Ted Bobrow

Recent Articles

Gerald Clayton Trio: Jazz at Alverno Presents
Gerald Clayton Trio

Jazz at Alverno Presents

Gerald Clayton has become a leading young light in jazz since Alverno booked him over a year ago.

The timeless charm of Jackson Browne

The timeless charm of Jackson Browne

On a somber night in Milwaukee, Jackson Browne inspired a sense of intimacy in an emotionally soothing performance at the Riverside Theater.

Nick Lowe still charms and rocks at Turner Hall Ballroom

Nick Lowe still charms and rocks at Turner Hall Ballroom

An enthusiastic audience welcomed the career singer-songwriter, who performed songs made famous by himself and others over 40 years.

The not-so-guilty pleasures of Opening Day

The not-so-guilty pleasures of Opening Day

Different civilizations have developed all kinds of rituals for celebrating Spring but can any compare to the first day of the baseball season?

Renewable energy is good for Wisconsin and America

Renewable energy is good for Wisconsin and America

Opponents claim that a higher standard for renewable energy would wreck the state's economy but promoting wind and solar power creates jobs and is patriotic.

The achievement gap is a disgrace

The achievement gap is a disgrace

We teach our children about consequences, but nobody is being held accountable for the failure of Milwaukee's schools.

Watching over the Pabst Brewery

Watching over the Pabst Brewery

Joseph Zilber and Frederick Pabst are undoubtedly together watching with great interest what will become of the prominent land just north of the county courthouse.

Joe Biden cuts to the chase

Joe Biden cuts to the chase

History will give Barack Obama credit for passing health care reform but the Vice President delivered the day's most colorful soundbite.

The endgame on health care reform

The endgame on health care reform

The nation seems divided on health care reform, but doing nothing won't make anybody happy.

Doyle calls on state businesses to spend their meeting dollars here

Doyle calls on state businesses to spend their meeting dollars here

Whether traveling for business or pleasure, staying in Wisconsin is good for your bottom line... and the state's.

It’s time this train left the station

It’s time this train left the station

A regional approach to southeastern Wisconsin's transit needs makes sense. Time will tell if the state legislature agrees.

Barrett aims for the fence

Barrett aims for the fence

Ted Bobrow sits down with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to talk about his campaign to become Wisconsin's next governor

Jobs announcements feel espléndido!

Jobs announcements feel espléndido!

New jobs are always welcome, but these recent announcements are particularly good news.

Feingold stresses continued urgent need for health reform

Feingold stresses continued urgent need for health reform

The Senator says he will even support reconciliation to pass it - as long as the rules are followed

The illusory appeal of Ayn Rand

The illusory appeal of Ayn Rand

Architect Howard Roark may be a heroic figure, but he's fictional. In the real world, government has an important role to play.

Barrett brings home the silver (literally)

Barrett brings home the silver (literally)

When your campaign theme is "Jobs, Jobs, Jobs," big announcements like this week's don't hurt.

School wars go nuclear?

School wars go nuclear?

The idea that we had to destroy the village to save it didn't work in Vietnam, so you wouldn't think it would work for MPS either.

Governor’s race: Early money and going for the jugular
Governor’s race

Early money and going for the jugular

Fundraising is important, but campaigns are like street fights and winning is what matters most.

An inauspicious start to Black History Month

An inauspicious start to Black History Month

Most people would like to live in a world where race doesn't matter. In the meantime, let's open our eyes to the world as it is.

Doyle, Obama and herding cats

Doyle, Obama and herding cats

President Obama and Gov. Doyle are both pretty savvy politicians, but they both have their work cut out for them.

The Doyle Legacy and Tom Barrett

The Doyle Legacy and Tom Barrett

All eyes will be on Madison tonight for Gov. Doyle's final state of the state address and nobody has more at stake than Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

Supreme Court campaign finance decision changes everything

Supreme Court campaign finance decision changes everything

Think campaigns are about as dirty as they can get? Think again!

Health reform takes a blow, but it ain’t dead yet

Health reform takes a blow, but it ain’t dead yet

If Massachusetts Senator-elect Scott Brown works to extend the health care program in his state (that he voted for) to the rest of the nation, reform will succeed.

GOP gets Brown; city’s sick leave ordinance gets day in court

GOP gets Brown; city’s sick leave ordinance gets day in court

Attorneys for the MMAC and 9 to 5 engaged in legal swordplay over the merits of Milwaukee's paid sick leave ordinance.

Checkers & Chess: ISO Wisconsin’s next governor
Checkers & Chess

ISO Wisconsin’s next governor

Kind is out. The contender list is slim. Only a few appear to have the drive to remain.

Chicago schools show no improvement

Chicago schools show no improvement

Chicago school reform may not be the panacea the Obama administration would like to think it is.

City’s troubling decision to sit out sick leave appeal

City’s troubling decision to sit out sick leave appeal

Mayor Barrett earned kudos for intervening on behalf of a woman shouting for help. But his decision not to defend the city's sick leave ordinance leaves him on the sidelines of an important fight.

Suspect Charged in Barrett Assault

Suspect Charged in Barrett Assault

Anthony J. Peters has been charged with the assault on Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. Police have recovered an 18-inch tire iron which they believe Peters used to beat Barrett in a dumpster apparently covered with blood and gray hair.

Discovery World hosts memorial to Les Paul tomorrow

Discovery World hosts memorial to Les Paul tomorrow

One of the Milwaukee area's most celebrated natives will be honored tomorrow when Discovery World hosts a memorial to Les Paul. Paul will "lie in repose" in a closed casket and the public is invited to pay their respects.

Mayor Barrett Says Anyone Would Have Done What He Did

Mayor Barrett Says Anyone Would Have Done What He Did

A somewhat weak but typically good-natured Mayor Barrett recalled the events leading up to his Saturday night beating. "I wanted to let you know that I'm still standing," he quipped.

Barrett to hold news conference this morning

Barrett to hold news conference this morning

Mayor Barrett's decision to speak publicly this morning is a good sign that he is on the mend. Meanwhile, his suspected assailant's mom is putting the blame on Barrett.

He’s Baaaaack!!!

He’s Baaaaack!!!

This guy comes back more often than Jason! A mid-season game between two regional rivals suddenly takes on national interest of epic proportions.

Mayor Barrett felt his life was in danger

Mayor Barrett felt his life was in danger

When the assailant said he had a gun and ordered Barrett to lie face down, the mayor came up swinging. That's when the guy pulled out a metal baton and began whacking the heck out of him.

Why Doyle Won’t Run in 2010

Why Doyle Won’t Run in 2010

Gov. Doyle says two terms in office are enough and pledges his decision is final. "I won't pull a Brett Favre on you."

Barrett “did the right thing”

Barrett “did the right thing”

Mayor Barrett looked pretty awful after being attacked, but he's recovering fast. He may leave the hospitial today, according to his brother, John Barrett.

Suspected Barrett assailant in custody: Tom officially a badass
Suspected Barrett assailant in custody

Tom officially a badass

Mayor responds to cries for help; takes a beating but gets one in. Way to go, Tom! Feel better fast.

Politico.com says Doyle won’t run in 2010

Politico.com says Doyle won’t run in 2010

Sources tell Politico.com that Dems are concerned about Jim Doyle's chances in 2010. Or maybe there's a federal appointment in his future. Brett Favre finally retired, maybe Doyle thinks his time has come too!

Barrett Denies Charge of Racism

Barrett Denies Charge of Racism

MPS School Board President Michael Bonds charges racism but Mayor Barrett says it's all about the children...and the money.

The Other Shoe Falls on MPS

The Other Shoe Falls on MPS

What makes a school district succeed is the quality of the people in charge, not how they are chosen. Mayoral control does not guarantee improvement, and many will assess their approval of the city's takeover of MPS based on their confidence in Tom Barrett.

Gwen Moore Hosts a Textbook Town Hall

Gwen Moore Hosts a Textbook Town Hall

Undoubtedly, few people who came with their minds made up were influenced to switch sides. Yet, it is gratifying that if someone did indeed show up undecided they may very well have learned something.

The Property Tax Revolt of 2010

The Property Tax Revolt of 2010

If you think the health care reform debate is devolving into an out-of-control shouting match, just wait.

MPD: True community will always trump PR
MPD

True community will always trump PR

Hundreds of neighbors mingled on a gorgeous summer evening in Riverwest's Kadish Park. But on the way home, a reminder of why nights like these are so important.

Health Care Reform Full Court Press

Health Care Reform Full Court Press

Barack Obama may not be much of a bowler and he didn't bring much heat at the All Star Game. But when it comes to basketball and policy, he got game. Think health care reform is in danger? I'd think again.

The Future of News

The Future of News

Once people get used to not paying for something, it’s hard to pry the cost of a subscription out of their penny-pinching paws.

Move On, Folks, Ain’t Nothin’ to See Here

Move On, Folks, Ain’t Nothin’ to See Here

When I found myself writing about Le Affaire Flynn/McBride last week, I promised myself that I’d return with a thoughtful reflection on why these stories are so irresistible. Then the Mark Sanford story broke and last week seems so, so long ago.

Caesar’s Wife and Jessica McBride

Caesar’s Wife and Jessica McBride

It didn’t take Milwaukee Magazine editor Bruce Murphy long to respond to Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigative reporter Dan Bice’s story about Jessica McBride’s affair with Police Chief Edward Flynn. Murphy does a fine job of detailing why the quality of the story should not be questioned. Not a single fact has been challenged and, by […]

Won’t Someone Please Think of the Children?

Won’t Someone Please Think of the Children?

Any self-respecting editor knows that a personal relationship between a writer and a subject calls the legitimacy of the story into question. And suggesting that Bruce Murphy disputed that rang untrue. I took the liberty of contacting Murphy for clarification. I sent him an email saying that I don’t much care what two consenting adults do but it seemed to me that a reporter ought to maintain a certain distance from his or her subjects or disclose the nature of any personal relationship. So what gives?

By The People, For The People?

By The People, For The People?

The eyes of the world are focused on Iran where the will of the people is struggling to be heard. Here in Milwaukee the people spoke in favor of a paid sick leave mandate. So what's the difference?

Ubiquitous Obama Adjusts to Evolving Media Universe

Ubiquitous Obama Adjusts to Evolving Media Universe

While media mavens struggle to figure out how to earn a buck selling the news, the tsunami of changes they face also presents enormous challenges for the folks who make the news. Way back in the last century, when a president wanted to make news he simply walked into the White House Rose Garden and […]

Bronx Girl Makes Good

Bronx Girl Makes Good

It’s going to be hard to demonize the girl from the Bronx projects. She went to Princeton and Yale Law, served as a prosecutor and corporate attorney, was appointed to the federal bench by the first President Bush and was elevated to the appeals court by President Clinton. Sonia Sotomayor has the kind of back story that lends itself to a delightful “Movie of the Week” portrayal.

Smoke Free Compromise Expected to Pass

Smoke Free Compromise Expected to Pass

The good news is that the Wisconsin legislature is likely to pass a comprehensive bill to prohibit smoking in all workplaces in the state as soon as Wednesday. Yes, that includes all bars and restaurants. The bad news is that the law won’t take effect until July 5, 2010.

The Sweet Spot of Political Speech

The Sweet Spot of Political Speech

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama was eloquent. He was inspirational, charismatic, a veritable rock star. Tens of thousands of people turned out to hear him speak at rallies here in the United States as well as abroad. Now he’s been reduced to reminding us to wash our hands and cover our mouths when we […]

Janet Zweig ain’t Karen Finley

Janet Zweig ain’t Karen Finley

The breaking news from Milwaukee’s City Hall Tuesday was that the Common Council voted, by a lopsided 12-2, to approve the public art installation for E. Wisconsin Avenue designed by Janet Zweig. The tempest in a teapot didn’t boil over and Mike Brenner did not even have to resort to defecating on the lawn of […]

Abrahamson and Evers, Don’t Leave it to Chance

Abrahamson and Evers, Don’t Leave it to Chance

If you’re reading this, you probably know that there is an election in Wisconsin next Tuesday. Turnout for these Spring elections tends to be notoriously low which is never a good thing for democracy. Yet the candidates for the two statewide races present critical differences in experience and philosophy and the choices that voters make […]

The Yin and Yang of Economic Recovery

The Yin and Yang of Economic Recovery

It was like a week-long stimulus package for political junkies. First, President Obama’s appearance on NBC’s Tonight Show made him the first sitting president to appear on a late night talk show. Not really a historic event of epic proportions but Jay’s ratings spiked and that accounts for something. Then the president’s 60 Minutes interview, […]

More Work To Do

More Work To Do

Barack Obama won by applying solid community organizing fundamentals to a national campaign. He built an extremely loyal and disciplined network of staff and volunteers, developed an extraordinarily smart strategy and rode the combination all the way to the White House. Wisely, he is now applying those principles to help ensure that his national agenda gets […]

Follow the money

Follow the money

When the economy entered its freefall towards the end of 2008, nearly every economist agreed that a vast infusion of government spending was necessary to avoid a catastrophic meltdown such as the nation hasn’t seen since the Great Depression. In a democracy like ours, that meant getting something like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act […]

The State of the City

The State of the City

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett scored points by choosing the new Harley-Davidson museum as the setting for his State of the City address last month. The terrific new building, on the edge of the Menomonee Valley, served as an ideal backdrop for Barrett’s speech. Barrett is understandably proud of the progress made in redeveloping the valley. For years, this industrial corridor has been a festering sore symbolic of the economic and environmental damage left by Milwaukee’s manufacturing past.

What Would Ebenezer Do?

What Would Ebenezer Do?

Nobody likes it when somebody tells them what to do so I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the business community is throwing a hissy fit over the new Milwaukee sick leave law. But the truth is that the local chapter of the 9 to 5 organization played by the rules and collected […]

Riders on the Earth Together

Riders on the Earth Together

Forty years ago, a very miserable year ended with a miracle. No matter how bad the economy is today or how terrible things seem to be going nationally and globally, 1968 was worse; really, really worse. The Vietnam War was raging in Southeast Asia, bitterly dividing the nation. The civil rights movement was dealt a […]

Watching Brett from Baghdad

Watching Brett from Baghdad

New York Times Baghdad bureau chief James Glanz has filed a wonderful first-person report on watching the Jets-Bills game last Sunday from a war zone. It turns out Glanz has rooted for the Packers his entire life; his dad covered the team for a Madison television station. So, amazingly, he uses the piece to approach […]

Get Off the Damn Couch

Get Off the Damn Couch

One of the most refreshing, unusual and effective aspects of the Obama campaign was its ability to convince an incredible number of regular people that they had a personal investment in his election. Every campaign relies on committed volunteers and every candidate builds networks of supporters, contributors and true believers. But the Obama phenomenon took […]

Needy, Truly Needy and the Downright Greedy

Needy, Truly Needy and the Downright Greedy

So the feeding frenzy has begun. What do you expect? When the federal government announces that it’s willing to spend as much as a trillion dollars there’s going to be a lot of folks lining up with ways to put that money to good use. You know what I’m reminded of? Remember how, after last […]

Masters of the Universe

Masters of the Universe

The CEOs of the Big Three American automakers are returning to Capitol Hill clearly chastened by the lashing they took two weeks ago. Back then, they apparently expected easy access to a mere fraction of the $700 billion Congress has authorized to rescue the nation’s economy during this financial crisis. One can understand their reasoning. […]

The Bruce Bowl???

The Bruce Bowl???

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving so, of course, our thoughts naturally turn to … FOOTBALL! Understandably, most Packers fans are in a state of shock following the whupping the team took from the New Orleans Saints in the very same stadium which was the site of the team’s Super Bowl win way back in 1997. Now I […]

Outing a Bully

Outing a Bully

It’s a truth many of us learned on the playgrounds of our youth: nobody reacts to criticism worse than a bully. So it’s no surprise that conservative talk show host Charlie Sykes responded to a negative article in the December issue of Milwaukee Magazine with a longwinded, sniveling diatribe that leaves the reader wondering why […]

Whither Hillary?

Whither Hillary?

I may be wrong but I don’t think Barack Obama will choose Hillary Clinton as his Secretary of State. For one thing, during the campaign they took significantly different positions on foreign policy; from her vote for the Iraq War to the wisdom of meeting with bad guy foreign leaders to going after bin Laden […]

The Morning After

The Morning After

So the Obama girls will get a puppy. And the nation gets to celebrate. Barack Obama’s astonishing victory was the result of a nearly flawless, extremely well-run campaign. He assembled a talented, loyal and disciplined team around him who planned and implemented a remarkably effective strategy based on a message of change and hope, and […]

The Finish Line

The Finish Line

In case you haven’t heard, next Tuesday is Election Day when our nation will choose its next President. This is no time for complacency and each campaign is struggling mightily to turn out its supporters and maintain a full court press through this last week. Here in Wisconsin we are truly fortunate to have the […]

Wisconsin as a battlegound

Wisconsin as a battlegound

Lots of people are assuming that Barack Obama has wrapped up Wisconsin. Certainly the polls suggest that Obama has a safe lead here and the fact that the Republican Party has stopped spending money on television ads here reinforce that impression. But, as we all know, the only poll that matters is the one on […]

Imagine a More Just Milwaukee

Imagine a More Just Milwaukee

Go ahead. Take a few seconds and give it some thought. If you had a magic wand and could do anything you wanted, how would you change Milwaukee to make it a better place to live, work and raise a family? Better schools? More jobs? Improved transit? More statues of fictional characters? We all have […]

Is That All You Got?

Is That All You Got?

The third and final debate between John McCain and Barack Obama last night was certainly the most spirited and entertaining yet. As promised, McCain was combative and sought to pin the label of tax and spend Democrat on his rival. But if McCain’s supporters were looking for a transcendent performance from their guy that would […]

Game, Set and  …

Game, Set and …

Now hold on. You are not going to hear me say that this election is over. Sure every national poll has Barack Obama ahead and Real Clear Politics has Obama leading McCain in the all important Electoral College competition 313-158 (with 67 up for grabs). The latest poll here in Wisconsin has Obama ahead by […]

Sometime’s a Pie’s Just a Pie

Sometime’s a Pie’s Just a Pie

It’s Sunday morning and I’ve got one eye on the public affairs programming while I’m getting caught up on the morning news online. Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace just failed miserably to maintain decorum between McCain spokesperson Rick Davis and Obama uber flack David Axelrod. Come on, guys, let each other finish. Davis was […]

Happy Birthday, Number Four

Happy Birthday, Number Four

It’s a beautiful fall day, great football weather, which is only fitting since today is Brett Favre’s birthday. It still seems weird, doesn’t it, that Favre suits up Sundays in a jersey that doesn’t belong to the Green Bay Packers. Look, full disclosure here, I grew up in Queens, New York and have always been […]

Cool Trumps Hot

Cool Trumps Hot

So did you watch the debate last night? If not, I understand. This election has been going on forever. Even I found myself getting distracted while John McCain and Barack Obama were having at it. The race seemed so close a mere four weeks ago. These debates were among the most anticipated in history. The […]

The Last Refuge

The Last Refuge

It was a less than great weekend for sports fans in Wisconsin. The Badgers and Packers both lost and the Brewers ended their season though not before winning a playoff game at home on Saturday. So it’s time to return to more mundane topics like the economy and health care, national security and foreign relations. […]

Milwaukee celebrates

Milwaukee celebrates

Holy cow, the Brewers are in the playoffs and their fans are ready to par-tey!!! Well, I’m glad. Truthfully, I would have liked the Mets and Brewers to have won yesterday to force a game between the two teams to decide which one moved on. You see, I’ve always been a Mets fan but that’s […]

Tragedy or Farce?

Tragedy or Farce?

It couldn’t be any wackier if Paddy Chayefsky and Joseph Heller had collaborated on the script and Stanley Kubrick and Robert Altman had done the directing. Let’s review. Those wild and crazy folks who are in charge of our federal government in Washington, DC continue to squander what little respect they have by appearing to […]

The Scorecard

The Scorecard

John McCain is not having a very good couple of weeks. His campaign has been in free fall ever since last week when he called the fundamentals of our economy strong, He quickly tried to reposition himself on all this economic stuff by insisting he was talking about the American Worker and Small Business owner […]

Sins of the Son

Sins of the Son

Remember the presidential election of 1992 when George H.W. Bush lost to that young governor from Arkansas despite complaints by the incumbent that the media were unfair? The Republicans even promoted the slogan “Annoy the Media, Vote for Bush.” That didn’t work and it’s been conventional wisdom ever since that campaigning against the media is […]

The Elephant in the Room

The Elephant in the Room

Barack Obama responds to the question of whether race will be an issue on Nov. 4th with remarkable cool. On 60 Minutes last night, he said it would probably be a wash, with some people voting against him because of the color of his skin while others will vote for him for the same reason. […]

Wineke and Priebus are all winks and jabs

Wineke and Priebus are all winks and jabs

Mike Gousha moderated a good-natured smackdown yesterday at Marquette University between Wisconsin’s political party chairmen, Republican Reince Priebus and Democrat Joe Wineke. The two partisan opponents were all smiles and slaps on the back as they reached into their bags of bon mots to attack each other’s candidates. Gousha once again proved to be superb […]

Crony Capitalism, Crony Government

Crony Capitalism, Crony Government

While the news from Wall Street ain’t so hot, I’ll tell you what I wish I had stock in. I’m bullish on The Comedy Channel. The last week has been a windfall for Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and their writers on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report. Just hilarious! But what’s not so funny […]

Obama’s Straight Talk

Obama’s Straight Talk

We look to our leaders for substantive answers to the challenges of our time and we also look to our leaders for inspiration and confidence in the future. Barack Obama has been delivering on both of these criteria since he first declared his candidacy back in the winter of 2007. His speeches are rich in […]

Reality Strikes

Reality Strikes

A funny thing happened while lots of people were wringing their hands over how the McCain campaign seemed in total control of the news cycles since naming Sarah Palin to the ticket. The real world intervened. One prestigious Wall Street firm, Lehman Brothers, collapsed and another one, Merrill Lynch, was bought out for a song […]

Tit for Tat

Tit for Tat

Alright, boys and girls, it’s official. The gloves are off as the campaign that will choose our nation’s next president enters its high stakes final stages. Yep that means the silly season has begun when both candidates and their surrogates struggle to control the news cycle with messages targeting the dwindling number of undecided voters […]

The Semiotics of Lipstick

The Semiotics of Lipstick

It was a great line in a great speech. “You know the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Lipstick!” How you reacted to that line in Sarah Palin’s speech at the Republican National Convention amounts to a litmus test of where you stand in relation to the dividing line between our two […]

Brett the Jet

Brett the Jet

Okay, so it’s not the most original headline ever. And, you may be thinking, do we really need another column about the cataclysmic events of the last few months that resulted in Brett Favre starting today as the quarterback of the New York Jets? Well bare with me because this time, it’s personal. For, you […]

Agents of Change?

Agents of Change?

Without question, the Republicans helped their cause this week. The Palin pick energized the base and McCain’s speech tried to make the case that the maverick war hero is the true agent of change. Both were smart moves to drive up enthusiasm among social conservatives and attract support from the narrow but critical minority of […]

Country First?

Country First?

John McCain’s choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate calls his judgment into serious question. Let’s start off by stipulating, as Barack Obama has, that family issues like her 17-year-old daughter’s pregnancy and her decision to give birth to a Down syndrome baby are personal and should not be open to analysis. […]

Bruce and Barack Rock Milwaukee

Bruce and Barack Rock Milwaukee

What a weekend! If the roar of choppers wasn’t enough to get your blood bubbling then maybe the music blasting from stages all over town might do the trick. Miller Park, Milwaukee Street, North Avenue, MLK Drive and Locust Street were all bursting with music and, of course, the lakefront featured headliners Foo Fighters on […]

A Good Week

A Good Week

Is it possible that the Democrats have actually pulled off a flawless convention and nominated a terrific team that offers passion, experience, vision and conviction? Each night seemed perfected choreographed to convey a particular message designed to unify the party and demonstrate to the nation that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are the right choice […]

Hitting the Right Notes

Hitting the Right Notes

My name is Ted and I’m a political junkie. There I was captivated by the television coverage of the Democratic National Convention even though I had bills to pay, dishes to wash, and good books to read. It was a gorgeous late summer evening and I knew I had better things to do. Heck, just […]

On Second Thought

On Second Thought

Conventional Wisdom proved on the money yesterday when Barack Obama announced Joe Biden was his choice as the Democratic party’s candidate for vice president. Biden is a safe choice a) because as a two-time candidate for president he has been exhaustively vetted and his weaknesses are well-known, b) his thirty years as a Senator and […]

Only Hours Away

Only Hours Away

Barack Obama hasn’t publicly announced his choice for vice president yet. I know because his campaign has ensured me that I will be the first to hear. Me and the millions of others who have texted “VP” to 62262 (OBAMA). Chances are good that he will make the announcement in the next 18 hours since […]

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

Maybe you heard that Marie Claire magazine has opined that Milwaukee is one sexy city. Apparently, our rocking lakefront and neighborhood festivals suggest that we know how to have a good time. I won’t argue with that though the magazine didn’t bother to send anyone here to check it out. You gotta wonder if we’d […]

Scary Movie 3???

Scary Movie 3???

Well it’s the dog days of August but things are anything but slow in the world of politics. As many of you may be aware, there is a presidential election coming up in November and once again it’s time to exercise our constitutional right and have a say in what direction we want our country […]

Calatrava’s Wings Get Clipped in NY

Calatrava’s Wings Get Clipped in NY

Santiago Calatrava’s design for the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Quadracci Pavilion (known to most locals as simply The Calatrava) has had an unquestionably transformative effect on our city’s urban landscape. This super-modern, sleek structure helped catapult Milwaukee into the new century. Though not of Milwaukee, Calatrava lent his brilliance, prestige and audacity to our city and […]

After the Deluge

After the Deluge

The good news is that nobody appears to have died as a result of the cataclysmic amount of water that fell from the sky on Wisconsin since Friday. So it may be hyperbole to compare this weekend’s natural disaster with the horrible devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 as well as the tsunami, the […]

The Big Dog Proved to be an Albatross

The Big Dog Proved to be an Albatross

It’s over. Sooner or later, Hillary Clinton will suspend her campaign and throw her support behind Barack Obama. And when she does, it will be fairly obvious that a major part of her campaign’s failure was due to our nation’s 42nd president. Certainly, Bill Clinton’s efforts on her behalf left room for improvement though few […]

Les Paul, Mike Cudahy and the Rise of the Uber Geezers

Les Paul, Mike Cudahy and the Rise of the Uber Geezers

The Wizard of Waukesha is bringing his act to Milwaukee’s Pabst Theatre in June! If you don’t know the significance of that sentence then you don’t know the history of rock and roll. Les Paul, who turns 93 on June 9th, grew up in Waukesha and is probably more responsible for the popular music of […]

What is it good for?

What is it good for?

Absolutely nothing, Good god, y’all. Wouldn’t it be great if every president was required to listen to Edwin Starr’s nearly perfect anthem against War before committing troops to harms way? Especially before a needless and senseless military action like the one going on in Iraq. But you won’t hear me call it a war. The […]

One Tough Filly

One Tough Filly

One thing you gotta say about Hillary Clinton; there’s nothing brittle about this filly. Sen. Clinton made a visit to the car racing capital of the world in the days leading up the Indiana primary but the Kentucky Derby was the most prestigious sports event of the week. The derby is called the most exciting […]

Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder

When it comes to art, we’re all experts. To paraphrase a wise Supreme Court justice, good art is difficult to define but we know it when we see it. Here in Milwaukee, where we have an inferiority complex about so many things, nothing seems to incite a contentious debate more than the subject of public […]

In Praise of Mike Gousha

In Praise of Mike Gousha

We are a polarized society on so many things but there is at least one thing that people of all political stripes can agree on; local television news is a vast wasteland. Chicago attorney Newton Minow used that term in reference to all of television way back during the Kennedy administration when he served as […]

Newsflash: Journal Sentinel Capable of Good Journalism
Newsflash

Journal Sentinel Capable of Good Journalism

When the Pulitzer Prizes were announced on Monday and it was revealed that Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dave Umhoefer had won the Big Enchilada for local reporting, I was happy for Umhoefer and the rest of the Journal Sentinel staff who worked on this investigation of yet another excessive manipulation of the county pension system […]

We Must Cultivate Our Gardens

We Must Cultivate Our Gardens

“Tawdry and Despicable” — Milwaukee Journal Sentinel A “Tragedy” — Gov. Doyle “Unfit to be a judge or hold any public office — Bill Lueders Others have reflected on the awful campaign leading to the defeat of Justice Louis Butler by Burnett County Circuit Court Judge Michael Gableman in Tuesday’s election. My reaction was disappointment […]

Vote As If Your Life Depended On It

Vote As If Your Life Depended On It

Yes, we all have the right to stay home and not vote. That doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. Yes, elections are messy, aggravating, distasteful affairs. But the brains in our head (the gray matter, if you will) give us the capacity to evaluate the candidates and make an informed decision. Yes, there […]

Hey Milwaukee Bad Guys, There’s A New Maestro in Town!

Hey Milwaukee Bad Guys, There’s A New Maestro in Town!

When Edward Flynn was appointed Milwaukee’s new police chief, the community engaged in a group swoon. Flynn hit all the right notes as he met with the various key constituencies in town. Politicians, law enforcement officials, community activists and the business community all applauded the choice and Mayor Tom Barrett was praised for using the […]

Race, Politics and Easter

Race, Politics and Easter

It’s Easter Sunday and the topic du jour is race. The old ad used to say “You don’t have to be Jewish to like Levy’s Rye Bread” (maybe it was a New York thing), so perhaps you don’t have to be Christian to appreciate the irony of the moment. Barack Obama was forced to deliver […]

OMG Check Out This Bracket!

OMG Check Out This Bracket!

It’s March madness, baby! The competition leading up to the Final Four and the NCAA basketball championship has evolved into one of the most entertaining sports events of the year. And with Wisconsin and Marquette playing well and still alive as of this writing (Wisconsin has already advanced to the Sweet Sixteen while Marquette is […]

Greed and the Wisconsin Supreme Court

Greed and the Wisconsin Supreme Court

If you’ve been in front of a television recently, you’ve probably seen those ads trying to influence the election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Incumbent Louis Butler is being challenged by Butler County Circuit Judge Mike Gableman. Gableman is the bobblehead who allegedly bought his seat on the bench and Butler is the alleged criminal […]

A Stunning Fall

A Stunning Fall

One of my favorite scenes in one of my favorite movies is when George Bailey, Jimmy Stewart’s character in Frank Capra’s great Christmas classic, It’s a Wonderful Life, pleads with a group of customers at the savings and loan not to withdraw all of their money. George says the money isn’t in the vault, it’s […]

Whose Supreme Court Is It?

Whose Supreme Court Is It?

April 1st is shaping up as an important election day for Wisconsin, perhaps rivaling the presidential primary of February 19th. Locally, we have State Sen. Lena Taylor challenging Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Walker was elected on a one-note platform of opposing new taxes and he has stuck to that mantra even as financial shortfalls […]

Keep Your Hands to Yourself and Eat Your Own Food!

Keep Your Hands to Yourself and Eat Your Own Food!

An editorial in The New York Times today makes the strongest case yet that the tight race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be good for the country as long as the candidates keep the focus on the issues. Unfortunately, both have demonstrated that they are willing to pander to voters and attack their […]

On to Pennsylvania … and Possibly Denver!!!

On to Pennsylvania … and Possibly Denver!!!

So Hillary Clinton did what she had to do. Her victories in Ohio, Texas and Rhode Island gave her the justification she needed to keep this battle going. She still trails Barack Obama in pledged delegates and it does not appear likely that she can catch him. But Obama is unlikely to get to the […]

Democracy: yes we can
Democracy

yes we can

If there’s one thing we owe to George W. Bush and his disgraceful presidency, it is thanks for the fact that we have reached a point where voters, even traditionally apathetic young people, are tuning in and turning out, paying attention and voting. It’s way too early to predict what will happen in November but, […]

The Clintons and the Dallas Cowboys

The Clintons and the Dallas Cowboys

While most of the universe has already reached the conclusion that Barack Obama will ultimately receive this year’s Democratic nomination for president, there are a few voices reminding us that it ain’t over until it’s over. Among them is Dan Schnur, a Republican consultant originally from Wisconsin, who presents his argument in terms all fans […]

The Kitchen Sink Strategy

The Kitchen Sink Strategy

It’s about time that I set the record straight. Despite my vast experience and Mensa-worthy intelligence, the public seems enthralled by the soaring rhetoric and surface appeal of my rival bloggers. Since being raised modestly by working class parents, I have devoted my life to poking fun at the foibles and hypocrisies of the worlds […]

Hillary’s bipolar campaign

Hillary’s bipolar campaign

So which is it? Is Hillary Clinton choosing to go negative against Barack Obama, as in attacking him for “plagiarizing” the words of his friend and campaign co-chair, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts? Or is she taking the high road and praising her opponent as she did when she said how “proud” she is to […]

A Not So Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

A Not So Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

Elections, like sports, can be incredibly entertaining, especially when the outcome is in doubt. Both, however, require the proverbial “level playing field” which is why attempts to gain an unfair advantage or improperly influence the outcome of either are so infuriating. Whether it’s the use of steroids by overpaid athletes or misdeeds by overly-enthusiastic campaign […]

The Gloves Come off

The Gloves Come off

They say politics ain’t beanbag (confused? think hackey sack) so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the gloves have come off in the Democratic race for President. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is running ads here in Wisconsin attacking Barack Obama for not agreeing to debate and for falling short of promising universal health care coverage […]

It Doesn’t Take a Weatherman

It Doesn’t Take a Weatherman

The deluge has begun. In case you haven’t noticed, Wisconsin’s primary is next Tuesday so our state is suddenly drawing attention from the candidates and the national media. On some levels the race for the Democratic nomination is too close to call and nobody expects either candidate to deliver a decisive blow for at least […]

The Choice

The Choice

Mitt Romney’s decision to drop out of the race appears to lock up the nomination for John McCain though it will be interesting to see how long Mike Huckabee stays in and makes McCain continue defending his conservative credentials. The Republicans, as usual, are playing by the standard rulebook by falling in line behind a […]

The Day After

The Day After

So Tsunami Tuesday has come and gone and life, as we know it, goes on. Little has changed following yesterday’s mega-primary when nearly half of the states held contests to choose each party’s nominee for president. Certainly the Clinton-Obama battle for the Democratic prize remains deadlocked. The two candidates divided up the states, the votes […]

The McCain Surge

The McCain Surge

And then there were two. Two Democrats and Two Republicans, that is. With John Edwards and Rudy Giuliani dropping out of the presidential campaign, both contests now get really interesting. John McCain narrowly beat Mitt Romney in Florida’s Republican primary Tuesday but because the GOP winner gets all of the state’s delegates, McCain has now […]

A Hungry Nation

A Hungry Nation

The presidential campaign of Barack Obama received a stunning boost this week after scoring a huge victory in South Carolina’s primary Saturday followed by endorsements from Caroline Kennedy, Sen. Edward Kennedy, and other members of one of the royal families of the Democratic Party. Much has been made about the negative tone that has recently […]

Clearing the Air

Clearing the Air

A proposed ban on smoking in all workplaces in Wisconsin is stalled in the state legislature and that’s too bad. There’s no doubt that secondhand smoke is dangerous so it seems to me a no-brainer that no employee should be subjected to toxic air on the job. More than twenty states including New York, California, […]

An Epic Loss

An Epic Loss

As we all know, it’s only a game. Yeah, sure, and Bill Gates is just a software salesman. With the nation in the throes of a presidential election clearly we should have more important things on our minds. During the week when we are supposed to pay attention to civil rights, social justice and other […]

Good for what ails ya’!

Good for what ails ya’!

Are all politics local? If you are tired of the spinning and empty promises of our national leaders, have I got a cure for you. Anyone turned off by the state of politics today ought to attend a local candidate forum. Wednesday night’s forum for the race to fill Michael D’Amato’s seat on the Common […]

Candidate Forum Tonight

Candidate Forum Tonight

Whose Side are You On? With all the hoopla surrounding the presidential sweepstakes, it’s easy to overlook the state and local races taking place this year. Adding to the confusion is Wisconsin’s odd tradition of holding so-called non-partisan elections in the Spring. Sometime back in our state’s history, our ancestors decided that certain offices, like […]

Hillary’s Moment

Hillary’s Moment

Hillary’s Moment… It goes without saying that this year’s presidential election is important. The American electorate will be making a choice that will have enormous implications for our nation and the world. But every so often during an election, a simple event sends a message about its times and becomes part of history for the […]

The road goes on forever

The road goes on forever

As work on the Marquette interchange reconstruction project nears completion, I find myself impressed by the enormity of the project as well as with the relative lack of inconvenience it’s caused. Sure, there were occasional delays, as well as closed exits and lanes that added minutes to commutes, but overall, the level of congestion and […]

See kids? Isn’t this fun?

See kids? Isn’t this fun?

We are still a year away from next year’s presidential election but it’s already painfully obvious why so many people are so turned off by politics. The spectacle of the nominating process consists of each party’s candidates gouging eyes and pulling hair in a struggle to separate themselves from the pack. Despite such critical issues […]

Coming soon… Gray Matter

Coming soon… Gray Matter

A new blog by Ted Bobrow… starting Nov 7th!

Jobs, jobs, jobs

Jobs, jobs, jobs

When Tom Barrett won the 2004 mayoral election, he promised to focus on “jobs, jobs, jobs.” Now that he’s gearing up for a reelection campaign next year, the time has come to ask whether he has delivered on his pledge. In office, Barrett declared Milwaukee “open for business” and pledged to work tirelessly to attract […]

BUDGETMANIA!

BUDGETMANIA!

THE ANGLE In this corner, we have the Senate Democrats, who took control of the legislature’s upper chamber after last year’s election. Flexing their muscles, the Senate Dems passed a $66.1 billion version of the 2007-2009 budget, featuring a controversial $15.2 billion universal health care program. The Senate’s “Healthy Wisconsin” plan for universal coverage would […]

All the king’s horses

All the king’s horses

When local business leader and big-time philanthropist Sheldon Lubar received the Headliner Award from the Milwaukee Press Club this past spring, he made some scathing observations about the challenges facing Milwaukee to a room full of 300 of the region’s leading journalists. It’s a topic on which he is well-qualified to speak. The founder of […]

Fixing MPS

Fixing MPS

The Greek myth of Sisyphus tells the story of a man condemned by the gods to roll a rock up a hill only to have it roll back down each time, forcing him to repeat the task over and over again for eternity. Some might argue that Sisyphus is the perfect metaphor for the vexing […]

Up in smoke

Up in smoke

When Michael Bloomberg became mayor of New York following 9/11, there was concern that the terrorist attack would harm the city’s economy. Bloomberg and the New York City Council, with help from the state and federal governments, enacted a wide variety of tax incentives and other programs designed to support businesses and save jobs. But […]