December 3, 2005

Blog-Party

A good time was had by all in the secret bunker at the Badger Blog Alliance Christmas gathering.

It was good to put faces to the websites. Real nice folks one and all. It was nice to spend a little time with you all.

The most shocking revelation of the night, the guys at GOP3 had their house vandalized yet again after the second issue of The Warrior was published.

December 2, 2005

Speaker Gard on the Doyle Veto of Medical Malpractice Limits

I got the following release from Speaker Gard a bit ago. It seems I am on everyone's release list:

Governor Doyle missed a golden opportunity to control health care costs and make sure people in Wisconsin get the best care in the nation. The governor continues to provide no leadership in preventing the coming medical malpractice crisis in Wisconsin and lowering health care costs for everyone in the state.

Wisconsin was once a destination state for the best doctors in the nation. Vetoing a cap on lawsuits will encourage good doctors to leave Wisconsin and drive up their insurance costs. Everyone in Wisconsin will end up paying more for health insurance. People in rural Wisconsin will be hit the hardest and will have a difficult time in the future of finding quality health care.

I will ask the State Assembly to override the governor’s misguided veto. The bill passed with a veto-proof, bipartisan vote. It’s a shame that the governor would choose to ignore bipartisan solutions to high health care costs.”

Prediction. Keeping the Governor's streak of upheld vetoes will be more important to the Democrats than hedging these costs to help the citizenry. Gard will try on this, but fail. As usual.

Hey John why don't we put some of this outrage towards getting rid of the automatic gas tax?

Charlie Sykes as the God Father.

Ok after Charlie Sykes covered blogs on his show last Sunday, the Cheddarsphere had a Charlie love moment and deemed him The God Father of Wisconsin Blogging. Jessica covered it best.

While I like the nickname in concept, I think we can do better.

I would like to humbly submit Charlie Sykes as The Blog Father.

Capish?

Best analysis of Doyle Profit Hearings


Yesterday, as I am sure we all know by now, our Governor Jim "NoID" Doyle held hearings dealing with obscene profits. The best coverage I have seen is here.

The War on the War on Terror


So yesterday Rep Murtha was flapping his gums again. This time he is saying our military is battered and broken. How ridiculous.

Yesterday morning I was driving to the office and heard a radio report of how "insurgents" had fired three mortar rounds at a US compound hitting nothing, no injuries, no damage.

Why is everything the minority of terrorists do in Iraq front page news or headline radio news reports? Why do hear nothing about positive news out of Iraq? I'll tell you why, that does not fit the MSM or the Democratic party mold of attack Bush on everything.

Why do not these same pundits and pontificators tell the rest of the story? How about the poll out this week that said better than 70% of the US populace believes all this sniping by Democratic Senators is detrimental to the War in Iraq, and to troop morale? Oh they will tell you all day that now 46% are against the war, or that Bush has a 30 something approval rating, but they leave out that other part people being critical of their own behavior.

Remember Murtha's comments, I wonder if he knows the re-enlistments of soldiers serving in Iraq are actually much higher than predicted? He probably does know that but it would not exactly fit his particular brand of criticism.

How about the poll out of Iraq this week? 82% of Iraqis think their lives will be greatly improved in the next year as they see progress being made daily.

On 12-15 the Iraqi people will go to the polls again and put into place a permanent Government. A government with a constitution and full women's rights.

Full women's rights?!? Hey liberals, are you listening? If we had left the former regime in power these women would still be oppressed, open to stoning and the rape rooms of the past. It would seem to me that women's rights proponents would be pleased about this kind of progress for women. That could not be allowed to happen though because good news from Iraq would be beneficial to their arch-enemy, that would be anyone from the right in power.

Did you ever wonder why other terrorists states in the area are so on edge? Simple, they see the people taking power and do not like it in the least.

Another poll out in the last week stated 63% of Journalists thought we would lose in Iraq. Well my golly no wonder why the coverage from there is so rosy, such an optimistic group aint they? A larger question is how could these supposedly intelligent people see the progress that has been made and turn a blind eye to it? Again, they are predisposed against the administration and just refuse to accept success. (not covering news is just as indicitive of bias as covering something in a slant)

Pay attention now I am going to make a prediction. In two weeks we shall revisit this and see if I was right. Leading up to the 12-15 elections there will be story after story about the fears of the electorate and will they be able to vote safely, etc. On 12-15 a massive majority of the people in Iraq will show up and let their voices be heard, very few problems will happen that day other than long lines. After everything goes well the news media will drop the story having nothing negative to write about. At that point they will stick a microphone in some rabid critics face to see where they should take the pounding next.

The long and the short of it is simple, good news in Iraq is good news for Bush and Republicans in general, and the left can not have that.

Wisconsinite of the Year?

The BBA has got a post up asking for nominations for Wisconsinite of the year.

This was inspired by a Texas group who picked their citizen of the year.

I put two completely non-partisan nominations on the BBA comments, but thought it would fun to try here.

This is a serious request, so please no sarcastic nominations please. Pick someone who you believe had a positive impact on Wisconsin without attacking someone else please.

December 1, 2005

RSS Feed

I just set up an RSS Feed for Real Debate, if you are into that sort of thing, here ya go.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/Realdebatewisconsin

November 30, 2005

Funniest Democratic Double Speak Ever Heard in Racine.

The following comments are from Kurt Vlach, the New Head of the Racine County Democratic party. These comments are in response to a report of a grass roots organization showing up en masse to take over an endorsement for State chair of the Democratic party. Read the whole post here.

Vlach said, "I agree, Kay. Weineke needs to disavow himself and his campaign of Mike Tate or else Weineke has some explaining to do. "This is what democracy looks like," said Tate. No, that is NOT what democracy looks like. Packing an open meeting to steal the endorsement of a grassroots organization is certainly not what democracy looks like and it is not the type of tactics that should be endorsed by the DPW. This is definitely a black-eye for Weineke."

That quote was taken on 4-07-05.

Of course the same Kurt Vlach showed up en masse with a bunch of Union buddies and took over the Racine Democratic party on 11-15-05.

Amazingly he has been demanding the sitting officers resign so he can begin his term before the traditional start at the beginning of the year.

So packing an open meeting to steal an endorsement s bad, packing a meeting with same day registrants to steal an election, that is good. Oh the Racine County Democratic Party is in great shape.

Falling out of chair laughing.....

Hey Journal Times, I got ya again.

On Monday Rep Cunningham (R) of California went into court and said, guilty.

The Journal Times started their coverage on their website with this smarmy little reference.

If this was a Clinton or a Kennedy, the right would be going nuts ...

Well today much closer to home Former State Senator Brian Burke did exactly the same thing, he went into court and said, guilty.

The Journal Times started their coverage on their website with this smarmy little reference.

Oh that is right, when a Democrat is convicted no smarmy comment is called for.

Additionally post after post by rabid lefties sliming the right in general, read them here. On the Burke post, very little comment.

My point is this, Lefties take delight in beating up the right when they are vulnerable, then whimper and hide when the shoe is on the other foot. Scream and yell, say nothing.

To the Journal Times, your bias is so easy it is not even funny. How come no one over there notices? I guess that is my job.

Burke, Guilty.

Well the other day we covered the guilty plea of Rep Cunningham (R) of California.

Well right here in Wisconsin today Former State Senator Brian Burke (D) Milwaukee entered a guilty plea.

Burke told the court, "I'm deeply sorry for what I have done and what I have failed to do as a public official".

We will take the same position here and thank Burke for doing the right thing and taking responsibility for his misconduct.

I wonder if those who ignored my call for not turning the previous post into a partisan slimefest will show up to blast Burke as they did Cunningham? Somehow I doubt that, even though i am treating each item in an identical matter.

Jim Doyle has lost his mind.

I just heard Jim Doyle say live on the WISN Morning Spin that if he lowered the gasoline tax a nickel, the oil companies would just get that nickel so there is no point in lowering the tax.

No wonder he can not get above 45% approval.

November 29, 2005

The attack on Christmas is out of control.


This story is really beyond belief. A family in Novi, Michigan is under attack from their neighboorhood association for their nativity scene. (pictured here)

This family may be used to religious intollerance as they are of Iraqi descent. What a great lesson we are teaching them here on right of free exercise of religion.

You can debate on Christmas displays on public land, but on private property? If they do not remove the display, the association is going to fine them $100 a week.

This is outrageous.

Update from the Thomas Moore Law Center's Website:

Today the family received a letter from the management company informing them that their nativity display was not in violation of any rules or regulations of the subdivision and apologizing to the family for any distress they have caused. To show its regret over the incident, the company is sending the family a gift basket as a “as a token of our remorse, in the spirit of this holiday season.” The Samona family has requested that the company forward the gift basket to the Saint Vincent DePaul Society in Pontiac, Michigan.

What a class act!

Perception vs Reality Journal Times Behind the Scenes.

We have spent a great deal of time discussing the Journal Times Perception vs Reality series. I made the point this was just a four day puff piece without any real substance.

Now we find out that Maverick School Board Member Brian Dey was interviewed for over half an hour by Brent Killackey. Apparently Brent did not like what Brian had to say, as none of his critical comments were included in the report.

The following comments are from Brian Dey, "Don't give up on me and think that I have been silenced. I did get a call from Brent Killackey and we spent over a half hour talking about how Unified's spin creates the misperception. He just didn't like what I had to say, although, I believe I was one of only two board members quoted in this puff piece.I will keep you posted on what reality really is and hope to have a new blog up and running soon!"

This is just more proof that the Journal Times wanted nothing to do with critical thought on a four day piece. For an education reporter, Brent Killackey is a joke, he should replaced with a reporter willing to report more than just one side of a story.

Is the MSM making news or reporting news?



Seen here is a photo you may have noticed before. My guess is you have never seen it in an uncropped manner.

This photo came to be by Palestinian officials putting news through a filter. Just a photo-op, they wrote the story later.

This book by Stephanie Guttman points out media myth from reality in the Israeli-Palestine conflict. You can purchase it here if you are interested.

The following is the review from Publishers Weekly:

In this meticulously researched and readable volume, journalist Gutmann focuses on media coverage of the latest Israeli-Palestinian conflict, known as the second intifada. How, she asks, did Israel come to be so uniformly vilified in the press? Israel's lack of media savvy is partially to blame. But Gutmann believes the larger issue lies with news outlets' desire to oversimplify and argues it's a misconception that news outlets "can tell you what you need to know about this conflict, or indeed about any serious, complex event." She cites an Associated Press photograph that allegedly depicted an Israeli soldier brutalizing a Palestinian on the Temple Mount, but was actually of an American Jew who had been attacked, and the "soldier" was an Israeli police officer coming to his aid. The subsequent correction got very little attention, and Gutmann compares it to "a Freudian slip that revealed something deeper: the prejudice and assumptions that governed most editors' thinking about the conflict." Gutmann doesn't offer easy answers, insisting news consumers start questioning what they're told to get a more accurate representation of the conflict's complexities. While Gutmann's tone can be self-righteous, her deconstructions of photos and video clips are admirably detailed. The book will be an eye-opener for those wishing to delve deeper into media representation of some of the most visible news events of our time.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

News Flash, New Home Sales Hit Record Level in Oct.

New Home Sales Hit Record Level in Oct.

Pundits still claim the housing market is about to crash, they have been claiming this forever, and the market show no real sign of slowing. how much longer will these so-called experts be able to claim expert status?

A more interesting question is how much longer Democrats will be able to get away with saying how bad our economy is with 3.8% growth, unemployment under 5% and everything generally being rosy.

Our Troops Must Stay

Joe Lieberman published the following editorial today. Quite a different take than the typical Democratic Senator these days. I agree with everything the Senator says.

I have just returned from my fourth trip to Iraq in the past 17 months and can report real progress there. More work needs to be done, of course, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive, killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood--unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.
Progress is visible and practical. In the Kurdish North, there is continuing security and growing prosperity. The primarily Shiite South remains largely free of terrorism, receives much more electric power and other public services than it did under Saddam, and is experiencing greater economic activity. The Sunni triangle, geographically defined by Baghdad to the east, Tikrit to the north and Ramadi to the west, is where most of the terrorist enemy attacks occur. And yet here, too, there is progress.
There are many more cars on the streets, satellite television dishes on the roofs, and literally millions more cell phones in Iraqi hands than before. All of that says the Iraqi economy is growing. And Sunni candidates are actively campaigning for seats in the National Assembly. People are working their way toward a functioning society and economy in the midst of a very brutal, inhumane, sustained terrorist war against the civilian population and the Iraqi and American military there to protect it.
It is a war between 27 million and 10,000; 27 million Iraqis who want to live lives of freedom, opportunity and prosperity and roughly 10,000 terrorists who are either Saddam revanchists, Iraqi Islamic extremists or al Qaeda foreign fighters who know their wretched causes will be set back if Iraq becomes free and modern. The terrorists are intent on stopping this by instigating a civil war to produce the chaos that will allow Iraq to replace Afghanistan as the base for their fanatical war-making. We are fighting on the side of the 27 million because the outcome of this war is critically important to the security and freedom of America. If the terrorists win, they will be emboldened to strike us directly again and to further undermine the growing stability and progress in the Middle East, which has long been a major American national and economic security priority.

Before going to Iraq last week, I visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israel has been the only genuine democracy in the region, but it is now getting some welcome company from the Iraqis and Palestinians who are in the midst of robust national legislative election campaigns, the Lebanese who have risen up in proud self-determination after the Hariri assassination to eject their Syrian occupiers (the Syrian- and Iranian-backed Hezbollah militias should be next), and the Kuwaitis, Egyptians and Saudis who have taken steps to open up their governments more broadly to their people. In my meeting with the thoughtful prime minister of Iraq, Ibrahim al-Jaafari, he declared with justifiable pride that his country now has the most open, democratic political system in the Arab world. He is right.
In the face of terrorist threats and escalating violence, eight million Iraqis voted for their interim national government in January, almost 10 million participated in the referendum on their new constitution in October, and even more than that are expected to vote in the elections for a full-term government on Dec. 15. Every time the 27 million Iraqis have been given the chance since Saddam was overthrown, they have voted for self-government and hope over the violence and hatred the 10,000 terrorists offer them. Most encouraging has been the behavior of the Sunni community, which, when disappointed by the proposed constitution, registered to vote and went to the polls instead of taking up arms and going to the streets. Last week, I was thrilled to see a vigorous political campaign, and a large number of independent television stations and newspapers covering it.
None of these remarkable changes would have happened without the coalition forces led by the U.S. And, I am convinced, almost all of the progress in Iraq and throughout the Middle East will be lost if those forces are withdrawn faster than the Iraqi military is capable of securing the country.
The leaders of Iraq's duly elected government understand this, and they asked me for reassurance about America's commitment. The question is whether the American people and enough of their representatives in Congress from both parties understand this. I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead.
Here is an ironic finding I brought back from Iraq. While U.S. public opinion polls show serious declines in support for the war and increasing pessimism about how it will end, polls conducted by Iraqis for Iraqi universities show increasing optimism. Two-thirds say they are better off than they were under Saddam, and a resounding 82% are confident their lives in Iraq will be better a year from now than they are today. What a colossal mistake it would be for America's bipartisan political leadership to choose this moment in history to lose its will and, in the famous phrase, to seize defeat from the jaws of the coming victory.
The leaders of America's military and diplomatic forces in Iraq, Gen. George Casey and Ambassador Zal Khalilzad, have a clear and compelling vision of our mission there. It is to create the environment in which Iraqi democracy, security and prosperity can take hold and the Iraqis themselves can defend their political progress against those 10,000 terrorists who would take it from them.

Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes we do. And it is important to make it clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still but has changed over the years. Mistakes, some of them big, were made after Saddam was removed, and no one who supports the war should hesitate to admit that; but we have learned from those mistakes and, in characteristic American fashion, from what has worked and not worked on the ground. The administration's recent use of the banner "clear, hold and build" accurately describes the strategy as I saw it being implemented last week.
We are now embedding a core of coalition forces in every Iraqi fighting unit, which makes each unit more effective and acts as a multiplier of our forces. Progress in "clearing" and "holding" is being made. The Sixth Infantry Division of the Iraqi Security Forces now controls and polices more than one-third of Baghdad on its own. Coalition and Iraqi forces have together cleared the previously terrorist-controlled cities of Fallujah, Mosul and Tal Afar, and most of the border with Syria. Those areas are now being "held" secure by the Iraqi military themselves. Iraqi and coalition forces are jointly carrying out a mission to clear Ramadi, now the most dangerous city in Al-Anbar province at the west end of the Sunni Triangle.
Nationwide, American military leaders estimate that about one-third of the approximately 100,000 members of the Iraqi military are able to "lead the fight" themselves with logistical support from the U.S., and that that number should double by next year. If that happens, American military forces could begin a drawdown in numbers proportional to the increasing self-sufficiency of the Iraqi forces in 2006. If all goes well, I believe we can have a much smaller American military presence there by the end of 2006 or in 2007, but it is also likely that our presence will need to be significant in Iraq or nearby for years to come.
The economic reconstruction of Iraq has gone slower than it should have, and too much money has been wasted or stolen. Ambassador Khalilzad is now implementing reform that has worked in Afghanistan--Provincial Reconstruction Teams, composed of American economic and political experts, working in partnership in each of Iraq's 18 provinces with its elected leadership, civil service and the private sector. That is the "build" part of the "clear, hold and build" strategy, and so is the work American and international teams are doing to professionalize national and provincial governmental agencies in Iraq.
These are new ideas that are working and changing the reality on the ground, which is undoubtedly why the Iraqi people are optimistic about their future--and why the American people should be, too.

I cannot say enough about the U.S. Army and Marines who are carrying most of the fight for us in Iraq. They are courageous, smart, effective, innovative, very honorable and very proud. After a Thanksgiving meal with a great group of Marines at Camp Fallujah in western Iraq, I asked their commander whether the morale of his troops had been hurt by the growing public dissent in America over the war in Iraq. His answer was insightful, instructive and inspirational: "I would guess that if the opposition and division at home go on a lot longer and get a lot deeper it might have some effect, but, Senator, my Marines are motivated by their devotion to each other and the cause, not by political debates."
Thank you, General. That is a powerful, needed message for the rest of America and its political leadership at this critical moment in our nation's history. Semper Fi.
Mr. Lieberman is a Democratic senator from Connecticut.

November 28, 2005

Guilty, what a concept.

Us Congressman Randy Cunningham (R) of San Diego pled guilty today to accepting bribes. The Congressman apparently accepted these bribes to push defense contracts to conspirators.

You can see Cunningham's public statement here.

How refreshing. A dirty politician? Not really. one accepting responsibility for their sleazy and illegal actions, absolutely.

Now critics will point this towards some grand proof Republicans are all dirty. Nothing could be further from the truth, did the right make the point all Democrats were dirty because Clinton was found guilty of perjury? Of course not.

There is lots of sleeze on both sides of the aisle, what is refreshing is actually have a politician admit their guilt.

We could all name scads of dirty pols on both sides of the aisle, let us not have this post become a shouting match and a what about so and so thing.

So, Congressman Cunningham, you are dirty rotten scoundrel, and thanks for admitting it.

New Blog in Racine, Texas Hold 'Em Blogger

The staff and crew of RealDebate Wisconsin (uh me I guess) would like to welcome Texas Hold 'Em Blogger to the Cheddarsphere.

This blogger is out of Racine, and it is nice to have some additional company. It has pretty much been Eric, Shana and myself for a while. I had hoped Reality Check would do something, but I guess the thrashing I gave him in Fantasy Football this weekend has him depressed.

Texas Hold 'Em Blogger seems to be about everything but Texas Hold 'Em. It is a nice read, check it out. Oh and Peter, a small word of advise... Turn off the moderated comments, everybody hates that.

November 27, 2005

More on the Racine Unified Story.

So over the last four days The Racine Journal Times has been ringing the school bell right on the front page. Puff piece after puff piece on how if you are critical of the school district you must not have the full picture. They call it Perception vs Reality.

Well I started doing some research on Brent Killackey, Brent is the Education reporter for the Journal Times and I came across this. What we have here is an article, Tips for Writing About School Finance, authored by Brent Killackey for the Education Reporter, the official publication of the Education Writers Association.

Among the points offered in the article:
  • When you see a bad financial situation, don't assume money is the problem - look for mismanagement.
  • When looking at administrative expenses, watch for costs that are hidden in teacher positions...
  • A good indicator of a district's financial health is the reserve fund. One of the common targets that indicate financial health: A reserve fund of 5% of the operating budget.

Interestingly, none of these points are covered in any of the reporting by Brent Killackey on the Racine Schools this weekend. That is four stories and nary a mention of any of these items Killackey himself pointed out as good tips for covering school finances.

I guess I am confused, in a solid hours searching I can find not one word critical of a school position by this education reporter. Not one word. Would not a good reporter, report from all sides of a story? Honestly there may be stories out there I have not found, I do not have time this evening to research Brent Killackey any further. It would appear Mr Killackey is more of an advocate than a reporter.

This whole series has been a complete and total joke. Perception vs Reality. I'll offer a suggestion to the folks at the Journal Times. If you want to do a Perception vs Reality series why not try the war in Iraq? All we see in your paper is the negative. Nary a word about the positives in Iraq. You are helping to create a perception that things are worse there than they actually are. Seriously though I find the odds of that are less than remote.

If the paper had wanted to do a real job of reporting this they might have sought the opinions of critics of this District. Perhaps Brian Dey, a newly elected School Board Official with a mind for reform and a voice that has been silenced. How about the Racine Tax Payers Alliance? A group calling for fiscal reform, AAAAHHHH they must be insane.

I'd like to go back to one point the Brent Killackey made in his article, when you see a bad financial situation, don't assume money is the problem - look for mismanagement.

I'll remind the RDW readers of the point I made a couple of days ago. When Unified shared the private information of 520 employees back in April they were all focused on passing a referendum (after the 1st one went down) and no one noticed this flagrant act of stupidity. (this is a fact that still has only been reported here). In the meeting with employees last week Dr. Hicks was no where to be seen. Talk about your mismanagement, the district head should of been there to tell the district employees what happened, how they would safe guard against this happening again, and what they are going to do about it. (this is also a fact only being reported here). Hey Brent, this just may be mismanagement!

My point in rehashing this is simple, in four consecutive front page stories in the Racine Journal Times not a word of anything of the like has been mentioned. In reality this is not "reporting", this is nothing but the start of a planned PR campaign for the next referendum. I just hope Racine voters have not forgotten that while perception may not equal reality, in many cases perception and reality are pretty darned close.