THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2019: #3

Inside the corridors of Franklin City Hall, sadly, there’s a strong sense of denial about Franklin’s long history of abysmal economic development. Get outside the building and reality takes over. Just about everyone I know understands Franklin’s track record in this regard has been a colossal failure. Little changed in 2019.

The Milwaukee Business Journal, a publication widely read by businesspeople, developers, real estate professionals, elected officials, movers and shakers, etc. delivered a pair of black eyes to Franklin’s already severely tarnished image in October.

OUCH!

THE ARTICLE FRANKLIN WISHED HAD NEVER BEEN PUBLISHED!

NEXT, how about this clever Franklin scheme. Think Don Quixote. Hey look everybody. We’ve got this empty piece of land that nobody has wanted or built on for 15 years!

Also during 2019 Franklin Mayor Steve Olson continued his futile attempt to get the state Legislature to approve legislation to do away with the so-called “dark store loophole.” Olson posed for holy pictures with the likes of Tom Barrett in this wasted effort, blaming  places like Wal-Mart for his city’s local tax burden. Taking a page out of the liberal playbook, Olson bashed big businesses.

In May I blogged The powers that be in Franklin need to read this.

In July I posed this question: Has any progress been made in Franklin in the last five years?

This article demonstrated how Oak Creek is light years ahead of Franklin in economic growth, and should be required reading for everyone at Franklin City Hall. The key sentence:

(Dan) Bukiewicz, who succeeded radio personality Steve Scaffidi as Oak Creek mayor after Scaffidi’s resignation in March 2017, feels that the city’s willingness to embrace change is one of its many positive attributes.

With rare exceptions, I don’t see the same kind or scope of revitalization happening in Franklin.

But as noted, Franklin has the biggest set of blinders on, constantly denying their inability to achieve substantial measurable results. Officials here think everything is wonderful.

Let’s get real. Take Ballpark Commons out of the equation and Franklin hasn’t made any worthwhile progress in ages.

THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2019

1) ?
2) ?
3) ECONOMIC GROWTH CONTINUES TO FLOUNDER
4) VELO VILLAGE AND MORE
5) RECYCLING CHANGES
6) THE STRAUSS BRANDS SAGA
7) FORMER HIGH SCHOOL COACH CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT
8) WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE, SO LET’S FUND ANOTHER STUDY
9) FRANKLIN’S NEW LOGO
10) THE CARMEX COMEBACK

The most popular Culinary no-no of 2019

Culinary no-no began on Father’s Day 2007, a beautiful summer day, when I wrote about grilling brats. And eating brats. And topping those brats. I was inspired by my wife, Jennifer who, in my admittedly unscientific opinion, ruins brats by squirting ketchup on them. Other dining taboos quickly came to mind. The original idea was to take this concept only a few months, till the end of summer and then pull the plug. Then the unexpected happened. People started reading Culinary no-no. Lots of folks. So we keep doing the no-no.

We’re well over 600 Culinary no-no installments since we first started almost 12 years ago.

The most popular no-no of the previous year was about one of Milwaukee’s best restaurants, one we love quite a bit.

How can that be?

Take a look.

And here’s a reminder from Culinary no-no #34.

Planning on quietly celebrating New Year’s Eve at home with a Champagne toast or two (or more)?

Remember, it may look and fizz and smell and taste like Champagne, but sparking wine isn’t the real thing.

Only sparkling wines grown and produced in the region of Champagne in France can truly be called “champagne.”

According to wineloverspage.com:

“Never duplicated, unless you can move the entire region — rocks, stocks and barrels — to another country. Because make no mistake about it: it’s the growing conditions in Champagne which makes Champagne the best sparkling wines in the world. The proof? How about the fact that a number of the best Champagne houses – like Moet & Chandon, Roederer, Mumm, and Taittinger – have all established vineyards and sparkling wine facilities in the beautiful state of California, bringing their best people to apply all the skill and experience they have to make the closest thing to Champagne possible. The result? Strikingly Champagne-like wines – fresh, light, yeasty, and zesty. But ultimately, not nearly as deep and flavorful, not nearly as fine and delicate, and not nearly as pure and penetrating as the original stuff. Why? Because it’s grapes that make wine, and the grapes grown in California for sparklers will never be as fine as the grapes grown in Champagne. So in spite of the fact that even the lowest priced Champagne retails for $30 to $40 — the price range reached by only the finest California sparkling wines –it’s real Champagne that outsells the California copies by over 10 to 1. Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.”

This is not to say you shouldn’t pop open an Asti Spumante New Year’s Eve. Hell, you drink what you like. Just don’t call it Champagne because it’s not.

In my opinion, it’s New Year’s Eve. Go for it. If it has to be a sparkling wine, don’t even think of Cook’s or Andre or Cold Duck. That’s like comparing a Coke to Fanta or Diet Rite. That junk is only good to drink after you just came in hot and sweaty from cutting the lawn.

Here’s the lowdown on Champagne from Randal Caparoso at wineloverspage.com.

Whatever your toast du jour is New Year’s Eve, here’s looking up your address!
—Culinary no-no, December 30, 2007

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Photos of the Week (12/29/19)

A pictorial week-in-review posted every Sunday.

 

TIME

CNN

ABC

FOX

NBC

THE TOP 10 FRANKLIN STORIES OF 2019: #4

Not often does Franklin get the opportunity to herald itself with a grand community announcement. One of those rare chances occurred in 2019.

Putting apartments next to a ballpark? Who in the world would ever do that? Turns out Franklin will, and I think it’ll be spectacular.

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In March the Mandel Group, one of the most successful developers in Wisconsin, was selected to work on Velo Village, 265 market rate apartments at Ballpark Commons, north of West Loomis Road and west of South 76th Street.

Velo Village will be next to the Oak Leaf Trail and near the Wheel and Sprocket bike store that opened this year.

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On Wednesday, October 23,  The Milwaukee Business Journal reported:

Contractors started moving dirt on Monday for 265 apartments that will rise south of Ballpark Commons in Franklin and offer several amenities for the avid bicyclist.

The first building will be a clubhouse near the Oak Leaf Trail with a bike repair shop for people riding by, said Ian Martin, vice president, development, for Mandel Group Inc., the Milwaukee-based project developer. The clubhouse will have outdoor patios and fire pits for bicycling events.

The project is named “Velo Village” after the French word for bicycle. The apartments will be south of Rawson Avenue, across from the new baseball stadium at Ballpark Commons. Velo Village’s clubhouse is to open in late 2020, and the first apartments will open to residents in early 2021.

“Construction started on Monday, so we’re not wasting any time,” Martin said. “The Oak Leaf Trail is important for obvious reasons, but I like the connectivity to all the recreational stuff happening on the north side of Rawson.”

Then, the kind of big announcement that normally Franklin can’t seem to pull off. Franklin’s reach.

On November 25, Franklin Mayor Steve Olson attended and spoke at the groundbreaking for Velo Village and was joined by other officials.

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Mike Zimmerman

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1) ?
2) ?
3) ?
4) VELO VILLAGE AND MORE
5) RECYCLING CHANGES
6) THE STRAUSS BRANDS SAGA
7) FORMER HIGH SCHOOL COACH CHARGED WITH SEXUAL ASSAULT
8) WE DON’T HAVE A CLUE, SO LET’S FUND ANOTHER STUDY
9) FRANKLIN’S NEW LOGO
10) THE CARMEX COMEBACK

Week-ends (12/28/19)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…

THIS IS A SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION OF WEEK-ENDS

HEROES OF THE YEAR

Matthew Rittner

Jeanne Nutter

Jayme Closs

Nicole Chamberlain

Irena Ivic

These moms

Matthew O. Williams

NASA women

Paris firefighters

Micah Herndon

Gilbert Serna

Laronda Marshall

Marty Schreiber

Braxton Moral

Clay Warner

Maj. Gen. Maria Lodi Barrett and Brig. Gen. Paula Lodi

Rocker Gene Simmons

Good neighbors

Mike Nowacki

Aiden Jaquez

VILLAINS OF THE YEAR

Jake Patterson

Dalquavis T. Ward

Robin Marty

The TSA

The DMV

Lori Laughlin, husband, and others

Veronica Hilda Theriault

Oakland County, Michigan

The state of Illinois

CNN’s Jim Acosta

These women

James Comey

These border agents

AOC

John West

Maureen Walsh

The MS-13 gang

QUOTES OF THE YEAR

January quotes

“People love you and you win. And when your son looks at you and says, ‘Momma, look you won. Bullies don’t win.’ And I said, ‘Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and we’re gonna impeach the motherf***er.’”
Freshman Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said members were “aghast” at Tlaib, lamenting “a fever” among some colleagues to impeach Trump.

“I don’t like that language.  More to the point, I disagree with what she said. It is too early to talk about that intelligently. We have to follow the facts and get the facts.”
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y.

“Tonight I am speaking to you because there is a growing humanitarian and security crisis at our southern border. Our southern border is a pipeline for vast quantities of illegal drugs, including meth, heroin, cocaine and fentanyl. Every week, 300 of our citizens are killed by heroin alone, 90 percent of which floods across from our southern border. Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.”
President Trump in an address to the nation

“Here are some of the steel slats that the president’s been talking about. But as we’re walking along here, we’re not seeing any kind of imminent danger. There are no migrants trying to rush toward this fence.
CNN’s Jim Acosta in a video meant to downplay President Trump’s claims of a border crisis

“Jim Acosta just posted one of the biggest self owns ever. He’s walking along the border where there’s a wall in place talking about how there’s nothing that ‘resembles a national emergency situation’ and ‘there’s no migrants trying to rush.’ That’s because there’s a wall, Jim.”
Social media strategist Caleb Hull

“Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.”
President Trump in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. A congressional delegation, or CODEL as it’s known, was supposed to be led by Pelosi (D-Calif.) this week. The White House publicly released a letter informing Pelosi that her planned travel to Afghanistan had been “postponed,” shortly after Trump ordered the Pentagon to cancel her Air Force flight to the country. A bus carrying several House Democrats who were to accompany Pelosi was preparing to leave for the airport at the time.

Abortion is “the greatest injustice in our nation. Until it is overturned we will still march. And even if it is overturned we can still march to celebrate life.”
Anna Demeuse, 23, from Green Bay, Wisconsin, who attended the annual March for Life in Washington

“I think they were targeted for what they stood for… which is Christianity, the right for life, and they were singled out and I believe partially because of the color of their skin they were targeted.”
Jill Hamlin, a Covington High School mother, spoke out about the viral video clip depicting an encounter between a group of pro-life teen boys, and a Native American activist. When the initial video of the incident was released–on a Twitter account which has since been suspended–it appeared to show the teen boys mocking a Native American man, Nathan Phillips. Though the boys were widely condemned across social media, extended footage of the encounter released later revealed that they were the ones being harassed.

“The larger message that a lot of people are going to take from this story is that the news media are a bunch of leftist liars who are dying to get the president, and they’re willing to lie to do it.I don’t think that’s true, but … I just think this is a bad day for us. … It reinforces every bad stereotype about the news media.”
CNN chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin after it was learned that a BuzzFeed story about President Trump having allegedly ordered his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to members of special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s staff was false

“The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

“Let’s bury the hatchet and enjoy the next 12 years because they are going to be our last, right? Even worse news, @AOC and her new socialist colleagues seem hell-bent on making sure that our last 12 years will be spent as Venezuelan socialists, not Americans.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) responding on Twitter to Ocasio-Cortez

“Explaining tax rates before Reagan to 5th graders: ‘Imagine if you did chores for your grandma and she gave you $10. When you got home, your parents took $7 from you.’ The students said: ‘That’s not fair!’ Even 5th graders get it.”
Scott Walker on Twitter. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suggested taxing the top earners in the U.S.—people making $10 million—at rates as high as 70 percent to fund a Green New Deal to fight climate change.

“It seems to me that sometimes you have pesky victims that want to talk to the district attorney every day. What do you do about them? This permits harassment, constitutionally.”
State Senator Fred Risser (D-Madison) spoke at a public hearing Wednesday, calling crime victims “pesky” for seeking updates from prosecutors about their cases. Risser made the comments in the state Capitol while pushing against a measure called Marsy’s Law that would add crime victim rights to the state Constitution. Risser said the proposal would create a “bureaucratic problem that’s going to cost a lot of money and delay a lot of things.”

“One thing I want to say, and I want to direct it to you especially. I’m not a pesky victim. I’m a survivor from the things I’ve gone through, and me asking for something does not make me pesky.”
Ariel Ludlum of Sheboygan, who identified herself as a survivor of workplace sexual abuse, also responded to Risser’s comments during her testimony supporting the constitutional amendment

“That call was so bad the NFL is lucky there wasn’t a riot in the Dome.”
Co-host Bobby Hebert on the New Orleans  Saints’ radio post-game show on flagship station WWL-AM, after the Saints lost to the Los Angeles Rams in overtime in the NFC Championship game in the Louisiana Superdome. Saints fans were angry over a blown non-call that should have been ruled pass interference against the Rams.

“I think people sometimes get this impression that UConn, we have this magic dust and our kids are all perfect players and all great students, they all shoot the ball great and every time we shoot it, it goes in and it’s just a matter of how much we’re going to win by. And it’s taken for granted I think. … You’re allowed to get beat once in a while.”
UConn’s  women’s head basketball coach Geno Auriemma after the top-ranked Huskies’ 126-game regular-season winning streak that stretched over five seasons ended with a 68-57 loss at No. 8 Baylor

“Just have sex. Have sex all the time. Even if you don’t feel like it, just have sex. I have found that if we haven’t had sex, we get snippy, and then if we are having sex, we’re all over each other. For us it’s like, ‘Oh, let’s have sex.’ And then we’re just right back in a great mood.”
Model Ashley Graham on the secret to a lasting marriage

February quotes

You know here’s what bothers me. By the time we get to 2020, Donald Trump may not even be president. In fact, he may not even be a free person.”
Massachusetts Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

“An economic miracle is taking place in the United States — and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just doesn’t work that way!”
President Trump during his State of the Union address

“This week, Ocasio-Cortez, one of the faces of the far left, pitched her New Green Deal, which was rightfully laughed out of the room. It called for a complete transition away from fossil fuels…within a decade, upgrading all buildings in the country, and the slaughter of all cows because their farts produce methane. No, I’m not kidding.”
Columnist Matt Vespa

“Heaven has a wall, a gate and a strict immigration policy. Hell has open borders. Let that sink in.”
A family-owned Christian grocery store with several locations in Southeast Arkansas dealt with backlash as customers argued a weekly ad mailer included this controversial political message. The ad book was sent to four Mac’s Cashsaver stores in Arkansas. According to the store, the mailer typically includes a religious or political message.

“The reality is that, when viewed in a wider context, there is nothing unusual about current weather patterns.

“Despite this fact, the media — directly, indirectly, or by inference — often attribute the current weather to global warming. Yes, they now call it climate change. But that is because activists realized, around 2004, that the warming predicted by the computer models on which the scare is based was not actually happening. Carbon dioxide (CO2) levels continued to increase, but the temperature stopped increasing. So, the evidence no longer fit the theory.

“The recent weather is a stark reminder that a colder world is a much greater threat than a warmer one. While governments plan for warming, all the indications are that the world is cooling. And, contrary to the proclamations of climate activists, every single year more people die from the cold than from the heat.”
Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition, and Dr. Tim Ball, an environmental consultant and former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba

“It’s better to err on the side of being safe. But it does concern me a little bit that, in America, on this and any number of other fronts, we’re sending messages to our young people that if life is hard, you can curl up in the fetal position somewhere in a warm place and just wait until it stops being hard, and that isn’t reality. It just isn’t.”
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin who told a talk-radio host that canceling schools for cold weather is an indication that “we’re getting soft”

“If a mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen. The infant would be delivered. The infant would be kept comfortable. The infant would be resuscitated if that’s what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physicians and the mother.”
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) when asked if he’d support a measure that would legalize virtually all abortions up until the moment of birth — and possibly beyond

“The infant would be ‘kept comfortable’ after being born alive, as other people decide whether or not to let her live. This is not ‘pro-choice.’ This is abortion fanaticism, moving seamlessly into a grotesque defense of straight-up infanticide. It’s disturbing. It’s evil.”
Guy Benson is Townhall.com’s Political Editor

“My constituents want jobs. It would have been 25,000 jobs at $150,000 minimum for the job. There were promises for a new school, and as a former teacher, I was intrigued with their plans to have a curriculum in 30 different schools supported by Amazon on high tech. We should be really diversifying our base of taxes, our base of businesses. We are too dependent on financial services.

“It used to be that we would protest wars. Now we are protesting jobs? People are complaining about jobs coming to your [city] … If this had gone through, it would have made overnight New York City the high-tech capital of the east coast, the most important job center for tech jobs.”
Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) was not too happy with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) celebrating Amazon nixing a plan to build a headquarters in New York City

“You say the media is mostly liberal. I agree with you. It’s true. Why can I say that with certainty? Well first of all I’ve been part of this for all my life, I’m 47 now and I’ve been a journalist since I was 17 and the media everywhere is mostly liberal not just in the U.S, but in this country 85 percent of journalists are registered Democrats so that’s just a fact.

“For example, the coverage on Trump, all the time, is negative,” she continued. “There’s no mitigating policy, or event or anything that has happened since he was elected that is out there in the media that you can read about, right? Well, that tells you, that’s distortion of the way things go in real life.

“Although the media has always been left-leaning, we’ve abandoned our pretense or at least the effort to be objective today. We’ve become political activists, and some could argue propagandists, and there’s some merit to that.”
CBS’s Lara Logan in a candid interview with former U.S. Navy Seal, dog trainer, and author Mike Ritland on his Mike Drop podcast

“Not only does Evers’ plan put Wisconsin at odds with federal law, the state’s business leaders are concerned about the impacts marijuana decriminalization will have on workplace safety. Employees who test positive for marijuana use had 55 percent more industrial accidents, 85 percent more injuries and 75 percent greater absenteeism compared to those who tested negative, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Additionally, from 2010 to 2013, car crashes involving marijuana went up 300 percent and, as more states legalize the drug, those rates continue to increase.”
The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the state’s largest business association – urged Gov. Tony Evers to rethink his plan to decriminalize marijuana for recreational use

March quotes

“Special counsel Robert Mueller closed his long and contentious Russia investigation with no new charges, ending the probe that has cast a dark shadow over Donald Trump’s presidency.”
The Associated Press

“Today, Democrats are in mourning. They banked on the Mueller investigation providing all the ammunition they would need to initiate immediate impeachment proceedings in the House and emboldening enough Senate Republicans to remove the 45th president of the United States for the ‘high crimes and misdemeanors’ of criminally conspiring with Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election.

“Yet, within an hour of the Mueller report being delivered  to the Department of Justice (DOJ), at least one DOJ source was quoted as saying that the special counsel was not recommending any further indictments of individuals. Another report indicated that there were no unsealed indictments in hand.”
Bradley Blakeman is an adjunct professor of public policy and international affairs at Georgetown University

“Today’s arrests should be a warning to others: You can’t pay to play, you can’t cheat to get ahead because you will get caught.”
Joe Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the FBI Boston Field Office,  after 50 wealthy people were charged in the largest college cheating scam who  allegedly paid bribes of up to $6.5 million to get their children into elite colleges, including Yale, Stanford, Georgetown and the University of Southern California, federal prosecutors said

“It makes me want to scream. It makes me want to heave. Can you scream and heave at the same time? I mean it’s the most disgusting thing that I have seen in a long, long time.”
Louisiana U.S. Senator John Kennedy expressed his disgust over the college admissions scam

“I’m not for impeachment. This is news. I’m going to give you some news right now because I haven’t said this to any press person before. But since you asked, and I’ve been thinking about this: Impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country. And he’s just not worth it.”
Nancy Pelosi in an interview with the Washington Post Magazine

“Do not ever believe a single word she(Pelosi) says. The person that’s really leading the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., doesn’t think Trump’s impeachment is off the table. I believe her more than Pelosi. Pelosi is utterly controlled by these new radicals.  And she knows her power is in jeopardy every day.  She will go with their every whim.”
Sean Hannity

“Why doesn’t Donald Trump just quit? Why did he even sign up for this in the first place? Not a single person likes to ask this question, although the answer is right in front of us. Because the President saw a weak country on a downward track and in moral decline. He saw a country that had the potential, but no one to tap it. A country that could ultimately give a voice back to the people who keep it running; the forgotten men and women left behind by big money corporations, career politicians, and globalist thinking.

“In the two years since he took the initiative and gave up his career, more Americans are employed than ever before, taxes are cut dramatically, the stock market nears an all-time high, he has successfully renegotiated trade deals and North Korea’s nuclear program, and is working to bring troops home from fighting pointless wars. It’s easy to be down on the President, to say he’s flawed and is learning as he goes, but a lesser man or woman would have given up a long time ago, unwilling to sacrifice as much as he has to Make America Great Again.”
Political consultant Allan Betz

“I’d see that [as] quite possible. You’ve seen California, New York, Chicago and other places in the United States that have already used registration lists that they’ve had to identify people that owned guns to force them to have to turn them in, and get rid of them. It wouldn’t be a stretch at all to see something like that happening nationally.”
Gun rights advocate John Lott Jr. said in an interview that a Democratic president would possibly declare a national emergency on gun violence in order to confiscate firearms

“They (Chick-fil-A) are one of the best tenants you can have for leases. They do more in sales in those stores in six days (a week because Chick-fil-A restaurants are closed on Sundays) than McDonald’s does in seven days. … They’re pretty top-notch.”
Phoenix-based investor Ismail Hamdan on why he purchased a Chick-fil-A building in West Allis. He said the sale marks his first investment in Wisconsin. Hamdan largely invests in Arizona properties, mainly gas stations and related businesses.

“We’re announcing tonight that undocumented folks will be eligible to receive driver’s licenses and ID cards. This makes our roads and our communities safer, and helps strengthen our economy and Wisconsin families.”
WI Governor Tony Evers during his budget address

“Thank God we’re out of here.”
Speaker Robin Vos as he closed the assembly after the governor stepped off the podium having finished his budget address

“The convention represents a tremendous opportunity for Milwaukee and Wisconsin to be on the world stage. This is the chance to show the world what Wisconsin truly is: a great place to live, work, and visit.”
WI Gov. Tony Evers on the announcement Milwaukee will host the 2020 Democratic National Convention

“I’m glad Milwaukee will get the economic boost. Wisconsinites will also get a first-hand look at Democrats’ extreme policies that would reverse the economic progress made under the Trump administration.”
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson

“The bottom line is we’re thrilled that the convention is going to be in Milwaukee. And I’ve said repeatedly … the money coming in is not red money, it’s not blue money, it’s green money and that’s good for Milwaukee and the people of Wisconsin. The key to all this is having the Fiserv Forum and I’m pleased that that’s a vital part of our legacy that we were able to do without raising a tax to pay for it.”
Former Governor Scott Walker on the convention

“Social media, quite frankly, is the toilet of the internet … and what it has done to pop culture is abysmal.”
Lady Gaga, responding to rumors that she and actor Bradley Cooper are having an affair after the two performed a duet on the Oscars

April quotes

“Today, when Mueller says `no collusion,’ Democrats reply, `Thanks, but we’ll keep looking,’”
Georgia Rep. Doug Collins, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee

“I called this a political proctology exam.” Trump had received a “clean bill of health. That should make people very good about democracy. And it should make people feel really great that a campaign I managed to its successful end did not collude with any Russians.

“We’re accepting apologies today, too, for anybody who feels the grace in offering them.

“Intent has never mattered to any of you, respectfully, throughout this whole thing. Was there intent to collude? Was there intent to commit a crime? Was there intent to conspire with Russians? Was there intent to steal the election from poor, old Hillary Clinton, I’m sure for whom most of you voted.

“The intent matters and the president’s intention here was not to do that. And so intent matters and I know you want to cherry-pick one line here or one line there because the big lie that you’ve let fly for two years, it’s over folks.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway speaking to reporters at the White House

“There is indeed an emergency on our southern border. It’s a colossal surge  in illegal crossings), and it’s overwhelming our immigration system. We can’t take you any more. Our country is full.”
President Trump as he traveled to Calexico, California  to view a section of the border barrier and participate in a roundtable on immigration

“I believe that our border is more secure than it’s ever been.”
Democrat presidential hopeful Julian Castro, the former HUD secretary and former mayor of San Antonio

“He wrapped both his hands around my face and pulled me in. I thought, ‘Oh, God, he’s going to kiss me.’ Instead, he rubbed noses with me. (The experience was) weird and uncomfortable, absolutely disrespectful of my personal boundaries.”
Amy Lappos, a former aide to Democratic Rep. Jim Himes of Connecticut, said  that Joe Biden touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses in 2009 at a fundraiser in a private home in Hartford, Connecticut, when Biden entered the kitchen to thank a group for pitching in

“I was standing in a hushed, pained throng along the Quai d’Orléans of the Ile Saint Louis facing the back of the basilica, and when I watched the spire fall, I gasped and choked back tears. In this, I was not alone. Billows of pale yellow smoke rose from the nave. They became iridescent against the sky. The firefighters spraying plumes of water onto what was once the roof seemed tiny against the enormity of the structure.

“How could Notre-Dame be burning? How could Notre-Dame, which had survived for eight centuries—survived plague and wars of religion, survived the French Revolution, survived the Nazis—be falling? Notre-Dame, the heart of Paris, not only a Catholic site but the preeminent symbol of European cultural consciousness, the heart of France, the kilometer zero from which all its farthest villages are measured—how could this majestic structure collapse so fast? I looked around at the faces with me in the crowd. Written on them was sadness, and pain.”
Rachel Donardo, a Paris-based staff writer at The Atlantic

“She paid a terrible price. She was abused through the hearing. She was taken advantage of … I wish I could have done something. The hearing she deserved was a hearing where she was respected.”
Former Vice President Joe Biden on the way senators treated Anita Hill in the 1991 hearing on her accusations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas ahead of his confirmation to the Supreme Court. Biden called Hill to express regret before announcing his campaign for president.

“I cannot be satisfied by simply saying I’m sorry for what happened to you. I will be satisfied when I know there is real change and real accountability and real purpose. The focus on apology, to me, is one thing. But he needs to give an apology to the other women and to the American public because we know now how deeply disappointed Americans around the country were about what they saw. And not just women. There are women and men now who have just really lost confidence in our government to respond to the problem of gender violence.”
Anita Hill has revealed to the New York Times that former Vice President (and newly declared 2020 candidate) Joe Biden phoned her earlier this month to express his regrets about the 1991 Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Hill testified against Thomas at the time, claiming he had sexually harassed her when she worked for him at the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. Biden, who was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and presided over the hearings, has been criticized for his handling of the event.

“No recount in history, in recent American history since we’ve been doing modern voting over the last couple of decades, has seen 6,000 votes. You’re lucky if you get 1,000. It seems like it would be a waste of time and effort.”
Brian Hagedorn on the possibility of a recount in his 6,000 vote WI Supreme Court election victory over Lisa Neubauer who later conceded

“Once it was understood that this year’s race was essentially for control of the Court, conservatives steeled their resolve. Once they recognized that Hagedorn was essentially being attacked for his Christian beliefs, their resolve turned titanium. Repeated attacks on mainstream Christian beliefs as being disqualifying for public office backfired spectacularly, as untold thousands of Christian conservatives (and, anecdotally, even a handful of Christian liberals) viewed them as a personal affront. That was the ultimate motivator.”
NewsTalk 1130 WISN’s Dan O’Donnell on Brian Hagedorn’s win over Lisa Neubauer for WI Supreme Court justice

“We’re making some progress, but not enough to make a difference. I want them out of my district and I want this to stop. These guys need to be caught, prosecuted and fined to the hilt.”
Milwaukee Alderman Russell Stamper II. An ordinance introduced by Stamper would raise the minimum fine for those caught soliciting a prostitute from $500 to $2,500. The maximum, regulated by state statute, would stay at $5,000.

“We’re absolutely in support of this ordinance and this initiative. If you don’t want your face blasted across the news, maybe you want to think twice.”
Milwaukee Police Department chief of staff Nick DeSiato on Stamper’s resolution that would also implement “john shaming,” displaying or putting records out to the public of those convicted of soliciting prostitution

“I was going insane.  My heart started racing, my blood started pumping, I felt warm. I started screaming. I got that paranoia when you think the whole world is after you. I thought there was somebody behind me every single day. It’s hard living your life when you have the ticket everybody wants.”
24-year old Manuel Franco of West Allis, WI stepped forward to claim a $768 million Powerball prize, the nation’s third-largest lottery jackpot, saying he “pretty much felt lucky” the day he bought the winning ticket, but has been worried that people want to steal it

“The government shouldn’t force lottery winners to come forward publicly if they don’t want to. Just because you win the lottery, it shouldn’t mean you lose your right to privacy.”
Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) and Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) are introducing the Lottery Privacy Act to allow prize winners to remain anonymous. The bill authors unveiled the legislation on the day the Wisconsin Lottery announced the winner of the state’s largest jackpot and the third largest jackpot in U.S. history.

May quotes

“I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected. If we don’t impeach him, he will say he’s been vindicated. He will say the Democrats had an overwhelming majority in the House and they didn’t take up impeachment. He will say that we had a constitutional duty to do it if it was there, and we didn’t. He will say he’s been vindicated.”
Rep. Al Green (D-Texas)

“Madam Speaker, did you bring your handcuffs?”
Attorney General William Barr asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) if she brought “handcuffs” for him at the Capitol, following her accusing him of lying to Congress earlier this month. Pelosi smiled and said the House Sergeant at Arms was present if an arrest was necessary, to which Barr laughed and walked away. Some congressional Democrats have called for Barr to be jailed after the House Judiciary Committee voted to hold him in contempt when he ignored a subpoena for the unredacted Russia report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

“There hasn’t been a single mass public shooting in any school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns legally. Since at least as far back as January 2000, not a single shooting-related death or injury has occurred during or anywhere near class hours on the property of a school that allows teachers to carry.”
The conclusion from a new study from the Crime Prevention Research Center after analyzing nearly 20 years of comprehensive data from reliable, respected sources including the National School Safety Centers (NSSC) report, “School Associated Violent Deaths” and the Washington Post’s database of school shootings

“You would need five cramped Priuses to carry all the democrats currently running for president. Four years ago, you would have needed six Ford F-150s to carry all the Republicans running for president. It seems as if these supersized fields of candidates are the new normal; maybe in 2024 the out-of-power party can be the first to hit three dozen. Meanwhile, at the local level, it’s often getting harder to find anyone willing to run for office. A Rice study found that 60 percent of all the 2016 mayoral elections they looked at featured just one candidate running unopposed — a number that’s been on the rise since 2000.”
Joshua Benton, director of the Nieman Journalism Lab

June quotes

“9,388 young Americans rest beneath the white crosses and Stars of David arrayed on these beautiful grounds. Each one has been adopted by a French family that thinks of him as their own. They come from all over France to look after our boys. They kneel. They cry. They pray. They place flowers. And they never forget. Today, America embraces the French people and thanks you for honoring our beloved dead. Thank you.”
President Trump speaking at the ceremony on D-Day

“When they said they used Johnny Hetland’s handcuffs to bring him into custody, the crowd just screamed. Thank God.”
Karla Seidenspinner, who has worked at Teezers Bar & Grill for 17 years. The suspect who law enforcement officials say shot and killed Racine Police Officer John Hetland was arrested one day after Hetland’s funeral. Hetland, a 24-year Racine Police Department veteran, was shot and killed the night of June 17 at Teezers Bar & Grill while trying to stop an armed robbery.

“I am actually kind of sick to my stomach. That’s an intersection I travel through and that my family travels through. It’s sad, it’s tragic and it’s unnecessary. The Milwaukee Police Department has sacrificed so much.”
Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson after off-duty Milwaukee police officer Kou Her was killed in a crash  when a repeat drunken driver ran a red light and hit the officer’s car at North 60th Street and West Capitol Drive

“Mr. Dave Windsor, the (Milwaukee streetcar) system’s manager, told the Committee that his 2020 operating budget is facing a shortfall of as much as $1.5 million. It is true that he said the City was seeking revenues from informational kiosks and other forms of advertisement. It is also true that the City continues to seek corporate sponsorships. The sad fact, however, is that he could put a hard dollar amount to none of these. Far worse, when pressed on what he would do if this new money was not forthcoming and the streetcar’s existing resources ran out, he said flatly that he would turn to the Parking Fund. For those unfamiliar, this is money regularly used for other purposes. This is real City revenue that would be directed to the streetcar.

“How many police officers could we hire to patrol our streets for $1.5 million? How many potholes could we fill? How many streetlights could we replace? How many alleys could we pave? How many homes could have lead paint removed from their walls and windows? By the way, this number will only increase as the grants underwriting the streetcar’s operation expire and the generous contribution of the Potawatomi is spent. How can we, with a straight face, ever complain about not receiving our fair share of state revenue when we are unwisely willing to spend money we do receive on a failed system?”
Milwaukee Aldermen Bob Donovan and Mark Borkowski in a joint statement

“Comey was universally criticized for going beyond his responsibility to state whether there was sufficient evidence to indict Clinton. Mueller, however, did even more. He went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump. By implying that President Trump might have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings. Obstruction of justice is a ‘high crime and misdemeanor’ which, under the Constitution, authorizes impeachment and removal of the president…Until today, I have defended Mueller against the accusations that he is a partisan. I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind. By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.

“No prosecutor should ever say or do anything for the purpose of helping one party or the other. I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action. Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.”
Liberal law professor Alan Dershowitz

“I just passed a television set on the way here. I saw that health care and maximum health care was given to 100% of the illegal immigrants coming into our country by the Democrats.” The Democratic debate “wasn’t very exciting.”
President Trump

“The United States is running concentration camps on our southern border, and that is exactly what they are. They are concentration camps. The fact that concentration camps are now an institutionalized practice in the home of the free is extraordinarily disturbing and we need to do something about it.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

“In concentration camps, people are unjustly sought out and confined. This isn’t what is happening at the border. Migrants are illegally crossing our border. Most are asylum seekers, thus pending trial, so your expert definition doesn’t apply. … Your comments reveal total disregard for our sovereignty & a deep ignorance that belittles the horrors of the Holocaust.”
Rep. Dave Crenshaw responding to Ocasio-Cortez

“This is a very welcoming sign to many of us and it signifies a new direction for Wisconsin. We are showing that we are a welcoming and inclusive state and that means a great deal.”
Democratic state Sen. Tim Carpenter of Milwaukee after a rainbow flag observing Pride Month was displayed over the east wing of the Wisconsin State Capitol

“The US and Wisconsin flags are flown over us as unifying symbols for all Wisconsinites.
The only cause that the Capitol flags should represent is fifty states united in one republic.”
Republican state Sen. David Craig criticized the  move to fly the rainbow flag

July quotes

“The investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”
Robert Mueller in an opening statement as he testified before a House committee

“So Democrats and others can illegally fabricate a crime, try pinning it on a very innocent President, and when he fights back against this illegal and treasonous attack on our Country, they call It Obstruction? Wrong! Why didn’t Robert Mueller investigate the investigators?”
President Trump

“Everything Robert Mueller does has been breathlessly promoted by the media for two years. Even now, after everything has crumbled for the Democrats, they just keep digging. It’s like the old Ronald Reagan joke about the boy shoveling through a room of horse manure saying, ‘there must be a pony in here somewhere!’”
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center, and Tim Graham,  director of media analysis at the Media Research Center

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came. Then come back and show us how it is done. These places need your help badly, you can’t leave fast enough. I’m sure that Nancy Pelosi would be very happy to quickly work out free travel arrangements!”
President Trump tweeting about “The Squad.”

“What will happen is, there will be hundreds of people who come over the border illegally, and my father and other border patrol agents will see them. And these border patrol agents can’t send them back, all [migrants] have to do is have someone that they say is their child, that they say is under 18 with them.

“And they don’t have to have any proof of that. The border patrol will just take them into our country, and it’s very disturbing that there are just floods and floods of illegal immigrants just coming through, [and] their first act in America is breaking the law.”
14-year old student activist Ellie Taylor, whose father is a border patrol agent, in a radio interview

“I think he’ll get resoundingly re-elected. He’ll probably have a 40 state landslide, because what are you going to do? You’re going to put a socialist in place and wreck the entire economy?”
Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director, on President Trump’s chances in 2020

“I witnessed some of the worst, most Machiavellian behavior you can imagine.  I had politicians, including our governor at the time, Thompson, and our mayor, John Norquist, routinely say one thing to my face and do the opposite behind my back.”
Bud Selig in his new book, “For the Good of the Game: The Inside astory of the Surprising, Dramatic Transformation of Major League Baseball.” Selig criticized Tommy Thompson and John Norquist for their role in lining up the financing for Miller Park in the 1990’s. Both Thompson and Norquist would fire back.

“It’s pretty petty. He’s the one trying to make himself out to be a hero. But he was anything but a hero. He didn’t pay a dime for it. The taxpayers built that stadium. He paid for nothing as far as I’m concerned. He never said thank you to taxpayers. I was in on Miller Park from the beginning, stayed up all night helping to get it passed in the Legislature and then signed it into law. He should be down on his knees thanking the taxpayers, legislators and my administration for Miller Park.”
Tommy Thompson

“I tried to interest them in a downtown site, but Selig said his business model was based on having a big parking lot and that suburban fans wouldn’t be comfortable visiting downtown. I pointed out that Summerfest seemed to attract suburbanites, but that didn’t convince him. Bud didn’t see the urban renaissance coming which led to new stadiums being located in downtowns across America.

“How do I feel about being criticized by Bud Selig? Not great, but as Tommy Thompson and I once shared with each other, maybe it’s better than being praised by him.”
John Norquist, former Milwaukee Mayor. The financing package for Miller Park included $90 million from the Brewers, but Norquist and Thompson said most of that came from other sources, including a $40 million naming rights deal with Miller Brewing Co., a concession contract and $20 million from the Bradley Foundation.

“The Women’s World Cup just ended and the team from the United States won. I didn’t say they were representing the United States because it doesn’t seem like they wanted to, they were representing themselves.

“Led by narcissist Megan Rapinoe, they beat up on teams with significantly less skill than they had and celebrated goals against them like they just cured cancer. It’s akin to me beating my 2-year-old in a game of Trivial Pursuit and screaming ‘In your face!’ each time I won a piece of pie. When Alex Morgan scored against England in the semi-finals, she mocked her opponents by pretending to sip tea. Why? Arrogance. It was embarrassing and cheapened the victory.”
Derek Hunter, a Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist

“Researchers quoted by The Washington Post included ‘shaving, flossing, nose picking, hair brushing or habitual hair twirling; newspaper and book reading; and singing, eating and cigarette lighting’ as behaviors that ‘should be addressed.’

“Lawmakers can keep going down this slope and ‘ban’ every single ‘distraction,’ from drinking water to changing the radio station to talking with the person sitting next to you, but instead of saving lives they’ll simply continue to make criminals out of everyone and give unlimited stopping power to police.”
Scott Morefield, a reporter for The Daily Caller, after Tennessee became the 19th state to pass a law that makes it illegal for anyone to touch a cell phone while driving

August quotes

“It’s such a shame that two of our local politicians (I refuse to say their names as they don’t deserve it) are saying that our President is not welcome on Wednesday. I cannot believe how these monsters are using the tragic event to push their political agenda. I lost my brother and sister-in-law on Saturday. My family and I are living a horrible nightmare. The visit from our President will be more than comforting to my family. He will not be here for a political agenda. The two monsters from El Paso, who do not deserve to be mentioned by name nor even the nicknames I have for them, are just pure evil. My brothers body was still laying at Walmart on Saturday night when they decided to make this into a political issue and push their agenda by blaming our President for this. Rather than focusing on the situation and the individual who destroyed the lives of many, these evil people selfishly turned this into a political war. I’m equally as angered by those two as I am with the person who took my brother and his wife from me, typing this I think I feel more animosity towards those two evil politicians.”
Deborah (Viborah) Anchondo, a sister of Andre Anchondo, a victim murdered in the El Paso shooting

“Four percent of violence in this country is attributable to mental illness. That means 96% of violence is not. So if somehow we were miraculously able to cure mental illness, which we’re far from being able to do at this point, we would not be appreciably reducing violence.”
Ronald Honberg, a senior policy adviser for the National Alliance on Mental Illness

“We should challenge students in these schools and have advanced placement programs in these schools. We have this notion that somehow if you’re poor, you cannot do it. Poor kids are just as bright, just as talented, as white kids.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden’s latest cringeworthy gaffe

“Hahaha watch these guys try to knock down @realDonaldTrump for creating 1) a record 6,000,000 new jobs 2) all time low African American unemployment 3) all time low Hispanic unemployment 4) 75 year low female unemployment 5) rising wages for the low wage earners. OK good luck!”
President Trump

“We may not have won the battle of impeachment, but we’re going to win the war of putting him in jail — whatever we have to do, and we’re not going to necessarily play fair.”
MSNBC host Donny Deutsch

“So what you have here is an anchor for a major cable news outlet assuring everyone that when it comes to putting an individual in prison, ‘we’re not going to … play fair.’

“This is how far gone the media now are… So angry, so bitter, so demoralized, such a sorry gang of sore losers that they are now promising to put a man in prison, a sitting president, a family man — and, if necessary, rig the proceedings to make it happen.

“Even when the media were at their previous worst, which was during the George W. Bush era, never could I have imagined a day when an NBC News anchor would admit on television that his professional goal is to put a political opponent in prison, even if that means cheating and lying and gaming the system to make it happen.”
John Nolte, Editor-at-large, Breitbart.com

“Rep. Elijah Cummings has been a brutal bully, shouting and screaming at the great men & women of Border Patrol about conditions at the Southern Border, when actually his Baltimore district is FAR WORSE and more dangerous. His district is considered the Worst in the USA……a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place.”
President Trump

I am “frankly angry to learn of the MCC’s (Metropolitan Correctional Center’s) failure to adequately secure this prisoner.We will get to the bottom of what happened and there will be accountability.”
Attorney General William Barr. Federal authorities moved forward with their investigation into Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse suicide amid mounting evidence the chronically understaffed lockup may have bungled its responsibility to keep him from harming himself.

“He robbed me of my dreams, of my chance to pursue a career I adored. The fact I will never have a chance to face my predator in court eats away at me. They let this man kill himself and kill the chance for justice for so many others.”
Jennifer Araoz, who has accused Jeffrey Epstein of raping her in his New York mansion when she was a 15-year-old aspiring actress. Sixteen of Epstein’s accusers stood before a judge and took advantage of an opportunity to be heard in court after his jailhouse suicide denied them the chance to testify against him at his sex-trafficking trial.

“A business lunch is not strange. Somebody trying to hold your hand during a business lunch is strange — or putting their hand on your knee is a little strange. He was always touching you in some way, and always kissing you.”
Eight singers and a dancer have told the AP that they were sexually harassed by Placido Domingo, the long-married, Spanish-born superstar in encounters that took place over three decades beginning in the late 1980s, at venues that included opera companies where he held top managerial positions

“He’s showing signs of mental confusion. And he’s looking and acting way too old for his political aspirations. If I could talk to Biden, I’d tell him the truth everyone knows but doesn’t have the heart to say out loud: ‘Joe, face reality. It’s time to get off the stage. You don’t need any more of this campaign crap. It’s time to quit while more people still love you than feel sorry for you. While you still have a little dignity left. While you still have time to spend with your family’.”
Michael Reagan

“I think they’re badass. I think young people are more informed and dynamic than their predecessors. I think they’re profoundly courageous, because they’re willing to puncture more taboos and have conversations that, frankly, older generations sometimes struggle to have.”
Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez praised her fellow youths as more “informed” and “willing to go to the streets” than such generations as the Boomers who stopped the Vietnam War and pushed the civil-rights laws and the Greatest Generation, who survived the Depression and won World War II

“How many members of the true Greatest Generation fought and died so @AOC and her generation could have the peace & prosperity they enjoy today?”
Scott Walker’s reaction to AOC

“I just moved here, so I’m lost. I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
Lauren Harvey, 51, in Vero Beach, said this was her first hurricane alone in Florida and that she felt unprepared

“I’ve been in Florida 66 years. It don’t bother me.”
William McDougle commented as he filled up several gas cans as Floridians were busy preparing for a possible hit from Hurricane Dorian

“Governor Evers and legislative Democrats turned the recent tragedies in El Paso and Dayton into a political opportunity to prey upon the emotions of Wisconsinites sympathetic to the victims and their families by recycling worn-out ideas that they knew would have little chance of preventing similar tragedies in the future. Ask yourself who is more likely to undergo a background check prior to purchasing a gun: a person who goes through legal channels or one of the 3,600 felons arrested for possessing a firearm that they already were not allowed to have? Which one is the real threat to public safety?”
State Representative Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin)

September quotes

“But you have so many children. Don’t you worry about the environment? He’s (Trump) TERRIBLE on the environment. I would think that alone could turn you against him! That’s your children’s future!”
Joy Behar of The View interviewing retiring Republican congressman Rep. Sean Duffy and his wife Rachel Campos-Duffy

“I really think it’s hard — I do believe it’s really hard to see when you are in these coastal bubbles. If you live in middle America — we live in rural Wisconsin. The towns have turned around. The factories are back. People have jobs. There’s more jobs than there are people to fill them, and that was not the case [before].”
Campos-Duffy responding to Behar

“I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil. You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives and well-being of countless innocent people. When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity.

“Mass illegal migration is unfair, unsafe, and unsustainable for everyone involved. The sending countries and the depleted countries, and they’ve become depleted very fast, their youth is not taken care of and human capital goes to waste. The receiving countries are overburdened with more migrants than they can responsibly accept and the migrants themselves are exploited, assaulted and abused by vicious coyotes.  Nearly one third of women who make the journey north to our border are sexually assaulted along the way. “
President Trump speaking before the United Nations

“It is possible to do something that is wrong and not be an impeachable offense. and people around here are throwing that term around so loosely, it’s lost all meaning.”
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla

“They (the news media) probably know that Joe Biden and his son are corrupt. But the fake news doesn’t want to report it, because they’re Democrats.”
President Trump has accused the former VP of abusing his power in Ukraine during his time in the Barack Obama administration, allegedly threatening to withhold over $1 billion in US loan guarantees to Kiev unless the government fired a prosecutor then investigating Burisma Holdings, an energy company Biden’s son worked for at the time

“I have a message for those open border activists who cloak themselves in the rhetoric of social justice: Your policies are not just, your policies are cruel and evil. You are empowering criminal organizations that prey on innocent men, women and children. You put your own false sense of virtue before the lives and well-being of countless innocent people. When you undermine border security, you are undermining human rights and human dignity.

“Mass illegal migration is unfair, unsafe, and unsustainable for everyone involved. The sending countries and the depleted countries, and they’ve become depleted very fast, their youth is not taken care of and human capital goes to waste. The receiving countries are overburdened with more migrants than they can responsibly accept and the migrants themselves are exploited, assaulted and abused by vicious coyotes.  Nearly one third of women who make the journey north to our border are sexually assaulted along the way. “
President Trump speaking before the United Nations

“The table is full. Stormy Daniels is there, ready to be dragged back to Congress for her next attempted resurrection. So is Christine Blasey Ford, still talking like a 12-year-old with low self-esteem and unable to recall details of her own life. Michael Avenatti is there, at least until his criminal trials, showing anyone who passes by all the pictures he has of him at parties with CNN anchors. Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director who spent less time in the White House than the average school group on an official tour, is in the corner mumbling to himself about how fat and unstable the president is.

“It’s a sad lot of people the media have used to try to destroy Republicans, none of which panned out, stood up to even basic scrutiny, or left the impression they were anything more than unstable props. Journalists wanted to believe them so badly that any standards or common sense were swept away for a bite at that elusive apple. They’ve become the depressed housewife spending a fortune calling psychics in a search for meaning.”
Derek Hunter is a Washington, DC based writer, radio host and political strategist

“Can someone cite which passage of the Bible God states it is a god-given right to own a gun?”
Actress Alyssa Milano

“The right to self-defense is recognized repeatedly in the Bible, eg Exodus 22:2: ‘If a thief is caught breaking in at night & is struck a fatal blow, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed.’ (Note, though, verse 3 says it IS murder if during daylight (ie, not self-defense). Playing politics w/ these deranged crimes—and trying to use them as an excuse to violate the constl rights of law-abiding citizens—won’t make anybody safer. Forcible gun confiscation (as some 2020 Dems urge) won’t prevent mass-murders. But it would weaken our self-defense.”
US Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) responding to Milano

“When I began my public service in 1968, I said I would know when it was time to step back. After careful consideration, I have determined at the completion of this term, my 21st term in Congress, it will be that time.

“It has been my privilege to serve the people of Southeast Wisconsin and I have found true fulfillment in all the challenges and many accomplishments that have peppered my long career. It is rare when life presents the perfect opportunity to make an impact in a way that has been so meaningful. I am forever grateful.”
Wisconsin Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, a Republican who is the second-most senior member of the House, announced  that he will not seek reelection in 2020. Sensenbrenner said he will retire in January 2021, at the end of his current term.

“Extremely disturbing.  In my mind, when you cut this much from the police department, there will be an uptick in violent crime. We will have more loss of life, more property crime.”
Milwaukee Police Association President Shawn Lauda reacting to Mayor Tom Barrett’s budget proposal reducing the number of sworn officers by 60

“Criminals don’t apply for guns, don’t go under background checks, they steal them. I just don’t know how this would work on an already overworked court system.”
Chippewa County Judge Steven Gibbs reacting to the “red flag” bill introduced by Governor Tony Evers and other Wisconsin Democrats.  The bill would allow judges to seize guns from someone determined to be a threat.The court would have to find reasonable grounds to believe that the person is going to injure themselves or that they are going to injure someone else.

October quotes

“Goodbye, we’ll see you at the polls.”
President Trump speaking to Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the House Majority Leader, as they got up and walked out of a White House meeting

“So some day, if a Democrat becomes President and the Republicans win the House, even by a tiny margin, they can impeach the President, without due process or fairness or any legal rights. All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching. But we will WIN!”
Tweet by President Trump

“You, the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party for so long, have finally come out from behind the curtain.”
Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard fought back after Hillary Clinton appeared to call her “the favorite of the Russians” in a recent interview and said she believes the Russians have “got their eye on somebody who’s currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate”

“And she (Hillary) seriously needs to see a psychiatrist. She needs to talk through this with someone. She’s not dealing with her loss well. She’s acting out and blaming anyone but herself for that loss.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY)

“For as often as the liberal media denounce Trump’s rhetoric, they never seem to have a problem with the extreme language or tactics being employed by Democrats and even their own press colleagues.”
Kyle Drennen, the Media Research Center’s Senior News Analyst

“Donald Trump came into office promising to not start any new wars and to get us out of the old ones our feckless elite had dragged us into, and now that he’s doing it in Syria the usual suspects are outraged. How dare he actually deliver on his promise not to have anymore of our precious warriors shipped home in boxes after getting killed on battlefields we can’t even pronounce, while refereeing conflicts that began long before America was a thing, in campaigns without any kind of coherent objective?

“Conservatives like me still think of ourselves as hawks, but after hard experience we have learned to be hawkish only where America’s interests are directly at stake. We’re not doves. We’re just not going to spill our troops’ blood when we do not absolutely have to.”
Columnist Kurt Schlichter

“This is the reason you love Trump. This president, the point is, will not be intimidated. Whatever it is that upsets them, he doubles down on it, and gives ’em another dose of it while telling the truth. But this is the stuff he does that just coalesces his support with his voters and his base. This is the stuff he does that they love. This is the pushback. This is the real guy who says what he really thinks unfiltered, that makes Trump so approachable and likable to so many people.”
Rush Limbaugh

“Vice President Joe Biden bragged that he was ‘the only one on this stage who has taken on the NRA and beat them, and beat them twice. We were able to get assault weapons off the streets …’

“Yes, and in direct response to that assault weapons ban opposed by the NRA, Republicans swept Congress in the very next election, winning control of the House for the first time in nearly half a century.

“Please, Joe, promise to ‘beat’ the NRA again!”
Ann Coulter

“The Democrats are now Woodstock on steroids. Get free stuff; smoke all the pot you want; watch all the porn you want; kill all the babies you want; change your God-given sex if you want. We’ll even rig the law to force others to pretend with you. Just don’t complain when we run the rest of your lives.”
Robert Knight is a frequent Townhall.com contributor

“A near-record-high 34% of Americans cite the government, poor leadership or politicians as the most important problem currently facing the U.S. This latest reading marks an 11-percentage-point increase since September and is just one point shy of the all-time high Gallup has recorded for mentions of government, from February, after the government shutdown ended.”
Gallup

“I think the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done — well, personally — make the decision to stay in my marriage.”
Hillary Clinton in an interview on “Good Morning America”

“Facebook is the new cigarettes. We have talked about this before. It’s addictive, not good for you. They’re after your kids. They’re running political ads that aren’t true, they’re giving your data to tens of thousands of organization without your knowledge… I think at that point because they are now doing that they should be broken up.”
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff  telling CNN Big Tech needs to be broken up

November quotes

“Trump never told me directly … He did not ever have a conversation with me about the aid. When I asked him, ‘What do you want from Ukraine,’ he said, ‘I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo. Tell Zelinsky to do the right thing.’”
Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland testifying at an impeachment hearing

“On Wednesday, for example, Sondland was supposed to be Schiff’s smoking gun. But he was a dead duck by 10:20 a.m.”
Miranda Devine, NY Post

“For those who find the hearings far from riveting but watch out of obligation or amusement, here’s a modest suggestion to pass the hours productively: Count the important things your representatives could and should be doing otherwise.

“They could seal the border and fix the immigration mess. They could get back to that huge infrastructure program that everybody in Washington said they wanted.

“Pelosi could pass the new NAFTA deal, with even the unions blasting Dems for doing nothing. Nearly eight in 10 Americans believe prescription drug prices are “unreasonable,” according to a recent survey, and both Congress and the White House want action, but there is no agreement on actual legislation.

“And heaven forbid that anyone should mention the debt and deficit.”
Michael Goodwin, NY Post

“No U.S. personnel were lost in the operation, while a large number of Baghdadi’s fighters and companions were killed with him. He died after running into a dead-end tunnel, whimpering and crying and screaming. The compound had been cleared by this time, with people either surrendering or being shot and killed. Eleven young children were moved out of the house un-injured. The only ones remaining were Baghdadi in the tunnel, who had dragged three children with him to certain death. He reached the end of the tunnel, as our dogs chased him down. He ignited his vest, killing himself and the three children. His body was mutilated by the blast, but test results gave certain and positive identification.

“The thug who tried so hard to intimidate others spent his last moments in utter fear, panic and dread – terrified of the American Forces bearing down.

“Last night was a great night for the United States and for the World. A brutal killer, one who has caused so much hardship and death, was violently eliminated – he will never again harm another innocent man, woman or child. He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much safer place.”
From the statement by President Trump on the Death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

“It[‘s] really amazing how many Libs can’t even permit Trump to have *one good day*  after US forces kill perhaps the world’s most wanted terrorist.”
FiveThirtyEight editor-in-chief Nate Silver

“Sadly, this past Sunday, I had to refuse Holy Communion to former Vice President Joe Biden. Holy Communion signifies we are one with God, each other and the Church. Our actions should reflect that. Any public figure who advocates for abortion places himself or herself outside of Church teaching.
Rev. Robert E. Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church in Florence, S.C.

“As she took the stage at approximately 11:25 a.m., (the first lady) was greeted with some cheers but also a resounding chorus of loud boos, which lasted for about one minute. More talking over her remarks went on for about the first two minutes of her speech. The talking has died down, but there is still a lot of audience noise — lots of talking in the background.”
From a White House transcript of the FLOTUS pool report about Melania Trump’s speech at a youth summit urging students to avoid misusing drugs

“We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”
Melania trump in a statement about the booing

“I went for a physical. And I came back and my wife said, ‘Darling are you OK? … Oh they’re reporting you may have had a heart attack.’ I said, ‘Why did I have a heart attack?’ ‘Because you went to Walter Reed Medical Center’ — that’s where we go when we get the physicals. I was only there for a very short period of time, I went, did a very routine, just a piece of it, the rest takes place in January. I got back home and I get greeted with the news that ‘We understand you had a heart attack!’”
President Trump on his abrupt trip to Walter Reed Medical Center, explaining that he’d only gone to undergo a portion of his yearly physical

“‘Amoral and stupid.’ ‘We can’t let the bastards keep us from doing our good work.’ Thank you Governor Evers for those words to DATCP employees after the cowardly firing of Secretary Brad Pfaff by the Wisconsin Senate Republicans.”
A tweet by Cheryl Daniels, a veteran attorney at the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The governor made these remarks during a meeting open to all agriculture department staffers after Pfaff was ousted.

“The governor should immediately make clear if he stands behind his closed-door remarks and thinks that members of my caucus are ‘bastards.’ Either way, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the governor’s public rhetoric doesn’t match what he says when he thinks no one is listening.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald

“We are now at a point where we can safely add uniting Wisconsin to the list of promises that Gov. Evers is not going to keep. It’s sad to hear this kind of rhetoric coming from our governor.”
Alesha Guenther of the state GOP

“If you commit a crime, certainly you should not have a weapon. If you make a threat, same thing. But if someone’s worried you might do something? That’s not what America is about.”
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on the proposed red flag law that would allow guns to be temporarily taken away from people deemed by a judge to be dangerous

“Hallelujah! The tax is dead!This is a great day for taxpayers in southeastern Wisconsin and especially Racine County … I am hopeful that with this chapter behind us everyone, including those that vehemently opposed the tax and even Cubs fans, can enjoy the Brewers product on the field, rather than focusing on who is paying for the field.”
State Senator Van Wanggaard (R-Racine). A sales tax that funded the construction of the Milwaukee Brewers home stadium will sunset next year under a new law signed  by Gov. Tony Evers. Taxpayers in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington, Waukesha and Racine counties have paid 0.1% extra in sales tax for 23 years to fund construction of the $392 million Miller Park in Milwaukee.

“More than a quarter of men in the US would rather their favorite football team win the Super Bowl than their preferred candidate win the presidency, a new poll shows. In a phone survey of 712 adults, 28 percent of guys admitted to caring more about the big game than the next leader of the free world.”
NY Post

“I got the phone call, and I walked out and the kids came in and they didn’t know if I’d won the lottery or seen a ghost.”
Wellie Jackson of North Carolina—the Butterball turkey farmer whose birds were selected for the Presidential turkey pardon

“A 160 pound person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal.”
Dr. Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise

December quotes

“There is zero chance the president will be removed from office.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

“Is this when we just hear staff ask questions of other staff and Members get dealt out of this whole hearing & for the next four hours you’re going to try to overturn the results of an election with unelected people?!”
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) at an impeachment hearing

“I don’t see anything there worthy of actually taking a president out of office. I’m concerned about splitting our nation apart.”
Democratic Rep. Jeff Van Drew  said that he will vote against articles of impeachment that outline the case for President Trump’s removal from office, becoming the first Democrat to publicly say he will not vote with his colleagues.

“The president is impeached,” it’s a “great day for the Constitution of the United States, a sad one for America that the president’s reckless activities necessitated us having to introduce articles of impeachment.”
Nancy Pelosi

“We’ve been hearing from people all over the country.  Seems like people have a spring in their step because the president was held accountable for his reckless behavior.”
Nancy Pelosi

“They want to take away my vote and throw it in the trash.”
Rep. Chris Stewart of Utah

“We face this horror because of this map. They call this Republican map flyover country, they call us deplorables, they fear our faith, they fear our strength, they fear our unity, they fear our vote, and they fear our president.”
Rep. Clay Higgins of Alabama  speaking before a poster of red and blue states

“I could not in good conscience vote against impeachment because I believe President Trump is guilty of wrongdoing.  I also could not in good conscience vote for impeachment because removal of a sitting President must not be the culmination of a partisan process, fueled by tribal animosities that have so gravely divided our country.”
Longshot Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard voted “present” on two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump

“You’re a damn liar man, that’s not true. And no one has ever said that, no one has proved that. And by the way, I’m not sedentary. Look, the reason I’m running is because I’ve been around a long time and I know more than most people know, and I can get things done, and that’s why I’m running. And if you want to check my shape, let’s do pushups, let’s do whatever you want to do, let’s take an IQ test.”
Joe Biden called a man a “damn liar” during a heated exchange at a campaign event in New Hampton, Iowa. The remark came after the man brought up the conspiracy theory that Biden secured a position on the board of Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company, for his son, so that his son could sell access to the president. Biden also called the man, an unidentified farmer, “fat.”

“School property taxes across Wisconsin are rising by more than $220 million on December 2019 tax bills, which suggests — when combined with increases in county and technical college district levies — that Wisconsin residents could see their largest property tax increase in a decade.”
From a report by the nonpartisan Wisconsin Policy Forum

“People are concerned about a bump in their property tax bill.”
Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said Republican lawmakers are eyeing legislation in the new year to help reduce property tax bills that are the highest in a decade

“I personally hope Rebecca Kleefisch runs for governor. I think she would win, and I think she’d be a hell of a great governor.”
Former Gov. Scott Walker speaking at the Milwaukee Press Club

OUTRAGES OF THE YEAR

New York and other states

Euthanasia expert invents death pod with ‘die button’ that kills victims ‘within minutes’

Rising disrespect for cops not only wrong, it puts us in danger

Parents outraged as public schools sneak sexually explicit books into kids’ libraries

Rents in cities across the US are more expensive than ever before. Here are 5 drastic measures people are taking to avoid rising housing costs.

Starving seniors

1.3 billion tons of food being wasted each year

Entitlement programs are strangling the U.S. economy

6-foot, 5-inch male wins girls’ running event, named ‘Woman of the Week’

Evers delivers taxpayer-funded sex changes

Why are taxpayers spending millions on abandoned MPS buildings?

MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE YEAR

Impeach

MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORIES OF THE YEAR

These crimes

Down time: Wisconsin has lost 10,000 non-farm jobs on Evers’ watch

Why Trump’s gains with black voters could swing the 2020 election

A growing number of states and cities are letting residents identify as neither male nor female

Federal Report: 220,300 Public School Teachers Physically Attacked by Students

State To Suspend All New Milwaukee Area Road Work For One Month Surrounding Democrat Convention

MOST UNUSUAL STORIES OF THE YEAR

The Jeffrey Dahmer tour

Murderer ‘Dies,’ Is Resuscitated, Then Says He Completed His Life Sentence

No, We Don’t Need A Federal Bureau Of Tampons To Solve ‘Menstrual Poverty’

The wedding cake made entirely out of cheese

In Lieu of Gifts, Please Make a Down Payment on Our New Home

Firefighter stages dramatic attic blaze to propose

Australian twin sisters claim they both intend to get pregnant by same ‘very happy’ boyfriend

Airport secrets

Utah firefighters get purple manicures. Read why.

Survey: Average American Hasn’t Made A New Friend — In 5 Years!

Vegan says she is ‘traumatized for life’ after eating pok roll

Lawmaker who wants to clean up pigeon poop gets pooped on during TV interview

Nearly half of Americans don’t change underwear daily, new survey says

Twins were headed to a festival…

Man wakes up…WHERE?

Urine therapy

Easter mannequin display

Lent and beer

What would happen if you didn’t shower for a year?

 

Fake news of 2019; Christianity Today silent on Obama; the best of times; and a Reagan ceasefire

Here are this week’s highly interesting reads:

Today’s highly interesting read (12/27/19): Celebrating a Christmas Ceasefire

Today’s highly interesting read (12/26/19): We’re living in (almost) the best of times

Today’s highly interesting read (12/24/19): Christianity Today, Where Were You Under Obama?

Today’s highly interesting read (12/23/19): 12 Stories The Media Got Horribly Wrong In 2019

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (12/28/19)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE FOLLOWING IS A SPECIAL YEAR-END EDITION OF THE BARKING LOT

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Cloudy in the morning, with rain developing after 9:00. 80% chance of rain throughout the day. High of 41. “D”

SUNDAY:
  Light rain early, ending after 8:00. Then cloudy the rest of the day. High of 58. “B”

Here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer, with this week’s main blog. And since this is a year-end special we thought we’d begin with the most popular BARKING LOT of 2019. Jennifer wrote in July:

I’ve blogged several years in a row about “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”  I think it’s an adorable idea IF all circumstances are favorable. I’ve blogged about cat- and dog- cafes, and supported dog-friendly outdoor dining establishments.  Heck, if I lived in TX I might even catch a flick here.  I think dog-inclusive special events can be fun – ballparks, walk/run fundraisers, pet parades, etc. can be wonderful opportunities for owners to have a good time with their furry friend.

Then there’s the whole New York Dog-in-a-Bag debacle.  In all honesty I’ve never ridden a NY subway so I can’t speak from personal experience.  But knowing me I’d try to make friends with a grizzly New Yorker just so I could pet their dog, and would probably be pick-pocketed in the process.

As readers of The Barking Lot know, the Fischer Family does NOT own a dog despite consistent pleading from two of the three members.  But if we did, I truly believe we would err on the side of caution and intentionally not bring our dog along on too many excursions.  Despite the fact that our daughter is now officially a tween we still don’t travel as lightly as I would like to, even to an ethnic festival or water park adventure.  Bringing a dog along with all that it too would need really isn’t my idea of a good time. I’m a pack mule as it is!

My point is while I do recognize the appeal of having your dog buddy with you on certain occasions, I don’t think you really need to bring him/her everywhere.  Not as much fun for you OR your pooch.  Renee Moilanen shares a similar perspective. 
—July 20, 2019

Another Jennifer entry examined an issue that I’m sure pops up in neighborhoods all across the country:

In our subdivision in God’s Country, USA, the neighbors care deeply about taking care of their lawns. I would say the compliance rate is a proud 99% (Nobody’s perfect).

One front lawn down the street is especially pristine, consistently resembling a freshly manicured major league baseball field. No weed would ever dream of popping up there.

Because the owner is so meticulous he naturally, I’m sure, has a deep sense of satisfaction about what his green thumb has achieved. So his caring includes taking a certain precaution that his spotless grass remains that way.

You know those tiny little flags Diggers Hotline sticks in the ground? This property owner has made similar ones and inserted them right at the curb that read in small lettering:

NO DOG PEE PLEASE

Nothing fancy or expressive. No colors or illustrations. Nothing real big.

He had other options.

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No Dog Peeing 12"W x 18"H
He went for the simple homemade variety.

Can you blame him for his signs?

Dog urine is rich in nitrogen, a definite lawn killer when enough is deposited over time.

“The high concentration of nitrogen, from urea in urine, and associated salts found in dog urine essentially burns the grass it directly hits,” said Theresa Smith, director of marketing for Natural Alternative.

If a lawn has many brown spots around dark green grass that’s probably the result of dog urine.

“The areas surrounding that spot will be lush and green, thanks to the added nutrients not being so concentrated,” said Smith.

Can some dogs be more damaging than others?

“Dog spot damage is more prevalent with female dogs due to the fact they squat in a single place, while male dogs generally leave their calling cards in multiple areas around trees and other upright objects,” Smith said.

Those warning signs you can purchase…are they really necessary? In this day and age, unfortunately, yes.

Here in Franklin I’ve never seen an irresponsible dog walker. But we know not everyone is built the same.

Let’s travel north of the border. A Toronto realtor blogged in 2013 that a great family neighborhood called Riverdale, despite how wonderful it is, has plenty of those signs posted.

The blogger at the time had clients Patrick and Nicole.

The boiling point came one day this fall when he was standing on his front porch, with his two kids, and a neighbour walked by with her poodle.  The poodle stopped, and started to take a poop.

“Nice day, isn’t it?” Patrick said, from his front porch, as this lady’s poodle took a crap.

“Lovely!  And your daughters – they’re so beautiful!  I love those little dresses!” she said.

The lady picked up the dog poop with a bag, the poodle ripped up the lawn with her back legs as dogs do when they finish, and the lady smiled, and walked away.

Patrick told me, “This lady had no shame at all – thought nothing of letting her dog take a crap on MY lawn, right in front of me!”

The problem isn’t that Patrick can’t be on guard all the time; the problem is that many people don’t think this is anything to be fussed about!

And for certain – most dog-owners don’t think this is an issue, and that’s why the poop-problem persists.

I’ve talked to dog owners that say, “It’s a natural bodily function, and we all do it!  You can’t be so uptight not to expect a dog takes a teenie-tiny whiz on your lawn!”

And everybody poops, too, following that logic.

You can read the entire Toronto blog here.

Our grass-loving neighbor (whom I don’t know and have never met) has spent a lot of time, energy, and $$$ to develop a blue ribbon lawn. His signs look fine to me.
—June 29, 2019

One more. And it’s not surprising. Jennifer found that even dogs can be political.

Regular readers know, and my hubby teases me about it, that on the dog blog I prefer to write about the science and psychology around dogs. This week there’s definitely some psychology involved. But I believe for the first time on The Barking Lot I will get political.

Please don’t go away. This is very interesting, I promise, and won’t (shouldn’t) get you all riled up.

Nope. None of that.

So, are you a dog owner?

Or a cat owner?

Do you consider yourself a Democrat?

Or Republican?

And is there a connection between pet owners and political persuasion?

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I want this man’s job.

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Stanley Coren who’s been mentioned before on this blog is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate in Psychology is from Stanford University. He is best known to the public for his popular books on dogs and on general psychological issues. Considering he writes about psychological topics his style is wonderful.

Coren was asked if research exists specifically detailing if pet ownership shows how a person votes. The professor answered in his latest column…yes.

“Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this data set comes when we break down the effect of pet ownership as a predictor of voting behavior and look at the influence of dog ownership versus ownership of cats.”

Coren worked hard to discover the information and substantiate what he found. And his conclusions demonstrate yet another variation between dogs and cats, or in this case, their owners.

Think you know what Coren learned?

He went the extra mile to answer a colleague’s query. I know you’ll find Coren’s column quite interesting.

Professor Coren, keep up the fascinating work!
—August 31, 2019

Thank you, Jennifer, for your dedicated work all year!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

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US stops sending sniffer dogs to Jordan and Egypt.

Florida vet removes stick from dog’s mouth that was likely there for years, shelter says.

Like we always say: Love a happy ending.

Did you like that ending? Well, we’ve got another one.

Could we possibly have a third happy ending? Oh yeh.

And now from the “naughty dog” file.

And the biggest dog news story of 2019? That’s easy. Conan. And some others.

Oh, and we stumbled upon this item. The most read Dear Abby advice column of 2019 was about, you got it.

THAT’S IT FOR DOGS IN THE NEWS.

HERE’S OUR DOG PHOTO(s) OF THE WEEK.

https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/360886406844d320c775c1eb39778d3421ebe579/0_0_5568_3712/master/5568.jpg?width=1920&quality=85&auto=format&fit=max&s=19dbc0600667c521de298839db7e2839

Reggie was fitted with a lifejacket to keep him safe in case he went overboard - while others had to wade through the waters

In Kent, UK, Reggie the dog is rescued by boat from the flood-hit Little Venice Country Park and Marina, Maidstone, after heavy rain. Reggie was fitted with a lifejacket to keep him safe in case he went overboard – while others had to wade through the waters. Photos: Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images

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Thanks to the quick actions of emergency responders, a dog named Charlie is safe at home with his family after he ran away and broke through ice. According to the Plymouth, Minnesota Fire Department, it was on Tuesday, or Christmas Eve, when Charlie ran away, broke through ice and got stuck in the marsh. The family attempted to rescue him, but also broke through the ice. By the time responders arrived, the family was safe. Firefighters in “mustang suits” (ice rescue gear) helped find & reunite Charlie with his family.

Now for some noteworthy dog photos from 2019.

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Of course. Had to include that one. Here are some more.

Overall Winner and 1st Oldies Denise Czichocki ©

Every year, the Kennel Club honors dog photographers from all around the world by holding the Dog Photographer of the Year contest. This year’s overall winner and first-place winner of the Oldies category was “Dreaming Merlin,” taken by Denise Czichocki of Switzerland. Oldies is a category highlighting canine senior citizens.

“I was lucky to find this beautiful magnolia tree near my home in Switzerland, said Czichocki.  “And still more lucky to get the chance to take photos of wonderful dogs in these magnolia. Merlin was one of them. He is a 14 year old Podenco rescued from a shelter who is happy to live his life since two years in a lovely home in Switzerland. It wasn’t easy to take photos of him because of his absolutely deafness. So I couldn’t work with noises to get his attention…afterwards it wasn’t necessary. He gave me so many beautiful moments as you can see in this picture. This is Merlin, beautiful, dreamy and kind of wise. A wonderful old dog with so much charisma.”

The runner-up in the Dogs at Play category…

2nd Dogs at Play Zoltan Kecskes ©

“Let’s jump rope together!” taken by Hungarian photographer Zoltan Kecskes.

“The girl you can see in the picture is Kathleen and her dog is called Rebel,” said Kecskes. “She is actually a trainer. She teaches tricks to dogs. We live in the same town but met on social media. I saw her videos of doing these awesome tricks with her dogs and I just knew that I had to photograph them. I was particularly interested in the skip roping trick. I think the most challenging part was to find the right focal length and angle to capture them in a way that really showed how awesome was what they were doing. I love shooting against the sun. You lose some details and a bit if sharpness when you bring the shadows up, but for me it’s worth it, I just love the atmosphere of those shots.”

A baby goat kisses a dog at the Pet Expo 2019, a pet show in Bucharest, Romania, April 13, 2019.

A baby goat kisses a dog at the Pet Expo 2019, a pet show in Bucharest, Romania, April 13, 2019
. Photo: AP

And this photo comes from Officer Ben Rexroad of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office in Colorado. Pictured is his K-9 partner, Ringo. You will see that Ringo lacks any sense of personal space.

PoliceOne image

We close as we always do with our closing video.

Watch the video in this online article: Dog Detectives: Inside Training Cadaver Dogs and Their Handlers.

And here are some videos we brought to you in 2019.

How often have we said dogs are truly amazing? WKOW-TV in Madison reported in November.

Certified therapy dog, a Barking Lot favorite, the amazing Surf Dog Ricochet, Army Veteran Jose Martinez and Marine staff sergeant Persons B. Griffith IV (Ret) AKA Griff have joined forces to share their experiences in an effort to heal, change and save the lives of wounded warriors, veterans with PTSD, kids with special needs and others who face physical, emotional or cognitive challenges.

For 30 years, professional violinist Martin Agee has performed in some of the world’s most renowned music venues. But two years ago, he landed his favorite gig.

WHEW! That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by throughout 2019.

Please consider passing this along to other dog lovers you know.

See ya, BARK, next Saturday morning!