Sunday, September 27, 2020

I loved the song, now the "Clouds" movie is coming to Disney+ Oct 16

I rarely do a blog post like this, but what the heck.

Disney+ will be debuting Oct 16 the heartbreaking story young Minnesota singer songwriter Zack Sobiech, who's song Clouds still makes me an emotional basket case to this day. 

My sons loved this song as we drove out to Wyoming under blue skies and billowing clouds. I hope this movie finally makes his song a national hit. >Based on a memoir by Zach Sobiech’s mother Laura Sobiech, the Clouds Disney+ movie stars Fin Argus as a high school-aged musician living with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. In December 2012, Sobiech and his bandmates released a single about his battle with cancer titled “Clouds,” and the music video immediately went viral. Unfortunately, Sobiech passed away in May 2013.

Here's the song Clouds...

Not surprised! Fitzgerald doing nothing even earn a House seat; no debate, no defense of his "record," no media coverage of Dem candidate Tom Palzewicz?

I don't think we've seen anything like this before, am I right? 

There has been no mention of the House race to replace James Sensenbrenner. You would think that after Sen. Scott Fitzgerald decided to take 9 months off during a pandemic that is now raging out of control while trashing mask mandates and offering no legislative plan to do something statewide, that maybe his Democratic opponent Tom Palzewicz might have something to say about it? 

And because there's no candidates debate to inform voters, there are no quotes, no controversies, no record to defend, the media has nothing to report. Nice plan? 

How about Fitzgerald's cease-and-desist letter to Madison to discourage ballot collection that had no basis in law? Pure voter suppression? What about the unemployed who have been abandon federally? Or how about aiding small and local state businesses that need financial help? Prevent cuts to the UW and public schools? 

I've decided to reproduce Tom Palzewicz' campaign response to this ridiculously transparent and very authoritarian campaign by Fitzgerald that the media has deemed "unwinnable" in a more conservative district: 
Scott Fitzgerald is setting a dangerous precedent. The Fifth Congressional District seat is

open in this election, but Fitzgerald will not consider a debate with Democrat Tom Palzewicz. He will not return a phone call. Fitzgerald is not interested in the democratic process, he prefers to do nothing as usual.

When Governor Tony Evers called the full-time Wisconsin Legislature back into session, the Republican majority complied in a “session”, as they graveled in and graveled out, doing absolutely nothing. Fitzgerald, along with Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, did what they always do—nothing.

Fitzgerald, Vos, has dominated the political landscape in Wisconsin for several years, from pushing through Act 10, to the recent Supreme Court action cutting off the Badger Bounceback Plan and the efforts by Evers to halt the spread of Covid-19. Rather than legislating, Republicans seem to be more comfortable with litigating. Along the way, Fitzgerald and Vos have made Wisconsin one of the most gerrymandered states in the nation.

“Wisconsin has a full-time legislature and they don’t even meet,” said Palzewicz. “There is no democratic process in Wisconsin. It is an authoritarian approach to governing, just ignore the public and do what you want. Fitzgerald has used his power to gerrymander his district to heavily favor his candidacy, he doesn’t go to work, and he won’t debate. He gets paid full time wages for not working.

“He’s counting on his heavily red district to automatically vote Republican, without considering the issues, without any public exchange of ideas or positions. He wants to ride to Washington on the coattails of President Trump, never having to stand up to scrutiny or challenge. He is counting on people not paying attention. Becoming a Congressman is not an entitlement, it’s a privilege. People expect their elected representatives to go to work for the collective good, not just for personal gain or party.”

Fitzgerald’s unwillingness to debate follows the model of the retiring Jim Sensenbrenner, who never debated an opponent. Sensenbrenner would hold town hall meetings, which were not listening sessions, but just personal appearances to advance his opinions. For over 40 years, Sensenbrenner never changed his approach.

“Authoritarianism does not allow for the open exchange of ideas,” said Palzewicz. “Authoritarianism is the antithesis of democracy. Fitzgerald wants to support the current regime in Washington and not allow the Congress to act, the courts to rule. He will not support our institutions, such as the CIA, the FBI, the CDC, because Trump does not believe in them. Trump says that anyone who does not stand with him is anti-American and that he and he alone has all the answers for the country. I will fight for the right of people to be heard and that means listening and really hearing them.

“It’s time for Americans to embrace what democracy is all about and not be fooled by the promises of those who have no intention of keeping them. America is made great by its people being informed, active and not allowing authoritarianism to limit their choices. It’s time to give America back to Americans.”

Palzewicz welcomes any opportunity to debate the issues of the Fifth District.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Activist GOP State Supreme Court wants Green Party on Ballot, "everybody needs to get a fair shake." Also, Pandemic wins as In-person Christian Schooling returns.

Isn't it funny you never hear about "judicial activism" anymore, especially when hard core Republican judges and justices are in control of the courts. 

Isn't it obvious by now right-wing legal challenges are fast tracked to the activist State Supreme Court for a predetermined legal outcome? Yes, the scheme is shockingly obvious. 

"Freedom" and "liberty" are the go-to patriotic reasons actual laws are now being struck down, leaving government unable to do anything. Can't stop a pandemic or adhere to basic election law requirements? Nope. 

The Supreme Court ruled Gov. Evers orders to control the pandemic "tyrannical." What's "tyrannical" is a Court that usurps the power of the governor and locally elected officials with flag waving declarations of freedom and liberty,  forget any legal arguments. 

Elect Trump, Vote Green Party: For instance, the Wisconsin Supreme Court halted the distribution of absentee ballots because the 3 Republican election commissioners wanted the Green Party candidates on the ballot to syphon away Biden voters. Gee, I wonder how they'll rule? 

Breaking!!! It's too late?  That's it, none of the other reasons listed below under BREAKING MON 9/14? 
"The state Supreme Court has denied the Green Party's request to place presidential candidate Howie Hawkins on Wisconsin's ballot, ruling it's too late to grant the relief sought. Order clears way for local clerks to begin mailing absentee ballots." Justice Brian Hagedorn broke with his fellow conservatives to form a majority with the court's liberals that kept Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins off the ballot.
Maybe things were looking a little to obvious? It now makes the comments by Republicans con artists so much more revealing doesn't it? Check out pure partisan, not very legal reasons the conservative Justices gave to put the Green Party on the ballot, they're so sad:
1. Roggensack called the Elections Commission "lawless" for keeping Hawkins and Walker off the ballot. "This lawsuit is not about the Green Party sleeping on its rights. It is about the treatment that independent candidates from a small political party received from the Commission, who repeatedly refused to follow the law relative to nomination papers."

2. Ziegler wrote that keeping a worthy candidate off the ballot is "the ultimate voter suppression."
My original post continues...

Imagine a Democrat offhandedly throwing out this flimsy reason to bypass petition requirements:
Republican Commissioner Dean Knudson said it was clear, based on the dates on the ballot petitions, that (VP) Walker had moved on either July 29 or 30. The only fair thing to do, Knudson said, would be to put the Green Party candidates on the ballot. Besides, Knudson said, if the commission didn't do it, the courts likely would. "Everybody needs to get a fair shake," said Knudson,
BREAKING MON 9/14: It took the Washington Post and a note from the Bulwark to get what the local media missed completely. This is pivotal, since it also shows how Republicans, helping the Green Party, love to fast track cases directly to the Supreme Court: 
Questions about the Green Party ballot petition began in August, when a state voter complained that there was a discrepancy in Walker’s address on the party’s signature pages. The campaign said that Walker had moved during the signature-gathering phase. But campaign officials failed to respond to a request from the state elections commission to fix their signature sheets, which they could have done by submitting an affidavit explaining the address discrepancy.

In a report to the Wisconsin Elections Commission ahead of its Aug. 20 meeting, the commission’s staff argued that the affidavit would have “easily cleared up confusion” — but absent that, the commission is left with “legitimate arguments” against the petition’s validity.

Weeks later, the Green Party ticket asked the Supreme Court to intervene. “You get help where you can find it,” Presidential contender Howie Hawkins told The Washington Post when asked whether Republicans had financed the legal action. “They have their reasons and we have ours.” Hawkins’s campaign manager, Andrea Merida, later denied that...
Religious Schools Protected By God from COVID: And then it took just 3 very insecure religious families that were worried their children drift away from Christianity without in-person schooling, to get the court to "block Dane County's ban on in-person classes for grades 3-12 the same day the state had a surge of new COVID-19 cases that has killed nearly 200,000 Americans." 

Yup, religious "freedom," forget about that pandemic thing. Let's see how long those schools stay open. The likely sick children or family deaths will be on the Supreme Court, not that they'll care. They probably had some underlying health issue before they got Covid. 

Like the Milwauke Journal Sentinel email summed up:
The conservative majority's logic, particularly in the Dane County case and a previous decision diminishing the state's ability to lead a coordinated public health response, is rooted in concern for freedom and individual rights

The Difference in Bizarro World: The Court is removing any difference between the extraordinary measures to control a public health crisis and an authoritarian political system grabbing control, ironically like the Supreme Court did when they approved the GOP's lame duck power grab over the governor and AG.  You can't make this stuff up. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Agonizing Inaction and Deadly Incompetence of our safely Gerrymandered Wisconsin Republicans!

Republicans have proven again and again they will do nothing to solve growing social problems like reforming law enforcement and common sense gun control. Now both problems are reeling out of control and needlessly killing Wisconsinites with no signs of legislative help.

Where Police Accountability went off the Rails: I actually didn't even know about this until yesterday. Thanks Dems for being on top of this. Maybe repeal could be part of the "conversation:" 

The Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights (1973) has been one of the biggest obstructions to police accountability, hindering investigations and shielding misconduct from public scrutiny. Fifteen other states followed Maryland in adopting a police bill of rights, including Wisconsin, where the police shooting of Jacob Blake this month has sparked protests, during which two more people were shot. After the bill was approved, police unions continued pushing quietly for amendments that strengthened it. 
Law Enforcement digs in to protect power and systemic racism by attacking Gov. Evers and Lt. Gov. Barnes: Initially law enforcement through a tantrum, revealing the deep state conservativism and swirling racism now being threatened by reformist. Here a list: WI Badger State Sheriff’s Association, WI Chiefs of Police Association, WI Sheriff's and Deputy Sheriff's Association, WI Police Executive Group:

Let's have a Conversation BS: The unmovable vacationing GOP authority are not coming back to work again this year. And yet they're feeling pretty let down that no one wants to "have a conversation" with them about police reform, which they're completely against. That's why what State Rep. Sally Kerkmen said in the clip below is so laughably ridiculous and insulting. From Upfront:

GOP using Protests to Scare Rural and Suburban Voters: It's all starts with Trump. I can't believe the media didn't think Trump's revealing comment in Kenosha didn't point out how backwards Republican thinking is about the protests: 

The mayor of Kenosha and Lt. Governor Barnes have the order, reform= the end of protests, just right...

State Sen. Letonya Johnson bottomed lined the whole GOP problem. But will voters listen?

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Who's the outside agitator?


Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes on vacationing WISGOP: "Every issue, they continue to fail and ignore the people of this state."

NPR featured an interview with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes that I thought was too important to ignore. 

As you know, I've been harping endlessly to our clueless Democrats that they should focus on telling the story of how state Republicans are incapable of solving any and all state problems. Republicans have for years starting with Scott Walker. The GOP formula; (acknowledge problem) + (ignore solution) = life goes on.

Here's an audio clip featuring the two important points Barnes makes: 

Q: Gov. "Evers called for a special session of the Legislature on Monday to address police reform, but Republicans didn't show up. To get legislation through, you need Republican support. Do you have a plan for how to do that?"

Barnes: "It's unfortunate that we get asked what's our plan, when the Republicans in the Legislature don't get asked why they continue to ignore people. It took them forever to respond to COVID-19. They haven't responded to the health care crisis. They haven't responded to the dairy crisis that our family farmers are dealing with in this country. They haven't responded to gun violence prevention. They haven't responded to the climate crisis. Every issue, they continue to fail and ignore the people of this state."

And Barnes' final thought: 
I think that it's important for people to realize that, again, the people who were killed in Kenosha were protesters. They were killed by people who felt that they had a responsibility to help things, to help matters, to assist. Now law enforcement was already there. National Guard was already there. They didn't need help. Yet these people were free to just walk the streets with long rifles, intimidating people. I think that is the important thing that people need to realize. And I hope that folks do understand that Republicans continue to enable this sort of behavior, the sort of behavior that actually leaves people dead.