Alternate headline: "Radio jerk goes off-color on the air about Rebecca Kleefisch."
So much for civility. A liberal Madison talk show host goes all sexist on the lieutenant governor and mocks her recent bout with cancer.
"Satire?" "Sarcasm?" Mort Sahl would be Mort-ified. It's juvenile and it is sick.
I like and even admire many of my liberal acquaintances. But this man has some real issues. I took a solemn vow before my God and the postman for our street -- a public official -- that I would never sully the Stately Manor's dignity by uttering the man's name. I will not do so now.
Suffice to say -- and you can follow the hyperlink -- that on Tuesday a very disturbed man acted out his insecurities. The class clown that is not as funny as he is scary.
Mark Jefferson, Executive Director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, is correct. "It's time to call out the left's empty rhetoric about the need for civility in debate for what it is-nothing more than a transparent attempt at the moral high ground while they continue to engage in hate speech."
James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal gives a well-deserved journalistic slap upside the head to the New York Times' blood libel (I use the word advisedly) of conservative "hate speech."
The rush to ratify (and to hell with the taxpayer)
Here is one of The Kathleen's approved candidates, Scott McDonell, as captured by Forward Lookout. Subject: why his prog-libs on the Dane County Board rushed to ratify a four-year contract with its unionized government employees.
As leader of the County Board it was easy for me to convince other members of the board to keep our workers employed and treat them fairly. What happened at the State Capitol would never be repeated here in Dane County.
As McDonell's runaway spending train speeds down the track, the taxpayer is left tied to the tracks. Gov. Scott Walker and the new Legislature will give local officials new flexibility with their unionized workers just as the state is taking with its workers.
Both sets of government employees would contribute 5 percent of their salaries to their pensions and 12 percent to their health care. Too bad Scott McDonell's Dane County Board rushed to judgment with a 3% pay raise for its employees and picked up full pension costs -- for four years.
The new governor is not going to allow cities and counties to undo his spending reductions at the state level.
"Asked if he would be willing to cap property taxes at about 2 percent, Walker said he hopes to get "closer to zero," Walker said on Sunday's "UpFront with Mike Gousha," produced in conjunction with WisPolitics.com.
And fix mediation-arbitration. Paddy Mac says:
For the past decade, had you roused a typical mayor from dead slumber, he'd have muttered, "Fix med-arb" before he sat up. The rules under which local governments must negotiate contracts have been a constant complaint for officials, who say the rules force up labor costs, squashing cities, counties and schools against tax limits.
What local governments want is flexibility. "Untie our hands," said Mayor Timothy Hanna of Appleton, "so the playing field's a little more fair."
... Since roughly 99% of local governments pay the employees' share of pension contributions, arbitrators rule that it must go on.
Move to (eviscerate the First) Amend(ment)
Madison's Common Council convened at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. It was not until 11:40 -- five hours later -- the the Squire's name was called. (For the Council had tied itself into knots over tents at the Edgewater Hotel.)
Your genial host spoke against Move to Amend's efforts to eviscerate the First Amendment by prohibiting businesses organized as corporations from speaking out on policy issues that may affect it. The Move to Amenders are obsessed with the Naderite notion that corporations are what is wrong with America and therefore should be silenced. Except for newspaper corporations. They would be exempted.
Big Oil, Big Pharma, Wall Street -- Silicon Valley, bio-tech, small start-ups -- it don't matter. Corporations = Evil.
I said if the Move to Amend folk succeeded, cousin Johan could not paint "Vote for Feingold" on the side of his barn 60 days before an election because his farm happens to be a closely held family corporation. (Not that he would.) While the farm across the street, perhaps a sole proprietorship, perhaps a partnership, could post whatever political message it desired.
I asked if money is not protected political speech, why did Mayor Cieslewicz invite me to his recent campaign fund-raiser?
I welcomed Steven Cover as the new planning and development manager. He had been confirmed hours earlier. I warned (paraphrasing): "This is how they do economic development in Madison, by gagging business voices. Talk about a hostile environment!"
Alds. Jed Sanborn and Judy Compton spoke on my behalf. (We will miss them both.) But it was no soap. The City of Madison will slap onto the April 5 ballot this non-binding referendum question:
Should the United States Constitution be amended to establish that regulating political contributions and spending is not equivalent to limiting freedom of speech by stating that only human beings, not corporations are entitled to constitutional rights."
I repeat here the majority concurrence of Justice Scalia in Citizens United v. FEC, decided one year ago on January 21:
The [First] Amendment is written in terms of "speech," not speakers. Its text offers no foothold for excluding any category of speaker, from single individuals to partnerships of individuals, to unincorporated associations of individuals, to incorporated associations of individuals ...
Fortunately for most members of our Common Council, the Bill of Rights says nothing about thinking before one speaks.