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Dec 5, 201202:10 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Insert Gen. David Petraeus into the war zone known as Detroit

Insert Gen. David Petraeus into the war zone known as Detroit

(page 1 of 2)

What can I say about Coach Bielema except that we’ll never forget you, Brent! The only bigger surprise is if Barry Alvarez (you must coach the Rose Bowl!) announced that Wisconsin was joining the Southeast Conference. To be replaced in the Big 12 (Plus Two Eastern Schools) by the University of Chicago.

Strategic advice from Blaska Consultants & Insultants, LLC: When the police book you, don’t take a bad mug shot. Tim Russell has “Plea Bargain!” written all over him. On the other hand, do not go to the extreme of congressman Tom DeLay and pretend you’re being named winner of Dancing with the Stars. I’ve decided that when the police process my next arrest, I’m going to look a combination of surprised and pole-axed.

How’s this?

Milwaukee’s tin cup runneth on empty

Milwaukee journalist Bruce Murphy figures that the revenue the state of Wisconsin shares with his city has declined 36% in noninflationary dollars since 1995, hurting the city’s services and leaving the metropolis few ways to recover, given that Wisconsin does not permit its municipalities to tax income, unlike some states.

At least, Bruce – always a must-read – does not blame big city-hating, racist Republicans. It is a trend that began after Tommy Thompson left office and continued through the eight years of the Jim Doyle interregnum. Fact is, as Murphy relates, total state-shared revenue has declined by over half during the last decade. Wisconsin just doesn't have the money.

Let’s pull out one quote from Murphy’s account on his new website, Urban Milwaukee. It’s from Maier successor John Norquist: “You can’t build a city on pity.”

The stone masons here at the Blaska Policy Research Factory and Tanning Salon are engraving that quote into the archway leading to the bare-board workbenches.

Milwaukee, thank God, is not Detroit, but neither is it far enough removed to allay concern. (Milwaukee has the nation’s eighth-highest poverty rate among large cities, at 26.2%.)

Consider that Detroit has lost one-quarter of its population in the last 10 years. That’s 238,000 souls, virtually the population of our Madison. Two-thirds of Detroit’s streetlights are broken. The city has to borrow to replace them. The schools are rotten. Police, slashed. It has the highest violent crime rate of any major city in the U.S. It has the highest rate of poverty (32.5%). Detroit is so hollowed out that its vacant lots could absorb the city of Paris.

Still can’t get off the government teat. This headline from The Blaze:

Detroit Councilwoman’s actual rant: we voted for you Obama, now give us some of that gov’t ‘bacon’

Of course, Detroit has been mismanaged by liberals for over 50 years, so what’s another four years of Obamanomics? You penalize success, you welcome failure. The sting of failure, on the other hand, is a marvelous incentive to succeed.

Don’t wait for a bailout, people! Make something happen! Create something! Take up crofting. Spin wool. For God’s sake!

That the 10 most impoverished cities in America have been operated by we’re-all-victims liberals is well documented. (It should be said that most of Milwaukee’s mayors prior to 1960 have been socialists.) Notice that New York City is not on the list. It’s nowhere near the poorest and, of course, it has had several Republican mayors, including Rudy Giuliani.

Here’s an idea: put Detroit in receivership. Declare the place a natural disaster. Send in the Marines. Appoint Rudy G as trustee, chancellor, viceroy, regent, whatever. Or, hell, Mitt Romney. He turned around the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, didn’t he? Or David Petraeus. He knows something about putting boots on the ground and pacifying war zones. A little shock and awe, some flash and bang, would get the enterprise off to a good start.

Let Petraeus do for Detroit what he did for Fallujah.

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About This Blog

Raised on a farm near Sun Prairie, David Blaska is a recovering liberal who spent 18 years in daily newspapers, including 12 at The Capital Times in Madison as a reporter and editor. He served Gov. Tommy Thompson as acting press secretary in 1998 and is a veteran and survivor of 19 years in state government. He served 12 years on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. From December 2007 to November 2011 he wrote the consistently popular "Blaska's Blog" for Isthmus online's "The Daily Page" until, he says, the intolerant liberals ran him off. He blogs from Madison.

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