Steve Hanson's blog

It's voting time --- go do it

Ballot Box

Once again it's time to vote in Wisconsin. I know a lot of you are feeling disappointed and not in control of the political process. I understand, ths is part of the reason you've not been seeing a lot of posting here recently, at least from me. Some of the twists and turns of the political sphere of late make it difficult to have anything to say. A country where even a minority of people embraces Donald Trump as a potential leader is frightening.

But - all the more reason to go out and vote tomorrow. Here in Wisconsin we have some actual choices to make in a lot of districts, and some genuine progressive candidates are involved in those primaries.  Here in the 3rd CD we have Myron Buchholz running against Ron Kind. Now I have to admit that I like Ron Kind.   I also like Myron. And I think they are both genuinely good people who have their heart in the right place. But Ron Kind has always been a middle-of-the-roader and one of the "new wave" of Democrats who are trying to both be friends of the corporate world and the working class.  We seem to have reached a point where you cannot do both. Kind's position on trade deals is, I believe, not supportable, and I will be voting for Myron Buchholz tomorrow.  I encourage you to vote your own conscience - but more than that, I encourage you to vote. If we are going to see any meaningful change in Wisconsin, you need to exercise those voting muscles at every opportunity. Make us proud here at Uppitywis. Let's see an astounding turnout that will scare the bejeezus out of the powers that be. Be like the guy in the picture - go to the polls and smile.

Trump campaign also disturbs George Harrison estate

George Harrison

God knows it's hard to be amused by anything at the moment, so I am choosing to be amused by the current flap of the George Harrison estate being incensed that the RNC used Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun" as intro music for Ivanka Trump's speech. The Harrison estate joins a list of living musical artists who do not want to be associated, but in a more Beatle-esque way.

The unauthorized use of #HereComestheSun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.

More interestingly they followed up with

If it had been Beware of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it!

Seems in fitting with George's tongue in cheek sense of humor. And the song is appropriate, especially the "beware of greedy leaders" line. So I will leave you with his (and Leon Rusell's) performance from The Concert for Bangladesh.

George Harrison: Beware Of Darkness

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

No, that's not a quote from Melania Trump's speech.  I wrote it myself with a little help.  Though it does have a familiar ring to it. Not to beat a dead horse.

Actually the flap over the speech brings to mind two things. For one, I think it's typical that the big flap from the Republican Convention seems to revolve around these little score-keeping gotcha moments, rather than the big story of the convention. Republicans have gone completely off the rails and are now running completely on a platform of fear, anger, jingoism, and lies. The Trumpization of the GOP appears to be complete, as even Republicans that we thought had better sense are falling in line behind this disaster of a candidate, and repeating his message in lock-step. Some of the worst offenders in all of this are from our own state.  I'm looking at you, Gov. Walker, Reince Priebus, Sean Duffy, Ron Johnson and parrticularly Paul (I Can't Even Remember What I Believe Any More) Ryan. 

29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Community Conversations in Menomonie held a Candidate Forum on June 18th for legislative candidates in the 29th District. All four of the announced candidates participated - Scottie Ard, Randy Knaack, Rob Stafsholt, and Vince Trudell. These are video recordings of the forum, broken into two parts.

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum part 2

Lies, Damn Lies, and the Wisconsin Idea

Walker Lied?

One of the more alarming trends in our society seems to be that we've completely given up on politicians. Not only do they receive very little respect, but we've reached the point where nobody is surprised when they lie. Over and over and over.

One of our current leading presidential candidates seems not to be able to say anything that is not either an outright lie or completely misleading. And when caught on his lies either says the never said it, or he threatens to sue.

The legislature taketh and perhaps the courts giveth back

We're in another one of those interesting moments in Wisconsin where some of the more egregious acts of our state legislature are again in court. Despite our governor's assertion that Voter ID is working "fine" in the state, the current lawsuit in Wisconsin Western District court seems to be arguing otherwise. Walker is unwilling to admit that there's a problem here, yet he seems willing to write administrative rules to "fix" it. Well, only a little bit. 

Voter ID has been a painful issue right down then line, attempting to save us from the dire consequences of impersonation fraud at the polls. Fraud for which nobody seems ever to find evidence. The current case argues, I think convincingly, that the whole Voter ID law is a bare-faced attempt to disenfranchise voters who are likely to vote Democratic. Let's hope that the court sees the point here and is willing to act on it.

The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers

Don't blame me - blame Shakespeare. Or Dick the Butcher if you're character-driven. Some days it seems like a reasonable sentiment.  Let's compare and contrast two news stories that have passed over my desk in the last day or so. They're related both to my little neck of the woods and the state as a whole.

From the Eau Claire Leader Telegram re: the last Menomonie City Council Meeting:

 Approved Knaack’s appointment of the law firm Weld Riley, which has offices in Eau Claire, Menomonie and Black River Falls, for general legal counsel. John Behling will serve primarily as city attorney. Weber Law Office of River Falls will serve as the prosecution for traffic court issues. Allyson Baier will serve as the primary lawyer for that portion. City attorney Ken Schofield retired.

Remember when using the bathroom was simple?

bathroom

Okay, maybe not this bathroom, but -

I note that Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) is saying that he's going to bring back the transgender bathroom bill that failed to pass in the last legislative session because ""This North Carolina law has taken the blinders off for a lot of people," 

Well yes, it has taken the blinders off for me. It has made it clear that people proposing these ridiculous bills around the country really don't care about "protecting children" so much as they care about ridiculing and persecuting people for the crime of "being different". Which is apparently enough these days.

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