Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Congressman Richard Hanna on Republicans: "I'm frustrated by how...(GOP) gives differential treatment to our extremes...there's not a lot of value there."

There's not much else to say, after Republican Congressman Richard Hanna kinda said what anyone with a brain has been thinking....
Opposing Views: Republican Congressman Richard Hanna (R-NY) recently slammed his own party for going after  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's aide Huma Abedin.

Rep. Michele Bachmann, also a Republican, has claimed that Abedin has ties to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and should be investigated.

While Sen. John McCain slammed Bachmann, many Republicans have come to her defense, including Newt Gingrich and Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX).

Rep. Hanna told The Post-Standard: “I have to say that I’m frustrated by how much we, I mean the Republican Party, are willing to give deferential treatment to our extremes in this moment in history... we render ourselves incapable of governing when all we do is take severe sides."

"Iif all people do is go down there and join a team, and the team is invested in winning and you have something that looks very similar to the shirts and the skins, there’s not a lot of value there…I would say that the friends I have in the Democratic Party I find … much more congenial, a little less anger."

Iran's solution to Banksters...

Presidential Friends in Banking Get Death Penalty!

The Wise and Wonderful Walker!

Scott Walker, Mr. Success, has advice? By all means, Scott, spread your wisdom around.

Even after we’ve seen what’s beginning to look like a long list of bad governmental decisions and cronyism, slow or no job creation, and a divide and conquer agenda, Scott Walker has the nerve to dole out advice? Amazing arrogance on display!
Viking Fans Support Walker
jsonline: The GOP governor said last month that he would play the role of "referee" in case anyone got out of line. At a news conference in the state Capitol on Tuesday, he said he wished the candidates took a more positive tone in the increasingly nasty race. "I haven't dropped the flag yet, but it's getting pretty close," he told reporters.

Hello, anyone notice oil and gas pipelines are breaking?

This is no small combination of events. While Republicans whine and complain about the “job killing” delays over the Keystone Pipeline, minimizing any possible environmental impact it might have in the event of a leak, the state is now cleaning up two pipeline breaks that could be a harbinger of things to come. The first break is by a Canadian repeat offender:
Hudson Star Observer
An oil pipeline break in Adams County: The oil spill is keeping crews in the Grand Marsh area working around the clock on cleanup. Enbridge Energy Partners, a Canadian Company that owns the pipeline, says the spill wasn't near any waterways and was contained to a small area. 
We’re talking “dirty oil,” a thicker, more corrosive crude that doesn’t float on water, but sinks. That makes cleanup almost impossible. That’s why Michigan had such a big problem on their hands.
Channel3000: (Enbridge Energy is the) same operator of an oil pipeline that cracked in 2010 and gushed nearly a million gallons of oil into a Michigan creek and river failed to make repairs and take appropriate action after recognizing structural problems several years earlier, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

Enbridge Inc. took more than 17 hours to shut down operations after the 30-inch-diameter pipeline ruptured and released crude oil into a wetland area near Marshall, Michigan … the incident was the largest oil spill in the Midwestern United States. During the spill, three shifts of employees monitoring the pipeline from the command center in Edmonton, Alberta, received multiple warning alarms, but dismissed them as being caused by column separation, or bubbles of vapor in the pipeline.
Even worse-more Dirty Oil: 
“U.S. imports of what environmentalists are calling "dirty oil" are set to triple over the next decade, raising concerns over the environmental impact of extracting it and whether pipelines can safely transport this Canadian oil.”
News coverage is surprisingly spotty at this point, and brief. Like this gas pipeline spill, one of the ten largest in the country, as reported by Channel3000:

Officials say environmental monitoring of a massive gasoline spill in Wisconsin could continue for months and perhaps years. A crew of about two dozen workers continues to clean up the site in the Washington County Town of Jackson. An estimated 55,000 gallons of gas leaked from a broken pipeline owned by West Shore Pipe Line Co. last week. The line has since been reopened. The U.S. Department of Transportation said the spill is one of the 10 largest in the country this year. Department of Natural Resources spills coordinator Scott Ferguson says sampling of all wells within a half-mile radius of the spill should be done by Friday, but the results might not be known until next week.  

Uniformity, Certainty, Predictability and Job Creation, Mining Industry wants to take away your land and health!!!

Remember when mining interests and the Walker Republican authority presented us with this reason for passing their industry written legislation: “provide certainty and predictability that encourages investment and job creation.”

That’s the catchall phrase for just about all deregulation now. On the subject of mining, check out the most jaw dropping law yet passed by Pennsylvania Republicans in February that basically handed the energy industry complete control over that states local communities:
CNN: A Pennsylvania court has struck down a controversial provision of a state law that stopped municipalities from controlling where natural gas companies could drill. The ruling restores the oversight municipalities had prior to Act 13, allowing them to regulate where natural gas drilling is permitted.

Act 13 "was a complete overreach," said attorney Jordan Yaeger … The municipalities involved sit above the Marcellus Shale, one of the largest natural gas deposits in the nation. Accessing the natural gas involves "fracking." "It keeps Pennsylvania from becoming a free-for-all," he said. 
What excuses were offered up by mining interests and the energy industry? This may sound familiar for those familiar with our own problematic state mining bill: 
Natural gas industry officials and advocates of drilling in the Marcellus Shale are in favor of the law because they want uniformity in rules governing where they can drill. "The premise for the General Assembly's action earlier this year was to provide certainty and predictability that encourages investment and job creation across the commonwealth," Marcellus Shale Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said in a prepared statement. 
Russian roulette with drinking water:
Despite finding hazardous substances, specifically arsenic, barium or manganese in well water at five homes at levels that could present a health concern, the EPA determined that the levels of contaminants present would not require additional action by the agency.
For freedom loving, free market voting Americans, you can always move somewhere else. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ron Johnson and Paul Ryan push Appalling Obama comment Lie, "We Did Build It!!"

Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson, are two "fools on the hill," Capitol Hill.

And the peaceful sleepy community of Janesville rocked Sunday. According to the Janesville Gazette:
Police were called when opposing groups clashed at a rally in downtown Janesville on Sunday night. About 140 supporters of presidential candidate Mitt Romney had assembled …  About 25 people showed up to protest. Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Paul Ryan arrived … and began speaking on a small stage when a few of the protesters holding signs tried to move close to the stage. Some protesters chanted "Ron Johnson supports China!"

Among the protesters was WTDY radio host John "Sly" Sylvester, known to many as Sly in the Morning. Sylvester and several supporters brought Chinese flags and accused Johnson of exporting jobs to China. Johnson said in an interview later that he does not employ anyone in China.
Funny, that’s not what the protesters were chanting. Is Johnson so stupid he doesn’t know that his support of China’s business climate and “certainty,” which he supported during his senate campaign, does nothing for U.S. job creation? 
Some rally-goers tried to block the protesters who were trying to get close to the stage. The two sides pushed at each other. One man repeatedly poked two small American flags at the sign held by one of the protesters. Johnson … quickly turned the microphone over to Ryan.

"This is Janesville. We're civil with one another. … We're not going to let these things distract us," Ryan said.
It's not hard to imagine how much Ryan and Johnson detest civil unrest. Ryan and Johnson’s support of corporate freedoms that promote offshoring and outsourcing aren’t on the minds of Romney voters. They really don’t know, they thinks it's all about the "R"'s vs the "D"'s. 
"We're both on the same side. We want prosperity back in America for every generation," Romney supporter Deborah Moore of Janesville said afterward. "It breaks my heart that they are so angry, and I try not to be," Moore said.

These "We did build it" phony's have nothing left to offer but an intentional misinterpretation of an Obama statement. It was clear he was referring to roads and bridges, and not someones business. From WTDY's Dylan Brogan (audio):

The key talking point repeated all weekend, "if you listen to the comment in context, its even more devastating." Just the opposite Paul, it would be even more obvious this is just another GOP con job.

As the Root River Siren put it about these "We Did Build It" self made millionaires:
Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson hit the road in Wisconsin this weekend to support Mitt Romney while he was in the Holy Land making a jackass out of himself. Coined the "We DID Build It!" tour, The tour was meant to be a smart alecky response to the Barack Obama/Elizabeth Warren meme: if you are successful and rich in America - others (including the government) helped you along the road to your success.

Republicans having wholly misunderstood the concept underscored their ignorance by sending out Johnson and Ryan on the road to talk with voters about how they are self-made men who achieved greatness and fortune by themselves.

Ron Johnson, who made his millions so he could purchase a seat in the U.S. Senate was set up in business by his father-in-law when Johnson married a very wealthy heiress. Paul, as the well-known true story goes, put himself through college on social security benefits he received when his father sadly passed away. No doubt Paul would have rather had his father than the public money he  got, but as the architect for privatizing Medicare and Social Security it sure is curious isn't it? Slimey bastard.

Paul's family who owns a very large and successful construction firmowes it's longevity to projects like landfill Superfund projects - paid for by the public. 

Taxpayer Money Pours into For-Profit Colleges!!! Love that old Free Market?

I'm catching on. Taking our hard earned taxpayer dollars so we can fill the pockets of for profit private sector businesses and CEO salaries, is okay if it supports free market principals. Especially in the education.

Republicans are big on privatizing public schools because they say competition in the free market will raise the quality of education, and get government out of the way. Government is known for stifling innovation. If you believe that you're a sucker or horrifically unqualified to influence public policy.

In what could be a precursor to privatizing K-12, see how private sector colleges are soaking taxpayers because...well, they can. If the following is okay with you, where taxpayer money is used to supercharge the free market, then I think I'm starting to understand conservatism. Paying public employees a decent wage is bad, paying a private sector CEO or corporation is good.  
NY Times: Wrapping up a two-year investigation of for-profit colleges, Senator Tom Harkin will issue a final report on Monday — a voluminous, hard-hitting indictment of almost every aspect of the industry. “In this report, you will find overwhelming documentation of exorbitant tuition, aggressive recruiting practices, abysmal student outcomes, taxpayer dollars spent on marketing and pocketed as profit, and regulatory evasion and manipulation. These practices are not the exception they are systemic throughout the industry, with very few individual exceptions.” According to the report, which was posted online in advance:

-Taxpayers spent $32 billion in the most recent year on companies that operate for-profit colleges, but the majority of students they enroll leave without a degree, half of those within four months.

-Among the 30 companies, an average of 22.4 percent of revenue went to marketing and recruiting, 19.4 percent to profits and 17.7 percent to instruction.

-Their chief executive officers were paid an average of $7.3 million, although Robert S. Silberman, the chief executive of Strayer Education, made $41 million in 2009, including stock options.

-The bulk of the for-profit colleges’ revenue, more than 80 percent in most cases, comes from taxpayers.

-On average associate-degree and certificate programs at for-profit colleges cost about four times as much as those at community colleges and public universities. An internal memo from the finance director of a Kaplan nursing program in Sacramento, for example, recommended an 8 percent increase in fees, saying that “with the new pricing, we can lose two students and still make the same profit.” Similarly, the chief financial officer at National American University wrote in an e-mail to executives that the university had not met its profit expectation for the summer quarter, so “as a result” it would need a midyear tuition increase. Republicans called the study “a hostile partisan effort.” 
For Republican voters, that’s good enough for them. But is a little more regulation and oversight needed to protect taxpayer money?
Democrats generally arguing that greater regulation is needed to prevent huge publicly traded colleges from plundering the Treasury for student financial aid while leaving students with crippling debt and credentials that are worthless in the job market. Many Republicans see such colleges as a healthy free-market alternative to overcrowded community colleges, offering useful vocational training and education to working adults who will not attend more traditional institutions. 
Again let’s be clear, spending, and basically plundering taxpayer coffers, is okay in the name of freedom and capitalism. It is not okay for taxpayers to support themselves as public employees.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Hovde rejects CBO Estimates on "Obamacare," then gets it all wrong!!

Eric Hovde's run for the U.S. Senate is starting to mirror dumb Ron Johnson's successful campaign; Hovde is all wrong about the Affordable Care Act, and will probably never be corrected...except here.

Background: The CBO originally estimated the Affordable Care Act would save over $1 trillion in the last ten years of it's twenty year projections. It's probably more now, because Republican governors will be saving the federal government money by not expanding Medicaid in about 6 states.

Mike Gousha (goo-shay) tries but fails to get Hovde to consider the facts. Hovde, like Johnson, will rely instead on his own business sense and...his gut feel? Why the CBO pours over all those numbers is anyone's guess.

Hovde is correct about the first ten years of revues and expenses, but deceptively fails to mention the $109 billion savings or that there is nothing illegal about it. Is it illegal to tax and save, and then start the new program once the funding is there? Thrown in jail? What is he talking about?

The CBO projections are different because, as Ezra Klein explains, the years change:
But as you can see in the graphs below, if you compare any given year that the two CBO estimates share, the cost hasn’t doubled, or even done anything close. The disparity in the cost estimates only comes when you take a different sample of years, in which the law is doing different things, in an economy of a different size. And even then, costs went up only if you take “gross” costs rather than “net” costs, which is a rather unusual way to think about the budget.

Obamacare Opponents now saying ‘See how bad it is, now that we’ve made it worse.”

The article below says a lot about how problems are first created by Republicans, and then blamed on Democrats. 

POINT ONE: Republican opponents of the Affordable Care Act are refusing to expand Medicaid in conservative states, resulting in fewer people being covered. “Obamacare" is a failure? No, Republicans created this problem.

POINT TWO: Republicans claim the people they've kicked off Medicaid will buy insurance in the new exchanges. And the exchanges are more expensive than Medicaid, thus costing taxpayer more money. “Obamacare” is a failure? No, Republicans created this problem.

Say it again; these are all Republican created problems.  

Check out the incredible article that lays all this out, in their own words:
The unintended, convoluted and costly consequences of President Barack Obama's signature health care law are about to be realized. This week, the CBO said that, because the U.S. Supreme Court, in ruling last month to validate most of the Affordable Care Act, allowed states to opt out of the law's expansion of Medicaid, about 3 million fewer people will end up insured than originally estimated.

We believe many, if not all, states controlled by Republican legislatures and governors will opt out.

There is, according to the budget office, a silver lining. Federal spending may be reduced $84 billion compared with original projections as taxpayers will be paying to insure 3 million fewer people.

When states opt out of the expansion of Medicaid … About 3 million of them are expected to enroll in Obamacare insurance exchanges … But exchanges' subsidies are more costly than Medicaid subsidies. When states seek to save their share of Medicaid costs by opting out of its expansion, the per-patient cost to Washington will increase for those getting insurance through an exchange instead.
See how horrible Obamacare is? But that’s not all; When it comes to taxes, Republicans want the poor to have “skin in the game,” so they would like those in poverty to pay federal taxes like everyone else. Yet at the same time, when it comes to health care, Republicans want to protect the poor from paying a tax penalty they can't afford:
"The tax/penalty would be at least $1,000 for most of the uninsured and more than $12,000 for high-income earners. Low-income families would be hit the hardest, as the tax would be as high as 10 percent of income."
Those hardest hit will actually be on Medicaid, and not penalized a thousand dollars. Do we look stupid to them?

What part of “Demand” don’t those in the Media Get?

Over and over we see the sad story of how the Affordable Care Act will create a massive doctor shortage. But shortages create demand, and demand has the desired effect of infusing a new supply of doctors into the profession. We’ll likely see higher incomes for those primary care practitioners as well when comparing them to past levels.

So this isn’t bad news, it’s called “job creation,” and isn’t that the big story?
NY Times: Doctor Shortage Likely to Worsen With Health Law: The Association of American Medical Colleges estimates that in 2015 the country will have 62,900 fewer doctors than needed. And that number will more than double by 2025, as the expansion of insurance coverage and the aging of baby boomers drive up demand for care. Even without the health care law, the shortfall of doctors in 2025 would still exceed 100,000. A study by the Medical Group Management Association found that in 2010, primary care doctors made about $200,000 a year. Specialists often made twice as much.

The Obama administration has sought to ease the shortage. The health care law increases Medicaid’s primary care payment rates in 2013 and 2014. It also includes money to train new primary care doctors, reward them for working in underserved communities and strengthen community health centers.
Demand and the new results based business model for health care might be the solution, with additional changes made when necessary. The idea that the baby boomers would drive up demand should not be a surprise to anyone, hell, we saw this coming for the last fifty years.

What we need is a national health care policy encouraging the training of more physicians. And that’s what the Affordable Care Act provides, for now, until the Republicans decide such forward thinking is best left to the whims of the free market. And that's what we have already, with shortages. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Republican Straight Jacket puts Public Interest and freedom at Risk.

Like dogs, Republicans like to mark their territory. They would like to lock all future politicians into their one-size-fits-all austere, Dickensian policies. Flexibility to shape public policy…forget it. We might as well call it the “United ‘Straight Jacketed’ States of America.”

I can’t think of one person, one family, one business that would ever take away their options, their ability to adapt, and their freedom to act in their own best interest...period. Freezing policy is the antithesis of “freedom,” isn’t it?

Freezes and other budget gimmicks make work so easy, no decisions, when you're a freeloading Republican. But still, why would our Republican House members try to hurt American’s by taking away their freedom to recover from disaster?
Regulations Freeze: Republicans voted (Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble), 245-172, to bar new federal regulations having an impact of $100 million or more on the economy from taking effect until the U.S. jobless rate drops below 6 percent. Presidents could waive the ban to meet emergencies. A yes vote was to pass HR 4078.
This arbitrary decision to freeze regulation at some random point has dire consequences for the public:
Weather-Related Regulations: Republicans (Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble) defeated an amendment to HR 4078 (above) to prevent interruptions in regulations protecting the public from "extreme weather, including drought, flooding and catastrophic wildfire." A yes vote was to sustain weather-related regulations.
What about the very building block of life, water?
Clean-Water Regulations: Republicans refused (Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble), 188-231, to exempt rules ensuring safe drinking water from the freeze that HR 4078 (above) would impose on major federal regulations until the jobless rate drops below 6 percent in a given quarter. A yes vote was to sustain clean-water regulations.
And the simple matter of disclosing important information to investors about climate change, just to be on the safe side?
Climate-Change Guidance: Voting 245-171, Republicans (Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Petri, Duffy, Ribble) barred the Securities and Exchange Commission from issuing guidance on when companies should make disclosures to shareholders and investors on the effect of climate-change developments on their businesses. 

Virtual Schools offer virtually nothing...

Here come the virtual schools. It’s another Republican magic trick that plays on the insecurities manufacture around the “horrors” of the public school system.

Creating a the image that parents are desperate for change, and willing to grab at anything that comes along, Republicans have the freedom now to end public education with the next best thing.

Virtual schools are getting extra attention in Wisconsin too, so consider the following, a warning:
Edweek; The National Education Policy Center has renewed its call for states to curb the growth of full-time virtual schools until they can demonstrate dramatically improved academic results.

"Understanding and Improving Virtual Schools" stems from an analysis of federal and state data sets for … K12 Inc. the nation's largest for-profit online learning provider.

Students in virtual schools run by K12 are performing worse academically and dropping out of courses at much higher rates than their brick-and-mortar counterparts … less than 28 percent of K12-run schools were found to meet the federal measure for Adequate Yearly Progress during the 2010-11 school year, compared with 52 percent of brick-and-mortar schools nationwide.

“…at present, our research shows that virtual schools such as those operated by K12 Inc. are not working effectively. States should not grow full-time virtual schools until they have evidence of success. Most immediately, we need to better understand why the performance of these schools suffers and how it can be improved."

(The) report pertains only to fully online solutions, and not to blended-learning models that mix virtual learning with face-to-face instruction.

Bring Back the Corporate Death Penalty!

Thom Hartmann has been talking about it for years, but the time has come to spread the word. If Republicans are truly supportive of our military and returning vets, than how could they ever object to revoking corporate charters for those illegally denying vets their rights? Not just vets, anyone who’s been victimized by our new corporate persons?  
After it was the first bank to be hit by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for defrauding consumers and ordered to pay $165 million to customers in refunds, Capital One was just hit with another fine. This time - the Department of Justice has ordered the bank to pay out $12 million to members of the military for denying them their legal right under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to avoid foreclosures and high interest rates.

According to the DOJ - as many as 4,000 troops were illegally foreclosed on by the bank. Back in the old day, when corporations operated against the best interests of the nation - and preyed on our military members - there was a simple solution: the death penalty. The corporate death penalty - essentially revoking the corporation's charter - has a long history in America. It's time to bring it back.-Thom

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tight Presidential Race, Voters Long for Bush Economy again.

Washington Post reporter Ezra Klein asks the question everyone is asking, is Romney's economic policy the Bush policy. A fundamental question every voter should have an answer to, since the last 10 years worked out so well for us.The message Klein delivers is important. Remember, he's an economics reporter, not Ed Schultz (Ed is often right on the money as well):

Republicans Draw Salvador Dali Like Redistricting Maps.

WKOW's Greg Neumann tries to make sense out of the new redistricting maps, but can't. With no time at all for voters get familiar with their new districts, we're all supposed to just roll with it I guess. Hey, it's only a presidential election...or is that the point. You won't believe this:

Desperate Ryan jumps on Phony "You Didn't Build It" bandwagon...genius or fool?

Rep. Paul Ryan has tried everything, from backhanding his own policy of crony capitalism, saving social safety nets by dismantling them, to foolishly joining the ranks of the loony right who purposefully misinterpreted Pres. Obama's comment that businesses didn't invest in building roads and bridges. In many cases, taxpayers supply the access roads.

How dumb does he think we are? That's what Paul Ryan is counting on, and I hope he's disappointed. The Right Scoop:

Lousy 150 show up for Tommy Thompson's Nugent endorsement. So Sad.

Is it possible Tommy Thompson kept people away from the Ted Nugent appearance and endorsement?
Big friggin' crowd huh? 
Caledonia Patch: Ted Nugent issued a challenge to Tommy Thompson supporters Thursday, urged each one of the 150 people in the audience in Sturtevant to convince 100 people to vote for Thompson.

"No talking about the weather, no talking about barbeque or bluegills," he said. "I don't care if you scold, cajole, beg or slap people upside the head, but do it so they support Tommy Thompson. I spend time with Marines who have no legs and with Army soldiers who lost their arms and with Navy sailors who have no skin and I've saluted too many flag-draped coffins," Nugent said. "They sacrificed, and their families sacrified, everything for the U.S. Constitution. How dare we let these violators of the US Constitution spit in the face of the defenders of it? Tommy Thompson won't let that happen." 
Yes, how dare Americans who aren't conservative coexist in this country.

Wisconsin under Walker vs Minnesota job creation.

Seems like it's a day in pictures....Democratic governor vs our Republican governor.

Liberal Brain vs Conservative...Brain?

Here's a list of studies that should tell you everything, like how sane liberals are to conservatives.

Romney saved Salt Lake Olympics with Government money, wasting Millions on Giveaways to Utah Elite.

Here's what Obama should be using against Romney, and what the press won't beat to death for fear of sabatoging what appears to be a close electon. From Mother Jones: 

Mitt Romney's Pork Barrel Olympics: The GOP candidate pried $1.5 billion out of the federal government to bankroll his Olympic turnaround. Millions went to questionable projects that benefited well-connected Utahns.

The Romney campaign will run television ads during the games touting the candidate's experience as CEO of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics … What Romney doesn't talk about is how he succeeded in Utah with government help—lots of it—and how millions in assistance that he pried out of the feds ended up bankrolling subsidies, sweetheart deals, and giveaways for land developers and other well-connected Utahns.

"The $1.5 billion in taxpayer dollars that Congress is pouring into Utah is 1.5 times the amount spent by lawmakers to support all seven Olympic Games held in the U.S. since 1904—combined," Donald Barlett and James Steele reported for Sports Illustrated in 2001. Those numbers were adjusted for inflation.

In his 2004 book, Turnaround, Romney acknowledges the central role of the federal government in making the Olympics possible. "No matter how well we did cutting costs and raising revenue, we couldn't have Games without the support of the federal government," he wrote.

In 2000, with the opening ceremonies still more than a year away, Sen. John McCain called the Salt Lake price tag "a disgrace," and partnered with Rep. John Dingell to demand a Government Accountability Office investigation into how the games could cost so much. Romney's response was muted. As he explained in a letter to the GAO: "Recognizing that our government spends billions of dollars to maintain wartime capability, it is entirely appropriate to invest several hundred millions to promote peace."

The most damning aspect of the Salt Lake tab wasn't the final amount, but how it was being spent. In their exhaustively researched Sports Illustrated accounting, Barlett and Steele explain how many Olympics projects amounted to little more than slush funds for wealthy donors to the games. 

Wealthy Utahns used the games as an excuse to receive exemptions for projects that would otherwise never meet environmental standards, or to receive generous subsidies for improvements of questionable value to the games—but with serious value to future real estate developments. In one example, a wealthy developer received $3 million to build a three-mile stretch of road through his resort. Where'd he get the money? Federal funds that had been deposited in the Utah Permanent Community Impact Fund. Per the piece.

The $3 million resort road wasn't unique.  Snowbasin, the site of the downhill skiing championships in 2002, was one of the more notorious examples … Earl Holding, a billionaire oil baron, pressured the Forest Service into giving him title to valuable land in Park Valley ... That would allow him to turn what was once protected federal land into a massive, and lucrative, mountain resort.

The government largesse, however, has done little to deter Romney from using the 2002 Olympics as an example of cost-cutting purity. "While I was fighting to save the Olympics, you were fighting to save the Bridge to Nowhere," Romney told Rick Santorum at a debate in February. Maybe they weren't so different after all.

Documented: The Republicans Damaged U.S. for Power.

Washington Post economic reporter Ezra Klein offers proof just how patriotic Republicans have intentionally damaged our country for power. It's all here, and ripe for use by Democratic candidates for congress. Are Democrats smart enough, and tough enough, to use this information?

The Truth about the NRA's Wayne LaPierre!

Isn't it nice to know that our own dumb Ron Johnson has now been lumped together with the scary gun toting paranoid right wing, and the knuckle dragging positions of the NRA.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell essentially took the words right out of my mouth when it comes to the NRA, and the neanderthal leadership of Wayne LaPierre. It rankled the right wing so much that the loony bins spin machine masters Newsbusters had a fit, documented below:

Newsbusters: MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell has joined the list of his colleagues deciding to disgustingly politicize the tragic Colorado shooting.  On Tuesday night, O’Donnell felt the need to attack Wayne LaPierre of the NRA and Republican Senator Ron Johnson (Wis.) for their support of the Second Amendment.

O'Donnell started off his "Rewrite" segment claiming LaPierre was a "blood-drenched lobbyist" who is a "defender of mass murderers’ right to use hundred-round ammo clips."  O’Donnell appeared shocked that Sen. Johnson believes a mass-murderer like James Holmes would still seek to obtain high-powered weapons regardless of stricter gun-control laws. O’Donnell tries comparing the risk of losing one’s freedoms to having to remove one’s shoes when going through TSA screening at the airport … Of course a commercial airplane is and should be a weapon-free zone.
Oh, of course, not movie theaters though.
O’Donnell took his disgusting rant to a new low, attributing a fiendish, bloodthirsty motive to gun rights advocates: “Wayne LaPierre wants you to be stuck in your theater seats, while the mass murderer fires another 90 bullets at you. Wayne LaPierre thinks people like me who don't think anyone should be able to buy hundred-round magazines are more dangerous than people who empty hundred-round magazines in crowded movie theaters.”
Really? Is that kind of like how Republicans, according to Ed Schultz, like it when women get cancer and die?
O'Donnell: “[LaPierre] scares them into actually thinking and believing that someone is coming to take their freedom away. He needs them to believe that. So he can continue to siphon $1 million off their dues money every year to stuff into his blood-drenched pockets.”

O'Donnell is entitled to his views on gun control policy, but his over-the-top, offensive comments should be a disgrace to MSNBC executives and make O'Donnell's colleagues embarrassed to be assocaited with him.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Sen. Alberta Darling looks the fool, jumps on phony "We Did Build It" Romney Campaign!!!

Is Sen. Alberta Darling playing us for fools?
So what can a party do, that's not offering anything new, but the same old Bush policies and a flip floppy candidate that refuses to offer a detailed well articulated plan?

You're going to make something up, create a diversion...like Mitt Romney, who is offering Sen. Albert Darling a presidential candidate she can look stupid supporting.

Darling and her fellow Republicans are going to intentionally misinterpret a comment by Pres. Obama and ride that to November? Seriously? The Daily Show shined a bright light on this empty campaign issue. Note: I don't know why they split the bit up into two parts, but it's worth watching:

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Democalypse 2012 - Do We Look Stupid? Don't Answer That Edition
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

Here's part two, the big finish:

Judges okay to sign recall petitions, says Wisconsin Judicial Commission.

Lunatic fringe conservative radio host Mark Levin, along with his gang at the brownshirted Landmark Legal Foundation, filed a complaint in Wisconsin against judges who signed the Walker recall petition. 

Funny thing, they're located in Virginia, yet feel obligated to meddle in another states legal rights and issues. That's so Republican. I guess our Mordor like out-of-state authoritarian overseers weren't happy seeing our judges sign Walker recall petitions, a right they will apparently maintain. 
Reuters: Wisconsin state judges who were among nearly a million residents who signed petitions that triggered an unsuccessful recall election against Republican Governor Scott Walker did not breach their judicial obligations, a state ethics panel has found. The Wisconsin Judicial Commission concluded the judges "had not otherwise acted in a manner that would reflect adversely on ... impartiality or the appearance of impartiality," according to a brief letter to the judges on June 26.
The rights within a democratic republican need to change, according to the likes of subversives like Levin. 
Levin asked in a letter to the commission that a "full range of sanctions be considered for these egregious ethical violations, including as appropriate reprimand, censure, suspension and removal. According to Landmark, at least 29 judges signed petitions calling for the recall of Walker
Levin's crack legal team must have missed the Judicial Code below:
The Wisconsin Code of Judicial Conduct: "Although the rule contemplates the continuance of nonpartisanship on the part of Wisconsin judges and those seeking judicial office, judges are not expected to lead lives of seclusion," the code also says.
Guess there's no harm trying?

Fear Mongering Tea Party Ad: "Let's disqualify Obama before the Democratic National Convention."

After hearing Sly in the Morning playing this anti-Obama ad by the Conservative Majority Fund, I couldn't pass up posting these pieces of tea party trailer trash for its comedic value alone.

Those white trash true believers at the Conservative Majority Fund, along with the costumed freaks in the tea party movement, have decided dog whistle phrases were going right over the heads of slower members. Thus, the following almost laughable in-your-face ads. On a serious note to conservatives; doesn't any of this embarrass you?

The same kind of ad, but with the female touch:

Tea Party Zombies Must Die video practice for Eventual Tea Party Takeover?

The latest hit video game, Tea Party Zombies Must Die, is sending shock waves through the conservative tea party movement nationwide. Already paranoid as hell, tea partiers are beginning to realize that Second Amendment Democrats have now trained their liberal gun sights (sites) on them, and they don't like it.

Watch the video, and meet the tea party targets. Practice up, I hear they're going to try and take their country back with Second Amendment remedies...in a virtual way of course, right (wink, wink)?

Is it Voter Fraud or Election Fraud? Fox News Combines Both to Inflate Numbers. Conservative Kentucky Poster State!!

Projection much? Since Kentucky is outrageously conservative, you would think election fraud and voter fraud would be a rare thing. Wrong. It's rife with election fraud.

Big Republican image problem? Not if Fox News has its way. Fox decided to take this negative and blend it into the nonexistent problem of Democratic voter fraud, so no matter how many Republicans break the law and dominate the issue, they never take the blame.

The two stories below each feature different people caught bribing people for votes, and dealing drugs for votes. That's election fraud, not voter frau.

Buying votes is rampant statewide and dominated by conservative Kentuckians. That's why they think so many Democrats must be doing it too.


Republicans are now promising to raise taxes on poor and middle class, while keeping Norquist Pledge

Funny thing, I thought Republicans were against raising taxes. If the GOP can make some end run excuse, and fabricate an upside down reason why a tax increase isn't one, think what they might be able to do when they target something you like. Think about it.

Ezra Klein gives one really good example here, where Orin Hatch allows a tax increase for the middle class in the Tax Hike Prevention Act:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Walker will help save Obamacare $84 million, and keep thousand from getting care.

For all those conservatives out there convinced "Obamacare" will cost more money than originally thought, guess again. Not only will the Affordable Care Act save money with a new health care deliver model, but those conservative states that opt out of expanding Medicaid will save "Obamacare" about $84 million more. Thank you, I guess:
Reuters: Last month's Supreme Court ruling that upheld President Barack Obama's 2010 healthcare law could save the U.S. government some $84 billion over 11 years, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said on Tuesday.

The savings would come primarily from a portion of the ruling giving the states an escape hatch from the law's expanded program of healthcare coverage for the poor. That expansion of the Medicaid program would be funded mostly by the federal government, but eventually states would have to pick up a portion of that cost.

The CBO also estimated that 3 million uninsured people who would have received Medicaid coverage under the law before the ruling now will remain with no insurance.

The United States pays more for healthcare than any other country, but about 50 million of the roughly 310 million Americans still have no insurance at all.

Abortion Ban May End Two Lives....

It's never as simple as the simple minded right wing would have you believe. Reliving a time when abortions were illegal will only result in the following:
In Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, a ban on abortion is preventing a 16-year-old girl from receiving treatment for leukemia.

The girl, whose name was not released, needs chemotherapy treatment for her cancer, but is nine weeks pregnant and the chemotherapy treatment would probably terminate the pregnancy, which violates the country's anti-abortion laws, reports CNN.

The Dominican Republic's constitution, Article 37, reads "the right to life is inviolable from the moment of conception and until death."

Walker Administration Math Fails, Cancels Profitable Buy Local Program: Invested $625,000, got $4 million back not good enough?

Cap Times reporter Mike Ivey exposes this amazingly bad policy decision by Walker and the Republican legislature. It's impossible to make sense of their actions:
The state agriculture department is out with a new report touting the success of its Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin grants program -- a business development initiative that has since been eliminated by the Walker administration.

The report says that $625,000 invested from 2008 to 2010 resulted in more than $4 million in new sales of Wisconsin food products.“Keeping food dollars in Wisconsin communities supports local business, improves farm incomes and creates jobs,” says the report.

More than 1,900 Wisconsin producers benefited from increased sales traced to the grants, the report says. At least 51 new jobs were created across the state and another 50 jobs were retained.

Mike Powers, division administrator with DATCP, says all state agencies were ordered to make cuts and the decision was made to retain existing staff vs. maintaining the grant program.

Elimination of a relatively small program for local businesses does seem curious given the amount of money being made available to larger corporations.

Tom Thieding, communications director for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., says the companies who have benefited from the DATCP grants are simply too small to qualify for WEDC assistance. “One of the things we look at is what is the potential return on an investment and how much co-investment is being made,” he says.
Conservatives are not fiscally responsible, and never have been.

America's Liberal Outpost and Unionista Sanctuary, Madison, No. 1 city for Young Adults!

Madison has been described as a Democratic hellhole by every Republicans. That hellhole is now considered the No. 1 city in the U.S. for young adults. Even worse, this city, teaming with the enemies of corporate power, has another distinction:
Remember this award from Men's Health?
WSJ: The magazine said Madison was an “educated, tech-savvy city” with many recent college graduates who help foster an “entrepreneurial community” for start-up companies.
Start-up companies? That would fly in the face of self-made legacy millionaires and married into money senators pushing the freedom and liberty of larger CEO bonuses.
Its intellectual capital also was bolstered by the presence of UW-Madison and other colleges, along with Epic Systems, a top health care software developer based in Verona.

Both contributed to a wealth of “engineers, computer programmers and other eggheads” in the area, with “no shortage of smart people in town,” the magazine said.

State Journal Headline Bias Pathetic, Whines $81 Million wasted on Failed Recall.

Those darn Democrats, throwing all that much money away on a failed recall election. 

Reporter Mary Spacuzza can't be serious titling her piece with this noticeably deceptive spin. 

What a waste, huh? Who spent most of that $81 million? Stirring up the taxpayers Mary? Or is almost all of it corporate special interest cash meant to lock in another bought and paid for governor?
jsonline: The Democracy Campaign estimated Walker and groups supporting him spent $58.7 million, compared with $22 million spent by Barrett, three Democrats whom Barrett defeated in the May primary and groups supporting Democrats.

He collected two donations of $500,000 - 50 times the usual $10,000 limit per donor.

The Republican Governors Association spent $9.4 million supporting Walker; business lobbyists Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce-$4 million; and Americans for Prosperity and the MacIver Institute for Public Policy-$3.7 million touting Walker's policies.
All things equal? It's more like Spicuzza's failed recall reporting.

Concealed Carry Senior Citizen Saves the Day, but it could have been a whole lot Worse.

Check out the concealed carry "save-of-the-other-day" at the Palms Internet Cafe below. CC proponents might use this video to prove their case. Not quite. There are a few problems:
1. You'll notice the senior citizen starts shooting at the one holdup guy, with little concern about starting a dangerous gun fight inside a small, busy, well populate area.

2. The armed robber didn't fire a shot, even after being surprised by the sudden attack. The criminal had more sense not to shoot and hit someone by accident, than the rabid gun toting CC senior citizen. 

Here's Ezra Klein with a quick rundown of gun facts that might surprise a few opponents of firearms:

A survey of National Rifle Association members and non-affiliated gun owners conducted by a prominent Republican pollster shows that there is broad support for certain provisions that would restrict the sale of guns. According to a study unveiled at the Center for American Progress,
The study, which was conducted in May by GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz, revealed the following data points as well:
-82 percent of 945 self-identified gun owners said they support requiring criminal background checks for gun purchasers. -74 percent of NRA members believe concealed carry permits should only be granted to applicants who have completed gun safety training.
-68 percent of NRA members believe concealed carry permits should only be granted to applicants who do not have prior arrests for domestic violence.
-63 percent of NRA members believe concealed carry permits should only be granted to applicants 21 years of age or older.
-75 percent of NRA members believe that concealed carry permits should be granted only to those applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanors.
Taken in full, the numbers cut against the conventional wisdom.
Russell Simmons wrote at the Huffington Post:
The time has come for our nation to face the National Rifle Association and its bullying tactics. There is no way that our forefathers envisioned twelve innocent people lying dead on the floor of a movie theater when they wrote the Second Amendment. They didn't even know what an assault weapon was or what urban communities would become. A man walks into a movie theater dressed as "The Joker" from Batman and shoots seventy people, and how do we respond? We ban people from wearing costumes!? How about we address the real problem by banning weapons of war, so we never deny the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for another innocent American again.

Republican State Sen. Glenn Grothman on Voter ID: "I think...people who cheat are more likely to vote against us."

MSNBC's Ezra Klein gave our very own Republican caricature, State Sen. Glenn Grothman (growth-men), national attention the other night, over the states new and unconstitutional voter ID voter suppression tactic.

There should be enough evidence by now, showing dozens of cocky Republicans bragging about how voter ID laws will help them win elections, to make a case against any and all such laws nationwide.

But Grothman doesn't seem to care anymore, and his unfiltered rants...what can you say, but thank you:

They "Built it on their own" with Government loans, tax exempt revenue bonds, matching funds from a trade group....etc.

Mitt Romney's small business spokesperson in a recent ad got plenty of government help...surprised?

Lawrence O'Donnell exposes the truth about those conservative business owners who got government help, and actually didn't just build it on their own. That's not to take anything away from  the owner of Gilchrist Metal, who I'm sure worked his ass off.

To make the above point, Washington Post economics reporter Ezra Klein uncovered a Romney video where he shifts an Olympians athletic success to "others." Great stuff:

Cutting government spending that creates jobs proven false, by Republicans.

A must see for everyone. Here, Lawrence O'Donnell and former Reagan Policy analyst Bruce Bartlett shine a bright light on the lie, cutting government spending increases jobs. It all flows from the cuts to the defense budget.

Cash Happy Republicans win "free speech" race, where every legislator is a corporate executive.

Even though it looks bad, sure is unethical, and may destroy our representative government, Republicans have got to like being on the side of campaign cash. Thankfully, conservatives bought into the American dream offered up by Big Business, where everybody has a chance to be wealthy, even if it's just a dream. 
jsonline: The Democracy Campaign estimated Walker and groups supporting him spent $58.7 million, compared with $22 million spent by Barrett, three Democrats whom Barrett defeated in the May primary and groups supporting Democrats.

He collected two donations of $500,000 - 50 times the usual $10,000 limit per donor.

Walker was also helped by groups backing him. The Republican Governors Association spent $9.4 million supporting Walker; business lobbyists Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce spent an estimated $4 million to help Walker and Senate Republicans also facing recall; and Americans for Prosperity and the MacIver Institute for Public Policy jointly spent an estimated $3.7 million touting Walker's policies.

Meet "ALEC" by Mark Fiore.

Produced by Mark Fiore (http://www.markfiore.com), The ALEC Exposed Project (http://www.alecexposed.org) and Alliance for a Better Utah (http://betterutah.org)

Romney the Answer? Why not, voters willing to take that chance.

What happened in 2000, when George W. became president, may just happen again in 2012. Voters now are acting like they did back then; why not take a chance, like Bush, and see what Romney can do.

There are differences; Clinton left office with an economy that was doing quite well, while Obama was left with a Great Recession and a slow recovery.

Thanks to an “off the cliff” Republican Party that has ruled out compromise, and a plan to sabotage any chance of job creation, voters seem more than willing to take another chance.

When you’re faced with a loss of 5.8 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 through 2009, and a devastating loss of 66,486 manufacturing establishments, is it any wonder jobs are hard to come by.

The voters are about to hand corporate America their biggest gift, and the worst possible policy decisions this country has ever seen…all the while actually taxing the poor, destroying purchasing power and thus killing demand. In a new poll from The Hill:
34 percent fault President Barack Obama most for the country’s lethargic economy.
53 percent say Obama has taken the wrong actions on the economy, slowing it down.
42 percent say he has taken the correct actions to revive the economy.
37 percent of independents blame him for the nation's dire economic straits.
23 percent blame Congress.
20 percent blame financial institutions and corporations.
9 percent blame Bush.
Despite the low public opinion of Republicans, listed below, Republicans might take the senate and presidency. How does that work?
Newsmax: As for Congress, 57 percent think Republican members have taken the wrong actions.

Among independents, 59 percent say Republican congressmen have done the wrong things.

66 percent majority say no to the question, the slow pace of economic recovery inevitable.

An Associated Press study released Sunday found that the ranks of America's poor are on track to climb to levels unseen in nearly half a century, erasing gains from the war on poverty in the 1960s.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Hovde "Strong armed" by former Democratic Gov. Doyle. It's a crime really.

Senate Candidate Eric Hovde's not having a good day. It's not the "go-for-your-throat" radio ad from fellow GOP candidate Tommy Thompson that blow his cover, but the fact that Hovde has the balls to blame Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle for forcing him to contribute campaign cash? OMG. How politically pliable is this millionaire? That's all it takes. He was "hit up, and strong armed" by Doyle. Really? He is kidding right?

Here's the audio of that ad:

What a loser, Sen. Tim Cullen goes “independent” in Temper Tantrum.

News Flash: State Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, said Tuesday he plans to leave the Democratic caucus and may become an independent.

This is what we have seen from the Democrats for years, and apparently, for the foreseeable future as well. Tim Cullen pulled his power play to be the go to guy for both sides. And just when that fragile balance in the senate was so critical...god the Democrats are such losers. I’m ashamed.

Good riddance Cullen, as Democratic voters, we need to elect real advocates of our party, and not Republican lightweights. Stamp your feet and whine, you’ll fit right in the Grothman's and Vos'.
Democrats just gained control of the Senate 17-16 with Sen. John Lehman's victory over Van Wanggaard in a recall. It's unclear immediately what the implications are of Cullen's announcement.

Cullen, who was among the 14 Democratic senators who left the state during the historic protests at the Capitol in 2011 but had sought compromise with GOP governor Scott Walker on collective bargaining, said he was insulted by not being named chairman of any Senate committees after the Democrats regain control of that chamber.
Here's WKOW's coverage, where Republican Sen. Scott Fitzgerald says:
"He's always been a 'Democrat' voice that is more about his district and delivering for his constituents than just marching to the tune of specifically the left wing of the 'Democrat' Party."
The DEMOCRATIC Party is entirely "left wing." not just part of it, like this sick son-of-a-butch likes to throw in our face every chance he gets. Check it out:

No Special Session, No Jobs Bills for Walker, can't handle Sharing Power with Democrats.

Gov. Scott Walker's urgency to spur jobs growth in the state has been put on hold.

I'm sure that won't be received well by those hoping our politicians would keep working just a few more days this year-hell it's only July, and come up with something.

But that means Scott Walker has to deal with a divided legislature, which means compromise, which means...forget it. A dictatorship is so much easier. Walker basically came right out and said that, in this interview from MyFox News: 

For Walker, it would be so much easier, knowing before hand, that everyone will fall in line with the authority in charge now. But divided government, even gridlock, is hard work for a bunch of freeloading anti-government Republicans.  Call ALEC, see if they have any legislation...

Like not enforcing the Affordabel Care Act, Walker hopes to win back the legislative majority in November.

New Capitol Police Chief has nothing to say about Future Crowd Control.

Protests at the Capitol were peaceful. Republican Rep. Robin Vos wanted to have a few heads cracked during the protest, just to make a point, and discourage others from taking part in our constitutionally protected right to demonstrate. One party rule is so much easier.

But Capitol Police Chief Charles Tubbs was more of a piece maker, controlling the crowd throughout the entire protest, and preventing any possible flair ups. He's gone now, and in his place...David Erwin. Who's he?  
Erwin is a 16-year veteran of the Wisconsin State Patrol and has been serving as a captain in charge of Gov. Scott Walker's security with the Dignitary Protection Unit, the DOA said.
Want to see him in action? Here's the YouTube description of our first run in with our future chief:
This video was taken in the winter of 2011 during the massive protests at the Wisconsin state Capitol. They had locked the public out of the building with the exception of a small group of people who had been occupying the Capitol for over 2 weeks. We were receiving reports that people were being tunneled into the Capitol from a parking garage across the street. Youtube user Graddyooate went to the garage to see first hand what was going on. 
WSJ: He also served as commander of the State Patrol air support unit. Erwin served in United States Marine Corps, where he was an instructor sergeant.
Nothing like a drill sergeant to take control of the Capitol protests. Just as interesting is this description from another "crack a few heads open" true believer, DOA Secretary Mike Huebsch, who rephrases that more authoritarian sentiment by calling it "a fresh perspective of leadership:"
“Chief Erwin brings considerable experience to the job as well as a fresh perspective of leadership and experience to the Department. I look forward to working with him.”