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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 Sky Is Falling; The Sky Is Falling!

Politics, Quality of Life, Education, People Making A Difference, Taxes, Wisconsin

Entrenched power is under assault by Republicans writing the new state budget in the Joint Finance Committee.  Those two areas are organized education and labor unions.  Organized education sees the relaxation of teacher licensing in Wisconsin as the beginning of the end of excellent education.  Organized labor sees the prospective repeal of the prevailing wage rules as the ultimate loss possible for certain unions.

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War Zones?

Quality of Life, Police, Politics, People Making A Difference, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

 Chicago seems a city destined to close once all its citizens have been shot to death.

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Three For One...

Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, U.S., Police, Milwaukee County

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.

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Caught At The Corner Of Truth & Judgement...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri, Humor, People Making A Difference

Today’s Journal Sentinel front page talks about Shullsburg, WI and the most unique naming system for the streets running through the community.  The streets were named by an Italian Dominican priest and architect in the 19th century.

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Physician Compensation By State

Healthcare, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, U.S.

A new report was just issued by a firm named Medscape that addresses the average compensation for physicians state-by-state.  It sounds like the results should make us Wisconsinites happy at least for the fact that we should be an attractive place for doctors.

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A Supreme Embarrassment...

Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, People Making A Difference

Our state Supreme Court is really “a Supreme embarrassment” given the so-far irreconcilable mess created by the suit filed by then Chief Justice Abrahamson over her loss of position as the Chief Justice determined by tenure given the votes of the people of the State of Wisconsin and the certification of that vote.

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Has the John Doe Claimed Another Victim?

Milwaukee County, Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

 It is a shame that I’ll not be able to read the various tomes authored by Christian Schneider in the Journal Sentinel any more, but, since he decided to foolishly go up against John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County DA, and actually talk about the John Doe investigation this morning, I suspect he’ll be incarcerated rather quickly.  If not incarcerated, then almost certainly he’ll be subject to a defamation suit.

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The Other Side of the ACA...

Politics, Healthcare, Employment, Wisconsin

Assurant Health, basically the former Time Insurance Company that used to be headquartered in Milwaukee is being put on the block by its parent organization and the blame for that can be laid at the feet of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Time Insurance made money on health insurance using smart underwriting of the risk.  The use of health underwriting is forbidden by the ACA, something that people with prior health conditions and without insurance found to be great.  Consequently, a formerly profitable health insurer is now losing big money due to adverse claims needing to be paid.  It has other business that is largely comprised of life, dental and short-term and long-term disability policies which can still be underwritten but which is insufficient to keep the company alive in its present form.

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"A violent spring in Milwaukee."

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, Police

This past Sunday’s Crossroads section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel featured the headline: A violent spring in Milwaukee.  We have all heard about and probably have all read about the increases in crime in the metropolitan area.  It would’ve been almost impossible to have missed that news.

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Chief Justice Sues...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life

Wisconsin was/is one of seven states that use length of tenure as the factor in determining which Justice is deemed the Chief Justice of its Supreme Court.  Twenty-two other states have rules that permit the seated Justices to decide by vote which of them will serve in that capacity, and that is what Wisconsin voters decided should be the case in Wisconsin two days ago.

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Time to Regroup & Vote...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Time to regroup if you are a Badger fan.  We came close but that only counts, as the saying goes, in horseshoes and hand grenades.  Fans (obviously from the word ‘fanatics’) get their identity from the team they choose to support and there is the ever-present danger that the team won’t deliver the ultimate win that is the desire of its fans.

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Remember To VOTE

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Germantown

The election coming next week has two items that I need to comment about, not that I think my comments will change anybody’s vote but at least I’ll feel better.  A fellow Germantown Now blogger has already staked out his position and his position is basically the opposite of mine…as if that comes as a surprise to anyone who watches both Blogs regularly.

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Trooper Trevor Casper: May He Rest In Peace

Wisconsin, Police, People Making A Difference

Trooper Trevor Casper is to be laid to rest today after being involved in a shoot-out at the end of his first solo day on duty.  This has been a sad episode for his parents and friends, his community and the Wisconsin State Patrol.  The flags flying at half-staff brought on an eerie feeling just knowing the tragedy he had driven into.

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The Story of Colton Hidde...

Healthcare, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

There are occasional stories that simply grip my senses to the point that I have difficulty in comprehending how I would feel if directly involved on one side or the other.  One of those is the story on page one in the morning Journal Sentinel titled “Parents sue over screening delay”.

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John Doe Reform Sorely Needed...

Politics, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

John Doe reform seems long overdue if you are of one political persuasion and seems terribly misguided if you are of another political persuasion.  Generally, people who are more liberal seem to believe, or at least appear to believe, that the John Doe laws as those exist today are perfect.  The idea that a person who is innocent until proven guilty can be coerced, legally, into not talking about the process is foreign to conservatives generally.

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Apolitical Courts?

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

 The non-partisan race for state Supreme Court Justice is obviously underway.  Justice Ann Walsh Bradley is running for her second ten-year term and is opposed by Circuit Judge James Daley from Rock County.  Bradley met Wednesday with members of the Journal Sentinel editorial group, and, according to the report in the morning newspaper “seemed almost stunned that he (Daley) would report in-kind contributions of about $7,000 from the Republican Party of Wisconsin”.

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Other Right-To-Work Thoughts...

Employment, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Economy

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.

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John Doe Rules & The GAB Must Be Reformed

Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, Politics, Quality of Life

Let me try to get this straight…the special prosecutor in a John Doe investigation that has been in the news for some time now, has asked one or more members of the state Supreme Court to recuse themselves.  We can be reasonably sure that those members of the Court are from the conservative element of that Court.  We can be reasonably sure that if he is asking that one recuse himself or herself, he has likely asked all of the usual conservatives to do so.

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20-Year Old Cheddar? Wow!

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

 My father was a cheese man; he was a licensed cheese maker, owned several cheese factories at one time or another in Vernon and Crawford counties and was buyer/manager of a Borden’s cheese collection warehouse in Viroqua, WI for years during my youth.  I worked in that warehouse during the summers placing cheddar cheeses on a rack that dunked them in melted wax to seal them for shipment or aging as the case was to be.

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Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning...

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

 Random Thoughts on a Saturday Morning…

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The Wisdom of Solomon...

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

 The Wisdom of Solomon would be handy for our U.S. Supreme Court as it decides the issue raised concerning government subsidies to help pay for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare.  A look at the current information for Wisconsin gives some background:

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John Doe Limbo...

Milwaukee County, Political, Wisconsin, Quality of Life

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.

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Flash In The Political Pan?

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

Is Governor Walker simply a flash in the political pan or is he actually catching wind in his sails as he trods the Presidential campaign trails?  I don’t profess to know the answer to that question, but I can imagine how discombobulating that potential reality of wind in the sails must be for his opponents. 

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GAB John Doe Involvement Backed by GAB Board

Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, People Making A Difference

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) seems sometimes to have difficulty getting out of its own way.  Rep. Vos (R), the Assembly Speaker, has been critical of the GAB and suggests that the GAB staff personnel have acted without the guidance of the GAB Board of Directors comprised of six retired judges from around the state.  The Board is expected to act in a non-partisan manner as well as is the GAB proper.

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Page 1 vs. Page 9 Disconnect: Bice vs Baldwin

Politics, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin, Healthcare

The Journal Sentinel front page this morning carries the header for the Dan Bice column No Quarter: “Baldwin ousts aide over VA controversy”.  Bice details the following:

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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.

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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Tomah VA's "Candy Man"?

Military, Healthcare, Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

The Tomah, Wi Veteran’s Hospital has earned a nickname that is astounding.  It is called “Candy Land” and that is not a sought-after euphemism.  That name evolved from the heavy-handed distribution of narcotic drugs to veterans.

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Is A Degree A Qualifier?

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

One of the first of these kinds of salvos we can expect to see fired at Governor Walker appeared in the Washington Post this morning.  It concerns the lack of a college degree for Scott Walker and equates that to an implied finding that he is inadequate for the job of President of the United States.  Walker left college in his senior year a few credits short of his degree, as he explains, to take a job thinking he’d go back and complete his work to obtain his degree.

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A Sore That Won't Soon Heal...

Politics, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) has obviously been in the news for some time concerning its involvement in John Doe investigations aimed at Republicans.  The John Doe in question was launched by Milwaukee County DA John Chisholm and the GAB joined in that effort a short while later.

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Will Republicans be able to play well together?

U.S., Wisconsin, Politics

 With their victories firmly in hand, the question now is this:  Will Republicans be able to play well together?

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Supreme Courts Are Political

Politics, People Making A Difference, U.S., Wisconsin

A Journal Sentinel reader sent a letter to the editor that appeared yesterday.  The writer opined about the Wisconsin Supreme Court and politics, and particularly about the proposition by Sen. Tom Tiffany (R) Hazlehurst that would see the Chief Justice determined by vote of the members rather than by simple seniority.  She was apparently aghast that politics might flavor the court and its decisions.

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GAB: A Target On Its Back?

Politics, Wisconsin, Quality of Life

 The Government Accountability Board (GAB) is a fairly popular target these days.  It, according to some, has earned that target status through its actions as well as through its inactions.

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Let's Hear It For OPEC...

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Quality of Life, Taxes

Let’s hear it for OPEC…and especially for OPEC’s continued greed and perceived lack of alternatives.  The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has decided to avoid reducing the production of its member countries which almost assures a continued slide in the price of gasoline that you and I pay at the pumps.  I paid $2.689 as a Costco member yesterday; I cannot remember paying this little for a long time (little, of course, being a lot more than I used to pay).

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Big Man On Campus!

People Making A Difference, Political, U.S., Wisconsin

 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.

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Cap Times: Still Having a Tough Time Accepting

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Politics, People Making A Difference, Economy

The Capital Times in Madison seems to have difficulty in accepting the fact that Governor Walker managed yet another victory.  Oh, it accepts the fact that Walker has won three times in a row but it somehow has managed to reach the conclusion that even if Walker won, his policies lost.

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Dems have their own version of ALEC...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life

 Being a hypocrite can come easily to many if we do not defend against that status.  It seems that the Democratic Party is running afoul of that definition.

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Voting on Election Day...

Germantown, Political, Potpourri, Wisconsin

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What Would Happen If...

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

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Thankful That Election Day Is Almost Here...

Quality of Life, Politics, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

 It is good that our election season is rapidly drawing to a close given the daily slippage in taste of commercials being aired and printed.  As candidates become more desperate, it seems too many are willing to throw good taste out the window in the attempt to win at any cost.

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Mary Burke's "Not So Great Week"

Political, Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

(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.)

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Remember 'She's a Disaster'?

Political, Wisconsin, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

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.

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Campaign Fatigue...

Wisconsin, Politics, People Making A Difference

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Why Do We Need Early Voting?

Politics, Wisconsin, U.S.

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We're Not Taking a Position, But...

Wisconsin, Politics, People Making A Difference

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Parallel Universe Indeed!

Politics, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, Quality of Life

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"She's a disaster"

Wisconsin, Politics, People Making A Difference

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You Know It When You See It...

Politics, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Race for The Governor's Office...

Politics, Wisconsin, Taxes, Education, Economy, Employment

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The Tranquil Waters of State Politics...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life

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The Mouth That Roared...

Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Labor Day Means Time is Short

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Another Election Without Voter Photo ID?

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Lobbyists Shouldn't Be Made to Ring Doorbells...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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A Blessing of Riches...

Education, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin, U.S.

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Gov. Perry a Felon? Really?

Politics, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin

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An Exciting Time In Health Care...

Wisconsin, Healthcare, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Job Available; Thick Skin Required

Politics, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

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Finally a Name Becomes Public...

Village Buzz, Wisconsin, School Board, Politics

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Do Voters Really Get What They Deserve?

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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A Couple of Things...

U.S., Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference

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Ban Out-Of-State Contributions?

Politics, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

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Again, The Other Side...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life

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The Power of the Press...

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life

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A One-Note Samba?

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

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Changing Face of the Law

Quality of Life, Wisconsin, U.S., Political, People Making A Difference

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What Were They Thinking? Who Knows?

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Wisconsin Club for Growth Goes After GAB

Political, Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Taxes

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What Would We Do?

Germantown, People Making A Difference, Police, Politics, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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227...

Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Potpourri, People Making A Difference

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Who Would've Thought?

People Making A Difference, Potpourri, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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John Doe Investigations Abused

Politics, Wisconsin

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Republicans Avoided Embarrassment This Week-end

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Economy, Employment

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Talgo Myth?

Political, Taxes, Wisconsin, Potpourri

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Walker Gets It Right Again

Wisconsin, Politics, Quality of Life, Police

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Lands' End Almost Out-From-Under

Wisconsin, Potpourri, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Heroes and Goats

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Washington County Ranked 8th...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Healthcare, Education

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Spring Election Day 2014

Village Buzz, Germantown, Wisconsin, Politics, People Making A Difference

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All Abuzz About Buzz...

Wisconsin, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

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Elections Have Consequences...

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Nature: Difficult to Control

U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Employment, Quality of Life

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Cruz Makes My Head Hurt...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference

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The John Doe Is Closed...So Why Is It Continuing?

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

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Things Important & Things Relatively Unimportant

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference, Education

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American TV No More...

Wisconsin, Economy, Employment

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Heavy-Handed John Doe Investigations

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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The 'Real World' of the Affordable Care Act (a/k/a ObamaCare)

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Healthcare

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Anticipatory Banning...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference

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A Well-Oiled Machine...

Village Buzz, Education, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin

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A 'Game'? Really?

Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin

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Health Plan Cancellation Received?

Healthcare, Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Land's End Free-Standing Again?

Wisconsin, Potpourri, People Making A Difference

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Waukegan or Kenosha?

Wisconsin, Political, Economy, People Making A Difference

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Not a Good Week For Unions...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Education, Healthcare, People Making A Difference

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Back-to-School Day

Wisconsin, Education, Quality of Life

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The RNC, CNN & NBC

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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What, Me Worry?

Healthcare, U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Now That Is Diversification...

Wisconsin, Potpourri, Economy, Employment

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Fiscal Sanity...At All Levels

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, School Board, Political, Education, Germantown, County Board, Economy

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Got an Extra $2.9 Billion You Can Spare?

Wisconsin, Healthcare, Employment, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Politics & Cynicism

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life

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Budget All Nighters?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Healthcare, Economy

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Proportionate Return of Taxes Paid?

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Political

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Memorial Day 2013: Just Normal Americans

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin, Germantown, Fire Department, Police

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Heavy Handed Prosecution

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri, People Making A Difference

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Does Wisconsin Need A Treasurer?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political

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Caterpillar vs. Steelworkers

Wisconsin, Economy, Employment

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Residency Requirements Changed

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Milwaukee County Board, Taxes

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Yet Another ObamaCare Hiccup...

Healthcare, U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Palermo Has Been Vindicated, But...

Wisconsin, Political, Employment, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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End the Dithering

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Education, Taxes, Economy

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Once Again, What Were They Thinking?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Milwaukee County Board

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A Mouse In The Corner...

Wisconsin, Education, Political

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Post Election Thoughts

Village Buzz, School Board, Political, Germantown, Wisconsin, People Making A Difference

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Election Day Is Upon Us...

Wisconsin, Political, Education, Quality of Life, Germantown, School Board

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Continued Sequester Silliness

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Economy

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Supreme Court Race Brings Out the Worst in Some

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Obesity in Wisconsin

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Economy

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News Flash - Walker Not Indicted

Wisconsin, Political

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Residency Requirements?

Wisconsin, Political, Education, Fire Department, Police, Quality of Life

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Medicare Advantage Targeted

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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Vote Next Tuesday

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Pension Envy

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Wisconsin

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Sheriff Clark & His PSA

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference

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Is This The Way It Will Be?

Quality of Life, Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference

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Political Pettiness

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Education, Quality of Life, School Board, Village Board

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Is It Time To Revisit?

Village Buzz, Village Board, MATC, Political, Wisconsin, Education

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Making a Splash

Wisconsin, Political, County Board, Quality of Life

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My Dusty Crystal Ball...

U.S., Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy, Healthcare

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Bret and Barry and the Badgers

Wisconsin, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

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State Insurance Exchanges

Wisconsin, U.S., Taxes, Healthcare, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment

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Is Democracy a One-Way Street?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Getting Serious About PPACA/ObamaCare

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Healthcare, Employment, Political, Quality of Life

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"WEAC back to drawing board"

Wisconsin, Germantown, Education, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Thanksgiving Musing...

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri

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Walker Chooses Federal Exchange Approach

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, Healthcare, Employment, Taxes

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Split in the Ranks?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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What Does It Say About Us?

U.S., Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Economy, Political

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Has MATC No Shame?

Germantown, Political, Taxes, Wisconsin, Education

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Thoughts On The Election...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political

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I Was Obviously Wrong!

U.S., Wisconsin, Political

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Could It Be? A Landslide?

U.S., Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment, Wisconsin

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Politics and Religion

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Healthcare

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One Week To Go

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Economy, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Taxes

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Is There An Accountable Care Organization In Your Future?

U.S., Wisconsin, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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Military Mentors Going To Afghanistan

Wisconsin, U.S., Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Mileage-Based Fees?

Political, Wisconsin, Taxes, Quality of Life

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Farcical Football

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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The Nanny State & Brick Walls

U.S., Wisconsin, School Board, Political, Quality of Life, Healthcare, Education

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Honor Flights

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

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The Final Stretch

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Economy, Employment, Quality of Life

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Take Back the Capitol

Political, Police, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Will We or Won't We...

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

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Sue Black Fired?

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference

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The Energizer Bunny

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Economy

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Town of Jackson 'Disaster'

Wisconsin, Quality of Life

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Political Bits & Pieces

U.S., Wisconsin, Political

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Ryan is the Choice

U.S., Political, Wisconsin, Economy, Employment, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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The Veep Sweepstakes

Political, U.S., Wisconsin

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Circular Firing Squad - 1

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy

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Physicians Reassessing Their Futures

U.S., Wisconsin, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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PPACA - The More Things Change...

Wisconsin, U.S., Quality of Life, Political, Healthcare, Economy

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Hovde The Leader?

Wisconsin, Political

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A Strange But Wonderful Sound

Potpourri, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Two Battles Settled

U.S., Wisconsin, Healthcare, Quality of Life

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Obstruction of Justice?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Corn For Food, Or Corn For Ethanol?

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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An EPIC Story

Healthcare, Quality of Life, U.S., Wisconsin

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Conservatives Question Tommy

Wisconsin, Political, U.S.

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Yippee! Another Election.

Wisconsin, Political

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An "Aha" Moment?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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The Morning After...

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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At The Epicenter...

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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The Debates Are Finished!

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy, Education, Employment, Germantown

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I Don't Know About You, But...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Memorial Day 2012

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

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Enjoyable Public Utterances...

Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Wisconsin, U.S.

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In The Eye Of The Beholder

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

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Two Weeks To Go

Wisconsin, Political, Economy, Employment, Quality of Life

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Political Bits & Pieces

Wisconsin, Political, U.S., Quality of Life, Employment

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Fish Fry Tonight? All You Can Eat?

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri, People Making A Difference

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What Drives The Recall Election Now?

Wisconsin, Political, Economy

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Fewer Left Standing...

Wisconsin, Political, Taxes, Quality of Life, Economy, Employment

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Remember to....

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference

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Imagine My Surprise...

Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

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Huge Election Next Tuesday

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, Taxes, Economy, Education

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DNR Too Soft Under Walker?

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political

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Ignorance Might Be Bliss, But...

U.S., Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life, Economy

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Saturday Reflections...

U.S., Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Political, People Making A Difference

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Memories of Youth

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, Potpourri, People Making A Difference

An article in the morning Business section of the Journal Sentinel caused me to reflect on my childhood. The article discussed the three new cheese plants that are to be built in Wisconsin in the course of the coming year to year and one-half.

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Only $200,000?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

The Journal Sentinel reports this morning that it cost less to restore the Capitol than earlier estimated by the Walker Administration.  The actual cost was 'only' $197,459 as of March 15th, so obviously the Walker Administration was guilty of over-estimating the costs when it initially forewarned that costs could be as high as $7.5 Million.  The actual costs were comprised of the following:

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Election Decisions...

Political, Germantown, Education, School Board, Wisconsin

The races for Germantown School Board seats were about as I had expected in this largely conservative district.  The group of three who were touting their conservative perspectives won rather decisively (with margins of 2-1 or better).  This was a highly contentious set of races and we will now observe what this means for the School Board.  Will there be contentious issues through-out the terms of these new Board members, or was that discussion largely politically-driven?  Will these races prove to have been the precursor to a more contentious overall political climate, or was that largely the result of the 'education system' being the driver of those feelings?

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Extremist?

Political, Germantown, Wisconsin

A person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, esp. one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.

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Things Political....

Wisconsin, U.S., School Board, Political, Education, Germantown

Governor Walker's Act 10 bill was hit by a federal judge who found that unions could not be required to re-certify on an annual basis, and who found that the State of Wisconsin must collect union dues as has been done for many years.  That was not quite the victory that it is being billed to be, but it does take a little of the sting out of Act 10 from the unions' perspective.  It is a long way from overturning the law.

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Ryan 'likes' Romney

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Economy

Paul Ryan, as you already know, made Mitt Romney his selection in the race for the Republican nomination.  That may be enough of a push to assure a significant victory for Romney in our election. 

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Courts Supreme

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Healthcare, Quality of Life

Our two Supreme Courts, one in Madison and one in Washington,D.C., are showing how important this third branch of government truly can be.

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Crazy Days...

U.S., Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

The flyer from Menard's this morning announcing another 'Crazy Days' sale made me think of the current climate in our Badger state and in our country.  We are in the midst of what is becoming perpetual 'Crazy Days' in all things political.

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Re-Districting Map Decision

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference

The every-decade experience of redrawing the maps that determine where each of us votes is nearly finished.  For all the machinations by the opposition that virtually every decision taken by the Republicans was taken in error (with malice aforethought likely), it appears that only two districts were determined in need of change by the federal judges hearing the case.  The judges also were not kind to the Republicans so far as the manner in which the maps were created with oaths of secrecy signed.  No mention was made, interestingly, about the complaint by one of the plaintiffs being filed before the new lines were made public; this complaint apparently supposed the new lines would be a violation of their rights even before they knew what they were to be, and these were the two districts cited by the judges.

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Prosser Farce Continues

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

Ethics allegations against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser were unveiled yesterday in a continuation of what, to me, is among the more farcical things to come out of Madison.  Admittedly, there is a wide selection of things farcial that eminate in Madison from which to choose, but at least for now...this takes the Most Farcical award.

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Can You Even Begin to Imagine?

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Police

"Can you even begin to imagine the size of the crowd cramming itself into Erin on this St. Patty's Day?"

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Another Judge Heard From...

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

Circuit Judge Richard Niess of Dane County ruled yesterday on another challenge to the Voter ID law.  He didn't mess around with a 'temporary' restraining order; he issued a 'permanent' injunction.

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Tommy Leads

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference

The "Energizer bunny" of Wisconsin politics just keeps on running.  Tommy Thompson has been out of office for 13 years according to an article yesterday, but leads the field of candidates running to replace Sen. Kohl (D).

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Lipstick On A Pig

Wisconsin, U.S., Political, Employment, Quality of Life, Economy

Private sector adds 233,000 jobs was the headline on the story in the morning Journal Sentinel.  Then followed the statement: Unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3% after 3 strong months.

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The Newest Republican Senate Candidate

Wisconsin, Political, People Making A Difference, Economy, Taxes

Eric Hovde is officially in the race to replace Sen. Herb Kohl (D) who is not running for re-election.  Hovde has a lot of competition and will take his lumps as the long-time politicians who are his opponents in the Republican primary work him over.  Hovde has made a lot of money, so he is similar to our other Senator, Ron Johnson (R), in that he can provide a lot of funding from his own bank account if need be, and that is likely to be needed given the number of hands already reaching out for contributions.

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Rant Time...Again

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference, Political, Wisconsin, U.S.

I awakened this morning to newspaper stories telling me that a Dane County Judge who signed a Walker recall petition has declared the voter ID law is likely costing some 220,000 people to lose their right to vote because they do not have ID cards and therefore has ruled that it cannot be enforced in the coming April elections.  I also read of the decision by Democrat Senators in conjunction with one Republican "moderate" Senator who have decided many people in Northern Wisconsin will continue to hover near poverty.  I read that Gogebic will withdraw from its efforts to develop mining operations that would employ several hundreds of Northern Wisconsin folks and uncounted hundreds more in Southeastern Wisconsin who would've built the mining equipment.

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Walker Recall

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

It was interesting to hear what one of the independent groups has found in its review of the 152,508 pages of signatures submitted to recall Governor Walker.

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Will The Lines Remain As Drawn?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

There is a phrase that comes to mind as the re-districting case winds its way through the courts:  "to the victor go the spoils".

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Candidate Veto Pledge?

Wisconsin, Taxes, Political, Quality of Life

It is interesting to see the very open, and some would say blatant, attempt by major unions in Wisconsin to hand-pick their candidate to go against Scott Walker in the almost certain recall election to come.  It is very simple really; either you pledge to veto any budget that doesn't restore full union rights or you run the state without a new budget.  There is no inbetween; no 'ifs, ands or buts' as it were.

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Bits & Pieces - February 8th

Germantown, Political, Quality of Life, Potpourri, Wisconsin, People Making A Difference

G'town Boys Nationally Ranked...

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GAB Slow Walking?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

Just when you think it isn't possible for the GAB to continue to be in the press, it makes some decision or announcement that propels it back into the news.  That is sort of the "gift that keeps on giving" from a talk show host's or a blogger's perspective.

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Venue Shopping & GAB

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

It was no surprise to see the Court of Appeals render its decision to vacate the decision of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis.  The Davis decision, of course, was the one in which he chided the GAB and said it needed to be more aggressive in its role of reviewing recall petition signatures.

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GAB Makes News Again

Political, Quality of Life, Wisconsin

The Government Accountability Board (GAB) finds itself in the news again this morning with its decision to withhold the signature petitions involved in the Walker recall effort.  Supposedly this is for a brief period during which the GAB will ponder the request of some signers that their signatures and address information be kept from public view.  One of the examples mentioned involves a person who was a stalking victim.

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Citizen Soldiers

Wisconsin, People Making A Difference, Quality of Life

I served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard during the Berlin crisis that saw the 32nd Division activated and sent to then Ft. Lewis, Washington.  We trained for possible deployment involving what was then called the "Cuban Missile" crisis.  That never occurred and we were released from active duty some ten months later.  Then that was quite the big deal; today that is little more than an extended summer camp at Ft. McCoy.

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Random Political Thoughts

Political, U.S., Wisconsin, Economy, Employment, Healthcare, Quality of Life

As I read the morning Journal Sentinel today, I was struck by the political inferences across the main section even though this publication claims to be unbiased.  (1) Dan Bice continues on the 'expose Walker' bent that he has made standard fare of late.  His "sources say" that charges will be issued in the coming days and that they likely will involve Walker operatives.  He mentions that "at least eight" of Walker's "former aides and associates have hired criminal defense lawyers".  "Insiders" have told Bice that the "next phase is focusing on the role of some of Walker's closest associates". (2) There is now an 'issue' over whether or not Wisconsin is in a deficit or not in a deficit.  The gap of some $3.6 Billion that Walker encountered when he took office was closed by the Walker government but that was on a cash basis.  So now we are exposed to the fact that under GAAP accounting there is still a deficit and that this fact was used recently in a petition to the federal government to gain its permission to cut some 50,000+ people from a state health plan if necessary.  I don't recall the continuing series of articles during the former government's time in office that traced the ever-increasing budget deficit or that condemned the use of various 'funds' (transportation and patient compensation, for example) to make possible increased state spending.  (3) A story on the national 'health care overhaul' from the Associated Press states that Wisconsin is among the states "lagging" in implementation of the wonderful new PPACA legislation that has yet to withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny.  This story mentions some 500,000 Wisconsinites who have no health insurance but does not indicate that this state is among those with the lowest uninsured population in the nation.  Nor does it bother to mention that each of these 500,000 people have access to health care under federal laws that have been in force for years.  Maybe this was simply accidental story selection.  Maybe not. 

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Interesting Twist in Manitowoc

Wisconsin, Employment, Economy, People Making A Difference

The union workers (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 516) at the Manitowoc Company have been fighting with the company for the past two months to get a new contract.  There have been at least three votes of which I am aware.  Each time the proposed deal was voted down, the union and company went back to the table and came up with a revised contract proposal.  In the meantime, the company hired temporary replacement workers.

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Brewers' Signing

People Making A Difference, Quality of Life, Potpourri, Wisconsin

The Milwaukee Brewers made a great signing yesterday and it was a former player.  Craig Counsell joined the front office staff under GM Doug Melvin having decided that it was time to hang up his spikes.

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She Was So Pretty

Wisconsin, Potpourri

She was a real pretty little thing.  Big brown eyes.  Lovely light brown hair.  Slender legs. Probably about 150 lbs.

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Well, That's That

Wisconsin, Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

Our Packer season is over.  Wow! That came too soon and it was sort of ugly as those kinds of things tend to be.

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GAB Will Review Names

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life

So the GAB (Government Accountability Board), in response to the decision by the Waukesha county judge saying that it needed to be more proactive in reviewing recall campaign signatures, has decided that it can create spread sheets.  Instead of sixty days to review the signatures collected as it said it would need before the decision, the GAB says it will need more time and it will seek that permission from a judge.  That has been granted in each case I can recall.

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Walker Is Guilty?

Wisconsin, Political, Quality of Life