Wong’s Garden Story In Local Paper Has Quotes From Myself About Owners


On Sunday I posted about our favorite Chinese restaurant closing.

This week a local entertainment section of the newspaper also posted a story about the business, and used quotes that I made to a reporter.

Wong’s Garden, 2044 Atwood Ave., closed this month after almost 13 years.

Gah Yuen Wong and his wife, Lan, opened Wong’s in early 2001 and are now retiring, said friend and customer Gregory Humphrey.

“They are really going to be missed,” Humphrey said.

Wong, 66, cooked Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine and he operated a restaurant of the same name in Janesville from 1984 until 1997.

After that, he headed the Chinese food department at a Hy-Vee supermarket in Davenport, Iowa.

Humphrey said that the Wongs closed abruptly because they got a good offer from someone wanting to buy the business.

The Wongs wished they had been able to give more notice about their closing, so regular customers could have come in to have a final meal and so they could have said proper good-byes, Humphrey said.

Humphrey said he was struck at how Lan would always give customers a cup of hot tea while they waited for their to-go orders. She also gave tea to people who didn’t order anything, but were maybe down on their luck or homeless or just wanted to warm up in the restaurant.

Portage County District Attorney Veronica Isherwood Secures Two Guilty Verdicts, But Mistrial On Three Other Charges For Ronald Disher Trial

From time to time our personal attorney comes over for lunch and lively conversations.  A couple years ago we hired her professional skills for a matter I needed legal help with, but even then it was clear that James and  I were making a new friend.  During our lunches we talk some politics, always discuss the latest books we all are reading, and most likely I will toss out an oddball topic that might have a legal twist to it so to stir up even more conversation.

Such was the case in the autumn of 2012 when I offered up for conversation the Portage County case concerning a family that for decades had cashed Social Security checks for a woman that authorities felt had long since died.  It was then our attorney smiled and added a detail I was not aware at that time.

Portage County Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood was our attorney’s step-mother.

Talk about a small world!

A judge declared a mistrial Friday for the most serious charges against a Portage County man accused in a plot to steal his mother-in-law’s Social Security checks for decades.

Ronald Disher, 72, was charged with three felonies – fraud, forgery and theft – in a scheme to fraudulently cash Marie Jost’s Social Security checks for more than 30 years. A jury failed to reach a verdict on those counts following nearly nine hours of deliberations over two days.

The jury convicted Disher of two misdemeanors: endangering safety and disorderly conduct involving a confrontation with a Social Security investigator.

Portage County Assistant District Attorney Veronica Isherwood said she will seek a new trial. 

A scheduling conference is scheduled for February 3, 2014.

Vladimir Putin On Cover Of The Economist


OUCH!–Gov. Chris Christie Knew About Lane Closures According To David Wildstein

No matter how one slices or dices this news story there is just no way that it leaves New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on the good end of the stick.  With heavy legal bills it is clear the David Wildstein wants immunity.  But it may also be that the federal prosecutor wants to not only nail Christie but also wishes to do the same with Wildstein who was the former Port Authority official who oversaw the George Washington Bridge lane closings that led to the bridgegate scandal.  Therefore there may be no immunity and this public effort from his attorney will not get the desired effect for Wildstein.

But it does further damage Governor Christie.

There will be miles of reporting on this nugget of news that came out late today, and it only underscores why the political hopes that Chrisite may have had for 2016 are like a tire with a slow leak.  Once this bridge scandal erupted it was all downhill.

The news today is a follows.

In the letter, first reported by the New York Times and obtained by ABC News, Wildstein, also a former high school friend of Christie, writes “evidence exists…tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the Governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference…Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some.”

In that press conference earlier this month Christie said “there’s no way that anybody would think that I know about everything that’s going on, not only in every agency of government at all times.”

“So what I can tell you is if people find that hard to believe, I don’t know what else to say except to tell them that I had no knowledge of this — of the planning, the execution or anything about it — and that I first found out about it after it was over,” Christie said.



Justin Bieber Needs A Response From President Obama Administration

There was no way in God’s creation that Justin Bieber was going to make this blog of mine.  Then politics meshed with the punk and here we go…,

Yesterday we reported that a petition urging President Obama to deport Canadian pop star-turned-bad-boy Justin Bieber had racked up more than 70,000 signatures. Today it surpassed the 100,000 mark, which means the White House is required to issue an official response.

“We would like to see the dangerous, reckless, destructive, and drug abusing, Justin Bieber deported and his green card revoked,” the petition says. “He is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nations youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society.”

Stay tuned to see how the White House chooses to respond to the petition to revoke the Biebs’ green card.

William F. Buckley Jr.’s National Review Fighting For Its Life


I liked William F. Buckley Jr, and it would be safe to say he is grimacing someplace over this news.  I always like Buckley for his slightly elitist charm and world-class intelligence.

Climate scientist Michael Mann is suing National Review and Mark Steyn, one of its leading writers, for defamation. It’s a charge that’s notoriously hard to prove, which is no doubt why the magazine initially refused to apologize for an item on its blog in which Steyn accused Mann of fraud. Steyn also quoted a line by another conservative writer (Rand Simberg) that called Mann “the Jerry Sandusky of climate science, except that instead of molesting children, he has molested and tortured data.” (Simberg and the free market think tank for which he works, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, are also named in the suit.)

The lawsuit has not been going well for the magazine. In July, Judge Natalia Combs Greene rejected a motion to dismiss the suit. The defendants appealed, and last week D.C. Superior Court Judge Frederick Weisberg rejected the motion again, opening the door for the discovery phase of the lawsuit to begin.

That’s not all. On Christmas Eve, Steyn (who regularly guest hosts Rush Limbaugh’s radio show) wrote a blog post in which he excoriated Greene, accusing her of incompetence, stupidity, and obtuseness. As a result of this outburst, the law firm that had been representing National Review and Steyn (Steptoe & Johnson) has dropped Steyn as a client and reportedly has plans to withdraw as counsel for the magazine as well. (Now representing himself in the lawsuit, non-lawyer Steyn continues on the attack here and here.)

[Update: National Review publisher Jack Fowler says that it was Mark Steyn who initiated the break with the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, not the other way around.]

Now, the lawsuit may well be dismissed down the road. But the longer it continues, the more likely it becomes that Mann will eventually prevail, either by forcing an expensive settlement or by prevailing in court and winning a substantial penalty from the defendants.

It’s doubtful that National Review could survive either outcome. Small magazines often lose money and only rarely manage to break even. They certainly don’t have substantial legal budgets, let alone cash to cover an expensive payout. Indeed, in 2005, Buckley said the magazine had lost $25 million over 50 years.

CNN Needs To Be Mindful Of Bernie Shaw As It Resurrects “Inside Politics”


If you are my age, and enjoy politics the memory of Bernie Shaw and his remarkable work on CNN will easily come to mind.  One of the shows he worked on, and in time would be joined by the equally professional Judy Woodruff, was Inside Politics.  With deep analysis and pointed interviews the show was designed to not only report on the current events with politicians, but look ahead and try to better determine what might next be occurring in the world of politics.  I absolutely loved the show and recorded it each day so I could watch it later in the evening.

CNN has now decided to resurrect Inside Politics with John King starting this Sunday at 8:30 A.M. E.T.  The revamped show will feature a rotating panel of political reporters.

I am hoping that the show can tap down beneath the headlines and the typical questions that are lobbed around by these types of programs.  I am hoping that somewhere there is the memory of the work Bernie Shaw provided to CNN, and then use that as a template on how this current program needs to operate.

New York City Mayor de Blasio Will Not Attend Super Bowl Where 20-Ounce Bud Lite Costs $14.00

Though it is reported New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is an avid sports fan one thing is clear.  The populist politician will watch the game the same way most of his constituents will–in the comfort of their home.  Income inequality are more than mere words for this pol.

“I’m very excited that the NFL is hosting the Super Bowl in our area, and we’re working hard to be great hosts of the event,” de Blasio said in a statement Thursday. “I’ve enjoyed participating in all the festivities leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, but I’ve decided to watch the game on TV, just like the vast majority of New Yorkers.”

Elected officials are prohibited from accepting free tickets to the game and the requirement to pay — with face values ranging from $500 to $2,500 — can be difficult for those without deep pockets.

De Blasio is paid $225,000 a year and made $165,000 a year the last four years as the city’s elected public advocate.

De Blasio, who hails from a middle- to upper-middle class Brooklyn neighborhood, has joked about his lack of disposable income. He has one child in college and another who will be going in two years.