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May 27, 201412:46 PMBlaska's Bring It!

with David Blaska

Koch Brothers, beans, Patriots, and a man named Petroleum

(page 1 of 2)

Still getting used to the idea of just walking outside without layering up. Good grief, that was a brutal winter! Friday, the indentured servants planted five different varieties of beans: Blue Lake, Golden Sunshine, Kentucky Wonder green, KY Wonder yellow, and Roma II — the only bush. Pole beans make great use of garden space and are easier to harvest.

Took part in the Nation of Patriots motorcycle run to Woodstock, Ill., Saturday over Memorial Day weekend. Must have been 300 bikes, many flying flags. Quite a sight! Many cheers and waves along the way. Now in its fifth year, bikers carry the U.S. flag to all states in the lower 48. This year’s run started in Madison at Badger Harley and will conclude on Aug. 30 when the flag returns to Madison from Waukon, Iowa. (Here’s their website.) The effort raises money for needy veterans of the armed forces. TV-27 has more.

Photo credit: Norm Sannes

They may look angelic, but …

Did not know there were four Koch Brothers. Or that they were once young boys! But there is the picture: four little angels, scrubbed and fresh-faced. In addition to Charles and David are oldest brother Frederick and David’s twin, William. The latter two have been on the outs with their more politically active brothers, although not over politics, according to a review in Sunday’s New York Times of a new book, Sons of Wichita: How the Koch Brothers became America’s most powerful and private dynasty.

Reviewer Nicholas Lemann, dean emeritus of Columbia Journalism, is remarkably evenhanded. Apparently, so is the book.

If [author Daniel] Schulman winds up denying his readers the satisfaction of believing that if only two malign figures can somehow be beaten back, American conservatism would be crippled, that’s probably a good thing.

I thought journalists could write. Let me clean that up a bit. Lemann is trying to credit the author for denying liberals their hobgoblins. American conservatism and libertarianism are bigger than the Kochs, albeit much in their debt.

Even the Tea Party movement is not entirely dependent on intravenous feeding from the Kochs or that other favorite liberal villain, Fox News. …

“Sons of Wichita” reminds us that political outcomes depend far more on ideas and organization, and the energy and persistence devoted to them, than they do on the balance of power between good guys and bad guys.

It’s what our liberal-progressive acquaintances (for they ARE …) like to call “nuance.” In that vein is this passage from the book (however cliché-ridden):

The brothers’ opponents seemed to miss the forest for the trees as they strained to find evidence of the Kochs’ hidden hand at work, a smoking gun that proved the governor of Wisconsin’s marching orders came straight out of Wichita.


Old to new | New to old
May 27, 2014 03:45 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Know why Madison's VA hospital operates so much better than those elsewhere? Tammy Baldwin. Ask any local veteran the next time you're revving up your motorbike.

May 28, 2014 08:50 am
 Posted by  Anonymous


May 28, 2014 08:09 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

If there was a VA bedpan scrubber supreme in the making, my vote would certainly go to Tammy Baldwin.

May 29, 2014 04:15 pm
 Posted by  John

Well Anon @ 3:45, I'm a local veteran, active in veteran's affairs and I would say Tammy B has had NOTHING to do with the quality of care at the Madison VA hospital. That distinction goes to the quality staff at the hospital.

Did she support keeping the hospital here open when the VA reviewed the system? Of course. Can you name any Representative with a VA hospital in their district that didn't do the same?

May 30, 2014 07:38 am
 Posted by  MtKeg

My father spent much time in his final years at the VA hospital. I attribute the high quality of care he received to the VA hospital's affiliation with UW hospitals.

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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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