Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Nullification and Secession the Big Issues for GOP Convention Goers....

Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice got a copy of the actual resolution the state GOP will vote on to secede, accept surprise, the even bigger topic is nullification of federal laws. We really are the northern most neo-confederate state. These teabillies are feeling pretty good about themselves and gerrymandered majority:

Big Oil Fears Solar, join ALEC to Penalize Homeowners for Tapping into the Sun.

Chris Hayes is a master of summing each and every important issue he covers. And that goes for solar energy. For years utilities have been trying to penalize solar users for trying to, believe it or not, freeloading off their infrastructure. Arizona was at one point ground zero, but big energy lost after asking for way to much from costumers; $100 a month. Crazy? Unbelievably so.

Check this Chris' guest Nikki Silvestri, from Green For All. She makes a great case solar.

The Impact of Wisconsin's Unconstitutional Voter ID Defeat, and the Racial Issues Affected.

I finally have enough information to post a few videos and perspectives on the recent Voter ID setback for Scott Walker. Seeing voting rights win based on the testimony of actual witnesses is a welcome change from the predictable activist conservative Supreme Court decisions in D.C.. And of course, the federal court is just where Walker wants this to end up. Here's the latest:
The leader of the state Senate Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said that the Legislature will not go back into session to fix Wisconsin's voter ID law … Tuesday's rejection of the law left little room for lawmakers to act. “It’s not going to be resolved for the November election."

Any new law would have to be approved by Adelman, who not only struck down the voter ID law but also blocked the state from enacting any similar requirement. But Gov. Scott Walker said he's confident the law will be upheld on appeal. Walker said "This was just basically a full-out rejection of the position, and one that we think will not be sustained.” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has vowed to challenge Adelman's ruling.
From WISC Channel3000:

Check out the racial aspects of Voter ID in the video below, following more Voter ID details:
WSJ: Adelman found that Wisconsin's law disproportionately disenfranchises black and Latino voters, who are more likely to lack the required photo ID. The judge also found no evidence of the type of voter fraud that proponents, including the Republican majority in the state Legislature, have used to justify passing voter ID laws. Wisconsin's voter ID law, passed in 2011, has been suspended since 2012 by previous circuit court rulings that found it violates the state Constitution.

Sen. Dale Schultz, R-Richland Center said (of voter ID)“This is going to keep more people away from the polls than prevent fraudulent voting because there’s just no evidence that it (fraud) is a real issue,” Schultz said.

Tuesday's federal court decision could be a blueprint for challenging other such laws around the country, advocates said. Adelman's ruling was the first successful challenge to a voter ID requirement under Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act … Section 2 prohibits states from imposing any "voting qualification or prerequisite to voting ... that results in a denial or abridgement of the right of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race or color."
ID supporters continue to point to the Indiana case, but:
7th Circuit Judge Richard Posner has expressed doubts about his 2007 ruling upholding Indiana's voter ID law. In a 2012 book, Posner wrote that the type of law he upheld is "now widely regarded as a means of voter suppression rather than of fraud prevention.”

The difference between the Wisconsin case and the Indiana case was the powerful testimony of Wisconsin voters who described lengthy and costly ordeals to get photo identification cards after the law was passed. One of the plaintiffs, Bettye Jones, died before the case went to trial in November. Another, Lorene Hutchins, left her hospital bed to testify, but died before the decision was issued. Both had been voting without problem for decades until Wisconsin passed its law.Adelman found that about 9 percent of the state's voters, or roughly 300,000 people, lack photo IDs.
Here's MSNBC tackling the racial issues dealing with Voter ID's impact on policy. The Voter ID case is at around the 2:30 minute mark:

The First Amendment is under attack again! Republicans to coerce inclusion of "under God" in Pledge of Allegiance!!!

Here we thought saying the Pledge of Allegiance was voluntary, or that the inclusion of “under God,” was voluntary.

Not under the iron fist of Republican “patriots.” We're hearing about seditious behavior in our public schools. Where do you think that got such notions? 
WSJ: The Madison School District acknowledged Tuesday that students at East High School twice omitted “under God” when reciting the Pledge of Allegiance during morning announcements last month, after allegations in a blog post circulated widely among conservative circles this week.

But spokeswoman Rachel Strauch-Nelson said the school has offered the Pledge daily, and has not removed any words from it. But she said that during two days in March, students reciting the Pledge during the morning announcements skipped words on the first day and replaced “under God” — which was added to the Pledge in 1954 — with “under peace” on the second day.
Here’s a very unsettling comment:
“Both students were followed up with,” she said.
Wow. If anything, I’m encouraged by the individualism and activism of those who chose a different path. But that’s not conservative protocol, and will not be tolerated.
16 year old Benji Backer, who calls himself a conservative activist and columnist, published a post last week on “RedState,” a conservative blog … Backer quotes East junior Samantha Murphy as saying the students misread the Pledge over three days, removing “one nation under God” one day, skipping “under God” the following day and replacing “God” with “peace” on the third day.
Here’s a very unsettling comment…again:
Efforts to identify and reach the students were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Gee, I hope we find these seditious teenagers and run them out of town. But junior Samantha Murphy’s mom is just as much to blame:
Mother Jodi Murphy said in an email that “I would think parents, students, staff would be upset that the pledge was changed.”
Perhaps Jodi Murphy could head up a neighborhood watch for what looks like un-American behavior.

But I am encouraged by this:
T.J. Mertz, who represents East High on the board said his immediate reaction was to support the students who may have been acting in support of their beliefs when omitting the words. He said he also applauds Samantha for speaking up for her beliefs. “We want our students to be self-advocating and have beliefs,” he said. “I support them acting on their beliefs.”
Here’s a very unsettling comment…again again:
Parent teacher organization East High United co-coordinator Laura Chern said her son told her Tuesday that the school’s security guard read the Pledge on Tuesday and he included “under God.”
Perhaps "one nation, under Walker." He's working on it.

I did find this story about the Pledge's origin, which would end the morning ritual in a heartbeat:
Almost no American students are aware of the history of the Pledge of Allegiance. The original Pledge of Allegiance began with the classic military salute (to the forehead) that was then extended out toward the flag. It was known as the "Bellamy salute." It was the origin of the stiff-arm salute adopted later by the National Socialist German Workers Party in chants to its swastika flag ... Francis Bellamy, author of the Pledge, would have opposed the change to the hand-over-the-heart (the hand placed flat against the chest). A modified version of the gesture used the military salute from the chest and then extended outward in the stiff-arm salute. It is frightening to note that Adolf Hitler and German National Socialists also adopted the gesture … the German National Socialist salute may have been copied from American cheerleaders. A government report claims of the Hitler salute: "In 1923 he adored American football marches and college songs. 

Republican/ALEC State Sen. Vukmir will bring in Out-of-State Common Core Opponents to Shape our "Locally Controlled" Public Schools.

The following interview with Sen. Leah Vukmir goes back to February 18. 

The reason this is getting any attention at all stems from the phony outrage over the fact DPI transcribed Vukmir's interview with radio host Vicki McKenna. Outrageous right?

Look out! Out-of-state Control of Wisconsin’s Curriculum: What I found surprising was Vukmir’s plan to bring in outsiders to guide our state educational system, which remains a mystery to this day. Like repealing ObamaCare, they've got no real plan, just something much better. These outsiders are also, no surprise, opponents of Common Core. Gee, I wonder how that'll work out?

From a February McKenna interview:  
VM: All right. Who’s on the board? Who helps develop these standards?

LV: The subcommittees are where all the heavy lifting will be done; these are the individuals who actually writes the standards so these have to be experts. And that group will also have some non-voting members so that we can bring in some people nationally can come in and have oversight over the writing of the standards, people who may not be able to be there for the entire process of developing the standards but will have the influence over the creation of those standards because of their expertise.

VM: O.k. so people like James Milgram, for instance from Standford, or people like Sandy Stotsky who is an English language arts content expert.

LV: We had to find a way to make sure that individuals like that have input, but recognizing that they don’t live to create Wisconsin standards, so we had to find a way that we would be able to weave them into the process without, you know, making them have to move to Wisconsin while they’re being created, if you understand what I mean.
And how about a smidgen, or “element” of local control? From Vukmir's comment below, it looks like we'll have the appearance of local control. Remember, the Borg like structure of the Republican Party spans the country, swallowing up the individual identities of each state (they'll deny it):
VM: So this functionally puts Wisconsin back in control of Wisconsin standards, it puts Wisconsin back in control of Wisconsin testing?

LV: Well yes, and ultimately you know, that was the other thing we kept hearing is, where is the local control in all of this, and we wanted to make sure that we had that element of local controls.

Wasting Taxpayer Money the Price of Big Conservative Government.

When I saw this Facebook post by radio cancer stick Vicki McKenna, the tea party voice of the lunatic fringe, it struck me as a bit whiny:
That's for the entire country. And it fixed the web site problems. 

And yet, maybe McKenna is completely unaware of the added taxpayer expense Scott Walker put us on the hook for when he decided not to expand Medicaid (which in turn costs the state $119 million in federal help).
(Republicans) agree to pay hospitals up to $73.5 million over the next two years in anticipation they could see an increase in uninsured patients visiting emergency rooms. State taxpayers would fund $30 million of that, with the rest coming from the federal government.
That's $73 million for our state alone, taxpayer money no matter how you look at it, and a total waste.

The Complete Opposite of Conservative Values: If you're a conservative, there are two ways to look at this $73 million handout: Your giving up your hard earned dollars to shore up the profit margins of private hospitals, or you're paying for some deadbeats health care costs. 

Are you getting the feeling "saving taxpayers money" is pretty much a meaningless cliche by now? Money matters little if it advances their costly agenda. 

Sheriff Clarke, proud and humble friend of former Sheriff who wanted women as human shields in Bundy face-off.

It would seem only fitting that the most unqualified right wing sheriffs in Wisconsin, Milwaukee's David Clarke, received his just deserts for hitching his wagon to a bunch of anti-government zealots.
He must be a great judge of character. Poor guy is speechless too.
jsonline-Dan Bice: The typically loquacious Clarke has not responded to requests for comment on the situation and the organization that has called him a "modern-day hero." 

Victimized again?

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke is coming under criticism from his campaign opponent for his close ties to a fringe group that sided with Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his face-off with federal officials. In fact, the head of the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association — which named Clarke as the sheriff of the year for 2013 — even went so far as to suggest in two interviews that Bundy's allies use women and children as human shields in case "rogue" federal agents opened fire during the dispute.
He's Clarke and he' Proud:
Last year, Clarke said he was "extremely proud and humbled" for the award from the group, which seeks to organize sheriffs against the "tyranny" of the federal government. He touted the honor in a county press release and on his Facebook page. Clarke told the organization  that it had a "friend for life."
I'm still amazed Clarke has never been held accountable for his bizarre behavior, that includes providing minimal security for an Obama visit to Milwaukee, disguised campaign releases made to look like public service announcements, advice the public not to count on 911 so he could promote gun ownership, discontinuing early release, defying county budgetary reductions and actually guest hosting a conservative radio talk show. Nice nonpartisan job.

He's a crazy man with a gun.

Slow News day stirs new Benghazi outrage over..."underscoring" protest over YouTube video.

I will only blog about this story once in my lifetime. Here it is...

Conservative media is lighting up again over the revelations that an inexperienced speechwriter made up and pushed the Benghazi YouTube video attack for Susan Rice. It’s another failed face saving narrative pushed by the embarrassed fringe news elements of the Republican Party. They just can’t be wrong, ever. But here’s what we know from actual news sources…
The Times' David D. Kirkpatrick writes: "The reality in Benghazi was different, and murkier, than either of those story lines suggests. Benghazi was not infiltrated by Al Qaeda, but nonetheless contained grave local threats to American interests. The attack does not appear to have been meticulously planned, but neither was it spontaneous or without warning signs." Rather than Al Qaeda, the Times says those responsible were local militants that And it was this anti-Islamic video posted to YouTube — “Innocence of Muslims" — that largely fueled the violence according to The Times' investigation.  NBC cites a senior Obama administration official who said the White House does not dispute those findings.
Researching this new and energized right wing “discovery,” I found so little coverage from legitimate reporting services that it would be impossible for anyone to find out the real story, as you can see by the picture here. The latest, according to the rabid right wing:
Fox News: "With the subject line 'PREP CALL with Susan,'" Rhodes writes to a dozen members of the administration's inner circle, including key players on the White House communications team such as spokesman Jay Carney, that one of the goals is, quote, 'to underscore that these protests are rooted in an internet video and not a broader failure of policy.'"

Here's Alex Wagner with the detailed analysis:

Health Care Ranking doesn't reflect Walker's refusal to Expand Medicaid, tossing 97,000 off Program!!!

Scott Walker is still be benefiting from health care policies championed by Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. Our continued rankings don't come close to changes made with increased copay's, not to mention throwing 97,000 off the program and into the federal exchanges this year. These changes should have a major impact on our future ranking.

Which makes the following ranking completely worthless, but a bragging point for Walker:
jsonline: Wisconsin ranks seventh in the country in the overall performance of its health system and has made gains in reducing infant mortality and improving care for people covered by Medicare, according to a report released by the Commonwealth Fund. The measures include health care access, quality, costs and outcomes between 2007 and 2012. And how states perform on those measures can vary widely.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

GOP ObamaCare Lies cloud Public Perception of Favorite Covered Health Care Elements.

Vox featured these interesting charts about the the Affordable Care Act, which shows how successful Republicans were muddying up public perceptions of ObamaCare:

And there's still a problem with perception.

With congress on an extended midterm election break, the negative ObamaCare spin machine will be less effective than its been.

Junk Policy Johnson's Health Care Nightmare...

The news media is doing a lousy job of exposing the lunacy of the Republican idea of health care. Their plan is decades old, and they're still getting a pass on it.

I hope to dash the myths surrounding their "patient centered" "free market" solution here, in as few words as possible, by dissecting Dumb Ron Johnson's comments the other day on Upfront with Mike Gousha. Credit to Johnson for being completely open about his intentions:

Johnson's plan: "Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care"
"Eliminate all the mandated coverage's...would actually protect patients and make health care more affordable...the problem with ObamaCare, it's so coercive. It's not about freedom and choice."
EXPOSED: Junk Policy Johnson wants you to pick and choose your possible illness or accident coverage based on your ability to pay. That's crazy right, especially for families? Pick wrong and welcome to bankruptcy.

Those "mandates" simply provide the basic coverage needed by everyone to have a little economic certainty.

Johnson and Paul Ryan call this "patient centered" health care, because the fewer things covered, the lower the price. It's similar to "buying insurance across state lines," where basic coverage is obliterated by those states that eliminate all the mandates. Feeling lucky? Pick your illness or accident, like Junk Policy Johnson suggests.

EXPOSED: Johnson loves high deductible insurance plans but hates the high deductible plans in the exchanges. Go figure. He even pokes fun at Obama's suggested "Copper" plans, that offer reduced coverage...yes, just like his own patient centered junk policies. Johnson cluelessly jokes:
"They have to offer a very substandard plan just to get the cost of health care down."
But that's Johnson's plan. Doh!

EXPOSED:  Socializing all the risk, and privatizing all the profits!!! That's what Johnson and other Republicans are talking about when they bring up "high risk pools." Taxpayers pay for preexisting conditions, while insurers get all the healthy people.

Junk Policy Johnson and Paul Ryan are hiding their intentions in plain sight, because the media never asks them to justify what are essentially junk policies.  Maybe I'm a little too frugal, but I want my monthly premiums to be worth something.

Walker article inspires "followers" to load comments section with hate filled compassion, mercy, goodness and optimism!

What a response to the Scott Walker article “Scott Walker:Wisconsin is better off than four years ago.”

If better off means that 48 percent of the voting population who DIDN'T vote for Scott Walker get ripped a new asshole by the other 52 percent, well then our governor would be right. 

The problem Wisconsin and the country has politically, according to "Stand with Walker" supporters, is that we have this troublesome two party system. How can you be principled if you have to compromise?

For me, reading through the comments section is always fun and still a real eye opener.

Veritas777 is one of those right wing name calling screamers the comments sections see a lot of. His enemies include half of the state’s population who didn't vote for Walker. The truth and Veritas777 are never on the same page. He was okay when his party spent like drunken sailors, borrowed trillions of dollars and enter into an unnecessary trillion dollar war, but it’s Obama who’s acting like a king. Oh, and Clippers owner Donald Sterling is still a Republican:
Veritas777: INCOME INEQUALITY ... Are black Americans better off five years into
the Obama presidency? Let me answer your question very forthrightly. No, they are not … and yet rich white liberals are doing quite well - - just ask the Clippers owner ... or Mary Burke ... or Harry Reid ... It is liberalism that is the cause of income inequality exponential expansion under 5 years of Obama and his imperialist dictatorship where he changes law by executive decree like King George.
The Great Recession blew out 8.7 million hard working middle class jobs, but...never mind that hiccup in deregulated supply side economics. Hard work didn't reward them with success or save their jobs, did it? Is it any surprise Veritas777 is also a proud rugged follower of his party’s leader:
Veritas777: Let the liberals cry "racism", and "income inequality", while Republican's show there is a better way.....HARD work, lower taxes, and REWARD success rather than subsidizing failure … People WILL respond to leadership ... and SOME governors are leading in Texas, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and Florida, while New York and California are drowning in their own liberal filth.
It’s also amusing to read a hate filled diatribe that blames liberals for hate filled diatribes. To top that off, they’re the real optimists:
Doing the people's business, or his own?
GOOD DOG HAPPY MAN: Lefty's worldview is like those of the Hate America Firster's, the Angry Blue-Fister's and other proggy paleo-lib protectors and defenders of their old status quo political power. They're always humorless, mean, grievence-filled and cynical. Righties are the new innovative, new tech, new style, new goodness and mercy compassionate, common sense Conservatives. We're big tent and welcoming to all. We want the best for all our fellow citizens. We want to grow the pie. We're optimistic, honest and open.
This is the Walker "divide and conquer" legacy in Wisconsin. And that's okay too.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Best Supreme Court Justice the Club for Growth could Buy!!!

Well aren't they the lucky ones? It looks like all that money the Club for Growth spent getting Justice David Posser elected will finally pay off after all. Barring a recusal, which will never happen if know Justice David Prosser, this bought and paid for justice will show the public just how much confidence they should have in our politicized legal system. It's not much of a surprise though, since a one-sided conservative legal system is something the party has been promising for a decade.  
jsonline: A recent court filing raises questions about whether four of the state's seven Supreme Court justices can hear one or more challenges to an ongoing probe into whether a conservative group illegally coordinated with Gov. Scott Walker's campaign … legal ethics experts said Justice David Prosser should step aside in the case, adding others may have to do so as well.

In recent years, the club has spent about $1.8 million to help the four justices who make up the conservative bloc controlling the court — $400,000 for Annette Ziegler in 2007; $507,000 for Michael Gableman in 2008; $520,000 for Prosser in 2011; and $350,000 for Patience Roggensack in 2013. Those figures are estimates tabulated by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

In addition, the club was the sole funder of Citizens for a Strong America in 2011, and that group spent an estimated $985,000 that year to help Prosser. Both the club and Citizens for a Strong America were subpoenaed as part of the investigation ... the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2009 that judges must recuse themselves from cases when a party has spent huge sums to help them win election.

The club's level of spending in Prosser's 2011 race "is sufficient to warrant recusal in a case in which the club has publicly expressed a strong interest, on the ground that the judge's impartiality might reasonably be questioned," Gillers wrote in an email to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 

Thanks Scott Walker, Wisconsin not great anymore...

Before Scott Walker people got along and loved living in Wisconsin. Not anymore. What is it about the Republican penchant for making everything seem nastier than they should be, more costly than we ever could have tolerated, and just a little bit "cold war" scary.

A recent poll shows shines a light on how policy affects the general nature of a state's population under Republican and Democratic control. Cap Times:
Between June and December last year, Gallup asked people about their satisfaction with the state in which they live. Gallup reported the responses:
In Wisconsin, 49 percent of those surveyed say it's at least one of the best, with 8 percent putting the state at No. 1 and 2 percent ranking it at the bottom of the union. Minnesotans see a better life across the border, with 61 percent calling their state among the best. Of that, 13 percent had Minnesota at the top, while 2 percent said it was the worst.
One more interesting side note: party dominance in the top states has an affect too. But that's a bad thing if you start with the idea that "divide and conquer" is part of your bigger vision, especially in a purple state. Many aren't that happy. That's why Minnesota beats us again.

40% increase in private sector jobs over the last 4 years were minimum wage.

Why middle class conservatives continue to sit by watching their jobs disappear and their incomes decline is a mystery to me. 

I want you to take note of every Republicans who sticks to the old jobs and wages talking points that unfortunately for them, were made obsolete after the Great Recession. Scott Walker and Paul Ryan especially. A new report confirms what Democrats have been saying for the last 3 years; we're a service economy now, along with a new business model:
NY Times: The deep recession wiped out primarily high-wage and middle-wage jobs. Yet the strongest employment growth during the sluggish recovery has been in low-wage work, at places like strip malls and fast-food restaurants … the poor economy has replaced good jobs with bad ones. That is the conclusion of a new report from the National Employment Law Project, a research and advocacy group, analyzing employment trends four years into the recovery.

“Fast food is driving the bulk of the job growth at the low end — the job gains there are absolutely phenomenal,” said Michael Evangelist, the report’s author. “If this is the reality — if these jobs are here to stay and are going to be making up a considerable part of the economy — the question is, how do we make them better?”

The report shows that total employment has finally surpassed its pre-recession level. “The good news is we’re back to zero,” Mr. Evangelist said.

Higher-wage industries shed 3.6 million positions during the recession and have added only 2.6 million positions. But lower-wage industries lost two million jobs, then added 3.8 million.

With 10.5 million Americans still looking for work employers feel no pressure to raise wages for those who are working. As a result, the average household’s take-home pay has declined through the recession and the recovery to $51,017 in 2012 from $55,627 in 2007, after adjusting for inflation.

With joblessness high and job gains concentrated in low-wage industries, hundreds of thousands of Americans have accepted positions that pay less than they used to make, in some cases, sliding out of the middle class and into the ranks of the working poor.

There were about a million fewer jobs in middle-wage industries … Economists worry that even a stronger recovery might not bring back jobs in traditionally middle-class occupations eroded by mechanization and offshoring. 

President Obama said raising (the minimum wage) to $10.10 would “lift wages for nearly 28 million Americans across the country. The average minimum-wage worker is 35 years old. But many Republicans oppose raising the wage floor while the economy remains weak. 

The study found especially strong growth in restaurants and food services, administrative and waste services and retail trades. Those industries, which often pay wages at the federal minimum, accounted for about 40 percent of the increase in private sector employment over the past four years. Strong jobs growth in some high-paying industries, accounted for about 9 percent of the private-sector job gains in the recovery. 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Rush still on air despite Ratings Plummet. Damn liberal media again...?

Newspapers made a huge mistake when they gave up printing the latest local radio ratings. When they stopped, they inadvertently allowed Rush Limbaugh to create the false impression he was immensely popular. Here's a tweet from another "Stand with Walker" zombie twit:

No one is listening. In fact, Rush's rating are much lower than any time slot I had in my own career. And as a liberal, I was never given enough time to grow an audience. With Best of Madison awards and even being number two in the mornings, it never quite cut it. Take a look at old Rushbo's numbers. No one in radio could survive his ratings plummet. So don't blame liberals for not being able to grab the interest of listeners when Rush has essentially tanks and still has a job:

Right Wing Zombie Blogger likes "Free Country," but only to a point...

"...they want to eat your brains — and get their tax cuts."
That's how the Rob Thomas article in the Cap Times started out, in reference to a new and locally made movie:
Some intemperate Wisconsin liberals have painted their conservative Tea Party neighbors as “right-wing zombies.” So filmmaker Adam Schabow is just taking that literally with his first horror movie, “New World Horror.”

Schabow (is) getting push back from conservative commentators who, not surprisingly, aren't too crazy about being portrayed as brain-eating undead.
Enter the poor picked on tea party conservative, who questions just how far that First Amendment should extend:
“It is of course a free country and Mr. Schabow can create whatever movie, with whatever message, he wants,” Collin Roth wrote for the Right Wisconsin blog. “But
there is something a bit gross and unsettling about a man with Schabow's assumptions and prejudices making a movie that depicts a popular American political movement (one which includes tens of thousands of Wisconsinites) as bloodthirsty, brain-dead, killers.”
The horrors of depicting a "popular American political movement" like...the Democratic Party? Just for fun, I've included a few pic's below where liberals have been kicking this zombie idea around for awhile now...

Political Heat also had a few things to say about this story. 

ObamaCare Contraception and Abortions Cause Breast Cancer? If only Researchers would say that was true.

It’s hard to totally understand the twisted minds of anti-abortion bottom feeders who can’t wait to meddle in other people’s lives through contraception. Yes, contraception.

In one of the most bizarre approaches yet in making their argument, LifeNews splashed this down-the-rabbit-hole headline across their webpage:
Yet the claim didn't have anything to do with a new study they featured below the headline. They even say so in the first paragraph:
A new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on February 27 finds researchers noting an increase in advanced cases of breast cancer over the last 33 years. However, the authors essentially ignore how abortion plays a great role in that increase.
You can’t make this stuff up. This surreal story continued:
Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, told LifeNews “It’s peculiar, but not surprising, that the authors offered no hypotheses in their paper explaining the increased incidence in advanced cancers among young women.  Abortion and use of hormonal contraceptive steroids among teenagers are the elephants in the living room that the medical establishment ignores.”
Malec avoids the subject of income inequality, the lack of health care coverage and unemployment in minority urban areas, and instead blames abortions and contraception for the increased cancer and death rates.   
The rate of advanced breast cancer doubled for African Americans, ages 25-39, climbing from 3.14 in 1976 to 6.25 per 100,000 in 2009 … At the same time, black women have abortions at much higher rates than their white counterparts … the rate of advanced breast cancer for non-Hispanic whites in the same age group annual percent change of 2.67.
ObamaCare Contraceptives cause Cancer and Death: The whole point of this convoluted argument is summed up below:
“Many more young women are at risk for developing advanced breast cancer in the future because of an ObamaCare mandate requiring employers to purchase insurance that will provide “free” (cancer-causing) hormonal contraceptive steroids and abortion-inducing drugs,” warned Malec. “It doesn’t matter to government officials how many lives are destroyed because of it.”

Walker Flip Flop!! Now running on the same Monthly Job Numbers he opposed and said were unreliable in Recall Election!!!

You know he's in trouble when you see Scott Walker brag about numbers he once denounced as unreliable. The contortions Scott Walker has to perform in order to minimize his disastrous jobs failure would be comical if it wasn't kinda working for him.

PolitiFact even pointed out Walker's flip flop:
Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster pointed to monthly jobs estimates based on government surveys of a small sample of employers. Notably, over the last three years Walker has criticized the monthly numbers as unreliable, arguing for using the quarterly figures. Here, he does the oppositeBut the latest figures from the more-reliable quarterly census aren't expected out until June. 

Three years (2001 and 2008-09 in the Great Recession) saw big job losses in Wisconsin’s private market. And the state’s job total still hasn't rebounded to 2007 pre-recession highs. 
Of course the right wing is in denial:

So where is the Mary Burke campaign on this obvious switcheroo? Are they beating the governor up on this and other issues? Are voters even seeing just a little "fight" coming from the Democratic candidate? She needs to attack his incredible weaknesses, which in turn will draw out additional Walker excuses to that will make for great campaign ads.

Walker's lack of job creation is really big issue that points to what is an important ideological failure. That's not something you hold back from pointing out. If you cut nearly $2 billion dollars from education and other state spending, you're likely to see even a trickle of revenue as some kind of surplus. It's all strictly tax cut smoke and mirrors that keeps the property-tax-cut-happy public from seeing the upcoming cliff.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Rep. Reid Ribble's extreme voting Record easy Target for Challenger Ron Gruett.

Rep. Reid Ribble's voting record is as extreme as it gets. And his challenger Ron Gruett should have no trouble passing along Ribble's votes if he has the money to get the message out before November. 

But the following list of votes isn't just about Ribble either, because the entire Wisconsin GOP House delegation has the same record. So I hope Gruett and Ryan's challenger Rob Zerban take note. From the Wisconsin State Journal's Roll Call column:
Post Crescent: Ron Gruett, 64, of Chilton, told Post-Crescent Media he grew frustrated with Ribble’s votes to repeal Obamacare and other votes that could hurt the middle class. “I think Mr. Ribble is a great representative for the top 1 percent, but the way he votes he’s got it in the for the middle class. He comes off as a nice guy, but he’s doing despicable things like trying to take health care away from 14 million people. I certainly hope we get some national attention.” Gruett favors a strong defense of the Second Amendment … legalizing medical marijuana nationwide, addressing income inequality and legalizing same-sex marriage. 
Ribble’s response?
Ribble said Friday that he has represented all residents in his district during his time in office. “I have a record of fighting for job creation."
But Ribble doesn't really represent “all residents,” Here's his 3rd world voting record:
Voting against the repeal tax breaks for the five largest oil companies and use the savings to soften cuts (he) would make in Medicare, Medicaid and the State Children's Health insurance (SCHIP) program.

Voted to remove inflation from calculations that determine the all-important “baseline” figure in congressional budget deliberations … triggering spending cuts in programs for student loans, food and aviation safety, veterans’ benefits, nursing-home safety and the education of disabled children.
 Voted to strip the Internal Revenue Service of its authority to enforce the 2010 health law’s individual mandate. 

Voted to bar federal regulation on federal and tribal lands of the underground energy-extraction process- fracking, and barring the identity of chemicals used in the ‘fracking’ process.

Voted to set statutory deadlines for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to act on applications for building natural gas pipelines but against a bid by Democrats to delay HR 1900 until federal regulators have certified it would not result in the building of unsafe pipelines or deny communities a voice in the siting of new pipelines within their boundaries.

Voted to implement a Gulf of Mexico deepwater-drilling treaty in a way that would exempt U.S. oil companies from transparency rules … and defeated a bid to ensure that safety lessons from the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 are applied to deepwater drilling in the western gulf and to require companies responsible for spills to pay all cleanup costs. 

He voted to defeated a Democratic attempt to bar a broadly written bill that expanded offshore drilling from authorizing oil and gas drilling in the Great Lakes. 

Voted 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.  He voted to defeat an amendment to prevent interruptions in regulations protecting the public from "extreme weather, including drought, flooding and catastrophic wildfire" exempt rules ensuring safe drinking water from the freeze.

Voted to bar 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.
 Ribble voted to allow companies to obtain worker passwords as a condition of employment.

When it comes to campaign advertising disclosures,  Ribble refused “to require it to all who give $10,000 or more to fund political ads on broadcast, cable, satellite or radio outlets.” 

Voted for a bill (HR 761) to ease environmental rules and limit lawsuits in order to quicken agency reviews of applications to mine critical and non-critical minerals on federal lands in the West … sand and gravel mining too. The bill would designate mining activities as “infrastructure projects” to make them eligible for fast-tracked government reviews. Ribble defeated a Democratic bid to prohibit strategic and critical minerals mined as a result of HR 761 from being exported to China, Iran or any country that has violated U.S. economic sanctions against Iran.

Ribble voted to cut spending on food stamps by nearly $4 billion annually over 10 years, allowing states to further reduce their rolls by subjecting food-stamps applicants to drug testing. Ribble defeated a Democratic bid to prohibit food stamp cuts from denying food stamps to veterans, pregnant women, seniors, the disabled or minor children in the event of a U.S. government shutdown or default on its debt.

Ribble voted to give payment priority to bondholders, such as domestic pension funds and foreign governments, if the Treasury were unable to meet all of its debt obligations. Social Security trust funds would be next in line. He defeated a bid by Democrats to ensure that obligations to federal deposit insurance, Social Security and Medicare trust funds, veterans’ benefits and recovery from natural disasters be paid ahead of debt service to foreign bondholders such as China and Iran under the terms of HR 807.

Ribble voted to authorize employers in the private sector to offer “compensatory time off” in place of extra cash for working overtime. Employers have discretion to schedule the time off under the bill, and state agencies, not the U.S. Department of Labor, would enforce comp-time agreements. Ribble voted against a Democratic bid to shifted control to workers for time off if they need to schedule medical appointments, care for a family member or, if they are veterans, schedule appointments related to combat injuries.

Ribble voted to raise from 30 to 40 the number of hours worked each week, on average, to meet the Affordable Care Act’s definition of “full-time employee.” The non-partisan CBO said the bill would cause about one million people to lose employer-provided health coverage each year while increasing budget deficits by $73.7 billion over 10 years as a result.

Ribble voted to passed a payroll tax bill using it to jam through two riders that would allow industrial facilities to release more mercury, lead, and other toxins into the air we breathe. The other would enable the Keystone XL pipeline to go through the American Heartland without the environmental and safety review the White House deemed necessary.

Voted to pass a bill that sets a fast-track schedule for completing reviews of large construction projects in America. He voted to refused exemption from projects that involve building nuclear-power plants in earthquake fault zones.

Voted to impose additional paperwork and public-reporting obligations on federal agencies as they go about drafting and implementing rules to carry out laws passed by Congress. Ribble voted against a bid to prevent the from interfering with regulations that expedite veterans’ benefits; protect the health and safety of seniors, children and consumers; ensure pay equity for women; provide refunds and rebates to taxpayers; aid small businesses; prevent discrimination; safeguard drinking water and protect food supplies from food-borne diseases.

Ribble voted to defeat a bid by Democrats to require the Department of Agriculture to conduct annual food-safety inspections in countries that export egg products, meat and poultry to the U.S. A yes vote was to increase food inspections overseas.

Wisconsin GOP can't stop slide into Tea Party's race to Dystopian Future.

Now we're supposed to believe tea party Republicans aren't as wacky as they appear, or that their dramatic move to the extreme right isn't a result of their general paranoid and authoritarian philosophy.

Suddenly, they're now the victims of their own party leaders, the same leaders they blindly followed using the same repeated talking points that replaced curiosity and information. Their own principled dictatorial conservative leaders are now coming after them.
"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out-- Because I was not a Socialist … Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me."-Pastor Martin Niemöller
Oddly, the media always compares these right wing teabillies with "the left," who they say are just as extreme, pushing for higher minimum wages, pay equity, hedging our bets on climate change, health care for all and support for public education. Ouch, they nailed us. The next thing you know "lefties" will demand more open and free elections.

Here's what's playing out in Wisconsin against the poor radicalized neo-confederate tea party:
WSJ: Party activists are pushing a more conservative agenda, particularly opposition to the new Common Core standards and an attempt to censure party moderates.

Adams County GOP chairman Richard Church said "There are some that believe that the right path is to be more moderate and get more of the middle. There’s others that believe the right path is really to stay strong with conservative principles and get back to the party’s roots.

Dan Krueger, a Columbia County Republican (said) "What (Republican officials) are trying to do is marginalize the grass roots activists. They’re trying to make the constitutionalists look like fringe lunatics."
That would be hard to do. But one Republican State Senator pointed out a few other examples:
"They’re just upset with people who don’t agree with them on everything," State Sen. Luther Olsen said, ticking off several other issues where he disagrees with his party's right wing, such as repealing a law requiring DNA be taken from those charged with a felony, eliminating 4-year-old kindergarten, arresting government employees who implement Obamacare and retaining the right to secede.

Paul Ryan Compared to Cliven Bundy!!! All that's different is the accent.

At the end of a fairly long "Final look at Cliven Bundy" video I pieced together the other day was the clip featured below.

Conservative "liberal media bias" watchdog Newsbusters wrote this:
On the Thursday, April 24, All In with Chris Hayes, during a discussion of racist comments about black Americans by Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, MSNBC political analyst Michael Eric Dyson compared those words to a recent statement by Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan about the work ethic in the inner cities.
Here's Dyson's comment:

Since it's now gotten the attention of the conservative wackos at Newsbusters, I thought we could review Micheal Eric Dyson's on the money comparison between Paul Ryan's recent comment...
"...tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning to value the culture of work." Cliven Bundy's comments...
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro … and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids - and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch - they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.

And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do? They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."

Coffee Flour feeds the addiction...

Well, it doesn't taste like coffee, but it does have a little caffeine and lots of nutrients, gluten free. From their website, a few interesting images:

Friday, April 25, 2014

Scott Walker's Business friends agree, we're headed in the "Right Direction." Surprised?

With the millions of dollars of right wing cash washing over the banks of the Wisconsin border, Scott Walker countered that image with this cute graph. Brown bag lunches anyone? Don't forget your colored pencils.

Big surprise business is upbeat electing their corporate Santa Claus. Like I've said before, they pranked the governor with promises of certainty and job creation. He still doesn't get it.

Gogebic Taconite's Bill Williams says mining opponents are intimidating him and others at public one-on-ones with cameras. And that compares with Camo Armed Guards?

Remember when tea party crazies showed up holding stacks of papers instructing them on how to disrupt town hall meetings protesting health care reform? Nothing weird about that. 

But when mining opponents show up for similar meetings with Gogebic Taconite officials, well that's a different story.  
WPR: The head of the company that wants to build an open pit iron ore mine in Ashland and Iron counties says people opposed to the mine are getting more aggressive.

Gogebic Taconite President Bill Williams told a mining industry group in Duluth a lot of them have now become bananas: ‘Build absolutely nothing anytime near anyone’. That is a problem we’re all facing and the mining industry has gotten a bad name for this. (Protesters) started following us to these things and setting up gauntlets and cameras to film and interview people afterwards. It became intimidating and people didn’t really want this and so they would start backing out.” 
Bananas? That is Audio....

TeaBilly Nation Coming Mid-May!!! Stock up on Ammo.

The article below posted at Politicus USA is in reference to what is now secretive plan to overthrow Obama and Senate Democrats. Talk of a governmental takeover is an integral part of the tea party dialogue that assumes they have the patriotic high ground and purpose. Ever wonder why they've never complained about voter suppression tactics that directly effects them? They don't believe in elections, despite reminding us constantly that we live in a republic. It's all detailed below. 

The geniuses at Patriots4America apparently stirred up a few too many crazies, and decided to pull the actual story from their site (see pic). How that helps them organize is anyone's guess.

Check out the details of their plan and find out what the founding fathers really meant when they pieced together our constitution:
The latest expression of the right’s delusion is a planned march on Washington by 30-million Americans to oust the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress, convene a right wing tribunal, and appoint a new government consisting of a permanent Republican majority.

The march, occupation, and seizure of the nation’s capital is set for May 16 according to right wing extremists, Tea Party Nation, and various militia groups who named it “Operation American Spring;” a take-off of Egypt’s Arab Spring.

According to Operation American Spring’s organizers, “Our only hope is … to stop the White House from total destruction of the United States and bring to a conclusion the out of control government, one way or the other. It’s now or never. God help us.” The whole plot reeks of the Koch brothers’ John Birch agenda to reshape America into a fascist plutocracy and evangelical theocracy.

The American Spring organizers … delusion is only matched by their publicly announced unconstitutionally seditious tactics to overthrow the government and install a permanent Republican-teabagger authority over the people. Organizers have broken down the government overthrow into three phases:

Phase One: “ten million patriots assembled in a display of unswerving loyalty to the US Constitution and against the incumbent leadership with the mission to oust the existing leadership.”  

Phase two: requires one million or more patriots to stay in D.C. to see Obama, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, McConnell, Boehner, and Attorney General Holder removed from office, and replace Boehner by the senior Republican in the House as Speaker.

Phase three: these unswerving Constitutional loyalists will end Constitutional elections and task the House with electing a Republican president and vice president, and to deal with Democrats forcibly removed from office, “a tribunal comprised of Allen West, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Jim DeMint, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Paul Sessions, and Darrell Issa will assume authority to recommend charges against ousted Democrats and government employees.” In a suspension of the judiciary, they will all be tried and convicted by “the new attorney general appointed by the new president” elected by the Republican House. 
These whiny crybabies produced their own video tantrum as well. What's stunning to me is their belief in the "power of the individual," all the while seeking "leaders." Confused?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Obama's Commuting Power Riles up "Tough on Crime" Republicans

King Obama just decreed new clemency standards that effect those caught up in the draconian mandatory sentencing laws to fight drug crime. It was the Republican tough on crime campaign that again, proved to be not just unfair, but outrageously expensive.

Tea party Republicans are now outraged again over Obama's presidential overreach, despite his constitutional power make such changes.
Vox: Conservative commentators and House Judiciary Committee chair Bob Goodlatte attacked the Obama administration for using executive power to solicit applications for commutation from inmates. They argued that Congress has the power to set punishments for federal crimes, and the executive branch doesn't have the power to change those punishments for particular criminals. Goodlatte accused Obama of "blatant disregard for our nation's laws and our system of checks and balances embedded in the U.S. Constitution."

The problem is that the Constitution does give the president broad power to issue pardons and commutations — there's no constitutional requirement that the office of the pardon attorney even exist, or that the president use it. The Heritage Foundation refers to the pardon power as "one of the least limited powers granted to the President in the Constitution."
Here's a great explanation from Rachel Maddow that details how Reagan gave us overcrowded prisons with tough on crime mandatory sentencing.