Saturday, March 14, 2015

Uh oh, Walker compares ISIS to computer virus?

I liked the comment at Crooks and Liars about Scott Walker's latest whack-a-doodle comparison; "The good news is that he is no longer comparing Wisconsin protesters to ISIS terrorists. The bad news is that Walker is still comparing ISIS to a computer virus."

Walker's odd knack for bad analogies stems from his overall lack of foreign policy experience, which is reminding me of party hopeful and worst candidate ever, Sarah Palin.

A few other warning signs:
1. Mr. Non-Answer himself, Scott Walker, point blank said he won't be answering questions about foreign policy, unlike Obama, because that would be like telling our enemies. Didn't Republicans insist Obama tell them...oh, never mind. Again, Walker is telling us he'll spring whatever scheme he comes up with, on both ISIS and the American public, without ever tipping his hand. You were warned.

2. WKOW's Greg Neumann reported "wrecking ball" Walker got a good reception from the audience after saying he was a self made man. Is that even possible for a mediocre career politician, on the public dole, doing the bidding of monied corporate special interests? Self made huckster maybe.

3. Scarier still is one guys impression that Walker would appeal to the middle. God help us all.
First is WKOW's coverage, and second is Walker repeating his ISIS is like a computer virus:

Here's Neumann's second report and a few audience members opinions. Plus Walker's recent shopping trip to Kohls for the sweater he had on, and really old 20th century stories about his grand parents lack of indoor pluming. You know what, I had a few good shopping trips myself, and had to use an outhouse when I visited my grandfather's house in the 50's, BFD:

Walker, Republicans target biking and transit for cuts.

Republicans like Scott Walker are going after everything touched by the enemy within, liberals, progressives and Democrats. They are wiping the slate clean, as I've pointed out in this post.

As unbelievable as it may seem, they’re actually going after biking and transit.

Conservative Republicans at the state and federal levels this year launched initiatives to weaken biking programs. So the National Bike Summit this month (is working to) Counter a campaign to strip bicycle funding from the transportation bill. Congress could vote in May on the anti-cycling initiative, which is backed by right-wing groups with strong ties to the fossil fuel industry and billionaires David and Charles Koch. 
The following statement boggles the mind:
A letter signed by representatives of Tea Party Nation, the Heartland Institute, Club for Growth, American Energy Alliance and Americans for Prosperity seeking to eliminate federal transportation money for cycling programs read: “Despite billions in Highway Trust Fund shortfalls, Washington continues to spend federal dollars on projects that have nothing to do with roads like bike paths and transit.”
I wish I were making this up. And guess who is one of the leaders of this anti-biking movement?
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has strong political and financial ties to those in this conservative coalition, is at the forefront of the campaign to puncture the state’s bicycling program … at the start of his second term as governor Walker offered a budget that proposed:
• Cutting $2 million from the Transportation Alternatives Program.

• Repealing the Complete Streets Law mandating that bicyclists and pedestrians be considered whenever a road is built or rebuilt.
Yes, repealing a law that "considers pedestrians"...outrageous?
State Sen. Chris Larson said repealing the Complete Streets Law “jeopardizes pedestrian and bicyclist safety, resulting in fewer safe places for our neighbors to bike.”
Here's an important wrinkle I've already had to deal with regarding my own kids bike "path" to school:
Larson added that cutting TAP “will result in fewer pro-bike projects, some of which seek to create more safe ways for children to get to their schools. The governor’s budget lacks a long-term, sustainable vision for our state. In fact, at the same time the governor is seeking to curb the growth and popularity of cycling in the state of Wisconsin, he is also borrowing $1.3 billion to pay for large highway projects. Each day, I grow more amazed by how backward Walker’s priorities are for Wisconsin.”

Will Republicans insist Scott Walker, unlike Obama, take high road and unseal his College Records?

This story cannot be forgotten, because down the road, Republicans are going to have to demand Scott Walker's Marquette University records. If it was important to see Obama's, than to show they walk the walk, Walker has to comply. Right? 

First they'll have to convince Walker he never really unsealed his records:

The BS never stops spilling out of Walker's memorized, monotonous and repeatedly disproved set of talking points. PolitiFact took a look:
On Feb. 27, 2015, while attending the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of Washington, D.C., during an interview with Dana Loesch, a conservative radio and Blaze TV talk show host, Walker made a claim as Loesch prepared to ask a question.
Loesch: "A lot of folks like myself thought it a little elitist -- because everybody’s vetting you now. You’ve already been more vetted than the current commander-in-chief."

Walker with a chuckle: "Yeah, and more written about my college days than the president. I unsealed my records."
Our rating: Walker said he "unsealed" his student records at Marquette University. In fact, he has taken only the very limited step of authorizing the school to confirm that he was in "good standing" during his time at Marquette and that he voluntarily withdrew. We haven’t seen any records. We rate Walker’s statement False.

29 States, Big and Small Business minimum wage increases disprove GOP Doom-and-Gloom Predictions!!!

I think some people are missing the big picture when it comes to recent wave of minimum wage increases; Big business is proving how wrong Republican have been. It’s a scare tactic and lie conservatives have still not deepsixed, even as a tide of raises are washing over them.

29 states are beating the federal minimum wage standard. Are they crazy?

According to the conservative bill writing mill ALEC:
“Despite good intentions, this proposal will hurt lower-income, less-experienced and less-educated Americans. Furthermore, it will place an additional burden on businesses, especially small business owners struggling in the current economy.”
The listening to this crap day after day. We can only assume at this point big business doesn't know what it's doing, and freeloading ideologically driven Republican politicians do. The following is only a partial list wage hikes we're seeing week after week:
Wal-Mart ($10) follows other big retailers that have announced plans to increase pay. Home furnishings retailer Ikea this year gave a 17 percent average raise to $10.76 an hour. And the Gap raised its minimum wage to $9 last year and $10 this year.
Meanwhile conservative business baron's are getting caught doing what they've done so well for years, cheat their low wage employees out of the money they've earned:
A Papa John’s pizza franchise in New York must pay its workers nearly $800,000 in unpaid wages over allegations the business underpaid employees and failed to pay overtime. Emstar Pizza Inc., which operates seven Papa John’s franchise locations in Brooklyn and Queens, allegedly underreported hours worked by drivers over the past six years, rounded employee hours down to the nearest hour, and did not pay overtime. 

Watch Out!!! Republicans push Big Government Punishments on perceived Citizen Freeloaders and Enemies.

Democrats haven't sounded the alarm over what a possible Republican one party system would look like? Like we have all the time in the world guys?

Republican Despotism; Republicans have redefine the constitution, rewritten history, and doled out punishment to those who don't fit within their narrowly defined parameters of behavior and religion. They have plans to do even more. They have successfully made the opposition party commies and socialists, a repressive enemy to be feared, blacklisted and discounted as social pariahs.

After hundreds of thousands of people turn out to protest in the middle of winter, and one million put pen to paper to sign a recall petition, Governor Scott Walker actually saw this exercise in democracy as form of "intimidation." He even made that the title of his book, "Unintimidated," where he denigrated unapologetically our 1st Amendment right.

I thought I'd feature a quick list of examples that honeslty, just barely scratch the surface. Despite the frightening possibilities and unintended consequences of their iron fisted policies, conservatives will blindly rationalize away this list as another "liberal" partisan attack. It's authoritarian behavior that will only intensify with even more power, taking the presidency:

1. Overruling the peoples Referendums and InitiativesMilwaukee voters overwhelmingly passed paid sick leave. State Republicans repealed and regulated against local government control.
Repealing a Constitutional Amendment: In Nevada, state Sen. Joe Hardy (R) introduced legislation that would repeal the state’s minimum wage, $8.25 for those who don’t get health benefits … In 2006, state’s voters approved a constitutional amendment that sets a standard minimum wage, but Hardy’s resolution would repeal it and give the legislature the ability to control the wage ... a South Dakota state committee approved a proposal that would allow its minimum wage to decrease, erasing a provision of a wage hike approved by voters that bars it from falling. 
2. Democratic Representation and Voter suppression: Finding fraud fails, suggesting error free perfect system possible:
Ohio’s Huge Voter Fraud Investigation Turns Up Nearly Nothing: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has been on a mission to weed out voter fraud … 44 non-citizens may have voted illegally in Ohio since 2000. Conservatives have long tried to tie immigration reform to potential voter fraud.
3. Voting Rights a Rube Goldberg maze of Regulations before Disappearing Completely: Sen. John Cornyn offered this "I know you are but what am I" bit of projection: restoring the Voting Rights Act would “drive divisions and create phony narratives.” He just defined voter fraud:
Wisconsin Republican Jim Sensenbrenner is nobody’s idea of a pussycat … he vowed more than a year ago to restore the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court in 2013 overturned a key section monitoring states that had been past offenders. Republicans have a disincentive … Their conservative supporters wouldn't like it if the Justice Department ruled against all the new voter ID laws. No vote is expected in the House, and in the Senate, Mitch McConnell won’t bring up anything that could put his members on the spot. 
4.  Block Grants allow Oppressive State Punishments: If there's one thing Republicans are good at, it's punishing citizens they've vilified as non-conforming Americans. Federal "strings" have prevented unconstitutional drug testing and/or cancellation of funding. Then throw in cuts to the program itself:
GOP Looks at Medicaid and Food Stamps for Overhaul: the federal government would pay the states a lump sum instead of a portion of the programs cost. The states would then have more control over setting standards. Paul Ryan would have cut federal Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program funding by 31 percent by 2023 ... the funding would no longer keep pace with health care costs or with expected Medicaid enrollment growth as the population ages. Those cuts would have come on top of repealing the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

No Strings: Gov. Doug Ducey (R) approved a measure to tighten the state requirements for Medicaid eligibility, requiring recipients to be employed and kicking them out of the program (after) five years. An identical bill was vetoed last year by former Gov. Jan Brewer (R) … Ducey’s office (said) the new legislation will “ensure that we have a responsible Medicaid program that protect taxpayers and provide care to those who need it the most.” Scott Walker (R) once said that denying Medicaid coverage to low-income people helps them “live the American Dream” because they won’t be “dependent on the American government.” 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Republican John Doe changes opens door to rampant but "legal" criminal political activity to keep power.

John Doe reform...a wildly obvious attempt to conduct illegal political activity with impunity, at a time when the corrupting influence of money is pouring into lawmakers coffers.

What was once described as "creeping" fascist is now in full sprint to the finish line under Walker and the Republican majority. The facade of government simply conceals the private special interest takeover of our state.

Removing the legal impediments that keep corruption at bay are behind the John Doe reforms. Muzzling judges and prosecutors while giving suspects the full force of the media and putting an arbitrary time limit on investigations are just a few dead giveaways. WSJ:
This bill would limit the secrecy aspect of the law, allowing secrecy orders to be placed only on judges and prosecutors. It would also limit the length of investigations to six months. A probe could be extended for additional six-month periods, with no cap on the number of extensions, provided a majority of 10 judicial administrative district chief judges find good cause.
The political crimes of the past will be seen now as "standard operating procedure" by our strong freedom loving leaders.
It would also limit the scope of crimes that can be investigated in a John Doe probe to the most severe felonies and some violent crimes.
Of course, Republicans will market these changes as something they are not:
Rep. David Craig, R-Big Bend said the bill is designed to increase judicial oversight, protect the constitutional rights of individuals and ensure accountability to the people of Wisconsin.
The inconvenient truth?
But former Milwaukee County District Attorney E. Michael McCann argued that John Doe laws should be stronger, not more limited. McCann suggested the real purpose of the bill is to end the second Doe investigation, noting that the investigation would no longer fall under the jurisdiction of the law.

As Milwaukee County District Attorney, McCann netted two felony convictions through a John Doe investigation for Democratic then-Sen. Chuck Chvala, along with convictions of several other Republican and Democratic former lawmakers in the "caucus scandal" of the early 2000s. 

The bill "removes from the reach of the John Doe all of the statutes under which Chvala and (Republican then-Rep. Scott) Jensen were charged," McCann said. "Senate Bill 43 guts the strength of the John Doe by removing numerous crimes for which public officials have been convicted in the past," McCann said.
While my conservative friend in Milwaukee still thinks the first John Doe was a waste of time and won't acknowledge the convictions, it still happened:
Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm 's first investigation resulted in convictions for six Walker associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive.
The most unashamed corrupt special interest Republican, Sen. Tom Tiffany, concentrated on parsing out acceptable commonplace political "crimes," to those more "appropriate" outright violent crimes and felonies. From WKOW and WISC:

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Walker cuts SeniorCare, forcing elderly out of their homes, hands money over to Medicare Part D - Big Pharma/Insurers.

First they came for the unions…

…now Scott Walker is coming for the seniors, a major conservative voting block.

SeniorCare is a state program that saves the struggling elderly lot's of money on drugs, and beats the heck out of Medicare Part D costs.

But in one fell swoop, Scott Walker is drowning government in a bathtub, cutting all public ties to education, parks, environment, safety net programs and regulations. Government will be left to do what the founding fathers wanted it to do; steer taxpayer dollars to private businesses, a favorite GOP source for campaign fundraising.  

Kill SeniorCare. Walker wants to turn senior dollars into insurer profits, and that can’t happen as long as the state government is running Seniorcare.
For seniors on a fixed income, here’s a per year comparison:
Seniorcare = $30 year.

Compared to….

Medicare Part D = $188 to $1,560 a year.
That’s the price of freedom and smaller government. For many conservatives, that’s all that matters.  

Seniors slipping into poverty: Seniors on Social Security average $1,305 a month; minus $105 a month for Medicare; minus $140 to $200 a month for supplemental insurance. 

The monthly cost of Medicare is never talked about, and should be. Walker's "small government" plan wipes away a large part of what's left of their fixed income. That's why SeniorCare is so important. 

Rep. Robin Vos may be worried about angering seniors and getting their vote, so he’s taking Walker’s plan and tweaking it; seniors can keep what they have, but no new signups. Private insurers selling Part D will eventually get their money. Source: WKOW.

Dumb Ron Johnson wrong again, doubles down on misinformation in letter to Iran's leadership!!!

Dumb Ron Johnson gladly signed on to the much criticized letter to Iran’s leadership, trashing Obama’s power to do anything internationally without their consent. It’s an example of senatorial overreach and bullshit that is beyond words and historical references.

The blissful base were quick to latch onto their leaderships talking points. With no sense of curiosity to double check the facts or explore the reasons why people are saying what they are saying, right wingers are now fumbling around trying to save face. Twisting in the wind so to speak.

The 47 senators who signed onto political newcomer Tom Cotton’s naive and factually inaccurate letter to Iran’s leadership didn't just destroy their credibility, but it made them look completely irresponsible and shockingly incompetent. 

That pretty much fits Ron Johnson’s profile.

PolitiFact is saying something completely different:
"The Iranian parliament has the authority to ratify treaties, but a possible nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 will be a political agreement, not a treaty," said Alireza Nader, a senior policy analyst at RAND Corporation.
The same is true of our president and senate:
Our ruling: Johnson said, "The Iranian parliament will get to say yes or no" on the nuclear deal.

This is incorrect on two accounts. Experts said the nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran won’t require ratification by Iran’s parliament, the Islamic Consultative Assembly. It’s possible the deal will be contingent on Iran’s ratification of a previous international nuclear agreement, which might require the assembly’s approval, but the body won’t weigh in on the deal currently being worked on.

And even if it did, it would be entirely symbolic, as the assembly is heavily influenced by the Supreme Leader on foreign policy matters. We rate the statement Mostly False.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Letter to Iran...all a joke? And Petition forces White House to say whether they'll charge Senate Republicans with Treason!!!

This is not going to be good news for those wacky unquestioning Republicans true believers who have been tweeting support for the 47 unpatriotic senators fixin' for war:

Didn't the rank and file know it was all a joke? From the loyalists tweet above, guess not.

Rachel Maddow noticed, pointing to public blowback that caught these idiots by surprise, and the newspaper editorial boards brutal bashing of the 47 Senators who jumped into the clown car with Tom Cotton. Yup, it was just a joke...yea, that's the ticket.

So many Americans were outraged over this freakish attempt to belittle Obama and march off to war, that they managed to force the administration to say whether they will charge the senators for their violation of the Logan Act:
ABC News: A petition on calling for charges to be filed against the 47 senators who sent an open letter to the leaders of Iran, possibly in violation of the Logan Act, has collected more than 165,000 signatures in less than two days. Because the petition exceeded 100,000 signatures within 30 days, the White House is required to respond.

The creator of this petition, known only by the initials C.H., alleges that the 47 senators “committed a treasonous offense when they decided to violate the Logan Act, a 1799 law which forbids unauthorized citizens from negotiating with foreign governments.” The letter, which was published on Monday, warned Iranian leaders that any nuclear deal they sign with President Obama won’t last past his second term.

Anonymous joins protesters seeking justice for deadly shooting of Tony Robinson.

I haven't seen much about the Anonymous cyber attack on Madison's computer system over the tragic death of Tony Robinson. While the story is still unfolding, Anonymous got involved with the message below that includes police scanner audio:

The City of Madison is working with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security Tuesday to determine who may have launched a cyber attack on their IT systems late Monday and to protect against further attacks, according to Chief Information Officer Paul Kronberger.

Madison Police Spokesperson Joel DeSpain tells 27 News the group "Anonymous" is claiming they are responsible for the cyber attack.
From WKOW:

Walker's 20 Week Abortion Ban another Non-Answer before Election, now he's sure?

WPR's Shawn Johnson brought a little sunlight to slick Scott Walker's sudden commitment to 20 week abortion ban:
Gov. Scott Walker's announcement that he will sign a law that would ban abortions after 20 weeks came a day after he'd been called out by a national conservative group for not doing enough to stop abortion. On Monday, Frank Cannon of the American Principles Project blasted Walker for not taking a harder stand against abortion ... The very next day, Walker's campaign promised to do just that.
Johnson then pointed out Walker's non-answer before the Journal Sentinel board during his campaign for another term, a touchy subject he knew could blow's the audio with Shawn Johnson's report and video clip of the Journal Sentinel Q&A of slick Scott:

Walker repeatedly declined to say whether he'd support banning abortions after 20 weeks.

"Those are all things we'd have to look at in a future session out there," he said.

This latest move by Walker also came after he promised to sign a right-to-work law, despite saying for years that right to work would not happen under his watch. 

Walker's Right-to-Work already eating away at our state....

Blackmail and corporate bullying got Scott Walker's attention alright, that's why Badger Meter hosted the right-to-work bill signing ceremony in Wisconsin.

The company owner was asked what RTW had to do with his promise to add 100 workers. His answer...a word salad of Scott Walker talking points. A non-answer just like slick Scott. Here's WISC and Jessica Arp:

Right to work and Badger Meter, Walker's dream team is our nightmare:
Milwaukee: Today Governor Scott Walker signed so-called Right to Work legislation at the headquarters of Badger Meter, a company with a record of outsourcing Wisconsin jobs to Mexico while also benefiting from public development investments. Its CEO recently threatened to outsource 100 more jobs from Wisconsin if he did not get his way on the legislation. Governor Walker’s privatized jobs agency, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), has not closed loopholes which permit public economic development dollar to go to companies engaged in outsourcing.
Badger Meter employees not Invited, embarrassment to company:
WSJ: Asked why few if any of his employees were at the signing ceremony, Meeusen said, “This is a Monday. It’s a work day. And most of them are working. I didn’t shut down the whole plant to bring them over here.”

But two employees taking a break outside the building said workers had been told not to attend the ceremony to avoid “embarrassing” the company. They asked not to be identified for fear of retribution.
Stories like this are just starting to trickle out, and getting a lot of press:
That approach doesn't suit businessman James Hoffman, however.The president and owner of Hoffman Construction Co. of Black River Falls told lawmakers last month that the change could harm his business, since a union for heavy equipment operators runs training programs that provide him with workers.

Hoffman said he was considering adding workers in Minnesota now because of the right-to-work change, prevailing wage proposals and doubts about long-term funding for road building in Wisconsin.

"I am a fourth-generation family owner and am proud to say we have fifth-generation workers. We are a union shop by choice," Hoffman said. "Over time, right-to-work legislation interferes with my company's ability to have access to skilled, productive workers which I depend upon."

47 Republican Senators get everything wrong in letter to Iran.

Sen. Tom Cotton's Letter to Iran: It'll be some time before Republicans can outdo what they did to Obama's efforts to prevent another war and to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear threat. Imagine "President" Scott Walker at the helm:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker also did not say that he’d sign the letter, but said, “Unless the White House is prepared to submit the Iran deal it negotiates for congressional approval, the next president should not be bound (by) it.”
What, "word salad" Walker didn't commit again? Who cares, opposition won't be a problem under a one party system.

Traitors? Reading the Logan Act, Republican do look like traitors, yet legal experts and historians don't agree. Here's the Act;
§ 953. Private correspondence with foreign governments: Any citizen of the United States, wherever he may be, who, without authority of the United States, directly or indirectly commences or carries on any correspondence or intercourse with any foreign government or any officer or agent thereof, with intent to influence the measures or conduct of any foreign government or of any officer or agent thereof, in relation to any disputes or controversies with the United States, or to defeat the measures of the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
Surprisingly, our own Rep. James Sensenbrenner tried to rewrite the act in 2006, focusing instead on false statements, which Sen. Tom Cotton's release contained: 
Sec. 923. False statements influencing foreign government — Whoever, in relation to any dispute or controversy between a foreign government and the United States, knowingly makes any untrue statement, either orally or in writing, under oath ... to the injury of the United States, or with a view or intent to influence any measure of or action by the United States or any department or agency thereof, to the injury of the United States, shall be imprisoned not more than ten years.
Here's how the media pundits presented it. starting with the Logan Act and dissecting presidential/congressional power:

Right Wing Callers Wrong Again: WPR's morning guest, Ohio State Professor Richard K. Herrmann, answered questions from some very conservative callers:

This Politicususa story summed it up well:
Although their goal was interfering with “measures of the United States,” the Iranians are smart and took the open letter for exactly what it was; pathetic propaganda and a gross display of Republican ignorance of the Constitution and international law. It is what one expects from a bunch of petulant punks who are too stupid to understand they embarrassed themselves by lacking even an eighth-grader’s understanding of the document the swore to uphold.
Of course, the always frightened panicky guy from Wisconsin Dumb Ron Johnson, knew more than anyone else:
"I agreed to sign Senator Cotton’s open letter because I believe it describes reality — it tells the truth," Johnson wrote … that the president is mistaken for "acknowledging Iran’s right to enrich uranium.  As a result, the negotiation was lost before it even began."
One final word:
Anthony Cordesman, a senior national security analyst for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the letter was “an appalling mess.” “One thing about sending international letters, they better be serious, they better be well-drafted, they better have a convincing intellectual content, and they better not seem just a hollow political gesture for partisan purposes,” Cordesman said. “This letter can’t meet any of those four tests.”
I just came across this loony tunes interview Sen. Tom Cotton, by ABC's Jonathan Carl. Keep this one thing in mind;  Executive foreign agreements do not involve congress. It's the UN P-5 +1-China, Russia, Germany, Brits, France that make these agreements, they are not treaties, with requires Senate approval:

Corporate Naming rights for state parks wasn't bad enough for Democratic Party of Wisconsin?

This isn't the first time the DPW resorted to a mindless, provably wrong statement to make a point. It's as if corporate naming rights for state parks wasn't bad enough to begin with. Democrats don't need to be deceptive or hyperbolic to make Republicans look bad. We just need to honest:

Monday, March 9, 2015

Farmers and Rural Walker supporters targeted for big cuts that could contaminate drinking water and damage land conservation, lakes and streams.

No really, say goodbye to clean lakes and streams. And don’t drink Wisconsin’s water either.

Farm Program never consulted by Walker: If Scott Walker is trying to appeal to Iowa voters, especially rural farmers, than his latest budgetary cut should make them run the other way. In fact, Walker and the Republicans have betrayed them. As I've pointed out so many other times, the Democrats have been backing rural Wisconsin businesses and farmers for years. I've got a list of stories here.

Walker’s budget guts everything. Both the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and Discovery Farms were never consulted by Walker. It's all part of spinning the UW off.
WSJ: Researchers and supporters of a program that helps farmers run cleaner and more efficient operations say they were “stunned” and “blindsided” by Gov. Scott Walker’s proposal to cut a third of the project’s funding. Discovery Farms, a UW-Extension program that dates to 2001, applies science … to control runoff, calibrate fertilizer use and employ techniques to conserve land and water.

It has a $750,000 budget, of which $248,000 would be cut in the governor’s proposed state budget … UW-Extension noted the loss affects longstanding projects and the ability of the small program to leverage crucial additional grants and funds.
Apparently, Walker wants to get rid of a surcharge on the sale of farm chemicals, resulting in shortfalls and thus, cuts to the program:  
An Omen we ignored...
The project’s programs include monitoring 20 state farms and educating thousands of farmers on conservation strategies. “This was a big surprise to our agency partners as well as our partners in farm groups and in UW-Extension,” she said. “We never had an inkling.”

The $248,000 comes from a surcharge on farm chemical sales that would be discontinued.

The Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation, a statewide farm support association, was puzzled by the proposed cuts to agricultural research and noted specifically “the innovative on-farm work” of Discovery Farms in its response to the budget. “We are obviously going to be working with the Legislature to reinstate the funding,” said Farm Bureau lobbyist Paul Zimmerman, citing a need for “farm research that backs up regulatory models.”

Deleting the related fertilizer surcharge also drew the attention of the Farm Bureau. That money finances the Fertilizer Research Council and related projects researching soil management, plant nutrition problems, and surface water and groundwater problems that are related to fertilizer use.
Walker doesn't want the UW to get funding, that much is even clearer.

In 2013-14, those fees brought $280,000 to the UW System for research and $166,300 to UW-Extension for outreach, sums separate from the funding for Discovery Farms.

Walker willfully misleads voters about his strong support for Right-to-Work.

WPR's Shawn Johnson found this classic Scott Walker comment on right-to-work, that leads us all to believe RTW is absolutely off the table.
Walker: "...we're not going to pursue it in the remainder of our term, and we're not going to pursue it in the future. Private sector unions overwhelming are my partner in economic development."
A caller in the clip below mentioned a few big name legislators who also ran against right-to-work. Guess they were hiding behind a bold face lie, something voters should remember about these courageous unintimidated Republicans:

Huffington Post: As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and Bloomberg Politics have explained, Walker has a long history of professing no desire to see Wisconsin become a right-to-work state, even though he introduced such legislation as a state lawmaker. Walker has stressed that right to work is not a priority. He once called private sector unions his "partner in economic development." He even said in 2012 that he would do "everything in my power" to block right to work.
Here's another piece of strong evidence showing how far Walker will go to cover up what turned out to be a complete lie. Real presidential material:

During a 2012 gubernatorial debate with Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, Walker went so far as to declare that a right-to-work bill would never reach his desk.

"I've said it's not going to get there," Walker said.

Barrett insisted that Walker would sign it if it did.

"I'll say it right now," Barrett said. "If that bill hits his desk, he's signing it."

"And it won't," Walker said.

ObamaCare cost less than CBO estimates, and Slows Rising Premiums.

Bad news for ObamaCare doom and gloomers!!! According to Voxdotcom:
1. Federal spending on Obamacare subsidies will be 20 percent lower than expected over the next decade, according to new Congressional Budget Office projections released Monday morning.

2. The reduction is the result of two trends: slower-than-expected growth in health-care costs and lower-than-expected enrollment through Obamacare exchanges.

3. CBO also reduced its estimates for how many people the exchanges will cover within the next decade from 25 million to 24 million.

Remember, ObamaCare (ACA) is just 9% of all health care, and deals with the individual market so far.

Most American get their coverage from their employer. Employers are very happy get help from the government. Small businesses get help too. And then there's Medicare, with more government help

Like the clueless tea party protesters holding signs, "Keep your government hands of my Medicare," Americans just don't get it. Small government Republicans may want to rethink what they'r wishing for, or pay the price. Voxdotcom:
If you want to understand the politics of health care in the United States, you really need to understand this finding from a recent Economist/YouGov poll.

The way people in the policy community see it, this is totally backwards. Almost everyone who has health insurance in the United States gets help from the government to afford it. For the elderly, that's Medicare. For the disabled and the poor, that's Medicaid. For full-time workers it's the tax subsidy for employer-provided health insurance.

Some of what you see in this poll is a simple misunderstanding — older Americans either don't know what Medicare is or mistakenly believe they have "paid for" their benefits with earlier taxes. But Americans who get insurance from their jobs are also benefitting from a massive government program. A program whose existence is hidden from sight but is nonetheless quite real and substantial.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Justice Bradley let's Right Wing radio's character assassin take his shot at Candidate James Daley.

Ann Walsh Bradley didn't have to say a thing about the most activist flame throwing conservative judge since Judge Rudolph Randa, instead she simply let right wing talker Mark Belling do it for her. Here's her hard hitting radio ad.

jsonline: Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley on Thursday released a scorching campaign ad attacking her opponent in next month's Supreme Court election. The ad features a harsh rant by popular conservative radio talk show host Mark Belling accusing Bradley's challenger, Rock County Circuit Court Judge James Daley, of being soft on crime.

"He's unfit to serve giving his depraved view on plea bargaining and child abuse," Belling says as ominous music plays in the background. "It is Daley who decided to hand down a lenient, one-year sentence to a man who savagely beat the young child of his then-girlfriend."

Belling added that the injuries were described as "horrific." "I am not going to publicly say that I think that this man is fit to be on the state Supreme Court when he's not," Belling said. "He's a miserably rotten candidate."
Bradley is letting the ad speak for itself, and so is Belling:
In an email Friday, Belling said Bradley used his comments accurately and he thinks the case in question disqualifies Daley for service on the Supreme Court.
Is Judge James Daley a conservative activist and rubber stamp for Scott Walker? He said he just happens to get invites to speak to interested Republicans...coincidence? You be the judge. I wrote about this here:

Rep. Cory Mason on Right-to-Work sloganeering: "Renamed corporate greed, 'freedom!'

In this great reframing of the supposed right to work, Cory Mason calls it what it is:

Rep. Robin Vos earned his reputation as the assemblies biggest asshole with amazingly tasteless statements like the ones below. Hear him turn the words freedom and liberty inside out, and claim that wage killing Republicans should be the ones wearing the orange shirts protesters wore defending labor rights.

Walker clearly dodged support of ethanol mandate, and Iowans didn't notice.

 What is it about Scott Walker's sleepy eye'd non-answers that lulls voters into trusting him?
Cap TimesGov. Scott Walker navigated the Iowa Ag Summit with ease … fielded questions from GOP mega-donor and ethanol industry executive Bruce Rastetter … on ethanol mandates going into the event, Walker's ultimate answer was well-received.
Stressing that he supports a "free and open market," Walker added that he would be willing to "go forward on continuing the renewable fuel standard."
That may have sounded like an answer to Iowans, but it's not: 
Walker said that ultimately, he'd like to address market access so mandates like the RFS aren't necessary.
As any Wisconsinite can tell you by now, that’s a big "no" on RFS, but Iowans don’t know it yet. Can't you just see big oil smiling over that one.

And while Republicans recoil in horror at the brutality used by other foreign governments against their own people, these pocket constitutionalists are nonchalantly committing their own atrocities, some unconstitutional, by withholding medical care and food from those who need it. Punishment, pain, starvation, watching people die from preventable diseases; that's considered a sign of strong leadership by our right wing authoritarians:
The crowd responded the most enthusiastically to Walker's comments about food stamps, applauding when he mentioned a provision in his proposed budget that would require recipients to be enrolled in a job training program and to be tested for drugs in order to receive benefits.
Walker is smartly marginalizing the 1st Amendment right to redress the government. He called it "intimidation," and compared it to the likes of ISIS. He arrested protesters here until the courts stopped him, declaring it unconstitutional. Not a peep from the tea party pocket constitutionalists.

Just as sinister is the devaluation of Americans caught between jobs, like it was their fault. In Walker's world, we're just a workplace commodity. Walker calls the unemployed bench sitters with their "feet up." Perhaps they're drug addicts too and need to be tested:
The governor compared public benefit recipients to football players sitting on the sidelines during a game. The ones that get called in by the coach, he said, are the ones standing nearby with their helmets on and mouth guards in — not the ones sitting on the bench with their feet up.
Walker's record is clear; he nearly bankrupt Milwaukee County and failed to create jobs there. He's currently cutting taxes despite mounting deficits, borrowing, higher debt service payments and lousy job growth. The Walker backed mismanagement gave the GOP a reason to dismantle years of public investments in our parks and universities. This is what success looks like to them. Voters loved it in Wisconsin, and they're loving it in Iowa: 
"I was so impressed with him as governor of Wisconsin," Boettger said. "He did what was necessary to make Wisconsin fiscally viable. The whole country was watching, and they pulled it off." Boettger said she likes the idea of a Midwestern governor in the White House, but especially loves the idea of a "proven governor who's done a good job."

Coreen Trost, who volunteered at the event, echoed Boettger's feelings about Walker. "He’s not scared off by ugly politics. He’s been through a lot and has held strong."
I'll end on this bad omen about Walker, on what could be the most imperial presidencies of them all if he wins:
Paul Pelletier, a non-profit fundraiser from Cedar Rapids who attended the Walker event, said he's torn between Jeb Bush and Walker. He said he finds Walker authentic.  "He's got something that a lot of others don't have: he's just a regular Joe. I'm attracted to that and I think people are pretty tired of imperial presidencies."