Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


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Mad Cow USA

Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber predicted the disease would come here in a 1997 book entitled "Mad Cow USA." They cited poor policies in place the by USDA, FDA, and meat industry as primary reasons consumers ought to be concerned about the outbreak in the UK.

The book is now available in PDF format for free at


God is not a right-wing zealot.

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Iranian earthquake 'kills 20,000'.

This is a tragedy that not only destroyed much of the city of Bam, but thousands of lives. Earlier today, it was reported that at least 4000 were killed. That figure has now risen substantially.

The United States, along with other nations, will send humanitarian aid to Iran in the coming days.


Merry Christmas, happy holidays and all that jazz.

Now go play some Elf Bowling.

Beagle 2 : the British led exploration of Mars


U.S. Investigates Suspected Mad Cow Case.

It's the first recorded case of Mad Cow in the States. It's important to note that it's illegal here to feed cattle renderings to other cattle. The fact that this was common practice in the UK is widely blamed for the rapid spread of the disease there. Hopefully, the law helps in containing the spread here.

North Carolina Sen. John Edwards was interviewed on 60 Minutes this past Sunday. While he's still lagging behind in the polls, many pundits have not yet written off.

After the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary, some Democractic candidates can be expected to drop out. If Edwards can win the South Carolina primary, he becomes the "alternative" to the candidate who emerges from the first two contests.

Click here to see the interview (requires Real Player).


Drunken Joe Namath acts like dumbass in live ESPN interview with Suzy Kolber.

Ebert gives LOTR: Return of the King 3.5 stars.

Strong's suitors being told to act fast.

"Many jobs probably would leave Menomonee Falls."


A President Needs to Read the Paper.


Paris Hilton beats President Bush in ratings.


Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S.


Shoe Plant Gives Big Holiday Bonuses.

These employees have to be feeling good today. Talk about a morale booster. Happy holidays, employees of SAS Pittsfield.

Strom Thurmond's family confirms paternity claim.


Value Driven - Admit It: You, Too, Are Paris Hilton


Gallup Poll Analyses - Americans Consider Saddam Capture "Major Achievement," but War Support Unchanged.


Outgoing Milwaukee mayor John Norquist writes about his tenure in Sunday's Journal Sentinel.

He continues to evoke ire among many suburban elected officials and residents, but I think it's become increasingly obvious that their anger is generated mostly by envy. Norquist has spent his time in office looking out for the interests of Milwaukee residents by focusing on his new urbanist philosophy. The suburbs don't understand why a mayor would be more focused on turning one-way streets into two-way streets, tearing down a freeway, improving mass transit, and streamlining zoning regulations than on building them wider freeways. Milwaukee is now the most attractive place in Wisconsin for young professionals to live.

Norquist, a Democrat, also held growth in city operating spending below the rate of inflation, and dropped the property tax rate from $13.09 in 1988 to $9.73 in 2004. Meanwhile, property taxes are at record highs in many suburbs, and many of their planners haven't quite grasped the fact that lifeless strip malls are losing out to vibrant urban neighborhoods.

Hats off to you Mr. Mayor. You've helped transform Milwaukee into a place people are proud to call home. Admit it, suburbs. You're just jealous.

Lawless driving shocks and awes in Baghdad.

It's starting to look more like America already.

BBC NEWS Analysis: Turning point for Iraq?

It's interesting to speculate on how this affects the opposition forces fighting in Iraq. Many of them must be demoralized after seeing their leader arrested in such a humiliating fashion.

Baghdad celebrates Saddam's capture.

After months of hiding, Saddam Hussein has been captured by coalition forces. They found him in a place where some expected he'd end up: hiding away in his hometown of Tikrit.

What will happen when a national political machine can fit on a laptop?

A good article from the Washington Post on the future of politics in the age of information technology.


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Editorial: Plame's leaker / Lack of progress calls for an independent counsel.

This story has been buried for the last few months, and the Justice Department hasn't received adequate pressure to update the country on its findings. I'm wary of independent counsels, but the current investigation appears to turning out how most cynics thought it would.

NY Post: Dean in for N.H. Bush-Whacking.

Yes, it's still eleven months before the general election, and it's still not certain that Dean will take the nomination. Also, to say that New Hampshire is representative of the other 49 states in the union would be far from accurate. However, the American Research Group poll illustrates that Democratic voters should carefully consider which candidate they choose to support. The nominee will be up against a very well financed incumbant president.


BADGER POLL: Dem primary race wide open here.

As the Capital Times reports, the primary race in Wisconsin is far from won by any one candidate. The Wisconsin primary will stand alone next year when it takes place on Feb. 17, 2003. It's guaranteed to receive national attention as it falls during a critical time for the candidates still in the race.

The opponents of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, upheld this week by the Supreme Court, continue to voice their outrage. While the soft money ban was the primary part of the bill, much of the whining is about the ban on certain issue ads by interest groups before an election.

I thought I'd present a little history lesson to readers here to advise exactly how this provision became part of the bill. It was not part of the bill as introduced by Senators John McCain and Russ Feingold. An amendment proposed by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone expanded a prohibition on issue ads to apply to all special interest groups. A previous amendment only restricted ads run by labor unions and corporations.

While McCain and Feingold both voted against it, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other Republicans voted for the amendment which passed on a 51-46 vote. They did so in hopes that if the bill passed, the Supreme Court would strike down the entire bill. However, their non-severability amendment failed which is why certain components were upheld this week, and others were struck down.

The lesson here is that opponents like McConnell, who helped bring the case to the high court, have nobody to blame but themselves for the inclusion of this particular provision.

12.10.2003's baseball salaries database.

The disparities in salaries amongst teams illustrates the continuing problem MLB has in sustaining some level of parity amongst all 30 teams in the league. What a player is paid doesn't determine the record of the team, but the odds will always favor the teams with the money since they can go out and purchase their missing pieces at any given time.

Thanks to Sir Thomas for the link.

U.S. Gone 'Off a Cliff' In Iraq, Gingrich Says.

I had to post this article if for no other reason than to mark a day where I was in agreement with former Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gringrich.

Supreme Court upholds 'soft money' ban.

The Supreme Court upheld key provisions of the McCain/Feingold campaign finance reform bill today. On a 5-4 decision, the court stated that a ban on unlimited contributions by labor unions and corporations to candidates via political parties was constitutional.

As a supporter of the measure, I was pretty confident it would be upheld. While it certainly shouldn't be considered a "cure all" that will rid politics of the influence of money, that's no reason to sit back and not attempt to fix a broken system. For those in Congress who voted for the bill, and citizens who fought for years to get it on the agenda, this is a great victory.


Al Gore to endorse Howard Dean.

Politicos who read this blog must realize the magnitude of this development. The man who came within inches of the presidency endorsing Dean may very well seal the nomination for the former governor of Vermont. My guess is the man most steamed by this is Sen. John Kerry, a man who was once the frontrunner and has been playing catchup to Dr. Dean for months now.

This coincides with the latest Gallup poll which indicates Dean is now the Democratic Party frontrunner nationwide for the first time.


Space Invaders game set for new U.S. invasion.

Taito, the manufacturer of the 1978 arcade game, plans to re-release Space Invaders in American arcades to coincide with its 25th anniversary. Namco will handle distribution since Taito no longer has a business presence in the States.


Dime debate pits Reagan against FDR.

The odds of this bill going through are pretty slim. It's just another attempt by a coalition of conservative House members to kiss up to their base. The larger question is why did they choose the dime as the currency to place Reagan's likeness on? The answer is obvious. To them, the New Deal represents the dark ages of US history.

What they fail to recognize is that there are certain times when the government must intervene in the market in order to make it work for the citizens it serves. The New Deal was one such time, and FDR continues to be remembered as one of the greatest presidents in US history.

I read a book a few years ago called FDR and His Enemies. After reading it, I gained a new respect for this man, the last person to be elected to four terms as president before the Republican controlled Congress decided that term limits for the Chief Executive were a good idea.

The Bush Background Generator!

Some light hearted fun for your Friday.

The real fellowship of the ring. How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' all-night argument about God paved the way for both "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Chronicles of Narnia."

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Liberals finding their voice and it's angry by USA Today columnist Kathy Kiely.

Nader Raising Money for Possible Campaign.

Ralph Nader was expected to announce this month whether he would seek the Green Party nomination for president for the third straight time. He's elected to put off this decision until after the new year begins, but hasn't hesitated getting started on the fundraising.


Today is World AIDS Day.

The World Health Organization announced its plan to fight HIV and AIDS by training 100,000 workers, overhauling the efforts of 10,000 clinics in poor countries, and making drugs used to combat infection more available.

Also this week, Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson is leading an 80 member delegation to Africa where HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact.

At today's United Nations briefing, Secretary General Kofi Annan warned that current efforts fall well short of what's needed to seriously combat HIV/AIDS, pointing out that the UN has failed to reach several of the goals listed in a 2001 declaration.

It's estimated that 40 million people worldwide are now infected, and three million will die this year from the disease. Learn more about UN efforts to fight this terrible epidemic here.