Dan Shafer

TCD’s weekly winners and losers (12/16/11)

By - Dec 16th, 2011 04:00 am


original image via oooh-oooh via fotomedia
Rep. Paul Ryan, who this week was listed as a Runner-Up for TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, is also making news for a new proposal in efforts to reform Medicare. Along with Democratic representative Ron Wyden of Oregon, Ryan presented a new plan before Congress on Wednesday that would “provide financial support allowing seniors to select insurance through a new, regulated exchange intended to foster competition and reduce costs,” according to Reuters.
In another bipartisan move on the state level, two Racine County representatives, Rep. Robin Vos (R – Rochester) and Rep. Cory Mason (D – Racine) have indicated that they will be looking for alternatives to the proposed grant cuts to support services for sexual assault victims in the state of Wisconsin (a topic discussed in last week’s winners and losers). Speaking to the Racine Journal Times, both representatives agreed that providing support to sexual assault victims was a priority. Before the proposed $900,000 cut goes into effect, it must be passed by the Joint Finance Committee. Both Vos and Mason sit on the committee, and Vos is a committee co-chair.
The hungry in Wisconsin
Kohl’s Cares will make an $800,000 donation to Hunger Task Force, it was announced on Thursday. As Hunger Task Force Executive Director Sherrie Tussler told WISN, the donation comes at a time when they need is great, and noted that the donation is the equivalent “about 18 semitrucks loads of food” that will serve to help Wisconsin soup kitchens, food pantries and homeless shelters. (Editor’s note: See TCD’s guide to holiday food drives, featuring several opportunities to make a donation to Hunger Task Force.)

original image via FadderUri on flickrIt’s been a big week for lawsuits in Wisconsin. This week, the ACLU sued the state over the new Voter ID law, set to go into effect on Feb. 21 of next year. The Milwaukee police union also filed suit against the Milwaukee Police Association and the City of Milwaukee over changes in their health plan. The contentious nature of Wisconsin politics continues to spill into the courtroom.

Democratic Activists

United Wisconsin and Wisconsin Democrats announced on Thursday that they have collected more than 500,000 signatures for the petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker. That comes out to more than 16,000 signatures collected per day since the recall began on Nov. 15. United Wisconsin also said that its new signature collection goal is 720,277, which is 200,000 more than the required number to move forward with the recall.



Milw. Co. Sheriff's Dept. photo of Andrew P. Jensen Jr.Andrew P. Jenson, Jr.

Who was arrested on Tuesday for refusing to cooperate with police as part of an ongoing John Doe investigation. Jensen, a prominent commercial real estate agent, donated $850 to Walker’s campaign for governor. Jensen also contributed to Mayor Tom Barrett, along with several Democratic legislators. He was released on Wednesday without charges.
BadgerCare beneficiaries
original image by ulrichkarljoho via flickrWithout federal approval of proposed cuts from the governor’s office, more than 53,000 individuals could be without health care next July. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “A deadline written into state law by Walker and GOP lawmakers says the state must drop 53,000 adults from the program in July if the federal government doesn’t approve all of Walker’s proposals by Dec. 31.” It remains to be seen if what we have here is a failure to communicate or if there are larger forces at work.
Women’s health
The Department of Health Services will reportedly not be renewing a $130,000 contract with Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin. PPAWI is accusing state health officials of cutting funding for a program geared to provide screenings for breast and cervical cancer for low-income and underinsured women. Tanya Atkinson, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin told the Appleton Post-Crescent: “Our understanding is that we’re being kicked out of the program.”
Brewer fans, young and old
It was only a few short months ago that the Milwaukee Brewers were on the cover of Sports Illustrated, lighting up SportsCenter with walk-offs and “beast mode,” charging toward the playoffs with momentum on their side.

My how quickly things can change.

First, it was the frustrating disaster that was Game 5 in St. Louis, followed shortly by the abrupt end to the Crew’s storybook season. I was there for Game 6 at Miller Park, and as my Brewer-crazed family and I looked on in disbelief, we saved our last cheers for Prince Fielder, who we knew would be playing his last game as a Brewer, and left the stadium trying to hold onto hope, saying “at least we have Braun.”

Unbeknownst to us, something far worse than being outplayed in the playoffs was brewing. A legacy was being destroyed.

By now, you surely know that Ryan Braun has been suspended for 50 games for testing positive for synthetic testosterone during the 2011 playoffs. You’ve surely heard the arguments and the evidence from each side and if you’re anything like me, you’re still well-entrenched in denial.

original photo by Jennell Jenney for ThirdCoast DigestWhether or not Braun has a case in contesting the results, it remains highly unlikely that the suspension will be overturned, as that hasn’t happened once in a case of PED-related suspension. So in all likelihood, the Milwaukee Brewers will be starting the 2012 season without Prince Fielder or Ryan Braun. What’s next, Bernie Brewer checking into AA?

But perhaps those most effected in this terrible saga are the young fans who looked up to Braun as their hero; the face of the franchise, the MVP, the Brewer for life. One particular account of this lost innocence was passed along from TCD visual arts writer, Judith Ann Moriarty.

She writes, “My grandson is about to be twelve, a delicate age to say the least; the age when bodies change rapidly and emotions run rampant. Ryan Braun is his hero. He cried when he heard about the PED scandal, and for him and many other youngsters who worship Braun, perhaps it was the first brush with the real world of adults. His dad sat him down and explained how adults ensnare themselves and after a few more tears, grandson seemed to grasp (though not fully of course), the gist of the message. In a world of so few heroes, did Braun blow it, and if so, he blew a hole in the celebrity dreams of a youngster.”

That is something that cannot be appealed.

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