Blundering Paul Ryan destroys 350 middle-class jobs in Waukesha "Policy wonk Paul Ryan" --Wisconsin State Journal, 10-14-2015

Paul Ryan 12As we noted earlier, in the process of urging Paul Ryan to run for the House Speaker’s job, the State Journal went way over the top ladling on words like (Did we say, Over.The.Top.?) “statesman,” “intellectual heft” and “political savvy.”

Their piece also included this puzzling bit:

…he’s railed against the “crony capitalism” of Washington that delivers favors to well-connected special interests…

That surprised us. Ryan’s surely made a name for himself as an enemy of Social Security and Medicare, but has he really been “railing” against “crony capitalism”? We’d missed that.

Now we’ve stumbled on the answer. Yes, he sort of has been “railing,” but it’s actually a shabby little bit of political theater which has now led to 350 lost jobs in Waukesha.


Ryan has been shoulder-to-shoulder with Tea Party members in the House who are eager to shut down the U.S. Export Import Bank, a smallish federal agency that has never, until this year, been controversial. You can be forgiven if you never paid attention to the U.S. Export-Import Bank. No one paid it any attention, except for exporters and importers.

But why do America’s most conservative Congresspeople suddenly want to kill off the Ex-Im Bank?

There is no argument that the bank has been a drain on the Treasury. It never cost taxpayers at all; it made money. Every year it sent a sizeable profit back to the U.S. Treasury ($675 million last year). And, of course, it supported billions of dollars in private business profits, which was its mission. And of course, it inevitably supported lots of private sector jobs. It actually sounds quite useful. Why were conservatives in Congress trying to kill it?

The truth is it’s just a good talking point, if you’re speaking to a rabidly anti-gov’t audience.  By killing Ex-Im the Tea Party lawmakers could show supporters that they’re really doing something to make government smaller.

And they did shut down Ex-Im for 3 months. In July the Tea Party zealots of the House, along with Mr. Ryan, blocked reauthorization of the Ex-Im Bank.  (This just in: In a big-surprise vote last night, the House has voted to re-approve Ex-Im.)  But back to Paul Ryan.

Here is Ryan back in July explaining why he wanted to get rid of the Ex-Im Bank. Note that it is pure ideology:

My friend Rep. Jeb Hensarling has recently launched a great challenge against the crony capitalist economy, and in particular, against one of its manifestations, the Export-Import Bank. But the bank is just one example of how bureaucratic government is corrupting free enterprise through and through. Conservatives must stop defending this. Cronyism is the Progressives’ project for economic control. Let them defend it.

And in Waukesha, Wisconsin, because of this Ex-Im Bank kerfuffle, General Electric announced the closing of its large-engine manufacturing plant:

Blaming Congress for its failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution that finances sales of U.S. industrial equipment to overseas customers, General Electric Co. says it will stop manufacturing engines in Waukesha and move that work to Canada.

About 350 jobs will be lost at the Waukesha plant, where GE Power & Water, a division of Fairfield, Conn.-based GE, builds engines used in the petroleum industry.

The company says it will move the production to a new $265 million engine factory to be built in Canada during the next 20 months.

GE has said the decision will not be reconsidered.

Please re-read Mr. Ryan’s words. Try to find the “statesman,” “intellectual heft” and “political savvy” stuff the State Journal wrote about.


Wisconsin State Journal giddy for Paul Ryan as Speaker

paul Ryan 1Days ago we predicted the Wisconsin State Journal would print a rapturous editorial supporting Paul Ryan for Speaker of the House. Sure enough, they delivered a fawning tribute that Ryan’s own staff could’ve written. According to the State Journal, not just the Republican House but the entire country needs Paul Ryan in the Speaker’s chair.

The editorial calls him a policy wonk (Ryan’s favorite claim). They say he’s fearless, he’s a leader of substance, he’s got intellectual heft, he’s a grown-up, he’s pragmatic, he’s a statesman. Jiminy-pop, the State Journal is head over heels.

Amusingly, just before climaxing, the editorial’s author (Milfred we assume) gets so worked up that he can no longer write, edit, or use a spell checker, offering this:

The Republicans badly need a statesmen [sic] in charge of the House with intellectual heft and political savvy.

(It’s a one sentence with both a typo and a misplaced preposition. But let’s put that aside. Shouldn’ta mentioned it. Mistakes are part of life. Later, we’ll throw in a few typos of our own, just in solidaridy, because we is all humen.)

The real problem here is the over-the-top adoration thrown at Congressman Ryan. “Intellectual heft”?  “Statesman”? We don’t see it.

The truth is there’s almost nothing — at the policy level — to distinguish Ryan from any of his Republican colleagues. He’s a reliable booster of more and more tax cuts for the rich. This is simply a Republican orthodoxy. It has shown itself again and again (see below) to work nicely for the rich and work badly for everyone else.

Currently all the GOP candidates for president want tax cuts for the rich.  The [conservative] Tax Foundation estimates a Rubio plan would cut 27.9 percent for the top 1 percent. The Jeb Bush plan would raise after-tax income of top earners by 16.4 percent.  Trump would raise income of the top 1 percent by 27 percent.

This is just standard modern Republican theology. It’s not “wonkery.” And it’s not “fearless.” Enabling a tiny minority of king-makers to buy our elections — for what seems a tiny outlay to them — is a lousy idea for America. Lousy.

Income - divergence at the top

And indeed, in a nice bit of reporting at the New York Times, we saw the headline last week

Just 158 families have
provided nearly half of the
early money for efforts to
capture the White House

(i.e., 138 families backing Republicans, 20 families backing Democrats)


Of course there’s more to Congressman Paul Ryan than his tax cuts for the rich.

He “doesn’t know” if humans are causing climate change , and he opposes any steps to combat it. Such fearlessness! Such intellectual heft! The State Journal has really taken the measure of the man.

His religious views on abortion are translated into votes on policy, as are his prejudices (religious or otherwise) against gays.

And as we noted earlier:

Surely the State Journal guys know about the now famous meeting on the night of Obama’s first inauguration. Republican leaders met at a tony D.C. steakhouse where they agreed in advance, simply as a self-serving partisan strategy, to oppose whatever Obama would seek to do. In their plan Obama would have no accomplishments to run on for a 2nd term. And whatever that meant for the American people was irrelevant. Surely the State Journal guys watched this strategy — a pure partisan strategy — play out over the next 7 years. And surely they knew that Paul Ryan was one of the small group settling on that strategy that night.

Yes, in 2013 he did cut a budget deal with Democrats. So America continued to have a federal government, and the world had its benchmark currency. This doesn’t make him a great pragmatist with “intellectual heft”.  It’s what any sane American wanted, and perhaps more to the point, it’s what bond-holders wanted.

The State Journal can urge Ryan to run for the Speaker’s job. They can fairly say that since he is respected among Republicans, he might be able to reign in loose-cannon colleagues in the House who are threatening anarchy in our federal government and in world financial markets. Of course, that might be bad for Mr. Ryan’s prospects in the future. The State Journal recognizes the potential danger to Ryan’s reputation if he were suddenly more in the public eye. But what the State Journal should not have done is ladle on the thick, worshipful praise. It’s just silly. It tells more about the State Journal than it tells about the congressman.


Paul Ryan for Speaker? his budget plan "a ludicrous mess of magic asterisks"

Congressional Republicans are begging Paul Ryan to be their new Speaker of the House. We assume the Wisconsin State Journal will soon join that chorus.

Paul Ryan with dumbbell

Fortunately Paul Krugman is around to remind us that Paul Ryan is a flimflam artist. [Emphasis added]

More than anyone else in his caucus, he has the reputation of being a brilliant policy wonk.

And that tells you even more about the dire state of the GOP. After all, Ryan is to policy wonkery what Carly Fiorina is to corporate management: brilliant at selling himself, hopeless at actually doing the job. Lest we forget, his much-vaunted budget plan proved, on even superficial examination, to be a ludicrous mess of magic asterisks. His big contribution to discussion of economic policy was his stern warning to Ben Bernanke that quantitative easing would “debase the dollar”, that rising commodity prices in early 2011 presaged a surge in inflation. This guy’s delusions of expertise should be considered funny.

Yet he may indeed be the best they have.

Does it matter to the State Journal that the guy’s posing as an economic policy wonk while, in fact, being routinely wrong?

The dollar hasn’t been “debased”. That’s just Glenn Beck gold-bug talk. And inflation remains below the Fed target. In practice he just wants to give tax cuts to the wealthy, like Trump, and Rubio, and Romney, and Bush II, and Walker, and on and on. It’s impossible for them to say it aloud. Ordinary Americans don’t want more tax cuts for the rich, even Republican majorities say this in polls. But if you look at the record and the continuing GOP proposals, that’s what the stars of the Republican Party continue to offer.

A functioning news media would make this all intensely clear. It doesn’t happen.

They don’t make it clear. Surely this means something.

We predict the Wisconsin State Journal will continue to be dazzled by Mr. Flimflam.

Dance with the one what brung ya Does contributing millions to Wisconsin Supreme Court judges work in your favor?

Justices Recusal HeadLn bwToday the 4 conservative members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, who benefited from millions in contributions and campaign spending by the Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, paid that generous investment favor back!

Nine months ago, Dee J. Hall (in our opinion the State Journal’s best reporter, now working elsewhere) delivered a front-page story documenting just where the money to elect these judges had come from — Justices face questions of recusal. It poses a simple question:

Should the four-member conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court decide a case involving groups that spent more than $8 million to get them elected?

This was great work at the State Journal.

And from 900 miles away, the New York Times editorialized

If the toxic effects of outsize spending in judicial elections were not already evident, the fiasco playing out in the Wisconsin Supreme Court should erase any doubt….

…A 2013 poll by the Brennan Center for Justice found that more than 9 in 10 people believed that a judge should step aside if a party to a case had spent significant amounts to help him or her get elected. Surely, that sensible principle is something an elected judiciary should embrace.

We waited for the Wisconsin State Journal‘s editorial. It never happened. To the best of our knowledge the editorial page never said peep. During these 9 months they produced 3 editorials in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement, about which they could literally know nothing, since it was secret.

This local news organization is literally in a fight for its life. And the state of Wisconsin is experiencing its darkest days since the railroad barons of the 1800’s . The State Journal editorial page weighs in on behalf of theoretical free trade? Milfred needs to do better….

The Paul Ryan interview He's awesome

Paul Ryan InterviewJust for fun we dug something out of the recycle pile. It was the recent bit where the Wisconsin State Journal talked to Congressman Paul Ryan.

We hadn’t intended to say anything about this. We have things to do — plastic bags to recycle, sew on a button, important stuff.

But then Paul Krugman reminded us on his blog of what a profoundly incompetent predictor of our economic future Mr. Ryan has been. Jiminy. Read Paul Ryan’s various doomsday predictions from the year 2009 and you’ll find his every single economic prediction turned out to be worthless. Everything. All of it. Wrong, wrong wrong.

Now getting stuff wrong should not be surprising for anyone who, like Ryan, has been in thrall to the crank economic philosophies of novelist Ayn Rand. For years, Ryan passed out Rand’s books to his Congressional staff, because he thought she was so insightful. He’d read her books in his formative years and was quite carried away, still into adulthood. And then, a few years ago, someone pointed out that Ayn Rand was an atheist!  Somehow this had eluded Ryan, but ever since, in public, he’s been downplaying his schoolboy crush.

Of course, we might not care that Mr. Ryan got his misunderstanding of macroeconomics from an eccentric novelist if he were some ordinary guy, but alas, he’s chairman of the House Ways and Means committee, so he’s in precisely the spot to do real damage.

Paul Krugman, who is, um, an “actual economist” has for years been dismissing Mr. Ryan as con man and a flim-flam man, because Ryan’s “budgets” invariably have what Krugman calls “magic asterisks” where the savings are supposed to appear but are never specifically described. What’s more these “budgets” always seem to provide tax cuts for the rich, because that’s just common sense to Ryan. When pressed, Ryan will say his budgets are not really “budgets” so much as “roadmaps”, and indeed they have never been scored by the CBO. They can’t be, because of the magic asterisks.

Nonetheless, Ryan’s efforts are always well-received by the 1% and Republican lawmakers. And, we hafta say, the Wisconsin State Journal editorial page.

Back to Krugman:

So why have so many in Washington, especially in the news media, been taken in by this flimflam? It’s not just inability to do the math, although that’s part of it. There’s also the unwillingness of self-styled centrists to face up to the realities of the modern Republican Party; they want to pretend, in the teeth of overwhelming evidence, that there are still people in the G.O.P. making sense. And last but not least, there’s deference to power — the G.O.P. is a resurgent political force, so one mustn’t point out that its intellectual heroes have no clothes.

Enter, the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board, for a sit-down interview with the Congressman Ryan. What a fruitless little affair. Ryan was treated like a politician on Meet the Press — a question is posed, the politician offers some words he’s been practicing in front of a mirror for months or years, and then the conversation moves on to the next question. It’s only meaningful to people fond of rating a politician’s acting chops.

Now, did we actually expect the fellows at the State Journal to do better than the current multi-millionaire anchorman hosting Meet the Press? No, we did not. And it didn’t happen. Wide swaths of our media fail us predictably, week in and week out, so expectations are what they deserve to be. We certainly didn’t expect the State Journal executives to joust with Ryan on the economy, for the first reason Krugman mentioned above — inability. And in truth, it would’ve been hard, because Ryan has been practicing in front of the mirror for years.

But even if questioning Ryan about economics was too hard for the State Journal executives, they could certainly have asked him about the “partisan politics” they so often decry on their editorial page. There is no trope more common in State Journal editorials than the call for bipartisan cooperation in Washington, a call that Mr. Ryan and his party never bothered to answer. Ryan and party instead raised the bar for intransigent partisanship, and all at a time (think global warming) when we really cannot afford to dither. Ryan and party cannot reliably fund Homeland Security. They cannot agree to do such obvious, and (you would think) non-controversial things as repair roads and bridges.

Surely the State Journal guys know about the now famous meeting on the night of Obama’s first inauguration. Republican leaders met at a tony D.C. steakhouse where they agreed in advance, simply as a self-serving partisan strategy, to oppose whatever Obama would seek to do. In their plan Obama would have no accomplishments to run on for a 2nd term. And whatever that meant for the American people was irrelevant. Surely the State Journal guys watched this strategy — a pure partisan strategy — play out over the next 7 years. And surely they knew that Paul Ryan was one of the small group settling on that strategy that night.

Fellas, you had him right there across the table.

Newspaper is opposed to corruption Well, maybe that train left the station, but still... let's talk about it

train gone by

The most recent Sunday editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal earns several compliments and one brickbat. Where should we start? Compliments?

First of all, it’s about something important – corruption in the Wisconsin legislature. There’s little doubt that the State Journal has a theoretical belief in “good government” as we saw last year with their campaign against Wisconsin’s gerrymandered voting districts. Today they warn about the danger of legislators moving seamlessly, indeed instantly, overnight, into lobbying jobs.

…Wisconsin places no time restriction, which risks corruption.

That needs to change.

When the revolving door at the state Capitol spins too fast, public and private interests mix in a potentially today relationship. A lawmaker might be influenced in public duties by the promise of a lucrative lobbying job. The result could be politics that serve a private interest, rather than the public good.

That’s true. Wrong tense though.

It’s not as if there’s a danger of corruption oozing its way in at some future time. The corruption is quite fully here, and has been. That’s really our only quibble with what the State Journal is saying in this editorial. They need to pipe up. They need to say it.

When an out-of-state mining company can march in, flash its money around, and then rewrite the state’s environmental laws — in private sessions with legislators, no less — oh, then the corruption is here, baby. It’s not “on the way.” It’s here.  When much of our legislation is drafted off-site at ALEC conventions where Republicans meet directly with corporate liaisons to draft “model legislation” far from the prying eyes of the public (and the press, too), then the corruption has arrived. It’s not one of those things we better worry about “if we don’t act soon”.

That train has already left the station.

If the opinion writers of the State Journal need a good example of how to write about corruption in Wisconsin politics, they should take a look at Blue Jeans in High Places, the new book from Mike McCabe, former director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.  McCabe doesn’t hesitate to say that corruption is now fully re-established in Wisconsin politics. And he’s careful to say that neither D’s nor R’s are doing right by the people of Wisconsin – not that they’re both the same, they’re not – but neither is doing right for the people at large. This latter bit is probably a style book requirement for the State Journal editorial page where a rigid oath of both-sides-do-it is rarely violated, even when it’s all-too predictable and dilutes whatever editorial point they’re trying to make.

But let’s be generous today. This editorial included a couple of things that we really did like. It managed to refer to some actual academic research, which is always nice when so much punditry flows

…straight from the gut. That’s where the truth lies, right down here in the gut. Did you know you have more nerve endings in your gut than in your head? Now I know somebody will say I looked it up and that’s not true. That’s because you looked it up in a book. Next time look it up in your gut.  — Stephen Colbert

And also commendable, somebody at the State Journal remembered the words of Jack Abramoff, master crooked lobbyist and convicted felon. We haven’t always been impressed with the ability of State Journal editorials to remember the past. In fact, if we remember correctly (and we do), we may have used some deliberately insulting language about memory-impaired opinion writers at the State Journal. But today we actually respect the ability of the State Journal to remember Jack Abramoff. Here’s a slightly longer version of  what Abramoff said, talking to CBS 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl:

Stahl: …But the “best way” to get a congressional office to do his bidding – he says – was to offer a staffer a job that could triple his salary.

Abramoff: … I would say, “You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.” Now the moment I said that to them…, that was it. We owned them. And what does that mean? Every request from our office, every request of our clients, everything that we want, they’re gonna do. And not only that, they’re gonna think of things we can’t think of to do.

This, of course, was entirely legal. And remains so. Political corruption is frequently — usually — perfectly legal. This is precisely what the Sunday State Journal editorial was about. See how normal and easy it can be? Imagine yourself working either side of this human interaction:

“You know, when you’re done working on the Hill, we’d very much like you to consider coming to work for us.” Now the moment I said that to them…, that was it. We owned them.


The trouble with Milfred Where to begin?

Scott MilfredWe see over the weekend that Scott Milford, State Journal chief editorialist, has set out another nice barrel of burning tires. That is to say, he has editorialized again. He apparently cannot be stopped.

He was off to a good start by observing that ramming a new, anti-union, right-to-work bill through the legislature would “distract and divide” us once again. (But wait, isn’t that kind of the idea, the intention? Distract-and-divide works as an effective, if cynical, political strategy. It always has.)

Amazingly you can read only as far as Milfred’s second sentence before seeing him go off the rails, first by glossing over the cynical beauty of distract-and-divide, and then by echoing the bad faith talking-point. Here’s the whole second sentence:

Their hasty decision is sure to distract and divide, with little benefit to the economy and jobs.

Now what is that at the end? He’s repeating the GOP spin — namely, that right-to-work is intended to boost the economy and jobs. It’s not. It’s another bad faith argument (like voting restrictions to stop “voter fraud”, or new abortion clinic rules “to protect women’s health”).

Like the first round of union-busting, this latest is really intended to knee-cap union workers for their bad habit of supporting Dems. And intended also as a payoff to their most deep-pocketed and ideologically right-wing donors.

What’s really sad here is that Milford doesn’t even acknowledge that further union-busting could (we would argue will) harm Wisconsin’s economy by putting downward pressure on wages. That question isn’t even raised, or seemingly, imagined.

But let’s move on, as Milford does… His main point being there’s no reason to rush… except that leaders in the Senate and Assembly want it done before opposition really gets organized. Which is true. OK, Milfred’s momentarily back on track.

Oh, but wait. Then there’s this

On its face, the measure is reasonable. Workers shouldn’t have to join and give money to unions if they don’t want to.

What in the world is he saying? There’s a whole family of similar arguments that just don’t stand up:

  • I have no children, so I shouldn’t have to pay for schools
  • I’m a pacifist, so I shouldn’t have to pay for the military

Of course, schools and soldiers need a broad base of funding, and frankly that funding needs to be compelled, coerced if you like, or it just won’t work. It’s the same with unions. Voluntary dues is just not going to work.  It’s why groceries stores insist on payment, not just voluntary donations.

And what does he mean, “On its face, the measure is reasonable”? Where does this come from? Imagine a lawyer showing up in court, pointing to his client, and saying, “Look at him. He’s clearly innocent,” and then resting his case. That is not professional-grade work. How does such silliness make it into print? Does Milfred have an editor, a minder? What’s the role of the State Journal “editorial board”? Do they read this stuff before it goes to publication? It’s hard to believe that all four of them would approve, “On its face, the measure is reasonable. Workers shouldn’t have to join and give money to unions if they don’t want to.”

But let’s move on, because Milford has more:

When state Republicans approved Act 10, they could point to union excess in government that made it harder to balance budgets and improve schools. Public-sector unions were strongly influencing the election of public officials who then negotiated union contracts.

Is there truth to this? A little. The public unions with many thousands of members did have some influence come election time. But it wasn’t outsized. The state workers were getting fairly skimpy raises and even reluctantly accepting work furloughs. You’d expect them to have influence, that’s fair, but they weren’t that powerful.

Still, compared with even worse-off workers, the public workers could be, and were, painted as doing too well. This was the divisive strategy employed by the gov and his party (too-often unchallenged in the general media) during the Act 10 period.

Meanwhile, you know who was really cleaning up? It was the people who are always powerful — extremely wealthy individuals, corporations, and business lobbies. It wasn’t the teachers or the prison guards. And currently it’s not the private construction and manufacturing workers. Milfred, as he does so often, has missed the big story even as it continues day after week after month after year.


“Right-to-Work” Theater, part II Why oh why can't we have a better newspaper?

Back in December we said,

No grownup in Wisconsin believes that anti-union, right-to-work legislation would be barreling ahead in our state if the governor weren’t on board for it. (Well, with the possible exception of the Wisconsin State Journal editorial board. Could these be the most gullible journalists ever?)

On the editorial page, the State Journal was pronouncing , Scott Walker right to resist ‘distraction’. It was sprinkled with Walker’s own talking points:

“The right-to-work legislation right now, as well as reopening Act 10 to make any other adjustments, would be a distraction from the work that we are trying to do,” Walker said.

The State Journal thought that sounded great:

He’s right. Wisconsin should focus instead on improving our schools and economy, fixing a state budget deficit and building more cooperation and trust.

No, he wasn’t “right”. His talking-point may have sounded good.  Well… to the gullible. But gullibility is one of the last things we need from journalists. Taking the governor at his word is just silly and has been for a long, long time.

As we said, again back in December:

kabuki dancer bwGentlemen, it’s simple theater. First, in public, the gov claims he’s not for it (because of the “timing”). Second, over the gov’s *wink wink* objections, Republicans in the legislature quickly pass it, in January or February. Third act: What can the gov do, except sign it.

So within a week or two, right-to-work will be rammed through the legislature and signed by the governor. That little kabuki show will be done. Who believes there won’t be more?


Are climate-science denialists fit for public office? An elephant in the room? What elephant?

Jonathan Chait, writing at, believes climate-science denialists should be disqualified from holding public office.

If a candidate for a managerial job at your office insists that two plus three equals seven, it wouldn’t matter how well-qualified this candidate may be at any other aspect of the job…

That’s true about hiring decisions. There are some things so basic, so necessary to get right, that any job applicant with the wrong answer to a critically important question — much less insistence on the wrong answer — needs to be culled from the list of applicants. Organizations really cannot hire an ignoramus without damaging their whole operation and everyone in it.

Simple. No? And yet, for some — and here we turn to the editorial board of our local Wisconsin State Journal — it’s just impossibly difficult.

Toles-GOPSkateThe fact is, climate-science denialism is an almost universal orthodoxy among national Republican office-holders. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville), a perennial favorite at the State Journal, claims he doesn’t know whether human activity is contributing to climate change. Senator Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh) blames sunspots:

Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere…. “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

Alas, Ryan and Johnson illustrate the rule within their party. Almost no Republican on the national stage will acknowledge that climate change is real or that fossil fuels are the major cause of it. Even conservative pundits like George Will and Charles Krauthammer — who cannot, for obvious reasons, fear getting ‘primaried’ or losing their nonexistent public offices — will appear on Fox News and just grasp for reasons to doubt the scientific evidence.

This poses a terrible problem for the Wisconsin State Journal and indeed for all the press trying to appear sensible without ever saying that so-and-so (in fact, so-and-so’s entire party) is peddling truly dangerous foolishness, and has been doing so for at least a decade.

Talk about your elephant in the room, or rather don’t talk about it…  What kind of journalist or journalism takes this absurd oath of silence?