May 13, 2006

Largest Passenger Ship Arrives in N.J.

Did anyone else find it an odd sense of timing that this story about this huge cruise ship shows up at the same time they released Poseiden?

Racist, go to hell.

I saw on the news last night some idiot out in California calling people who actually wanted to control immigration policy racists and they should all go to hell.

So this is what it comes down to.

If you are opposed to people entering this country without legal status you must be a racist.

For the millionth time. Not many in this country have issues with legal immigration.

If you want to find the people most opposed to illegal immigration, talk to a legal immigrant who did it the right way. Now they are ticked.

I am sure you have all heard the President is going to speak on this Monday. If he does not come out with a way to close the border, and soon his Presidency is over. He will lose the majority of the remaining support he has. If he kicks butt and takes names on the issue, his popularity surges it is that simple.

Frankly how the rhetoric of so many people in favor of breaking the law is allowed and coddled in the media is beyond me. These people need to be called what they are ILLEGAL TRESPASSERS, not undocumented workers, or any other such name.

Tell me did you know that 40% of California's prison population is illegals? So drop the all they want to do is come here to work crap. For many that is true, but they are trying to spin it to all.

I have much more to say about this but will wait and respond after the Bush talk on Monday.

Boy is this guy an idiot.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Democratic Party leaders are wondering what to do about a candidate for attorney general who denies the Holocaust occurred and wants to "reawaken white racial awareness."

The rest.

May 12, 2006

Open Thread.


Much going on out there and not much time to write about it.

I'll be afk (away from keboard) for hours, so have it.

Some suggestions...

The NSA thing. (Feldstein is foaming at the mouth for me to post on this)

In Racine breaking news an Alderman arrested for drunk driving causing injury. Oh, and he serves on the committee that reviews liqour licenses.

An interesting late afternoon RUSD entry from Mike Moore at the JT. (I have the inside sccop on why Eric Marcus left in a huff)

Will Tommy run? If so for which job?

Kudos to Tom Barrett for his veto!

Whatever else you want, have it at folks. I'll check in later (much later).

Happy Blogiversary


About 60,000 visitors and 825 posts later we come to the one-year blogiversary of RealDebateWisconsin.

I refuse to get all retrospective, we've broken some big stories, had some fun and had a bit of an impact I'd like to think.

I'm looking forward to bigger and better things in our second year.

May 11, 2006

Howard Dean on gay marriage.

No, wait yes. Who am I speaking to again?

These guys will say anything to anyone if they think it will get them a vote.

So much for the penny slot in the 'ole cash drawer.

Check out the receipt from Dan Deibert at The Early Spin Blog. (Why don't they call it the Dan & Keith blog? Hello Nicole...)

Have you seen this before?

By the way Kids, the Spinners have Mr. T on Firday morning at 8:05.

My Problem with the Racine Schools Referendum.


Attitude.

That's it?

Attitude.

Come on, RDW what the heck are you talking about?

Attitude.

What do you mean?

Why I never thought you would ask.

The Racine public schools stink. Year after year Racine Unified Schools perform worse than every other district in the state excluding Milwaukee.

The Teachers, Administration and the School Board should be ashamed of their perennial terrible result and be doing everything in their power to make things better,

But you know what we NEVER hear out of these folks? Any real responsibility taken for the poor performance of the schools that they run. They blame the kids, they blame the parents, the teachers blame the administration, the parents blame the teachers, the teachers blame the parents, the teachers union blames the board, the board blames the unions, the maintenance guys try and duck and stay out of the ruckus.

But do you know what it always comes down to, we do not have enough money. Spending in Racine is up almost 50% over the prior five years, we spend as much or more per pupil and in compensation in every position up and down the labor line.

Money money money money money money money money.

That is all we ever hear.

What we should hear is something like this.

Our schools have underperformed, we acknowledge that, we apologize for that. We acknowledge that we have been short changing students for years. We acknowledge that petty differences have kept educators and administrators from working together to effectively make things better for decades. To the community, to the students, to the parents, to the taxpayers, we apologize.

We want to make real change and reform a priority in this district, our students deserve our best results, not our best excuses. We need your help, we will be better stewards of the resources the taxpayers have entrusted in us, and we ask all parents to take a more active role in their children's education.

Second worst is not good enough anymore, our children should be the best. In that we propose the following_____________________________.

Of course the odds of hearing something like that are precisely 0.

This district takes no responsibility for their terrible performance, why should I as a taxpayer give them more money? I think we could be second worst for 9 grand a kid just as easy as we could be second worst for close to 11 grand a kid.

If I had even a miniscule belief that more money would make anything better I'd pony up. However, under this leadership I'm going to have to take a pass and vote no on June 6.

BC out of control, out of their minds.

An invitation was extended to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to speak at The Boston College commencement and receive an honorary degree.

Two proFessors sent around a letter claiming, "Rice's views on international affairs and her actions in the Iraq war were in conflict with Roman Catholic values."

This embroiled the radical leftie and the radical rightie student populations and also has the faculty at odds.

Read the whole story here.

Look, I can see people being upset by Ann Coulter or Ward Churchill speaking on their campus, those types of speakers are in your face partisans.

Condoleezza Rice is a dignified, intelligent, impressive woman who just happens to be the Secretary of State of The United States of America. I would be thrilled and honored to have her be the keynote speaker at my commencement, as should anyone.

Have we lost the ability to put aside partisan hate for one hour? On college campi that would appear to be the case.

These two proFessors started this due to jesuit values? Would they of raised a similar stink if say Gloria Steinem was invited? It would seem to me her abortion views would also be against jesuit values.

Stephen Bryer was a speaker in 2003, no issues there!

May 10, 2006

Spiceblog's New Name

The RDW unfounded rumor department has a scoop!

Spiceblog is being renamed!

The new Title. Exit Blog.

Every
Xoff
Item
Touted

Only In America.

The Iranian Letter Story; A Summary.

Iranian Diplomat: Psssssst we sent a letter to Bush.

The Press: Oh what wonderful diplomacy from Iran. We have not seen such grace in leadership in at least….. 5 years.

The Letter: We hate you, we despise you, we will develop nukes, we will blow Israel off the face of the map, we hate you, there ain’t a damn thing you can do about it, Bono moment. Have a nice day.

Rice: Nothing new in that letter.

President Never Wears a Tie: I await a response.

Russia: US rejects diplomatic overture.

A side to the war on terror you have not been told.

This is a document obtained in an AL-Qaeda raid on April 16. This letter lays out exactly how things are going for Al-Qaeda from their own viewpoint.

This is important stuff folks, read this to the very end. Then ask yourself a few questions. More than likely this is the first you have heard of this, why is this not a screaming headline in every paper and every news website? If Al-Qaeda thought they were winning would coverage have been everywhere? What is the media's agenda in keeping this letter from the public?

"Every Year is Worse Than the Previous Year": Captured Internal Al-Qaeda Documentation of Failure from Iraq, found April 16th. A glance at the reality of Baghdad in light of the latest events (sectarian turmoil) .

1. It has been proven that the Shiites have a power and influence in Baghdad that cannot be taken lightly, particularly when the power of the Ministries of Interior and Defense is given to them, compared with the power of the mujahidin in Baghdad. During a military confrontation, they will be in a better position because they represent the power of the state along with the power of the popular militias. Most of the mujahidin power lies in surprise attacks (hit and run) or setting up explosive charges and booby traps. This is a different matter than a battle with organized forces that possess machinery and suitable communications networks. Thus, what is fixed in the minds of the Shiite and Sunni population is that the Shiites are stronger in Baghdad and closer to controlling it while the mujahidin (who represent the backbone of the Sunni people) are not considered more than a daily annoyance to the Shiite government. The only power the mujahidin have is what they have already demonstrated in hunting down drifted patrols and taking sniper shots at those patrol members who stray far from their patrols, or planting booby traps among the citizens and hiding among them in the hope that the explosions will injure an American or members of the government. In other words, these activities could be understood as hitting the scared and the hiding ones, which is an image that requires a concerted effort to change, as well as Allah's wisdom.

2. The strength of the brothers in Baghdad is built mainly on booby trapped cars, and most of the mujahidin groups in Baghdad are generally groups of assassin without any organized military capabilities.

3.There is a clear absence of organization among the groups of the brothers in Baghdad, whether at the leadership level in Baghdad, the brigade leaders, or their groups therein. Coordination among them is very difficult, which appears clearly when the group undertake a join operations.

4. The policy followed by the brothers in Baghdad is a media oriented policy without a clear comprehensive plan to capture an area or an enemy center. Other word, the significance of the strategy of their work is to show in the media that the American and the government do not control the situation and there is resistance against them. This policy dragged us to the type of operations that are attracted to the media, and we go to the streets from time to time for more possible noisy operations which follow the same direction. This direction has large positive effects; however, being preoccupied with it alone delays more important operations such as taking control of some areas, preserving it and assuming power in Baghdad (for example, taking control of a university, a hospital, or a Sunni religious site).

Page 2 of 4

At the same time, the Americans and the Government were able to absorb our painful blows, sustain them, compensate their losses with new replacements, and follow strategic plans which allowed them in the past few years to take control of Baghdad as well as other areas one after the other. That is why every year is worse than the previous year as far as the Mujahidin's control and influence over Baghdad.

5. The role that the Islamic party and the Islamic Scholars Committee play in numbing the Sunni people through the media is a dangerous role. It has been proven from the course of the events that the American investment in the Party and the Committee were not in vain. In spite of the gravity of the events, they were able to calm down the Sunni people, justify the enemy deeds, and give the enemy the opportunity to do more work without any recourse and supervision. This situation stemmed from two matters: First, their media power is presented by their special radio and TV stations as the sole Sunni information source, coupled with our weak media which is confined mainly to the Internet, without a flyer or newspaper to present these events. Second, in the course of their control of the majority of the speakers at mosques who convert right into wrong and wrong into right, and present Islam in a sinful manner and sins in a Muslim manner. At the same time we did not have any positive impact or benefits from our operations.

6. The mujahidin do not have any stored weapons and ammunition in their possession in Baghdad, particularly rockets, such as C5K Katyosha or bomber or mortars which we realized their importance and shortage in Baghdad. That was due to lack of check and balance, and proper follow-ups.

7. The National Guard status is frequently raised and whether they belong to the Sunnis or Shiites. Too much talk is around whether we belong to them or not, or should we strike and kill their men or not? It is believed that this matter serves the Americans very well. I believe that the Committee and the Party are pushing this issue because they want to have an influence, similar to the Mujahidin's. When and if a Sunni units from the National Guard are formed, and begin to compete with the mujahidin and squeeze them, we will have a problem; we either let them go beyond the limits or fight them and risk inciting the Sunnis against us through the Party's and the Committee's channels.

Page 3 of 4

I believe that we should not allow this situation to exist at all, and we should bury it before it surfaces and reject any suggestion to that effect.

8. (Salah), the military commander of Baghdad (he used to be the commander of the Rassafah County and still is) is a courageous young man with a good determination but he has little and simple experience in the military field and does not have a clear vision about the current stage and how to deal with it Most of his work at al-Rassafah County is to take cars to the Jubur Arab Tribes, convert them into booby traps and take them back inside Baghdad for explosion. And the more booby trap cars he makes, the more success he has. This alone is not a work plan and we do not benefit from it in the medium range let alone the long range.

9. (Salah): The current commander of Northern al-Karkh (Abu-Huda) is very concerned because of his deteriorating security situation caused by being pursued by the Americans, since they have his picture and voice print. Therefore, his movement is very restricted and he is unable to do anything here. We should remove him from Baghdad to a location where he can work easier; otherwise he is closer to become totally ineffective. I know nothing about his past military experience or organizational skills.

10. (Salah): Northern al-Karkh groups are estimated at 40 mujahid, so is the Southern Karkh. They could double that number if necessary. Al-Rassafah groups in general is estimated at 30 mujahidin as I was informed by the commander of al-Rassafah. These are very small numbers compared to the tens of thousands of the enemy troops. How can we increase these numbers?

Page 4 of 4

End of Document/Translation

H/T Bill Bennett

What is wrong with this story?

(Hint, there are multiple correct answers)

Peacekeepers, teachers prey on Liberia girls: report


By Alphonso Toweh Mon May 8, 1:10 PM ET
MONROVIA (Reuters) - UN peacekeepers, aid workers and teachers are having sex with Liberian girls as young as 8 in return for money, food or favors, threatening efforts to rebuild a nation wrecked by war, a report said on Monday.

Save the Children UK said an alarming number of girls were being sexually exploited by men in authority in refugee camps and in the wider community, sometimes for as little as a bottle of beer, a ride in an aid vehicle or watching a film.

"This cannot continue," Save the Children UK Chief Executive Jasmine Whitbread said. "Men who use positions of power to take advantage of vulnerable children must be reported and fired."

Congratulations Milwaukee!!!

May 9, 2006

So what is a 527 PAC anyway?

So we have started reporting on Partners for Progress , I thought we should back up a minute and discuss what a 527 PAC (political action committee) is.

#1. 527 PACS are allowed to take funds from ANY source.

#2. 527's are tax exempt and they are NOT regluated on donation amounts.

#3. Non regulated PACS do not have to live with the same maximum donation laws as candidates for political office do.

#4. If you have heard of "Soft Money" groups, these are 527s.

#5. 527s may not make expenditures to directly advocate the election or defeat of any candidate for elective office. They also may not coordinate their activities with any candidate's campaign.

#6. 527s are permitted to undertake non-prohibited political activities such as voter mobilization efforts and issue advocacy.

527s are on all sides of the political spectrum. Moveon.org is a 527, as were the Swift Boat Vets for Truth.

The issue with 527s is they are essentially exempt from McCain Feingold. This is where the big money is coming from and where the parties are running quiet shadow campaigns without aving to disclose how much money they are dumping in or who is providing those funds.

That being said what is a 527 PAC doing dumping 40 grand into the Racine School Board elections?

We shall dig into this a bit deeper in our next report.

Our debate for this topic, what do you think of 527 pacs? Good/Bad/No Opinion?

May 8, 2006

David Blaine.


Mrs Real Debate & I were watching TV last night and we heard the David Blaine promo, "He could be drowned alive" speaking of his attempt to hold his breath for nine minutes.

Well, he made it a shade over 7 minutes tonight (we did not watch) very impressive but 2 minutes short of the record.

Mrs RealDebate & I had a question, is there any other way to drown than drowning alive?

Any thoughts on what outrageous stunt Mr Blaine will try next? I just hope he does not try to get between Russ Feingold and New Hampshire.... Now that could be dangerous.

Comments

Recently I turned off the anonymous comments feature.

Today Poor Richard is attempting to beat the crap out of me on the JJT forums for no longer allowing anonymous comments.

Try and carry on 5 or 6 conversations with people all using the same name... I gave up.

Make up any name you like and register, I care not what it is as long as it is not obsene.

So tell me, seriously, is not allowing anonymous comments a bad thing?

Point Counter Point: TPA


Belle could not join us for PCP this week due to a kegger somewhere or a senior project or something like that.

Kay Collins-Shulz has graciously offered to sit in for her again. Thanks Kay.

I gave Kay three little letters and asked her to go to town. The letters, TPA.

Hereeeeee's Kay.

The TaxPayers Amendment was based on several pieces of faulty statistics and didn't take into consideration some serious concerns of many citizens, unions, and organizations. On top of that, Colorado turned out to be the experiment in progress that most turned to for evaluation, and it caused more problems there than it fixed. Many Coloradans who were adamant supporters of their TABOR are now publicly regretting it and it has turned into a problem of changing the constitution back, a much larger task than most had realized in the campaign to push it through.

On the faulty logic part; it talks about population growth instead of the growth of particular segments of the population that it would most affect such as the aging baby boomers now reaching the age of needing more health care, that age segment has grown at a greater rate than that of general population. That group is also fast moving into what we commonly refer to as the "elderly", who also have greater need of social programs that would be specifically cut with implementation of TPA. And, schools seemed to be the biggest target for cuts, another growing segment.

More faulty logic is found in it's tying in inflation which is based on the consumer price index which doesn't connect directly with the purchases made by government. Consumers don't generally purchase school improvements, roads, large scale health programs, etc. So, while the price of homes, groceries, clothing may stay relatively stable the government shopping list items may go up at a much greater rate.

Although TPA would have a certain amount of loopholes in such cases as emergencies, making it part of the state constitution narrows down what can be called an emergency. Thereby leaving many taxing agencies weak in matters of local emergencies. The police agencies have been opposed to this because it would directly translate into either a reduction in workforce or equipment. Fire departments and medical emergency response units also oppose this for the same reasons.

This is all compounded by the fact that when you take away the buying power of a government and put it in the hands of individuals the price for services tends to go up substantially. It's like the difference between buying an individual insurance policy compared to buying a group package insurance policy. Buying bulk almost always saves substantial money. So, although the residents would save some tax money they would more than compensate for that in individual purchasing of area school needs. In Colorado some schools have now resorted to fund raisers to buy text books. Then you look at the cuts to colleges and see both a rise in tuition while seeing a drop in enrollment. That can easily translate into being a poor economic move on two fronts. You lose local spending of college students, loss of college employees and potential loss of businesses who would consider locating in an area based on the educational level of potential employees. E.g. When GM first choose to locate plants here in Wisconsin one of the deciding factors was the general level of education of the workforce for technical jobs. As the jobs became more automated they could move facilities to places like Louisiana as lower wages became more important. The future of business is in high tech fields such as medical, science, and information technologies as far as hiring a large workforce.

If this is not enough, the TPA never addresses the issue of corporate tax loopholes. We have seen time and again corporations taking full advantage of tax incentives and then leaving anyway. The tax base for individuals would stay the same if corporations would have tax increases in line with personal taxes.


Seems Kay never liked the idea from the get-go. Thanks for sharing this Kay, we do appreciate it.

My take was a little more philosphical.

I have not written much on the TABOR or the renamed TPA. I’m too busy to write on everything and when I see an issue is being covered well in the Cheddarsphere quite frankly, I let the Cheddarsphere handle it. TPA is such an issue. Owen at Boots and Sabers has been leading the charge in the TPA giving real instructional analysis of what is was, not just hey I like this vote for it.

Taxes are an issue very real to all of us in Wisconsin, we pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them and pay them .

Then if we happen to die with a few bucks left over they come along and take some more.

Mrs. RealDebate and I are on a 5 year relocation plan. It is our intention to relocate to a more tax friendly state in a warmer climate. (lower taxes and warmer winters mmmmmmm, can you say RealDebateGeorgia?). Quite frankly every time we get ahead a little bit, up go the taxes. This is an expensive place to live folks. (On a side note did you know SE Wisconsin is one of the highest health care expense locations in the country too?)

I had hoped TABOR or TPA or DOA or whatever they are calling it these days would of made a fundamental change to the taxation culture here in Wisconsin. Every elected Democrat in Madison was opposed as were a large number of out-state republicans. TPA represented a real opportunity to get a handle on the spending culture in this state. We are all losers in that. Frankly I had hoped this would not require a constitutional move but with Jim Doyle in office….

One of our favorite lefties around here (Scott) left a comment today that sums it up for me. He said, “I weary of all the "they" and "them" stuff when referring to elected officials spending money. We elect these people, we re-elect them; they pander to US and OUR interests; their "pork" spending is spending that we want. Their lack of discipline is nothing more than our childish belief that we can get what we want but not pay for it. The problem is US, not some vague "them."

I agree with him. We should be screaming from the rooftops and holding our elected officials accountable for the ease in which they spend the dollars they take from us. The reason they keep doing it is we let them get away with it.

There were and will continue to be debates about how to change the culture of spending, frankly I don’t really care who cuts spending, but they had better get started. Government is big enough IT NEEDS TO GROW NO FURTHER, FRANKLY IT NEEDS TO SHRINK AT ALMOST EVERY LEVEL.

But it won’t, because we keep sending the same idiots to office.

Patrick Kennedy

I have kept away from this story.

If you are interested The Smoking Gun has the police report.

A link from the RDW funny stuff department.

Click me.

Is this ad an endorsement V?


I ask this question for the final time today and we will start getting to the bottom of this in future reports.

All of these ads were put out by Partners for Progress a shadow 527 PAC. They are able to put these advertisements out by claiming these are not official endorsements but are informational in nature. (we can thank McCain Feingold for this)

Partners for Progress spent some $40,000 in the latest Racine School Board elections on these five mailers and are making the claim these direct mail pieces are not endorsements. As far as I know each of these flyers went to every address in the Racine Unified School District.

You may of noticed the first flyers had two candidates, these went out during the primary. A third candidate was added after the primary was decided. And you guessed it, all three of the Partners for Progress nonendorsed endorsed candidates (for educational flyer purposes only) won.

So the questions I have are probably the same as the ones you have; where did the money come from, who is behind all of this really, what is a 527, yadda yadda. We will adress all of them.

This story is far too complicated to put out at one time so we will get this out piece by piece over the next week or two.