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Saturday, May 17, 2014

Idaho Governor Candidate Harley Brown in Media spotlight. Tea Party Gold....

Sorry about the obsession I have with Idaho Governor candidates Harley Brown and Walt Bayes, it really does hit my funny bone every time I see them talk. This is the real right wing, and growing.

Sadly, the Twitter trolls can't point to anyone on the left that even come close to these guys. Add to that the Cliven Bundy's of the world, and you've got the equivalent of a circus clown car of GOP politicians. And more just keep popping out.

Here's Harley Brown's appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews, who I sense backed off out of sympathy:



In two parts, everything from Harley Brown and Walt Bayes. One thing: the debate hosts reactions are classic. Watch out Saturday Night Live:



Part 2...if you can stand it:


Walker's DOT Funding Disaster affecting Cities Roadways Across the state. Go Tax Cuts....

Scott Walker's plan includes ratcheting down taxes to the point where everything will suffer from deferred maintenance. Want to fix a road, cut school funding. Or do what other communities are doing, going back to dirt and gravel roads. 

The Republicans freeloaders in this state are fine wearing out the legacy projects from generations past. It was owed to them I guess. From WISC Channel3000:


The League of Wisconsin Municipalities estimates local governments will spend $12 million beyond their budgets on road repairs this year. Beloit alone is estimating they'll need a couple hundred grand to cover unexpected costs.

If that total statewide tops $18 million, they can ask for FEMA disaster funds. Until then they're asking the state for help.

"Because we have a levy limit that does not allow for us to pay for this or raise taxes the only way you can pay for this in a city like ours is to take it out of something else so some other service is not handled," said John Dickert, mayor of Racine and president of the Urban Alliance.

Idaho Governor Otter reveals shocker: ACORN and Planned Parenthood Navigating ObamaCare in other states.

The Idaho debate also included this gem about the Affordable Care Act from someone who should know better, Gov. Butch Otter:
"These folks...who didn't establish their exchange, they now have ACORN, Planned Parenthood, and other subsets of ACORN actually doing the navigating." 
Are these people caught in a time warp or are they just plain stupid?

Praise the Job Creators? So this is the free market...are we picking winners and losers, Scott Walker?

Ah yes, the job creators.

Oh sure they're tough on the unemployed, but Republicans don’t mind rewarding the corporate welfare class for never paying enough to attract workers or plan ahead.

I never understood why companies didn't maintain apprenticeship programs for their own damn good. 
Or why they didn't raise wages to attract more workers, or for that matter, interest more people in their line of business.

But because they didn't, it’s now up to taxpayers to foot the bill:
WSJ: The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will award grants totaling $1.5 million to help 37 employers in 15 counties train about 2,200 manufacturing workers for new jobs or better pay.
Don’t ever tell me that these guys are the “job creators” again. 

This tweet responded with a false premise: That I would agree to shutting down tech schools. Both tech schools and private apprenticeship programs can work simultaneously.

This all or nothing mindset by the ultra corporate welfare right is showing its true colors. 

The Charter School Double Standard: Feel Sorry for the Privateers.

As I read the following piece in the Journal Sentinel about a struggling charter school trying to turn things around, I couldn't help but think how outrageous this would have been if this were about a public school.

With taxpayer funded turnaround money, and kids stuck in a failing charter school, its assumed the readers should be pulling for the little guy...the charter. It should be anything but that. I’m not against this charter’s efforts, or their staff, but what I am against is all this time, money and effort going into a private school. Instead we could be spending money and effort on a similar public school. Oh, but we're against them.

Here’s a small sample of the article that tugs at your heart strings…but shouldn't:
jsonline: Student scores didn't look at all good under the new standards. And DLH Academy was informed that it was among the lowest 5% of schools in Wisconsin, earning the label of being a "priority" school … (it) needed to pursue fresh ways to get better or face likely closing.

The school responded with a surge of efforts to improve. It was awarded a $1.7 million federally funded School Improvement Grant (stimulus).
Here’s where the privatized…gets even more privatized:
Obligated to pick one of several strategies for change, it went with the one that required bringing in an outside partner to help turn things around … a consulting firm, Voyager Sopris Learning, a Dallas-based arm of a company called Cambium Learning.
Public schools could never get away with these excuses:
If you're looking for dramatic improvements in student achievement, you'll have to be patient. 260 students currently … The outcomes of the SIG initiative nationwide have been mixed so far. Lessons have been learned: It's not easy to turn around a faltering school. A second big lesson: A well-run school is better than a not-well-run school. Is DLH better now than a year ago? Improvement hasn't shown up yet in overall results at DLH. In state tests given last fall, only 13% of the school's students were rated proficient or advanced in reading. In math, it was 12%. Lois Fletcher, principal of DLH, said the school is like a construction site where a lot of work is underway…
Yet the following summation would never hold up for public schools:
I thought it was like a lot of schools I visit – a place with hard working, well intended educators where things just weren't quite coming together for good results. I hope sharpening and focusing the school's program and carrying it out in a high-quality way will pay off. There are encouraging signs. But it's going to be a long haul. It's one thing to have school improvement grants. It's another for schools to improve.

Media Crushes Mary Burke, adopts GOP Act 10 Double Standard!!!

Let me get this right: Mary Burke cannot vote to support union negotiations, repealing collective bargaining rights, and cannot appeal to her base without destroying her political career.

Have I got that right?

But it is perfectly alright for a man like Scott Walker to not just support Act 10, but fight for voter ID, and be receptive to right-to-work legislation that would definitely appeal to his tea party base? No big media deal there.

This total collapse of the media and its in-the-tank approach to the Republican Party agenda is stunning, and explains why so many misstatements by Scott Walker have gone uncorrected. So much for an informed public. Heck, let PolitiFact do the hard investigative work, whenever they get around to it.

See for yourself from this Wisconsin State Journal headline:

















We must watch Burke very closely, just in case she stumbles, or even tries to get the votes of her party. Double standard much? Guess so.

The school board believes it can negotiate with the union:
"...lower court rulings to reach contracts with their public employers. Those contracts extend the unions' bargaining authority to reach deals on issues such as vacations and benefits and the ability to collect mandatory payments from employees as long as the legal agreements last, since typically not even laws can break contracts ... the Madison School Board has extended the MTI union contract three times.
Of course transparently right wing organizations trying to privatize education so they make a boat load of money off our kids, like the Bradly Foundation, will spend whatever it takes to litigate and delay opposition, whether its a school board, union or the simple vote of board member and candidate Mary Burke. How dare she...!
State GOP executive director Joe Fadness called Burke's vote a "payoff" to Madison Teachers and other unions that endorsed her."
Of course Walker didn't payoff corporate donors, or appeal to his base with Act 10, rejecting high speed rail, supported an unconstitutional law requiring voter ID, rammed through lose mining regulations, trashed Common Core...etc. No payoff there. Outside billionaire campaign funding is just an odd coincidence the media is tired of covering.

Dumb Ron Johnson Surprised: ‘What, the law applies to me too?’

Federal Election law is very clear about disclosing what our elected politicians spend their money on, like Johnson’s ridiculously vindictive lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act. He’s spending money alright, but isn't disclosing the amount or estimating the cost, which is what he's legally requirement to do. Simple.

Now, tell me if the law is too confusing:
FEC finance law says a “written agreement to make an expenditure, such as a media contract, constitutes an expenditure … (if) the exact amount of a debt is not known, the committee reports an estimated amount,” which it can amend once the correct amount is known.
Pretty clear right? Not to Dumb Ron Johnson or his attorney Rick Esenberg, who said, “It’s a contrived and fabricated controversy.”

That would be true if Dumb Ron Johnson were exempt from all U.S. laws. I’m assuming he thinks he is. Here's what went down:
WSJ: One Wisconsin Now (OWN) filed a complaint earlier this week with the Federal Election Commission accusing Johnson of improperly failing to disclose legal fees linked to his lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare. In early January, Johnson sued over Obamacare, saying he objected to exemptions for Congress and special treatment for federal lawmakers and their staff members, among other issues. And Johnson spokeswoman Melinda Schnell said the campaign will pay any legal costs once billed.
So Johnson said the costs will be reported once they’re known. But that’s very illegal, yet...:
“The Johnson campaign has not violated the intent or letter of FEC regulations on this matter and is confident the FEC will rule accordingly,” she said.

But Scot Ross, executive director of OWN, argued that Johnson has signed a retainer agreement with the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty and attorney Rick Esenberg, and as a result his campaign is required to report at least an estimated amount, which it could amend when the actual amount is known.
And Esenberg's upside down response, “It’s a contrived and fabricated controversy.”

For a guy suing to uphold the law, this is an amazingly odd justification, one he's willing to spend money on fighting. Let's hope he reports this expenditure too...

Friday, May 16, 2014

Walker's Jobs Plan Sputtering Out Already!!

Small businesses old and new are the backbone of our economy. But under Scott Walker's big corporate welfare state, it's hard to muster any consumer purchasing power to support our local entrepreneurs.

Demand is down or stagnant, thanks to Walker's promise that there will be no hike in the minimum wage, and public worker wages have taken a hit. Still, if a business doesn't rely on our Wisconsin marketplace, you're welcome to set up shop:
WSJ: Wisconsin small businesses are more upbeat about the strength of their own companies but remain hesitant about hiring or taking on costly new projects, according to a U.S. Bank survey … only 21 percent said they expect to add staff in the next 12 months, compared with 23 percent in each of the previous two years.

Wait a minute, if Obama wasn't ready to be president then...what about Rand Paul?

Has anybody else noticed how little experience Sen. Rand Paul has? And yet, Republicans just love the idea a Paul presidency? What happened to having "executive" experience?
The GOP has been caught in yet another big lie and phony Obama attack. Rand Paul has so little experience it's laughable.  

Who's more qualified...hmm, I wonder:
Randal Howard "Rand" Paul is the junior United States Senator for Kentucky. 2008 2010 Paul was sworn in on January 5, 2011 along with his father.

Or....
Barack Obama was a community organizer in Chicago, helped set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants' rights organization before earning his law degree. He was selected as an editor of the Harvard Law Review at the end of his first year, and president of the journal in his second year. He worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. He served three terms representing the 13th District in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004, In 2004, election to the Senate in November. 

Local Elections Taken Over? Election "Observers" being filled with Out-of-State Thugs.

Am I the only one who's got a bad feeling about volunteer "election observers" watching our every vote, or how with a few tweaks, things can get way out-of-hand? 
WISCOSIN ELECTION: On Tuesday, the Wisconsin Senate Elections and Urban Affairs Committee heard testimony on proposed administrative rules regarding the conduct of elections observers in the State of Wisconsin. The rule would allow the observers area to be no less than three and no more than eight feet away from the sign-in table which is consistent with Act 177 along with prohibiting the use of video or still cameras while the polls are open for voting. 
The drummed up fear mongering around a recent Racine election was the impetus for reform, and gave us our first glimpse into the what "election observer" intimidation is going to look like. As reported back in June of 2012 by the Root River Siren:
A complaint has been filed with the Government Accountability Board by a Racine resident which stems from an alleged act of voter intimidation by a poll observer at Jefferson Lighthouse Elementary School polling place. The poll observer has been identified as Willard Helander who turns out to be the County Clerk of Lake County, Illinois. Helander reportedly harassed and intimidated voters and even tried to prevent one voter from putting her ballot in the voting machine by following close behind and shouting at the voter.
That's not all:
The best part is the conclusion by the investigator: "Overall, the complaints filed with this office in regards to what the election observers did observe on 6-5-12 do not prove voter fraud or that a crime had occurred at any polling place. Many of the complaints received the observer had made assumptions of fraud...with no proof that had occurred. Most of the observers themselves have written in their observations that they violated those rules stated they would abide by."
So would it be crazy to believe "observers" at our polling places would start us down a very bad road?
Mary Ann Hanson of Brookfield testified on the proposed administrative rule … (that from) previous experience as an election observer during elections from the past three years that include the 2011 and 2012 recall elections … there has been a large influx of observers outside of the State of Wisconsin due to the status it holds as a battleground state in federal and some statewide elections.

Republicans Fiercely defend Minimum Wage Job Killing Lie, and still want your vote.

While Republican politicians mindlessly accept the false narrative that a higher minimum wage is a job killer, the facts are telling Americans something completely different. Maybe that's why they support a hike. The highest minimum wage cities and states are seeing the best growth, better than states with the federal rate of $7.25. And who knows, maybe Americans will move to areas that pay well, forcing states to compete for workers too:
If you need more evidence that a higher minimum wage won't kill the economy, consider this: The city with one of the highest minimum wages in the country has had faster job growth than any other big city over the past 10 years. San Francisco's small businesses are growing faster than those of any other big city or the nation as a whole, according to new data from payroll-processor Paychex and research firm IHS. And this is happening despite the fact that, as of January 1, San Francisco's minimum wage was $10.74 an hour, higher than any state minimum wage or the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
And the CBO report that Republicans now adamantly support, unlike their estimates on the Affordable Care Act, bucked the consensus of economist who say there would be no real harm in the increase:  
Whitehouse.gov: CBO’s estimates of the impact of raising the minimum wage on employment does not reflect the current consensus view of economists. The bulk of academic studies, have concluded that the effects on employment of minimum wage

increases in the range now under consideration are likely to be small to nonexistent. Specifically. Seven Nobel Prize Winners, eight former Presidents of the American Economic Association and over 600 other economists recently summarized the literature on the employment effects of the minimum wage in this way: “...the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market.” A recent literature review of the extensive published work on the minimum wage concluded: “...we have reason to believe that if there is some adverse employment effect ... it must be of a small and policy-irrelevant magnitude.”
The doom-and-gloom mob of Republicans skipped the benefits of higher wages:
AmericanProgress: CBO estimates that 16.5 million workers would see their wages increase and that the total annual increase in wages for those workers would be $31 billion. This leaves low-income workers $24 billion better off even after we account for slower job growth. Add in the impact of slightly higher consumer prices, and low-income families are still $19 billion better off. And as CBO points out, it is not just these families that benefit. On average, households with incomes of less than about $125,000 would benefit as well, and households with incomes of $30,000 to $65,000 would get an average of about $200 more per year. Families with incomes of less than about $30,000 would get an average of more than $300 in additional income per year. Most striking is the fact that this one piece of legislation would lift about 900,000 Americans out of poverty ... CBO makes a strong case for congressional action to raise the minimum wage.

Cat Body Tackles Dog attacking little Boy on Bike.

Sure it's a slow news day in the state, and I'm subject to a few distractions...like the following video.

Having been a cat owner (allergic now), I found the cat in the video below amazing, heroic even.  When a neighbors dog attacked a little boy on a bike, the cat body slammed the dog. It even went back to see if the boy was alright. What a cat. Home security cams caught all the action and the boys father edited everything together from multiple angles:



UPDATE: This is getting even better....

Texas High School Tossed 170 Students out for Dress Code Violations, like school spirit shirts and Denim.

Can you imagine your boss suspending you from work and sending you home for not wearing a belt, or wearing the company logo on you shirt or jacket? Well, that's the supposed "real world" lesson one principal is trying to teach his students at a Texas high school during prep time for exams. Bad administrator? You bet. 

What I really loved about his story is how the reporter wryly set up and explained the event. I hope I'm detecting a new way of featuring local news that conveys just the right amount of skepticism. Great stuff:

Texas high school sends 170 students home for violating the dress code: Duncanville High School Principal Andre Smith emphasized to WFAA ABC 8, "We enforce dress code every day … No day is a good day to send students home. We want students in the classroom.”  …. However, many of the students disagree with that statement saying that there are very few times that the dress code is enforced and the timing of this sweep couldn't have been worse. The crackdown occurred right before the school’s scheduled final exams, which caused many students to miss critical reviews in classes." "Our school cares more about our dress code than our own education. There's literally no kids in my class right now," a student named Victoria wrote on Twitter.

Some of the items listed in the Duncanville Independent School District’s dress code policy include a requirement that students wear belts, shirts free of logos and designs, and it prohibits denim. Edward Ramirez, a junior with a 3.5 GPA said he had never been written up before the dress code sweep. He told KDFW, “The staff told me that my shirt was out of dress code despite the fact that it is a school spirit shirt.”

Despite what some students were calling a ‘near-riot,’ Principal Andre Smith told WFAA, “We didn't lose control.” The KDFW helicopter camera captured a “heavy police presence” outside the school around 1 p.m. Things had apparently gotten out of control and administrators decided to call in the authorities to regain order, but no arrests were reported.

Duncanville High School’s dress code enforcement also made the news in 2003 when more than 700 students were suspended over the course of two months for violating the school policy. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Walker's Jobs Plan a Massive Failure, just 28,000 in 2013, and a total of 91,700 for the last three years.

The numbers are in and what a mess Scott Walker has made of his jobs and open for business plan.
AP: Gov. Scott Walker's administration is reporting that just over 28,000 private sector jobs were created in Wisconsin last year, the lowest annual amount since Walker took office.

The figures reported Thursday have been submitted to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which will verify and report them, along with other state figures for comparison, on June 19. In 2011, Walker's first year in office, 29,800 private sector jobs were created. In 2012, just over 33,870 were added.

The three year total is just shy of 91,700 jobs. That isn't even halfway toward Walker's 2010 campaign promise of creating 250,000 private sector jobs by the end of this year.
Here's WKOW's coverage:



Of course, the one thing that is working for Walker are the tougher requirements for unemployment, and the end of the federal extension. See, there are fewer people unemployed...magic:
The Department of Workforce Development also reports the state's unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in April, down from 5.9 percent.

I love the Idaho Debates!

Chris Hayes had some fun with this real piece of political debate comedy. We're head this way...Idiocrasy:

Dumb Adult says of Common Core: "Kids are giving up, are being made to feel like failures."

The following story is so preposterous that I had to give it a little space here.

The overly dramatic reaction of the author over what most of us would consider "normal" whining by a kid that doesn't like homework is truly surreal. Tell me the same thing couldn't also be said about non-Common Core homework?

These are the same people that complain sports isn't competitive enough, and shouldn't reward every kid equally. Even though I personally never understood my own son's math homework, I didn't stamp my feet, pout, scream that my kid was being demoralized and demand easy assignments.

Sadly, the Huffington Post originally featured this absolute fiction:
When I saw my 11 year old niece recently I asked her how school was going. I was prepared for the standard kid response—“fine.” What I wasn’t prepared for was the sudden sound of defeat in her answer. “So, how’s school, fifth grade this year, right?” I asked. Kim’s face fell, all the bounce—and light—went out of her. “I’m not an A student,” she whispered and looked down at the floor.  It took a lot to extinguish her usual enthusiasm about life, including school. She loved her teacher, the school, the interesting projects they had been doing.
And like my conservative friend in Milwaukee is always telling me, it's those personal partisan stories by dumb parents that shape his views, not those liberal facts:
“It’s that damn Common Core Curriculum,” her mother told me after Kim went off to play. “It’s killing her. It’s killing a lot of the other kids too. She’s working hard and I’m getting her extra help but she’s so down on herself.” We talked about the frustration she and other parents were having with the new imposed standards, standards that baffled them.
Because the parent wasn't in the classroom learning the new method of problem solving?
I was haunted, disturbed and saddened by that young girl’s answer, “I’m not an A student.”

It was painful enough to see the shame on Kim’s face. But when I thought about it further I realized that her experience wasn’t an isolated one. Kids across the country are faced with that same sense of personal failure. Today’s kids know that their personal academic performance affects not only themselves but also their teachers, their principals and ultimately the fate of their schools. What other generation has grown up with that kind of pressure, that kind of fear? I’m afraid that we are losing kids by the day. Kids are giving up, are being made to feel like failures because they can’t jump through the shape-shifting hoops of the latest educational reform. If we don’t do something soon we are allowing the love of learning with which children are born and which will flourish with proper nurturing to be trampled as America races to the top—of what?
Because kids never hated their homework before, and parents were always smarter than our best teachers.  

Obama destroying country with Lowest Deficit since 2008, thanks to tax Revenues.

With threats of impeachment, Pres. Obama is mistaken if he thinks lowering the deficit is going to save him. Republicans have Obama on the ropes, with Benghazi, the release of thousands of murdering illegal aliens and the massive collapse of ObamaCare that crushed conservative families everywhere.    

Of course revenues would have been much higher if the Democrats were able to pass their agenda and prove their ideas are much better for the country than the “borrow and spend like drunken sailors” GOP platform. Imagine, deficit reduction without Paul Ryan's genius maneuvers or cuts to our social safety nets: 
AP: The U.S. government ran a big surplus in April, thanks to a flood of tax payments that helped keep the budget on track for the lowest annual deficit in six years. The Treasury Department said Monday that April's surplus totaled $106.9 billion.

Through the first seven months of the 2014 budget year, which began Oct. 1, the deficit totals $306.4 billion. That's down 37 percent from the same period last year.

The Congressional Budget Office is forecasting a deficit of $492 billion for the full budget year. That would be the narrowest gap since 2008.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Impeach Obama Idiocrasy!!!

Oh, did you know you could…
“Get ‘Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office,’ autographed, at WND’s Superstore, at a special price just today.”
That’s the reminder you see over and over separating paragraphs in this incredible exclusive story sent to me by my conservative friend in Milwaukee:
WND EXCLUSIVE: RELEASE OF 36,000 CRIMINAL ILLEGALS IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE? Murderers, rapists, kidnappers, drug dealers turned loose by DHS … argue New York Times bestselling authors Aaron Klein and Brenda J. Elliott in their book “Impeachable Offenses: The Case to Remove Barack Obama from Office.”

The Obama administration initially blamed the controversial move on the budget sequester cuts. 

However, the releases were just the tip of the iceberg, documented Klein and Elliott in “Impeachable Offenses” … Why were the criminal illegals released? The audit blamed the actions on “agent ‘staffing challenges,’” such as vacancies and “increasing workload levels.”
Hey, you can still get the book for an amazing price….
MSNBC reported Klein and Elliott’s “Impeachable Offenses” fueled the national conversation to impeach Obama, while BuzzFeed.com reported the book “ushers in the Obama impeachment movement.”

The book lays out the blueprint for impeaching Obama, alleging high crimes, misdemeanors, bribery and other offenses committed against the U.S. Constitution and the limitations on the executive office. The Daily Mail of London has called the “Impeachable Offenses” “explosive,” reporting the book contains a “systematic connect-the-dots exercise that the president’s defenders will find troublesome.”

“Consider this work to be the articles of impeachment against Barack Obama,” stated Klein.
Said...the author Klein? But if they still couldn't sell you, they've included so much more to choose from:
The authors stress the book is not a collection of generalized gripes concerning Obama and his administration. Rather, it is a well-documented indictment based on major alleged violations.Among the offenses enumerated in the book:
Obamacare not only is unconstitutional but illegally bypasses Congress, infringes on states’ rights and marking an unprecedented and unauthorized expansion of IRS power.

Sidestepping Congress, Obama already has granted largely unreported de facto amnesty to millions of illegal aliens using illicit interagency directives and executive orders.

The Obama administration recklessly endangered the public by releasing from prison criminal illegal aliens at a rate far beyond what is publicly known. The president’s personal role in the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, with new evidence regarding what was transpiring at the U.S. mission prior to the assault – arguably impeachable activities in and of themselves.

Illicit edicts on gun control in addition to the deadly “Fast and Furious” gun-running operation intended, the book shows, to collect fraudulent gun data.

From “fusion centers” to data mining to drones to alarming Department of Homeland Security power grabs, how U.S. citizens are fast arriving at the stage of living under a virtual surveillance regime.

New evidence of rank corruption, cronyism and impeachable offenses related to Obama’s first-term “green” funding adventures.

The illegality of leading a U.S.-NATO military campaign without congressional approval.

Obama has weakened America both domestically and abroad by emboldening enemies, tacitly supporting a Muslim Brotherhood revolution, spurning allies and minimizing the threat of Islamic fundamentalism.

Political Trends Favor Democrats, but Gerrymandering Delays Change.

Locking in a party majority through district gerrymandering is a problem. But depending on whether you're a Republican or Democrat, you like or hated the current process of redistricting.

If nothing changes, we're stuck with one party, whether they fail or not, because most voters would never think of voting for the opposition. In the Journal Sentinel's Dividing Lines/Special Report, you can see just how we've been divided up. The interactive map here is a great tool to see how your county is trending. The following are screen shots that tell the story. Click pic to enlarge:


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Walker's Record laid out in Letter to the Stevens Point Journal!

http://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.pngNothing to add...Letter: Wisconsin is falling behind under Walker
1. Job Growth:
Wisconsin is ninth out of the 10 Midwestern states in private sector job growth. Net job growth is a strong measure of the state’s economy. (CES)    • Wisconsin is 32nd in all job growth from 2011 through 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.     • A job analysis by the Wisconsin State Journal shows Wisconsin, in 2010, ranked 16th in private-sector job growth under Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle. At the end of 2013, Wisconsin ranked 36th.    • Wisconsin ranks 45th in projected job growth, according to Forbes magazine.     • For entrepreneurial growth, Wisconsin is one of the worst. The lack of start-ups is concerning because these are the businesses that create the most jobs. Wisconsin is 48th in new business creation, according to the Kauffman Foundation.
2. Personal Income
Wisconsin’s annual growth in personal income, on average, trails most of the nation and all Midwestern states except Illinois.    • Wisconsin is 35th out of 50 states in income growth.
3. Minimum wage
Wisconsin’s minimum wage is $7.25. Seventy-five percent of Wisconsinites favor raising the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Gov. Scott Walker says efforts to raise the minimum wage is a political stunt.
4. Healthcare Coverage Gap
About 77,000 Wisconsinites lost health insurance coverage through BadgerCare (Wisconsin’s Medicaid program) at the end of March. Walker refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid coverage. A study published by researchers from Harvard and the City University of New York predicts 139 to 671 Wisconsinites will die prematurely this year because they do not have health insurance.
5. Children of Color
The home situation, educational skills and income are three of the 12 key indicators measured in a study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children.” Wisconsin’s African-American children rank 50th and Wisconsin is tied with Michigan and Mississippi for the worst in achievement for these children. Asian-Americans rank 37th and Latino children rank 17th.

Drone Walker Army again Blames Former Gov. Doyle for Great Recession!!!

It seems the drone army of "Stand with Walker" zombies actually believe former Governor Jim Doyle caused the Great Recession. For at least two years the state press never corrected Scott Walker's insanely ridiculous talking point that the jobs losses and soaring deficit were the result of Doyle's policies and by association, Walker opponent Mary Burke. Not the Great Recession.

These roving bands of know-it-all brainiacs are tweeting and retweeting the "Doyle destroyed the global economy" BS all the time, with comments like this:


Even though Doyle, like all governors, went through the same financial hell (after supply side economic collapsed), it's Bobacheck and the others that will never admit their ideological failure: 

How about the real story:
The U.S. Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission reported its findings in January 2011. It concluded that "the crisis was avoidable and was caused by: Widespread failures in financial regulation, including the Federal Reserve’s failure to stem the tide of toxic mortgages; Dramatic breakdowns in corporate governance including too many financial firms acting recklessly and taking on too much risk; An explosive mix of excessive borrowing and risk by households and Wall Street that put the financial system on a collision course with crisis; Key policy makers ill prepared for the crisis, lacking a full understanding of the financial system they oversaw; and systemic breaches in accountability and ethics at all levels.“
And no mention of Governor Jim Doyle/Mary Burke?

Democurmudgeon makes list....

I'm honored? 


Republicans Shifting Future Infrastructure Upgrades and much Higher Taxes onto our Kids so they can Freeload Now.

Our penny pinching conservatives are really just freeloaders, living off the work of past generations.

Below is a tweet on a topic I haven't found the right story to highlight yet with an entire post. But it is one of the most ignored and important consequences of GOP obstructionism in congress and in our state legislatures. Republicans will deny it, but they have done everything they can to prevent upgrading our near century old infrastructure.

Before any infrastructure projects are okay'ed, the Republicans are demanding looser environmental regulations, lower labor standards and wages, anti-green energy policy, and a return to pre-20th century exploitation of federal land for oil and minerals. It's a corporate centered policy based on a theory of job creation that hasn't worked.

It's not just infrastructure either. If Republicans are successful at removing the safety nets, future generations will be left reinstating those programs at an even greater cost, making the GOP platform a mindless waste of time and another cost shift to our kids. So thanks to Captain Clarion for giving me the chance to sound the alarm:

Conservative CNBC News anchor feels disconnected from his party, and boldly says so.

It’s refreshing to see this kind of honesty coming from an actual news man who admits to being a frustrated conservative, abandoned by his party.

Some might believe this is just another chance to GOP bash, but that would be a cop out. We can see it right there in a slew of recent polls showing the GOP being consistently out-of-step with their own voters opinions. From Talking Points Memo:

A "Morning Joe" panelist Donny Deutsch suggested that pocketbook issues weigh more heavily on voter's minds at the polls than Benghazi does, CNBC anchor Brian Sullivan disagreed. He said his conservative father frequently asks him why the media doesn't care more about the 2012 attacks in Libya.

"Can we stop saying 'the' Republican Party?" Sullivan said, making air quotes with his hands. "As somebody who grew up in a conservative household, I don't recognize the Republican Party of even my youth. I don't like what I see. I don't like the far right, I don't like the extremism."

He added that as a fiscal conservative who isn't religious, supports same-sex marriage and mostly supports marijuana legalization, he feels the GOP has pushed him away.

"I don't know who the Republican Party is anymore. I don't know if the Republican Party knows who the Republican -- because it's not a party, unfortunately Republicans, that I can get on board with," he said. "Because I don't like the small-minded attitude, a lot of the far right stuff that comes out -- I should go home now."

Monday, May 12, 2014

Conservative Solution to K-12 Education-Cut off Funds, and Mandate Colleges adopt State's Moral Values or no Support.

Putting Republicans back in charge again, believe it or not, is still a possibility. I'm not sure what part of their agenda makes that idea so attractive. Take education.

If Republicans had their way, education would be...well, something like the suggestions below. I thought the following tweets by an actual real conservative seemed so wonderfully disconnected:
Gee, adopting state taxpayer morals isn't indoctrination is it? 

Conservative Radio is Dying along with its aging Audience. Ever wonder why they don't brag about their ratings?

Not another conservative talk show host? Why not.
YDR: Cumulus Radio Group is betting that listeners and advertisers will find Rep. Mike Rogers ' hearty voice, contempt for right-wing ideologues and expertise in national security inviting.
But as the radicalization of right wing radio gets even more shrill and ridiculous, listeners are taking a hike:
Two years ago, Limbaugh called a then-Georgetown University student a "slut" after she testified to Congress advocating contraception. Limbaugh's comments led to an advertising boycott and since then, his ratings have dipped in key markets.
Here’s something I didn't know, and conservative radio listeners never bring it up:
Cumulus, with stations in some of the largest markets ended its contract with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a socially conservative commentator, after just 20 months because the show failed to lift ratings.
What, no one is listening to these long winded boring incessant complainers? I thought they were so much more interesting than liberal talkers. Good news for liberal radio guys like me:  

"Ultimately, demographics are going marginalize this sore-head brand of talk radio," Cooke said. "We have 95 million millennials who are about to take over the American economy."

Walker knows Republican Voters love being Lied!!!

Scott Walker knew this was a lie, since he was referring to a poll question two years ago. So what else is he lying about? Don't get me started...


Western State's Hero Cliven Bundy prompts Political Leaders to take Federal Land Back.

Cliven Bundy is a freeloader, racist and all around embarrassment. He’s attracted anti-government armed militia groups who literally aim their guns at law enforcement so Bundy could feed his cattle for free. Bundy has rightfully been criticized by both sides, for obvious reasons. 

But a surreal movement of conservative political leaders has remarkably found a voice in Bundy, and are apologetically planning to exploit it.
sltrib: It’s time for Western states to take control of federal lands within their borders, lawmakers and county commissioners from Western states said at Utah’s Capitol on Friday.

More than 50 political leaders from nine states convened for the first time to talk about their joint goal: wresting control of oil-, timber -and mineral-rich lands away from the feds.

Utah House Speaker Becky Lockhart, R-Provo, said "What’s happened in Nevada is really just a symptom of a much larger problem." 
It is? More ranchers should freeload? Or maybe they should pay much higher grazing fees charged by the states. This is political opportunism at its most crass.

Realistically, this would be a repeal of Teddy Roosevelt's Antiquities Act, a bold environmental step that saved our most pristine area's of the country for you and me. We are now part of the extended Cliven Bundy family?   

At the same time Republicans are complaining about the BLM’s overreaching policies, the GOP in D.C. has purposely underfunded the agency, making it incapable of doing its job. See, government is bad. While the states want to take control of federal land, they've done next to nothing to inspect and regulate against water contamination and environmental damage. They want to leave it up to an underfunded BLM (noted in bold below) and blame them any problems:
The government has failed to inspect thousands of oil and gas wells it considers potentially high risks for water contamination and other environmental damage, congressional investigators say. The findings from the Government Accountability Office come amid an energy boom in the country and the increasing use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. 

The report makes clear in many instances that the BLM’s failure to inspect high-priority oil and gas wells is due to limited money and staff. The BLM has developed agreements with some states, which also have jurisdiction over well inspections on federal lands. According to the GAO, it had reached agreements with regulators in California, Colorado, Nevada and Wyoming. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Study says Scott Walker's Divide and Conquer strategy wildly successful.

It was an impossible task. Democrats were hitting every conservatives sore spot, from the many decades of built up hatred over public workers fixing our streets, lazy high paid teachers who had off 3 months of the year, and unionization that force companies to pay decent wages and benefits that private sector workers got screwed out of. Protests over Act 10 for conservatives was the last straw. It was a well deserved comeuppance for Democrats they waited years to see. 

From a great Special Report/Dividing Lines in the Journal Sentinel from Craig Gilbert, the unintended consequences of the protests and recall, which I don't regret of a second. Imagine what will happen now that Walker signed into law his voter suppression plan:  
Were Milwaukee voters sleeping?
The ones who think elections matter, feel a stake in the outcome and follow politics the most intently. That also means more moderate voters — the constituency for compromise and conciliation — play a lesser role. "They're less engaged and less likely to turn out," says political scientist Charles Franklin, a Marquette Law School professor who has conducted 20 statewide polls in Wisconsin since 2012, and who collaborated on the research for these stories. 

During Walker's raucous first term, partisan Democrats and Republicans were more politically active than independents in all sorts of ways, according to Franklin's polling. They were more likely to put up a yard sign or bumper sticker, contribute to a campaign, go to a rally, or talk politics with friends and family. They were far more likely to try to influence the way other people voted. "The very strongest Packers fans are also the ones most likely to watch the game," says Franklin about the connection between this area's high levels of engagement and partisan passion.
These maps are an eye opener and really sad:

Green Bay Packer Pick Ha Ha makes Maddow.

What a way to become instantly famous, at least to MSNBC viewers in Wisconsin:

John Doe 2 Slayer Judge Randa's Ridiculously Extreme Conservatism.

Who’s Judge Randa? Without a doubt he's pure right wing politics in a robe. And while the press ignores the shocking fact that his assistant is the wife of Scott Walker's campaign lawyer Steve Biskupic, Randa is allowed to act out his twisted ideological interpretation of law with no mounting criticism from his peers.

You won't believe this guy. From jsonline:
U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa — an adviser to the Milwaukee chapter of the conservative Federalist Society — has moved to center stage with his ruling last week to halt the John Doe investigation into Walker's campaign and its conservative allies.

Randa, 73, is the natty dresser with the white mane and authoritarian manner. 

Randa told a reporter for The Milwaukee Journal that he believed his job was not to use the law "to implement my ideas of what society should be." Even so, he did not try to hide his political leanings on one key issue: abortion. Asked for his views, Randa remarked that he was a Catholic "and as a member of the Catholic Church, if you abide by the rules of the Catholic Church, abortion is wrong."

On occasion, Randa has brought up issues with defendants that have little to do directly with their cases. For instance, in 2007, Randa referred repeatedly to a drug dealer's Mexican heritage, saying "you people" and "those people," during sentencing. The judge also discounted the defendant's claim of being a good family man, saying "even Adolf Hitler was admired by his family. Adolf Hitler loved his dog. Yet he killed 6 million Jews." The Chicago-based appeals court returned the case to another judge and ordered a new sentence. Appeals Court Judge Diane Wood wrote that Randa's comments were "utterly out of bounds."

Also in 2007, Randa ordered convicted state purchasing official Georgia Thompson to be jailed while she appealed her conviction for steering a travel contract to a company to supporters of then-Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat. The appeals court tossed Thompson's conviction, calling the evidence "beyond thin," and ordered her to be freed immediately.

This year, Randa was overturned for forcing a prisoner to wear prison garb in front of the jury during his civil rights case against Langlade County jail guards. Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner wrote that forcing someone to wear prisoner clothing in front of a jury is "highly prejudicial."

In June 2007, Randa announced he would move into senior status, a form of semiretirement for federal judges without a cut in pay or benefits. But he said he would do this only if then-President George W. Bush, a Republican, was able to appoint his successor. That didn't happen. Shortly after Democratic President Barack Obama was elected, Randa rescinded his application to go to senior status and has remained on full district court status.
There's more. From WPT's Here and Now, get a load of what former State Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske said about Randa's decision about destroying evidence:


Grothman wants to lead GOP Social Engineers and Cut Safety Nets that take from everyone else.

Republican State Sen. Glenn Grothman is wonderfully open about what really bothers conservatives most. He's a  giant picture window into their despair, their envies, their paranoid fantasies and mean spirited disciplines.

Despite what public opinion polls are telling them, Republicans like Grothman aren't too bothered by what Americans really want. Like Paul Ryan recently explained, they have an even better plan.

Like Ryan, Grothman has plans for single parents gaming the system. I have yet to hear one reporter ask them  what they would do; mandate marriage to the father; cut off all support to teach them a lesson; round them up into labor dormitories. As always, it's the woman's fault for everything, including taking money from our middle class nuclear families.

Cart Before the Horse: And instead of fixing policies that contribute to these supposed social ills, they want to attack the victims.

Grothman's sick rantings sound like rejected pages of Scrooge's dialog from A Christmas Carol's.

From WKOW's Capitol City Sunday: 


Wisconsin Republican Congressmen Vote to increase Deficit by $156 Billion with more unpaid for Tax Cuts.

Remember during the Bush years how the Republican congress spent like drunken sailors? Well ask any Republican now and you'll find out that they were always against what happened.

Nice try guys, but that's complete BS.

From a recent Roll Call vote, Republicans still want to spending money they don't have by running up our deficit by another $156 billion in the next 11 years. But this is "good spending," because it's another business tax cut, and it's revenue derived by penalizing success. They're back folks, and even funnier, the Democrats were able to turn the tables on these supposed "fiscal conservatives."
BUSINESS TAX CREDITS: The House passed a Republican-drafted bill (HR 4438) to expand the research-and-development tax credit for businesses and make it permanent instead of subject to periodic renewal as it is now. The bill would increase annual deficits by a total of $156 billion over its first 11 years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. In part, the bill would expand the share of a company’s expenses eligible for the credit and raise the credit from 14 percent to 20 percent of eligible expenses. Tax credits are a dollar-for-dollar reduction in taxes owed.
Voting yes to higher deficits were Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri and Reid Ribble.

Democratic Responsibility: The Democrats didn't let this glaring showcase of irresponsibility go unnoticed:
PAY-AS-YOU-GO REQUIREMENT: The House defeated a Democratic motion to delay enactment of HR 4438 (above) until such time as its cost to the Treasury has been offset elsewhere in the federal budget rather than added to the national debt. Because it lacks an offset, the bill is projected to generate deficits of $156 billion through 2024.
Voting no to pay-as-you-go, and yes to bigger deficits were Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, and Ribble.

Grothman confirms going after former judges on GAB for John Doe 2, while former Da's Bucher and Jambois rip into Judge Randa.

Judge Randa's two quick decisions to stopped John Doe 2 got some heavy criticism today by two former DA's, Waukesha's Paul Bucher and Kenosha's Bob Jambois. They made their unambiguous criticisms on Upfront with Mike Gousha. This is audio only:



Chilling Effect on Law Enforcement: On Capitol City Sunday, host Greg Neumann asked state Sen. Glenn Grothman about a future probe into why the former judges on the Government Accountability Board handling elections asked for a second John Doe investigation. Obviously this is a Republican shot over the bow to prevent anyone else from questioning the Walker Authority. Keep in mind, Republicans want to get rid of the GAB for a more partisan oversight panel:

Walker's Supply Side Jobs Failure Graph.

The Wisconsin State Journal fine tuned Scott Walker's supply side disaster on job creation. Gee, look at Obama's jobs record "failure" tracked by the green line. Yet, Walker is touted as the guy with the plan. It's time to take our state back:
Gov. Scott Walker needs an 11% cumulative growth in jobs in order to make his campaign pledge of adding 250,000 jobs in Wisconsin by the end of his term in office. As of March 2014, he is short of the goal and Wisconsin lags other Midwest states and the U.S. in the average percent change in jobs.