Remember when the San Francisco Democrats of Harvey Milk and Walter Mondale declared the U.S. a "nuclear free zone." I guess it must have worked? We were not nuked. But George W. Bush gets less credit for protecting America after 9/11/2001. Why haven't we been attacked since 9/11/2001? Maybe the Terrorists are just stupid? Slate examines.
Remember The New President's pledge to get the U.S, the hell out of Iraq? So, he's keeping up to 50,000 troops there into the foreseeable future, even while acknowledging that our forces in Iraq had "succeeded beyond any expectation," and that Iraqis themselves have made significant political progress, and that "there is renewed cause for hope in Iraq."
That's a far cry from his message of last July, when he told reporters, after visiting Iraq, that "So far, I think we have not seen the kind of political reconciliation that's going to bring about long-term stability in Iraq." [Wall Street Journal: Obama's Bush Vindication]
Bashing the messenger
John Nichols gives legs to Mark Pocan's latest attack against Todd Berry and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The tendentious and divisive Mark Pocan I remember from Dane County Board days has resurfaced after a brief appearance in Marc Eisen's article for Milwaukee Magazine as the most reasonable man in Madison. But the old Pocan has re-emerged from his den. Why, any group that tracks taxes must be ... must be ... Republican. (Sounds of unearthly shrieks, screams and werewolf howls.) Hey, Mark, works for me. Anyone who tracks taxes and posits as his special concern the payer of same has got to be a Republican. Here's Nichols on Pocan:
Drawing attention to the partisan and ideological character of the WTA's statements with regard to tax policy, to its close connections to corporate lobbies and to what he describes as the "overly simplistic, misleading (at least according to our briefing from the Fiscal Bureau) and slanted" WTA budget analysis, Pocan argues that Wisconsin media that reports on the WTA should "call them what they are: A biased special interest with strong ties to both a large business lobby and the Republican Party."
Then how would one characterize John Nichols and The Capital Times? How about "Joined at the hip with Progressive Dane and Brenda Konkel?" "Handmaiden to Mark Pocan and Isthmus Democrats?" "Apologist for the Socialist Party U.S.A.?" "to the Left of Hugo Chavez?"
Those were the days, my friends
Former state deputy treasurer John Rader supplied me with a 1949 edition of The Capital Times, which outsold its rival State Journal in those days. I know Washington Island, where John now lives in retirement, is remote. But I didn't know newspaper delivery there was that slow.
The April 22 edition bears a byline from one William Proxmire, who reports that the Wisconsin Citizens Public Expenditure Survey ... "is dominated by representatives of some of the state's largest industrial firms." Boo!
John cut his eyeteeth at the Wisconsin Public Expenditure Survey in the 1960s.
Prox later did another expose. After being turned down for a raise, he uncovered data showing that editor and publisher Bill Evjue was loaded to the gills. Prox was fired. He went on to other work - defeating one-term incumbent State Rep. John M. Blaska of rural Sun Prairie. He befriended another freshman Democrat(ic) legislator from Madison, one Ruth Bachhuber Doyle. The progressive newspaper replaced Prox with a fellow by the name of John Patrick Hunter. I worked with JPH on same, back in the day. Small world.
BTW: the banner headline of that 60-year-old newspaper: "Truman Sends Vast Medical Insurance Program to Congress; Calls Present Setup Inadequate"
A state budget article quotes State Reps. Vernon Thomson and Patrick Lucey. Both were later elected governors.
A bill was introduced into the State Senate "requiring Madison to stop dumping sewage effluent into the local lakes."
At the bottom of the front page, The Capital Times touted its annual boys' marble tournament. "Jacks, Mibs Contests Open Next Week."
Humphrey Bogart's "Knock on Any Door" was showing at the Badger Outdoor "on Highway 51, across from Truax Field." Adults: 60 cents.
Now these are the days
Things you never thought you'd read in The Capital Times. My friend Mike Ivey writes:
After watching friends and colleagues lose their jobs, their retirement savings and increasingly their hope, I've got only one thing to say to any state worker worried about paying more for their health insurance: Cry me a river. [The CT: Make public workers share the pain of pay cuts and furloughs]
Gutsy and, for once, a nod toward the private sector from the Progressive Dane newspaper. Of course, Mike has lots of former colleagues who were "downsized."
How Liberals think #2
Blaska's Blog Experimental Research Center and Work Farm offers these recently pickled specimens on "How Liberals 'Think'":
1) Hugo Chavez's big priority? Making certain he an be elected caudillo for life. But, hey, now that the important stuff is out of the way. From The Nation:
To be sure, the Chávez administration may be fairly criticized on a range of fronts - from widespread corruption to undiplomatic rhetoric, from high crime rates to food shortages. ... Now that Chávez can stop worrying about whether he will be able to run for re-election again, he can hopefully focus on making sure his people want to re-elect him. [The Nation: Chavez for Life?]
"Hopefully," is about as strong as it gets.
2) There was a man in England, whose name was Edward Upward.
Sounds like the opening stanza of a dirty limerick. On second thought, it is. Mr. Upward is, or was, a superannuated Brit writer whom the N.Y. Times deifies as "legendary." A man who "influenced" the much better known W.H. Auden. Who "judged" Christopher Isherwood's poetry. Who converted Stephen Spender to ... Communism! Why, the man is a 20th Century John the Baptist, albeit of a decided materialist bent. The backward Mr. Upward:
... joined the Communist Party in 1932, after a short visit to the Soviet Union. [Comment: no need for exhaustive study. Useful idiocy will suffice quite nicely.] In an essay in "The God That Failed" (1949), Spender recounts a conversation with [Upward], who had just returned from Russia ... in which [Upward] assures Spender that Stalin's purges do not matter when compared with socialism's glories.
That is followed by this sad denouement and the Communist's natural progression into the Chavez wing of the Democrat(ic) party:
Mr. Upward and his wife, the former Hilda Percival, left the British Communist Party in 1948 because they felt it had become soft. He fell into a depression after leaving the party, then threw himself into campaigns to ban nuclear weapons.
Just imagine if Mr. Upward and left the Nazi Party because he felt it had become "soft." [The N.Y. Times: Edward Upward, Influential Author, Dies at 105]
3) "So I killed someone," Keith Phoenix, 28, told New York police detectives who found him hiding in the bathroom of a Yonkers apartment. "That makes me a bad guy?" - New York Times, 02-28-2009.
How conservatives think
1) Big Education and its political dependent, the Democrat(ic) party, view the public school system as the ultimate objective. It is easily unionized, funded by government, which is in turn controlled by the very union it putatively governs. A nice closed little circle. That is why vouchers, charter schools, virtual schools and home schooling scare the be jeepers out of Big Education. That's why they support the institution: public schools. Because the schools provide fertile soils for the union, which supports the Democrats, who fund the schools, rinse and repeat.
Conservatives, by contrast, support the goal: educating kids. It is why congressional Democrats are defunding Washington D.C.'s voucher program, which provides up to $7,500 annually for about 1,700 poor children in the District of Columbia - 90 percent of whom are African-American, another 9 percent Hispanic.
Here is Washington D.C. school system's reforming chancellor, Michelle Rhee, as reported by the New York Times:
"Part of my job is to make sure that all kids get a great education and it doesn't matter whether that's in charter, parochial, or public schools. I don't think vouchers are going to solve all the ills of public education, but parents who are zoned to schools that are failing kids should have options to do better by their kids."
Not if WEAC and the National Education Association, or its vassal political party, have anything to say about it. Which, of course, they do.
2) Growing up in the 1950s, we ate what tasted good. Lots of T-bone steaks. Our vegetable was mashed potatoes. Gravy was considered a beverage. The word "sex" was not spoken and moral judgments concerning same abounded. Today, the opposite. Food is a moral issue. It must be "green" (and not in the sense of chlorophyll but as in "sustainable"), organic, heart-healthy, fair traded, and local. Sex, well, as George Will writes:
Today "the all-you-can-eat buffet" is stigmatized and the "sexual smorgasbord" is not. Eberstadt's surmise about a society "puritanical about food, and licentious about sex" is this: "The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone -- and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat." [Prudes at Dinner, Gluttons in Bed]
Sell stupid someplace else
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker tells Wall Street Journal readers why he is not interested in porculus money:
Eventually, the $787 billion "stimulus" - a "loan of taxpayer money -- essentially the largest mortgage in history -- will come due. When it does, our children and grandchildren will pay for this imprudence."
The stimulus is also a bait-and-switch on employment. While the stimulus package might create a few construction jobs, the federal money will run out and those workers will lose their jobs. ... True economic stimulus creates sustainable private-sector jobs. The fastest, most effective way to create them is to reduce taxes and implement regulatory and fiscal policies that encourage job growth and economic investment. History has shown repeatedly from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan that as taxes are cut, consumers spend more and investors put more money in the economy. [Scott Walker in the Wall Street Journal: Why I'm Not Lining up for Stimulus Handouts]
The steady drip from the big meltdown
My parents grew up in the Great Depression. Looks like their children are going to retire in the next Great Depression. "Once I made the railroad run on time ..."
- The New President's first budget: $3.55 trillion.
- $989 billion in new taxes starting in 2011, most of it on individuals
- The federal deficit: $1.75 trillion - four times the highest in history.
- A third bailout for Citibank. A third bailout? Three bailouts for the same bank chain!!!
- The largest quarterly drop in economic output (6.2%) in 26 years.
- The Dow(n) at its lowest point in 12 years.
- Some economists are forecasting 12 percent unemployment, up from the current 7.6 percent.
- The economic bad times could continue into 2011.
- Even Warren Buffett can't make money.
Me, I'm having another drink. While I pour, entertain yourselves with this expose on how the auto bailout, TARP/stimulus /porculus will work.