Sep 15, 201612:52 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Blaska goes nose to nose on latest controversy
(page 1 of 2)
The Squire of the Stately Manor is taking incoming fire from the peanut gallery for not addressing today’s newspaper headlines. Guess there is no escaping this big story, as distasteful as it is. It’s always difficult to confront bad news when it involves one of your heroes, no matter the who or the what.
Let’s start by noting that the accused categorically denies the allegations as untrue. Personally, we suspect partisan motives in this politically charged campaign season.
Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh says he did not eat his own booger (or anyone else’s, for that matter) on the sidelines of last Saturday’s game at Ann Arbor. There is sure to be a press conference, á la Bill Clinton. “I did not eat that booger.”
John Harbaugh, coach of the NFL Baltimore Ravens, leaped to his defense: “My brother has never eaten a booger!”
Notice the finality, the lack of temporizing. Brother John didn’t say, “Not in my presence, anyway.” Or, “so far as I know.” Or, “not since his freshman year at Michigan.” No, he said “never.”
Brother John did acknowledge that there was contact between his brother’s finger and nose but vows that “nothing came out.”
Not sure how he would know but we’ll have to leave it at that until Julian Assange, Breitbart, or The Guardian newspaper says otherwise. But at least he tried. He dug for gold but did not score.
The control room here at World Blogge HDQ missed the video but it is reasonable to assume the network did slo-mo replay on this controversy. Maybe even telestrator. We suspect that the referees went under the hood to review the play. Some people bad mouth the refs but here’s betting they got this call right on the nose. Let’s hope they threw the yellow hanky, though it’s always possible they blew it.
At least this takes the heat off Colin Kaepernick.
The not-so-secret John Doe
Still digesting The U.K. Guardian’s document dump on Scott Walker but these points need to be made:
- Republicans are fulminating against Milwaukee D.A. John Chisholm for leaking supposedly secret John Doe documents. (RightWisconsin here.) That is the problem with the John Doe procedure. By law, it is a secret investigation. In practice, prosecutors can selectively leak favorable information if they don’t have enough to bring a case, while withholding less helpful dope. Try to prove who leaked. It’s difficult, to say the least.
- Consider the timing: weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court determines whether to take the appeal of the state Supreme Court’s 4–2 decision last year to kill John Doe 2.
- That said, Republicans are better off to address the substance, not the source.
- At issue: Louis Butler, defeated for re-election to the Supreme Court, ruled that paint manufacturers could be sued for lead content without proving which brand or which manufacturer caused the harm. His controversial legal principal is known as “risk contribution theory.” It is roughly equivalent to being able to sue Ford even though your accident may have involved Buick.
- There is no fundraising limit on recall elections.
- No law prohibits a candidate from supporting an issue advocacy organization or vice versa, as long as the issue advocate does not expressly say, “Vote for Joe Blow.” (But it can say, “Thank Joe Blow for voting pro-life.”)
- Would a mining company support candidates who virtually outlaw mining (as Jim Doyle and Spencer Black did)? Or would they support candidates who would legislate reasonable regulations to permit mining (as did Republicans)?
- Why am I getting fundraising appeals from U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin when her re-election does not occur for another two years? (Ron Johnson is up this year. Is she funneling her proceeds to Russ Feingold to help him exceed campaign contribution limits?)
- It’s an old journalistic principle: if you want to kill a story, put out a press release. If you want to ensure headlines, “leak” exclusively to a favored reporter.
- Still awaiting the lurid accusations of coordination between teachers unions, organized labor, the Democratic Party, enviro groups, other issue advocacy groups, and legislators over the 2011–12 recall elections. Hell’s bells, John Nichols bragged about it!
- Finally, regulating political speech is a fool’s errand, although the question here is muddied with quid pro quo. Enacting legislation retroactively is of questionable constitutionality — although we don’t mind when such acts invalidate death penalty sentences.