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Politics

Steve Nass: Troll-King in Autumn

For many years, Steve Nass, as a state representative (now a state senator) was a notable farthest-to-the-right Wisconsin politician. The bête noire of liberals and universities, he was the state’s unmatched troll, criticizing the center-left time and again. Nass was a right-wing populist long before Trump.  He was the great troll-king of Wisconsin, firing florid press releases…

Aside


IF PUBLIC OFFICIALS DON’T WANT TO READ DISCUSSIONS ABOUT PUBLIC HEALTH POLICY, THEN THEY SHOULDN’T RUN FOR PUBLIC OFFICE.

 

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Science

It seemed reasonable, months ago, to wait until the end of the 2020-2021 school year to assess how well the Whitewater Unified School District managed the pandemic. It doesn’t seem so reasonable now, for reasons of culture as much as public health. Generally – and sensibly – one has reason to be skeptical of lay…

(Local) Fear of a Red Hat

There are any number of fears that occasionally grip people, however unfounded those fears, of snakes, of spiders, of black cats, etc. (Snakes play an important ecological role, some cultures think spiders are good luck, and black cats are beautiful with notably soft coats.) And yet, and yet… no fear strikes deeper and holds tighter…

Miller’s Gutter on Gettr

Jason Miller, former Trump spokesman, deadbeat dad, and accused harasser is behind a Twitter alternative called Gettr. Having explored it briefly, one can say the site is a poorly designed social-media gutter. See also The Latest Pro-Trump Twitter Clone Leaks User Data on Day 1 and The Pro-Trump Social Network Has an Anime Porn Problem. Gettr has low-quality…

Whither the Conservative Populists?

In places big and small, including Whitewater, there are three main types of conservatives: traditional, transactional, and populist. (Right-wing populist in our time is mostly a euphemism for Trumpist.) Of these types, only the right-wing populists are a dynamic movement. Traditional conservatives each day look more like large reptiles after a cataclysmic meteor strike, and…

The Sedition Caucus Gets Paid

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) reports This sedition is brought to you by… In the wake of the Capitol insurrection on January 6th, nearly two hundred corporations and industry groups said they would pause or altogether stop making political contributions to the 147 members of Congress who voted against certifying the election and…

Johnson Picks His Predictable – and Ironic – Platform

Jessie Opoien reports At WI convention, Ron Johnson calls for GOP to ‘take back our culture’:  Johnson called on Republicans to run candidates at every level of public office, arguing that the GOP has spent too much time focused on federal elections while letting seats go at the local levels. “Take back our school boards, our…

Ron Johnson Got the Reception He Deserved

Ron Johnson held up a Senate vote to make Juneteenth a holiday, and when he at last relented, he did so only begrudgingly (“While it still seems strange that having taxpayers provide federal employees paid time off is now required to celebrate the end of slavery, it is clear that there is no appetite in Congress…

‘Communicate, Communicate, Communicate’ Isn’t So Easy in a Fractured Town

Some years ago, an administrator (no longer with the school district) told others that a good practice for leaders was to ‘communicate, communicate, communicate’ with the community. The concept makes sense: craft a message and then make sure it’s heard by repeating it. In a small town, how hard could that be? As it turns…

Conservative Populism Moves in One Direction Only

While there’s more than one kind of conservative Republican (traditionalist, transactionalist, or populist), it’s the populists who are the most numerous and most demanding. Over time, they’ve pushed other kinds of conservatives – even transactionalists who are behind-the-scenes manipulators – into subordinate positions. (See generally Whitewater’s Local Politics 2021.) These rightwing populists have outlasted Trump,…

Adding the Amounts Spent for Foxconn (So Far)

Wisconsin’s new deal with Foxconn will reduce the cost to state taxpayers, but local governments have already spent vast sums on a project that will not – by Foxconn’s own belated admission – come close to what was originally, and ludicrously, promised. Bruce Murphy writes of The True Costs of New Foxconn Deal: the true cost…