Thursday, October 28, 2021

Cheap Child Labor next after recent Tax Cut for the Wealthy in Wisconsin!

 So, we have to argue this, the Gilded Age, all over again...


Keep in mind, this just happened

Three out of four of Wisconsin’s households will see less than $7 a week on average in additional cash.

The bulk of the benefits from the tax cut proposal will go to the wealthiest one-quarter of the state — people with incomes ranging from more than $80,000 to more than $1 million. For that group, the average tax savings would range from about $450 to $2,935 a year.

“We have this economic divide, and we’re doubling down by excluding people with low incomes from a huge tax cut,” says Tamarine Cornelius, an analyst for the Wisconsin Budget Project and Kids Forward, a policy organization that advocates for children and families.

Vos-Republican's eye Child Labor for the 21st Century: What a goal, huh?  

Under the bill, SB-332, Wisconsin employers that are exempt from the Federal Labor Standards Act could schedule teens younger than 16 to start work at 6 a.m. Those employers could schedule them until 9:30 p.m. if the next day is a school day, and until 11 p.m. if the next day is not a school day. The bill would also require that 14- and 15-year-old employees who work past 10 p.m. must have at least eight hours between shifts.
And China's nationalist tabloid The Global Times took note of this little story out of WI and couldn't wait to chime in...

Wisconsin Child Labor, and their often-repeated Lie, "Parents know what best for their kids Education:" Republican Gov. Scott Walker took office and immediately attacked child labor laws:
In 2011, Walker signed into law a provision in the 2011-13 state budget which eliminated restrictions on 16- and 17-year-olds working more than 26 hours during a school week and more than 50 hours a week during vacations.
Then, around May of 2017, Walker decided "parents DIDN'T know what's best for their kids education" when he told 16- and 17-year old's to ignore their parents, and go to work.
The GOP-controlled legislature has given final approval and sent to Republican Gov. Scott Walker a bill that would loosen child labor laws. Assembly Bill 25 removes the requirement for 16- and 17-year-olds to obtain permits signed by a parent or guardian in order to work. The measure was approved on a party line 20-12 vote. Democrats maintain the bill would allow children to make important life decisions that could adversely affect their educations — against their parents’ wishes.
Welcome back to those nostalgic days of pre-Depression labor.

I didn't even know these restrictions were lifted, as pointed out by Milwaukee Gazette:
The Child Labor Coalition said that change allowed employers to leverage cheap child labor to avoid paying a living wage.

“Research suggests that when teens work more than 20 hours a week, their grades go down, they drop out of school more often, and they have more behavioral issues,” said coalition coordinator Reid Maki of the 2011 law. 
A more nefarious reason for the law? The Wisconsin AFL-CIO explained:
Supporters of the bill claim that the signature requirement is a hurdle that keeps some kids out of the workforce. In reality, if no parent or guardian is available, a DWD officer can sign off for a child worker. These officers are funded by a $10 permit fee paid by the employer. A portion of the fee also goes to the state’s General Treasury. By eliminating this fee, Republicans are cutting funding for the enforcement of child labor laws and at a time when every penny counts needlessly reducing state revenue.
Just before passage, here's what legislators had to say, noting the bizarre Republican reason to bypass parents...
Rep. Amy Loudenbeck: "...what we're hearing from the kids...Jamial (inaudible) who was on the front page of the Journal Sentinel a couple of weeks ago, who scored a perfect 10 on the know what, she falsified her parents signature on the work permit, got her first job at Goodwill and told us it was the best thing that happened to her..."
Now that uplifting story is something to base legislation on.

From the archives, here's that debate, arguing against parental control, the ones who know what's best for their kids. 

Vos-Republicans admit again, No more money for schools! They shift tax hikes to local Referendums!

 Around September 25th 2021, Vos stripped away all his bullshit and let it rip...

Robin VosThrowing even more money at the problem will not fix it. Evaluating curriculum, academic testing and allowing parents to be a part of the conversation are real solutions Legislative Republicans will continue to fight for in the classroom.”
Fast forward to now, October 27th, after another bold and very clear confirmation that school funding is never going to happen under Republican rule:

Rep. Janel Brantjen: "The amount of money that we spend on education in this state, probably one of the highest out of all 50 states...

Democrats warned when Gov. Scott Walker cut education funding, the effects would be felt sometime in the future. That future is here:
Wisconsin’s educational decline, meanwhile, has not occurred in a vacuum. During the last decade the state drastically reduced resources for public schools, starting with former Gov. Scott Walker’s biggest cuts to school funding in state history in 2012
So, this confirms what we have been trying to tell conservative voters, "Funding schools" isn't really a thing, but it did result in another Vos-Republican tax cut that local voter's will backfill with another referendum to increase their own taxes. 😡 They never seem to get tired of that game.

After the gerrymandered Republican majority squandered a huge projected state revenue surplus on a $3.4 billion tax cut. $408 million of that became a property tax cut instead of an investment in our public schools: "...what appears to be an increase in state education funding but is actually a property tax cut."

It was expected that cuts to education and a lack of progress would be blamed on school administrators and teachers, and not the politicians who made things worse. Still, angry fed-up voters keep voting for angry Republicans complaining about public schools. 
“It is disingenuous and it borders on open deception to try and pretend that there wasn’t the largest cut to education in Wisconsin history in 2011,” Larson said, adding that Republican policies ending collective bargaining for teachers and making further cuts to schools that had low scores on school report cards contributed to a teacher shortage and the decline in the quality of education. The bipartisan Blue Ribbon Commission on School Funding made a series of recommendations, he pointed out, “and the Legislature said, ‘Nope, we’re not going to do Jack Squat with that.”

“That’s not a failure of our kids,” he added, “that’s a failure of the Legislature.”

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

National School Board normalizes Threats of Violence and Death, with shocking apology! RadicalRebecca supports threats!!!

The ugly part of watching this version of the Democratic Party is how bad they are in a fight. 

The right-wing QAnon types have threatened and nearly succeeded in taking over the Capitol and overturning the presidential election, utilized white nationalist militias at BLM protests, and have terrorized election and health officials for simply doing their jobs. The push back by Democrats is almost invisible and getting worse. 

BREAKING-AP: Normalizing threats not exactly a reasonable way to govern a state? This shocking statement...

Evers’ campaign spokesman, Sam Roecker, called Kleefisch’s comments “absolutely abhorrent. No one in Wisconsin should be encouraging violence of any kind, much less a candidate for governor,” he said.

The horror of vuvuzelas and drums and sleeping two by two in sleeping bags '...cowbells? Here's Radical Rebecca with "whataboutisms" normalizing threats of violence and death for school board members...

Kleefisch: "I would love for these folks to have gone through what Gov. Scott Walker and I went through during the recalls:The vuvuzelas and the drums, and the death threats, and the people who were showering inside the public restrooms, sleeping two-by-two in sleeping bags, banging on cars, threatening my children, spreading lies and intimidating us,” Kleefisch said in audio obtained by the liberal advocacy group American Bridge 21st Century and provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday. “Imagine if school board members felt something like that. Instead, all they feel is the pressure of their actual constituents asking them to do their job.”

National School Board Apologizes for Reacting to Right-Wing Death Threats? Yup. Big money conservative billionaire activists and gullible parents have disrupted school board meetings shouting down board members for teaching “critical race theory,” and instituting mask mandates. But Sen. Chuck Grassley wrote in a letter...: 

"Parents should absolutely be involved in public debates over what and how our public schools teach their children, even if those discussions get heated.”

Wisconsin Examiner: NSBA’s Board of Directors wrote to its members that “we regret and apologize for the letter.” The six-page Sept. 29 NSBA letter to Biden asked for federal assistance and detailed, at length, threats and harassment that school board officials and teachers across the country are facing.

“As these acts of malice, violence, and threats against public school officials have increased, the classification of these heinous actions could be the equivalent to a form of domestic terrorism and hate crimes.”

The threats are real. Here's a video featuring some of the actual audio recording of these threats, threats the NSBA is oddly now apologizing for taking so seriously (contains graphic language):

NSBS said: "However, there was no justification for some of the language included in the letter."

Really? VICE: 

As one school board pointed out:

“When these behaviors are ignored, when there’s no accountability for these actions, they become normalized and acceptable, and they get reinforced,” Brevard County School Board member Jennifer Jenkins said during a Monday Zoom conference, the Phoenix reported.

Here are more examples:

In Wisconsin, several school board members have quit in the middle of their terms; others are facing recalls; and a host of local elected citizens report being shouted at, sworn at, followed and threatened with physical harm.

In Florida, the Florida Phoenix reported that several school board members detailed threatening text messages, vandalism and harassment they continue to face over masking requirements amid the pandemic.

Jenkins also detailed in a Washington Post opinion piece how someone outlined the letters “FU” in weedkiller on her front lawn and she said that someone falsified a report accusing her of abusing her child. “My 5-year-old daughter was on a play date last month when an investigator from the Florida Department of Children and Families sat at my kitchen table to question me about how I disciplined her, then accompanied me to the play date to check for nonexistent burn marks beneath her clothes,” Jenkins wrote. “Someone had falsely reported that I abused my child. The report was quickly dismissed, but this was the low point in the short time I have been a Brevard County School Board member.”

Republicans are Outraged DOJ Investigating Threats? Yes, they are. Here, show-boat insurrectionist supporting Rep. Jim Jordan feigns outrage over conservative terrorists being investigated by the DOJ for threats of violence: 

Sen. Tom Cotton is not just supportive of threatening public officials, but he's outraged the DOJ reacted quickly to the threats. Can't make this stuff up: 

Chaos Destroys Local School Board Control: What's next? Well, here's a frightening peak at how this can morph into something so much worse. And this is just one example: 



Thursday, October 21, 2021

Vos vilifies "turning out minorities," and "imagines" Koch's not appealing to white voters, because "that would be crazy" right?

So, just to be clear, Vos-Republicans aren't drawing any conclusions about possible election fraud, BUT they are comparing it to a "murder probe?" 
AP: Wisconsin Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday defended not releasing
documents related to an ongoing investigation
he ordered into the 2020 election, saying putting them out now would be like police revealing details of a murder probe.
The Vos-Republican focus is on the nonprofit Center for Tech and Civic Life, who granted money to helped run local elections, something tightwad WI Republicans intentionally did not want to do. Mark Zuckerberg's donation foiled their plan. 

Vos loves Trump's New Plan: Instead of the big lie...

Salon: Trumpist writer Mollie Hemingway, a frequent voice on Fox News, clearly feels she's found a more sophisticated justification for the baseless accusations that the 2020 election was "rigged." She's even tied the conspiracy theory to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, cleverly wielding his well-known status as a villain to push this nonsense about a "rigged" election.

Hemingway rolled out her cleaned-up version in her new book, "Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections." In it, she cleverly ... rewrites the Big Lie to focus on money that Zuckerberg gave — which she derides as "Zuck Bucks" — to a couple of voting rights groups, money that was spent on making it easier for marginalized people to vote.

By her own admission, all the group did was reach out to voters to make sure they turned their ballots in on time, assist voters who needed to make sure their ballots were filled out correctly, work to reduce the lines at ballot boxes, and help voters figure out the mail-in ballot system. This basic pro-democracy work done by these groups is morphed, in Hemingway's telling, into "tech oligarchs' buying the administration of the state's elections" and even the "privatizing" of elections. It's a fancy update on a very old right-wing talking point that paints any activist effort to assist voters — like offering rides to the polls, distributing food or water to voters waiting in line, or organizing "souls to the polls" events through churches — as somehow malevolent.
Former conservative activist State Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman came right out and said what he was asked to do in his "fraudit" by Trump toady Vos:

WOW; Vos vilifies "turning out minorities," and "imagines" Koch's not appealing to white voters, because "that would be crazy" right? He really said this without the media pointing out the racism: 
“Imagine if it happened in reverse, where the Koch brothers gave millions of dollars to only turn out people of white background in the suburbs. People would say, ‘That is crazy.’ Well, that’s exactly what happened with the money from Zuckerberg in reverse, where they focused only on turning out minorities in large cities.”
1. Vos blatantly vilifies "turning out minorities." No hidden meanings here. 

2. It's like "the Koch Brothers gave millions of dollars to only turn out people of white background...:" You mean, like this from Jane Mayer, and others...

The Nation: The overwhelmingly white Republican base is rewarded with a story that is easier for them to accept than the true one—a story where they are both the heroes of American history and the true victims of the American present, oppressed by “political correctness.”

As UnKoch My Campus wrote in our expansive report, “Advancing White Supremacy,” the Koch network has purposefully exploited this relationship for years. The network has long-standing ties to white nationalist scholars and has used their research to drive policies that serve its economic goals at the expense of people of color, including efforts to resegregate our nation’s schools, dismantle voting rights, and expand the prison-industrial complex.
...A very "people of white background" agenda, wouldn't you say? Then there's this...

"Turning out Minorities in large cities..." the Horror:  On WPT, Here and Now (Oct 15, 2021) focused on that funding donation, and how other conservative areas received similar funding donations. Exact totals were not released yet, but they are based on population (click image to enlarge):


Back to the Koch funded "grassroots" protests against critical race theory and mask mandates. 

Republicans Defend Threats Against Public Servants: Republicans are now against having U.S. AG Merrick Garland investigate serious threats nationwide against school board members, city leaders, state public health officials, etc. Republican wacko Rep. Jim Jordan was outraged Garland would simply take the word of the National School Board Association about the uncivil meetings and threats. Yea, who are they? 
Citing a spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence against public school officials, AG Garland said he has directed the FBI to meet with local officials to coordinate a response.

Here's a glaring hypocritical moment about reporting threats. In Wisconsin, Vos-Republicans wrote a bill that gave the public this amazing power against anyone teaching racial history:
The proposal also gives parents or guardians the power to bring a legal challenge against a school district or private school operator that violates the law and requires school boards to post online all curricula used in the school district.
And yet, in the same universe, Republicans are against any such accountability:
Garland announced the memo earlier this month, directing FBI officials and federal prosecutors around the country to meet with local counterparts to discuss potentially criminal threats against school officials and teachers and to establish "dedicated lines of communication for threat reporting." Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) called it a "snitch line on parents" who criticize school board initiatives regarding issues like the teaching of critical race theory.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Kleefisch can't say she won't reverse election results!

Former Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's bubbly, happy-go-lucky jump into the gubernatorial race is shockingly devoid of preparation. Did she not think about her pandemic response in the last two years or her support for the "Stop the Steal" insanity? Even worse, she doesn't have policy, just a list of grievances she desperately wants her base to know she'll pounce on in a heartbeat.   

On WKOW's Capitol City Sunday, A.J. Bayatpour wrote: 

Kleefisch declined to say whether, as governor, she would sign a bill that made lawmakers the ultimate decider of who won an election. Kleefisch said she hadn't seen any bill language drafted proposing to give election certification powers to the legislature.

Well, isn't that a flat out lie? 

Kleefisch: "An idea I have never heard discussed among legislators or even the folks I've been talking to across the state." 

So, Vos-Republicans and rabid GQP Kleefisch supporters have never said anything about overturning the election, now or in the past? Uh, well...I count 3 times at least:

1. In an emergency petition filed Nov. 24 with the Wisconsin Supreme Court by the Wisconsin Voters Alliance is asking for a slate of electors who would support President Trump. The emergency petition asks the court, which is dominated 4-3 by conservatives, to void the election and order that the “choice of the Presidential Electors revert back to the State Legislature.” In December, PBS Wisconsin reported two Republican state representatives, Rep. Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and Rep. David Steffen (R-Green Bay), joined a lawsuit arguing state legislatures should have the final word on certifying a state's election results. A federal judge dismissed the suit in January.

2. Days after the election, Republican Assembly Speaker Robin Vos ordered an investigation into Wisconsin’s election results.

3. Republican state Rep. Joe Sanfelippo said in a Nov. 9 statement the results of that investigation could — and perhaps should — lead the state to nullify its outcome. We need to either declare this past election null and void and hold a new election or require our Electoral College delegates to correct the injustice with their votes.

So Kleefisch's comment should not be forgotten in this campaign:

Kleefisch said, "So I think it would probably be awfully premature for me to comment on a bill that hasn't even been drafted nor an idea that I've heard floated." 

But wait, another idea just recently surfaced in the Legislature:

A new bill authored by Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel) would picked its Electoral College delegates using a congressional district method. For Wisconsin the congressional districts are gerrymandered by Republicans to favor Republicans, five of the eight districts are held by Republicans. President Donald Trump would have received the majority of Wisconsin’s 10 votes in 2020. Six, to be precise. It would make Wisconsin a state where the winner of the popular vote does not get all — or even necessarily the most — Electoral College votes. Tauchen’s bill (LRB 0513/1).

Kleefisch Projection: Hoping Wisconsinites Just Walk Away from Voting: Every threat to freedom and liberty is actually a special part of the game plan. 

Voter suppressions hoops and mazes along with losing complete faith in our voting system, is the desired end. It's here that Becky lets it slip; she doesn't want people to come out and vote. She repeats it over and over all the while calling into question the integrity our out elections. Upfront with Adrienne  Pedersen did a great job of putting Kleefisch uncomfortably on the spot: 

She wants to "make people feel secure and not disenfranchised?" After the Arizona audit, and Biden actually gained even more did not make a difference:

Saturday, October 9, 2021

The bumbling Gableman Fraudit sh*t hits the fan...

There is no question who's to blame for the cluster f**k election "fraudit" in Wisconsin; Robin Vos take a bow:

UPDATE Thurs. 10/28/2021: Cloaked in secrecy despite being paid for by taxpayers, the Gableman debacle takes an even more bizarre turn for the worse. From my JSonline email:

A woman named Carol is helping Wisconsin Republicans review the 2020 election. No one will provide her last name.

Assembly Republicans have hired someone named Carol to help answer their questions about the 2020 election. Just don’t ask Carol or her bosses what her last name is. "No comment," she said Wednesday before hanging up on a reporter.

The hiring of Carol is the latest example of the opacity of a review of the 2020 election being overseen by former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman at a cost to taxpayers of $676,000. The names of state employees and their contractors are ordinarily public. No one has offered any justification for not disclosing Carol's last name.

The woman, who signs her emails “Carol M.,” has been contacting attorneys for election officials recently to discuss subpoenas Gableman has issued. She has not told them whether she is a lawyer, an administrative assistant or holds some other post, the attorneys said.

How bad can it get? Rachel Maddow deconstructs this election fraud witch hunt by former Justice Michael Gableman. Never mind how bad this is also making our activist rightwing Wisconsin's State Supreme Court look, again:

The Millwaukee Journal Sentinal followed up with a few important developements: 


Assembly Republicans are using an attorney for their review of last year's election who has maintained without evidence that the election was stolen and argued that conservatives need prosecutors who will "let our boys off the hook."

The lawyer, Andrew Kloster, worked in the White House under former President Donald Trump. He told the Assembly Elections Committee in March he is not an election attorney and has a "limited understanding" of election laws.

Republicans using "Unelected Bureaucrats" to seize Control of Government!

What is it about all these "unelected bureaucrats" the Republicans keep complaining about? 

This is a story about negating federal and local administrative department secretaries' power. And very conservative activist state and federal Supreme Court Justices are taking over. It will bring chaos to governing like we've never seen. 

Republican push for One Party Authoritarian Rule: It's no joke, and it's just two years away. Attacking "unelected bureaucrats" is one way to concentrate authoritarian power while neutralizing those "socialist" Democratic administrative departments they hate so much.

But the same time, Vos-Republicans oddly want to add 3 more "unelected bureaucrats" to the list? Sure, it's a way to dictate right-wing curriculum from the governor's office, but it could also be another way stripping away your choices and to discourage voting entirely.

Here's how WKOW's A.J. Bayatpour squeezed the truth out of Republican Rep. Shae Sortwell, who appeared to be completely unprepared to answer any questions. He's pretending Republicans aren't holding up many the governors' appointments saying that they are just unelected bureaucrats ignoring the legislatures power?  

AP: Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin have introduced a plan to end elections for three state constitutional offices and let governors fill the positions. Rep. Shae Sortwell told the Journal Sentinel that he thinks the plan to make all three officers appointees will have a better chance to succeed because it would allow the governor to give the treasurer and secretary of state more duties.

“We’re not eliminating anything,” Sortwell said. “We’re putting them under the governor so we can give them more responsibility and more accountability.
Unelected Bureaucrat, Andrea Palm: For example, take our own state Health Secretary designee Andrea Palm, who was acting within state statute but NOT the way Vos-Republicans thought appropriate during a global pandemic. They sued: 
The filing Wis. Legislature v. Andrea Palm states that Palm “Purporting to act under color of State law, an unelected, unconfirmed cabinet secretary has laid claims to a suite of czar-like powers – unlimited in scope and indefinite in duration – over the people of Wisconsin.”

Chief Justice Patience Roggensack: "This case is about the assertion of power by one unelected official, Andrea Palm, and her order to all people within Wisconsin to remain in their homes … to close all businesses that she declares are not 'essential.'" This was ironic because the Supreme Court justice who provided the deciding vote in the 4-3 decision was Dan Kelly, himself an unelected official.
CapTimes: Justice Rebecca Bradley asked:
 "Could the (Dept. of Health Service) Secretary under this broad delegation of legislative power or legislative-like power order people out of their homes ... to combat the pandemic? What are the limits, constitutional or statutory? There have to be some, don't there, counsel?" The state’s statutes say DHS “may authorize and implement all emergency measures necessary to control communicable disease.”
What is at stake is the power of administrative departments under the governor and the President of the U.S.

When Trump's challenge to the election was rejected in WI, this is what Bradley wrote in her decent:
“A majority of this court passively permits the Wisconsin Elections Commission (WEC) to decree its own election rules overriding ... the election laws enacted by the people's elected representatives. Allowing six unelected commissioners to make the law governing elections, without the consent of the governed, deals a death blow to democracy.”
In the NPR program 1A (short for the 1st Amendment), the focus was on a small but significant case that would go after "unelected bureaucrats," put the final department decisions in the court's hands, and destroy administrative powers everywhere, not just at the federal level:

Sunday, October 3, 2021

If Life were like a Football game...


YouTube blocking me from uploading new videos for one week after Criticizing Fox News Vaccine Misinformation?

Google has a new and stricter policy that takes a sledge hammer to medical misinformation posted on YouTube. Talk about unintended consequences!

NPR: "We've steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general, and we're now at a point where it's more important than ever to expand the work we started with COVID-19 to other vaccines," the company said.
YouTube policy Silences Critics fighting AGAINST Anti-vax Spreaders of Misinformation!!! You can't make this stuff up. YouTube blocked my video uploads and postings for one week after they decided I was violating their "terms and agreements," even after I appealed their decision twice, pointing out how Media Matters and Eric Boehlert both highlighted the absurdity of misinformation in a compilation video of crazy cures:

Normally, as a precaution, I record video clips as a backup just in case the original is deleted or moved. Below, I captured the entire tweet as you see it here, not just the video, using Eric Boehlert and Media Matters as the disclaimer saying this was misinformation. That wasn't enough apparently:

Take Away: Even pointing out the absurdity of many of these claims is now being blocked. 

This also happened with a video clip of a woman claiming she became magnetized after getting the vaccine. That strike against my channel has finally expired. 

What YouTube's actions mean today? 

This is now preventing me from posting the insane Becky Kleefisch comments about how she would have responded to the pandemic if she were governor, and the Assembly Republicans desire to put "unelected bureaucrats" (which they hate and use to energize their voters) in what are now elected statewide posts.