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Practically Speaking

Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.

Happy Independence Day

History, Holidays, Special events

Today our nation celebrates the 235th anniversary of declaring our independence from England with parades, picnics, and fireworks. At church yesterday, we were reminded to pray for our nation and for our leaders.

While I'm not planning on attending our Brookfield parade or fireworks, I do hope to get my gardening chores finished early enough to stop in at the Elm Grove Village Park to see the Revolutionary War re-enactment. What a great idea, Elm Grove! Thanks for focusing our attention on the price that was paid for our freedom.

Hope you enjoy this beautiful day and take a moment to give thanks for this wonderful country and the blessings of liberty we enjoy.


God bless America
God bless America,
Land that I love,
Stand beside her and guide her
Thru the night with a light from above;

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.
God bless America,
My home, sweet home.


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Rebels & Redcoats Revolutionary War Reenactment July 9&10, 2011

History, Special events, WISCONSIN

On July 4th, the Village of Elm Grove hosted a Revolutionary War camp complete with re-enactors as part of their 4th of July festivities. Unfortunately, I got there just in time to see them pack up!

But in talking to one of the soldiers, I found out that the group, The North West Territory Alliance - NWTA, would be holding a much larger event this coming weekend at Fox River County Park in Kenosha County, near Silver Lake, Wisconsin. Called Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox, this event will be a much larger encampment and would even include skirmishes. (Though the link was for registering for the event, it also includes a map and directions to the park.)

The NWTA is a "...non-profit educational organization that studies and recreates the culture, lifestyle, and arts of the time of the American Revolution, 1775-1783." They have over 500 reenactors from the Midwest and participate in reenactments in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Wisconsin throughout the year. (Their next Wisconsin event is scheduled for Sept. 3&4 at Pioneer Village in Saukville, Wisconsin.)

So take a step back into history this Saturday and Sunday, July 9th and 10th, and witness Rebels and Redcoats on the Fox.


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Tell Congress to tel Mr. Obama, No new taxes! Cut, Cap & Balance instead +P.S.

Conservatives, Legislation, President Obama, THE ECONOMY, United States

Hitting the Debt-Ceiling has been in the news for months now. Though in theory we surpass our borrowing limits on Aug. 2nd, we don't have to default on our loans as the President threatens because the Treasury can choose which bills to pay--the essential--and which to not pay--the non-essential.

Our government had prepared to shut down those non-essential services, such as the National Parks, back on April 8th. (I was well aware of that possibility, because we had plans to leave on a 15 National Parks and Monuments vacation in the southwest on the very next day--April 9th!) The shutdown never happened however, because Congress passed a stop-gap measure near midnight on April 8th.

Then there was discussion that the debt limit would be reached in mid May. They got through that crisis by tapping into the Federal worker pension fund and using the $200-some billion that flows into the Treasury every month. But now we are hitting our borrowing limit, the debt-ceiling, again.

We have enough revenue; we just spend too much. Yet the President's solution to his debt crisis is to raise the debt-ceiling limit and increase taxes on the rich. (Maybe he is channeling his inner Herbert Hoover?) The words cut spending don't ever seem to be in Obama's vocabulary.

Our economic recovery is in the doldrums. It has even been called a growth-less recovery by Obama's former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the President sees raising taxes as our only solution?

Raising taxes on anyone right now is NOT the solution to our debt problem. Instead, we need to Cut , Cap & Balance our spending and live within our means by cutting spending and debt and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would include a "spending limitation and super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses".

Take a moment to sign the Cut, Cap & Balance pledge and then contact your Senators and House Representative and urge them to pass the Cut, Cap & Balance Act of 2011 introduced on Thursday by Senators Toomey, Paul (Rand), Lee, Blunt, Vitter, Sessions, DeMint and our own Ron Johnson. The CC&B Act currently has 21 co-sponsors.

Let your representatives in Washington D.C. know your views on the debt-ceiling problem.

Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111

President Obama would like to settle our debt problem now, before the summer recess in August, and with enough spending cushion so the borrowing ceiling/spending issue doesn't come up again until after the 2012 elections. This spending crisis is too important to just push on down the road until after November 2012. Make the calls!

Post Script: I tried calling House Speaker John Boehner's office Friday to implore him to stand firm on NO NEW TAXES or fees or tax code loopholes or whatever he would call a revenue increase but couldn't get through on his Representative phone line and mailbox was full (202) 225-6205. I then tried his House Speaker phone line (513) 779-5400 and it was the same story. I'll take that as a good sign that people are hammering him with 'No more spending and no more taxes of any kind'. I will keep trying.

Cut , Cap & Balance Pledge

More reading: As debt talks ramp up, spending cuts not enough for some Republican senators
Schumer confirms White House considering ignoring debt limit

WSJ Obama's Debt-Ceiling Opportunity
WSJ Inside the Disappointing Comeback
Obama to raid Federal pension pot as United States reaches $14 trillion borrowing limit today

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Simac & Steitz advance to Aug. 16th recall election

Elections, WISCONSIN, TAXES, Politics

Though our area State Senators Leah Vukmir and Rich Zipperer are not facing recall elections this August, the results of these recall elections on Aug. 9th and Aug. 16th are still very important for everyone in our state. These recall elections will determine if Republicans hold their majority in the State Senate or not.

I was pleased to learn that Northwoods Patriots Tea Party founder Kim Simac won over her opponent in Senate District 16 way up north (Rhinelander, Eagle River). Her election website Kim Simac for State Senate cleverly bears the subtitle: A Leader Who Won't Run Away, in reference to her opponent, Dem. Senator Jim Holperin, who fled the state rather than take a vote.

Obviously, Simac is a conservative! I first became acquainted with her and the Northwoods Patriots when Simac spoke at the Madison Tea Party rally in 2010. With that kind of grassroots support, I would think she has a good chance of defeating Democrat incumbent Holperin on Aug. 16th.

Former small business owner and attorney Jonathan Steitz won his 22nd Senate District primary yesterday. Much like U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, who stepped forward out of the private sector to run against incumbent Democrat Russ Feingold, Jonathan Steitz has a business background. He will be running against Democrat Bob Wirch on Aug. 16th.

Jonathan Steitz has been sending me press releases since he announced his candidacy in mid May. "We need lower taxes, less government regulation, and common-sense policies that will encourage economic growth for our area," Steitz stated. And that sentiment has become the subtitle for his election website Steitz for Senate: Simplify taxes, reduce regulation and create jobs.

Wisconsin needs conservatives like Simac and Steitz in Madison. I wish them much success.

You can keep up with the latest election information at WisPolitics Election Blog

Don't forget that on Aug. 9th, 6 Republican Senators will be defending their seats in Madison against Democrat opponents. My blogging acquaintance Randy Melchert has posted an assessment of all 9 recall elections. His blog includes the vote total percentages Prosser received in April in their districts and his projections about wins and losses. Check it out.

Yesterday, was the first of the recalls with Democrat Hansen holding his seat in Green Bay against David Vanderleest, who Republicans weren't really promoting. (Republicans flubbed this recall primary big time by not submitting enough nomination signatures for John Nygren, who was the real contender. Thus it was the actual election instead of a primary.)

Aug. 9th is recall election day for Republican Robert Cowles for District 2 -- Shawano , for Republican Alberta Darling in District 8 -- Mequon (north shore, Menomonee Falls too), for Republican Sheila Harsdorf in District 10 -- River Falls, for Republican Luther Olsen in District 14 -- Ripon, for Republican Randy Hopper in District 18 -- Oshkosh/Fond du Lac, and for Republican Dan Kapanke District 32 -- LaCrosse. Kapanke is a good guy and unfortunately, he looks to be the most vulnerable.

Then there are the last 2 recalls on Aug. 16th with Democrat incumbents defending their seats against Kim Simac and Jonathan Steitz.

I am sure any one of these candidates would appreciate a donation or volunteers to make phone calls, etc. Contact them by clicking the link on their name. And if you live in these districts, Don't forget to VOTE!


This is not the place for gossip, sniping at other bloggers, commentors, races, or religions, etc.

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Wow! Wisconsin gained 9,500 jobs in June, while Nation gained only 18,000


Correction: Blog title has been changed from Wow! Wisconsin accounted for 1/2 of new private sector jobs in nation, as this was an inadvertent misinterpretation of the statistics. Wisconsin did see 12,900 new private sector jobs in June, for a net gain of 9,500 new jobs after losses are subtracted. Other states also experienced large job gains. These gains however were offset by other states huge losses. Correction also noted on closing statement.

Things are looking up in our state. Wisconsin added about 12,900 new private-sector jobs, according to the State of Wisconsin Workforce Development report for June. The report's subtitle stated, "Gain of 12,900 private-sector jobs is largest one-month gain since September 2003."

The Journal Sentinel couldn't resist throwing a wet blanket on those numbers by pointing out "nearly half of Wisconsin's new private-sector jobs were in the tourism, hospitality and food services category." True, many of these jobs do not pay all that well, as a local banker mentioned in the article, but a job is a job. For those who have been unemployed or for college students trying to save up for next semester, getting a paycheck is still a good thing.

Plus, if these are tourism related jobs, that also means that retailers, gas stations, hotel owners, food store owners, etc. will be positively affected by an increase in sales, and the state benefits from an increase in sales tax revenue.

I also noticed that earlier this month, in a Washington Times article Unemployment at 9.2 percent as jobs stall, the trend was the same: "Most of the 57,000 jobs created by the private sector last month were in leisure and hospitality businesses, which registered a gain of 34,000." (After the job losses are subtracted from the gainers, the national total for jobs gained was 18,000 in June--even worse than May's dismal 25,000 positive jobs number.) I don't recall the President or the mainstream media mentioning that these were only hospitality/leisure jobs when these abysmal numbers were reported.

Seeing that the majority of these new jobs were in a business sector that relies on people having enough disposable income to spend on hotels, restaurants, transportation--tourism--does it make any sense for the Democrats and President Obama to look at taxing the rich even more? It is pretty obvious that our nation's economy is barely growing at all. Why squelch the one area that is gaining jobs?

Anyway, I am glad Wisconsin is seeing job numbers like this: 9,500 net gain out of compared to the national total of 18,000 created gained.  It is nice to see a little good news. Hope the trend continues.

P.S. Speaking of another wet blanket, did you catch Steve Wynn's quote about the President and his administration in Wynn CEO Goes On Epic Anti-Obama Rant On Company Conference Call? "And I'm saying it bluntly, that this administration is the greatest wet blanket to business, and progress and job creation in my lifetime." The piece is a sobering read..

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Got to stop out-of-control spending to keep U.S. AAA rating

Bigger picture, Government / Bureaucracy, President Obama, THE ECONOMY, United States

We are told that the U.S. Government will come to a screeching halt when it hits the $14.3 Trillion Debt Ceiling on Tuesday, Aug. 2nd*. In my mind's eye, I envisioned the U.S. Government as a Monster Truck rumbling down the highway on bloated tires, coming up to a bridge with too low of a clearance for a truck of that height.

To keep our government (and economy) rolling, either the bridge clearance (Debt Ceiling) has to be raised, or the size of the tires (deficit spending) could be reduced.

President Obama is threatening those balking at raising the Debt Ceiling in the House and Senate, that a delay could trigger a U.S. Credit rating downgrade to AA. But I have heard for months now that our AAA credit rating is already at risk: our present $14.3 Trillion in debt is viewed as unsustainable.

Reuters confirmed this in Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis, "Even if a deal is reached to lift the debt ceiling, a downgrade of the U.S. credit rating is likely unless a big dent is made in the deficit. A downgrade would raise borrowing costs, hurt an already weak economy and rattle global markets." (My emphasis)

Right now, the House is stalling on the latest Boehner Debt Ceiling bill. Though the spending cuts are laughable--$900 billion over 10 years, which is nothing--at least it doesn't include tax increases. The bill's strength is that the debt ceiling increase is split into 2 parts: $1T now and the remainder 6 months from now--well into 2012 campaign season territory. Too bad it wasn't in smaller increments.

I realize even this generous Debt Ceiling increase is very unlikely to pass the Senate, but at least is better than anything Senator Reid is suggesting. Possibly, Boehner adding a Balanced Budget Amendment to the House Bill would be enough to get it through the House.

It is becoming crystal clear that President Obama and the liberals in Congress do not understand that government spending MUST be reduced--not just the level of future growth in spending, but actual cuts here and now if our AAA credit rating is to continue. We must elect more fiscally conservative leaders in November 2012. Until then, we have to work with what we have in Washington.

Obama just urged Americans to contact their Senators and Representatives to resolve the debt crisis. Of course, his concept of resolution would be raising the Debt Ceiling with enough spending cushion to carry him through November of 2012! And he certainly doesn't want a Balanced Budget Amendment to pass. But, I can agree with the President that contacting our representatives is imperative. Here are their numbers:

Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653

Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
House Speaker John Boehner phone line (513) 779-5400

Past Post: Tell Congress to tell Mr. Obama, No new taxes! Cut, Cap & Balance!

More Reading: Republican rebels force new delay in US debt crisis
What's Wrong With Government Spending?
WSJ The Road to a Downgrade

*Not a hard, fast deadline. Remember, we do have enough income every month to pay essential bills.

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