Friday, August 15, 2014

Scott Walker isn't ready.

Mr. "Easy Street" is breezing through his first term with a stacked Republican legislature that has given him almost everything he wanted. Except a plan to create jobs...a biggie. It would have been easy to keep campaign promises in this ridiculous one party system, but that didn't happen.

In this WKOW Greg Neumann report, Walker's stunningly inept response to Mary Burke's criticism about his broken jobs promise sounded unprepared. Real bush league stuff. Don't believe me? Check it out:
Walker: "I guess I'm not surprised, but I think people should be surprised that our opponent would be running ads that essentially take a whack at Wisconsin's comeback."
That's not an answer, it's a whiny complaint.

Burke countered Walker's attack on her jobs record as Commerce Secretary, saying he's comparing apples to oranges. And she's got a point, since you can only create so many jobs when unemployment is as low at 4.8 and the market is saturated with 50,000 more people employed than Walker does now. Walker hasn't even made up the jobs lost during the Great Recession.

The latest Rasmussen Report shows Burke trailing Walker by one, 47 to 48 percent respectively.

GOP Mistake? Blatantly gets Moneyed Lobbyists to go Door-to-Door asking for votes.

It took me about a day to digest this story. Was there ever a question about who owns, controls and makes our GOP corporate puppets dance to their tune?

If you thought campaign money bought influence and favorable Republicans legislation, imagine what these politicians would owe if lobbyists went door-to-door helping them get elected:

It's almost impossible to imagine this wildly public admission by our Republican legislators whose actually running our state government.

Be amazed:
jsonline: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) has stepped up efforts to get lobbyists to personally give to candidates. Leggiepalooza adds to that effort by having lobbyists and others drop off campaign literature and urge people to vote for Republicans.

Some lobbyists have expressed reservations about being asked to directly give to legislators. Similarly, some told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel they were uncomfortable with being asked to help with door knocking because they feared they could have a harder time passing bills if they didn't participate.

Profitable Postal Service struggles under GOP mandate Tammy Baldwin hopes to repeal.

It's always seemed odd to me that people who call themselves "constitutional conservatives" would back efforts to get rid of the constitutionally provided postal service. This irrational hatred for anything having to do with the government, you know-we the people, still doesn't make any sense to me.

One of the real defenders of the constitutional framework designed by our founding fathers is Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin:
WEAU: Half of the U.S. senate, including Wisconsin Sen. Tammy Baldwin, wants to block a plan to shut down mail processing plants next year … a letter dated August 14 to the heads of a congressional committee and subcommittee on appropriations … calls for a one-year moratorium on the U.S. Postal Service's plans to close up to 82 of the plants. The senators said the moratorium would give Congress time to enact postal reforms they say are needed for the Postal Service to "function efficiently in the future." 

They go on to say that reports about the Postal Service's "supposed financial woes" are misleading, and that the Postal Service has taken in almost $1,000,000,000 more in revenue than it spent since fall 2012.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

GOP has Voter ID advantage in Courts: Opponents must Prove Suppression by declining turnout numbers that don't exist yet.

It looks like Wisconsinites won't be needing a voter ID anytime soon:
Gazette: U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman on Wednesday denied Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's request for a stay of his April order blocking the photo ID law. Adelman says he is denying the request because Van Hollen's likelihood of winning the case on appeal is low.
Van Hollen doesn't seem worried thought, even without any proof of voting, which he readily admits too:
jsonline: The Wisconsin Supreme Court two weeks ago upheld voter ID in two cases, and Van Hollen argued those rulings showed he would prevail in federal court.  (Van Hollen is) optimistic about his chances ...“it’s almost impossible for us in Wisconsin, as law enforcers, to prove that it’s been done.”
The wrinkle in all of this is what I thought was worth blogging about. What Van Hollen is pinning his hopes on is this remaining section of the Voting Rights Act:
MSNBC: Section 2 requires victims of racial discrimination in voting to sue after the law has gone into effect, and puts the burden of proof on them … plaintiffs have to show, essentially, that under the law, minorities now have less ability to participate than do whites, and that that’s the result of racial discrimination, either past or present.
Does Voter ID Suppress Voting?  It’s not the number of voter fraud cases, it the number of voters that show up that will decide whether voter ID suppresses turnout. And that’s has to become a problem first:
In North Carolina, black turnout for presidential elections has reached parity with white turnout. And black registration rates in the state have actually surpassed those for whites.
Judge Thomas Schroeder (who rejected an effort by civil rights groups and the U.S. Justice Department to put North Carolina’s voting law on hold) wrote the first quote in the story below:
“Plaintiffs’ experts attribute these increases to the candidacy of President Barack Obama as well as to North Carolina’s election law changes since 2000.”

And it’s exactly those election law changes—primarily the establishment of same-day registration and extensive early voting—that the Republican law reversed. In other words, the law’s challengers are caught in a bind. Right now, whites and non-whites vote at similar rates in North Carolina. That could change once the state’s restrictive law has been in effect for a while. But for now, the numbers to prove it don’t exist … voting rights advocates can now only challenge voting restrictions after they’ve been in effect for long enough to have produced evidence of harm. But by then, of course, the damage has been done.

Not every judge has approached Section 2 in the way that Schroeder did. In April, Judge Lynn Adelman struck down Wisconsin’s voter ID law. For Adelman, the fact that black turnout in Wisconsin is currently comparable to white didn’t negate that conclusion.

Rick Hasen, a prominent election law scholar at the University of California, Irvine, thinks “Given the current conservative orientation of a majority of the Supreme Court, it seems likely that a Court majority would be more attracted to the narrow reading of Section 2.

There’s one way around this Catch-22: (For the North Carolina) plaintiffs to show that Republican lawmakers acted with deliberate racial bias in enacting the law … the law’s challengers needed access to emails and other correspondence from those responsibility from drafting and passing it. And thanks to stonewalling by lawyers for the state, they’ve so far received only a small portion of those records.  By the time the law goes to a full trial next summer, they’ll likely have much more of them. But by then, of course, the 2014 election will be long since over.
Plaintiff Burden of Proof: Here’s where Republicans can do almost anything they want. From an article under the heading “Current Events vs. Founding Documents,” by chest pounding "constitutionalist" Mark Musselman:
Judge Adelman side-stepped those criteria by claiming that the defendants failed to prove voter impersonation.  Since the burden of proof is normally on the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs should have been required to prove that photo IDs block qualified electors from voting based on race, national origin or ethnicity.  In the absence of such proof, his decision is a distortion of the Constitution.  

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Ferguson Missouri Police Fire on Unarmed Protesters, Neighborhoods.

This was recorded a few hours ago as the police advanced through a crowd of  protesters.

I captured this live stream from...
I am Mike Brown Live from Ferguson, MO....

Here are the two stories, one that seems likely, and one suspiciously manufactured:
CNN: Dorian Johnson, 22, told CNN that he and Brown were walking in the middle of the street when a white male officer pulled up and told them, "Get the f*** on the sidewalk." The young men replied that they were "not but a minute away from our destination, and we would shortly be out of the street," Johnson said. The officer drove forward but stopped and backed up, almost hitting the pair, Johnson said. "We were so close, almost inches away, that when he tried to open his door aggressively, the door ricocheted both off me and Big Mike's body and closed back on the officer," Johnson said.

Still in his car, the officer then grabbed Brown by his neck, Johnson said. Brown tried to pull away, but the officer kept pulling Brown toward him, he said. The officer drew his weapon, and "he said, 'I'll shoot you' or 'I'm going to shoot' " and almost instantaneously fired his weapon, hitting Brown, Johnson said. Johnson and a bloodied Brown took off running, and Johnson hid behind the first car he saw, he said. The officer got out of his car.

"I saw the officer proceeding after my friend Big Mike with his gun drawn, and he fired a second shot and that struck my friend Big Mike," Johnson told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "And at that time, he turned around with his hands up, beginning to tell the officer that he was unarmed and to tell him to stop shooting. But at that time, the officer firing several more shots into my friend, and he hit the ground and died." "We wasn't committing any crime, bringing no harm to nobody, but my friend was murdered in cold blood," he told KMOV.

Witness Tiffany Mitchell was picking up Piaget Crenshaw for work when she saw Brown and the officer "tussling through the window." Mitchell and Crenshaw concurred with Johnson, saying Brown appeared to be trying to pry himself away from the officer's grasp. Brown had his hand on the police cruiser, trying to push himself away, Mitchell said. Mitchell reached for her phone to record the encounter. "I didn't get the video because a shot was fired through the window so I tried to get out of the way," she said (photos were taken).

After that shot, Brown broke free from the officer's grasp, both women told CNN, and started running, but he only got about 20 feet from the squad car by Crenshaw's estimate. "The cop gets out of his vehicle shooting," Mitchell said. "(Brown's) body jerked as if he was hit from behind, and he turned around and he put his hands up. ... The cop continued to fire until he just dropped down to the ground, and his face just smacked the concrete.” Added Crenshaw, who said she was watching the incident unfold from a nearby balcony, "The (officer) actually shot kind of carelessly. They shot my neighbor's building that was on the opposite side of the police car. They then later came and removed that bullet. ... Anybody could've been standing right there." 

That Brown was unarmed is undisputed. A shot was fired inside the police car, and Brown was eventually shot about 35 feet away from the vehicle, Belmar said. The officer was taken to an area hospital where he was treated for a "swollen face," Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson said, adding he had not personally seen the officer's injury.
The police account: 
Voxdotcom: This is what St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, who's leading the investigation into Brown's deathsaid happened, according to Wilson: Brown physically assaulted Wilson prior to the shooting. Wilson attempted to get out of the car, but Brown pushed him back into the vehicle. Brown then physically assaulted Wilson and attempted to grab the officer's weapon, according to Belmar. At that point, the first shot was fired from the police car and eventually another shot hit and killed Brown 35 feet from the car. Wilson was reportedly injured during the encounter, and one side of his face was left swollen. Police say Brown was a robbery suspect … Ferguson Police claim Brown and Johnson robbed a convenience store prior to the shooting, and Wilson was responding to a call about the robbery when he intercepted Brown on the road.

Republican Governors Association blames Great Recession on former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle!!! Oops!

Ignorance is Bliss: Republican "Stand with Walker" voters are happy to be willing dupes of a party unwilling to accept responsibility for the biggest free market failure since the Depression; the Great Recession.

Redefining the Great Recession: The GOP has successfully turned their own global economic crash into something so generic many of their voters forgot who to blame. My conservative friend in Milwaukee blames the poor for forcing those frightened weak kneed banks into giving them mortgages they couldn't afford. In a mind bending twist on logic, the poor crashed Wall Street?

In a press release by the Republican Governors Association, we're told how generically bad things were when "the economy was in a tailspin," again having nothing to do with GOP policies:
“...Democrat Mary Burke’s campaign is all about returning to the failed policies of the past,” said RGA Executive Director Phil Cox. “When Burke was Commerce Secretary under Gov. Jim Doyle, the unemployment rate was on the rise and jobs were hard to come by. The economy was in a tailspin. Why would Wisconsin go back?”
I will always remind my friend how Alan Greenspan admitted to everyone how the free market failed:

Joe Leibham has his own Kathy Nicholaus in Sheboygan County?

I love seeing the candidates whine about dirty tricks and cheating in their own Republican primaries.

Guess we’ll never have the integrity we want, or the confidence we need in our elections. Sigh!
WSJ: Only 214 votes separate state Sens. Glenn Grothman and Joe Leibman … putting Grothman's initially-declared victory in doubt, unofficial election results show.

The Associated Press had called the race for Grothman on Tuesday night, but then uncalled it Wednesday after more votes came in for state Sen. Joe Leibham from “late-reporting Sheboygan County.”
It takes a while to rig an election you know. 

Free? Paid for by Taxpayers: Let’s see if Leibham will opt to save money for his constituents:
Any candidate can request a recount in Wisconsin. And the recount in the 6th District Congressional race would be free because the margin appears to be one-half a percentage point or less.

Our Modern Day Stone Age Family, the Koch's.

Believe it or not, we've been seeing the moderate side of the Koch brothers political agenda. 

After looking at the Libertarian Party platform from 1980, where David Koch ran as the vice presidential candidate, it's obvious we're not dealing with mature adults with any sense of responsibility. They are adolescent bullies free to do whatever, with no supervision. To support a candidate based on a few of the ideological points below supports the passage of every point below. We would have nothing left to hold up a functioning society, or for that matter, a consumer class. It's a wonder they still live in the U.S..

Prepare to be amazed:
“We urge the repeal of federal campaign finance laws, and the immediate abolition of the despotic Federal Election Commission.” 

“We favor the abolition of Medicare and Medicaid programs.” 

“We oppose any compulsory insurance or tax-supported plan to provide health services, including those which finance abortion services.” 

“We also favor the deregulation of the medical insurance industry.” 

“We favor the repeal of the fraudulent, virtually bankrupt, and increasingly oppressive Social Security system. Pending that repeal, participation in Social Security should be made voluntary.” 

“We propose the abolition of the governmental Postal Service. The present system, in addition to being inefficient, encourages governmental surveillance of private correspondence. Pending abolition, we call for an end to the monopoly system and for allowing free competition in all aspects of postal service.” 

“We oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes.”

“We support the eventual repeal of all taxation.” 

“As an interim measure, all criminal and civil sanctions against tax evasion should be terminated immediately.” 

“We support repeal of all law which impede the ability of any person to find employment, such as minimum wage laws.” 

“We advocate the complete separation of education and State. Government schools lead to the indoctrination of children and interfere with the free choice of individuals. Government ownership, operation, regulation, and subsidy of schools and colleges should be ended.” 

“We condemn compulsory education laws … and we call for the immediate repeal of such laws.” 

“We support the repeal of all taxes on the income or property of private schools, whether profit or non-profit.” 

“We support the abolition of the Environmental Protection Agency.” 

“We support abolition of the Department of Energy.” 

“We call for the dissolution of all government agencies concerned with transportation, including the Department of Transportation.” 

“We demand the return of America's railroad system to private ownership. We call for the privatization of the public roads and national highway system.” 

“We specifically oppose laws requiring an individual to buy or use so-called "self-protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets.” 

“We advocate the abolition of the Federal Aviation Administration.” 

“We advocate the abolition of the Food and Drug Administration.” 

“We support an end to all subsidies for child-bearing built into our present laws, including all welfare plans and the provision of tax-supported services for children.” 

“We oppose all government welfare, relief projects, and ‘aid to the poor’ programs. All these government programs are privacy-invading, paternalistic, demeaning, and inefficient. The proper source of help for such persons is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals.”

“We call for the privatization of the inland waterways, and of the distribution system that brings water to industry, agriculture and households.” 

“We call for the repeal of the Occupational Safety and Health Act.” 

“We call for the abolition of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.” 

“We support the repeal of all state usury laws.”

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Republicans refuse to lift students out of poverty, blame educators, schools and safety nets programs.

WKOW's Greg Neumann featured Edgewood College’s Dean Tim Slekar and Percy Brown, the dean of students at Middleton High School. They talked about the real problem with education; economic status and poverty. 

When Republicans see a problem, they go after the victims. They start at the back end instead of the front. For example:
Tort Reform: Instead of preventing medical errors that result in malpractice lawsuits, they penalize the victims and their families.

Safety Nets: Instead of solving, and encouraging higher pay, job training and education, Republicans penalize the victims of poverty by kicking them off support programs. 

Poverty Hurts Education: The same is true for education, where poverty weighs heavily on desperate hungry students. Instead solving the root cause of low scoring students, Republicans decided to go after teachers; that was easier and helps speedup the move to privatize schools. 

Through out the interview both guest make it very clear Common Core and testing aren't to blame, it's our lazy politicians. They're are deliberately sidetracking the public with scary stories about CC, instead of doing the job they were elected to do; write laws that try to lift people out of poverty: 

The Wisconsin Soap Box did a great article on this show, check it out here.

Democurmudgeon on the radio...briefly again, talking about Sheriff David Clarke.

I will be with Sly tomorrow afternoon between 3 and 4, making the Republican trolls cry. We'll talk about the first real fake Democratic candidate, before the GOP made it fashionable during the recalls, Sheriff David Clarke. According to the right wing echo chamber, Milwaukee Police Lt. Chris Moews doesn't quite cut it because...he's a real Democrat, and white.

Funny how they don't mind gaming the system when it's convenient.

We'll touch on right wing radio's blatant use of the race card, with jaw dropping comments by (V) icki McKenna, Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling.