If money won elections, Jeb would be president

We’ve been making this point for years. Here, Ann of Althouse (she could use the traffic) asks: What will become of the “money in politics” issue after Hillary outspent Trump and, now in Georgia’s Sixth, the Democrat outspent the Republican winner? I could do worse than step aside for the Baroness Althouse:

I see that, just before he lost the election, Jon Ossoff complained (on NPR) that “money in politics is a major problem.” But Ossoff spent far more money than Handel. If he had won it would have bolstered the argument that more and more money must be donated because with enough money, victory can be bought.

Meanwhile, back the presidential election, Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton used vast piles of money scare off challengers, but each of them had a scrappy low-budget nemesis.

If Bernie Sanders had been a little more hardcore (early on he let go of the email issue) and if the DNC hadn’t (apparently) rigged it, he could have been the Democratic Party candidate.

Jeb Bush and his super-PAC spent over $110 million and never got anywhere in the primaries. Trump spent the least of the 17 contenders for the GOP nomination.

In the general election, Hillary spent far more than Trump.

And Silicon Valley billionaire Meg Whitman instead of California governor Jerry Brown, etc. etc. For extra credit: find Laszlo Spatula’s comment on Ann’s blogge. Discuss amongst yourselves.

First Amendment is safe for now

The Move to Amend movement, championed by the likes of John Nichols, John Hendrick, and Mike McCabe, prattles on about “getting the money out of politics.” Sounds good until you realize that such sentiments led directly to the secret speech police and their pre-dawn battering rams.

Move to Amenders like to put up ballot referenda insisting that “money is not speech,” as the a 2011 advisory referendum in Madison declared. Money isn’t food, either. Or housing, or clothing, or travel, or newspaper advertisements. But money if required to obtain all of those.

The speech regulators want to overturn Citizens United 2010 and restore McCain-Feingold. As Floyd Abrams noted in his 2005 book, Speaking Freely :

McCain-Feingold even prohibited advertising a book in the run-up to 2004 presidential election. Why? Because the book featured the name and photo of Sen. John Kerry, its author.

Thank God, Move to Amend is dead. The election of a Republican Congress and Republican president killed it. The election of at least one house of the legislature or one governor in 45 of the 50 states killed it. The confirmation of Neil Gorsuch as the fifth conservative “leave(s) us with almost no chance of overturning Citizens United for a generation,” proponents of a constitutional amendment admit.

They have been pushing their own Article V constitutional convention through the Free and Fair Elections (SJR24) resolution introduced by Sen. Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee). “Unfortunately, SJR24 could not have come at a worse time,” admits a Bernie Sanders-affinity group called “Our Wisconsin Revolution.” (Our Wisconsin Revolution?!!!) Republicans instead put forward a parallel resolution (SJR18) that calls for a constitutionally required balanced federal budget.

Gelding the First Amendment to curb political speech, defending the secret John Doe speech police, shouting down campus speakers and defending the hecklers’ veto, playing the race card against reformers: that’s the record of our … acquaintances.


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Bill Lueders hates me; does that make me stupid?

Bill Lueders hates me. I wish he didn’t but he does. Bill is bilious that Your Humble Squire calls out his pervasive Left-wing bias, extant throughout his career as a Professional Journalist.

Tuesday evening at the High Noon Saloon, Bill was a panelist considering a question posed by The Capital Times: “Is the Wisconsin news media biased?” (Which is like Nancy Pelosi asking whether she might be a drag on the ticket.)

Bill made the case that he works hard, sources his writing, strives to be accurate. No arguments, there. Bill Lueders is one of the finest journalists in Madison. (Bill, stop reading here!) Also one of the most liberally biased. (Too late.)

prius-bumper-stixBut he never addressed the question of mainstream news media bias and, by so avoiding, made my point. He doesn’t believe he is biased nor does the larger Professional Journalist community. They can’t help it that truth and justice are on their side.

Bill let down his guard later in the symposium after the one conservative journalist on the four-member panel, Matt Kittle of MacIver, uttered the term “illegal immigrant.” That lit up Lueders’ circuit board.

“Undocumented immigrant,” Bill corrected.

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Democrats demand special prosecutor to investigate Dilbert

Could it be? A newspaper comic strip from the political Right? A welcome counter to the Bush-bashing, coastal-elite Doonesbury? Be still my heart.

The comic strip Dilbert delightfully skewers 21st Century bureaucratic America, Silicon Valley and every I.T. shop. It’s staged in the world of cubicles and pointless meetings; populated by inept bosses, worthless consultants, and a socially inept info-tech engineer whose own dog disrespects him. Dilbert does daily in print what Office Space (“Did you get the memo?) did on the big screen and Steve Carrell’s Office did in the TV series. With one big difference emerging this week.

Wednesday in the Wisconsin State Journal, the syndicated strip began a story line in which The Pointy-Haired Boss informs Dilbert of unsubstantiated allegations that our hero colluded with their Elbonian competitors. (The entirety of Elbonia lies six inches under water.)

In the interests of fair usage, we reprint only two panels of Wednesday’s (6-21-17) installment. (Dilbert is on line.)


Today’s installment reveals that a thorough tossing of Dilbert’s electronic paper trail reveals no collusion “But there are many other crimes he might have committed,” the bespectacled Dogbert announces. “You should pay me to investigate them.”

The parallels with the obsessive inquiry into the Trump administration’s supposed canoodling with Vladimir Putin is unmistakable. (The preceding is what we call in the journalism game the “nut graph.”)

Dilbert’s creator, Scott Adams, is a respected social observer; his essays are published in Wall Street Journal and elsewhere; he has written several books (including The Dilbert Principle). He is also a Trump supporter.

Adams praises Trump’s communication skills and predicted he would be elected president. He nonetheless endorsed Hillary Clinton and in July 2016 advised readers of his blog:



I endorsed Hillary Clinton for my personal safety because I live in California. It isn’t safe to be viewed as a Trump supporter where I live. My politics don’t align with either candidate, but backing Clinton reduces my odds of dying at the hands of my fellow citizens. (And yes, I am 100% serious. It just happens to be funny by coincidence.)

By late September, according to the Wikipedia entry (I’m not proud) he had switched allegiance and endorsed Trump.

Now we’ll see how many newspapers drop Dilbert and how many more of our liberal-progressive-socialist First Amendment bashers, having been mortally offended by this white male oppressor, demand they do so.

In February 2017, Adams stopped donating to his alma mater, UC Berkeley, after the violence which erupted against Milo Yiannopoulos and student Trump supporters. — Wikipedia.
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What went down in Georgia (or deep sixed)

No, Mr. President. We’re not tired of winning yet

We learned these things from the suburban Atlanta congressional race last night.

Money does not win elections. By all accounts, the Democrat Jon Ossoff significantly outspent the Republican winner — by one account, $31 to $23 million.

Donald Trump is still not as toxic as Nancy Pelosi. Winner Karen Handel tied Pelosi and Ossoff together like a reverse Ben Carson surgery. How does a political party show it is captive to the status quo in a change atmosphere? By making Pelosi and Hillary Clinton the face of the party.

It’s the culture thing. Ossoff was an implant, a foreign body. Didn’t even live in the district. (The U.S. Constitution does not require it; individual state law can.) Republicans pointed out that Ossoff got most of his cash from California and New York. Just 14 percent came from Georgia, compared with 56 percent of Handel, a NY Times analysis showed.

Anti-Trump is not a winning message. As much of a hot mess the man may be, Trump wants jobs back in America, backs the police, shoots down Syrian aircraft, appoints a damn good supreme court justice, and a pretty good cabinet, and freaks out the culture elites.

Most of the news media remains Democrat-occupied territory. Sure, Fox was giddy that the Republican won. We quickly switched to MSNBC. Continue reading

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Power struggle in Madison’s Kremlin

In this corner, wearing the red trunks, Mayor Paul Soglin
The challenger, wearing the black trunks, city alders

Madison alders tonight will win at least one round of their on-going power struggle with Mayor Paul Soglin. They likely can muster the 14 votes needed to over-ride the mayor’s veto to create a full-time chief of staff position, annual pay around 100 grand. It’s item #11 on tonight’s Common Council agenda.

Somehow, a chief of staff is needed to help the alders “combat poverty” and ensure “equity.” Tell me our liberal-progressive-socialist acquaintances don’t have their own dog whistles! State Journal columnist Chris Rickert was correct this morning to exclaim “what nonsense.”

The power struggle within Madison city government goes far beyond a $100,000 chief of staff for the alders, however.


Witch Trial

The mayor is proposing a 17-member task force to study the structure of city government. The mayor would appoint 15 citizens; Ald. Rummel would appoint 2 council members. All would be confirmed by the Council. Details here. Soglin is the lone sponsor.

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Identity yourself, you ‘gender non-conforming’ Madison pilgrim

If your wallet isn’t as fat as George Costanza’s, you may need a City of Madison identification card.

Your city government at work. Tackling the Big Stuff. Madison’s UnCommon Council, meets tonight (6-20-17) at the Obama Center to take the first step to creating a real collector’s item, a City of Madison I.D. card. That first step would be to create the all-important “work group,” which will tie up citizens and elected alders for interminable meetings on this crucial issue. (It’s Item #78 on the agenda.)

City card reduced

adapted from FreakingNews.com

What you wanna bet the work group eventually says, “Yep, Madison ought to have its own I.D. card.” ?

The resolution cites the usual roster of besieged identity groups allegedly suffering from Thin Wallet Syndrome (aka: no I.D. card) but one of the groups listed in the proposed legislation stands out: “immigrants.”

Now, the immigrants we’ve witnessed taking the oath of citizenship at the Kastenmeier federal courthouse (soon to be renamed after Judge “Hang ‘em High” Shabazz) were given real I.D. cards, not this city scrip. But it’s too much to expect the City of Madison to use the word “illegal” to modify the word “immigrant” in an official resolution so we’ll just have to fill in the blank, ourselves.

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