Can you keep order at your own meeting?
The Policy Werkes e-mailed this to our elected city leaders yesterday (06-27-19) and copied the news media. We’ll update if anyone bothers to answer: Continue reading
The Policy Werkes e-mailed this to our elected city leaders yesterday (06-27-19) and copied the news media. We’ll update if anyone bothers to answer: Continue reading
It is a typically biased CNN headline: “Supreme Court allows severe partisan gerrymandering to continue.”
The case was brought out of North Carolina but has to be a crushing blow to Democrats and their allies (such as the League of Women Voters and Common Cause) here in Wisconsin.
The court last June remanded a case emanating from Wisconsin, ruling the original appellants lacked standing. Even then, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote “This Court is not responsible for vindicating generalized partisan preferences,” in a 9-0 decision.
In today’s (06-27-19) case, the chief justice properly stated that the courts cannot provide a judicial remedy because (we’re condensing here) it would open a pandora’s box, can of worms — whatever your dystopian analogy — of courts applying slide rules to legislative redistricting.
We have pointed out that Democrats concentrate themselves in places like Madison. One cannot spread out the Democrat(ic) vote in Madison without drawing districts that would snake out along the median strip of Highway 151 to claim some of Dodge County. And to the west, even in Iowa County, still more Democrats.
After Wisconsin elected a Democrat as governor in November 2018 and returned a decidedly Republican legislature, the Wisconsin State Journal whined “Mostly the Republicans’ big advantage in the Legislature is the result of cheating.”
We wrote then: Democrats ran unopposed in 22 more districts — largely in Milwaukee — for a total of 30 Democrats without a Republican opponent. Meaning that Republicans in almost one-third of the 99 Assembly districts received exactly zero votes. None, nada, 0.00.
Some Republicans also got a free ride but not nearly as many. Only 8 Republicans were unopposed. For those of us who were not math majors, that’s a difference of 22 more Democrats unopposed than Republicans.
We also note that Democrats won the 10 state senate seat in NW Wisconsin in January 2018 by 54-44% for a seat that had been Republican for 17 years, that went for retiring Sen. Sheila Harsdorf (appointed state ag secretary) with 63% in 2016, that Trump carried 55% to 38%.
Consider also that one-third of Wisconsin’s counties voted for Barack Obama twice and then for Donald Trump.
The courts have consistently ruled that district must be nearly exactly the same population, must be compact, and must not unduly separate communities. Special allowances are made to assure at least one minority-race majority district. Attempting to draw districts to assure uniform political affiliation is a fool’s game.
“Federal judges have no license to reallocate political power between the two major political parties, with no plausible grant of authority in the Constitution, and no legal standards to limit and direct their decisions,” Roberts wrote.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: In any event, Gov. Tony Evers can veto the next legislative redraw.
How many people will believe Jean Carroll, the woman who alleged Donald Trump raped her in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room in the 1990s?
As many people as want to, those being Donald Trump haters. Truth has never been more relative, less empirical, and more partisan. The rest of us — especially those of us who hug the middle — have become cynics, I’m afraid. Too many outright hoaxes. It’s as if the operative political equation goes like this:
You have to watch CNN’s Anderson Cooper interview this person. “I think most people think of rape as being sexy,” Carroll told viewers. “They think of the fantasies.” Glad a conservative didn’t say that. Might it surprise you to know that the lady is a pro-abortion, anti-Trump, Hillary Clinton contributor? (Source.)
The Washington Pundit claims that Carroll’s story is a copycat of an episode of Law and Order from season 13 — right down to the rape fantasy in a Bergdorf Goodman dressing room. If you’ll pardon the twist on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance:
In today’s Wall Street Journal, the essential Jason L. Riley reviews a political scientist’s findings that fewer than a third of 346 such allegations was genuine.
In 2012 a popular gay bar in suburban Chicago was destroyed by fire, and the owner cited homophobia as the reason. The same year, black students at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside reported death threats from hate groups and found a noose hanging from a dorm room door. Ultimately, the owner of the bar pleaded guilty to arson and insurance fraud. And a black student at the university fessed up to sending racist threats and planting a noose.
These alleged incidents are invariably seized upon by politicians and activists looking to feed a sacrosanct belief among liberals that discrimination and oppression are the main drivers of inequality.
“In the mainstream media we hear almost constant talk about scary new forms of racism: ‘white privilege,’ ‘cultural appropriation,’ and ‘subtle bigotry,’ ” [U. of Kentucky political scientist Wilfred Reilly writes, yet “a huge percentage of the horrific hate crimes cited as evidence of contemporary bigotry are fakes.”
Think about it:
Madison has its share; the latest being positive behavior coach who “tore a little black girl’s braids out at Whitehouse middle school.”
Where is the outrage? The superintendent of Madison’s public schools fell head over spiked heels for a hoax so unbelievable, on its face, that she threw a veteran teacher under the school bus rather than wait for the facts.
That teacher’s career is ruined over a false narrative promulgated by the Rev. Alex Gee, Boys & Girls Club boss Michael Johnson, and school board candidates Muldrow and Ananda Mirilli.
“I am aware of the public narratives about this incident,” Ozanne said. “Some of these narratives are based on incorrect information and assumptions that have been alleged as fact. Slices of this story have come out and some members of our community have coupled this information with their own experiences, drawing conclusions that are simply wrong.”
The positive behavior coach’s career is ruined. (“I have been betrayed.”) While the hoaxers profit. Muldrow and Mirilli won their elections; Alex Gee and Michael Johnson hustle white guilt, and Jennifer Cheatham gets a cushy job at Harvard training more guilty white superintendents who jump to conclusions rather than search for the truth.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: We used to think the search for truth was the purpose of education.
Matt Kittle for MacIver News adds some much-needed balance to the saccharine idolatry showered on retiring Wisconsin supreme court Justice Shirley Abrahamson, champion of the regulatory state and den mother of the speech police.
Most particularly embarrassing is Judy Davidoff’s hagiography in Isthmus. Encomiums from John Nichols, Jim Doyle, Tony Evers, and the Notorious RBG.
Kittle notes that Abrahamson’s fingerprints are all over the so-called “John Doe II” investigation, a politically charged probe into dozens of conservative organizations launched by Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, a highly partisan Democrat.
It was Abrahamson who appointed the original judge overseeing the Doe. Judge Barbara Kluka approved scores of subpoenas on the same day she was conducting a jury trial. She was eventually relieved of her duties in favor of Judge Gregory Peterson who ordered a halt to the implementation of further search warrants — the first of four courts to put a stop to John Doe 2.
In 2015, the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s conservative majority declared the probe, launched in August 2012, unconstitutional. The ruling, written by Justice Michael Gableman, noted that the government officials involved, “Instigated a ‘perfect storm of wrongs,’” on people who were “wholly innocent of any wrongdoing.”
Abrahamson wrote the dissenting opinion, asserting the “majority opinion adopts an unprecedented and faulty interpretation of Wisconsin’s campaign finance law and of the First Amendment.” …
The justice’s defense of Wisconsin’s “labyrinthian” campaign finance laws was not shared by multiple courts, including a previous federal court decision. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Diane Sykes described Wisconsin’s campaign finance system as a “dizzying array of statutes and rules” that are “labyrinthian and difficult to decipher.”
Money IS speech, folks. (Just as money is transportation, shelter, and food.) If journalists like Nichols and Davidoff won’t give you a fair shake, you’ve got to buy your own media.
What Matt Kittle does not report is that Shirley has been the source of discord for virtually her entire 30-year tenure. Even former Democrats like the late Bill Bablitch, an associate justice, said so.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: There is justice, after all. Shirley Abrahamson will be replaced by Brian Hagedorn, who won election despite being deserted by the usual conservative heavy hitters. Truly, a people’s victory.
My friendly comrade John Nichols hopes his readers have a short memory.
Always in the service of his statist ideology, The Capital Times associate editor lambastes the WI Supreme Court AND the state legislature for a decision he does not like in Sunday’s paper (06-23-19).
Writes Comrade Nichols:
When the partisan majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the political chicanery of Republican legislators, no one was surprised. Sadly, it was to be expected that the four justices who serve as rubber stamps for the right wing of the state Republican Party (and its major donors) would refuse to overturn “lame-duck” laws.
Of course, it could be said that the partisan minority on the court served as rubber stamps for the left wing of the Democrat(ic) party — and its major donors!
Nichols is in a dither because the Legislature — meeting after the 2018 election in which Democrat Tony Evers defeated Scott Walker — passed legislation curbing the new governor’s powers. (Among other things: to prevent the new governor from rescinding Medicaid work requirements without legislative approval and to withdraw Wisconsin from multi-state lawsuit against ObamaCare. The legislature also ratified 82 last-minute Walker appointments.)
Democrats descended on the capitol to make noise but it was short-lived and anemic, a shadow of the Act 10 intifada. So, a number of groups brought suit, including (lamentably) the once-nonpartisan League of [Liberal] Women Voters. Of course, they won in Dane County (Wisconsin’s version of the federal system’s 9th circuit) but lost when the high court affirmed the legality of the legislature’s action by a 4-3 vote Friday (06-21-19). Hence Nichols’ alliterative tantrum
It may well be that John’s readers suffer short-term memories. He can only hope because just two months ago one of those right-wing Republican legislators explained the law about as well as it can be explained. Oh wait a minute!!! Tom Loftus is no Republican and is hardly “right wing” but the former Democratic speaker of the state Assembly and the Democratic nominee for governor in 1990. How embarrassing!
There is, in reality, no such thing as a “special session,” Loftus wrote, on April 26 for the Capital Times!:
[T]he legislature is always in session. The reality of one continuous two-year session was formally acknowledged by a constitutional amendment ratified in April 1968: “Shall Article IV, Section 11 of the Constitution be amended to permit the Legislature to meet in regular session oftener than once in two years?” The amendment was ratified in a 670,757 to 267,997 vote. …
The Legislature, under the Constitution, governs itself — setting its own rules of organization, procedures and calendar. So an extraordinary session is simply a floor period added to the dates adopted at the beginning of the two-year session, but, like a special session, it is restricted in subject matter.
Wisconsin’s Legislature does not adjourn sine die — meaning “without a day” to reconvene — until minutes before members of a new Legislature are sworn in.
Think about it, Loftus argued. Could a governor time his veto when the legislature is out of session, “thus thwarting the Legislature’s power under the Constitution to consider an override?”
Indeed, the legislature met after its usual floor period in 1980, 1987 and 1988 to consider vetoes. Oh, and again on July 17, 2012, to elect Fred Risser as Senate president following the recall elections.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Who are the partisans on the court? We nominate Justices Rebecca Dallet, Ann Walsh Bradley and Shirley Abrahamson.
For further study: By signing Justice Dallet’s dissenting opinion, but adding no comment of her own, Abrahamson was spared the task of explaining the apparent illegitimacy — in her view — of extraordinary sessions held on many occasions during the last four decades. — RightWisconsin.
Madison Wi does not need A.O.C., Bernie, or Elizabeth Sanders to calibrate the breakdown of the civic public square in America. We’ve got Mayor Satya Conway-Rhodes and Jennifer Cheatham, superintendent of schools.
The WI State Journal led off Sunday’s edition (06-23-19) with the fouling of upper State Street, Madison’s not-so-great street.
Call it San Francisco-lite, with defecation the end-product (if you’ll pardon) as the result of 40 years of social welfare spending and the ACLU- Progressive project to geld law enforcement.
I’m still that starry-eyed kid who wants to put on a play in the barn with Mickey and Judy, directed by Frank Capra. I’d like to save the kids before they become street bums and their predators.
Which is why the simple folk at the Blaska Work Farm (and Penal Colony) are sickened by our city’s kowtowing to the forces of destruction. We are talking about Freedom Inc. and its allies in the Democrat(ic)/socialist identity politics movement.
The WI State Journal’s Chris Rickert took a swing at it in his Sunday piece:
Madison School District Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham said in a statement that, as the district has considered the role of SROs: “Freedom Inc. has pushed to ensure that the voices of youth of color are a powerful part of that discussion and decision-making process.”
In a statement, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway called Freedom Inc. co-executive director M Adams a “nationally recognized expert on the intersection between race, gender and LGBTQ issues. I appreciate her role as a thought leader in our community.”
Which is rich because on Tuesday, July 2, social justice warrior led by Freedom Inc. will do its best to disrupt a lawful meeting of the democratically elected Madison Common Council. Alders will be voting on a contract to continue policing Madison’s four troubled high schools.
The vote is no slam dunk; after a narrow 4-3 vote on the school board to continue protecting students the vote on the council could well go the other way. Blame the Scott Walker administration and the Republican legislature.
Freedom Inc. received $542,040 from the WI Department of Children and Family Services for “domestic violence and victim services for black and Southeast Asian populations.” Where is the Legislative Audit Bureau when you need them?
Worse, Brad Schimel’s Department of Justice showered $670,237 on the group over 15 months.
From 2014 through the first quarter of this year, the city of Madison has provided the group with $64,334 for programs for Hmong girls and women and black girls aimed at improving self perceptions, building leadership skills, “raising awareness about the challenges within their communities” and encouraging “action to address barriers to success.”
Good work, Chris Rickert!
Leaders of Freedom Inc. declined to speak with the Wisconsin State Journal or allow a reporter to observe the group’s social services work, making it difficult to describe the group’s current activities beyond protesting at public meetings.
Among the programs listed on its website are an anti-violence Black Girls Matter program and the Lotus Youth Group, a program for Cambodian youth that “helps educate and build healthy relationships with families and communities through dance and cultural arts.”
This part did not make it in the print version today but is accessible on-line:
TJ Mertz, who lost his School Board re-election bid and served on the committee that recommended changes to the district’s contract for the SROs, noted the dispute is over four police officers for 7,000 high school students.
“To me, none of this is so odious that it requires shutting meetings down,” he said, referring to both the SRO program and the committee’s and board’s work to consider it.
As for the group’s behavior at public meetings, the School Board, as an elected body, is “fair game,” he said, but members of the committee that studied SROs “deserved to be treated better,” and the group’s tactics have been employed to deny some people, such as local conservative activist David Blaska, a key American right — the right to petition one’s government.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Is there a bottom line? No, sez I. We will have to go lower still.