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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

The State of the Union...

U.S., Politics, Quality of Life, Employment, Economy, Healthcare

The State of the Union, in the opinion of the President, is different than it is in my opinion. I know that cuts absolutely no ice except in my mind. I also know that it appears I am in for a very long two years. This was obviously to be expected since he is liberal and I am conservative. He is striving to leave his mark on the office and I would have him do as little harm to our country as possible. His interpretation of events seems to contrast with my interpretation; and, I fully understand that my interpretation influences no one but me…and maybe a handful of other like-minded people. This all serves to point up just how important elections are, and that goes for every election from that for a Village Board member to that for the President of the United States. We sometimes seem to think that we can sit out an election without doing any harm having done so. That may sometimes be true but we take a decided risk if too many of our persuasion have the same idea. We are beginning the process of selecting the Republican candidate for the next Presidential election. The folks in Iowa will have some say in this process as will those in other states that have active political groups. We appear to be among the states that will have a candidate in this race. Governor Walker is making all the moves and saying all the things we’d expect from a prospective candidate for President. Some would have him in the top three on the Republican side. I don’t know if that is a good spot to be in if people become jaded in their expectations of what he’ll say and do along the way. He’ll still have to make some decisions for the state while he is on that trail and those may not necessarily be the kinds of decisions that will enhance his standing. We are also in the process of selecting the most favored Democratic candidate. There are several who seem to believe they have a decided advantage in that process by dint of name and/or past service. It remains to be seen just who that candidate will be but the race to that end will be interesting to watch. If the current President proves nothing else than that governing experience is important, that is fine. We cannot, in my opinion, afford to have another learn-on-the-job President given the state of our nation (notwithstanding President Obama’s opinion on the subject), and the state of the world in which we live. A sitting or former Governor would seem better qualified from the executive perspective. He or she would’ve been there and done that, so to speak, even though the decisions at the national level are so very much more critical than at a state level.

Our Investment Didn't Yield The Gain We Had Hoped

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Is it not a downer when the Green Bay Packers do not live up to our expectations? I felt that and I do not classify myself as a die-hard Packers fan. I do not drive around in a Packer-mobile. I do not wear Packer-aligned clothing to work or elsewhere except on rare occasions. Maybe I was to blame for this horrible letdown since I was not wearing Green and Gold. After the first three quarters, to see the Seahawks make that comeback, take control away from the Packers, as they did was astounding and awful both at the same time. In my heart of hearts I had to admit that I felt this one slipping away to the point of being irretrievable when the player soon to be history bobbled the onside kick when that was not even his responsibility on that play. He will forever be remembered for that terrible play, but that our vaunted Packers had permitted themselves to be placed in such a position is as much to blame if not more so. I have a difficult time imagining how quiet the plane ride home must have been. I have a difficult time trying to think of how I would be feeling and acting in a similar situation since I have never been in such a situation. I know that, even as a more casual fan, certainly not to the degree of being a true fanatic from which the shortened word of fan is derived, I felt the letdown, the physical feeling of having been so close to end up so far away from the desired outcome. As I said, I simply am unable to imagine the feelings of the players and the coaching staff. Even with this bad outcome on a Sunday afternoon, the sun rose this morning and people went about that which they had to do. BUT, this loss will linger with us, even the milder fans among us all, for a long time to come. So close, but our team couldn't get it done. Now, the Seahawks have to show they are the dominant team they appeared to be yesterday when the Super Bowl is played. That will be of little solace, but it will help to one degree or another.

Democrats Look For New State Leader

Political, Wisconsin, Quality of Life

I’m pretty sure that Mike Tate is a decent guy. He has been, of course, the head of the state Democratic Party for the past six years as mentioned in the No Quarter piece by Dan Bice in this morning’s Journal Sentinel. Tate announced his decision to hang up his spurs at the end of this tour. His worst decision, in my opinion, was hiring Graeme Zielinski as the Party’s spokesman. That decision led to some of the nastier things I have seen and heard to this point in politics at any level. Zielinski seemed to have a problem with his off-the-cuff remarks. At least I think they were off-the-cuff. If they were what passed as well-thought comments by Zielinski, I am giving him way too much credit. The Democratic Party has suffered under Mike Tate’s tour at the helm. I suspect some of that suffering was simply based on the product being sold to the public, but some likely was simply the result of poor judgment by the Democratic Party leadership. That can’t all be blamed on Tate but he was sitting at the top of that structure and he was no doubt a big part of the decision-making that occurred on his watch. He claims to be leaving a stronger party in his wake, but the former party head takes umbrage with that statement. Bice characterized the recent elections as a “blood bath” for the Party. Wisconsin is an interesting state that has been pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. Governor Walker won three races for his Governor’s seat but none of the three was what could be called a run-away victory. These past six years have been a good run for the Republicans. I’m not sure that Tate is entirely responsible for that. Even with a fairly even split between the two parties, there are people who think seriously about for whom they will vote. President Obama has had a hand in this mix too, I suspect, since his coattails were very handy for others in state level races. We’ll have an opportunity to see how well the Democratic Party does under new leadership in the future.

Government "Slow-Walking"...

Politics, U.S., Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Government “slow-walking” is readily apparent all too often.  This “slow-walking” is the game that is played when a federal government employee is finally found to be incompetent, doing something illegal or simply goofing off.  These are civil service employees and they enjoy a level of protection not afforded to employees in the private sector.

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GAB Story Keeps Rollin' Along...

Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, Politics, Quality of Life

M.D. Kittle of Wisconsin Reporter has been the rough equivalent of a Pit Bull as it relates to his dogged (pun intended) pursuit of the story surrounding the Government Accountability Board (GAB) and the investigations it has been part of over interpretation of Chapter 11 of Wisconsin’s campaign financing statutes.  This chapter is essentially the driving force behind the John Doe investigation in which the GAB participated alongside Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm for low these many, many months consuming untold amounts of taxpayer funds.  Not to mention the toll that this whole experience has taken on those who have had their lives turned upside down in late night raids on their residences

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