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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...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
People who don’t know anything about corrections think boot camp programs for the incarcerated are really terrific. The only thing more satisfying to some people than sanctimoniously sermonizing about miscreants who haven’t led proper lives is screaming it right in their faces, calling them maggots and vermin. We’ve seen the model in films like Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket where boot...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
For years, conservatives denounced the idea of criminals avoiding punishment for their heinous misdeeds by “finding a loophole” and “getting off on a technicality.” The right wing always made it sound as if our legal system had been intentionally set up to free criminals so they could go back to raping and pillaging our communities with abandon. In fact, those so-called...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
If we aren’t going to talk about the dangerous consequences of deteriorating infrastructure when there is a fatal accident, when are we going to talk about it? The least important fact about the tragic accident that killed a 15-year-old boy on his way to Summerfest is that it comes at a politically inconvenient time for Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, who is running for governor...