Racism is still a huge problem in Milwaukee. But you're right that most of the state is doing better than average on that score.
And Russ Feingold rocks my socks. The first time I ever canvassed was for him--he's the one who got me excited about Democratic politics.
Wisconsin is a weird state politically, which most outsiders just don't understand. For example, in 2004 a large number of people voted for Bush on the presidential ticket and Feingold for Senate without seeing any contradiction there. Never forget that this state produced McCarthy as well as LaFollette...and that bipolar tradition continues today.
My area goes overwhelmingly both for Feingold whenever he's up for reelection, and for Sensenbrenner whenever he is. And few Wisconsinites find that at all odd. It has nothing to do with a supposedly weak Democratic party here, and everything to do with the fact that Wisconsinites don't have strong loyalties to political party--EITHER party.
After all, we elected Republican challenger Gabelman over Democratic incumbent Butler for the Wisconsin Supreme Court this year...in spite of Gabelman running the dirtiest statewide campaign I've ever seen, accusing Butler of supporting child molestation and rape because he was a public defender before he became a judge (with some nice racist undertones to boot, as Butler, like all of the rapists and molestors featured in Gabelman's ads, is black). And before that, we elected the corrupt Republican judge Ziegler to the same court.
I love my home state, but when it comes to picking judges who have any notion of justice, we really suck.
While we're at it, let's completely overlook the many liberal and tolerant religions out there, such as Buddhists, Wiccans, Reform/Conservative Judaism, liberal Muslims, Episcopalians and other mainstream Christian movements, Unitarians...as well as individual churches/synagogues/mosques/temples within generally intolerant religious affiliations which support the causes of equality and coexistence anyway. Let's also completely overlook the fact that people who abuse sacred text to oppress others and demand conformity are of personality types which would continue to demand conformity even if they were atheists (Exhibit A: you), they would simply concoct other justifications (such as the pseudo-scientific notion that homosexuality is "unnatural" or "a mental disorder," or the false connection between gays and prison rapists/pedophiles smearing innocent gays as evil people...you know, the completely non-Biblical arguments that you hear all the fucking time from homophobes). And of course, let's also ignore the fact that the tendency to hate and fear "the other" is innate in all people (atheists included) to some extent, because possessing a moderate amount of it is necessary for human survival.
So yeah, let's destroy religion in order to bring about utopia...never mind if that utopia has any relation to the reality of human nature and thus possibility of actually existing. What a genius idea!
It's about time Israel had a leader who was willing to stand up to the religious hardliners. Shas is a total disgrace. (Of course, Shas probably wouldn't have supported her even if she had conceded to their ridiculous demands, given that she's female.)
So now they go to elections. Please, God, don't let Netanyahu eke out a win...
I sympathize with you on the "long engagement" thing...I got enagaged in March, and won't be married until next August because he doesn't graduate college until June. (Seriously, how rude of him!) So I'm currently managing a long (and long-distance) enagagement myself. Argh!
But major congo rats to you! Your absence is excused...this time. :-)
If anyone can, she can, from what I've seen/heard. And power to her!
For those of you who don't know who Tzipi Livni is, she is a pro-peace politician whose father was one of the foremost hawkish leaders in Israel in his day, and who is coming to power as a woman in a country in many ways dominated by (increasingly) sexist fundamentalist. She is more than just a great leader--she is symbolic, in more ways than one.
You're a Republican--the party of sunshine patriotism. Biden is right: real patriots make sacrifices for their country, monetarily and otherwise. False patriots like the Republicans, on the other hand, praise others' sacrifices while offering nothing themselves.
I am not saying it will automatically gain traction--au contraire, actually. I am saying that if the Democrats started saying what I outlined, repeatedly, it would gain traction. That's how the media works, kiddo...if a candidate says something loudly and frequently, the media assumes it's news and reports accordingly. But, like I said, to ac
You aren't thinking unrealistically, just naively. And it's that naive thinking that has doomed Democrats in the past. You think, because rationally speaking this is a non-issue, that it has no potential impact. But as we know, and as the media knows, rationality has nothing to do with it. The attack I outlined is simple and goes straight to the gut reaction rather than dealing with anything cerebral or nuanced--and that's exactly why, if and only if the Dems used this line of attack, it would be successful.
So yeah, you are the one thinking unrealistically about politics, but I don't blame you for being an idealist. We all were once.
The point is not the gaffe itself. The point is using the gaffe to get Democrats on the news talking about how bad John McCain is on veterans issues. And this is the kind of "gotcha" gaffe that the media just adores.
And, quite frankly, it doesn't matter whether McCain personally chose the image (in fact, I'm positive he didn't), because in all likelihood, given how these conventions work, he was shown the backdrop slideshow earlier for his approval. The only difference is, this way Democrats get to also say, "Of course, we know McCain didn't pick out the image itself--he doesn't know how to use the internet. But the mistake is still rather telling, given that the Republican party did x, y, and z which hurt veterans...and John McCain voted with them every single time."