Friday, September 30, 2011

Lazy Republican Sen. Lasee wants Expensive Voter Referendums to Make Decisions for Him.

Direct democracy through voter referendum can be expensive, frequent government and subject us to the tyranny of the majority. It' the latest brain belch from Sen. Frank Lasee. What’s the point of electing these freeloaders if they're going to make us do all the work? The dumb picture to the right is another nifty sell job by Lasee. According to Frank:
Next week I will introduce the Taxpayer Protection Amendment to give taxpayers relief from the continual upward taxation spiral. The amendment requires the state to ask voters before increasing taxes or large spending increases. If government officials think the government needs more money, they will have to make their case to the people and get approval through referendum. The amendment applies to all kinds of spending: state, counties, cities, towns, villages and schools.

Can you imagine the logjam of projects waiting for voter referendums, along with an endless barrage of radio and TV ads pummeling the public with negative special interest spin?

These empty GOP schemes to block responsible budgeting and lock in tax cuts have never made any sense. And if Republicans expect to compare government spending to family budgets, then have them come up with one family that has ruled out ever increasing their incoming revenue. Anyone?  

State Proposes Medicaid Rationing, while taking advantage of "Obamacare" Benefits.

Gov. Walker and the other whiny Republican liars that fill our state Capitol, continually fear monger and warn that someday the government will ration health care, picking winners and losers.

So what are our Republican legislators thinking about doing; rationing government health care. Anyone else notice?
jsonline: To help address a half-billion dollar shortfall in the state's health programs, Gov. Scott Walker's administration is seeking to shift hundreds of thousands of state residents to lower-cost state plans or to private plans … state Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith said that the state would … look instead at efforts like shifting 230,000 state Medicaid recipients into a lower-cost plan with fewer benefits.

Government rationing of health care, by Republicans right? They were warning us about…themselves. 

Think Progress noted this important piece of hypocrisy:
As part of its reform package, Wisconsin submitted two waiver requests to the federal government that would allow the state to push some families with an offer of employer coverage off the rolls and require “young adults between the ages of 19 and 26 to join their parents’ insurance plans“:Of course, young adults are only be able to join their parents’ policies thanks to a provision in the Affordable Care Act, which the state is challenging in court and has undermined at every turn. Now, Wisconsin officials are seeking to take advantage of the law in order to soften the cuts to their Medicaid program.

If they look deeper into the measure — and move beyond their rhetoric about government takeover and one-size-fits-all — they may even discover that they can solve their “dwindling federal funding” problem by accepting health reform’s grants and the additional dollars that will come with Medicaid expansion.

The New Protected Class: Concealed Carry Killers. Castle Doctrine- Courts to Ignore Carelessness.

For a party that hates regulation, we’re sure seeing a lot of it lately.

The Republican idea of deregulation is the addition of pages and pages of new regulations, protecting hospitals, doctors and corporations from the public.

Now after passing a dangerous concealed carry law, the old laws that were in place for decades protecting us from criminals, are too tough for “law” abiding citizens acting criminally. Instead of letting gun owners take responsibility for their use of deadly force, Republicans want to create special regulations protecting reckless use. Why don’t we just make gun owners a protected class?
Uppity Wisconsin/Wispolitics: The Assembly Committee on Judiciary and Ethics passed an amended version of the so-called "castle doctrine" bill, which would allow a person to use deadly force against anyone who unlawfully forces entry into their home, vehicle or business. The amended bill would also pertain to "existing structures" on residential property, including fences, driveways and porches. The bill also states that a judge or jury may not consider whether the owner had the opportunity to flee from those gaining entry.

But wouldn’t current law work?
State Bar of Wisconsin: Currently, it is not reasonable to use force intended or likely to cause death or great bodily (substantial) harm for the sole purpose of defending property. Deadly force is only justified if a person reasonably believes such force is necessary to defend against imminent death or substantial harm.

Under proposed legislation, a court must presume a resident was justified in killing a person, regardless of whether the resident reasonably believes the force is necessary to defend against imminent death or substantial harm, if certain conditions exist.

Amazing latitude, huh? You can kill now, and claim it was justified. This should be good news to crafty criminals and psychopaths. We’re slipping fast into a despotic societal norm we only thought possible in movies only. This is freedom  and liberty?

Walker Gets Ready for Recall!

Just a coincidence? Gov. Walker is having a hard time looking innocent of wrong doing in the John Doe investigation while changing staff and claiming he's been out of the loop when it comes to the FBI's involvement. 
Huffington Post: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's chief of staff, Keith Gilkes, is resigning from his post, the Associated Press reports. Gilkes will officially step down on October 8. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Gilkes will run Walker's campaign as the governor faces a mounting recall effort in the Badger State.

Reuters reports: The fight over that anti-union measure thrust Wisconsin into the national spotlight, igniting massive pro-union protests and political fights that led to a record nine recall elections this summer. Democrats and union leaders have vowed to force Walker to defend himself in a recall vote sometime next year.

News of the staff shake-up comes amid an ongoing investigation involving members of Walker's office. According to the AP, Gilkes signaled his decision to step down has nothing to do with the probe.   

Republicans Daring Americans to "Vote us out." What does it take to Hate the GOP?

Are we god damn barbarians?
It's funny, no matter what the Republicans say or do, they don't suffer any backlash. 
They won an election based on saving Medicare and job creation, and once in, proposed ending Medicare as we know it and haven't created any jobs or jobs bills. 
Yet there still in the race, and even winning in some polls. 
Who would be suicidal enough to propose the following, without knowing full well it pretty much destroys any competitive advantage, and future we might have in the global economy:
HuffingtonPost: House Republicans on Thursday unveiled plans to cut federal money for job training, heating subsidies and grants to better-performing schools.

The draft measure for labor, health and education programs also seeks to block implementation of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, cut off federal funds for National Public Radio and Planned Parenthood, and reduce eligibility for grants for low-income college students.
But who can explain the reasons for the "riders" that would remove any safe guards the government (that's us) is supposed to us from:

The measure is laced with conservative policy "riders" opposed by Democrats that would affect worker protections under federal labor laws and block the Education Department from enforcing rules on for-profit colleges that are often criticized for pushing students to take on too much debt.
Why should we be able to protect ourselves with our own government? Are Republicans trying to intentionally hurt us? All for just $4 billion?

The measure would cut heating subsidies for the poor by $1.3 billion, or 28 percent, despite demand elevated by the weak economy and high heating oil prices.
It's obvious the unemployed and underemployed are too lazy to pay their bills, so this just disciplines them for their lousy lives.

The Big Bank Temper Tantrum: A $5 Debit Charge per Month for Customers. That’ll fix ‘em.

Arrogance on top of giant CEO bonuses, bankers couldn’t wait to get back at retailers and consumers.

Charging Americans the fee is a jobs killer, especially during these tough economic times. Where's the outrage?

It’s time to dump the banks, NOW, for credit unions!
NYTimesBank of America, the nation’s biggest bank, said that it planned to start charging customers a $5 monthly fee when they used their debit cards for purchases. It was just one of several new charges expected to hit consumers as new regulations crimp banks’ profits. Wells Fargo and Chase are testing $3 monthly debit card fees. Regions Financial in Birmingham, Ala., plans to start charging a $4 fee next month, while SunTrust, another regional powerhouse, is charging a $5 fee.

The round of new charges stems from a rule, which takes effect on Saturday, that limits the fees that banks can levy on merchants every time a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. Until now, the fees have been 44 cents a transaction, on average. The Federal Reserve in June agreed to cut the fees to a maximum of about 24 cents. The new limit is expected to cost the banks about $6.6 billion in revenue a year, beginning in 2012 … That comes on top of another loss, of $5.6 billion, from new rules restricting overdraft fees, which went into effect in July 2010.

The losses represent consumer abuse and profiteering, not actual labor costs incurred by banks. Credit unions don't charge a fee. At least not yet. 

Dumb Ron Johnson wants “communications job in Senate leadership post!!! Another Onion News joke?

Ron “Sky is falling” Johnson could not sound more panicky when he describes how god awful the U.S. economy is right now. Like state Republicans who whined endlessly about how bad Wisconsin was for business, and thus killing business in the state for the last 20 years, Johnson is carrying on that same negative tradition but on a national level. And all that talk creates a self-fulfilling prophecy of bad times ahead.

And that’s gives “Dumb” Ron Johnson a self-gratifying job in politics.
jsonline: Freshman Republican Ron Johnson says his bid for a GOP leadership post in the Senate after less than a year in office is "not a career move" but an effort to help set the tone and frame the debate on the spending and deficit issues run for vice chairman of the GOP conference in the Senate … Johnson called himself an "impatient" legislator … Johnson said he viewed the position as mainly a communications job, helping the GOP caucus marshal information and arguments.

Johnson’s Chicken Little act has been bizarre, when you consider how he stammers his way through one cliché after the next while never saying anything.  
"My primary goal in the first two years here is to communicate to the voters of Wisconsin, really to the voters of America, how serious our financial situation is in this country and how urgent it is we address it." 

Communicate? Like he did in the clip below? 

For those who don't remember, not only did Ron Johnson win by supporting China's better business climate and killing American jobs without remorse through "creative destruction," but he also had every issue in his campaign wrong. I superimposed the truth over the video of his appearance on Upfront with Mike Gousha:

And that’s why I call him dumb Ron Johnson.

Herman Cain's Brainwashing Theory Nothing New for Far Right: Rupert Murdock Pushed the Global Warming Crisis.

After researching the subject of “brainwashing,” I ran across the following fear mongering right wing warning about Rupert Murdock’s (you read that right) attempts at brainwashing. Surprisingly, it wasn’t about the news arm of the corporation, but the entertainment side. Murdock and Fox Entertainment were brainwashing television viewers into believing the myth of global warming. Gulp!

Like Herman Cain’s “blacks were brainwashed by Democrats” lunacy, this popular 60’s and 70's story line seen in movies and television shows ad nauseam, is real to conservatives.

Think what would happen if Murdock used these same brainwashing techniques to push a radical right wing agenda….
PrisonPlanet: Rupert Murdoch’s Twentieth Century Fox Corporation has admitted to planting political brainwashing within its globally popular TV shows and indeed boasts that it is proud of the fact. This is not the first time Fox have been enthusiastic in propagandizing for the establishment. In 2003, Rupert Murdoch himself admitted that the corporation had “tried” to help the Bush administration sell the war in Iraq. In other words, Fox has embarked on a deliberate campaign, which could only have been done with the coordination of the script writers of each program, to force people to accept the pseudo-science of global warming by brainwashing them into accepting it as a reality.

But how do you brainwash unsuspecting citizens?
According to an Associated Content article, “Studies have shown that watching television induces low alpha waves in the human brain. Alpha waves are brainwaves between 8 to 12 HZ. and are commonly associated with relaxed meditative states as well as brain states associated with suggestibility.” Experiments have shown that less than one minute after the viewer begins to watch television, the brain switches from Beta level consciousness, associated with active and logical thought, to Alpha level, which is associated with passive acceptance and suggestibility. 

In one of the most ironic statements yet by the far right, Prison Planet appears blissfully ignorant of Fox’s more sinister influence on politics. 
Millions of people not just in America but globally are being educated, or should I say re-educated, about the highly complex and highly debatable topic of global warming, not through a reasoned public debate between advocates and skeptics, but through fictional cartoons, comedies and drama shows produced by a monolithic corporation that has its tentacles deeply embedded into the same establishment that is trying to sell global warming in order to introduce a CO2 tax and regulate people’s lives.

As Homer Simpson would say, “Hmm, Donuts.”

Below is the frightening Fox Entertainment admission of "brainwashing" in support of global warming. Their responsible position is undercut by their news divisions attempts at "brainwashing" in reverse:

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Onion Stages Nations Capitol Hostage Taking

Twitter is fast and unforgiving, for the easily excitable. CBS News:

The satirical newspaper The Onion is not giving up the gag after one of its Tweets Thursday morning prompted a U.S. Capitol Police investigation.

The tweet, which read "BREAKING: Witnesses reporting screams and gunfire heard inside Capitol building," went out to more than 3 million followers, and gave no indication that it was a joke.

"BREAKING: Capitol building being evacuated. 12 children held hostage by group of armed congressmen. #CongressHostage." 

The Onion's Twitter page eventually linked to a satiric story describing the supposed situation, which claimed that a bipartisan group of lawmakers had barricaded themselves in the Capitol with child hostages and demanded $12 trillion.

It quotes House Speaker John Boehner telling negotiators that if they don't pay the money, "we're going to shoot one kid an hour, starting with little Dillon here," and portrays Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as wearing black pantyhose over his head.

"Extra demands include transport to Dulles airport with fueled-up private jet waiting on runway. McCain expected to fly it." and "Obama: 'I know this Congress well. Trust me, they will kill these kids.'" The site also ran another story claiming the hostage negotiation talks had stalled.

That satiric follow-up story quoted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell saying, "many important questions still remain: How will the ransom money be allocated? How can we cut needless expenditures such as individual ski masks for every congressman? Should there be a stipulation to take one of the children with us to ensure a clean getaway?"

Gingrich to Restructure Country. Is there anything they don’t hate?

The new “Contract” is money based, not citizens based.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is calling for an overhaul of the way Americans pay taxes, buy health care and contribute to the Social Security system.  Gingrich mapped out the 10-point plan, which he's calling The 21st Century Contract with America … Key elements include:
1. repealing President Barack Obama's health care plan
2. giving taxpayers the option of paying a flat tax and
3. allowing young people to opt out of Social Security.

Can you imagine the instant hit Social Security would take? It would inflict a fatal blow to the program, but slowly? It would also recreate another crisis and its return, but at a massive human cost.
He also called for curtailing the power of the courts. "There is no judicial supremacy," Gingrich said. "We are going to have a big, big fight about the role of the judicial branch.

Three equal branches, gone? What Gingrich might have been talking about; should the Supreme Court be able to overturn law and have that power over the legislative branch. The branches are equal aren’t they?

Hike in Health Care Insurance not because of Affordable Care Act.

The shocking news is old really. Health care premiums are up again.
A new report claims that Obamacare is only negligibly responsible for the surge in health insurance premiums this year, but former New York Lt. Gov. and healthcare expert Betsy McCaughey says its provisions do come with a steep price and there is “no tooth fairy.” Drew Altman, chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation, asserted that the healthcare reform bill enacted last year accounts for just 1 to 2 percentage points of the premium increases in 2011.

But instead of going to a single payer system that takes the health care burden off business, Republicans have decided to focus on the tax cuts. The greatest help for business; take health care off their backs, but not the way Paul Ryan wants to do it, with a voucher (you pay the balance and self-ration the rest or go bankrupt).
The average cost of a family policy climbed 9 percent to $15,073 in 2011 … health insurance is consuming a bigger share of employer costs, forcing many companies to eliminate pay raises and pass on more medical costs to workers.

But the obvious pain companies are going through with health insurance and the hit employees are taking in the paycheck with copays and coverage is missed by Betsy McCaughey. With cuts to take home wages, consumers aren’t spending like they used to.

So for McCaughey, it’s all about the Affordable Care Act.
“That's why McKinsey & Co. found that as many as 50 percent of large employers surveyed are considering dropping coverage in 2014. If that happens, middle and high earners will be forced into the exchanges, and lower income workers will be forced onto Medicaid."

Lower wage workers won’t be forced into Medicaid, they’ll be pushed into it by our expanding lower wages in our race to the bottom. And it won’t be their fault.

But even worse than that, McCaughey resents the impact of Medicaid on profits:
This year's premium hikes also result because more people have lost their jobs or part of their income and now qualify for Medicaid, “the government program that shortchanges hospitals and doctors,” McCaughey noted.

Instead of tax cuts, maybe Americans can keep more of their money by going single payer.
The average American now accounts for about $7,538 a year in medical costs, including out-of-pocket expenses, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The average cost per person in industrialized countries including the U.K., Norway and Switzerland is $2,995.

Walker Suspicious of Lazy Unemployed.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but I am. Sure we see cliched CEO's make condescending comments about the working class and unemployed, but I always thought they were only a small minority of zealots, who got caught on camera. Not so.

The wealthy "haves" appear to be suspicious of their "underlings," the lazy "rabble" who would just as soon take unemployment than create certainty in their lives and economic status. Hell, they're not rich, so they must be happy with poverty. 

Gov. Scott Walker, who's always in the company of these elite "job creators," is getting an earful and believing their load of crap:  
WPR: Gov. Scott Walker says he's looking at whether people on unemployment compensation are trying hard enough to make a quick return to the workplace. 
Walker met with business executives in Milwaukee at one of the governor's new by-invitation only jobs forums. Several executives told Walker that they have job openings, but contend some people who are out of work would rather take unemployment comp for as long as they can, rather than get hired. Walker says he supported the recent extension of unemployment benefits, but wants to see if people who get the aid are meeting enough of the requirements of the compensation program. 

The Republican continue to create more enemies of America, "the others" who are now the lazy unemployed. 
A laid-off factory worker from Kenosha says it's a slap in the face to hear employers say they can't find enough people to fill jobs, and then blame the unemployment compensation system. 

Arguing for a Tax Increase for Low Income Workers, from Republican "No Tax" Pledgers.

Conservative radio talker Heidi Harris proves she doesn't understand how tax brackets work as she continues the argument from the right that poor people need to pay more in taxes (tax increase?).

From what I can gather in the video, she doesn't know the 39.5 percent tax bracket only applies to the income over a certain dollar amount, not the persons income below that. For Harris, she would be okay with the poor paying in 39.5% tax.

Jaw dropping stuff, and another reason why arguing with the troglodytes is hopelessly futile.

The Constitutional Amendment to Get the Money out of Politics

Loved the idea of this amendment from Jimmy Williams on the Dylan Ratigan Show. Even conservative Mark McKinnon liked it, and makes an amazing admission about raising money for candidates.

The Republican Idea of Job Creation, by Anita Perry!!

We never asked our Republican counterparts "What kind of jobs do you want to create?"

Thank's to Rick Perry's wife, Anita, for cluing us all in on their idea of the workforce under Republican rule. The kind of jobs "people are hungry for."

What the Republican Tea Party Supporters are saying....

Poster's of Fascism and TV show promotion deemed "threat" at UW Stout Campus.

How threatening is the poster to the right?

Not very. In fact, it's a timely warning considering the authoritarian political party in power right now in Wisconsin. But most surprising is the reaction by the UW Stouts administration, who have taken a dangerous turn toward subjugation.  
WEAU: A UW Stout professor Jim Miller is speaking out about having two posters taken down after they were deemed violent by the university … the two posters were far from violent, and says he can't figure out why he was targeted. The university says the posters made an implied threat of violence.
Here's the story:

We would hate to warn anyone about fascism, or for that matter, post an old TV show promotional poster on a wall. Where are the adults in the room...
It all started with a poster and a quote from the end of the first episode of the show Firefly. The poster was of the actor Nathan Fillion and the quote, “You don't know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you'll be awake. You'll be facing me. And you'll be armed," was at the bottom. “It was clearly a, hi firefly fans you win I'm aboard,” says Professor Dr. Jim Miller.

He says he received an e-mail from the campus police chief saying the poster was taken down … Miller says that's when he put up poster about fascism. The university says the second poster depicts violence so (it) needed to come down.

Infinite Unknown: Astoundingly, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter escalated the absurdity … emailed Miller again, stating that her office had removed the poster because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death.” She added that UWS’s “threat assessment team,” had decided to have the poster removed, and that this poster was reasonably expected to “cause a material and/or substantial disruption of school activities and/or be constituted as a threat.”

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes has scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team” for this Friday.

Miller came to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. “Colleges and universities are supposed to foster brave and bold environments of freewheeling intellectual inquiry and expression. If a quote from a network science fiction show is a bridge too far, something has gone seriously wrong,” FIRE President Greg Lukianoff said. 

Al Qaeda Tells Iranian Leader "We did 9/11"...Stop the Conspiracy Theories.

Even the crazy terrorists can get a little tired of whack job conspiracy theorists. NY Times:
Al Qaeda has a message for President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran: enough with the conspiracy theories about Sept. 11. The latest issue of the terror group’s English-language magazine, Inspire,lashed out at the Iranian president for indulging in the claim that the American government — and not Al Qaeda — was responsible for the attack. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All Rick Perry needs now is a Debate coach and Class, says his wife.

What in gods name was Rick Perry thinking letting his wife, Anita, whine and make excuses for his floundering performance during the recent debates. Her message proved this guy is completely unprepared and "still learning" how to debate. So sad....

Antia Perry: "He's never had a debate class, nor a debate coach, in his life that I know of....."

Walker's Jobs Special Session: Large Piers, Deregulate, Build on Wetlands and pay Big Businesses Energy Bills.

"Back to Work Wisconsin." that's what Scott Walker is calling it. But who's kidding who?

I hope you're sitting down; mom and pop, working sister and brother, you are about to help lower and pay for large manufactures utility bills!!!!

jsonline: one bill would require families and small businesses to subsidize lower power rates for large manufacturers, other bills were still just drafts, and some - which would loosen regulations on everything from piers to wetlands - wouldn't necessarily create any jobs.
Another big job creator, "LIMIT LAWSUITS." I wish I were kidding.

But the fact that Wisconsinites would end up subsidizing energy used by large manufacturers, is just jaw dropping, and maybe illegal.
Charlie Higley, executive director of the ratepayers group Citizens' Utility Board, objected … the proposed lower rates for certain large manufacturers would end up being paid for by what is essentially a hidden fee on other consumers. "That's been prohibited for over 100 years because it's simply unfair to make ratepayers pay for discounts that go to other ratepayers," Higley said.
Joining us in our outrage, is WE Energies, believe it or not:

We Energies and the Municipal Electric Utilities of Wisconsin joined CUB in raising concerns about the impact the utility rate legislation would have on small businesses, which would be funding discounts for larger ones.

And this is how our state Republicans are creating more jobs. Not. This is disaster capitalism.

Someone tell Republicans Entrepreneurs aren't real worried about paying taxes.

Lawrence O'Donnell punches a hole in the idea tax hikes on the wealthy discourages entrepreneurship:

Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch got her Oral Chemotherapy drugs...because she's special.

This is such a repugnant story about our Lt. Governor, Rebecca Kleefisch, that it's almost beyond words.

In a bizarre moment the GOP will never live down, Republican Sen. Alberta Darling is proposing a government mandate on insurance companies to include the oral version of chemotherapy in their policies along with the intravenous treatments.

In an even more bizarre moment, someone who actually took the oral version to treat her own cancer, Lt Gov. Kleefisch opposes the mandate, on the premise her ideology dictates a free market solution.
Keefisch: "We obviously want to encourage free enterprise and free markets, but on the other hand, Oral chemotherapy is something that is up and coming in the medical world, and we're hoping, obviously that more insurance companies will cover it."
Kind of fits in with the crowd reactions at the Republican presidential debates. These people are ghouls. WKOW 27 News: 

Breaking Election Law, and Getting Away with it, the Republican Way!

So much for the integrity of our elections. How can one person, Kathy Nickolaus, be so unbelievably lucky, seriously? For someone who has bucked election protocol for years, suddenly, it's been determined that all she made was an honest mistake?
TMJ4: Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus will not face any criminal charges in the problems with the April election, but the Government Accountability Board investigators say she needs to make improvements … "appears to be either an honest mistake or ineffectiveness. Her conduct does not appear to rise to the level of conduct that can be described as willful neglect or refusal to comply with the law."

Don't these guys do any research? She willfully did not comply in the past.
Jsonline: Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus' decision to go it alone in how she collects and maintains election results has some county officials raising a red flag about the integrity of the system. Nickolaus said she decided to take the election data collection and storage system off the county's computer network - and keep it on stand-alone personal computers accessible only in her office - for security reasons. "What it gave me was good security of the elections from start to finish, without the ability of someone unauthorized to be involved," she said.

Nonetheless, Director of Administration Norman A. Cummings said "How does anybody else in the county know, except for her verbal word, that there are backups, and that the software she has out there is performing as it should?" he said. "There's no way I can assure that the election system is going to be fine for the next presidential election." Cummings stressed … municipal clerks send their election night results by dial-up modem to the county clerk, where they are tabulated and stored. That prompted Cummings' concerns.
But that's in the past, what now?
While the GAB is not asking for any criminal charges, they are asking Nickolaus to improve. "Steps must be taken to correct the failure in order to prevent it from recurring, and to restore public confidence and trust in the administration of elections," said GAB Chairperson Thomas H. Barland.

Too late for that.

Ryan get the Treatment for Tax Cut Job Creation Mythology.

It takes a comedy show to ask the simple questions, and tell the simple truthiness:

Where Far Right Wing Politics is week.

I don't watch Glee. I don't know much about the show, but I thought this parody bit about one of the main characters going into politics was real close to reality-"sneaky gays."

Economists Support Obama, say his plan Avoids Another Recession

Pinch me I must be dreaming. In Bloomberg News, this amazing SUPPORT for Obama’s jobs plan nearly knocked me off my chair. But will anyone else notice?
President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a return to recession by maintaining growth and pushing down the unemployment rate next year, according to economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.

The legislation, submitted to Congress this month, would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls, the median estimates in the survey of 34 economists showed. The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said.

The plan “prevents a contraction of the economy in the first quarter” of next year, said John Herrmann, a senior fixed-income strategist at State Street Global Markets LLC in Boston, who participated in the survey. “It leads to more retention of workers than net new hires.”

Some 13,000 jobs would be created in 2013, bringing the total to 288,000 over two years, according to the survey. Employers in the U.S. added 1.26 million workers in the past 12 months, Labor Department data show.

 Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James & Associates Inc. in St. PetersburgFlorida. He said the program “very well could” forestall a recession in early 2012. “Most of all, it prevents a serious drag on the economy next year” from current programs expiring, said Brown, who estimates the Obama plan would add 0.5 percent to GDP in 2012.

A reduction in government spending, the end of the payroll- tax holiday and an expiration of extended unemployment benefits would cut GDP by 1.7 percent in 2012, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. chief U.S. economist Michael Feroli in New York. Instead, the Obama proposal makes up for that potential loss and may add a net 0.1 percent to the economy, he estimates.

Health Care Self-Rationing? Shhhh, That’s the GOP Reform Model.

Its opposite day every day of the year for Republicans. They bad mouthed death panels, but support letting people die who can’t afford lifesaving medical care. Republicans whine the Affordable Care Act will increase government costs, but are fine with shifting that cost to the American public who are seeing smaller paychecks, huge increases in insurance premiums and job insecurity.

But this dramatic costly shift to individuals will result in self-rationing.
Bloomberg News: More people in the U.S. ignored their doctor’s advice and skipped prescription drugs or medical procedures to save money in 2011 than a year earlier, a Consumer Reports survey showed.

Almost half of the surveyed consumers taking at least one medication said they didn’t fill prescriptions, took less medicine than a prescribed dose or failed to undergo a medical test advised by their physician … one in six American households and one in four with incomes less than $50,000 told Consumer Reports that they felt stress over how much they must spend on medical care. The pressure is prompting consumers to pursue potentially dangerous strategies for coping.

That’s self-rationing. It saves consumers money, yes, but not their lives. A not so small point Republicans like Paul Ryan refuse to acknowledge when they talk about personal responsibility, free markets and giving people a “choice” to pay for care or…ration it.   

UPDATE: To begin with, Ryan’s plan and thought process is wrong; in a free market, people supposedly “shop for” and “consume” health care treatments based on price. People don’t do either when they get sick or hurt:
WSJ: Ryan (said) that "the health-care sector lacks most of the basic building blocks of a functioning market." The irony is that "the system that shields us from the cost of services has actually left us paying more." The "premium support" Medicare reform he proposed would bring down the entitlement's high and rising costs through choice and competition.

Assuming we “shop” for treatment, “consumers” will reject costly providers and create competition.

"Giving patients and consumers control over health care resources would make all Americans less dependent on big business and big government for our health security; give us more control over the care we get; and force health care providers to compete for our business," Ryan said.

But in reality, we need medical care when something goes wrong. We don’t shop for it, or use it when we’re healthy. But I thought the following bizarre comment to this story summed up Ryan’s wrongheaded mindset:
The most critical missing piece in the health care industry is the person who says "no" accurately. I will always trust my ability to say "no" to a product based upon price/value instead of my company or my government. Until individuals buy and consume their own healthcare, the system will see massive price increases or government-imposed price controls and the associated rotten service. 
Saying no to treating a broken leg or sudden debilitating pain make sense?

Was the Civil War about Slavery?

via Democratic Underground and cross posted at Mikeb302000

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Walker Advocates Job Training in Schools, but that doesn't do a lot for the older Unemployed.

Since the U.S. decided to outsource most of our manufacturing jobs, skilled factory workers are no longer able to get the kind of jobs Gov. Scott Walker says are out there to be filled. Even in the olden days, high schools didn't have classes that trained people for the kind of jobs they eventually moved into, because many were trained on the job. But apparently, not anymore. In Milwaukee:

WTMJ4: Governor Scott Walker joined business leaders from the Milwaukee area for what he calls a job-creation forum, but dozens of his opponents protested … begging for more jobs, local business leaders begged for more workers.

More than two dozens business leaders from Johnson Controls, Harley-Davidson, North Shore Bank and other companies joined Walker … they are searching for workers right now, particularly in manufacturing. Walker admitted that the message is not getting out there, while protesters outside said they couldn't find work because of the Governor's policies. "One of the biggest concerns is a lack of skilled workers," said Walker. "One of the things we're hoping to do is get that message out.  There are jobs available.  The key is, we have to have people willing to go into those categories."
Walker seems to think 40, 50 and 60 year old job seekers need to make up a few missed high school courses to get back into the workforce.

Walker pushed inside the forum for better skills learned in our schools. He plans to hold more forums like this, including one in Green Bay.

Debating the Tax Cuts for Millionaires; Leo Gerard and Jonathan Alter gang up on Tea Party "Stupid" Judson Phillips.

This is a great fight about tax cuts for the wealthy that I never did get to blog, so here it is.

This is great stuff, especially the from Leo Gerard, from United Steelworkers of America. See the dummy from Tea Party Nation, Judson Phillips, stand up for those hard working Wall Street investors and billionaires, basing his argument on so many wrong premises, it's almost ridiculous. Phillips can only "win" the argument by interrupting and talking over Jonathan Alter and Gerard.

Keep in mind this; Obama hasn't increased spending, hasn't increased taxes, or didn't created the deep hole we've found ourselves in (for any right wingers reading this).

Busy Night in South Philadelphia - 6 Shootings reports

The mayhem began around 9 p.m. Police said a 22-year-old man was shot in the left thigh.
Six blocks away, a 16-year-old girl suffered a gunshot wound to her right leg.

At 12th and Carpenter streets, a 27-year-old man was shot once in the right arm, once in the buttocks and suffered a graze wound to his left arm.

In Point Breeze, a 23-year-old woman, 17-year-old boy and 6-year-old girl were all injured in a shooting outside at 18th and Tasker streets just after 9:30 p.m., police said. Both the woman and the teen were shot in the left foot and taken to Methodist Hospital in stable condition. The 6-year-old was shot twice in her left leg.
In all probability the guns used in these incidents, at least four guns, were manufactured somewhere in the United States and delivered to an authorized FFL (Federal Firearms License) gun dealer.  After that it's anyone's guess. Records are destroyed or simply lost, lawful owners sell their guns privately without ascertaining the qualifications of the buyer, guns are stolen because safe storage is not required. It's a mess.

The pro-gun crowd keep hollering for blaming the criminals, but what about when they themselves are the hidden criminals? What about when they turn a blind eye to the irresponsible behavior that aids the real criminals, the professionals?

No, I don't buy it.  Blame criminals for whatever they do wrong, yes, but let's put the responsibility where it belongs.  So-called legitimate gun owners are the source of criminal guns.  In one way or another that's where almost all the guns used in crime come from. It's called gun flow and the iron pipeline and it cannot be blamed on criminals.

What's your opinion? Don't you think it makes perfect sense that gun control laws should be aimed at the lawful gun owners since they are the source? Also, as the pro-gun crowd never tires of pointing out, criminals don't obey the laws anyway, so proper gun control needs to be focused on those who will obey.

Does that make sense?  Please leave a comment.

See What Happens When Force is Used Against Peaceful Protesters. Rep. Steve Nass probably doesn't give a sh**!

Remember when State Rep. Steve Nass blamed the Capitol Police Chief for not being tough enough on PEACEFUL protesters last week? Cracking a few heads would have sent a powerful message from our Republican leaders that dissent won't be tolerated.

I've again posted his comments in between the following video brutality caused by a few bad apples cops in New York, against totally innocent Wall Street protesters and spectators. Lawrence O'Donnell decided to not let the story go unnoticed, or be forgotten overnight:

Here's Steve Nass wishing Madison could have seen a little of this action:

Watch the women bystanders on the left just watching the mayhem unfold, and then, become part of the tragedy:

Famous quote-Thomas Jefferson: "When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Obama Policies Lower Gas Prices at the pump!!!

Its official; with Obama’s new found energy and powerful jobs plan, he’s managed to force gas producers to lower their prices or else. As expected, Republicans are promising to oppose any further price cuts until more jobs are created first. The GOP leadership blames Obama for campaigning again, and resorting to cheap “low gas price” trickery.
jsonline: Gas prices have dropped more than 25 cents a gallon in the past month,  It happened in 2008, she notes, when the bottom fell out of gas prices and the economy. The price dropped from an average $4.11 in the state on July 16 to $1.97 by Thanksgiving of that year. The fears created by the debt crisis in Europe caused the drop in oil and other commodity prices, but experts have been hard-pressed to predict with certainty how low they will go. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Shooting range in Middle School? Nothing wrong with that?

Guns in schools would be crazy. Guns in school zones would be dangerous. But a shooting range actually in a middle school? It's the worst of both worlds...since 1955.
WisconsinOutdoorFun: "The shooting range housed in Urban Middle School since 1955 is gone, removed by the club that built Parents of Urban students began asking for information about how the school was being protected from lead residue. Environmental tests in 2007 revealed high levels of lead in the range's air and on surfaces.

But lead wasn't enough of an issue for these gun happy hobbyists. They hate those liberal complainers who love picking on conservative paranoids packin' heat.  
Reed Vanness, president of the Sheboygan Rifle & Pistol Club (said) "It was politics. There were a couple people who did not want us in the school. They decided to try to get us on lead contamination. 

But the best comment came from someone who should know better, the guy in charge for god's sake:
Superintendent Joe Sheehan seems to back up Vanness' opinion. "It's not the lead issue," Sheehan said at the time. "The question is having a facility with firearms on campus."
 Ya think?

Walker Embarrassed by Brian Williams and Sun Prairie's Heather Dubois Bournene

Gov. Scott Walker looked like he was about to vomit, when NBC's Brian Williams offered up a question by Sun Prairie's "education activist" Heather Dubois Bournene, about how he's poisoned education in Wisconsin.

With a letter writing campaign preceding Walker's appearance on the special "Education Nation, Williams question was brutally straight forward.
Williams: "Governor knowing what you know now, having been through what you've been through in Wisconsin, won't this mean for years to come, a deeply suspicious antagonized teacher workforce?" 

Watch Walker squirm. Ed Schultz talks with Heather Dubois Bournene as well. She shines.

Surprised? Walker Policy Hits Lower Wage Public Employees nearly Twice as hard in the Wallet.

Republicans will ignore the recent analysis by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and take pot shots and AFSME's Marty Beil. Real grown-up like of them, but the truth is still...the truth.
Wisconsin’s lowest paid state employees take a much bigger hit than top political appointees and other highly paid state employees under Scott Walker’s union busting law. “This isn’t shared sacrifice, it’s Robin Hood in reverse,” said Marty Beil, executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24. “Walker is forcing front-line workers to dig deeper than anybody else to pay for his tax breaks to multi-state corporations,” Beil said.

According to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, a worker earning $25,000 a year takes an 11.3% hit while one making $125,000 a year loses 6.7% of his or her pay.
Meanwhile, the Walker administration keeps handing out big pay raises to select political appointees and massive tax breaks for big businesses that continue to shed jobs in Wisconsin. “Targeting front-line workers is killing the middle class and the jobs that depend on a strong middle class.  It’s just another example of the Walker agenda, sending us all back to the Gilded Age of the robber barons,” Beil said.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Drug Company Shortages create Demand, Big Profits. Never Ending Supply of Needy American Users Guarantees Healthy Industry.

Remember when Republicans defended the high drugs because America was the leader in developing new cures the rest of the world depended on? They were actually arguing against the importation of lower priced drugs from Canada and Europe.

But what happens when those drugs are no longer available, or triple in price due to artificial shortages driven by corporate profit taking?

People die or go through unnecessary pain, for profit. This is the best health care system in the world?

So goes the free market model and the freedom we’re told will make our lives better. How free is a person who can’t get or can’t afford the drugs they need to stay alive?

We’re the only country that has allowed profiteering off the ill-health of its citizens. Sounds horrific, but if you believe the hype, this is what the founding fathers envisioned.  
A drug for dangerously high blood pressure, normally priced at $25.90 per dose, offered to hospitals for $1,200. Fifteen deaths in 15 months blamed on shortages of life-saving medications … A growing crisis in the availability of drugs for chemotherapy, infections and other serious ailments is endangering patients and forcing hospitals to buy from secondary suppliers at huge markups because they can't get the medications any other way.

This is why we pay more for drugs here than any other country?
An Associated Press review of industry reports and interviews with nearly two dozen experts found the shortages – mainly of injected generic drugs that ordinarily are cheap – have delayed surgeries and cancer treatments, left patients in unnecessary pain and caused hospitals to give less effective treatments. That's resulted in complications and longer hospital stays.

Cab market forces be trusted to do the right thing for Americans?
Hospital pharmacists "are really looking at this as a crisis. They are scrambling to find drugs" … At a hearing before the health subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, hospital officials and other experts testified that the worsening shortages are preventing them from giving many patients the best care and are driving up costs. So far, hospitals have been absorbing the extra costs, but they'll soon have to start passing them on to insurers and patients, according to the American Hospital Association.

Will the increase in insurance premiums be blamed on the this, or more likely, Obama’s Affordable Care Act?
The scarcity of mainstay cancer drugs is not only hurting patients but is halting or disrupting clinical studies of potential new treatments, said Dr. Robert S. DiPaola told the committee … Michael Cohen, a pharmacist attributes at least 15 recent deaths to drug shortages … The average price markup was at least double the normal price, the survey found. 

The free market knows how to sell the shortages:
The pitches hospitals get from secondary distributors generally say they have small batches of specific drugs that are hard or impossible to find. "Are you enjoying this crazy `roller coaster ride' of pharmaceutical shortages? ... I utilize over 60 vendors to locate and procure needed pharmaceuticals to assist when you have shortage needs," one reads.

And since we allow businesses to make money on the sick and dying;
There's no federal law against price-gouging on prescription drugs, according to the FDA, but it does urge pharmacists to report cases to its Office of Criminal Investigation. "Something has to be done here," said pharmacist Michael O'Neal, "This is unethical. We're talking about people's lives."

No, we’re talking about corporate profits. Get your priorities straight. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Let’s take whatever makes us Wisconsin, and destroy it. Like Butter.

Republicans have done everything they can to make us like every other state in the country. They've taken our state identity and crushed it with their ideological sledge hammer. Sure we have higher taxes, but we also have a better quality of life. Better schools, lower cost of living expenses to go along with our generally smaller paychecks, and great parks and lakes. That's what made us Wisconsin. 

Screw that. We want low taxes. Dairy state? Not anymore.

One numskull by the name of State Rep. Dale Kooyenga, and originally from south of the cheddar curtain, is trying to do away with a law that requires restaurants to offer you and me butter for crying out loud. Kooyenga said to the Journal-Sentinel the existing law is "silly, antiquated and anti-free market."

The Dairy state law is…silly? Silly us. I personally want the law to stay in place. I expect butter when I dine out. It makes going out to eat just that much better then eating cheap margarine at home. 

You know, maybe we don’t appreciate what we have in this state. Maybe we’re okay with an Illinois import like Kooyenga to make butter disappear.  Let’s do away with the dairy states buttery uniqueness.

Out of Georgetown, Texas, Food Renegade Kristen Michaelis wrote this amazing tale:  
It’s not where you think it is. Not long ago, someone was treating me to breakfast and took me to I.H.O.P. I asked the waiter if he could bring me butter, and he brought me margarine.

“Excuse me,” I asked him politely, “but do you have any butter butter? Real butter, I mean, not margarine?” His momentarily confused expression quickly passed, and then he promised to go ask his manager. Five minutes later, the manager came out and asked me what I wanted. I reiterated that I simply wanted some butter. I wasn’t trying to be a pain, but surely the restaurant had real butter somewhere back in the kitchen. Five minutes later, he returned. “We don’t have any butter,” he said. That big scoop of creamy, salty, yellow stuff on the pancakes you eat there? Margarine. The little single serving pats they bring out with your toast? Margarine. The “butter” you asked them to cook your eggs in instead of refined vegetable oil? Margarine.

Making this discovery started my quest. I wanted to see how many restaurants even had butter. Nearly half a year later, and can you guess what I’ve discovered?

One. One restaurant out of dozens. Over the past 6 months, I’ve eaten out more than I have at any other time in my life. I’ve been to small town cafes and expensive fine dining. I’ve been to the local, hip places serving grass-fed beef and the major restaraunts dishing up oysters and pate. But you’d expect more of them to have butter, wouldn’t you?

Wait till the Republicans find out about the "community" owned socialist Green Bay Packers.

Thanks to the Caledonia Patch and Janine Anderson for taking up the fight.

School Choice Bottom Feeds off Taxpayer Money, and wants more.

Cute answer, dumb idea.

Check out this well thought out response to the argument that taxpayer money shouldn’t be taken from public schools. Jim Bender, president of the advocacy group School Choice Wisconsin: “It’s not their money. It’s taxpayers’ money. It’s parents’ money.”

There’s one problem to this cute answer; It is their-public schools-money, not the private sectors. It is the public’s money meant for public schools. Period.

And this is from Wisconsin Watch, a part of the Wisconsin Center for "Investigative Journalism." (my quotes) They are kidding, right?

In that netherworld of upside down conservative Humpty Dumptyisms, it’s not quality of education that matters, it's “the student’s needs first:”
“It’s not about a system. It’s not about a district. It’s about a student. If we put the student’s needs first, then there’s no problem with having the money following the child.”

Sounds like touchy feely, parent controlled, taxpayer centric bullshit to me. Oh, and motivated by conniving profiteers. For all the Republican Party’s talk about free markets and profit driven competition, the private sector is quick to pick the deep pockets of unsuspecting taxpayer with big, but temporary promises. Always keep in mind that behind the scenes, they are demanding more money, saying they can't keep their schools open without it.  
According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, expanding vouchers to Racine will add nearly $3 million to the state’s costs over the next two school years, after aid reductions to the Racine Unified School District are factored in. But Bender says the district “gets to make up for 100 percent of the state aid reduction” through local property taxes at a lower per-student cost than for Racine public school students.

There you go, taxpayer money to the rescue. 

You Want Cronyism? Look No Further than Gov. Walker and his pet Cindy Archer.

While the D.C. Republicans try to tag Obama for cronyism over a failed solar panel business, state Republicans like Gov. Scott Walker are taking cronyism to an exospheric level with his political appointments (czars).

Empty liberal name calling? Not if you look at the proof:
AP: Three days after Cindy Archer was to have started her job as the legislative liaison at the state Department of Children and Families - and while she was already being paid sick leave for it - the agency interviewed someone else for the same job … The state's open records law … also show the office of Gov. Scott Walker - and not the Department of Children and Families - offered Archer the job at up to 65% more than what the last person to hold the position made. Children and Families Secretary Eloise Anderson never interviewed Archer for the nearly $100,000-a-year job, even though Anderson is responsible for appointing someone to the post.

Any snappy excuses, tea party trollers? If that wasn’t bad enough, Archer got the job a day before she was offered the position...oops:
The newly released records also show Archer was informed of the job offer on Aug. 19 - a day after she technically received it, according to state paperwork.

Cronyism 2.0? I don’t believe conservative talkers Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling and Vicki McKenna have noticed. Not even a little phony outrage guys?  How about a little "both sides do it"…anything?
The time line: Archer was the No. 2 official in Walker's Department of Administration … She quit that job 16 minutes after being told by Walker chief of staff that she was being offered the job at the Dept. of Children and Families. She was supposed to start the job on Aug. 22, but she started taking paid medical leave that day and has not yet reported for the new position. Three days later, on Aug. 25, Anderson interviewed Heidi Green for the job of legislative liaison, records show. "What is going on?" Green's email asked. "Why would I interview on August 25th if she got the job on the 18th???"
Who's Heidi Green, and why is she making Walker look so bad?
Green is a fundraiser for Republicans and charities who in the past has worked as a legislative aide in Wisconsin and a lobbyist in Illinois. She wrote Hansen follow-up emails after her interview, including one on Sept. 9 in which she said she was "disappointed I have not heard anything from you or your office."
Where are our righteous right wing conservative talkers? Guess a little self criticism might reign in the out of control extremism of their new tea party agenda.

Friday, September 23, 2011

NRA's Wayne LaPierre's Brain Snaps: "

LaPierre is crazy! Why the NRA members keep this guy around is a mystery. Here LaPierre let's his conservative paranoia loose, ranting something about conspiracies and destroying our constitution. Blood drenched meat for gun slinging voters.

And he's the adult in their room:
"In public, he'll remind us that he's put off calls from his party to renew the Clinton [assault weapons] ban, "But it's a big fat stinking lie!" the NRA leader exclaimed. "It's all part of a massive Obama conspiracy to deceive voters and destroy the Second Amendment in our country." 
Who would give this lunatic a gun? Another NRA member, that's who.

Gov. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie Free to Talk about Secret Criminal Probe!!

Spokesman Cullen Werwie can talk, and spill whatever beans he's keeping secret right now. What this means in the big picture, who knows. But the corruption probe is starting to play out, with names now...

jsonline: Gov. Scott Walker's chief spokesman has been granted immunity in the ongoing John Doe investigation of the governor's current and former aides. Former Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim, who is overseeing the secret criminal probe, said he had granted immunity to three people, including Cullen Werwie, spokesman for Walker, in this part of the case. Records show he was granted immunity April 14.

Nettesheim said he also granted immunity to Rose Ann Dieck. Dieck, a longtime Republican operative, is listed as the chairwoman of the southwest surburban branch of the Milwaukee County Republican Party. She was granted immunity on Dec. 21. "They're taking away the rights of those who voted for change," Dieck said during an interview with WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) during March protests at Stone's campaign office. "There was an election on November 2nd. The people in the state of Wisconsin said we need change." 

House Budget Guy Ryan, to Fundraise from Corporate Elite to defeat Obama. Big Surprise?

Taking pay-to-play to a new level, the guy pulling the nations purse strings, Paul Ryan, is the GOP’s special interest front man for presidential fund raising. Nothing like in-your-face corporatism.
WAOW: U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, Chairman of the House Budget Committee, will be spearheading the GOP's fundraising effort to win back the presidency. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus announced Friday that Ryan will serve as chairman of the RNC Presidential Trust.

Ryan says in a statement that raising the money necessary to win the presidential election will be the difference maker.

Big brother corporations, otherwise known as “job creators,” just put a face on creeping fascism; Paul Ryan.