Friday, January 30, 2009

Top Down Economics Makes Comeback, GOP Marketing Bringing in New Believers

It may seem hard to believe that as we near another great depression, brought on by lax regulation and supply side economics, that the party responsible for the current crisis is able to sell their snake oil “tax cut” solution again. And the public is starting to believe it. It also highlights the limp way Democratic compromisers failed at every level to passionately stand behind their convictions. When Democrats Included tax cuts in the stimulus, to bring on more Republican support, it legitimized the failed tax cut/trickle down philosophy. It’s shocking to see conservatives winning the debate after destroying our economy and walking away scot free. Want proof:

According to the Rasmussen Report:
Paul Krugman recently wrote that you should “write off anyone who asserts that it’s always better to cut taxes than to increase government spending because taxpayers, not bureaucrats, are the best judges of how to spend their money.” If you follow that advice, you’ll be writing off a majority of Americans. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 53% say that it’s always better to cut taxes. Only 24% share Krugman’s views. Republicans overwhelmingly say it’s always better to cut taxes, and so do 50% of those not affiliated with either major party. Democrats are evenly divided—38% say tax cuts are always better while 34% disagree. A separate survey recently found that 57% of voters nationwide believe tax cuts are good for the economy Only 17% disagree.

But included the Republican plan for tax cuts, are corporate cuts. Media Matters explains:
In an op-ed, Limbaugh also advocated cutting the corporate tax rate, which economists have said will have a relatively weak stimulative effect. Mark Zandi, chief economist at, predicts that for every dollar federal revenue is reduced by corporate tax cuts, there will be a corresponding increase in GDP of only 30 cents. By contrast, Zandi predicts that for every dollar spent on extending unemployment benefits, there will be a corresponding increase of $1.64 in GDP.

The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has also reported that corporate tax cuts are "likely ineffective as stimulus." Citing research by the Congressional Research Service (CRS), CBPP stated:
The primary problem employer’s face in a recession is a shortage of demand for their products, not a shortage of cash. When firms face a shortage of demand, they will find it more attractive to retain -- or pass to shareholders -- any new cash they receive from a tax cut, rather than invest in increased production of goods and services for which no customers exist. But passing the tax benefits to shareholders and business owners would not stimulate the economy much. Shareholders and business owners are two groups that tend to have higher incomes -- and thus to save, rather than spend, much of any additional income they receive. As CRS concluded, such a tax cut "is more likely to be spent on reducing debt, or paying out dividends. Both choices would not expand aggregate demand."
My own gut feeling is that President Obama has spent his political capital and lost it, given the minority party elevated importance after seeking their approval, and pretty much put off any possible success he was hoping for in the next four years. That doesn’t even include the possible loss of a veto proof majority before that time.

Has the moment of opportunity just slipped away? Is the Democratic Party in control?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Limbaugh Shown as Hypocrite by CNBC's Conservative Mark Haines. Rush Trashed by Ditto Head

As the title suggests, Mark Haines slapped Limbaugh around like a rag doll, proving how easy it is to embarrass this freak. Contradictions, hypocrisy and bloviating is the wrong strategy to use if you're interested in winning a debate. I found out even more when I visited, and tried to digest their bizarre take Limbaugh's disastrous defense, and the little secret they revealed to the country.
CNBC's Erin Burnett and Mark Haines. Mark was intent on pinning Rush down about what he felt was hypocritical for the conservative host to be pushing bipartisanship now when no such pressure was put upon President Bush by the right to work with Democrats. In reality, this was a false premise on Haines's part ... conservatives like Limbaugh aren't interested in bipartisanship.

I think's Noel-Sheppard should stop helping Rush dig his hole even deeper. What a bragging point, "Conservatives aren't interested in bipartisanship." Confirmed. We'll keep that in mind Noel/Rush. Watch conservative Haines smoke Rush with unmistakable ease.

The Washington Post past along these two polls:

In newly-released data from the Pew Research Center, 62 percent of Americans polled had a favorable opinion of the Democratic Party, while far fewer, 40 percent, felt positively toward the GOP. The 22-point Democratic advantage is the largest recorded by Pew, and surpasses the 17-point edge the Republican Party had when it gained control of Congress in 1995.

Gallup data from last year indicate how widespread the Democratic advantage has become. Looking at the numbers of Democrats and Republicans in each state (not counting those nonpartisans who "lean" one way or the other), Gallup found Democrats had double-digit advantages in 24 states, the GOP just four.

Republicans Proud of Not Digging Us out of Crisis They Created. Colbert Skewers Them.

Stephen Colbert comments on the "bipartisan" rejection of the House's stimulus plan, that passed by a huge margin. Colbert points out the Republicans alternative proposal gave out tax cuts again with no projected cost analysis, again. It could bankrupt the country...oh yeah, they've already done that.


Rush Wants to Save America from Liberalism. Fascism's Okay Though?

In trying to understand the conservative mindset, I thought this letter to the editor in the Wisconsin State Journal, offered a frightening peak into its twisted upside logic. This just proves that the nations ditto heads have now been given permission to hope our new president fails, allowing our country to fail, in the hopes of saving us all from the Democrats. Didn't they think it was traitorous for liberals to want Bush to fail...? (Which was a phony argument to begin with.)

To Rush, Obama's failure saves America

In response to Saturday's letter regarding Rush Limbaugh, I am a regular listener to his radio program so I know why he does not support President Barack Obama. As a conservative, Limbaugh believes in small government, strong defense of our national security, low tax rates, personal responsibility and allowing the capital markets to work without governmental interference.

He objects to liberals such as Obama and the majority of Congress imposing policies which undermine America's liberty and the strength of capitalism, policies such as the TARP bailouts, the so-called economic "stimulus" package, high tax rates, universal health care and governmental mandates.He doesn't hate America; it's just the opposite.

He is opposed to liberal policies and he wants them to "fail" so they will not be able to damage America, especially long-term. And there are many conservatives in America such as myself who agree.-- John V, Madison

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dick Armey to Salon's Joan Walsh: "I'm so damn glad that you could never be my wife."

Republican condescension to the women of America hit a new low, when Dick Armey laughed and giggled during a serious segment on the economy and Salon's Joan Walsh's take on the stimulus plan. He not only didn't seem to care about what she was saying, he said "I'm so damn glad that you could never be my wife, 'cause I surely wouldn't have to listen to that prattle from you everyday... Look mame, you're talking like a paid political hack."

Are Republicans just plain crazy now? Is there a conservative base that would find this either funny or acceptable? I'm beginning to think we've only scratched the surface.

Rep. Eric Cantor Denounces Democratic Agenda, Offended by Their Attempt to Represent American Majority

Rep. Eric Cantor is fast becoming a household name in the same way Sen. Rick Santorum became one, by acting like a clueless zealot nut job.

This may be late breaking news to Cantor but Rahm Emanuel speaks for Obama, the Democrats are now in the majority, and the filibuster is less likely to block the liberal agenda from taking place. Lamenting the Republicans inability to stop the Democrats, Cantor realizes the public may have a much better opinion of Congress that gets things done, and attempts to solve some of this countries problems. The mean spirited rant here is another example of Republican "projection," a defense mechanism by which their own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else.

Cantor: "(Democrats) never miss an opportunity to seize on a crisis."

Of course, the Republicans never did that with 9/11, high gas prices and the Patriot Act.

Republican Swill Play Obama for Sucker, Putting Country Last.

MSNBC's David Shuster's muckraker report: Rep. John Boehner urged party members to oppose Pres. Obama's plan to save the American economy just before their good faith meeting to hammer out some of their differences, knowing all the time they would be voting against it.

Not only are they attempting to play off of Obama's outreached hand, but they are deceptively "supporting" his plan while ripping into the Democratic Congress' legislation, portraying it as something completely different. Watch the sympathetically pleasant faces of two Republican game players, who praise Obama's intentions, while at the same time are planning to vote no for partisan reasons.

When Does Life Really Begin? The First Breath.

Thank you James Earl Jones:

The Bush Tax Cuts Got Us Here. Republicans Want More of the Same

It’s almost unbelievable.
Fox News: House Republican leaders … have proffered a bill of their own to put on the negotiating table. The counter-package, would shift focus entirely from spending to tax relief.
Good god. What do you have to do to these people to get their attention. Hello, your economic policies created this disaster. This isn’t partisan, it’s idiocy. "
People are recognizing very quickly that's it's not one, stimulative, and two, it's full of all sorts of things that are sort of favorite political projects of the Democrat majority," said Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the Republican Study Committee.
Since the Democrats were chosen by the people to represent the majority interests and mood of the country, their campaign issues won the hearts and votes of the American people who want us to go in a different direction. Republicans represent the conservative values of their constiuents, they will not change their stripes, which is why they will oppose anything the Democratic majority comes up with. But their time in Congress was a massive failure. Tax cuts failed. Period. Now they want to do what they did before, regardless of getting the same result, and expect to convince the public they know best. Get a load of their counter proposal:
Their bill, called the Economic Recovery and Middle-Class Tax Relief Act of 2009, promises a host of tax-cutting measures. It includes a 5 percent "across the board" income tax cut; a freeze on capital gains and dividends tax rates at 15 percent; and a number of other measures targeted toward businesses. The Republicans authoring the alternative bill did not have an estimate for the cost of their counter-proposal.
Anyone surprised there was no cost estimate? Apparently, nothing else matters.
House Minority Leader John Boehner dismissed the Democratic proposal as a partisan grab bag driven by "old liberal spending priorities."

Well, those “old conservative tax cutting priorities” brought this country to its knees, and rippled around the world.

From the archives, I’ve clipped a few lines from a plethora of stories documenting how we got here. Many of the stories lack attribution, saved before I started to save that information, so my apology to those who contributed to this short history:
Aug. 2003: What caused a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion to become a projected deficit of $4.4 trillion? Of this extraordinary $10 trillion deterioration, approximately 36 percent comes from enacted or expected tax cuts, 31 percent from budget increases, especially for defense and homeland security … President Bush's tax cuts since 2001 have shifted more of the tax burden from the nation's rich to middle-class families, according to the Congressional Budget Office … The tax rate declined across all income levels - but more so in the top brackets, the report said. People in the top 20 percent of incomes, averaging $182,700 a year, saw their share of federal taxes decline from 65.3 percent in 2001 to 63.5 percent this year … In contrast, middle-class taxpayers - with incomes ranging from $51,500 to $75,600 - bear a greater tax burden. Those making an average of $75,600 had the biggest jump in their share of taxes, from 18.5 percent of all payments in 2001 to 19.5 percent this year … The study found that the effective tax rate for the top 1 percent of taxpayers dropped from 33 percent in 2001 to 26.7 percent this year, a decline of 19 percent. The middle 20 percent of taxpayers saw a decline of 4 percent.

2004: What we have here is a form of looting." So says George Akerlof, a Nobel laureate in economics of the Bush administration's budget policies. The government is simply borrowing to make up for the loss of revenue. In 2004, the typical family will pay about $700 less in taxes than it would have --- but meanwhile, the government will run up about $1500 in debt on that family's behalf.

2004: Three years into an administra­tion on whose watch spending has mushroomed by 23. 7 per­cent the fastest pace in a dec­ade … What has vexed conserva­tives most is the 31.5 percent growth since Bush took office in discretionary spending. Such spending grew by an annual average of 3.4 percent during Clinton's eight years … Mounting spending has combined with the recession and two major tax cuts to turn a four-year string of annual surpluses into deficits that last year hit $374 billion, the worst ever in dollar terms.

Feb 2004: According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the single biggest cause of the deficit is the president's massive tax cuts for the wealthy -- which he conveniently did not mention. Specifically, 36% of the deficit comes from the tax cuts, while only 31% comes from defense/war related spending increases, And as the president starves veterans health care, low-income housing, and health care programs of funding, he is pushing more than $1 trillion in new tax cuts, primarily for the wealthy.

2005: Bush is faced with an embarrassing deficit that for the first time in 50 years a Republican president could not blame on Congress, since members of Mr. Bush's party control both the House and the Senate. Halving the deficit in five years … Bush projects will be achieved with a 2009 shortfall of $237 billion. Senator Jon Corzine, a New Jersey Democrat and former chairman of the Goldman Sachs investment banking firm, was even more pointed. "Asserting that we're going to cut this in half by 2008 is right in there with Richard Nixon saying `I've got a secret plan to end the war.' "

February 10, 2004 NY Times: The movement of American factory jobs and white-collar work to other countries is part of a positive transformation that will enrich the U.S. economy over time, even if it causes short-term pain and dislocation, the Bush administration said … in the president's annual report to Congress on the health of the economy. "Outsourcing is just a new way of doing international trade," said N. Gregory Mankiw, chairman of Bush's Council of Economic Advisors. "More things are tradable than were tradable in the past. And that's a good thing."

His advisors acknowledge that international trade and foreign outsourcing have contributed to the job slump. Although trade expansion inevitably hurts some domestic workers, the benefits eventually will outweigh the costs as Americans are able to buy cheaper goods and services and as new jobs are created in growing sectors of the economy, the report said. "Maybe we will outsource a few radiologists," Mankiw told reporters. "What does that mean? Well, maybe the next generation of doctors will train fewer radiologists and will train more general practitioners or surgeons…. Maybe we've learned that we don't have a comparative advantage in radiologists. Mankiw said, "The market is the best determinant of where the jobs should be," he said.

Social Security also must be restructured to let workers put part of their retirement funds in private accounts, the report argues. Doing so could add nearly $5 trillion to the national debt by 2036, the president's advisors note, but the additional borrowing would be repaid 20 years later and the program's long-term health would be more secure.

September 24, 2004: Responding to an election­ season request by Demo­crats, the Congressional Bud­get Office estimated that some of Presi­dent Bush's budget policies, plus other costs would add $1.3 trillion to federal deficits over the next decade.

Republicans Continue "Economic Rough Patch" Claim, Ignore U.S.'s Flawed Structural Problems in Capitalism

No one demonstrates the wildly out of touch Republican contingent more than former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich. In this interview, David Shuster asks, "for those people who would say look, we've tried it, this trickle down economics, giving tax cuts mostly to the wealthy, hoping that would spur economic investment. There are arguments that didn't work. We should try it the other way..."

Forgetting that the last 8 years of growth were created by Wall Street voodoo, smoke and mirrors and money that never existed, Erhlich touts these illusions as "the great economic recovery." And these guys were in charge once, folks.

Erhlich: What didn't work? The great economic recovery, the boom years 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006. Obviously we've had a very DIFFICULT PATCH here. So being an anti-market politician isn't going to work."

Shuster: Isn't Obama acknowledging the United States needs to take more responsibility for consuming 25% of the worlds energy and lagging on environmental concerns...?"

Erhlich: We shouldn't apologize for capitalism, we shouldn't apologize for our standard of living..."

For Erhlich and fellow Republicans, taking responsibility and getting rid of badly out dated policy is an "apology," a bizarre and oddly defensive attitude to take. It suggests that no matter how bad things get, we will never change any anything. Change equals an apology. It also suggests Republicans have some real pschological issues to work out.

Hypocrite ALERT: Why should the Bush tax cuts and Republican economic stimulous plan be made permanent, while at the same time, complain that the Democratic plan is flawed in that it might become permanent?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Bilbray Complains Just to Complain, Caught in Simple Contradiction by Chris Matthews

It was those damn "short term" Republican solutions that took down America, and now they want do it all again. Rep. Brian Bilbray, in this clip, is filled with contradictions and ideologically induced mental roadblocks. The horror of helping states pay for health care, supplementing unemployment and food stamps is just too much to bear when you don't give a rats ass. Bilbray complains that the short term stimulation will only be "short term," and the long term stuff won't kick in for another two years, or long term.

Chris Matthews points out the two stage nature of Obama's plan and the contradictions in the Republicans argument, eliciting a "twist in the wind" stream of nonsensical talking points. Rep. Jim Moran has to explain the concept of "laying the foundation" of restarting our economy to Bilbray in terms even a preschooler could understand. Sadly, he never catches on.

I hope they continue to intellectually embarrass themselves so opening like this in public. It's my new never ending source of material; funny, sad and pathetically mean spirited.

George W. ...who?

Republicans: The Party of Shortsighted Inhumane Monsters

"White House Budget chief Peter Orszag said in an AP interview 'With appropriate attention and proper management, you can both get the money out the door ... and still have well-selected projects."

Taking into consideration how lazy our freeloading small government Republicans are when it comes to oversight, this comment shouldn’t be a surprise: "I don't see how that's possible," said Sen. Thad Cochran of Mississippi, top Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee. "They'll be just pouring money down on the ground if they achieve that goal."

What goal will require public taxpayer support?
President Barack Obama's recovery plan amounts to the biggest increase ever in federal money for schools. The plan would spend about $20 billion quickly to build and fix up classrooms, from kindergarten through college in an effort, to spur job creation and growth. It also would give $39 billion to states to stave off cuts in schools. The bill includes a $15 billion bonus fund to encourage reforms related to teaching and student tests.

And for the first time, fully fund No Child Left Behind. That’s right, pouring money into our schools is like pouring money on the ground.
Many Republicans say it is not a short-term boost but an immense expansion that will be impossible to roll back.

Like we would want to? Can Republicans be blunter in displaying their contempt for an educated public? But education isn’t the only waste of money.

Democrats want to use the big spending package designed to jump-start the staggering economy to send billions to long-term programs to help poor and disabled school children.

"What will happen two years from now when the Democrat spending spree comes to an end?" asked California Rep. Buck McKeon, top Republican on the House Education and Labor Committee. "It'll never go away," said Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, a Republican on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. "You're talking about a permanent increase at a time when we are in the worst financial shape we've ever been in."

A typical conservative response isn’t it? They want only short term solutions to long term problems. I hate restating the obvious: Republicans gave us an incredibly incompetent government by design, so they could prove their point and gain public support for dismantling it.
It’s happening now all over the country.
State governments are making dramatic cuts to education as revenue from sales and property taxes plummet … Class sizes are set to rise and hundreds of thousands of teachers have gotten layoff notices.

As one Democratic Congressperson put it, “As their revenue base is restored, as sales taxes start to grow, if the economy recovers and home values start to stabilize, they will have to transition to return to reliance on that.” But the “short term” Republicans can never plan for the future. Their in it for short term gain. How would you explain this pathetically short sighted comment.
"None of this is going to stimulate anything," Coburn said.

But education is just part of the mental block experienced by Republicans.
Republican lawmakers tried to slow momentum for expanding a children's health insurance program by arguing that a bill in the Senate would draw about 2.4 million children away from private insurance into government-sponsored coverage. Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., said "We're going to replace a lot of private insurance with government insurance," Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., replied thatthose arguing the program was too generous to middle-income families are "really out of touch with what these families face."

And yet, Republicans can still say what they’re saying, guilt free.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cantor Unaware of Business Closures, Job Losses: Wants to Create Jobs Out of Thin Air

Rep. Eric Cantor says he want to create "lasting jobs" for Americans. Question: And that would be in what industry? What small business, devoid of a spending public, is ready to employ the millions of workers out of work? Or was Cantor's rosy idea of recovery a drug induced hallucination from some of that left over Bush cool-aide?

MSNBC's David Shuster asks the faithful question, "explain to Americans who are skeptical about the idea that tax cuts create jobs, after the past eight years why they should take that risk now?"

Of course, Cantor like all Republicans, never gets around to answering the question.

They really have run out of time.

Rep. Steve Nass Tells the World: "We have Businesses that want to leave the state!" Is this Nass's Idea of Job Creation?

Here's another example of Republican psychobabble, the kind of logic that got us into a recession, and nearly a depression. Zealot conservative Rep. Steve Nass, on WPR's morning radio show, does his best to get the message out: Hey buisiness, don't come to Wisconsin, you won't like it here. We're bad, really bad for you. Stay away. We have regulations and environmental controls that you will hate.

Nass seems to have missed the part where our bad economy is bleeding jobs, bankrupting businesses and homeowners and making health care unaffordable. Jobs aren't being created and businesses aren't expanding right now Steve. Wake up. Nass believes if we just leaves things alone, cut taxes and hand the keys over to business, like we have for the last 8 years, the nation will be better off. And you thought Republicans knew what they were doing.

Part 2 after the tone, Nass claims government wasn't put in place to create jobs! Besides the fact that it was created to form what we now know as the United States of America, it does create jobs, lots of them. Public employees get pay checks, pay federal and state taxes and spend money on things, just like real people. Government contracts with the private sector for services and products, creating millions of jobs everywhere. Strangely, Nass acts like only private businesses give people a paychecks. More to the point, mumbo jumbo psycho babble! A convoluted collection of false truisms meant to sound good and impress the conservative base.

One more note; summed up a recent partisan Nass(sty) issue:
Nass was recently (2007) in the news regarding the state budget fiasco when he expressed cutting funding of a UW-Madison center because its studies were "too far to the left." Isn't a statement like that just as far to the right?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Rush Limbaugh: "I want him (Obama) to Fail." Country First...?

It’s called projection. Thanks to Rush Limbaugh, now I understand the problem.

I understand now why Republicans accused Democrats of secretly hoping Bush would fail. It was an absurd concept, until now. They were projecting. In psychiatry, it’s “a defensive mechanism by which your own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else.” In a rare lucid moment for Rush, he drew the curtain back to expose what is really behind the Republican Party, revealing an emotionally unstable political body about to become even more marginalized.

Rush Limbaugh has been the Republican Parties worst nightmare, spewing the truth behind their politics and self destructive nature. They really want the country to fail, just to achieve their political ends. Limbaugh wants the nation’s recovery plan to fail. He even admits that American’s will like what the Democrats are offering.

But haven’t you heard, the Republicans know what’s best for the country. They’re the ones that want to save the people from themselves. They are rejecting a government by, for and of the people, and offering instead, a government authority who dictates what we really need. Thanks to that off the cuff comment from Pres. Obama, Rush has exposed the conservatives darkness to the light of day.

The National Review asked Rush Limbaugh for his reaction to President Obama’s comment to Republican leaders, "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
Obama's plan would buy votes for the Democrat Party, in the same way FDR's New Deal established majority power for 50 years of Democrat rule, and it would also simultaneously seriously damage any hope of future tax cuts. It would allow a majority of American voters to guarantee no taxes for themselves going forward. It would burden the private sector and put the public sector in permanent and firm control of the economy. Put simply, I believe his stimulus is aimed at re-establishing "eternal" power for the Democrat Party rather than stimulating the economy because anyone with a brain knows this is NOT how you stimulate the economy.

Simply put, Rush is worried the American people might like the way the country is run so much, that the empty rhetoric of “tax cuts” will no longer get votes, and the GOP will sink like the rock it has been in blocking our nations progress. Rush continues to cut the conservative wound deeper, this time appealing to the racist nature of the party in a surprisingly open way…
Why do we have to accept the premise here that because of the historical nature of his presidency, that we want him to succeed? This is affirmative action, if we do that. We want to promote failure, we want to promote incompetence, we want to stand by and not object to what he's doing simply because of the color of his skin?

Don't you just hate those uppity, incompetitent affirmative action blacks? Like my conservative friend said in a recent phone call, "Your "boy" is going to be in the White House." He also denies being a racist.
Here is Rush’s ultimate PROJECTION:
I want him to fail. If his agenda is a far-left collectivism -- some people say socialism -- as a conservative heartfelt, deeply, why would I want socialism to succeed?"
Oh, I don’t know, maybe because it might work? Rush just gave the ditto deadenders and general public the twisted justification to want the president to fail in his attempts to save this country, an unthinkable thing to say at a time like this and in this nations short history.

This week, the grand dragon of partisan politics and the former water carrier of the Bush administration, Rush Limbaugh, served up all the Republican secrets and hidden agendas for the world to see.

In fact, you might call it a psychological version of Dorian Gray. A party that gave up everything for the appearance of confidence, free markets and responsibility, while hiding the decay, corruption and age that ended up rotting the party from within.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

ALERT: Rush Limbaugh Victim. Scared, Insecure Republican VICTIMS Sound Off about Their Celebrity Idol.

For a confident bunch of “pull up your bootstraps” “do it myself,” independent conservatives, they sure are a needy bunch of whiners. Look at how they protect their helpless multi-millionaire from the slings and arrows of the liberal left, and their “boy” in the White House. Never missing a chance to blame someone else for having an opinion about their failed ideological leanings, the story went something like this: The Drudge Report blared the New York Post report by Charles Hurt that President Obama told the Republicans in Congress that they should go along and get along, and stop listening to Rush Limbaugh: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." Let’s imagine that Obama went to a black audience and suggested to them that if they wanted to make their way in America, they should stop listening to Al Sharpton’s radio show, because it’s too divisive. How long would the media ignore those remarks? This is also a distinct signal that Obama could be serious about imposing a Censorship Doctrine on talk radio.

Ooops. Wouldn’t “a censorship doctrine” also affect liberal talk radio? Also, no racist would ever bring up the issue of race in a completely irrelevant way like Newsbusters, right?

At Alan Colmes’ Later the White house clarified: “There are big things that unify Republicans and Democrats. We shouldn’t let partisan politics derail what are very important things that need to get done.”

Limbaugh, being the showman he is, offered how he hopes Obama fails, in spite of his anti-left tirade in 2006 when he said, “I’m getting so sick and tired of people rooting for the defeat of the good guys.” Personally, I feel Obama should ignore the right-wing loudmouths. He only gives them publicity, credibility, ego gratification and a false sense of importance by acknowledging them.

And this Posted comment by Eric: Regarding “Obama WILL lose the fight to silence Limbaugh!” POSTED BY JERRYSROLLIN.BLOGSPOT.COM, what fight? You insane conservatives always do that. Every time someone talks about the disgusting bile and fear-mongering and lying that goes on right-wing radio you all start going on about being silenced. This was a request to not partake in obvious partisan political media to a very specific group.

At adisgruntaledrepublican, this comment about his nut job ranting:
As for President Obama's point, I totally agree. The quote actually says, ""You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done." Emphasis added for effect. Sometimes reactions are based on pure projection onto the speaker to read into their quotes in the worst possible light. It makes me mad....

Amen. Just call them the "blame Americans first" crowd.

The Truth About School Choice: Ignore Voucher Failures to Keep Myth of Better Education Alive

Profit driven K-12 private schools want your hard earned tax dollars. Period.
Want proof? The following story out of Ohio is all that needs to be said about the flawed clichés parroted by voucher advocates and their Republican enablers.

Cincinnati Enquirer: Ohio pays private school tuitions for about 10,000 students through its Educational Choice Scholarship program, and those students take the same state tests that public school students take. Through a public records request: Many Ed Choice students failed state achievement and graduation tests administered last May. And state officials admit that they don’t check who passes or fails the tests, just whether the students take them.

That wasn’t a misprint. Again, it doesn’t matter whether students passed the test, just that they TOOK it? Parents of Ed Choice should be choking on their coffees right now. The voucher advocates have legally made irrelevant these results:
Four in 10 failed in reading-- Six in 10 failed in math-- Three in 10 failed in writing- Nearly seven in 10 failed in science--And six in 10 failed in social studies.But, unlike with public or charter schools, these failures won’t reflect on private schools.
Now that’s education reform you can believe in. Republican legislators made sure private educators performance was not an issue:

The Ohio Education Department does not compile test scores of voucher students or report them on school report cards to parents, as it does for public and charter schools and districts. State officials refused to even disclose which private schools the students who took the tests attended, nor what grade levels the students had reached. Also unknown was where the Ed Choice students lived. County, city and district of residence information was withheld.

Education Department Spokesman Scott Blake said that information could compromise student privacy. The education department doesn’t compile or analyze test scores of Ed Choice students because the law requires that students merely take the tests, not that they pass them or that anyone rates their schools’ performance. Blake says the program’s success should be measured by whether it provides more educational options for parents. “It’s about parental choice and trying to find the best educational match for that child.”

I can’t imagine any parent being more concerned with having choices over whether their kids get a great education. I wonder how many other states have similar “standards” in place, as the “choice” myth continues to build.

One final point: Would you be okay with your child missing one or two years of learning anything in school? Of course not, but Ohio Republicans decided that was an exceptable price to pay.

Blake said: “Besides, how do you measure a private school’s effect on an Ed Choice student’s test scores if they’ve attended in less than a year? Education is a process; it’s not something that happens over night. It could be that kid goes there and something clicks and the following spring they do great. Or it could take a year or more. A lot of it is about the individual involved.”

But public school officials note their annual report cards judge them on all students’ progress, even first-year transfer students.

This demonstrates how far voucher advocates are willing to go to game the system, at the expense of our kids intellectual development and future. I don’t think I’ve seen anything this blatantly self serving from voucher advocates in the time I’ve been following this ideologically driven snake oil. The following are reader comments:

Ohiocrat wrote: I never had a clue that voucher students didn't have to pass state tests like public school students do. That makes these programs even more of a joke in my book. All elementary schools in the voucher program receive $4500 per student. That's way more than the tuition at almost all private elementary schools … the average tution was around $2700. We're spending $60 million tax dollars on a program that overpays (by nearly double) the tution of private school students. What's worse is that the students "being saved" from their neighborhood public schools are preforming worse than their public school peers. Follow that logic? Be sure to thank your local GOP Legislator for yet another brilliant idea

jcody wrote: So the tests that are used to slap around public and charter schools when the results are poor don't count for private schools that use public money? Likewise, students stigmatized by poor test results in public schools don't face that same disapproval in private schools? That doesn't sound fair, nor does it sound as if tax money is being used in a way that holds anyone accountable. Is there a good reason for being against this brand of accountability?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Commercial Ethics? That's What You'll Get With Consumer Driven Health Care

Privatizing government programs removes the kind of oversight necessary to to rein in greed and abuse. It's one of the reasons why many, including myself, are against school vouchers and a free market health care system. Instead of government oversight, audits and studies, were treated with advertising brochures telling us how great a private school or health care service is. Does anyone want to trust their child's education or family health care to a sales pitch? That's the latest finding:
Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report “Consumer-Driven Health Care Might Not Be What Patients Need -- Caveat Emptor," Journal of the American Medical Association: In the commentary, Robert Berenson of the Urban Institute and Christine Cassel of the American Board of Internal Medicine discuss consumer directed health care plans designed to make consumers more selective in seeking services. While many see consumer-directed care as a "new approach to organizing the financing and delivery of health care," the model "implicitly calls for a fundamental reordering of the patient-physician relationship, placing increased reliance on commercial ethics while eroding professional ethics as the guiding force for patient-physician interactions," the authors write
"Commercial ethics?" What a surreal concept. We saw how well commercial ethics worked on Wall Street, didn't we? Anyone for a rerun of that disaster with health care?

Limbaugh, Voice of Conservatives, Backs Government Secrets & Openly Wants Obama/U.S. to Fail

Remember how conservatives blamed (still blame) liberals for hoping Bush would fail economically and militarily, putting Democrats on the defensive, and forcing them to deny doing such a despicable thing? It was Un-American to hope the president would fail, which would also mean the country fails, just to make a political point. Heck it's wrong period.

In a blatant and revealing declaration that exposes what Republicans really think, Rush Limbaugh in the first clip above, longs for an elite opaque secret government operation while at the same time cheering on (second clip) the failure of Barack Obama's attempts at saving our country from another great depression. For purely political reasons.

The two clips above are frightening statements about the direction of the NEW Republican Party, an extremist one, and how far they will go to avoid ideological moderation and change. Hell, hoping the country goes down in flames is mind boggling.

Here's what Rush said recently in an interview with Shawn Hannity:

That's the way the Democrats do it. You put people into groups and then you victimize them. And give the victims power over the majority. Because they then have grievances that are nonexistent, and the majority gets cowed into fear..."

Let's make a small, and appropriate word substitution; "victims" to "Republicans"

...and give the "Republicans" power over the majority. Because they then have grievances that are nonexistent, and the majortiy gets cowed into fear.."

Because Republicans are the "victims" of critcism, liberal colleges, the New Deal and media, I thought the substitution worked quite well.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Answer Songs Quiz

In one of my journeys down the internet tube, I ran across this strange compilation of music, answer songs to popular hit songs. Here are a select few you might relate to the originals.

2. I'm No Run Around - Ginger Davis & The Snaps
3. Jerry (I'm Your Sherry) - Tracey Dey
4. Queen of the House -
5. Sugar Shack Queen - Georgia Lynn
6. Gary, Please Don't Sell My Diamond Ring - Wendy Hill
9. Yes, I'm Lonesome Tonight - Dodie Stevens
12. Don't Let Him Shop Around - Debbie Dean
13. Son-In-Law - Blossoms
14. He'll Have to Stay - Jeanne Black
15. Duchess of Earl - Pearlettes
17. When a Woman Loves a Man - Esther Phillips
19. Tell Tommy I Miss Him - Marilyn Michaels
20. (I Can't Help You) I'm Falling, Too - Skeeter Davis
21. You Don't Have to Be a Tower of Strength - Gloria Lynne
22. I'll Bring It on Home to You - Carla Thomas
23. I'll Just Walk on By - Margie Singleton
24. (Chain Gang) The Sound of My Man - Theola Kilgore
26. I Don't Like It Like That - Bobbettes
27. There Is Nothing on My Mind, Pts. 1 & 2 - Teen Queens
28. They Took You Away - I'm Glad, I'm Glad - Josephine


Daschle on Health Care: The Stories of Personal Collapse

While the Republicans "debate" universal health care, and push a free market solution (like the one already in place/in crisis), give a listen to Tom Daschle's testimony explaining why we need real reform. For him, and for all of us, it's the heart break of personal tragedy and health problems that meant the total economic collapse of American families.

"If You've Got Nothing to Hide..." Republicans Silent on Russell Tice Allegations

Keith Olbermann has the goods on the Bush administration regarding the NSA warrantless wiretapping of Americans. There is no doubt now. According to MSNBC:

Former analyst at the NSA, Russell Tice, reveals that American journalists were specifically targeted by the Bush Administration for surveillance. Tice feared revealing this information while Bush occupied the Oval Office.

Wisconsin Utility Company Wants Rate Increase Due to a Decrease In Energy Use. In a Recession? Huh?

Did you ever wonder why a utility company keeps asking you to use less energy when in the end, it could only hit them in the pocketbook in the form of lower profits? It never made sense to me either. Could it be these for-profit companies, supplying a life sustaining product like electricity and gas, had a social conscience? Of course not.

So what happens when you spend huge amounts of money on upgrading your furnace, water heater, water softener, dishwasher and refrigerator just to lower your utility bill and use a lot less energy?

Your energy provider asks for a rate increase to make up for the lost profits. Let me get this right; customers will end up paying the same or more on their utility bill, all the while they’re losing money on those expensive new energy conserving products they purchased.

It’s those "down the rabbit hole," upside down market forces folks:
AP-Wisconsin Power & Light is expected to file an emergency request to raise rates because the recession has reduced its revenue. WPL's sales will drop 6.4 percent this year, or $30 million. WPL is losing two top energy consumers - the General Motors plant in Janesville and the Domtar paper mill in Port Edwards. Harvey Bill Harvey, chairman and chief executive Alliant Energy says WPL is "sharing the pain" felt across the utility's service area.

Throughout southern Wisconsin, untold numbers of businesses are paring production and staff. That means less electricity is being used and WPL is collecting less money. WPL's sales this year will be 6.4 percent, or $30 million, lower than those anticipated. Harvey said, "Because of this significant downward shift in forecasts, we will likely file an emergency rate case."

But using less energy has been the goal of utility ad campaigns. So now that less energy is consumed, WPL is whining their profits are down. What a surprise?
Would such a request be considered a bailout? Robert Norcross, administrator of the state Public Service Commission's gas and energy division, said that type of request would likely be controversial envisioning an outcry from people who have lost their jobs and have little or no money coming in for themselves.

Utility companies do not belong in the free market. From this example, which is indefensible, it would appear the free marketers complaints that you don’t increase taxes (rates in this case) in a recession is just so much snake oil.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

O'Reilly Wants Free Jenna Jameson DVD. Too Cheap to Buy One Bill?

This is my first shot at Bill O'Reilly. He's pretty much a cartoon character of everything that's wrong with Fox News and the self righteous wing nuts they represent. But the other night on E Entertainment, I saved this little clip from their story of porn idol Jenna Jameson, and what it says about the sexual fantasies of our guardian of American morals, Bill O'Reilly. Also, just for fun, I've included Jameson talking about doing the "I Dream of Jenna" take-off.

A guy with O'Reilly's kind of money, he can't even go out an buy a Jameson DVD?

The Bush Lied Legacy Campaign, Number 4

Can the Bush Legacy Campaign change history? Not if the critics of the Bush administration have anything to do with it. If you do a search of this blog, you'll find Joe Conason, Eric Alterman, Ron Suskind and now Tom Andrews calling Bush a LIAR.

I know, it took a little while for anyone to muster the courage to say a simple, effective word like liar, but better late than never. The fun part is to watch each and every Bush defender deny the well documented lies and propaganda disseminated over the last eight years. They cling desperately to the old disproved talking points, assuming no one will notice.

Are these people the real "dead enders?"

Here, Chris Matthews' guest Fmr. Rep. Tom Andrews and Huffington Post contributor methodically destroys Tony Blankley's objection over whether Bush lied. For Blankely, "haggling" over 6 year old Bush debates is silly; "That is the debate of 2003." As Obi-Wan Kenobi said once, "He can go about his business. Move along..."

The Bush Legacy in Song

The Bush tributes continue to trickle in. Here's Stephen Colbert's look back with the help of Broadway singer and actress Christine Ebersole.

Holy crap, I just watched 2 Hours of Legolands Obama Inauguration By Mistake

It seemed so real...

Bush Booed at Inaugural. Message Received.

One of the high points of the Obama inaugural was the crowd response to Bush cascading down the stairs in his final appearance as the outgoing president.

Even though the response from both Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews was disappointing but expected, the crowd had it right. If Congress and the new president don't pursue legal avenues against the "Bush crime family," a description Mike Malloy has been using for years, the least we can do is boo the guy. The rising volume of "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye" added a certain element of fun, like a 3 Stooges hammer to the forehead, that appeared to have stunned Bush's normally blissfull confidence. Just watch his face.

Pat Buchanan Rocked by Obama Speech! No, Really.

Does President Barack Obama have a new fan in Pat Buchanan? Besides the fact that I believe Obama's speech was one for the history books, Buchanan seems to have been just as bowled over. Because I find Buchanan's excitement level surprising, and his words of praise right on the mark, I had to include the video clip here. It's Obamentum.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Republican "Soft on Crime" Argument Coming Back to Bite Conservative Wis. Supreme Court Candidate

Former public defender Randy Koschnick, now a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, defended one of Wisconsin's most notorious criminals: cop killer Ted Oswald, a case that could haunt Koschnick in his bid to unseat Justice Shirley Abrahamson. describes the killer this way:
Eighteen-year-old Ted Oswald and his father robbed a suburban Milwaukee bank in 1994 and fled. Pulled over by police, the Oswalds opened fire with semiautomatic rifles. Ted Oswald fired the shot that killed Capt. James Lutz. Koschnick called the criticism unfair, saying defense attorneys play an important role in the judicial system and defending Oswald doesn't mean he was trying to get him off.

Ooops. Did Koschnick just say he DIDN’T try to get the jury to find Ted Oswald not guilty? But as a defense attorney, that was his job of course. Does that mean he didn’t really try too hard?

What makes this a point of interest is the tainted recently elected conservative Justice Michael Gableman in his win over Louis Butler, who “became the first sitting justice to lose in 41 years last spring, after opponents ran ads attacking him as "Loophole Louie," a former public defender who was soft on crime.”

It looks like Kuschnick is just another conservative falling on their double edged sword of hypocritical talking points. If you’re a conservative, running on the platform of being tough on crime, you can’t take it back when you’re caught looking for the same “loopholes” liberal defense attorneys were seeking. According to
Conservative radio host Mark Belling wrote Koschnick's defense of Oswald undermines his ability to run as tough on crime and gives him little chance of winning.
Not only did Kuschnick try the “brainwashed and coerced” defense tactic, but he also took advantage of trying the case locally to game the jury pool who had heard of his “abusive upbringing.” Nothing wrong with that you say, well, it was enough to get the guilty verdict thrown out and a new trial ordered:
(Eight years later) U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman ordered a new trial, citing bias among jurors fueled by publicity … a federal appeals court judge said Oswald’s defense team “may have been trying to game the system” …hoping for a biased jury. He was again sentenced to life in prison after a second jury convicted him in 2005.

I have nothing against defense attorney’s doing their job, it’s what they are supposed to do, but it’s something else when liberal candidates are scorned by conservative who have used the same tactics for their clients. You’ve got to take the heat for your hypocrisy.

For instance:
Koschnick handled several homicide cases –helping win acquittal in one for lack of evidence-and represented a father accused of brutally beating two young children.

He DEFENDED a child abuser? Soft on crime? I can’t wait to hear the excuses.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Republican Injustice, Schlozman Not Prosecuted for Breaking Law

Keith Olbermann runs down the perfect example, the face of the "law and order" party, Republican discriminator in the Justice Department Bradley Schlozman. This is so over the top, with no prosecution, I'm using this on my conservative friends when they question the legality of anything Obama does in the next four years.

Palin's Axe to Grind for those Who Victimized Her

I've got a kind of weird fascination for the "elect Sarah Palin for President" movement. Almost a carbon copy of the Bush style of thinking and governing, conservative voters are willing to do it all again, their anxious to have repeat of the last eight years. It's a strange denial of a failed ideology, a confirmation that Bush was attacked because of liberal hate, that everything would have been better had Bush not been handicapped by criticism.

Fox News handles the Palin problem with a slight sense of humor, and a warning to those who might assume she's not a viable candidate. James Rosen suggests in his story Palin might be the next Nixon, that she has a problem letting go and has a nasty axe to grind, something people don't like to see. claims "their heroin stirs fear and loathing, because she represents a challenge to the established order across party lines." The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List, and their representative Majorie Dannenfelser explains, "inside the beltway, people are sort of scratching their heads, maybe we can't quite get it. She took her message over the elites, directly to the people, and there's a resonance there. Unfortunately, there is an authenticity and character that is rare these days in politics."

I guess that rules out Barack Obama. There's an assumption that "the people" are all bumpkins. I wonder how many conservative business owners would turn over the reigns of their company to Palin, if the employees voted her in? How would those companies do over time? Amplify that a gazillion times when it comes to the presidency, and perhaps there might be a hesitation. Yeah right.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ohio’s dropout academies: Needs More Time?

I’ve been following the charter/voucher debate for a long time, but never knew about “dropout academy” charter schools. These are schools that take kids who have given up on schools, the toughest students who are real discipline problems, and give them a chance to be a contributing member of society. I have been against vouchers and charters for some time, and the data so far backs up what I thought initially, but “dropout academies” might be a solution to a more dramatic social problem, and an idea that should be allowed some time to develop and be improved upon. It’s a problem that I find substantially different from the underperforming student hoping to attend a private school. I may be wrong about this initial feeling, but check out this story from AP out of Ohio:

Two years ago, 16-year-old Jonathan Martinez was a defiant kid from New York City who felt disconnected. He was expecting a son, and he quickly dropped out of school. Fast-forward to Friday, when Martinez, now 18, earned his diploma from Life Skills Center of Columbus Southeast, a privately run academy for high school dropouts. “Honestly, my first thought was: Another high school, just another chance to get kicked out of somewhere. But I saw the way they treat the kids, they don’t just talk to them to find out about school but just to find out what’s going on, to get to know them on a personal level.” While extremely positive about his Life Skills experience, Martinez doubts he would have wound up on the street. He said education has always been a priority for him.

The Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools is seeking to defend charter schools like Life Skills, which suffer from lackluster graduation rates and poor marks for performance. Dropout academies had a 29.9 graduation rate during the 2006-07 school year, compared to 91.4 at public schools and 32.3 percent at charter schools. Schools run by White Hat had a graduation rate of 26.6 percent.

The alliance recently conducted a soon-to-be-released study that shows how much Ohio taxpayers save every time a high school dropout is avoided. An early copy of the study was provided to The Associated Press. The analysis found that a person with a high school education and no college earns an average of $470,000 more over their lifetime than one who drops out of high school. It estimated that Ohio experiences $7.6 billion in lost wages each year because the 749,879 high school dropouts don’t have diplomas. “This report does a good job of showing what a critical role these dropout programs play in the lives of these students and what a practical role they play as educational institutions to the state’s economy,” said William Sims, the alliance’s president and CEO.

Among key findings of the study, conducted by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center for Education & Research:— High school graduates pay, on average, $564 a year more in taxes than high school dropouts;— High school dropouts receive, on average, $2,240 more than graduates each year in government assistance payments for housing, food stamps, health care, unemployment and disability compensation;— High school dropouts spend more time in prison and jail, costing the state $1,586 more per individual than high school graduates.

It costs Ohio taxpayers $28,500 for every student that graduates from a White Hat school, compared to $17,500 at one of Ohio’s Big 8 urban districts. The charter alliance’s study found that, after subtracting the cost of schools, Ohioans can realize a return of $11.62 for every $1 invested in a high school graduate.

Andy Jewell, a research consultant to the Ohio Education Association, which represents unionized public school teachers, says “The thing that makes it hard to answer is one could say that if one kid makes it through, it’s worth it. I think a lot of people may disagree with that fact. My personal view is that we have a very poorly implemented … charter school program, and I don’t think these dropout recovery charter schools are an exception. The argument is we have these kids who would otherwise be on the street, which may or may not be true.”

Andrew Pasquinilli, an administrator at Life Skills, said “These are the same students that I’m sure people were telling before that they wouldn’t be successful,” he said. “It’s one thing to have people tell you that, it’s another thing to experience the doors shutting on you yourself.”

I’m not sure I like the Ohio Education Association's position in this particular example. If anything, I would prefer an impartial study to take a look at the cost benefits, as opposed to the charter group’s analysis. Again, dropouts may need more attention and expense to turn their lives around than a private school offering an ideological for profit motive and alternative to the public school system.

For now, the jury’s still out.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Reinvented RNC Candidate Blackwell Warns Creating Jobs will hurt Their Election Chances

The title says it all. Actually, I’ve been saying this for awhile. As long as government in crippled and people are hurting, Republicans swoop in with business tax cuts and smaller government rhetoric. Disaster capitalism if you will. You would think after the last two elections that perhaps, and I’m just guessing here, that there just might be something wrong with the party platform or real world governing style. The realization that Republicans are just carnival barkers selling you tickets to watch their smoke and mirrors show, is no longer debatable.

Thank you for former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell writing a column asking congressional Republicans to reject the reinvestment and recovery stimulus plan, so the Democrats and Pres. Obama don’t actually create jobs. Read it for yourself, Blackwell is unashamed to say it:

While only a few details are known, one overlooked issue is that it could create a major electoral advantage for Democrats at taxpayer expense. That would be unacceptable for what is being touted as a nonpartisan measure, and gives Republicans yet another reason to oppose …. In 2008, Virginia went Democrat for the first time since 1964, and Mr. Obama won it by 130,000 votes. Creating 600,000 new jobs might help cement Virginia in the Democrat column, making it harder for Republicans to retake the White House.

What’s not to like about the new and wiser Republican Party. They know how to run for government office, they just don’t know how to run government.

Want more proof the GOP is nothing but marketing, branding? Here’s a small segment of the Daily Shows Sam Bee getting a familiar right winger to admit there is no conservative substance, just a chocolate coating.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Wisconsin Snowmobilers Brutally Run Over Deer & Ducks. What's Next, Guns in Parks?

Snowmobilers deaths are up in Wisconsin, and careless speeds and driving have been bamed for the uptick, but recently, the ugly side of the human condition is starting to take its toll on wildlife. The following is almost unexplainable.

Jsonlin: Authorities are searching for a snowmobiler who apparently ran over and killed 57 mallard ducks Tuesday on the Fond du Lac River, just days after five deer were killed when snowmobilers herded them together and ran them over Friday night in Waupaca County. Tracks in the snow show that the snowmobiler skipped over the open water, turned around and skipped over the water again, Protogere said. Bill Schumann, president of the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs. "It's disgusting. I don't know what's going on out there, what people are thinking.
There's something drastic going wrong here. This is not what snowmobiling is all
about." Members of the Fond du Lac County Snowmobile Association said they
are outraged by the deer and duck killings. The person who killed the ducks "was
on a snowmobile, but that's not a snowmobiler. That's an idiot," said Randall
Brown, an association member. "A snowmobiler, same as a sportsman, does not do stuff like that."

Authorities have in costudy in the deer killings, Nicholas D. Hermes, 22, of Weyauwega, and brothers Robby D. Kuenzi, 23, and Rory A. Kuenzi, 24, also of Weyauwega. They had not been charged yet. According to the criminal complaint against Hermes, he and the Kuenzi brothers, one of whom was on a stolen snowmobile, drove into a herd of 30 to 40 deer in the field after Hermes accidentally struck one deer on a nearby snowmobile trail.

One deer was apparently dragged and strapped by the neck to a tree, where it was run over and apparently died trying to free itself. Investigators think one deer was placed under a snowmobile and eviscerated by the machine's track.

Keep this story in mind when you consider the debate about snowmobiles in Yellowstone Park. The Bush administration environmental policy in our pristine national parks, currently, goes something like this;
Jackson Hole Daily: After a federal judge tossed the National Park Service’s plan to permanently allow 540 snowmobiles per day in Yellowstone, park officials had been working on temporary regulations to allow 318 machines per day. But about a month before the winter season was to start, another federal judge ruled Yellowstone could revert back to an earlier rule that allowed 720 a day, and the park decided to go with that number.
Bush planned to change the status quo back in December of 2003, but:

NY Times: A federal courtroom Judge Emmet Sullivan declared a halt to the Bush administration's plan to continue and indeed expand snowmobiling in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. His ruling, which reinstates a Clinton-administration plan to phase out the snowmobiles, is a victory for the parks, their wildlife and the visitors who come to enjoy both. Beyond that, it is a resounding rebuke to the Bush administration, whose eagerness to satisfy a narrow political constituency caused it to violate its statutory obligation to protect the parks from degradation and to leave them, as the law commands, "unimpaired" for future generations. That snowmobiles impaired the parks was never much in doubt — not to the Park Service employees who hated President Bush's plan; not to the public, whose comments reflected overwhelming disapproval for the plan; and not to the government's own scientists, who concluded that even the newer, quieter snowmobiles the administration had promoted as the ultimate compromise would foul the air and disrupt animal life.

Only two groups could possibly benefit from the Bush approach: the off-road-vehicle enthusiasts who regard any limitation on their use of public lands to be an abridgment of individual freedom, and the snowmobile operators in places like West Yellowstone, Mont., whose businesses would temporarily suffer. The judge's ruling is not the end of this controversy. There will be appeals from snowmobile manufacturers, from the State of Wyoming and possibly from the Bush administration itself. One hopes that Mr. Bush will simply abandon an idea that has caused him nothing but grief.

And as they say, the rest is history.

The Ideal Republican Candidate for Wisconsin Governor: Self Serving at the Public's Expense

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker is one of those Republican ideologs who thinks running a business like county government means never having to spend money on it’s upkeep. Despite the fact that everyone else in the state of Wisconsin has seen their own bills go up dramatically, Walker and fellow conservatives are under the impression that government is different and uneffected. Costs can only go down, despite the fact that energy and health insurance cost have gone sky high.

Walker ticked off local and state officials when he said he will not ask for stimulus money for county projects because he opposes increased deficit spending and favors tax cuts. State Rep. Jon Richards, D-Milwaukee, said it was self-serving. “To not even apply is just a huge mistake,” Richards said. “That’s something that’s going to cost us jobs that will go somewhere else.”

According to the Jsonline: Walker ordered county staff not to cooperate in drafting any new project lists to be forwarded to Gov. Doyle. Walker's stance has brought criticism: Allies of Walker, like Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. said, "I can't say I don't want any of that stimulus money based on my own ideology." Clarke said… it would make it difficult for him to later seek county taxpayer funding for some of the same needs.

Columnist Eugene Kane writes: It doesn't seem like a stance made entirely on principle. In Walker's case, his desire to be governor seems to be clouding his judgment regarding what's best for county taxpayers.

Walker is a sly one. With the limitations listed below, Walker is basically turning down the Federal money to help Milwaukee County.

No local match is required by the federal government. No long-term commitments mandated by the federal government. No future operating or maintenance expenses.

Think about it; having no match by local officials lets them off the hook when it comes to oversight. Can you say “no money down mortgage?” And with no maintenance expenses, that would exclude BUILDING ANYTHING, like roads, schools…etc.

Walker, like most Republicans, don’t like the prospect of oversight and actually working for their salaries. If they can’t turn it over to the private sector, they pull out the old “government is to big” rhetoric. But this isn’t the first time Walker has been exposed as a self serving conservative ideologue. He’s gamed the system before, while avoiding tough decisions and bankrupty Milwaukee County. For instance:

Capital Times Contrubutor Joel McNally wrote:
When “Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker refuses to submit a budget with a tax increase to pay what it costs to run the county, he has essentially made his role as county executive irrelevant. The County Board passes its own budget every year to run the county. Walker criticizes the board for raising taxes. Then, the next year, Walker adopts the county board's budget from the previous year as his baseline and says he won't raise taxes beyond that.
An obvious political scam. But there’s more.
The state Elections Board wants Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker to pay a $5,000 fine because he failed to tell voters who paid for some of the phone calls he made last fall urging them to support his budget proposal. Walker's campaign gave inconsistent explanations of how the mistake happened. They insisted the governor, a Democrat, was behind the complaint.
The blame somebody else PARTY OF ACCOUNTABILITY. More still:
As a Republican gubernatorial candidate, Scott Walker said he would consider cutting state-funded medical care for the poor, elderly and disabled in order to reduce state taxes if he's elected governor next year. Walker said that all of the biggest state programs - including Medicaid, the University of Wisconsin System, state aids to local governments, and the state prison system - could be subject to cuts. Walker said he did not know how much all of the proposed tax cuts would cost.
There’s still more;
The Milwaukee County Board passed a resolution that supports efforts by the state Legislature "to enact legislation that will regulate the sale of handguns, rifles, shotguns and machine guns to convicted felons and minors." BUT, County Executive Scott Walker vetoed the resolution, saying it would be too burdensome for law-abiding gun owners and the county should focus instead on getting people off the streets who commit gun crimes The County Board overrode Walker's veto - and unanimously.
You can’t forget Voter fraud:
Wisconsin Republicans donated $73,000 to the African American Coalition for Empowerment (ACE) on behalf of then Governor Scott McCallum and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Yesterday eight ACE workers were charged with 92 felony counts for forgery, perjury, election fraud and other election related crimes. These indictments come two days after the Republican Party of Wisconsin decried voter fraud in Milwaukee and enlisted the help of so-called "Clean and Fair Elections" volunteers in a Milwaukee County election.

I can't think of a better poster child of the failed Republican Party than Scott Walker.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Bush Farewell & Matthews Scathing Assessment

What seemed like an eternity (god please end it soon), Bush is leaving office, and tonight he finally gave his farewell address. From his self congratulatory speech, I've chosen my favorite moments of lies, fabrications and fear, followed up by Chris Matthews unkind but honest assessment. What can you say about this frightening monster. Will we really ever want to look back on the last eight years, to hear his voice and see his face, or will we once and for all close the book on this blighted presidency?

Just the thought of this psychopath numbs my senses.

According to a CNN poll, three quarters of Americans have a parting thought: "Good riddance."

Asked their view of President Bush at the end of his presidency, 75 percent said they are glad he is leaving. Bush's image of resolve got him re-elected in 2004, when terrorism was the dominant concern. No more. There is a fine line between resolve and stubbornness, and Bush seems to have crossed it.

Only 17 percent now believe Bush united the country. "I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better,'' Bush told ABC News. "The tone was rough," Bush said, "and I was obviously partially responsible because I was the president."

But the outgoing administration's economic record is the weakest of any president since World War II. The country's job growth under Bush: just 2 percent. Bill Clinton's eight years in office saw more than 20 percent job growth. Job growth for the previous nine postwar presidents averaged 12 percent. "It's sad to say, but we really went nowhere for almost 10 years after you extract the boost provided by the housing and mortgage boom,'' Mark Zandi, chief economist and cofounder of Moody's, told The Washington Post. "It's almost a lost economic decade."

Fox News Guests Support Regulation, Rebuff Network and Hosts Free Market Agenda

Left or right, it's pretty much understood Fox News has an agenda. What's fun to watch is when their guests and financial hosts disagree with that message, and leave the host sucking wind.

Such is the case here, where the debate about a Wall Street Czar and expanding regulations flies in the face of Fox News' free market network push. As much as the host snickers at the idea of regulation, the guests will have none of it. Classic stuff.

Setting the Bush Record Straight pt 312. Matthews, Fineman and Suskind

Hardball's Chris Matthews and guests Ron Suskind and Howard Fineman set the Bush Legacy Tour straight on the real world facts and unkind personality traits of our outgoing president.

Wis. AG Van Hollen Drops Vote Check Lawsuit. I Guess Voter Purging Now Won’t Change Election Results?


First a little background. Before the presidential election, Attorney Gen. J.B. Van Hollen sued the state board of elections over not retroactively checking registrations starting in 2006. According to AP:
The board resisted, arguing there wasn't enough time to properly do the retroactive checks prior to the Nov. 4 election. Van Hollen's lawsuit was dismissed by a judge days before the election. Van Hollen appealed.

The Government Accountability Board indicated at the time the count would be taken up after the election. Van Hollen thought that was to after the fact, and went ahead with his appeal. Now that the GAB made it official, that they'll begin the checks from as far back as 2006:
“Van Hollen said Thursday he will drop a lawsuit he filed against the state board that oversees elections after the board agreed to do what he wanted. Van Hollen commended the board, saying it was unfortunate it hadn't taken the action before he filed the lawsuit and the appeal, which he said was now unnecessary. And while Van Hollen said the board remains out of compliance with the law, he was pleased that it is now taking steps to comply. Van Hollen denied any partisan motivation, and Republicans said they were trying to preserve the integrity of the election.
Of course, few were fooled by this partisan co-chair of the McCain Campaign.

Democratic critics accused Van Hollen of filing the lawsuit to block people from voting and dampen turnout.

Will the Republicans be happy with the results? Hardly. Even though:A report by the board showed that about 90 percent of voter checks done between Aug. 6 and Jan. 4 matched. The report found that 92 percent of the non matches were caused by problems with names and driver license numbers, such as misspellings or typos. But there is no way to determine how many of those that didn't match were the result of fraud, the report said. Board staff member Sarah Whitt said no fraud investigations were launched as a result of a voter check mismatch.

Had the board required those whose information didn't match to cast provisional ballots, about 21,000 would have been cast … compares with just 271 provisional ballots that were cast in the 2006 general election. The possibility of there being such a large number of provisional ballots cast on Election Day, and possibly long
lines of angry voters waiting to register, was one of the fears....

....And one of the reasons for the lawsuit.

CIA Hayden Warns Obama, Don't Investage Us

Ray McGovern, a CIA analyst for 27 years and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) had this parting thought about CIA Dir. Hayden at

Outgoing CIA Director Michael Hayden is going around town telling folks he has warned President-elect Barack Obama "personally and forcefully" that if Obama authorizes an investigation into controversial activities like water boarding, "no one in Langley will ever take a risk again."

It is not only a bit cheeky, but more than a little disingenuous that
Hayden should think to advise Obama "personally and forcefully" against investigating illegal activities authorized by president George W. Bush, since Hayden himself can already be described as an unindicted co-conspirator based on publicly available information. He has bragged loudly about the crimes in which he was directly involved, and has defended others, like what he has called "high-end" interrogation techniques—water boarding, for example.

In the outrage category, that threat/warning goes well beyond chutzpah. What an insult to my former colleagues at the CIA to suggest that they lack the integrity to fulfill their important duties in consonance with the law; to suggest that they would treat the incoming president like a substitute teacher!

Could it be clearer? "Water boarding is torture," said President-elect Obama last Sunday to George Stephanopoulos. Torture is a crime. Obama added, twice, that no one is "above the law," although also citing his "belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backward."

Let’s all hope Obama sends the message that those giving the orders at the CIA, are held accountable.