Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Year End Thank You to Wisconsin, from Ed Schultz!

Besides Sly in the Morning, Schultz had captured the passion and force of the middle class and labor in a way that helped drive the movement.

And even bigger thank you to them.

Why Jumpsuits failed in the 70's...

This clip is from the pathetically titled "Pop: Goes the Country." Forget the "artist" or song, just check out the skin tight jumpsuit, which for me, looks a lot like a studded jean onesie.

2011 in Wisconsin! It seems like years...

WPT's Here and Now put together a great looking 10 minute recap of the year, in a piece titled, "Wisconsin: Torn in Two." 

Scott Walker a Jedi?

Walker supporters have an odd way of looking at things. Like the following video by Ryan Bognar. Let's assume he really likes Scott Walker. The music score is the theme from the evil Syth, while lyrically, Bognar praises Walker as the leader of the Republic, which was the enemy. But who cares, the following humorous video is a stitch to watch. This guy may be a Walker supporter, but like many of them, their activism does more harm than good (i.e. Walker thugs). In fact, it’s hard to know if this guy is kidding or not. And that crazy dance he does all over...Still, I love it:

"With the body of Luke and the mind of Obi-Wan / he is running this Capitol, welcome to Madison."

As “On the Capitol” writes, mostly tongue in cheek:
Walker sure seemed like a Jedi when he started. We were there when he took the podium right after the election — and before his inauguration — and killed high-speed rail in the state with an Obi-Wan-like wave of his hand. (These are not the trains you're looking for.)

And you have to admit that he showed a master's will as he forced through his changes to collective bargaining despite the crowds gathering outside the Capitol.

But Walker has also had his Jar Jar Binks moments. The fake "David Koch" phone call. Moving his budget signing location due to legal woes of a company owner. Unveiling controversial rules to restrict protester access to the Capitol. And now this.

To some, the governor is Luke Skywalker. To others, he's Darth Vader. But lately, it seems the Force has left him altogether.

Ryan Challenger Rob Zerban gets Noticed...Big Time!!!

Good news for Rob Zerban, a serious candidate to aggressively challenge and unseat Rep. Paul Ryan, the world is now watching and contributing.
International Business Times: Less than two days ago, Rob Zerban was a relatively unknown Wisconsin Democrat running for Congress with little financial backing ($200,000 or so in campaign cash on hand as of Sept. 30). Now, his odds have at least marginally improved, though how good can the chances of beating one of the most powerful Republicans in the nation get? "Who is Rob Zerban???" An understandable response. The guy is, after all, running as the Democratic alternative to (Ryan).

But the incumbent also faces the ire of an emboldened online community set on using the blunt force of an Election Day loss to change the Congressman's mind on key legislation (SOPA).

Zerban walked into his campaign office on Thursday morning to find emails and phone calls, volunteers and donors coming out of the woodwork. All he did was host a Q&A session on the online aggregating site Reddit ... the hive-like online community can be easily riled, quick to make up its mind ... Following OWS, Congress served up two bills that drew an online backlash: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The pushback led to calls for a boycott of GoDaddy to punish its advocacy of SOPA. GoDaddy eventually blinked and withdrew its support … online activists to switch to the political realm … and landed on Ryan.

Reddit took to Ryan like a termite swarm to a rotting log. In less than 24 hours, they managed to: break down Ryan's campaign contributions; dig up a HuffPo post of a man getting arrested after protesting at a Ryan event; request submissions for a logo; have a Q&A session with his opponent; cultivate a list of his donors for possible boycott; and cull together his voting record. They even adopted a name: Operation Pull Ryan (OPR). Ryan's camp scrambled to dispel the notion that the Congressman supports SOPA … Too late. 

To be clear, Ryan never said he didn't or did support SOPA, which most likely means he's for it. 
Zerban casually responded to a Reddit user's email regarding SOPA. The discussion, and speed with which he responded, led to a surprise bump in interest and suggestions he take a look at Reddit. The candidate hosted an Ask Me Anything (colloquially known as AMA) … Yes, he's against SOPA and parts of NDAA. End the prohibition of marijuana? Yup. He supports publicly-funded elections. Bingo.

Never mind whether or not he actually stood a chance, they'll give him a chance. He went on to join the anti-GoDaddy cause, pulling his own site from the company. For now, Zerban is as much the hero in the story as Ryan is the nemesis … said a Reddit moderator … "Our interest in Rob Zerban is solely this: If Paul Ryan is not ready to agree with us on these issues, we're ready to help him find a new job," the moderator said.
Take a look at a sample back and forth from Zerban and Reddit here at Rock Netroots.

Solar Mosaic’s, or Community Solar Gardens, about to change the way we look at energy, and change!

I've been disappointed by the lack honest debate about solar and its game changing possibilities. While the press does nothing to curb the phony attacks on Solyndra, by not pointing out the number of failed projects and subsidies made to big oil, the public perception that solar has had its day in the sun continues unabated.

I’m happy to say the following story may change that. Tapping into the sun and wind seems like a no brainer, yet even those whose brains are challenged by change, will understand how easy we can make the switch. The only hang up; many conservatives don’t believe there’s a problem environmentally in the first place, and this whole idea is so…liberal. Check it out anyway:
Forbes: Rapidly dropping polysilicon prices over the past year have inspired several utility-scale solar developments to move forward after many months’ pause. At the same time, those in favor of distributed generation have also made strides in improving the business case for small-scale solar, particularly with respect to what is being called “community solar”–centrally located solar projects that enable those who can’t necessarily put solar on their own roofs to support and benefit from solar energy.

Now, two emergent financing mechanisms are shaking up the energy business case, creating models that could work for a variety of renewable energy sources. Berkeley-based Solar Mosaic has taken a crowd-funding approach to solar … Solar Mosaic enables citizens to support local solar development … citizens earn back their investment once the solar has been installed.

The solar garden approach also enables those without the option of putting solar on their roofs–renters, people who live in historical buildings, people whose homes are in a Homeowners Association, or people whose roofs aren’t positioned to make efficient use of the sun–to reap the rewards of solar energy. The idea is to use marginalized or un-used land to install solar panels, creating community solar gardens … community solar gardens would enable local residents to pay to be members of the garden … members would receive credit from the local utility for generating solar energy.

The first such project in the country is currently underway in Colorado Springs, Colo., where an old landfill is being given a second life as a community solar garden … local residents who will be seeing an average 10-percent reduction on their energy bills (the panels cost $550, with a minimum purchase of two panels). Recent changes to legislation in Colorado and Massachusetts have made solar gardens possible in those states.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) already allows virtual net metering (VNM) … someone can receive credit on their utility bill for solar power that is not generated on their roof … Using VNM, the developer and utility can take an entire solar array, feed it into one meter and then send that out to several virtual meters (e.g., 1/56th goes to this bill, that bill, and so on).

The solar garden idea makes small-scale solar developments less risky for banks … if Bob stops paying his subscription, you don’t have to go remove his solar panels, you just sell his share to the next person. Solar Mosaic co-founder Daniel Rosen is similarly enthusiastic about the crowd-funding approach to solar. Rosen is a big believer in innovating business models. Solar lends itself to an innovative financing model, such as Mosaic, that is decentralized, democratized, and agile,” he says. “These are the business models that matter in the 21st century … energy and finance are the largest markets in the world. The Age of the Internet has transformed nearly every other industry on the planet, but we are still trapped and constricted by 19th century energy sources and business models.

In one comment, the cost of making a photocell myth cropped up:
Please consult with an engineer before making a complete fool of yourself when talking about silicon for solar usage. What no one is saying is that it takes almost as much energy to produce a silicon photocell as it will produce in its lifetime. 
The articles writer, Amy Westervelt, responded this way:
I appreciate the input. The attitude is unnecessary, but such is the world of anonymous online commenting. One thing – how do you respond to the fact that most of the research from the past decade or so puts the energy payback of PV at 10 years on the long side, 5 years on the short side–either way not two-thirds of a panel’s lifetime? More recently, Fthenakis et al., at Brookhaven National Lab, which found that even accounting for all the energy and waste involved, PV power would cut air pollution—including greenhouse gases—by nearly 90 percent if it replaced fossil fuels, and that PV panels could pay back the energy involved in their manufacture in one to three years. I would love to get your take on these studies–what are they missing?

Friday, December 30, 2011

JB Van Hollen doesn't prosecute Republicans!!

There's really no other way to interpret J. B. Van Hollen's decision not to be a part of the John Doe investigation of Walker cronies and staff. Check this out from jsonline's Dan Bice:
Top investigators at the state Department of Justice wanted to keep out of a secret investigation of current and former aides to Gov. Scott Walker, newly released records show. "This is one to try and stay away from. I can't see any good coming from it," Ed Wall, head of the department's Division of Criminal Investigation, wrote in a Nov. 15, 2010, email. “Absolutely," responded David Spakowicz, director of field operations for the division's eastern region.
It also seems there's a divide as to who J.B. will work with:
Wall's email was sent just hours before he met with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm about the John Doe investigation.
But get this bit of hypocrisy:
Van Hollen's agency assisted with at least one previous John Doe investigation run by the Milwaukee County district attorney's office, lending a hand during the probe of former Milwaukee Ald. Michael McGee (D).

The investigation is being headed by Chisholm, a Democrat. The Department of Justice is headed by Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, who like Walker is a Republican. State Department of Justice officials have declined to say why the agency chose not to assist with the investigation of Walker's former county staffers.

Fraudulent Names a big problem for Newt....just like ACORN.

While Republicans whine about fraudulent signatures like Adolph Hitler and Mickey Mouse, names they actually asked their supporters to sign for the recall, Newt Gingrich got caught turning in a thousand fake names himself, that he paid money for. Keep in mind, Newt bashed ACORN for the same problem unmercifully.  What goes around comes around. Chris Hayes dishes the dirt:

Right to vote just like buying beer...ID required.

Rick Santorum continued the drumbeat of misinformation about actual cases of voter fraud in an interview with Ed Schultz. Santorum equates the right to vote to the purchase of beer or cigarettes.

Occindental Colleges' Caroline Heldman and Richard Wolffe rip the old cliches apart one more time. Good stuff:

Finland's Success, and Why Conservatives will never improve Education in America.

Finland is tops in education because it strived for equity, and not excellence. Equity is the enemy of conservative politics, and is in opposition to their fictionalized vision of a society filled with rugged individuals and unfettered capitalism. School reform in America ignores Finland efforts listed below:
The Atlantic: One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point. Finland's success is especially intriguing because Finnish schools assign less homework and engage children in more creative play. one of the leading Finnish authorities on education reform is Pasi Sahlberg, director of the Finnish Ministry of Education's Center for International Mobility and author of the new book Finnish Lessons: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland?

During the afternoon that Sahlberg spent at the Dwight School, in a roundtable chat with students. one of the most significant things Sahlberg said passed practically unnoticed. "Oh," he mentioned at one point, "and there are no private schools in Finland." Only a small number of independent schools exist in Finland, and even they are all publicly financed. None is allowed to charge tuition fees. There are no private universities, either. This means that practically every person in Finland attends public school, whether for pre-K or a Ph.D.

From his point of view, Americans are consistently obsessed with certain questions: How can you keep track of students' performance if you don't test them constantly? How can you improve teaching if you have no accountability for bad teachers or merit pay for good teachers? How do you foster competition and engage the private sector? How do you provide school choice? The answers Finland provides seem to run counter to just about everything America's school reformers are trying to do.

For starters, Finland has no standardized tests. The only exception is what's called the National Matriculation Exam, which everyone takes at the end of a voluntary upper-secondary school, roughly the equivalent of American high school. Instead, the public school system's teachers are trained to assess children in classrooms using independent tests they create themselves. Periodically, the Ministry of Education tracks national progress by testing a few sample groups across a range of different schools.

As for accountability of teachers and administrators, Sahlberg shrugs. "There's no word for accountability in Finnish," he later told an audience at the Teachers College of Columbia University. "Accountability is something that is left when responsibility has been subtracted."

For Sahlberg what matters is that in Finland all teachers and administrators are given prestige, decent pay, and a lot of responsibility. A master's degree is required to enter the profession, and teacher training programs are among the most selective professional schools in the country. If a teacher is bad, it is the principal's responsibility to notice and deal with it.

And while Americans love to talk about competition, Sahlberg points out that nothing makes Finns more uncomfortable. There are no lists of best schools or teachers in Finland. The main driver of education policy is not competition between teachers and between schools, but cooperation.

Finally, in Finland, school choice is noticeably not a priority, nor is engaging the private sector at all. "Here in America," Sahlberg said at the Teachers College, "parents can choose to take their kids to private schools. It's the same idea of a marketplace that applies to, say, shops. Schools are a shop and parents can buy whatever they want. In Finland parents can also choose. But the options are all the same." Decades ago, when the Finnish school system was badly in need of reform, the goal of the program that Finland instituted, resulting in so much success today was never excellence. It was equity.

Since the 1980s, the main driver of Finnish education policy has been the idea that every child should have exactly the same opportunity to learn, regardless of family background, income, or geographic location. Education has been seen first and foremost not as a way to produce star performers, but as an instrument to even out social inequality. This starts with the basics. Finland offers all pupils free school meals, easy access to health care, psychological counseling, and individualized student guidance.

That this point is almost always ignored or brushed aside in the U.S. seems especially poignant at the moment, after the financial crisis and Occupy Wall Street movement have brought the problems of inequality in America into such sharp focus.

Finland is a relatively homogeneous country -- as of 2010, just 4.6 percent of Finnish residents had been born in another country, compared with 12.7 percent in the United States. But the number of foreign-born residents in Finland doubled during the decade leading up to 2010, and the country didn't lose its edge in education. Immigrants tended to concentrate in certain areas, causing some schools to become much more mixed than others, yet there has not been much change in the remarkable lack of variation between Finnish schools in the PISA surveys across the same period.

Samuel Abrams, a visiting scholar at Columbia University's Teachers College, has addressed the effects of size and homogeneity on a nation's education performance by comparing Finland with another Nordic country: Norway. Like Finland, Norway is small and not especially diverse overall, but unlike Finland it has taken an approach to education that is more American than Finnish. The result? Mediocre performance in the PISA survey. Educational policy, Abrams suggests, is probably more important to the success of a country's school system than the nation's size or ethnic makeup.

Indeed, Finland's population of 5.4 million can be compared to many an American state -- after all, most American education is managed at the state level. According to the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization in Washington, there were 18 states in the U.S. in 2010 with an identical or significantly smaller percentage of foreign-born residents than Finland.

It is possible to create equality. And perhaps even more important -- as a challenge to the American way of thinking about education reform -- Finland's experience shows that it is possible to achieve excellence by focusing not on competition, but on cooperation, and not on choice, but on equity.

The problem facing education in America isn't the ethnic diversity of the population but the economic inequality of society, and this is precisely the problem that Finnish education reform addressed. More equity at home might just be what America needs to be more competitive abroad.

It's a great day in...Wisconsin?

Here's a reminder of just how petty and authoritarian Republicans are; this is Gov. Nikki Haley demanding that each public employees say "It's a great day in S. Caroline...." when they answer the phone. Amazing stuff from Rachel Maddow:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sorry, I can't handle the Republican race to destroy the country as we know it...oh, Politifact just voted that the lie of....

Every one of these sick bastards makes my stomach turn, all the while they toss the people and country under the bus for political power. At least in Charles Dickens world, as bad as it was, society had enough leeway for Scrooge to change. I don't see that happening under one party conservative rule.

The non-stop coverage makes it seem like this insane conservative tea party agenda is the one and only choice we have. 9-9-9, a national religion, constant war....

In the despotic authoritarian vision of America's future, Republicans applaud the death penalty, boo gay soldiers, call judges into congress to explain themselves, insist recalls are a waste of time and money, institute rules to control protests, let the uninsured and poor to die from their illnesses, give taxpayer money to big oil, believe a fertilized egg is a fully developed human being, ban new technology's and worry about saving businesses money instead of caring about our selves.

Oh, and people will only vote for politicians who promise to follow a totally fictionalized version of the constitution.

Walker's Media Interview Blitz taking on a Herman Cain-esque turn for the worst. He's a "Puppet" of the "Oligarchs."

Al Sharpton played a clip from Scott Walker's Morning Joe appearance where the droopy eyed governor spewed partisan venon...
Walker: "Collective bargaining isn't a right, it's an expensive "entitlement."

Ouch, we all know how conservatives feel about entitlements. The fun part of this analysis comes from Bob Franken's description of Walker. It's so true.

Walker's New Sick "Moderate" Image Sell Job...Pathetic!!

Is Walker desperate? You won't believe the "campaign" hatched by this sociopath. He's the friend of long term care, on the side of laid union workers forced out by a strike, and now...he's a doe-eyed moderate.

If you get sick to your stomach easily, you might want to turn away at the sight and sound of Sen. Glenn Grothman dreamily praising Walker...
Grothman: "Governor Walker is probably more moderate than the average Republican in the state legislature right now. But governor Walker has a lot of respect from the legislators, so it's possible legislators will vote for it out of respect for Governor Walker.
Rep. Brett Hulsey clearly wasn't fooled, and treated like this surreal new Walker image like some kind of circus freak show.
"He's afraid of the recall, and he's trying to look moderate, but he's still a wolf in sheep's clothing. It's easy for the governor to say he's for a bill that has no chance of passing..."  
From WKOW 27 News

Sly in the Morning Appearance....

Looking at the year's biggest state stories, Sly and I will be back together again hashing out the Walker takeover at 9 a.m., and correct right wing blogger Steve Prestigard's odd impressions of Democrats. Listen here.

Sly and me

Republicans have taken control of elections, the machines and voter ID. What’s next, loyalty pledges to vote? Oops...

Someday, don’t be surprised if you’re required to sign a loyalty pledge just to cast a vote in your state. 

Loyalty, obedience and servitude to our “leaders” will be demanded. It’s already happening:
WP: First the state party sparked controversy last week when neither Perry nor Gingrich had submitted enough valid signatures to appear on the March 6 primary ballot. Now In order to cast their ballots in the GOP nominating contest, Virginians will have to sign a form that says, “I, the undersigned, pledge that I intend to support the nominee of the Republican Party for president,” according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch , which first reported the move … the state Board of Elections approved the pledge form, as well as signs that will hang in polling places advising voters of the state party’s policy.

It’s just a taste of the authoritarian trend in American politics to come, as the party of Lincoln gears up one party rule in the not too distant future. It seems that not even collapsing the global economy can keep them from office.

One thing though, the pledge is just a rehearsal:
The pledge has no legal weight — voters are free to sign the form and then disregard it if they choose — but it is meant to discourage mischief-making by non-Republicans. Not everyone in the GOP is on board with the idea. Del. Bob Marshall (R) said in a press release Thursday that he was opposed to the pledge.

“Virginia’s Republican leadership wants to mandate a loyalty oath when Virginia’s Republican officials are in court fighting the Obamacare mandate?” Marshall said. “This sends the wrong message.”
Thank you. 

The Charter School Truth!

Here's Brenda Konkel's post regarding the controversial charter school, Madison Prep, and the NAACP's position on the issue that bears repeating. The facts are all true: 
If you were confused about Madison Prep and feeling a little liberal white guilt about not supporting it, well, there is good reason for the confusion Yup, Urban League vs. NAACP. Here’s the NAACP official national position on Charter Schools. (Link here) The position is just a little over a year oldThis resolution is now the policy of the Association, and is “binding on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Officers, and all units.”
WHEREAS, charter schools are public schools which were originally designed to explore new approaches to educate students; and in some cases, charter schools have become a school model that is used to segregate students; and charter schools have too seldom informed the education community regarding innovative instructional strategies that accelerate academic achievement in the general population of students; and the Center for Research in Educational Outcomes (CREDO) which examined charter school data in fifteen (15) states and the District of Columbia confirmed that only 17% of the charter school students in the study outperformed their peers, while 46% performed no better and 37% performed worse; and charter schools operate more autonomously than traditional public schools in the use of funds, adherence to state laws and school policies, selection and removal of students, and the selection and removal of staff, thus creating separate and unequal conditions for success; and charter schools draw funding away from already underfunded traditional public schools;

and the NAACP recognizes that at best, quality charter schools serve only a small percentage of children of color and disadvantaged students for whom the NAACP advocates relative to said population left behind in failing schools; and the NAACP recognizes the urgent need to provide quality education for all children, not only those fortunate enough to win lotteries to attend existing quality charter schools; and the NAACP is committed to finding broad based, effective solutions for immediate implementation to improve the quality of public education for all children.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP will strongly advocate for immediate, overarching improvements to the existing public education system; and that the NAACP rejects the emphasis on charter schools as the vanguard approach for the education of children, instead of focusing attention, funding, and policy advocacy on improving existing, low performing public schools and will work through local, state and federal legislative processes to ensure that all public schools are provided the necessary funding, support and autonomy necessary to educate all students; and that the NAACP will urge all of its Units to work to support public schools throughout the nation to educate all children to their highest potential.

The No Tax Increase Republican Party in our state just increased taxes on the poor.

As we contemplate doing out taxes again, this quick reminder: The earned income tax credit has been reduced, thus increasing taxes on those receiving it. It's that simple. 

But Republicans have found a way to magically claim that it’s not a tax increase. To them, its welfare, since any money they receive is not money they have earned. So it’s nothing like a tax increase on actual wages. 

No, it doesn’t explain away increasing taxes on the poor, but it does justify the broken pledge in a way that hits all their hot buttons.
PostCrescent: Wisconsin (was) among only a handful of states that will effectively raise taxes on their poorest residents in 2012, according to a recent study by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a nonprofit think tank. Since 1989, Wisconsin has offered low-income families with children a so-called earned income tax credit, which offsets Social Security taxes and lowers poor families' tax liability.

Here’s how it went up:
The 2011-2013 state budget reduces the percentages for families with two or more children, which the state Legislative Fiscal Bureau considers a net tax increase.

Starting next year, low-income families with two children will be capped at 11 percent of the maximum federal credit, or $562, down from $716.

Families with three or more children will be limited to 34 percent, or $1,955, down from $2,473.

The Wisconsin Council on Children and Families estimates a two-parent family of four that earns $32,500 a year would see an $81 cut in their tax credit next year.

It’s a tax increase. 

Train Deal Delayed, Walker contributor may have been paid back with sale.

The illusionary governor. That's how I see Scott Walker, along with a few others. The good news is we have a few watchdog legislators attempting to keep this governor in check.
jsonline: Five Democratic state representatives asked that a federal agency delay approval of the sale of Milwaukee-based Wisconsin & Southern Railroad Co. to a Kansas firm.

In a letter to the U.S. Surface Transportation Board on Wednesday … to investigate whether loss of local control of the short-line railroad would hurt shippers here. In a news release, the representatives also raised a partisan issue, saying a delay would allow time to probe whether the sale was a political payback for illegal campaign contributions to Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican, by Wisconsin & Southern officials. Watco was to assume control of the Wisconsin & Southern Thursday, according to the legislators' letter. Calling for the delay are Reps. Brett Hulsey, Kelda Helen Roys and Terese Berceau, all of Madison; Louis Molepske, Stevens Point; and Fred Clark, Baraboo.

Our corporate governor has made no secret business was his top priority, using "job creation" as hammer to pummel labor into submission. Once labor knows its place, wages will plummet and benefits will disappear.  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Guy Walker Wants to Expand Long Term Care Program, Doesn't Tell Media He Was Ordered to lift Cap. What a Con.

UPDATE: I was wrong, but right: Walker is even more desperate than I thought, and lied about why he was restoring and expanding the cap on the state's long term care program, but at the same time, set up the possibility for future draconian cuts via his hatchet man Rep. Robin Vos. This amazing scam was revealed overnight by jsonline:

Gov. Scott Walker announced a plan Wednesday to lift the enrollment cap on a state long-term care program - a move he made two weeks after federal authorities told his administration it had to take that step. Walker touted the $80 million plan … but he made no mention of a recent order from the federal Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, or CMS, directing his administration to lift the cap in the Family Care program.

CMS authorities said Wisconsin needed federal approval to put the cap in place and ordered the state's Medicaid director, Brett Davis, to immediately lift it.

"We are directing the state to identify any individuals not currently enrolled onto the Family Care or Self-Directed Supports waivers since the July 1, 2011, implementation of the newly instituted enrollment caps, and immediately enroll those individuals in the waiver programs," said the letter from Verlon Johnson, the associate regional administrator for CMS' Division of Medicaid and Children's Health Operations.

Democrats blasted the governor for taking credit for the plan after they learned of the CMS letter.
"Talk about political spin, huh?" said Rep. Sandy Pasch (D-Whitefish Bay). "I'm glad he's reversing himself on it. I'm a little put out by his political spin on that."

"The only reason the Walker administration backed down is because they had a gun to their heads," said Rep. Jon Richards (D-Milwaukee). "He's taking credit for something he was forced to do."

This is one of the most desperate moves I’ve ever seen by a nervous politician.

Expanding the state’s long term care program sounds too good to be true, and probably is.

Scott Walker just signed a law capping the program. Now, he claims he never intended the cap to be permanent. But pulling the cap after just a few months? That’s pathetic. Plus, Walker thinks he can play good cop, bad cop and get away with it. Rep. Robin Vos loves playing the bad guy.
WSJ: The state's long-term care program for the elderly and disabled could soon cover thousands of additional needy residents, if the Legislature approves the $80 million expansion proposed Wednesday by Gov. Scott Walker. A previously planned increase in funding, combined with efficiencies discovered during an audit, would allow the state to expand Family Care to many of the counties currently operating without the safety net, Walker said.

“Efficiencies” like extra money to pay for the expansion while threatening to kick families off Badgercare? We’re not suckers. But the media is eating this thing up, and dumb ass Democratic are swooning. Isn’t there one Democrat who has the courage to say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” WKOW:

And so enters the bad cop…
The announcement was met with immediate approval by Democrats, as well as advocates for the elderly and disabled. But a noticeable silence from GOP leadership in the Senate and Assembly, along with the outright objection … "Expanding another unsustainable program is irresponsible," said state Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, co-chairman of the Legislature's powerful budget committee. "Poorly planned, rapid expansions by the last administration are what caused the current budget problem. For future budget health, I'd prefer we take a different course."

So did Walker get the kind of “good” publicity he was looking for? Absolutely, suckers.

Concealed Carry just another form of public persuasion.

We now have the right to this....

Cap Times: A chaotic scene at the Majestic Theater downtown early on Christmas Eve could have been much worse, as at least two people drew handguns during a fight involving about 30 people.

"Several male subjects reportedly pointed handguns at staff members of the Majestic," said police spokesman Howard Payne.
Hey, no one got hurt. 

Walker protects business from free market liability and responsibility, by using government as a shield against consumers!!

Ask yourself how you, as a consumer, might benefit from the new “business climate” the Walker administration has put in place. Especially after all the rhetoric that government was supposed to get out of the way. Instead, government has gotten in the way of consumers by creating laws protecting business from the free market. Now we know to what extent we’ve all been affected with this list:
Cap Times: Wisconsin's trial lawyers association ranked the state's new auto insurance law as the year's No. 1 attack on consumers' rights in Wisconsin, filling out the rest of its Top 10 list with other Republican-led initiatives to improve the state's business climate. Critics see the auto insurance law as a giveaway to insurance companies, which have new powers to decide what they cover in the event of an accident. "The net effect of all of these changes is that consumers are getting less coverage and the auto insurance companies are getting more control."

Coming in at No. 2 on the Wisconsin Association for Justice's list is a cap on attorney fees. Critics say the cap will hurt the chances of wronged tenants, "lemon" car buyers and others seeking relatively small damages, to find a lawyer.

Other measures: product liability law that raise the bar for lawsuits against products that injure and kill while capping the amount manufacturers might end up paying … laws shielding nursing homes from liability for abuse and negligence, and a measure keeping reports of abuse and neglect secret in court, both civil and criminal.

National Spotlight on Walker Lies.

He doesn't have the local progressive blogs to worry about anymore, Walker now has the nations media eyes dissecting his every move. Al Sharpton nailed him yesterday after his appearance on the politically friendly Fox and Friends.

I'll let Al do the talking:

More Walker Thuggery and Intimidation of recall workers. Didn't these guys ever glance at the Constitution?

I must confess, after reading the following, it seemed like déjà vu all over again:
Hudson Patch: Western Wisconsin volunteers collecting signatures for the effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker have allegedly again been met by aggressive opponents.

On Monday, a group of volunteers in Hudson said they were approached by a man who knocked over and tore their signs before urging a member of the group to "take a swing" at him, according to a police report. Hudson police cited Donald Rindo, 51, of Hudson with disorderly conduct and destruction of property.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Rindo declined to elaborate on the accusations. "I'm terribly upset that they would smear my name like that," he said. "I'm not going to smear their name and say anything about what they did or did not do."

Yeah, that’s right, Walker thug Donald Rindo is the victim here. Amazing? And that's just the latest in a long list of attempts by the fascist right wing to trash the First Amendment just so they can hold onto power: 
The incident comes on the heels of similar episodes elsewhere.

On Dec. 18, a 32-year-old woman was arrested in River Falls for allegedly spitting on a woman who was collecting signatures for the Walker recall.

On Dec. 17, Pierce County authorities were called after a man began shouting at recall signature collectors in Elmwood, but the man left before officers arrived.

Also on Dec. 17, two men, ages 55 and 28, were arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct for allegedly spitting on people gathering recall signatures in the village of Arena, about 30 miles west of Madison.

Planned Parenthood asked by State to Provide Screenings for another 60 Days.

If pulling the funding for Planned Parenthood for no reason wasn't bad enough, the Walker administration had no alternative plan in place to help women get medical help or screenings. Sadly, politicians can't be charged with reckless disregard for life due to bad legislation.

Are Republicans trying too hard to make government not work? You might remember Scott Walker's reason for shutting Planned Parenthood out; he wanted to give women the choice to go to a place less controversial. But Scott, who made it controversial?

But Republicans have done one thing; they've proven they are so disorganized that they can't be trusted to run government worth a damn. They don't seem to have a clue. What they are good at is pushing an agenda, no matter how chaotic, disjointed or dangerous to the public.

It's all politics, all the time.

Cap Times: Politics is driving Gov. Scott Walker's administration to funnel state money away from a program Planned Parenthood has administered in four counties for the past 16 years … "It appears Planned Parenthood's affiliation with abortion services is driving this decision," says Doug Gieryn, the director of the Winnebago County Health Department. "That's all I can get out of this. This certainly was a decision that came through the governor's and (Health Services) secretary's offices." The county is aiming to begin providing services at the end of a 60-day transition period that begins Jan. 1.

Gieryn says he has yet to receive an answer as to why this change is necessary, despite numerous conversations with his state lawmakers and administrative health officials. "I think our primary concern is that we make decisions based on how to best serve our population with the limited resources we have at this time," Gieryn says. "This decision does not improve access to services and has resulted in an unnecessary distraction from the work we normally do."

Gieryn described the working relationship between PP as a "great model," as women could be told they have reached an age where it would be beneficial to receive a mammogram, for example, and the test could then be performed at the same time. Gieryn says he still is working to find a location where the tests and other screenings can take place. Gieryn also is recommending the county hire the two Planned Parenthood staffers who now administer the Wisconsin Well Woman program. 

Did you get your Conception Certificate?

Being born is so passe.' Taking that first breath, out of the womb, and officially being recognized as a person with a state sanctioned birth certificate is no longer enough for right wing loons.

Why have a birth certificate, when it means nothing to the big government nanny state Republicans, except to get a voter ID. So let's do away with them.

I say bring on the conception certificates. Oh, and count them for census purposes as well.
jsonline: A freshman lawmaker, State Rep. Andre Jacque (R-Bellevue), is proposing to change Wisconsin's Constitution to grant equal rights to the unborn as part of a national push to reframe the abortion debate, a strategy that has failed in at least two states and has divided abortion opponents in Wisconsin and elsewhere.

Jacque's Assembly Joint Resolution 77 would recast a portion of Wisconsin's Constitution that states that "all people are born equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights, among which is the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The amendment would omit the word "born," and identify the terms "people" and "person" as they pertain to the right to life to include "every human being at any stage of development."
No really, any stage!!!

Not even God went that far...from the infallible Bible:
(Genesis 2:7 ) “Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” God breathes into the man's nostrils and he becomes nefesh hayya.  "Nefesh" signifies something like the English word "being", in the sense of a corporeal body capable of life.

So we have a lunatic fringe big government freshman legislator getting between a patient and a doctor, big surprise. But it also does away with stem cell research in our state. Goodbye technology sector.
Critics say such bills would have wide-ranging legal and societal repercussions; outlawing certain types of birth control; in vitro fertilization; embryonic stem cell research and abortion in all cases, including when the mother's life is in danger, an exception that exists in the current statute.

In addition, critics say, the amendment would not withstand a constitutional challenge.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has dealt with the personhood of the unborn child and rejected it 23 times," said Armacost of Wisconsin Right to Life. "We're talking about justices who we believe" are on our side . . . but cannot find in the "constitution protection for the unborn child," she said.
Wow, sounds like an activist conservative justice to me. 

Another Outrage, Another Missed Opportunity: Mining Hearing held in West Allis (Milwaukee), not in Northern Wisconsin!!?? What in god’s name are the Democrats doing?

Look, the Democrats are doing the right thing by calling for a hearing in north country, where the public should have a say over whether they support mining in their backyard or not. But they should have forced the Republican legislature to hold their own hearing in front of the citizens most affected. 

Avoiding public feedback was not only ballsy, but completely inexcusable.  
WSJ: A pair of Democratic legislators plan to hold their own public hearing on a Republican bill that would rewrite Wisconsin's iron mining statutes. The measure is designed to jump-start Gogebic Taconite's plans for a mine in the Penokee Hills just south of Lake Superior in far northwestern Wisconsin.

Sen. Bob Jauch, D-Poplar, and Rep. Janet Bewley, D-Ashland, say people in their region deserve a chance to speak after Republicans held a hearing on the legislation earlier this month in a Milwaukee suburb (of West Allis) hundreds of miles from the site of the planned mine.
Ya think? Not only is this a terrible way to let the Republicans off the hook, but Jauch and Bewley gave the Fitzgerald brothers a pass on this potentially career ending reason for ignoring input from northern voters...special interests:
Republicans also said West Allis made sense because several heavy equipment manufacturers that would benefit from the mine are based in southeastern Wisconsin. 
What, they couldn't be inconvenienced to take a little drive up north? Republicans wanted to be closer to private special interests reaching into the pockets of state taxpayers.

Get your weak kneed act together Democrats.

Even with Austerity Budget Cuts to Education and Entitlement programs, Walker finds way to spend more than other states.

Not only does the Walker administration thinks its nasty socialism to spread the wealth, it’s also wrong to spread the pain of his austere budget to all sectors. While everyone else in the state is tightening their belts, our Republican government is spending more than most states.

Don’t get me wrong, I want the spending and draconian cuts restored, but the smoke and mirrors agenda by state Republicans has now been revealed.
Wis. Taxpayer Alliance: State spending increases in Wisconsin exceeded national averages in both 2011 and 2012, while budget reserves remain among the smallest in the nation.  According to a new report from the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance (WISTAX), “State budgets in 2012:  How do we stack up?,” state spending here rose 5.8% in 2011 and was budgeted to grow 4.4% in 2012.  National averages were 4.0% and 2.9%, respectively.
Another words, Republicans can’t say they cut state spending. Period.

A few states that have spent more, without the dramatic Walker style cuts, have seen their economies improve. Which proves state economies can be run another way, and still see improvements.  

Another Lawful American, a kid, nearly kills someone with a concealed weapon.

Maybe someone should pass this story on to recall target State Sen. Pam Galloway (R).

It seems some dunderhead father gave his young daughter a loaded gun for protection, apparently from the big bad wolves of the world who hang out in Starbucks coffee shops. And this little girl didn’t have an ounce of training.

Since (temporary) Sen. Galloway supported what is known as constitutional carry, with virtually no restrictions at all on gun ownership, maybe she can push to allow kids of any age to carry. After all, they are most vulnerable to predators. And I’m sure she would not like to see any road blocks put in place, like a little gun training, to slow down a kids guaranteed constitutional right to accidently fire the gun in a public place.
ABC News: Police in Wyoming say nobody was hurt when a small gun that was inside a girl's purse fired while she was in a Cheyenne Starbucks. Authorities say the girl is under age 18 … was cited for underage possession of a firearm … the girl's father had given her the gun and encouraged her to carry it for her protection. According to police records, she hasn't had any formal firearms training.
Guns…we need more of them.

Walker's Fox News Rant Departs from Reality. Now He's just Making things up!!!

I've been trying to make sense out of the reckless rantings of Gov. Scott Walker, as he makes the media rounds. His stories are well rehearsed and the same no matter who asks. But the difference in each of his interviews come across in his initial reaction to the question, which provides an insight into how the recall is effecting him. And it's not going well apparently.

Ed Schultz, along with Democratic State Sen. Lena Taylor and John Nichols, trashed his latest appearance on Fox News, where Walker felt so comfortable talking to like minded conservatives that he twisted what was already mindless fiction.

Walker's preoccupation with one guys wild story of signing over 70 petitions, which has never been confirmed as true, expanded into protecting against those who aren't legal citizens, dog whistle language that will surely energize his frightened base.  His other argument is bizarre; he wants to protect those who don't want to sign petitions too. A not too subtle tie in with the voter fraud myth.

Walker's insulting "I should have done more to make my case," is total BS, considering he's done nothing but try to explain his troubled policy all year. Not many are buying it. Fox News' forgetful viewers will fall in line with Walker's total historical elimination of the Great Recession, and the jobs his predecessor created for him in the his first six months as governor.   

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Borrow and Spend Now, While Interest Rates are Way Down. Yet Republicans are Won't.

It's the "Opposite World" of Republican economics; they say borrowing is it must be good!!!

Republicans say build the Keystone Pipeline? Here comes environment damage and longer dependence on oil. (Actually, we really shouldn't, but that another story).

Back to the borrowing "problem" we actually don't have, along with "spending." The economic reason for both spending and borrowing has been talked about before, but here's another attempt to break through the Republican wall of talking points. If we go along with Republicans, infrastructure spending in the country will greatly increase, straining federal, state and local budgets.
Ezra Klein email: The conventional wisdom is that the United States is borrowing too much. But don't tell that to the markets. It's cheaper for the U.S. to finance its debt today than it was when we last had surpluses. For three-year, five-year, and 10-year treasuries, the rate has turned negative. That is to say, the market is so afraid of losing money in the dangerous, uncertain world out there, that they'll pay us to keep their money safe for them ... it's an incredible opportunity for us.

It means that any investment with any positive rate of return is an investment worth making.

Infrastructure clearly fits that bill. Not only is the likely return high, but if we don't do it now, we'll need to do it later, when our borrowing costs will be higher.

But the conventional wisdom -- the wisdom that says the only responsible thing to do is cut -- stands in our way. If we were going by the numbers, the path forward would be clear: Borrow now, when we can get money for free, when we have millions of unemployed Americans to put back to work, and when the economy is in desperate need of more demand. But don't stop there. At the same time, pass a large and credible deficit-reduction plan that covers, says, 2014-2023, and cuts federal borrowing as the global economy recovers and interest rates rise. in other words, make investments now, when it's cheap, but begin working on an exit strategy for a few years from now, when borrowing becomes expensive again.

Walker thinks Recall Signatures result of Union ad campaigns. Earth to Walker....

I've written a lot about Republican projection, but the Scott Walker interview below says it all. The idea liberals would ever take marching orders from anyone, in this case unions, is so crazy and antithetical to the herding cats party you've got to wonder what these guys are drinking.

Even when confronted with the 500,000 plus recall signatures that couldn't possibly translate to union influence, Walker still blames union ad campaigns. Conservatives don't get it. Guess what Scott, that top down, fall in line, repeat the talking point list of positions, is your problem not ours.
Neumann: "We're talking about 540 thousand signatures...that's more than just the unions, right? That's more than just union money. There's a lot of citizens involved."

Walker: "Well sure, but what I'm saying...What I'm saying is that was driven by that."
Walker refuses to blame himself for the destructive divide in our state, and the conflict that now separates families and neighbors.
Greg Neumann: "Aren't you personally responsible for the differences that you're talking about in that ad, in this state right now?"

Walker: "No. Did I make what I believe was a responsible decision...?"

Greg Neumann: "Would any of those had led to the type of fervor we're seeing now? Let's be honest."

Walker: "...because of the unions overwhelming funding these attacks, want more than anything, the money that they don't automatically get from public employees in the state." 
To Walker, unions don't care about labor rights, just the money. From WKOW 27 News:

At least to Walker and his conservative echo chamber, it is all about money.

The ad, paid for by Scott Walker's campaign, features the governor and his family volunteering and getting in the holiday spirit, and wraps up with this line, coming from first lady Tonette:
"In this season of peace, our hope is that we can put our differences aside and move forward together," says Tonette Walker.
But some think the ad is intending to discourage people from continuing recall efforts through the holidays. 27 News contacted the Walker campaign. A spokesperson says "it seems you are trying to define the premise of her statement. Her point: It's Christmas."

It's Opposite Day again for Republicans; They hate freeloaders, so…you guessed it, they will encourage health care freeloading!!!

On the campaign trail, the two GOP front-runners are men who have both embraced the hated “individual mandate” in the past. Both Gingrich and Romney … have proposed similar ideas.

In a jaw dropping vision of a freeloader utopia:
WP: What about people who remain uninsured? Romney would allot each state a pool of taxpayer money to provide for their care.
How nice! Hey, Romney believes in the freedom to freeload. Gingrich goes one step beyond;
Gingrich envisions a system in which the government puts aside the tax breaks that a particular uninsured person would have received. The taxpayer money would then be sent to his or her local community to pay the doctor bills if the person gets sick.
Huh? And what happens if that amount isn’t enough, and higher costs started taking money away from  other taxpayers? Isn't that what the whole entitlement argument is about?  

And then there’s this outrageous statement from Newt:
“You don’t want to buy the insurance? Fine,” Gingrich explained on CNN this month. “Your share of the tax credit goes into a charity pool. Something happens to you, you’re taken care of by that charity pool.”
Is anything more nanny state or irresponsible? Does anyone think a person’s tax credit will begin to pay for even a minor fracture, much less cancer treatment?

These people have no clue about health care’s biggest problems or what it costs.

Just as surreal, on the subject of selling insurance across state lines and letting insurers do what they want, Romney incredibly thinks VOTERS will somehow stop the abuses. To sum it up; voters have to figure out what politicians weren’t doing enough to regulate insurers, by politicians that hate regulations in the first place, and then vote them out…my head is hurting.
If a state’s insurers got out of control, the states’ residents could solve the problem by themselves. “The people of that state are going to vote out of office the people that don’t do a good job,” he said at a speech in May.
More upfront, draconian and frightening:
Romney has also said he would do away with the Obama plan’s rule that prevents companies from denying coverage for “preexisting” conditions. Romney would offer that guarantee only to people who have maintained continuous health insurance — not those who are without it. Gingrich’s plan does not offer that guarantee: He proposes expanding state “high-risk” coverage plans that people with preexisting conditions could buy.
And that means unaffordable premiums for the sick instituted by government health care risk pools.

As for the Republican plan for reform...:
If “repeal” is enough for the GOP primary, then the details of “replace” should wait until later. “You don’t want to be terribly detailed,” said Rep. Michael C. Burgess (R-Tex.), who advised McCain in his presidential run, and saw the details of his ideas turned into weapons by Obama. “It’s a whole lot easier to demagogue the ‘con’ than it is to defend the ‘pro.’ ”

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A few of my Favorite Things...

The Wreck of the Brothers Fitzgerald video offers up the best description of our state government, but with no artist attribution. I can't get this song out of my mind:

This is Ken Lonnquist, with a song that turns the tables on our lowly little "Christmas" tree.

I saw this first at Rock Netroots, and then it made the rounds on Facebook and Twitter. It's sadly true:

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Uh Oh.....

Don't believe your lying eyes, believe Scott Walker.

I just loved the way this opening line was written on Channel3000's news site:
Gov. Scott Walker said on Friday that despite state budget cuts and recent dismal job growth numbers, he believes the state is headed on the right path.
Can he get away with that?
Question: "Is this the year that you expected when you came in January?"

Walker: "We knew there would be challenges, but I had no idea what kind of national attention and focus about pro and con on these issues. But, it is what it is."
Wow! And finally:
Question: "How do you think about it that you are the first governor in history to be facing this? Or that you could be the first governor in (Wisconsin) history to face a recall election?"

Walker: "Ironically, if Lord willing, with the support of the voters, I'll also be the first governor in state history to be elected twice in the same term."

Since Walker has cut public employee pay, money they could have been used to buy things, income and sales taxes are down. Big surprise:

Walker is "Governor of the Year," claims he's not a polarizing figure.

You've got to be kidding!!! So says Governors Journal.

Gov. Scott Walker still doesn't get it. He's a bad manager. His style has been met with protests and a recall effort. Whine as he will about the public's reaction, and the negative comments made to his family, he doesn't get that it didn't have to be that way. He's mirrored by his legislative henchmen, Scott and Jeff Fitzgerald.

In this Fox 6 Mike Lowe interview, Scott observations:
"This wasn't about some wild political agenda...I would have never dreamed the national attention, national focus. I just came in trying to, like a small business owner, I saw a problem, saw a solution, I tried to fix it."
Saying he didn't have a "wild political agenda" doesn't make is so. Another big mistake that resulted in tanking our economy; a state with a multi-billion dollar budget and hundreds of thousands of employees, is no small business, requiring small business solutions. One change, any change, effects hundreds of communities in a big way. Bad manager? Sure.

And that outrageous "David Koch" call, where Walker spilled his guts to a stranger?
Walker: "It was an embarrassment just in the sense, in particular the fact that someone wasn't who they claimed to be."

Lowe: "Democrats keep bring up the phrase that you used in that conversation, 'dropping the bomb on the state,' what did you mean by that?"

Walker: "That was months and months ago. For us, we wanted to put out a major change."
Oh, well then "drop the bomb" is okay. But here's the best part of the interview, thanks to Lowe:
Lowe: "Is there a misperception of you that you would like to see eradicated?

Walker: "There are some who like, who could benefit from the misconception that...of polarizing, or phrases like that are used."

Lowe: "On Feb. 11th though, you also said the words "We're not negotiating over a budget, we're broke, there's nothing to negotiate. That struck a lot of people as, 'This is my way or the highway' type of tone. In retrospect, do you wish you were softer in those comments?"

Walker: "No, I think..."

Lowe: "Cause that did set the tone for the entire year didn't it? I mean in terms of making you a polarizing figure; us against them?"

Walker: "I just laid out the facts..."
Lowe framed it correctly. Walker went on to whine the Democrats tried to "ram through" a union agreement before he became governor. How dare the previous administration take care of business while still in session. Walker of course tried to ram through a complete reversal of the last 20 years in a week.

For many in the state, it was hard to stomach repealing the last 20 years of progress in just a few weeks time, with no debate and no compromise. With big corporate money now buying our elections, Republicans went after the only money that represented working people, the unions. Was it so unfair for a few unions to try and influence elections with campaign funding, while leaving corporate America alone to do their dirty work? While Republicans argued unions shouldn't influence elections, they also argued and won at the Supreme Court level, that money doesn't influence elections. Not bad if you can have it both ways, and they did.

Wisconsin Second Highest Unemployment Claims in Nation. But the business climate is improving...?

Although these number are preliminary, Wisconsin's new "Open for Business" slogan is starting to fit right in with the conservative's "opposite day" philosophy. From the Wisconsin State Journals liberal online paper the Capital Times (guess this kind of news doesn't warrant the importance of ink and paper):
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday released a report showing Wisconsin with the second-highest number of unemployment claims from mass layoff events in the nation last month … any event affecting at least 50 workers … for November … 90 such events in the month, impacting 9,359 individuals. Only California, with an estimated 274 events affecting 19,677 individuals, had more initial unemployment claims from mass layoffs. A full listing of mass layoffs and plant closings in Wisconsin is available here … the ongoing cutbacks suggest the state labor picture remains clouded heading into 2012.
The Walker administrations response? "Doh."

But what about Madison, the liberal socialist area of our state? While Gov. Walker is shifting the seat of government to Waukesha County, how's the old Capitol city doing?

separate report from the BLS shows the Madison metropolitan statistical area (MSA) with the second-lowest unemployment rate among metropolitan areas, at 5.1 percent for October. The Madison MSA includes Dane, Iowa and Columbia counties.

In another report, the BLS is showing the Madison area with 350,200 nonfarm jobs in October, just about 1 percent fewer jobs than 10 years ago. Madison's job performance was ninth best in the nation over the past decade among the nation's 100 largest metro areas.
Conservative Waukesha and West Allis, filled with job creators and so many successful free market businesses, unfortunately couldn’t bring the Milwaukee metro area numbers up…
The Milwaukee metro area, which also includes Waukesha and West Allis, ranked 39th in the nation. It has almost 4 percent fewer jobs than 10 years ago.

Sen. John McCain wants Certainty, in an Uncertain Free Market. They're not kidding.

Suddenly, government has stopped the private sector from creating jobs, stopped them cold.

So the question is; how did the Obama Democrats stop business from creating jobs?

Sen. John McCain offers up this sobering shot in his recent email to me:
“The President's idea of jobs created by government … is wrong and … has led to a complete failure to lower the unemployment rate...”
Government, not Wall Street’s global crash, killed jobs! Republican deregulation? Forget it!

The play-no-favorites, uncertain ruthlessness of the free market, now needs…certainty.

But can Republicans actually sell the idea of free markets with government guaranteed certainty? That’s crazy, right? That would mean government can create jobs, by taking the “uncertainty” out of unregulated markets.

Sen. John “crazy” McCain continues:
"The President insists on blaming Republicans for his lack of results, and we're not going to stand for it anymore. Today, I'm asking you to show your support for the Jobs Through Growth Act. Our plan will help give the certainty and confidence that our private sector so badly needs to invest, grow and create jobs again."
Instead of laughing at the lunacy of free market “certainty,” the media went along. And like any unchecked authoritarian political power would, they exploited the idea of “disaster capitalism.” While the nation is down, plunder it.
“By cutting taxes, reforming our broken tax code, reducing spending and getting the burden of overregulation off America's back we can get our economy moving again.”
Sure we saw balanced budgets in the 90’s, surpluses too, suddenly the private sector needs "government help" by introducing certainty in an uncertain free market.