Ethics Commission Launches Secret Investigation

After weaponizing the GAB as a partisan hit squad against Republicans, it looks like some of the same people have simply moved over to the Ethics Commission and weaponized it.

The offices of Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Sen. Steve Nass told they have been contacted by an attorney hired by the Ethics Commission to probe charges of “partisan influence” toward agency Administrator Brian Bell.

The Ethics Commission declined comment Tuesday, citing confidentiality laws regarding agency investigations. But the contacts come a little more than two weeks after Bell asked the commission to launch an investigation into his conduct to clear his name following Republican calls for his resignation.

They also come amid an escalation in the standoff between Fitzgerald and Mark Thomsen. The Elections Commission chair Tuesday called the Senate GOP leader a “bully” for refusing to hold a confirmation hearing for agency Administrator Mike Haas, who also has been called upon to resign.

Fitzgerald has instead indicated he plans to have the Senate vote later this month on the nominations of Bell and Haas, having previously predicted they would “never” win enough support in the GOP-controlled Senate to win confirmation.

Mike Mikalsen, an aide to Nass, R-Whitewater, charged Tuesday the probe launched by the Ethics Commission was an “abusive process.”

“It’s an attempt to try to intimidate the Senate from taking action on a confirmation vote,” Mikalsen said.

Disorderly Conduct

This is my favorite part of the media brief from the West Bend Police Department:

The two drivers took turns expressing their displeasure with each other’s driving behaviors.

I bet they did! Kudos to the writer for dead pan report.

West Bend School Board Responds to Privilege Test

There was a lot going on in West Bend last night as I was sitting on my arse watching that awesome College Football National Championship Game. Last night the West Bend School Board responded to the use of a Privilege Test in the classrooms of Badger Middle School several weeks ago. First, a little background…

The Washington County Insider broke the story last month that Badger Middle School English Language Arts students in 8th grade were given an optional “Privilege Test” that asked the students things that many consider inappropriate for a government official/teacher to ask kids – particularly without parental consent. You can follow the link to the original story to see the actual survey.

Some parents complained to the Principal and to the School Board. Last night a couple more parents spoke and the board shared their response to the controversy.

Overall, the school board got it right. The said that it was wrong for the teacher to issue the privilege test, discontinued the use of the test in the future, and have instructed the district administration to review the district policy regarding controversial subjects with the staff. This is the appropriate response from the board. I do have some lingering concerns.

The role of the West Bend School Board is to set and direct policy. The board approves curriculum, but teachers are allowed to supplement the curriculum as they see fit without board approval. This is an appropriate balance. In this case, the survey in question was presented as optional supplemental material for a part of the English curriculum.

The rub comes in from the fact that the survey introduces controversial material. The introduction of controversial material is permissible, but there is a specific board policy that addresses the introduction of controversial material. In that policy, it explicitedly states that they may study controversial subjects, but the staff is not permitted to inject their own opinion. In short, they can help the students think about the subject, but not tell them what think. It’s a classic Rousseauian educational approach.

But the policy does not leave such decisions to the teacher. The policy instructs, “Consultation with the principal shall precede the study of controversial issues…” It is not clear to me in this case if the teacher reviewed this survey with the principal prior to doing it or if the teacher was out on his or her own. What is clear to me is that the district administration and teachers involved either don’t view this survey as particularly controversial, or they outright support its use in the classroom.

Badger Middle School Principal Dave Uelmen, Assistant Superintendent Laura Jackson, and others have all expressed to various media outlets that while they can see that the material is controversial, they don’t oppose its use. Uelmen spoke at the meeting last night not to apologize or acknowledge the error, but to give a shout out to his staff. Uelmen’s wife spoke up at the meeting to chastise the parents who complained for setting a bad example for their kids. After the meeting last night, reporter Judy Steffes asked board member Joel Ongert about it and he said in respect to the specific teacher involved, it’s “a personnel matter – but the teachers are taking this hard.” That tells us that the teachers are upset that this teacher is being called out for using the survey.

And if I add into the mix some of the statements we read in the chats from the four fired English teachers at the West Bend High Schools where one teacher introduced controversial supplemental material and said, ““F*** it, there are other things parents can complain about. It would just make them look stupid,” the evidence indicates that there is a pervasive culture in the West Bend School District – particularly in the English and Language Arts departments – that wants to use classroom time for liberal social engineering instead of education. And they get really angry when parents disagree.

That’s a problem.

As I said, the School Board got the response right, but I fear that this is not the end of this issue. The staff is going to fight them on this and I suspect we will see controversial (always from the liberal perspective, have you noticed?) material foisted on the kids again.

City of West Bend Puts Transportation Advisory Referendum on April Ballot

We knew this was coming, but last night the West Bend Common Council voted to ask the voters through referendum how we want to address our transportation funding moving forward. Here are the four options upon which they settled:

According to the notice of advisory referendum, West Bend officials have planned four questions for the public to consider during the spring election. The first question is:

 “Currently, the city of West Bend invests over $1 million (increasing 4 percent annually) on road and sidewalk maintenance,” the first question reads. “In addition to this annual investment, would you support the Common Council increasing property taxes by approximately $640,000, approximately by 23 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to apply to borrowing that can be used for roads?”

The second question is a variant of the first but doubles the amount of the tax that officials will impose on residents.

 “Currently, the city of West Bend invests over $1 million (increasing 4 percent annually) on road and sidewalk maintenance. In addition to this annual investment, would you support the Common Council increasing property taxes by approximately $1.2 million, approximately by 46 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, to apply to borrowing that can be used for road.

The third question also asks if residents are willing to pay more, but alters the manner in which it is imposed.

 “Currently, the city of West Bend invests over $1 million (increasing 4 percent annually) on road and sidewalk maintenance,” the third question reads. “In addition to this annual investment, would you support the Common Council implementing a $20 vehicle registration fee (wheel tax) to apply exclusively to road designated borrowing?”


The final question is meant to address a collaborative initiative with the county.

 “Washington County currently imposes a 0.5 percent sales tax throughout the county and none of these dollars are shared with the local municipalities (e.g. the city of West Bend). Municipalities have recently put forth a proposal to the County for sharing sales tax revenues,” the fourth question states. “Would you support an agreement where the County would distribute up to 25 percent of the revenues with the municipalities (approximately $600,000 for West Bend) to apply to road designated borrowing?”

Based on my conversations with some of the folks involved, I do believe that this is an honest, straight-forward question for the voters and the council intends to follow the public’s lead. There has been increasing frustration and tension on the council regarding transportation. Projects never get done as quickly as anyone would like. There are some who think the time has come to raise taxes and spend more on the roads. There are some who want to stay the course. There are some who are looking for an alternative way – like collaborating with the county for funding. There is an honest impasse and they are using the referendum process to get guidance on how to proceed from the public.

I do wish that they had an option for “stay the course.” I think they figured that no such option was necessary because it is the obvious option for people who vote, but don’t select any of the four options. But it would have been nice to have an affirmative option for “stay the course.” Or an option for “spend less,” but I suppose that was too much to consider.

What do you think?

Gundrum for the 58th

My column for the Washington County Daily News is online. Incidentally, I voted absentee yesterday and there were a surprising number of people there. There were 6 other voters in the 5 to 8 minutes I was there. Obviously, one can’t extrapolate turnout based on such an anecdotal experience, but it does make me wonder if there is an unexpected surge of interest in this race. In any case, here’s the column:

The voters of the 58th Assembly District will decide on who will represent them in Madison after the unexpected death of Representative Bob Gannon. After a spirited, if abbreviated, primary election, Republican Rick Gundrum and Democrat Dennis Degenhardt will square off on January 16th in a special election. I had the opportunity to speak with both candidates, and fortunately for the voters, we are able to choose between two fundamentally decent men with starkly different perspectives.

Dennis Degenhardt recently retired from being the CEO of Glacier Hills Credit Union after a career spent in financial services. He and his wife have been married for 22 years, have four children, six grandchildren, and have been residents of the 58th for many years. Degenhardt has been active in the community as the Vice Chair of the Washington County Democratic Party, President of the Washington County Campus Foundation, involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and several other community organizations. This is Degenhardt’s first run for political office.

Rick Gundrum owns his own audio and video production business after spending years as in the radio industry. He and his wife have been married for 25 years, have two children, four grandchildren, and is a 5th generation resident of Washington County. Gundrum has been active in the community as a Trustee on the Slinger Village Board, Chairman of the Washington County Board, and various county committees.

When people idealize about self-governance, this is the kind of election they envision: two good people with decades of experience and service to their community stepping forward to represent their neighbors in the legislature. The voters of the 58th do not have to hold their noses and choose the lesser of two evils or stomach a scoundrel for political goals. Instead, the voters of the 58th get to truly choose their next representative based on the candidate’s views on the issues and the role of government in their lives.

Dennis Degenhardt wants a larger, more robust, more comprehensive government to manage our economy, healthcare, education, and other aspects of life. He thinks that Governor Walker erred in rejecting the Medicaid expansion that was part of Obamacare and believes that Wisconsin could lead on healthcare with its own healthcare exchange. Degenhardt supports vigorous regulations on business to fight against potential abuse.

Degenhardt would like to see more taxpayer money send on education, but believes that School Choice siphons off too much money from the public school system. On transportation, he would like to see the bidding process be more competitive, but is then open to additional taxes and toll roads to fund Wisconsin’s transportation infrastructure. Degenhardt thinks that the Foxconn deal is a great mistake and would have joined the majority of Democrats in voting against it had he been in the legislature at the time.

On civil rights, Degenhardt would have voted against the bill that allowed concealed carry in Wisconsin, but is resigned to it being the law of the land. He opposes any liberalization of the concealed carry law. Degenhardt is Pro-Choice believing that abortion should be safe, legal, and rare.

Rick Gundrum believes in a smaller, less expensive, and less intrusive government. He supports a lighter regulatory burden on businesses and people with more decisions being made by local governments. Gundrum touts his experience on the Washington County Board in reducing costs though finding efficiencies and collaborating on services with other counties.

Gundrum wants to see lower taxes so that people can keep more of their own money. He supports Governor Walker’s agenda on taxes, spending, regulatory reform, government reform, education, and other items. Gundrum wants to see the state government work with local governments to aggressively address the opioid crisis through treatment options and rigorous law enforcement. Gundrum is pro-2nd Amendment, supports school choice, and is staunchly Pro-Life.

I will be gladly casting my vote for Rick Gundrum because he is a good man who promises to fight for the kind of government I want to have.

Whatever your choice, citizens of the 58th need to get out and vote. In-person absentee voting is open until January 12th and the election is on January 16th. Although the 58th Assembly District is overwhelmingly Republican, if there was ever to be an election where a Democrat might win, this is it. The Democrats are energized and Degenhardt is a quality candidate.

As a special election in the middle of a cold January, turnout will likely be less than 15%. Only 10.56% of the voters turned out last month for the special primary election. That means that perhaps less than 5,000 people will vote in this election and will decide who will represent the citizens of the 58th in Madison. Get out and vote, folks.

600 Dads

What a great story.

About 150 male students, ages 11 to 13, signed up for the Breakfast with Dads event, which was held on December 14, 2017, but Kristina Dove, the senior partner relations manager at Big Thought, a youth development nonprofit, wasn’t sure if every student would have a father present during the program.

She immediately jumped into action, using social media to call for volunteers for the event.

‘Please Share! Men Needed! On next Thursday, December 14th at 8:30 AM at Dr. Billy Earle Dade Middle School we will host ‘Breakfast with Dads’ the reality of a great event like this is alot of our kids will not have a Dad present,’ Dove wrote on Facebook on December 4.

‘But there is nothing like having a male present in the form of a mentor. We are [in] need of at least 50 or more additional male mentors who can devote 1 hour of their Wednesday morning next week to this cause,’ she added.

And on the day of the program, event organizers were overcome with emotion when 600 men showed up to support their students.

‘When a young person sees someone other than their teacher take interest in them, it inspires them. That’s what we want to see happen,’ the Rev Donald Parish Jr., pastor of True Lee Missionary Baptist Church and the event organizer, told the Dallas Morning News.

Hats off to the good men of Dallas.

Newest Dem Candidate Stumbles Into Race

Well, that escalated quickly.

At 38, Kelda Roys is one of the youngest Democratic candidates. But in an interview on Sunday political talk show “UpFront with Mike Gousha,” she didn’t highlight her age to set herself apart. Instead, she pointed to family issues like paid paternity leave and abortion rights.

Roys served as a state representative for four years and is the CEO and founder of OpenHomes, a real estate tech company. She ran for Congress in 2012, but lost to Rep. Mark Pocan in the Democratic primary.


“I happen to be the only pro-choice woman in the race … our (Democratic) electorate does tend towards women and we’re a party of reproductive rights,” she said.

Emphasis mine. The story goes on to point out:

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout is also running for governor and has said she is pro-choice, although she has a tricky history with abortion rights.


There are two other women in the Democratic primary: Ramona Whiteaker, a photographer from Stoughton and Michelle Doolan, a hair salon owner and PTO president from Cross Plains. Whiteaker could not be reached immediately for comment about her stance on abortion. Doolan responded, saying she is “absolutely pro-choice.”

Despite that, she is a far more compelling candidate than most of the rest of the field. She is young, has a business background, and an energetic message. She brightens the rest of the dreary gray Dem field.

Democrats Go on Offense on Healthcare

This smart by the Democrats.

Democrats are shifting to offense on health care, emboldened by successes in defending the Affordable Care Act. They say their ultimate goal is a government guarantee of affordable coverage for all.

With Republicans unable to agree on a vision for health care, Democrats are debating ideas that range from single-payer, government-run care for all, to new insurance options anchored in popular programs like Medicare or Medicaid. There’s also widespread support for authorizing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices, an idea once advocated by candidate Donald Trump, which has languished since he was elected president.

Democrats are hoping to winnow down the options during the 2018 campaign season, providing clarity for their 2020 presidential candidate. In polls, health care remains a top priority for the public, particularly for Democrats and independents.

True, a thinking person might say, “you gave us the utter failure of Obamacare when you were in charge,” but Americans tend to have a short memory. With the Republicans failing to repeal Obamacare and failing to offer a clear message, the Democrats may win the “JUST DO SOMETHING!” crowd by just offering a coherent alternative. Of course, the Democrats are more than willing to build their dream of socialized medicine upon the ashes of Obamacare.

The Republicans better get off their arses and advocate a free market approach to healthcare. The American people are not done with the issue – even if the Republicans are tired of it.

Reinventing Higher Education in Illinois

I wish we had more of this kind of introspective thinking in the UW System.

Southern Illinois University’s enrollment is in “free fall,” and the chancellor knows whom to blame. No, not the usual suspects — a stingy legislature, rising costs, tapped-out donors.

“Why is this (enrollment drop) occurring?” SIU Carbondale Chancellor Carlo Montemagno said in October. “It’s occurring because we are not offering programs that are distinctive and relevant to today’s students.”


Montemagno uttered these heretical (to defenders of the status quo) words as he proposed a dramatic reorganization that would lop off departments and department heads in the name of better serving students and allocating money. You don’t often hear such blunt it’s-us-not-them talk from Illinois public university presidents. They and their friendly enablers, too many pols in Springfield, battle to preserve state spending on university fiefdoms in their districts. Whether students go out of state, or enroll here and fail to succeed, are secondary concerns.

When faced with the same problem of declining enrollment in the UW Colleges, the UW Regents have decided to shuffle the organization, but leave everything else pretty much the same.

High Tax States Reacting to Federal Tax Reform


CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) — In New Jersey and California, top Democratic officials want to let people make charitable contributions to the state instead of paying certain taxes. In Connecticut and New York, officials are exploring a switch from income taxes to new ones on payroll. A few governors have even called for tax cuts.


In high-tax states, officials have been focused on protecting taxpayers from the impact of a new $10,000 cap on deductions for paying state and local taxes. In California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, more than one-third of tax filers claim the state and local tax deduction on federal taxes; the average deduction in each state is over $15,000.

California state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat who is running for the U.S. Senate, introduced legislation this week that would allow people to make charitable donations to the state instead of paying income taxes. That would allow them to claim a charitable deduction on federal taxes.


Another Democrat, New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, announced a similar plan on Friday but said local governments also could implement it and apply it to property taxes.

If they drop income and property taxes and go to a voluntary donation system, then I’m all for it. It will be a great experiment to see how much money the people in those states really believe that they should be handing over to their state and local governments. If it is a “donation” that is required by law, then it’s just a tax by another name. Somehow, I don’t think these state elected leaders really want to make taxes voluntary. They know what would happen as well as I do.

Walker Open to Accelerating Youth Prison Plan

It looks like a good plan. It still needs form debate and deliberation, but there’s no reason that can’t be moved along at something faster than government speed.

Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to move youthful offenders from prisons in northern Wisconsin to new regional facilities wouldn’t kick in until at least 2019.

But with some Dems complaining the transition of offenders wouldn’t be fast enough, Walker’s office signaled late this afternoon he was ready to work with lawmakers to speed up the process.

“Governor Walker’s plan significantly reforms our juvenile corrections system and we want to work with all parties to implement it in a thoughtful and purposeful way,” said Walker spokesman Tom Evenson. “If the Legislature wants to advance the plan sooner we would be supportive of those efforts.”

In announcing the plan, Walker’s office highlighted support from some Dems, including Rep. Evan Goyke, of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee County Exec Chris Abele.

UW System Chief of Staff to Plead Guilty to Drunk Driving

Looks like Board of Regents meetings are a hoot.

 (AP) — The attorney for University of Wisconsin System executive Jessica Tormey says Tormey plans to plead guilty to first-offense drunken driving from an incident in Menomonie in October.

Tormey is the chief of staff to UW System President Ray Cross. The Journal Sentinel reports that Tormey was stopped by police on the night of Oct. 5 in Menomonie, where she was attending a two-day Board of Regents meeting.

A police citation filed in Dunn County Circuit Court says Tormey’s blood-alcohol content was 0.13 percent, above the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

FBI Investigating Clinton

Why keep investigating? The Clintons are old news? Right?

The FBI has been quietly investigating the Clinton Foundation for months, according to people familiar with the inquiry, US media report.

The investigation is reportedly being led by FBI agents from Little Rock, Arkansas, where the foundation was founded.

They have interviewed at least one witness in the last month, reports the Hill, a Washington DC political news outlet.

Agents are said to be looking into whether policy favours were traded for unspecified donations to the foundation while Mrs Clinton was secretary of state.

Why? Because it is possible that a person at the highest reaches of our federal government with access to almost every national secret was selling influence for cash. We should find out for sure, no?

First Week in Review of 2018

I’ll be on Wisconsin Public Radio’s Week in Review program from 0800 to 0900 today. I’ll be discussing the issues of the week with Lon Newman.

Tune in!

Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Trouble

It looks like the municipalities involved can’t all agree on a funding plan.

So far, only Appleton, Menasha and Sherwood have signed the agreement. Kimberly approved the agreement on Nov. 6 but later rescinded it unanimously on Nov. 20.

Should the agreement not be signed by each of the 10 communities, Appleton has two options: It uses its full amount of room taxes toward the $31 million exhibition center and not other projects, or the city could sue other municipalities for breach of contract, Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna said.

“At what point does a legal agreement mean a legal agreement?” Hanna told USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin after the meeting. “We don’t want to go down that path, we don’t want to go down that path at all (of the two options if the agreements aren’t signed), and they know we don’t want to go down that path so they think they can just leverage that.

“These agreements are built on trust, and obviously, there’s no trust.”

In 2015, 10 communities agreed to set aside a portion of their room taxes collected from hotel and motel guests to pay back loans taken out for the exhibition center. However, Appleton officials are still working to negotiate a financing plan with local banks, while other stakeholders say they prefer to use traditional revenue bonds for the financing plan.

Until a financing plan is established, Appleton has been dipping into its cash reserves to pay for the exhibition center.

In addition to his concerns about the financing plan, Kaufert said that the nine other communities that are putting in room tax dollars should have more say in the project.

DOJ To Enforce Pot Laws

Put another way, Trump’s DOJ returns to policies of Obama’s first term.

(CNN)In a seismic shift, Attorney General Jeff Sessions will announce Thursday that he is rescinding a trio of memos from the Obama administration that adopted a policy of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws, according to a source with knowledge of the decision.

While many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law, creating a conflict between federal and state law.
The main Justice Department memo addressing the issue, known as the “Cole memo” for then-Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole in 2013, set forth new priorities for federal prosecutors operating in states where the drug had been legalized for medical or other adult use. It represented a major shift from strict enforcement to a more hands-off approach, so long as they didn’t threaten other federal priorities, such as preventing the distribution of the drug to minors and cartels.
The memo will be rescinded but it’s not immediately clear whether Sessions will issue new guidance in its place or simply revert back to older policies that left states with legal uncertainty about enforcement of federal law.
On the action itself, it is completely correct and appropriate. Whether the DOJ likes it or not, marijuana is illegal and they are tasked with enforcing the law whether they like it or not. They should be enforcing the law.
If the Congress wants to change the law, however, that is certainly something worth considering. I would start with asking whether this should even be a federal issue or not? While we can certainly debate the merits and demerits of decriminalization, I think it is more appropriately a discussion to have at the state level. Except for the case of border enforcement, this is an issue that is better handled in the states.


Here we go again. There is a storm hitting the Northeast. Granted, it’s a bad storm, but it’s just a storm. Since the national media is all based on the East coast, they go into full panic reporting and you get stuff like this:

At Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, the temperature will plunge to minus 35 degrees Friday night into Saturday, weather observer Taylor Regan said. At last check several days ago, the high temperature on Mars was minus 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s an interesting factoid, I guess, but hardly a unique planetary event. Just talk to the folks in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, etc. who have been seeing these temperatures for a couple of weeks now. It’s almost as if the national media isn’t aware of weather in the rest of the nation…

Armed Robber Given Slap on Wrist

This is outrageous.

Nearly a year ago, Elijah Rowland was involved in an incident resulting in a loss of nearly $2,000 from the KFC in West Bend. He was initially charged with armed robbery, facing decades prison.

During a Wednesday hearing, the charge of armed robbery was amended to receiving stolen property. The hearing was initially scheduled as the second part of a motion hearing to suppress an admission.


The charge of possessing a firearm as a felon was dismissed and read in as was a charge from Milwaukee, which was related to the matter.


Ultimately, the defendant was sentence to a year and six months in prison, followed by an additional two years under supervision. A part of his supervision requires that he not have contact with any KFC in Washington County.

Rowland has already served 324 days in the Washington County Jail and that time will be applied to his prison sentence.

The story doesn’t reveal the details, but this is the reason that the ADA gave:

The ADA and Judge James Muehlbauer both notedseveral times that though armed robbery is serious, this case was different and potential legal problems surrounding the collection of the admission allowed for the amended charge.

I take from that that there was something wrong with his confession and the ADA is worried about losing on appeal. OK, fine. Let’s remember a bit more about this case.

Police have arrested a 25-year-old Milwaukee man for allegedly robbing a West Bend Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant at gunpoint last week. Elijah Rowland approached an employee who was closing the business Thursday, February 9th. He showed a handgun and demanded money. He was arrested Tuesday. Rowland was previously convicted of a felony outside of Wisconsin. He is being held in the Washington County Jail and is due back in court next Wednesday.

So Rowland is a repeat felon who committed an armed robbery. Clearly, there was enough evidence at the scene (video? witnesses?) to identify him and arrest him. Yet, because the ADA is worried about his confession, they slap him on the wrist? Why not actually prosecute the case? At the very least, why not also prosecute him on being a felon in possession of a firearm? If they prosecuted the case, he would spend about the same amount of time in jail – maybe more – than he will now EVEN IF HE IS ACQUITTED!

Instead, we have a violent repeat felon who will be back on the streets in 6 months. Instead of going to prison for many years, he will be out and able to prey on the public by summer.

It’s a little late for my RightWisconsin predictions, but I’ll throw this one in: Elijah Rowland will commit another violent crime. There will be more victims of this predator. Let’s hope that next time he doesn’t injure or kill someone.

Hotels Remove Do Not Disturb Signs

In reaction to the Las Vegas killings.

Walt Disney World (DIS)has swapped “Do Not Disturb” signs with “Room Occupied” signs at a handful of its hotels in Orlando, Florida, according to a company spokeswoman.

Disney is also allowing housekeeping and maintenance staff to enter the rooms on a daily basis.They will knock and announce their presence before entering, according to the company.


The Orleans hotel and casino, located on Las Vegas’ famed Tropicana Avenue, along with Boyd Gaming’s 23 other properties nationwide — changed its “do not disturb” policy in late October, a spokesman said. Under the revised policy, a “welfare check” is conducted after two consecutive days of a “Do Not Disturb” sign on a room door.

Good idea? As someone that stays in hotels a lot and usually leaves up my DND sign, I would find this annoying. But it is also fairly harmless. It is certainly within the hotels’ rights and, perhaps, responsibility.

Trump v. Bannon


The president disavowed Mr Bannon after he was quoted in a new book describing a meeting between Mr Trump’s son and a group of Russians as “treasonous”.

The Russians had offered Donald Trump Jr damaging information on Hillary Clinton at the June 2016 meeting.

Mr Bannon’s quote appears in a new book by journalist Michael Wolff.

“Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my presidency. When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind,” Mr Trump said in a statement on Wednesday.

I’m finding it difficult to get exercised over this latest dust up. First, it’s a pissing match between two world-class liars. Second, up until five minutes ago, the Left told us that Bannon was a white nationalist liar bent on the destruction of America. Today he is apparently the noble whistle-blower. I can’t keep up on who I’m supposed to hate or not. Third, if there’s anything we have learned about Bannon, it’s that he is unswerving in his support for Bannon. He is cashing the ultimate “insider” check with his “tell all.” And the media is helping him get richer.

I’m going to go back to worrying about Trump’s big button. That was funnier.