Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Here are interesting articles from the past week that are worth a read (even if, on occasion, I do not agree with the author).
Twenty years of lying
But to last that long while your reputation for truth-telling is in statistical free fall goes against all common sense. My column 20 years ago carried the title “Sloppy with the truth,” which in retrospect was a pretty tame and forgiving judgment. But since then, it’s been all downhill.
Black lives don't matter to Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton - only black votes
Sanders' appeal to Al Sharpton is just the latest chapter in a long history of Democrats taking black people for granted. How insulting to black people that Sanders thinks all he has to do is meet with a buffoon like Sharpton to secure the black vote.
Why we trust those we know are lying to us
In personal relationships, most people have little tolerance for those they can’t trust. Certainly, people avoid doing business with people they don’t think tell the truth. Lies will kill a marriage, and everyone understands a lie under oath in court is not just wrong, it’s a crime.
So, why, then, do Americans put up with a political system in which dishonesty appears to be the singular unifying characteristic?
Beyonce should stick to music not politics
Basically, Beyoncé and her Black Panther groupies gave young black men license to kill last night during the Super Bowl as if they need more encouragement. Black men are already killing each other by the thousands and getting confrontational with police.
Making women sign up for the draft would be the height of stupidity
In the New Hampshire debate…liberal moderator Martha Raddatz asked Republican candidates if they thought young women should be forced to sign up for the draft. Surprisingly, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie all blundered right into her trap and agreed that we should take the radical step of forcing young women to sign up for a potential draft.
If one of those candidates ends up as our nominee, he would deserve the brutal wave of attack ads Democrats should launch at him for taking such a thoughtless position.
What makes someone a 'lady' in 2016?
A recent issue of a British magazine (Country Living) purported to list the 39 things that make a woman a "Lady." It provoked some controversy.
Still, the conversation suggests there’s intrigue, a hankering for a new definition and perhaps a desire to be a “lady” in 2016.
So here goes – my list of 21.
Get enough sleep - or else
A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences claims that sleep deprivation makes people 4.5 times more likely to sign a false confession. That’s a bunch of hooey, and I told the same thing to Jimmy Hoffa as I threw the first shovelful of dirt into his face.
If you missed Friday night’s telecast of InterCHANGE on Milwaukee Public Television (there’s a replay Sunday morning) there was the obligatory discussion about the status of the presidential race following Thursday’s Democrat debate in Milwaukee.
I ripped both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for their excessive use of the race card and pandering knowing black votes were critical as the campaign moves on to South Carolina. Listening to the debate on the radio I lost count of how many times the words “racist” and “racial” were tossed out by the two candidates.
In his commentary at the end of InterCHANGE, ultra-liberal Rick Horowitz also criticized the tactic.
Rick surprised me with that, but an even bigger surprise came in today’s Wall Street Journal. Juan Williams, a political analyst for Fox News and columnist for the Hill wrote a piece entitled, “The Carolina Pander for Black Votes.” The lengthy column is available only to online subscribers but here’s an excerpt:
This year’s South Carolina primary promises to be the canary in the coal mine for Democrats: Can Hillary hold black voters? Can Bernie steal them away? Mr. Sanders essentially tied Mrs. Clinton in Iowa, where 91% of Democratic caucus goers were white. He then badly beat her in New Hampshire, where 93% of Democratic primary voters were white. Now South Carolina’s black voters—who made up more than half of turnout in the party’s 2008 primary—are all that stands between Mrs. Clinton and a campaign free fall.
So we are seeing black politicians, intellectuals, activists and media figures practically tripping over themselves to tell black voters how to use this moment of political leverage. The rush of endorsements from the black elite has inevitably led to charges that the candidates are pandering to black Americans. It has also led to a tussle over the mantle of the nation’s top black politician, President Obama.
Last Thursday’s debate between Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders turned into an argument over who is closer to the president. To a political pragmatist this is perplexing. Black America has not done very well under President Obama by key measures: persistently high unemployment, high poverty rates, eroding income for the middle class.
For the past seven years Mr. Obama has appeared fearful of focusing policies on helping black Americans, out of concern that his critics might reduce him to “the black president” instead of the president of all Americans. Despite this intentional negligence, Mr. Obama retains a 90% approval rating among black Americans, almost solely because he is the iconic first black president.
Given the intense attacks from his political opponents in Congress, Mr. Obama’s excuse is understandable. Nonetheless, it has left black Americans without the help they hoped for when they gave him their votes in 2008 and 2012. So why are Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Sanders battling to claim that they are inheriting President Obama’s policy agenda? It has not delivered for black America—and Bernie and Hillary can’t claim their race as an excuse for inaction.
Yet now Mrs. Clinton is back in posturing mode, as Mr. Sanders draws closer in the polls. She is speaking loudly about black children being poisoned by contaminated drinking water in Flint. She has been campaigning with the mothers of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin, all killed in high-profile confrontations. The use of lethal force by police against young black men was arguably the impetus for the Black Lives Matter movement. With this emotionally charged tactic, Mrs. Clinton, a grandmother herself, is trying to consolidate her support in the African-American community, in South Carolina and nationally.
Meanwhile, the poverty rate for blacks in South Carolina is 28%, tied for the 12th highest in the nation, according to an analysis of Census Bureau figures by the Kaiser Family Foundation. How exactly does posturing and bickering among black elites or this academic discussion about reparations—a total political nonstarter—help poor black families in Charleston and Columbia? It doesn’t.
Only realistic, practicable solutions will help black families realize the American dream. Some ideas, like expanding school choice, demilitarizing the police and putting a renewed emphasis on personal responsibility, will appeal to conservatives. Others, like raising the minimum wage, investing in social-welfare programs and strengthening the Affordable Care Act, will appeal to liberals.
It’s no accident that all of this racially charged political venom is oozing out ahead of the Democratic contest in South Carolina. For seven years, discussion of concrete steps to create more economic and educational opportunity for black Americans was put on hold. The “fierce urgency of now,” to quote Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is leading the competition for the black vote because so many problems, from family breakdown to the dropout rate, have been unattended.
The real question is whether the politicians will still pay attention once the voting is done.