February 11, 2006

Join The Team


Over the last week the existence of the Real Debate Wisconsin Field Surveillance Team has come to light.

You can join the team. If you see something unusual, or just plain interesting out there just send it in to realdebate@gmail.com and we will post if for discussion.

Caution, operatives working in the field are on their own and work without a warrant.

February 10, 2006

BIG HUGE NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!


Did you know the Winter Olympics started tonight?

I had no idea.

Seriously do you ever recall an Oylmpic games with less hype?

Question for debate. Do you care?

Xoff vs Sykes vs Wagner, with a little Spice thrown in for taste.

This is truly a fascinating exchange between Bill Christofferson, Jeff Wagner and Charlie Sykes.

Xoff should of just admitted his mistake and published a retraction. Me thinks he doth protest too much.

I was curious how the Spicegirls covered this little exchange with their favorite leftie blogger. Looking at February they have mentioned Xoff some 17 times this early in the month (and he was on vacation for cryin out loud). I believe Sykes is second with seven mentions.

A memo to the Spicegirls, there are other leftie bloggers out there besides Xoff. Some of them quite responsible who are not just apologists and attack dogs (Personally Charlie it does not matter if he is paid or who is paying him, he would be just as nuts either way). Seeing as your mission as stated is to "trudge through the scores of local political blogs so you dont have to", you might want to expand your horizons beyond Xoff.

Public Service Message

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Me too.

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February 9, 2006

Who Said That?

We have not played who said that in a while.

This is a book review...

"Exerts a riveting appeal as it seems to justify our worst nightmares of what really goes on in the so-called intelligence community in Washington."

Who said it, and when was it said?

Open the comments for the answer.

Carnival of the Badger

That blogger out in Waukesha with the unhealthy Cowboys habit has this weeks carnival up, go take a peek.

Next week our blog neighbor Peter has the Carnival, make sure to submit.

Don't be lazy look over to your left to the link list and find the link for yourself. :)

Feingold Version of the Patriot Act.

A new version of the Patriot Act is out today that most leggies seem to agree on.

Except of course Senator Feingold.

We have obtained a secret document from an unidentified Feingold staffer.

The following list obtains all the points in the Patriot Act the Senator Agrees to.

Thank you for your imput and helping to keep our country safe Senator.

Voces de la Frontera: The Journal Times catches up. Sort of.

The Journal Times published a story today in regards to the change in venue and a special prosecutor in the Voces de la Frontera invasion of Senator Stepp's privacy.

The story lists reasons for the change of venue, but as usual ignores the real story here.

Someday, somebody else will start go get a handle on this besides me.

This group is up to no good.

Congratulations Jessica.

It was just announced that blogger Jessica McBride will be doing a talkshow on am 620 WTMJ weeknights from 8pm to 11pm.

Congratulations Jessica and best of luck in your new career!

Real Debate Wisconsin Field Surveillance Team Update

A charter member of the Real Debate Wisconsin Field Surveillance team notified me this morning my comments in front of the Racine City Council were played on the WRJN news yesterday afternoon.

I am pleased the comments were replayed so more people in the community could hear them.

On a side note, I traded a couple of emails yesterday with Alderman Karas, uh sorry, Pete. He is home recovering but took the time to reach out and communicate in a very kind manner. I appreciate his activism even though I do not usually agree with his ideology, and I am very appreciative of the fact that Pete responded to my posting so kindly.

The Credible Candidate Update.

I received a very nice email this morning from 1st Congressional District candidate Steve Herr.

To my knowledge the fact that Mr. Herr is running to be the Democratic sparring partner of Congressman Paul Ryan is still unannounced. (other than here of course)

Mr. Herr did not give me permission to run his email, so I will not. He did indicate the election process is starting way too early which leads to too much money and opportunity for corruption. I agree with him 100%.

Apparently Mr. Herr will be making a formal announcement in the middle of March, his campaign is in an organizational phase now.

I must say, Mr. Herr is certainly acting credible. Welcome to the race Steve.

(psst, Justin... see how nice we can be when people actually respond to our inquiries?)

February 8, 2006

Answering Kurt Vlach's Editorial

Monday the Journal Times printed an editorial from Kurt Vlach, the new head of the Racine County Democratic Party. We have covered Kurt's ways of doing politics, the garbage spewed in this editorial is reminiscent of the Joe Wineke slime a couple of weeks ago.

Here is Kurt's piece:

GOP witch hunt

The Republicans are at it again. Instead of focusing on jobs and healthcare and other issues that are important to Wisconsin families, the Republicans are engaged in the politics of distraction.

The Republicans have now begun a partisan witch hunt against Governor Doyle in their desire to take back the governor's office.

The contract awarded to Adelman Travel saved the state $30,000 and was handled by an employee hired by former Gov. Scott McCallum, a Republican. Whether the employee acted improperly is being investigated, but the Republicans are falling over themselves trying to connect this to Gov. Doyle.

The reason is clear - the Republicans are trying to distract the people of Wisconsin from their lack of leadership on the issues that matter most. The December Unemployment rate in Racine was 8.7 percent, but the Republicans would rather focus on allowing more guns in the street.

Health care costs have skyrocketed, but the Republicans would prefer to work on amendments to discriminate against selected groups in our communities.

I urge everyone to watch the Abramoff probe and the corruption it uncovers. Watch the Fitzgerald probe of the White House and Karl Rove.

Watch the trial of Tom DeLay and his co-conspirators in the Republican Party. You will see that the Republican Party is rife with corruption and dirty money.

Kurt Vlach

RacineEditor's note: Vlach is chairman of the Racine County Democratic Party.

First of all Kurt, the Adelman contract did not save the State $30,000. The Adelman contract had service charges for changes in reservation charges that Omega World Travel did not have. Reservations are changed, lots of them, putting the over all more cost effective contract to Omega World, not Adelman. The only way to make the conclusion that the Adelman contract was better for the state, was if you are trying to spin by only looking at one part of the contract. One would only do that of course if they were a partisan hack on a witch hunt.

The employee has not just been investigated Kurt, the employee has been indicted and has said among other things, according to the indictment, she was trying to please her superiors. And in reality Kurt, who cares who hired her? She was acting for her current bosses. The only reason I can think of making that charge is if one was a partisan hack on a witch hunt.

Kurt I need to remind you apparently that we have a Democratic Executive in Wisconsin, you can not issue a blanket statement like that dismissing the Governor while trying to blame all of Wisconsins woes on the legislature, unless of course you are a partisan hack, one on a witch hunt. By the way Kurt, Racine unemployment is 9.4%, not 8.7%. If you had been at the city Council meeting with me last night you would of learned that.

Finally Kurt you are trying to point to the culture of corruption, we do not really want to play that game do we? Should we list the numbers of Democrats vs. Republicans in Wisconsin who have been found guilty of corruption charges? Oh why not. Seeing as we are witch hunting it should be a nice little exercise.

Democrats.
  • Democratic Senator Leader Chuck Chvala convicted of felony misconduct
  • Democratic Senator Gary George convicted of federal graft charges
  • Democratic Senator Brian Burke convicted of felony misconduct charges
  • County executive Tom Ament, driven from office after pension scandal
  • Democratic Mayor John Norquist caught up sexual harassment scandal, which leads to his resignation
  • Paul Hennigsen, convicted of corruption
  • Jeff Pawlinski, convicted of corruption
  • Rosa Cameron, convicted of corruption
  • Four Democratic activists convicted of slashing the tires of Republican vans on election day.
  • Lest we not forget Chairman Lee Holloway up on 90 ethics charges in Milwaukee.
  • Remember John Norquist, driven from office by a sexuharassmentent scandal?

Republicans

  • Steve Foti
  • Bonnie Ladwig
  • Scott Jensen still has to go to trial, not convicted yet but is worthy of mention.

Notice anything striking in those lists Kurt? One seems significantly longer than the other. But then someone would only look at that kind of activity, not mentioning the corruption in their own party if they were a partisan hack on a witch hunt.

I will remind you as I reminded Joe Wineke that the prosecution on the Adelman travel issue was broken by a TV station, not any Republican. In addition this is being prosecuted and investigated by the Democrat districtict Attorney from Dane County, the Democratic Attorney General, and the non-partisan Federal Prosecutor's office (an office without an ounce of ethical issues against it). One could only claim this was a Republican witch hunt if say, they were a partisan hack on a witch hunt of their own.

Should we bring up the way you came to power in speaking of corruption? We have done that before. If you would like Kurt you can review your activities, well covered at Real Debate, here and here and here and here oh and this one is my favorite.

Seriously though Kurt, I know you are new to your newly stolen office, you have the rhetoric game down well. Maybe though you should come out with some actual positions rather than this tired old attack game.

Frankly, though while great fun, it is just too easy to rip your vapid little points to shreds.

Racine Common Council Follow-Up

Alderman Karas who could not attend the meeting last night due to a surgical recovery sent an email to a member of the RDW Field Surveillance Team who forwarded it to me.

Mr. Gleason, thank you for the email contact. I wanted to reply to your email although I will not be able to vote on this issue either tonight or at the Council meeting next week as I underwent major back surgery recently and am confined to my house for a few months per doctor’s orders.

I did write a letter to the council in favor of this referendum. The action that the Council will be taking, if approved, is not taking a stand on the Iraqi situation, but is allowing the City of Racine voters to express their opinion. This will be done with no additional cost to City residents as there is already an election being held that day.

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts on this important issue.

Ald. Pete Karas


I responded to the email and copied My Alderman. Oh and Pete, it is Geason, not Gleason.

Mr Karas,

Mr. Geason forwarded your email to me. First of all best wishes to you in a speedy recovery.

I attended the meeting and spoke last night. I do have a couple of items of concern.

One, while there was much discussed, this was the only issue important enough for you to send input on. There was a serious presentation by the WCEDC, there was imortant information presented that dealt with the actual issues facing our community.

Two, this is a dangerous precedent. What we have here is one resident who emailed Alderman Maack who wanted this on the ballot and all of a sudden it should be there?

There is a process through gathering signatures (15% of the votes cast in the last Governor's race) to put such an advisory measure on the ballot. If someone wants an issue like this to go to the voters then they should do the work, hit the streets and ask for signatures. Do you really want to set the precedent that every time someone get exercised over an issue they should get an advisory measure on the ballot?

I covered for my web log the Cindy Sheehan protest vigil Mr Karas, 16 people showed up. Last night four people showed up about this referendum, all were opposed, only two spoke. Contrast that with the recent community meeting in regards to violence, hundreds attended. Just what is the important issue in this community? We lost more people to mindless violence than we did soldiers from Racine last year. All loss of life is tragic, but what can you and the Common Council really have the biggest impact on.

I know you personally do not support the war, that should not matter in this case. I am speaking to precedent. In addition, you are incorrect that there would be no cost, there would be an additional cost of $300 to place this item on the ballot for typesetting and printing.

I hope you see my point, I am speaking to process not the issue here. This is the wrong way to go about doing this sort of thing. I was personally outraged when RUSD just tossed out last years no vote on the spending referendum. (why hold an election at all if you are not going to abide by the results?) Should I have been able to make one phone call to my Alderman and have an advisory measure placed on the next ballot to measure the communities rage to mine? Of course not. That is exactly what is happening here. However, had I been outraged enough to go door to door and find 3,105 people of like mind, I could of forced the issue. That is our political process.

If people want this on the ballot, they should hit the streets, do the work and get the signatures. Do NOT let Racine Common Council become an outlet for easy protest.

I am copying Alderman DeHann as he is my Alderman. I am also posting this letter on my blog.

February 7, 2006

Comments and Thoughts from the Racine City Council Meeting.


I attended the Racine City Concil meeting this evening to speak in opposition to placing an advisory referendum on the April ballot dealing with the war in Iraq. First and foremost I had the opportunity to meet Peter, the Texas Hold 'em Blogger. What can I say, the man has great hair. Why does he wear a hat in his picture?

The meeting started out with a report from the Racine County Economic Development Council. The report highlighted the difficulties of bringing jobs into Racine. The current unemployment rate in the city of Racine is 9.3%. Compare that to Racine county at 5.9%, the Out-County areas at 3.6% at the state at 4.7% (the same as the national figure). What is all boiled down to was education. The workers in Racine are not trained properly, and a huge number of people do not even have a GED. These sorts of details do not help in attracting business to Racine.

The Council then got on to the Referendum request to oppose the war in Iraq.

This was brought forward by one person in Alderman Maack's district. The Alderman then put this forth to go onto the ballot. The kicker here, Alderman Maack was NOT EVEN PRESENT AT THIS MEETING!

Alderman Karas (Racine's Greeniac) was still out from his back surgery, but sent in a note in support of the referendum going on the ballot.

There was little discussion, some were for, some were opposed, but the over-riding issue seemed to be the wording on the ballot. Some liked the immediate pull-out, others thought it should be more gradual.

Alderman Helding was the voice of reason tonight speaking twice that this was not the sort of thing that should be on a local ballot.

The net effect of what happened tonight was this, they are going to revisit the issue in two weeks at the next meeting. They have four days after that to get the wording to the printer if it is to make the April ballot.

Two people spoke in opposition to the referendum being on the ballot. No one showed up in favor of the issue.

I know the first Gentleman who spoke, Jim Kaplan who is running for Alderman in the 4th ward. He spoke to the long history of our military and how we had no reason to be doing this sort of thing on a local ballot.

Then I spoke. I looked every Alderman and the Mayor square in the eye and told them they were setting a dangerous precedent. One person sends one email and they want to rush an issue to ballot? So now what will we have, every time someone is upset about something we will email our Aldermen and place the issue on the ballot? I told them there is a process, if someone wants something on the ballot they should pass petitions and get the 3,105 signatures required by law to put an advisory issue on the ballot. I did not speak to being for or against the war, this is just not the work a local legislative body should be doing. I did mention the WCEDC issues mentioned earlier, and those were where the Council should be putting their emphasis.

I will be back in two weeks to speak out again.

Deep thought

How can Iran sponsor a contest for Holocaust related cartoons if it never happened?

Thought of the week.

If cats always land on their feet, what happens in space?

February 6, 2006

Bias at The Journal Times.

Peter has an excellent illustration of the bias at the Racine Journal Times.

Give it a look.

Racine City Council joins the ranks of the insane


Well the Racine City Council is joining the popular liberal city council position and making a move to put an anti war on terror referendum on the spring ballot.

The City Council will take up the matter tomorrow night.

This is from 11th District alderman Greg Helding:

I do not support this referendum effort. It serves no useful purpose and is clearly outside the political scope of the city council. If people want to influence national issues, they are vehicles for that – we call them congressmen. If people are interested in the sentiments of the people of Racine on various issues, they can commission a poll.

If you cannot make it to the meeting, please e-mail members of the city council and let them know your thoughts. The e-mail addresses are available at http://www.cityofracine.org.

Since the proponents of this seek to involve the Racine city council in national matters, it is fine with me if people outside the City of Racine offer their input.

I agree 100% with Alderman Helding. This is not thepurviewe of the Racine City Council.

Why not ask some referendum questions dealing with local issues.?

Some examples.
  • How do you feel about Racine's shrinking tax base?
  • How do you feel about 15 murders in Racine last year?
  • How do you feel about Racine Unified Students having the 2nd worst test results in the state?
  • How do you feel about Racine continuing to have among the worstunemploymentt rates in the state?

I will be covering this meeting.

Point Counter Point: Who we admire...

This week our Point Counter Point feature will be a bit diferent.

Belle is writing here about a Republican she admires. I did the same for her site (but in reverse).

And without further build up. Heresssssssss Belle.

It was 4 1/2 years ago...I was a naive freshman at IWU and was eating a granola bar as I walked from my lit class to sociology. I sat down in my usual seat and waited for my friend, Jenna, to come to class.

She walked in and said to me, "Belle, we got bombed!" Me, being the skeptic I am, told her she was full of shit and asked her about the reading for that day. She said, "No, really, someone just attacked the World Trade Center in New York!" Then more and more people were walking into class, talking about what had happened within the last hour. I started to believe her.

Considering the fact that our country had just been attacked, we all figured that the professor would cancel class and let us go back to the dorms and call our families, watch the news, etc.

Well, let's just say I sat through 75 minutes of class discussion on poverty...and ran back to my dorm with Jenna once class was over.

I sat on my bunk bed in complete and utter shock (like the rest of America). My room was the gathering place for most of the girls on my floor that morning and afternoon, as we kept the TV tuned to NBC all day long.

I wasn't very into politics back then...but these events made me realize just how important political leaders are.

Over the course of the days following September 11th, 2001, I grew to respect and admire Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. It's a respect that has remained as I've grown more and more liberal over the years (Yes, folks, I would have voted Republican in 2000, if I could have). I feel that Giuliani, more so than President Bush, pulled America together during a tragic time. He was the voice and face of a struggling city at a time when America was just looked to put their trust in someone. I put my trust in him.

But, it's not just how he dealt with 9-11 that earns him my respect. It's also what he did for NYC. In his nearly 8 years as mayor, he helped reduce the crime rate, cleaned up Times Square and brought a lot of business back to NYC. He gave it a facelift -- one unlike any facelift the doctors from Nip/Tuck could accomplish.

That's why I like Rudy Giuliani.There's also this quote of his, "In choosing a president, we really don't choose a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or liberal. We choose a leader." It really puts things in perspective...

February 5, 2006

New Information on the Cathy Stepp Voces de la Frontera story.


Racine District Attorney Michael Nieskes has referred the prosecution of the intrusion on the Stepp home on December 16th to Jefferson County District Attorney David Wambach.

A conflict of interest in the case is the stated reason, exactly what that conflict is to this point unclear.

This would seem to indicate the investigation is finally concluded and it is time to reach a decision on issuing charges.

Super Bowl Commercial Award Winners.

First a few thoughts on the SuperBowl.

Number of times John Madden and the Hall of Fame mentioned. 3

Obscure record mentions, 7

Gratuitous shots of Bill Cower's chin. 742.

Pre-Game. That may of been the worst version of the Star Spangled Banner, ever.

Half-Time. How old are the Rolling Stones? Did anyone else see the line of walkers by the drum riser?

And now for the Real Debate Wisconsin Super Bowl Commercial Awards.

Best Ad Featuring Stupid Men: Bud Lite Magic Fridge

Best Unintended Meaning: Ameriquest Doctor killing the fly.

Best use of Pre-Historic Humor. Fed Ex.

Best tug on the Heart: Bud, Baby Horse.

Dumbest Ad: Whopperettes.

Best gratuitous nudity: Bud streaker lamb

Least likely to see Brokeback Mountain: Same Bud ad, cowboy says, “I didn’t need to see that”

Super Bowl Commercial Comments: 4th Quarter

Arby's fishnets, what an idiot.

Hereistobeer.com: Mmmmm Beer.

Budweiser stadium cards. Cool ad, too bad Bud sucks.

Even Druids love emrald Nuts. Huh?

Is it me or are these ads getting lamer?

Outback: Stealing boomerangs. Stupid. Did not make me hungry.

Westin: Non-smoking, good for them.

Super Bowl Commercial Comments: 3rd Quarter

Ameriquest, Don't judge too quickly: Airplane turbulence, cute but not great.

Motorola Pebble: The Razor is still cooler.

Sharpie Pirate, lame factor 7.

Bud Baby Horse, Adorable factor 10

Nationwide Fabio ad. lame factor 8

Hummer H3 its a little monster, yuck factor 6

Career Builder: Monkey II, lame.

Taco Bell, Spando Ballet... was that Adam West doing voice-over?

Super Bowl Commercial Comments: 2nd Quarter

Bud Horses: Streaker. Yuck factor 10. Brilliant

ESPN Mobile: Goofy

Career Builder Monkey Ad; They've done better.

Cadillac Escalade runway ad: The artsy no one gets it award.

Dove self esteem. One for the ladies.

Kermie, Ford Hybrid. The geen award.

Michelob Ultra Football. Very good. Yuck factor 7.

Go Daddy: Hot but silly.

Gillette Fusion. That old dan Akroyd Saturday Night Live bit on the multiple blades gets better and better.

Overstock. All the about the O, lame. Nothing original.

Disney 50 years. ok no comment.

Super Bowl Commercal Comments: 1st Quarter

Hide the Bud Lites in the office: Yuck factor 8

Whopperettes: Now that was just entirely stupid. Uck factor 9

Sierra Mist Airport gag: Cute, yuck factor 5 on Kathy Griffin.

Bud Lite Magic Fridge: Yuck factor 10! Excellent ad.

FedEx Cavemen: Very original, they should had the your fired guy looking like Trump though. Creative Genius rate 8!

Bud Lite Bear: Week effort

Diet Pepsi, Bob sugar with P Diddy. dumb.

Aleve, Nimoy ad. Trek factor 5 Mr. Sulu

Diet Pepsi Bob sugar with Jackie Chan: Stunt double was genius, yuck factor 7.

Bud Light Guys on Roof: Genius. Yuck factor 8.

Ameriquest, don't judge too quickly (Doctors killing the fly): Yuck factor 10 best ad of the first half.