Bill Wineke

Wineke: Republicans hunting RINOs: Has it come to this?

MADISON, Wis. -- Imagine living in Missouri – unlikely as that may seem – and watching the following television ad: An angry man carrying a shotgun and assisted by two gunmen dressed in semi-military garb and carrying assault rifles, bursts…

Wineke: The danger of using LGBTQ people as political pawns

I hope the arrest of 31 White Christian nationalists in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho before they could disrupt a Pride march gives pause to politicians like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. DeSantis isn't alone, but he is the most celebrated politician to…

Wineke: Will Nihilism Prevail?

Our country seems to be experiencing a wave of nihilism that poses a greater threat than anything Donald Trump or “woke” Democrats could ever think up. There are a lot of definitions of nihilism, mainly holding that values are pointless…

Wineke: People Kill People – With Guns

It is true what they say: Guns don't kill people, people kill people. It is also true that people kill people with guns, and it is also true that those people who choose to kill children seem often to favor…

Wineke: Organ concerts are best deal in town

MADISON, Wis. -- The Overture Hall organ concerts conducted by Madison Symphony Orchestra organ curator Greg Zelek are hands down the best entertainment bargain in Madison. Partially, that's due to the 72-rank “Mighty Klais” instrument, a 2004 gift from Pleasant…

Wineke: Suddenly, the GOP sees abortion as no big deal

The most surprising thing to me about the leaked Supreme Court draft on abortion is the fact that Republican politicians seem to be shrugging it off. For the past half-century, right-wing politicians have pointed to legalized abortion as the source…

Wineke: Now they want to make abortion murder

MADISON, Wis. -- Well, that didn't take long. Within days of a leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling on abortion, Republicans in Louisiana have introduced a bill classifying abortion as homicide and allowing prosecutors to charge women who receive them…

Madison Opera: The purpose is to have fun

Kathryn Smith, general director of Madison Opera, put things into perspective as she introduced weekend performances of “Orpheus in the Underworld.” “At a time when the challenges grow greater every day, it is nice to have a time when the…

Wineke: Race to the bottom has no winners

MADISON, Wis. -- Oklahoma Republican Party Chairman John Bennett is now advocating that Dr. Anthony Fauci be executed by a firing squad. Fauci is head of the United States National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases and is medical advisor…

Wineke: It's Not Over Yet, Tommy

I had decidedly mixed feelings when I read that Tommy Thompson has decided against running for governor this year. I wouldn't have voted for him. I think Tony Evers has done a remarkably good job steering the state through a…

Wineke: Naha Greenholtz is an MSO Treasure

The first thing we have to recognize about the weekend's Madison Symphony Orchestra concerts is that concertmaster Naha Greenholtz is a civic treasure. Greenholtz stepped out of her usual role as lead violin to perform as soloist and conductor for…

Wineke: Robin Vos owns the Gableman fiasco

My guess is that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos experienced swells of acid indigestion Thursday when he read news accounts of Michael Gableman being cheered at a Donald Trump election conspiracy party. Gableman is a former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice. Vos…

Wineke: Bashing schools will wreck Wisconsin

So, I'm minding my own business watching television when Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Nicholson appears on the screen promising to abolish the teaching of Critical Race Theory in Wisconsin schools. That should be an easy promise to fulfill since I'd…

Honestly, what good are billions?

Even as we all shudder at the ability of Russian President Putin to destroy a nation and kill thousands of innocent people, we do take some psychic pleasure in seeing Russian billionaires stripped of their possessions. Yachts, homes worth more…

MSO Audiences Paid Tribute to Ukraine

One question was in the mind of Madison Symphony Orchestra patrons as they found their way to the weekend concerts: Would conductor John DeMain begin the concert with the Ukrainian national anthem?

Wineke: What are those big rigs doing in Washington?

MADISON, Wis. -- I have a feeling that when the history of the Covid pandemic is written, the antics of The People's Convoy will be seen as a defining image. The Convoy, which includes – who knows? A few hundred…

Wineke: It's a Busy Week for Classical Music in Madison

For those who enjoy classical music, this week is a bonanza at the Overture Center. It began Sunday when the Madison Symphony Orchestra presented its annual “Beyond the Score” multi-media presentation featuring three American Players Theatre veterans and Igor Stravinsky's…

Wineke: Ron Johnson Courts the yahoo vote

If I were a betting man, I'd bet on Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson's reelection. Last week, when Oshkosh Defense, a truck manufacturing company in, yes, Oshkosh, announced it will build new US Postal Service trucks in South Carolina rather than…

Wineke: Trump threatens riots should he be investigated

MADISON, Wis. -- Donald Trump's rantings and ravings over the last election are so familiar that we tend to dismiss them and move on to more important topics. But, sometimes, in the midst of the lunacy, the former president says…

Wineke: Ron Johnson sets the debate on children

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin's contribution to our national dialogue, Sen. Ron Johnson, says he has “never really felt it was society's responsibility to take care of other people's children.” Given the way Johnson votes, that will come as no surprise,…

Wineke: We Lose Because Trump’s a Poor Loser

The root cause of much of what troubles this nation can be summed up in one explanation: Donald Trump is a sore loser. The January 6, 2020 insurrection took place primarily because Trump could not do what every other losing…