Wednesday, October 27, 2010

This Week's Cartoon in the Clutch

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Oct 27, 2010

This week's cartoon is occasioned by the most recent ruling staying the penultimate ruling overturning the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, but it really would have been nice to get out one more cartoon prior to the midterm election.

When polls suggest that there is a serious chance that Tea Partisans who believe in repealing the 14th, 16th and 17th Amendments to the Constitution, in making it legal for corporations to bribe foreign governments, in returning control of health care to insurance company profit managers, in teaching superstition as science, in allowing our major auto manufacturers and all the businesses that depend on them to go out of business (not to mention allowing cascading bank failures on a scale not seen since 1929), in trusting against experience that tax cuts for the richest 1% will ever trickle down past the next richest 1%, and in attacking whatever minority is convenient when their economic theory goes bust -- when there is a serious chance that these cretins will take over the House, the Senate, and the legislatures handling apportionment for the next decade, I find the task of boiling that prospect down into one cartoon daunting in the extreme.

When the alternatives in many races are spineless Democrats running away from their base in a futile effort to convince voters that they really really really are almost like Republicans, however, it's equally hard to muster any enthusiasm.

How can one explain the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel endorsing Scott Walker for Governor after his disastrous record as Milwaukee County Executive?
The county's Mental Health Complex has been so badly managed under his watch that vulnerable people have been needlessly victimized. His budgets have failed to meet the need, even as overtime salaries for some complex employees boggle the imagination. The Milwaukee County Transit System has suffered route cuts and fare hikes, a victim to diminished county revenues and lack of vision. The state took over what state officials said were badly managed public assistance programs - though county officials said those programs simply were underfunded by the state.

We differ with Walker on some of the stances he's taken during this election. Stopping the fast train between Milwaukee and Madison reflects the kind of fiscal conservatism for which he is known, but it still is shortsighted.

Also of concern was his answer to whether he would support state legislation to require the shadow groups pouring in millions of dollars into surrogate ads to reveal their donors. We fear he would veto such efforts.

We worry about his views on embryonic stem cell research, which holds great promise for treatment of a variety of ailments. Wisconsin is a world leader in this important work. In the past, Walker has gone so far as to say he would sign a bill banning such research. More recently, he has been less strident, saying, "I'm going to put the money (state funding) behind adult stem cells - not embryonic." That would be a colossal mistake. ...

Barrett, meanwhile, has run a spirited, though at times too negative, campaign. His jobs and deficit proposals are far more detailed than Walker's and should be considered even if he's not elected. ...

We would hope the Legislature would right-size Walker's proposal for broad tax cuts that would threaten to deepen the state's budget deficit. On this point, Barrett's targeted tax cuts are the better approach.

Fat chance of our probable Republican legislature "right-sizing" Walker's tax cuts! The only reason he hasn't bankrupted Milwaukee County is because there is a majority on the County Board willing to stand up to him. (And what part of Walker's campaign has been positive? None of the commercials I've seen. Tom Barrett's campaign has been as positive as could be expected when outside interests have been attacking him mercilessly on TV since well before the September primary. Fercrysake, even the JS endorsement of Walker finds plenty to criticize Walker for!)

I cannot understand why the JS editorial board thinks that Walker and state Republicans, who have promised to be hard-line, partisan and doctrinaire, will be anything else once they control all three branches of state government plus the AG's office.

I'm proudly voting for Tom Barrett, and to reelect Senator Russ Feingold. Also John Lehman and Cory Mason. And Haslett for Attorney General.

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