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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 on Sequester for Low Information Voters and other updates

Debt, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Spending, The Economy, TAXES

Saturday Night Live aired a very clever parody last week, featuring President Obama (Jay Pharoah) holding a press conference to explain the consequences of sequester.  True to form, Obama brings in individuals negatively affected by the crisis-of-the-moment to illustrate his point.

If you could use a good laugh, watch. My favorite budget cut solution was offered by the air traffic controller.

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Obama's Sequester Spending Cut Disaster Charade Continues

Debt, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Spending, TAXES

We've known it was coming. The very idea came from the White House. He approved it a year and a half ago, and in November 2011, insisted it be done. What is it? Why the Sequester, of course.

What is a sequester? Automatic spending cuts triggered to go off in 2013, after the 2012 presidential campaign. Sequester was a gimme the money now, I'll economize later deal.

And here is a graph of that Sequestration deal. Nothing cut from present levels of spending, just $85 billion cut from 2 years of* FUTURE spending! Take a look here. (Put your reading glasses on or you might not notice the change.) *Correction: About $44 billion cut from this year, remaining cuts spread out over the next 7 years.

Now our Spender in Chief doesn't want to go through with Sequester cuts and threatens the sky will fall if we don't increase the increase in government spending on Friday. So much for his famous last words from November of 2011 regarding welching on the deal: “Already, some in Congress are trying to undo these automatic spending cuts. My message to them is simple: No. I will veto any effort to get rid of those automatic spending cuts – domestic and defense spending. There will be no easy off-ramps on this one.”

But then our President seems to enjoy running our government in sky-is-falling-crisis mode, or as Peggy Noonan just wrote, "Government by Freakout". And to make sure you freakout, Obama's Federal Immigration officials just approved 100s of illegal convicted criminal detainees released from prison for emphasis on how these budget increase cuts will affect us. Now the President could easily find $85 billion savings by eliminating redundant programs, fraud, and wasteful pork spending but instead chose this avenue to make his point.

Refreshingly, for once Republican Speaker of the House John Boehner is not negotiating this one in advance but is challenging the Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]' to propose other cuts if those in the Sequester deal are unacceptable. Reason being, the House has come up with 2 proposals thus far with no response from the President or Senate. Hope the Republicans stand firm on this.

One reason the president might be balking is that he again is talking about increasing revenues in any substitute sequester deal: "So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts.

Increasing revenues could be the real reason for Obama's flip-flop. Incidentally, $85 billion in sequester cuts funds the government for about a week and a half--hardly worth freaking out about.


And here is another heads-up: The debt ceiling/government shut down could come at the end of March, so I would avoid planning any extensive vacations touring our National Historic Sites and Parks until later in the spring. Like a school district facing a budget cut with the threat the cut will eliminate the music program, government threatens to close the Washington Monument*or Grand Canyon, etc. (We had an extensive National Park trip tour planned for the last debt ceiling crisis in April 2011! Rangers told us they put up barricades to block park entrances the eve of the debt ceiling agreement--just in case. That agreement was reached at the 11th hour, 11pm our time.) *Washington Monument is presently closed for repairs.

More Reading:
Bob Woodward: Obama's sequester deal-changer
President Obama in 2011: 'No Easy Off-Ramps' on Sequester
Noonan: Government by Freakout
Federal Spending Without and With Sequester Cuts
Boehner tells Senate to 'Get off its [posterior]
Immigrants Released Ahead of Automatic Budget Cuts

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Can we please talk 'Debt Control'? It's For the Kids

Conservatives, Debt, President Obama, Spending, THE ECONOMY, Taxes

Congress is poised to kick our debt ceiling crisis down the road to May, but instead of using this breathing room as an opportunity for getting our message out, we are still distracted by the topic of the day--gun control and now amnesty.

Debt Limit USA crafted this easy to understand 3 minute piece that explains what our government is doing--borrowing more money than it takes in. They call it Debt Limit - A Guide to American Federal Debt  Made Easy, or as I call it, The Debt Crisis in Terms Even a Low Information Voter Can Understand!
 
It doesn't get much easier than this; watch the whole thing. The ending is applicable to our unsustainable debt problem.

In case you didn't catch the last slides from the clip, the dad's annual household budget had $140,000 household debt, income of $21,700, $38,200 in spending, $16,500 in new bank to loan (debt), budget cuts $385--about 1% of their total household budget. Sound familiar?

Our Federal Budget Deal to Raise Debt Limit was: $14 Trillion total debt (obliviously, this was from the last 2011 debt crisis because we are well over $16T now!), $2.17 T federal income, $3.82 T in Fed. spending, $1.65 T in new debt, and the amount "cut" (from future spending)? A measly $38.5 Billion, about 1% of the total budget.

No matter, our children, grand children and great, great grandchildren will be picking up this tab.

Unlike other It's for the kids pleas, this one IS for the kids! Us too.

More reading:
House Votes to Temporarily Suspend U.S. Debt Ceiling 
Obama's Now Borrowed More Than All Presidents from Washington to W
US Debt Headed Toward 200% of GDP Even After 'Fiscal Cliff' Deal
Speaker: Fitch: Cut Spending or Risk Credit Rating Downgrade
Morning Bell: Don't Raise Debt Ceiling Without Balancing the Budget

I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them to talk about our spending crisis and then stand firm on more debt. We don't have much time.
Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your  U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's   U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (202) 224-5653

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Republicans stuck between 'a Barack and hard place' must unite, stand firm, and go on offense

Conservatives, Debt, Legislation, President Obama, Spending, Taxes, THE ECONOMY

We averted the so-called fiscal cliff this week with mixed results: some say Republicans caved on raising taxes, some say Republicans protected most taxpayers, some Democrats thought Obama lost. I was surprised that Conservative Senator Ron Johnson voted for it and pleased that Senator Marco Rubio and our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner didn't. But honestly, with our poor GOP leadership and under the no floor debate, lame duck, back room negotiating circumstances, I don't know how this could have been resolved in a positive way. If Republicans had voted it down, Obama would just have come back later to play the role of hero by enacting a middle tax cut, knowing he had already turned up the tax heat on all those evil rich. We would have needed more proactive leadership in Congress and have been discussing this all year long, not just in the eleventh hour.

The only positive thing to come out of the deal was that the Bush tax rates were made permanent for 98% of American earners. (Permanent as long as Republicans hold the majority in the House, that is.) But even this is Kabuki theater because our tax burden is still going up with other tax increases already in place as of Jan. 1st and new revenue increases via eliminating some deductions that were part of the fiscal cliff deal as well.

With the Bush tax rates now at least set for the 113th Congress, Republicans could for once in their lives go on the offense and get the message out that our out of control spending cannot, cannot continue. Republicans could redeem themselves by presenting a united front in the House and Senate and standing firm against increasing the debt ceiling by another 3 trillion dollars as the president wants.

But this will only work if they start talking about it now and are willing to draw the line in the debt ceiling sand and say, no further.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Pat Toomey talked about this on Jan. 2nd. McConnell said, "'We have an immediate opportunity to act: the debt ceiling,' McConnell said. 'Washington’s credit card has reached its limit again, and the Senate majority must act on legislation early in February—rather than waiting until the last minute, abdicating responsibility and hoping someone else will step in once again to craft a last-minute solution for them.'”

Toomey was more emphatic, “'[Obama] got a $2 trillion debt limit increase just 17 months ago — blew through all that,'Toomey said on Morning Joe.'We will only solve this problem when we finally get the spending under control. And the debt ceiling, and after that, the continuing resolution expiration — those are the vehicles that give us the opportunity to insist on making progress on the real problem.'”  He "suggested" a "partial government shutdown" may be necessary to make the point. That's where truly necessary spending is continued and funded via tax revenue income; non-essential spending is stopped.

Getting the Republican message out is a problem with the pro Obama Praetorian press ruling the media markets. Maybe Republicans could hire the same people who created Senator Ron Johnson's ads for his senate campaign. Johnson's ads were short, concise, and explained just what was at stake with our out of control spending. We really need messaging like that in the GOP.  RNC, are you listening?

I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them to stand firm on the debt ceiling. We have less than a month to do this.
Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your  U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's  U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's   U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

Find your  U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111

House Speaker Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400

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Taxing rich will hurt already employed, at all pay levels

Entrepreneurship, Government / Bureaucracy, Jobs, President Obama, TAXES, Socialism / Marxism, Spending, THE ECONOMY

President Obama, the champion of class warfare rhetoric*, has been chanting the mantra: tax the rich, as a solution to our deficit, poverty, and social class disparity for as long as I can remember. Obama also throws around the phrase fair share to justify tax rates that take more than half their income. And we really should call his attack what it is: tax the successful. Republicans and economists counter with how taxing the successful (rich ) will harm small businesses, who are the majority of job creators in America. Being a Conservative, I side with the Republicans, I view fairness as taxing all income at the same rate.

But one consequence of taxing the rich I have yet to hear anyone mention: who will be the consumers if they have less income once their taxes are paid? Who will be building a new home or hiring the local remodeler? Who will be purchasing that new car or new furniture? Who will be dining out every weekend? Or having their hair and nails done, stopping for a latte, or hiring the yard and cleaning help? Who will be able to afford vacationing in Wisconsin or at popular tourist attractions across America?

American tourism already seems down in the U.S., at least from what I have observed. Hearing a foreign language or accent at Yellowstone or Grand Canyon National Parks is the norm. Last fall, my sister and I observed that Disney World would really be hurting if it weren't for the Brazilians spending their dollars at the Kingdom of the Mouse. An American accent was in the minority at all locations.

But it isn't just the business owners' ledger that takes the hit when tourists cut back, its all the employees at these businesses that feel it too. If Disney, the largest employer in the U.S., the National Parks or even Wisconsin Dells, for that matter, experience a downturn, then area hotels don't need as many housekeepers. Restaurants cut hours or move employees to part time. Peripheral tourist attractions such as raft rides or water parks lose business.

If consumers cut back, because they don't have as much disposable income as they used to, the carpet, furniture, clothing, and tech. stores suffer a loss. That loss is passed on to the employees; the management cuts hours, sometimes pay, sometimes benefits, and often terminates employees.

Of course the truly wealthy will still do and buy these things or just move out of the country, but the $200,000 - $250,000 earners, who file their business taxes on their personal tax returns, will be hurting.

And if you think you aren't one of those upper 2% earners, so your paycheck will be untouched, think again: ObamaCare taxes are coming our way in 2013. More than likely the Payroll Tax Cut will expire, resulting in less take home pay.

So if all of us have less money in our pockets, who will be the purchasers? How will that effect your job?

Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111

House Speaker Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400

Read more

Tell Republicans to stand firm: No New Taxes

Conservatives, The Economy, TAXES, President Obama, Legislation, Debt, Spending

They call it the Fiscal Cliff. Falling off it is seen as disastrous to the U.S. economy and will cause us to fall back into recession. (Did we ever leave it?) If we do nothing to avert the cliff, we fall off on New Year's Eve.

But what is the Fiscal Cliff? Primarily, it is the end to the Bush Tax Cuts they band-aided back into law in December of 2010. It also includes expiration of the Payroll Tax Cut, which has little support from either side of the aisle. If you remember, it reduced the Social Security payroll deduction from 6.2% to 4.2% so workers would have a bit more take home pay. (Did you even notice?) However, it also reduced the amount of money flowing into the Social Security coffers--a bad idea for an entitlement already facing solvency issues. The $700 billion or so Doc Fix, military reductions, and some token spending cuts also part of the mix.

Our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner wrote, Don't trade a cliff for an iceberg.  In it he points out,

Currently, the US debt is on track to reach 187 percent of GDP by 2035. But unlike Greece, there is no "Germany" to bail us out. If our debt reaches this level, an international economic crisis would ensue. 
The President and Congressional Democrats have called for a “balanced” approach to reducing the deficit. 

But their approach has been anything but balanced. The President’s “offer” included $1.6 trillion dollars in taxes and $400 billion in spending cuts. That’s neither balanced nor helpful for our economy. When spending on entitlements is 62 percent of our budget, the President’s focus on tax increases is not going to cut it.

We can’t solve our debt problem without economic growth, and tax hikes could cost 710,000 jobs according to an independent Ernst &Young study.

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Gov. Walker says he will NOT set up exchanges

Conservatives, Constitution, President Obama, Health care, TAXES, WISCONSIN

This just in, Gov. Scott Walker officially notified the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services "that Wisconsin will not build a state-based health insurance exchange and will defer to the federal Government's insurance exchange."

Yesterday afternoon, talk show host Mark Belling talked about this, that the word was, Wisconsin would be joining with 19 other states opting out of creating their own exchanges.

The Governor's letter restates the dilemma: "No matter which option is chosen, Wisconsin taxpayers will not have meaningful control over the health care policies and services sold to Wisconsin residents. If the state option is chosen; however, Wisconsinites face risk from a federal mandate lacking long-term guaranteed funding."

And if you called the Governor, you are mentioned in the letter: "...after much consideration and outreach with citizens across the state [that's you!], and in the best interest of the taxpayers of Wisconsin, we have determined Wisconsin will not develop a partnership or state-based exchange."

State Senator Leah Vukmir is on Vicki McKenna right now talking about this. I urge you to listen to the podcast when it becomes available: Hour 1, Part 1 11-16-12. Vukmir says there could be more states doing the same, and some Democrat governors have joined in the opt-out. She also mentioned a few mandates we would be spared from.


Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan are said to be setting up the exchanges, so if you are a mid-west business, where would you rather locate?

In a related issue,  HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius just announced she is "granting them [governors] an extension to Dec. 14 on the decision." Hmm, I wonder why she is doing that? I am sure they are hoping to peel off a few of those 20 resistant governors.

The 10th Amendment might be finally getting its day in the sun: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people."

Here is another thought: If a state spends its own taxpayer money to fund their own exchange, aren't we still required to pay our federal taxes, a portion of which go to funding the federal health care exchanges? It's a variation of spreading the wealth around in my opinion. In effect, it would mean states with exchanges are paying twice.

If the 20 states stay united, thus not funding the government mandate, where is the federal government going to get the money to fund their mandate? (Republicans hold the majority in the House, where all funding bills originate.)

I am sure we will know more as time goes on, but at least we have dodged this first bullet. And taking a page from the Democrats, any measure to slow down the process is progress. This push-back could lead to more.


Gov. Scott Walker's letter to Secretary Sebelius
HHS Extends Exchange Deadline a Month 
Analysis: 20 states will run their health-law exchanges  .

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Gov. Walker, please, no exchange, take backdoor to escape ObamaCare

2012, Conservatives, Constitution, Health care, Alert, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Taxes, WISCONSIN

In the wake of Tuesday's election results, the grim realization that we are not going to be able to escape ObamaCare started to sink in. But Vicki McKenna floated the idea last week that there was a backdoor way to prevent ObamaCare from taking root in Wisconsin--don't set up the state-run exchange.

Also last week, National Review posted an article by the CATO Institute informing us that Obamacare Is Still Vulnerable.  The Obama "administration has asked state officials to decide by Friday, November 16, whether their state will create one of Obamacare's health-insurance 'exchanges.' States also have to decide whether to implement the law's massive expansion of Medicaid. The correct answer to both questions remains a resounding no." (My emphasis) 

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Tommy Thompson, Wisconsin & all of U.S. need you to stop Obamacare

2012, Conservatives, Elections, Health care, President Obama, Romney/Ryan, Taxes, The Economy, WISCONSIN

It may sound dramatic, but it is true: America must have a Republican majority in the U.S. Senate, if we have any hope of repealing ObamaCare, reducing the size of government, and just plain getting anything done in Washington D.C. Though I supported another candidate in the primary, I wholeheartedly support Wisconsin's Tommy Thompson for U.S. Senate now. Most importantly, Thompson is a social conservative: pro-life, pro traditional marriage, and pro family. He has a record of being able to get things done, even with a Democrat controlled legislature.

In addition, Thompson pledged to be the "51st vote" to repeal "ObamaCare," something the majority of Americans consider to be a #1 priority. From his website: "The law isn’t even close to being fully implemented, but its flaws are already so clearly obvious and the threat to our economy so real that we must start completely over."

The economic threat Thompson referred to is the $716 billion Obama removed from Medicare to pay for ObamaCare, the $800+ billion in new ObamaCare taxes that will kick in on Jan. 1 2013, our rising insurance premiums to cover all the people included in ObamaCare, and my personal favorite, the IRS' latest intrusion coming into your life (and wallet) by adding a new tax form. It will require you to report what qualifying insurance plan you have, or pay the penalty tax--2.5% of adjusted gross income--for not being insured. (That is the fine; it doesn't purchase insurance!)

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Stop Tom Barrett's Folly Trolley at Streetcar Named Disaster rally: Sept. 18, 2012

2012, Conservatives, Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Transportation, Special events, WISCONSIN

Milwaukee Alderman Bob Donavan, along with the MacIver Institute and Americans for Prosperity are holding a rally against Milwaukee's latest huge waste of money project, the Milwaukee Streetcar. I often refer to it as Barrett's Folly Trolley. Most know it as A Streetcar Named Disaster. Whatever you choose to call it, it is a very expensive, unnecessary project.

The purpose of the rally is to pressure the Milwaukee to put the 2 mile long downtown streetcar project on a binding referendum, so voters can have a say as to whether or not we want to pay for this.

There is also an online petition for you to sign. Because all of us in the southeast Wisconsin will be paying higher WE Energies bills to cover the $55+ million to relocate the utility lines, you DO NOT need to be a Milwaukee County resident to sign. AT&T customers will be paying more too. Sign here.

Attend the rally if you can. A strong showing is needed to send Mayor Tom Barrett and the Milwaukee Common Council an unmistakable message: WE DON"T WANT THIS BOONDOGGLE.

The rally will be held at Serb Hall from 5pm to 7pm, though Alderman Bob Donovan* said the doors would be open at 4pm and probably go past 7pm. Alderman Donovan will be addressing other issues besides the streetcar, but stopping the streetcar is the main focus.

Estimates are that the very short streetcar line will cost $64 million plus the utility relocation costs of at least $55 million. I have heard a figure of about $120 million in all. $3 million of that is just to operate the thing for one year. And remember all this money is just to build a 2 mile line!

Some of this money is Federal Money, some is local. Regardless of where it comes from, we cannot afford this. And to top it all off, I think we can be sure if this 2 mile leg is built, more will follow, just like the Milwaukee to Madison train project that Gov. Walker stopped was just the 1st installment. So speak up!

Serb Hall is located at 5101 West Oklahoma Avenue  Milwaukee, WI 53219

*I believe I heard him on Vicki McKenna's radio show last week.

More Reading: The Streetcar Scam: A report by the MacIver Institute
Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby
Stop the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train .

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Great 1st week for Romney / Ryan ticket

Conservatives, 2012, Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

What a great first week Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan had.*  In fact, I would say, adding Paul Ryan to the ticket has reset the Romney campaign: Picking Paul Ryan as VP has removed all doubts about Mitt Romney's resolve to scale back big government and cut our out of control debt.

It is clear Romney and Ryan don't want to get into the gutter of negative campaigning, rather, they just want to talk about the real issues threatening America's future: jobs, the economy, entitlements, etc.

It is exciting to see Americans responding to their message in such a positive way. I saw this excitement for myself at the Romney / Ryan rally at the Waukesha Expo last Sunday. True, this was in the heart of Republican Waukesha County, but not everyone of the 12,000+ was from Waukesha. I heard some in line talking about how they came from Wausau, Racine, and West Bend.

The place was packed. I was close enough to catch a glimpse of the candidates, and it was plain to see Mitt Romney truly admires Paul Ryan. I can only compare it to maybe a father proudly looking at his son.

The Ryan pick has boosted a cautiously hopeful Romney campaign to one that Republicans and Independents can be energized about. I saw a little bit of that energy even on election eve 4 years ago. Excerpts from It made me feel better: Palin 2012 Ryan, a past post will explain:

"On election eve, I quickly made this campaign button to illustrate my hopes for the 2012 ticket. I wore it to the Waukesha Republican Victory Party.

"Barely there 2 minutes, a few women from the Waukesha Republican Party and I started talking. ...Then they spotted my button, and their eyes lit up. Where did you get that? I said I made it. They definitely liked the idea. These ladies were not alone. In the course of the evening, my humble button received enthusiastic support.

"I know many blame Governor Sarah Palin for McCain's loss on Tuesday. But that sentiment shows how little those naysayers understand conservatives. It was very clear to me that fellow volunteers at the phone bank were there only because of Sarah, not McCain. Same with rally attendees.

"As Senator John McCain gave his concession speech that night, he took the full blame for his failure to win. Amongst the Waukesha Republican faithful watching on the big screen, there was no murmur in the audience to the contrary. When McCain thanked Governor Palin, the audience cheered. You would think BBC reporter Ali Reed was there in the room with us. ...he reported the same reaction:
 

'The sombre air at Senator John McCain's concession speech was momentarily pierced by cheer as Mr McCain spoke about Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.'

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Rob Hutton for Wisconsin Assembly District 13, Vote Aug. 14, 2012

2012, Brookfield, Conservatives, Elections, TAXES, WISCONSIN

With Wisconsin's Primary just a month away, it's time to focus on our ballot choices on August 14th. I live in the newly redistricted 13th Assembly District, and I was not too pleased when I learned I lost Dale Kooyenga with that swipe of the redistricting pen. But Rob Hutton seems to be a worthy replacement. He is in fact endorsed by Representative Kooyenga as well as former State Senator Ted Kanavas. If you check out his website, you can see his growing list of endorsements.

Rob Hutton grew up in Brookfield and graduated from Brookfield East. He is a Conservative, pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. Hutton is President and CEO of a Wisconsin based company, Rock Transfer & Storage, Inc. and will bring that private sector experience to Madison. He has served on the Waukesha County Board as a Supervisor for 7 years.

Like Representative Dale Kooyenga, Rob Hutton has been knocking on doors and meeting the residents in his district. This is no easy task and it demonstrates a level of commitment to the job. His yard signs are popping up all over too, not just on the right of ways, stuck here and there, but in the front yards of real supporters in our district. Rob came to my front door 2 times and I found him to be just what I am looking for in a Representative.

So in the weeks before our primary, take some time and read over his positions, his concerns, his background and family, and endorsements. August 14th will be here before we know it.

Website: Conservative Republican for Wisconsin State Assembly 13th District
Facebook: Rob Hutton

I will be posting a pre-primary ballot pick piece in about 3 weeks...stay tuned!

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Marquette poll: Walker up 7%, but what about voter fraud?

2012, Elections, THE ECONOMY, TAXES, WISCONSIN, Conservatives

One would have to be living under a rock to not know the eyes of the nation are upon Wisconsin's Walker recall election on June 5th. It's not often the Weekly Standard covers our elections in such detail: Tom Barrett Fires Blanks at Scott Walker... and Barrett Can't Name Any Schools Hurt by Walker....

Emotions are running high with campaign ads bombarding the airwaves, the mailbox stuffed with politician post cards, and political phone calls (live and robo) taunting us from morning to night. Everyone in Wisconsin who votes needs to vote for 2 separate races: Governor AND Lt. Governor. For me that would be Scott Walker and Rebecca Kleefisch. In areas where there is also a State Senate recall, they will need to vote for State Senator too. Without our Republican Senators holding their seats, Wisconsin can forget any major legislation passing. (Margins are already razor thin--remember the jobs creating mining bill defeat?)

One thing is for certain--I think we will all breathe a sigh of relief when this is over. I hope I will be smiling when the results are in. 

But turnout is key to a Walker win. Though the latest Marquette University Law School poll shows Walker at 52% to Barrett's 45%, with a margin of error of +/- 4.1% points, I am very concerned about the percentage of fraudulent votes cast for Barrett. So we have to outvote the fraud. If you want to help get out the vote in support of the Governor, the GOP Victory Centers are still looking for people to man the phones from 9am - 9pm to make calls from now through Tuesday.

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Conservatives to gather in Madison for Tax Day Rally, April 14, 2012

Conservatives, Special events, TAXES, Government / Bureaucracy, WISCONSIN

Americans for Prosperity is once again sponsoring a Tax Day rally at our state capitol in Madison on Saturday, April 14, 2012, from 11:30am to 1pm--so even working folks can participate. Their invitation reads,
 

Join us! Be there as thousands of patriots descend on the capitol in Madison to fight for smaller government, lower taxes and increased economic freedom!
 

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2012 Elmbrook School District election picks: Meg Wartman & Jean Lambert

2012, 4-K, Brookfield, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

Everyone in the Elmbrook School District votes for both school board races, regardless of where you live in the district. The School Board races are on the back side of your ballot!

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Last chance! Your 2-cents against Hoan bike path & Trolley could save millions

TAXES, Transportation, United States, WISCONSIN

Most of you have heard about these 2 transportation projects, the addition of pedestrian / bike lanes to the I-794 Hoan Bridge reconstruction project and the Milwaukee Streetcar project, sometimes called the Milwaukee Trolley. (I often refer to it as Tom Barrett's Folly Trolley.)

The 2 projects have little in common except that they are both located in Milwaukee, both serve a very tiny percentage of the population, both add to traffic congestion, and both carry a whopping price-tag! The public hearings on both projects have passed, but you may still submit your comments via email until Wednesday, November 30th for the I-794 Hoan Bridge Bike Path and until Friday, December 2nd, 5pm for the Milwaukee Streetcar project.

Since both of these projects are primarily Federally funded, you DO NOT HAVE TO LIVE IN MILWAUKEE to submit your comments!

 

A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On in SE Brookfield

Brookfield, Development, Transportation, WISCONSIN, TAXES

If you haven't had occasion to travel on Bluemound Road on Brookfield's southeast side lately, you might not know that there's A Whole Lotta Diggin' Goin' On down here!

If traveling from east to west, the former Quebecor site is getting its clean up in preparation for Underwood Crossing, where the Target store slated for opening in fall of 2012. (The dirt heap has grown considerably since I snapped this pic in July.)

If you recall, there was a mixed use plan for the site proposed back in 2007 that fell through. This included apartments and lots of small shops.  

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Elmbrook School closing options include Swanson: Speak up! Tuesday, Aug. 23, 6pm

Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

While the weather and calendar may still say it is summer, Elmbrook's Board of Education Meeting Agenda says it is also time for some serious discussion at Tuesday's, Aug. 23rd meeting regarding our district's excess school capacity. The meeting starts at 6pm at the Central Administration Office at 13780 Hope Street--just east of Hope St. and Lilly Rd.

At present, there are 8 scenarios on the table that include closing Hillside, Tonawanda, Burleigh, Swanson outright and/or include incorporating the administrative offices into a smaller sectioned Burleigh or Swanson.

Because Swanson School is mentioned for 2 of the options, the Concerned Calhoun Community is asking for concerned citizens to attend the meeting. Residents may comment prior to an agenda item.

The following is from an email sent by Barbara Roncke, leader of the C.C.C.

CONCERNED CALHOUN COMMUNITY
 
ATTENTION!!!
 
SWANSON SCHOOL MAY ONCE AGAIN BE AT RISK

 
The Elmbrook School Board has come up with eight (8) school closing options. At this meeting they hope to pare down the options to two (2) or three (3). One option calls for the closing of Swanson School. Another is the reduction of Swanson coupled with the closing of Tonawanda.
 
The Swanson community needs to have a presence at this meeting. The Brookfield Now, August 18th issue has the article with complete information on pages 7 & 8. The article also lays out a timetable: August-pare down options; September-hold listening sessions: October/early November- make decision.
 
Some information to keep in mind:
1. Swanson was closed in 1982 and re-opened bigger and better in 1995.
2. This District has closed and sold six (6) schools-repurposed Fairview South.
3. Swanson is a five (5) section school with an enrollment of about 620 students making it
the second largest Elementary school in Elmbrook. Burleigh has 680 students.
4. Swanson has enough open classrooms to have 4 year old kindergarten or to absorb
some students from another closing school.
5. Closing Swanson or Burleigh would result in a district-wide re-districting plan.
6. Hillside is oldest and smallest of our schools.
7. Brookfield Elementary and Dixon are both under-utilized.
8. The Administration property is For Sale and plans for Administration relocation
should be dovetailed with any closing plan. This property has been on the market
for a year and its underlined zoning is residential.
9. No more school property should be sold. Outside of Maryknoll, Elmbrook has no property
to meet any future needs. Swanson maybe the most saleable but the economy probably
puts off any large scale development in that area 10-15 years.
10. Swanson is the only school south of Bluemound road and services a student population
from 124th St. to Barker Road. This is roughly equivalent to the population of Elm
Grove which has two schools, Tonawanda and Pilgrim Park.
 

Thank you for your past support. Barbara Roncke
 

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Phew! Republicans hold majority, Darling still Republicans' darling

Conservatives, Elections, Politics, President Obama, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Conservatives in Wisconsin are breathing much easier this morning, because 4 of the 6* recalled Republicans won their elections! Just enough victory to keep their majority in the Senate--important because the majority controls which bills come up for vote in the Senate.

Despite this being the best election paid political operatives could muster, the Democrats still couldn't pull off a win here. To me, that is huge. For despite all the out of state Union money flowing into anti-Republican advertising, phone banks, door-to-door canvassers, and BBQ for Votes parties, the Republicans still prevailed.

Since this is the 3rd election effort against the conservative agenda, and the conservatives won, I think it is clear Wisconsinites like this new less tax and less spend direction.

The whole country was watching these recalls--Conservatives hoping Wisconsin voters would uphold Walker's return to fiscal sanity so their state could do the same; Liberals hoping a Democrat victory would make legislators think twice about cutting spending and challenging the unions. Drudge posted this as his top set of links (before 9am): "Republicans take 4 of 6 in recall elections, hold Senate... (todaystmj4 GOP maintains control of Senate)
GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere...(Washington Times)"
Drudge also characterized the Democrat loss as "Unions Lose in Wisconsin".

Well, the focus on Wisconsin's Republican victory didn't last long on Drudge. Now the headline link is More Slide. The Dow is at -377.62 at 9:20am--make that 389.58 at 9:29am. Can it be any more clear? Our nation needs to cut our out of control deficit spending lest we join Europe in their debt-fest. Maybe President Obama would like to have a chat with Gov. Scott Walker for some cost cutting pointers? ;-)

Next Tuesday, Aug. 16th, Republicans have a chance of capturing 2 more seats in the Simac and Steitz races against 2 Democrat Senators who fled the state rather than vote. I would think yesterday's results would energize their campaigns.

I want to thank talk show host Jay Weber for making a point to allow a caller yesterday make a plea for people to pray about the recall elections. Though I couldn't vote in yesterday's election, I and many others did pray for justice and fairness.


Today's TMJ4 GOP maintains control of Senate
Washington Times: Wis. GOP's stand could reverberate elsewhere
AP Vote Totals
Wisconsin GOP holds on to Senate

*These results were not unexpected: Dan Kapanke is in a Democrat district. Randy Hopper's personal problems were seen as a big negative.

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Wow! Wisconsin gained 9,500 jobs in June, while Nation gained only 18,000

Economy, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Correction: Blog title has been changed from Wow! Wisconsin accounted for 1/2 of new private sector jobs in nation, as this was an inadvertent misinterpretation of the statistics. Wisconsin did see 12,900 new private sector jobs in June, for a net gain of 9,500 new jobs after losses are subtracted. Other states also experienced large job gains. These gains however were offset by other states huge losses. Correction also noted on closing statement.

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Simac & Steitz advance to Aug. 16th recall election

Elections, WISCONSIN, TAXES, Politics

Though our area State Senators Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer are not facing recall elections this August, the results of these recall elections on Aug. 9th and Aug. 16th are still very important for everyone in our state. These recall elections will determine if Republicans hold their majority in the State Senate or not.

I was pleased to learn that Northwoods Patriots Tea Party founder Kim Simac won over her opponent in Senate District 16 way up north (Rhinelander, Eagle River). Her election website Kim Simac for State Senate cleverly bears the subtitle: A Leader Who Won't Run Away, in reference to her opponent, Dem. Senator Jim Holperin, who fled the state rather than take a vote.

Obviously, Simac is a conservative! I first became acquainted with her and the Northwoods Patriots when Simac spoke at the Madison Tea Party rally in 2010. With that kind of grassroots support, I would think she has a good chance of defeating Democrat incumbent Holperin on Aug. 16th.

Former small business owner and attorney Jonathan Steitz won his 22nd Senate District primary yesterday. Much like U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who stepped forward out of the private sector to run against incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, Jonathan Steitz has a business background. He will be running against Democrat Bob Wirch on Aug. 16th.

Jonathan Steitz has been sending me press releases since he announced his candidacy in mid May. "We need lower taxes, less government regulation, and common-sense policies that will encourage economic growth for our area," Steitz stated. And that sentiment has become the subtitle for his election website Steitz for Senate: Simplify taxes, reduce regulation and create jobs.

Wisconsin needs conservatives like Simac and Steitz in Madison. I wish them much success.

You can keep up with the latest election information at WisPolitics Election Blog

Don't forget that on Aug. 9th, 6 Republican Senators will be defending their seats in Madison against Democrat opponents. My blogging acquaintance Randy Melchert has posted an assessment of all 9 recall elections. His blog includes the vote total percentages Prosser received in April in their districts and his projections about wins and losses. Check it out.

Yesterday, was the first of the recalls with Democrat Hansen holding his seat in Green Bay against David Vanderleest, who Republicans weren't really promoting. (Republicans flubbed this recall primary big time by not submitting enough nomination signatures for John Nygren, who was the real contender. Thus it was the actual election instead of a primary.)

Aug. 9th is recall election day for Republican Robert Cowles for District 2 -- Shawano , for Republican Alberta Darling in District 8 -- Mequon (north shore, Menomonee Falls too), for Republican Sheila Harsdorf in District 10 -- River Falls, for Republican Luther Olsen in District 14 -- Ripon, for Republican Randy Hopper in District 18 -- Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, and for Republican Dan Kapanke District 32 -- LaCrosse. Kapanke is a good guy and unfortunately, he looks to be the most vulnerable.

Then there are the last 2 recalls on Aug. 16th with Democrat incumbents defending their seats against Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz.

I am sure any one of these candidates would appreciate a donation or volunteers to make phone calls, etc. Contact them by clicking the link on their name. And if you live in these districts, Don't forget to VOTE!

COMMENT POLICY

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Guest Posting 2: Nancy Kormanik on ENROLLMENT

4-K, Elections, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

This is the second and last guest posting by Nancy Kormanik

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Nancy Kormanik to participate in Elmbrook Candidate Forum, Monday, March 21, 7pm

4-K, Elmbrook, Elections, TAXES, Special events

Just a reminder here, Monday, March 21st, at 7pm, there will be an Elmbrook Board of Education Candidate Forum, at the Central Administrative Offices at 13780 Hope Street in Brookfield.

What you might not know, is that Nancy Kormanik, the Write-In candidate for the At-Large position, will participate in that school board candidate forum, along with the other 5 candidates running for the 3 seats.

I encourage you to be there and get to know the views of each candidate.

The election is April 5th. All Elmbrook residents vote for ALL 3 BOARD POSITIONS: Area 1, 3, and At-Large, regardless of what area of the district we live in.

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What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES

How often do we hear that the Elmbrook School District NEEDS to implement 4K to protect our property values? I have even heard it from a school board member, but I don't believe it is true.

No, I don't believe providing 4K is a necessary expenditure for Elmbrook to make in order to attract home buyers to our district. It was obviously not considered a necessity for the 3 subdivisions petitioning Elmbrook last night, which is why I felt compelled to speak up at the School Board meeting.(Agenda items 3 D,E,F,G)

There I sat in an audience of about 20, listening to each women representing their subdivision pitch their plea to attach their homes to the Elmbrook School District. Naomi, the first speaker, representing the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, and southern edge of the Shire subdivisions, explained that others from their group were at the Waukesha School Board meeting petitioning for detachment.

She went on to say that of the 74 school age children in their area, the majority go to private school or to Elmbrook through open enrollment. I did remember that same statement being made at their last attempt to join the Elmbrook School District in 2009. She mentioned that they had petitioned Elmbrook before but were denied. Now their year cooling off period was over and they were trying again. Another woman named Jane then addressed the board; Maurene spoke for residents of Emerald Ridge. One of them mentioned they had been trying to get into Elmbrook for over 10 years.

Wow--10 years of trying to get into Elmbrook? It would have been simpler to just buy in Elmbrook, wouldn't it?

Then I noticed the pages of school districts with 4K in the packet of papers given to attendees. I was pretty sure Waukesha HAD 4K, but checked to verify. Sure enough, there on page 4A-8 Waukesha was listed as providing 4K.

So these 3 areas HAD 4K, but the parents chose to send the majority of their children either to private school or to Elmbrook that doesn't have 4K. Doesn't that say it all? I quickly filled out a request to speak. (FYI, the board unanimously approved these requests to join Elmbrook. This request must be approved by the state, however.)

There were 2 other speakers who chose to address the board before the 4K discussion began.

Nancy Kormanik, spoke against 4K, saying that taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for a program that isn't mandatory. Kormanik, I found out, was a teacher at MATC.

Betsy, the 2nd speaker, talked about 4K not being a new program, that her children had 4K in Wauwatosa, then moved into Elmbrook the following year and had a repeat in our 5K. Here parting words were If you are going to compete, you have to have 4 year old kindergarten. (She wasn't exactly an example of no 4K lowering property values, since she did move into our district the next year.) I couldn't ask for a better set up to speak.

Stating the obvious that isn't so obvious

This was very off the cuff; my address went something like this: I agreed 4K wasn't new; I had 4K! But I didn't choose to move to Shorewood (where I had 4K) but chose Brookfield instead. I also mentioned that we are told--even by a school board member--that 4K is necessary to protect our property values, yet we have 3 living examples of people living in subdivisions, in a district that HAS 4K, petitioning to join a district that DOES NOT HAVE 4K! What matters is the quality of an Elmbrook education.

Incidentally, Mequon-Thiensville School District outscored us with its 25.9 composite score, as did West High in the Madison School District, also with 25.9. Why do I mention them? Because neither of them have 4K.

Later in the discussion, Tom Gehl cautioned about increasing the number of non-resident students just to fill our vacant elementary space. He hinted that there was a correlation between Elmbrook slipping from its #1 status in (ACT) test scores and the number of non-residents.

Jean "Lambert said she believes money would be better spent bolstering outcomes at the higher grades in preparation for post-graduation than at the elementary school level."

I couldn't agree more. So, please Elmbrook, concentrate on the things that matter, the quality of your product which is education, and leave day care where it belongs, in the private sector.

Contact the board:
Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

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Elmbrook School Board tonight: Action on petitioning neighboring subdivisions, DISCUSSION of 4K & maintenance budget

Elmbrook, TAXES

In case you didn't see this, the 4K vote was scheduled for tonight but was moved off the Agenda as an action item. The board will still discuss 4K tonight, however. The March 8th Agenda does include voting on 4K, but that could change too, I would think, depending on what happens in Madison regarding the State Budget.

One rather Deja Vu item on the agenda is 3D, E, F, & G. Neighboring subdivisions are petitioning Elmbrook to join our School District. Why do I say Deja Vu? Because we went through this in February of 2009: 64 from Waukesha petition to join Elmbrook schools: Why now? . The School Board accepted in 2009, Elmbrook board unanimously approves petition to join us the State later denied. At least one of the areas seems to be the same as the last time.

Also on the agenda for tonight is discussion on the Long Range Capital Maintenance Budget. That doesn't sound too exciting, but it is important. If you saw Capital needs outweigh funds, Long-term, larger projects put off, maybe you were as surprised as I was to read, (My emphasis)
"The district also has deferred $500,000 in repairs to heating, ventilation and air-conditioning units and roofing at Brookfield Central and Brookfield East high schools. Miller [Elmbrook Facilities Director] said Central has $50,000 worth of urgent needs that will have to be addressed, and the facilities staff will know more once the snow clears off the roofs.

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4K: $222 million a year and growing! Call Elmbrook School Board & Gov. Walker

4-K, Elmbrook, Education, TAXES, WISCONSIN

That is right. In Wisconsin, 4K costs taxpayers $222,000,000 a year. And if the D.P.I. has its way, that number will be increasing after their 4K recruitment effort.

I just got off the phone with Senator Glenn Grothman's office. His assistant urged concerned Wisconsinites to CALL the Governor to defund 4K in his budget.* Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

Taking state funding for 4K out of Wisconsin's budget would mean local districts would fund the entire cost of their 4K programs--no more state aid.

At the local level, presently, our Elmbrook School District does not have a 4K program. But our school board may vote on whether or not to begin a 4K program for the 2011-2012 school year at their meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 22nd, at the Central Administration Office, 13780 Hope Street, at 6pm. Please contact the board about this issue. (Info below)

According to Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, the Governor's next budget will reduce the shared revenue the state pays out and cut the per pupil dollar amount given to local districts for each student enrolled. Hardly an incentive for adding new students to a new, unnecessary and ineffective program such as 4K.

Why do I say unnecessary and ineffective? Because like many other studies, Elmbrook's own internal study showed no difference in the achievement levels of 2nd grade students between children who went to Elmbrook's own pilot program 4K, those who attended private 4K, and those who had no 4K at all!

On top of all that, as one board member stated, the increase to Elmbrook's budget by starting a 4K program does not "make a significant impact" on the "overall budget shortfall". Remember Elmbrook School's budget increase is at Elmbrook TAXPAYER expense: "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented." This would be at current state aid levels. If those levels are reduced, the cost for Elmbrook taxpayers would increase even more.

Combining the ineffectiveness of a 4K program, with that small financial gain to their budget , with the very real threat of decreasing state aids per pupil, makes voting against starting 4K in Elmbrook the only reasonable position. Contact the board.

*If defunding 4K doesn't make it into the Governor's February 22nd budget proposal, Senator Grothman will introduce defunding 4K in a stand alone bill.


Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

Residents split on K4.

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Here we go again, Elmbrook board discussing 4K tonight, topic at 7pm

Elmbrook, TAXES, Education, 4-K

That's right. At tonight's Elmbrook school board meeting, they will be discussing adding 4K...again. The meeting starts at 6pm with the 4K agenda item at 7pm: Four Year Old Kindergarten - February 8, 2011 Discussion. It is imperative the board hear from you if you are against adding 4K to our district, because you can be sure those in favor of 4K will be there tonight. Please come if you are able, or you may email your comments to the board. The board is to decide on 4K at their Feb. 22nd meeting.

A pro-4K email has crossed my path. To quote: "It is crucial for the Board to hear our voices in support of 4K before the decision is made at February 22nd meeting. 4K has a real possibility of passing this time, but the Board members need to see a packed room and hear our comments..."

The email then gives a number of statistics that I question. One being the survey taken at polling places on November 2nd, where Voters were asked to state their position on closing a school, more non resident students, and adding 4K to close the budget gap. There was no explanation given that 4K would be increasing the Elmbrook budget by increasing our taxes!

The general public doesn't always understand that when the district talks about increasing revenue, it really means higher taxes*. "According to the district, taxes for the owner of a $300,000 home would increase by $34 for 2011-12, $66 for 2012-13, $97 for 2013-14 and $104 for 2014-15 if K4 is implemented."

From the district's own Dec. 7, 2010 work session minutes: "...staffing costs will rise if 4K is added--therefore address salary/benefit concerns before adding 4K."

The Elmbrook School Board voted against 4K in 2007. So what is different with the board we have today vs. the board we had in 2007 when they voted 4K down? We still have Tom Gehl, Meg Wartman, Gary Jones, Glen Allgaier who were NO 4K votes. Bob Ziegler is the only surviving Yes vote. Jean Lambert and Kathryn Wilson have replaced Dave Marcello, a No vote, and Cherry Sylla, a Yes vote.

Has the information on academic achievement changed since 2007? At the time, Meg Wartman even wondered if Elmbrook ever assessed the difference all day 5K made in achievement in Elmbrook.

Well, now we do have our own "data" as Eileen Depka refers to it on how our pilot 4K-ers, now in 2nd grade, do compared to Elmbrook students who did not attend 4K. From what I have heard, on average, they have not done as well as students who only attended 5K. (If they did do better, do you really think you wouldn't have heard more about it by now?) All I could find was this sentence from the Dec. 14, 2010 board meeting minutes, "Eileen Depka presented non standardized assessment data from the current second grade class, many of whom participated in the District’s 4K pilot."

The board meeting starts tonight at 6pm with the 4K discussion at 7pm. As I understand it, people may comment at the Citizen's Forum early in the meeting. Or submit your comments via email.

Contact the Elmbrook School Board:
President Tom Gehl gehlt@elmbrookschools.org
Meg Wartman wartmanm@elmbrookschools.org
Glen Allgaier allgaieg@elmbrookschools.org
Gary Jones jonesg@elmbrookschools.org
Jean Lambert lambertj@elmbrookschools.org
Kathryn Wilson wilsonk@elmbrookschools.org
Robert Ziegler zieglerr@elmbrookschools.org

More reading: *School closing decision put off til fall, Feb 1, 2011

Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail Oct. 8, 2007 (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

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It's National School Choice Week - Register for Jan. 27th and/or Jan. 31st events

Education, Elmbrook, Free, Special events, TAXES

Americans for Prosperity and National School Choice team up this week to bring you 2 National School Choice events in our area.

On Thursday, January 27th, from 6pm - 8pm, there will be a showing of "The Cartel", a movie that deals with the failure of public education--especially for minority students. It is free, but you must register. Wisconsin branch of the AFP, Fight Back Wisconsin website, states there will be a Town Hall Q&A connected with this movie showing too. Held at 1126 S. 70th Street, Suite S211, Milwaukee. (North of Greenfield Ave.) Call 414-476-7900 for more information.

The 2nd event is probably of more interest to those of us in the Elmbrook School District, since in general, parents are satisfied with our school system. This one is titled, The Education Revolution Tour: Restoring America's Exceptionalism. This Town Hall will be held from 7 - 8:30 pm on January 31st, at the Country Springs Hotel (2810 Golf Road) in Pewaukee. Call 414-476-7900 for more information. The meeting is FREE, but you need to register. (There is also a pre-Town Hall reception and photo op with Dick Morris and Vicki McKenna at 6pm, for a $59 registration fee.)

Why are they doing this? Because, as their literature and ads state, "American 15-year-olds rank 35th out of 57 countries in math and literacy, behind almost all industrialized nations!"

Never heard of National School Choice week? Don't feel badly. This is a new grassroots movement in our nation and this is the first of hopefully many more nationwide events of this kind.

The Heritage Foundation informs us that over 150 organizations nationwide are hosting events this week. "It’s a grassroots movement of national proportions to highlight the benefits of school choice and demand access to quality educational options. Speaker John Boehner, Newt Gingrich, Sens. Joe Lieberman and John McCain and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush – among many others – are all “in” for National School Choice Week.

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Elmbrook, what if Wisconsin defunds 4K?

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Wisconsin changed from a very blue state to very red one last November, with the election of Republican Governor Scott Walker and a Republican majority in the Assembly and State Senate. And from all appearances, it seems we will no longer continue business as usual (or more accurately spending as usual) on government programs that don't work.

Our state is in a serious fiscal crisis, being $3 billion in the red, in this budget cycle. We must look at how we spend our money and then eliminate those line items that do not show benefit. Just because we have had a program in the past is no longer reason enough to continue that program.

One such program is 4K. State Senator Glenn Grothman has talked about defunding 4K several times in recent weeks. His reason? It doesn't work, and it is EXPENSIVE!

Grothman states:
"Recent studies have confirmed that any academic benefits of government funded preschool disappear by the fourth grade... Studies in Oklahoma, the state which has the model four-year-old program, show a decline in their fourth grade reading scores over the past eleven years, after benefits of their 4K programs should have been realized."(My emphasis)

Since 4K is one of the remedies being considered for Elmbrook's budget woes, it is important we consider the What if Wisconsin defunds 4K? before we rely on its curative powers for our budget.

The number of 4-year-olds in kindergarten has tripled in the last 10 years, and more school districts in our state are proposing it for this year. Last year alone, Grothman stated, "four-year-old kindergarten programs cost this state $140 million in state tax collections and cost local property taxpayers another $82 million." That adds up to $222 Million for a program that doesn't show long term educational benefit. And that is not FREE money, that money comes out of the taxpayers' pockets!

The Madison School District is starting a 4K program this year for an additional $10 Million, and other districts are considering it too. At present, 85% of Wisconsin school districts have a 4K program.

So why are these districts so gung ho on a program that doesn't work? Money. It is a school district budget funding tool.

In Campbellsport, for example, "The district receives an additional $423,000 in state aid for the 70 students enrolled. Cost to employ two teachers and two aides for the program is approximately $164,000." This doesn't reflect all the hidden costs of the program, but it does give you an idea of why 4K is so seductive.

Grothman writes: "For the past 15 years, Wisconsin has encouraged adopting four-year-old kindergarten by allowing school districts as much revenue authority for a four-year-old as they have for their more costly to educate high school students. "

But if there were no state revenue authority or funding for 4K, would Elmbrook still be casting an eye toward starting the program? I sincerely doubt it.

Our board will be discussing 4K and other budget enhancing options such as school closings and increasing non-resident enrollment very soon. I have heard we have our own study of how our pilot program 4K-ers perform, compared to Elmbrook students who didn't attend 4K.

Many of our board members are not in favor of 4K, but the make up of the board will be changing in April with Gary Jones stepping down and Kathryn Wilson up for reelection.

Please contact your representatives about this. Wisconsin and Elmbrook cannot afford to spend precious tax dollars on programs that don't work.

Elmbrook School Board Members

State Assembly:
Representative Dale Kooyenga, 14th Assembly District,
(608) 266-9180, Rep.Kooyenga@legis.wi.gov
Representative Paul Farrow, 98th Assembly District, (608) 266-5120 Rep.Farrow@legis.wi.gov

State Senate:
Senator Leah Vukmir, 5th Senate District,
(608) 266-2512 Sen.Vukmir@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Rich Zipperer, 33rd Senate District, (608) 266-9174 Sen.Zipperer@legis.wisconsin.gov

Governor Scott Walker (608) 266-1212 govgeneral@wisconsin.gov

More Reading: Time to Stop the Expansion of Four-year-old Kindergarten
Reason Foundation: Assessing Proposals for Preschool and Kindergarten
 

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Governor Scott Walker: Not "dawning of age of Aquarius" but a new direction

Elections, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

Yesterday, Scott Walker was sworn in as Wisconsin's 45th governor. For conservatives, this day was a long time coming. While I didn't watch the ceremony, I did hear some of it on the radio. As I tuned in, I heard a choir singing, of all things, The Age of Aquarius! It was such a bizarre choice that I scolded the car radio, who picked this? But it was indeed the Walker Inauguration, for soon the ceremony was under way.

If you didn't hear our new governor, do take a look at his speech. It seems pretty obvious that while this isn't the "dawning of the age of Aquarius" it is the beginning of an era of fiscal responsibility and limited government.

Walker quoted from our state Constitution a few times, going back to our roots. He said our Constitution "speaks to the source of our liberties: 'We, the people of Wisconsin, grateful to Almighty God for our Freedom, in order to secure its blessings, form a more perfect government, insure domestic tranquility and promote the general welfare, do establish this constitution.' Powerful words."

Then he added, "
Our rights as free people are given by our creator, not the government. Among these rights is the right to nurture our freedom and vitality through limited government." (My emphasis)

Knowing he faces an uphill battle to turn this state around hasn't quelled Walker's enthusiasm in the least. He seems energized and ready to tackle the projected $3 billion dollar budget deficit. Job creation, sizing our govenment to what we can afford, and the economy are his top priorities.

As he said in his speech, "It is through frugality and moderation in government that we will see freedom and prosperity for our people."

Walker concluded with, "'Justice… Moderation… Temperance… Frugality… Virtue.' [from Article I, Section 22 of our constitution] These are the values upon which our state was formed and the values that will drive us forward."

Will we always like this new direction? Probably not. Belt tightening and being responsible is seldom pleasant or easy.

Can we who are Conservatives just sit back and allow the Republican controlled Assembly and Senate to conduct business as usual? No. We must remain vigilant. A Democratic Republic doesn't run on autopilot.

So Godspeed, Governor Walker, in the journey set before you. It's an uphill climb!

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Giving back the high-speed rail "free pony" anchor baby

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN, United States

Most people know there is no such thing as a free lunch or a free puppy. Someone always has to pay for the free lunch (which often has some strings attached for the diner), and the free puppy has all sorts of long term costs. But these two freebies pale in comparison to the entanglements involved in getting a free pony.

When my other half was a teen, he loved horses. (We both still do.) He rode any chance he got and helped at an area stable for riding privileges. Seeing this interest, his great uncle offered to buy him a horse of his own. Wow, that was quite a gift: a free horse!

But like the free lunch and free puppy, there isn't such a thing as a free horse either. Yes, the free horse would have been fun. It would have been nice to have. The son really wanted it. Yet his parents had to be the grownups and tell the generous uncle, no.

Why? Because they couldn't afford to board the free horse. The maintenance cost of a free horse for boarding and vet bills was just more than a family of seven's budget could support. Before you are too hard on the parents, in today's dollars, could your family afford a $500-$600 per month boarding fee? And what about the vet bills?

Sure, the boy could have worked off some of those costs by working at the stable, but that still has a cost associated with that work, since he wouldn't have the time to do chores at home or work for his spending money. The only fiscally responsible decision the parents could make was to give the free horse back.

And that was the only rational decision Wisconsin could make. Like the free horse, free high speed rail was not needed, it would benefit only a small percentage of the people, and it cost too much to maintain. Governor Elect Scott Walker had to be the grownup and say, no, to the uncle. However, unlike my husband's uncle, our Uncle Sam can't afford it.

Wisconsin isn't the only state with a grownup governor, Ohio's Governor Elect John Kasich also opposed high speed rail. So between Wisconsin and Ohio, $1.2 billion of free money was taken back by the Obama administration. The money should go back to pay down the US debt; instead it is going to 12 other states for their rail projects. And maybe that is why this take back occurred now, before legislation requiring the monies go back to the Federal Treasury could be passed next session.

"In a joint statement, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Paul Ryan wrote: 'We support Governor-elect Walker's effort to put the brakes on the high-speed rail budget boondoggle, which is why we introduced legislation, today, that would give states the ability to return federal funds obligated to high-speed rail projects, and instead use this money to reduce our nation's $1.6 trillion deficit and $13.8 trillion debt. This high-speed rail project is a bad investment for taxpayers and our state simply cannot afford it.' "

And how is the Milwaukee to Madison rail line in effect an anchor baby? Because it was the foot in the door. Like illegal alien anchor babies, the short Milwaukee/Madison run would do the same. (Babies born in the US to illegal aliens often are rationale to bring in the whole family.) Take a look.
We dodged a big budget deficit bullet here in Wisconsin by giving back the free pony (anchor baby) high-speed rail. The short Milwaukee to Madison line was just the beginning when you consider the size and scope of the whole proposed rail projects in the works for Wisconsin. (Map from Vicki McKenna 11-30-2010 post.)

See how additional rail lines to Green Bay, La Crosse, Eau Claire/Minneapolis are outlined on the map?

If we are in doubt as to how we could afford the short 70 mile Milw./Madison run, how would we ever afford these?

We aren't out of the woods yet, the pro-trainers are not going to give up easily. Plus, Wisconsin's commuter line between Milwaukee and Chicago is still to get $2 million, but for now, at least we have one less thing to worry about.

More reading: Wis., Ohio high-speed rail money goes elsewhere
Use rail funds for deficit?

Past Posts: Email Aldermen & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward
STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train.

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Important: Call Gov. Elect Walker: No High Speed Rail! UPDATE

Alert, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Weigh in, become part of the public record against High Speed Rail. Call Governor Elect Scott Walker's Transition Office and register your sentiments on the train. This is important because it could help with diverting the $810 million train money to go toward Wisconsin road projects instead.

The phone number is: 608-261-9200. Call until you reach a live person.

This may take some effort as they have very few phone lines going to this government office, but make the call. The issue is too important to leave any doubt as to where you stand.

Lobbyist groups are staging pro train rallies this weekend.

Siemans would be one such participant. They have a lot at stake here since they make trains. (The photo left was taken at the Orlando airport.)

Wisconsin cannot afford high speed rail now and it certainly cannot afford to replace it all in 15 years according to Federal safety mandates, so make that call!

H/T Vicki McKenna today, end of 1st hour.

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How sickening. Jim Sullivan & supporters slam Leah Vukmir with untrue attacks CORRECTION

Elections, Politics, Truth, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Democrat Wisconsin State Senator Jim Sullivan is in the fight of his life to hold onto his 5th District Senate seat this November, and the tone of his campaign shows it. Having campaigned as a moderate Democrat, Sullivan's performance and voting record in Madison these past 4 years has been anything but moderate.

Jim Sullivan fancies himself as an independent, a maverick, yet Sullivan voted with Jim Doyle 99% of the time! (Sullivan rather reminds me of another so-called maverick in the US Senate: Russ Feingold. Maybe Sullivan is a Feingold wannabe?)

To the casual observer, Sullivan did vote no on the last budget, which might make you think he is a maverick. But his NO vote was only because the Democrats didn't need his vote. (Candidates facing a tough challenger are often given permission to vote no.) Sullivan still managed to bloat the 2009 budget at the committee level--not very maverick-ish. He also voted in favor of the 2007 budget and voted for expensive and destructive bills like Healthy Wisconsin, Combined Reporting, Badger Care Plus, etc.

Every day the airwaves, billboards, and mailboxes are being assaulted with misleading and downright untrue campaign pieces against Sullivan's opponent, Leah Vukmir, from PACs and Sullivan himself. Since I just blogged about Scott Walker's support for adult stem cell research and Tom Barrett's accusations to the contrary, we will start there.

As I mentioned,"there is nothing new here" in Democrats deception when it comes to stem cell research. Obama accused McCain and Palin of being against it. Feingold accused Ron Johnson, Barrett accused Scott Walker, and now Jim Sullivan accuses Leah Vukmir.

In all of these cases, the accusations were not true. Let's call these accusations what they are: they are out and out lies. All 5 of these Republicans support Stem Cell Research. They support the kind that works--the kind obtained from adult and umbilical cord stem cells.

Jim Sullivan's campaign piece goes a step further, however. He also accuses Vukmir of voting to criminalize stem cell research! "Vukmir voted to criminalize stem cell research that could help cure debilitating diseases like Alzheimer's (AB 499, 6/23/05)", Sullivan proclaims.

Now in the days before the internet, it would have been difficult to see if these wild accusations were true. But we do have the internet. So here is the bill Sullivan is referring to: "2005 Assembly Bill 499, AN ACT to create 146.347 of the statutes; relating to: human cloning and parthenogenesis and providing penalties."
 

"Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau
 

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District 7 residents: Information Meeting Thursday, Oct. 21st

Brookfield, Development, Special events, TAXES

From my 2 Aldermen, Lisa Mellone and Renee Lowerr: There is a District 7 Information Meeting this Thursday at City Hall Council Chambers, from 7 - 8pm. (District 7 covers the southeast corner of Brookfield.)

They hold these meetings several times a year and are your opportunity to ask questions, discuss your concerns, and talk about your ideas for our city. Some of the current topics are the
Target Store proposal, Train Station, and the 2011 budget.

Since the election is less than 2 weeks away, remember we no longer vote at Heritage Christian School, but instead must go to St. Lukes Catholic Church on Greenfield Avenue and Davidson Road, west of our district.

Related Past Posts: Is a Target on Bluemound & 124th to be or not to be?
So thankful the Brookfield train station question has been delayed
Email Aldermen & More re: Brookfield train station
Stop the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
Quebecor Target Store at Plan Commission tonight
Can it be? A Target in Brookfield? How about Trader Joes too?
 

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2 meetings tonight discuss: Is a Target on Bluemound & 124th to be or not to be?

City of Brookfield, Development, TAXES

My Aldermen Lisa Mellone and Renee Lowerr informed me that there are 2 meetings tonight at City Hall discussing plans to build a Target store at the old Quebecor site.

The 124th & Bluemound Road Neighborhood Plan Task Force meets first in Council Chambers at 5:30pm. They are "to discuss possible amendments to the Neighborhood Plan because of the Target proposal." If you remember, there was another mixed use plan in place 4 years ago, but that project did not move forward.

In my opinion, the neighborhood, which is in my District 7 but not my immediate area, would be better off without the apartment/condo aspect of the project. Certainly our city already has enough rental property, which is often the downfall of the adjacent single family homes and community.

Brookfield also has an abundance smaller store strip malls, which are part of the mixed use concept. How many nail salons, take and bake pizza places, and coffee shops do we need? Brookfield Marketplace on Greenfield and Brookfield Commons on Bluemound have never been completely occupied since their completion and since the recession, have seen stores leave. At another area strip mall at Calhoun and Bluemound, the former Flanners has been vacant for years.

It would seem that if you have a larger store, with a good reputation, willing to move into Brookfield, this would be a better option that all those transient smaller stores. The neighbors have a legitmate concern with shoppers cutting through their neighborhood, but like Brookfield Commons, this area is rather land-locked too, with the freeway and parks to the south--it wouldn't seem to invite cut-through traffic. Yet the general consensus from a 2006 Plan Commission meeting was, "don't allow the new development traffic to invade their peaceful Columbia Gardens Subdivision Neighborhood!" Neighborhood traffic needs to be controlled.

While I would rather have a Woodman's or a Trader Joes move into that location, Target at least has a nicer image than other big box stores like K-mart and Walmart. Target seems to attract a different, more upscale clientele than the other stuff-marts.

If you live in that area, do attend the 5:30pm meeting.

Right after the Task Force discussion, the City Plan Commission will discuss this same project. "This is an open meeting and [all] are welcome to attend but there will be no opportunity for public comment."

There will be a future Public Hearing on the Target proposal amendments where you can voice your opinions, however.

While the jobs created from a Target are not high paying, at least Target would be a more consistent job and property tax provider than the coffee shop that is here today and gone in a month.

Alderman Lisa Mellone attached related materials for your perusal:
City 124th Street & Bluemound Road Neighborhood Plan
Map of Target Development Proposal
Target Memo from Ryan Company.pdf
936K View Download

2010-07-12 Plan Commission Minutes re Target.pdf 2010-07-12 Plan Commission Minutes re Target.pdf
208K Download
10-11-2010 Task Force Staff Report.pdf 10-11-2010 Task Force Staff Report.pdf
154K Download
PC
            Agenda 2010-10-11.doc PC Agenda 2010-10-11.doc
54K Download
PC
            Staff Report 2010-10-11.doc PC Staff Report 2010-10-11.doc
80K Download

Past Posts:
Quebecor Target Store at Plan Commission tonight, 4K Tuesday, Bike Race Friday
Can it be? A Target in Brookfeild? How about a Trader Joes too?
Connectivity will make neighborhood streets a racetrack! Neighborhood concerns over traffic from the Plan Commission 2006 Plan Public Comment session.

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So thankful Brookfield train station question has been delayed

City of Brookfield, Elections, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Before too much time goes by, I wanted to say, thank you Mayor Ponto, for delaying the decision on the Brookfield train station until AFTER the November election. Mayor Ponto informed the Aldermen of this delay Friday, Sept. 24th. He wrote, "I do not intend to place this matter on the Common Council agenda prior to the November 2nd election."

The Journal Sentinel article last Monday reported "Ponto said it makes no sense for the council to consider whether to endorse the station project without knowing its costs and without knowing who will be governor next year."

Mayor Ponto and I have emailed back and forth on this issue a few times. He wrote: "I must tell you that I would not recommend moving forward with a rail station in Brookfield on the information I have seen thus far." and "When we have a final proposal, I will tell the Council what I think and do so substantially in advance of the relevant meeting."

Right now we are debating if Wisconsin can afford this "free" short little rail line from Milwaukee to Madison, that will cost American taxpayers nearly $1 Billion dollars and Wisconsin taxpayers somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 Million a year to operate. (Let's see, that works out to how much per mile?)

That $10 Million a year that comes right out of Wisconsin's Transportation Fund to operate just 70 miles of track that only serves the Milwaukee/Madison area. How will our state, or country for that matter, afford the additional runs to Minneapolis, LaCrosse, KRM, and Green Bay, not to mention the other proposed rail lines in our nation? (The Wisconsin Transportation Fund was to pay for needed infrastructure like bridges, the Interstate, and Wisconsin highways that most Wisconsinites utilize, not a rail line that only a small minority will use.)

We must stop this train. It isn't a matter of wouldn't it be nice to have a train?; we simply cannot afford it! (It would be nice to have a solarium on my house too, but it costs too much.) Our state of Wisconsin is projected to be $386 Million in the hole by December 2010. We cannot afford what we now have, much less a whole new train system.

So how do we stop the train? Elect Scott Walker.

Last Tuesday, Gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker again stated his opposition to the Milwaukee to Madison train project at a press conference near the proposed Brookfield train station site. Walker affirmed he would STOP the train, should he be elected as Wisconsin's next governor. He has cited the Blue Shirt sculpture as an example of how it is possible to stop already contracted work.

We must knock "high" speed train off its rails before Wisconsin is railroaded into a new massive, wasteful spending project that we cannot afford.

In the meantime, thanks again Mayor Ponto for delaying the Brookfield train station decision. It was a step in the right direction.

If you have not contacted Mayor Ponto and your Aldermen, please do so.


More Reading
: Brookfield Mayor delays decision on train station until after election
Mayor Ponto's September 24th memo to Aldermen
NoTrain.com

Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention

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Did you attend Elmbrook's Annual meeting?

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Last night was the Elmbrook School District's Annual Meeting. I was unable to attend.

I contacted someone who did go and they reported that attendance was light, maybe 40 or so in the audience, with some stragglers as the evening progressed.


Paraphrasing the attendee's take on the evening...
 

  • The meeting proceeded along Agenda lines without a hitch.
  • Based on questions asked, the crowd seemed equally divided between "pro-program supporters and fiscal conservatives".
  • Treasurer Glen Allgaier did "a masterful job of presenting the budget and answering questions".
     
  • Most questions were "soft" but some "really went after the Board and Administration" on "total compensation of faculty members".
  • Some attendees agreed we need to control spending, yet advocated "non-core pet programs", didn't want to see class sizes increase, etc.

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Weigh in on Elmbrook's budget, 4K & school closings this week & next - Clarification

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Clarification: Additional thoughts are noted in *blue with asterisks* .

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Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention

Conservatives, Elections, President Obama, TAXES, TAXES, Transportation

At a rally held in the shadow of the Hoan Bridge on Monday, Scott Walker drove home his point: "Yes we can" stop the train!

Wisconsin cannot afford this $810 million dollar train, that virtually no one will ride, and we certainly cannot afford the $10 million per year siphoned off from the Wisconsin Transportation Fund to pay for its operating costs! Or in other words, we must spend our precious tax dollars wisely on Roads not Rails. (My phrase.)

The weather was indeed perfect for that rally on Monday, but the sun didn't just literally shine on Walker and the attendees in Milwaukee, Walker also captured national attention with his "Yes We Can" stop the train ad.

Here is just a sampling: "The Wall Street Journal: 'Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, has been running a campaign advertisement attacking another stimulus program Democrats had hoped would prove popular: a high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison', Time: 'Essential viewing,' Fox News : '...Walker, by the way, is running an ad that ties Barrett to the Obama stimulus package by way of a controversial rail project,' Politico: “Today, when Obama is in Wisconsin, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker will capitalize on all the attention to the presidential visit by holding a rally to protest the construction of a stimulus-funded high-speed train...' PBS : 'Walker hammers away at what he calls an $810 million boondoggle to build a high-speed rail line from Madison to Milwaukee,'" and more.

Walker calls our $810 million dollar "high" speed train stimulus grant a "perfect example of the out of control taxing and spending in Washington and Madison." I couldn't agree more.

If you are against the waste-of-money train, go to Scott Walker's NoTrain.com to register your opposition.

More reading: WSJ: Wisconsin GOP Candidate Jabs Obama
What They're Saying ...Scott Walker Ad Receives National Attention

Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
 

Read more

Walker rally made political hay, ad gained national attention

Conservatives, Elections, President Obama, TAXES, TAXES, Transportation

At a rally held in the shadow of the Hoan Bridge on Monday, Scott Walker drove home his point: "Yes we can" stop the train!

Wisconsin cannot afford this $810 million dollar train, that virtually no one will ride, and we certainly cannot afford the $10 million per year siphoned off from the Wisconsin Transportation Fund to pay for its operating costs! Or in other words, we must spend our precious tax dollars wisely on Roads not Rails. (My phrase.)

The weather was indeed perfect for that rally on Monday, but the sun didn't just literally shine on Walker and the attendees in Milwaukee, Walker also captured national attention with his "Yes We Can" stop the train ad.

Here is just a sampling: "The Wall Street Journal: 'Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, a Republican candidate for governor, has been running a campaign advertisement attacking another stimulus program Democrats had hoped would prove popular: a high-speed rail link between Milwaukee and Madison', Time: 'Essential viewing,' Fox News : '...Walker, by the way, is running an ad that ties Barrett to the Obama stimulus package by way of a controversial rail project,' Politico: “Today, when Obama is in Wisconsin, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker will capitalize on all the attention to the presidential visit by holding a rally to protest the construction of a stimulus-funded high-speed train...' PBS : 'Walker hammers away at what he calls an $810 million boondoggle to build a high-speed rail line from Madison to Milwaukee,'" and more.

Walker calls our $810 million dollar "high" speed train stimulus grant a "perfect example of the out of control taxing and spending in Washington and Madison." I couldn't agree more.

If you are against the waste-of-money train, go to Scott Walker's NoTrain.com to register your opposition.

More reading: WSJ: Wisconsin GOP Candidate Jabs Obama
What They're Saying ...Scott Walker Ad Receives National Attention

Past Posts: STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train
 

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To-Do List: Email Alderman & Mayor re: Brookfield train station, Walker rally in 3rd Ward

City of Brookfield, TAXES, TRAVEL, Special events

Monday's To-Do List:

1. Email my aldermen stating my opposition to the Obama/Doyle "high" speed train station in Brookfield. Since both* Republican candidates for Governor are against the train, why move forward on this in Brookfield?

It is also important to email Mayor Ponto at ponto@ci.brookfield.wi.us The Council will discuss the train station placement tomorrow, Aug. 17th.

From Brookfield City News: "Tax-subsidized train expansion is not popular in our conservative community. Mayor Ponto has been incredibly quiet about the whole thing." As the posting indicated, the mayor has the power to lead and influence. I would like to see Ponto take a strong stand against the train station.

You may also go to Scott Walker's NoTrain.com to register your opposition to the "boondoggle" train.

And speaking of Scott Walker....

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Tax the rich? Every job I had was because of rich!

Truth, THE ECONOMY, TAXES, Entrepreneurship, President Obama

The Democrats keep talking about taxing the rich as a solution to our deficits and debt. But it isn't that we don't tax enough; it is that we spend too much!

Most Democrats* don't want to extend the Bush tax cuts because they include tax cuts to the wealthy. They also think taxing the rich plays well to the middle and lower class. They ignore the fact that the lowest income levels get a 50% tax increase (the highest increase), and every other bracket increases too, once Bush's tax cuts expire.

Taxing the rich will have a devastating affect on small businesses, employment, and our economy. As Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said, "They can talk about the wealthy all they want, but this is about stopping a job-killing tax hike on small businesses during tough economic times."

It is true: You can't get a job from a poor person. Every job I ever had was because of a rich person--richer than me at least. If you have worked for a small business, I bet it is true for you too. Think about it.

Here is a quick list of my employers:

  • Don's Super Value food store - Don owned the franchise. He employed maybe 70 locals and college students. I did cake decorating in the store bakery in my college days.
  • Shorewood Village Bakery - This was an upscale, family owned bakery, where I cake decorated after college. They employed about 7 workers. Owners worked along side employees.
     
  • Mullenbach's Fashions - A small custom bridal and ball gowns shop, owned by James Mullenbach. This was my 1st full time job after college where I was one of 7 workers. Little did I know the experience gained there would prove invaluable in my real job years later at Milwaukee Ballet.
     
  • T.A. Chapman's Department Store - Golden Thimble Fabrics. Chapman's was an upscale department store, owned by a very wealthy Milwaukee family. They employed a few hundred people.
  • The Snow Goose - a boutique on Jefferson St. where I designed and created custom clothing. I was the only employee. This business went under in less than a year.
     
  • Elna Sewing Machine sales at Mary Lester Fabric Stores. The sewing machine sales area within the store was owned by a sole proprietor. I was one of maybe 3 employees besides the owners. They went under also.
     
  • Milwaukee Ballet Costume Department. Here you might say, that is a non-profit arts job, not a small business. True. But if you look in the back of any program for the list of donors, you see if it were not for the donations and grants of wealthy patrons, the show would not go on. While I was there, the ballet company nearly went under several times.

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STOP the Obama & Doyle Waste-of-Money Train, Speak up Aug. 3

City of Brookfield, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, TAXES, Elections, Transportation, WISCONSIN

Yesterday, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Gov. Jim Doyle visited Watertown, WI. They gleefully signed the papers in order to release $46.7 million out of the total $810 million dollar budget. That's Obama appointed stimulus money to build the rail line from Milwaukee to Madison.

For now, I will bypass the ridiculousness of spending that much money on a train that the majority of Wisconsinites don't want or need. What struck me was that LaHood sounded so giddy about making us create that rail line. LaHood said,"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin. There is no stopping it."

The Journal Sentinel's opening line of LaHood, Doyle say there's no derailing high-speed rail line ended by stating the duo "portrayed" the "...rail line as an unstoppable train that Republican gubernatorial candidates can't derail."

Candidates Scott Walker and Mark Neumann disagree. Both said that they would shut down construction if elected. That is a relief.

I caught a bit of Scott Walker on Jay Weber this morning. He reminded listeners of the supposedly unstoppable "Blue Shirt" at the airport! People said we couldn't stop that too, he said. Estimated operation costs are $10 million a year that Wisconsin taxpayers will have to fund. Walker said something to this effect, Bottom line, the Federal government cannot obligate Wisconsin to spend $10 million a year to support / run the train.

Mayor Tom Barrett supports the train. After all, he also wants his Folly Trolley in Milwaukee --another expensive form of transportation that no one will use. Walker also brought up the fact that This isn't just Jim Doyle's train, it's Tom Barrett's train too. He was there since the beginning.

So one thing Wisconsinites can do to STOP the Drain on the Taxpayer Obama & Doyle Express is VOTE REPUBLICAN!

But you don't need to wait until November. You can also speak up on Aug. 3rd.

My Alderman Lisa Mellone sent a notice that the City of Brookfield is holding "A city-wide public workshop regarding this proposal is scheduled on August 3rd from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brookfield Elementary School, 2530 N. Brookfield Rd. We encourage you to attend and express your opinion on this issue.The Council will deliberate the placement of a train stop in Brookfield on August 17th."

She adds, "If you can’t attend the workshop, please give your alderman your questions and stance on the issue of High Speed Rail stopping in Brookfield before the 8/17 meeting.
"

All Wisconsinites should voice their opposition to their Aldermen, Mayors, State Representatives and State Senators. The operational funds come out of the transportation fund for the whole state, even though the train operates just from Milwaukee to Madison.

So, Taxpayers in Distress, speak up!



Listen to Vicki McKenna's Friday Show Hour 1 Part 1 She details the cost to ride, subsidies, and other horrors.

Hate the idea of a high-speed rail station in Brookfield? Blogger Cindy Kilkenny found a this nugget in the Brookfield Common Council packet: "1993 - Governor Thompson commits $50 million to build passenger rail between Milwaukee and Madison."

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Obama to Republicans: Don't do as I say about cutting spending

Legislation, Politics, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

Last week, President Obama made an impassioned Rose Garden speech about passing unemployment benefit extensions, complete with visual aids: 3 unemployed individuals. He appealed to the Senate (Republicans), "It's time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics...It's time to do what's right, not for the next election, but for the middle class. We've got to stop blocking emergency relief for Americans who are out of work. We've got to extend unemployment insurance.

If you didn't know anything more about this, you might think the Republicans were being heartless and unfeeling. At least that is what the President and most Democrats* hoped you would think.

In actuality, Republicans were just following what the President himself signed into law by Executive Order in February of this year. Remember PAYGO?

In case you don't, Paygo was a budget tool that simply said that Congress must pay for what it spends. In other words, if new spending is proposed, it must be offset by either cutting somewhere else or adding new taxes. (Even Paygo is pretty much smoke and mirrors as far as any real cuts go.)

In Obama's own words about Paygo (my emphasis), "Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.... After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.”

If you dig deeper than the mainstream media into why Republicans were against extending unemployment, you find out that Republicans were in fact willing to extend benefits to 99 weeks, BUT ONLY IF THEY WERE PAID FOR!

Rep. Camp said it well, "I support, and Republicans have supported, extending unemployment benefits, but we must not do so at a cost to the deficit, to the economy and to future generations. Our inability to get our fiscal house in order isn't just damaging future generations; it is wreaking havoc on jobs today."

So we find most Republicans* wanted to utilize unused Stimulus funds to pay for the unemployment benefit extension, which was in accordance with the President's own Paygo law.

Since Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi even said that unemployment benefits were "one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy... It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative", wouldn't this bill seem a perfect use for those unused funds? They could extend the unemployment benefits without raising the deficit, which is what the President asked for with Paygo in February and still touts as recently as the G-20 last month.

But most Democrats didn't want to use Paygo. Of course we didn't hear anything about heartless Democrats blocking the passage of unemployment benefits because they wouldn't use existing Stimulus funds.

The President himself didn't want to pass it using Paygo, which is why when it comes to Obama, don't pay any attention to what he says about controlling spending. No, it makes better political hay to slam those unfeeling Republicans for not wanting to help the unemployed by increasing the deficit (even though it could be avoided).

The President is absolutely correct when he said, "American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility." I know I am.

I just wish he followed his own advice.


*The House and Senate version passed with some crossover votes on both sides.

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Can't believe Elmbrook is entertaining 4K as budget fix

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Education

Last week, Elmbrook's Enrollment Management Study Team presented 2 of their 10 scenarios that would help fill the $16 Million dollar budget short fall over the next 5 years. The 2 recommendations they advanced each included adding 4K.

All I have to say to them is, Dorothy, we aren't in Kansas anymore! or more accurately, Elmbrook, the heyday of expanding the Empire by sending the bill to the taxpayers is over.

If you care about this issue, please note that the board will continue discussion of 4K and closings, etc. at their next meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm.

But what happened to recommendation #3: Reduce to 5 elementary schools (assume closing of three section school in 2011-12), and recommendation 4: Reduce to 4 elementary schools (assume closing of 2 three section school in 2011-12)? Instead, the EMS Team settled on 2 options that both ADD 4K.

The introduction of the EMS Team's 2 4K recommendations opened discussion at the Board level last Tuesday. Now, just because the EMS Team brought these 2 recommendations to the Board does not mean the Board will go for them. Meg Wartman, Tom Gehl, Glen Allgaier, and Patrick Murphy voted against 4K in the last go round in 2007. Our board has changed since then. Murphy has retired; we have added Gary Jones, Jean Lambert, Kathryn Wilson since then. Wilson and Allgaier both indicated they were willing to look at school closings and were not enthusiastic about 4K during the 2010 pre-election forums.

The economic climate of our nation has drastically changed since November of 2007. For one, On January 1, 2011, the Bush tax cuts will expire. That means income tax rates will increase from 35 to 39.6% for top income tax payers. ("Two-thirds of all small business profits are taxed" at this rate.) Even the lowest bracket of 10% will rise to 15%. Don't forget the "return of the Death Tax" and the "higher tax rates on savers and investors" too--capitol gains and dividends taxes will increase dramatically.

These increases will affect all Elmbrook taxpayers in a negative way, and our school district EMS Team is suggesting we pay more, in order to add students so their budget numbers look better?

According to the July 13th Agenda Item 3A report, page 3, we get between $1,500-$2,000 per Open Enrollment student and $1,700 per 4K student. Keep in mind the actual cost per student in Elmbrook is around $12,000-$13,000 a year. (Half that amount for half day kindergarten student.)

A reader alerted me to the fact that the district would NOT conduct a 'baseline analysis' which would consist of sizing our schools to serve only resident students.

And speaking of resident students, one thing I have wondered for years is why do we still have New Berlin students included in the Elmbrook system when Lindfield, the Elmbrook neighborhood school they used to attend, was closed years ago? Students from south of Greenfield Ave. in New Berlin are still in Elmbrook's system even though their own New Berlin elementary school on Sunnyslope Rd. is far closer than sending them to Elmbrook's Swanson School. Maybe this is the time to finally size Elmbrook's schools to Elmbrook residents?

Can we please start looking at public education in the right light? The school district constantly talks about increasing their enrollment numbers like they were a business. During the last referendum discussion, they were asking how they could draw in that 25% or so of students who were either homeschooled or in private school. Why?

Oh, I know the reason, they are trying to increase THEIR budget, BUT their budget boost is at the literal expense of the taxpayers!

Their desire to increase their budget reminds me of the proverbial welfare mom who has more children to get more benefits but doesn't factor in that each child adds to her total expenses and demands more of her time. From an other government supplied service perspective, isn't it like our police looking at increasing the number of people they serve?

Providing "free" education for students is a costly SERVICE, not a money maker. Businesses don't look at ways to increase their work load; they look at ways to increase their efficiency and profit.

Unlike the private sector, each dollar the district receives is out of the pockets of the taxpayers, be it from residents in the nation, state, or school district.

In case you haven't noticed news articles on our economy, the R-word, for Recession, is gradually changing to the D-word, for Depression. We could be in for a long stretch of economic hardship. The nation is broke.

We are also in trouble at the state level. Wisconsin's budget will probably fall $2.5 Billion short by the end of its cycle. Add to that BadgerCare's "shortfall could reach $850 million". Just today we learn that Doyle's $200 Million Patient's Compensation Fund raid must be repaid. In other words, Wisconsin is broke.

And at the local level, the "proposed change to how schools are funded in the state could have a big - and negative - impact on the Elmbrook School District."

There are Elmbrook residents who are facing prolonged unemployment (over 18 months) and foreclosure.

So please, Elmbrook School District, could you look at CUTTING the size of your empire instead of EXPANDING it on the backs of your serfs?

Sorry for this long post, but this is an important issue we must speak up about. Let the board know your thoughts on adding an expensive 4K program--remember to be polite. The next board meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 24th, 6pm


Past Posts: 4-K: The Dog Chasing its Tail (Revised) Revenues collected "...would, however, cost the taxpayers more money, because it would be funded primarily from increased property taxes. The district would be allowed to collect more taxes due to its increased enrollment."
Does 4K Deserve Tax Dollars? Nov. 10, 2007
Uncle Matt Wants You--if you are 4 years old Nov. 14, 2007
4K--It's About the Money Nov. 21, 2007
Public Schools: Safety Net or Drift Net? Nov. 23, 2007
4K Solving Budget Woes = Lucy Ricardo Math Nov. 26, 2007
Bet Room Will Be Packed With Pro 4K Tonight Nov. 27, 2007
4K Yellow Hands and Green Trees Nov. 27, 2007
4K Discontinued Despite Emotions & Irregularities Nov. 28, 2007

Elmbrook Agenda Notes: May 11, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Update included 2 school closing/no 4K options
July 13, 2010 Enrollment Management Study Team Report on Team Recommendations and Findings includes tax credits per student

Articles: Elmbrook Urged to Close School, Bring Back 4K Moves would save district millions July 14, 2010
School Closure Called 'Last Resort' But candidates won't rule it out as a money-saving move March 17, 2010 pre-election article.
School Funding Plan Could Hurt July 7, 2010, "And since Elmbrook does not receive a great deal of state aid to begin with, putting the $900 million from the tax levy credit into funds distributed statewide likely would not have a significant impact in the district, Brightman said. "You'll be paying that much more in school taxes, but the district will receive zero revenue," he said."
 

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Target Store at Plan Commission tonight, 4K Tuesday, Bike Race Friday

Education, City of Brookfield, Elmbrook, 4-K, Development, Special events, TAXES, Just for fun!

Alderman Lisa Mellone sent me the notice on the Target Store and Bike Race. A reader alerted me to the discussion of 4K at Elmbrook's School Board meeting.

Quebecor Target Store Project, Brookfield Plan Commission, 6pm tonight

"A concept review of the proposed Target Store development on the old Quebecor site is scheduled for this Monday, July 12th, 6pm in Council Chambers at City Hall. At this point the applicant is seeking feedback from the Plan Commission on the proposal at their meeting. "

This project has changed considerably from the former mixed use project, of housing and smaller retail, that fell through for the Quebecor site in 2007.

Even the original Ryan Cos proposal had a senior housing possibility, but that has changed too--at least from Ryan's perspective. JSOnline: Plan for new Brookfield Target on Blue Mound Road advance: "Ryan executives considered including senior apartments as part of the development. But that was dropped in favor of doing just retail, along with some expanded green space along the portions of the site that border N. Columbia Blvd. and Krueger Park... ...The green space would likely be donated to the city, the plan said."

Since Ryan Cos'. plan calls for a Target Store with grocery and a few other retail stores-- no housing--the City will have to revisit the plan to approve of the site being solely retail to move it forward.


Elmbrook School Board Meeting
, Tuesday, July 13, 6pm at Central Administrative Offices

The Enrollment Management Study Team will give a report on their findings. (Item 3A on Agenda) Suggestions include ADDING 4K, closing a school and ADDING 4K, and more. With the new school funding changes (not favorable to Elmbrook), I am sure we want to keep an eye on these suggestions!

School Funding Plan Could Hurt

State Schools Chief Proposes Revamp of Funding System



Cycling Classic Bike Race, July 16th, City of Brookfield Civic Center

This looks like fun. On Friday, July 16th, Brookfield's Civic Center roads will be closed to serve as the track for several bike races during the day! Events start at 9:30am and the last race begins at 5:45pm.

The Convention and Visitors Bureau was looking for volunteers to serve as race marshals. If you are interested in helping, contact Nancy Justman at 262-789-0220 or nancy@visitbrookfield.com

Additional information can be found at International Cycling Classic

Well, it is back to the grindstone for me, or more specifically, sanding Spackle in my kitchen.

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Ron Johnson, Feingold virtually tied in poll: November can't come fast enough!

Elections, Immigration, Constitution, President Obama, WISCONSIN, TAXES

This week, the Rasmussen poll showed Conservative businessman and Republican endorsed Ron Johnson (45%) "in a virtual dead heat" with incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold (46%) in the U.S. Senate race. Last month Johnson polled at 44%.

This is very good news for Conservatives and Republicans because Feingold has not been able to poll above 50%. And as Rasmussen noted, "Incumbents who earn less than 50% of the vote at this stage of a campaign are considered potentially vulnerable. Feingold was reelected to a third term in 2004 with 56% of the vote."

Unfortunately, our Congress is working fast and furiously at passing bad bill after bad bill, and our President is using his Executive powers to regulate and shift our country drastically to the left in the remaining Congressional session.

One thing is for sure, neither branch of government has gotten the message that we are out of money--the spending must stop. As with bills such as ObamaCare and the President's $20 billion extraction from BP, Constitutionality is of little importance.

Here is just a sampling of bills and decisions on the horizon:
 

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Pres. Obama's oil spill action plan: Ignore, delay, blame, demand, overreach and Cap & Tax (nothing on containment/clean up)

Energy, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Politics, THE ECONOMY, TAXES, Legislation, World News, United States

Last night Obama declared from the Oval Office,  "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes." But it doesn't seem like many Americans are buying that sales pitch. Even Democrats and Liberals are shaking their heads over his inaction so far and hum-drum Oval Office spiel. How will he make sure this never happens again? By talking it to death? We are now at day 57.

Never one to let a crisis go to waste to implement more government control, regulation, taxes, and now even overreaching to dictate how a foreign owned company should spend its money and use its stock dividends, President Obama is using the BP oil spill to push his Cap & Trade tax agenda. He says we need "...to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil."

Amidst his floundering in the Gulf he is touting alternative energy like wind and solar as a way to end oil spills--as if America can thrive without oil? Since Cap and Trade deals mainly with electricity generation, how will wind and solar end oil spills? America only uses oil to generate about 2% of our electricity. Maybe he would like to lead the way by converting Air Force 1 to solar panels?

In an email he sent out yesterday, the President wrote, "Many businesses support this agenda because shifting to clean energy creates opportunities for entrepreneurship." I am betting those businesses are involved in writing the Cap and Trade legislation or will benefit from the Carbon Credit exchange or an increase in wind and solar use? Companies such as BP--Beyond Petroleum or GE?

I think it is clear that the President squandered his Oval Office clout to peddle his Cap & Trade Tax bill. Most aren't buying it. No matter, his EPA can do what the Senate won't.

As for the spill, from what I have seen, Obama's first action on the spill was to ignore the event. The 11 workers who died as a result of the explosion on April 22nd were barely noted. At last, Obama went to the gulf on May 2nd. "The visit, which White House officials said on Saturday would be within the next 48 hours, signaled Obama was anxious to be seen to be paying close attention to the cleanup and containment of one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history." "Anxious to be seen" seems to be the key phrase there.

The President has visited several times since then but does not have much to show for it. Obama did authorize the deployment of 17,500 National Guardsmen; so far, only 1,600 have been deployed. Gov. Jindal just announced he will be using Guardsmen to build a barrier.

The Jones Act still has not been lifted (as it was after Hurricane Katrina) which would have allowed the Dutch and others with their offers of containment booms and salvage tankers into the area to at least contain and suck up some of the oil. Our own government had their own disaster plan that included the use of containment booms. Trouble was, the U.S. never purchased those emergency booms! In other oil spills, booms are put in place and then tankers come in to suck the oil/water mixture into their holds. They then then separate it later. But you need to contain the oil to do this. There are some booms in place but not nearly enough.

There are some things that just are not adding up with the BP accident. I am sure there is plenty of blame to go around. Let's face it, a blow out a mile under the sea is a problem that won't correct itself. Where was the discussion by the President on how to clean up or keep the oil from the shores? The one thing that is clear, Obama will use the spill to push for green energy, regardless of its negative impact on the U.S. economy!

More reading: BP Accused of Repeated Shortcuts
Sen. McConnell: Obama 'Holding the Gulf Hostage"
Gov. Bobby Jindal Orders National Guard to Build Barrier Wall Off Louisiana Shore
Cap and Trade: A New Disaster Waiting to Happen in 2009
The Spill, The Scandal and the President, How Obama failed to crack down on corruption of Bush years and let world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder.
Obama's Uncertain 'Battle Plan'

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Unbelievable, Kerry & Lieberman introduce Cap & Trade today - UPDATE

Bigger picture, Global Warming/Climate Change, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, Unintended consequences, United States

UPDATE: Ron Johnson confirmed today he will run for US Senate against Russ Feingold! This is indeed great news for Conservatives in Wisconsin. I reminded Feingold of this fact when I called today asking him to vote NO on Cap and Trade. (See bottom of post.)

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Wisconsin Assembly Update: Working night & day-RTA, Global Warming, Voter Act on hold, Wood stays

Legislation, WISCONSIN, Voter fraud, Transportation, TAXES, Global Warming/Climate Change

It was a l-o-n-g day, or should I say night, for Wisconsin's Assembly. They worked through the night and still were at it this morning, I heard on Jay Weber this morning. Remarkably, the bottom line is the 3 worst bills, Voter Protection, Global Warming, and Creation of RTA, weren't voted on. (Keep those calls coming--see below.)

The Voter (Fraud) Protection Act, AB 895 / SB 640 did not come up for a vote as expected, nor did the Global Warming Bill, AB 649 / SB 450. It seems the Democrats were too busy duking it out all night to bring them to the floor. (Thank heavens!)

The creation of a RTA was dealt a severe blow by my Representative, Leah Vukmir, who I am dubbing, Vukmir the Valiant. Vukmir pretty much killed the bill with an amendment that would require a binding referendum for Milwaukee County voters to approve raising the sales tax by .05% before a RTA could be created. She was joined by Democrats David Cullen (Wauwatosa, West Milw.) and Tony Staskunas (West Allis) in that amendment. It passed 52/46. That was encouraging.

This also puts Senator Jim Sullivan, who represents pretty much the same area, in an opposite position of his Assembly counterparts.*

Speaking of the Senate, it seems the Senate Democrats don't think they have the votes to pass Global Warming and Voter Protection. Since Leader Russ Decker wants to spare his Senate Democrats from voting on something they can't pass, these might not come to the floor either. (Oh, I hope, I hope.) At least that is what Jay Weber and J.R. Ross indicated on Jay's radio program this morning.

If you remember, I wondered yesterday if that was the reason Jim Sullivan was now against the Voter Protection act.

The other hot topic was what to do with Jeff Wood, the Democrat with 3 DUIs. The Assembly voted to censure him, not expel. (It's all about protecting the majority--they might need him to vote on Thursday.) "Disgusting"

The Assembly worked almost 24 hours straight, thankfully, they have to call it quits for the day. Voter Protection, Global Warming (being pushed hard by the Potawatomis) and RTA, among others, could all come back on Thursday.

The Senate isn't in session today but is meeting later this afternoon at 3pm to set the schedule for Thursday, their last day? Of course, the Senate could go into extra innings, so to speak. But at least for now, it is not as dire as I had thought.

But don't count these bills dead yet. Both houses could pull it together and pass it all.

Keep calling! The only reason these things haven't passed so far is the pressure from the public! Senator Jim Sullivan - District 5, (866) 817-6061 or (608) 266-2512.

If you don't live in Brookfield, find your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO, especially if your Senator is Jeff Plale-District 7, (608) 266-7505, John Lehman-District 21, (608) 266-1832, or Tim Carpenter-District 3, (608) 266-8535.

*Thanks Jay Weber and J.R. Ross! Listen to the first few minutes of each part of the 2nd hour for more details. Hour 2: Part 1 and Part 2.

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Tea Party Report & Crashers - I smelled them before I saw them

Conservatives, Elections, Constitution, Special events, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

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UPDATE: April 14th Rally & April 15th Madison Tea Party against Voter Fraud Protection Act, Global Warming Bill & Taxes

Conservatives, Special events, TAXES, Voter fraud, WISCONSIN, Global Warming/Climate Change

UPDATE: This Just In from Kevin Fisher's blog, "Citizens for Responsible Government to Join with Other Concerned Citizens to Rally Against Vote Fraud" at NOON TODAY, April 14th at Milwaukee City Hall Rotunda. Contact CRG at 414-573-8709 for more information.

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There Ain't No Such Thing As Free ObamaCare either

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

Remember the polls on ObamaCare? Numbers opposed ranged from around 47% last summer to 57% in December. Those supporting ObamaCare stayed around 35%. The results varied depending on how the question was worded and who was sampled. Those of us who value our freedom of choice and keeping the government out of our medical care kept asking ourselves, who are these people who want ObamaCare?

Well, now that ObamaCare passed, we find out why the support numbers were so high: Some people thought ObamaCare was FREE!

Yes, it is true, Health care overhaul spawns mass confusion for public: (My emphasis throughout) "Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.

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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".

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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:
 

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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.

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Still think Republicans are Party of NO or that there is no difference?

Conservatives, Health care, Legislation, President Obama, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, United States

How many times have we heard from the Democrats that the Republicans are the Party of NO? How many times do we hear that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans?

Well, if you watched any of yesterday's Obama summit, you now know differently. The Republicans utilized their 110 minutes of speaking time to their best advantage, compared to the President repeating the same old / same old for 119 minutes and the Democrats prattling on for 114 minutes.

My favorite Democrat prattle was the one where Rep. Louise Slaughter told the story of one constituent who was forced to wear her dead sister's false teeth as a reason to pass ObamaCare. Trouble is, ObamaCare has nothing to do with dental care!

Contrast Ms. Slaughter's moment in the limelight with Congressman Paul Ryan's 6 minute synopsis of the Republican's idea of health care reform vs. the Obama plan [YouTube]. Ryan skillfully reminded the President of his pledge to not sign a bill that adds one single dime to the deficit.

Ryan then gave some facts on how ObamaCare does not reduce the deficit, and how it double counts offsets. He stated that in the first 10 years ObamaCare really runs a $460 Billion deficit and in the next 10 years, a 1.4 Trillion deficit. Clearly the differences were pretty stark.

It is true that Republicans in the past often went along with irresponsible spending, but compared to the Democrats this past year, they now look like tightwads.

But on a far more serious front, consider the 2 parties positions on abortion. Here the difference is night and day with Democrats being pro death and Republicans being pro life. I would beg to differ with those saying there is no difference between the 2 parties, because it makes a HUGE difference to the unborn baby.

And that difference goes back to the differences in health care reform, with the Democrats allowing taxpayer money to fund abortion and the Republicans opposing.


More reading/viewing:
Louise Slaughter: dead Sister's Dentures

Heritage Foundation: The Four-Minute Guide to the Seven-Hour Summit

More Boor Than Cure, The summit persuaded nobody. It probably wasn't meant to: Lamar Alexander, "It's not appropriate" to rewrite the rules of 17% of the U.S. economy through what is called 'reconciliation.' [51 vote procedure] Don't go 'jamming it through.' 'Let's start over'."

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Call NOW: We can't afford Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act

Alert, Energy, Global Warming/Climate Change, Going Green, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

   

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Can't say I came away from mayoral forum with, That's the one!

City of Brookfield, Elections, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Last night I attended the 3rd City of Brookfield Mayoral Forum. I am pleased to report the event was well attended by an audience of about 120 AND all 4 mayoral candidates!

There really weren't any surprises for me except a little tension between David Marcello and Steve Ponto with the what would your top priority as mayor be question. This was a forum format, not a debate, but even so, there was a little attempt at back and forth between Marcello and Ponto.

Candidate Marcello stated taxes were a key issue--we needed to return to a 1.5% of assessed value rate, that all of our taxing entities have to work together [to achieve this]. We need someone focused on it [low taxes] who won't buy into raising just a little each year. The reality is we can't support high taxes anymore.

Candidate Steve Ponto said his priority would be to maintain our level of services without raising taxes and do it through shared services. Regarding the 1.5 rate, he said he discussed it with Robert Scott, then added that the city couldn't function at that rate, it would reduce city revenue by $12 million and [the city] might lose its AAA bond rating.

Voters always like to hear about candidates who are interested in lowering taxes, but with our mayoral candidate selection, they all have been in local government and haven't exactly bucked the system to knock out spending. For example, although I am not sure about Schellinger's position, the other 3 candidates all supported the $62.2 million high school referendum--certainly a tax raising, not a tax cutting decision.

So I have to ask, how sincere are they about lowering taxes? I can't help but think if they had a finite dollar amount to work with, rather than waving the magic tax levy rate wand, they would be able to find programs or services to cut?

I'm afraid I still did not come away with any strong sense of who to vote for on Feb. 16th.

How about you?


Afterward, there was time for a little political schmoozing. There were a number of aldermen in the audience as well as candidates for aldermen. I happened to sit behind Sheila Buechel during the mayor Q&A. I noticed Sheila because she was taking notes during the forum, and I wondered if she might be a reporter. When we got up to leave, I noted she was wearing a button that stated her name and candidacy for District 5, so I introduced myself. I found out she is running against Gary Mahkorn.

State Assembly District 14 Candidates David Coon and Dale Kooyenga, both Brookfield residents, were also there. I've met with both David and Dale and like their platforms, so their faces were familiar. Chris Slinker, another 14th Assembly District candidate, (Tosa resident) introduced himself to me. Like I said, it was schmooze time.

I caught school board members Tom Gehl and Glen Allgiaer on my way out. As I mentioned before, Glen Allgaier has my enthusiastic support for the Area II school board race. (All of Elmbrook votes for all of the school board candidates, regardless of which area they are from.)

Enough of schmoozing; it was time for snoozing!


BrookfieldNOW Live Blog of Feb. 4th Forum

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Promises, promises: It'll be on C-SPAN

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

Eight different times, on Jan 2008, 1/20/08, 11/14/2008, 8/28/08, 3/1/08, 11/27/07, May 2008, and 4/25/08, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that his ObamaCare negotiations would not be held behind closed doors. Instead they would be televised on C-SPAN. He promised negotiations would be "transparent and accountable" so the American people could watch them. He even chided the Clinton's for their closed door health care discussions during the Clinton era.

But like so many promises made by President Obama, the reality is quite different from his promises. At present, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are negotiating behind closed doors to mesh the passed House and Senate versions of ObamaCare. No C-SPAN, no transparency, except Pelosi saying they are close to a bill.

This in itself should raise the ire of every American because this Conference Committee melding of the bills is always done in Congress and subject to more discussion and scrutiny. Considering the bill affects 1/6th of the American economy, you would think they would follow precedence. But not with President Obama's administration.

I guess we just must chalk up his broken C-SPAN promise as another, I was for it before I was against it? Was this the change you hoped for?

From The Heritage Foundation's Obama's Other Broken Health Care Promises:
 

  1. Individual Mandate: ...Obama:'Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don’t end up having health coverage...' Both the House and Senate bills now contain an individual mandate. According to the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under the Senate plan, 19 million Americans would pay $29 billion in taxes/fines and still receive no health care in return.
  2. You Will Not Lose Your Doctor: ...Obama promised the American people: 'No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise...If you like your doctor, ...keep your doctor...If you like your health care plan...keep your health care plan.' Again, the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms that the current Senate health bill breaks this promise. Seventeen million Americans will be forced out of their existing health insurance. [Even more woes for Medicare/Medicaid patients--see Mayo clinic link at bottom.]
  3. Read more

Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty - Tea Party - meeting Wed. Dec. 30th, 5:30pm

Conservatives, Constitution, Special events, TAXES

The Tea Party movement, that began as a spontaneous tax protest, is moving toward the next step: organizing to protect our constitutional rights.

Locally, a group that calls itself The Wisconsin Grandsons of Liberty organized a lakefront tea party last September. They are now holding an open meeting at the Franklin Library on Wednesday, Dec. 30th at 5:30pm, for those interested in learning more about the group and its activities.

Come and talk with members and attend a short meeting that will "cover plans for events and activities in 2010."

Their website states they are "a group of non-partisan, like minded individuals dedicated to the restoration of the American republic to its originalist constitutional basis. We have chosen our name in homage to those Revolutionary Patriots, the original Sons of Liberty, who were political activists agitating for independence, liberty and taxation with representation."

For more information, call Tim Dake at 262-308-0553 or email Tim at tim@wisconsingrandsonsofliberty.com

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Stopping ObamaCare: Hoping for Ghost of Christmas Future or appendectomy?

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, Socialism / Marxism, Government / Bureaucracy, Pro Life / Pro Abortion

Unfortunately, ObamaCare health care reform has become a matter of being the best bill money can bribe. It seems the only way the Democrats can cram it down our throats is to offer big buck incentives to hold-out Senators to reach the magical 60 vote majority and then vote in the dead of night.

Senator and Doctor Tom Coburn said it best, "This process is not legislation. This process is corruption, and it's a shame that that's the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes."

If bribes weren't bad enough, Senate Leader Harry Reid scheduled the final vote on the eve of Christendom's most significant holiday: Christmas Eve. The timing of his vote is a slap in the face to Christians.

All I can say is that our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves at the dirty tricks some legislators have sunk to.

What can we do? Really nothing, except pray that just one of those 60 Democrats would change their vote? Something in the spirit of A Christmas Carol, where the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visited Ebenezer Scrooge prompting his change of heart, that 1 or 2 Democrats would be convicted or have troubling dreams of what America will look like in the future under the tyranny of ObamaCare.

Or, we need something to keep a Senator or 2 from voting on the Senate floor Christmas Eve. Not anything serious, just a well timed emergency appendectomy or something?

Unless we get a reprieve, we probably will have a signed Senate bill on Christmas Eve. Talk about coal in our stockings!

The only shred of hope we have of defeating ObamaCare after that is to hammer our legislators while they are home in their districts over Christmas break. The House and Senate versions still must go through conference committee to come up with the final version. My hope would be some Congressmen would reconsider, seeing that over 60% of Americans DON'T WANT OBAMACARE.

God help us, everyone.

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Code Red Rally: Over the river, through the woods, to Washington DC they go!

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Americans for Prosperity is hosting a Code Red Rally today, at our nation's Capitol at 1:30pm. Patients First is also organizing buses for the day. Both groups are helping people organize for one reason: to tell the Senate to "keep their hands off our health care".

All I can say is more power to them.

As AFP stated, "The number 1 reason Congress has taken this long on this issue is YOU," the protester. I have to agree. It is only the growing outcry of average Americans who attended Tea Parties and Town Halls and now Capitol steps rallies that have delayed what President Obama hoped would pass last summer.

What a time to be taking time off work or from the scurry of Christmas preparations to go to a rally! The weather certainly isn't conducive to spending time outdoors either. But people are concerned about the government federalizing 1/6th of our economy by taking over the health care industry, so they will show up. I will be watching Drudge and sites like Michelle Malkin for updates today.

Harry Reid's ObamaCare bill changes moment by moment. Yesterday, the pundits were declaring it in critical condition, because Lieberman wouldn't vote for something that included the public option of expanded Medicare. Well, that no longer seems to be a problem. The goal is, after all, to just get anything passed.

Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska earlier said he wouldn't vote for something that included taxpayer funded abortion... well, maybe now he would... for a price. The compensation arm-twisting is in full force. Malkin wrote, "A Hill source says to pay attention to Sen. Ben Nelson. He is reportedly being threatened with closure of an air force base if he doesn’t fall in line and will be offered a “blank check” bribe bigger than Sen. Landrieu’s."

The CBO was to give their score of Reid's bill, but which one? The one that includes expanding Medicare? The one that covers abortion? The one that allows importing prescription drugs? This bill changes faster than a runway model!

Senate Republicans are balking. WSJ: "Republicans decried the Democratic deal making, and urged the majority party to slow action on legislation they contended will undermine the U.S. economy."

Senator John McCain summed it up well, "'Whether expansion of Medicare is in or out...doesn't affect the core problem with this legislation, which is that it does not reduce costs' and increases the size of government."

Those of us who stay home can at least call our senators along with the key players:
Sen. Russ Feingold, up for reelection! 202-224-5323 Feingold said last weekend that he was "opposed to dropping the public option completely and that he was not yet committed to supporting the bill."
Sen. Herb Kohl: 202-224-5653

Find your Senator here

Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska: 202-224-6551 Nelson didn't want taxpayer money to fund abortion but now is threatened with an air force base closure in his state.
Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota: 202-224-2551 Dorgan is pushing for re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, which would go against the drug companies deal made earlier.
Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut: 202-224-4041 Very early on, Lieberman said that because of the economy, he didn't think this was the time for a government insurance company or opt out provision. He is being threatened with loss of position if he doesn't vote for it. Even his wife's breast cancer cause is catching flack.
Sen. Olympia Snowe: 202-224-5344 Who can figure out where she really stands, but she and Collins the weak links among the Republicans.
Sen. Susan Collins: 202-224-2523 Collins is the other wishy-washy Republican.

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I don't often quote Jon Stewart, but "Poor Al Gore" cancels Copenhagen

Global Warming/Climate Change, President Obama, Religion, TAXES, U.S. Sovereignty, United States, World News

You know an issue has traction when the the lib comics start jabbing their own on the left. This week, Comedian Jon Stewart threw this zinger at Global Warming Guru Al Gore. (I don't watch Jon, but Vicki McKenna mentioned it on her radio program. It is funny--raunch removed):

"Poor Al Gore, global warming completely debunked by the very Internet you invented. OH, OH the irony, the irony."

He also chided the CRU for throwing out raw data.

"But here's what's great about science, in disagreements we go back and look at the raw data (clip showing data destroyed) ... ...Why would you throw out raw data from the 80's?...", after all, he still has his girlie magazines from the 1970s!

This morning, I learned** that the Guru himself, Al Gore, CANCELED his special Copenhagen $1,209/ticket book promo, photo op, and snack with Al event!

Why?

The Danish ticket coordinator stated, "'great annoyance' was a factor in the cancellation, along with unforseen changes in Mr. Gore's program for the climate summit." Gore's cancellation affects 3,000 believers, um, make that ticket holders.

"Great annoyance"? "Unforseen changes in Mr. Gore's program"? Could it be Mr. Gore doesn't know how to incorporate eating crow into his slide presentation?

Al Gore's credibility was already on thin ice. Remember Gore has photo-shopped some of his pictures for greater affect in his movie and on his book cover. He won't debate any naysayers--he says he will, but then he cancels. And he will not answer pointed questions. Most recent example, when Gore was in Madison, WI, he would not respond to a simple question about polar bears being considered threatened when their population is growing*.

Whatever you might believe about man-made global warming, this latest cancellation is HUGE. Certainly in a crowd of 3,000 believers, willing to pay $1,200 just for the privilege of being in his presence, Gore was on friendly turf.

The man made global warming believers will still believe because it is a religion, not science, but canceling was a major faux pas, in my opinion. As any religious leader knows, you don't disappoint the faithful.


More reading: ClimateGate Overview
Houston braces for about 2 inches of snow, earliest ever!
Take back Al Gore's Oscar, two Academy members demand in light of Climategate

*I know "threatened" is a matter of semantics and doesn't have so much to do with population as with thriving habitat. Still, increasing by 20,000 in 30 years shows polar bears are faring better.

**Thanks to Jay Weber's link page

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No Global Warming? One less thing to worry about? Don't count on it

Global Warming/Climate Change, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, TAXES, Truth, World News

Nearly 2 weeks ago, hackers broke into the computers at Britain's Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia. This was important because the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, IPCC, uses the CRU as their source for data.

The hackers then posted over 1,000 emails and 72 documents on the internet revealing how the CRU was suppressing data that showed there was no warming of the planet:

"Those e-mails involved communication among many scientific researchers and policy advocates with similar ideological positions all across the world. Those purported authorities were brazenly discussing the destruction and hiding of data that did not support global-warming claims."

The British press is up in arms over this. Brits are, after all, ahead of us on the Carbon Tax parade. In the U.S., there has not been much coverage.

In fact, as far as President Obama is concerned, it seems it is global warming business as usual.

Despite this huge nail in the global warming coffin hitting the press 2 weeks ago, President Obama still met with Indian and Chinese leaders last week, to coax them "one step closer" to climate deal:

"US President Barack Obama said Tuesday [Nov. 24, 2009] the world has moved 'one step closer' to a 'strong operational agreement' on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."

And Obama is still planning on attending the beginning of that U.N. climate meeting in Copenhagen on Dec. 9th.

Why? Global Warming is big business, can be used to implement new taxes and will control people's behaviors.

"Obama has made climate change a top priority of his administration..." The President still wants Cap and Trade to pass early next year.

In light of this new information, that the planet isn't warming, one would hope the push for taxing and controlling carbon emissions would be halted.

American scientist John Christy was was criticized in the hacked emails for asking that IPCC reports include dissenting points of view. He wrote, "It's disconcerting to realize that legislative actions [Cap and Trade] this nation is preparing to take, and which will cost trillions of dollars, are based upon a view of climate that has not been completely scientifically tested."

Disconcerting indeed. Granted, there hasn't been much about this from the mainstream media in the U.S. If only our President would check the Drudge Report once in a while!

More Reading: Climate Emails Stoke Debate, Scientists' Leaked Correspondence Illustrates Bitter Feud Over Global Warming

Hiding evidence of global cooling, Junk science exposed among climate-change believers

Global Warming with the Lid Off, The emails that reveal an effort to hide the truth about climate science

The Day Global Warming Stood Still

How the global warming industry is based on one MASSIVE lie (The Hockey Stick exposed)

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Defeating ObmaCare isn't about inflicting punishment!

Bigger picture, Conservatives, Health care, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Late Saturday night, I checked Drudge to see if there was any news on the Senate healthcare procedure vote and found Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle. The opening paragraph revealed a strong media bias. (My emphasis throughout):

"Invoking the memory of Edward M. Kennedy, Democrats united Saturday night to push historic health care legislation past a key Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on President Barack Obama. There was not a vote to spare."

The article then quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's absurd comparison that the Republicans trying to squelch debate on his health care bill was like preventing debate on ending slavery or granting the right to vote!

"Imagine if, instead of debating whether to abolish slavery, instead of debating whether giving women and minorities the right to vote, those who disagreed had muted discussion and killed any vote," Reid said. (By the way, Republicans championed abolition.)

Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up the real reason for opposing Reid's ObamaCare. McConnell "said the vote was anything but procedural -- casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a 'massive and unsustainable debt.'"

The bill does create MASSIVE and UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT. That is the REAL reason for opposing ObamaCare, not to just deliver a defeat to the president! Someone has to be the grownup here and say, no. Bottom line is, we cannot afford this legislation.

By the way, Sen. Mary Landrieu corrected the perception her vote was purchased for $100 million in aid to her state; it was really $300 million! She held out for a better deal.

It is ironic that Harry Reid views his health care legislation in terms of abolishing slavery or granting rights when in reality it will*:

  • Create 3,425 new mandates for individuals and businesses
  • New mandates will be managed by 111 NEW bureaucracies
  • Creates massive and unsustainable debt
  • Fails to cover 12 million Americans
  • Costs closer to $2.3 trillion over 10 years; $6.4 trillion if impact on private sector is factored in
  • Mandates taxpayer funded abortion

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It's Health Care "Let's Make a Deal", Call Senators today!

TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Health care, President Obama, Legislation

Don't you love it? The rumor was, not to worry, healthcare was dead in the senate. Oh, by the way, they will begin proceedings at 10am and take vote on a motion to proceed to debate* (cloture) at 8pm this Saturday! And the arm-twisting is in full force.

Arm twisting? Yup. Can you tell me what a $100 million dollar Medicaid subsidy for "certain states recovering from a major disaster" has to do with a health care bill?

Plenty, if you must have Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's support to make ObamaCare fly. Cloture on the motion to proceed requires 60 votes. Sen. Harry Reid needs her. From ABC News: (My emphasis)

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Good Grief, President Obama, The Buck Stops With YOU

History, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

President Harry Truman often said, "The buck stops here." He even had a little plaque that sat on his desk in the Oval Office, bearing that motto. It served as a great reminder that he was ultimately responsible for what went on in his administration. Truman said, "The President—whoever he is—has to decide. He can't pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That's his job."

Fast forward 60 years to the Obama administration. We have a president who doesn't seem to realize he is the man at the helm; he is responsible.

Today's latest Obama news from Beijing, China made me see red: Obama: Too much debt could fuel double-dip recession:

     "President Barack Obama gave his sternest warning yet about the need to contain rising U.S. deficits, saying on Wednesday that if government debt were to pile up too much, it could lead to a double-dip recession."

   ..."It is important though to recognize if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the U.S. economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession," Obama said.

Unbelievable.

True, the debt is piling up. Lookie Mr. Obama! Click the link to see the Federal Budget Deficit as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product at a glance. The graph shows this year's amount of 9.9% is over 3 times that of last year's. (That would be President Bush's deficit, a level that alarmed conservatives like me.)

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Brookfied 2010 Budget: Public hearing and vote tonight, 7:45pm

City of Brookfield, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

The City of Brookfield is voting on the proposed 2010 budget tonight. There is a short public hearing segment on the budget at the beginning of that meeting. This is your chance to voice a concern. The Hearing/Council Meeting will begin at 7:45pm, in Common Council Chambers at Brookfield's City Hall. Agenda/Alderman Packet (Thanks Fairly Conservative)

There are certain city services most of us would agree are necessities, regardless of cost. You know, police and fire protection, keeping roads in good condition, maintaining city utilities, etc.

As for the niceties, things like bike paths, sidewalks on one or both sides of the street, boulevard plantings, faux painted retaining walls, etc., one change I would love to see is that a price tag be attached to these unnecessary expenditures. Price tag being defined as the total cost and cost per average household for initial expenditure and yearly maintenance.

It is very easy to say, yes, I like having the boulevards planted with grass, trees and flowers, or faux field stone retaining walls, or paved sidewalks/bike paths. But what are the yearly costs associated with maintaining the plantings? How about the faux painted retaining walls? How much does path snow plowing cost?

I know this is small potatoes, but as we see these types boulevard plantings becoming more commonplace, know that the cost is not just for the initial installation, but in the maintaining. Ongoing nicety maintenance payroll costs are a concern to me.

In times of plenty, maybe we can afford these niceties. But in a troubled economy, where people are unemployed or underemployed, any increase in their property tax bill is a hardship. Commercial property owners also have a tough time paying their taxes in bad times. When the mall owner has vacancies, they can become delinquent taxpayers.

Creating labor intensive niceties is creating a larger dragon as they say, and that dragon must be fed in the lean times too.

We can play all sorts of bookkeeping magic to make the 2010 budget (bottom pp4) look like it is less than last year's, but the bottom line for me is, are my property taxes going up this year as compared to last year's bill?

2010 Proposed Budget
Summary of City fund budgets
Tax Levies and Rates
General operating fund budget summary

Finance Committee Amendments


Mayor's budget calls for 2.4% rise in levy

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ObamaCare passed House: Some frogs must like it hot!

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

Sunday's news, Health Bill Passes House, sickened me, especially because the vote was so close. Although there was little hope that the Pelosi version of ObamaCare would fail, if ever there was a week that might give a House Democrat pause to rubber stamping Pelosi's ObamaCare legislation, you would think the recent turn of events would do it.

For Democrats, last week was not a good one:

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Report: Sensenbrenner's Town Hall on Pelosi healthcare

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, Special events, TAXES

Click for version with photos

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Paul Ryan & Jim Sensenbrenner to discuss Pelosi Healthcare bill today & Sat.

Health care, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, United States, WISCONSIN

Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner will be discussing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ObamaCare Health Care Reform bill today and tomorrow, all 1,990 pages of it!

Paul Ryan will be at the Franklin Library* today, Friday, Oct. 30th, at 11am, for a press conference.

Jim Sensenbrenner, along with State Representative Leah Vukmir, will be at the Elm Grove Library** at 12:30pm on Saturday, Oct. 31st. This was a regularly scheduled Town Hall meeting, but somehow, I think the discussion will be primarily about the Pelosi bill. Since Vukmir was a nurse, she will be able to add some insights into this so-called health care reform bill.

Not that Nancy Pelosi is rushing the 1,990 pages of regulation and spending, but the plan is that the House will vote on this toward the end of next week. (Can anyone even read and understand those 1,990 pages by then?)

I heard Paul Ryan on Mark Belling's show yesterday, hour 2. Give it a listen. It is a very straight forward discussion which begins at the beginning of the hour. Here are a few highlights:

  1. Pelosi's bill cuts $526 billion from Medicare, WITHOUT affecting services! (Why don't they do that now?)
  2. About 64% of Seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage private plans option.
  3. Pelosi's bill includes $572 billion in INCOME TAX INCREASES. This would put top earners and small businesses, who file on their personal returns, into a 54% tax rate. "Capitalism can't work" at this tax rate.
  4. Employers will be able to ditch their approx.15% of salary designated for providing health care and just pay the 8% penalty. This will dump private insurance company group coverage, provided by employers, to the government plan. (Which underpay doctors and hospitals, like Medicare/Medicaid.) So much for you being able to keep your plan. You can't keep a plan your employer is no longer offering!
  5. Pelosi's plan covers illegal aliens and abortion. Without any amendments to prohibit this coverage, all will be covered at taxpayer expense.
  6. The bill CLAIMS to be budget neutral, in fact, they promise it will REDUCE the deficit by $104 billion.(If you believe that, I would like to talk to you about The Great Pumpkin.)

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Pre-existing conditions: Could any insurance company stay solvent this way?

Health care, President Obama, TAXES

One of the many things Obamacare Health Care reform promises to correct is eliminating the pre-existing condition exclusion from private health insurance policies. As I understand it, Obamacare will force all insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions without increasing their premiums. (Page 18, lines 4 - 23 of the Baucus Senate Finance Committee bill, a pdf of all 1,502 pages of the bill.)

Another Obamacare mandate is that all Americans must carry health insurance whether they want it or not. If they do not obtain health insurance, they will be fined or taxed, initially at a rate of $200 during the year 2014 phase in period, on up to $750 in year 2017. (Page 197, lines 2 -6 of the bill)

So during the year 2014 phase-in period, some people might be tempted to not enroll in any health insurance plan. After all, under Obamacare rules, if they get sick, they just pay the $200 fine and then they can get health insurance.

How on earth could any insurance company offer that kind of coverage?

Let's just look at homeowners insurance. Wouldn't you like to eliminate your yearly premiums and not worry about a tree falling on your home or worse yet, a catastrophic total loss due to fire? If homeowners insurance followed Obamacare rules, all you would have to do is pay that $200 tax/fine and then get full coverage!

What about auto insurance? Don't bother to insure your cars, just drive uninsured. Get in an accident? Just pay the fine and get your car repaired and your insurance company will pay for damages and liability. Or, drive like a maniac, rack up accidents and tickets without worry you will be dropped or charged more.

Nice, eh?

Obviously, doing business that way, no insurance company could remain solvent for long, without raising it's premiums drastically. Yet, that is pretty much how Obamacare Health Care reform is set up in it's present state.

Maybe that is the whole idea?

Only government can offer coverage like that without solvency worries. (The government just increases taxes, fees and the deficit to cover losses.)

Unlike driving recklessly, sometimes we get sick through no fault of our own. So how do health insurance companies handle pre-existing conditions?

Stay tuned for the next installment: About those pre-existing conditions.

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UPDATE: Come for tea at Milwaukee's own Tea Party: Veterans Park, Sat. Sept. 19, 3-5pm

Conservatives, Special events, TAXES, Constitution

UPDATE: See local news coverage links at the bottom of posting.

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UPDATE: Can't believe it: IRS & Census Bureau no longer with ACORN, 11 ACORN workers arrested, and 2 fired?

President Obama, Voter fraud, TAXES

UPDATE: Another ACORN falls from government grace: IRS severs ties with ACORN over scandal Sept. 23, 2009: "The IRS says it is severing ties with ACORN, the community activist group involved in a scandal after employees were caught on video giving advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and pimp"

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It was a BIG TEA PARTY, people are finally waking up

Conservatives, Constitution, History, President Obama, TAXES

The September 12th Tea Party in Washington D.C. exceeded my expectations. Crowd estimates are all over the map, ranging from 10s of thousands, to 100s of thousands, to over a million. Crowd estimates have always been iffy; the Million Man March, for example, ranged from 850,000 to 1.9 million.

Whatever the numbers, the crowds were peaceful, from what I could glean, and the signs clever. One protester had a hearse with big letters on the side reading OBAMACAE. Another had a frowny face with tears that read: Worried Democrat. This was no AstroTurf, this was real grassroots.

Here are a few video clips and reports: Michelle Malkin: Yes, the picture is real, nutroots (great time lapse of crowd, photos, and crowd estimation chart at the end), MSNBC Tom Costello "Our own people think 100s of thousands",
Sen. Jim DeMint Corrects Fox News Crowd Estimate; Says There are "Hundreds of Thousands" at 9/12 March on Washinton - Video 9/12/09
VIDEO: Highlights from the 9/12 Taxpayer Tea Party March on Washington (This one had closeups of the signs mentioned.)

One thing I learned from my first venture in fighting city hall on a very local issue back in 2004, was that it takes a l-o-n-g time to get the information out and people to get up to speed. People are so busy these days, they often don't pay much attention to issues -- even when it affects their own back yards.

I also remember talking to a few homeowners the day before the vote for our 2008 $62 million dollar Elmbrook School referendum. These taxpayers either didn't know there was a referendum on the ballot or didn't look at the materials the school had sent out... yet. That referendum was for $62 million dollars and they couldn't be bothered?

Much the same happens with State and National elections. Election day comes and many voters haven't investigated the candidates beyond a campaign slogan or commercial. Life goes on and the ill informed voter goes on his/her merry way on autopilot, not to be bothered about it until the next election. (That is if they vote at all.)

President Obama won the 2008 election promising Hope & Change. The voters who didn't agree with his real agenda, but voted based on his campaign promises, hoped the change would be for the better. If Obama had not hit the ground running toward the left so vigorously, I wonder if we would have these Tea Parties today? If he would have taken a slower pace, maybe the whole taxpayer protest movement would have never gotten off the ground.

But slow paced, Obama is not. Between apologizing all over the world for America being America, his unprecedented spending, his promotion of Cap and Trade, and now his ObamaCare push, the majority of Americans are feeling very uneasy. They are realizing no matter how strong our economy, we cannot sustain this level of deficit spending. We certainly cannot afford this with a sick economy and high unemployment numbers.

People are snapping out of autopilot and realizing their liberty is at stake. They are now willing to inconvenience themselves and invest their time and money to travel to their state capitals and this past weekend, to their nations capitol, to let their government know this has to stop.

I venture to say, if people would have been paying attention all along, there would be no need for term limits or tea parties.

It is thrilling to see the crowds, peacefully assembling, as our Constitution allows, in our capitol cities. I can only pray it is not too late to turn this around.

When we studied the Revolutionary War in our homeschool, we learned about the Patriots that had the ability to ignite the public to action. They were called firebrands. Two come to mind: Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry.

Our 2009 Tea Party movement was sparked by Chicagoan Rick Santelli back in February. He isn't exactly a firebrand, but I would have to call him a spark or catalyst of the modern Tea Party movement. Rick has faded into the background, but the idea he kindled is alive and well.

A BIG thank you to all who have participated in Tea Parties and Town Halls this year. We all need to be informed and involved in local, state, and national politics. As we have found out the hard way, autopilot doesn't work too well!

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UPDATE: Hoping for a really BIG Washington D.C. TEA PARTY

Conservatives, TAXES, Special events

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin reported that as of "12:34pm Eastern: Police estimate 1.2 million in attendance. ABC News reporting crowd at 2 million." You can keep track of Tea Parties on the Tea Party Express blog

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Corrected Musing about Cash for Clunkers and the economy

Musing, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Correction: I posted this piece earlier today before rushing out the door for a lunch date, an appointment, some errands, and family dinner. Finally I have some time to repost as promised.

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The Wizard of Obamacare: Pay NO attention to the man behind the curtain!

Health care, Legislation, President Obama, Government / Bureaucracy, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

In the story, The Wizard of Oz, there comes a time when Dorothy and the troubled trio return to the Great Oz, "a disembodied and imposing head with a booming voice," to reap their promised rewards.

While talking to the Great Oz, Toto pulls back the control room curtain to reveal an old man, a mere mortal, at the controls of the projection booth. Dorothy realizes that the Great OZ is nothing more than an artificial projected image created to impress the residents of the Emerald City. That is when Oz says that famous line, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

That is the fanciful story called The Wizard of Oz. The man behind the curtain is the reality; the projected imposing head isn't.

America's fantasy story is that the government can provide health care for everyone, including 12 million illegal aliens, and do it better than the private insurance industry can.* Oh, did I mention it wasn't supposed to bankrupt us?

The Emerald City had Oz; he made promises he couldn't keep. We have our our own wizard, The Wizard of Obmamacare, a.k.a. President Obama. Our Wizard is promoting and promising health care reform miracles.

There was no real Oz in the story. He was just an image controlled by a mere mortal, bound by the constraints of the real world.

There isn't any reality to The Wizard of Obamacare either. He may promise anything he wants, but his promises are still bound by the constraints of the health care bill H.R. 3200 as it is written. The bill is the man behind the curtain.

When asked a specific question regarding the outlawing of private insurance in section 102 of the bill, President Obama admitted, "You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about." He had not read all of the bill--not even that very imortant section.

It was after that stunning admission that he in effect inferred, Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain--the written bill. I say that because he later promised again, “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”

Of course, our President has a tendency to say anything. Remember he also said that health care reform would reduce costs. He also promised not to implement health care reform if it would result in higher deficits.

I am encouraged that some Representatives are balking at rushing into approving this devastating bill. I am concerned when I start hearing about compromise measures added to get the thing passed. Legislation of this magnitude needs to be carefully considered, not blindly approved. It needs to be scrapped, not amended.

In case you didn't realize, Toto in my Wizard of Obamacare story is anyone taking the time to read and find out what HR 3200 actually says. Totos would include the legislators who take time to read the actual bill, talk radio hosts and conservative bloggers who delve into the details, and now even some media is pulling back the curtain.

Dorothy could be the American public and Congress who are losing confidence in the Wizard of Obamacare and the Wizard of Obamaeconomics. I hope the Dorothys wake up before it is too late.

Contact your Representative!


*Does health care need reform? YES. But it is not an all or nothing proposition needing to be approved by Aug. 8th or anytime soon!


More reading: Does the House Plan Outlaw Private Insurance?

Obamacare: You Will Lose Your Current Insurance. Period. End of Story.

MayoClinic's reaction to House Tri-Committee bill

Obama health-care claims disputed

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Remember the Obama vow to cut deficit in half? Now puts off budget update

President Obama, Government / Bureaucracy, Health care, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Last night, while searching through the 100s of articles I've saved, I came across this Presidential promise from February of 2009: Obama vows to cut huge deficit in half:

"President Obama will announce Monday that he plans to cut the nation’s projected annual deficit in half by the end of his first term, a senior administration official said Saturday."

..."Under White House projections, this year’s inherited budget deficit of $1.3 trillion will be cut to $533 billion by fiscal year 2013, the end of the first term. 'So we’ll cut it at least in half,' the official said."

Where would the savings come from? "Winding down the war in Iraq," taxing the rich, and "other cuts" to be announced. These savings were to have allowed "an ambitious overhaul of the nation's health-care system." The president also said that his budget blueprint would be 'honest in its accounting.'”

Well, since that time, we have not cut or saved much of anything. In fact, our deficit just hit $1 trillion and is projected to reach "$1.84 trillion, four times the size of last year's deficit of $455 billion" by budget year end. Some predict $2 trillion.

Today we learn that the White House is delaying the usual mid July budget update until mid August. Why would that be?

They say it is because it is a transition year between administrations and the president only just released his his full budget in early May instead of early February. Maybe. If so, shouldn't the vote on Health Care reform and Cap and Trade be delayed until it is released?

But could it be that President Obama doesn't want the Congress to see the budget shortfall numbers BEFORE we add the estimated $1 Trillion cost of expanding Medicaid a.k.a. Health Care reform? (Let's not forget Cap and Trade hasn't passed the Senate yet either.)

President Obama promised just last week that, "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."

Obama also said that his health care reform will save money, but the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) doesn't agree. Douglas Elmendorf, the head of the CBO warned it would "significantly expand" federal costs. "The main health care proposals Congress is considering would not reduce costs - as Obama has insisted - but 'significantly expand' the federal financial responsibility for health care."

The CBO office just reported that, "Under current law, the federal budget is on an unsustainable path—meaning that federal debt will continue to grow much faster than the economy over the long run. Although great uncertainty surrounds longterm fiscal projections, rising costs for health care and the aging of the U.S. population will cause federal spending to increase rapidly under any plausible scenario for current law."

I am all for cutting the deficit in half by 2012, but just saying so doesn't make it so! Outside of national defense or other real necessities, we cannot afford to do anything new that adds to our deficit. But our president still wants his Health Care bill to be passed in early August before Congress recesses for the summer and BEFORE the Budget Update is released. Is that being "honest in its accounting?"


Things to do:
Call our Senators. US Senate Members

Senator Herb Kohl: (202) 224-5653, Senator Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323

Sign the Freeourhealthcarenow.com petition

More reading: Obama's Health Plan Needs Spending Controls, CBO Says: "President Obama's plan to expand health coverage to the uninsured is likely to dig the nation deeper into debt unless policymakers adopt politically painful controls on spending, such as sharp reductions in payments to doctors, hospitals and other providers, congressional budget analysts said yesterday."

Read more

TANSTAAFL, Mr. Congressman; TANSTAAFL, Mr. Obama!

Common sense, History, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Government / Bureaucracy

One of the first lessons we learned while studying Economics in our home school was "Tanstaafl, the Romans and Us." It was chapter 2 in Richard Maybury's book, Whatever Happened to Penny Candy? The book is simply written but contains invaluable information on the principles of economics and how the world works. Too bad it isn't required reading for every President, Legislator, Judge, Cabinet Member and Czar.

So, what is TANSTAAFL? Tanstaafl stands for: "There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch." It was a very popular saying during the Great Depression.

Tanstaafl is a law of economics--a fact of life--yet our government and president, in particular, seem to have never learned about it. It says that everything of value carries a cost, or put another way, nothing of value is free. "Someone must pay for it, if not with money, then with time and hard work."

The author, Richard Maybury, then cites the example of the air we breathe--even clean air isn't free because "people work hard and spend lots of money to keep it clean enough to breathe." (Just ask the folks at WE Energies or any manufacturer.)

Chapter 2 opens by discussing the double-digit inflation of the 1970s and early 1980s--the Carter years, something our nation had not really experienced before. (Exception being the Confederate dollar during the Civil War era.) Maybury then compares what went on in ancient Rome with our economic woes. Imagine if this book was written today? The US Deficit just hit $1 TRILLION dollars, a new all time high, and could reach $1.8 or so Trillion by year's end.

Ancient Rome was famous for its road system and wars to conquer other nations. Both of those things require money. Lots of money. Public works projects and a large standing army require funding. How do you do that?

Tax the people, right? Rome was also famous for its taxes. (Remember the Christmas story? Mary and Joseph had to go to Bethlehem to be taxed and counted in the census?)

Well, to pay taxes, you have to have some sort of job. Hence, another thing we have in common with the Roman Empire; they had a large welfare program.

So Rome had public works projects, a large standing army, and welfare to fund, but very little actual manufacturing or productivity in their country. You can only tax so much--even if you are Rome!

The Emperors knew that too high a tax rate might result in revolt, not polite Tea Parties, but actual revolt. Today, we would just inflate the money supply by printing more money. They used silver coins so they solved the problem by clipping off the edge of each coin collected in taxes and then melting the clipped parts to mint more coins. Of course the money was not worth a full Denarius anymore, but the Roman government did it anyway. They wanted to fund their wish list of public works, army, and welfare programs to keep the unemployed masses happy. They hoped nobody would notice.

But the merchants did notice. After a few close shaves, the coins were noticeably smaller and lighter. Merchants started to refuse clipped money or required 2 clipped coins for one real one. The currency was DEBASED.

DEBASING currencies and INFLATION go hand in hand. Not just in Rome but in the USA. At its extreme, this is what happened in pre WW2 Germany, where a wheelbarrow of German Marks was needed to purchase a loaf of bread.

Today, Europe and China are concerned about how much we have inflated our money supply. Our Secretary of the Treasury was laughed at in China when he told them the dollar was secure. Savvy Americans are concerned too. That is why you hear so much talk of investing in gold.

The only ones that don't really believe in TANSTAAFL are the politicians proposing one costly measure after another without the ability to pay for it: TARP under President Bush, and now President Obama's BAIL-OUTS, STIMULUS 1, CAP and TRADE, NATIONAL HEALTH CARE, and now talk of STIMULUS 2.

Keep TANSTAAFL in mind. It applies to all aspects of life. Everything has a cost, whether it is money, time, effort, loss of quality of life. Nothing is free; someone always pays for it.

Just like the laws of Physics that state you cannot create energy out of nothing, you cannot create money out of nothing either, not even to fund unprecedented government spending. It's because TANSTAAFL.

If you have not called your Senators, do so. (I heard that Kohl was showing signs of weakening on Cap and Trade on Marl Levin last night?) A polite call is the most effective and I make sure they take my name. I urged them both to oppose Cap and Trade, Health Care Reform and threw in opposing Sotomayor too.
US Senate Members

Senator Herb Kohl: (202) 224-5653, Senator Russ Feingold: (202) 224-5323


More reading:

545 people I wish would read "Whatever Happened to Penny Candy" Rounding the 'net: The 545 people responsible for all of America's woes

Vice President Biden should read it too: "We Have to Go Spend Money to Keep From Going Bankrupt"

Past Post: I'm going into the wheelbarrow biz, or the "Peso-fication of the US$

Read more

At last, an honest assessment of Tea Party attendees

Conservatives, President Obama, Special events, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Read more

Call Senators! Can voters' ire dampen US Senate's Cap-and-Trade Tax vote?

Energy, Global Warming/Climate Change, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

While evidence mounts that the planet is NOT warming, the US House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade (Tax) Bill anyway, by just 5 votes. The Cap-and-Trade Tax bill then went to the US Senate.

Read more

Taxpayer Tea Parties, as American as Mom and Apple Pie

Conservatives, Holidays, History, Constitution, Government / Bureaucracy, Special events, TAXES

It's Independence Day! A day set aside to celebrate the birthday of our nation.

Read more

ABC to promote Govt. Healthcare from the White House

Government / Bureaucracy, Health care, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, The media

Remember when we used to joke that CNN stood for the Clinton News Network?

Well, ABC is certainly following suit and dialing it up a few notches to boot. ABC news will be broadcasting from the White House with a primetime special, "Prescription for America." Do we dub ABC as the All Barack Channel? How about Adoring Barack Cheerleaders? You can probably come up with your own nicknames.

Anyway, here is ABC's newest joint venture with President Obama:

"On the night of June 24, the media and government become one, when ABC turns its programming over to President Obama and White House officials to push government run health care -- a move that has ignited an ethical firestorm!"

Unlike real prescription advertising, that must also include a long list of possible detrimental side effects, Charlie Gibson's Govt. Health Care "Prescription" promo will NOT include any opposing voices or side effects.

The Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Ken McKay wrote a complaint letter to ABC. Here are some excerpts:

"As the national debate on health care reform intensifies, I am deeply concerned and disappointed with ABC's astonishing decision to exclude opposing voices on this critical issue on June 24, 2009. Next Wednesday, ABC News will air a primetime health care reform “town hall” at the White House with President Barack Obama. In addition, according to an ABC News report, GOOD MORNING AMERICA, WORLD NEWS, NIGHTLINE and ABC’s web news “will all feature special programming on the president’s health care agenda.” This does not include the promotion, over the next 9 days, the president’s health care agenda will receive on ABC News programming.

...
In the absence of opposition, I am concerned this event will become a glorified infomercial to promote the Democrat agenda. If that is the case, this primetime infomercial should be paid for out of the DNC coffers...Respectfully, Ken McKay"


Now, keep in mind, the Democrats are the ones pushing for the "Fairness Doctrine" type media reforms to ensure equal time for both points of view on your radio and possibly the internet, yet for TV network news coverage, this doesn't seem to be a problem.

The Drudge Report posted this as a banner developing story, so that is all for right now. Stay tuned!

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Will Recall Jim Sullivan effort affect his vote on budget?

Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

We have all heard about the Jim Doyle recall effort by now, but there is another Recall Jim effort afoot: The Recall of State Senator Jim Sullivan! I am wondering if this attempt to recall Jim will have any affect on Sullivan voting for the $62.2 billion dollar budget that just went to the Senate?

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Wisconsin Assembly passes budget, next stop: Senate - Contact your Senator!

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

The Democrat controlled Assembly passed Wisconsin's budget, with a 50 - 48 vote (big sigh), at 5:20 AM on Saturday. Voting pretty much ran along party lines, with the exception of 2 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in voting NO.

My State Assembly Representative Leah Vukmir sent me the following report on the budget session and vote. (Contact Rep. Vukmir if you wish to be added to her email alert list.) Republicans were able to make a few changes, but most of the bloated budget passed and is now heading to the State Senate. She urges, as do I, that you contact your State Senator and the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker, "and let them know how you feel." (Contact info at bottom of post.)

Here is the "Good News" according to Rep. Vukmir's report: (My emphasis throughout)

  • They agreed to drop the Joint and Several liability provisions from the budget.
  • The Milwaukee County sales tax proposal was dropped from the original 6.6% to 6.25%.
  • Assembly Democrats, at the request of the U.W. System, removed a $28 million budget earmark for building a U.W. Madison School of Nursing.
  • They also agreed to eliminate various other earmarks from the Joint Finance version of the budget.

Read more

Competition with government health care will keep em honest? Really?

Health care, Government / Bureaucracy, , President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Last week, President Obama sent a letter touting his government health care plan to 2 Senate Democrats stating, "This [his public health care option] will give (people) a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest."

Really?

Has government interference given Wisconsin residents more choices and made insurance carriers more competitive? In my opinion, no. Wisconsin mandates that certain benefits be included in all insurance policies sold in the state. Things like treatment for alcoholism and autism are mandated for all policies, I believe. But why should a tea-totaling person be required to purchase treatment for alcoholism? Why should a childless adult or parent of grown children be required to purchase insurance to cover Autism? Why can't we purchase health insurance policies from other states without these mandates?

I am not saying that those services shouldn't be offered as a choice. Just that if you want them, they should be an extra.

We don't purchase car insurance that way. If a driver has had an accident or violation, their rates usually go up. We have the choice to purchase collision insurance or not. Why can't we get more choices available for health insurance too?

Just thinking about other private businesses that compete with the government, is it the competition with the government that drives prices down or competition with each other?

Did DHL offer cheaper shipping prices than the post office because they were competing with the USPS or because they were competing with UPS and FedEx?

What about schools. As a rule, which is more expensive, public schools or private schools? Which one provides a better product? Does competition with public schools drive the cost down or "keep them honest" for the private? Does competition restrain the price for the public schools? Do you ever hear of a school board discussing that they need to keep costs down to remain competitive with say a school like, Heritage Christian School. (Their tuition is under $4,000 a year last time I checked.)

No, I believe private schools--parochial in particular--provide a cheaper, better alternative to government schools. Just ask the 1,000's of students cut from the School Choice program in our state, who enjoyed a superior education at a lower cost to taxpayers.

What happens when the national health care plan obtains subsidies and underwriting by the government that aren't available to the private sector? How is that type of competition fair and honest? Once the private sector insurers are out of business, do you really think the product offered will be superior to the private sector product? (If you are in doubt, just think of a private retirement annuity/investment plan vs. Social Security, where you pay a lot in but get little out.)

The President would like government-run health care to hit the Congress by August. What is the rush? Thankfully, Republican House Leader John Boehner is adamantly opposed.

President Obama was correct that competition keeps the cost down--it does in the private sector. However, that principle doesn't really work when the government provides the only choice.

Must reads: Heritage Foundation: Obama Rhetoric vs Health Care Reality

Wall Street Journal: How to Stop Socialized Health Care, Five arguments Republicans must make

Investor's Business Daily: Doctors Fight Back

New York Times: A.M.A Opposes Government-Sponsored Health Plan

Read more

$63 billion budget heads to State Assembly...Did you call your Rep? UPDATE

Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

UPDATE: Good news! The Assembly Democrats removed the Joint and Sevedral Liability Law reform from the state budget yesterday. I would wager that decision had something to do with negative constituent phone calls and emails? Don't relax just yet, as Boots and Sabers cautioned, "It’s not over yet, though.  It could still be stuck back in by the Senate and end up in the final version.  Keep vigilant!" (Thanks, Vicki McKenna.)

Read more

Paper or Plastic? Neither? But what do you do with garbage?

Follow the money, Government / Bureaucracy, Going Green, TAXES, Just for fun!

More photos posted on Brookfield7

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Russia ought to know: America is the new "land of the RED"

Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Truth

While most of the American media ignores the dramatic shift toward Marxism in America under President Obama's administration, there is one news source that has the guts to report what has been going on since Jan. 20, 2009 straight up: Russia's PRAVDA!

No cheer leading here, just the unvarnished truth: America is the new "land of the Red": American capitalism gone with a whimper.

It must be said, that like the breaking of a great dam, the American decent into Marxism is happening with breath taking speed, against the back drop of a passive, hapless sheeple, excuse me dear reader, I meant people.

Read more

Senator Jim Sullivan's Town Hall...GRILLING! OUCH!

Conservatives, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, Politics, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, TAXES, Special events, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

Curiosity won out last night, and so I went to Brookfield East's library for Sen. Jim Sullivan's Town Hall meeting. I didn't know what to expect; I have never been to one of his meetings. Would I be the lone conservative amongst liberals?

Read more

Rep. Jim Ott's Hot Air Reports now online

Global Warming/Climate Change, Energy, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Great news! Wisconsin State Representative Jim Ott has put all of his Hot Air Reports on the subject of global warming / climate change online. You may also subscribe to his weekly reports just by emailing him at Rep.Ottj@legis.wi.gov and requesting that he send you the reports via email. (I did need to include my home address in the email.)

Read more

The Party and power of kNOw prevent mortgage cramdown

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States, Legislation

House Republicans have been doing a good job of presenting a united front of voting NO on the stimulus spending and bailouts since Obama became president. The media and Democrats have dubbed them the Party of NO. I prefer to think of them as the Party of KNOW.

Read more

4K spending high: 4th grade reading scores low

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I stumbled on this interesting bit from the Heritage Foundation: Oklahoma: High Marks for Pre-K Spending, Low Marks for Reading Achievement: (My emphasis throughout)

Read more

The Tea Party report & photos: local, state, and national

Conservatives, Constitution, Special events, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States, WISCONSIN

All over the nation yesterday, average people gathered to peacefully protest taxation without representation at the local, state, and federal level! By all accounts, it seems the Tea Parties were a great success.

Read more

Great Tea Party Day: Catch Madison's highlights, 7pm TV 30

Special events, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States, WISCONSIN

I just got my first report on the Madison Tea Party from a Brookfield lady I have known for years. She said it was phenomenal: Great speakers, lots of energy, fantastic!

Read more

Ants, Grasshoppers, and April 15th Tea Parties - UPDATE

Conservatives, Special events, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States, WISCONSIN

UPDATE: See bottom of post for Milwaukee's Tea Party location.

Read more

Still time to register your comments on Doyle's BIG budget & Tea Parties

Government / Bureaucracy, Health care, Homosexual agenda, Legislation, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.

Read more

And the winner is....

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Read more

Cap and trade April 2009

Energy, Follow the money, Going Green, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Read more

Economic slump means revenue slump, so cut spending & use resources wisely

City of Brookfield, Mayor Speaker, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Did you see this article: City may face budget shortfall of $915,000? Revenue sources declining along with economy, director says.  It shouldn't surprise anyone that when the economy is in a downturn, people cut back on spending--either by choice or necessity.

Read more

Gird loins, guard wallet: Dems introduce Cap & Trade energy bill

Energy, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#all/1205e1ef555f02fd  Jim Ott's latest hot air on cap and trade

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How much is a billion?

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

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4K will continue to rear it's ugly head until spending is curtailed

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/news/41855257.html

K4 back on the table in Elmbrook

Read more

We'll cut the deficit in half is deceptive

Bigger picture, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Read more

Limiting charitable deductions will hurt all--not just rich

Charity, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

President Obama has little understanding of the charitable giving mindset. No wonder, he gives very little. But to say it isn't fair that the rich get to receive a 39% return on their deduction when others only can receive a 28% return shows his ignorance of the whole tax issue. It is OK to tax the rich at 39% buy not allow them the deduction return of 39%?

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Doyle's railroad to nowhere, or is it?

Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

$3/4 of a billion. High Speed (more like Amtrak) rail Milwaukee to Madison air port  Talk about the train to nowhere! Jay Weber 8:15 Wed.The airport is out in the countryside on the northeast side of the city! The DOT says that if it went to Madison it would add 45 minutes to an hour to the commute time. (How long does it take to get to Madison in the first place by car?) They have already done the environmental impact study for the area. (ME Hmmm, more like this is a 1st step to the Milw to Minneapolis line?) It is not high speed. ARTICLE

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Doyle's budget hearing

Government / Bureaucracy, Special events, TAXES, WISCONSIN

 Unionizing home health care workers

Read more

8 lanes to Illinois border, so why do we need a train?

TAXES, Transportation, WISCONSIN

 and why do we need a train to Madison? We have the Badger Bus.

Busy week: meetings, state budget hearing & Tea Party, candidate forums, Town Hall

Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Education, Elmbrook, Special events, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Yes, this week is a busy one. Tonight, Tuesday night, the Elmbrook School board decides on Pilgrim Park Middle School's HVAC replacement. Will they opt to include air conditioning?

Read more

Time for tea on Thursday? 1,000 cities with tea parties

Bigger picture, Conservatives, Special events, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Truth

 http://www.timeswatch.org/articles/2009/20090323132052.aspx

Read more

You don't miss what you never had: Pilgrim Park School Air Conditioning, UPDATE

Elmbrook, Energy, Going Green, President Obama, TAXES

We are told Elmbrook's Pilgrim Park Middle School is in need of a new heating system. The board has been discussing this replacement for about a year. Bids are starting to come in now. The big question is: do we add air conditioning or not to the new system? They might decide that question tomorrow at the March 24th board meeting.

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Save for $1 menu: We're printing $1Trillion, China & U.N. ditch dollar?

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

 Soros sees end to US $ as world currency http://www.cnbc.com/id/30069223 Soros also said the U.S. dollar is under selling pressure and may eventually be replaced as a world reserve currency, possibly by the IMF's Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic currency basket comprised of dollars, euros, yen and sterling.

Read more

Know someone getting a bailout bonus? I do. (They aren't rich)

Politics, President Obama, Slipping fast!, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20528.html  (Ryan)   GOP lawmaker flips on AIG bonus tax  ...House Republicans split almost evenly last week over the Democrats' bill to impose a 90 percent retroactive tax increase on bonuses for employees at AIG and the other biggest recipients of federal bailout funds in a political bid to recoup the government's money. Conservatives rejected the bill as a punitive tax, but more than 80 Republicans voted for it, fearing the populist backlash over the AIG bonuses.   ME: those recipients included Wells Fargo, which as Sensenbrenner put it, were not allowed to leave the room until signing onto receiving tarp funds. They were cooerced into signing so as to not label the ones who did take funds with a scarlet letter. Now those employees, even those who make less than $50,000 a year might get their bonus taxed at 90%. How would you like that to be you?

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Stubborn AIG bonus tax passes

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, Slipping fast!, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Bill of Attainder, a bill intended to punish a certain group of individuals.

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Blog articles and links: budget, free speech,samesex benies,embyonic stem,gaymarriage

Blogging, Conservatives, Creation Science / Intelligent Design, Culture, Health care, Homosexual agenda, Media/ Talk radio, President Obama, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, TAXES, Truth, Veterans

Read more

He's going to fix healthcare? Of mice and men--Obama: Vets should go dutch for wounds

Health care, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Veterans

The Problems with Socialized Health Care: Canada http://www.liberty-page.com/issues/healthcare/socialized.html#canada

Read more

Madoff: Ponzi scheme=jail, U.S.: Ultimate Ponzi scheme=biz as usual

Ethics, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

Bernard Madoff headed to jail yesterday, March 12, for his Ponzi scheme (think pyramid scheme) of taking investors money, not investing it, and using it for whatever he pleased. People were outraged, and rightly so.

Read more

Public Hearing on Doyle's Budget, March 25th, State Fair Park

Government / Bureaucracy, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Read more

To Dream the 'possible Dream @ Defending American Dream Summit

Conservatives, Special events, TAXES

Read more

Making grasshoppers out of ants

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Almost every day we learn of more socialistic programs proposed or passed by our government. I just heard that the housing bill passed the House. By the way, ACORN lobbyists were involved! (H/T Vicki McKenna. Catch her podcast from 10:30 - 11am, March 6th.) Kudos to the House Republicans. They again all voted NO.

Read more

Doyle unionizing home care workers, are babysitters next?

Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, WISCONSIN

 SEn Ellis

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Line-item veto strange bedfellows: Feingold, Ryan, McCain

Legislation, Politics, President Obama, TAXES, United States

It is said that politics makes strange bedfellows. The lawmakers backing legislation to bring back line-item veto power to the president would be an example of that phenomena.

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Obama pushes carbon credits despite cooling evidence

Energy, Follow the money, Going Green, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, Weather

A new study from 2 professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department on Mathematical Sciences, "found that the Earth has been cooling since 2001 and projected that due to 'global variation' the climate would continue to cool for the next 20 to 30 years."

Read more

Tax the richRestriction on donations has even Dems balking

Charity, Legislation, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

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Elmbrook's petitioning neighborhood revisited

Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students, TAXES

 1950s neighborhood my foot. Most of the homes are newer. Many are McMansions and some just a kiddie sized McMansion. Few are a true 1950s ranch.

Read more

US Deficit projected to total $8.4 trillion in 8 yrs

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.grasstopsusa.com/stopthebailoutschemes2.html

Read more

To vacation or not, that is the question

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, TRAVEL

Grandma always said, "Travel while you can." She knew first hand that waiting to take those dream trips until the retirement years sometimes never happens. She always encouraged us to go, and go, we did. My parents packed up the stationwagon with our camping gear, and we hit the road. Any mention of the places we saw still evokes fond memories.

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Left contacting Congress re: health care, how about you?

Government / Bureaucracy, Health care, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 MoveOn is urging their membership to contact Congress about health care. They are hoping to improve their petiton signers from 200,000 to 250,000.

Read more

Where is the scalpel, President Obama?

McCain 2008, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=C9943140-18FE-70B2-A843E21B8FB66C63

Read more

Walker, bold enough to say NO to stimulus

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123578396175298389.html

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Obama's Wreck-O-nomics reek havoc: stocks lowest since 1997

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Today's Dow sunk below 7,000. At present, it is 6,762.98, (down 300 points since opening--I have had to revise 3 times for the worse while writing this post). That is it's lowest point since 1997. (This graph is great; you can slide the indicator at the base to the year you want to see, and slide another one to another date to compare the change in the market.)

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Taxing the richest 2% will hurt us too

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

We are a l-o-n-g way away from having to worry about Obama's latest tax strategy to cost us more on our Federal 1040 form!  So you might be tempted to think that if you aren't a member of the 6 figure club either, that you have nothing to worry about when they talk about taxing the rich.

Read more

Obama's deficit, an all time high: $40,000/family

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.reuters.com/article/businessNews/idUSTRE51O6JA20090226?feedType=RSS&feedName=businessNews&rpc=23&sp=true

Read more

The Ant and the Grasshopper & Tea Parties

Bigger picture, Conservatives, Politics, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

I don't know if the Aesop fable, The Ant and the Grasshopper is still being taught in school as it was in my school days. It wouldn't seem so based on who most younger voters chose in the last election.

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energy prices too low?

Energy, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/24/low-oil-prices-seen-stalling-clean-energy/

Read more

Squeezing blood out of turnip: Obama's $1.75 Trillion budget deficit

Health care, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Read more

Still not enough spending, add $634 Billion for Health Care

Health care, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/02/25/AR2009022502587_pf.html

Read more

Wisconsin's April 15th Tea Party

Conservatives, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, WISCONSIN

 

top 2% to pay most of taxes, Obama

Entrepreneurship, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

My household is in no danger of suffering because of an income of $250,000/year, but people like me will suffer because of this decision. In thinking over my working career, nearly very job I had was because of some wealthy person--someone over that $250,000 income.

Read more

Elmbrook board unanimously approves petition to join us

Elmbrook, TAXES

See UPDATE at bottom of post.

Read more

Will Real ID really be required by 2014?

Illegal immigration, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Our dear Governor Doyle must not think so, or he would be really using that additional $10 per driver's license renewal fee for the purpose it was created: to comply with the Real ID law. Instead, he is using it to fund his budget. Front and center today from the Journal Sentinel, Fees collected, but Doyle budget would put off Real ID:(My emphasis)

Read more

65 from Waukesha petition to join Elmbrook schools: Why now?

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tonight the Elmbrook School Board will hear a presentation on the petition from 65 households "FOR DETACHMENT FROM SCHOOL DISTRICT OF WAUKESHA TO ELMBROOK SCHOOL DISTRICT"

Read more

Obama now concerned with the deficit?

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/22/us/politics/22budget.html?_r=1

Obama Planning to Slash Deficit, Despite Stimulus Spending

Read more

Not every governor is taking the $timulus

Conservatives, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Republican Governors Step up attacks on Obama Economic Policies

Read more

Not miles per gallon, miles per tax dollar

Energy, TAXES, Transportation

 for now, the taxation on miles driven is taking a back seat. But like all taxing ideas, it will rear its ugly head again.

"We ARE All Socialists Now"

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Read more

Reason for hope?

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/story/135656

Read more

Taxation without representation

History, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=320014312059757 Rebel Yell: Taxpayers Revolt Against Gimme-Mania

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Investors are not stupid

Conservatives, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

(Originally posted yesterday. I reposting today to try to improve the spacing and type face.)

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Investors aren't stupid

Conservatives, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

You know how that expression, put your money where your mouth is, means that if you believe in something, you are willing to invest in it?

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Trillion, $chmillion. Does $3,270 billion scare you?

TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Paul Ryan and the real number http://blog.heritage.org/2009/02/12/true-cost-of-stimulus-327-trillion/

Read more

When in Rome, buy off the masses

History, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Fantasy State Budget Reports

Interesting idea, Just for fun!, TAXES

 

Last push against the "stimulus": Sign the NoStimulus petition

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

See updates at bottom of post.

Read more

Economy improving? Elmbrook's bonding and 1% sales increase

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Elmbrook schools was able to garner a favorable bond rate for the remaining portion of their $62mil referendum this week.

Read more

Conference Committee works fast to rush $789 billion "stimulus"

President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Yes, it is true. The Conference Committee worked at lightening speed to rush cram their $789 billion "stimulus" bill down our throats. Isn't it amazing how quickly they can do things when it is for something they want? The next step is to send it back to the House and Senate for a vote.

Read more

Was that an Obama Town Hall or "Queen for a Day"?

Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

President Obama was out and about promoting his "stimulus" package earlier this week. The audio clips I heard of the Town Hall meeting Obama held on Tuesday in Fort Myers, Florida, however, seemed bizarre to me. It certainly was not very presidential.

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Mr. President, this is stimulus; yours is socialist porkulus

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Keynesian economics: According to Keynesian economics the state should stimulate economic growth and improve stability in the private sector — through, for example, adjusting interest rates and taxation and funding public projects.

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No wonder Democrats don't mind raising taxes. They don't pay 'em!

Just for fun!, Politics, TAXES

In case you did not catch this one, from the land of Truth is stranger than fiction or You can't make this stuff up, another Obama Cabinet pick confirmation was stalled yesterday.

Read more

Second half TARP funds just released?

TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 It is February. ? months after the TARP bailout bill that was an emergency in Oct?

Read more

How much is a trillion? $1,000,000,000,000

Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Weigh in on the Wisconsin issues survey

Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

 Sign up for the Issues Survey 

Your Opinions Matter
Sign Up Now 

The legislature will be considering a broad range of issues from taxes and spending to the long-term fiscal impact of the federal economic stimulus bill.
 
These issues will have a significant impact on all of us.

Governor Doyle will be delivering his budget address very soon. We will be preparing our first legislative survey based on the agenda that the governor delivers in his Executive Budget.
 
Your input is essential as we debate the issues and challenges facing Wisconsin.

I have set up a confidential, online survey system that will provide you with the opportunity to share your views.
 
Contact Leah 
 
For Legislative Issues and Official Business:
 
Phone: 608-266-9180 or 414-453-0024
 
 

46 of 50 states could file bankruptcy?

TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 On Wed, Feb 4, 2009 at 10:13 AM, Gerry Goodrich <gerrygoodrich@yahoo.com> wrote:

46 Of 50 States Could File Bankruptcy In 2009-2010

ND, WY, MT and WV are the only States not facing budget deficits.

There is a high chance a majority of the States within the United States of America could file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy. There are currently 46 states with high budget deficits, Arizona being one of them.

http://media.brookfieldnow.com/images/practically_speaking_665572_9-8-08sfp-f1.jpg

In fact, Jan Brewer <http://www.governor.state.az.us/>,  the newly appointed Governor of Arizona has a major crisis on her hands, one that Arizona and national media isn't covering. The alarming news is the State of Arizona has 90 to 120 days before they completely run out of money. After that, all bills and tax refunds owed to the citizens will go unpaid.

Before Janet Napolitano <http://www.dhs.gov/index.shtm
> left for her new Homeland secretary position, she had a stand-off with Arizona Treasurer Dean Martin<http://www.aztreasury.gov/>. The AZ Treasurer forewarned Napolitano about Arizona's financial crisis, but she refused to heed his words.

With neighboring California on the verge of bankruptcy this year, many States will follow in their steps.

Many States are already scurrying to cut unwanted costs, cut State-funded programs, raise taxes, not issue tax refunds to their citizens, and borrow money just to survive in 2009. Unfortunately, many banks - the same banks the Fed bailed out - are refusing to loan money to the States and their Treasury agencies.

The article, State Budget Troubles Worsen <http://www.cbpp.org/9-8-08sfp.htm>, at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities <http://www.cbpp.org/> website is an excellent piece to read. It shows where each State currently stands in these challenging economic times, and you see 46 of the 50 States are clearly in the financial red.

It's very possible you'll see the end of the United States as we know it. If the Fed doesn't bailout the States when their cash dries up and the banks don't loan them money, then our States will be left in financial ruin. This would be a tragic and unprecedented event never experienced in the United States.

No State has ever filed bankruptcy, but it could be coming to a State near you this year.

We are on the brink of something far worse than the Great Depression.

UPDATE: Check out the newly published article, Survivalism: How to Prepare for the Economic Collapse <http://freedomarizona.org/2009/02/02/survivalism-how-to-prepare-for-the-economic-collapse/>. There's also a printable 4-page newsletter you can download and share with your friends, family, and co-workers. Take action and help spread the awareness of this life-threatening issue.

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.
~ Thomas Jefferson

UPDATES Stop the Senate socialist spending "stimulus" bill

Conservatives, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

UPDATES at bottom of post.

Read more

Yes. he can, and I would like to too

Energy, Environment, President Obama, TAXES

By now we have all heard of President Obama's Don't do as I do, do as I say on heating and food. I would just like to say, I would like to too. I received my 2nd utility bill from my self imposed cut backs. It was $500. I am cold in my house of 68 degrees most of the day. I am not doing this to save the planet, for I do not believe in the theory of Global Warming or Climate Change. No, I am cutting back to save something else: money. This is what makes Obama's tropical President Barack Obabma's Bahamas temperature Oval office so offensive. He DOES believe in Global Warming. He will promote Cap and Trade and Carbon credits that will raise utility prices across the board. His Cap and Trade and alternative energy plans will make my $500/month utility bill look like the good ole days

What happened to the "pay-as-you-go" Days of pork...as a strategy' are over Obama?

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Read more

Will Republicans just say NO to pork? (Trillion $ stimulus plan)

Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, Slipping fast!, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

UPDATE: Yes, the House Republicans did say NO. Every one of them, plus 11 Blue-Dog Democrats! Send them a BIG thank you. Next question: Will the Senate Republicans and Senate Blue-Dogs say NO next week too? (I'm praying they will vote NO.) If enough Americans squawk, loudly, they just might. (Yes, that is a longshot.)

Read more

Don't want to see more of these jobs in Brookfield

City of Brookfield, Development, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Several weeks ago, the sign was for Linens and Things going out of business sale. Last year it was Comp USA. Now it is Circuit City's turn. Who will be next?

Read more

Legislative looting

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

looting How many jobs, exactly?

Vicki's cocktail napkin stimulus calculation

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The Jay Weber Show

Monday, January 26, 2009
Rush Limbaugh Responds to President Obama

Obama's billionaire buddies

Barack Obama picks a fight with Rush Limbaugh as bipartisan spirit crumbles

Blowhards - The fabulous debate over wind power on Nantucket Sound

A False Move on Gitmo

Obama’s Order Is Likely to Tighten Auto Standards

The Stimulus Time Machine

Porking up the stimulus package

Conservatives, President Obama, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Most Americans were outraged at the pork included in the first TARP bailout. Remember the wooden arrows?

Read more

Hopium and pork

President Obama, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Elmbrook: Handwriting's been on wall for school closings for years

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, TAXES

It must have been quite the meeting last Tuesday. At least two difficult subjects were discussed by the Elmbrook School Board: scaling back benefits and closing schools. (Wish I had cable TV.)

Read more

Is TRILLION the new BILLION? Deficit spending must stop!

Conservatives, President Obama, Slipping fast!, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences, United States

Conservatives were not pleased with President Bush's spending habits. Liberals criticized Bush for expanding the deficit too. So why is it, now that the Democrats are in charge of everything, they are making Bush look like a penny pincher? Why is it that these proposed unprecedented deficits are winked at as not having devastating consequences for us, our children, grand children, and great grandchildren?

Read more

Petition Congressman to block tax-funded abortions

Conservatives, Pro Life / Pro Abortion, TAXES, United States

From Family Research Council: 

Read more

How warm was Dixon to save 66% on nat. gas? What's with their water use?

Elmbrook, Energy, TAXES

In an effort to reduce our utility bill, I have been belt tightening at our house thermostat wise but enjoying it less.  (I'm miserable!) I set our thermostat is set at 68 during the day and 50 - 55 at night. Heat vents to the living and dining rooms are closed unless we are using those rooms. For someone (me) who is always cold, even in the summertime, this is a sacrifice. So when I read that Elmbrook was saving money because of their new energy sleuth, the article caught my eye.  

Read more

This little piggy went to the bond market...this little Elmbrook piggy stayed home

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

What if you went to the bond market and no one wanted to buy yours? What would you do? Well, not wanting to face that dilemma, the Elmbrook School district stayed home. They are "postponing $31 million worth of borrowing for construction [referendum] projects, citing an unfavorable bond market."

Read more

How hot was it at Dixon to save 66% on heating? What are they doing with their water?

Elmbrook, Energy, TAXES

I have been tightening our belt at our house thermostat wise and enjoying it less! I'm miserable. The thermostat is set at 68 during the day and 50 - 55 at night. For someone who is always cold (me), even in the summertime, this is a sacrifice. 

Read more

Ultimate Ponzi scheme OK, Madoff's not OK

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Ultimate Ponzi scheme OK, Madoff's not OK 

Pressed for parking at Brookfield Square

City of Brookfield, Common sense, Development, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Read more

Budget cuts: Elmbrook giveth and taketh away

Elmbrook, TAXES

Santa's elf comment about 4.1% raise 

Read more

Senator Herb Kohl on auto bailout

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

  Dear Mrs. Prast:

     I've heard from many people with different viewpoints
about the proposed auto industry rescue plan, but we can all agree
that the American economy is struggling.  I supported the rescue
plan because of the 46,000 jobs in Wisconsin tied to the auto
industry.  In the current economic climate, we cannot afford to put
more Americans out of work.  The House of Representatives
passed their version of the auto rescue plan, H.R. 7321, on
December 10, 2008.  Unfortunately, a motion to proceed to
consideration of the bill failed to garner the necessary 60 votes,
stalling the bill in the Senate.

     The Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act
included $15 billion in short-term loans for GM, Ford, and
Chrysler, to be paid back with interest.  To avoid bankruptcy and
emerge as stronger businesses, the Big Three would have been
required to submit long-term restructuring plans no later than
March 31, 2009, or have their loans revoked.  Additionally, a
government appointed "car czar" would have overseen the
automaker's loan disbursement and restructuring.

     As a businessman, I questioned whether a government
bureaucrat would do a better job than the automakers have done.
However, the automakers were willing to submit to intrusive
government oversight, surrender their executive perks, and give the
American taxpayer a stake in any future profits, so I was willing to
support a rescue plan and give the automakers an opportunity to
succeed.






     I am hopeful that a bipartisan solution can be reached, or
that the Treasury will act, before it is too late for the auto industry.
Again, thank you for contacting me.






                                       Sincerely,


                                       Herb Kohl
                                       U.S. Senator



Please do not reply to this message; to make further comments or to find additional information, please
visit my web site at http://kohl.senate.gov/.

Insult to injury: New contract for car emission testing to cost $1.8 billion!

Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Call this another soft tyranny!

Read more

QEO repeal

Education, TAXES, WISCONSIN

http://blogs.waukeshanow.com/conserv_speaking/archive/2008/12/12/if-the-qeo-is-repealed-where-will-the-money-come-from-unfortunately-that-s-easy.aspx

Read more

Oh brother! A bovine "gas" tax?

Environment, Going Green, Slipping fast!, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122913405823603643.html

Read more

12 cents or $16.00? Is it worth it to you?

City of Brookfield, TAXES

 

I'm going into the wheelbarrow biz, or The "Peso-fication of the US$

Bigger picture, Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

All actions have consequences. Consumers living beyond their means, taking out loans for homes they couldn't possibly afford, resulted in the sub-prime crisis, Fanny and Freddie mess, and meltdown of the US economy.

Read more

China lowers corp. taxes

Going Green, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Weather

 

Thank you Senators for standing up against auto bailout

Conservatives, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Wish we had more like these 6 Republican Senators. I really don't care what party they are from, just that they have common sense. 

Read more

Global Warming tough sell, but Obama still buys what Gore is selling

Conservatives, Energy, Environment, Follow the money, Going Green, Obama 2008, TAXES, Truth, Unintended consequences, Weather

There is a lot at stake for former Vice President Al Gore with the Global Warming* issue. Without the threat of Global Warming, he is rather out of a job. Who would hire Al Gore to come speak about the threat of normal weather? Without Global Warming, who would ever buy a carbon credit from the corporation he is affiliated with? Without Global Warming, Al Gore just becomes another washed up Vice President who did not make it to the ultimate status prize of the presidency.

Read more

New segment of Greenway Corridor at Mary Knoll Park

City of Brookfield, Just for fun!, TAXES

If you use Sunnyslope Road, you may have noticed some construction going on in the woods south of Mary Knoll Park at Kinsey Park Drive.

Read more

Binge eating, binge drinking, binge shopping, now, binge bailouts!

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.onenewsnow.com/Headlines/Default.aspx?id=333108 Fed to buy $600 billion in mortgage-related assets. nov 25

Read more

End to school QEO and Revenue Caps?

Education, TAXES

Jay Weber 8:10 hour tuesday, Cap Times 

Read more

Library $50,000 restored, will we notice?

City of Brookfield, TAXES

 

Read more

Bailouts and deficits: Win the battle, lose the war

Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

A bailout might keep an industry afloat while they reorganize, but unless the business changes their ways, it does little in the long term.  

Class sizes then and now

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tuesday, about 20 Elmbrook residents gathered at Brookfield El. to discuss state funding and its affect on class sizes. Board member Glen Allgaier attended as well.

Read more

Elmbrook's revenue pie and future

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

Tuesday, about 20 Elmbrook residents gathered at Brookfield El. to discuss state funding and its affect on class sizes. Board member Glen Allgaier attended as well. We all introduced ourselves and stated the ages and grade level of our children in the Elmbrook school system. I think I was the only person in attendance who never had a child in Elmbrook schools. (I homeschooled my son.) I would say most of the attendees were mothers of grade school aged children. 

Read more

Tightening the belt and grim realities are never easy

Conservatives, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Let Detroit Go Bankrupt Mitt Romney Nov. 18, 2008  

Read more

The man who would be king: Treasury Secretary Paulson

TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Remember late in September, Congress had to pass a $700 billion dollar rescue plan to keep our economy from financial ruin? Well, that emergency plan eventually passed on Oct. 2nd. It grew from its original 3 pages to 450 pages. It also grew in scope: no longer was it a $700 billion blank check, it now included lots of pork!  

Read more

State funding & Elmbrook class size discussion Tuesday, Nov. 18, 1:30 - 3pm

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students, TAXES

I almost missed this little notice, it was tucked away on page 27 of Thursday's Brookfield NOW:

Read more

Elmbrook's $62.5 mil referendum over budget: That was then, this is now

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.brookfieldnow.com/watch/?watch=14&date=11/14/2008&id=48452 Board considers cuts on high school plans Nov. 14, 2008

Read more

Anglo-Saxon vs. Euorpean-style, who will speak for us?

Common sense, Conservatives, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Telling It Like It Is At A Tipping Point http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=311472435104525

Read more

We've got to do something but not right thing

TAXES, THE ECONOMY

The auto industry bailout is the latest in billions giveaway frenzy. Francis Glick says, we have got to do something.

Read more

The other shoe...s in this economy are dropping

Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

A Barack Market Wall street Journal nov 13 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122653625916922633.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

Read more

Elmbrook enrollment shrinks, tax levy grows

Education, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Bailout might keep Obama from his agenda? Economy made Obama win

Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.alternet.org/workplace/106157/can_obama_stop_the_bush_administration%27s_final_economic_heist_/

Read more

401K down? What about govt. takeover?

Obama 2008, Politics, Retirement, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Obama doesn't spread HIS wealth around but wants you to

Charity, Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, Obama 2008, Politics, Religion, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

Obama wants you to spread your wealth around, but doesn't do it himself. His charitable donations are abysmal, amounting to less than 2% on average.

Read more

Elmbrook's 2008-09 enrollment decline affects 2009-10 budget

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Elmbrook enrollment down by 103 students, but no need to worry...now. "The state exempts districts from fluctuations in enrollment for one year."

Read more

Charitible contributions sink because of economy and Obama

Helping others, Obama 2008, Politics, Religion, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

 See the New Tax Welfare Milwaukee arts group, symphony, charity,

Read more

Business "officially horrified" at prospect of filibuster-proof Senate

Entrepreneurship, McCain 2008, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

I first heard about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ads on Mark Levin's Friday, Oct. 24th broadcast. (About at the 40 minute mark.) Mark also discussed socialism and floated the possibility that Obama somehow considers his spreading the wealth as reparations.

Read more

A real letter from Corey the driller

Entrepreneurship, Government / Bureaucracy, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Politics, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.eclecticwill.com/2008/10/open-letter-to-sen-obama-from-corey-miller-the-well-driller/ Open Letter to Sen. Obama from Corey Miller the Well Driller

Read more

Frank: cut 25% on military spending, Biden: We're underprepared

Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES, U.S. Sovereignty, War

http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081024/NEWS/810240332/-1/NEWS10

Read more

Obama lowered income for tax increase to $200,000, Biden to $150,000, see a trend?

Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Over weekend, Obama lowered that income level that he would start "taxing" to $200,000 from $250,000.

Read more

Obama's Spread the Wealth interview vs. my Spread the Wealth

Entrepreneurship, Government / Bureaucracy, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://fairlyconservative.com/obama/is-obamas-spreading-of-the-wealth-a-euphmism-for-reparation/

Read more

Barney Frank calls for major defense cuts, Biden says we're i

Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES, War

 http://briefingroom.thehill.com/2008/10/24/frank-calls-for-25-percent-cut-in-defense-spending-eventual-tax-hikes/ Frank Calls for Major Devense Cuts, 'Eventual' Tax Hike

Read more

I just don't get it people don't like policy, but vote for dems

Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Politics, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Congress has the lowest approval rating of all time.

Read more

Bailouts and new govt. programs: like a shark feeding frenzy

McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 Maybe I should say Shark Spending Frenzy? Trouble is, the government is the shark and our wallets are what they are feeding on!

Read more

*Is Wall Street's plunge reflecting fears of Obama presidency?

Obama 2008, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Today, Cindy Kilkenny at Fairly Conservative posted Is an Obama win already priced into the stock market? She said there was a "lively discussion on CNBC this morning" on the subject. She has a graph that is worth looking at showing a possible correlation between Obama's lead and the market's fall.

Read more

We know what works--look at Ireland, also know what doesn't--Michigan

McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Now Democrats are after our 401Ks?

Government / Bureaucracy, Obama 2008, Politics, Retirement, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES

We've invested $81 billion into 401Ks because those investments are made from pre taxed dollars! they consider those to be theirs!

Read more

***Economic factsThe "New Tax Welfare"

Elections, Obama 2008, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D944H6EO0&show_article=1 Obama infomercial short on taxes? http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MDMzMzRlOTJhNjdmYWI1YWY3OTg3MTVjNjZiNjI5MjU= Obama's New Tax Welfare Behind the 95

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Private retirement plans vs. Social Security: Which gives more?

Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Do you know how much you contribute to Social Security every month? What if you had that money to invest yourself? Would you have done a better job? 

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FDR's New Deal slowed recovery just like Newest New Deal will

Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, History, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122455099434052597.html?mod=djemEditorialPage Get Ready for the New New Deal Obama is much more dangerous to economic freedom than FDR  

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Joe the plumber not real? Too bad Obama's "Spread the wealth around" is

Elections, Obama 2008, Religion, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Truth

Joe the plumber sure put a face on the problem with taxing small businessmen and giving it to workers paying little or no Federal income tax at all.

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Enough with the stimulus pkgs--Uncle Sam is broke!

Politics, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUKTRE49J60N20081020

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Elmbrook's referendum off to an over budget start

Elmbrook, TAXES

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/watch/?watch=14&date=10/15/2008&id=47553

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Elmbrook's levy rate increases, property values decrease

Elmbrook, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Elmbrook's tax rate on the rise

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...with liberty, and drivers license for all (including illegal aliens)

Elections, Illegal immigration, Obama 2008, Politics, Socialism / Marxism, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Voter fraud

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KznfyCqL44c

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How Ireland expanded their economy and attracted businesses

Elections, Entrepreneurship, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Lowered the taxes on business.

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Sources from joe the plumber and socialsim

Elections, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Truth

http://fairlyconservative.com/good-job/i-heart-huckabee/ I heart Huckabee  

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Love that Joe the plumber, he calls Obama on tax plan

Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Politics, TAXES

We are learning more and more about Barack Obama's tax plan--it is not a tax cut but a socialistic increase in spending.

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Canada just elected new Prime Minister, will US follow suit?

Conservatives, Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, War

Our race for the White House seems like it has gone on forever. Canada just got the job done in less than 2 months. (Lucky them!)

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The fix: What works?

Elections, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Lower taxes--Reagan, Kennedy Raise taxes--Hoover, Carter? 

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Most of my employment came from rich people

Education, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 

Obama is no Robin Hood

Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Joe the plumber, fox news kabuto 

What is a tax cut?

Elections, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122385651698727257.html#printMode

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Tax refund to those who don't pay taxes

Elections, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2008/oct/13/obama-tax-cut-refunds-those-who-dont-pay/

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Tax credits for solar and wind

Energy, Environment, Going Green, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

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California bailout: try spending less!

McCain 2008, Politics, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

 http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122368038058324729.html?mod=djemEditorialPage

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Why bother getting a good education?

Education, Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

We are told time and time again that we need to spend more on public education. Why? So that our children can be competitive in a world market.

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Democrat's donations key to why they think rich must pay more taxes?

Ethics, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, Religion, TAXES

I always find it interesting to see how much politicians give to charity. Senator Joe Biden gave a paltry $995 last year, yet he made $2,450,042! And his $995 to nonprofits was over twice his normal yearly giving for the past 9 out of 10 years. Why do I say paltry? Because many teens I know give more money from their part time job income than he gave in his past average donations.  Biden made almost $2.5 million but gave such a little amount... amazing.

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Uncle Sam is broke. Where will Obama get money for promises?

Elections, Government / Bureaucracy, Obama 2008, TAXES

Early in his campaign, Obama said he would get money from Iraq war? Now he is sending troops to Afghanistan. look up http://www.angelqueen.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=20159

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Tax break for wooden arrows? And that's the good part of Senate bailout

TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

The Senate bailout plan passed Tuesday night. The bill went from the 113 page house version to 450-something pages! How could the Senators even read 450 pages?

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Why did warnings of financial doom fall on deaf ears?

TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

Right now we are seeing the results of warnings unheeded. Freddie and Fannie, once thought too big to fail, did. The taxpayer had to bail them out. Now many lending institutions are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. The taxpayers again need to bail them out.

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Dave Ramsey's Bailout similar to Ryan & Sensenbrenner's

Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

http://www.daveramsey.com/media/pdf/the_common_sense_fix.pdf  The Common Sense Fix  

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three step Common Sense Plan.
INSURANCE
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the
world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
things.
The Common Sense Fix
Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country,
but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support
any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following threestep
Common Sense Plan.
I. INSURANCE
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the
world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a
6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the
balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a
chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or
the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of
foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable
for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that
encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while
working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and
ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and
executive team members as long as the company holds these
government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming
executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.
II. MARK TO MARKET
a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III
bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down
bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on
failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.
III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock
market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in
the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping
the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the
economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement
investments that go up instead of down.
This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

Congressmen Ryan and Sensenbrenner on why I voted Yea and Nay

Conservatives, Elections, Ethics, Follow the money, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, United States

I heard both Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner interviewed on Jay Weber's radio show this morning. (Hour 4 Part 2). Since I trust the opinion of both of these men, I was curious as to why Ryan voted YES and Sensenbrenner NO on the latest bailout bill. 

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Regardless of bailout vote today, we have still learned NOTHING!

Elections, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

Our present market woes and the Freddie/Fannie mess did not come out of nowhere. They are not George Bush's fault. They started a  l-o-n-g  time before either Bush.  Watching the house burn down: What caused our economic crisis? gives a good run down of the chain of events leading up to this crisis.

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Work Out, not Bail Out

Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, U.S. Sovereignty

There is lots of chatter today about how Sen. John McCain squashed the soon-to-pass bail out plan. (So much for the Dems. calling him Bush 3)**

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Why wouldn't oil prices go up?

Elections, Energy, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

The Democrats present the Trojan Drilling Bill, the stock market is in major jitters, investors look for safe places to put their money. Hence oil, gold/silver/precious metals go up. Pretty simple.

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Say "No way 4K" at Elmbrook school board meeting Tuesday, Sept. 23, 7pm

4-K, Alert, City of Brookfield, Education, Elmbrook, TAXES

I almost missed this, but thanks to a reader, here it is: A group of pro 4K residents will be making an appeal to the school board this Tuesday during the Citizen's Forum time--first on the agenda.

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Dr. Gibson flirts with 4K again to cure Elmbrook's budget woes

4-K, Education, Elections, Elmbrook, H. Clinton 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

Last night I caught a bit of the July school board meeting on cable TV*. The board was discussing Elmbrook's coming budget woes and the difficult decisions our district needs to make to keep our schools operating within budget. (Unfortunately, I missed at least the first half of the meeting, but I will watch again and take better notes.)

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Testing the waters: VK, McCain, and Elmbrook Swim Club

Elmbrook, High Schools, Sports, TAXES

Unsure about how an idea will go over? Test the waters!

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Brewer's boot "Hot Air Tour" from ballpark Saturday, July 26, but it's still a go!

Conservatives, Energy, Free, Going Green, TAXES

  Americans for Prosperity, a nationwide grassroots group, was to have held a rally/press conference as part of their Brewer game Taxpayer Tailgate outing tomorrow. The rally was to raise awareness "about the serious threat global warming alarmism poses to our prosperity, including legislation being considered by Congress that would more than double gasoline prices."

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Going "halvesies" should mean we each pay half--up front

Elmbrook, Ethics, TAXES

I remember being surprised the first time I heard BC(2) was behind in their payments for the artificial turf project at Central High School. Behind?  I would have thought they were required to pay their half up front?  After all, what do you do if they can't or won't pay up?

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Tax "Evil Exxon" More? They Only Paid Same As 1/2 of Taxpayers

Energy, Legislation, Obama 2008, TAXES

Oil companies have made a lot of money and some in Washington think they should get a bigger cut. The Senate recently tried to snatch some of those profits with their attempt to resurrect the Windfall Profits Tax bill. Thankfully, the Senate Republicans stopped that piece of legislation ...for now.

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Republicans Stop 2 More Bills: Windfall Profits & Alt. Energy Tax Breaks, What's Next?

Energy, Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

The Windfall Profits Tax Bill was blocked by the Republicans Tuesday:

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Déjà vu: Obama Is Like Having Jimmy Carter All Over Again!

Elections, Energy, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

 

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Phew! Lots of Hot Air Stops Global Warming Cap-and-Trade Bill

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

Just in case you missed this from the weekend news, the Sunday Journal reported in its Congress Following the Vote column,

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Obama calling the kettle black

Elections, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES

The big election buzz this week was Obama became the nominee.

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Ford Has A Better Idea: Export Manufacturing to Non-Green Countries

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

Sunday we returned from a few days in Dearborn Michigan touring the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, and The Rouge Ford Factory. The Rouge Factory Tour was new to us. There was Bill Ford, the great grandson of Henry, up on the BIG screen telling us how Ford created this new Rouge factory to be friendly to the environment.

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Cap-and-Trade? Maybe It Should Be Called Cap-and-Raid!

Energy, Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, McCain 2008, Obama 2008, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences

Last night I heard Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on the Mark Levin Show.  They were discussing S. 2191, the Senate "Lieberman/Warner Global Warming Bill and the disastrous effect this would have not on just the country as a whole, but the individual." (My emphasis throughout post.)

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To Spend All of the Referendum's $62.2 million or Not? That Is The Question

Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES

 http://www.brookfieldnow.com/watch/?watch=14&date=5/28/2008&id=40282 District urged to contain referendum costs may 28

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Ryan's "Roadmap For America" Ensures Easy Travel For ALL Generations

Conservatives, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

If you've ever planned a road trip, mapping your route ahead of time makes a big difference: which way will allow you to travel with the least amount of traffic, major city rush hours, or road construction? Often a little planning ahead can save hours being stuck in a traffic jam. Certainly there is no sense to chart a course leading to a bridge closed for repairs. No reasonable person would say, the only bridge ahead is closed, but we'll make such good time before the bridge, we'll pick that route anyway.

Yet this is what our government is doing by ignoring the coming Social Security/Medicare crisis. Politicians don't want to deal with that reality. They know it is going bankrupt, but their attitude is, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. "There is a growing, bipartisan consensus about the greatest threat to our nation's long-term economic prosperity: the explosion of entitlement spending." (Ryan)

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Randy Melchert To Run For 24th Assembly District

Conservatives, Elections, TAXES, WISCONSIN

Here is a little news for residents to our north, Randy Melchert* is running for State Assembly, 24th District. That area starts just north of Lisbon Road on up to Pioneer Road and from 124th St. west to Hillside Road and includes Butler, Menomonee Falls (most), Germantown, Hubertus and Colgate.

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Taxpayers Need a Referendum Reprieve

2007 Referendum, Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

I admit it. I was surprised when Elmbrook's $62 million dollar referendum passed last April 1st. Usually, it takes 3 referendum tries before one will pass.

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State Budget Passes Assembly: Now Veto Pen Only Hope?

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

The Assembly narrowly approved the state budget bill fix, 51 - 46. So now what?

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No Big Surprise, Senate Passes Budget, Assembly Votes Today

Legislation, TAXES, Truth, WISCONSIN

Is it any wonder we are in the financial mess we are in with the state budget? The Senate passed the budget fix yesterday, the Assembly may vote on it today. Contact your State Assembly Representative and let them know your opinion anyway. They could use your support. (Contacts are at end of post.)

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Borrowing from U.S. to pay $527 million shortfall, contact representatives

Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, WISCONSIN

I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.

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Will gas prices affect your summer vacation?

Energy, TAXES, TRAVEL

Like most people, I am watching the gasoline prices rise and wondering how high they will go by summer travel time.

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America's Climate Security Act "Catastrophic For Wisconsin"

Environment, Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, Legislation, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

Congressman Sensenbrenner brought up Senate bill S. 2191, the Lieberman/Warner "America's Climate Security Act of 2007" at his Town Hall meeting Sunday. He described it as a "disaster for Wisconsin."

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Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting

Environment, Ethanol, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, THE ECONOMY, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

I attended Congressman Sensenbrenner's Town Hall Meeting Sunday. Attendance was light--maybe 2 dozen people (mostly men). Perhaps the early start time kept people away?

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The 3 Rs: Recession, Rising energy prices, and Referendum

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES, THE ECONOMY

People constantly ask me if I think the referendum will pass. I just answer, I don't know. Truly, I just don't know.

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Belling talking about Elmbrook and Wisconsin taxes now

Education, Elections, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, TAXES, WISCONSIN

FYI, Mark Belling, is talking about our referendum and Wisconsin taxes right now on his radio show at 4:35pm. 

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$5,280 raise for Dr. Gibson answers the question

Elections, Elmbrook, High Schools, TAXES

Jessica Rasmussen reports, "The Elmbrook superintendent will see $5,280 added to his salary for the 2008-2009 school year.", so that answers my question from last week, Will Gibson get hefty raise this year?

"The School Board voted, 5-1, to approve the 4 percent package increase, which will bump Superintendent Matt Gibson's salary to $147,510." (Remember that Dr. Gibson's complete wage and benefit package is substantially more than just salary.)

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Q: Mommy, What's Global Warming?

Going Green, Government / Bureaucracy, TAXES, Unintended consequences, WISCONSIN

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Lot$ of loot for locker$

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

While on tour at Central on March 4th, our tour guides Principal LaBonte and Shawn from the maintenance department repeatedly emphasized that they were keeping as much that was usable as possible for this referendum. That was good news.

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Past referendum posts tagged & will Gibson get hefty raise this year?

2007 Referendum, Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

I spent last night going through all of my past Practically Speaking postings from the last referendum up until Easter 2007. I gave them a quick read and made the appropriate subject tags.

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"Gluttonous greedy misers" don't usually propose spending more

Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

Recently, a reader of my other blog, Brookfield7, sent me this comment anonymously regarding my "cynical view on today's children" and my "gluttonous greedy miser who can't spare money on the children who need it" attitude. I would encourage you to read it and see if you agree. 

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Elmbrook: We agree, nix the office cubes

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, Elmbrook 2008 Referendum, High Schools, TAXES

Although I am not in favor of the present $62.2+ million dollar referendum, I was pleased to see this practical solution for creating larger classrooms while on the Central High School Tour this week. They are proposing removing the approx. 8' x 9' office cubes from some of the classrooms.

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Barack O-Phenomena

Elections, Obama 2008, TAXES

I saw this enthusiastic supporter's car in WCTC's parking lot recently.

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Virtually there: church, geysers, and classroom

Education, Elections, Elmbrook, High Schools, National Parks, TAXES

Technology can be a wonderful thing. Two weeks ago, we had that snowstorm warning on Sunday and the weatherman cautioned people to stay home. We were rather torn as to what to do, but since we just had 2 weather related fender benders that week, we chickened out and stayed home. The great thing was though, we did not need to miss our church service.

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Obama's $845 billion for Global Poverty bill? Call your Senator NOW!

Legislation, TAXES, U.S. Sovereignty

Oh, I am getting so tired of all this watchdogging, calling, and emailing our officials, but the alternative is to let these bad bills pass. This one is not just about a huge amount of money; our national sovereignty is at stake.

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Fountain Brook Crossing: BIG building, BIG zoning change, BIG precedent, BIG mistake

City of Brookfield, Development, TAXES, ZONING CHANGES

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Please Elmbrook, fewer open enrollement students, not more

Education, Elmbrook, Elmbrook: nonresident students, High Schools, TAXES

When I read the Community Watch posting, Board considers change in Open Enrollment* headline, I thought, at last they are starting to "get it".  (*Sorry, this is not a perm. link)

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Mayor Speaker, wasn't that our money?

City of Brookfield, Mayor Speaker, TAXES

Did you read that Mayor Speaker wrote a check to fulfill his 2006 campaign promise regarding the return of his pay raise to the city? "'I kept my word,' he said." Unfortunately, he gave it to the wrong city!

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4K discontinued despite emotions & irregularities

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

The room was packed; emotions ran high. Maybe 80 residents were in attendance? Judging from the Pro 4K-ers holding up little yellow "4K Yes" paper hands, they outnumbered those against maybe 5 to 1.  I thought to myself, Oh, this is going to be an emotion filled night. I was right. (My aside comments will be in parenthesis.)

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Bet room will be packed with pro 4K tonight

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

I hope you are planning to attend the school board meeting tonight. I am planning on being there. It will probably be a very late evening.

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4K solving budget woes=Lucy Ricardo math

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

I know I pick on Lucy Ricardo of I Love Lucy fame from time to time, but no other character so easily embodies ridiculous thinking when it comes to money. Lucy Ricard math is: the reasoning process by which Lucy justifies a faulty fiscal policy in order to finagle what she wants out of Rickey.

Currently, some Elmbrook administrators and board members are engaging in what I call, Lucy Ricardo math by thinking that by boosting enrollment, we can ease our budget woes.

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Public schools: safety net or drift net?

4-K, Education, Elmbrook, History, TAXES

Recently at a neighborhood party, a few of the moms were talking about school and the high cost of private school tuition. Two of them had their children enrolled in parochial elementary and high schools.

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4K--It's about the money

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

There are a couple things to note in yesterday's Brookfieldnow article. The first is the subtitle: Few academic gains, tax costs are concerns

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Speak up now: 4K vote next Tuesday

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

If you don't want the Elmbrook School District to implement a permanent 4K program, you better contact the board soon, or forever hold your peace. The board will vote on this next week Tuesday, Nov. 27.

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Uncle Matt wants you--if you are 4 years old

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

If this picture and title seem a bit familiar, it is because I used it last April to discuss the district's desire to pull in every possible student--even if they were non-resident students. See: Uncle Matt wants you, even if it means we have to build bigger schools

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Does 4K deserve tax dollars?

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

On November 27th,  Elmbrook's school board will decide the very important question of should we continue or discontinue 4K. We do not get to vote for or against it; our only opportunity to influence that decision is to contact the board members.

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BIG NEWS! Elmbrook tells me they will be LISTENING!

4-K, Elmbrook, TAXES

It must be big news, Elmbrook sent out a special LINK* publication to tell me all about their two LISTENING SESSIONS coming up. 

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No taxpayer tea party, at least not in Elmbrook

Elmbrook, TAXES

Here I was all set to blog something about your city, school district, state, and nation rationalizing a tax increase by saying,"It's only a such-in-such% increase in your tax bill?" and that it was time for a Boston Tea Party.

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Thank you, Leah, for voting NO

TAXES, WISCONSIN

The state budget passed. There was compromise.  I am not happy about it.

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