Gray Matter

  • 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

    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?

    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 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

    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

    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

    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

    “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

    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!

    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

    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!

    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 […]