/ / Shredding the myths of the Democratic Party

Shredding the myths of the Democratic Party



Our views represent the institutional voice of The Lakeland Times.
They are researched and written independent of the newsroom.

After President Trump finished his triumphant State of the Union speech Tuesday night, House speaker Nancy Pelosi did something no one was anticipating: She stood up and ripped apart the printed copy of the speech, calling it a manifesto of untruths.
That vision, now etched in the minds of Americans who mostly watched in disbelief or saw it afterward, what with all the hoopla, offered up a lot of metaphors, and politicians and pundits jumped on most of them.
The White House gleefully pointed out that the “manifesto of untruths” involved pronouncements about the honor and heroism of iconic minority servicemen and women, among other things: “Speaker Pelosi just ripped up: One of our last surviving Tuskegee Airmen. The survival of a child born at 21 weeks. The mourning families of Rocky Jones and Kayla Mueller. A service member’s reunion with his family. That’s her legacy.”
Ouch. It seems Pelosi wasn’t just taking issue with Trump’s policy positions but with the legitimacy of the feelings and lives of ordinary but brave Americans. Uplifted by the president’s positive vision for America, Pelosi tried to tear down feelings of hope and to replace light with dark.
Vice president Mike Pence cracked that he wasn’t sure whether Pelosi was tearing up the speech or the constitution, and his point was that, for all practical purposes, it was the same thing.
That’s because the president’s speech was all about protecting the constitution. For instance, he pledged to continue to appoint judges who swear to uphold the constitution as written.
He pledged to defend religious liberty, and to never let our First and Second Amendment rights be taken away. With her violent hands, Pelosi was promising to do just the opposite: to remove the Second Amendment, to neuter the First Amendment, to suppress religious liberty, and to interpret individual liberty right out of the constitution through judicial activism.
Not least, Pelosi’s disgust with the Trump agenda and her impulse to shred opposing viewpoints was an attempt to delegitimize political disagreement and to suppress dissent for any view not aligning with her own. 
Pelosi’s act of destruction was a powerful symbolic bow to tyranny itself, and it should strike terror in the hearts of those who value liberty and republican democracy. 
Others thought her intentions were to hide the truth from the American people, and so she became a human shredder.
Except that, while she called it a manifesto of untruths, Pence pointed out all the actual facts in the speech: “Everything about the economy, everything about the military, everything about President Trump’s decisive action taking out Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and every story about Americans.”
Generally, people try to shred truth-telling documents before they are released, but Trump had already delivered them optimistically and hopefully to the American people, and so her act of shredding only exposed her own naked dishonesty.
To others, such as distinguished constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, Pelosi was ripping apart our republic’s traditions and decorum, which compose the inner character of the Republic’s soul: “Her conduct tore up more than a speech, but decades of tradition and left any semblance of civility in tatters on the House floor,” he wrote. “ …. For those of us who truly love the House as an institution, it was one of the lowest moments to unfold on the floor.”
Turley called for Pelosi to apologize or resign.
She won’t, of course, and to some Pelosi’s moment of disgrace looked like an apt metaphor for a Democratic Party that is itself coming apart at the seams. The party’s debacle in counting votes in Iowa makes it look incompetent; its willingness to put show trials over solid policy debate makes it look power hungry and intellectually depleted; the surge of socialism — another sign of intellectual weakness — scares the daylights of that old political mastermind James Carville, who doesn’t think traditional Democratic donors will “give a popsicle” to the current candidates for president.
Yes, Nancy Pelosi tore up Trump’s vision out of frustration that Democrats have no vision with which to write their own speech, or their own future. Capitalist liberalism seems to have run out of ideas, and their think tanks are bankrupt of contemplative aspiration. All that’s left for them is to republish old Marxist screeds posted in past failed attempts to impose authoritarian socialism.
No wonder she tore up a well-reasoned vision of prosperity and individual liberty.
Lastly, to others still, Pelosi’s rip for the ages merely underscored the polarization of today’s politics and its decampment into two large ideological and partisan divides. That’s true as far as it goes, but it ignores a basic truth about that polarization — the Democrats are responsible for an increasing unwillingness to work with the other side, for increasing intolerance of critical thinking and dissent, for branding every loss as something illegitimate, and for calling everyone who disagrees with them evil and, of course, racist.
Think about it. Yes, President Trump’s speech was defiant and strong about his positions on the Second Amendment, on immigration, on trade, and on his pledge to fight socialism with every last breath. There’s nothing wrong with policy disagreement, but you don’t have to demonize the other side, and Trump didn’t. 
Throughout his speech, Trump told stories of optimism and introduced Americans from diverse walks of life. His speech was tough, but his ideas were about pursuing a “comeback” using American values and the honor and talents of the American people — of all the American people — to do so. 
He put a spotlight on our young people and their dreams, and he pointed out that “from the pilgrims to the Founders, from the soldiers at Valley Forge to the marchers at Selma, and from President Lincoln to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Americans have always rejected limits on our children’s future.”
Trump called for an inclusive society in which every individual is empowered to participate in the American dream.
“Members of Congress, we must never forget that the only victories that matter in Washington are victories that deliver for the American people,” the president said. “The people are the heart of our country, their dreams are the soul of our country, and their love is what powers and sustains our country. We must always remember that our job is to put America first.”
Nancy Pelosi tore all that up symbolically, and, during the speech, she telegraphed that she cared not a wit about the hopes and aspirations of individual Americans when she refused to applaud for a young child who had just received a scholarship to attend a better school of her family’s choice.
Pelosi’s heart is cold, and socialism’s embrace is colder still.
Of course, Pelosi wanted to denounce Trump, but in tearing up the speech she disgraced herself by trying to tear up America itself.
Perhaps Jody Jones, the brother of Rocky Jones, who was killed by a criminal illegal alien, said it best afterward. Jones said Pelosi effectively tore up his brother’s story and the stories of other celebrated Americans cited in the speech.  
“I don’t care how you feel about somebody,” he said on Fox. “That was probably the most disrespectful thing I have ever seen in my life because when she did that, it just tore us up. We couldn’t believe it. This is a grieving family who lost a loved one at the hands of an illegal immigrant in California and she ripped up Rocky’s story.”
On Tuesday night, Nancy Pelosi attempted to rip up a whole lot more. She attempted to rip up America’s story.
Fortunately, as the American heroes and dreamers and lovers of liberty in the Tuesday night audience demonstrated, we are sure Americans will not let her.
What Nancy Pelosi actually ripped up Tuesday night was what was left of her and her party’s credibility. She tore up finally the myth that liberals are for social justice and equal opportunity and are the party of tolerance.
She tore those myths up and showered them upon the American people, like so much confetti.
Confetti is usually saved for celebrations, but for Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats Tuesday night, the party was over. 
That means, for America, it looks like — and we hope this is the case — the party of a new age of prosperity and freedom might just be beginning.



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What the pandemic tells us

When Americans are confronting the most threatening national crisis in a generation or more, it would be uplifting to offer a few encouraging words about the president of the United States. And a few is about as many as can be offered at this point. Not only is his performance to date far below what his country needs, but he also shows no sign of having learned the lessons that might allow him to improve.

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What matters

The evening sun dips into purple above the treetops, casting a mellow light across Birch Lake, where grandson Tucker and I, jig rods in hand, hunch over holes drilled in the ice. No one else is around. Earlier in the day, Tucker (7) walked around the edge of the lake with his mom and dad and dogs Bruce and Pizzy, while younger grandson Perrin (6) and I tended the jig rods.

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‘Dark Waters’ a riveting depiction of a real-life tragedy

Some of the best movies find their roots in real life, and “Dark Waters” is no different.

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Right now, a time for shared sacrifice

These are tough times, and in tough times Americans unite.

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What to do, what to do

For a day or two, it would be easy to pretend it was just too cold, or too rainy, and we did not want to go anywhere or do anything.

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Not wasting a serious crisis

My sainted mother was a public school teacher until she married my father and immediately, as a married woman, was forced by local Massachusetts rules then in force to leave the classroom.

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A glimmer of light in a Dark State

Of all the Sunshine Weeks we have covered, this is simultaneously one of the most discouraging ones and one of the best ones.

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Through the ice

It can be tricky getting a kid hooked on fishing. It’s all about action — number of bites, not size of the fish. Take a kid out and catch nothing, the kid equates fishing with boredom.

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Democrats escalate war on northern Wisconsin

What’s worse than a bureaucrat?

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Trump fails. Biden steps up

Is Joe Biden president yet?

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Gov. Evers: Putting the partisan back into nonpartisan

We’re hearing a lot as we approach the spring election about the importance of having nonpartisan redistricting after this year’s census.

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We all have a favorite field guide

I am like a kid in a candy store when I have a new field guide. I love them, and there are so many of them out there. Enthusiasts can find field guides dedicated to plants, animals, insects, fish and any other thing, truly, that may be of interest. A field guide to edible plants is always fun to flip through. But I have to say there are some I will likely never try. Mushrooming is huge with some people, but I do not know enough about it to feel safe just picking up a field guide and heading out into the woods.

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A modest proposal

Clean Boat Clean Waters education is the cornerstone of aquatic invasive species prevention in our state. It’s great as far as it goes. Does it go far enough?

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Learn to love the wet

I should have written this column a month ago, since February 2 was World Wetlands Day. The topic is also timely because the Oneida County Board on February 18 voted to reduce the setback for grading near wetlands from 15 feet to 5 feet.

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Michael Bloom’s Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card

The recent decision by Oneida County circuit judge Michael Bloom to dismiss the walking quorum complaint against Rhinelander mayor Chris Frederickson and four city aldermen is a case study demonstrating both how good-old-boy politics still dominates in Oneida County and how the state’s activist judges are, case by case, rewriting the state’s open meetings and open records laws.

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Mass Transit Is Making Gridlock Worse

Why in the world is the federal government, 20 years into the 21st century, continuing to pour tens of billions of tax dollars into little-used mass transit rail projects? In a digital age with increasingly popular and affordable door-to-door ride-sharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, universal use of cars by all income groups and the revolution of smart driverless vehicles around the corner, subway systems and light rail are as old-fashioned as the rotary phone. The federal government and urban planners in at least 25 cities are frantically spending money to lay down tracks that, in 10 or 20 years, they will have to rip right out of the ground.

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Daylight Savings Time

I have never been one to understand it, to be honest. People are fond of saying, “we get an extra hour of daylight!” Or “we are losing an hour of daylight!” My question is: how many hours a day do you sleep? Are you awake at all in the morning or evening? Because there really is not that much difference in the amount of daylight we get that next day. It is adjusted — with time being a construct of humanity to keep things orderly.

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Our View: Personal use of Minocqua town equipment raises important questions

As we report today, the Minocqua town board recently fired public works employee Mark Heil after only about a week as a full-time employee, though he had been employed part-time since last October. Specifically, Heil was fired for using a town front-end loader to plow a private driveway on Church Road, in violation of town policy.

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Improving debates

First, a confession: I really like presidential debates. Why, you ask? Because these debates give us voters the chance to watch and evaluate the candidates while they stand shoulder-to-shoulder and have to answer the same questions. Away from their carefully orchestrated campaign events, without their teleprompters or an audience of planted, friendly supporters, candidates in a debate are under pressure and facing criticism from both opponents and moderators.

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Trump’s corrupt pardons

The power of the president to grant pardons as stated in the Constitution is unconditional, as President Donald Trump has observed. But as he prepares to bestow that favor on Roger Stone and perhaps other felons who have protected him, someone should advise him that a corrupt pardon is nevertheless a crime that can be prosecuted, if not overturned.

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Trump’s critics on the economy: So wrong, so often

There’s an old saying about baseball and life that no one ever had a 1.000 batting average. It turns out that’s not exactly true. At least when it comes to the Trump economy, anti-Trumpers defied the near-impossible statistical odds and somehow have batted 1.000 on their predictions. They managed to get it wrong every time.

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Our View: Too much government equals no prosperity

At a recent county public hearing to consider a hotel project planned for Hwy. 51 where once stood the Bay View Inn and a laundromat, the project’s developer, Glenn Schiffmann, who was obviously exasperated, said what many in the room must have been thinking: There’s just too much government. We agree with Mr. Schiffmann and we are just as exasperated.

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Will we like Mike?

In the seven presidential elections since 1992, the Republican presidential nominee has won the popular vote exactly once. The lone GOP candidate to receive a majority of the national vote was George W. Bush in 2004. Bush’s election-day victory over Democrat John Kerry, who had, in most observers’ views, “won” the debates between the two, was explained by the respected Democratic pollster Peter Hart: “Voters preferred I Like over IQ.”

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Revolutionary Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders leads the race for the Democratic nomination.  He may become America’s first self-described “democratic socialist” president.

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Zunker would best represent Democrats in 7th district race

As on the Republican side, the Democratic primary for the seventh congressional district this coming Tuesday — the winners will face each other in May to determine who replaces Republican Sean Duffy as our representative in Congress — offers a clear choice. That choice is Tricia Zunker, the president of the Wausau school board and an associate justice on the Ho-Chunk Nation Supreme Court.

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For the GOP, Tiffany is the clear choice

The Republican and Democratic primaries for the seventh congressional district are Tuesday — the winners will face each other in May to determine who replaces Republican Sean Duffy as our representative in Congress — and in both parties the choice is straightforward and clear. On the Republican side, we believe voters should nominate Northwoods state Sen. Tom Tiffany as the best candidate for northern Wisconsin.

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Crumbling roads and Tony Holes represent failure at all levels of government

In a story in last Friday’s edition, Minocqua town chairman Mark Hartzheim was quoted as saying he could not remember roads being in as poor a shape as they are right now. He’s not alone. Everyone knows it. Everyone talks and complains about it. The problem is, no one is doing much about it.

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Don’t regulate the rail industry

President Donald Trump rightly touts the economy-wide savings from his deregulation initiatives. But one federal agency didn’t get the memo. Some members of the Surface Transportation Board, which has oversight over the nation’s network of freight railroads, wants to resurrect price controls on the industry.

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Our View: Shredding the myths of the Democratic Party

After President Trump finished his triumphant State of the Union speech Tuesday night, House speaker Nancy Pelosi did something no one was anticipating: She stood up and ripped apart the printed copy of the speech, calling it a manifesto of untruths.

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The silver linings of the human journey

It’s a rough start to the year 2020. Politically, the nation, at least its major media, seems to be consumed by ongoing attempts to remove President Trump from office, and, in general, political polarization has reached ever new heights around the world, from Brexit in Britain to Hong Kong protests.

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The economy’s unsung hero is low interest rates

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, last week, President Donald Trump again talked positively about negative interest rates. That’s not a very good idea considering negative interest rates are a warning signal of deflation, which can be as bad for an economy as runaway inflation.

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Our View: Oneida Board deserves praise for refusal to borrow money

For those who wanted Oneida County to borrow up to $2 million from the state Board of Commissioners of Public Lands (BCPL) to fund some pretty important capital improvement projects, Tuesday was a bitter blow to their big-government dreams.

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Working hard versus hardly working

Almost all of us know (because President Trump boasts of it in nearly every speech) that our 3.5% unemployment rate has reached a 50-year low. But this official decline in joblessness doesn’t tell the entire story of the improvement in the job market in the United States. And it doesn’t fully capture the change in direction between what happened under President Barack Obama and Trump.

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In defense of Iowa

We have reached that time in every presidential nominating year when distinguished, national opinion leaders beat up on Iowa and that admirable state’s influential role in determining the two major parties’ eventual presidential nominees and, therefore, the next president.

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Opinion: Why does Washington demonize drug companies?

Over the holidays, I read Elton John’s biography, “Me.” He writes about his friendship with Freddie Mercury, the ultratalented lead singer of the rock group Queen. Mercury tragically died of AIDS at the age of 45 in 1991. Mercury was one of the last people to die of the disease in Britain during the epidemic years.

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Opinion: Licensed to fail

People who want to work should be allowed to work. That includes people who once went to jail.  With President Donald Trump’s support, Congress spends your money giving ex-cons “employment assistance.”

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Our View: Kentucky student backs down cable's Goliath

It was a sweet and important win for the average person and for accountability when, as we report in today’s edition, cable giant CNN agreed last week to settle a defamation suit filed by Kentucky high school student Nick Sandmann, who counterpunched against the network for painting him as a racist.

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The danger of a chaos presidency

What President Donald Trump said to the nation about the prospect of war with Iran impressed many listeners far less than the way he said it — or slurred it. Unlike the manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made her appear drunk, Trump delivered a live speech that made him sound impaired.

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Opinion: Try to remember...

Is anyone here old enough to remember the urgent warning issued in a speech to the National Convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in August 2002 by an American vice president who had artfully avoided the military draft during wartime?

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Our View: A plea for policy, please

Remember the good old days when politicians talked about policy?  It seems like such a long time ago, but back in the day elections actually turned on what policy positions candidates took, and whether incumbents had lived up to their promises.

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Help (urgently) needed: US Head of State

The American president, in addition to serving as commander in chief, is expected to be this nation’s consoler in chief, as well as the nation’s teacher and even preacher. Who alive on Jan. 28, 1986, does not remember the words of then-President Ronald Reagan from the Oval Office following the explosion of the Challenger that killed all seven astronauts on board, seen live on television by millions?

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Our View: Beware the clusters

This past month we have been awash in various studies abut the efficacy of industrial clusters — those focused government efforts to provide tax breaks and other financial incentives sufficient to boost a particular industry in a particular place — so it’s time to weigh in about the potential effects of these clusters on northern Wisconsin.

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The fed monopoly shouldn’t compete with private banks

If there is any lesson we have learned about the Federal Reserve system in the last few years, it is that the supposed oracles who run our central bank are anything but infallible.

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Politics in the spirit

The spirit of goodwill can take us by surprise this season, without respect to religion (or even politics). And while such a moment may not quite become an epiphany, it can still make us think again about our lives and times. Which is what happened to me over the weekend before Christmas.

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Heraclitus was right

Although I qualify for the senior discount at the movies, even I’m not old enough to have met Heraclitus, the wise Greek who lived some 25 centuries ago and whom we can thank for the timeless wisdom “Character is destiny.” Here in Washington, one elected national leader commands the affection and the respect of her constituents.

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Our View: ’Tis the season for liberal folly

Actually, it’s always the season for liberal folly, but these cheerless folks have given us a bounty during this holiday, for their single issue — impeachment — is a gift to conservatives that likely will keep on giving right through next November.

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A cheer for the Trump uranium plan

Our sources are telling us that President Trump is nearing a decision on how to revive the all-but-dormant American uranium industry. This proposed plan would create a reserve of domestically mined uranium stored in a “Federal Uranium Security Stockpile.” One option on the table is for the Department of Defense to purchase uranium through the 1950 Defense Production Act. 

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Will Republicans risk a rigged trial?

When President Donald Trump’s defenders aren’t simply lying about the House impeachment inquiry — it all happened in a Capitol Hill basement with no Republicans present, as one of his lawyers told National Public Radio — they complain about the lack of firsthand witnesses to presidential abuse. They assume nobody will notice that Trump himself forbid any testimony by those with the most direct knowledge of his attempts to extort Ukraine.

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The case against socialism

Sen. Rand Paul just wrote a book, “The Case Against Socialism.”  I thought that case was already decided, since socialist countries failed so spectacularly. But the idea hasn’t died, especially amongst the young.

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Experience Wisconsin this holiday season

As we approach the new year, I have a lot to be thankful for this holiday season.  

As you likely know, it is the mission of the Department of Tourism to inspire travelers to experience Wisconsin.

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Our View: If only we could purge the state bureaucracy

It’s almost — almost — hard to remember all the abuses enacted against the people of Wisconsin more than a decade ago by the administrative state during the regime of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and his bureaucratic allies.

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The inspector general brings the truth

Whenever President Donald Trump is caught doing wrong, he answers with categorical denial and a fervent claim that he was wronged. Almost since the day he won election in November 2016, that is how Trump and his minions in politics and media have sought to obscure the glaring and indecent fact that he was sponsored by a Russian dictator who remains deeply hostile to our country.

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Stand up for the U.S., stand up for the North

The Trump administration reached a deal with House Democrats this week over a new trade agreement to replace the dreaded NAFTA, and, assuming the deal holds up and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is ratified, it deserves two cheers.

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Congress must stop subsidizing wealthy car buyers

Why are Democrats Sen. Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi teaming together to lobby for a tax bill that would provide about 80% of the benefits to Americans who make more than $100,000 a year?

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The forgotten debt

Congress and the media obsess endlessly over whether President Donald Trump should be impeached.  Both ignore $23 trillion of bigger problems.

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Conspiracies, imaginary and real

Nobody on Capitol Hill rants more fervently about imaginary conspiracies than Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and devoted congressional promoter of Trumpian nonsense. 

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Oneida County should not borrow any money this year

Oneida County has a big decision to make, and taxpayers should look closely at what they choose to do.

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Congress bans short-term lending;the poor pay a high price

Washington do-goodism almost always fails to help the people it is supposed to because politicians ignore the Law of Unintended Consequences. Nowhere is that more evident than when it comes to a congressional plan to put payday lenders and other short-term lending institutions, such as the burgeoning online lenders, out of business.

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Hollywood socialism

Hollywood is now obsessing about increasing ethnic and gender diversity. Good. There’s been nasty racial and gender discrimination in the movie business.  Unfortunately, Hollywood has no interest in one type of diversity: diversity of thought. 

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Our View: A new day dawns

Only a week ago we opined in these pages about the terrible state of open government in the Northwoods, in Wisconsin, and indeed across the entire country. We wrote then that open government was in trouble, with a capital T, and we still believe it is.

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Time past for Democrats to get real on health care

In listening to the Democratic presidential debates, we might conclude that “Medicare for All” is a legislative possibility. It is not, and any presidential candidate with a scintilla of self-respect must admit that fact.

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Climate myths

“How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood!” insisted teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg at the United Nations. “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction!” 

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Open government is in big trouble, with a capital T

We begin this week by quoting the words of the immortal Harold Hill in “The Music Man”: “Friend, either you’re closing your eyes To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge, Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated …. Well, ya got trouble, my friend, right here, I say, trouble right here in River City.” Well, to echo the fictional professor Hill, we’ve got big trouble in Wisconsin, and it’s worse and later than most people think.

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Trump needs Tax Cut 2.0

Every single plausible Democratic candidate for president has endorsed tax increases as a centerpiece of their economic agenda. Think about what we are hearing from Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and the rest of the “Punch and Judy” show: new wealth taxes, carbon taxes, energy taxes, higher death and income taxes with rates up to 70%. Payroll taxes would rise to pay for Social Security benefit expansions and Medicare for All.

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Mandatory shortages

Governments create problems. Then they complain about them.

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Is he their president or ours?

Instead of watching Fox News, which manufactures heroic propaganda about President Donald Trump, Republican voters could learn much more from seeing a few hours of Russian television. It is on shows broadcast from Moscow and St. Petersburg where the truth about the Trump administration can be heard.

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Our View: Oneida County: One small step for taxpayers, a giant leap for nobody

Oneida County approved a 2020 budget this week that, when it comes to the property tax levy, was pretty benign.

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The Post and liberal media again get it wrong about Trump economy

First, a full admission about this article: I originally sent a version of it to The Washington Post for publication, but for reasons that will become obvious as you read on, they rejected it.

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Mike Pompeo was definitely not a Marine officer

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has impressive credentials: He graduated third in his class from Los Amigos High School in California’s Orange County before winning an appointment from his congressman — “B-1 Bob” Dornan, a conservative remembered for his unstinting support for the California-built U.S. supersonic aircraft — to the United States Military Academy.

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Nancy Pelosi’s stall tactics hurt America’s economy

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if for one brief shining moment in Washington, Congress put good policy over politics — and passed a bill that would benefit American workers, investors and businesses?

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Our View: For Evers and Democrats, it’s all about power and money

The Democratic Party has not functioned as a serious policy organization for a long time now, and this week’s political stunt — otherwise known as Tony Evers’ special session to address gun violence — only proves the point.

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Set money free

House members summoned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg to Washington, D.C., and grilled him — harshly — about his plan to create a new currency, Libra.

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Quiet eloquence of example

The 1994 funeral of former Speaker of the House Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill was truly memorable. To the same North Cambridge, Mass., church, St. John the Evangelist — where O’Neill was baptized as an infant and had married his beloved Millie — came two former U.S. Presidents, George H.W. Bush and Gerald Ford, scores of senators and members of congress. But more important to O’Neill, also filling the pews were nurses, waitresses, firefighters and nuns.

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Our View: Living with eyes closed, Schiek misunderstands all he sees

Once again, Oneida County district attorney Michael Schiek has delivered an open meetings decision that is impressive in its lack of clarity, a mangled mishmash of gobbledygook that is epic in its unintelligibility and abstruseness.

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Trump economy surges, Biden and Obama hog the credit

Joe Biden is at it again — living in his own parallel universe. The same former vice president who says that his son Hunter was hired by a Ukrainian oil and gas company because of his expertise in energy policy is now claiming President Donald Trump has “squandered” the strong Obama economy he inherited.

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Ending wars

Four years ago, the media were talking about a “Libertarian Moment.”  I had high hopes!

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Now Republicans hate the rules they made

Congressional Republicans don’t want to debate President Donald Trump’s attempt to extort political prosecutions of Americans from Ukraine — and given the damning facts emerging every day, their reluctance is understandable, if not honorable.

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Our View: In budget hearings, Fried shines; others kick a brewing crisis down the road

As Oneida County gets ready to take up its 2020 draft budget next month, it’s clear that most Oneida County supervisors, with a few notable exceptions such as supervisor Billy Fried, are just content to ignore all the fiscal red flags around them.

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Better than a loan

Student loan debt keeps growing.  There is a better solution than the ones politicians offer, which stick the taxpayer or the loan lenders with the whole bill and it’s called an “income share agreement.”

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Washington subsidies not helping the wind industry

Last week, the lobbying arm of the wind energy industry made an unsurprising, though somewhat embarrassing, announcement. It wants a longer lifeline with federal subsidies. So much for wind being the low-cost energy source of the future.

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Our View: For once, a wise decision

Perhaps it was the exception that proves the rule, but this past week the Oneida County Board of Supervisors made a wise decision — for once — when it rejected an outright prohibition on mining on county-owned lands.

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Trump’s new mouthpiece

On the same day the White House plunged the nation into a constitutional crisis by refusing to provide witnesses or documents to House Democrats conducting an impeachment inquiry, word leaked of a new member on the Trump legal defense team.

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Domestic and foreign wars

Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is controversial within her party.  She says the U.S. should talk to its enemies. She was criticized for meeting with Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.

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What the presidential candidates are missing: economic growth

While running for president in 1960, John F. Kennedy campaigned against the moderate growth economy (2.5% annual GDP rise) in the last years of the Eisenhower administration. He appealed to Americans’ highest aspirations by saying in his typical Boston drawl: “We can do bettah.”

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Our View: State, federal transit rules need immediate overhaul

As our reporting over the past several weeks makes clear to us, the area’s Northwoods Transit Commission is doing everything it can to put private-sector transportation companies out of business.

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Smearing Joe Biden, 2016 style

Not only is Joe Biden innocent of any wrongdoing in Ukraine — as almost every legitimate news organization now acknowledges — but his actions concerning his son’s business interests there were precisely the opposite of the smears launched against him by the Trump campaign.

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Our View: The confiscation of democracy, and of freedom itself

Several weeks ago, we reported on new initiatives planned by Democrats to, well, confiscate every law-abiding citizens’ guns, or at least every gun they can get their hands on.

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‘Stop scaring the children’

A friend of mine’s third grade daughter came home from school a few weeks ago with tears streaming down her cheeks. “My teacher says we only have 10 years before the oceans rise and we are underwater,” she moaned. “Are we all going to die?” That’s a heavy burden to place on the shoulders of a 9-year-old.

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Stop blocking us!

I now make my living by releasing short videos on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  I assumed you who subscribed to my feed or became Facebook “friends” would receive that video every Tuesday.

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The politics of accountability

In comments made at this week’s Rhinelander city council meeting, Oneida County Economic Development Corporation executive director Stacey Johnson offered up a full-throated defense of city council member and former Oneida County detective sergeant Ryan Rossing, who has been enmeshed in issues surrounding honesty and secrecy, including litigation about an alleged walking quorum stemming from a complaint by this newspaper.

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How to run an impeachment inquiry

Americans have good reason to suspect Donald Trump of committing various and serious crimes, but they have no immediate means to hold him accountable. Rising frustration over this malefactor’s impunity was only exacerbated by the latest House Judiciary Committee hearings, which featured two empty chairs and an insolent, prevaricating witness named Corey Lewandowski.

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Our View: Under Evers, the accumulation of pain

When it comes to brain injuries, it is said that the accumulation of small hits to the head are actually more damaging than concussions in causing neurodegenerative disease, and the same might be said of political and economic injury, that the accumulation of small slights can be more devastating to a region’s prosperity than one major political assault.

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Renewable energy will only be possible with massive increases in the supply of critical minerals

The recent threats by Beijing to cut off American access to critical mineral imports has many Americans wondering why our politicians have allowed the United States to become so overly dependent on China for these valued resources in the first place.

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Good news

I rarely watch cable news anymore. It’s all hysteria, all the time.

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Giuliani unmasked

Eighteen years ago, on a terrible day every American then living remembers too well, Rudolph Giuliani earned respect for his calm, inspiring and unifying leadership of a wounded New York City. Too much has happened since then to feel anything but disappointment in him, but on this year’s 9/11 anniversary, the man once known as “America’s Mayor” descended to a new and ominous low.

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Democrats once again embrace population control to save the planet

Is the left once again embracing Malthusian population control in order to save the planet?

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Politics as it should be practiced

Back when Richard Nixon was president, a Washington saloon five minutes’ walk from the White House named the Class Reunion was the go-to watering hole where press, politicians and real people could rub and bend elbows. To be candid, I was a regular at “the CR,” as it was called, but frankly went there more for the uniquely bipartisan conversation and good-natured needling, which were the hallmarks of the place.

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Better schools

With most services, you get to shop around, but rarely can you do that with government-run schools. Philadelphia mom Elaine Wells was upset to learn that there were fights every day in the school her son attended. So she walked him over to another school.

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Is Trump playing with a full deck?

Over the past few weeks, Donald Trump has previewed his campaign against Joe Biden, still apparently the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in 2020. “Joe isn’t playing with a full deck of cards,” barked Trump with his usual grace and originality, after the former vice president said something awkward about “poor kids” and “white kids.”

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Natural gas, America’s Wonder Fuel

One of the many idiocies of the “Green New Deal” and other such anti-fossil fuel crusades is that all of this arrives on the political scene at a time when the price of producing energy from fossil fuels is lower than at any time before in human history.

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