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Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2010
An interesting and little-noted view of last Tuesday’s primary election results for governor was contained in a county-by-county map created by Craig Gilbert, Washington bureau chief of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In the Republican matchup between Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker and former Congressman...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2010
I have been to ground zero and also to Milwaukee’s version of the kind of Islamic community center proposed for the site several blocks away from the destruction of New York’s World Trade Center. I found both experiences inspirational. We all remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001. It wouldn’t have been difficult for Kit and me, anyway. We’d just returned to our hotel in Spain to pack to fly back to the United States...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010
Even people who are repelled by Republican policies frequently express respect for the lock-step party discipline that prevents Republican politicians from thinking on their own and straying from the right-wing party line. It may not be good for democracy, but it means that when Republicans are in the majority, they have more power to pass extreme laws, and when they are in the minority, they have...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2010
Anyone trained in public opinion research knows that the polls in this summer’s media reports about what’s going to happen in the November elections are totally meaningless. In fact, there are no truly reliable polls even to tell us who will be the candidates for governor of Wisconsin after the primary on Sept. 14. We can be reasonably certain the Democratic nominee will be Milwaukee Mayor...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010
Kiss of Death is a classic film noir from 1947 in which Richard Widmark plays a psychopathic killer who laughs maniacally as he pushes an elderly woman in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs. During these mean-spirited political times, Republicans have no qualms about calling up such images about President Barack Obama. “That’s what Obama’s visits and support really have been...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2010
Wisconsin voters know Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold very well. They know that even if they disagree with him on an issue, Feingold will stand firmly on his principles rather than pander to whatever is politically popular. Voters don’t know Feingold’s Republican challenger Ron...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010
It’s a gift from heaven for the talk shows when they can combine right-wing hatred for teachers’ unions with an opportunity to make middle-school penis jokes. The witty quips broke out within minutes of the Associated Press reporting the Milwaukee Teachers’ Education Association (MTEA) had filed suit claiming Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) were discriminating against male employees...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010
After people’s lives—and their basements—have been deluged with floodwaters, nothing makes them madder than not having someone to be mad at. Kris Kristofferson wrote: “Everybody’s gotta have somebody to look down on … Someone doin’ somethin’ dirty decent folks can frown on. If you can’t find nobody else, then help yourself to me...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
On paper, it should not be a successful election strategy for a political party to intentionally create more misery for Americans during one of the worst economic periods in our history. Yet, if media analysts are to be believed—always a dubious proposition—that conscious Republican strategy is improving the party’s prospects of winning in the November midterm elections. Last week we witnessed the...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Even in the midst of a disappointing, inconsistent season, Milwaukee Brewers fans could take pride in the selection of three legitimate All-Stars—Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Yovani Gallardo—to the 2010 All-Star Game. Long-suffering Brewers fans well remember all those years when the Brewers received a single selection—let’s face it—primarily because each...