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
Veteran’s Day 2015 is upon us and it is proper to thank all those who have served, and especially to thank the families of those who served and did not return, as well as for those who served and still linger with injuries and illnesses they incurred in that action.
The ‘policing’ profession is taking some fairly regular hits. If not by some wayward public official such as was the case in Baltimore, then by the increasing propensity for the bad guys to feel emboldened enough to increase their activities. Certainly the riots we saw in Missouri, New York and elsewhere with the emerging memes like “I can’t breathe” or “Hands up…Don’t shoot” do nothing to help police officers avoid having figurative targets painted on their backs in the minds of some.
The morning Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured a front-page story titled ‘Safe and sound at the barbershop’ credited to Jason Stein. It dealt with Damien Smith, a youth organizer for Safe & Sound who has put together a Monday session with a barber where young inner city men gather to talk with him while they receive a haircut. This was an eye-opening story, for me at least; it provided me with the view these young men have of themselves and their individual destiny as they live life day-by-day in the Amani and Harambee neighborhoods of Milwaukee, among the highest crime-rate areas in Milwaukee.
The WI Supreme Court killed the John Doe investigation that has gone on and on, but that is small comfort to those who were dragged into this mess in the first place. There is no redress available for those whose lives have been upended and who have been dragged through innuendo and half-truth and outright falsehoods.
Given the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court might disrupt the flow of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) depending upon how it rules in the next couple of weeks, Wisconsin’s Sen. Ron Johnson(R) has been working to put together a bipartisan bill that would solve the problem of premium subsidies while extracting some give-backs from President Obama.
It seems that every time I am at something of a loss for the subject of a nearly-daily blog, there are two possibilities that seem to be omnipresent: The Wisconsin Supreme Court and the never-ending John Doe investigation. Actually there is probably a third, and that would be whatever is the current revelation concerning Hillary Clinton.
Dane County’s District Attorney considered all the evidence and found, correctly from my perspective, that the officer accused of over-reacting resulting in a death was innocent of any charge. But then he seemed almost to be apologizing to the crowd that would demonstrate even though the evidence he had considered led him to a decision contrary to their desires; the only decision supported by the evidence.
The following piece is posted on the Town of Lisbon, Maine website and was posted by the group named at the end:
With the 50th anniversary of the Selma, Alabama march just recently observed, I found myself thinking about the manner in which Blacks were being treated at the time and the strides that have been taken since to right those wrongs. Much remains to be done, but progress has been very visible except in certain pockets where the only way change will occur is for the haters to pass away to be replaced with people who don’t hate. Unfortunately fifty years doesn’t seem enough time to heal all those wounds.
The Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission upheld the firing of former officer Christopher Manney last evening. Was this a political decision or was it an apolitical decision? There are certainly two distinct camps when that question is raised.
Five years ago today we found ourselves with a new law that has been generally known as ObamaCare. It was passed in the dark of night and still is not fully understood even by those who theoretically knew what it was they were doing.
Right-to-work has taken center stage within the Wisconsin Legislature. As was to be expected, this became an immediate political football with the Democrats decrying the possibility and the Republican leadership saying they can pass it and will pass it.
President Obama has taken a shot at Staples, Inc. because this company has had the audacity to try to find the best ways to work with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) while obeying the law and delivering good results for its stockholders. He has said they are “undercutting” his law and says further that large corporations should not use the health insurance issue as an excuse for cutting wages.
Those signed up for ObamaCare this year are averaging $268 per month in premium forgiveness. There are some 6.5 million people in that category. That totals nearly $21,000,000 annually in subsidies paid by the government to the health plans providing the coverage. It is easy to see why the major health insurance companies were so eager to jump onto the ObamaCare bandwagon. Their revenue streams have taken a significant jump and their profits have increased also.
The press-dominating killings by the group known as ISIS, whether beheadings or immolation, are pure and unadulterated evil no matter whether in the name of a religion or not. The most recent act was obviously designed to get more attention than the ‘simple’ beheadings had been receiving.
John Doe limbo. That is where we seem to be for the moment. There is no sign that the John Doe investigation in which the Government Accountability Board (GAB) has been involved is going forward, but there also is no sign that it has really ended. The players and those people who were ‘played’ are in a state of limbo as this slow-motion process unfolds…or doesn’t unfold.
Politics aside, as much as that is possible, it strikes me that this accident might well have been the jogging that Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) might need to realize he is at the effective end of his political career. I italicize the word accident since I have never heard a definitive explanation for the injuries Reid suffered.
Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water…
General David Petraeus may have more problems in the very near future. His case has been reviewed by the U.S. Justice Department and the findings indicate that he should be charged. It now sits on the desk of Attorney General Eric Holder and news reports indicate that it isn’t uncommon for Justice Department officials to reject these kinds of recommendations.
The following came to me this morning from a good friend and I thought it worthy of being shared. My comments are found at the very bottom of the piece.
President Obama, the Commander-in-Chief of our military forces, has received his grade as offered by those active duty members of the various branches in a poll recently conducted:
Buckle your chin-strap Milwaukee. The Dontre Hamilton non-announcement is set for 10:00AM this morning, and we now know that no charges will be issued. There are out-of-towners prepared to play games as the result.
The cyber-attack suffered by Sony Studios has, so far, gone unanswered. Sony pulled the premier of its reportedly poorly done comedy that ends with the North Korean dictator’s head being blown off. That was a major victory for those who launched the cyber-attack and for all those who lurk in the shadows of the cyber world thinking about how they would disrupt this or that.
The December 9th Opinions page in our Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured an article written by Stephen T. Parente titled “Obamacare spikes are coming”. It discusses the relatively hidden things in that law that will almost assure a major spike in the cost of health care coverage that will hit in 2017 and after. Mr. Parente is the director of the Medical Industry Leadership Institute at the University of Minnesota. He is also a professor of health finance at the U of M. With his credentials having been displayed, we can proceed to the expectations he sheds light on:
With the defeat (a/k/a dumping) of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), there are some amazing numbers floating around:
The Gates/Panetta Club gained another member over the past few days. Chuck Hagel becomes the third member of that club that has been created by President Obama’s hiring and/or firing for the lead position at the Pentagon.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) has landed the job of a lifetime for a policy-wonk such as him. He is the incoming Chair of the United States House of Representatives’ Ways and Means Committee. This committee position is often referred to as the fourth most important position in our nation’s government after those of President, Senate Majority Leader and House Majority Leader. It has been chased after by some of the greatest political figures in our history and has been typically held by people at much more advanced ages.
The several clips (at four so far) from MIT Economist Jonathon Gruber’s presentations where he discusses the creation of the Affordable Care Act, Obama Care as it is commonly known, have elicited the following quote from White House press secretary Josh Earnest:
(Note: Early voters can change their votes if they choose to do so before the election. They must go to the Clerk in their jurisdiction, indicate they wish to change their vote and the ballot will be located for them.)
Mary Burke being referred to by her predecessor at the Department of Commerce as “She’s a disaster” apparently was rather soft compared to what we now learn courtesy of Matt Kittle at www.WisconsinReporter.com who dropped the bombshell that now explains the time lapses in her resume’ that we’ve discussed earlier. Mary Burke was recalled from Europe and fired by her family over “steep overseas financial losses” and the “plummeting morale” of her staff.
Peggy Noonan has penned a blog that makes for an excellent read, in my opinion at least. She deals with ObamaCare and President Obama.
Charley Reese is a retired columnist for the Orlando Sentinel. This is lengthy but well worth time it takes to read it through.
An interesting array of things the President issued his orders concerning today; certainly not as daunting, on the surface, as some had opined. There are probably going to be some additional actions and among those may be the EPA weighing in on lead containment. I doubt this is going to cut into the fever of gun purchases evidenced every time I drive past Gander Mountain and Cabela's; if anything, it will increase the fever.
Considering the hand that was dealt, the Republicans came out of this dust-up in better position than expected. The Bush tax rates were largely codified permanently and the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) was made permanent without the need to have it annually updated for inflation. The AMT will now be automatically updated.
This video (click here) will show you, in a few short minutes, the predicament we've permitted ourselves to get into, and it is sobering at the very least.