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Oscar Mayer may be leaving, but state will still have baloney
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Gov. Scott Walker’s 2016 State of the State speech assured us of one thing:  Even though the Oscar Mayer Company is leaving Wisconsin, the state will have no shortage of baloney as long as Walker remains governor.

Walker devastated Wisconsin’s public education system during his first five years in office.  Now he says that the key to putting people to work is education.

Republicans claim that even though the national economy has greatly improved, the recovery has been slow and weak.  Wisconsin has lost several major employers and wages remain low.  Even though Wisconsin ranks well behind the supposedly “slow and weak” national economy, Walker claims the state’s economy is strong.

Walker’s speech may produce a rallying cry for opponents at future campaign events, based on the classic Oscar Mayer jingle:  “Our baloney has a first name, it’s S-C-O-T-T.  Our baloney has a second name, it’s W-A-L-K-E-R.”

Politics, religion, Iowa and Cruz

When politics get mixed up with religion, both lose credibility.  Sometimes they look silly.  That was never more evident than it has been in the Iowa Republican presidential race.

Iowa Republicans usually support candidates who flaunt religion.

First it was Gov. Walker, who blatantly told Republicans that God told him to run for president.  Even Iowa evangelicals didn’t buy that Walker whopper for long, however.  When Walker failed to manage his campaign budget and dropped out, Iowa Republicans went for the next most ostentatiously religious candidate, Dr. Ben Carson.  Walker, by the way, never explained God’s change of heart.

After Carson’s eccentric statements and campaign blunders caused him to falter, Iowa Republicans flirted briefly with Donald Trump before shading to the next religious extremist, Sen. Ted Cruz.  Cruz quickly revealed his intolerance and lack of empathy for those in need.  “We will carpet bomb them into oblivion,” he said of Islamic State terrorists, exposing his machismo and disregard for killing innocent civilians.

Cruz took an unchristian, cold-hearted and bigoted view of accepting Syrian refugees, declaring that the U.S. should accept Syrian Christians but not Muslims.  He said we cannot tell the few bad Muslims from the rest, but he ignored the same problem among Christians.  He apparently was not concerned about pedophile Christian clergy, for example, even though that has been a serious problem.

Extreme hypocrisy always plays a supporting role to extreme religion, and Iowa politics pulls the curtain back.

Wester lives in rural Elroy.