Milwaukee

Malkin Unhappy, Obamacare Rattling Insurers. It's All Good.
August 31, 2010

Note: Here is my latest column for Kaiser Health News. When Assurant Health, a Milwaukee-based health insurance company, announced this month it was laying off 130 employees in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, it blamed the health care overhaul for its struggles -- and at least one prominent critic of reform quickly chimed in. "There are more and more Obamacare job-killing stories piling up like this one," conservative columnist Michelle Malkin wrote in an item with the headline, "The White House War on Jobs." I know a lot of smart, thoughtful health reform critics. Malkin is not one of them.

On The Map: Gentler Suburbs for Growing Old?
July 22, 2010

Monday’s New York Times profiled New York City’s effort to make itself friendlier to its burgeoning senior population. The city is already home to 1 million people age 65 and over, and is projected to add another 350,000 to that total in the next two decades. The city’s efforts--which include public/private partnerships to help make businesses more senior-friendly, as well as infrastructure tweaks like longer lights to cross wide boulevards and more sidewalk benches--build from recommendations in the New York Academy of Medicine’s work, as well as the World Health Organization’s Age Friendly

Drain Education Reform Money, Lay Off Teachers, or Pay Them Less? An Ugly Choice.
July 16, 2010

The fate of the $10 billion edujobs bill, which is meant to prevent more than 100,000 teacher layoffs across the country, remains unclear. Before Congress went on vacation earlier this month, the House passed edujobs as an amendment to a larger spending bill and sent it to the Senate. But, as I wrote at the time, the House agreed to pay for the provision in part by cutting funds from some of Obama’s most vital education reform initiatives, including Race to the Top. The president threatened a veto, and the Department of Education immediately embarked on a push to find the money elsewhere.

On the Map: America’s Shifting Commuting Choices
July 01, 2010

Brookings’ comprehensive State of Metropolitan America report focuses on the demographic and social trends shaping the nation today. That’s population, race and ethnicity, income, education and the like. But we’re also lucky enough to have data from the U.S. Census on commuting patterns.

‘Drill, Baby, Drill’ in the Great Lakes?
June 10, 2010

One of the annual Great Lakes political rites of late spring is the leadership policy conference on scenic Mackinac Island, the car-less Great Lakes getaway, at which Mackinac’s Grand Hotel, with the longest front porch in the world, is weighed down by 1500 of Detroit and Michigan’s leading business, media, and political figures, along with the odd early presidential aspirant. This being an election year, the manure being spread by seven Republican and Democratic Michigan gubernatorial hopefuls, along with visiting keynoter and maybe presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, rivaled the piles lef

Great Lakes are Dead, Long Live the Great Lakes
June 01, 2010

The portion of the blogosphere inclined to noodle over Brookings State of Metro America report, included some who now ask, “whither the Rust Belt?” and “whither the Brookings Great Lakes Economic Initiative?”.  I’m pleased to say all are alive and in forward-looking form. The Great Lakes Economic Initiative developed several years ago, not out of a DC-based “mega-region” overlay, but as I traded notes from my years as an elected official and public policy-shaper in Michigan and teamed up with similarly situated political, business and civic leaders from Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, and el

Is China's Growth Really That Jaw-Dropping?
May 26, 2010

Kevin Drum asks why China's visitors are invariably blown away by the changes taking place in the country: "China is big on a macro scale. It's big on a statistical scale. It's growing fast. But on a ground level scale? It's just a place. It's no bigger or denser or busier than lots of other places. So why is everyone always so awe-stricken about it?" Having been in China for a few days, I'd say the size of the place is less impressive than the sheer rate of change.

Education Reform After Vouchers
April 09, 2010

Milwaukee is home to the most extensive private school voucher program in the country. New research, conducted by voucher advocates, shows... that the program doesn't improve the education of students at all. AEI's Frederick M.

THE PICTURE: Time in Milwaukee
March 31, 2010

Richard and Erna Flagg were married in Frankfurt, Germany in 1932. Richard was Jewish, the son of a wealthy businessman. Erna was Protestant; her father, Bernhard Zubrod, was an architect. I had not heard of the Flaggs until a couple of years ago, when I first visited the Milwaukee Art Museum, and found myself lingering over a display of sixteenth and seventeenth-century clocks, fantastically intricate creations, which the Flaggs gave to the museum in the early 1990s.

Pope, Repent!
March 26, 2010

WASHINGTON -- How in the name of God can the Roman Catholic Church put the pedophilia scandal behind it? I do not invoke God's name lightly. The church's problem is, above all, theological and religious. Its core difficulty is that rather than drawing on its Christian resources, the church has acted almost entirely on the basis of this world's imperatives and standards. It has worried about lawsuits. It has worried about its image. It has worried about itself as an institution and about protecting its leaders from public scandal.

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