Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...

Owen

Everything but tech support

Jed

Tech support

Biden Mobilizes Federal Agencies for Democratic GOTV Effort

Yet another case of the modern Democratic Party of using government power to advance their political gains.

Biden issued the executive order on March 7, 2021, noting the federal government’s “duty to ensure that registering to vote and the act of voting be made simple and easy for all those eligible to do so” and that it would be implemented “consistent with applicable law.” Agency leaders were asked to submit a strategic plan within 200 days.

 

[…]

 

Republicans said the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service had informed state agencies that the costs of providing voter registration services were allowable administrative expenses under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and could be “reimbursed at the 50 percent level.”

 

“Using the nation’s multi-billion-dollar nutrition program to implement the Biden Administration’s voter registration scheme is not only a cause for concern, but one that necessitates further scrutiny,” the Republicans wrote.

 

[…]

 

A few months later, Republicans sent letters to federal agencies requesting information about their plans to comply with the order. They also included repealing the executive order in a broad elections bill they introduced last year.

 

Last month, the chairman of the Committee on House Administration sent letters requesting documents related to the order and set a two-week deadline to comply. The chairman, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Bryan Steil, then issued subpoenas. He called the federal order “another attempt by the Biden Administration to tilt the scales ahead of 2024.”

 

[…]

 

While federal agencies have not published their proposals, they have announced steps they’ve taken to comply with the order.

This is a problem for a few reasons. First, it simply is not the role of federal agencies to be involved in elections. They should neither use their resources to promote, facilitate, or participate in the electoral process. That is not their mission. And although it may seem benign to the naive, every agency is run by humans who will naturally let their personal biases slip into whatever they do – intentionally or not. They wield too much power to allow that to take place. All federal agencies should do regarding elections is to ensure that there are no unreasonable barriers to their employees to vote.

Second, done by executive order, the Biden Administration is allocating tax dollars without Congressional authority. These agencies are not funded to participate in electioneering and their funds should not be used for such.

Third, it is telling that after three years, these agencies are stonewalling Congress to share their strategic plans. According to the order, these plans were to be developed within 200 days. That would have been September 23, 2001 – two-and-a-half years ago. These strategic plans should be well worn documents sitting in a file somewhere that are readily available to share with Congress as part of Congress’ constitutional oversight role. Why are the agencies stonewalling? Was is in those plans that they do not want revealed?

This has all of the hallmarks of what we have seen throughout our governments. Every agency is being corrupted for political ends to support the ruling party.

Jay Z’s Company Pushes for School Choice

This is the way.

Philadelphia parents learned about school choice on Friday at a lunch provided by an unusual benefactor: Jay Z‘s entertainment company Roc Nation.

 

The A-lister is making his final push in a campaign to urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to spend millions on school vouchers ahead of the state’s budget deadline, June 30. The vouchers would entitle families to use public funds traditionally used for public schools toward private and parochial schools.

 

Jay Z’s New York-based entertainment company announced this month it was backing a $100 million private school choice program in Pennsylvania.

Desiree Perez, Roc Nation’s CEO, said the state’s public school system doesn’t work for some disadvantaged students, and their families deserve unfettered access to alternative options, including high-performing private schools.

 

“It’s an immediate need,” Perez said.

Educational freedom used to be an issue initiated and championed by the Black community. They have been muted in the last couple of decades as they adopted the anti-choice stances of the Leftists. It is good to see the Black community reasserting their power and influence on this important issue.

Democrats to Force Women to Register for the Draft

I have mixed feelings on this issue.

Senate Democrats have added language to the annual defense authorization bill to require women to register for the draft, prompting a backlash from Republicans and social conservatives and complicating the chances of moving the bill on the Senate floor before Election Day.

As the father of several draft-age men and women, my interests are as personal as philosophical. Let’s think about it from a couple of perspectives.

As a man and a father with mostly traditional values, I do think it is largely the appropriate and historic role for men to be protectors and providers. The thought of sending women off to war is instinctively abhorrent to me. While women have always served in war in every conflict, it has traditionally when they volunteer or when the war comes to their doors. It is the duty of men to go to faraway places and kill the enemy before they reach their doors.

There is also a practical, if grim, reason for this traditional role. In the event of a bloody war where a great number of people are killed, any country/society/culture needs women to repopulate. Our nation can repopulate with more women than men. It is much more difficult when men outnumber women (see: China). Part of our evolutionary survival as a species is because we have traditionally protected the fairer sex from violence so that they can continue the species. In other words, men are more expendable to the species than women.

But… I also think that women are capable of being great war fighters in modern combat. Except for a few select roles that require great physical strength where men’s biological advantages prevail, modern combat is largely mechanical and technological thus reducing the physical requirements. Other nations have proven the effectiveness of women in combat.

Furthermore, women are full-fledged individual citizens imbued with all of the rights and responsibilities of being a citizen. One of those responsibilities is to fight, kill, and die to protect our nation. Why should women be excluded from this responsibility when they enjoy all of the same rights?

So I am torn. The small “r” republican supports including women in the draft. The rest of me recoils at the notion.

Court Karens Purge Name of Conservative Predecessor

It should worry us all that people who are this bitter and petty are making judgments about anything to do with us. These are the people you see berating the poor barista for putting too little oat milk in their latte.

The liberal partisans on the Wisconsin Supreme Court are erasing former conservative Justice David Prosser’s name from the state Law Library, a move that conservative Justice Rebecca Bradley labeled a “petty and vindictive maneuver.”

 

They are replacing his name with the name of Lavinia Goodell, “Wisconsin’s first female lawyer,” according to a press release from the Court.

 

[…]

 

In 2016, then Supreme Court Chief Justice Pat Roggensack, a conservative, announced that the law library would be named after Prosser “in light of Prosser’s upcoming retirement and many years of service.”

 

Prosser served on the court for 18 years. He was first appointed to the court by Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson in 1998 and was re-elected twice, according to his court bio.

 

A Supreme Court press release at the time the law library was named for Prosser says, “In all, Prosser spent more than 40 years in public service, including experience in all three branches of state government. He retired July 31, after 18 years on the Supreme Court. Earlier in his career, he served as a tax appeals commissioner, legislative leader, and a prosecutor.”

Cocaine Found Floating Off Miami

Hunter?

MIAMI — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys.

 

Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being wheeled away on a cart.

West Bend Schools Ape Milwaukee Schools

Heh.

WEST BEND — The West Bend School District (WBSD) announced on Monday the results of their recent community survey on facilities showed a majority of respondents support a capital referendum on the November ballot to address urgent needs in the district.

 

According to the release, 86.02% of respondents believe the district’s urgent facility needs must be addressed immediately, and 72.28% of respondents support a $100 million capital referendum to address a large portion of Phase 1 needs.

There are two possible explanations for these results in the current economic climate in conservative-leaning West Bend. Fist, it’s a BS survey. This is certainly true. They even say in the survey results, “by design, this data is not based on a scientific sample. Therefore, it should be treated as qualitative data.”

It’s also worth noting that the survey questions were long and intrusive. Rather than a simple survey, this one took some effort to respond to. What does that do to results? It ensures that only people motivated will fill it out. Who is that? People who really want the referendum and people who hate it. The indifferent or uninterested won’t take the time. But those people vote.

The second possibility is that even with the goofy survey structure, that the majority of people in the West Bend District do actually want to drop another $100 million into buildings. In this regard, they would be going the way of Milwaukee. There are many of the same factors at play.

Milwaukee’s educational performance has been bad and declining for years despite more money. West Bend’s educational performance is better but has been mediocre to declining for years despite increasing funding every year. Are Benders satisfied with less than half of their kids being able to read at grade level? I guess so.

Milwaukee’s school board has been opaque about the district’s finances to the point of outright fraud. West Bend’s school board has been opaque about the district’s finances. Go to the district’s website and try to find budget information. It’s there. Kind of. There are occasionally a couple of high-level slides in a board meeting if you know which board meeting to go look at. Years ago, the district published actual detailed budget information. That no longer happens. Every school board candidate for a decade has run promising more “transparency” and the board has gotten increasingly less transparent. Where is all of the money going? Your guess is as good as mine. Wherever it’s going, it’s not improving outcomes for kids.

Milwaukee has been facing declining enrolment for years. West Bend has been facing declining enrollment for years. A district that once served over 7,000 students with the same building structures is projected to serve just over 4,000 students by the end of the decade (table 12). That is a 40% drop in enrollment. Why is spending not decreasing with the decline in enrollment? Why does this school board want to spend another $100 million on top of their already bloated budget? If the taxpayers are stupid enough to let them, they will.

The West Bend School District is only different from the disaster of the Milwaukee School Board by a matter of degrees. Let us pray that the voters are not so stupid as the voters of Milwaukee to give them more money to waste.

 

 

Biden Embraces Lawlessness with Mass Amnesty

Just in case you were under the impression from Biden’s intern’s tweets that he was serious about enforcing the border, this should disabuse you of such fantasies.

The president announced that his administration will, in the coming months, allow certain U.S. citizens’ spouses without legal status to apply for permanent residency and eventually citizenship without having to first depart the country. The action by Biden, a Democrat, could affect upwards of half a million immigrants, according to senior administration officials.

Secret Service Agent Robbed at Gunpoint in LA

We are coming apart at the seams.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A U.S. Secret Service agent was robbed at gunpoint as President Joe Biden was visiting Los Angeles for a fundraising event over the weekend, officials said.

 

The agent was returning from work Saturday night when he was accosted in a residential community in Tustin, about an hour’s drive southeast of Los Angeles, according to the U.S. Secret Service.

 

Someone called the Tustin Police Department shortly after 9:30 p.m. to report the robbery. Police said the agent had his bag stolen at gunpoint. The agent, who was not injured, fired his gun during the confrontation, police said. The Secret Service said they did not know if anyone was shot.

Tustin Police said Monday they had not found a suspect. Officers did find some of the agent’s stolen belongings in the area. Police reported a silver Infiniti FX35 was seen leaving the scene.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Takes Case of Evers’ 400-year Tax Increase

This will be interesting.

MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ partial veto that locked in a school funding increase for the next 400 years, the justices announced Monday.

 

The Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Litigation Center filed a lawsuit in April arguing the governor exceeded his authority. The group asked the high court to strike down the veto without waiting for the case to go through lower courts.

 

The court issued an order Monday afternoon saying it would take the case. The justices didn’t elaborate beyond setting a briefing schedule.

 

At issue is a partial veto Evers made in the state budget in July 2023 that increased revenue public schools can raise per student by $325 annually until 2425. Evers took language that originally applied the $325 increase for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 school years and vetoed the “20” and the hyphen to make the end date 2425, more than four centuries from now.

By the law, it seems clearly unconstitutional. While the Wisconsin Constitution stupidly gives the Governor the power to veto individual letters, it is clear that the power to write laws and raise taxes lies exclusively within the power of the legislature.

Politically, the leftists control the court. One might instinctively think that they will rule in favor of Evers to support “their guy.” However, handing that kind of power to the governor in perpetuity is fraught with risk for the Liberals. Wisconsin is an evenly divided state and there is no certainty that the Democrats will control the governorship last Evers’ current term. If the court enhances the power of the governor’s veto, what will a Republican governor do with it?

Remember that the court just unconstitutionally redrew the legislative districts in the hopes of taking back one or both houses of the legislature. Will the shoot themselves in the foot by disempowering the legislature just when they are poised to take it back?

If I were a betting man, I’d bet that the court’s liberals will make the correct ruling that the governor exceeded his authority. It’s smarter politics to play the long game for legislative power. It also allows them to portray the court as balanced just before a pivotal court election next spring.

Federal Judge Rules Against Agency Overreach

Again… it’s not about the rule. It’s about the fact that Biden does not have unilateral authority to change laws on a whim. We have a legislature in our nation that writes laws. The Executive Branch is just supposed to… you know… execute them.

FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Biden administration’s effort to expand protections for LGBTQ+ students hit another roadblock Monday, when a federal judge in Kentucky temporarily blocked the new Title IX rule in six additional states.

 

U.S. District Judge Danny C. Reeves referred to the regulation as “arbitrary in the truest sense of the word” in granting a preliminary injunction blocking it in Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. His ruling comes days after a different federal judge temporarily blocked the new rule from taking effect in Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Montana.

 

Attorneys general in more than 20 Republican-led states have filed at least seven legal challenges to President Joe Biden’s new policy. Republicans argue the policy is a ruse to allow transgender girls to play on girls athletic teams. The Biden administration said the rule does not apply to athletics.

SCOTUS’ Ruling On Bump Stocks is About Agency Overreach

Democrats are really trying to scare people with SCOTUS’ bump stock ruling by making it about guns because they want you to ignore that the ruling was really about reining in rogue agencies who are abusing their authority. For example:

“But now that they have got a Supreme Court that seems ready to unwind the entirety of the Second Amendment and take away from Congress or the executive branch the ability to keep our communities safe, they’re once again lining up behind the gun industry.”

 

Murphy’s comments echo the response of gun control advocacy groups, which argued Friday that the court’s ruling will have a dangerous impact in a country constantly reeling from gun violence.

But if you read the actual ruling, the court did not even mention the 2nd Amendment. The ruling rested on the fact that the ATF exceeded its statutory authority to define a bump stock as a “machinegun.”

Held: ATF exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies a bump stock as a “machinegun” under §5845(b). Pp. 6–19.

(a) A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock is not a “machinegun” as defined by §5845(b) because: (1) it cannot fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger” and (2) even if it could, it would not do so “automatically.” ATF therefore exceeded its statutory authority by issuing a Rule that classifies bump stocks as machineguns. P. 6.

(b) A semiautomatic rifle equipped with a bump stock does not fire more than one shot “by a single function of the trigger.” The phrase “function of the trigger” refers to the mode of action by which the trigger activates the firing mechanism. No one disputes that a semiautomatic rifle without a bump stock is not a machinegun because a shooter must release and reset the trigger between every shot. And, any subsequent shot fired after the trigger has been released and reset is the result of a separate and distinct “function of the trigger.” Nothing changes when a semiautomatic rifle is equipped with a bump stock. Between every shot, the shooter must release pressure from the trigger and allow it to reset before reengaging the trigger for another shot. A bump stock merely reduces the amount of time that elapses between separate “functions” of the trigger.

What Democrats really want to preserve is the ability of federal agencies to operate on their own without the authority of Congress. They WANT to empower the Executive Branch at the expense of the Legislative Branch because they know that their agenda is too unpopular to implement with the consent of the governed. That is why they are up in arms, so to speak, to usurp the court as a means to usurp the Congress.

SCOTUS ruled how all Americans should want them to rule. They simply said that a federal agency may not make up laws. Congress has the sole authority to make laws. If you wanted a different ruling, then you don’t really support democracy.

MPS Board Recall Gets Underway

None of this will matter unless the people of Milwaukee stop electing union-supported liberals to this board. They need people who care more about educating kids than they do about the system, buildings, or even teachers.

 

Enough is enough.

 

That is the message Milwaukee activist Dr. Tamika Johnson and other concerned citizens had for the Milwaukee Public School Board on Wednesday. The group calls itself the Recall MPS School Board Collaborative.

 

[…]

 

According to the group, “MPS’ gross financial mismanagement, irresponsible and unresponsive leadership, and inadequate governance by the elected MPS School Board Directors” led them to launch a recall of selected members.

 

Those members are Board President Marva Herndon, Board Vice President Jilly Gokalgandhi, Erica Siemsen, and Missy Zomber. The group says those four members have not been transparent over the last few years and have deceived the public.

Summer is Here

Oh no! Summer!

The National Weather Service warned people in the South and Midwest planning to celebrate dads outdoors on Sunday to stay cool amid a major heat risk, with high temperatures into the 90s in some areas.

The intense heat wave won’t stop there. An expansive and exceptionally strong heat dome will build Sunday over the East and stretch into the Midwest and Great Lakes over the next few days, with the heat expected to persist through the week.

Heat domes trap air in place and bake it with abundant sunshine for days on end, making each day hotter than the last.

Media Rallies to Defense of Biden

Here’s the thing...

Conservative media outlets selectively used a camera angle that left out important context to spread a claim Thursday and Friday that President Joe Biden wandered off from a meeting of world leaders, but the full video at another angle captured by NBC News tells a different story.

 

Instead of wandering off, Biden was walking toward a group of parachutists who had just landed in an Italian clearing and gave them two thumbs-up.

 

The deceptive video began spreading online shortly after a photo opportunity at the G7 summit in Puglia, in southern Italy. Biden and other leaders from some of the world’s largest economies stood on a green lawn while people in military uniforms parachuted in carrying oversized flags of the different countries.

First, that video came out days ago. What was it? Wednesday? Maybe early Thursday? It is now Sunday and suddenly every news outlet is jumping on this like a hog on slop to claim that it was faked. If it was fake, why wasn’t there a response the afternoon it came out? Or the day after? Or the day after that? Clearly, it took a few days before someone thought it would be a good idea to at least try to counter the claim.

Second, this is part of a pattern for Biden. The story isn’t that he wandered off at this event. The story is that he keeps wandering off all over the place. It is a clear sign of age when he continually gets distracted, loses focus, or forgets to abide by social norms for public events.

Biden Readies Mass Amnesty Plan for Illegal Aliens

This is the plan all along. Throw open the gates of America, import millions of people, and then make the citizens. I’m not saying anything that anyone with a brain didn’t already know. All of the people who immigrated legally to America are suckers for going through the trouble of following our laws.

To protect the spouses of Americans, the administration is expected to use a process called “parole-in-place.” It not only offers deportation protections and work permits to qualifying immigrants but also removes a legal obstacle that prevents them from getting on a path to a green card, and eventually, U.S. citizenship.

 

That power has already been used for other groups of immigrants, such as members of the U.S. military or their family members who lack legal status.

 

For Biden’s actions, White House officials were narrowing in on a plan that would offer parole in place for spouses of Americans who have been here for at least five or 10 years, according to the people briefed on the deliberations. The people were granted anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

 

The immigrant advocacy group FWD.us estimates that there are roughly 1.1 million immigrants without legal status married to Americans. However, depending on how the Biden administration writes the proposal, the actual universe of people who could qualify for the president’s plan is likely far smaller.

 

Advocates were also lobbying the White House to include benefits for immigrants lacking legal status who provide caregiving roles for American family members, according to two of the people familiar with the discussions, although that provision was seen as far less likely to be enacted for now. Allowing such caregivers to apply for a so-called “cancellation of removal” would affect immigrants like family members of Americans who have specific needs or disabilities.

Why Did Biden Fly to Europe Back to Back?

What this story does not consider is that Jill Biden was flying back and forth between Europe and the U.S. to attend Hunter’s trial. Even at the best case as stated in this story, the Bidens blew millions of dollars flying back and forth to Europe this week for personal political reasons. It was not for the benefit of the people of the United States. It was for the benefit of the Biden crime family.

When Biden looks back at those two round trips — roughly a day and a half of flying, all told — he may remember only what happened in between: the conviction of his only living son, Hunter Biden, on charges of lying to obtain a gun permit.

 

But the two round trips raise the question: Why didn’t he just stay in Europe for a couple of days, play a round of golf, visit some U.S. troops, maybe huddle with a foreign leader or two? He is, after all, 81, and some of his aides who are half his age were complaining about lost sleep cycles.

 

The White House’s explanation for four trans-Atlantic crossings in nine days was simply that Biden had commitments in Washington. But by presidential standards, his public schedule looked light: a lunch with Vice President Kamala Harris, a Juneteenth concert and a speech to a gun safety group.

 

Hunter Biden’s trial also loomed over the planning, though it was impossible to know when these trips were planned that the case would go to the jury and a verdict would be rendered in the three days between the D-Day trip and the G7 meeting. As it turned out, Biden shuttled back to Delaware on Tuesday afternoon to be with his son before taking off again in the morning.

 

But privately, some aides said there were election-year optics to be considered. There was no urgent reason to stay in Europe, and a few down days “might not look right,” one of Biden’s advisers conceded, though the aide quickly added that Biden never really took a down day. In any case, no one wanted images of the president on what his political opponents might cast as a European holiday, at least while he is running for reelection. A long weekend in Rehoboth, the Delaware town where he and his wife, Jill, have a beach house, might be one thing; a few days in France or Italy have an entirely different look.

Wisconsin Lawfare

Realize where we are. The Democrats are willing to weaponize any office to punish their political opponents. In this case (setting aside the Scott Bauer’s comically rank bias by using the phrase “fake electors”), we had some honest people who were doing what they thought right, proper, and within the law in response to a tightly contested election riddled with issues. For their care for the rule of law and preservation of democratic rule, the state’s Attorney General is using every resource at his disposal to ruin their lives. Liberals are burning cities without consequence while dreary lawyers get prosecuted for having a legal opinion contrary to the ruling order.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The Wisconsin Supreme Court on Tuesday suspended former President Donald Trump’s Wisconsin lawyer from a state judicial ethics panel a week after he was charged with a felony for his role in a 2020 fake electors scheme.

 

Liberal advocates have been calling for Jim Troupis to step down from the Judicial Conduct Advisory Committee, saying he is unsuitable due to his role advising the Republicans who attempted to cast Wisconsin’s electoral votes for Trump after he lost the 2020 election in the state to Democrat Joe Biden.

 

Troupis, a former judge, Kenneth Chesebro, another Trump attorney, and former Trump aide Mike Roman were all charged by state Attorney General Josh Kaul last week for their role in the fake electors plot.

Biden Proposed to Defraud Lenders By Faking Credit Reports

The entire purpose of a credit report is to give lenders some insight into whether or not a person will pay them back based on past history. It doesn’t matter where a person’s debt originated. In yet another election year stupid scheme, Biden is setting up the next debt bubble and market crash as he blinds lenders to the credit worthiness of their potential customers.

In a sweeping change that could improve millions of Americans’ ability to own a home or buy a car, the Biden administration on Tuesday proposed a rule to ban medical debt from credit reports.

The rule, announced by Vice President Kamala Harris and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Rohit Chopra, comes as President Joe Biden beefs up his efforts to persuade Americans his administration is lowering costs, a chief concern for voters in the upcoming election.

CFPB’s research estimates that the new rule would allow 22,000 more people to get approved for safe mortgages each year — meaning lenders could also benefit from the positive impact on peoples’ credit scores, by being able to approve more borrowers.

Hunter Convicted

I’ll admit it. I’m surprised. While it was obviously a slam-dunk case, I did not think that a Delaware jury would convict him. I don’t expect that he will see a day in jail, but the verdict surprises me. I doubt that the verdict moves a single vote for the presidential election, but it’s something.

Here’s where things currently stand:

  • Hunter Biden has been found guilty of lying about his drug use when buying a gun. After three hours of deliberation, the jury found him guilty on all three counts.

  • Hunter faces a maximum of 25 years in prison for all three counts. An exact date has not been scheduled. The judge has said sentencing dates usually take place within a 120-day period.

  • Hunter showed little emotion as the guilty verdicts were read out, staring ahead with his arms folded before turning around to hug some of the associates on his legal team.

The Conley Column Ends

If you were coming here today to read my latest weekly column for the Washington County Daily News, I’m sorry to disappoint you. My time as a columnist for Conley Media has come to an end. Last week’s column was my final one.

The reason is simple. Money. It is no secret that traditional newspapers have suffered greatly in the internet age. With so many outlets for news, people have moved away from traditional local newspapers and their revenue has, consequently, suffered. And so, Conley has cut back on their budget for freelance writers like me and my column has been cut.

It’s been a helluva run and I am immensely appreciative to Conley. Jed and I started this blog in 2003. It was before social media and at the beginning of the heyday of blogging and citizen journalism. It was a lot of fun and we built a substantial audience with some significant influence.

In 2006, Conley did something really smart. In order to capitalize on the popularity of blogging, they asked several prominent Wisconsin bloggers, including me, to write a weekly column for them. I initially chaffed at the notion of a deadline and an editor. After all, blogging offers unlimited freedom of content and form. But I accepted the offer and figured I could always quit if it became onerous.

The column proved to be a joy. I came to appreciate the discipline of writing every week. I really tried to keep the column focused on state or local issues. There are plenty of other writers who write about national and international issues. My thought was that the readers of Conley’s papers wanted to read about home. My editors over the years (sans one) allowed me immense latitude and kept me honest on facts. They occasionally nudged me on tone, but never on content. A special shoutout to my editor of the past several years, Brian Huber, for his guidance and support.

I also enjoyed the column because it afforded me the opportunity to have a conversation with a different audience than this blog. There is some crossover, but they are different audiences. As I have put less effort into the blog in recent years as I have other life priorities, the column remained a weekly commitment. I believe I am the last remaining blogger columnist from that era. The others dropped off long ago for various reasons. Perhaps the death of my column will breathe new life into this blog. Perhaps not. Don’t get your hopes up.

All told, I wrote every week except for two. Once I missed my deadline because I broke my collar bone. I forget why I missed the other time. In total, I wrote 954 columns, or roughly 670,000 words over 18 years and 4 months from February 7, 2006, to June 4, 2024. The column ran every Tuesday in the Washington County Daily News, nee West Bend Daily News, and was regularly republished in other Conley newspapers around the state as they saw fit.

Thank you to all of the people who read and enjoyed (or hated) the column for the last almost two decades. And thank you to the good folks at Conley Media for publishing my work for so long. It was fun to write. I enjoyed the conversation. I hope y’all did too.

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