Monday, May 30, 2011

Tax the Super Rich now or face a revolution

How many times are we going to have to say this before they get it?

Of course, they don't really have to listen to anyone.

Hm.

Knock knock.


Tax the Super Rich now or face a revolution Paul B. Farrell - MarketWatch

A Decade of Magical Tax-Cut Thinking | Common Dreams

Republican solution for every problem? Here it is.

How's it working out for ya?



A Decade of Magical Tax-Cut Thinking | Common Dreams
The 2001 Bush tax cuts added $2.5 trillion to the national debt and disproportionately benefited the wealthiest households. Have we learned anything?

by Chuck Collins
Republican leaders in Congress have a one-point program for whatever ails the nation: cut taxes for millionaires and large corporations.

Got a revenue surplus? Cut taxes. Got a budget deficit? Cut taxes. Got a toothache? Cut taxes.

These politicians are like my uncle who believed the solution to every problem was a wee glass of scotch. They live in a world of magical thinking.

Dick Cheney: 'I Worship The Ground Paul Ryan Walks On'

The Emperor weighs in on Anakin.

Dick Cheney: 'I Worship The Ground Paul Ryan Walks On'

Former Vice President Dick Cheney weighed in on the political stature of Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) while speaking at an event in Texas on Wednesday, theHouston Chronicle's "Fuel Fix" blog reports.
"I worship the ground the Paul Ryan walks on," he said of the House Budget Committee Chairman. "I hope he doesn't run for president because that would ruin a good man who has a lot of work to do."

The Truth About the American Economy

The government let us down. Literally.



Robert Reich (The Truth About the American Economy)

(This is excerpted from testimony presented to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, on May 12.)

The U.S. economy continues to stagnate. It’s growing at the rate of 1.8 percent, which is barely growing at all. Consumer spending is down.

It’s vital that we understand the truth about the American economy.

How did we go from the Great Depression to 30 years of Great Prosperity? And from there, to 30 years of stagnant incomes and widening inequality, culminating in the Great Recession? And from the Great Recession into such an anemic recovery?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

National Testing Push Yielded Few Learning Advances

That whole business TQM justification? Nope.


National Testing Push Yielded Few Learning Advances: Report

NEW YORK -- Education policies pushing more tests haven't necessarily led to more learning, according to a new National Research Council report.

"We went ahead, implementing this incredibly expensive and elaborate strategy for changing the education system without creating enough ways to test whether what we are doing is useful or not," said Dan Ariely, a professor of behavioral economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and member of the committee that produced the report.

Heavily testing students and relying on their scores in order to hold schools -- and in some cases teachers -- accountable has become the norm in education policy. The No Child Left Behind Act, the largest piece of education legislation on the federal level, for example, uses performance on math and reading exams to gauge whether schools are failing or succeeding -- and which schools are closed or phased out.



-- and oh yeah: "told you so."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

After the crash: the pauperisation of middle-class America

They can even see it from Europe. Why can't we see it here?


After the crash: the pauperisation of middle-class America | Richard Wolff | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Obviously, both Republicans and Democrats are agreed to do nothing more that quibble over insignificant margins of so huge a deficit. Meanwhile, they perform live political theatre about their "deep concern about deficits and debts" for a bemused, bored and ever-more alienated public.

Neither party can shake off its utter dependence now on corporate and rich citizens' monies for all their financial sustenance. Therefore, neither party imagines, let alone explores, alternatives to massive deficits and debts. After all, government deficits and debts mean: first, the government is not taxing corporations and the rich; and second, the government is, instead, borrowing from them and paying them interest. So, the two parties quibble over how much to cut which government jobs and public services.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Budget Bill to Damage Wisconsin's small brewers.

First they came for the Jews, then they came for the trade unionists. Now they've came for the small non-macro brewers....

Budget Bill to Damage Wisconsin's small brewers.

The Chapter 125 Branch Legislation would:

All Wisconsin Breweries and Brewpubs will be negatively affected by losing their Wholesale and retail licenses and the benefits those licenses provide.
Eliminates the current option of a brewer choosing to self-distribute or starting a Wholesale Distribution Company.
Eliminates a Brewers current right to have ownership in two restaurants.
Protects (Grandfather Clause) currents Wholesalers retail licenses, while eliminating that benefit for new start up Wholesalers.
Unfairly burdens new Wholesalers and breweries with a requirement of 25 separate independent retail customers before a Wholesale license can be granted.
Eliminates the ability of Brewers to sell existing retail or wholesale operations separately from the brewing operation.
Eliminates current Wholesale investment in privately held Wisconsin Breweries while allowing investment in out of state and foreign and publicly traded breweries.


Of course you realize, this means war.

Word processors saving us from paper work?

IBM had dreams. Via Aldaily.com

West 86th - Paperwork Explosion

The Difference Between Fox And A Real News Network


The Difference Between Fox And A Real News Network | Media Matters for America

MSNBC host Ed Schultz will be placed on unpaid administrative leave for a week after he made sexist comments on his radio show directed at conservative commentator and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham. Schultz issued an apology for the comments Wednesday night.

Holding employees accountable when they make unacceptable comments as Schultz did, is how a news organization behaves. Indeed, it's the way that any responsible organization behaves.

But accountability for unacceptable rhetoric has no apparent place at Fox.

Fox News' Glenn Beck has twice called Sen. Mary Landrieu a prostitute - including once on Fox News itself - without any evident accountability.

Beck infamously accused President Obama of being a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture." Beck faced no demonstrable accountability at Fox for this statement.

Just this week, Fox's Eric Bolling criticized Obama for traveling to Europe for the G-8 summit, outrageously claiming that Obama was "chugging a few 40s" rather than attending to tragic tornadoes in Missouri. (Local officials have praised the White House for its response to the disaster.) Bolling has been widely criticized for making "racially tinged" comments, but to date there has been no accountability for his comments at Fox.

Paul Ryan is a sore loser. Why do you ask? Medicare and Mediscares

Krugman on the New York election fallout.


Yes, Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, is a sore loser. Why do you ask?
[...]
Mr. Ryan may claim — and he may even believe — that he’s facing a backlash because his opponents are lying about his proposals. But the reality is that the Ryan plan is turning into a political disaster for Republicans, not because the plan’s critics are lying about it, but because they’re describing it accurately.
Take, for example, the statement that the Ryan plan would end Medicare as we know it. This may have Republicans screaming “Mediscare!” but it’s the absolute truth: The plan would replace our current system, in which the government pays major health costs, with a voucher system, in which seniors would, in effect, be handed a coupon and told to go find private coverage.


And so on. Most of this so-called "conservative" budget reform depends on nobody actually looking at the budgets they create.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Bishops to Senate GOP: Don't Vote For 'Morally Indefensible' Ryan Budget

Acts 4:32: in the way -- again.


Bishops to Senate GOP: Don't Vote For 'Morally Indefensible' Ryan Budget

The budget put forward by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), which sailed through the House along partisan lines last month, "fails the basic tests of justice, compassion and a commitment to the common good," said the Wednesday letter signed by 27 Protestant bishops from around the country.

"This budget eviscerates vital nutrition programs for mothers and infants (WIC), and makes cuts to Medicaid that will hurt sick children, struggling families and seniors in nursing homes," the letter continued. "Unlike the Good Samaritan, who stopped to care for a wounded stranger on the side of the road, the House budget turns its back on the most vulnerable at a time of grave economic uncertainty even as it endorses policies that gives tax breaks for the privileged few."

The bishops, who represent the Episcopal Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church in 19 states, instead called on Senators to come up with a bipartisan budget that "defends human dignity and basic economic security for all Americans."

Wealthy Voucher Donors Getting Choice Policy Payback

So those who've worked to turn education into a privatized cash-cow are getting a pay off for their campaign investments?

-- and even though voucher schools don't work? I guess this is the kind of thing fiscal conservatives were really after, after all?


Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Wealthy Voucher Donors Getting Choice Policy Payback

Madison – Supporters of Milwaukee’s school choice program spent more than $3 million in 2009 and 2010 to help elect Governor Scott Walker and much of the GOP-controlled legislature while opponents spent a million dollars to elect mostly minority Democrats, a Wisconsin Democracy Campaign analysis shows.

Supporters of state-subsidized school privatization led by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, American Federation for Children and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce spent $3.36 million on mostly negative electioneering activities and direct campaign contributions to Walker, three fundraising committees run by legislative leaders and 66 legislators – most of them Republicans.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Public education is targeted for destruction by anti-education Governor and his owners?

From our friend Jason Penterman.
Four articles.
A no-brainer connect the dots.
Public education is targeted for destruction in WI by some wealthy, out of state, contributors to the Repubs pushing the anti-public education agenda.



A) Schools chief blasts voucher expansion in memo to legislators http://www.jsonline.com/news/education/122451333.html 
B) Chalkboard: School choice advocates spend freely on politics
correct link: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/local/education/blog/article_02ef37ca-7fff-11e0-8b50-001cc4c03286.html?mode=more
C) School choice expanding as record fine languishes http://www.timesleaderonline.com/page/content.detail/id/133747/School... 
D) Wisconsin's Walker Heads to DC to Take Lead in Fight to Privatize Education http://www.alternet.org/story/150882/wisconsin%27s_walker_heads_to_dc... 


Notes:
1) The Walker Budget Repair Bill calls for ending the (WKCE) testing
of students in the voucher/ charter program. This testing was created
by Jim Doyle to ensure charter and voucher schools were accountable
for the tax dollars they were receiving.

2) Please see this article after the Journal Sentinel article as proof
that out-of-state school choice advocates are spending tens of
thousands of dollars to divert tax dollars to private schools. If
anyone questions why WEAC and the NEA get involved with campaign
contributions and why teaching gets political, read on.

Rep. Howard Marklein, R-Spring Green received $31,500 from national
advocates for school choice and others big names (see article below).
Other Wisconsin legislators from across the state who benefited from
school choice political contributions according to Roys' figures
include: John Klenke, R-Green Bay, $63,500; Andre Jacque, R-Bellevue,
$44,200; Kathy Bernier, R-Chippewa Falls, $43,200; Tom Larson, R-
Colfax, $44,950; Erik Severson, R-Star Prairie, $44,250; Travis
Tranel, R-Cuba City, $50,000; Jeffrey Mursau, R-Crivitz, $34,000 and
Karl Van Roy, R-Green Bay, $75,750. (Chalkboard: School choice
advocates spend freely on politics)

3) If readers are Walker supporters, so be it; however, know the
American Federation for Children spent $820,000 to assist his agenda
(See final article and numbers just above).


The Facts Don’t Lie: Expanding the Voucher System is Wrong for Wisconsin

Choice schools don't produce benefits?

Just as suggested by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute -- in 2007.

Let's see, costs the taxpayers MORE and creates less for the general population. Wow, you'd think voucher schools were created by conservatives!

No, not kidding. Here's entire press release. Do check the DPI report itself.



Wisconsin Education Association Council: The Facts Don’t Lie: Expanding the Voucher System is Wrong for Wisconsin

The Facts Don’t Lie: Expanding the Voucher System is Wrong for Wisconsin

Posted: 5/23/2011 8:19:00 PM

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23, 2011
Contact: Christina Brey, 608.298.2519

The Facts Don’t Lie: Expanding the Voucher System is Wrong for Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction released a report today that sheds light on the nonsense being bantered back and forth by Governor Scott Walker and his legislative extremists about expanding the private school voucher program.

Mary Bell, a teacher and the president of the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) issued the following statement:

“The facts provide clear, non-partisan evidence that the expansion of private school vouchers in Wisconsin is wrong. It’s absurd to ask taxpayers to fund a new government subsidy for private schools at the same time nearly $1 billion is cut from public schools.

“Plans to expand vouchers into other cities will come at the expense of taxpayers and public schools students across the state. Vouchers divert funds from public schools, lack accountability and don’t meet the needs of special needs students.

“These are tough economic times, and to weather the storm there must be shared sacrifices. What’s happening here is that unprecedented cuts are being made to public schools – at the same time new taxpayer dollars are being poured into private schools. This is absurd – and is clearly another politically motivated action of Governor Walker to benefit the wealthy at the expense of ordinary citizens across the state. It’s unfortunate to see this governor divide the people of this state and erode the traditions Wisconsinites have worked hard to establish.

America, the 'no-vacation nation'?

Annals of Class Warfare Chapter 4. Making sure the rich have enough yachts.

How are the top 0.5% supposed to enjoy a selection of summer homes if you insist on slacking off at work?

Why is America the 'no-vacation nation'? - CNN.com

The Center for Economic and Policy Research put out the report which you can find here.

Sophomore Threatened with Rape for Criticisms of Michele Bachmann

Because this is what you get for pointing out factual errors and distortions where Tea Party believers can see you.

Sophomore Threatened with Rape for Criticisms of Michele Bachmann

Amy Myers is a pretty, 16-year-old Cherry Hill High School East sophomore and aspiring veterinarian. She is a critic of Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann. She is also concerned for her personal safety.

She wrote a letter to Bachmann dated April 29. Together with her father, she posted it to CNN’s iReport on May 6. It didn’t take long for news outlets to pick up the story. In it, she criticized the Tea Party caucus leader: She challenged Bachmann to a constitutional debate.

“I have found quite a few of your statements regarding the Constitution of the United States, the quality of public school education and general U.S. civics matters to be factually incorrect, inaccurately applied or grossly distorted.”

In fact, many liberals and progressives have questioned the educational background of women like Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann. How do you get through school not knowing the things they don’t know? Where do the weird and bizarre notions they hold originate? Perhaps it is not so much our educational system as some people (Palin, Bachmann, O’Donnell, Angle, et al) not paying attention in class.

Myers also addressed Bachmann’s obligations and responsibilities as a woman:

“As one of a handful of women in Congress, you hold a distinct privilege and responsibility to better represent your gender nationally. The statements you make help to serve an injustice to not only the position of Congresswoman, but women everywhere.”

The reaction to Myers’ letter has been nothing short of terrifying.

“A lot of them are calling me a whore,” Myers said of anonymous. Amy and her father said the comments from conservative websites alarmed them most. Some commenters threatened to publish her home address. Others threatened violence. Some threatened rape.

Wisconsin GOP eliminates committee studying impact of nanoparticles

Because Knowledge is bad for business?

Study high tech solutions that would bring new industries to Wisconsin?

-- "No! Wait! That's just what they'd expect us to do."


Last week, and without much reason, Republicans killed a study committeeestablished in 2007 to examine the potential health and environmental effects of nanoparticles used in an array of consumer goods.
“They're throwing pretty much all studies done last session in the circular file,” says Rep. Terese Berceau (D-Madison). “Doesn't matter to them that business people and experts from around the state devoted long hours to the committee… didn't matter that our recommendations would have facilitated the creation of good paying jobs. [They] killed it just because."

Scott Fitzgerald says some people have been found to be voting five or six times a day. Wrong.


PolitiFact Wisconsin | Wisconsin state Sen. Scott Fitzgerald says some people have been found to be voting five or six times a day

But if you get used to lying, maybe you forget the difference between what works politically and what's true and, once it works often enough maybe it doesn't matter to you anymore.


FalseWisconsin Republicans have long pushed unsuccessfully for a photo identification requirement at the polls, citing the need to guard against voter fraud.
So it was not a surprise when the incoming Senate majority leader, Republican Scott Fitzgerald, told reporters a photo ID bill would be the first introduced in 2011. But a recent Fitzgerald statement in defense of photo ID, made to a Green Bay journalist, was an eyebrow raiser.

A Green Bay Press-Gazette editorial on Dec. 9, 2010 quoted Fitzgerald saying: "We continue to see these isolated incidents of people trying to vote five, six times a day; people voting based on some sort of fraudulent documentation that's offered…People think it's important they have open, good, solid, free elections."

Fitzgerald’s allegation that people are voting up five or six times in one election is one we have not heard before.

Is that really going on?

We turned to Fitzgerald’s office, where spokesman Andrew Welhouse couldn’t cite a specific case. Instead, he said there might be cases in other states. But those cases, an anonymous allegation in Oregon and a claim in Alabama, have not been proved.

Occupational Employment and Wages News Release

Occupational Employment and Wages News Release

Some math.

National averages for hourly wage. You can figure it out from here.

Mean:  $21.35
Median: $16.27  

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Birtherism, the debt ceiling, climate change, evolution: Are Republicans losing their grip on reality?


Some common sense on the slow burn psychopathology infecting Republican politics.


Birtherism, the debt ceiling, climate change, evolution: Are Republicans losing their grip on reality? - By Jacob Weisberg - Slate Magazine


Fantasy Island

Are Republicans losing their grip on reality?

Illustration by Rob Donnelly. Click image to expand.At a press conference last week, someone asked Chris Christie for his views on evolution vs. creationism. "That's none of your business," the New Jersey governor barked in response.

This minor incident, which barely rated as news for a few political blogs, offers a glimpse of Christie's personality, which seems increasinglygrumpy and snappish. But it says even more about the current state of the national Republican Party, where magical thinking trumps rationality, and even to acknowledge basic realities about the world we live in runs the risk of damaging one's political future.

Quakers award West Bend GSA Eleanor Backus Peace Award

West Bend GSA, Stritch youth leadership program given peace awards - JSOnline
[...]
The West Bend GSA has been in the news recently after the West Bend School Board denied it school sponsorship. Student members of the GSA sued the board last week, alleging discrimination against their organization, which has a stated purpose "to combat bullying and harassment through education and advocacy and to provide an emotionally and physically healing learning environment for people of all gender and sexual orientation."


Evolution to Occur Thursday

Evolution to Occur Thursday | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

Beginning February 22, Human Arms Will Be Slightly Shorter
FEBRUARY 20, 1996 | ISSUE 29•06


PALO ALTO, CA—In a surprising announcement, scientists at Stanford University revealed yesterday that beginning this Thursday, human arms will become four to six inches shorter. The slight anatomical change, the most significant evolutionary development among homo sapiens in approximately 10,000 years, is expected to occur sometime between 4 and 4:30 a.m. EST.

Is Your Religion Your Financial Destiny?

Hmm... interesting data suggesting what might be behind the Fundamentalist push in West Bend to dumb down our schools.

Is Your Religion Your Financial Destiny? - NYTimes.com


By DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: May 11, 2011

The economic differences among the country’s various religions are strikingly large, much larger than the differences among states and even larger than those among racial groups.
Multimedia

The most affluent of the major religions — including secularism — is Reform Judaism. Sixty-seven percent of Reform Jewish households made more than $75,000 a year at the time the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life collected the data, compared with only 31 percent of the population as a whole. Hindus were second, at 65 percent, and Conservative Jews were third, at 57 percent.

On the other end are Pentecostals, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Baptists. In each case, 20 percent or fewer of followers made at least $75,000. Remarkably, the share of Baptist households making $40,000 or less is roughly the same as the share of Reform Jews making $100,000 or more. Overall, Protestants, who together are the country’s largest religious group, are poorer than average and poorer than Catholics. That stands in contrast to the long history, made famous by Max Weber, of Protestant nations generally being richer than Catholic nations.

Many factors are behind the discrepancies among religions, but one stands out. The relationship between education and income is so strong that you can almost draw a line through the points on this graph. Social science rarely produces results this clean.

What about the modest outliers — like Unitarians, Buddhists and Orthodox Christians, all of whom are less affluent than they are educated (and are below the imaginary line)? One possible explanation is that some religions are more likely to produce, or to attract, people who voluntarily choose lower-paying jobs, like teaching.

Another potential explanation is discrimination. Scott Keeter of Pew notes that researchers have used more sophisticated versions of this sort of analysis to look for patterns of marketplace discrimination. And a few of the religions that make less than their education would suggest have largely nonwhite followings, including Buddhism and Hinduism. Pew also created a category of traditionally black Protestant congregations, and it was somewhat poorer than could be explained by education levels. These patterns don’t prove discrimination, but they raise questions.

Some of the income differences probably stem from culture. Some faiths place great importance on formal education. But the differences are also self-reinforcing. People who make more money can send their children to better schools, exacerbating the many advantages they have over poorer children. Round and round, the cycle goes. It won’t solve itself.

Aussie climate scientists go all Beastie Boys on the deniers

May I just say, yep.

Something for Jim Ott, former TV weather man, Global Warming Denier, friend of Americans for Prosperity.

Warning, this is a bit rough in spots.




Two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations don’t pay state income taxes

Being open for business means that -- soon -- none of our corporations will have to pay any taxes?

PolitiFact Wisconsin | One Wisconsin Now says two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations don’t pay state income taxes

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s push for major cuts in education funding and state employee compensation rests on his claim of a fiscal emergency he traces mainly to government overspending.


But Democrats and liberal groups say skewed tax policies favoring the wealthy and business at the expense of the middle class are big factors in the state’s budget shortfalls.


Efforts to make that case have often centered on this phrase: "Two-thirds of Wisconsin corporations don't pay state income taxes."


The liberal advocacy group One Wisconsin Now -- through its affiliated research arm, Institute for One Wisconsin -- has been part of the effort to get that phrase before the public.


The institute’s April report, "We’re Not Broke," called that two-thirds number "shocking," arguing it was evidence that businesses here don’t pay their fair share because of tax loopholes, credits and Wisconsin’s below-average corporate tax rates.


With Walker advocating repealing the corporate income tax altogether, we thought it was time to get to the bottom of this claim.

Wisconsin finds $636 million in couch cushions

The Maddow Blog - #Wisconsin finds $636 million in couch cushions

That means $636 Million in more tax returns for the rich!

I mean, it's not like we need to spend it on anything regular people need, right?

George Takei vs. Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" Bill

Is Wisconsin next? If West Bend's own Puritans have their way then Yes.  Of course.

Look, even Mr. Walker claims to be a born again Christian (although I note he wasn't picked up in the recent Rapture)

No matter. Lay in the course Mr. Sulu.  George Takai to the rescue of free speech.

YouTube - George Takei vs. Tennessee's "Don't Say Gay" Bill


Saturday, May 21, 2011

How to destroy a school system

Even the handful of remaining real Republicans are starting to wake up to this.



Last week, Walker went to Washington, D.C., to give a speech to school-choice advocates at the American Federation for Children. He started off by reading a Dr. Seuss book, and talking about how "every kid deserves to have a great education."

Then he shocked his own Republican allies back home in the state Capitol by announcing, without warning, that he plans to expand the voucher program from Milwaukee to Beloit, Racine and Green Bay.

Republican Sen. Van Wangaard of Racine and Senate President Mike Ellis objected to being blindsided by Walker's voucher expansion plan, and Ellis backed away from the whole taxpayer funding for wealthy private school families idea.

Walker's Privatization of Wisconsin goes forward

Is anyone surprised by this? Maybe all those somnambulant voters will wake up to discover themselves employees instead of citizens.

READ THIS AND GET REALLY F#&Kin MAD!! | PolitiScoop

Madison Wisconsin -- Embattled Scott Walker has already begun the process of privatizing Wisconsin. These changes are radical; however, unless you have been paying very close attention, you may not be aware of what is happening at this very moment inside the Capital. On May 18, 2011 the Walker Administration quietly announced the formation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). Most Wisconsinites are unfamiliar with this new government authority which is replacing the former Wisconsin Commerce Department. Yes, Dictator Walker has dismissed a well established Government Department that was subject to procedural policies (such as open meetings laws) and instead installed a Corporation to which he has named himself as CEO. Having pulled off this corporate coup, we should not be shocked by learning about the corporatist henchmen he has appointed to serve as the board of directors.

King Walker has already been accused of cronyism. For example, Brian Deschane although entirely unqualified was hired as head of environmental and regulatory affairs in the state Department of Commerce. Brian’s father sits on the board of the Wisconsin Civil Justice Council. This is not a government body. It is a lobbyist group. It turns out that Brian would have been a part of the new WEDC had his father’s association not been discovered. Then there was Valerie Cass, former lobbyist and alleged mistress of Randy Hopper. She received her state job (and subsequent raise) without even officially applying for the position. There is Tom Nardelli who is currently receiving several public pensions and has been awarded a near 100k a year job in the Walker Administration. These are just a few examples, and we offer then as reminders of the pattern of cronyism invading the governmental offices in Madison. Scott Walker rewards his contributor’s, not with government contracts and favoritism – but by giving them a direct and real seat in our government’s business. Remember this, WEDC is a Government Authority. It is calls itself a Corporation but where is their license? It is, in fact, replacing a public authority – headed not by a governor – but by a CEO!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Unfortunately for West Bend, Rapture is delayed.

West Bend's embarrassment at the international level over the past few years has been brought about almost entirely by a smallish group of brilliantly organized cult-Christians who, despite the US Constitution, keep trying -- with the self-satisfied smirk of all cultists but without success -- to force our political system to the blinkered and narrow channel of their fossilized theology...

So, like, a lot of us where hoping for the Rapture tomorrow. Either they'd go, in which we could return West Bend to the charming, tolerant, altruistic, and economically viable Wisconsin hamlet it is, or the rest of us would go; an even happier outcome for these Puritanical Pharisees who would then, finally, have a free hand to craft West Bend into the golem-like Theocracy they dream about.

Alas.

End of the world NOT coming May 21, evangelical author Steve Wohlberg says of Harold Camping's claim

As people across the globe wait to see if the world will end Saturday, one evangelical minister says don't panic because it won't happen.

Well, not yet, anyway.

"Nobody knows the exact day when these things are going to happen," Steve Wohlberg, who has written more than two dozen books about the End of Days, told the Daily News Thursday.

Wohlberg believes the theory that the world will end on May 21, a date set by 89-year-old Family Radio founder Harold Egbert Camping, is "flat-out wrong."

Stop calling them conservatives



OpEdNews - Article: Stop calling them conservative: The search for new language to describe today's political reality



One of the ironies of Archie Bunker's worldview is that the 1930s, 40s, and 50s weren't nearly as conservative as he remembered them. The same faulty nostalgia drives the so-called conservatives of today's Republican Party and the Tea Party movement, who imagine those decades as a time when hard-working Americans pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps.

It's true that Americans worked hard during these years. But the bootstraps stuff is nonsense. The 30s through early 60s were the time of the New Deal, low-cost loans from the Federal Housing Administration, the GI Bill, huge subsidies for defense contractors during the Cold War and other industries that employed millions of people, massive transfer of funding from cities to the burgeoning suburbs, federal projects like interstate highway construction and the space program, generous investment in public schools, record union membership, high tax rates for corporations and the wealthy, good job benefits, and Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which ensured financial stability in old age and medical crises.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Santorum: McCain doesn't understand interrogation


Candidate: McCain doesn't understand interrogation - Politics - Decision 2012 - msnbc.com
McCain said he asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and that the hunt for bin Laden did not begin with fresh information from Mohammed. In fact, the name of bin Laden's courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti, came from a detainee held in another country.

"Not only did the use of enhanced interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed not provide us with key leads on bin Laden's courier, Abu Ahmed, it actually produced false and misleading information," McCain said.

In an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt on Tuesday, Santorum said McCain was wrong.



Because Santorum is a gob of Santorum.



And because it's still better to be Right than right.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wisconsin Fast Tracks Toxic Mining Permits, Threatens Great Lakes

Not content to merely shift even more of the tax burden on to the shoulders of the working poor in order to pay for juicy tax breaks for his owners, Mr. Walker wants to mine the state for anything else they can squeeze out of it.

Daily Kos: Wisconsin Fast Tracks Toxic Mining Permits, Threatens Great Lakes

Those Who Can, Teach. Those Who Cannot, Pass Laws About Teaching

I should probably cross post this to What Glenn Grothman got wrong this week, since Glenn is also an expert on what's needed to prepare the next generation of obedient American sheep...

-- wait... see?   The idiocy-kryptonite is already starting to affect me.

Anyway, nice entry from the folks at Nine Kinds of Pie

Those Who Can, Teach. Those Who Cannot, Pass Laws About Teaching


Making the rounds on Facebook is a button I’d very much like to purchase.  This sums up the last decade of U.S. educational policy: “Those who can, teach.  Those who cannot, pass laws about teaching.”  From “No Child Left Behind” (promoted by President George W. Bush) to the comparably flawed “Race to the Top” (promoted by President Barack Obama), educational policy has been guided by ludicrous ideas like: rather than giving public schools the funds they need, they should be forced to compete for less money.  Also: instead of creating conditions that foster learning, let’s focus purely on testing.  And let’s not forget this one: instead of making college affordable to all, states should gradually stop supporting higher education, shifting that cost onto those who can least afford it — the students.


Because it's better to be Right than right. ;^)

hiho

US University faculty are In for Nasty Weather


Bad Moon Rising for Universities.

News: In for Nasty Weather - Inside Higher Ed

In an upcoming post on his blog that is tentatively titled “Full Moon Setting,” James C. Garland, president emeritus of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, reaches for the album-oriented rock catalog (his title is a riff on the Creedence Clearwater Revival song, “Bad Moon Rising”).

The song’s lyrics seemed apt, he said. “I hear hurricanes a-blowing/I know the end is coming soon/I fear rivers overflowing/I hear the voice of rage and ruin.”

“The metaphor in higher education is that the bad moon is rising,” Garland told Inside Higher Ed. “You’re hearing the voices of rage and ruin. It comes from unhappy faculty who want to form unions to protect themselves, declining standards, students who aren’t willing to work, the corporatization of the university and the general sense that things are getting worse.”

Garland’s larger argument is actually more philosophical (and, he said, influenced by his wife's t'ai chi teacher) -- that those in higher education should seek to gracefully manage change rather than pine for a bygone era. “You’ve got to realize that full moons aren’t forever, that the moon rises and sets,” he said. “That’s just in the nature of things. That seems to be what's happening, particularly to public higher education.”

Actually, "The Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do.




Actually, "The Rich" Don't "Create Jobs," We Do. | OurFuture.org

You hear it again and again, variation after variation on a core message: if you tax rich people it kills jobs. You hear about "job-killing tax hikes," or that "taxing the rich hurts jobs," "taxes kill jobs," "taxes take money out of the economy, "if you tax the rich they won't be able to provide jobs." ... on and on it goes. So do we really depend on "the rich" to "create" jobs? Or do jobs get created when they fill a need?

Here is a recent typical example, Obama Touts Job-Killing Tax Plan, written by a "senior fellow at the Cato Institute and chairman of the Institute for Global Economic Growth,"




Better Right than right.

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part One
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

The great corporate tax swindle

From the Guardian... even the Brits can see it.

The great corporate tax swindle | Richard Wolff | guardian.co.uk

More and more, we hear that nothing can be done to tax major corporations because of the threat of how they would respond. Likewise, we cannot stop their price-gouging or even the government subsidies and tax loopholes they enjoy.

For example, as the oil majors reap stunning profits from high oil and gas prices, we are told it is impossible to tax their windfall profits or stop the billions they get in government subsidies and tax loopholes. There appears to be no way for the government to secure lower energy prices or seriously impose and enforce environmental protection laws. Likewise, despite high and fast-rising drug and medicine prices, we are told that it is impossible to raise taxes on pharmaceutical companies or have the government secure lower pharmaceutical prices. And so on

How Fox News Outfoxes Americans

Better Right than right at Fox.


How Fox News Outfoxes Americans | Consortiumnews

To understand how so many average Americans can be duped into embracing right-wing positions that go against their own interests, you must look at how Fox News (and right-wing media outlets) use faux populism and phony outrage as propaganda techniques, a topic explored by Danny Schechter in this guest essay.

Koch brothers under attack by leftwing film-maker | World news | The Observer

When you turn the lights on, the bugs'll run.


Koch brothers under attack by leftwing film-maker | World news | The Observer

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jon Stewart Raps About Fox's Hypocritical Attacks On Black Rapper (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire

Jon Stewart Raps About Fox's Hypocritical Attacks On Black Rapper (VIDEO) | TPM LiveWire

It's not even fun anymore.... :^)

The GOP's New Constitutional Amendment: Give States Veto Power Over Federal Laws

So, the new-GOP doesn't simply want to undo all the good created by the New Deal -- they want to undo the Civil War too?

Looks like it.

The GOP's New Constitutional Amendment: Give States Veto Power Over Federal Laws | TPMDC

Republicans say they've found the problem in America -- and that problem is the basic framework of the Union as we know it today.

A group of Republicans in the House and Senate are proposing an amendment to the Constitution that would allow a vote by two-thirds of the states' legislatures to override any federal law they did not agree with.

The proposed constitutional amendment, a tea party favorite, is being touted by Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) in the Senate and co-sponsored by Sens. John Barasso (R-WY) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). In the House, Reps. Rob Bishop (R-UT), Morgan Griffith (R-VA) and Paul Broun (R-GA) are leading the charge.

Trickle down, doesn't. Boehner covers his... deficit.

PolitiFact | John Boehner says Bush tax cuts created 8 million jobs over 10 years





During an interview on NBC’s Today show, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, offered some job-creation statistics to cast a favorable light on the tax cuts passed under President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003.


Host Matt Lauer said to Boehner, "You talk about creating jobs. When the Bush era tax cuts were passed in 2001, unemployment in this country was 4.5 percent. Today it's at 9 percent, just down from 10 percent. So why are the Bush era tax cuts creating jobs?"

Conservative Corporate Advocacy Group ALEC Behind Voter Disenfranchisement Efforts

At least they're getting started early.

Fewer polling stations and tougher access on college campuses = good for the forces of backwards.


Conservative Corporate Advocacy Group ALEC Behind Voter Disenfranchisement Efforts

[...]

In Wisconsin, where public attention now is focused on Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) efforts to undermine the rights of workers to engage in collective bargaining, there is another piece of proposed legislation that could have a substantial negative impact on the state’s young and minority voters. Conservative representatives in the state haveproposed a law, backed by Walker, that would ban students from using in-state university- or college-issued IDs for proof-of-residency when voting. If this legislation became law, it would become one of the strictest voter registration laws in the country and would provide significant logistical and financial barriers for a variety of groups, including student and minority voters.**