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Today's Opinion

Walker won’t commit to more vouchers

LAUREL — To Gov. Scott Walker for not committing to an expansion of the statewide school voucher plan. The program was expanded statewide two years ago but was capped at 1,000 students outside the Milwaukee-Racine area. The Republican-controlled Legislature and Walker have hinted at wanting to eliminate the cap but the governor has been mum on the subject since the election. Adding more vouchers may make sense long term, but public schools must serve all students and they’ve been under heavy financial pressure since Walker cut their budgets to balance the state budget four years ago. Going slow is good strategy.

Van Hollen takes a poke at the press


Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who didn’t run for re-election and will be leaving office on Jan. 5, took a jab at the press in an interview this week with The Associated Press.

Van Hollen served two terms as attorney general and surprised many political insiders when he decided not to run for a third term. This week he also said he would not be a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court as some had speculated he might.

That’s not ethics; it’s just politics

The poor attendance at the city’s Licensing and Permit Committee meetings by two aldermen is interesting, but it’s not really an ethical issue. It’s just politics.

Local Columnists

My white (album) Christmas


1968 was a messed up year. Everybody was convinced that things were going south. At times, this was literal truth. The Alabama governor whose main campaign promise was to keep black people out of college got 14 percent of the presidential vote and carried four states.

This was the year of the Generation Gap. Our parents were on the side that held a deep loathing for a world in which hundreds of kids get clubbed and tear gassed in Chicago, but had an odd sense of nostalgia for a world where Hitler killed millions.

Didn’t the city already decide this?

By Steve Lund


One of the reasons Kenosha has a surplus of controversy is nothing ever gets settled.

7 thinks I like about winter

I am a summer person. I love everything about summer, heat and humidity included. I love being outside and smelling things growing. I love taking my kids to parks. I love going to the beach and pools. I love opening the windows of my house. In fact, I can’t think of anything I don’t like about summer, except for hearing people complain about how hot they are.

By contrast, I am not a winter person. I’m a lot more Princess Anna than Queen Elsa, to put it in terms of characters from “Frozen,” my daughter’s favorite movie. My feet are cold from October until April, no matter how many pairs of socks I put on. I want to be one of those women who look so cool and put together in their winter gear, but I’m just not. My hands are cracked and dry, my lips are chapped, and I have static-y hat hair. By the time January rolls around, I can’t find my regular hat and I end up wearing a weird old one I find in the closet. My gloves don’t always match. It takes 20 minutes just to get me and my two kids ready to leave the house. I don’t like going outside and feeling like the wind is punching me in the face. I try to keep my time out of doors to a minimum.

Syndicated Columnists

Quotas could harm women


Women deserve more seats in the highest corporate echelons. But a mandate is the wrong way to get there.

Germany seems to disagree. After months of debate, the German Cabinet recently imposed a quota for women on big companies’ boards. The policy was a response to the fact that women are underrepresented in leadership positions: They comprise 46 percent of the labor force but hold just 15 percent of supervisory board seats at Germany’s 200 biggest companies.

A win for the Cuban people


President Obama’s historic opening to Cuba is long overdue — and has a chance of hastening the Castro dictatorship’s demise. Critics of the accord should explain why they believe a policy that has failed miserably for half a century could ever work.

What is it about Cuba that makes reasonable people take leave of their senses? The United States maintained full diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union throughout the Cold War. Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, hardly a couple of peaceniks, opened the door to China. History argues powerfully for engagement as the best way to deal with repressive, adversarial regimes. Yet hard-liners insist Cuba must be treated differently.

How to fight the lone wolf


The lone wolf is the new national nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney, Australia. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.

The real terrorists are rational. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, had been functioning as an Army doctor for years. Psychotics cannot carry that off. Hasan even had a business card listing his occupation as S of A (Soldier of Allah). He then went out and, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” shot dead 13 fellow soldiers. To this day, Hasan speaks coherently and proudly of the massacre. That’s terrorism.

Politics in Video

Voice of the People

City Council vote helps Boys & Girls Club
Students shouldn’t fund raise for trips

Orchestra concert was a sweet treat
City’s failed to prove need to expand streetcar


City should spend on street repairs, not streetcars