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Dec 3, 201301:07 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Slow, sluggish websites and fast pas-sen-ger trains, these are a few of their favorite things

(page 1 of 2)

Sing it along with Mary Poppins, my progressive acquaintances!

Fresh off the thrilling rollout of Obamacare, also known as “Error 404, Page Not Found,” what do progressives want? Faster trains! When do they want them? Now!

Head Start, that Great Society trophy program, has squandered billions of dollars for no lasting result. (See “Head Start and other federal failures.”) Doesn’t matter. Progressivism is a faith that cannot be shaken by the disappointments of experience. For the true prog, it is better to feel good (about oneself) than to do, you know, actual good. (Sorry, Billy Crystal as Fernando Lamas.)

In the last thrilling episode of Blaska’s Bring It!, the Squire observed that progressives excuse the failure of every government overreach as having not overreached enough. Timely confirmation comes from my old comrade. The indefatigable John Nichols cries: “We need a massive investment in infrastructure.” When do we need it? “Now,” John cries. Someone hand the man a bullhorn!

We need this massive investment, to be measured in the trillions of dollars, as evidenced by the crash of the New York City train that killed four passengers. That the big iron horse was hurtling 82 mph in a curve posted for 30 mph troubles our comrade so little that it is not worth mentioning, which he doesn’t. Makes high-speed rail a tougher sell for some of us, though.

On a lighter note, our Ms. Burke has put up a campaign website. It appears to work, but no, you cannot use it to access Obamacare or book passage on California’s $68 billion fast train project, aka “the train to nowhere,” which is looking even less feasible.

Where there’s a Will there’s a way

Speaking of the man who presciently told the federal government no thanks for fast trains, the Walker for President express has taken on an important passenger, one George W. Will.

With chanting, screaming and singing supplemented by bullhorns, bagpipes and drum circles, their cacophony shook the building that the squalor of their occupation made malodorous. They spat on Republican legislators and urinated on Walker’s office door.

Walker recounts these events in Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge. Most books by incumbent politicians are not worth the paper they never should have been written on. If, however, enough voters read Walker’s nonfiction thriller, it will make him a — perhaps the — leading candidate for his party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

No, you’re a racist; no, YOU’RE ...

Progressives need the scourge of racism like televangelists need hellfire. Thus, even the Emerald City is racist at its core, accuses that arbiter of progressive purity, the Socialist Worker. Struggling young writer Christian Schneider observes:

The notion that Madison police, led for nine years by a recently departed African-American chief, is beset by institutional racism is ridiculous. In fact, the department has often erred too much on the side of political correctness.

One can dismiss the Socialists’ “racism” charges as mere goofballery, but their numbers do tell a story of profound inequity in a city that prides itself for its hypersensitivity to such things. Unfortunately for progressives, the racial gap likely has been exacerbated by their own good intentions.

Next time you get played the race card, dear reader, play it right back.


Old to new | New to old
Dec 3, 2013 07:42 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, I'm down with you as far as Tommy being a mostly good guy but a devout Catholic role model? Maybe in most ways but he missed catechism class at least once. I don't know, tell me, lest I persist in my misconception: didn't the man when governor open the gates to human embryonic stem cell research in the universities? Because there was money to be made? That's a huge Catholic no-no, for any reason.

Dec 3, 2013 08:20 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Progressivism is about bouncing from one disaster to another, with that ever elusive pie-in-the-sky solution always just beyond their grasp. Dave Zweifel must be having a stroke while working on a story now to justify his right to ride aboard a train careening out of control, heading for the same destructive end as Obamacare. It will probably sound something like "If it saves one barrel of oil, those 4 lives were worth it." And my 15 year old TV just died. I guess now I'll have to go out and buy a flat screen like all the welfare moms have.

Dave, not B

Dec 4, 2013 07:27 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Four people died on a passenger train? Maybe we should abandon all train projects and hop on our All-American Harleys. Except that motorcycles are almost 500 times more dangerous than trains.

Proof is about half way down this article:

Dec 4, 2013 07:35 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, "Pope Frankie" is uncalled for-however I can't throw stones. My initial reaction to the Pope's writings were "It's capitalism that's paying for the settlements from the priest abuse litigation."
But thanks for the update on Tommy!

Dec 4, 2013 08:04 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

I think most of us can agree that Tommy Thompson was just an all around great guy and a true leader. I worked as a manager in state government for several decades and I have seen the leadership styles of governors up close and personal. I remember how some of the more left-leaning middle managers (bureau directors, section chiefs, etc.) were all tingly (Chris Matthews style) about Diamond Jim Doyle coming aboard the S.S. Wisconsin as the new captain. They soon found out that stone-faced Jim was NOT their BFF. He perfected the art of hanging people out to dry and eviscerating all perceived enemies. A great many state managers were looking back on the Thompson era with great nostalgia.

Tommy was and still is a class act.

Dec 6, 2013 08:30 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

It is always easy to criticize when you don't present a plan to repair the problems

Dec 9, 2013 08:39 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Pope Francis vs. Ideology

“The faith becomes ideology and ideology frightens, ideology chases away the people, distances, distances the people and distances of the Church of the people. But it is a serious illness, this of ideological Christians. It is an illness, but it is not new, eh? Already the Apostle John, in his first Letter, spoke of this. Christians who lose the faith and prefer the ideologies. His attitude is: be rigid, moralistic, ethical, but without kindness. This can be the question, no? But why is it that a Christian can become like this? Just one thing: this Christian does not pray. And if there is no prayer, you always close the door.”

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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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