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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Walker chose Homophobic and Racist Staff then and Now!!!

MSNBC's Chris Hayes hit on the real revelation of the newly released stack of emails. Hayes points out "the shear jaw dropping offensiveness" of a few of those emails.
Hayes: "What kind of work environment exactly would it be all okay to get this in your inbox and then forward it to an unspecified amount of coworkers and subordinates...but think about the kind of work environment in which a chief of staff sends this kind of email to his subordinates. An email that is explicitly homophobic, racist, antisemitic and offensive in every way possible? ... These are the thoughts people who are in charge of things like, oh I don't know, running the states welfare system." 
He nailed it. But the press here is about to move on because, as they claim, the state is already firmly divided, so no one wins/no one loses. Really? Or are they just a little too lazy to ask Walker why he likes these people?



Cap Times reporter Jack Craver said this about his current staff on WKOW's Capitol City Sunday (9 am):

Obama's Stimulus a Big Success, but not in Fox News World.

The Fox News host asked viewers if they thought the Obama stimulus was a success or not, suggesting it wasn't, similar to the claims they've been made over and over for years.

Completely muddying up the facts and actual report, Ed Henry couldn't have been more convoluted, deferring instead to Wall Street Journal hack Stephen Moore's ridiculous comment:
Moore: "It was maybe the most expensive policy mistake ever made in Washington."


So Gretchen Carlson said this:
"So what is the White House's case then for the stimulus, how are they saying that it worked so well?"
Gotcha? You almost have to laugh. But here's the incredibly good news Carlson and Henry failed dot mention:
New estimates from the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) find that the President’s Jobs Legislation Had a Substantial and Sustained Impact on the Economy. This translates to an average of 1.6 million jobs a year for four years through the end of 2012 … elevate the productivity and output of the American economy long after the Act has fully phased out.
o Initiated more than 15,000 transportation projects, which will improve nearly 42,000 miles of road, mend or replace over 2,700 bridges, and provide funds for over 12,220 transit vehicles.

o Made the largest-ever investments in American high-speed rail, constructing or improving approximately 6,000 miles of high-performance passenger rail corridors and procurement of 120 next-generation rail cars or locomotives.

o Cleaned up 1,566 acres of properties that are now ready for reuse, far exceeding the original target of 500 acres, and led to 30,900 old diesel engines being retrofitted, replaced, or retired, which has reduced lifetime emissions of carbon dioxide by 840,300 tons and particulate matter by 3,900 tons.

o Improved more than 3,000 water quality infrastructure projects and Clean Water projects, serving more than 78 million people nationwide, as well as bringing 693 drinking water systems (serving over 48 million Americans) into compliance with Safe Drinking Water Act standards.

o Launched the innovative Race to the Top Program. Encouraged by the incentives in Race to the Top, 34 states modified state education laws and policies in ways known to help close the achievement gap and improve student outcomes.

o Provided the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to begin researching transformative energy technologies such as second-generation biofuels, more efficient batteries, superconducting wires, and vehicles powered by natural gas.

o Boosted federal funding to renewable wind, solar, and geothermal energy as well as leveraging private dollars to help increase wind electricity net generation nationwide by 145 percent, and solar thermal and photovoltaic electricity net generation by more than fourfold from 2008 to 2012.

GOP attacks Obama's Imperial Presidency for his Executive Orders....they'll love a Scott Walker Presidency.

Wow, the treasure trove of stories gone by! I surprised myself recently when I looked up "executive orders" and "executive power" on my own blog, and came up with a long list of stories that apply more now than even back then.

It started with this Fox News headline:
Flash back to May 13, 2011, where our possible 2016 Republican candidate for president, Scott Walker, started performing similar outrageous acts of executive power that I'm sure won't receive the same scrutiny. I made a screen capture of my story:
Imagine Walker adapting to his imperial presidency, if you dare. Oh, and just for fun, check out Walker's executive order to not create any health care exchanges:

Iced Over Great Lakes and the Polar Vortex!!!

A way to remember this winter:
The Polar Vortex

Iced Over Great Lakes


Friday, February 21, 2014

Walker's staff, similar to the people you've read about in the John Doe emails, devised a way to Kill Common Core.

Our "divide and conquer" leader Scott Walker is going for the low information tea party voter now nationally, at the expense of Wisconsinites. Do we really have that many tricorn teabillies here in the dairy state?  

Behind the scenes, Walker decided to trash Common Core, the major investment school boards across the state made for their constituents, so a more politically advantageous approach could destabilizes public education and win votes.

In the following TMJ4 coverage, watch Madison area organizer Jeffrey Horn of "Stop Common Core in Wisconsin" basically rule out any possible standard:
Horn: "They're going to put a lot of effort into just teaching to the test, making sure kids do well on a test, regardless of what they actually learned." 
Huh? So after years of fighting conservatives over too much testing, they've turned the tables on us, and are now against testing. Of course that begs the question, how do we actually know what they've learned? Even worse, achievement tests and college exams are now geared to Common Core.

Think about it; Horn did what Rep. Don Pridemore could have done had he become State Superintendent. (Note: testing was a way to fail schools under NCLB, make them private, and to trash teachers.)



We've turned education over to Jeffrey Horn. No matter how teachers and districts superintendents begged to keep moving forward with Common Core statewide, it didn't matter, Republican knew better all along. All instigated by career politician and college dropout Scott Walker.

Weirder still, the Walker plan dumps local control too, a fact Horn seems to have missed:
Horn: "These standards are kind of the last nail in the coffin of putting local control to bed in Wisconsin." 
Here's a look at Walker's state academic standards proposal:
A bill that could halt the implementation of more rigorous and nationally aligned reading and math academic standards in Wisconsin's public schools was written for state lawmakers by Gov. Scott Walker's staff, new documents show. If passed, the legislation would be one of the most aggressive measures taken nationally to slow or stop the Common Core State Standards.

The bill calls for the creation of a state academic standards board … The state board would be mostly made up of political appointees, and lawmakers could adopt standards the board recommended, even if the state superintendent disagreed.

Superintendent Tony Evers said in a statement that the standards bill amounted to a "partisan takeover of the bedrock of schooling: the standards that describe what our kids should know and be able to do in each academic subject area." "Are we ready for our legislators to debate and legislate academic standards related to evolution, creationism and climate change when they take up sciencestandards?" Evers wrote.

Virtually none of the Wisconsin critics of Common Core now raised objections when the standards were posted online for comment and adopted in 2010.
I know I followed the roll out, pros and con, since I had two kids in elementary school at the time.  

Republicans Cut Wages!

If Scott Walker signs this wage cut for Dane County and Milwaukee, it's his baby-he owns it. I can see the ads now from the Mary Burke campaign. 

This is a WAGE CUT, plain and simple. What you would call an austere policy move. At a time when the state GOP can't stop bragging about putting money in the pockets of taxpayers, they're cutting wages? 

Can they really get away with this? It looks like it, if I know how the Democratic Party will respond. 

Democrats have not framed this repeal of a higher minimum wage well. Hint guys: IT'S A WAGE CUT!!! 
The measure would allow such local minimum wage ordinances to be in place only if no money from the state was used to pay the workers.
Republicans are trying to save the rest of the state money. They say it's unfair Madison improves the quality of life with higher wages, while other areas don't benefit. But they do benefit, from tourism, senior care, personal care givers and consumer spending in and around the state. Dane County and Milwaukee both benefit the state, although I'm sure conservatives would think otherwise. 

Conflict of Interest? And more surprising is the fact that Rep. Chris Kapenga, the business CEO of Integrated Time Systems, wrote the law to protect his own company in Brookfield. He was never questioned about his self serving bill. Simply put, this statewide law reducing wages, is in response to...one company. 

Here's Kapenga on Capitol City Sunday, before the GOP removed federal tax dollars. Never once did host Greg Neumann ask about the conflict of interest. Is there any real comparison between Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Kapenga?



The big takeaway? According to Kapenga, minimums artificially inflate wages, when $1 or $2 wages could employ just as many people. And backing away from the Republican opposition to a one-size-fits-all approach, Kapenga is now all for it. Democrat Rep. Andy Jorgensen had this idea:
The Republican agenda Thursday included a bill that stands to cut wages for thousands of municipal workers across the State of Wisconsin ... As a counter, Rep. Jorgensen offered an amendment to require businesses which contract with the state to cap their executive salaries to no more than a million dollars a year.

“If we ‘can’t’ afford to provide a family-supporting wage to our custodians or construction workers, we certainly can’t afford to help CEOs buy a bigger mansion or a fancy sports car,” said Jorgensen. “Let’s be fair.” The Jorgensen amendment failed along party lines, as did AR 26.
Smart ass Rep. Robin Vos again doesn't think Milwaukee or Dane County are serious parts of the state, despite contributing more economically and thus contributing more to their own living wage laws:
Speaker Robin Vos (R – Rochester) argued the bill isn't about local control, but rather about the ability of local officials to pass increased labor costs onto the state. "They can't automatically inflate the state of Wisconsin's costs, because that's what's happening all across the state of Wisconsin today," said Vos.

Tired of hitting deer? Frustrated by constantly swerving out of the path of an oncoming deer? Reflective Paint!

White knuckling it through wooded Wisconsin country sides at night, may be a thing of the past if we pick up on this great idea coming out of Finland:
Smithsonian: The Finnish Reindeer Herders Association is testing out a new way to make the large mammals more visible to drivers: reflective paint.

The idea is to spray the antlers of reindeer with reflective paint that reflects motorists’ headlights. "The aim is to prevent traffic accidents. The spray is being tested on fur at the moment, but it may be even more effective on the antlers, because they are seen from every side," Anne Ollila, chairwoman of the Reindeer Herders Associationtold the Finnish news source YLE.

According to the Finnish paper Helsinging Sanomat, most collisions occur in November and December when the roads are icy and it gets dark earlier. July and August are also bad months, as the mosquitos “keep the deer on the move.”

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Walker's National Image Changed Overnight, thanks to Actual Critical Coverage.

Well, it looks like Scott Walker's claims ignorance isn't even convincing enough now for one of his big supporters:
CapTimes- Steven Elbow: Two former prosecutors, one a Republican and one a
Democrat, agree on one thing: there wasn't enough evidence to charge the governor with a crime. Paul Bucher, a Republican who served nearly two decades as Waukesha County district attorney, agreed. "I don’t think there was sufficient evidence to show the governor was involved in that," he said. Bucher may not be the most objective observer. His clientele includes defendants in the John Doe investigation that led to Wednesday's release of more than 28,000 pages of emails 

Bucher said the email shows that Walker knew about the secret email system, put in place by employees to skirt public records laws. But it doesn't prove that he knew about the system all along. "I think he knew something because of the articles," Bucher said. 
National Coverage Continues: Ed Schultz talked with The Progressive's Ruth Conniff, who had a treasure trove of information for viewers across the country:



I thought I'd highlight Schultz' interview with State Sen. Jon Erpenbach. Not only did Erpenbach frame the situation in Wisconsin nicely, but Ed went into one of his great and very passionate rants.



For great email dump coverage, check out The Progressive.

Wisconsin Lost Thousands of Farms and acres: "...USDA classifies both losses as among the most significant in the nation."

Wisconsin's year by year numbers on farm losses isn't available yet (check link in story), but it's easy to see we're one of the worst in the country. Scott Walker and the Republicans are treating their family farm voting base like shit. Check out thisthisthisthisthisthis and this

 First, the report:
AP: A new federal report shows Wisconsin has lost thousands of farms and, perhaps more disturbingly, thousands of acres that were once farmed are no longer. The census shows Wisconsin lost 8,700 farms from 2007 to 2012. It also lost more than 620,000 acres of farmland during that time. The USDA classifies both losses as among the most significant in the nation.
In fact, Scott Walker made it worse, when Republicans passed a law that, believe it or not, keeps family farms from being passed on to their kids. There's a chance we're going to shed farms more quickly now:
Lawmakers Call for Repeal of New Wisconsin Death Tax: New law threatens financial security of family farmers … The state budget signed a month ago included laws giving the state power to collect money and property from families whose loved ones received Medicaid services when they were alive, including the power to file foreclosures on properties. The law changes received no public hearings. The changes may also prevent farming families from passing their farm onto the next generation should the parents need long-term care in the future.

Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire) said, “If this is not rolled back, it may become impossible to pass the family farm or small business on to the new generation.”
Now Walker wants to lift the restriction limiting foreign investors and corporations from purchasing more than 640 acres of land in the state.

Leadership, Paul Ryan and Vicki McKenna style.....

Republicans are big on having "leaders," despite pushing "individualism, freedom and liberty," a direct contradiction to their one party style of authoritarian rule.

I heard radio's snake oil pitch person Vicki McKenna come up with a dramatic example of projection today. Basically, it goes something like this; pushy know-it-all progressive leadership is bad, conservative authoritarian father-knows-what's-best leadership is good.

Progressive Leadership: In the first clip, McKenna poses this false premise to make her case for what really sounds like her own parties goal:
"...believe what they say. Don't present them with the facts. Don't confront them with the failures. The failures will be redefined as successes. The facts will be ignored. Your concerns are irrelevant, trust us, we know what's best. That's the way progressives think."


Good conservative leadership: But McKenna sounds like she's describing Paul Ryan, who says he morally knows what's best for us, despite overwhelming public support for something else:
"It sounds simple...but if I believe this is counter productive for the very people we're trying to hurt...to help...and will hurt them by doing this, but it's politically popular, what does that say about you as a moral person...leaders have to take positions that may not be popular sometimes if they think they're doing the right thing."


Republicans continue to tell all of us what we're not ready for, because they say they know, from legalizing marijuana to a female president:
Darn, that rules out Hillary.
With not even a mention of allowing medical marijuana, Scott Walker has decided for us that we're just not ready yet. jsonline:
"I've never experienced this, but I can't imagine people socially smoking the way people have a beer or two at a wedding reception. There's a huge difference out there. So in the end, I understand why people make that argument (for legalization), but in our state, I don't think we're ready for that."

Walker saw himself in his hand picked staff, Part 2: Backstabbing!

Who knows how many more emails will finally paint this Dorian Gray like portrait of Scott Walker. 

From the Wisconsin State Journal:
Kelly Rindfleisch
1. An email from Kelly Teelin, a paralegal at GOP go-to law firm Michael Best & Friedrich, forwarded a joke email picturing four dogs the writer said were set to receive public assistance because they “are mixed in color, unemployed, lazy, can’t speak English and have no frigging clue who their Daddys are.” “That is hilarious. And so true!” Rindfleisch replied.

2. A supporter of lieutenant governor candidate Brett Davis scorned fellow Republican Rebecca Kleefisch, also vying for the job, after attempting to sneak a look at one of her fundraisers. “Rebecca was at the door inside greeting,” wrote Kathleen Kiernan … “She (Kleefisch) said, well maybe I can win you over. (YUK!...don’t hold your breath)… I cannot see how anyone can take this woman seriously.”

3. Rindfleisch wrote an email to Walker campaign manager Keith Gilkes calling Kleefisch “the bane of your existance,” adding, “I’m REALLY beginning to dislike her.”

4. Walker suggested that the county fire a doctor who was hired at the county mental health center without officials knowing she was a former thong model. “Apparently she’s competent, but even the Medical Director is dismayed that she has a varied life,” Nardelli said, who worried the “suggestive” photos meant the doctor had “a checkered past.” Walker replied, “Get rid of the MD asap.”

5. Walker’s staffers had harsh words for Mark Neumann, his rival in the GOP
gubernatorial primary.“This is so ridiculous that the only person talking about it is mark neumann,” McLaughlin wrote of one proposal. “There should be mandatory drug testing for people who want to run for governor and you can quote me on that.”

6. In another email, top adviser Jim Villa responded to an email about Neumann delivering signatures against the health care bill, “Is someone going to explain to knucklehead that governor is a state position?”

7. Rindfleisch emailed Gilkes about jokingly wanting to take out Mike Tate, chairman of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “How do you not blow a nut with all the lies that the democrats put out,” Rindfleisch wrote. “It makes me wanna get Villa’s uncle mike to make mike tate disappear.”

Walker saw himself in his Hand Picked Staff, emails reveal.


Scott Walker will insist there's nothing in the emails that could get him arrested, but that doesn't discount the ugly disregard he had for the people he served or the kind of staff he chose that reflected his values. After all, these emails do show us what they talked about behind closed doors, and how they talked about it.

Walker surrounded himself with petty thugs and thieves back then, and still does. So can you imagine Walker putting together a White House staff?

Surprise, Walker didn't expect any media attention. This says so much:
Blind Obedience to her Leader
Gov. Scott Walker won't be taking media questions Thursday about the tens of thousands of pages of documents unsealed in a criminal appeal made by a former aide. "The governor doesn't have any media availability ," spokesman Tom Evenson said … he was confident there wouldn't be anything damaging in them beyond what had already led to criminal charges.
Nothing damaging? Really? I suppose Walker still doesn't see anything harmful in the following:
Top aides for Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) made a habit of forwarding off-color emails. Case in point: one email from former Walker chief of staff Thomas Nardelli featured a photoshopped picture of President Barack Obama with a giant acorn cap for a hat. The text: "New fall hat… Acorn cap with the nut still attached," a clear reference to the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), which conservatives in Congress defunded in 2009 ... Congress has voted to defund the organization several times after it has folded.

TPM has already noted that Nardelli forwarded a racist and bizarre email where the narrator describes a nightmare of waking up black, gay, drug-addicted, disabled and HIV positive.
 How about playing the media, like sucking up to the Journal Sentinel:
Respect for mental health patients? Not much: Emails show Scott Walker's role in managing mental health complex crisis … (while) running for governor … "We need to continue to keep me out of the story as this is a process issue and not a policy matter,"

And Walker suggested reaching out to Journal Sentinel editorial writers, noting: "The next problem will be editorials and this can nip it in the butt." Rindfliesch wrote … a Journal Sentinel reporter "doesn't get any traction if he can't get anyone to say anything," she said.
Or Walker's contempt for the mentally ill, with staff reactions like this: 
Rindfleisch was sarcastic about the Mental Health Complex issue, in a Sept. 2, 2010, "Last week was a nightmare. A bad story every day on our looney bin. Doctors having sex with patients, patients getting knocked up. So, it's been crazy (pun intended.)" … she expected Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to make the issue "the center of his campaign … "Yep," Rindfleisch replied, "No one cares about crazy people." 
Walker's confident there's nothing really damaging?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Walker Criticism over Emails coming from Naysayers who want things bad to happen in Wisconsin?

Hypocrites on the right have another big problem; projection.

While Republicans keep waiting and waiting, hoping for Obama failures, they've resorted to manufacturing them instead. They're hoping ObamaCare will fail, they want the minimum wage to fail, they wanted the auto bailout to fail, hoped the stimulus would fail, hoped foreign policy failed, know instinctively Common Core will fail...you get the idea, right?

Well here's Mr. Projection himself, Scott Walker, claiming the "naysayers" on the left are always hoping for failure, especially when they're just pointing out his record. The Authority is above that. Nice try but...

Walker's glaring example of projection is almost laughable. From WKOW raw footage:



Saving tourism and our lakes from Phosphorus Pollution and Algae delayed due to costs! 700 Waterways Fail, and counting...

Pollution is okay, because despite revenue surpluses, we can't afford to reduce it:
jsonline: In another bill passed by the Senate, the state would delay costly phosphorus reduction regulations that would reduce algae-causing pollution in waterways. Aimed at addressing one of the top water problems in the state, the regulations were approved in 2010 during the administration of Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. About one-quarter of the state’s more than 700 waterways fail to meet water quality standards for phosphorus.
That's a lot. Yet, business and community treatment plants can't afford it. Really, but the environment and tourism can? Seems we have a problem, great lovers of the outdoors:
But business groups and some municipalities said that the new limits would place undue burden on them while other major sources of phosphorus pollution, such as farms, avoid such limits. The bill gives a community or industry an option to delay stricter regulations, for as long as 20 years, if it can prove financial hardship in trying to meet them. 
Funny thing, PBS's Market to Market took an in-depth look at Iowa, who seems to take phosphorus and nitrogen pollution very seriously. They seem to care about their drinking water:



See, as we cut taxes and give back revenues, now we can’t afford to pay for ways to stop pouring phosphorus into our lakes and rivers. Common sense:
During that time, permit holders would have to cut phosphorus discharges. Environmentalists have expressed worries about the bill such as the length of the two-decade delay. Amber Meyer Smith, a lobbyist with Clean Wisconsin, said her group is now officially “neutral” after amendments approved in committee last week addressed some of the group’s concerns. “We think they have made some positive changes,” she said.
There you go, compromise by those trying to save the environment. And so continues our slide into the trash heap. This is what we’re leaving out kids, who will have to raise their own taxes to clean this up.

Scott Walker emails hit national news!!! "They've gone through a legal process..." says Walker, so there's nothing to see.

The one thing to remember about the emails showing Scott Walker knew more than he was willing to disclose, is that because the legal standard is so much higher for an arrest, there still wasn't enough to press charges. And because there's no proof Walker "did anything," there's no reason to think he didn't know. 

And knowing a big story when he sees it, MSNBC's Chris Hayes led with the Walker story, and got lots and lots of help from The Progressive's Ruth Conniff. The country is now about to get to know the real Walker, with Chris Christie comparisons all over the place:


Here's WKOW's Greg Neumann on a few emails: 

WKOW: Thousands of unsealed emails and documents from the secret John Doe probe into the Milwaukee County Executive's Office show that investigators believed Scott Walker "appeared to be aware" his staff was using laptops and a private internet router to conduct  illegal campaign activities on county time ... emails show staffers talked about communicating with Walker on the secret email system.

In a March 22, 2010 email that Cindy Archer, the head of Milwaukee County Department of Administrative Services at the time, wrote to Kelly Rindfleisch: "Consider yourself now in the "inner circle". :) I use this private account quite a bit to communicate with SKW and Nardelli. You should be sure you check it throughout the day." SKW are the initials for Scott K. Walker, used by various members of both the county and campaign staff.

Another email shows that on at least one occasion, Walker suggested that staffers from his 2010 gubernatorial campaign contact his office to have McLaughlin "dig up" information they needed for a reporter doing a story on General Mitchell International Airport.

Lowering Wages to $4 an hour for Long Term Unemployed.

Another incredible idea from the conservative American Enterprise Institute that demoralizes the long term unemployed even more than they already are.

Republicans are feeling incredible lately. As bad as their ideas are, they’re oddly still the ones setting the agenda.

But this has also given Republicans the courage to say anything that pops into the heads, giving us an invaluable insight into what our world would really be like if they had their way.

Wanna see another brilliantly demoralizing and demeaning shot aimed at the long unemployed?
Bloomberg: A $4 Minimum Wage Can Get People Back to Work: The fate of the long-term unemployed is arguably the most immediate social and economic challenge facing the U.S. today. One goal should be to make it easier for companies to hire the long-term unemployed. And a step forward would be to let companies pay the long-term unemployed less by lowering the minimum wage for them. 
After all, employers are taking a big risk hiring experienced workers:
If we knocked the minimum wage down to, say, $4 an hour, we would significantly mitigate employers' risk from hiring a long-term unemployed worker. Allowing employers to pay this group of people 45 percent less than other minimum-wage workers provides a strong incentive for businesses to give the long-term unemployed a shot.
Thanks for giving us a shot at the good life again. Oh, and don't forget making the public take all the risk and responsibility for taking care of $4 an hour labor:
This policy would have to be paired with an expanded earned-income tax credit, or with more straightforward wage subsidies -- federal transfer programs that supplement a worker’s labor market earnings with tax dollars. 

Many on the left will cringe at the thought of lowering the minimum wage. Many on the right won’t like a new government program of wage subsidies. 
Another words, taxpayer would be picking up the tab for business.

Walker turns Education into Politics, Dismantles Common Core, wipes out Constitutional Power of State Superintendent...shh, don't mention ALEC.

National Treasurer of ALEC, State Sen. Leah Vukmir is about to kill Common Core in the hopes of replacing it with something so much better…whatever that is, + profits.

And again, another major piece of reporting completely leaves out mentioning ALEC, its opposition to Common Core, its obsessive pursuit of school privatization, and the fact that its national treasurer is actually spearheading that dismantling.

State Journal reporter Molly Beck really didn't think it was important? Or that the public should know Vukmir’s motivation and conflict of interest? Who is she really representing? ALEC!!!

Suddenly, both the senate and assembly are about to pass bills that not just dismantles Common Core, but replaces it with one-size-fits-all big government bureaucratic meddling. And Scott Walker's been in on the planning:
The Board: Walker appoints 1, DPI’s Tony Evers appoints 1 = advantage 0

The Committee: Walker picks 5 members, Evers picks 4 members, Senate picks 2, the Assembly picks 2 = Walker advantage +1
The Committee subcommittee: That board would create subcommittees to write each standard, which could include non-voting education experts to advise the process.
Here come the big government bureaucrats, the good conservative kind: Let's neutralize the Constitutional duties of the state superintendent of public instruction:   
The proposed legislation also would allow DPI to review or revise the resulting standards recommended by the board. The revisions would then be sent to the legislative council and then sent for approval to the legislature’s Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, comprised of six Republican and four Democratic lawmakers, of which Vukmir is co-chairwoman.
Walker advantage +2.

Get ready for it…
If the committee rejects the standards containing DPI’s revisions, then the original recommended standards — as written before DPI’s review — would be sent to the full Legislature for a vote.
Voila'! DPI revisions disappear with a little political ALEC magic. A truly jaw dropping political takeover of education by low information tea party “scholars.”
State Superintendent Tony Evers said Tuesday this proposal to set up a process to replace Common Core is “wholly unacceptable” and would politicize the process of writing standards for education in Wisconsin. He said if the bill is approved, education standards could be developed on the floor of the Legislature instead of by experts. “Frankly, I can’t believe that this is what the citizens of Wisconsin want — that legislators are going to be writing standards. “There’s an effort to outnumber me, which seems odd, and then it just throws it into a political arena and has people writing standards that don’t have a clue.”
According to Vukmir’s spokesperson, Evers has nothing to worry about, if he doesn't make any "politicized" changes, adding:
“I think it really only politicizes it if the state superintendent decides to grossly reject what the board comes up with. The only time the legislature is going to act is if the superintendent says, ‘You know what, we are going to go in a completely different direction.’ ”
See, what could go wrong. ALEC has all the answers. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Lawless Obama? Where was Paul Ryan when a lawless Bush extended Medicare Part D Deadlines and waived Penalties?

It’s amazing what a little investigative reporting can turn up!
MSNBC: It was easy to note the similarities between its difficulties and those associated with the Bush/Cheney Medicare Part D policy. On Friday, Sam Stein had a terrific report noting just how deep the parallels go. Stein’s report is quite comprehensive … Both the ACA and Plan D struggled during the rollout; both suffered technical glitches; both shrunk networks to the surprise of consumers; both struggled with overwhelmed call centers; both suffered in the polls.
Here’s a new wrinkle that should embarrass Paul Ryan, who has based his “lawless Obama” claim on the “illegal” delays Obama put in place regarding the Affordable Care Act. But Ryan said nothing about his own roll-out of Medicare’s Plan D implementation:
When Plan D implementation struggled, the Bush/Cheney administration unilaterally extended deadlines and waived penalties – relying on nothing but executive discretion and regularity authority. Why is this important? In general, it’s not, except now that the Obama administration is taking similar steps, Republicans are characterizing it as the end of our constitutional system of government.
Here's a list of Obama offenses:
-President Obama is creating a “government of one” by ignoring the Constitution and further delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate, according to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah).

-The Republican senator said on “Fox News Sunday” that the president seemed to be flouting the law in order to improve Democrats’ chances in the 2014 midterm elections. “The president knows this is wrong and it’s not defensible,” Lee said.

-There is something wrong with holding one leader to a new standard – an “Obama standard” – that doesn’t apply to anyone else.

-When other presidents issue executive orders, it’s fine. When Obama does it, Republicans insist it’s scandalous.

-When other presidents rely on “czars,” it’s fine. When Obama does it, Republicans insist it’s scandalous.

-When other presidents make recess appointments, it’s fine. When Obama does it, Republicans insist it’s scandalous.

-When other presidents decide not to defend certain federal laws against court challenges, it’s fine. 

-When Obama does it, Republicans insist it’s scandalous.

-When Bush used his powers to improve implementation of a federal health care policy, no one raised a fuss, but now that Obama’s done the same thing, congressional Republicans are convinced he’s a lawless radical violating the Constitution.

Asteroid Disaster HD TV Ad Campaign.

What a great idea; a candid camera like ad by LG proving how life-like their HD video pictures are.

First, people being interviewed for a job believe they're looking out of a window witnessing the end of the earth. Second, a men's room urinal wall is fixed up with video screens that distract guys from try to do their business.

Fond Farewell to American TV....

The stunning news....
I've had a long history with American TV, from simply being a customer to producing many of their ads in the 1980's when Crazy TV Lenny was their owner and spokesperson. Lenny Mattioli is now selling motorized bicycles on Madison's west side.

I never kept up with the inner workings, but did have major misgivings about a few rising managers, and their impersonal know-it-all approach to the market. It took awhile, but they eventually drove the company into the ground. Just one rising manager, Doug Reuhl, was responsible for the death spiral. He had this pathetic comment:
jsonline: It's a moment to be proud of our efforts and to be proud of what we have delivered to the community," Doug Reuhl, president and chief executive of American since 1988, said in a statement Monday.
Real proud? Any surprise Reuhl brought down the company that employed 989 employees?
American TV & Appliance, headquartered in Madison, has six retail stores in Wisconsin, two in Illinois and two in Iowa. Its Milwaukee-area stores are in Waukesha, Brown Deer and Oak Creek.
They had some great long time sales people, experts really, who knew their products inside and out. 

Perhaps the market changed, but maybe managements approach should have also changed. 

Why did they refuse to feature the hottest consumer items on their ads front page? Even worse, why did they stick with a newspaper supplement that looked the same for decades? Many people got so used to seeing the same drab red and blue advertising colors that they just shuffled the section into the recycle bin. It's like they never really looked at their own sales pitch. 

They will be missed by many of us. Here are three ads that ran in the 80's, along with Lenny's late night horror show "Lenny's Inferno." 


Lenny's Inferno:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Shouldn't Republicans be forcing Businesses into the Exchanges? Come on, make them and reign in Obama's power grab.

Let's see how business would react, shall we?

Here's my idea, based on the GOP outrage over the employer mandate delay. Utah’s Sen. Mike Lee, who isn’t happy, explains:
The Hill: President Obama is creating a “government of one” by ignoring the Constitution and further delaying ObamaCare’s employer mandate, according to Sen. Mike Lee.
This from a tea party Republican hell bent on turning the country into a one party state, under the watchful eye of a national father figure like “leader” and disciplinarian. But I digress.

The Obama/Democratic response should be this question; “Do you have a bill in the senate and house now that would force businesses onto the exchanges?” It’s that simple.

I wonder how business would react? Tea Party Rep. Steve King, like Lee, should pursue legislation to make businesses, ready or not, get into the exchanges:
WashingtonTimes: Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) accused Obama of similarly violating the Constitution in executive actions he took on ... the implementation of his signature healthcare law. "I think we should bring a resolution to the floor and say so, and restrain this president from his extra-constitutional behavior. Obamacare itself is probably the clearest one. When the president extended the employer mandate for a year, clearly it’s unconstitutional because the law says that the employer mandate shall commence each month after December of 2013.” 
Yes, make business a part of the exchanges...retroactively. Please, reign Obama in. 

Dumb Ron Johnson doesn't want to fix the Post Office, he wants to destroy it!!! And Big Business in Wisconsin is Pissed Off.

Tea party zealot Dumb Ron Johnson is starting reveal his true intentions; he didn't go to Washington to fix things, he went there to destroy things. Like the U.S. Postal Service.

I've never understood why conservatives decided they really hated the post office. It's even in the constitution for gods sake. And the odd thing is, Johnson hasn't tried to solve any problems since he took office. That inaction is about to seriously hurt the survival of the Post Office, and private industry is starting to get pissed off. From reporter Matt Pommer:
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is in the political doghouse of Wisconsin's largest industry. At issue are Johnson's tea-party rhetoric and committee votes on postal-reform legislation. Postal votes are a vital issue for the multifaceted mailing industry, which accounts for more than $26 billion in annual economic activity and employs more than 180,000 Wisconsin residents.

The industry warns that ever-increasing mail rates will become a disincentive … The industry had supported an amendment advanced by Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., that would have retained the existing power of the Postal Regulatory Commission and kept the latest increase as a “temporary” measure.
But Dummy just can’t stop whining about the cost to taxpayers, even though it's not about taxpayers, yet:
Johnson criticized the Baldwin amendment saying higher rates “could put jobs at risk,” but added, “My job is to protect the American taxpayer.”
Business is getting a taste of being on the receiving end of this ideologically driven Republican Party monster they've financed and create:
Wisconsin's mailing and publishing industry quickly issued a sharp rebuke to Johnson. It issued a public letter signed by top paper and mailing industry executives and officials at 52 newspapers. It noted the mailing industry provides about 90 percent of Postal Service revenue.
“We are confused by your taxpayer statement, considering the fact the Postal Service is funded solely by revenue from postage, most of it paid by mailing customers like us. No taxpayer dollars are used to fund the Postal Service. The real threat to the American taxpayer is allowing the Postal Service to price mailing out of the market, causing steep declines in mail volume that will further destabilize the Postal Service financially and lead to a taxpayer bailout. Postal reform is critical, but only if it accomplishes the goal of encouraging customers to use the Postal Service, which in turn will keep business costs reasonable and protect Wisconsin jobs,” the letter said as the committee prepared for a decision.

We ask that you join your fellow senator from Wisconsin and allow the Postal Service to right-size, innovate, reform health care costs and create a postal system which reflects the 21st century,” it concluded.
Baldwin's plan never got a chance. The committee chair offered a plan that advanced to the floor of the U.S. Senate and that severely limits the power of the Postal Regulatory Commission. Joel Quadracci, chief executive of the printing-industry giant QuadGraphics, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “It will result in reduced mail volumes and further acerbate the Postal Service's financial trouble.”
Well, that doesn't sound like Dumb Ron Johnson is solving the problems of big business either. In fact, Johnson complained about what he will ironically force the taxpayers to do someday:
Johnson's response to the industry letter suggested he hadn't changed his emphasis on the taxpayer. “The Postal Service is on a crash course. If it is not fixed, it will need a taxpayer-funded bailout.”
Pommer ends his piece with this:
There are many elements of the industry, including small, medium and large firms. It includes paper manufacturers, publishers, marketers, catalogers, magazines and newspapers. In Wisconsin, it means a lot of jobs.

What Scott Walker has really done for Wisconsin, and it ain't pretty!!!

Isn't it amazing how Scott Walker doesn't seem to be getting any heat over his failed jobs plan, lack of business creation and an ever growing one-size-fits-all top down big government takeover of everything? This is what he calls success? Yes.
It was this obvious when he was County Executive.

This is the same blase' attitude the media took that helped Walker get elected three times as Milwaukee County executive. They're about to become accomplices again when the stakes are even bigger.

Ironically, Walker and his GOP pirates are flush in tax revenues thanks to Obama's failed economic recovery plan and stimulus. It's nothing they've done.

Thankfully, a few articles are seeing the light of day, but still not enough to be any kind of clarion call to give this guy the boot. 

Today, we can take comfort with the following take down of Walker that may seem hyperbolic, but sadly isn't:
jsonline-JamesRowen: He will probably blame the weather for yet another dismal Wisconsin jobs report released Thursday - - as if it were warm and sunny in the other 49 states - - but leading the nation in new jobless claims counted by the federal government blows another hole in Scott Walker's failed record as a jobs creator … more new jobless claims in the week ending February 1st than big states like New York, Ohio and others: Change WI +5,041.
It’s also interesting to note, according to the labor department's data where Gov. Chris Christie is neck and neck with Walker: (1st Place) Wisconsin (+5,041), New York (+4,830), Pennsylvania (+2,448), (4th Place) New Jersey (+1,853), and Ohio (+1,780). Again, that's success?
Walker is now in the absurd position of embarking on campaigns for re-election and national stature with an ineffective, stumbling record of economic leadership, by the numbers.

He might be able to find … one month in a bygone quarter where Wisconsin incorporated more scout packs and ping-pong clubs than other states … but when Walker ran for Governor it was on jobs, jobs, jobs, of which there are fewer, fewer, fewer. More, here … Act 10's enforced austerity stalled the recovery here, that instituting business tax cuts and hiring credits while handing back to everyday Wisconsinites the surplus at the rate of a Happy Meal a week are worn-out bumper-sticker palliatives, that cutting state revenue to big cities where poor people live while raising taxes on low-income citizens - - PolitiFact gave Walker a "broken promise" for that - - only embed poverty - - as does Walker's opposition to raising the poverty-enforcing minimum wage … turning back federal billions set aside for Amtrak rail and train construction, and for health-care expansion, too, further starved home budgets, consumer spending and growth statewide.

The numbers don't lie. After three years of Walker, we're #1 in failed promises because inept leadership … confuses ideology with innovation. It's time for Walker to own the reality and consequences of his malaise…

Radio "Rightist" Vicki McKenna's legal opinion on "leftists...SHOOT THEM."

A license to shoot liberals? Yes.

Not recognizing the inherent and dangerous unintended consequences of the Stand Your Ground/Castle Laws, Vicki McKenna continues to fan the racially motivated open season on black teenagers. She knows her culpability in gun violence would be impossible to prove in court, so what's the harm to her.

With jaw dropping Tweets like the one below, and her Clear Channel enablers who've done nothing to protect their own public image, will McKenna continue to enjoy her bi-weekly paycheck drenched in the blood of others.
And would Clear Channel be able to defend themselves at license renewal time? According to FCC regulation:
Each radio and television licensee is required by law to operate its station in the “public interest, convenience and necessity.” This means that it must air programming that is responsive to the needs and problems of its local community of license … each station must provide the public with information about how it has met this obligation by means of quarterly reports, which contain a listing of the programming that it has aired that the licensee believes provided significant treatment of issues facing the community. 
So is shooting liberals responsive enough to deal with the problems they pose to local communities of license? 
Programming Inciting “Imminent Lawless Action.” The Supreme Court has held that the government may curtail speech if it is both: (1) intended to incite or produce “imminent lawless action;” and (2) likely to “incite or produce such action.” 
Anyone want to make a case that Clear Channel’s employment of Vicki McKenna violates FCC requirements?