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Archive for September, 2011

Today’s Lesson: Do Not **** with the Cheesehead

Attention liberal, do-gooder, nanny-state groups in DC:  Don’t say you haven’t violated image or likeness rights, when your actions pretty much tell us you did.

A billboard warning that cheese can be hazardous to your health, featuring the Grim Reaper, went up along Highway 41 on Tuesday, but without the image of a Cheesehead hat.

The non-profit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine paid for the billboard, which originally featured the Grim Reaper wearing the iconic Cheesehead hat.

But the maker of Cheesehead hats, Foamation, based in St. Francis, Wisconsin, told the organization it would violate the company’s trademark rights.

The Cheesehead was removed before the sign was put up south of Scheuring Road in the Town of Lawrence.

A spokesperson for Foamation tells Action 2 News they’re happy the issue has been resolved and want the public to know it did not condone the group’s message.

Foamation said it received numerous emails from people in Wisconsin asking about the use of the Cheesehead in the original plans for the billboard and had to respond to those inquiries.

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says the billboard still gets the message through to football fans on Highway 41 headed to Lambeau Field that “cheese can hurt your health,” PCRM president Neal Barnard, MD, said.

UPDATE: There seems to be a bit of confusion in media sources I’m seeing on this story.  According to the JS, it was the billboard company which took out the Cheesehead after a request by Foamation’s attorney, a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich.

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321 Total Cabs in Milwaukee

Great video from the Institute for Justice, the libertarian counterpart to the ACLU, on Milwaukee’s policy of awarding taxi medallions.

Currently, it’s gotten to the point that it costs a prospective cabbie $150,000 to get a medallion and only if it came at another cabbie’s expense.  Great system if you own the cab companies which runs the monopoly, or are the city government which cashes the checks.


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House GOP “Young Guns” Could Be Entering a Facebook Trap

On a personal level, I really want to believe that Facebook is a non-partisan company that will give equal voice to both parties.

That it’s not really a company (based in liberal San Francisco) overwhelmingly populated with Neo-Trotskyites and other left-leaning ideologues who have the gift of computer coding.  That despite its “accidental” issues with patron privacy and the open fawning of founder Mark Zuckerberg over President Obama and the thousands in campaign donations to Democrats over the years, they could still be fair given the usage both conservatives and liberals have for Facebook in the world of political campaigning and activism.

Sadly, what the company gives as a public face…

The three House Republican leaders known as “The Young Guns” say their collaboration with Facebook will help send the message that Washington is listening and in the game, at a time when polls show most Americans view Congress with disgust.

Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is holding an online “Facebook Live” conversation with House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.).

On Monday, the three leaders will be at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., where they’ll take questions in front of an audience of about 100 Facebook employees and guests – the same staging as Facebook used for similar conversations with President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.

…is not what’s really going on.

Hollywood may be feeling meh about President Barack Obama, but Lady Gaga considers the commander in chief to be among her “little monsters.”

The “Born This Way” singer was a guest at a $35,800 per couple Obama fundraiser on Sunday at the Atherton, Calif.  home of Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg.

Yes, you read that right.  The Master of Ceremonies for a Republican town hall at Facebook this afternoon held a fund raiser for Obama just last night.

Well, to tie in the Lady Gaga news, it might be wise for Facebook to put on its best “Poker Face” for the rest of the afternoon.

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Quote of the Day

Scott Adams of Dilbert fame, from “Notables and Quotables” in the Wall Street Journal:

Dilbert creator Scott Adams writing at dilbert.com, Aug. 30:

Is it my imagination, or has the liberal wing of the media’s attacks on conservatives turned into a bunch of cheap gotchas involving nitpicked analogies and quotes taken out of context? Perhaps it has always been this way and I never noticed until this year. Or maybe I’m spending too much time reading The Huffington Post. Maybe you can help me sort this out.

Before I continue, I should note that my own views don’t map closely to either the liberal or conservative camps. So I don’t have a poodle in the fight. I’m just observing a trend.

Consider Rick Perry. He called Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.” As analogies go, that’s a good one. I believe I have used it myself. It’s a colorful way of saying the math doesn’t work well when the population of retired people greatly increases and the number of workers funding Social Security does not. Literally no one on Earth disagrees with the central point of Perry’s analogy. But I keep seeing Perry’s Ponzi scheme quote reported as if it were some sort of idiot misunderstanding or conspiracy theory or foreshadowing of evil. . . .

Consider Mitt Romney’s quote in the context of taxes that corporations are people too. That quote was reported as if Romney is so out of touch with ordinary humans that he doesn’t know the difference between an artificial legal structure and a living person. Only a robot could say such a thing! But of course his point is one that 100% of real humans agree with: Corporate profits flow into the pockets of employees and shareholders. I remember a time when a gaffe meant you were wrong. But apparently being 100% right isn’t a defense if you’re also a conservative.

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New Palin Books Just Not Selling

Oh poor Levi.

And I guess the endorsement of Andrew Sullivan for the other one, just doesn’t carry the weight his old book club (you know, back when he was a conservative for about two years in the early 2000s) did.

I still have some of those old Sully Book Club picks.  Really enjoyed “Warrior Politics.”

Despite massive publicity, two new books chronicling the Sarah Palin soap opera—The Rogue: Searching for the Real Sarah Palin by veteran political writer Joe McGinnis and Deer in the Headlights: My Life in Sarah Palin’s Crosshairs by Bristol Palin baby daddy Levi Johnston—have gotten a lukewarm response from the buying public since their release on Tuesday. Hard sales numbers will not be available for a week but the rankings on Amazon and Barnes & Noble provide a good indication of consumer interest. The Rogue is ranked in the fifties on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Deer in the Headlights is hovering in the seven hundreds on Amazon and in the two hundreds on Barnes & Noble. Both books had weak pre-sale numbers as well with The Rogue in the high hundreds and Deer in the Headlights in the high thousands.

The Rogue is the controversial book that alleges Palin had a one night stand with a college basketball player while working as a sports reporter, snorted cocaine, and shirked her work as governor to shop. Deer in the Headlights is Johnston’s version of his relationship with Palin in which he contradicts her account of how she lost her virginity and claims she wanted to have a baby because she was jealous of that her mother’s late-in-life pregnancy with Trip. He also paints an unflattering picture of the Palin marriage, asserting, for example, that Todd and Sarah rarely spent the night together in the same bed.

The Rogue was the beneficiary of a massive rollout campaign.  Author Joe McGinnis promoted it on the Today Show and The View.  He partnered with Garry Trudeau in a first-of-its-kind deal to excerpt the book Doonesbury.  The Rogue was also the subject of featured reviews in The New York Times, Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times.  The only other fall book to get a comparable rollout was Jacqueline Kennedy: Historic Conversations on Life with John F. Kennedy which debuted at number one on Amazon.  Another political book, Ron Suskind’s Confidence Men: Wall Street, Washington, and the Education of a President, about the early days of Obama White House, arrived in bookstores on the same day as McGinnis with much less fanfare but has already risen to fifth on Amazon. Relative to the publicity The Rogue‘s sales numbers must be a disappointment to publisher Crown.

Deer in the Headlights is selling far fewer copies than The Rogue, despite the coup of appearances on the Dr. Phil, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and the Joy Behar Show.  It has also received wide coverage in newspapers and on blogs.

Wow, that’s a lot of wasted free TV.

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Oshkosh School District to Leave WEA Trust

Amazing what happens when you finally let competitive bidding take place.

The Oshkosh school district could save about $774,000 this year and another $1.3 million next year by leaving its union-affiliated health insurance for a new provider.

A committee of about 30 district employees, union representatives and administrators has recommended the school board ditch its insurance through the Wisconsin Education Association Trust, a non-profit company started by the state teachers’ union, for a cheaper but equivalent benefits plan through the Wisconsin County’s Association Group Health Trust.

The school board will vote on the change Wednesday.

The district requested proposals from providers in July after its labor unions gave the board full control over health insurance as part of a one-year collective bargaining agreement.

Offers came in from four providers, including WEA Trust, WCA Group Health Trust, Network Health Plan and Humana Incorporated. Details of the offers were released Friday.

WCA Group Health Trust offered the best benefits and the lowest price, Business Director Bob Tess said.

“We weren’t just looking for the cheapest plan. It just so happens that the best plan was also the least expensive,” Tess said.

Add Oshkosh to the list of school districts saving money via Act 10.

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The Tea Party is So Racist…

…it voted to have a black man win a Straw Poll in Florida.

From the bottom of the polls to the top of the pack, businessman Herman Cain won the Republican Party of Florida’s nationally watched presidential straw poll Saturday in a sign that front-runner Rick Perry is in deep trouble.

Cain’s victory with 37 percent of the vote was a major defeat for Perry, the front-runner in Florida and national polls, who garnered only 15 percent of the vote after wooing the nearly 3,000 party faithful with a free breakfast and mailers.

The vote also showed how soft Republican support is for Mitt Romney, who came in third with 14 percent. Unlike Perry, though, he avoided schmoozing the GOP voters, called delegates.

“Folks, this is what you call momentum,” Cain, the former CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, said in a video message from his campaign bus. “The Herman Cain train is picking up steam.”

I don’t know if it means momentum for Cain or just bad luck for Texas Governor Rick Perry, but I’m glad to see old friends from the Johnson Senate camp notch a victory for their guy.

Actually got to meet Mr. Cain back when I was in college and he was still CEO of Godfather’s Pizza.  He spoke to the school’s “American Marketing Association” group of which I was a member.  When we met again in January out in DC, I brought that up and he remembered the trip to Eau Claire.

Anyway, here are the results:

Herman Cain: 37.1 percent, 986 votes

Rick Perry: 15.4 percent

Mitt Romney: 14 percent, 372 votes

Rick Santorum: 10.9 percent, 289 votes

Ron Paul: 10.4 percent, 276 votes

Newt Gingrich: 8.4 percent, 224 votes

Jon Huntsman: 2.3 percent, 60 votes

Michele Bachmann: 1.5 percent, 40 votes

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