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Taking Liberties
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Most of the media hype about the Tea Party influence on Republican politics in Wisconsin and across the country paints it as some kind of exciting, new phenomenon. Actually, many of the Tea Party candidates, including businessman Ron Johnson, the newly anointed Republican unknown running against Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, are strongly libertarian...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
May is way too early for the Milwaukee Brewers’ season to be over. So it’s okay to ignore the chorus of yahoos who say otherwise. Apparently, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio is ready to do the same by keeping his head when all around him are losing theirs and blaming it on Ken Macha. Firing the manager is the simple-minded solution of choice for sports...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
An inventive singer-songwriter named Peter Case wrote a great line: “We were too young not to know better.” That came to mind recently as many of the supposedly responsible grown-ups at Marquette University were making fools of themselves while their students demonstrated against discrimination and hypocrisy. At issue was Marquette President Father Robert Wild...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
At first, the decision by Wisconsin Democratic Congressman David Obey to retire after 41 years in Washington may have appeared surprising. Obey had already raised more than a million dollars for his re-election campaign. He’d risen to one of the most powerful positions in Congress as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. And he’d recently had the opportunity to preside...
Taking Liberties
Monday, May 3, 2010
The silence is deafening. It’s always amazing to watch conservative commentators feed the inflamed debate over immigration, an issue steeped in bigotry and hatred, without once mentioning bigotry and hatred. The more obvious the racism, the louder the silence. It would be difficult to contrive a more obvious example...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The frustration all of us feel over the failure of politics to serve the public good is multiplied when one party or the other seems to have adequate control to do just about anything it wants. At the national level, with Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the presidency, many of us were appalled to see how difficult it still was to accomplish long-held...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
It doesn’t make sense to call it former Gov. Tommy Thompson’s last hurrah. There was something phony about the whole public charade from the very beginning. Last week Thompson announced that he wouldn’t run for Russ Feingold’s Senate seat, a job he had never shown any interest in holding. Thompson made his announcement before one of those angry rallies of right-wing extremists claiming to...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Because the machinery of law enforcement is so powerful, it’s extremely important that it not fall into the hands of ignorant people without any respect for the law. During the civil rights era, brutal thugs holding important positions in law enforcement—local sheriffs, prosecutors and judges—routinely misused their powers to punish people acting lawfully instead of protecting them...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
It’s been a heck of an Easter for the Catholic Church. Who knew the latest revelations about a horrendous case of sexual abuse by a Wisconsin priest would throw the worldwide church and the current pope into their most tumultuous credibility crisis yet? In politics, there is an axiom that misdeeds can get you into a lot of trouble, but it’s the cover-up that can be fatal. An unbelievable Holy Week of dodging...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
We happened to be in Washington, D.C., during the historic passage of health care reform, an achievement that visionary Democratic and Republican presidents had sought for three-quarters of a century. That same day, we walked from the White House to the National Mall with tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters waving American flags...