Thursday, July 31, 2014

On the supposed IRS Scandal, tell us something we already didn't know about right wing "crazies" and "ass**les!"

While Republicans call Democrats traitors, liars, major league assholes, commies etc...the IRS's Lois Lerner is getting flak now for being completely honest about the scam artists seeking tax exempt status. She called some conservatives crazy, and others assholes, in context. I would have applied that more broadly. What an outrage? If you just listened to Rep. Dave Camp, it sounds pretty bad:
jsonline: Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released the emails Wednesday as part of his committee's investigation and said the emails show Lerner's "disgust with conservatives." In one email, Lerner called some conservatives crazies. In the other, she called them "assholes." The committee redacted the wording to "—holes" in the material that it released publicly, but a committee spokeswoman confirmed to The Associated Press that the email said "assholes."
Wow, AP confirmed the word "assholes." What a scoop.

But Lerner didn't just start ranting about right wing "crazies" and "assholes," she was responding to comments made to her. Here's the context and sound reasoning behind her honest statement about the right wing loons, which Camp thinks is perfectly normal:
Lerner tells the person that she overheard some women say America was bankrupt and "going down the tubes." 
"Well, you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP," replied the person, whose name was blacked out by Camp's office. "The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to."

Lerner replies: "Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many assholes."

The other person replies: "And I'm talking about the hosts of the shows. The callers are rabid."

Lerner says: "So we don't need to worry about alien teRrorists. It's our own crazies that will take us down."
"This email shows that Ms. Lerner's mistreatment of conservative groups was driven by her personal hostility toward conservatives," Camp said in the letter to Holder.
Victims again? After all, we all know sane it is to claim, "The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to." 

Activist Conservative Supreme Court Votes to advance GOP takeover of State on Domestic Partnership, Voter ID and Act 10.

It should come as no surprise that the state’s Supreme Court has a conservative activist bent to it. 

That’s why so many constitutional challenges have been made by Republicans, they can now get away with anything. Even worse, conservative voters can now simply point to “THE SUPREME COURT” as proof they've been right all along without thinking about the consequences. And anything that makes Scott Walker look like a constitutional scholar, well that’s just icing on the cake, and a little on the surreal side:
1. VOTER ID: A divided state Supreme Court,  4-3, ruled Wisconsin's voter ID law is in keeping with the state constitution, but tweaked a provision of the measure so people could get identification cards without having to pay anything. But to put the requirement in place, they must also overcome the federal litigation. (Preventing the mythical voter fraud problem and instilling the public with confidence in the voting system swayed the conservative activist justices.)

In both cases, the court found the law passed muster with the Wisconsin Constitution.

2. DOMESTIC PARTNERSHIP: The Wisconsin Supreme Court Thursday upheld a 2009 law providing limited benefits to gay and lesbian couples. (There was no opposition to upholding the law as passed.)

3. ACT 10: The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld, 5-2, Justice N. Patrick Crooks concurred but wrote separately, upheld Gov. Scott Walker's signature labor legislation Thursday in just one of the three major rulings issued by the court on union bargaining.
Despite some support by the more liberal justices, the real problem lies in the automatic conservative vote by the four activist justices. Any surprise not one bolted from the pack? 

State Senator Joe Leibham R-Sheboygan, author of Wisconsin’s voter ID law came right out and admitted to the courts conservative activism:
"I have stood strong against watering down this law and kept faith that this law can be upheld constitutional once we get it away from liberal activist judges.”
Gulp! Pushing aside reality, it's also a belief in, and a fear of fraud that made this outrageous decision possible. With all the talk about fraud, who are the ones "breeding distrust of our government?"
Bloomberg: The appeals court found “there was no evidence of ‘recent’ voter impersonation fraud in Wisconsin,” Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Drake Roggensack wrote for the majority. “That finding cannot overcome the state’s interest in preventing voter fraud.”

“Voters who fear the legitimate ballots will be outweighed by fraudulent ones will feel disenfranchised,” Drake Roggensack said. “Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government,” the judge wrote.
Additionally, here's an explanation for the still confusing 4-3, 5-2 vote on Voter ID:
The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled in two cases, upholding the voter ID law 4-3 in one case and 5-2 in the other. In one of those cases, the court found what it called a "saving construction" of the law to keep it from being unconstitutional — a construction that would require the state to guarantee voters do not have to pay any government fees to get a state-issued ID card.

In dissent in both cases, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson wrote that the court shouldn't be interpreting regulations that aren't before it. Because the burden on voters is severe, she said, and the state has not shown a compelling interest served by requiring photo ID, the voter ID law should be struck down as unconstitutional. "Today the court follows not James Madison — for whom Wisconsin's capital city is named —but rather Jim Crow — the name typically used to refer to repressive laws used to restrict rights, including the right to vote, of African-Americans," Abrahamson wrote for the dissenters in the second case.
Bottom Line: The point is, before Voter ID, we were required to present some form of identification from a long list of proofs, like a billing address on an envelope. But any ID would work. In this case, forget all that stuff, you MUST have a photo ID. That's an additional standard, as Justice Abrahamson pointed out in her dissent:
I apply the principles of the Wisconsin voting rights cases to the instant case and conclude that the League of Women Voters and the circuit court are correct: Act 23 unconstitutionally adds a qualification to the right to vote.

¶91 If a qualified voter fails to produce an Act 23 photo ID, Act 23 bars that person from voting even though that voter meets all the qualifications enumerated in the Wisconsin Constitution and meets all the statutory voter registration requirements. Thus Act 23 deprives qualified, registered Wisconsin voters of the right to vote, based solely on their failure to meet a legislatively established precondition to voting. Such deprivation amounts to an impermissible legislative amendment of the Wisconsin Constitution to add a voter qualification.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taxpayers can't see Sheriff Clarke's Official Calender, "The Sheriff's schedule is a personal document." Amazing.

GOP politicians might want to take note of Sheriff David Clarke’s sneaky way around public accountability. It doesn't sound legal, but then, pushing the constitutional limits on what Republicans can or cannot do is standard operating procedure.  

All you have to do is keep a “personal calendar,” not an official office calendar. That pretty much takes care of that, doesn't it.

You're right to know where your tax dollars are going have its limits. So whatever wacky Sheriff Clarke wants to do, he can.
jsonline-Dan Bice: If you want to know where Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. was the week of the Sikh temple shooting in August 2012, don't try to find out from his official calendar. The liberal group One Wisconsin Now requested that document recently, but what it got in return contained little information. Eighteen of the 22 events on the calendar for that week had been redacted.

"The Sheriff's schedule is a personal document . . . prepared by him, for his convenience, or by his executive assistant," Inspector Edward Bailey wrote on July 23. "It is not a document disseminated through the Office of the Sheriff." By comparison, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn has released his complete calendar to No Quarter in the past.
The smoke and mirrors answer by a Clarke representative tries to shift attention away from the public’s right to know the schedule of their elected officials:
Chris Haworth, a Clarke campaign adviser, accused One Wisconsin Now of exploiting the mass shooting for political purposes. "These are silly games that partisan political hacks engage in at election time," Haworth said.
But why wasn't Sheriff Clarke around during the Sikh Temple shooting? That question has not been answered. Any answer at this point would be insufficient, given the secrecy and intentional delaying tactic by Clarke:
In July, Clarke's staff told reporters that the sheriff was at "homeland security training" in California when Deputy Sergio Aleman was killed in a two-vehicle crash on I-43. The publicity-seeking sheriff was also not a presence during the day of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Oak Creek in August. "I don’t remember seeing him, but couldn’t say for sure (Clarke was absent)," Oak Creek Mayor Stephen Scaffidi told No Quarter via email. "I know Sheriff’s office had a huge presence that day, though."

President Romney...I mean President Obama brings U.S. Economy Back!!!

On the heels of one poll claiming Obama was our worst president ever, and another saying Romney would win in a landslide if the election were held today, the U.S. economy has never looked better since the Great Recession.

Funny isn't it; if Romney were president, all of the successes below would be attributed to him and the confidence businesses had in his policies. This just proves how well the GOP's concentrated attack on Obama has been. Tell me now how big money doesn't influence politics. Bloomberg News:
Economy in U.S. Grows More Than Forecast: “The economy is looking pretty darned good,” said Stuart Hoffman, chief economist at PNC Financial Services Group Inc. in Pittsburgh.

Payrolls Rise: Companies added 218,000 workers to payrolls in July, exceeding the average for the year and showing improving demand is bolstering the job market, a private report showed today.

Business Investment: Corporate spending increased at a 5.9 percent annualized rate after being little changed in the first quarter, contributing 0.9 percentage point to growth … so-called final sales to domestic purchasers climbed at a 2.8 percent rate, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2011.
And the reason for the above successes? Don't point to the mythical CEO “job creators.” It was consumer DEMAND:
The increase in household consumption, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy, exceeded the 1.9 percent median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg and followed a 1.2 percent advance in the first three months of 2014.

Purchases of durable goods, including autos, furniture and appliances and recreational vehicles, jumped at a 14 percent annualized rate, the most since the third quarter of 2009, when the recovery began.

Walker's Tea Party attacks on Common Core gets Big "F" from Educators, general public.

With no alternative proposal waiting in the wings to replace Common Core, and not one suggestion about how they would make education uniquely Wisconsin, big government Republicans in Madison want to toss Common Core right out the window. It's big talk to the little minds in the tiny tea party base. 

Now even officials in a few conservative area's of the state are complaining:
AP: Officials in Janesville, Milton, Clinton and other districts say they oppose Gov. Scott Walker's recent call to abandon Common Core curriculum standards because doing so would cost them time and money. School officials in say they have invested time and money in creating curriculum based on Common Core, and abandoning it will be costly … spent an estimated $25 million on Common Core development.

Elkhorn School District administrator Jason Tadlock agreed: "By having a common set of general bench marks, such as Common Core, districts can leverage our efforts and resources by working with schools across the nation with an assurance that we are working toward similar levels of rigor." He said it was difficult to share resources and gauge progress before Common Core was adopted.

"I wish politicians would stay out of our way and let us do our job," Clinton Superintendent Randy Refsland said. "Politicians have enough of their own important issues they need to address."
The Cap Times may be liberal, but even they would have tried to create the image of balance in a recent question they asked about Common Core. Oddly, there wasn't one "man on the street" dissent.

Note: We should no longer tolerate listening to anyone claiming CC is a government takeover or that it's a curriculum, because it's neither. Even more moronic is the idea we should toss Common Core because so many people don't understand it. That's an answer? Just check out the comments section, and you'll see what I mean:

Walker admits attack on Burke's supposed outsourcing is his way of "trying to have it about anything other than his record."

From the Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice, the Washington Post's Dan Balz, and now the State Journal’s Jessie Opoien, it’s important to point out how Scott Walker is covering up his own bad four year record with his all-out attack on Mary Burke. She supposedly outsourced jobs at Trek, even though she wasn’t there when Trek made that decision. By Walker’s own admission, he is intentionally trying to distract and cover-up his record.

Walker’s recent ad states: "Mary Burke: Job creator? Not so much."

Got it. So what's the real reason for bashing outsourcing?
Walker told the WaPo that President Barack Obama's outsourcing-related attacks on Republican candidate Mitt Romney were launched as a distraction from the president's "horrible" record. "The president’s team desperately does not want to run on his record, so they are desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record. He’s got to be forceful about fighting back.”
Political Strategy Clarified: Walker's scheme to attack Burke for "outsourcing jobs" is, in his own words, Walker "desperately trying to have it about anything other than his record."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Walker's WEDC recipient Offshores Workers, then doubles executive pay in 4 years!

Plexus Corporation is now denying they outsourced jobs just a week after receiving lots of cash from Scott Walker and his pay-to-play corporate sugar daddy the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
WKOW: WEDC awarded Plexus Corp. of Neenah with tax credits of up to $2 million in 2011 and up to $15 million in 2012. Plexus has received $4.7 million in tax credits to this point. In July of 2012, Plexus announced it was laying off 116 workers from its Neenah facility.  The U.S. Department of Labor has since ruled those employees, as well as all Plexus employees laid off since December of 2011, are eligible to receive federal Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) benefits. 
WKOW's  Greg Neumann has an updated response from Plexus, and it doesn't match the official record.

Not only that, as Plexus shed 116 workers, CEO Dean Foate saw his compensation go from $2.1 million in 2009, to $4.1 million in 2013. And executive pay more than doubled, from $4.3 million in 2000 to $9.9 million in 2013. I'm assuming upper management didn't miss those 116 laying off workers:

Burke to hammer Walker over breaking his major campaign promise of 250,000 jobs, what he said was his signature duty as governor.

Finally, the Burke Campaign is highlighting Scott Walker's broken promise to create 250,000 jobs. It was a promise that was meant to be outrageously over the top. In the end, it won Walker the governorship. Walker wanted to crush challengers Mayor Tom Barrett and Mark Neumann for offering their own more modest jobs predictions. So far, a disappointing 100,300 jobs have been added to the private sector. What happened to all those CEO "job creator" promises?

Here's Mary Burke's latest ad, and one she can use up to the November election:

Mike Gousha: "Is this a campaign promise? Something you want to be held too?

Walker: "Absolutely."
92.1 the Mic's Devil's Advocates radio show used the above interview with Upfront's Mike Gousha to disprove once and for all the going right wing lie that Walker never really "promised" to create 250,000 jobs, it was just a goal. How easy was that?

I found a couple of other short clips that should remind "stand with Walker" drones how this guy shifts the blame for his own political failures, as governor and county executive. You'll notice he wasn't disputing the job loss numbers yet. And Mike Gousha didn't let Walker off the hook for his lack of job creation in Milwaukee county. Walker's answer by the way, was no answer. From NEWSMAX and Upfront:

Which brings me to the following compilation of comments at Walker's Facebook page. It's another word salad salute from the drooling "stand with Walker" trolls, who don't really care about deficits or jobs (I sadly took the time to copy and paste them here):
I don't listen to Mary Burke. Just biding my time, waiting for November. When I will vote for you again. For the third time. FORWARD. ... Good job. Now let's win this Election. An island in a sea of liberal insanity.  I stand with Walker!!! ... i stand with Scott Walker  Scott Walker has done more for, than against Wisconsin any given day and that is a fact! We are FOR Scott Walker. ... Keep up the GREAT work LOVE that you are so accessable to the people. Walker all the way!!!! ... Why can't I ever randomly run into Governor Walker?!?! He is the best thing to happen to Wisconsin!!!!! ... I personally am very grateful! you are doing a great job !! ... keep up the good work. Because Scott, people like you threatened to kill him and his entire family. Oh how you liberals forget ... Beautiful day in Wisconsin, for a Harley ride! On Wisconsin we will go" with Scott Walker!! Re-Elect Scott ... Our family loves and respects Governor Walker! The left will never stop lying because that is all they have. It will be another great day when Scott wins for the third time. ... It's governors like you that allowed those businesses to thrive by not taxing them into bankruptcy. ... How in God's Holy name can polls show a tie with Mary Burke. Are people that stupid?  ... Scott Walker's promise to create more jobs has not come to fruition, but he tried his best. Mary Burke's team outright lied! Step up to the plate and reelect Governor Walker! Lets show Mary Burke, Wisconsin has no place for her lies!!  ... I just called Mary Burke's office and was rudely hung up when I asked if she supports the Kenosha casino, and when I call back no one answers. I think we ALL need to call her office and demand answers to issues. ... So are you lefties now not bothered by companies who send jobs overseas? I love how Walker is using the same tactics the left has been using for years and now they feel all butt hurt, hilarious! ... And the Obama administration has helped the American people how? You have to have blinders on because our country under Obama is being destroyed. A little different than when President Bush was in office but I forgot "Blame Bush almost 8 years later" ... This state is moving in the right direction and our Governor is out daily (including weekends) moving us forward!

Walker Ad Math Blunder just another Major Campaign Misstep.

If you've ever wonder why Scott Walker’s chairmanship of the WEDC has been such a massive failure, rife with lost taxpayer loans and mismanagement, look no further than the math he’s using in his new negative ad against Mary Burke.

A forgivable HUD loan Burke initiated to buy land and attract Abbott Labs to Wisconsin is now getting double counted, once in taking the grant, and one more time giving it back to HUD. So if you lend somebody $10, they really owe you $20, according to Walker’s math. That’s just good “fiscal conservatism.” According to the Walker campaign, believe it or not, is:
The do-nothing governors willing dupes! 
That it was fair to count the federal spending as $12 million and then to count any state repayment to the federal government as a separate payment on top of that.
That should make your head hurt. Quoting the ad:
"As Jim Doyle’s Commerce secretary, Mary Burke wasted 12 and a half million dollars on a vacant lot, hoping to lure a company to Wisconsin to create jobs … Mary Burke’s boondoggle could cost taxpayers nearly $25 million." 
It "could" if we used Walker's bad math. I'm getting the distinct idea Walker doesn't really want to talk about his failed jobs record.

WISC's Jessica Arp poked around and found out Walker isn't just lying about the $25 million owed to HUD, but may owe less than the original $12 million- $6 million in cash back, and $6 million in cuts to future grants of $6 million. And local officials are on the hook for some of that.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Walker gets face time, credit for Burke's plan to block WEDC funding for Outsourcing Companies!!! What a Leader?

I guess it's not a good idea until "men" say it is. I'm talking about Mary Burke's call to block WEDC funds from outsourcing companies...which is now a good idea since it got Scott Walker's stamp of approval.

Watch the lazy media falls in line with Walker's ridiculous campaign to define Mary Burke as the outsourcer.

WKOW's news anchor even acknowledged Burke's promise to end WEDC funding for companies that outsource way back when. But that still didn't stop them from giving Walker the final word and camera time. Burke actually told WKOW News last week:
"As Governor, I will insist that every WEDC award protects against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs and companies that don't live up to their end of the deal give back every tax dollar they received."
Here are two examples where Mary Burke supported the change, well before Walker came on board, along with that damning statement from WEDC promising to handout more taxpayer money to make outsourcing companies happy:

The following two newscasts give Burke the media shaft on her own campaign position on outsourcing, with a short mention at the end. First WISC Channel3000:

A spokesman for Burke referred to a statement released when it was reported the WEDC was giving money to companies that outsourced, where Burke said as governor she'd insist every award protected against outsourcing.
WKOW gave massive amounts of news time to Johnny-come-lately Scott Walker, who said, "Probably should have been done a long time ago, but it makes sense now"...because it's an election year, right? Greg Neumann reported even more companies got money while outsourcing:

WISGOP outsources Billboard Picture: Russian "Wisconsin" Miner?

Bumbling WISGOP president Joe Fadness stepped in it again, as only a “stand with Walker” supporter could. This is almost too laughable to believe. jsonline-Jason Silverstein:  
The Wisconsin Republican Party outsourced part of an advertisement against outsourcing jobs: The party bought space on several billboards throughout Wisconsin criticizing Democratic gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke for outsourcing jobs to China … But BuzzFeed reports that this miner is neither Wisconsinite nor Chinese immigrant — the photo is a stock image from Russian photographer Andrey Bortnikov, whose personal page identifies the miner as a current Russian citizen.
Admit it, with incompetence like this, there has to be illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and WISGOP:
A party representative said that the billboard ran for one day, Wednesday, and was removed.
With just the right measure of sarcastic aplomb:
Joe Zepecki, communications director for Burke's campaign, wrote in an email: "If Scott Walker had the same level of concern for Wisconsin workers than he has for Russian coal miners, maybe we wouldn't be dead last in the Midwest, tenth out of ten, in private sector job creation on his watch."
At Uppity Wisconsin, this bit of incredibly bad Walker outsourcing information reared its ugly head:

Doh! Scott Walker now adopts Mary Burke's position to stop WEDC funding to companies that Outsource Overseas.

It was way back on July 9th that Mary Burke made this statement about WEDC funding companies that outsourced jobs overseas: 
Burke calls that practice "appalling". "As Governor, I will insist that every WEDC award protects against the outsourcing of Wisconsin jobs and companies that don't live up to their end of the deal give back every tax dollar they received," said Burke in a statement released to 27 News.
Walker pledges to support Burke's Idea (that never occurred to him as WEDC Chairman): Fast forward to now, July 28, after Scott Walker tried to pin the outsourcing problem on Mary Burke. Walker suddenly behind Mary Burke’s pledge to stop WEDC funding to any company planning to outsource overseas:
Says it Scott, Burke was right!
WKOW; Gov. Scott Walker said he would support a proposal to prevent the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) from making financial awards to companies that outsource Wisconsin jobs. Gov. Walker said he thinks the change makes sense and probably should have been done long ago.
You think? And it took his Democratic challenger Mary Burke to draw the line. Democrats warned Walker that WEDC lacked the rules and regulations to make it function normally and responsibly? Guess who didn't listen? 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Wisconsin Energy Industry wants to kill Solar and Wind power generated by Homeowners.

The Bottom Line: Our current regional energy monopolies need to change their business model from supplying energy via coal, gas and nuclear, to mostly providing the infrastructure to deliver energy.

Like the horse and buggy, technology is about to turn We Energy and MG&E out to pasture, and they don’t like it one bit. Big energy is fighting this in other states as well. In Arizona for example, companies actually wanted to charge customers who installed solar panels $100 more a month. That not only kills the green energy market, but penalizes people for trying to save money.

That brings us to Wisconsin:
jsonline: We Energies has dropped its protest of a move by a solar energy coalition and environmental group to get involved in the upcoming fight over its plan to slash payments to customers who generate their own power. The decision means the hearings will become a showdown on questions that could decide how the market for clean energy unfolds in the years ahead.
That already sounds like an outrageous move from a desperate energy company trying to hold onto the past.
We Energies is proposing big changes … say(ing) the move will be more fair for all of its customers. Like We Energies, Madison Gas & Electric Co. wants to pay less to solar power generating customers, as well as add a significant increase in the fixed charge on all customers' bills.

Those in the solar business disagree. They say the utility wants to limit customers' ability to take advantage of falling prices of equipment to generate solar power.

Earlier this month, We Energies … chastised them for … missing a PSC deadline for getting involved in the case. The groups countered that their tardiness should be excused. They claimed that We Energies didn't float its solar proposal and 75% increase in the monthly fixed charge on customers' bills until after that PSC deadline had passed … a customer generating solar power could see the amount paid by the utility drop by more than 34% in 2016.
Scott Walker and the Republican legislature have made it incredibly difficult for green energy to get started in Wisconsin, since big energy contributors call the shots here. That’s not a partisan statement either. Energy monopolies are killing jobs here:
Companies in the solar business, like SunVest Solar in Pewaukee, say the impact will be to spur more clean-energy development — and job creation — outside the state. SunVest develops solar projects in Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin. "Unfortunately, 90% or more of that work is being done in other states," said SunVest owner Matt Neumann. "We're creating these jobs in other states and our tax credits are getting invested in other states."
One final note. The following comment is a lie, because rate payers have always paid for utility upgrades and improvements alongside their actual energy costs. The idea that a utility didn't get full compensation from a customer for the power grid is insulting.  
We Energies stresses that customers who don't produce their own power are gaining benefits from the power grid that they aren't fully compensating the utility for.