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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

A Little of This and a Little of That

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

A little of this and a little of that: I have always found names to be curious things sometimes to the point that I wonder where some nicknames came from that I read in the obituary column. I did not have to search those columns to find one that reached out to me this morning when I glanced at the names of those who have made known their interest in an opening for the 1st District Court of Appeals. One of the applicants is Lisa Lawless who is a practicing attorney at the Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek law firm in Milwaukee. How many smiles and questions must Ms. Lawless have had to endure given her chosen profession? If that is her married name, then we know her spouse must have been the absolute right choice given the obvious connection to career. # # # # # The NFL requires that game footballs be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch (PSI) and that each must weigh between 14 and 15 ounces. The game balls on the New England Patriots side of the field revealed that 11 of the required 12 game balls were underinflated. Is it not it interesting that neither the head coach (who talked for a couple of minutes on the subject) nor the starting quarterback (who prattled on and on without saying much of anything) knew anything about this? Under-inflated balls are apparently easier to grip and therefore capable of being controlled better in the hands of the quarterback. These NFL teams are nothing if not freakish about their control of game day situations. Is it likely we will hear more about this? I would say that we will and that someone will be made a scapegoat for this activity since game balls are checked prior to the game by officials. That would suggest that the balls were deflated after having passed inspection. # # # # # Could there have been any doubt that Hank the dog would have been named dog of the year and then would have been accorded his own baseball card. Other than for the fact that I had no idea there was a dog of the year designation until I saw that cute face staring from the TV screen at me, this was probably a no brainer in dog of the year betting circles. And, could there be a more fortunate dog without a home in all this country? # # # # # Along similar lines, we have gained access to viewing the baby Gorilla with which the Milwaukee County Zoo has been blessed. Almost all baby animals are cute in my book. And those that are usually found in the wild seem cuter than many others, although there are some very cute breeds of domesticated animals, too. I hope that we never devolve to the point where we will genetically engineer human-beings as we go about crossing breeds of animals to achieve some desired outcome; that is the bailiwick of God and ought to remain that way forever.

Really? Intentional ACA Data Releases

Political, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Healthcare

Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…

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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.

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