Scott Walker Campaign Slipping And Sliding Away

There is no good news in the press today for Scott Walker who is trying to make it seem he is capable and credible enough to be president.  After not out-right dismissing the idea of a fence between the United States and Canada as a crazy notion on Meet The Press Walker is left to only hear the laughter and see the shaking heads from those who once thought he had what it took to be in the top tier of contenders for 2016.  The problem is, of course, that this comment was not the first–nor will it be the last–from someone who is not smart enough to be a cabinet secretary let alone sit in the Oval Office. What we are witnessing is simply embarrassing and it reflects poorly on Wisconsin.

The Washington Post started their news article today with laying the Walker campaign problem front and center for all to see.

But his candidacy has wilted in the heat of a summer dominated by Donald Trump, with loyalists and supporters now calling for an immediate mid-course correction.

Walker’s backers see a campaign discombobulated by Trump’s booming popularity and by his provocative language on immigration, China and other issues. They see in Walker a candidate who — in contrast to the discipline he showed in state races — continues to commit unforced errors, either out of lack of preparation or in an attempt to grab for part of the flamboyant businessman’s following.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who often has allowed Walker more breathing space politically weighed in, too.

Polling data shows that the governor’s greatest loss of home-state support this year has occurred among independents, moderates and voters in northern and western Wisconsin, swing regions that were key to Walker’s statewide victories.

“It’s really in the middle of the (political) spectrum … where we’ve seen a substantial falloff in his support,” says Charles Franklin, director of the Marquette University Law School poll, who provided the numbers for this analysis.

Statewide, Walker’s approval rating is down a little more than 8 points among registered voters this year, from an average of 48.6% in the four pre-election polls Marquette did in the fall of 2014 to an average of 40.3% in Marquette’s two 2015 polls.

That drop in approval coincides with a controversial budget and the governor’s presidential bid, which is also struggling at the moment.

The trend is all the more striking because in the three previous years, Walker’s approval rating rarely budged, never rising above 51% or dropping below 46% in 27 polls during 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The Associated Press summed up the chaos concerning the issues that Walker has bungled along the way, proving he is not ready for prime time.

He also outlined his foreign policy goals, criticized President Barack Obama and Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton as “leading from behind” and called for a state visit with the Chinese president to be canceled.

Yet in the past 10 days, Walker also changed his stance three times on whether he, like Trump, favored doing away with the constitutional right to citizenship granted to people born in the United States. Walker finally said he had no position on the issue and he would not seek repeal of the 14th Amendment that provides that right.

During his campaigning, he has drawn the ire of Wisconsin state lawmakers who chafed at Walker, saying they weren’t on board with his 2011 push to weaken the state’s public employee unions.

In New Hampshire, Walker also said recently there were only a “handful” of moderate followers of Islam — a religion followed by more than a billion people worldwide. His campaign spokeswoman later attempted to dampen criticism of his comment, issuing a statement that Walker knows that the majority of Muslims “want to live in peace.”

In addition there is a powerful graph from the MJS that shows the problems that Walker has created and is unable to manage.


Scott Walker’s New Campaign Song

There is just no way to make up the news that now flows from Scott Walker’s bout with Potomac Fever.

Gov. Scott Walker said over the weekend that it’s a “legitimate” idea to consider building a wall between the United States and Canada to deter terrorists.

In a 30-minute taped interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd, Walker emphasized his desire to “secure” the country’s borders, focusing on the southern border with Mexico. But when pressed by Todd, Walker said extending that effort to the country’s 5,525-mile border with Canada is worth looking into.

“Why are we always talking about the southern border and a fence there? We don’t talk about a northern border — where, if this is about securing the border from potentially terrorists coming over,” Todd said, asking Walker if he would build a wall on the northern border, too.

After reading this news and then after I stopped laughing my thoughts turned to the idea that the Walker campaign needed to have a theme song which could be used when the candidate makes an entrance for a speech.

Madison Needs To Support Big, Bold Judge Doyle Square Proposal

I still recall the night in 1969 when I ran outside of my grandparent’s house to look up in the night sky. There was the moon where only minutes before man had first made a footprint. My family had gathered around the console television to watch a grand idea come to fruition. I was seven years old and only knew it all to be one big adventure. But for the decades since that memory not only has remained, but turned out to be a lesson.

There has been a shortage of big moments where the power and prestige of government mixes with the needs of the people. Too often this is due to limited resources. But just as often it is caused by those we elect who think small, and then act accordingly.

Come Tuesday night Madison’s local leaders have a chance to breathe life into a big, bold proposal for Judge Doyle Square that will provide great benefits to the city.   The project has not arrived at this point without the usual consternation and loud naysayers hoping to deprive the rest of the city a chance to move the downtown forward in dramatic ways. But if approval comes from the city council a most ambitious investment project of $46 million would signal to others that Madison is able to effectively encourage business development.

While there are many components to the deal one part stands out as precisely what the downtown needs. Exact Sciences, creator of Cologuard, the first and only FDA approved noninvasive DNA screening test for colorectal cancer, would be able to construct a building.   There has been a guarantee of 400 jobs with high incomes and assurances that financial penalties will be applied if agreements are not met.

This is exactly the type of jobs and incomes that we should work to encourage.  Any city that is vibrant needs to have a robust downtown.

When I started working in state government in January 1987 I was surprised that the downtown lost its energy and became a ghost town at the end of the work day. I started listening to the debates among city planners and those who had big ideas for the future of the city. Over and over there was a stated desire for some job-producing business in the downtown. With high-tech jobs at the heart of so much of the dynamic economic growth this nation wants there is no reason for us not to do what is required to now make this proposal happen.

I fully understand that there are tough choices and judgment calls to be made with this proposal.  There are items that I would shape differently but I also would compromise in the needed ways to make sure the end result allowed for this investment to move forward.  We must not lose sight of what we want our city to look like and become as we move forward. If we only listened to the ones opposed to everything we would still be mired down over how to proceed with Monona Terrace.

I strongly agree with using the surplus funds from a TIF district south of the Capitol Square for this Doyle Square project. I understand others have competing visons for this money but let’s be honest about the future use of these dollars.

A $90,000 job created from Exact Sciences will mean more condos and homes in the city. More dollars spent on cars and dinners and shows downtown. The money granted for this project in no other way could produce as much economic bang or multiple returns for the city.  I also am confident this will allow for more like-minded higher tech businesses to move here.  These are the challenges that those opposed to this proposal cannot compete with.

Local investment of this type does make for economic gains and that is why this type of investment is repeated by units of government all over the nation.  I do not want those opposed to this project to be afraid of success or keep wedded to some political talking points that clearly is not where the mainstream of the city resides.  The majority of us want success, jobs, higher wages, and growth.  We get all that from this proposal.

The goal of this enterprise (Hotel/cancer research site) should be embraced and brought to reality. There is nothing but more revenue and prestige for the city and more such businesses that will see what Madison can offer. We should encourage such development. The mature voices in the government and the press need to keep the heat on our local leaders and encourage—no, demand– they do the right thing and pass the Judge Doyle Square proposal.

At some point in the next couple years I want to look up at the Madison skyline and see the building that houses Exact Sciences. Not only will I see a cancer fighting enterprise but also the idea I first witnessed—but did not yet recognize—at the age of seven. That idea being how government can use its power and prestige to boldly meet the future.

Pope Francis To Tackle Donald Trump And Immigration On U.S. Trip

Their is no way not to see the xenophobia, bigotry, and hate from Donald Trump and his followers when it comes to the issue of immigration.  There is also no way to better sum up the world view of this matter, and put a moral context to it, than from Pope Francis who will be visiting the United States soon and speaking to the issue.

Vatican Ambassador Kenneth Hackett had some most interesting words in relation to the Pope’s immigration message that will be made on American soil.  There is no doubt that Donald Trump’s call for a border fence between Mexico and the United States and the deportation of millions of illegal immigrants will be dealt a severe blow from the one who talks with God more than mere presidential hopefuls ever do, according to the Associated Press.

“I think he’ll call us to continue to engage with it (the world), don’t throw any walls up around our nation, don’t revert to isolationism,” Hackett said. “We are a nation of welcoming people, so that’s where I think he will put his attention.”

Just to pile on the level of embarrassment for conservatives the Pope is also likely to discuss income inequality and the environment while he is in the country.  Ka-Ching.

It will be interesting to see how Catholics respond to the words of their Holy Father.

Sometimes It Only Takes A Political Cartoon To Say It All


Conservatives Follow What They Are Told

Get in a line.  Shut down your brain.  Never question anything.  Now turn on conservative talk radio for directions on what you need to do.

And if you’re someone who listens to a lot of talk radio, you can go from Ingraham to Limbaugh to Hannity or Savage to Levin in a day and hear nary a word of displeasure with Trump.  (Does this not say everything that needs saying about the intellectual heft of conservative talk radio?)

“I liken the bond between hosts and their listeners to a friendship,” said Brian Rosenwald, a University of Pennsylvania professor who has studied conservative talk radio. “Politically, the result of this bond is that when hosts talk to listeners about a candidate or bill it’s like having your brother-in-law or best friend tell you about the candidate or bill.”

Though many hosts have avoided a formal endorsement, they’ve heaped praise on the candidate and signaled to their listeners that Trump is their guy.

Back To The Old Oak Tree….

Going back in time today to when I was a boy under the large oak tree in the front yard of the family home.

It was there when a boy sitting on the lawn under the large oak that I would read books. I first learned of James Bond thanks to Ian Fleming under those large branches that swayed to the gentle breezes.   The other day it dawned on me I had not read Fleming since my youth.

So James ordered the first one in the series (1953) and Casino Royale arrived today. God Bless Amazon!

With rain in the forecast for tonight and Saturday I think I will slip away to that tree in my memory and turn the pages.


Hillary Clinton Campaign Has Handled Email Mess “Poorly, Maybe Atrociously, Certainly Horribly”

The front page of my paper, and above the fold. That is where the action is and what pushes the news cycles today.

Once again there is a story about Hillary Clinton and the email mess.  This time the story speaks to the concerns of Democratic leaders.  As a liberal blogger I share the concerns registered by so many across the country about this matter.

Bottom line is Hillary Clinton is causing the party a world of hurt.

Interviews with more than 75 Democratic governors, lawmakers, candidates and party members have laid bare a widespread bewilderment that Mrs. Clinton has allowed a cloud to settle over her candidacy — by using a private email server in the first place, since it was likely to raise questions about her judgment, and by not defusing those questions once and for all when the issue first emerged in March.

Yet many Democrats worry that this newly contrite tone is too little and too late to quell questions, and that it may not last — given that her responses up to now have been so varied, and her irritation with the issue so thinly veiled.

“They’ve handled the email issue poorly, maybe atrociously, certainly horribly,” said Edward G. Rendell, a former governor of Pennsylvania and a supporter of Mrs. Clinton’s candidacy. “The campaign has been incredibly tone-deaf, not seeing this as a more serious issue. She should have turned over the email server at the start, because they should have known they’d be forced to give it up. But at this point, there’s nothing they can do to kill the issue — they’re left just playing defense.”