Friday, July 29, 2016

Janesville buckles under to Big Business, now a Million Dollars in the Hole.

Thanks to lower business property tax assessments in Janesville, the city is now $1 million short.

WISC has yet to post the story beyond the story below, but you couldn't find a better example of big business tax cuts that are eating it's host city alive:

Rocknetroots has been on top of this and blogged the following background story from Janesville's freeloading big business conservatives. Guess what, there is a cause and effect:
Not too long ago, the Janesville Gazette posted anexclusive article about how some Janesville area big box retailers and other businesses are putting the squeeze on Janesville taxpayers by using a "dark store" argument to win substantially lower property tax bills. Some received settlements while others won lower property assessed values, refunds or both. the Gazette's parent label, Bliss Communications, hired a tax lawyer to, as lawyers are described in their editorial about the retailers, to "prey on the city" by filing an objection to their own property tax ... (resulting in) a $30,000 lower annual tax bill for the media company. 

Voter Suppression Unconstitutional Judge Rules...Walker and Schimel surprised...?

The wise and wonderful governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, somehow misinterpreted the Constitution and pushed illegal attempts to suppress voting. What a thing to do in a representative democracy.

Even lapdog AG Brad Schimel, legal scholar and all around good Republican, thought he had this one in the bag. Again, just like last time, he was wrong. JS:
In a sweeping decision shaking up how the November election will be conducted, a federal judge on Friday struck down aspects of Wisconsin's voter ID law, limits on early voting and prohibitions on allowing people to vote early at multiple sites.

The judge also turned back other election laws Republicans have put in place in recent years. The order resets the rules for voting less than four months before the presidential election. A likely appeal could keep the laws in place.
According to WISC:

Just today another big decision came down:
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a North Carolina voting law finding that Republican lawmakers intentionally discriminated against African-Americans when they passed it. (The) 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the measure's provisions "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

The voting law imposed a voter ID requirement, cut early voting opportunities, eliminated same-day voter registration and banned out-of-precinct voting, among other provisions.

Most damming, The appeals court — citing a lower court’s findings — noted that North Carolina legislators not only sought data breaking down voting practices by race, but then crated the law’s new provisions to single out practices disproportionately popular among African Americans, like early voting and provisional ballots. 
In Wisconsin, specifically:
 ... addresses a broader set of election laws that have been modified in recent years, including ones limiting early voting and requiring voters to establish residency 28 days before voting. Both those measures are unconstitutional, U.S. District Judge James Peterson ruled in a 119-page ruling Friday

Aides to Schimel defended the laws, arguing lawmakers have broad leeway to set voting rules as they see fit. 
The voter fraud house of cards keep trampling over our right to vote:
The ruling comes a week after another federal judge ruled voters in November could cast ballots without showing ID if they submitted statements at polling places saying they could not easily get a state-issued ID card. Attorney General Brad Schimel has already appealed that ruling.
Check it out:
As sensible as Judge Peterson's findings were, states rights Republican Jim Steinke would have none of it, noting his party can do anything it wants once given the power:
Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna) dismissed the ruling, saying that Peterson overstepped his authority. "Another in a long line of judicial overreaches that usurp states' rights. One more example of why (the U.S. Supreme Court) is critical," Steineke tweeted.

Courts catching on to Voter Suppression Laws!

No really, Republicans are definitely trying to suppress voting.

Here's the amazing facts behind the decision:
A federal appeals court on Friday struck down a North Carolina voting law finding that Republican lawmakers intentionally discriminated against African-Americans when they passed it. (The) 4th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the measure's provisions "target African-Americans with almost surgical precision."

The voting law imposed a voter ID requirement, cut early voting opportunities, eliminated same-day voter registration and banned out-of-precinct voting, among other provisions.

Most damming, The appeals court — citing a lower court’s findings — noted that North Carolina legislators not only sought data breaking down voting practices by race, but then crated the law’s new provisions to single out practices disproportionately popular among African Americans, like early voting and provisional ballots. 
Race and Politics: Know now that they just aren't lying, they're also rigging elections because they can't win with their dystopian policies:
The state's history of racial discrimination in voting, the appeals court said, "highlight[s] the manner in which race and party are inexorably linked in North Carolina. This fact constitutes a critical — perhaps the most critical — piece of historical evidence here. The district court failed to recognize this linkage, leading it to accept "politics as usual; as a justification for many of the changes in [the voting law]. But that cannot be accepted where politics as usual translates into race-based discrimination."

The ruling is just the latest court win for voting rights advocates. A different federal appeals court ruled this month that Texas's voter ID law is racially discriminatory and must be softened. And a district court softened Wisconsin's ID law, too, though that decision is being appealed.

The Incredible Trump "Says He Wanted to 'Hit a Couple of Speakers So Hard!" and so much More.....

This would be funny if Trump voters weren't so invested in this blunt talking reality show thug:

"You know what I wanted to. I wanted to hit a couple of those speakers so hard," Trump said. "I would have hit them. No, no. I was going to hit them, I was all set and then I got a call from a highly respected governor."

"I was gonna hit one guy in particular, a very little guy," he said. "I was gonna hit this guy so hard his head would spin and he wouldn't know what the hell happened."
Maybe this whole Trump phenomenon comes down to something this simple:
When it came to Donald Trump, Clinton went for the jugular — his Twitter feed. The remark was deemed the "most-tweeted moment" of the evening by Twitter's Government & Elections team.

Trump proved Clinton right with his reaction to the RNC's  lower ratings:
DNC Beats RNC for Third Straight Night in Early TV Ratings...
Early ratings results for Night 3 of the Democratic National Convention are in, and once again the DNC appears to have beat out the Republican National Convention. Donald Trump sent an e-mail to his supporters urging them not to watch Hillary Clinton deliver her nomination acceptance speech on the final night of the Democratic convention.

“I didn’t produce our show — I just showed up for the final speech on Thursday,” Trump told The New York Times in a phone call this week.
Trump actually broke with tradition by making multiple appearances during the Cleveland convention, coming on stage to introduce his wife Melania on the convention's opening night and appearing onstage with running mate Mike Pence, who followed Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-TX) non-endorsement speech on the convention's third night.  His claim that he had no hand in the convention programming was also eyebrow-raising, given that campaigns typically dictate the speaker roster and many of the RNC speakers had direct ties to Trump. Among those were five members of the Trump family, the manager of Trump Winery and ‘80s sitcom star Scott Baio, who said Trump personally invited him to speak at a campaign fundraiser.

Americans for Prosperity threatens Republicans pushing Transportation Tax with "Praise"...and oh yea, campaign funding cuts too.

It will be fascinating to watch the unexpected supply side test Scott Walker is now setting up for himself when it comes to our crumbling roads. Hollowing out everything from the environment and state colleges, to parks and recreation, Walker got nothing out of it.

Taking in just enough money to run the state ignores that whole messy maintenance problem of fixing and replacing things that break.

Wisconsinites know there's a problem, but who cares.

Now if you're Americans for Prosperity's Eric Bott, a simple veiled threat that steals control away from every state constituent is all you really need:
“We are disappointed by Assembly Republican leadership’s calls to increase taxes and fees on Wisconsinites but remain committed to working proactively towards a transportation solution."
"We're disappointed." Unless you're AFP with deep pockets that helps fund Republican campaigns, who would give a rats ass how "disappointed" you were?
“Such a dramatic increase in taxes and or fees would harm Wisconsin’s working families and place a wet blanket on our economy. We certainly hope this isn’t the Assembly Republican plan.
Yea, no harm like a week in the auto repair shop, draining your checking account, putting off that consumer purchase you've been counting on for years.

What Bott's saying sounds a lot like; "We certainly hope, with all the money we have to give you, that raising taxes isn't your plan."

Dripping with pay to play arrogance, AFP tossed this supposed "compliment" out:

“Rep. Nygren deserves recognition for vowing not to place an undue burden on taxpayers in Wisconsin.
Well, that's not exactly what Nygren "vowed:"
The state could face a nearly $1 billion shortfall for transportation projects in the next budget, said Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette … called on Gov. Scott Walker on Wednesday to reconsider his opposition to new taxes to support road projects. "It's not necessarily the fiscally conservative position to simply say 'no' and continue to delay projects and delay growth of our system. To think that there could be no changes to the way we're currently funding our transportation systems from a revenue standpoint, I think, is unrealistic."  
And since Walker doesn't have a plan to fund transportation, mumbling something about shifting the cost from some imagined place, its seems a bit odd that Americans for Prosperity would also praise Walker for his "solution," prioritizing "safety, maintenance and reform." The ultimate in bullshit. Who doesn't feel insulted at this point?
“Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin and its more than 130,000 activist members remains grateful to Governor Walker for leading the way toward transportation solutions that prioritize safety, local road maintenance, and cost saving reforms.”
The "fellows" at the MacIver Institute would have us all believe that a different formula for spending on road projects would magically make the potholes, median growth, and delayed projects just go away. Take the pedestrian bridge just two blocks from another bridge with sidewalks accomplishing the same thing, kinda. A whole $3.6 million.
The (DOT) has its policies and it has it's procedures. It will follow them even when they don't make any sense at all. It will follow them even when it means blowing $3.6 million of taxpayers' money.
What's next, getting rid of those "confusing" roundabouts Republicans have such a hard time navigating...oops, spoke too soon...

Yea, forget about life saving roundabouts, safety, aesthetically pleasing bridges and streets, bypasses, roads to places people go....

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Kansas Supply Side Comeback Crashes.

Like all the other red state economies, tax and spending cuts have produced stagnant "comebacks" and proof beyond a shadow of a doubt supply side doesn't work. States that did have small surpluses came at the expense of defunding public investments and everything else.

The grand experiment, the Kansas Comeback, is exhibit A:
It’s been about six years since Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) announced his plan to conduct “a real-live experiment” with his state’s economy. The far-right Kansan, working with a GOP-led legislature, would cut taxes far beyond what the state could afford, slash public investments, and wait for prosperity to flourish across every corner of the state.

None of that has happened. Not only have Kansas’ job growth and economic growth lagged behind neighboring states, but a couple of years ago the state’s bond rating was downgraded because of the fiscal mess Brownback created.

Mother Jones’ Kevin Drum wrote last month: “This, of course, has caused conservatives to think long and hard about their contention that cutting taxes on the rich and slashing bloated budgets will supercharge the economy.

In 2012, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said of Brownback’s radical economic experiment, “This is exactly the sort of thing we want to do here, in Washington.” Oddly enough, I haven’t heard McConnell repeat this line lately.

Trump shreds First Amendment's freedom of the Press, in Waukesha.

Cafeteria constitutional conservatives like to pick and choose what works and what doesn't work, freedom wise, depending on the situation.
"...prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press;..."
Republicans have been setting this argument up for a long time; the liberal media can't be trusted. So of course the corrupted liberal press is not constitutionally protected.

It was just a matter of time before someone like Trump, a right wing authoritarian, would test just how willing a resentful public would be to make little exceptions in the beginning:
JS: At Mike Pence's first public event as the Republican vice-presidential candidate, a Washington Post reporter was barred from entering the venue and was patted down by Waukesha County deputies, according to The Washington Post … When reporter Jose DelReal asked whether others attending the rally could enter with their cellphones, he said the official replied, "Not if they work for The Washington Post."

"First, press credentials for The Washington Post were revoked by Donald Trump," Post Executive Editor Martin Baron said. "Now, law enforcement officers, in collusion with private security officials, subjected a reporter to bullying treatment that no ordinary citizen has to endure. All of this took place in a public facility no less. The harassment of an independent press isn't coming to an end. It's getting worse."

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Bench Stacking Walker against bench stacking?

Republicans like Scott Walker seem to think they've successfully sold the public on supposed "unbiased" activist supreme court justices who have been members of longstanding right wing organizations, while vilifying everyone else as "liberal."

He really does think we're all that stupid, like his supporters. But seriously...

He has the balls to make that comment after again, stacking the conservative state supreme court with another lackey:

Conservative justices aren't biased, even the politically active ones like Daniel Kelly? But a simple Google search will tell you something different:

This is what passes for a fair conservative, activist, legislator justice, who'll rubber stamp right wing politics into constitutional law: 
Kelly has been closely involved with conservative legal groups. The president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society, he also sits on an advisory panel to the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty… Kelly was an adviser to state Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley's campaign (she was also a Federalist Society member) this year and served as an attorney on Prosser's campaign during a recount after he narrowly won re-election in 2011. 

He also was on the legal team that defended legislative and congressional maps that Republican lawmakers redrew in 2011. In that litigation, a panel of federal judges made changes to the districts for two Assembly districts on Milwaukee's south side after it found those maps violated the voting rights of Latinos. The other maps—which greatly favor Republicans—were left in place.
So failure to redraw districts fairly didn't disqualify this guy? He succeeded just enough to win the heart of Walker.

Walker trolls with dumbest tweets that can't help but embarrass state.

I would have assumed Scott Walker did all he could to appeal to the lowest common denominator with these recent tweets. But in an uh-oh moment, he appears to think just like them, unapologetically.

He really doesn't get the difference? Maybe now you know what we're dealing with in Wisconsin.

Trump requests campaign help from Foreign Government Hackers.

Fascism is coming to America, and the news media won't even bring it up. But there's a real possibility fearful angry voters will choose a fascist, blunt, tell-it-like-it-is "leader" to make our country great again.

Eye Rolling Declarations of Fascism: Just this morning I heard radio host Mich Henck downplay Trump's obvious fascism. Henck thought it was over the top to supposedly compare Trump to Hitler and Mussolini. But Henck could have just as easily, and more realistically, used the plain old definition of fascism as the template, pushing aside the historical references.

As bad as Trump is, Scott Walker could have been much worse. During his presidential bid, he essentially promised to dissolve the federal government and declare independence to the states. With Homeland Security and the military under his control, you can bet "law and order" would still be maintained by Walker, a rightwing authoritarian father figure. Walker tipped his hand early on as governor. He began using the names of his opponents from his recall petitions as a political black list to attack and quash them.

The New National Black List:  Now it appears Wikileaks has posted the Democratic Party's donors names and addresses. With the possibility of one party rule under Trump, that sets up a number of scary possibilities. ABC: 
More significant, said Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is that trusted donors saw their personal information exposed to the world.

“What was disclosed is the personal information of our donors and it’s always worrisome when personal information is stolen,” Podesta told ABC News. “And that's true whether it’s Target or Sony or, or the DNC."

A review of the documents by ABC News found the material includes detailed personal information about many of the party’s wealthy supporters. One file, titled “Big Spreadsheet of All Things,” appears to list every single donation made to the party...
 And Trump has asked foreign governments for hacking help:

Which prompted this reaction from Clinton:

The conservative columnist at the Weekly Standard and Fox News, Stephen Hayes, tweeted the following:

This is hhhuggge. While it's obvious money has to purged from influencing our political system once and for all, something our activist conservative supreme court justices just don't seem to get, we're still left in this dangerous place. As pointed out by
WikiLeaks Has Officially Lost the Moral High Ground: WHAT THE HECK is going on at WikiLeaks? In the last two weeks, the font of digital secrets has doxed millions of Turkish women, leaked Democratic National Committee emails that made Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign look bad but also suggested the site was colluding with the Russian government, and fired off some seriously anti-Semitic tweets.
Remember the near Turkish coup?
(Release of) the so-called Erdogan Emails was particularly egregious. The organization said that the infodump would expose the machinations of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan immediately after the attempted coup against him, but instead turned out to be mostly correspondence and personal information from everyday Turkish citizens. Worse, it included the home addresses, phone numbers, party affiliations, and political activity levels of millions of female Turkish voters. That’s irresponsible any time, and disastrous in the week of a coup.
This Democratic convention moment still stands out:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Walker & Ryan Sellouts! Why Republican left Party of Trump!!!

I have nothing to add:

Chris Ladd, Former Republican Precinct Committeeman, Illinois: At the national level, the delusions necessary to sustain our Cold War coalition were becoming dangerous long before Donald Trump arrived. From tax policy to climate change, we have found ourselves less at odds with philosophical rivals than with the fundamentals of math, science and objective reality.

The Iraq War, the financial meltdown, the utter failure of supply-side theory, climate denial, and our strange pursuit of theocratic legislation have all been troubling. Yet it seemed that America’s party of commerce, trade, and pragmatism might still have time to sober up. Remaining engaged in the party implied a contribution to that renaissance, an investment in hope. Donald Trump has put an end to that hope.

From his fairy-tale wall to his schoolyard bullying and his flirtation with violent racists, Donald Trump offers America a singular narrative: a tale of cowards. Fearful people, convinced of our inadequacy, trembling before a world alight with imaginary threats, crave a demagogue. Neither party has ever elevated to this level a more toxic figure, one that calls forth the darkest elements of our national character.

With three decades invested in the Republican Party, there is a powerful temptation to shrug and soldier on. Despite the bold rhetoric, we all know Trump will lose. Why throw away a great personal investment over one bad nominee? Trump is not merely a poor candidate, but an indictment of our character. Preserving a party is not a morally defensible goal if that party has lost its legitimacy.

I watched Paul Ryan speak at Donald Trump’s convention the way a young child watches his father march off to prison. Thousands of Republican figures that loathe Donald Trump, understand the danger he represents, and privately hope he loses, are publicly declaring their support for him. In Illinois our local and state GOP organizations, faced with a choice, have decided on complicity.

Our leaders’ compromise preserves their personal capital at our collective cost. Their refusal to dissent robs all Republicans of moral cover. Evasion and cowardice has prevailed over conscience. We are now, and shall indefinitely remain, the Party of Donald Trump.

I will not contribute my name, my work or my character to an utterly indefensible cause. No sensible adult demands moral purity from a political party, but conscience is meaningless without constraints. A party willing to lend its collective capital to Donald Trump has entered a compromise beyond any credible threshold of legitimacy. There is no redemption in being one of the “good Nazis.”

I hereby resign my position as a York Township Republican committeeman. My 30-year tenure as a Republican is over.


Chris Ladd

Republicans oppose hike in minimum then complain American wages too low.

The con goes something like this; while Republicans stamp their feet and whine about low wages hurting the struggling "real American" middle class, they're doing everything they can to make the problem worse, to advance the politics of resentment and to play to their voters darkest fears.
For seven years, it has remained at $7.25. Given the breakneck pace of state and local action—26 states, the District of Columbia, and at least 25 cities have ushered in higher minimum wages in the past two-and-a-half years—it’s easy to let the federal minimum wage fade in the nation’s rearview mirror ... But in 21 states, low-wage workers are still stuck at $7.25 per hour. That means 57 million workers—nearly 40 percent of our workforce—work in a state where the minimum wage is well beneath the federal poverty level for a family of two. What’s worse, at least 14 states have gone so far as to pass preemptive legislation that prohibits local areas from enacting their own minimum wage policies.
And every year that minimum wage gets lower, stirring up even more anger:
In fact, a minimum wage earner in a $7.25 state who is working full-time, year-round would have to clock an additional 244 hours each year just to take home the same annual pay she did in a single year in 2009, after adjusting for inflation. Put another way, she’d need an extra 31 working days—more than six weeks—just to maintain her earnings from seven years ago.

So, until we master the magic of time dilation, every year that Congress fails to raise the minimum wage will effectively mean another pay cut for workers in these states—and with it, a greater struggle to make ends meet.
In Scott Walker's Wisconsin, local communities are banned from creating their own minimum wage, setting the state minimum wage to the federal limit. If the Republican Party had its way, there wouldn't be a minimum at all. Just to make his point, Walker made two more changes:
Gov. Scott Walker signed the new state budget into law on Sunday (July 2015) with a last-minute change that strips the words “living wage” from state laws and replaces it with “minimum wage.”

The new law eliminates the ability of low-wage workers to appeal for a living wage. Previously, Wisconsin law stated that employee pay “shall be not less than a living wage,” defined as “adequate to permit any employee to maintain herself or himself in minimum comfort, decency, physical and moral well-being.” 

100 workers, most earning just above the minimum wage (challenged that), contending their pay wasn’t a living wage. The state denied their claim, declaring “there is no reasonable cause to believe that the wages paid to the complainants are not a living wage.” The workers later filed a lawsuit against the state...
The second change?
Walker also decided workers don’t need weekends off. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the budget Walker signed “would allow factory and retail employees to work seven days without a day off, as long as they said in writing that they were doing so voluntarily.” The old law required employers to give workers at least one day off for every seven days of work.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Will history be changed by Time Traveling Robots from the Future?

The title is just one great idea from a few of my favorite panels below by Tom Tomorrow, and This Modern World. Also see the Incredible Trump:

John Oliver - Bringing Feelings to a Fact Fight!!! Newt: "The current view is that liberals have a whole set of statistics which theoretically may be right..."

Republican feelings may just replace our terribly outdated Constitution. About 3 minutes in, Jon Oliver nails it...

Remember when we mindlessly protected the Transportation Fund from being Raided?

Thank god we constitutionally protected the state’s transportation fund from being raided and used somewhere else in the budget!!! What an amazingly irrelevant exercise, and remember, that was a big Republican accomplishment.

I only found out about the story below from a Rep. Robin Vos tweet…that’s right, not from a
Democratic legislator’s tweet. Similarly, I was surprised to find out that interstate construction between Madison and Janesville had been delayed a whole two years thanks to Scott Walker. That just changed when new federal funding was provided.

Scott Walker said he would not support any gas tax increase or hike in registration fees.

History Repeating Itself: Are we about see a Republican led veto override? This is the same nifty trick Walker pulled off as county executive, holding true to his promise not raise taxes, but letting the county board override his veto. He was happy keeping his Grover Norquist pledge, and the county was happy to serve the people and not let everything go to hell.

With a recent American Society of Civil Engineers study ranking Wisconsin 48th among the states in terms of road condition … groups representing the state’s towns, villages, cities, counties and the business community are pressing Gov. Scott Walker and state legislators to provide more state transportation funding for maintenance and improvement of county and municipal roads and bridges.

Basically, an increased emphasis on bonding (borrowing) for road projects means the cost of interest is leaving less for both state and local road projects. Remarkably, the percentage of the state transportation budget going to debt service more than tripled in that same span. In 2000, debt service accounted for 4.4 percent. By 2010 that had risen to 7.2 percent and by 2013 it had nearly doubled again to 13.8 percent.

Looking at combined gas taxes and registration fees, Wisconsin is well below neighboring states ... Gas taxes and registration fees cost the average Wisconsin driver $23 per month, the statement said, while it’s $42 in Minnesota, $41 in Iowa and $34 in Michigan. Walker had proposed borrowing $1.3 billion over two years for road spending, but the Legislature pared that back to $850 million.

Walker’s column also made plain; “During the 2014 campaign, I made it clear I would not support a gas tax increase or a vehicle registration increase without a corresponding decrease in other state taxes I will not raise the overall tax burden on the hardworking people of Wisconsin.”

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, recently told Wisconsin Public Television “I just disagree fundamentally with Gov. Walker’s assumption that we can kick the can down the road, push decisions onto a future legislature, which will end up being more expensive and potentially not in the interest of taxpayers.” 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stewart to Trump voting Republicans, "This country isn't yours, you don't own it, there is no 'real America!'"

The Daily Show's Jon Stewart said what should have been said a decade ago, so we wouldn't have had to listen to every self-righteous entitled whiner demand their big government leader Trump solve all of their problems for them:
Stewart: "You feel you're this countries rightful owners. There's only one problem with that, this country isn't yours, you don't own it, it never was, there is no 'real America.' You don't own it.

You don't own patriotism. You don't own Christianity.  You sure as hell don't own respect for the bravery and sacrifice of military, police and firefighters. Trust me, I saw a lot of people on the convention floor in Cleveland, with their Blue Lives Matter rhetoric who either remained silent or actively fought against the 9/11 First Responders Bill re-authorization. I see you and I see your bullshit."

Friday, July 22, 2016

Walker appoints inexperienced Bigot and Racist to Supreme Court: Against Gay Marriage and Affirmative Action is Slavery.

Republicans have put “originalism” on their platforms list of judicial qualifications, a belief straight out of America’s biggest conservative think tanks, including the radical Federalist Society.

So who’s going to be the first sucker who’ll buy into Scott Walker’s amazing appointment to the Supreme Court. JS:
No Experience Walker Pick!!!
Gov. Scott Walker on Friday named a little-known Waukesha lawyer with no judicial experience to the state Supreme Court, putting Daniel Kelly on the bench and keeping in place the high court's 5-2 conservative majority.
And how else would you apply for a job you didn’t have any experience doing?
Kelly, 52, initially applied for the appointment in secret.
And of course, being a right wing bigot, racist, and secret applicant seeking a spot on the state’s supreme court, it's obvious he would never let his feelings impact his decisions.  
"The primary and only job of a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice is to apply the law as it is written and the oath that I will take will guarantee to you that my personal political beliefs and political philosophy will have no impact on that whatsoever. Those things simply have no place inside the courtroom."
Especially if you think anything like Kelly. He would have you believe a guy with the following issues could be impartial. Check out this verbose and pompous master of word salad elitism. Stunning:
A 2014 book chapter in which he wrote same-sex marriage would rob marriage of any meaning … 

"Affirmative action and slavery differ, obviously, in significant ways," Kelly wrote. "But it's more a question of degree than principle, for they both spring from the same taproot. Neither can exist without the foundational principle that it is acceptable to force someone into an unwanted economic relationship. Morally, and as a matter of law, they are the same."
You'd have to be an idiot or a Republican voter to not think something was terribly wrong. To that point, the Cap Times sized up why, as a court pick, this is nuts.

Kelly isn’t even close to impartial, because he’s fulfilling an agenda. And get this, he's not just a member, but president of...:
....the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society … a group of conservative and libertarian attorneys who promote a specific judicial and legal approach. According to its website, this entails: “Reordering priorities within the legal system to place a premium on individual liberty, traditional values and the rule of law.
Oh, there's more...he's part of the right wing lawsuit mill Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

On affirmative action? No surprise here...:
'I believe that there is a moral and constitutional equivalence between laws designed to subjugate a race and those that distribute benefits on the basis of race in order to foster some current notion of equality.' Although the intent of affirmative action programs may be to benefit select minorities, they can and often do have the opposite effect. When the use of coercion comes unmoored from the Equality Imperative, there is nothing to prevent it from unwittingly damaging those it was meant to assist." 
And on marriage and that imagined "equal protection" under the law. thing..
"So what happens in a throw-down between the traditional institution of marriage and one reimagined primarily in terms of fairness? A recent case before the United States Supreme Court shows it’s a monumental mismatch: the multimillennial institution went down without landing a punch. The case was United States v. Windsor, and the question before the Court was whether our federal governors may define marriage as something subsisting between one man and one woman. In saying 'no,' the Court illuminated the power and destructiveness of 'justice as fairness' in the legal realm."

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Trump tosses First Amendment, threatens "Art of the Deal" writer with Cease and Desist for speaking out against him.

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke the news that Trump's not too happy about the 1st Amendment free speech rights of Art of the Deal ghost writer Tony Schwartz, and is legally issuing a cease and desist letter trying to stop him from telling the truth about the real Trump.

New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer is posting the story soon, but if you can't wait, here's an incredible preview:

Trump campaign won't admit truth, Plagiarized GOP enemy Michelle Obama's speech. Who's lying Now?

So, it was plagiarized.

Melania Trump may not be running for office, but her role in the presidential campaign is important, especially to Donald Trump. What his campaign does is therefore important and a reflection of what a Trump presidency might be like in office. Lying and stealing just got a pass by Republican voters.

Plagiarism is a big deal to the right wing, who have made it their business to remind every Democrat of the time they lifted comments without attribution. Scott Walker trashed his Democratic opponent Mary Burke for supposed plagiarism when the person writing her jobs plan copied his own previous work.

Walker: “She’s not the candidate, so I’ll give her deference and let them explain staff or otherwise. Donald Trump is the candidate."

Eric Trump claims Time Travel: My head hurts now....

Stolen Passages: Imagine Melania giving attribution to Michelle Obama at the convention. Not happening. Melania's speech turned up 23 matches according to "TurnitIn." Only 16 are needed to create the likelihood that a match is coincidental is less than 1 in a trillion. Yikes.

But now we know Michelle Obama was a major influence to Melania, word for word. Politico:
The Trump campaign emails: "Meredith McIver, an in-house staff writer from the Trump Organization, has released a statement ... McIver's statement, which says the Trump family "rejected" her offer (to resign) ...

The statement reads: "My name is Meredith McIver and I’m an in-house staff writer ... "In working with Melania Trump on her recent First Lady speech, we discussed many people who inspired her ... A person she has always liked is Michelle Obama. "Over the phone, she read me some passages from Mrs. Obama's speech as examples. I wrote them down and later included some of the phrasing in the draft that ultimately became the final speech. I did not check Mrs. Obama's speeches. That was my mistake, and I feel terrible for the chaos I have caused Melania and the Trumps, as well as to Mrs. Obama. No harm was meant. Mr. Trump told me that people make innocent mistakes and that we learn and grow from these experiences.
But the Trump campaign's cover up just made it worse, showing voters how a little rephrasing can avoid ever taking any responsibility.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo grilled Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort aboutthe undeniable plagiarism in Melania Trump’s RNC speech. But instead of simply acknowledging that part of Melania’s speech was lifted from Michelle Obama and moving on, Manafort repeatedly refused to admit any impropriety had occurred.

“As far as we’re concerned, there are similar words that were used. But the feelings of those words and the commonality of those words do not create a situation where we feel we have to agree [that plagiarism occurred]. You want to have that opinion, fine.”

GOP Conventions Tuesday Night focus on "Jobs & Economy"...a no-show!

The "Jobs and the Economy" Tuesday night convention topic was missing, replaced with "Hillary for Prison." Twitter helped explain that phenomenon:

While Gov. Mike Pence brags about his states 4.7% unemployment rate, he wants you to think Indiana's economy is separate from anything President Obama's has done. The same goes for Scott Walker:

Save America from another 4 years of Obama's Socialism? The doom & gloom GOP convention is etching in stone the horrors of Obama's job killing agenda, forgetting a few important items: 

Oh, and that $16 trillion Obama debt...

GOP Rep. Sean Duffy exaggerates role of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton on federal debt: The total federal debt is at $19 trillion. But most of it was amassed before Obama took office. And many factors -- Congress, the economy and Obama himself, but to almost no extent Clinton -- played a role in the debt increases during Obama’s tenure.

Hillary wants to revise the First Amendment? Outrageous!

Throwing political opponents like Hillary Clinton in jail sounds so...banana Republican, doesn't it?

Sadly, they mean to do just that, and see nothing disturbing about it. Donald Trump Jr. received media praise for a powerful speech that perpetuated a list of absolute nonsense and lies that were disproved by his own party's congressional investigations, and no one cared.

The next logical step for Republicans?

Republicans have been "framing" the issues in same way the tabloids have doing for years, with sensationalized eye candy like...

The Wall Street Journal has mastered the art of propagandist headlines that are meant to alarm its readers, like the one below:

Clinton to Madison: Get Me Rewrite

She tells Sanders voters that she’ll revise the First Amendment.

How dare she. The article is actually about Hillary Clinton's promise to take money out of politics, by proposing an Amendment to the Constitution that would overturn Citizens United. 

Voters won't like that...right? It's obvious who the WSJ is trying to reach with this one, but it sure isn't the American public, as you can see by the results from the conservative pollster Rasmussen Reports: 
Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey (July ’15) found that 59% of voters think most members of Congress are willing to sell their vote for either cash or a campaign contribution, and 56% think it’s likely their own representative has already done so. That includes 26% who think it’s Very Likely their representative has sold his or her vote. 

76% of Likely U.S. Voters (Feb. '16) believe the wealthiest individuals and companies have too much influence over elections,

80% agree that wealthy special interest groups have too much power and influence over elections. 
So as horrible as "revising the First Amendment" sounds, Americans are with Hillary and Bernie. 

Sure both party's take lots of money to fund their campaigns, but only one wants to take that same money out, and it sure ain't the Republicans. Even more surreal, their down and out small town middle American voters want to oddly, elect a millionaire. You can't make this stuff up.

What we're not seeing is the WSJ opposing a proposed revision in the new Republican platform:
“We do not accept the Supreme Court’s redefinition of marriage and we urge its reversal, whether through judicial reconsideration or a constitutional amendment returning control over marriage to the states,” the platform reads.
That's a good revision.

I'm surprised Trump missed this one. After all, it could be true:

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sheriff Clarke on law abiding Black Lives Matter members openly carrying guns: "...those are the people I fear most. I do not fear law abiding gun owners."

The Republican talk of the "Blue Lives Matter" movement, begs the question; what about our lives mattering? That's the argument conservatives were making about "Black Lives Matter." No consistency, no "pricibles."

The Scalia misinterpret the 2nd Amendment started all of this, and we're now seeing the inevitable results and quick unraveling of what used to be a civil society. The overreach of gun drooling anti-government conservatives has given us a kind of freedom and liberty loving chaos.

Desperate to blame someone else for the now out of control gun carnage, and not the elimination of gun laws, Republicans focused in on one video of marchers chanting "What do we want? Dead Cops! When do we want it? Now." Republicans blamed Black Lives Matter and Millions March NYC. Wrong again:
The New York chapter of the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee (TMOC), who were unauthorized by the Martin family to use Trayvon's name or likeness, were the sole faction of marchers using the chant.
But does that matter to Fox News' Sean Hannity and "purveyor of hate" Sheriff David Clarke? Nope.
Clarke: "Look, Black Lives Matter is a...they're purveyors of hate. It is a hateful, violent ideology. It's not an organization. It is not a movement, it is an ideology I said has to wiped off the face of the earth." 
So says the 1st and 2nd Amendment freedom fighter. Even worse, Clarke is afraid of Black Lives Matter group members carrying guns. I'm having Black Panther Party flashbacks now.
Hannity: "Ohio has an open carry law. Black Lives Matter, the new Black Panther Party, they have said they're going to be carrying guns sheriff. What do we do?"

Sheriff Clarke: "Well I'll tell you what, those are the people I fear most. I do not fear the law abiding gun owner."
Like the Cliven Bundy's of the new West? Geraldo Rivera pointed out the obvious:
"The problem with the 2nd Amendment for everybody is that are plenty of dysfunctional people...I don't want Black Panther Party members carrying weapons, I don't want patriot party members carrying weapons..."

Cleveland Police Detective Steve Loomis blamed President Obama, I guess because he's black, for saying we do have a race problem, even in law enforcement. Oh wait, we're not supposed to say that:

If guns make us so much safer, then why did the Cleveland Police Union ask open carry be suspended during the Republican convention?
“We are sending a letter to Gov. Kasich requesting assistance from him. He could very easily do some kind of executive order or something — I don’t care if it’s constitutional or not at this point,” Cleveland Police Union president Stephen Loomis told CNN.

(Loomis also blamed Obama for those shootings, saying he had “blood on his hands.”)In general Republicans argue that open-carry laws are an important party of the right to bear arms and improve public safety. The research does not support this argument.

Trump "and his two eunuchs...Paul Ryan and Reince Priebus."

Wisconsin's political embarrassment is comedy gold:

Republican not being racist again....

Sadly, Chris Hayes didn't let either of his guests react to Rep. Steve King's jaw dropping white supremacist lecture on history. After columnist Charlie Pierce mentioned the "wired...unhappy dissatisfied crowd of white people" at the convention, King chimed in.

Esquire: Here's what King said tonight about white people and, you know, non-whites:
"This whole white people business, though, does get a little tired…I'd ask you to go back through history and figure out: Where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you're talking about? Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?"

King just came out with a clarification...something he felt he had to do?
"It’s pretty close [to what I said]. What I really said was 'Western civilization' and when you describe Western civilization that can mean much of Western civilization happens to be Caucasians. But we should not apologize for our culture or our civilization."  
Sure, that's what he said originally.

Scott Baio makes a fool of himself...again!!!

MSNBC host Tamara Hall proved tough journalism is the Republican Party's real enemy.

Armed with the facts, Hall held celebrity right wing big mouth Scott Baio's feet to the fire for misogynistic tweets and flaming hypocrisy. If only the media would do this to our actual politicians.

I normally don't post stuff like this, but this was too much fun to miss. It starts with reality show star Antonio Sabato saying "if you understand Obama...I mean that's not a Christian name is it?" It quickly goes downhill from there:

Baio bashed Obama for rephrasing an old saying used in self defense classes, described this way in the Wall Street Journal:
Barack Obama said he would do to counter Republican attacks “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser Friday night. “Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans" ... John McCain’s campaign immediately accused the Democratic candidate of playing the politics of fear.
Yes, Baio and other right wingers interpreted that as a threat. In context, not so much:
Obama made the comment in the context of warning donors that the general election campaign against McCain could get ugly. “They’re going to try to scare people. They’re going to try to say that ‘that Obama is a scary guy,’” he said. A supporter yelled out a deep accented “Don’t give in!”

“I won’t but that sounded pretty scary. You’re a tough guy,” Obama said.

Trump's Careless Plagiarism Denied!!!

More dangerous than the outright plagiarism running rampant in the Republican Party, is the media's promise to make this whole story go away. It's like they can't wait to move on to something else. Reporter after reporter and radio news reports are repeatedly saying in their coverage that this will go away and won't matter at all. Oh, okay. Amazing.

Here's the offending speech by Melania Trump, a speech she said before the convention she wrote herself:

The irony is that Trump would just happen to plagiarize elements of Michelle Obama's speech, one of the Republican Party's most despised first ladies, next to Hillary of course.

I wonder what Scott Walker would say about this top-of-the-ticket recklessness, since he made such a big thing about plagiarism against his Democratic opponent Mary Burke.
It's clear from my conservative friend in Milwaukee that this won't change his mind about who he'll vote for, and even he thinks this is a disaster.

We should have seen this coming after Trump ripped off Walker's campaign symbol:

The excuses and denial from the Trump team are hilarious. Check out the endless stream of bullshit; Melania says she wrote the speech; Trump manager Paul Manafort's non-denial; Christie saying 93% is original; Queen gave no authorization for song; Speech writer who originally tweeted the plagiarism; Conservative David Frum trashing campaign saying they tell lies, blame others, don't take responsibility:

I liked this...

OH NO!!! These tweets have now surfaced...assuming they're real, Trump's got a problem: