Death to Santa

I know, it sounds a bit harsh. Maybe more than a bit harsh. I can understand how people might react with horror to a denunciation of Santa Claus this strong, this resolute, this final. Death to Santa.
I’m not calling for his rehabilitation. I’m not suggesting he needs to be put in his proper place. I don’t want him to lose weight, or go vegan, or sober up, recognize the Elves union, diversify his workforce, or even start publicly acknowledging the crucial role Mrs. Claus must surely play in this frenetically overblown and elongated HellaHoliday we call Christmas. We are, in my view, beyond rehab. Santa Claus must die.

Why, you may be asking yourself, from within a shocked state of horrified bewilderment. Why, oh dear God in Heaven, please, why? Why must Santa die?

Because the guy has ruined Christmas, that’s why. He’s out of control. He’s run amok for so long that people don’t even realize the profoundly malignant influence he wields over their lives. He so thoroughly overshadows every other cultural icon or religious figure associated with the holiday that their influence barely ranges from the marginal to the negligible, while his grows larger and more ominous by the year.

When’s the last time you walked into the mall and saw Tiny Tim limping around on his crutch, chirping “God bless us everyone! “ Huh? Or how about the Grinch and his heart grown three sizes larger? You don’t see the two of them patiently working their way through a line of children, dispensing themes of generosity and gratitude to the tots, while their increasingly irritated and exhausted parents look around frantically for a coffee-shop or a martini bar. No, you get Santa merrily eliciting, out loud, roughly how much money those kids expect those tortured parents to cough up by December 25th.

Let’s get real. Tiny Tim gets an annual two hour run on cable TV during prime time, if he’s lucky. The best the Grinch could do is a Jim Carrey feature film remake haphazardly adapted from the original 1968 animated Christmas special. Ebeneezer Scrooge? Frosty? Rudolph? Charlie Brown’s Linus, adorable with his blanket, and wisdom, and thumb in his mouth? They’re all backbenchers.

They each get an hour or two of public exposure once a year. Santa probably gets more airtime in TV commercials alone than the rest of them put together. He’s selling everything from cars, to beer, to cookies, to breakfast cereal, to crockpots, clothes and shaving cream, and everything in between. It makes you wonder if Mrs. Claus is really Alice Walton.

Plus he’s in the walkways of all the malls, inside the stores inside the malls, and at office Christmas parties, on postcards, lawn displays, billboards, digital ads, and rent-a Santa’s. Let that sink in a minute. You. Can. Rent. One. You can’t get away from him. I know, I’ve tried. Unless you plan to spend the rest of the Christmas season in an ironclad, airtight deprivation chamber, you WILL have to deal with Santa Claus, and he most certainly WILL deal with you.

He’ll unsustainably overload your credit card. Or he’ll exponentially increase your loan balance, and inflate the deleterious effects of, your 34% interest rate at Paycheck Loans One Stop. He’ll unsustainably overload your calorie count. You’ll start to look like him. He’ll make you punch a stranger at Walmart. He’ll make that stranger punch back.

He’ll relentlessly chip away at the fragile fabric of your seasonal psyche until every Santa sighting, every song, every bulb, tree, wreath, garish light display, ribbon, bow, and Santa-esque spangled gift packaging box elicits a visceral revulsion against all that is false, hollow and just plain sad about Christmas.

And where is the Baby Jesus in all of this? The guy who, ostensibly, inspired the whole damn Christmas thing? You know, Mary, Joseph, Wise men, Myrrh, whatever the hell that is? No room at the Inn? It’s his birthday, remember? The Prince of Peace? That guy? How’s he faring against the roly poly, red bellied marauder from the Arctic?

He’s getting his behind kicked. Name me one famous Christmas movie that stars Jesus. Just one. I googled “ famous Christmas movies “ and beyond the obvious selections like “ It’s A Wonderful Life” “ A Christmas Carol “ “ Miracle on 34th St “ and “ White Christmas “, I also got “ Scrooged” “ Home Alone “ and even “ Die Hard “. You’re far more likely to get Bruce Willis than Jesus on the silver screen at Christmastime. Merry yippie ki-yay, yuletide mofo!

And every December 24th, the North American Aerospace Defense Command ( NORAD ), turns it’s extraordinary tracking capabilities to the night sky as the sun sets across America. Are they looking for the Star of Bethlehem, the birth of the Christ child, or a white winged dove about to descend upon the Earth to usher in a thousand year reign of peace?
No, they’re tracking Santa Claus, who’s flying overhead with a great big bag of cheap crap made by sweatshop laboring Elves who work in the north freakin’ pole. If they were willing to scramble a couple of F-16 fighter jets in response I could definitely stomach the cost to the taxpayers, but they’re not. They’re promoting the guy!

I’ve had enough. I can’t take it anymore. I can’t take one more year of this mind blistering, soul numbing, nerve wracking, Holidazzling, jingle-belled, package wrapping, tree trimming, egg nog swilling pandemonium fest called Christmas, which is designed to do little other than tax our brains, jangle our nerves and drain our collective wallets. Enough!

Say it with me. You can do it. Santa must die. Death to Santa!

Thursday music: Steve Carlson – A Hell of A Time

I hate Christmas. I hate the mindless rush of freneticism that passes for celebration, the nagging sense of obligation to run out and buy crap that someone may or may not want, and the stress of being pulled, every year, in multiple directions simultaneously so that no one on either side of my or my wife’s family feels neglected. I’d rather go down to the homeless shelter and wash dishes, or over to the local nursing home to sing some carols. Have yourself a hell of a time!

What, exactly, is wrong with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin?

Last week I posted a piece about how I thought DPW Chair Martha Laning should resign. The feedback both here and on Facebook was predictable, and ran along lines we’ve heard previously.

It goes like this: the chair doesn’t really have much power, the systemic problems the party faces are beyond the chair’s control, if we want to really change the party we need to deal with both the systemic problems and the power brokers behind the scenes, etc. But here’s what we don’t know, and what we haven’t been able to find out over the last several years.

If the chair doesn’t really have much power, then exactly what does the chair actually do? How does the person in this position spend their day? And how do the 15 other staff currently listed on the DPW website spend their day? With 16, presumably, full time staff people on the job, we currently have 640 hours a week of staff time devoted to advancing the cause of electing democrats across the state.

And if the chair of the DPW and her staff don’t really have much power, then who does? Do they have names? Are they at the helm of organizations that run parallel to the DPW? If so, what organizations, and how do the people that staff these organizations spend their day?

I can almost guarantee you that the bulk of the 14,000 members of the DPW statewide couldn’t answer these questions, and neither can I, even though I’ve been asking them since well before Mike Tate left office.

It’s time for some answers. It’s probably time for a radical restructuring of the entire edifice of both the party and its allied entities, but we won’t know what’s needed until there’s some stark transparency about what’s going on now.

Clinton camp puts partial blame on ” internalized misogyny ” for her loss to Donald Trump

If you were hoping for a reasoned, sensible self reflection from the Clinton camp about why they lost to Donald trump last week, don’t hold your breath.

Former Clinton campaign director of communications outreach, Jess McIntosoh, told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes Monday night that it was ” internalized misogyny ” that compelled so many white, college educated women to vote against their self interests and mark the ballot for Donald Trump.

This sounds a lot like what democrats have been saying for years about working class people voting against their own best interests without, of course, bothering much to talk to working class people.

It seems reasonable at this point to suggest that if democrats and the multi-cultural left don’t come up with a better voter persuasion program than ” you’re stupid, or sexist, or racist, or a self loathing woman if you don’t vote the way we think you should ” we’er likely going to looking at a future electoral map that gets even redder than the one we’re looking at right now.

And that’s a pretty frightening looking map indeed.

Why Martha Laning should resign as DPW Chair

When Martha Laning ran for chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin back in 2015 she touted as one of her greatest strengths her ability to raise money. In fact, it was really the only strength she brought to the table. In January of 2014, when Laning was approached by party operatives to run for state senate, she didn’t even know that the party had members that paid dues, so experience and knowledge weren’t her long suit.

A political party needs money, to be sure, but the leader of any political party must possess the qualities of character that define true leadership, like integrity, courage and honesty. Those are the qualities that inspire people, and ones that Laning is, apparently, lacking.

The single most striking example was Laning’s full flip flop on how she would cast her superdelegate vote at the DNC convention last July. In November of 2015, Laning told the Associated Press that she’d be casting her superdelegate vote for whichever candidate won the Wisconsin primary. By mid-March of 2016, when it likely started to dawn on Laning that Wisconsin’s Democratic Party primary voters were going to hand the state resoundingly to Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, she changed her tune. Any reasonable person might well conclude she did so in order to be able to cast her vote instead for Hillary Clinton, which would suggest that she was quietly supporting Clinton all along.

Laning should have either stated right upfront who she was likely supporting, Hillary Clinton, or she should have stuck to her word and cast her vote for Bernie Sanders at the convention. Flip flopping on major issues, via the use of dubious explanations, is not a quality people care for in elected officials.

And now Laning has presided over an election worse than anything Mike Tate was ever involved in: Wisconsin turning red in a presidential election year.

Time for Martha Laning to do the right thing and step down.

A Tale of Two Rons

Ron Johnson has repeatedly criticized Russ Feingold for Feingold’s opposition to the Trans Pacific Partnership, saying that he doesn’t know how Feingold could have opposed it before he even read it. Holy cow! Rojo sounds just like Ron Kind!

At a February 2016 listening session in Eau Claire, Kind was challenged by a Buchholz for Congress staffer about Kinds support for the TPP, noting that former US Senator Russ Feingold was opposed to the sweeping trade agreement. Here’s what Kind said:

When Ron Kind sounds just like Ron Johnson, and parrots RoJo’s attacks on Russ Feingold, you really have to wonder which side Ron Kind is on?

An open letter to Wisconsin’s superdelegates: It’s not too late to Feel the Bern

Dear Wisconsin superdelegates,

Being the political people you are, I’m sure you’ve watched with excruciating interest every detail of the spectacle of the last ten days. Bill Clinton accosts Loretta Lynch on the tarmac in Phoenix, Lynch says she’ll let Comey handle this one, Comey questions Hillary Clinton for several hours, Comey explains why he won’t recommend prosecution, but not before going into great detail about the extreme carelessness of Clinton and her people and suggesting that laws may have been broken, and then punting back to AG Lynch, while Obama and Hillary hit the campaign trail and pretend none of it is even happening. Whew!

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza was out front early with what this means to Clinton’s presidential campaign, and it’s not a pretty picture. It’s clear that Hillary has been lying to the American people about this for a year. There’s no escaping that conclusion.

CNN has already produced a video contrast between what Clinton repeatedly said in public with what Comey said publicly yesterday. It’s not pretty either.

Paul Ryan is calling for Clinton to be denied access to intelligence briefings if she becomes the Democrats nominee, and it’s going to be tough arguing with him after Comey’s excoriation of Clinton. If she was still Secretary of State, President Obama would almost certainly force her to resign over this, and her security clearance would be revoked permanently. After the State Department Inspector General’s report in May, which refuted many of Clinton’s public claims about her email practices, NBC political director Chuck Todd stated that she couldn’t be confirmed as Attorney General of the United States.

So she probably couldn’t be confirmed as Attorney General, and she’d probably have to resign as Secretary of State, but you want to put her forward as your presidential candidate in November? Really?

One of you needs to do the right thing, the sane thing, the smart thing, and issue a statement that for the good of the country, for the good of the Democratic Party, for the good of us all, Secretary Clinton must remove herself from consideration as the Democratic Party’s nominee for President of the United States.

And then finish your statement by pledging your vote to Senator Bernie Sanders. It’s not too late, there’s still time to avert a disaster. It’s just going to take some courage.

Former US Army captain Amanda Buchholz endorses her father, Myron Buchholz, for congress.

When Myron Buchholz announced his run for congress last February some media outlets seized on the words ” peace activist ” in his announcement, and gave it a slightly suspicious ring as in: Buchholz, a self described ” peace activist. ”

So his daughter Amanda, a West Point graduate and former US Army captain who served 27 months in Baghdad, took to Youtube to clarify for them what it meant.

If you want to send someone to congress who’ll vigorously challenge any rush to any war, please make a donation to the Buchholz for Congress campaign today. We can do this.