Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Scott Walker and Brad Schimel offer to protect Women in Latest Ads, from abuse and sex offenders.

With forced ultrasound tests, closed Planned Parenthood clinics around the state, the removal of punitive damages in local courts for pay equity lawsuits...among others, Republicans have a "war on women" problem.

So what does the GOP and Walker campaign do? Put out fear mongering, desperate, grotesque over-the-top ads that try make the party of women's rights look like psychos plucked out of TV's Criminal Minds.

This old soft on crime tactic has reemerged as "R" rated ads revealing their world view; where scary predator filth are stalking women. Thank god men like Scott Walker and DA Brad Schimel have dedicated themselves to protect women.

Nothing says war on women like two men, Walker and Schimel, telling us we can't trust two women candidates to advance women's rights or offer legal protections from abusers and employer discrimination. My head is hurting again. Starting with Walker's latest, here are the two ads together. They are soooooo desperate:

Suddenly a month out, Walker cares, and he's right on message:

Even Michelle Obama became a target of the "phony outrage brigade" with this transparent attempt to limit the damage:
AP: Republicans on Tuesday accused Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke of showing a "cavalier attitude" toward domestic violence in using a song by pop star Chris Brown before an appearance with first lady Michelle Obama. But Burke's campaign said the song was an unauthorized addition to its playlist and won't be used again.

Paranoid Christie says Unions want to make example of Walker in bid to takeover state!

Republicans constituents know and love their rich sugar daddy leaders, and embrace the idea of following those leaders no matter how bad they fail, because it’s always someone else’s fault anyway. As one average Republican voter said about Chris Christie on a campaign stop for Gov. Scott Walker:
Phillydotcom: Richard Johnson, 73, of North Hudson, said … "Some think he's a little too liberal,” referring to Christie as "arm-in-arm" with President Obama after Hurricane Sandy. But Johnson didn't blame Christie, who, at the time, praised Obama. "You know where the money is, so you might as well butter up with it," Johnson said.
Says it all doesn't it?

The easily led Republican “stand with Walker” voters are comfortably numb to Walker’s broken jobs promise and near last place national rankings for jobs and business start-ups. Relieved of the responsibility to think, Walker’s rabid Borg-like followers have settled on the simple minded gotcha, “cut and paste” Mary Burke. 

The Union Bogeyman: Republicans seem to think liberals, progressives and Democrats follow leaders in lockstep like they do. Since when do unions consume my every waking moment? Wrong. It's mentally lazy to settle for that cliché. But it's an effective fan favorite that was used yesterday by Chris Christie to distract from his and Walker’s policy failures. Christie's collected 7 credit downgrades so far for N.J. 

From Walker and Christie's rhetoric, this is a national campaign! But for voters, like us, we’re just damn concerned about what’s happening to Wisconsin:
Addressing Walker supporters, Christie said the "big government unions" that "tried to come into this state and take this state over in 2012" want to "make an example of [Walker] to other governors around this country who want to do tough things to put the taxpayers first."
Yea, we're sending a message to every GOP governor, you're next. Republicans think in terms of “state takeovers” and “making examples of,” a governing style we're seeing play out under Walker with black lists and rammed through right wing policy. 

You'll notice I had to quote from a Philly newspaper. The media here is still stuck on the phony plagiarism brouhaha.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Burke Tweets Jobs Plan Response...

"Stand with Walker" trolls apparently don't care about getting results, like jobs, or they would be all over Scott Walker's failed 4 page plan lifted right from the GOP platform.

Instead, they're attempting to redefine the word plagiarism, ignoring the jobs plan that might get Wisconsin's economy going again. Power not jobs, that's what this is about.

Here's Mary Burke's simple tweet:

Burke is "unintimidated" by the right wing harassment, standing behind her better ideas:

UPDATE: Not many Unique Ideas, Sorry: Beside the right wing obsession (weird huh?) with "copy and paste" Burke, they're also chiding her for not pointing out a "unique idea" in her plan. It was an odd question from WISC's Jessica Arp, because there's nothing new under the sun regarding state level job and business creation. It's a combination of "best practices" a person chooses, guided by their ideology, that leads them to success or failure. 

Walker drones demand "unique ideas" from Democrats, but not from Republicans. Proof?

Just by coincidence, right wing Gov. Sam Brownback bragged his plagiarized Kansas "Comeback" relied on what he described as "not anything new," "nothing we're doing is new," "nothing that we're doing is different from what we've done before." I smiled when I saw this:

His honest "nothing we're doing is new" economic plan has had surprising results. Results that other governors who are bragging about their plagiarized state "comebacks," should be a little worried about:

Activist Supreme Court Conservatives come out swinging, allow Voter Suppression in Ohio.

The activist justices on the Supreme Court decided, to hell with it, and went to work for Republicans. Why hide it? If flooding GOP candidates with money won't work, why not desperately take out the elections.
"Try and stop us!!!"
We no longer need to debate whether the court is activist. In fact, we’re now looking at what is basically a hostile takeover:
The Supreme Court delayed the start of early voting in Ohio Monday, a day before it was scheduled to begin, temporarily blocking a victory won by voting rights groups in lower courts. Ohio's was the first case to reach the high court, and the conservative majority blocked lower court rulings that would have jump-started early voting Tuesday.

The decision has potential implications for other states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina, Texas and Arkansas.
Here’s what the activist conservative justices allowed to suppress the vote:
Their action, opposed by the court's four liberal justices, reversed a federal appeals court decision that had blocked the state from reducing early voting from 35 to 28 days. The lower court also had ordered the state to restore some evening and Sunday voting that the Legislature had eliminated.

Since the 2010 elections, 22 states have enacted restrictions on voting. In 15 states, the upcoming federal elections will be the first to test their impact.
Ohio Republicans didn't just say it was about voter fraud, like everybody else, but they also claimed they were trying to save money. I’m not kidding. If you didn't get the message before, when the activist court struck down parts of the voting rights act, you got it now. Any questions? 
Today’s decision is harmful to Ohio voters,” State Senator Nina Turner said in a statement, adding, “The same divided court that struck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act has now made it immeasurably more difficult for working Ohioans, African Americans, and low income and homeless voters to cast their ballot.”
As for Secretary of State Jon Husted's more restrictive cuts to voting hours? You know how people cheat in the dark of night:
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said Monday evening he will implement the schedule he set in June, which eliminates one Sunday and extra weeknight evening hours from the statewide schedule he set on Sept. 12.

Walker halts safety and energy saving building code standards in quest for smaller government.

More is at stake in November than you might have imagined. Homes and commercial business construction being built now using outdated standards could cost residents lots of money in the future and be dangerous.

Thank you Scott Walker. According to the Wisconsin Centerfor Investigative Journalism’s Bill Lueders:  
Under Scott Walker, Wisconsin slows updates of building and safety codes: Critics say anti-regulatory bent is driving state’s failure to address potential hazards and adopt money-saving advances.

Regulatory lag: Construction of commercial and multi-family buildings in Wisconsin is subject to 2009 national model code standards, adopted by the state in 2011. The next three-year model standards, for 2012, were never adopted in Wisconsin and likely will not be, given that the 2015 standards have already been released. 
Small government and deregulation can be very costly and hazardous to life and health:
In November 2011, industry consultant Robert DuPont, a lobbyist representing the Alliance for Regulatory Coordination, warned that failure to do so “can negatively impact both public safety and the economy in Wisconsin.” Three-quarters of the state’s code councils dealing with buildings and safety have not met in years.

In two instances, Wisconsin appears to be violating state laws … Critics say this failure also means lost savings for homeowners and taxpayers, reduced accessibility for people with disabilities and increased dangers for building occupants. “The codes address hazards and problems that we’ve learned about through tragedies,” said Madison Fire Marshal Ed Ruckriegel … 24 of the state’s 32 code councils had not met since 2011.  
But don't take Lueders or my word for it:
Joe Jameson, electrical and building inspector for the city of Middleton said he does not know whether DSPS lacks staff or resources, or just doesn’t care: “They have a job to do and they’re not doing it.” 

Jean MacCubbin, DSPS’s former administrative rules coordinator, said chalks it up to anti-regulatory bias and, in her view, general incompetence. “Their idea is to get rid of people who write codes, because that’s regulation,” 

Joe Hertel, formerly the state’s chief electrical inspector, left the agency in mid-2012 after it called for eliminating requirements to add safety devices including arc and ground fault circuit interrupters in new homes. This decision, made at the urging of the Wisconsin Builders Association, an industry trade group, was rescinded amid intense opposition. “When you have to do things that go against your better judgment, your morals and your ethics, it’s time to do something else,” Hertel said. 
Need a frightening example? Lueders found this:
And Jeffrey M. Hugo, manager of codes for the National Fire Sprinkler Association, noted that the 2012 code, which 21 states have adopted but Wisconsin has not, mandated that automatic sprinklers be installed on building floors that contain ambulatory health care facilities like surgery centers and dentist offices as well as on all lower floors. “If the construction boom in this area ends before (Wisconsin adopts) the 2012 code,” Hugo said, “we’ll have a whole bunch of these health care facilities that do not have sprinklers throughout the building.”

ISIS Beheading Success at Frightening Conservatives gives home grown Killers Ideas .

It's no coincidence that following the ISIS beheadings and the call for all out war by frightened conservatives like the easily manipulated Sen. Lindsey Graham, criminals got a crazy idea.

The paranoid right wing press is filled with this stuff for the most exploitative reasons:

The unintended consequence of their full out panic attack has resulted in a copycat beheading and threats by homegrown killers looking of headlines. Yet Republican talk show hosts who are part of this fear mongering campaign to discredit Obama are surprised the idea is catching on:

This is on right wingers. Nice going guys.

Walker cut Tech School Funding during Recession and Peak Enrollment. Restored Funding is up now and enrollment is down.

While a few areas of our state are blessed with low unemployment numbers, others aren't so lucky, and fading tech school enrollment is a sign many are just giving up. Wisconsin’s thriving manufacturing climate is now part of a bygone age, replaced by supposed “free market” global trade agreements, offshoring and an expansion of the new low wage service economy.

Who can take Republicans like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan seriously when they talk about lazy low wage people in poverty not trying, while strongly supporting businesses that wouldn't have it any other way; low wage labor dependent on taxpayer funded social safety nets equals high profits. That’s what makes the next wave of safety net cuts so cruel. Ryan’s “everybody can be rich, everybody should be a business owner” delusion is nurtured by an unquestioning media willing to treat bad ideas like real alternatives.

Declining tech school enrollment might be expected after it peaked during the Great Recession (our brainy governor cut tech school funding at the worst time), but it also might be a sign a skeptical public isn't willing to invest in retraining when jobs have become so disposable. The WPR news headline tells that story:
Wisconsin Technical Schools See 2-Year Decline In Enrollment: Drop Comes As Schools Try To Increase Number Of Students In Technical, Vocational Training - Census data shows that enrollment at technical schools around the country declined for the second year in a row.

Conor Smyth, the director of strategic partnerships for the Wisconsin Technical College System, said … over a two-year period starting in 2008 the number of full time students jumped 16 percent. As the economy improved, however, enrollment dropped by 5 percent in 2011 and a little less in 2012.
Admit it, we’re in a Service Economy Now: While Scott Walker echoes his party’s resistance to minimum wage hikes, even floating ideas to get rid of the floor completely, the low wage service sector is now a dominant part of our economy. And demand is down because people don’t have any discretionary cash.

Guess who isn't rushing into low wage service industry jobs? The surprising news out of all of this is that hard working Americans have decided to steer clear of service industry jobs. Serves these bottom feeders right:
Recently, Smyth said he met with businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector and heard similar concerns. “We have employer partners coming to us saying, ‘We need twice the number of graduates.’ In some cases, the colleges simply can't find students who are interested in getting into that program area,” said Smyth.
Here's a Journal Sentinel graph that proves my point. You'll also notice in the map to the right how two GOP targets for cuts, health care and social assistance, are the biggest growth areas. That can't be good:

Republican runs to restore office destroyed by Republicans. Dizzy yet?

Republicans hate the office of the Secretary of State so much they stripped it of almost every duty, without going through the trouble of changing the state constitution.
The remaining duties include publishing bills into law and keeping the state seal. Democratic Secretary of State Doug La Follette has served as secretary of state since 1975.
GOP candidate Julian Bradley is all about taking back the office his party spent so much time destroying, mostly because a Democrat has held it so long. Bradley also went on a "Shattering Stereotypes Tour" to prove Republicans aren't the maniacal closeted racists most people think they are because well, he's black. Wow, I'm convinced now. It looks like he caught on to the old liberal trick; we leave racist signs on the ground, and when a conservative picks one up, we take a picture of them waving it around proudly. It works all the time too.

Bradley also wants to pull the GAB under his wing, kind of politicizing it a just little, because that's what other states do. Hey, is that plagiarism (hot word now)? Those independent retired judges need a guy like Bradley to keep them in line with the party philosophy.

Bradley wants to "rebuild" the bridges La Follette burned with Republicans.  Mike Gousha asked Bradley if that didn't just make government bigger again, by adding more duties to the office. Bradley's said his new powers would make the office more efficient. That makes perfect sense.

This whole interview is surreal and an amazing example of having it both ways, but only if you're a Republican. From Upfront with Mike Gousha, this slide show (not a video clip):

Note: Democratic Mayor Tom Barrett also floated plans to retire the office, but not out of retaliation for delaying the publication of Act 10.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Walker selling another 4 year Trip into Fantasy Land!

It looks like Scott Walker might just get away with silly answers to serious questions. But will reporters ever notice?

The following Walker clip featuring a couple of quotes about the minimum wage are so far down the rabbit hole your head will hurt.
Walker: "My goal all along was to find jobs that pay two or three times the minimum wage." 
That's like asking Walker about health care for everyone and being told that his goal all along was to wipe out disease so no one would ever gets sick again. Health care problem gone, but until then...

As far as his last idea...:
Walker: "People can have tactics that try and figure out how we're going to argue about what the floor is...I wanna argue about how high we can push the ceiling to get higher pay." 
Forget about raising wages of those already in our massive service economy, Walker is pondering the more esoteric concept of no income ceiling. Wait, what income ceiling? He's far more advance than the rest of us.  

Unemployed Participation rate never used for Scott Walker. Many gave up looking or were booted.

Scott Walker is such a dismal failure creating jobs, that even the number of those looking for work is much higher than it was way before the Republican Great Recession.
WSJ: Over the 12-month averages from the years leading up to the Great Recession (about 145,000 in 2006 and 148,000 in 2007) ... the June estimate was that there were 174,872 people classified as unemployed — that is, people without a job but still actively searching for work. That's still elevated...
So not only have we not made up the job losses from the Great Recession, but those actively looking for work are worse now, and that doesn't include the non-participation rate for those who gave up. Yet the unemployment rate is Walker's one big bragging point in this election season, sitting at 5.6%. Maybe a few aren't looking anymore?

From my blog post “Republicans give up on Job Creation, Cut Unemployment Benefits Instead. Bizarro World Continues...” here's a few ways Walker and his Republican pirates did it. jsonline
-Repeal a program that allows claimants to receive an additional 26 weeks of benefits if they are enrolled in training.

-Bar inmates in work-release programs from receiving unemployment benefits.

-Tighten the definition of workplace misconduct so that fewer people would qualify for benefits.

-Eliminate nine instances in which a worker can quit a job and still claim benefits.

-Requirement for job hunters to come up with an impossible 4 job applications a week.
Job creator or ruthless magician for the gullible base? And why doesn't the media ever asks about the participation rate of the unemployed? It's always a big issue with Obama's numbers, but not Walker's. Why is that? 

Walker Troll disproves Burke's Plagiarism, inadvertently points out Walker's own implementation failure.

Thanks to one conservative troll, I was able to finally shoo her back into her cave-like "stand with Walker" bubble.

The pictured tweets from LizSchmidt3 attempts to make the ridiculous claim Mary Burke said she wrote the whole thing. And to prove her point, she gave me a link to a Marquette University interview Burke had with Mike Gousha.

Apparently LizSchmidt3 didn't watch even the first 5 minutes, because Burke not only didn't say she wrote the plan herself, but time after time gave credit to all the people that contributed ideas to the plan. It doesn't just prove the plan wasn't plagiarized, but it shows Burke justifying the use of so many other great ideas.
Burke: "You know I don't believe that just because someone else or another group did a report that I need to start from scratch, and not build on some of the good ideas that have already been developed.

Burke also owns the plan, since she paid individuals for their contributions. But like my conservative friend in Milwaukee, LizSchmidt3 can't mentally get past the easy but phony disproven talking point.

EVEN BIGGER: Burke also criticized Walker for his failed implementation, an idea we just saw repeated in the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States list, where they wrote this about Wisconsin's dismal 46th place ranking:
We generally find a governor with a significant lack of concern, business knowledge, or an inability to manage their economic development efforts. Rhetoric alone does not make a governor pro-business and pro-jobs. Among these bottom-ranked states are some that have such weak or non-existent programs, or are so inept in their procedures that they are pushing jobs out of their states.
Scott Walker set the divisive condescending tone even before he was governor. Think about it; if you had a decent economic plan, would you turn it into a massively unfunny joke to bash your opponent DPW wrote: 
Scott Walker’s (4 page)“job plan” was a 68-page joke written in 100-point font, meant to mock Tom Barrett’s very serious and very thoughtful plan to restore economic security to working Wisconsin families. 
I looked through the "plan." See if you can spot any thoughtful, original idea’s here that aren't part of the party platform and are not already enacted in other Republican states. I couldn't. I've added my comments in quotes:
Six things we must do to make Wisconsin economically competitive with other states: Lower Taxes (Repealing job-killing tax increases-GOP platform-plagiarized)   …   Eliminate Red Tape (streamline the permitting process-plagiarized)   …   End Frivolous Lawsuits That Kill Jobs (cliché much-plagiarized)   …   Improve the Education of Tomorrow’s Workforce-(plagiarized)   …   Make Health Care Affordable-(privatization-plagiarized) … Invest in Infrastructure-(a common GOP lie-plagiarized)   …   Lift Wisconsin’s nuclear moratorium-(failed, prohibitively expensive and a plant closed down due to no interested buyers-still pushing bad plagiarized nuke idea).
That’s it folks. It’s a plagiarized 4 pager taken from the party platform written by other people presented as the state economic plan 4 pages long that Walker expanded into 68 pages...as a joke. You can't make this stuff up?

By the way, I watched Upfront with Mike Gousha and didn't hear John Nichols say what Burke did wasn't plagiarism, a simple message Democrats are so bad at delivering.

In reaction to this story, the troll trash hit the twittersphere with what they oddly refer to as "debate?" Never once do they address the issues presented here, and never once do they show us they have a clue about business strategies and owning what you pay for, like advice that beats the pants of Walker's partisan political ramblings:

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Conservatives in Colorado School District push Propaganda, Patriotism over real American History. Students Protest for Week.

Tea party like Americans love the simple thought of freedom and liberty. No meaning, no struggle, no history, no lessons to be learned, just that warm fuzzy concept.

Colorado's Jefferson County school board is finding out that the next generation won't be happy with propaganda dressed up as history. This could take your breath away: 
Students are upset by a proposal, drafted by board member Julie Williams, that would form a committee to inspect curriculum in those advanced history classes. It would insure teachers covered concepts like patriotism, the free-enterprise economy and respect for authority — and eschewed subjects about civil disorder and social strife.
We already know Republicans everywhere despise social unrest, civil disobedience and protests against their dystopian agenda, but the last few weeks have revealed two shocking public admissions by conservative media.

The first was this plainly stated common viewpoint by conservative talker Vicki McKenna's Facebook post.

That's a picture of the 2011 winter protests against Gov. Scott Walker's Act 10 attack on collective bargaining, stripping union rights. That big crowd resulted in a recall petition that garnered one million names. That list is now being used as a black list to attack those running for office and unsuspecting voters at the polls.

If anything, even the most conservative individuals should shudder at the use of that list, and where this could eventually lead.

The second example was Fox News' reaction to this story, highlighted in this "Trending" countdown on the Ed Show. This might shock you:

Here's more of the story:
CBS/AP: More Jefferson County high school students are protesting a proposal to emphasize patriotism in Advanced Placement history classes. Students at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood protested Thursday in the fourth straight day of demonstrations.

A Chatfield student said Thursday she worries modifying history curriculum would snowball into changes in other classes. “It is very concerning because it doesn’t stop at history. It continues on to changing texts books to not include evolution, teaching students not how to think but what to think and that is what we don’t want to happen here,” student Ashlyn Maher said.
If the story of our country isn't enough to encourage patriotism, than we're in big trouble. But I think the following comment, oddly not featured in the story below, tells you all you need to know about the conservative agenda and their disrespect for dissension. Wouldn't you know it, it's some kind of teacher plot:
Ken Witt, the president of the school board, said he thinks students are being used as pawns by teachers, who are unhappy with the history proposal as well as a new pay plan.
Here's what one teacher thought:
“A democracy is messy. It’s messy, it’s a struggle. It requires your participation,” said Stephanie Rossi, a history teacher at Wheat Ridge High School and the vice president of the Jefferson County Education Association. “It requires your voice. I didn’t want anybody’s voice to be chilled because we’re afraid to talk about certain people in history who have in fact made our democracy a greater democracy.”

Walker and Christie put their states in Top 5 Worst States for Business in 2014!!!

While Scott Walker likes to talk about an opinion poll of happy Wisconsin CEO's getting corporate welfare, big surprise there, outside business groups see us a lot differently. jsonline:
Wisconsin ranks #46 but ranked #44 when Governor Walker took office in 2011. New Jersey ranks #47 but ranked #45 when Governor Christie took office in 2010.
Mary Burke would be smart to pickup on the following report, the Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States list, for political but mostly economic reasons. Ironically, these rankings are based on supply side economics, like taxation, corporate welfare and "right to work," so coming in at the bottom may not be a bad thing. A comeback state like Minnesota has done well, while avoiding the pitfalls put in place by Scott Walker.

But the biggest factor for Wisconsin's low ranking under Walker; lousy leadership. In fact, you’d think from the excerpt below that they were talking about Scott Walker's disastrous chairmanship of WEDC and Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch's laughable efforts to attract business:
(These are) the factors used to evaluate each state’s economic development department’s professionalism, marketing efforts, and responsiveness to employers are identified. Stage II factors are under greater control of the governor. When we have a state ranking low in this category, we generally find a governor with a significant lack of concern, business knowledge, or an inability to manage their economic development efforts. Rhetoric alone does not make a governor pro-business and pro-jobs.
Ain't that the truth. The report, the "'Gold Standard' for evaluating the pro-business status of each state" specifically goes after state entities like Walker's failed and mismanaged WEDC. As we've seen, Walker has vilified and attacked industries that don't meet his ideological litmus test, and thus squashed diversification:
This is the department in state government that should be responsible, not only for the creation of new jobs, but also for the maintenance of existing jobs. It is this department’s responsibility to strive to diversify a state’s economic base so that it will better weather any particular industry downturn. There are many states that are, for all practical purposes, one-industry states tied to the ups and downs of their dominant industry. Too often we see these states ignoring or paying lip service to efforts to diversify their economies.
Alert to Mary Burke: The following point from this pro-business right-to-work study is a good one:
These bottom-ranked states need to have their state political leaders rethink their efforts to attract and maintain jobs for their constituents. Among these bottom-ranked states are some that have such weak or non-existent programs, or are so inept in their procedures that they are pushing jobs out of their states.
How would you then describe Walker's efforts? The report offered this quote:
Abraham Lincoln said, “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”
Scott Walker is more than content with his "comeback" failure, as stated over and over in his reelection campaign ads. As James Rowen writes (check out his blog, Political Environment):
Whom does Walker blame for this FUBAR, since he never takes any responsibility for his jobs and fiscal failures? Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos? Fascinating that Walker and Christie will share a stage next week in Hudson. Turns out they have more in common than maneuvering around prosecutors. Will anyone ask them about the data...?
Behold, from the jaudiced eye of this pro-corporate, anti-labor report, a graphic Walker won't be happy with. Which means he'll dig the hole lot deeper given 4 more years:

Friday, September 26, 2014

The NRA Militia endorses who else, "Divide and Conquer" Governor Scott Walker, opposes something called a "time tax."

Let me get this right: Gun regulations make it harder to purchase firearms and they get in the way of the 2nd Amendment. Voter regulations make it harder to vote but don’t get in the way of our federal and state constitutional right to vote. I understand now…we are Borg!

But in a twist I didn't see coming, but should have, the NRA Militia* has decided to exploit the conservative impulse to freeloader with their natural opposition to taxes of all kinds; they're calling it “the antiquated 48-hour “time tax” on handgun purchases.”

Time tax? Nothing says playing to the fears and dislikes of Republicans everywhere like a “time tax.” Ouch. The NRA Militia is apparently renewing and energizing a whole raft of new "taxes" based on the tried and true “death tax” scare. I found this new "tax" at the NRA Militia site designed specifically for Scott Walker. How kind.

I wouldn't be surprised to discover NRA Militia opposition to the;

-"Learning Tax:" Gun licensing courses turning idiots into legal gun toting idiots.

 -"Licensing Tax:" Big government permits to carry and own a firearm. 

-"Open Carry Tax:" Laws blocking open carry at events and businesses.

-"No Guns Allowed Tax:" Where private freedom loving family homes institute and post a no guns allowed sign tax on guests. 

-"Smart Gun Tax:" A free market attempt to destroy the 2nd Amendment with guns that are smarter their owners. 
These are just a few new "taxes" pushed by who else, "tax" and spend liberals who hate America. 

God, if only we had a one party government with a strong leader who'll make the unpopular decisions that they know are best for us. I can dream.

*I call them the NRA Militia now because that's all they're really good for; starting, speaking for and arming militias in the name of firearms sales.  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The American Dream lives on in the Top 10%!!!

I just did a post on the American Dreams that showed why Democrats, and not so many Republicans, see it disappearing or is no longer attainable.

Now we know why...from Voxdotcom:

Burke tells Truth about Tax Cuts for the Wealthy and tax Increases for the Poor, yet PolitiFact rates it Half True?

Mary Burke nailed it. Here's a screen capture from PolitiFact:

A true statement. But PolitiFact rated it Half True. Why?

Because PolitiFact threw in the "broader tax cut that applied to all incomes." But Burke didn't mention that because she focused on two true points: Tax cuts for the wealthy, and a cut in the Earned Income Tax Credit. It's in the statement above.

Here's what PolitiFact got right:
His first state budget … provided tax cuts to corporations, businesses, manufacturers and investors, among other groups. The largest tax cut, done through tax credits for production earnings of manufacturers and agricultural businesses, helps not only corporations but also individual owners of smaller businesses … we rated Mostly True a claim that the credits would enable a factory owner -- in some scenarios -- to pay less in state income tax on those production earnings than a minimum-wage fast-food worker.
The rich are also getting big cuts for services they mostly use:
In addition, the income tax changes enacted under Walker include other breaks for people across many income levels, including those with health savings accounts and those who send their children to private schools.
Burke also said Walker raised taxes on 140,000 recipients getting the EITC, which is also true:
Walker’s first budget, for 2011-’13, contained what the Legislative Fiscal Bureau classified as $49 million in tax increases. The largest change was a reduction in the state Earned Income Tax Credit about 140,000 recipients would see their credits reduced. In other words, they would pay more in taxes or get a smaller tax refund.
So her statement is half true? PolitiFact threw in something Burke didn't mention:
So, Walker cut taxes for the wealthy, but for a broad cross-section of taxpayers, as well.

But Burke was 100% right about the point she made. Whatever reason, PolitiFact decided to throw in something else, making here statement Half True. What the heck.

Republicans believe in American Dream, Democrats see them killing it.

Ah, the clueless press. In another example of blissful ignorance, a Washington Post reporter outright blamed liberals for losing faith in achieving the American dream. But we don't deserve blame, we deserve credit for noticing. 

In reality, the article missed the bigger point; liberals are sickened by the conservative movement to reverse worker wages and job security, putting control in the hands of private business interests. Few Republicans think our laws, written by business, is anything to worry about. Heck it sure makes their job easier too.

And that’s why many Democrats are afraid the America Dream has become just another relic of the past:   
A new poll from the Public Religion Research Institute shows 55 percent of Americans say the American Dream either never existed in the first place, or that it did exist but doesn't anymore.
Reporter Aaron Blake then came to this incredible conclusion:
But before you attribute this decline to Republicans who are very unhappy with President Obama and his leadership, consider this: Republicans (55 percent) are far more likely to believe in the American Dream than Democrats (33 percent). The 2012 report, for instance, showed Republicans at 60 percent and Democrats at 50 percent. So the difference is mostly attributable to Democrats.
Yes, Democrats believe that because they’re the ones watching the whole idea of the American Dream slip away. Republicans are blissfully hastening its demise under the banner of smaller democratic government and greater privatized control.  

Here are the details:

A CNN/Opinion Research poll in June showed 59 percent of Americanssaid the American Dream was unachievable -- the worst that number has been since 1996. Meanwhile, a February poll from McClatchy and Marist College showed 80 percent of people say it's harder to achieve the American Dream than it was before. Just 31 percent said those who worked hard had a good chance of improving their lot in life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

John Doe 2 back on?...Federal Court Reverses Conservative Activist Judge Randa.

When a conservative activist judge like Rudy Randa gets slapped around by the Federal Appeals Court like that, you've got to just scratch your head. If this were a liberal judge, we'd never hear the end of it. But "stand with Walker" trolls, tongues tied?

Judge Randa thought he could just change every law he didn't like, whether it's before him or not. That's what I would call authoritarian activism.

Surprise, Walker is still connected to the investigation, that remains on hold. WisPolitics:
A federal appeals court today reversed an injunction ending a John Doe investigation into coordination between conservative groups and Gov. Scott Walker's campaign in the recalls. 

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals also reversed Judge Rudolph Randa's ruling rejecting an immunity defense by state prosecutors who were sued by targets of the investigation. The court also sent the case back to district court with instructions to dismiss the suit, "leaving all further proceedings to the courts of Wisconsin." Randa sided with the Club for Growth in issuing an injunction to halt the probe. 

But the 7th Circuit ruled today Randa improperly issued the injunction because federal law says a U.S. court may not interfere with state court proceedings "except as expressly authorized by Act of Congress, or where necessary in aid of its jurisdiction, or to protect or effectuate its judgments." 
The court did not hold back:
jsonline: "What we have said shows not only that an injunction was an abuse of discretion but also that (as prosecutors) all defendants possess qualified immunity from liability in damages," wrote Judge Frank Easterbrook in the decision.

"It is not possible to treat as 'bad faith' a criminal investigation that reflects (the U.S. Supreme Court's) interpretation of the First Amendment," he wrote. "Public officials can be held liable for violating clearly established law, but not for choosing sides on a debatable issue."

Because of that, prosecutors and investigators involved in the case remain immune from lawsuits, Easterbrook wrote.

GOP Bullies Pout, Stamp their Feet and Go Home after Frivolous Ballot Lawsuit Tossed.

This is all the time I want to spend on this GOP lunacy:

6 Degrees of Truth Ending 6 GOP Lies.

In a Rolling Stone article titled “Six Studies That Show Everything Republicans Believe is Wrong: It's time for the right wing to stop lying about the minimum wage, taxes, global warming and more,” we’re finally getting around to telling right wingers what we should have been saying all along-the truth. But instead, the media decided some time ago to treat the truth and BS the same, out of respect to the clueless and to appear neutral to the point of silliness.

My simple truth is: If you treat snake oil salesmen like doctors, you get a lot of snake oil doctors:
1. The Minimum Wage Doesn't Kill Jobs: In the early Nineties, David Card and Alan Krueger found "no evidence that the rise in New Jersey's minimum wage reduced employment at fast-food restaurants in the state." The most comprehensive meta-study of the minimum wage examined 64 studies and found "little or no evidence" that a higher minimum wage reduces employment.

2. The Stimulus Created Millions of Jobs: The Republican belief that markets are always good and government is always bad led them to argue that diverting resources to the public sector this way would have disastrous results. They were wrong: The stimulus worked, with the most reliable studies finding that it created millions of jobs. 

3. Taxing The Rich Doesn't Hurt Economic Growth: Republicans believe that the wealthy are the vehicles of economic growth … investment is driven by demand, not supply; if there are viable investments to be made, they will be made regardless of tax rates … Thomas Piketty and Emmanuel Saez, two of the eminent economists of inequality, find no correlation between marginal tax rates and economic growth. Inequality reduces the incomes of the middle class, and therefore demand, which in turn stunts growth. 

4. Global Warming is caused by Humans: James Powell finds that over a one year period, 2,258 articles on global warming were published by 9,136 authors. Of those, only one, from the Herald of the Russian Academy of Sciences, rejected man-made global warming. That one article was likely motivated by the Russian government's interest in exploiting arctic shale. Another, even more comprehensive study, examining 11,944 studies over a 10-year period, finds that 97 percent of scientists accepted the scientific consensus that man-made global warming is occurring.

5. The Affordable Care Act is Working: President Obama's centrist healthcare bill was informed by federalism (delegating power to the states) … Republicans, undeterred, decried it as Soviet-style communism based on "death panels" – never mind the fact that the old system, which rationed care based on income, is the one that left tens of thousands of uninsured people to die. From the beginning, Republicans have predicted disastrous consequences or Obamacare, none of which came true. It's worth noting that every time the CBO estimates how much Obamacare will cost, the number gets lower. Odd how we've never heard Republicans say that.

6. Rich people are no better than the rest of us: Politicians on the right like to pretend that having money is a sign of hard work and morality – and that not having money is a sign of laziness. This story is contradicted by human experience and many religious traditions … But it's also contradicted by the facts – more and more rich people are getting their money through inheritances, and science shows that they are no more benevolent than others.

Walker is breaking 101 year old Living Wage Law!

Because Scott Walker doesn't believe in raising the minimum wage, he will never act on boosting it, ever. It's his principled right wing position.

The dilemma for Walker? Will he decide to break a unique 101 year old state law requiring a living wage, or use the law to increase the minimum wage while still holding onto his principles? I predict he will not only break state law, but will challenge it in court with yet another frivolous lawsuit, where conservative activist justices will eventually side with Walker. Republicans own the courts, if you haven't noticed, and they're going to use them all the time.

What is this 101 year old "living wage" law? Check it out...WSJ:  
Wisconsin Jobs Now plans to present petitions from about 75 workers who say they are paid wages that are not self-supporting. The group said that violates a state law dating back to 1913 requiring that the minimum wage in the state “shall not be less than a living wage.”

Walker has said he opposes raising the minimum wage, saying it would force employers to cut jobs.

The “living wage” law requires the Department of Workforce Development ... to investigate and determine within 20 days “whether there is a reasonable cause to believe that the wage paid to any employee is not a living wage.” The law further defines a living wage as one needed to maintain “minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.”
Remember when an American value included the promise of minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being? When did people say "the heck with that?"
Peter Rickman, director for Wisconsin Jobs Now’s campaign dubbed Raise Wisconsin, said “The governor and the (DWD) secretary will have to do the due diligence to decide what to raise that minimum to. The fact of the matter is, no one can live on $7.25 an hour.”

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Walker takes credit for Doyle Job Creation and doesn't mention Obama Stimulus Funding.

Forbes Magazines Rick Unger couldn't help chiming in on "Plagiarismado" blowing through Wisconsin. Whatever you call the following, Scott Walker got caught being the big hypocrite that he's always been for the last 3 and half years as governor. A while back he took credit for jobs created under former Gov. Jim Doyle.

Just amazing really. It would be a big story if it weren't for the fact that he's another Teflon Republican:
Plagiarism is defined as the “wrongful appropriation,” “close imitation,” or “purloining and publication” of another author’s ”language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions,” and the representation of them as one’s own original work.

With that in mind, welcome to this week’s episode in the stirring adventures of Scott Walker – the ‘truth challenged’ Governor of Wisconsin.

Today’s chapter involves the Curt Manufacturing Company, a large manufacturer of trailer hitches located near Eau Claire, Wisconsin where the Governor traveled last week – with news cameras and writers in tow – to make a big fuss about providing the funding that will create 125 new jobs at the company. In a news release, Walker said –
"This project directly creates 125 new jobs and indirectly creates 129 jobs, resulting in $12.6million in annual wages right here in Wisconsin. By providing these funds, we are bringing quality jobs to Wisconsin while improving road access to Curt Manufacturing’s expanded facility." Via Wisconsin Journal Sentinel
Way to go Governor! And by ‘Governor’, I am, of course, referring to Governor Jim Doyle, Walker’s Democratic predecessor who is the one actually responsible for arranging the funding that created the 125 jobs.

In a December, 2010 press release (prior to Walker taking office) the Wisconsin Department of Commerce in the Doyle Administration announced that they were awarding Curt Manufacturing the $400,000 in tax credits and $11 million in tax-free bonds that would create the 125 new jobs.

It gets better. Where do you imagine this funding came from? A transportation grant created in the dreaded Obama stimulus program-the very legislation Governor Walker never misses an opportunity to trash.
Here comes the bigger lie:
So confusing was the dog and pony show Walker created to take credit for someone else’s work, the media actually found themselves confused. Commerce Secretary Paul Jardin stepped into the breach (and said), “Generally, the press releases or press conferences are tied around when the company wants to do something. Obviously, they want to do it with a governor present. That’s probably what occurred here.”

Yes, that is probably what happened here. Or not – or at least not according to the president of Curt Manufacturing, Curt Tamborino. “Walker’s office had called and said they wanted to do this final presentation with a press release in front of the media.”

So, is it plagiarism when a governor takes direct credit for the work done by a previous administration – or just plain, old-fashion lying? I suppose it doesn’t matter.  A lie is a lie is a lie. What does matter is that Walker, and his clearly hapless administration, can’t seem to work out how to pull off a political lie without constantly getting caught red-handed. 

Madison Mayor Paul Soglin urges voter ID push for Students and Seniors as "Act of Defiance."

I got pretty energized when I saw Mayor Paul Soglin push back against the voter suppression efforts by the Walker Authority:

Soglin: "I'm hoping everyone in our community sees this as an act of defiance, that they are determined to carry out. That they will vote." 
Here's the whole story from WISC's Jessica Arp regarding Madison's efforts to help Walker's suppression targets, students and seniors:

Walker backers deny that Act 10 squeezes School Budgets, now blame bad district budgeting.

We always knew that when it came to cutting school budgets, conservative freeloaders would never be satisfied. As long as I can remember, Republicans have always complained about supposed bloated school administrations. In the 90's we were already talking about cutting everything down to the bone. 20 years later, the rhetoric hasn't changed.

Check out this recent retweet by Walker's Borg-like trolls, whose loyalty to party leader Scott Walker knows no bounds. It epitomizes their now mindless habit.

To them, it's not Act 10's disappearing one time benefits contributing to school district shortfalls, it's the districts irresponsible spending on things like keeping the lights on and class sizes down, blah, blah, blah. See the comment at the bottom by Tom O'C:

It’s a funny thing about Scott Walker’s much touted tax cuts; they’re negated by the state’s cost shift to local governments. “Stand with Walker” Borgeteers can never seem to connect those dots. We saw that when districts increased taxes to make up for lost revenues to voucher schools, and they didn't even notice. Conservative voters refuse to see how they’re paying more, even after passing funding referendums.

Simply put, as the state cuts aid by 3.9%, costs continue to rise for the Eau Clair school district, like $927,000 for computer equipment delayed from last year and maintenance costs:
Eau Claire school district residents will contribute more money out of pocket … the district’s proposed 2014-15 budget would boost the amount of money collected from local taxpayers by nearly 6 percent to preserve existing services. General state aid is anticipated (to be) down $2.32 million from last year. Residents would pay $50 more per $100,000 of property value.

This increase is “the function of the revenue limit formula controlled by the state,” Superintendent Mary Ann Hardebeck said.
Walkerites will say it’s bad budgeting because anything else would burst their little fantasy bubble and force them to think. And they weren't told that "thinking" was a part of their tea party platform. 

Free Markets are Dying because of forced employee Health care, Minimum Wages and Paid Sick Days!!!

We are so owned by big business that local editorials apologetically shill for them without even thinking anymore.  

The opening line in this Orange County Register opinion piece is supposed to be scary:
America’s businesses are getting older and fatter, while many new businesses are dying in infancy. Regulations, bailouts and crony capitalism are choking off our economic promise. A study last month by the Brookings Institution found … young people are starting companies at a sharply lower rate than in the past. 

A new report from the National Association of Manufacturers shows a major cause: The cost of complying with government regulations … falls disproportionately on smaller, newer businesses.
Why? Well first, we’re supposed to assume the National Association of Manufacturers is a believable unbiased source not looking out for its own industry…I don't think so. I guess we’re also supposed to reel back in horror at what the editorial lists as "onerous" big government regulations, but I don’t think so.
Governments are imposing onerous new rules on a seemingly daily basis: health insurance, minimum wage hikes and mandatory paid sick days for even hourly employees.
Yes, health care, the minimum wage and paid sick days are "onerous," contributing to America’s demise.

The opinion piece even admits these “onerous” regulatory mandates force smaller businesses to rely less on our social safety nets while leaving larger more politically connected companies on the public dole. I'm sorry, but business shouldn't rely on any social safety nets, right?
These mandates shift substantial social welfare costs directly onto often-struggling small businesses, while being proportionally much less costly for larger companies.
Oh, and did you know income inequality wasn't caused by chintzy business owners looking for cheap labor that relied on taxpayer supported food stamps and health care, it was our meddling government:
It also makes the arguments of socialism distressingly more attractive to those who don’t understand that free markets are our best chance for prosperity for all. Income inequality — which is directly caused by flawed government policy…
The solution to flawed government policy…wait for it; government policy. Would I kid you:
Policy must incubate our new and small businesses...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Walker last in job growth since becoming governor. And his projected deficit hole $3 Billion Deep?

WISC's Jessica Arp takes a detailed look at Scott Walker's actual jobs record, for last year and since he's been governor.

This self important big shot actually thinks business can't survive without him in office. The following might be a problem for those with a pretty easy gag reflex.
Walker: "I think by any objective observer would tell you, you talk to employers around the state, that between the protests and the recalls and the next wave of recalls, that kind of froze out businesses in the state."
Yes, business held their collective breath, stopped and waited till they knew Scott Walker would be back. God our world revolves around this pathetic self-aggrandized sociopath. And are business leaders really "objective observers?" Walker still doesn't see how they're playing him:

Here's Walker's incredibly delusional comment again:

Of course that doesn't explain away the projected deficits. Funny thing, unlike the projected surpluses, "projected" deficits can't be taken seriously. The numbers don't lie though, like supply side tax cutting ideologues. It's so much easier to freeload off the investment made by previous generations.

From State Sen. Jennifer Shilling's press release:
After state agencies submitted their 2015-17 budget requests this week, Gov. Walker’s budget deficit is now projected at nearly $3 billion.* The overall budget deficit could exceed $4 billion once state transportation, school funding and other agency budget figures are released.
Here are the numbers with links.

Current Fiscal Year (FY15) Budget Deficit:
$396 million (LFB memo 9.8.14)

Projected 2015-17 State Budget Deficit numbers:
$1.8 billion structural deficit (LFB memo 9.8.14)
$1.1 billion in new spending requests (DOA agency budget requests 9.15.14)
Estimated $680 million Transportation Fund deficit (Associated Press 9.15.14)
Estimated $568 million in K-12 Fair Funding costs (WI DPI 2013-15 budget request)

Thanks to Rock Netroots for digging up Shilling's great point by point look at Walker's failed policies.