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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Scott Walker: "Fully vaccinated against the Left's class-warfare virus."

First Option; let's pretend there is no such thing as class warfare, and that the income gap is not a sign something is terribly wrong.

Second Option; lets pretend that even though there is a wealth gap, it's okay because they've worked hard for their money and should keep every dime. Poor people don't just envy them, they want to be like them someday instead of having happy middle class lives.

Third and finally Option; we can pretend that tax cuts to the rich and corporate in Wisconsin have made our economy roar with jobs and business growth, outshining all the surrounding states. Oh, and deficits...a thing of the past.

No matter what ridiculous scenario above, the National Review just decided Scott Walker has been inoculated against all of them.
Yes, this is the actual caption.
Governor Scott Walker offers Republicans this secret weapon: a battle-tested executive who is immune to the Richie Rich caricature that Democrats hurl at GOP nominees. Especially opposite Hillary Clinton, Walker — not Jeb Bush — is fully vaccinated against the Left’s class-warfare virus.
What makes Walker stand out as the common man, a neighbor and regular guy propped up by wealthy donors, lobbyists and corporate special interests? Standing with a man out in a field.

And while the story below makes Walker seem unique when compared to Mitt Romney...you know, a guy who grew up poor with a black and white TV, that by coincidence is my story too, and many others. In fact, my first radio didn't even has a cabinet around it for gods sake,  exposing those hot dangerously glowing tubes.
Walker would offer the common touch … His father was a Baptist minister. His mother worked part-time as a clothing-store bookkeeper. “We didn’t realize it until later in life,” Walker has said, “but we were poor.” They had no TV until his father bought a black-and-white set in 1976.
Only if we all could be "more typically American:"
Walker’s lack of a college degree could be an asset. This makes Walker more typically American than either Hillary or Jeb.
Walker record as governor mirrors the failures of other supply side governors trying to dig their way out of their own self created budget shortfalls, with cuts to education and health care. Oddly, on the right, that a sign of success:
…rally around Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Way, and then unleash him on the Duchess of Chappaqua.

Scott Walker: The Dumbing Down of America's Poster Boy!!! Wisconsin's so proud.

It's never a good sign when your own governor and - yikes - candidate for president, is the poster boy for the current anti-education movement within the Republican Party. Even "stand with Walker" idol worshipers, with their own families to worry about, can't be happy with the downward direction their party is taking on education. College nowadays is as standard as having a high school diploma. That scares Republicans, who have for years believed universities brainwash students with liberal socialist ideas. It's time to block the school house doors again, but this time, to everyone. Salon:

If you ever want to make a conservative touchy, the quickest way is to hint that the connection between ignorance and holding right-wing views is more than a coincidence. But when you look at what Republican politicians are up to these days, especially in state legislatures, it starts to look like Republicans are purposefully trying to make Americans more ignorant. Here are 5 recent examples.

1) Oklahoma is about to ban AP history classes. Under the guise of “emergency” legislation, the education committee in the Oklahoma legislature had an 11-4 vote to advance a bill that would ban the advanced placement history curriculum from Oklahoma schools. There’s not even a real attempt here, as with other conservative assaults on education, to hide that the goal is to keep students ignorant so that they are more susceptible to right wing propaganda. The bill’s sponsor, state representative Dan Fisher, argued that the schools should be teaching “American exceptionalism,” and avoiding teaching parts of American history that are less than flattering. The Republican National Committee has endorsed the idea that AP history courses should teach less strife and present a more rah-rah view of American history. In Colorado, attempts to whitewash the history classes even resulted in student walkouts, garnering national attention.

2) Scott Walker has it out for the University of Wisconsin. Walker … not caring that it’s the state’s pride and joy … The goal is to slash a whopping $300 million from the University of Wisconsin system over the next two years … Walker and his staff haven’t really taken many pains to hide that this is rooted in a deeper hostility to the very idea of knowledge itself. “…his staff proposed changing the university’s ethereal focus on the pursuit of truth, known as the ‘Wisconsin Idea,’ to a grittier focus on ‘workforce needs,’” reports the Washington Post. Walker backed off recasting higher education as nothing more than job training … but the fact that this wording change was proposed at all shows that the hostility to education is ideological and has little to nothing to do with saving money.

3) Redefining education as “welfare” Mississippi state representative Gene Alday made national headlines recently … “I come from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call ‘welfare crazy checks.’ Alday went on his rant in part because he was trying to justify his opposition to increased funding for elementary school education. Alday’s little racist spiel was an attempt to insinuate that teaching kids reading and writing amounts to “welfare” and to suggest that education is wasted on black people in particular.

4) Threatening to arrest teachers for sex education. In Kansas, Republicans are no longer satisfied with laws requiring teachers to pretend that it’s normal and expected for people to wait until marriage to have sex. Now there’s growing support for having teachers fear jail time should they ever hint, during sex education, that sex is a thing people do for pleasure. Using a teacher who had a poster up in class that suggested—gasp!—that sex is sometimes used to show affection, Republicans in the state are sponsoring a bill that would allow officials to criminally charge teachers for daring to acknowledge such a thing ever again.

5) Continued demands that science education be replaced with magic … creationists haven’t gone anywhere. In South Dakota, Republicans once again pushed for a bill that would “allow” teachers to “question” evolution in the classroom, which is a fancy way of saying that teachers would be permitted to treat being ignorant as the equivalent of being educated. Asked recently about evolution, Gov. Scott Walker stuck to the narrative that elevates ignorance over education, saying, “That’s a question politicians shouldn’t be involved in one way or another. I am going to leave that up to you.” The comment was the exaltation of ignorance over education. Evolutionary theory is a knowable thing. Walker epitomized the new conservative mentality of ignorance uber alles. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

John Nichols on Walker's fear of saying anything: "I really find it troubling that he's so managed now..."

Big Ed Schultz took off on Scott Walker today, for his gutless avoidance of President Obama's patriotism. With the help of our own John Nichols, our "Unintimidated" governor appears to afraid to speak his mind:
Nichols: "On the simplest of all issues, simply saying 'look, I believe my president loves our country,' and he couldn't do it. And you really have to ask yourself, you know, where's the there there with this guy. If he is so intimidated by his donors and powerful players, how can you expect him to lead as a president...I really find it troubling that he's so managed now, that he just can't say that simple statement."

"Right-to-work" for less fast-tracked, Walker's Big Government inserts itself into the private sector.

The big not so surprising move by the Republican legislature authority to pass a right-to-work law, inserting government into the private sector, is now getting a big thumbs up from our incidental governor. After right wing low information candidate Duey Stroebel won his primary, with no Democratic opponent, the senate is now confident it can pass right-to-work:
WKOW: In a surprise announcement Friday morning, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told WTMJ radio he has 17 votes to pass the bill now. He says it will be introduced later in the day and he plans to hold a vote either Wednesday or Thursday.
Walker is now feverishly stacking up his conservative presidential creds to become America's first dictator (think I'm not kidding?).

It's a fire sale: Starving public schools funding, cutting off our public colleges and freeing taxpayers from the burden of owning their own state parks, Walker is leaving government in the control of special interests. All that for a $5 property tax cut savings and bad budgeting. Not even private businesses are exempt from Walker's intrusive oversight:
AP: Gov. Scott Walker backed a surprise move Friday by Republican legislators ... an action the likely 2016 presidential candidate initially said should be delayed to avoid re-igniting massive pro-union protests.
And today, after so many non-answers about his support of right-to-work?
"I've never said that I didn't think it was a good idea. I've just questioned the timing in the past and whether it was right at that time," Walker told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in a Friday
True, he never said...anything really.

Remember, Walker's austerity small government vision can't fail, because there's always something else to throw overboard as revenues sink. In the words of Sen. Alberta Darling:

Targeting Roberts Court, Paul Ryan hopes to show GOP ready to replace ObamaCare. "We don't have (a plan) yet, so I can't tell you what it is."

In what seems to be morally and unethically bankrupt, and maybe illegal to boot, Paul Ryan is heading up efforts to influence Chief Justice John Roberts so he'll gut the Affordable Care Act. 

Ryan is hoping to show Roberts that congress is ready to replace ObamaCare once the court removes the tax credits for government run state exchanges. For a party that had a tantrum over a few people losing their doctors and insurance, they seem almost gleeful over the prospects that force millions to lose their doctors and insurance:
TPM: Republican leaders are eager to convey to the chief justice that they will be ready to act. Rep. Paul Ryan, a key committee chairman overseeing health care policy, told reporters Friday on Capitol Hill, "The idea is to show what our alternative to Obamacare would look like. We don't have [a plan] yet, so I can't tell you what it is.”
Of course the easiest way to keep millions from losing their doctors and insurance is off the table:
He ruled out changes to make Obamacare work better or tweaks to make clear the subsidies are available in all states, instead saying the goal would be to help states "get out of Obamacare."
Shining a bright spotlight on their own Republican incompetence, a few senators decided ‘who cares:’
One top Republican, Sen. Lamar Alexander (TN), suggested recently that his party may not need to act if millions of Americans lose their subsidies. Another Republican, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), said the GOP should challenge Democrats to come up with a different health care plan that isn't Obamacare and is supported by the American public.
I hate to tell Republicans that it's too late to convince Americans they're not already "crazy to the point of letting the world spin into chaos:" 
One conservative source, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, described it as an attempt to "make the world safe for Roberts to overturn" the subsidies and to "not let our guys look like they're going crazy and letting the world spin into chaos."
Republicans hate their own government so much (patriotic isn't it?) that managing it is now impossible. Stunning to say, here's what they have to offer:
Scratch beneath the surface and the GOP effort to devise an alternative is a mess. Republican leaders have offered no specifics beyond their longstanding call for "patient-centered" solutions. The party is nowhere close to a viable plan, aides privately say, stymied by the same obstacles they've faced for five years: deep internal divisions and a lack of economically feasible options to cover the uninsured without mandates or regulations or higher taxes and spending.

Bloomberg News nails incidental governor: "Scott Walker's New Specialty: Punting"

It seems the nation is quickly waking up to our incidental governors annoying habit of word salad non-answers.

Walker is now the nation’s most ideologically driven, yet most uncommitted “incidental presidential candidate” ever. Major party issues that are “not on his radar,” will definitely get his signature, but at the same time were never his focus...if things went terribly wrong.

I've even documented his “punting” abilities here, in a Journal Sentinel interview that’ll blow your mind. If it wasn't so scary it would be funny.

Bloomberg News picked up on Walker’s word salad non-answers right away (suggesting it's something "new"), thanks to his out-of-the-gate, biggest campaign blunder to date, “I’m going to punt on that one.” Finally, an honest answer:
Scott Walker is punting again. When asked whether he agreed with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who said at a dinner the two attended on Wednesday that he doesn't believe President Obama "loves America," Walker declined again to get drawn into a tangle. 

Americans are starting to get used to evasive answers like that from the Wisconsin governor and likely 2016 presidential candidate…
MSNBC's Chris Hayes and Esquire Magazine's Charles Pierce expose the Walker fraud:


Bloomberg News: "I’m going to punt on that one,” he said on Feb. 11 when asked he believed in evolution. "That’s a question a politician shouldn’t be involved in one way or the other." BBC radio host Justin Webb—argued during the interview that the topic was fair game, and noted that U.K. politicians are comfortable siding purely with science. “Any British politician, right or left wing, would laugh and say ‘Yes of course evolution’s true,’” Webb told Walker. (The British government banned creationism from schools in 2012.)
If evolution is not something politicians shouldn't be involved with, then why are Republican politicians trying to remove or discredit evolution in our public schools?  The GOP has a history of this.
Back in January, Bloomberg reporters Michael C. Bender and John McCormick declared that, unlike being an engaging public speaker, "avoiding any topics that are off-message" is one of Walker's big skills.
Asked whether he supports federal requirements to buy fuels made from corn, soybean and other products—a significant issue just over the border in Iowa—Walker took a pass. "That's something that should I be a candidate in the future, I probably would have to take a stand on that," he said, according to WisPolitics.com.

In June, Walker ducked questions about the state's ban on same-sex marriage being overturned, saying, "Voters don't talk to me about that." In 2012, he declined to comment about a bill aimed at repealing a pay-equity law and then quietly signed it into law.
From an Upfront with Mike Gousha interview, gubernatorial candidate and 3 term Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker provided his non-answer word salad regarding his own counties economic and jobs failure:

Mike Gousha: "There are going to be people who say look, Milwaukee county has the highest poverty rate in the state, we're losing jobs in the city of Milwaukee, your largest municipality at a rate almost unmatched by any other big city. Do you share any responsibility for that?"

Walker: "Everybody does, but the state of Wisconsin has done specific things, policy wise, that have effected jobs here...if you look at the tax increases of $1.2 billion of new taxes..."

Mike Gousha: "Do you think you bare any of the responsibility for the numbers I just mentioned for the poverty rate, for the lack of employment right now in this community?"

Walker: "No, for us that's been an issue for years...politicians don't create jobs or eliminate jobs...!"
Walker didn't even get a break from the Journal Sentinel, who piled on after the disappointing "none answer" on Fox News Sunday. Host Chris Wallace even brought up the ramifications of the John Doe convictions and private email account on Walker's possible run for president:

Host Chris Wallace pressed Walker on whether he knew there was a private email account.

Walker responded, "Again, it's one of those where I point out the district attorney looked into every single one of those issues."

Wallace interjected: "But sir, you're not answering my question."

Walker said, "No, because I'm not going to get into 27,000 different pieces of information. The bottom line is a Democrat who led the district attorneys office, looked at all this, decided not to charge anything other than the individuals you mentioned, who were people who had worked for the county in the past but don't work for me today. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rep. Barca blasts Republicans for "putting together a Nixon-style enemies list for anyone who dares to disagree..."

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca gave me a glimmer of hope with the following strong and nicely worded response that started with this:  
"Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), who accused UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank of 'bringing Washington politics to Madison' for daring to suggest that there could be negative effects associated with the Republicans’ proposed $300 million budget cut to the University of Wisconsin System."
Here's the kind of fight I'd like to see:
“It almost appears as if Republicans are putting together a Nixon-style enemies list for anyone who dares to disagree with their agenda. As a result, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, our non-partisan elections watchdog, the co-owner of the Bucks and our university system have all been targeted by Republicans in recent months. It also makes you wonder who might be next.

“The reality is that the Republicans won’t accept anyone telling them the truth – that their policies have been destructive to our economy, our students and our communities. If Republicans spent more time finding solutions ... maybe our state would not be lagging in jobs, personal income and other priorities important to the people of Wisconsin.”

Walker quest for ultimate power hits constitutional road block; State Superintendent duties safe for now.

Scott Walker and our constitutional conservative Republican majority lost a court battle to twist another one of our constitutional laws into something completely unrecognizable.

In Scott Walker’s quest for ultimate power, where he challenges all current interpretations of the state constitution, his take down of the Superintendent of Public Instruction failed...so far anyway.
WISC: Court affirms part of Walker rules law unconstitutional: Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a law in 2011 that requires state agencies to get gubernatorial approval before drafting new administrative rules that create policy.

Teachers and parents filed a lawsuit in 2011 alleging the law was unconstitutional as applied to the state Department of Public Instruction, arguing it gives other state officers more power than the elected DPI superintendent.

A Madison judge in 2012 found the law unconstitutional as applied to DPI. The 4th District Court of Appeals upheld that ruling Thursday.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Justice, which is representing the governor's office, says the agency may appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Walker ends the long Menominee tribes journey to put a Casino in Kenosha, by not having enough time to meet with them.

Scott Walker just gave the nation another frightening look at his governing style. As reported below, Walker said they can protest all they want, but he believes in his convictions, and he thinks he's on the right side of the argument.

So much for the 1st Amendments "right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." Oops, looks like Walker lined that out already, like he did with the UW's Wisconsin Idea. It's worth a try I guess.

So add killing the Menominee casino in Kenosha to the long list of bad job and revenue killing decisions by Scott Walker. It was obvious from the start, that he would play the locals for election year saps, take whatever votes he could steal, and then spectacularly blow up the deal. And we acted surprised? Unlike the 9 casinos in the Green Bay area, the densely populated southern corridor has only one, in Milwaukee.

The Menominee tribe did everything they could...and more. I've documented the 160 mile trek in freezing temperatures and failed attempt to meet with Walker below. Disgusting behavior from our smirking governor. Thanks to WISC, WKOW, and TMJ4:



TMJ 4 described Walker perfectly in the clip below; defiant! Walker's two sons, Matt and Alex, are as politically cold as their father, whining about the protests in front of their home that now houses their grandparents. I guess it never occurred to them either that protests aren't normal, and that elected officials must be doing something wrong to bring people out in the coldest of temperatures.   

WisPolitics: Hundreds of Menominee tribal members and others packed the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to convince Walker to reverse his decision. But a governor's spokeswoman responded by pointing to the letter Walker sent the tribe earlier this week. "We had hoped this trek would show him this is not a game for the Menominee people," Menominee Chairman Gary Besaw said.
Reportedly, Walker was there, but didn’t give them the common curtesy of a quick meeting to hear them out or explain his position privately. Listening is not a Walker talent, but dictating…of course:
Following the rally, Besaw walked to the governor's office, but was told he could not enter and that there was no one available to meet with him. 

Cruel Republican health care alternative favors profits over life.

While radical groups around the world exact the cruelest most violent punishments on their fellow citizens, not so far behind and catching up are those in the now radicalized Republican Party. The difference is we have a more “civilized” way of destroying lives; denying them lifesaving health care, guns, and deregulating environmental rules that prevent premature American deaths.

I’m not seeing much difference in either group’s complete disregard for life. 

Which brings me to Paul Ryan’s recent comments that reflect not just a lack of empathy, but a cynical joy knowing millions of individuals and families will be faced with losing their health care security, just to prove his point. It wasn't so long ago Republicans were outraged that some people lost their doctor and insurance plans because of "ObamaCare." Now losing your doctor and health care insurance via a Supreme Court decison…well, that's okay.

Make no mistake, the pain and suffering - even death- many will experience due to the lack of health care coverage is a cold deliberate Republican assault on the very people they were elected to serve:

Yes, emotion is bad to this complete sociopath.  
Just weeks before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments challenging the legality of subsidies issued by federally run health insurance exchanges, Republicans have made it clear that they don't intend to lift a finger to fix the law should those subsidies be invalidated.

"No," said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) last week when asked if Republicans had a contingency plan for a court decision that works within the confines of Obamacare. "[T]he idea is not to make Obamacare work better or to actually authorize Obamacare. The idea is to show what our alternative to Obamacare looks like in these states."
Here's my summary of the GOP health care plan:
1. Ryan’s vision of an "alternative" treats cancer, accidental injury, viral and bacterial infections and chronic illnesses, like a consumer product you shop around to get treatment for. 
2. It allows stripped down “affordable” junk policies containing small legal print that will exempt them from paying for coverage.

3. It wrongly says you can negotiate lower rates with large insurance companies as an individual, while doing away with smarter and cheaper group policies.

4. And it also provides big government subsidies and a whole list of convoluted regulations geared for private sector profits. It’s no accident Republican governors took the expanded Medicaid dollars because they found a way to steer it into the more expensive private sector.
Still not convinced Republicans are deliberately allowing people to suffer or die by denying health care?
One prominent Republican House member was even more unequivocal about the potential loss of subsidies. "[People] were never entitled to them," said the member, who spoke candidly with reporters on condition of anonymity.

Asked if he'd amend the language in Obamacare's controversial clause in exchange for other Republican priorities, the member didn't skip a beat. "It's not a question of compromise," he said. "Obamacare has failed ... If the president and the Congress that passed this on a partisan-only basis did it wrong, then they hoist themselves on their own petard."
In Wisconsin, Scott Walker and his Republican pirates broke up the unions with a "partisan only" vote for Act 10. Kinda kills that argument, doesn't it?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Republicans Darling and Nygren accuse UW of "divisive politics," for defying Walker's demands!!!

Wisconsin's Republican authority has now decided to vilify the non-compliant. Anyone who defies Scott Walker's brand of coercion is "bringing Washington politics to Madison," whatever the hell that means. Yes, it's the GOP targets who are at fault:
jsonline: University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank is "bringing Washington politics to Madison," the co-chairs of the state's budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance said Wednesday.

"Gov. (Scott) Walker is offering autonomy and more flexibility in his budget proposal and instead of support, the governor and legislature are being met with divisive politics," Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) said in their statement.
Divisive Politics? It's the "I know you are but what am I" defense: Walker's latest and most dramatic shredding of state government is a purity political thing for him, which he intends to use against his opponents in his campaign for president. And yet, Chancellor Blanks is the political one, who has the nerve to negotiate:
The lawmakers said Blank's position — actively opposing the $300 million in budget cuts attached to proposed new autonomy for the UW System — is "a stark contrast" from former chancellor Biddy Martin.
Like all women chancellors are all the same? And don't forget to play the "hate Obama" card:
Darling and Nygren said, "This difference begs the question: Is the current chancellor and former Obama appointee playing politics with our state's universities? In the future, we hope to have an open and honest dialogue with the System about the budget, as no constructive conversation will come from bringing Washington politics to Madison."
What a wonderful way to start a constructive conversation.  

Republicans to Cleanse U.S.History of all negative references, push their own right wing "more patriotic" national standard in Schools.

The Republican efforts to privatize public education, K-12 and colleges, is moving onto the next stage; their own "national standard," a concept they say they despise and say is at the heart of Common Core (which isn't).

It's happening all over the country in every "red threat" states. 
An Oklahoma legislative committee overwhelmingly voted to ban Advanced Placement U.S. History class, persuaded by the argument that it only teaches students “what is bad about America.” Other lawmakers (want to) prohibit the teaching of all AP courses in public schools. Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher (R) said the AP history class fails to teach “American exceptionalism.” Rep. Sally Kern (R) claims that all “AP courses violate the legislation approved last year that repealed Common Core.”

She argues that “AP courses are similar to Common Core ... an attempt to impose a national curriculum on American schools.”
Republican meddling will cost Students lots of Money: By getting rid of Advanced Placement, students won’t get college credits in high school, raising the cost of education immensely:
Advanced Placement … developed by a private group, the College Board, and are not required … They save students money and are generally seen as a prerequisite to admission to elite colleges. But Republicans believe the Advanced Placement U.S. History test “deliberately distorts and/or edits out important historical events.” The RNC said a new framework for the exam “reflects a radically revisionist view of American history that emphasizes negative aspects of our nation’s history while omitting or minimizing positive aspects.”
Republicans hate liberal indoctrination, not right wing indoctrination. Conservative indoctrination is often described as “state specific educational standards.” And since conservative ideology is the same everywhere, it would ironically be…a national standard:  
Efforts by conservative school board members in Colorado to make the Advanced Placement U.S. History course “more patriotic,” prompted a walk-out by students. 

Under the changes proposed in Colorado “students would only be taught lessons depicting American heritage in a positive light, and effectively ban any material that could lead to dissent.” 
Yes, Republicans would love to quash future dissent, like Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has attempted to do at the state Capitol. There's more...
In South Carolina conservatives asked the College Board to exclude any material with an “ideological bias,” including evolution. Similar efforts are underway in Georgia and North Carolina.
GOP Attack on Education everywhere:
North Carolina GOP Looks To Raise Taxes On Students : North Carolina’sconservative majority provision of the bill would end the state income tax deduction for tuition expenses — essentially a tax hike on college students.

Congressman Says We Don’t Need Education Funding Because ‘Socrates Trained Plato On A Rock’: During a House Education and Workforce Committee to reauthorize the nation’s elementary and secondary education law, Rep. Dave Brat (R-VA) said, “Socrates trained Plato in on a rock and then Plato trained in Aristotle roughly speaking on a rock. So, huge funding is not necessary to achieve the greatest minds and the greatest intellects in history.” He later went on to say that he thinks the answer “would be to get private sector folks into every one of our schools, get the CEOs in the schools and move beyond this just narrow policy debate and really have a revolution.”
Congress is getting in on the act:
Current law targets $14 billion to schools and school districts based on the number of students living in these communities. The Republican legislation would give states the option whether they live in a high poverty community or not. For example, Los Angeles Unified School District would lose out on more than $75 million while the Beverly Hills Unified School District would gain $140,000.

Are Democrats kidding? Nothing on cuts to UW and State Parks? Really?

've searched the Wheeler Report and WisPolitics and came up with ZERO press releases by Democrats outraged over the defunding of the UW and state parks today. NOT ONE.

Instead, they're backing a GOP idea to expand Medicaid and coming out against their own constituents for protesting Scott Walker's Wauwatosa home.

Democrats haven't promised to repeal any of Scott Walker's changes. They haven't promised to fund or take back the UW if its given autonomy. They haven't promised to do anything. They just react and disappear.

And like all despotic groups, the Republicans have filled the void left by our invisible and battered Democratic Party.

On a side note: Can we all agree the 20th Senate District has the dumbest low information voters in the entire state?

They went from favorite Glenn Grothman to Lord Voldemort Duey Stroebel (nearly 70% of voters), a guy so dim he never could figure out why big cities needed more time for voting than those sparsely populated small towns and villages.



Slick Scott Walker reversal on Stewardship Program keeps everybody on edge, guessing…

I knew there was something fishy about Scott Walker’s scorched earth campaign to downsize the government. It wasn't just a desperate presidential campaign ploy to show how much he hates government, it was also a complete flip flop. Walker's latest outrage:
The Department of Natural Resources faces fundamental changes under Gov. Scott Walker's two-year budget, with one proposal to freeze state land purchases Walker's budget would effectively halt deals to preserve pristine areas of the state under the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program for the next 13 years.
Who's this Scott Walker? But back on May 28, 2013, the Journal Sentinel reported:
Gov. Scott Walker said he disagreed with heavy cuts in a land conservation program ... and said he hoped all or most of the funding would be restored. The Republican-controlled Joint Finance Committee voted to sharply pare the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program … (it) also called on the DNR to put at least 10,000 acres of state land up for sale by June 30, 2017.

Walker said he believed the frustration is they think they don’t have adequate public access to land the state buys. A report by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau in January found nine out of every 10 acres of land in the stewardship program is open to hunting. 

GOP's own Budget Crisis allows Walker to cut funding from State Parks...all just part of the "we can't afford it" plan.

In a state known for its parks, lakes, hunting and other recreational activities, tourism would seem like the last place to make dramatic cuts. But that’s what Scott Walker has in mind, and I think Wisconsinites are just waking to that reality this morning. WSJ:
Gov. Scott Walker wants to remove state tax money from the operation of Wisconsin’s state parks and make them self-sustaining … proposing to remove all general-purpose revenue to operate Wisconsin state parks, trails and recreation areas - 46 state parks, 14 state trails, four recreational areas and two national scenic trails; a cut of $4.6 million, or nearly 28 percent, of their current $16.7 million operational budget … In place of tax revenue, the governor is proposing that operation of the state park system be funded by entrance and campsite fees.
The Greater Public Good: Let me get this right; "stand with Walker" freeloading Wisconsin residents can soak up and enjoy the benefits of our revenue generating tourism industry without ever paying for that public benefit? We all gain directly or indirectly don't we? Relying on user fees will only result in year after year hikes, instead of keeping prices down by spreading the cost to every Wisconsin resident. The same goes for public schools and universities. And of course Walker wants to shift that entire burden away as well, to please his cheap freeloading conservative voters. I mean lets be honest here.

Walker and Big Money donors tried this in Milwaukee County: What about parks that don't bring in enough revenue or need to much maintenance? Sell them off? Of course. After Walker nearly bankrupted Milwaukee County...:
Oct. 9, 2010Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy.

Several recommendations included in a super-secret report drafted by the Greater Milwaukee Committee … doing away with the elected county executive's post, spinning off the zoo, the parks and much else under separate commissions.
Did Walker get behind these ideas? Yes. In fact, he didn't think they went far enough believe it or not:
Walker said the draft recommendations are consistent with what he has been saying since he was first elected county CEO in 2002. Specifically, the GOP nominee said the business committee didn't go far enough … Walker said: “To me, the better example is to eliminate the government entirely."
  The draft recommendations call for … selling off or leasing county properties … spinning off the parks so they are run by separate authorities or commissions.

There it is. This is what Walker is pushing statewide with our revenue generating parks systems. And his Borg-like party pirates in the legislature love it:
Two area legislators whose districts include Lake Wissota State Park said they don’t consider reductions to state park funding in Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed 2015-17 state budget as a threat to parks or a barrier to users. Even with those increases, using Lake Wissota State Park would still be a bargain, said state Rep. Kathy Bernier, R-Lake Hallie.
The point isn't whether people still have access to the parks at current bargain rates, at least for now. 

The point is these are our state parks, and everyone should contribute to their maintenance and improvements...even when we add new parks. It's the only way to keep prices low enough for everyone. Bottom line: Fee increases won't be enough:
Just 18 of Wisconsin’s 74 state recreational properties took in more money than they cost to operate in 2012, according to an analysis … the DNR and UW-Madison in 2013 estimated that the state parks generate $1 billion in economic activity annually.
And the other states that have tried defunding their parks?
Philip McKnelly ran the North Carolina state parks system for 15 years and served as the executive director of the National Association of State Park Directors for 10 years until his retirement in late 2013. McKnelly said only a handful of states have tried to make their parks systems self-sustaining, but in his opinion, those efforts largely failed. Removing general fund support from Wisconsin’s parks, McKnelly predicted, “would have a significant impact on the system.”
Self imposed Budget Crunches, now and in the future: Of course none of this would be an issue if tax cut madness didn't create biennial shortfalls:
Budget crunches, such as the one Wisconsin is experiencing, have prompted states to use a variety of funding sources, including corporate sponsorships, to keep parks open...

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Walker's crony capitalism ushers in frightening leap into fascism.

Scott Walker made a few brave and bold appointments this week, that prove unqualified donors, lobbyists and purely partisan backers are truly in charge of Wisconsin. It's unapologetic fascism. It's also something a leader like Walker can get away with, as he continues to defeat the liberal-socialist-commie-union-neighborhood organizer-intellectual elites trying bring this country down.  

Big Energy Takes Over #1: Incredibly, the guy who rewrote environmental law in Wisconsin for a mining company that had to put its operations on hold, will now help guide the states fossil fuel utilities. WPR:
Bob Seitz, a contract lobbyist who represented mining company Gogebic Taconite and helped lead the push for a rewrite of Wisconsin's mining laws … will be an executive assistant on the Public Service Commission, an agency tasked with regulating Wisconsin utilities.
Big Energy takes over # 2: Just as jaw dropping, a former executive of Madison Gas and Electric will take over for Mike Huebsch as Secretary of the Department of Administration, "the top job in most governors' cabinets."

We Don't Need No Qualifications: Like Walker's proposal to recruit school teachers on just life experience alone, the most unqualified big talker of them all, Vicki McKenna sidekick and vice WISGOP chair Brian Schimmingwill take his life experience of partisan politics and head up the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority. What could go wrong?

For “stand with Walker” voters, the spread of fascism and the instillation of a lobbyists throughout government means whatever the eventual outcome, their principled conservative positions means everyone else can go to hell. 

Check out Jake's Economic TA Funhouse for more.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Private Schools want to data mine you and your kids personal information

Tea party "stand with Walker" followers of the governor better start paying attention, or they're likely to wake up one day to find their kids have become government controlled commodities with limited rights and freedoms.

We already know Republicans represent the corporate and wealthy, positively packages as "job creators." Well, the tentacles of private business are now about to burrow deeply into your child's most personal information, creating a private free market national database. What will they do with that information?  Maybe a little economic blackmail?

Remember when the tea party Republicans couldn't stop whining about Common Core's "data mining?"
Dozens of tea party supporters sent lawmakers a letter this week raising concerns about a loss of local control, lowered educational standards and an invasion of student privacy.    

Implementing Common Core will lead to "data mining" — the federal government collecting student and family information and sharing it with employers and others. Duke Pesta, an assistant professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, also a guy who spoke at a “packed into a Republican gathering at an American Legion hall in Cedarburg,” contends that in accepting common assessments aligned to the national standards, states agreed to share data they collect with the federal government.

DPI said no new data collection is required as part of the Common Core State Standards. The data are owned by the districts, and in no case would the data ever be sold to anyone, according to the DPI. 
Private Schools want You and your Kids personal information...NOW! Don't expect any blowback on this latest leap into fascism, since deep down inside this has always been the end game whether they knew it or not:
jsonline: School choice advocates have requested the names, addresses, phone numbers and grade levels of every student enrolled in 30 different public school districts, gearing up for a marketing campaign should lawmakers lift the enrollment cap on Wisconsin's statewide voucher program.

But what School Choice Wisconsin sees as a legal way to augment its mailing list, public school supporters see as a legal affront on personal privacy. The issue is prompting some district leaders to revisit options for limiting the release of student data, including reminding parents of their ability to opt out. "We're trying to augment our mailing list."
Tea Party for Data Mining? 
The organization (School Choice Wis) is particularly keen on connecting with public school parents ... Directory information includes information such as students' names, addresses, telephone numbers, date and place of birth, major field of study, height, weight, athletic team participation, awards achieved, and schools attended.  

Oshkosk School District Superintendent Stan Mack, "That information getting into the wrong hands could create significant danger," he said. "...that information floating about seems to not to be the best idea." Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, said there's no way to predict what School Choice Wisconsin will do with the data. "We're not saying what they did was illegal, we're saying it's sleazy, and given the voucher industry's record on accountability, there are legitimate concerns about how this data is used, resold and transmitted," Ross said Friday.
Trust us, misusing the information is not our intention....
Bender countered that they've stated that they don't intend to sell or use the data for commercial purposes.
That's reassuring. 

While our own government stores a lot of our personal information, it also has safeguards against sharing that data, or using it against us. There would be political hell to pay if that trust were ever broken. But the private sector has no limits. Headlines about data breaches in the private sector over charge cards and personal information are so common now, even tea party Republicans don't give a rats ass. They fear their own government more. But what happens when government and business are one and the same?   

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Walker's attack on DNR endangers Hunting, outdoor recreation and forestry...that's a jobs plan?

All the pieces are fitting neatly together now, with this plan:
jsonline: Walker is calling for a thirteen-year suspension of Wisconsin's popular, bi-partisan program to acquire important habitat, wetlands, trails, and forests for public recreation.
This piles on what Walker put in place his first year in office:
A law Walker has signed ordering the DNR to sell 10,000 acres of public lands (by 2017).
So we should have seen this coming. Welcome to my epiphany:
LODI WI INFO Apr. 2012: According to Wisconsin’s White-Tailed Deer Trustee Dr. James Kroll, people who call for more public hunting opportunities are “pining for socialism.” He further states, “(Public) Game management is the last bastion of communism.” These are just two insights into the man who has been asked to provide analysis and recommended changes to Wisconsin’s deer management program.
 People who call for more public lands are “cocktail conservationists,” he says, who are really pining for socialism. He calls national parks “wildlife ghettos” and flatly accuses the government of gross mismanagement. 
So to fight socialism, it makes sense to call for a moratorium on the states Stewardship Program. Walker doesn't want these commie, cocktail conservationists wildlife ghettos all over the state.

And for those tweeting trolls who've blasted me for my heavy criticism of Walker's anti-science, do
what feels good public opinion driven deer management disaster, he just took the "public" out too. Serves them right:
The budget calls for ending the department's oversight by its long-standing public body, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board. his budget ends as well the authority of two DNR-related panels of citizens and local officials.
Yesterday, Sen. Tom Tiffany deferred to the expectations of his "constituents" desires, not those pesky scientists. Tiffany seems to think his constituents aren't that smart:
Tiffany: "If you talk to my constituents here in northern Wisconsin, there's probably not one in a thousand that know what the Bureau of Science Services does, and doesn't bring value to the taxpayers."
So get rid of it? For those conservative trolls who thought Walker was doing a great job, Tiffany's got bad news for you, going back two years; "In northern Wisconsin, the deer hunt has been a disaster." Thanks for making my point.

In one of the most jaw dropping interview disasters ever, Tiffany let's it all hang out. WPT's Here and Now:



I liked this insightful comment left on my YouTube page:
You know, there is probably not one in 100,000 of your constituents who know what the hell a heart surgeon "actually does" either. I say let's get rid of them too. Tom you dumb bastard, this is what is called a "race to the bottom." Just breathtakingly stupid. 
And could we do away with this "unelected bureaucrats" BS? Those bureaucrats are approved by ELECTED politicians and the governor, so in fact, someone is accountable.

Walker's lack of action last year was evident:
WPR news: DNR Is Unlikely To Act As Deer Herd Faces Possible Starvation: Minnesota Starts Emergency Deer Feeding Fund, But Wisconsin's DNR Can't Follow Suit Without Legislative Approval.
Or this brilliant irresponsible unnecessary move:
The state Department of Natural Resources proposes moving to online and telephone reporting as soon as this fall.  DNR officials warn they could lose detailed biological data on the state’s herd and tissue samples used to test for chronic wasting disease.
Even against overwhelming opposition, hunting in some parks was allowed, based on this Walker lackey, Cathy Stepp:
AP: A state board voted to limit a new law expanding hunting rights in state parks ... after Wisconsin residents said they wouldn't feel safe visiting parks where hunters might be active. The Sporting Heritage Bill (would have) allowed hunting in virtually all state parks and state trails. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said the board should remember that lawmakers passed the law with the intent that hunting be expanded. “Ours is not to debate what the elected officials decided,” she said.
Or this post:
Sen. K. Vinehout-Uppity Wisconsin: Deer hunters taking to the woods in Wisconsin are facing a slew of new hunting rules … the new rules change the “season framework, management units and antlerless deer hunting permits.”

Gone are “management zones,” setting deer overwinter population goals. Gone are free tags & $2 tags in highly populated or CWD areas; gone are landowner deer tags. Soon-to-be gone is registering your deer at the local bar or convenience store. Next year all registration will be on-line. Tags are more expensive (6 times more expensive), limited, and depend on whether you hunt a private or public area.

Hunters whom I've spoken with wonder if all we’ll have years from now is the fond memory of what used to be Wisconsin’s very equal deer hunting tradition. Hunters tell me: change the rules, make it hard to get public tags, expensive to hunt in private land and leave folks on their own to register a deer? Isn’t this asking for trouble?
This comment:
Steve Hanson: I'm not a hunter, but I own property on which others hunt. I have to admit to being TOTALLY bamboozled by how complex the new rules are. And the folks hunting here are just as bewildered. 

The must see Same Sex Marriage Q & A with crazy Alabama Justice Roy Moore.

This is 25-minutes of news media gold, where CNN's Chris Cuomo called into question Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s decision to ignore a marriage equality ruling. It's every argument that could be made, featuring every baseless answer Moore could muster up from his fundamentalist religious war on our constitution.  This 25 minute segment goes by very quickly.  

Cuomo’s bottom line to Moore; "You are clinging to a definition that you believe is divine."
Cuomo: "This is just like the Ten Commandment situation. You were told by the federal courts that you should remove the Ten Commandments from the public square. You didn't want to and you wound up losing your job from it but on principle you felt you did the right thing, is that not true?"

Moore: "I must act when the jurisdiction of the probate courts is interfered with by one lone judge ... Nobody's arguing about racial discrimination. This is about sexual preference over coming an institution which has existed in our United States for centuries … Our rights contained in the Bill of Rights don't come from the Constitution, they come from God."

Cuomo: "You are putting God before the laws of man. That's not what we do in this country. That's not how it works."