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Lakeland Times, Minocqua, Wisconsin
Friday, September 27, 2019 7:30 AM
In comments made at this week’s Rhinelander city council meeting, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation executive director Stacey Johnson offered up a full-throated defense of city council member and former Oneida County detective sergeant Ryan Rossing, who has been enmeshed in issues surrounding honesty and secrecy, including litigation about an alleged walking quorum stemming from a complaint by this newspaper. (subscriber access)
  • Open government is in 
big trouble, with a capital T
    We begin this week by quoting the words of the immortal Harold Hill in “The Music Man”:

    “Friend, either you’re closing your eyes To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated …. Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City.”

    Well, to echo the fictional professor Hill, we’ve got big trouble in Wisconsin, and it’s worse and later than most people think. (subscriber access)
  • Every single plausible Democratic candidate for president has endorsed tax increases as a centerpiece of their economic agenda. Think about what we are hearing from Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the “Punch and Judy” show: new wealth taxes, carbon taxes, energy taxes, higher death and income taxes with rates up to 70%. Payroll taxes would rise to pay for Social Security benefit expansions and Medicare for All.
  • Governments create problems. Then they complain about them. (subscriber access)
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has impressive credentials: He graduated third in his class from Los Amigos High School in California’s Orange County before winning an appointment from his congressman — “B-1 Bob” Dornan, a conservative remembered for his unstinting support for the California-built U.S. supersonic aircraft — to the United States Military Academy. (subscriber access)
  • First, a full admission about this article: I originally sent a version of it to The Washington Post for publication, but for reasons that will become obvious as you read on, they rejected it. (subscriber access)
  • Oneida County approved a 2020 budget this week that, when it comes to the property tax levy, was pretty benign. (subscriber access)
  • Instead of watching Fox News, which manufactures heroic propaganda about President Donald Trump, Republican voters could learn much more from seeing a few hours of Russian television. It is on shows broadcast from Moscow and St. Petersburg where the truth about the Trump administration can be heard. (subscriber access)
  • Wouldn’t it be wonderful if for one brief shining moment in Washington, Congress put good policy over politics — and passed a bill that would benefit American workers, investors and businesses? (subscriber access)
  • House members summoned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Washington, D.C., and grilled him — harshly — about his plan to create a new currency, Libra. (subscriber access)
  • The Democratic Party has not functioned as a serious policy organization for a long time now, and this week’s political stunt — otherwise known as Tony Evers’ special session to address gun violence — only proves the point. (subscriber access)
  • The 1994 funeral of former Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill was truly memorable. To the same North Cambridge, Mass., church, St. John the Evangelist — where O’Neill was baptized as an infant and had married his beloved Millie — came two former U.S. Presidents, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, scores of senators and members of congress. But more important to O’Neill, also filling the pews were nurses, waitresses, firefighters and nuns.
  • Four years ago, the media were talking about a “Libertarian Moment.” 

    I had high hopes! (subscriber access)
  • Joe Biden is at it again — living in his own parallel universe. The same former vice president who says that his son Hunter was hired by a Ukrainian oil and gas company because of his expertise in energy policy is now claiming President Donald Trump has “squandered” the strong Obama economy he inherited. (subscriber access)
  • Once again, Oneida County district attorney Michael Schiek has delivered an open meetings decision that is impressive in its lack of clarity, a mangled mishmash of gobbledygook that is epic in its unintelligibility and abstruseness. (subscriber access)
  • Congressional Republicans don’t want to debate President Donald Trump’s attempt to extort political prosecutions of Americans from Ukraine — and given the damning facts emerging every day, their reluctance is understandable, if not honorable. (subscriber access)
  • Student loan debt keeps growing. 

    There is a better solution than the ones politicians offer, which stick the taxpayer or the loan lenders with the whole bill and it’s called an “income share agreement.” (subscriber access)
  • As Oneida County gets ready to take up its 2020 draft budget next month, it’s clear that most Oneida County supervisors, with a few notable exceptions such as supervisor Billy Fried, are just content to ignore all the fiscal red flags around them. (subscriber access)
  • Last week, the lobbying arm of the wind energy industry made an unsurprising, though somewhat embarrassing, announcement. It wants a longer lifeline with federal subsidies. So much for wind being the low-cost energy source of the future. (subscriber access)
  • Perhaps it was the exception that proves the rule, but this past week the Oneida County Board of Supervisors made a wise decision — for once — when it rejected an outright prohibition on mining on county-owned lands. (subscriber access)
  • Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is controversial within her party. 

    She says the U.S. should talk to its enemies. She was criticized for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad. (subscriber access)
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