page

Friday, October 16, 2015

Remember when the Bush Administration Spent like Drunken Sailors? Well....

...guess who would have carried on that tradition? 


This was a desperate guy who wanted it all....
Photographer Andrew Snow, assigned to trail Walker at events and snap images of the candidate, collected $11,700 a month -- on pace to make $140,000 a year.

Alyson Higgins, a personal aide to Tonette Walker, the governor’s wife, was allocated a salary of $89,000.

At the helm was communications director Kirsten Kukowski, making $18,000 a month for an annual salary of more than $220,000.

AshLee Strong, Kukowski’s communications deputy, was to make $164,000.

And even Walker’s own children got into the campaign casino windfall. Twenty-one-year-old Matt Walker and 20-year-old Alex Walker, who indicated they would take time off from college to campaign for their father … Each drew monthly stipends of $1,542, placing them on pace to draw $18,509 annually
 Still my favorite line comes from Rick Wiley, Walker's campaign manager:
"We didn't have a spending problem. We had a revenue problem."

Walker's Mickey Mouse Lie only Hitler would sign onto.

Just like my conservative friend in Milwaukee who's always sending me videos and news stories form right wing sites, Scott Walker and his band of Republican pirates that have taken command of the state Capitol are shaping actual governmental policy based on the fictions and fabrications created by these propagandists. 

One of the worst, the MacIver Institute, is about to help take down the nations election oversight model, the Government Accountability Board.

PolitiFact even featured it for grins:


Never mind that the idea of something like this ever happening is crazy, Republicans and in-the-tank voters tend to believe without question the more sensational "attacks." Say it enough, and it must be true...but still isn't:
On Dec. 18, 2011, we looked at this claim from MacIver’s video: "Wisconsin election officials to accept Mickey Mouse, Hitler signatures" on recall petitions. We rated itMostly False.

The claim stems from a comment made by GAB elections specialist David Buerger during a Dec. 13, 2011 meeting of the board. Buerger was asked about Mickey Mouse and Hitler and responded: "We will flag them, but we will not strike them without challenge."

The MacIver video said the board decided to "accept" the fictitious signatures, as in counting them toward the total of about 540,000 that was required to force a recall election. That was not the case. Indeed, Buerger noted explicitly they would be "flagged" for more review, just not automatically stricken.
The final verdict?
But there’s no evidence to support that. The process would not have immediately struck them. Rather, it would have flagged them for review. And there were numerous layers of scrutiny before it would have been determined valid.

Walker took a Mostly False statement and embellished it.

We rate his claim False.
Letting "partisan behavior to run rampant," here's ALEC member and State Sen. Leah Vukmir play up this complete fiction. For anybody else, this would normally be really embarrassing stuff:

Right wing Lawsuit King Esenberg claims guilty Walker aide Rindfleisch innocent. Hmm, she pleaded guilty Rick....

Funny thing, even when Republicans are caught and found guilty of breaking the law, conservative politicians, right wing think tanks and hapless in-the-tank voters will still deny laws were ever broken. This perceived infallibility is a bit on the frightening side.

On WPR's Joy Cardin Show, Rick Esenberg, president the right wing lawsuit mill The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, nonchalantly broke the news that convicted Scott Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch was innocent, and that she committed no crime. Yes, even after the State Supreme Court turned down her appeal. It was a confident declaration that conservative voters need to believe, and hearing it on the radio helped support their delusions (audio):


Esenberg: "It amazes me that people in Wisconsin on the left, were apoplectic because a handful of staffers in Scott Walker's administration had a private email system to conduct not government business, but political business which they were perfectly free to do..."
In this conversation about Walker's hypocritical comments about Hillary Clinton's emails, the reality based world saw things quite differently. jsonline:
Rindfleisch pleaded guilty in 2012 to doing campaign work at her Milwaukee County government job. Walker's campaign and government teams used a secret email system or private email accounts to deal with the bread-and-butter issues of county government: personnel, budgets and buildings.

A trove of previously sealed documents released last month provides a rearview mirror look into Walker's world and the push to take county government off the official grid. Using private emails for official business can make it harder for the public to find out what its government is doing. 

Emails from private accounts show the Walker campaign and county government teams discussed such varying issues as problems at the Mental Health Complex, the death of a teen at the O'Donnell Park parking structure, reaction to moves made by county supervisors, the attempt to ease out the head of the medical examiner's office, the handling of public records requests, repair estimates for buildings, capital projects, and updates on storm damage and the federal response.
The Progressive's Ruth Conniff responded to Esenberg, calling into question his and congresses credibility on the subject.

Wisconsin controlled by a party that compares carrying Guns to "carrying Smartphones." Smart phones are killing us?

Sadly, I don't even think this irresponsible juvenile comment will move the needle with conservative voters who have invested their identities in their party. WPR:
The Republican speaker of the state Assembly says he's fine with people carrying concealed guns in university buildings, and likened it to carrying smartphones. 
"I don't have a problem with people carrying a smartphone or carrying anything else. It's a tool. It's who uses the tool and how they use it."

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Walker administration personal emails used for government business!!!

A story that's just bubbling up now looks like it could be big, finally exposing Scott Walker's inability to tell the truth to the media and voters alike. How much more is he trying to hide?

WKOW's Greg Nuemann: Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) has been extremely critical of Hillary Clinton's use of personal email … despite the fact that two former aides in his Milwaukee County Executive's office were convicted of crimes for using personal email to campaign on county time. But a 27 News investigation into the use and disclosure of personal emails by the Governor's office is raising questions about just how those records are handled. On May 28, 27 News asked Gov. Walker if he knew whether former Chief of Staff Keith Gilkes, former Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch or other members of his administration had used personal email for government business.

"I don't know," said Gov. Walker. "I mean, not that I'm aware of."

But we now know the Governor was aware of it at the time that exchange took place … in the first year of the Walker administration, state business was conducted through more than 300 personal emails. Some of the emails were sent to or from Governor Walker's own personal address …

But dozens of the emails 27 News received were never sent to an official state account until they were forwarded to the government email address of Gov. Walker's Chief Legal Counsel Brian Hagedorn on July 31, 2015. That date comes four years after the emails were originally written and two months after our open records request.

"Yeah, I think it's an issue to be sure and apparently and potentially a serious one," said Bob Drechsel, director of the UW-Madison Center for Journalism Ethics, who believes that delay and lag time raises questions about whether 27 News even got all of the personal emails that ever existed, or if some were permanently deleted from personal accounts long ago.
Over at Cognitive Dissidence, I thought this amazing fact stood out, high lighted in red above:
The reason that the emphasized section should raise a red flag for the gentle reader is that on the very same date that Hagedorn had received these emails is the same day that Walker announced that he was politically appointing Hagedorn to an appellate court seat despite that Hagedorn had no experience or qualifications for that position.

Was that appointment made to reward Hagedorn for his political operations, as a form of hush money to buy Hagedorn's silence or both?

Walker's Campaign Over Spent, now in debt at least $1 million? Not if you believe the mind blowing explanation.

There are times Scott Walker can't hide from the truth, no matter bizarre his answers get. 

Remember when Republicans claimed the states debt was a result of over spending?

Now that it's clear Scott Walker overspent during his campaign for president, his $1 million debt has a different explanation. And spending wasn't it. jsonline:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker raised $7.4 million for his short-lived presidential bid but spent his cash as quickly as it came in, leaving the campaign with a debt of at least $1 million once all the bills roll in, according to sources and a report filed with federal elections officials Thursday. The campaign burned through about $90,000 a day without even running major broadcast ads, doing so months before the first votes are cast. 
Nope, the Walker campaign's answer takes us right down the rabbit hole. Ready for it...
Rick Wiley, Walker's presidential campaign manager ... pushed back criticism that he and the governor presided over an ill-advised spending spree for the campaign.

"We didn't have a spending problem. We had a revenue problem.
 Amazing.

Environmental Wrecking Ball Tom Tiffany wants Taxpayers to buy Logging Rail Cars for Timber Industry!

After cutting public funding to the state parks and reducing DNR staff to save taxpayer money, Sen. Tom Tiffany wants to give taxpayer money away in the form of a grant to the private timber industry. And don't even get me going about Democrat Janet "what was she thinking" Brewley's sell out, giving Tiffany cover.

So much for the big talk about the free market, smaller government, not picking winners and losers, and opposing corporate welfare like at the EXIM Bank.

This is big government, Republican style. You gotta wonder why Wisconsinites even vote anymore, since they're getting anything in return. Maybe voting, which like labor laws, civil service exams, public schools and university's, is also just a relic of the past.
A bipartisan bill would allow public money to be used for manufacturing rail cars to ship wood. The bill requires the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to award a $4.8 million grant to the Northwoods Rail Transit Commission from the state's Freight Rail Infrastructure Improvement Program, which provides loans to private companies to improve transportation efficiency and connections to the national railroad system. The money would be used by the transit commission to purchase the log cars.

Sens. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, and Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, introduced the measure. Bewley said that currently, there's a shortage of cars that needs to be addressed. "The railroads are devoting most of their cars over to sand, and we need to come up with the cars we need to haul wood products."
And while we've given up the state parks, we are now the proud owners of rail cars:
(Brewley) said the cars would be publicly owned and available for use by any railroad.
And the rugged timber industry, plugging away in the free market paradise created by Scott Walker, can't wait to stuff their pockets with taxpayer cash:
Northwoods Rail Transit Commission Chairwoman Wendy Gehlhoff said they’ve been applying for a federal grant and state money to fund construction of 40 to 50 new log cars. She said many log cars currently in use are set to reach the end of their life expectancy. "In the next few years, we stand to lose more than half of the log cars that are out there," she said.
And while taxpayer freely lend out rail cars, maintaining them along the way as well, you won't be surprised by this last insult by private industry...Canadian at that:
Canadian National operates rail lines in northern Wisconsin that traditionally carried logging freight and were once owned by Wisconsin Central Limited. Gehlhoff said CN isn't investing much in new cars because it’s not profitable for them to haul wood.
...so they can just go to the taxpayers? Well isn't that a great business model.

Walker a walking parody....

The USA Today drew this obvious conclusion...


...but....
but... He told Milwaukee radio host Charlie Sykes, “Instead of doing what a lot of candidates do and sit back and whine about this, that or whatever, to me, I accept it for what it is. It is what it is.”

but... “They claim that they want substance, they claim that they don’t like fighting and yet that’s exactly what they put on air.”

but...“The Republican debate the last go-round, it was a little bit like watching a Jerry Springer Show. They are much more interested in the personality battles.”

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Shocker!!! Democrats fight Campus Carry with No Guns on Campus bill. Mass shootings not about mental health, it's about Anger.

This is what I think every Democratic voter has been waiting for for years, taking it to Republicans, putting on an offensive that clearly defines where their party stands.
A bill circulated by three Madison Democrats in the state Assembly— Chris Taylor, Terese Berceau, Melissa Sargent, would make carrying a dangerous weapon on public college campuses a felony.

The "college campus dangerous weapon ban" bill proposed Wednesday by three Madison Democrats — Rep. Chris Taylor, Rep. Melissa Sargent and Rep. Terese Berceau — would make carrying a dangerous weapon on campus a Class I felony. It would codify existing Administrative Code provisions and practices of public and private colleges and universities in state statute. 
There is a clear choice. As a parent with a son heading off to Madison in a couple of years, there's no way I want him in a class filled with firearms...even one. Because it's not really about mental illness. Wouldn't you know it, Republicans have us chasing down another rabbit hole to nowhere.  

The real problem is out of control anger, or "Intermittent explosive disorder" (IED). 

That's why Democratic legislators are pushing to reinstate the 48 hour cooling off period.  WISC/WKOW:
Families of victims of gun violence argued that repealing the waiting period should not have been about the time it takes to do a background check, which is what Republican authors argued earlier in the year. The groups said a "cooling-off period" was needed, especially in cases of suicide.

Violence is not a product of mental illness. Nor is violence generally the action of ordinary, stable individuals who suddenly “break” and commit crimes of passion. Violent crimes are committed by violent people, those who do not have the skills to manage their anger. Most homicides are committed by people with a history of violence. Murderers are rarely ordinary, law-abiding citizens, and they are also rarely mentally ill. Violence is a product of compromised anger management skills. 

In a summary of studies on murder and prior record of violence, Don Kates and Gary Mauser found that 80 to 90 percent of murderers had prior police records, in contrast to 15 percent of American adults overall. In a study of domestic murderers, 46 percent of the perpetrators had had a restraining order against them at some time. Family murders are preceded by prior domestic violence more than 90 percent of the time. Violent crimes are committed by people who lack the skills to modulate anger, express it constructively, and move beyond it. 

The one relevant diagnosis is intermittent explosive disorder, a disorder of anger management. Violent crimes committed by people with severe mental illnesses get a lot of attention, but such attacks are relatively rare. Paolo del Vecchio of the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has said, “Violence by those with mental illness is so small that even if you could somehow cure it all, 95 percent of violent crime would still exist” ... with significant encouragement from the gun lobby, the public has begun to seize on the wrong explanation for tragic, violent events. They focus not on the IED-diagnosed patients but on those with other diagnoses, schizophrenia in particular, ignoring the fact that what the perpetrators have in common in every single one of these cases is a loss of control of their anger. No effort is being made to address the much broader cultural problem of anger management. This broader problem encompasses not just mass murders but violence toward children and spouses, rape, road rage, assault, and violent robberies. We are a culture awash in anger. Uncontrolled anger has become our No. 1 mental health issue. We have sought scapegoats in minority cultures, racial groups, and now the mentally ill. 
 The "college campus dangerous weapon ban" bill is similar to laws in 9 other states. While Republicans have taken the hopeless position that "there's nothing anybody can do, good luck," Democrats are trying to solve a problem no other industrialized country has. jsonline: 
(It's) in response to one proposed earlier this week by Rep. Jesse Kremer (R-Kewaskum) says current law is not stopping those who want to cause mayhem from doing so on and around campus.

The co-sponsorship memo the three Democrats sent to lawmakers Wednesday referred to a recent Stanford study that concluded more guns lead to higher rates of aggravated assault, robbery, rape and murder. Having a firearm present in a domestic violence situation also increases a woman's risk of dying by homicide by 500%, the memo said.

News outlets roll over again; let Walker off the hook with Bradley appointment to Supreme Court.

It didn’t take long for Wisconsin media to act oblivious to Scott Walker’s outrageous partisan behavior again. Remember, the only reason this guy is governor is because news outlets kept letting Walker off the hook for every obvious blunder, bad policy decision and flat out failure since he was County Executive. Criticism is “liberal.”

In the case of appointing Judge Rebecca Bradley to the Supreme Court bench, red flags and jaws should have dropped, and accusations of cronyism should have been flying, knowing what Walker had done for Bradley career in the past.

In fact, Bradley would have not much of a career if it wasn’t for Walker:
Walker appointed Bradley to the District 1 Court of Appeals in Milwaukee in May. Before her stint as an appeals judge, Bradley spent three years on the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, after Walker put her on that court in 2012.
Really? 3 jobs, 3 Walker appointments, and no one thinks that's odd? So the media didn’t feel duped again when Walker pretended to “consider” other candidates?

The final insult was this additional media quick mention, and pass. WKOW:

AP: Rebecca Bradley's campaign for Wisconsin Supreme Court reserved the website domain name "justicerebeccabradley.com" the day before applications were due for an appointment to the state's highest court she eventually received.
Nothing? Which leaves the truth about Walker’s actions up to the “left,” allowing right wingers to discount out of hand this troubling expansion:
One Wisconsin Now, says reserving the website name that early is "further proof the fix was in from the start."

Melissa Mulliken, campaign manager for Appeals Judge JoAnne Kloppenburg, said, “It gives the appearance of the kind of cronyism that has defined Scott Walker’s administration.”

Claude Covelli, a Madison attorney who sought the appointment but lost out to Bradley, said it appears that Walker may have instigated a “sham application process.”

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Taxpayers pay for Walker's GTAC mining debacle.

After losing $50 million ditching high speed rail because Scott Walker didn't want to pay around $80.000 a year in train/track maintenance, not to mention the jobs and economic development that would have jacked up state revenues, add iron ore mining to the list of taxpayer waste. WPR:
State Reimburses Communities For Scrapped GTAC Mine: Iron, Ashland Counties, Towns Of Morse And Anderson Splitting $200,000.
Despite all the warnings; the iron ore market was slowing dramatically, bad location, to big a project and too much waste, the Walker administration couldn't wait to tear up environmental standards. GTAC was their ticket to rape the countryside.

I'm betting the $200,000 price tag for taxpayers was worth weakening environmental law:
Northern Wisconsin communities surrounding a site where mining company Gogebic Taconite scrapped plans for an iron mine this year are being reimbursed by the state.
Still, Republican voters are feeling pretty good about their $1 savings in property taxes.

The comments section's response nailed it....

Monday, October 12, 2015

University of Texas students open carry DILDO'S to protest new campus concealed carry law.

September 11th triggered a weird reaction in the American psyche. The insatiable need to protect ourselves with guns. 

But there's a new movement rising up...
Next August, Texans will be allowed to carry concealed weapons on public university campuses. In the wake of a spate of shootings on campus, a new group is planning a unique protest … planning to strap on sex toys in protest of the state’s new campus carry law, which goes into effect August 1, 2016.
Note: In Wisconsin Republicans have gone even further, with a bill called "Campus Carry," and it should make any parent sending their kid to the Badger state shudder; CC students will be able to carry a gun in class.

Apparently University of Texas students don't like the idea:
Ammoland: The 24-year-old UT alumna added, “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO. Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters, but much safer for recreational play.”

The organizer, Jessica Jin, wrote. The protest organizer, Jessica Jin, said, “You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis." Jin urges any and everyone to join the cause, "Come one dildo, come all dildos."
Gun rights trolls have been leaving their comments on the "Campus (DILDO) Carry" Facebook page, proving once and for all their amazing maturity. Daily Beast:
Facebook page, do little to quell Claudia Garate, 27, a graduate student at UT Austin’s fears about the law.

“The arguments that are pro-gun carrying...so many are centered around hate, misogyny, and racism. It’s a lot of hate from these people trying to defend this law, and that’s the scariest part. Because on one hand, they say they want to defend people and are obsessed with this idea of being a vigilante. [On the other], the young woman who organized this is receiving death threats.”

Indeed, the sex-toy brigade’s social media has been inundated with abuse. “I’m guessing that the organizer of this event is a huge slut. Should be funny to watch!” wrote Ron Cox, a Facebook commenter from Mississippi.

“I'm going to post all of your pictures on Facebook so your fathers can see how their daughters act at a liberal college,” a Texan named C.W. Cooper wrote.

“Skanks all of them,” a commenter named A.J. Hands wrote. “I think the guys should all walk around with rubber boobs on and crying everywhere, no problems with that huh ladies?”

Garate told The Daily Beast her pals are already talking about buying of burnt orange dildos in support of the campus’s colors. “It’s really telling about our society and the way we glorify violence but then vilify sex and sexuality. How can you be outraged about the idea of people carrying dildos, but not all the people getting gunned down and the violence we see day in and day out? I thought [the protest] was a pretty brilliant move.”

State Republicans want Campus Carry weeks after the Oregon Community College Shooting.

s this really Wisconsin anymore, or just a backwater state of thugs? Will travelers be afraid to even drive through America’s Dairyland paradise? Correction, make that “Carryland” paradise.

I swear, if “Stand with Walker” voters don’t react to this, it’s all over. WSJ:
Campus Carry: GOP lawmakers want to allow concealed weapons in public college buildings: Analysis by the Legislative Reference Bureau This bill exempts any college or university in the University of Wisconsin System and any technical college from the law that allows a university or college to prohibit a person from carrying a firearm in any building on its grounds if the person holds a license to carry a concealed weapon.
You won’t even believe this mind numbing and irresponsible inclusion:
This bill also repeals the provision in the administrative code in which the University of Wisconsin System generally prohibits persons from carrying, possessing, or using any dangerous weapon on university lands or in university buildings or facilities.
Seriously? It's a WTF right wing moment of shear hostility.
The bill … comes less than two weeks after a gunman killed nine people at an Oregon community college.

This same GOP action is taking place in Texas, and students are holding a "Cocks not Glocks" protest, carrying dildos to class. (I'm posting this soon.)

Blame the same guy trying to vilify and keep transgender kids out of restrooms in our schools; State Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum. Along for the ride, state Sen. Devin LeMahieu, R-Oostburg.

Elections have consequences, agreed, but I don't believe anyone expected this:
Kremer (said) that allowing students and others to carry weapons would be a "deterrent" to crime on and around campuses.
Summing it up....
Several UW-Madison professors weighed in against the proposal on Twitter Monday. Professor Don Moynihan said, "(It's) hard to think of a policy that would make me feel less safe at work."
The worst way to respond to this outlandish idea? God this is so disappointing and so typical of the Democratic Party:
State Rep. Melissa Sargent, D-Madison, whose district includes the Truax Campus of Madison Area Technical College: “I don’t see how this adds to the safety on campus,” she said. “Having folks walk around with concealed carry doesn’t make me feel safer.”