Saturday, October 25, 2014

AG candidate Susan Happ says Capitol Protests legal, believes in the State Constitution. Brad Schimel doesn't.

AG candidate Susan Happ looked good again. Especially after Brad Schimel said he would ignore the state constitution for the new laws regulating free speech at the Capitol. Here's the actual constitutional language:
Article I, Section 4, reads: “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof shall never be abridged.”
But that doesn't matter, because very simply, Brad Schimel will defend every rule, regulation and law written by Republicans. Below, he oddly equates disorderly conduct with the people's right to assemble and petition the government.

Here's Brad Schimel as usual, stumbling around making another promise to defend all GOP laws, and not quite getting it:

Amazing. Schimel says if you don't like the ordnance (to curb the protests), then get it changed. Nifty advice when the government you're protesting is trying to outlaw dissent. Not a smart man, and not to curious either. He should look up the unique nature of the Capitol:
The Nation Magazine summed it up best with this important point: According to the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: “The soaring rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol is designed to induce its citizenry to be, as individuals, among the ‘resources of Wisconsin.’ Whereas some statehouses are maintained apart from the urban fabric, the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda functions, both literally and symbolically, as a city center and is fully utilized as a public space to which all have claim.”
Getting a permit protects our free speech? That's what radio word salad chef Vicki McKenna said. Here's what I wrote a little while back:
As phony as the following Vicki McKenna reason is, there is some paranoia in play, rooted in the fear that grips every low information conservative. Oh, and pettiness is a big motivator too: 
McKenna of WIBA participated in the Liberty Singers event, and tells 27 News obtaining a permit is about security, not the political content of the activity. "We just want folks to understand, the permit is easy to get, it's a way to protect all of us and our ability to come here to our beautiful capitol and express ourselves," McKenna says.
NOTE: The state constitution is clear about the right to protest. The last time I looked, bus tours and weddings don't rise to what we would call peaceful assemblies to "consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof" unabridged. Social events need permits, not those protesting their government policies. 
Schimel should also read a little more. Marquette University's law school posted this analysis:
One response to the criticism of the new DOA policy has been to compare the DOA policy to the rules governing demonstrations at the United States Capitol building. the U.S. Capitol building is not considered a public forum, while the Wisconsin State Capitol is. The expression of political speech receives the greatest protection under the First Amendment when it takes place in a public forum. 

Walker used Restaurant lobbyist study saying minimum wage livable...and he believed them.

Sure it was surreal for Scott Walker to claim $7.25 is a living wage, especially if you count government assistance (which Walker is trying to cut).

But it appears our GOP party of business whores will justify anything if given an industry study filled with industry spin and campaign contributions. Money is corrupt free speech.
International Business Times/David Sirota: Scott Walker Based 'Living Wage' Ruling On Restaurant Industry Study.

That official government finding, according to documents reviewed by the International Business Times, was largely based on information provided by the state's restaurant industry -- which represents major low-wage employers including fast-food companies. The restaurant association's study argued that a minimum wage increase would harm the state. It did not actually address whether workers can survive on the $7.25 minimum wage.
 Dan Cantor, the national director of Working Families, one of the groups that has been leading the effort to raise the minimum wage in Wisconsin. "In Scott Walker's world, regular people don't matter, only corporations." Walker's election campaigns have taken in more than $200,000 from donors in the restaurant industry. 
Of course wouldn't it be nice if everyone made two to three time the minimum wage? Forget about the tens of millions working in poverty now. Let's shoot for the future. 
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and issued a statement saying: "Governor Walker wants jobs in Wisconsin that pay two or three times the minimum wage.
Ah, we can dream, can't we. It's hard to argue with the following study, "stand with Walker" Borgites:
McDonald's corporate documents effectively admitted that its low-wage jobs do not provide adequate income. The company advised its workers to take second jobs. The internal "McResource Line" suggested selling unwanted Christmas gifts on eBay or Craigslist to bring in some cash, and told workers to break their food into smaller pieces in order to stretch out meals yet still feel full. 
And who can forget Walker's campaign partner Chris Christie's memorable comment:
This week, they slammed Gov. Chris Christie for saying he is "tired of hearing about the minimum wage." 
Or this moment of honesty from the GOP Gov. candidate in Illinois:
They have criticized Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner for saying he wants to eliminate the minimum wage. 
That's where Republicans want to take us. Of course, Walker is getting away with breaking the law. Anyone? AG Van Hollen? 
In a September 24th filing, Wisconsin Jobs Now (representing more than 100 state residents) argued that the current minimum wage violates state statutes requiring "every wage paid" in the state to be a "living wage" -- a term defined as enough to "enable the employee" to maintain himself under "sufficient" conditions and welfare. 
Using real numbers:
Wisconsin's current minimum wage provides an annual income well below the federal poverty line for a two-person household. According to data compiled by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Amy Glasmeier, a single parent with one child would need to earn more than double the state's existing minimum wage to cover essential expenses such as housing, food and health care. 
I don't usually get into Robert Reich videos, but the one below says what I've been saying for some time now, especially after dissecting Paul Ryan's yearly updated-reworded plans; Republicans want a desperate low wage working class for big business:

UPDATE: One source, and a lobbyist, provided the data for Scott Walker's decision to stay clear of a rise in the minimum wage. Even worse, Walker's opposition is based on his wish that everyone should make three times as much. Is that just crazy?

Time to go to court:
Wisconsin Jobs Now plans to sue Gov. Scott Walker's administration Monday as part of an ongoing effort to force an increase in Wisconsin's minimum wage. Peter Rickman, who leads the effort to raise the minimum wage said he had mostly received back the group's own complaints along with a study from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association on the effects of a minimum-wage increase. He said the lawsuit to be filed Monday in Dane County Circuit Court will ask a judge either to force such an investigation on the part of the state or to issue a finding that the minimum wage doesn't meet the standard for a living wage as defined in state law. Rickman pointed to a study this month by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and the Economic Policy Institute. That study found that some 700,000 state residents make less than $11.36 an hour, the amount it says is needed to keep a family of four out of poverty.

That study found that the "13 states that raised the minimum wage at the beginning of 2014 experienced subsequent job growth equal to or better than states that did not."

Republicans promise to save us from their own Crisis to Crisis policies. Thanks?

I still can’t wrap my mind around the American public’s support of a party that can say things like…
“We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board ..."
Each item is a basic fundamental issue that benefits every American, and insures a healthy economy.

We are truly turning into the old Superman comics alternative universe known as “Bizarro World,” where everything is just the opposite of truth/common sense. Take a look at the Bizarro agenda, and tell me it doesn't sound real familiar:

The quote in red above is something Sen. Mitch McConnell’s said in private. Huffington Post:
McConnell's been frank about what the GOP would do with the Senate … This quote comes from audio, obtained by Undercurrent's Lauren Windsor, of a talk McConnell gave to a Koch Brothers group in August:
"Most things in the Senate require 60 (votes) ... but not the budget. So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. What does that mean? ... No money can be spent to do this or do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board ..."
What that means, why it seems wrong, and why in gods name would voters put Republicans in charge when they're pushing health care uncertainty, financial uncertainty, and pollution?
1. Expose Americans to toxic threats … Cuts in EPA funding are intended to meet the GOP's stated goal of deregulating high-polluting industries … would lead to more fracking, more poisons in the groundwater, a higher risk of water-supply crises like the one recently experienced in West Virginia, increased air pollution... A sicker population which is at greater risk of environmental disaster.

2. Deprive millions of American of health insurance: The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect. But it has extended health insurance to millions of Americans, both through the exchanges and through Medicaid extensions at the state level … Denying funding would close down the exchanges and end the Medicaid program. That would lead to thousands of additional deaths like that of Charlene Dill, a young working mother in Florida. In addition, millions of Americans would lose their exchange-based health insurance under a Republican Senate, including people who have pre-existing conditions or are under 26 years old.
And then there’s this jaw dropping giveaway to Wall Street and our Corporate pay masters:
McConnell said he would "definitely" defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling it "the biggest part of the Dodd/Frank bill." "If I had my way, we wouldn't have the [CFPB] at all."

 How could anyone seriously say they want to get rid of consumer financial protections, and get away with it? I know conservatives hate regulation, but really, come on. Here's how Republicans plan to take our money away under the liberating guise of the "free market."
3. Ensure that money that financial institutions obtain dishonestly -- money like the $4.6 billion the CFPB has already returned to consumers -- would remain in the banks' pockets from now on.

4. Give a green light for credit-card companies to resume the "deceptive marketing practices" and other abuses that the CFPB has red-flagged: Three major credit card companies have returned a total of $425 million. Interventions like this would end under a GOP Senate.
 Here’s an important one that will also negatively effect free market health care insurance contracts when the GOP kills ObamaCare:
5. Make credit-card agreements and mortgage documents harder to understand: The CFPB's rule require credit-card companies and mortgage lenders to write their agreements in plain English. That will end if McConnell has his way. The end result? Mortgage agreements that are impossible to understand, with provisions that could lead to foreclosure and/or prove financially ruinous to borrowers.

6. Make it harder to shop for student loans: Defunding the CFPB would put an end to rules which make it easier for students and their families to comparison-shop for student loans. The student-loan ombudsman's office, which reviews complaints about student loans, would also be shut down.

8. Close down the CFPB complaint database: Consumers can now complain to the CFPB whenever they feel they have been cheated, abused, or misled by financial institutions. That would end, according to McConnell.

10. Protect "too big to fail" banks: Although Mitch McConnell claims otherwise, defunding Dodd/Frank would be a boon for too-big-to-fail banks. While he claims the law benefits them, the evidence suggests otherwise. 

12. Allow more sneaky dealing in mortgages: In Undercurrent's audio clips, McConnell seems to suggest that mortgage lenders didn't contribute to the 2008 financial crisis. This is nonsense. Fraud and excessive risk-taking were endemic throughout the mortgage financing system, from the underwriting of new loans to the bundling and selling of mortgages to third parties. That epidemic of fraud and risk-taking was central to the financial crisis, and to a massive loss of wealth for the American majority.

As Attorney General, Republican Brad Schimel promises to protect Republican passed laws!!! He's actually telling us that.

We're adults here, aren't we? Isn't AG candidate Brad Schimel clearly telling us he will support every Republican passed law, with an exception for this, and exception for that? Reporters though will never print that.

Democratic AG candidate Susan Happ correctly pointed out Schimel's flip floppy hypocrisy.

Take for example the Government Accountability Board, in charge of elections. Brad Schimel says he supports Wisconsin's law banning coordination between candidates and third party groups...

...except when he doesn't support the GAB's interpretation of that law. But the GAB is a government body of retired judges appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the Senate, enforcing laws (one in particular), which Schimel doesn't personally agree with.
The mission of the Board is to ensure accountability in government by enforcing ethics and lobbying laws ... charged with oversight of Wisconsin's campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws ... created a year earlier in 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 ... its staff are dedicated to enforcing the election, ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws vigorously to reduce the opportunity for corruption and maintain public confidence in representative government.
The duties are clear, but Schimel still won't support the GAB's legal interpretation of election law. Schimel could represent the GAB and let the courts make that decision, but why go through that hassle?

GOP Rubber Stamp Schimel: He's point blank telling us that. In the debate he said he will clearly contort and politicize our legal system, making challenges a thing of the past. Here's that debate moment of clarity, Brad Schimel's confused state, and Susan Happ's reasoned reaction:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Conservative Fond du Lac leery of Republican Legislators Voodoo Economic suggestions for city budget.

I just love this story. It shows how completely irresponsible Madison Republican legislators are about their continued use of supply side, voodoo economic policy.

First, let’s see how one state senator and one state representative would solve Fond du Lac’s budget problems. Yes, they want tax cuts. FDLReporter:
Fond du Lac City Council will take a couple more weeks to consider applying more 
Trust us, we know what we're doing?
reserve funds to the 2015 budget. Sen. Rick Gudex and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, both former councilmen, spoke as “city residents” suggesting the Council use some or all of the $1.5 million in unassigned fund balance to help reduce the tax levy that includes a 5.4 percent increase …saying it was unfair to ask taxpayers to “pay more” in the form of a tax increase.
What makes their suggestion even more ludicrous is that it sets up a budget before the city’s reassessments are factored in, which could be dramatic.  
The tax increase, though, will vary in the wake of a citywide property revaluation, where some properties increased in value and others decreased. Thiesfeldt said “I am very uncomfortable with maintaining a fund balance well beyond Council policy of 15 percent and ... increasing taxes by 5.4 percent of equalized value. There should be some consideration to knocking that down.”
No, there shouldn't. And that was the message by the city's real managers of taxpayer money, who presented some very important reasons:
City Manager Joe Mooreand Director of Administration Hal Wortman both voiced concerns Wednesday about the use of additional fund balance to reduce a tax rate increase. Wortman said the city could get into a cycle of increasing budget deficits and would have to cut services.

Moore said by lowering the levy, no matter how it’s done, it would “re-set” the baseline property tax levy and the amount cannot be recovered. There is no additional state aid and the levy may be increased only by the percentage of new construction and increases in debt service. “If you don’t levy up to the levy limit, you've reduced your levy and that is the new base for the next budget year and years going forward,” Wortman said. “You've lost forever whatever amount you reduce it by.”
Wortman is talking about our big government Republicans in Madison, who put a fiscal straitjacket on local government:
Wortman said there would be better ways to use excess fund balance, including repayment of debt, avoidance of new debt and for economic development. “I would say stick with the levy budget as is,” he said. “It would be a poor financial decision to draw down the tax levy.”
The outright rejection of Rep. Thiesfeldt and Sen. Gudex’s budgetary suggestions tell the whole story:
Moore said the risk inherent in using the entire $1.5 million is having no fund balance at the end of 2015 for use in 2016. Previous budgets have used some fund balance to support the upcoming year’s budget. If an emergency arose, there would be no funds to draw from. 
I think this sums it up:
Council President Sam Meyer said he wanted to be comfortable about the city’s ability to pay bills in the future.

Walker discloses anti-aborition/anti-sex marriage agenda to lobbyist Wisconsin Family Action!! Gets their endorsement.

Scott Walker simply has a different opinion about abortion, with no plans to pass any laws making that choice impossible to make. Sure, others have plans and write bills that he will probably sign that advances his point of view, but it isn't on his radar. 

Walker’s argument assumes we’re idiots, and maybe those who believe him are, but we've grown accustomed to ignoring the obvious intent of the conservative fringe. I even had to get this story (printed Wednesday, on page 7, in the WSJ), from the twin cities Pioneer Press .

While Walker got a pass for desperately trying to look moderate on abortion, his position is more than clear below. Did you know women seeking an abortion aren't too smart, and thanks to Scott Walker, they’re now getting that important information? 
Wisconsin Family Action endorsed Walker on Tuesday. In a Sept. 5 letter seeking the group's endorsement, Walker said he passed legislation that gives women seeking abortions more information and health protection… Walker signed a bill last year that requires a woman seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and doctors to show the woman the image of the fetus.
But Walker was just as proud of his unconstitutional position on same sex marriage, which proves these guys don't care one bit about our founding document. Equal protection? Forget it, since marriage between a man and a woman is right there in the constitution…somewhere.
He went on to say he was defending the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He said he swore an oath to uphold the constitution and supports "marriage between one man and one woman."
That doesn't make any sense, but this same article simply accepts his statement as fact.

Walker also gets a pass for not saying what he means. No big deal.
Walker opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, but he hasn't said that in so many words as he's been campaigning. 
So this is what we can expect of our politicians...not much?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Burke leads Walker 49% to 48%

No other information provided:
The latest Rasmussen Reports statewide telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters finds Democratic challenger Mary Burke with 49% support to incumbent Republican Scott Walker’s 48%. One percent (1%) like another candidate in the race, and two percent (2%) are undecided.

Rob Zerban schools Paul Ryan on ObamaCare, Medicare for all!!! Ryan knows nothing about the Affordable Care Act.

Paul Ryan doesn't know anything about the Affordable Care Act. If he did, he wouldn't have made the following claims during his debate with Democratic challenger Rob Zerban in Janesville.
1. The government didn't take health care over. It created exchanges to shop for private insurance that now has to compete like never before.

2. "Patient centered" health care is a lie, but sounds better than insurer centered health care doesn't it.

3. "All the insurers competing with each other" for our business as consumers. First of all, the exchanges do just that, make insurers compete side by side with other providers. I don't know what he's talking about here. Secondly, health care is not a consumable, something we can choose to buy if we want. Many times were not even conscious.

4. ObamaCare doesn't take money from Medicare, it supports it, by closing the drug doughnut hole completely. You can even get your supplemental insurance on the exchange if you already have a policy, although your portion of the tax credit would no longer apply.  
When it was Democrat Rob Zerban's turn, he took complete control of the issue, from both a humanitarian and business perspective. It's really as easy as Zerban says it is:

Extra! Extra! Paul Ryan blames Supply Side economics for lost jobs and lower paying.

What follows might have an impact on everything Paul Ryan does from here on in, especially if he runs for president. No one believes more in trickle-down economics than Paul Ryan. Often called supply side or voodoo economics, it's the belief that tax cuts and corporate handouts will have a trickle down effect, spurring on job creation. Did that create demand too? Nope.

In the final 1st District debate with Democratic challenger Rob Zerban, Paul Ryan came right out and admitted trickle down is at fault for low wages, joblessness and millions of people on assistance.

But oddly he blamed Obama for the whole 30 year Republican mess.

In a word salad mix of supply side blame, then praise and then it failure based on Democratic regulation and taxation, Ryan couldn't have been more intentionally confusing. But we know better now, don't we:
Debate Question: "Who is actually experiencing the  benefits of our economy? The sad reality is that millions of Americans have not had a pay increase in years. Many who lost jobs went back to work at substantially lower paying jobs, and many have given up entering the workforce altogether. Meanwhile, while you're in the stock market, until last week anyway, your bank account bulged as a result of corporate profits averaging 20%. What will it take, and what will you do to ensure a continued recovery is better shared by all Americans, instead of just those at the top?" 

Paul Ryan: "Hundred percent, 100% agree with that...why is that? Guess what, we're practicing trickle down economics right now. 
Beautiful, I'm liking it Paul. But here's where Ryan paints a Salvador Dali version of supply side, that impossibly includes liberal regulation and taxation. After 30 years of Reagan's supply side disaster, Ryan has the cojones to blame Obama? Ryan again agrees, trickle down failured:
Paul Ryan: The economics of this administration, more regulation that cost jobs and strangle small businesses, higher tax rates that put small business manufacturers at a disadvantage from out foreign competitors. And our Federal Reserve pumping trillions of dollars into the stock market create the wealth effect, is giving people with lots of money-more money, but that growth is not translating down to the middle class. It's not lifting people out of poverty, when we have among the highest poverty rates in a generation. This is what we're practicing right now.

These are the policies that the president and administration has put in place. More regulations, higher taxes, loose money from the Federal Reserve to pump up the stock market. We should go in the opposite direction. Regulations that make sense, that are predictable...let's have a tax code that's fair and simple and stops picking winners and losers, and lowers tax rates on all of our producers and all of our job creators so that they can be competitive in the global economy...lets streamline our regulations so that businesses can hire people, so people can get more take home pay..."
Transforming greedy CEO's into admirable "job creators" was never a sustainable lie:

Gov. Christie: "Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the Voting Mechanism, or would you have Mary Burke?"

Gov. Chris Christie made it very clear in the following stunning admission:

This proves we're seeing a take-no-prisoners governmental coup, orchestrated by right wing authoritarian Republicans through our elections systems, to take control and stay in power.

How would you answer Christie's questions below?
Christie: “Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?”
 If that wasn't clear enough, Christie continued by stating emphatically, that Republicans should use their "political apparatus" to control voting in the 2016 presidential election:
“The fact is it doesn’t matter if you don’t really care what happens in these states, you’re going to care about who is running the state in November of 2016, what kind of political apparatus they’ve set up and what kind of governmental apparatus they’ve set up to ensure a full and fair election in 2016,” he said. “All of those things are incredibly important.”
Case closed folks.

Another of Walker's Biggest Campaign Lies: we have a $535 million budget surplus!!!

Who didn't see this one coming? "Stand with Walker" drones, that's who:

Here's how slick Scotty did it again; it's the old career politicians double standard trick:
Walker’s own budgets report the "structural deficit" number using the method the Fiscal Bureau used to come up with $1.8 billion. Indeed, Walker has used the "structural deficit" estimates to his advantage in the past and even has made it the centerpiece of his re-election campaign.  the governor is seeking to have it both ways, trumpeting the bureau’s method when it suits him and rejecting it when it does not. Walker told debate viewers: "The next state budget will begin with a surplus of over half a billion dollars -- $535 million to be exact."

That rosy number flies in the face of the official estimate that uses a long-established method used by members of both parties, and the governor’s budget office.

We rate the claim False.

Walker tried to grease skids for campaign treasurer's bid to provide office space for County.

Scott Walker wasn't charged, so never mind? He still doesn't get how he can be judged by his actions and the choice of people he has around him. Again, why is this always happening to poor Scotty, and why is he declining to answer these questions too:  
jsonline: Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday declined to answer specific questions about why he helped his campaign treasurer in an ultimately unsuccessful bid in 2010 to provide office space for Milwaukee County, where Walker was the county executive. But Walker noted that no one was charged.
“…in that particular case, I opted to go with county property. None of the bidders that ultimately bid on it got the bid because we felt the best deal for the taxpayers of the county at that time was to go with county property.”
Real estate broker John Hiller lobbied for the county to sell its City Campus building and then got detailed information from a top Walker aide around the time bids were being evaluated to provide office space for workers to be displaced by the sale. The emails show that Hiller, Walker’s campaign treasurer, was given information by Cindy Archer, director of the Department of Administration. 
Of course Walker is the victim of partisan politics. He’s a victim alright, but of his own past actions:
Walker said, “Clearly, the highly partisan Milwaukee County executive, who has given $63,000 to my opponent, released four-year-old emails two weeks before the election to distract voters from my opponent’s failed record.”  
Bring out the Walker Recall Blacklist Please: WISGOP’s reaction is laughable and so predictable; they cleverly tried to use Walker’s own problem of illegal coordination as a hammer against Abele. Oh, and someone signed Walker’s recall petition, so they can’t be trusted either. Two birds with one stone:
The Republican Party of Wisconsin said it filed an open-records request with Abele’s office Tuesday, calling the release a “slimy political stunt” involving “directly coordinating messaging” between Abele’s office and the campaign of Democrat Mary Burke. It also accused Milwaukee County Corporation Counsel Paul Bargren of having partisan motives, noting that he signed a petition to recall Walker as governor.

But Abele spokesman Brendan Conway said “From the time the judge ordered these emails to be released, County Executive Abele put himself at arm’s length and had the county’s attorneys, not politicians, fully handle the vetting and release of these public records.” 
More Fallour Update: From the Wisconsin State Journal's Dee Hall:
A national procurement expert said Wednesday that inside information on a county real estate deal provided by top Milwaukee County officials to the treasurer of Gov. Scott Walker’s gubernatorial campaign was “highly unethical” and made a “fraud of the entire process.”

Taxpayers throw all their voucher money into Christian Religion Schools! These aren't "Choice" schools, they're Sunday Schools.

This Northwestern Oshkosh news story failed to mention the most important issue:
A total of 78 students are getting state-funded vouchers this year to attend private schools in the Oshkosh area.
All 78 students are going to Christian schools, and most of that voucher cash is ending up in the pockets of those who already have kids in those schools.

Scott Walker's promise to expand the program statewide will by default, which would create a separate parallel publically funded religious based school system. The government would then be establishing a religion, in this case Christianity. We've always assumed the Constitution prevented the establishment of "a" religion. But nothing in the 1st Amendment prevents the establishment of a number of religions.  
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion...
No one seems to have a problem with that?  

Small government Republicans? Only when it comes to Big Business, as Walker, Vos and Fitzgerald prepare massive new conservative regulatory maze for public.

With the initial stages of our new and convoluted electoral, food stamp and unemployment system in place, the Walker authority is about to enter the next phase of Rube Goldberg regulation including drug testing for public assistance, advantage GOP election law by getting rid of the nonpartisan GAB, expand charter and vouchers despite their devastating impact on rural schools, and delay an inmate’s release until they get temporary employment first (is that even legal?).

According to Republic Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, his goal is to hit the ground running in January, with no lengthy delays. Maybe “stand with Walker” supporters are okay with ramming more big government down our throats without any debate, but it wasn't so long ago Republicans wanted to slow bills down by deciding if they were first, constitutional, and then get citizen feedback. Not so much anymore.

I liked only one idea: to “create electronic benefit cards for public assistance recipients” with a photo. The card can then be used for voting as well? Unless Vos and company decide they don’t want to make voting that easy for their targeted suppression efforts. 

And for those people buying food in the wrong places? Vos would attack food stamp abuse this way...
Cards should be programmed to automatically decline at places like casinos, liquorstores or strip clubs.
Their unashamed racist stereotype did not go unnoticed on page 11.   

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Walker will end and privatize public schools, especially those in conservative rural areas.

There's no free lunch. Funny thing, Scott Walker and his followers have thrown that concept out the door now that they're in complete control of the state. 

Public education will only get more expensive as the state shifts the cost of education to local districts, via referendums, instead of spreading the cost to all taxpayers for the greater good.

And after a successful referendum, taxes go, while Walker brags about cutting them. It's the old "career politician" trick. And despite not having an alternative option, Walker will end Common Core.

And it'll be going from bad to worse:
WPR: For many of Wisconsin's rural school districts, the issue of school funding is a pressing one. There are 340 students enrolled in the school district of Potosi. Schools in small, rural towns across Wisconsin are struggling. Enrollment is declining, poverty is rising, and transportation costs are considerable. Jerry Fiene, the executive director of the Wisconsin Rural Schools Alliance, says that limited school funding has exacerbated the situation. “Over the past 10 years, there have been nearly 1,000 referenda to exceed the revenue limit. And of those, 80 percent are rural school districts.”
If Walker gets another 4 years, he's going to push a wasteful internet "distant learning" plan as a way around busing and the dwindling supply of teachers hired away by wealthier districts. Distant learning has been a disaster so far, but still...
Walker said his next budget would include more focused aid for rural schools, “We're going to build off of that and incorporate it in our budget to try to give more attention not only for transportation costs, but for distance learning costs and other things that offset some of the challenges that rural schools have across the state,” Walker said.
That's horrible news. Mary Burke on the other hand passionately cares about schools:
Mary Burke said she wants to remake Wisconsin's school funding formula to help rural schools if the budget allows.
The problem with all schools, especially in the rural areas, is upkeep, fluctuating enrollment and the important and sadly understated roll they play in bring communities together:
Ron Saari, the Postosi School District’s superintendent, said that the community’s 1950s-era school building is aging and needs attention. He said some people are worried. “When a school shuts down in a town like Potosi, they say that the town kind of goes dead,” Saari said. “The school is seen as the heart of the community.”
One teachers Facebook post vented this frustration:
I am a teacher in a public school in Wisconsin. In 2011 our governor enacted the biggest cuts to education in our state's history- $1.2 billion. In the following years, more money was drained from Wisconsin’s public schools into voucher schools and charter schools. Yet, to the casual observer, Wisconsin’s public schools may look largely unchanged. Why is this? One answer is that Wisconsin’s teachers are doing their best to make up the difference.

When schools don’t have enough money for needed supplies, teachers dip into their own pockets … spent $513 in personal funds on materials for the classroom. Our school parking lot is almost never empty; teachers are there early in the morning, long after school lets out, and on the weekends. When teachers do leave school, they carry a bag of work with them. Over the past three years, I have watched talented and devoted teachers leave the profession. I bet you have, too.
In this letter to the editor in the Beaver Damn Daily Citizen:
Tom Schmidt Sr., Juneau: Hustisford's electorate voted by more than 75 percent for the politicians who cut funding to public schools by $800 million, namely Gov. Scott Walker and Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (a Hustisford alumnus). The voters' decision to elect the 'Two Scotts' is going to result in higher property taxes or the likely loss of the high school.
Walker has a plan too, and not so original. Here’s a short look at where privatized public education is headed, and you’ll just love the cast of characters:
Moyers: Douglass Academy founder, a politically active North Carolina businessman named Baker Mitchell, shares the Kochs’ free-market ideals. Every year, millions of public education dollars flow through Mitchell’s chain of four nonprofit charter schools to for-profit companies he controls. The schools buy or lease nearly everything from companies owned by Mitchell. Their desks. Their computers. The training they provide to teachers. Most of the land and buildings. Unlike with traditional school districts, at Mitchell’s charter schools there’s no competitive bidding. No evidence of haggling over rent or contracts.

The schools have all hired the same for-profit management company to run their day-to-day operations. The company, Roger Bacon Academy, is owned by Mitchell. The treasurer of the nonprofit that controls the four schools is also the chief financial officer of Mitchell’s management company. The two organizations even share a bank account. Mitchell’s management company was chosen by the schools’ nonprofit board, which Mitchell was on at the time — an arrangement that is illegal in many other states.

Many of these companies are becoming political players … Mitchell’s company, have aligned themselves with influential conservative groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Koch-supported American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. This new reality — in which businesses can run chains of public schools — has spurred questions about the role of profit in public education and whether more safeguards are needed to prevent corruption.

Ed Schultz talks with Mary Burke.

Here's Big Ed Schultz with Mary Burke...for governor:

Monday, October 20, 2014

College Republicans low information talking point dummies!! Doesn't bode well for the future of the GOP.

Republicans have always ripped college students for their idealism, liberalism and naivety. For many of them, students are too young and too misinformed to even vote. Age brings on the onset of senility…I mean conservatism.

Well, talk about projection and being misinformed, the College Republicans are simply embarrassing. In the most unlikely criticism of Mary Burke, former CEO at Trek Bike, and the most unlikely portrayal of career politician Scott Walker, the College Republicans posed this madness:
Wisconsin will be acting as the employer Nov. 4, and we, as Wisconsinites, are going to hire a candidate for governor based on his or her previous job experience. By making the decision to vote for a candidate, we are essentially hiring someone to manage a business in which we all are stakeholders. 

Hiring Burke would be like hiring a recent business school graduate to be the new CEO of Walmart. While the graduate might be a great person, they have no relevant experience as a manager or as a corporate executive. While working for Trek, she made plans to send jobs oversees even though she could have kept the jobs right here in Wisconsin.
First clue: Mary Burke didn't have anything to do with the decision to outsource, that was just another phony talking point by WISGOP. Sure that discredits everything these dunderheads would write before and after, but this is way too much fun.

You’ll love this next point posed by “some pundits,” which I would assume to be an elite class of conservative idiots:
Circus act? 
There is another red flag on her résumé that voters should check out. After her brief time at Trek, Burke embarked on what some pundits have described as a year-long snowboarding sabbatical. While Burke should be able to spend her money in any way that she wants too, this should still be a red flag for any employer. If anyone were to take a spontaneous year off work, any serious employer would have questions about the gap in my résumé. Everyone regardless of their political affiliation should want to question Burke about this sabbatical. 
This was a huge issue with my conservative friend in Milwaukee. Funny thing, while Republicans complain about people being on unemployment too long, they're also saying those same people shouldn't be given a job…so, they should stay on the public dole? Confusing? That's how they think.

They also had this funny bit of projection, a point I recently blogged about dealing with Walker’s lack of answering all questions. It’s really Mary Burke’s problem?
The employers should refer to her interview. During the second debate that Burke had with Gov. Scott Walker, she never really seemed to offer any real solutions. She did a great job saying that there are some problems with our state, but she rarely, if ever, gave real, tangible, actionable solutions. 
Funny, those tangible, actionable tax cuts for our job creators haven’t done anything at all. She actually gave a number of different ways to get industry going again in the state, and it isn’t another tax cut.
While we don’t know about the other employers, we do not intend on hiring the recent college graduate to be the new CEO of Walmart.
Weird and stupid, but that's why I'm posting this. "Stand with Walker" drones think it’s best to hire a college dropout with no corporate executive experience at all. In another press release, the College Republicans said this:
“No matter what Mary Burke says on campus today she can’t hide the fact that she still refuses to commit to another 2 year tuition freeze. UW-Madison students deserve to know if she is planning to raise tuition if elected like her predecessor Jim Doyle chose to do.
She answered this already, saying she would freeze tuition if the state starts funding our state colleges again. After all, they're a huge money maker and job creator. 

Schimel campaign Dirty, Political and Unprofessional beyond words.

For what is portrayed as a nonpartisan office, Brad Schimel isn't pretending to steer clear of instituting hard core politics into the state's law enforcement system as the attorney general.

You can't tell me Schimel's web site headline isn't absolute classless trash. What a wreck:

Scott Walker lied about supporting Milwaukee's Shot Spotter program, and Burke had to correct him.

Just watch Scott Walker's smooth delivery of BS on his support of the Shot Spotter program, the one he wanted to defund. It should give even "stand with Walker" Borg-ites a moments pause.

Mary Burke reminded the debate viewing audience that slick Scotty isn't telling the truth very often:

Jimmy John's no compete contracts lock employees into their low wage jobs. Moving only other option...maybe.

In the most bizarre punitive action against low wage part time workers, Jimmy John's is locking in their local labor force with no compete contracts. Small town or large, that might take you out of the labor force completely for awhile.

Workers are barred from working for similar sandwich shops or restaurants withing a 3 mile radius of either an employee's current location, or any other Jimmy John's location, for two years. The fact that there's a Jimmy John's every mile or so, that doesn't leave a lot of options for workers, does it? Move? What, on their wages? Jaw-dropping.

Ed Schultz talked to Wisconsin Jobs Now's Jennifer Epps-Addison about the impact on labor:

(Employees will) "not have any direct or indirect interest in or perform services for ... any business which derives more than ten percent (10%) of its revenue from selling submarine, hero-type, deli-style, pita and/or wrapped or rolled sandwiches and which is located within three (3) miles of either [their current place of employment] or any such other Jimmy John's Sandwich Shop." 
The thing is, no one ever thought an employer would go after labor like this:
Kathleen Chavez, the lawyer representing employees in the case, told HuffPo that the terms of the noncompete would prevent a former Jimmy John's employee from working in 6,000 square miles in 44 states and Washington, D.C.

Republican AG candidate Schimel pronounces Waukesha County clean, not "Ground Zero" for Voter Fraud?

Wow, Brad Schimel's partisan aw shucks cluelessness is getting even more unsettling by the day.

It was a jaw dropping moment, and of course ignored by the media, even the Journal Sentinel who got the scoop. Schimel spouted what was clearly a race based, partisan centric comment about voter fraud.
Schimel: "As it turns out, we're not ground zero for voter fraud in Waukesha County."
After going on a rant about how hard it is to find fraud, and then prove it, this happened:
JS Reporter: "So you said Waukesha wasn't ground zero for voter ID and voter fraud, is there a ground zero for voter fraud?"

Schimel: "I don't know the answer to that, but I do know what happens in my county...we typically have a very large voter turnout in the big elections, and I think that helps."
But if you can't check and there's no real way to head is hurting.

Lilly white Republican Waukesha County is clean. Why even look for fraud, when according to Schimel, so many other unspecified places are so questionable. He couldn't name them, but...well, you know where they are, right?

It wasn't so long ago ballot bags were found open in Waukesha County, late reported votes were counted, a private record keeping system based on "trust" was put in place by the areas star of incompetence, County Clerk Kathy Nicholaus. Click here for an entire history of stories Nicholaus generated over her botched handling of votes and elections in "clean" Waukesha County.  She even came back when she was reappointed temporarily to her old job as clerk last spring, even while running for board supervisor. You can't make this stuff up.

The Journal Sentinel editorial board didn't appear stunned by Schimel's over the top statement. Breathtaking:

Republicans were for "czars," before they were against them, before they were for them again.

My conservative friend in Milwaukee called and asked me if I was concerned about what the government isn't telling us about the spread of Ebola. Never mind what the medical community is doing about the disease. Indefinite travel blockades and blaming Obama was tops on his list. He never thought about the successful Republican efforts to block the next Surgeon General, the very person who would be handling this right now. Obama's nominee got the GOP's thumbs down for talking about the health care crisis involving the use of firearms.

I also asked him if Gov. Rick Perry should also be blamed for the spread in Texas, along with the TB outbreak there. He never heard about the 5 newborn babies who tested positive for TB, infected by a nurses assistant who was allowed to work for weeks while sick. Health care is not a concern in Texas. My friend got angry, accusing me of changing the subject, and hung up. 

He called me a few days later to harass me over the new Ebola "czar," even though many Republicans called for one. I asked him if he saw Rachel Maddow's coverage of just that subject. He didn't. Maddow recalled how a number of Republicans wrote a bill banning the creation of "czars." Those same Republicans apparently forgot how much they hated czar's, because now their leading the charge to appoint one.

Media Matter's also posted this reminder:

When Conservative Media Didn't Care Bush's Bird Flu Czar Had No Medical Experience

Funny revealing stuff about the every changing platform of our "principled" GOP hypocrites:

Economic columnist David Cay Johnston also pointed out how the Texas problem started at a profit hospital. But wait, for profit health care is the GOP solution to ObamaCare:

Proof Walker turned down Medicaid Expansion to pad the pockets of insurer Anthem Blue Cross.

When you're talking about giving a private insurance company nearly $13 million in additional profits by simply denying the expansion of Medicaid in Wisconsin, and receiving nearly $43,000 in campaign funding, you're talking the most brutal form of pay play.

The numbers prove that point below. And this is just one company of many profiting from Walker's nonsensical excuse that Medicaid funding isn't reliable. It's been disproven by PolitiFact months ago. These are ideologically driven hardball tactics used against Wisconsinites who are in desperate need of health care, the very people Walker supposedly serves. Oh, I forgot, he's a leader, not a public servant.

Sociopathic behavior? You decide:
According to an analysis by Citizen Action of Wisconsin, Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin, part of the nation’s largest for-profit health insurance company, will make an estimated $12,785,484 in additional revenue each year because Governor Walker rejected enhanced federal funds for BadgerCare.

On a media call earlier this week CAW and Wisconsin Democracy Campaign released evidence of a relationship between large insurance industry campaign donations to Scott Walker and the rejection of federal funds for BadgerCare. The data shows that the insurance industry was the biggest beneficiary of the decision to reject the funds for BadgerCare and has made major large campaign contributions to Governor Walker and leading Legislators.
Executives from the Anthem Blue Cross and its subsidiaries donated at least $42,850 to Governor Walker ... lobbying records from GAB show that three powerful insurance industry trade associations and Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross spend 363 hours lobbying on the part of the state budget related to BadgerCare funding. Wellpoint Anthem Blue Cross spent an additional 238 hours lobbying on the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.  
Here's WKOW's scoop showing a very unprepared Walker, whose phony know-it-all responses are the result of memorized talking points, not a knowledge of the subject. He's not curious, he's a politician:

Television journalist Greg Neumann of WKOW TV 27 in Madison captured Scott Walker on video stumbling to respond to Citizen Action of Wisconsin’s revelation that insurance industry donations may have swayed his decisions to reject hundreds of millions of federal dollars for BadgerCare.  In the news story, Walker says on camera that “to my knowledge they [the insurance industry] haven’t lobbied me personally or anyone in my administration on this.”