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“What we don’t remember,” some sage must have said on some occasion, “we forget.” How true that is! We’re only human, after all. (Except for the animals and rocks and stuff. And vegetables – don’t forget vegetables.) Anyway, before the highs and lows – and there were plenty of both in the Badger State in […]

“What we don’t remember,” some sage must have said on some occasion, “we forget.” How true that is!

We’re only human, after all. (Except for the animals and rocks and stuff. And vegetables – don’t forget vegetables.)

Anyway, before the highs and lows – and there were plenty of both in the Badger State in 2008 – fall out of our heads forever, let’s take a moment to take stock of the passing year. To think back. To smile. To cringe.

Need a jump start? Glad to oblige. So here are just some of the things that got stuck in one highly trained team of Milwaukee-molded brain cells.

[Editor’s note: Rick’s brain cells occasionally imagine things.]



Votes & Stuff:
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett cruises to re-election over some guy whose name you’ve already forgotten. Barrett then returns to the Federal Witness Protection Program.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who built his career on a bold no-more-taxes pledge when times were good, adjusts to the worsening economy with a bold no-more-taxes pledge. (If a tree falls in a county park and nobody sees it because the grass hasn’t been cut in six months…)

Attorney Michael Gableman defeats incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler in a race that conjures up memories of Willie Horton. A victorious Gableman then joins Annette Ziegler on the court’s increasingly powerful Ethically Challenged wing.

In Madison, Democrats gain control of the state Assembly, and pledge the same bipartisan cooperation they received when Republicans ran the place.


Icons, Here & Gone:
General Motors decides to close its Janesville plant. The U.S. Bowling Congress moves from Greendale to Arlington, Texas.Miller merges with Coors and shifts its corporate office to Chicago. In response, Gov. Jim Doyle orders all Johnsonville brats to stay put.

The Bronze Fonz arrives. Milwaukee chests puff with pride. Some more than others.

Kellyn Lindemann, daughter of Milwaukee’s legendary Bo Black, tries out for a photo spread in Playboy magazine. Nice to see her following in her mother’s bra straps.


Comings, Goings:
Former Ald. Michael McGee Jr. is sentenced to federal prison for bribery, extortion and other crimes. This reassures those who had worried that, with former state Sen. Gary George’s recent release from prison, Milwaukee’s all-important “Enormously Talented Young Black Politician Who Threw It All Away” slot might be temporarily vacant.

The Wisconsin Ethanol Coalition announces that the process of “corn fractionation” – separating the endosperm of corn from other components – “increases the ethanol yield per batch by up to 10 percent.” The excitement grows.


Media in Meltdown:
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Dave Umhoefer wins the Pulitzer Prize, demonstrating once again there will always be a place for high-quality journalism.

Journal Communications stock plunges below $2 per share, demonstrating once again that the place probably won’t be Milwaukee.

Every newly unemployed JS staffer starts a blog. So does everyone else.


The Sporting World:
The Brewers end their quarter-century playoff drought. Meanwhile, the team’s new “untuck your shirts” postgame ritual continues Milwaukee’s century-long fashion drought.

Milwaukee Bucks fans worry the team may be purchased by Chinese investors and moved to another city. True Milwaukee Bucks fans worry that the team still can’t move from offense to defense.

Brett Favre does move to another city. And adds the Detroit Lions to his “Friends & Family” calling plan.


Getting Around:
Milwaukee School Board member Charlene Hardin returns from a school safety conference in Philadelphia with shopping bags and goodie bags. Useful information? Not so much.

Milwaukee County bus fares continue to rise as Milwaukee Country bus routes continue to shrink. The goal? One rider paying a million dollars per trip, and another rider to slap him around.

A new study shows potholes in Milwaukee’s black neighborhoods take longer to be addressed than potholes in white neighborhoods. Not to worry, though: It’s exactly the opposite for drug use.


Quality o’ Life:
An impressive new high-rise brings luxury living to the Downtown lakefront, with designer fixtures, granite countertops and incredible views of the even taller high-rise going up right next door.

Another new study: Wisconsin once again leads the nation in binge drinking, driving while intoxicated, and making excuses for binge drinking and driving while intoxicated.

According to environmentalists, politicians who say the Great Lakes are now safe from invasive species are full of carp.

And finally, speaking of major repositories of fluid…

Lake Delton disappears. Charlie Sykes blames it on Barack Obama.

 

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