By Derrell Connor
Special To Channel 3000

Because so much has happened over the last few months -- not to mention the fact that we’re in the home stretch of a particularly nasty election season -- it’s time for some "Last I Checked" random thoughts and observations:

Last I Checked, we are supposed to judge people based on who they are on the inside. So kudos to La Crosse television anchor Jennifer Livingston, who decided to directly address a viewer’s e-mail that complained about her weight and questioned whether she was a suitable role model for youth. By standing up for herself and others who have been bullied and harassed online, Livingston not only proved that she is a role model, she also exposed the e-mailer, who clearly isn’t one.

Last I Checked, when someone is convicted of a heinous crime, he or she is often remorseful and contrite before sentencing. Not Jerry Sandusky, who continues to deny the charge that he sexually abused at least ten boys over the past couple of decades, referring to the charges as a "conspiracy." Let’s hope these young men continue to get the help they need, and Sandusky never again sees life outside a prison.

Last I Checked, player safety is supposed to be the number one concern for the National Football League. So why did the league play the preseason and the first few games of the regular season with replacement referees, and why are they scheduling Thursday night games every week? It makes one wonder: Is it really about player safety, or about money?

Last I Checked, Ryan Braun’s 2012 statistics included first in home runs, third in batting average, and second in runs batted in as outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers. All are numbers worthy of serious consideration of a second consecutive National League Most Valuable Player. However, a number of baseball analysts are predicting Braun won’t get votes for the award due to his "positive" test for performance enhancing drugs that was later overturned by an arbitrator over the way the sample was handled. Braun has not tested positive since and statistically was better this season than last. So if these stories are true, the Baseball Writers Association of America is punishing Ryan Braun for their own flawed drug testing procedures. Sure, that makes a lot of sense.

Last I Checked, anyone that runs for political office possesses a lot of self-confidence, or swag, as I like to call it. When you’re running for President of the United States, that swag is usually off the charts. So it always bothers me when critics of President Obama call him arrogant, as if that quality isn’t evident in almost every president or candidate. Anyone who watched the debate this past Tuesday witnessed two men with massive egos sparring over various issues. If President Obama keeps getting singled out for arrogance, maybe we should consider replacing that word and use "uppity" instead.

Last I Checked, diversity in the workplace is a good thing. Having good, qualified, talented people of all colors, backgrounds, and genders working together in the public and private sector makes for strong companies and communities. I had no problem with presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s "binders full of women" story. If that’s what really happened, fine. It also seems that a number of conservative commentators also agree. So why are so many of them against affirmative action? Because that’s exactly what Romney’s story was.

And finally, Last I Checked, school districts and school boards are supposed to serve the needs of the students and parents. But recently in Madison, Dane County Judge Juan Colas repealed Act 10, which prompted Madison Teachers, Inc. to race to the bargaining table and hammer out a new deal for 2013-2014. Then we watched as MTI released a statement vowing to run opposition to various school board members because they included a provision to hire non-union teachers. Lesson for the Madison Metropolitan School Board: Always remember who you serve. Don’t let yourselves be swayed by those who only seek to have their needs met first.