Sunday, July 5, 2015

Vicki McKenna to punish large Bernie Sanders crowd: We should move State Capitol.

93.7's Sly, where you can hear the whole podcast at Slys Office, must have driven off the road when he heard this ridiculous threat on the radio.

Conservative banshee Vicki McKenna had a message for Madison liberals; We will disconnect Madison, the state Capitol and "center of Wisconsin government," as a way to punish the 10,000 liberal voters who turned out to see their presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. How dare they!

As surreal as that might seem, and a blatant violation of the 1st Amendment to boot, getting back at liberals by moving the seat of government is actual talk show fodder. She might say it was just a tongue and cheek comment, but who would get an idea like that in the first place?

Don't forget, Republicans are now going to allow "outside" bids for state office building locations, which could send government off to every corner of the state. They say it gives the boonies a chance to have a say in government and get some of those elitist public jobs too.

More than anything, McKenna demonstrates just how conservatives think; punish and discourage dissenters, belittle protesters, marginalize Democrats, all the while claiming to support the Constitution and our God given freedoms. Happy 4th folks, here's the audio:



Are Republicans this Desperate? Now say Democrats, not GOP, the party of Big Business.

We’re supposed to believe Republicans finally took a stand against big business, and killed off market distorter and money redistributor the Export-Import Bank.

If you aren’t already laughing than you must be a Republican. Global billion dollar businessmen David and Charles Koch were against it…gee, I wonder why, they don’t have their own market shares to protect? You think?


Since the Republicans own the title, “the party of big business,” you have to wonder why they’re doing the old switcheroo, vilifying Democrats for being in the pocket of business.  

The article “On Ex-Im Bank, the Democrats Are the Real Corporate Shills,” blasted Elizabeth Warren for supporting the Export-Import Bank, established in 1934 by FDR during the Great Depression.
But Warren offered the empty, canned defense that Ex-Im “helps create American jobs and spur economic growth,” but the truth is that the bank exists to serve the interests of a powerful few at the expense of the not-so-powerful many she claims to champion.
Of course it does, and Republicans just hate that don’t they?
They (Democrats) argue that it is the interests of small businesses that they are protecting. That could be true, provided you think that businesses with up to 1,500 employees and $21.5 million in revenue qualify are small, as the bank defines them.
Ironic isn’t it. Republicans are now willing to briefly abandon their favorite lie about supporting “small business” (not so small after all) just to say to the Democrats, “I know you are but what am I.”

But the big election year lie about our “big business” Democrats is exposed in with this short paragraph listing some of those big businesses; like green energy, saving the auto industry...etc:
They support the Department of Energy’s 1705 loans, which mostly go to wealthy energy companies (PDF), and they never fail to join Republicans in saving other corporate energy subsidies. They support Obamacare, which among other things amounts to a huge giveaway to the insurance industry. They supported the auto and bank bailouts, and for all their complaints about Wall Street, they passed a law, Dodd-Frank, that in some ways protects the big financial institutions that they claim to despise.
That last sentence is a real whopper, especially flipping the whole reason behind Dodd-Frank and why Wall Street and the GOP oppose it so ferociously.

In another article, pictured on the right, I thought this summed it up well, but in a good way (not as dupes to big business):
Republicans have ceded being the party of fiscal responsibility and the party of national security to Democrats, who have done better on both fronts in modern times. Now it seems they are hell bent on ceding “the party of business” to Democrats as well.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Walker and GOP Heroes? The Assault on Open Records, they passed, suddenly pulled...for now.

Don't be deceived or believe for one moment this issue is off the table, even after reading this headline:
"Scott Walker, legislative leaders drop open records changes" - Wisconsin State Journal
Think about it. The entire repeal/change of the open records law may be scrubbed right now, but for some unknown reason needs to be debated even more. Like there's a nuance in all of this that most of us are missing?
To the rescue...?
In the face of withering criticism, Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican leaders of the Legislature announced Saturday that provisions added to the state budget to slash the state’s open records law “will be removed from the budget in its entirety” … the Legislature will form a Legislative Council committee to study the issue outside of the budget process.
Let's not forget who thought this was a great idea:
Twelve Republican lawmakers on the budget committee approved the omnibus measure Thursday, while all four of the panel's Democratic members opposed it. Republicans refused to say who initiated the measures and the reasoning for it. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald supported the changes. GOP Rep. Dean Knudson of Hudson said the changes clarify what is a record for lawmakers and would “make it easier for us all to stay on the right side (of the laws).”
The picture to the right is just a sample of the reaction most people had. But I thought the following comment in the Lakeland Times editorial "Our View: The Wisconsin Republican Party: Corruption, cronyism, and sleaze," was priceless:
"For those who live in a cave — and we all will be if the Republicans get their way — the majority members of the Joint Finance Committee voted for a surprise motion Thursday night...."
Here's WPT's Here and Now with reporter Shawn Johnson playing back a few clips from Republican Rep. Dan Knudson and a fed up Sen. Jon Erpenbach:



And yet the changes to open records appeared similar to what many in the media have seen out of Scott Walker's office, to keep his information secret:
Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s office declined to say whether the governor himself was behind the original measure.

A review by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism shows similarities between recent records request denials from the governor’s office and the state Department of Administration and changes inserted in the budget Thursday by Republican leaders — similarities that raise questions about whether Walker himself was involved in the budget proposal.

The Center also found Walker and DOA invoked a deliberative process argument in denying requests for records documenting the proposed removal of the Wisconsin Idea and the “search for truth” from the University of Wisconsin’s mission statement. Two parties that sued Walker for records over that issue say they detect the governor’s fingerprints in the proposal.

Christa Westerberg, vice president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, noted similarities between Walker’s invocation of a deliberative process exemption in recent months and the proposal in the “Motion 999” amendment to the state budget passed Thursday. “When the administration attempted this exemption this spring, it was really an unprecedented attempt to conceal decision making documents about important issues in the budget. “It’s fair to ask, did the governor request this language in Motion 999? And if so, why?”

Scott Walker's Spin on the 4th of July...he's using it to divide us!!!

It was always one of Scott Walker's most ridiculous lines ever. Conflating tax day (with representation), with a day we declared our independence from taxation without representation, was always crazy.

But now that Walker's a top tier presidential candidate, the nation is now discovery just how ideologically driven and incompetent this guy really is. Seriously, he set out to divide (and conquer) us on our nation's holiday, the 4th of July? He really did.

Let us rejoice in the glorious reaction to Scott Walker's nasty celebratory tweet against our government. Americans are taking notice, and are a bit more critical than our own state media:


Walker's divisive down-the-rabbit-hole cluelessness about our own countries history isn't an isolated moment in his governorship. 

The following video clip exemplifies Walker's style of an authoritarian government; ignoring and trampling over the minority Democratic Party. Republicans didn't even want to give some of them a chance to vote against Act 10 (Walker's union busting scheme). Thank you State Rep. Gordon Hintz for the passionate embrace of representative government, now under attack. 



One of the final nails in the democratic coffin was the GOP's recent attempt to do away with the open records law, and I might add, the public's right to know. Every Republican voted for this and every Democrat didn't:
The proposal blocks the public from reviewing nearly all records created by lawmakers, state and local officials or their aides, including electronic communications and the drafting files of legislation.
The blowback was unprecedented, forcing all the Republicans and Scott Walker...to become HEROES? Caught destroying our representative democracy, they relented. Here's the WSJ's headline:
Scott Walker, legislative leaders drop open records changes!
Never forget: THEY ALL VOTED TO DO AWAY WITH THE OPEN RECORDS LAW! 

UPDATE: July 5: Yea, the nation noticed:
Though the tweet still stands, some staffers must have decided to clarify things a bit to be less anarchic, more Republican: "The founders did not declare their independence from one big government only to create another."

Friday, July 3, 2015

Walker's condescending tale of those "Ordinary People" we call our Founding Fathers!

Thinking back on my elementary school days, I hate the way I was lied too about the pilgrims and thanksgiving. It was sugar coated history at its worst.

Now we have Scott Walker's amazing sugar coated account of the founding fathers. PolitiFact:
Were the founding fathers 'ordinary people'? In closing a June 20, 2015 speech to the Faith & Freedom Coalition in Washington, D.C, Walker repeated the story, describing how, as a boy, he viewed the founding fathers "like superheroes."

He was awed when, in 2011, he stepped into the building where both the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution were debated and signed.
"And I looked at the chairs and I looked at the desks and it dawned on me. These were ordinary people. These were ordinary people who did something extraordinary. You see, they didn’t just risk their political careers. They didn’t just risk their business ventures. These were patriots who risked their lives -- their lives -- for the freedoms we hold dear today."
Walker has many times called the founding fathers ordinary people. And while campaigning, he has emphasized that he himself doesn’t come from wealth or prominence, even bragging that he bought a sweater for a dollar. We thought we’d offer a little history lesson on who the major founding fathers were, and where they came from.

"They weren't ordinary," said Brown University emeritus history professor Gordon Wood, author of "Creation of the American Republic," "Revolutionary Characters: What Made the Founders Different" and other books. "They were the elite of the day, involved in highest levels of the society."

Hunting Reserves and Game Farms in Wisconsin's Future? Yes.

I noticed this odd item inserted into the new budget that should concern deer hunters everywhere in the state.
Exempting sales taxes for deer sold to Wisconsin hunting reserves and game farms totaling $300,000 over two years.
This fits right in with what our deer czar Dr. James Kroll wants for Wisconsin; private deer ranching. Funny thing, he's been pretty much off the radar:
According to Wisconsin’s White-Tailed Deer Trustee Dr. James Kroll, people who call for more public hunting opportunities are “pining for socialism.” “Game Management is the last bastion of communism.”
 Kroll is the leading light in the field of private deer management as a means to add value to the land. His belief is so absolute that some detractors refer to him as Dr. Dough, implying that his eye is on the bottom line more than on the natural world.

Kroll, who has been the foremost proponent of deer ranching in Texas for more than thirty years … People who call for more public lands are “cocktail conservationists,” he says, who are really pining for socialism. He calls national parks “wildlife ghettos” and flatly accuses the government of gross mismanagement. He argues that his relatively tiny acreage, marked by eight-foot fences and posted signs warning off would-be poachers, is a better model for keeping what’s natural natural while making money off the land.
In a post way back when, November 2012, I had this great comment:
lufthase: I just happened to catch the DNR's "Deer Hunt 2014" program because it came on right after the Milwaukee Bucks game (ironic programming choice), and I noticed that the host and a number of presenters chose to wear Safari Club International hats. This seemed a bit odd for a DNR-produced program. Safari Club International is a lobbying organization, and a pretty radical one at that-- they promote trophy hunting, canned hunts, hounding bears/wolves, and oppose endangered species protections. Stranger still, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp appeared on the program wearing a vest that prominently featured the logo of Wern Valley game farm - offering canned hunts for which no hunting license is required (but a $1,195 annual membership is), according to their website.
Here's an edited clip of the show promoting the Safari Club International and the Wern Valley game farm (their ad too). Special thanks to lufthase for the help. This is where we're really headed:


"Two Face" Walker greets Obama with a smile and handshake, then Tweets Obama Slime! Chuck Todd says Dems want to face Walker.

Scott Walker seemed so...un-world leader like. It's small insecure men like Scott Walker who wait until someones back is turned before they gather up enough courage to stab a person in back with petty verbal attacks and outright lies.
Gov. Scott Walker warmly welcomed him with applause, a friendly smile and some laughing banter. Walker spent the rest of the day essentially trolling the president on social media. First, he published a column on the Web site of Real Clear Politics under this headline: "Welcome to Wisconsin, Mr. President," and then fired off a series of anti-Obama tweets.
Let's compare Walker's style now and the way he ran for student body president...he hasn't changed:


Earlier in the week, our micromanaging governor made sure he could brutally and unmercifully go after his opponents with reckless abandon. Although Walker has no "official role" with his PAC, we're not stupid. Cap Times:
Scott Walker catches criticism from conservatives for Unintimidated PAC's hire of adviser: The Unintimidated PAC, set up by former Walker campaign staffers, announced on Tuesday that Brad Dayspring would join the team as a senior adviser. Dayspring, a former communications director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, has ruffled the feathers of more than a few conservatives. The news of his hiring led some to openly question Walker's judgment, even though the governor has no official role with the PAC.

"Gov. Walker should have known better than to hire Brad Dayspring, the worst GOP anti-conservative hit man in Washington," said Brent Bozell, the conservative chairman of ForAmerica and president of the Media Research Center. "Brad Dayspring has a despicable record using character assassination to besmirch the reputations of conservative candidates and public policy leaders. He’s paid to do the ugly work of the Washington establishment. He is the personification of everything that’s wrong in politics today. Gov. Walker, people are policy. If you want conservatives’ support, you need to get rid of this cretin immediately."

In 2012, Politico described him as "one of the House Republican Conference’s savviest and most controversial operatives," In his role as NRSC spokesman, Dayspring drew the ire of Democrats for calling Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes "an empty dress" and comparing her to a high school freshman. Dayspring said Lundergan Grimes parroted talking points, babbled incoherently and stared blankly into the camera when asked questions.

The same year, Rep. Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, broke from the NSRC to denounce comments Dayspring had made about Cotton's opponent, Sen. Mark Pryor's faith. Cotton called an email Dayspring sent ripping Pryor for statements he'd made about his faith "incredibly bizarre and offensive."

A writer for the conservative site, RedState, went after Walker for his newly established Dayspring ties.
"Scott Walker just dropped off my list of acceptable candidates," wrote RedState writer Streiff. "I like a lot about Governor Walker but people are policy. And his decision to hire Brad Dayspring, an unprincipled political operative who combines viciousness and incompetence in equal measures tells us a lot."
John Hawkins, owner of Right Wing News, tweeted, "For @ScottWalker to hire someone like Brad Dayspring is a slap in the face to grassroots conservatives. It speaks poorly of his character."
Lawrence O'Donnell and Chuck Todd took a look at Walker, with Todd making the claim Democrats would like nothing better than to run against Scott Walker. Todd also said Walker's fight with the UW is the reason he's taking a hit in the polls:

Obama trashes Walker supply side jobs & business disaster, compares Minnesota's "Middle Class Economics."

If only Obama and the Democrat Party would talk like this all the time, in every media interview.

Obama makes it official, Walker is the best example yet of failed supply side economics, comparing him with "just across the river:"

Open Records Law Gone? Walker's One Party Republicans Authoritarian Government will now Dictate Law.

Thursday saw an explosion of critical tweets from liberals, libertarians, and even "stand with Walker" kooks that haven't seen a GOP bill they didn't like, reacting to a move to shut Wisconsinites and the media out of state government and the peoples right to know. All under the guise of a very tight budget, or so said Sen. Alberta Darling, who "inherited" her own previous budget (old talking points die hard):


Republicans decided to shutout the public's right know anything. Breathtaking beyond words, this last minute budget twist also protects Walker's past as well. WSJ
The proposal blocks the public from reviewing nearly all records created by lawmakers, state and local officials or their aides, including electronic communications and the drafting files of legislation. Exempt “deliberative materials” from the public’s view … Deliberative materials are defined in the motion as “communications and other materials, including opinions, analyses, briefings, background information, recommendations, suggestions, drafts, correspondence about drafts, and notes, created or prepared in the process of reaching a decision concerning a policy or course of action” or in preparing a draft of a document.
If you thought that was bad, legislators made sure what happened to Sen. Lea Vukmir wouldn't happen to them. Remember this jaw dropper from September 2013?
jsonline: State Sen. Leah Vukmir is trying to sidestep an open records lawsuit by claiming she can't be sued while in office — a legal argument that, if successful, would let all lawmakers ignore the open records law.Vukmir contends in her motion that the legislative session lasts the entire term of a state representative — meaning legislators are in session from the moment they are first elected until they leave office, perhaps many years later. The Center for Media and Democracy sued Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa) in June contending she had violated the open records law by not turning over records related to her involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council-ALEC.
That won't be a problem anymore:
The motion also gives a legislator a “legal privilege” or right to refuse to disclose and to prevent a current or former staff member from disclosing a wide array of types of communication that occurred during the lawmaker’s term in office.
Summing it up in the absolute strongest terms...:
"This is the single most sweeping and outrageous affront to Wisconsin’s tradition of open government that I have seen in my quarter-century of involvement with the (Wisconsin) Freedom of Information Council,” council president Bill Lueders said. “If Wisconsin wants to take a giant leap into corruption, I think that’s a good move for them to make,” Lueders said. “It’s cowardly. It’s dirty. It violates the tradition of the state of Wisconsin, and it shows what miserable cowards that these people are that they would stick this in an omnibus motion.”

Of course Republican and now state Attorney General Brad Schimel, made open government a big deal in his campaign. Go to the AG's site and you'll see this now empty bullshit to the right:

A spokesperson for the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau testified one provision creating a broad “legislator disclosure privilege” has no counterpart in any other state. Despite voting for the motion, Republican members of the panel all professed not to know who proposed the public-records changes.

The award for the most Orwellian way to view this affront to open government?
GOP Rep. Dean Knudson of Hudson said the changes clarify what is a record for lawmakers and would “make it easier for us all to stay on the right side (of the laws).”
Just as mind boggling is this down-the-rabbit-hole conclusion from Rep. Nygren:

Breaking it down to its bare essence...
Erpenbach said if the changes pass, “we don’t need an open records law anymore.”

“I think this is a dark day for Wisconsin government,” said Brett Healy, president of the MacIver Institute. “This appears to be a huge step backwards for transparency. Taxpayers deserve more transparency, not less, and the insertion of this language at this late date in the budget process is really disheartening for those who value open government … “we’re with Sen. Erpenbach on this one. This is a bad idea.”

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tomah Guy wants to “take him out,” “take the shot” at usurper Obama, “CONSTITUTIONALY.”

Using every familiar talking point pushed by Republicans everywhere, a Tomah Wisconsin guy proudly declared he was going to take Obama out. The hate, racism and reality defying comments about Obama destroying the country and playing king gave us this guy, from Wisconsin...again. Hell, after polluting congress with Rep. Glenn Grothman and Paul Ryan, putting Reince Priebus in charge of the RNC, and now seeing the "divide and conquer" governor himself jump into the race for president, Wisconsin is on the leading edge of taking this country down for the count.

If it wasn't for the pride of racism surging in this country, the Tomah fanatic might not have said a thing to tip off authorities:
A warrant was issued for Brian Dutcher, 55, who was charged Thursday with making a threat to kill the president.

Dutcher approached a security guard at the La Crosse Public Library and said, “The usurper is here and if I get a chance I’ll take him out and I’ll take the shot” … he confirmed the statement and said he had made similar statements on his Facebook page … “That’s it! Thursday I will be in La Crosse. Hopefully I will get a clear shot at the pretend president. Killing him is our CONSTITUTIONAL DUTY!”

Dutcher told a La Crosse police his threat was serious and he would not have said what he said if he didn’t intend to carry it out … “I have been praying on going to D.C. for 3 months and now the upsurper is coming HERE … saving me a 800 mile trip … doing what I do for my daughter, so she can live free … pray for me to succeed in my mission … secret service is probably tracking my phone right now. I do not hide what I am doing, CONSTITUTIONALY.”

Kansas County Clerk says no to Religious Freedom, No Gay Marriages and won't step down.

What's in the mind of your typical Republican office holder?  Now we know, and it's just what we thought too: they're self-centered, self-righteous and when it's convenient, don't so much care for the Constitution. They follow God's law and won't hesitate to ignore everyone else's religious freedom.

What isn't said very often and should be is that believe it or not, even gay people are religious and are also protected by the 1st Amendment. Crazy isn't it:
Chris Hayes talks to a county clerk from Kentucky who says his conscience will not allow him to issue a same-sex marriage license.

Bernie Sanders expands on Populous message in Madison!!

Many in the media were shocked by the crowd that greeted Sen. Bernie Sanders in Madison, especially those who've focused the narrative on the Republican sideshow agenda of repeal and tax cut lunacy:  
Wall Street Journal: Nearly 10,000 supporters delivered a jolt of momentum to Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign Wednesday night at a supersize rally where the senator from Vermont asked his backers to help him create a political revolution.
Here's a clip from All in with Chris Hayes covering Sanders appearance:

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Walker dramatically increases...Planned Layoffs!!!

I'd like to see Scott Walker run on the following gubernatorial high point...planned layoffs!!! Big story:

WKOW: At the halfway point of 2015, Wisconsin employers have already notified the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) of more planned layoffs than in all of 2014. As of June 30, state employers have notified DWD they will be laying off a total of 6,685 employees. That is higher than the total number for both 2012 (6,511) and 2014 (6,186).

At the current pace Wisconsin would see more than 13,000 planned layoffs announced in 2015, the highest of any year under Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin). The previous high during the Walker administration was just over 9,000 in 2011, his first year in office.
Of course the Department of Workforce Developement would much rather pretend there was nothing to see here, because as the Republican rule goes, they don't offer solutions, they offer uplifting talking points:
Secretary Newson said in response to such criticism, "Well, let me talk about the unemployment rate here in Wisconsin, which is at 4.6%, the lowest it's been since the fall of 2008." Newson points to that data and the fact that overall job growth is up. Wisconsin added 35,759 jobs in 2014. He did not offer any explanation for rapid spike in layoffs this year. "What I'm hearing from employers is they have job openings and opportunities," said Newson. 
Right...and about those planned layoffs again...?

Monday, June 29, 2015

Republicans make prevailing wage invisible!!!

Republicans have already come right out and said they want to lower wages and get rid of the prevailing wage law. That’s the GOP’s version of stimulating the state’s economy, cutting wages. 
jsonline: The state would roll back the minimum pay requirements for construction workers on three-fifths of the public works projects that now have them, under legislation unveiled by Assembly Republicans Monday.
But this upside down, inside out one party joke gets even more ridiculous, as Republicans once again twist themselves into a pretzel so they can stick it to the unions.
The bill would exempt certain information collected as part of the prevailing wage system from the state's open records law.
Why would Republicans hide such information? Living up to his reputation for being the legislatures biggest asshole, Rep. Robin Vos gleefully took the unions out:
Vos said that was an attempt to thwart unions who use that data to argue that contractors and local governments may not be correctly complying with the prevailing wage law.
Wow, a big win for Republicans, while no one really has to own up to what they are really paying.  

But just to make sure it's completely invisible, Vos included this outrageous “wink and a nod” and wave of his magic wand:
No longer require contractors to sign affidavits stating they had complied with the law.  

Justice Scalia sides with saving Big Energy Money, rules against bigger Savings protecting American Lives.

The Supreme Court ruling, by the conservative activist justices, struck down Obama’s new EPA clean air standards.

Let's start with the first problem: Republicans always weasel out of answering questions by refusing to address “hypothetical's.” In this case though, Justice Scalia turned the tables.

In another Salvador Dali moment of logic, Justice Scalia came up with a hypothetical that’ll blow your mind: What if wind and solar did more harm than burning coal? He really said that.
Scalia: "The government concedes that if the agency were to find that emissions from power plants do damage to human health, but that the technologies needed to eliminate these emissions do even more damage to human health, it would still deem regulation appropriate. No regulation is 'appropriate' if it does significantly more harm than good."
But it doesn’t? It was a wretched twist of reality.

It’s an argument that defies logic, and is never addressed by the press either. Republicans have always said environmental standards must balance the cost to business with the cost to human health and lives.


Not even close, right, who would not try to save lives by cleaning up energy production? The fact that most utility companies are already moving in the clean energy direction anyway makes this whole question a moot point.  But not to our clueless conservative jurists stuck in the 20th century.

The cost to energy company’s vs peoples worthless lives? That’s easy for Scalia. Saving lives…is unreasonable:
Just in case you didn't see this...
"We hold that EPA interpreted unreasonably when it deemed cost irrelevant to the decision to regulate power plants," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the court's majority opinionThe Obama administration argued that the costs were only a fraction of the industry's profits. The EPA eventually did (look at the costs) and determined that the benefits far outweighed the costs.

The new regulation could add almost $10 billion in annual costs. But the EPA countered that the economic benefits could reach as much as $90 billion per year, based on health benefits and saved lives. The plaintiffs countered that the maximum benefit could reach no higher than about $6 billion.
There was no mention of saving lives. And you wonder why the national debt keeps going up; Republicans won’t let it come down unless it has a tax cut tied to it.
In a fiery dissent, Justice Elena Kagan said the EPA acted "well within its authority" in imposing regulations that could save "many, many lives."
Saving many, many lives is such a "liberal" thing. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell flipped reality inside out about the actual cost of doing nothing:
"Middle-class families in Kentucky and across our country … are often the first to suffer." 
From Republican policy, yea. 

Reagan had a hand in mounting voter fraud and lack of confidence in elections....

Remember when Reagan undermined the confidence we all had in our elections?



Reagan worshiper Scott Walker must have forgotten the Gipper's many faults and missteps that prompted so much voter fraud.

Majority of Conservative Activist Justices okay with a few botched Death Penalty Executions, that doesn't prove anything.

The idea that Justice Antonin Scalia is a good practicing Roman Catholic who uses his faith to inform his judicial decisions is bullshit. Oh sure, that works for his argument against redefining marriage, but not the death penalty, right? Anyone else notice the contradiction?

And the very idea that those opposed to the death penalty overall, not just lethal injection, couldn't prove their case is also preposterous.
In a 5-4 decision, the court concluded that petitioners didn't adequately prove that midazolam violates Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.
The graph to the right shows the percentage of botched executions across the board, whether it's lethal injections, gas chamber or electrocutions. 

After reading through Scalia's tantrum like dissents filled with nonsensical words that disrespects all professional norms, Scalia made it clear "the people should decide." You know, like the thoughtful rumblings of an angry mod fixin' for a lynchin.'

Scalia made the leap that our current government sanctioned death penalty is an offshoot of the Age of Enlightenment.  Or it could be holdover of those more brutal medieval times?

The two more liberal justices posed a more "enlightened" question based on the percentage of botched executions; is the death penalty itself unconstitutional:
Justice Stephen Breyer and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg called on the Court to reassess whether the death penalty was constitutional at all, and said they had both come to believe that it "now likely constitutes a legally prohibited 'cruel and unusual punishment.'"
That's when "Scalia wrote a separate concurrence, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, which said not only that Breyer was wrong, but that he was rejecting the entire Enlightenment." This is what passes for conservative intellectualism:


Innocent People are being Executed:
At least 4 percent of people who receive death sentences in the United States are likely innocent, a 2014 study finds … (and they) would ultimately be exonerated if their cases were closely examined for the next 21 years.  

The false conviction rate of people sentenced to life in prison to begin with is probably higher than the false conviction rate in death-penalty cases — especially because jurors tell researchers that the biggest factor in deciding to give someone a life sentence rather than a death sentence is lingering doubt that the defendant is guilty at all.

Republicans in Kansas got caught violating the state constitution with cuts to school funding.

I know, they love the constitution…until they don’t. Then it’s time to change it or get around it.

They also don’t want to be on the hook if more kids go to school. No really, they said that.
AP: A district court panel in Kansas declared Friday that key parts of a new state law for funding public schools violate the state constitution and ordered an immediate increase in aid. Shawnee County District Court would force the state to provide between $46 million and $54 million in extra aid next week, distributing the money under an old formula that legislators junked.
But why did Kansas Gov. Brownback and GOP legislators hate the old formula? You won’t believe it…
The GOP-dominated Legislature disliked the old formula partly because it automatically left the state on the hook for additional spending if schools gained students, if more students had special needs or even if districts had major building projects.
In any other world people having families that send more kids to school would be a good thing. Not in Kansas. And ouch, more special needs kids.
"The opinion itself is, to put it as kindly as possible, utter nonsense," Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a Nickerson Republican said. Top Republicans also described the decision as highly political.
Those are reasons?
John Robb, a Newton attorney representing four school districts said, "The Legislature continues to try to skirt the constitution and not fund schools."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jeb Bush takes aim at a solution for our Gun Problem, and misses. Also proposes high deductible GOP health care system.

Preventing Mass Killings: This really is the Republican plan to stop all the random mass killings plaguing the U.S..  You'll sleep easier now?

Jeb Bush is not pushing any of those highly popular common sense regulations that poll well. Just short of introducing a secret water filled pool of "precogs," Bush wants to set up a "precrime" system targeting people with "potential:"

AP: New gun control measures are not the way to prevent mass killings such as the shooting deaths of nine people in a South Carolina church ... Jeb Bush said Saturday identifying potentially violent people before they commit such crimes is a better approach than further restrictions on gun ownership.

"We as a society better figure out how we identify these folks long before they feel compelled to take up a gun and kill innocent people."
Yes, the plot behind the movie Minority Report is the answer. Like Ayn Rand's fictional plot line that envisions a free market system of government, Bush is borrowing from Philip Dick's popular science fiction book that uses precog mutants. 

Costly Health Care: While Republican whine and complain about costly high deductible plans on the health care exchanges, they're cluelessly pushing...I'm not kidding you, high deductible health care plans with no subsidies. Catastrophic insurance. Are they even listening to themselves talk?
Bush said he would repeal the health care law if elected, replacing it with high-deductible, low-premium catastrophic coverage. 
These plans start low but rise very quickly, I know, I had them for years. I saw increases of over 30% a year, making those premiums not so low. In fact, insurers gave you the alternative to lower your premium by increasing your deductible. Mine deductible climbed to over $11,000 before I got out.

Nice plan.

The Devil has left the Lake? Will Walker or E. coli be the first to kill the park?

Scott Walker did what no state has been able to do without big problems; defund our state parks.

Walker, hell bent on cutting government, oddly went after one of the states biggest money makers, the parks. Now taxpayers, off the hook thanks to Walker, won't have any "skin in the game," and can leave our parks trashed.

As Walker's loosely run DNR looks on, Devil's Lake State Park had to close the north beach for a few days for high levels of E-coli. Thankfully...
WKOW: The North Shore Beach at Devil's Lake is back open. Wednesday and Thursday's samples were back within the "safe" zone. Following heavy rains earlier in the week, samples from the north shore beach showed E. coli levels...indicates recent sewage or animal waste contamination inside.
This has happened in the past, so I started checking into it, and found this little tidbit from The Progressive: Scott Walker's visit in 2011 for the 100th anniversary of the states largest park.
An hour before Walker spoke, about 80 protesters gathered at the entrance of the park and walked in a procession. When the procession arrived at the lake, more protesters joined in. There were about 200 protesters surrounding the 100 people who were seated in front of a podium, with the lake as a backdrop.

But it wasn’t a great backdrop for Walker because there were 12 boats— kayaks, canoes, a couple motorboats, and a large sailboat—in the water with signs that read: “Walker Smells Fishy,” “Walker Jump in the Lake,” “Civil Consternation Board,” “Walker Crimes Against Nature.”

When he was introduced, he got a big round of boos from the protesters and applause from those in the seats. He spoke for about fifteen minutes, blathering on about his time as a Boy Scout at Devil’s Lake … But when he was through, he got more shouts of “Shame” and someone from out in the lake yelled, “Take a hike, Walker.” And as he sped away, a protester yelled: “The devil has left the lake.”