Blaska's Blog looks back on the Year 2010, 2010
I can't get that Zager & Evans song out of my mind.
"In the year of 2525 / If man is still alive ..."
The Squire was very much alive to the renewed promise of freedom and prosperity. We're optimistic about the future, me and my indentured servants, including Ruben Mamoulian. We sense a new energy here in Wisconsin and across this great land. It's morning at the Manor again!
Think I'll take my coffee in the solarium.
Here's how Blaska's Blog remembers the Year 2010 anno domini, as seen from Stately Blaska Manor, somewhere on the Southwest Side of Madison.
It was, of course, the Year of the Tea Party voter. That "astroturf" organization somehow managed to subvert democracy by sweeping out the Pelosi Democrats in Washington. The nationwide Republican sweep of the November 2 elections was even more pronounced here in Wisconsin, where a U.S. Senate seat, the governorship, both houses of the legislature, and two House seats switched from blue to red.
Election results? Don't need no stinkin' ...
The repudiation of Progressivism here in its home state did not deter The Capital Times, which inadvertently exposed the anti-democratic basis of that expert-based philosophy.
"The Wisconsin progressive tradition is too rich, too vital, too important to this state and this nation to let it be diminished by election results," read its November 4, 2010 editorial. That has to be the quote of the year.
At least, they're not stupid
"I'm not endorsing the American voter. They're pretty damn stupid," said UW-Madison political scientist Charles Franklin. The prof eventually apologized but -- as of this writing -- it remains the answer Isthmus news editor Bill Lueders was looking for. [November 4, "The Triumph of Stupidity."]
Feingold has nothing to worry about
Not as stupid as this quote: "It looks like another six years for Russ Feingold. Despite what the Tea Party might make you think about Wisconsin, most people in the state are not itching to elect anybody to replace the three-term senator." [The Sconz 4/15/2010]
Now for a real soothsayer
Your faithful blogger, on the other hand, predicted on March 12, before the print or broadcast news media in town, Ron Johnson's as yet unannounced candidacy. "A very good sign that the Massachusetts Miracle has legs," I wrote, in reference to Scott Brown taking "the Kennedy seat" in a special election. [Feeding Frenzy on Feingold?]
Even earlier, on 01/20/2010, I wrote: "Dave Obey and Steve Kagen are in trouble. Scott Walker is looking even better."
One week before THAT, Blaska's Blog: 01/11/2010 wrote "My take is that Scott Walker is exciting his base and winning converts. On the other side of the track, I don't see too much genuine excitement over Tom Barrett, for whom the Obama White House cleared the decks by maneuvering Babs Lawton out of the race."
That was 10 months before the election!
A week before the general election I picked the state Senate to go 19-14 and it did exactly that. I had the Assembly 55-44 GOP and it went 60-38-1. I said nationally the GOP would pick up 60 in the House of Reps (it was 63) and 7 in the Senate (it was 6).
Joe McCarthy lives!
"Will Ron Johnson distance himself from scandal-plagued David King?" The Capital Times asked in its on-line edition of 10/30/2010. The U.S. Senate candidate was called to account for one David King, a candidate for secretary of state then embroiled in scandal. Seems RoJo and King had once shared a tea party platform, hence the tenuous guilt by association.
A HUGE foot in the mouth
County Clerk Bob Ohlsen urged municipal clerks that holding referenda on commuter rail would be a "HUGE waste of taxpayer dollars" and that it "isn't going to make one bit of difference." Forty-five communities disagreed and held a referendum anyway in which citizens voted against commuter rail by an aggregate 71% margin. Ohlsen did apologize.
The new Republican regime in the Capitol is planning to repeal the enabling legislation.
Most cynical newspaper editor
John Nichols of The Capital Times said civic leaders in those 45 communities were "cynics who want to stir false fears because they know they cannot win an honest debate over commuter rail."
Mexico's drug wars spilled over into Madison, with the result that one gang member was rubbed out by rivals while he took a smoke break. Other shootings followed.
This unpleasantness did not dissuade the PC police from using ever so polite terminology. Local journalists programmed their computer to white out the term "illegal alien."
Even "undocumented immigrants" is too pejorative. But leave it to Prog journalist Pat Schneider of The CT to call them "non-citizens." The word is entirely non-journalistic. "Non-citizens" is purposefully misleading and in any case inaccurate. Many non-citizens are here legally.
Most useless task force
That would be the Dane County Task Force on Racial Disparities in the Criminal Justice System.
It found that a county that voted for a black man for President by almost a 3 to 1 margin suffers from "unconscious racism." The problem: we're sending too many people of minority races to jail. Actually, what the Task Force discovered was that more black people are arrested and go to prison from Dane County relative to their total population than white people. No proof that they were unjustly arrested.
Task force recommendation: Hold classes "targeted at communities of color to help people have a basic understanding of their rights." Yeah, that's the problem.
Biggest coward in public office
Madison Ald. Steve King, who said last Spring that citizens who support the sheriff's policy of referring illegals to the feds are "cowards sitting at home, e-mailing us."Later, the Coward King walked out on Ald. Thuy Pham-Remmele, who had the audacity to question "non-debatable" agenda items.
Breaking and entering
Runaway Obama-ism took root in Madison where some very strange people proclaimed that "housing is a human right." To prove their point, crazies calling themselves the Take Back the Land Movement broke and entered homes in foreclosure. Rule of the crowbar?
"It is interesting to see that breaking and entry is now a spectator sport," housing provider Duane Steinhauer told Blaska's Blog on May 18.
The next Havens Center lifetime achievement award goes to Z! Haukeness.
Free speech under attack
By undoing McCain-Feingold, The Citizens United case in February gave Jim Pugh of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce as much free speech rights as the Scott Milfred of the State Journal corporation. Sure enough, a Madison-based movement called "Move to Amend" is trying to put a big fat asterisk on the First Amendment by amending, for the first time in its 220-year history, the Bill of Rights. Eighteen members of the Dane County Board concur.
Quoth the Raven, 'Nevermore!'
Incontinence is a terrible thing to waste. Wisconsin lost out on millions of federal school reform funds. Ed Garvey, D-Teachers Union, cheered, calling President Obama's Race to the Top program: "Race to the bathroom."
No wonder he's history. "Obey says second stimulus may be needed," said the author of the original Porkulus bill, according to the Superior Telegram newspaper in June.
Get those grades up. Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett on the Milwaukee teachers union suing for tax-payer supported Viagra: "These dollars should be devoted to enhanced performance in the classroom."
Can you stop me now? U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood (paraphrasing): There's no stopping the high-speed train from Milwaukee to Madison.
Take two Advil. Madame Brenda: "Ok, so, I don't read Blaska's blog. It gives me a headache. It's hard to follow, it doesn't make sense and facts seem irrelevant. So, I just ignore it."
The envelope, please
Man of the Year: Ron Johnson of Oshkosh -- the right message, the right man, the right year.
State change agent of the year -- Gov.-elect Scott Walker. After 8 years in which Jim Doyle proved liberalism is spent fuel, Walker will be as creative as Tommy Thompson but more conservative.
Local change agent of the year: Urban League president Kaleem Caire. "We need entirely different schools to fit the needs of students, not the teachers and administrators."
Platinum subscriber bonus shots
- Most self-indulgent public event: Naked Bike Ride.
- Most futile campaign: Brenda's "fact-checking" of Blaska turns up mistakes on Brenda's Blog.
- Should be the 11th Commandment: anti-vagrant city ordinance at the rehabbed Lisa Link Peace Park: "No staring with intent to annoy!"
- Nancy Mistele was right. The Kathleen WAS bored with her job.