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The Lakeland Times | Minocqua, Wisc.

Jim Tait 02/01-02/28/17

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October 18, 2017

Getting in a tiff over TIFs
As we report in today's edition, the city of Eau Claire and the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) have gotten themselves into a tif over TIFs, or tax incremental financing districts.
Friday, October 13, 2017

Why Sports and politics do not mix
There's a famous Woody Allen joke: "Those who can't do teach, and those who can't teach teach gym."
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

War is not a spectator sport
On Oct. 15, 2010, a father who knew from painful personal sacrifice the terror and the loss of combat, wrote to his son, who was at that moment leading a Marine platoon enduring almost relentless combat: "I know you guys have taken some licks in the last few days. ... Robert you will likely lose one or more of your precious Marines if you haven't already.
Friday, October 13, 2017

Keep them unknown: Mass shooters belong in dustbin of history
Another month, another mass shooting in America.

Last week, the familiar and devastatingly sad song and dance we're all too used to as a nation unfolded in Las Vegas.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Hurricane relief: It's time to get out of the way
The hurricane devastation is severe. What should the federal government do?

Give us lots of money, say many.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Democrats, don't blame the voters who are not racist
One of the great fringe benefits of working around American politics during the past 10 American presidencies has been the colorful characters I've gotten to meet.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gunfight at the Not OK Corral
There's trouble brewing at the Oneida County Sheriff's Office, and, if what we hear on the street turns out to be true, next year's sheriff's election might take the brew to an outright boil.
Friday, October 6, 2017

We need more than 'thoughts and prayers'
Whenever someone commits a heinous gun crime like the massacre in Las Vegas, politicians swiftly assure us that the victims and their families are "in our thoughts and prayers."
Friday, October 6, 2017

Three men who saved baseball from itself
From Aug. 10, 1994, to April 25, 1995, Major League Baseball went on strike. The 1994 World Series was canceled. Fans, furious at both management and the players, voted with their feet by staying away afterward.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yes, the states can fix the Obamacare debacle
Back in 1996, a Republican Congress and a Democratic president (Bill Clinton) enacted one of the most historic bipartisan policy victories in modern times: the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act for welfare reform.
Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Dangerous Dan had better be
Years ago there was an amusement park nestled in the mountains of North Carolina called Ghost Town in the Sky.
Friday, September 29, 2017

Disabled by government
A third threat to free speech at University of California, Berkeley has led to more censorship than political rioters or college administrators.
Friday, September 29, 2017

America's unfriendly skies
Liberals love to portray Republicans as the party of the rich and powerful. The GOP has tried, valiantly, to shed that criticism - but then why are so many in the party defending the special interests of private- and corporate-jet owners over the interests of the rest of us? Do Warren Buffett and LeBron James really need taxpayer subsidies to jet across the country?
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Vietnam War 2017
Three aging U.S. veterans of the war in Vietnam, each of whom still bears the scars of battle, took their seats on the stage of Washington's Kennedy Center on a cool September evening.
Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Health care, tax reform: It's now or never
Republicans can argue about immigration and dreamers, they can argue about defense spending and Russia, they can argue about trade and marijuana (yes, they are fighting over that), but there are two issues they had better stop squabbling about and pass: a health care overhaul and tax reform.
Friday, September 22, 2017

Detoured by government
Michelle Freenor's business almost failed before it began.

That would have been a loss, since her Savannah, Georgia, walking tour gets only good reviews from customers. "Top notch tour guide giving us a lot of history of Savannah's Historic District," said one five-star Yelp review. "Great, informative," said another.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Blame for disaster
"How many once-in-a-lifetime storms will it take," demands "The Daily Show" comic Trevor Noah, "until everyone admits man-made climate change is real?!"

His audience roars its approval.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Happy New Year
Labor Day has already come, and summer is all but over. Autumn - with shorter days, cooler nights and a new school year - is upon us. Now - in beautiful September and not in the dead of winter, overshadowed by Christmas - ought logically to be New Year's Day, which means resolutions and predictions.
Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Winds of change are blowing in Boulder Junction
Though it may not feel like it to those who wanted to split the clerk-treasurer's position in Boulder Junction - the attempt narrowly failed at an electors meeting Tuesday night - that meeting and vote was in fact a tremendous victory for grassroots democracy.
Friday, September 15, 2017

Face it: The Trump boom is here
Has anyone noticed - through the fog of Russia, James Comey, Charlottesville and now two monster hurricanes - that the U.S. economy is booming faster than it has since the late Clinton years?
Friday, September 15, 2017

Seeing alternatives
I just got new glasses - without going to an optometrist.

It's another innovation made possible by the internet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Reprimand to Trump from Pittsburgh Voters: 'It's Not About You'
On a late summer night, some 230 days into the Trump presidency, a dozen Pennsylvania voters gathered around a conference table in Pittsburgh and were asked by respected Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart to just give "a word or a feeling about Donald Trump."
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Trump makes the right move on Dreamers
President Donald Trump pulled the plug this week on the so-called Dreamers' program that gave deportation relief to illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children, ending the amnesty order created by President Obama.
Friday, September 8, 2017

Violence next time
Does hatred and violence reside only on the far right, as the media seems to be spinning things? Consider this personal anecdote.
Friday, September 8, 2017

Price gouging
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is upset about "price gouging" during hurricane Harvey. Some stores raised prices to $99 for a case of bottled water - $5 for a gallon of gas. "These are things you can't do in Texas," he says. "There are significant penalties if you price gouge in a crisis like this."
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Needing an 'enemy'
Eric Hoffer, a San Francisco longshoreman and philosopher who died in 1983, the year President Ronald Reagan awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, could have been analyzing contemporary American politics when he wrote, some 66 years ago, that "mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil."
Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hook should face civil service charges
Most people long ago figured out how the region's Brotherhood of Justice works. If you're a member in good standing of the good-ol'-boys-and-girls club, no problem.
Friday, September 1, 2017

'Keep it simple, stupid'
One of the most enduring lessons from the American health care fiasco is that to win a political battle it is best to keep the message simple. If there are too many moving parts to a plan, if Americans don't understand what the politicians are doing, or if there are parts of a bill they don't like, it probably will go down in flames.
Friday, September 1, 2017

Northern Wisconsin can have both tourism and mining
Northern Wisconsin is home to some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, and forests in the Midwest - if not the world. It is also home to an aging population and unemployment rates that lag behind the rest of the state.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Al Gore's Hype
I was surprised to discover that Al Gore's new movie begins with words from me!

While icebergs melt dramatically, Gore plays a clip of me saying, "'An Inconvenient Truth' won him an Oscar, yet much of the movie is nonsense. 'Sea levels may rise 20 feet' -- absurd." He used this comment from one of my TV shows.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Yes, repeal the mining moratorium
Several weeks ago we wondered about all the state perks probably going to Foxconn - $2.85 billion in subsidies; environmental exemptions - that once again stack the deck against the northern half of the state and unfairly discriminate against already existing companies that didn't get the same preferential treatment.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Trump's Real Record on Race
One lesson I've learned from working with Donald Trump is that you have to pay attention to what he does, not what he says. The left and the media are accusing Trump of being racist and a Nazi-sympathizer because of his words in response to the horrid events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Friday, August 25, 2017

Trump's deadly ego trip
Even before the embarrassing demise of his health care legislation, Donald Trump could no longer claim he would "take care of everybody" with a "beautiful" new system that insures all Americans, regardless of their ability to pay.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The President is also a moral leader
It was obviously an earlier, less cynical time when the president of the United States could explain an unscheduled drive from the White House he had once taken.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Google Women
Why aren't there more women criminals?! Men in jail outnumber women by a ratio of 14-to-1. We male stutterers outnumber women, too.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Where's the Benjamins?
As we report in today's edition, this newspaper has filed yet another open-meetings complaint against the town board of Boulder Junction.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Beware the Obamacare-industrial complex
The danger of a Republican bailout of Obamacare is mounting with every passing day. Moderate Republicans calling themselves the Problem Solvers Caucus are quietly negotiating with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer to throw a multibillion-dollar lifeline to the Obamacare insurance exchanges.
Friday, August 18, 2017

Regulating guns
Have a gun license? Plan to bring your gun to my hometown? Don't.

Mean New York authorities will make your life miserable.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Authentic Republican wisdom
American campaigns were not always, I can testify from personal witness, about the politics of personal destruction. Your political adversary was your opponent, not your enemy.
Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Public beware: Sorensen wants to control your property
It's amazing the lengths to which big-government politicians will go to keep control of people's lives.
Friday, August 11, 2017

The Trump Economy: Progress and Peril
Well, finally we are getting that "summer of recovery." The July jobs report released recently was a blockbuster - solid job gains across the economy, the lowest unemployment rate in more than a decade and a nice bump in wages.
Friday, August 11, 2017

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