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Saturday, March 22, 2014

Slipping closer to an Idiocracy, Illinois Republican Primary Winner Amazes.

Frequently I like to feature comments from the regressive right's candidates and/or lawmakers trying to convince us they should make all of the decisions for us. They wan to "lead."

Nothing more insane than this recent primary winner. And like you, I'm seeing a real world "Idiocracy" playing out before my eyes. It really is possible. People liked her...message?


According to the Daily Kos:
Craziest person in Illinois wins Republican primary: "I am a conservative Republican and I believe in God first," Illinois congressional candidate Susanne Atanus said. She said she believes God controls the weather and has put tornadoes and diseases such as autism and dementia on earth as punishment for gay rights and legalized abortions.

"God is angry. We are provoking him with abortions and same-sex marriage and civil unions," she said. "Same-sex activity is going to increase AIDS. If it's in our military it will weaken our military. We need to respect God."

Atanus just won her primary. Back when she was saying those things even other Republicans were calling on her to withdraw from the race. Meet the new official, not-kidding Republican challenger to Rep. Jan Schakowsky.  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Walker/GOP no tax pledge means Credit Card Government: "Biggest transportation borrowing ever." Send the bill to our kids.

The biggest flaw in the conservative ideological grab bag is their no tax pledge. The fact that taxes pay for public things is too complex for their little minds. They can't seem to get past mumbling something about "small government." 

So these right wing freeloaders have decided to borrow, with interest, the money needed for transportation spending. This avoids reforms due to more fuel efficient vehicles, like introducing a mileage tax in conjunction to the gas tax. Not only that, the revenue bonds are tied to vehicle registration, which means a big increase somewhere in our future. 

But boy, do we have a surplus or what!!!
jsonline: Wisconsin is set to issue as much as $393.6 million of revenue bonds today in its biggest transportation borrowing ever. The debt is backed by vehicle registration fees, according to bond documents. The transaction includes $270 million of securities to finance highway projects and $41 million to refund debt. Officials may also sell $82.7 million to refinance bonds maturing further out, putting the proceeds in escrow until the debt can be repaid …
The bottom line?
If the state issues the entire amount, it would be the largest transportation-revenue borrowing ever for Wisconsin, the state’s capital finance director Kevin Taylor said. Debt sold for transportation projects has earned 3.7 percent this year through March 18.

Keystone XL oil exports will only Raise the Price of Gas at the Pump

While it's not often mentioned, the Keystone XL Pipeline is all about exporting energy. It's also not mentioned ever how Midwest prices will increase when supplies are diverted away from our refiners. The price impact is small, but still....

So opposing the XL Pipeline for environmental and economic reasons makes sense. Add to it the following opinion poll about exporting oil to reduce gas prices at the pump. Even one refiner is finally being honest, claiming pump prices will go up if exports are allowed.  
jsonline: The number of Americans who believe U.S. oil should be kept on U.S. soil to lower gasoline prices rose in the last four months, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll. A majority of respondents polled in March — 71% — opposed oil exports if they raise the price of gasoline, up from 67% in November.

The price of U.S. gasoline is set in a global market because the United States already exports nearly 5% of the gasoline it produces … the price of gasoline hovered near $3.35 a gallon in February, despite the explosive growth in the nation's oil production.
The oil industry wants us to believe the following:
U.S. exports would add to global supplies and lower the price of international oil benchmark Brent, some analysts argue. That may in turn result in lower gasoline prices across America. Patrick Hughes, an analyst with Height Securities in Washington, D.C. (said)…"But we're not expecting dramatic reductions in price, it will be a low percentage change," he added.
Refiners Opposed: I’m going to side with the refiner’s argument below, which states producers don’t give a damn about lower gas prices at the pump:
However, independent refiners such as Valero Energy, the first refiner to publicly oppose easing the restrictions, say this argument is flawed. "The whole reason producers support unlimited exports is because they're seeking a higher price for their oil," said Bill Day, a Valero spokesman.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ryan fumbles, lies at Town Hall in response to question about recent attempt at Race Baiting.

How many more town halls will result in the following kind of confrontation between Paul Ryan and his fed up constituents about his recent attempt at race baiting? I've edited together 3 segments: Joy Reid's coverage on MSNBC, Luke Russert's more complete segment, and a clip where one constituent told Ryan he liked ObamaCare. Ryan then tried to sell him on taxpayer subsidies to insurers by paying for the sick, and leaving the profits to the insurers (transcript at bottom). 


Think Progress pretty much sums it up:
Black Constituent Confronts Paul Ryan Over ‘Inner City’ Remarks: RACINE: If you could pinpoint the moment when Paul Ryan lost control of his message on Wednesday, it was when he began explaining to an African American constituent why his recent comments about lazy “inner city” men actually had nothing to do with race.

“You said what you meant,” Alfonso Gardner, a 61-year-old African American man from Racine, told Ryan at a town hall meeting. “[Inner city is] a code word for black.”

Ryan remained defiant though. “There is nothing whatsoever about race in my comments at all,” he said. He admonished Gardner for drawing a connection between his “inner city” remarks and race. “I think when we throw these charges around, it should be based on something.”

ThinkProgress spoke with Gardner after the town hall to get his reaction. He said Ryan’s trying to have it both ways, saying different things to different people. “He’s out here shucking and jiving,” Gardner said. “He’s been in Congress eight terms and just now talking about poverty?”

Gardner isn’t the only constituent taking offense. ThinkProgress interviewed a number of Racine residents this week about Ryan’s statement. They were not amused with their congressman’s words.
In the video, Ryan told Gardner to read the next paragraph, which suggested some clarification. But PolitiFact offered up the entire transcript, in context, and nothing Ryan said changed his race baiting comments. Here's what Ryan said after his remarks:
Ryan: And produce. To just be -- I mean, achievement and accomplishment are so self-rewarding, it’s earned success, and that’s how people flourish when they feel the pride of succeeding and achieving a goal and they teach and pass those lessons on to their kids or to the kids they’re mentoring. And that is really what helps revitalize society and helps human flourishing, it helps people reach their potential. That’s the American idea. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote beautifully about this. We’re losing it in so many areas and we’ve got to get it back and each and every one of us has a role to play in that. (There’s a little banter between Bennett and Ryan.)

Ryan: What I find is the status quo is, right now, a poverty management system -- in many ways, to the benefit of the managers. And so when you question the status quo of the government’s poverty -- this war on poverty -- you get all the criticisms from the adherents of the status quo who just don’t want to see anything change. We’ve got to have the courage to face that down, just like we did in welfare reform in the late 1990s. And if we succeed, we can help resuscitate this culture and get people back to work and get people back to meeting their potential and so many things can get fixed and healed in our communities and in our economy, as well.
Here's the transcript of the somewhat muddy audio of the satisfied ObamaCare constituent, and Ryan's taxpayer bailout to insurers, otherwise known as "risk pools:"
MARTINCIC: What Obama did was get this law passed. Whether it’s good, bad, or not, it got passed. It’s actually helping some people grow, helped this other guy [with] medication. The Republicans….By myself…I could actually…get some kind of subsidy, which would help me…

RYAN: With the ACA, one thing I want to say is we didn’t have 51 votes to repeal it altogether 51 times. I think that’s sort of like this urban legend that we said, ‘let’s repeal it.’ It’s like we did a repeal vote on the whole law. There are many pieces of this law that we’ve gone after—several of them that were made into law, so please know—I think even Democrats would acknowledge that there are a lot of problems with this law. And so we passed a lot of things changing this law—several of which were made into law—but I really do believe there’s a better way to do it than with this health care law.My argument is that I think there are better ways at dealing with these extremely important and legitimate problems, like people with preexisting conditions—this is why I’m a big fan of risk pools. We had the [??] system in Wisconsin—it worked well, and then it had the federal government attached to it, so it was even more affordable for people with preexisting conditions. That was one of our proposals. So I do think that there are better ways of fixing this problem—affordable coverage for everybody, including people with preexisting conditions that’s a lot better than [this law]. It’s going to hurt our hospitals, it’s going to hurt Medicare, it’s going to make people buy things they don’t want to buy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Walker's Wisconsin Roaring into 9th Place out of 10 Midwestern States in Private Sector Jobs Growth.

It’s a day for graphics and still more bad news on the Scott Walker jobs front.

The right doesn’t mind the horrific jobs creation record of Scott Walker. They also feel that if we in the media report the lack of job creation we’re somehow glad it’s so bad. Whatever.


Here’s what we already knew would happen from previous Republicans attempts at deregulation, corporate tax cuts and tort reform. We’re just not giving it enough time, right?  Cap Times' Mike Ivey:
Wisconsin still lags the rest of the Midwest in job growth over the past three years. Wisconsin stands ninth out of 10 Midwestern states in private sector job growth since Gov. Scott Walker took office in January, 2011, according to the most recent Current Employment Statistics (CES) from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Wisconsin gained 28,351 private-sector jobs in the 12 months from September 2012 through September 2013, a 1.2% increase that ranks the state 35th among the 50 states in the pace of job creation … an essentially unchanged pace of hiring … In the latest count, Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it has since June 2011. The nation created private-sector jobs at a rate of 2.0% in the latest 12-month period through September, nearly double Wisconsin's 1.2% rate, the data show.

Still, the latest estimates from the BLS show Wisconsin added just 104,100 private sector jobs since Walker took office in January, 2011. That works out to a 4.4 percent increase in the number of jobs, 32nd among all states over the three-year period.

Outgoing State Sen. Dale Schultz sets the record straight on GOP Voter suppression laws.

While the Democratic Party has been sounding the voter suppression alarm for the longest time, people still tend to believe the one or two Republicans who've said the same exact thing. Such is the case with outgoing Republican Sen. Dale Schultz. 

On 92.1 FM The Mic, Devil's Advocates hosts Mike Crute and Dominic Salvia asked Schultz about this next round of voter suppression laws. Schultz does not hold back in this shortened audio:

Schultz: “I am not willing to defend them anymore … I’m just not and I’m embarrassed by this. It’s all predicated on some belief there is a massive fraud or irregularities, something my colleagues have been hot on the trail for three years and have failed miserably at demonstrating … It’s just sad when a political party has so lost faith in its ideas that it’s pouring all of its energy into election mechanics. We should be pitching as political parties our ideas for improving things in the future rather than mucking around in the mechanics and making it more confrontational at the voting sites and trying to suppress the vote.”
Al Sharpton's producer thought this was a big enough story to feature on the show:



More coverage on The Last Word, with John Nichols:



Ryan's "Party of Proposition."

Paul Ryan's moment of honesty:
Paul Ryan told a downtown Minneapolis audience Monday ... (that) in 2014, Republicans must transition from being the "party of opposition" to "a party of proposition."
Are we being propositioned by Republicans? Wow, they really do want to screw us.

Undecided Republicans on Oral Chemo Drug should be Tossed from Office for Partisan Incompetence.

While I sat and listened to an entire hour of talk radio dealing with the Republican opposition, support, than opposition to the oral chemotherapy bill, I noticed that never once did the Democrats get credit for its unwavering support. That just goes without saying…literally.

And so goes the GOP control over the narrative of these supposed controversial issues.

When something as easy as saving the lives of cancer patients gets all screwed up, imagine if we had a real problem to solve. And that’s the big picture so many are missing here.

Forcing these rabid party purists to do the right thing may need a bit of public shaming, like the Journal Sentinel’s attempt below:
Many Assembly Republicans simply won't say where they stand on a bill to require insurers to cover chemotherapy pills they same way they cover chemotherapy IV treatments. 

The Journal Sentinel sent emails and called all 99 members of the Assembly on Monday and Tuesday. All 39 Democrats said they supported it. Half the 60 Republicans have declined to say what they think of the bill or said they were undecided … here's a sampling of those who wouldn't say if they were for or against the bill. 
Rep. Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin): "I really don't have an opinion."

Rep. Daniel LeMahieu (R-Cascade): "I'm not saying anything about oral chemo."

Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Saukville): "We're still working that out."

Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green): "We'll talk about it Thursday."

Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield): "I'm still discerning it."

Rep. Mary Williams (R-Medford): "Uh, I'm not going to talk to you."

Rep. Tyler August (R-Lake Geneva): "I have to take a look at it."

Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander): "I'm going to wait for caucus on Thursday."

While the Republicans listed above aren't smart enough to know right from wrong, and should be tossed from office before they do more harm, they also might be stuffing their coffers with campaign contributions from the insurance industry while they can.

Another “free market” big government gift…to those poor victimized Shooting Ranges.

Shooting ranges need protection, not the general public? 

It’s so hard to survive in the “free market” without Republican style big government protection. I have to admit, this is the first time I've run across this legislative sop to gun losers everywhere.

The following legislation is another angry over-the-top GOP response to…believe it not, a pregnant woman getting shot outside of a restaurant in Delafield by an errant bullet from a nearby gun range:
Existing shooting ranges would be grandfathered in place and be free from new local ordinances as well as certain lawsuits, under legislation passed by the Assembly Tuesday. The proposal now goes to Gov. Scott Walker.
Just another law restricting the rights of local citizens. And unlike a real free market situation where no one is protected artificially from responsibility, Republicans continue their fantasy that consumers have an unfair advantage over businesses. This is so ridiculously sick:
The bill also makes the owners, board and employees of shooting ranges immune from lawsuits based on the negligence of a shooter at the range.

The legislation results from a case in Delafield in which a pregnant woman dining outside at a restaurant a quarter mile from the Hartland Sportsmen's Club was struck by a pistol round. The bullet created a bruise on her abdomen and scratched her, drawing some blood. She was treated at a local hospital; doctors said her baby was fine.
How do they sleep at night...I don't really know.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My God!!! She's Back, Waukesha's walking Disaster Kathy Nicholaus to oversee their upcoming Election Again!

Nothings ever too bizarre or completely irresponsible for conservative stronghold Waukesha. Is there no penalty for screwing up past elections? 

Remember this:
WISN: Former Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus drew statewide criticism for failing to include votes from Brookfield in a 2011 supreme court race that resulted in a recount.
Well, she was asked back by one crazy SOB, Republican Waukesha Supervisor Joe Banske:
Kathy Nickolaus has found herself in a new position as clerk-treasurer for the city … she is in charge of another election.
According to Banske:
"There is no question in my mind that Kathy has the skill set needed to execute a flawless election here in the town of Waukesha.”
And get this, Nicholaus will have an up close chance to watch the results of her own race for County Board. For someone in a party that hates government so much, she sure loves the benefits doled out to her by taxpayers:
The clerk-treasurer position is interim and ends May 1. Meanwhile, Nickolaus is also running for Waukesha County Board of Supervisor in the 2nd District. She will find out if she wins that seat April 1.
From WISN TV:

Sinking to new depths, Wisconsin Republicans own the most pathetic story of the month.

Did this really happen over something so easy? A real no-brainer...
And then came this final insult from the assembly's top sociopath, Rep. Robin Vos, who's comment below is enough to warrant either a beer poured over his head at every possible opportunity, or whatever would be an appropriate response. WISC:
Vos: "So we can continue the debate, which is all about theater and politics, or we can continue on with today's calender."

Rep. Amy Vruwink: "When I buried my brother less than six months ago, it was not theater. And let me tell you politics was the furthest thing from my families mind. And it should be the furthest thing from your mind today in order to have backbone and stand up and do what is right for people who are dying."

Wisconsin Assembly Democrats failed in their attempt to pull an oral chemotherapy bill onto the floor for a vote Tuesday afternoon, following hours of debate.

Paul Krugman on Paul Ryan: "An expert at sounding as if he knows what he's talking about...It's comical in way."

Finally, someone else is saying what I've been saying for some time now; Ryan is not a wonk, but an articulate partisan Ayn Randian knucklehead.

Paul Krugman said it best in the following Ryan take down:
There are many negative things you can say about Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee and the G.O.P.’s de facto intellectual leader. But you have to admit that he’s a very articulate guy, an expert at sounding as if he knows what he’s talking about.  

So it’s comical, in a way, to see Mr. Ryan trying to explain away some recent remarks in which he attributed persistent poverty to a “culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working.” He was, he says, simply being “inarticulate.” How could anyone suggest that it was a racial dog-whistle? Why, he even cited the work of serious scholars — people like Charles Murray, most famous for arguing that blacks are genetically inferior to whites. Oh, wait. Just to be clear, there’s no evidence that Mr. Ryan is personally a racist … He said what he said because that’s the kind of thing conservatives say to each other all the time. And why do they say such things? Because American conservatism is still, after all these years, largely driven by claims that liberals are taking away your hard-earned money and giving it to Those People. Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.

And since conservatives can’t bring themselves to acknowledge the reality of what’s happening to opportunity in America, they’re left with nothing but that old-time dog whistle. Mr. Ryan wasn’t being inarticulate — he said what he said because it’s all that he’s got.

Thanks to Tea Party Republicans, Everyday is a sequel to Idiocracy!

Every time I come across another tea party candidates plans for America, I flash back to the movie "Idiocracy."

Just imagine the chaos and rampant looting resulting from the following dumbed down political agenda of California teabilly Tim Donnelly:
Reuters: California Republicans wrapped up their annual state convention on Sunday with a roar of approval for a charismatic Tea Party-backed candidate seeking to unseat Governor Jerry Brown … Tim Donnelly, a Southern California state assemblyman … a leader for the anti-illegal immigration Minutemen Project, warned of government tyranny and criticized recent efforts in the state to allow transgender children to use school restrooms in accordance with their gender identities. "I want my state back." He blamed government regulation for driving customers away from a plastics business that he founded. "I want my freedom back."

"We ought to frack our way to prosperity and drill our way to prosperity, rather than sitting on an ocean of oil and importing it from our enemies," he said to wild applause.

On his first day in office, Donnelly said, he would declare a moratorium on all laws that would restrict freedom, businesses or the constitutional rights of Californians.
Keep in mind now, Donnelly is being at his most “inclusive” at this point, “more welcoming"than ever:
Assemblyman Brian Jones, a San Diego-area Republican said that the sometimes provocative candidate has taken to heart pleas from senior party leaders and the business community to make his message more inclusive. "He's saying the same things, but in a more welcoming manner," Jones said. "He's grown and is paying attention and being responsive to feedback."

Republicans shaft Rural School district funding!!! Still expect to get their vote for reelection in November?

The Dog and Pony Show: The predictable results of the GOP legislative "task force" report on rural school districts convince everyone they were never really serious about solving rural district funding and teacher retention problems.

With Walker's property tax cap in place, and rural cheapskates voting down school funding referendums, the Republican Legislature is faced with an actual problem they can't solve. They've got party purity to uphold: No tax increases; defunding public schools; and ignoring Democratic State Superintendent Tony Evers funding reform plan.  

Why Republicans Can't Govern: Did rural conservatives think their anti-government party would make things better for public schools in their district? Crazy huh? It may sound partisan, but the GOP isn't designed to do anything but dismantle things.

It now looks like local school district officials have had it:  
jsonline: Even before a legislative task force issues its report on the needs of rural school districts, superintendents are saying the recommendations won't go far enough to address problems with funding and retaining talented teachers.

The task force report ... focuses mostly on non-fiscal issues ... Rep. Rob Swearingen (R-Rhinelander) said the report could address maintaining or increasing state aid for transportation costs, greater access to broadband connectivity and creating an incentive for better teacher retention, such as loan forgiveness.

Mark Gruen, superintendent of the Royall School District in Elroy, said "My challenge to (Gov. Scott Walker) and the task force is to develop an equal pay scale across the school districts and the state. We get good people to come in ... and then they leave us. All small districts become training grounds for larger, better-paying districts."

'Reverse capitalism:' Gruen called the current system "reverse capitalism" ... "We're asking graduates to come to a rural community where they're not familiar with and we're offering you less money to go to the spot that you wouldn't choose anyway ... We need one pay scale."
But flexibility isn't in the Republican quiver either, so it's time to kick the can down the road: 
Swearingen says this is just the beginning ... said "all eyes point to the 2015 legislative cycle" for more substantive changes to funding issues in rural schools.
But Sweringen's excuses are pathetic, like blaming local officials for maybe not making the best spending decisions:
Their first task, he said, was to make sure they were using their current funds correctly. "...and largely we found that to be true. I'm in high hopes that we can get something positive for these schools come the next legislative cycle."
No ones buying it:
Bruce Quinton, administrator of Pepin Area Schools, says something positive must include a change in school funding calculations or mandate exemptions for schools in rural areas. He says underfunded mandates are "choking out" his school district.
"It's interesting that (lawmakers) want to get involved in the curriculum or the specifics in running the district, but there seems to be no interest or momentum in funding schools adequately," he said. "My point is not to tear down the mandates or the initiatives; they are good concepts. But they're designed for struggling urban school districts, and inhibit our abilities as small school to meet problems. We are desperate for funding out here."
Don't hold your breath. Now tell me how spending was just a union con game.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Republican Voter Suppression efforts to change Early Voting, hurts Waukesha County Republican Voters, and more...

It’s true, Republican voters go to the polls just like Democratic voters. And when Republican legislators make it harder to vote, it affects everyone…including Republicans.

On Upfront with Mike Gousha, Glenn Grothman blames Milwaukee as the most abusive county when it comes to the early voting law, with long hours and weekends. He was way off, which is explained below:



So who was the bigger abuser, and loser with Grothman's bill? Republican stronghold Waukesha County!!! Doh!
jsonline: Milwaukee and Dane counties, which consistently vote Democratic, accounted for more than a quarter of all early in-person votes cast that year, according to Government Accountability Board data.

But as a percentage of total ballots cast, no county topped Waukesha County, a bastion of Republican support, where 28.1 percent of voters cast ballots in person before Election Day. Other conservative counties also went for early voting in a big way.

Overall, 16.7 percent of state voters cast ballots early. Despite the popularity, or perhaps because of it, Republican lawmakers are scaling back early voting for the second time in as many sessions.

To Avoid Government Mandate costing Insurers Money, Republican Sen. Paul Farrow uses Taxpayer Cash instead to Pay for Oral Chemo Drug. Problem Solved?

I didn't think this story could get more brutal or weirder...but it has.

The quest for purity within the Republican Party is starting to get expensive, ridiculous and downright bizarre lately at the Capitol.

Sen. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) is such a strong believer in the free market, devoid of government mandates, that he put together a grant program paid for by taxpayers that takes insurers off the hook. Can you say corporate welfare? Hey, insurers are in the business to make money, not pay for all those sick people.

This amazingly complicated bureaucratic way to steer clear of creating another "government mandate" not only takes insurers off the hook, but also runs counter to most conservative voters who detest paying for someone else's doctors bills. Guess that's not a hard and fast rule anymore...
Sen. Farrow said that grant would be paid for with $3 million from the state's general fund. "The last thing we want to do is say no, without having an alternative and I think that's what this amendment is," said Sen. Farrow.  
From WKOW's Greg Neumann, this surreal example of corporate entitlement:



Despite the fact that other states have mandated the oral chemotherapy drug with no rise in insurance premiums, Farrow is asking for a "study" to diffuse any possible blowback:
Along with the grant, Sen. Farrow's amendment would also require the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to conduct a one-year study to determine why the cost of oral chemotherapy drugs are so much higher than traditional IV treatments.

Sen. Farrow said he hasn't presented his plan to Sen. Fitzgerald yet and admits an amendment to add $3 million in spending may not sit well with some in the GOP caucus.

Walker belly flops in Sesame Street Healthy Eating PSA.

I have a confession; I've always wanted to host a kids show with lots of talking puppets to make fun of. My best friend Gordy Young did just that for Fox 47, and I'm still jealous.

But there's one thing that's a given when working with puppets, no one can upstage you with better acting. Maybe better lines, but hey, there faces are frozen with fake fur, stuffing and usually a hand that just moves the mouth.

Scott Walker found a way to do the impossible; get outperformed by two Sesame Street second string puppets. Not only does he hesitate uncomfortably in his first line, he even sounds condescending...to a puppet.
In two 40-second PSA spots, Walker in a Badger red hoodie yuks it up with Sesame Street characters Abby Cadabby and Rosita.
With his eyes glued on the teleprompter for his next short line...here's Walker:



The other PSA is much better, but still has an uncomfortable moment where Walker looks less human than the two puppets. Will Mary Burke get equal puppet time, after all, this is an election year?

Kelly Rindfleisch, Another conservative victim of their own wrong doing.

She may be guilty of campaign work on a separate wireless network and email account, but Kelly Rindfleisch’s sister is blaming the legal system that caught her. And what a list of excuses and blame that never faults Kelly Rindfleisch. 

It’s true, Republicans don’t commit crimes, they’re just misunderstood.

Rindfleisch's sister says Kelly can't find a job now. Hey, maybe she's a freeloader and just not trying, at least that's what I hear. She can join the long term unemployed and tell us what it's like, maybe even learn a lesson or two.

This is soooooo typically conservative. jsonline-Dan Bice:
The sister of Kelly Rindfleisch, the former deputy chief of staff for Scott Walker, has launched an attack on Milwaukee County prosecutors, accusing them of ruining Rindfleisch's life with their John Doe investigation. In a letter to the editor of the Baraboo News Republic, Anne Hollinsed said her sister can't get a job because of the probe. Sources have said Rindfleisch is now the subject of a second investigation.
It’s everybody else’s fault, don’t cha know:
"Kelly’s life has been ruined by the hatred of Scott Walker in this state," Hollinsed wrote in the Friday letter. "She can’t find employment because of the overreaching single felony conviction she received by a Democratic judge. The overreach in this case is alarming and downright scary when a government worker can be convicted of something so miniscule to satisfy the agenda of those who've made political warfare their top priority." 

Hollinsed said … the initial investigation into some missing funds …"the Democratic Milwaukee County District Attorney, John Chisholm had his foot in the door and gleefully expanded his investigation, seizing the office computers, home computers and cell phones of Walker’s office staff."
Gleefully expanded the investigation? I' getting a real kick out of this stuff. Thankfully, Hollinsed wasn't done:
Hollinsed said her sister spent only six minutes a day on campaign activities … The secret email system in Walker's county office was intended to allow staffers to handle those campaign-related emails. 

Hollinsed lashed out at Milwaukee County Circuit Judge David Hansher, who sentenced Rindfleisch, and the TV and print media, accusing them of favoring Democrats.

Her criticism for the district attorney and his staff … "If they couldn’t get Walker himself, his Deputy Chief of Staff would have to do."

Republicans will never believe the Capitol Arrests were "unconstitutional."

The state constitution is very clear about protesting the government. We also know the state Capitol was specifically designed to accommodate public protests. Put the two together and it becomes even clearer that the arrests at the Capitol were simply meant to intimidate Wisconsinites from publically bringing attention to Walker's failures, and to protect his carefully manufactured image as a successful "leader."

And Capitol protesters continue to get their citations dismissed, all the while the DOA is cooking up new ways to boot protesters.

In fact, one judge was surprised the state flip flopped on their reasons for the arrests:
As nearly 400 citations issued to people for singing in the Capitol rotunda last summer without a permit make their way through the Dane County courts, Judge Frank Remington dismissed all such cases in his court March 10, finding the administrative rules for which they were cited unconstitutional.
“Surprisingly the assistant attorneys general argued that every person charged was unique and their circumstances could not be characterized as similar. They claimed that because the cases were unique Judge Remington should not adopt or follow Judge Markson's ruling. However, earlier they had made a contradictory claim that the singers all acted as a unified group of more than 20 people, who collectively sang songs criticizing the government inside the capital building,” explained Sparer. “The judge did not accept the State’s new argument, and ruled that the law and facts were so similar that Judge Markson's ruling had settled the matter and that the State was precluded from rearguing the points before each and every judge.
What was the cost to taxpayers for this crackdown that many conservatives still believe was justified?
None of the citations issued to people for singing in the Capitol from 2012 and 2013 has yet resulted in a successful prosecution by the Dept. Of Justice, and Judge Peter Anderson ordered the DOJ to prepare a cost benefit analysis of the hundreds of prosecutions by April 1.
But none of this ever gets the GOP in trouble.

Walker and the Republican majority are gliding into the midterms feeding off the revenues created by the nations slowly recovering economy, and not from anything they've done. That's the irony of the upcoming elections. Thanks to Obama and the short lived Democratic majority, Republicans are seeing state surpluses they're now using to make their case for reelection.

No matter what the GOP does, from their god awful racist, sexist and bigoted statements to proposals that would deregulate again, voters are apparently so intrigued by their confidence that they just might be put back in charge.  

Beer on the Go....

I thought these two forms of beer mobility would make our summers just a little more pleasant.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to Raise Insurance premiums, drop 13 million from health care coverage!!!

The title says it all, and these are our “fiscally conservative” geniuses? Ideological purity before saving money or lives. Roll Call:
DELAY OF INDIVIDUAL MANDATE: The House on Friday passed a Republican bill (HR 4015) to delay the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual mandate for five years and use $138 billion of the resulting savings to pay doctors for their treatment of Medicare patients. The bill’s delay of the individual mandate would cause 13 million Americans to lose their health insurance and raise premiums by 10 to 20 percent for those receiving coverage in ACA exchanges, according to the Congressional Budget Office. A yes vote was to reform Medicare-reimbursement policies while gutting the 2010 health law.
Voting yes: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble


They're just looking out for your money...

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to erase Separation of Powers, Control the Presidency. Is that Small government?

Republicans haven’t been shy about telling us how much they hate it when people protest their kind of government. Or how much they hate the “left.” Their goal is to seek out leaders with the courage to do what would be publically unpopular.

And while Republicans were silent...even okay with President George Bush and Dick Cheney creating an all-powerful “unitary executive” president, they now want to erase the line that separates the legislative branch from the executive so they can control it. You know, just in case another black or female candidate gets in.

As unconstitutional as it may seem, it’s the GOP intentions that reveals the true party within.
Wisconsin's Republican congressmen saw nothing wrong with casting their vote to sue the president if they didn't like what he/she was doing. This is mind-boggling. According to Roll Call:
SEPARATION-OF-POWERS DISPUTE: The House on Wednesday passed a Republican bill (HR 4138) empowering one chamber of Congress to file civil actions compelling the executive branch to “faithfully execute” the law. The bill would codify a Republican narrative that several of President Obama’s executive orders and administrative actions have gone beyond what Congress authorized. Democrats counter that all presidents use discretion to implement complex laws. This bill would require congressional suits to be heard by a three-judge panel in federal court, with expedited appeals to the Supreme Court.
This amazing overreach got a big yes vote from Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy, Reid Ribble.

Incidental Governor Scott Walker's Cowardly Silence on controversial opposition and inaction of Oral Chemo Drug Mandate.

Walker's frighteningly memorized robotic pat answers don't always fit the situation, like his jaw dropping answer "I'm focused on worker training..." when asked about making sure cancer patients have mandated access to oral chemo drugs. Really, something is more important than that?

This is beyond words:  
Gov. Scott Walker has heard more about the chemotherapy proposal in recent days but is focused on his "worker training bill and his Blueprint for Prosperity" — the governor's $541 million tax cut bill, spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster said. He will consider the chemotherapy measure "when and if" it reaches his desk, she said.
It was revealed the senate and assembly leaders are shelving action on the drug because, as a party, they oppose "mandates" more than they care about saving lives.

This from the same "party of rationing" that wouldn't mandate a lifesaving $4 newborn heart test for god's sake. NO MANDATES!!!

Sick!!! Republicans Deny Oral Chemo Therapy because they don't believe in "Mandates."

The Republicans casual disregard for people needing oral chemo therapy has now reached a grotesque level of cruelty. Republicans refuse to mandate it for purely ideological reasons, ignoring the relief of pain and the lack of side effects using the oral drug.

Again, they don’t believe in mandates. That’s the actual reason.
jsonline: More than two-thirds of GOP senators and four-fifths of the state Senate now publicly support a bipartisan bill to help cancer patients get critical treatments, but the measure is still being blocked by the head of that house. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) said … it (is) not because his brother is lobbying on behalf of influential insurers to kill the bill … at least 13 of the 18 Republicans in the state Senate and all 15 Democrats have taken a public stance in support of the legislation.
The Horror of Mandates, the need for Rationing:
Two conservative GOP senators have come out vocally against the bill, Paul Farrow of the Village of Pewaukee and Leah Vukmir of Wauwatosa. "I have a consistent record of opposing insurance mandates," Vukmir said in a statement.

Farrow expressed similar concerns. "It's a mandate," he said. "If we're going to say we're going to mandate this one area, what's the next area we're going to mandate?"

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) opposes the bill … Vos said "In the past, I have not voted for any mandates that would increase the cost of insurance plans in the private sector that's already too expensive.
Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch needed oral chemo therapy once, paid for through hubby Rep. Joel Kleefisch’s taxpayer provided insurance. Rebecca now believes the free market should decide. Excuse me, but isn't it the free market that’s denying patients normal coverage now, requiring the state to step in?

On WKOW's Capitol City Sunday, Greg Neumann talked to Paul Westrick, a cancer survivor who has lobbied the legislature to favor the bill on behalf of the Wisconsin chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society:

Sad Walker Reelection Campaign based on Lies and half truths about Mary Burke.

The campaign to reelect Scott Walker, as bad as his record is right now, is down to negatively defining Mary Burke. Who can forget how she caused the Great Recession? They've got nothing else, except voter suppression.

This is no insignificant "FALSE" from PolitiFact. This is one of the biggest Scott Walker, Republican Governors Association and WISGOP talking points out there right now.

And they're all wrong.













Here are the other misstatements and outright lies used to distort who Mary Burke really is:

Republicans don’t understand why densely populated areas need more time to give more people a chance to vote...or they're faking it.

For whatever reason, the Journal Sentinel finds value in the ramblings of simpleton conservative columnist Christian Schneider, whose clich├ęd observations are supposed to represent an actual viewpoint of our current political environment. Yawn.

Perhaps Schneider’s color-by-number talking points make it so much easier for conservative readers to get the picture.

Thanks to Schneider’s cheap shot column, “Democrats are their own priority,” we can see how quickly Republicans have exploited the lazy media’s pass on the dumb one-size-fits-all early voting limits statewide. It doesn't make any sense. Never mind that Republicans hate one-size-fits-all regulations and are always whining about needing more local control.
“…last week's hysterical eruption by Wisconsin Senate Democrats shows us that they are willing to spend their limited capital on the only thing that matters to them: getting Democrats in power."
This one point kills me. I bet you didn't know Democrats are not supposed to campaign, accept funding, or push their populist agenda during the election season.  
   
Faked Cluelessness: To sell the false premise that early voting hours must be the same everywhere in the state, Republican have to come across like they don’t understand why densely populated areas need more time to give more people a chance to vote. Even conservative newspaper editorial boards are screaming bloody murder over this transparent attempt at Democratic voter suppression in Milwaukee and Madison.

Schneider must be stupid…
On Tuesday, the state Senate took up … a bill that would set uniform hours for polling places during early voting periods; generally, communities such as Milwaukee and Madison that have more government resources are able to keep their clerks' offices open on weekends, giving their voters more of a chance to vote than in rural areas. The GOP argued that this gave heavily Democratic areas an unfair advantage and that uniformity in polling hours would eliminate the distortion this causes. This sent Senate Democrats into an absurd tantrum.
Giving more people more time to vote is a “distortion?”  

Cheap rural Communities: Let’s face it, if rural communities thought voting was important, they would find a way to pay for it. Forgotten by Schneider was the opposition by those closest to this “problem,” the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Associations:
Diane Hermann-Brown, president of the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association, wondered about the practical effect of having her staff turn away absentee ballots while accepting dog licenses and handling other duties … (or) what would clerks do if absentee voters are still in line at 5 p.m. Sun Prairie had an hour and a half wait among absentee voters at 5 p.m. on the Friday before the November election. The bigger the city, the longer the travel time to get to the city clerk's office."
Richard Stadelman, executive director of the Wisconsin Towns Association said the proposal could be even more vexing for clerks in small towns, who often work part-time and at the convenience of local residents. He said his group opposes the bill as written.
Schneider doesn't get complexity or the overwhelming opposition to a statewide standard. Instead he's projecting that it’s all about getting elected, and it offers him another chance to take a few cheap shots, like:
The last time the state saw such a cavalcade of buffoonery was during the Capitol protests of 2011 … the Senate Democrats' most ridiculous procedural act last week was trying to pull a bill to the floor that would change the way Wisconsin redraws legislative districts.
It’s just a glimpse at what Republican control looks like; jaw dropping disrespect for a citizen’s right to protest their government, which they don't take seriously, and reform for what has become an extreme act of secret partisan redistricting. Authoritarian much?