Have a happy Thanksgiving. This has been a most interesting year for your BlaskaBlogger. Suffice it to say he does not take for granted the life the good Lord has given him.
He gives thanks for the love of lovely Lisa and Number #1 son. He is thankful to be safe, warm and well fed, and free. And irascible. Let's not forget irascible.
Is that all there is?
Marc Eisen writes in the current WI Interest magazine about the profound disappointment with the Doyle administration, now drawing to its unceremonious and little lamented close. A little over 13 months left and counting. Democrats endured 16 years of Republicans in the governor's mansion for this?
Liberals and loyal Democrats in state service? In some ways their disapproval is even more telling because they saw the Doyle administration up close on a daily basis. And didn't like it.
Their judgment represents a particularly deflating outcome for Wisconsin Democrats: They waited 16 long years to regain control of the executive branch, only to elect a governor who couldn't articulate a coherent liberal vision for running state government in the 21st century. [WI Interest: The Doyle Disappointment]
"What depressed me the most," (former Corrections official Cheri) Maples said, "is that many of the liberals and progressives in the department said they were better treated by the Thompson administration."
Back in April, I called Doyle the Furious Nibbler.
In lieu of a legacy, the Doyle-ster seems determined to chip away at Tommy G. Thompson's achievements like a timid lapidary instead of carving his own, Gutzon Borglum-scale monument. There is a New Testament, biblical parable about wasting talents somewhere in here.
What was first thing Jim Doyle administration did when it took office in 2003? Swore all of its appointees to an oath of secrecy. It went downhill from there.
Doyle can make a legacy by doing one thing: getting mayoral control over the Milwaukee public schools. But he has no political capital, has no idea of how to woo legislators, is an empty suit in the bully pulpit, and could not inspire a puppy dog to wag its tail if he was smeared with Alpo.
Now is the time
Paul Soglin asks folks to contribute to his WMC Watch. You can contribute to Blaska Blog's WEAC Watch.
No organization has done more harm to Wisconsin than the teachers union.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel quotes an academician:
Mayoral control, he said, eliminates the "nobody's in charge culture" that leads to many school systems just keeping on doing things the way they've been done, even though they aren't succeeding overall. With a clear point of power, there is clear accountability and motivation to make needed changes, he said.
"Mayoral control has a statistically significant positive effect on student achievement in reading and math at both elementary and high school grades," said Kenneth K. Wong of Brown University, lead author of the 2007 book "The Education Mayor: Improving America's Schools." [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Now is the time to overhaul MPS, researcher says]
Democratic coat holders serve their masters at WEAC. Their plan "governance of the schools even more convoluted than it already is," says Milwaukee Magazine editor Bruce Murphy (no one's idea of a conservative, btw).
Last week, an alternative plan for governance of Milwaukee Public Schools was proposed by Rep. Tamara Grigsby and state Sen. Spencer Coggs, both Democrats from Milwaukee. This is a plan that never would have been proposed or entertained seriously on its own merits. It was conceived with political rather than policy goals: to head off the proposal for a mayoral takeover. It seems like a scheme by the teachers union, which of course has endorsed it. [Bruce Murphy: New MPS Plan Bows to Teachers Union]
Here is Michelle Rhee, chancellor of the Washington D.C. schools, in Monday's Wall Street Journal:
We spend more money per child in this city than almost any other urban jurisdiction in the country and our results are at the absolute bottom. … It comes down to two basic things about why we spend so much money and the results aren't as good: First is a complete and utter lack of accountability in this system. The second is a lack of political courage on the part of most of the people who are running cities and school districts.
The Liberal Faith
Of course, M. Patricia West wants to "Keep religion out of healthcare reform" when it suits her. This practitioner of the Liberal faith accuses her ideological adversaries of the worst sin in the Liberal canon - offending her precious sensibilities.
I was deeply offended when Roman Catholic bishops lobbied Congress on health care reform in order to deny millions of women access to abortion.
Says it "subverts the principle of abortion neutrality." Some of us were deeply offended that this nation may mandate public funds for the promulgation of abortion. Might not that "subvert the principle of abortion neutrality?"
Ms. West recycles JFK's abject promise to the Houston ministers that, if elected, he would be a bad Catholic and somehow on Monday shuck the core values he espoused on Sunday.
Did I mention that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees freedom OF religion (contra the Gaylors) and the freedom to publicly express that religion?
The steady drip, drip
Cal Thomas: Not all revolutions begin in the streets with tanks and guns. Some advance slowly, almost imperceptibly, until a nation is transformed and the public realizes too late that their freedoms are gone. … Why would anyone trust government? … But this is about none of that. This is about liberal Democrats realizing their decades-old dream of complete control of our lives. [Cal Thomas: U.S.S.A.]
They're all community organizers
Nick Schulz of The American Enterprise Institute reproduces the following chart. It examines the prior private sector experience of the cabinet officials since 1900 that one might expect a president to turn to in seeking advice about helping the economy. It includes Secretaries of State; Commerce; Treasury; Agriculture; Interior; Labor; Transportation; Energy; and Housing & Urban Development and excludes Postmaster General; Navy; War; Health, Education & Welfare; Veterans Affairs; and Homeland Security - 432 cabinet members in all.
When one considers that public sector employment has ranged since the 1950s at between 15% and 19% of the population, the makeup of the current cabinet - over 90% of its prior experience was in the public sector - is remarkable. (Thanks, Duane.)
The hidden tax
Bill G. Smith of the National Federation of Independent Businesses/Wisconsin
Small-business owners are scratching their heads trying to make sense of the recent healthcare vote in Washington. While American jobs are disappearing and many employers are struggling to make payroll, many on Capitol Hill want to force employers to provide expensive health insurance.
With unemployment now hitting double digits, our elected officials should know better than to impose a job-killing mandate on small employers. It's a bad idea in good times. It's a really bad idea during a recession, and has no place in healthcare reform. WisBusiness.com: Insurance mandate would be job killer for small businesses]
Good intentions over results
William McGurn in the Wall Street Journal:
Whether it's Social Security or public education, when have Democrats ever cared whether government programs are meeting their goals? The important thing is that massive health-care spending shows they care. [WSJ: The Other Senate Maverick]
The Global Climate Change scam:
Listen to a real meteorologist: Governor Doyle's Global Warming Task Force thinks the state should control how you drive, determine what you put in your gas tank, and how much you pay for electricity. Unfortunately, the Task Force recommendations go way beyond these measures. The Governor also wants to control your home and community. State Rep. Jim Ott, formerly of WTMJ TV-4 Milwaukee.
Brother Wigderson over at the Library and Pub gets off a good one:
The Government Accountability Board will be closed on Friday, November 27th, because of a mandated furlough day. I understand Mike McCabe will be wearing a black armband in protest of all the unchecked free speech that day.