Thursday, June 30, 2011

Republican Water Boy Mark Halperin Suspended Indefinitely from MSNBC for Calling Obama a "Dick."

Didn't you know you can't chide or criticize our Republican authority figures in congress? Newsy's got the story:

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by

One thing; Even though I never cared much for Halperin's opinions, he did ask to be bleeped, and wasn't. I'm not sure it's entirely his fault for that technical error. 

Justice David Prosser offers up another performance.

Fox 6 News gets another big exclusive when Justice David Prosser rips the mike out of reporter Mike Lowe's hand. Just another bizarre unhinged moment of anger and frustration from the evenly tempered, nice little old man on Wisconsin's Supreme Court bench.

The only thing I wasn't too crazy about was Lowe's question to Chief Justice Abrahamson, where he adds, "this is the State Supreme Court, not the Royal Court. We live in a democracy." He knows full well the whole issue is a legal matter currently under investigation. A justice, or judge, would be insane and legally irresponsible making a comment at this time. It was to Abrahamson's credit she responded in an even and predictable way, offering up something for Lowe's dogged coverage. 

Despite the off hand comment, Lowe does a good jobs pursuing the story. 

Milk Toast Jared Bernstein Exposes and Embarrasses Paul Ryan's Economic Voodoo.

A line that isn't used often enough by critics of Rep. Paul Ryan, but applies most of the time, is "he thinks his sh*t doesn't stink." In a recent Squawk Box appearance with Jared Bernstein, Ryan smirks and smart asses his way through the debate. This is the real Paul Ryan, letting his guard down in a moment of unfiltered candor and narcissism.

While Bernstein is often a little too generic and neoliberal for me, even he sounds like a flaming progressive next to the Randian/Friedmanesque demagoguery of Paul Ryan. I swear, Bernstein was channeling every argument I've ever made against the Republican Party of extremism, proving even Blue Dog Dems are starting to get it. Oddly, Bernstein energized me...while Ryan stuck to his theories.

Ryan doesn't like criticism, or being taken down a peg! In fact, he lashes out at Bernstein with demeaning quotes like: "alright, can I get in here soon," or the surreal put down of the actual function of government, "I just don't think you can sit in Washington and micromanage the US economy." What, with regulations? The nontechnical economic term used my most Americans for Ryan would be; he's dangerously nuts.

Ryan seems to be under the bizarre impression the other big economic powers in the world don't have economic regulations or any government controls.

Packin' at the Packers!? Remember, this is Green Bay.

Can't wait to take the family up for a Packer game this fall. Did anyone think for a moment about everyone else who might not feel secure, or safe, with a bunch of drunk concealed carry gun-blingers walking around? Guess the constitutional guarantees only apply to the steel penis holders. 

Lambeau Field considers concealed carry: AP-Lambeau Field officials are trying to determine how the soon-to-be concealed carry law will affect them.  The bill allows the carrying of concealed weapons but not in buildings owned or leased by the state.  Pat Webb is the executive director of the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District. Webb tells WLUK-TV ( he doesn't know if the law officially considers Lambeau a government building.  Gov. Scott Walker is expected to sign the bill after July 4thand the law is expected to go into effect in October or November.  Green Bay Police Captain Paul Ebel says they are dissecting the law and planning to consult with the city's attorneys and the Packers organization.  The NFL says guns are not allowed in any NFL stadium.

News Media Controlled by Conservative Talk Bullying. Now what?

Anyone think Republican State Rep. Nygren won’t receive special consideration in his frivolous lawsuit to stay on the recall ballot, even though he failed legally to muster enough signatures or sign his own nomination papers?

WSJ: State Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, has sued to get his name on the ballot as well. He was ruled ineligible this week after state election officials accused the state Government Accountability Board of issuing its ruling without giving him a fair chance to defend his eligibility … A decision in Nygren’s favor would create a flurry of extra work for the clerks...”

I'm waiting for the shoe to drop on that one. 

The talk media bully’s spun a whopper about Sheriff David Mahoney’s involvement in investigating Justice Prosser’s alleged abuse of a fellow justice because he politically supported Prosser’s opponent in the recent Supreme Court election. But in reality, Mahoney would have never have been personally involved. But the media credited conservative bloggers and talk radio for forcing him to back off:

"Although as sheriff, I honored the request of the Capitol Police to conduct an investigation … I turned the case over to the chief deputy," Mahoney said in a statement. "The chief deputy then assigned the case to the captain of field services, who in turn assigned a team of detectives and supervisors to investigate the case and oversee the investigation. As the sheriff I have no role in the assignment of detectives and supervisors or overseeing the investigation."

But the public read something completely different:

WSJ: Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney effectively removed himself from the investigation into allegations state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put a "chokehold" on a fellow justice after questions were raised about Mahoney's objectivity because he endorsed Prosser's opponent in the recent election…conservative critics raised questions about whether he could objectively investigate the incident because he endorsed … liberal Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg … "the very politically charged nature of this particular investigation could prevent the public from resting full confidence in Sheriff Mahoney's abilities," said Brian Sikma, communications director for the conservative website Media Trackers.
So what was that about the liberal media?

Deregulate? Let the Free Market manage itself? Government is bad for business? Massey Energy Destroys Republican Vision

This story could not have made the GOP’s case for smaller government more meaningless.

NY Times: Federal investigators said Wednesday that Massey Energy, the owner of the West Virginia mine where 29 men were killed in an explosion last year, misled government inspectors by keeping accounts of hazardous conditions out of official record books where inspectors would see them … a dual accounting system practiced by Massey before the deadly explosion, in which safety problems and efforts to fix them were recorded in an internal set of books, out of sight of state inspectors, and off the official books that the law required them to keep. 

Ohio Referendum Impressive and Harbinger of things to Come in Wisconsin?

I couldn't help but wonder if voters in Wisconsin will be as determined and energized as the voters in Ohio, who oppose their governors dystopian plans for the future. Cenk Uygur describes it perfectly:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Election Fraud and Voter Suppression the new Norm under Republican Rule.

Rachel Maddow covers the never discussed attempts by Republicans to commit election and voter fraud. That's just the beginning, since 37 Republican governors and their legislatures are now making it harder to vote with a massive movement of voter suppression. It's all here.

Walker's Privatization Plans Exposed, But Will He Reimburse Taxpayers for Buildings and Services soon to be Privatized?

Dylan Ratigan took a look at the current plan in Wisconsin to privatize much of our public services, thanks to our "free market" Republican trickle down zealots, guided by the Fitzgerald brothers.

And a recent article at Huffington Post by Amanda Terkel exposes the downside to those plans. It's also interesting to note the Sen. Dick Durbin legislation that forces the states to pay back funding that supported and built those public facilities and services that will be converted to the private sector.

Also good stuff from Peter Rickman, Wisconsin labor activist.

Affordable Care Act Constitutional, again.

For Republicans, this decision won't hold as much weight as the other two decisions against the Affordable Care Act. What's most important are the reason's given by the courts in each of their opinions. 
ThinkProgress: The majority writes: “We find that the minimum coverage provision is a valid exercise of legislative power by Congress under the Commerce Clause and therefore AFFIRM the decision of the district court.” Key passage:
By regulating the practice of self-insuring for the cost of health care delivery, the minimum coverage provision is facially constitutional under the Commerce Clause for two independent reasons. First, the provision regulates economic activity that Congress had a rational basis to believe has substantial effects on interstate commerce. In addition, Congress had a rational basis to believe that the provision was essential to its larger economic scheme reforming the interstate markets in health care and health insurance.
What I don't get is argument against a requirement to have health insurance. Unless you have plans to freeload off those who do get insurance, there is no argument. If you are going to have coverage anyway, why complain? The message tea party and Republican lawmakers are sending is "don't buy insurance, because you have the freedom not too." Anyone want to make a bet the number of insured, who can afford it, will skyrocket?

Will Voters Approve of Tax Increases for Wealthy? Ya think?

This amazing headline appeared today online at Fox News:

I say amazing because for about 2 months now, public polling results have overwhelmingly supported tax increases on the wealthy. Gee, will voters approve of their approval?

New Spin on Prosser “Chokegate” Story

And now for the newly created spinganda secretly released to the conservative National Review:

Three of the four conservative justices were ready to issue a ruling reinstating the union law as originally passed. Prosser, on the other hand, wanted to wait longer, to avoid the appearance that the court was rushing their decision through. Prosser and the other conservative justices marched around the chambers, looking for Abrahamson, who was found in Justice Bradley’s office. Prosser stood outside Bradley’s door, talking to the justices in Bradley’s office. The discussion got heated, with Prosser expressing his lack of faith in Abrahamson’s ability to lead the Court.

According to one witness, Bradley charged toward Prosser, shaking her clenched fist in his face. Another source says they were “literally nose to nose.” Prosser then put his hands up to push her away. As one source pointed out, if a man wants to push a woman who is facing him, he wouldn’t push her in the chest (unless he wants to face an entirely different criminal charge). Consequently, Prosser put his hands on Bradley’s shoulders to push her away, and in doing so, made contact with her neck.

At that moment, another justice approached Bradley from behind and pulled her away from Prosser, saying, “Stop it, Ann, this isn’t like you.” Bradley then shouted, “I was choked!” Another justice present replied, “You were not choked.” In a statement following the incident, Bradley maintained Prosser “put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold.”

On Monday night, Bradley called Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs to talk to him about the incident. On the morning of Wednesday, June 15, Tubbs joined the justices in a closed-door meeting, where he discussed “issues relating to workplace violence.”

During the meeting, Chief Justice Abrahamson actually reenacted the incident on Chief Tubbs — no doubt an amusing sight, as the diminutive Abrahamson mimicked choking the tall, portly police chief. During her demonstration, Abrahamson emphasized that Prosser had exerted “pressure” on Bradley’s throat.

“There was no pressure,” interrupted the justice who had initially broken up the incident between Bradley and Prosser. “That’s only because you broke us apart,” shot back Bradley. This exchange led several meeting attendees to believe Bradley was making up the charge, as they took her rejoinder as an admission that there was no pressure applied to her neck.

During the Wednesday meeting, Bradley urged the justices present to take a vote on whether Prosser should be forced into anger-management counseling. The threat was implicit — if they didn’t vote her way, she would be forced to “take the next step” against Prosser, which they took to mean filing a restraining order against him. The other justices balked, wondering whether they even had the authority to order Prosser into any type of counseling. Some thought it would be “demeaning” to Prosser to have to go to counseling when he had done nothing wrong. In the end, Bradley realized she didn’t have enough justices on her side and no vote was taken.

Here's Sly in the Morning with John Nichols and their take on this article:

According to the jsonline;

Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley asked Justice David Prosser to seek therapy to manage his anger two days after she says he put his hands around her neck, but he declined to do so, according to sources familiar with the situation.
The request came June 15, when all the justices met with Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs to discuss the June 13 altercation between Prosser and Bradley. At least some of Prosser's fellow conservatives on the court said it would be ridiculous for him to take such courses, the sources said.
Yeah, don' women know their place yet? Intimidation is so much fun...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ryan says one thing about Reckless Spending, Does Another...for Oil Money.

Looks like Rep. Paul Ryan got caught in the act of lying. This web vid does a nice job of documenting that and the money Ryan's family is making off of oil companies. 

Examiner: In a League of Conservation Voters video released yesterdayWisconsin US Congressman Paul Ryan is called out for his support of subsidies for oil companies despite his claim to support ending these subsidies. He also failed to mention his family ties to business with oil companies.

In the video Rep. Ryan is shown in a town hall meeting.  He claimed to support ending subsidies for oil companies, yet one week later he voted to continue billions in these taxpayer handouts. A recent Newsweek investigation also revealed that Rep. Ryan, his wife and father-in-law have made hundreds of thousands off the oil companies whose tax breaks he continues to support.

Paranoid much? Sheriff Mahoney too liberal to investigate Prosser? Are Democrats off Limits in Conservative Cities and Counties by their Sheriffs and judges?

My conservative friend called me this morning angry that his fellow Republicans were calling for Democratic Sheriff Dave Mahoney to stay clear of investigating Justice Prosser because of his liberal bias. Chalk one up for my friend recognizing the absurdity of such a supposed conflict of interest. 

Can you imagine a system where only conservative judges, sheriffs, and police officers preside over conservative leaning cases or investigations? How many times have we discussed the political affiliation of an arresting officer of a Republican suspect?

Listen to this down the rabbit hole rant by conservative radio crank Charlie Sykes:

Dave Mahoney took the bait? Not quite. Mahoney had no intent on taking on the investigation himself, according to sources;
WSJ: Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney effectively removed himself from the investigation into allegations state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser put a "chokehold" on a fellow justice after questions were raised about Mahoney's objectivity because he endorsed Prosser's opponent in the recent election.
….conservative critics raised questions about whether he could objectively investigate the incident because he endorsed … liberal Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg … "the very politically charged nature of this particular investigation could prevent the public from resting full confidence in Sheriff Mahoney's abilities," said Brian Sikma, communications director for the conservative website Media Trackers.
But Democrats are fighting back, with logic and backbone:
But Scot Ross of One Wisconsin Now said conservatives never raised the alarm when Prosser ruled on the controversial collective bargaining law even though he had been endorsed by numerous Republican lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau … "Sheriff Mahoney has always called balls and strikes and put the law first," Ross said.

But here’s an even more important issue to consider:
Howard Schweber, a political science professor at UW-Madison, said critics of Mahoney leading the investigation seem to suggest no Republican sheriff could investigate a Democrat and vice versa. "It's taking the paranoid style of partisanship to a new and ludicrous level," Schweber said.
Paranoid is the word, and a symptom of the conservative mind. 

Poor Picked on Prosser! Van Susteren comes to his rescue.

Greta Van Susteren should know better. In this clip, she's ready to get rid of Chief Justice Abrahamson, Bradley and Prosser because the court is too dysfunctional. Who cares if in each of the last two scandals, Prosser was the instigator.

Tipping her hand, Van Susteren claims Bradley and Abrahamson were trying to smear Prosser, the poor picked on victim and conservative. Never mind the conservatives hold the majority.

It's a Supreme Court takedown.

Walker's Budget only "encourages" job growth...Like Continuing the Bush tax cuts opened the jobs flood gates?

What Scott Walker did was balance the state budget at the expense of schools, local governments and public employees. What a price to pay...but the books are balanced. \

Business loves it!!From Breitbart's appropriately named conservative agenda, "Big Government," came this gem:

When you add in the chaotic atmosphere in Madison and the tumultuous nature of politics in the Badger State, what Walker has accomplished in such a short time is quite remarkable.
From the MacIver News Service: …Walker’s plan received high praise from Wisconsin’s business community.

“Governor Walker and legislative Republicans deserve tremendous credit for making tough decisions…” said Kurt R. Bauer, President/CEO of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. “The budget provides greater certainty for business executives and that should encourage job growth.”

Encourage, that's it? Big commitment. Are we talking the same "certainty" business executives got from the extension of the Bush tax cuts? 

That worked...?

Republicans vs Popular Government Services.

This is a story from a few months past, about the GOP's hatred toward the Post Office, which demonstrates the contrarian nature of the Republican Party, apart from their simple ploy to oppose everything Obama.

The video focus's on Paul Ryan's off hand comment that his proposed "Path," isn't a really a budget, but a "cause." Simply put, the conservative "cause" to privatize and do away with the public's most popular and trusted government the Post Office. I not only love the Post Office, I think stamps should have gone up in price to about $1 a long time ago. The current price is crazy. Rachel Maddow explains:


Would conservative contrarians ever be satisfied? Of course not.

The party's are like two magnets; the Democrats are so weak supporting or articulating their own agenda, that the public is attracted to the stronger agenda.

Who Killed the Edison/Ford Electric Car?

This little story was something I found out about from my 8 year old, in one of his schools library books, about the first electric car by Thomas Edison. This obscure turn in history sent us down the path of oil dependence, pollution and wars.

"Thomas Edison had spent $3.5 million between 1903 and 1910 (equivalent to $71 million today) perfecting his nickel iron battery. He claimed it was half the weight of lead acid and had twice the energy density. His electric cars were demonstrably superior to the competition that were powered at the time by what we today know as Exide batteries, then controlled by a group of cartels. Those cartels sought to monopolize all forms of automotive transportation from bicycles to automobiles, gasoline and electric.

Just as Edison and Henry Ford were about to go into business together to offer a low cost electric car comparable to the Model T, a suspicious fire destroyed nearly all of Edison's West Orange, New Jersey research facility, curiously bypassing areas where the most flammable chemicals had been stored. Within months World War I would engulf Europe and eventually America and the dream of the electric car would fade into obscurity, a curious, forgotten footnote of history.

Edwin Black, author of Internal Combustion on the electric car conspiracy. Black weaves a compelling detective story that explains why the electric car failed despite its superiority as an urban transportation vehicle in an age when country roads were mud, suburbia didn't exist and gasoline was hard to find. Compared to the quiet, pollution free, dependable electric cars of the era, gasoline models were dirty, noisy and difficult to start, but that also gave them a certain machismo in the minds of the male motorist. But beyond that, electric cars also were stigmatized in the minds of public of that day as the tool of corporate swindle artists from the "Lead Trust" to Carl Pope's bicycle monopoly to the automobile cartel. In the context of the late 1890s and early 1900's, Black explained, electric car manufacturers were the 'bad guys', a complete reversal of where we are today which sees them as a means by which to save the planet.

"These were the Wall Street financiers, the bank manipulators, corporate raiders; and they decided to quash these internal combustion machine developers; names you'd now like Dodge and Cadillac."

Their legal instrument in this fight was George Selden's patent, which he'd acquired in the decades immediately after the American Civil War, and allegedly gave him the right to royalties on any and all automobiles built in America, if not the rest of the world. The patent was, in fact, nothing more than a simple line sketch, the kind of thing you'd draw on the back of an envelope or napkin. But with it, the cartel planned to intimidate and coerce its competitors with threats of expensive, protracted lawsuits.
Oddly at the time, the gasoline vehicle developers were the populists, Black said, but they would eventually join forces with the battery, electric car and bicycle cartels to form a super cartel, and in the process the electric car was abandoned in favor of the internal combustion machine.

"The one guy who would not [join] the cartel was Henry Ford. He did not want the internal combustion machine to be available for the rich man, the bank president and for the lawyer and for the doctor. He wanted the internal combustion machine to be available for all people as a kind of liberating American way of life. He was the populist.

Ford won his legal battles against the Selden patent in 1911. With the downfall of the Selden patent, internal combustion cars began to proliferate, but it was also at that point, said Black, that Henry Ford realized that he had won the battle, but lost the war as the dirty, polluting cars spread at the expense of the far cleaner electric models.

We don't have a Revenue Problem? Tax cuts add Revenue?? The Truth...

I came across this graphic the other day, that I meant to use to dispel the idea spread by Republicans that tax cuts increase revenue, but forgot. So without a long analysis and link to some major media outlet, here's the picture;

What Do We Really Think about the 2nd Amendment?

I believe it's an antiquated concept that has no relevance in today's society.

(cross posted on Mikeb302000)

What do you think? Please leave a comment.

Brookfield Town Hall Grills Sensenbrenner and Vukmir on Medicare, Protests, Voter ID.

Despite the great questions and opposition to so many of the Republican plans, there are still many in the town hall below that are basically just going along with their party, taking the easy way out. But the skeptics may force a few in the crowd to think twice, and who knows, maybe change their mind. I will continue to post every story I find about GOP town halls.
Brookfield Patch: Concerns about Medicare and health care dominated a Town Hall meeting Sunday held by U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, who along with state legislators.

At age 54, Menomonee Falls resident Paul Race said he just misses the cutoff in U.S. Paul Ryan's proposal to reform Medicare for those younger than 55. "If it's good enough for the people 54 and younger... then I think it's good enough for people 55 and older," said Race, a former Marine who has been a teacher for 25 years. He said under Ryan's plan he would have to "go shopping to insurance companies" whose administrative costs will be higher than under Medicare and who may be unwilling to cover people with pre-existing conditions. He predicted he will have to spend a greater share of his retirement funds on health care than will those 55 and older.

Sensenbrenner said, "I'm not here to say he's (Ryan) right or he's wrong, but at least he's got a plan."

Darcy Gustavvson of Brookfield said Congress should prioritize funding for essential social nets such as "decent, affordable health care" for seniors who need it most. "Your job is to fund what the American people want," she said, not turn Medicare into a "voucher system."

Others applauded when several citizens said the United States was spending too much money on wars it didn't need to be waging.

Brookfield resident Mary Magnuson asked the state legislators in attendance how they could support the governor's budget "knowing that hundreds of thousands" of people protested it and it is balanced "on the backs of the working class."
State Sen. Leah Vukmir said the budget closed a $3.6 billion deficit without gimmicks and one-time revenue sources. "This is the first time that we were able to put our fiscal house in order, which is what the people of the state of Wisconsin asked us to do last November," she said, drawing applause from a large share of the audience of about 75 people.

A University of Wisconsin — Madison student challenged lawmakers to cite evidence of students committing voter fraud by voting twice, saying the voter ID bill could disenfranchise students who don't have proper IDs, especially out-of-state students.

"We don't know" if there has been student voter fraud," Vukmir said. "There has certainly been reports, and the opportunity is there.... So we want to firm that up. It's about protecting the integrity of the voting process."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lifelong politician Scott Walker says he thinks like a small business owner. And he’s not kidding.

For a governor who’s never really held a private sector job or for profit business, and has welched of the taxpayers his whole adult life as a politician, he now imagines himself to be a small business man. What a phony.

Besides his insincere regret that he didn’t make his case for union busting, Scott Walker imagined this:

"The one mistake I will freely lay on the table... I came in with the kind of small-business-owner mentality.

Give me a break. Where did he gain his “small-business-owner-mentality,” from his days in the state assembly back in 1993, or as a failed Milwaukee County executive who essentially bankrupt his county?

Worse still, he actually said all this to Journal Sentinel reporters, editors and members of the newspaper's Editorial Board, and they didn’t laugh or question him on his preposterous explanation?

But Walker wasn't done with his insulting and surreal journey into Never Land. Only a complete sociopath could be this disconnected from the consequences of his policy. Put another way, this’ll really piss you off.

jsonline: He also spoke of the ongoing polarization in Wisconsin. "Where has the polarization come from? Where have the attacks come from? They haven't come from what we said. People may not agree with it. But when you look at the tone of the debate, it's largely been driven by the groups from the outside. I said to the teachers, 'I never attacked,'" Walker said.

So that monotone, lazy eyed disconnected demeanor he used while slash pay, job security, education, green jobs, high speed rail, anti-consumer tort reform, give-a-ways to road builders, corporate welfare, state control over local governments, reductions in Medicaid, 30 plus un-elected czars, forced school vouchers, concealed carry for the states fringe elements, and state control over local governments, isn’t the least bit polarizing? 

If Walker really has no idea that his policies were divisive, and angered real Wisconsinites, then we've got a big problem.  And who the hell are those “outside groups” he's always talking about anyway?    

The Latest on the Prosser Abuse Allegations....

Scott Walker talked about the Prosser problem, and knows there's a real problem brewing about the credibility of the court. Justice David Prosser has been in the middle of the last two embarrassments. Prosser's resignation would go a long way to help clear things up on what is now an activist conservative court, but until then, our court will be the reality show spectacle of nation.

Walker: "I think it is a very serious allegation, and ultimately law enforcement is going to be involved to sort that out.  Regardless as to whether one side or the other is right on there, there are very serious problems that the Supreme Court as a whole needs to work out, and for the sake of all of us, no matter where you side ideologically, that has got to happen because you've got to have confidence in the justice system in this state."

Here's even more, a lot of extra details, and great coverage from WKOW 27 News: 

No Primary for Sen. Hansen. Republican Rep. John Nygren oddly didn't get enough signatures.

No fake Democratic opposition from Republican Representative.

jsonline: State elections officials Monday took a Republican Assembly lawmaker off the ballot in a recall election against a Democratic senator. The state Government Accountability Board voted unanimously to leave Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) off the ballot in the July 19 recall election for Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) in the 30th Senate District. The board found that Nygren fell just short of collecting the 400 valid nominating signatures needed to qualify for the ballot, finding he collected only 398 valid signatures.
That means that there will be no primary in the Hansen recall election. 

Another Activist Supreme Court Decision on Free Speech: You have more of it if you have...Money!!!

So in summary; conservative Justice Thomas is taking gifts from clients before his court, and not reporting it; conservative Wisconsin State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is threatening two women Justices; both courts have majority conservative activist justices, and now:

CNN: The Supreme Court has tossed out an Arizona law that provides extra taxpayer-funded support for office seekers who have been outspent by privately funded opponents or by independent political groups. A conservative 5-4 majority of justices said the law violated free speech, concluding the state was impermissibly trying to "level the playing field" through a public finance system.Arizona lawmakers had argued there was a compelling state interest in equalizing resources among competing candidates and interest groups.
Think about it; matching campaign funds doesn't prevent the other side from spending as much "free speech" as they want. This does not limit free speech. But in one of the more down the rabbit hole statements yet, Justice Roberts wrote:

The Constitution, the chief justice wrote, does not allow the state to "increase the speech of some at the expense of others."

This decision blatantly tells us all one thing: Some people have more free speech rights than the others.

Prosser should Resign!!

This has less to do with my own political leanings than it has to do with the total destruction of our judicial system, mainly the Wisconsin Supreme Court. On a national level conservative Justice Clarence Thomas is taking money he isn't reporting from clients appearing before his court, and in Wisconsin, we have a conservative Justice threatening two women justices. And not surprisingly, each court is voting along partisan lines. 

I think Jonathan Turley said it best: "At the rate they are going, the Wisconsin Supreme Court could be perfect for the next reality show on Fox.

Justice David Prosser may have just won his second term on the court, but it's time for this old dogs career to be put down, once and for all. Even Walker can't run from this problem. Fox 47:

jsonline Cary Spivak: The Dane County Sheriff's Office is investigating a claim by Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley that Justice David Prosser put her in a chokehold earlier this month.

"After consulting with members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, I have turned over the investigation into an alleged incident in the court's offices on June 13, 2011 to Dane County Sheriff Dave Mahoney," Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said in a statement.

At about the same time in Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker told Journal Sentinel reporters, editors and members of the newspaper's Editorial Board on Monday that the matter involving Prosser and Bradley was "a serious matter."

Asked if the reports about Prosser's behavior, if true, merited his resignation, Walker said: "I don't even want to go down that path … other than to say that just based on the allegations that were made, I can't overemphasize how serious I think the situation is there. I think, again, beyond the particulars of this case…the fact that there appears to be an ongoing friction among justices in the court is something that has to be resolved. I don't know what the right answer is."

Asked if he found the current court to be the most dysfunctional in his memory, Walker replied, "Yeah." The state Judicial Commission could have trouble if it launched an investigation, because matters of judicial ethics are decided solely by the Supreme Court.

One thing is common with each of these incidents. Justice Prosser.

Prosser blew up at Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson in closed session in February 2010, calling her a "bitch," threatening to "destroy" her and saying when he did so it "won't be a ground war." 
 "Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this stunning development is how given all that we have learned about the court in recent years how untroubling many (people) are likely to find this," said Marquette Law School professor Peter Rofes. "Entirely apart from the obvious violent nature of this act - and the fear it engendered in a female member of the court - as each day passes the people of Wisconsin have less reason to believe that there is very much legitimacy left in this incredibly important institution."

This is right out of the Republican playbook; delegitimize every branch of government. Next thing you know we'll be taking the law into our own hands and arming our citizens...uh oh.

Taxpayer's funding New Noah's Ark in Kentucky. Flood of lawsuits expected?

Northern Kentucky is getting ready for the big flood...of tourists to the Ark Encounter Theme Park. The logical extension of the Creation Museum, the Ark Park is unfortunately getting taxpayer support with a sales tax rebate. That's money out of the public coffers, forcing everyone to contribute to something they find not only offensive, but unconstitutional. From Religion and Ethics Weekly:

The Devil is in the...Lake, for Walker.

You can’t tell me the constant protesting and tight security doesn’t bother Gov. Scott Walker just a little. But sociopaths like Walker may not care what the public thinks of his austerity agenda. At least he will be reminded of his actions each and every day, like at this Devils Lake appearance.

This Fox 47 coverage shows how uncomfortable the public is making Walker feel, as he strides through a park he hasn't been seen since he was a kid. The last section is a protester video of Walker getting a little to close too the action, and I love it.  

Fox 47 News: Devil's Lake State Park kicked off its 100-year celebration Saturday, but the event was more of a protest than a party.
About 200-300 protesters demonstrated against the event's featured guest, Governor Scott Walker. "I think that wherever Governor Walker goes, there ought to be some opposition, there ought to be some organized resistance to this government. This is the wrong direction for the state of Wisconsin," said Tom Holmes of Baraboo.

But conservatives see democracy as something that should be a bit more convenient, and appropriate for the occasion. 

"Everybody has a right to free speech; however, this is about the parks. This is about their centennial celebration and for a protester to show up and ruin it, it's just a shame," said Jeanne Lenerz of Sauk City.

It’s a shame Walker took our state and ruined it.

The Republican Predator State...and going in for the kill!!!

What is it about Republicans that baffles and mystifies the media?

Perhaps it's the uneasy feeling that there may be some truth in the way their ideological opponents see them. A truth that is more human nature, than a political belief.

Predatory instincts.

Why are so many GOP governors sinking in the polls with their draconian austerity platforms? Not including the 2010 campaign ploy of avoiding the "lame stream media's" tougher line of questioning, and a chance to reveal the Republican Party's real plans for change, we're left with one other choice. The predator state. It's an offshoot of what writer Naomi Klein describes as disaster capitalism. All the conditions are right to pounce.

Predators will always take advantage of a weakened opponent, and go in for the kill. The same is true of the more aggressive, ever on the offensive Republican Party. They play off the deeper fears of society. The "injured" economy, and the ensuing Great Recession energized their predatory instincts.

Wisconsin Republicans were able to reverse the entire eight years of Democratic governor Jim Doyle in just 5 months, all based on the global, national and statewide weakened economy. Voters were so traumatized, they never bothered to asked what solutions or "tools" were going to turn things around.

Unfortunately, we're in the early beginnings of the predator state. As long as we have a devastated public, massive unemployment, and escalating health care, the weakened power of the consumer will continue to fall prey to our political and business predators.

Bin Laden's Image Problem, and his unfulfilled rebranding.

One of the little known facts about al-Qaeda, explained in detail in the documentary “Power of Nightmares” (in 3 one hour sections), was that it was on its way out as a movement. The public turned on bin Laden for killing so many Muslims. But Bush turned everything around for bin Laden, and al-Qaeda’s popularity. Had Bush treated bin Laden as a criminal, and not as the most feared and evil man on earth, who knows how things would have turned out?

So Osama bin Laden mulled changing his image.

The Scottsman: Correspondence recovered from the Pakistan compound where Osama bin Laden was killed reveals the al-Qaeda leader was considering renaming his organization in order to revive its beleaguered reputation. bin Laden, the most ardent opponent of capitalism, thought a public relations overhaul would win the hearts and minds of greater numbers of Muslims … the unlikeliest of marketing men lamented that the group's full name, al-Qaeda al-Jihad, or The Base of Holy War, had become known around the world simply as al-Qaeda, or The Base. Lopping off the word "jihad," bin Laden wrote, allowed his western enemies to "claim deceptively that they are not at war with Islam".

He went on to note several ideas for new names, including Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad, meaning Monotheism and Jihad Group, or Jama'at I'Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida, meaning Restoration of the Caliphate Group.

Check out the masterfully produced “Power of Nightmares” for a full explanation of the their movement and where we went so wrong fighting "terrorism" as a war.

Baltimore Boy Killed Playing with Daddy's Gun

A Baltimore boy who was apparently playing with a gun shot and killed a 15-year-old friend Saturday morning in Cherry Hill, Baltimore police said.

Police could not say Saturday how many times the boy was shot or who owned the gun. The gun was secured in the house, but the children had found a key or passcode to unlock it, said police spokesman Kevin Brown. The shooter, who was either 11 or 12 years old, was not being charged at this time because the killing appeared to be an accident, he said.

"We want this to serve as a reminder of the extreme importance of securing weapons in the home," Brown said.
I think police spokesman Brown got that wrong. This couldn't possibly serve as a reminder about securing your guns since the gun was secured and the kids got to it anyway. What it could serve as a reminder of, though, is the fallacy of thinking a gun in the home makes you safer.

How many times do you think that particular gun was used in a DGU to thwart home invaders and rapists? I'd guess none, just like most of the guns in homes. They generally sit there doing no good whatever until sooner or later someone misuses them either by kids getting ahold of them, like in this case, or a negligent discharge while cleaning them, or the burglars get them.

All the while, the owners of these guns will proclaim their god-given natural human rights. Sick irony or weird paradox, I don't know what you should call it.

Click here for statistics and solution.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wisconsin State Journal Plays Dumb, Appeals to Conservative Partisan Politicians, Justices and Tea Partiers.

It's hard to know where to start with every wrong thought expressed in this Wisconsin State Journal editorial position shown here.

You would think the sudden onslaught of "rampant recalls" all by itself would tell you something is very wrong in our state. In a time before the new radicalized Republicans rose to power, when the public protested, politicians drew back and moderated their final positions. But that's what makes this "rampant recall" so telling, and this editorial so pathetic (as pictured here).

The under picture caption reads, in part: "recalls are justified in extreme situations. But constant recall attempts, regardless of their targets, will hurt Wisconsin..." Regardless of targets? When the media plays it this dumb, it's hard not to notice. This extreme Republican agenda, and everything on their partisan wish list for decades, is being passed in just 5 months. Those "constant recalls" encompasses those conservative legislators and governor pushing their hard core agenda. There's no "regardless" in the targeted politicians for recall. The editorial continues with even more insulting spin.

Union forces hope to recall Walker himself early next year. There’s even talk of launching recall efforts against the state Supreme Court justice who was just re-elected — along with other members of the court who voted to uphold Walker’s bill ... Remember: Judges — unlike lawmakers and the governor — aren’t supposed to cater to the whims of the public. They’re supposed to settle disputes as independent, impartial referees, based on the law.

Wrong!!! The conservative activist justices weren't impartial or independent. If there is a recall, it will be for the Supreme Court's conservative activist Justice David Prosser, who was just accused of putting a choke hold on Justice Ann Walsh Bradly. Another "regardless" target?

Wisconsin needs to cure its recall fever … rare recall elections are justified for egregious actions, such as misconduct in office … endless electioneering that distracts and polarizes the state while discouraging hard-working public servants from seeking office.

Then politicians need to listen to the large number of protesting Wisconsinites, who took the time out of their work schedules and leisure time to voice their opinion at the Capitol and around the state, even on lakes. Most insulting is the idea that all of this is about a single issue, like collective bargaining. It's not.

Don’t like a single vote?

Is it even possible for a newspaper to get it so wrong? This was an attack on teachers, firefighters, police, public employees; an attack on all labor rights (sick leave in Milwaukee); an attack on unions; an attack on Wisconsin's way of life (where we have higher taxes because we have a higher quality of life and great schools); and an attack on local control.

The most galling part of the editorial was this;

"...the will of the people must be respected. They have chosen their leaders, for better or for worse."

Sit down and shut, another words. Think about it; we should sit around while our "chosen" leaders make things "worse?" It's the "will of the people." This has been an uncompromising authoritarian takeover of our state, and not a rush to irrational rampant recalls.  We're not seeing reasonable governments servants, but radical uncompromising thugs.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Extremely Rare Shooting in Gun-Paradise Oregon

The Register Guard reports on what I realize is an extremely rare situation.  In fact that's why these stories make the news because they're so extremely rare. practically unheard of. Think of it this way. Let's say lawful gun owners doing something wrong with thier guns make news only a couple hundred times a day. To put that into perspective you have to divide by all the gun owners in the world, of which there are millions, and then by all the planets in that galaxy, of which there are billions.

See what I mean.

A Eugene man accused of shooting and wounding a coworker Friday morning at his family’s west Eugene repair shop remained at the business until police officers arrived and took him into custody, authorities said.

The suspect, 39-year-old Dale Brandon O’Callaghan, is charged with first-degree assault in connection with the shooting, which was reported at 6:49 a.m., police said.

O’Callaghan has never been charged with a crime in Oregon, according to state court records.
What's your opinion? How much you wanna bet Mr. O'Callaghan was covered by one or more of the Famous 10% criteria?

(cross posted at Mikeb302000)

Please leave a comment.

Thank you Waukesha! Reelecting Activist, Partisan, and Abusive Justice David Prosser says a lot about you. You Win.

After pretty much destroying his credibility with bizarre statements during the campaign, and threats against the chief justice, a normal voter might have had serious second thoughts about the wisdom of returning Justice David Prosser to the bench. Not in Waukesha, Ozauki and Washington Counties, the most conservative areas in Wisconsin, who voted overwhelmingly for their ideological friend. “Conservative” means never having to say you’re wrong, or in this case, abusive.   

jsonline: Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers last week, according to at least three knowledgeable sources … They say an argument that occurred before the court’s release of a decision upholding a bill to curtail the collective bargaining rights of public employees culminated in a physical altercation in the presence of other justices. Bradley purportedly asked Prosser to leave her office, whereupon Prosser grabbed Bradley by the neck with both hands. Justice Prosser … declined comment: “I have nothing to say about it.” 

Conservative voters gave an unstable bully a complete pass. After all, he too was an unfairly picked on Republican.

Prosser acknowledged in March that he called Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson a "bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her during a closed-door meeting … Prosser (said) the outburst to Abrahamson came after the chief justice took steps to undermine him politically and to embarrass him and other court conservatives. "In the context of this, I said, 'You are a total bitch," Prosser said. "I probably overreacted, but I think it was entirely…warranted. (Abrahamson and Justice Ann Walsh Bradley) are masters at deliberately goading people into perhaps incautious statements. This is bullying and abuse of very, very long standing."

Bradley (then) sent an email to him and other justices saying the behavior was unacceptable. An hour and a half before sending her Feb. 18, 2010 email to all the justices, Bradley sent an email to Abrahamson and Justice N. Patrick Crooks expressing her frustration with Prosser’s outbursts. “As you both know, I am no longer wiling to tolerate Prosser’s abusive behavior,” Bradley wrote. “I have been at a loss just how to proceed.”

So Waukesha overwhelmingly voted to return the partisan lose cannon and now physical abuser, Prosser, to a second term on the state’s highest court.

You should be proud. But there's more: UPDATE: Further details:

Bradley was bothered by disparaging remarks Prosser had made about Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

Bradley felt Prosser "was attacking the chief justice," the source said.

Before leaving, Prosser "put his hands around her neck in what (Bradley) described as a chokehold," the source said.

"He did not exert any pressure, but his hands were around her neck," the source said.
The source said the act "was in no way playful."

But another source told the Journal Sentinel that Bradley attacked Prosser.
"She charged him with fists raised," the source said.

Prosser "put his hands in a defensive posture," the source said. "He blocked her."
In doing so, the source said, he made contact with Bradley's neck.

Another source said the justices were arguing over the timing of the release of the opinion, Abrahamson said she didn't know whether the decision would come out this month, the source said.
At that point, Prosser said he'd lost all confidence in her leadership. Bradley then came across the room "with fists up," the source said. Prosser put up his hands to push her back.

Bradley then said she had been choked, according to the source. Another justice - the source wouldn't say who - responded, "You were not choked."

Tonette Walker; Cement Pond Royalty.

The inside skinny on the Walker family, from Sly in the Morning:

Friday, June 24, 2011

Victim of Dave Zien's Thugs, Mike Dickman tells his side!!! This was the only violence at the Capitol since Walker Grabbed Power.

Mike Dickman's first hand view now provides both side of the story. Zien's fabrication is here. WTDY's Sly in the Morning gets the exclusive:

The Shine is off Paul Ryan, the anti-hero.

Lawrence O'Donnell pretty much said it all for me in this commentary:

I thought this article laid out the real problem with Medicare, and the entire health care system; it's the overall cost of care in the first place.

The GOP's solution to fixing our health care system is to repeal “Obamacare” and cost-shift the Medicare problem on to the backs of future Medicare recipients. Fixing a fiscal problem should not rely on simply cost-shifting the problem to a subset of the population (e.g. Medicare recipients) or the entire population. Solving that problem should involve removing the underlying causes so that the problem doesn't become some endemic part of our culture. 

The problem with Privatization using Taxpayer Money; Greed.

Maybe mixing the private sector with taxpayer money isn’t such a great idea. Over time, even the best private company can discover ways to maximize their profits by “cheating” a little bit. The story below, about food service companies hired by public schools, is another in long list of red flags Republican legislators and privateers pretend don’t exist.

Edweek: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's watchdog arm plans to look closely at whether the food-service-management companies running many school cafeterias are passing along all the discounts and rebates they receive from their suppliers to the districts that hire them. Last July, Sodexo, a French company with its U.S. headquarters in Gaithersburg, Md., agreed to pay $20 million to resolve allegations that it had over charged 21 school districts and the State University of New York system for some of the food provided to students. 
In 2005, the office reviewed 106 contracts from 22 states and found companies did not pass on at least $1.3 million in savings they had received although the agreements with school districts specifically required crediting of those funds. 
"I am concerned that these practices are prevalent in many more school districts around the country, potentially resulting in the misuse of tens of millions of dollars of taxpayer funds intended to provide schoolchildren with access to healthy school meals," U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro wrote.

Districts may choose to outsource meal programs because they believe they can save money by doing so, both on operations and labor, or because they have a philosophy of outsourcing … In a twist on the same issue, a previous USDA inspector general audit found that food-service-management companies didn't always reimburse districts for the value of commodity foods they received at no charge from the USDA.

That 2002 audit found that five of eight companies improperly kept the value of those communities—worth a total of about $6 million—from 53 districts in seven states. 

This amounts to a huge loss of taxpayer money to simple greed. The almighty dollar made them do it.