General Holder's Speech Was Partisan and Racialist

"On the heels of Attorney General Eric Holder's fiercely political and racially divisive speech Tuesday night, members of the Project 21 black leadership network are criticizing Holder for treating Americans differently based on their race or ethnicity and for his apparent disregard of very real voter fraud threats."


Tebow critics put their own bigotry on display

"Now Tebow is once again a target for illiberals who find his evangelical Christianity somehow threatening and offensive. The latest episode involves a recent column for The Jewish Week that bashed Tebow for symbolizing intolerance. But it was the writer, Connecticut Rabbi Joshua Hammerman, who put his own astonishing bigotry on display. Hammerman titled his piece 'My Tebow Problem,' and indeed it is Hammerman's problem -- not Tebow's"


Yes, there are Christmas haters

"In this special season of giving, Hollywood is willing to give people what entertainment executives think the country needs: a vicious, bloody takedown of Christmas."


Ideology TV

“Talk about an excruciating experience. The media research company Experian Simmons spent an entire year surveying diehard Republicans and Democrats regarding what they watch on TV, and the results are now in.”


I'm glad I cleaned bathrooms

"What's wrong with cleaning bathrooms?

Cleaning bathrooms wasn't the most glamorous job, literally swabbing out toilets, wiping down sinks and making sure that the towels were restocked, but I knew that it was useful work. It gave me a sense of pride on Sunday mornings to walk into the gleaming bathrooms.

I wasn't required to clean them at any certain time, just prior to Sunday morning and Wednesday night so that the bathrooms would be clean at these times for the programs at the church. This taught me how to balance my time and my schedule among school, band, ballet and my job."


State hopes to break car owners' habit of changing oil too often

"Many automobile owners are spending more than they need on motor oil, believing that it should be changed every 3,000 miles even though almost no manufacturer requires such an aggressive oil-change schedule.

The long-held notion that the oil should be changed every 3,000 miles is so prevalent that California officials have launched a campaign to stop drivers from wasting millions of gallons of oil annually because they have their vehicles serviced too often."

My Most Popular Blogs (12/18/11)

Most popular


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

1) Fighting the Walker Recall Update Friday Night at Serb

2) 
Photos of the Week (12/11/11)

3) Culinary no-no #256

4) The GAB is nonpartisan? I don’t think so

5) The latest pro-life news

6) We take our camera LIVE to the library to ask an age old question

7) Time to play: “What am I talking about?”

8) TIME’s Person of the Year

Read more

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - The NFL and teachers


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


Yes, indeed, what if?

 

Photos of the Week (12/18/11)

Photos of the Week


1) West Valley City police officer Kevin Peck wedged between an icy street and the undercarriage of a commuter bus clutching hands with badly injured Aryann Smith. Photo: Kevin Conde / AP. Read more about this story in the HEROES section of Week-ends.


2) U.S. President Barack Obama greets troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina Dec. 14, 2011. Photo: Chris Keane / Reuters


3) The US flag, the Iraqi flag, and the US Forces Iraq colors are carried, during a flag-lowering ceremony marking the end of the US mission in Iraq on Dec. 15, 2011. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AFP - Getty Images


4) U.S. Army soldiers from the 2-82 Field Artillery, 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, salute during the playing of retreat during the daily flag lowering ceremony as they prepare to fly home to Fort Hood, Texas after being one of the last American combat units to exit from Iraq on Dec.15 at Camp Virginia, near Kuwait City, Kuwait. Today the U.S. military formally ended its mission in Iraq after eight years of war and the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images


5) Philip Toczylowski, of Philadelphia, sits by his son's grave at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Dec. 16, 2011, a day after the Pentagon declared an end to the war in Iraq. Philip says that he plays taps on his trumpet every time he visits the grave of his son, Army Major Jeffrey Philip Toczylowski, who died serving in Iraq in 2005. Photo: Jacquelyn Martin / AP


6) Specialist Cory Davis from Somersworth, N.H. is greeted by his mother, Beth Davis, as he arrives in Maine for a refueling stop as they make their way to Fort Hood, Texas after being one of the last American combat units to exit from Iraq on Dec. 16, 2011 in Bangor, Maine. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images


7) NYPD officers push a fence back against activists as they try and gain entrance to the private park owned by Trinity Church next to Duarte Square at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street on Dec. 17, in New York City. Activists marked the three month anniversary to the Occupy Wall Street movement with speeches and performances in Durante Square. Photo: Michael Bocchieri / Getty Images


8) Pakistani acid attack survivor, Shaziya Abdulsattar, 8, lies on the lap of her mother Azim, at the Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF) in Islamabad, Pakistan, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011. Shaziya's father allegedly threw acid on her and her mother Azim last year after the mother refused to sell their two boys to a man in Dubai to use as camel racers. Rights activists Tuesday praised the laws, which stiffened the punishment for acid attacks and also criminalized practices such as marrying off young girls to settle tribal disputes and preventing women from inheriting property. The Senate provided final approval for two bills containing the new laws Monday. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)


9) This undated photo provided by Melinda Guido's family shows Melinda, with her mother's fingers in the scene, in the neonatal intensive care unit at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Melinda was born premature at 24 weeks weighing 9.5 ounces. She's believed to be the second smallest surviving baby in the United States and third smallest in the world. Photo: courtesy Haydee Ibarra via AP. Now 14 weeks old, Melinda Star Guido holds her mother's little finger while lying in an incubator at the same hospital on Dec. 14, 2011.  Another picture.  Photos: Jae C. Hong / AP


10) Jessica Rogers, a Hamilton teenager who was paralyzed from the chest down in a 2005 accident, wipes tears as she sits in the New Jersey Statehouse with friends, family and Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo, D-Hamilton in Trenton, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, after legislative bill A676 passed the Assembly. The bill is named after Rogers. Rogers, then 16, was a passenger when an enraged driver who was attempting to catch up with a car that had cut him off lost control and crashed. Assemblyman DeAngelo is the sponsor of the bill that toughens penalties for road rage. Photo: Mel Evans / AP


11) A burning double-tanker gasoline truck sends smoke skyward in Montebello, Calif, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. Thousands of motorists were stuck on a 10-mile stretch of freeway near Los Angeles after the big-rig tanker truck burst into flames Wednesday. No one was injured. Photo: Nick Ut / AP


12) Big waves hit Nuevo Promenade in San Sebastian beach, Basque Country, northern Spain, Dec. 15. The area is on red alert due to strong west winds that could create waves of more than eight meters in coastal zones.Photo: Javier Etxezarreta / EPA


13)
Children play on foam from a polluted river at the Marunda flood canal in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Dec. 14, 2011. This woman tries to walk through it. Photos: Beawiharta / Reuters


14) A pedestrian photographs Tracy Patton, a campaigner with PETA, left, and former Playboy Playmate Crystal McCahill, as they tout PETA's "Only Animals Should Wear Fur" campaign, near the Elan Fur store on Chicago's Magnificent Mile, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


15) This photo taken Dec. 10, 2011 and provided by the Chicago Zoological Society, shows Kekasih, a 3-year-old orangutan, hanging out with her mom, Sophia, in the Tropic World exhibit at Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., where the temperature is in the 70s making it a great place to visit during the winter months in Illinois. (AP Photo/Chicago Zoological Society, Jim Schulz)


16) A psychedelic gecko recently discovered in Hon Khoai island, Ca Mau province, in southern Vietnam. Photo: Lee Grismer / AP


17) One of three snowy owls seen at Smithville Lake, Clay County, MO 10 December 2011. This individual was seen at dawn sitting on a sign at the south end of the dam. At about 8am it flew north across the face of the dam where Jon King and I refound it on the road to "Shelter 1 & 2" in the park south of the Paradise Pointe Golf Course.


18) UW-Whitewater quarterback Matt Blanchard (15) helps hoist the D-III championship trophy. The Warhawks beat Mount Union 13-10 Friday night and have won four of the last seven Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowls. Photo: Jeanna Duerscherl for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel


19) Ryan Grant scores an early touchdown at Lambeau Field as the Packers routed the Oakland Raiders 46-16 to go to 13-0. Photo: Rick Wood, Journal Sentinel.


20) Skipper Jorge Xavier Murrieta, left, jumps clear as crewmember Alejandro Murrieta, right, holds on as their entry from Mexico capsizes rounding a mark during blue fleet racing in the 49er class at the ISAF World Sailing Championships off Fremantle near Perth on Dec. 12, 2011. Greg Wood / AFP - Getty Images


21) Players, cheerleaders, and fans pause for a moment of silence before the Franklin-Oak Creek boys basketball game last Tuesday night  to remember Oak Creek Mayor Dick Bolender, who died last weekend. Photo: Peter Zuzga


22) Christie's auction house employees speak on the phone to bidders under pictures of Elizabeth Taylor at Christie's, where hundreds of items once belonging to the iconic actress have gone on the auction block on Dec. 14, 2011 in New York City. Taylor's jewelry collection, much of it given to her by Richard Burton, brought in a record-setting $115 million including more than $11.8 million for a pearl necklace. Sales of Taylor's clothing, art and other memorabilia are currently being held. Part of the proceeds from the auction will go to The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation. Photo: Spencer Platt / Getty Images


23) Tom and Cathy Hannes, enjoy an up-close view of a seasonal display at the Holiday Fantasy of Lights in Olin-Turville Park, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011 in Madison, Wis. The couple, who reside nearby in Madison, take occasional walks through the annual exhibit, periodically stopping to capture photographs of the colorful scenes. (AP Photo/Wisconsin State Journal, John Hart)


24) Choristers of St. Paul's Cathedral practice in the choir stalls at St. Paul's Cathedral in London on Monday, Dec. 12. The 30 choristers and eight probationers join twelve adult singers comprising the Vicars Choral to form the Cathedral Choir. Photo: Toby Melville / Reuters


25) Revelers dressed as Santa Claus sing near Battery Park  and in Times Square during the annual SantaCon event in New York City on Dec. 10. Photos: Allison Joyce / Getty Images and Kena Betancur / Reuters


26) Members of the Barborka pensioners dancers group (From L) Gabriela Koscielniak, Ola Szczepanska, Halina Rycombel, Anna Nierobis and Monika Bator perform Swan Lake on Nov. 30,2011 at a community center in Lazy. Photo: Janek Skarzynski / AFP - Getty Images


27) Guinness World Records adjudicator Rob Molloy, right, and Dr. Manoj Pahukar of Wockhardt hospital, second left, measure Jyoti Amge at a press conference in Nagpur, India on Dec. 16. Amge, 18, was declared shortest woman in the world measuring 24.7 inches by the Guinness World Records. Photo: Manish Swarup / AP


28) Etibar Elchiyev poses with 50 metal spoons stuck to his body in Tbilisi, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2011. Photo: Vano Shlamov / AFP - Getty Images

Obama's "biggest problem" launches 2012 victory plan

 
Header


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PolitiFarce


I just received the following from my friend and colleague Brian Fraley of the MacIver Institute:

The editors and reporters at the Journal Sentinel who operate the PolitiFact feature gave us a MOSTLY FALSE for the MacIver News Service's reporting on the Mickey Mouse signature issue.

 

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Culinary no-no #257

Culinary no-no's


THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF

FOOD BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-
NO!



Here's a nice picture:







It's a pre-meal ritual for many households.


Bless us,
O Lord,
and these your gifts,
which we're about to receive from your bounty.
Through Christ our Lord,
Amen.


The above pictured prayer is in private. Now imagine this scenario is taking place in a crowded restaurant. Though rare, I've seen it done at least three times in the past month.

You've probably witnessed it, too. And what's your reaction?

Are you totally stunned, surprised?

Do you stare in disbelief?

Do you immediately look away, pretending you never saw it?

Does "how weird" come to mind?

Are you offended?

Let’s suppose for a moment that the current Tim Tebow-mania inspires more restaurant patrons to demonstrate their faith before dining a la the Denver Bronco QB.




NFL: Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos
Photo: www.pressconnects.com

Tebow, though inspirational, has been the innocent target of visceral, bitter hatred. Here’s an example. Cyd Zeigler writes on outsports.com:

Christianity isn’t bad. Tim Tebow is. So when he gets on national television and thanks his lord and savior Jesus Christ…I hate him. He’s giving a big, fat middle finger to everyone who isn’t religious; To the people who have been kicked out of their church for being gay; To the kids who have been evicted by their families in the name of Christ; And to the kids who’ve killed themselves because they couldn’t reconcile their feelings with the teachings of close-minded religious zealots.”

It’s not just hatred. It’s garbage. I prefer the perspective of Jen Floyd Engel of FoxSports.com:

His religious fervor is an easy target for the vitriol spewed from those who dislike him, but the reasons are much deeper than that. From his advocacy of abstinence to his infamous ‘You will never see another team play this hard’ speech at Florida, it is like he is too good to be true. He is too nice, and thereby we want him to trip up so we can feel better. We want him to be revealed as a hypocrite, and when that fails to happen, we settle for gleefully celebrating his failures on the football field. And why? Because he dares to say thanks?

What this whole repeating cycle of Tebow — rip his game, mock his faith, rise to his defense, repeat — has revealed about religious discourse in America is ugly. We have become so enamored of politically correct dogma that we protect every minority from even the slightest blush of insensitivity while letting the very institutions that the majority holds dear to be ridiculed. And this defense that Tebow invites such scrutiny with his willingness to publicly live as he privately believes calls into question what exactly it is we value.”

But the hatred of Tebow is real.

So, if more people started praying before meals in restaurants and it was somehow attributed to Tebow, conventional wisdom is that it would be met with great disdain from bigoted, hateful, Christian bashers on the left. Consider this gem from a grammatically-challenged, cowardly anonymous blogger:

I work 10 hours everyday.
I listen to my boss piss and moan over non-sense.
When I go to a restaurant, the last thing I want to hear is a bunch of christians disrupting my meal with their garbage prayers!
I deserve peace and quiet while I dine.

Last time I went to red lobster, a bunch of crazy christians were dining at this table.
There was about ten of them.

Each one of them took turns praying over their food.
Do you know how irriating it is to hear 10 people praying?
I complained and was told they have a right to pray.
What about my right to peace and quiet?”

Naturally, these knuckle-draggers would not only be offensive and incredibly insensitive but would be flat out wrong. Quietly, unobtrusively, a prayer conducted before dinner, whether at a Greek greasy spoon or a five-diamond establishment is entirely proper and in full accordance with restaurant etiquette.

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I read the news today, OH NO!

WI_GBP.jpg



 

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The top ten Franklin news stories of 2011


Watch for them on This Just In. The countdown begins this Thursdsy.

The latest pro-life news


From Pro-Life Wisconsin and Wisconsin Right To Life:


Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
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Monday December 19, 2011
The Horrors of “Gendercide” in India
An Invitation from Congressman Sean Duffy for Those Attending the March for Life
Vermont Students Promote Doctor-Prescribed Suicide in Video
Wisconsin Right to Life-PAC Sweeping Victory in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
The Horrors of “Gendercide” in India
 
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Wisconsin Right to Life Legislative Agenda Continues to Advance

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - The Recall Process


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


I wrote several blogs about the need to change the way our state does recalls.


The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


2ND UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


3RD UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


4TH UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


5TH UPDATE: The recall process in Wisconsin needs dramatic change


And the latest...

If you build it, they don't necessarily need to come

"The (Franklin School) Board has always been dominated by parents looking to build new buildings for their kids to go to or ex teachers looking to help out their fellow union pals.”
A portion of a comment left on Bryan Maersch’s Franklin blog

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - It really was a very simple question


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


It’s a word that honors and commends, that singles out, that distinguishes.

It can also be misapplied terribly. This was one of those times.

"Because every holiday you do the same stupid stuff"


“Forget the carolers and the gently tinkling bells. The sounds you really have ringing in your ears during the holidays are ambulance sirens, fire engines screaming through the neighborhood, the crunch of metal on plastic as the imprint of your credit card is taken before you are hustled off for an M.R.I.

“So that we may prevent some holiday horrors, a few cautionary tales.”

This is a public service announcement from the fine folks at This Just In… (Not only will you totally love this, but you will thank me immensely later).



 

We now take you LIVE to a Target in Lawrence, Kansas

GAB's Refusal to Create Recall Database a Choice, Not Based on State Law


State Legal Counsel: GAB Not Prohibited from Creating Online Database of Recall Petition Signatories

MacIver News Service | December 20, 2011

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UPDATE: The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #23

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame, Topics talked about on WISN

Last week when I filled in at Newstalk 1130 WISN, I read portions of a column by college student Christine Rousselle about her experiences with welfare recipients who shopped at a Wal-Mart in Maine where she worked. Rousselle’s piece went viral on the Internet.

Here’s a portion of the piece that I did not read on the air:

Maine has a problem with welfare spending. Maine has some of the highest rates in the nation for food stamp enrollment, Medicaid, and TANF. Nearly 30% of the state is on some form of welfare. Maine is the only state in the nation to rank in the top two for all three categories. This is peculiar, as Maine’s poverty rate isn’t even close to being the highest in the nation. The system in Maine is far easier to get into than in other states, and it encourages dependency. When a person makes over the limit for benefits, they lose all benefits completely. There is no time limit and no motivation to actually get back to work. Furthermore, spending on welfare has increased dramatically, but there has been no reduction of the poverty rate. Something is going terribly wrong, and the things I saw at work were indicators of a much larger problem. Something must change before the state runs out of money funding welfare programs.”

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow

 

DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED DURING THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

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It's all about the Obamessiah...even at Christmas

 

From Photos of the Week (11/27/11):

"The official White House Christmas Tree arrives via horse-drawn carriage at the White House on Nov. 25. The tree, a 19-foot-tall balsam fir, was grown on Schroeder's Forevergreens farm near Neshkoro, Wisconsin. Photo: Brendan Hoffman / Getty Images"

When you donate a Christmas Tree to the Obama White House, here’s what happens.

The 63-foot Sierra White Fir lighted at the U.S. Capitol Grounds on Dec. 6 as the official 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree includes a prominently displayed ornament paying homage to President Barack Obama, but includes no ornament readily visible to a person standing near the tree's base that uses the word ‘Christmas,’ or includes an image of the Nativity, or bears the name or image of Jesus Christ."

Read and see more from CNSNews.com.

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Franklin gets an "F" on economic development


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.



Franklin was no different than any other municipality in 2011 when it came to job creation. The 53132 zip code was the Mojave desert.

Franklin blogger Fred Keller recently noted that the decision to attack the job creation malaise via committee has resulted in...well, nothing:


“We humbly submit this multiple-source REALITY CHECK for the citizens of Franklin, Mayor Tom Taylor and the Forward Franklin Economic Development Committee members and ask that you remember what you see and read here when our bloviating, misleading City leaders declare ‘MISSION ACCOMPLISHED’ and claim that Franklin’s economic climate is improving thanks to this committee which,  since its creation on June 21, 2011, has held five meetings and one workshop.  A look at the committee’s meeting minute’s reveals little to no substantive progress in achieving the primary goals of this new committee, other than considering whether to reappropriate funds and spend $110,484 for marketing materials and possibly a website.”

While I commend this committee's members for coming forward to serve, the committee's lineup lacks substantive business/job creation experience. So how can it have a dramatic impact on improving Franklin's business climate?

Back when this issue first began to surface, I offered real, solid advice on how to do this important job just right.

Will the media cover? Audit Finds State Backed off on MA Fraud Investigations Under Doyle


Audit Finds State Backed off on MA Fraud Investigations Under Doyle Administration



MacIver News Service
| December 20, 2011

[Madison, Wisc…] A legislative audit of the State’s Medcaid program found that under the final term of the Doyle Administration there was a clear reduction in fraud investigation efforts.

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$341/lb for coffee beans? ...or, look what Jennifer won't be seeing under the tree

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That gift you just bought could be a mistake




I was holding the pink silk blouse in my outstretched hand at The Limited in Southridge many years ago. This will be perfect, I thought, for my significant other at the time. That’s when I was approached by a veteran saleswoman who appeared out of nowhere. It didn’t take long for me to realize that she was like just about every other female clerk in a woman’s clothing store that deals with a male customer. She assumes the poor sap is incredibly helpless and won’t survive without her expertise.

After the obligatory “Can I help you?” she amazingly attempted to talk me out of a sale. I was informed that the recipient would prefer this (she grabbed another blouse) instead.

“No, I think I’ll stick with this,” I replied.

“Or how about this one?”

“No thank you.”

“This one’s kind of nice.”

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A message from Tommy Thompson


Friends,

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The stumblin' bumblin' not very nonpartisan GAB strikes again


GAB’s Refusal to Create Recall Database a Choice, Not Based on State Law

State Legal Counsel: GAB Not Prohibited from Creating Online Database of Recall Petition Signatories

MacIver News Service | December 20, 2011

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Yet another example why we need FEWER voters


I’m in the minority and I really don’t care.

Liberal newspaper editorial boards all across Wisconsin (and all other states for that matter) beg, plead, and hope for large voter turnouts on Election Day.

Not me.

I prefer a smaller, more educated electorate and have blogged extensively that some people are just too stupid to vote.

 

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - When a Congresswoman is shot...


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.



 

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Franklin voters, before you go to the polls in April 2012...


Please read this carefully: Board isn’t listening to the public.

Then vote YES on both of the following advisory referendum questions that will be on the April 2012 ballot:

Do you support compensating the position of Milwaukee County Supervisor at a level that reflects the position being considered part-time in nature?

Shall the size of the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors be reduced from the current number of eighteen (18) Supervisors to nine (9) Supervisors?

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #10

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


TODAY WE BEGIN A SPECIAL SERIES COUNTING DOWN THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011.



After being approved in late 2010, tornado warning sirens were put in place in Franklin in early 2011.

I’ve written extensively about Franklin’s ill-advised decision to spend too much money on outdated tornado warning sirens.

Sorry, but I wasn’t convinced by the less than insightful arguments for sirens:

1) Well, gee, everybody else has them.

2) Yeh, but if we can save just one life…

Ironically, one commenter, fellow blogger dad29 wrote about sirens:

“Boy-who-cried-wolf syndrome to follow.”

Bottom line: Franklin officials that supported sirens did so out of pure emotion, not because of scientific research or cold, hard facts.

Enter veteran television meteorologist James Spann. Spann gets it.


From the air: Apartments in Tuscaloosa, Alabama that were completely flattened by the ferocious winds



Alabama tornado picture: aftermath of a tornado that hit Birmingham, making Alabama news headlines


After devastating tornadoes struck Alabama on April 27, Spann blogged about the problems with current warnings and alarms:

“I ask the NWS to consider stopping the use of tornado warnings when trying to catch small spin-ups within a squall line (or QLCS). These tornadoes rarely last more than a few minutes, and are next to impossible to detect in advance. And, in most cases, the greatest damage from a QLCS is from widespread damaging straight line winds, not tornadoes.

These kind of warnings force us to go on the air for 40-45 minutes, often after tornado signature has vanished from the radar. Sirens sound, the NOAA Weather Alarm goes off, severe weather apps on smart phones alert users. Getting these kind of warnings over and over and over again totally create an ocean of people that won’t be paying attention when a real tornado emergency is in progress.

I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. ‘I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens’. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous.

Too many people believe they should hear a siren before a tornado strikes.

I think the time has come to take them down. Sirens are not efficient, reach a limited number of people, and can’t be heard in most homes, schools, and businesses. And, in most counties, the sirens don’t sound only in the warned polygon, they sound county wide. In some cases, this means you are hearing a siren when the actual tornado threat is over 40 miles away.

Sirens were born during the Cold War with the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s… their time has come and gone. If the sirens are taken down, then you KNOW you won’t hear one next time there is a tornado threat.

Most southerners still have the ‘siren mentality’, and that no doubt killed people April 27.

*NOAA Weather Radio must be upgraded to the polygon warning system soon, or it will become obsolete.

Sure, it is the best thing we have now, and I still promote it heavily. But, why hasn’t NOAA upgraded their system so the receiver manufacturers can produce models with GPS included so they sound only when the receiver is a in a warning polygon? If something doesn’t change soon, the private sector will be the ones that push the warning process into the new technological era.

The best model I see now for the future warning device is the WeatherRadio app from the iMap weather guys. If you are in a polygon, you get the notification on your smart phone. If you are not, nothing happens. it works beautifully.”


Read Spann’s entire blog here.

And more here.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011

1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) ?
5) ?
6) ? 
7) ?
8) ?
9) ?
10)TORNADO WARNING SIRENS INSTALLED  IN FRANKLIN

InterCHANGE goes on a brief hiatus


interCHANGE


For those of you who watch MPTV’s InterCHANGE, we will be off this week, next week, and the following week and return on January 13, 2012.

That should hopefully give our host and inspirational leader Dan Jones enough time to recover from knee surgery he had today.

Get well fast, Dan!

E-mails, I get e-mails: A great halftime show


From this past college football season, the University of West Virginia marching band saluting our troops.


 

Read more

A great gift idea


For many people this Christmas time, it’s not all that Andy Williams (“The Most Wondeful Time of the Year”).

It’s more like Elvis (“Blue Christmas”).

No matter the amount of Christmas spirit and joy, many people are hurting.



Cal Thomas


That's conservative columnist Cal Thomas who writes:

"As the ads and emails suggest last-minute gift ideas, here's a suggested gift that will last longer in your heart than any purchase you make for yourself or your family: Find someone who has lost a loved one to war and take them a present. It doesn't have to be expensive. Tell them, 'I wanted to bring you a gift in recognition of the gift your loved one gave our country.' If you don't know anyone, search online for organizations that assist families whose loved ones paid the ultimate price for our country. If you do that, I suspect this Christmas will be unforgettable for the person on the receiving end of your compassion."


Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - What's wrong with this combo? NOTHING!


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

What healthy red-blooded American male would object to a healthy mix of women, football, and underwear?

A wussy columnist in Green Bay, that’s who.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #9

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


Politics can all too often become petty and personal and that can mar the entire process. It’s like thumb tacks tossed on the road.

My #9 story wasn’t the most important, obviously, but it shows how, let’s tell it like it is, childish our Franklin Common Council can be. That attitude impairs the overall ability to be an effective body.

It began in August at a regular meeting of the Council. Some aldermen were in an absolute snit because their colleague, Steve Olson forgot to get a note from home explaining why he couldn’t attend.


I’ve covered or been involved in politics for over 33 years, attended countless meetings, and I have never witnessed what happened at that Franklin Common Council meeting. At first blush, it may not sound like a big deal, but there’s a larger issue at play. If you listen to the audio of the very beginning of the meeting found on the city’s website, you’ll hear the following:

City Clerk Sandi Wesolowski takes the roll call and gets to Alderman Steve Olson.

Wesolowski: “Alderman Olson has sent an e-mail requesting to be excused.”

Wesolowski then calls on Alderman Tim Solomon when Alderman Ken Skowronski interrupts.

Skowronski: “Why?”

An unknown individual is clearly heard snickering.

Mayor Tom Taylor: “I told the clerk I think it’s probably proper that Council excuse its own members.”

Alderman Kristen Wilhelm: “He’s excused as far I’m concerned.”

Skowronski: “I asked a question. Why?”

Wesolowski: “He’s unable to make the meeting.”

Skowronski: “That ain’t an answer.”

Alderman Steve Taylor: “When are we going to bring a policy, something forward…”

Skowronski: “May I ask a question. Does the council excuse or does the mayor?”

Wilhelm: “Let’s just take the roll and move on.  We’re starting off on a bad foot.”

Amen, Kristen, and congrats for exhibiting common sense, not once, but twice in those opening exchanges.

Again, if you listen to the audio, it’s apparent from Alderman Skowronski’s tone that his heart wasn’t melting with genuine concern for Alderman Olson’s well-being. I’ve never seen this at a public meeting, ever.

For 15 years I worked in the Wisconsin state Senate. Here’s the procedure. Senator X informs his/her leader that he/she can’t attend a floor session of the Senate. On the floor when the roll is being taken, the leader politely requests a leave of absence for that senator. The Senate President then asks the body if there’s any objection. There never is and the session continues. A policy debate or personal squabble would never break out or be allowed to.

After listening to the Franklin Common Council audio, I requested pertinent e-mails on the matter from City Hall. Here’s the first that got this ball rolling:


From: Steve Olson [mailto:steve-olson@wi.rr.com]
Sent:
Friday, August 12, 2011 10:03 PM
To:
Sandi Wesolowski
Subject:
Council Meeting, 8/16/11

 
Sandi:
 
I will be out of town and unable to participate in the Council meeting of 8/16.
 
Ald. Olson




That was followed by:


From: Sandi Wesolowski
Sent:
Monday, August 15, 2011 9:57 AM
To:
Tom Taylor
Subject:
FW: Council Meeting, 8/16/11

 
 
 
From: Sandi Wesolowski
Sent:
Monday, August 15, 2011 9:26 AM
To:
'Steve Olson'
Subject:
RE: Council Meeting, 8/16/11

 
I will inform the Mayor.

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Track Santa


On Norad.

Read more.

3rd UPDATE: Culinary no-no #95

Culinary no-no's

 

Previously on This Just In…

Culinary no-no #95 revolves around a Peyton Place-like scandal: a topless coffee shop that drew the ire of residents was burned to the ground by an arsonist. The suspect had a relationship with a waitress, and reportedly lit the fire out of jealousy.

Here’s the update.

Memo to the folks who tax us silly

"Kindness Boomerang"

"One Day" music by Matisyahu.

Merry Christmas from the kids at St. Jude's

 

Goodnight everyone, and have a boogie woogie Christmas weekend!

 
“Oh why can't every day be like Christmas
Why can't that feeling go on endlessly
For if everyday could be just like Christmas
What a wonderful world this would be”
Elvis Presley

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, our last Goodnight segment before Christmas. Normally, we're soft, smooth, mellow. This evening, we really cut loose.

Decades ago, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters did a swingin' version of Jingle Bells. Decades later, Barry Manilow and Expose did a great remake. Here's a perfect way to get us rollin'.


Read more

The best cartoons of the week



Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler



 

Political Cartoons by Steve Breen



 

Read more

The Barking Lot (12/24/11)

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:  Sunny. High of 36.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Partly cloudy. High of 37.  "C"


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



I will admit, I am a wimp.  I can’t completely read an article about an abused animal.  It literally makes me sick to my stomach.  When the SPCA commercials come on I have to leave the room or turn off the television.  It’s the same with the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital commercials.  All I do is cry and thank God that Kyla is healthy and then I turn away.

 

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Week-ends (12/24/11)

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



Santa


Cody Jackson


Kateri Tekakwitha


Donna Kelly


Lauren Weinberg


New Berlin union workers


Bayshore Mall


Pete Solla



Brad Luddeke



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Grand Chute woman


Wisconsin's Medical Examining Board



Those who wage war on Christmas


Jerome Isaac


Erica Hobdy


Eder Rojas


Simone Paolercio


Gregg Doyel


NYC Sanitation Department


Paul Daniel Kunzler


The TSA



QUOTES OF THE WEEK



“There’s a blueprint now to beat the Packers.”
ESPN analyst Doug Stewart after the Green Bay Packers’ first loss of the season last Sunday against Kansas City.



“I thought they (the Packers) were getting dangerously cocky, especially the quarterback.”
ESPN analyst Skip Bayless



“Hey, guys, you made it.
Rodolfo Ruiz, U.S. sergeant, to the men in his vehicle shortly after crossing the border into Kuwait; they were among the last troops to exit Iraq.


“Look, I’ll tell you what. If he wants to test the heat, I’ll meet him anywhere in Iowa next week one on one, 90 minutes, no moderator. Let’s test this kitchen. I’m happy. I’ll go in the kitchen. Go back and ask Gov. Romney, would he like to play in the kitchen? I don’t think so. I don’t think he wants to do anything but hide over here and pretend it’s not his fault that he is flooding the people of Iowa with falsehoods. That’s his money and his staff and it’s his responsibility.”
Newt Gingrich


“They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality. I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.”
Rick Santorum


“A Washington Post opinion piece cites a survey that found “African Americans, who are 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, make up only 1.6 percent of Occupy Wall Street.” And blacks are 25 percent of New York City’s population. Occupy Wall Street was a home game for them. By contrast, 6 percent of tea party supporters, according to an April 2010 Gallup poll, are black. That’s almost four times the number of blacks who make up Occupy Wall Street.”
Larry Elder


“What I have done and what I will do as governor—that’s how I will campaign.  The more government gets out of the way, the more we can get more businesses to come here and create jobs, and reach our goal of 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin in five years.”
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in an interview with HUMAN EVENTS. 


This is a race that, since it will be held after Republicans have settled on their nominee against Barack Obama will be a dress rehearsal for the fall campaign for the White House.  I suggest national reporters buy their plane tickets and make hotel reservations now."
Wisconsin veteran GOP consultant Scott Becher 



"She (Mrs.Obama) lectures us on eating right while she has a large posterior herself.”
WI Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner


And finally, an exchange from ABC's This Week:


ROBERT REICH: I’m just saying that for conservatives to say that we cannot tax the wealthy, when all of the nation’s wealth and income, virtually speaking, is at the top, to invest in people and education and training and everything else we need to invest, it’s absurd on its face.

GEORGE WILL: You are a pyromaniac in a field of strawmen. No one is arguing against government investing in education. That’s not –

CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK (D-MASSACHUSETTS): Wrong. You guys are.

CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): No, we’re not.

WILL: No, we’re not.

FRANK: I’ll make the point.

WILL: Look, I’m not attacking the elderly. I am elderly.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


The cost to taxpayers of Obama family vacation


Wastebook 2011



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


TIME magazine and Sarah Mason



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Obama goes shopping.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


She forgot her violin.



A Japanese Christmas tradition...


Not your typical Nativity scene.


That's it for this week. Merry Christmas!

We close with the latest from NewsBusted:

 

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #8

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


Last summer I posed the question: Do Franklin residents really care?

When it comes to politics and being civic-minded, how involved and dedicated are Franklin residents?

A) A really, really, really lot

B) Depends

C) Are you kidding? Not at all

>
>
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>
>
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The correct answer is:


B) Depends


A) A really, really, really lot? Not even close.

C) Are you kidding? Not at all.  That’s a bit closer, but not entirely true.


On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being totally engaged and immersed in interest, Franklin residents register about a 2, maybe a 3 at best.

It’s just a stark reality, folks.

But again, it depends.

It depends on what you’re talking about.

In 2010, I wrote a series of blogs on what’s great about Franklin. Here are some excerpts: 

“Franklin really loves Franklin. I’ve seen it at parades, fundraisers, and athletic events.

“Multiply that by football, girls and boys basketball, soccer, etc., and throw in Little League. Franklin cares.”


Franklin cares deeply about families and neighborhoods. There’s tremendous civic pride. Franklin is decent, humble, hard-working, a values-oriented community.”

What do Franklin residents care about the most?  Children.

When it appeared Franklin would be the home to a sex predator house with as many as two dozen released offenders, Franklinites came out by the hundreds to object at a legislative public hearing at State Fair Park.

They voiced heavy opposition to a proposal offered by legislative Democrats to kill Franklin’s strong sex offender ordinances.

On a different front, my 2009 series of blogs about Franklin Little League and a flawed system for selecting All-Stars went viral, picked up by WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes.

Want to get Franklin citizens riled up? It’s issues about kids.

Residents in the 53132 zip code are passive by nature. Pick up my garbage. Plow my street. As long as my neighbors don’t blast their stereos and maintain their properties, I’m cool. I just want to go about my business and you can go about yours.

Politically, Franklin is overwhelmingly conservative. Voters in big numbers support the likes of Scott Walker, Paul Ryan, Mary Lazich, and Jeff Stone. Unfortunately, the makeup of our aldermen and school board members is predominantly liberal and doesn’t coincide with the beliefs of the majority.

Historically, Franklin folks are not politically aggressive, with the exception of children’s issues.

Consider the red meat fiscal issues of taxing and spending. Franklin residents are completely reactive. When their property tax bill arrives in mid-December, their alarm clock goes off. Problem is, it’s too late. The time to talk, e-mail, phone, show up at meetings was months ago. They were nowhere to be found or heard.

Truth is most Franklin residents despise what their elected representatives are doing to their pocketbooks. But instead of taking the bull by the horn, they’re out working, taking kids to youth athletics, mowing the lawn, etc., etc.

Think about that. If the prospect of their taxes going up doesn’t light their fire, why would they even be the least interested in most of what goes on at Franklin City Hall or the Franklin School Board.

Consider the “hot” debate at City Hall last spring and summer. Long after the recession hit, the folks who run our fair city finally woke up one day and decided something had to be done about the business climate and job creation. Brilliant.

Their answer? Let’s form a committee. We don’t know what kind of committee or who should be on it or who the committee should answer to or what the committee should do. Let’s just do it.

Generally in politics, the masses don’t care at all about process. They do care about results. The discussion that’s been going on the last several months at Franklin City Hall about improving our economy has been tiresome leading to this reaction from the public:


ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ


Franklin residents are not pitchfork, lantern carrying rebel rousers. That works to their detriment.

They do not phone or e-mail their elected officials or show up at meetings. That doesn’t mean at all that they don’t care. But short-sighted pols assume that’s the case.

I’m sorry. After a hard day’s work, I’m not all that thrilled about showing up at City Hall only to be scoffed at by folks who feel they’re better and more intelligent. Spending time with my family will win out every time. I do have a telephone and computer and make my feelings known respectfully. I’m not convinced enough of my fellow Franklinites do the same.

So, in a nutshell, Franklin residents do care. They just don’t care nearly as much as they should.

 

Read more

Recommended Reading (12/25/11)

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).  


Walker reflects on troubled, historic 2011

“The irony of all ironies with what’s transpired, particularly of late these last few months, is most people in Wisconsin and across America get upset with politicians who break their promises,” Walker added. “I’ve actually fulfilled my promises, and I’ve got some people who don’t like that. That’s fine. They’re right to do that, but it does kind of run contrary to where most people get their outrage. It’s usually because someone did something they said they wouldn’t do.”


Top Ten Christmas Gifts for Leading Liberals

"Even liberals deserve some holiday cheer."


Sadly missing from media's Iraq War roundup: US troops' humanity

"What’s missing, and what’s saddening to anyone who has spent months in far-flung outposts and villages with U.S. troops, has been the failure—whether through ignorance, design or plain difficulty in explaining—by the media to mention the accomplishments of the troops over the years.  The successes don’t fit easy measurement, but may very well have an impact too, at least with some of Iraq’s people.  These are the things of counterinsurgency hearts-and-minds efforts.  Americans just being Americans."


Cultural Winners and Losers: 2011

"The depravity of our popular culture and our eagerness to shred traditional values manifests itself every day. (Lady) Gaga and Conan (O'Brien) are two of the real cultural losers of 2011. Here are some other winners and losers:"


An American's nightmare in a Mexican hospital

"Acosta suffered a 'major head injury, multiple facial fractures, broken ribs and a punctured lung.' Yet for five weeks he lay 'virtually untreated' at the hospital where he was taken in Toluca, about 40 miles southwest from Mexico City, say outraged family members in the United States who rushed to his bedside."


Facing twin tragedies: terminal illness and foreclosure

"Through Luther and Claire Findley, (photojournalist Renee) Byer hopes to show the severity of the financial crisis, especially when combined with the bureaucratic limitations of the system that caused it. She hopes by raising attention to situations like theirs, change will come."


Winged messenger sends Franklin widower on mission of love


"Ron Dolinsky is a practical man, so he's not saying out loud that his dear wife sent him a sign two months after she died at Christmastime last year. Yet he wonders."


Behold, the power of cheese

"...if the magazine (TIME) were to designate a 'State of the Year,' I would vote for Wisconsin to win for 2011. If things continue on their current course, the state  very likely could repeat the honor in 2012."


How to sneak in sports on Christmas

Sometime this weekend, somebody's going to tell you to stop watching sports. It's going to happen. There are 13 NFL games on Christmas Eve, and five juicy season-opening NBA contests on Christmas Day, and at some point, you're going to be following a game on your TV, or your phone, or your high-tech germ tablet, and a disapproving person is going to scold you and tell you to shut that thing off and show some respect...here's a five-step guide to sneaking in some sports on Christmas weekend.”

He is Born


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."



This image is a larger version of the Madonna of the Candelabra by Raphael (Forever) product.
 

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My Most Popular Blogs (12/25/11)

Most popular

 

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


Read more

Photos of the Week (12/25/11)

Photos of the Week


1) Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division rejoice in the convoy staging area before departing Camp Adder, now known as Imam Ali Base, Dec. 17, near Nasiriyah, Iraq. Photo: Mario Tama / Pool via EPA


2) Soldiers from the 3rd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division hug while preparing to depart in the last convoy from Iraq at Camp Adder, now known as Imam Ali Base, near Nasiriyah, Iraq, Dec. 17. The last convoy of U.S. soldiers pulled out of Iraq on Sunday, ending their withdrawal after nearly nine years of war and military intervention that cost almost 4,500 American and tens of thousands of Iraqi lives. Photo: Pool via Reuters


3) Army Spc. Hunter LeVine, a 2007 graduate from College Park High School who lost both eyes and suffered major facial injuries from an EFP that hit his Humvee in Iraq, arrives to applause as he approaches his new home in The Woodlands, Texas, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. LeVine is a new homeowner with the help of HelpingaHero.org. He received the keys to his new home from baseball great Roger Clemens and U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady. Photo: Eric Kayne / Houston Chronicle via AP


4) Four-year-old Aden Kahl of Glen Ridge, New Jersey, touches names on the wall as he visits the Vietnam Veterans Memorial December 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) honored veterans and active-duty military personnel during its annual Christmas tree ceremony by placing the tree, decorated with homemade holiday greeting cards and ornaments sent by Americans, near the wall of the memorial. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)


5) Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta, left, kisses her girlfriend of two years, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citlalic Snell at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek in Virginia Beach, Va., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2011 after Gaeta's ship returned from 80 days at sea. It ís a time-honored tradition at Navy homecomings - one lucky sailor is chosen to be first off the ship for the long-awaited kiss with a loved one. On Wednesday, for the first time, the happily reunited couple was gay.  Photo: Brian J. Clark / Virginian Pilot via AP


6) A tearful announcer dressed in black announces the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong il on North Korean State Television on Dec. 19, 2011. North Korean leader Kim Jong il died on a train trip, state television reported on Monday, sparking immediate concern over who is in control of the reclusive state and its nuclear program. The announcer said the 69-year old had died on Saturday of physical and mental over-work on his way to give "field guidance". Photo: KRT / Reuters


7) A man reacts to a picture of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il as he reads the reports of his death on the newspaper company's display board in Seoul December 19, 2011. (Reuters/Kim Kyung-Hoon)


8) Unidentified typhoon victims, inside coffins and body bags, lie near a road awaiting identification by their relatives near Iligan city on Dec. 20, 2011. Photo: Erik De Castro / Reuters


9) A boy shovels mud as he cleans his house swamped with mud from flash floods in Iligan city, southern Philippines Dec. 21. Residents of two southern Philippine cities battered by a storm that left over 1,000 people dead and displaced hundreds of thousands started the hard work of reclaiming their lives as authorities buried dozens of bodies in concrete vaults on Wednesday. Photo: Erik De Castro / Reuters


10) A surveillance photo provided by the New York Police Department shows a man charged with homicide and arson, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. A woman burned to death in the elevator of her Brooklyn apartment building Saturday afternoon after Jerome Isaac, of Brooklyn, ambushed her, sprayed her with liquid and set her afire with a Molotov cocktail, police said. Photo: NYPD via AP


11) People try to help the victim of a fatal shooting at the Capital Area Transportation Authority facility in Lansing, Mich., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Police say it's not clear what sparked the shooting. A suspect was being sought.(AP Photo/Lansing State Journal, Rod Sanford)


12) A combo of still images taken from handout CCTV footage from Barnsley railway station released by the British Transport Police on Dec. 22, 2011 shows a woman stumbling backwards as she alights from a train, reaching out to support herself on the side of the carriage and falling into the gap between the train and the platform. The woman, who had been drinking, fell right under the train and was recovered from the tracks and taken to a hospital suffering from cuts and bruises. Photos: British Transport Police via AFP - Getty Images


13) Shelby Police talk to a witness after Police say a juvenile backed a car up a utility pole support wire Tuesday evening in Shelby, N.C., on Dec. 13. Photo: Ben Earp / The Star via AP


14) Officers with Norfolk Police Division look over the scene where an SUV crashed into the boyhood home of Johnny Carson in Norfolk, Neb., Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011. Photo: Jake Wragge / AP


15) Personnel from the Health Department check the condition of ice cream that spilled on Interstate 69, Dec. 23, 2011, in Fort Wayne, Ind. Police said 40,000 pounds of ice cream spilled from a semitrailer closing two lanes of I-69 at the start of the holiday weekend. Photo:Michelle Davies / The Journal-Gazette via AP


16) Hungarian sculptor Erno Toth unveils his statue of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs during a ceremony in a private business park in Budapest, Dec. 21.  Photo: Laszlo Balogh / Reuters


17) Indian villagers chase a wild elephant through Dhimalbasty village area, some 40 kms from Siliguri on December 21. A wild elephant created panic as it destroyed homes after it wandered into the village. Asian elephants are listed as endangered - as the human population increases, the elephants' natural habitat is destroyed and they are forced to live in the farming areas where they cause damage to crops. Photo: Diptendu Dutta / AFP - Getty Images


18) A taxidermist removes the horn off of stuffed rhinoceros at the Natural History Museum of Berne(NMBE) on December 20. Upset by the growing theft in the European museums, the Natural History Museum of Berne has decided to remove the horns of their six stuffed rhinoceros and replace them with wooden dummy horns. Photo: Lisa Schaeublin / Natural History Museum of Berne via AFP-Getty Images


19) Shikhei Goh of Indonesia is the winner of the 2011 National Geographic Photography Contest. "This photo was taken when I was taking photos of other insects, as I normally did during macro photo hunting. I wasn't actually aware of this dragonfly since I was occupied with other objects. When I was about to take a picture of it, it suddenly rained, but the lighting was just superb. I decided to take the shot regardless of the rain. The result caused me to be overjoyed, and I hope it pleases viewers.Location: Batam, Riau Islands, Indonesia." Photo and caption by Shikhei Goh


20) Triston Katic, 12, of Houston, spends some time with a kitten in its cage during the SPCA's winter 'Critter Camp', Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, in Houston. The camp gives kids hands-on time with shelter dogs, cats and farm animals. Kids get a chance to learn fun and new facts about the animals and do animal-themed crafts, activities and games. Photo: Nick De La Torre / Houston Chronicle via AP


21) Mei Xiang, the female giant panda at the Smithsonian's National Zoo in Washington, eats breakfast Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. The zoo announced a $4.5 million gift Monday to fund its giant panda reproduction program for five more years. Donator and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, who is also co-founder and managing director of the Carlyle Group, said in a news conference, "There are probably 10 million species on the face of the earth, and I doubt that any one of those species is more popular and more beloved than the giant panda." "Hopefully this will result in more pandas being born here," he said. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)


22) In this photo taken Dec. 8. 2011, the polar bear cub Siku is seen at Skandinavisk Dyrepark in Djursland, Denmark. A Danish zoo says a month-old polar bear cub has been taken into care since its mother failed to produce enough milk to feed him. Scandinavian Wildlife Park manager Frank Vigh-Larsen says Siku, now weighing 112 ounces (3,200 grams)_ against 49 ounces (1,800 grams) at birth _ was doing "really fine." (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Skandinavisk Dyrepark). One more picture.   Photo: Skandinavisk Dyrepark / AP


23) A seal plays with a new toy it found amongst treats left around a make shift snowman, center back, during festive celebrations at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)


24) AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper Esteban Alvarado, right, defends himself against an attacker who rushed from the stands during a cup match against Ajax in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on Dec. 21, 2011.  Photo: Stanley Gontha / AP.  Here Alvarado kicks the man. Photo: Olaf Kraak / EPA. Referee Bas Nijhuis gave a red card to Alvarado. The match was abandoned when the AZ players walked off the pitch.


25) The Stadium lights go out in the second quarter during the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on Monday night. Photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images


26) Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is tackled by a group of Kansas City Chiefs defenders during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs won 19-14, handing the Packers their first loss of the season. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)


27) Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow (15) is hit by New England Patriots free safety Matthew Slater (18) on his way to a touchdown in the first quarter of their game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011, in Denver. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez). New England won, 41-23.


28) Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Jerome Simpson (89) flips over Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington (58) for a touchdown in the first half of an NFL football game, Dec. 24, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photos: Darron Cummings / AP


29) Germantown's Zak Showalter hangs from the rim after dunking in front of Menomonee Falls' CJ Malone during the first half at Homestead High School. Photo: Peter Zuzga


30) A Chinese man diving into the Jingpo lake from a frozen waterfall on Mudanjiang, in northeast China's Heilongjiang province. The winter swimming is especially popular amongst the elderly and retired as it's believed to improve circulation and benefit health. Photo: AFP - Getty Images


31) Christmas miracle? Aizee Tumanda, a five day old infant,  was born on the roof of a health clinic that was submerged by floodwaters, in Cagayan de Oro, southern Mindanao, Philippines, on Dec. 22, 2011. Photo: Dennis M. Sabangan / EPA


32) Newborn Kendall Paciorek gets special attention from her sister Madison and her mom Michelle Wakley on her first full day home from the hospital in Fishers, Indiana.  Kendall was born three months prematurely when her mother contracted listeria after eating contaminated cantaloupe. With help from Madison, Dave Paciorek feeds his daughter Kendall via a gastrointestinal tube with help from his 4-year-old daughter Madison. Photos: Jonathan Adams for msnbc.com


33) Harris County inmate Brandi Vela cries as she hugs her daughter, Jazmine Vela, 10, after arriving for Christmas event for 15 female inmates in the Harris County Sheriff's Office Reentry Services Program to spend time with their children, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011, in Houston. The inmates had presents donated by Navidad en el Barrio to give their children. The women are minimum risk inmates who have had good relationships with their children. The female inmates are also working with Reentry Services in setting goals for a successful transition back into the community in efforts to reduce recidivism. Children accompanied by adults can visit inmates during routine visitation days but without physical contact. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Melissa Phillip)


34) Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob Lew, second from right, is assisted by Rabbi Levi Shemtov, second from left, and Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, right, as they light the National Hanukkah Menorah during a ceremony on The Ellipse in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2011 marking the first night of Hanukkah. Photo: Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP


35) Laser beams that create the image of a large Hanukkah menorah are projected on the Hiriya landfill, a former waste disposal site, now called the Ariel Sharon Park, near Tel Aviv, Israel, on the second eve of Hanukkah, Dec. 21, 2011. The Jewish festival of light, an eight-day commemoration of the Jewish uprising in the second century B.C. against the Greek-Syrian kingdom, which had tried to put statues of Greek gods in the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, started Tuesday.  Photo: Ariel Schalit / AP


36) The facade of St Mary's Cathedral is lit up during the Lights of Christmas celebration on December 18, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. Photo: Mark Kolbe - Getty Images


37) In this photo made using a long exposure and zooming the lens, hundreds of lights illuminate the home of Norm and Michele Rados in Olmsted Township, Ohio on Dec. 23. Rados said it takes four to five weekends of work to finish his annual holiday display leading up to the Sunday after Thanksgiving. Photo:Mark Duncan / AP


38) Leo Park, 6, watches as a man dressed as Santa Claus is lifted by crane towards the world's first Santa-friendly chimney in Somerford Keynes, southern England, on Monday, Dec. 19. The development of the chimney, which is undergoing practical tests, was inspired by Leo Park after he told his mother, Jade, that the chimney in the house they were having built was too small to accommodate Santa Claus. Photo: Stefan Wermuth / Reuters


39) Participants to the 73rd edition of the annual Christmas swimming prepare to jump into the lake of Geneva in Geneva, Switzerland, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. More than one thousand men and women swam the 125-meters at the traditional Christmas swimming in Geneva where the water temperature was about 5.2 degrees C (41.36 degrees F). (AP Photo/Keystone, Martial Trezzini)


40) A police officer takes a picture of his partner as snow covers Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, on Dec. 23. Snow and sub zero temperatures are a rarity in this area. Photo:Jesus Alcazar / AFP - Getty Images


41) A monkey pod tree in Hilo, Hawaii, frames a snow capped Mauna Kea mountain, like a Christmas wreath on Saturday Dec. 24, 2011, bringing a white Christmas to the Big Island. After a dusting of snow overnight, officials at the University of Hawaii's Mauna Kea Weather Center reported areas of patchy snow on the upper elevations of Mauna Kea. Photo: Tim Wright / AP


AND FINALLY,


From The Looking Spoon.

WHEREVER YOU GO TODAY...


SAY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #7

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


Two weeks ago, December 8 to be exact, a friend of mine from Menomonee Falls excitedly asked me the following:

“Kevin, do you think my property taxes went up, stayed the same, or went down?”

Not knowing what his locals did, I guessed that because of his school board, his taxes went up slightly.  Nope.

“They went down dramatically!” he proclaimed. “What about yours?”

My tax news took about another ten days to arrive in my mailbox but the news was good. Mine went down slightly. Imagine if the Franklin Common Council hadn’t increased spending by 24%.

Thank you, Scott Walker. If not for his state budget action that essentially imposed a property tax freeze, my taxes probably would have gone up 3-4% or more. So again, thank you, Governor. Franklin is still a tax hell, but not as hellish as the past, and that’s no thanks to the people with taxing authority in our city.

Yes, we’re a tax hell. Some folks don’t like hearing or reading that, but it’s true. The data is simply overwhelming and this messenger emphatically made that point in 2011.

Toward the end of 2009 when I posted more evidence of how ridiculous our taxes are, Mayor Tom Taylor, instead of making a public admission and promise to do something about it, commissioned his staff to prepare a report in rebuttal that compared Franklin’s city tax rate to tax rates in surrounding communities.

Mayor Taylor distributed this report to Common Council members who, at one of their subsequent meetings, nodded like brainwashed sheep and laughed and snickered at and insulted anyone (like me) that would dare question our obscene taxes. The hope was that the general public wouldn’t see the major flaw in the staff report, that the tax rate is meaningless. It’s the tax LEVY that’s important.

Earlier this year, I asked the Research Director for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), Dale Knapp for the latest property tax information for the city of Franklin. From the WISTAX web site:

“Celebrating its 78th year, the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX) is the state's oldest and most respected private government research organization.  Since 1932, it has been promoting better government and an informed citizenry through its publications, public outreach and extensive school programs.”

Knapp responded to my request:

“The latest numbers for the city of Franklin are for 2009/10 (billed in 2009, payable in 2010).  We won't have this year's numbers until later this spring.”

There are important tables reported by WISTAX.

1) The municipal tax is the total amount levied by the municipality for municipal purposes. 

2) The net levy includes all property taxes levied in the municipality.  This includes the levy for the local school district(s), technical colleges, county, municipality, special districts, and the state.

3) Per capita, or tax paid by each person.

Let’s look at how the city of Franklin fares among all 599 cities and villages ranked by WISTAX.

The municipal tax: Franklin ranked #308

The net levy: Franklin ranked #157.

Doesn’t seem all that terrible, does it?

But now you look at the per capita rankings.

For the municipal tax, Franklin ranked # 67. For the net levy, Franklin ranked # 42.

In October I reported more information, this time from the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The WTA listed the 2010-11 Municipal and Net Levies by Cities and Villages. At that time in October, those were the current levies. Municipalities were working on the 2011-12 levies.

There are 594 cities and villages in Wisconsin that were part of this compilation by the WTA with #1 being the best in their rankings, #594 the worst.

The city of Franklin’s Municipal Levy (just under $21 million) ranked at #291.  That puts Franklin in the top 49%. The city’s per capita of $618 (based on the municipal levy) ranked us at #66, or in the top 11% of tax and spenders among cities and villages statewide.

OK. The above is what Franklin City Hall can actually control. Now you add in all the other taxes ON TOP of what the city imposes. Schools. Sewer. County. And you get the Net Levy. Franklin’s 2010-11 Net Levy of $87.1 million ranked #124. Remember, Franklinites still have to pay all that regardless of the taxing authority. That ranked us at #124, or in the top 21% statewide.

Now, the per capita based on the Net Levy is $2,571. That, to me, is a laugher. I’d give an appendage to receive an annual tax bill like that. That ranks us at #46, or in the top 8% statewide.

This year we got a huge break because Scott Walker’s budget, approved by legislative Republicans, basically mandates real honest to goodness property tax relief. Your locals had nothing to do with it. If they dare to grab credit, shame on them.

Despite the lower taxes, we in Franklin still pay too much because we spend too much. I’ll continue to point that out even though the tax and spenders, heads in sand will reply that critics:

1) Are too negative

2) Aren’t as smart as they are

3) Don’t know what they’re talking about

4) Are mean and nasty

5) Don’t have a degree in accounting

6) Just want people to read their blog

With no disrespect, anytime the mayor or aldermen would like to trade tax bills with me, I’m wide open to that.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011

1) ?

2) ?

3) ?

4) ?

5) ?

6) ? 

7) GOV. WALKER TURNS THE HEAT DOWN IN TAX HELL

8) APATHY AILS FRANKLIN

9) 
NO EXCUSE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR

10) TORNADO WARNING SIRENS INSTALLED  IN FRANKLIN

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - "God is the explanation"


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

It was one of my must-reads of 2011.

JibJab's Year in Review


 

Here is...FINAL JEOPARDY!

ELVIS


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, yes it's that time.....time once again for another This Just In edition of:



FINAL JEOPARDY
!



Are you ready?




Well then, let’s play!




Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:




ELVIS



Now, you know how this works.



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



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




Ready.




Here’s your clue.




SHE GAVE ELVIS HIS FIRST ON-SCREEN KISS.





Good luck.














Alright players, time's up.




Again, today’s Final Jeopardy category is:




ELVIS




The Final Jeopardy answer was:




SHE GAVE ELVIS HIS FIRST ON-SCREEN KISS.





The correct question is:




Read more

The Governor's Journal names Scott Walker...


Governor of the Year.

In case you missed them over the Christmas weekend...


The best cartoons of the week


The Barking Lot (12/24/11)



Week-ends (12/24/11)


Recommended Reading (12/25/11)


Photos of the Week (12/25/11)

The latest pro-life news


From Wisconsin Right To Life:

Wisconsin Right To Life News You Can Use Contribute
border
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The buzz within the MPD


Not every city of Milwaukee police officer is enamored with Chief Ed Flynn. I’m told the rank officers that are not members of the chief's fan club are hoping Mitt Romney wins the presidential election this year and that Romney appoints Flynn to a position so he gets the hell out of here.

From Flynn’s bio on the city website:

“Flynn served as Secretary of Public Safety under Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney from January 2003 until taking command in Springfield (in 2006)."

 

TT: Mark Neumann back to his old ways


Dear Team Tommy Members,

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THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #6


To get THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #6 rolling, please watch the following brief video:



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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - This is why I asked her to take my place

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Did you know the city of Franklin has an official theme song?


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


Oh yes it does.

Uh one.

Uh two.

UH THREE!

The biggest property tax stick up artists of 2011


Here’s how each taxing entity took a bite out of my property tax bill:


State tax   0.70 %

 

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I'm on WISN


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

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #5

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


Hey, Franklin property taxpayer. Did your property taxes go down?


What’s that? You’re stunned to say they did, even a bit? You say you’re happy with that?

What if I was to tell you that the city of Franklin budget that was adopted increased spending by 24% and could you imagine what your tax savings could have been if the city had acted in a fiscally responsible manner and held spending to say, the cost of inflation?

That’s the major problem with Franklin’s City Hall. They simply spend way, way, way too much. And if to dare question it, you are met with stunned disbelief as if you’re the total idiot.

“A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money.”
A quote attributed to US Senator Everett Dirksen (R-Illinois) during the 1960’s.

An exchange that took place at the Franklin Common Council meeting on September 6 was anything but controversial. But it was quite revealing, demonstrating the mindset that permeates the vast majority of the Franklin Common Council and yes, I’ll toss in Mayor Tom Taylor.

They just can’t say no to any spending item.

At issue was this item on the agenda:

Resolution awarding contract to D.C. Burbach, Inc. in the amount of $11,981.70 for the installation of concrete sidewalk in easement from W. Forest Hill Avenue to a Franklin High School drive.

Translation: This was a request to pave a pathway from the property of a Franklin resident to Franklin school district property near the high school that is often used as a walkway by Franklin students.

Again, the price tag:  $11,981.

Here are some of the highlights I noted after listening to the audio of the meeting on the city of Franklin website.

Alderman Steve Olson set the tone:

“W
e’re being nice, folks, and we’re fixing a problem and it’s costing us more money because we’re fixing the problem.”

Mayor Tom Taylor interjected:

“The school district is willing to share 40% of the cost.”

Let’s stop right there.

The mayor’s comment is irrelevant and silly to say the least.

HELLO! It doesn’t matter if the Franklin school district is picking up 40% of the cost.

IT’S STILL MONEY CHARGED TO ALL FRANKLIN PROPERTY TAXPAYERS!

That was lost, not surprisingly, on the universally clueless Alderman Doug Schmidt:

“It seems like a pretty small expenditure.”

SEE ABOVE DIRKSEN QUOTE.

Of course, if there’s increased spending on the line, it wouldn’t be a Franklin Common Council meeting if we didn’t hear from goodie two shoes, if we can save just one life, Alderman Kristen Wilhelm who raised the issue of impact fees, a  strictly money-grubbing policy adopted by the city decades ago to rip off new property owners. Wilhelm’s subsequent comment is breathtaking in its sheer ultra-liberalism:

“You have to buy your way into Franklin…you can’t even get a walkway to your school?”

That’s right, Kristen. You’ll need to dry your tears but the overwhelming majority of taxpaying families
DO NOT have a tailor-made paved walkway to their children’s school. Wilhelm’s next remark was not a stunner:

“This is something we can afford to do.” (BTW, Alderman Wilhelm's voting and philosophy improved as the year went on).

Of course there’s a larger issue here. In order to discern it, you must possess the ability to comprehend beyond your nose and what’s directly in front of you. That would eliminate 5 of the 6 aldermen on the Franklin Common Council. Alderman Steve Olson, admitting he knew and liked the property owner involved provided this gem as opposed to the typical tunnel vision employed by the rest of his colleagues:

“What I’m trying to get people to understand is you budget for a purpose. And if every time somebody comes by with a project and we find a way to fund it, that means we’re not budgeting properly. You get projects all the time, we don’t need to make them more expensive. We like to spend money here.”

Obvious. Fiscally responsible. Sound, common sense. That means it went over the other heads in the room. Alderman Schmidt:

“The school district is prepared to share the cost.”

Time to rewind this blog by a few paragraphs.

HELLO! It doesn’t matter if the Franklin school district is picking up 40% of the cost.

IT’S STILL MONEY CHARGED TO  ALL  FRANKLIN PROPERTY TAXPAYERS!

Mayor Taylor then asked the city clerk to read the motion. Trouble is, no motion had been made. You can’t make this stuff up, folks.

Then came Alderman Steve Taylor who just couldn’t resist stepping in it. He began by stating what a great job the city had done budgeting in the past, a claim that is highly questionable. And then:

“Alderman Olson, I have no shock that there will be a no vote coming from you on this year’s budget. I’d put money on that because that’s always been the case. If this was $70,000 it’d be a whole different story.  I’ll put cash down on his vote.”

Interesting. A city budget hadn’t even been crafted yet, but Alderman Taylor assumes a NO vote from Alderman Olson. And one could assume from the rhetoric that Alderman Taylor, even without seeing a budget, is ready to vote YES and criticize anyone who would vote NO.

Hmmm. That sounds a lot like…





Back to the Franklin Common Council meeting.

God love Kristen Wilhelm, but if you listen to the tape, she suddenly is speaking 100 mph and can’t wait to have the roll call to spend some more money:

“Let’s just get on with this. I’d like to call the question.”

The measure passed unanimously. I question Alderman Olson’s YES vote that went against his arguments on the floor, but he knew the resident involved and said he was going to vote YES. But his comments should be adhered to. Unfortunately, knowing the "can’t wait to spend" mentality currently permeating City Hall, this fell on deaf ears:

“What I’m trying to get people to understand is you budget for a purpose. And if every time somebody comes by with a project and we find a way to fund it, that means we’re not budgeting properly. You get projects all the time, we don’t need to make them more expensive. We like to spend money here.”

They don't get it. They just don't get it.

Spend, spend, spend. That's why we live in a tax hell.


THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011

1) ?


2) ?

3) ?

4) ?

5) FRANKLIN'S MOTTO: SPEND, SPEND, SPEND

6) CAN’T WE JUST ALL GET ALONG?

7) GOV. WALKER TURNS THE HEAT DOWN IN TAX HELL

8) APATHY AILS FRANKLIN

9) 
NO EXCUSE FOR THEIR BEHAVIOR

10) TORNADO WARNING SIRENS INSTALLED  IN FRANKLIN

You don't mess with Derek Mothershead

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - I'm married to That Girl


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I WILL BE POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

On New Year's Day, ME TV will present a...

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UPDATE: Ladies, a gun is your friend


Previously on This Just In...

The update:



E-mails, I get e-mails: Union Political Contributions by Party


I knew the spread was great but...

Stop calling it "co-sleeping"


Call it what it really is.

“It’s negligence or it’s murder, involuntary or manslaughter.”

That’s what James T. Harris said today while filling in for Charlie Sykes on WTMJ Radio. Harris was discussing the latest fatality, a 10-day old baby that died while sleeping with other family members in the same bed.

State Representative Joe Knilans (R- Janesville) foolishly called in and told Harris that parents of brand new infants need to be educated before they leave the hospital. Using the word “legislation,” Knilans made the goofy statement that a parent or parents need to see a DVD showing the “perils of what can happen” if they sleep with their babies. The video, said Knilans, could be similar to how parents are instructed to bathe a baby.

Harris rightly was incredulous.

“You’re kidding me, right, you’re messing with me,” he said to Knilans.


No he wasn’t.

Harris then asserted that using videos paid for by taxpayers to teach common sense won’t solve the problem that’s caused by a breakdown of the family. You need to prosecute and punish.

Claiming to agree, Knilans said he didn’t think prosecutors would take such action, so he took his other foot and put that in his mouth by calling for investigation of the issue including the collection of data. I thought Harris was going to pull his hair out.

Good grief. A Republican who sounded just like a liberal Democrat on the biggest radio station in the state.

In the meantime, let’s have government programs with DVDs and free cribs. All because some mother high on cocaine or some unmarried woman's live-in boyfriend high on cocaine is too stupid to know you don’t go to bed with an infant.

God help us.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #4

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


In Franklin it’s 2007 all over again. Plans are already firmly in place by the Franklin Public School administration to tap into your wallets big time via referendum. They’ve been plotting strategy since the end of 2009, trying to devise a scheme whereby you part with your hard-earned tax dollars in the name of new or upgraded facilities. The strategy includes partnering with what is regarded to be the most expensive architect in the state to produce and then sell an unnecessary proposal during what is the worst of economic times. Will Franklin voters vote to give themselves a huge property tax increase? Let’s examine some of the issues surrounding the school administration’s plot.


SOB STORIES

To get into your purse strings, they’ll have to tug at your heartstrings. In other words, they hope to play on your emotions by claiming a recent rash of surveys mandates you help finance new construction. Prepare for the crying towels followed by innumerable mentions of, “It’s for the children.”

This website, FranklinNOW already began serving as a drum-beating cheerleader for the cause. Reporter Rick Romano blazed the trail in an article that somehow failed to contain any quote from anyone who might remotely have an opposing view. That would be too much like journalism. Some of what Romano writes is ludicrously funny.

You could just sense Romano walking alongside Franklin High School Principal Mike Cady like a lapdog, soaking up every unchallenged quote like this one:

“This has been a district that has been well-managed financially.”

If by “well-managed financially” Cady means taxed to the max and then some each and every year, that would be true.

Superintendent Steve Patz told Romano, “We do know that our needs are mostly from the middle school level through the high school."

Scary. Why? I don’t trust most school officials to know the difference between “needs” and “wants.”

Architect Bob Vaigrt is also quoted, saying, “The way we see it is that interest rates are really low, there may be favorable government financing programs available and a lot of companies in the construction industry are looking for work. With all of those factors, this may not necessarily be a bad time to do these projects."

Translation/spin: Do it now, Franklin, and do it fast before the costs go up.

Of course, if you disagree, you are anti-child, anti-education, anti-Franklin, anti- America, anti-God.

It’s bad enough FranklinNOW published an incredibly one-sided puff piece. It then tried to reinforce the issue with pictures.

Check out this photo with the caption used by FranklinNOW:
 

Read more

Records Show Few People Actually Complained About Waukesha School Board Member's Participation in Political Ad

 

MacIver News Service | December 29, 2011

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E-mails, I get e-mails: A Handy Translator

Translations of Common Euphemisms

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - This one was special


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I AM POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


Why was it special?

Because this blog was designed specifically for my liberal friends.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #3

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011

 

Hey, Franklin taxpayer, did you notice anything different on your property tax bill this year?

There it is, in that little box. Garbage fee. $104.

Wait a minute! Don’t I already pay property taxes for my garbage collection? What’s this fee business? And where the hell did that come from?

The masterminds at Franklin City Hall took garbage pick-up off the property tax rolls and instituted the new fee (tax) as part of the approved city of Franklin budget.


HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?

Here is an excerpt from Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor’s proposed 2012 City of Franklin budget written by Finance Director Cal Patterson:

“The City of Franklin has for many years included solid waste charges as part of the services funded by the property tax levy. The Mayor is proposing starting in 2012 that these charges be funded by those citizens that receive the benefit of garbage collection, recycling collection, leaf and brush collection and residential drop off services at the DPW yard. This funding will be in the form of a special charge that will be added annually to the property tax bill.

The amount of the gross charge is calculated to be $140 per year for each single family home. The amount of the actual charge will be about $104.”


Got that?

I’m not sure how an actual charge has to be described by the word about.

And I like how he calls this new tax a special charge. Makes me goose-pimply all over.

We’ll come back, but first, some important background is in order.

During 2010, and especially around budget time, I wrote several blogs about Franklin being a tax hell and backed them up with factual, numerical data. In December of 2010, following passage of our city budget and about the time property tax bills were to be mailed, Steve Walters wrote a column in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel comparing property taxes in Wisconsin from 2002-2010, or Governor Jim Doyle’s tenure in office.

From one of my blogs:

Here is one of Steve Walters’ findings:

"+19.1%:
The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates that the December 2002 net property tax bill on that mythical median-valued Wisconsin home was $2,517, and the bills that will soon be arriving in that homeowner's mailbox will be for $3,000 - a $19.1% increase."

Walters’ column got me wondering how the city of Franklin’s tax numbers changed during the same 8-year period.

The property tax levy is the most important tax piece. In 2002, Franklin’s property tax levy was $15,606,851. The recently-adopted Franklin budget has a property tax levy of $ $20,426,000.  That’s an increase of 30.8 %.

Rather than focus on the levy, Franklin City Hall leaders have been concentrating on the tax rate. They submit that Franklin’s taxes when comparing our tax rate to the rates in other communities aren’t all that bad.

OK, so let’s look at the tax
rate. In 2002, Franklin’s tax rate was $8.17. The recently-adopted city budget has a tax rate of $24.76. That’s an increase of 203%.

Even if you just look at the past four years going back to 2006, Franklin’s property tax levy increased 10.4%. The tax rate increased 15.3%. The current recession began in late 2007.


Is Franklin a tax hell? You be the judge.
This Just In…December 13, 2010.

One week before that blog, and again, after the budget tax levy increase had been approved, I blogged the following:

Last month, the Franklin Common Council on a vote of 5-1 with support from Mayor Tom Taylor adopted a 2.6 percent property tax levy increase during a recession when taxpayers are facing salary and benefit cuts, job losses, and foreclosures. We who pay the bills were lectured that this tax and spending increase was “responsible.” In other words, keep your mouth shut, accept it, and pay your bill on time.

Just a few weeks later, could it be that a case of the guilts has descended upon City Hall?

At the request of Mayor Taylor, an informational report has been compiled for Tuesday’s Franklin Common Council meeting entitled: “Comparison of Municipal Property Tax Rates and Other Municipal Charges.” The intent is crystal clear. The report, prepared November 30, is to be used as ammunition in defense of the recession property tax levy hike.

The Mayor, the report states, asked for the analysis “to address whether or not Franklin has high taxes compared to other communities.” It further claims, “Franklin has very low municipal property taxes when compared to other Milwaukee County communities, and when other municipal special charges are considered, Franklin fairs (sic) even better.”

I’m sure that comes as great comfort to Franklin taxpayers who will be brimming with exuberance when they get their annual Christmas present from the city in the mailbox later this month.

City staff analyzed the assessed property tax rates for all 19 Milwaukee County communities and then applied the 2009 Aggregate ratio of Assessment to those rates to determine an equalized property tax rate for each community. The Franklin report states, “Franklin has the third lowest rate with 13 of the communities exceeding Franklin’s rate by more than fifty cents per thousand dollars of equalized value and nine of those communities exceeding Franklin’s rate by more than $1.00 per thousand dollars of equalized value..”

The report then makes this bold claim:

“From this perspective, Franklin clearly has very low municipal property taxes when compared to other Milwaukee County communities.”

Another key point of the report is that other communities impose “special charges” for services. Franklin does not assess a special charge for garbage collection, recycling, or storm water utility.

Finally, the report asserts, “Franklin’s equalized municipal property tax rate is one of the lowest in the County. (The special charges in other communities) clearly solidifies Franklin’s position as a comparatively low taxed and charged community.”

Really?

This analysis is not convincing and, quite frankly, flawed.

The report emphasizes tax rates, a common ploy of the tax and spenders. The tax rate is meaningless. It’s the property tax levy that’s important.
This Just In…December 6, 2010

Let’s recap:

1) During 2010, yours truly, and some other bloggers complained about Franklin taxes, a sentiment I submit is shared by thousands of Franklin taxpayers.

2) The criticism fell on deaf ears. The School Board and the Common Council both approved budgets with property tax levy increases beyond the rate of inflation.

3) After the budgets were approved, bloggers continued their review.

4) Mayor Taylor authorized Finance Director Patterson to compile a report on the tax rates and fees charged in other Milwaukee County municipalities and used the report as defense that Franklin is not a tax hell (More on this shortly).

5) Mayor Taylor proposed a garbage collection fee in his 2012 city budget arguing that:

A) Each citizen will pay the same rate
B) Citizens not receiving the service will not have to pay
C) Our tax levy will be more comparable to surrounding communities

The mayor acknowledged “the property tax levy will decline but a special charge will go up by a corresponding amount,” and “there will be some income tax impact of reducing the deductible property tax charge and replacing it with a non deductible special charge.”

Most elected officials with taxing authority in Franklin have a tax and spend mentality. The garbage collection fee is yet another symptom of that mentality.

This could set a precedent, opening Pandora’s Box. What future fees or “special charges” could be next?

During the 1980 city of Milwaukee mayoral race between Henry Maier and Dennis Conta, the challenger, Conta called for a tax on suburbanites who worked in the city of Milwaukee. Maier correctly countered that you do not lower taxes by increasing other taxes.

Former Milwaukee County Supervisor Gerald Engel used to keep a small sign on his desk that read: “A tax is a tax is a tax.” A fee or a “charge” as Mayor Taylor puts it is just another word for tax. Rest assured the garbage collection fee is a tax.

The imposition of the new garbage tax doesn’t result in substantial savings and has the aforementioned income tax impact. The city’s action did no favors for Franklin property taxpayers.

SO WHY’D THEY DO IT?

The rationale of the mayor and aldermen is purely inside baseball and so much government-ese but it does answer the question.

One of the state of Wisconsin’s myriad of programs is the little-known Expenditure Restraint Program.
Targeted, general aid is provided to towns, villages, and cities that qualify for a payment by meeting certain eligibility criteria.

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - Why is Colton Burpo so popular?


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I AM POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

Again, why is Colton Burpo so popular?

Find out here.

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #2

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


The antics and absurdity surrounding the deliberations over the city of Franklin budget had me shaking my head in total disbelief for two reasons. I’ve been closely following budgets at the local, state, and federal levels since 1977 and quite frankly I was stunned to see what was being discussed and supported in Franklin because I’ve never seen anything like it…ever.

In municipal politics, there’s an unwritten rule when it comes to budgeting. Consider slashing police and fire at your own risk. It amounts to political suicide. Yet that’s what some Franklin aldermen wanted to do.

Here’s what I blogged on November 19, 2011:

It’s a good bet the overwhelming majority of city of Franklin taxpayers have no idea what transpired at the Franklin Common Council meeting last Tuesday because if they did, they’d be stunned and outraged.

Franklin, your city leaders voted to cut $100,000 from the Police Department.

Franklin, your city leaders voted to cut $100,000 from the Fire Department.

The action came as the Common Council voted 3-2 to approve the city budget. Aldermen Steve Olson and Kristen Wilhelm voted no (Alderman Ken Skowronski, a stickler for attendance, wasn’t at the most important meeting of the year because he was elsewhere presenting an award).

As usual, it was up to Alderman Olson to put the budget issue in the proper perspective.

“We’re in tough times. As the management of this city, we need to make decisions taxpayers hired us to make.

“I don’t know how any of the seven of us can justify taking $100,000 from the police department and $100,000 from the fire department and still maintain a full planning staff, a relatively full inspection department, a full health department, a full library, and we’re cutting police and fire. It makes no sense to me.”

Alderman Wilhelm also expressed dismay that the city was not giving the support the police and fire departments need.

Slashing public safety by $200,000 is absolutely senseless. It’s the kind of move that could spell political suicide for an elected official.

There will also be an increase in the property tax levy of over 2%. How embarrassing. Consider that even the fiscally irresponsible Franklin School Board found a way to cut their levy. The tax rate is meaningless, a fact that’s oblivious to the mayor and most of the council.

But the shocker is, as Olson put it, “whacking” police and fire. Think about that the next time a Franklin alderman pontificates about citizen protection.

Mayor Tom Taylor correctly stepped in. On November 21, 2011, I blogged, in part:


Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor has vetoed the budget adopted last Tuesday by the Franklin Common Council that contained a property tax levy increase above what he proposed and huge cuts to the Police and Fire departments. The budget also reneged on an approved resolution to return all TIF District 2 revenues back to taxpayers in the form of tax relief. Here is the mayor's budget veto message submitted to the City Clerk, members of the Common Council, and department heads:

Dear City Clerk Wesolowski,

This letter and the electronic message I sent you today is to inform you that after considerable thought and consultation from the City of Franklin's Finance Director, I am vetoing the motion found below from the City of Franklin's Common Council.

I have concluded that the motion or series of motions made by the City of Franklin's Common Council this last Tuesday may jeopardize public safety due to a reduction in funding for the City of Franklin's Police and Fire departments and could cause funding problems in next year's budget as that budget relates to expenditure restraint eligibility.

I am vetoing the actions found below of the Common Council because it is my contention that the tax rate and tax levy increases of the Common Council that significantly exceed my recommended tax rate and tax levy reductions are unnecessary and will be viewed by many of the people of Franklin negatively, especially in this time of economic uncertainty.

I am also vetoing the action of the Common Council because I believe the people of Franklin were not fully informed of the tax increases recommended by the City's Finance Committee to the Council because of little to no press coverage regarding the 2012 Budget. I state the above because I received only four calls on the budget I submitted and zero calls regarding the Finance Committee's recommended budget which signals to me that the general public is not fully aware that the Common Council's budget contains tax rate and tax levy increases above those contained in my recommended budget. I also believe that the general public is not aware that the actions of the Common Council reduce funding for essential services like police and fire while restoring funding to a non-essential position like a Planner.

Therefore as the mayor of the city I am using my position to allow the people of Franklin to contact their elected officials regarding the tax rate and tax levy increases that go beyond the budget I recommended to the City's Finance Committee early in the year and that reduce funding to our police and fire departments.
Sincerely,

Thomas M. Taylor
Mayor, City of Franklin

 

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It's Working Wisconsin bumper stickers!


It's Working Wisconsin bumper stickers are here!

Header Inline

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Tommy Thompson's New Year's Resolutions


Dear Friends,

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Goodnight everyone, and have a Happy New Year weekend!


"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."

Benjamin Franklin


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, our final Goodnight segment of the year and while we celebrate, we do it with air of sophistication.

We open with a standard that has stood the test of time. Originated in 1947 by Margaret Whiting, it has also been recorded by Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Johnny Mathis, Andy Williams, the O’Jays, the Carpenters, Barry Manilow, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra.

Here, Diana Krall asks the musical question.
 

 




 

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The best cartoons of the week

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne


 

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell


 

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Organ Donation: Crossing the Line

Topics talked about on WISN


The right to die movement has been linked with the quest to save as many lives as possible through organ donation.

The result is a disturbing manipulation of the deaths of some people to obtain organs for others.

Registered nurse Nancy Valko has written a highly-researched and documented piece about euthanasia being used to harvest organs.

Here's the article I talked about on Newstalk 1130 WISN Friday while filling in for Mark Belling.

The Barking Lot (12/31/11)

The Barking Lot



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


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

TODAY:  Partly cloudy, windy. High of 42.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Flurries, windy. High of 32.  "D"


Instead of Jennifer’s weekly blog, we present the top dog stories of 2011. Two stood out for recognition.


1) The dog that got Bin Laden.


2) And from The Barking Lot (08/27/11), scroll down to the closing video for the story of Hawkeye.


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


Woman used service dog to try to shoplift.


Is this dog lover a vigilante?


Housing troubles separate 88-year old man from dog.


Family vows costly fight to save death row dog.


Now her only worry is her dog.


The heartbreak of holiday pets.


Chicken jerky treats sicken hundreds of dogs.


Lost last month, blind dog gets home for Christmas.


Bruno is reunited with life-saving donor.


Therapy dogs help Minnesota girl walk again.


Teddy is a Christmas miracle.


Way to go, Kirby!


BARKING LOT update: Snickers is coming home.


Pet peeves of dog experts.


Montana business offers aromatherapy for wounded dogs.


Does First Dog Bo have a double?


Columnist: Stop spoiling your pooches.


THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.

TIME NOW FOR OUR DOG PHOTO OF THE WEEK:



Gale Martiny feeds Maggie, a 12-year-old yellow lab, at her home in Oshkosh on Sunday. Since having a cancerous jaw removed over six years ago, Maggie requires small, log-shaped pieces of food which Gale and her husband, Ron, make from a blend of high-protein dog food and various meats including chicken, pork, turkey and ham. Oshkosh Nortwestern photo by Adam Jungwirth

Gale Martiny feeds Maggie, a 12-year-old yellow lab, at her home in Oshkosh, WI on Sunday, December 25, 2011. Since having a cancerous jaw removed over six years ago, Maggie requires small, log-shaped pieces of food which Gale and her husband, Ron, make from a blend of high-protein dog food and various meats including chicken, pork, turkey and ham. Oshkosh Northwestern photo by Adam Jungwirth


And we close with our closing video.

What a rescue!

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Week-ends (12/31/11)

Week-ends


Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...

This is a special Year-end edition of Week-ends.


HEROES OF THE YEAR

Our military that got Bin Laden, Ron Johnson, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, any of the dozens we've mentioned throughout the year on Week-ends.

And how about Jenni Lake.



VILLAINS OF THE YEAR



The TSA.



QUOTES OF THE YEAR


NPR is a very elitist and in this case white institution that I think is struggling with the changing demographics of American society. And it struggles with the idea that there are capable thinkers and journalist and people who don’t fit into some box.
Juan Williams on NPR


Seriously, in 2008 we elected a community organizer, state senator, college instructor first term senator over a guy who spent five years in a Vietnamese prison. And now he’s lecturing us about how America’s gone “soft”? Really?
Jonah Goldberg


I have no use for “men’s rights,” any more than I have any use for “women’s rights,” but let us ask: Who was it that decided it was a good idea to politicize love, sex and marriage? Who spent the past four decades proclaiming that “the personal is political,” so that every office flirtation and every petty domestic quarrel is a federal civil rights violation? The damned feminists, that’s who.
Robert Stacy McCain

“Sexual harassment” is an amorphous word that can be manipulated to infer guilt onto anyone. At some point society has to say enough is enough, this is overkill. Most men are friendly in the workplace and when their friendliness rises to the level of flirting it is all too frequently welcomed and encouraged. The rare incidents where a clueless man does not realize his flirting is not welcome should not be punished by destroying his career. The punishment is overkill and does not fit the behavior. Feminists want to have it both ways which is impossible. They have made the workplace politically correct, imposing laws against sexual harassment, while at the same time permitting flirting in the workplace to continue, letting office romances flourish.
Rachel Alexander


[The Tea Party] has to be the first “Totalitarian” movement in the history of mankind that, if it gets everything it wants…will leave you the hell alone.
Ed Driscoll


(Obama) keeps making speeches about redistribution and maybe we ought to do something to businesses that don’t invest, their holding too much money. We haven’t heard that kind of talk except from pure socialists. Everybody’s afraid of the government and there’s no need soft peddling it, it’s the truth. It is the truth. And that’s true of Democratic businessman and Republican businessman, and I am a Democratic businessman and I support Harry Reid. I support Democrats and Republicans. And I’m telling you that the business community in this country is frightened to death of the weird political philosophy of the President of the United States. And until he’s gone, everybody’s going to be sitting on their thumbs.
Steve Wynn


It’s no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.
Paul Ryan


I give the president credit for at least one thing. He’s proven that someone can deserve a Nobel prize less than Al Gore.
Tim Pawlenty


If we were real domestic terrorists, shoot, President Obama would be wanting to pal around with us, wouldn’t he?
Sarah Palin


All of which raises another question: If Obamacare is so great, why do so many people want to get out from under it?
Michael Barone


Within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.
Sarah Palin


If the tea party is so racist, how come when they have straw polls the black guy keeps winning?
Herman Cain


My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this administration.
Gary Johnson


(The mainstream media) are so vested in our first black president not being a failure that it’s going to be amazing to watch the lengths they go to to protect him. They, I believe, will spout this racist line if some of their colleagues up here aren’t doing it aggressively enough. There is going to be a real desperation.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R.-Ill.)


Let’s pass a bill to cover the moon with yogurt that will cost $5 trillion today. And then let’s pass a bill the next day to cancel that bill. We could save $5 trillion.
Paul Ryan


If you don’t have a job and you are not rich, blame yourself.
Herman Cain


Personally, I’m tired of hearing the whole have-you-no-decency routine from people who have made quite clear that they possess none themselves.
Glenn Reynolds


Those who can do. Those who can’t form a supercommittee.
Mark Steyn


Take those God-darn hoodies down, especially in the summer. Pull your pants up and buy a belt ‘cause no one wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt. If you walk into somebody’s office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, and your shoes untied, and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arms and on your neck, and you wonder why somebody won’t hire you? They don’t hire you ‘cause you look like you’re crazy. You have damaged your own race.
Mayor Michael A. Nutter


All the Occupy movement starts with the premise that we owe them everything. They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they don’t want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park, so they can self-righteously explain they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything. That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something by saying to them, ‘Go get a job right after you take a bath.’
Newt Gingrich


For God and country — Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo. Geronimo. E.K.I.A. Enemy killed in action.
The radio transmission of the SEAL who shot Bin Laden.



OUTRAGE OF THE YEAR


A caller to my program Friday on Newstalk 1130 WISN made this excellent suggestion.

Our own Government Accountability Board says it will allow multiple signatures, even ones that are signed by Hitler and Mickey Mouse in the recall against Scott Walker.

State Senators bolting for Illinois.

Death threats against Republican Senators.

Ashes of the remains of our Armed Forces were dumped in a landfill during 2011.

But here's my choice.

And let's not forget this one.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE YEAR



The New Republic has an interesting list.

My choice: The angry mob that is Occupy Wall Street.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE YEAR


The press made Amy Winehouse sound like Ella Fitzgerald.

Lindsay Lohan got far more attention than she deserved.

My choice: Occupy Wall Street from an adoring MSM.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE YEAR


Anthony Weiner comes to mind.

Do you remember Rebecca Chandler?



NOTE: No Runny Eggs
will post its annual year in review over the next several days and I'll be participating with my selections:

- Jackass of the Year on 1/1

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Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - You go, girl!


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I AM POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.


Lambeau Field.

Packers.

Tampa Bay.

Let's go to the tape.


 

Memorable This Just In blogs of 2011 - The greatest music video ever?


DURING THE FINAL DAYS OF 2011 I AM POSTING SOME MEMORABLE BLOGS I PUBLISHED THE PREVIOUS YEAR. I HOPE YOU ENJOY ANOTHER LOOK AT THESE PIECES.

 

How'd they do that?

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011: #1

THE TOP TEN FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2011


2011 WIAA SUMMER BASEBALL TOURNAMENT
BUKOLT PARK
STEVENS POINT, WI

QUARTERFINALS

Franklin 14, Waukesha West 7 (8 innings)



Franklin's Evan Walton watches the ball leave the park after hitting a solo home run on the first pitch of the game against Waukesha West.






In that same 1st inning, Franklin's Jake Penegor is congratulated by coach Jim Hughes after hitting a two-run homer.






Another of Franklin's big plays. Franklin catcher Jesse Palok tags Waukesha West's Zack Hastings out at home.






This one hurt. Waukesha West's Alex Lawrence rounds first base after hitting a two-run homer to tie the Wolverines' game against Franklin in the seventh inning and send it into extra innings.

Then in the top of the 8th...


 

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Recommended Reading (01/01/12)

Recommended Reading

 

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