Thursday, October 31, 2013

Let's start talking about the Republican push for Junk Insurance Policies.

Ed Schultz in onto something, and more Democrats should start driving the point home:

Ryan dusts off Junk Policy Health Care Plan!

Paul Ryan buries a few lies again in the following diatribe, hoping no one will notice. 

Besides his one big similarity to ObamaCare, handing out taxpayer subsidies, it also contains the same old “junk policies.”

Like when Ryan talks about buying across state lines, which simply means the state with least amount of coverage, gets to sell the junkiest policies. No big deal, people don’t mind paying monthly premiums for nothing, because they've got their freedom.

So what's Ryan’s big announcement:
WisRadioNet: Paul Ryan says he has an alternative to Obamacare … He will once again offer a comprehensive alternative healthcare plan as he did four years ago. “If we help people buy health insurance in the marketplace, no matter who they are, no matter how much money they have, no what their health care condition, there’s way of doing that without running it through the government, without this costly website, without the government having possession of all your personal information,” Ryan said.
The LIE: The government does not have all your private information, a private hackable insurance company does-do you trust them? See how he slipped the BS in?

Ryan’s another Republican bragging the benefits of “junk policies.”
“If you want to buy a catastrophic plan with an HSA underneath it, you ought to be able to buy that. Obamacare doesn’t let you do things like that, and that’s where we really have a problem with this law. Give people the freedom to buy what they want, and then have taxpayers subsidize not the entire system with price controls, but people with preexisting conditions.”
Hey, that's where taxpayers pay for the sick and insurance companies make all the profit. Love that part of his plan.

And the only evidence of ObamaCare failure so far can be found in the health care myths Republican are all too happy to repeat.
Ryan said “I really worry the worst is yet to come with respect to this law, based on all the evidence we’ve been given in Congress.”
All that evidence? You mean the failure of the online Medicare Part D plan? Oh, ObamaCare...really?

Republicans see nothing wrong with asking the John Birch Society their opinion of Common Core. Fred Koch and sons are big Birch'ers.

State Sen. Paul Farrow also dumped on Rep. Christine Sinicki after she realized the Common Core Select Committee hearings were simply designed to be sideshows, used to justify the inevitable delay of the Common Core roll out. Tea Party Republicans don't realize the rest of us aren't teabilly dumb.

Rep. Sinicki got the message loud and clear after Republicans had the balls to invited the John Birch Society in to get their opinion on Common Core.
How is it possible to compare the John Birch Society to union representation? Playing dumb may really anger Wisconsin voters.

But Rep. Sinicki also left the committee because the states largest district, Milwaukee, was not picked as a host city. Why? Revenge. You don't piss off the ruling authority. This response is dripping with savage payback:
That makes perfect sense, if you're a complete asshole. Classy stuff Sen. Farrow.

Condescending misogynist Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt treats women like grade schoolers.

It's just amazing how under the influence of power we're able to see the truly ugly side of the Republican Party's "personality," if that's what you call it.

Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt "reprimanded" and belittled Democratic Rep. Christine Sinicki for resigning from the Common Core Select Committee. What a "Manly" thing to do.

I've highlighted Thiesfeldt's demeaning condescending letter to Sinicki. Wanna know how petty and mean spirited tea party Republicans are? This is it. What are we still in grade school Thiesfeldt?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Coming soon...the addition of, the companion site!

This blog will remain unchanged, using Google's as its host. But soon, a mirror site will also be available to duplicate the postings here and work around the Facebook ban on liberal political blogs. Their lack of a response to any of my inquiries confirmed their partisan slant and outright intentional censorship. I would love to sue these bastards or at least have the option of a competitor but that's just wishful thinking right now.

I will have a tab at the top of the blog with a direct link to for easy access. It was too cheap to pass up. Now all I can do is hope it works.

I'm also working off a laptop while my new computer's motherboard or Intel chip is replaced. So yea, a few fires to put out on my end.

How can we "insure domestic tranquility," with gun toting thugs scaring the public?

Actual people have been left out of the gun toting craze in red states nationwide. It’s like we don’t really exist, or have the same constitutional expectations that have something to do with…let me see…oh, yea, “insure domestic Tranquility.”

AP: The men were carrying AR-15 assault rifles legally near the market on Sept. 7. Police detained them at gunpoint and handcuffed them before eventually releasing them without tickets.
How can you even talk about “tranquility” when your family is faced with armed strangers in the streets, at shopping centers, at the movies, in elementary schools, or even at your state Capitol? 

There’s nothing tranquil about it, more scary...frightening. These armed losers aren't like normal people protecting their homes. These thugs had to flaunt it in public, and probably got a thrill out of people’s reactions, and dared anyone to object.

And I’m not the only one who thinks so. People are starting to get pissed. Through a freedom of information request, we found out the mayor of Appleton got a bunch of email from angry and frightened citizens. Was he hiding them so no one would know there’s a big problem bubbling up from under the surface:
AP: Concerned residents sent a flurry of emails to Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna last month after two men showed up armed with assault rifles near the city's farmers market, according to a new analysis.A few emails supported the men's Second Amendment rights, but most were from residents who threatened to stay away from future public events if firearms could be present, the Post Crescent Media reported ( ).

"As long as there are people with guns walking around this city, my family will not be," wrote Adam Fredrick, of Appleton.

"If these idiots are this paranoid perhaps they should stay home and protect their fortress and not wander around on the streets," Mary Rutten, of Appleton, wrote of the men. "I do not want to live like this where people feel they have to carry guns to protect themselves at a public and/or family event."

Other writers were worried about how the incident might affect the city's reputation. Some asked Hanna to figure out creative ways to keep the city safe for families without violating state law. Hanna noted that he'd like to see the state law changed, but acknowledged that the chances of that happening are remote.

Alderwoman Sarah Garb said state law allows for gun rules to be established for special events as long as there are designated entrances or admission fees. She suggested charging a $1 entrance fee to the farmers' market or setting up a rope line to constitute an entrance. "It's a situation that calls for creative problem-solving, not throwing up our hands," Garb said.

Walker John Doe investigating Republican Governors Association, Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity. Victims of Democratic DA?

Republican special interests would never do anything wrong, ever. So it must be a big surprise to the groups mentioned in the title that their participation in electing and reelecting Scott Walker might have been illegal. Like the Supreme Court recently declared, money does not what's up? 
Vicki is an AFP zombie?
Jack Craver-Cap Times: A conservative news website is reporting that right-wing organizations are the target of a new John Doe probe launched by the Milwaukee County district attorney.
"For the second time in three and a half years, a Democrat District Attorney of Milwaukee County has launched a secret investigation into conservatives, with the apparent goal of bringing down Gov. Scott Walker," writes Wisconsin Reporter
Targeted organizations include the Republican Governors Association, the Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity, a group largely financed by Charles and David Koch … for alleged campaign finance law violations, likely in connection with efforts that benefited Gov. Scott Walker or legislative Republicans … according to what sources are telling WR, the potential violations in Wisconsin focus on employees of organizations such as Americans for Prosperity, which are supposed to be nonpartisan, assisting Republican campaigns.

Walker and Gogebic Taconite intimidation bully Geologist out of Job due to fear of Speaking out.

So this is what top down, rightwing authoritarianism looks like. It’s all Scott Walker.

The myth that conservatives are prevented from speaking out in public just blew up today, when we found out it’s just the other way around. As usual, it’s opposite day every day in Republican world.

Here's the horror story, and again, another attack on science:
Cap Times-Steve Elbow: A geologist with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey who found himself in the middle of a controversy over a proposed open-pit mine in the north woods says he's resigning after enduring weeks of on-the-job pressure over a rock containing asbestos-like material found at the mine site. 

Jason Huberty says the pressure of working in a politically charged atmosphere has taken a toll on his health and emotional state.

“I really feel like I can’t speak freely without losing my job,” says the 37-year-old iron ore specialist.
Like the Walker Blacklist, the fact that a person participates in the political process, in opposition to the controlling authority, is enough to discredit your life work:
Huberty, a frequent protester at the state Capitol who testified against legislation enabling the proposed mine in 2012, has been singled out by mining company Gogebic Taconite as a potentially biased employee who calls into question the survey's objectivity. Documents obtained from UW Extension, which runs the survey, also indicate concern over Huberty from members of the state Legislature.

Huberty says he’s been called to several meetings with officials from UW Extension regarding his involvement with protests against the administration of Gov. Scott Walker at the Capitol.

James Robertson, director of the survey, tells Huberty that his political activities have become “a growing concern. This concern has to do with the potential impact your general political activity and protesting at the Capitol might have on the survey’s reputation, even if that activity has nothing to do with geologic issues,” Robertson writes.

John Birch Society's American Opinion Foundation pays Common Core Opponents from out-of-state to speak, block local pro-Common Core Education Officials.

State Rep. Christine Sinicki, resigned  from the Assembly Select Committee on Common Core, headed up by partisans  Representative Jeremy Thiesfeldt, Senator Paul Farrow. She wrote:
This letter is sent to you to tender my resignation … While I respect my fellow
Democrats’ stamina in remaining on the Committee, I believe it is time for me to end an
association with what is sadly a deeply biased hearing process, not an objective policy review.

It has become painfully clear that this committee and its activities are occurring at the behest of interested parties outside of this Legislature, and even this state. I believe that this SCCCS is primarily a roadshow ... The general criticisms of the Common Core Standards here in Wisconsin echo the extreme statements coming out of the RNC, which is a campaign organization.

This extremism about common standards, not to mention public education in general, seems to emanate from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. And in turn, they have attracted another extreme and very rich ally in the national John Birch Society (JBS), which is conveniently headquartered here in Wisconsin. Each of the SCCCS’s informational hearings have featured speakers suggested to the SCCCS chairs by the JBS, and whose travel expenses from distant parts of the country have been paid for by the American Opinion Foundation (AOF), a proud arm of the Birch Society.

On Wisconsin Eye video of the Eau Claire SCCCS hearing, these invited speakers from other states say, bizarrely, that they don’t know who it was that called and invited them but that, upon arrival, they were handed expense checks issued by AOF (which they then show the committee members).

Rep. Joel Kleefisch says Parents will love having strangers with guns in their kids schools. It will be safer....

UPDATE: The amendment below has been scrapped...for now.

What every parent needs to see is a stranger with a loaded gun in their kids school. Ya think?

You’d have to be stone cold crazy, like Rep. Joel Kleefisch, to think something this idiotic is a good idea.
Anyone with a concealed weapons permit could carry a gun onto school grounds in Wisconsin under a proposal being put to a vote Thursday by the Republican chairman of the Assembly Criminal Justice Committee.

Allowing any of the roughly 203,000 people who have a concealed weapon permit to bring a gun to school doesn't have enough votes in the Republican-controlled committee to pass, said its sponsor, Rep. Joel Kleefisch, R-Oconomowoc. The goal, he said, was to start a discussion about school safety. “I’m not sure the citizens of Wisconsin want concealed weapons holders on school grounds,” Kleefisch said.
Let me get this right, Kleefisch assumes no one wants this law, but we should at least start talking about because, who knows, we might get used to the idea? Here's WKOW's Greg Nuemann with the story:

Kleefisch also backed legislation promoting crossbow hunting near schools Democratic Rep. Evan Goyke, a member of the committee (said) “We’ve got to defeat it. It’s a terrible amendment. It is very dangerous and unnecessary. My biggest problem is: How can a school know who is armed and who is unarmed and who is allowed to be armed and who is not allowed to be armed? Good guys and good-intentioned people may sometimes act inconsistent with their intentions.” 
But our kids will be safer with complete strangers with loaded guns in our schools, right?
The goal is to make schools safer, Kleefisch said. Schools need armed people who can fight back if there is an attack, he said.
Kleefisch also backed legislation promoting crossbow hunting near schools. What is it with this guy about weapons and schools?

“Enough Already!” Casino opponents hate the idea of being a good corporate neighbor?

Ask a “free market” supporter why taxpayers should bribe companies to setup shop in their community, and you usually get a blank stare or hear some mumbo jumbo about the "job creators."

But when a corporate neighbor like the Menominee Tribe, with their proposed Kenosha Casino, reaches out to support the local area, conservatives start screaming bloody murder. Like Enough Already,! and this ridiculous headline in their press release:
Menominee Rewrites Playbook on “How to Buy Community Support”
Heaven forbid a business reaches out to their local communities instead of the other way around. Take a look at the Menominee's disgusting offer:
Tribe’s Countless Promises Help Drive Support : The Menominee Tribe has worked overtime to buy community support, in an extraordinary manner that has rewritten the rules of, “How to Buy Community Support.” Examples of the known support that the Menominee Tribe bought include:

A Unionized Casino—The tribe threw the doors of their desired casino open to union organizers, allowing them to employ “card check” a controversial means of unionization. Card check takes away secret balloting commonly used for considering unionization, and allows face-to-face intimidation tactics for approval. If built, this would be the first unionized casino in Wisconsin.

Making Friendly with the Neighbors—The Menominee Tribe has taken “being neighborly” to the nest level, and in doing so earned the support of Racine County Executive Jim Ladwig and other local elected officials. In exchange for Ladwig’s support, the Menominee Tribe has agreed to hire 15% of its workforce from Racine—an unheard of reverse-residency deal.
That’s bad? Any of this bad? The horrors of unionization and employment promises? There’s more:
A Tribe Flips to Support, Price Unknown—Initially, the Oneida Tribe hadn’t taken a position … In yet another backroom deal, the Menominee bought the Oneida’s support in a late-breaking backroom deal for “Provide a variety of financial and banking-related services for the Kenosha casino project.” This is more than getting a toaster when opening a checking account, this is a wink-and-a-nod deal to garner a tribe’s support.
Ouch, brutally friendly. 

This group of “sky is falling” casino paranoids describe their existence like this:
Enough Already! is an active coalition designed to inform the public of the potential off-reservation casino threats.
Keep in mind the area around Green Bay has five casino’s, the entire southeastern Wisconsin area has one. They can’t explain that one.

Public Apology Demands by petty Right Wingers part of their brand, not part of the Democratic Party's DNA.

I found the following piece of conservative projection funny and clueless. Blogger Christian Schneider wants liberals to be just like Republicans. Like I've told my conservative friend in Milwaukee so many times before, liberals are nothing like conservatives; we don’t act, think or have any inclination to be like them, ever.

One of the dumbest ploys in the conservative quiver is the “public apology.” This modern form of public shaming is childish and so transparently political. 

And I would never ask a Republican to apologize for something they said honestly. Their inadvertent slips reveal who they are, and an apology doesn't take that back. It's what they probably say behind closed doors anyway. 

So in reaction, Schneider feels so embarrassed by his own parties low information voters actions, that he wants to falsely equate Democrat criticisms with the racist, bigoted, gun toting senselessness of the teabilly party:
jsonline: Being liberal means never having to say you're sorry: Last month, the Madison Public Library Foundation ... scheduled an author meet and greet with William Ayers, a domestic terrorist and co-founder of the Weather Underground … It's not as if the liberal city of Madison is new to domestic bombers. For decades, the city has been home to Karl Armstrong … But thank God neither of these guys did something truly objectionable, like opposing Obamacare.

Conservatives are constantly having to apologize for the actions of fringe members of the Republican Party (whether they are actually Republicans or not). Every time some dope stands on a stage and demands President Barack Obama "put down the Qur'an," it is treated as if it were a strain endemic to the GOP.

These apologies even extend to "legitimate" actions, such as the tea party's mission to shut down the government in a feckless attempt to defund Obamacare. There has been a long, thoughtful debate on the right about the tea party's tactics … Yet there is rarely such reflection on the left when it comes to their party's most extreme elements. Democrats almost never have to account for the intemperate actions of their cohorts on the left.
Are you crying alligator tears yet? 
Take, for example, Democratic Florida Congressman Alan Grayson, who last week sent out a fundraising email likening the tea party to the Klu Klux Klan, using a picture of a flaming cross to form the "T" in "tea party." If Grayson were a Republican, he'd be hung around the neck of every GOP politician across the nation.
I thought Grayson's picture was an over-the-top, hard truth about the tea party.

But Schneider, like every other Republican, considers actual criticism “name calling.” For instance, turning working Americans into low wage take-it-or-leave-it employees who can't get food stamps and are denied unemployment, is a form of slavery, so…
In his soon-to-be-released book, Gov. Scott Walker recalls when AFSCME leader Marty Beil called him a "tyrant," saying, "This is all about Scott Walker kind of bringing back, instead of public service, it is public servitude." Beil added, "He's the master of the plantation and we're supposed to be his slaves; that's his philosophy here." Beil made those comments in December 2010; Walker hadn't even taken office yet.

Of course, we all know what would happen if one of the Koch brothers would, say, compare Obamacare to slavery. Conservatives would have to rush to disavow it. But Beil helped orchestrate the Wisconsin Senate Democrats' flight to Illinois to jam up the Legislature for three weeks; he's no bit player. Yet Democrats' obeisance to Beil in blocking government is seen as "fighting for justice," while tea party actions to thwart Obamacare are something for which Republicans apparently have to apologize.
It’s hard to miss the false equivalence here, isn't it?
It's not as if there's a shortage of "what if the shoe was on the other foot" examples. At an anti-shutdown rally in Washington, D.C., two weeks ago, someone waved a sign saying "THANKS TEA-TARDS." Yet I would bet Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) isn't worried that she's ever going to have to explain why she's allied with some of these people.

Next time there's a big showdown between the parties, resist the urge to reflexively blame the tea party. Instead, think about whether the "Scott Walker is a slave owner" contingency is pulling the Democrats too far in their direction.
Sorry, the comparison just doesn't work. 

ObamaCare saving more money than CBO projected! Dropped policies were also "Junk Policies."

The ObamaCare sideshows designed to scare and detract people from what is really working may have finally hit a wall. People are just too interested and responsible to let affordable health care pass them by.

From Ezra Klein comes the news that ObamaCare will end up saving the country even more money than once projected.
The White House's biggest frustration right now is that Obamacare's technical failures are obscuring its great success: Premiums are much lower than the Congressional Budget Office estimated when the law first passed. In a new report for the liberal Center for American Progress, Topher Spiro and Jonathan Gruber quantify exactly how much lower.

The Affordable Care Act's insurance marketplaces was projected to be $4,700 in 2014. In fact, it's more like $3,936 -- $764, or 16 percent, lower than expected … the Affordable Care Act will cost $190 billion less than the CBO estimated over the next decade.  
That savings will make up for the lost Medicaid expansion savings the CBO assumed would happen in the original law that included every state.

Individual Market: It can’t be stressed enough about what ObamaCare is really dealing with here; 10 percent of the country. That’s not a lot of people, but it is the most costly area of the health care market.
"Individual market," … So we're talking about insurance premiums for a small minority of the population. But it's still millions of people. 

Prior to the Affordable Care Act, insurance in the individual market kept costs down by turning the away the sick, raising prices on the likely-to-get-sick, and offering, in many cases, pretty stingy benefits. The Affordable Care Act makes individual market insurance both more accessible and more comprehensive. 
Get a load of this perfect example of one opponent of ObamaCare who just doesn't get it.
A good example of the tradeoffs is the case of Dianne Barrette, a 56-year-old Florida woman who's been featured in the media because her current plan will cost 10 times more under Obamacare. As Erik Wemple discovered, her old plan was health insurance in name only. It didn't cover inpatient hospital care, it didn't cover ambulance services, and so forth. Under Obamacare, all plans have to cover those benefits. So Barrette's old plan was extremely affordable -- $56 a month -- because it covered basically nothing. Her new plan is much more expensive but also much more generous.

So the bottom line is that Obamacare makes insurance more accessible and more comprehensive, which raises average premiums, but it adds subsidies and competitive markets, which lower premiums. 
I thought this important note from Klein bares repeating:
One thing to note about the media coverage around this is that some of the old plans in the individual market are being canceled or moved onto the exchanges at a time when the exchanges aren't really working. So we're hearing from people losing something but we're not hearing much yet from the people who're gaining insurance, or lower-priced insurance, through the law. That's another consequence of the web site's failures, but it's a temporary one. There will be some losers under Obamacare, but because of the subsidies, many more winners. 
Also at Wonkblog was this reason for inurers dropping their old policies:
From an insurance company's vantage point, grandfathered plans are a bit of a dead end: They can't enroll new subscribers and are really constrained in their ability to tweak the benefit package or cost-sharing structure. The whole idea of the insurance expansion isn't to get Americans to purchase anything called "insurance." It's to get them to purchase a specific kind of insurance, a plan that is relatively comprehensive and helps protect against financial ruin. Of course, not everyone agrees with this; some contend that shoppers should be able to continue buying less robust insurance policies and have the option of taking on more financial risk.

Dumb Ron Johnson thinks grownup Politicians need the threat of consequences to do anything. Real adult stuff here.

Picture Dumb Ron Johnson as the father figure, sternly disciplining a group of children when they don’t do what they’re told.

Now consider his ridiculous new bill that would not just discipline congress for not passing an appropriations bill, but it would also cut spending by 1 percent every 60 days they don't agree to something. That sounds like a gift to Republicans who's whole purpose in life is to not pass anything, and still get spending more spending cuts. Gee, what a plan Ron. NewsMax:

Johnson is co-sponsoring a bill in the Senate that would eliminate the threat of a government shutdown over the debt ceiling. He explains: "I don't believe we should
be playing with our economy. So what I've been supporting is a couple of pieces of legislation, one in the Senate sponsored by Rob Portman ... End the Government Shutdown Act is what they call it. I call it the No More Government Shutdowns Ever Act."

"What it basically does is, if you don't come up with prioritized appropriation bills, you continue to keep the government open. We'll fund it at the current levels. If after 120 days or 90 days, depending on the bill, you can't come up with a prioritized spending bill, we'll just drop the spending by one percent. Another 60 days goes by without a spending bill, we'll drop another one percent. That's the kind of blunt control that we need to impose on this very dysfunctional federal government.
Sounds so responsible. Especially when we're dealing with a bunch of adults elected to run the government...they need the threat of a penalty-like little children-to get something done? Amazing:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan like ObamaCare, only bigger.

This whole government regulated health care exchange business has got to be repealed, right? What a mess. It's the ultimate big government approach that tea party Republicans hate more than anything.

But like I've been saying for some time, Paul Ryan wants to the same thing, especially for seniors on Medicare.

Example #1: ObamaCare puts 7 million people in the individual market into an Exchange.

Example #2: Paul Ryan's Medicare reform plan puts 50 million seniors in a government run exchange.

Who's plan effects more people? Oh well, here's All In with Chris Hayes with every searing detail:

Mary Burke and Kathleen Vinehout statistically tied with Walker.

Scott Walker’s support may be more precarious than we thought. And with the supposed “tell all” re-litigation of Walker’s revisionist telling of history, voters might question everything else he’s telling them.

This Marquette Law School Poll shows that it’s already a tight race before 70 percent of respondents know anything about Mary Burke.

Here's WISC and WKOW coverage:

BizJournals: Walker polled at 47 percent of the vote to challenger Burke’s 45 percent, Marquette Law School said Tuesday. The two-percentage-point difference is within the margin of error of the poll.

State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout (D-Alma), who has yet to decide whether to enter the race, received 44 percent support to Walker’s 47 percent, in the MU poll.

State Assembly Democratic minority leaderPeter Barca of Kenosha received 42 percent support to Walker’s 48 percent.

Seventy percent of registered voters in the poll said they haven’t heard enough or don’t know if they have a favorable or unfavorable view of Burke.

In contrast, only 4 percent of those polled were unable to give a rating to Walker, with 50 percent favorable and 46 percent unfavorable.

Walker's "Unintimidated" should be titled "Unexplainable."

The one thing I didn't expect to be a factor in the upcoming midterm gubernatorial election was Scott Walker's Achilles heel: Lying.

Not only is Walker going to have to defend his policy failures and horrific jobs performance, but now he's got to scramble trying to justify outright lying in his new novel, "Unintimidated." As a work of fiction, the book might be more successful. Heck, that's how the legend of Davy Crockett grew, from wildly imagined stories of heroism and courage,

But the media has changed since then, or maybe Walker hasn't noticed. From WKOW's Greg Neumann, a little bit of real world fact checking:

WKOW: Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) says he cannot yet comment on alleged discrepancies between what is reportedly published in his upcoming book and the recording of a phone conversation he had with a blogger posing as billionaire Republican donor David Koch on February 22, 2011.

During that conversation, Ian Murphy of the Daily Beast, who was posing as Koch, told Gov. Walker he was thinking about possibly planting some troublemakers into the crowd of thousands protesting Act 10 at the State Capitol.

"You know, the, well, the only problem with that — because we thought about that," replied Gov. Walker.  He went on to say, "My only fear would be is if there was a ruckus caused is that that would scare the public into thinking maybe the Governor has gotta settle to avoid all these problems."

Gov. Walker held a news conference on February 23rd … “as you heard on the tape we dismissed it and said it was not a good idea," Gov. Walker said.

But according to an article that appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on Sunday, Gov. Walker tells a different version of the events in his new … "we never — never — considered putting 'troublemakers' in the crowd to discredit the protesters."

The Journal-Sentinel also reports that Walker writes he resisted taking the call, but did so because Koch's firm owns Georgia Pacific Corp., which has mills in Green Bay. He accepted the call "after a week or more of insistent pleas" from his staff.

But Ian Murphy told the Journal-Sentinel that isn't possible, because he made his initial call to Walker's office around 11:30 a.m. and by 2 p.m. that day was talking to Walker. "That's so insane, the buck-passing," Murphy told the Journal-Sentinel.

Walker: "Actually, per the publisher I can't comment on the book til the 19th (of November) when it comes out, but, it’s clear each of those, we can spell out where the details are," said Gov. Walker.

Walker gave up his "divide and conquer" guilt over Act God.

The purity and "righteousness" of the conservative belief system has never been more abundantly clear than in a statement made by Scott Walker in his book "Unintimidated."

Reporter Dave Weigel wrote in Salon:
God got Scott Walker out of a serious jam. It was February 2011, Ian Murphy, the editor of the Buffalo Beast, called Walker’s office pretending to be donor/industrialist David Koch … goaded Walker into talking about his strategy for passing Act 10 … “Bring a baseball bat,” said Murphy/Koch. “I have one in my office,” said Walker, “a Slugger with my name on it.” 

…when Murphy/Koch asked about the wisdom of “planting some troublemakers,” Walker said his team had “thought about that” but dismissed it.
Here’s where God sent his message directly to Walker, turning his bad divisive arrogance into a more subtle nudge from our Lord:
“Only later did I realize that God had a plan for me with that episode,” writes Walker. After his press conference, he picked up his daily devotional and saw the title for Feb. 23: The power of humility, the burden of pride. “I looked up and said, ‘I hear you, Lord,’” writes Walker. “God was sending me a clear message to not do things for personal glory or fame. It was a turning point that helped me in future challenges, helped me stay focused on the people I was elected to serve, and reminded me of God’s abundant grace and the paramount need to stay humble.”
It's kind of like hearing voices in your head to justify your actions, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I still think Walker is a sociopath. But just for the sake of this story, let's just say if he did feel anything once, he gave it up to God.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Lowdown on Social Security, and the Republican attempts to give more to the rich.

For some, Social Security is something that needs to be cut, an "entitlement" that Paul Ryan describes often as a hammock. That "hammock" helped Ryan pay for college.

I ran across this explanation that I thought explained what has happened to SS, no thanks to the Republican whiners who've benefited from pillaging the trust fund for their own benefit. Democrats have been a part of this too, but they're not the ones who want to downsize it.
Social Security is running on a  surplus of $2.6 trillion, it's funded until  2037, it  cannot run out of money, it  cannot contribute to the deficit, it has  lower administrative costs than private sector 401k retirement plans, and it's wildly popular … a report by the  AARP Public Policy Institute found that Social Security stimulates the economy, adding more than $1 trillion to the U.S. economy each year.

The Free-Market Alternative Doesn't Work: Stunningly, the number of private sector workers  covered by a pension with a guaranteed payout has dropped from 60 percent to 10 percent. 
The most important thing to remember about the “evils of redistribution,” it’s just the opposite of what Republicans are telling you. Social Security money has been redistributed to the wealthy, not the other way around:
Redistribution Has Moved Retirement Money from the Middle Class to the Rich: Tax Expenditures -- subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes that move  tax money to the richest taxpayers -- are  estimated to be worth up to  8% of the GDP, or about $1.2 trillion. That alone is more than enough to pay for  Social Security ($883 billion).

Because of this misdirected revenue, government has been forced to  borrow from Social Security to fund its programs. Most notably,  George W. Bush took our retirement money to pay for his two wars and his tax cuts for the rich. 
If you take anything away from this article, it’s this:
This last reason, more than any of the others, reveals the overwhelming unfairness of cutting Social Security. In effect, the middle class is being told to replenish its own savings account after those savings were passed along to the military and the super-rich. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tea Party Republicans move to sell Public Lands and Parks. They're just getting started....

Guess who started the process of selling off public land our West? The Republicans during the shutdown.

Small government is one thing, dismantling and offloading our parks to private interests is just plain insane. I can’t believe anyone would put these pirates in charge of anything, especially something they've made very clear, they hate. From Think Progress:
Congress from holding hearings, including one Thursday in the House Natural
Resources Committee on a bill that would force a fire sale of 3.3 million acres of public lands.

The Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2013 (H.R. 2657) from Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) would mandate that public lands Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming to be sold off to the highest bidder as a way of reducing the deficit. The areas to be sold are based on an outdated report from 1997, although the bill directs the Secretary of the Interior to “update” that report.

However, evidence shows not only that voters oppose selling off public lands, but that they are incredibly important economically. 

In short, it takes valuable tourism dollars out of a state’s general fund. Think about the idea of taking one time money for our natural parks that will go on forever.

Are Waukesha DA Schimel's conspiracy theories and Paranoia the right stuff for state Attorney General?

Waukesha DA and Tea Party Attorney General candidate Brad Schimel's head is filled with so many imaginary threats and demons that only he can save the public from their sizable menace.

From our state constitutional right to vote bearing some similarity to opening a post office box (?), to voter fraud:
Schimel: "The folks that are out to defraud the system, will probably continue to get away with it, because we can't have anyway of saying who they were when they voted."
He really did say that. And when WKOW's Greg Neumann asked how many cases of voter fraud he might have run across himself, wouldn't you know it, Republican rich Waukesha isn't the kind of community that would stoop to that kind of cheating:
Schimel: "In Waukesha County, we're not ground zero for voter fraud, we have very high voter turnout. It's tough to steal someones vote when they show up to vote themselves." 
Well I would stop looking then. And taking some strangers word that someone else voted for them, Schimel puts a lot of stock in hearsay:
Schimel: "We've had a number of them where, we've gotten a referral, for something that seems to be fraudulent, but we've been never able to track down who the person was."
Nuemann never let Schimel off the hook for his outright conspiracy theories and paranoia. This guy wants to be our next attorney general, holy crap:

Lou Reed gone....

What an incredible loss. Here's one of my favorite recent songs from Lou Reed:

Lou Reed, a massively influential songwriter and guitarist who helped shape nearly fifty years of rock music, died today. The cause of his death has not yet been released, but Reed underwent a liver transplant in May.

A License Plate I'd Buy...

Recent tweet....

GOP's return to Power hangs on ObamaCare Failure!!! Won't help like Dem's did for Medicare Part D.

Can you ever imagine a time when it was alright for a political party to hope a major piece of public policy would fail, and get media support for their efforts with the following amazing headline?

The subhead "Glitches could become the failure the party has been waiting to pin on the president," is breathtaking in its cruelty, and an open window into a party's cold calculation to exact power in every way possible.

Republican State Sen. Tom Tiffany's gift to out-of-state Mining Companies; the Legal Right to Pollute.

Are you okay with the right of mining companies to pollute the environment, if it’s legal?

Wisconsin Republicans are.

Does legal pollution soften the blow of tainted well water, well depletion, the presence of cancer causing particles in the air, excessive noise levels or the reduced ability to sell your home?

Wisconsin Republicans are.

Just like the law that allows cellphone companies to construct towers anywhere they want, like next to a high school in Sauk Prairie or an elementary school in Waukesha, the legal ability to adversely affect your property, neighborhood, town or city is a legacy Republican representatives are happy to pass along to Wisconsinites, liberal or conservative.

It’s a legal gotcha for the victims of the mining industry. And for conservative voters statewide, I hope you thank them next time in 2014:
Cap Times-Jessica VanEgeren: (Over the) emotional debate over iron mining in northern Wisconsin, proponents have continued to insist that a bill to streamline permitting for such mines will not harm the environment.

But … on Thursday … Sen. Tom Tiffany acknowledged that changes were made to the legislation to put the state on stronger legal ground to withstand such a challenge.

“The bill reflects the reality of mining. There are going to be some impacts to the environment above the iron ore body. If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.”
I've blogged about this legal workaround before, but Tiffany managed to simplify the argument for me: 
Tiffany made the admission after being asked … how Republicans could continue to claim the mining bill doesn't risk environmental harm when: It specifically changes the wording of existing state permitting law from “significant adverse affects (to wetlands) are presumed to be unnecessary” to “significant adverse affects are presumed to be necessary.”

Tiffany: “Changing the word 'unnecessary' to 'necessary' lets the judge know it was the Legislature’s intent that there will be some adverse impacts.”
Just think of how surprised some wealthy Republican property owners going feel when they finds out their small government representative took their rights away? The one thing I know about our phony "constitutional conservative" low information voter is that property rights are right at the top of their hot button list: 
In a legal context, the wording change proves lawmakers knowingly passed a bill that they accepted would cause some harm to the environment, Tiffany adds, making it more difficult for a lawsuit to be successful on the grounds that a mining permit caused harm to the environment.
So tricks and semantic word play is a responsible way to oversee the environmental effects of mining? You would think those with lakefront cabins, McMansion-like second homes, would be concerned about their investment and local water quality if just for resale value alone. Or the tourism dollars that keeps their property taxes just a little bit lower. Guess not.

See how Republicans can easily mislead on pollution, and remember their names:
“It’s clear that people voting against this bill are more interested in hurting our economy than protecting the environment,” read a portion of a statement from Sen. Alberta Darling, R-River Hills.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said: "Today, after nearly two years of public debate, Senate Republicans passed a bill that opens the door for thousands of jobs while protecting our natural resources."

And Sen. Robert Cowles, R-Green Bay, a lawmaker known for environmental stewardship, said: "I continue to believe we can make regulatory improvements to encourage job growth while still preserving our precious environmental resources."

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Republicans Medicare Part D also had major website problems, asked for patience and help to resolve issues.

Lawrence O'Donnell highlights the absolute insane Republican hypocrisy over ObamaCare's website problems. The same Republicans who defended Medicare Part D problems and asked for time and help fixing the glitches, are bashing ObamaCare and calling for a delay in implementation.

O'Donnell plays the old and new video clips as proof. This is a thing of beauty:

Here's Rachel Maddow with a similar look at the GOP's embarrassing history, going all the way back to Social Security and Medicare:

Trying not to be a one issue Act 10 voter.

Sly is on tear again, this time ripping into gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke for not promising to repeal Act 10. Despite Mary Burke’s efforts not to make any promises, she would pretty much repeal Act 10 based on her insistence public employees should have collective bargaining rights and a seat at the table.  But who am I, just some guy reading and hearing Burke say these things that may not be promises but come pretty close.

You'll notice in the "offending" piece, Burke has move on subject wise to include other issues when she references "special interests." Is that a reference to "union" interests...I don't think so. From WEAU:

Here's a clip of the upcoming Capitol City Sunday interview with Mary Burke on the same subject:

Sure I’d like every Democrat running to promise to repeal Act 10, the repeal of every voting restriction put in place, reinstating all environmental controls tossed by Republicans, the expansion of Medicaid, reinstating consumer protections, repealing business tax cut giveaways, etc., but come on, we’re talking about Democrats here. I’m a realist.

Giving the GOP ammunition: Beating up on Burke this early in the campaign about the repeal of Act 10 is in sync with the GOP. Don't get me wrong, pressuring Burke is good, but trashing her? To be honest, I’m fascinated by this unique Democratic strategy, and a little less excited about the midterms.

Here's a list of silly WISGOP gotcha's, that could have been easily answered had Walker not given away the farm to big business with revenue cuts, that will only result in larger spending cuts later:
WISGOP dumb ass questions prove they don't know budgeting!

Points 2 and 3 are easily answered: Collective bargaining didn't have to go away with larger health and pension contributions. And many of the tax cuts were giveaways to big business.

The last point relates to the second point but still give teachers a place at the table and control of the learning environment. As for putting more money in the classroom? WISGOP, don't make me laugh. 

Rep. Robin Vos: "We all know that our elections system doesn't well as it should."

“We all know…”

Stop it. Stop it now. The truth is “we all know” is BS.

We all know the founding fathers never meant the government to be so big, right?

We all know regulation creates uncertainty for businesses, who want to but can’t hire new employees.
We all know fast tracking iron and mineral mining in Wisconsin will bring thousands of new jobs into the state with no environmental impact.

We all know people on food stamps aren't motivated to get jobs, so it makes sense to take away that benefits for their own good.

We all know Common Core is a European plot to dumb down America and is a federal government takeover of our local schools.

We all know people don’t like ObamaCare and want it repealed.

We all know voter fraud is so rampant and easy to conceal, it’s almost impossible catching anyone doing it.

We all know…does saying “we all know” really make something true? For years the media’s gone along with these ridiculous “we all know” generalities, no matter how dumb they sound.

Ready for the latest “we all know” bullshit from Rep. Robin Vos, that we didn't "all know" was a problem:
We all know that our elections system doesn't work anywhere near as well as it should.  That’s why the Assembly will work on some very important reforms. One idea is to make sure everyone statewide has the same access to early voting opportunities.

We all know what this really means; limited early voting times, statewide, treating high population centers like rural one tavern communities. Where do you think we'll see the long lines?

Sand mining giveaway stripping local control part of Big Government Republican Takeover.

On this issue, I thought this tweet said it all about all Walker voters:

Work release inmate injured on job denied parole and put in segeration for complaint to company about workplace safety violations.

I smell a cover-up.

It looks like the Walker Authority is in the corporation protection racket, especially when it comes to shielding companies from serious allegations of health violations on the job for inmates on work release. When a state inmate got injured on the job, and complained, the state lowered the boom on the guy. Not the company. Crazy?

Here are a few details in one of the most poorly written stories to date about that inmate:
State Journal: David Champeny, the inmate hospitalized then disciplined after being injured at a fiberglass factory…
Wait, “disciplined?” For what, writing a letter? Why? Good luck finding out why. Perhaps the following will offer a clue:
The conduct report that led to the segregation and denial of parole also has been reversed.
Wait, “conduct report?” Why? Good luck finding that information as well.
Champeny, of Beloit, was placed in segregation at Oakhill Correctional Institution for four months and denied parole after he wrote a letter to Fiberdome complaining that he had suffered lung damage while working there last December.
Champeny’s injury had sparked an investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is seeking $36,900 in fines for several serious alleged workplace violations, including in the area where Champeny worked. “After reviewing the OSHA report,” DOC spokesman Aaron Swanum said, “the warden made a decision to overturn the findings of and dismiss Champeny’s conduct report due to this new information.” Champeny also will get an expedited parole hearing.
Again, why was the inmate penalized for writing the letter? Anyone?
Champeny’s physician wrote in his medical records that another unnamed work-release prisoner had suffered even more serious lung damage while working at the plant. And Owens said he has gotten inquiries from non-prisoner employees who also report toxic exposure while working at Fiberdome.
Perhaps the DOC can’t explain why, because after all, Champeny was a criminal, and Fiberdome isn’t technically one yet.
DOC has removed all work-release prisoners from the facility, which has employed 326 such workers since 2004, Swanum said.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Tammy Baldwin could easily overshadow Paul Ryan in Budget Committee negotiations.

Sen. Tammy Baldwin shows Wisconsinites what a real lawmaker looks like. Imagine Dumb Ron Johnson, who is just about to introduce his bill "If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act," saying anything close to the following. From WKOW News:

Kids and Parent Halloween Costumes...more...

Duffy confirms he would have destroyed full credit of U.S., costing taxpayers and losing Dollar as global standard. Way to go!

WPT's Here and Now's Frederica Freyberg wouldn't let the question go, and thankfully, got just the answer Sean Duffy voters needed to hear; his adherence to wacky tea party extremism would have in the long run, reduced the U.S. economic dominance in the world and raised the cost of government through the roof:

Dumb Ron Johnson thanks Scott Walker for keeping the parks he shutdown, open!

Welcome to the alternative Bizarro World universe of Dumb Ron Johnson, where Sen. Harry Reid shutdown the government. Do Johnson voters feel insulted yet?

Dumb Ron Johnson's ignorance of the Affordable Care Act Stunning.

Referring to himself in the third person below, Dumb Ron Johnson released this new example of stupidity for all to see:
Johnson to Introduce Act to Allow American’s to Keep Their Health Care: Johnson said today:
“One of the most important promises made by President Obama and Democrat congressional leadership to promote the Affordable Care Act was that Americans who were satisfied with their health plans could keep them.  That promise has been broken.  More than a million Americans have been notified that the plans they like with the coverage they have chosen have been canceled.  Millions more Americans will have the plans of their choice canceled in months to come.”
Johnson is starting with a false premise: Obama didn't break his promise. Insurance companies decided to drop their coverage. BIG DIFFERENCE. Of course, business gets a pass on every immoral and ethically bankrupt choice they make, because they can, and have never been held accountable their actions.

Missed by Dumb Ron Johnson: Those same insurers are offering to help their customers move into the exchanges, their new profit center, where people will get more coverage with the same doctors and get a subsidy to help pay for the premiums. What a deal.

Johnson continues with the false premise, by essentially telling insurers to keep their costly older plans, plans that are still a part of the old failed system we’re trying to reform. Is this guy an idiot or what?
"Americans want the freedom to choose their own plans and want to be in control of their own health care. The ‘If You Like Your Health Plan, You Can Keep It Act’ will amend the law to make Obamacare live up to the promises of the politicians who sold the plan to the American public.  I will … garner support from fellow Senators of both parties who truly want to make sure President Obama honors his promise that every American has the freedom to keep his or her own health care plan."
Again, insurers are the ones who've made the decision to move their coverage for none group rates into the exchanges. We’re also talking about the costly individual market, where people or their families don’t have the luxury of buying insurance at a lower group rate. Insurers are moving into the marketplace that is more or less a “group” rate, along with competing with other insurers. 

Here's Salon's expose of the Fox News' coverage, debunking it and proving that people would rather pay 3 times as much than to allow the "government" or Obama to offer them a better deal. All In with Chris Hayes:

Backward Wisconsin debating Domestic Partnership Benefits. Religious Zealot Juliane Appling admits she's seeking conservative activist state Supreme Court

Julaine Appling, of the right wing fringe group Wisconsin Family Action, continues her homophobic agenda in the name of protecting marriage, even though she promised the constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage would not effect domestic partnerships.

I have to remind readers that Republicans are on the verge of approving a "choose life" license plate, where the funding would go to Appling and a fellow nutjob to promote their extremist agenda. You have to keep reminding yourself we're still in Wisconsin.

Appling admits she's taking her domestic partnership reversal to the state supreme court because it's dominated by conservative activist justices, not like those socialist liberal Dane County judges who just don't see it her way.
Appling: "Quite honestly, Branch 4 of the Court of Appeals, and the Dane County Circuit Court are of our judiciary that would be in sympathy with us."  
It funny how conservatives can get away with such outward support of conservative judicial activism when they're the biggest whiners about liberal activism. Doesn't anyone care to ask them why? From WISC News:'s problems from a technical point of view....

New York University Social media expert Clay Shirky appeared on All In with Chris Hayes and gave the technical lowdown on's problems to date:

Our thoughtful Governor needs a few extra days to kill the Kenosha Casino?

Appearing "presidential," Scott Walker will spend a few extra hours, maybe a day, to appear thoughtful when he finally rejects the Kenosha casino. Or will he value the additional votes by approving it. So much "thinking"to do....