9.28.2006

Doyle responsible for $250 million cut to UW budget

In today's Badger Herald, the vice-chair of the College Democrats accused Republicans of distorting Governor Doyle's record when it comes to UW System budgets. In the op-ed piece, Doyle is not responsible for the massive cuts to the University System or the resulting tuition hikes. No, all of that is the result of those mean and nasty Republicans in the state legislature.

Unfortunately, the truth is not as pleasant as the Democrats would like to believe it.

The truth of the matter is that in Doyle's 2003 budget he proposed a $250 million cut in the UW System budget. The cuts were part of his attempt to erase a $3.2 billion deficit and were eventually passed by the Republican controlled legislature. So yes, Republicans did pass the cuts, but the original cuts were proposed and signed by the Governor.

Doyle has also been responsible for appointing members of the Board of Regents for the past 4 years. Those appointees are the ones who have proposed our tuition increases that are in danger of pricing college out of reach for most Wisconsin families. As I have said before, the Regents would rather simply raise our tuition than save some money by cutting administrative costs.

In the same budget that Doyle cut $250 million, he raised financial aid only $23 million dollars. That doesn't sound like a comparable increase to me.

No one disputes that tuition has gone up 55% under Governor Doyle's administration. So why can't Democrats admit that he is responsible for the cuts that led to those increases as well?

As college students we should remember that this Governor promised us that he would not allow the Regents to pass budget cuts on to us in the form of tuition increases. Of course, that was when he was candidate Doyle and needed our help to be elected. Now, in another election year, he is banking on us to have forgotten his promises.

Governor Doyle is not a friend of students, he is not a friend of taxpayers, he is only a friend to those he needs to stay in office. Even then, the devotion only lasts until after the election, or after the check clears.

9.26.2006

Judge denies Green, but doesn't address the problem

A Dane County Judge has now ruled that Mark Green cannot keep the nearly $468,000 that the State Elections Board declared illegal. At first it seems as though this is case closed and we can all put this matter behind us.

Unfortunately, as in all politics, things are never as they seem.

The real problem with Judge Neiss' ruling is that it does not address the actions of the Elections Board at all. Instead, Judge Neiss buys into the Justice Department's argument that the Elections Board ruling doesn't matter. No, the incorporation of the federal McCain/Feingold act makes any transfer between Green's federal and state campaigns illegal.

The only real problem with that whole argument is that it ignores facts in the case. If the new federal guidelines were truly the governing law, then why didn't the Elections Board mention it in its rulings? Why then, when the Green campaign notified the Board that it would be transferring funds from the congressional to gubernatorial campaigns, did the Board not tell Green right away that a transfer is out of the question?

What about the fact that, initially, the Board expressed no problems with Green's conversion? What about the fact that the Board changed its rules after the conversion took place?

The ruling by Judge Neiss does not address the central question of the Elections Board's actions and if anything he only made this whole issue that much more controversial and divisive. It is apparent now that the only body that is going to be able to resolve this is the State Supreme Court.

Green notified the Elections Board that he would be transferring the money. The Board said nothing about it until after it passed a new rule after the transfer took place. The money in question was legally raised according to federal law before being transferred. Now we have e-mails from a Doyle campaign lawyer that urged the Board to rule against Green if for no other reason than a PR victory for Doyle.

It never ceases to amaze me to what lengths this Governor is willing to go to take attention off himself and his record of failure and deception.

9.24.2006

Clinton's interview obscures real debate

I watched Chris Wallace's interview with former President Clinton today, and I have to say that I was very surprised by the President's reaction.

First off, I don't blame President Clinton for 9/11. No one, and I mean no one, in the 1990s realized how much of a threat Bin Laden and Al Qaeda really were. There are a lot of people who should have connected the dots but didn't.

However, I was struck by how personally Clinton took the question about Bin Laden. He became extremely defensive and lashed out at Wallace as taking orders from right-wing leaders. Clinton complained about everything and everyone it seemed and was more concerned about another "right-wing conspiracy" that is out to damage his legacy.

I understand President Clinton's concern about his legacy. For an attack like 9/11 to occur so shortly after his presidency, there surely must have been planning and training taking place during his time in office. I suspect that Clinton feels some sort of guilt for not doing enough to prevent it. He even admitted that he "tried and failed" to catch or kill Bin Laden. Had he stopped there, I believe he would have come across extremely well, but instead he went the extra step to qualify his answers with "they failed, too."

It really is a shame that instead of being humble or contrite, President Clinton chose to lash out at his critics. Instead of staying above the partisan bickering, he chose to jump in the middle of it. Instead of putting this behind him, he will only make it worse for himself.

President Clinton's response also only obscures what the debate should be all about. The real debate should not be about who is to blame for the attacks on 9/11, but rather about how to deal with the threats now.

No one truly understood the threat we faced before 9/11, but now that we do let's deal with it and not point fingers.

9.21.2006

Baldwin's rhetoric doesn't match actions

This morning, Tammy Baldwin insisted on Wisconsin Public Radio that she "strenuously supports" active duty military personnel.

Really? It's news to me.

I myself am a veteran. I still serve in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Baldwin spoke at two send-off ceremonies for my unit and told the soldiers and their families that they could count on her for anything we could need during our deployments. She lied to all of us.

She told us we could count on her, yet she voted against an $87 billion supplemental spending bill (and other subsequent supplemental bills) that ultimately provided the funding that gave us the armor for our vehicles and improved the quality of our equipment. Why, if she supports us so much, would she vote against something that ultimately protects lives?

Baldwin continuously talks about withdrawing, or "redeploying" out of Iraq because she supports the troops. What about those of us who have served over there and don't want to leave until the job is done? Or what about those who died fighting, have they all died in vain?

What Baldwin's votes against supplemental spending for the War in Iraq amounts to is an attempt to force us out by cutting off our funding. If she is truly against the War, take it out on the President but do not take it out on the troops.

Supporting the troops does not mean asking them to quit before the job is done. Supporting the troops means giving them the tools and the funding that they need in order to accomplish their mission. I don't care what Baldwin thinks of the President or the reasons for going to Iraq in the first place. Those are questions for another time.

As a member of Congress she needs to realize that supporting the troops means more than rhetoric. It takes more than just saying you care about the soldiers and their families. If Baldwin truly supports the troops then she should do it with her actions not just empty rhetoric. She should not deny us funding that we need for our mission.

Personally, I am tired of liberals like Baldwin who hide behind the rhetoric of supporting our troops in order to call for the retreat and surrender of our forces in Iraq. It's dishonest and we should expect more from our Congresswoman.

9.16.2006

Not again...

5 churches attacked in Palestinian areas following Pope's comments on Islam
Sep 16 12:31 PM US/Eastern


Italian Nun Shot Dead by Gunmen

While I must totally agree that both the Muhammad cartoons and the Pope's remarks in contention should have never taken place, and could only cause and have caused hurt (arguably due to their inherent verbal intolerance)...

The violent reactions to them by certain elements of Islamic socieities are ridiculous, intolerant, and inexcusable. The fact that a significant component of the violence so far in response to the Pope's remarks has primarily been against Greek Orthodox and Anglican Churches in the Palestinian Territorities makes even less sense, seeing as the comments in dispute were made by a Roman Catholic. At the same time, how killing a Nun was necessary, the fact that she was working at the only hospital in the area being ignore, is beyond me.

Unfortuntely for the world reputation of Muslims (in my opinion the vast majority of which are tolerant of speech and peaceful), this YTMND has a point...

I typically don't buy into Lewis and Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" theory, infact I am more of a Marxist and Hero theorist when it comes to historical analysis (I am not a Marxist politically nor economically speaking, for as most of you know in American politics I would be considered center-right, however, in analysing history I often look at events through the lens of class struggles)... but these two trends of violence this past year can't really be described by anything else...


9.11.2006

Remembering 9/11

Sometimes it is hard to believe that it has already been five years.

I was a freshman in September of 2001. I had just finished an NROTC class at 8:35 in the morning when upperclassmen were telling us all to go to our dorms and turn on the news. My first glimpse of the World Trade Center, billowing smoke and debris, was in the cafeteria at Frank's Place by the lakeshore dorms. I couldn't finish eating, so I went straight back to my room to watch everything unfold.

There were a half dozen of us in my dorm room when the first tower fell. The only words any of us could manage were: "Oh, my God."

What sticks out most in my mind, besides the horror of seeing the nation under attack, are the images of ordinary people doing extraordinary things that day. As the towers fell and smoke and debris flowed down the streets of New York, heroes rushed in to save as many as they could. Many gave their lives to try and save the ones who were trapped inside.

I remember that it was a day that we put politics aside. The sight of Congress on the steps of the Capitol spontaneously singing "God Bless America" was one of the most moving things I have ever seen.

The story of Flight 93, and Todd Beamer's immortal words: "Let's roll."

Ordinary people became heroes when they refused to give up without a fight.

Let us never forget what happened that day. Let us always remember that our differences didn't seem so important afterward. What was important was that we would survive and that for a brief time, we were closer as a nation than ever before.

The love and kindness we showed one another five years ago was not a fluke. It was real and I pray that we find it again soon.

9.09.2006

Governor Doyle is the real culprit in budget cuts

I am beginning to feel like a broken record on this, but after the College Democrats' recent press release I simply cannot stay silent.

Gubenatorial candidate Mark Green unveiled his plan for the UW System last week. In it he calls for many things that he believes would help the UW continue to be one of the nation's top university systems. Although none of his press releases or public statements mention cuts in the UW System budget, the UW College Democrats claim that Green will cut the budget by "$100 million." I have gone over and over Green's proposals and I don't see any cuts, none.

On the contrary, Green proposes limiting tuition hikes to the rate of inflation. Now, under Governor Doyle tuition has increased by more than 50%, quite a bit more than the rate of inflation. If Green were interested in cutting the budget wouldn't he propose keeping tuition stagnant, or even cut? Also, the College Dems assert that a Green plan "would also mean deep cuts to financial aid and student scholarships." Oh, really? Green's plan actually calls for a state law that would require financial aid to increase at the same rate that tuition increases. This would ensure that those students who receive financial aid continue to be able to afford to attend our high-quality universities.

Mark Green also proposes to build on current regional research programs at UW campuses around the state. These programs are designed so that the College and the community work together to their mutual benefit. Again, Green talks of building onto current programs, not tearing them down.

In fact, the only time that Green mentions budget cuts is when he points out, quite correctly, that under Doyle state spending has increased 20% while the UW System has been cut $341 million. Yes, the Republicans control the Legislature but Doyle holds the most powerful veto pen in the nation. If Doyle really wanted to do something he could have vetoed the cuts without harming anything else. So who really is gutting the UW System?

Bottom line is this: The UW System is the only place to receive massive budget cuts under Jim Doyle. Why? Because Doyle believes that we are the one constituency group that will blindly follow him and keep him in office.

Think about it. We are the ones paying for the cuts.

9.07.2006

Conservatives on Campus: Stand up and be heard

This is going to be a great semester on Campus.

I can say that without reservation because the fight for the political fight for the future of the Campus and the University and the State has already begun. In the lecture halls of the Humanities building I found fliers telling me all about the importance of the gay marriage amendment and the WUD referendum and countless other things that I really didn't care about. I read signs and posters about the "socialist alternative" to current world problems and walked over chalkings that through some odd equation make Governor Doyle equal students' rights, a fair Wisconsin, and voting rights.

The problem with all of this is simple: where is the other side?

The Democrats and socialists and anarchists have all hit the ground running this semester with the propaganda war, but the Republicans and conservatives on Campus - myself included - are deafeningly silent. We need to speak up, and now.

Take for instance the chalkings and posters about what a great guy Governor Doyle is for students. Such a statement is absurd. Under Doyle's leadership our tuition has gone up 55% since he took office, something he promised as candidate Doyle would never happen. Doyle has consistently increased state spending while consistently cut the UW budget. How is he a friend of the students?

How does Doyle make this a fair Wisconsin? The tax burden is so great that businesses (places that would give us jobs as college graduates) are leaving the state. How is that fair to those of us who have spent 4 or 5 years studying in Wisconsin's universities to not have the jobs available to us in our own state? Would a fair Wisconsin continue to raise tuition enough so as to price it out of reach for working families, while at the same time cutting tuition for out-of-state students? I realize that "fair Wisconsin" is the catch-phrase for the anti-gay marriage amendment campaign, but shouldn't a truly fair Wisconsin be much more than that?

We are facing some very serious issues in this coming election. We have a Governor who thinks we are too stupid to remember the promises he made 4 years ago, a Congresswoman who takes our support on Campus for granted, and the serious issue of gay marriage in our state.

As conservatives on this Campus, we cannot sit on the sidelines simply because the other side is yelling loudly. We owe to our fellow students to stand up a be voice a reason and alternative. Not with silly slogans and empty rhetoric, but with what we know to be right.

We have let the liberals on this Campus have the spotlight for far too long.

9.04.2006

Movie to see: Talvisota - The Winter War

This is a very good Finnish flick on the Winter War which took place from November 30th, 1939 through March 13th, 1940 between Finland and the Soviet Union.

"This film tells the story of a Finnish platoon of reservists from the municipality of Kauhava in the province of Pohjanmaa/Osttrobottnia who leave their homes and go to war. The film focuses on the farmer brothers Martti and Paavo Hakala."

Check out a clip of it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6uU4-htcWg


BTW I apologize for not being around as of late. Real life duties always take priority and they have kept me from posting much for the last three weeks. If I am not able to work out a consistent posting regiment during the school year I will either have someone else take my spot on LIB or with Mike and Erick's agreement add more posters to the blog and retreat into the background, only to post twice a month or so.