FREE WHITEWATER

Politics

Into the Void

Across Wisconsin, newspapers have not distinguished themselves since the Great Recession. Most have descended into a cautious, center-right boosterism. They acted on their publishers’ own politics, and on the politics their elderly (but dwindling) readership. Doing so has only exacerbated their problems. The time to break from this was before – or even during –…

Foxconn: Reality as a (Predictable) Disappointment

The Wisconsin Foxconn project was, is, and will continue to be a huckster’s con and a sucker’s idea. Across America – a place of over 325 million – Foxconn is an example of an obviously bad, unworkable idea. In Whitewater and other Wisconsin communities, the men who push this project were either objectionably conniving or…

Fact-Checking is an Active, Ongoing Effort

Laura Hazard Cohen explains that “First-generation fact-checking” is no longer good enough. Here’s what comes next: “Fact checkers need to move from ‘publish and pray’ to ‘publish and act.’” “The idea that fact checking can work by correcting the public’s inaccurate beliefs on a mass scale alone doesn’t stack up,” write representatives from Full Fact…

Trump’s Base Delights in Tales of Others’ Deprivation

In this conflict between defenders of America’s liberal democratic order and Trumpism, those of opposition and resistance have wisely steeled themselves for stories of cruelty as state policy. Trumpism’s aim is a herrenvolk, where his demographically homogeneous base receives permanent preference over others, and in which that same base delights in deprivations and depravities inflicted…

The Fifth Columnist at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

While a fellow traveler – however detestable – is merely someone who sympathizes with an adversarial foreign power, a fifth columnist is someone who actively cooperates – colludes, one might say – with a hostile foreign state. For all the talk of no collusion (styled as NO COLLUSION in a bigoted authoritarian’s tweets), Trump at…

Forget Electability

Jennifer Rubin looks at the latest Quinnipiac Poll and concludes Dumping the ‘electability’ canard is liberating: If Trump were not delusional, he would be panicked by the [poll] results. He loses to not only former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but also South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sens. Elizabeth Warren…

What Can Be Done About Rural Newspapers (Even Though It Probably Won’t Be)?

Yesterday I wrote that Another Local Paper Changes Hands. With the failure of legacy publishing, what are rural communities to do? (Obvious point: FREE WHITEWATER is not an online newspaper – never aspired to be, never will be. This is a website of independent commentary: aligned with no faction, beholden to no faction.) A few…

Immigration as a Community Lifeline

Art Cullen writes Help wanted: Rural America needs immigrants: President Trump argues that keeping immigrants and refugees out of our country is a matter of vital national security. He has made it his campaign thesis and shut down the government over it. Here in Storm Lake, Iowa, where the population is about 15,000 and unemployment is under…

‘Inside Wisconsin’s Disastrous $4.5 Billion Deal With Foxconn’

The published case against Foxconn – with reporting & analysis from some of America’s finest journalists and economists – is overwhelming. Their careful, published work has set out the plain facts for well over a year. And yet, as a multi-billion dollar public failure, there are even more startling accounts still emerging. Austin Carr reports…

Why Won’t You Smile?

One can guess that libertarians oppose the anti-market economics of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. It’s odd, to me, though, how much time conservatives have spent complaining, critiquing, and analyzing that democratic socialist from New York. In those conservative critiques, however, one sees more than an economic or foreign policy disagreement: some of these conservatives are upset that…