Monday, December 31, 2012

Republicans take U.S. Off the Cliff...can't govern.

I thought this pretty much said it all:
“You either cut Medicare or we default the country?” Asks one top Democrat, describing the fight the GOP is setting up. “And we don’t have the guts to put out our Medicare cuts so you need to put them our for us? And now you need to round up the Democratic votes to help us blackmail you? That’s the plan?”

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sandy Hook tragedy not enough for Gun Freaks; "Events aren't evidence. Events aren't facts."-Prof. Mordecai Lee

Conservative columnist Chris Rickert has at times offered thoughtful conservative opinions, which for me means, there’s hope for growth and maturity within the Republican ideological platform.

Thanks to Blogging Blue for finally getting me to post this piece, there are two important observations that cut to heart of conservatism that Rickert insightfully pointed out, one from UW-Milw. Governmental Affairs professor Mordecai Lee, and NRA board member Buster Bachhuber:
The Republican response to the tragedy in Connecticut so far follows a timeworn political pattern, according to Mordecai Lee … "By not commenting, they're just waiting it out."

Less circumspect was Buster Bachhuber, a member of the boards of both the state affiliate of the National Rifle Association, Wisconsin Force, and the NRA itself. From the emails going back and forth among NRA officials, it's clear there is no interest in tightening any gun laws, Bachhuber told me: "…maybe you just got to take your lumps when you're free" and accept that every now and then large numbers of people will be shot to death.
The fact that 20 children’s bodies were riddled with bullets is “taking our lumps?” Nothing more sociopathic than that.

But just as important is Mordecai Lee’s right on observation below, that I saw reflected recently in another stories comments section; a more liberal person gave multiple links to prove their point, while a conservative responded that he saw the same stories but disclaimed the sources and still wanted proof. I've been there and done that, so I no longer beat my head up against their “low information” responses. Which brings me to Lee’s point:
Which might sound harsh, but does at least get to the heart of what the gun debate is about for some people: belief, and, more specifically, beliefs about freedom. And, "when you're a true believer, events aren't evidence. Events aren't facts," Lee said, "because you have a belief that can't be overturned by any events or facts."

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hobby Lobby to Defy Federal Law! Conservative Family Owned Business speeds U.S. Decent into Chaos.

When you think about it, it would be hard to be a functioning industrialized, civilized society without law. Imagine the optional compliance with our laws. Chaos is a word that comes to mind right away.

Yet conservatives continue treat the concept of “law” like something voluntary, obeying the ones they like, and ignoring the ones they don’t like. They've gone as far as writing laws that aren’t constitutional, but still “good ideas” anyway.

Not even the conservative activist Supreme Court will be allowed to stand in their way when the decision doesn’t agree with them:
NewsOK: Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby will defy a federal law, (a rejection of an emergency stay by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor) that requires employee health care plans to provide insurance coverage for types of contraception that the firm’s owners consider to be “abortion-causing drugs and devices,” an attorney for the company said Thursday. Hobby Lobby and sister company Mardel could be subject to fines of up to $1.3 million a day beginning Tuesday.

“They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing the company. The Green family, owners of Hobby Lobby … said a provision dealing with insurance coverage for certain types of contraception — the morning-after pill, the week-after pill and some intrauterine devices — went against the family’s beliefs.
But no one is forcing the family to abandon their beliefs. Instead, the law firmly protects the beliefs of other Americans working at their companies. The Green family's freedom cannot infringe on the rights of other peoples freedom. That goes against the authoritarian streak in most conservatives.
Hobby Lobby and Mardel operate more than 500 stores and employ more than 13,000 people … the company will continue its appeal in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where it is challenging U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton’s ruling that the retailers were “secular, for-profit corporations” and did not have free-exercise rights under the First Amendment.

Walker's WEDC woes mirror many other GOP states trying to Fleece Taxpayers!

I hope that Washington Monthly will be one of many in the media covering the latest GOP scam; public/private corporations, the states' supposed answer to job creation that uses taxpayer dollars without debate or accountability.

Where public schools have been criticized for lack of accountability, a completely false premise, Republicans are okay with secret loans and backroom deals that dispense taxpayer dollars like an ATM, with no transparency. They can get away with it because "private" is part of their sales pitch to conservative voters who think the private sector can do no wrong.
From Stateline’s Josh Goodman comes one of the least surprising ledes of the year:
Several states, most of them led by Republican governors, have experimented in recent years with the idea of turning their economic development agencies over to semi-private management. The results have not been uniformly successful. Many of these organizations are struggling to balance job creation with public accountability.
Goodman goes on to report serious problems for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a Scott Walker policy love child that made loans to businesses with little if any oversight or accountability, leading to the recent resignation of WEDC’s chief financial officer. And Wisconsin’s not alone:
Similar semi-private agencies in other states have had their share of controversies. Both the Arizona Commerce Authority and JobsOhio have been lighting rods for criticism, with opponents arguing that they haven’t been transparent enough … JobsOhio’s future is also clouded by litigation challenging the organization’s constitutionality and the legality of its planned primary funding source, the lease of state liquor stores. Meanwhile, the Indianapolis television station WTHR reported this week that Indiana State Senator Mike Delph introduced legislation requiring the partially privatized Indiana Economic Development Corporation to report how many of the jobs companies promise under its deals end up being created. Those numbers are currently kept private. “The bottom line is people have a right to know how their tax dollars are being spent,” Delph said.
The article goes on to describe these taxpayer fleecing public/private corporations “as sort of a repatriation program for ‘looted’ money. Accountability to the public for use of public funds, whether we’re talking about business loans or school vouchers, is for them the lowest possible priority when it ought to be Job One.”

Police State Near: AG Van Hollen to fund DNA Collection of Citizens by short changing Schools, Prisons, Public Defenders.....

Our conservative one party authority will, in the next 2 years, be hell bent on the radicalization of our state government.

While the public is clearly against putting guns in schools, Republicans are dead set on arming teachers anyway, a movement most likely lead in Wisconsin by longtime proponent Sen. Frank Lasee. While we don't want to create a data base for guns, we're just fine starting one for those arrested Wisconsinites who may not be found guilty after all.

And that brings me to Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s outrageous budget request to fund DNA sampling. It's a complete 180 on civil liberties.

Back in April of this year, our one party law enforcer started to appreciate his new found power:
Van Hollen backed a plan to take DNA samples from people when they are arrested for felonies, instead of when they are convicted. The two Republicans gave their support to the bill 2½ years after Van Hollen raised reservations about a similar proposal when it was touted by Jim Doyle, the Democrat who was then serving as governor. At that time, Van Hollen said he was concerned about the expense of the proposal and its effect on civil liberties ... whether the further erosion of civil liberties - which any law creates - are worth the return of public safety. 

Stacy Harbaugh, speaking for the American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin, said her group opposes the measure because those who are not convicted of crimes would have to give up DNA, which includes detailed information about their health. "We could be filling our databank full of very private information from potentially innocent people," she said.

She also noted minorities in Wisconsin have disproportionate contact with law enforcement. "Will the DNA databank be about promoting justice or will it have a racial bias?" she said.
Ya think? If this is how he wants to pad his resume of a run for governor, then we’re in real trouble.:

The massive cost from our tight wad managers of taxpayer money?:
The DOJ has determined the measure would cost $6.4 million in its first year and $4.1 million a year thereafter … The State Crime Laboratory analyzes about 8,500 DNA samples from convicted felons a year. The department estimates that figure would balloon to 104,000 samples the first year after it became law. The bill allows those arrested but not convicted to have their DNA profiles expunged from the state's databank. The department thinks thousands of people would ask for that, contributing to the higher costs. 
Here's where we're getting all that soon to be wasted money: 
WKOW: The state's Justice Department wants to shift millions of dollars from schools, prisons, gang diversion programs and public defenders to pay for DNA collection and fund services for sexual assault victims.

It would mean the Department of Public Instruction would lose $3.7 million for alcohol and other drug abuse programs. Prisons would lose $4.1 million for guard training. The Office of Justice Assistance would lose $1.7 million for youth gang diversion programs and public defenders would lose $253,800 for training.
And so will fall away other incredibly important safe guards and programs instituted over time that have made life better in Wisconsin. I don’t even want to get into changes to the electoral college here.

Obama not the big spender, after all.

The GOP continues to wallow in fantasy land, insisting Obama stop his reckless spending ways.

Just like the myth Obama is a socialist liberal, the facts counter the spending talk with actual savings, according to Politicususa:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Onion exposes Reince Priebus as mischievous Imp.

Superman's mischievous 5th dimensional impish villain Mister Mxyzptlk is the basis for this great parody of a similar real life trickster; RNC chair Reince Priebus.
Onion: Startled sources at a GOP fundraiser confirmed Thursday that after being duped into saying his own name backwards, ancient elfin mischief-maker and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus was cast back into the gilded puzzle box that has confined him for millennia.

Priebus, a wily, mystical creature who has reportedly carried out right-wing political trickery at numerous points throughout recorded history, was said to be delivering a speech on traditional family values when he unthinkingly read the words “Subeirp Ecnier” aloud off the teleprompter, immediately causing the lights in the Omni Hotel to flicker and sending a powerful, chilling wind through the convention hall.

Now Gun Nuts Say Map of Gun License Owners will Prompt Gun Robberies.

Republicans don’t like being held accountable. They like hiding in the shadows, lurking about, secretive and stealth. Anonymous and armed to the teeth, it would be unwise to cross them or use your First Amendment right in the wrong way, because then they’ll have to resort to intimidation and threats.

We saw that in the recall election in Wisconsin, where “Walker thugs” published the names of recall signers they targeted as enemies of the state. They use it now as a blacklist, to intimidate and smear the name of employees and public servants they want to discredit.

Now the paranoid conservative fringe is literally attacking reporters and their families in a way that doesn't come close to a recent article simply pointing out those who have gun licenses. The article didn't suggest retaliation against the list of owners, but if those licensed owners feel in vilifies them, then maybe it betrays their original intentions to intimidate everyone else.
A blogger upset with a New York newspaper’s decision to publish an interactive map of local gun permit holders has returned the favor by posting the names and addresses of nearly every employee at the publication. Blogger Christopher Fountain on For What It’s Worth published names, home address and email contact information for Journal News editor Cyndee Royle, publisher Janet Hasson and reporter Dwight Worley, who wrote an article on Sunday to accompany the map that led to widespread criticism aimed at the Lower Hudson Valley newspaper. "Miss Royle’s married name is Lambert,” Fountain wrote. “She lives in White Plains and here is her Facebook page complete with pictures of her and her kids. Hello Sanctimony.”
“Pictures of her and her kids…” is not just over the top, but a threat. And that is the true nature of conservatism.
Fountain also displayed contact information for Robert Rodriguez, the “visual editor” responsible for the map itself, as well as many other employees. Fountain, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment, told CNN he was offended by the newspaper’s “conflating legal gun owners with some crazed tormented devil up in Newtown” and wondered how its employees would handle the same treatment.

The Journal News, meanwhile, has defended publication of the database: “New York residents have the right to own guns with a permit and they also have a right to access public information.” 
That’s right, it’s public information. And it should be in every state. Here's Fox News shamelessly fanning the fire:

If you want to see how our of control our gun culture has gotten, check this: Guns in America: An interactive look at the shocking facts.

But one of the craziest reasons against the list
Most online comments have criticized the publication of the data, and many suggest it puts the permit holders in danger because criminals have a guide to places they can steal guns.
Really, I thought having a gun discouraged criminals? So having a gun is not a deterrent after all,  but another reason for home robberies? How about law abiding citizens who fear arming people:
CynDee Royle, editor and vice president/news: "People are concerned about who owns guns and how many of them there are in their neighborhoods," she said. "Our Freedom of Information request also sought specifics on how many and what types of weapons people owned. That portion of the request was denied."

Walker gets "F" for jobs and WEDC!!!

The worst part of Scott Walker's failures, creating the WEDC and lousy job numbers, is the lack of conservative criticism. Without voter accountability, Republican governance is bound to fail again, like it did under Bush. If Walker is reelected, we're looking at a decade long one party ruling system of dysfunction. I'm sure conservative voters would disagree with me on that, but look at the facts. For them, Obama is destroying America with policies that have created few jobs; but under Walker, slow or no job growth means we're headed in the right direction.

When Walker came into office, he compared himself to a small business man who saw a problem, and fixed it immediately...without forethought, planning or the required time for transition. 
jsonline-Jason Stein and Kathleen Gallagher: When Gov. Scott Walker and lawmakers created the state's partly independent jobs agency 18 months ago, they left out a basic legal requirement put on similar state authorities and commonly practiced by private businesses: to compile and audit its financial statements.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has drawn criticism for poor financial reporting and oversight, from both private experts and the federal government.
This was Walker's baby. So where's the criticism?
"If they were in my class, they'd get a big 'F,' " said Paul Lapides, a business school professor who directs the Corporate Governance Center at Kennesaw State University in Georgia. "Every single adult citizen in the state should be saying, 'Wait, you have people on this board of directors who aren't reading financial statements and don't have a clue about how internal controls work?' " Lapides added.

He said the board could be viewed as having a "reckless disregard for their duties."
Former Rep. Scott Klug muddied up his political credentials:
Scott Klug, managing director of public affairs at the law firm of Foley and Lardner, is the board treasurer. Even though Klug isn't on the audit committee, it is "puzzling" that as the board's treasurer he would not insist on greater rigor in financial reporting and better internal controls for dispersing money, said Jeffery Smith, associate professor and director at the Banta Center for Business Ethics and Society at University of Redlands in the greater Los Angeles area.

"The fact that you wouldn't have this agency, which is essentially a trustee of public funds, for them not to take seriously the importance of very diligent financial reporting seems to me at best ironic and at worst a breach of what we would expect as transparency when it comes to public interest," Smith said.
We were all warned, but know-it-all conservative paranoids thought the Democrats were out-of-touch and didn't know anything about managing government or money:
Three WEDC board members have criticized the amount of information they were receiving, including Barca and Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point). In a letter to Walker in September, Paul Radspinner, president and chief executive officer of FluGen Inc., also threatened to resign from the WEDC board if members weren't given more information to help do their jobs. In early 2011, Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca and other Democrats repeatedly warned Walker and other Republicans that they were moving too quickly to create the WEDC and needed to take more time to plan. Barca was familiar with the process involved in creating an independent UW Hospital and Clinics Authority and pointed to the "detailed implementation plans" that went into that authority as an example of the kind of forethought that's needed in transitioning a public entity into a semiprivate one.
But I’m sure Walker saw Barca’s warnings as a politically motivated stall tactic, proving once again “projection” will always be a conservative problem. 

One more rant:

Republicans talk "business" all the time. They wish business ran the U.S. instead of our constitutionally designed government. In the private sector, nothing is ever mismanaged or goes out of business. And CEO's always know just what to do next. So why can't we run government like a business? 

There is a very bad and incompatible wrinkle in that argument; businesses may like being lean and mean, but they also like increasing their profits. So how did growing in size, employing more people, and finding ways to charge more for their product become the model of choice by Republicans? 

It's opposite day in Republican world. Shrinking in size, providing fewer services or product, and decreasing revenue isn't anything like a private business. The only thing the GOP does like about some private businesses; running government like a task master, firing people at will. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

First Things First, Democrats to Repeal Voter ID Law in New Hampshire.

Well, what do you know, the Democrats are on the offensive in New Hampshire. Hell must have frozen over.
NHPR: A group of Democratic lawmakers want to repeal the voter ID requirements implemented under Republican leadership. Current law requires that voters be asked for photo identification at the polls, but does not require they have one to cast a ballot. The bill stands a good chance of making it through the new Democratic majority in the House. And a spokesman for Governor-elect Maggie Hassan says she believes the voter ID requirements were quote-misguided. The biggest hurdle will likely be in the Republican-led Senate, but Horrigan says he is confident he can get the votes needed to repeal the law.

Tim Horrigan, a Durham Democrat, says there is no evidence that a problem exists. “There’s this whole theory about voter impersonation. I understand why it’d be bad if people were going around impersonating voters, but it’s simply not happening.”

Piers Morgan, Honest Media Hero!

While the media treats gun crazy spokespeople as “the other side of the story,” CNN’s Piers Morgan is having none of it. I’m with him. We've seen how concealed carry in all 49 states has worked out, and how it’s “protected” us. Oddly, it can only really work if every single American had a gun, and that's not going to happen.

These constitutional carry fanatics now using the tactic of intimidation and fear to force everyone else to arm themselves. Nothing shouts freedom and liberty like coercion. But that’s what betrays their intentions and the weakness of their position.

So the only guy treating these miscreant gun puppet pundits the right way is Piers Morgan. Sure he calls them idiot’s and stupid, but but that's because they are.   

Politico does it’s “media neutral” worst to take both sides, when there’s only one side making any sense.
In a heated debate last night, Morgan called Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America, "dangerous," "stupid" and an "idiot." Morgan showed no tolerance whatsoever for the argument, voiced by many pro-gun conservatives, that shootings could be prevented if everyone carried a firearm. Morgan seemed genuinely angered at Pratt's worldview .... For those who support gun control, the video is worth watching in full, and will no doubt come as a comfort. For those who oppose gun control and believe they're not getting a fair shake in the mainstream media, the video provides them with evidence that they're right.
Actually, they’re getting what is long overdue, the truth:

Gun Thugs crawl out from under Rocks to push Arming Schools. How sick is that?

Armed guards in schools, parks, churches, temples, department stores..? If that's the solution now, imagine life in America 10 to 20 years in the dark foreboding future.

Let’s discount the absurdities spewed by low information conservative minds deaths caused by cars, knives, alcohol etc. that weren’t designed to just kill. The fact that at the time the Newtown killer attacked, another man in China used a knife in a classroom and INJURED twenty-two primary school children should punch holes in our gun nut culture logic. By the way, here’s what China is trying to do:
China was hit by a spate of knife and cleaver attacks that targeted school children in 2010. A number of measures were introduced at the time, including increased security at schools across the country and a regulation requiring people to register with their national ID cards when buying large knives.
Registration for large knives?

The Cap Times article “Teachers weigh in on proposal for guns in schools” riled up the conservative gun nut thuggery who probably never read the article.

Here’s a compilation of comments dominated by right wingers who got the word out gun nuts the time is now to show their stupidity:
moyboy25: I wouldn't trust any teacher with a loaded firearm after the hate, anger and vitriol displayed during the teacher riots at the capitol. Teachers carrying guns?? You got to be kidding !! Laughable.
Here’s the typical comment from a conservative who’s seen too many movies. My credit union and former bank did not have armed guards. Has this idiot been to a bank lately? Can you say “cameras?”
ET: We have armed guards at banks, for a good reason. I guess Wisconsin thinks less of its children than of money. It figures.
And then there’s the racist and completely ignorant comment below that somehow connects protecting presidents to the thousands of schools in the country. Again, if this is the solution now, imagine the kind of country we’ll have 30 years from now:
skippie: No more guns for secret service protecting Obama. It's just to dangerous. Only a liberal is stupid enough to declare a school a gun free zone and than express shock when a bad person goes there with a gun to kill people. The people that declare schools gun free zones should be put in prison and sued. All they did was paint a big target on the place.
And finally, the fact that as a nation, we’re actually discussing the insane plan put forth by the NRA. 

Isn’t there anything that’s just too crazy to take seriously anymore? 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Daily News comes out Swinging against NRA's Wayne LaPierre.

Known for outrageous headlines, the Daily News was right at home with this:

Wayne 'Call Me Crazy' LaPierre might just be: Psychiatrists say the NRA vice president specializes in fear and paranoia

"If it's crazy to call for putting police and armed security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy," LaPierre said Sunday on “Meet the Press.”

Dr. Paul Appelbaum, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University, said LaPierre was playing into fears that are uniquely Americans. "To the extent that the NRA stokes the fears of ordinary people about the dangers in society, and sells them on the notion that only a gun, or several guns, can protect them from the dangers that lurk outside, they have more members," he added. "It's completely in their interest to try to promote that vision of America as an intrinsically dangerous place where one needs to be constantly on guard. There's no question that his comments were intended to, and will in fact harm people with mental illness, in a variety of ways. His comments stoke the fears of the public which already exist about people with mental illness," he said.
So how sincere is Wayne LaPierre about safer schools? He’s not, according to this from the Atlantic:
"But do know this President zeroed out school emergency planning grants in last year's budget, and scrapped "Secure Our Schools" policing grants in next year's budget."
This is also true, but also quite bold of LaPierre to bring up, since he began his speech by attacking "gun-free school zones" and ignored the record of the NRA efforts on community policing. In the 1994 crime bill that included the original assault weapons ban, Bill Clinton included a new program called "Community Oriented Policing Services" that meant to add 100,000 new police officers to our streets (which LaPierre is essentially now proposing by putting cops in every school.) The NRA opposed that bill in 1994 and later mocked the COPS program for failing to meet its promise. Now he's complaining about the loss of "Secure Our Schools" grants. They were administered by COPS.
But a few other things didn’t hold up under scrutiny:
"Federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% — to the lowest levels in a decade. So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years!"
It's true that the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported an increase in violent crime in 2011 (from record lows the year before), but that increase was attributed almost entirely to a rise in simple assaults: which specifically means no weapon was used. It's also true that federal prosecutions of gun crimes are down, however, since it would make sense of a decline in prosecutions to also match a decline in violent crimes to prosecute
"How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation's refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?"
To our knowledge, no one — not even the NRA — has proposed a national database of the mentally ill. Since similar databases of sex offenders have done little to protect children from sex crimes, that seems unlikely to help. Also, few organizations have done more than the NRA to block the registration of anything. Most recently, they have called for the repeal of Michigan's state-wide pistol registry, a law that State Police credit for solving a recent shooting spree that targeted drives on the busy I-96 corridor. However, they do maintain a National Registry of Places to Shoot.
"Worse, they perpetuate the dangerous notion that one more gun ban — or one more law imposed on peaceful, lawful people — will protect us where 20,000 others have failed!"
It is an oft-repeated talking point … a 2003 study from the Brooking Institution challenged that unsourced statistic, which has apparently been floating around since the 1960s. They pegged the number of statewide gun control laws at about 300 [PDF], adding that "even a very liberal interpretation of what should count as a separate law would leave the total well short of 20,000."

Teabillies want to Deport CNN's Piers Morgan for free speech on gun control.

Is it hard to imagine Constitutional conservatives demanding the deportation of someone in our freedom loving country for something they said? Not at all. Freedom and liberty is nothing more than symbolic rhetoric to them, like flag pins and military supporting car magnets. It’s all showboating.

The Second Amendment may as well have been written by God, the way these bloodthirsty low information voters bow in subservience to the last few words of the amendment and the NRA.

Never lose sight of the fact that these people say they know what the founding fathers meant when they wrote the constitution, and that they are the real freedom and liberty loving patriots. In the words of recording artist Joe Walsh, "You Can't Argue with a Sick Mind." :  
From The Hill: White House petition to deport Piers Morgan soars past threshold: A White House petition calling for the deportation of CNN personality Piers Morgan, a U.K. citizen, over his recent comments criticizing U.S. gun laws rocketed past the 25,000 signatures it needed for an official response Monday. As of this writing, nearly 40,000 people had signed a petition demanding “Mr. Morgan be deported immediately for his effort to undermine the Bill of Rights and for exploiting his position as a national network television host to stage attacks against the rights of American citizens.”

“I don't care about petition to deport me,” Morgan tweeted Monday. “I do care about poor NY firefighters murdered/injured with an assault weapon today. #GunControlNow.” Morgan was referring to yet another high-profile shooting that took place in western New York … four firefighters were shot, two of them fatally, while responding to a fire near Rochester.

The furor over Morgan’s comments began after a contentious interview with Larry Pratt, the executive director of Gun Owners of America. "The argument I keep hearing is 'well if everybody else was armed, it wouldn't happen.' It's a load of total hogwash," Morgan told Pratt and other gun rights advocates who appeared on the show.

"How many more kids have to die, before you guys say, 'we want less guns, not more?'" Morgan added.

NRA and Gun Corporations hope to make Lots of Money.

NRA’s vice president Wayne LaPierre isn’t simply a ghoul, he’s out to make a profit. Another form of disaster capitalism. Exploiting the gun carnage in this country has now gone into overdrive as the NRA, backed by the paranoid conservative voter and Tea Party Republicans, stands to make a lot of money all the while having a business presence in our schools. Get ‘em young.

The Nation’s Lee Fang wrote this expose: The NRA and Gun Companies Stand to Profit From Newtown Tragedy. Here's a short excerpt:
The Nation: Last year, shortly after the shooting of then-Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, a financial analyst asked Mike Fifer—CEO of one of the largest gun companies in America—if the incident would lead to a wave of new gun sales. “The commentary from the NRA that President Obama might be coming out with some sort of speech on some sort of gun control,” asked the analyst, “has that stirred gun owners and prospective gun owners to go visit the stores?”

Gun companies, like almost any profit-driven enterprise, must keep pace with investor demands … people generally only need to buy their product once … That’s where the National Rifle Association comes in. NRA-stoked fear about the government’s coming to seize America’s guns has been a useful marketing tool to the gun industry … Horrific gun violence leads to calls for gun control, which in turn leads to NRA-organized fear-mongering and conspiracy theories that inevitably results in more gun sales … and the gun industry is earning what is likely to be an unprecedented fortune.

And though the NRA has been roundly mocked for its public relations effort this week, officials are watching what is sure to be a flood of new cash.

Here’s why: For every gun or package of ammunition sold at participating stores, a dollar is donated to the NRA. The NRA’s corporate fundraising division has several special retail partnerships called “Add-A-Buck,” “NRA Round-Up,” and “Shooting for the Future.” In some cases, Sturm, Ruger & Co. require automatic contributions to the NRA with every purchase. This year alone, Midway USA, an ammunition company, has given the NRA $1 million through the Round Up program.

The NRA has become largely beholden to the gun industry … in 2005, when the NRA successfully lobbied for the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, a law that “essentially blocks federal lawsuits brought by municipalities wishing to hold gun manufacturers accountable for the bloodshed their products helped create.” The law ensures gun companies cannot be held liable for the crimes committed with their products, as explained by Jarrett Murphy in the September edition of The Nation.

Warnings that Obama will “take away our guns,” as the NRA’s David Keene warns, have led a rally on Wall Street that has some gun stocks up over 400 percent over the last four years. It’s quite a feat of marketing, since the Obama administration has only deregulated gun ownership over the last four years.

Going after the Pillars of our Government with Guns!

Public servants are no longer seemingly off limits as gun targets, you know, the guys we turn to when we’re in trouble? The separation we once held for these individuals has melted away, now that we have the power of the almighty gun. Unhappy with government…well, that’s why we have the Second Amendment isn't it? Wrong, check out the following explanation:

So now we have this, an unprovoked attack on our firefighters...
AP:  An ex-con set a car and a house ablaze in his lakeside neighborhood to lure firefighters, then opened fire on them, killing two, engaging in a shootout with police and committing suicide while several homes burned. Police say he lay in wait outdoors for the firefighters' arrival, then opened fire probably with a rifle and from atop an earthen berm The gunman, William Spengler, had served more than 17 years in prison for beating his 92-year-old grandmother to death with a hammer in 1980 at the house next to where Monday's attack happened, Spengler, 62, was paroled in 1998 and had led a quiet life since. Convicted felons are not allowed to possess weapons.

Police say seven homes were destroyed. William Spengler, 62, left behind a chilling typewritten note“I still have to get ready to see how much of the neighborhood I can burn down and do what I like doing best – killing people” … used a semi-automatic rifle, one of three weapons recovered from the shooting scene, to kill the firefighters … the semi-automatic as a .223 Bushmaster rifle, the same weapon used in the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

Monroe County Sheriff Patrick O'Flynn said. "It's sad to see that that this is becoming more commonplace in communities across the nation." 
Or this attack on our local piece keepers, the police...
jsonline: A 30-year-old Wauwatosa police officer was shot and killed by multiple gunshots on duty early Monday, police Lt. Gerald Witkowski said … it is a homicide investigation and that there are no suspects.

Jennifer Lynn Sebena joined the department in January 2011 after completing the Milwaukee Area Technical College police academy and began as a solo patrol officer in July of this year. She completed probation with the department in November. The stunning chain of events began in the early morning hours. Police said that between 3 and 5 a.m. Wauwatosa dispatchers attempted to raise Sebena on her late shift patrol.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sen. Chris Larson reserves the right to "Wisconsin Filibuster!"

From WPT's Here and Now, Sen. Chris Larson leaves the "Wisconsin filibuster" on the table, just in case:

NRA's Wayne LaPierre: "Craziest Man on Earth!"

MikeB302000, an occasional contributor here, came up with these stunning reactions from normally conservative tabloids. NRA's vice president Wayne LaPierre a "loon?" Odd how many conservative politicians and American gun zealots are using LaPierre's rant as cover and as an actual debate point. Touche?

Freeloading Republican Lawmakers like job, not governing.

I've said it all along that Republicans prefer never coming up with solutions, and downsizing government because it makes their jobs much easier. That's why so many government hating conservatives want government jobs. Nice title, no work.

Rachel Maddow explains, and adds to that, by concluding the Republican Party is now incapable of governing. Exposed!

Olive Garden and Red Lobster Lose Money after they attack employees over Obamacare.

Ed Schultz follows up on Darden's Olive Garden and Red Lobster Obamacare experiment; fail!

Newtown Massacre Prompts call to Arm Teachers or Else?

MSNBC's Michael Smerconish talked to what believe is your typical conservative.

In fact, this exemplifies the side of the aisle where such lunacy is born, and why we need to start recognizing this problem if we're really serious about giving guns to the mentally ill.

In an interview that I still find hard to believe, right wing author Steve Siebold would even go as far as taking his kids out of a school where a teacher refused to carry a gun. That's the future we want for our kids?

Siebold isn't alone. Here's the reaction in Milwaukee, from the jsonline:

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said the NRA's news conference was "filled with self-denial." Referring to LaPierre, Barrett said: "He did not talk about armed guards at Sikh temples, or at salons, or at bowling alleys, or at playgrounds or other places where we have seen massacres in this country."

The NRA's statements mirrored those in an essay Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke wrote; Stationing armed and tactically trained law enforcement officers or security guards in all schools is not a cure-all, but it needs to be the first step, Clarke said. "I don't think there's any logical debate that doesn't include armed police officer or security and allowing citizens to play a role in their own protection," he said.
But doesn't the following statement make more sense?
"Putting a gun in every school means we're in constant fear and students lose that safe haven," said Derek Pipkorn, an eighth-grade math teacher at Lincoln Intermediate School in West Allis.

Here's Ed Schultz with a wrap of NRA's top gun salesman Wayne LaPierre, and where the real blame lies. The NRA announced it was the beginning of a real conversation they won't be taking media questions for...check out the NRA's video game, "NRA Gun Club":

151 victims of Mass Shootings, Fox News focus group sadly disconnected.

Here's a sobering thought from Mother Jones:
So should we wait? Should we talk and talk and talk about the possibilities, and what can or cannot be done? Should we lie to our kids so they feel a false sense of security? That's pretty much what this Fox News focus group was willing to accept:

Remember, this is 2012. Imagine 20 years from now if we respond to the Sandy Hook rampage with a solution that calls for armed security in schools. Wasn't concealed carry supposed to make us safer? Now we're being told if we don't carry, or if ban guns on premises, that we're telegraphing ourselves as "soft targets." We're slipping into chaos faster than even I imagined with the general acceptance of an armed citizenry. 

Responsible Gun Owners? Let's dispel that myth Now. Mother took Adam Lanza to Gun Range.

Adam Lanza received training to kill from his mother since the age of 9. How does that work for those who make the case that gun owners are responsible?

This myth that gun owners are normal everyday Americans is fantasy. I'm not talking about hunters either. It's CC groups and Second Amenders. In the down the rabbit hole world of conservatism, these are the pro-lifers.

Fox News admitted as much unintentionally in this eye opening interview from Megyn Kelly. Far from locking up her dangerous weapons, Lanza's mother carelessly and irresponsibly took Adam to a gun range. And no law caring for the mentally ill would have changed Lanza's regular trips to target practice.

Whose Cutting Medicare and Medicaid? Yup, Paul Ryan is Back, and Saves Big Oil their Taxpayer Handouts.

It didn't take long for Paul Ryan to come back and slash Medicare and the children’s Medicaid programs, all the while giving that money to a bloated military that hasn't balance their books in 2 to 3 decades and misplaced $2 trillion. What I see is a Republican military authority in the future, if the policies of today go unaltered.

But will Democrats point the following cuts out?
WSJ: GOP Ryan spending plan: The House on Thursday passed a Republican bill (HR 6684) to replace about $110 billion in soon-to-begin across-the-board cuts in military ... with a new round of domestic spending cuts. Sponsored by Rep. Paul Ryan, the bill's main purpose was to head off $55 billion in automatic defense cuts over one year under so-called "sequester" rules of the 2011 Budget Control Act.

The bill also would make new cuts in domestic programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and the 2010 health law. The bill's net effect would be to achieve $236 billion in domestic spending cuts over ten years, about 92 percent of which would come from entitlement programs, while protecting the defense budget for one year against automatic cuts under the sequester.

Voting yes: Paul Ryan, R-1, James Sensenbrenner, R-5, Tom Petri, R-6, Sean Duffy, R-7, Reid Ribble, R-8

Voting no: Tammy Baldwin, D-2, Ron Kind, D-3, Gwen Moore, D-4
Big oil's taxpayer handouts received overwhelming support and protection by Ryan and his fellow Wisconsin lawmakers, all the while trashing the same kind of support for the development of the emerging green energy industry. I'ts all part of the upside down world of conservatism.
Oil tax breaks, Medicare cuts: Voting 179 for and 243 against, the House on Thursday defeated a Democratic bid to repeal tax breaks for the five largest oil companies and use the savings to soften cuts HR 6684 would make in Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children's Health insurance (SCHIP) program.

A yes vote backed the Democratic measure. Voting no: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble

Amazing!!! Walker on board with NRA Guns in Schools Lunacy!! Voted Conservative of the Year

What has amazed me is the jaw dropping media reporting of the NRA's announcement of armed security everywhere, as if their suggestion was an actual alternative to rampant serial gun deaths.

But low and behold there's Gov. Walker in full support.

Have we gone completely mad? Do supporters of this lunacy have any idea what life in America would look like 10 or 20 years from now? Since when does "freedom and liberty" mean forcing everyone to carrying guns. What's next, the fastest draw wins again?
WSJ: Gov. Scott Walker said that arming school officials should be part of the conversation in the wake of the tragedy. But his spokesman, Cullen Werwie, said that the governor won't add funding in the next state budget to add armed officers in public schools as the NRA suggested. "We shouldn't jump to conclusions either on gun control or on putting armed officers in public schools," Werwie said. "The real issue is dealing with the individuals who get to a point where they can go through with such a horrific act."

Really, and how would we do that without...doing anything at all...nothing, zilch? I told you Republicans were the biggest freeloaders. Working hard by coming up with solutions...are you kidding?

Walker isn't governing, he’s advancing his career.

WSJ: Walker now has been named "Conservative of the Year" by Human Events magazine. The editors of the magazine — which favors limited, local government; private enterprise; and individual freedom. They wrote, "He was denounced, protested, and demonized to the point where he shared space with Adolf Hitler and deposed Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak on protest signs."
Local government, if you mean the Walker authorities control over local governments spending. Looks like Human Events magazine believed all the press releases and typically uncritical media coverage of Walker.

This is the high bar for conservatives? The ultimate achievement? Walker's record; despite his incompetence he's creation of only 25,000 jobs in two years, the worst in the Midwest, and was rated one of the worst states for business by Forbes Magazine after giving away the farm to big money, that didn't give Human Events a cause for concern?   

Friday, December 21, 2012

We're waiting breathlessly for the gun lobby statement on national policy?

We really are controlled by these groups. Guess what, they've got nothing, no solutions, just the same old tired arguments. It's always someones else's fault. We're now giving valuable media time for the NRA's propaganda.

Perhaps it'll backfire and portray the NRA as an advocate of gun manufacturers everywhere, and a radical fringe group rotting away at our civil society.

Think about what they're saying; gun free zones and no gun signs are just signally soft targets for armed Americans intent on killing, so the best way to fight that...arm yourself? This is the spread of guns through intimidation. Period:
jsonline: "There have been over 400,000 people killed with guns the past 15, 17 years. That's a lot of people.”
Oh, and four people were killed in Benghazi blah, blah, blah….

Here's an edited for time video of LaPierre's self promoting, aggrandizing and gratuitous press conference. This guy truly has some major mental issues:

NRA's Wayne LaPierre pushes armed security in our public schools, because well, guns have apparently made us safer.

NRA will provide the National Schools Shield Emergency Response program. 

We're populated by a nation filled with unknown monsters...fear mongering?

Who will ever forget where they were
when they heard about this
completely insane proposal?
A database of the mentally ill, but not gun owners...or ATF statistics.

LaPierre blames media and video games for reckless use and mass killings. 

Instead of resources directed at education,  we now need to focus on armed security spending in our schools. Brilliant.

One tweet suggested we do away with public schools.

Chris Hayes tweeted the first person killed in Newtown was a gun owner, and mother, of the killer. 

Fox News bails on topic, renews focus on attack of Libyan embassy...again.

Wisconsin Family Action Loses Court Action to Prevent Domestic Partner Hospital Visits and End of Life Planning.

One of the more mean spirited restrictions on freedom was a challenge to the states domestic partner policy. The right wing pushes their empty rhetoric of freedom and liberty with caveats.

The marriage amendment by itself is most likely unconstitutional, but that’s another story.

So the Wisconsin Family Action group lost a big one here today. The horrors of hospital visits and end-of-life decision making was an intolerable infringement on Judeo-Christian principles and values and had to be stopped. It wasn't:
jsonline: A state appeals court has ruled Wisconsin's domestic partner registry is constitutional. The 4th District Court of Appeals said that the domestic partnership law does not violate the marriage amendment.

Democratic lawmakers created the registry in 2009. It grants same-sex couples a host of legal rights, including the right to visit each other in hospitals and make end-of-life decisions for one another. Members of the Conservative Group Wisconsin Family Action filed a lawsuit two years ago alleging the registry violates the Wisconsin Constitution's ban on gay marriage. A Madison judge ruled last year the registry was legal.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun History where even Texas once supported Gun Regulations,

This great commentary on the Second Amendment appeared in the Christian Science Monitor
Jonathan Zimmerman is a professor of history and education at New York University. Yes, the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the “right to bear arms.” But if that means individual citizens – as opposed to state militias – can carry firearms anywhere they want, someone forgot to tell our 19th-century forebears. As law professor Adam Winkler has found, 10 states passed laws in the 1800s barring the possession of concealed weapons.

One of them was Texas, the lodestar of the gun-rights movement today. But as the Lone Star governor said in 1893, “the mission of the concealed weapon is murder. To check it is the duty of every self-respecting, law abiding man.”

Founded in 1871 as a hunting organization, the National Rifle Association supported waiting periods for handgun buyers and a wide array of other state restrictions. It also backed the first major federal gun regulation, the 1934 National Firearms Act, which was upheld by the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision five years later.

As US Solicitor General Robert Jackson told the Court, the Second Amendment did not protect the right of individuals to possess guns for “private purposes.” Instead, it was “restricted to the keeping and bearing of arms by the people collectively for their common defense and security,” wrote Jackson, who would join the Court himself in 1941.

Only in the 1970s would the NRA and conservatives start to argue that the Second Amendment guaranteed individual gun possession. Piggybacking cleverly on the minority and women’s rights revolutions, the NRA claimed that gun owners, too, were endowed with “rights” that were protected by the Constitution. The group also created a giant lobbying and publicity apparatus to spread this new doctrine. Reflecting on the NRA's politicking, Chief Justice Warren Burger said that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud – I repeat the word ‘fraud’ – on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Today, millions of Americans take it for granted that the Constitution protects individual gun rights. So do their legislatures and courts, which have discovered a meaning in the Second Amendment that earlier generations never imagined.

But one cannot say that our foreparents intended to give everyone the right to own a gun and carry it wherever they wished. That’s a fraud, to borrow Justice Burger’s phrase. I repeat the word: fraud. Saying it over and over again won’t make it true.

Reagan on Gun Control....

“This is a matter of vital importance to the public safety ... While we recognize that assault-weapon legislation will not stop all assault-weapon crime, statistics prove that we can dry up the supply of these guns, making them less accessible to criminals.”

“I do not believe in taking away the right of the citizen for sporting, for hunting and so forth, or for home defense. But I do believe that an AK-47, a machine gun, is not a sporting weapon or needed for defense of a home.”

“Certain forms of ammunition have no legitimate sporting, recreational, or self-defense use and thus should be prohibited.”

“With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases.”

“Every year, an average of 9,200 Americans are murdered by handguns, according to Department of Justice statistics. This does not include suicides or the tens of thousands of robberies, rapes and assaults committed with handguns. This level of violence must be stopped.”

“I think maybe there could be some restrictions that there had to be a certain amount of training taken.”

“Well, I think there has to be some [gun] control.”

Sheriff Clarke: Take down your “No Guns” signs, unless you want to die!

What was once a supposed “choice,” for those who wanted to carry guns, it now appears to a lifesaving mandate? Carry, or else you’re a target.

And the freedom and liberty we all have to live in a society free of guns? How does that affect the Constitution’s guarantee of “domestic tranquility,” when we now have mass gun killings, and we’re warned that we’re next if we don’t get on board? 

Forget the slippery slope of gun regulations; we’re on a slippery slope to gun violence, death and chaos.

How else can you explain the call by Sheriff David Clarke “for armed officers, guards in 'every school?”
Jsonline’s Patrick Marley: Sheriff Clarke: “Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. calls for placing armed tactical officers or security officers "in every school and public place in America," in a commentary piece posted on a tea party website.

Clarke also condemns calls for gun control in the wake of the Sandy Hook School mass killings in Newtown, Ct. … He berates "liberals for exploiting tragedy once again in our country and try(ing) to use tragedy as a reason to take our rights away." He also suggested that businesses should remove signs saying guns are prohibited. That only tips off a sociopathic killer that no one there would be able to stop them, Clarke says.

Clarke's article (was) posted on the website "Tea Party Perspective." It was posted on the website by Nik Clark, president of Wisconsin Carry, Inc., a gun rights group.
I hope you're sitting down, because Clarke's insulting authoritarian desires are on full display:

Tea Party Perspective/Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke: Liberals don’t care about curbing violence because if they did they wouldn’t coddle and call for more leniency for criminal perpetrators. they want the criminal to serve their sentence walking round in the community with a monitoring device on. How crazy is that. All the left is interested in is having the government control every aspect of our lives.

All of these suggestions about the need for gun control are the mindset of sheep.  Once the wolf is at the door, you’re helpless. Sure, run and hide from a sociopathic killer.  See how far that gets you.  You know where that‘ll get you?  26 dead at Sandy Hook School.

I would suggest that business owners remove those signs at their front door that guns are prohibited.  It is nothing more than telling a sociopath that if they choose this place to slaughter people before carrying out their death wish that no one on site will be able to stop them or fight back.

Tuition/Education: Big Government Republicans Fleece Taxpayers Big Time Again, Part 2

Wisconsin taxpayers will soon be paying a lot more, thanks to “small government” Republicans doling out our hard earned money to the private sector pirates clamoring for higher profits.
AP: A new law restricting how the University of Wisconsin System provides Internet access could make things difficult for students and raise costs for taxpayers, school officials told auditors in a report released Tuesday. UW schools are members of WiscNet, a nonprofit cooperative that provides high-speed Internet services to a majority of public schools in Wisconsin and nearly all public libraries …  WiscNet is able to offer services at half the cost of commercial providers, in part because it's tax-exempt and also because it doesn't have to pay for marketing and other operating costs.
But the Walker Authority is opposed to saving taxpayer money if it’s at the expense of private businesses. His formula is simple; taxpayer money + Scott Walker = big corporate profits:
The telecommunications industry lobbied heavily against the setup, arguing that WiscNet was using public subsidies to compete unfairly with the private sector.
But it saved taxpayers money? So what, says Republican State Rep. Samantha Kerkman:
Kerkman, co-chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, said she wanted to be sure the relationship between the UW System and WiscNet "hasn't gone too far." She said she was concerned about tax dollars being used to subsidize competition from private firms.

Her fellow co-chair, Democratic state Sen. Kathleen Vinehout of Alma, said the issue boils down to a simple question: Is the Internet a public good or is it only for private profit? "I side with the university that this is a public good," Vinehout said.
Walker’s gang of corporate legislative pirates decided to pillage unsuspecting taxpayers again:   
Lawmakers passed a law last year that restricted the UW System's involvement in telecommunications services. UW officials are now left with limited options they say will be more expensive … UW System President Kevin O'Reilly: "Act 32 will result in multimillion-dollar increases in network costs, forcing students and/or taxpayers to bear the greater costs," he wrote in a letter to auditors.
Factoid to Remember for “small government” low information voters:
The state Legislative Audit Bureau report said WiscNet members paid about $500 month for Internet services that would have cost $1,100 or more if provided by commercial services.

WEDC: Big Government Republicans Fleece Taxpayer Part 1

Business tax revenues will soon short change the state millions in general revenues, that’s already a given. Thankfully, that will help Republicans make the case for smaller government.

Now the Walker Authority and his band of legislative pirates are expanding “small” government, costing taxpayers even more. Confusing? Well, that’s what makes conservatism so appealing to low information Republican voters.

Walker is now going to have two agencies instead of one, where taxpayers will continue to pay private sector board members on WEDC to do “marketing,” while taxpayers also foot the bill for the state to do all the real work granting loans, underwriting, data reporting, contract and fiscal management etc…. 
WSJ: The state's top jobs agency will no longer oversee a key community development block grant program … WEDC was created in July 2011 and was meant to be the flagship agency to help Gov. Scott Walker, who serves as chairman of the board, in his efforts to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his first term.

But Mike Huebsch, secretary of the state Department of Administration, told the board Tuesday that his agency will take over responsibilities for the economic and community development program, including underwriting, data reporting, and contract and fiscal management. He added that WEDC would continue its role in "communicating, marketing and serving as a liaison with communities and businesses on facilitating these grant opportunities."
Two programs for the price of…two programs at taxpayers’ expense. And not a peep from conservative talk radio hosts or newspaper editorial boards. And I don't even want to get into lost taxpayer money on bankruptcy's and no accountability.