Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Believe it or not, Justice John Roberts echoes Glenn Grothman on Affirmative Action Ban!

You’re always hearing Republicans talk about that state’s rights thing, and how every state is different, so who needs the federal governments overbearing one-size-fits-all interference?

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision today, the more things change, the more they stay the same in Republican world. Add banning affirmative action to the list.

Let’s face it, Republican have a national one-size-fits-all agenda that includes trashing Common Core, wiping out teachers unions, killing public education, promoting vouchers, defunding higher education, deregulating business, corporate tax cuts, corporate welfare, streamlining DNR permitting, vaginal probes, activist conservative judges, voter suppression…what part of that makes each state different?

It doesn't. It’s a national policy duplicated in every red state.

Take State Sen. Glenn Grothman’s latest idea, stolen from Michigan’s own constitutional law banning affirmative action:
jsonline: In the wake of Tuesday's U.S. Supreme Court decision, one Wisconsin lawmaker is pledging legislation to ban affirmative action policies in the state. State senator and congressional candidate Glenn Grothman, a Republican from West Bend, said he would seek to bring back such legislation, which he has proposed in the past without success.

Grothman pointed to state and federal contracts going to businesses owned by women and minorities or to businesses with certain hiring or subcontracting practices for those groups. Those kinds of requirements and targets are "divisive."
You know something is wrong when Glenn Grothman is giving us the same argument as Justice John Roberts. You read that right:
Justice Roberts: "...it is not “out of touch with reality” to conclude that racial preferences may themselves have the debilitating effect of reinforcing precisely that doubt, and—if so—that the preferences do more harm than good."

Government Coercion! State Rep. Tyler August threatens Shared Revenue cut if Madison enforces a Law he doesn't like.

Seriously, are we living in a Republican dictatorship in Wisconsin or what.
Here’s another in a long list of examples where our dominating and coercive big government Republican majority knows what’s best for all of us. You’ll find this listed under the heading, “small government.”
Lake Geneva State Rep. Tyler August apparently doesn't respect enforcement of local laws if it conflicts with "what should be a free market system." It should? Tyler August is either unaware of or is spearheading a movement to cleanse the system of all rules and regulations, local or otherwise:
“It is disappointing to see the City of Madison using the power of government to punish individuals operating under what should be a free market system. If the City of Madison has enough resources available to waste on undercover enforcement of taxi ordinances, perhaps it is time to revisit the millions of dollars given to the city in shared revenue as the next budget process begins.”
Our current GOP leaders like to force change with an iron fist backed by threats, just like the founding fathers intended. 

Big Government Tyler August can’t wait to write another law:
My office has already started looking into a legislative remedy to this situation.
Tyler August also helped author a bill and constitutional amendment that once gave California crushing deficits with the help of their own “no tax” Republicans; a bill requiring 2/3rds super majority for sales and income tax increases. To August, that was a success?

Monday, April 21, 2014

Walker's Campaign Fund Raising Delay on Casino okay, Obama's XL Keystone Pipeline Delay due to Court Decision...Political?

Funny thing, Wisconsin media didn't even bring up the possibility that Scott Walker’s decision to delay the Kenosha casino until after the election was a ploy to raise campaign funds. Media bias?

Delaying a decision guarantees he doesn't blow anybody off when it comes to raking in huge amounts of tea party cash.   

The Journal Sentinel article even mentioned how the casino has been researched and talked about for the last 10 years, yet Walker said he still needed another super duper study done.

Walker’s Casino Delay vs Obama’s XL Pipeline Delay: Talk about media bias! Let’s compare coverage:
Gov. Scott Walker can wait until after the November gubernatorial election to decide whether the Menominee tribe should be allowed to open a casino in Kenosha, as the federal government Friday gave him an additional six months to decide the controversial issue. Last August, the $800 million casino complex was approved by the U.S. Department of Interior. As a result, Walker — who has unilateral authority to approve or kill the proposal. 

Originally, Walker said he would decide the issue last year but repeatedly broke his self-imposed deadlines.
Looks guilty to me. But stand with Walker voters didn't give the delay a second thought. But Obama’s decision to delay the XL Pipeline? In this case, Obama’s reason for the delay coincided with a real reason:
LA Times: Keystone Delay Caused By Nebraska Court Decision That Invalidates Pipeline Route. On April 18 the Los Angeles Times reported that, according to the State Department, a delay in the Keystone pipeline decision was "necessary" until ongoing litigation over the pipeline's route is resolved. A recent court case in Nebraska "invalidated part of the project's route"
Maybe Obama should act like a king and approve it anyway? For right wing pundits, Obama’s got no way out:
Fox Contributor Karl Rove: "Of Course It Was About Politics. It's All About Politics." During the April 21 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, contributor Karl Rove claimed that the Obama administration's decision was based on a political calculation designed to boost campaign donations for Democrats, saying "of course it was about politics. It's all about politics."

Wall Street Journal: "The Real Reason For The Delay Is Democratic Politics."

Fox's Stuart Varney: Delay On Pipeline Is "All Political And It's All About Cash."
Walker's delay gets a pass, and Obama’s delay is for political cash. Got it. 

Charles Koch beating Harry Reid in Iowa? Moyers on our Slide into Oligarchy.

Bill Moyers' recent focus has been on income inequality and the rise of the oligarchs. Merriam Webster defines oligarch this way: "a person who belongs to a small group of people who govern or control a country, business, etc. "

Just more whining and needless fear mongering from losing liberal Democrats shut out by billionaire contributors? Well, if the picture to the right doesn't worry you at all, than we've got a real problem.

The conservative Washington Free Beacon found Charles Koch had an impressive lead over Sen. Reid in their imaginative matchup:
Iowa voters would back libertarian philanthropist Charles Koch by a hefty margin over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) in a hypothetical 2016 presidential race, according to a new Washington Free Beacon poll. The results are in keeping with earlier polls showing that Charles and his brother David Koch are more popular than Reid, despite the majority leader’s breathless campaign to portray the libertarian philanthropy barons as “un-American” and “against everything that’s good for America.” Voters may have tired of Reid’s deranged bluster about the Koch brothers trying to “buy our democracy” while his Super PAC raises money from a handful of liberal billionaires.

The Oligarchic point:
study, to appear in the Fall 2014 issue of the academic journal Perspectives on Politics, finds that the U.S. is no democracy, but instead an oligarchy, meaning profoundly corrupt, so that the answer to the study’s opening question: "Despite the seemingly strong empirical support in previous studies for theories of majoritarian democracy, our analyses suggest that … the preferences of the average American appear to have only a minuscule, near-zero, statistically non-significant impact upon public policy." To put it short: The United States is no democracy, but actually an oligarchy.  
But then we kind of had bad feeling about the money pouring into campaigns, didn't we? Here's a much shortened, highlight version of Bill Moyers, with Paul Krugman. See the whole thing here:

Reince Priebus fund raising off the strength of Bush's Socks?

No words can describe this:

Walker deflects, makes excuses for, changes parameters, and yet holds to his failed 250,000 Jobs Promise. Which is it?

Democrats never get any credit.

When Scott Walker proposed his campaign promise of creating 250,000 jobs, Democrats knew that was ridiculous. Who would promise that? Governors don't create jobs...right? But Walker didn't hesitate to repeat it over and over, telling voters to hold him to that promise. The media played it up because Republicans “know” and believe in business, even the lifelong career politician kind. WKOW:

The promise fell apart: Was it just a goal? Was Walker just aiming high? Not a chance, it was a promise. In comparison, Republicans want to impeach Obama for breaking the promise he made saying people could keep their old health insurance plans.

Here’s the Journal Sentinel Editorial making the case as well as anyone could, except for maybe Mary Burke. The Burke campaign still hasn't found away to drive many of the points below home in any of her media interviews. It's not negative campaigning, it's just the truth (note: I highlighted what Burke should be talking about all the time):
Gov. Scott Walker was testing an idea last week — that the state may have until the end of 2015 to meet his pledge that Wisconsin companies add 250,000 private-sector jobs. Of course, that's not what Walker promised during his 2010 campaign. He said it would happen during his first term, which ends in January. The state has added about 101,500 jobs since Walker took office.

Walker should be held to his pledge. He made it. But in some ways, too much is made of this promise. Whether the state reaches the goal or not by the end of Walker's term, the fact remains that job growth remains sluggish in Wisconsin. And big, global forces are mostly the reason.

Yes, Walker's record on economic development is uneven. The inept rollout of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. didn't help. And Walker gave up an opportunity to support transportation in the state when he turned down $800 million in money for high-speed rail. He's sometimes focused too much on poaching companies from Illinois, which is hardly ever effective. He didn't do enough to encourage entrepreneurship, where Wisconsin historically lags, or to create a large enough venture capital fund.

But is it all Walker's fault that Wisconsin trails other states in economic growth? No. Wisconsin's performance is more a function of long-term trends in the state's core industries. Voters have to realize that there is only so much that any governor can do.
Which is what Democrats have been saying from the start. But heck, why believe us, we just "hate Walker."

Vicki McKenna Compares conservative victimhood to threats of racial lynchings.

Just so we all understand the point radio cancer stick Vicki McKenna was making on her recent Facebook post, here's a little background:
WKOW: Harry and Hester Hale have lived in Stoughton for six years. Harry opened an envelope, with no return address written on it, to find a picture depicting the lynching of two African Americans. His 18-year old son's face had been superimposed onto one of the bodies. "This is something we've honestly never dealt with," Harry said. 
The horror this family must be feeling, after receiving this overt racist letter, goes without saying...except in conservative world. Seeing an opportunity where no one with an ounce of common decency would normally think look, McKenna posted this tasteless comment:

Wow. The poor oppressed conservative majority, as seen in the map below, who dominate radio, television and print media everywhere, can't catch a break. How will they ever find the courage and leadership to speak out in public without an Americans for Prosperity bus tour?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Walker's Weak Reelection Campaign....

Republicans are very clear about how they're going to attack Democratic challengers in the midterms; blame the former governor. After 3 and half years, they still don't own the anemic results of their last two state budgets?

Unfortunately, Democrats just aren't listening. The response not only would basically dismantle the GOP's entire argument for reelection, but could win over voters.

The media still won't dispute Scott Walker's biggest lie.

Demand that Walker stop blaming the Great Recession and job losses on Doyle/Burke!!! Now or in the very first gubernatorial debate, demand, demand, demand Walker drop the false premise Doyle or Burke had anything to do with the states job losses or controlled the drop in revenues resulting from the Great Recession. Stop it now. Stop blaming everyone else and take responsibility. 

It's not their $1 billion surplus: What have they really done? That surplus is still less than all the cuts to education and budgeting statewide. Even worse, that surplus they like taking credit for came from the general U.S. economy turning around, and that includes Wisconsin's. And yet they're still saying Obama's stimulus and spending cuts were a failure. Amazing.

And with another projected budget deficit staring us in the face, something tells me the Walker tax cuts exceeded our ability to pay our bills. True to form, borrowing and tax cut spending is their idea of a solid economic foundation. How'd that go after the 2000 presidential election when we had projected budget surpluses?

Lousy job creation that goes hand in hand with being near last in business starts doesn't sound like we're headed in the right direction to me, but that's supply side for you.

Walker's Republicans continue to depend on legacy business interests and bygone business models. Again, not only did the Great Recession change business models, but the Affordable Care Act changed the health care model as well. Not noticing both events is a blind spot that will have dangerous consequences in the future. We'll being moving in forward, but in the wrong direction.

All he's got right now is a low unemployment number, but even that requires a behind numbers analysis.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

GOP presents "Slipping into the Abyss" agenda.

The conservative clip dump is here. I decided not to do whole stories on the following videos, because they truly do speak for themselves. Rancher Cliven Bundy forever.

This conservative talker shows us how he sees you and me in the future oligarchy:

The right wing attack on voting. It's still hard to believe anyone with a functioning brain would think any of this makes sense:

What is it with Republicans and all their Nazi comparisons. Or the Obama dictatorship:

Drone Hunting? A creation of our national gun crazy mentality. Idiocracy is here:

Louie Gohmert's incredible look at the separation of church and state:

Castration in D.C. by Joni Ernst:

States Compete for Workers with Higher Minimum Wages.

Uh oh, "stuck in his conservative ways" Scott Walker might be behind the curve again with his old fashioned "work hard for less" ethic. 

Bribing Out-of-State Business is so Old Fashioned: States are now competing for...employees. A real curve ball for conservative type’s still blowing smoke about the virtues of working for nothing and supposedly paying your dues. Sorry guys, thanks to you, this is the new world of disposable jobs.

WEAU: Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton (D) signed a new minimum wage law raising wages to at least $9.50 an hour by 2016. With Wisconsin’s minimum at $7.25, there's some concern people may choose to move or work in Minnesota for a higher wage.

For border counties like Pepin, there's some question whether people making wages below $9.50 would drive or move for a bigger paycheck, and what that would do to businesses in Wisconsin.

David Klein is the store manager at Countryside Co-op in Pepin said (it) could get more competitive when Minnesota raises its minimum wage over the next three years.

There's also some concern people would move out of the state for higher pay. Some say Wisconsin will have to follow suit in the near future but that could mean fewer jobs or higher prices.

“You're going to need to be competitive, so therefore, if they're going to offer $9 an hour, then you need to be competitive and seriously look at that or at least make it close,” Pepin County Board Supervisor Jim Kraft said.

Second Amendment Chaos!

How activist are the conservative Justices on the Supreme Court? Read the following and decide for yourself who makes a better case over the Second Amendment. Daily Kos:
The Washington Post has published an opinion piece from Justice John Paul Stevens in which he analyzes the history of the second amendment, and recent Supreme Court decisions to support his contention that the interpretation of the Second Amendment advanced by the NRA (and recently accepted by the courts) is contrary to the intent of the framers.   According to Stevens:
"For more than 200 years following the adoption of that amendment, federal judges uniformly understood that the right protected by that text was limited in two ways: First, it applied only to keeping and bearing arms for military purposes, and second, while it limited the power of the federal government, it did not impose any limit whatsoever on the power of states or local governments to regulate the ownership or use of firearms. Thus, in United States v. Miller, decided in 1939, the court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of a sawed-off shotgun because that sort of weapon had no reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a “well regulated Militia.

When I joined the court in 1975, that holding was generally understood as limiting the scope of the Second Amendment to uses of arms that were related to military activities. During the years when Warren Burger was chief justice, from 1969 to 1986, no judge or justice expressed any doubt about the limited coverage of the amendment."
The article continues:
District of Columbia v. Heller (which found that individuals had an individual right to bear arms and keep a handgun to be used for self-defense) and McDonald v. Chicago (which found that Chicago could not prohibit citizens from owning handguns) were contrary to the historical intent and interpretation of the second amendment.

Five years after his retirement, during a 1991 appearance on “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” Warren Burger himself remarked that the Second Amendment “has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud, I repeat the word ‘fraud,’ on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.”

Stevens' solution ... proposed change to the second amendment would read as follows:“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.” The entire opinion piece is well worth the read.

ObamaCare forced a majority of Americans to see the horrors of our Insurance Based Health Care System.

The most uncovered fact about the Affordable Care Act was then sudden realization by most Americans of how screwed up our health care system was, once they had it explained to them with the opening of the exchanges.

No one in the media pointed out that those covered by their employer were also now learning the ins and outs of our dysfunctional health insurance “system.” After 20 years, I already knew about this stuff. Opposition and outrage grew when people suddenly became aware of the costs and power of insurers through the introduction of ObamaCare.

Unaffordable deductibles? Big surprise folks, that’s a major part of the GOP’s push for Health Savings Accounts. If you don’t like high deductibles, ask a Republican why they think you should have what they call “skin in the game,” besides whatever life threatening disease you’re fighting.

GOP Attack Permanent: The vilification of “ObamaCare” is now set in stone. Republicans have soured public opinion enough on the ACA that it's never going to change. Our insurance based system is by nature outrageous, unfair and complicated beyond words. From Bloomberg News:
Paul Krugman is puzzled: "Over the weekend I had dinner in NYC with some very smart, sophisticated people; yes, all of them liberals. And almost everyone in the group was under the impression that Obamacare is still going badly … [H]ere we have smart, pro-reform people living in a state where reform is going really well. And they don’t know it!"-Krugman

The main explanation (sorry to beat this drum again) is more basic: The law is designed to do poorly in polling, at least once Republicans put up a united front against it.
It's what the public doesn't see or will ever notice getting coverage:
(The public) might have noticed if they benefited from the closing of the Medicare doughnut hole or took advantage of free preventative-care doctor visits. Some might have post-college kids who were able to stay on their insurance.

For most of us, Obamacare isn't that visible, and the benefits often are the least visible part. Don’t expect it to get better; it’s going to be less and less likely that people will identify the benefits they are receiving with “Obamacare.” In five years, plenty of those in the exchanges won't realize that under the old system they would have had a pre-existing condition that would have barred them from being insured … they almost certainly won’t realize that their minor medical condition would have qualified.

Given all that, once Republican opposition guaranteed that the ACA would be controversial it was likely that it would poll badly, even if it worked well -- and even if it worked so well it couldn't be repealed … This isn't the result of media bias, or the administration’s failure to win the spin; and it’s not even a sign that the law isn't working as intended. It’s just the logical outcome of the way the law is set up.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rep. Robin Vos' Tea Party challenger one issue Common Core opponent, likes Secession too.

Despite coming in at half the rate of the public school system scores, Republicans continue to push the expansion of vouchers statewide.

But when it comes to an untested but encouraging concept like Common Core, kill it now before it destroys our children.

That’s what we’re having to deal with from conservative hardliners who just won’t budge from any part of their ideological failings. Their belief system is infallible, like the Bible, which is also part of their platform.

With conspiracies about Europe’s Common Core attack on American education, and claims secession is possible and not unconstitutional, Assembly wise ass Rep. Robin Vos has a primary challenger. Racine Journal Times
Bryn Biemeck of Mount Pleasant says she will run as a Republican against Vos, R-Rochester, to “bring new ideas and a fresh outlook to the party.”
The new idea and fresh outlook? Kill Common Core. This secession supporting “state’s rights” teabilly is just another sign Wisconsin is becoming the new most southern state…

Her primary issue is the Common Core education standards and eliminating them in Wisconsin … She said her opposition to Common Core is part of her strong support of states’ rights, also mentioning a secession resolution … as something she supports. The resolution “supports legislation that upholds Wisconsin’s right, under extreme circumstances, to secede,” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Biemeck believes in “approaching states’ rights (with) that attitude. Ideally, Wisconsin should govern itself and should make its own decisions about its people.”