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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.
  • Manufacturers did not put lead in their paint to harm people but because it made the paint more durable and moisture resistant. When the harm became known, they got the lead out. We live and we learn.
  • 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.


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Comments, page 1 of 3 1 2 3 Next »
Sep 15, 2016 02:02 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

At issue: Over and over again, Scott Walker sought big donations from wealthy special interests, many of whom don't live in Wisconsin, and openly asked those donations be sent to secretive third party groups.

Do the Dems do the same? Let's expose them too.

Is this a bummer for those who think democracy ought to run on the merits of the argument instead of the wallet size of the influencer? Yes. Is it illegal? Who cares if it is or not? Voters deserve to know.

Thanks, Guardian!

Sep 15, 2016 02:04 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Nifty trick to cast those who object to how the MPD operates as "other" with your graphic. None of those people look like me! I'm scared of them!

Sep 15, 2016 02:49 pm
 Posted by  David Blaska

None of those people look like you, 02:04 PM, and good thing, too, or we'd all be scared.

Sep 15, 2016 03:38 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


Could you provide the proof that it was Chisholm that leaked the story to the guardian? I have seen and heard lots of speculation, but no solid evidence to back it up. If he did, then prosecute him for whatever laws he broke. If he didn't, maybe look a little farther rather than parrot the R talking points.

Sep 15, 2016 04:15 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous


walker is just down right bad. from the core out. he has not one ounce of integrity nor will he ever. a loser till the end. I, for one, am glad this came out. it is about time people see what walker is for: walker.
also they see what you are blaska, a total moron.

where is you buddy, explat when you need him. speechless I hope.

the only grace in all this is that all the other people outside of Wisconsin see what walker really is, a total loser. he will never be missed.

Sep 15, 2016 04:23 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

Trump 2016!


Scott Who?

Sep 15, 2016 11:06 pm
 Posted by  Anonymous

roughly equivalent

when the harm became known, they got the lead out

These are fabulous phrases. Should be part of every apologist's arsenal.

Quid pro quo shouldn't be illegal. But when we learn about it, let us shout it from the rooftops and use it in negative advertising. Did Walker do anything illegal? Who cares? Is he doing whatever he can to raise money from corporate interests? And do you have a problem with that? Vote your conscience, but do so in an informed society.

Sep 16, 2016 05:51 am
 Posted by  madisonexpat

In the last three weeks Hillary! has claimed, "brain freeze", "short circuit", dehydration and pneumonia.
Her husband explains it by saying she hates water and gets mad at any staffer who suggests she might need hydration.
Apparently the thing she is most frightened of?
Wait for it.....


Sep 16, 2016 07:35 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

Dave, although you continue to write articles with intentions of promoting a conservative agenda and Republican politicians, you quickly veer off course and fill up most of your articles with bashing the opposition. This appears that you have very little substance to substantiate the conservative agendas. Meanwhile, Walker, Voss, and Schimel are more interested in blaming the messenger (UK Guardian and informant) than the actual laws that were broken and the corruption that surrounded those illegal acts. Please take note that Milwaukee D.A. John Chisholm has always steadfastly honored the gag order of the John Doe, but instead it was Erik O'Keefe who had continually leaked John Doe information time and time again on the Charlie Sykes show along with other media outlets. Walker has always maintained he did nothing wrong, yet he has authority to release the John Doe. It is now time for Walker to release the John Doe, so he can substantiate his innocence as he is currently claiming.

Sep 16, 2016 09:07 am
 Posted by  Anonymous

"Personally, we suspect partisan motives in this politically charged campaign season."

If you believe this, Blaska, you're an idiot. Are you saying The Guardian coverage of this story is politically motivated?! You and your ilk could be smacked in the face with the documents and you would still deny its authenticity! Just like most of your ilk do the same with climate change. Willful ignorance.

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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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