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Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
If you want to set yourself up as some kind of sanctimonious authority on the truth, you should avoid telling blatant falsehoods. Ever since the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel joined the PolitiFact project founded by the St. Petersburg Times, the newspaper’s so-called Truth-O-Meter has repeatedly broken down and blown gaskets. The idea behind the original PolitiFact, which won a Pulitzer Prize in Florida...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011
It wasn’t just the outcome of a sporting event that made Chicago a great place to be last weekend. I was in town for other recreation, but it was impossible to miss...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011
John Mitchell, President Richard Nixon’s attorney general who went to prison for his role in Watergate, gave one honest piece of political advice in his career. At the beginning of Nixon’s corrupt presidency, he said: “Watch what we do, not what we say.” Applying Mitchell’s principle to the opening days of Republican Scott Walker’s governorship produces a startling conclusion: Walker could be...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011
An unforgettable trip to Florence, Italy, about a decade ago gave me my first real appreciation for the almost incomprehensible wealth of the Roman Catholic Church. After visiting the domed Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, completed in 1436, I could only compare it to the most stunning natural site I had ever seen. I wrote that the thing was like the Grand Canyon turned upside down. Such vast...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011
County executive of a county on the verge of financial collapse is not the sort of public office millionaires usually try to buy. When millionaires and billionaires wake up one morning and suddenly decide to enter politics, they almost always set their sights on far more exalted positions. That means nothing less than governor or U.S. senator or, what the heck, president of the United States...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2010
The very first thing that must be said about President Barack Obama’s nomination of former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler to a federal judgeship is that Butler is highly qualified. The second is how embarrassing it should be for Republicans to selectively choose to block the confirmations of three nominees of color, including Butler, along with one white nominee...