Thursday, July 30, 2015

Walker caught lying about his involvement in trashing Open Records Law. Video, Watch him Lie!

Scott Walker denied he had anything to do with trying to do away with the open records law. jsonline:
Walker has acknowledged his office had a role in developing the plan, but he also has tried to distance himself from it, saying this month the overall proposal "didn't come from us."
But that's not true:
Gov. Scott Walker's office pushed to add language into the attempted overhaul of Wisconsin's open records law that would have shielded briefings, discussions about policy drafts and other "deliberative" documents, newly released documents show. The records, described as "deliberative process materials," would have also made unavailable to the public opinions, analyses, recommendations, suggestions and notes that preceded a final decision. Early versions of the sweeping open records limits did not include language preventing the release of deliberative materials. But limits to "deliberative process materials" were in place by June 15, a review of newly available records shows.
Now that we know the truth, it's worth a look at how Walker never answering straight forward questions like below. If our kids did that we'd know they were lying, if an adult sized adolescent bully did it, were supposed to give him the benefit of the doubt? Don't think so. Still, this is how Walker answers most of his questions, which begs the question, why is he always lying?

Walker and his administration are being sued by the Progressive magazine and the liberal Center for Media and Democracy over the issue in Dane County Circuit Court.

Walker's lie about out-of-state protesters finally put to rest. "False" again.

Scott Walker continues to say point blank that out of state union thugs came to Wisconsin to intimidate and agitate the locals to protest. But he's "Pants on Fire" lying really:

PolitiFact had this to say back in 2011 and now:
In late February 2011, during the heat of the daily protests inside and around the Capitol, Walker said "almost all" of the protesters were from outside of Wisconsin. He made the statement in a phone conversation with a Buffalo, N.Y., blogger who was posing as industrialist and conservative political donor David Koch.

We rated Walker’s statement False.

Fast forward to today: We asked Walker’s campaign for evidence that 100,000 protesters were brought into Wisconsin. The campaign cited isolated reports of demonstrators being bused in from Illinois and New York, but nothing more comprehensive.

For the record, it’s clear tens of thousands of protesters participated in some of the daily demonstrations, but less clear whether the crowds ever reached 100,000. But there is no evidence to indicate that all or nearly all were from outside of Wisconsin.

We rate Walker’s statement False.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

AG Schimel confused, thinks Emails, Skype and Texting to modern for open records.

Well, isn't this a surprise twist in reality: Republicans have decided to use the advances of information technology, to hold back...information?

Yes, it's opposite day everyday in Republican world. In an age where paper and pencils have been replaced with electronic zeros and ones, information is now too confusing for the average legislator. Is it still information if it's in this odd and almost magical digital voodoo. WPR:
Attorney General Brad Schimel said Wisconsin's outdated open records laws were last revised in 1981, before the Internet, email, text messaging and other modern forms of communication were used within government’s halls. Because of that, said Schimel, there are a lot of unresolved questions about what forms of communication are subject to the laws.
"We don't know whether a town board member can appear in a meeting via Skype or not. We don’t know the extent to which emails and text messages are all public records or not. There are real issues to debate about to what extent those are, or should be, public records."
There's a debate? Well if we fabricate a debate I guess there would be one. Wouldn't you know it Schimel, the guy who came out so strongly against Scott Walker's sneaky plan to change our open records laws...
"Transparency is the cornerstone of democracy and the provisions in the Budget Bill limiting access to public records move Wisconsin in the wrong direction," now rationalizing away any opposition he had.
Schimel Says He Understands Why Some Lawmakers Proposed Open Records Changes - Attorney General Will Host Summit Wednesday On What Records Should Be Accessible To Public: Schimel was among the officials who voiced opposition to the changes, saying that they moved the state "in the wrong direction.

However, he emphasized Tuesday that he sympathizes with officials, "I think there’s a legitimate argument to be made that, say, the governor and his chief legal counsel are going back and forth with each other over what the final document should look like. I think you could make a legitimate argument that that’s a draft," said Schimel ... So why not consider the possibility that we just want to honestly let people within a particular government office share drafts back and forth until you produce what you're prepared to call a record for the public?" 
So Wisconsinites should wait until an legislator is "prepared to call a record...for the public," whenever that might be. Schimel really thinks we'll buy that?

You might remember back on June 1st, Schimel stood on his carnival barker podium and declared:
AG is creating an Office of Open Government to help the public obtain government records more quickly and consistently ... Also ... provide consistent and prompt advice ... noting the presumption of openness in Wisconsin law. "We shouldn't be looking for things we can deny" to the public, Schimel said. "We should be looking for what we must deny."
But the neo-fascist "Stand with Walker" Borg-like followers don't mind being taken care of by dictatorial leaders who do the thinking for them. Check out this back-and-forth in the comments:
1848: Just keep it on the yellow pads and verbal. Problem solved. It's not worth listening to the liberals whine about this.

Joe_Thomas_WI to 1848: Loss of transparency isn't a liberal issue. The idea of hiding information from the people who own it is egregious at best. If they can't take the criticism that comes with transparency they should't be in elected office.

Derik  Joe_Thomas_WI: As a public employee I could construe Joe Thomas' comments to imply that insofar as my work is partly an extension of myself, 'the public' owns me … the way these law are generally enforced shows that this is just a gotcha political tool… 

Dan Wilson: "We don't know whether a town board member can appear via skype or not." Uh, yeah we do and secondly that is not an open records issue unless we are thinking of tampering with the open meetings law as well. This wasn't an issue when democrats were in charge.

Scott Walker: "Bucks before Books."

I got this email attachment from my conservative friend in Milwaukee. I'm not sure what paper this is from, but if I can get a better image, it would be appreciated. Well worth posting here:

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mequon Republicans whine about "free market, small government, deregulation" of cell tower in their neighborhood. Poor babies.

Heavily Republican strongholds like Mequon and Waukesha are now feeling the pain of their own party’s gifts to big business, and it’s coming at their own expense. Maybe they just weren’t paying attention when they gleefully voted against those damn Democrats?

Scott Walker signed into law a Republican bill that let wireless providers do whatever they wanted with their cell towers, in the name of free markets, streamlining regulations and smaller government. Suckers...:
The new regulations require municipalities to rule on a wireless tower permit application within 90 days or the application will be considered approved … local governments may not enact ordinances prohibiting the placement of wireless towers in particular locations, and they may not impose environmental testing and monitoring requirements for radio frequency emissions. Local governments can no longer deny wireless tower permits solely for aesthetic reasons, limit the height of towers to under 200 feet, or require that antennas and structures such as water towers be placed on public property. 
Mequon conservatives are  now experiencing for themselves how small government works, and it's not working out like they thought. jsonline:  
Cellphone tower plan stirs concern among Mequon property residents: Plans for a 120-foot cellphone tower in Mequon are being opposed by some residents who say it would lower their property values and could be dangerous, even if it boosts wireless coverage in the area ... under state and federal laws they couldn't prevent SBA from signing a deal with a private landowner.

"There's really no stopping it," said Ald. John Leszczynski. "They're going to put up a tower where it needs to go up. That's the bottom line." 
Waukesha...pretty much the same thing...
Patch: A proposed cell phone tower that could bring between $30,000 and $70,000 annual revenues to the School District of Waukesha has angered area residents because it would be built near the playground at Bethesda Elementary School, WISN 12 News is reporting. Residents at a meeting spoke out against the 100-foot-tall AT&T cell tower because of health concerns, according to WISN 12 News.
Or this story reported back in October of 2013:
WISCA lawsuit filed by 21 property owners likely won’t delay the construction of a cell tower at the Sauk Prairie High School athletic field … an attorney for Verizon has notified (the citizens) the company intends to move forward with the tower’s construction despite the lawsuit. “We have no further information at this time,” Verizon spokeswoman Andrea Meyer said when asked about the company’s plans.
Can you imagine your government saying "we have no further information," take a hike? What changed recently without any fanfare at all (except here at Democurmudgeon)?
The village of Prairie du Sac Plan Commission’s said their hands were tied by a new law signed by Gov. Scott Walker this summer that limits municipalities’ authority over the placement of cell phone towers. 

Walker's record makes him the "False to Mostly False" presidential candidate.

One of the biggest remaining Scott Walker campaign talking points (his now climbing unemployment numbers may become a real problem), has been the rising income levels in Wisconsin. That's a lie based on more deception, which we're finding out now is a useful tool used to buildup the GOP voter roles.

PolitiFact reveals what the news media failed to research themselves:
Census Bureau officials say that while the Current Population Survey is fine for the national picture, a separate survey with a larger sample size -- the American Community Survey -- provides the best picture of what is happening at the state level. Walker and the New York Post article are both citing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, He pointed to data from the Current Population Survey. But the data considered more accurate -- from the American Community Survey -- showed the opposite

We rate statements that contain some element of truth but ignore critical facts that would give a different impression as Mostly False.
It's another tool for our "some element of truth" presidential wannabe Scott Walker. See Walker's current "False" and "Mostly False" ratings pictured here.

Speaking of tools, former news talking head Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is also getting into the act, trying to muddy up Walker's disastrous jobs numbers. :
Kleefisch said she takes issue with that reporting (on jobs) … (which) focused on Wisconsin ranking 35th nationally and 10th of 10 Midwestern states in private-sector job growth rate in ... Walker's first four-year term.
"It's based on the speed with which jobs are created in comparison to neighbors as opposed to the actual number of jobs created," she said. "So I think you're going to see the governor trying to explain that … in order for people to understand that a ranking and a rate are two separate things and help people to get why Wisconsin has fully recovered from the recession. 
I wonder how that convoluted and intentional muddying of the facts works for states like Minnesota or Illinois? There's a reason why Walker is focusing in on Michigan. PolitiFact might want to check before they get too much mileage out of it.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Who but a Republican would think like this....

...and not be thought of as crazy?

And yet, just a few short years ago...

Does it need to go this far?

Inside Walker's Divide and Conquer the World Foreign Policy

Scott Walker has been tagged “authoritarian,” “dictatorial,” and “dangerous” by reporters who’ve done their research on Wisconsin’s governor. And for good reason. Walker’s vision seems to include U.S. dominance over every nation in the world. Remember when he matter-of-factly said he would “put steel in the face of our enemies.” Like his supposed "enemies" in Wisconsin, that's a list that gets longer everyday. 

The idea that we’re seeing the rise of a very frightening candidate for president continues, with a piece by the Journal Sentinel’s Dan Bice.
Walker introduced Kevin Hermening — a former Iranian hostage — by name, offering the former U.S. Marine a nod and a salute. (Walker) cited Hermening when opposing the nuclear deal with Iran. Walker said Hermening had taught him that Iran "is not a place we should be doing business with."
Walker’s irrational opposition to any deal with Iran, which would only accelerate their development of nukes and result in war, was shaped by Kevin Hermening’s still extreme views, which are present in every Walker foreign policy statement:
In an inflammatory opinion piece for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in September 2001, just weeks after the Sept. 11 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon … Hermening outlined a four-point plan that he described as "the only acceptable and appropriate responses" to the attacks.:
1. Hermening called for the "immediate and unequivocal deportation of every illegal alien and immigrant" … especially those with a Middle Eastern background and anyone who reacted "with glee" to the coordinated attacks by 19 al-Qaida terrorists.

2. A "prompt and massive military response that includes the destruction of the capitals of Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan and Yemen." The only way out, he said, would be if these countries "agree unequivocally to support our efforts to kill Osama bin Laden. After the annihilation of each country's capitals, we can make them the same kind of financial offer we made to the leaders of Japan and Germany after World War II. Cooperate with us in the establishment of democratic governments, and we will assist you in every possible way. Don't cooperate, and your people will perpetually suffer — that ought to be our unspoken message. Every military response must be considered, including the use of nuclear warheads."

3. “The erection of security fences along the entire perimeter of the United States, with electronic and human monitoring to prevent tampering and illegal entry.”

4. “Step-up security efforts in our air transportation system…”
Hermening emphasized that the op-ed piece was written during an extremely emotional period in America. But he then went on to defend most of the column … But does Hermening still think destroying these seven capitals would have been an appropriate response to Sept. 11? Yes, he does.
Walker of course has now denied Hermening had anything to do with his own policy (he speaks for himself), despite being taught by Hermening that Iran is not a place to be doing business and the glaring similarities of his attitude toward Iran:
"I'll speak for myself," Walker told the Journal Sentinel on Monday. "The reference I made to Kevin Hermening was as one of the hostages, the youngest at the time, and pointed out the things that hadn't changed. My policy is very clear and it's not aligned with what he said in that particular column." He said he does not consider Hermening an adviser to his campaign.
Many forgot the reason why Iranian students took hostages: Blowback for U.S. meddling (medical attention for the Shah) and ouster of their countries leadership.
The immediate cause of this action was President Jimmy Carter’s decision to allow Iran’s deposed Shah, a pro-Western autocrat who had been expelled from his country some months before, to come to the United States for cancer treatment. However, the hostage-taking was about more than the Shah’s medical care: it was a dramatic way for the student revolutionaries to declare a break with Iran’s past and an end to American interference in its affairs.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Walker only candidate described as "Dictator," "Authoritarian," and "Dangerous." Tells you something...

While every Republican running for president leans toward authoritarianism, Scott Walker is hands down the most obvious sociopathic danger, and the media is noticing. Under his gentle, lazy-eyed demeanor, is a man that doesn't just defeat his political enemies, he eliminates them.  Reporters are on this story. Alternet:

Whether waging war on his political enemies at home or fantasizing about attacking enemies abroad, Walker arguably is the most toxic authoritarian candidate in the Republican field. It’s insufficient to merely say that Walker likes to punish his enemies, or that he relishes sneak attacks, or that his career has been marked by the politics of fear, blame and divisiveness, and an inability to show restraint. All of these are true.

“I find [him] more Nixonian than even Richard Nixon himself (the authoritarian leader with whom I was, and am, so very familiar,” wrote ex-Nixon White House Counsel John Dean in April 2012 ... Today, three years later, Walker is parading around the campaign trail like an American dictator in waiting. He has a lengthy record on so many issues that reveal the same pattern: pick fights, launch sneak attacks, smear and scapegoat opponents, and then punish the defeated, according to Wisconsin media analysts. But he also has the personality of an aspiring American tyrant, as Dean noted.

He’d kill President Obama’s nuclear pact with Iran … Walker said he had no compunction about killing Iranians, saying he was ready to go to war with Iran on “day one” of his presidency … his latest political assassination target is the blandly named Government Accountability Board, a bipartisan panel of judges whose mission is keeping state elections fair and corruption-free … (regarding) the state’s Supreme Court, Walker’s benefactors had bankrolled successful high-court campaigns and had a sitting majority … days before Walker officially announced the Court not only ruled 4-2 that the corruption probe was out-of-bounds, it also rewrote the state’s campaign finance laws to allow the very collusion that was seen as illegal under the prior law.
He called for GAB’s head … to disband what is arguably the nation’s most reputable state election oversight board, and replace it with panel of political allies, mirroring his Supreme Court majority.
Dana Milbank offered us this warning:

ALEC, which inspired many of Walker’s anti-labor efforts in Wisconsin, drew several hundred union protesters as legislators arrived for its conference. “I understand you had a few protesters yesterday,” Walke (said) “For us, that’s just getting warmed up. That’s nothing. We got 100,000 protesters.” Portraying the pro-union forces as violent thugs … “Those big government interests — they believe they can win by intimidating elected officials. There were amazing things they did to try to intimidate us. The good news is we didn’t back down.”

This is the essence of Walker’s appeal, and why he is so dangerous … his technique of scapegoating unions for the nation’s ills is no less demagogic … even though unions represent just 11 percent of the U.S. workforce and have been at a low ebb. This year, Walker likened the union protesters to the murderous Islamic State: “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.” Before that, he described public-sector union members as the “haves” taking advantage of the “have-nots” — the taxpayers.

He denounced the protests against his efforts to undo the unions as “thuggery.” He described collective bargaining as a “corrupt system” and diagnosed union leaders as having a “sense of entitlement.” Walker this year signed anti-union right-to-work legislation. He has said he doesn’t think the minimum wage serves a purpose, and he has opposed prevailing-wage and living-wage requirements. ALEC official Leah Vukmir (R), a Wisconsin state senator, introduced him by talking about the “unhinged wrath of the forces” who opposed him and their “unprecedented vile behavior.” 

Walker, describing the bargain shopping he does at Kohl’s department store, said he would do the same with taxes. It was a zany analogy. Kohl’s offers discounted merchandise for middle- and low-income consumers. The Laffer curve, the basis for supply-side economics, meant huge tax breaks for the rich that never trickled down.

But deception is the demagogue’s tool. Walker spoke Thursday about “the death threats not just against me and my family but against our lawmakers” … And some of Walker’s claims — including the alleged threat to “gut” his wife “like a deer” and of protesters “beating” and “rocking” a car he was in — could not be substantiated by independent authorities.

Such deception, however, is in the service only of the larger deceit at the core of his candidacy: By scapegoating toothless trade unions as powerful and malign interests, he enlists working people in his cause of aiding the rich and the strong.

With Open Records, Walker hopes to confuse Wisconsinites.

Credit the Journal Sentinel for showing us how truly hypocritical Scott Walker is on the issue of open records, the underpinnings of a free and open government, answerable to the people. This opneing paragraph sums it up. jsonline:
State documents show Gov. Scott Walker's administration contends it doesn't have to release some internal discussions on four key issues even though the White House hopeful has said trying to rewrite the open records law to allow holding back documents in such cases was a "huge mistake."
Walker can have it both ways, because he knows people will only remember what they like about him.

Who else would even begin to buy into the Walker's way of thinking?
"Making these internal discussions just as open to disclosure as the final version of the budget would inhibit the free exchange of ideas, opinions, proposals and recommendations among those involved in deciding what to include in the final legislation."
It's anybodies guess how far we’ve burrowed into a comfortable Republican neo-fascist hole.
No other state provides such an expansive legal privilege for lawmakers, according to the Legislative Reference Bureau.
It is encouraging to see some voter blowback by stunned conservatives who happen to be paying attention:
"I am not a liberal by any stretch of the imagination," Jim Stroschein of Mineral Point wrote to Fitzgerald in an email sent on July 4. "I voted for Ronald Reagan twice and Tommy Thompson four times. Your attempts to limit access to public records are deeply disappointing and the Joint Finance Committee's vote ... qualifies as the most disturbing action I have ever seen in Wisconsin politics."

Tom Varney wrote Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) on July 4 to express his frustration that she had voted for the measure in committee in the middle of the night just before the holiday. "You don't deserve to celebrate our freedom when you're working hard to take it away," he wrote.