Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Lori Compas takes on Fitzgerald.

You have got to love her fight. From Channel3000:

Check out how she took on Sen. Scott Fitzgerald over his accusation that Compas was committing fraud on her recall petitions. Ed Schultz reports:

Sen. Dale Schultz won't strip out environmental regs in Mining Bill

Sure he's a Republicans, but I admire his sincerity and concern, qualities his fellow conservatives seem to have lost. From WKOW and Channel3000:

Nanny State Republican Glenn Grothman threatens defunding Child Abuse Board if it won't attack single parents.

Small government Republicans? Don't make me laugh. Know-it-all politicians like Sen. Glenn Grothman managed to twist statistics encompassing a number of factors into just one, single parents. What does Grothman really want, state mandated match making or marriage?

Big government Grothman will gladly use the force of the state to get his way:
WKOW: Sen. Glenn Grothman has sat on the state's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board for the last three years. But the West Bend Republican says he has never been able to get them to emphasize "There's a factor there of about 9 to 1, 8 to 1, more likely to be abused if you're raised by a single parent with a partner, compared to raised by biological parents." Sen. Grothman testified on behalf of SB 507, a bill he authored.

Mary Anne Snyder, the Prevention Board's Executive Director, told them that the problem isn't quite that simple. "Risk factors for child maltreatment as identified in research certainly include single parenthood," said Snyder.  "But they also include parental substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence."

Madison City Alder Lisa Subeck "This is about healthy relationships, its not about marriage.  So, I find this bill, quite frankly, insulting."
But there's one other zealot legislator involved that needs to be addressed here:
Sen. Pam Galloway, the chair for public health, says they could vote and approve this as early as Friday to send it on to the full senate.
If anyone deserves to be recalled, it's Galloway. She's willing to hastily pass Grothman's pathetic attack on single parents, but for god knows what reason, she is also willing to hold up a bill to protect school kids from concussions. Are we governed by complete lunatics?:
TMJ4: Keeping kids safe is becoming a political game. A new law to protect athletes after concussions is getting held up. The future of this legislation to protect young athletes rests in one woman's hands at this point. The bill is stuck in a state Senate committee. Only the chair can move it forward, and so far, she's refused to do so. All because of one woman -- state Senator Pam Galloway. She needs to schedule a vote for it to move on, and so far, she's refused.

Wisconsin Right to Life better shut the hell up, or be consistent.

What a lunatic hypocrite.

Babbling freak Barbara Lyons, Executive Director of the fringe group Wisconsin Right to Life is applauding the passage of H.R. 452 in the congress, a bill that would “repeal the widely-criticized Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) created by President Obama’s health care law.”

According to Lyons, Obama’s big government health care mandate will result in rationing. This low life zealot got so bent out of shape over it that she sent out a press release stating in print a total lie. She created this fiction:
The IPAB consists of 15 unelected bureaucrats who are empowered to limit health care using “quality” and “efficiency” measures on health care providers, disqualifying the providers if they prescribe more life- saving medical treatments than permitted by IPAB. 
It’s an advisory board, does not have the force of law, and has no power to ban or stop anything. 

But Lyons found comfort with the following lawmakers quote:
Rep. Joe Pitts, chair of the subcommittee, “It is merely another example of valuing centralized decision-making by government appointed experts over judgments that should be made between a doctor and patient.
Sorry guys, you blew it. Lyons and Rep. Pitts better double check the hypocrisy meter for not complaining about this "centralized decision-making by government"…
VIRGINIA’S GENERAL ASSEMBLY has taken upon itself the task of ordering up procedures between women and their doctors — specifically, ultrasounds for women seeking abortions. The purpose of this exercise in coercion is to discourage women from ending their pregnancies. Forced on the legislature by anti-abortion lawmakers, nearly all of them Republicans, it is a prime example of ideology, nanny-state paternalism and arrogance trumping plain good sense.

It substitutes a mandate for a doctor’s judgment, so that the government will require ultrasounds even … the state will now make no allowance for a doctor’s discretion. And because the legislation mandates a waiting period of two to 24 hours between an ultrasound and an abortion, women will be hit with needless child-care costs and forced to take days off work … original version of the legislation, which would have required women seeking abortions to undergo transvaginal ultrasounds whether or not they consented.  
Lyons should clarify her position before making any further statements. 

Vouchers will take, and then take more taxpayer money, with no accountability, thanks to Walker and the Fitzgerald's

Voucher school corruption, their failure rate numbers and substandard test results is just a few reasons Walker removed statewide accountability testing in a new state wide standard. 

This is a test; will rabid conservative voters who hate wasting money on public schools, which by the way are accountable to them, be happy with exempting voucher schools from any standard at all? 

This will prove conservative anger has nothing to do with improving education, but everything to do with killing public schools. If no one speaks out, we'll know.
Post Crescent: Voucher schools were originally part of the new accountability system agreed to by lawmakers, the governor's office and the Department of Public Instruction. Then, when push came to shove, Republican lawmakers pulled voucher schools out of the mix … A school accountability system that accesses public schools and private voucher schools lets taxpayers know how effectively their tax dollars are being used. If charter and voucher schools are getting money from the state to operate, then the public must understand how well they're doing.
I guess that assumption isn’t true after all. I wonder if they'll ever be told the voucher testing had ended. If anything, the free market school brochures containing their best sales pitch they can muster, will be all an "informed" parent will ever need. 

Dumb Ron Johnson shows how dumb he really is!!!

This guy is a Wisconsin embarrassment. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Social Security isn’t part of our deficit problem. It has over $2.5 trillion in savings, borrowed from yes, but a massive surplus. If Johnson has a problem with paying the IOU’s back, he can make his case as to why he wants to stiff Americans.

So our state’s stupid senator looked dumber than ever when this happened:
WRN: The US Senate Armed Services Committee takes a look at the 2013 proposed Pentagon budget, in which President Obama wants to cut $32 billion with additional cost trimming the following years. During a hearing Tuesday, Wisconsin’s Ron Johnson notes defense spending continues to shrink: from 43 percent in the 1960s, to next year’s 16 percent.

Johnson asked Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, why the President has no proposed plan to save Social Security, a program facing ballooning costs in coming years.

“If I was an OMD Director I could engage with you on that. I’m the defense secretary and that’s what I focus on,” said Panetta. 
OMG. Ron Johnson is tea party dumb. 

In memory of the Davy Jones, 66.

Davy Jones was to perform in the state mid March.
"The only thing we can do is confirm that he has died of a heart attack at Indiantown, Florida this morning," his rep Helen Kensick told Fox News.
Here's a recent 2011 performance, captured by an audience member, that sounds pretty good and includes great shots of the three reunited Monkees on stage. Jones sings "Daydream Believer."

Ryan Mischaracterizes Auto Loan's, Doesn’t consider State Loss of Auto Manufacturing Important.

Like the title says, Rep. Paul Ryan made one hell of a miscalculation about Wisconsin’s hard hit auto plant closings. He also couldn't resist backhanding and abandoning the working class families that relied on those jobs. 

Sorry Paul, we still want to bring those jobs back, in a big way.
Charlie Rose asked Ryan about the auto bailout, which has particular resonance in Michigan. "Should that be an issue? And should the voters look at [critics] of the bailout and say, 'We had an economic bailout of the auto companies and look what happened? Profits are up and they're both doing well'?" Rose asked.

"Well, if you give any company tens of billions of dollars and wipe their debt off the books, I would expect them to do well," Ryan said.
The government never “gave” the auto industry money, but it did LOAN them some, which they paid back. Ryan supported those “bailouts,” although it sure doesn’t sound like cares much about it now.

Ryan also doesn’t have time to talk up GM and Chrysler’s new found success, and encourage them to return to Janesville and Kenosha, where workers there would welcome a chance at manufacturing cars again:
"I think it's a big issue in Michigan; I'm not sure that it's a big issue in the rest of the country. In my hometown of Jamesville and Kenosha that I represent, we lost our auto plants. So where we come from in auto country, we don't see them as great success stories because we had plant shutdowns irrespective of those bailouts."
And Paul Ryan is the guy we want out there promoting Wisconsin’s hard working middle class? It looks like Ryan has moved on from creating those kind of jobs.  

Public Education Convulses in Racine, Parents Powerless.

If you don’t read any further than this paragraph, I want to ask you to watch the video below as the perfect example of just what is happening to education in our state, and country. It will prove to you the public has no actual input into education anymore. You’ll also see how open enrollment and vouchers are picking the meat of the bones of what’s left of the public education carcass. I hope you have time to read the rest…

Walker’s “tools” were a onetime fix that delayed the upcoming public education bloodletting for one year. Ideologically exuberant district superintendents couldn’t wait to do away with the work involved in teacher negotiations, all the while pushing their own agenda of privatization.
As much as your nearest Republicans neighbor might say otherwise, school districts aren’t in better shape after utilizing Scott Walker’s tools to rein in the cost of education. Walker’s rules are doing just what Republican legislators knew would happen. The end result?

Public schools are about to become too expensive. The maintenance of existing school district infrastructure will crush public schools. That’s why we’re seeing schools close all over the state. But the Walker plan unfortunately is gaining public support because of a nationwide campaign to sell “choice” as a parental empowerment. The ad campaign is working.

But if choice empowers parents, then why are these same parents so angry in the Racine school district? From the Caledonia Patch, and reporter Denise Lockwood, this heart sinking display of public passion;  

Racine Unified administrators got an earful of questions and concerns about a redistricting proposal that calls for closing Wind Point and Goodland elementary schools. At the meeting Ann Laing, acting superintendent of the Racine Unified School District, told about 100 staff, parents and students that she'd rather not have to close the schools. Still, she laid out the administration’s rationale behind the proposal, but the district’s financial problems have remained an issue. The reality is the district is facing a $6.5 million shortfall.  And although Laing said she didn’t want to close the schools, this option is much more palatable than laying off more teachers.

But even still, that might happen too, she warned. “It’s up to the Board to make a decision about what they want to do with this, but they need to make a decision because if they don’t make this decision soon, logistically we can’t make changes for the next school year,” Laing said.
Think about this too; why would private schools want to fill the void of public schools if state funding is getting slashed? That would mean fewer taxpayer dollars for them too, right? Perhaps private schools will get much of their funding through corporate sponsorship, like in a few other states, carrying out their “free market” corporate curriculum. Could corporate indoctrination of our kids be a part of the plan? I know, it sounds like a sequel to the first two Wall Street movies. 

Wasting a generation with Charter, Private and Virtual Schools.

Another damning report on virtual schools. More money pits with profit margins and deep pockets to take more of our taxpayer money.
EdWeek: In our Feb. 22 issue, I wrote about the increased scrutiny on K12 Inc., a for-profit virtual charter schools operator that's been the subject of damning media reports and studies in recent months … But, as the Associated Press reports, a Senate education committee specifically removed virtual schools from the bill, and heard some fairly harsh criticism in the process. State Superintendent Tom Burnham: "The data is going to tell you over and over that expecting young people to work independently, your rate of success is not going to be very good. " Nancy Loome, executive director of the Parents' Campaign: "We cannot afford to let someone in with such a history.  They are the worst of the worst." The bill, sans virtual schools, passed the Senate.

Florida is considering a bill that would send tax dollars typically reserved for public school construction and maintenance costs to charter schools. The Miami Herald reported the larger charter school managers, some for-profit companies that contract to nonprofit entities, would receive millions, even though they already possess millions in existing cash assets. The money would come out of the school district's budget … that money (used) to pay off bond debt. The charter school community there said the money is necessary for the schools to stay open and expand.

In Ohio, a judge recently ruled that White Hat Management, a for-profit charter school operator, is a "public official" because most of its operational costs are paid for by public dollars. As a result, the company must disclose more of its financial records. (White Hat-managed schools have a checkered history; some have closed and four of six new schools the company attempted to open were not sponsored last week by the state department of education.)

Along with Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Oregon, and Tennessee, Iowa recently passed a law making online schooling more accessible. Due to the recent scrutiny of online schools—most notably a critical New York Times article and a National Education Policy Center report that cited adequate yearly progress well below traditional schools—some of those states are taking second looks at online schools.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today that the Waukesha School District, in Wisconsin, is allowing its contract with K12 Inc. for a virtual school there to expire, in order to start its own virtual school.) On Thursday, the California Charter Schools Association released a report showing that virtual schools are more likely to be among the lowest-performing charter schools in the state than brick-and-mortar charter schools. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Nine Felony Counts for Recall Petition Fraud. Details Sketchy.

The plot thickens over the forged signatures on the Wanggaard recall petition, and we may find out more March 13 or soon thereafter.

What we know right now; the recall organizer claims they don't know the guy, Mark Demet, who committed the fraud. The recall committee assumes it was done to call into question the petitions legitimacy. On top of that, it was the Racine area tea party that turned Demet in, with the help of the Demet's brother. So what made Mark Demet do what he did?

Reporter Denise Lockwood at the Caledonia Patch has been all over this.
A man accused of falsely writing in signatures on a petition to recall state Sen. Van Wanggaard — including one from a deceased person — faces nine felony charges. Mark Demet, 59, of Racine, has been charged by the Racine County District Attorney's Office with two felony counts of election fraud/nomination certification and seven felony counts of misappropriating identifying information for financial gain. If convicted on all charges, Demet faces up to 42 years in prison and fines up to $90,000. According to the criminal complaint, Demet admitted that he circulated the petition and signed the names of seven people on the petition. Investigators spoke to six of the people whose names appeared on the list to verify that they had not signed the petition.

Randy Brandt, treasurer for the Committee to Recall Van Wanggaard, said Demet might have been planted to discredit the recall effort, but the criminal complaint doesn’t address that issue.

Ironically, a Wisconsin Tea Party member put two and two together in identifying the falsified signatures. Citizens for Responsible Government of Racine is a blog written by Ken Brown, who is an active Racine County Tea Party member. Brown said he has a business relationship with Jeff Demet, Mark's brother. When he saw Jeff Demet's name on the petitions, he believed that Jeff didn't sign the petition (his name was listed four times) because the two had talked about politics. So he called Jeff. "(Jeff) was pretty mad," Brown said. "I asked him if he knew this guy, Mark. He said, 'Yeah, he's my crazy brother.'" Brown turned over the information to the Racine County District Attorney's Office.

PPP Poll Results for Walker Recall!

TPM: According to the new survey from Public Policy Polling, Walker starts out in trouble on a key number: His approval rating is 47%, to disapproval of 52%. Walker himself is the issue for now, with his support in each match-up hovering around the same 47% approval figure.

“These are the most encouraging numbers we’ve found for Democrats in Wisconsin related to the Walker recall since last August,” writes PPP president Dean Debnam.
Former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk edges Walker by 48%-47%

Sen. Kathleen Vinehout trails Walker by 46%-44%
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, leads Walker in this poll by 49%-46%.

Secretary of State Doug La Follette trails Walker 46%-45%.

Walker edges state House Minority Leader Peter Barca by 48%-46%

Walker edges State Sen. Jon Erpenbach by 47%-44%

Walker edges former longtime Congressman David Obey by 47%-45%.

Congressman Ron Kind edges Walker by 46%-45%.

Former U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold would lead Walker by a clear majority, at 52%-45%.

Obama inspires, on message in speech to auto workers.

I loved this speech Obama gave to about 1,600 current and retired autoworkers. If I don’t get the video interview soon, at least this transcript will get his message out:
"If we had turned our backs on you; if America had thrown in the towel; GM and Chrysler wouldn't exist today. The suppliers and distributors that get their business from those companies would have died off, too. Then even Ford could have gone down as well. Production: shut down. Factories: shuttered. Once proud companies chopped up and sold off for scraps. And all of you - the men and women who built these companies with your own hands — would've been hung out to dry. These jobs are worth more than just a paycheck. They're a source of pride. They're a ticket to a middle-class life. They make it possible to own a home, to raise kids and send them to college, to retire. These companies are worth more than just the cars they build. They're a symbol of American innovation; the source of our manufacturing might. And if that's not worth fighting for, what is? So no, we were not going to take a knee and do nothing. We were not going to give up on your jobs, your families, and your communities. This notion that we should have let the auto industry die; that we should pursue anti-worker policies in hopes unions like yours will unravel — it's part of that same old you're-on-your-own philosophy that says we should just leave everyone to fend for themselves."

"It's been funny to watch some of these politicians completely rewrite history now that you're back on your feet. These are the folks who said if we went forward with our plan to rescue Detroit, 'you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.' Now they're saying they were right all along. Or worse, they're saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that's a load of you-know-what. About 700,000 retirees saw a reduction in the health care benefits they had earned. Many of you saw hours reduced, or pay and wages scaled back. You gave up some of your rights as workers. Promises were made to you over the years that you gave up for the sake and survival of this industry, its workers, and their families. You want to talk about values? Hard work — that's a value. Looking out for one another — that's a value. But they're still talking about you as if you're some greedy special interest that needs to be beaten. Since when are hardworking men and women special interests? Since when is the idea that we look out for each other a bad thing?"

Cheating website: "I feel guilty that I don't feel guilty."

See what happens when you skip over the commercials. You just missed the latest ad. You've come a long way...? From TMJ4:

In the greater Milwaukee area, more than 38,000 people are seeking out a secret, sexual relationship with someone that's not their spouse, according to one website. That's how many clients on claim to be from our area. The site's motto -- life's too short, have an affair.

Milwaukee ranks in the top 25 cities for the number of users. The controversial website is known for its risque commercials, promoting risky behavior: cheating. "My marriage had been very lonely for a very long time," said one cheater. Another said, "sometimes i feel guilty that i don't feel guilty."

Psychotherapist Judy Bruett says more and more woman are cheating -- unsatisfied with their husbands.

One Ashley Madison user has had three sexual affairs. Relationships found online, that she says makes her marriage successful. "Although I would love to say that my husband is all of those things for me, knowing that he's not and he probably can't be all of those things for me, i have found what i need elsewhere," said another cheater.

Drug Test Welfare Recipients: Constitutional Conservatives push unconstitutional agenda.

The constitution means what Republicans think it means, or should mean at the time.
Foxnews: Conservatives who say welfare recipients should have to pass a drug test to receive government assistance have momentum on their side ... Mitt Romney saying it's an "excellent idea."

Nearly two dozen states are considering plans this session that would make drug testing mandatory for welfare recipients, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. And Wyoming lawmakers advanced such a proposal this week.

Driving the measures is a perception that people on public assistance are misusing the funds and that cutting off their benefits would save money for tight state budgets -- even as statistics have largely proved both notions untrue.

"The idea, from Joe Taxpayer is, `I don't mind helping you out, but you need to show that you're looking for work, or better yet that you're employed, and that you're drug and alcohol free,"' said Wyoming Republican House Speaker Ed Buchanan on Friday.

Even after the courts have already ruled on the unconstitutionality of the law, the right wing oddly expects a different result. What is that the definition of...hmm, I wonder.
Supporters are pushing the measures despite warnings from opponents that courts have struck down similar programs, ruling that the plans amount to an unconstitutional to search of people who have done nothing more than seek help.

Walker delusional; thinks Democrats take orders like Republicans.

Gov. Scott Walker's knotted stomach can't hide the fear you can see in his sociopathic droopy eyes, and the quiver in his nasally voice. Here are some classic but tiring Walkerisms:
Walker: "Our opponent is going to be out-of-state money coming from the big government union bosses..."
Notice how the two oldest negative GOP terms, big government and union bosses, are joined for effect? This has gone beyond color by numbers...
Walker: "Their going to dictate who and what happens with that election more than any candidate. So we've said all along that we've got to counter that with the truth, and the truth is the reforms are working."
Job losses 6 straight months, only a few thousand created total, and no perceptible change in the influx of corporate persons...I mean business. Walker's bad case of "projection" assumes Democrats take orders from union bosses like Republicans take orders from Big Oil, Big Pharma and Big Banks.

Question: "Do you think this will be an election that'll turn on social issues..."

Walker: "...overwhelmingly the issue is about the economy, it's about fiscal restraint, and it's about freedom in the truest sense. And to me people want more freedom, they want government to get out of the way, they want the government to get out of their businesses, ah er, to get out of their chances for prosperity."
Of course Walker stumbled in his effort to avoid mentioning his strong support for every social issue coming out of the state legislature.
Walker: "What we saw in our state is that when we pulled back and got government out of the way, we went from 3 years of losing 150,000 private sector jobs to gaining jobs...our unemployment rate went down..." 
Again, the previous "3 years" included the Great Recession, that's why there were job losses. The last 10 months of the Doyle administration saw 12,000 jobs created, that lasted into the first six months of the Walker administration, numbers Walker like to take credit for. .

Gov. O'Malley shows other Democrats how to talk to Republicans.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley trashes Virginia's "transvaginal ultrasound probe" Gov. Bob McDonnell for his states hard right political turn, and while he's at it, slips in Wisconsin's job loss record. This is how Democrats need to take on Republicans.

Parents Fined for Kids Misbehavior in Charter Schools. This is just the beginning...

Even Ed Schultz noticed this one. I've been covering what has been happening in charter schools for years, and demonstrating how this alternative system is slowing becoming more and more  corrupt.

Not only are charter schools demanding higher tuition fees from taxpayers, mostly behind the scenes to fatten their profit margins, but according to the story below, they're nicking parents with fines for behavior infractions committed by their kids. It's becoming quite profitable for schools, even though parents can't afford the fines, and kids continue to make mistakes because they're kids.

Do we really need another system to watch over?

Rick Santorum Proposes Conservative Indoctrination Studies in College. That's the Ticket.

This is about Rich Santorum's attack on college education. Eugene Robinson rightfully asked what parent is going to buy into Santorum's message that their kids don't need to go to college like they did. No parent would want less for their kids than what they achieved in life. This attack is nothing new. It's just a continuation.

David Horowitz has all but crawled back under his rock after failing to convince people there was a need for the "academic bill of rights." His attacks on liberals, college professors and higher education were the rantings of a lunatic. His entourage of body guards kept the latte sippers away, but also provided him the opportunity to claim to be a targeted victim of the radical left.

Now we have Rick Santorum following in Horowitz's footsteps. Here's Santorum trying to convince viewers that "conservative studies," or indoctrination, should be introduced to add balance. Does he think we're stupid?

Rachel Maddow explains:
When Rick Santorum argued recently against public education … higher ed insisting the other day that President Obama only wants to help young people go to college so they can undergo "indoctrination." In 2008, the former senator argued that Satan had succeeded in his attacks on academia.

As Kevin Drum put it, "It's commonplace for movement conservatives to believe that universities are dens of depravity and radical left indoctrination. But as far as I know, most of them don't believe that efforts to get more kids into college are motivated by a desire to destroy their faith. That's a step beyond even normal wingnut land."

My larger concern is the trajectory of Santorum's rhetoric: if access to college degrees is itself a culture-war issue, and Republicans start arguing en masse that policymakers need not prioritize higher ed as a national value, the consequences for the country and the economy could prove to be significant.

Matt Yglesias explained this morning, "[T]he fact is that America has historically been the richest country on the planet because we've invested in being the best-educated country on the planet. In recent decades, we've seen the pace slow down markedly … the emergence of a block of people so driven by resentment of college professors that they want to abandon the goal of improving American education is a disturbing trend."

Incidentally, if Santorum believes publicly-funded universities may need to start requiring "intellectual diversity" on campus, how in the world would that work? And what about students whose ideologies change during their academic careers?
Or this from CNN's LZ Granderson:
But the rest of us look at "Slick Rick's" college degree, law degree and MBA, the fact that he's sending his kids to college and owns at least six properties, and has earned millions, and wonder -- What is he talking about? Virtually every socioeconomic study looking at the intersection of income and education shows a direct correlation between the two. For Santorum to vilify higher education for political gain -- while obviously benefiting from attending universities -- is embarrassing. 

It wasn't the Great Recession that pushed people into poverty, killed jobs, it was Obama?

I wish I could forward this perfect example of “projection” to everyone who still thinks the Great Recession was caused by liberal policies and poor home owners taking bankers for a ride. Oh, and now we’re being told it's all Obama fault.

The following is the false narrative pushed by the right wing, summed up perfectly in this Marc Thiessen Washington Post piece. Even though everything written here was caused by the Republican Party’s platform of capitalism and deregulation, Thiessen isn't embarrassed to even bring this stuff up. It's the old Jedi mind trick:
Republicans should be turning Obama’s income-inequality attack around on him. They should be saying: Mr. President, your policies exacerbate income inequality. Since you took office, 2.6 million Americans have fallen beneath the poverty line. Government dependency is at an all-time high. Nearly 13 million are unemployed, and millions more are under-employed — working part time because they can’t find a full-time job. Still others have simply given up on finding a job and dropped out of the work force entirely. Our problem isn’t income inequality; it’s income stagnation. The message should be: Mr. President, you’re responsible for this. You are making income inequality worse.
I know, it's breathlessly stupid. Some quick math; the number of Americans in poverty, who are dependent on government programs, is directly related to the Great Recession. That did happened, right? Corporate outsourcing of middle class jobs has also depleted the American work force, so it makes sense that it's harder to find employment. Oh, and Democrats predicted this.
That’s why this is a blatant case of projection;  a psychological defense mechanism where a person subconsciously denies his or her own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, usually to other people.-wikipedia

In the alternate universe inhabited by the now all consuming tea party nation, wishful proclamations that they want to see everyone’s income rise is nothing short of insulting. Hey, thanks for the happy thoughts.  
Unlike the president, conservatives don’t want to divide up a shrinking economic pie more equitably. We want to grow the pie so everyone gets a bigger slice. We want to see everyone’s income rise. And truth is, when the economy is growing, and incomes are rising, no one cares about income inequality. 
Catch that last line? Like Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Jedi mind trick, “no one cares about income inequality.”

Walker wants out-of-state funded Verify the Recall to throw out recall signatures.

Would you trust the tea party group Verify the Recall to knock off about 15,000 Wisconsinites signatures from the recall petitions? That's the number they say they have so far. Not only that, they also claim only about 800,000 signatures came in, and not the 1 million reported by the recall groups.

With that in mind, according to this WKOW 27 News report, Scott Walker would like the GAB to consider Verify the Recall's analysis. Can you imagine the uproar if Move On was asked to provide their analysis if the shoe were on the other foot?

It's says a lot that Gov. Walker would turn to an out of state group, funding a local Racine tea party organization, to verify the signatures.

From Channel3000 comes this surreal report about the frustrated Walker supporters who have worked so hard to toss out the signatures of their fellow citizens. They're not happy, but they think something even bigger is in play right now. What that is...who knows. For Walker's campaign to simply say they ran out of time, after stamping their feet and claiming signature fraud in the press for months, is not just bizarre but revealing. They think they can win, now that they have instituted voter ID. And they're hoping redistricting will have locked in the needed conservative votes. Not to mention corporate out of state money from...the Koch's.

Here's an excellent report from WTDY's Dylan Brogan about Verify the Recall's plans to "muddy the water." Also check out Democratic Party of Wisconsin's Graeme Zielinski's shots at our incompetent governor with Sly in the Morning.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Finally, a Liberal "Voice" up North!

North central Wisconsin, Wausau has it's own progressive radio station now, at least during the day. WXCO, 1230 the Voice, has the following line-up:

We're talking AM, so reception outta Wausau is anybody's guess. If anyone is up there and has a chance to test the coverage, let me know. 

Thanks to Middle Wisconsin for the tip.

Car Vandalism Suspicious.

I don't know if I've stumbled onto something or not, but in the video report below from WKOW 27, you'll notice on the bumper of one of the cars vandalized with a BB gun, a blue fist sticker. A number of car's windows were shot out around town. Did the vehicles have evidence of the owners political leanings?

I have a call into to the Madison police department and will be checking to see if there is any possible connection to the cars targeted. Maybe it's nothing.

Walker again the victim, pleads, begs for his job on Morning Joe.

Walker's new angle; driving home the idea that it's such a waste to spend $9 million on a frivolous recall election. How low can Walker go....?
Walker: "Think of the number of kids we could help."
 Also check out a clip of the latest Democratic Party of Wisconsin ad:

Here's the whole ad:

Republicans want to raise your taxes!!! The focus group tested term? “Skin in the Game.”

Say it with me; Republicans want to raise your taxes!!! Republicans want to raise your taxes.

That would mean the majority of American’s will see their taxes go up dramatically if the Republicans “skin in the game” plan becomes policy.

They want to raise your taxes. Really. They're even telling us that we deserve a tax increase. 

The earned income tax credit is now being reframed as welfare, government money “handed out” to families who didn’t earn what they're getting back. Wisconsin Republicans said just that when they reduced the credit. 
The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit primarily for individuals and families who have low to moderate earned income … When the tax credit exceeds the amount of taxes owed, it results in a tax refund
It was a terrific idea way back in 1975, even for Ronald Reagan:
Enacted in 1975, the initially modest EIC has been expanded … the Reagan Tax Reform Act of 1986, and was further expanded in 1990, 1993, and 2001.
Here's a how Sly in the Morning, at WTDY 1670, framed the issue using the psycho rantings of conservative talker Vicki McKenna:

And it's not just McKenna either. Neil Cavuto and his fellow band of conservative thieves are working off the same script; they’re demanding that even the poor have some “skin in the game.”

Republicans want to raise your taxes, or “Skin in the game” = “Raise your taxes.”

If Cavuto is anything, he's crystal clear about the conservative attempt to repackage what we would normally call a tax increase. Is asking the poor for anything, even a dollar, really a serious suggestion. It's a policy based purely on envy and class warfare in the same class. 

So what’s the end game? If the poor pay something, what will they get in return? A tax increase for the wealthy? What does happen when the poor and middle class have skin in the game?

What changes?  

Walker won't challenge recall on!!?

According to Wispolitics:
Gov. Scott Walker will not challenge any of the signatures filed against him because his campaign did not have enough time to review the more than 150,000 pages filed seeking his recall, a spokeswoman said. Walker faced a deadline today to file challenges after a Dane County judge granted him a 20-day extension beyond the 10 days allotted under state law. Walker also sought an additional two weeks but was turned down.

"We faced an impossible timeline," said Walker spokeswoman Ciara Matthews.

Matthews declined comment when asked if the campaign would appeal the ruling denying additional time beyond the original extension. She said the campaign will rely on the GAB to strike fraudulent signatures instead of filing any challenges.
Sly in the Morning talked with John Nichols about all the possibilities, including moving the recall election along to avoid any possible negative turn in the John Doe investigation:

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Transvaginal Ultrasound Probe Government Mandated Health Care?

We hear it all the time about Obama's Affordable Care Act; it's a government take over, requiring coverage people don't want. Right?

So what do the Republican hypocrites do to "walk the walk?" They get between the patient and doctor requiring an unnecessary procedure. They couldn't have been more flagrant going against everything they've ever said for the past 40 years. Only lately did it occrue to the press or Democrats that this was big government health Republicans.

It's the end of their argument. Done. Toast. Next time they start whining about "government health care" ask them about the trans-vaginal ultrasound probe they tried to force on patients. Rachel says it perfectly!

Here's one of the years most disgusting displays of juvenile bullying by a Republican lawmaker yet. Virginia's own knuckle dragger David Albo. This is the kind of government conservative voters are looking for?

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Waukesha's Cheapskate capitol Brookfield takes it's chances with Tornado's.

Not much to say about this show of utterly cheap stupidity, and recklessness. Tightwads in the wealthy community of Brookfield wouldn't upgrade their alarm system, and instead will leave those cell phone deprived losers who are not listening to a radio or watching TV, to fend for themselves.  Just a tip; I hear tornado's sound like freight trains coming. There are so many holes in their thinking that it almost doesn’t seem real. Go Walker. WISC Channel3000:

Brookfield, a suburb of Milwaukee, is getting rid of its tornado sirens. City officials said the main reason for the elimination is cost.

The federal government is mandating that warning systems get upgrades, which would cost $100,000. The 38,000 residents in Brookfield will rely on cellphone text alerts.

Brookfield cannot afford this, so the City Council voted to shut down the system that some residents describe as a "Cold War-era relic."
A public alarm system is a Cold War relic, and another example of freedom and liberty? 

Friday, February 24, 2012

What better reason do you need to recall Sen. Pam Galloway; She's Holding up a School Sports Concussion Law! This is literally a no brainer!!

Every parent with a child in school must be out of their minds over the stunt Sen. Pam Galloway is pulling, when it comes to a state wide policy that would protects their kids from sports related concussions.

This is pure ideology over the safety of our kids, period. Galloway’ tea party agenda; freedom and liberty mean no rules, no protections, you take your chances and oh, don’t bother me.

It’s not an overstatement to say she’s flat out dangerous, when you consider that she’s been unresponsive to reporters, and won’t explain why she’s holding up the law in the committee. She chairs the Senate Committee on Public Health, Human Services, and Revenue. Even more egregious; Galloway is a board certified surgeon?

And Galloway has nothing to say. Hey, no one said your kid had to take a sport.

This ruthless stunt is a powerful reason to replace Galloway’s tea party lunacy with recall challenger Donna Seidel. I’m mean really, holding up a policy to put in special protections for children participating in sports from concussions?
TMJ4: Keeping kids safe is becoming a political game. A new law to protect athletes after concussions is getting held up. The future of this legislation to protect young athletes rests in one woman's hands at this point. The bill is stuck in a state Senate committee. Only the chair can move it forward, and so far, she's refused to do so. All because of one woman -- state Senator Pam Galloway. She needs to schedule a vote for it to move on, and so far, she's refused.

TODAY'S TMJ4 talked to an aide at her office.  He said he'd give her the message -- but TODAY'S TMJ4 never heard back.

TODAY'S TMJ4 tried her at home.  "Hi, this message is for Senator Galloway, my name is Keller Russell, I'm a reporter with TMJ4 in Milwaukee."

And by e-mail -- still nothing. Former Packer Mark Tauscher held a news conference earlier this week in favor of this bill.

If you think this is important legislation that needs to be passed -- you can email state Senator Galloway here

If Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus couldn't handle an election, why should we trust her with a Gun?

So how is Waukesha's bumbling incompetent, and election fraud professional, Kathy Nickolaus been doing lately. I thought she would have been voted out by now...but instead, she's now armed and seriously dangerous.
Elaine Boldt is a member of Girls with Guns, a no-fee group for women who share a passion for what they call the shooting sport.  Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus heard about it and joined in on the fun. “I’m able to meet other women that are also going to go through that class on concealed carry and understand how to use a gun properly, I think that’s important," said Nickolaus. 
Nicholaus should have been as determined to "understand how to" run an election properly, because "that's important" too isn't it? 58 News:

Walker's pathetic fight with Illinois

Milwaukee's Fox 6's Mike Lowe put together another great report, this time about the bizarre rivalry created by Gov. Walker with the state of Illinois. This is a must see, and a revealing look at how petty Walker is when it comes to his neighbor to the south. Lowe is even handed, even a little confrontational with Walker:
Lowe: "Your policies haven't exactly brought political stability to Wisconsin either, have they?"

Walker: "Well, you see there's a difference. I always say, ah, temporary, ah, political instability, eh, if it leads to long term fiscal sanity and economic security, ah, it's worth it."
He always says that? Of course Illinois has a whole set of different problems. There's so much more. You can see the video below, or check out the story at Fox 6.

John Nichols: Why David Koch is Guilty of Illegally Using Americans for Prosperity to Campaign for Walker.

I heard John Nichols mention the following on Sly in the Morning, so I'm kind of glad he wrote about in the Nation, because it saves me the work of transcribing it: 
Billionaire campaign donor David Koch has rarely spoken in public about the central role he has played in the election of Scott Walker as governor of Wisconsin … But Americans for Prosperity and its foundation could not campaign openly for Walker or other candidates, as they are tax exempt organizations operating under laws that protect civic and educational charities.

So it was incredible when David Koch admitted in an interview with the Palm Beach Post that he planned to support Walker with spending by AFP. “We’re helping him, as we should,” Koch said of Walker. “We’ve gotten pretty good at this over the years. We’ve spent a lot of money in Wisconsin. We’re going to spend more.” The Post added: “By ‘we’ he says he means Americans for Prosperity, which is spending about $700,000 on an ‘It’s working’ television ad buy in the state.”

Could Koch really be admitting to a violation for the Internal Revenue Service code? On the Koch Industries website, a statement by Koch several days later said that: “as the Palm Beach Post story indicated, my comments concerning support for Governor Walker related solely to Americans for Prosperity and its activities in Wisconsin.”

Complaints have been filed with the IRS and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board alleging—in the words of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin“illegal use of tax exempt status by billionaire David Koch.” There is no question that, based on what Koch has said, the complaints are legitimate. 
There's more details in the story, so might want to check out the whole article.

Song: Paul Ryan's Lies

For your enjoyment, the song Paul Ryan's Lies, discovered by the folks at Sly in the Morning. Originally just an audio track with no artist credit, the video here is something I basically threw together, with a bunch of Ryan pictures, so I could post it.

Absolutely no production value whatsoever. I just liked the song.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

GOP Candidates for Senate Seat Promise Cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Yeah?

Are these guys kidding? 
Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald says he is a fresh face who promises to make the same tough decisions in the U.S. Senate that he made in the Legislature.
Like he's done so well in Wisconsin over the last year? All three candidates plead their case in the short clip below, all promising to shift the cost of "entitlement" programs from the government to individuals with no means to absorb it, and promising tax cuts for Americans who saw their earnings take a hit. Wow, thank you very much. 

But the worst was Tommy Thompson, who sat back in his chair like some fat lazy elitist, suggesting the world owed him the senate seat. What a slob.

jsonline: Former congressman Mark Neumann says if he is elected to the U.S. Senate he will be focused on cutting spending, lowering taxes and balancing the federal budget.

And former governor Tommy Thompson says, if elected, he will be a builder and a doer who will find common ground with Democrats in the U.S. Senate in order to solve the nation's problems.

Appearing separately Thursday before the Wisconsin Newspaper Association/Associated Press Convention and Trade Show, the three Republican candidates skipped personal attacks and instead outlined their political philosophies.

Voting Integrity Watchdog Rep. Joel Kleefisch found out as hypocrite, and Lawsuit over voter ID filed.

Rep. Joel Kleefisch voted for absent Republicans on the floor of the chamber, and the video tape of his act went viral. Remember, these are the guys protecting the integrity of the vote, except on the floor of the assembly. That clip is included in the video below. 

On top of that, the Advancement Project filed a lawsuit today challenging the states voter ID law. Al Sharpton talked to co-director Judith Browne-Dianis and the plaintiffs daughter Debra Crawford: 

CapTimes: A Capitol insider tells me it’s not an uncommon practice, done by members of both parties. There are not rules that forbid casting proxy votes, as long as the legislator is present somewhere in the chamber, say, the bathroom. In addition, legislators have the opportunity to review their votes as part of the legislative process to guard against any monkey business.

But after all the GOP’s recent carping about voter fraud and the passage of the voter ID law, the video provides GOP critics with a little ammunition for payback.

Don't make Big Business Cry? Wisconsin Club for Growth desperate, throws juvenile tantrum over New Mining Bill

Want to take a trip down the rabbit hole? Check out this outlandish response from the spoiled little bully in the corner we know at Wisconsin Club for Growth:
jsonoline: The Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative advocacy organization, is taking on Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center) for his efforts to alter proposed mining regulations: "Let’s get straight to the point: If the opportunity for iron mining, more than a billion dollars in private-sector investment, and thousands of quality jobs in mining, manufacturing, and ancillary businesses that would last for decades, go swirling down the drain in Wisconsin, you can chalk up the entire fiasco to the efforts of one man: State Senator Dale W. Schultz, R (for RINO), Richland Center."
Thereeee insane!!!  I’m surprised they just didn’t spray paint it on the side of the Capitol.

But just as belligerent and nonsensical is their statement about Schultz’s redistricting plans. Should I assume these are actual adults making comments like this from the Wisconsin Club for Growth?
"Just to clarify, derailing the mining bill and making redistricting even worse are about neither mining nor redistricting. They’re about pandering for favorable attention from the liberal media, a full-time preoccupation for Schultz since he first became a legislator in 1982."
20 years in office might mean he's doing something right? And the reward for "pandering for favorable attention from the liberal media is...?" What is gods name are they ranting about? Should we be scared now? I guess we now know how fair those redistricting maps were.

Is David Koch Violating Campaign Law after admitting his group Americans for Prosperity is helping Scott Walker's Recall Election?

An interesting legal question has been suggested by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s Mike Tate; after David Koch admitted that through his front group Americans for Prosperity, and he’s aiding Scott Walker in his recall election, are his ads illegal even though they don’t endorse the candidate?
jsonline: In response to billionaire David Koch's statements over the weekend, Democratic Party Chairman Michael Tate is calling on 19 Wisconsin television stations to pull ads by Americans for Prosperity. Tate said Democrats were also filing complaints with the Internal Revenue Service and the Government Accountability Board.

Koch told the Palm Beach Post that he had spent a lot of money, via Americans for Prosperity, and intends to spend more to help Gov. Scott Walker fend off a recall drive. Tate said Koch's statements indicated that Americans for Prosperity was violating the law because nonprofits cannot directly advocate for a particular candidate or campaign. "The ad that has resulted from this illegal coordination, which mimics the language of Scott Walker's campaign, is therefore the fruit of the poisoned tree," Tate said.
From WKOW 27 News:

Concussion Awareness Law for School Kids Opposed by some Republicans. Like Recalled Sen. Pam Galloway for instance.

Can anyone honestly oppose a proposed concussion law for school children, because it shouldn't be a "one size fits all" solution? That's what recall bait Sen. Pam "guns" Galloway said, believe it or not. Need any other reason to give her the pink slip? WKOW and Tony Galli:

jsonline: A host of medical and sports professionals spoke Wednesday in support of a bill that would direct the state Department of Public Instruction, in conjunction with the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, to develop guidelines and other information to educate coaches and athletes and their parents about the risk of concussion and head injury in youth athletic activities, including club sports.

The measure would require that a person who is suspected of suffering a concussion or head injury in a youth athletic activity be removed from the activity immediately. That person would not be able to return to the field until he or she has been evaluated by a trained health care provider.

A bill by Rep. Jason Fields (D-Milwaukee) passed easily in the Assembly but is languishing in the Senate. Sen. Alberta Darling, who has sponsored a similar bill in the Senate, acknowledged, there were members of her own party who had expressed reservations that the bill was an example of government inserting itself in people's lives. "We don't want to be a nanny state," Darling said.
I wish they were kidding. Again, this is the freedom and liberty Republicans are pushing…your right as a child to get a concussion and still play in the game. No rules, no medical attention. Good idea conservative parents? 

Maybe I’m not getting it, but what is Galloway talking about when she says she wants to avoid a “one size fits all” approach for childhood concussions?
Sen. Pam Galloway said she would work to avoid a one-size-fits-all approach.

Former Green Bay Packers offensive tackle Mark Tauscher, a native son who played his entire football career in Wisconsin, said the bill provided protection to young athletes.

Walker Leads Midwest in Mass Layoffs.

Rep. Brett Hulsey said it best: "Wisconsin leading the region with 6,014 layoffs in January clearly shows that Governor Walker’s backwards agenda is not working.” 

Mail to get slower? Thank you Republicans for moving us...forward?

Thanks to the efforts of the Republican Party, we now will be losing distribution centers in Wisconsin. Last time this happened, rural area residents screamed bloody murder and got the attention of their Republican lawmakers, Rep. James Sensenbrenner and Paul Ryan, who put a stop to the closings when customers found out their mail would be day late.

So will that happen this time? Probably.

Again, thanks to the Republicans rabid hatred of the constitutionally created mail system, for forcing them to pay 75 years in advance into their pensions, and breaking their backs.   
WKOW: The U.S. Postal Service is moving several Wisconsin processing and distribution facility operations, including the one in Portage. The Postal Service says Portage mail processing will go to Madison; Kenosha's will be moved to Milwaukee; La Crosse and Eau Claire will be moved to St. Paul, Minnesota; and Wausau's will move to Green Bay. Right now, there is no word on when the consolidations will take place. The retail operations at the facilities will remain open.

Rep. Steve Nass shreds First Amendment, Censors Art and Political Speech.

Who was it that said the corporations have already won, leaving the rest of us to fight over their crumbs? They appear to be right.

Rep. Steve Nass is your typical idea challenged conservative thug, an anti-education zealot that collects a pay check for a freeloading agenda that offers no solutions, but an awful lot of rage.

He also is committing censorship and getting away with it, because he can. And all we can do is helplessly watch?
The Progressive: Mike Konopacki, a labor cartoonist who was working on the “Art in Protest” event, is not happy about this outcome … “I’m getting e-mails from artists who are saying, ‘What the hell is going on?’ This is a direct attack on freedom of speech, on freedom of expression, on academic freedom, and on labor education,” says Konopacki. “We were celebrating all the art and creativity that people come up with at these protests. It’s beautiful stuff. We’ve had the largest outpouring of protests in the state’s history, and the School for Workers is not allowed to display this?”

Konopacki is worried that the Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature want to kill the School for Workers … “The School of Workers survived McCarthyism,” he says. “It may not survive Walker.”
This is government censorship. This is government intimidation that results in censorship. Political art work was considered free speech once. Yet why isn’t something being done to stop this legally? The reason is simple; the school can be dismantled for opposing the “authority.” The school can’t join with a legal representative without sealing their own fate. This is what oppression looks like.

Here's Konopacki with Sly in the Morning with the amazing details:

Nass’ chief of staff seems to have forgotten the whole point of our university system, and instead feigns concern over the “appropriate” timing of the exhibit:
Mike Mikalsen, Rep. Nass’s chief of staff: “There are people from both sides of the issue who are paying taxes, and the question was whether this was an appropriate activity for the university … And the timing was a question. We’re just going into a recall election. Was this something the UW Extension wanted to get into at this point in time?”
There’s an appropriate time for freedom and liberty? When one is side going for broke and the other side is begging for compromise and a seat at the table, is there any question who would likely be on the winning side?

I know, it’s hard to hide my frustration with the Democratic Party. 

Paul Ryan's Desperate Support of the Contraception Flap and challenger Rob Zerban calls him out!!!

Paul Ryan has been frustrated by the trouble he's had tearing Medicare apart. If you've seen any of the video clips here at Democurmudgeon, like the one below, you might have noticed Ryan's preoccupation with dismantling Medicare. It's Ryan's focal point for god knows what reason. Sure it's a costly program, but come on, we've known for years the baby boomers were going to strain the system. Heck, Reagan and Alan Greenspan put together the surplus fund for that purpose.

But last Sunday Ryan threw the Hail Mary, giving up on his failed plan and hitched his wagon to the "religious freedom" zealots. Check out Ryan's transparent attempt to sound sincere about the trumped up contraception controversy. Ryan knows that this issue alone has the ability to tear all health care coverage into shreds. While he struggles to take on a social issue, he also appears to drool over the possibility this might kill health care:

Ryan's challenger Rob Zerban (zer-BON) not only takes on the contraception issue, but sounds light years ahead of Ryan on the economy. Here's Zerban's interview with Sly in the Morning. Zerban is a small business man that knows economics better than any career politician like Ryan, and his take on the pathetic rantings of Ryan's multiple phony positions is easy to understand, and not the least bit wonkishly obscure:

This reminderWomen's health groups will be gathering outside Rep. Ryan's Janesville office tomorrow (Friday, 2/24) at noon to tell Ryan to Let Women Speak! Join them, click here.