Brewtown Politico

Carrying a little stick and speaking loudly in Milwaukee


Seattle Mariners pitcher Kazuhiro Sasiki gives up $8.5 million to move back to Japan to be with his family.

I thought I'd post a story about a player who has his priorities straight since we hear so many negative stories about sports professionals.


Meet the inventor of 'CtrlAltDelete'

"At a 20-year celebration for the IBM PC, Bradley was on a panel with Microsoft founder Bill Gates and other tech icons. The discussion turned to the keys.

'I may have invented it, but Bill made it famous,' Bradley said.

Gates didn't laugh."

License Plates of the World

This was one of the best posts I've seen on Metafilter lately so I had to repost it here for your enjoyment. Not only can you look at license plates from now defunct countries (e.g. Danzig), you get a description of the country as well.

Bush Changes Gears in Re-Election Bid


Edwards moves on to South Carolina.

Sen. John Edwards gained a lot of support in New Hampshire this past week. Few people expected him to do as well as he did tonight before the Iowa Caucus. The primaries next week could turn this race upside down as it moves on to more southern and western areas of the country.

Debate reaches fever pitch on concealed weapons


Playing politics with the 9/11 commission.

View the ad for a free day pass.

Congressman Jerry Kleczka won't be running for re-election this year.

He has represented Milwaukee in the House of Representatives since 1984.


Halliburton Pledges to Repay Pentagon.

Secretary of State Colin Powell casts doubt on Iraq WMDs after David Kay resigns as head of the search team saying he doesn't think such weapons existed.


Bob Keeshan dies at age 76.

Keeshan died today in his home in Vermont. He started out on the Howdy Doody Show and started the Captain Kangaroo show in 1955 on CBS. He was a good man who changed many childhoods for the better.

Wisconsin State Senate overrides Doyle veto on concealed carry bill.

Legislators may have kowtowed to the NRA today, but a day of reckoning may be coming their way based on how Wisconsin residents feel about this law. The Assembly still has to vote in order to seal the override.

Some Friday fun. Here's an archive of remixes put together by a supporter of former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

Link courtesy of Metafilter.


America as a One-Party State.

If you aren't already energized for the upcoming presidential campaign, Robert Kuttner's article over at the American Prospect makes clear what the stakes are in this race.


Edwards thrilled by second-place finish in Iowa.

Tonight's Iowa Caucus is one to remember. The fact that Edwards finished a close 2nd with Dean lagging a distant 3rd is huge. The momentum is going to help him in fundraising. In addition, it will solidify him in South Carolina and assist him in polling well in New Hampshire.


Edwards, Kucinich agree to share support in Iowa caucuses.


Java runs remote-controlled Mars rover.

Here's a link to the software. Fascinating stuff.

Thanks to Carlos for the links.


The Iowa Caucus is receiving more attention than it has in years. The race is a four way dead heat between Howard Dean, John Kerry, John Edwards, and Dick Gephardt. Turnout is expected to be well above what it has been in recent years.

Edwards and Kerry have received the most attention in recent days as their numbers have shot up at the expense of Dean and Gephardt. It's tough to say who's going to pull this one out, but I believe Edwards is the real dark horse candidate in Iowa at this point. All he has to do is finish strong, and he'll have momentum heading into the upcoming primaries. If Dean or Gephardt don't finish first, it will be viewed as a disappointment since expectations have been high for them. Any one of these four could win it at this point which makes it exciting to watch for us political junkies.

I also wanted to comment about former Senator and US Ambassador Carol Moseley Braun dropping out of the race on Thursday. Her poll numbers never got out of single digits, and I think she knew her chances were slim from the word go. However, this woman is a class act and did a great service by running. She contributed to the political dialogue, and deserves a lot of credit. In her own words:

"When women run, when people of color run, we open up the possibility that women and people of color can win. I have a record of building bridges, bringing people together, and breaking barriers, and I am proud of my role in breaking new ground with this campaign. I was able to walk in the footsteps of my hero, Shirley Chisholm, and we qualified for ballot position in more states than any woman has ever done in the history of this country."

GOP chair claims Clark supported war; transcripts show otherwise.

Regardless of the Democratic nominee, I get the feeling that these types of lies and distortions will be a primary tactic used by the Bush campaign in the upcoming presidential race.


J.P. Morgan Chase to buy Bank One for $58 billion.

The merger will create the nation's second largest bank behind Citigroup.

The sheriff's on the ballot.

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke will be on the ballot in the 2004 Milwaukee mayoral race. This comes despite challenges by candidate Vince Bobot and a review of the signatures by the city Election Commission.

The race is pretty competitive at this point with a total of ten candidates on the primary ballot. Personally, I'm supporting former Congressman Tom Barrett for mayor. I also like Sandy Folaron and what she's done for neighborhood development in Milwaukee. Clarke, on the other hand, has been sheriff for only two years and is now running for mayor. He's made some progress and done some good things in that position and, if I have my way, he will continue to serve in that capacity.

The election will be better with Clarke in it so that his supporters have their say. The conventional wisdom is this negative press hurts him. However, all this publicity has made Clarke the focal point in the race. It still doesn't change the fact that he was barely able to collect enough signatures to get on the ballot which speaks to the quality of his campaign staff and the sheriff's inexperience in politics.

Franken signs with liberal radio.


Des Moines Register Endorses Edwards

Another added twist to the Iowa Caucus perhaps?


O'Neill Depicts a Disengaged President

Former Treasury secretary Paul O'Neill says Bush was "like a blind man in a roomful of deaf people" in cabinet meetings.

According to the CBS material, O'Neill told Suskind that Bush was so inscrutable that administration officials had to devise White House policy on "little more than hunches about what the president might think."

Between this and Bush not reading newspapers to educate himself, it leads one to question where the check on Cabinet power is in this administration. Sure, O'Neill was fired, but only to deflect criticism away from Bush on the sagging economy and budget troubles.

The fact that Bush supposedly receives all his information about current events from Cabinet members is scary when you consider the potential consequences of such a model. The president should be engaging in a two-way dialouge with the Cabinet. From the outside looking in, it appears that's not happening either because Bush simply isn't knowledgeable about the issues or is too lazy to do so.

Hackers heckle drive-in diners

Levi's shuts its last 2 plants in US

End of an era.


Unemployment Down, But New Jobs Are Rare.

According to the figures from the Labor Department, only 1000 jobs were created in December. Unemployment did drop, but only because 309,000 workers decided to stop working or gave up looking for a job so they are no longer counted as part of the labor force.

GIs in Iraq Scoff at Re-Enlistment Bonus


America's Fattest Cities.

Detroit comes in at number one this year, followed by Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, and Chicago. I'm pleased to report that Milwaukee has switched categories, and now ranks 21st among America's fittest cities.

Thanks to Virtual Bostonian for the link.

Gen. Wesley Clark now trails Howard Dean by only four points in the contest for the Democratic Party's nomination according to the latest Gallup poll. Clark picked up considerable ground over the past month.

Meanwhile, former New Jersey Sen. Bill Bradley has officially endorsed Dean. Bradley lost the nomination to Vice President Al Gore in 2000.

Plame leak shameful no matter how the White House spins it.

Josh Marshall's latest column in the Hill newspaper maps out why the latest argument in defense of "the leak" is ridiculous. If the official who leaked former Ambassador Joseph Wilson's wife's name to the media didn't know she was a CIA operative, how does that make the act any better? In fact, it's a gross act of incompetence which could've jeopardized an agent and national security. This official wouldn't have known that though, because supposedly they didn't even know her title at the CIA.

This act is simply unacceptable, and the fact that the people involved haven't been fired yet speaks to how this White House operates, and just how much this president really cares about "changing the tone."


Former Milwaukee Brewer Paul Molitor has been elected to baseball's hall of fame, it was announced today. As one who grew up watching Molitor in the 1980s, I couldn't be happier for him.

Pete Rose, on the other hand, continues to get under my skin. After all these years, he's coming clean about betting on baseball. Some may say it's no big deal that he did (don't forget the reason for the zero tolerance policy was the "Black Sox" travesty of the 1919 World Series).

Anyways, for Pete Rose apologists, keep this in mind. The guy wouldn't admit to gambling on baseball for years, and continually played himself off as a martyr who was being persecuted by Major League Baseball. Rose is an egomaniac, and the only reason he's telling the truth now is that he has a book coming out.


Mars Exploration Rover Mission

Here's the site to go to for all the latest pictures and updates from NASA's Mars mission (the Mars rover which landed successfully.. sorry Britain).

In an amazing NFL playoff game, which I had the honor to attend thanks to Sir Thomas, the Packers eliminated the Seattle Seahwaks at Lambeau Field Sunday to move on to the second round.

Here's some good material for Packer fans who need to get fired up for the upcoming matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles. The victor will move on to the NFC Championship game.


Political fears may stymie pot legislation

Wisconsin State Rep. Gregg Underheim plans to introduce a bill legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Underheim, a Republican, opposed such legislation in the past, but has changed his stance on the issue after undergoing surgery to remove a cancerous prostate.


Republican Power Means Less for States.

Oh, the irony. The party that ranted about states rights, and balancing the budget does the opposite now that they're the ones in power. Under GOP control of the White House and Congress, the federal government has expanded and spending has gone through the roof.

Let me go out on a limb and say all that talk about small government by Republicans was and continues to be just candy being tossed at gullible voters on the right. Maybe there's been some fuss about the fact that President Bush approved the Medicare expansion, campaign finance reform, and has run up the deficit. However, I'm sure the Bush team will do their best to make their base feel all warm and fuzzy next November so they can proudly cast their votes for the same people who've betrayed their party's principles on numerous occasions.


US was ready to seize Gulf oil in 1973.

49-foot python captured in Indonesia