Making sure our state remains proud, our intrepid Senator Ron Johnson has done his dang darnedest to ally the upper Midwest values of “where the women are strong and the men are good looking” with those of Texas and Kentucky, Utah and Wyoming, where ladies’ night is ladies first in the back of the pickup truck all git-‘r-done and don’t holler none now y’hear? Yes, our champion of democracy who is living proof that anybody can be elected to Congress – no, seriously: any body – joined the upper crust of such conservative colleagues as Tom Coburn, Orrin Hatch, Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, and Marco Rubio by voting against renewing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) last week. And when I say last week, let me be more precise: voted against violence against women two days before Valentine’s Day. Once again reminding us that liberals might have the bleeding hearts, but it’s conservatives who are the real romantics.
Category Archives: Hypocrisy Hip Horray!
Here’s a scene: a solemn Tuesday evening in the chamber of the House of Representatives, a cold and bitter February in the capital city, and everyone who is anyone in Washington politics is there: the Chief Justice next to the Joint Chiefs, freshman congresswoman from Mesa, Arizona, seated beside the senior senator from Missoula, Montana, as an old hand of the Cabinet from Biscayne Bay walks past the puckish House Clerk from Bayonne, NJ. Conservatives on the floor are abuzz with anticipation, glad-handing and back-slapping one another for a job well done. Scattered stand isolated liberals stoically cross-armed with lips still bit from simmering resentment. The Sergeant at Arms suddenly announces, his voice booming, “Mister Speaker, the President of the United States!” A thunderous whoop resounds like a crashing wave, and there strides Mitt Romney – President Romney, the 45th President of the United States – on his way to deliver what will be his first State of the Union address. Somewhere else, unseen from public eye, perhaps keeping the designated survivor company, Republican operatives light a cigar and toast their tumblers of Scotch for having successfully stolen another election.
Such a scenario would be happening tonight if the Republican plan called “Red Map” (technically “the REDistricting MAjority Project,” or REDMAP) had been in effect for the 2012 election. President Obama, having handsomely won the majority vote, would have nonetheless lost the electoral vote due to a deliberately divisive revisionism by conservatives in an effort to demonstrate that parts of the country are greater than the whole. Which we know thanks to the post-Beatles offshoots of The Wings or Plastic Ono Band simply is preposterous – the whole is always better than the individual parts. Maybe I’m amazed, but power to the people – so let it be.
In a statewide referendum in 2006 Wisconsin overwhelmingly voted “I do” to the following:
“Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.”
71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties approved this wording, effectively enshrining discrimination in the state constitution. (The lone holdout was Dane County, where Madison is.)
Six years later Wisconsin once again waxed cognitive dissonance by voting Tammy Baldwin to be the next U.S. Senator — Tammy, the liberal lesbian from Madison — over four-time governor and basic poster child for all things Badger State, Brandy Old Fashioned and all, Tommy Thompson. (Yes, Tammy versus Tommy. Tommy Thompson. In Wisconsin. Where our other senator is Ron Johnson. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin. Who ousted Russ Feingold. More specifically, Ron Johnson’s from Oshkosh B’gosh pert near da Bay you betcha go you Packers go, oh sure then don’t you know. Ya wanna come with? Aw Jeez, for Cripes sakes, W’scansin! Read the rest of this entry »
Just last year the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report licentiously entitled “Trends in the Distribution of Household Income Between 1979 and 2007.” Now, the CBO is the very entity to which Congress itself appointed all economic analysis and budget score keeping, and which is generally regarded as nonpartisan and above-the-board objective. The report revealed some rather damning “trends,” not least of which is that the 1 percent of the population with the highest income saw their after-tax household income grow by 275 percent, while the 20 percent of the population with the lowest income saw theirs spittle at 18 percent. Indeed, while 99 percent of the American households saw their total market income decrease – cash wages, salaries, capital gains, etc. – the rich 1 percent actually saw theirs double. Read the rest of this entry »
I was not intending to break my scribble silence with two cents about a Republican candidate in Missouri running for U.S. Senate about whom I know positively nothing. After the essential recall of the Wisconsin recalls, the wind in my sails for explicit political scribbling has flagged off. But sometimes, even for a young curmudgeon, the bait is too irresistible, the bad taste and foot-in-mouth buffoonery such a spectacular eclat, that one risks ignorance by ignoring it.
Enter the court jester du jour, Todd Akin. I was out of state when this latest gaffe debacle/ Freudian slip hit the press over the weekend. Because I am old-fashioned enough, I treat email like regular mail in this sense: when I am away from home, I will deal with it all upon my return. No smart phone, no tweets, no iPads or tablets. Not even a quick dose of reality with a shot of espresso at an internet cafe or a lackadaisical saunter at some public library. But I do read the paper and listen to the radio, so I had heard all about what Todd Akin said — and then later said what he meant and should have said instead. I knew I would be coming home to countless emails about this as if I had had my head in the sand. I counted no fewer than sixteen such emails just with the name “Todd Akin” in the subject line, not counting less specific ones with the buzzwords of “rape” or “legitimate.” One-liners like “Unreal!” and “Dangerous and Wrong,” “Repulsive” and something else connoting the next cannon fire from the war on women. I understand the motivation behind these attention-grabbing headlines, and I agree with their outrage. I do not agree, however, with their conclusion that Todd Akin should step down. Read the rest of this entry »
Not to put too fine a point on it, but sometimes I swear that all there is to one politician’s attack on his or her rival is an extroverted confession of their own flaws and sins. Take for example all the hoopla Wisconsin Republicans have made about “outside money” and “out-of-state union thugs” meddling in Madison and running the recalls. Saying little of how next to nothing could be further from the truth, one needn’t do anything more than keep tabs on the company our politicians keep to understand whose pillow talk lies in bed with creeps. Read the rest of this entry »
The kerfuffle of Michelle Bachman’s application for Swiss citizenship isn’t new, per se, but I’d be most remiss if I let a blip like this pass. What could have been mere matter of fact — that her in-laws were natural-born Swiss citizens who emigrated, which made her husband a Swiss citizen, and therefore herself one by de jure marriage — was unnecessarily escalated by the revelation that earlier this year, while still running for President of the United States, she was simultaneously applying for her children to be Swiss citizens. (No word yet about those 20-odd foster kids they’d had and whether those Heathers will become Heidis and Jeffreys Jans, who will trade in those elementary school recorders for alphorns, or renege nacho cheese for fondue.) Read the rest of this entry »
Each year on the near-south side of Milwaukee a few hundred folks gather together to commemorate the Bay View Tragedy, the bloodiest day — May 5 1886 — in the history of the labor movement in Wisconsin. I won’t bother rehashing the clash right now (you’re welcome to read about it here). Instead, I would like to reconsider it in the context of our contemporary world, from Fox News and Foxconn to Scott Walker and Steve Jobs. Read the rest of this entry »
First off, an editorial consideration: the last time a scribble indirectly dabbled in abortion and race the shit hit the fan like a fanatic orangutan with a crop duster but no Pepto-Bismol. From that experience I have not learned that I should not be even scribbling about such emotionally charged issues in the first place, in part because I am by nature a stubborn person, but mostly because it has long been a cherished belief that to elicit a passionate response is generally an indication of doing good work. That said, if I am reaching out exclusively to a certain segment of the population, then I am being a bad writer. This blog is admittedly pretty liberal. But I would regard myself an amateur with written-off irrelevance if I only pissed off some of the people all of the time; far better would it be to piss off all of the people some of the time. For then, at least occasionally, I must be getting something right. Not that pissing people off is my intention; I am not a provocateur. (Actually, I’d like to consider myself a fairly nice guy, who despite a lot of weird stuff was given good manners.) I personally have no interest in taking up a controversial topic for controversy’s sake — I will leave that kind of dare-devil skullduggery to the stirring pots of schlock-jock op-eds and braggadocio bloggers. For me the point is to take up a controversial subject unflinchingly when its moment arises. If I fail to reach out with a requisite amount of tact or only pretend to see things from the opposing perspective so as to seem more reasonable or circumspect, then I am genuinely sorry and I ask that you accept my apology. In this scribble, as in many of my endeavors, I seek only to speak truth to power, and if I happen to piss off anyone, let it be them — those whose vested interests see living things as commodities and codify justice with dastardly and bastardized double standards. Read the rest of this entry »