Saturday, March 31, 2012

Tamper Proof Touch Screen Voting in Wisconsin?

Brad Blog would have a field day with this story.

Titled “Touch Screen Voting Easy and Fool-Proof,” the Caledonia Patch’s Denise Lockwood took a look at the new voting gadget machines in Mt. Pleasant. They also have an interesting paper trail for recount purposes. For machine brand wonks, it's by Sequoia Voting Systems, Inc. (now owned and distributed by Dominion Voting ).

You should be interested to know the machines can be easily hacked back in 2010, as explained at Truthout:
This is your Sequoia touch-screen voting machine with Pac-Man hacked onto it without disturbing any of the "tamper-evident" seals supposedly meant to protect it from hackers... "The software can be replaced without breaking any of these seals, simply by removing screws and opening the case."
I did a search but couldn't find the latest scoop on newer machines, so if anyone can point us to a recent article, we would appreciate that. Meanwhile, in Mt. Pleasant:  

While the machines are initially expensive, touch screen voting pays off in the long run because of the cost reductions from not having to print ballots or pay poll workers for hours of tabulating. Linda Fonk, a chief poll inspector in Mount Pleasant, demonstrates how to use a touch screen voting machine.

A Quick look at the Recall Election....

Here's great coverage of the recall election underway from Rachel Maddow, she's so thorough:

Here's Ed with the Progressive Magazines Ruth Conniff:

Ryan says Discretionary Spending Out of Control under Obama? Guess not.

According to the CBO projections, discretionary spending is declining big time. But Paul Ryan says the country is near collapse. It looks more like Ryan is on his own little ego trip to a time 50 years ago when the country, and business climate, was a whole lot smaller. The graph tells the complete story:

So what would happen to job creation under Ryan's plan, compared to the just released Congressional Progressive Caucus budget? According to EPI

Did Ayn Rand say that....

...yes! Does this jibe with Paul Ryan's economic austerity plan?
It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master. Ayn Rand (ein Rand)
Paul Ryan revealed.

Wisconsin GOP gives up our Facebook passwords, continue oil subsidies, block FCC consumer protections/Campaign disclosures, and ignore Post Office. That's Freedom?

Thanks to Rock Netroots for reminding me of one of the more interesting parts of the Saturday newspaper, Roll Call. What it says about each party’s vision of America is right there in our representatives and senators votes. It’s revealing, and kind of scary:

On the House side: The odd part of the House vote to make the FCC put together a cost-benefit analysis, needless paper work when making rules for the telecommunication industry, is that an analysis would have nothing to do with protecting consumers in the marketplace. Money is not the issue. Voting yes to keep the FCC from doing its job: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble. Baldwin, Kind, Moore sided with consumers.

Ah, fleeting freedom. There’s big talk on the right about “freedom,” yet in the work place, that all ends. Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble all gave up a citizen’s right to freedom at work, where they spend most of their time. Our kingly job creators can demand Facebook passwords from their employees. It’s kind of like being free in the eyes of the government, yet not so free anywhere else. Voting to allow companies to obtain worker passwords as a condition of employment-Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble. Voting to keep an employers eyes out of our personal lives: Baldwin, Kind, Moore

Our new Aristocrats: We already know government is transforming into the ultimate class of elitists, with every new millionaire candidate stepping up to the challenge, so why should the rabble know who’s helping paying their way in? When it comes to campaign advertising disclosures, Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble refused “to require it to all who give $10,000 or more to fund political ads on broadcast, cable, satellite or radio outlets” - Voting to disclose: Baldwin, Kind, Moore. 

On the Senate side: I can’t figure this one out at all. Dumb Ron Johnson voted against “advancing a bill aimed at returning the U.S. Postal Service profitability by 2015 (which) in part, would end Saturday deliveries, close many post offices and cut payroll, retirement and health care costs. He voted not to make it profitable. Okay…Voting to keep the Post Office in service, as required by the constitution-Herb Kohl.

Big oil won again when Ron Johnson and his fellow Republicans filibustered a bill to end tax breaks worth $24 billion over 10 years for Chevron, BP, Shell, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil, and use the savings to spur consumption of non-fossil fuels. Voting to end the subsidies that even the oil industry said they don’t need anymore, Herb Kohl. Maybe Johnson didn’t see the hearings where big oil admitted subsidies were unnecessary. .

The March to the Right and Beyond....

I’m posting this for one reason; to show how far conservatives have been allowed to go, thanks to an uncritical press. We wouldn’t be in this place had the media and the opposition party been able to stand up against, what can only be described now as, the radical right wing. The blames should also go to those fearful Republican voters who believe in all this lunacy. It's not just a few crazies either.

This is about where the Republican Tea Party will eventually go from here, since we know the checks and balances are gone.

click to enlarge
For example; the right wings odd fascination with Ron Paul. Check out the screen capture below of a Facebook post by a Paul supporter (the date of the post is not revealed in either of the stories at Addicting Info or News One). This isn’t the first time we’ve seen or heard these kinds of “suggestions” before, and I’m wondering how many years it will be before any of this is acted on.  

After all, here's what's taken place in the last three years: Conservatives showed up at protests wearing loaded guns and assault weapons, a presidential debate crowd cheered letting an uninsured sick person die, or a sitting Supreme Court Justice say the government should un-obligate itself from providing medical services to those who cannot pay? Oh, and corporations are people, my friends.
Jules Manson, a former candidate for city council in Carson, California and enthusiastic Ron Paul supporter wrote “Assassinate the f#@#en n-word and his monkey children” in a Facebook post. Manson says “I may be an atheist but Ron Paul is my God.” 

Republicans Make Health Care Reform Seem Almost Impossible.

Health care is one of the biggest issues this country will ever face, and that includes the thousands of families who are bankrupted every year for a simple illness. It hurts and kills people, all the while crushing businesses and lowering take home pay for consumers.

Republicans are fine with that because it helps make their case that safety nets cost too much and that insurance companies need to make a profit. Instead of a Medicare for all solution, like most countries, they would like to experiment with every Americans life by trying a free market profit driven system. And a company can't make a profit spending money on making people well, can they? 

I found the commentary below from Moneyed Politicians to be right on the mark. It’s all so simple, yet impossible for Republicans to grasp:
Jack E. Lohman: Taiwan experts traveled the world looking for the best healthcare model to copy for their own country, and settled on (drum-roll please), America’s Medicare system. With 100% private doctors and hospitals, only with government payment rather than insurance company and employer payment.

And it works! With better health outcomes than ours (because they cover 100% of their citizens) they implemented it at a total cost of 7% of GDP.(Our costs are 17.5% of GDP with insurance company profits and administration!) And they relieved employers from the cost of providing health care, and allowed 100% portability for employees wanting to change jobs or start new businesses. What’s not to like about that?

100% in, 0% out-Everybody is covered at less than half our costs, because they’ve eliminated the middleman. Instead of insurers taking 20% off the top and distributing the rest, a government’s private contractor distributes the money. 100% of today’s inflated costs are passed onto consumers, if not through premiums then certainly when businesses add their healthcare costs to the price of their product and we reimburse them at the cash register … employers … taking their jobs to places like Taiwan, where their system does not penalize employers. And all of this so our politicians can give their insurer-friends 20% of the pie? Duh!!!

Eric Hovde blames high gas prices on social safety nets. Give those up, and we can buy gas more often.

It's amazing how many Republican candidates and politicians want to be "honest" and speak frankly to the people they serve...the ones they're about to throw under the bus. Hey, they're just being honest....

Take the next big talking know-it-all Republicans candidate for congress Eric Hovde. He's going to lower the gas prices at the pump blah, blah, blah. Only there's one problem, he doesn't mention the world market or speculation. Oops, did he forget? No, he just wants to get rid of Medicare, Social Security and the Affordable Care Act. 
Brookfield Patch: It should come as no surprise that career politicians like Barack Obama aren’t being honest with the American people when they talk about gas prices.

Gas prices have doubled since the president took office. Instead of aggressively pursuing solutions that will ease your pain at the pump and help achieve American energy independence, President Obama and his allies in Congress are writing off the meteoric rise in gas prices as a product of tensions in the Middle East. Their logic is disingenuous, their rhetoric is dishonest, and the consequences of their inaction are having a devastating effect on the pocketbooks of Americans nationwide. 

Just like dumb Ron Johnson’s idiotic reason to become a senator (so he could kill health care for all), Eric Hovde is either just as dumb, or so wildly free market that he just doesn't get it. I sometimes wonder if these reckless idea’s spring up from their power lunches or happy hour pontifications. Hint; “speculation?” 
Middle East tensions have existed for decades, but gas hasn’t always cost $4 per gallon. That is because the rise in gas prices is not being dictated by dictators; instead, it is a byproduct of the federal government’s massive debt and deficits … Sadly, far too many of our leaders in Washington either don’t understand this correlation or are unwilling to be honest with the American people. It is due time that those who we elect to be our voice have a level of economic competency and speak frankly while pursuing solutions that will solve our problems today… 
Well then that rules out our “nothing to lose” millionaire candidate.

Is the Walker recall a big thing nationally?

Liked this Bloomberg/Businessweek Headline.....

Harlon Carter and George Zimmerman

The story involves former NRA leader Harlon Carter, who in 1977 took control of the National Rifle Association (NRA) during the "Cincinnati Revolution" and turned the organization into a no-compromise, highly partisan entity that embraces extreme positions on the Second Amendment and gun policy.
Four years after he took power, the press uncovered a disturbing fact about Carter. On March 3, 1931, a 17-year-old Carter shot and killed 15-year-old Ramón Casiano in Laredo, Texas. After returning home from school that day, Carter was told by his mother that there were three Latino youths loitering near the family's property. Carter left his house, shotgun in tow, to confront them. After finding Casiano and his two companions at a nearby swimming hole, Carter pointed his shotgun at them and ordered them to come with him. Casiano refused, pulled out a knife, and asked Carter if he would like to fight. Carter then pointed the shotgun at Casiano. Casiano laughed and brushed the gun aside while taking a step back. Carter asked Casiano, "You don't think I'd use it?" and then fatally shot him in the chest. After initialy being convicted of murder, Carter was able to successfully appeal and get the case thrown out.

The similarities to the murder of Trayvon Martin are obvious and the NRA again stands at the center of controversy because of their authorship of the "Stand Your Ground" law that has allowed George Zimmerman to remain a free—and armed—man.
The sick connection between the former NRA leader and George Zimmerman is another good example of the fanaticism of the NRA leadership. Is it any wonder that they're membership often disagrees with the party line, not to mention how small it is compared to the number gun owners at large.

La Pierre, who probably learned a great deal from Harlon Carter, employs rhetoric that couldn't possibly appeal to normal people. His ranting about the possible problem they'll face during Obama's second term is so full of lies and distortions that no rational, thinking member could possible accept it.

But apparently some do.  Even around here, how many times do our antagonists claim that we want to take ALL the guns away?  How often to they liken my version of gun control to Prohibition?

Unfortunately these convenient misconceptions run deep.  They make the  pro-gun argument sound better that it really is.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Karl Rove's Obama Spy ad and DNC's Mitt and Ryan Match Made in Heaven ad.

Karl Rove's American Crossroads ad bashing Obama's open mic moment, is actually so over the top it's funny, and a parody of a James Bond trailer. 

Not to be out done, the DNC put out there own Romney/Ryan ad:
DNC: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan share a clear vision for the future - ending Medicare as we know it so that millionaires and billionaires can get a tax cut, and paying for it with deep budget cuts that cost jobs and hurt average Americans, especially seniors, veterans, and children.

Scalia's advice to our health care problem cruel and sick.

And you thought the presidential debate crowd that cheered the death of a poor and needy person who couldn't afford health care was cruel, check out the ultimate inhumanity pouring from Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. The Daily Show came up with the audio:

When Scalia was presented with the reality that our society felt obligated to help even those who needed medical help, but didn't have insurance, he had this response:
Scalia: "Well don't obligate yourself." 
I'll bet most Americans probably never thought society would take this kind of ugly turn. The movie "Road Warrior" doesn't seem as fictional or impossible anymore.

Olbermann fired from Current TV, plans to sue.

I had heard there were some problems at current TV with Keith Olbermann, but who would have guessed they go so far as to dump him. Some of the reasons:

HuffingtonPost: The news of Olbermann's termination was first reported by the New York Times' Brian Stelter. A source told Politico that Olbermann was fired for breach of contract, saying that he had "sabotaged" the network. Howard Kurtz reported that Olbermann had begun refusing to toss to other peoples' shows or appear in advertisements with them.
Here's the pieced together tweets from Olbermann explaining the situation:
I'd like to apologize to my viewers and my staff for the failure of Current TV. Editorially, Countdown had never been better. But for more than a year I have been imploring Al Gore and Joel Hyatt to resolve our issues internally, while I've been not publicizing my complaints, and keeping the show alive for the sake of its loyal viewers and even more loyal staff. Nevertheless, Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt, instead of abiding by their promises and obligations and investing in a quality news program, finally thought it was more economical to try to get out of my contract. It goes almost without saying that the claims against me in Current's statement are untrue and will be proved so in the legal actions I will be filing against them presently. To understand Mr. Hyatt’s “values of respect, openness, collegiality and loyalty,” I encourage you to read of a previous occasion Mr. Hyatt found himself in court for having unjustly fired an employee. That employee’s name was Clarence B. Cain. In due course, the truth of the ethics of Mr. Gore and Mr. Hyatt will come out. For now, it is important only to again acknowledge that joining them was a sincere and well-intentioned gesture on my part, but in retrospect a foolish one. That lack of judgment is mine and mine alone, and I apologize again for it.

Olbermann's lawyer, Patricia Glaser, told Deadline he would be suing. "[Current] can expect a bad a result," she said.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Unions win back two parts of Walker's Act 10.

You take your wins where you can get them.

The unconstitutional parts of Scott Walker’s attack on unions, Act 10, turned on the Citizens United decision. Money is free speech, and that my friend just reinstated a unions right to collect dues.
jsonline: A federal judge in Madison on Friday ruled that portions of Act 10 - which removed most collective bargaining for most public employees - are unconstitutional. U.S. District Judge William Conley found that the two changes - annual recertification and a ban on automatic dues deduction - violated the First Amendment rights of the affected workers.

"The court would be remiss not to at least note the likely burden the annual recertification process imposes on the members' speech and association rights," he wrote.
For great coverage on this, check out Uppity Wisconsin.  

From Channel3000:

Conservative Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke loses Courthouse Guard Privatization Plan.

For some reason, Milwaukee voters put their faith in an over the edge, authoritarian conservative sheriff by the name of David Clarke. This guy is a sharply partisan fringe character that should be tossed out of office. Ever since his operating budget was severely cut, he’s been throwing a bully tantrum, even cutting security for a recent Barack Obama visit. Get a load of what he’s trashing now:
jsonline: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke plan to privatize courtroom bailiffs won't fly - at least not for now. Judge Dominic D'Amato ruled that Clarke could not place private security guards in courtrooms, a move the sheriff had already started by issuing a $1.4 million contract with G4S Secure Solutions. The firm, formerly known as Wackenhut, is an international company that provides personnel and technology services.
Here’s a brief history of Wackenhut (check out their drinking party):
Wackenhut's surveillance services were fined in 1999 by a federal district court in Alabama for illegal wire tapping, theft of business documents and corporate sabotage. Mr. Wackenhut, a fervent right-winger, made his money in the 1950s creating dossiers on suspected communists, achieving by 1966 over four million files, or one for every 46 adults in the country. Wackenhut would allow the CIA to occupy positions within the company [in order to carry out] clandistine operations." Wackenhut was also involved in illegal US operations in Central America. Wackenhut is known for providing muscle and force against organized labor and protesters. Their armed guards have beaten protesters at nuclear sites for the Department of Energy. Scott Walker awarded a contract to Wackenhut guarding the Milwaukee County Courthouse (which was later overturned leaving the county with a big legal bill and back pay).
Clarke talks about his "power" all the time:
Clarke argued that he had the power to hire the G4S guards as an emergency stopgap and wanted that to avoid paying full-time bailiffs overtime.

Roy Felber, president of the Deputy Sherrif's Association, said Friday the ruling was "a big win for us. I'm very disgusted that we are trying to privatize law enforcement." Private security guards would be loyal to their company, not to the county.

The bailiff ruling was the second court case this week to go against Clarke. On Tuesday, another judge ordered the county to pay legal fees for two sheriff's captains fighting to be reinstated to their old duties.

On the Military Budget Cuts, Paul Ryan thinks: "We don't think the generals are giving us their true advice."

So far, Paul Ryan came out today and endorsed Mitt Romney and didn't rule out an interest in the vice presidential spot. But get a load of the following video clip.

According to Ryan, all the generals are lying, or are being coerced into saying something Obama wanted them to say.
Paul Ryan: "We don't think the generals believe that their budget is really the right budget."
The "we" is really Paul Ryan.

Ryan repeats "What I believe..." and "I think..." a number of times. What is clear;  it doesn't matter what other people say, because what really matters is only what Paul Ryan believes or thinks.

At least one general wrote back to Ryan and told him what he believes. Here's Rachel Maddow:

Fake Primary Democrats, Again?

Where are the Republican voters, on their party's decision to run "FAKE" Democrats again in the upcoming recall primaries? Is this really a sign of confidence? Does this ethically cut it with conservative business owners and families? Is the lust for power and idea of spending taxpayer money on phony primary opponents okay with their fellow Republicans. Didn't they just criticized the recall elections as costly and a waste of taxpayer money? 

I guess conservative voters uproarious endorsement of what is truly an unmistakable authoritarian power grab, says it all about the radical nature of their citizen army of brownshirts.   

Wisconsin can become a Wind Energy State, creating jobs and energy profits.

As we all know, energy producing states are in a much better position to control their own destiny and balance their budgets. Texas excluded.

So what it Wisconsin had plentiful oil deposits? Who web e shouting drill baby drill? Sure. What if instead of oil ridges dotting our beautiful landscape, we could build 450 foot wind turbines, and put them way out off the Lake Michigan shoreline, just visible on the horizon? 

We have the capacity to produce our own energy, and massive amounts of it. Whether you’re into climate change or not, the wind is ours to use, power homes and businesses, and makes a profit. Not bad really. This could our own version of Texas tea. Yet Republicans in our legislature can’t wrap their little bitty minds around it;
Madisoncom: The Obama administration and five states have reached an agreement to speed up approval of offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes, which have been delayed by cost concerns and public opposition.

Under the deal, state and federal agencies will craft a blueprint for speeding regulatory review of proposed wind farms without sacrificing environmental and safety standards. The Great Lakes have no offshore wind turbines … Critics say they would ruin spectacular vistas, lower shoreline property values and harm birds and fish.
But there are vast stretches of shoreline with no homes. And again, wind turbines would be far enough off the shore that they’ll appear small on the horizon. But take a look at the power it will generate:
The region's offshore winds could generate more than 700 gigawatts, one-fifth of all potential wind energy nationwide. Each gigawatt of offshore wind could power 300,000 homes while reducing demand for electricity from coal, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colo.
And jobs?
Harnessing only a small portion of the Great Lakes' offshore wind could generate thousands of jobs, officials said.
What's the hold up? We’ve got to sign onto an agreement:
Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania signed the agreement. The other three states with Great Lakes coastlines, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, declined invitations but could join the partnership later. The agreement is modeled after another between the federal government and Eastern states designed to support wind energy production in the Atlantic and encourage investment in new offshore wind technology.

Elliot Fineman on the State of Gun Control

Last week we posted the video from Al Jazeera's Inside Story, in which Elliot Fineman of the National Gun Victims' Council made several very good points.

1. Reminiscent of my continual harping on the fact that all the guns used in crime were once owned by law-abiding gun owners, Elliot said, "every criminal was once a law abiding citizen."

The connection between law-abiding gun owners and criminal gun owners is blurred, it's a gray area. I call the inhabitants of that gray area, "hidden criminals," but what Mr. Fineman reminds us is that some of the solid law-abiding types also flow over to the other side. This happens through all the social ills which I outlined in my Famous 10%.

2. The element of surprise is what makes concealed carry an exercise in futility.  The example given was when President Reagan was shot by John Hinkley Jr., the disturbed young man was able to get all six shots off before he was stopped by the secret service. Even surrounded by professional body guards, an untrained person like that could get away with an attempted assassination.

Jared Loughner was another more recent example and one with better marksmanship.

Gun owners are fooling themselves that carrying a gun will save the day.  It's far more likely that the gun they carry will one day be misused in some way than that it will save a life.

3. Elliot Fineman mentioned a study which uncovered the fact that 25% of guns manufactured go to criminals. I've said this for years, now I learn that there is evidence for what seems to be simple common sense.  Criminals get their guns through unregulated private sales, theft and straw purchasing, all of which could be either eradicated or severely diminished through proper gun control.  But the NRA and the gun manufacturers don't want that because it would cut into their business by a whopping 25%.

4. In the UK, lawfully owned handguns are a thing of the past.  Civilians for the most part cannot own them.  The criminals, however can and do acquire them on the black market. The result is an extremely low gun murder rate compared to the US. The few murders they do have are obviously being committed by criminal gun owners.

Mr. Fineman drew an interesting conclusion from this.  In the United States, if we could somehow remove all the guns from the civilian population, like England did, we too would have the low gun murder rate, with that lower number of murders being committed by criminals.  The rest are being done by so-called lawful gun owners.

This obviously gets back to the gray area and the concept of "hidden criminals." Truly law-abiding citizens obviously do not go around killing people, but the gun owning public is not limited to just these types of responsible people. That's why we need strict gun control.

What's your opinion?  Please leave a comment.

Voucher's Fail Racine Unified School District. Rep. Robin Vos says give it 5 to 10 years!!

While voucher proponents have tantrums about how flawed the testing results were for Milwaukee Public, charter and voucher schools (they were not), an even more dramatic example of privatization failure is taking place in the Racine Unified School District that cannot be ignored:
Journal Times: Students who attended private schools on vouchers, instead of Racine Unified schools … performed more poorly than their district peers on the Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Exam. In Math, Racine Unified public students averaged 61.5 percent, as opposed to the voucher student average of 50.8 percent proficient or advanced on the WKCE math tests. The statewide average was 78 percent, and for economically disadvantaged students it was 64.7 percent.   
In reading, the private school choice students from Unified averaged 55.7 percent proficient or advanced compared with the district average of 69.2 percent. The statewide average was 81.9 percent proficiency in reading and 70.5 percent for economically disadvantaged students.
When opposite day leader Rep. Robin Vos saw the ridiculously low voucher school student scores, he naturally went into 2X spin cycle mode, taking a shot at…public schools:
Vos: "What these test results prove is that Unified failed them."
Huh? Vos is quick to give the standard explanation for any failed Republicans policy; give it time. You know, the same kind of time they gave Obama to get us out of the Great Recession, or the time Walker gave Gov. Doyle. Like the spiritual medium Tangina in Poltergeist said, “Now hold on to yourselves. [Tangina's tone becomes more cautious] There's one more thing.”
“Those students now have a better chance at a good education. I think it will be five to 10 years before we can consistently say a child who goes to a choice school has a better chance for success.”
It’s also nice to know Vos is willing to sacrifice the kids of proud parents everywhere for an empty political promise that children, not born yet, will do better someday. As for helping poor inner city kids with vouchers:
Unified Superintendent Ann Laing noted the family household income limit to be in the program is $67,000, which she said is considerably greater than the city of Racine family median income.
 Oops, didn’t think anyone noticed that, did you Vos?

Santorum's Mysterious Stump Gaffe in Janesville!

Blue Cheddar found an interesting clip of a Rick Santorum speech in Janesville, Wiscsonsin. In what can only be described as an odd verbal stumble, Santorum made this bizarre slip of the tongue:
“We know what Obama was like, the anti war, government nig-gah”
What two words was Santorum pairing together here? Context wise, it doesn't exactly fit in with his full statement shown below, which I've edited together for length:

I don't usually post slips of the tongue, but this moment of Santorum clarity stood out. What word is Santorum reaching for with "nig-gah?" Any reasonable suggestions?

GAB Data Base won't Include Addresses.

Kind of a moot point now, since we are forever stuck with the right wings “Verify the Recall” blacklist signature site, but the GAB will skip tying addresses’ to the the signers names.

Still for me, signing a recall petition is no different than casting a vote. So why post any of this at all? We need to stop the this new wave of McCarthyism, by legislating an end to this open invitation to intimidate. I’m open to anyone who can make the case for the other side. Any suggestions?
Mary Spicuzza ‏ @MSpicuzzaWSJ  GAB searchable database won't include addresses of those who signed recall petitions, others have made records request for information.

We've got a Supreme Court filled with Tea Party Justices, folks. They protected us from government mandated broccoli.

Wow, Chris Hayes said everything I've been saying here for days about the rhetoric used by the Supreme Court Justices, and how it mimics the brainless ranting of tea party extremists.

I've been in a funk for the last few days, just barely cranking stuff out here, after feeling stunned by the arguments used by the highest court in the land. I'm still in disbelief.

Thankfully, this ten minute piece is on the cathartic side. Edited slightly, you will feel better knowing you weren't the only one shocked by the four vocal conservative activist justices cluelessness.

Recall Numbers for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

If you can say anything about the recall effort, it was clean and unequivocal. The sky is falling crowd, otherwise known as the Stand with Walker thugs, warned us of rampant fraud and phony names. But the 4 fake names pretty much quashed that idea. They think we've forgotten the pants on fire projection, but I haven't. And only 4,001 of us made sure we weren't scammed by a fake recall petitioner. I'm hoping my horrible signature and printing didn't make the list of illegible signers. 

WISC Channel3000: Staff of the Government Accountability Board said that more than enough signatures were collected on petitions seeking recalls of Walker and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. Walker said he's not surprised by the recall announcement.

"I think it gives us a great opportunity to tell our story, to tell we're turning things around, how we're moving Wisconsin forward and we have a lot more to do." The GAB staff struck 26,114 signatures and found 4,001 duplicate signatures of the 931,053 originally submitted by recall organizers on the Walker petition. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ryan and Johnson make outrageous Claims about Mandate, and Affordable Care Act Costs...

It's always easy to "speculate" doom and gloom if the Affordable Care Act were enacted. You can create any horrific example, while not necessarily coming close to what would actually happen.

Paul Ryan thinks the mandate would lead to requiring the purchase of anything from cars to broccoli, while Ron Johnson claims the paid for reform program could possibly cost more if more people lose their employer based plans. Never mind that the Republican plan to remove the employer deduction for health insurance would also dump everyone into the private market, just like Obamacare would, according to Johnson anyway.

The sky is falling another words:

Now Walker Blames the Affordable Care Act for no job growth in Wisconsin only.

Would it surprise you that Scott Walker's policies would be working, if not for the Affordable Care Act? It's the main reason only Wisconsin jobs aren't being created, right? Huffington Post:

Walker said there was "incredible uncertainty both at the federal level -- in terms of the debt ceiling and all the tension of that, and the negative impact that had on the economy -- combined with July and August, when you saw the height of the recall commercials."

Walker's Department of Workforce Development attributed the decline in jobs to "challenges in the national and global economy" in November 2011 and "wild market fluctuations during the debt ceiling negotiations, the European debt crisis and other factors" in August 2011.
The conservative ideology is pure. What may have failed in the past will not fail again by the shear power of a one party system. We Are Wisconsin also has the story.

Yeah Justice Scalia, the Affordable Care Act is 2,800 pages long. Big Joke?

Tea Party Justice Antonin Scalia spouted loony right wing rhetoric about how many pages were in the Affordable Care Act the other day, on top of claiming the government will soon require people to buy broccoli if "Obamacare" stays in place. This is a Supreme Court Justice, remember?

Even more pathetic? After he got a few laughs from fellow conservative partisans over his reference to the 2,800 pages (real funny stuff), it jazzed him up, and encouraged him to pile on even more. Is this an adult professional, or an arrogant irresponsible elitist a little too comfortable in his position?

I predict this court will throw out the entire law, legislating from the bench essentially, as a form of penalty and message to the congress; behave or else. Jefferson warned of the potential power of the judiciary; "The constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax in the hands of the judiciary, which they may twist, and shape into any form they please."

Ron Johnson gets Health Care Wrong Again.

Why is Ron Johnson so dumb? The reason can be seen right there in his one big issue, the same issue that brought Johnson into the freeloading taxpayer supported Republican world of do nothing politics; Obamacare, otherwise known as the Affordable Care Act. Here's Johnson in a breathless panic over his perceived threat to freedom:

He's clueless. Ron Johnson’s company provided Cadillac insurance plan allowed him to seek out the best care for his daughter. That was while 40 million citizens and counting didn’t have health insurance at all. Every step of the way Johnson is determined to protect what he had, and has now. 

And while he brags up the free market solution to health care, that same free market is seeing drug makers abandon unprofitable lifesaving drugs, leaving patients in agony and in incredible uncertainty. But Johnson can’t be bothered with such trivial matters. Check out how wrapped up he is in his own “I’ve got my health care, too bad about you” world of elitist, Ayn Randian dogma: Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said his daughter’s life was saved because his family had the freedom to find the doctors they needed to literally reconstruct her infant heart. Johnson also said the medical innovation that saved his daughter’s life will be stifled by Obamacare.

Johnson went on to say that it was the passage of Obamacare that drove him to run for the U.S. Senate. “During the initial health care debate when President Obama – and this may not be an accurate paraphrase but it’s exactly what he meant – [said] these money-grubbing doctors will take out a set of tonsils for a few extra bucks. I found that deeply offensive,” Johnson said.
Johnson unbelievably compares what is now a normally unnecessary operation like the removal of heart surgery.
“I told the story of our daughter, our first child, who was born with a very serious congenital heart defect,” said Sen. Johnson.  “The first day of [her] life, one of those money-grubbing – and of course I use that facetiously – a wonderful human being came in at 1:30 in the morning and saved her life with a procedure.
Here Johnson touts how great it is to have the money and insurance to pursue the best doctors and hospitals for his daughter’s treatment, a luxury a lot of Americans can only dream of having.
“The point here as it relates to the health care law is we had such a wonderful result because we had the freedom to actually call up Boston Children’s, Chicago Children’s and talk to the world’s best heart surgeons to find out what is the most advanced corrective surgical technique for this condition,” said the senator. Johnson said that doctors in Chicago, where procedures were more advanced than in his native Milwaukee, were able to use an innovative procedure that would allow his daughter’s heart to grow normally, giving her a chance at a normal life. Johnson said that the “happy ending” his family had may not be possible under Obamacare if the law stifles health care innovation.
Here’s where Johnson assumes innovation and medical advances will go away, like it has in every other industrialized country with universal health care (of course, I say that facetiously).
“Our story has a happy ending because we had that freedom,” said Johnson. “That’s what this health care law is all about, it’s an assault on our freedom. It’s going to lower the quality of our care. It’s going to lead to rationing. The types of medical innovation that saved my daughter’s life [and] that saves millions of Americans -- I wont’ say it’s going to come to a grinding halt but it’s going to be severely limited.”
That's assuming those who get into medicine, develop new treatments, technologies and drugs, do it  for the money. Who knows, maybe we're headed in that direction. Here's Johnson on getting birth control pills, from the Huffington Post: 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Conservative activist State Justices will take Voter ID Case, and Ignore Constitution for "common sense" law.

If you haven’t noticed, the judicial branch has been methodically taken over by Republicans. They knew their agenda would end up in court, so to counter those supposed “liberal” activist judges that didn’t rule their way, they brought in their own blatantly activist judges. That’s where we are now.

The federal courts have sent the unconstitutional voter ID law to the state supreme court, with their 5 to 4 conservative majority. They will find the unconstitutional voter ID law is “just common sense,” and overturn the lower courts. Conservative voters will say “see,” and the country will continue to move wildly to the right thanks to their own reinterpretation of our founding document.
jsonline: Two legal challenges to Wisconsin photo identification requirement for voters seem to be headed for the state's highest court. On Wednesday, two separate appeals courts sent challenges to the law on to the state Supreme Court, which is expected to take up the issue. 

Conservative Activist Supreme Court Justices detached from the reality of health care...

This is just one of the many heart wrenching story that will fall to the wayside, be forgotten, and soon fade with the possible passing of Violet, a 4 year old girl.  Violet health care needs have been compared to cell phones, buying a car, broccoli and health club memberships. And that's from our professional supreme court justices, not Michelle Bachmann, dumb Ron Johnson or Paul Ryan:

The End of the Affordable Care Act!!!

After all the coverage showing just how partisan and ridiculous the 5 conservative justices are about health care, it's all but over. It's so disheartening to see something so serious and life threatening, so cavalierly ripped to shreds for pure ideological reasons.

Why the press continues to view the Roberts court as nothing out of the ordinary is anybodies guess, all I can say is I'm left with the feeling that these five arrogant bastards aren't really concerned with the constitution or the devastating repercussions of their decisions. They're sickly comical tea party comparisons of the Affordable Care Act to cell phones, broccoli, funerals and health club memberships is not what constitutional scholars expected out of this court. And it's certainly an indication that we've got a big judicial crisis staring us in the face.

The court apparently didn't take the case for any legal reason, but instead, wanted to put a stop another one of those liberal entitlement programs.

Even more frustrating; dumb Ron Johnson will look like he was right, and the plaintiff before the court will have won his case based on...his own dumb selfish idiotic reasons. See for yourself the kind of people now in control of this country:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Does this look like Obama is spending too much...compared to all Republican Presidents.

Big Out of State Money not helping Walker.

The new numbers not the best news for Kathleen Falk, despite the nice looking ad campaign. Big money's deceptive adds blaming Falk, Gov. Doyle and Barrett for job losses during the Republican caused Great Recession are hitting home for voters. Democratic messaging has got to change. WAOW:

The Marquette Law School poll shows Barrett is about even with Walker. The governor defeated Barrett in the 2010 election.

Barrett has better polling numbers against democrat Kathleen Falk -- 36% to 29%. Falk already announced plans to run against the governor. The poll's margin of error is about 5.2%.

Farmers looking to save money with Solar!! Maybe they should tell their Republican Politicians.

A lot of rural voters are typically conservative, yet you would never know it by their embrace of money saving alternative energy sources. From WBAY:

Rising energy and fuel costs are forcing Northeast Wisconsin farmers to change how they're run. Wisconsin Public Service's Farm Show … and one thing that was apparent is how energy plays a role on the farm … farmers are hoping to find new ways to increase their profits.
While Republicans politicians have a tantrum over taxpayer subsidies for alternative energy, their voters see solar and wind as a way to SAVE money. Crazy isn’t it.
"I've got a son that wants to take over the family farm and wants to do something efficient that's going to last and be profitable," Stevens Point farmer Bob Biadasz said.

Farmers are looking at new ways to reduce energy costs. Solar energy is one of the options available at the expo. Waupaca Clean energy told us the average farm uses 88 solar panels, which can produce up to 20 kilowatts of power. Depending on the size of the farm, it can save up to 50 percent on its energy costs.
Again, Republicans continue to tell us solar isn’t ready for prime time, and a waste of money:
But those eventual cost savings require quite a bit of money upfront. Making the transition to solar can cost around $85,000, depending on the size of the farm. The federal government offers tax credits that can help cut those costs in half.

Recall Petitions to Yard Signs, Wisconsinites getting the business for Opposition to Walker.

If signing the recall petition won’t brand you for life, selling your house with a recall Walker sign in it will teach you a bitter lesson; dissent will not be tolerated.
The effort to recall Gov. Scott Walker is a visual one on both sides -- and on lawns across Wisconsin. Political signs may be coming in between real estate transactions and hurting home sales.

Rachel Burke, a Milwaukee Public Schools teacher, said she put her Cooper Park home on the market a year ago and added the "Recall Walker" sign not long after. She said she didn't worry about it driving away potential buyers. "I think that if they really liked the house, it probably wouldn't have dissuaded them from buying the home," Burke said.

Shar Borg, Burke's Realtor, said it's a fine line, and sellers should think twice before planting their politics in the front yard. "Obviously, people have their different political views," Borg said. "I would say in certain areas you maybe want to keep them to yourself if you're a motivated seller."
Knowing that the Wisconsin Realtors Association is a toady for the Walker administration, you gotta know they’ll do anything and say anything to add a little pressure.
Regardless, real estate agents said political signs do play a part in a buyer's decision. "First impressions are really important," Borg said. "When people are buying a house, they're not just buying a house, they're buying a community. They're buying an experience."
And guess what, the recall Walker sign may have attracted just right buyer:
Burke said her home just sold last week. She said the buyer is a teacher who she believes holds her same views.

Waupun Correctional sees protests, sign of new Walker times in state.

Gov. Scott Walker's management style and ideologically rigged vision of labor as a necessary evil, is already destroying government from within. It does give him an excuse to provide more giveaways to big business though. 

Prison workers are next to be privatized, but not until the Republicans can point to deteriorating conditions in the prisons, which they have conveniently created by destroying collective bargaining. 

From WBAY: 

It was billed as a protest against what prison workers claim are staff shortages and increased overtime. But a rally outside Waupun Correctional Institution Tuesday instead turned into a rally against Governor Scott Walker's budget repair bill and the loss of collective bargaining. They marched up and down the sidewalk, carrying sign referring to the Department of Corrections as a "Department of Crisis." Other signs called for the recall of Governor Walker.

According to those who were marching, working conditions inside the prison have significantly deteriorated since the passage of the governor's budget repair bill. Prison employees say not only is security an issue inside prison walls but morale is at an all-time low as well.

According to the DOC, higher-than-usual retirements and a lower-than-normal number of corrections academy graduates is a factor in the number of job vacancies. It does not believe "low morale" is a factor.

Clintonville's "I survived the 1.5"

Clintonville recently went into austerity mode, shutting off street lights etc., but now I think they've found a way to raise a little needed cash....
WKOW: The city of Clintonville found a way to commemorate its recent 1.5 magnitude earthquakes that shook the city last Tuesday,

City officials are selling shirts that say "I Survived the 1.5."
City officials say the shirts don't make light of the situation, but celebrate how residents came together when they didn't know what was happening. Proceeds will likely go toward a beautification project in Clintonville.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guess who made out like bandits with increased income?

I wouldn't be surprised if Paul Ryan cheered the "job creators" on with this odd bit of bad news, from the NY Times:

Health Care Map pin points State by State Benefits.

Check out the White House's health care map of the country, here. I took this screen shot of the benefits listed for Wisconsin, from a popup window. It would be a crime to repeal the following:

Note: Justice Thomas hearing Affordable Care Act arguments.

Just in case there are those who might have forgotten; Justice Thomas' family benefited from money earned in part by his wife's tea party activism and political opposition to "Obamacare."

J.B. Van Hollen says Republican Legislature should make medical decisions, not doctors. U.S. Supreme Court Disagrees!!

Boy, the courts are in the news today. The following case is another instance where Wisconsin Republicans tried insert big government regulations between a patient and their doctor. Even the conservative activist U.S. Supreme Court didn't believe what they were hearing:
Imperial AG Van Hollen
jsonline: The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider reinstating a Wisconsin law that banned hormone treatments or sex-change surgeries for transgender prison inmates. The justices rejected the state's appeal of a ruling that the 2006 Wisconsin law, by withholding treatments that prison doctors deem medically necessary, violated the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishments. "Refusing to provide effective treatment for a serious medical condition serves no valid penological purpose and amounts to torture," the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled. "Just as the legislature cannot outlaw all effective cancer treatments for prison inmates, it cannot outlaw the only effective treatment for a serious condition" such as gender identity disorder.
Never letting the constitution, or even sound medical treatments get the way of ideology, here’s what Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen put out as his “legal” argument:
The state's high court appeal said gender identity disorder is a "psychological condition" and the Legislature was within its authority to say treatment should be limited to "psychotherapy, antipsychotics and antidepressants." The Eighth Amendment "does not prohibit prison officials, prison medical personnel and, most certainly, a state legislature, from denying a small, controversial subset of the wide variety of treatment available for a particular diagnosis."
Get that; "the legislature was within its authority to say treatment should be limited." Isn't this one of the Republican arguments against the Affordable Care Act's IPAB is all about? “Unaccountable bureaucrats should never have the power to deny you the care you deserve.” Hypocrites!

But just as crazy, Republicans are okay with constitutional violations if it only effects “a small, controversial subset” of people. Of course the legislature would know than the doctors that say hormonal treatments are necessary. Is this just another example of big government health care rationing?
"There was no evidence controverting the testimony of numerous witnesses that, for some people" with severe gender identity disorder, "psychotherapy or psychotropic medication alone" is "simply not effective," lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said, representing the inmates. Lawyers for the inmates said doctors in the Wisconsin prison system were the ones who diagnosed the inmates and prescribed the hormone treatments as medically necessary.

"John Doe" Walker investigation takes another interesting turn.

Finally getting the media coverage it deserves, Fox 6's Mike Lowe shines a clarifying light on the Scott Walker John Doe investigation. With so many former aides to Walker under investigation, you would think Republican voters would be as angry and disgusted as they were with Gov. Doyle, when the Milwaukee DA went after him. No charges resulted in that witch hunt. 
Another name has surfaced in the ongoing John Doe investigation when (Scott Walker) was serving as Milwaukee’s County Executive. A woman who was once a top aide to Walker when he was county executive … is Fran McLaughlin. She served as then-county executive Walker’s communications director. She now serves in the same capacity for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
Documents obtained by FOX6 News show McLaughlin may be the latest of Walker’s staff members to be under the microscope. Rindfleisch says: “I got Fran highlighting all the mistakes in the press releases that the campaign does.” That’s a possible reference to McLaughlin editing Walker’s campaign press releases. The documents also show Rindfleisch discussing possible retribution against political enemies that was stopped by Walker. Rindfleisch said: “Scott won’t let me do any of the things I want to do to (expletive) her over.” 

One other was mentioned in the josonline:
Jon Myhre, a deputy spokesman, (was) among a group of seven former county employees whose personnel records were subpoenaed by prosecutors.
One conversation between Rindfleisch and former chief of staff Jim Villa, would have made the right wing blow a gasket if it had been between two Democrats; which jobs they would take when Walker took power. This is arrogance on steroids:
Rindfleisch reportedly chatted with Villa about what jobs they could get in the Walker administration. Rindfleisch said: “I’ve decided you need to be secretary of commerce, and don’t tell me you don’t have the experience.” Prosecutors allege Rindfleisch and others used a secret email system, on a separate wireless internet connection to conduct campaign business in Walker’s county offices. Walker himself has denied any wrongdoing on several occasions.

Jay Heck, the executive director of Common Cause Wisconsin:“What’s most shocking to me, is just sort of the audacity of doing that on a county system or a system that’s within the county building. I think one of the questions that people are wondering about is, if all of the top people in the county executive’s office seem to know about, and seem to be working on activity illegally, did the boss know or not? And if the boss didn’t know it, why didn’t he know it?”  

Montana Republicans try to take over state supreme court to guarantee legality of unpopular agenda.

Conservative judicial activism doesn't get the press is it should, so in my little way, I will try to pass along instances where the right wing is trying to win their long quiet takeover. 

Just how far will Republicans go to warp, convolute or even destroy our judicial branch of government to gain political favor for their unpopular ideology?  Check out what the GOP in Utah is attempting to do to their state supreme court, just gain a majority, and to protect against citizen legal challenges:
Great Falls Tribune: A district court judge on Tuesday rejected a Republican-backed ballot initiative that aimed to help conservatives in Montana Supreme Court elections. The GOP-controlled Legislature last year sent the initiative directly to the primary election on June 5. It would establish regional districts that would each elect one justice to the Supreme Court. The court's six justices and one chief justice are currently elected in statewide elections.

Judge James Reynolds said in his ruling that the initiative would change the Montana Constitution by adding new candidate requirements for Supreme Court justices. He said the initiative's provision requiring judicial candidates to live inside the proposed regional districts is unconstitutional, saying the state constitution only requires state residency for two years.
Why are Republicans trying to make these changes? Will they even try to hide their partisan reasons?
Supporters of the measure have argued that justices elected statewide favor Democrats and do not represent certain places, like the rural areas that generally favor Republicans.
Dr. Seuss couldn’t have come up with a wackier or scarier defense of the changes either:
A legislator who advanced the proposal argued the measure is constitutional. State Sen. Joe Balyeat of Bozeman said the constitution says justices must reside in the state, and argued the proposal does not conflict with that requirement. Balyeat said he does not consider the constitutional residency requirement to apply to candidates, just the justices once elected. 
What is it about the GOP that makes them hate everything about this country, and to go to such lengths to undermine it?  

Brad Blog dissects the 29 GOP Ethics Complaints against Wisconsin Judges.

When Brad Blog's pursuit of fair elections and voting rights protections takes notice of the rank hypocrisy and phony outrage of the Wisconsin GOP, you know we've got a real problem. They detail  how Republicans are trying to have it both ways, in this recent article edited for space:
In Wisconsin, two Dane County Circuit Court judges, David Flanagan and Richard Niess both issued injunctions against the state GOP's polling place photo ID restriction ("Act 23"), after finding that the law was in direct violation of the WI state constitution's guaranteed right to vote. Immediately after the first of those two injunctions, issued by Judge Flanagan, the WI GOP filed an ethics complaint with the WI Judicial Commission, alleging that the judge had violated the WI Code of Judicial Conduct because he had signed a petition to recall Gov. Scott Walker.

(After) Neiss' permanent injunction one week later, (and) a subsequent refusal by an intermediate WI appellate court to stay the temporary injunction, the hard-right, operating under another right-wing billionaire front group, the Landmark Legal Foundation, filed ethics complaints against 29 WI judges who also signed recall petitions.

While the WI Code of Judicial Conduct prevents judges from endorsing political candidates, it does not prevent them from voting. Monroe County Judge J. David Rice, who signed a recall petition himself, states that he did so only after Jim Alexander, the executive director of the WI Judicial Commission, informed him that doing so would not violate the code. Those rules note: "Complete separation of a judge from extrajudicial activities is neither possible nor wise; a judge should not become isolated from the society in which the judge lives."
Here’s where the Republican Party poses the biggest problem to law and order in this country; they are perfectly fine with manipulating and making exceptions when it’s to their convenience. And the following two examples are BIG EXCEPTIONS:
In Republican Party of Minnesota v. White (2002), the GOP argued, and the GOP-appointed majority on the U.S. Supreme Court agreed, that the MN "Supreme Court's canon of judicial conduct prohibiting candidates for judicial election from announcing their views on disputed legal and political issues [violated] the First Amendment" rights of those seeking judicial office.

And as Bradblog points out: On one hand, the WI GOP is outraged enough to file an ethics complaint against a judge who signed a petition to recall a politician … On the other, the same WI GOP trumpeted their support for WI Supreme Court Justice David Prosser as he signaled his intent, during his re-election bid last year, to facilitate the Walker administration's political agenda by promising to advance "conservative values" from the bench.

But then, perhaps today's WI GOP believes that the rights afforded by the First Amendment, as affirmed in the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court case, only apply to Republicans.

Hard-right American billionaires, like the Koch brothers, operating through front groups like the Paul Weyrich co-founded American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), seek nothing less than to dismantle our constitutional, representative form of democracy and to replace it with an autocratic and plutocratic, corporate security state. Landmark Legal Foundation President, far right-wing talk radio host Mark Levin, has compared "President Obama to Hitler and referred to the National Organization for Women as the 'National Organization of Really Ugly Women.'"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Glimpse into Charter Schools Future.

Jim Horn's Schools Matter blog had this amazing inside look at KIPP charter schools. Please check out the entire nightmarish experience of one parent and her daughter (part of the daughters story below). This is the future of education in the private sector. Just a sample here:
Jim Horn: This firsthand account below was posted this morning at NYC Public School Parents.  This account mirrors some of the same themes that emerge from the interviews I am doing with former teachers of KIPP.  Note that special education students are regularly treated with the identical disrespect and test prep curriculum as the rest of children silently imprisoned each day in 109 of these total compliance isolation camps that receive public dollars to support this social control strategy that is top priority with Gates, Broad, and the Walton Klan.
(Parent's Story) I think you should give her a make-up.” And she said, “Well I don’t give make-ups.” So I told the principal that I think it’s unfair.  And she goes, “Well-” – here comes the double talk – “you know, Celeste is struggling.” And I said, “I know she is struggling and I don’t think you understand. She has a right to be here just like every other kid. And you guys, as educators need to understand that there are strategies to working with these kids.” But, you see, their strategy is “We’re not working with any difficult kid. We’re here to demand, and you perform.” That’s the attitude. You know what happens to the “difficult kids”?  The parents take them out. And nobody hears about them again. But I’ll be damned if I was gonna take her out. You know why? Because every child has a right. 
(Her daughters story) At KIPP, I would wake up sick, every single day. Except on Sunday, 'cause that day I didn’t have to go to school.  All the students called KIPP the “Kids in Prison Program.” And now that I'm in this [district high] school I'm relieved. I'm glad I didn't go to KIPP high school. Now, I wake up and I want to go to school. I want to see my friends. I want to see my teachers. It's more welcoming. You walk in there, it's like "Hey! How are you doing?" 
Then there was this comment following the Schools Matter post:
Anon: I was a teacher at a KIPP school for 1 /1/2 years. (Not in NYC) It was the most horrible experience of my life. The teachers and students are literally in school for 11 hours a day. You basically have no personal life as it is all about KIPP. The school has a cult like mentality with chants, rituals, and an obsessive focus on "being nice, work hard, get into college". I saw numerous teachers experience nervous breakdowns from the extreme pressure and harassment of administration. There was a 50% turnover for staff each year. They made me chaperone a week long trip to another city to visit colleges. I had to sleep in the same room as the students. (They do NOT pay anywhere near what would be expected from a district school.) KIPP also made me go door to door in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on the city that I worked in to recruit students. 
Can't wait to get a visit from our door-to-door school salesman.