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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Obama's ObamaCare "Let's Make a Deal" on steroids: Call 10 key House Democrats

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

President Obama has sunk to a new low with his latest strong-arm tactics to convince 10 key House Democrats to change their ObamaCare NO vote to YES when it comes their way again. The 10 NO Dems were invited to the White House yesterday for some Presidential persuasion, because the President needs them to change their votes to keep ObamaCare dream alive.

The most egregious example of strong-arming being the Obama administration just happening to recommend Congressman Jim Matheson's brother, Scott, a judgeship for the Tenth Circuit court. How about that? Now Matheson, who voted twice against ObamaCare in the House, is now undecided!

From the Weekly Standard, Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?: "Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit."

Talk about brazen. No attempt to have put this in the works back in November for future influence? This was not the only time there appears to be influence peddling: "The timing of this nomination looks suspicious, especially in light Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak's claim that he was offered a federal job not to run against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary. Many speculated that Sestak, a former admiral, was offered the Secretary of the Navy job."

I heard about Obama's push to persuade the 10 Dems on Mark Levin last night. He is asking for a Levin Surge, that means a calling campaign. Senator Jim DeMint urged doing the same. Many people think their calls don't do any good. May I respectfully disagree that the only reason we haven't passed ObamaCare yet is because of your calls and presence at Town Halls and Congressional offices!

I join Jim and Mark in urging you to call the 10 Key Dems and politely ask that they stand firm on their NO votes. Call one, a few or better yet, all 10 Congressmen: Jason Altmire 202-225-2565, Allen Boyd 202-225-5235, Lincoln Davis 202-225-6831, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin* 202-225-2801, Frank Kratovil 202-225-5311, Betsy Markey 202-225-4676, Jim Matheson 202-225-3011, Heath Shuler 202-225-6401, John Tanner 202-225-4714, Scott Murphy 202-225-5614

The normal Conference process of melding the House with Senate bill into one that then is voted on again by the House and Senate has failed. Even if they did have a final bill, the election of Scott Brown to the Senate makes a 60 vote majority unlikely.

UPDATE**But wait a minute, if the House passes the Senate version, which already was passed Christmas Eve, then it goes to Obama for signing into law! The premise was that the House should pass the Senate version to have it go for Reconciliation in the Senate and then they would "fix" it later to suit both chambers. But if the House passes the Senate version, as is, legally, it does not have to go to the Senate for another vote! It will be law. No wonder Sen. Jim DeMint mentioned that the House doesn't trust the Senate? Rep. Stupak, who objects to taxpayer funded abortion says there are 12 Dems ready to oppose health care bill. If that is true, passage of the Senate version is unlikely.

So [then] the only hope of ObamaCare passage [now] is a little used budgetary tool called Reconciliation allowed by the Constitution. This was never meant to pass something like ObamaCare, but the President and Democrats are threatening to use it anyway. (Then again, Pay for Play influence isn't allowed either--in addition to Matheson, remember Senator's Mary Landrieu's Louisiana Purchase and Ben Nelson's deal?)

Funny how times change. The President himself said he would not use Reconciliation when he was campaigning. Obama is now renaming Reconciliation as a Simple Majority or an Up and Down Vote. Whatever the name, it is still Reconciliation that needs 50 + 1 votes.

If we were still under President Bush, the 50 Yes Senate votes wouldn't be enough to pass Socialized Medicine, because Vice President Dick Chaney would cast the tie breaking NO vote. But then again, if President Bush were still in office, the focus of the administration would be the economy. We would have lowered taxes on businesses, allowed domestic oil drilling, and stopped the government takeover of the US Economy, instead of pushing business killing ObamaCare and Cap and Trade.

Make the calls!

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Wisconsin Conservatives to gather in Dells for AFP's Defending American Dream Summit

Conservatives, Global Warming/Climate Change, Government / Bureaucracy, Special events, United States, WISCONSIN

There is still time to register and attend the Americans for Prosperity 3rd Annual Defending the American Dream Summit this weekend, March 12th and 13th. The event runs 2 days at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells. The event begins on Friday with registration and a reception. The speakers and seminars begin at 9:30am on Saturday and continue until 7pm, and then there is an After the Tea Party Party in the evening.

Some of the speakers include: Lord Christopher Monckton, former adviser to Margaret Thatcher (he gave that compelling speech warning of the US ceding our rights if we entered into the Copenhagen treaty last Oct.) , Grover Norquist - Americans for Tax Reform, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Representatives Leah Vukmir and Jim Ott, Niger Innnis-Congress of Racial Equality, John Fund of the Wall Street Journal, Vicki McKenna, Michael Reagan, and Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range - land use rights.

Issues include Global Warming-Climate Change-Economic Suicide, Net Neutrality, Hands Off My Health Care, Voter Fraud, and Property Rights and Coordination, and more.

I attended this event last year and found it very worthwhile. In looking at the speaker lineup, I see some of last year's speakers will be there again. Of particular interest is Fred Kelly Grant of Stewards of the Range. Last year he told how a community stopped the NAFTA highway at the very local level by using land rights law. This process might apply to High Speed Train right of way too. I don't know if it would be of any help with the recent 10 million acre land and ocean/lake waters grab, via Executive Order, from the Obama Administration, but you could ask Fred.

If you are interested in the Conservative perspective on local and national issues, I urge you to attend. The cost is $39.99 for adults and $24.99 for students. Register here

Links: 

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Can it be? A Target in Brookfield? How about a Trader Joe's too?

City of Brookfield, Development

Oh, my goodness! The City of Brookfield is actually talking about a TARGET store in Brookfield?

It is almost too good to be true. But there it was in black and white on JSOnline.

According to the March 11th Business section, Developer hopes to bring Target, senior apartments to Brookfield.



The 23-acre site Ryan Inc. has agreed to purchase for this potential development is just over Brookfield's border with Wauwatosa on Bluemound Road--the former Quebecor site near UPS.

There was a project planned for the site back in 2007 that fizzled out due to the economy.

The former plan was for mixed use: lots of shops with apartments and condos. I was not in favor of that project. Apartments /condos often bring with them school-aged children. The property taxes paid by apartment and condo owners are not high enough to pay their fair share of school taxes. Plus, we already have plenty of apartment/condo space in Brookfield.

Speaking of plenty of in Brookfield....we also have an abundance of smaller retail space--you know, the little coffee shops, nail salons, specialty stores, etc. The kind most people don't frequent enough. Unfortunately, much of this space is vacant.

But this new proposal is for a Target store! This is a surprise because the words Big Box and Brookfield never used to be uttered in the same sentence. Granted, Target is the slightly higher class Big Box store, as demonstrated by people calling it Targe' (soft g sound).

Senior apartments are a more acceptable idea to me than regular apartments, as long as they are not subsidized. As the population ages, many Brookfielders would like to stay in Brookfield. I would think senior apartments would not be the site of wild parties or domestic violence that often requires police attention that regular apartments do? I would also think senior apartments would be a better fit for the abutting residential neighborhood than standard apartments. Seniors would require more emergency medical care, however.

Now, this is just a suggestion, since we already have far too much apartment space, senior or otherwise, could there be a chance that the developer would woo a Trader Joe's food store to this same location? That would really be something, wouldn't it? (Trader Joe's is the higher class version of ALDI stores.) Trader Joe's is known for its good quality, healthy food, at low prices.

With a Trader Joe's in the same complex, seniors would be within walking distance to their everyday needs. If I were a senior* I would really like that.

People currenlty travel across town to the Bay Shore Trader Joe's. Considering the parking at Bay Shore's Trader Joe's is a nightmare, having one on this side of town would attract some of those customers west. It would also attract customers west of Brookfield to the new store.

If not at this site, how about a Trader Joe's at the many other larger sized, vacant retail properties in Brookfield? (Hint, hint, City of Brookfield.)

Hey, a girl can hope!

I can't say what the Ryan project will look like. Will the developer ask for higher density than what is zoned? Will they want to cram in subsidized senior housing? I don't know. But at first blush, at least the new Target is appealing. Add the Trader Joe's and the retail portion of the project hits the bull's eye.

If this project interests or concerns you, you may wish to attend District 7's Information Meeting on Wed. March 30th at 7-9pm at City Hall. Alderman Lisa Mellone might have more information by then. You can certainly voice your concerns to her.

*I don't know how old you have to be to qualify as a senior...I might already be eligible? :)
 

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ObamaCare at any cost? Slaughter Rule butchers Constitution

Constitution, Health care, Legislation, President Obama

What better name for a procedure that butchers the U.S. Constitution than the Slaughter Rule! This is the latest attempt to pass ObamaCare without actually following the process outlined in our Constitution that both the House and Senate must pass the same bill to become law. It is enough to make James Madison roll over in his grave.

From Senator Mitch McConnell in the Wall Street Journal: [My emphasis] "Democratic congressional leaders have floated a plan to enact health-care reform by a procedure dubbed "the Slaughter solution." It is named not for the political carnage that it might inflict on their members, but for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, who proposed it. Under her proposal, Democrats would pass a rule that deems the Senate's health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on the bill. This would enable Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill without facing a Senate filibuster, and without requiring House members to vote in favor of a Senate bill that is now politically toxic.

The Slaughter solution cannot be squared with Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution."

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Americans are gathering in Washington D.C., calling, and praying to stop ObamaCare

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, Socialism / Marxism

The big question today is, will the Democrats have the votes to pass the Slaughter solution, which passes the Senate ObamaCare version, on Sunday? We still don't know. The WHIP counts are unreliable.

Some hearty Americans are not giving up the fight though; they are gathering in Washington DC this weekend to protest ObamaCare. Actor Jon Voight, Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann (among others), along with the American Grassroots Coalition are planning a rally on Saturday. Obviously, not all of us are able to pack up and go, but more power to them.

There are pleas to call the Democrat Representatives who are still undecided. Code Red has a list. If you have tried to call, you know the Capitol switchboard is being flooded with calls. Lots of people call, but there are many more who don't because it is too much hassle or they can't get through.

But there is one more thing everyone can do, if they want to, and that is pray. Pro-Life groups of course have requested prayer, so have secular conservative talk show hosts, but there was even a prayer request from a very unexpected source: a Democrat blog!

Yes, it is true. The Democrat HillBuz duo went to church this week to ask for Divine intervention against ObamaCare, and they are begging readers to pray:
 

"If it doesn’t offend you to ask this, please pray for America tonight. Ask your friends to pray, too. Tomorrow, light some candles* in your churches and ask the little old ladies in there to pray for our nation too.

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ObamaCare passed, now what?

Constitution, Conservatives, Health care, Legislation, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

For the majority of Americans, yesterday's narrow margin of victory on the ObamaCare vote marked a very sad day in our history. Amid shouts of Vote No from protesters outside, Bart Stupak sold out, as did most of the anti-abortion Democrats, giving ObamaCare 219 yes votes. (There were 34 Democrats who voted no along with all of the Republicans.)

The President was obviously pleased. He said, "Another stone laid in the foundation of the American Dream" and unbelievably, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quipped, "No money exchanged hands"! All I can say is that often dreams turn into nightmares.

I have to hand it to those who trekked to Washington DC for their one, last-ditch effort to persuade lawmakers to listen to the people. But in the end, the majority of Democrats did not care what most of us thought.

So now what?

Conservatives have been cautioning that repealing ObamaCare legislation would be very difficult. But at this point, fighting back is all we have.

Several states have already begun the process of suing the Federal Government over ObamaCare. Idaho, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida have set the wheels in motion. "Texas, Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Alabama are expected to join the campaign."

Other states will probably push to retain the rights of their residents to contract privately for their own health care coverage and "prohibit enactment of any law that requires any person to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage or to participate in any health care system or plan," as Wisconsin is trying.

On February 22, 2010, Senate Joint Resolution 62 was introduced by Wisconsin Senators Leibham, Lazich, Kapanke, Darling, Grothman, Lasee, Hopper, and Shultz, along with 23 Representatives.

The road ahead will be difficult. We already cannot afford the government programs we currently have. ObamaCare will add even more to the deficit. Moody's has been warning that America's debt level will move us "'substantially' closer to losing its AAA rating".

Caterpillar announced last week--in anticipation of passage--that ObamaCare "would increase the company's health-care costs by more than $100 Million in the first year alone." How will increased costs help struggling companies rebuild our economy?

Fasten your seat belts, we are in for a very bumpy ride.


More reading: New Taxes for Health Care Help Obama 'Spread the Wealth Around'
Senate Conservatives Repeal It Pledge "I hereby pledge to support with my time, money, and vote only those candidates who vow to repeal President Obama's health care takeover."
Abortion Compromise Does Not Satisfy Critics
When Deficits Become Dangerous
Obama Pays More Than Buffett as U.S. Risks AAA Rating
 

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Got Milk? Is it raw?

Healthy living, Legislation, WISCONSIN

If you live in Wisconsin, more likely than not, that question is answered, no, ...unless you live on a dairy farm. If you don't live on a dairy farm, a consumer must go through ridiculous contortions to procure raw milk.

Some years back, it was legal to get raw milk if you were part owner of a dairy cow. Then that was deemed unacceptable. Some creative consumers and farmers then entered into a I know nothing relationship of just come into the cooler room, pick up the milk, leave the money in the secret spot.

All of that subterfuge is about to change. The Wisconsin legislature is entertaining allowing the sale of raw milk once again in our state: Modified raw milk legislation moves ahead: "The legislation [Senate Bill 434] is expected to be voted on by the full Assembly and Senate before the session ends in April." I am amazed that in this Nanny State environment the bill is moving forward.

I grew up drinking raw milk even though I did not live on a farm--I was a city girl. The Golden Guernsey dairyman delivered it to our house every week. (Remember milk chutes?) The certified milk came in glass quart bottles and was not homogenized*. It was delicious. The Golden Guernsey Dairy Barns that produced our raw milk were VERY clean and subject to a rigorous testing schedule.

Raw milk advocates cite it is a healthier choice because it is a living food. Conditions such as asthma, allergies, eczema and even Autism are said to improve if raw milk is consumed. Those conditions are certainly prevalent today. Raw milk opponents say it is dangerous because it can carry bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella. I don't know if that was the case in the 1950s and 60s. Back then I just remember brucellosis being mentioned as a risk factor.

But is pasteurization a guarantee of safety? If you remember what we learned from the debate on whether to irradiate beef against E. coli, irradiation did not prevent post irradiation contamination. The same is true for pasteurization. Pasteurizing milk does not and cannot prevent post-pasteurization contamination, as evidenced by the periodic recalls of listeria and other bacterial contaminated pasteurized dairy products on the news.

The Real Milk website had an interesting paper on Raw vs. Pasteurized milk. I confess I did not read all 70 pages, but if this is a subject that interests you, take a look. Response to the FDA Anti-Raw Milk Point-by-Point Presentation "Between 1980 and 2005, 41 outbreaks were reported to the CDC attributing 19,531 illnesses to the consumption of pasteurized milk and milk products. This is 10.7 times the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk during the same period."

The key to raw milk safety is the cleanliness and quality of the dairy farm you are purchasing the milk from. The cows should be grass fed. The barn should be very clean (as was the case with Golden Guernsey). A smaller operation is probably better than bigger. The focus of their dairy should be selling milk raw. (I would not consume raw milk from a traditional dairy farm because their cleanliness standards are not the same.)

Are there risks involved? Yes. Are there benefits? Yes. Are there risks to consuming pasteurized milk products? Yes. Everything we do carries risk.

So, do some research and decide for yourself. I doubt any mainstream doctor would advocate consuming raw milk, but there are many D.O.s and Holistic type Doctors and Dentists who do. Interestingly, many of the voices I hear advocating raw milk do not approve of consuming pasteurized milk!

If this issue is important to you, contact your State Legislators: Assembly, Senate. We allow drug sales that carry benefit and risk; we allow selling cigarettes and alcohol that pretty much only carry risk. Shouldn't we be allowed to decide for ourselves on raw milk?


Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I in the health field. Outside of a college nutrition, physiology and anatomy, and genetics class, I have had no formal training in the health field. I do however use holistic and natural medicine practices for myself and family.

More reading
:
Look at California, where raw milk is legal: "Except for a brief hiatus in 1990, raw milk has always been for sale commercially in California, usually in health food stores, although I can remember a period when it was even sold in grocery stores. Millions of people consumed commercial raw milk during that period and although the health department kept an eagle eye open for any possible evidence of harm, not a single incidence was reported. During the same period, there were many instances of contamination in pasteurized milk, some of which resulted in death."
Real Milk Website
Raw Milk Is Gaining Fans, but the Science Says It's Dangerous

*Homogenization is thought to contribute to heart disease because the process makes the fat molecule so small, it passed directly through the gut into the blood stream.

Links: 

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Midwest Gaming Classic at Brookfield's Sheraton Hotel - March 27 & 28

Brookfield, Family, Just for fun!, Special events

Gamers of the world unite! The Midwest Gaming Classic is coming to Brookfield on Saturday, March 27th, 10am - 8pm, and Sunday, March 28th, 10am - 5pm.

Yes, the popular gaming event has come back to Brookfield, at the Sheraton Hotel on Moorland Road, just south of Brookfield Square and I-94.

My guys have participated in the Midwest Classic for many years. This year, I think my son is bringing 2 pinballs, Black Knight and FishTales, to add to the fun.

And that is how the Midwest Classic works: Vendors and gamers from the area bring in their merchandise, pinball machines, video arcade games, and even vintage computer games for purchase and play.

Attendees pay one flat fee of $20 on Sat. and $10 on Sunday-Family Day, for a full day of play. (Kids 12 and under are free with a paying adult.)

Besides just playing and shopping for game stuff, there are tournaments (you can pre-register online), presentations, and the Classic Gaming and Computing Museum.

If you like games, support your local gamers and come out and play...ALL DAY! Check out the Midwest Gaming Classic website for more information.

Past Posts: Midwest Gaming Classic weekend, play pinball, arcade games & more!
Play pinball and arcade games at Midwest Gaming Classic

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Democrat State Senator Jim Sullivan Town Hall meeting TONIGHT!

Elections, Politics, Special events, WISCONSIN

Sorry for the late notice; I only just found out about this: Tonight from 5:30 - 7 pm, 5th District State Senator Jim Sullivan is holding a Town Hall meeting at Wauwatosa's Public Library (76th and North Ave.) (Maybe I missed Mr. Sullivan's notice of his Town Hall meeting on his blog?)

This would be your chance to ask Jim about his liberal voting record in the state senate, his most recent big vote being the expansion of BadgerCare Basic Plus --Wisconsin's own version of ObamaCare. Since this Town Hall is being held in Wauwatosa, there might be more Democrats in attendance, thus a more supportive crowd than his Town Hall last May, held in Brookfield. (I attended that one and posted my impressions of it in Senator Jim Sullivan's Town Hall.... GRILLING! OUCH!)

Voters the last time tried to pin him down on his vote that help kill Voter ID, his support of Abortion, the RTA, excuses on the $6.5 Billion deficit, etc.

This time, maybe voters will want to know why he voted for the new Sex Ed. mandates, which allows groups like Planned Parenthood into the classroom and prohibits value judgments on student sexual behavior, to name a few negatives. Or why he expanded a very under-priced health insurance plan that doesn't follow Wisconsin mandates (private insurance companies cannot possibly compete). How about his position on spending money on "high" speed rail while our infrastructure crumbles? OR, does he plan on joining Senate Joint Resolution 62 that would allow Wisconsinites to opt out of ObamaCare?

During the last campaign, Jim Sullivan came to our home, promising he would better represent us in the State Senate. So far, I have not seen it. Maybe you just want to attend so you can see why so many people are supporting Leah Vukmir for State Senate*--someone who will actually represent your views?


*I support Vukmir for Senate

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VK's Field of (broken) Dreams for sale, just $3M!

City of Brookfield, Development, Economy

This 28 acre cornfield, at the intersection of Lisbon and Pilgrim Roads, was to have become Lisbon Heights, a VK subdivision.

Today, it remains home to cornstalks, wildlife, and as of 3 weeks ago, a For Sale sign.

Just in case you are interested in purchasing, here is the listing and tax info.

It looks like VK Development Corp. purchased the property in 2000, and in 2003, it was listed under VK Lisbon LLC. The Lisbon Heights subdivision announcement came in September of 2007.

To refresh your memory, the handwriting was already on the wall concerning single family, luxury housing in 2007, because the Business Journal began its article with, "The soft, single-family, luxury home market isn't deterring VK Development Corp. from building a $15 million residential development in Brookfield."

Who could have predicted back in the early to mid 2000s, when VK was riding high, that in March of 2010, VK Development would be in the economic hot seat today? But within a week's time we heard about VK losing Percheron Square, 12 condo units in Capitol Heights, and possible trouble with his unfinished mansion on the north side of Brookfield.

I know there are those who might take delight in someone else's woes, especially if that someone is VK, but I don't. True, VK's Capitol Heights was a sore spot with those in the 2nd district. But can we blame the extra density of Capitol Heights entirely on VK Development? Doesn't Mayor Speaker and those aldermen who approved that extra density on the Common Council bear some responsibility too?

Percheron Square was allowed extra density with nary a fight from the Plan Commission or the Council.

VK's troubles are a sign of the bad economic times and the precarious house of cards nature of big development. Percheron Square falling though and Lisbon Heights fizzling out also mean that local builders and construction workers have no work, and in that, I take no joy.


More Reading: Developer Kuttemperoor transfers condo ownership to M&I bank
VK gives Brookfield site to bank
Undone dream house gets wake-up call
Percheron Square: Again, Density is the Problem
 

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