Presty the DJ for May 20

Today in 1966, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend of The Who decided to replace for the evening the tardy drummer Keith Moon and bass player John Entwistle with the bass player and drummer of the band that played before them at the Ricky Tick Club in Windsor, England.

When Moon and Entwistle arrived and found they had been substituted for, a fight broke out. Moon and Entwistle quit … for a week.

The number one single today in 1967:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for May 20”


Presty the DJ for May 19

The number-one album today in 1958, and for the next 31 weeks, was the soundtrack to the musical “South Pacific” went to number one and stayed there for 31 weeks. The film version starred Mitzi Gaynor, who looked very much like my mother a few years later.

Today in 1979, Eric Clapton married Patti Boyd, the former wife of George Harrison and the muse for the song “Layla.” The song lasted much longer than the marriage.

One wonders if anyone played selections from that day’s number one British album:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for May 19”

McGarretts and Magnums

CBS-TV’s Facebook page posted this yesterday:

In case you ever wondered if there was any imagination left in Hollywood, this should give you an answer.

CBS is repeating what it did nearly 40 years ago when as the original Hawaii Five-O was running out …

… CBS came up with a series to set in Hawaii:

And now that the rebooted “Hawaii Five-0” is nearing its end …

As with “Hawaii Five-0,” which replaced “Hawaii Five-O,” contemporization takes place. The original McGarrett was a Navy commander, but we never found out how he ended up in Hawaii. The new McGarrett was a Navy SEAL who went to Hawaii to investigate the murder of his father and is asked by the governor to set up a statewide task force to get the bad guys. McGarrett and Danno have what apparently is called a “bromance,” Chin Ho becomes a disgraced former Honolulu police lieutenant, and Kono, formerly a fat and funny Polynesian, becomes a woman.

Apparently in “Magnum P.I.” 2.0, Magnum is no longer the son of a Korean War aviator killed in action. He still has military buddies Rick (actual first name Orville) and T.C. But Higgins, the World War II-veteran (as his never-completed autobiography told viewers) major domo of the Robin Masters estate, has become a woman too, and apparently is not the antagonist the original Higgins was.

And there is a glaring omission, as reported by the Hollywood Reporter:

When CBS released its first-look pic Monday of series star Jay Hernandez in the coming reboot of Magnum, P.I., it was no wonder that fans of the original took to Twitter to howl their dismay.

Though Hernandez is shown sitting in the same red Ferrari 308 GTS Quattrovalvole convertible that Tom Selleck drove in the original ’80s series, something definitely was missing. As one wag put it, the original series had two stars — Selleck, of course, and his luxuriant mustache.

Both personally and professionally, Selleck has been defined by his copious ‘stache, even going back to his USC student modeling days when he posed for an iconic 1977 Salem cigarette ad “to pay the rent” as he later said.

But it was Magnum P.I. (1980-1988) that cemented his iconic status as the hirsute himbo, winning him a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the series in 1985, when it was at its peak.

… Getting back to the Magnum P.I. series revival with Hernandez, it appears to be set in today’s times and not the more flamboyant and freewheeling ’80s. The detective’s signature Aloha floral shirt is also nowhere in evidence, even though a print shirt would certainly be on-trend, given menswear’s current love of the style seen everywhere from the Tommy Hilfiger to Louis Vuitton runways for spring. The new Magnum is rather disappointingly clad in just a generic blue button-up.

Hernandez is also missing the Detroit Tigers ballcap that Selleck wore to keep his raven curls in place. And it’s doubtful that we’ll see the character clad in the boxer-style short-shorts that the original Magnum wore running around in his Hawaiian paradise.

With its network home on CBS, the Magnum P.I. series revival could be going for mass-market appeal. (It’s possible that today, a mustache would read as too ironic, too Brooklyn hipster.) Though Hernandez does sport a hint of stubble, it may not have worked for him to rock a full bristly ‘stache, even though they have been seen on red carpets on edgy young actors such as Stranger Things‘ Dacre Montgomery and on late-night talkers like Chris Hemsworth appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live recently. Not to mention other tragedy-tinged TV dramas focusing on mustachioed characters of the period like Milo Ventimiligia’s Jack Pearson on This Is Us and James Franco’s dark turn as brothers Vincent and Frankie Martino on The Deuce.

But will a Magnum sans his mustache really have what it takes? Much like Samson, who lost his godly abilities when shorn of his lengthy locks, will the new iteration of the TV folk hero still have the power to keep the people tuned in without his bro-mo? We’ll have to wait until this fall to find out. For now, we can only hope some kind of hairline storyline makes the cut.

What makes a TV series, of course, is its characters and their interrelationship, which can make up for stories of dubious credulity. The original Magnum, Rick and T.C. all had Vietnam in common, and in some cases aftereffects thereof. (That and picking on Higgins.) Magnum was described as leaving the Navy because he found out one day that he was 33 and, because of his Navy experiences, he had never been 23. Then he found out he had a daughter from the wife he thought had died in Vietnam (actually more of a heartbreaking plot turn than I can describe here). At the end of the series Magnum goes back into the Navy and he and his daughter go off to live wherever the Navy sends him.

About her: Would you believe this, from 2016:

Eighties crime series Magnum P.I. is eyeing a comeback with ABC developing a female-centric sequel which will centre on Magnum’s grown daughter.

The reboot is described as a “fun, high-action” rebirth of the cult show that featured Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living Oahu, Hawaii. It ran from 1980 to 1988.

According to Deadline, the sequel will follow Magnum’s daughter, Lily, as she returns to Hawaii to take up the mantle of her father’s PI firm.

Along with her friends, Lily mixes Hawaii’s tropical beaches with the underbelly of international crime syndicates and tries to unravel the mystery of a spy operation that ended her career in naval intelligence.

The project comes from Desperate Housewives actress Eva Longoria and her producing partner Ben Spector.

Working with Universal, which owns the rights to the series, Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment production company identified Magnum PI as both viable and relevant.

Lily Magnum starred in just four episodes of the original series after being raised by her mother, not Magnum. The show ended with Magnum being reunited with his daughter and promising to give her a stable home after his former wife is killed. …

It is unclear whether actress Troian Bellisario, who played Lily Magnum in the original series, will reprise her role. Bellisario currently stars in teen drama Pretty Little Liars.

Apparently Magnum’s Daughter P.I. went nowhere. Interestingly, the original was first pitched to ABC, which passed.

I have my doubts about this. This seems to be following the Star Trek/Hawaii Five-0 reboot formula of characters of the same name who aren’t the same character, throw in some references to the original series, maybe some stunt casting or characters (the remake had a Wo Fat, but he was in organized crime, unlike the original Chinese agent Wo Fat, and Al Harrington, who played Ben Kokua on the original, appeared in an episode of the remake). If you want mindless action for your TV series, using a director from “The Fast and the Furious” franchise is an obvious choice.

As far as characters go, the difference between Five-O and Five-0 is that the latter did have character development over the series, though rather implausibly. (How likely is it that four police officers could sneak into North Korea? Or that one just happened to be held hostage the morning of Sept. 11, 2001 across the river in New Jersey? Or that McGarrett’s mother came back from the dead to be revealed as a secret agent?) The original McGarrett had a few things happen to him (niece died, girlfriend died, and he was shot and blown up), Kono was replaced by Kokua, and Chin Ho was killed, but for the most part the 13th-season McGarrett was an older version of the first-season McGarrett.

The number of Hollywood reboots of TV shows from the ’60s through the ’80s, either on film (“The Wild Wild West,” “Starsky and Hutch,” “SWAT,” “Shaft,” “Charlie’s Angels”) or TV (“Adam-12,” “Dragnet” [which actually had five iterations — radio, black-and-white TV, late ’60s including a movie, late ’80s in syndication without Joe Friday, then in the early 2000s with Ed O’Neil as Friday], “Kojak,” “Ironside,” “Knight Rider”) is too long and too depressing to list here. Remaking the original as a farce never works. (It is unclear what prompted a remake of “The Wild Wild West” with Will Smith.)

Some blame the fact the studios are owned by publicly traded companies concerned only with the next quarter’s P&Ls and therefore will approve only financially sure things. That’s how you get repeated James Bond, Mission: Impossible, Star Wars, comic superheroes and Fast & Furious movies. There has been a new Rockford Files in development, with Vince Vaughn playing James Garner’s original role, for several years.

One of the few defenders of Magnum 2.0 claimed that Hernandez (whom I had never heard of before now) is a great actor and noted the dearth of good roles for non-whites. The key would seem, however, to create good original characters for non-whites, instead of casting a Latino Magnum, or black Kojak or Ironside. (Samuel L. Jackson didn’t really work as Shaft 2.0 anyway.)

However Hernandez and his costars do, they will not be the originals. Selleck had never had a starring role in a TV series before “Magnum,” though he had done some movie acting and had been a memorable recurring character, Lance White the perfect detective, in “The Rockford Files.” Larry Manetti, who played Rick, had had a few supporting roles during that period, and Roger E. Mosley, who played T.C., had been in a few movies. All are best known for their “Magnum” roles, even though Selleck is now in “Blue Bloods” and starred in a few movies. John Hillerman, who played Higgins (though Hillerman was from Texas), had more of a movie career, but other than “The Last Picture Show” and “Blazing Saddles” was probably best known for “Magnum” too.

The biggest difficulty with remakes beyond trying to reinvent the lead characters is pushing them from the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s into the 21st century and the culture of today. TV series that took place three to five decades ago necessarily translate well into this politically correct, oversensitive, humorless era we live in. No one has come up with the idea of the retro-setting, to remake a series but set it in, or close to, the era the original series was in, apparently because (1) that would require work (for instance, getting vehicles and music of the era) and (2) out of concern viewers wouldn’t relate to an era where, for instance, the good guy would sleep with the girl in an episode who then would vanish from sight thereafter. (This is despite the fact that TV series through the early ’80s were filmed under the strictures of the Television Code, which, according to the always-accurate Wikipedia, “prohibited the use of profanity, the negative portrayal of family life, irreverence for God and religion, illicit sex, drunkenness and addiction, presentation of cruelty, detailed techniques of crime, the use of horror for its own sake, and the negative portrayal of law enforcement officials, among others.” Ironically removing boundaries has made writers in mass media less creative.)

At this point fans of the originals who decry this trend often call for reunions of the originals. Unfortunately nearly every cast member of the original Five-O is dead, as is John Hillerman, the original Higgins, along with a few lesser characters. (Joe Santos played a detective on both “The Rockford Files” and the original Magnum.) The original Magnum was in his 30s in the ’80s; now he’s in his 60s and the New York City police chief … oops, wrong series. It’s hard to imagine what Magnum, Rick and T.C. would be doing in their 60s.

Preference for originals over remakes tends as well to paper over the faults of the originals. James MacArthur, the original Danno, noted that the original Hawaii Five-O probably solved every crime that had taken place in Hawaii halfway through its 13-season run. The original Starsky and Hutch started as a gritty crime drama with an admittedly ludicrous “undercover” car …

… to social workers with badges as the four seasons progressed, complete with “very special episodes.”

It’s not as if Hollywood was a fount of creativity before the suits started running the studios either. Crime fiction is about as old as mass entertainment. The first TV crime dramas date back to 1949, and the first radio crime dramas date back to the 1930s, if not sooner. Magnum was not the first Hawaiian-based private detective; that was the private eyes on “Hawaiian Eye” (which, unlike Magnum, was not shot in Hawaii, but at the Warner Bros. studio, same as Miami Beach-based “Surfside 6.”)

One wonders if Magnum’s creators, Glen A. Larson and Donald Bellisario, thought up Magnum after seeing …

… Las Vegas-based PI Dan Tanna (also a Vietnam veteran) in the late 1970s. But if CBS copied ABC, ABC returned the favor with …

… Texas-to-L.A. PI/rich guy Matt Houston.

NBC’s response may have been to double viewers’ fun with two leads for “Riptide” …

… unless “Riptide” was an answer to CBS’ “Simon & Simon,” which followed Magnum on Thursday nights. (Featuring two brothers who could have only looked less alike had one or both been adopted.)

Selleck wanted Magnum to be more responsible than he appeared. (Despite the body count of 50 dead guys over eight seasons.) So he got speeding tickets and generally didn’t get the girl. Well, where’s the fun of that? Fans of the original Star Trek often defend its third season, which includes some of the worst episodes and ideas (alien women take Spock’s brain, Kirk and an ex-girlfriend exchange souls) in the history of entertainment.

At least viewers who prefer the originals have online streaming services and YouTube, and then join in online efforts to spot the flaws in their favorite shows.


Presty the DJ for May 18

If you wanna be happy, listen to the number one single today in 1963:

Another one-hit wonder had the number one single today in 1968:

The number one single today in 1974 might be the very definition of the term “novelty song”:

The number one British single today in 1975:

(Which more appropriately should have been called “Stand by Your Men,” since Tammy Wynette had had three husbands up to then, and two more thereafter.)

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for May 18”

A missing step

State Rep. Adam Neylon (R–Pewaukee):

Since 2013, I have had the honor of voting for legislation to cut taxes by millions for hardworking Wisconsin residents and businesses. These tax cuts are a major reason why Wisconsin has a 2.9 percent unemployment rate and our labor force is at an all-time of more than 3.1 million.

As Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Jobs and the Economy, I take great pride in the strides we have made the last few years to completely eliminate some taxes and lower others. Another important bit of information to keep in mind as you read this editorial is that in spite of these tax cuts, every year Wisconsin’s tax collections have increased. I repeat, the more taxes are cut, the more Wisconsin collects in tax revenue.

At the national level, Democrats are doubling down on their promise to repeal the most recent tax cuts signed into law late last year by Republicans. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has even promised to “replace and repeal” them.

Republicans, meanwhile, are doing their best to ensure those tax cuts are made permanent. Let’s check the numbers to see what’s at stake.

First, let’s note that tax cuts have ushered in a historic wave of stable economic growth and expanding prosperity. I’m a small business owner. I know that in states like ours across the country, small firms account for about two-thirds of new jobs. This year’s tax cuts delivered a huge 20 percent deduction for job-creating small firms.

Early evidence suggests the tax cuts are a runaway success. About two-thirds of small business owners report they’re in good financial health and anticipate increased revenues next year too. A third of businesses intend to grow operations, while a quarter are going to increase hiring and increase wages. Not since 1989 have we seen figures so high.

These tax cuts are turbocharging small businesses. The impact of booming small business is felt on Main Streets across America in the form of healthier markets, more take-home pay and better opportunities to get ahead.

In the first few months of this year alone, over 4 million employees gained better pay or benefits thanks to the tax cuts. Nonpartisan experts forecast above-average growth this year and next— as high as 4 percent annually.

Then we have to factor in personal taxes, which take the effect of small business relief and multiply it. Lower personal income taxes are coming to 90 percent of middle-class Americans— to the tune of more than $2,000 on average.

If repealed, small businesses would have to kiss that 20 percent deduction goodbye. Democrats would have us revert back to the old tax code where the top marginal rate was 40 percent— even before state and local taxes were tallied, not to mention the high costs of compliance and outside tax prep help.

To put it plainly, doing what the Democrats propose which is increasing taxes is a slap in the face of all the entrepreneurial small firms— many of them family firms with multiple employees — bolstering our economy. Eliminating these tax cuts would reduce job creation, shrink wages, diminish benefits and narrow opportunity. It’s also a recipe for economic stagnation.

Obviously, stalling our economy is not in our best interest, and I think most voters know better. You would think members of the minority party could support common sense economics. Instead, Democrats continue to dump misleading and cynical messaging on taxes over the political airwaves.

Democrats believe fundamentally that the money you earn belongs to the government, which simply lets you keep some of it.

At least now, the choice between which party believes you know how to spend your own money better than the government is clearer than ever.

There is, however, one area in which there is no difference between the parties in spending. Despite seven years of Republican control of two branches of state government, Republicans have failed to institute permanent constitutional controls on government spending and taxes. That is because, most likely, Republicans, because they are politicians, want to make voters vote for them to get taxes cut.

Politicians regardless of party (including no party) need to be prevented from being able to spend or tax more than is justifiable by inflation and population growth. Government should have to get voter approval for tax increases either by supermajority or by referendum.

Establishment beats establishment, or something


State Rep. André Jacque (R-De Pere), despite being underfunded and being opposed by leaders of his own party, defeated businessman Alex Renard in the Republican Primary in the special election in state Senate District 1. Jacque won with nearly 52 percent of the vote according to unofficial numbers reported by the Green Bay Press Gazette. The unofficial margin of victory was 330 votes.

Jacque was not the favorite of some in his own caucus after pushing at a public hearing for the complete elimination of the state’s prevailing wage law for both state and local government construction projects. The public hearing did not have the blessing of Assembly Republican leadership and it also upset unionized roadbuilder companies. Lobbyist and former Assembly Speaker John Gard (R-Sun Prairie) recruited Renard to compete with Jacque in the special primary election.

In addition to Renard outspending Jacque, third-party spending from a group called Midwest Growth Fund also became a factor in the race.

However, Jacque was able to overcome those difficulties with grassroots support, especially from pro-life organizations who endorsed only Jacque in the race because of his track record of supporting their causes. Jacque also received support from Associated Builders and Contractors of Wisconsin, a trade organization of mostly non-union companies that agreed with Jacque on repealing the prevailing wage law and supporting the Right to Work law.

Despite the divisions in the Republican Party, there was at least a show of unity after Jacque’s victory.

“I am humbled by the outpouring of support I received over the last two months by my friends and neighbors across Wisconsin’s 1st State Senate District,” Renard said in a statement after the election. “I am proud of the campaign we ran and would like to congratulate Rep. Jacque on his victory and wish him luck in the June 12th election.”

Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke also posted on Twitter his support for Jacque:

Congrats to Rep Jacque on his win tonight! Time to circle the wagons for what will be a tough general election fight. Republicans will (and must) unite.

Jacque now faces Democrat Caleb Frostman in the June 12 general election. The winner will have to run for re-election in the August 14 primary and the November election.

Democrats are hoping to build on the momentum of the victory in the special election in state Senate District 10 and in the Wisconsin Supreme Court election in April.

The special election became necessary when Governor Scott Walker appointed state Sen. Frank Lasee (R) to a position in the Administration. Walker attempted to spare local communities the expense of holding a special election for a seat that wouldn’t be occupied until after the legislature finished its business for the year, but Democrats and for Obama Administration Attorney General Eric Holder successfully sued to force the election.

Brown County Clerk Sandy Juno told Fox 11 Newsthe county will spend a total of $18,060 for the two special elections. That’s in addition to the cost to local communities which did not plan for the special elections in their budgets.

Hypocrisy, thy name is Democrat

Yesterday, I commented about how Democrats believe that they should spend more of your money than they already do and how they are smarter with your money than you are (or so they think).

Scott Bauer of the Associated Press brings this up:

Here is the Assembly roll call vote on the child tax rebate bill that passed 61-35 in February. Some Democrats who voted against it are now advertising how to sign up to claim the $100 rebate.

Why would they do that? One Democrat, Rep. Jason Fields (D–Milwaukee), voted for the tax rebate. Fields’ party is opposed to tax cuts. They would take all of your money if they could.

RightWisconsin reports on something else:

It turns out Cathy Myers, a Democratic candidate for the 1st Congressional District, is one of them Illinois imports that Democrats warned us about during the Foxconn debate.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Mary Spicuzza and political gossip columnist Dan Bice are reporting Myers claimed a $6000 annual homestead tax credit for a primary residence in Illinois until 2012. The problem is Myers moved to Wisconsin in 2009 and began voting here at that time.

“My taxes were filed based on the advice of a licensed tax attorney,” Myers wrote to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to explain. “I am seeking a second opinion to review those filings. If there are any  adjustments that need to be made, I will, of course, make them.”

Myers, of course, has been critical of Randy Bryce, her Democratic Primary opponent, over his finances including unpaid child support.

Bice and Spicuzza point out that property taxes are a key funding source for school systems. Apparently, it’s okay if other people pay (even more) taxes to fund Myers’ salary, but not so much for Myers to cough up her full share of property taxes to fund schools.

Myers is supposed to be the reasonable Democratic candidate, as opposed to Bryce, who is a pig.

As for the federal Democrats, Ryan Ellis lists how Democrats pledge to increase federal taxes should they get control of Congress after the Nov. 6 elections:

Increase the top marginal income tax rate from 37 percent to 39.6 percent. This nearly 3 percentage point increase in the top personal rate is not only a hike in the top bracket levy, but it’s also a direct tax increase on small and mid-sized businesses. The 30 million companies which are organized as sole proprietorships, partnerships, Subchapter-S corporations, and LLCs pay their business taxes on their owners’ 1040 personal tax returns. Hiking the top tax rate is a small business tax increase.

Increasing personal income taxes would be particularly unfortunate since workers are now seeing the results of lower rates in their paychecks. Thanks to the new IRS withholding tables, in February of this year over 90 percent of workers saw higher take home pay in the form of fatter direct deposits (for a humorous spectacle of the New York Times desperately trying to get people to down-talk their bigger paychecks, click here). They will continue to see those bigger paydays for as long as the tax rates in law remain in effect. This higher tax home pay is a down payment on a lower tax liability. Typical families of four should see their federal income tax decline from $2000 to $4000, depending on their income level and number of children.

Increase the corporate income tax rate from 21 percent to 25 percent. Up until this year, the United States labored under the highest corporate income tax rate in the developed world. As a result, jobs and capital were fleeing America for more normal tax rates that could be found in tax havens like France and China (saracasm font very much activated). Finally, after many years of bipartisan consensus that the U.S. corporate rate had become an impediment to attracting new jobs and investment, Congress cut the rate all the way from 35 to 21 percent. Even doing that only puts us in the middle of the pack of developed nations, but that’s a heck of a lot better than dead last.

As a result of this change, companies like Fiat ChryslerAmgen, and Amicus Therapeutics (among many others) have announced new factories and jobs would be built in America, not in other countries. Americans for Tax Reform keeps a running list of tax cut bonuses, raises, 401(k) match increases, and other benefits companies are passing along to workers as a result of this tax cut. The current number as of this writing is 431 companies and over 4 million workers. Just yesterday, Cox Enterprises announced bonuses of up to $2000 for 55,000 of their workers. Walmart and Wells Fargo have announced permanent wage hikes for all employees, notably those on the lowest rung of the ladder. Electric and other utility bills are going down in states all across the country.

Not content to endanger all that good news, the Democratic tax increase goes on to call for the following:

Bring back the alternative minimum tax (AMT) for 4 million families. Up until this year, 4 million upper middle class families had to calculate their income taxes two different ways, and then pay the higher result. This was due to a provision of the law known as the “alternative minimum tax” or AMT. Millions more had to at least pay a tax preparer to run the calculation, even if they didn’t end up paying the AMT. The new tax law all but repealed the AMT for 99 percent of these families thanks to a higher AMT “standard deduction.” Congressional Democrats would bring back the dreaded AMT, which especially hit hard two-income white collar families with kids in New York, New Jersey, and California.

Cut the “death tax” standard deduction in half. Over the past few decades, no tax has proven more unpopular in every single poll than the death tax, the federal tax on estates. 60 to 70 percent of poll respondents consistently call for its full repeal. The new tax law didn’t repeal the death tax, but it did the next best thing–it doubled the death tax’s “standard deduction” from $5.5 million to $11 million (and twice that for surviving spouses). As a result, far fewer family businesses and farms will be subject to the death tax, and many smaller firms can shed the costly insurance, legal, and actuarial costs of avoiding the death tax. Like the top personal rate, the death tax is not something that really affects the rich, who have plenty of resources to avoid the levy. Rather, it hits hardest those companies profitable enough to worry about it but not profitable enough to not worry about, if you catch my meaning. Democrats have never understood this, which is why it’s not surprising they want to reduce the death tax’s standard deduction back down to what it was before.

All of this is very confusing given that the new tax law is supported by a plurality of the American people (the New York Times reports it’s actually a majority) and is growing in popularity. A good chunk of people haven’t even yet realized they’ve received a tax cut, so the favorable numbers should continue to grow. Maybe that’s why a Democratic pollster and strategist recently wrote:

Since the passage of the Republicans’ tax bill, and even before it, Democrats have been losing the messaging war. Now that many Americans are seeing the results in their paystubs, it’s even harder for Democrats to make this a winning issue. Voters are seeing the bill’s positive impact and are not likely to oppose it because we tell them they’re not benefiting, and many voters who aren’t seeing the impact still support the bill. If Democrats want to continue using this bill as a major issue for November, we need a new messaging strategy.

Presty the DJ for May 17

First,  for those who believe the British are the height of sophistication and are so much more couth than us Americans: This was the number one song in the U.K. today in 1986:

The chicken is not having a birthday. Pervis Jackson of the Spinners is:

So is drummer Bill Bruford, who played for Yes, King Crimson and Genesis:

Continue reading “Presty the DJ for May 17”

Benjamin Franklin and Friedman

Lost in the observance (note I didn’t write “celebration”) of the 30th anniversary of my graduation from UW–Madison yesterday was the first day of what Wisconsin Public Radio reports:

Tuesday Wisconsin residents with children under the age of 18 can apply for a one-time, $100 tax credit. The credit comes at a cost of about $130 million, and at a time when Gov. Scott Walker is gearing up for his re-election bid.

Parents and guardians will have from May 15 to July 2 to apply for the rebate. Caregivers are eligible for the $100 tax credit for every child they have living in their home under the age of 18 as of December 31, 2017. They can apply online or over the phone through the state Department of Revenue.

Wisconsin Department of Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler said he thinks there’s going to be a lot of interest. It should take less than three weeks for applicants to get their credit once they’ve applied, and the DOR will have staff available to help process the requests.

Chandler said this is part of the Walker administration’s continued efforts to provide tax relief for those who need it.

“It will really help middle class families, especially working families with children,” he said. “And that’s where we think there’s a tremendous need for tax relief, and this takes care of that.”

Along with the child tax credit, Walker used his veto power to expand the late-summer sales tax holiday from two days to five days.

The website is here.

The Presteblog’s official position on tax cuts mirrors Milton Friedman:

While permanent (or as permanent as possible in the world of politics) tax reform is preferable, such tax breaks as this rebate is better than the alternative, which WPR also reports:

Democrats have criticized Walker’s move, saying it was politically motivated.

Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said there are better ways to spend this money.

“And of course with $130 million we could have fixed lead pipes,” he said. “We could have tested all the rape kits that are sitting around. We could have expanded rural broadband, or we could have kept our budget intact given that we face a pretty significant structural deficit heading into the next year.”

Hintz said this shows Walker is trying to gain favor with voters heading into the election in November.

Attempts to gain favor with voters before an election? That never happens! (/sarcasm) Using Hintz’s “logic” maybe to get our tax money back we should have elections every year.

Democrats, the party of unlimited spending, taxation and regulation, would claim that we stupid taxpayers don’t deserve any of our own money back, of course. Those of us who pay Hintz’s salary should want our own money to do with as we please, because we know better how to spend our own money than Hintz and other Democrats do. And thanks to Walker and Republicans, we’re getting at least some of our own money back, one Franklin (you know, the $100 bill) per child.



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