Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Sometimes where we're going looks increasingly like where we've been. Now that the Potawatomi Casino has completed the first phase of their multi-million dollar expansion in the Menomonee Valley, there are discussions about moving it downtown.

For those with a short memory, this same proposal was floated by former Milwaukee alderman John Kalwitz in 1999. Mayor Norquist, who opposed the casino expansion and Kalwitz's idea, is now open to moving it downtown and tying it into plans to develop the former Pabst Brewery complex and land cleared as a result of the Park East freeway demolition.

It's an example of how Milwaukee's lack of vision holds back its potential. While the casino move may actually happen, other mistakes are not so easily remedied.

Miller Park was built in the Menomonee Valley instead of downtown. Just two years after opening, the Brewers are playing poorly and having a tough time selling tickets. If the stadium were downtown, it could appeal to a walk-up crowd by marketing itself as another entertainment option for those living, working, and playing downtown.

This ineptitude also explains why transportation policy is stuck in the 1950s where we simply expand freeways, but don't use our heads in regards to what expanded mass transit could do to move workers to jobs, promote sound development, and attract tourists.

It illustrates the importance of the 2004 mayoral race in the city of Milwaukee.

Dear Don,

Thanks a lot.



Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee are going after President Bush's tendency to have press events promoting "bread and butter" programs around the country, while at the same time cutting them in his budget.

The president saying one thing and doing another? Perhaps the GOP can just blame it on President Clinton.

Link courtesy of Sir Thomas.


Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) says he'll run again in 2006. While he may be interested in selling the Milwaukee Bucks, it appears "nobody's Senator but yours" isn't ready to give up his post in the US Senate.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin's junior senator may be looking at another nailbiter in his 2004 re-election bid.


"While I think a lot of people would like to see a more balanced transportation system, that is not happening across the country," SEWRPC Commisioner Paul Vrakas said after the board formally sent a recommendation to the state aimed at expanding the area's freeways.

Spoken like a government official who doesn't get outside his district much. Has this guy been to St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, Little Rock, Houston, Phoenix, Washington, Baltimore, and Seattle among other cities?

Obviously not or he wouldn't be able to make such an inaccurate statement. Perhaps it's just another case of the idiots running the asylum.


"Truth has a way of asserting itself despite all attempts to obscure it. Distortion only serves to derail it for a time. No matter to what lengths we humans may go to obfuscate facts or delude our fellows, truth has a way of squeezing out through the cracks, eventually."

Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) tells it like it is in today's floor speech.


The paper route was a right of passage for many of the kids in the neighborhood where I grew up. Every weekday afternoon, I'd sub the sections, jog the stack of papers into my bag, and set off into the community to fulfill the demand for knowledge and sales ads. On Sunday mornings, I'd begrudgingly drag myself out of bed, and with the help of my mother and our trusty mini-van, deliver vast piles of oversized newspapers. Collecting was the worst part of the job. If only they would have given us paperboys hired goons in order to put some pressure on local deadbeats to pay their bills instead of pretending they weren't home when I'd come knocking.

Despite that, I have to agree with Andrew Hollis that having a route was one of the best memories of my childhood. It provided a sense of independence, and allowed me time to do something the growing number of obese people in this country should be doing: exploring my neighborhood on foot and taking in the beauty of my surroundings.


Get up off the couch tonight and step outside, you lazy sloths.


Nail in the coffin for Midwest?

Northwest Airlines announced the addition of six additional direct flights from Milwaukee today, an indication the airline is seeking to gain market share from Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines.

For Northwest, the timing couldn't have been better as Midwest has had to cut back on in-flight services its regular customers have come to take for granted. In addition, speculation persists that Midwest may not be able to weather the storm the airline industry is currently experiencing.

Shakeup in postwar Iraq.

The war was the easy part relative to the current task of rebuilding the country. President Bush, who decried nation building when campaigning in 2000, now finds himself under increasing pressure to produce evidence of progress in Iraq.

Meanwhile, the internal tug of war continues between the hawks at the Defense Department and the doves at State.

Are Democrats growing spines?

Former Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Bob Graham (D-FL) is lashing out at the administration for concealing information related to the 2001 terrorist attacks. Graham is running for president and obviously wants to raise his profile. It doesn't change the fact that his experience in intelligence lends him credibility when he speaks on the issue of terrorism.

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) isn't letting accusations die that Vice President Dick Cheney's former employer Halliburton received favorable treatment in landing a contract in postwar Iraq.

It also appears the filibusters on two of the presidents judicial nominees won't end. Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) says the Senate has approved 124 (98.4%) of President Bush's nominees.

After wallowing in President Bush's shadow while failing to question his handling of foreign policy, it appears Democrats are rediscovering the role of the opposition party.


The public has had more access to information during the recent war with Iraq than in any other war in United States history. However, questions over the evidence the Bush Administration utilized to gain support for the war is an issue that has been undercovered here in the U.S.

It also demonstrates that the accusation that the mainstream media is predominantly liberal in its coverage is just another strategy the right-wing and Republicans use to play the "victim card" and gain sympathy from disenchanted voters.


Maybe they can have an aisle dedicated to him somewhere between the hair products and the chewing tobacco. What about Les Paul gift cards? How about a big Red Bull display showing the electric guitar legend jamming? Perhaps there'd be a natural connection if Les became a Viagara spokesman. Oh, I kill me.


Some voters in the UK are getting a chance to take advantage of different voting technologies in today's elections. Text messaging, touch-tone telephone, the internet, and interactive digital television are just some of the options available.

It sounds great on the surface. The problem is that technology often fails both in terms of its reliability, and in this case in its ability to prevent fraud. What's to say that some organized interest couldn't obtain these voter ID codes and manipulate the results? It certainly could make the difference in a small scale local election. Until these questions are resolved, I say get yourself down to the neighborhood polling place, greet that volunteer with a smile, and mark your ballot.

If you really want to raise voter turnout, let's move Election Day to the weekend, or perhaps make it a national holiday by merging it with Veteran's Day. While some veterans groups have voiced concern about the latter, what better way to honor them than by exercising the freedom they've fought to preserve?

Continuing on the marketing theme, psychographic segmentation is yet another innovation used in recent years. While each person is an individual, it's naive to suggest that people don't possess similar behaviors, attitudes, and needs.

The Values and Life Styles (VALS) system is one tool that does this. Rooted in psychology, it classifies people into eight different personality types. Since each person is said to have a primary and secondary type, there are 56 different combinations.