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.
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.
Since my recent mining redux has generated more comments than any scribble in the nearly two-year-long tenure of this blog — even more than the name-calling, rotten produce throw, shit show that the “Unplanned Parenthood” piece inspired (feel free to seek it out if you’re feeling frisky for a cat fight) — what better idea could there be than continue yet anew with it. Here’s the gist: Part 1 is about the money behind the mine. Part 2 makes an argument to support Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen’s alternative mining bill.
Ready, set, Gogebic!
With only three weeks to go til Valentine’s Day, the Republicans in the State Legislature of Wisconsin are doing what no men ever do: shopping for their beloved before the last minute. Indeed, in what can only be called a sweetheart deal to both Gogebic Taconite and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation – the former an out-of-state mining company, the latter a much-flawed private entity (that used to be a public one before Scott Walker took over) – the Republican juggernaut essentially promises what any sugarcoated candy on February 14th does: “be mine.” Only in this sense it’s not just a command in the possessive sense; it’s also the Republican diktat that the Gogebic mine be. Corporate profit and bought-off lawmakers, true love if there ever was.
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Yes, it’s chilly. And yes the ground is brown, the leaves long gone. You might say it’s desolate, even depressing. Death it seems is all-surrounding and conspiring against you. It’s taken over the air, the ground, the sun and the trees. The birds have flown off somewhere sensible, and the hunting season dictates that just about anything on four legs flee for dear life away from the awful crack of a rifle – deer especially. This is the entrance to the outdoor world, a kingdom that basically looks like the ruins of something since abandoned.
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