Thursday, October 30, 2014

Chris Christie smack down "Sit down and shut up" to concerned constituent the model of conservative politics.

Chris Christie is a real head case. Despite his authoritarian outbursts and 7 credit downgrades for mismanaging the state's economy, Republicans still think he's presidential timber. Yet Obama's the disaster?

Chris Hayes featured Christie's latest smack down of a private citizen aiding the victims of Hurricane Sandy. The real story is all we need to know about this pathetic bully, and something to remembe when Christie runs for president:

Schimel's politically charge run for Attorney General suggests highly partisan influence of our legal system.

Republican accusations of "activism" rings ridiculously hollow now after so many activist decisions both at the state and federal supreme court level. Hate to say the obvious, but the GOP use of the courts kind gives that whole thing away, you know?

But the word "activism" is still being used to ignite conservative outrage over everything that doesn't fall in line with their party agenda. Despotic, authoritarian, dictatorial? Sure, but conservatism is the politics of purity and leadership. It's a majority agenda that doesn't quite see the need for minority influence.

Throughout the attorney generals debate, Republican politician/Waukesha DA Brad Schimel pummeled DA Susan Happ with the activist label at every turn. Another funny thing, Republicans always gravitate to Waukesha County when they're in trouble. Why is that?

I edited together all the highlights:

Schimel's purely political statement that Happ would make Wisconsin less safe and economy less stable;     Schimel's hands off approach to the DNR's lack of enforcement on environmental law;    Schimel's "if you work for any size of business...you should fear her do more agenda" (because a do-less agenda is better?);     Schimel lied when he said Happ didn't have a plan for cracking down on opium use;    Schimel called Happs defense of students ripped off by a number of private colleges a hit list;   Schimel criticized Happ for seeking a second opinion, which she was right in questioning (Schimel too smart for that?);    Schimel's stupid swearing in "fingers crossed" comment that still doesn't make any sense since AG's do offer constitutional opinions the state can act on;     Schimel was wrong on criminal background checks impeding gun purchases;     Schimel wants to correct a political mistake with a political plan to move two entire state departments to his control;   the funnier moment when Schimel admitted he wasn't anybody's choice to fill the open jobs he wanted ("they didn't hire me" should tell you something).

This is what's at stake if "Homer" Schimel takes over as AG:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Walker desperation throw smears Burke, attacking her business strength to win it all. Real governor/presidential material there.

I won't dignify this very effective act of desperation to seal the deal for Walker. Real class act:










Burke and Trek Bicycle called the claims outrageous, pointing out that the statements are being made by former Trek employees who had to leave the company, are both conservative and are airing them just six days out from Tuesday's tight election.

Burke said it was "the kind of smear that has gone on since the start of this campaign."

New Study undercuts Walker's hope for high wage jobs: "Net Job Growth in Wisconsin has been in the low-wage category!"

One of the most insulting comments made by our normally detached governor Scott Walker about the minimum wage has yet get the kind of blowback it deserves.

We're supposed to be happy with Walker wish that everyone could find work that is pays 2 or 3 times more than the current minimum wage. And I wish everybody will someday win a lottery or find a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

It's the most insulting, and dumb response ever, left alone by the media who treated it like a serious solution. A wish for prosperity is not a plan!

But wages are going the other way, and it's not a coincidence that Walker is slipping off to the side the real and looming problem. jsonline:
Wisconsin employment in low-wage occupations has increased markedly since 2000, with the growth accelerating since 2010, a new study by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee professor Marc Levine finds. In the study, "low-wage occupations" have a median wage of $12.50 an hour or less, "middle-wage occupations" have a median of $12.51 to $25, and "high-wage occupations" have a median above $25. Low-wage-occupation jobs bounced back in the recovery, rising by about 130,000 from 2010 to 2013. During that same period, middle-wage occupations lost 16,000 jobs.

"Since 2010, the recovery has been extraordinarily heavily weighted — all of the net growth in Wisconsin has been in the low-wage category," Levine said.
If that doesn't get Walker's attention, which it won't, maybe this wake his voters up:
Some of that growth is from newly created low-wage jobs. But the lion's share has come from middle-wage occupations dropping into the lowest tier as their pay fell in inflation-adjusted terms. The May 2010 to May 2013 period overlaps the administration of Republican Scott Walker, whose economic performance Levine sharply criticized in an opinion article in late June. The current study does not mention Walker.

Abdur Chowdhury, an economics professor at Marquette University, said in an email that Levine's Wisconsin study "confirms what we have found for the U.S. national economy.""Since the Great Recession, and especially over the last few years, wage growth has been relatively flat. This has happened while several million jobs have been created. This indicates that the jobs have been mostly in low-skill, low-wage areas."

Hillary Clinton still crushes "Job Creator" myth.

Job creator is a marketing term for "filthy rich" and "greedy corporate CEO." It sounds so friendly.

Hillary Clinton doesn't have to apologize for telling the truth about "job creators" either.


Consumer demand creates jobs. It’s a pretty simple thing to understand, right? Not for numbskull conservatives. Here's how it works simpletons:
Things that are sold need to be replaced, and if demand is up, businesses hire more employees to keep up with that demand. That’s job creation. Even more mind blowing; consumers also supply business with employees. Without consumers, business would die.
But the comments from previous stories about Hillary Clinton’s statement are telling me GOP voters believe instead in free market Santa Claus's...benevolent corporate bosses. Businesses hire the poor unemployed sap because they feel charitable, even if it hurts their bottom line. Sure they do.

Republicans Gasped in Horror: The fallout continues, and it can only end badly for Republicans. This is not the debate they want to have. Yet the following is so ridiculous...:
The former secretary of state is as prone to putting her foot in her mouth as any other prominent political figure. Clinton tripped over her tongue by saying business don’t create jobs. “Don’t let anybody tell you it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” Clinton said, contradicting what she has written in several books and in her decades of public service. By Monday, the gaffe had mushroomed into a full-blown political controversy the likes of which haven’t been seen since 2012’s infamous “you didn’t build that.” 
Infamous "you didn't build that?" Of course Obama never said that, so it can't be infamous. But Clinton is a Democrat, and should havetold Republicans to go to hell, but instead tried to make things right...a liberal weakness:
Clinton meant to say that tax breaks for corporations and businesses don’t create jobs, as she later explained. But Republicans saw the remark as revealing Clinton’s inner leftist ... Talk of the gaffe dominated conservative blogs and broadcasts, as outside groups piled on. Every presidential candidate will face manufactured controversy, but usually not before the previous election has concluded. its notable that her ventures on the campaign trail for Democrats has been mostly flawless – until Friday.
There's nothing wrong with our "inner leftist," unless the media makes it seem like there is, which was done here. But laughably, a Bloomberg columnist tried to “nail” Hillary for contradicting herself. She actually didn't in the quoted passages below, because American companies in foreign countries would only “create jobs” to keep up withconsumer demand there, and not out of charity.
That's an acrobatic pivot from what Clinton wrote in "Hard Choices." As she wrote in one passage:“There were still too many barriers and restrictions, but American companies were slowly gaining access to Indian markets, creating jobs and opportunities for people in both countries.”
Here's another example, where "job creator" again refers to consumer demand in a foreign market:
“We had worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to organize the trip because more trade between America and South Africa promised to create jobs and opportunities in both countries.”

And then there's Chapter 22, "Jobs and Energy: A Level Playing Field," which details Clinton's work to help American companies compete abroad.
“When I became Secretary in 2009, I focused on two big questions about the global economy: Could we sustain and create good jobs at home and help speed our recovery by opening new markets and boosting exports? ... And were we going to let China and other relatively closed markets continue to rewrite the rules of the global economy in a way that would surely disadvantage our workers and companies?”
There is a disconnect, and I'm still trying to distill all of this in just a line or two. Thanks to Hillary, our chance to clarify our thoughts is coming.  

Walker, Schimel pulling away with 6 days left...Wisconsinites love confident GOP Smokescreen.

The amazing shift in Wisconsin’s political leanings is becoming more pronounced, as conservative voters realized they've got a united, single minded lock step agenda that energizes their entire base. Republican turnout is almost impossible to believe.

Walker has managed the magic 50% mark, to Mary Burke’s 43%. But Burke’s disapproval numbers have gone through the roof. jsonline:
Among registered voters, 38% view Burke favorably while 45% view her unfavorably. Among likely voters, 39% view her favorably while 49% view her unfavorably.
And again, not only are Democrats are unable to articulate a strong clear agenda, they don’t seem motivated enough show up to vote:
In Marquette's last poll, 82% of Republicans and 80% of Democrats said they were certain to vote. In the new poll, 93% of Republicans and 82% of Democrats said they were certain to vote. Those numbers are similar to what voters were reporting before the recall election of 2012, which Walker won by 7 points.
Wisconsinites vote no for Democrats, vote Yes for their Platform: Had Democrats been pushing their agenda as hard as rabid dog Republicans, they would won on the war of ideas. Try and figure this one out:
 60% said Wisconsin should accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage; 25% say it should reject expansion.

 57% back a hike in the minimum wage; 39% oppose it.
Of course voters are also convinced of voter fraud, and like it or not, will continue to see heavy regulations and tighter restrictions in the coming legislative sessions. Representative democracy is slowly slipping away, and we have ourselves to blame:
60% support a requirement of a photo ID to vote; 36% are opposed.
And it’s a sweep with the attorney generals race, that will leave GOP legislators insulated from legal challenges.
Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel is leading Jefferson County District Attorney Susan Happ 43%-39% among likely voters. The two are tied at 40% among all registered voters.  
There's some truth in the fact that this blog and many others preach to their choir. Conservatives will never challenge us or mention out names in their own media bubble. What their listeners don't know won't hurt them right now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walker won't say Burke's name!!! Says he's not running against anyone...condescending much?

Scott Walker couldn't be more clear about how much respect he has for his gubernatorial challenger Mary Burke.
Walker: "...my opponent."
Walker's disregard for women is evident by what he has signed into law, and not by what he chooses to say, or more importantly, not say.
Walker: "It's a lot more effective not to personalize the contrast. I'm not running against someone, I'm running for the state."
Not personalizing it by referring to her by her name? I've gotta say it, Walker's "her, come on, get serious" attitude makes my blood boil.

And for those unquestioning "stand with Walker" followers, the governorship isn't the place for a woman.

Here's WKOW's Greg Neumann with video of Walker's listless and dehumanizing sociopathic commentary:


Monday, October 27, 2014

While Scott Walker whined about Burke's outside money, he's hoppin mad he's not getting enough!!!

Tonight on All in with Chris Hayes, we're finding out there's trouble between the two massive egos, Scott Walker and Chris Christie. Seems Walker's not getting the money he thinks he needs to lock up the election.
jsonline: Despite taking in nearly $20 million for his re-election bid this year, $10.4 million of which came in the last three months, Walker is still looking for financial assistance. A federal court ruling that lifted limits on contributions from political action committees worked in Gov. Scott Walker's favor, to the tune of about $2 million. In total, he has taken in about $1.9 million more in PAC money than was previously allowed. 
Without any numbers to prove his "comeback" is real, Walker is now choosing to blame campaign spending by Mary Burke, whining he's being outspent...but:
Washington Post: So far, Republicans are actually outspending, and out-advertising, Democrats on the air. While Walker cites estimates from the Center for Public Integrity, which shows Democrats spending more, figures made available by sources with knowledge of the actual advertising marketplace say Republicans — Walker’s campaign and outside groups included — have spent $20 million on television ads this year, more than the $16.4 million Burke and her allies have spent. 
Half of Walker's funding is coming from out of state special interests. Here's the whole sordid story:


WSJ: And Politico reported Monday that at another campaign stop, Walker made a plea for additional spending from the Republican Governors Association, whose chairman is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a potential rival of Walker’s for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination but someone who may return to Wisconsin to campaign for Walker.

Fox News Heads Explode, part 2: Clinton called names as proof she's wrong.

Hillary Clinton stirred up a bees nest dissing trickle down, supply side economics. 

"And don't let anybody tell you, that, you know, it's corporations and businesses that create jobs. You know, that old theory, trickle-down economics. That has been tried. That has failed. That has failed rather spectacularly."
In the most stunning and amazing example of “projection,” ever, I was directed by an anonymous conservative in the comment section to this website that supposedly offered a rebuttal to Hillary. The clueless GOP base is actually described perfectly in the article.

What conservatives don’t understand is, wait for it, is consumer DEMAND. Consumers have all the power. But the wealthy elite and corporate CEO’s, marketed as “job creators,” don’t want the riff raff to know that they need us desperately, and depend on demand.
   
Projection? See if you agree. It’s jaw dropping Bizarro World supply side stuff that doesn't offer one solid fact or rebuttal. Just name calling. It's laughable stuff:
Hillary — Are You Ignorant, Stupid or Just a Demagogue? Ignorance seems to be overwhelming everything. Nowhere is that more apparent than in basic economics. The political class uses economic ignorance as the basis for wild claims. So where do jobs come from? Do they just happen, sort of like Ebola? Or, as many politicians would want you to believe, are they created by government? Clinton’s statement above is dependent upon extreme ignorance, or even plain stupidity. If she truly believes it, then she is stupid. (With her background, it is impossible to claim she is ignorant.) Thus, for her to issue such a statement reflects either stupidity or duplicity. Either, in my opinion, disqualifies someone from my vote … If it doesn't represent stupidity than it is demagoguery of the worst kind. Neither deserves voting support.
Let's take a shot at public education for not teaching trickle down economics:
Sadly, ignorance regarding basic economics … we can thank our public schools. Just as Catholic schools do not teach the Muslim religion, government-run schools do not teach free markets. Perhaps it is no accident that the declining school standards are not corrected. Neither political party seems concerned with remedying the process which converts the raw material of our future into functioning citizens.
Yea, my kid is a “raw material.” Wow. I know, it’s truly beyond outrageous. Here’s projection that goes off the Richter scale:
As in so many other aspects of government, H. L. Mencken appears to have gotten it right: The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. In the great predatory game of politics, it is the citizen who is the prey.
Would it be stupid to compare the number of working Americans just before the Great Recession to the jobs situation right now? Of course, but it’s a trick conservative minds won’t pick up on:
The miminum-wage bill for which Hillary Clinton voted passed in 2007 and took effect in stages, beginning that summer. In June 2007, the Household Survey of the BLS showed that the US economy had 146.063 million jobs in June 2007, just before the increase took place. Last month’s data showed that the US economy had 146.6 million jobs — an increase of less than 500,000 in over 7 years, not “millions of jobs” as Hillary claims here.
The fact that Clinton added nearly 21 million jobs is somehow lost in the mix, while later they did mention Reagan’s total. Funny thing isn't it? And CNN embarrassed themselves:
CNN host John King presented Clinton's comments as a fumble "a little reminiscent there of Mitt Romney saying corporations are people, too," and USA Today called the comments "An odd moment from Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail Friday - and one she may regret."
That was like Romney? Clinton also said this:
"One of the things my husband says, when people say, what did you bring to Washington? He says, well I brought arithmetic. And part of it was he demonstrated why trickle down should be consigned to the trash bin of history. More tax cuts for the top and for companies that ship jobs over seas while taxpayers and voters are stuck paying the freight just doesn't add up."
Here's the argument for "demand:"
 U.S. economic growth has historically relied on consumer spending, and middle class consumers are "the true job creators," Nobel Prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz points out. Right now, the U.S. economy is "demand-starved," as Economic Policy Institute's (EPI) Joshua Smith puts it. Steiglitz says that, of all the problems facing the U.S. economy, "The most immediate is that our middle class is too weak to support the consumer spending that has historically driven our economic growth."

Vader's Internet Party threat to Putin Empire?

Out of the Ukrain, Darth Vader the candidate? This story is so amazingly well done by the press.

 

The candidate has recently been seen in Kiev, being driven atop a black van in clouds of smoke and fire, with stormtroopers on hand.
















Getting up close with people in the streets, Vader scared some kids to tears, while teenagers were quite eager to take selfies with the potential parliamentarian.









Or how about this priceless reaction. Maybe the kid can sense something is wrong?













Vader appears to be trying to unite with his enemies too:















Darth Vader is not a newcomer to Ukrainian politics. He has previously mounted campaigns for the mayorships of Kiev and Odessa, with promises of free Wi-Fi for students and computers for all kids starting from the age of 10. Withholding his identity, the video demonstrated the Sith Lord to be truly Ukrainian, sporting the country's traditional haircut.

Fox News Heads Explode after Hillary Declare's: "Don't let anyone tell you that corporations and businesses create jobs!!!"

Hillary Clinton attacked the most popular GOP lie; businesses are job creators.

Demand creates jobs. Simple? It should, be but isn't.

Clinton is hell bent on hammering a stake through the heart of the supply side argument, that it has ever actually worked.

Check out what Fox News described as a gift wrapped gotcha, "Clinton’s comment will likely be used frequently to attack her as another big-government Democrat." Confident idiots.


...it's just that they didn't create the 250,000 jobs they promised.
Is Scott Walker a sucker or what?  
At a Democratic rally Friday in Massachusetts, Hillary Clinton’s attempt to attack “trickle-down economics,” resulted in a spectacularly odd statement, according to The Washington Free Beacon. Clinton defended raising the minimum wage saying “Don’t let anybody tell you that raising the minimum wage will kill jobs, they always say that.” 

She went on to state that businesses and corporations are not the job creators of America. “Don’t let anybody tell you that it’s corporations and businesses that create jobs,” the former Secretary of State said. 

Promoting free markets, individual freedom, and personal responsibility, MacIver Institute's anti-Minimum Wage argument relies on government help.

The lunatic fringe at the conservative MacIver Institute performed another useless study based on a $15 hike in the minimum wage. I thought we were talking about $10.10? Hey guys, why not $50, $100, or maybe $1 million an hour? Let’s debate a hike that no one’s talking about?
An increase in the minimum wage to $15 an hour would result in the loss of 91,000 jobs across Wisconsin, according to a new study from the John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy. Of the 91,521 jobs that would be lost under a $15 minimum wage, more than half (51,292) of the losses would be for women.
Ouch. This is even worse than last year’s lengthy report using the same $15 hike, now scrubbed from their site. MacIver is definite about the job losses (not projected?), and ignores the real world data: “13 states raised their minimum wages at the beginning of this year. Those states have added jobs at a faster pace than those that did not raise the wage.”

But I couldn't resist posting this story for the following MacIver summation of their findings; forget DEMAND, get government involved?
The report is based on data collected by economists David Macpherson of Trinity University (TX) and William Even of Miami University (OH). "Instead of forcing local businesses to absorb excessive increases in labor costs, policy makers should be finding real solutions that help employers grow their business and create more, better paying jobs," Healy added.
That doesn't make sense. So now they're telling us that government does create jobs? These small government zealots now want government to find "solutions," so they can help business by doing the impossible; “create more, better paying jobs?” My head is hurting.

Only DEMAND does that. MacIver wants us to believe that business will “create” jobs out of kindness and/or because they feel sorry for the unemployed! Great report guys.

Americans believe Democrats are on their side, but are sold on Republican Snake Oil cures.

The recent Pew Research Center poll is definitive proof; the unrelenting Republican lock-step messaging machine can win over the American public's support, even though we instinctively trust the Democrats a whole lot more.

This is a marketing success story like no other. What else could explain the contrasts displayed in the two graphs below. On one hand, American overwhelmingly believe the Democrats are on their side and trust them. On the other hand, the public will still go with the more confident and trident Republican agenda because...I don't know why actually.

Check out the trust level below....

















...now check out how none of that matters. Despite adding to the instability of Middle Eastern countries, the free market failure's Great Recession, W. leaving Obama (CBO's projection) a $1 trillion yearly deficit...



















The GOP’s favorable ratings are underwater: 55% have an unfavorable impression, 39% of registered voters view the party favorably. For the Democratic Party, 48% of voters view the party unfavorably, 47% favorably.
Finally, who's bought and sold by special interests and holds extreme positions but still gets voter support?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Chuck Todd comes to Madison, Wisconsin.

Here's Chuck Todd's visit to Wisconsin at Madison's Babe's Restaurant:

He said Wisconsin may be closer to breaking the clutches of political polarization because of what the state has endured in recent years through protests and the 2011 recall effort against Gov. Scott Walker. "They're a little further down the process here of trying to heal the divide simply because they stared into the abyss in a way that maybe even Washington has yet to stare into," Todd said in the video.

AG candidate Susan Happ says Capitol Protests legal, believes in the State Constitution. Brad Schimel doesn't.

AG candidate Susan Happ looked good again. Especially after Brad Schimel said he would ignore the state constitution for the new laws regulating free speech at the Capitol. Here's the actual constitutional language:
Article I, Section 4, reads: “The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government or any department thereof shall never be abridged.”
But that doesn't matter, because very simply, Brad Schimel will defend every rule, regulation and law written by Republicans. Below, he oddly equates disorderly conduct with the people's right to assemble and petition the government.

Here's Brad Schimel as usual, stumbling around making another promise to defend all GOP laws, and not quite getting it:



Amazing. Schimel says if you don't like the ordnance (to curb the protests), then get it changed. Nifty advice when the government you're protesting is trying to outlaw dissent. Not a smart man, and not to curious either. He should look up the unique nature of the Capitol:
The Nation Magazine summed it up best with this important point: According to the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Historic Landmark Nomination: “The soaring rotunda of the Wisconsin State Capitol is designed to induce its citizenry to be, as individuals, among the ‘resources of Wisconsin.’ Whereas some statehouses are maintained apart from the urban fabric, the Wisconsin Capitol Rotunda functions, both literally and symbolically, as a city center and is fully utilized as a public space to which all have claim.”
Getting a permit protects our free speech? That's what radio word salad chef Vicki McKenna said. Here's what I wrote a little while back:
As phony as the following Vicki McKenna reason is, there is some paranoia in play, rooted in the fear that grips every low information conservative. Oh, and pettiness is a big motivator too: 
McKenna of WIBA participated in the Liberty Singers event, and tells 27 News obtaining a permit is about security, not the political content of the activity. "We just want folks to understand, the permit is easy to get, it's a way to protect all of us and our ability to come here to our beautiful capitol and express ourselves," McKenna says.
NOTE: The state constitution is clear about the right to protest. The last time I looked, bus tours and weddings don't rise to what we would call peaceful assemblies to "consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof" unabridged. Social events need permits, not those protesting their government policies. 
Schimel should also read a little more. Marquette University's law school posted this analysis:
One response to the criticism of the new DOA policy has been to compare the DOA policy to the rules governing demonstrations at the United States Capitol building. the U.S. Capitol building is not considered a public forum, while the Wisconsin State Capitol is. The expression of political speech receives the greatest protection under the First Amendment when it takes place in a public forum. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Walker used Restaurant lobbyist study saying minimum wage livable...and he believed them.

Sure it was surreal for Scott Walker to claim $7.25 is a living wage, especially if you count government assistance (which Walker is trying to cut).

But it appears our GOP party of business whores will justify anything if given an industry study filled with industry spin and campaign contributions. Money is corrupt free speech.
International Business Times/David Sirota: Scott Walker Based 'Living Wage' Ruling On Restaurant Industry Study.

That official government finding, according to documents reviewed by the International Business Times, was largely based on information provided by the state's restaurant industry -- which represents major low-wage employers including fast-food companies. The restaurant association's study argued that a minimum wage increase would harm the state. It did not actually address whether workers can survive on the $7.25 minimum wage.

Dan Cantor, the national director of Working Families, one of the groups that has been leading the effort to raise the minimum wage in Wisconsin. "In Scott Walker's world, regular people don't matter, only corporations." Walker's election campaigns have taken in more than $200,000 from donors in the restaurant industry.
Of course wouldn't it be nice if everyone made two to three time the minimum wage? Forget about the tens of millions working in poverty now. Let's shoot for the future. 
The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and issued a statement saying: "Governor Walker wants jobs in Wisconsin that pay two or three times the minimum wage.
Ah, we can dream, can't we. It's hard to argue with the following study, "stand with Walker" Borgites:
McDonald's corporate documents effectively admitted that its low-wage jobs do not provide adequate income. The company advised its workers to take second jobs. The internal "McResource Line" suggested selling unwanted Christmas gifts on eBay or Craigslist to bring in some cash, and told workers to break their food into smaller pieces in order to stretch out meals yet still feel full. 
And who can forget Walker's campaign partner Chris Christie's memorable comment:
This week, they slammed Gov. Chris Christie for saying he is "tired of hearing about the minimum wage." 
Or this moment of honesty from the GOP Gov. candidate in Illinois:
They have criticized Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner for saying he wants to eliminate the minimum wage. 
That's where Republicans want to take us. Of course, Walker is getting away with breaking the law. Anyone? AG Van Hollen? 
In a September 24th filing, Wisconsin Jobs Now (representing more than 100 state residents) argued that the current minimum wage violates state statutes requiring "every wage paid" in the state to be a "living wage" -- a term defined as enough to "enable the employee" to maintain himself under "sufficient" conditions and welfare. 
Using real numbers:
Wisconsin's current minimum wage provides an annual income well below the federal poverty line for a two-person household. According to data compiled by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Amy Glasmeier, a single parent with one child would need to earn more than double the state's existing minimum wage to cover essential expenses such as housing, food and health care. 
I don't usually get into Robert Reich videos, but the one below says what I've been saying for some time now, especially after dissecting Paul Ryan's yearly updated-reworded plans; Republicans want a desperate low wage working class for big business:



UPDATE: One source, and a lobbyist, provided the data for Scott Walker's decision to stay clear of a rise in the minimum wage. Even worse, Walker's opposition is based on his wish that everyone should make three times as much. Is that just crazy?

Time to go to court:
Wisconsin Jobs Now plans to sue Gov. Scott Walker's administration Monday as part of an ongoing effort to force an increase in Wisconsin's minimum wage. Peter Rickman, who leads the effort to raise the minimum wage said he had mostly received back the group's own complaints along with a study from the Wisconsin Restaurant Association on the effects of a minimum-wage increase. He said the lawsuit to be filed Monday in Dane County Circuit Court will ask a judge either to force such an investigation on the part of the state or to issue a finding that the minimum wage doesn't meet the standard for a living wage as defined in state law. Rickman pointed to a study this month by the Center on Wisconsin Strategy and the Economic Policy Institute. That study found that some 700,000 state residents make less than $11.36 an hour, the amount it says is needed to keep a family of four out of poverty.

That study found that the "13 states that raised the minimum wage at the beginning of 2014 experienced subsequent job growth equal to or better than states that did not."

Republicans promise to save us from their own Crisis to Crisis policies. Thanks?

I still can’t wrap my mind around the American public’s support of a party that can say things like…
“We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board ..."
Each item is a basic fundamental issue that benefits every American, and insures a healthy economy.

We are truly turning into the old Superman comics alternative universe known as “Bizarro World,” where everything is just the opposite of truth/common sense. Take a look at the Bizarro agenda, and tell me it doesn't sound real familiar:












The quote in red above is something Sen. Mitch McConnell’s said in private. Huffington Post:
McConnell's been frank about what the GOP would do with the Senate … This quote comes from audio, obtained by Undercurrent's Lauren Windsor, of a talk McConnell gave to a Koch Brothers group in August:
"Most things in the Senate require 60 (votes) ... but not the budget. So in the House and Senate, we own the budget. What does that mean? ... No money can be spent to do this or do that. We're going to go after them on healthcare, on financial services, on the Environmental Protection Agency, across the board ..."
What that means, why it seems wrong, and why in gods name would voters put Republicans in charge when they're pushing health care uncertainty, financial uncertainty, and pollution?
1. Expose Americans to toxic threats … Cuts in EPA funding are intended to meet the GOP's stated goal of deregulating high-polluting industries … would lead to more fracking, more poisons in the groundwater, a higher risk of water-supply crises like the one recently experienced in West Virginia, increased air pollution... A sicker population which is at greater risk of environmental disaster.

2. Deprive millions of American of health insurance: The Affordable Care Act isn't perfect. But it has extended health insurance to millions of Americans, both through the exchanges and through Medicaid extensions at the state level … Denying funding would close down the exchanges and end the Medicaid program. That would lead to thousands of additional deaths like that of Charlene Dill, a young working mother in Florida. In addition, millions of Americans would lose their exchange-based health insurance under a Republican Senate, including people who have pre-existing conditions or are under 26 years old.
And then there’s this jaw dropping giveaway to Wall Street and our Corporate pay masters:
McConnell said he would "definitely" defund the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling it "the biggest part of the Dodd/Frank bill." "If I had my way, we wouldn't have the [CFPB] at all."

How could anyone seriously say they want to get rid of consumer financial protections, and get away with it? I know conservatives hate regulation, but really, come on. Here's how Republicans plan to take our money away under the liberating guise of the "free market."
3. Ensure that money that financial institutions obtain dishonestly -- money like the $4.6 billion the CFPB has already returned to consumers -- would remain in the banks' pockets from now on.

4. Give a green light for credit-card companies to resume the "deceptive marketing practices" and other abuses that the CFPB has red-flagged: Three major credit card companies have returned a total of $425 million. Interventions like this would end under a GOP Senate.
Here’s an important one that will also negatively effect free market health care insurance contracts when the GOP kills ObamaCare:
5. Make credit-card agreements and mortgage documents harder to understand: The CFPB's rule require credit-card companies and mortgage lenders to write their agreements in plain English. That will end if McConnell has his way. The end result? Mortgage agreements that are impossible to understand, with provisions that could lead to foreclosure and/or prove financially ruinous to borrowers.

6. Make it harder to shop for student loans: Defunding the CFPB would put an end to rules which make it easier for students and their families to comparison-shop for student loans. The student-loan ombudsman's office, which reviews complaints about student loans, would also be shut down.

8. Close down the CFPB complaint database: Consumers can now complain to the CFPB whenever they feel they have been cheated, abused, or misled by financial institutions. That would end, according to McConnell.

10. Protect "too big to fail" banks: Although Mitch McConnell claims otherwise, defunding Dodd/Frank would be a boon for too-big-to-fail banks. While he claims the law benefits them, the evidence suggests otherwise. 

12. Allow more sneaky dealing in mortgages: In Undercurrent's audio clips, McConnell seems to suggest that mortgage lenders didn't contribute to the 2008 financial crisis. This is nonsense. Fraud and excessive risk-taking were endemic throughout the mortgage financing system, from the underwriting of new loans to the bundling and selling of mortgages to third parties. That epidemic of fraud and risk-taking was central to the financial crisis, and to a massive loss of wealth for the American majority.

As Attorney General, Republican Brad Schimel promises to protect Republican passed laws!!! He's actually telling us that.

We're adults here, aren't we? Isn't AG candidate Brad Schimel clearly telling us he will support every Republican passed law, with an exception for this, and exception for that? Reporters though will never print that.

Democratic AG candidate Susan Happ correctly pointed out Schimel's flip floppy hypocrisy.

Take for example the Government Accountability Board, in charge of elections. Brad Schimel says he supports Wisconsin's law banning coordination between candidates and third party groups...

...except when he doesn't support the GAB's interpretation of that law. But the GAB is a government body of retired judges appointed by the governor, and confirmed by the Senate, enforcing laws (one in particular), which Schimel doesn't personally agree with.
The mission of the Board is to ensure accountability in government by enforcing ethics and lobbying laws ... charged with oversight of Wisconsin's campaign finance, elections, ethics, and lobbying laws ... created a year earlier in 2007 Wisconsin Act 1 ... its staff are dedicated to enforcing the election, ethics, lobbying and campaign finance laws vigorously to reduce the opportunity for corruption and maintain public confidence in representative government.
The duties are clear, but Schimel still won't support the GAB's legal interpretation of election law. Schimel could represent the GAB and let the courts make that decision, but why go through that hassle?

GOP Rubber Stamp Schimel: He's point blank telling us that. In the debate he said he will clearly contort and politicize our legal system, making challenges a thing of the past. Here's that debate moment of clarity, Brad Schimel's confused state, and Susan Happ's reasoned reaction:


Friday, October 24, 2014

Conservative Fond du Lac leery of Republican Legislators Voodoo Economic suggestions for city budget.

I just love this story. It shows how completely irresponsible Madison Republican legislators are about their continued use of supply side, voodoo economic policy.

First, let’s see how one state senator and one state representative would solve Fond du Lac’s budget problems. Yes, they want tax cuts. FDLReporter:
Fond du Lac City Council will take a couple more weeks to consider applying more
Trust us, we know what we're doing?
reserve funds to the 2015 budget. Sen. Rick Gudex and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, both former councilmen, spoke as “city residents” suggesting the Council use some or all of the $1.5 million in unassigned fund balance to help reduce the tax levy that includes a 5.4 percent increase …saying it was unfair to ask taxpayers to “pay more” in the form of a tax increase.
What makes their suggestion even more ludicrous is that it sets up a budget before the city’s reassessments are factored in, which could be dramatic.  
The tax increase, though, will vary in the wake of a citywide property revaluation, where some properties increased in value and others decreased. Thiesfeldt said “I am very uncomfortable with maintaining a fund balance well beyond Council policy of 15 percent and ... increasing taxes by 5.4 percent of equalized value. There should be some consideration to knocking that down.”
No, there shouldn't. And that was the message by the city's real managers of taxpayer money, who presented some very important reasons:
City Manager Joe Mooreand Director of Administration Hal Wortman both voiced concerns Wednesday about the use of additional fund balance to reduce a tax rate increase. Wortman said the city could get into a cycle of increasing budget deficits and would have to cut services.

Moore said by lowering the levy, no matter how it’s done, it would “re-set” the baseline property tax levy and the amount cannot be recovered. There is no additional state aid and the levy may be increased only by the percentage of new construction and increases in debt service. “If you don’t levy up to the levy limit, you've reduced your levy and that is the new base for the next budget year and years going forward,” Wortman said. “You've lost forever whatever amount you reduce it by.”
Wortman is talking about our big government Republicans in Madison, who put a fiscal straitjacket on local government:
Wortman said there would be better ways to use excess fund balance, including repayment of debt, avoidance of new debt and for economic development. “I would say stick with the levy budget as is,” he said. “It would be a poor financial decision to draw down the tax levy.”
The outright rejection of Rep. Thiesfeldt and Sen. Gudex’s budgetary suggestions tell the whole story:
Moore said the risk inherent in using the entire $1.5 million is having no fund balance at the end of 2015 for use in 2016. Previous budgets have used some fund balance to support the upcoming year’s budget. If an emergency arose, there would be no funds to draw from. 
I think this sums it up:
Council President Sam Meyer said he wanted to be comfortable about the city’s ability to pay bills in the future.

Walker discloses anti-aborition/anti-sex marriage agenda to lobbyist Wisconsin Family Action!! Gets their endorsement.

Scott Walker simply has a different opinion about abortion, with no plans to pass any laws making that choice impossible to make. Sure, others have plans and write bills that he will probably sign that advances his point of view, but it isn't on his radar. 

Walker’s argument assumes we’re idiots, and maybe those who believe him are, but we've grown accustomed to ignoring the obvious intent of the conservative fringe. I even had to get this story (printed Wednesday, on page 7, in the WSJ), from the twin cities Pioneer Press .

While Walker got a pass for desperately trying to look moderate on abortion, his position is more than clear below. Did you know women seeking an abortion aren't too smart, and thanks to Scott Walker, they’re now getting that important information? 
Wisconsin Family Action endorsed Walker on Tuesday. In a Sept. 5 letter seeking the group's endorsement, Walker said he passed legislation that gives women seeking abortions more information and health protection… Walker signed a bill last year that requires a woman seeking abortions to undergo an ultrasound and doctors to show the woman the image of the fetus.
But Walker was just as proud of his unconstitutional position on same sex marriage, which proves these guys don't care one bit about our founding document. Equal protection? Forget it, since marriage between a man and a woman is right there in the constitution…somewhere.
He went on to say he was defending the state's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. He said he swore an oath to uphold the constitution and supports "marriage between one man and one woman."
That doesn't make any sense, but this same article simply accepts his statement as fact.

Walker also gets a pass for not saying what he means. No big deal.
Walker opposes abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, but he hasn't said that in so many words as he's been campaigning. 
So this is what we can expect of our politicians...not much?