Sunday, August 30, 2015

As County Executive, Walker blamed Gov. Doyle for high black unemployment; as Governor, Walker is now blaming high unemployment on poor policies in the city of Milwaukee.

First, a note to Chuck Todd; Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive and nearly bankrupt the county.

That would have made Todd's question even more relevant
Todd pointed to stark statistics for African-Americans in Wisconsin — the nation's highest incarceration rate for black males, a ranking of 50th in opportunities for African-American children, the black unemployment rate being double the national average — and asked why that was the case.
As usual, Walker blamed someone else for the problems in Milwaukee:
Walker pointed toward what he called "poor policies" in Milwaukee, saying it's why he has pushed for expansion of school choice.

Hold on there, a little Back History: In 2009, when Walker decided to run for governor, he claimed the problems in Milwaukee were caused by "poor policies" from...guess who, Democratic Governor Jim Doyle. But now as governor, it can't be Walker's fault? Check out this video from Upfront with Mike Gousha, that also includes his push for "shrinking" wages. You read that right:
Walker: (On doing away with more state jobs) "Yes...we're going to have to look at shrinking the size of government, we're going to have to look at shrinking more importantly, the size of wages and benefits..."

Remember, this all happened under Walker's watch back in May, 2009. Even then nothing was ever his fault:
Mike Gousha: "There are going to be people who say look, Milwaukee county has the highest poverty rate in the state, we're losing jobs in the city of Milwaukee, your largest municipality at a rate almost unmatched by any other big city. Do you share any responsibility for that?"

Walker: "Everybody does, but the state of Wisconsin has done specific things, policy wise, that have effected jobs here...if you look at the tax increases of $1.2 billion of new taxes..."

Mike Gousha: "Do you think you bare any of the responsibility for the numbers I just mentioned for the poverty rate, for the lack of employment right now in this community?"

Walker: "No, for us that's been an issue for years...politicians don't create jobs or eliminate jobs...!"
Walker never made the situation better in Milwaukee as governor, a fact pointed out by Todd. Walker as county executive actually agreed to dissolve the county, admitting that it was essentially bankrupt. From the Journal Sentinel's Dan Bice:
jsonline: Milwaukee County government is in such dire financial shape that state lawmakers should push through legislation that would allow it and other local governments to file for bankruptcy … the powerful Greater Milwaukee Committee is looking to recommend doing away with the elected county executive's post, slicing county worker benefits and spinning off the zoo, the bus system, the parks and much else under separate commissions.

(The Greater Milwaukee Committee tried to hide their report, saying) "We don't want this to become some sort of political football during the fall election campaigns ... If these dramatic steps - or something like them - aren't taken county government will collapse," the draft report suggests.
With Walker in charge....
The report also puts it this way: "If we don't make changes today … Parks will close, bus routes will end and families in distress will not get the help they need. Our Milwaukee will grow smaller and smaller as people and companies leave."
He made things worse, blowing a hole in economic development by rejecting the high speed rail project, which in turn killed train manufacturing in the city and related business development along the train route. Here's more of Walker's trade mark word salad:
"We've done all sorts of things," Walker said in response to a question about putting the blame on Milwaukee. "In fact, we put hundreds of millions of dollars in to try to help rebuild the economy out there, but again you've got to have leaders that are willing to use the tools that we've given them. Those are things that we're committed to, and as president I'm going to try to empower cities, towns, villages of all different sizes around this country to have more freedom and more liberties to do things without the restrictions from Washington and without some of the restrictions that you see … Our reforms have opened the door, and school districts like Milwaukee not only in my state but others across the country hopefully can use those reforms to do a better job of providing a quality education."

Forget health care, our crumbling infrastructure and education, Scott Walker thinks building wall on Canadian border "legitimate issue."

I think the following Scott Walker suggestion is taking anecdotal advice to a whole new level.

But Walker didn't listen to hundreds of thousands of protesters?
It looks like a few far right scaredy-cats got a little face time with Walker, and are now getting some traction by our pandering presidential wannabe. I wish I were kidding:
Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker says that building a wall along the country's northern border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review. The U.S.-Canada boundary is the longest international border in the world at 5,525 miles long. Walker says law enforcement officials in New Hampshire brought up the topic of building a wall along the U.S.-Canadian border during a recent town hall meeting. He says they raised some legitimate concerns, so it's a "legitimate issue for us to look at."
Yes, it's very legitimate to Scott Walker, but mind numbingly bizarre for the rest of us. What next, underwater electronic nets spanning the Great Lakes too?

After hearing conservative radio callers insist that's not what Walker said, I thought it best to read his very unambiguous comment:
“Some people have asked us about that in New Hampshire. They raised some very legitimate concerns, including some law enforcement folks that brought that up to me at one of our town hall meetings about a week and a half ago. So, that is a legitimate issue for us to look at.”
And in classic Walker fashion, the media is accused of picking on poor victimized Scott Walker ...
“Despite the attempts of some to put words in his mouth, Gov. Walker wasn’t advocating for a wall along our northern border,” Walker spokeswoman AshLee Strong said in a statement.
But Walker isn't the only one easily distracted by the loony right:
New Jersey governor Chris Christie, on Saturday told an audience in New Hampshire he would ask the chief executive of FedEx to devise a system to track illegal immigrants like packages.
I thought the comment from Canadian spokeswoman Christine Constantin said it best: 
"It is a fact that no terrorists have been successful in attacking the United States coming through the Canadian border. All of the terrorists responsible for 9/11 were in the United States with visas issued by the U.S. government."

Republicans caught trying to "intimidate" Obama...?

The blind spot Republicans have over their own overblown victimhood is showcased by the GOP's biggest victim of them all; Scott Walker.

Walker says as much every time he brags about being the victim of liberal union protesters, who he says are trying to intimidate him. Most people would see that as a healthy constitutional right, but really, only a victim would thinks it's intimidation.

So using that same logic, here's a mindless policy tweet from RNC chair Reince Preibus. It's comforting to know the GOP has up to this point been nice enough to "tolerate" the twice elected president. But will Obama be "unintimidated?"

Just an amazing and unsettling comment!

At the same time Scott Walker caught skipping Overtime for his Bodyguards, GOP bashes Obama's Overtime reform. See an anti-labor pattern?

So Scott Walker didn't pay his personal security detail their earned overtime? Without taking a breath, "Stand with Walker" drones are already creating excuses for their "unintimidated" fearless leader...again:

Walker isn't even afraid to shortchange security staff paychecks? Now that's unintimidated. WKOW:

27 News has found the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) is requiring the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WISDOT) to award retroactive overtime pay dating back to May 19, 2013 to nine Wisconsin State Patrol officers who serve as bodyguards for Gov. Scott Walker and other state dignitaries. Since the State Patrol is a division of WISDOT, the officers are paid out of that agency's budget.
And as we all know, the transportation budget can’t afford another expense, without borrowing more money:
WISDOT Spokesperson Peg Schmitt said the agency was verbally notified of the decision by USDOL on Monday, August 24, but said officials have not yet determined how much it will cost state taxpayers.
It might be surprising to some that Mr. “Unintimidated” Scott Walker thinks he needs so much protection at such a high cost. But maybe they forgot this expense at the 2011 peaceful protests...:
More than 200 law enforcement agencies provided officers for security at the Capitol … in February (2011) (where) huge crowds showed up at the Capitol to protest Walker's separate budget-repair bill … The bill to pay law enforcement officials from all over the state cost taxpayers at least $7.8 million.
Unintimidated, really? If the governor were so beloved for doing what the people wanted, why so much protection?  
The cost for Gov. Walker's security detail jumped from $1.6 million in 2011 to $2.4 million in 2014. The out-of-state portion of that 2014 tab was $89,454, a number which is expected to jump up exponentially in 2015 with his run for the GOP presidential nomination.
The Feds had to step in? So why did Walker wait until the federal government had to be brought in?
Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) “Instead of waiting for the federal government to step in, the state should have paid these officers the overtime pay they were owed to begin with.”

Friday, August 28, 2015

Walker: "America must be, not only the land of the free, but the home of the brave. An America that is unintimidated."

Republican and former Nixon White House Council John Dean warned us few years ago about Scott Walker’s “rightwing authoritarian” characteristics and ambitions. Check it out here.

Some in the media have already declared him a “dictator in waiting.” Walker already said we need a foreign policy "that puts steel in the face of our enemies." 

We’re now at that moment of clarity. In a foreign policy speech at the Citadel in South Carolina, Scott Walker, career politician and foreign policy dufus, gave us all a glimpse at how he would eventually become ruler of the world:
"As president, I will send the following message: The retreat is over." 

"America will not be intimidated. And neither will I." 

"How can we possibly deter our sophisticated adversaries in Eastern Europe and our competitors in the South China Sea if we cannot defeat the barbarians of ISIS and roll back the theocrats in Tehran?"

"Clearly, we can no longer afford to be passive spectators while the world descends into chaos."

"Confronted by these two forms of evil, President Obama and Hillary Clinton seem somehow to believe they can sit on the sidelines, hoping Iran will defeat ISIS for them. They fail to realize that, in this prevailing anarchy, the two sides feed off of each other, growing stronger at the expense of our Sunni and Shia allies trapped in the middle."

"To believe that a stable and lasting Middle East can be built by working with Iran, any more than by working with ISIS, isn't statesmanship. It is pure fantasy."  
In an even more frightening threat, especially after seeing Walker destroy his political opponents in Wisconsin, he wants to continue surveilling every American citizen: 
He said the nation must "restore counter-terrorism and surveillance programs," drawing a sharp contrast with U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, a presidential rival who has said the government's bulk collection of data violates the constitutional rights of everyday Americans.
Despite warnings against fostering the military industrial complex, Walker would double down on his preparations for preemptive wars:
Saying the U.S. military has been weakened by budget measures, Walker called for reversing that trend, saying that defeating ISIS and containing Iran would require a "greater investment of U.S. resources."
Our frightened little governor's preoccupation with tourism...ah, I mean terrorism, should give some pause:
Walker misspoke a couple of times. He quickly corrected himself after saying "tourism" instead of "terrorism" and he garbled what was to be one of his more memorable lines. Walker was to say, 
"Yes, the world is complex, but some things are simple: There is good and there is evil." 

Instead, he said, 

"Yes, the world is complex, but there are simple things out there: There is good and there is bad."
God will someone wake me from this Walker nightmare? Here are the more jaw dropping moments:

And from someone who's been there before, came this assessment of Walker's world conquest ambitions: Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, who served under then-President Bill Clinton, disagreed in a recent opinion column:
"Today, America's place in the world is far stronger than it was in 2009 thanks to the leadership of President Obama and former Secretary Clinton. They renewed alliances, relentlessly pursued our terrorist enemies, and forged international coalitions on Iran sanctions and on the fight against climate change."

Sheriff Clarke challenges Obama to protect himself, give up Secret Service Protections...but forgets to ask Walker to do the same thing.

Awhile back Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke decided to lighten up on the security detail for President Obama's visit to Milwaukee, because he was having a tantrum over budget cuts he disagreed with.

Fox 6: Sheriff Clarke said the protection of the President of the United States is the responsibility of the Secret Service, and local law enforcement provides a supporting role. Sheriff Clarke ... saying budget limitation forced the department to scale back its involvement. Clarke said the sheriff’s office used to set aside money to protect presidents in years past, but the County Board and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele eliminated that funding.
Fast forward to yesterday, when Clarke went further, suggesting Obama give up his security guards altogether to see how he likes risking his life daily, like every Joe average citizen supposedly does.
The sheriff accuses Democrats of "exploiting misery and tragedy" to pursue a political, anti-gun agenda.
"But here's my challenge to the president of the United States, you think this is so easy. Forego your Secret Service protection, for you, for the first lady, and your children, and see what it is like to have to fend yourself. And then we'll sit down and have a conversation so you know what we here at ground level have to deal with on a daily base in terms of self-defense."
Big talk from a guy in a uniform carrying a gun.

But he should offer the same challenge to Scott Walker. Let's see if Walker will feel safe and secure carrying his own firearm, ready to protect himself and his family.

For Clarke, the carnage is an acceptable price we all have to pay for his misreading the 2nd Amendment. Shit happens, die for it. Credit Clarke for being honest and admitting there's nothing he do to improve public safety, except give more people guns:

Clarke said the Constitution does not prevent terrible things, such as this week's horrific murders near Roanoke, from happening. "Well, look, Sean, as you know, terrible things happen in this world from time to time. We have to be a little more humble about our ability to prevent every horrific situation from happening. 

So if we're trying to make this absolute, that none of these things will ever happen again, we're working on the wrong thing, because unfortunately the world we live in, with the evil that exists, it's going to happen."
Aren't you proud Milwaukee County voters?

Scott Walker's Gun Killings solution: Let's find and treat everyone with mental illness.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell summed it well when he described the Republican response to the out-of-control gun death toll in the U.S..
"It's not like the Republicans have found something they actually want to do about this, it sounds like they want to use the phrase "mental health" to suggest there's no government responsibility." 
Scott Walker stands out as the most hypocritical of them all on mental health solutions. See the contrasting actions picture to the right. And it's not just Walker, it's every Republican trying to shred our social safety nets that include money for treating mental health.

In taking a political cheap shot at Hillary Clinton, Walker was also taking an insensitive slap at the father of the reporter killed in Virginia. After all, what does he know:
"It's unfortunate that all too often we've seen from people like Hillary Clinton a political reaction to something that's much more sophisticated and challenging than that. The common thread we see in many of these cases is a failure in the system to help someone who is suffering from mental illness." 
Big talk and empty excuses. Like everything else, Walker believes a little positive spin and rhetoric will result in positive, happy, rainbow filled outcomes for all.
"One, I think in general if anyone focuses on racial discord we’re going to get more. If we focus on unity we’re going to get more of that.
Just as ridiculous are those politicians who want to change human nature first. Yes, that's really their solution. I thought they didn't believe in evolution?

The video below doesn't just show Walker's forgettable "mental health" solution that will fade after a few days, but similar statements by the other GOP presidential candidates who just want to get this behind them.

Clinton said that if guns weren't so readily available, perhaps carnage like the killings of WDBJ-TV reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward by a disgruntled former employee could be prevented.
Naw, let's talk about mental health for a few days. Next up, a talking point solution for those shooters who don't have mental issues. That might take some time...

GOP's CBO chief says: Tax Cuts don't pay for themselves!!!

So the good news is, the national economy did even better than anyone thought it could, and we’re just talking about the second quarter:
The U.S. economy grew more in the second quarter on larger gains in consumer and business spending.
Letting those Bush tax cuts expire worked wonders, allowing the wealthy pay a little more.

It also looks like Scott Walker is again benefiting from the national economic recovery. The state ended up taking in $71 million more than expected in the last budget year:
…up 0.5% over the previous projections … extra money is enough to pay the state's expenses for a little less than two days. Corporate income taxes were particularly strong last fiscal year.
The dependable Walker lackey’s...I'm sorry..."fellows," at the MacIver Institute were quick to make is seem like Walker's tax cuts, not the spending cuts, resulted in magic revenues:

Supply Side Myth Busted: And yet, just a few days ago, Republicans were betrayed by their own handpicked director of the CBO:
Reuters: The new Republican-appointed director of the Congressional Budget Office delivered some bad news on Tuesday to the party's "Reaganomics" devotees: Tax cuts don't pay for themselves through turbocharged economic growth.

"No, the evidence is that tax cuts do not pay for themselves," Keith Hall said in response to a reporter's question. "And our models that we're doing, our macroeconomic effects, show that."
But I've only scratched the surface here. You have to check out the numbers and their deceptive manipulation by Walker to believe the unbelievable. At Jake's Economic TA Funhouse,
Sorry MacIver, Wisconsin's tax cuts did not raise revenues

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Republican hypocrites demand Clinton apology for saying their "views about women" similar to "some of the terrorist groups."

Who can forget this vilification of American protesters exercising their 1st Amendment right to redress their government:

Walker: “We need a leader with that kind of confidence. If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world."
That was just fine with rank and file Republican voters. There were no objections or apologies. And yes, Walker compared Wisconsin protesters to ISIS.

Fast forward to the following comment from Hillary Clinton defending women's rights:

“Extreme views about women – we expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world..." Clinton said to cheers.
So what are our hypocritical Republican "war on women" warriors saying:
“For Hillary Clinton to equate her political opponents to terrorists is a new low for her flailing campaign. She should apologize immediately for her inflammatory rhetoric,” said Republican National Committee Press Secretary Allison Moore.
Do Republicans really want to go there? Of course.

Salon's Joan Walsh went a little deeper into Walker's bizarre comparison that his clueless supporters deny to this day, as shown in these tweets. Just to be clear, many of the protesters weren't in unions and showed up supporting WORKERS in general:

Joan Walsh: Walker himself tried denying that he’d compared Wisconsin protesters to ISIS.  
“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. But I think it’s pretty clear, that’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.” 
He made a similar argument at the New York event where Rudy Giuliani upstaged him … according to Larry Kudlow, an event co-sponsor:
"Walker argued that when Reagan fired the PATCO air-traffic controllers over their illegal strike, he was sending a message of toughness to Democrats and unions at home as well as our Soviet enemies abroad. Similarly, Walker believes his stance against unions in Wisconsin would be a signal of toughness to Islamic jihadists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin."
Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry quickly criticized Walker’s remarks:
"That is a terrible response. First, taking on a bunch of protesters is not comparably difficult to taking on a Caliphate … Secondly, it is insulting to the protesters, a group I take no pleasure in defending. The protesters in Wisconsin … they’re Americans, and as much as we may find their ideas, worldview, and perspective spectacularly wrongheaded, they don’t deserve to be compared to murderous terrorists." 

Conan vs "Trump!"

Love this stuff, nails it:

Online Charter School K12, Inc robbing taxpayers, doling out salaries in the millions.

Don't say we didn't warn you. 

Diane Ravitch supplied us with the ugly salaries below for the biggest con artists and the biggest educational failure yet by the privateers. Tightwad conservative voters who thought public school teachers were overpaid...well, they should be flaming on after seeing this taxpayer ripoff:
Executive Salaries at K12, Inc.While teachers across the nation have salaries lower than those of other professions and often need to take a second job to make ends meet, the executives at Michael Milken’s cyber charter chain K12, Inc. are faring very well indeed.

Their schools have high student turnover and low graduation rates, but it is a very profitable business.

The chairman of the board and CEO made $4.2 million last year.

The former CEO made $4 million.

The executive vice-president and chief financial officer made $824,000.

The president and chief operating officer made $5.5 million.

The executive Vice President, secretary, and chief counsel made $1.1 million.

The executive Vice President and manager of school services made $854,000.

Numbers are rounded. Remember: It is all about the kids.

Republicans wrong again about Minimum Wage hike killing jobs!

At every opportunity, it's important to point out how wrong Republicans are about almost everything. Heck, we even knew they were wrong at the time about the minimum wage killing jobs, and said so. Actual real world proof wasn't enough for them, remember? 

So here we go again, with a dose of reality:
New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) disproves allegations promoted by Fox News that the 2015 increase in Seattle's minimum wage has destroyed restaurant jobs. Media Matters debunked an anti-minimum wage report produced by the conservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and promoted by Fox News that relied on cherry-picked data to allege that Seattle's decision to increase its minimum wage to $11 per hour in 2015 was negatively affecting the city's job market. But as all of us on the left safely predicted:
The BLS report pointed to a less than 1 percent change in total food service employment after the wage increase went into effect on April 1 as proof of the right-wing media myth that raising wages hurts more workers than it helps.

Now, newly-released data from the BLS reveals that Seattle's food service industry has actually added 1,800 jobs since the start of the year, despite the higher wage:

Of course these actual numbers, disproving right wing lies, are "liberal" and made up by me....

Walker never has to worry about health care or term limits.

Scott Walker has raised a family on the taxpayer dime. Those same taxpayers also never had a problem paying for Walker's free health care while they had to struggle with rising premiums, larger contributions at work, or preexisting conditions.

And while Walker talked about backing term limits, he was always above all that. jsonline:
Scott Walker pushes term limits, but broke pledge as county exec: At a town-hall meeting in New Hampshire last week, Gov. Scott Walkercalled for 12-year term limits for the U.S. House, Senate and federal judiciary. And he took credit for limiting his own terms during his 22-year political career.

"I've self-imposed them myself. I've never been in an elected position more than 10 years," said Walker … But in 2008, Walker failed to keep a term-limit pledge of his own when he sought a second full term as county executive.
Of course as a career politician who’s always running for something, he made a convincing case for giving the boot to lingering politicians:
"I am open to a run for a full term in 2004, but will not run beyond that term." "People start looking over their shoulders instead of looking ahead...we need to think more about the next generation than we do about the next election. The longer people serve it's just human nature, the more you start worrying about the next election more than you do about the next generation," Walker said in New Hampshire.
Ever get the idea Walker has his own designs on changing the Constitution, "dropping the bomb" on that someday:
He told his audience he supported federal term limits even though it would require amending the U.S. Constitution.
What would a 12 year term limit mean to Rep. James Sensenbrenner’s 37 years career, or Paul Ryan’s 17. It’d be kind of nice not having them around.
Jim Sensenbrenner of Menomonee Falls said, "Term limits take away the right of voters to re-elect the representatives they choose. Effective leadership does not have an expiration date." 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

FACT: Insurer windfall under Walker's plan, while we all pay for skyrocketing Junk health care policies.

Urban Milwaukee examined the cost of Scott Walker's health care plan with the only group of numbers provided; the age based tax credits. And since this is a cobble together plan filled with elements of other Republican ideas, you will now see how costly their market based system is, right from the beginning.
Statewide: An analysis of Scott Walker’s recent health repeal proposal by Citizen Action of Wisconsin reveals that his plan would expose many Wisconsin consumers who receive federal tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to massive premium hikes.

“As a high cost state, Wisconsin health consumers benefit more than other states from tax credits under the Affordable Care Act.
Citizen Action calculated the cost from two age groups: A 60 year old, and a 40 year old:

One more chart:

"Victims" of John Doe raid tell uninteresting story to protect Scott Walker!

While the State Supreme Court's conservative activist Justices, paid for and elected with the help of the litigants, dismissed the 2nd Walker John Doe investigating collusion. The public got a better look at how bizarre that decision was:
Newsweek: Under Wisconsin election law, it is illegal for candidates or members of campaign staffs to coordinate their work with groups whose IRS nonprofit status prohibits direct support of political candidates.

Investigators turned up hundreds of emails describing precisely the coordination proscribed by Wisconsin state law.
A complete article that nails every point. In the meantime, the John Doe raid resulted in the following frivolous lawsuit:
Cindy Archer, a longtime aide to Gov. Scott Walker, has described a 2011 police raid on her home in which officers screamed at her, threw a search warrant at her without reading it, barred her from stepping outside to smoke and failed to inform her of her constitutional rights. Newly unsealed audio of the three-hour incident tells a different story. Archer has sued Milwaukee County DA ... Her suit is particularly critical of the Sept. 14, 2011, raid on her Madison home ... She also discussed the incident for a sympathetic story in the National Review earlier this year.
Jumping on the bandwagon were other horrified raid "victims" and possible accomplices who don't understand what "illegal" means. See the video below.
Fox News: A Wisconsin mother and son break their silence for the first time on television, they will tell us how their home was raided, and ransacked, in what they call an attempt to take down the Republican governor of their state, the now presidential candidate Scott Walker." 
Yup, average citizens protecting their unintimidated leader from the dark forces trying to "take down" Walker. Tough courageous stuff.

My conservative friend called the night this unbelievable example of spin aired on Fox News. He surprised me when he said he was unaware of the John Doe raids, but felt they were uncalled for and a witch hunt. As I've mentioned before, he bought into the distraction of Benghazi and the IRS/Hillary emails.

Despite being described as a witch hunt, the first John Doe raid nabbed 6 people close to Scott Walker, who were convicted. It's a real insight into the kind of people Walker likes to surround himself with. The poor victims below tell the exciting story of standard police procedures.

Monday, August 24, 2015

A much needed lesson for Republicans on the Civil War.

Racist Republicans have successfully muddied the concept of what is racism. Rationalizing away any guilt an individual might feel

Ken Burns from Face the Nation and Raw Story:

Historian Ken Burns reminded supporters of the Confederacy on Sunday that the Civil War had been primarily about slavery, and not states’ rights as many conservatives have claimed. Burns recommended that Americans read South Carolina’s Articles of Secession to get the real story on why the states went to war against each other.
“[T]hey do not mention states’ rights. They mention slavery, slavery, slavery,” he pointed out. “And that we have to remember. It is much more complicated than that, but essentially the reason why we murdered each other — more than 2 percent of our population, 750,000 Americans died; that’s more than all the wars from the Revolution through Afghanistan combined — was over essentially the issue of slavery.”

“The main American theme, I think, is freedom. But we also notice that race is always there. Always there. When Thomas Jefferson says all men are created equal, he owns a couple hundred human beings and he doesn’t see the contradiction or the hypocrisy and doesn’t free anybody in his lifetime and sets in motion an American narrative that is bedeviled by a question of race.

And we struggle with it. We try to ignore it. We pretend, with the election of Barack Obama, that we’re in some post-racial society. And what we have seen is a kind of reaction to this. The birther movement, of which Donald Trump is one of the authors of, is another politer way of saying the N word. It’s just more sophisticated and a little bit more clever. He’s ‘other,’ he’s different.”

“What’s actually ‘other’ and different about him? It turns out it’s the same old thing. It’s the color of his skin.”
Here's Col. Ty Seidule, Dept. of History at the U.S. Academy in West Point, no slouch when it comes to war:

Walker's dystopian vision will push the threat of economic isolation, military feet on the ground and "steal in the face of our enemies."

I thought Scott Walker was an egomaniacal sociopathic rightwing authoritarian before it was okay to say such a thing about our likable 3 time winning governor.

Walker's latest "steal in the face of our enemies" threat to China should end all speculation about his readiness to be president. Talk about knee-jerk reaction:
“Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today's markets driven in part by China's slowing economy and the fact that they actively manipulate their economy ... President Obama needs to cancel the state visit ... we need to see some backbone from President Obama on U.S.-China relations."
You could even call this Walker's "McCain moment. Remember?
John McCain announced that he would suspend his campaign and asked that Friday's debate be postponed. Why? Because of the "historic crisis in our financial system."
Walker's absurd "backseat" order to the current president was remarkably similar to an order he gave to his predecessor Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, when he asked him to stop hammering out a deal with the states public unions before leaving office.

Bottom line: Believe it or not, Walker wants to penalize China for trying to reform their economic system, a goal of the U.S. for years.

Here's a compilation of clips showing the reality based Obama assessment, Trump mouthing off, and then Walker taking his cue...

The national media noticed too, big time, and it started innocently enough...:

One Wisconsin Now made an important point. In fact, if anybody needs a backbone it's Scott Walker, Walker was once drooling over the possibility of trade with China. A quick search through the Journal Sentinel archives turned up this list:

Here's one of the reasons for China market instability, which had more to do with reform and a much needed market correction. You'd think Walker would have taken a little time to look it up himself:
An editorial openly called out people questioning China's attempt at economic reform (including weeding out corruption) known as "The New Normal." That was published across multiple publications, including the People's Daily. The piece was signed by "Guoping," a pen name the government uses when it wants to get its point across.

"The New Normal" is the government's name for the inevitable slowdown that has come from China's transition from an economy based on investment to one based on consumption. It's a long-term reform play and, to many, one that's long overdue. But it comes with major pain. Xi had prepped his people for lower growth, but no one expected the slowdown would come so hard and fast. This is a test of the leadership's ability to execute its mission.

There's a comedy gold mine in Scott Walker's non-answers!!!

By next summer, will Scott Walker's non-answers be a comedy writers biggest resource for jokes? Maybe.

Here's John Oliver's take on Scott Walker's non-answer about attending a gay marriage:

Here's another look at Oliver's version of Walker's RSVP response:

"Liberal Republican Scott Walker" victim of his party's own wacky rightwing thinking.

It's an upside down look at an upside down way of thinking (does that make it right-side up?). 

It looks like Scott Walker isn’t enough of a sociopathic rightwing authoritarian, for at least one guy at MOFPPolitics. In backing up his claim, writer "MP," pointed to Walker’s $2 billion hole in the state budget:
Is the beard and mustache real?
Fap check: Scott Walker’s $1 billion surplus brag that turned out to be a $2.2 billion deficit: The $1 billion surplus brag was key to Walker’s reelection … boasting about it at the 2014 State of the State…Then came this, from Walker’s own office…Budget requests exceed expected revenues by $1,096 million in fiscal year 2015-16 and by $1,118 million in fiscal year 2016-17, for a total of $2,214 million over the biennium.
Right on. I’m starting to like this upside-down, weird, down-the-rabbit-hole kind of thinking by your typical zealot conservative, especially when they turn that same lunacy on themselves.

In fact, MP revealed this Walker shocker:
Liberal Republican Scott Walker, who has cast himself as fiscal conservative, pays 27% interest on $20,000 in credit card debt…Walker has two credit-card debts of more than $10,000 apiece on separate cards and is paying an eye-popping 27.24 percent interest rate on one of them, new federal financial documents disclosed.

Not including $100,000 in student loans for his radical, gay activist sonsThe [ungrateful brat] sons of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker…were disappointed with their father’s criticism of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on marriage equality.
Or this "myth-buster," with MOFO's own video proof:
Scott Walker is pro-amnesty, pro-Obamacare, pro-Common Core, anti-austerity…

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Walker Came in like a wrecking ball!

The fact that the DNC will not allow the Democratic candidates for president go on the offensive via presidential policy debates is mind boggling to me. In the void created by this silence, voters might just get used to all these weird Republican ideas, thinking these are the choices they have. Wrong.

In response to Scott Walker's outrageous plans for our country, I've got a little something to say.

A. Walker had the nerve to brag that "conservative commentator after commentator, from the Wall Street Journal and National Review and plenty others out there, said this is the best plan out there." No, really? Looks like they're the only ones that matter now in Walker's one party world vision.

Walker said it was about "freedom." Yet how free are we, when we're forced to buy from insurance companies who've already decided how much we're going to pay for their services? How free are we when an insurer drops our coverage, or raises the rates at the same rate every other insurance company does? How free are we if we can't shop for a better or less expensive doctor or hospital because we're locked into an insurers network?

On Walker's health care subsidies, think about it; giving everyone who doesn't have insurance through their employer (at cheaper group rates) a subsidy, will open the door for every business to drop their own health care coverage. Why not right? Lower cost group coverage will disappear as an unintended consequence.

And spoken just like a career politician getting taxpayer health care for over 20 years, he's giving every conservative freeloader a pass, saying you can take your credit and "not buy health care insurance if they don't want." So it happens all over again folks, just like before the ACA; doctors and hospitals will make up for that uncompensated care by raising your skyrocketing monthly premiums. Oh, but Walker said that will lower costs. The deceiver and chief?

B. Scott Walker's Private Email System makes him the real "Deceiver and Chief."
Walker used a private email system when he was county executive … Walker aides set up a secret wireless router they used to conduct campaign business while on county time.

Who's Walker deceiving when he says he didn't know anything about the private email account and router right outside of his office? This should be an easy one for any Democratic candidate. Hillary's emails by the way are becoming "classified" because they're being released to the public, just like the Republicans wanted.

C. Our Big Bold Governor threw his Legislative leaders under the Walker bus again, this time on national television: I think Republican State Sen. Luther Olsen said it best:
"The thing is, we were all the guys facing the crowds every day coming in and out of our offices. We didn't have the police protection," he said. "Taking on your friends ... and saying you were the tough guy? Thanks a lot, buddy."

Really, no mention of Scott Walker's Secret Wireless Router?

I seemed to remember...
Walker used a private email system when he was county executive … Walker aides set up a secret wireless router they used to conduct campaign business while on county time. 
But the media spin on Hillary Clinton is brutal.
“Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign is trying to turn the tables in the controversy over her handling of classified information on her chief Republican investigator.”
She’s not so much turning the table than pointing out how vacuous the email controversy really is. And yet unmentioned...
Walker used a private email system when he was county executive … Walker aides set up a secret wireless router they used to conduct campaign business while on county time.
Hers was a legal server, with yet unclassified emails:
Their point: South Carolina Representative Trey Gowdy and the panel he chairs that is investigating Clinton have dealt similarly with information that was later found to be classified.

"Trey Gowdy treated e-mails in this case the same way Hillary Clinton did, considering them unclassified and storing them on unclassified systems. We don't see what legs Trey Gowdy has to stand on in his criticisms of Secretary Clinton."
And yet where's the badgering...:
Walker used a private email system when he was county executive … Walker aides set up a secret wireless router they used to conduct campaign business while on county time.
But the trumped up email controversy continues....
The Clinton campaign says none of the emails she sent or received on that server were marked classified at the time, and that rules at the time allowed her to use a private account. Some of the information that moved on Clinton's private e-mail account later was determined to warrant a classified designation.  The Friday afternoon defenses highlight a rhetorical problem facing the Clinton campaign. 
Where are the questions? 
Walker used a private email system when he was county executive … Walker aides set up a secret wireless router they used to conduct campaign business while on county time. 

Will Walker's "Executive Ordered" ObamaCare repeal also force Politicians to shop across state lines for their own supposed "Patient Centered" insurance?

Walker promises to rule like king the first day: let the Executive Orders fly….

I hope the media finally comes to the realization that Obama’s vilified use of executive orders has more to do with race than the phony outrage over supposedly bypassing congress and acting like a king. Detect a little resentment? 

Scott Walker’s promise to issue executive orders on his first day will not surprisingly get support from angry Republican voters because they have as a party, a much higher purpose. Even executive orders are okay if in the end, they reverse the liberal socialist agenda.

That’s where repealing the Affordable Care Act with an executive order comes in (stripping subsidies from government staff), an entry level device Walker will use again and again to usher in a whole list of surprising uncompromising policy edicts. AP:
In announcing his plan, Walker vowed: "On Day One, I will sign an executive order removing President Obama's special deal for Congress.”   
This is no small revelation. Republicans have been pounding Obama on every one of his executive orders.
Walker's campaign says his executive order actually would direct Cabinet officials to "undertake rulemaking" — typically a drawn-out process … he would first strip away the federal health insurance subsidies that they and their staff get as government employees. That, he says, would expose them to the same premium increases that many Americans have to pay and prompt Congress to act on his plan. Walker said undoing the rule, and essentially raising insurance costs for members of Congress and their staffs, would serve as the motivation for lawmakers to repeal the health law and replace it with his plan.
But government employees would see the same kind of subsidies everyone else is seeing, which is no  horror story, unless they’re making too much to get the tax credits (the tax credits should have been phased out more slowly).

Will the Political Elite now have to Shop for Insurance? I’m now waiting to hear Walker tell Washington politicians to not just give up their government paid subsidies for ObamaCare, but to get out into the marketplace, where those supposed “patient centered” junk policies will be available to all. 
Would members of Congress really rally around his initiative after seeing their health subsidies disappear? And can he really end those subsidies without congressional action, as he vows he would do with an executive order on his first day as president?

"It shouldn't be taken seriously," Tim Jost, a law professor at Washington and Lee University in Virginia and an expert on the health law, said of Walker's plan. "It's just a political talking point."

But absent a national emergency, Walker wouldn't have the legal authority to amend the rule to remove the subsidy, said Jost, a supporter of the health care law. And even if the rule were changed, it wouldn't hurt members of Congress because most lawmakers are either independently wealthy, have coverage through their spouses or are old enough to quality for Medicare, Jost said. That would leave their staff members stuck with higher insurance costs, Jost said.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Republicans defy growing public support for Unions

You read that right, the public is interested in seeing unions grow again, despite the right wing attempts to return our nation to a slave labor economy.

The south is of course convinced no one wants them anymore, big surprise. But after so many years, they're used to wallowing in their own misery, blaming themselves for everything their politicians did to their way of life. And let's be honest, Republicans don't like unions funding the Democratic Party. That's been made pretty obvious by the favored unions supporting the GOP:   
Gallup: Approximately one in eight working adults in the U.S. (12%) belong to a labor union, equivalent to 8% of all Americans. More broadly, 17% of Americans live in a household where at least one person belongs to a union. 

But, notably, this varies markedly by region, with just 6% of adults in the South living in a union household, compared with 18% in the West and roughly a quarter in the East (24%) and Midwest (23%). Membership is also higher among nonwhites (24%) than whites (13%), and among Democrats (24%) than Republicans and independents (13% each).

Republicans, circa 1935 on Social Security: "Enslave workers, cruel hoax, a fraud on the workingman." Same old BS.

Marking Social Security's anniversary, this interesting bit of history seemed almost new:
Huffington Post: According to the Republican critics at the time, the new liberal retirement program was "socialism." They said that it would a job killer, the death knell of democracy and the end of American prosperity. 

Republican presidential candidate Alf Landon said that it was "a cruel hoax" and "a fraud on the workingman. One GOP Representative from New York suggested that the new law was purposefully designed "to enslave workers, and to prevent any possibility of the employers providing work for the people." Another intoned ominously that "the lash of the dictator will be felt."

It all sounds oddly current and familiar. But it happened decades ago when Social Security was first proposed. Social Security was signed into law 80 years ago by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on August 14th, 1935. But it was Frances Perkins, the first female Secretary of Labor and cabinet member, who was the driving force behind the creation of the program.

Republicans claimed that the law was unconstitutional. And several lawsuits eventually made their way up to the Supreme Court. President Franklin Roosevelt was able to see the results first hand of that extended experiment in "smaller government." And as he remarked in his second inaugural address:
"I see millions of families trying to live on incomes so meager that the pall of family disaster hangs over them day by day.

I see millions denied education, recreation, and the opportunity to better their lot and the lot of their children.

I see one-third of a nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished."

Scott Walker's constitutional Birth Right Citizenship position is No Position. Surprised or just Comical?

Foot-in-mouth Scott Walker is showing us how his off scripted comments say more than any word salad non-answer. Talking to NBC's Kasie Hunt, our wondering governor accidentally spilled the beans - twice:

Last night I had to laugh at the way the WKOW news anchor unintentionally phrased Walker's...position? Great stuff:

Scott Walker willing to balance Human Lives with Cheaper Coal Energy.

While Scott Walker tries to create a manufacturing renaissance in Wisconsin, he's also working on retaining our retaining our reliance on coal. Think of Wisconsin as a "retro-50's" playground for old-fart corporate dinosaurs clinging to the past.

But what makes Walker's coal fired future so bizarre is what he's willing to "balance" out with coal: human life. Personally, that's not even a question, or shouldn't be anyway.
Coal or combined coal/gas make up the majority of Wisconsin's power plants ...Scott Walker rang alarm bells saying customer rates will go up as emission levels go down, calling the EPA regs a chain saw to the economy. 
The writings on the wall...but: Despite the rapid closing of coal mines nationwide, Walker's stubborn insistence to stay with coal is just setting us up for the eventual future cost of catching up to the new green energy marketplace. At least that spending won't be on Walker's watch, and that's all that matters to him.

WPT's Here and Now talked with Keith Reopelle, senior policy director at Clean Wisconsin, who made it perfectly clear about the human cost being bargained away by lobbyists at WMC and Scott Walker. The supposed massive cost of moving away from coal deceptively never figured in the savings costs associated with the change:

Scott Manley, vise president for government relations at WMC (he's a lobbyist), bragged about the smog, soot and carbon monoxide standards his industry never wanted in the first place, warning us at the time it would kill the economy... and didn't. Manley then had the nerve to say climate predictions haven't been accurate:
FREDERICA FREYBERG: So this has become an argument, then, of jobs versus the health of people or the environment?
SCOTT MANLEY: No, it doesn’t because we actually don’t need this rule to have clean air. We have smog standards, soot standards, carbon monoxide standards in place right now … these are health-based standards that protect human health. This rule…is an incredibly ineffective rule as it relates to global warming and climate change…why are we going to spend billions of dollars and put thousands of middle class factory workers out of a job so that we can have a negligible impact on global temperature?
Did you notice how Manley shifted from human health, to bash climate change instead? So much for the human carnage:

CBSNews: If the latest report from America's top weather experts is an indication, it's becoming really hard to deny global warming. Temperatures last year across the world reached record highs, according to the "State of the Climate in 2014" report from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Center for Weather and Climate. Sea levels continued to rise andglaciers kept shrinking while record concentrations of greenhouse gases including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide were recorded in the atmosphere.

The most jarring data from the NOAA climate report was on temperatures, with four separate, global data sets confirming the world saw record high temperatures in 2014, with 20 countries from Europe to Mexico setting records. These were the highest temperatures seen in the past 135 years.
From NASA, this unnerving gif showing global warming, a supposed fiction pushed by big business. Many Republicans won't even play it safe, you know, just in case: