Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Talker Charlie Sykes redefines Class Warfare; "...public employee unions, I think we have two America's here."

Projection is the name of the game for the far right. For instance, who complains the most about class warfare, all the while creating new versions of it when the opportunity presents itself.

WTMJ's Charlie Sykes, that's who. Pushing his "Nation of Moochers" book, projection again, Charlie somehow creates a special class of public union workers who are getting unfairly paid with tax dollars. That's what's wrong with our economy, two Americas; where the private class of abused low wage workers envy the average middle class public worker making just enough to live paycheck to paycheck. Sweet!  From Dylan Ratigan:
Sykes: "The power of the public employee unions, I think we have two Americas here. I think at some point we're going to have to address that.  We can't have a class structure here, or otherwise...you know we kind of have these roving gangs out there, and these roving gangs looking for access to taxpayer money. This is not a kinder gentler society."

Republican thugs marking up petitions, MacIver Institute Dismisses Keeping Domestic Violence Victims off Internet, and so does GAB.

Take a look at the video footage in this report. Are the Republican hacks checking the recall signatures, completely insane, marking up the meticulously accumulated recall petitions. I guess it's okay to drag the most partisan critics in to pour over and trash signatures for what...penmanship?

Ethan Shuh, of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, even started the rumor (where's the proof) that a dead relative was found on one petition.

I can't stress enough; any bogus names and fabrications are the work of conservative lawbreakers destroying the integrity of the electoral process. If there are any fake names, we can thank Walker thugs. WKOW News, Tony Galli:

The wacky and radically conservative MacIver Institute doesn't give a damn about victims of spousal abuse and domestic violence, when they demanded that names of all petition signers be released immediately. This not only gives this group of thugs a black eye, but puts them right up there with media charlatans James O'Keefe and Andrew Breitbart. TMJ4:

UPDATE: Abuse victim names will be made available, despite no requirement to post recall petition names on internet. GAB joins MacIver thugs.

Weighing all of these concerns and public interests, we have concluded that the balancing test of the Public Records Law favors disclosure of the entire recall petition without redaction of information on a recall petition, even when individual signers have expressed a concern arising from prior abuse or violence committed against them by a person who is now subject to a restraining order.

Remember, Walker partisans already have the signatures, there's no hurry to give gun...marker toting losers another reason to take the law into their own hands.

Check out the Walker recall site here.  Note to Tony Galli; like the aerial view shot.

Democratic Challengers announce in Recalls.

A flurry of Democrats announced their challenges today to the sitting radical Republican recalled senators. From the Patch
Former State Sen. John Lehman, of Racine, has announced he will challenge Sen. Van Wanggaard to retake the state senate seat he lost in November 2010. "In 2010, Mr. Wanggaard never once agreed to debate or answer questions about what he would do in Madison," Lehman said. "And, to my knowledge, Wanggaard has never once in his year in office appeared at a listening session or a public meeting where the critical citizen could ask questions."

Wanggaard responded by making one huge mistake; following the talking points we’re already tired of hearing from Scott Walker. We also know those talking points are inaccurate and purposely misleading. Will conservative voters tolerate being snow jobbed? Probably.
Wanggaard: "Voters are going to have a clear choice. Do they want to go back to the Jim Doyle and John Lehman days of billion dollar budget deficits, lost jobs and skyrocketing taxes, or do they want balanced budgets, lower taxes and a Wisconsin that continues to move forward towards job creation, fiscal responsibility and common sense?"

Sorry, but Gov. Doyle and the Democratic legislature had to deal with the Great Recession. Ya think that might have been a problem? Under standard accounting practices, which include promised tax cuts and budgeting, the Walker administration is over $3 billion dollars in deficit. Ooops. And lower taxes only applies to business. As a property tax payer, taxes didn’t go down. That’s supposed to make me happy?
The Wisconsin Democrats just announced that former Rep. Kristen Dexter and Rep. Donna Seidel would take on other recalled senators.

Another good reason for the Buffett Rule; International investors say get rid of it.

It may only come out to be $2.2 billion a year, taxing carried interest like the money Romney earns, but that's a damn good start.
Bloomberg News: The real reason the tax loophole for private equity mavens must be closed once and for all is that American taxpayers subsidize the private-equity industry -- and its outsize paychecks -- and simple fairness demands that they don’t also get an additional break in the form of lower tax rates.

Investors are on board:
Bloomberg News: Most international inves­tors say a tax break allowing private equity and hedge­fund executives to pay lower tax rates than many average Americans isn’t warranted, according to a Bloomberg survey.

As the release of Republi­can presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s 2010 tax re­turn heats up debate over a 15% top rate on so-called car­ried interest, two-thirds of those surveyed in the Bloom­berg Global Poll say the tax break is unjustified. Romney, for­mer head of Bain Capital LLC, paid an effective rate of 13.9% on $21.6 million of in­come, when the top income tax rate is 35%.

An effective tax rate for the wealthy is somewhere around 30 percent, when you consider other right offs. This number is often given to argue against doing away with this ridiculous piece of corporate welfare. I remain unconvinced.  
Jonathan Sadowsky, chief investment officer at Vaca Creek Asset Management LLC in San Francisco, said he favors eliminating the break because he’s concerned about government deficit spending. Gerhard Summerer, presi­dent of DZ Financial Markets LLC in New York, said the lower rate is nothing more than “welfare for the rich,” saying the “average Ameri­can citizen” gets no such breaks. “No one is advocating con­fiscating anyone’s posses­sions, but the fair taxation of income,” he said.

Taxing carried interest as ordinary income would pro­duce about $22 billion over a decade, according to the non­partisan Congressional Bud­get Office.

Good bye Health Insurance Companies? We can only hope.

Dumb Ron Johnson stupidly continues to rail on The Affordable Care Act, even though the CBO figures it'll save a trillion dollars or more over a 20 year period; cover a lot more people; get rid of pre-existing condition death sentences; and force reform. 

In fact, if it wasn't for Obama's plan, innovation would not be rumbling along. Story after story of the changes, improvement and money savings have been well documented. The best sum total of these stories is below, where health insurers are tossed to trash bin of history. NYTimes:
Here’s a bold prediction … By 2020, the American health insurance industry will be extinct. Insurance companies will be replaced by accountable care organizations — groups of doctors, hospitals and other health care providers who come together to provide the full range of medical care for patients.

Already, most insurance companies barely function as insurers. Most non-elderly Americans — or 60 percent of Americans with employer-provided health insurance — work for companies that are self-insured. In these cases it is the employer, not the insurance company that assumes most of the risk of paying for the medical care of employees and their families. All that insurance companies do is process billing claims. For individuals and small businesses, health insurance companies usually do provide insurance.

A new system is on its way, one that will make insurance companies unnecessary … thanks to the accountable care organizations provided for by the health care reform act, a new system is on its way, one that will make insurance companies unnecessary. Accountable care organizations will increase coordination of patient’s care and shift the focus of medicine away from treating sickness and toward keeping people healthy.

Because most physicians and hospitals today are paid on a fee-for-service basis, medical care is organized around treating a specific episode of illness rather than the whole patient. This system encourages overtreatment and leads to mistakes and miscommunication when patients are sent between their primary care doctors, specialists and hospitals. In contrast, accountable care organizations will typically be paid a fixed amount per patient, along with bonuses for achieving quality targets. The organizations will make money by keeping their patients healthy and out of the hospital and by avoiding unnecessary tests, drugs and procedures. Thus, they will actually have a financial incentive to hire that nurse for follow-ups.

In addition to providing better and more efficient care, A.C.O.’s will also make health insurers superfluous. Because they will each be responsible for a large group of patients (typically more than 15,000), they will pool the risk of patients who have higher-than-average costs with those with lower costs. And with the end of fee-for-service payments, insurance companies will no longer be needed to handle complicated billing and claims processing, nor will they need to be paid a fee for doing so. Payments can flow directly from an employer, Medicare or Medicaid to the accountable care organizations.

A.C.O.’s are not simply a return to the health maintenance organizations of the 1990s. H.M.O.’s were often large national corporations far removed from their members. In contrast, A.C.O.’s will consist of local health care providers working as a team to take care of patients who are likely to be members for years at a time. A final bonus of A.C.O.’s is that they will lead to a better form of competition in health care markets. Today, consumers have to choose among insurance plans with a bewildering array of copayments, deductibles and annual out of pocket maximums — choices that few of us are any good at making. In the A.C.O. model, consumers will choose a primary care physician and the team of doctors and hospitals that are in the same group. Choosing a doctor and provider group is a responsibility that consumers want to have and are likely to be much better at.

A few health insurers see this asteroid coming. Wellpoint, for example, bought the clinic operator CareMore for $800 million last summer to make the transition into the A.C.O. business.

Sean Duffy Breaks into Tea Party Top Ten

Look who's got the extremist cred's going for himself. Anytime you're standing shoulder to shoulder with an authoritarian militant dictator like Rep. Alan West, you know you've truly crossed over. Welcome guys, to the political rubber room: 

According to CREDO action

Sean Duffy – Lives in Gov. Walker's world, not the Real World
Once a reality TV star on MTV's Real World: Boston, it's clear he has now lost touch with the actual real world. Duffy has complained to constituents that he has trouble paying his bills on his $174,000 Congressional salary. His policies are even more out of touch: He haspraised Gov. Scott Walker and said he is "trying to do right" in Wisconsin. Duffy is a co-sponsor of every anti-choice bill that moved through this Congress, including H.R. 3 which would have redefined rape, and the "Protect Life Act" which would literally let women die in addition to prohibiting federal funds from being to used to cover any part of the costs of any health plan that includes coverage of abortion services.

Newt takes down Mitt, and chances of Republican presidential win.

Want to know why Mitt Romney would be a bad president? I've got a list of reasons here, but not one written by the Democrats. Point by point, we can say…
…thank you Newt Gingrich, for saying:
Romney, during his time as Massachusetts governor, vetoed funds to expand the provision of kosher food for Bay State retirees…"Romney cut off kosher food to elderly Jews on Medicare."

Romney for a 2005 decision as governor to require Roman Catholic hospitals to provide emergency contraception, which many Catholics believe is a form of abortion, to rape victims.

"The conservative movement is not going to sit back and say, 'Oh yes, let's let Wall Street and Mitt Romney buy the election,'" Gingrich said. "So you're going to see a real grassroots fight. It will be people power vs. Goldman Sachs and Mitt Romney."

"How can a guy who's a great manager not file 23 foreign holdings last year when he filed?"

"Romney has proved to be a disgraceful and despicable candidate. He has no character," Rick Tyler, a former Gingrich aide said. 

So there you have it, Mitt doesn’t even measure up by Republican standards, which are mighty low right now. Maybe Mitt needs the sympathetic shoulder of a corporate person to lean on. See Huffington Post for article.

Monday, January 30, 2012

NH Republicans give parents the ability to screw up public schools.

If you ever had any doubts Republicans are out to destroy public schools, like an aggressive cancer, this will convince you. I thought unaccountable taxpayer dollars going to voucher schools was irresponsible, as suggested by Gov. Scott Walker, but you should see this.

In New Hampshire-- if you don’t like what your kid is learning about-- just pull them out of class. A contributor for Sea Coast Online says New Hampshire House Bill 542 gives parents quote “unprecedented powers” over their children’s education.

“...Specifically, the law (a) allows parents to file an objection to any course material, (b) requires a school district to devise an alternative acceptable to the parent, and (c) the alternative must enable the child to still meet state requirements for education in the particular subject area of the objection.”

The bill originally passed through the legislature last year-- but democratic Governor John Lynch vetoed the measure. Lawmakers recently overrode that veto. 

Breathtaking, absolutely. Is there one conservative voter out there who thinks the following is a good idea?
A reporter for Russia Today says-- this bill really blurs that distinction.
“New Hampshire’s government is totally okay with parents picking and choosing their child’s courses and putting them together like a Lego set. And then placing the own-ness on the school to bend for their every whim.”

And The New York Times highlights another concern of those who oppose the measure.

“Should parents who are members of the Ku Klux Klan be allowed to create a special public school curriculum for their child that suggests that extension of voting rights to black Americans was a mistake?”
Just as bad, public schools must keep parental objections confidential. According the law:
The name of the parent or legal guardian and any specific reasons disclosed to school officials for the objection to the material shall not be public information and shall be excluded from access under RSA 91-A.

Even worse:

The original bill was even broader, saying districts could not "compel a parent to send his child to any school or program to which he may be conscientiously opposed." "Parents love their children ... and they have real big issues with the current curriculum that has been shoved down their throat in some instances," says state Rep. JR Hoell (R), who sponsored the bill, HB 542. Representative Hoell and his wife homeschool their children.
What could go wrong?

The tea party and Free-Staters in the New Hampshire Legislature were so intent on destroying public education in the state in order to replace it with private schools and home schooling, that they pushed through a poorly thought-out bill (HB 542) … As stated by Bill Duncan in the Portsmouth Herald, a teacher at a committee meeting on the bill said members "specifically mentioned Everyday Math. They did not like Everyday Math, because parents didn't understand it."

I'll be honest, I never saw something this crazy coming. Good luck with that NH. Here's Newsy with the story:

The Ins and Outs of Wisconsin Budgeting, by Gov. Candidate Sen. Kathleen Vinehout.

Uppity Wisconsin posted this clearly explained look at Wisconsin's financial state written by Senator and gubernatorial candidate Kathleen Vinehout. It's a must read that exposes the continued debt build up by Walker and the Fitzgerald's, along with the best reason to dump these hacks; they're throwing valuable taxpayer dollars away on escalating interest payments. No honest politician would have made the kind of promises Walker offered up in the campaign. Hell, his own party is trying to tank the economy to win the presidency. Let's be real. Having debt isn't a bad thing, every homeowner I knows has a massive debt with their mortgage company, but paying it off little by little is the goal.

I'm posting Vinehout's explanation here for my own reference. Enjoy the read:

People I meet ask me “Do we have a deficit?” “Did the state really pay off all its debt?” To understand the numbers, I recently spent time with the Legislature’s financial and auditing experts. I asked them to help explain the financial state of the state. I learned ‘debt’ and ‘deficit’ are frequently confused.

Debt is money borrowed by the state and repaid over many years – like a home mortgage. A deficit occurs when expected current state revenues aren’t enough to cover expected current expenditures – will your paychecks cover everything you have to pay for this year. Wisconsin’s debt is $13.5 billion and growing. The budget deficit – by accounting standards – is just under a negative $3 billion.

“I thought the governor balanced the budget,” I can hear you say. Here’s the rest of the story.
Budgets look forward. They compare expected revenue with expected expenditures. To start the process, Governors ask agency directors what money they need to keep their agencies running. New spending is added to current spending. Often requests are ‘pie in the sky’.  What agency directors ask for is compared to estimated revenue. If the mismatch is negative there is a “deficit”. This is the origin of the $3.6 billion deficit often cited at the beginning of 2011.

The budget gurus told me governors usually start the budget process with a deficit and then, by law, are required to bring the budget into balance – expected spending during the budget years can’t be more than expected dollars coming in.

There is another type of deficit – an accounting deficit.  Unlike the budgetary deficit that just looks at cash in and cash out during the year, the accounting deficit looks at orders made over the year, bills paid, and bills due but postponed. It measures how far into the hole you are, even if your check book still balances. At the end of 2011 auditors reported the accounting deficit was nearly $3 billion - somewhat larger than at the end of last year. The accounting deficit has been growing for many years.

The state debt is not the accumulation of deficits. The debt is the money borrowed to pay for long-term projects. During the 1990s Governor Thompson authorized a large prison building program. This cost a lot of money and increased state debt. In 2003 the state took on new debt to pay off unfunded pension obligations. In just seven years, from the mid-nineties to 2003, the state’s debt doubled. 

During the Doyle administration, old university buildings were replaced and money was added to the Stewardship Fund. This added to the state’s debt.

A troubling aspect of state finances is “kicking the can down the road” or debt payments due but not paid. When the state fails to make a payment and adds this payment to future debt it costs taxpayers more. Financial staff called this practice “scoop and toss” as debt payments that are due are scooped up and tossed into the future.

Many governors have followed this practice and Governor Walker is no exception. In May of 2011 the state did not pay a $190 million debt payment. In addition, under the current budget the state delays another $338 million debt payment. Together the over-half-a-billion in delayed debt payments will cost taxpayers nearly $150 million in additional interest.

Not making current debt payments that are due “kicks the can down the road,” increases interest obligations and leaves less money for schools, health care and roads.

Historically, Wisconsin’s annual debt payments as a percent of tax revenues are below four percent. Financial staff recommend that debt payments should not exceed three and a half percent. Because of repeated delays in debt payments, including the over-half-a-billion delayed in 2011, the size of this important ratio grows to over five percent at the end of Governor Walker’s first budget. This places Wisconsin well in the danger-zone.

Wisconsin continues to face significant budget challenges. A public discussion about how to move Wisconsin forward must be based on the facts. Facts are stubborn things and demand respect.

Tommy Thompson Bashes Unions after once saying "The relationship between labor and management...is harmonious...through collective bargaining."

It's the OMG moment for Tommy Thompson in the race for Sen. Herb Kohl's seat. Flip flop would be putting it mildly. This is just part of the story you can find here:
josonline-Dan Bice: Sometimes it's hard to figure out who the real Tommy Thompson is. There's the Thompson who chided state employee unions this month for complaining about Gov. Scott Walker's proposals to increase the amount worker’s pay for pensions and health care.

"He says to the unions and the bosses, 'We're going to ask you to help.' Oh, isn't that tough? Awwww," Thompson said sarcastically at the Walker rally on Jan. 21. "We're going to say we would like you to pay 5% of your retirement. Now you tell me what's wrong with that. And you tell me, is that a crime? And then (Walker) had the audacity to say, 'We are going to ask you to pay 12% for your health care.' Isn't that sad?"

Red meat for the red-state crowd.

But then there's the Thompson whom he and his campaign would hope conservatives forget - the four-term governor who gave a speech to Puerto Rico lawmakers (in 1997) touting collective bargaining laws in his home state.

"The relationship between labor and management in the public and private sector (in Wisconsin) is harmonious, due in part to the ongoing ability to communicate and solve problems through the collective bargaining process. In respect to state government, Wisconsin has collectively bargained with state employees for 25 years. By working together, we've created a positive atmosphere for state employees and enhanced services to our citizens (and) ensuring excellence in delivering services to our citizens," Thompson said, according to the transcript. "Our efforts have cumulated in Wisconsin's ranking as one of the most powerful economies in America for seven consecutive years."

Union leaders were trying to organize employees in Puerto Rico's government at that time. Marty Beil, head of AFSCME, said he asked Thompson to insert a plug for public employee collective bargaining in the speech.  "We sent him some ideas, which ended up in the speech then." So AFSCME officials helped write that portion of Thompson's talk? "Correct," said Beil, who was present for the 1997 speech in San Juan. "He did it at our request."

You’ll love this surreal response from the Thompson campaign:
Thompson's campaign officials said Sunday they see nothing inconsistent between his 1997 speech and his current support for Walker's agenda. Spokesman Darrin Schmitz in an email (said) "…the Qualified Economic Offer and other cost controls led to protests as well, so it's absurd to say Thompson's support of Gov. Walker's reforms is inconsistent with how he governed."

Beil isn't buying it … in 1998 - a year after the speech in San Juan - the state workers union threw its support behind the incumbent over his Democratic foe. Beil described their relationship as "close."

The not so final word on Apple's Chinese slave labor problem.

If you haven't read the recent articles about Apple, and the sad state of workers rights in China, this article sums it up well. Apple is starting to realize they've got a problem. A big problem.

I always thought that China's labor practices would someday reach our shores, thanks to Republican efforts to lower wages and compete with third world nations. But that may not happen after all. China's has been transformed into the world's top competitor and manufacturer, all the while using third world labor practices. Instead of the U.S., maybe it will be China that will be forced to raise wages.
Foxnews: Apple began last week by basking in record quarterly profits, but then ended the week in a public relations retreat after reports of exploited workers in factories in China assembling its hot-selling iPads and iPhones.

Behind China's remarkable economic progress toil an estimated 120 million migrant workers, typically living and working in austere factory complexes.

Two decades into China's industrial transformation, questions are being asked about how much responsibility authorities shoulder for its hukou (who-co, household registration) system that effectively institutionalizes migrant workers as second-class citizens in their own country. But for now, it is Apple in the firing line … there is enough truth about worker conditions in mainland Chinese factories to offend many of its customers and ultimately damage its premium brand.

Foxconn, which employs over a million workers in China, has been in the headlines before after a spate of worker suicides at its factories in 2010. It later set up helplines and safety nets to stop employees jumping, as well as raising salaries. Basic pay was increased to 2,000 yuan (US$315) a month, up from 1,200 yuan (US$189). The company tends to attract attention because of its size, with over 300,000 working and living in its Shenzhen complex that is the size of small town.

The depressing prospect for migrant workers is they are prevented from joining this new China. Thanks to the decades-old hukou system, they cannot enjoy resident perks such as housing, education and medical benefits available to locals.

This suits provincial authorities, who avoid bearing the costs of providing these services or the infrastructure that an influx a population the size of Foxconn's plant in Shenzhen would require. Meanwhile, they still get the tax revenue from the business located locally. Such a system might have been justified when China was starting out on its path of industrialization. But holding back a permanent rump of citizens as factory cannon fodder is inevitably going to lead to rising tensions.

Another unpalatable consequence of the hukou system on such a scale is it makes it difficult for migrant families to resettle. It is estimated 58 million children of migrant workers are left behind with relatives or in care.

If consumers are willing to demand eggs from chickens that were not factory farmed, it is not much of a stretch that they might demand smartphones assembled by workers with some basic dignity.

What’s the point, Newsmax? Warren Buffet’s secretary bought a second home!!! Yeah, so?

In what appears to be a pot shot at Warren Buffet’s secretary, who pays more in taxes than her boss, Newsmax has apparently decided her taxes aren’t high enough…or she’s living high on the hog…or that she’s not doing too badly even if she does pay more in taxes than a billionaire?

To be honest, I can’t figure out what this voice of the radical right is getting at, except to say in the most idiotic way, gotcha.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s secretary Debra Bosanek has become the face of President Barack Obama’s so-called Buffett Rule, which maintains that the secretaries of wealthy Americans should not pay a higher tax rate than their boss. Yet despite her presumably crushing tax burden, Bosanek and her husband last year were able to buy a second home in Arizona complete with a swimming pool and putting green.
A cement pond? Wow, how unique is that in sunny Arizona? And that has what to do with Buffet's secretary paying more in taxes than a billionaire?
The Bosaneks bought the 2,100-square-foot home outside Phoenix, paying $144,000 for the four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bath property, according to The Smoking Gun website.

What a scoop! Smoking Gun, you’ve done it again? Think about it; this is just a $144,000 home, that's cheap. Any home owner would know that. Is it for retirement? Having been a Realtor at one time, that's not a luxury villa, and get a load of the low value of her main residence:
Their principal residence is in Bellevue, Neb., not far from Buffett’s corporate headquarters in Omaha. That home, valued last year at $217,000, also has four bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths — but no swimming pool or putting green.

This story is a pathetic and pointless slap back at Obama's proposal to impose a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on those poor dears who's incomes are over $1 million a year, instead of 17.4 percent like Buffett pays, or the 13.9 percent Mitt Romney pays. 

Any questions? Try to pull it together conservatives, really. This story has no link, and was part of an email allert with multiple stories. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fox News + Paul Ryan + Dollar Bill Birthday Cake = Unforgettable Rich Boy Image

My jaw dropped when Chris Wallace presented a cake adorned with a green dollar sign to Rep. Paul Ryan. How unbelievably appropriate, and what a Kodak moment for his Democratic opponent Rob Zerban.

What in gods name were they thinking? Let them eat cake.

Here's the screen capture for those who want to pass this mind searing image along to others.

Mitch Daniels Doom & Gloom Vision of America turned into Ads!

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels helped Bush take the Clinton surplus and convert them into deficits. Now he's the know-it-all fiscal savior of the state, that's not doing so well.

Make no mistake, he's good at selling a more moderate message, that is anything but.

Thankfully, a few in the media picked up on this doom and gloomer and put together a number of parody ads that hit the mark:

Walker starts early with his claims of innocence in the John Doe investigation.

Sen. Chris Larson calls out Scott Walker for his feeble attempt to underplay the John Doe investigation and his part in it. Like Larson said:
"For him now to pretend that this was an elaborate network, and they were just going to be surprising him by doing political work on his behalf without him knowing it...like they were planning a surprise party. They're expecting way too much of us to be oblivious to it...to trust him."
Beautifully said. WKOW 27 News:

Can't figure out the latest sales ad, or missed the big one?

JC Penny is changing the way they approach having sales. Getting an additional 10% off the already low sales price of an item, is adding confusion and mind numbing calculations to every purchase, with an additional discount if you use your charge card.  JC Penny wants to end all that...I think.

I loved this add for its shear intensity:

Upside Down Economics: Clinton's Surpluses meant Taxes were too High.

Remember when Clinton created a budget surplus? Times were good, and the government had a chance to pay down some bills. To George W. Bush, paying of America's debt was not the best way to buy votes. Bush instead said screw the deficit, Americans were obviously paying too much in taxes.

See how crazy conservatives are with money? If everything had been left alone, we'd have dramatically lower deficits with money left over. But no, it's better living on the edge of bankruptcy.

Here's a clip of Clinton and then Bush, to show you how and why we got into this mess:

Gun Web Site Requires Registration...

...what were they thinking?

Let’s face it, Republicans have destroyed the Judicial Branch with activist judges.

All the while Republicans screamed bloody murder over liberal activist judges, they were installing their own conservative activist judges. Yes, it’s opposite day everyday in Republican world. And they're getting away with it. Republicans on the campaign trail have even gone as far as telling voters that they'll replace every judge with a conservative one. And it never gets any press. Yet, the public may be taking notice:
The Kaiser Foundation: With the Supreme Court just two months away from hearing a historic legal challenge to the 2010 health law, nearly 60 percent of the public expects the justices to depend more on personal ideology than a legal analysis of the individual mandate, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's January health tracking poll.

Just 28 percent of those surveyed believe the justices will base their decision on the mandate without regard to politics and ideology, according to the survey.

Take a look at the abusive authoritarian bullying of our own more liberal justices here in Wisconsin by the conservative majority. There’s no conservative objection to the sad state of our top court's acrimony, because aggressive intimidation is considered leadership now by Republican voters.   

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Rep. Jeff Fitzgerald and Assembly Republicans Prank Mining, the Environment and Democrats.

For something as controversial as iron ore mining, nothing stood out more than the sick prank initiated by Jeff Fitzgerald, where he teased the Democrats with a "I am Spartacus" moment, by claiming every Republican was an author of the mining bill. Sweet.

The Republicans were having so much fun passing the author less bill (written by the industry), that they held a chaotic hand count of those who supported it, instead of asking for unanimous consent. It was an in your face insult to the assembly Democrats, the tribes, and concerned citizens who had so many serious questions left to be answered. The public hearings were simply side show performances by Republican representatives.

Is this kind of arrogance okay with the average conservative voter? Do mines pollute rivers?

You'll also notice Jeff Fitzgerald never once mentioned the environment. It was jobs or no jobs.

Scott Walker’s message to the nation: Help, they’re trying to overthrow the king!

These self-anointed leaders, self-aggrandizing egomaniacs love all the attention, don’t they.

I love it when conservatives get a little too comfortable when commiserating with fellow loons, and start pounding their chest or whining endlessly about their lot in life. It’s a peak into the behind the scenes trash talk that happens when control freaks like Walker spill their guts accidently in public to a sympathetic corporate whore.     

The Wall Street Journal did this little puff piece for Scott Walker as a way to get his message out for purely fund raising purposes. Walker’s “sky is falling” description of what would happen if he were to  lose his recall election is the ranting’s of a desperate man.

While conservatives laugh at Democrats for claiming “the sky would fall” under Walker’s policies, something they never said by the way, Walker is on the national stage warning America that the Democrats are trying to overthrow the king.

Whack job celebrity wingnut Stephen Moore wrote this:
jsonline: The stakes here "go well beyond who will be governor of Wisconsin … The recall's ultimate objective is to intimidate any official across the country who's thinking of crossing swords with the empire of teachers and other public-employee unions. "This is about killing reform initiatives in every state in the country," says Mr. Walker.  

Nice. It looks like public disapproval by nearly half the voting public is now “intimidation?”

The “empire of teachers?” Oops, Walker brags he’s never said anything bad about teachers…until now. Anyone think he’s never dissed them in back room discussions with his brownshirted lackey’s?

You’ll love the Wall Street Journal’s minimization of the John Doe investigation:
And local Democrats are smelling blood over a recent mini-scandal involving alleged embezzlement of public funds by two of Mr. Walker's top aides when he was Milwaukee County Commissioner.

Who knew that when Republicans get caught breaking the law, it’s just a mini-scandal. But King Walker has a warning to all good Americans:
If unions succeed in getting voters to evict reformers, it could "set back the conservative reform agenda across the states for a generation," Mr. Walker warns.

The king has spoken. Yeah, that “conservative reform agenda’s” is popular. 

Catholic Bishop describes public education as something Hitler and Mussolini would love.

Say what? The push to vilify public education has gone off the Richter scale, again. 

One thing is for certain, the public school system in this country is anything but “monolithic.”

School boards and states have dramatic sway over what is taught, and testing checks whether the courses are being taught in an effective way. But...

Republican governors and legislatures have successfully portrayed teachers as public pariahs. That is clearly their image now. Playing off the idea that public education is the source of liberal indoctrination, public education must be dismantled too. If that were true, where did all the conservatives come from?  

And the following example proves how far conservatives will go to push religious indoctrination and the profitable exploitation of education.  
Harrisburg's Catholic bishop is facing heat … his word choice in describing a state without school choice.

The topic was school vouchers - specifically, Catholic schools closing under financial hardship and how vouchers would help. Bishop McFadden said he worries about state controlled public education and a lack of choice for parents. "In a totalitarian government, they would love our system. This is what Hitler and Mussolini and them tried to establish, a monolith, so all the children would be educated in one set of beliefs and one way of doing things."

The top educational systems in the world have national standards. Where are the Hitler’s and Mussolini’s? Fear mongering much? Pointless and mindless drivel?

Sure. But it appeals to that part of the conservative mind that loves conspiracy theories and elevated levels of paranoia.

Without knowing it, the defensive nature of conservative voters minimizes the actual argument, for a more knee jerk reaction and threat to their ideology. They can’t be wrong, and they certainly wouldn’t be played for suckers by special interests.

In the U.S., corporate interests would love to make a little money by privatizing education, and the religious right would like to survive and indoctrinate students with public tax dollars.

That’s the real problem. The Anti-Defamation League describes it as trivializing the holocaust, I say it vilifies public schools.  

Friday, January 27, 2012

Republican trashing of environment in mining bill may cancel out Federal Flood Insurance.

I don’t know, do you think Republicans should have considered this major problem before they raced through the approval process of a mining bill written by a magical all-knowing mysterious entity?
WSJ: A provision in the Assembly mine permitting bill being considered in the state Legislature Thursday could jeopardize the state's access to federal flood insurance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The chief of FEMA's floodplain management branch said part of the Assembly bill that exempts mines from floodplain ordinances could prompt the agency to "seek enforcement of requirements that include suspension from the program."

The bill gives the state Department of Natural Resources 360 days to act on an iron permit application. It also relaxes a number of environmental protections for lakes, rivers and wetlands. One of those provisions would allow a mining company to dispose of mining waste in a floodplain.

But the letter from David Stearrett, chief of FEMA's floodplain management branch, said mining is specifically mentioned in a list of floodplain activities that would jeopardize communities' ability to qualify for federal flood insurance.
Maybe Walker can turn down big governments flood insurance policy in the state.

Conservative Pettiness Ugly, Stupid.

I came across the following ridiculous article from the conservative whiner, Newsbusters, and boy did they get a scoop. Of course I’m kidding, but you won’t believe how they think, and what they find outrageous. I'm blogging it here because it's the perfect example of conservative pettiness. As written by Tim Graham:
Ed Schultz wasn’t kidding about his State of the Union affinities when he asserted on his radio show Tuesday that “I'll be in the Rotunda tonight, listening to the boss, rootin' for him, if you know what I mean.” He did not mean MSNBC boss Phil Griffin.

Oh, so Ed must be taking his orders from his “boss” Barack Obama? This is projection, because they actually do “follow the leader.” There’s more: 
Schultz and CNN’s Paul Begala are participating Wednesday night in a House Democrat “Reignite the American Dream” retreat at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Golf Resort, Spa & Marina in Cambridge, Maryland … the resort's website touts amenities including “pampering spa treatments, golf, sailing, fishing and swimming … [and] delicious meals in our many Cambridge, Maryland hotel resort restaurants.” It's not exactly sleeping in a tent with the rats at Occupy DC.

Projection again; Class envy much? I didn’t believe it at first, but these guys actually think Democrats have to live in squalor to be advocates of the poor.

Wisconsin Realtors Association's Big Misstep, Endorses Walker.

Disclosure: I was once a Realtor. I've been waiting out the bad real estate market for some time, before stepping back in.

The Wisconsin Realtor's Association has just come out with their endorsement of Scott Walker.

Even before there is a Democratic opponent? What a horrible management decision, one that may produce a backlash by Democratic home buyers and sellers.

But before you decide to boycott the WRA, consider a group of Realtors who have banded together to be an alternative to the rabid right wingers in the association.
Wisconsin Real Estate Professionals in Support of a Progressive Environment. WI RISPE: We are a group of Realtors passionate about supporting schools, the environment, community and the very people that make Wisconsin strong. The strength of a community is tantamount to a sustainable and prosperous real estate market. If you are a Realtor in Wisconsin who shares these views please join us. If you are not a Realtor but support these views then please join us…

Having said that, I've been railing against the Wisconsin Realtors Association for years for its partisan politics and close ties to the Republican Party. As a real estate practitioner, the worst thing I could do is poison the trust and advocacy I have as agent, with an association to one of the political parties.

Agents represent the interest of the consumer, whether they're a buyer or seller, and would prefer to be a neutral party. Believe me. From Channel3000:

Check out this scathing report tying the realtor's with Scott Walker and the John Doe Investigation.

Walker, the Liar.

I loved this moment, as much as Sly in the Morning does...from Walker's State of the State address:

Walker lied throughout his address, but the one claim that he didn't raise taxes, was one of the biggest. He raised taxes on the poor by reducing the Earned Income Tax Credit and Homestead Tax Credit. Why is that so hard for the news media to point out?

Mining Bill Anger Spills out in Assembly Gallery.

Here's what the mayhem looked like when the mining bill was being forced down the throats of a disapproving public, from Channel3000:

TMJ4: Bury the Bill: The full State Assembly has removed the gallery Thursday evening after they put up a "Bury the Bill" banner and yelled as debate on final passage of mining law continues.

As the body began arguing over the bill Thursday afternoon, demonstrators hurled obscenities at Republicans from the Assembly's overhead galleries under the cover of group coughs and throat-clearing. Someone yelled out "Fascists!"

Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha) then ordered the galleries cleared. Protesters moved from the galleries to outside the chamber, where they banged on the doors and chanted "Shame!"

Protesters in the gallery were yelling, being disruptive and shouting. Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Bill Kramer (R-Waukesha), threatened to clear the gallery, but Democrats like Representative Mark Pocan (D-Madison) spoke out about that action. "Y'all love the Second Amendment, but try the First (Amendment)...we have to start behaving a little differently here."

Pocan was referring to the drastic demand to clear the galleries, instead of just ousting the interrupters.
Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald and demonstrators continued to argue. "I'm not gonna let this institution have people, (interruptions), great people, great people, a lot of class."

Suckers all, public sold on Privatization and Profiting off “educating” Kids. Charter Schools the new poison pill.

The battle is almost over, and the days of public education are nearing an end. Vilification of teachers was their first success, portraying them as over paid and tools of their union bosses.

The second success was selling charter and voucher schools as an improvement over public education. You’ve heard it before, “parents know what’s best for their kids.” They do, except when it comes to the complex world of education reform, research on improved curriculum and teaching techniques.

Like the lazy freeloaders they are, Republicans would rather run from the hard work of education reform, to the easier solution of dumping the problem into the hands of profiteers.  The private sector will then be able to “market” their “success” like the latest new and improved abs reducer, with manipulated data and no transparency.

The following is just one story nationwide that shows a gullible public, running from the hard work of improving their schools, to sending their kids to different buildings with private educators whose failures are even more dramatic than our public schools.  I've highlighted the marketing BS:
EdWeek: More Than 1,500 Rally for Ga. School Choice: More than 1,500 students, teachers, parents and advocates of school choice stormed the Georgia Capitol on Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the state's children deserve educational options … supporters marked National School Choice Week. Similar events were held across the country. Rashaun Holliman, a former principal and activist for the Center for an Educated Georgia, told the crowd that while there are great public schools in Georgia, there are also great alternatives.

On Tuesday, state lawmakers filed a constitutional amendment to address a state Supreme Court ruling that disbanded the Georgia Charter Schools Commission last year. The amendment has bipartisan support.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers said, "Education is the great equalizer, if you have an education, you can succeed. School choice equals freedom."

John Trainor, a father of three whose children attend a charter school in Fulton County, said "Unlike every other political issue, school choice doesn't see politics, it doesn't see race, it doesn't see gender. All it sees is the success of our children."

Oh but it is all about politics. And "all it sees is" a profit. Good luck with the mob mentality of education reform…so sad.

Bad Grades for Education Managemnet Organizations. Who are they? Part of the Privatization of Education.

While Republicans demand teacher evaluations and school rankings be based on test scores, the privatization movement and managers brought in to oversee many charter schools think it’s unfair to use those same standards. Huh?

It’s all part of the upside down world of conservatism, where platitudes about freedom and liberty are thrown in to fill the space left by the lack of research and substance. “It’s what the founding fathers envisioned…blah, blah, blah.”

The public is getting suckered into believing the private sector is somehow better, like the following profit and non-profit management companies (EMO's) in the story below. The Republican narrative has been a raving success, sweeping in major minority groups sold on the snake oil promises that they have the secret to closing the achievement gap. It’s all a lie, and it’s all about making money off our kids. Is anything more deplorable?
EdWeek: The annual report, "Profiles of For-Profit and Nonprofit Education Management Organizations," whose 2010-11 edition was released this month by the National Education Policy Center, offers a mixed picture on the academic success of outside operators of public schools, as measured by their schools' ability to make adequate yearly progress, the main yardstick (the same yardstick used to bash teachers and public schools). It offers a dimmer assessment of for-profit virtual schools' performance by that oft-criticized standard.

You won’t believe how bad virtual schools look in the report.
The academic showing of the EMOs profiled in the report was uneven. Forty-eight percent of the schools run by for-profit EMOs made adequate yearly progress. Nonprofits fared better, with 56 percent of their schools making Academic Yearly Progress (AYP).

Those figures are comparable to overall public school performance … 52 percent of the nation's schools made AYP during the most recent year studied. One for-profit organization listed in the report, EdisonLearning, was found to have just 34 percent of its schools making AYP.

Not a rip roaring solution to improving our educational system, is it? But it gets worse when we look at virtual schooling, a popular Republican idea being pushed heavily in Wisconsin:
The report found that a much smaller proportion of virtual schools managed by for-profit EMOs—27 percent—made AYP. Those academic-performance figures were for full-time virtual schools … the poor performance of virtual schools was "a bit of a mystery" and a cause for concern.

As Wisconsin adopts this ideologically driven movement of failure and profit taking off the education of our kid’s, many are captured by the hypnotic language and magical promises of improve learning through the private sector. 
Dismantling this mess will be all but impossible once our public schools have disappeared.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Another Bunch of Walker Bad Apples Arrested. Just a Coincidence?

The net is closing in the droopy eyed governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker. Ed Schultz and John Nichols hash it out:

Marquette University Law School Poll finds big support for Voter ID. Really?

You know that poll that showed Scott Walker in the lead over all possible Democratic recall opponents? It seemed wrong for some reason. Well...

I’m beginning to believe we were duped, because the public can’t be this gullible in thinking we have a voter fraud problem. If Wisconsinites are this supportive voter ID, without knowing the possible problems, then we’re in big trouble as a country.

Many have blamed the poll for taking samples in highly conservative areas. Even so, are they this crazy?
AP: A new poll shows most people support a state law that requires voters to show photo identification at the ballot box starting next month. The Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday shows 66 percent of 701 registered voters favor the law. Thirty-two percent oppose it.

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature passed the law last spring, saying it was needed to combat voter fraud even though there have been few instances reported in Wisconsin.

Grothman/Vos/Ellis Bar Talk Exposes extra $200 million from somewhere for Venture Capital. Vouchers coming to Green Bay!

Bar talk, with Rep. Robin Vos, Sen. Mike Ellis and Glen Grothman, caught on video. Thanks to Rock Netroots for blogging this breaking story. 

If you can, in some way, contribute and fill in some of the blanks, we'd love to hear from you. There are some passages that are inaudible and not noted here. This is what I've been able to pick up:

Grothman: "What are you going to do about venture capital?"

Vos: "Well, there is a way to find $200 million in venture capital.

Mike Ellis: "I'd like to hear this..."

Sen. Sheila Harsdorf: "Don't they know that's a part of the state that wants (unclear)"

Grothman or Ellis: "I talked to Robin Vos last night, and he's gonna get it done without amendments. (unclear)...Fitzgerald...(said?)...'Well, my brother doesn't know if he can get enough votes.' I thought, you little bastard you...Fitzgerald brothers are the biggest grifters in the west, they play the odds, they play against each other and then they blame each other. And that's how they get...(unclear).
 School vouchers is the subject matter here, and going after the Green Bay district next:
Ellis: "It was fucked up. So we voted for a bill we didn't like, or I didn't like, votes so we could get it, so Racine could get it...You know I'm not affraid. You're going to be running (unclear), and if you need to use the Democrats, use them."

Ellis: "We've got some great school districts in the Fox Valley, the only one getting close to the margins is the Green Bay area, that's not even the Green Bay school district, it's target schools, because of the demographic disbursment. You've got Preble 
out there because of all the poor people. So what we need to do, when we're done with this bill, is modify it so that a segment of the school district may move into the program. (unclear)...Green Bay east is fine, west is fine, Preble is a sewer...they got the poverty possum, we need to not make it the entire school district, we need to make that Preble, that geographic quadrant, they are illegible like Milwaukee is for a voucher program."
From WBAY, looks like Sen. Ellis is trying to explain...the unexplainable:

State Senator Mike Ellis is under fire after he was caught calling Green Bay Preble High School "a sewer." Looking into the camera, Ellis said, "I feel it's an invasion of privacy, but that doesn't deny the fact that I made a bad choice using Preble, and I'm deeply sorry for it." Ellis's apology didn't stop Green Bay Preble parents and students from speaking out about the video. Teachers, students, and parents we spoke with say they're absolutely outraged by the senator's comments and they have no idea why he would say such a thing. A crowd of hundreds turned out at the school's library to show their solidarity and school pride Thursday afternoon. "We were quite devastated by this a lot of us. Didn't sleep well last night. We couldn't believe that one of our elected officials, someone who's in charge of coordinating millions of dollars to decide which schools they should go to, would be saying this about a school like ours," teacher Jeff Kline said.

Late Thursday afternoon, the Green Bay Area Public School District and school board released a joint statement calling Ellis's remarks "grossly insulting to the Preble students, parents, staff, and the entire Preble neighborhood … Using inflammatory, inaccurate language about our families living in poverty appears to be nothing short of an attack, not only on the Preble neighborhood but on the wider Green Bay community."

Senator Ellis responded, "Absolutely, it's a bad choice of words; I should have used a different word.

Why should Ellis have picked another word, when the one he used was the one he intended? Nice to know what our elected Republican representatives are thinking, isn't it?

Walker Staff willing to Break Law to serve their leader, on their own, behind his back?

If we were to believe Scott Walker, all the illegal activity emanating from his offices and from his appointees, were all risks taken by those individuals who couldn’t wait to break the law for the benefit of Walker.

Even as the names continue to pile up, Walker is getting a pass. It's as if “guilt through association” for some reason, doesn’t apply to Walker. Besides being a bad judge of character, Walker surrounded himself with rogue political activists. Yet Walker didn’t have a clue?
jsonline: Two staffers who worked directly for Gov. Scott Walker while he was county executive were charged Thursday with illegally doing extensive political work while being paid by taxpayers to do county jobs.

Kelly Rindfleisch, deputy chief of staff to Walker in 2010, faces four felony counts of misconduct in office for working for then-Rep. Brett Davis' 2010 campaign for lieutenant governor while on the county clock. Davis, who lost in the Republican primary, is now Walker's state Medicaid director. "In the course of the investigation, it was learned that a private e-mail network was established and operated out of the County Executive's office and that the private network was used to communicate both political campaign and government work related information to select individuals," said a press release from District Attorney John Chisholm.

Connecting the dots, Rindfleisch worked illegally for Brett Davis, who Walker secretly wanted as Lt. Governor, but lost to Rebecca Kleefisch, and was then given a post in the administration for his trouble.
Also facing two misdemeanors is Darlene Wink, Walker's one-time constituent services coordinator, who is accused of using county resources to raise money for Walker's 2010 gubernatorial bid. Wink, a former vice chair of the Milwaukee County Republican Party, resigned in May 2010 after admitting that she was spending part of her work day doing campaign work.

Walker's chief of staff, Tom Nardelli, issued a statement at the time saying that "no one in our office had any knowledge" that Wink was doing political work out of the county office.

Walker supporters are so dedicated they would willingly break the law, supposedly behind Walker’s back, to keep him and his cronies in power? Here's the coverage from Channel3000:

Business Tax Climate in Wisconsin Slips under Walker. It's Working?

I'm not an economist, so instead of getting it wildly wrong, I've posted the picture and chart showing the state business tax rankings for 2012. Oddly, with all the tax cuts and giveaways to Walker's corporate pay masters in 2011, Wisconsin lost ground in business favorability. What a mess.

Did any of this have anything to do with taxes going up on low income wage earners, or the biggest cuts to education in the nation? Or why we're seeing six straight months of job losses which almost negated any job creation numbers? And this is what Republican voters are cheering Scott Walker for?  
Wisconsin is one of the 10 worst states in terms of taxes on businesses, according to the State Business Tax Climate Index released from the Tax Foundation. It rates Wisconsin 43, down from 41 a year ago. Illinois moved most dramatically in its Index rank over the past year, falling twelve places (from 16th place in 2011 to 28th place in 2012).

What all this means in the bigger picture, after seeing all the cuts in state spending so far...who knows. But if I had to take a guess, I would say we're just starting to see the public service cuts under Walker, and a major shift in the state livability index. Forget Wisconsin, we're really in Fitzwalkerstan. 
It is obvious that the absence of a major tax is a dominant factor in vaulting many of these 10 states to the top of the rankings. Property taxes and unemployment insurance taxes are levied in every state, but there are several states that do without one or more of the major taxes: the corporate tax, the individual income tax, or the sales tax. Wyoming, Nevada and South Dakota have no corporate or individual income tax; Alaska has no individual income or state-level sales tax; Florida has no individual income tax; and New Hampshire and Montana have no sales tax. The lesson is simple: a state that raises sufficient revenue without one of the major taxes will, all things being equal, have an advantage over those states that levy every tax in the state tax collector’s arsenal.

New Voter ID Law Comes with special Secret instructions, "Don't Register Voters."

The new voter ID law also requires Special Registration Deputies (SRD) to be sworn in locally, instead of by the GAB. The SRD’s can register voters in their districts. Oh, oh. That would increase voter turnout and…we can’t have that.

The following story, from Denise Lockwood at the Caledonia Patch, is another example of attempted election fraud, and should be a warning to anyone thinking Republicans were even slightly concerned about voting integrity.
When three Racine women wanted to register voters in Caledonia, they were told they couldn't by Village Clerk Karie Torkilsen. Now, two of those women have filed complaints with the Government Accountability Board and a third will likely be filed this week.

The GAB sent a memo out to municipal clerks, warning them not to arbitrarily deny appointments of Special Registration Deputies for their communities. Reid Magney, spokesman for the GAB, acknowledged the GAB received complaints about Torkilsen. Torkilsen said the details of how clerks were supposed to manage the deputizing process were unclear to her and she needed clarification before she issued them. “So it’s new. I needed to know more about what was involved with this before I started swearing in people.”

Oh, and guess what, the three women turned away; Democrats.
Over the past few months, Nikki Aiello; Jane Witt, chair for the Democratic Party of Racine County; and Kathleen Laru had already been certified and deputized to register voters in the City of Racine, and the village of Mt. Pleasant and Sturtevant. But on separate occasions, they each went to turn in their applications to Torkilsen, who allegedly refused to deputize them when they came into Caledonia Village Hall.

Nikki Aiello said she approached Torkilsen about training classes and being deputized in November. Torkilsen allegedly said she wasn’t “going to train just anyone,” that they would not be offering training classes. “But I said, ‘That means if people can’t register until election day, that might cause a problem because if they don’t come with the things they need on election day, they wouldn’t be able to vote and she said, ‘That’s right,’” Aiello said. “I definitely did not like her tone, my impression is that she really didn’t want other people registering voters.”

Torkilsen told Patch "...(I)f people come to register at the polls and they don’t have proper ID they can vote a Provisional ballot, which will be counted as soon as they provide the proper ID … I would not have told her ‘That’s right. They would not be able to vote.’”
Oh but it doesn't end there:
Witt said she requested to be sworn in early January. “(Torkilsen) said, ‘I don’t want everyone registering people all over the place, I don’t have control over this process’ and she refused to swear me in,” Witt said. “I was floored.” But Laru, who went to the Village Hall on Jan. 23, said she wasn’t asked her name, if she was certified or if she had any training when she came to the Caledonia Village Hall. Laru said Torkilsen told her she will not certify “random people.” “She immediately said she wasn’t going to certify me,” Laru said. “She didn’t say anything about checking things out first. Had she said that, I would have waited to turn in my complaint… But she turned me down flat.”

Walker's State of the State Spins out of Control, and out of Reality.

I just couldn't go through the Walker state of the state bullshit. The lies and spin made my head spin. Who knows, his loyal followers probably thought it was a wonderful speech, and sure showed recallers how wrong they were. Actually, my conservative friend did call and say just that.

Here's Ed Schultz with State Sen. Lena Taylor on the speech and a few of the louder protests.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poll Results for Kohl's Senate Seat.

A new poll shows ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson has the highest name recognition and the most favorable ratings in Wisconsin's U.S. Senate race.

But the Marquette University Law School poll released on Wednesday shows the public is largely unfamiliar with the candidates who want to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Herb Kohl.

The poll shows 49 percent think favorably of Thompson compared to 31 percent who don't. Other Republicans include former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann, who has a 27 percent favorable rating and 18 percent unfavorable.

Fifteen percent view Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald favorably, while 18 percent were unfavorable. Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin had a 23 percent favorable rating compared to 21 percent unfavorable.

Rep. Robin Vos: "I understand the other sides job is to continually tear down Wisconsin."

Rep. Robin Vos is a classic authoritarian wise ass, that deserves another beer bath, maybe more. What is it with Republican projection?

In this interview, Vos is asked by WISC host Mark Koehn, "So it's full speed ahead, no reconciliation here?"  

Vos' answer will if anything, fire up recall supporters, and burned an unforgettable image in your mind. Maybe even convince a few conservative voters to change their minds.
Vos: "I think the reconciliation is already happening. I think as we look all across Wisconsin...we saw a poll out today that showed Gov. Walker clearly in the lead over two potential Democratic challengers."

Need I transcribe more?

Rep. Peter Barca nails Vos' jobs numbers and well rehearsed talking points. I think we need to stop trying to seem needy, so willing to work the together.

It's time to wash down the marked territory left by the Walker regime.

Racine Can't Afford to Keep Street Lights on after Walker Budget Cuts.

The continuing stream of nightmarish Walker budgeting stories will eventually turn public opinion against him, and may even have a major effect in the recall. The tragic story below is only the beginning of course, where cities and towns will have to deal with an administration more concerned with pleasing business than giving a damn about the people in this state. 

Racine is starting to turn out street lights to save money after Walker's cuts. The same thing happened in Clintonville. And this is the greatest, richest country in the world? Fox 6: 

Crews in Racine spent Wednesday taking down several street lights! It's a measure meant to save money, but some residents are trying to stop it, citing safety concerns. 

Candice Gloede is one of many Racine residents who have signed a petition to stop the removal of street lights. Her block alone is set to lose two street lights, and she feels this is unacceptable. "When the bar's full on Friday and Saturday nights, and there's tons and tons of cars on the street, more break-ins, more kids getting injured. It just doesn't make any sense to me," Gloede said.

Racine lost more than $3 million in state funding this year. The elimination of nearly 500 street lights throughout the city is only a small part of much larger cuts, saving around $80,000 per year. Racine Mayor John Dickert says these street lights won't be back anytime soon. "There is not enough money. The fact is, these cuts will become the norm, as long as this type of budgeting from the state keeps coming down to the cities," Dickert said.  "It's not good for any of us. We don't like it, but the fact is, this is what we have to do," Dickert said.