Outsider can't wait to start horse trading your deductions

Ron Johnson, Mr. Outsider, can't wait to get to Washington so he can start horse trading, just like those insiders, he tells Madison's WKOW-TV from his bunkier, a conference room at his Oshkosh business.

And what does he want to trade away: Maybe your tax deduction for mortagage interest payments:

"I have never lobbied for some special treatment or a government payment," Johnson said, speaking from his Oshkosh plastics factory conference room. "When you subsidize things, it doesn't work through the free market system very well."

We asked if that applied to home mortgage interest deductions, and whether that popular program should be eliminated. Johnson said his goal is to lower taxes and simplify the tax code, and, as part of that, he wouldn't rule out doing away with the interest deduction."

"If that means horse trading with reductions of certain deductions I'm willing to take a look at all of the options," Johnson said.

Bet he doesn't have a mortgage.


Paddy Mac, opposition researcher

If there be any lingering doubt that Patrick McIlheran and the Journal Sentinel have become the conduit to carry the Republican message in Wisconsin, today's paper should erase it.

Paddy Mac, in a column in the paper, followed by another blog item online, trashes a Democratic candidate for the State Assembly in Taylor County.

Paddy probably doesn't even know where Medford is, but he and his Milwaukee-based paper devote a lot of space to an obscure race in the hinterlands.

Think this is an example of great investigative journalism by McIlheran? Or that the Republicans found an outlet to dump their opposition research?

I know which one I'd put my money on.

In the distant past, when Paddy first started to write his daily right-wing drivel, I complained to Ricardo Pimentel, the editorial page editor, who assured me that there would soon be some balance, and I would be pleasantly surprised by the announcement -- which never came. It's been a couple of years now, the JS has greatly reduced its staff, not added any columnists, but still has found room for Paddy.

Will he now work his way through each of the competitive legislative races, doing the Republicans' dirty work for them?

In the past, I'd have been surprised.

Plaisted writes -- and Plaisted's right

Here's hoping this insightful piece marks the return of Mike Plaisted to the political arena for the rest of the campaign. As is often the case,he nails this one, on the Journal Sentinel's weird front page attempt to make clueless candidate Ron Johnson appear mainstream:

The newspaper headlines the “news” that Johnson is “not alone” in being totally out to lunch on climate change. Misery and ignorance apparently love company in the GOP ranks, and that’s good enough for the Journal Sentinel.


Ron Johnson's personal story turns to fiction

Ron Johnson, who's taken back half of what he's said since entering the race for US Senate, has had one consistent story he tells on the stump and in interviews.

It's a personal story about his daughter, which humanizes him (makes him seem a little less like a space alien who just entered our atmosphere) and sets up his complaints about national health care reform.

Maybe it's because it is personal, but the news media have been giving him a pass and simply reporting the story without asking whether it makes any sense. (It doesn't.)

The latest version was reported by the Racine Journal Times, but similar reports have appeared elsewhere. It goes like this, reported by WKOW-TV in Madison:

While Johnson has related the experience of his eldest daughter's medical emergency as an infant before, the Oshkosh businessman spoke of it in some detail for the first time in Madison.

'Bad sheriff faces a real lawman'

Dominique Paul Noth, editor of Milwaukee Labor Press, tells it like it is in his writeup of the sheriff's race. That's his headline on this post, too. For starters:

The September 14 primary gives Milwaukee County voters a chance to bring in a real cop as sheriff - and also a real Democrat.

Chris Moews has been doing the doors and preaching to a largely buffaloed public that it's past time for consistent public safety programs, solid administrative ability and actual cooperation with other Milwaukee law enforcement agencies -- all missing in the present sheriff, who embodies the old cowboy definition of "all hat and no cattle."

Read it here.

Plale-Larson, Krusick-Dettman at Dem meeting

There will probably be few undecideds in the room, but Monday night's Democratic Party of Milwaukee County meeting could be fun:>blockquote> We’ll hear from the incumbents and challengers in two primaries:

Jeff Plale and Chris Larson in the 7th Senate District and Peggy Krusick and Scott Dettman in the 7th Assembly District.

It's a 7 p.m. at Pettit National Ice Center at State Fair Park, 500 S. 84th Street (just off I-94 at the 84th Street exit). You do not need to be a card-carrying Dem to attend.

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is



The elections are rolling up into view so fast that I want to duck.  I know we all like to chew the fat, talk over politics, and in general just complain about the state of things.  This is a not-so-gentle reminder that, like it or not, the people  you want to see win this fall aren't going to stand a chance without some serious cash.  We'd all like to see that change, but at the moment it's an unavoidable truth - if you don't give money to your favorite candidates, they're going to be in big trouble.

On the right you'll see a donation form for some of our favorite candidates in the state.  Just fill in the amounts and the magic of the Internet will take you to ActBlue, where all the paperwork happens.  The money goes right to the candidate, and you get to feel good about it. We don't get anything out of this except for the good feeling of helping to bring good progressive candidates into office. I know times are tough, but if you have any extra cash, spread it around among these good people.  If you don't see the person you want to donate to, just go directly to ActBlue and donate there to any Democratic candidate.  We now return you to the normal political blather.

RoJo gets Wisconsin national attention

Not that it's necessarily a good thing.

The Washington Post puts up video of Johnson on climate change here. :

JOHNSON: So it always strikes me as a little absurd for anybody to think, Okay, this is the sweet spot in geologic time for climate. And it's such a good place, that we have spent trillions of dollars, and do great harm to our economy, on a fool's errand. I don't think we can do anything about controling what the climate is.

THE POST'S GGREG SARGENT: I wonder if the countless scientists studying this issue ever asked themselves whether their scientific models allowed for the possibility that they were erroneously designating this moment geological time's climate change "sweet spot."


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