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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.

The fact-checkers are biased, too

There will be stories coast to coast following Tuesday night’s debate claiming to be written by objective fact-checkers who will inform you who told the truth and who didn’t.

Not so fast. Read those accounts veerrrrrrrrrry carefully.

The Wall Street Journal says they’re laced with biased opinions.

Dear Mr.Criminal, please rob me

I don’t expect U.S. Senators to be reading the Community Now web sites, but maybe they should, especially if they ignored  warnings from their mothers and fathers.

Criminals are everywhere, even in the shadows of Our Lady on top of the Golden Dome, the University of Notre Dame.

Read more


Kevin's favorites

For several years, I helped my good friend Jim Kaluzny spin music at weddings. We called ourselves, “The Cudahy Connection,” after Jim’s hometown.

We saw quite a bit on the dance floor, but nothing as cool as this!

Barack Obama's spin on abortion a "brazen scam"

Barack Obama, though he tries, can’t hide from his abominable history on abortion. His distortions seem to have worked on some individuals, including Catholics who, despite Obama’s complete and utter contempt for the unborn, are supporting the Chicago scam artist.

I wrote about this issue earlier this week, finding it unconscionable that a Catholic in good faith could vote for Obama.

Today, the National Right to Life Committee in Washington D.C. issued the following release that spells out the truth about Obama’s reprehensible record.

Barack Obama's sweeping agenda for pro-abortion policy changes examined by NRLC's Douglas Johnson in National Review Online
WASHINGTON (October 7, 2008) -- The Obama campaign and its allies have adopted an extensive "messaging strategy" that seeks to persuade religiously committed Americans that Obama has a middle-of-the-road position on abortion policy and will promote "abortion reduction."
Douglas Johnson, longtime legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) and author of an article published today on National Review Online, titled "Unholy Messaging," calls the Obama effort "a brazen scam."
"The scam depends on the Obama campaign, with cooperation from the mainstream news media, deflecting attention away from Obama's actual record, and from his extensive commitments to pro-abortion interest groups," Johnson said.  "Barack Obama is firmly committed to an agenda of sweeping pro-abortion policy changes that, if implemented, will surely greatly increase the number of abortions performed."
Johnson noted that a few short months ago, during his primary contest, Obama and his advocates were boasting about his record of leadership in opposition to legislation to ban partial-birth abortions, to protect infants born alive during abortions, and to require parental notification for minors seeking abortions, among other pro-life bills.  "Those boasts were well-founded, and the current effort to re-package Obama as a moderate is a brazen scam," Johnson said.
The Obama "messaging" campaign includes a recently launched "Faith, Family & Values Tour" that will visit Colorado, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, New Mexico, Virginia, and Wisconsin.  In addition, various independent groups are disseminating advertising and literature that advances the same strategy.
Among the specific Obama positions documented in Johnson's article (which contains extensive hyperlinks to documentation):
-- Obama is a cosponsor of the so-called "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA, S. 1173), which Johnson calls "the most sweeping piece of pro-abortion legislation ever proposed in Congress."  The FOCA is a bill that would make partial-birth abortion legal again, strike down restrictions on taxpayer funding of abortion, and nullify virtually every state and federal law or policy that would in any way "interfere with" access to abortion, including parental notification laws.  In a letter sent to every member of Congress by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) on September 19, Cardinal Justin Rigali wrote, "No one who sponsors or supports legislation like FOCA can credibly claim to be part of a good-faith discussion on how to reduce abortions.”  In a speech to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on July 17, 2007, Obama said, "The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.  That's the first thing that I'd do."
-- Obama advocates the nullification of state laws requiring parental notification or consent for a minor daughter's abortion, which would be one of the effects of the FOCA.  Moreover, since entering the U.S. Senate, Obama has had two opportunities to vote directly on the question of parental notification for interstate abortions on minors, and he voted "no" on both occasions.   

 -- Obama advocates repeal of the Hyde Amendment, the law that since 1976 has blocked almost all federal funding of abortion, even though both pro-life and pro-abortion analysts agree that this law has prevented many abortions.  By even the most conservative estimate, there are more than one million Americans alive today because of the Hyde Amendment.   "Because the Hyde Amendment must be renewed annually, a new president hostile to the Hyde Amendment could quickly place it in jeopardy," Johnson observed.  The FOCA would also nullify all state laws restricting state funding of elective abortion.
-- In a written response to a pro-abortion advocacy group, the Obama campaign said that Obama is opposed to continuing current federal funding for "crisis pregnancy centers," which provide needed assistance to many thousands of pregnant women.
-- NRLC has thoroughly documented that in the Illinois state Senate, Obama led the opposition to legislation to protect babies who are born alive during abortions, and persisted in his opposition even after Congress had enacted a virtually identical federal bill without a single dissenting vote.  Obama has in numerous ways actively misrepresented the content of this legislation, and his actions on it, but even when such misrepresentations were proved by NRLC and others, the major media simply let Obama abandon them and fall back to a different set of equally misleading claims.
In his article, Johnson criticizes recent coverage in the "mainstream news media," which, he writes, "have, with few exceptions, been very compliant with Obama's recent efforts to downplay his hard-line pro-abortion history and policy commitments, for the purpose of winning the general election."  Typically, journalists simply describe Obama's position as "supports abortion rights," without giving details regarding his advocacy of federal funding of abortion, invalidation of parental notification laws, and the rest. 

Mr. Johnson's article has been cross-posted on the NRLC website under the title "Efforts to Sell Obama to Pro-Life Americans Collide With His Support for Sweeping Pro-abortion Policy Changes."

Undecided voters-Part 2


Yesterday, I blogged about undecided voters, a topic I raised on WISN a few weeks ago while filling in for Mark Belling. My blog touched on many of the same points I discussed on my program. One of my listeners that day was Tom Mott. I thank him for offering a thoughtful response. Here's Part Two:

First off, I know I am an outlier in this whole "undecided" class. Almost all people who pay as much attention as I do to social and political matters definitely cast a vote for one of the 2 parties' candidates in all significant elections.  My friends pronounce me goofy when I tell them I have some kind of "minimum threshold" for casting a vote.  Like: a candidate I vote for needs to be about a 4.5 on a 7 point scale in terms of how enthusiastic I am about the prospect of them getting the nod.  If the two candidates don't reach that level, I just take a pass, usually by casting my ballot for some non-candidate that I admire (not Pat Paulsen, either).  Everyone I know says "don't waste your vote, pick the lesser of two evils", and maybe I should; who am I to impose some arbitrary minimum standard? It's a quirk, I guess, and I doubt I'll change.

So starting with the alleged 18% undecided, I suppose something like 1/1000th of 1% would be in my little subset. That leaves 17 and 999/1000th percent to "explain".  Or more!

Here is where I think we'd find others of the 18%.

Group A. Let's call them the "mix and matchers".  I suppose you and many others are rather staunch in your party affiliation. I think there are some who really don't think like either of the two major parties up and down the line.  That is, on the overall philosophy level they may be toward the "right" on foreign policy, and toward the "left" on some domestic issues -- or vice versa.  Or they may hold views on important issues to them that cross the traditional party boundaries.  They may think we should tell the UN to pound sand, but at the same time they might be very into eliminating poverty here at home. They may be staunchly "pro-choice" and yet feel that we need to cut back on entitlement legislation and the associated costs. They may think that corporate power is too great, and yearn for more effective regulation and less laissez faire capitalism, and yet they may be very "tough" on illegal immigration. (Actually, I have a dear friend who talks exactly like that, and those are among the most burning issues for him.)

Group A people vacillate back and forth between two candidates because neither of them fits that person's view of the world particularly well.

Group B.  I'd call them the "In Transitioners". Some people make personal transitions in their way of thinking about the world as they go through life. They may be moderately liberal for any number of years, and then they start to gravitate toward more conservative views.  This doesn't always happen in a "Eureka" kind of way. Sometimes it is a gradual transition and a tentative one, kind of like "feeling one's way through" and not necessarily even knowing exactly what (what new circumstances, what outside influences, what psychological shifts) is causing them to "waver". William Bridges, with whom I collaborated as an "alliance partner" to the consulting firm I worked at, writes brilliantly (I think) about this subject of personal transitions, and what goes emotionally on during them. Confusion is the prevailing attitude when one is going through transition, whether it is because of a change that is imposed, or whether it is more internally driven.

Group B people may be in the midst of such a transition (Bridges calls that the "neutral zone") at the time of a major election, and feel pulled back toward their past affiliations (more familiar, more secure, more comfortable, more like what their friends or family think) but at the same time also feel they SHOULD make a break and go in a different direction.

Group C.  Maybe these would be the "Process Objectors".   I'm not sure I can explain this one very well.  And yet, I may fall into it, partially.  Some people are just "put off" by not having more choices. In life it is unusual, I think, to have just two options on important things.  We are used to having numerous alternatives to react to and weigh.  Examples: buying a house, choosing a college, buying a car, declaring one's preferred style of dress and grooming, picking a breed of dog, and on and on. Primary elections offer this same kind of range of choices, generally.   And then, for lots of us, the voters in states like Iowa and New Hampshire and wherever else basically narrow it down to a choice between two --- not a choice among several.  I NEVER have a problem picking a candidate in a primary election, and sometimes I even get enthused over one or more of them. And then .... they're gone, almost all of them.

Group C people have an issue with the process, more than anything.  They kind of resent the choices they are handed, over which they've had no real input, and are inclined to either say "screw it, then", or they might say, "I don't know ... I'll decide later between these two choices, neither of which are very attractive to me, so go away and don't bother me."   When they get in their car on the way to the poll they just finally think seriously about it, still perturbed, and punch one name or the other without much conviction.

Group D. Which I will label the "Closed Mouth Crowd". These folks don't like being put on the spot. They may have already made up their mind, but they don't want to be asked about why they have decided as they have.  Maybe they are insecure or just very "private". So the way to avoid justifying their choice to a questioner, and avoid dealing with whatever follow-up questions they assume will follow --- is to say "I've not decided". 

Group D people, in other words, are not REALLY undecided. They just don't want to open up about it and/or about their rationale.

Group E.  This is the "Non Thinker" Group.  In this group are people who may not even get around to voting.  And if they do, on the day of the election they will ask someone, "Who do you think I should vote for --- I haven't been paying much attention". And someone will tell them, "well, I'm voting for Harvey Smith", and so they do too.

Group E is the crowd that you have labeled as stupid, and they might very well be. But I think lots of them are just tuned into other things and don't give a rip about politics --- not enough to spend any time educating themselves anyway.

Group F is "The Waiters".  In addition, I think there are some people who simply believe that it is unnecessary to make a "final decision" before it is required, which is actually on Election Day. They may feel that as soon as they "declare" they will essentially be closing their minds to new information that may surface before the election.  On a practical level, they may already have pretty much made up their mind, but they don't want to "lock in" just yet.  

---Tom Mott

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