October 20, 2004

Notes on Wisconsin.

Things are getting awfully tight in my little 10 electoral votes state, so maybe you readers not in Wisconsin are thinking about us and would like a few notes on Wisconsin. Here goes.

1. They've built some squat posts as a barrier to terrorists outside the sports area named after our senator who is not running for reelection.

2. Other barriers will be erected to stave off the destruction that tends to come with our usual Halloween marauders. There is special concern about the vast windowed expanses of the new Overture Center. This weekend the big show there will be the opera "Turandot," with fabulous David Hockney sets. (Pause taken to buy a ticket over the phone). A play examining the morality of nuclear weapons is playing in one of the smaller theaters at the Overture Center for the next few weeks, and the article about it in the Capital Times--which calls itself "Wisconsin's Progressive Newspaper"--doesn't mention Bush, Kerry, or Iraq. It does note that the UW physics department is collaborating with the Rep company, and the emphasis seems to be on intellectual Madison and not political Madison.

3. The Kerry-Edwards campaign brought former Senator Max Cleland to Madison yesterday to talk to a group of veterans. He told them: "[Bush] is driving more and more veterans away from the health-care system in the VA ... John Kerry has an answer: mandatory funding for the VA health-care system, and if you have a need, you get it covered." According to the linked article, this offer of full health coverage applies to 26 million persons (the number of civilian veterans in the U.S.). What's the price tag on that?

4. Something a UW-Eau Claire student said after listening to John Edwards give a speech: "I agree with everything he said ... The difference (between Bush and Cheney and Kerry and Edwards) is like night and day … Kerry and Edwards are focused on the people at home, the middle class." Thanks for reminding me of one of the reasons I'm voting for Bush. And let me link to this Christopher Hitchens article again. Remember when lefties talked about "the middle class" with a sneer? Now, apparently, they deserve all the benefits. How did that happen?

5. Why burrito-seeking students may switch to the new Moe's Southwest Grill: "When I opened the front door to Moe’s my friends and I received a warming greeting shouted in unison from the entire line of burrito chefs: 'Welcome to Moe’s!' Have you ever been personally welcomed to Qdoba or Chipotle?" Now they'll never be able to stop welcoming customers.

6. We love our football.

7. A little boy was saved from a big fire. The journalist, who lacks an eye for language, writes that the boy is "in stable condition after a barn fire."

8. A St. Norbert College poll, according to the Capital Times, shows: "So-called wedge issues such as stem-cell research, immigration and gay marriage were cited as 'very important' by only one-third or less of Wisconsin respondents, while abortion was named as 'very important' by 36 percent of voters." Is 36 percent supposed to sound like way more than one-third?

9. John Kerry said "I will be back - to the center of town" when rain moved him from the State Capitol square to an out-of-the-way arena last month, "[b]ut he, like Republican President George W. Bush, will be going where his campaign believes the undecided voters are: Green Bay, the Fox Valley, Milwaukee and the Mississippi River communities between Prairie du Chien and La Crosse." Hey, Bush campaign: send Arnold Schwarzenegger to appear at the Capitol on your behalf. He could build a nice speech around mocking Kerry's "I'll be back" and you could get some cool news coverage. [UPDATE: He's already going to Ohio, so stop over here on the way back!]

10. We have five newborn lions at the zoo here in Madison.

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