page

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Republicans winning Climate Change lie in Red State pubic schools, while World takes it seriously!!!

When Pope Francis talks about climate change, he knows what he's talking about. The truth is, Pope Francis "graduated as a chemical technician," a scientist. I doubt the current crop of Republican critics trashing the Pope can say that, and many have admitted "they're not scientists."

Republicans wear their lack of knowledge like a badge of honor, using it as an excuse to believe in whatever it is they want to believe, devoid of science. It's worked out so well getting Republicans elected, that they're now taking that anti-science philosophy into our public schools.
Smithsonian: See Where Climate Science Conflict Has Invaded U.S. Classrooms - Conservative politicians are introducing bills that promote teaching climate science as controversial

Conservative legislators with a history of targeting evolution education have begun to take aim at climate science as well, encouraging educators to “teach the controversy” using some of the same tools and techniques that fuel continued support for intelligent design. Most of these measures have failed—for now. But two have passed, in Louisiana and Tennessee.


That’s not happening in other countries, like India for instance, who seems to think environmental health will reduce poverty and increase critical thinking, two GOP non-issues:
Every one of India's 1.3 million schools, as well as all of its 650-plus universities, are required by a Supreme Court order to educate each young Indian about the environment and sustainability. 

Driving the program is a belief that teaching these topics is key to addressing India’s many severe ecological problems, from polluted air and water to a disease-spreading lack of sanitation. Taking on issues like how to adapt to a changing climate, or how to protect the environment while also reducing poverty, can help develop critical thinking skills, argue many sustainability educators. With interest in teaching about sustainability growing in many parts of the world, the handprint has been exported to nations including South Africa and Japan.
The U.S. is going in the opposite direction, which should be scaring the daylights out of every voter. Teaching the "controversy" just perpetuates the lie:
Doug Lombardi, a science education researcher at Temple University, said “There isn’t a climate change controversy, not from a scientific perspective.” It's not just a matter of scientific accuracy—at stake may be the ability of future generations to deal with creeping temperatures, sea level rise and the other consequences of climate change. (But) more than 40 percent of teachers frame climate science as controversial. 

That discrepancy mirrors a gap between scientists and the general public. Surveys of working climate scientists have shown that 97 to 98 percent of the most active climate researchers support humanity's greenhouse gas emissions as the primary driver of recent climate change. No major scientific organization, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science to the National Academy of Sciences, disputes this view.

Meanwhile, results from a Pew Research Center survey released in July show that only half of the public believes that climate change is mostly due to human activity.

The Internet winds through Wisconsin...somewhere.

The internet has finally been mapped out, and as you can see in all its blurry detail, it winds through Wisconsin. The story here is a little confusing; researchers at the UW claim mapping out the location of the internet will improve security, and promote a more robust infrastructure. Okay, I'll suspend common sense for awhile. You can click on the image to enlarge, but you won't see much....(PNG captured from the actual research paper):

It may not look like much at first glance, but a map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford and about a dozen colleagues took around four years to produce. He believes it could make the Internet more resilient to accidents, disasters, or intentional attacks.

The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure, says Barford.

The Department of Homeland Security is making the map and data behind it available through a project called Predict, which offers data relevant to Internet security to government, private, and public researchers. “Our intention is to help improve security by improving knowledge,” says Barford. “I think the map highlights that there are probably many opportunities to make the network more robust.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wisconsin's Republican Science deniers in House pass bill disavowing the social cost of carbon emissions, block Democratic attempts to keep it.

Just like what we're seeing in Wisconsin, our one-size-fits-all Republican Party agenda is taking aim at our clean water and air, getting it ready for privateer plundering. Roll Call:


SCALED-BACK ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS: The House passed bill (HR 348) to scale back the National Environmental Policy Act as a regulator of large construction projects in the U.S. The bill disavows the social cost of carbon emissions; sets a two-year deadline for completing environmental reviews; requires lawsuits challenging reviews to be filed within 180 days; limits the number of reviews per project; authorizes states to prepare alternative environmental assessments and allows agencies to accept secondary rather than original analyses of environmental impacts.

The CBO says the bill would apply mainly to the three federal agencies with the largest construction budgets -- the Department of Transportation for road and transit contracts, the Department of Defense and Army Corps of Engineers.
Every Wisconsin representative voted to ignore the devastating health effects and premature deaths caused by carbon emissions, actually writing it into law. Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy, and Reid Ribble.

Even worse? They rejected attempts by Democrats to again include the social cost of pollution:
SOCIAL COST OF CARBON: The House defeated an amendment to HR 348 (above) allowing agencies to include the social cost of carbon-dioxide emissions in environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Voting to save lives and keep our air and water clean: Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore.

Rubbing it into the face of their own constituents: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Ribble

Stand with Walker backers more gullible than nations conservative voters.

Republicans nationwide saw Scott Walker's Wisconsin as small potatoes and not a trickle down experiment they could brag about. It's also possible I'm giving too much credit to a party hypnotized by the showbiz bloviating of agenda free Donald Trump. The one thing Walker's fall does prove is how completely out of touch conservative talk radio is in the state. Believe it or not, he's nothing like they said he was:

The two graphs below details Walker's drop:


Huffington Post: Since money is (often) the name of the game in politics, the above graph is another important snapshot of Walker's campaign. Although the Badger State Republican raised more than $20 million, it was all tied up in his super PAC.

Super PACs can collect unlimited sums of money, but are restricted on how much contact and coordination they can have with the candidate they back. Walker's super PAC could spend money on ads supporting its candidate, for example, but couldn't cut checks to his campaign staff or pay for his travel. Walker's official campaign committee hasn't yet released fundraising totals (those numbers are due to the Federal Election Commission Oct. 15), but news outlets reported he wasn't bringing in any cash.

As Politico noted, Walker's exit may point to the limitations of super PACs' true power over the nomination process.

Jeb offers black voters "hope," but for a price?


Jeb Bush offers "free stuff," like advice:
"...our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division, 'Get in line, we’ll take care of you with free stuff.' Our message is uplifting, that says, 'You can achieve earned success. We’re on your side.'"

Nevada Education Savings Accounts: 6,000 parents devising 6,000 different ways to teach kids! What could go wrong?

Nevada is a voucher dream come true for conservatives and profit driven privateers a like, who see our kids as exploitable commodities until they're not anymore.

But as a parent, you have to ask, "do you have the time for something this costly, convoluted and crazy?" It's not like you can make up the time if you get it wrong. Oh, and it's costly!!!

Freedom and liberty loving Nevadans can now get their own "education savings account" with $5,700 of taxpayer money in it. Oh, and if the school or customized plan costs more in fees, supplies or transportation, you're on the hook for the rest. Nice...and expensive. 

And what could go wrong giving every parent the power to devise their own educational reform program, mixing and matching classroom time, online courses, home schooling and religious instruction just the way they see fit? 

I'm will enjoy watching all of this unfold from the comfort of Wisconsin, where our state constitution forbids tuition of any kind from being charged in our public schools. I still can't figure out how taxpayer vouchers can be spent at tuition charging private schools, since that turns the voucher into tuition, but that's a whole different topic.

Here's what total privatization looks like, for those who apparently have a whole lot more time than I do staying on top of my own kids, to create their own public school system at home. And you thought making sure they had their homework done was frustrating...be enlightened:    
1. Nevada allows virtually all parents of K-12 students to opt out of public school but use their children’s state education dollars for a customized education, including private or religious schooling, online classes, textbooks, and dual-enrollment college credits.

2. The money goes into an education savings account (ESA), and dollars not spent by the parent in a given year roll over for future spending – until the student finishes high school or opts back into public school.

3. The private and religious schools accepting ESA funds are not prohibited from discriminating based on race, gender or disability ... can use their admissions rules, including competitive pretesting, transcript evaluation and letters of recommendation ... free to select students based on who they decide fit their religious or secular mission, culture and program. Nevada public schools have to educate all children with disabilities and those children whom private and religious schools choose not to admit or decide to remove from school. 

4. ESAs are designed to be a “subsidy” by more affluent families who can already afford to send their children to selective private and religious schools. Conversely, ESAs are insufficient for students from low-income families, and those who need more costly English language instruction or special education services.

5. The law offers 100 percent of state funding (about $5,700 annually) for students with disabilities or whose families are below 185 percent of the federal poverty level ... For all others, it offers 90 percent. There is only a handful of private schools in Nevada with tuition low enough to be covered by $5,710.

6. Participants will have to account for expenses and take an annual test in math and English that is nationally norm-referenced, meaning their score can be compared with peers around the country. They need not be comparable to Nevada public school tests.  

7. For parents, the appeal is that they can combine online, private, and even some public courses to tailor an education that suits their child. 
And because the $5,700 may not be enough for most students, parents will "self-ration," to save money, and elected officials don't have to work so hard or take responsibility: 
For state policymakers, it’s attractive because parents are incentivized to spend wisely and carry over savings, and that “puts downward pressure on prices,” says Lindsey Burke, an education policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. Because the ESA per student amount does not cover the full cost of tuition at private and religious schools, families must have the personal means to cover any remaining tuition. This will also include the cost of fees, uniforms, books, transportation and other expenses associated with private and religious schooling.
But do Americans hate their public schools, or is privatization really about placating a small minority of like minded anti-government voters?
While some opponents might worry about a steady stream of students leaving public schools, that hasn’t been the case in Arizona. Out of about 250,000 students who are eligible, about 1 percent applied for the 2014-15 school year, and currently there are about 1,200 participants, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education told the Monitor.
To put even this in perspective:
Lawmakers in nearly two-dozen states have made education savings accounts or private school scholarships available to families. Yet only 350,000 of the 50 million students in the U.S. are participating. (To put this in perspective, imagine you visit the reigning World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, for a game this summer and only 290 seats in their 42,000-seat ballpark are filled.)
I mixed and matched stats from these two sources: Christian Science Monitor and DianeRavitch.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Even Stephen Colbert couldn't resist Walker's presidential Parody!

My god we elected this guy to a second term...



"And though he may be quitting, he leaves in the most noble way possible. By asking others to quit, too."

Only when in the minority, Justice Scalia wonders, "Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?"

It's more than a religious tradition. Marriage is a complicated governmental process that sets up property, personal and monetary obligations, backed up by law. If the government decided that certain Americans were blocked from accessing these laws, then we’ve got a problem with equal protection.
The majority held that state same-sex marriage bans are a violation of both the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause.
The conservative Justices pretzel logic never got that concept, and wanted to continue to treat gay Americans differently: 
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote Addressing the Equal Protection Clause, Roberts stated that same-sex marriage bans did not violate the clause because they were rationally related to a governmental interest, preserving the traditional definition of marriage.
“Governmental interest” doesn't include equal protection? I’m sensing a massive amount of BS.
  
I’m bringing this up again because in a recent article featuring Justice Scalia’s crazy rants against the decision, he never even mentioned “equal protection.” In fact he spouted the same talking points as tea party flame thrower Sen. Ted Cruz (ironically, Cruz served as a law clerk to  William RehnquistChief Justice of the United States in 1996), arguing the justices are just a bunch of unelected lawyers telling us all what to do. I have deeper, more thoughtful conversations with my conservative friend in Milwaukee.

Here are the low-lights from conservative activist Justice Scalia. What is this guy doing on the bench?  
At a Tuesday speech at Rhodes College the justice blasted the decision, calling it the "furthest imaginable extension of the Supreme Court doing whatever it wants" … "threat to democracy" … “Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast. Saying that the Constitution requires that practice, which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens. I don't know how you can get more extreme than that. I worry about a court that's headed in that direction. Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?" 

He bemoaned that the court was made up of no more than "lawyers" who are "terribly unrepresentative of our country. What is it that I learned at Harvard Law School that makes me peculiarly qualified to determine such profound moral and ethical questions as whether there should be a right to abortion, whether there should be same-sex marriage, whether there should be a right to suicide? It has nothing to do with the law. Even Yale Law School doesn't teach that stuff."

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Walker Postmortem!

Let's face it, Scott Walker is really bad with numbers, starting with his promise to create 250,000 new jobs, which he always followed up with the contradiction, government doesn't create jobs. That was our first clue. 

Another thing, I never understood how cuts to spending became a substitute for responsible budgeting. Spending increased out a need to solve a problem, not because it was fun. So cuts to spending just left the problem for someone else to eventually deal with.

As the Washington Post detailed, Walker was your typical big spending, run up the charge card Republican we saw during the Bush years:
In a little more than two months, his presidential bid had amassed a debt of roughly $700,000, campaign manager Rick Wiley told the governor in a call Sunday night. 

Money has long been a problem for the Walker family: Unlike many candidates for president, Walker lacks personal wealth. As a young state lawmaker, he made less than $40,000 per year. When he became the Milwaukee County executive in 2002, he kept a campaign promise to return much of his salary, a total that he says reached $375,000 by 2010. As governor, Walker was paid nearly $148,000 per year, in addition to free housing in the governor's mansion, taxpayer-provided vehicles and other perks. He also received a $45,000 advance for the 2013 book he wrote about his fight with the unions. But financial disclosures revealed that Walker has tens of thousands of dollars in credit card debt, including a large balance on a card with an interest rate of more than 27 percent. 
This part kills me, since Walker fought any attempt to rein in student loan debt:
His two sons have taken on at least $100,000 in student loan debt and have yet to graduate from college. It's clear that unlike some candidates in the race, Walker could not afford to absorb any potential debt of a presidential campaign. Several donors said Monday night that fear of debt was a driving factor in Walker's decision to so suddenly step out of the race.
And like the true carnival barker he'd become, showmanship was everything:
For an everyman candidate, his campaign events were often elaborately staged. In late July, Walker held a town hall at a family-style restaurant in Red Oak, a town with fewer than 6,000 residents in western Iowa. An advance team with a moving van of equipment arrived hours early to hang up flags, set up a sound system and arrange a stage with tiered seating to provide a backdrop of Iowans. Walker arrived with a large entourage: his security detail, campaign manager, personal aide, full-time campaign photographer, two Iowa-based staffers and a horde of low-level employees who handed out brochures. As he spoke for roughly an hour, one man on the stage had to shield his eyes from a bright spotlight. which worried some supporters, who considered the elaborate set-ups a waste of money so early in the campaign. These glitzy events seemed more suited to a candidate who had already locked down the nomination
Walker had the presidency in mind since day one of his career in politics, so what other reason did he have to give to voters? 
It was unclear exactly why Walker wanted to be president. He seemed to write much of his domestic and foreign policy as he went along, rather than coming to the race with a clear vision of where he would take the country. For many voters who are often tired of uncompromising career politicians and gridlock in Washington, perhaps Walker's promise to fight Democrats just wasn't enough.
The idea that Obama needed a teleprompter was as ridiculous as it sounds, but that attack was a distraction from the scary habit of responding to questions with well rehearsed memorized comebacks, that often didn't have anything to with the question:
Walker knows how to stay on message — but seems lost when questions keep coming. Early in the campaign, Walker and his backers would brag about his ability to relentlessly stay on message: He again and again repeated the same campaign speech. He gave reporters the same answers to questions about issues of the day. He memorized his announcement speech and recited it. This often left him sounding robotic and not fully answering the questions he was asked.

But when reporters and cable news show hosts pushed for specifics, Walker would often slip up, making comments that didn't quite make sense or taking stances he didn't mean to take — but then hesitating to take a different position or admit that he had misspoken, perhaps for fear of cementing an image of being a flip-flopper. Instead, he appeared to lack clear stances
Which brings us to how much of a coward Scott Walker was, and the big lie that he was "unintimidated." 
Walker seems uncomfortable with direct confrontation. Ahead of the first Republican debate, I watched hours of video footage from Walker's previous debates in Wisconsin. In a few of these, Walker had the opportunity to ask his opponent a question and passed. Instead, he stuck to his talking points and avoided confrontation.

This is a candidate who built his presidential campaign on the premise that he was a fighter — yet he seemed uncomfortable confronting people face to face, especially fellow Republicans. On the early campaign trail, Walker ignored protesters, maneuvered out of conversations that turned testy, rarely held town halls and avoided follow-up questions from reporters whenever possible.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

When Sarah Palin Bombed Houston!!!

I got a kick out of this scene from "Supernatural," an earlier episode we just just watched a few nights ago on Netflix.  I also include a still image for the fun of it too.

Lead characters Sam and Dean Winchester must kill the devil, but if Dean makes a few wrong choices along the way, not only does the devil win, but so does Sarah Palin-as president:




Rachel Maddow looks at the Scott Walker's Presidential Accident....

Sen. Kapenga agrees with Ben Carson, throws out Religious Freedom for Muslims.

Sometimes politicians mean just what they say. End of story. This is one of those times. Seriously, see for yourself:


Real Constitution-like, ya think? Here's what Ben Carson said:
NBC's Chuck Todd: "Do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?"

Carson: "No, I do not,. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
Yes, say hello to our new state senator:
Sen. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) posted a link to a Yahoo! News article Monday entitled "Ben Carson won't back down from comments about Muslims" - adding his own comment - "I agree with him." The article was about Dr. Carson defending his belief that a Muslim should not be elected President.

27 News asked Sen. Kapenga's staff if he would explain his position on the matter. The tweet was taken down shortly after our call and his staff never responded to our request. On Tuesday, we again asked a staffer for Sen. Kapenga if he would do an interview on the matter. His office responded with a one-line email: "Senator Kapenga is unable to do an interview and will not be commenting further on the issue." 
 Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) told 27 News: "I don't know of anyone else in the State Senate who believes that, but we're cast in that same light and it's really frustrating."

Walker Leads by Quitting? Wants others to be like him...

What an honorable man? Think again. In the words of Salon's Joan Walsh:

In a sickening transparent attempt to make himself look like a leader, even as a quiter, Scott Walker is calling on the other candidates to be like Scott. Wow. Even God had a hand in his "brave" decision. Get a grip:


"I was sitting in church yesterday, the pastor's words reminded me that the Bible is full of stories about people who were called to be leaders in unusual ways. Today, I believe that I am being called to lead by helping to clear the field so that a positive conservative message can rise to the top of the field. With this in mind, I will suspend my campaign immediately.

"I encourage other Republican presidential candidates to consider doing the same, so that the voters can focus on a limited number of candidates who can offer a positive conservative alternative to the current front-runner. This is fundamentally important to the future of the party, and more importantly to the future of our country."
Here's Walsh's take as well:
Scott Walker’s messianic parting message: Christlike governor says he died for the party’s sins: Walker’s failure can’t be obscured by silly claims that he’s “leading” by dropping out to save his party 
Thank God for small blessings: At least Scott Walker didn’t credit God with his decision to drop out of this race, as he did with his fledgling 2006 campaign against Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle. “I believe that it was God’s will for me to run,” Walker said back then. “After a great deal of prayer during the last week, it is clear that it is God’s will for me to step out of the race.”

In fact, then, as now, Walker faced a harsh truth not from God, but from big donors: They didn’t like the campaign he was running, they didn’t believe he could win and they were looking to place their money with other candidates.
The idea that Democrats, progressives and liberals are the bad guys because we're glad to see an authoritarian dictator like Walker drop, is outright bizarre and really pisses me off.

Here's the Walker we're familiar with in Wisconsin, and what the nation saw and abandoned in droves. Wonderful GIF:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Supreme Court Justice Crooks Died Today....

After announcing that he will not seek reelection for the high court, Justice Patricks Crooks died today.


Dropout Walker Drops out again...quits Presidential Race!!! "Leading" by clearing the field?"

Once a quiter....



NY Times: Walker called a news conference in Madison at 5 p.m.. Walker’s intended withdrawal is a humiliating climb down for a Republican governor once seen as all but politically invincible. He started the year at the top of the polls but has seen his position gradually deteriorate...

-----------------------------------------

MotherJones: Immediately after the announcement, Liz Mair, a digital strategist for Walker's bid who was fired for tweeting negatively about Iowa, began spouting her thoughts about why Walker's campaign failed to attract enough money and momentum to keep it afloat.

----------------------------------------------










Summing it up...




Wisconsin Press Praise Walker despite One-Half-of-One Percent ranking.

Wisconsin reporters are so weak, so gutless when it comes to Scott Walker, that even when Walker is just one-half-of-one percent away from disappearing completely in the high profile race for the White House, they're complimenting him. Seriously, WTF:


Republican Party Purity rises above Pope Frances.

The Republican Party’s dictatorial higher calling and “principled” agenda is now considered even more infallible than longtime pretender; The Pope.

Since Pope Francis criticized capitalism and climate change deniers, based on biblical text and science respectively, Republicans are backing away from the Catholic Church. The party that once bashed Democratic's for not respecting the Pope, are now throwing the Pope under the bus for his lack of right wing purity. There's a funny irony too, also mention below.

One Republican cafeteria Catholic has now provided us with an eye opening general glimpse of party’s political authority over religion, reflected in the culmination of his statements below:
APA Republican lawmaker said he will boycott Pope Francis' speech to Congress next week because of the possibility the pontiff will discuss his support for policies to fight climate change.

Three-term Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona said that as a Roman Catholic, he initially was excited to learn of the pope's visit to Washington and his address to Congress. But Gosar said he decided not to attend after he read media reports that the pope plans to devote much of the speech to advocating for what Gosar calls "flawed climate change policies." 
Better than the Pope:
Gosar wrote that he was appalled by a papal teaching document that "condemned anyone skeptical of the link between human activity and climate change." when the pope chooses to act and talk like a leftist politician, then he can expect to be treated like one." Gosar said he has "a moral obligation and leadership responsibility to call out leaders, regardless of their titles, who ignore Christian persecution. If the pope "urged the Western nations to rescue persecuted Christians in the Middle East, I would back him wholeheartedly," Gosar added. "To promote questionable science as Catholic dogma is ridiculous," he said. He might reconsider the boycott if he were to receive "assurances" from the Vatican that the pope will focus his speech on religious tolerance and the sanctity of life.
Yes, the Vatican should take the time to assure Republican Rep. Gosar the Pope will back away from his own principled faith. 

The Republican cliche "I'm not a scientist," used to deny climate change, is not something you'll hear Pope Francis say anytime soon:
His predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, was a theologian. Pope John Paul II, before that, was originally an actor and a philosopher. But Francis trained as a scientist. 

It was ironic that, before publication, Catholic Republican presidential candidates like Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum had been admonishing the pope that science is better left to scientists. That was exactly what Francis, the former chemist, thought he was doing by accepting the view of 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists. For Francis, the source of the Earth’s degradation was clear: “[T]he degree of human intervention, often in the service of business interests and consumerism, is actually making our earth less rich and beautiful, ever more limited and grey.”

Behind global capital’s indifference to the poor and the planet and all the “pain, death and destruction” it brings, he said, there lies “the stench of what Basil of Caesarea—one of the church’s first theologians—called ‘the dung of the devil.’ An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind.” In this “subtle dictatorship,” capital has become an idol. In response, Francis called for change—“real change, structural change”—using the word no fewer than 32 times. Land, lodging and labor were “sacred rights,” and working for their “just distribution” was a “moral obligation” and, for Christians, a “commandment.”

Rep. Sanfelippo blames Superintendent Evers for using the Constitution as his crutch.

When I put this story together, I realized Republican Rep. Joe Sanfelippo gave us all a gift that should keep on giving. Even though these misinformed protectors of  the Constitution can't stop throwing out their weird interpretations, the following takes a different approach.

Sanfelippo unknowingly gave us the best response to his own blithering belligerence; "they rely on the Constitution as their crutch?" Well, yea.

WKOW's Greg Neumann peppered GOP State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo with facts and questions about the unintended consequences of his attempts to take away, even disparage, the voters choice of electing an accountable state schools superintendent. For big government types, a subordinate appointee controlled by the governor and legislature sounds like "representative democracy" to them.

Oddly, Sanfelippo said this would put local school districts back in control.

Lie vs Lie: After Sanfelippo claimed test scores and graduation rates were down to make his phony case, Nuemann couldn't help but mention...:
Neumann: "The governor, what he's saying on the campaign trail...he talks all the time about how the graduation rates are up; ACT scores are up. Are you saying that isn't true?"

Sanfelippo: "No I think that's true if you look at...within the last one or two school years, they're up slightly..."
Yea, right. Gotcha.



Here's what stood out in the video clip:

1. Like the governor, the DPI superintendent is elected and accountable to every voter in the state. If Sanfelippo thinks we can streamline government by getting rid of the electoral process, them maybe the governor can simply appoint senators and representatives too. The money we save on elections could go to educate students.

2. Did Sanfelippo really say the Superintendent is using the Constitution as a "crutch" to "prop up his department...?" Projection much? Sanfelippo repeated this line over and over, shamelessly.

3. Sanfelippo officially discounted economic status as a reason why minorities districts have lower test scores and a wider achievement gap.

4. Legislative grandstanding and "demanding results" in reading and math is should be met with tough talk.

5. DPI's Tony Evers isn't interested in reducing the racial achievement gap? Sure, that's why he was reelected with 61% of the vote against a Republican legislator who believe it or not, promised to protect kids from the UN backed Common Core conspiracy.

6. His idea to break up pubic schools by race baiting, classy.

The Big Fumble: Neumann caught Sanfelippo off guard and it stumped him:
Neumann: "In 1848, they made a conscious decision in the Constitution to say, this should be a separately elected office, does this speak at all to checks and balances...where I know you're saying the  legislature doesn't have as much  control, but is that a necessarily bad thing? Does this not provide more of a checks and balance, that you have a separate balance?
How do you mix common sense into a word salad of nonsense?
Sanfelippo: "Well I don't know how you get checks and balances when you have the legislature that clearly has the authority to set education policy, the Constitution says that the superintendent is in an supervisory role, so he's suppose to be carry out the statutes and rules set by the legislature and the governor, but he tends not to do that. And again, he relies on the Constitution as his crutch to do so. Every time something comes along that the superintendent or the DPI folks don't like, they right away, run to the Constitution and say oh my gosh, you can't tell us what to do, we're in charge of our own agency.

Yet the citizens of this state depend on the legislature and governor for all of the other services that are provide. And I think for a more cohesive form of government we are better off treating this as a cabinet."
It's almost like that now, frustrating State Superintendent Tony Evers and district superintendents statewide:
jsonlineThe superintendents, who predominantly hailed from high-income suburban schools and many districts that voted Republican in the last election, gathered ... to urge lawmakers to amend the budget changes for K-12 schools approved by the powerful Joint Finance Committee in recent days. "We're asking them to reconsider (amendments) and reinvest in public schools," said Mequon Superintendent Demond Means, flanked by superintendents from districts such as Kettle Moraine, Glendale-River Hills, Wauwatosa, South Milwaukee, Elmbrook, Greendale, West Allis-West Milwaukee, Hamilton and Northern Ozaukee.
Oh  look, there's Sanfelippo's own district of West Allis, unhappy with the legislatures current list of big government mandates. Since Evers isn't a miracle worker, he hasn't been able to stop every bad idea:
Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget wasn't kind to public schools, but the committee's amendments had made things worse by adding items such as a significant expansion of the statewide voucher program, a special-needs voucher program, a new civics test graduation requirement and teacher-licensing changesMequon Superintendent Demond Means (said) "There's been so much dialogue between public officials about the Bucks and what's best for that building, but limited dialogue between elected officials and education leaders about what's best for schools."

Walker wants to End all Labor Protections and Destroy Economic Mobility for Workers.

Scott Walker hasn’t exactly come right out and said it, but some unions are great, even coddled.
The Wisconsin Troopers Association … spared both Act 10 and take-home pay reduced by roughly 10% because of cuts to health care and pension benefits … and still negotiated a roughly 17% pay increase. 
Walker protected two other unions that supported him, but to do so, he had to protect them all statewide:
The police officers and firefighters of Milwaukee backed Walker on the campaign trail. Walker's spokeswoman Patrick pointed out that Act 10 preserved collective bargaining for all local police and firefighters, not just those in Milwaukee, saying that proved Walker doesn't play favorites. 
The only thing Patrick didn’t say at the end was “…suckers!”

Collateral Damage - Killing Unions is Killing Upward Mobility: Outlined perfectly in a Huffington Post article:
(A) new study, “Bargaining for the American Dream,” establishes that the children of union members earn more money … children of non-union members who live in areas with high union concentration earn more money as well.” The report concludes, “What is clear is that mobility thrives where unions thrive.”

Economic mobility is the American Dream – the ideal that every American has the opportunity to work hard and do better for himself and his family. And that is what Republican presidential candidates want to kill by destroying unions.
It may be that Walker’s anti-labor message may not be going over well with conservative voters who still have jobs and have kids who will need jobs someday:
Last week, Scott Walker one-upped the gang of GOP presidential candidates all jostling for the coveted Republican title of Best Billionaire Bootlicker … announcing with pomp and fanfare that, unlike those other Republican pansies, a President Walker wouldn’t stop at crushing labor unions. No. That wouldn’t hamstring the middle class sufficiently for Walker. He’d also deny workers paid sick leave and compensation for overtime. Now those are some real anti-worker, middle-class-hatin’ chops!

Walker promised that as president he would kill the federal board that investigates unfair labor practices, annihilate all unions representing federal workers, end “fair share” fees nationwide, terminate the requirement that contractors on federally subsidized jobs pay workers a fair wage based on local standards, stop mandating federal contractors provide paid sick leave and slash the number of workers who must be paid overtime when they work more than 40 hours. 
Really, and that’s supposed to convince struggling American workers that Scott Walker got their back? 

Walker, like all Republicans, think it’s a justifiable trade off to lose upward mobility if they can at least destroy the unions ability to fund the Democratic Party. Gotta win elections.

Clearing up the language; Fair Share or Freeloading?
 Employees don’t have to join a union and they don’t have to pay union dues ... if they don’t they are required in 25 states to pay a “fair share” fee that covers the cost of union services that benefit them, such as collective bargaining and grievance litigation … Federal law mandates that the union provide services for all workers, including those who don’t join.
Killing Upward Mobility: 
The 25 states that prohibit fair share fees deliberately deny unions that income in order to financially cripple them. The likes of Paul and Walker are eager to financially strangle the organizations that provide millions of workers and their children with access to the American Dream. Sounds like a big, fat pay cut for millions who are struggling to support their families. With laws forbidding fair share fees and other anti-union measures, Republicans stole economic mobility from workers.