Saturday, September 19, 2015

Anti-Planned Parenthood Group must turn over hidden camera evidence to court, can't plead fifth.

The party of tort reform and lawyer vilification have been hypocritically using lawyers and our courts to ram their agenda down everyone’s throats.

It took a while, but the “left” has now turned the tables, using those same tactics to shred the phony right wing attack on Planned Parenthood. The Hill:
A federal judge said Friday that the anti-abortion group targeting Planned Parenthood with hidden cameras cannot refuse to turn over potential pieces of evidence by pleading the Fifth Amendment. Judge William Orrick said in a hearing that the Center for Medical Progress must comply with the court’s requests for documents.
It’s never a good sign when you have to plead the fifth after saying you had nothing to hide:
The organization’s founder, David Daleiden, had previously told the court that the group planned to invoke the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. 

The move is good news for the National Abortion Federation, a group of providers that includes Planned Parenthood clinics, which had filed the lawsuit.

"It's telling that the defendants have been very vocal in the media saying that they have nothing to hide, yet in Federal court they want to plead the Fifth," Vicki Saporta, president of the National Abortion Federation, wrote in a statement. "We are pleased with the results of today's hearing, and are eager to move forward with the discovery process." The National Abortion Federation took legal action demanding the court block additional footage from being released, arguing that it puts their providers in danger.
Pleading the fifth also doesn’t help make this claim:
The Center for Medical Progress has insisted that it followed the law while pursuing its undercover investigation. 

Republicans get more ridiculous; pushing exceptions to religious freedom!

Taking paranoia to new levels, Republican have constructed an even crazier conspiratorial plot cooked up by the "left."
Raw Story: Anti-Muslim conservatives are coalescing around a narrative to push against national outrage about the arrest of a 14-year-old boy who built a clock and brought it to school. While more libertarian-minded conservatives blamed the incident on “zero tolerance” policies — and not racism or xenophobia — others are warning the incident is a “setup” intended to keep Americans from being Islamophobic enough.

Pamela Geller — who organized an anti-Islam art contest earlier this year in Garland, near the teen’s home in Irving — also claimed the ninth-grader’s arrest was part of a plot by Obama to undermine national security. “This story is pure agitprop most fatal,” Geller warned. “’If you see something, say something’ is now racism. The whole thing has clearly been a setup, and its effect will be to make Americans less safe. If you ever see a Muslim with a suspicious object, remember the lesson of Ahmed Mohamed: to say something would be ‘racism.’ That could end up being the epitaph of America and the free world.” Geller also accused the teen’s family of engaging in Muslim “supremacist stunts.”
This is how conservatives think, what makes them tick, and what differentiates them from liberals:
Jim Hanson, vice president of the anti-Muslim Center for Security Policy, described the boy’s homemade device as “half a bomb,” reported The Intercept. “It looks exactly like a number of IED triggers that were produced by the Iranians and used to kill U.S. troops in the war in Iraq,” Hanson said.

Frank Gaffney, the think tank’s founder and president, agreed … said the controversy was an “influence operation” by the Council on American-Islamic Relations … the civil rights group was using “professional victim-promoting” to wage “civilization jihad” with the assistance of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The anti-government Oath Keepers group complained that schools are too quick to punish students for wearing NRA T-shirts or carrying “Wonder Woman” lunch boxes — but then said Mohamed’s teacher was right to alert authorities to the boy’s clock.
And for those pushing religious freedom, no matter what the Constitution says, this comment might be a bit of a contradiction:
Oath Keeper David Codrea wrote, “As is anyone who believe a prime function of government is to secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, as opposed to flooding the Republic with inimical alien cultures.”

Maher and Matthews shred Jeb's defense of W over 9/11.

That jaw dropping moment when Jeb Bush said his brother kept America safe despite 9/11 is dissected here, with an animated Chris Matthews attacking the idea from every angle, and George Pataki begging us to put partisanship aside. You know, like the Republicans always do....
Real Time with Bill Maher and panelists Chris Matthews, Mark Cuban and former Gov. George Pataki discuss 9/11 and what the political fallout would have been if a Democrat had been President at the time.

The Jeb Bush campaign even put out this amazingly insulting image that will numb the senses:

Friday, September 18, 2015

Rep. Sanfelippo: Voters not qualified to elect best choice for the Dept. of Public Instruction...leave it up to the governor and legislature.

Republicans haven't quite crushed every remnant from previous Democratic administrations, including constitutionally protected elected offices, but they're feverishly working on it. Their favorite ploy; defunding their targets, like the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Republican voters should consider a few important things the next time they cast their vote; are they willing to politicize education by dumping the nonpartisan state superintendent; do they want to centralize even more power in the governors office; should they let legislators to make big statewide changes that would just produce chaos into district planning? jsonline:
Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) for a constitutional amendment that would shift the authority to select the superintendent of Public Instruction from the voters to the governor.
No matter what ridiculous reason is given, don't believe it. Not surprisingly, the state's only two liberal voting areas, Madison and Milwaukee, are seen as the source of all our problems. They must be changed. Should Superintendent Tony Evers, who oversees K-12 education statewide, answer to the whims of anti-public education lawmakers who have discounted the influence of poverty:
Rep. Joe Sanfelippo countered with a statement Thursday saying Evers' address glossed over the state's educational deficiencies, particularly in the Milwaukee and Madison school districts. He vowed to introduce a series of bills this fall that would decentralize power by shrinking the size of DPI and giving that money directly to local schools through per pupil aid.

"Imagine how much better off our students — our future workforce — would be if we eliminated the excessive overhead at DPI and put that funding directly into the classrooms," Sanfelippo said.
Yes, think of all the wasted dollars used to employ hard working professionals who are specialist in child education. What do they know about what our kids end up with in the classroom. I want to follow the increasing chaotic changes offered up by big government Republicans in Madison.

Superintendent Tony Evers reacted:
"The impact the ongoing assault on public education happening in this state and across the nation may make for great political theater, but it's making it more and more difficult for our teachers to stay the course. I support the right of the Legislature to enact laws as they see fit. The people who have elected them have given them that authority. However, when policy conflicts with the needs of our kids, it eventually floods into the classroom ... a sad attack at the heart of our democracy and our state's history. The need and opportunity for real school finance reform has never been more evident. We are becoming a state of haves and have-nots. I want my grandkids to attend a 'have' school."
Here's more from WKOW's Greg Neumann:

Remember, our genius Representative said this...
"Special interest groups can get someone without the proper qualifications to win a popularity contest every four years."
Either he doesn't know or is just flat out lying, but...
Evers received his bachelors (1974), masters (1978), and doctorate degrees (1986) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Evers began his professional career as a teacher and media coordinator in the Tomah school district. In 1979 to 1980 he was principal of the Tomah elementary school, and from 1980 to 1984 he was principal at the high school. From 1984-1988 he was superintendent of the Oakfield school district, and from 1988-1992 he was superintendent of the Verona school district. From 1992 to 2001 he was administrator of Cooperative Education Service Agency in Oshkosh.
Attacking Evers and not dealing with real reform is the name of the game for work averse freeloading Republicans.

In fact, they're now getting help from the conservative lawsuit mill Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty:
A 2011 law that would have given the governor the ability to block administrative rules by state schools Superintendent Tony Evers (lost in court). A unanimous state appeals court found a portion of the law unconstitutional in February. Former Assembly speaker Scott Jensen said in a statement issued by the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty that "the Court of Appeals decision undermines the constitutional authority of the Legislature to craft educational policy." 
As usual, the reader comments section had the best responses:
-How about we do what the state constitution says. It has worked well since 1848, no matter what ALEC and the college drop-outs say. Do the people really want these big government special interest tools to have unchecked power in every area of our lives?

-Does anyone know how much one needs to contribute to Walker to be appointed Superintendent?

- This isn't about saving money or efficiency, it's about political vendetta. Why is Evers demonized while Sanfelippo is a hero to some? Bottom line is, this is one more instance of taking power from the voters and placing it in Walker's hands. His claims of local control are false.

- "...Sanfelippo fired back, vowing to gut the Department of Public Instruction's $137 million operating budget and send some of those funds to school districts around the state..." 

-But, but, Joe, a number of your Republican colleagues keep telling us, more money is not the answer. You just want a superintendent that leans right, then it wouldn't matter if he/she was elected or not.

- Win an election, have some winger bozo say your position should be appointed.

- It is always better when you remove the voice of voters. Wait. What???

- This is a sad situation, a widely admired education leader pleading for understanding from ideological bullies, America's modern day barbarians. How low can we go?

- stinkypinky: I like this Sanfelippo guy! Evers is a Democrat hack and a longtime union stooge. Cut his budget to nothing, give the money to the schools, and award him an office in the basement right next to Lonely LaFollette.

-Wilber:@stinkypinky, If Evers was appointed by Walker, whose "hack and stooge" would he be then? By all means, let Walker appoint the superintendent. He has such a great track record appointing and hiring people. Russell, Cavanaugh, Wink, Rindfleisch...

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trump plays Walker's Deficit Con Game! Gotcha.

What goes around comes around: I loved the fact that Trump blamed Walker for losing $2.2 billion in Wisconsin, a wonderfully misleading number that's not true...but it was so ironic. Satisfying beyond belief, we finally saw a Republican become the victim of their own twisted con game. Here's why:
In November 2014, the Wisconsin Department of Administration said state agencies' budget requests would exceed expected revenues by $2.2 billion dollars for the 2015-2017 budget cycle.
The Irony; Walker's supposed $3.6 billion inherited budget deficit, which he mentions in the clip below, is based on the same misleading "budget requested" numbers used by Trump. So Trump used the same trick Walker's been using since he became governor. And Walker never caught on apparently, because a smart guy would not have brought it up, much less highlight the same con.

So Trump inadvertently, out Walker'ed Walker: 

Walker thinks Trump was the "Apprentice."

Scott Walker's getting a lot of attention over his well rehearsed but meaningless one-liner leveled at Trump:

Ah, Trump was never the "apprentice," right, so Walker's witty jab was really more dimwitted. 

Fiorina says Part 3: Nails Trump on her looks, but forgot the shot she took at Sen. Barbara Boxer's looks....

Really, it took this long for Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer to reveal Carly Fiorina's hypocrisy on criticizing women for the way they look?

Fiorina earned praise from viewers and media pundits alike for her take down of Trump's petty sexist insult about her face. Perhaps Fiorina should practice what she preaches:
Boxer also recalls the time Fiorina called her out for having hair that was "so yesterday."

The last part of the short video above deals with HP CEO Fiorina illegally selling printers to Iran, against an executive order not to do so. Actually, it was kind of Reaganesque.

Fiorina says, Part 2: Forcefully delivered wrong, detached from reality answers earns kudos from press.

Carly Fiorina's impressive performance was exactly that, a performance, devoid of accurate truthful answers.
Vox: She made everyone else on the stage — especially Trump — look unprepared. But she did it in part by playing fast and loose with the facts. Her barrage of specifics often obscured a curious detachment from reality.
In just scratching the surface, here are just a few easy fact checks that cut through the Fiorina fiction:
Fact checkers will have a field day with Fiorina: Her answer on Russia, for instance, was bizarre.
Fiorina: “What I would do, immediately, is begin rebuilding the Sixth Fleet, I would begin rebuilding the missile defense program in Poland, I would conduct regular, aggressive military exercises in the Baltic states. I'd probably send a few thousand more troops into Germany. Vladimir Putin would get the message.”
The Sixth Fleet is already huge, and it's hard to say why adding to its capabilities would intimidate Putin — after all, America has enough nuclear weapons pointed at Russia to level the country thousands of times over. Her proposal for more military exercises in the Baltics seemed odd in light of the fact that President Obama is already conducting military exercises in the Baltics. And the US already has around 40,000 troops stationed in Germany, so it's hard to say what good "a few thousand" more would do. And pushing on a missile defense system in Poland is a very long-term solution to a very current problem. In total, Fiorina's laundry list of proposals sure sounded like a plan, but on inspection, it's hard to see why any of them would convince Putin to change course.
Here's another favorite fabricated GOP narrative about Obama doing nothing about immigration:
Her immigration answer was also odd to anyone who knew the issue's recent history. It's true Obama didn't immediately push immigration reform when he took office, but it was his top priority after reelection, and he spent a solid year trying to make the Senate's comprehensive immigration-reform bill — the one crafted, in part, by Sen. Marco Rubio — into law. That legislation was stopped by Republicans in the House of Representatives, not by the Democrat in the White House. "Send me a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the next few months," Obama begged in 2013, "and I will sign it right away."
Check out this bonus Fiorina fiction that will bend your brain:
Or take her biggest applause line of the night: a riff on the Planned Parenthood tapes that set conservative Twitter afire. "I dare Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama to watch these tapes. Watch a fully formed fetus on the table, it's heart beating, it's legs kicking while someone says we have to keep it alive to harvest its brain."

The only problem? Nothing like that happens in the Planned Parenthood tapes. As Sarah Kliff, who has watched all the tapes, wrote, "either Fiorina hasn't watched the Planned Parenthood videos or she is knowingly misrepresenting the footage."
And who can forget the approved Fiorina campaign ad with demonic sheep?

News media outrage: Reporters coverage ignores outrageous Jeb Bush claim "W" "kept us safe."

Below is the debate clip where most Americans jaws dropped and the news media chose to ignore; when Jeb Bush made the most insane defense of his brother George. The only one who noticed was MSNBC's Chris Matthews, also featured here. But where were the debate hosts, and were they listening?

Vox: For one thing: The vast majority of people killed on American soil by terrorists throughout the entirety of American history were killed during George W. Bush's administration. It's not even close. And this was followed up by the deaths of an even larger number of Americans during Bush's invasion of Iraq.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Walker tanks!

Talk time
Scott Walker had himself to blame for his lack of Q&A time. Walker's barely noticeable poll rankings pretty much meant no one cared about his big bold plans, like stripping Americans of health care, going to war with China, Russia, Syria and Iran, and removing a century's worth of labor rights men and women literally died for.

And because Walker's strategy of withholding/changing positions and trickling out his authoritarian dictatorial plans for America, reporters had nothing interesting from his past to bring up.

At the top of my list of Walker's most embarrassing moments? Walker's totally clueless answer to the minimum wage. He really doesn't get it. Walker wants you to forget the minimum wage and the millions of people stuck in them slaving all day at menial repetitive jobs. Instead, let's just talk about training people for really good paying jobs. See, problem solved?

Jake Tapper: "Dr. Carson says he wants to raise the minimum wage, you have called it a lame idea. Why is raising the minimum wage lame?"

Scott Walker: "Said the best way to help people see their wages go up is to get them the education and skills they need...makes the congress live by the same rules (on health care) as everybody else."

Jake Tapper: "Thank you. Dr. Carson, Gov. Walker didn't really answer the question but I'll let you..."
Thank you again Jake Tapper. But a few moments later, Walker interrupted and insisted he did answer the question and gave the same irrelevant "answer." Earth to Walker, minimum wage jobs don't disappear because other people have training and get bigger checks.

UPDATE: On this point, again the Wisconsin media is giving Walker a complete pass on not answering the question. Here's the Journal Sentinel's Patrick Marley's pathetic coverage that proves my point:
Later, Tapper asked Walker about him calling the minimum wage lame. Walker responded that the best way to make sure people earn more than the minimum wage is to provide them with education. He then quickly shifted to cutting taxes as a way to create jobs.

Tapper then turned to retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on the issue, saying "Governor Walker didn't really answer the question."

Walker soon afterward cut in. "I just want to address that issue because you said I didn't answer, and I did....The answer is to give people the skills and the education so they make far more than minimum wage."

Said Walker adviser Robert O'Brien: "He was not going to be pushed around by either Donald Trump or Jack Tapper. He shut Trump down..." 

But while Walker had his high points, he also...
Wisconsin's weak media coverage of this carnival barker has dutifully cover-up for this guy again, over something the national media is having no problem seeing:


Total One Party Control of the Nation; Walker indicated early on that he would run for president if Republicans took the Senate. When that happened, our wannabe dictator, as I predicted, would quickly utilize the nuclear option and kill the filibuster. Democratic government programs? Gone. His political opponents? Destroyed. Walker said so in the debate tonight:

Walker's reckless moves against China and the Iran deal looked silly next to Rand Paul's and Jeb Bush's comments:

Drudge voters were also, so over Walker:

Fiorina says U.S. can't change climate, so why try? Wants to make coal "less bad."

Carly Fiorina is not a smart person, and I’m not afraid to saying it. Let’s face it, you can’t be a Republican presidential candidate without being completely out to lunch, appealing to the lowest common denominator.

Like most Republicans, Carly admits defeat right away, essentially saying there’s no such thing as American exceptionalism. She's saying climate change can’t be done by just the U.S. alone, so, that’s it, can’t be done. That’s the American spirit.
JOHN HARWOOD: Do you believe that humans contribute to climate change and that government ought to do something about it?

Defeatist Republican Attitude- FIORINA: I believe if you're going to go to science, you need to read the fine print. And here's what the scientists say: A single nation acting alone can make no difference at all. The only answer to this problem, according to the scientists, is a three-decade global effort, coordinated and costing trillions of dollars. Are you kidding? It'll never happen.
But even more bizarre is the solution; “innovation.” Huh? Yes, magical innovation will turn even coal into something “less bad.” Oh, and did you know big energy isn't "powerful enough" yet to innovate. They need more power and money, because tens of billions in profit isn't enough. Would I kid you:
Innovation Magid- FIORINA: The answer is innovation. And the only way to innovate is for this nation to have industries strong enough that they can innovate. So we're going to become the global energy powerhouse of the 21st century. To create jobs, to make the bad guys less bad, and so that we have industries including the coal industry that's powerful enough to be able to innovate. That's how you're going to solve an intractable problem. It's always the way you solve an intractable problem. Not with regulation—with innovation.
Republicans like big talking millionaires, no matter how bad they've failed in the past. Here's a quick reminder:
In an article about worst CEOs in USA Today in 2005, Yale business Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said that Fiorina was "the worst because of her ruthless attack on the essence of this great company. ... She destroyed half the wealth of her investors and yet still earned almost $100 million in total payments for this destructive reign of terror."
Oh yes, there's more, when asked today if he could add to his 2005 opinion:
"...while Fiorina was at HP, "virtually everything she bought ... has been shuttered or divested." He pointed out — emphasis his — that "She has NEVER been offered another CEO position in the decade since."
Failure is a prerequisite in the Republican Party, because apparently, even the following hasn't swayed Fiorina backers:
My brother, smiling, scaring me...
Yahoo: In an article about worst CEOs in USA Today in 2005, Yale business Professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld said that Fiorina was "the worst because of her ruthless attack on the essence of this great company ... She destroyed half the wealth of her investors and yet still earned almost $100 million in total payments for this destructive reign of terror." While Fiorina was at HP, "virtually everything she bought ... has been shuttered or divested." He pointed out — emphasis his — that "She has NEVER been offered another CEO position in the decade since." 

She's famous for buying Compaq over the strong objections of some board members. Fiorina angered many employees with a massive layoff right after the acquisition, cutting a reported 30,000 HP jobs. Fiorina was accused of off-shoring thousands of HP jobs and making the workers who lost their jobs train their overseas replacements. 

WMC opposes making it easier to get higher penalties for employer wage theft; withholding wages, working off the clock, and paying less than the minimum wage.

In an almost surreal moment of appalling honesty:
WPR: State Chamber Of Commerce Speaks Out Against Measure at Tuesday Hearing considering a bill that would increase penalties for employers who illegally withhold wages from their workers and make it easier for workers to win wage claims filed with the state.
Who in their right mind would come out against this...:
The bill makes changes to current law that protects employees from what is commonly called "wage theft," comprising everything from forcing people to work off the clock to paying workers less than minimum wage.
In the shadow of Scott Walker's announced attack on federal unions, passing a national right-to-work law and getting rid of labors watchdog for abuses, the National Labor Relations Board, WMC's total disrespect for labor logically follows:
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce lobbyist James Buchen said most wage claims are without merit, or are against companies that have gone bankrupt and simply don't have the money to pay. "No amount of statutes (is) going to change the fact that there's sometimes no money — there's simply no assets to get after," he said.
Of course Buchen would attack private sector attorneys representing wronged employees as unscrupulous: 
Buchen said the increased penalties in the bill will encourage unscrupulous lawyers to drag out wage claim lawsuits to "game the system" for exorbitant settlements.
Fourteen other states, including Minnesota and Illinois, have adopted a similar increased wage theft penalties.

57th Voucher School Terminated and $176 million of Taxpayer money wasted...and counting.

The Milwaukee school voucher program has been around now for a quarter of a century, and it's still not working. But because it's a potential profit center for every voucher campaign donor drooling over the deep pockets of state taxpayers, Republicans will continue to shovel more of our money their way.

Instead of getting tough on voucher schools, something they were never really serious about, Republicans have been expanding the program with empty promises of accountability.

We're also finding out voucher schools aren't actually a public investment, they're a private one, sucking millions of dollars out of the state. And sudden voucher school closings have left hundreds of students and parents scrambling to find an alternative, often times over a weekend. Chalk up another one:   
jsonline: The closing of another Milwaukee voucher school prompted Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday to renew their calls for greater accountability for private schools.

Daughters of the Father Christian Academy closed Thursday ... had received about $5.4 million in public money since the 2007-'08 academic year, would be the 57th terminated from the voucher program by the Department of Public Instruction since the 2003-'04 academic year. 

Those schools had been paid a total of $176 million. 
You might want to ask Republican lawmakers what made the following example a smart taxpayer "investment:" 
The school's executive director, Doris Pinkney, had operated a day care center since 2002. Her state license was revoked in 2010 by the Department of Children and Families for numerous violations. Pinkney filed for bankruptcy three times since 1995, most recently in April.
Cognitive Dissidence’s Jeff Simpson wrote this to the point assessment:
“Wisconsin Republican model "choice" school closes 9 days into the school year, leaving all of their kids stranded. The Republicans in WI have handed them an unaccountable $5.4 Million taxpayer dollars(for comparison, we are cutting $855,000 this year).

Crickets from anyone on the right as they continue sending schools like this our valuable education funds!
This is what happens when we "balance" business with public policy; the public always loses.

Voucher plan morphed into GOP Weapon against Education, Teachers and Unions: Scott Walker named Howard Fuller, an early advocate of the Milwaukee voucher program, as a major influence. Yet Fuller denounced what the Republicans have turned it into to, and didn't appreciate what Walker said.
One of Scott Walker's educational role models doesn't agree with him: on August 20, 2015 ... Howard Fuller, said (he) took to Twitter after Walker’s comments to make it clear he doesn’t agree with Walker on some education issues ... Fuller supports the Common Core academic standards, which Walker opposes, and opposes expanding school vouchers to students who aren’t from low-income households, which Walker supports and has pushed in two budgets during his tenure as governor.

“Scott Walker and I have fought together for parent choice over the years, but I do not support universal vouchers,” Fuller tweeted Wednesday afternoon. “I am against voter ID, I support raising minimum wage. I do not support drug testing for people on welfare. I support Obamacare, I support the common core, I support #BlackLivesMatter. I am neither a republican or democrat. I don’t want any of my friends trying to stand up for me. I speak for myself. Always have and always will.”
This is not a new position by Fuller. Back in April 2011, Fuller voiced his dissatisfaction, but no one seemed to notice:
Howard Fuller calls choice plans 'egregious' and 'outrageous' ... Fuller shook up the hearing on the state budget by calling a proposed change to choice “egregious” and “outrageous.”

He also said he’d oppose the Milwaukee choice program if the change – phasing out income limits for participating Milwaukee families – went into effect.

If that happens, he said in an interview after the testimony, “This is when I get off the train.”

Walker's great deception on Wisconsin's unemployment numbers exposed, used as cover-up for broken jobs promise.

It's been obvious for a long time that Scott Walker has been using the states low unemployment numbers as a substitute and distraction from his broken 250,000 jobs promise.

Relying again the national media, the Washington Post fact checkers has exposed Walker's attempt to cover up his actual uncomplimentary jobs record. They started their expose with a number of Walker claims:
1. “After years of record job loss, Wisconsin has gained over 140,000 jobs under Governor Walker, bringing the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent, the lowest level since 2008.”   2. “[Wisconsin’s] labor participation is far greater than the national level. Unemployment’s far lower.” 
ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl: “So one of your central promises was that you were going to create 250,000 private sector jobs in Wisconsin. … You haven’t done it. I mean, you didn’t do it. You fell quite a bit short.”

Walker: “Yeah, we set a big, bold goal. We went from 8.1 percent unemployment December before I took office to last month we nearly cut that in half at 4.4 percent, well below the national unemployment rate. We’re going to continue to aim high both in our state. And if I was the candidate for president of the United States, I’d aim high as well there.”
The amazing truth beneath the deceptive spin:

We at The Fact Checker are critical of politicians claiming success in positive employment trends, which usually can’t be traced to a policy or decision of a single individual. Walker had called 250,000 jobs “my floor, not my ceiling” and “a minimum, just a base.” But now, on the campaign trail, he emphasizes it as a “big bold goal.” 

He points instead to the decrease in the state’s unemployment rate, increase in the labor participation rate, and how they compare to the national average. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in July 2015 was about five percentage points higher than that month’s national rate. 

Side note: Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate in July 2015 was the lowest it had been since Walker took office in 2011. But of course that fact did not make it into his talking points. 

BLS officials warn against comparing state averages to national averages. For one, state averages are seasonally adjusted individually on the state level, so the numbers do not add up to the national level. 

Wisconsin traditionally has had a lower unemployment rate than national average, and a comparable or higher labor participation rate than the national average. Wisconsin’s labor force participation rate was higher than the national average even before Walker became governor. And the Wisconsin unemployment rate consistently has been lower than the national average since 1985. 

So while Walker touts the figures as a success, it is not a trend out of the ordinary or unique to his term ... the context in which he uses these figures exaggerate the progress under his term and deflect from his failure to keep a major campaign promise.
I'm sure the "Stand with Walker" trolls were stunned and enlightened. Didn't think so. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Republican Rep. Sanfelippo wants Politically controlled education by party appointment of State Superintendent, and lied about Tony Evers qualifications.

Starting with the Republican Party narrative that Wisconsin schools are bad, isn't it time we stop and ask these snake oil salesmen how the hell we're still in 2nd place nationally on the ACT's? 

And if we're failing so bad under the guidance of (Democratic) State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers, why did he just win reelection with 61% of the vote in our deep red state? 

Perhaps you'll want to believe hook-line-and-sinker for this twisted line of BS from Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo
“For too many years DPI has been able to deflect blame for its failures and rebuff desperately needed reforms by hiding behind the fact that its superintendent is an elected official. The state’s school system needs to be improved and the only way we can do that is by holding DPI more accountable, and with an appointed superintendent, we can do exactly that.”
Wait a minute, elections do hold public officials accountable, unless I'm missing something. Note to Sanfelippo, that's why we have elections? Oh, I forgot, Republicans now have gerrymandered safe seats, so who needs elections anymore.

In another example where absolute power corrupts:
After an appeals court overruled Republican attempts to weaken the powers of the state's elected schools superintendent, a GOP lawmaker wants to let the governor choose the superintendent rather than voters.
Even the Journal Sentinel's Jason Stein had to finally admit to the tactic:
It's one of several changes that Republicans have made to weaken the powers of state and local officials aligned with Democrats, moves that GOP lawmakers say are needed to make government work more smoothly.  
Uh oh, "More Smoothly" = Big Government Republicans! Under the false belief that centralized power makes everything run "more smoothly," Sanfelippo apparently wants to marginalize voters. 
In 2011 Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers attempted to give the governor the power to halt administrative rules issued by Evers. But in February 2015 a state appeals court upheld a lower court decision striking down that move as unconstitutional given that the state's charter says that "the supervision of public instruction shall be vested in a state superintendent" elected to four-year terms in officially non-partisan spring elections. That case is now before the state Supreme Court. 

Sanfelippo is proposing a constitutional amendment to stop electing superintendents ... "Wisconsin is one of only 12 states in the country that elects its state superintendent ... under the measure the Legislature could act to replace the governor's choice.
Complicated and "smoother," all at the same time.

I had to laugh at this unintentional argument against actually having any kind of elections at all from the right wing propagandists at The Wisconsin Watchdog:
As the lawmaker notes (Sanfelippo), elected superintendents like DPI chief Tony Evers are elected to four-year terms. They generally remain in the position even if their performance is considered inadequate.
Under that reasoning, who needs to keep in place our faulty elections process, because they rely so heavily on voter intent. And forget about those horrifying recalls. Funny too how this all coincides with the addition of more restrictive hurdles to vote. 

One more laughable quote from Sanfelippo: 
“The students of our state should not be held hostage just because special interest groups can get someone without the proper qualifications to win a popularity contest every four years. Our children and teachers deserve much better.”
"Someone without the proper qualifications?" Really? This is where the Journal Sentinel didn't set the record straight, leaving the reader with the impression Sanfelippo was telling the truth. Far from it. Wikipedia:
Evers received his bachelors (1974), masters (1978), and doctorate degrees (1986) from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Evers began his professional career as a teacher and media coordinator in the Tomah school district. In 1979 to 1980 he was principal of the Tomah elementary school, and from 1980 to 1984 he was principal at the high school. From 1984-1988 he was superintendent of the Oakfield school district, and from 1988-1992 he was superintendent of the Verona school district. From 1992 to 2001 he was administrator of Cooperative Education Service Agency in Oshkosh.
To get an idea of who Republicans might have named superintendent, lets look at Evers last opponent, GOP State Rep. Don Pridemore. Be amazed. From WKOW:

More Fiorina BS: blames "Democrat Party" instead of GOP, for treating women as a special interest group.

Note to Carly Fiorina, we are the DEMOCRATIC PARTY...DemocraTIC Party!!!

In Fiorina's new ad in response to Trump's comment about her expressionless face, she mangles the party's name and tells the Democrat Party that women are not special interests. Sorry Carly, tell that to your own Republic Party.

DEMOCRATIC PARTY: So which is it; is Fiorina intentionally spitting in the face of every Democratic American, or does she not know how to say the name of the oldest U.S. political party. I say both.

Since it's intellectually insulting, Democratic Party members shouldn't tolerate this divisive verbal attack without correcting every disrespectful Republican who snorts this out. It's time we stop being the abused partner in all this.

I edited together the offending remark from Fiorina's ad below. It's as egregious as it sounds:

Monday, September 14, 2015

Desperate Big Government Republican Scott Walker pokes unions to get guaranteed media coverage, and it works.

There's nothing small government about Republicans like Scott Walker. The only thing he wants to cut are liberal Democratic spending programs so he can replace them with Republican corporate welfare programs. Oh, crushing his enemies is also his goal, like...unions.

The lie spewed by these conservative con artists about giving control back to the states, free from federal government mandates, is exposed once and for all as a fraud, with Walker's latest edict: Ramming a federal right-to-work law through in Democratically controlled states? Sweet.

Salon's Joan Walsh had this impression:
The bill he didn't want to sign?
(Walker) announced a brutal assault on labor rights that would strip away worker protections earned as far back as the New Deal. The flailing Walker has ... a policy agenda that includes eliminating unions for federal employees, making all workplaces “right-to-work” unless states opt out, and eliminating the National Labor Relations Board.

The time and place of Walker’s announcement ought to prove to America once and for all that he’s dumb as a box of rocks. Walker is rolling out his anti-union agenda in Las Vegas, one of the most heavily unionized cities in America. Ninety percent of the jobs in Vegas hotels are union jobs, and almost half of all non-supervisor positions in the hotel, restaurant and gaming industries are unionized, compared to 19 percent of such jobs nationwide. Walker is a master of the politics of resentment.
Here's what just one economist noticed:
Ann Hodges, a professor at the University of Richmond who has studied labor law for over 40 years, told the Associated Press, "I’ve never seen anything like this. This will take the breath away from anyone who’s worked in labor relations for any length of time. It’s pretty draconian."

First he will, then he won't...then he will again? Wreaking Havoc inside the Walker Campaign.

Another brilliant decision, reversed....

Walker blows gasket, blames Obama for verbal attacks on Police!

Why has Scott Walker plummeted in the poles? I'm hoping it's because he's starting to scare people.

Lacking any pressure from statewide news media, Walker has kept his real agenda hidden from public view for decades. Now with national and international news coverage, we're getting to see who the real Scott Walker is, and it's ugly.

CNN's Jake Tapper asked Walker about his ridiculous and demeaning comments tying Obama to the violence against cops.
Tapper: "That is a very serious charge governor, can you elaborate on how Obama has played a role in the murder of police officers?"

Walker: "I think his absence of is the duty of the president to stand up and say something about that...he has been silent on this, and it's an outrage."

Tapper: "I have heard Obama praise officers, but I'm assuming that he's not doing enough..?"
Walker is fighting the 60's all over again.
Walker suddenly became incoherently angry (1:37 in video), suggesting Obama should spend his presidency responding to numerous miscellaneous news reports about comments that are offensive to the police:
Walker: "He's praised them but he's not speaking out about the fact that there's rhetoric out there...I mean when you've got people say...when you have people say 'pigs in a blanket' at a rally, 'fry em up like bacon,' that's the kind of thing you need to speak out about. You need to say that is wrong...we cannot have anymore of this idea that it's okay to go after law enforcement just because they wear the uniform and just because they have a badge."

Walker's head would explode if he heard the Nazz song from 1969, "Meridian Leeward."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

CNN's Jake Tapper's question to Walker, "Give me an example of one time you took on a conservative special interest?"

After all the years Scott Walker has bragged about taking on Washington special interests, no one has ever asked if he could name one right wing special interest like the Koch brothers that he had boldly stood up to like the unions.

When asked, Walker struggled, flailed and fumbled, because isn't it obvious, he's never stood up to conservative Washington special interests. CNN:

Jake Taper: "...but you've been backed by Republican special interests like the Koch brothers right, how does that square with what you're saying about taking on special interests, or do you think only liberal special interests are ones worth taking on."

Walker: "I'm taking on the ones in Washington. In my state, I didn't just take on the unions and Democrats early on ... there were some senators including some who'd been in the leadership who didn't want to do the kind of reforms...."
Of course we all know how legislative Republicans responded a few months back when they heard Walker had just thrown them under the bus. Republican State Sen. Luther Olsen said it best:
"The thing is, we were all the guys facing the crowds every day coming in and out of our offices. We didn't have the police protection," he said. "Taking on your friends ... and saying you were the tough guy? Thanks a lot, buddy."
Tapper continued to get Walker to answer:
Tapper: "But aren’t the Koch brothers special interests too?” Tapper pressed. “Can you give me an example of one time you took on a conservative special interest?"

Walker: "I raised 80 million in three and a half years, 70 percent of it came from people who gave me $75 or less. We’ve raised from over 300,000 donors in all 50 states."
Again, Walker never answered the question. He was also unprepared for Tapper's line of questioning. Which makes you wonder why Wisconsin media never asked. If they had, Walker wouldn't have this meaningless talking point today.

Walker pushes workplace discrimination/the firing of gay employees based on religious freedom and the conscience clause.

Make no mistake about it Scott Walker has a backup plan to allow gay discrimination to flourish if he had his way.

In February 25, 1082, Republican governor Lee Dreyfus signed the nations first Gay Rights Law. The reason? 
Dreyfus: “(The) fundamental Republican principle that government should have a very restricted involvement in people's private and personal lives.”
Not so principled now, it’s just a law that could and will be repealed or weakened at any time, especially by Walker. In this Meet the Press exchange, Chuck Todd asked Walker if he believes gay workers could be fired. Here it comes, the old "That means you have to have that balance" BS. You know, firing gay people because of your religious liberties and conscience represents a "balance:"

Todd could have followed up Walker's answer with a whole slew of questions, like what would gay workers do if they're in a state that doesn't have a law protecting them from from getting fired? Will Walker suggest they move? Acquiesce to being a second class citizen? Yes.

Guys like Walker have a blind spot when it comes to religious freedom, how one person could infringe on the religious freedoms of another. It's an easy concept to grasp.

But Walker's best chance to discriminate is in the state Constitution; the “conscience clause,” and he knows it:
Walker: "The Wisconsin constitution explicitly protects the rights of conscience of our citizens … the government will not coerce you to act against your religious beliefs. I call on the president and all governors to join me in reassuring millions of Americans that the government will not force them to participate in activities that violate their deeply held religious beliefs. No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience."
And if that doesn't work? Well, like all conservative politicians, they have no problem promising to pass a constitutional amendment that, for the first time, would limit freedoms and take rights away:
Walker: "We will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws … to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage."