President Obama may be engaging in political damage control in proposing that Congress resurrect legislation to protect the confidentiality of journalists’ sources. But his call for action on a federal shield law is welcome even if it is inspired by a desire to deflect criticism of the Justice Department’s seizure of the phone records of The Associated Press.
Although described as a “reporter’s privilege,” protection for confidential news sources actually benefits the public by making it easier for journalists to obtain information about wrongdoing in government and elsewhere. That’s why most states, including California, provide some protection for journalists who have promised confidentiality to their sources. In addition, long-standing Justice Department regulations require it to seek information from other sources before going after information that might expose a journalist’s confidential sources.
Conservation groups in Wisconsin are up in arms about the decision last week by the Legislature’s budget committee to cut funding for a popular program for buying land for outdoor activities.
The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee votes along party lines to cut the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program by $18 million over the next two years. It also voted to order the Department of Natural Resources to put 10,000 acres of state land up for sale by 2017.
LAUREL – To the Kenosha City Council for approving an ordinance that allowed Black Pearl Tattoo to move in to Uptown. The business had been in a Pleasant Prairie strip mall but owner Greg Larsen was eager to buy a building and found one in an area of Kenosha where he believes he will draw more walk-in traffic. It’s fortunate that the council supported the plan and neighborhood businesses raised no objections. Kenosha needs to be receptive to businesses wanting to locate in our community.
Typically I like to keep my column as un-opinionated as possible and steer away from touchy subjects while not sounding too preachy. The subject I tend to pick really comes from what I believe in or what really matters to me in life that I can put into practice myself.
After pondering for a little while the topic popped right into the ol’ noggin. This was inspired by a conversation I had with a relative of mine. We all have at one time or another have to make decisions that affect the path our lives will take. This could happen many times or just once or twice during a lifetime. The focus of our conversation turned to getting ahead in life and reaching a point of happiness in what we both were doing for a living.
Pakistan’s National Assembly elections on May 11 provided a significant victory to Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League-N. Despite violence, turnout was approximately sixty percent. A peaceful power transition to this opposition party means progress from the nation’s history of military coups.
Sharif was prime minister twice earlier. Most recently, he was forced out of the post in 1999 in a military coup led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf. He and his family spent more than a decade in exile in Saudi Arabia. Musharraf himself has left government power under pressure and has been under house arrest awaiting trial for illegally detaining judges.
This is a letter I never wanted to write. Let’s face it, if I were a better person I would just say what I have to say to your face. But I’m weak.
Rep. Tom Cole, a Republican who lives in the very neighborhood that was overwhelmed, was talking about a call he received from President Obama. Hearing Cole, I realized how strange it is these days for politicians to speak in human terms about someone in the other political party — especially if that someone is named Barack Obama. “He was very kind,” Cole said.
The president, Cole added, “ticked off very quickly that the assets were available ... and said, ‘You know, you’re going to have everything you need and if something — you have a problem, just call me directly at the White House.’ It was an exceptionally kind, thoughtful and gracious call.”
Wisconsin has long played a pivotal role in the national movement to redirect taxpayer dollars to private, often parochial schools. And money — much of it from out of state — has played a huge part in that process.
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonpartisan watchdog, recently reported that “wealthy campaign contributors and shadowy electioneering groups” spent nearly $10 million in Wisconsin over the past decade to back parental school choice.
About a dozen chairs are scattered around the edges of the room. As I enter, six people are sitting there. They have four legs between them.
There are usually children around. The first time I came here, shyly watching from the doorway, I heard a “beep-beep” behind me, and as I turned, a 5-year-old sped past me at a remarkable speed, hopping on her one leg.