Tuesday, January 31, 2012
"The last three decades have witnessed a carefully calculated heist worthy of Robert Redford and Paul Newman in 'The Sting' — but on a massive scale. It was an inside job, politically engineered by Wall Street and Washington working hand-in-hand, sticky fingers with sticky fingers, to turn the legend of Robin Hood on its head – giving to the rich and taking from everybody else. Don’t take our word for it — it’s all on the record."
Monday, January 30, 2012
Any way you look at it, $18,128 goes a long way. According to this map from the New York Times, a household in non-metropolitan areas of Wisconsin (like Dodge County) with an income of $18,128 ranks in the bottom 15% of all households. Or, in other words, Big Fitz’s per diem allowances alone give him more income than 14% of his neighboring households. Talk about a broken “government handout!”
Sunday, January 29, 2012
Today on Fox News Sunday, Republican Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (WI-01) falsely claimed he wants to stop "subsidizing the wealthy" and "get the loopholes out" of our tax code.
In reality, Paul Ryan and House Republicans have repeatedly voted to protect tax breaks for the ultra wealthy and tax loopholes for Big Oil. In fact, Ryan himself authored a plan to give the ultra wealthy tax breaks and supported the creation of tax loopholes for some of his top contributors. Ryan and House Republicans are now opposed to ending these kind of tax breaks for the ultra wealthy in order to stop a payroll tax hike at the end of February.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Friday, January 27, 2012
Oh Glenn, the country you and your fellow travelers are worried about losing existed for only 20 minutes, in 1952, on television.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
I suppose the Koch's will be happy to support either one.
Wisconsin 'John Doe' Probe: What Did Walker Know? When Did He Know It? | The Nation
Just hours after he delivered a State of the State address that he hoped would set the tone for his campaign to avert a recall election threat, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker was hit with exactly the sort of news that embattled politicians fear most.Two former aides to Walker—one of whom was in the employ of his campaign until just days ago—have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors in the ongoing “John Doe” investigation of wrongdoing by aides, political allies and campaign donors with links to the embattled governor.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Scott Walker billboard outside closed GM plant in Janesville (long) - YouTube
Today there were tears in my eyes as I watched boxes of Recall petitions being carried into the GAB office in Madison WI. Over 1,000,000 WI citizens gave our Governor Scott Walker a peoples referendum on his TEA Party Budget and theft of open and transparent politics in WI. For, you see, I am a WI Republican, and have watched with horror as the TEA Party infiltrated our Party of Lincoln, LaFollette, Reagan & Thompson turning it away from exactly what we in WI stand for…Progressive People Powered Democracy.
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Here we go again. All Current Creationism Bills Originate From An Amendment Drafted And Proposed By Rick Santorum In 2001
Since January 1st, three state legislatures in Missouri, Indiana, and New Hampshire have all introduced bills that would force schools to teach creationism as an accepted science even if students, parents, and teachers are not Christians. Such bills infringe upon religious freedom as protected by the United States Constitution. Since 2004, 12 states have tried to pass creationism bills. Only one, in Louisiana, has become law. You may be wondering, where did all of these bills come from?
Johnson’s office also ignored multiple questions about the windfall payment on Monday. He has yet to produce a written deferred compensation agreement that was signed and dated before he launched his campaign. Election law attorneys say a written agreement is critical, and without one, Johnson could face serious charges that he violated campaign-finance laws barring direct corporate funding of federal candidates.
Friday, January 13, 2012
Thursday, January 12, 2012
he same neocons who persuaded George W. Bush and crew to, in Ron Paul's inimitable words, "lie their way into invading Iraq" in 2003, are beating the drums of war more loudly these days to attack Iran. It is remarkable how many of these war-mongers are former draft dodgers who wanted other Americans to fight the war in Vietnam.
Indiana Senate Bill Would Give School Boards The Power To Force Teachers To Teach Creationism As Science
This is what happens when religious extremists have control over a political party in America. A Senate bill being considered in Indiana would allow school boards across the state to force teachers to teach creationism as science. Senate bill 89 would amend the Indiana Education code by adding the following passage:
“Sec. 18. The governing body of a school corporation may require the teaching of various theories concerning the origin of life, including creation science, within the school corporation.”
UW offering free series to brush up on your knowledge about Open Meeting laws and Parliamentary procedure.
An opportunity for detailed instruction on critical subjects for local officials and staff is available beginning Thursday January 19, 2012 with the he first installment of the Open Government and Parliamentary Procedure WisLine Series. You can choose programs on Open Meetings Law, and Public Records, Public Official Ethics or gain more confidence conducting or participating in meetings by attending the WisLine course on Parliamentary Procedure. Instructors include attorneys from the Wisconsin Towns, Association, League of Municipalities, Wisconsin Justice Department and the UW Extension.
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Governor Walker’s commission issued a misleading report that takes credit for decisions that have already been made or that are outside of the authority of state government,” said Rep. Pocan. “Much of the supposed savings in Governor Walker’s plan are about as real as the Loch Ness Monster.”
Monday, January 09, 2012
In Iowa, the Republican presidential contenders tried to outdo one another in attacking reproductive rights as they sought the support of caucusgoers from the religious right. In New Hampshire, where voters are less socially conservative, the candidates have focused more on economic issues.
But the message from Iowa was crystal clear: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman Jr., Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry all stand ready to restrict a woman’s right to make her own childbearing decisions and deny essential health care to millions of women.
Americans are much more likely than citizens of other nations to believe that they live in a meritocracy. But this self-image is a fantasy: as a report in The Times last week pointed out, America actually stands out as the advanced country in which it matters most who your parents were, the country in which those born on one of society’s lower rungs have the least chance of climbing to the top or even to the middle.
Sunday, January 08, 2012
Madison -- Gov. Scott Walker's smoke and mirror budget has found yet another unsuspecting target -- It was widely believed these two groups would escape the fiscal axe, however, a state budget clause that allows municipalities to dictate the form of public safety workers' health insurance plans has been put in play by some local leaders.
Friday the GAB said the recalls would run about 9 million dollars.*
As I recollect, that’s a little over 2 times the average corporate welfare hand-out to Spectrum Brands. As much as I’d enjoy spending the rest of my afternoon combing through Walker’s crony economics and spitting snark, I’ll instead submit this pretty darn good statement from the Wisconsin Democratic Party:
Friday, January 06, 2012
Thursday, January 05, 2012
Tim Russell, a former campaign and county aide to Gov. Scott Walker, was arrested by authorities on Thursday and charged with three theft counts as part of the ongoing John Doe investigation into Walker staffers, sources said.
Computer records show Russell was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor count of theft. One source said the charges are tied to Operation Freedom, an annual military appreciation day held at the zoo.
The groundwork for more highway spending financed through new tolls, fees and/or higher fuel taxes is being laid down in Madison by a state transportation planning commission stacked in the highway crowd's favor.
And while we'll get a look at the commission's thinking at a public hearing in Madison on Wednesday, January 12th - - and we'd be thrilled to see a commitment to spending restraints, a "fix-it-first" agenda and an equal footing for passenger rail transit, too - - the predominance of commission members with ties to our highway-happy culture - - broadly defined - - suggests that Big Government is working on methods to collect more money from motorists and ramp up the road-building.
Let's start with an innocuous news release that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation issued last year about the commission. Pay attention to the minimal biographical information about the members.
"For ultimately, to take advantage of the vocational potential of humanities study as we propose is not to sell out to the corporate world, but to bring the critical perspective of the humanities into that world. It is a perspective that is sorely needed, especially in corporate and financial sectors that have lately been notoriously challenged in the ethics department, to say the least. Humanities graduates are trained to consider the ethical dimensions of experience, linking the humanities with the sciences as well as with business and looking at both these realms from diverse perspectives. To those who worry that what we urge would blunt the humanities' critical power, we would reply that it would actually figure to increase that power, for power after all is the ability to act in the world."
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
Ironically, had they bothered to study the Greek and Aramaic, they would never have become this kind of 'conservative'.
I hereby call on Rick Santorum to sue the doctor who performed the surgery that saved his wife’s life. While it may not be a criminal act yet, at least you can get damages from the doctor for daring to save your wife’s life at the expense of your wife’s constitutionally endowed infection source. That act was a second-trimester abortion. It was a “partial birth abortion”. It was done only to save your wife’s life. It is done generally only to save other mothers’ lives. It is not a criminal act in any respect. If you do not sue this doctor, you are a hypocrite of the highest order, and deserving of the worst epithets people can Google-bomb you with.
Recently, local news stations in the Milwaukee area have reported that Walker’s recall is due to the issue of collective bargaining rights. But that’s simply not the case. The loss of the right to collectively bargain may have propelled Wisconsinites to storm the Capitol last February, but that’s not what his recall is ultimately about. Don’t be fooled; this recall is about the Wisconsin way vs. the Walker way.
Madison - In a scathing ruling, a three-judge panel decided for the third time Tuesday that a Democratic group has a right to an array of information on how Republican lawmakers drew new legislative districts.
Saying that GOP lawmakers and their attorneys have filed "frivolous" motions trying to keep their information private, the panel also required the attorneys for the Republican defendants to pay the attorneys' fees for the plaintiffs for the motion.
"Quite frankly, the Legislature and the actions of its counsel give every appearance of flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to hide from both the court and the public the true nature of exactly what transpired in the redistricting process," the ruling reads.
The federal panel first ruled Dec. 8 that the group could depose a consultant and Senate aide and made a similar ruling on Dec. 20.
Republicans who control the Legislature then filed a motion to clarify what information could be released. They argued some information that consultant Joe Handrick has should remain confidential, as he was hired because litigation was likely and thus has attorney-client privilege.
On Tuesday, the panel unanimously ruled Handrick's discussions with legal counsel are not protected by attorney-client privilege and he must testify on those matters.
In essence, the judges again found there was little the Republicans can keep from the plaintiffs, a Democratic group.
The panel of judges - two of whom are Republican appointees - gave a rhetorical smack to the GOP lawmakers and their attorneys.
They find that it is the youth of small firms, not their size per se, that is creating jobs. In fact, their findings show that mature small firms have a negative effect on job creation. "A natural conclusion from our findings on the role of firm size and age is that policies that target businesses of a certain size, while ignoring the role of age [of the firm], will likely have limited success in improving net job creation," the authors write.
Walker now has shifted the state's position, stating that Wisconsin would suspend planning for implementing the new competitive health marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act until the U.S. Supreme Court decides legal challenges next summer. The problem is that Wisconsin's full implementation plan is due by the end of 2012, and the Legislature will be out of session before the case is decided, leaving Wisconsin unprepared to meet the deadline. This position is inconsistent, as Walker continues to vigorously implement a number of his own initiatives that are under legal challenge, such as his elimination of most collective bargaining rights for most public employees and voter ID.
Part of Walker's motivation for this shift seems to be that that he and his top officials actually believe that skyrocketing health insurance costs and access to affordable coverage are not major problems in Wisconsin. Last fall, Walker's insurance commissioner vehemently defended the health insurance industry, asserting that Wisconsin's health insurance market is working well and that costs are "manageable."
In an op-ed in the Journal Sentinel, Walker's health services secretary claimed that all of the nearly 65,000 people he wants to force off BadgerCare still will have access to affordable coverage, reflecting an unrealistic view of what health consumers actually face when they seek to obtain coverage.
This "rose-colored glasses" view of Wisconsin's health insurance market is not borne out by the facts. According to Citizen Action of Wisconsin's annual Wisconsin Health Insurance Cost Ranking report, released Christmas week, health insurance premiums in Wisconsin have increased at an unsustainable rate, skyrocketing by 182% since 2000, 18% above the national average.
Monday, January 02, 2012
Sunday, January 01, 2012
Life In the Age of Scott Walker: "You *Are* Being Harassed, And Pretty Soon You're Gonna Be Killed!"
Daily Kos: Life In the Age of Scott Walker: "You *Are* Being Harassed, And Pretty Soon You're Gonna Be Killed!"