Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


As Factory Job Losses Rise, So Do Risks to Bush

The LA Times reports from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin on the state of America's factory jobs.

There is yet another reason to be doubtful about the current potential of electronic voting.

Sequoia Voting Systems' software has been publicly available on an FTP server. In this case, anyone with some programming experience could've manipulated the software and rigged results.

Not surprisingly, the code is no longer accessible, but this misses the point. Will there ever be an electronic voting system that is secure enough for the electorate to have confidence in it?

Rosebud Cinema Drafthouse operator is looking to take over the Avalon Theater.

An update on the story posted here a few days ago about the fate of one of Milwaukee's last remaining movie palaces.


U.S. Contractors Reap the Windfalls of Post-war Reconstruction.

A comprehensive report has been released by the Center for Public Integrity. Companies awarded contracts in Iraq, non-competitively I might add, also just happen to be major campaign donors to President Bush.


Wisconsin Energy to build two coal power plants in Oak Creek.

"Clean coal." The phrase is another example of a line that if repeated enough times, people will actually believe it's true.

The Milwaukee Bucks start the regular season tonight.

A lot has changed on this team since last season. Gary Payton and Sam Cassell are both gone. The team is much younger, and they have a new coach in Terry Porter. The Bucks made a good move this week by signing a three year contract extension with Desmond Mason. In his short time with the Bucks, he has thrilled crowds with his ability to score, and rebound the ball.

This team will miss Cassell more than any other player they've lost in the past year. He was the heart of the team, and was a primary reason they made the playoffs over the seasons under former coach George Karl. Cassell now plays for Minnesota, and the Bucks will get a chance to see him tonight when they play the Timberwolves up in the cities.


It being this writer's birthday, here's a fun post for a Monday: the Drink-o-Meter Test.

However, for some of you, the fun may give way to the reality that you are more of a lush than you previously imagined.


Milwaukee's Avalon Theater may be converted to office space if the owner doesn't choose to sell the property.

Many Bay View residents and local leaders would like to see the theater retain its historic use, but recent attempts to do so have not come to pass.

Mayor John Norquist's Legacy and the New Urbanism.

A good interview at Riverwest Currents with Milwaukee's outgoing mayor. He discusses his accomplishments, the ongoing debate over freeway reconstruction, and the future of the metro area. Norquist leaves office at the end of the year to head the Congress for New Urbanism.

The Dirty War of the Tough-Minded Liberals by Mark Hand.


Death-Row Inmates Give $10,000 to Student.

The kind of story that gives you hope on a dreary day.

How the Poll Results on Iraq Were Manipulated by James Zogby.

Mayor of Ecuador hires parrot to answer "undesirable questions."

How long before we see members of the Bush cabinet following in this guy's footsteps? (Pictures Donald Rumsfeld at a press conference): "Regarding an exit strategy for Iraq, I will have to defer to my colleague sitting here on my shoulder."


The (Agri)Cultural Contradictions of Obesity.

A good story at the New York Times on how US agriculture policy has impacted the nation's obesity problem. Requires registration.

Link referred by Bonto.

Curtains Ordered for Media Coverage of Returning Coffins (

Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Powers Of 10

"View the Milky Way at 10 million light years from the Earth. Then move through space towards the Earth in successive orders of magnitude until you reach a tall oak tree just outside the buildings of the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Tallahassee, Florida. After that, begin to move from the actual size of a leaf into a microscopic world that reveals leaf cell walls, the cell nucleus, chromatin, DNA and finally, into the subatomic universe of electrons and protons."

Fascinating stuff. Requires Java.


Free yourself from IE. Use Mozilla if you know what's good for you.


Milwaukee got its new police chief Thursday. Capt. Nan Hegerty will become the 17th police chief and the first woman ever chosen for the job.

She's already pledging to assemble a task force to focus on violent crimes, guns and gangs. It's an idea that's likely overdue in a city where violent crime hasn't seen the reduction taking place in other large cities.

The dream of having the Red Sox vs. the Cubs in the World Series this year is dead. In fact, fans won't have the option of rooting for either team this year.

Permit me to be blunt here. If you're a fan of either the Sox or the Cubs, please understand this advice is out of support for you, and angst that once again the Yankees have a chance to win it all.

Regarding the Cubs loss, you fans need to come back to reality. It wasn't the billy goat, and it's not the fan's fault that you lost the NLCS. These are merely excuses of a team that choked down the stretch. The Cubs had three chances to go to the World Series. They were up three games to one over the Florida Marlins, and they lost three games in a row to let the Marlins advance. This team just couldn't get it done when they had to.

Now the Red Sox. Yes, I referenced the curse of the bambino in a previous post, but it was only out of jest and fun. The Sox put up a valient effort against the Yankees, but poor managing was the culprit here. Why was Pedro Martinez pitching in the eighth inning when the bullpen had a 1.01 ERA during the playoffs? It's puzzling, but Boston fans are calling for Grady Little's head today.

To wrap up today's lecture, the Red Sox and Cubs need to get over the notion that there is a curse on their respective teams. As long as they affectionately hold that nostalgia of failure dear to them, they won't be able to win.


The Soviet Republic of Texas.

A Washington Post editorial sums up the circus down in Texas as legislators and the governor have agreed on a redistricting plan.

All the President's Votes?

A report from the Independent on electronic voting in the U.S. There is troubling evidence the technology is proving less reliable than the much maligned punchcards, and there are new concerns about the potential for tampering.


If you've driven in downtown Milwaukee lately, you're aware the Park East freeway is officially history.

The Slatin Report, an online commercial real estate magazine, recently published the report about the project and the redevelopment yet to come.


A Conservative Travesty by George Will.

I had to post this since it's rare for me to agree with Mr. Will on anything outside of his passion for the game of baseball. It's a good column about the negatives of direct democracy, which most recently took the form of the California recall election, and the direction of Republican electoral politics.


Rush Limbaugh does not understand American sports.

In his column, Mark Shields writes about the main reason Limbaugh just didn't belong on ESPN. He may grasp the game of football, but he doesn't understand what makes sports so great for fans and participants alike.

Lumps of Labor by Paul Krugman.


Hell is freezing over. The Chicago Cubs have won their first playoff series since 1908. Think about that for a moment. Teddy Roosevelt was president and the first World War hadn't even occurred yet. As a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, it makes me feel better about the fact the Brewers haven't had a postseason birth since 1982.

The baseball playoffs are turning out to be the best in years according to this fan. You have the Cubs story. You also have the Boston Red Sox coming back from the verge of elimination. The Sox were down 0-2 in their series against the Oakland A's. Game 5 is tonight at 7pm Central time.

Now to map out my scenario for the best World Series in years. The Cubs will face the Florida Marlins in the National League Championship Series. Florida's also a great team that has recovered from the years following their World Series win in 1997. The Cubs will beat Florida to go to their first World Series in 58 years breaking the infamous billy goat curse in the process.

In the American League, the Red Sox should win tonight to proceed to the battle for the American League championship. Standing in their way on the path to the World Series are the New York Yankees. How poetic is this? The curse of the Bambino still hanging over the heads of Boston fans after all these years, they must go through the Yankees to break said curse. If the Sox win, they have a chance to capture their first World Series title since 1918.

If these events play out, you will have the Chicago Cubs playing the Boston Red Sox in the World Series. Beside the fact that both teams haven't won a title since before the 1920s, the series will be played at the two oldest parks in baseball, Wrigley Field and Fenway Park.

In the event that the playoffs work out this way, who does this writer root for being a Brewers fan? The Red Sox of course, because the Cubs must always fail.


Will Sen. Bob Graham (D-FL) be the first casualty of a crowded Democratic presidential field?

The former Florida governor turned U.S. Senator reportedly informed a colleague that he will soon close the book on his bid to become president.

If this plays out, Graham will only be the first to call it a day before the Iowa Caucus in January. Now that Gen. Wesley Clark, Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Richard Gephardt and former Vermont governor Howard Dean have more or less established themselves as the frontrunners, the money is going to start drying up for those at the bottom.


A General's View.

Retired Marine General Anthony Zinni discusses postwar Iraq with Jim Lehrer on the Newshour.