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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Can we finally call Trump's "crazy talk," crazy talk.

I finally found someone that clearly stated what I've been trying to say for years; crazy talk is not, and should never be, any part of a serious debate. And yet, that's what we're now doing.

Saying it much better than I just did, here's New York Times columnist Anand Giridharadas, responding to a video clip showing Trump joking about not killing journalists like Putin:


"Just hold on...just think about what we just saw. Insanity, it's just insanity. And everyday it becomes a little more normal to all of us, and so we're just kind of...we keep meeting it half way, and we're...it's insanity we just saw...and everybody is now on the internet quoting this poem 'First they came,'  right, first it's the Mexicans, now it's the Muslims, now it's just journalists. And he's kind of a presidential front runner joking about executing journalists.   Um, but think the question is what is it about our system that provides no checks on the rise of someone like this. And what's it about everybody else, that's not allowing them to tap into the same anger in a constructive way?"
And on the absurd idea that as Americans, we're being asked to seriously give up some of our rights:
"You watch the Democratic debate, the number of questions that were essentially versions of "but which freedoms to we have to give up, which freedoms to we need to give up? Trump set that agenda and now the debate moderators...it's in this weird kind of psycho-drama where we all end up negotiating with Trump. And so the Democratic debate moderators are saying, 'okay, we're accepting the premise that freedom must be curtailed'...when did we accept that premise?...'and now it's a question of which ones.'" 

Republican wants Gun owners to clean up society of Scum Bags, boycott businesses that deny 2nd Amendment remedies.

One Republican let it all hang out, telling the public just what the Republican mindset is behind the lax, almost nonexistent guns laws in Wisconsin. And it's scary!

Quick story: I remember my conservative gun toting friend in Milwaukee telling me how he often
mistakenly goes into gun free zones with his firearm. It doesn't occure to him that that makes him an irresponsible gun owner. He even carried a gun before it was legal to do so, which made him not just irresponsible, but a criminal. Ask you're responsible gun toting friend if they did the same thing. I'll bet they did.

Reacting to a recent East Towne Mall shooting in Madison between a couple of disputing "responsible" gun owners (until they're not), Rep. Bob Gannon, R-Slinger, made it clear yet again that if you didn’t carry a gun, you're asking for it, especially in a gun free zone. It's Bizarro World, opposite day is everyday thinking. 

This should be a national story. It blows the lid off the gun lunacy sweeping the nation. WISC:
"The universal symbol that is now referred to as a 'target rich environment.' Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scum bags. A gang banger in the mall with a gun is going to think twice if there could be a law abiding CCW holder standing behind them fully prepared to shoot center mass, as this is how you’re trained to eliminate the threat these creeps pose to you, your family, and all law abiding citizens unwillingly dragged into their public crime spree."
“Criminals no longer have any fear of our courts or our prisons, so it’s time that the citizens of this fine state stand up and fight back … I refuse to spend my money at any business that believes my Second Amendment rights have to be left in my car.” 
WPR came up with this audio quote:
Gannon: "If one in twenty at that mall had the ability to drop the creep, it would sure bring it to a close in a hurry. I refer to that as self defense. If it happens to terminate the bad guy, too bad, so sad-dy." 


The Democratic response came from Rep. Chris Taylor:
"The incident at East Towne Mall was scary, but the answer is not to add more people with guns to the mix, and certainly not to call for private citizens to ‘shoot center mass.   Representative Gannon is living in a James Bond dream world. If more guns made us safer, we would be the safest country in the world." 

Taylor cites a Stanford University study that links conceal carry laws to an increase in violent crime.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Tea Party Republicans take aim at Paul Ryan.

As much as I hated big parts of the omnibus budget plan, the fact that it got a lot of things out of the way during an election year is a good thing; it's pissing off conservatives nationwide. Yup, Tea Party Republicans might end up doing what Democratic challengers in Wisconsin haven't been able to do; defeat Ryan. 

Like this...
All patriot’s should contact your groups leaders and begin organizing nationwide to put down this RINO in order that he is not re-elected to his seat in Wisconsin. The Badger State patriots need to begin soliciting your State Senators, high-profile business leaders or the State Legislators who reside within the 1st District of Wisconsin.

Apparently nobody in the 1st District has announced any intention of forcing Ryan into a primary, but it is time to locate someone willing to do this who might actually have a chance (with enough grassroots support) at defeating our newest RINO-Speaker. America doesn’t need another John Boehner but that is apparently what we now have as Speaker of the House.
Here's hoping this catches fire:
facebook page was set up to primary Paul Ryan from Congress.

The page already has 4,335 likes.

There is also a Fire Paul Ryan webpage set up online.

And now this…On Friday the Wisconsin Tea Party declared war on Ryan.

Abandoned Rural Voters waiting for Democrats!

Blue Jean Nation's Mike McCabe should be the first stop for every wayward Democrat who still can't answer a question yes or no; who still muddies up and stumbles around the easiest solutions; and still can't find it in their hearts to outright oppose any part of the Republicans agenda. I personally flame on when I hear them beg to be included, promising to give up every value they hold dear just to be a part of the process. Weakened, bruised and battered...how has that worked out?

McCabe's focus is on disenfranchised rural voters, farm communities I've written about ad-nauseam. My growing list of stories, ignored by the party, can be found here. Republicans have all but abandoned them, instituting hard line policies that are killing local control, their schools, roads, and polluting their wells. 

The thing is, Democrats have been on the farmers side for years. And McCabe's advice and consultation is free, so take it. Audio from WPR's Central Time. 

1. Restore home rule. Republicans used to be for local control, now they are controlling the locals. If local communities want to put rules in place to protect their air and water and landscape from sand mining or put limits on high-capacity wells or manure spreading by large-scale animal feedlots, let ’em. Give ’em back control over their schools, their local zoning, their taxation. Let ’em manage their affairs.

2. Keep rural schools open. A local school is a rural community’s bedrock, even to a greater degree than in urban or suburban areas. The rural school is a hub of community activity. Everyone goes to the school play or the high school football game. School district consolidation and school closings have hit many rural communities with the force of a bomb. Anyone who cares about the vitality of rural communities knows that extreme measures need to be taken to keep rural districts viable and their community schools operating.

3. Rethink bypass-happy highway planning. Most every major highway project done any time in recent or distant memory that reaches out into rural areas has featured bypasses of small towns. Think about the impact this has on those communities. Their family-owned cafes and coffee shops and restaurants close. Their main streets die. Shaving a few minutes off your or my travel time can be a death sentence for a small town.  

4. Universal access to high-speed Internet and mobile phone service. Look at a map showing which parts of the U.S. have access to broadband. The urban centers do and the rural areas don’t. The telecommunications industry and its apologists in public office often are heard saying that programs are in place to address this disparity. But the fact remains that in 2015 over half of all rural Americans lack access to high-speed Internet. How can you start a business and compete in today’s economy without access to these services? High-speed Internet and mobile voice are to the 21st Century what telephones were in the 20th, namely essential communications technologies. Essential technologies that remain out of the reach of most rural people.
The last point has more to do with offering free college tuition to all, without regards to income:
5. Stop means testing. Many rural voters oppose programs to help what they regard as the “undeserving” poor is an incredibly important point for Democrats to ponder. For decades now the Democrats have ignored the political law of universality: That the most widely supported and successful government programs are ones where everyone pays and everyone benefits … the party had a big hand in creating things that tangibly benefited everyone … like Social Security and Medicare, rural electrification, the GI Bill and the interstate highway system. Today’s Democrats seem to want to means test everything and target assistance to particular constituencies, which makes their programs highly vulnerable to the divide-and-conquer tactics of the Republicans.

Doing these five things would be enormously helpful to rural areas. But today’s GOP won’t do any of them. They won’t do the first four because today’s breed of Republican is philosophically at odds with the measures required to accomplish those aims. In fact, they are moving in the exact opposite direction. And they won’t do the fifth because it is politically advantageous for them to be able to pit the poor against the nearly-poor. If these five steps are to be taken, it’ll be the Democrats taking them. If enough of them wake up to the need . . . and the opportunity.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Republicans love it: Dark Money now controls Government!

There’s a chance Republicans might be securing themselves a permanent majority party, both statewide and national.   

Despite having no unified plan to solve societal problems, Republicans are focused like a laser on being in power forever. They're so sure of themselves that they’re not even worried that someday those the same laws could be used against them by Democrats.

The Dark Money Party: It’s hard to believe anyone would support secret donors pushing completely secret agendas (with the eventual elimination of open records laws), but that's what's happening. Scott Walker just signed into law coordination between campaigns and special interest groups running supposed “issue ads.” Any grownup know those ads are meant to influence elections, but for some reason we can’t honestly and legally say so. AP.
New laws are removing limits on the use and reporting of "dark money" from secret sources. The laws enable coordination between political campaigns and advocacy organizations, something almost all other states forbid.
Common sense tells you something is wrong here.
Jay Heck, executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin, was among those who lobbied against loosening the rules.
"If you legalize the coordination, why would you give $20,000 to Walker when you could give $20,000 to an issue ad group and not have your name disclosed — or you could give an unlimited amount to that same group? It would be stupid to have your name out there if you could do it secretly."
Paul Ryan just Greased the skids to a Corrupt Dark Money free-for-all: It's funny how Walker's latest move fits in with the following jaw dropping addition to the just passed federal omnibus budget deal. Playing off the phony IRS attack on what was an avalanche of tea party groups seeking tax exempt status to influence elections, Ryan slipped this one in. Huffington Post:
A provision buried on page 472 (prevents) the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) from taking any action to reign in the political activity of 501(c)4 organizations. These organizations weren't originally supposed to engage in political activity at all. In recent years, however, they've become a favorite of anyone who wants to buy political influence without attracting attention. Since there's no legal requirement that 501(c)4 organizations disclose their donors, anyone can use them as a vehicle to pour unlimited money into our political system.

As former Republican Federal Election Commissioner Trevor Potter has pointed out, even foreign nationals and governments could use 501(c)4s to quietly influence U.S. policy.

Let that sink in folks: Rather than allow the IRS to prevent the abuse of tax-exempt nonprofit status for purely political purposes by both parties, Congress has specifically banned the agency from taking any kind of action -- even at the risk of allowing secret foreign money to poison our elections.
This has Paul Ryan's finger prints all over it. He's got a proven track record of radical bills that would scare the living crap out of voters. Take a look at the list HERE. Add to the proliferation of dark money groups this gem...
On a similar note, another provision tucked away on page 1,982 prohibits the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from requiring corporations to disclose their political spending.

This is especially outrageous because disclosure is one of the least controversial and most basic steps toward reform the government can take. As noted by the LA Times' Michael Hiltzik, even the Supreme Court made a point of emphasizing the need for disclosure in its widely reviled Citizens United ruling:
Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority:"With the advent of the Internet ... prompt disclosure of expenditures can provide shareholders and citizens with the information needed to hold corporations and elected officials accountable for their positions and supporters ... determine whether their corporation's political speech advances the corporation's interest in making profits, and citizens can see whether elected officials are 'in the pocket' of so-called moneyed interests."