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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...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010
This is the time of year when nothing warms our hearts like the thought of happy, laughing children with bright, shining faces lining up to be showered with special attention from grown-ups—like when the state begins checking all their tiny little fingerprints every day when they...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2010
Workers who support anti-union Republicans are like those Indian scouts who worked for Gen. Custer. They shouldn’t be surprised when a massacre is declared. During hard economic times, the people growing fat at the top used to live in fear that people at the bottom would become so angry they would rise up against those who were exploiting them. Then they figured out all they...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010
A popular epithet among young people these days is “hater.” They really don’t like intolerance. More of us should start calling out hatred when we see it. That is especially true when one of our two major political parties has made a conscious decision to openly appeal to haters. The current debate in the Senate over allowing gay people willing to risk their lives for their...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2010
I was way ahead of the media uproar over the latest airport security procedures that include either zapping passengers with radiation to look under their clothing or feeling them up. I’ve long opposed the rituals of pretend airport security. My wife gets very nervous whenever Transportation...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
At a time when Republicans are once again vowing to kill health care for human beings, great strides are being made in improving health care for all those deer Wisconsin hunters are going out to blow away this week. Concern for deer health has always been a major concern of the state...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010
Politicians sometimes paint themselves into corners where they have to choose between doing something stupid or committing the dreaded political sin of flip-flopping. That is the absurd position Gov.-elect Scott Walker has put himself in on the issue of building high-speed rail...