Thursday, May 31, 2012

Talgo CEO calls Walker a liar and Walker's Wisconsin bad for business.

Why would Wisconsin need good jobs for people when Walker's friends come first?

Murphy’s Law: Did the State Screw Talgo? | Urban Milwaukee

For more than a year, Talgo CEO Antonio Perez has held his tongue as detractors dumped on his company and its trains, until finally he could take no more. Perez cannot believe the State of Wisconsin has chosen to terminate two contracts it signed with Talgo nearly three years ago. His company has put almost three years of work into a project to build and maintain trains in a warehouse in Milwaukee’s 30th Street Corridor, the long-dormant industrial area Gov. Scott Walker has pledged to help revive with a new, $100 million dollar plan. Yet his administration will kill the only viable company now operating there, Talgo.
“What message does this send to other businesses?” Perez asks. “They should be careful of doing business here because Gov Walker does not keep his word. It’s like we’re talking about a Third World country, where people don’t have respect for their contracts.”

Nuff said.


Wisconsin's opportunity to return to Wisconsin values: Electing Tom Barrett.

It's obvious even to the Washington Post.


Wisconsin’s recall election on Scott Walker: A bid for regular order - The Washington Post
Walker is being challenged not because he pursued conservative policies but because Wisconsin has become the most glaring example of a new and genuinely alarming approach to politics on the right. It seeks to use incumbency to alter the rules and tilt the legal and electoral playing field decisively toward the interests of those in power.

[...]

The paradox of Wisconsin is that, although recalling a governor would be unusual, Barrett is the candidate of regular order, of consensual politics, Wisconsin-style. Wisconsin has had successful conservative governors before, Republican Tommy Thompson prominent among them. They enacted conservative policies without turning the state upside down. They sought to win over their opponents rather than to inhibit their capacity to oppose.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Walkergate: Even more Walker shenanigans while Milw County Super surfacing...

In the Keep Telling The Big Lie category....

Scott Walker Pleads the Fifth with Voters – Bid Rigging Surfaces | Wisconsin Politics
Some Fast Facts about the recently surfaced bid rigging allegations
  • breaking investigative report  from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel suggests that Scott Walker is at the heart of the John Doe criminal corruption probe that has charged six Walker associates with 15 felonies.
  • Particularly, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on January 25, 2012 outlines  a bid competition to house the county's Department on Aging in private office space. John Hiller lobbied on behalf of the brokers at the Boerke Company, including information on which county supervisors to approach to prompt a re-bidding of the deal.
  • Walker appointed Hiller to serve  on the Board of the Milwaukee Private Industry Council in March 2003. The Private Industry Council represents government, business, education, non-profit and labor interests in overseeing employment and training programs, funded mostly by federal grants.
  • In 2004, Walker signed a resolution to guarantee  a $1 million loan that enabled the PIC to buy and improve a building.
  • In 2007, control of the Private Industry Council was transferred from Milwaukee County  to the City of Milwaukee, following criticisms of the Council’s workforce development efforts and a UW study citing a “lack of leadership.
  • John Hiller is not listed as a lobbyist with the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County or the State of Wisconsin. However, a Hiller advertisement in a 2008 newsletter for the Commercial Association of Realtors certainly sounds like he was operating a lobbying firm. “JM Hiller Consulting LLC provides real solutions to your business needs with local government,” the ad reads. It goes on to list services that aid in project approval, zoning, grants and awards. The ad goes on to tout that Hiller has “…over 20 years of business and political experience to assist you in navigating the maze of local government…”[Commercial Focus newsletter, June 2008]
  • John Hiller has certainly not been shy in continuing to leverage his close connection to Scott Walker since he has become governor. For example, the official calendars for members of Walker’s cabinet include meetings with Hiller, before and after his resignation from Walker’s campaign. Examples of these calendar entries include:
  • Corrections Secretary Gary Hamblin met with John Hiller on April 8, 2011
  • Health Services Secretary Dennis Smith met with John Hiller and Maximus representatives on June 10, 2011

Walker campaign sends $100,000 to John Doe legal fund - JSOnline

So....

Walker campaign sends $100,000 to John Doe legal fund - JSOnline
Gov. Scott Walker's campaign has transferred another $100,000 to the defense fund used to pay his pricey criminal defense lawyers in the lengthy John Doe investigation into activities during Walker's time as county executive.
Newly filed campaign reports show Walker's campaign transferred $70,000 to the Scott Walker Truston May 3 and another $30,000 on May 17.
That bring the total the first-term governor has put in the defense fund to $160,000 in the past six weeks.
State law requires that the campaign get prior approval from donors before shifting their money to a legal-defense fund. Walker's campaign has declined to identify the contributors who OK'd the transfers.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Scott Walker's got 99 problems but the rich ain't one.

Can you hear us now?

Koch Brothers' Americans For Prosperity Goes All Out in Wisconsin Recall--And Denies It! | | AlterNet

I'm sure they're only interested  in... oh, right: making money off Wisconsin taxpayers.

Go vote.

Koch Brothers' Americans For Prosperity Goes All Out in Wisconsin Recall--And Denies It! | | AlterNet
DC-based special interest group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is busing-in out-of-state Tea Partiers and spending millions on advertisements, rallies, and phone banks in the weeks before recall elections for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, and four state senate seats. But the group founded and funded by New York-based oil billionaire David Koch insists its activities have nothing to do with the Wisconsin campaigns or elections.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Walker shares blame for Milwaukee’s woes

Yep, he does.

Plain Talk: Walker shares blame for Milwaukee’s woes
A reader called the other day and asked: How much of Milwaukee County’s population lives in the city of Milwaukee?
The answer is roughly two-thirds — about 600,000 of the county’s 950,000 inhabitants. The remaining one-third of the population lives in Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Wauwatosa,Whitefish Bay, et al. West Allis is the second largest municipality in the county with slightly more than 60,000 residents.
Well then, the caller asked, isn’t Scott Walker, who was county executive of Milwaukee County for virtually all of city of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s tenure, as responsible for the city’s economic problems as he claims Barrett is? After all, the city’s residents were all his constituents too.


Read more: http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/column/dave_zweifel/article_4fdd285a-a6ad-11e1-bbaf-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1wBQJDalQ

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Conservative Case For Voting Against Scott Walker | Baron von Reed

Pretty good.  It appeals to my love of responsible accounting and what used to be called "conservatism"...

A Conservative Case For Voting Against Scott Walker | Baron von Reed

Walkers War on Wisconsin Veterans

Isn't Walker's idea of a free market -- or, rather, the ideology of Walker's owners -- more important than making sure our veterans are treated fairly?

  It is to him.

Walkers War on Wisconsin Veterans | Wisconsin Politics
Madison -- The start of Memorial Day weekend kicked off Friday, with Veterans in both Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin, speaking out against the state’s embattled governor, Scott Walker and his policies. The national holiday recognizes and reveres those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to defend our freedoms at home and abroad. Citizens on either side of the political aisle know that if it weren’t for the men and women in uniform, we wouldn’t be able to have political differences of opinion, nor would be able to enjoy the very freedoms we take for granted today.
The common ground between various political entities is that those that have fallen in current or past wars, along with those that serve in the military today, are our mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters who joined together regardless if they were Democrats or Republicans, shoulder to shoulder, to defend our great country.
We as civilians need to do our part to help protect those who have given their lives, limbs and time away from their families from joblessness, homelessness, and discrimination. It is a moral and ethical obligation we owe to our troops to show them and those looking to join the military that we as Americans hold our veterans to the highest honor.
Scott Walker doesn’t agree
On Friday, Military Veteran, Michael Gourlie was one of those speaking out against Scott Walker’s legislation that has harmed veterans and their families. Mr. Gourlie is a member of the Wisconsin Association of Concerned Veterans Organizations (WAVCO), who wrote a letter to Gov. Scott Walker on March 2, 2012 urging him not to sign SB202 into law, as it would strip veterans of their employment discrimination redress via the circuit court.
In essence, the legislation removes protections of military service members who are sent overseas or called up to serve their country from being fired for doing so. The legislation was designed by Republican legislators and signed into law by Scott Walker, to the benefit of businesses that care more about their bottom line than ensuring equality for those who are willing or have given life and limb, so those businesses can enjoy a free market.



Cornered -- Walker must believe he looks guilty. At least.

You don't go to this kind of trouble unless you need to.

Scott Walker Cornered -- Criminal Defense Fund Reveals Answers | Wisconsin Politics
Madison -- Governor Scott Walker has refused to describe the conditions under which his criminal defense fund has been created. Newly released documents from the Government Accountability Board, obtained by state Senator Jon Erpenbach, show definitively that Walker must be either a target of the investigation and /or he is bankrolling the defense of heinous crimes.

Leaky believes evolution debate will soon be history

A terrifically optimistic point of view. Frankly there will always be Maziarkas and Weigands whose political agendas require convincing people that thinking things through, carefully, is too dangerous -- and too hard.

There have always been people willing to be convinced.

In the meantime, hope persists.

Scientist: Evolution debate will soon be history - WSJ.com

NEW YORK — Richard Leakey predicts skepticism over evolution will soon be history.

Not that the avowed atheist has any doubts himself.

Sometime in the next 15 to 30 years, the Kenyan-born paleoanthropologist expects scientific discoveries will have accelerated to the point that "even the skeptics can accept it."

"If you get to the stage where you can persuade people on the evidence, that it's solid, that we are all African, that color is superficial, that stages of development of culture are all interactive," Leakey says, "then I think we have a chance of a world that will respond better to global challenges."

Friday, May 25, 2012

Walkers claim about WI Jobs? Mostly false. As expected.

No surprises here...

PolitiFact Wisconsin | Gov. Walker says Wisconsin has added 33,200 jobs since he became governor
Walker’s ad says there are 33,200 more jobs in Wisconsin since he took office.

To reach the number, he combined two data sets -- one that involves unofficial (but generally more accurate) numbers that could change in the weeks after the election; the other is volatile, but still official monthly numbers. From an accounting standpoint this would be flagged as a mistake. From a political standpoint, he is mixing and matching to present the best possible view.

Walker presents it all as final and official, offering no cautionary notes or caveats -- even though there are many.

And Walker credits his policies for the improvement, which overstates the impact a governor can make on broad economic trends in a short period of time.

There is clearly some truth to the numbers. But in mixing everything together and not making it clear these numbers are preliminary, Walker ignores critical facts that would give a different impression.

That is our definition for Mostly False.

Real, non-extremist, conservatives continue to leave the GOP.

GOP extremism continues to fracture the party.

Breaking ranks: The sidelining of two conservative giants - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Consider this stunning piece of evidence: On April 27, two pillars of the American political establishment - Thomas E Mann and Norman J Ornstein, two of the most-quoted men in America - dared to break ranks with that dogma in aWashington Post op-ed, based on a book they've just published, It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism. Although the online response was unprecedented, generating more interest than for any other book they have written, the two have been entirely shut out of the Sunday talk show circuit and almost completely shut out of the top five national print outlets as well.  The establishment they have been keystone members of, for going on four decades, has suddenly forgotten that they ever even exist.
The op-ed was titled bluntly, "Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem". Mann and Ornstein took West's outrageous claim as a point of departure - not because of West himself, but because of the ho-hum attitude of the GOP as a whole: "It's not that the GOP leadership agrees with West," they wrote, "it is that such extreme remarks and views are now taken for granted."

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves

I remember asking my Egyptian roommate, a devout Sunni Muslim and one of the coolest people I was fortunate enough to room with in college, whether he ever thought about having more than one wife. Under Islamic law he's allowed to have four.  He smiled and said, "it's too much trouble."   When I asked my female Muslim friends why Islam allowed four wives for one man they'd smile and, pointedly, note that most women really only need 1/4th of a man -- which still seems quite wise to me.

In the meantime, the Christianists in America continue to make funny claims about what "Traditional Marriage" means... and then make the mistake of trying to use their bad translations of the Bible to "prove" that their narrow, 20th century, view is the only one sanctioned by God.

Regarding which:

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches
Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
Huh?
Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

Glenn Grothman: wrong for continuing to shift tax burden on to the middle class.

Well, there he goes again.  Being toasted by his wealthy owners for shafting the middle class.

Drink up Glenn.  Enjoy the champagne while it lasts.

Windfall! Rich will get richer from new tax credit

On a chilly late February evening, the state's deepest-pocketed business lobby held its annual awards event at Milwaukee's Pfister Hotel to celebrate its most successful legislative session in memory.
Members of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce toasted state Sen. Glenn Grothman there for spearheading the "most exemplary public policy initiative in support of manufacturing in more than 35 years," a news release says.
There's good reason WMC was so excited: The new policy effectively eliminates state income taxes for many of Wisconsin's corporations, factory owners and agricultural producers by the time it's fully phased in.
"We had to do something to change the business climate in the state … and this does it big-time," says Grothman, R-West Bend.
Slipped into Gov. Scott Walker's 2011-2013 budget at the last moment, the domestic production tax credit will cost the state $360 million in revenue over the next four years and some $130 million each year thereafter, according to the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Critics warn the impact could be even greater, a key point in a state still struggling with budget shortfalls.

Read more: http://host.madison.com/business/biz_beat/article_bfe745dc-a44a-11e1-a1b6-001a4bcf887a.html#ixzz1vo892YOP

Another real conservative bails out of the GOP loonybin.

Michael Fumento describes his long coming break with the New Right that's taken over the GOP.

Welcome. I only beat you by a few years.

My break with the extreme right - Politics - Salon.com

I was always way ahead of the curve. And my exposés primarily appeared in right-wing publications. Back when they were interested in serious research. I also founded a conservative college newspaper, held positions in the Reagan administration and at several conservative think tanks, and published five books that conservatives applauded. I’ve written for umpteen major conservative publications – National Review, the Weekly Standard, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes, among them.
But no longer. That was the old right. The last thing hysteria promoters want is calm, reasoned argument backed by facts. And I’m horrified that these people have co-opted the name “conservative” to scream their messages of hate and anger.

The Unemployment Numbers Scott Walker doesn’t want made public.

Yep, it's about jobs all right...

Now we'll see whether Wisconsinites are able to wade through Walker's radioactive advertising tsunami to see how bad things really are.

TOTH to Badger Democracy.

The Unemployment Numbers Scott Walker doesn’t want made public while he plays politics « Badger Democracy
Scott Walker is playing a political game with the unemployment numbers. Releasing unverified survey results last week, over one month ahead of the official verified Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers, Walker again walked the thin line of legality in his “official” announcement – closely followed by the release of a new campaign ad on  statewide television. Recent long-term unemployment numbers not released by the Walker Administration were obtained from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) by Badger Democracy. These verified figures show that under Scott Walker, Wisconsin has suffered persistent long-term unemployment-which Walker himself has ignored in lieu of playing political games with the numbers in the short recall election cycle.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

CRG's anonymous vigilante campaign smears teachers; CRG members hide | Uppity Wisconsin

CRG's anonymous vigilante campaign smears teachers; CRG members hide | Uppity Wisconsin

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sends Birther Posse To Hawaii

Better and better.

But I'm almost ready to be persuaded that the real issue here isn't racism, but idiocy.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Sends Birther Investigators To Hawaii | TPMMuckraker


Not to be outdone by the Arizona secretary of state’s recent flirtation with birtherism, Sheriff Joe Arpaio escalated his probe into President Obama’s birth certificate this week by dispatching a deputy from his “threats unit” to Hawaii.
Both the Arizona Republic and the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported deputy Brian Mackiewcz traveled with Arpaio’s volunteer posse member Michael Zullo on Monday to try to get an official confirmation that Hawaii has the president’s birth certificate on file.

Walker's been running a Special Interest Smorgasbord

As anticipated: "tax breaks" for his friends PLUS benefits.  -- and we pay them while our public services, and the education of this generation, are pulped.


Wisconsin Democracy Campaign - Special Interest Smorgasbord
Despite repeated claims “ Wisconsin is broke,” GOP Governor Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled legislature approved dozens of bills sought by business, construction, real estate, transportation and other powerful special interests during his first 15 months in office. This report, “Special Interest Smorgasbord,” identifies 55 state budget proposals and legislative bills signed into law that benefit those special interests.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Arizona birther stiffed by Hawaii.

My home state finally got mad enough to push back against the birthers -- although, for the record, Hawaii wasn't a state yet when I was born so, I wonder, can I be President?  It's true that I was born on a US Military base, but is that enough?

Hmm.   I won't be playing left field for the Brewers either.

In the meantime, more crazy xenophobia from Arizona.

How Hawaii Stiffed Arizona Secretary Of State Ken Bennett’s Birther Investigation | TPMMuckraker
[...]
“Hello Jill. I just left you a brief voice mail message,” Arizona Deputy Secretary of State Jim Drake wrote in an email to a Hawaii attorney on May 1. “I am wondering whether you can give me a ballpark timeframe on our request. As you know, the closer we get to November, the more my phone rings. I believe that having Hawaii’s response on hand might help to quell the inquiries!”
Deputy Attorney General Jill Nagamine’s response? “We need more information to substantiate that you are eligible to receive verification.”
In an interview with the Associated Press late Friday, a spokesman for the Hawaii attorney general said Bennett still has yet to show that he legitimately needs a verification of Hawaii’s birth certificate despite numerous emails back and forth.

Why do Right Wing Christians hate "Traditional" marriage?

The question that continues to plague me.

Traditional Marriage: One Man, Many Women, Some Girls, Some Slaves | Sexuality/Gender | Religion Dispatches

Well, it’s been quite a whirlwind week for same-sex marriage, from North Carolina to Obama to Colorado—and, of course, to the many outraged conservatives concerned with preserving traditional marriage, i.e., the time-honored sacred bond between one man and one woman. Why, just last week, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council said that marriage has meant just that for over five thousand years.
Huh?
Time to break out your Bible, Mr. Perkins! Abraham had two wives, Sarah and her handmaiden Hagar. King Solomon had 700 wives, plus 300 concubines and slaves. Jacob, the patriarch who gives Israel its name, had two wives and two concubines. In a humanist vein, Exodus 21:10 warns that when men take additional wives, they must still provide for their previous one. (Exodus 21:16 adds that if a man seduces a virgin and has sex with her, he has to marry her, too.)

Walker: destroying WI public education by starting with the poor.

Yeah, it's that bad.

UW-Madison Study Shows Impact of Walker’s Destructive Education Policies 

The 2011-­‐13 Wisconsin biennial budget (Act 32) reduced state aid to school districts by $792 million. This budget reduction follows a reduction of $284 million in the 2009-­‐11 biennial budget, reducing overall state aid to public schools by more than a billion dollars.
In addition to the reduction in general aid, Act 32 reduced the revenue limit in Wisconsin school districts by 5.5%, which is equivalent to an overall reduction in taxing authority of $1.6 billion in addition to the $792 million reduction in state aid. The lowered revenue cap requires that 241 of the state’s 424 school districts reduce school property taxes, exacerbating the impact of state budget cuts.i
Wisconsin boasts the highest high school graduation rates, the third highest ACT scores, the highest Advanced Placement success percentage of any Midwestern state, and high rates of highly qualified teachers.ii At the same time, the state has some of the largest achievement gaps for poor and minority students, and struggles to provide adequate funding for all school districts.
By analyzing school district budgeted expenditures in the 30 highest and 30 lowest poverty districts in the state for 2011-­‐12,iii this study examines the impact of Wisconsin Act 32 on education funding, teacher quality, student learning, and property taxpayers. Budget data collected by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction represent the best currently available estimates of the impact of Act 32 on district expenditures.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Walker appoints Deer Czar to privatize hunting in Wisconsin? Figures.

Nuff said.

Daily Kos: Want to win the WI Recall? Make sure this story goes as wide as humanly possible

You see Dr. Kroll considers allowing hunters to hunt for free on state-managed game lands, "the last bastion of communism" and want to do away with  it altogether.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Center for Media Democracy Report: ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State

What I do not understand is why the Tea-publican Party membership wants corporate control of the state government.  Are they more comfortable with economic tyranny than with democracy?

Economic tyranny doesn't have nearly the same level of responsibility, so maybe that's the reason.


"ALEC Exposed in Wisconsin: The Hijacking of a State" | Center for Media and Democracy

Here are some of the key findings from the new report:
  • 32 bills or budget provisions reflecting ALEC model legislation were introduced in Wisconsin's 2011-2012 legislative session;
  • 21 of these bills or budget provisions have passed, and two were vetoed;
  • More than $276,000 in campaign contributions were made to ALEC legislators in Wisconsin from ALEC corporations since 2008;
  • More than $406,000 in campaign contributions were made to ALEC alumnus Governor Walker from ALEC corporations over the same time period for his state campaign account;
  • At least 49 current Wisconsin legislators are known ALEC members, including the leaders of both the House and Senate as well as other legislators holding key posts in the state. Additionally, the Governor, the Secretary of the Department of Administration, and the Chairman of the Public Service Commission are ALEC alumni; and
  • At least 17 current legislators have received thousands of dollars of gifts cumulatively from ALEC corporations in the past few years, in the form of flights and hotel rooms filtered through the ALEC "scholarship fund" (complete "scholarship" information is not available).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bad news for GOP: Obama lowers spending, taxes, and deficits.

And yet for the GOP this won't be enough -- since somewhere, someone else is happy.

CHART: Spending, Taxes, And Deficits Are All Lower Today Than When Obama Took Office | ThinkProgress
Federal spending is lower now than it was when President Obama took office. I’ll pause to let you absorb the news.
In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.
Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.
One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Did Scott Walker Lie Under Oath to Congress?

Yeah, it looks like he did.


Did Scott Walker Lie Under Oath to Congress? | The Nation


So, did the governor of Wisconsin lie, under oath, to Congress? The videotape of Walker talking with Diane Hendricks, the Beloit, Wisconsin, billionaire who would eventually give his campaign more than $500,000, surfaced late last week. Captured in January 2011 by a documentary filmmaker who was trailing Hendricks, the conversation provides rare insight into the governor’s long-term strategy for dividing Wisconsin. And the focus of the conversation and the strategy is by all evidence a political one.
In the video, Walker is shown meeting with Hendricks before an economic development session at the headquarters of a firm Hendricks owns, ABC Supply Inc., in Beloit. After Walker kisses Henricks, she asks: “Any chance we’ll ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions?”
“Oh, yeah!” says Walker.
Henricks then asks: “And become a right-to-work [state]?”
Walker replies: “Well, we’re going to start in a couple weeks with our budget adjustment bill. The first step is we’re going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer.”

Monday, May 14, 2012

Walker’s official work time declines as national fame grows

Talk about lazy government employees.

Walker’s official work time declines as national fame grows | WisconsinWatch.org
[...]  
But his calendars show the consequences of fame and fundraising.
By January 2012, Walker scheduled about 30 hours a week for state business — half as much work time as six months earlier. On some weekdays, eight- to 12-hour time blocks were simply marked “Personal.”

Jeff Fitzgerald steals the wrong song.

The Fitzgeralds are not having a great week... first Scott Fitzgerald accuses Lori Compas of running for office because her husband told her to, and now the brother steals a Dropkick Murphys song.


From the Dropkick Murphys Facebook page:

We just got word that Wisconsin State Rep and Speaker of the State Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald used "Shipping Up To Boston" as his walk-on song yesterday at the Wisconsin GOP Convention in Green Bay.

The stupidity and irony of this is laughable. A Wisconsin Republican U.S. Senate candidate - and crony of anti-Union Governor Scott Walker - using a Dropkick Murphys song as an intro is like a white supremacist coming out to gangsta rap!

Fitzgerald: if you and your staff can't even figure out your music you might wanna give up on the politics!!!!!

We stand beside our Union and Labor brothers and sisters and their families in Wisconsin and all over the U.S!

–DKM

Scott Fitzgerald doesn't believe a woman could run for office?

-- right.  Here's the Compas Campaign response.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Senate recall challenge by Compas is giving 'Fitz' fits

Compas moves forward.

Senate recall challenge by Compas is giving 'Fitz' fits
"He keeps trying to paint me as a wild-eyed liberal who is crazy, but the people who know me know I am a moderate," Compas said. "And the people I meet on the campaign trail like the idea of electing a moderate, someone who actually understands compromise."

Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia

Finally... but it took Malaysia to do the right thing?

Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia | Foreign Policy Journal

Kuala Lumpur — It’s official; George W Bush is a war criminal.
In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were yesterday (Fri) found guilty of war crimes.
Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.
The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.
They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.
At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Friday, May 11, 2012

From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard Of

The real problem here, of course, was that Obama made the government work for the middle class, instead of the richest 1%.

Pesky Obama.



From Obama, the Tax Cut Nobody Heard Of - NYTimes.com
In a New York Times/CBS News Poll last month, fewer than one in 10 respondents knew that the Obama administration had lowered taxes for most Americans. Half of those polled said they thought that their taxes had stayed the same, a third thought that their taxes had gone up, and about a tenth said they did not know. As Thom Tillis, a Republican state representative, put it as the dinner wound down here, “This was the tax cut that fell in the woods — nobody heard it.”

Scott Walker Promised $500K Donor He Would 'Divide and Conquer' Unions | The Nation

From The Nation:

Scott Walker Promised $500K Donor He Would 'Divide and Conquer' Unions | The Nation

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker has long denied that he has a secret strategy to destroy public-sector unions as part of a long-term plan to make Wisconsin a “right-to-work” state  where unions are dramatically weakened.
But, with the recall election that could replace Walker barely three weeks away, a remarkable videotape of the governor describing just such as a strategy has surfaced. In it, Walker is seen promising a billionaire campaign donor  that the attack on collective-bargaining rights for public-sector unions—which sparked demonstrations and the movement that has forced the recall election—was only “the first step” in a grand plan.
The billionaire would eventually give Walker more than $500,000—the largest donation in Wisconsin history —to help him advance his agenda. That donation made her the largest single donor to the governor's effort to beat the June 5 recall vote.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Of course, these early Christians weren't "real" Christians -- in the same way that Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan no longer count as a "real" conservatives.


anthropologist: When Same-Sex Marriage Was a Christian Rite

Contrary to myth, Christianity's concept of marriage has not been set in stone since the days of Christ, but has constantly evolved as a concept and ritual.

Prof. John Boswell, the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department, discovered that in addition to heterosexual marriage ceremonies in ancient Christian church liturgical documents, there were also ceremonies called the "Office of Same-Sex Union" (10th and 11th century), and the "Order for Uniting Two Men" (11th and 12th century).

These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12thand/ early 13th century, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’) recorded.

Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, "Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union", invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to "vouchsafe unto these, Thy servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints". The ceremony concludes: "And they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded".

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Attn: Scott Walker: European, US Austerity Drive is Suicidal

So that would mean Walker wants Wisconsin to commit suicide?

Huh, yeah.  That fits.

But back to Prof. Stiglitz:

European, US Austerity Drive is Suicidal: Nobel Economist Stiglitz | Common Dreams

In an interview earlier this week in The European, Stiglitz said, "When you look at America, you have to concede that we have failed. Most Americans today are worse off than they were fifteen years ago. A full-time worker in the US is worse off today than he or she was 44 years ago. That is astounding – half a century of stagnation. The economic system is not delivering. It does not matter whether a few people at the top benefitted tremendously – when the majority of citizens are not better off, the economic system is not working."

Monday, May 07, 2012

Paul Ryan Challenged By Town Hall Constituents Over Previous Praise Of Ayn Rand

No kidding. I'm waiting for the Objectivist Rooster to crow three times....

Paul Ryan Challenged By Town Hall Constituents Over Previous Praise Of Ayn Rand | ThinkProgress


JANESVILLE, Wisconsin — Last month, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) disavowed his one-time political muse, Ayn Rand, because of her “atheist philosophy.” Some of his constituents, however, aren’t buying it.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

When the Right tries to do philosophy you get 'Ameritopia'


Every once in a while some right wing wonk trots out an astonishingly idiotic effort that tries to make current American Conservatism sound like it wasn't invented behind a moonshine still by a bunch of angry drunks -- witness Glenn Beck's sophomoric attempt to understand Tom Paine's Common Sense or Paul Ryan substituting Ayn Rand for James Madison.   

But the joke is, finally, on America -- whose citizens prefer the poppy juice of adolescent wrath to.. well, to the hard work of trying to understand anything.  Beck makes money peddling his snake oil -- so does Levin.


'Ameritopia': How Dumb Can Po­lit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy Get? - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education
[...]
Yet here's the rub. Lev­in's first book, Liberty and Tyr­an­ny, sold more than a mil­lion copies. Ameritopia is on its way to sim­i­lar suc­cess, hav­ing stayed near the top of non­fic­tion best-sell­er lists since it ap­peared in Jan­u­ary. What gives? How can so bad a book, on so se­ri­ous a top­ic, sell so well?

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

In observance of May Day 2012.



















At the end of the day, this is the real thorn in the side of the economic elite... the idea that hard work should pay off -- for the actual worker.

There is, finally, no greater threat to plutocracy than this.



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