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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...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Who knew Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker’s campaign for governor would turn into a search for Wisconsin’s top chef? What our political candidates have for lunch rarely becomes a campaign issue. As long as they consume enough of the basic food groups to remain upright, we really don’t care all that much about their nutrition. But when one candidate promotes what he eats for lunch...
Taking Liberties
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
It’s been years since the so-called “liberal” media could be accused of failing to sufficiently publicize the views of the extreme right. Labeling the media “liberal,” a political tactic by conservatives, worked like a charm. Newspapers everywhere scurried to add right-wing columnists, the more troglodytic the better. Television crews were sent to town hall meetings on health care to film the most shril...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Now we know why Republicans aren’t very much fun on dates. Forget the Rolling Stones singing about getting no “Satisfaction.” Republicans don’t even want no “Stimulation.” When the Obama administration put together an economic stimulus plan to head off a second Great Depression, Republicans made a political decision to oppose any government action to improve the lives of Americans. It was a clever way to...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Shrinking budgets have forced states around the country to finally stop wasting taxpayer money by imprisoning nonviolent offenders and turning small-time lawbreakers into hardened, more dangerous criminals. It’s one of the few examples where government could spend less money and actually benefit more people and increase public safety. By reserving prison for violent criminals...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2010
In some cases, perhaps the best we can hope for from our politicians is that they’re lying to us. If they actually believe some of the things they say, we’re in really big trouble. We have perfect examples in the Republican opposition to economic stimulus funds nationally and Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker’s opposition to economic stimulus and job creation in Wisconsin. In speeches...
Taking Liberties
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010
If we didn’t know anything, we’d think Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan was the hottest star in the Republican Party. He’s all over the cable news shows talking about his deficit reduction plan, “Roadmap for America’s Future.” Conservative George Will recently wrote a column forecasting him as the 2013 Republican vice president of the United States. Even President Barack Obama singled out Ryan as a pleasant guy with...