Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
I know you've been a loyal friend to burned, blinded, paralyzed and traumatic brain-injured veterans and their families in the past.
So if you've already sent a Secret Santa gift to help our severely disabled troops give their children a nice Christmas, thank you. Treat yourself to cookies and milk on Christmas Eve - you deserve it.
But if you haven't had a chance to play Secret Santa yet, please make your gift today.
I know you wouldn't want even one child of a struggling military family to be left out on Christmas morning.
And I know it saddens - and perhaps even angers - you that they are waiting months for their benefits to kick in, many of our disabled heroes have to scrimp and save just to cover the cost of food and rent.
Come December, Christmas gifts might be out of the question.
But every child of a wounded hero deserves at least one present from Santa, whether their parents can afford it or not.
That's why the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes created the 2014 Secret Santa Project. Using gifts from our faithful supporters, we surprise our wounded warriors with $500 so they can provide their families with Christmas presents.
But with time running out on our Secret Santa Project, it's critical that you make a tax-deductible Christmas donation right now.
Imagine the joy you'll bring to a child like Army Cpl. Brandon Boyd's daughter (who I mentioned a few days ago) on Christmas when she opens presents that Mom and Dad were unable to buy due to emergency expenses such as paying the rent or making a car payment.
So put on your imaginary Santa hat and make the most generous Christmas donation you can to the Coalition's Secret Santa Project today.
And on December 24th, just know that you played a critical role in brightening Christmas morning for an innocent child of a severely wounded hero.
Major General John K. Singlaub
U.S. Army (Ret.)
Major General John K. Singlaub U.S. Army (Ret.)
A donation of $50 could help put a new video game under the tree for him on Christmas morning. . . . . $100 could help give a little girl the bicycle her own parents had planned to buy - until they got behind on the electricity bill and couldn't risk a cutoff during the Christmas Season. . . . $250 could put presents under the tree for a severely wounded hero's entire family on Christmas morning.
And an especially generous tax-deductible Christmas gift of $500, $1,000 or more could help Mom and Dad put presents under the Christmas tree AND have enough left over to pay a few overdue bills and put Christmas dinner on the table.
Who knows, maybe your Christmas gift will be sent to a struggling military family near you. Thank you for all you've done and all I hope you will continue to do for these families. We couldn't do it without you.
Coalition to Salute America's Heroes | PO Box 96440 | Washington, DC 20090-6440 | www.saluteheroes.org | 1-888-447-2588
CSAH is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization and contributions are tax-deductible.
1) New York Fire Department personnel saluted as an ambulance and motorcade carrying one of the two New York Police officers who were shot dead passed by an FDNY honor guard in the Brooklyn borough of New York on Saturday. The officers were shot at 2:47 p.m. by a gunman who walked up to their parked car in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn and without warning fired through the passenger side window, Police Commissioner William Bratton said. "They were, quite simply, assassinated," said Bratton. Police said the armed man ran into a subway station and committed suicide. Photo: CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters
2) Investigators work at the scene near the officers' patrol car. Photo: John Minchillo / AP
3) A police officer wipes tears away from his face as he walks away from the scene of the shooting. Photo: Carlo Allegri / Reuters
4) Hostages flee with their hands up from the Lindt Cafe during a standoff on Dec. 15, in Sydney, Australia. Police stormed the cafe on Monday, ending a 16-hour seiege by a gunman and self-professed sheik. The gunman was killed and two of 17 hostages suffered fatal injuries. Photo: Joosep Martinson / Getty Images
5) Protesters block the southbound lanes of I-43 on Friday during a demonstration for Dontre Hamilton, who was killed by a Milwaukee police officer in Red Arrow Park. Journal Sentinel photo: Rick Wood
6) Students and teachers celebrate after listening to a live, nationally broadcast speech by Cuba's President Raul Castro about the country's restoration of relations with the United States, at a school in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Castro said profound differences remain between Cuba and the U.S. in areas such as human rights, foreign policy and questions of sovereignty, but that the countries have to learn to live with their differences "in a civilized manner." (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)
7) Alan Gross speaks during a news conference at his lawyer's office in Washington, DC., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Gross was released from Cuba after 5 years in a Cuban prison. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
8) Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is shown in a courtroom sketch during a pre-trial hearing at the federal courthouse in Boston, Massachusetts December 18, 2014. The Boston Marathon bombing suspect, in his first court appearance in more than a year, told a judge on Thursday that he was satisfied with his lawyers' preparations for the January start of his trial over the deadly 2013 attack. (REUTERS/Jane Collins)
9) Fifty year old Mercedes Pincay passes her belongings from her apartment through the back door, as riot police arrive to evict her and her partner in Madrid, Spain, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. The landlord's loss of the apartment to a Bankia bank caused Pincay and her partner Aristides Apolo's eviction. Pincay, lived with 58 year old Apolo, in a foreclosed apartment that was owned by her sister who stopped paying her mortgage fees. Pincay and Apolo remained in the apartment as they could not afford to pay rent due to their financial situation as well as health issues as Pincay is recovering from breast cancer. The eviction was carried out. (AP Photo/Andres Kudacki)
10) Women in angel costumes marching around the site of the Sydney cafe siege line up to receive an embrace from a man giving out 'free hugs to those mourning the victims of the incident in Sydney's Martin Place, December 18, 2014. Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday ordered a sweeping investigation into a deadly hostage siege after tough new security laws and the courts failed to stop a convicted felon from walking into a Sydney cafe with a concealed shotgun. (REUTERS/Jason Reed)
11) A man exits with purchases past a woman begging at a hypermarket in St.Petersburg, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at his annual press conference, he also said Ukraine must remain one political entity, voicing hope that the crisis could be solved through peace talks. (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
12) Ava Exelbirt hugs one of the remaining horses at the Masterpiece Equestrian Center in Davie, Fla., on Dec. 16. Ava lost the horse she rode to poisoned feed on Monday. There's nothing that can be done to save 18 poisoned horses at a Florida equestrian center, so their young riders are holding "spa days" to brush their manes and tails, paint their hooves, feed them hay and pet their noses to keep the animals comfortable in their last days. The Florida Department of Agriculture confirmed that monensin, a type of food additive that is toxic to horses, was present in food manufacturing company Lakeland Animal Nutrition's food. Four horses at the center have died since October because of the contaminated feed, and the owners of the rest are struggling to accept the approaching deaths of the others. Photo: J Pat Carter / AP
13) Homes are covered with rocks and mud after a powerful storm lashed northern California on Dec. 12, in Camarillo Springs, Calif. About two dozen homes were severely damage in a heavy pre-dawn downpour. Although water from the storm lowers the risk of wildfires and offers some short-term relief from the record drought conditions that are menacing the state, weather experts say it amounts to only a very small step toward ending the drought. Photo: David McNew / Getty Images
14) People use kayaks and a canoe to make their way around a flooded parking lot at a shopping center on Dec. 11, in Healdsburg, Calif. A powerful storm churned through Northern California, knocking out power to tens of thousands and delaying commuters while soaking the region with much-needed rain. Photo: Eric Risberg / AP
15) Waves crash against a sea wall in San Francisco Bay beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California December 16, 2014. A gale warning for offshore winds was issued as another round of storms was expected to hit the Bay Area. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
16) Pope Francis blows candles on his birthday cake in St. Peter's Square. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino / AP
17) Israeli archaeologists are showing off the monumental, many-arched corridor that led to Herod the Great's hilltop palace near Jerusalem in the first century. The corridor in the ancient fortress of Herodium, about 7 miles (12 kilometers) south of Jerusalem, has been excavated to reveal a space 65 feet long, 65 feet high and 20 feet wide (20 by 20 by 6 meters). In King Herod's day, the corridor was designed to lead directly into the palace courtyard — but archaeologists determined during the excavations that it didn't get much use. Instead, they say it was back-filled when the palace was converted into Herod's burial monument. Herod the Great — who's infamous for his role in the Bible's Christmas stories — died in 4 B.C., reportedly after an excruciating illness. Photo: Hebrew Univ. of Jerusalem via EPA
18) A Christian man touches the 14-pointed silver star marking the place where Jesus Christ was born according to Christian tradition, in the 'Grotto' in the Church of the Nativity in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, December 16, 2014. Tens of thousands of pilgrims and tourists are expected to flock to Bethlehem to experience Christmas in the town where Jesus was born. (EPA/JIM HOLLANDER)
19) A woman window shops at the Shooting Star Christmas Market in Wiesbaden, Germany on Dec. 9, 2014. Photo: Andy Eckardt / NBC News
20) A Christmas angel walks through the stalls of the Christkindelmarkt in Nuremberg. Photo: Andy Eckardt / NBC News
21) A woman takes a picture near a giant Christmas ball in Moscow on Dec. 15, 2014. The 38-foot-high ball claims a spot in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest Christmas toy in the world, according to local media. Photo: Maxim Zmeyev / Reuters
22) A conductor directs members of the Batista do Meier Church choir in Rio de Janeiro, who perform in 24 different windows of the church, on Dec. 19, 2014. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba / AFP - Getty Images
23) Christmas shoppers walk through the streets of Chester, England on Dec. 14, 2014. Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP - Getty Images
24) Visitors stroll through the traditional Christmas Market in Frankfurt, Germany on Dec. 20, 2014. Photo: Michael Probst / AP
25) The Old Town Square and the Christmas market in Prague are illuminated on Dec. 12, 2014. Photo: Filip Singer / EPA
26) Christmas lights hang from the houses on 34th Street in Baltimore on Dec. 12, 2014. The display, called "Miracle on 34th Street," dates back to 1947 and attracts thousands of visitors each year. Photo: Mladen Antonov / AFP - Getty Images
27) The Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is lit on Dec. 3, 2014. Weighing approximately 13 tons, the 85-foot tall, 90-year-old Norway Spruce is adorned with 45,000 energy efficient LED lights. Photo: Jason Decrow / AP
28) Workers install a seven-foot tall numeral '15' that will be used to make the number '2015' complete for the famous Times Square New Year's Eve celebration on Tuesday in New York's Times Square. Thousands of people every year attend the 'ball drop' party in Times Square when an illuminated globe slides down a pole on the roof of the One Time Square building in the last minute of the old year, illuminating the new year's number at midnight. Photo: EPA
29) Isabella Drewek, 10, demonstrates her marching and mice-fighting moves at the BMO Harris bank, 770 N. Water St. Drewek, a Milwaukee Ballet School and Academy student, was joined by a half-dozen other students to do brief dance demonstrations and hand out discounts for tickets to the upcoming Milwaukee Ballet “Nutcracker” performance at the Marcus Center. BMO Harris, a sponsor for the “Nutcracker,” presented its annual holiday display. Celebrating its 42nd year, this annual holiday tradition transforms the bank’s downtown lobby into a holiday spectacular, this year featuring more than 150 life-size Steiff animals. The display is free and open to the public. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti
30) Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson fails to reel in a pass for a big gain in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. The Packers lost, 21-13, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, N.Y. Journal Sentinel photo: Mike De Sisti
31) Fuzzy Thurston smiles for the cameras with his fans at the Vince Lombardi Golf Classic at North Hills Country Club in 2009. Thurston, the starting left guard on Vince Lombardi's five NFL championship teams in the 1960s and a player who was admired by teammates, respected by opponents, treasured by the Packers organization and beloved by fans, died Sunday. He would have turned 81 on Dec. 29. Journal Sentinel photo: Michael Sears
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Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read (even if, on occasion, I do not agree with the author).
A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...
HEROES OF THE WEEK
Jackson County Sheriff's Department officers and ???
Lauren Hill, again
VILLAINS OF THE WEEK
West Philadelphia paramedic
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
The cyberattack is very serious. We’re investigating and we’re taking it seriously. We’ll be vigilant.
If we see something we think is serious and credible, then we’ll alert the public. But for now my recommendation would be that people go to the movies.”
President Obama after Sony Pictures Entertainment handed a victory to its tormentors Wednesday, announcing it would pull a movie that has angered North Korea, amid reports that U.S. intelligence has connected the Thanksgiving hack on the studio to the isolated Communist state. In a statement, Sony said it decided not to release “The Interview” on Christmas Day as planned, “in light of the decision by the majority of our exhibitors not to show the film.”
“No one should kid themselves. With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very very dangerous precedent.”
“I have warned all of you people. I have warned you that these two years of the Obama administration are gonna actually be what he would have done if he’d had total control and did not have to worry about the Constitution for the first two years. Everything Obama thinks this country’s guilty of and needs to apologize for, he’s gonna take care of.”
Rush Limbaugh who called President Barack Obama’s move to normalize U.S.-Cuban relations “just a teaser, appetizer, for what is on tap the next two years.”
America needs a president who is unafraid to run afoul of effete and influential opinion in America’s liberal elite corridors and call Cuba what it is: A homicidal, authoritarian, thug state with which we have no interest in normalizing relations until it ceases to abuse its citizens and desists in destabilizing the international environment by cooperating with rogue nations like Venezuela, North Korea, and Iran.
America does not need another president who will reward the recalcitrance of Cuban dictators merely to win the acclaim of The New York Times.
America needs a president who will call the cyber-attack on Sony studios what it is: A state-sponsored terrorist attack by North Korea upon the United States.
American needs a president who will remind those skittish film executives who decided to withhold the release of a movie due to the nebulous fears of surrounding both liability and bad press in the wake of vague terroristic threats to demonstrate some spine.
America needs a president who is willing to call Moscow’s decision to both overrun and annex sovereign European territory for the first time since World War II an “invasion,” and it also needs a president willing to treat it like one.
America needs a president willing to respond to acts of war against the United States conducted by the Islamic State with full force so as not to have to commit American servicemen and women to a multi-year containment effort.
America needs a new president, but not just any president. America needs one willing to tackle the challenges presented by the modern global security environment with both an ideological attachment to the spread of democratic republicanism, but also to the unapologetic and muscular defense of America national interests. Nearly every past American president has been able to thread this needle. It is only the present occupant of the Oval Office who finds this charge so vexing.
America needs a new president.
Noah Rothman writing on the website Hot Air
“Jonathan Gruber should have been Time's Person of the Year. The magazine gave it to the ‘Ebola Fighters’ instead. Good for them; they're doing God's work. Still, Gruber would have been better. [Gruber] represents the arrogance of the expert class writ large. They create systems, terms and rules that no normal person on the outside can possibly penetrate.”
Columnist Jonathan Goldberg
“Mitt Romney has become the acid reflux candidate: He just keeps coming back up.
“Why doesn’t he end the Chinese water torture of speculation? Why should he? He likes being speculated about. He likes being talked about.
“So why shouldn’t Romney bask in the limelight? What else is he going to do, roll back and forth on his money like Scrooge McDuck?”
Roger Simon, POLITICO’s chief political columnist
“I would be a good president. If you run with big ideas and then you’re true to those ideas, and get a chance to serve and implement them and do it with passion and conviction, you can move the needle. … And that’s what we need right now in America.”
“Flash forward to one of the GOP debates next fall. Imagine that Bush is leading in the polls, or close. One rival takes the opportunity to say this:
‘Jeb, you were a great governor. You’re a fine man. Your father is a great American. Your brother gave his all to keep America safe and secure.
‘But Jeb, we have to face facts. This is a party that needs to convince ordinary working-class and middle-class Americans that we stand with them.
‘Look around you. Scott Walker and Ted Cruz are the sons of preachers. Marco Rubio’s father was a bartender and his mother cleaned rooms at a hotel. John Kasich’s dad was a steelworker. Chris Christie’s was a CPA.
‘This will be the 10th presidential election since 1980. In all but three of them, a Bush was on the ticket. America isn’t a monarchy, Mr. Bush. That’s not who we are.
‘Is this the message we want to send to the American people — that to get a major-party nomination, Democrats need to be named Clinton and Republicans need to be named Bush?’
“It may not be fair. But it’s unanswerable.”
John Podhoretz, NY Post
“Torture, to me … is an American citizen on his cellphone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the Trade Center in New York on 9/11. There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do, and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture.”
Former Vice President Dick Cheney unapologetically pressed his defense of the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques, insisting that waterboarding and other such tactics did not amount to torture and that the spy agency’s actions paled in comparison to those of terrorists targeting Americans.
"I think people forget that we've lived in the White House for six years. Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs. I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn't see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn't anything new."
Michelle Obama in an interview with People Magazine
"There's no black male my age, who's a professional, who hasn't come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn't hand them their car keys. The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced. It's one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a gala. It's another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress."
President Obama during the People Magazine interview
Don’t Insult My Sacrifice
I, ______, as a New York City police officer, request that Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito refrain from attending my funeral services in the event that I am killed in the line of duty. Due to Mayor de Blasio and Speaker Mark-Viverito’s consistent refusal to show police officers the support and respect they deserve, I believe that their attendance at the funeral of a fallen New York City police officer is an insult to that officer’s memory and sacrifice.
The New York Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) wants the city’s cops to sign a petition requesting that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito not be allowed to attend the funeral of an officer killed in the line of duty.
"Unless the judicial system can prove otherwise, I stand behind him and his contributions. I would be more inclined to compare it to the passage in the Bible where the people of the village were about to stone the woman caught in adultery and Jesus challenged them by saying that the person who is without sin should cast the first stone. The one difference in this case being that the woman was caught in the act and her accusers brought her forward. I want to remind everyone that we live in the greatest country in the entire world, one that prides itself on the moral law that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. That’s where we stand at this time with the allegations brought against my uncle."
Braxton Cosby, nephew of Bill Cosby, speaking out on behalf of the 77-year-old comedian, saying he "is innocent" in light of the "unjustified claims."
"I spent two years learning to walk and talk again. I came home from that stroke stuttering, couldn't read for two years. I don't need someone to make me feel bad about growing older. I'll tell you what makes you feel bad: when you think you might not.
"The key to looking good as you get older is, it all comes from the inside. You have to do what you like to do. If you hate to go to the gym, don't put yourself on a gym regimen. Do what you like to do, but do it every day. I love to dance, and I dance hard. When I started thinking about aging, I thought, 'Who do I want to look like as I age?' And the answer was dancers.
"I believe there can be a movie plot where the leading hot guy who's 43 falls for me instead of the 25-year-old girl. Jesus, every time I go into a Starbucks, some 20-year-old guy throws himself at me! Although it might be because he knows there's a meal at the end of it. But these young guys know the sex would be better."
56-year old actress Sharon Stone writing in an essay in the Hollywood Reporter about her "massive brain hemorrhage" suffered in 2001, and aging. She tries to hit the gym four or five times a week and eats cleanly because, "people don't want to see a fat Sharon Stone."
“As pointed out by my retired law professor friend, people started getting careful about ‘Merry Christmas’ out of a well-intentioned fear of offending people who don't celebrate Christ's birth — a group that is more numerous and vocal than several decades ago. But instead of covering our bases with generic ‘holiday’ greetings, the professor suggests we learn enough about the religions of our co-workers and neighbors to convey seasonally and religiously appropriate well wishes during, say, Ramadan or Yom Kippur or, yes, Christmas.
“It might take some effort, sure. But our current exertions to navigate holiday politics are getting pretty tiring, frankly. And as the growing body of evidence suggests, tiptoeing around Christmas is getting us nowhere.”
Tom Krattenmaker writes on religion in public life and is a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors. His latest book is The Evangelicals You Don't Know.
“I’d rather have the experience of playing in the NFL and die 10 to 15 years earlier than not play in the NFL and have a long life. I don’t really look toward my life after football. I’ll figure things out when I get there. As long as I outlive my parents…. I’m not saying I’m going to go die when I’m 45, 50. I’m fortunate to go out and play football.”
Chicago Bear Chris Conte
“The frontrunner for league MVP honors when the weekend began, (Aaron) Rodgers suffered through what was probably his worst game as a pro as the Packers stumbled to a 21-13 loss at Buffalo. Rodgers didn't throw a TD and was picked off twice by Bills S Bacarri Rambo after throwing just three INTs in his first 13 starts of the season. He was also stripped of the ball on the Packers' final possession, a miscue that gave the Bills a safety and enabled them to run out the clock after taking possession on the ensuing free kick. Rodgers' 34.3 passer rating was the lowest of his 10-year career. Worst of all, Green Bay fell out of first place in the NFC North and may have fumbled away its shot at securing home-field advantage in the playoffs, not good considering the Pack's 3-4 road record juxtaposed against their dominant play at Lambeau Field.”
Nate Davis, USA TODAY Sports
"Fuzzy was an endearing figure for Packers fans for more than 50 years, going back to his all-pro playing days and continuing through his rousing welcomes at Lambeau Field as a favorite alum. Our sincere condolences go out to Fuzzy's family."
Packers president Mark Murphy on the death of Packer great Fuzzy Thurston
"We (Vince Lombardi and Fuzzy Thurston) came to Green Bay together and we went out together (after Super Bowl II). That's always my claim to fame. Every day, I thank God that I've had the opportunity to be a Wisconsin native, a former Packer and a Packers fan. I mean, how many great things can you have in one life?"
Fuzzy Thurston in a 1996 interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
OUTRAGE OF THE WEEK
Obama's surrender to Cuba
MOST UNDER-REPORTED STORY OF THE WEEK
Black on white crime
MOST OVER-HYPED STORY OF THE WEEK
Stephen Colbert's finale
STRANGEST, MOST UNUSUAL STORY OF THE WEEK
The Top Ten Franklin Stories of 2014.
Who made the list?
What will be #1?