There is no doubt I love a good political debate. But lets be honest, most political debates are rather tame and limited in the impact they make on the average voter.
But there is no way anyone watching the Madison mayoral debate Tuesday night live on WISC-TV could not have come away wondering just how much more preparation time might have been required to make challenger Scott Resnick ready for prime time. That there have been numerous debates already this election season underscores how steep the learning curve is for one who wishes to lead this city for the first time.
Madison Mayor Paul Soglin did an old-fashioned clock-cleaning on Resnick with powerful rebuttals and a stunning use of facts and data to underscore city policy over the past four years. Thankfully I was watching on my DVR so I could rewind and hear Soglin again tell Resnick that he could not always be in the council chambers to hold the alderman’s hand when it was time to cast a vote.
With a punchy rhythm Soglin used his pen as if to check off wrong positions from a sheet of paper that Resnick had taken as an alder.
If this had been an old Batman television show that is when the words POW and PUNCH would have filled the screen. All Resnick could so was look stunned and bewildered. There was no way for him to recalibrate fast enough to dodge the incoming political swings from Soglin.
It was masterful on the part of the mayor to wage a debate in this fashion. Clearly Soglin has listened enough to the misuse of information over the past weeks and decided it was time to set the record straight. That it would result in such political theatre could not have been planned. For that to succeed required Resnick to be shell-shocked. He played his part perfectly.
The other part of the debate that was most effective was how Soglin made it clear the alderman had been on the council for the past four years and yet seemingly only now found his voice for the issues. At one point Soglin made note of it directly.
“It’s interesting. Everything Scott answers is ‘It’s not enough. But yet he’s been on the council for four years, and suddenly discovers all these issues related to equity.”
While it is true that decades of political work and policy formulation has strengthened Soglin’s hand as a candidate it also needs to be said that anyone hoping for a chance to unseat him has to do the needed homework to make it happen. Part of that is to know the data, studies, facts, and figures inside-out so that they can not be used against you.
Resnick has failed at that part of the campaign.
When Soglin had to school Resnick in how homeless people come to be classified as calling Madison home for reporting purposes was perhaps the sharpest factual point of the evening. Upon hearing those words there was just no place for Resnick to hide.
The outcome of this election may never have been in doubt. After tonight it is now all about the scope of Soglin’s win.
I will be darned! Even the three-thumb crowd are starting to see the light.
Ted Cruz is going on Obamacare.
The newly announced Republican presidential candidate told CNN’s Dana Bash that he will sign up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act — a law he has been on a crusade to kill.
The news comes one day after CNN first reported that the senator would no longer have access to health benefits through his wife’s employer, Goldman Sachs.
Last evening on Charlie Rose the second part of the interview with Leon Wieseltier was broadcast. It merits your viewing.
There is no way to overstate how much I agreed with Wieseltier’s view about how discarding long-form writing in magazines in favor of short, snappy, cute pieces aimed at some corporate bottom line is simply abhorrent.
If you have a new bottle, fine. If you want to pour old wine into a new bottle, OK. But to throw the old wine out in favor of the new bottle is stupid. It is that type of to-the-point common-sense views that connected with me and my own long-held beliefs about media and journalism.
Wieseltier had powerful views on the media and he is one to know given the public discord he has had with The New Republic and its new owner. He was the former longtime literary editor of The New Republic and has strongly rejected the new style of publishing that short changes substance for marketing ploys.
A front page damming story today in The Wall Street Journal on Israeli spying of United States negotiations over curtailing Iran’s nuclear program should open eyes concerning the divisive nature of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government.
It should be noted–for all those who care about how we have to use taxpayer dollars to remain safe–that the U.S. expends more counterintelligence resources fending off Israeli spy operations than any other close ally. How many of these types of ‘allies’ can we afford?
I have never regarded Israel for anything other than what it is, and what it continually proves itself to be. That being a nation no more morally grounded or ethical or prone to higher ideals than any other nation. Selfish interests are its only guiding force and for anyone to portray the Jewish state as somehow more worthy of special treatment or greater latitude simply misses the reality of the situation.
That was made perfectly clear in today’s article in a conservative American newspaper.
How the informational material was amassed, and then how the bastards shared the information gathered from the talks during partisan congressional briefings in an effort to build political opposition to a deal should alert all to the false notion that Israel can be called a ‘staunch ally’.
There is no lack of spying among nations, nor do I mean to lead readers to think my concern deals solely with the use of spycraft. Rather it is the underhanded and despicable manner in which Israel manipulated the data and worked to destroy international attempts to alleviate a major source of concern in the Middle East. And to so totally spit in the face of the American government is totally out of bounds.
It is offensive.
My partner, James, attended Middlebury College. And that place of higher education is today making national headlines. In fact, the very first words from James this morning as I entered the den was about the school. Did Robert Durst murder a Middlebury College student in the early 1970’s?
Police said Monday they’ve been investigating a link between the 1971 disappearance of a Middlebury College student and millionaire murder suspect Robert Durst.
Investigators have been aware for several years of a link between 18-year-old Lynne Schulze and Durst, who operated the All Good Things health food store in the town, the Middlebury Police Department said in a statement.
Schulze, a native of Simsbury, Connecticut, who entered Middlebury College as a freshman in September 1971, was last seen that December. Her missing-person flyer shows her peering serenely through a loosely parted mane of light-brown hair.
The Schulze case was reopened in 1992 and has continuously generated leads, police said.
Middlebury police call it an ongoing criminal investigation and say they aren’t releasing any other details.
The 71-year-old Durst is a member of a wealthy New York real estate family that runs 1 World Trade Center. He’s charged with killing a woman 15 years ago in Los Angeles. He’s been ordered held on weapons charges in Louisiana, where a judge decided he’s a flight risk and a danger to others after considering what FBI agents found in his hotel room – an elaborate disguise and other escape tools fit for a spy movie.
What are we to make of the announcement from Senator Ted Cruz concerning his bid for the Republican Party nomination for the White House?
This blogger has no problem answering that question in a concise fashion.
Cruz has a very small chance to win, and perhaps more to the point no chance at all.
I have followed politics my entire life, and read far too much about this topic given all the other curiosities I have that needs to be explored. But from what I have learned along the way there is no way to get a political nomination unless the party elites are in your camp. They are the ones who make sure the funds for the long haul are massed and ready to be used. They are the ones who pony up the staff who are ready to use their expertise to make a race successful. The elites also do something that a person like Cruz can never do for himself. Lend credibility to a candidate who is in dire need of it.
Instead of ingratiating himself with the Republican Party Cruz has went out of his to irritate it and challenge it in ways that has destroyed any sense of fondness or respect for the now presidential hopeful. No one in the Republican Senate Caucus has a colder reaction offered to them than Cruz. That is simply not the position from which one starts a successful presidential election.