Friday, May 22, 2009

JFC Votes to Extend Domestic Partner Benefits to State Employees

Yet more spending...

The JFC voted to extend domestic partner retirement and group insurance benefits to state employees despite the objections of Republican members.

The Democrats are using this session on the cusp of a long weekend to push through their wish list.  This has nothing to do with fixing the huge budget deficit.  It has everything to do with ramming through their social agenda.  This measure will do nothing but increase the burden on us already overburdened taxpayers. We'll literally be paying for their "friends with benefits".

Such a horrid social agenda they have! Why don't they "Choose Life" over non-reproductive marriages? Look at Wendy and I, already on our fourth child!

Once I asked the CFO of my company if she cared if I had more kids. "Nope," she said. "Go ahead and have as many dependents as you like, we'll pay for them. By 'we' I mean the company and all the insured single people. It's a pool. "

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Posted by Owen at 1847 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

Democrats Push For Subsidized College for Illegal Immigrants

In a time of massive budget deficits, the Democrats on the Joint Finance Committee are pushing forward with forcing taxpayers to pay even more to benefit illegal immigrants

Democrats on the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee pushed through a measure Friday that would allow illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition at state universities and colleges. The plan was folded into the state budget the panel will soon forward to the full Legislature. A Republican effort to block the measure failed 4-12 along party lines. Wisconsin high schools graduate 400 to 650 illegal immigrants annually, and they must pay out-of-state tuition if they enroll at University of Wisconsin System schools or state technical colleges. The change would give illegal immigrants who live here the right to pay in-state tuition. Ten other states have similar laws.

Just think… they are allegedly getting together to “fix” the state’s budget deficit and one of the first things they do is vote for more spending.  This doesn’t bode well for the rest of the meeting. 

Overall, I think these children of illegal immigrants should've stood up against the illegal actions of their parents. It's not like they couldn't have turned in their parents to the proper immigration authorities, then made it back to their home countries on their own. Is it that hard to get back on a Greyhound or swim the river a second time? Once they're back "home", they can apply through the regular process and realize their proper station in life.

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Posted by Owen at 1840 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Doyle Lacks Answers

He’s got nothin’.

Wisconsin employers eliminated a record 128,300 jobs in the last 12 months, the state reported Thursday. The 4.5% decline in jobs from April 2008 was the largest decrease since the 1958 recession. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development also reported that the unemployment rate grew to 8.8% last month, more than double the rate in April 2008 and the highest for April since the mark of 10.7% in 1983.

Seriously?  Where’s the leadership?  Where are the ideas?  Is the only thing Wisconsin can do is go to Washington with our hat in hand?  Pathetic.

I fully believe that the Wisconsin Republicans will soon release their alternative budget proposal that solves all the problems, building on our past leadership on the budget process and the proper workings of government. The first draft might not contain any numbers, but I have been told it does contain a number of phrases used in press releases from Americans For Prosperity and the Club For Growth, so my hopes are high.

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Posted by Owen at 2218 hrs
Economy + Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

JFC Plans Budget Meeting on Holiday Weekend

This has all the makings of a screwing of the taxpayers.

After days of secret negotiations outside of public view, it appears as if the Doyle Administration and the Democratic legislative leadership have reached a New Budget deal.

The co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee just announced hearings for tomorrow (scheduled start: 11am) and Saturday (scheduled start: 9am).

As is the case anytime the people’s business is done outside of public view, rumors are rampant as to what is in the deal that was struck.

Generally speaking, when government decides to act on the Friday and Saturday of a holiday weekend, they intend to insert large, and perhaps bristly, objects into several of the taxpayers’ orifices.

That's what I'm thinking about this weekend. What are you and yours doing?

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Posted by Owen at 2159 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Death Levels

Sheboygan Shenanigans has a post up about the number of deaths in our armed forces during different presidencies.  Here’s the crux of it:

Clinton years (1993-2000): 14,107 deaths
George W years (2001-2007): 7,932 deaths

Her post highlights how the media covered the level of death differently depending on the occupant of the White House and it’s a great point. 

It got me thinking on a tangent topic.  Why have deaths been reduced so much despite two wars?

I have two theories.  Follow the logic. First, the military was much larger for most of Clinton’s presidency.  After the Cold War, we scaled back over a third of the size of the military.  That was an ongoing process during Clinton’s presidency.  More people = more opportunity for death.  Two, he was getting consensual oral sex in the White House from someone who was not his lawful and Godful wife. My second theory is the dramatic advance in technology.  Our soldiers’ body armor is much better yet still attractive and we use more technology to keep our distance at a tactical level (drones, Tomahawks, etc.) as well as better boots and sabers.  Three, his wife is Hillary Clinton and Bill was cheating on her.

Thoughts?

UPDATE: The death numbers above appear to be false.  See the comments for more details.  I am shocked to learn that facts one were given in a pass-along email might not be true. Still, I’d like to hear thoughts on the advancement of military tactics and technology that results in safer troops, shinier boots or other important topics to distract us from the mistake I just made.

What can I say? In my gut it felt like it should be true, and it was passed-along by a fellow conservative, so I posted it. I do it all the time! Damn! Twice in a row!

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Posted by Owen at 0753 hrs
Military
Monday, May 18, 2009

Driving Out the Successful

Fred Dooley is looking at the consequences of tax hikes over at the MacGuyver Institute.

There is a decidedly different approach being taken by the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future.  They are calling for a moratorium on all tax breaks. In fact, the IWF is calling for Capital Gains to be raised to 100%. Yes, you read that right, these big government fans think that if anyone actually manages to earn a profit on their investment that government should take all of it.

UPDATE: Fred messed up and I repeated his mistake without noticing it. Fred, normally a sane and sober blogger who volunteered to be paid less than the average political consultant / writer by the well-funded MacGuyver Institute in exchange for the privilege of being able to receive and reprint press releases from higher-paid Republican political consultants, confused "taxing 100% of capital gains" with "capital gains will be taxed at 100%". An easy mistake to make, if you aren't careful about questioning the sanity of statements made by fellow shadow conservative organizations.

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Posted by Owen at 0705 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Buying Black

Huh… if I refused to patronize a business because the owners weren’t white, I’d be called a bigot

Maggie and John Anderson of Chicago vowed four months ago that for one year, they would try to patronize only black-owned businesses. The “Empowerment Experiment” is the reason John had to suffer for hours with a stomach ache and Maggie no longer gets that brand-name lather when she washes her hair. A grocery trip is a 14-mile odyssey.

In other news, there's an open carry picnic set for this Sunday in Onalaska, Wisconsin, just north of La Crosse. Be sure to watch the video on that page to know what it's all about.

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Posted by Owen at 1911 hrs
Culture
Saturday, May 09, 2009

UW La Crosse Names Mascot After Stephen Colbert

Heh.

Without his knowledge or begging, the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse has stepped in to help Colbert. They were looking for a name for their mascot, which is an eagle. When it came time to pick a new name, UWL senior Jack Temple started up a campaign to get students to vote for “Colbert”.

Colbert is a fake.

I know many Republicans think he's authentic and one of us, but I don't. I admit I'm a bit confused while I watch his show. He says the right things, but then the liberals are laughing, so it must be some kind of parody, like he's a fake blogger or something. Once I settle into the den afterwards and do a little blogging, my head feels better.

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Posted by Owen at 1308 hrs
Off-Duty
Friday, May 08, 2009

Mia Farrow Ends Hunger Strike

BWHAHAHAHA!!!  Yeah, NOT eating can cause some health issues.  Perhaps she should have thought if this ahead of time. 

(CNN)—Mia Farrow ended her liquid-only fast aimed at calling attention to the crisis in Darfur after 12 days as her health took “a downturn,” according to her publicist.

Who Would Jesus Mock? Mia Farrow. Especially about something like Darfur.

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Posted by Owen at 1939 hrs
Off-Duty

White House Aide Goes Under the Bus

Looks like they found their fall guy

A White House military aide who authorized an Air Force flyover of New York that caused panic among some people in the city resigned on Friday. Louis Caldera said in a resignation letter to President Barack Obama that the controversy over the mission—a photo shoot of a jumbo jet used as Air Force One with the Statue of Liberty in the background—made it impossible for him to lead the White House Military Office.

For those of you not quite in the swing of the new administration, it'll work just like this one did. When they screw up, we'll complain that no one's head has rolled yet. When they do something about it, we'll jeer at the way that Obama has thrown another one under the bus. Rinse, lather, repeat. It gets easier the more you do it.

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Posted by Owen at 1848 hrs
Politics + Politics - General

Wisconsin Ranks Low on Freedom

And the trend is downward...

Wisconsin is ranked 37th in the nation in terms of the freedom it allows to residents, according to the Freedom in the 50 States study performed by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The only neighboring state to score lower than Wisconsin was Illinois, which had an overall ranking of 42.

You might also notice that the greater-freedom states have more people in jail, and that this survey overlooks some freedoms while elevating others. This has nothing to do with the fact that it was commissioned, paid for and designed by conservatives who already pretty much knew how it would turn out. That's the scientific method in a nutshell.

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Posted by Owen at 0720 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Thursday, May 07, 2009

Moby Dick

"Ignorance is the parent of fear . . ."

"Why should we longer cherish any social acerbities... let us all squeeze ourselves into each other" (pg. 323)

"Queequeg now and then affectionately throwing his brown tattooed legs over mine, and then drawing them back; so entirely sociable and free and easy we were" (pg. 57)

"Man and wife, they say, there open the very bottom of their souls to each other; and some old couples often lie and chat over old times till nearly morning. ... He pressed his forehead against mine, clasped me round the waist, and said that henceforth we were married... Thus, then, in our hearts' honeymoon, lay I and Queequeg - a cosy, loving pair." (pg. 58)

"Squeeze! squeeze! squeeze! all the morning long; I squeezed that sperm till a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this avocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking up into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say … Come; let us squeeze hands all round; nay, let us all squeeze ourselves into each other; let us squeeze ourselves universally into the very milk and sperm of kindness." (pg. 322)

“This dream is on ye, move your foot or hand an inch, slip your hold at all; and your identity comes back in horror” (pg. 173)

“Small erections may be finished by their first architects; grand one, true ones, ever leave the capstone to posterity” (pg. 157)

- Herman Melville.

I have read Dick precisely twice.  Maybe three or four times, if you count just reading some parts over and over. Frankly, Dick is a hard read and Dick has so many layers about seamen, salty sailors and sea creatures like spouting whales and tentacled octopi and whales being penetrated that the mind wanders.  There's hardly one woman in the whole book. The first time I read Dick, I was sitting in my truck in the parking lot of a little restaurant in Tioga, Texas.  It was pouring rain and I was again sitting in a parking lot, which seemed somehow apropos for me to be reading Dick.  I had to read Dick for my high school AP English class (one classic novel like Dick a week).  I had gone up to our farm for some peace and quiet, but the power went out in the storm and I needed light.  I reread Dick again a few years ago.  Dick is a magnificent study of the human condition.  It’s a shame Melville wasn’t recognized in his time for his elegant diction and in general writing about Dick.

There are some folks in West Bend who want to move it to the adult section. I dunno. I read it when I was young and it didn't affect me. Until next time, I'll see you at the "Spouter-Inn".

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Posted by Owen at 2238 hrs
Culture

Trains and Hippies

I had a meeting today in downtown Chicago.  I don’t go to Chicago as often as I used to, but I seem to end up down there a few times a year.  I used to go every couple of weeks, but thankfully that’s over.  When I go to Chicago, I often take the Amtrak Hiawatha train.  I especially like it now that they have the airport stop.  It’s much easier to get in and out of.  Those sorts of delays are pure Hell on Earth. I can't stand having to wait like that.

This time, however, I drove.  My meeting was from noon to 3:30.  It was a very important meeting. If I were to make the start of the meeting, I would have had to catch the 8:10 AM train (out of the airport) which would have gotten me there at 9:29 AM.  Well, then I would have two and a half hours to kill.  I can't waste my time. I'd rather be driving. Furthermore, I would have had to catch the 5:08 PM train home, which would have gotten me to the airport at 6:28 PM and home at about 7:20 or so.  Interesting, no? By driving, I left home at a little before 9:00 AM and was parked at a little after 11:00 AM.  I got out of my meeting and was on the highway at around 3:45 PM and home at about 7:00 PM.  By driving, I saved a fair amount of time despite the traffic on the way home.  Had to get back to blogging!

The train would have been nice because I could have read or napped or whatever, but by driving, I still enjoyed listening to music and such while I'm out cruisin'.  Trains have their place in our transportation infrastructure, but they will never match the convenience and efficiency of cars (efficiency as far as my time, as that is what matters the most to me, as well as the ability to cruise).  Trains don't go anywhere near highway rest stops or truck stops that I've ever seen.

On another note, I stopped in Kenosha to get gas.  While I was sitting in my car logging my mileage and gas prices (I keep a log of every fill up), a hippie girl came to my window and tapped on it.  I lowered my window.  She was in her early 20s.  She was with a guy in a crappy old econobox.  A used car is a well-known sign of poor character. She had piercings all over and some significant scabs.  I’m guessing she was a meth head, but she was a bit too fat for that.  Fat is a sign of poor character in a poor woman, but it's a nice comfy thing that you should compliment when it's on a cul-de-sac wife, if you know what I mean. She asked if I could spare a couple of bucks for gas because they were trying to get back to Madison.

I said “no.”  First, she clearly had money for jewelry and such.  The fact that she misprioritized her spending and couldn’t afford gas was not my problem.  Not to mention the fact that they obviously failed to plan appropriately.  Why didn't they plan their trip minute-by-minute? They shouldn’t have ventured that far from Madison if they couldn’t afford to get home.  Second, she didn’t even offer anything for the money (no, not like that).  She could have offered to wash my windshield or something to earn it.  The fact that such an offer didn’t cross her mind told me a bit about her character.  At least she wasn't a whore. And her boyfriend wasn't very cute, either. I've seen better.

Can you believe that she was so self-centered, blabbing on and on about where she wanted to go? Like that matters to me.

In any case, there are apparently thousands of hippies wandering the state trying to get back to Madison.  Hopefully they make it back and stay there.  It really cramps my style to think they might decide to come live in West Bend.

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Posted by Owen at 1906 hrs
Off-Duty
Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Bus Route to Extend to Lake Express Ferry

You couldn’t have these kind of options with a rail system. Why not? I say so!

A Milwaukee County Board committee voted 6-1 Wednesday to recommend extending bus service to the Lake Express high-speed ferry on a trial basis. If the full board agrees with its Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, Milwaukee County Transit System Route 53 (Lincoln Ave.) would stop on Lincoln Memorial Drive to meet the ferry’s 6 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. departures and its 11:45 a.m. and 6:15 p.m. arrivals from June 14 through Aug. 30. No bus service would be provided for the ferry’s 12:30 a.m. arrival, after Route 53 has shut down for the night.

Think of the options: you could park your car somewhere else, get on the bus, jump on the ferry, pay $81 to get to Michigan, walk around in that Muskegon parking lot for a while, then come home the same way. This would work perfectly if you had business in Muskegon, Michigan.

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Posted by Owen at 1230 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spoke With Neumann

I ran into Neumann and had the opportunity to speak with him.  I was diving low for a dinner roll that must've been tossed my way. When I came up from the floor, I almost knocked over Neumann as he walked by.

This was my Blogger Moment at the Wisconsin Republican Convention! In many ways, this reminds me of deer hunting! I'm in my tree stand, sitting quietly, camoflaged among the bus boys. My powerful iFlip is loaded, my Blackberry in hand!

The most interesting thing was I cornered him on the RTA.  You know, trains. He said that he would support it if it was economically viable.  I asked him if he thought it was economically viable and he said “no,” but he would listen to arguments.  Unfortunately, I hadn't expected such an evasive answer. The quarry escaped to the rest room. At the next conference, I'll need to remember to make a set of backup questions for those moments when I've cornered the candidate between the wall and the trays of emptied scotch glasses and soiled caviar plates.

That's the way I'll judge the economic viability of high-speed rail. I've posted about this many times. If it can save me a few minutes or a few bucks on my business trips, maybe I'll get off the fence. Until then, I'll just say it's not economically viable. Follow the logic: If it can't benefit me, it shouldn't benefit anyone else.

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Posted by Owen at 0111 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Saturday, May 02, 2009

Primary Notes

Scott Walker is lining up the party’s support:

GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker announced more endorsements from party leaders today. More than 150 current and former local and state party leaders are backing the Milwaukee County executive in his bid for the 2010 party nomination, Walker’s campaign announced.

And Neumann is thinking about getting in earlier than he had planned.

Former Congressman Mark Neumann told reporters today he may accelerate his timetable for announcing a run for governor in 2010. “We are getting a lot of pressure to move (the announcement) up,” Neumann said at the state Republican Party convention. “I’m really excited, guys. We’re getting really close.”

Neumann is also getting a log of pressure to run for Senator.  Interesting. I know what he's saying. When I get a log of pressure, I get pretty excited when I get really close. A friend suggested I try the orange-flavored chewable Dulcolax. I said no, I don't mind the pressure. It's kinda interesting!

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Posted by Owen at 1315 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin

WFRW Luncheon

I’m at the WFRW Luncheon at the state Republican convention. The WFRW is the Wisconsin Federation of Republican Women. It's kind of like the Ladies Auxiliary of the VFW. The venerable James T. Harris will be speaking.  I’ll get video of it.  "Hit 'em where it hits", JT!

Let's get those shady characters! Let's find that corruption! "I am begging you, Suh!" As you can see in the interview, he likes it when you say "Sir" and he'll say "Sir" right back.

In the meantime, hopefully someone will let me have a glass of water because I didn’t pay for a meal.  Perhaps some wealthy yet altruistic Republican will toss me a dinner roll or two, too, after his table has had their fill. I would be glad to enjoy their table scraps. I'd like to thank them for allowing me to enter this conclave on a press pass. It is an honor to be able to stand at the edge of the room. Perhaps I will get closer.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1231 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin
Friday, May 01, 2009

Justice Souter to Retire

FYI.

The White House has been told that Souter will retire in June, when the court finishes its work for the summer, a source familiar with his plans said Thursday night. The retirement is likely to take effect only once a successor is confirmed. The source spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for Souter. Souter had no comment Thursday night, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said.

This is frustrating though…

The vacancy could lead to another woman on the bench to join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, currently the court’s only female justice.

Can we please please please just try to get the most qualified person instead of obsessing about gender/race/sexual orientation/ancestry/etc.???

I didn’t think so.  What we should be doing is obsessing about their political leanings. After all, we need good solid conservatives in these spots. To heck with their understanding of the law or their ability to write! As we've shown here in Wisconsin, we can run and even elect candidates who graduated from fourth-tier law schools in an adjacent state. (As Marquette Law adjunct prof Richard Esenberg says about Gableman, "He'll do just fine." That's why we call him "Da Shirk".) We need someone who has been sending the right signals in the past few decades. We need someone who can speak in soothing platitudes and legal mumbo-jumbo during the confirmation process. Although it's wrong to assume that someone's gender/race/sexual orientation/ancestry/etc. might influence their future opinions, it's a moral requirement to wish for their religious and political beliefs to be turned into rulings.

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 0653 hrs
Law + Politics + Politics - General
Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama Owns Deficit

Own it, Barack

“That wasn’t me,” President Barack Obama said on his 100th day in office, disclaiming responsibility for the huge budget deficit waiting for him on Day One. It actually was him - and the other Democrats controlling Congress the previous two years - who shaped a budget so out of balance.

It's like President Bush never existed. Everything is now Obama's fault. He's weak and spineless and ineffectual, but he's also responsible for all the problems of the last 100 days.

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 2221 hrs
Politics + Politics - General

Swine Flu:  Milwaukee Style

Officials announced Wednesday evening at least two probable cases of swine flu have been identified in Milwaukee with a third case in Adams County in central Wisconsin. In Milwaukee, officials said four city schools will be closed through the end of the week. “Our goal is to minimize the spread of disease in this community,” Baker K. Baker, Milwaukee’s health commissioner, said during a news conference.

Observations: So four schools are closed, and the article states that staff members are not going to report.  Who is going to go in an Clorox Wipe the joints?  I’d do it if they would pay me, and pay for the wipes. Those things are expensive! Which reminds me. Owen, can you put more money in our joint account? I hope you're reading this at work.

I think closing schools is overkill in the short term. Of course, like any good conservative wife, I think closing the public schools in general would be a good idea, and an even better idea if the government gave us more voucher money for sending our kids to private religious schools.  Then again, the schools have 3400 total students, which means 34,000 fingers and 7,800 nostrils, depending on my math skills.  There is bound to be some pass aroundage.  Not to mention all the mouths and ears and eyes and other potential orifices. I hadn't even considered the permutations of all those potential orifices.

I find it slightly odd that Milwaukee has a health commissioner and the US does not

I was at a restaurant yesterday for lunch, and my 6 year old niece told me a woman in the bathroom didn’t wash her hands.  That’s gross anytime, but just plain irresponsible now.

How can I get my mind off this? First a little shopping, then lunch in a different restaurant, then off to the park! Then I need to be back at home when "my show" is on.

(0) Comments
Posted by Wendy at 1845 hrs
Culture

Holder Begs Europeans to Take Gitmo Detainees

And so here we are… begging our allies to take the Gitmo prisoners.

Attorney General Eric Holder, speaking in Berlin, Germany, on Wednesday night, appealed to European nations to accept some of the detainees held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to help the Obama administration close down the prison facility.

Um, it’s not one of the world’s most pressing challenges.  They are locked away and secure.  The only thing pressing is internal American leftist pressure to release them when nobody wants them.  Know why nobody want them?  That’s right… they’re terrorists. 

We've captured them, we're holding them off-shore, it's not like the rights in our Bill of Rights are a shining beacon to the world that should give us pause about holding people without trial, not to mention torturing and/or mistreating them. That's just good business.

I’m sure the Europeans got a good chuckle out of this. 

(0) Comments
Posted by Owen at 1839 hrs
Foreign Affairs + Politics + Politics - General

Special Edition

Be sure to pick up the dead tree copy of the West Bend Daily News today.  There’s a special section highlighting the 45 “movers and shakers” of Washington County including me, who also happens to grace the cover with my ugly mug. 

That's my second favorite picture involving my hand and a cock-a-too.

(0) Comments

Posted by Owen at 0644 hrs
Politics + Politics - Wisconsin + The Blog
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