Morning Sickness….

I was shocked beyond belief this morning while watching an interview with the author of a new book, The Intimidation Game, Kim Strassel, on Morning Joe.  Joe Scarborough and Nicole Wallace just sat back and let this woman lie like a rug about the “Left’s scare tactics” designed to shut down “free speech.”  Nicole specifically asked about the “the single most terrifying” event….the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin.  According to the author, it was the work of a “Liberal prosecutor” who was unhappy with the works of groups who supported Republicans during the recall effort.  She went on to describe it as if they were jackbooted thugs terrorizing freedom fighters.  She sums it up by saying that the message was that if you were going to “play in politics”—this is what would happen to you.  As if the crap flowing out of her mouth wasn’t bad enough, the entire panel just lapped it up.  One of them, I forget his name, even trotted out the old “it happens on both the left and the right” bullshit.

Seriously, don’t they have fact checkers on a national news program?  Or that matter, the Wall Street Journal where the author works as a reporter?  They left out the best part of the story…who John Doe was and why they were investigating….but I don’t really have to tell you, do I?  How is it even possible that this narrative can continue to be perpetrated, despite all the proof that it is a tissue of lies?  The bigger question is why is Scott Walker not in jail?  And why would anyone seriously consider him Presidential material?  It’s enough to make you want to puke.

You have to see it to believe it:

Sea Monkeys, Barnum, Biblical Giants and Humbug

This article from the NY Times magazine has absolutely nothing to do with politics…except for this one little nugget that I just had to smirk at:

In his own way, P.T. Barnum was the greatest cognitive scientist of the 19th century. He understood that when you pit humbug against harsh cold reality, reality doesn’t stand a chance. Knowing this explains so much — World Wrestling, Taco Bell, Donald Trump.


Are They Right? Trump Is Obama’s Fault?

From the front page of the March 13, 2016 Sunday New York Times: Donald Trump’s Presidential Run Began in an Effort to Gain Stature

Donald J. Trump arrived at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner in April 2011, reveling in the moment as he mingled with the political luminaries who gathered at the Washington Hilton. He made his way to his seat beside his host, Lally Weymouth, the journalist and socialite daughter of Katharine Graham, longtime publisher of The Washington Post.

A short while later, the humiliation started.

The annual dinner features a lighthearted speech from the president; that year, President Obama chose Mr. Trump, then flirting with his own presidential bid, as a punch line.

He lampooned Mr. Trump’s gaudy taste in décor. He ridiculed his fixation on false rumors that the president had been born in Kenya. He belittled his reality show, “The Celebrity Apprentice.”

Mr. Trump at first offered a drawn smile, then a game wave of the hand. But as the president’s mocking of him continued and people at other tables craned their necks to gauge his reaction, Mr. Trump hunched forward with a frozen grimace.

After the dinner ended, Mr. Trump quickly left, appearing bruised. He was “incredibly gracious and engaged on the way in,” recalled Marcus Brauchli, then the executive editor of The Washington Post, but departed “with maximum efficiency.”

That evening of public abasement, rather than sending Mr. Trump away, accelerated his ferocious efforts to gain stature within the political world. And it captured the degree to which Mr. Trump’s campaign is driven by a deep yearning sometimes obscured by his bluster and bragging: a desire to be taken seriously.

So a thin skinned insecure megalomaniac takes on the political establishment to show he’s important? Did the fact that president was black have anything to do with his fascist race baiting or was that just a convenient usurpation of the prevailing undercurrent in the Republican Party? So when the rightwing pundits or Fox News say that President Obama is to blame for the Trump phenomenon, are they right?

UFC Video Is Just Plain Sick

I imagine some of our readers here at Blogging Blue are fans of UFC and possibly Ronda Rousey. And I can sort of understand why fans would want to dress like Rousey for Halloween. And even if we accept the violence involved in UFC…and we shouldn’t…we really really should put this ‘sport’ out to pasture…this video is just plain sick. It shows young girls and women dressed as Ronda Rousey…girls that look like they could be as young as 2 or 3. Beyond the skimpy outfits…I can’t imagine encouraging toddlers or pre-school or even elementary aged girls to pose in stances that simulate violence. I can’t imagine why these girls would even know about Ronda Rousey or UFC or want to dress as her for Halloween?

Are kids this age actually exposed to UFC fighting? That’s OK with society? If they were exposed to a nipple the prudes of the world would be screaming bloody murder…but are willing to turn a blind eye to real blood and potentially real murder?

There is absolutely no reasonable explanation for this. None. Although I am tired of the dozens of Frozen princesses that visited my home for trick or treat last night…I’ll take a hundred more over such a violent representation as a Ronda Rousey costume. Time to cut this crap out.

BTW: I normally wouldn’t have seen this video except a local elected Democrat posted it on Facebook. I suggest that it be taken down…and I FB messaged that privately.

Abele, Bucks, Owners, Arena and a BUCK

Despite only putting up half of the money (if you still count Herb Kohl as an owner) necessary to build the new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks (which the owners could afford to do on their own), County Executive Chris Abele is prepared to sell the Bucks a piece of the county’s park east property for the centerpiece of their development for….a dollar. I suggest that all of our readers and the denizens of Blogging Blue each throw down a buck and out bid them…but I digress. Friends of BB who are in the trades say that the property has substantial hidden supports remaining from the Park East Freeway. The Bucks owners will have to remediate the property before actual construction can begin. That may well be true.

But $1 is still an incredible bargain. Particularly for people who don’t really know the value of a dollar or the value of real estate in downtown Milwaukee…or they are just willing to spend on the ancillaries now that the arena isn’t costing them much of anything. For instance:

An investors group operated by the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks has bought another vacant lot that will create a passageway to a planned entertainment center near the proposed Bucks arena.

Deer District LLC bought the 6,750-square-foot parking lot, 1117-1119 N. Old World Third St., from sausage maker Fred Usinger Inc. for $675,000, according to state real estate records posted Wednesday. It has an assessed value of $117,000.
(emphasis mine)


In July, the group bought a 7,500-square-foot parking lot, 1129-1135 N. Old World 3rd St., for $750,000, according to state real estate records.

and here’s a bit more detail on the second purchase:

The 7,500-square-foot lot, 1129-1135 N. Old World 3rd St., is used for parking by The Loaded Slate tavern, which is just north of the property. It was sold to Deer District LLC for $750,000, according to state real estate records posted Thursday.

Deer District bought the lot, with an assessed value of $299,000 (again emphasis mine), from Milwaukee River Hotel-P LLC, a group affiliated with the owners of the nearby Aloft hotel, 1230 N. Old World 3rd St.

So they can buy parking lots for two or three or more times their value adjacent to their new arena but not the arena itself? We are still being played for suckers…

On a side note, the city of Milwaukee will pay to raze the current BMO Harris Bradley Center parking garage because it is within the footprint of the new arena. And then build a new parking garage to accommodate the new arena…the Bucks owners will not be paying a penny for this part of the development…yet the Bucks get half of the revenues? WTF?

Kiss The Milwaukee Admirals Good Bye!

Today this headline seems a tad over the top but when I started thinking about this post on Friday…it seemed very very appropriate. After two weeks of reading arena finance articles and trying to put together a relevant post, I realized that nothing was ever being said about the Milwaukee Admirals.

This despite current Bucks arena plans call for the demolition of the BMO Bradley Center…the current home of the Milwaukee Admirals (in addition to the Bucks and Marquette basketball)…an arena designed specifically for hockey first (in an effort to acquire an NHL team) and basketball second.

So to me it seemed like Milwaukee and Wisconsin were uninterested in accommodating our professional hockey team in favor of the carpetbagger Bucks owners. And that would be truly a sad state of affairs.

But before I could get my rant off…the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel scooped me…and it’s only my fault for being a professional procrastinator. Oh well…they have more resources than I and can actually talk to Admirals management. So here are a few prime highlights from today’s feature:

But the new arena might lack one of the defining features of the BMO Harris Bradley Center: ice. And that means the Milwaukee Admirals are beginning to search for a new place to play.

“We do not believe we will be part of the new arena,” said Harris Turer, chief executive officer of the minor league hockey team.

The Bucks’ owners said a decision hasn’t yet been made about whether the future arena would include the ability to host the Admirals.

But Turer already has started what he calls “very preliminary discussions” with Wisconsin Center District officials about a possible lease at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, where the Admirals would share dates with the UWM men’s basketball team and other tenants.

Those talks “have been very positive, but not very detailed,” he said.

“It’s very likely we will not be playing” at the Bradley Center by the 2017-’18 American Hockey League season, Turer said. Hockey and basketball seasons both start in October.

A Bucks spokesman said the team’s owners continue to focus on obtaining approval from the Wisconsin Legislature and Milwaukee Common Council for a public financing plan that would cover $250 million of the new arena’s estimated $500 million cost.

The plan has been stalled by bipartisan opposition.

“We honestly haven’t made any decisions” about the Admirals, said Jake Suski, Bucks senior vice president of communications. “There’s a lot still unresolved.”

Mike Fascitelli, a Bucks co-owner, plans to meet soon with Turer to update him on the arena design process, and “continue the conversation,” Suski said.

The Admirals, however, will likely be left out, Turer said. He came to that conclusion because of vague, noncommittal responses he’s received from Bucks President Peter Feigin and co-owner Marc Lasry.

“Everything we’ve heard, or not heard, leads me to believe we will not be a tenant,” Turer said.

That might be a simple economic calculation by the Bucks.

Installing ice-making equipment and other furnishings needed to host hockey games at the new arena would add to its construction costs, and the Admirals would be virtually the only tenant paying rent for hockey dates.

“I’m not sitting here begging to be part of the new arena,” Turer said. “We’re a minor league hockey team, and we have limited revenues.”

I’ve been pretty quiet of late…but I intend to change that…and have a couple of other posts floating around in my head about the arena that I hope to post before they become too obsolete!

Bucks Are More Important Than The University?

This morning’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel features an opinion piece by Alex Molinaroli, the chairman of Johnson Controls, Todd Teske, chairman of Briggs & Stratton Corp, and Tim Sullivan, former CEO of Bucyrus International.
They were touting the proposed Bucks arena as an important asset for Milwaukee and Milwaukee regional firms and why government should get involved in financing it. I will write more on that later.

In their opinion piece they also mention in passing, the importance of education to the growth of the region:

People may not come to Milwaukee for the weather, but they will stay for the quality of life. We must invest in assets that bolster our quality of life, and our quality of place, to keep us distinctive and attractive as a business location.

Our educational options, quality health care, environmental sustainability and diverse neighborhoods are all factors that define quality of life. Investments in the cultural, arts, recreational and entertainment offerings help distinguish our quality of place. Smartly investing in these assets provides Milwaukee with attributes that make it, well, a smart place to locate if you want to retain and attract talent. We spend almost $2 billion per year on K-12 education, and we should. Quality education helps ensure Milwaukee’s livability.

Quality education helps insure MKE’s livability…yet the leaders of three of Milwaukee’s biggest businesses decided to write an opinion piece in favor of a new sports arena instead of calling out Madison for cuts to public education and Wisconsin’s world class university. Where exactly do they think their next generation of employees is going to come from?

Gogebic Taconite spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to influence Republicans on Wisconsin mining law

But remember, there’s absolutely NO “pay to play” going on in Wisconsin…

Gogebic’s spending was thought to be relatively modest until court documents related to a Milwaukee County district attorney’s investigation of ties between Walker’s political organization and outside groups were unsealed Aug. 22.

Political donations from Gogebic representatives totaled $31,800 since 2010, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, which tracks political spending. Walker received the most, $8,000, on Sept. 24, 2010.

Gogebic also had $199,346 in lobbying expenses between 2011 and 2013, state Government Accountability Board figures show. That put the company well down the list.

Meanwhile, the company was quietly spending hundreds of thousands of dollars more than was previously known with a conservative political group, according to documents from the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

In addition to the amounts noted in the article cited, it has previously been revealed Gogebic Taconite also funneled $700,000 to the Wisconsin Club for Growth, a pro-Republican group that has run TV ads supporting Republicans in races across the state.