The View From Wisconsin

Just a random set of rants from a Sports Fan from Wisconsin.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

On the Road

A few notes on the road:

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Response to

Due to the inaccuracies at, I decided to provide, as a public service, the following "accurate" statements about the 20 "issues" on the site.

1. Minimum Wage - Bush: Approves raising of the minimum wage, so long as there are protections for small business and flexibility for states to apply the minimum wage.
2. College Tuition- Bush: Supports affirmative action in public college admissions through programs such as the Texas 10 percent plan, where those who graduate in the top 10 percent of their class are automatically admitted to any state college or university. Supports tying Student Aid to competency-based programs and traditional Credit-Hour programs. Supports providing additional $84 million for year-round Pell Grants for students who graduate early. Increased Student Aid to help more students afford college with a $73 billion in financial aid assistance - $25.9 billion more than in 2001. Encourage dual-enrollment for community colleges, allowing high school students to earn college credits, graduate in less time, and easier transfers of credits to four-year institutions.
3. War In Iraq - Bush: The War on Terror required us to go into Iraq for two primary reasons: we had every reason to believe that they had weapons of mass destruction - and Saddam Hussein wasn't telling the truth about it; and secondly, Iraq was a breeding ground for terrorists. Yes, there have been bad things that have happened in Iraq since the end of the ground war; however, the fact that the people of Iraq are holding free elections, and that their military is working beside us in the attempt to hunt down those responsible for 9/11, more than makes up for those things.
4. Health Care - Bush: Increase the budget for Community and Migrant Health Centers by $3.6 billion over five years to increase the number of health centers by 2001. Supports a 'Patient Bill of Rights giving patients in federally governed health care plans protection similar to those already enacted in Texas; opposes legislation that would supersede reforms already enacted by states. Individuals and families that do not receive employer-sponsored coverage and that are not eligible for public programs, will receive a health credit of up to $1,000 per individual and $2,000 per family to cover up to 90 percent of the cost of health insurance. Supports medical savings accounts as a health insurance option for all Americans.
5. Abortion and Family Planning - Bush: Abortions should be legal when the pregnancy resulted from incest or rape, or when the life of the woman is endangered. The procedure known as "partial-birth" abortion should be prohibited. Supports banning the use of taxpayer funds for abortions, and supports waiting periods and parental notification requirements.
6. Gay Marriage - Bush: Supports the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines and supports the concept that marriage is between a man and a woman. Opposes judicial "legislation" of gay marriage from extremist judges on this issue.
7. Stem Cell Research - Bush: Opposed to additional stem-cell research due to the moral implications resulting from using fetal tissue and embryos for scientific purposes. Supports funding of alternatives to embryo research, such as umbilical cord placenta, adult and animal stem cells. Created a President's council to monitor stem cell research, recommend appropriate guidelines and regulations, and to consider all of the medical and ethical ramifications of biomedical innovation.
8. Equal Pay for Equal Work - Bush: Opposes quotas and racial preferences for affirmative action. Supports enforcement of laws already on the books that ban wage discrimination based on gender or race or creed.
9. Jobs Plan - Bush: Created the Opportunity Zones initiative to encourage private and public investment in needy communities. Increase funding for Research and Development, both in the private and public sectors. Provide more Life-Long Learning and Job Training through reformation of Federal Job-Training programs and increase funding for non-traditional students. Provide $500 million for Jobs for the 21st Century, helping to educate and train high-skill American workers.
10. Outsourcing American Jobs - Bush: According to White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan: "Our view is that trade and opening markets is very important to creating jobs here at home. The President is focused on creating jobs here at home in America. And one important way to continue to strengthen our economy even more is to continue opening markets and make sure that there is a level playing field for American producers and American farmers and others to compete. And that's what we will continue to do. Free trade is vital to continuing our economic growth… What I'm saying is that free trade -- and those that would support economic isolationism put us at a competitive disadvantage. And that harms our economy; that harms job creation here at home. Our views are very well-known that we need to continue working to open markets and make sure that America is the best place to do business in the world."
11. Overtime Pay - Bush: Supports the complete overhaul of the federal rules and regulations regarding overtime pay, guaranteeing overtime rights for all white collar workers earning up to $23,660 and protect or expand current eligibility for those earning up to $100,000. Supports clarification of rules about overtime that have arisen as the result of changes in the work force over the years, and eliminate the need for workers and employers to go to court to determine eligibility.
12. Public Education - Bush: Supports the Teacher Protection Act, which will shield teachers, principals, and school board members acting in their official capacity from federal liability arising out of their efforts to maintain discipline in the classroom, so long as they do not engage in reckless or criminal misconduct. In addition, plaintiffs who bring meritless claims in federal court challenging teacher and principal disciplinary actions would be liable for the legal expenses, including attorney's fees, incurred in the defense of the teachers and principals. Proposes an increase in federal funding for abstinence education to a level at least as high as that provided for teen contraception programs. Supports empowering lower-income parents by providing them with certificates that can be used to pay for after-school activities of their choosing - whether run by a community group, a neighborhood church, or a local school. Supports implementation of state accountability systems in which students are tested every year in grades 3-8 in reading and math. States will be free to choose their own tests, and the federal government will equally share the cost. Supports increasing choice for parents in the education of their children by allowing federal funds to be used for public and private school choice and innovative education programs. Asked for 1 billion additional dollars to local districts to raise salaries, or hire more teachers to reduce class size. Supports making federal funds to states and local districts more flexible in return for greater accountability and improved student achievement.
13. Balanced Budget - Bush: Supports Budget Enforcement Legislation that restrains the growth of spending; supports the creation of a Constitutional line-item veto power to reject waste and pork in spending bills.
14. AIDS - Bush: Supports reauthorization of the Ryan White Act, focusing on life-extending care for HIV and AIDS patients. Encourages HIV testing as part of routine health care in a preventative mode. Supports increased funding in development of a HIV/AIDS vaccine. The Healthy Communities Innovation Fund [which] will support pilot programs and demonstration projects for targeted purposes, such as AIDS education or mental health awareness.
15. Child Care - Bush: Supports strengthening Head Start to make it more focused on school-readiness; Encouraging states to have coordinated early childhood plans including Head Start, pre-K and child care services.
16. Homeland Security - Bush: Supports creating a National Intelligence Director and a national Couterterrorism Center. Created the Department of Homeland Security and signed the Patriot Act to give law enforcement and intelligence officers the ability to communicate and coordinate in the effort to detect, disrupt and dismantle every aspect of terrorist operations. Created Project BioShield, funding cutting-edge countermeasures against biological, chemical, nuclear or radiological attack.
17. Credit Card Debt - Bush: Supports combating "predatory lending" practices through consumer education, regulation, research and enforcement actions against lenders, appraisers, real estate brokers, and other companies victimizing homeowners.
18. Energy Policy - Bush: Increase domestic energy exploration and production, Modernize the electricity grid, Supports alternative and renewable energy resources by expanding the use of Ethanol and Biodiesel; continues the $1.7 billion, five-year initiative to development of hydrogen technologies for autos, homes and businesses.
19. Environment - Bush: Will work to secure passage of the Clear Skies initiative to reduce power plant emissions. Continue the Clean Air Interstate Rule to cut emissions between states to pre-Clinton era levels.Continue the five-year program to address maintenance backlogs in the National Parks. Pledge to create, improve and protect at least three million acres of wetlands over the next five years. Implement programs to dedicate $40 billion towards restoration of wetlands and preserve the environment near working farms and ranches. Will work on initiatives to improve Water Supplies, reduce greenhouse gases, restore the Everglades and Great Lakes, promote the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, and management and conservation of ocean resources.
20. Military Draft - Bush: The President is diametrically opposed to any attempt to reinstitute the draft, and has stated emphatically that he wishes to keep the all-volunteer Army just that - all volunteer.

"Sadly, this is probably the only place you will find this information on the web, as someone has apparently launched a DOS attack against"

Audio Greetings

this is an audio post - click to play

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Getting Sick

I am now officially sick of all of the political ads on TV.

I saw an ad for a rather innocuous website:, that was geared towards younger voters. The ads say "compare the candidates side-by-side and decide for yourself."

The first question was about the Minimum Wage. It listed how many times Kerry had voted to increase the minimum wage - and how the Minimum Wage has never increased in the Bush administration. That sounded fair, though a bit left-leaning for my likes.

Then came question two: College Grants. You see "frozen the size of Pell Grants for the last three years, preventing the grants from keeping up with the rate of inflation and rising tuition costs" under Bush's entry. Kerry's side has "offer a College Opportunity Tax Credit on up to $4,000 of tuition for four years of college."

Red flag time. Ah, but the slam-dunk showing of the leanings of this group comes up next: War In Iraq. "Without the support of many traditional American allies, (italics mine) George W. Bush ordered an invasion of Iraq, claiming the county possessed weapons of mass destruction."

Which, by the way, John Freakin' Kerry believed we should do, as well. Of course, now they spin this decision as "(he) voted to give President Bush the option to go to war in Iraq." Do you see the semantics there? "I said he had it as an option - an option that I, John Kerry, would NEVER have done."

Ah, but the creme de la creme is the next "issue" on Health Care: "During George W. Bush’s presidency, the number of Americans without health insurance has increased by 5.2 million."


Methinks this 527 group should change its website name to reflect truth-in-advertising:

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

What Might Have Been

Today, October 13, would have been the opening night for the NHL hockey season, if it had occurred as scheduled.

Of course, the second that the NHL schedule came out in July, practically everyone realized that it would probably not be played as scheduled.

The players' first paycheck would have been due at the end of the month (players are paid six times a season).

This would have been the night that the Lightning would have shown off the Stanley Cup to its fans, and raised the banner to the rafters of the St. Pete Times Forum.

It would have been the first night that a lot of players may have taken the ice in their NHL debuts - including Alexander Ovechkin, Ryan Suter, Marc-Andre Fleury.

And a few old faces in new places, like Brett Hull out in Phoenix and Dominik Hasek in Ottawa.

It all could have started tonight.

But it won't.

And it might never start.

I don't know who's to blame, but it's going to take a lot of time to heal the wounds inflicted by this "work stoppage."

Meanwhile, the Admirals open things up Friday night against the Chicago Wolves - and they will raise their Calder Cup banner to the rafters of the Bradley Center.

And I intend to be there.

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Anyone out there?

Can someone check the Southeast corner of Fourth and State in downtown Milwaukee for signs of life?

Three things occur over this past week, and not a peep was mentioned in the Journalsentinel (remember, it's one newspaper now).
  1. The Milwaukee County headquarters of the Republican Party is stormed by a bunch of Union workers in the middle of the day, and not only disrupts business in the cramped quarters, but also disrupts several nearby businesses. No mention of the incident, nor of the shots fired at the Knoxville GOP headquarters, nor the near riot in Miami and Dade County's GOP headquarters.
  2. The defending American Hockey League champion Milwaukee Admirals open up their pre-season schedule with two strong performances; one in Fond Du Lac and one at Wilson Park. And no one from the paper is there to cover the story.
  3. A major power outage strikes General Mitchell International Airport. Two electric towers topple, cutting power to the Airport - at about the time VP candidate John Edwards is scheduled to arrive in the city. Only a small blurb is put in the paper - no connections are made other than "the FBI have been asked to come in to investigate.

You know, this town is ripe for another newspaper.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

You Say It's Your Birthday

A fresh set of rants now that I'm 37...

Friday, October 01, 2004

This Month's Rants