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Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Seething Inner Anger and Ruthlessness of the American Conservative, where nothing really matters.

This is what you get from a party based on paranoia, hate and envy, whether it's Trump, Ryan, Walker, Boehner, McConnell, Sykes, Belling, McKenna....etc.!


"He's not a war hero," Trump told the crowd at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured."
Remember the Swift Boat attacks on John Kerry? When Republicans decide they don't give a rats ass about you, they take you out. No honor among thieves.

Scott Walker working class Hero?

Making the rounds in conservative circles is a story filled with a mishmash of statistics that turns reality on its head; Scott Walker is a working class hero?

See for yourself in the short unintentionally humorous excerpt below from the NY Post:
How workers are winning in Scott Walker’s Wisconsin: Hillary Rodham Clinton shed her usual sunny demeanor on Monday and snarled, “Republican governors like Scott Walker have made their names stomping on workers’ rights … AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka snapped, “Scott Walker is a national disgrace.”

Liberals like Clinton and Trumka have it all wrong.
In all seriousness, reporter Deroy Murdock wrote this:
If there’s one thing workers value, it’s work.
But my whole reason for posting this exercise in tortured logic was the following worker “win” for...wait for it; women! Thank you Scott Walker:
In terms of “workers’ rights,” Wisconsinites now enjoy the right to work. 

This new law recognizes a woman’s right to choose whether or not to join a union. (This statute applies to men, too.) Wisconsinites no longer may be compelled to join unions as a condition of employment. Clinton and Trumka are anti-choice on union membership.
The truth is no one has to join a union. 

But even more basic than that is the argument we’re always getting from crazy Republicans, who can’t seem to see the connection; If you don’t like unions, don’t look for a job at a union shop. Look elsewhere, right? Choice, freedom and liberty! It's the same reason Republicans give when a worker doesn’t like the pay, benefits or working conditions provided by their employer. Look elsewhere...you can leave anytime...no ones forcing you to work there.

They should take their own advice.

The Bucks Arena Deal Stinks!!!

Just to put the Buck’s arena deal in perspective, and maybe in a new light for some, check out the article below and all the additional links. It ties up a lot of the loose ends. Appalling and almost surreal, Wisconsin isn’t just open for business, it’s being sold off to business with reckless disregard:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pushed Bucks arena deal while employing a Bucks owner-David Sirota and Andrew Perez of International Business Times: In the year leading up to the announcement of his presidential campaign, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker championed a high-profile proposal to spend a quarter of a billion dollars of taxpayer money to help finance a new Milwaukee Bucks arena … One of those who stands to benefit from the controversial initiative is a longtime Walker donor and Republican financier who has just been appointed by the governor to head his presidential fundraising operation.

Real estate mogul Jon Hammes, who has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates and causes, is a prominent member of the investor group that owns Milwaukee’s NBA team. Last week CNN reported that he also will serve as the Walker campaign’s national finance co-chairman. Days after that appointment, Walker’s Republican allies in the Wisconsin state Senate backed the governor’s proposal to spend public funds on a new arena for the Bucks.

Hammes became one of the part owners of the Bucks in 2014. A little more than three months later, Walker unveiled his proposal to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a new arena for the team.

Hammes’ financial interest in Walker’s arena subsidy package may not be limited to just his stake in the team. According to local news reports, his real estate firm also also bought parcels of downtown land near the location of the proposed new arena. Hammes’ firm also was contracted by the local chamber of commerce to evaluate new stadium proposals.
As much as I would like the Bucks to stay in Milwaukee, I can't get past the behind the scene schemes hatched to get this done, along with the eventual campaign cash Walker will get from this deal. The fact that this is all a political game for wealth and power has soured me on the whole deal. 

Greece shining example of Disaster Capitalism!!!

Naomi Klien’s book “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of DisasterCapitalism” described early on what is now about to destroy Greece once and for all. I’m sure my conservative friend in Milwaukee, who is always calling me about the similarities between Greece and the U.S. – which is absurd, is happy with the horrific privatization results below.
AP: Work was supposed to begin next year on a 7 billion euros ($7.6 billion) waterfront urban renewal project almost twice the size of New York's Central Park that could have poured nearly a billion euros into Greece's depleted coffers. The plans stalled late last year … both on ideological grounds and because leaders believe rampant corruption must be addressed before any sell-off.

Now, in an attempt to get a third European bailout and prevent the Greek economy from collapsing, the ruling party has done an about-face. It has pledged to fast-track the waterfront project, plus sell government assets and allow for private development of state-owned property, all to generate cash that will help reduce Greece's 320-billion-euro national debt and pay back money lent by European nations to prop up ailing banks.

"There can be absolutely no backpedaling or unwinding with the privatization effort," said Mujtaba Rahman, European director for the Eurasia Group political and business risk consulting firm. "This is about testing the government's appetite to liberalize the economy and move forward with pro-market reforms." 

Big money assets that Greece could sell include state-owned stakes in Athens' new airport, energy company Hellenic Petroleum and electrical utility Public Power Corp., plus offshore oil or natural gas drilling parcels. A Greek company with backing from Chinese and Arab investors would then build a huge park, a shopping center, a marina, 1,000 hotel rooms and a skyscraper apartment building on what's billed as Europe's largest undeveloped waterfront tract. 

"Peacemaker" has one big regret after Capitol Bomb Threat.

Even a disenfranchised liberal Wisconsinite with mental health issues knows when they've gone too far, especially after calling in a Capitol bomb threat:
He had one big regret...
WKOW: The suspect in a bomb threat at the state capitol earlier this month tells 27 News actions by Governor Walker and state lawmakers, combined with his mental health issues, prompted him to call police and cause an evacuation of the building during state budget debate.

"I just snapped," 55-year old Daniel Veerhusen of Madison tells 27 News. "I've called most of my state officials and politely ask them to please do their jobs, and think about who they're affecting," Veerhusen says ... he relies on state disability funds due to his medical conditions, including a recent stroke ... he uses a wheelchair the majority of the time. "Always been a peacemaker," Veerhusen says. "The medications that I've been on have taken such a heavy toll.". 
Here's the twist:
Veerhusen was interrogated and admitted to making the phone call, "and regretted his actions after he learned 'concert on the square' was evacuated.

The Truth about Walker's "Crap" Budget.

In my opinion, The Progressive's Ruth Conniff is one of the most powerful liberal voices in the media right now. Her well framed and concise analysis is a refreshing break from the chaotic ramblings of most progressives.

Conniff offered up the following straight forward look Scott Walker's budget "crap" in the latest Isthmus. Democrats would be wise to use the same style of common sense messaging, and drop the cliches:
The budget was 12 days late, garnered more “no” votes from Walker’s GOP colleagues than any other budget he has tried to pass, and was described by at least two Republicans in the state Legislature as “crap.”

The budget he signed reflects the two main themes of his political career: destroying public institutions, from schools to parks, and eliminating oversight and accountability when it comes to spending public funds … a state budget Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca (D-Kenosha) aptly described as throwing the people of Wisconsin under Walker’s campaign bus.

Here is a prime example: The state budget expands a school voucher program that, after 25 years, has not improved academic outcomes for children in Milwaukee. Instead of demanding better results, the new budget eliminates the requirement that voucher school students take the same standardized tests as students in the regular public schools.

To deal with the bad news about WEDC and other examples of cronyism and shady dealings, some unnamed person inserted a provision in the budget to make state government impervious to open records requests.

Then there were the goodies like getting rid of the wage floor for construction workers (Walker issued a special statement proudly announcing that his budget rolls back this New Deal-era protection for workers) and repealing the weekend so employees can “volunteer” to work seven days in a row.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Scott Walker exploits Marine Deaths, Shooting Rampage with call to Arm Recruiters.

What a way to use a tragic shooting...:


Leader of House Republicans said Obama and Liberals created U.S. Water Shortages.

It's breaks my heart that Republican Representatives know so little about average American life.

John Boehner doesn't even know that a lot of us with a decent yard kinda look forward to the time when our lawns go dormant, where believe it or not, the lawn turns brown and we don't have to mow it twice a week.

This amazing out-of-touch admission with real middle Americans, won't cut it in 2016. And yes, Boehner is blaming water shortages on Obama and liberal policies:

Walker's Troubled WEDC may change rules to avoid Taxpayer Accountability.

Well, if you can’t follow the rules, change the rules.

Republicans like to call themselves “fiscal conservatives,” but that’s laughable now that we’ve seen how these carnival barkers manage state government.

Scott Walker may have been fired as the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, but the troubled agency isn’t getting any better.
WSJ: The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is still not following its policies for ensuring companies that receive millions in taxpayer-backed awards are creating promised jobs, agency officials acknowledged Thursday. 

But rather than comply with existing policy, officials are recommending changing policy: Remove a policy that staff “view the capital investment and/or review the underlying financial records, e.g. invoices, payroll data, etc.” during site visits,   and an annual requirement to “verify the performance of all Enterprise Zone Tax Credit awards,” which are the agency’s largest and most coveted economic development tools. The agency isn’t reviewing any of its 20 enterprise zone awards this year … the agency doesn’t have the resources to review them all.
Get that? They’re now going to get rid of checking their own work, because they can't afford funding the agency to adequately oversee the business? This works for "stand with Walker" supporters? Poof, magically no more record keeping and lost loan money.
Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, a WEDC board member and policy committee member, objected to removing the only reference to such a review from agency policy. “You have to have some sort of verification.”
Not if you're a Republican.

Common Core Opponent Republican Rep. Scott Krug pushes Dictatorial Statewide Standards decided by Politicians.

Republicans have always hated big government, except when it serves their own purpose (which is always). They've got excuse why it's different when they do it too.
WPR: Nekoosa Republican Rep. Scott Krug would make it mandatory to teach and test financial literacy skills in grades K-12. "You'll end up swimming in credit card debt. You're going to find yourself in that spiral, not being able to get out of it. It's absolutely critical,"
Let's face it, Republicans are chomping at the bit to legislate their own politicized public school curriculum.  Partisan all the way, this is the epitome of big government meddling.
Wisconsin Association of School Boards' Dan Rossmiller said, "It's ironic that the committee is taking up this bill just five days after the governor proclaimed in his veto message that the state budget he signed into law 'increased local control by affirming the authority of school districts to choose their own academic standards.'"

The bill also would apply to the University of Wisconsin System and technical colleges.

With the Supreme Court in shambles, Justices go on Loony Tunes Rants Trashing election law, like Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce intended.

Imagine, after 4 decades (and coincidentally with Republicans firmly in charge), the 4 partisan conservative activist Justices suddenly noticed our campaign laws have been too broad and unconstitutional. The actual unambiguous law blocking coordination between campaigns and outside groups is now seen as ambiguous and too broad. Who knew? Just like that…
…Justice Michael Gableman found collaboration between issue groups and campaigns was not illegal … the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist.
And while the leaders of big money special interests whined and released private information barred by the John Doe law, the Justices decided to prevent the investigators from offering their side:
The justices didn't hold oral arguments to avoid disclosing private information. Key details about the probe have emerged in news reports, opinion pieces and a wave of litigation against investigators.
The most ridiculous complaint centered on the investigations lack of arrests and convictions. Hmm, I wonder why…
…stalled for 18 months after a lower court judge
The tortured logic of the majority conservative justices...:
…found collaboration between campaigns and issue groups is allowed because such groups don't explicitly tell people how to vote.
I guess if the message is the same between the two groups, that’s just a coincidence from like-minded conservatives. And suspicions of lawbreaking, all theoretical, cannot be investigated because that would infringe on the 1st Amendment:
…it makes clear campaigns can work closely with outside groups … R.J. Johnson simultaneously served as an adviser to the club and Walker's campaign … allowing more political money to flow without the names of donors being disclosed.
Acting as if they were at a bar ranting endlessly about issues not even before their court, the Justices didn’t just trotted out conservative radio talking points, they also played up the “Republicans are victims” card:
Those in the majority raised questions about the way the probe was conducted, with Gableman writing that the search warrants were executed as "pre-dawn, armed, paramilitary-style raids" and Prosser writing in a concurrence that the subpoenas were "so extensive that they make the fruits of the legendary Watergate break-in look insignificant by comparison." The appeals court ruled in favor of prosecutors in the challenge that dealt with technical issues about how the probe was conducted. 

Todd Graves, an attorney for the club and its director, Eric O'Keefe, said in a statement that Chisholm and the accountability board until now "acted like playground bullies without fear of restraint from the courts."

Attorney General Brad Schimel said the ruling "closes a divisive chapter in Wisconsin history."
This thing call “law” is so inconvenient. Maybe Schimel missed the time Scott Walker boasted how he would “divide and conquer” labor in the state. That chapter hasn’t closed.  

Unconstitutional for 4 decades: Thank god we discovered the mistake when the GOP took over:
The Government Accountability Board's Chairman, Gerald Nichol, said the ruling reverses how election officials have interpreted campaign finance laws for four decades. Daniel Weiner, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, said in a statement the court "has made campaign finance law extraordinarily easy to evade. No other court has gone this far and for good reason — it is a misreading of the law and threatens fair and transparent elections."
Balls to the Wall Bizarro World: Connecting the dots on this one was easy. Jaw dropping and outrageous, here's how Wisconsin Manufactureres and Commerce (WMC) bought off the court. 

Step 1: Got their justices elected:
WMC, which has received some funding from the Wisconsin Club for Growth and is the state's largest business lobbying group, spent an estimated $2.2 million for Ziegler; $1.8 million for Gableman; $1.1 million for Prosser; and $500,000 for Roggensack.
Step 2: WMC then went ahead and wrote the Justices recusal rules that wiped "conflict of interest:"
2. In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court adopted the Realtors and WMC’s petitions. The petitions sought clarification that a judge does not need to seek recusal where it would be based solely on a party in the case sponsoring an independent expenditure or issue advocacy communication in favor of the judge. the and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (“WMC”) and Wisconsin Realtors Association (“Realtors”) filed separate petitions (that) sought to amend the Judicial Code of Conduct.
Step 3: WMC can now drum up taxpayer outrage over the cost of the public's futile effort to stop business from shredding campaign finance laws, and :
WMC president and CEO Kurt Bauer said, "Taxpayers deserve to know how much of their money was wasted on this unlawful and unconstitutional investigation, and the targets deserve an apology from the prosecutors and GAB regulators who have violated their rights."

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Walker's 1900 era labor standards next....

Scott Walker's budget ushered in a 7 day work week, doing away with required "one day of rest." 

Oddly, Republicans continue to pretend employers would never threaten current employees with the loss of their job if they didn't "volunteer;" they could always bringing someone who will, right?:
Seven-day workweeks would be allowed and provisions for a "living wage" would be struck from state statutes, nullifying a lawsuit filed by Wisconsin workers aimed at pressuring Gov. Scott Walker to raise the minimum wage, under last-minute additions to the state budget ... allow factory and retail employees to work seven days without a day off, as long as they said in writing that they were doing so voluntarily.
Radio host and author Thom Hartmann doesn't appear to be aware of the 7 day work week law, or he would have added that to the story below about Scott Walker's speech announcing his run for president. Walker referenced a way of thinking that goes all the way back to the early 1900's. No surprise there:
If you want to catch a glimpse of what America would look like under President Scott Walker, you need to turn back the clock to one of the darkest periods in 20th century American history – the Lochner Era.

A bakery owner named Joseph Lochner sued the state of New York over its Bakeshop Act, which limited the number of hours bakery employees could work to 10 hours a day and 60 hours a week. Lochner … took it to the Supreme Court in 1905, he got the result he wanted. In a close 5 to 4 decision, the justices struck down the Bakeshop Act, citing Lochner’s right under the 14th Amendment to run his business without “state interference.” Apparently, the Bakeshop Act violated that most fundamental of liberties -- the right of employers to work their employees to death.

Until the mid-1930s, the Supreme Court would go on all-out rampage against workers’ rights … it struck down, among other things, child labor laws, minimum wage laws, and laws banning “yellow dog contracts” - contracts that forced workers to say that they wouldn’t join a union. 

The guiding principle in most or all of these decisions was the idea that the government’s power to protect workers was limited to protecting their “health and safety” … things like minimum wage laws were struck down because they went beyond protecting "health and safety..."
There is, by the way, no “right to contract” in the Constitution. The Supreme Court made it up, just like it made up corporate personhood and money as speech. Everyone serious thinks the Lochner case was a big mistake. Everyone that is, except for Scott Walker.

As Ian Milhiser has pointed out in a great piece for ThinkProgress, buried deep in Scott Walker’s speech announcing his run for president was a shout-out to the “health and safety” thinking of the Lochner era. He said, "As long as you don’t violate the health and safety of your neighbors – go out and start your own career, build your own business, live your own life.” Sounds harmless enough, right? 

It does, until you remember that this line of thinking was used to strike down child labor laws, minimum wage laws, and basically any kind of law that kept workers from becoming wage slaves.

Dumb Ron Johnson trying to block, or at least muck up investigation into Voucher abuse of Children with disabilities.

It’s oddly funny how the Republicans continue their dogged pursuit of the IRS and Hillary emails, trying to uncover wrong doing no matter what the cost, for momentary red meat for the waiting throng of rabid conservative voters.

But when the Obama administrations justice department investigates voucher school abuse and discrimination of students with disabilities, at the request of Disability Rights Wisconsin, the ACLU and the concerned parents of 3 children, well, that’s an outrage and they’d better stop:
jsonline-Erin Richards: U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson is trying to use the authority of a key Senate committee he chairs — Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs — to get to the bottom of a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into Wisconsin voucher schools ... stressed his concern that the department's investigation into whether Milwaukee voucher schools discriminated against students with disabilities is driven by policy opposition to the private, mostly religious schools that receive taxpayer dollars. He said the department has failed to justify its role in the continued monitoring of the Milwaukee voucher program … A DOJ spokesman on Thursday declined to comment about Johnson's most recent letter, "due to the ongoing investigation."

The federal investigation ... contended that voucher schools were not complying with the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.
Not complying with laws on the books? Not a problem for elitist Republicans who think they're above the law. But taxpayers are getting ripped off by private schools who have a distinct advantage; they don't have any accountability, even when they admit they aren't complying with the law because they can't afford it:
They do not have the same legal requirement as public schools to serve the students' needs. Voucher advocates point out that they get less total funding per pupil than public schools and would not be able to afford, say, a full-time nurse for a student with severe physical disabilities. Proving anything with records is difficult because the voucher schools are private and not subject to open records requests like public schools.
Can you imagine a Democratic program, running as long as vouchers, never having any taxpayer accountability? Good luck with that. 

Despite being told it's an ongoing investigation, Dumb Ron Johnson is in desperate need of appearing busy, that he's doing something and engaged, and that he's aware of what's going on around him. We're not fooled:
In his follow-up letter this week, Johnson asked Lynch for those items again, as well as for factual evidence of the basis for the department's "lengthy investigation" into the schools. He stressed that his committee would consider the use of "compulsory process" to obtain the materials if the Justice Department declined to produce the materials.
Of course, because he knows he can milk this thing for as long as the investigation continues. 

Already a Laughing Stock, Wisconsin Supreme Court clears Walker, kills off John Doe probe, orders evidence Destroyed.

It's a funny thing when a state supreme court justice declares someone innocent before ever knowing if that was true or not:
WISC: On a 4-2 vote (the majority coming from the Wisconsin Supreme Court's four conservatives), has ordered an end to a wide-ranging and secret probe into alleged election law violations during the Republican Gov. Scott Walker's 2012 recall campaign. 

Justice Michael Gableman, writing for the majority wrote, "It is utterly clear that the special prosecutor has employed theories of law that do not exist in order to investigate citizens who were wholly innocent of any wrongdoing. Let one point be clear: our conclusion today ends this unconstitutional John Doe investigation," Gableman wrote ... found a key section of Wisconsin's campaign finance law is "unconstitutionally overbroad and vague."

The court ordered all all property seized in the investigation returned to its owners and all copies of evidence destroyed.
Justice Shirley Abrahamson, our former Chief Justice until Republican legislators targeted her and tossed her out, summed it up well when she wrote, "the majority opinion's theme is 'Anything Goes,'" and that we'll never know if the individuals involved were guilty or innocent. jsonline:
“The majority opinion will deny the people of this state the opportunity to determine once and for all whether the targets of the John Doe investigation are guilty of systematically violating Wisconsin's campaign finance law through undisclosed campaign coordination. The majority opinion adopts an unprecedented and faulty interpretation of Wisconsin's campaign finance law and of the First Amendment.'"
Of course more liberal justices can't be trusted or believed, so may I present to you a conservative special prosecutor:
Francis Schmitz, the (Republican) special prosecutor leading the investigation, has written in court papers that one or more of the justices should not have participated in the case because the groups being investigated had spent millions of dollars to help elect those justices. None of those justices agreed to step aside.
So how much money did each litigant spend to elect and influence the court's conservative justices?
The Wisconsin Club for Growth is estimated to have spent $400,000 for Ziegler in 2007; $507,000 for Gableman in 2008; $520,000 for Prosser in 2011; and $350,000 for Roggensack in 2013. WMC spent an estimated $2.2 million for Ziegler; $1.8 million for Gableman; $1.1 million for Prosser; and $500,000 for Roggensack. In addition, Citizens for a Strong America — a group funded entirely by the Wisconsin Club for Growth — spent an estimated $985,000 to help Prosser.

The justices … say political spending on its own is not enough to force a justice off a case.
So money doesn’t have a corrupting, or even slight influence over our elected officials, which is what Citizens United was all about? Sure, and the SCOTUS even said so in 2009 in a West Virginia case.

Blue Jean Nation's Mike McCabe, who's former watchdog group Wisconsin Democracy Campaign tracked campaign spending, talked with libertarian leaning talker Mitch Hank. It appears the federal Supreme Court may have every reason to strike down our courts corrupt conclusion, that's if John Doe prosecutors challenge their decision. Here's an audio section of that conversation:

  
Keep in mind, Walker told contributors that if they wanted to keep their identities secret, they should send their money to the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Nothing wrong there, right?
jsonline"The Governor is encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth," said an April 28, 2011, email from Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant, to R.J. Johnson, an adviser to Walker's campaign and the advocacy group. "Wisconsin Club for Growth can accept corporate and personal donations without limitations and no donors disclosure ... As the Governor discussed ... he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging,"
Why conservative voters aren’t outraged is a mystery to me, unless they think Republicans will never lose power in the state. Personally, this power grab may benefit Democrats in the long run if they fully utilize the structure and dominance the GOP is cluelessly putting in place:  
Republicans who control the Legislature have put on their agenda plans to rewrite campaign finance laws, overhaul how John Doe probes are conducted and restructure the Government Accountability Board. They have been waiting for the court decisions before advancing those bills and could take them up this fall. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Why was Assembly Democrat Mandela Barnes Booted from Walker Presidential gathering in Waukesha! Still no Answer.

I'm sorry but did the press just miss something?

Milwaukee's 11th District Rep. Mandela Barnes was asked to leave the premises before Scott Walker's announced presidential run at the Waukesha County Expo Center. Why?

None of the possible reasons are good, that's for sure.
1. Was it because he was black?
2. Or was it because he was a Marxist Democrat spying on the paranoids that make up the Republican Party? 
Barnes just wanted to see the announcement, not make a scene or cause a little mischief accepting an invitation to stand on stage with Walker for the event (which he turned down). After all, he is a sitting lawmaker in the Assembly, that's gotta count for something right?

This should have been the media focus, and we should have gotten an answer from Walker's campaign. How could something like this have happened? The Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice did mention it, but didn't pursue it:
Barnes said he was asked to leave the event once Walker's staff realized who he was. He complained that he had gone "from the top to the bottom before I even knew it." Barnes said he offered a minor protest before agreeing to exit.
For Walker and his crew of partisan authoritarian brownshirts, I guess being black - or heaven forbid, a member of the Democratic Party -  will not be tolerated in Walker's America.

Barnes may be letting this go, but I'm not, and the party shouldn't sit back and take this abuse either. From the Devil's Advocate's Radio Network podcast, here's how Rep. Mandela Barnes described what happened:


State Conservative Activist Supreme Court Justices just gave law enforcement the "freedom and liberty" to perform illegal searches.

The Republican protectors of “freedom and liberty?” Guess again. Welcome to our big bold police state. You have to wonder if this is all part of their grand scheme. 

Wisconsin's conservative Supreme Court Justices just shredded the state Constitution, again, this time allowing for illegal searches based on a mistake and misinterpretation of the law. We can now be stopped and searched on a whim, while letting law enforcement come up with an excuse the to fit the occasion. 
WPR: Wisconsin Supreme Court Ruling Expands Justifications For Police Stops: Case Involved Man Arrested For Drugs After He Was Pulled Over By Mistake … Hanna Schieber Jurss, a state public defender said that means motorists may be stopped even if they haven't violated any law. (The man’s) attorney Andrew Walter agrees: "I don't know how citizens can avoid being stopped because now it's not enough to follow the law. You also have to make sure your conduct is within this broader prohibition of things where an officer might believe is illegal even when it's not" … a significant reduction in the liberties of all state residents.
Conservative Justices Reduce Civil Liberties: Freedom and liberty my ass. It’s really a rightwing authoritarian Republican takeover, and a way to question everything we do, maybe even arrest us when it's convenient:
Justice David Prosser cited a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that sets the same standard Wisconsin is now adopting. That case, Heien v. North Carolina was decided last year … Chief Justice John Roberts said, "The question here is whether reasonable suspicion can rest on a mistaken understanding of the scope of a legal prohibition. We hold that it can."  
But that flies in the face of previous decisions made based on Wisconsin’s own Constitution, which continues to protect citizens from unreasonable searches. Who wants to give that up?
Attorney Andrew Walter said there is no requirement that the Wisconsin court follow the U.S. Supreme Court's interpretation of the 4th Amendment … the high court ruling also made it clear that such cases where searches are justified on the basis of an officer's mistaken interpretation of law should be very rare and that most mistakes of law are not going to be reasonable.
Former Chief Justice Abrahamson explained just how devastating this decision is to our freedom:
SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON, J. (dissenting) … “the majority opinion adopts a new interpretation of Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution. It does so solely in order to remain in lockstep with the United States Supreme Court's interpretation … What happened to precedent and stare decisis?

In Brown and Longcore, an opinion released just last year, this court held that reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop cannot rest on a law enforcement officer's mistake of law … The drafters of the Wisconsin Constitution could have simply said "ditto" and incorporated the federal Bill of Rights into the Wisconsin Constitution. But they did not. This court is in effect replacing Wisconsin's Declaration of Rights with its federal counterpart. This court is not taking seriously the Justices' oath of office to support the Wisconsin Constitution.

More specifically, declining to exclude evidence that was gathered from a traffic stop premised on a law enforcement officer's erroneous view of the law "would remove the incentive for police to make certain that they properly understand the law that they are entrusted to enforce and obey."
My position is supported by several cogent points that Justice Sotomayor makes in her dissent in Heien: 
Sotomayor: "The notion that the law is definite and knowable sits at the foundation of our legal system. Yet, Heien gives those who enforce the law leeway in interpreting and understanding it … Heien is a significant expansion of officers' authority and leads one to wonder "how a citizen seeking to be law-abiding and to structure his or her behavior to avoid these invasive, frightening, and humiliating encounters could do so."
Abrahamson: “Both precedent and policy compel me to conclude that a traffic stop premised on a law enforcement officer's mistake of law is unreasonable and thus unlawful under Article I, Section 11 of the Wisconsin Constitution. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Walker Stumbles Again, Twice; compares gay men to pedophiles, dismisses value of minimum wage workers lives.

Gay Boy Scout Leaders Dangerous: The press won't say it, but I will: Scott Walker just compared gay men to pedophiles, when he said the ban on gay Boy Scout leaders "protected children." Seriously, what else would it mean?
The Boy Scouts of America’s National Executive Committee voted unanimously this week to allow gay adults to serve as employees and troop leaders. In response to the vote, Walker told IJReview: 
“I was an Eagle Scout, my kids have been involved, Tonette (Walker) was a den mother. I have had a lifelong commitment to the Scouts and support the previous membership policy because it protected children and advanced Scout values.”
What a leader and bigoted presidential wannabe.

Minimum Wage Disconnect: Scott Walker must also think that minimum wage service industry jobs are either on their way out or just a brief jumping off point to a great paying job in the future that will never go away. These jobs are here to stay, as the nation moves to a greater dependence on service industry employers. Major companies that reorganized their business model after the Great Recession now require fewer full time workers, and depend more on parttime workers making less money and no costly benefits.

So Walker's tone deaf comment about how lame it for Democrats to focus on the minimum wage is brutally disconnected from reality:


"The left claims that they're for American workers and they've just got really lame ideas — things like the minimum wage. Instead of focusing on that, we need to talk about how we get people the skills and the education and the qualifications that they need to take on the careers that pay far more than the minimum wage."

Walker's announcement sinks in, unsettling and nerve racking.

Boring.

Scott Walker's presidential announcement contained the same tired rhetoric he's been pushing for the last year. But not surprising, many of his most rabid supporters were unfamiliar with his speech, obviously distracted by the crap spewed by talk radio and Fox News. Just as bad, some didn't care what he's done in to the state or how Walker's agenda will effect their lives, they just liked the idea he was very religious. That's all it takes I guess to like Walker, and those religious voucher schools. Damn the results.

And while most of the press gushes and doesn't register surprise over the state's mismanaged economy, a few source did cut right to the chase.

I thought this Guardian list of Scott Walker extremism hit the mark:
What might Scott Walker's America look like? Just see what he did to Wisconsin. “We transformed the state,” Walker boasted at a Wisconsin Republican convention in May. Below is a list of 15 things he meant by that.

1. Pinch the public sector (Act 10): Protesters occupied the capitol. “The capitol grew so packed with human bodies, the staff who worked there physically could not move around the building,” Walker wrote in Unintimidated, a 2013 memoir. “The smell, as soon as you walked into the building, was overpowering.

2. Cut taxes for the wealthy while eliminating tax relief for low-income families: Walker’s budget eliminated tax credits that served an estimated 140,000 lower-income people.

3. More prisons, more prisoners, more prison spending: Walker has granted zero inmate pardons and snubbed initiatives backed by fellow budget hawks to reduce incarceration rates, which are now nine times greater in Wisconsin than they were in the early 1970s. 

4. Cut education spending.

5. Limit Medicaid expansion, at a price of hundreds of millions

6. Guns: concealed carry, castle doctrine and no waiting period

7. A strict voter ID law in a state where turnout is everything.

8. Mandatory ultrasounds with physician narration, abortion ban after 20 weeks.

9. Historic mining concessions threatening environmental disaster.

10. Roll back living wage, minimum wage, prevailing wage, equal pay: Walker campaigned against raising the minimum wage, which in Wisconsin is the federally mandated $7.25. “It is a job-killing agenda,” he said. “It’s done for political expediency. It’s a cheap headline.”

11. Cut funding for community policing: Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn “I don’t know of a governor anywhere in the country who succeeded in turning his state’s economy around by actively facilitating the decline of his biggest city,” Flynn said. “This isn’t like: ‘Bad things are happening in Milwaukee and I can’t stop it.’ This is: ‘Can I put another stick in the eye of Milwaukee on another issue’”  … as punishment for Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett having run against him in the recall election. “Perhaps, you know, the leadership of this city should go to Madison and kiss a ring and bend our knees and say: ‘Yes, overlords, please don’t hurt us anymore. We’re so sorry.’ I mean, enough.”

12. ‘Right to work’

13. Ending paid sick leave, attacking guaranteed one-day weekends: In 2008, 69% of Milwaukee voters in a referendum approved a law requiring employers to offer paid sick leave to any worker … Three years later, Walker overruled the measure with legislation that banned municipalities from imposing sick leave mandates on private employers. Wisconsin law currently mandates at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every seven consecutive days. A measure creates an exemption that would allow employees to “voluntarily choose” not to take their one-day weekend.

14. Drug screenings for recipients of public aid

15. ‘I can do the same across the world:’ “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Walker Logo Theft Okay'ed by America's Best. Guess who's going to use it now...

Scott Walker's campaign plagiarized, stole and committed fraud when they took possession of and used the "flag E" in the logo below:


Scott Walker unoriginal theft:


Then a funny thing happened; America's Best decided not to protect their trademark "E;"


Funny stuff, and a legal hole for anyone to use the same "E," like me. I'd like to thank them for lifting the legal protections they once had:


Pro-Life says Abortions cause boyfriends to beat up women.

A bizarre Tweet...

...sent me to this story that quite frankly, left me stunned. Want to know what "pro-life" really means to conservative? Let's just say that bad women who get abortions bring this on themselves....


They love life don't they? Time to Blame the Victim. Check out the sick concluding paragraph:
Despite her obvious injuries and unconscious state, Billinger, 51, chose not to call for help and instead sat down in the living room of Ms Granger’s Newlyn flat. Ms Granger, who was ill with serious liver disease at the time of the assault, was taken to hospital where it was discovered that she had also suffered a perforated liver in the vicious beating. Garth Richardson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Her prognosis is not good.”

While abortion activists like to talk about how abortion is supposedly beneficial for relationships, this is one of countless stories LifeNews has reported over the years showing either a partner engaging in violence towards a wife or girlfriend who has had an abortion or a husband or boyfriend attacking his partner because she refused to have an abortion. Either way, it’s additional evidence that abortion is not beneficial for women or their relationships.