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Opinion (39)

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 11:00

It's Only Racism When They Want Your Stuff

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Editors Note: This Story Was Originally Published By The Daily Caller


It’s a tale of two owners. 


Cliven Bundy, family man and a wealthy rancher has something the leftist progressive govern-ment wants: his property.  So, the government makes a grab for it in order to put him in his place in regards to grazing cattle on federal land.  Americans push back.  How do the in-the-pocket media respond?  By setting up an interview, chopping up the unsophisticated rancher’s responses, and portraying him as a racist; claims that have been refuted by his own black body guard.


Donald Sterling, adulterer and wealthy NBA team owner has been known to the NAACP as a racist since at least 2009. Except through the years they kept taking his grant money anyway.  His paramour (ho’) records one of his many allegedly racist rants and releases it to TMZ (the last investigative journalism outlet left in America).  How do the in-the-pocket media respond? By amplifying the grievance crowd’s meme until the NBA fined Sterling and banned him for life.  Earvin Magic Johnson was one of the first to declare that Sterling should be stripped of the Clippers. And guess what? Now Earvin Johnson is first in line to take control of Sterling’s team.


It’s a tale of two Progressive responses. 


Progressive Liberals and the Justice Brothas are ok with racism if the racists are paying them off.  Bundy’s problem is that he refused to pay.  ‘Justice’ was swift and harsh in that case. He was quickly bullied and labeled. Sterling’s case is altogether different.  As long as he contributed to the cause, all was well.


The ruling Progressive Democrats have a long history of excusing and being excused for saying wretched, racist things as long as they support the NAACP and its cause celeb. Observe:  Joe Biden’s 2007 quote about Barack Obama, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy, I mean, that's a storybook, man." And Harry Reid, who in 2008 said that Obama was a "light skinned" African-American "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."  No roundup of Democrat rac-ism would be complete without Bill Clinton’s 2010 approbation of Senator Robert Byrd’s affiliation with the KKK. "They mention that he once had a fleeting association with the Ku Klux Klan, and what does that mean? I'll tell you what it means," said Bill Clinton. "He was a country boy from the hills and hollows of West Virginia. He was trying to get elected.” This is from a white Arkansas boy who was hailed as the “first black president.”


All the previous statements were glossed over and forgiven. But not so for Donald Sterling. Ster-ling has to pay, and the results will be Magic. Magic Johnson is no stranger to the Liberal race manipulation game.  He was a democrat supporter of all the racist hall of famers mentioned above.  He knew about Sterling’s racism as much as anyone did. Not only is he close friends with one of the alleged victims of Sterling’s bigotry, fellow Laker great Elgin Baylor, but pictures he took with Sterling’s erstwhile mistress was a central theme of the leaked tape.

What’s the difference between Donald Sterling and all the other racists who were forgiven? Sterling’s problem was that he was too widely exposed in a medium that would reach too many of the affected people group.  When the American public becomes undeniably aware of the hy-pocrisy of the race entrepreneurs, the Brothas and the Libs turn on the racists because they smell an even bigger payout in the support of the outraged public. Now, the Grievance Squad, headed up by the League of Justice Brothas (Sharpton and Jackson) have been outmaneu-vered, and Magic Johnson has succeeded in stripping Sterling’s team from him much in the same way the BLM took Bundy’s cattle.  Hey! He owns those Negroes fair and square!


Will the players be treated the same way as Bundy’s property?  Who cares?  Like the BLM envi-ronmentalists, the NAACP has been bought.  Whether it is government entitlement subsidies or a bigoted wealthy NBA team owner, the race hustling preachers without pulpits are in line for a shakedown.  The twist is, in his quest to become the Clippers’ new owner, Magic Johnson beat them all to the punch!  What has been exposed here is that it’s only racism when liberals want your stuff: they will tolerate and even celebrate a racist as long as they’re getting paid.

Disclaimer: The following comparative editorial does not objectify all politicians and preachers. Any actual description of a politician or preacher is purely unintentional.


While sitting at my office desk during this new name for winter called, The Polar Vortex, one of my favorite jokes came to mind. “What is the difference between God and a Doctor?”


Answer: God doesn't think he is a doctor.


While laughing myself dizzy, I begin to ask myself a similar quip, “What is the difference between a pimp, politician and/or preacher?”


Answer: Politicians and Preachers don’t tell you they are pimps.


Preachers and politicians are not new to the pimp game; they have been around since the creation of civilization. The difference today is the tactics they employ.


According to research, the traditional tactic of a pimp is to get into the head and heart of the targeted person quickly by creating an atmosphere of dependence and the feeling of love, hope, and togetherness. Once this goal of creating a false sense of love is accomplished, the ability to “turn the person out” becomes a matter of training. All the pimp wants is the person to act on their behalf and support their livelihood. The desire is to control the individual’s thoughts and actions by breaking the individual down to create a fallacy that nothing belongs to them, that their mind, body and soul belong to the pimp.


Enter the politician and the preacher.


The politician/preacher has a similar strategy to that of a pimp, but a uniquely different process. The reprogramming head-game begins like this: the preacher/politician has a desire to create a sustainable income through the indoctrination of individuals. They begin to look for windows of opportunity and targets to approach. Enter a group of people, who feel that they “deserve” whatever they want, and embark on a campaign to have their cause labeled a “civil right” in order to cloak their desired item in a veil of justice. The media, in search of “interesting stories,” displays the groups’ cause in a continual loop, thus keeping the story in the frontal lobe of societal consciousness.


The increased news coverage gives the impression of a growing movement. The group then calls upon political and ecumenical leadership to support their cause in return for promises of an increase in votes, influence and contributions. The politician/preacher then uses their skills of persuasion to train the population and creates a brave new world that teaches morals of a world state, the removal of the individual exceptionalism, traditional moral influences, and the acceptance of the new definitions of what constitutes a civil right.


This politician/preacher conducts intellectual and spiritual water-boarding of those individuals who hold steadfast to the traditional values and beliefs that this country holds close to the national heart, in an attempt to “turn them out.” The goal is to get the additional support needed for political change. From the look of the current social and political landscape, mission accomplished. The result of this training process is an increased dependency on the politician/preacher and the loss of individual self-reliance and moral/spiritual direction.


Result? You've been pimped!

This editorial is not aimed towards any particular movement or social agenda. The list of applicable social policies and collective ideological shifts are many. Healthcare, minimum wage increase, climate change, income equality, and the concept of the fundamental changing of America are a few examples of the pimping of America. Pimping shouldn't be this easy.

Oh, that we could return to the values once held by ecumenical leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. political figures like John F. Kennedy, who said the following in his 1961 Inaugural Address:

“We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom — symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning — signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three quarters ago. The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe — the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, (insert not the politician) but from the hand of God (insert not the preacher).We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans — born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage — and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this Nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.This much we pledge — and more…”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a sermon entitled “Rediscovering Lost Values” which he delivered on February 28, 1954, had the following words of wisdom:

“… The trouble isn't so much that we don’t know enough, but it’s as if we aren't good enough. The trouble isn't so much that our scientific genius lags behind, but our moral genius lags behind. The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live, have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving.
And that is the basis of our problem. The real problem is that through our scientific genius we've made of the world a neighborhood, but through our moral and spiritual genius we've failed to make of it a brotherhood. And the great danger facing us today is not so much the atomic bomb that was created by physical science. Not so much that atomic bomb that you can put in an airplane and drop on the heads of hundreds and thousands of people-as dangerous as that is. But the real danger confronting civilization today is that atomic bomb which lies in the hearts and souls of men, capable of exploding into the vilest of hate and into the most damaging selfishness. That’s the atomic bomb that we've got to fear today. Problem is with the men. Within the heart and the souls of men. That is the real basis of our problem. My friends, all I’m trying to say is that if we are to go forward today, we've got to go back and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind. That’s the only way that we would be able to make of our world a better world, and to make of this world what God wants it to be and the real purpose and meaning of it. The only way we can do it is to go back, and rediscover some mighty precious values that we've left behind. “


All op-ed contributions are submitted and reviewed by our staff for editorial purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Wisconsin Free or official policies of the Wisconsin Free.

The chilling effect is real. It is a tool of the Left as never before. And, it is working in Wisconsin.


What is the chilling effect? Think of Fido, your dog. What happens after you strike Fido several times for jumping on the sofa? When you raise your hand to him what does he do? He quivers, dips his head, his tail is squarely between his legs. You don’t need to hit him. Just raise your hand the desired result follows. 


So too with speaking out against Obama and the Left. They raise the hand of the Department of Justice or the District Attorney’s Office and what happens? The speech stops; the dissent is silenced.


That was the purpose of the coordinated effort by Obama’s IRS against the Tea Party Groups. That was the purpose of the investigation by Democrat controlled District Attorneys against Wisconsin’s Club for Growth and others who supported the policies of Governor Walker. It was not to win that matter; it was to silence the opposition with fear. You see the public never hears the speech never given. The public never learns of the views in opposition if there is no money for publicizing those views. 


And it is working here in Wisconsin both behind the scenes and in open view. The examples of legion, but consider the acts of an otherwise admirable State Senate and Assembly in the past several weeks. First, it is reported that the legislature watered down legislation that would halt the effect of Dane County (or any Court) bias. Recall that a single lower court judge was able to halt the effect of Act 10. Legislation was proposed that would, in effect, require completion of an appellate process before such injunctions would become effective, but now that law has been watered down. If it passes, it will be of little import, and it may not pass at all. Second, it is reported the legislature will not even take-up significant change in the John Doe process, even as the process grinds into dust the lives of so many.


Of course, there is much more that is affected. The recall efforts, failures on their face, none-the-less halted any further reform agenda. That is an open secret in Madison, and as the Legislature celebrates a budget surplus in coming weeks it is unlikely they will use it for real reform, if that reform is controversial.


The gains of Act 10 are substantial, of that there is no doubt. And achieving that milestone was an act of bravery rarely seen. But, the response by the Left, by the Democrats, by Obama and by their agents was not to step aside, but rather to reorganize and begin what may prove to be the most destructive political game ever in this country.


Those groups began to use the fear we all have of what might happen to us, to our families and to our businesses to their benefit. And that fear is real. Ask anyone who has received a subpoena in the middle of the night. Ask anyone whose house is desecrated by police officers taking their personal belongings, their computers that contain everything about their personal life. Ask those who have had to hire a lawyer to defend them. It is fear beyond anything you might imagine. It is fear the keeps you up at night, if you are the target, clutching your children and spouse. 


The lesson is learned. The chill on speech in Wisconsin now and the future is real. What family owned business, knowing of a potential boycott, knowing of potential investigation by law enforcement or knowing they may become the target of anonymous internet attacks will contribute? Even though committed to values of the Right, who can be blamed for holding their tongue in such dangerous times? 
Think again of that raised fist of the communist movement in Russia that spelled the end of freedom. That is the fist of the Left today. It is the fist of the Left that is meant to make you cower, tail between your legs, and never challenge with real change again. A fist is meant to strike you. It is the raised hand against your dog.


These are the stakes. These are in many ways frightening times, and they are meant by the Left to be just that.

The media are devouring Chris Christie like a pack of coyotes with a fresh kill. The celebratory howling and snarling is a din so cacophonous that we cannot hear the other warning alarms of danger. While this is no defense of the New Jersey governor's organization, I exhort the media pack to move on. What they are ignoring is devastating. The jobless and unemployment data, Obamacare and its economic impact, and the lack of accountability and resolution of justice in deadly scandals will prove to be foundational issues as we spend the next three years defending our Constitution and planning our nation's defense and recovery from the assault from within.


Where are the tough questions and press conferences on the latest jobless data? The job growth numbers are the worst in three years. How does unemployment drop when roughly one third of Americans are not working? Where is the media outrage when Senator Jeff Sessions calls for welfare reform, streamlined tax codes and new jobs while Representative Sheila Jackson Lee sings the praise of government welfare programs and suggests renaming welfare to 'transitional living fund' because it's a "transitional outreach to individuals who are chronically unemployed" ? What does it mean to be chronically in transition? All this because, according to Representative Lee, you have no way of knowing which of those in a photo she held up of people in a line are "possibly looking for work" or "are near the edge of poverty." From Reform to Renaming; there is a headline for that insightful evening news investigation on the trajectory of our great nation. Any takers MSNBC? CNN?


Fur is still flying in Fort Lee, New Jersey while tough questions should be flying about the ramifications of a randomized controlled trial study published in the Science journal that finds that adult Medicaid beneficiaries rely on emergency rooms about 40% more than similar uninsured adults. These data cut straight to the heart of the Obamacare/Affordable Care Act rationale. It suggests that Medicaid expansion is not the economic deal that would reduce emergency room crowding and lower the financial healthcare burden of the states.


Where are the interviews of the people like Kate Holly of Oregon who was a self proclaimed "cheerleader" for Obamacare? She used the online calculator, but to the contrary, found that she and her husband couldn't afford the care for herself and her 18-month-old son when she actually got an agent on the phone.


Is there no insightful analysis from the big three news outlets of the viability of the ACA when the Supreme Court is sending out signals that there may be constitutional weakness to the 'law'? Surely we are hearing a running tally of the number of people signing up for healthcare? After all this law affects everyone in the nation, so surely the media are keeping close watch on the number of healthy people signing up as it relates to the number of folks with pre-existing conditions?


We should be getting the same rabid coverage of the marathon 'investigations' into Benghazi and Fast and Furious as we have gotten for the marathon press conference Governor Christie had on Thursday. Yet, we've heard nothing from government controlled mainstream media about accountability of the administration in the ongoing efforts to bring the Benghazi murderers to justice; even with the new attacks and murders in that same place. Similarly, we simply get low-key reports--no media outrage--about the continued surfacing of guns related to the illegal Operation Fast and Furious . In fact, the ATF's petulant response can be boiled down to 'we already said we made a mistake so leave us alone already.'


There has been no sadistic, gleeful mainstream media feeding frenzy over the irony of the president, fresh from his four million dollar Hawaii vacation, declaring his dislike for income inequality. This done while Mrs. Obama relaxes at Oprah's Maui mansion.

If only the majority of television news watching Americans were brought into the conversation about the unconstitutional power grabs of the current administration through executive overreach. From the president legislating (illegally), to the attorney general (unconstitutionally) mandating local school disciplinary policy, we are a nation in crisis.


The alarm is blaring, but our citizens can't hear it over the sound of the partisan media pack's gleeful devouring of Chris Christie. 2016 is two years away. There's nothing more to see here, folks. Move along.

There is a growing lack of reality to how Washington views itself. The long anticipated, and some would say long overdue, legal action this week by Senator Ron Johnson to require his fellow members of Congress to live by their own laws certainly put it all on public display. In the process, Senator Johnson has become the latest victim of the Congressional stiletto administered with little or no stealth by the State’s senior member of the House of Representatives.


Congressman Sensenbrenner’s attacks on Senator Johnson for his temerity in asking that his colleagues live by the rules they created for others, are front-page news. While the Congressman’s lack of connection to the public anger at him and virtually every member of Congress is epic, the real story here is that, as Ted Cruz and others have recently learned, old-line Congressman and Senators of both parties will fight for their prerogatives. That stiletto, sharp and deadly, is real in Washington politics. 



In old England, the aristocratic class of Downton Abbey were many things we now find distasteful, even as we love them as post facto reality television. But, recall that members of the aristocracy died in far greater numbers in the wars of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries than their counterparts in the general population. So too, for American Presidents, as well as movie stars and even baseball players in WWII. In times past, the principles espoused by those given our trust were more often than not principles they honored (or at least gave lip-service to honoring). Most would agree, there is no such “honor” in the modern aristocracy of Washington.


Of course, this story has oft been repeated and one cannot help but see a bit of Mr. Jefferson Smith in our Senator Johnson. Not unlike Mr. Smith in Frank Capra’s film Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, our Senator Johnson, a relative neophyte at politics, decided he would give something back to his country and state. He would not sit on the sidelines; he would run for US Senator in a moment of Tea Party frenzy. In the campaign Senator Johnson spoke out, over and over again, against the ravages that Obamacare would bring. He spoke of how his daughter was saved by the miracles of a truly great healthcare system, and he spoke of how grateful he was for what that marvelous healthcare system had done. 


Wonder of wonders, he’s elected and even more astounding he never ceases to warn that Obamacare is contrary to the country’s most basic principles of liberty and freedom. His is not a belief born of politics, his politics are born of his belief. 


What happens next? He learns, as in the prophetic scenes of the movie, that Washington is not so simple as right and wrong. He learns that other members of Congress have debts they owe to others. He learns that while certain things may seem obvious to a fellow from rural Wisconsin, they are not so obvious to those who have been given the prerogatives of power. 


And, as if the story was not a more perfect parallel, consider that it was the Senior Senator from Mr. Smith’s home State that he admired, Senator Joseph Paine, of his own party, who failed to recognize what the corruption of the political class had done. On a personal level, it must have been a difficult day for Senator Johnson, when Congressman Sensenbrenner, a staunch conservative for decades, turned on him so viciously. You see, Senator Johnson forgot what power and prerogatives will do over time, and that we, as simple flawed human beings, will ultimately succumb to its pull. The ancient missive was not far off the mark--“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”


There is a certain honesty in Congressman’s Sensenbrenner’s public comments that would be repeated publicly by many others in Washington, if they had his money and power. (They are most certainly echoed by his colleagues privately.) The Presidential exemption for Congressional staffers from Obamacare is no more or less than the President doing the bidding of the establishment members of both political parties. The political parties could not openly exempt themselves for that would have been too difficult in the face of overwhelming public objection. So, the President did them a favor—he did for them what they could not openly do for themselves.


Political games, political tradeoffs, political power and political gain all come together. 


So, behind the scenes and now on the front page, Senator Johnson finds himself attacked and vilified. He has exposed the game of thrones where gaining and retaining power drive every decision. Once in power, the kings of this new age must hold that power and will act to protect their friends (their staff) if that is what it takes. The law matters only when convenient, and principled leadership—where those with privilege are the first in line to suffer the consequences—is for future novels, not present reality.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 23:02

Court Strikes Down Orwellian NSA Program

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"[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." U.S. Constitution, Amendment IV


Earlier this week, Judge Richard Leon, a conservative Bush-appointed Federal Judge struck down the NSA’s massive collection of telephone data as a violation of the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable searches and seizures. (Klayman v. Obama, (U.S. District Court, District of Columbia, #13-0851, Opinion & Order Dec. 16, 2013) His words were a stinging indictment of the use and abuse of the program: "I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary’ invasion than this systematic and high tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval."


Judge Leon’s decision is a welcome return to constitutional reality.


The NSA’s data collection is, indeed, “almost-Orwellian” in scope. All cellular companies provide the U.S. Government a daily transfer of all information they have about every call (voice or text) by everyone in the United States. Once that data is collected, a group of government bureaucrats (NSA employees) decide, without judicial review or approval, what phone numbers might be tied to a terrorist and they link that alleged-terrorist number to every number called from the alleged terrorist’s phone number. 


If one of the numbers called by the alleged-terrorist happens to be Domino’s; well, so be it. Everyone who later happens to call into Domino’s is “linked” to the terrorist, and falls into a potential “suspect” for government surveillance. Every number called is linked to every other number it called, ad nauseum. It is akin to the old game of “how many degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon” where, in short order, everyone is linked together. The sheer scope of the analysis is breathtaking.


This latest stinging rebuke of the United States Department of Justice by a Federal Court reveals yet again the broad politicization of law enforcement by the Obama administration. The Court reveals a pattern of misrepresentation by the Department of Justice unheard-of in the past. On multiple occasions, the Court admonishes Eric Holder’s lawyers for flagrant misrepresentations before the Court. Indeed, at one point, after the Department acknowledges it has no evidence of a terrorist attack actually thwarted by the NSA program, Judge Leon pointedly concludes, “Such candor is as refreshing as it is rare.” 


If we had only the recent IRS abuses on which to rely to realize that the Government will use its power against the citizens--that would be enough to applaud Judge Leon’s decision. But there is much more. Judge Leon reveals that previously secret rulings from the special Court overseeing the NSA program found repeated improper use of the collected data. That secret Court found that “the NSA had engaged in “systematic noncompliance” with FISC-ordered minimization procedures…and had repeatedly made misrepresentations and inaccurate statements about the program to the FISC judges.” 


Of course, preventing terrorist attacks is enormously important, but the admonition, cited by the Court, of James Madison is instructive. “Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” 


As a legal matter, the future of the NSA program will rest squarely on what the public’s expectation is as to privacy. The Fourth Amendment protects those expectations. The collection of data on every call made and every text completed is data that does certainly define our lives. While the telephone was once no more or less than a method to talk over long distances, the cell phone’s purpose and use is ubiquitous. By examining all of what we use those phones to accomplish a government can track every move, every idea, every belief and every action in a way that was unimaginable only a few years ago. 


So,like so much we have learned this past year, whatever ‘trust’ one has in the good intentions of the government, the truth of the ancient maxim, “He who would exchange freedom for security, shall ultimately have neither” rings all too true. A well intentioned program in the hands of human beings, with their inevitable frailties, must be tempered by the constitutional protections built into our constitutional system. 


This is the opening chapter in a debate that will ultimately land in the United States Supreme Court. Perhaps we are so jaundiced by the intrusions on our privacy that a government’s knowledge about us no longer matters to a large swath of the public. If so, then the Orwellian fantasy of a government in control of our lives will be no fantasy.

Thursday, 19 December 2013 14:33

Republicans, Single Mothers, And The 'War On Women'

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Recently, this site published an outstanding piece by Vicki McKenna on the manufactured and wholly fictitious Republican “War on Women.”


This fact-free slogan is like a little bullet of malice, designed to slip past any higher cortical functions as it bee-lines into the mind’s limbic depths. There is no pretense of persuasion in this ‘argument;’ it can only resonate with people predisposed to believe it, which is another way of saying it appeals to prejudice. With apologies to the Reverend Jackson, the Democrats’ “War on Women” is designed to keep hate (of Republicans) alive.


Vicki says this campaign began with the battle over abortion, but it morphed as Democrats “realized it was also really a wonderful tool to marginalize conservative men, conservative messages…now it is the general way to assault the entire conservative agenda, be it social or economic.” She’s right – but why? Why are those three words capturing voters’ attention? More particularly, which voters are being moved by this phrase? Republicans and conservatives must be able to answer these questions if they are to respond effectively to the baseless War on Women assaults.


A clear answer comes from last month’s Gubernatorial election in Virginia. This is a race where many observers (including Vicki) believe War on Women attacks played a role in Republican candidate Cuccinelli’s defeat.


Exit polls do show that fewer women voted for Cuccinelli than the Democratic candidate McAuliffe. But look more closely at the data and you find that married women actually favored Cuccinelli by 9 points. Unmarried women, in contrast, voted for McAuliffe by a whopping 42 point margin. None other than McAuliffe’s pal James Carville (along with his partner Stan Greenburg) says these voting patterns show “marital status was clearly determinative in this election. If unmarried women had voted as married women, Ken Cuccinelli would have won the election by 7 points.”


Believe it or not, this is an old story that’s been observed in many elections: after controlling for marital status, the “gender gap” in voting patterns is miniscule. Married women vote for Republicans almost as often as their husbands. The real voting gap is between unmarried and married women, and this “marriage gap” is closer to a chasm. Certainly abortion partly explains this difference. Abortion among married couples is rare, and unmarried women are likely to be more alarmed by an unexpected pregnancy. 


But another contributing factor is economic security. Unmarried women are more likely to be concerned about their next paycheck than married women. This is especially true since the share of births to unmarried women has risen from 5% in 1960 to over 40% today. While pollsters rarely break down voting patterns this precisely, this trend must mean a very large number of the unmarried women increasingly voting for Democrats are also unwed mothers. 


Here we get to the nub of the problem and can understand why a campaign designed to stoke resentment over abortion has turned into an amorphous, all-purpose slogan for demonizing Republicans. The precarious economic circumstances of single women – especially single mothers-makes them more dependent on government assistance. Democrats like government spending and want to increase it, Republicans don’t. Ergo, any attempt to scale back the size and scope of government is a war on you, single woman.


Vicki correctly says Republicans need to combat this poisonous campaign for the good of the country, but I differ with her somewhat on tactics. Her solution is to preach the value of liberty and personal independence, and these are unquestionably great and necessary messages. But are they really going to stick with the group most susceptible to War on Women rhetoric? Consider a marginally employed, 22 year old unmarried mother of two. What’s the easier sell: liberty and making it on your own, or government-guaranteed security for you and your kids?


Republicans will never out-promise Democrats when it comes to spending money to make lives more secure, and for a variety of reasons (including the fact that such schemes limit opportunity in the long-run for everyone) they shouldn’t. But they have a golden opportunity to capitalize on those concerns right now, because it so happens that the Democratic party has 100% ownership of a policy ‘reform’ that is making the lives of everyone less secure.


I’m talking of course about Obamacare, the legislative tsunami drowning all aspects of America’s health care system in chaos and confusion. Obamacare has already led 5 million insurance policies to be cancelled. How many of those were held by single women? Undoubtedly a lot, and the Republican party should be targeting these women (including women like Janice Nelson) and telling them they understand the nightmare they’re going through because of Obamacare. They should also remind them that Republicans have done everything in their power to oppose this law, are dedicated whole-heartedly to its repeal, and have better ideas for health care reform. They should not wait until the elections to roll out this message or begin targeting at-risk women; the chaos from Obamacare will accumulate throughout 2014, and the time for the GOP to show that it understands the confusion Obamacare is wreaking now.


Another issue where Republicans can appeal to unmarried mothers is school choice. These women know better than anyone that their kids are, overwhelmingly, stuck in dead-end, dysfunctional schools. Poor people overwhelmingly support having educational choice, and Republicans should be unabashed school choice advocates. They can link their support to the anxiety that many unmarried women feel about the prospects for their children if they don’t get out of incompetent, government-run schools.


These messages must be sympathetic and show that Republicans understand the economic insecurity of unmarried women. They should also tie those concerns (legitimately) to Obamacare and other Democratic policies that have bred incompetence and undermined certainty in the future. This isn’t really a tall order for a 30 or 60 second TV spot, and certainly not for a three minute YouTube video.


If Republicans were smart to recognize the power in this idea, they just might get to work on these ads immediately.



All op-ed contributions are submitted and reviewed by our staff for editorial purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Wisconsin Free or official policies of the Wisconsin Free.

Monday, 16 December 2013 23:31

Politics Takes A Holiday

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Last year, when the recall elections that ravaged the state of Wisconsin were coming to a conclusion, I began thinking of ways to begin the healing process.


The 2011-2012 recalls made for an especially charged atmosphere in La Crosse. From the time Act 10 was introduced in February of 2011, through the recall of Governor Scott Walker in June 2012, La Crosse County endured 11 contested elections. Quite often these elections were bitter contests that brought out the worst side of people. Regardless of who won each contest, one thing was for sure: people were burned out. They were sick of the ads, sick of the phone calls, and sick of seeing politicians or their surrogates in the media telling them why to support their candidate.


After Governor Walker was successfully re-elected, I headed over to the La Crosse County Democratic party headquarters. I went there to speak to their chairwoman about our two organizations teaming up to do something good in the community. My thought was that if people could see the La Crosse County Republican and Democratic Party chairs, people that are complete polar opposites on the political spectrum and have been working against each other all year, now working together on a project, it may begin to heal the divide in our community. Unfortunately, after a day of thinking about it, she declined my offer.


As the November elections came and went I wrote a letter to the editor that was published in the La Crosse Tribune. This time, I asked for anyone across the aisle that was willing to work collaboratively on something to please reach out to me. Shortly after my letter was printed, I received a tweet from the immediate past chair of the La Crosse County Dems, Andrew Londre. Andrew and I went back and forth trying to identify the cause we wanted to get behind and then iron out the details. Ultimately, we decided on a bipartisan Toys for Tots drive that we would call “Together for Toys.”


It was already late in the season, so we had only a few days to line up a location and hold a press conference announcing our project. Going into this, we had modest expectations as there were already multiple sites throughout the Coulee Region for people to donate. The night that the bin was placed at the Black River Beach Neighborhood Center, I received a wonderful phone call that it was already full. When it was all said and done, Andrew and I had to fill up his truck and my SUV for two trips to move all of the toys from the neighborhood center to the distribution center. The generosity and support of our community made our efforts one of the most successful locations in the area. We were so overwhelmed by the success of the project, we committed to doing it again the following year.


As I write this, our Together for Toys drive has just concluded for 2013. With the help of many in the community, and a semi full of toys donated from Blain’s Farm and Fleet, we far surpassed what we were able to bring in last year. It is exciting and humbling to see what we have been able to accomplish. Since last year’s drive, as a party, the La Crosse County GOP has been involved in the Salvation Army bell ringing campaign back to back years, Neighborhood Clean-up, the Community Thanksgiving Dinner, and the Polar Plunge which we are going to be doing for the second consecutive year in March.


I believe it’s important to remember that while political organizations have a focus on supporting their party and candidates, there is also an opportunity for them to directly support their community in other ways. Reaching across the aisle to work on community projects can only yield a positive, unifying result.

This week, Janet Bewley announced she was giving up her Assembly seat in the Northern 74th district to run for the 25th State Senate seat vacated by retiring Bob Jauch. The 74th encompasses Bayfield, Ashland, Iron, Price and a sliver of Sawyer Counties. Bewley plays to her liberal base in the Chequamegon Bay area like John Mayer plays the six string. Her theatrical skills during the Act 10 showdown are legendary among progressives.


Prior to Bewley’s announcement, fellow Ashland resident and Bewley door-knocker Kelly Westlund made the rounds in the Seventh Congressional District with her intentions to take on incumbent Republican Sean Duffy for the US House of Representatives.


Bewley and Westlund obviously have close ties, although Westlund’s resume suggests she aligns more with the Green Party than mainstream Democrats. Both are imports to Northern Wisconsin. Both have served on the Ashland city council. Bewley is a transplant from Ohio. Westlund recently moved from South Carolina to pursue a degree in Peace at Northland College.


Conventional wisdom would suggest that Democrats would look to someone with a track record like Bewley to step up against Duffy. She has a grassroots apparatus in place and the most name recognition of any Northern Democrat. The progressive bench up North has gotten significantly shorter in the last few cycles. The GOP holds a majority of down ticket seats on the seventh congressional district map from the Minnesota to U.P. of Michigan border. In a presidential election year of 2012, Duffy carried 23 of 26 counties in the Seventh CD. The only three counties carried by Democrats, Bayfield, Ashland and Douglas, are all in Jauch’s 25th Senate District.


Democrats chose the uncharismatic State Senator Julie Lassa of Stevens Point to run against Duffy in 2010. Maybe she got drowned out by the national conservative wave of that cycle. In 2012, Democrats picked former lawmaker Pat Kreitlow for the race. Kreitlow’s background as a news anchor would make him a stronger messenger than Lassa and with Obama and his OFA machine at the top of the ticket, liberals looked to WI-7 as their best chance of flipping the House. Duffy won by 12%.


Bewley surely knows the vote totals of the 7th Congressional District. She wants to move up in rank and power within the Democrat Party. Like Mary Burke in the gubernatorial race, establishment Democrats and patriarchs like Dave Obey would clear the field for Bewley if she chose to run for the House seat. But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush for Janet. The 25th Senate would be a safer route up while she tosses her good friend Kelly Westlund to the wolves, proving that Janet Bewley is the smartest Democrat in Northern Wisconsin.



All op-ed contributions are submitted and reviewed by our staff for editorial purposes only. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors and forum participants on this website do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Wisconsin Free or official policies of the Wisconsin Free.

Monday, 16 December 2013 10:16

OP-ED: Understanding the Minimum Wage Dilemma

Written by

There has been a great deal of discussion about the minimum wage as of late. Based on a lot of what I’ve read in the news, and on social media it appears there are an alarmingly large number of people who don’t understand basic economics. Because of this these individuals are ill-equipped to interact with the minimum wage issue. So, I’m going to attempt to explain it in a way I hope can be understood by anyone willing to let facts rather than emotion, inform their opinion.


Let’s begin with some information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

- In 2012, 75.3 million workers in the United States age 16 and over were paid at hourly rates, representing 59.0 percent of all wage and salary workers.

- Among those paid by the hour, 1.6 million earned exactly the prevailing federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

- These 1.6 million workers are equal to 2.12% of Americans working for an hourly wage.

- Minimum wage workers tend to be young. Although workers under age 25 represented only about one-fifth of hourly paid workers, they made up about half of those paid the Federal minimum wage or less.

- Among employed teenagers paid by the hour, about 21 percent earned the minimum wage or less, compared with about 3 percent of workers age 25 and over.


As we can see from the numbers regardless of what the media and big labor want us to believe the number of folks actually working at the minimum wage is small, and the overwhelming percentage of them are new to the work force.

So, now that we’ve taken a look at some hard numbers, here are my 5 points to understanding the minimum wage issue:


1. In a free market/society, in the private sector (the public sector has a slightly different set of governing principles), what people are paid for their work is basically determined by two things.

a. What they choose to willingly sell their time for.

b. The amount of revenue their employer feels their time will bring into the organization.


Neither of these realities is positively improved by a government fiat minimum wage. In point of fact the minimum wage decreases choices for both the employee and the employer. The employee now has a floor amount for which they can sell their time and talents, and the employer now has a narrower margin of risk he can take when making a new hire or retaining an employee. Some jobs will be eliminated as a result of an increase in the minimum wage. An employer will decide they don't need a full time grounds keeper, or an additional day care worker, or a greeter at the door of their business. There is a marginal point for every job where if the cost of labor increases the revenue developed by that position will be outpaced by the cost of the labor. Viola! That job is now history.


Make no mistake a minimum wage increase will always force some businesses to eliminate positions.


2. In reality it is impossible to tax a business (a minimum wage increase is essentially a tax on business) as they will pass on any new expense to their customers, or they will go out of business. Minimum wage increases always force some businesses to close their doors.


So here's how it works. Let’s use a 15% increase in the minimum wage as an example. Company X must now pay 15% more for their minimum wage labor. In turn they will raise their prices by whatever percentage that labor cost increase has affected their profitability.


Now here’s where businesses go under. If the company’s product or service is price elastic enough (meaning sudden fluctuations in price do not negatively affect their sales volume) they will be able to raise their prices and stay in business. For those companies that have little to no cash reserves, and/or who's products/services are not price elastic they will go out of business as their customers will not put up with a sudden and significant price increase.


3. Minimum wage increases effectively do nothing for the standard of living for those (very few) folks who actually earn the minimum wage, but they end up acting as a wage cut for everyone else.


Here's how it works in our example. Company X now has to pay 20% of their workforce 15% more in wages. So, the company raises the costs of their goods by a commensurate amount. The folks who are actually earning minimum wage often shop where they work (think Walmart), so they end up paying more for their goods and services. This means they have seen no actual net benefit to their standard of living. Sure they make more but they now also pay more for everything as a result of their "raise".


At the same time everyone who already made one penny more than the new minimum wage just received a pay decrease because their take home pay did not change, but the cost of their goods and services went up. Meaning if you spend 10% of your income at Company X, and the cost of their products has gone up by 5% as a result of the minimum wage increase, you have just received an effective pay cut because 10% of your income has had its buying power reduced by 5%. Congratulations, you just effectively suffered a pay cut thanks to the US government. Make sure to call your member of Congress and thank them.


4. The minimum wage prices some people out of the labor pool. People new to the labor market (kids, etc.), those with a troubled personal past, and those whose natural limitations make employment tough use minimum wage jobs as a stepping stone into the labor market.


Of course nobody can really live on minimum wage, but nobody is supposed to. Minimum wage jobs are for those who have not yet proven that their time is worth more, those who need to re-prove their value, or for those very few who, through no fault of their own, do not have a set of abilities that are generally marketable in the labor force.


So, by pricing these people out of the market the minimum wage essentially places a huge barrier to entry for many, and literally makes some others unemployable. Businesses are not charities and to expect them to operate like one is absurd.


5. The value of something is set by the buyer and the seller. That is how economics actually works. This is part of the "invisible hand" that is the free marketplace. It is patently absurd, and economic madness to think that 536 men and women can unilaterally declare the value of millions of hours of human labor, but that is exactly what they do when they pass a minimum wage increase.


So, to recap.


1. Arbitrarily set prices necessarily have negative results in a free market.

2. The minimum wage actually harms those earning the minimum wage

a. because costs increase in tandem with the wage increase
b. it removes jobs from the minimum wage employment strata

3. The minimum wage harms everyone not at the minimum wage by increasing everyone’s costs.


Minimum wage laws are mental self-gratification for the economically illiterate, and are a pay-off for politicians who are either corrupt or economically illiterate themselves. Nobody but a handful of politicians win when the minimum wage is increased. That is the truth you should keep in mind as you listen to the national conversation about the issue.

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