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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

To many, a hero, even if they don't know his name


Take a good look at the following picture.

Do you know who this is?

Neal Hefti

We'll come back to this gentleman in a bit.

First, let's turn back the clock to the evening of January 12, 1966.

It was a night millions of Americans waited for with great anticipation. Mom and Dad opened up the Fischer living room to what seemed to be the entire neighborhood. My brother Greg’s friends were all there: Freddie, Rafael, Goody (Another guy named Greg’s nickname), Ronnie, and a whole bunch more I’m forgetting. (Hey, that was 42 years ago).

A big part of our young lives was about to virtually come to life before our very eyes. Man, this was going to be cool. So cool. Right there, for the very first time, on prime time television.

What would it be like?

What would he be like?

My parents, but mostly a great big group of kids were mesmerized for every moment, right up to the very end when we knew trouble, big trouble was lurking.

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The polls all say Obama has the lead, so he's going to win, right?

Well, like that classic old Duke Ellington tune goes, ain’t necessarily so.

Columnist Ann Coulter did a flagrant act of journalism by reviewing poll numbers in Presidential races dating back to 1976. Here are some of her findings:

“In 1976, Jimmy Carter narrowly beat Gerald Ford 50.1 percent to 48 percent. And yet, on Sept. 1, Carter led Ford by 15 points.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan beat Carter by nearly 10 points, 51 percent to 41 percent. In a Gallup Poll released days before the election on Oct. 27, it was Carter who led Reagan 45 percent to 42 percent.

In 1984, Reagan walloped Walter Mondale 58.8 percent to 40 percent, -- the largest electoral landslide in U.S. history. But on Oct. 15, The New York Daily News published a poll showing Mondale with only a 4-point deficit to Reagan, 45 percent to 41 percent.

In 1992, Bill Clinton beat the first President Bush 43 percent to 37.7 percent. (Ross Perot got 18.9 percent of Bush's voters that year.) On Oct. 18, a Newsweek Poll had Clinton winning 46 percent to 31 percent, and a CBS News Poll showed Clinton winning 47 percent to 35 percent.

In 1996, Bill Clinton beat Bob Dole 49 percent to 40 percent. And yet on Oct. 22, 1996, The New York Times/CBS News Poll showed Clinton leading by a massive 22 points, 55 percent to 33 percent.

In 2000, which I seem to recall as being fairly close, the October polls accurately described the election as a virtual tie, with either Bush or Al Gore 1 or 2 points ahead in various polls. But in one of the latest polls to give either candidate a clear advantage, The New York Times/CBS News Poll on Oct. 3, 2000, showed Gore winning by 45 percent to 39 percent.”

Democrats and their wholly-owned subsidiary, the mainstream media, are ready to pop the champagne corks. Oh, the Messiah could very well be victorious. But I haven’t heard any fat lady sing yet.


Boy was I wrong...and I'm glad

On April 19, 2007, the Philadelphia Phillies were off to a miserable start in the 2007 season with a record of 3-10. I blogged that Phillies’ manager Charlie Manuel would be the first skipper fired before the end of the season. Manuel stuck around and Philly went to the playoffs.

That was last year. With Manuel at the helm again in 2008, the Phillies are returning to the World Series.

Prior to Game Two against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the just-completed NLCS, Manuel lost his mother. He stayed with his team, and now that the Dodgers have been dealt with, Manuel has headed home to pay his last respects. Through all the suffering, Manuel has handled it well.

As trite as it sounds, Manuel is a decent man, often made fun of by the harsh sports media because of his West Virginia accent. And the Phillies are likeable, a team that doesn’t have any jerks a la Manny Ramirez.

C’mon, Charlie. Four more wins. Do it for your mom.

Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics my co-panelists and I discuss on InterCHANGE Friday night at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00:

1 – Presidential Debate /  Presidential Race.

Who won the final debate?  The cool and calm Obama? Or the slightly more aggressive McCain?  At rally after rally this past two weeks, folks urged McCain to be much more aggressive.  Why didn’t he do that?  Is it just not in his character?  Is he simply fulfilling his pledge to run a clean campaign, at least when he is face to face with Obama?  Do you see anything happening in the next few weeks that would turn the polls to McCain?  Does TV hurt John McCain?  Does it make him look like a tired old man compared to Barack Obama?  Does he look old and tired because he is, or because of the devastating effects of the torture he endured as a prisoner of war.  Is the election about anything other than the economy right now?

2 – Charlene Hardin.

The Journal Sentinel will not let up on Charlene Hardin, the ethically challenged Milwaukee school board member who apparently likes the free travel she is allowed to take courtesy of MPS.  Why doesn’t the board condemn her?  Why did school officials simply ok all her expenses?  Is that simply the culture in an organization like that?  As an elected official, is she pretty much free to do whatever she wants until voters boot her out?  Isn’t this the time when MPS needs much stronger leaders?

3 – Brewers Manager.

Should Dale Sveum get the Milwaukee Brewers manager job?  Was the final 12 games of the regular season enough to prove that he has what it takes?  Should they go after someone with big league experience?  Would Sveum be a fan favorite, and help sell another three million tickets next season?

Ratchet coming home

It appears an Iraqi dog adopted by a U.S. soldier once scheduled for execution is now headed for America.

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