Monthly Archives: October 2014

Beware October

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pumpkinA few days ago the Marquette Law School poll showed Governor Walker leading challenger Mary Burke by five percentage points among likely voters. The same poll showed 54 percent of respondents believe Wisconsin is “on the right track.”

The modest “right track” majority is a deadly statistic for Burke, in that it sets Wisconsin apart: better off under Walker than the nation is under Obama. A Rasmussen Poll of similarly recent vintage has the nationwide “right track” response at an appalling 25 percent.

This is all excellent news for Walker supporters, but also a warning sign for both sides. It tells the people propping up Burke’s candidacy they must do serious damage to Walker’s positive numbers, or lose.

So watch for the “October Surprise.”

A vivid recollection, circa 1990, is of an incumbent Democrat state legislator facing a potent challenge from an accomplished Republican candidate. Pretend the Republican’s name was Smith.  The Friday before the election, the local daily newspaper’s top of page-one headline was “CRIMINAL CHARGE FILED AGAINST SMITH.”

It was true, and the right Smith. The smelly part was that the criminal charge involved a vague section of state law, cynically misapplied by the Democrat incumbent to criminalize political disagreement. The “crime” and the charges disappeared like a Cheshire cat—not even leaving his grin behind—once the Democrat was re-elected.

So get ready.

Left-wingers fueled by 100-octane hatred will try desperately to make Scott Walker look like the most evil creature of the century, between now and November 4th.

It’s official: Burke doesn’t care

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dreamstime_xs_18243284We’ve speculated often about International Woman of Mystery Mary Burke and what makes her tick, what, specifically, motivates her candidacy for Governor of Wisconsin.

It’s a serious question because the job she seeks does not lend itself to being performed or put on hold at the whim of the officeholder.  Even as we yearn for limited government, we recognize (see: Ebola control; the southern border,) the risks attendant upon detached government residing in an ideological fantasy-land, impervious to present reality.

The latest manifestation of detachment from her own candidacy appeared last week when a Green Bay television reporter looked behind Burke’s thoroughly discredited claim that a graduate of the Neenah school system had been unable to return there for a teaching job, thanks to the ravages of Act 10 collective bargaining reforms.

The reporter found not only that Neenah would have paid the young teacher $5,000 more than the Minnesota school district where she accepted employment, but also that the original source for Burke’s tale of Act 10 woe is a dubious character with a police record.

Eerily similar to Burke’s ongoing plagiarism fiasco, the relevant aspect of the Neenah episode is less the eye-catching misdeeds of people acting at the periphery than the bizarre indifference of the campaign’s central figure, who clearly doesn’t bother familiarizing herself with matters on which she proclaims public positions.

Serial carelessness is not a characteristic of someone who genuinely wishes to be governor.

Emblematic of the soft-headed times we live in is the standard focus-group inquiry into whether “Candidate X cares more about people like me.” For those who spend time thinking about such things, Mary Burke is highly unlikely to care about you, given that she doesn’t appear to care even about the job she says she wants you to give her.

Big Brother Visits the UN

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bigbrotherGlobal warming as pretext for totalitarianism was on display last week, with more executive orders from the malevolent Barack Obama exploiting natural climate variation to leverage political fraud.

Note this unsettling announcement:

“The NOAA will also begin developing ‘extreme weather risk outlooks’ for as long as 30 days in advance to help local communities to prepare for damaging weather and prevent ‘loss of life and property,’ partnering with private companies to monitor and predict climate change.”

So phony, 30-day forecasts useful only to generate fear will be the enviro-socialists’ antidote to decades of dire predictions—more and stronger hurricanes, more and stronger tornadoes, longer, worse  droughts, more floods, more wildfires, accelerating sea-level rise—proving one after another to be nonsense.  Some of us remember the UW’s late Reid Bryson, arguably the inventor of climatology, asking, “Do you trust a five-day forecast?”

But for famous-name thugs, it’s not what you trust but how you can be intimidated.

Want to know what will cause loss of life and property? The green elitist agenda of denying the world’s poor the life-saving benefits of electricity, and even causing people in developed countries to join the world’s poor by simultaneously making energy more expensive and suppressing economic growth.

That will kill. It happens daily where people live abbreviated lives of stoop labor and ill health, deprived of energy and the labor-saving machines, clean water, and more abundant food it makes possible.

Many of the world’s billions are climbing out of poverty—China, India and others blew off Obama’s UN Climate Summit—but his anti-human, green commissars are busily sawing off the ladder and scheming to cast even more people into the pit.

IRS: Now It’s About the Cover-up

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irs ahead post signWe’ve been neglecting the Internal Revenue Service, and that’s like not bothering to fish where you know the big ones are.  Let’s catch up on what we’ve missed this past month.

At the beginning of September it was revealed that the ever-righteous Lois Lerner, confronting stark evidence that labor organizations lied either to her IRS or the Labor Department about millions of dollars in political spending, decided there was nothing to see here.

Three days later, even the Washington Post couldn’t ignore apparent destruction of evidence as the IRS was found to have scrubbed clean Lerner’s Blackberry—with the congressional investigation of agency wrongdoing underway.

Days after that, the Breitbart news organization said it was targeted for an IRS audit and suspected retaliation for its reporting.

The same day, Commentary Magazine examined brutally straightforward evidence that Eric Holder’s Justice Department is up to its eyeballs with the IRS in a multi-agency cover-up of official crimes, past and, evidently, ongoing.

The Orange County Register pointed out the formal name for what the IRS, Justice Department, and congressional Democrats appear to be engaged in. It’s called “Obstruction of Justice.”

Meanwhile, the spinmeisters at POLITICO hint that we should believe Lerner’s trouble stems from IRS personnel persisting in bad behavior despite her best efforts to keep things honest.
National Review has a better real-world perspective.

NR is right. Lerner’s long-ago and highly questionable invocation of the Fifth Amendment doesn’t prove her guilty of any crime, but does make clear that things she knows would put her and likely numerous others in deep legal jeopardy. The truth might be served by encouraging her to visualize how she’d look in an orange jumpsuit.

Whose Line is it Anyway?

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200393195-001Among the more effective weapons available to any shifty office-seeker is the widespread perception that the political arts are steeped in arcane knowledge incomprehensible to voters.  Conversely, a shifty office-seeker’s nightmare is widespread realization that he (or she) is really playing a fairly simple game. We resist believing the latter: If we’re going to be fleeced, we naturally hope it will be by someone who knows more than we do.

But sometimes the only choice is to face facts and admit the office-seeker is plying a dreary and pedestrian trade, and perhaps not even proficiently. There’s no other explanation for the incredible lifespan—now nearing three weeks—of the Mary Burke plagiarism scandal.

We like our initial interpretation better all the time. The serial plagiarism is revealing far beyond Burke’s willingness to lift economic development ideas; it suggests we are at risk of being governed by a nonentity.

Appearing Sunday on Madison television, she struggled to identify a single component of her jobs plan that was a certifiable Burke original, then picked one that promptly tuned out to have been plagiarized.

And recall, she immediately fired the consultant responsible for the plan when the plagiarism story broke, but retains the plan and produced a defiant television ad saying so. If she received a contribution from someone who later turned out to be a bank robber, would she keep the money?

We argued a week ago that Burke seems strangely indifferent to the realities of her campaign, begging the question whether she’s really interested in governing. Come the debates, someone should ask whether she actually wants to be governor.

It would be interesting to hear if they ever reach the follow-up question: “Why?”