Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Citizens sit and listen to Rick Perry tell them: End Social Security!! No objections?

It wasn't so long ago when tea party losers were demanding politicians keep their hands of Social Security and Medicare. Looks like their new "leader" has flipped their little minds. What else would explain the compliant quiet crowds listening to Perry. Melissa Harris-Perry:

The Hateful Paranoid Rantings of David Horowitz on Obama.

And this guy wanted to bring conservative fairness to our college campuses via the Academic Bill of Rights. Nothing wrong with him.....NewsMax frivolity:

Olbermann on Sen. Candidate Mark Neumann's Anti-Gay Past.

With an opponent like Rep. Tammy Baldwin, it'll be interesting to see how homophobe Mark Nuemann  handles his upcoming negative ad campaign against her as he pursues the U.S. Senate seat left open by Herb Kohl.  Keith Olbermann wonders as well:

The GOP Never Includes People in their Jobs Plans.

Isn't it time for the media to be honest about the supposed "jobs plans" put out by the House Republicans? Just as bad, why can't the press be just as critical of the plans put out by the GOP candidates for president? 

Take underdog Jon Huntsman's jobs and tax cut plan. Trickle down comes to mind, the kind we never see showering the middle class with jobs and gobs of money. Republicans are only giving corporations and businesses help, or is it my imagination:

WaPo: Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman debut his jobs plan, his latest attempt to push his way into the conversation. “We need American entrepreneurs not only thinking of products like the iPhone or Segway; we need American workers building those products,” Huntsman will say, according to excerpted remarks. “It’s time for ‘Made in America’ to mean something again.” 
Made in America with new trade deals to South and Central America? The definition of insanity...

Why aren't Consumers Creating Demand...Creating Jobs?

Republicans can March, Hypocritically, in Labor Day Parade. Time to Show Appreciation for their Efforts.

Go ahead, march, make our day....

The point being made, the local labor council has relented, and put out this well worded statement that doesn't give one inch of ground.

WAOW: We didn't start this fight in Wisconsin, but were responding to anti-worker positions and policies supported by local Republican politicians, including those who have complained about not being invited. With the track records that Pam Galloway, Sean Duffy, Scott Walker, and Jerry Petrowski have all put together this year, they should be ashamed to even show their faces at a Labor Day parade. Just like we'd hoped, our decision has stimulated a great debate in our community about the meaning of Labor Day. But because we don't want to wind up having community groups and school bands affected in the process, we will let everyone march and hope these Republican politicians finally take away some lessons about what Labor Day really means. We know their actions and voting records speak more loudly than waving at any parade.

We have had countless offers from across our area pour in to help pay for parade costs. While we thank everyone for your generosity, we urge you instead to use it to support charities that are helping working class people who may be laid off or struggling due to the difficult economy.
Randy Radtke

President Marathon County Labor Council AFL-CIO

Teaching business has us where they want us: Desperate, poorer!

In one fell swoop, Gov. Walker proudly destroyed the teaching profession and turning dedicated educators into dime a dozen hired help. And just wait till you see the new revised handbook next year…
Brookfield Patch: The Elmbrook School Board adopted a new employee handbook without the teacher protests seen in some districts — a testament to the professionalism of staff and district's collaborative efforts, leaders say.

But next year or the year after that…who knows. But even worse, the abusive methods used to increase hours with no compensation have only just begun. Petty dictates like banning microwaves, refrigerators and coffee machines is another way to depersonalize a teachers classroom and style. 

Politically elected board members will advance their individual pet peeves and disagreements to the detriment of researched practices and skills. And in a tight jobs market, if any one dares to object, there are plenty more to choose from:  
And interest in Elmbrook teaching positions remains high, with as many as 378 applicants for one first-grade opening at Dixon Elementary … 43 newly hired full-time teachers will greet students … A second-grade opening at Swanson drew 356 applicants … And a last-minute posting on Aug. 24 and 25 to hire a Burleigh teacher drew 274 applicants.

The interest comes despite the fact that new and veteran teachers will soon have less take-home pay, fewer sick leave accruals and redesigned Elmbrook health plans with higher deductibles.

They have us where they want us. Desperate.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Dumb Ron Johnson wants to set “corporate people” free.

Every time this guy opens his mouth, I just want to scream.  A true small government tea party zealot, Johnson is an Ayn Randian free market magic man. Free our corporate people now, and magically consumers will buy anything. 

Knowing there are no industrialized countries like the one he envisions, for good reason, Johnson should be required to provide a detailed plan, then a backup plan, and then a backup-backup plan very different from his own, just in case the U.S. goes to hell. Which is not just likely, but a given. When we had partial, voluntary regulations in the private-sector, we got a Great Recession. So lifting all laws and regulations?

Johnson says yes (minus a job creation plan), with a whole lot of projection.
NationalJournal: He accused the president of being “blinded by ideology” and noted that few in the administration have private-sector experience.

Johnson’s proposals include: repealing Dodd-Frank and the Affordable Care Act, streamlining the tax code, creating a "credible" plan to control spending, increasing domestic energy production and imposing a moratorium on new regulations and civil-service hiring. Both the House and Senate should have permanent ‘sunset’ committees focused on eliminating laws and regulations, Johnson wrote. Congress and the administration should be required to make entitlement programs structurally solvent “for 75 years by fiscal 2014.”

When will Wisconsin media start covering this guy in a serious way?

Walker Recall Signs. Are they legal, despite state laws against them?

Apparently political recall signs, unlike rummage sale signs, is a Constitutionally protected right of political expression. But that’s not what Wisconsin law dictates. Even though…
Whitefishbay Patch:The state Government Accountability Board, the agency that handles elections, says yes … State law says election signs may be displayed during the campaign period, which is defined as the period beginning on the first day for circulation of nomination papers by candidates, or the first day on which candidates would circulate nomination papers, and ending on the day of the election.

However, a case brought by the Wisconsin American Civil Liberties Union to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in 2004 called Fiedorowicz v. City of Pewaukee invalidated any sort of time limit on displaying political signs, according to the ACLU. The ACLU says it is a matter of free speech, and any kind of ordinance prohibiting property owners from placing political signs on private property is clearly unconstitutional, in an article about the court case. "The ACLU urges municipal officials to refrain from enforcing sign ordinances to restrict political expression and to repeal ordinances that limit this venerable form of speech," the ACLU writes in the article.

In Shorewood, Lang said she’s been instructed not to enforce what the state statute says because of the court ruling and said she wonders why the state hasn't changed the law yet.

Far Right Talker McKenna Claims Liberals Want to Ban Tea Party Speech.

Right wing radio talker Vicki McKenna isn't shy about sounding dumb as a board to her breathless listeners. Having just talked to a right wing UW Oshkosh professor who warned parents not to spend money at our liberal state university, McKenna apparently couldn't control her anti-education momentum.

How come I didn't know about the liberal attempts to pass a law shutting down the free speech rights of the Tea Party? I must have missed that edition of our secret liberal talking point memo.

Vicki's contradictions were many. While wrongly accusing liberals of advancing relativism, she ironically points out in the clip below that there are two sides, three sides, ten sides to an argument. That's not just a bad case of relativism, but McKenna is indirectly suggesting that there are just as many "truths" to be made.

Another takeaway from the audio clip is this; our founding fathers, dead white guys as she calls them, endorsed slavery and racism in the Constitution. So in the coded language of the right wing, a constitutional conservative is a supporter of the values laid out by our (shhh, racist) founding fathers.

Vicki's own college education may have been part of a botched experimental mind control project by a bunch of liberal professors. Their attempts to indoctrinate her may have turned her into a confused and breathless blithering idiot.

Rick Perry isn't dumb, he's just got a southern accent? Nice try GOP.

Wausau Labor Day Parade given Ultimatum by Mayor Tipple; include GOP Union Busters!!

The city of Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple is threatening to withdraw taxpayer support for the parade and stages if Republican politicians remain banned from the Labor Day Parade.

Perhaps City Council president Randy Radtke should simultaneously invite those political opponents of labor, while encouraging residents to make them "feel right at home" marching with union members past and present.


Mayor Jim Tipple says because the city of Wausau pays for a portion of the parade's costs including liability insurance, the event is required to be non-partisan. "The city does sponsor the parade we have staff that close streets put up barricades police protection,' says Tipple. And while Mayor Tipple is confident the conflict will be resolved in a few days, he hopes there won't be any protests on Labor Day.

Is the parade about general labor, or was it created by unions to celebrate labor rights. Republican Lawmakers are banned from a celebration that dates back to the early 1880's.

"Several union leaders in the New York City area proposed that there be a day set aside to mark the accomplishments of organized labor."

UWMC Professor James Lorence said the focus was not on politics. "Any time you put people in the street to show what kind of power they have or how many feet can put on the street, that's indirectly a political statement"
Nancy Tabaka-Stencil said “Labor day started with the unions and I personally don't belong to a union but I look at the benefits that they have done for us through the years."

New Berlin and Greenfield Teachers now like store clerks and hired help. Bashers Sacrifice Kids to Trash Teachers.

Education is on its way out, make room for the private sector. Teacher handbooks have replaced union contracts. The handbooks are now austere political statements by GOP board members that supposedly will save taxpayers money. I say supposedly, because no amount of savings will be enough for anti-union, anti-teacher conservative voters.

Conservative talk show flunkies are now organizing counter protesters at teacher/board/public meetings to jazz up their ratings and vilify our educators, like the example below in New Berlin. I attached a concluding clip from a Greenfield meeting as well to show teacher discontent created by the Walker agenda.

Collective bargaining is gone, there's no doubt about that, but what has replaced it is chaos and politics. Our schools are now filled with a frustrated angry workforce that has little community support.

jsonline: In a meeting where teachers alternatively were cheered and booed … the school board meeting Monday night encapsulated the drama that continues to surround the role of teachers unions in the state.

At issue was New Berlin's employee handbook, which the board approved in a unanimous vote, but not before teachers spoke about their lack of input and how the new rules could negatively affect their work and the district's reputation.

Squad cars were parked outside with lights flashing. Teachers and union supporters - from New Berlin and other cities - clapped and cheered for their peers. The other half of the audience appeared keen on keeping taxes low and supporting Walker. They cheered when the board approved the handbook.

New Berlin Education Association President Diane Lazewski said "I would be surprised to see any other handbook as punitive as ours." Leslie Potter, a teacher at New Berlin West who left a mechanical engineering career to become a teacher in 1997, told the board the new rules in the handbook required her to work more hours but limited the time she could spend working with students. She also said it eliminated any reference to prep time for teachers.

After teachers spoke, a citizen took the microphone and said he represented the 5.5 million taxpayers in Wisconsin who were in favor of Walker doing what he was elected to do. Applause broke out in the auditorium as the teachers and union supporters sat silent. They walked out before the man was finished speaking.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Negative Recall Ads...Most Ever? Most likely.

From Craig Gilbert:

"Corporate-Person American" Will Rice; to the tune of Pink Houses.

I couldn't stop playing the video below by Will Rice. Great sense of humor, and even greater message. Here's a picture of his open letter to Stephen Colbert:

It really is worth the view.

Will's celebratory song for Citizens United anniversary:

Republican Goal: Erasing the Democratic Influence on America. They did it in Wisconsin.

The Republican Tea Party are not only trying to hand the country over to private corporate interests, but they're trying awfully hard to erase the Democratic Party's influence since the birth of the nation. We've already gotten a few clues from the conservative anger over a number of Constitutional Amendments.

Here are two video clips that couldn't make the point clearer. The overall message is unsettling; the eradication of their opposition, make any changes made by Democrats seem only temporary, and one party rule.

Take Michele Bachmann's promise on the campaign trail:

Here's what the Republican takeover in Wisconsin did under Scott Walker (1:18 into the clip):

There has to be a time when Democrats realize our political system, as directed by the Republican Tea Party, has turned into a death match over who will ultimately rule.

Collective Bargaining Lawsuit Hashed Out, Encouraging....

This recent debate on WPT's Here and Now energized me enough to pass along the highlights between Susan Crawford and Rick Esenberg. Crawford defends the suit by targeting multiple points from the new law that appear unconstitutional. Newspaper reports on the shakiness of the legal challenge were either grossly misinterpreted or the victim of more conservative media spin.

Texas Candidate Roger Williams Compares Dems to Donkeys. Another Condescending Republican Elitist Vying for a Cushy Government Job.

Ed Schultz should be congratulated for not ripping candidate Williams a new one for this outrageous comparison and shot at jobless and working poor. Why is this tolerated on the right?

The Radio Voice of Labor: Sly in the Morning.

From time to time I've featured the only liberal radio voice in Wisconsin, maybe the Midwest, WTDY's Sly in the Morning. At a recent protest in August outside the Capitol, Sly gave a little speech I thought hit the mark in so many ways. Here's an inspiring sample:

The GOP’s Cuts to Government Spending Cripples FEMA! Guess it’s Obama’s Fault!

The ploy is simple; Republicans can get away with anything as long as they control the narrative. And it’s a plan that seems to be working wonders in a media that rarely disputes the GOP line. So FEMA can’t keep up with the recent rash of tornado’s, earthquakes and hurricanes because of austere tea party budget cuts; no problem, blame Obama.
According to Crooks & Liars: The Washington Post reported that disaster relief will have to be pulled from the Midwest to handle the East Coast hurricane problems. The Republican Chair of the House Appropriations Committee blames the need for moving funding around from Joplin and the Midwest to the east cost on the President's cuts in FEMA.

Blame the president for the cuts to FEMA?
The House Appropriations Committee details some of the $38B cuts in this PDF including; "reduces FEMA first responder grants by $786 million, eliminates $264 million in funding that was previously targeted to earmarks, and rescinds $557 million in unobligated and lapsed balances from prior year funds."

These were cuts approved by Chairman Rogers own committee that he's blaming on the President.  According to Chairman Rogers's own Committee Summary of the bill the CR also reports: "The National Weather Service, of course, is part of NOAA -- its funding drops by $126 million. The CR also reduces funding for FEMA management by $24.3 million off of the FY2010 budget, and reduces that appropriation by $783.3 million for FEMA state and local programs."

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

In that same WaPo piece tea party Republican Rep. Eric Cantor says that they will get the money needed for FEMA from other places. I guess he means the needs for the east cost are going to come from Joplin. Cantor was also caught with his tea party cuts around his knees earlier this week when the Virginia earthquake hit it was also discovered that Cantor was holding disaster aid for earthquakes hostage unless there were other spending cuts.

More: GOP Divided, Conquered Union Labor, but now wants to March in Their Parade. How sick is that?

Thank you Republican/tea party politicians for supporting non-union private sector labor “rights” that continue their downward trajectory of dwindling benefits and lower wages. Who do these union employees think they are, with their high pay and benefits packages; Wall Street CEO’s?

From WSAW and WAOW

It looks like they won’t be able to dance on the grave of Wisconsin’s unions in this year’s Labor Day Parade in Wausau:
WSAW: City Council president Randy Radtke says they choose not to invite elected officials who have "openly attacked worker's rights" or did nothing to intervene. "When Scott Walker leveled his assault on workers and workers rights, the local Republicans followed in lock step with him." Radtke says Labor Day is about honoring hard working people, "They only want something to do with us one day out of the year," Radtke says. "What about the other 364? What about those? Why now..why this one day?"

A step he says doesn't follow the values of Labor Day. "They wanna walk one way and talk the other way," Radtke said. "The reason Labor Day was brought about was to recognize the achievements that the labor unions have accomplished over the years." He says the Labor Council stands by their decision to ban Republicans and, "a little name calling is not going to deter them."

To show how out of touch some tea party politicians are, you don’t have to look any further than State Sen. Pam Galloway, who seemed to miss the influence unions had on private sector holidays, hours and benefits.
Sen. Galloway says unions are only a fraction of the labor represented in the parade and only part of what the parade is all about. "I'm a worker, you're a worker, we're not represented by unions."

Galloway's response might offer another clue as to why conservatives don’t seem to understand the devastating impact of attacking the union movement. Rep. Sean Duffy even chose to repackage the Labor Day parade, as a “family friendly event,” instead of a celebration of union labor and work place rights that benefited every American family.  
Rep. Sean Duffy's office said, "Having walked in this parade in past years, Congressman Duffy was hoping that for a moment, we could set our differences aside and simply have some fun in a family-friendly event."

After dividing workers in this state, and vilifying teachers and public employees, the state GOP is whining about that same division that has left them on the outside looking in.
The Republican Party of Lincoln County says the tradition of a shared event will now end over "petty and short sighted anger toward legally elected officials.  

The Drum Beat Goes On: The Parasitic Welfare State blah, blah, blah

Always fascinated by the far right wing, I thought this bizarre piece of Dickensian tripe pretty much sums up how the writer, Richard Brodie, hates the only America he’s ever known. Conservatives like Brodie always describe a brutal dystopian system of punishments and authoritarian “leaders.” In fact the word “leader” is cropping up more and more on the right. Rep. Paul Ryan is constantly complaining how the people are looking for “leaders,” like him. No Paul, you aren’t our leader, but our servant and representative.

Right away in Brodie’s piece, he misses his own point:
When I asked our next-door neighbor, a well-known African-American movie actor, why his three healthy, middle-aged brothers didn’t have jobs when, as the actor complained, they were continually “hitting [him] up for money”, he answered—“They wouldn’t dream of getting a job: they’d lose their welfare!” This statement sums up the poisonous deterrent to personal initiative and the subsequent production of personal sloth engendered by the creation of the welfare state…
Brodie inadvertently pointed out how wealth can turn close relatives into family beggars and leaches. It says more about concentrated wealth in an elitist society of “haves” than the welfare state. Brodie then picks on protesting citizens, because not only is it bad to question authority, but they are also demanding…welfare?
Today … hordes of picketers can be seen in public demanding this or that form of welfare, almost proudly proclaiming their indigence. Electoral politics have even encouraged officials, a preponderance of them Democrats, to be forthcoming with government handouts as a way of buying whole classes of future voters, and let the country be damned.
Racism is alive and well:
A particularly egregious form of welfare is Aid to Single Mothers, a subsidy that not only encourages dependency but that actually discourages marriage, destroying any semblance of family life. In the Afro-American community, for example … So when the public cringes at the current unemployment numbers, particularly among minorities, they should avoid the clarion calls to “compassion” and realize that not only will more government doles foster more parasitism, but that a significant percentage of these unemployed are already in a huge and growing sub-class of people who “wouldn’t dream of getting a job—because they’d lose their welfare!”
It’s all about racism and “leaders.”
What we need is leaders who have the intelligence and the integrity to realize that putting people on the dole creates a class—and eventually a nation—of parasites, a catastrophe for any nation.
And finally, here’s where the author lets us in on his dirty little secret; he’s projecting. He’s one of those lazy money grubbing parasites. Thus, everybody else must be too…?
Even I, who loathe the idea of welfare, have experienced the seductive appeal of free government money. When I was laid off of my job five years ago I discovered that unemployment compensation, which I knew would last for a year, was quite adequate to live on, which I did for almost the whole year before looking for another job. To my great shame I interpreted it as a paid year’s vacation… 

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Class Warfare that would "produce the greatest increase in poverty and any law in modern U.S. history.

If you're still not used to the idea of living on the edge, where one small event could bankrupt you, than maybe this Washington Examiner piece will convince you.
Often you cant get a good thing without paying a bad price. A prime example is our public old-age pension system Social Security. It has been completely successful in wiping out poverty among the elderly. Old ladies no longer have to eat cat food to survive.

But we pay some prices for this. One is a lower savings rate. China has a humongous savings rate in part because it has no reliable old-age pension system. People have to save if they don't want to starve.

What a pleasant possibility? Get used to this drumbeat, there's more to come as the GOP and tea party try to make the idea of starving the non-savers (seniors) an acceptable issue in the debate over our social safety nets. Despite high unemployment, lower wages and increasing health care costs, we're all expected to save more now...more of what I don't know, so we can support ourselves in a dispassionate free market system.
In the United States we got out of the habit of saving. In the decade up to the financial crash of 2008, the U.S. savings rate fell below zero. We felt comfortable borrowing on the supposedly ever-increasing values of our houses to support current and sometimes lavish consumption. Now we're paying the price.

Yes, the middle class was just an illusion, borrowed by a lazy underclass of American dreamers.   

Michael Barone,The Examiner's senior political analyst, ends with this "everything but the kitchen sink" warning:
The longer-term price any society pays for a public old-age pension system is lower birthrates. Farmers had large families in order to provide additional labor for their working years and sources of income for their dotage. So did factory workers a century ago … sharply higher tax rates, as Western Europe has shown over the last three decades, reduce long-term economic growth.

Abandon seniors, have large families so the children can pay for their parents old age, and lower tax rates for businesses. That's the America they see.

We just elected a Hot Head with Temper Tantrums for a second term to the state Supreme Court.

Thanks to in and out of state special interest groups, conservative voters were convince again that liberals were out to destroy society by legislating from the bench and by actively pushing a liberal gay agenda. Forget about the out of control justice on the bench. Like the headline clearly demonstrates:
Supreme Court members say Prosser a hot-head who has 'temper tantrums.'

What’s to worry about? He’s a conservative, stop picking on him. It’s no surprise the liberal media would splash their hate filled spin all over their front pages;
WSJ: In interviews with sheriff's detectives, members of the state Supreme Court painted a picture of Justice David Prosser as a sometimes hot-headed colleague who called other justices names and at times made them fear for their safety. Prosser "loses his cool repeatedly," Justice Patrick Crooks told Dane County Sheriff Office investigators … Crooks said he has seen Prosser get red and pound on tables with his fist and estimated Prosser "explodes and storms out of a room" about three or four times a year .. Fellow conservative Justices Patience Roggensack and Annette Ziegler that Prosser needed counseling.

But ultra conservative Justice Michael Gableman sees irrationality differently than most:
Gableman … has not seen Prosser act in an irrational manner … the only time he has witnessed Prosser get angry or upset is when he believes Prosser thinks there is about to be an injustice or that somebody is "going to get the shaft."

And that happens all the time to Republicans. Spoken like a true conservative activist far right wing Justice on our Supreme Court.
Following the incident, Margaret Brady, the court's human resource officer, told investigators she felt Bradley should pursue a restraining order against Prosser so the behavior did not continue. Brady also told Bradley the June 13 incident resembled domestic violence and should be reported to police. Brady also characterized Prosser as a "classic abuser" who "minimizes everything."

Prosser is a sick son of bitch who thinks his description of his own abusive event sounds sane:
“It was a total reflex,” said Prosser, who recalled feeling the warmth in Bradley’s neck. He said his first thought was, “Oh my god, I’m touching her neck,” later adding, “What does any self-respecting man do when suddenly that man finds that his hands, or part of his hands, are on a woman’s neck? Get them off the neck as soon as possible.”

Ten more years of this sicko.

Hey Republicans, Which is it; Club for Growth Election Influence Good...or Bad?

How unfair was it for the Club for Growth to say such nasty things about a fellow conservative like former Gov. Tommy Thompson? I didn't hear the state GOP ask them specifically to stop all support during the recall election in the 8th senate district when they spent $800,000.

Suddenly the Club for Growth's misinformation campaign, the same kind of lying that worked so well against the Democrats, is unfair when used against Thompson. Former Thompson chief of staff Bill McCoshen appears to be trying to find a sympathetic shoulder to cry on. Good luck with that. WPT's Here and Now:  

The Prosser-Hyde Choker Gate Terror...Creepy!!

Want to hear something scary?  Whether it was a technical glitch or “other worldly evil” influencing the audio of the Dane County Sheriff's Department interview with Justice David Prosser, something horrific occurred that made Justice Prosser’s inner self show through.

The last half of the clip sounds like a scene from an old Hitchcock movie. Check out the entire audio clip here. It's long and rambling. But one thing is certain, there is now no separation of the legislative and judicial branches of government. Where are the tea party pocket constitutionalists today?  

Republicans spared Showing their Hypocritical faces in Wausau Labor Day Parade.

Not one alligator tear from our GOP legislators?
jsonline: The head of the group that sponsors the Wausau Labor Day Parade, the Marathon County Central Labor Council, is telling Republicans lawmakers from the area that they're not welcome on Sept. 5.

"Usually they've been in the parade, but it seems like they only want to stand with us one day a year, and the other 364 days they don't really care," said Randy Radtke, president of the Council. Radtke added that parade is intended to celebrate working men and women and what the labor movement has given them: weekends, a 40-hour work week, child labor protection and a safe working environment.

"It should come as no surprise that organizers choose not to invite elected officials who have openly attacked worker's rights or stood idly by while their political party fought to strip public workers of their right to collectively bargain," Radtke said.

Reince Priebus Gets Needed Mileage out of Claiming Unions "Wasted $30 Million" Recall Effort. Media duped again.

As much as I dislike Politifact for ignoring a political parties platform when compiling their opinions, their research is thorough, and the reason why I'm including it here. 

RNC chairman Reince Priebus made wild claims on every media outlet he could, to get as much mileage out of it as possible before being found out, that the $30 million Wisconsin recall effort against incumbent Republicans had been a total waste of union money. He played the media successfully, saving the party from losing too much ground in the public's perception of the recall effort.

Finally, Politifact got around to disproving Priebus' claims:
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus says public-employee unions spent $30 million on Wisconsin Senate recall races-And he put a number on the union’s effort: "I don’t think he should be worried at all, and if the public employee unions want to flush another $30 million down the toilet, and then allow Scott Walker to be even stronger and win a recall election … then they should go ahead and do it, because the $30 million they flushed down the toilet will be $30 million they don’t have for other races. So, hey, go for it." An RNC spokesman told us Priebus -- the former Wisconsin GOP chairman -- actually was referring not just to labor unions, but to any spending on the pro-Democrat side … "Analysis from our political folks in Wisconsin suggests that when all is said and done, pro-Democrat groups will have spent between $20 (million) and $30 million on their failed effort to win a majority in the state Senate," said Ryan Mahoney of the RNC … Of course, Priebus on MSNBC limited his claim to the public unions -- and said a flat $30 million. So there are already problems with his claim.

The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy, a conservative think tank in Wisconsin, produced anelaborate flow chart of pro-Dem spending – including unions but also "national and state liberal groups." MacIver’s definition, then, was broader than Priebus’ "union" claim. The most prominent campaign-spending tracker is the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a nonprofit that advocates for transparency in campaign spending. It’s allied with a coalition of left-leaning groups, including several unions.

Its total for pro-Democrat spending by groups: $15.1 million. Again, $15 million is far short of $30 million. We rate his claim False. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Ayn Randian actor Ron Johnson to address UW Oshkosh Students on Tea Party Interpretation of Constitution.

From the “what were they thinking department….”
Oshkosh’s own, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson will make his way to the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh to speak in September as part of the annual Constitution Day activities. Johnson will give a lecture in campus’ newest academic building, Sage Hall, on Monday, Sept. 26 from 7 until 8:15 p.m.

In an amazing example of “getting both sides" to the extreme, a UW professor offered this twisted reason for the invite:
“This is an exciting opportunity for our students and the community to hear Senator Ron Johnson deliver his first major address devoted to the Constitution,” said David Siemers, political science professor. “Senator Johnson’s appearance allows our students to hear from and interact with an important policy maker up close, and his speech should increase meaningful dialogue on campus about what the United States stands for.”

There is a chance that Prof. Siemers is speaking ironically…I hope. But this event also reflects either a fun side or sadly disturbing side of celebrating our constitution.
UW Oshkosh and the American Democracy Project will kick off the Constitution Day festivities activities:

Constitution Day cupcakes and pocket copies of the Constitution will be distributed at Reeve Union from 11:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Outside Reeve Union, Constitution Day Dunk Tank Trivia will give students and opportunity to dunk a professor or campus leader by correctly answering trivia questions … Educational institutions that receive federal funding are mandated to recognize the day.

Please, I’m asking right now, if any student can record the Johnson speech and post it on YouTube, I would be eternally grateful.

A Whole Lot of Crazy: Publically Despised Tea Party Gathers State “Brain Trust” to Spout Empty “Pocket Constitution” Platitudes

The following guest list of knuckleheads is enough to physically create a societal black hole big enough to suck centuries of human progress into black nothingness.
SheboyganPress: Ron Johnson will be among the featured speakers at the Sheboygan Liberty Coalition's third annual Tea Party with Americans for Prosperity, to be held on Saturday, Sept. 3 at Fountain Park at North Eighth Street and Erie Avenue in Sheboygan.

In a shockingly open way, the tea party and whack-a-doodle guests are quite comfortable with its money bags sugar daddy “Americans for Prosperity.” “Americans” for Prosperity is a complete misnomer; it’s a corporate, not American, kind prosperity boldly obvious in their stated agenda. As explains:
Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is a group fronting special interests started by oil billionaire David Koch and Richard Fink (a member of the board of directors ofKoch Industries). AFP has been accused of funding astroturf operations but also has been fueling the "Tea Party" efforts.

Back to the event guest list:
Besides Johnson, scheduled speakers include Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch; WISN radio talk show host Vicki McKenna; Matt Seaholm, the state director of Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin.

There’s no question Wisconsin’s invisible woman Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch is now known more for her simple minded perspective than her cheap bouffant hair style, but as pictured to the right, the screaming Banshee of talk radio Vicki McKenna, is proud of her brownshirt like dedication: “I am AFP.” Real freedom fighters.

Like Sourcewatch explained about that very event pictured:
Then, on April 16th, 2011, "Sarah Palin, former Governor of Alaska who quit her job in 2009, headlined a rally in Madison, Wisconsin, bought and paid for by the front-group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), but billed as a "grassroots" Tea Party event. The Koch-funded AFP set up the stage and programmed 13 buses into Madison, but only six were labeled "full" on their website on Saturday. AFP also likely paid the airfare and fees of the national speakers."[19] "[C]ounter-protesters outnumbered Tea Party supporters. Wisconsin Wave held an early rally on the opposite side of the capitol, giving progressives a platform for the day but ending in time for attendees to march in opposition to Palin's speech.... Hundreds of protesters brought hand puppets to the event, illustrating the theme 'Walker and Palin are corporate puppets' of the Koch Brothers and other corporate interests."

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Prosser Case Revealed....

The following account has now been released on the Justice David Prosser choke gate case, and it doesn't look good for Prosser spokesperson Brian Shimming, who just lied to the press yesterday. Not only did Shimming suggest Justice Anne Walsh Bradley could have been accused of a crime, but that she lied:

But the facts tell a different story completely. The fact of the matter; Brian Shimming should be fired: 
jsonline: Supreme Court Justice David Prosser acknowledged to detectives touching Justice Ann Walsh Bradley's neck and Bradley acknowledged getting "face to face to confront him" but suffering no physical harm from the contact, the judges said in separate interviews with law enforcement.

The Dane County Sheriff's Department released 117 pages of investigation records Friday … on July 8, Prosser said that during an informal argument between two groups of justices Bradley "charged" him and he put up his hands to defend himself. "Did my hands touch her neck, yes, I admit that. Did I try to touch her neck, no, absolutely not, it was a total reflex," Prosser said.

Bradley said during the argument she wanted Prosser to leave the suite of offices … and confronted him to tell him to leave because she felt he was being disrespectful to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

"You get out of my office," Bradley said she told Prosser … While saying that, she said she was "standing face to face to confront him." Later, Bradley said, she could recall the contact of Prosser's hands on her neck but no pain or pressure that affected her breathing. She did, however, say that she had become emotional after the incident.

Breaking her silence … Abrahamson said she would propose "the presumption will be that court conferences are open to the public," as a way to lead the fractious court back toward civility.  The incident occurred a day before the deeply divided court issued a 4-3 ruling upholding Walker's legislation curtailing collective bargaining for public employees.

Protests take a more confrontational turn for the....?

When teachers and labor were backed up against the wall, protesters turned out by the tens of thousands against the Walker administration, peacefully. But to keep the momentum up for a possible Walker recall, or the upcoming 2012 elections, do we really need to break from our strongest bragging right?

The 1,000 strong protest at the Capitol Wednesday resulted in the arrest of 13 individuals. As reported by the Daily Kos, tensions appear to be rising between the police and protesters:

Here's WKOW 27 News:

"Segway Jeremy" has been one of the most outspoken protesters and was the first to be arrested. Maybe because he had the camera?

Twelve adults and one youth were arrested on charges of unlawful assembly, with some facing additional charges of resisting arrest and obstructing an officer, Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs said. "No, we were not expecting this," Tubbs said. "I'm extremely disappointed with the behavior of these 12 people."

Apparently Tubbs agreed to let the larger group inside to "look around" just before closing time, then pleaded with labor union rally organizers and even a local radio personality to help him urge the small group of non-compliant protesters to leave. Union organizers and the radio personality walked away without assisting Tubbs. 

No Wonder Tea Party Doesn't Believe in Evolution...

This great come back from comedian Liz Winstead on tea party favorite Rick Perry's comments on evolution:

Ashland provides look at future cuts, way of life in America; get rid of your own Christmas trees.

This is just another story about a city trying to deal with rising costs and life after the one time fix by Gov. Walker. The odd list of proposed cuts caught my attention:
Ashland Current: Because nearly 50 percent of Ashland's revenue comes from state, some councilors had predicted the 2012 budget could prove disastrous for Ashland. Councilor Carl Doersch proposed that the council consider adopting those cuts outlined in a survey recently distributed to Ashland residents.Eliminating curbside pickup of Christmas trees, reducing the amount of time street lights stay on, charging for downtown snow removal…

And residents are going to put their Christmas trees where…? Transport the trees how? And charging for downtown snow removal…what the hell?

Oh, and for those who would like to blame the Affordable Care Act for future premium increases, check out the largest cost below that has been going on for years:
A large increase in health insurance expenses complicated councilors' efforts last year to balance the budget. The projected $329,000 budget shortfall presented to councilors Thursday night assumes health insurance costs rise by 15 percent.

That’s not government health care, that’s private free market health care.

Majority of New Voucher Users already in Private Schools. So much for helping the needy.

And here I thought I knew almost everything there was to know about vouchers. The following revelation explains a lot about why Gov. Scott Walker wanted to lift the cap completely on family incomes in the voucher program. As it stands now, the program is scheduled to expand across the state.
Post Crescent: The stated goal of Milwaukee's school voucher program has always been to provide children from low-income families a chance to go to a private school instead of the troubled Milwaukee Public Schools.

As the voucher program expands this year — the enrollment cap has been lifted, the income cap for a married-couple family has been raised to $74,000 and a program is starting in Racine.

A nonpartisan research organization in Milwaukee, Public Policy Forum, did a count of all Milwaukee voucher school students in the 2006-07 school year, the last time the enrollment cap was raised. It found that 60 percent of the students new to the program that year came not from Milwaukee public schools but from private schools … The same thing happened in 1998, the previous year in which the enrollment cap was raised — 58 percent of the new voucher users were already in private schools.

So if the whole point of the voucher program is to allow students to get out of underperforming public schools, what does it say about the program if most of the new students in these years already were out? This is another bit of evidence that questions the value of voucher programs and, it's hoped, will turn back "voucher creep" in Wisconsin. 

Rattled Ron Johnson Irrational, Disjointed! Can We Afford this?

Ron Johnson got a pass in the media before he won his senate seat. But we're finding out that when he is confronted with real questions and follow-ups, like the ones here from Fox 6’s Mike Lowe, you can see there’s nothing there but a panic stricken deer in the headlights look from a loser with no real answers.

FOX 6 Reporter Mike Lowe: To a lot of people the vote to raise the debt ceiling should have been a no-brainer. Now, the credit worthiness of the United States has been called into question. The ability of the nation to pay its debts has been cast in doubt. At the end of the day was all the posturing worth it and how did it help improvise business conditions or the overall economy?

Ron Johnson: We're not providing very good leadership at this time.

Ain’t that the truth. Reporter Lowe assumed Johnson was talking about Obama, but I thought he was talking about his party’s inability to compromise and solve the nation’s problems.
Mike Lowe: You're making the case that President Obama is ill equipped to deal with our economic problems, why is that?

Ron Johnson: He has absolutely no experience in the private sector at all.

Mike Lowe: But the title is President of the United States not CEO of America industries. The main goal of a corporation is to take a profit, a nation has many goals not the last of which is to ensure the wellbeing of all its citizens.

Ron Johnson: Well the number one priority of the federal government is the national defense, protecting our economic system. You know we need regulation, but we need effective regulation and when you have a President who doesn't understand how the private sector operates …We need significant, dramatic tax reform, but tax reform that is all targeted to promoting economic growth.”

Mike Lowe: But is that what really promotes job creation? I mean, as a former CEO, I think you would probably say that it’s demand for your product that would lead to your hiring decisions, rather than a tax policy.

Ron Johnson: But again, when you costing the economy $200 billion a year just to comply with that tax code, the single best thing you can do, to get our economy going again, is take a look at everything the Obama administration has done, and repeal it.

Hell, why even look at it, just repeal. Is he the dumbest man in the senate?

Mike Lowe also brought up the importance of taking health care off the backs of business with reform, the kind Johnson says will destroy the country. You really do have to watch this tea party Ayn Randian freak.    

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bill OReilly vs Me…a wealth gap rebuttal!

Bill O'Reilly's Talking Points Memo: As just about everybody knows, America is broke.  

Nice criticism, huh? And Republicans blamed liberals for hating our country. Guess again. But here’s where the wheels come off for O’Reilly and every other conservative analysis of the widening income gap, which they blame on lazyness; when they complain about rising poverty, more people on welfare, increased food stamp usage, massive Medicaid enrollment, energy assistance and a dramatic increase in low wage workers who don’t pay any taxes, they’re just proving how devastating trickledown economics has been to everyone but the wealthy.

It’s almost criminal no one has taken them to task for their incredibly noticeable blind spot. And just to make their argument work, they cleverly avoid mentioning the Great Recession; like we’ve already forgotten? Here’s a part of O’Reilly’s transcript where he offers proof that Republican economics has trashed the middle class and poor with all their business tax cuts, talk about uncertainty, deregulation that caused the Great Recession and turning government over to the privateers. It would be almost laughable if it weren’t so horrifically cruel and tragic:
In 2002, the poverty rate in America was about 12 percent. In 2009, it was about 14 percent, up two points despite more than $4 trillion in welfare spending over that period … Food stamps are also big, up a whopping 256 percent in nine years. Child nutrition programs are up 82 percent, low income energy assistance is up 190 percent and direct payments to Americans who earn low wages are up 353 percent. That's the redistribution of income … welfare payments account for 22 percent of the total budget, a big number … The big kahuna is Medicaid, which counts for $276 billion this year, an 87 percent rise in 10 years. Medicaid is money the federal government gives to the states to pay for health expenses for the poor … It's not that illegal aliens themselves get welfare, although some of them do, but it is the children of illegals who cannot be denied.

But we’re already talking about the working poor in every point listed above. So you know what's next? The “father figure” party, unhappy with the sour fruits of their policies, have no choice but to dole out discipline, literally.
The feds must impose discipline here and in every other federal spending situation. A fair system would hold those receiving government assistance accountable. That is, if they turn things around, they would have to pay back a portion of what they received and they would actively have to try to get work. If they do not, the benefits cease.

And if they would rather die, then they should do it, and decrease the surplus population?
The basic philosophy of President Obama's party is to redistribute income to those who do not have very much, regardless of their status.

Not just a dog whistle for immigrant hating party racists, but actual outrage directed at “those who do not have very much.” It really is appallingly beyond words. 

George Will scoffs at Public Dissent, Vilifies Democrats, call’s protests Wisconsin’s Woodstock.

What is it about constitutional conservatives trashing public protests, the people’s right to redress their government, or demand to be heard? It sounds a whole lot like George Will supports authoritarian one party rule to me. He visited Gov. Scott Walker and spoke "fondly" of Wisconsinites. 

Should we have called the tea party gatherings a Woodstock redux when they were protesting?

Will not only bashes the citizens right to protest, but goes after private trial lawyers by calling them parasitic. Will never asks himself why laws have to me made against trial lawyers under the guise of tort reform, when in a free market, such regulation would never exist. Lawyers are in private practice, and have every right to freely do what they do best. Survival of the fittest man.

But even worse, Will suggests in the last paragraph, that liberals even expect our drinking water to be free, writing, "free, meaning paid for by someone else." Silly us.
WashingtonPost: The residues of liberalism’s Wisconsin Woodstock — 1960s radicalism redux: operatic lamentations, theatrical demonstrations and electoral futilities — are words of plaintive defiance painted on sidewalks around the state capitol. “Solidarity forever” was perhaps painted by a graduate student forever at the University of Wisconsin. “Repubs steal elections” is an odd accusation from people who, seeking to overturn the 2010 elections, cheered Democratic lawmakers who fled to Illinois — a congenial refuge for labor-subservient Democrats — in order to paralyze the duly elected legislature.

Progressives, eager to discern a victory hidden in their recent failures, suggest that a chastened Walker will not risk further conservatism. Actually, however, his agenda includes another clash with teachers unions over accountability and school choice, and combat over tort reform with another cohort parasitic off bad public policies — trial lawyers.

As the moonless night of fa$ci$m descends on America’s dairyland, sidewalk graffiti next to the statehouse-square drinking fountain darkly warns: “Free water . . . for now.” There, succinctly, is liberalism’s credo: If everything isn’t “free,” meaning paid for by someone else, nothing will be safe.

Prosser off the hook, blames Justice Bradley for scurrilous charges!!! Lawless Activist Supreme Court Sad Example of Conservative Justice.

In what was a totally expected outcome, Justice Prosser’s workplace intimidation and harassment is okay, according to the Republicans Sauk County DA Patricia Barrett.

Nothing will be done to the bully. Nothing will change for this serial verbal and physical assaulter. Nothing.
jsonline: Neither Supreme Court Justice David Prosser nor fellow Justice Anne Walsh Bradley will face criminal charges for an altercation this summer involving the two, a special prosecutor has determined.

"The totality of the facts and the circumstances and all of the evidence that I reviewed did not support my filing criminal charges," Sauk County District Attorney Patricia Barrett said in an interview Thursday.

In typical bully fashion, Prosser couldn’t wait to blame the victim, Justice Anne Bradley, for trying to stop his abuse. This guy is a psycho.
In a statement, Prosser praised the prosecutor and slammed Bradley: "Justice Anne Walsh Bradley made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court . . . ," Prosser said in a statement. "I was confident the truth would come out and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor found these scurrilous charges were without merit.

Without merit? Then why does Bradley continue to insist on a little workplace safety?
In her own statement, Bradley said the case "is and remains an issue of workplace safety."
But it was more than that, and you don't have to read between the lines:

"I well understand the difficulty of gaining any criminal conviction.  The prosecution’s burden of proof is very heavy, as it should be."
She wasn't done:
"My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety. I contacted law enforcement the very night the incident happened but did not request criminal prosecution. Rather I sought law enforcement's assistance to try to have the entire court address informally this workplace safety issue that has progressed over the years," Bradley said in the statement. "To that end, chief of (Capitol Police Charles) Tubbs promptly met with the entire court, but the efforts to address workplace safety concerns were rebuffed. Law enforcement then referred the matter for a formal investigation and I cooperated fully with the investigation."

"With the potential for prosecution now eliminated, I will renew my efforts to seek the cooperation of my colleagues on the court to resolve this progressive workplace safety issue. With the continued cooperation of others both on court staff and outside the court, I remain committed to the goal that we can achieve the safe workplace that all employees - private and public - are entitled to have under the law," Bradley said.

Poor Justice Prosser, victim of “scurrilous charges.” Thanks to Prosser, the court has lost all it’s credibility. 

From WMTV 15 News:

Walker Tweeting for Cash Getting More Attention!

Thank god we have Ed Schultz pursuing the continuing developments in Wisconsin. Would we want to disappoint Scott Walker by not recalling him sometime next year?

Stephen King Hiring Liberal Morning Show Hosts for his Radio Station.

If you're a millionaire and liberal, buy radio stations and start getting the message out. That's what Stephen King is doing. Can we hope for a movement?

End the Lie: Stephen King has proven that he knows how to scare his audience. Now the horror-genre author is hoping to rile them up. King is introducing a left-leaning morning talk show on two radio stations broadcast out of his home state of Maine, and says he is hoping to “make some people a little bit angry” with the message he spreads. “We’re a little to the left, but we’re right,” King said in a press conference this week.

The two stations, WZON 103.1 FM and 620 AM are both owned by the writer and his wife, who has sold over 350 million copies of his nearly 50 novels … King himself won’t be hosting the program, but he has put himself into the political limelight in the past. 

Former Green Party vice presidential candidate Pat LaMarche and reporter Don Cookson will host The Pulse Morning show, which will start airing on weekday mornings next month. LaMarche said at this week’s press conference that she’ll use the show to combat right wingers that are attacking the state’s residents on welfare, noting that “There’s an awful lot of bullying going on out there right now [and] nothing is more fun than standing up to a bully.”

Tea Party at Bottom, even below Muslims and Sarah Palin, in public opinion polls.

I guess I'll hold off claiming the GOP has officially become the tea party until we see if public opinion changes a few Republican minds. Fat chance, but I'll wait anyway.

Rachel Maddow is the bearer of bad news, unless you're a tea party member, in which case none of this really matters since public opinion doesn't mean much to authoritarians.   

Capitol Hill Blue: The Tea Party is increasingly swimming against the tide of public opinion: among most Americans, even before the furor over the debt limit, its brand was becoming toxic. To embrace the Tea Party carries great political risk for Republican; Tea Party supporters have slipped to 20 percent, while their opponents have more than doubled, to 40 percent.

In data we have recently collected, the Tea Party ranks lower than any of the 23 other groups we asked about — lower than both Republicans and Democrats. It is even less popular than much maligned groups like “atheists” and “Muslims.” Interestingly, one group that approaches it in unpopularity is the Christian Right. Early on, Tea Partiers were often described as nonpartisan political neophytes.

Actually, the Tea Party’s supporters today were highly partisan Republicans long before the Tea Party was born … In fact, past Republican affiliation is the single strongest predictor of Tea Party support today.

We're China Now!!! Our Deified "Job Creators" Import Summer Students for Slave Labor Wages; $1 to $3.50 and hour.

Still feel like throwing more money at our "job creators?" This story is so appalling you'll never want to hear the words "job creators" again. And since consumers are the real job creators, there's little chance the media take the side of labor anytime soon. If a manufacturing state like Pennsylvania is behind bringing in students slaves making a measly $1 to $3.50 an hour, then corporate America is about to usher in a new Dickensian age like America has never seen.
NY Times: According to the State Department, the J-1 visa Summer Work Study program, which allows foreign students to work in the United States for a few months, is meant to promote “lasting and meaningful relationships” between the students and Americans. Try telling that to the more than 300 J-1 holders who went on strike at a Hershey’s distribution plant in Pennsylvania last week, with the support of the National Guestworker Alliance. These engineering majors and future lawyers from places like Turkey, Moldova and China came hoping to travel and speak English, but spent the summer packing and lifting heavy pallets of Kit-Kats, often on overnight shifts and for meager pay.

The America that the Hershey’s workers have seen is surely not the one the J-1 visa was created to promote. But perhaps it is the America we have become. Hershey’s business strategy is a microcosm of the downsizing and subcontracting that so many American companies have pursued during the past few decades in search of ever cheaper labor.
It has become the country’s largest guest worker program. Its “summer work travel” component recruits well over 100,000 international students a year to do menial jobs at dairy farms, resorts and factories — a privilege for which the Hershey’s students shelled out between $3,000 and $6,000. They received $8 an hour, but after fees and deductions, including overpriced rent for crowded housing, they netted between $1 and $3.50 an hour. Hershey’s once had its own unionized workers packing its candy bars, starting at $18 to $30 an hour. Now the company outsources distribution to a non-union company that hires most of its workers from the J-1 program.

The Pennsylvania workers are not alone. Recent exposés by journalists and advocates have found similar abuse of J-1 visa holders at fast food restaurants, amusement parks and even strip clubs. Among other things, Congress should pass the proposed Power Act, which protects immigrants who report workplace abuses from being deported.

In a way, the students at Hershey’s got more insight into the realities of the American economy than they ever could have expected.