Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Winnowing down the Dems

Wisconsin's Democratic primary for Governor is going to include ten people. Ten people! (there originally were fifteen, but I guess someone figured out a ballot isn't seven pages long).
Clockwise, from upper left: Evers, Wachs, Gronik,
 Soglin, Pade, Viniehout, Flynn, Mitchell, McCabe, Roys
(montage from Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6/13/18)

So how does a voter winnow down the candidates to find the most viable to take on Scott Walker in this fall's gubernatorial contest? With Foxconn's arrival of (supposedly) 13,000 good-paying jobs (not mentioning the complete economic and environmental sell-out by the state), as well as presiding over a time with historically low unemployment, Walker's got some momentum with most of the pro-Trump voters.  Hopefully, the anti-Walker rhetoric will not just be about his eventual acceptance and embracing of Trump (although any logical person would think that association would be enough to doom someone's candidacy). But we'll just have to see what happens.

First off, I have to chastise the Wisconsin Democrats for not being able to come up with a unified, strong candidate after certainly knowing for four years (or eight years) that this day would come.

That being said, back to winnowing. Please, please, please understand this is not a scientific process, but what I think might be a glimpse into which candidate voters may think might be the most viable.

First off, baggage. There are some wonderful candidates out there that just won't be able to shake their past political associations. Kathleen Vinehout was one of the Wisconsin Democratic Senators that fled the state to attempt to momentarily stop Act 10.  Madison Mayor Paul Soglin is the definition of a Madison liberal to most outstate voters. Tony Evers is the current state superintendent of public instruction, and has butted heads (kind of ) with Scott Walker (and I perceive, rightly or wrongly, that Walker is the one that is left standing, unscathed). Matt Flynn has close ties to (sorry, but) previous losers, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry. He was the liberal talking head on a television show hosted by Milwaukee conservative radio talker, Mark Belling--and I think he may suffer the same big-city liberal tag for outstate voters, if they remember him. Mike McCabe's often described as a Madison activist--which I fear many outstate voters, especially, would equate with the boogeyman or a zombie apocalypse. Mahlon Mitchell, the firefighter from Madison, proudly touts his strong Union ties (and endorsements) which,sadly, now in this state is not a positive selling point for many voters (after unions were systematically vilified and dismantled under the Scott Walker regime).

That's too bad, really. Many of the ideas and plans expressed by some of these candidates are very strong, and many have done positive work for the public, but I just think their baggage is a pretty high mountain to scale.

Well, that cuts it down by more than half.

Next, issues. Josh Pade is a relative newcomer to politics. He preaches a wonderful idea--inclusion and bipartisanship, something I think neither pro- or anti-Trump voters will really go for in this maniacally divided and partisan time in our nation (and our state). 

That leaves self-proclaimed outsider, businessman Andy Gronik, former (rural) WI Assembly member, but Madison-connected Kelda Roys, and Eau Claire WI Assembly member Dana Wachs. Their ideas are spelled out in their campaign sites (with actual plans to accomplish them), and seem to keep Wisconsin citizens in the forefront.

However, there are still some challenges.

For example, would Wisconsin elect a woman as Governor? I'd hope so, although the state didn't go for Hillary Clinton, and Walker's last opponent, Madisonian businesswoman Mary Burke didn't make it, either. So sadly, I don't think Roys will win (she'd be my choice, however--or Vinehout). 

Andy Gronik and I went to the same high school--the same high school that spawned conservative radio talkers Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner (well, and Kato Kaelin), so maybe that'd be good for him (just kidding--his ideas are anything but conservative). However, at least according to Politifact, Gronik has some challenges with accuracy. And The Journal-Sentinel's Daniel Bice reported on some major problems with Gronik's "successful" business career.

So, of the ten candidates cited in the Journal-Sentinel (of the multitude), that leaves Wachs (full disclosure, I thought Dana was a woman for several weeks). He'd be fine, I guess, but I'n not convinced that he can capture the imagination or the support of voters throughout the state.

Um, so that leaves, um, no one to defeat Scott Walker?

It may look that way now.  I never thought Trump would win public office either, so you never know.

Wisconsin Democrats need to make sure that the issues are relevant for all Wisconsinites (health care, education, infrastructure), make connections with the people vs. businesses (especially tax breaks, environment), and stay civil and decent (even though the opposite worked for Donald Trump). They have to convince voters that Scott Walker's plans (Foxconn, crumbling roads, a still-depleted education system, etc.) don't benefit the citizens of our great state.

Hmmm, I wonder if Aaron Rodgers has ever considered the benefits of public service...?

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The shoe never drops

Everyday, I check out Trump's Twitter feed to see what offensive, inaccurate, or ignorant thing he has written that morning.

And everyday, I think, "Surely this is the comment that rallies Americans to see what kind of man we have leading our country."

And everyday, I'm disappointed.

I'm not disappointed because there's a paucity of idiocy or manipulation found in Trump's tweets and comments and actions or anything--because there's not--I'm disappointed that it doesn't seem to matter to anyone else.

Sure, it matters to my like-minded friends and family and politicians, and most of the media, of course.

But not to anyone else.
Trump mocks a disabled reporter

I'm thinking the other shoe is going to drop and Trump will be exposed for the man he truly is--whether exposing his racism (s***hole countries, fine people on both sides in Charlottesville, Mexican immigrants are rapists, promoting fake "Muslims are evil" videos), or ineptitude (announcing major policy changes without discussion or input from his experts: tariffs, opening a Jerusalem embassy, banning transgender individuals from the military) or misogyny (bragging about grabbing women by the p****, backing accused child molesters for Senate, dismissing credible charges against him for assault/harassment, paying hush money to women claiming affairs) or paranoia (Obama wiretapped Trump Tower, Mueller and the probe is a "witch hunt", "Spygate"), or out-and-out deception (too many statements to list--on Politifact only 16% registered as more than half-true).

And, everyday, as hard as it is for me to believe, that shoe never drops.

The GOP backs Trump as long as he tends to their agenda. Trump's supporters rabidly believe every piece of garbage he spews forth. Business execs love the money with which he's lining their pockets.

So the shoe never drops.

But tomorrow's another day.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The terrifying folks on Twitter

Sure, the daily lies and threats coming from Trump are scary, especially when he undermines everything from law enforcement to the judicial system, or when he promotes conspiracy theories and (fake) anti-Muslim videos or how racist rally-goers in Charlottesville include fine people.

But Trump doesn't even scratch the surface of the real conspiracy followers--the terrifyingly almost-terroristic tweeters that promote "bringing the pain." Honestly, I had no idea this kind of pointed delusion existed. EVERYTHING is a conspiracy against Donald Trump or America or Conservatism (it is totally possible that such messed-up vitriol exists for liberal-leaning Tweeters, too, but I have not found them in the hashtags of those commenting on my tweets). And, again, horribly scary alert, HUNDREDS of people like or retweet this filth (For example, "Pizzagate," the incredibly disgusting fantasy that Hillary Clinton was running a child sex ring out of the basement of a pizza restaurant is still promoted as fact--despite the fact that one of these heinous figures shot up the restaurant, then found there wasn't even a basement).

Here are just three, very randomly chosen--and INCREDIBLY scary--posts from these very twisted people (I will not be including hashtags or Twitter handles so as not to promote them, I just want to share how brutally warped and threatening their posts are):
Perhaps, WE THE PEOPLE ... 75M Strong w/ 300M+ weapons will take to the streets as well. We’ve had enough of the criminal enterprise of the Lib Left & the high crimes by Obama & his Deep State. We will preserve OUR CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC COME HELL OR HIGH WATER!

These people must suffer and be made examples of so this NEVER HAPPENS AGAIN. The cries of justice have reached a crescendo. (Accompanied by photos of McCain, Obama, Biden, the Clintons, and Pelosi)  Reply: The pain needs to be excruciating.
Remember, this always happens when bad news about (((Them))) is about to break (Accompanied by a picture and headline from Santa Fe shooting). Replies: Whenever the Dems ...are in trouble, there suddenly appears to be a  mass shooting event. 
The pattern is becoming quite obvious, wake up people.

 And when Donald Trump (intentionally or not) does something that jibes with their completely twisted beliefs, these people take it as a sign that Trump is on their vile side. For example, I guess Catholics are bad news--the Pope is pictured smiling and talking with Obama, and then Merkel, while the Pope is standing stone-faced next to Trump, drawing praise from these scary people that Trump is not friendly with the Catholics.
I'm all for freedom of speech (obviously, since I tweet and write a blog), but this is scary, hate-filled speech--not the garden variety, such as "Trump is a moron," or "Hillary belongs in jail." These are words that promote the most vile, terrifying thoughts of confused and deranged people--even suggesting violence--and make it seem, for some, I'd imagine, normal.
So, maybe I'm the last one to realize there are really people out there like this. Or maybe I just can't believe it. 
I thought Trump's tweets and conspiracy theories were scary.
In comparison, though, Trump's tweets are chillingly tame.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

When is a Republican not a Republican?

Wisconsin's sole GOP wunderkind (now that Reince Priebus and Paul Ryan have been put out to pasture) is Governor Scott Walker. Although his star does not shine nearly as bright as it did seven years ago when he led the surprise attack on public workers by stripping their negotiated benefits and eviscerating their unions by engineering legislation known as Act 10, Walker's little light still flickers as he attempts to garner re-election in the face of the GOP/Trump fiasco.

Obviously, he's figured out that the best way to do so is to embrace more humanitarian measures--ones actually proposed or backed by Wisconsin Democrats.

That doesn't mean he believes in them, it only means he believes that doing so will get him his coveted re-election.

In doing so, he's proposed such humanitarian things as putting money back into Wisconsin education (albeit after record-setting cuts through his tenure and dilution of public money now going to private schools), and addressing (finally) severe problems at juvenile detention facilities around the state (after originally creating more problems by consolidating them in an earlier budget).

Oh, yeah, he's also introduced what economists have called "a mystifying piece of tax policy that has no clear long-term economic purpose." As the Washington Post recounts, many merely call it an election year bribe. Which is not to be confused with the bribe of gutting Wisconsin environmental considerations to get potentially thousands of jobs with Foxconn.

And, perhaps most damning of all, Walker has gone from disdain for Trump to acceptance and now love for the ethically-challenged and morally-corrupt President of the United States. And why not? Trump has helped champion some of the non-humanitarian policies that Walker truly embraces (think NRA, anti-immigration, anti-union, anti-public education, anti-environment, over-the-top-pro-business, etc).

So a vote for Walker is a vote for humanitarian causes. 

Well, until he gets re-elected and starts governing again like he really believes.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

New Entry from the None-yun

The None-yun ...some say it's amusing, some say it's insightful, and some say "That's two minutes of my life I'll never have back..."

No Place for False Allegations
(um, click on the above heading)

Trump calls out those making false allegations in office