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Truth In Borrowing?

Political, Potpourri, Wisconsin

My weekday mornings include listening to Jay Weber on WISN1130 radio.  He began a discussion this morning concerning what he called, "truth in taxing".  It makes a great deal of sense from my perspective, although I've chosen to call it Truth in Borrowing.

The premise is simple.  When we borrow mortgage money from a lending institution, we are given a Truth in Lending form that explains all the ramifications of the loan we are about to receive, including what we will have paid back in total if the loan runs to its full amortization date and if our payments are each made on or before the due date.

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How's The Economy Doing?

Economy, Political, Taxes

I spoke with a good friend yesterday who was lamenting over the economy.  He felt that business was off, money was tight, and that people weren't buying things.  He happens to rely on the mainstream media for the information he receives, and is not nearly so addicted to the news cycle as am I.

We discussed the economy, and he was persuaded that it really wasn't all 'gloom and doom' as he'd been thinking it was.

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Open Letter To Rep. Wasserman...Part One

Economy, MATC, Political, Taxes, Wisconsin

A Germantown citizen, John M., provided me a copy of the e-mail letter he sent to Rep. Wasserman on October 20th.  It seems that Rep. Wasserman knocked on the John M. residence door and spoke with Mrs. M.  John M. then sent his letter seeking clarification on various matters so as to be able to make an informed decision about voting for either Rep. Wasserman or for incumbent Sen. Darling when that time comes.

I received a follow-up e-mail from John M. yesterday advising me that he had received no response to his original letter.  He also mentioned that he had telephoned Rep. Wasserman's office on October 29th and left a message asking if the assemblyman would respond to his letter.  He has since had no response to either his letter or the phone call.

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Holiday Cookies...Part One of Four


I shouldn't peak at my spouse's e-mail, but this one intrigued me.  Hope you enjoy a few of the recipes.

1-2-3 Cookies 7 Layer Cookies Allie Nelson's Famous Snickerdoodle Cookies Almond Crescent Shortbread Amish Sugar Cookies Andies Candies Cookies Angel Crisps Angenets Applesauce Cookies Apricot Fold-Overs Aunt Edy's Molasses Crinkles Auntie Linda's Ginger Gems Bakeless Dream Cookies Banana Drop Cookies Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in the World Biscotti Biscotti Blueberry Cookies Boiled Chocolate Oatmeal Drop Cookies Bronwnies Brown Sugar Shortbread Brownie Cookies Brownie Delight Brownies Buccaneer Snowballs Buried Cherry Cookies Butter Cookies Butter Nut Balls Butterballs Butterscotch Haystacks C.O.P. Cookies Candy Cane Cookies Candy Cookies Caramel Shortbread Cheesecake Brownies Cherry Buns Cherry Crowns Cherry Winks Chewies Chewy Noels Chinese Chews/Haystacks Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars Chocolate Chip Cookies Chocolate Chip Meltaways Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies Chocolate Christmas Trees Chocolate Cream Cheese Squares Chocolate Crinkles Chocolate Mint Snow-Top Cookies Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (no bake) Chocolate Snowball Cookies Chocolate Streusel Bars Chocolate Sundae Cookies Chocolate Walnut Crumb Bars Choco-Scotch Crunchies Choose A Cookie Dough Recipe Christmas Crackers Christmas Crunch Bars Christmas Ginger Snaps Christmas Macaroons Christmas Mice Cookies Christmas Shaped Cookies Church Window Cookies Coconut Cookies Congo Squares Cookie in a Jar Corn Flakes Cookies

Holiday Cookies...Part Two


Cornflake Christmas Wreaths Cowboy Cookies (oatmeal) Cream Cheese Cookies with Apricot Filling Crème De Menthe Chocolate Squares Crème Wafers Crescent Cookies Crispy Crunchies Date Nut Balls Date-nut Pinwheel Cookies Diabetic Peanut Butter Cookies Disgustingly Rich Brownies Doodles Double chocolate chip cookies Double-Chocolate Crinkles Eatmore Cookies Eggnog Cookies Elizabeth's Sugar Cookies Elves Quick Fudge Brownies Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookie Recipe Emily's Best Brownies Famous Oatmeal Cookies Firemen Cookies Fluffy Shortbread Cookies Forgotten Cookies Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies Fruit Cake Cookies Fruitcake Squares Fry Pan Cookies Gems Ginger Cookies Ginger Crinkles Gingerbread Baby Gingerbread Cookies with Butter Cream Icing Gingerbread Men Gingerbread Men Ginny's Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Glory's Golden Graham Squares Glory's Sugar Cookies Gramma Chapman's chocolate coconut drops Grandma Elsie's Zimt (cinnamon) Cookies Grandma J's Butter Cookies Grandma Olson's Parkay Cookies Great Grandmothers Sugar Cookies Gum Drop Cookies Gumdrop Gems Haystack Cookies Ho-Ho Bars Holiday Cereal Snaps Holiday Chocolate Butter Cookies Holiday Raisin Walnut Bars Holly Cookies Hungarian Cookies (Little Nut Rolls) Ice Box Cookies Irresistible Peanut Butter Cookies Italian Cookies Jacob's Peppermint Snowballs Jam Bars Jessica's Famous Brownies Jessie's Chocolate Chip Cookies Jubilee Jumbles Juliet's Peanut Butter Blossoms Jumbo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Holiday Cookies...Part Three


Kentucky Colonels Kiefle (cream cheese cookies with jam filling) Kifflings Kiss Cookies Lacy Swedish Almond Wafers Lemon Angel Bar Cookies Lemon Bars Lemon Cake Cookies Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies Lemon Squares Linzer Tarts Log Cabin Cookies Luscious Lemon Squares M&M Cookies Magic Cookie Bars Melt in Your Mouth Cutout Sugar Cookies Melting Shortbread Meme's Cream Cheese Cookies Milk Chocolate Florentine Cookies Mincemeat Cookies Mincemeat Goodies Molasses Cookies Molasses Forest Cookies Molasses Sugar Cookies Mom Mom's Crescent Cookies Mom-Mom's Ginger Cookies Mom's Nutmeg Sugar Cookies Mom's Old Fashion "Puffy" Sugar Cookies Monster Cookies Moravian Christmas Cookies Nana's Famous Soft Southern Cookies Nitey Nite Cookies No Bake Chocolate Cookies No Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Cookies No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies No-Bake Cookies Norwegian Sugar Cookies Nut Balls Oatmeal Bars Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Nut Cookies Oatmeal Coconut Crisps Oatmeal Cookies Oatmeal Scotchies Old Fashioned Sugar Cookies Ooey Gooey Caramel Chocolate Dunk Ooey Gooey Squares Orange Slice Cookies Parking Lot Cookies Peanut Blossoms Peanut Butter Bars Peanut Butter Blossoms Peanut Butter Cereal Cookies Peanut Butter Chewies Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut Butter Cookies Peanut butter fingers Peanut Butter Reindeer Peanut Butter Surprises Peanut Marshmallow Cookies Pecan Puff Cookies Peppermint Snowballs

Holiday Cookies... Fourth & Last


Peppernuts Persimmon Cookies Persimmon Cookies Petey's Yummy Spicy Almond Thins Pfeffernuesse Pffefferneuse Cookies Pineapple Filled Cookies Pizzelles Potato Chip Cookies Potato Flake Cookies Praline Cookies Praline Strips Pterodactyl Nests Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Bars Pumpkin Chip Cookies Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Pumpkin Cookies Queen Biscuits Quick Cookies Raised Sugar Cookies Raisin Filled Oatmeal Bars Raspberry Meringue Bars Really Peanutty Butter Cookies Reese`s Brownies Reese's Peanut Butter Bars Rich Flavor Christmas Cookies Rich Lemon Bars Ricotta Cheese Cookies Royal Almond Christmas Bars Rudolph Cinnamon Cookies Russian Tea Cookies Russian Teacakes Samantha & Kelsey's Chocolate Chip Cookies Sand Art Brownies Santa Claus Cookie Pops Santa Claus Cookies Santa's Butterscotch Melts Santa's Shorts Santa's Special Squares Scotch Cakes Scotch Shortbread Scotcharoos Scotcheroos Seven Layer Cookies Short Bread Cookies Shortbread Skor Squares Snicker Doodle Cookies Snickerdoodles Snickerdoodles Snow Balls Sour Cream Apple Squares Sour Cream Christmas Cookies Special K Cookies Spice Cookies Spicy Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Spritz Cookies Stained Glass Window Cookies Stir & Drop Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Sugar Cookies Swedish Pepparkakor (Pepper Cake) Cookies Swedish Sugar Cookies Sweet Marie's Swiss Treats Taralle (Italian Cookies) Tea Time Tassies Texas Brownies The Best Shortbread in The World Thumbprint Cookies Thumbprint Cookies Toffee Squares Traditional Christmas Sugar Cookies Traditional Gingerbread Men Cookies Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies Vanilla Waffer Balls Walnut Butter Cookies Walnut Crumb Bars White Chip Chocolate Cookies Wild Oatmeal Cookies Will's Famous Apple Jack Cookies Yummy Yummy Peanut Butter Blossoms 

Representive Wasserman Stopped To Chat Today

Germantown, Political, Wisconsin

Rep. Wasserman stopped at my house after the Packer game today (that augers well for him) and agreed that he wanted to participate in the back and forth with Sen. Darling as we've been proposing for some time now.  He'll surpass 7,500 doorbells rung in a day or two, by the way!

I am sending him the link information for Curmudgeon's Corner so he will be able to engage in our debate.

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Cigarette Tax Collection "Threats"...

Political, Taxes, Wisconsin

Governor Doyle's tax collection 'gorilla' is now promising tough enforcement action against those who use the Internet or cross state lines to buy cigarettes where taxes are less costly than Wisconsin.  This comes into play on and after January 1, 2008.

I've not smoked a cigarette since July 5, 1985, so I don't have that dog in this fight.  I can find another dog or two that I've got in this fight, however.

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Politicians: Our Advocates Or Our Adversaries?

Political, Wisconsin

We vote for, and hope to elect, people who appear to be like-minded, or at least I hope that is the case.  If we have certain positions that are important to us, we tend to try to identify the person running for office that is nearest to the position we hold.  (Nearest becomes the operative term when we look to the coming Presidential election.  None of those running meet all my tests, but I must select that person whom I believe is nearest.  I cannot afford not to vote or to vote for the other candidate simply to register my protest.)


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What Americans Think About Immigration Policy...

Political, U.S., Wisconsin

From American Solutions, we see the following report:

69% of Americans Believe Immigration Is 'Seriously Headed Off the Wrong Track'

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Recycling Center Visit Fee Out...

Germantown, Village Board

The village board took the possibility of a $1.00 per visit fee for use of the recycling center off the table at its last meeting.

That is a sensible move given the fact that every Germantown citizen is required to use the recycling center.

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What A Guy!

Healthcare, SCHIP, Taxes, Wisconsin

Who?  Why Governor Doyle, of course. 

If you've not yet seen it or heard it, we have just been 'given' the expanded version of BadgerCare called BadgerCare Plus.

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Television Writers' Strike Thoughts...


Ernie Kovacs, a television entertainer in the early years of TV, wrote most of his own jokes and had a great sense of humor. 

I've paraphrased one of his quotes slightly...

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What About 'Waterboarding'...

Political, Potpourri, U.S.

You've probably heard more than enough about 'waterboarding', a technique employed (or not employed depending upon whom you choose to believe) to gather information from people who want to cause us harm.

The subject found itself heavily debated in the discussion about our new U.S. Attorney General, Michael Mukasey.  Senators can seemingly connect everything to approvals of presidential appointments.  Both Senators Kohl and Feingold chose to vote against the confirmation of Mukasey.  Sen. Kohl was quoted as saying he did so because of Mukasey's unwillingness to call 'waterboarding' torture.  Sen. Feingold used that as part of his reasoning, but he was more concerned with his age-old drive to increase Congress' authority at the expense of the Executive branch of our government.  As an aside, what would Feingold's position on that issue be if he really thought he had a chance to be President?

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Ethanol Boondoggle...

Political, Taxes, U.S., Wisconsin

Ethanol has been part of our jargon over the past few years.  We see it shown on our gas pumps.  We know that it is chiefly made from corn.  We know that it is subsidized by our federal government.

What most of us don't hear often enough is this:

  • Ethanol produces worse gas mileage instead of better.
    • Instead of helping the fuel shortage, it exacerbates that problem.
    • Those of us using 'reformulated' fuel pay an even greater price since that reduces mileage as well.
  • Ethanol requires something in the range of 1,000 gallons of water for every gallon of ethanol produced.
    • Water resources are being overwhelmed by the amount consumed to produce the ethanol that is forced on us.
    • A small ethanol plant equals the water consumption of a community of 10,000 people.
    • People who know suggest that we will create semi-arid land where farm land once existed through depletion of supplies.
    • We know that politicians from the West already have their eyes on our water resources.
  • Ethanol is highly corrosive thus creating distribution problems over longer distances.
    • Ethanol plants are literally popping up all over the Midwest because the plant must be close to the user.
    • Ethanol breaks down very quickly thus making it impossible to be stored effectively over time.
  • Ethanol has created significant issues for farmers who raise the food we eat.
    • Farmers are, expectedly, rushing to plant more and more corn because the market is being stimulated
    • Corn-based food products are rising in cost.
    • Other grain-based products are in shorter supply thus increasing those food costs too.
    • Meat costs are increasing since much of beef, poultry and pork stocks are fed corn and other grains. 
    • Mexicans, for example, are now paying over 30% more for tortillas simply due to the ethanol they're producing.
  • Ethanol is seemingly loved by many politicians.
    • They certainly love the votes it brings them from within the farm belt.
    • Ethanol plays to those who want to cause us to use less and less oil when we should be drilling more and building refinery capacity.
    • Politicians look for quick fixes since they tend to view every problem as being part of an election cycle.

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Residential 'Tipping Fee' Back In The Budget...

Germantown, Taxes, Village Board

Thanks to Ty Finke (GermantownNOW reporter) who gathered and reported this information.

We wrote earlier about the proposed $1.00 per visit recycling center fee (also sometimes referred to as a 'tipping fee') a week or so ago.  At that time it appeared that the village board had decided against such a tipping fee and had requested that it be pulled from the proposed budget.

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Frankenstein Veto Debate Today (Updated 11/15)...

Taxes, Wisconsin

The senate committee did pass Senate Joint Resolution 5 on November 14th.  It is now up to Sen. Russ Decker (D), the new senate majority leader, to determine if he will schedule it for consideration by the full senate.  It is important to remember that senate Democrats felt snubbed by Governor Doyle during the battle over budget items.  In part, that led to the overthrow of Sen. Robson by Decker.  Many believe that the Dems will permit this to be voted upon by the senate and that it will be likely to pass that body.  That would send the message to Doyle that he had better give the Senate its 'due' and not embarrass them as they felt was the case last time around.


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Have You Thought Much About CO2 Emissions?

Economy, Political, Potpourri, U.S.

Neither have I [except when Al Gore sneaks onto my television screen], but I came across a website that is selling 'Carbon Offsets'.  If I buy enough carbon offsets, they'll give me the assurance that I've canceled out all the bad stuff I'm doing to the environment.  Does this also mean there is a site somewhere that will take my money and forgive me for other bad things I do or contemplate doing?

I drive an SUV that calculates out to producing 27,174 lbs of carbon dioxide per year.  If I pay this company $79.95 for the first year, I'm off the hook for being such an environmental hazard.  I get a static-cling window decal telling everyone how great I am and a bumper sticker.  The company sends my money to somebody else who'll plant trees or build wind generator farms or whatever seems to be the 'saving grace' of the day.  They assure me that all this is audited by the Center for Resource Solutions, a non-profit (which must mean I can trust them implicitly) organization that apparently knows that there really is global warming and that we humans are so smart that we can reverse it even though it seems these cycles have gone on and remain unchecked for ages.

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Citizens Coalition Wants Budget Reductions...

Germantown, MATC, Taxes, Village Board

The morning Journal Sentinel carried a brief story about the Germantown Citizens Action Coalition and attributed several points to the group's president, Larry Prodoehl.

Mr. Prodoehl reportedly stated this group of Germantown citizens wants the raises for non-bargaining village employees trimmed or eliminated and that they want the proposed recycling center 'tipping fee' dropped entirely.  He reasoned that the tipping fee, expected to raise between $40,000 and $45,000 per year, was approximately the amount needed for the raises.  That has been estimated at $36,000 for the initial year.

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