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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The winning line

"I've had one position, one consistent position, that Saddam Hussein was a threat. There was a right way to disarm him and a wrong way. And the president chose the wrong way."

(I still think the vote was wrong, though. I stand by what I said way back when: You cannot give a lighter to an arsonist and expect him not to start a fire!)

But props to Big John for the good soundbite.

How to lie with headlines

When your headline says
Poll finds support for Bush handling of war

But your story says
Of 508 state residents polled Sept. 15-21, 43% said Bush was doing an excellent or good job dealing with Iraq, while 56% said his work was fair or poor. In June, 39% said Bush was doing an excellent or good job; 60% chose fair or poor. Since last October, those figures have not changed much.

I am being prodded by some correspondents to do more of a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-watch kind of thing because too often the news and editorial bias is just this bad. I'm just going to throw this out to all of my Milwaukee (or Wisconsin) readers and fellow bloggers: Would any of you be interested in helping out with a group-style MJS-watch blog?

Monday, September 27, 2004

How Ballsy is That?

With the TiVo, I barely get to see any commercials anymore. So I haven't seen any of the season's campaign ads. To an extent, I'm pleased. However, tonight, I happened to note that John Kerry is running ads during "Seventh Heaven." (Please allow me the one guilty pleasure.)

I have to wonder how, exactly, John Kerry expects to win by trying for the pre-teen Christian girl set, though. I suppose he has his reasons.

Oh, and go sing "Happy Birthday" to Stacie.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Just Something Else to Keep Me Busy

Hey, all. It's me again, your friendly neighborhood Iron Blogger Democrat. After a few weeks of relative inaction, the Iron Blog is back in business, and I'm taking on an old rival in Battle: Victory Iraq?

It's actually very appropriate given the news of this week. I've condensed my opponent's Opening Statement into one sentence, just so you can get a feel for what the Battle is like so far:

I want to [. . .] be held against [. . .] Saddam Hussein [. . .], thus paving the way for [. . .] a cheering crowd to[. . .] dollop [. . .] the lips of critics [with . . .] protest slogans [. . .] and [. . .] crystal meth.

But seriously, we're halfway through. Here are the links, in order, or just click through and scroll down a while, then read up.

Call to Battle
His Opening Statement
My Opening Statement
His First Rebuttal
My First Rebuttal

The next couple of days see one more round of rebuttals and a round of closing statements. Check it out; I'm a little biased, but I think I may be winning.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

I have my iBook back

But not the stuff that used to be on it.

Yes, folks, that's right. My iBook went in for a screen issue, caused by a faulty logic board, which they fixed just fine. But, after they replaced the logic board, they decided, just for kicks, I guess, to wipe my hard drive and re-install the system software.

I still love Apple and Macs; in fact, even after this most recent episode, I can still say that I have never, ever had any loss of data due to mechanical failure in fifteen years of Mac use. It's just the idiots at the Apple repair Depot who wiped my drive who are pissing me off.

So, anyway, I have also lost all my email. If you have ever had cause to email before about anything, or think I should just have your email address handy in case I need it, email me so I can have your address again.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

The war keeps getting closer

A graduate of the high school where I teach was killed in Fallujah this week. I was here when he was here--he graduated in 2001--but I did not know him. Word is, though, that he was a Good Kid, and we don't have enough of those to spare here in Milwaukee. Now we have one less.

Thank Damn you, President Bush, for this war.

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

I need a third

I had a nice long post of election analysis going and the browser here on my back-up computer crashed. "Quit unexpectedly," as they say. In fact, I was most of the way through a draft of this very entry and it happened again. The Apple folks tell me my laptop is on its way home; it won't be too soon! And I will try to get that piece reconstructed sometime tomorrow.

Anyway, with Tim Carpenter's loss yesterday, I need a third for the folkbum 3. (I won't add Gwen Moore, not because I don't like her, but because against Gerald Boyle she'll probably hit 70% even without your hard-earned money.)

I wish ActBlue would let me add state races, as Dave Cullen and Jennifer Morales need your help. (Neither has a website I can find yet.) But, since we're only talking federal, who do you suggest? I'd like it to be midwestern, if not in Wisconsin (and I don't think any other federal Wisconsin races will be close enough to bother). I'm toying with Cegalis (sp?) and Bean in Illinois, for example, or Fingerhut in Ohio (at least in part for sentimental reasons). This site is not and never will be a democracy, but I'd appreciate your input!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Me vs. Reality

Results here.

20th Senate District
Me: "Mary Panzer is going to walk away with it. I predict she gets at least 60% of the vote, if not more."
Reality: Grothman 79%, Panzer 21% (with 93% reporting)
WRONG!
(No word yet on Elysse.)

5th Congressional District
Me: "I'm predicting Kennedy by at least 10% over challenger Gary Kohlenberg."
Reality: Kennedy 72%, Kohlenberg 28%
CORRECT!

4th Congressional District, Democrat
Me: "I will predict no more than a mere 12 or 15-point spread between the three, but I can't say who'll come out on top."
Reality: Moore 65%, Flynn 25%, Carpenter 10%
WRONG!

4th Congressional District, Republican
Me: "Corey Hoze will beat Gerald Boyle easy in the Republican primary."
Reality: Boyle 53%, Hoze 47%
WRONG!

Republican Senate Primary
Me: " My prediction: Michels 35%, Darrow 33%, Welch 24%, and Lorge 8%."
Reality: Michels 43% Darrow 30% Welch 23% Lorge 4%
CORRECT!

Two for five isn't great, but I beat Owen on the Senate prediction, and that makes my day.

I voted

There was a bit of a problem at my polling place: A couple of people ahead of me the machine stopped sucking in ballots (we use the connect-the-arrows paper ballots read by a machine like a Scantron®). So we just slipped our ballots into the slot at the bottom to be handcounted. Can a Diebold do that?

Anyway, results will be here when they start coming in. (As of 8:30, nothing so far. It's a little gratifying to see that no one has voted for the Republicans in the Senate primary. He he!)

Monday, September 13, 2004

Tomorrow is Primary Day

I'm sneaking some time on the old computer here to get my predictions and punditry down in pixels before election day rolls aound. There are, by all accounts, only three interesting races in Wisconsin's primaries this year, and I shall weigh in on all three, and a couple of other special ones.

One interesting primary is the Republican battle to be the guy who loses to America's Favorite Senator™, Russ Feingold. There are technically four candidates, but the least objectionable of the bunch, Robert "my brother thinks he's Elvis" Lorge, has basically no money and no support from the lunatic fringe of Republican primary voters. That leaves Russ "used car dealer" Darrow, Tim "I'm a veteran!" Michels, and Bob "statewide loser since 1994!" Welch. In my travels around the state last month, and in driving around Milwaukee and suburbs more recently, I can say that it will come down to Darrow or Michels. I suppose Welch could sneak in if Darrow and Michels split the bulk of the ballots, but Welch just doesn't seem to have any (visible) support. My prediction: Michels 35%, Darrow 33%, Welch 24%, and Lorge 8%.

The Mary "I'm conservative!" Panzer versus Glenn "you're not conservative enough" Grothman battle in the 20th Senate district has also been a good fight. Trouble is, Mary Panzer is going to walk away with it. I predict she gets at least 60% of the vote, if not more. I also want to send some love to Elysse Chay, who is a Dem hoping for enough write-in signatures to get her on the November ballot. If, for some reason, Grothman pulls it off, Elysse will be able to stake out some of the old Panzer terriory and may turn that seat D for the first time in like forever.

The 4th Congressional district primary here in Milwaukee is also tight. An open 4th CD seat is more rare than a Brewer's title, so three prominent local Dems are taking their best (and, in some cases, dirtiest) shots. Tim Carpenter is my guy in this race, but I am not confident enough to make a prediction one way or another. It will all be about turnout: A strong turnout from the South Side and GLBT community can push it to Tim; Attorney Matt Flynn and State Senator Gwen Moore will also be counting on turnout. I think Gwen will be helped by hard-fought primaries in her old Senate district and a couple of central-city Assembley districts, though, and Flynn has a fine field operation. I will predict no more than a mere 12 or 15-point spread between the three, but I can't say who'll come out on top.

The 5th CD race is also of interest to me, because Bryan Kennedy actually has a chance to beat Jim "PATRIOT ACT" Sensenbrenner. Libertarian-leaning Republicans are not happy with how F. Jim has "gone DC" and there will be a libertarian on the November ballot. Kennedy has out-raised any other former Dem opponent to F. Jim, and has landed moderate Republican support in addition to key labor union and other lefty endorsements. I'm predicting Kennedy by at least 10% over challenger Gary Kohlenberg.

As for me, I'm seeing the doctor tomorrow afternoon to go over the MRI of my back. I'm hopeful at least I can get treatment, even if my iBook is still away for repairs.

Is it just me . . .

Or is all this talk about TANG making anyone else thirsty?

My beloved iBook, by the way, is in the Apple infirmary for a display issue. They're telling me three weeks, but I'm holding out for something faster. Sigh. Mostly that just means posting will continue to be light for a little while.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Solidarity!

So Milwaukee has moved one step closer to requiring pre-payment at gas stations, to stop drive-offs and the many hours of precious police time they soak up. But wait! The business community is up in arms over this unwarranted intrusion into the rights of small business owners. And, of course, the conservative bloggers are fuming, too.

And how is the right half of Milwaukee's blogging community showing their sympathy and solidarity for these put-upon Milwaukee business owners? By refusing to buy gas from them, of course.

This is the kind of thing that makes my head explode.

Monday, September 06, 2004

Creeping Malaise

Well, not so much creeping malaise, really, as a sharp, stabbing pain in my back accompanied by the pressure of a particularly greuling opening of the school year, the weight of unfinished household projects delayed by my back, the recognition that the best candidate for the job has waged the worst campaign, and the realization that my 30s look a lot like my 20s, only with less hair.

Ergo, the dearth of new posts. I'm sorry to disappoint. Someday soon that switch will flip again and I'll have the passion and fire to rage, rage against the lying of the right, but for now, I'll mostly just be whining.

Go volunteer at the Iron Blog with the time you would have spent here. They need you more than I.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Lying Liars

This one's worth the day pass. Or you can read about George W. Fraud for free. Or read both.

And an update on my back: The doctor is now pretty well convinced it's a bulging disk or worse; he's got me doing a course of steroids (because, yeah, I need to gain more weight!) and if that doesn't work we'll try something more agressive. I don't know if he means Zell Miller agressive or Dick Cheney agressive, though.