Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Wiggy's Toothless Attack

By Jeff Simpson 

Readers of CogDis know that I recently called out Right Wing Blogger for trying to provoke violence against Superintendent of Schools Tony Evers.  

For anyone interested, time for a little back scene look at what happens when you criticize someone on the right   This does not just happen to me it happens to many others also but they are not blessed with a forum to point it out.

Let's go step by step,

A reader sent me a tip that Wiggy posted a story about Tony Evers on and that the comments that had been up for two days, from typical fans of his, was that it was "hunting season" on teachers.  I went and checked the blog out and saw that Wiggy put a picture up of Tony Evers with the caption "Get your gun".  

This call to harm an elected official was misinterpreted by his faithful readers as hunting season on teachers, but the original meaning was clear.  

Before I reported on this, I figured I would give Wiggy a chance to explain his disgusting actions and sent him the following email:

I am doing a story on you, as education reporter, calling for the assassination of Superintendent Evers.   Would you care to comment?
Thanks have a great night! 
Mr. Wigderson responded with this(where he copied a lawyer Mike Maistleman with an incorrect email address)

 Provide the date, time and sourcee of the quote.

I then sent him the link to my blog and that was the last I heard from him.  

That is when Wiggy goes into WIrightwing crazy.   The next day I received a call from an old sales manager asking me who was the clown named James Wigdersomething.  

Mr. Wigderson had decided the best way to respond to my questions was to try and get me fired from my job.   Mr. Wigderson has a well deserved reputation of not using facts or research and he did not disappoint this time.  Jim was going to send a message that if you crticize him he will go after you personally.  Of course sending a message to a job I no longer have is not the least bit ironic.  

Here is what he sent.

 Good Afternoon,
I received the following email from someone claiming to represent your company. Aside from the potentially libelous nature of the content and the content of his blog (I'm having an attorney review it) I was surprised that the person would include your company's website as if he was representing it by emailing me.
I'm sure you will take prompt action before this individual damages your company's reputation further. For my part, my only reply to this individual will be that he should cease and desist all contact with me. This is not the first time I have made this request of him, and that he continues to contact me makes me wonder about his stability.
Thanks again, and I've included a pdf of his email to me and the link to his blog post is below my contact info. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
James WigdersonWisconsin Education Reporter
214 North Henry StreetSuite 207Madison, WI 53703
I have not heard back from him yet to see if he will be suing CogDis, but I am pretty sure I know the answer to that.   (Hint: truth is not libel).

That is a behind the scenes look at what happens to people in WI who speak up against the right wing loons in this state and that is also why more people do not speak up.  

But wait there is more:

Wiggy has been a "defemder" of free speech rights(as long as you are not talking about him).

A better campaign finance system would be one that actually encourages more democratic participation and more speech, not less. Liberals once readily spouted the maxim misattributed to Voltaire, "I don't agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Today Wisconsin's liberals would rather say, "I don't agree with what you say and, if I can't prosecute it, I'll harass it any way I can until my television is commercial free."
Harassing, intimidating and suppressing voters, are what the right is truly trying to accomplish and luckily we will not let that happen!

Remember this next time the right has incredible fake outrage when people get upset that a racist hatefilled spewing Republican gets in trouble for their speech.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Assassination Code

By Jeff Simpson 

We recently went through a time where The Donald ever so slightly, walked up to the edge of calling for the assassination of Hillary Clinton but once he showed his cards, he stopped because he got his message across.  

As George Lakoff points out, Trump did not accidentally say anything or get close to the line.  The Donald knew exactly what he was saying all along.   

Why bring that up again?   Because Mr. Trump is not part of the alt-right like our friends on the right keep trying to pass him off to be.    As our friends at and Jimmy Wigderson show us, The Donald is very much part of mainstream GOP and not the only one who can call for an assassination of their political enemies.   

See Jim wrote a story about Tony Evers, who recently gave a State of the State of education speech to a forum on public education in Wauwatosa. In his speech, Superintendent Evers pointed out some of the pratfalls and problems of ACT10.   

No one is allowed to criticize ACT10 and James Wigderson sent that message loud and clear:

 Photo by James Wigderson
GET YOUR GUN: Superintendent Evers on competition for teachers: “It’s the wild west out there.”

There is Superintendent Evers - fellas GET YOUR GUNS!

No sooner did Wigs put that up online, and some of his followers heard the dog whistle.  

Poaching teachers? After the way they disgraced themselves protesting I suppose it was inevitable but honestly I didn't even know there was a season on 'em. Is there a bag limit? Is it gun only or bow too? Can we still bait 'em with Walker signs? It worked in Jefferson.

    • Avatar

      Black powder? Can disabled use a crossbow? Curious minds want to know so they can make hunting trip plans.
      Wonder if I can talk JJ Watt into inviting some Texans fans (aka me) back to WI for hunting season. ;-)

        • Avatar

          As far as I know crossbows are legal for deer and the teachers aren't near as dear as deer.
          I'm not sure about the black powder though. Not that there would be an issue with muzzle loaders or in-lines but I'm not sure we can refer to it as "black" powder any more.
          Giving this season more thought it occurs to me that bore spears would be appropriate.

        This was such a good discussion on the article of shooting teachers in WI that it is still up on the website.   I guess that, considers the duties of their "education reporter" to include calling for the assassination of elected officials who they disagree with.   

         What is ironic, is Watchdogs mission:’s mission is to restore oversight of our state governments, to hold politicians and bureaucrats at all levels accountable for their handling of taxpayers’ dollars and to promote innovative solutions to public policy challenges.  

        I am guessing there will be no retraction, apology or firing of Mr. Wigderson, throwing the accountability part of their mission right out the door.   Secondly its not an innovative solution to how to get rid of a Democratic elected official they can not beat at the ballot box, because we saw The Donald beat him to that idea!  

        Friday, August 26, 2016

        Sykes Stab At Shifting His Stripes Doesn't Work

        By Jeff Simpson

        Arthur Conan Doyle

        “What you do in this world is a matter of no consequence. The question is what can you make people believe you have done.”
        ― Arthur Conan DoyleA Study in Scarlet
        In a recent puff piece by Politico, Charlie Sykes has been given the chance to rewrite history in his career of dog whistling and flat out racism.  
        Sykes’ many arguments with listeners over Donald Trump’s serial outrages have exposed in much of his audience a vein of thinking—racist, anti-constitutional, maybe even fascistic—that has shaken Sykes. It has left him questioning whether he and his colleagues in the conservative media played a role in paving the way for Trump’s surprising and unprecedented rise.
         Wonder whether Charlie and his colleagues have had anything to do with racism? Wonder no further, the answer is a resounding YES.   

        The preeminent political pundit of our time Charley Pierce hits the nail on the head:

        Just. Please. Shut. The. Hell. Up.Just asking that question marks Sykes as either a charlatan or a fool, and my money's on the former. Sykes knew damn well who his "allies" were when he was calling the First Lady "Mooch," or when he was calling a black man who'd died in police custody "a piece of garbage," and when he referred to "the pigs of mothers who are too lazy to put their children in a crib and roll over the top of them while sleeping on a futon on the floor."Sykes knew who his "allies" were when, as Milwaukee's Shepherd Express reported, he aired a blackface rap parody.It features a young, black woman calling herself Chapter Jackson, who acts out every racist stereotype of poor, black, single mothers that bigoted audiences find hilarious. Ms. Jackson is knee-deep in black babies in a house full of women slutted up like prostitutes while she writhes and raps that her life is a constant party paid for by taxpayers. She repeats the obscene refrain: "All you have to do is f— and nine months later you get in the big bucks."Yeah, he's known all along who his "allies" are. Once again, Trump is merely the modern Republican party without its interior monologue.
        Charley P was not alone though, No More Mister Nice Blog joined the party.   NMMNB mined Sykes twitter feed where he came up with some gems like this one, where he points out that Sykes and Trump are simpatico.

        But wait there is more.  Who(besides the author of the Politico puff piece) could forget this piece from the New Republic in 2014.

        Sykes is credited with, among other accomplishments, having blocked public funding for needle-exchange programs and having helped drive into bankruptcy an urban mall after harping on security issues there. In April 2013, he played a clip of “It’s Free (Swipe Yo EBT),” a viral video produced by a right-wing activist in which an African American woman raps about liquor stores where one can allegedly use a food-stamp card. Returning to the same theme later in the year, Sykes declared, “The number of Americans who receive means-tested government benefits— welfare—now outnumbers those who are year-round full-time workers.” No other midsize city has this kind of sustained and energized conservative forum for discussion of local politics. 
        The New Republic warned us on a National scale what was coming thanks to the Sykes of the world and yet Sykes was able to dismiss this report in his New Republic piece while being "surprised" that his listeners have actually been listening to his hate speech.  

        Here at CogDis, we have been documenting Chuck's racism for quite some time now, here, here, here, here and here amongst many others.  

        But Wait!!! There is more....all of the scrutinizing of Sykes PR piece this line was overlooked.  

        “The elected officials in Wisconsin are all pretty much anti-Trump,” Sykes says. Nevertheless, nearly all of them endorsed Trump once he became the presumptive nominee. Sykes thinks none of them have their heart in it.
        Before we rate that line, lets let the Republican Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald Train pass.....

        What they came up with was less a slogan and more of a chant, based on the “Trump Train” concept. Fitzgerald vocalized it as a steam engine, with “Trump, Trump, Trump,” representing the driving wheels, followed by “Pence, Pence” as the steam whistle. Fitzgerald, who along with Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, was among the GOP politicians warming up the crowd for Pence, even led them in it, call-and-response style  Audio here

        We rate that statement Pants on Fire!

        But Wait there is even more!!

        “Talk radio made itself relevant by beating up on other Republicans, vilifying other Republicans,” he says. “It fed this faux outrage machine that raised expectations unrealistically”—for instance, asking why Congress didn’t repeal Obamacare, though Obama’s veto pen made it mathematically impossible. Later, he would tell Business Insider’s Oliver Darcy that talk radio’s attack on mainstream-media bias has backfired, because its listeners now dismiss legitimate media fact-checking as untrustworthy.
         It is funny listening to Charlie discuss "Faux Outrage", when on his website Right Wisconsin, he has a "loser of the day" section.

        Hypocrite much?

        Charlie Sykes has a new book coming out, so he is trying to rebrand himself as a voice of reason on the right so people will buy his book.

        Charlie is hoping to avoid scenes like this, which is a picture of a speech he gave on his last book.

        One last point on the Sykes re-branding effort.  He and others in the party are trying to label Trump as alt-right to allow them to wash their hands of the racist, sexist, misogynist, election debacle that is coming.  Do not believe him.   The alt-right is non existent, it is absolutely representative of the current state of the Republican party.  As the great John Nichols explains:

        1. "Alt-right"? No. It's the old wrong of a Republican Party that for too long has invited vile extremists to camp under it's "big tent."
        2. "Alt-right?" Funny, Trump's backers look an awfully lot like the people who backed Romney, McCain and Bush.
        3. Anyone who thinks there is an "alt-right" has not paid attention to politics for the past 6 years. The GOP went alt-right long before Trump.

        Finally, because this is too rich not to share on a Friday, it is (as the old Daily Show used to share), your Moment of Zen(straight from Judith Miller):