Friday, June 29, 2012

Abandon Hope (and Change)

It is likely that we are doomed to spending the rest of our lives listening to the idiots that we’ve elected prattle on about how the opposition party is bad and wrong, bereft of ideas, comprised of dunces, is un-American, and out of touch.

Some asshat politician from Indiana said ObamaCare is a worse act of terrorism than the 9-11 attacks.

Russ Limbo said if ObamaCare is upheld, he’ll move to Costa Rica.  (Enjoy the trip, Rush, and by the way, Costa Rica has completely socialized medicine.)

Scooter Walker says he won’t implement ObamaCare, because just though something is lawful doesn’t make it right.  (Oh, BTW, Scoot – thanks for screwing the state’s taxpayers by refusing the federal money to set up Insurance Exchanges; when the Feds come in and do that for us, we’ll have to pay for it all ourselves.)

Tea Party Tommy Thompson decries the Supreme’s ruling, and blathers on about his “Common-sense Market-Based Solution” to health care woes, and how he’ll singlehandedly repeal Obamacare.

Mitt Romney says on the first day he takes office, he’ll repeal ObamaCare.  (Wait – I thought Tea Party Tommy was going to do that……)

Several Dane County Democrats, who are apparently constantly in war mode, gleefully post taunting status updates on their social media feeds.

Those selfsame local pols posting the taunting rants are the same ones who said the opposite thing about the Supremes for striking down Montana’s attempt at clean government.

There is no hope.  None of these dweebs gets it.  We’re TIRED of the constant push-pull, the constant recriminations, the inability to work together toward solutions to problems we all face.

H. L. Mencken said it best: “Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.”

That’s about where I’m at these days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Should Advocacy Replace Journalism?

Watching the premiere of Aaron Sorkin’s “Newsroom” on HBO prompted some questions I’m still pondering.  The title of this post is one of them.  Jeff Daniels’ character is an irascible cable news anchor, prone to fits of pique and ready to issue a blistering rant at any moment.  During one of the rants, excoriating the current state of the news profession, Daniels’ character asserts that TV news has everything to do with entertainment and diversion, and not with facts, because today people chose their own set of facts.

The online publication “Gawker” asked Dan Rather – certainly one of my least favorite anchormen of all time – to watch the HBO show and comment.  Among other things, Dumb Dan said this of Sorkin’s portrayal of a TV newsroom, with the push and pull of whether or not what they’re doing matters: “It's a fight that matters, not just for journalists but for the country. It centers on whether news reporting is to be considered and practiced — to any significant degree, even a little — as a public service, in the public interest, or is to exist solely as just another money-making operation for owners of news outlets.”

Well-said, Dan.

There are plenty of reporters – national and local – who ferret out good stories and report them with little bias.  I’m referring to the straightforward stuff where facts are facts, and they’re not in dispute: somebody shot somebody, somebody wrecked their car and got hurt, the city council passed a new ordinance, a family needs financial help for an expensive operation for a child, a local company is expanding operations – those sort of stories that comprise the warp and woof of daily journalism.

But when it comes to getting at the truth of statements made by public officials, private business owners/managers, and certainly political candidates, I think Journalism has been falling down on the job for quite a while.  There’s a tendency to report anything an official, a spokesman, or a candidate says, as “fact”.  (The fact is, of course, they said it; I think we can trust nearly every reporter to get that part right.)  I have often used the lighthearted poke at Journalism that goes “Candidate X says the earth is flat; the story is headlined ‘Opinions on the shape of the earth vary’”.

No matter how stupid, inaccurate, or wrong the statement is, it’s reported – and repeated – unchallenged.  Many reporters will say it’s merely their job to report the news accurately, not to try and interpret it – that’s somebody else’s job.  And that’s where I begin to have some questions about that model.

Take the case of Tea Party darling Tommy Thompson, who is doing his best to remake his image as a cordial consensus-builder (and a HUGE tax-and-spender) into a tea party conservative.  Because he’s actually spent most of his time the past few years as a lobbyist for huge health care corporations, he’s doing his best to distance himself from the (accurate) image of being a “Washington insider” to being a regular fellow, just like you and me, who has knowledge about how the health care system works, and wants to reform it.

Here’s the image for Tommy’s online manifesto about health care – but note that whenever he talks about it, he refers to his position as “repealing Obama-Care”.  (He’ll do that all by himself, Tommy will, without the help of 99 other Senators or 435 Members of the House of Representatives.)

The first sentence of the second paragraph of Tommy’s health care reform plan contains a Republican Party position-line cooked up a few years ago by party operative Frank Luntz, that refers to the President’s plan as a “government takeover of health care”.  (Politfact calls that statement the biggest lie of 2010.)  Tommy parrots that line constantly in his TV ads and his stump speech.  To characterize President Obama’s health care reforms as a government takeover is complete horsepoop, because it’s no such thing by ANY definition.  The government will not take over hospitals and health care institutions, and doctors and nurses and health care professionals will not suddenly cease to be independent and become employees of the state.  It doesn’t even work that way in the “European Socialism Model” we’re constantly being warned about: doctors contract with health care providing organizations, but remain independent.

Tommy’s “market-based solution” is just as much hogwash.  The market doesn’t work, because insurers can turn you down for damn near any reason, and once one of them does, the others won’t touch you.  It’s not free-market, even if you take away the pre-existing condition argument.  It’s not like any other good or service that operates in a free market, where if one vendor turns you down, you can buy the item or service somewhere else.  So the health insurance racket is NOT a “free market” by any definition.  And, of course, Tommy prattles on about tort reform and not lining the pockets of the malpractice lawyers with millions of dollars in huge verdicts.  Suffice it to say Tommy’s plan is Paul Ryan dogma.

Back to the Journalism/advocacy question.

Shouldn’t a good reporter stop Tommy in his tracks when he starts talking about Obama-care being a government takeover of the health care industry, and say “wait, wait, that’s a bunch of crap and you know it”?  Shouldn’t the “Journalists” who conduct the candidate “debates” (and anyone who’s ever actually been on a debate team knows that those joint appearances by the candidates are certainly not “debates”) do the same?  Shouldn’t they call them on their falsehoods, no matter which party they belong to?

Or should they leave every statement unchallenged, and let the opposing candidate call an assertion into question?

I don’t know.  I’m sure this line of questioning is being repeated in college classrooms across America, and I have no idea if the “model” is changing or not.  The media certainly have changed, and the way we consume media certainly has changed.   I think we have to ask the question, though, so that we start thinking about an answer, and perhaps a different model.

Perhaps Sorkin’s new show will cast more light on this in future episodes.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Hollering Into the Abyss

I should know better than to get into an online discussion with anyone, involving the Constitution, and particularly with someone whose views are somewhat to the right of crypto-conservative.  It’s like arguing Revelation with an atheist.

The discussion was spurred when I was “tagged” (against my wishes, of course, and quickly removed) in a post from the Conservative Veterans of America.  These are folks who take their God seriously, who are worried about the “European-style Socialism” that President Obama (“HE’S NOT MY PRESIDENT!”) is foisting upon the nation, and the kind of folks who allow obviously racist comments and cartoons to be posted to their site, and never remove them.

The essence of the post I was tagged in was “Separation of Powers is in the Constitution; Separation of Church and State is Not”, and the message was one of those hackneyed rants about how we’d be better off if we paid more attention to “In God We Trust” than the European Socialist Agenda the President is following.  Sorta like “we need a whole lot more of Jesus and lot less rock ‘n roll”.

I don’t usually take the bait on these things; I just un-tag myself from the post and move on.  But this time I had apparently had more than my daily quota of racist Obama-bashing, and I sent a note to the person who’d tagged me in the post “So….separation of Church and State is not in the Constitution, huh?  Where do you suppose that phrase came from?”, expecting to get a response like “Communism” or “Atheism” or something along those lines.

To shorten the story, I will say that when I told this person that it came from the First Amendment to the Constitution, what we call “The Bill of Rights”, I was told that I was completely full of crap because everyone knows the First Amendment is about Free Speech and not religion. 

Oh Kaaaay…….

“Have you ever actually read the First Amendment?  If not, please do so, and then respond.” 

A few minutes later (and presumably after this person Googled “First Amendment” and read it) the response was that the Bill of Rights isn’t really a part of the Constitution, so it doesn’t carry that much weight; the amendments are just sort of suggestions but aren’t really law.  “Not part of the Constitution, eh?  So those gun rights you like to talk about aren’t really rights, they’re just sort of a suggestion?”

I’m not sure if this person then discovered that his gun rights are in that Bill of Rights thingy, and not in his sacred Constitution, but the “conversation” ended there.

I should know better.  But sometimes it’s just too much fun to tweak these people.

No doubt today he’s on a mission to keep the Government’s hands off his Medicare.

Friday, June 22, 2012

WHAT New Jobs???

Well, it’s been nearly three weeks since the election – where are the new jobs that we were promised by both Tommy Thompson and Scott Walker in the run-up to the June 5th vote?  You remember – the new jobs that would be announced right after the election.

The “main-stream media” won’t hold you accountable for your promises, but I will.

There was a time, not too long ago, that if Tommy Thompson got up on a stage (as he did in Oshkosh in May) and said he’d talked with a number of employers in the past few days, and they’d told him that they’re not hiring now, but if Scott Walker survived the recall, they would begin hiring immediately – that some reporter would follow up with Tommy’s people and say “what companies, which employers was Tommy talking to that said they’d hire if Walker survived the recall?”

Because certainly our former Governor-turned-Tea-Party-darling would not make up such a thing, just to make a little political hay.  Would he?

Governor Walker made similar, but more elliptical pronouncements on the campaign trail as well, implying that as soon as he survived the recall, and employers could be sure that he’d stay in control, they’d begin hiring for positions they were holding open until after the political picture was made more clear.

This kind of follow-up by reporters just doesn’t happen any more.  Now, they tweet a few phrases at the news event; file a paragraph or two for their station or paper’s website; maybe post a quick video bite; then they write the story for their station or paper, which is aired on the next newscast or printed the next day, and it’s off to the next story.  There’s apparently not a level of content management any more that keeps track of this stuff and makes a note to a calendar file saying “follow up on new jobs Thompson promised in Oshkosh”.

Such content management would require the kind of staffing and experienced news personnel that no longer exists in the news media.

So, since they aren’t going to follow up, I will:  Tommy – Scotty: name TWO companies or executives that you spoke to before the election, and said they’d start hiring if Governor Walker survived the recall.  Just two.  One’s too easy.  Name two.  And know that there will be follow-up questions with those companies or executives.

It’s called “reporting”, and there used to be a fair amount of it done here and in other places.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Time for a Changing of the Guard

There is little doubt that the seat of power of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin is Dane County.  Apparently some sort of non-porous membrane covers the area, though, because the reality that exists in the other 71 counties of the state is not sinking in here.

But a few green shoots are poking up from inside the bubble.

Respected lefties like Dave Cieslewicz (who has Milwaukee roots) and Cap Times Editor Paul Fanlund are making very public statements that a new Democratic order is essential.  They’re saying things like the message isn’t getting through, the image isn’t clear, the focus is on the wrong things.

Others, like Madison attorney Jeffrey Spitzer-Resnick, are saying it with a bit more force, making public statements that typically, when a party loses an election, it’s time for new leadership, and not mincing words about it being time for some new faces and new ideas.

But, here in the heart of Dane County, in the City of the Perpetually Offended, there’s huge pushback to any talk that suggests the Democrats had anything to do with the ass-kicking they were handed on June 5th.  There’s whining that it wasn’t fair, that the Republicans out-spent them, blah-blah-blah.  In other words, they’re acting just as you would expect losers to act.  Blame the refs, blame the weather, whatever.

And by the way, the constant whining about how Rock-Star Walker got all his money from big business and wealthy donors is highly counterproductive.  As my friend John Roach said, your money didn’t come from God and the angels.  It came from AFSCME and SEIU and WEA.

A few ideas.

First, come up with a message that isn’t focused on organized labor in any way.  To the other 71 counties in Wisconsin, folks like Marty Biel and John Matthews, as effective as they have been in the past, are symbols of what the Republicans are positioning the Democrats as: the party of organized labor.  As Dave Cieslewicz has suggested, do away with the word “Solidarity”, which is a code-word never used by 85% of Wisconsinites.  I would add, do away with that stoopid “fist” symbol.  The clenched hand sends a very clear meaning, and it should have nothing to do with what the Democratic Party stands for.

Second, base your message around new programs that will benefit all the people in the state, not just the usual suspects.  It’s been suggested that the Democrats should lead the charge to keep ALEC’s hands off the State Retirement System- to take the offensive on the issue, rather than play whiny defense (like you have for the past couple years).  Change the law so farmers and small business people can join the retirement system, which is one of those things which will be good for ALL Wisconsinites, and keep the retirement system fully-funded and robust.  Change the dialog from “Cadillac pensions for the lazy state workers, the equivalent of which cannot be found in the private sector” to “We have the best and strongest retirement system in the nation, the envy of every other state, and we’re going to share the wealth with ALL hard-working Wisconsinites” or something along those lines.  But – the key is to play offense, not defense.

Third, when the luddites in the Republican Party like Steve Nass and Glenn Grothman unleash their next diatribe against the University of Wisconsin, call them out loudly and strongly.  Push back and own the dialog.  Explain how the Wisconsin idea has brought great bounty to the state, helps farmers and manufacturers every day, and how the UW is the economic engine that will drive the economy of the future.  Position the Nasses and Grothmans as throwbacks to an era that’s long gone in this state and in the nation, and illustrate how their petty tirades against the big U are detrimental to all Wisconsinites.

And one more thought: you really do need some new faces.  Tammy is not going to beat Tommy.  She is the antithesis of “exciting”.  She is a workmanlike public servant who has done good things for her home district for many years, but she’s not going to beat a dynamo like Tommy, no matter how many times he puts his foot in his mouth.  Oh, and by the way: how many times has a mayor of Milwaukee been elected Governor in Wisconsin?  That would be ZERO point ZERO.  Never.  Stop whining that Russ Feingold should have run and been the savior; if exit polls are to be believed, he wouldn’t have defeated Walker, and I think Russ knew that – just as he knew, about a month before his last U.S. Senate election, that Johnson was going to win.  And you might mention to Mark Pocan that he needs to change his message, too.  If he’s going to make diapers for the striking workers at Palermo Pizza the issue he hangs his hat on, he’s doomed – for all the reasons above.

Executive summary: stop playing defense constantly, change your imaging and your messaging on social media, develop a positive platform of policies to benefit all Wisconsinites, recruit some new faces, and for God’s sake: get out of Dane County once in a while and listen to what the rest of the state is talking about.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

RIP Jim Packard: Madison Radio Legend

He didn’t have the really deep baritone or bass voice that stereotypical radio announcers have; it was a baritone voice, to be sure, but Jim Packard mastered what all radio announcers aspire to: total control of the vocal instrument, perfectly modulated, with remarkable elocution.  Jim’s voice wasn’t really a lyric baritone voice, like Jonathon Overby’s gorgeous pipes; what it was, was….perfect for radio.

Jim passed away Monday, only 71 years old.

He had a lot of jobs in radio, but his signature gig was straight-man and announcer (and, of course, score-keeper) for Michael Feldman on Whad’ya Know, from the show’s first airing in 1985.  Jim’s voice was heard on a variety of announcements that aired throughout the day on Wisconsin Public Radio, and he was producer and fill-in announcer for the Larry Meiller Show on WPR.

Jim’s broadcast career spanned five decades, and before his gig at Wisconsin Public Radio began as a news announcer in 1981, he was familiar to Madison listeners from his days at WISM-AM and WIBA-FM.  Jim’s “Radio Free Madison” broadcasts on WIBA-FM were classics.  Back in those heady days of the 60’s, FM radio was pretty much a classical music service.  AM radio was where all the action was, and Jim helped create that action during his WISM-AM days.  Gradually, FM became cool – when guys like Jim started doing shows like “Radio Free Madison”, the medium caught on and eventually supplanted AM radio as the dominant radio medium.

I met Jim a few times when our radio paths crossed for one reason or another; my first meeting with him was a chance encounter in the hallowed halls of WPR, around 1989, when I was co-hosting a morning show on what used to be WISM-AM with the wonderful woman who would become my wife. We were arranging for joint radio coverage of Governor Tommy Thompson’s State of the State speech with WPR, and I met Jim in the hallway and we chatted briefly.  My news delivery style was vastly different than Jim’s, and he gave me some good-natured ribbing about it.  I remember liking him immediately.  Not a pretentious bone in his body.

Guys like Jim pretty much don’t exist any more.  Jim Mader, Ben Bennedetti….not many more names come to mind, that mastered the art of radio announcing and entertained and informed generations of Madisonians.

Rest in peace, Jim.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Stand By for the Big Lies

The next big target in Governor Scott Walker’s crosshairs is the Wisconsin Retirement System, and the lies have already begun.  At stake: literally billions of dollars.

Governor Walker and his minions – ALEC, The Heritage Foundation, and their ilk – and their radio mouthpieces, like Charlie Sykes, Vicki McKenna, Jerry Bader, and their ilk – are already busy spreading the lie that the Wisconsin State Retirement System is a “drag on the economy.”  You’ll hear that phrase a lot.

Outfits like the crypto-conservative Heritage Foundation will gin up some bogus numbers that will indicate participants in the state retirement system have a Cadillac setup, far better than any pension plan available in the private sector.  They’ll create the fiction that the taxpayers are funding lavish retirements for lazy, unproductive state workers.

And Charlie and Vicki and Jerry will shout these lies at the top of their lungs until enough people are taken in by the lies, paving the way for “reform” to the system.

In this case, that unnecessary “reform” means taking control of the money away from the state investment board and converting the system from a pension plan to a 401(k) system, all to be “managed” by private banks and investment houses.

You know: the folks who brought us wonderful innovations like mortgage-backed securities and credit default swaps.  The folks like Jamie Dimon, who have a multi-billion dollar “oops!” every so often.

Those with short memories may not recall the early drumbeat to “privatize” Social Security that President George W. Bush began in the summer of 2001.  He was laying the foundation to move Social Security from the government to Wall Street.  The Dow was booming; the rich were getting fantastically richer; and then something happened that ended President Bush’s plan to move trillions of dollars to his investment banker buddies.   9-11 happened, and the dialog about privatizing Social Security suddenly disappeared.

Anyone who’s participated in a 401(k) plan knows exactly what happened to their retirement money when the economy came tumbling down in 2008.  In a matter of months, half their life savings – or more – disappeared.  Oops.

Here is the truth: the Wisconsin Retirement System is extremely strong, is one of the best-managed retirement systems in the nation, is not a “drag on the economy”, and doesn’t need fixing.

But Governor Walker will fight hard to privatize it, to move those billions of dollars over to the Wall Street crowd. Because if he can pull this rabbit out of the hat, he will be rich beyond the dreams of avarice, and his family and heirs will live in comfort forever.  Even if he’s drummed out of office, if he can do this gigantic favor for the Wall Street gang, they’ll reward him with board memberships, honoraria, and perks that would make Donald Trump blush.

The battle is already on, but the war isn’t over.  Be afraid; be very afraid.  Your pocket is about to be picked again.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Brats and Beer Summit

At the time I’m writing this, early Monday afternoon, I’m aware of five politicians who have made public statements that they’re not attending Governor Walker’s “beer and brats summit” tomorrow:  Dane County Democrats Mark Pocan (my representative in the state assembly) and Senator Jon Erpenbach; and Republicans Steve Nass, Andre Jacque, and Chad Weininger.

The Democrats, Pocan and Erpenbach, are making public statements that they don’t see the beer and brats summit as a means to an end; they say it’s more important to have a seat at the table when legislation is being discussed.  Nass made a public statement about not going because he’s mad at the Democrats for saying snotty things over the weekend about Republicans.

Pocan and Erpenbach are, as usual, misguided; Nass is just an a-hole.  No news here.  Green Bay area Republican assemblymen Andre Jacque and Chad Weininger aren’t boycotting like Pocan, Erpenbach, and Nass; both say they made prior commitments to events in their district which they’re honoring.

Erpenbach, of course, was the de facto leader of the “Wisconsin 14”, who decamped for Illinois, putting off the inevitable for a few weeks and getting a lot of media.  Pocan, who is running for U.S. Congress, is apparently sending the message to potential voters that he’ll have nothing to do with Republicans.  Nass hates and is against everything, so, no surprise there.

Pocan and Erpenbach come from the bluest county in the state, and are possibly concerned that the people they listen to would think it traitorous of them to accept an invitation from The Imperial Walker, perhaps not realizing they’re sending a clear message to voters in the other 71 counties of Wisconsin that they’re not going to play ball with Walker, won’t drink his beer, won’t eat his brats, because god forbid, it might be Leinie’s beer from that Republican Leinenkugel family, and Johnsonville brats, from that right-wing sausage operation in Sheboygan County.

In the rest of the world, the part that’s not Dane County, when you get your ass kicked as hard as the Democrats did last week, and the winner invites you to a party in an attempt to say “no hard feelings, let’s turn a new page and work together”, to boycott the party would be seen as the petulant act of a spoiled child.  Even one of the bluest of the blue politicians in Dane County, Dave Cieslewicz, has publicly called for Democrats to be gracious in defeat, to congratulate Governor Walker on his victory, and take him up on his offer to be more inclusive.

At the end of WW2, after the Allies kicked the ass of the Axis powers and the Japanese Empire, the U.S. led the other allied nations in rebuilding Europe and Japan, pouring untold money and manpower into healing the wounds of war and asking in return only for a few hundred acres of land to establish cemeteries to properly honor our troops who gave their lives. (If you have not been to France and seen the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach, put it on your bucket list.)

We’ve strayed a long way from the path in Wisconsin, and obviously have much distance yet to travel in recovery.  Those politicians who are boycotting the beer and brats summit have every right to do so.  But they’ve only made the journey longer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It's Over. Get Over It.

One of the news stories I wrote for my day job involved an interview with the executive director of a non-partisan watchdog organization that keeps track of campaign spending, and he said Wisconsin is probably going to be “darn near ungovernable” in the next few months, until things settle down a bit more. 

125 million dollars – the total spending for political ads, flyers, robocalls, yard signs, t-shirts, you-name- it – involving all the recall elections in Wisconsin in the past year and a half.  That is simply insane.

A few thoughts.

New Rule: No candidate for public office is allowed to mention his or her opponent in ANY way in ANY political ad.  This rule shall be universal.  PACs and SuperPAC’s, since our politicians don’t have the backbone to accomplish any meaningful campaign reform, will be required to identify which candidate the PAC supports, and shall be forbidden from ANY reference to the opposing candidate.  No PAC, SuperPAC, nor any other organization or individual, shall be allowed to do any “issue” advertising.

In other words, the candidates will be forced to talk only about what THEY will do if elected.

This will prevent the sort of rhetorical dynamic that pervades and pollutes the political scene today.  In other words, if candidate X says he prefers to eat his breakfast cereal dry, opposing candidate Y will be enjoined from saying “Candidate X hates dairy farmers”.

I know this New Rule violates a number of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions.  Too bad.

A word to the Solidarity Singers, drummers, and hangers-out at the Capitol: go home.  Find something else to do.  You’re not helping.

A word to the listeners of shout radio, hate radio, and other forms of talk radio: limit your exposure.  The people who do these shows can’t help themselves.
A word to hard-core lefties like Brett Hulsey:  in case you haven’t been paying attention, the Democrats just got their ass kicked.  Hard.  One win out of six recalls is an ass-kicking.  So, when Governor Walker says now that the recalls are over, he’d like to work with the opposing party, your response “I’ll believe it when I see it” sounds petulant.  Try something like “we welcome this move by Governor Walker and are eager to work with him.”  The fact that Walker talked about a “burgers, brats, and beer” get-together for legislators won him a lot of points with regular folks.

I’m an independent, born and raised in the Fox Valley.  There are a lot of people like me in this state, and we’re the ones that really decide elections.  We’ll vote for Democrats like Bill Proxmire and Russ Feingold, and we’ll vote for Republicans like Lee Dreyfus and the OLD Tommy Thompson (as opposed to the lobbying Washington insider Tea Person Tommy has morphed into).

My lefty pals will hate me for this, but the 14 state senators who decamped for Illinois are not heroes.  To a lot of Wisconsinites, they looked and acted like anything but.  Disrupting the Governor, regardless of who the Governor is, when he’s talking to a group of Special Olympians, is just plain stoopid.  Jumping in front of a TV live shot with a t-shirt that says F*CK WALKER is a no-class move.  Pouring beer on somebody’s head, in many parts of this state, will get you a trip to the ER and a huge dental bill.  Here’s a news flash: the clenched fist symbol does NOT sit well with a vast majority of Wisconsinites.

Don’t get me wrong.  Remember, I’m an independent.  And as far as I’m concerned, the brothers Fitzgerald are two of the most arrogant asses ever elected to public office anywhere.  Glenn Grothman is a huge national embarrassment.  Becky Kleefisch’s comments about gay people place her squarely in the middle of the 14th century.

You know how you get rid of people like that?  You defeat them in the next election.

You have a lot of work to do.