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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.

Our snow plow drivers have a tough job and do it very well


Guys, just don't let this happen to you...


Instead of plowing the streets, this driver was caught snoozing Monday morning from 9:30 to at least 11 on 14th Avenue near 149th Street.

Instead of plowing the streets, this driver was caught snoozing one morning last week from 9:30 to at least 11 on 14th Avenue near 149th Street during a blizzard that hit New York City.

Photo: New York Post

When the blizzard strikes, whatcha gonna blame?


Very soon, our area will look like this......



Snow plows work to remove ice from interstate 55, Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011 in St. Louis. A blizzard warning is in effect for the St. Louis area where early ice and sleet will give way to any where from six to 20 inches of snow expected.









 

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: A man looks for work shoveling out cars on a snowy street on January 27, 2011 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. New York City, still reeling after the Christmas blizzard, closed public schools and limited public transportation following another heavy snowstorm. As of 2:00 am EST, Central Park had received a total for January of 32.3 inches which breaks an 86-year-old record for the month. For much of the northeast this has been one of the snowiest winters in over a decade.






Of course, the reason for the upcoming onslaught of snow...

Globull warming.

The latest on the weather...

The city of Franklin has declared a snow emergency in effect from 5:00 pm Tuesday until 7:00 pm Thursday:

City Municipal Code 245-5.I. - Snow Emergencies; Parking During, states the following:

  1. A snow emergency is declared to exist when snow is falling at a minimum rate of 1 inch per hour or has accumulated to a depth of 4 inches or more.
  2. If a snow emergency arises between September 15 to April 15 of each year, the Mayor, or in his or her absence the Council President, shall declare a state of emergency to exist, and the duration thereof, and issue a public proclamation to that effect by radio, placards, or other means of communication.
  3. After such declaration of snow emergency has been declared, no person shall park any vehicle upon any street between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  4. The Chief of Police or any police officer within the Police Department may remove any vehicle from the street which interferes with snow removal equipment during any period of a snow emergency.  Cost of removal shall be paid by the owner of a vehicle parked in violation of this section.
  5. No person shall operate, stop, allow to stand, park, follow, or in any other way locate any motor vehicle at a distance of less than 30 feet immediately from and to the rear of any City snow removal or snowplow vehicle.

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Did you know that today was WWND?


That’s...Working While Naked Day.

The founder of Working While Naked Day,
Lisa Kanarek, a Dallas business consultant says the idea is more about those who work out of the home, thnak goodness.

Kanarek says this “special” day is "dedicated to those who are working from home 'naked' -- stripped of the resources that millions take for granted in the traditional corporate workplace. Let's have fun. We work at home, and there isn't anyone there with us, so we can work naked, literally and figuratively."

Thank you for the clarification, Ms. Kanarek because Working While Naked outside the home? Not a bright idea.

To warm you and make you feel good through this blizzard (or at least, you guys)


Do you know this woman?


Marisa Miller


Of course you don’t. Admit it. People like you don’t generally have the occasion of meeting and knowing women like her.

She is a supermodel. Now there’s a shock.





She is 32-year old Marisa Miller from Santa Cruz, California. Miller has done extensive work for including, and not exclusively for, Sports Illustrated and Victoria’s Secret and Harley-Davidson. Miller has served as an ambassador for the American Cancer Society and the USO.

Very lovely gal, indeed.


Marisa Miller Picture 25


Now I could end the blog right here and now. But then, that would be a cheap, tawdry, gratuitous attempt at getting folks to read my blog now, wouldn’t it?



Marisa Miller Photos


I ,of course, would never resort to such tactics.

There is a method and point to every single entry posted on This Just In…

So here we go.

We now take you to a  Hoolywood affair where the beautiful Miller has been spotted giving us an opportunity to ask an extremely probing question.

Please watch and listen ever so intently.

And some of you thought she was going to be dumb.

We're done but before we go, to you Kevin Fischer-haters, those with zero sense of humor, fuddy-duddies, and various prudes, to complain (and why the hell would you?), please contact:

NOW Online Editor Matt Newman | mnewman@cninow.com | (262) 446-6616

I really hope you do (LOL)  just to see where it gets you.


God Bless You Marisa Miller!







The latest on the weather.

State Representative Bill Kramer, COME ON DOWN!


I had to smile widely as I watched the annual State of the State address tonight delivered by Governor Scott Walker.

Sitting to his left and to the televised audience's right was state Representative Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha), the Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore.



How times have changed. Back in 2007, Kramer was an absolute newcomer to Wisconsin politics, having just been elected to the state Assembly. There he sat as the proverbial back bencher as liberal tax and spender Jim Doyle delivered his budget address to a joint session of the Legislature.

Suddenly, Doyle said something that caught Kramer’s attention.

Kramer began clapping loudly after Doyle mentioned that oil companies were gouging taxpayers and will earn $310 million in profits within the next 24 hours. The governor was describing his plan to tax every barrel of oil that comes into Wisconsin. At the sound of Kramer’s clapping, also audible on the television broadcast of the speech, every head in the Assembly chamber turned, but no one joined him.

"I don’t know that I applauded for big oil," Kramer told the Waukesha Freeman. "I applauded for profits. Profits are a good thing. Profits are what make the country run."

Protocol and decorum be damned. Applause is natural at these speeches. Kramer’s response was terrific.


Kramer was ridiculed by the leftist state Capitol press corps.  But he was described by some as “heroic” in his instantaneous response.

Tonight, Kramer didn’t sit in the back of the Assembly Chambers. He sat in the front of the front rows, inches away from Governor Walker. Kramer could stand and cheer and clap as loudly and as often as he wished, and he did.

Happy days are here again!

The State of the State: What a difference a year makes




Here are some excerpts from Jim Doyle’s State of the State address last January, his last as Wisconsin governor:

“And we’ve brought a Spanish train manufacturer here to build high speed trains. With the Obama Administration’s support, Wisconsin is poised to be the nation’s leader in high speed rail manufacturing.”

A total disaster. Wisconsin and many other states have said no to the high speed rail boondoggle.

“Let’s also pass legislation to create a Regional Transit Authority in southeast Wisconsin.”

Another horrendous idea from one of the worst governors in Wisconsin history, giving an unelected, unaccountable authority the power to enact all kinds of tax increases.

“Four years ago, we became one of the first states to enact renewable portfolio standards. These standards require a portion of our energy to be produced from renewable sources.

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$now clean-up will be co$tly


In Kansas City, a city about half the size of Milwaukee, it costs the government $150,000 per inch.

Ouch!

Culinary no-no #205

Culinary no-no's


A rare weekday edition.

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E-mails, I get e-mails: Cop humor


From a loyal reader and retired MPD detective.

God bless our police officers!



When do you really know that you are a police officer? Is it when you realize that you find humor in other people’s stupidity? Or is it when you know for certain that unspeakable evils will befall you if anyone says, “Boy, it sure is quiet tonight.” Is it when you’ve left more meals on the restaurant table than you’ve eaten, or when you come to the knowledge that discussing human dismemberment over a meal is a perfectly normal thing to do? Maybe it’s when you feel good when you hear someone say, “These handcuffs are too tight.” Here are 25 ways you can be pretty reliably sure that you’re really a cop.

1.) You have the bladder capacity of five people combined.

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Witness your liberal free (hate) speech


WARNING: PROFANE LANGUAGE.

 

Read more

Here's an editorial that makes a lot of sense


No, it's not from the Journal Sentinel.

And it's about taxes.

Assembly Democrats play games with your insurance dollars


No one wanted Wisconsin auto insurance rates to go up in 2009. No one, that is, except then-Governor Doyle and Democrats who controlled both houses of the state Legislature.

The 2009-11 state budget they concocted and approved resulted in unexpected and unwanted auto insurance hikes for many Wisconsin motorists.A car insurance company sending out new policies and renewals of policies were required to include new provisions that meant price increases.

1) The minimums for uninsured motorist coverage in Wisconsin prior to the approval of the 2009-11 state budget were $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident. The Democrat-approved budget set the new limits at $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident.

2) The underinsured motorist coverage minimums in Wisconsin were also set at $100,000 and $300,000 upon passage of the current state budget. Before the budget was adopted, there was no state mandated minimum on underinsured motorist coverage.

Just how much the changes have affected each driver is difficult to calculate because some drivers purchased more than the minimum requirement. There’s also driving records and previous claims to consider.

The political landscape has changed. A Republican governor, Assembly and Senate oppose what transpired in those 2009-11 budget deliberations.

On Wednesday, the state Assembly considered Assembly Bill 4, the
Consumer Choice in Auto Insurance Act that would have repealed the state budget provision that increased auto insurance costs for thousands of Wisconsin citizens. A final vote never took place. Assembly Democrats in the minority used a parliamentary move to delay a vote by objecting to the third reading of the bill. When such an objection takes place, the bill can’t be considered again until the legislative body is back in session.

It is likely that the insurance regulations that raised rates will be repealed eventually. But the tactic by Assembly Democrats is telling.

Why would they not want a vote on this legislation? Why would they object to the lowering of insurance rates for consumers all across the state?

The move was petty and shows which party is truly out of touch in dealing with the current economic climate that is plaguing our state.

Another snow update from Franklin Alderman Steve Olson

Dear Friends and Neighbors:

Remember the end of January, 1996?  Very similar weather and…  the Pack was in the Super Bowl.  I believe we’ll have the same outcome!

Just an update on the storm and some details:

Don’t forget that trash pickup for you Thursday folks will be Friday and us Friday folks will get picked up on Saturday.

The Department of Public Works continues on clean-up with crews working on straight time, normal hours.  There are two big tasks that they’re working on now.  The first is pushing the snow piles back from the curb (or in a lot of cases, to the curb).  You can imagine the difficulty in these tasks because the crews are very concerned about dumping new heavy snow into cleaned out driveways and they’re also concerned about damage to mailboxes from the volume of snow getting moved.  It will take some time.

To accomplish this task the crew is using our one highway snow blower attachment for a front end loader.  It’s a super sized version of a two stage blower.  The problem is that we have only one blower and it moves very slowly.  But you’ll be seeing it.

Some tidbits for your pregame party:

Between 4:00pm Tuesday and 1:00pm Wednesday, the Franklin Police Department answered 185 calls for service.  Of those, 141 were for stranded motorists.  Some of those motorists were taken to the Franklin Municipal Court for a warm place to wait for a ride or a tow and to have a hot cup of police coffee.  

The Department of Public Works has used 1070 tons of salt on our roads this season to date.  We budget for 1800 tons during a season.  Over the past couple of years we’ve been using alternate technologies to manage street ice including one of the first uses of a beet brine.  Beet juice is mixed with a salt brine that’s spread on the roadway prior to a weather event.  The mixture reacts with the moisture and prevents the snow and ice from bonding with the pavement making the plow operations much more efficient and better for the environment.  You’ll see streaks down the road when the solution is applied.

And finally, between Tuesday and Wednesday we spent about $13,500 in overtime for DPW and Water Department equipment operators to help keep the roads clear.

So…  as always, feel free to forward this e-mail and call or e-mail with questions or needs.

Thanks and GO PACK.

Steve
 

 City of Franklin


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E-mails, I get e-mails: Home Security System


1. Go to a secondhand store and buy a pair of men's used size 14-16 work
boots.
2. Place them on your front porch, along with a copy of Guns & Ammo
Magazine.
3. Put four giant dog dishes next to the boots and magazines.
4. Leave a note on your door that reads:


Bubba,

Bertha, Duke, Slim & I went for more ammo and beer. Be back in an hour.
Don't mess with the pit bulls; they attacked the mailman this morning and
messed him up real bad. I don't think Killer took part, but it was hard to
tell from all the blood. Anyway, I locked all four of 'em in the house.

Better wait outside, Be right back.

Cooter


Don’t forget to wake up Saturday to our weekly dog blog, The Barking Lot.


We poor unfortunate souls on the south side


Here we are approaching the biggest weekend of the entire pro football season and alas, we rubes and slobs south of Wisconsin Avenue have nowhere to go to enjoy the big game.

No sports bars.

No places that serve beer.

No places that serve wings.

No places with TVs.

No places with “vibe.”

Today’s Weekend Cue in the daily paper featured a nice piece on local Super Bowl parties. “Close your eyes and smell the wings, taste the cold” the sub-headline read.

Carol Deptolla and Stanley A. Miller II highlighted, count ‘em, 14 establishments that will be hopping on Sunday. Not one of the places profiled is located on the south side of Milwaukee or in a southern suburb.

You see, we don’t eat wings, drink beer, watch sports on TV, or like to have any fun on the south side.

This isn’t the first time the Journal Sentinel expense account stopped short of street signs with the letter “S”. Did you know that there are very few places to get a good breakfast on the south side, or that are worthy of review by the paper?

On a rare occasion, a Journal Sentinel critic pulls out MapQuest and finds her/his way to our side of town. But not often enough. And when I say our side of town, I’m not just talking Bay View or the shadows of Allen-Bradley.

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Happy 100th, President Reagan


He was one of the greatest U.S. Presidents. Ronald Reagan would have been 100 years old this Sunday.

Reagan was dubbed, “The Great Communicator,” and for good reason. Here are some of his memorable quotes:


Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book.

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away.

The government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'

Thomas Jefferson once said, 'We should never judge a president by his age, only by his works.' And ever since he told me that, I stopped worrying.

To sit back hoping that someday, someway, someone will make things right is to go on feeding the crocodile, hoping he will eat you last--but eat you he will.

I have left orders to be awakened at any time in case of national emergency, even if I'm in a cabinet meeting.

I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.

The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t take the civil service exam.

Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

We’ll all do the job as if there will never be another election. In other words… we’ll take no actions or make no decisions that are based on how they might bear on or affect an election. Whatever we do will be based on what we believe, to the best of our ability, is best for the people of this country.

Abortion is advocated only by persons who have themselves been born.

Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have.

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.

How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

I don't believe in a government that protects us from ourselves.

I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there's purpose and worth to each and every life.

If you're afraid of the future, then get out of the way, stand aside. The people of this country are ready to move again.

No arsenal ... is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

People don't start wars, governments do.

If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.


And finally, during a microphone check in 1984:

My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes.

The mainstream media was highly offended, a sure sign the line was hilarious.



Buy a condom, have sex, save the world


That’s the bizarre view of a young misguided woman writing in the student newspaper, the Daily Cardinal.  Brittany Schmidt says no one should be embarrassed to buy condoms and that college students having sex should be having more and more sex.


“There are many different reasons why college students engage in sexual behavior. Reasons like love, pleasure and fun are all great answers, but what if I had a better incentive for you. Why should college students be having even more safe sex? Because you, yes, even you who feels awkward walking out of the store carrying a box of condoms, can still do some good in this world.”

You see, if college students simply buy a certain brand of condom, the manufacturer will send another free condom to South Africa to fight STDs and you’ll be saving society. Isn’t that cool? She quotes the company’s CEO, "Let's have the whole exchange shift from being something about guilt and sort of a contracted sense ‘Oh god someone is judging me. I am having sex' to ‘I am having sex and I am going to buy these beautiful condoms and take them home to make love and isn't that a great thing'."

Schmidt adds, “Using a condom shows the trust between two people and their mutual respect for their future.”

No, it shows naïveté.

Brittany Schmidt, meet Doug Giles.

Goodnight everyone and have a super weekend!

It's Friday night.

Time to unwind.

The weekend has finally arrived. 

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

Tonight, music that's of superior quality, great, excellent; first-rate.

After all...






We start out with a bang.

A colossal piece composed by and led by a legendary conductor.

"You will believe a man can fly."








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No cheerleaders at the Super Bowl??!!


Let me get this straight.

We can...



But we can't have cheerleaders at Super Bowl XLV?

Sad but true.

The Green Bay Packers and Pittsburgh Steelers, possibly for obvious reasons, a
re two of the six NFL teams that have no professional cheerleaders. Thus, no cheerleaders roaming the sidelines Sunday.

This makes no sense. On Media Day, the NFL invites every media yahoo to the stadium.




Fox Sports radio personality Victor Jacobs looks for someone to interview. Journal Sentinel photo: Mark Hoffman


But the NFL brass and PR machine can't find a single cheerleader?

In Big D?






Can't they just pick up the phone and call some numbers?




Alex Hermes



Because isn't Dallas just loaded with....



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The Barking Lot (02/05/11)

The Barking Lot


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


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

TODAY:  Cloudy. A little warmer. High of 27.  "F"

SUNDAY:  A few snow showers. High of 31. "F"

Or is walking in this weather all that bad?

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


This football season, I have taught Kyla to throw her arms up in the air when Daddy yells “Touchdown!”  It is adorable, and she thinks she is pretty cool when she does it.  Right now, she and I have about the same working knowledge of a football game…  We can both toss our arms up when someone tells us our team did something good.  I hold out hope for our little girl that Daddy can, someday, teach her the basics.  Then she won’t have to say “Who’s winning… the green & gold team or the black & gold team?” like her Mommy.

 

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Week-ends (02/05/11)

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


Snow plow drivers, local police, emergency responders, and good neighbors like Betsy Nelson and Todd Herrington ...MORE


Sean O'Hara


Spencer Pass


Timmy Miles


Max


Philadelphia Eagles players DeSean Jackson, Todd Herremans and Jamaal Jackson



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Julie Schenecker


Alexandra Tobias


Milagros  Angeles


Donna Ambrosio-Ruglio


Courtney Bowles


Norma Ruth Casini


Arlington Public Schools


Food Liberation Army



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“NEAR ZERO WHITEOUT CONDITIONS AND DRIFTS OF 4 TO 8 FEET POSSIBLE. TRAVEL TO BECOME DIFFICULT IF NOT IMPOSSIBLE. POTENTIAL FOR PARALYZING BLIZZARD WITH LIFE THREATENING CONDITIONS.”
The National Weather Service forecasting this week’s blizzard.


“'When you go back home, take this weather back with you’. That's what a few Texans told me today. With a smile, of course.”
Lori Nickel of the Journal Sentinel, covering the Super Bowl in frigid Dallas.


If we are going to move our state forward, we have to be honest and agree that we no longer can afford to rely on short???term fixes that only delay the pain, compound the problems, and lead to ongoing financial uncertainty.

States, like Wisconsin, are left with two choices: one is to raise taxes, continue to hinder our people with burdensome regulations, and kick the difficult choices down the road for our children and grandchildren; the other is to do the heavy lifting now and transform the way government works in Wisconsin.

Some states will choose the easy way out.

As I mentioned, our neighbors to the south chose to deal with their budget crisis with major income and business tax increases. At the same time, they pushed the most challenging decisions off for another day – and, probably, another tax increase.

We quickly saw the result of their actions. States, including our own, which are committed to holding the line on spending, began circling Illinois as soon as the tax increase passed. Their lack of action will ultimately lead to fewer jobs and higher taxes. But there is another way.

We can use our budget challenge as an opportunity; an opportunity to reduce government and to increase flexibility. To ensure that all sectors of our economy contribute equally, so that the entire state  benefits. We are Wisconsin, we will lead the way.”
Governor Walker in his first State of the State address.


“As a result, we are recommending that you or your staff notify the local authorities about any open town hall meetings that you will host in your district. Notifying the local authorities provides them an opportunity to complete an assessment of the meeting and any potential need for staffing at the event.”
Charles A. Tubbs, Chief of Police, Wisconsin Capitol Police in a correspondence to all Wisconsin legislators


"For Wisconsin, the federal health care law is dead — unless and until it is revived by an appellate court.”
WI Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen


If a surgeon had performed an operation in the middle of the night without consulting the patient, or worse, consulting the patient and was told to stop ... this would be malpractice. That is how Obama, Reid and Pelosi wrote and passed Obamacare.

Why is it surprising that legislation so written also forgot to ask the question....is this constitutional? That is a question Obama has never asked himself about his big government ideas.

The legislation must be totally repealed and/or struck down. Then real reforms are possible.”

Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. A Florida federal judge ruled this week that ObamaCare is unconstitutional.


This decision has no more legal effect on Obamacare than the two decisions by other judges upholding it, the decisions by other judges to throw out challenges to it, or the decision by Judge Henry Hudson to more narrowly attack Obamacare. Lower court rulings on something this significant will only be important if they are upheld by appeals courts, and ultimately, the Supreme Court. The Vinson decision makes it much more likely that the SC will hear the case, and soon.

As a question of politics, though, this is not good news for Obama. It gives his opponents even stiffer backbones than they had yesterday.”
Jeremy Mayer, Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University


“Judge Vinson's decision is devastating for the Obama administration. Not only did Judge Vinson invalidate the entire law (unlike the Virginia decision which invalidated only the mandate and severed the rest of the law), but he did so in a thorough 78 page opinion that went through the history of the Commerce Clause and each of the arguments used by the Obama administration to extend the Commerce Clause to inactivity.

While no one can predict how the Supreme Court will rule, the decision was a serious piece of judicial writing, and comes at precisely the worst time for Democrats, as the House already has passed the repeal bill. This may increase pressure on Democrats in the Senate, and on the Obama administration to expedite an appeal to the Supreme Court.”
William A. Jacobson, Associate Clinical Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School


“You’re one sick, miserable, evil SOB, but thank you for coming on anyway.”
Sean Hannity confronting radical Imam Anjem Choudary on his TV show.


You root for the Packers in this Super Bowl because every now and then the game needs to have on top the little team nobody can seem to hate.”
Rick Reilly, ESPN.com


The question posed Tuesday to practice squad nose tackle Jay Ross will go down in Super Bowl infamy.

‘Some lady asked me,’ Ross said, ‘what I do with my jock strap and what goes in it.’

Ross could have told her he used it to carry his lunch and she probably would have nodded and walked away. But he played it straight.

‘I told her I put my cup in there to protect my jewels,’ he said.

Did she know what he was talking about?

‘I hope so,’ he said.”
From a Gary D’Amato column in the Journal Sentinel, covering Media Day at the Super Bowl.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


Planned Parenthood assists with underage sex trafficking.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


The race for Milwaukee County Executive. Dear news media: This is a big deal.



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Mother Nature wipes the Packers off the front page. This marks a rare occasion when the hype was warranted.



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


One official called it "stupid smoking."


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

Recommended Reading - The SUPER BOWL edition

Recommended reading


There’s been a deluge of Super Bowl material. Here are a few columns I recommend to get you primed for the big game:


Pack Mentality

"You root for the Green Bay Packers in this Super Bowl because Steelers fans want their team to win but Packers fans need their team to win. They need it like air."


Why the Green Bay Packers are still America’s team

"
Sitting in front of a computer all the way from Australia, I feel confident that Mike McCarthy’s team is the perfect choice for this nickname.  Nowhere else in the world can a person fly from miles away, and be treated like an average blue-collar Joe like you can at Lambeau Field.

That’s just it, though; Green Bay fans really make this argument easy."



There’s no trophy for being exciting

"The secret to making the Super Bowl? Play plodding, boring football and stay away from nail-biting, fourth-quarter comebacks."


Harrison’s sarcasm crosses the line

"You don't think Steelers linebacker James Harrison is bitter, do you? About the $100,000 in fines he received this season from the NFL office because of helmet hits that commissioner Roger Goodell and his staff believed were against the rules?Bitter doesn't even begin to describe Harrison."


Media Day a scary scene

"
With the frozen Metroplex littered with jack-knifed trucks, spun-out cars, and flopping pedestrians, the global media still managed to turn Jerry Jones' bulti-billion-dollar playpen into just another stage for the annual exhibition of journalism burlesque." 


Everybody’s betting on the Super Bowl

"
Tis the season when goofy Super Bowl bets multiply like potholes on a Pittsburgh alley.
And it's not just politicians getting into the action."


Also suiting up: Bieber, Babies and Bud

"The true high-stakes gamblers are betting $2.8 million to $3 million on 30-second ads they hope will pay off with high ratings.

Here are some of the most anticipated ads."

Culinary no-no #206

Culinary no-no's


THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF FOOD

BLOGS, BUT ONLY ONE CULINARY NO-NO!


We’re a day earlier with this week’s Culinary no-no simply because the world more or less stops this Sunday afternoon and evening.

No elaborate 38-paragraph installment this time around. Short and sweet…well, maybe not so sweet.

Here are some SUPER Culinary no-no’s.

How about some "fat, salt and crunch" for your party Sunday?

And for those of you who thought the cupcake craze was dead.

Finally, since this is a special weekend, we break with Culinary no-no tradition. I'm not sure this is the "ultimate" Super Bowl sandwich as the chef calls it, but it sure looks yummy to me!



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1999: First came the blizzard, then the big football game


Between Saturday night, January 2, 1999, and Sunday morning, January 3, 1999, a blizzard dropped 15.4 inches of snow on Milwaukee.

On that Sunday afternoon, The Green Bay Packers were out west playing the San Francisco 49ers in an exciting Wild Card playoff game.

Remember?





San Francisco lost the following week to Atlanta.  Atlanta would lose in the Super Bowl to Denver.

My Most Popular Blogs (02/06/11)

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) State Representative Bill Kramer, COME ON DOWN!

2) Culinary no-no #204

3) A snow update from Franklin Alderman Steve Olson

4) The latest on the weather

Read more

Photos of the Week (02/06/11)

Photos of the Week


KF NOTE:
This was a challenging week deciding which pictures made “the cut.” There were literally dozens and dozens of photos to choose from the blizzard, the Super Bowl, and protests in Egypt. As always, we tried our best to select a representative collection depicting a true photographic week-in-review.





A car landed vertically in a snowbank in an accident involving several vehicles on Interstate 93 north of Salem, N.H. No one was injured. Photo: Tim Jean / The Eagle-Tribune via AP






Lake Michigan in Fox Point looks like a frozen barren landscape. A rare lakeshore flood warning was in effect until 6 p.m. Wednesday along Lake Michigan from Sheboygan south to the Illinois border with waves of 10 to 16 feet. Journal Sentinel photo: Kristyna Wentz-Graff


 



A newspaper delivery truck is stuck on Interstate 43 Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Grafton, Wi.  (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)






Sam Lozoff shovels out a delivery car Wednesday morning in front of the Jimmy Johns store on S. Kinnickinnic Ave. in Bay View. Journal Sentinel photo: John Klein






Walking was the only way people could get down many Milwaukee side streets Wednesday morning. E Bennett Ave had snow thigh deep making it impossible to move cars from the curb.  Journal Sentinel photo: John Klein






People enjoy high waves from Lake Michigan, Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011, in Milwaukee. The area was under a blizzard warning and some freeways were shut down. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)





Snow wave. Photo submitted to jsonline by Erin, Milwaukee.


 

Read more

Recommended Reading (02/06/11)

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).


Super Bowl ad targets wrong audience

"While many Americans will park in front of their televisions to watch football on Super Bowl Sunday, others will tune in just to see the commercials. Unknown to most Americans, one commercial will be seen only by members of the U.S. military deployed overseas. Sadly, it’s a spot that probably needs to be shown to federal, state and local election officials, too"


* “Nobody gets married anymore, Mister”

"W
ithin my lifetime, single parenthood has been transformed from shame to saintliness. In our society, perversely, we celebrate the unwed mother as a heroic figure, like a fireman or a police officer. During the last presidential election, much was made of Obama’s mother, who was a single parent. Movie stars and pop singers flaunt their daddy-less babies like fishing trophies.

None of this is lost on my students. In today’s urban high school, there is no shame or social ostracism when girls become pregnant. Other girls in school want to pat their stomachs. Their friends throw baby showers at which meager little gifts are given. After delivery, the girls return to school with baby pictures on their cell phones or slipped into their binders, which they eagerly share with me. Often they sit together in my classes, sharing insights into parenting, discussing the taste of Pedialite or the exhaustion that goes with the job. On my way home at night, I often see my students in the projects that surround our school, pushing their strollers or hanging out on their stoops instead of doing their homework.”


We need to stop glorifying single mothers

Because most of us know single mothers, know how hard they're working, and wish them well, we do what we can to support them and build them up. That's very understandable and it undoubtedly does some good. However, because we're constantly talking about how wonderful single mothers are, we're also making the option look a lot less scary than it should be to young girls -- and that's a very bad thing for them and for society.”


Talking with the president

As some readers might know, your humble correspondent (that's me) will be conducting a live interview with President Obama a few hours before the Super Bowl game begins on Sunday. The chat is scheduled to last about 12 minutes and is fraught with danger. For me, not for the president.”


Tawdry details of ObamaCare

"
If you would like to know what the White House really thinks of Obamacare, there’s an easy way. Look past its press releases. Ignore its promises. Forget its talking points. Instead, simply witness for yourself the outrageous way the White House protects its best friends from Obamacare."


* - Especially recommended

 

Super Bowl to air tribute to Reagan before game


Classy.
 

UPDATE: No cheerleaders at the Super Bowl??!!


That's right.

In case you haven't heard...

The reaction in living rooms across America...

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Political Cartoons by Nate Beeler
No

"What if it's just the beginning?"


The Chicago Tribune speculates the Green Bay Packers could be very, very good for a very, very long time.

Read why...

The most important Super Bowl play may not have even been in the Super Bowl


If not for a single play during a game back on December 19, 2010, the Green Bay Packers may not have gone on their incredible run beginning at the end of the season right through the playoffs and Super Bowl.

The New York Giants appeared headed for the playoffs when they blew a 31-10 lead to Philadelphia. The Giants went into the tank, including an embarrassing loss to the Packers that kept Green Bay’s hopes alive.

To: Desean Jackson

Fr: Packer fans

Re: Thank you


Millions of Super Bowl stories reported, but the MSM ignored this one


The reason is obvious.

In case you missed it on Sunday...

"Oh say" can't we just get it right?

America’s national anthem is sacred. There is none like the Star Spangled Banner, deserving always of the utmost respect and honor.

Yet our country insists on trivializing this homage to patriotism in the pursuit of celebrity. The latest disgraceful display came prior to Sunday’s Super Bowl from vocal butcher Christina Aguilera.

It’s been widely reported how Aguilera screwed up one of the lines. One report suggested it was a case of stage fright. Such a blunder is inexcusable. I have chosen not to put the video of Aguilera on my blog (it's very easy to find). The sad reality is that millions of Aguilera worshippers will watch, fawn, and foolishly believe this is the way the anthem is to be treated.





Young, blond and attractive, Aguilera is forgiven by too many for messing up a song of great magnitude and that’s almost as disgusting. Aguilera is one in a long line of white female singers desperately trying to sound like a black soul singer. The end result is an awful warbling designed to emulate Mariah Carey, but failing miserably.

True, some vocal experts have suggested changing the national anthem to “America the Beautiful” because the “Star Spangled Banner” is quite difficult to pull off. If that’s the case, then let’s have real singers with real good voices sing the anthem. Instead of star power, the search for an anthem vocalist should be talent, not name recognition.

The NFL had so many choices including military and law enforcement officers that have wowed audiences with their performances.

There’s a young autistic girl down in Florida named that would have been a far superior selection than anthem murderer Christina Aguilera.


Let's suppose, now just play along, that the Detroit Lions had won the Super Bowl


Of course, that would be....




Number of riots in Wisconsin following the big victory:

1) Zero

2) Priceless


Pete Kosovich for Franklin alderman, 4th district


The following is a guest blog written by Pete Kosovich who is running for alderman in Franklin's 4th district. Pete Kosovich has my complete support and endorsement. His opponent has his own blog and is able to respond there.

Hi, I’m “Peko” Pete Kosovich
Owner of Peko TV in Franklin & Candidate for the 4th Aldermanic District

Thirty + years

in business has taught me how to listen to peoples’ concerns, analyze them, and find solutions. I consider elected office a customer service job, & I am up for it!

I’m a family man, married to Sherry for 33 years. Our daughter Kimberly is now a nurse in ICU at Elmbrook Memorial.

I believe family & God are the nucleus of a strong America 
I am active in “The conservative movement”. I believe in free market economics, less government, and in a strong work ethic. I believe America is the best country on earth.

My qualifications are: Business owner since 1980. I’m a Member of St. Paul’s Church in Franklin since 1981. I’ve served on the board of elders, usher, choir, & misc projects. I have been a member of The Wisconsin Electronic Service Association since 1981, and am the current State President. I was a Franklin Alderman from 11/03 through 4/08. I served on the CDA, Personnel, License, Health, Public Works, Planning, & Civic Celebration Committees.

I remain active and committed to Franklin, and want your support & vote. If you would like to help with the campaign, stop in at Peko TV or call me at 761-0888 days, or 761-7664 eves.

Authorized & paid for by Friends of Pete Kosovich, Sherry Kosovich Treasurer


KF NOTE: I am supporting Pete Kosovich because he has the proper understanding of fiscal responsibility and the appropriate respect for Franklin taxpayers, unlike his opponent. Pete Kosovich will provide the much-needed friendly voice for the Franklin taxpayers that has been sorely missing the past several years with the exception of Steve Olson. Olson needs help on the Common Council to fight the tax and spenders. Pete Kosovich will be that tool for hard-working families and taxpayers struggling to make ends meet whose voices have literally been ignored at Franklin City Hall. Please join me in supporting Pete Kosovich!

The Kevin Fischer "Whippersnapper Hall of Fame"- Inductee #21

Whippersnapper Hall of Fame


Our next inductee is the incredible Lila Rose.

An April 2009 LA Times article described Rose as “a 20-year-old UCLA history major with a little voice and a bold plan to expose what she and many abortion foes see as Planned Parenthood's wrongdoings. Since 2006, Rose has orchestrated undercover ‘stings’ at Planned Parenthood clinics in Los Angeles, Indianapolis, Bloomington, Tucson, Phoenix and Memphis. Surreptitiously videotaping their interactions, she and a friend have posed as abortion-seeking teens impregnated by older men. The videos -- boiled down to five minutes, with portentous music and fast cuts to heighten the drama -- are posted on Rose's website, LiveAction.org, and YouTube.”






Rev. Patrick Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition said, "There is this stereotype of who we pro-life leaders are, and for the most part it would be white middle-aged religious men trying to impose their will on women. So now with Lila, you bring this young, fresh college student that completely blows any stereotypes away. No one is going to accuse Lila of being mean, vindictive and harsh."

Rose’s latest sting at a Bronx Planned Parenthood showed a staffer offering assistance to an actor posing as a human trafficker.  

You can read Rose’s recent articles on Big Government. Rose’s work could eventually lead to a defunding of the corrupt, despicable Planned Parenthood.

Rose will appear at a Wisconsin Right To Life event in Madison sometime this May.


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

UPDATE: Here's an editorial that makes a lot of sense


The Beloit newspaper editorialized
in favor of a bill to make it more difficult for Wisconsin lawmakers to approve tax increases, a great piece of legislation.

Today, the state Senate approved Assembly Bill 5, 20-12, with Julie Lassa the only Democrat vote in favor. The other Democrats voted against making it tougher to take more money out of your wallets.

Governor Walker now gets the legislation that he will sign.

It’s truly a new day in state government.

“I didn’t raise taxes once"


No, Jim Doyle did not say that, though it sure sounds like something he'd try to falsely claim.

The quote (lie) is from the great Taxer-in-Chief. He said it to Bill O'Reilly during their Super Bowl interview.

Naturally, it's garbage.

Obama hell-bent on rail


President Obama is unaware or doesn’t care that the country is beyond broke. Determined to jam high speed rail down America’s throat, the president has announced his intention of spending $53 billion over six years to build a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network.

In typical liberal tax and spend fashion, the White House won’t commit as to how the high sped rail fetish will be funded. Like the United States budget, the Highway Trust Fund is broke.

Obama’s pledge to spend tons of money we don’t have is a feeble effort to make good on his ridiculous transportation statement made during the State of the Union:

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail.”

One of my favorite bloggers, John Hawkins says that’s crazy talk:

Let's say you want high speed rail to actually REACH 80% of the population. Well, you're not going to be able to just hit the big cities. You're definitely going to have to reach medium size cities as well. So locally, for me, that would mean connecting to a city like Wilmington, N.C. The problem with doing that is cost. My guess is, to actually pull that off, all across the country, would cost trillions over the course of the next decade.

But, let's say you take another approach and just hit the bigger cities. So, in N.C., you might run high speed rail to Charlotte and the Raleigh-Durham Triangle. Well, if that's the case, then you've got to wonder how useful it would be to people across the state. Personally, it would be a 4 hour drive for me to get to the station. From that point, how much does it help to have a train going 100MPH as opposed to my car going 70MPH on the highway? If you're talking about a trip to somewhere like D.C., after the time you'd probably spend waiting for the train, it might shave an hour off the trip. But of course, then once I got to D.C., I wouldn't have a car. That's enough of a disadvantage that it probably wouldn't be worth it to take the train. ‘But, John, what about the longer trips?’ Ehr -- that's what planes are for. Why would I get on a train and go to LA or
Las Vegas when I could get there much faster on a plane?”

Some states like Wisconsin and Ohio have looked deep inside their wallets, found nothing, and decided high speed rail with its dubious claims of job creation and ridership was a losing option.

In Florida,
Governor Rick Scott has put a stop to Central Florida's $1.2 billion SunRail project, despite all the rosy predictions we’ve heard over and over again from rail enthusiasts. Even a Republican legislator in Florida drank the Kool-Aid, boasting that SunRail would see 13,000 new jobs, just like that. But other projections say the project will only see 14,500 riders a day come 2030, 14,500 riders in a metro area that will have a populace of 3.5 million people 20 years from now. The $2 billion taxpayer-funded project would cost a whopping $180,000 per rider.

No thank you.

States and the country as a whole can’t afford Obama’s big train set. The more states that wise up and reconsider this boondoggle like Wisconsin, the better.

No wonder Franklin is NOT a tax hell!


Franklin Mayor Tom Taylor and 5 out of 6 members of the Franklin Common Council claim our city is NOT a tax hell. And now we learn they have good reason.

Of course, it’s very easy and convenient to say Franklin isn’t a tax hell, especially if you are fortunate enough to pay less in property taxes than many other Franklin residents!

Just take a look at these numbers (ZOWEEE!) supplied through the investigative work of Franklin blogger Bryan Maersch.

For the record, I paid $8,000 in property taxes last December for my Franklin mansion.

Hey, Mayor Taylor? Any of you aldermen? Care to trade? After all, our taxes aren’t bad at all, right? Apparently not if it’s YOUR property tax bill.

Chris Abele's Donations all Lean Left

Media Trackers

Chris Abele's Donations Lean Left 

February 8, 2011, Milwaukee, WI-- Milwaukee County Executive candidate Chris Abele and his family's Argosy Foundation have given tens of thousands of dollars to leftist organizations and candidates in recent years. Abele has defined his campaign as bipartisan, and touted his willingness to “work with Democrats and Republicans and listen to anyone who has the best ideas on how we can create private sector jobs.” 

But what ideas will Abele bring to the job of Milwaukee County Executive and whose ideas does he value enough as President and CEO of the Argosy Foundation to contribute thousands of dollars to? The answers do not ring of bipartisanship.

Read more

Labor Leaders Living Large


Many Who Engage in Class Warfare Rhetoric Earn Six Figure Salaries

MacIver News Service | February 10, 2011

A MacIver Investigation

Read more

UPDATE: $now clean-up will be co$tly


Recently, I blogged that Kansas City has a snow removal cost of $150,000 per inch. Last winter, it cost New York City $1 million per inch.

Milwaukee County was hit with 19.9 inches during last week’s blizzard. Total cost: $3.7 million.


That’s about $186,000 per inch.

Congratulations to Franklin's Sam Kortes!


Lost in the excitement about football and basketball is a very bright spot in local high school wrestling.

Franklin boasts one of the best teams in the area and has the top-ranked wrestler in the state.

A "snowpocolypse" day?


From the "You can't make this stuff up" file...

The mayor of (where else?) Madison is proposing an annual "snowpocolypse" day.

What the heck is a "snowpocolypse" day, you ask?

Read...

Keep in mind that climate change (globull warming) has hit Madison very, very hard. 

A potential Culinary no-no that could really hurt

Culinary no-no's


Friday nights.

All over town.

Seeing is better than reading.

The promo for a Milwaukee Public Television documentary...






Yes, feast your eyes...

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Got reservations VD Monday? Might want to cancel


The conventional wisdom is you stay away from restaurants on Monday nights.

Here’s more (just scroll down).


So what’s the alternative? Stay home?

The all-knowing Milwaukee Journal Sentinel this week reprinted a piece from thekitchn.com about a home-cooked Valentine’s Day meal that includes big-time beef. The website writes:

“We are firm believers in staying in on Valentine's Day. It is not a good night to eat out; restaurants are crowded and prices are inflated.”

Good point.

“But if you stay in, you want to keep it simple and classic, and what's more classic than a good steak, simply prepared? Add a loaf of bread, a salad, and a bottle of wine, and you have an extremely easy and delicious meal.”

OK. Sounds good.

“But how to cook the steak?”

Sorry, but that doesn’t seem to be a difficult question. Oh, no.

“We love grilled steak, but some of us don't have grills, and it is a little cold outside. Well, here is an absolutely foolproof, easy, and quick way to make a steak indoors, in the oven.”

 

Read more

Good sportsmanship isn't dead after all


I’ve written extensively about poor sportsmanship in high school athletics. Every once in awhile, there’s an example of good play that deserves recognition. It happened this week during a girls basketball game in Milwaukee.

Milwaukee North was playing at Milwaukee School of Languages (MSL). North suited up only five players. You knew it was bound to happen. Sure enough, in the second quarter, a girl from North fouled out leaving the team with only four girls to play against their opponent’s five.

MSL head coach Gary Huven made the decision to take one of his girls off the court and also play with just four players the rest of the way.

Nice move.

MSL defeated North, 73-22.

Governor Walker Explains Compensation Changes in Email to State Employees

Governor Walker Explains Compensation Changes in Email to State Employees

MacIver News Service | February 11, 2011

Read more

Goodnight everyone and have an award-winning weekend filled with amour!


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

The weekend has finally arrived.

The sun has set.

The evening sky has erupted. 

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

Tonight, we gear up for Sunday’s big awards show in Los Angeles and Valentine’s Day on Monday by offering some Grammy love!

We begin with a vocalist who turned 61 last Sunday. In February of 1992, she won the Grammy for Album of the Year. Here’s a selection. Translated, it means "do not forget."



Read more

The Barking Lot (02/12/11)

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:  Afternoon snow showers. The "massive" warm-up predicted a few days earlier unfortunately doesn't hit today. High of 31.  "D"

SUNDAY:  UPDATED:  Partly to mostly cloudy. High of 43. Nicer. "B"


My lovely wife, Jennifer has the week off. I think she might be running around searching for my Valentine's present, but I am not holding my breath.

Here's a timely blog from Wendy Diamond, TV Personality, Pet Lifestyle Expert, Endangered and Animal Rescue Advocate. Diamond writes:

"What are you going to give your furry four-legged Valentine? Lots of puppy love, of course, but your pup is going to be begging for some treats all day long. There’s no harm in giving a few extra treats on this special holiday, but remember there are some 'treats' that should never be given to your dog."

You can read the entire piece here.


It's my turn now with DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.


Animal activists go after dog sledding.  MORE.


Anatomy of sled dog massacre: PART ONE.


She wanted to have custody of dog she tried to mail.


Michael Vick is back in the news.


Jury fails to reach verdict in
burned dog case.


Owner upset after dog put down by animal control.


A woman who complained about waste left by someone else's dog was punished for not picking it up herself.


A jar of peanut butter and a dog...


Chattanooga Zoo: NO DOGS.


Are dogs enemies to wildlife? 


Military dog finds a new home.


Deaf dog learns sign language.


Deaf dogs make great pets.


Please bury me next to my...
dog?


World's smartest dog?


Trying not to get attached to an adopted dog isn't easy.


A dog just might be a
teen's best friend.


Best Super Bowl ads?  A doggone tie.


Meet Pilot, a very, very, very good dog.


New breeds at Westminster this year.


Who will win at Westminster? Even Vegas has an answer.


That's it for this week. We close as we always do with our closing video.

If I was watching the Westminster Dog Show, I'd be rooting for this dog...



 

Read more

Week-ends (02/12/11)

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


Averie Carrion


Ann Timson....MORE.


James McAbee


Derrick Oakes


Spencer Pass


James Geer


Vicky Litz


Bianca Vera



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Ingmar Guandique


Julian Maynard Saunders


Aredeshir Fardin



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


"That's where it belongs. It is the Lombardi Trophy. Lombardi is viewed as one of the greatest ever to coach and we get to bring it back home, so we are very proud of that.”
Packer cornerback Charles Woodson


And I watched the game with that whole mind-set and not once during the game did that mind-set change, not once during the game did I think the Steelers had a prayer.  (interruption) What do you mean the Packers let 'em back in? Oh, come on, the Packers let 'em back in, the third quarter you're talking about here?  The second half, games ebb and flow like that, there's always momentum shifts, but the Packers have never trailed by more than seven points in a game all season.  They don't let people back in the game.  And, remember, I saw the Packers in New England on December 19th, their backup quarterback nearly beat the Patriots.  I mean that is a damn good team, look at all the people they had on injured reserve.  The real story is the players that are potential all-pros and all-stars who never made it on the field 'cause they're on injured reserve, that is one hell of a team and that team is gonna be pretty solid for years to come.  It's very young, got a great core group of people there, good coaching staff, front office and all of that.”
Rush Limbaugh


I will fervently oppose any attempt to change residential streets in my district.”
Green Bay Alderman Chris Wery, whose district borders Lambeau Field, said that although he also is proud of the Packers, renaming a street for Packer coach Mike McCarthy would be an "unnecessary expense and hassle for our residents."


Currently, state, school district and municipal employees who are members of the Wisconsin Retirement System contribute very little toward their pensions. The bill requires that WRS employees, including myself and my cabinet officers, as well as employees of the City and County of Milwaukee, contribute 50 percent of their monthly pension contributions. This amount is estimated to be 5.8 percent of salary for 2011, which is about the national average for private sector employees.

Currently, state employees pay approximately 6 percent of annual health insurance premiums. This bill requires that state employees, again including myself and my cabinet officers, pay at least 12 percent of monthly premiums, which is still less than half of what the private sector pays.

We all recognize that these are historic times that require us to rethink how government operates. I ask that we continue to work together to do what is necessary to bring the state’s spending in line with our taxpayers’ ability to pay.”

Governor Scott Walker announcing proposals to address a state budget shortfall.


When people say well we just have to pay less in wages whether it’s private sector or public sector, I think they’re mentally retarded to say something like that.”
John Gage, President of the American Federation of Government Employees


Conservatives have been doing something that the New York Times didn't have the guts to do: We've been coming up with ways to deal with this problem. Of course, the New York Times and other liberals do actually have a plan in mind -- they just don't want to say what it is because they know it'll be unpopular. What they really want is for these states to go bankrupt and for the federal government to just pick up the tab. In other words, liberals bankrupt these states, the taxpayers in the more responsible states pay for it, and then business will go on as usual.”
Blogger John Hawkins


You can have three police calls a month and the city can characterize it as a nuisance property. You have 865 in a 2 year period! "How can people expect you to run the county when you can't run an apartment building?"
WTMJ’s John Mercure in a heated discussion with Milwaukee County Executive candidate Lee Holloway about numerous code violations in his apartment buildings.


"I have poor people there who don't know how to solve their problems and I'm working with them and trying to help them solve their problems.  I prefer them to call the police to solve their problem versus hurting or killing someone!"
Lee Holloway responding to Mercure.


“The outpouring of support can be a logistical nightmare: (Congressman Gabrielle) Giffords’s district office has logged nearly 20,000 contacts in the month since the rampage. They deal with these challenges by answering the oft-repeated question: What would Gabby want?”
Politico


"The path to prosperity isn't through solar panels and high speed trains. It's through releasing individual freedom. Our rights come from nature and God not government. This is the time. This is ours, 2012 is ours."
WI Congressman Paul Ryan


“Does it disturb you that so many people hate you?”
Bill O’Reilly in an interview with President Obama


“In this month of African-American history where we're trying to celebrate what is good and great, it certainly seems ridiculous that Pepsi would utilize this kind of humor. It was not humorous. It was demeaning -- an African-American woman throwing something at an African-American male and winding up hitting a Caucasian woman.”
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) blasting a Super Bowl ad.


Have you ever spoken to an LGBT group or attended an LGBT event before?

Yes. I call them ‘Ann Coulter book signings.’ You have no idea how many of my fans are gay.”

Ann Coulter in a response to one of several questions submitted by a reporter.



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


1) We learn more about Kermit Gosnell.

2) Oregon man dies outside ER after delay in treatment.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


The union bosses that dare to criticize Governor Walker...



MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Egypt. The mainstream media stumbled all week trying to:

A) Understand the story

B) Get the story right



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


This story
had the world by the, AHEM.


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

 

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When pro wrestling comes to Green Bay, the script writers pull off a winner


Pro wrestling may indeed be theater.

But pro wrestling is drama. Pro wrestling is virtues and values. Pro wrestling is the human spirit willing victory over defeat. Pro wrestling is good vs. evil, hero vs. villain. Pro wrestling is triumphing over adversity.

High stakes were written all over the card when World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and its televised program “Smackdown” came to Titletown, Green Bay, Wisconsin Friday night.  The main event featured a world heavyweight championship match between current titleholder Edge and his challenger Dolph Ziggler.

The special guest referee, Vickie Guerrero has more than an axe to grind with Edge (She's his ex and is now Ziggler's boyfriend!). Here’s more set-up for this soap opera from wwe.com:

Prior to the main event, the self-appointed Special Guest Referee Vickie Guerrero reaffirmed that Edge’s Spear was still banned. If he opted to use it against Dolph Ziggler, he would be disqualified and the 'acting' GM’s bleach-blond boyfriend would automatically become the new World Heavyweight Champion.

In the peak of the heated championship showdown, Vickie attempted to spear Edge herself, only to hurt her ankle. The Ultimate Opportunist seized the moment and hit the banned Spear on Ziggler two separate times.”

So, the special referee becomes injured. What now? This is a championship match, with no referee. Man oh man, what is going to happen?

Here’s the entire match. The good anti-climactic stuff begins to happen about 10:00 in if you’d prefer not to watch it all  (But you should for the full effect).

Remember, this match took place last night, in Green Bay.

Hmmmmm….


My Most Popular Blogs (02/13/11)

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) Pete Kosovich for Franklin alderman 4th district

2) No wonder Franklin is NOT a tax hell!

3) Governor Walker Explains Compensation Changes in Email to State Employees

4) Photos of the Week (02/06/11)

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Photos of the Week (02/13/11)

Photos of the Week





Jordan Taylor, who had 27 points and led the Wisconsin Badgers comeback, is mobbed by fans after beating No. 1 and previoulsy undefeated Ohio State Saturday at the Kohl Center, 71-67. Photo: Joe Koshollek for the Journal Sentinel






Fans rush onto the court after Wisconsin's win over No. 1 Ohio State. Photo: US PRESSWIRE






Green Bay Packers Mark Tauscher, who played for Wisconsin, and Chad Clifton wave to the crowd during a timeout. Photo: Joe Koshollek for the Journal Sentinel






Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak begins to make a televised statement to his nation in this image taken from TV aired Thursday Feb. 10, 2011. Following more than two weeks of protests, anti-government demonstrators have been given hope by official statements suggesting that President Mubarak may step down after 30 years in power. (AP Photo/ Egypt TV via APTN)


 



Tens of thousands of Egyptian anti-government protesters crowd Cairo's Tahrir square on February 10, 2011 amid rumors that President Hosni Mubarak appeared to be on the brink of stepping down. PATRICK BAZ/AFP/Getty Images


 

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Recommended Reading (02/13/11)

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 plan fair; offers solid footing for the state


"Let me be blunt: Wisconsin is out of money. Our state faces a $137 million shortfall in the current fiscal year and a projected $3.6 billion hole in the next biennium.

The recession has left Wisconsin families hurting. We simply cannot expect the taxpayers to shoulder an even greater tax burden to close the budget gap. Inaction is also not an option. Without immediate action, our most vulnerable members of society will be put at risk as the state's coffers run dry and programs run out of money.

Labor costs account for 60% of the state general fund operational budget, and any serious budget solution must address the cost of labor.

Gov. Scott Walker is asking state employees to lend a hand in balancing the budget.

Under this plan, no public workers will lose their jobs or be forced to take furlough days."


Admit it, you wished you lived in Wisconsin

It's not just that Wisconsin stands atop the football world, or that Wisconsin is quickly ascending to the top of the political world. It's that Wisconsin's CEO has what's commonly known as 'a pair'."


What taxpayer-funded union bosses think of us


"This public employee union boss, who is paid with your tax dollars, actually called folks like you and me 'mentally retarded' for working to cut spending.


Voter ID? How about candidate ID?

"I think common sense suggests that the vast majority of people without IDs are too disengaged from society to ever vote anyway. Telling a man without an ID that he can’t vote would be like telling an Eskimo in Nome he’s not allowed on the beach in Cabo San Lucas.

Not really a problem."


More f-bombs for your iPad

"When you can't even count on the Muppets to behave in front of children, the world has become sick enough to make your head spin."


De-fund the predators of Planned Parenthood

"Planned Parenthood is a $1-plus billion business that rakes in one-third of its budget from government grants and contracts at both the state and federal levels. Congress has interrogated banking, energy, health insurance, tobacco and oil execs — treating them like serial killers before the cameras. When will they finally de-fund a corrupt industry that has real blood on its hands?"


New Climate Alarmist Movies About To Hit As Animals Freeze To Death And Barry Eats Well

"Remember around 15 years ago, when the alarmists were still somewhat rational, and they came up with the brilliant plan to ‘spread awareness’, rather than actually taking action in their own lives? And, if Something Wasn’t Done, winters would be a thing of the past and we would all burn? Flash forward to today, and, nothing has changed."


Liberal bouquets for dead conservatives


“If liberals are going to celebrate Reagan, they might try to account for the fact that they fought his every move, alternating between derision and slander in the process.”


And you wonder why health insurance is so expensive

The opening line in a New York Times piece caught my attention.   It is typical of how government, once it gets control of something, then begins to expand it (and make it more costly for everyone) as it sees fit.  Note the key falsehood in the sentence…”


How to Avoid the Left Ruining Your Valentine's Day

"It’s that time of the year again—chocolate hearts, flowers, mushy cards, and romantic dinners are the talk of the town.  That’s right, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.  And rather than write you a love letter—I’m really more of a boot camp/horror film kind of girl—I’ve decided to offer some advice on how to avoid having the Left ruin your February 14."

I'm thinking of an old friend today, Obie Yadgar

Nostalgia


Some of my most cherished memories from my time in local radio were the years I worked with Obie Yadgar at WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio.


Photo: OnMilwaukee.com


I anchored the all-news morning drive and Obie would follow with his midday classical music program.

Between the end of my program and the top of the hour news that preceded Obie, he and I had about two and half minutes to promote his show. Not that it was a problem, but Obie told me that beyond the first selection, he had no idea what he had in store for the audience, that his choices just flowed and were quite spontaneous as the show progressed. So our morning “chat” as we and the audience affectionately called the segment usually featured an unrehearsed discussion about anything and everything under the sun.

Obie was not the stereotypical classical music host. He was not snobby or elitist. He didn’t use a phony or affected nose in the air delivery. And he had a great sense of humor that helped the two of us bond and develop a great on-air chemistry.

That sense of humor made for some wonderful “live” memories. Obie is short for Obelit. He more than once told me and the audience that he was “Assyrian with an emphasis on the ass.”

On another occasion, he was all giddy talking about his favorite dream where he finds himself “floating in a room full of boobs.” I don’t think I ever laughed so hard on the air. This was public radio and its classical music impresario for heaven’s sake!

I thought of Obie today and another body part when I read the birthday section on the last page of the local section of the Journal Sentinel. Famous actress Kim Novak is 78 today.

I can’t for the life of recall why Obie and I were talking about Kim Novak one morning, but in typical Obie fashion, he blurted, “She has the most gorgeous back.”

Can’t say that I disagree.


ImageShack, share photos, pictures, free image hosting, free video hosting, image hosting, video hosting, photo image hosting site, video hosting site


Obie, my dear friend, I sure miss those days.

Culinary no-no #207

Culinary no-no's

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Wisc. Liberal Group Invokes Violent Imagery in Government Labor Dispute


Wisc. Liberal Group Invokes Violent Imagery in Government Labor Dispute

MacIver News Service | February 14, 2011

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Critical Hearing on Gov. Walker's Budget Repair Bill TOMORROW

 
Header


AFP-Wisconsin Needs You!

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An Open Letter to Governor Walker and Republican Legislators

The Wisconsin Patriot Coalition


For Immediate Release:
February 14th, 2011
Contact: Dan Horvatin, 920.650.1260
Kirsten Lombard, 608.237.7034
Norm Reynolds, 414.529.2428

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The latest newsletter from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm


I have received the following newsletter from Franklin alderman Kristen Wilhelm. I have edited the newsletter slightly. My blog is not an employment agency for the Benedict Center, United Way, public radio, or any other of the alderman's special  interests.

Dear Residents,

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Who in the world is Irina Shayk?


She's a model from Russia who will be on the cover of a popular magazine that hits the stands tomorrow (Tuesday).






Here are photos of Shayk a bit more... covered.







Irina Shayk: Cibeles Elegance


The announcement of the cover girl model was supposed to be held secret until tonight's David Letterman Show.

Oh well. Too bad.

BTW, this is a big deal.  And if you think only men love this issue....

 

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Pete Kosovich for Franklin alderman: "I am working for the good of all, not to advance my political career"


The following is another guest blog from Pete Kosovich, candidate for Alderman in Franklin’s 4th aldermanic district. Pete Kosovich has my complete support.

NOTE: There is no primary election for this position on February 15.

VOTE TO RE-ELECT PETE KOSOVICH AS ALDERMAN FOR THE 4TH ALDERMANIC DISTRICT APRIL 5, 2010!


Dear friends of the 4th district,

I want to thank you for your words of encouragement, support and for your donations. I intend to win this race, and I believe I will, because people of Franklin have had enough of career politicians who are arrogant and disrespectful. I will serve the people of Franklin with the same type of customer service I give my business customers at Peko TV.

In 2003, I was elected an Alderman in the 4th District in a recall election. I ran a campaign to get Franklin’s Common Council running with openness, honesty & accountability. No games or deals, just honest government. I was successful, and served the people for 4 ½ years. 

In 2008 I lost re-election by 10 votes out of 1472 cast. There were many besides myself who were disappointed with the 2008 election results. You vote does matter. I gave a concession speech at the next Council meeting, stating I would help with a smooth transition, but that I wasn't done serving the people of Franklin, and to quote Arnold Schwartzenager, “I’ll be back!!”

I have since served on the Planning & the Civic Celebration Committees. I have become involved with “The Conservative Movement” AKA Tea Party. I have been active in the Republican Party, and worked on the 08’ Presidential race and Scott Walker’s campaign in 2010. I am working for the good of all, not to advance my political career.

My qualifications are
: Business owner since 1980. I’m a Member of St. Paul’s Church in Franklin since 1981. I’ve served on the board of elders, usher, choir, & misc projects. I have been a member of The Wisconsin Electronic Service Association since 1981, and I am the current State President. I was a Franklin Alderman from 11/03 through 4/08. I served on the CDA, Personnel, License, Health, Public Works, Planning, & Civic Celebration Committees.

I remain active and committed to Franklin, and want your support & vote. If you would like to help with the campaign, stop in at Peko TV or call me at 761-0888 days, or 761-7664 eves.

Thanks for your support.

Sincerely,

"Peko" Pete Kosovich

Authorized & paid for by Friends of Pete Kosovich, Sherry Kosovich Treasurer

KF NOTE: I am proud to be the guest speaker at a fundraiser for Pete Kosovich on February 24 at the Root R
iver Center, 7220 W. Rawson Avenue from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.

Please join us there. Complimentary beverages, snack buffet, cash bar.

M
ake checks payable to Friends of Pete Kosovich.

Help restore fiscal responsibility and sanity to our great city!

 

The Westminster Dog Show in photos



Roxy, a 3 year old Bichon, from Plymouth, Mich., waits backstage after competing in the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer






Bear, a 7 year old Puli from Kalamazoo, Mich. waits backstage after competing in the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)






Donna Smith sits with her Irish Wolfound named Willow at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 14, 2011 in New York City. The show, one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, is being held on February 14-15. Over 2,000 dogs will be competing in this year's show which will also include six new breeds to the competition. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)






An Old English Sheepdog is prepped for competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 14, 2011 in New York City. The show, one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, is being held on February 14-15. Over 2,000 dogs will be competing in this year's show which will also include six new breeds to the competition. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)






A Havanese named Starlet is blow-dried before competition at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 14, 2011 in New York City. The show, one of the most prestigious dog shows in the world, is being held on February 14-15. Over 2,000 dogs will be competing in this year's show which will also include six new breeds to the competition. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)







Maxxim a beagle rests backstage during the first day of the Westminster Dog Show Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)







A poodle is groomed backstage during the first day of the Westminster Dog show Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)






Diane Engelking gets a kiss from Ansel a Rhodesian ridgeback backstage during the first day of the Westminster Dog Show Monday, Feb. 14, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
 

Calling Out the National Guard. Really?


Everytime someone mentions that Wisconsin Governor Walker "Called out the National Guard" to silence his critics, just forward this video. Not only are such accusations false, they demean the hardworking men and women who serve in the Wisconsin National Guard.

Brian Fraley
Director of Communications
The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy
 

Kids Aren't Cars: In the classroom, tenure and seniority rule


"What if your value to your employer was decided by the sum of the last four digits of your social security number? Or you win state-wide recognition for your teaching achievement, only to be fired the next day because someone else had been there longer. It happens in American public schools every year. Do tenure and seniority benefit students and their success?"
kidsarentcars.com
 

Legislating higher voter turnout


Polls will soon close on this Election Day with few people actually casting ballots.

Low voter turnout makes many people disappointed, even angry.

Not me.

Back in March 2008, I wrote:

I have nothing against a high voter turnout if somehow we could get more voters to the polls who have studied the issues and the candidates.

If voter turnout is low because people could care less or are unsure of who to choose because they just don’t know enough, I’m not going to lose any sleep.

Enter into the discussion my friend and former colleague at the state capitol Christian Schneider.

Schneider blogs about an interesting article he found in the 1958 edition of the Wisconsin Blue Book.

Lo and behold, the article says, “It is essential in a democracy that the people keep informed about the objectives and operations and operations of their government, exercise the privilege of voting and participate in the activities of their government.”

Schneider puts it bluntly, and well, I might add when he writes:

Basically, the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau had no problem essentially calling people dopes if they either made an ill-informed vote, or threw their vote away as a protest.’

Schneider’s blog
is worth a look, especially given the renewed controversy over photo ID.“

If you voted today, your ballot packed more punch. Low voter turnout is not necessarily bad.




Hawaii is considering a series of bills to compel U.S. citizens to register to vote.

Three bills would combine
voter registration with obtaining a driver's license or state ID. A fourth bill would require all citizens eligible to vote to register by the first Tuesday in January in federal election years, or decline to register. Failure to do so would result in a fine (the bill text has a blank when it references the fine so the amount is undetermined at this time) and the individual would be ineligible for state benefits or jobs.

Hawaii is a pretty liberal state. Surely this is a not so veiled attempt to get more Democrats to vote.

Forcing people to register…just imagine how thrilled and informed those disgruntled folks that would rather not will be about voting.

Here are more details.

A day without union workers on the job


Yes, thousands of union folks descended upon the state Capitol today, a gang that overstates its importance in life. We are lectured that they are so skilled, so talented, so good. Their services are invaluable. We couldn’t possibly live without them.

But as thousands found a way to get off the job today while many others were working hard to pay for the protesters’ better than average salaries and lavish benefits, the state somehow survived.

This is a fact not lost on the private sector, taxpaying public.

One of the protesters actually told WTMJ’s John Mercure that no one, no one should have to pay for health insurance, that health coverage was a right. Keep pushing that out of touch message. Keep yelling and screaming outside an official’s home. You are losing PR points.

The public sector union gravy train is over.

Dangerous light bulbs just got more dangerous


We know compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are dangerous. Any product the government mandates we purchase has to be suspect.

Now the CFL time bomb is ticking.

Ticking.

Ticking.

The non-partisan Governing Magazine wrote in October 2008, “Although the amount of mercury in a CFL is relatively small, environmental regulators consider breaking one of the bulbs indoors a household hazard that demands special cleanup measures. An even broader problem may emerge perhaps three years from now. That's when the first wave of the recently purchased CFLs will begin burning out, and most likely, wind up smashed in the trash in huge numbers. A lot of mercury will soon be heading to landfills across the country, posing potential risks to both water and air quality.”

"Perhaps three years from now."
 
I went to private schools so I know my math is correct that three years from October 2008 is October 2011.

Want more updated bad news? The scientific web site physorg.com writes:

Those light-emitting diodes (LEDs)  marketed as safe, environmentally preferable alternatives to traditional lightbulbs actually contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially hazardous substances, according to newly published research.

Wonderful.

At least some members of Congress believe that you and I are smart enough to decide which light bulbs we want to purchase.

Enviro gets his hat handed to him


I just love this...

 

I'm just wondering...


When will the news media start referring to the protesters in Madison using the words “angry” and “mob?”









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Study Shows, Even After Limits, Public Employee Benefits Would Be Extremely Generous

Study Shows, Even After Limits, Public Employee Benefits Would Be Extremely Generous

MacIver News Service | February 16, 2011

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ENCORE: Must see videos/advice to GOP governors about unions


But first...

Food for thought as union members gather with lanterns and pitch forks outside the Wisconsin Capitol and the Governor's mansion.

For the record...


Newly sworn California Governor Jerry Brown addresses the audience during his inauguration in Sacramento, California January 3, 2011. Photo taken January 3, 2011. REUTERS/Robert Durell

According to Reuters, California Democrat governor Jerry Brown has "proposed cutting the take-home pay of unionized state employees in six bargaining units by between 8 percent and 10 percent. The units account for more than a third of the state's general fund payroll. Salaries are projected to cost the fund $7 billion in the next fiscal year, and cutting the pay of the six units would bring them in line with the agreements reached by  (Governor Arnold) Schwarzenegger's administration and the state work force's 15 other bargaining units last year. Brown also wants the six units to remain on three-day-per-month furloughs through June. Schwarzenegger made aggressive use of furloughs to hold down payroll expenses. In addition, the budget proposal includes $1.7 billion in cuts to the state's health program and $1.5 billion in spending reductions for its welfare-to-work program. Big cuts are also slated for programs for the disabled, including the mentally retarded and autistic."






Bloomberg.com reports that another big-time Democrat governor, Andrew Cuomo of New York has “proposed cutting local school aid by 7.3 percent and reducing Medicaid spending by almost $3 billion in a budget that closes a $10 billion deficit. As many as 9,800 workers may be fired under the $132.9 billion spending plan, according to documents released by Cuomo today. Aid to 700 school districts, the largest expense for the third most-populous U.S. state, would be cut by $1.5 billion to $19.4 billion in the fiscal year beginning April 1, according to the governor.“

Massive cuts and firings proposed by... Democrats!





WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes provides a scorecard:

"Just remember, under the budget plan:

They keep their pensions (but have to contribute 5%)

They keep their generous health benefits (but have to contribute about 1/2 the national average)

They keep their jobs (as opposed to mass layoffs)

They still have tenure."


Stand tall, Governor Walker and legislative Republicans. From my blog last December,MUST SEE VIDEO: Chris Christie advises incoming GOP Governors about unions." 


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What's Really in Union Contracts?

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"This story has blown up now" - WI gets the attention of Rush Limbaugh


Excerpts from today’s Rush Limbaugh talk show:

 

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EAG: "Sickout" reveals teacher unions' priority is politics and power, not students

Education Action Group Foundation
February 16, 2011
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Contact: Ben Velderman, project manager
(231)733-4202, ben@edactiongroup.org
 
“Sickout” reveals teacher unions’ priority is

politics and power, not students

Madison students left to twist in the wind as 
teachers engage in cheap political theater
 
     MUSKEGON, Mich. – The Madison teacher union’s decision to stage a “sickout” Wednesday finally unmasks the teacher unions as the self-centered, politically-motivated organizations that they are.
 
     Over 1,000 Madison teachers called in sick on Tuesday night, forcing the district to cancel classes because student safety could not be guaranteed.
 
     By walking out on their students and disrupting the learning process, the Madison Teachers Inc. can no longer claim with any credibility that it is an organization of professionals who have the best interests of Madison’s school children at heart.
 
     The fact that the union's power is slipping away had WEAC President Mary Bell on the verge of tears.
 
     "I stood at this podium on Tuesday and I announced a set of bold reforms that educators and educators' unions across the state were willing to bargain at bargaining tables in order to improve the quality of education for our students," Bell said in the video. 
 
     Perhaps the unions should have cooperated years ago, before Wisconsin started careening toward insolvency. For years, teacher unions have resisted making any concessions regarding salaries and pension benefits. WEAC also used the collective bargaining process to force districts into purchasing costly, union-owned  WEA Trust insurance, draining school districts of precious operating funds. Finally the unions are willing to make a deal? What took them so long?
  
     "I can hear the weeping strings of the world's smallest violin playing for Ms. Bell and the other union bosses," said Kyle Olson, CEO of Education Action Group. "They've ruled the roost for years and now Scott Walker is coming to clean up the mess." 
  
     Disturbing video has surfaced showing students being used as props at the Capitol protest. The children didn't know why they were there, or even who the governor is. 
 
     "Perhaps Ms. Bell should concentrate her efforts on properly educating the state's school children, instead of using them for political purposes," Olson said.
 
     In fact, Wednesday’s “sickout” and the subsequent political protests are just the latest example of how the unions are coming unhinged by Gov. Walker’s reform agenda.
 
     On Sunday, teacher union members picketed outside the home of a state lawmaker who supports education reform.
 
     Recently, Paul Secunda, a Marquette University law professor, charged that Gov. Walker’s reform agenda was “inconsistent with international human rights law.”
 
      Former Students for a Democratic Society member Fred Klonsky called the governor “Hosni Walker” (a reference to the recently deposed Egyptian president) and lamented that “Madison, Wisconsin needs a Tahrir Square.”
 
     “The bottom line is that Wisconsin’s teacher unions are more concerned about their self-serving political agenda than they are about Wisconsin’s school children,” Olson said. “By choosing to disrupt their students’ learning process in order to engage in cheap political theater, the unions are making Gov. Walker’s case that the unions are out of control.”
 
                                                        -###-
(231) 733-4202 | info@edactiongroup.org
801 W. Norton, Ste. 1 Muskegon, MI 49441

HT: The Wheeler Report

Emilie Steavpach, displaying far more courage than missing Senate Democrats

Emilie Steavpach of Waukesha (left) stands on the steps of the state capitol in Madison, showing her support for Gov. Walker, as Aaron Meyer of Mt. Horeb, 17, makes his opinion known, February 17, 2011. Steavpach, a UW student, said she first went in to the rotunda, but was accosted and slapped by an anti-Walker protester. She moved out to the capitol steps and was constantly called names and shouted at, but she stood her ground.  Good for you, Emilie!

Journal Sentinel photo: Kristyna Wentz-Graff

FDR on unions


"All Government employees should realize that the process of collective bargaining, as usually understood, cannot be transplanted into the public service."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937

Why Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) is the answer to a trivia question


So far, 43 governors have delivered their annual State of the State addresses.

Only one, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin (D) has even dared to mention “climate change” during his speech.

Source: Stateline.org

WI taxpayers, you paid Senate Democrats their salary and benefits today plus $88...FOR NOTHING!


It will be interesting to see if Senate Democrats submit per diem requests for today when they fled the state to abrogate their duties and hide out in Rockford, Illinois.

Should they be allowed to submit a request for their room and board and food and expenses when they, like thousands of teachers, failed to show up for work?

Shouldn't Barack Obama not be as quiet as he has been today?


After all, isn't this a big anniversary to celebrate for the White House?

Nope.

 
Header

Two years ago today President Obama gave us one of his infamous "teachable moments" when his massive $814 billion government stimulus boondoggle passed Congress.

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Lady Gaga = Obama

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Chef Bartolotta's improbable hunt for the world's best


You have to admire the Bartolotta family restaurateurs for their never-ending desire for excellence. Milwaukee native Paul Bartolotta is a James Beard Foundation winner.






Paul Bartollota runs the Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare at the Wynn in Las Vegas.
 




On the Crostacei portion of his menu:

Scampi… langoustines 20.00 each.

Langoustines are thin, 3- to 10-inch long orange-pink lobsters with delicate, sweet meat.



Photo: La Cucina Italiana magazine

These lively langoustines are Bartolotta's pride and joy, coveted so highly that he just about climbs Everest to procure them. Because good scampi simply isn't good enough for Bartolotta.

His quest to find the best began in 2006, about a year after he opened his Las Vegas restaurant.

The enterprising chef was instructed by exporters to search at a trade show for “the one real langoustine guy” that could appropriately supply his wants.

The two would meet, but the “langoustine guy” was not only indifferent, he considered the proposition of getting these slender lobsters from an isolated island to Las Vegas dinner plates impossible. Bartolotta’s journey was characterized by one impasse after another.

But Bartolotta persevered.  For years. And won.

It’s a
fascinating story.

Walker: "This is a bold political move, but a modest request"

Teachers' Unions Abuse Students and Taxpayers


For Immediate Release:
February 18, 2011

Contact: Kirsten Lombard, 608.237.7034

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Goodnight everyone and have one of those legendary weekends


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. 

We get a bit mellow for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, we remember two music giants we lost this month. First, the amazing George Shearing.

From his bio:

"
Shearing was born in 1919 in the Battersea area of London.  Congenitally blind, he was the youngest of nine children.  His father delivered coal and his mother cleaned trains at night after caring for the children during the day.  His only formal musical education consisted of four years of study at the Linden Lodge School for the Blind.  While his talent won him a number of university scholarships, he was forced to refuse them in favor of a more financially productive pursuit…playing piano in a neighborhood pub for the handsome salary of $5 a week!  Shearing joined an all-blind band in the 1930’s.  At that time he developed a friendship with the noted jazz critic and author, Leonard Feather.  Through this contact, he made his first appearance on BBC radio.

In 1947, Mr. Shearing moved to America, where he spent two years establishing his fame on this side of the Atlantic.  The Shearing Sound commanded national attention when, in 1949, he gathered a quintet to record 'September in the Rain' for MGM.  The record was an overnight success and sold 900,000 copies.  His U.S. reputation was permanently established when he was booked into Birdland, the legendary jazz spot in New York.  Since then, he has become one  the country’s most popular performing and recording artist."

Shearing wrote over 300 compositions. His most famous came in 1952, a true jazz standard recorded by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Bill Haley and the Comets. It featured the unmistakable Shearing sound: vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass and drums.

 

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The Barking Lot (02/19/11)

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. No 50's or even 40's today. High of 33.  "D"

SUNDAY:  A wintry mix. 90% chance of precipitation. Snow mixed with rain in the morning. 1-3 inches of snow expected during the day. High of 36. "F"


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

 

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Week-ends (02/19/11)

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


The overwhelming majority of the 300,000 state and local government employees that showed up for work this week.


The taxpayers that pay the salaries and benefits of public sector workers.


Derick Wolner


Operation Hug-a Hero


Alessandra Perez


Marcelo Razzo


Michael Phelps


Pat Boone


Natalie Munroe



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


State Senate Democrats


Wisconsin teachers that engaged in sickouts



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


This is a bold political move, but a modest request.”
Governor Walker


It's like Cairo has come to Wisconsin.”
Congressman Paul Ryan describing the crowds at the state Capitol.


"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain, generally seems like more of an assault on unions."
President Obama


Obama said it is time for us to start living within our means. If he were really and truly serious about living within our means he would be cheering Governor Walker’s courage in Wisconsin.

To all of you in Wisconsin and all around the country we are not without recourse during all of this. For example if I were a parent in Wisconsin I would insist that my child NOT be taught by any teacher who is protesting. It is time for the parents to stand against this as well. What value can a teacher be who lies and calls out sick?

Gov. Walker told exactly what he was going to do when he was elected, Obama didn’t. Obama didn’t tell us anything. What’s this demonstration showing us? You turn on the television and think Republicans are taking it on the chin. Well let me calm your fears if you believe that… all this demonstrating shows how destructive public sector unions are, especially teacher unions.

This governor is not proposing an extreme agenda. Everyone who voted for him by a 52-46 majority knows what he was going to do. They wanted it.”
Rush Limbaugh


"Why are you here?”  "You know I don't even know, I guess we're protesting today." Another: "We're trying to stop whatever this dude is doing."
Clueless Madison East High School students brought to an anti-Walker rally by teachers, interviewed by the MacIver Institute.


“For just a small glimpse of what public employee unions have wrought, consider this number from MPS, the state's most dysfunctional school district: When wages and benefits are combined, an average teacher will make $101,091 next year, said Budget Manager Deborah Wegner”
WTMJ’s Charlie Sykes


“For the first time I’ve kind of been worrying that our generation will not be passing on a better Wisconsin to the next generation, the way my mom and dad did to me. And this budget repair bill is the right beginning. It may have some flaws, but it’s the right beginning and we owe this to our kids.”
Rick Cook who says he and his wife have worked hard to send their son to the private Ripon College. He applauded Gov. Walker for his attempt to put the state back on a sustainable course.


“This is a Martin Luther King moment, this is a Gandhi moment. When we fight, we win. We fight in Montgomery, we win. We fight in Selma, we win ... We march in Madison, Wisconsin, we win."
Jesse Jackson speaking to Madison protesters.


"West Allis State Representative Tony Staskunas’ staff was getting a little testy with callers today if they were calling to express support for Governor Scott Walker’s plan to fix the current budget.  At least one caller, one of the mildest people I know and a professional therapist, was shocked by the argumentative nature of the person answering the phone.  The person calling is not a Tea Party member.  He is not a member of the Republican Party.  He’s simply a homeowner and operates a small professional practice, and he just wanted to register his support for the governor’s bill.  For his trouble he was treated rudely by an obnoxious staffer who was offended that someone would dare call with an opinion different from the Democratic orthodoxy."
Blogger James Wigderson


It has a $1.6 trillion tax increase. Doubles the debt in five years. Triples it in ten years. Adds $13 trillion in new debt over the course of his budget. Borrow, spend, tax -- and does nothing... let me repeat that... nothing to decrease the drivers of our debt. It adds to the problem.

I was incredulous. I really was expecting something different... given that he formed a fiscal commission, I was on the fiscal commission... he told us we have a serious problem, we've got to deal with it, let's go forward... he didn't even put any of the fiscal commission recommendations in here.”
Paul Ryan on President Obama’s proposed budget


"Condomania has reached new heights of delirium with this latest iPhone app gimmick. Every year the Bloomberg administration gives away more free condoms, and every year the rates of STD's climb. They are impervious to reason--they never get it."
Bill Donohue of the Catholic League


As part of her ‘Let's Move!’ anniversary celebration this week, Mrs. Obama rolled out a new breastfeeding initiative because "kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese." She made her assertion to an invitation-only group of handpicked reporters who were barred from asking questions about her scientific conclusions. It's not healthy to challenge Super Nanny, you see.”
Blogger Michelle Malkin


“Very sad not being able to watch that pompous, prissy, ridiculous fruitcake on TV every night.”
Ann Coulter on Keith Olbermann’s departure



OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK


I didn’t think anything could top teachers falsely calling in sick and dragging students to an angry, mob-like rally at the state Capitol, but then along came Gwen Moore.



MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK


When Governor Walker’s budget repair bill is approved, and it will be, union workers will still have it pretty pretty good.




MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK


Stroke or not?



STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK


Knife removed from skull after 4 years.



Germany
proposes law to protect kids’ right to noise.


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

Governor Walker: "19,000 e-mails" in support of budget repair bill

 

Governor Walker offers views on the budget repair bill, the complaints of the public employee unions, the protests, the AWOL Democrat state senators and the prospects that his plan will become law soon.

He spoke with the MacIver Institure's Bill Osmalski.

 

Read more

The sweet school superintendent swindle

Nice work if you can get it. From the Chicago Tribune:

"A Tribune investigation has found that crossing state lines is one of the most lucrative ways for retired superintendents to collect multiple government checks without breaking pension rules, according to salary and pension data. Across the border, the retirees are free to work as full-time public school superintendents and collect Illinois pensions.

 

Read more

My Most Popular Blogs (02/20/11)

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) The Westminster Dog Show in photos

Read more

Photos of the Week (02/20/11)

Photos of the Week


 

Thousands of state union workers and their supporters blanketed the Capitol on Tuesday for a demonstration to protest Gov. Scott Walker's plans to wipe away most of their bargaining rights and reduce fringe benefits. Journal Sentinel photos:  Joe Koshollek






Protesters filled the Capitol rotunda on Tuesday to express their grievances as a public hearing on the proposed budget repair bill took place inside. Journal Sentinel photo: Michael Sears


 



The packed Joint Finance Committee hearing room. Journal Sentinel photo: Michael Sears


 

Read more

Recommended Reading (02/20/11)

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).



Athens in Mad Town

"Protesters, including many from the 98,000-member teachers union, have gone Greek. Madison's school district had to close Thursday when 40% of its teachers called in sick. So much for the claim that this is 'all about the children.' By the way, these are some of the same teachers who sued the Milwaukee school board last August to get Viagra coverage restored to their health-care plan.

The protests have an orchestrated quality, and sure enough, the Politico website reported that the Democratic Party's Organizing for America arm is helping to gin them up. The outfit is a remnant of President Obama's 2008 election campaign, so it's also no surprise that Mr. Obama said that while he knows nothing about the bill, he supports protesters occupying the Capitol building."


Lost: The common good

Walker is trying to give Wisconsin a reality check. In response, public workers have interrupted the Legislature. Madison and many neighboring public schools have closed because so many teachers called in sick and left to join the protest. Democratic lawmakers disappeared on Thursday to stall a vote on the budget measures. Apparently some of them fled to … Illinois.

Public sentiment is changing. There is a growing sense that public-sector unions are not battling for better, safer workplaces. They're not battling unscrupulous employers. They're battling … the common good."


Palin - Union Brothers and Sisters: Seize Opportunity to Show True Solidarity

“Hard working, patriotic, and selfless union brothers and sisters: please don’t be taken in by the union bosses. At the end of the day, they’re not fighting for your pension or health care plan or even for the sustainability of Wisconsin’s education budget. They’re fighting to protect their own powerful privileges and their own political clout.”


The audacity of mobs

"Let's understand this clearly. A governor of a state, who was elected on a promise of trying to bring fiscal discipline to a state budget process, asks for small sacrifices while still guaranteeing full employment and between 88%-95% of the original benefits promised, is being protested--by largely protestors who were bussed in by the president and all parties who are loyal to him. Hey - it's Chicago brute politics at its best!"


What’s at stake in Wisconsin's budget battle

"The labor laws that Wisconsin unions are so bitterly defending were popular during an era of industrialization and centralization. But the labor organizations they protect have become much less popular, as the declining membership of many private-sector unions attests. Moreover, it's become abundantly clear that too many government workers enjoy wages, benefits and pensions that are out of line with the rest of the economy."


Retire the racial bean-counters

"Instead of shutting down the racial bean-counters, the government is giving them new powers."


What happens to all those Super Bowl T-shirts?

“What happens to all those preprinted ‘Pittsburgh Steelers 2011 Super Bowl Champion’ t-shirts?  Apparently, each year the NFL gives them to the international relief and development organization World Vision, who then ships them to Africa.

Is this good or bad? And why should anyone care?”


Did Live Action Lie?

"Of course, Lila Rose is not the first pro-lifer to pretend to be someone seeking an abortion in order to obtain information from abortion clinics. The fact is, pro-lifers have been doing this for years in an effort to stop the killing of the unborn. The writer of this article is no stranger to these methods. However, because this latest Live Action video has attracted much attention, many are asking whether pro-lifers lied in the undercover tactic they employed—namely: is the behavior of pro-lifers as seen in the Live Action video contrary to the precepts of the 8th Commandment—thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor?"

Doctors help workers lie so they can protest


From Media Trackers:
 


MORE...


AND EVEN MORE...


Read more

The WI budget repair bill...it's really this simple

Supporters of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker ...
Photo: WI State Journal

Culinary no-no #208

Culinary no-no's

The last thing you want to happen at a large dinner gathering at a posh restaurant is for hell to break loose.





No, not good.

THE TIME: VALENTINE’S DAY, 2011.

THE PLACE: ALBANY, NEW YORK.

 

Read more

Protesting Teachers Could Reap $6 Million+ from Taxpayers to Attend Rallies



Protesting Teachers Could Reap $6 Million from
Taxpayers to Attend Rallies
 

Absent educators may be paid to abandon students
and march on the Capitol


MacIver News Service
| February 21, 2011

Read more

Union protester nabbed by police after trying to sabotage Tea Party sound systm

The new civil tone from the left

Read more

Taxpayer to unions: "I am sorry but this time I have to say no"


There’s a piece circulating on Facebook that came to my attention that addresses the current budget dispute in Wisconsin. It is written from the perspective of a taxpayer to union members.

I’ve tried but have been unable to find the original source of the article. Even so, it is starting to make its way around the Internet and since it is rather compelling, I want to share:


I pay your wages.

First off, I do understand your plight. Far more than you realize. It really sucks that the economy took a nosedive. Believe me. I know. Ten years ago I worked in manage...ment. Today I work as a bank teller. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful I have a job. I know too many people who don’t. But, the reality is that my wages have been cut in half. To compound the problem, my husband’s business has also declined by half. To say our finances have been devastated is an understatement.

We own three cars – one with a bad engine, another with over 200,000 miles which needs work and a third with 140,000 miles which needs work. I am thankful we have transportation. A lot of people don’t.

Our house needs a lot of work as well. Our windows are ancient and don’t hold the heat well. Our bedroom roof leaks on our bed. I am thankful we have a home. A lot of people don’t.

In the last three years, we have been able to afford to go camping once. My children don’t get Christmas or birthday presents because we can’t afford it. We struggle to make $200 feed all three of us for a month. We eat a lot of canned tuna. I am thankful to have food. A lot of people don’t.

Throughout all of this, I have continued to get up and go to work every day. I have continued to laugh and love and live. I am thankful for the abundant life I have – a husband who loves me, children who love me, a roof over my head, clothes to wear and food to eat. Compared to 90% of the world, I am wealthy beyond measure.

What does this have to do with your dilemma?

I read recently that the benefits package paid to employees in our local school district cost $20,400 per year per employee. I did the math on this. Using the highest income tax bracket of 7.75% in Wisconsin, someone in the private sector needs to earn $263,000 per year just to pay the benefits for one employee. Put another way, in my town, those benefits are covered by twenty average homeowners’ property taxes.

This has not even started to pay for the building or your wages or books or anything else needed to teach our children. This is just the benefits for the lunch lady. Is this sustainable? I don’t think so.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot of respect for what you do. I agree you deserve to be very well compensated. But you know what? We can’t afford it anymore. What we deserve and what we can afford don’t always line up. It sucks, I know. But that is reality.

If you don’t accept a cut in your benefits, tax rates must be raised. We have a shortfall. We can spend all day bickering about who did what and who’s to blame but that won’t solve a darn thing. At the end of the day, we still have a shortfall and it still must be fixed. There are only two ways to fix it – raise taxes or cut spending.

So, what would you like me to cut from my personal budget to continue to pay your benefits package? Let’s not forget that the “tax revenues” which pay you are actually a portion of my wages. To continue to pay your benefits as they are means less money in my pocket.

We are all struggling to dig out of the greatest economic downturn in 80 years. “Tax revenues” (my wages) are down across the board. We are all hurting. In my book, you are not exempt from this simply because you work for the government. To prevent you from suffering a little means that I will suffer even more.

I am sorry but this time I have to say no. Not because you don’t deserve it but because I don’t have it to give. This is not a personal attack on your teaching ability. This is just me asking you to contribute and sacrifice a little as well for the good of my children you teach, our state and our nation. Let’s face it – your benefits package is far nicer than mine and most of my private sector friends and family. For three years now, my increased insurance premium has been more than my annual raise so I take home less now than I did three years ago. How about you?

I can’t help but wonder, when do you have enough?

As far as denying human rights, unions were created to protect the safety and welfare of workers – to end sweat shops and child labor in America. The unions did their job well. The laws have changed and today those basic rights are protected by law. Nobody is taking away your right to a safe work environment.

In closing, it is my hope that you are teaching my children because you love them. Love trumps money every time. Do you love my children enough to teach them anyway?

Sincerely,

Your employer


 

BUSTED!

Poll: Cut pensions


The nonpartisan Pew Research Center for the People & the Press in a recent poll asked participants to rank their preferences for ways to reduce state budget deficits.

The #1 choice...

"Pension plans of government employees"

47% said yes to cutting pension plans of government employees.

31% said yes to cutting roads, transportation.

 

Read more

National poll shows support for Walker


Look...

WI Group Taking Firm Action Against Delinquent Teachers and Legislators


For Immediate Release:
February 21, 2011. 2:55pm

Contact: Kirsten Lombard, 608.237.7034

Read more

Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee?



MORE...


 

COME SUPPORT PETE KOSOVICH FOR FRANKLIN ALDERMAN!


By guest blogger Pete Kosovich

Hello fellow Franklinites,

 

Read more

Protesters eat, sleep, get high at the Capitol

 


And The Lonely Conservative writes about union thuggery.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel views the protesters differently, calling them "routinely festive" and "peaceful."
 

Those "poor" teachers


Some Wisconsin teachers have been complaining (some would say whining) about how tough they’ve got it, and how much tougher it will be under Governor Walker’s budget repair bill.

“I will need to find part-time work again.”

“Having to explain to an 8- and 10-year old that the governor of your state basically wants to take money away from dad and mom? It’s just really, really frustrating.”

Really?

I don’t think so.

Just how much do Wisconsin teachers make?


The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction has the answer for every single school district in the state. The data is broken down by low salary, high salary, average salary, average fringe, average local experience and average total experience for all school districts.

Click here, then go to the bottom and click “Avg Teacher salary 2010.”

BRAVO MARY LAZICH!


Panel backs voter ID; Democrat not
allowed to vote by phone


MORE

That new era of civility has disappeared in Madison


While the daily newspaper calls the Madison protesters and their demonstrations "festive" and "peaceful," columnist Armstrong Williams has a decidedly different point of view.

"Everyone from CNN to President Obama demanded that we “'one down the rhetoric.' Yet today I see Obama accuse Gov. Walker of an 'assault on unions.'  Sounds like violent rhetoric to me. I also see that the union protesters are carrying signs comparing Walker and the Republicans to Mubarack and Nazis, as well as several with Walker in target crosshairs. Well, I guess it was a nice, 'civil' 3 weeks."

Williams continues with the brutal truth...

"Union members and their leaders don’t care if folks in the private sector are suffering from the bad economy. They don’t care if state and federal budgets are running major deficits and are at the tipping point of collapse. Nope, they just want the pensions and benefits to which they believe they are “entitled”. No matter that their insanely great benefits will be downgraded to insanely good (still light-years better than you’ll find in the private sector). Their shutting down schools to help the children they claim, totally ignoring the fact that they are saddling them with unmanageable debt, as well as not performing their job to educate kids and wasting tax dollars. Yep, you sure are caring and unselfish when you think paying in 12% into your retirement plan is a grossly unfair burden, but forcing your kids to pay higher taxes, receive less services, and have a generally lower quality of life because you helped bankrupt America is perfectly Kosher."

Great column.

Who's tougher? A union protester, or...


A homeless person?


Susan Howes (R), a homeless woman from Madison, Wisconsin, sleeps on a bench outside of the Capitol, after a week's mass protest against the proposed bill by Republican Governor Scott Walker, in Madison February 21, 2011. Wisconsin Governor Walker, whose bid to reduce public employee union bargaining power has triggered public protests, said on Sunday he expected Democrats who oppose his plan to return to the state and debate the issue this week.

Read more

Bang for our education buck? Nope

Two-Thirds of Wisconsin Public-School 8th Graders Can’t Read Proficiently—Despite Highest Per Pupil Spending in Midwest

Just try to write a fake note out of this one



Doctors Who Wrote Fake Sick Excuse Notes Face Gauntlet of Ramifications

MacIver News Service | February 22, 2011

Read more

Governor Walker's Fireside Chat

BRAVO GLENN GROTHMAN!

Read more

In Defence of my Teachers in Wisconsen


Yes, those are indeed typos.

Funny stuff.

AFSCME to Socialists: Come on in!

Governor Walker takes a phony phone call...NO BIG DEAL


The left is sure to be doing cartwheels over Governor Walker’s phone conversation with a Buffalo blogger he thought was David Koch, a GOP contributor.

Sorry, but I don’t see the GOTCHA in this moment, a smoking gun, or any self-incrimination. Walker is consistent in what he has been proposing and saying.

What’s really horrendous is the unprofessional, unethical doctors caught on video handing out phony medical excuses like candy.

The governor’s “interview” pales in comparison.

You guys in your 20's, it's time to grow up


Tom Brokaw wrote a very popular book that generated one speaking engagement after another based on a premise that can’t be denied.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



If by chance someone were to pen a follow-up about The Second Greatest Generation, I'm sure it would not involve today's band of twenty-something males.

A not-so-flattering image of men in their 20’s gets the focus in a new book out next week by Kay S. Hymowitz who maintains the young men who should be young adults are actually going through a new phase of “pre-adulthood.” The phenomenon has left smarter, more advanced, more confident women in their 20’s frustrated by the slim pickings.

For decades, the preferred path for males has been established. Post-adolescent guys in their 20’s have attained a high school diploma, a college degree, a financial foothold, a wife and children. Hymowitz writes an essay in the Wall Street Journal about her new book, "Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys.”

From the Journal:

"
Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance.

'We are sick of hooking up with guys,' writes the comedian Julie Klausner, author of a touchingly funny 2010 book, 'I Don't Care About Your Band: What I Learned from Indie Rockers, Trust Funders, Pornographers, Felons, Faux-Sensitive Hipsters and Other Guys I've Dated.' What Ms. Klausner means by 'guys' is males who are not boys or men but something in between. 'Guys talk about Star Wars like it's not a movie made for people half their age; a guy's idea of a perfect night is a hang around the PlayStation with his bandmates, or a trip to Vegas with his college friends.... They are more like the kids we babysat than the dads who drove us home.' One female reviewer of Ms. Klausner's book wrote, 'I had to stop several times while reading and think: Wait, did I date this same guy'?"

Women dominate pre-adulthood. Compared to their male counterparts, they’re cranking out more college graduates and higher GPAs making their inroads in the workplace and graduate school quicker and easier. That means bigger and better careers with commensurately higher salaries.

And so these 20-year old women are right to simply ask if it is possible to meet a decent guy?

Ag
ain, from the Journal:

“Their male peers often come across as aging frat boys, maladroit geeks or grubby slackers.”

Is the pre-adult male simply a lazy guy refusing to give up free-wheeling campus frolicking and mommy and daddy’s wallets?  Hymowitz believes that to be an over-simplification. More young adults are enrolling in college, and their educational/degree/career pursuits take time, lots of time.


“For (pre-adults), marriage and parenthood come in many forms, or can be skipped altogether. In 1970, just 16% of Americans ages 25 to 29 had never been married; today that's true of an astonishing 55% of the age group. In the U.S., the mean age at first marriage has been climbing toward 30 (a point past which it has already gone in much of Europe). It is no wonder that so many young Americans suffer through a ‘quarter-life crisis,’ a period of depression and worry over their future.

Given the rigors of contemporary career-building, pre-adults who do marry and start families do so later than ever before in human history. Husbands, wives and children are a drag on the footloose life required for the early career track and identity search. Pre-adulthood has also confounded the primordial search for a mate. It has delayed a stable sense of identity, dramatically expanded the pool of possible spouses, mystified courtship routines and helped to throw into doubt the very meaning of marriage. In 1970, to cite just one of many numbers proving the point, nearly seven in 10 25-year-olds were married; by 2000, only one-third had reached that milestone."

Hymowitz considers the pre-adult males “shallow,” fans of “awesome car crashes, fart jokes, breast and crotch shots, beer pong competitions and other frat-boy pranks.” Women in their 20’s tolerate the “shallowness” for only so long, get frustrated and give up. The pre-adult male doesn’t understand and wonders why he needs to or should mature.

Time to grow up, guys. You’re missing out on a lot.

The book…







The Wall Street Journal essay by Hymowitz.

ONCE AGAIN, BRAVO SENATOR LAZICH!


For two reasons:

1) As chair of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Elections, Senator Mary Lazich has successfully worked to get Senate Bill 6, the PHOTO ID bill on Thursday’s state Senate calendar.

2) Today, the state Senate approved Senate Bill 15 that repeals the mandatory requirement placed in the 2009-11 state budget that law enforcement collect racial data at each traffic stop.
The bill’s author is Senator Lazich.

Nice chatting with you, Collin Murphy


For many years, I have enjoyed the privilege of being the public address announcer for the MSOE men’s and women’s basketball games at the fabulous MSOE Kern Center. Last November, MSOE hosted the Engineers Classic, a four team tournament featuring engineering schools from around the country.

One of the participating schools was Cal Tech, a Division III school that plays in the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Prior to Cal Tech’s first game, I went through my usual ritual of getting the correct pronunciations of the players from a visiting coach.

During the game, a young player came to the scorer’s table in front of me to check back in. His name was Collin Murphy.















Yeh, that's a Collin Murphy alright.

As he knelt down waiting for the next dead ball to re-enter, Murphy seemed affable enough, so, remembering his noteworthy home town from the roster, I decided to ask him a quick question.

"Hey Collin?"

"Yeh?"

"Do you know Governor Palin?"

"Sure I do."

"Really?"

"Oh, yeh. They're a pretty cool family."

"I thought you might know the Palins."

"Everybody does. Wasilla's a pretty small town."

HORN!

The buzzer sounded, Murphy shared a quick chuckle with me, the officila scorer and timer and ran onto the court.

Murphy and his teammates are enjoying some national attention. Tuesday night, Cal Tech knocked off Occidental College 46-45 at the Braun Athletic Center on their Pasadena campus in their final conference game of the season. Occidental’s half court toss at the buzzer missed touching off a big celebration on the court by Cal Tech fans, and with good cause. It was Cal Tech’s first conference victory since January 23, 1985. A 310-game losing streak was broken.




Cal Tech represents an inspirational teaching moment. The small instruction is loaded with fame, none of it for its athletics. The school of just 950 undergraduates doesn’t give out athletic scholarships. That means no major trophies or awards. However, 31 Cal Tech alumni and faculty have won the Nobel Prize.





Cal Tech coach Oliver Eslinger, center, celebrates with his players after the college basketball team broke a 310-game losing streak in the league by beating Occidental 46-45. Photo: Cal Tech Athletics

Consider young Collin Murphy from tiny Wasilla, Alaska. Murphy participated in 2010 in SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. JPL is recognized for expertly tracking and predicting paths of asteroids and comets and is the top U.S. center for robotic exploration of the solar system. During his SURF, Murphy, a 20-year old computer science major worked with instruments for missions to Mars.

Murphy won't play in the NBA, nor any other Cal Tech athlete for that matter. But odds are Murphy will never quit and will more than likely do just fine.

In case you missed it last night just like I did....

Ruling Allows 14 Dem Senators to Use Campaign Funds for Illinois Excursions



GAB Ruling Allows 14 Dem Senators to Use Campaign Funds for Illinois Excursions

One Senator Admits Receiving Meals from Individuals He Doesn’t know

MacIver News Service | February 23, 2011

Read more

COME SUPPORT PETE KOSOVICH FOR FRANKLIN ALDERMAN!

By guest blogger Pete Kosovich

Hello fellow Franklinites,

 

Read more

This is why Wisconsin needs Scott Walker


Because despite what some newspaper editorial writers will proclaim from their ivory towers, our state is a tax hell.

The Tax Foundation in Washington has just released its annual rankings of the combined state-local tax burden for residents in all 50 states. To calculate the burden, a state’s total amount of taxes is divided by the state’s total income. Wisconsin has high taxes and one of the lowest per-capita incomes in the country meaning our burden will be high, and boy, is it ever. From the Tax Foundation:

“The goal is to focus not on the tax collec­tors but on the taxpayers. That is, we answer the question: What percentage of their income are the residents of this state paying in state and local taxes? We are not trying to answer the question: How much money have state and local governments collected?”

So, what did they find?

In 2009, the residents of three states stand above the rest, paying the highest state-local tax burdens in the nation: New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. They’re the only three states where taxpayers give up 12 percent or more of their income in state-local taxes, a full percentage point above the next highest state, Wisconsin.

New Jersey residents are paying the most, 12.2 percent of their income in 2009. New York and Connecticut are next highest at 12.1 and 12.0 percent respectively. Wisconsin, Rhode Island, California, Minnesota, Vermont, Maine, and Pennsylvania round out the top ten.”

Wisconsin has the fourth-highest state-local tax burden in America.  We are worse than California.

Enough.

What the yellers and screamers in Madison are incapable of comprehending...


Wisconsin
is broke.

The states are broke.

The country is broke.

Lavish entitlements need to stop.

 

Angry mob?

To jeers of "Shame!" yelled by the Assembly Democrats, Assembly Republicans, foreground, immediately walk out of the chamber after cutting off debate and voting to pass the budget repair bill at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., early Friday morning, Feb. 25, 2011.  The vote was 51-17. (AP Photo/M.P. King, Wisconsin State Journal)



Told by Democratic state Senators they will die, protesters occupy GOP offices

E-mails, I get e-mails: Year to date #'s on Airport screening - Department of Homeland Security


Terrorist Plots Discovered: 0

Transvestites: 133

Read more

Paul Ryan on the AWOL Democrat state Senators

Goodnight everyone and have a weekend full of recognition!


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. 

We get a bit mellow for the rest of this work week and smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, something a bit different than our usual cavalcade of songs.

They’re getting ready for this Sunday’s Academy Awards in Hollywood.




Workers from American Turf and Carpet roll out the red carpet at the Kadak Theatre in Los Angeles, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)


Like the Grammys, the Oscars have often been questioned about their credibility given the dubious choices or snubs that have been made over decades of awards. In short, the best don’t always win. And in some cases, the best aren’t even considered. That includes the category of Best Song.

Christopher Loudon of jazztimes.com provides a glaring example. Loudon notes that in 1937, stellar names like Harry Warren, Al Dubin, Sammy Fain, Lew Brown and Leo Robin were up for their compositions. The odds on favorite was George and Ira Gershwin’s masterpiece, “They Can’t Take That Away from Me” from the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers musical “Shall We Dance.” But like the Detroit Lions beating the Green Bay Packers last season…UPSET.

“And the Academy Award goes to…….Harry Owens for ‘Sweet Leilani’ from Waikiki Wedding.”

What was Oscar thinking?

The Gershwins had to be stunned. But at least they were in the running. They had a chance. Others weren’t so fortunate.

The 51st Annual Academy Awards
were held on April 9, 1979 from the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles County Music Center. The gala affair was hosted by Johnny Carson who, naturally, had some hilarious lines:

“As you all know by now, this is the 51st annual Academy Awards. Two hours of sparkling entertainment, spread out over a four-hour show.

I see a lot of new faces. Especially on the old faces.

Remember, ladies and gentlemen, nobody goes home empty-handed tonight. The losers all receive the new Oscar home game.

I would like to say, for the record, that I am in favor of using more American Indians and other minorities in motion pictures, I am against polluting the oceans of the world, I am for every nationality having its own homeland, I am against whacking baby seals on the head, and I am for saving the whales.”


I recall vividly a clever and well-executed medley by Sammy Davis Jr and Steve Lawrence that night of terrific movie songs…that didn’t win the Oscar. They couldn’t. They weren’t nominated.

So, goodnight.

Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

But right now, enjoy some true Hollywood talent.



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Dispelling the Myth: State Rep. Kevin Petersen (R- Waupaca)

Since Governor Walker proposed his budget adjustment bill, I have been besieged by an orchestrated avalanche of e-mail and phone calls riddled with outright misinformation.

While some of the email letters have been written personally, most are form letters distributed by unions to members, and then signed and forwarded on to me.

Concurrently, the unions are attempting to spread the same propaganda to the general public. Every tactic has been tried, from claiming the bill cuts salaries to asserting it decreases benefits.

Following are random comments, copied verbatim from e-mail I received, reflecting the misinformation spread by various unions: 

"I cannot believe what Governor Walker is trying to do! I am a mother and a public employee and can't believe the pay loss and benefits we are going to lose with this new bill." 

"Not only will you be freezing my wages, but you will also be taking away 11% of my income."

"We have been drastically underpayed [sic] for our education and have clung to our benfits [sic] because it is our only reward."

From the comments above, union bosses are portraying stories of financial peril to their members and the public. I will leave the decision of that to my readers and what your family budgets have had to overcome in the last couple of years.

Petersen's E-Press dated February 11, 2011 discussed critical financial decisions that must be made to ensure Wisconsin's current and future solvency. Facts and figures were laid out illustrating how state employees are being asked to contribute 5.8% of their pension and 12.6% of their healthcare premium costs.

Here is an example of how this budget adjustment bill will affect a state worker making 50,000 per year. (Note: $50,000 is the base salary; it does not include state provided fringe benefits including healthcare, pension, sick days, vacation, etc.) Pension contribution of 5.8% = $2,900.00.

Increased healthcare premium contribution from 6% to 12.6% according to figures derived from a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo dated February 17th, 2011 will raise a state worker's family plan healthcare cost from $89 to $208 per month. Those already making contributions greater 12.6% will not see an increase in costs. Healthcare cost increase of $119 dollars per month times 12 months = $1,428.

Dispelling the myth - reality is - the $4,328 state employees will contribute from their $50,000 base pay is being spent on their personal healthcare policy and retirement. For families that have trouble with this payment, the budget adjustment bill also allows for union dues to no longer be collected from their pay checks. It will be up to the individual if he or she can afford the average dues of $700 to $1,000 per year.

Deducting $700 from the annual cost of $4328 leaves the balance of about $3600 which will be an approximate deduction of $300 per month from the individuals monthly pay.

The 16 furlough days endured by state workers during the past 2 years will no longer be mandated. That equates to $1500 per year, or $125 per month added back into a $50,000 income. Therefore, the entire loss to the employee's current income would be about $175 per month.

According to the
AFSCME website: "workers who are union members earn 30% more than non union workers". Additionally, this link taken from the Department of Public Instruction Website lists minimum / maximum and average teacher pay and compensation for all school districts in Wisconsin.

I would like to thank everyone who stopped by, emailed, and called my office offering feedback in support, and opposition, on the budget adjustment bill. In the end, my vote was not based on 15,000 people chanting and yelling outside my office. Instead, my vote of "yes" was based on the wording in the bill and majority of citizens in my district and throughout the state calling for a balanced budget.

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Your taxpayer-supported teachers, hard at work

The Barking Lot (02/26/11)

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:  You probably woke up to some snow and more is expected with snow showers throughout the day. High of 26.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Cloudy. High of 34. "F"


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


Ever wonder why I write a weekly dog blog and DON’T have one, and write about my daughter on Kyla’s Korner only occasionally?  Well, quite honestly I barely have time to write my segment of The Barking Lot.  Kevin feels that because we have made the commitment to a weekly installment, we must honor it and not disappoint our readers.  So somehow I manage to sneak a few minutes at the computer to compose a canine chronicle.

Does that mean that despite being a toddler parent, I would rather be a pet parent?

Hmmm… what do you think?

Oh, there is no question that I look forward to four paws and a tail; heart worm treatments and vet visits; long walks and dog parks.  But trust me, for my entire life, all I ever wanted to be was a great wife and great mom.  (Kyla’s not old enough to confirm whether I’ve succeeded.  You can ask Kevin the next time you see him.)  Many times I have said there is a reason we are at the top of the food chain, and that applies to man’s best friend as well.

Kevin and I were talking recently about the popularity of The Barking Lot.  I must admit there are times I am amazed at the number of hits this particular feature gets.  Dog lovers are everywhere.  During our conversation I remarked that I bet there are more dog lovers out there than baby lovers.  I “Googled” the topic but just couldn’t seem to find any polls, surveys, or other data to confirm or dispute my thought.  So there ended my idea for a blog.

Then our friends at Flexcin International, which operates the FlexPet Shelter Program to assist the adoption of older dogs, conducted a survey.  Granted the respondents were in the age group of 21 to 30 years old.  However I found it a bit alarming that the majority would prefer to own a dog than have a child.  Even in my self-absorbed, selfish, college-and-travel days of my early to mid-twenties, I would never have dreamed of wanting a dog and not a child.  Yikes.

I suppose that if a person really prefers to have a dog over a child (believe it or not I have a dear friend who feels exactly that way) then it is best they own a leash and dog dish over a kiddie corral and baby bottle. 

So while a survey conducted by a joint supplement might not be considered scientific by most standards, it still makes me shake my head at the value we place on dogs vs. babies.  You can read the brief findings here. 
---Jennifer Fischer

Thank you, Jennifer. Frankly, I am not surprised at the results of this survey. There are a lot of people who palce the life of an animal above that of a human being.

Consider, if you will, a trial for the neglectful death of an infant. Now consider the trial for the abuse and killing of a family pet. Which would draw greater media attention and greater outraged attendance in the courtroom?

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week. We begin with a story we've covered in the past.


Jennifer blogged about PetSmart last April. Now. the update.


Donations needed for Wisconsin autistic boy's dog.


Paralyzed Marine paired with service dog.


Service dog is a tattle-tale.


Move is on to commute dog's death sentence.


Your dog is too fat.


Dogs have reportedly sniffed out cancer...so why aren't dogs in clinics?


That's it for this week's Barking Lot. Thansk so much for stopping by.

I wish we had a goodbye, farewell song like Happy Trails, but we don't.

What we do have is our weekly  close where we close with our closing video.

Please enjoy. It 's really good stuff. A nice story.


Week-ends (02/26/11)

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


Tom Walter


Martin Bell


Jimmy Button


Susan Guy


Deivda Jaikas



VILLAINS OF THE WEEK


Some Wisconsin educators


John O'Connor


John and Sonja Kluth


Tennessee firm


Police in Villa Rica, Georgia



QUOTES OF THE WEEK


“The president ultimately should stay focused on fixing the federal budget because they’ve got a huge deficit and, believe me, they got their hands full.”
Governor Walker reacting to President Obama saying the governor’s budget repair bill is an assault on unions.


“I hope Scott Walker goes down in the next few weeks.”
Mike Imbrogno, a public employee and an executive board member of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Veiled threat?


(A blogger’s prank call to Governor Walker)  "certainly doesn't fall into any time-tested concept of what a true journalist is.
I acknowledge my own hypocrisy. I think it's disgraceful and shameful. I would fire any reporter who did that. But I can't wait to read what the governor said."
Charles Marsh, who teaches journalism ethics at the University of Kansas.


The average citizen no longer remembers or cares about the origins of the American labor movement. Unions today are not seen as forces for workplace fairness and safety. Too many people see union leaders as thuggish advocates for lazy, selfish and overpaid public-sector employees. The unions have not figured out how to counter the headlines about cushy pensions and disability scandals. Democrats who went along with bad deals in exchange for union support are now paying the price with a cascade of negative publicity.There is another side to the story. But take it to the people, don’t run from it. Make Walker, not the Democrats, look for the escape hatch.”

Read more

The best political cartoons of the week








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My Most Popular Blogs (02/27/11)

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) Just how much do Wisconsin teachers make?

2) COME SUPPORT PETE KOSOVICH FOR FRANKLIN ALDERMAN!

3) ONCE AGAIN, BRAVO SENATOR LAZICH!

4) Ruling Allows 14 Dem Senators to Use Campaign Funds for Illinois Excursions


5) This is why Wisconsin needs Scott Walker

Photos of the Week (02/27/11)

Photos of the Week



Wisconsin State representatives start to fade as they listen to arguments on one of the expected 200 amendments to Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill in the early morning hours on February 24, 2011 in Madison, Wisconsin. Protestors have occupied the capitol building protesting the governor's attempt to push through a bill that would restrict collective bargaining for most government workers. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)






State Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) and other Assembly Democrats approach the front of the chamber in outrage as their Republican counterparts cut off debate and voted on the budget repair bill in session at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., early Friday morning, Feb. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/M.P. King, Wisconsin State Journal)


 



To jeers of "Shame!" yelled by the Assembly Democrats, Assembly Republicans, foreground, immediately walk out of the chamber after cutting off debate and voting to pass the budget repair bill at the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., early Friday morning, Feb. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/M.P. King, Wisconsin State Journal)


 

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Recommended Reading (02/27/11)

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).


Oh, to be a teacher in Wisconsin

"The showdown in Wisconsin over fringe benefits for public employees boils down to one number: 74.2. That's how many cents the public pays Milwaukee public-school teachers and other employees for retirement and health benefits for every dollar they receive in salary. The corresponding rate for employees of private firms is 24.3 cents."


The chart that tells you everything you need to know about whether public workers are over-compensated

"Every labor economist, right or left, will agree that higher “quit rates” are much more likely in sectors that are underpaid and lower levels are much more likely in sectors where compensation is generous. Not surprisingly, this data shows state and local bureaucrats are living on Easy Street."


Meet the GOP's Newst Rising Star
* NOTE THE LIBERAL SOURCE OF THIS PIECE *

"Barely a month after his inauguration, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker already has prospective presidential candidates stampeding to help him. In today's turbocharged political climate, fueled by constant chatter on cable television and the Internet, can talk of a vice presidential bid be far behind for the man who two months ago was a little-known county executive?"


A Governor for President in 2012

"Governors make better Presidents.  They have actually run big unwieldy bureaucracies and suffered the political impacts of tough decisions.  OK—except Jimmy Carter."


Union fails pension math

"My mother worked as a public employee when she was a teacher’s aide in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.  She was employed by the state for five years, from 1981-1986.  However, she worked only part-time, so was never credited for a full year of employment by the state for each year she worked.  Instead, she received only partial credit each year.  Fortunately for her, Wisconsin and two other states (Minnesota and South Dakota) allow for full vesting for public teachers after only three years of employment.  Using a deduction for her part-time status, Wisconsin determined her creditable service amounted to 3.07 years.  Had she worked three weeks less during her last year, she would be entitled to nothing.  As luck would have it, she fully vested, and is entitled to receive a monthly check from the state of Wisconsin for the rest of her life."


The media on Wisconsin? A bad joke

"The battle in Madison, Wisconsin between new Gov. Scott Walker and the public-sector union hacks offers an amazing study in journalistic double standards. The same national media that have spent the last two years drawing devil’s horns and Klan hoods on the Tea Party protesters have switched sides with lightning speed. In the Wisconsin protesters, they find sweetness and light, 'hope and change'."


Wisconsin unions vs. the Tea Party

"A story-by-story analysis by the Media Research Center shows the Wisconsin protests are a perfect case study in the media's longstanding double standard favoring left-wing causes while demonstrating much more hostility to the Tea Party and conservative protests."


Results of idiotic choice of words by a Republican and Democrat

(This past week) "We had dueling idiocy from both Parties..."


President's Day: Losing our heroes one day at a time

"Washington and Lincoln? That “and” takes on a life of its own. Remember that old Saturday Night Live routine advertising a product that was both “a floor wax and a dessert topping”? Part of what made that ad funny was its rich critique of the American tendency to combine things that shouldn’t be combined to achieve a short-sighted notion of convenience."


Does winning an Oscar extend your life?

"It’s got to be one of the most cocktail-party-worthy scientific studies ever: a 2001 article in the Annals of Internal Medicine that showed actors and actresses who won Academy Awards lived four years longer than mere nominees…

But it may not be true."

Teaching: Nice work if you can get it


The daily newspaper today devotes a front page story to the heated split among Wisconsinites over the budget repair bill battle in Madison. In the article that draws on man on the street interviews done across the state, the Journal Sentinel writes about Jennifer Kern:

Keen is 29. She makes $8.25 an hour working a couple of hours a day as a substitute crossing guard in Sheboygan. She lives with her fiancé - he works part time at Home Depot - and their 2-year-old son.

‘I agree they (teachers) maybe should pay a little more into their medical, get it more equal,’ Keen said. ‘But at the same time, they're providing a huge service to our children’."

Huge service? Not these folks.

Oh, there's more.


Protesters refusing to leave state Capitol


They think it's their own private hotel. 





UPDATE: Capitol Police cave, allow protesters to stay.

The protesters need to be kicked out, and the Capitol Police Chief needs to grow a spine.

Franklin Alderman Olson: Budget repair bill "will provide some flexibility" to city


Franklin
Alderman Steve Olson issued the following regarding the impact of the state budget on Franklin:

Dear neighbors and friends:

We’ve been watching the drama play out in Madison for almost two weeks.

We’ve heard the word “rights” mis-applied more times than anyone can comprehend.

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Oscar doesn't make 'em like he used to


We've done this the past couple of years. Here's the 2011 version:

Tonight that nauseating mutual admiration society of leftist, America-hating Hollywood elitists will pat themselves on the back and overestimate their worth and importance.

Oh for the days when Bob Hope was the emcee and real talent walked up to the podium to accept their awards.

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


1929-1930 All Quiet on the Western FrontAll Quiet on the Western Front Poster







































1930-1931 Cimarron


Cimarron Poster



1935 – Mutiny on the Bounty
Mutiny on the Bounty Poster



1940 – Rebecca

Rebecca Poster



1945 – The Lost Weekend
The Lost Weekend Poster



1950 – All About Eve

All About Eve Poster



1955 – Marty
Marty Poster



1960 – The Apartment

The Apartment Poster



1965 – The Sound of Music
1965 - The Sound of Music Poster


1970 – Patton

Patton Poster



1975 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

One Flew Over the Cuckoo




1980 – Ordinary People
Ordinary People Poster


1985 – Out of Africa

Out of Africa Poster




1990 – Dances with Wolves

Dances with Wolves Poster




1995 – Braveheart

Braveheart Poster




2000 – Gladiator

Gladiator Poster

 

 2005 – Crash

Crash Poster

Culinary no-no #209

Culinary no-no's


Feast your eyes.






Good stuff.






And you love it.







According to Pizza.com, “Americans eat approximately 100 acres of pizza a day or about 350 slices per second.” Scrumptious Italian pies are a $30 billion business.

Pizza may have been born in Italy, but GQ food writer Alan Richman contends the popular food has become more prominent and vital in America. Richman writes:

We care more about it. We eat more of it, and unlike the Italians, we appreciate it at dinner, at lunch, and at breakfast, when we have it cold, standing up, to make hangovers go away. Italians don’t really understand pizza. They think of it as knife-and-fork food, best after the sun goes down.

Pizza isn’t as fundamental to Italy as it is to America. Over there, it plays a secondary role to pasta, risotto, and polenta. To be candid, I think they could do without it. Not us. Over here, it’s one of the few foreign foods we’ve embraced wholeheartedly, made entirely our own.

The simple truth is that pizza in its most primal form—cheese, tomato, crust—is perfect food. It’s good for vegetarians, even though it contains no vegetables. It’s good for us meat eaters, chiefly because we don’t care much for vegetables but also because pizza is one of the few foods where the absence of meat isn’t missed. (Although, when I think about it, a little sausage never hurts, especially if it’s crumbled up rather than sliced.)

It’s the absolute best food for sharing (unless you’re in love, in which case we’re talking about an ice cream cone). It’s the healthiest of treats; the strictest mother wouldn’t argue that pizza is bad for kids. It’s the most versatile delivery food, because it reheats much better than Chinese, and if you accidentally burn it, pizza is still good. Most important, at least to me: Pizza gives pepperoni a reason to exist.”

A couple of years ago, Richman was given the excruciatuingly painmful assignment of finding the best pizza on the planet, a journey that had him travel 20,000 miles across the US of A. The best on the planet? This oughta be good, right?

When someone decalres one pizza pie to be the very best from Alaska to Florida, there’s bound to be disagreement, and Richman readily understands.  

See this deli meat?







That’s mortadella, an Italian bologna that can have pistachios or peppercorns.

I love mortadella.

You know where this is going, don't you.

Richman’s choice for the best pizza in America is a mortadella pie at Great Lake Pizza in Chicago.  You can see this pink creation about :50 in to the following TODAY Show video.

The best in all of America? I sincerely believe some pizza dough tossers would spit in Richman’s face.

A great TV philosopher, Arthur Fonzarelli once said ice cream and kethcup are wonderful apart, but put them together? Ditto for a pizza crust, sauce and mortadella.

This Culinary no-no, like many of the pizza dishes in Chicago, gets deeper and deeper.

The home of this dubious #1 pizza, Great Lake Pizza is a small joint run that seats only about 14 at the most. No beer or wine is sold, but you can BYOB. There are but five pizza options that change periodically. You cannot pick and choose your own toppings. All the pies are made exclusively by the owner, Nick Lessins and therein lies a big problem.

Richman of GQ writes about Lessins, “No man is slower. He makes each as though it is his first, manipulating the dough until it appears flawless, putting on toppings one small bit after another. In the time he takes to create a pie, civilizations could rise and fall, not just crusts.”

Lessins, it’s been said, takes an almost Soup Nazi-like approach to those patrons who aren’t fond of waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting. He told the New York Times:

We’ve had a few people get pretty flustered — ‘What do you mean we can’t be seated? We have to wait a couple of hours?’ Like somehow we’ve violated their human rights. Why is it a crime that we’re not open seven days and we’re not seating 100 people?”

Lessins’ wife, Lydia Esparza responds to the Soup Nazi comparison:

“That comes from American culture. The customer really isn’t always right. We believe we have the expertise to bring the best product. We don’t randomly put these ingredients together. We spend the time to test these and try them.”

If you detect a touch of arrogance, Lessins replies:

I think that perception of arrogance has to do with the sense of entitlement and a lack of respect for someone wanting to do their job. We’re just trying to do the job the best we can. We’re trying to provide a quality experience for everyone who comes in. In the food service business, it’s assumed that the customers have a set of God-given birthrights when they come into an establishment. It’s like they’ve been wronged in a lot of parts of their lives, and this is their chance to even the score.”

The Great Lake Pizza business boomed after the GQ article. Most restaurateurs would be ecstatic. Lessins?

“Everyone forgot we were this small operation and couldn’t serve everyone. We never intended to serve mass quantities and have our product available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We wanted to start a business so we could get some control in our lives.”

Here’s more from the New York Times.

As for GQ’s Richman, his article ranking the top 25 pizzas is filled with culinary no-no’s. His final words on that mortadella pizza:

This pie—creative, original, and somewhat local—represents everything irresistible about the new American style of pizza-making.”

If that’s the case, please give me the old style of pizza-making anytime.


At least Richman places pizza on its proper pedestal writing, “The simple truth is that pizza in its most primal form—cheese, tomato, crust—is perfect food.” The New York Times Magazine concludes that  “pizza is evil.” Yes, evil.

The assessment is a reaction to ( and an endorsement of)  the recently released dietary guidelines from the USDA. Big nanny goes after one of the most popular food items in the world. Sounds like something you’d hear during TV sweeps month: “Pizza can kill you! The scary story tonight 10:00!”

Right now, none of us are eating right. The USDA says, “
Currently, very few Americans consume diets that meet Dietary Guideline recommenda­tions.” So, the USDA in its infinite wisdom lays out all those nasty foods that we’re eating in excess that could lead to illness and disease.

Saturated fatty acids. They’re more critical, according to the USDA than the actual amount of fat in our diets. Fatty acids should make up, on average, less than 10% of the calories in our diet. America is at 11%. Too much.  Major sources of fatty acid in our diets: 1) Regular cheese (9% of total saturated fat intake), 2) DING DING DING! PIZZA (6%).

Solid fats.
Solid fats make up an average of 19 % of total calories in our diets, providing few necessary nutrients and no dietary fiber. The major Food sources of solid fats in our diets: 1) Grain-based des­serts (11% of all solid fat intake), 2) DING DING DING! PIZZA (9%).

Sodium.
While an essential nutrient, sodium intake needs to be limited to avoid high blood pressure. The major food sources of sodium in our diets: 1) Yeast breads (7.3%), 2) Chicken, chicken dishes (6.8%), 3) DING DING DING! PIZZA! (6.3%). Pizza was worse than cold cuts, bacon, sausages and burgers.

The New York Times Magazine, not surprisingly writes, “The problem has been that for 30 years, until the new guidelines were issued,  the government has refused to brand specific foods—especially foods with powerful lobbies behind them—as the public-health enemies they can be.”

OK. Once again we need Big Brother using our tax dollars to inform us that gargantuan gooey cinnamon rolls are not a wise choice.  Oh, and let’s not forget pizza.  Evil pizza.









Read more

The Oscars: No class anymore


The Academy Awards have deteriorated into a self-absorbed mutual admiration society dominated by a lack of class and true sophistication marked by the golden years of Hollywood of 50, 60, 70, 80, and yes, 90 years ago.

It’s liberalism at its worst.

Compare.

1940...






1964...


 

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Shame on Savannah, Georgia


Read why...

Governor Walker on MEET THE PRESS

Read more

Administrators Refute WEAC’s Class Size Claims


School Districts Say They Determine Class Size, Not Union Contracts

MacIver News Service | February 28, 2011

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On this date in 1854...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GOP!

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Pete Kosovich for Franklin alderman: "I am committed to Franklin"


By guest blogger Pete Kosovich

Last Thursday, I hosted a meet the candidate, fundraiser event at The Root River Center. First, I want to thank Kevin Fischer for being my guest speaker. I also want to thank all who attended, and the volunteers which have helped to distribute my literature throughout the 4th District. I appreciate your help & support.

Thursday, I spoke of what got me involved in local politics. In 2002, Kwik Check foods on 27th & Forest Hill was trying to get gas pumps at their facility. He wanted the support of the neighborhood residents & businesses. I reviewed his plans, and felt it would be an improvement to the property & the neighborhood. I also felt that in America, an individual should have an opportunity to grow & improve their business. Things didn't quite go as he had hoped. He was disgusted with Franklin, and said he was going to sell his business and leave. He told me there was a recall effort forming against the incumbent Alderman, and that I should be Alderman. That was why & when I became involved. I wanted to help. I was elected, Nov 3rd, 2003!

Thursday evening, I heard there was a local blogger that was confused as to why my recorded telephone invite went to some people outside of the 4th district. It's simple; an Alderman doesn't only represent the people in his district, he also carries 1/6th of the vote on most anything that happens in the city, from economic development, to safety issues (Police & Fire), recreational facilities, (parks, trails) and taxes, to mention a few. I also have many friends & customers who live outside the 4th district but live in Franklin. They realize anything I would do, affects the entire city. They trust and support me. 

During the next few weeks, things will likely heat up. I intend to run a positive campaign unless my opponent does something that changes the game. I am working hard to contact each of you, as time allows. I will need your help to get my message out. 

I know not everybody who wanted to attend Thursday's event was able to. We all have busy schedules. You can still show your support. You can offer your help with lit drops, sign placements, or monetary contributions. It's not too late!  If you are so inspired, please send contributions to "Friends of Pete Kosovich" to 8170 S 28th St, Franklin, WI 53132. Anything will be greatly appreciated.

I want to serve the people of Franklin. I will not leave you if an opportunity for a different Government position arrises. I am committed to Franklin.

Thanks again for your support. I look forward to your vote on April 5th,

Sincerely,

Pete Kosovich
Candidate for Alderman, Franklin 4th District

This message is authorized & paid for by the Friends of Pete Kosovich, Sherry Kosovich Treasurer

P. S.  Go Scott Walker!!

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