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Saturday, September 20, 2014

Wisconsin Congressmen hold nation hostage; won't stop offshoring or inversions until Democrats agree to Corporate Tax Cut.

Despite not having gone far enough, Dodd Frank is trying desperately to regulate the financial industry while also trying to prevent another Great Recession.

Republicans Dare to have another Great Recession: But Republicans want to play a game of chicken with our economy and retirement investments again by smashing to pieces every line of reform. Like they told us after the global crash, “you knew the risks, you took your chances, and you lost. That’s the market.” Strangely that didn’t piss off a majority of tightwad conservative voters either who lost money. It’s an odd voting base to say the least.   

Congressional Veto Power over an administrations Department Regulations: Big government Republicans want veto power over regulations that might get in the way of business.  

Cut Corporate Income Tax or Else...: And worst of all, Republicans won’t stop companies shifting jobs overseas or prevent tax inversions until they get a cut in the corporate income tax. Never mind those inversions are permanent and lost forever as revenue. 

Sadly, there's more too...Roll Call:
REPUBLICAN JOBS PACKAGE: The House approved a package (HR 4) of 15 jobs bills that previously passed the House as individual measures, and then died in the Democratic-led Senate. In part, the bills would expedite logging in national forests, scale back the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulation law, make bonus depreciation and certain charitable contributions by businesses a permanent part of the U.S. tax code, ease certain environmental rules to promote job creation and give Congress veto power over federal regulations having at least a $100 million annual impact on the economy.
Voting yes to increase the deficit with permanent tax cuts and lost corporate revenues: Paul Ryan, Jim Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy, and Reid Ribble. 
DEMOCRATS’ TAX CHANGES: The House on Thursday defeated a motion by Democrats to amend HR 4 (above) in a way that would deny federal tax breaks to companies that shift U.S. jobs overseas or which reincorporate abroad to avoid U.S. taxation, a process known as “inversion.” The motion also sought to require the Republican leadership to put Democratic issues such as a minimum-wage increase, pay equity for women and student-loan refinancing to House votes.
And you know who defeated cutting corporate handout to offshorers? They're pictured above. And Tom Petri is a moderate? 

Wisconsin Congressmen vote to sell Natural Gas and Oil to Terrorists, and raise our prices by depleting our surplus energy supplies.

Nothing says “irresponsible” more than drilling off our pristine coastlines, quickly approving the XL Pipeline and banning fracking regulation of our public/tribal lands.

The XL Pipeline’s one intended purpose is to export our own supply of oil out of the U.S. for Big Oil profits. It could destroy of our water supply or return us to Middle Eastern dependence on oil, but who cares right?   

Oh, and say goodbye to those low natural gas prices to heat our homes. Republicans want to provide quick approval to export more of that too.

Republicans also want to sell natural gas and oil to terrorists and the countries that harbor them.

In what would appear too many as a political death wish agenda is really a winning platform that might put Republicans in control of the Senate. None of this is hyperbole. Read for yourself the new Republican Energy plan from Roll Call endorsed by our Representatives:   

REPUBLICAN ENERGY PACKAGE: The House approved a package (HR 2) of 19 GOP-drafted energy bills that previously cleared the House as strand-alone measures before faltering in the Democratic-controlled Senate in the face of environmental concerns and other objections. In part, the bills would expand offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, require speedy administration approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, expedite Department of Energy approvals of applications for exporting liquefied natural gas and prohibit federal regulation on federal and tribal lands of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
Higher gas prices at the pump and rising energy costs to heat our homes? Yes say Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble. Heck, any rise in natural gas would mean more drilling, and higher pump prices are always blamed on the Democratic President.   
OIL EXPORTS TO TERRORISM-ENABLERS: The House on Thursday defeated a Democratic motion that sought to amend HR 2 (above) so that it would “prohibit U.S. oil exports to any country, company or individual that supports or harbors terrorist organizations, including ISIS or al Qaeda.”

Voting no to the Democratic amendment, and yes to send our energy recources to terrorist; Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, and Ribble. Your on the record now. 

Psst! Democrats quietly try to pass Midterm Agenda for America. Don’t tell anyone.

Who knew? Thanks to the weekly feature Roll Call, where the paper lists all the “action” in the House, there is now a slight chance we just might stumble upon the bold Democratic statement for the midterms.

It’s hard to imagine anyone with a job or experience handling the household income objecting to the following populist agenda…oh wait, Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Tom Petri, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble voted against it? 

Voters won’t like that:
DEMOCRATIC POLICY GOALS: The House on Wednesday turned back a bid by Democrats to add five of their policy goals to HJ Res 124 (government funding bill). The motion called for raising the minimum wage, requiring that women receive equal pay for equal work, allowing most student loans to be refinanced, denying government contracts to companies that move headquarters overseas and reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank for the long term.

Republican never, if ever, pass Democratic amendments that are logical no-brainers for the rest of us. 

Friday, September 19, 2014

Real Walker Brownshirts form armed "Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia," targeting Recall Petition Signers.

We kind of thought this would happen.

Scott Walker's recall blacklist has now morphed into a citizen police state of brownshirt "stand with Walker" thugs. Walker's liberal use of the black list, targeting individuals for punishment, set an example for his loyal followers.

And they're armed and quite seriously dangerous. We need to bring photo IDs AND guns to the polls in November or we can't vote? So many new rules! Even Rush Limbaugh chimed in to promote their new "Poll Watcher Militia." And oh yea, the word salad talk queen herself, Vicki McKenna, jumped on the bandwagon as well.  Radio station owners are okay with this?


I always kind of knew this was a possibility, because after all, Republicans have not only vilified Democrats but have said over and over they don't believe liberals have a place in government or in our legal system. That leaves us with a one party system, and we've seen through history what that leads to. Cap Times' Steve Elbow:
A self-described militia group claims to be checking names on the 2012 Scott Walker recall petition and plans to confront those found to have outstanding warrants or tax defaults at the polls on Nov. 4.

"We prefer our people be armed," reads a Facebook post by Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia, screen captured on a blog at Politicususa.com. "Some will be heading to some of Milwaukee, Racine, and Beloit's worst areas. We will be armed with a list of people to look for at each location."

To compile the list of names, the group is using the website Put Wisconsin First, which has divided petition signers into categories. For instance, the "Tax Delinquents for Recall" category lists 571 petition signers who are in tax arrears. One category lists 444 sex offenders and another lists Democratic political donors. Another page on the site allows users to search petition signers by offense, everything from homicide to speeding.
And I loved this…
A Wisconsin Poll Watcher Militia response on Facebook reads: "We can assure you that
we will be targeting all democrats, not just black ones. If you think we meant blacks only it is because you are a racist who thinks the only people with warrants are black. We know better because we have a nice list of people who are wanted democrat activist types. Most are actually white. We will target everyone."
Walker's unapologetic use of the recall blacklist opened the door for the party reactionaries to take it to the next step. Of course, it'll be interesting to see how Walker deals with this right wing authoritarian behavior, and the kind of press he might not like.

This is an attempt to frighten people so they could suppress the vote, plain and simple. There is a legal remedy: 
According to the Justice Department, “The administration of elections is chiefly a function of state government. However, federal authorities may become involved where there are possible violations of federal law. In cases where intimidation, coercion, or threats are made or attempts to intimidate, threaten or coerce are made to any person for voting or attempting to vote, the Department of Justice can consider whether there is federal jurisdiction to bring civil claims or criminal charges under federal law. Depending on the nature of the allegations, they may fall into the jurisdiction of different parts of the Department. If you have information about allegations of intimidation, please contact us.” You can contact the Justice Department here, and request that the election be monitored.

Walker's WEDC Bosses get hefty salaries, Don't give out Loans, and actually wrote off Overdue Taxpayer Loans.

The Governor and Chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Scott Walker is proving to be one heck of a bad boss. From a press Rep. Peter Barka press release:
Today the nonpartisan Legislative Audit Bureau released a financial audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) that highlights the agency’s continued shortcomings. The report shows that the agency had top-heavy administrative and salary costs, stalled in its job creation programs, and dealt with overdue loans by writing them off. The audit revealed that WEDC has made only meager increases to its loan activities,

“The audit demonstrates that WEDC is significantly underperforming. Not only are they unable to get economic development funds out the door and document their spending, but they have given up on executing key loan collection functions of the agency,” Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), said.

WEDC grant expenditures decreased 2.8 percent at the same time that administrative expenditures increased by more than a third (34 percent). In the midst of the Great Recession, Governor Walker and Republicans essentially wiped out the state’s job creation agency overnight, and replaced it with a semi-private corporation with virtually no planning for the transition. Today’s audit shows that WEDC continues to scramble to put basic accountability measures and fiscal controls in place.

It's now official: Walker Jobs Promise Broken....

ust happened today:


The admitted and laughable Phony Outrage over Burke's Economic Plan for Wisconsin

The Burke campaign blundered badly over supposed “plagiarized” language in her jobs plan. Instead of laughing at the phony outrage by Republicans who have no problem instituting the exact same agenda nationwide including ALEC legislation verbatim, Burke fired the consultant who used the same language of a well thought out Democratic economic policy to grow businesses and jobs.

Guess the Burke campaign was caught, guilty of finally accepting a party idea and repeating it. How awful. This was Burke’s whole campaign, and they blinked. In the words of Han Solo, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

On WPR radio, former Attorney General of the State of Wisconsin Peg Lautenschlager had the right answer, a no brainer that immediately occurred to me when I heard about this ginned up “controversy.” You'll first hear the voice of former GOP legislator Michelle Litjens who wonders if former Trek exec. Mary Burke has any real thoughts on how business works:



Don't just believe me, take the word of right wing loon Nik Nelson at the Morning Martini, who also got it right...kinda:
Let’s get something straight: Mary Burke didn’t plagiarize portions of her jobs plan from other governors’ campaigns.

She signed off on a platform for creating jobs in Wisconsin that was drafted by a well-paid consultant, reviewed by her team, and put into print to appease liberal voters and just enough moderates to get elected. And that’s the problem.
And in a moment of pure projection, Nelson spewed this...
This jobs plan is designed for political, not economic, gains. The Burke Campaign would have you believe she deserves your vote because she would bring an outsider’s business-oriented, solutions-based pragmatism to Madison to cure what ails it.
As we all know the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity are purely Wisconsin based interest groups, right?

In a major hyperbolic piece from Dan Bice, he wrote this:
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke swiped significant sections of her jobs plan from earlier proposals published by three Democratic candidates who ran for governor elsewhere. Burke spokesman Joe Zepecki said the campaign fired Schnurer Thursday evening. The sections in question, Zepecki said, represented "fewer than 10 paragraphs of a 49-page plan." He suggested that the main ideas in the proposal are Burke's alone. 
Of course everybody I've heard from is wondering how Scott Walker and the Republicans, who have used economic ideas and legislation verbatim themselves and have denied it with a straight face, could fain such outrage without calling attention to their own hypocrisy.

With the answer to that, check out the Political Environment for more.

UPDATE Saturday: The following response by Burke's should have been their first response. This is another misdirection play to distract from Burke's meaningful plan, which Walker can't debate because he doesn't have real world experience. It should also be noted that the following professional opinions stating none of this was plagiarism appeared later in the article, where many have already stopped reading.
Burke’s been clear since she introduced the plan in March that she also relied on experts throughout the country in an effort to spur economic growth and create jobs. “These are ideas that are based on best practices,” Burke said in an interview Friday. “He should not have used the same language, though” … she was proud of her jobs proposal and has no intentions of changing it.

Michael Wagner, a UW-Madison journalism professor and expert on elections, politics and media, said he doesn’t think the situation fits the traditional definition of plagiarism. “From an ethical perspective, it doesn’t meet the definition of plagiarism … The consultant, to me, has self-plagiarized,” Wagner said. “It doesn’t rise to the level of plagiarism...”

Barry Burden, a UW-Madison political science professor also didn’t consider it a clear-cut case of plagiarism because the same consultant was using the same language.

Kyle Kondik, managing editor of Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said political consultants borrowing language from what they have previously written is “very common.” “Honestly, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. So much of what we see in politics is cookie-cutter language.”

After Destroying Election Process, Republicans seek to distract with Ballot Design Lawsuit!!! Here's the Truth Behind the Lawsuit from Republicans Fitzgerald and Vos.

The ridiculous and whiny ballot lawsuit by Sen. Scott Fitzgerald and Rep. Robin Vos is meant to muddy the election waters even more, with the hopes of discouraging and frustrating voters enough so they won’t turn out.

But the comments by the snarling unlikable Vos need some clarification. He said this on WKOW:
"Now, a simple Google search, if you were to type in a person that you were giving a special contract to that's dealing with elections, would have revealed that she had a partisan leaning."


Vos is simply saying that left leaning individuals in America cannot be trusted to do anything anymore, and only conservatives have higher more principled intentions. But that supposes Dana Chisnell is left leaning. Perhaps making election ballots easier to understand and free of possible errors does smack of liberalism, because it does run counter to the maze of regulations and hoops Republicans hope to send voters through year after year.
  
You be the judge. Here’s a quick video interview with this "known" electoral saboteur:

Dana Chisnell’s the person election bureaus call to create bulletproof ballots, ones that are clear enough and understandable enough to ensure that every vote counts. 

She went on to work on the Design for Democracy project — a group dedicated to using design tools to make ballots and voting more understandable; it researched and set forth the best practices for creating printed ballots, optical scan ballots, signs and posters at polling places … created tiny field-guide booklets with easy-to-implement, actionable tips — the boiled-down essence of their research. Her slogan: Democracy is a design problem.
Perhaps Fitzgerald and Vos didn't like the liberal leaning MacArthur Foundation, which “supports creative people and effective institutions committed to building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world, defend human rights, advance global conservation and security, make cities better places, and understand how technology is affecting children and society.” You know, all the things Republicans hate the most because it empowers people with actual freedom and liberty, and not that meaningless version you see on their bumper stickers.

Chisnell is no partisan "hitperson" either. She’s done work in such “leftist” states like Georgia and Ohio:
The guides are now in their third printing, with 1,500 sets being used in 43 states and in four Canadian and European provinces. Demand has exceeded supply. Georgia requested one set for every county. So did Ohio … Matt Masterson, deputy chief of staff for the Ohio secretary of state, who noted that almost all of Chisnell’s ideas involved no additional costs.  
It's hard to get anymore partisan than Ohio, who's Republican Secretary of State tried to gum up the last few elections by restricting early voting and wanted to end early voting the last 3 heaviest days of turnout.

But she's just too partisan for Wisconsin. Poor Chisnell, destroying her own business to give Democrats in Wisconsin a leg up on sure thing gerrymanders Republicans. What a waste.

For fun, check out Chisnell's latest design for online voting:
The Anywhere Ballot: What if anyone could vote on any device? What if, rather than having separate voting systems for people who did and didn’t have disabilities, voters could vote on a device they already had and knew and had customized and personalized. This is a project sponsored by the Election Assistance Commission.

Try out the Anywhere Ballot on your computer or tablet

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Blaska confirms, it was Doyle's Great Recession! Claims Walker cut the Working Poor's Earned Income Tax Credit because they didn't pay taxes.

Blogger and pundit David "Bluster" Blaska made a few incredible but very revealing statements today on WPR, that proved there is an alternative reality out there, and Republicans will be voting in it come November.

Point #1: In this short clip, Blaska's first comment will blow your mind. You know how Scott Walker continues to blame the Great Recessions jobs and business losses on former Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, well Blaska confirms it with this:
"And we're only, ah, three and a half years out from the Doyle recession."
I chuckle every time I hear it. But that's not all.

Point 2: I've been pointing out how nationally, Republicans want to pair back safety nets by proposing an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit. That sounds nice until you realize on a statewide level, Republicans are reducing the credit, essentially raising taxes on the poor while advocating tax cuts for business and the wealthy.

Blustery Blaska lays out how Republicans really feel about the EITC,
"First of all, you can't raise taxes on people who don't pay any taxes...we simply couldn't afford to shell out that kind of money...there was a small cut made in the money we gave, say taxpayer gave to people who didn't pay taxes." 
Walker balanced the budget by reducing the money given to the working poor via the EITC...because they didn't pay any taxes in the first place.



Here's how the Republicans described the EITC cuts way back on May 31, 2011:
But Republicans said the state tax credit program was generous and that changes needed to be made to ensure the state balanced a $3 billion budget deficit over the next two years and still gave businesses incentives to create jobs. The cuts to the earned income credit would total $56.2 million over two years, $12.7 million more than the cuts proposed by Walker. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau has described Walker's proposal as a state income tax increase.

Wow! Republican State Sen. Scott Fitzgerald brags "Any shortfall created by a tax cut is fine."

Facing a possible $4 billion deficit, using the same kind of math Scott Walker has is using to bash former Gov. Jim Doyle and Mary Burke, Republicans are now starting to work into their rhetoric the benefits of deficits. Believe it or not.

The Mic 92.1's Devil's Advocates show got this "Dick Cheney" like response about deficits from Sen. Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, and how they don't really matter much. Even worse, he was speaking for Scott Walker, who would say deficits caused by tax cuts are better than your everyday kind of deficits...basically.
Fitzgerald: "He's gonna say it's a deficit created by tax cuts, that's a much different situation than what we had...Any shortfall created by a tax cut is fine."
Bush and Cheney pushed this same supply side accounting logic, and how did that turn out? $7 trillion in additional debt and counting (war/veterans costs continue).



Fitzgerald's comment is at about the 30 minute mark at the Devil's Advocates podcast site.

Journal Sentinel Spin Discounts Gov. Doyle's 11th place jobs growth ranking, beating Scott Walker's dismal ranking of 33rd.

Good grief. Can you believe this irresponsible reporter mistake on Scott Walker's jobs growth ranking disaster, which is now at 33rd in the nation.
jsonline: Wisconsin's pace in the latest 12 months compares with a rate of 2.08% for the nation as a whole. Wisconsin has lagged the nation in the pace of private-sector job creation for most of the past decade, data show.
"Most of...?" Yeah, if you want to discount the efforts of the Doyle administration, who ranked 11th in the nation for job growth. In Doyle's last year, after making some tough uncharacteristic cuts and tax increases, job creation beat the national average.

In fact, the Journal Sentinel twisted itself into a pretzel discounting Doyle's accomplishment in the second identical graph's ridiculous description:


Walker's improved ranking isn't due to anything he's done, it's compliments of a few other states that saw declines in job creation. 
The latest jobs report is virtually unchanged from the state's previous quarter. However, other states appear to have slowed in the time between the two most recent quarters. As a result, Wisconsin's new rank of 33 improved from a revised rank of 38 in the previous quarter.

Walker cuts food stamps tied to heating assistance, just in time for winter.

Winters have always been difficult in the state for low income Wisconsinites. In the past, many who needed heating assistance also received food stamps. Not anymore, thanks to Scott Walker.

Perhaps Walker believes he's helping people pay their energy bills instead of living a life dependent on food:
AP: Cuts to the nation's food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states (Wisconsin is one of them), far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed ... attempted to save money by scaling back what lawmakers called a loophole in the food stamp program that entitles low-income families to more food aid if they participate in a federal heating assistance program. Among the 16 states that allow the practice or some form of it, 12 governors have taken steps to avoid the food stamp cuts. The states' workaround — mostly by Democratic governors — has infuriated Republicans who pushed the cuts.

As of now, the cuts will only affect Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire. It's unclear how many people will be affected. Officials in Wisconsin, New Jersey and New Hampshire said they don't track that number.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Dissent will not be tolerated say our "Stand with Walker" right wing authoritarians.

Stand with Walker supporters had to bus in protesters!
The wacky right and their envious spokesperson Vicki "I am AFP" McKenna failed to convince very many people to turn out at the Capitol, especially knowing their Americans for Prosperity buses could only transport a limited number of seniors at a time.

That wasn't true of the hard working Wisconsinites who turned out to support all labor, including the vilified teachers in our classrooms.

The tea party "counter protests" were so small and embarrassing that there is no photographic evidence available anywhere.

When it comes to Act 10, this is how Wisconsin Republicans saw the mass turnout of protesters standing up for workers. Guess we don't want to see American redressing their government again anytime soon? McKenna actually wrote this on her Facebook page...
























You'll love this comment...
"This is one of the reasons why education should be entirely privatized. Wisconsinite turned against Wisconsinite with such rancor because teachers' salaries & benefits became a public matter."

Anyone worried about that copy of your voter ID used with your absentee ballot?

I'm wondering if "freedom and liberty" loving small government conservatives ever thought about what happens to those picture ID copies sent along with their absentee ballot?
Those seeking to vote absentee this fall will have to provide local clerks a copy of their photo ID before their ballots will be counted, GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said today.
Gee, I would hate to see a partisan election worker accidentally leave with a few copies in their pocket. Or maybe a quick smart phone pic when nobodies looking, so someone could print one out later just in time for another important election.

Spreading your ID around in the mail and left to the devices of a corrupt election official in a back room somewhere sounds like an even bigger problem than the mythical identity theft known as voter fraud.

Warm up the scanner folks, someone wants your ID...

Burke and Walker/Happ and Schimel race even, majority want to improve ObamaCare.

Here's the latest Marquette Law School Poll, still showing a dead heat between Mary Burke and Scott Walker, and closer race for the attorney general. You'll also notice how Wisconsinites who aren't happy with the Affordable Care Act actually want to overwhelmingly improve it, not repeal it. jsonline:
Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke are tied among registered voters at 46%.
 Among likely voters, Walker leads Burke 49%-46%.

Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ, the Democratic candidate, led Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, a Republican, by 39% to 38%, among registered voters.

Among likely voters, Schimel led Happ, 42% to 41%.

Poll director Charles Franklin noted that in the latest poll, "There is a substantial movement among Republicans to be more enthused and more likely to vote."

42% said Wisconsin was lagging other states in creating jobs, 37% about the same and 13% faster. In August, 48% said the state was lagging others.

On the state budget, 41% said it was better than a few years ago, while 27% said it was worse.

54% of voters said the state was headed in the right direction, 42% said it was on the wrong track, the same as in August.

Walker's job approval was 49%, with 46% disapproving of his performance as governor.

Burke was viewed favorably by 36% of voters and unfavorably by 35%.

Walker was viewed favorably by 49% and unfavorably by 45%.

Asked if marijuana use should be legal, 46% said it should be while 51% said it should not be legal.

Photo identification to vote is favored by 51% and opposed by 35% of those polled. Franklin said, "87% of Republicans backed photo ID and 62% of Democrats opposed it. Partisan differences here quite strong but overall pretty broad support."

40% have a favorable view of the Affordable Care Act while 50% had an unfavorable view. Asked what to do with the act, 10% would keep it, 50% would improve it, 19% would replace it and 18% would repeal the measure that is known as Obamacare. 

On accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid in the state, 61% would accept the cash, while 29% would reject the money.

Asked how to pay for highways, 30% said raise taxes, 5% said borrow money, 13% said build less while 42% said to take the money from other budgets. "Unfortunately, taking from other budgets was the easy out," Franklin said.

Support remains strong for approving a Kenosha casino, with 50% approving and 39% rejecting the proposal.
The sample leaned conservative though, and might be an "outlier." 
Franklin said. “But in the September poll, it is Republicans who have an advantage in enthusiasm. Eighty percent of Republicans said they are certain to vote in November, compared to 73 percent of Democrats and 69 percent of independents. In August, 82 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans and 68 percent of independents were certain to vote.”

Differences in partisan enthusiasm were also reflected in the composition of this month’s sample. Republicans hold a 1-percentage-point advantage among registered voters polled, with 29 percent identifying themselves as Republicans and 28 percent saying that they are Democrats. A total of 41 percent say that they are independent. This is the first time in 24 Marquette Law School Polls that Republicans have held an edge among all registered voters. Among likely voters, Republicans have a 32 percent to 28 percent advantage over Democrats, with 38 percent independent. 

“Across all Marquette polls in 2013 and 2014, Democrats have averaged a 4-point advantage among registered voters and a 3-point advantage among likely voters. It is unusual to see a 5-point net shift in partisan composition,” Franklin said. “People should be appropriately skeptical since it is always possible this sample is simply an outlier. 

Walker surrounds himself with crooks and failures...Chris Christie is comin' to town.

So now Scott Walker finds comfort with another fellow Governor under investigation, Chris Christie.

But wait, don't Walker and Christie share in a common economic vision of austerity?

Maybe Walker is fully aware of the 7 credit downgrades New Jersey received under Christie. I didn't know that either. And the amazing thing is, these guys not only have a slight edge to stay in office, but are possible candidates for president.

It's true, being Republican means never having to be successful, just in power (: Here's Rachel Maddow with Christie's surprising 7 credit downgrades that never seem to get the media mentions it should:

The Rabid Hate Obama Crowd wins elections.

I've mentioned by conservative friend in Milwaukee often because he's given me an insight into the conservative mindset. Hating Obama is one of those insights.

Remember when Republicans would accuse Democrats of "hating Bush," a bizarre retort which ended any reasonable debate about policy? What we're finding out now is that it was "projection," an attempt to defend their own "hate" impulse by attributing it to Democrats.

The Hate Obama Crowd: By chance, two situations came up that basically make this point. The breathless nonstop culmination of Obama attacks resulted in one common message; hate Obama. My conservative friend has been saying this for years, to the point where he doesn't even care about Scott Walker, jobs or the consequences of his parties tax cut policies. He's focused on Obama, and just how much he should hates him.

Here's one of many examples that add to that irrational perception. You'll notice how it's okay to attack Obama, but not okay to attack Bush:
Yahoo: “The View's” self-proclaimed Republican co-host Nicole Wallace came out swinging against President Barack Obama Tuesday morning, saying that she doesn't think he “loves people.” Citing an assertion made by political columnist and former psychiatrist Charles Krauthammer that Obama is clearly a narcissist, Wallace insisted such a diagnosis would explain why the President has an “inability to get things done.”

A stunned Rosie O'Donnell  asked Wallace if she was implying that Barack Obama doesn't love people. Wallace simply answered, “yeah.” Wallace defended her former boss while accusing O'Donnell of attacking  President Bush.
Love ObamaCare, Hate Obama: In the short NY Times clip below, you'll notice how Kentuckians who love ObamaCare will still vote Republican. They just hate Obama. Never mind that their traditional vote for Republicans will end their health care. It's scary stuff, and a reality check. There really is no way to appeal to conservatives:


Walker avoids Deficit Hole Collapse!

Scott Walker continues to show how little curiosity he has about occupations he should have some familiarity with by now, especially after attending ribbon cuttings and business grand openings. Heck, even I knew this one, highlighted below by someone much closer to an actual profession. WISAFLCIO
Jeff Kaminiski, President of the United Steelworkers Local 2006, representing workers at investor owned utilities in the state, made an official complaint with OSHA and called for the commercial to be pulled from the air.
“It’s clear Gov. Walker’s never worked a day of his life in this field. Gov. Walker should be fined by OSHA and this commercial should be immediately pulled for safety reasons.  This is someone in a leadership position setting an unsafe example for workers. 

Not only is Scott Walker not wearing any Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE as it is often referred to, such as a hard hat, safety gloves, work vest or
safety glasses, but he is making errors that could end in serious injury. I immediately noticed that the hole appears to be more than five feet deep, the ladder is not positioned correctly and Gov. Walker is making a host of mistakes, putting his safety at risk. There is no shoring to hold up the side walls … holes with unstable ground or greater than five feet must be shored and the ladder must extend two feet above the hole. As somebody who spends my days pushing safety on the job, these are big offenses.”   
WKOW's Tony Galli looks at the seriousness of the complaint:


Walker Raised Taxes, dismantling Reagan's Earned Income Tax Credit! Broke Norquist Pledge!!!

The latest Mary Burke campaign ad highlights the GOP’s best kept secret; they raised taxes.

Advantage Burke: Republicans were hoping to have it both ways, all the while getting off scot free for raising taxes and breaking their Americans for Tax Reform pledge. Nationally Republicans say they want to raise the Earned Income Tax Credit and scale back safety net programs, while locally Republicans want to reduce the EITC saying the poor didn't earn the tax credit, calling it a taxpayer handout.  

The Burke campaign is just pointing out what should be a major promise broken by Scott Walker; he raised taxes. WisPolitics:
The 30-second spot opens with Burke in a neighborhood saying Ronald Reagan had a really good idea about taxes. “Surprised you, didn't I?” she says before adding he expanded the EITC and cut taxes for working families. She then says Walker “had a really bad idea” in reducing the credit. 
“Cutting taxes for the wealthiest and raising them on 140,000 Wisconsin families. Raising income taxes on working families isn't just bad economics, it's wrong.”


Always remember; Grover Norquist's pledge and organization is based on an idea he came up with when he was 12 years old. Grover's middle school dream hasn't matured one iota since.


GOP sue again, hates new elections ballot!!! They love the courts.

Republicans can’t seem to do anything these days without going to court first. For a party that hates litigation, jackpot justice and frivolous lawsuits, they're now the biggest offenders, seeing nothing wrong with contradicting their own set of phony principles. WisPolitics:
Republicans filed suit this morning in Waukesha County court challenging a redesigned ballot to be used for the November election, arguing it unfairly favors Dems.
The old ballots had a shaded area listing the office and a bold black line under it, with the candidates listed below. Knowing that many of their low information voters aren't too smart, they say the lack of shading and the line separating the office from the first candidate will result in a vote for Democrats:
click to enlarge
The lawsuit, filed by the campaigns of Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, argues the new design will also cause confusion among voters and lead to undervotes. Under the new design, the office is not shaded and there is no line between the office up for election and the first candidate listed. Lines separate each candidate. Dem candidates are listed first this year because President Obama won the state in 2012.
Frivolous? The GOP is redefining the word.
GAB Director Kevin Kennedy said any suggestion GAB staff had a partisan motivation in the redesign was "absurd."
Pretty much describes the party now. Absurd.

But more revealing is how easily Sen. Scott Fitzgerald is confused.Rep. Robin Vos insinuated a Google search would expose the ballots designer as "partisan leaning." There was no information found. I guess having any kind of opinion, or a life, or an occupation, or a favorite color that is not approved by our Republican micro managers Vos and Fitzgerald smacks of partisanship. Small government my ass. Maybe we should run everything through the Wisconsin Club for Growth, like Scott Walker does. From WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The harsh reality of Walker tax cuts: Taco Bell worker pays more in taxes than factory Owner!!!

Glenn Grothman's Democratic opponent Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris is throwing down a few memorable lines Democrats would be smart to repeat. This guy is good. PolitiFact took a look at one of his latest observations, that should give anyone with half a sense of decency a reality check:

From PolitiFact: 
In doing an interview with Harris on Sept. 2, 2014, John "Sly" Sylvester, a liberal radio talk show host in the Madison area, argued that Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has provided "corporate welfare" and that the Legislature "has been sort of a rubber stamp."

Harris, who is the Winnebago County executive, referred to Walker’s 2011-’13 state budget in giving this response:
"Well, even in the first Walker budget, Mr. Grothman pushed through tax credits for manufacturing and agriculture. And they basically passed credits that all but eliminate income tax on manufacturers and on agricultural operations. And, you know, it's not fair to have someone that owns a factory that produces millions in income pay less tax than their nephew would if he worked full time at Taco Bell for minimum wage. But that's exactly what Glenn Grothman passed, and it's phasing in gradually."

AG Van Hollen soft on Domestic Abusers and Harassers, decides not to use GPS tracking program.

AG J.B. Van Hollen must not have liked a program of grants to local police and communities in the 2013-2015 budget to monitor people under restraining orders with GPS technology. It looks like someone is soft on domestic abuse and harassment.
AP: DOJ officials say they never handed out any grants. They say the budget's statutory language doesn't give judges the authority to make GPS monitoring part of restraining orders.
Really? Or was it something else…
The Justice Department has asked Walker in its 2015-17 budget request to eliminate the program.
Ah, J.B. didn't like it. Got it. Aren't Republicans the ones determined to carry out laws passed by the legislature no matter what?

National Media Watching Wisconsin Voter ID fiasco!!

The New York Times editorial department picked up on the disastrous 7th Circuit Court decision to enact voter ID in just two months in Wisconsin. A little quick?

Consider what North Carolina did; they decided to give voters a number of years to ready themselves for the 2016 ID law. But not here, and not by the three conservative judges working with Scott Walker and J.B. Van Hollen. Isn't it odd how Walker, Van Hollen and the Wis. Supreme Court knew their quick work would pay off?
It is difficult to understand the reasoning of the federal appeals court panel that permitted Wisconsin officials to enforce a controversial voter ID lawless than two months before Election Day. That’s partly because the panel’sfive-paragraph order, issued late Friday only hours after oral arguments, offered the barest rationale for lifting the stay that Judge Lynn Adelman of the federal district court had placed on the law in April. Judge Adelman issued a remarkably thorough 70-page opinion finding that the law violated both the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution by making voting harder for a substantial number of Wisconsinites — disproportionately those who are minority and poorer, and who tend to vote Democratic.

Rick Hasen, a professor of election law at the University of California, Irvine, called the panel’s decision “a big, big mistake” on his blog. He added: “It is hard enough to administer an election with set rules — much less to change the rules midstream.” “Virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin,” Judge Adelman found in April.

In short, voter ID laws don’t stop fraud. They stop otherwise-eligible voters from coming to the polls. Richard Posner, a federal appellate judge who sits on the same court as the judges on the ruling panel, made just this point when he said last fall that he was mistaken to have approved a voter ID law in Indiana seven years ago.

That law was upheld by the Supreme Court, which said the challengers had not produced enough evidence of how many voters would be harmed by it, or precisely how the ID requirement would burden them. The opponents of the Wisconsin law have produced reams of evidence on both counts. If that isn’t enough for Judge Posner’s colleagues, it is hard to imagine what would be.

UW Student ID's never changed to meet Voting Standards, instead, issue separate free card.

Guess what, the University of Wisconsin never updated their student ID's to make them useful for voting too, along with debit usage etc. It's only been...what...three "short" years. Student must ask for a free Voter ID card.

Why? Well, here's the explanation they gave earlier this year:
The UW student ID card didn’t meet all of the law’s requirements, and so in January 2012, the UW received permission from the state’s Government Accountability Board to issue special voter ID cards free of charge to students who requested them. James Wysocky, who works in administration and marketing for campus cards at the Wisconsin Union said, “We didn’t expect a significant volume, as most students have a driver’s license or passport. That’s why we didn’t redesign the student ID but issued a separate voter ID instead.” 
So here's the UW Voter ID, and the regular Student ID. How hard would it have been to add a signature?
From the GAB list of standards:
  • An unexpired identification card issued by a Wisconsin-accredited university or college that contains the following:
-- Date of Issuance
-- Signature of Student
-- Expiration date not later than two years after Date of Issuance

Burke hits gold in Walker Deficit Hole.

The Walker "hole" ad was truly an election year gift to Mary Burke, not just bloggers.

My own take pictured here was just the beginning. The Burke campaign decided to mine their own  gold out of Walker's dig.
WisPolitics: Dem guv candidate Mary Burke's campaign today announced a new TV ad using footage from Gov. Scott Walker's latest spot. The Burke ad begins with a clip of Walker saying in an ad, "It's a lot easier to dig a hole than to get out of one."

"But hold on -- it was Gov. Walker who got us here. His tax breaks for the wealthy helped create a $1.8 billion deficit ... and Wisconsin hit rock bottom in Midwest job growth."

"Gov. Walker, please stop digging," the ad concludes.
Even my conservative friend in Milwaukee was stunned by Walker's decision to run something so inviting to his opponents. He by the way thinks Burke's "Reagan" ad was a powerful statement. Take it away Mary Burke.

The Walker Recall Blacklist is Back, used against Democratic Candidate Mark Harris running for Petri’s seat.

Major donors get to hide their political affiliations all the while influencing local elections and public policy. It’s all about free speech. But those citizens who participate in the actual electoral process, like deciding to have a recall, have their political affiliation publically exposed and are retaliated against by the Republican Party. 

A brief line covering the recent private “debate” between Glenn Grothman and Mark Harris pretty much says it all. Harris had a nice comeback, as seen below, despite Grothman's insinuation that the recall signature all by itself should disqualify Harris from public office. Dissent will not be tolerated. Also note the interesting purpose for voter ID bluntly stated in the picture:
WPR: Republican State Sen. Glenn Grothman, and Democratic Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris, competing in the 6th Congressional District, sparred over topics … Grothman also criticized Harris for signing the recall petition against Gov. Scott Walker.
Harris destroyed Grothman's smug suggestion that Act 10 helped Harris' county. There's a reason why I thought Harris should have run for governor; he's quietly smarter and more confident than most every politician in the state.
Harris said he did so because Walker's policies hurt the county and its many public employees in and around Oshkosh.
Harris' answer for signing the recall petition and dealing with Act 10 was right on the money


Monday, September 15, 2014

Walker springs Big Government Drug Test on Wisconsinites who we all know are drug addicts.

Boy, we’re so not in Wisconsin anymore.

Scott Walker’s talk of actually drug testing childless individuals getting unemployment and/or food stamps is the height of big government Republicanism. So now we can confirm the unemployed are drug addicted freeloaders? Can you say kick ‘em when they’re down? Unconstitutional?

What Republicans don't want to deal with are the “free market” consequences of their corporate offshoring/inversion policies. Yea, go after the guy who lost his job instead of asking why big business has scaled down their workforce while pushing their "job creator" myth. And Republicans continue to use the courts to push for everything they want:
Gov. Scott Walker's promises for a second term include cutting property and income taxes for individuals and requiring drug tests for those seeking unemployment and food stamp benefits. "We believe that there will potentially be a fight with the federal government and in court. ... Our goal here is not to make it harder to get government assistance; it's to make it easier to get a job," Walker said.
Walker rationalizes unwarranted drug testing by suggesting he's actually helping the unemployed pass their employer drug test. What a guy? Did you ever get the idea this guy never had a real job in his life? Who requires drug tests? Let's start with politicians? I wish.
 

Rep. Robin Vos had to chime in:
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said ... that the federal government should take its cues from state officials and try to help them reach goals like that rather than hinder them. "The system is upside down. It should be us pushing them," Vos said.
John Nygren loves the idea too, and said so on WPR’s Joy Cardine Show, included in the audio clip below. But what Walker, Vos and Nygren are proposing is only a starting point. Despite the unconstitutional nature of drug test, the following repugnant rant contains many of the ideas above, and a few additional suggestions mentioned often by Rep. Paul Ryan. Let’s be clear, this is how conservatives think, starting with Nygren, and ending with former Arizona state senator Russell Pearce:


Huffinton Post: Former Arizona state Senator Russell Pearce resigned as Arizona Republican Party's first vice chair late Sunday after receiving criticism over recent comments he made about women on Medicaid.
"You put me in charge of Medicaid, the first thing I'd do is get [female recipients] Norplant, birth-control implants, or tubal ligations," Pearce said. "Then, we'll test recipients for drugs and alcohol, and if you want to [reproduce] or use drugs or alcohol, then get a job … (people out there [who] need help) " should get it from "family, church, and community," not the government.

“No cash for Ding Dongs and Ho Hos, you’d only get money for 15-pound bags of rice and beans, blocks of cheese and powdered milk – all the powdered milk you can haul away. If you want a steak or frozen pizza, then you’d have to get a job. Ever live in a military barracks? You’ll maintain your property in a clean, good state of repair, and your home will be subjected to an inspection at any time, possessions will be inventoried. If you want a plasma TV or an X-Box 360, then get a job.”
 Ironically, Pearce and most Republicans call the above “small government?” Oh, and the old tube TV's, you can't buy them anymore, so enough with with the big flat panel TV talk:
Pearce insisted he favored a small-government solution to poverty.
Pearce is like every other Republicans, he’s a freeloader:
When he’s not hosting his KKNT-AM program, Pearce helps promote the Elderly Assistance Fund in his taxpayer-paid position in the Maricopa County treasurer’s office ... paid $85,000 a year in that role, the newspaper reported, and he also draws a public pension from previous government work. Pearce accepted but didn't report nearly $40,000 in paid junkets and college football tickets from Fiesta Bowl officials while helping them receive state subsidies.