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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

home : opinions June 23, 2017

The overwhelming success of Obamacare
President Donald Trump came to Wisconsin this week, and among the things he did while in the Badger state was to meet with some of the "victims" of Obamacare, which he called a catastrophe that must be reversed.
Friday, June 16, 2017

An American Trademark: Free Speech
These days the First Amendment is on shakier ground than it has been in a long, long time.

The attack on free speech by the Left has been going on for years, of course. It started decades ago with the banning of displays of the Ten Commandments in classrooms and courthouses, and the banishing of manger scenes from the public square.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Donald Trump is no Richard Nixon
In just 13 days in October 1973, Washington endured a series of seismic political shocks. On Oct. 10, Vice President Spiro Agnew - having pleaded guilty in a federal courthouse in Baltimore to failure to pay taxes on thousands of dollars in bribes he, as both Maryland governor and VP, had shaken down from businessmen - resigned his office.
Friday, June 23, 2017

Climate change hypocrites
Maybe the most laughable reaction to Donald Trump's pulling out of the Paris climate accord came from European and Chinese leaders who blasted Trump and America for "surrendering its world leadership" role. The sanctimonious leaders of Asian and European nations pledged to move full speed ahead on clean energy without the United States. Be my guest.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Why Trump must make Putin smile
Whenever Donald Trump gratuitously insults an American ally or casually degrades our country's reputation, it is hard not to wonder what he thinks he is doing. Could the president of the United States perpetrate these damaging stunts, over and over again, merely to massage his own ego? Of all the explanations for Trump's astonishingly destructive behavior, immaturity and narcissism are actually among the more innocent possibilities.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Fly better
Wonder why your flight is late?

Why planes keep circling?

Why even after you've landed, you sometimes can't deplane?

Bad weather plays a role, but flying is also nastier because American airports use 50-year-old technology.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Straight talk from the border
Not long ago I attended a class where we were encouraged to discuss controversial topics civilly. During the topic of illegal immigration I was corrected by a classmate, an attorney, when I stated illegal aliens committed a "crime" by entering our country illegally. Additionally, he was terribly offended when I refused to refer to illegal aliens as "undocumented immigrants."
Friday, June 16, 2017

Ascension has worked hard to educate community leaders
This week, we expect members of the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee to make an important decision about the availability of health care services for local residents.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Marshfield Clinic deserves opportunity to compete
At Marshfield Clinic we have been open, honest and forthright about our plans to build a 12-bed hospital in Minocqua. We want to provide the same world-class care and patient experience to our patients in an in-patient setting as we do in our more than 50 clinics and hospital across Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Citizens deserve answers, information in dog neglect case
The prosecution file is shut tightly on a recent decision by an Oneida County assistant district attorney not to charge the owner of a dog rescue operation who was accused of serious animal neglect and abuse, but the assistant DA, Mary Sowinski, needs to open it and let the sunshine in.
Friday, June 9, 2017

Two polar opposite examples
For baseball fans of a certain age, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals stands alone. Musial's on-field statistics were beyond impressive. He led the National League in batting seven times, was named the league's MVP three times, was selected as an all-star 24 times and had 3,630 career hits. But what is most cherished about "Stan the Man" is his signature decency.
Friday, June 9, 2017

No, Trump didn't cause Obamacare to fail
It's finally official. The Affordable Care Act is a public-policy flop of epic proportions. That's the only possible conclusion from the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City announcement recently that it will drop out of many markets in Kansas and Missouri. The firm lost $100 million under the Obamacare insurance exchanges from 2014 to 2016. This is another body blow to the government-insurance system Barack Obama created in 2010. Blue Cross is one of the biggest health insurers in the nation, and now 25 more counties in these states will have no insurer left.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Chomsky's Venezuela lesson
Venezuela descends into chaos. Its people, once the wealthiest in Latin America, starve. Even The New York Times runs headlines like "Dying Infants and No Medicine."
Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A toast to Martha Milanowski
In the opening scene of Woody Allen's movie "Stardust Memories," Allen plays a character sitting in a train car full of somber and sad people as they wait to depart the station: Older couples stare blankly ahead; no one is smiling; the conductor's face is expressionless and motionless; a man is crying.
Friday, June 2, 2017

Schools at fault for graduation protests
Donald Trump's presidency has been filled with protests since his victory over Hillary Clinton in November.
Friday, June 2, 2017

The praying mantis explains today's politics
To understand the bizarre political era in which we live, let us recall the mating rituals of the praying mantis. In their amorous encounter, the male mantis approaches the female - which is the physically larger and stronger of the two - and, if permitted, mounts the female from the rear. In the frenzy of the pair's passion, the female will often turn her head completely around and, unromantically, bite off her male partner's head. After the femme fatale's act of sexual cannibalism, the headless male's decapitated torso continues to remain fully engaged - his little hips somehow managing to grind even faster and longer.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Trump's epic budget swindle
Elect a fraudster to the presidency - remember Trump University and the Trump Foundation? - and he will soon deliver a fraudulent budget. What makes this presidential fraudster's first budget so special is the simultaneous perpetration of multiple levels of fraud.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Supervisor gone rogue
There are many ways to say it.

We could say he's insane, but that would surely require us to have some type of government license. We could say his wheels have come off, but we cannot proclaim to be engineers.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Trump tax cut will boost jobs and growth
A recent front-page story in The Wall Street Journal proclaims that 3 percent economic growth isn't achievable. We are told that 2 to 2.5 percent growth is the best we can do, because of low labor-force and productivity growth.
Friday, May 26, 2017

Times' green baloney
The New York Times' hostility to industry gets worse every day.

Last week, The Times ran a big picture of a bay in Alaska with the headline "In Reversal, E.P.A. Eases Path for a Mine Near Alaska's Bristol Bay."

Friday, May 26, 2017

Due process in the cross hairs
It's time for the Oneida County Planning and Development Committee to do its job and make a decision regarding the conditional use permit applied for by Marshfield Clinic to construct a hospital in Minocqua.
Friday, May 19, 2017

Congress: Demand White House transcript
If Donald Trump disclosed highly classified state secrets to the Russian ambassador and foreign minister, he may be vulnerable to impeachment - not because he broke the law, which evidently he did not, but because he committed an act that would be considered criminal and perhaps treasonous if perpetrated willfully by any other government official.
Friday, May 19, 2017

Cruel and stupid
President Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions, ordered federal prosecutors to seek maximum penalties for drug-related crimes.

This is both cruel and stupid.

Friday, May 19, 2017

3 Memorable American presidents and the truth
There have been three memorable American presidents, the story goes. President George Washington could never tell a lie. President Richard Nixon could never tell the truth. And President Donald Trump cannot tell the difference.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Improved health bill
The House repealed Obamacare!

OK, they didn't really - but they passed a bill that repeals some bad parts of it, like the individual mandate tax, medicine cabinet tax, flexible spending account tax and health savings account withdrawal tax. Good.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

It's time to come together to improve health care for residents in Wisconsin
The Founding Fathers purposely made it difficult for elected officials to enact sweeping legislation. Our Constitution's separation of powers demands coordination and consensus to pass especially meaningful and impactful laws. For that reason, most of the significant pieces of legislation passed in the last 60 years, after lengthy debate, ultimately achieved bipartisan majorities on final passage.
Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Donald Trump's death panels
The real death panels are coming.

Back in 2009, during the shrill hours of debate over the Affordable Care Act, Sarah Palin warned us solemnly that defenseless Americans "will have to stand in front of Obama's 'death panel' so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their 'level of productivity in society,' whether they are worthy of health care."

Friday, May 12, 2017

Oneida County: Where government lawlessness lingers longer
Under the category of What Else Is New ....

Once again Oneida County district attorney Michael Schiek has determined that the county has violated the open-meetings law, but once again he doesn't believe anybody should be held accountable.

Friday, May 12, 2017

The grifters do 'tax reform'
If you were paying attention to what we learned about Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, then you know the president of the United States was once the impresario of a student-swindling Trump University, the founder of a Trump Foundation designed for tax evasion and illegal self-dealing, and the chief executive of a The Trump Organization that has long relied on various techniques of grifting, from rip-offs of workers and contractors to serial bankruptcies.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Missing Kate O'Beirne
My adopted hometown of Washington has been accused, not always unfairly, of being a city full of scheming climbers who are frantically courting the company and the favor of the powerful. In this and so many respects, Kate O'Beirne - the conservative leader and writer who died too soon, at 67 on April 23 - was anti-Washington. Kate was not about making contacts (although the powerful, especially Republicans, regularly sought her approval). She was always about making - and about keeping - friends.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Break the chains
My head spins.

Before President Trump was elected, FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai came on my TV show, upset because President Obama ordered his agency to regulate the Internet.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Trump's biggest enemy: The Republican Party
Some people never learn, and by that we mean the establishment of the Republican Party. (subscriber access)

Friday, May 5, 2017

All you need is growth
As sure as the cuckoo clock chimes at midnight, the left is bloviating that Donald Trump's tax plan will blow a $5 trillion hole in the deficit. Many of the people complaining loudest were in the Obama administration and helped preside over a $9 trillion tidal wave of new debt. Now they are fiscally chaste.
Friday, May 5, 2017

The next president
Will Donald Trump be re-elected in 2020?

Probably not, say people who bet. They give Trump only a 23 percent chance. They do pick him over all other politicians, but the favorite is "other."

I know this because I follow the betting odds at ElectionBettingOdds.com.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Coal's colossal comeback
Buried in an otherwise-humdrum jobs report was the jaw-dropping pronouncement by the Department of Labor that mining jobs in America were up by 11,000 in March. Since the low point in October 2016, and following years of painful layoffs in the mining industry, the mining sector has added 35,000 jobs.

What a turnaround. Liberals have been saying that Donald Trump was lying to the American people when he said he could bring coal jobs back. Well, so far, he has delivered on his promise.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

When it comes to science, beware the scientists
As we report in today's edition, a major controversy has erupted around the Trump administration's decision to not ban the pesticide chlorpyrifos, which is widely used on fruits and vegetables and which has been linked to numerous neurodevelopmental problems in children, including higher incidences of autism.

The mainstream media and environmental organizations pretty much went berserk, especially given that the Obama administration had approved the ban and it was almost in place before the Trump EPA aborted it.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Can special elections to the US House predict our political future?
Is there an emerging national pattern to be found in special House elections, such as the one that just happened in Georgia to fill the reliably Republican House seat once held by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, most recently held by the current secretary of health and human services, Tom Price, and for which, in the first round of voting, a rookie 30-year-old Democrat finished first, 28 points ahead of the Republican former Georgia secretary of state?
Friday, April 28, 2017

Open letter to the community
Our community has an important decision to make about the availability of compassionate, personalized and affordable healthcare services for local residents. And recent statements about the impact of a proposed 12-bed limited-service hospital in Woodruff by Marshfield Clinic may have left people with inaccurate impressions. We would like to share some facts.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Meeting the health care needs of the community is our No. 1 priority
That's the bottom line, and what we've been saying from the day we announced our plans. In fact, that should be the number one priority of any health care organization. Building our own hospital where our physicians will have access to the latest state-of-the-art technology and resources puts us in a position to serve the care needs of the next generation, the kind of care our patients deserve.

That means more access, more affordability and higher quality of care and overall better patient experience delivered by the same trusted physicians our patients have come to know and trust.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Democracy in action
This past week, with a few exceptions, citizens in more than 1,200 towns marched to community centers and town halls to take part in a Wisconsin political tradition, the annual town electors meeting.
Friday, April 21, 2017

Earth Day dopes
Expect more craziness this weekend. Earth Day is Saturday. This year's theme: Government must "do more" about climate change because "consequences of inaction are too high to risk."

They make it sound so simple:

1) Man causes global warming.

2) Warming is obviously harmful.

3) Government can stop it.

Each claim is dubious or wrong.

Friday, April 21, 2017

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