President Barack Obama finally started talking about the deficit last week, but not the budget deficit.
LAUREL — To Kenosha Alderman Curt Wilson for creating 19 new Neighborhood Watch groups since last summer, bringing the total in his district to a city best of 33. Neighborhood Watch groups consist of residents from a one- to three-block area who organize and keep an eye on their neighborhood. Kenosha devotes two full-time police officers to this program and they can help a neighborhood get organized. Maintaining a group involves a small time commitment for residents but it has the potential to reduce crime and keep neighborhoods safer.
State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, D-Alma, appears more and more like a candidate for governor, a prospect that brings no joy to some prominent Democrats.
Vinehout said she won’t make an official announcement until January, but she has hired someone to manage a statewide campaign. That wouldn’t be necessary if she was simply running for re-election in her western Wisconsin Senate District.
The international agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program has generated anxiety in Israel, and elsewhere. Middle East uncertainty underscores the growing importance of Turkey, a democracy with strong ties to both Iran and the West.
In late March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel telephoned Turkey Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to apologize for a notorious 2010 incident when Israeli armed forces boarded a Turkish ship attempting delivering supplies to occupied Gaza.
I believe in Santa Claus. Not necessarily in the commercialized red-suited gent that shows up in stores everywhere after Thanksgiving, though. As fun as this Santa might be, what I believe in is the spirit of Santa Claus, or better yet his origin in St. Nicholas.
Nicholas was a fourth century saint and Greek bishop who had a reputation for secret gift-giving. Nicholas was the only son of wealthy parents who died during an epidemic when he was young. He was raised and educated by an uncle who was also a bishop. It is said that Nicholas used his inheritance to help the poor and the sick. Over the years, stories of his miracles and generosity to the poor spread to other parts of the world and he became known as a protector of children.
I’ve turned over my calendar. December is here. Winter might be on its way but despite frigid temps, slush, sleet, or snow, I love these few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas — my two favorite holidays of the year.
What I don’t like very much is the rushing of the Christmas season. You know what I mean. When I was running errands and doing some shopping on Halloween, dismay greeted me in many stores.
For more than three decades, working class Americans receded as cultural heroes, replaced in the popular imagination by swashbuckling entrepreneurs, brilliant innovators, and shrewd investors who make millions at the touch of a computer key.
It was not always this way. In the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, the people who operated the trains, worked the machines and tended the farms were stars of film and fiction. Think of Frank Capra movies such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and the fiction of John Steinbeck, including his underappreciated novel, “In Dubious Battle.” It was a more democratic and egalitarian culture whose soundtrack was Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.”
We have reached a new level of political absurdity when the right is mad at the pope and the left wants to anoint his head with oil.
Everyone seems to have his own special version of Pope Francis. Liberals have declared him a crusader for social justice, especially regarding his comments about global inequality. Conservatives fear he just might be a commie.
One example of how this works can be found in a provision of the president’s law requiring insurance companies to spend at least 80 percent of premiums on medical care.
It sounds like it’s designed to stop excessive profits, but what it really does is keep prices high. Why? If medical costs for a patient are, say, $80, the insurance company can collect $100 in premiums and keep $20 for their own expenses and profit. But, if medical costs double, the insurance company can keep $40.