What a tangled Web

Monday, 11 February 2013 15:01

While the Internet has brought enormous benefits to society, it should be used with caution. The embarrassing hoax perpetrated on Notre Dame footballer Manti Te’o spotlighted the latest Internet scam of catfishing, one of the numerous hazards facing cybersurfers.

Catfishing refers to engaging people in online romantic relationships through fake Internet profiles. The practice is not illegal, but as the linebacker’s experience demonstrates, it can be emotionally devastating.

Ignoring critics, NRA doubles down

Thursday, 27 December 2012 13:19

The United States virtually belongs to Wall Street, Big Oil, Big Pharma and a handful of other special interests – including the National Rifle Association. The rest of us merely live in it.

The NRA’s wealth does not come from hunters but rather from the producers of weapons and ammunition. That industry is expected to rack up $11.7 billion in sales and $993 million in profits this year, according to analysts at IBIS World. An increasing percentage of those profits are from semi-automatic weapons produced for combat, according to industry analysts.

Women voters turn the tea party tide

Thursday, 15 November 2012 17:40

LGBT history will recall the election of 2012 as a critical turning point in the quest for equality. Broader history will remember Nov. 6 for proving definitively that the close association of the Republican Party with the tea party and the Christian right is politically lethal. 

Evangelical tea party candidates clearly cost Republicans control of the U.S. Senate for the second election cycle in a row. All the tea party candidates who shared their shocking views about rape lost their races. They also shifted attention away from issues on which the Democrats were vulnerable, instead bringing visibility to the GOP’s goal of criminalizing abortion in all circumstances, including rape, incest and the life of the mother.

Bias that dares not speak its name

Friday, 05 October 2012 13:54

High-ranking officials of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee consider their campus to be a model of LGBT inclusivity. 

But UWM admission officials denied in-state tuition to a man whose husband – the couple was legally married in New York – has lived in the state for more than a year. The first rejection letter the couple received gave the real reason why: Same-sex marriage and its equivalent are illegal in Wisconsin.

Gov. Scott Walker and his tea party acolytes are breathlessly touting the possibility of a $342-million budget surplus, but what does it mean?

When Walker took office two years ago, the state faced a severe projected budget deficit. Republicans had voters quaking in their UGGs with warnings that Wisconsin was bankrupt and financially imploding.

Scott Walker's massive economic failure

Thursday, 13 December 2012 18:50

Scott Walker was elected governor on the promise that he’d create 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin by 2015. 

Changing our minds about Change.org

Wednesday, 31 October 2012 19:35

A year ago, a 22-year-old nanny working two jobs started a petition on Change.org protesting a $5 monthly banking fee levied by Bank of America. More than 300,000 people signed, and dozens of other citizens launched copycat petitions targeting their banks for similar fees.

In less than one month, Bank of America and other major national banks dropped the charges.

Tommy Thompson is an unfortunate relic

Friday, 21 September 2012 17:51

Tommy Thompson’s U.S. Senate campaign recently reminded us how far behind the curve he really is.

Senior political adviser Brian Nemoir disseminated a tweet from the Thompson campaign linking to a video showing Democratic rival Tammy Baldwin dancing at a 2010 Pride event. “Clearly, there’s no one better positioned to talk ‘heartland values’ than Tammy,” Nemoir wrote in an email, implying that being gay is inconsistent with having values.

Walker's art-less leadership

Friday, 11 January 2013 10:19

Let’s face it: Tea party events are not where you’d go scouting for the next Einstein or Mozart. The nation’s current crop of conservatives is fiercely anti-intellectual and combative toward the arts. They’re threatened by people who respect facts and the messy complexity of reality when they’re incapable of absorbing anything that can’t be reduced to a 15-second bite on Fox News.

The GOP’s catering to these voters in recent years explains why people with graduate degrees have consistently voted Democratic since Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential race. It also reveals why the disconnects in tea party ideology seems so Kafka-esque to even the most modest of thinkers.

Talk of secession reveals lingering rift

Thursday, 29 November 2012 16:45

Coming so closely after President Barack Obama’s re-election, Steven Spielberg’s magnificent movie “Lincoln” invites comparisons between the political struggles of the Great Emancipator and those of America’s first black president.

Forward with Obama

Friday, 19 October 2012 15:35

Barack Obama’s message of hope got knocked about, battered by the hard realities of war – two of them, started by another president – and the most severe economic troubles since the Great Depression.

Seizing on that, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have asked: Are you better off than you were four years ago? Interesting that the Greedy Old Party isn’t asking if America as a nation is better off. 

Rape remarks reflect GOP platform

Sunday, 09 September 2012 08:59

GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin of Missouri created a firestorm when he told a St. Louis reporter that women generally can’t conceive as a result of “legitimate rape.” According to information the learned congressman claims to have gleaned from doctors, women’s reproductive systems shut down automatically from the trauma.