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Archive for November, 2010

Somewhere, George Carlin is Smiling

The late, great George Car­lin in one of his HBO Spe­cials dur­ing the 90s…

Buf­falo Bill (2–9) Wide Receiver Ste­vie John­son on Twit­ter (since removed or deleted) some­time after the game.


(H/T Allah @ Hot Air)

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‘And Don’t Call Me Shirley’">And Don’t Call Me Shirley’

Rest in Peace Mr. Nielsen.

Comedic actor Leslie Nielsen, best known as the star of such come­dies as “Air­plane” and the “Naked Gun” fran­chise, has died. The Cana­dian native was 84. His death was con­firmed by his nephew Doug Nielsen, who told the Cana­dian radio sta­tion CJOB he passed away in a Ft. Laud­erdale hos­pi­tal on Sun­day from com­pli­ca­tions of pneumonia.

Nielsen is per­haps best known for his role as the bum­bling police offi­cer Lt. Frank Drebin in the “Naked Gun” series, a part that came to Nielsen after 35 years as an actor and roughly 1,500 appear­ances in var­i­ous films and tele­vi­sion shows.

Nielsen made his film debut in 1956’s “The Vagabond King,” before grad­u­at­ing to lead roles in films such as “For­bid­den Planet,” a sci-fi film co-starring Wal­ter Pid­geon, and “Tammy and the Bach­e­lor,” a roman­tic com­edy with Deb­bie Reynolds. Though Nielsen con­tin­ued to act in films and tele­vi­sion, he never truly con­nected with audi­ences until the 1980 com­edy “Air­plane!” A par­ody of dis­as­ter films such as “Air­port,” the film fea­tured Nielsen as a doc­tor aboard a flight who now infa­mously says, “I am seri­ous. And don’t call me Shirley.”

Later, Nielsen found fur­ther fame for play­ing the loopy Frank Drebin, a char­ac­ter he orig­i­nated in the tele­vi­sion series “Police Squad!” and reprised in three fea­ture films.

Nielsen’s last major work were the var­i­ous “Scary Movie” sequels from “Air­plane!” writer and Wis­con­sin native David Zucker.  Here’s my favorite scene from “Air­plane!” which still stands the test of time some thirty years later.

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Lee Holloway, Still a Slumlord (Part…Oh, I’ve Lost Count)

Hon­estly don’t know what’s more depress­ing:  That Hol­loway still hasn’t fixed this crap, or that cer­tain lib­eral blog­gers because of their blind hatred of out-going Mil­wau­kee County Exec­u­tive / Governor-Elect Scott Walker *cough* cap­per *cough* take this man seriously.

City of Mil­wau­kee build­ing inspec­tors are tak­ing Mil­wau­kee County Board Pres­i­dent Lee Hol­loway to court to try to get him to clean up five prop­er­ties he and his wife, Lynda, own on W. Atkin­son Ave.

The apart­ment build­ings are home to many peo­ple with chronic men­tal ill­ness who are enrolled in the county’s com­mu­nity men­tal health program.

He’s had plenty of time to fix these,” Todd Weiler, pub­lic infor­ma­tion offi­cer for the city’s Depart­ment of Neigh­bor­hood Ser­vices, told the Jour­nal Sentinel.

The vio­la­tions were first issued in Octo­ber 2009. The build­ings have been rein­spected every month since then. In cases where a prob­lem has not been fixed, the com­plaint is held open.

City inspec­tors sent Hol­loway a let­ter this week telling him that he is due in Munic­i­pal Court on Jan. 27 to face penal­ties for build­ing code vio­la­tions at five properties.

Hol­loway has been cited for 116 vio­la­tions rang­ing from rodent and roach infes­ta­tion to loose win­dow trim and moldy walls, accord­ing to city offi­cials and inspec­tion records.

Some of the vio­la­tions have been fixed, Weiler said. But dozens have not.

We are inter­ested in com­pli­ance, not pros­e­cu­tion,” Weiler said. “But, we’re done now. We’ve heard enough excuses.”

Hol­loway did not respond to requests by the Jour­nal Sen­tinel for com­ment. The prop­er­ties are listed as owned by Webb Invest­ments, a busi­ness owned by a trust set up by the Holloways.

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Crazy Madisonians With Guns, Part 2

And this is just another rea­son why I don’t do Black Fri­day Door-Busters…

Madi­son — Madi­son police arrested a 21-year-old woman after she was accused of threat­en­ing shop­pers while try­ing to cut in line at a toy store.

Police say sev­eral hun­dred shop­pers were at a Toys “R” Us just after 10 p.m. Thurs­day, when the woman attempted to move to the front of the line. The store opened for Black Fri­day shop­ping at 10 p.m.

Police say other shop­pers con­fronted the Mid­dle­ton woman and she threat­ened to retrieve a gun and shoot them.

No gun was found but police arrested the woman on a ten­ta­tive charge of dis­or­derly conduct.

Sgt. Erik Fuhre­mann tells the Wis­con­sin State Jour­nal that the woman is now spend­ing her shop­ping money to post bond.

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Happy Thanksgiving

Have a good one with your fam­i­lies folks.

I’d post the “WKRP Turkey Drop” episode, but I see Wigder­son beat me too it.

I guess given the past six months, I should be thank­ful Wis­con­sin voter were “pretty damn stu­pid” or so Charles Franklin said. But since I like Pro­fes­sor Franklin and he’s always been cor­dial to my inquires and the like, I’ll believe him when he says Bill Lued­ers took him out of context.

Instead, I’ll be thank­ful Russ Fein­gold or who­ever it was in his press and pol­icy shop read that idi­otic piece in The Pro­gres­sive by Ruth Con­niff where she called Fein­gold “The Real Tea Party can­di­date” in Wis­con­sin. And so I am thank­ful then they believed and inter­nal­ized it.

We who had to do the John­son campaign’s rapid response dur­ing the first debate had a good laugh dur­ing that exchange.

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Briggs Employees Petitioning Union for Dues Back


In what has become an increas­ingly dif­fi­cult envi­ron­ment for orga­nized labor, some union work­ers at Briggs & Strat­ton Corp. are cir­cu­lat­ing peti­tions ask­ing for the right to avoid pay­ing union dues.

The peti­tion to remove the union secu­rity clause from the con­tract would not do away with the union, United Steel­work­ers Local 2–232, but would do away with the require­ment that all union-covered work­ers pay dues.

The unusual action was trig­gered by a pend­ing dues increase that would link the size of the monthly dues pay­ment to an employee’s wages — in some cases more than dou­bling the dues of the highest-paid workers.

The move comes as unions at Briggs and sev­eral other mar­quee Wis­con­sin com­pa­nies — includ­ing Mer­cury Marine Inc., Kohler Co. and Harley-Davidson Inc. — have had to accept con­tract con­ces­sions such as two-tier wage sys­tems that pay new work­ers less, increased use of tem­po­rary work­ers, lay­offs, wage freezes or increased health care costs.

Union mem­bers gen­er­ally like their unions,” said John Hey­wood, a busi­ness pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­sity of Wisconsin-Milwaukee who teaches classes in human resources and labor rela­tions. “But they have had to give up a lot. It’s not a good environment.”

First of all, this high­lights what a hor­ri­ble job local union lead­ers have been doing in recent years mar­ket­ing the “Hows” and “Whys” of union mem­ber­ship.  If you have rank and file push­ing for their own form of “pay­check pro­tec­tion,” you have a few problems.

Sec­ondly, I don’t see this get­ting much steam inside the Briggs shop — espe­cially in this econ­omy.  Union shops are designed to reward senior­ity, in both pay and in who is the last to go when the lay­offs come.  So, the only guys look­ing at this peti­tion are the union diehards, the real lif­ers who have been employed for decades and the most loyal to the union.

While I agree on merit with what some at Briggs are doing.  They are after all feel­ing those who they’ve entrusted with rep­re­sent­ing them have failed them, but the real­i­ties on the ground are stacked against them and in fair of the union sta­tus quo.

That only changes if Wis­con­sin some­how becomes a “Right to Work” state; which the state AFL-CIO will do every­thing in its power to stop from happening.

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Former Feingold Staffer Busted Seeking Kiddie Sex

Wow…wonder if Kraus and Louns­bury knew this prize-winner?

Fox News has learned that Bob Decheine, long­time chief of staff to Rep. Steve Roth­man (D-N.J.) has been arrested by police in Gaithers­burg, M.D. for allegedly solic­it­ing sex from a minor and has been fired.

Decheine is 48 and has been Rothman’s Chief of Staff since 2003. He’s also a for­mer aide to Sen. Russ Fein­gold (D-Wis.).

The arrest was made last Fri­day, and was appar­ently part of a sting by Gaithers­burg police. Accord­ing to a press release from police, the offense car­ries a sen­tence of no more than 10 years in prison, a $25,000 fine or both.

Rothman’s office released a state­ment, read­ing in part:

On Fri­day, Novem­ber 19, 2010, at 3:30 pm, the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Sergeant at Arms con­tacted Con­gress­man Steve Roth­man per­son­ally and informed him that the Gaithers­burg Police Depart­ment had arrested Mr. Robert Decheine, who was then serv­ing as his Chief of Staff, on a charge of sex­ual solic­i­ta­tion of a minor. Con­gress­man Roth­man imme­di­ately con­sulted appro­pri­ate House Coun­sel and ter­mi­nated Mr. Decheine’s employ­ment, effec­tive Novem­ber 19, 2010, due to the very seri­ous nature of this charge. Con­gress­man Roth­man con­sid­ers this alleged crim­i­nal act to be shock­ing, appalling and indefensible.”

Accord­ing to the JWF crew, Decheine was an advi­sor to the 2008 Obama Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign as well.

Decheine was with Fein­gold prior to 2000.  I can only trace that fact since he is not listed on the LegiS­torm list­ing of Fein­gold staffers, and their data­base only goes back to 2000.

This has the text­book mark­ings of the clas­sic “Inter­net Ren­dezvous,” where the only thing this dirt-bag had been com­mu­ni­cat­ing with was a cop pos­ing with what he thought was a teenage girl (or boy).  Expect to hear that his office PC  from his Con­gres­sional office was taken by author­i­ties as well as any kept in his per­sonal property.

(Lib­er­als to dredge up Child Vic­tim Act to save face for “Rusty” in 3…2…1…)

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Typical Kagen

(H/T Fox Politics)

I’ve so got­ten past the man and his timely polit­i­cal demise, I had actu­ally turned off my Google Alert on him.  So thanks to Jo Egel­hoff for point­ing out the even if the man is leav­ing Con­gress, the arro­gance will always be there.

Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) broke House cham­ber rules dur­ing the first floor vote last week, but it’s safe to say he will avoid punishment.

Hodes, who lost his bid for the Sen­ate, used his iPhone cam­era to snap a shot of out­go­ing Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Wis.) pos­ing in the cen­ter aisle with the Speaker’s ros­trum in the background.

When it became appar­ent that the leg­is­la­tors were merely doc­u­ment­ing their last few weeks in office, the secu­rity mem­ber opted not to pur­sue the matter.

True story.  Dur­ing this May’s State GOP Con­ven­tion in Mil­wau­kee, I talked for a few min­utes with for­mer Bush Admin­is­tra­tion advi­sor Karl Rove who was the keynote speaker dur­ing Saturday’s Chairman’s Dinner.

Most of the con­ver­sa­tion was about who I was, the fact that he knew my boss at HUD (They knew each other from Texas.), and what I hoped to be doing in the future.  (If mem­ory serves, I had just put my resume in with both RPW and the John­son Cam­paign to do research for them…)

Still kick­ing myself for not say­ing the fol­low­ing any­time dur­ing the con­ver­sa­tion: “So let’s hear it.  You, Steve Kagen, a White House bath­room.  Did it happen?!?”

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Hope and Change Meets Reality

Saw this early this morn­ing watch­ing the news.  My heart goes out to this lady.

Here’s hop­ing she lands on her feet.

Nobody is safe.

Velma Hart, who burst onto the media scene after telling Pres­i­dent Obama she was scared about her finan­cial future, has been laid off. Hart was let go as the chief finan­cial offi­cer for Am Vets, a non­profit Maryland-based vet­eran ser­vices organization.

Hart has become another casu­alty of the tough econ­omy in which so many peo­ple have lost their jobs.

It’s not any­thing she did,” said Jim King, the national exec­u­tive direc­tor of Am Vets. “She got bit by the same snake that has bit a lot of peo­ple. It was a move to cut our bot­tom line. Most not-for-profits are see­ing their money pinched.”

King would not say whether the orga­ni­za­tion had had other layoffs.

Velma was a good employee,” he said. “It was just a mat­ter of look­ing at the bot­tom line and where could we make the best cuts and survive.”

King hadn’t seen the irony in Hart being fired just two months after she emo­tion­ally told Obama about her fears for her own finan­cial well-being dur­ing a town hall meet­ing in Washington.

I hadn’t thought about this in con­nec­tion to the town hall meet­ing. She was at the town hall as a pri­vate cit­i­zen. What­ever she had to say were her own thoughts,” he said.

Hart’s com­ments to Obama became polit­i­cal fod­der as proof that the pres­i­dent was los­ing his die-hard sup­port­ers — African Amer­i­can vot­ers. Hart told me at the time that she still sup­ported Obama but that she had expected more changes by now.

She said what really dis­ap­pointed her is that the change and bet­ter eco­nomic con­di­tions Obama promised haven’t come fast enough.

My hus­band and I joked for years that we thought we were well beyond the hot-dogs-and-beans era of our lives,” she said dur­ing the CNBC town hall broad­cast. “But quite frankly, it’s start­ing to knock on our door and ring true that that might be where we’re headed again. And quite frankly, Mr. Pres­i­dent, I need you to answer this hon­estly: Is this my new reality?”

Well, unem­ploy­ment has not just knocked on the door of the for­mer Army reservist. It has busted through the door.

Non-profits are not doing well in this econ­omy.  Prob­a­bly worse than most com­pa­nies, since much of their bud­gets is based on either a com­bi­na­tions of grants or dona­tions — both pri­vate and cor­po­rate. With

I know this second-hand since one of my sib­lings runs a non-profit orga­ni­za­tion and notes that jug­gling the bud­get in recent years hasn’t been a lot of fun.

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Congratulations Joe and Heather…Again!

From my per­sonal email account.

She­boy­gan, WI – State Sen­a­tor Joe and Heather Leib­ham are excited to announce the birth of their third child, a daugh­ter.  Lucy Marie Leib­ham arrived on Mon­day, Novem­ber 22, 2010 at 7:43 a.m.  Lucy weighed in at 7 lbs. 15 oz. and 21 inches long.

We again have been blessed with a healthy baby.  Mom is doing great and big broth­ers Andrew and William are thrilled with a new baby sis­ter,” Sen­a­tor Leib­ham said.  “Our fam­ily appre­ci­ates the prayers and friend­ship offered as we expe­ri­ence the won­ders and excite­ment of a new baby.”

Lucy’s grand­par­ents are Cliff and Joan Han­son of Cas­cade and Ken and Sue Leib­ham of She­boy­gan.  Great Grandma Marie Han­son resides in She­boy­gan Falls.

Bless­ings to the entire Leib­ham family.

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