Saturday, March 31, 2018

Right-Wing Victimization: Untruths and Consequences!

Wow, where do I even start going down this series of right-wing rabbit holes? The Hill posted an opinion by Joe Concha that exemplifies the rampant weeping victimhood that has been exploited so perversely by those brave but cowering "real American" Republicans. 

As pointed out by Concha, it all started with the brutal and mindless potshots leveled at Parkland school shooting student David Hogg, a supposed puppet of liberal villain George Soros:
"Ludicrous claims of him being a child actor or being coached soon followed and have, thankfully, been dismissed by those not living in a world of conspiracy theories or blinded by pure partisanship." 
Free Speech has Consequences?: Conspiracy theories come and go quickly, so the only thing left in the Republican arsenal? Personal unrelated attacks, like Laura Ingraham's attempt to discredit Hogg via his grade point average? Good one...
Hogg responded by listing 12 prominent advertisers of "The Ingraham Angle" in calling on a boycott. He proceeded to expand the list to 100 by sharing a list by Media Matters ... Notably, Hogg chose to accelerate his boycott effort after Ingraham's apology.
Silencing Conservatives? Hogg's call to boycott Ingraham's advertisers isn't an attempt to silence anyone, but it is an attempt to hold character assassins accountable for their words. Period.

As Concha pointed out in his crybaby opinion piece, right-wing "victims" are faced with two dangers:
1) Fear of reprisal for criticizing Hogg, who has the benefit of being protected from any criticism while being free to level it.

2) Fear of being seen as "the person attacking a mass-school-shooting survivor," regardless of whether there's a basis for such criticism or not.
Don't forget, poor helpless Laura Ingraham has media giant Fox News behind her, while Hogg has only himself and his ideas.

Concha stuns the senses making it seem like Hogg was being unfair, by praising victim and national conservative columnist Ben Shapiro for speaking out. Oddly it was Shapiro's own publication that ripped Hogg's college rejections, so Shapiro should actually be the last person to make the following argument:
Ben Shapiro. "I look forward to Hogg's apologies to Republicans ('sick f***ers'), Dana Loesch (she was 'hypocritical and disgusting' for criticizing Broward Sheriff Scott Israel), and Marco Rubio (he said Rubio was bribed by the NRA to give away children's lives)," Shapiro wrote in the online publication he founded, The Daily Wire. "You may not like what Ingraham said. You may disagree with it. I did. But it isn't remotely CLOSE to the level of viciousness with which Hogg has attacked people who disagree with him," Shapiro added.
From the party of Hollywood actor Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwartzenegger and now TV reality superstar Donald Trump; guess what, these students are now pawns of big money...forget that they have the backing of the American people. From a tweet storm posted by crazy conservative Parkland student Kyle Kashuv:
1. The #March4OurLives had so much potential to be pure and grassroots but became very far from that. It was exactly what conservatives hate and what liberals love. At this point, with millions of dollars involved, every student, including myself, became a pawn in a game of chess.

2. They've agreed to work with organizations like the Woman's March who have affiliations with Lewis Farrakhan - a known antisemite. Regardless of what they think, the cause was hijacked by Hollywood and became a Hollywood event.

3. The media took interest in him to push an agenda. They've propped people up and have turned them into shields. I am not doubting anyone's sincerity, but people have certainly been hiding behind my classmates to push an agenda.

"Not doubting anyone's sincerity"? No, not at all.

Finally this:

And yet...

Finally, finally...I am forever amused by Republicans who think that criticism means they're being silenced, that they're somehow "not allowed" to exercise their First Amendment right.  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Scary Desperate Scott Walker Twitter Tantrum; What is it with Liberals and Blacks?

The juvenile Trump-like tweet storm spewing out from the fingertips of Gov. Scott Walker is the first truly honest look at who this career politician is behind those sleepy sociopathic eyes.

Walker's casual off-handed rejection of holding special elections for two vacant legislative seats because it was a "waste of taxpayer resources" flipped representative government on its head, and the judicial branch reacted quickly:
After a three-month delay, a lightning-quick lawsuit and three orders from as many judges, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker called two special elections Thursday and GOP senators dropped legislation to block the contests.

The Divider and Conqueror Tantrum blames Liberals and Blacks: The lingering question; why did it take former AG Eric Holder to go to challenge Walker in court?

Having not learned anything about his legal obligations, a Walker tweetstorm started off by questioning all three of the court's independently reached decisions, using every dog whistle in his holster; "Obama" "Eric Holder," the fact they're both black, and "D.C. based special interests (that Republicans oddly don't have?):

That's fundraising gold right there, and Walker is on it! Especially when you pair that up with a wagging finger and the angry face below:

Reinforcing the idea that only conservatives work hard and have personal responsibility, send money now...:

...because those bad old liberal Democrats are now trying to use the law to raise campaign funds, nothing like the righteous Republican Party?

Unlike Republicans who took control in 2010 and gerrymandered safe voting majorities for the last 8 years, Democrats are scheming to do the impossible; "permanently change" districts! Ah, a little projection there maybe? Oh, and dog whistle "Nancy Pelosi?"

Here's hoping even Republican voters are seeing through this bizarre (hopefully) career ending and costly Walker fiasco, I know my conservative Trumpian friend in Milwaukee has:

Tone Deaf Republican Senate Candidate Leah Vukmir: After all the horrible nationwide press, voter anger and bad political optics, imagine a Republican candidate jumping onboard this titanic disaster. Yet it happened:

Democratic Challenger: Take a look at who is running for that senate seat:
Less than an hour after Walker called the special election, Door County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Caleb Frostman announced he would run as a Democrat in one of the open seats. The 1st Senate District includes Door and Kewaunee counties and parts of Brown, Manitowoc and Calumet counties.
"Frostman," really, up north there on the frozen tundra?

Compare his photo to De Pere Rep. Andre Jacque, who is such an ass***e not even many Republicans want to have anything to do with him:

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Walker's special elections fiasco goes nationwide, now seeking favorable court!!! Oh, Citizenship question may makes states redder.

UPDATE: You won't believe what the court said:

"Representative government and the election of our representatives are never 'unnecessary,' never a 'waste of taxpayer resources,' and the calling of the special elections are, as the governor acknowledges, his 'obligation,'" the order reads.
AG Brad Schimel proved once and for all to voters, just before the election, that he's not defending the state or federal Constitution, he's defending his party leader Scott Walker.

Just prior to the decision....

Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislature are perfectly fine breaking our special election law. Reaching into their successful bag of tricks, they're now doubling down on their mistake by changing the law in defiance of a court order. Not even my conservative Trumpian friend is on board with this scheme. But if that's not crazy authoritarian enough, making "representation" optional...well?
Lawmakers are set to take comments on a bill that would eliminate requirements that the governor promptly call special elections to fill legislative vacancies. Current state law requires Walker to call special elections to fill vacancies that occur before early May of an election year but he has refused to schedule the contests.
Walker's AG lapdog Brad Schimel, who at one time was Waukesha County District Attorney in 2006, is going back home for a favorable ruling in front of a friendly court just like he always does:
The state Department of Justice on Wednesday asked the 2nd District Court of Appeals in Waukesha to give Walker until April 6 to call the elections. A Dane County judge on Tuesday rejected Walker's request for the delay. The Senate is returning on April 4 to vote on a bill that would prohibit any special legislative elections this year.
This fiasco has gotten major news coverage by every media outlet, mostly because of Walker's "bold" "unintimidated" balls to cancel elections at will, even before Republicans pass legislation that makes this outrageous action legal. Here's Ari Berman's take:

Republicans have been working on that "right to rule" idea for a long time, where it's now common knowledge that liberals and Democrats are second-class citizens akin to terrorists mucking things up for everyone else.

Republican Rep. Robin Vos makes that clear below, treating voters in Dane County as somehow removed from reality, living in a liberal fantasy bubble that runs counter to what real Americans in rural Wisconsin want. Vos is appalled at the idea that a special election will put someone who's never had "a single day on the floor, never cast a single vote in the legislature"...of course, that doesn't make any sense, but got past Mike Gousha's question anyway.

From interpreting the Constitution to judges, voting, the environment, energy, food, and air quality, the Democrats always and responsibly spend way too much of our "hard-earned money" regulating everything:

Oh, and Scot Ross at One Wisconsin Now pointed out this jaw-dropping fact:
Gov. Scott Walker was himself elected in special elections to two of the three offices he has held during his nearly 25 years in elected office. 

“Scott Walker’s been in office for so long he seems to have forgotten it was a special election for the state legislature that got him into the government hammock 25 years ago,” said Ross ... it was nearly 25 years ago that Scott Walker’s first electoral win was in a special election for the Wisconsin State Assembly. In 2002, Scott Walker was elected in a special election as Milwaukee County Executive, the elected office he held until being elected governor in 2010. 

One Wisconsin Now’s research department has confirmed it has been 9,038 days since Walker was seated in the state Assembly following his first special election win.
Winning with Tricks, Not Ideas: Republicans have another trick up their sleeve if gerrymandering hits some kind of roadblock in the Supreme Court.
The Trump administration is adding a citizenship question to the census. Here’s why that’s bad for Democrats.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote, “I have determined that reinstatement of a citizenship question on the 2020 decennial census is necessary to provide complete and accurate data in response to the DOJ request.”

Although this may seem like the arcane workings of the federal bureaucracy, it is a decision that carries potentially major political ramifications — most notably for Republicans' ability to gerrymander Democrats into the minority for years to come.
Census Citizenship Question another Republican Con: Here's the Washington Post's video that explains the GOP next big assault on representative government and voter suppression:

It would hand Republicans a new tool in redrawing districts even more in their favor! Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to take up a case called Evenwel v. Abbott … the Supreme Court did not prohibit states from drawing state legislative districts according to the voting-eligible population, and Justice Samuel Alito suggested that would be a future question for the court to decide. At issue is only whether state legislative districts could be drawn by voting-eligible population.

Alito's question was still in the realm of the hypothetical because it has been impossible to use that voting-eligible method, given that there has been no accurate census block data that included citizenship. Which is where the new Commerce Department decision comes in. With this question added, it can supply that data and open the door for states to actually draw districts according to who is and who is not eligible to vote. That could mean a significant reddening of the state legislative map — which, in turn, could help Republicans stave off Democratic control and keep redrawing all the maps.

Terri Ann Lowenthal, who has worked for many years as a leading census expert in the House of Representatives. “Between evidence that the administration is manipulating the census for political gain, and fear that the administration will use the census to harm immigrants, confidence in the integrity of the count could plummet. And the census is only as good as the public’s willingness to participate.”

Republicans leave Wisconsin's Hollowed Out Education Carcass on Roadside.

Scott Walker policy decisions are finally coming home to roost as we predicted. 

Republicans Hate getting a College Education: Republicans are obsessed with defunding state colleges, the supposed hotbed of liberal indoctrination, because every great mind and innovation that made the U.S. the world power it still is today...well, that just wasn't good enough. It's onto job training and tech schools folks.

After 7 years of Scott Walker, the collapse of our state colleges has now begun:
Chancellor Bernie Patterson said UWSP is facing a “perfect storm” caused by declining enrollment, 15 years of state budget cuts, and the state imposed tuition freeze.

University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point students held a sit-in in front of the chancellor's office on to protest the planned elimination of academic majors in the humanities (like) American studies, art, English, French, German, Spanish, philosophy, political science, history, geography, geoscience, music literature and sociology. The cuts come as the school faces a $4.5 million structural deficit.
Colleges turn into Tech Schools: 
UWSP officials are also planning to add or expand majors in 13 mostly technical fields. Andy Felt, a professor of mathematical sciences, said “an entire swath of majors will not be available."  

Democratic Party candidate for governor Mike McCabe said, "To shrink the mission of a university and to say that it really is just about getting people ready for the workplace is a huge mistake, and what's happening at UW-Stevens Point, I think, is like the canary in a coal mine. It's a sign that there's something toxic.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Fear of losing election, Republicans panic with Education Funding.

Republican voters must be one issue voters because there's no other explanation for the GOP's continued political dominance. Heck, they oppose almost every popular policy supported by most Americans, from gun control to public education, and yet... 

It's crazy. While Republicans cut taxes so they can plaster it all over their campaign ads, their constituents are actually raising taxes on themselves. Even worse, Republicans have freed businesses from their tax obligations, you know, like helping fund an educated workforce. 

Wisconsinites have been approving school funding referendums everywhere, proving education is their top priority, not tax cuts. Yet voters continue to vote for tax-cutting Republicans. What gives?  The Washington Post tried to make sense of this, highlighting our flip-flopping governor:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who made his name attacking unions and slashing school funding, is promising a “historic investment” in public schools as he campaigns for reelection. A recent Marquette University poll found that 63 percent of the state’s voters would choose to increase spending on public schools over cutting property taxes, up from 46 percent in 2014. 

Voters across the state have approved hundreds of local referendums over the past decade that have raised billions of dollars from increased property taxes for schools. Walker, who enacted large cuts to school funding in 2011, has responded to the shifting opinion by proposing a $200-per-pupil increase in funding this year, on top of a similar increase last year. Funding, when adjusted for inflation, is still down during his tenure, however. 

Earlier this month, Walker signed a bill to make it easier for school districts to raise more tax money without referendums, even though he had opposed a similar bill last year. Walker’s likely Democratic opponent this fall plans to make education a central issue. “He can pretend all he wants,” said Tony Evers, the state’s schools superintendent. “He has now funneled all this money into schools, but it is not back to where it was. People get it, and they remember.”
But as the article points out, this tactic is playing out nationwide in every regressive Republican state:
Florida Gov. Rick Scott, another proud cost-cutter, is bragging about his more recent increases to school funding as he prepares to launch a bid for the U.S. Senate.

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey, who won office on a “shrink government” platform, now boasts of his own plan for more school money, backed by a $1 million advertising campaign promoting the increases from supportive state businesses.

The new rhetorical approach represents a major turnabout for a generation of conservative leaders who came into office promising to get better results with less taxpayer money for public schools. The schools in all of these states have not yet gotten back to the levels of per-pupil spending they had before the 2008 recession, when adjusted for inflation, and school administrators say teacher quality and student results have suffered as a result. 

Teachers have seized on the public’s emotion, pushing legislators for more money even in states where they lack collective bargaining rights.

Between 2008 and 2015, the total state per-student funding for grade schools dropped in 29 states, with the sharpest drops coming in Republican-led places such as Arizona, Florida, Alabama and Idaho.

In Oklahoma, where tax breaks and declining oil prices have sapped state revenue, the number of teachers has dropped by 700 over four years, even as enrollment has increased by 15,000. More than 2,000 classes — in foreign language, art, music and consumer science — have been canceled, according to the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

In Arizona, another of the lowest-paying states for teachers, funding per student dropped 37 percent between 2008 and 2015. Gov. Ducey has been boasting of a 10 percent increase in funding, paid for largely by redirecting money from the state’s land-trust fund.

“When I first came to the legislature, there were Republicans on the floor that referred to public schools as ‘government schools,’ ” said Democratic Arizona state Sen. Steve Farley. “Now I am seeing Republican superintendents, particularly in rural areas, just outraged at the state of public schools. They know we have the money and have just given it away.”

On March 21, more than 60 Kentucky schools agreed to close so that teachers could travel to the capitol to protest the cuts. Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, who is not up for reelection until 2019, has dismissed the teachers as “selfish” and “ignorant.”

Monday, March 26, 2018

Republicans free Walker from ever filling vacant legislative seats, obeying courts if he wants!

UPDATE -Tuesday  6:30 pm: Walker did not get a delay on his delay to hold special elections...yes, he had the balls to even ask:
A Dane County judge Tuesday told Gov. Scott Walker he must quickly order special elections to fill two legislative seats that have been vacant since December. Circuit Judge Richard Niess noted the legislation to avoid the elections is slated to be taken up without voters from those districts having representation in the Senate and Assembly.
"They have no say in that bill at all." 
"No court that I’m aware of is at liberty to ignore the law in order to facilitate the Legislature’s consideration of bills that might become law. When and if a legislative bill becomes the law, it can be brought to the court and at that time the arguments can be made as to what the effect of that law is on an already pending (litigation)."
From both WISC and WKOW TV:

Reporter: "Governor Walker is also making history being the only governor to go this long by not calling a special session (election)...from 1971 no governor has left a seat in a legislature this long, and for more than a year. To date, this is the longest any county has gone without representation without representation."
Let me see if we have this right:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker might be able to ignore a judge's order and stall special elections for the Legislature, under a bill GOP leaders hope to rush through the statehouse ... The legislation says it would overrule any election order from either Walker or a court.
Wait, ah, run that by us again...
The bill they released Monday would eliminate the requirement that Walker call such elections promptly and give the governor wide latitude to decide whether and when to do so.
So thanks to the juvenile act of Walker's pouty legislative leaders, the governor doesn't really have to do his job? 

Sounds to me like the next Democratic governor could leave as many Republicans seats open as long as he/she wanted, the entire term basically, or never fill them. 

Summing this up perfectly:
"This is outrageous and as crooked as a bag of snakes," Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) said in a statement. "The governor had every opportunity to call for a special that could have aligned with the spring 2018 election, so this is not about saving money."
Here's the whole story

Remember, this has nothing to do with saving money or that former Attorney General Eric Holder helped bring the case, it's about representation and angry voters losing that:

Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) said his constituents think special elections should be held for two legislative seats that have sat open since December. One of the two vacant seats is an Assembly district that lies within Olsen's Senate seat. "Let's just say I've been getting a lot of calls and emails from my constituents," Olsen said.

Voters choose Lives over Gun Rights.

We continually let gun losers get away with their numbnuts 2nd Amendment argument that they have a right to bear any and all kinds of firearms. 

Nowhere in the 2nd Amendment does it guarantee an individual's right to bear a particular model or style of firearm. If it did, a gun manufacturer could be sued for infringement for simply discontinuing a specific model.

Also, the government could designate a specific gun as the official weapon of the U.S., banning all others and still fulfill the intent and new activist meaning of the 2nd Amendment.

Which leads me to this revelation, where Fox News couldn't even push poll this to further their agenda. Odd isn't it that Republicans aren't even close to the will of the people on guns, yet aren't being held accountable:

A majority of voters in a new poll thinks it is more important to prevent gun violence than to protect gun rights. A Fox News poll finds
1. 53 percent of respondents think it is more important to protect citizens from gun violence, compared to 40 percent who think it is more important to protect the rights of people to own guns.

2. 91 percent support requiring criminal background checks for those who want to buy a gun.

3. 84 percent support mandatory mental health checks.

4. Nearly three-quarters of voters also support raising the minimum age to buy all guns to 21.

5. 69 percent support putting armed guards in schools. 

6. 57 percent of voters oppose a proposal to arm teachers.

Without Dane County, Walker's Jobs and Economic Numbers would Tank!!!

Over 40 percent of Wisconsin's population growth came from Dane County, a place Republican Rep. Robin Vos said he'd like to spend less time in (well, voters could make that wish come true):
Vos: "Something about the water in Dane County, which is why I try to stay here as little as I can."
Dane County and its liberal hell hole Madison, appears to be the states destination for people seeking a better quality of life, business opportunity, and of course jobs.

Gov. Scott Walker disagrees. He trashed Madison mayor and gubernatorial candidate Paul Soglin:
Walker's tweet wasn't just wrong, see below, but ironically clueless when he blamed the loss of Oscar Mayer on Soglin. Walker's very own WEDC failed to step in and try to save the jobs.  And technically, you could say as governor, Walker lost both Oscar Mayer and Kimberly Clark...etc:

Funny thing about the phrase "the last thing we need is more Madison in our lives:" That was how Republicans trashed "big government" Democrats when they were in control. Now look who's been repealing Democratically promoted local control for the last 7 years? Check out the list here.

Upfront with Mike Gousha on the population leader:

Largest population growth, Wis Counties 2010-17Dane County +48,341Brown County +14,045Waukesha Co. +10,685
If only Dane County's success could be replicated statewide, in even small ways:
Fourth Economy, which refers to the newest phase of economic investment nationwide that combines agrarian, industrial and technology, announced it selected Dane County for its Economy Community Index for Mega-Sized Counties for 2015. The report highlights “communities ideally positioned to attract modern investment and managed economic growth.” Dane County was ranked #2 in the top ten. 
Dane County is among the strongest counties in the U.S. in terms of increasing jobs in information technology and related sectors during the five years ending in 2012, according to a report published this month ... Identified as one of the ten best places to live in the United States for three consecutive years in a row by Money Magazine (2007-09). In addition, ranked us among the top 20 places to launch a business in the United States (2009). 

Home to the fastest growing population of any county in Wisconsin … consistently rank among the top communities for work and play.
Oh, and this...Dane County, which includes Madison and its technology spin-off industries, reported the state’s lowest jobless rate in April at 2.1%. Unemployment was worst across northern Wisconsin.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Honoring Walker...

Walker, Fitzgerald "victims," order judicial branch activism and change to law they violated. Tough break voters.

A Special Note: My conservative Trumpian friend in Milwaukee called and trashed Walker and Fitzgerald. There's a possibility that this isn't going as well as the scheming Republicans think it is.

When Scott Walker and the Republican lawbreakers ignore laws and get caught, they change the law. It's their "privilege. And that's what's happening with the special election law:
Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers are moving quickly to change when special elections must be held in the wake of a court order requiring special elections for two vacant legislative seats.

Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds — who was appointed to the bench by Walker in 2014 and elected to a six-year term the following year — blistered the governor Thursday for refusing to call the special elections and ordered him to do so within a week.
Walker bashed the actual group representing Wisconsin voters in court because that group, headed up by former AG Eric Holder, was from D.C. Yes, it's an oddly insulting argument to make when you've got no real point to make. Crash and burn time just before the election?
Walker — even before the formal legislation had been made public — said that he would sign the bill. “A D.C.-based political group wants to force Wisconsin taxpayers to waste money on special elections at a time when our Legislature is ready to adjourn for the year,” Walker said.
And the irony?

If that wasn't bad enough, Fitzgerald made it clear who the judicial branch is supposed to serve under a Republican authority:
Fitzgerald criticized the tone of Reynolds’ ruling in which she questioned why Walker didn’t call for special elections to fill the vacancies as required by law. On Thursday, Vos criticized Reynolds as an “activist Dane County judge,” which prompted Fifth Judicial District Chief Judge William Hanrahan to demand an apology.
Yet judicial criticism is not tolerated by our all-knowing overseers, who continue to play the role of victim despite being in complete control of the legislature for the last 7 years. 

In one of the most bizarre statements yet, offering a revealing look at just how power corrupts, Fitzgerald wants the Chief Justice to punish the lower court judges. You read that right:
Fitzgerald said Reynolds’ and Hanrahan’s public statements were “way out of line” and reflected a larger problem with Dane County judges being hostile to conservatives and Republicans.

He called the Fifth Judicial District a “laughing stock” in the state and said he would talk with Wisconsin Supreme Court Chief Justice Pat Roggensack about the situation.

“All of those comments about the governor were just way out of bounds,” Fitzgerald said. “I would hope that Justice Roggensack would police that.”
I can't wait to see what Roggensack does with this hot potato. Standing up for voters in Dane County and elsewhere, Hanrahan's public statement didn't hold back...
Hanrahan: “You took the low road. With a broad brush, you have not only needlessly besmirched my reputation and that of my colleagues, you have also gratuitously denigrated the good citizens of Dane County. And frankly, in the process, you have also sullied your own reputation, diminishing any hopes of being taken seriously as a statesman.”
But even more interesting; Hanrahan appears to be an old-fashioned apolitical judge like they're supposed to be. Well, how about that...
Hanrahan, a former state assistant attorney general who heads the state’s Fifth Judicial District wrote, that he is neither liberal nor conservative, but a “non-partisan member of the Third Branch of state government.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Walker's own appointed Judge ruled he must call special elections...Rep. Vos called her an "activist?"

It hurts just trying to figure this out; Republicans are quick to remind everyone that we're a "republic," not a democracy. And yet, not a peep from these proud angry conservative radio talk hosts and their deep red district voters when Walker left two legislative seats empty. Crickets.

Oh, it didn't serve their purpose or wasn't a part of their strategy of winning a sure thing? Seriously. Here's audio from WPR' Shawn Johnson:

Dealing a setback to Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans, (Dane County) Judge Josann Reynolds - whom Walker appointed to the bench in 2014 - ruled Thursday the governor must call special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Legislature.
Showing just how crooked and wacky the con-game-of-resentment works, Republican Rep. Robin Vos embarrassed himself and his district when he quickly and without hesitation...
...ripped the judge as an "activist Dane County judge" who had injected her "own personal opinion into how we conduct elections." He said he wasn't aware Walker had appointed the judge, but said her approach was endemic to judges in liberal Madison. "It’s something about the water in Dane County," Vos said. "That’s why I try to stay here as little as I can."
It's a Mistake when a Judge rules Against Republicans? Vos is pretty much saying Republicans are "smarter than the rest of the state," above the law, and that the judicial branch is only there to support their agenda. This is so arrogant, ya gotta think something is terribly wrong with these guys. Seriously, who says this...?
Vos: "One thing I've always learned about appointments, you don't always get it right...sometimes even Governor Walker might have appointed somebody who's decided to be an activist judge. Something about the water in Dane County, which is why I try to stay here as little as I can. Ah, makes people feel like they are smarter than the rest of the state. This judge is certainly not."

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, on behalf of the constituents in those cheated districts, went to court:
Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds —  determined Walker had a duty under state law to hold special elections ... failing to hold special elections infringed on the voting rights of people who lived in the two districts. "To state the obvious, if the plaintiffs have a right to vote for their representatives, they must have an election to do so," said Reynolds.
Oh and do I love the judges next comment, centering on the GOP's demand for a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution, which Reynolds firmly believes in:
The judge took a shot at Walker for contending he didn't have to hold the election when the statutes are clear and he so often talks about the need for judges and others to follow the plain meaning of laws. 
"I cannot reconcile the incongruity between Gov. Walker's administration's very vocal and consistent policy advocating for strict constructionism and the position taken by the attorney general in this case involving the most basic constitutional guarantee."
I can't wait to see Judge Reynolds Schimel takedown repeated in AG candidate Josh Kaul's campaign ads.
Walker aides contended Walker didn't need to hold special elections because the vacancies occurred not in 2018 — the election year — but in 2017. 

The judge called that interpretation absurd because a seat that becomes vacant in 2017 remains empty longer than one that begins in 2018.

Reynolds noted lawmakers could come in for a special session in the coming months, particularly if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with a panel of three federal judges that new congressional and legislative maps must be drawn.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leah Vukmir's Deep State Conspiracy!!!

Republican voters now have big choice to make in the midterms; elect Leah Vukmir for trying to manipulate and playoff their anger, or not. They could stay with what got them their legislative majorities and megalomaniac and narcissist Trump.

State Representative and ALEC executive Leah Vukmir running on the "deep state" conspiracy theory suggesting public employees - or "agents" holding opposing political views, are our enemy.

She joins Dumb Ron Johnson who also fears a "secret society," plotting and planning to overthrow their supposed permanent majority.

The Party of Sweet Nasty Revenge: Getting back at your "enemies" is catching on I guess. Two days away from completing 30 years of public service work and getting a well-deserved pension, Republicans now think it's a badge of honor to pull the rug out from hard-working Americans. Heck, they never liked the idea of pensions anyway.

It's those "deep state" liberal Republicans who aren't getting in line with blowhard Trump. Vukmir would be great, like Paul Ryan, as a check and balance to the Executive Branch?
Leah Vukmir ripped into U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan Monday for offering a job to fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and proposed making it illegal to hire a federal employee to pad a pension.
Then again "Deep State" paranoia may be just what the election ordered after seeing this head-scratching poll:
The Monmouth University Polling Institute found that 74 percent of respondents believe in a “deep state” when it is described as a collection of unelected officials running policy. Twenty-one percent said they do not believe this kind of group exists. Thirty-one percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents say they believe a deep state “definitely exists,” while 19 percent of Democrats believe this.
But wait, how can that be if...
Pollsters also found that a majority of those polled, 63 percent, said they were “not familiar” with the term deep state, however.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Democurmudgeon Demands You Think Spring

Walker's Reinsurance ploy likely won't get Trump's $150 million Funding help! Hello High Risk Pools!

After mentioning Scott Walker's supposed attempt to prop up the Affordable Care Act, my conservative Trumpian friend in Milwaukee said Walker's move to the middle was a bad idea.

But Walker isn't really budging from his radically right wing position.

To get reelected, grand illusionist Scott Walker is again saying he's trying to repair a problem Republicans in DC created, with his reinsurance plan, at the same time sending his AG out with a lawsuit to repeal the ACA...crazy right? That's what makes this a temporary election year ploy:
Reinsurance: What is it? A reinsurance fund helps insurance companies pay high-cost medical claims, to try to reduce premiums for everyone. In 2014 to 2016, the Affordable Care Act marketplace had temporary federal reinsurance, designed to stabilize premiums in the early years of the marketplace...premiums went up an average of 38 percent for the 225,000 Wisconsin residents.
"State" Reinsurance Con Game: It only looks like Walker is asking for the reinsurance funding Congress just stopped in its tracks. Here's the con: the "state" reinsurance program requires three fourths of money coming from Trump ($150 million) don't hold your breath. But it might get Walker votes and reelected.

What Walker is doing is setting up a move to bring back the states failed high-risk pools. Back in 2017...
Gov. Scott Walker, as part of his election-year health care plan, asked the state Senate to pass a pre-existing conditions bill approved by the Assembly in June amid some political maneuvering.

What’s the debate? The original bill, introduced by Democrats, banned lifetime caps on health insurance, which the Affordable Care Act also prohibits. Republicans stripped out that wording and inserted their own language. The new bill requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions but allows the state insurance commissioner to alter protections, possibly by re-establishing a high-risk pool for such people. The bill is now in the Senate, where Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, introduced an amendment to remove the insurance commissioner provision.
Without the insurance commissioner, no high risk pools or lifetime caps. But nothing is stopping Republicans from passing this. So it's back to the way it was. Keep in mind, high risk pools are funded by you and me, taxpayer dollars. How effective was it? :
Wisconsin's high-risk pool insured about 21,000 people, with critics saying high prices kept tens or hundreds of thousands of others from accessing it. Those applying for the program had to wait six months before they were allowed into it and a lifetime cap of $2 million. Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan lost $6.9 million in 2011, roughly a third of which was offset by a federal grant, according to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The same year, programs in the 35 states lost a total of at least $272 million.
 Here's the GOP health care reform scam:
The plan includes $10 billion per year in “state innovation grants,” which are a version of high-risk pools to help sick people get coverage and stabilize premiums but appear to allow for a broader array of uses for the money by states. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, however, many of these state plans ended up being so expensive, because they covered only sick patients, that they had to cap enrollment.
Also check this article out as well:

Trump's Billionaire Donor Data Mined Facebook without Users Consent.

When Republicans say they wanted to change the American culture, wow, they weren't kidding. They even said it was the only way to solve the problem of mass shootings.

Yet while they're opposed to the horrors of liberal cultural "social engineering," they never said they were against a more social conservative kind of engineering.

GOP Billionaire helped Steal 50 Million Facebook Users Profiles to Elect Trump: Real Americans like Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, and Robert Mercer continue to build on their conservative empire based on special interest

Republican Marketing, not Ideas, Winning Elections: There's no denying it, fear and division won over even Democratic voters, despite the Democratic Party's economic platform strengthening health care, free college, infrastructure jobs, and higher wages.

Here's one of  the ruthless underhanded reasons why:
(In 2014) Cambridge Analytica had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. So the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, according to former Cambridge employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history. The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Today the denials are flying...but with Democratic pushback:

Whataboutism is Back: The "WhataboutObama" contingent quickly pointed to a Guardian article that, no surprise, did not support their case. There's a difference between knowingly using your Facebook account to sign into the Obama campaign, or deceptively completing a Facebook survey that secretly gave permission to use both your information and your friend's for the Trump campaign. Ya think?

Listen to the NPR audio story, and read the NY Times story, which is just amazing:
Facebook has suspended the data analytics firm that the Trump campaign relied on during the 2016 election, saying the firm improperly received user data and then may have failed to get rid of it.
U.K.-based professor Aleksandr Kogan came up with an app billed on Facebook as a personality predictor "used by psychologists." About 270,000 people downloaded "thisisyourdigitallife," according to Facebook, and in doing so gave away their data; some — depending on security settings — even gave away information about their Facebook friends. Although users may not have realized it, the mining of their personal information was aboveboard; just by downloading the app they had — knowingly or not — consented to giving it away. But they did not consent to Kogan giving it away, Facebook says. And when Kogan passed on their data to Cambridge Analytica, he violated platform policies against sharing information with a third party. (Facebook changed its rules three years ago to stop developers from seeing information about people's friends.)
It's all about winning, just like they told us over and over:
According to the newspaper, "the firm was effectively a shell" based in the U.K. and run by foreigners whose contracts with American campaigns — including that of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz — possibly violated Federal Election Commission rules. Around 30 million of those profiles contained enough information to build psychographic profiles.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Where we're not spending the budget surpluses...

Student Protesters Nationwide Smarter than Republican Politicians on Gun Crisis.

It always seemed the gun debate pitted logic and common sense against cliches and imagined 2nd Amendment gun rights that even covered specific gun models.

The Children: For example, here are the fearless articulate messages we're hearing from high school students:

and this...

The "Adults:"
 Now here are the "look over there" distractions being sold first, by Wisconsin's own embarrassing NRA sellout Paul Ryan, who couldn't look or sound more ridiculous:

and this position...where "we has the wisdom."

Republicans are Everything They Say We Are: We have to come up with a new word to describe those blindly hypocritical "real Americans." It's not funny or ironic anymore. How do you have a debate with someone who has no self-awareness at all? For instance...this kid's protest sign and the fact that schools had to cancel their protests due to what, armed threats?

Schools Try to Stop Student Protesters with Threats, Suspensions: Those "constitutional conservatives" out there never did like the First Amendment much. You know, this part...the "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" lacks the necessary obedience-to-power Trumpian right-wingers can't get enough of.

First, from the Waukesha School District, in the words of one student there:
As students at Waukesha North march and walk out to create a movement, we are being faced with threats of truancy tickets from an administration which has backtracked their own statements to the point of incoherency. First, student organizers at North were threatened by the School District of Waukesha for any type of advocacy in any way pertaining to them or their students. After the district's statement made national news on CNN, Todd Gray gave an interviewing denying his stance against students taking part in the movement.

Then again, they changed their stance, with principals giving guidelines to something closer resemble an assembly than a protest. Still, we tried to find a compromise. The realization that they were warping our ideas beyond recognition came when we were told we couldn't call it a walk out or a protest. The same administration with the audacity to tell us that The Women's March, a group actively advocating for legislative change so that it's harder for students to get hurt, was using us to push their own agenda, turned out to be using us to warp and quiet the story.
And so many others...
Nevada school administrators threatened to withhold students’ diplomas and kick students off sports teams for participating in the walkout.

Students in Texas were told they would be suspended if they protest gun violence, on the same day a local 14-year-old was charged over a shooting threat..."All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline ... A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally. A disruption of the school will not be tolerated.”

Sophomore Rosa Rodriquez the only student to walk out of Sayreville HS this morning #nationalwalkout Under threat of suspension several hundred others allowed to attend gathering in school auditorium #1010wins

A number of high schools cancelled or postponed their planned walkouts after receiving anonymous violent threats related to the protests. In Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina; Hackensack High School in Bergen County, New Jersey; D.C. Everesthigh school in Weston, Wisconsin; Mukwonago High School in Wisconsin; and Romeoville High School in Illinois, protests were cancelled or postponed because of threats, sometimes in instances in which the threats were found not to be credible, out of an abundance of caution. In one instance, Shikellamy High School’s protest in Pennsylvania was cut short because of the threat of a drive-by shooting. Clearview Regional High School and Clearview Middle School in Gloucester County, New Jersey, were closed entirely because of an anonymous threat.
And finally...a school that forced their students to take a side:

An Ohio high school student has found himself at the center of political controversy after an online post about his suspension for staying in class during the national student school walkout went viral ... he chose not to join his classmates because he didn’t go to a designated area of the school where the non-protesters were supposed to be, he didn’t want to choose a side, and instead stayed by himself in a classroom. 

On social media Shoemaker’s now-viral suspension slip has been spun into a tale about how a liberal school system impeded the rights of a student who supported the Second Amendment, On Twitter, users shared Shoemaker’s photos of the suspension slip with hashtags such as #GunControlNever and #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder. One person tweeted, “To paraphrase George Orwell, some speech is more equal than others.”
To all the students who suddenly realized they all have truly remarkable power. Their message is so clear and so well-stated that it stands in stark contrast to the mindnumbing nonsense spewed out by Republican politicians.