All content, of both the original and this blog, is written from my point of view and is my opinion. I believe it to be accurate at the time it is written. ~ Kyle Prast, Brookfield resident since 1986

Friday, July 30, 2010

STOP the Obama & Doyle waste-of-money train, Speak up Aug. 3

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!

Boondoggle Charges Prompt Wisconsin to Move Rail Station

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."

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Ron Johnson inches ahead in poll, 48% to Feingold's 46%

Did you see this good news? U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson inched ahead of incumbent Russ Feingold in the latest Rassmusen poll of likely voters.

"The Wisconsin Senate race is still a toss-up, with Republican Ron Johnson and incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold in a near tie.

"The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in Wisconsin shows Johnson with 48% support. Feingold, a member of the Senate since 1993, again picks up 46% of the vote. Two percent (2%) favor another candidate in the race, and five percent (5%) are undecided."

This represents a 1% gain for Johnson since the last poll 2 weeks ago: Johnson 47%, Feingold 46%.

Since the margin of error is + or -4, we are still considered a toss up, but Feingold does seem stuck. (My emphasis) "This is the fourth survey since May in which the incumbent’s support has remained at 46%. Feingold was reelected in 2004 with 55% of the vote, and incumbents who consistently earn less than 50% of the vote at this stage of a campaign are considered vulnerable."

I found this poll data stunning: "Fifty-one percent (51%) approve of how Presidnet Obama is doing his job. Forty-eight percent (48%) disapprove. This is higher approval than Obama earns nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll."

Whenever I hear of high Obama approval numbers, I ask, who are these people? (I know, many love him because of what he gives them.) But more importantly, does this indicate more people favor Obama than Feingold?

Obama won the state with 56% of the vote and now polls favorable at 51%, 5% less. Feingold won in 2004 with 55% of the vote and now polls at 46%, 9% less than before and 5% less than the President. I think this indicates that Feingold's support is eroding.

I am no pollster, but I am a Ron Johnson supporter! Johnson is steadily gaining on Feingold and considering Johnson was largely unknown until May, that is saying something.

Ron Johnson for Senate

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

How is Barrett "knee deep" in sewer water yet squeaky clean? JournoList?

FEMA came to town yesterday; they will be assessing the flood damage over the next few days. Residents in Whitefish Bay, Shorewood, Milwaukee**, and other flooded areas, are still cleaning up (some for the 2nd and 3rd time) and hoping to get some help.

Tom Barrett campaigned for mayor "with a pledge to clean up MMSD*" in 2004. (Scroll down to 3rd entry: "Rains Bring Flood of Troubles for MMSD".) Since then, the sewers have been backing up, flooding, and sewage dumps into Lake Michigan have become more commonplace than ever, as in 2 Billion Gallons of Sewage!

I have heard horror stories of acquaintances living there. What a nightmare. A thought came to me: Since Tom Barrett is ultimately at the helm of the failed MMSD and these people from the more liberal area of the Metro Milwaukee area are justifiably fed up by the flooding and dumping, would their ire carryover to the voting booth in November?

But there doesn't seem to be any tie in to Barrett. Where is the criticism of the Mayor in the news media?

They were quick to jump on County Exec. Scott Walker for going on the campaign trail last Saturday instead of visiting the flooded as Mayor Barrett and Gov. Doyle did. No matter that Walker already visited the flooded areas and signed the documents declaring Milw. County a disaster area the day before on Friday. The Journal Sentinel article didn't mention that bit until midway down the page. No mention of Tom Barrett's pledge to clean up MMSD in his 2004 election in that article.

Why isn't Barrett held more accountable in the local news? He is in effect knee deep in the sewer water problem yet remains squeaky clean in the media and people's perception.

Nationally, Conservatives and Republicans ask this same question. They knew the news stories were skewed favorable toward Obama during the election while McCain and Palin were skewered. Nothing negative would stick to Obama, not Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers, his radical positions...nothing. It seemed the media was and still is in cahoots: No negative stories on Democrats--eviscerate Republicans.

Then we found out our suspicions were confirmed with the now exposed "JournoList" group. (My emphasis) Outed journalist "Dave Weigel is a portal into the dark world of hardcore liberal bias in the media. This opening gives us a deeper insight into the insidious relationship between liberal think thanks, academics and their mouthpieces in the media." These people "form the narrative used by the press to thwart conservative messages. Like a ventriloquist’s dummy, the reporters on the listserv mimicked the talking points invented and agreed upon by the intellectuals...

Barrett blamed mayoral opponent Marvin Pratt for the "overflows and inadequate sewer system" back in 2004. But we don't hear much about the mayor's responsibility regarding the MMSD from mainstream media now that the hip boot is on the other foot.

Could it be that Milwaukee's media has some sort of JournoList pact too?

*I wouldn't have remembered this because I didn't live in Milwaukee, but talk show host Mark Belling certainly does! He is one of the few media people discussing Barrett's MMSD tie in. Bloggers such as Freedom Eden have made a good case: 2 Billion Gallons of Sewage, Flood: Journal Sentinel Spins for Barrett, Slams Walker.

**The combined sewer in these areas of Milw. County are largely responsible for the dumps and sewer laden flood waters.

Post from the past: Teflon, Velcro, and Teflon II of presidential politics

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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

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.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Lt. Gov. candidate Rebecca Kleefisch on Fox & Friends, Sun. 8:45am

Wisconsin has 5 Republican candidates on the ballot for Lt. Governor. Like the office of Vice President, Lt. Gov. is often a position that is overlooked, that is until they are needed to step into the top job! Of Wisconsin's 5 candidates, Rebecca Kleefisch is becoming my favorite; she's conservative, articulate, and seems very capable.

Rebecca Kleefisch will be featured on FOX & Friends news show this Sunday, July 25, 2010, at 8:45am Central Time. She will be joined by CeCe Heil of Tennessee and Julie Parrish of Oregon. All 3 ladies are running for office in their states. They are to discuss "the rising popularity of conservative women - particularly mothers - who are running for office and the electoral success of Sarah Palin's 'Mama Grizzlies' ".

"Mama Grizzlies" was a term coined by Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin to describe women--mothers--who like the mother grizzly bear, rises up on her hind legs to protect her cubs. In the political arena, many women get involved in politics because of some issue that affects their children and family. Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann fits that description. (Locally, I would call Wisconsin's Rep. Leah Vukmir, who is running against Democrat Jim Sullivan for State Senate, a "Mama Grizzly" too. Vukmir began her involvement in politics on the Wauwatosa School Board because of some issues that affected her family.)

It would seem I am not the only one pulling for Rebecca Kleefisch, she is the top fundraiser in her field. She "raised $141,634.58 in the first six months, 27% more than her nearest competitor."

I am truly humbled by the tremendous outpouring of financial support I have received from every corner of our great state,” said Kleefisch. “I am not a professional politician, I am a parent and small business owner concerned about the direction of our state. I really appreciate the donations I have received from regular folks who have never been involved in a campaign before.

This September and November, it is not enough to just vote for someone with a "R" next to their name. If we are to have any hope of getting our government and government spending under control, we need to elect true conservatives. This is the time to do your homework on the candidates.

If you are unfamiliar with Rebecca Kleefisch, watch her in-depth interview with Jim Schneider of In Focus on April 26, 2010, and visit her website:

In Focus 4/26/2010 Jim Schneider with Rebecca Kleefisch from VCY America TV on Vimeo. Thanks Randy Melchert!

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

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

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."

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Vukmir, Zipperer & Sensenbrenner Town Hall Meeting Sunday, July 18, 7pm

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner along with State Representatives Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer will hold a Town Hall meeting on Sunday, July 18th, at 7 pm at the Safety Building in Brookfield.

Congressman Sensenbrenner will probably explain how bad the newly passed Finance Reform Bill is. As Sensenbrenner remarked once about ObamaCare, no doubt, "We can only wonder what other secrets are lurking in the dark" with this new piece of legislation too. For one, the bill creates "more than 20 'offices of minority and women inclusion' " at various government agencies and will favor them for employment, grants and contracts. (What does that have to do with preventing a financial crisis?) See Finance Bill Favors Interests of Unions, Activists (such as ACORN!) for more information.

Leah Vukmir is running for State Senate against Democrat Jim Sullivan. If you are interested in helping her campaign, call 414-759-1100 or visit

Rich Zipperer is also running for State Senate to fill Ted Kanavas' seat.

By the way, Congressman Sensenbrenner was dubbed the "Town Hall King" by CQ and Roll Call for having 72 Face to Face Town Hall meetings this year. The most of any other member of the House. Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, with 69 meetings so far, is Town Hall King of the Senate.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Is Feingold really against Finance Bill or afraid of Ron Johnson? UPDATE 2

In Sunday's paper, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is quoted as saying he is against the 2,300 page Finance-Overhaul bill. He "is expected" to vote against it. Wow, I thought. He must really be worried about November.

I read on to see he is against it because "It doesn't do the job", it doesn't go far enough!

Yesterday, I heard Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, along with our other 2 token Republicans from Maine, will vote FOR the bill. (Groan) Now, don't get me wrong, I am glad Scott Brown won his Senate seat. He certainly will vote more often with the Republicans than Teddy Kennedy ever did. But he isn't a Conservative.

As for Feingold's departure from the Democrats, often vulnerable legislators are given permission to vote against the party if they are facing a tough reelection, if there are enough votes to secure passage. So 3 Republicans saying they will vote FOR the bill explains a lot about Feingold standing up and saying he will vote NO. This seems to be one of those cases.

Senate Republicans are against the bill because, "it would drive up the costs of credit and harm the U.S.'s competitiveness. They have also complained that the bill does little to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac"--the real Mastodon in the room. (Elephant is far too small an animal for the problems at Freddie and Fannie.)

Like the Senate Republicans, "Feingold's two GOP opponents, Dave Westlake and Ron Johnson, both have said they would vote no on the financial reforms," citing too many regulations, too much bureaucracy and concerns over the "key factor in the financial crisis - problems with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Plus, how many Senators even read, much less understood, 2,300 pages of amended amendments and regulation?

Now the last caveat is Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson who said on Monday "...he had not decided whether to vote for the bill because of concerns over whom the White House would name as head of a new consumer-lending regulator".

Since Let's Make a Deal has been going on to woo the Republicans--Brown, Snowe, and Collins each got a deal--maybe Nelson is again hoping for a special sweetener for his vote? He probably will cave in after his 5 minutes of limelight.

But I hope and pray Nelson is against the bill. Then there would be enough to filibuster. Then we would also see the true cloth Feingold is cut from.

UPDATE: Well, that was fast. Ben Nelson said he WILL vote for the bill. That takes the pressure off of Feingold. Now, if someone else would only jump ship...

UPDATE 2: The bill passed on Thursday with a 60-39 vote. Feingold's vote was not needed. He voted against. As Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner once said about ObamaCare, "We can only wonder what other secrets are lurking in the dark", with this new piece of legislation too. For one, the bill creates "more than 20 'offices of minority and women inclusion' " at various government agencies and will favor them for employment, grants and contracts. (What does that have to do with preventing a financial crisis?) See Finance Bill Favors Interests of Unions, Activists (such as ACORN!) for more information.

Past Post: Did 60 vote filibuster proof Senate die with Sen. Byrd?

More reading: Wall Street Journal: Finance Bill Close to Passage in Senate

Feingold is Only Democrat Against Financial Reform Bill

Ron Johnson for Senate
Dave Westlake for Senate

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Monday, July 12, 2010

The "Cheap Date" - dinner & movie under $14

Last Friday night, my husband and I went on a cheap date. We had had a busy week getting our kitchen emptied out for the floor re-finishers, so cooking was out of the question. We were both too tired to go out for dinner at one of our favorite places like Singha Thai,* but we did need to eat dinner.

How about going to that new Asian place at Brookfield Marketplace?, I asked. That seemed to click. The Asian Chef, the latest addition to Brookfield Marketplace, just moved in a few weeks ago and so far, is getting rave reviews, at least from us and some of our neighbors.

Asian Chef offers a wide variety of choices and even lets you choose white or brown rice. The cost/value quotient seems right too. You can get a very adequate lunch or dinner for $4.75. (Some choices are more.) Since there really wasn't a good place to eat amid our chaos at home, we chose to dine in.

After our tasty dinner we went over to the Pick 'n Save to see if they had one of those Red Box movie rental for a $1 kiosks. Yes, they did. We picked out Invictus, starring Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon. That proved to be a winner too. It was a great story of South Africa during their early post apartheid days in 1995. Freeman plays President Nelson Mandela; Damon plays Francois Pienaar, the nation's Rugby star. Mandela uses the country's nearly all white Rugby team to unite the country.

The closeup shots of the Rugby games were reason enough to watch this movie. (Yikes, they make American football players look like wimps!) But watching a segregated nation come together was the real story. Invictus was inspiring.

Spoiler alert: My favorite scene was when the underdog South African team played New Zealand, the favorite, in the World Cup. New Zealand attributed their success to the Maori war dance that they did just prior to every game. It was very intimidating. In contrast, the South African team got on their knees on the field and thanked God for their win. It was one of those good vs. evil moments.

Rating: Invictus was rated PG-13. There was only 1 F-bomb that I heard, and it was said with a rather thick accent. There was one scene where Damon and his wife are shown in an embrace and they fall onto a bed in a hotel room. The audience doesn't see them on the bed though. So as movies go, it is pretty tame. Check out what Common Sense media has to say about the movie if you are unsure your teens should watch.

So that was our cheap date. Sometimes simple is simply perfect!

*Number 80, Crispy Basket is the family favorite there. It is outstanding.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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

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

"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

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.

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

A call to prayer for America on July 4th

Happy Birthday

When the Declaration of Independence was signed, John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail his thoughts on how this special day should be remembered:

I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.
It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance, by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.
It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.

Today we think of the 4th as a day for parades, picnics, and fireworks. This year, Family Research Council is calling for Christians to pray, more specifically, to fall on their knees in prayer:

"We are asking pastors and believers all across America to spend time on our knees for our nation this Sunday July, 4, 2010."

"The very day we celebrate our "Independence," we need to re-declare our "Dependence" upon God in humble and repentant prayer. At minimum, we hope that those gathered in their places of worship will at least spend a few minutes on their knees in prayer on July 4..."

If your church isn't participating, please consider spending a few minutes at home on your knees in prayer for our nation.

May God Bless America!

Past Post: Alexis de Tocqueville on what makes America great

Links: Practically Speaking, Betterbrookfield, RandyMelchert, Jay Weber, Vicki McKenna, The Right View Wisconsin, CNS News, Mark Levin, Breitbart BigGovernment, The Heritage Foundation

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