TCD’s week in review
UW-Madison scientists help predict Hurricane Sandy, Obama and Baldwin see gains in the Marquette Poll, the Milwaukee Bucks season begins, and more.
As the East Coast prepared for Hurricane Sandy, scientists at UW-Madison played an important part in forecasting the storm. Research and data-processing at the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies helped accurately predict the storm’s landfall, giving the National Hurricane Center “five or six days of lead time” to prepare, according to senior researcher Chris Velden, who also said, “Our center is known for developing cutting-edge satellite instrumentation for monitoring the atmosphere.” More info on the cutting-edge satellite tracking done to help make predictions can be found on the website for the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center.
A number of Green Bay Packers supported a variety of philanthropic endeavors this week. On Monday, Donald Driver headlined a group of Packers, including John Kuhn, Desmond Bishop and Jermichael Finley, at the Goodwill Retro Rendezvous fashion show in Milwaukee, an event to raise funds for Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Wisconsin. On Thursday morning, Aaron Rodgers, along with his 8-Twelve restaurant co-owner Ryan Braun, announced plans for a benefit at their Brookfield restaurant to raise money for the victims of the shooting at the nearby Azana Spa and Salon. The benefit will be emceed by TMJ4’s Susan Kim and will cost $100 to attend (more info here). Also on Thursday, speaking at a campaign event for President Barack Obama in Green Bay, Packers defensive back Charles Woodson said he will donate $100,000 to the American Red Cross to help in the relief effort for Hurricane Sandy.
The world’s largest four-faced clock turned 50 on Wednesday. The Rockwell Automation Allen-Bradley clock tower is changing with the times, too, as the clock’s fluorescent lighting was replaced with LED fixtures, which will reduce energy by 80 percent and last nearly two decades longer than the original fixtures.
Obama, Baldwin: Up in the polls
The newest Marquette University Law Poll, released on Wednesday, showed President Barack Obama and U.S. Senate candidate Tammy Baldwin ahead in the polls in Wisconsin. Obama is now leading former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney 51 percent to 43 percent, and Baldwin is leading former Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson 47 percent to 43 percent.
The financiers behind the “VOTER FRAUD IS A FELONY” signs that appeared on 85 Clear Channel billboards around Milwaukee have made their names public. Venture capitalist Steven Einhorn and his wife Nancy paid for the signs. In the statement revealing their identity, released by Chicago public relations firm Culloton Strategies, they said, “Stephen and Nancy Einhorn placed these billboards as a public service because voter fraud – whether by Republicans or Democrats – undermines our democratic process…By reminding people of the possible consequences of illegal voting, we hope to help the upcoming election be decided by legally registered voters.” The Einhorns have also donated $49,750 to Gov. Scott Walker since 2005.
If you’re looking for nonpartisan information on voting in Wisconsin this year, you can visit myvote.wi.gov, or check out the Government Accountability Board’s Top 10 Things Voters Should Know For Election Day.
The Kyle Wood Fabrication
Kyle Wood, a campaign volunteer for Republican candidate Chad Lee, who is running for Tammy Baldwin’s congressional seat, recanted his story of alleged victimization that had been widely publicized by The Daily Caller, Media Trackers, The Capital Times and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
The details of Wood’s story doesn’t ultimately matter—after all, none of it is true—but ultimately, the loser here is not only Wood himself for his fabrications, but the media outlets who reported these egregious lies, and did so at a time of heightened political tension in this incredibly divisive election season in a state that has seen more than its fair share of tension and division over the past two years.
Manufacturing in Milwaukee was on the rise in July, but a recent report from the Institute for Supply Management-Milwaukee shows the industry on a decline in recent months. According to the Business Journal of Milwaukee, “A seasonally adjusted index measuring manufacturing growth in the southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois region dropped to 43.3 in October, down from 47.1 in September, according to the survey compiled by Marquette University. A reading higher than 50 indicates expansion, while a reading of less than 50 generally indicates contraction in the sector.”
The Milwaukee Bucks
The regular season for the Milwaukee Bucks begins tonight in Boston, but their season is already over. Oh, it may seem like there is promise for 2012-2013, as the Bucks begin the season with a recharged roster filled with high-volume scoring guards (Brandon Jennings, Monta Ellis), young, shot-blocking big men (Ekpe Udoh, Larry Sanders and first round pick John Henson), valuable veteran role players (Samuel Dalembert, Drew Gooden, Mike Dunleavy, Jr., Beno Udrih, Joel Przybilla) and a versatile, highly skilled power forward (Ersan Ilyasova), but in reality, the Deer are in the worst situation an NBA team can be in. They’re not good enough to win a playoff series (and maybe not good enough to even make the playoffs), but not bad enough to bottom out and rebuild through the draft (like last year’s Finals contenders, the Oklahoma City Thunder, who hit bottom in 2007 before selecting three future Olympians with top five picks in the next three drafts). The middle class in the NBA is always irrelevant. And as Herb Kohl makes his push for a new arena, an irrelevant team is not exactly a selling point. Prediction: By 2020, there will no longer be an NBA team in Milwaukee.
With Election Day a mere four days away, the 2012 campaign season in Wisconsin is in its final stretch. And although democratic elections have the potential to bring about substantive debate from our two major political parties in a way that educates voters on the issues at hand and does so in a way that stimulates a worthwhile discussion amongst the American people, that simply isn’t happening.
PolitiFact Wisconsin has rated 51 statements since Aug. 11 (the day Rep. Paul Ryan was announced as Mitt Romney’s running mate). Only two of them received the full green-lit “True” rating. In contrast, nine statements were rated “Half True,” 14 as “Mostly False,” 14 as “False,” and two “Pants on Fire” (extra false?). Two additional statements were rated as a “Half Flip,” and another as a “Full Flop.”
Granted, PolitiFact is not without flaw. It is also within the interest of the site to check statements for falsehood, so it’s not entirely surprising to see the balance be what it is. Even so, the disparity is significant. The frequency of distorted truth and outright lies in statements and campaign ads is alarming. Is an honest debate really too much to ask?
This week, our hearts and minds are with those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Click here to make a donation to the American Red Cross to help support the relief effort.