You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
SUDDEN INSIGHT! It occurs to this motorcyclist that the putatively pejorative “Deplorable” carries with it the same contradictorily desirable, anti-social cachet that black leather Harley Davidson riders enjoy. Heads-down office workers and soccer dad van drivers during the week, beer-swilling outlaws with loud pipes on weekends.
Now this report from Blaska Experimental Farm (and Penal Colony):
• Many butterflies on the zinnias and cannas. Neighbors reporting the same. Good crop of milkweed helped. Getting ready to migrate to Mexico. WI Public Radio paints the picture.
• A real shame to waste a high-sky Saturday (07-14-19) by leaving Camp Randall Stadium empty. Why backload the schedule to November in this northern clime?
• Enjoyed a Swiss lunch at New Glarus Hotel with its view of the charming downtown and a random drive through the countryside. Marty Road — a designated rustic road just west of New Glarus — was a real find! Photos to follow:
Give the man his due —-
Once again in Sunday’s newsprint, my old comrade waves the tattered flag of impeachment. John buttresses his case by quoting that nationally acclaimed authority … A.O.C.! Now there’s a name to convert all those Trumpsters! To win over independent voters! But that accursed national news media, in John’s telling, fails to give impeachment its proper due because it is “obsessed as it always is with the meanderings of the powerful.”
Huh? Maybe it’s time to quote “Cross Plains Woman” instead of Nancy Pelosi. John, not one of the 10 presidential candidates on stage Thursday promoted impeachment. Reason: the election is less than 14 months away.
Which brings us to Maureen Dowd and her stand-up comedy in the New York Times. Her Sunday piece is headlined:
Blaska Policy Werkes would edit that to “Let’s debate: How bad are Democrats doomed?” Ms. Dowd correctly diagnoses the Left’s disorder this-a-way:
He’s in our heads. Even more than we knew.
“Rent-free” as Our Ms. Vicki would say. (Tell your doctor if you are allergic to the truth. Do not take Blaska’s blog if you faint at the sight of blood, bruise easily, or melt like a snowflake.)
Ms. Dowd’s take on Thursday’s Gang of 10 debate is damning:
There were a lot of good politicians on the debate stage in Houston. But the night rang hollow as they lung to the old conventions — the over-coached performances, the canned lines, the pandering, the well-worn childhood anecdotes mean to project “relatability.”
Say what you will about the man, Donald Trump never pandered. He lit up Jeb, scion of two Republican presidents, like a cheap cigar. He defenestrated Republican free-trade internationalism that had dated back to Eisenhower. He bragged about his billions and hardly denied his eye for the ladies. Like it or lump it.
And worth every penny. Ms. Dowd laments:
The candidates struggled to alchemize our exhaustion into excitement. The three hours seemed endless, with two questions hanging over the night: “Can’t anybody here play this game?” and “Will the most beatable candidate in American history win twice?”
Swear to God Trump CAN be beaten. Not by any of the dwarfs challenging him in the decreasing number of Republican primaries but by an actual dues-paying Democrat willing go full Sister Souljah. Someone who:
• Bellows into the microphone: “Hell NO we won’t impeach!”
• Holds aloft a map of Venezuela whenever Bernie or Elizabeth speaks.
• Turns his wallet upside down as his rivals promise free college and reparations for slavery. (Bonus if a moth can be made to fly out. Perhaps a hologram?)
• Wows the audience when the uniformed president of the New York Benevolent Policeman’s Assn. comes out on stage to shake his hand.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Such a Democrat could get elected President. But not nominated.
Blaska is an especially cheeky chappie this morning. Yes, he watched some of the Democrat(ic) presidential debate Live From Texas Thursday evening (09-12-19) in between the Phillies/Braves game and the National Weather Service alerts. BRAAAPPP, BRAAAPPP! … (These emergency weather alerts seem to prevent one from changing the channel. Sort of like that 1960s science fiction TV show, Outer Limits.)
I do love me a good debate, which is why the white lab coats here at Blaska Policy Werkes tune in to the House of Commons every chance it’s on. (I do hope C-Span renews the show for another season!) Otherwise, we settle for the U.S. Congress. During Thursday’s debate in House Judiciary over “impeachment investigation,” members kept saying “Strike the last word.” What does that even mean?
None of the 10 Democrat(ic) hopefuls yielded back any of their time, either, which the House of Reps is always doing. Might not have been a bad strategy for some of the candidates. Brevity being the soul of wit, and all. Some of the also-rans are struggling mightily for that break-out moment. Andrew Yang promoted free money in a bid for the Publisher’s Clearinghouse Sweepstakes vote. (Did anyone notice Yang saying “I’m Asian so I know a lot of doctors.” If that is stereotypical would you mind if his running mate is named “Yin”?)
One of Reagan’s breakouts was “There you go again.” Bill Clinton had his Sister Soulja moment. No break-out moments Thursday night but the most memorable line in Democrat(ic) Demoliton Derby #3 goes to Beto the Fey Irish Lad:
⇒ One senses a climate-changing flurry of cold, dead hands furiously locking and loading this morning in America. Already a Texas state legislator is daring Beto the Irish Lad to come and get his. In the metaphorical sense, one hopes.
Read & Weep: “Beto just did Republicans a massive favor”
I love Ann of Althouse’s takes on the debate. We’ll excerpt just two of her even dozen for fair usage (You can find the remainder here.)
3. Bernie was awful. His voice had acquired a new raspiness that made his angry, yelling style outright ugly. I couldn’t believe I needed to listen to him. I cried out in outrage and pain. The stabbing hand gestures — ugh! This is the Democrats second-most-popular candidate? I loved Bernie when he challenged Hillary four years ago. The anger was a fascinating mix of comedy and righteousness. But the act is old, and the socialism — did Joe call him a “socialist” more than once? — is scary. We can’t be having a raving crank throwing radical change in our face.
4. Elizabeth Warren … and Bernie were double-teaming Joe, and that worked … for Joe. He linked Warren to Bernie: She’s for Bernie/I’m for Barack. I remember Warren reacting to every question with “Listen …” Like we’re the slow students in her class and we haven’t been paying attention and she’s getting tired of us. …
It’s the likability thing. The Deplorables we know do NOT appreciate being lectured like truant school children. Except Uncle Joe and Amy Klobuchar, the other eight sound like they’re missing their campus protest bullhorn.
For what it’s worth, the New York Times cheerleading section anointed Warren as the victor of the night, scoring 7.5 points out of a perfect 10, probably because she did not land the triple axel. (The NY Times scoring: Warren 7.5, Kamala Harris 6.2, Cory Booker 6.1, Pete Buttigieg and Beto the Irish Lad 6.0, Uncle Joe 5.9, Bernie 5.7, Klobuchar 5.2, Julian Castro 4.6, Andrew Yang 3.4.) The delightful (and infuriating) Maureen Dowd comments:
More free stuff and Aunt Bee! Warren’s expertise is appealing in the age of Trump, though, like President Obama, she tends to lecture.
Blaska’s Strikes the Last Word: Has ever there been a luckier candidate than Donald Trump? Sanders, Biden, and Warren are the front-runners? Hell no! Prediction: next summer in riot-torn Milwaukee the Democrats will nominate Someone
Speaking of the assault on order. Our good friends the Helbachs are expanding the Jesus lunches they began a few years ago, off-campus, on a public park near Middleton high school. They’re now in Verona and across from Madison Memorial. Of course, the nanny left cannot abide the plurality in the public square; one size WILL fit all, comrade. Yes, Annie Laurie Gaylor is on her high horse. It’s so DIVISIVE!
Only because the political Left knows not about Live and Let Live. These lunches are held a block or two off school premises, chaperoned by responsible adults, and are voluntary. You don’t want to hear the name of the founder of Christianity? Loiter somewhere else. Check a few parked cars for keys in the ignition until the class bell rings.
The Capital Times quotes Annie Laurie Gaylor (its PR client) this way: “What these mothers are doing is terribly divisive and opportunistic.”
Jesus was divisive, no question. Upset the apple cart and the lenders in the temple. Gaylor bleats that the Jesus Lunch organizers are taking advantage of a “captive audience” (“Captive.” It’s off campus!) by offering food to hungry students with the aim of pushing religion. Kind of like Jesus the Christ Himself. Lured the unwashed in by feeding them fishes and loaves. Next thing y’know — thus brainwashed — you’re ministering to the sick and elderly.
Three out of every four conservative college students take pains to hide their political views in order to protect their grades. Think of it this way: You made it to Harvard graduate school. Your doctoral professor is Jennifer Cheatham. Are you going to risk throwing away that doctorate in education by disputing her culture of victimization? “I’m a conservative but my essays are very liberal.” Read & Weep.
The strange thought occurs that the Brewers could do this without Christian Yelich. Talk about a gut punch (or being knee-capped)! Next man up and all that but watching the Moose yank one out of nearly empty Marlins ballpark Wednesday night on the Philco, Boo-yah! Brewers do have a lot of tools, esp. when Keston Hiura returns. Brent Suter? Who knew?!
Can baseball survive in Florida? Admittedly, the Marlins are awful but trading away Yelich and other great young players made them that way. Result: attendance in the Brewer series is around 7,000 per game. Wednesday night, Lo Cain hauls in the last out of the inning and turns around to throw it into the stands, as is customary. Only problem, no one in the bleachers to receive it. Cain eats the ball.
The good news is the statewide racial achievement gap is narrowing. The bad news is that it is because white students are regressing at a faster rate than black students.
The worse news is regardless of race, kids in Wisconsin’s public schools are more stupid than in past years.
The truly calamitous news is that the majority of ALL 11th-grade students in Madison read and write below basic proficiency. Translated: they are functionally illiterate.
In Madison public schools, 39.7% of all 11th graders scored proficient or better the ACT english/language arts. That’s down from 45.8% three years ago (2015-16 school year). (Note: the stats just cited differ from the WI State Journal’s in today’s editions. They used grades 3-8 and 11. Blaska Policy Werkes is isolating on grade 11, when students are about to graduate [maybe] into the economy.)
Statewide, the WI State Journal reports, white students in fifth grade dropped 4.6 percentage points in reading and writing compared to a 1.6 drop among African-American students. That’s how the statewide racial gap is closing, at least in that statistic. Good news for those obsessed by race, one supposes.
⇒Madison’s racial achievement gap continues to yawn wide after six years of Jennifer Cheatham’s magical thinking. Only 9% of Madison’s African-American high school students tested proficient in English language arts (aka: reading and writing) in the just-completed school year, compared to almost two-thirds of white kids. The flip side is two-thirds of black kids are functionally illiterate (what the educrats like to call “below basic proficiency). And what’s up with better than one in five AA kids not taking the test at all?
Good Madison liberals, progressives and socialists will blame the Orange Man in the White House or Scott Walker. But neither was ever the state’s education chief. That would be a good Democrat name of Tony Evers, now the governor. Ditto Madison’s superintendent of schools, who would be the Guilty White Privileged Woman now stamping out more virtue signalers at Harvard University.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Why are students regressing? Class? Could one reason be the new normal: chaos in the classroom? Not just in Madison but in Sun Prairie, Middleton, and Verona — just to name three local school districts with well publicized disorders.
We have said it before. Republicans would be their own worst enemy — Donald Trump, especially — were it not for Democrats. It seems the party of my youth is compelled to rip its issues platform from the university sociology and race & gender studies syllabus.
The New York Times is fretting that Democrats are handing Donald Trump and Republicans victory in 2020. “Democrats! Stop helping Trump!” bleats David Leonhardt. The Timesman notices that the generic party enjoyed a 53% favorable to 42% unfavorable among the electorate while Republicans were 43% good to 52% underwater. But that was then — a year ago.
Democrats today have frittered away that advantage to 45% favorable to 52% unfavorable. Exactly the same as Republicans, as measured by Pew Research Center. The GOP actually improved a smidgeon.
Blaska Policy Werkes would argue causation is three-fold: Democrats got a wedgie on Russian collusion, they continue to promote impeachment, and their presidential candidates are on the telly. Continue reading