Saturday, October 3, 2015

Republican caught lying again: Fionrina's video deception, and Chaffetz's Planned Parenthood Fiasco!

Now that the whole Planned Parenthood abortion video story is out there, it's time to look back. I've compiled the bizarre antics to this point. Imagine a Republican administration running the country from the alternative reality they've created just around this one issue.  

The latest news should make every sucker who fell for Fiorina's big debate moment, question their party's deceptive tactics:
Ring of Fire: The video was released by anti-abortion activist (from) the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, Gregg Cunningham.  Fellow activists, David Daleiden, had taken the raw footage, then used a voice-over from an entirely different procedure in which fetal tissue was being harvested for medical research. That voice-over had nothing to do with the events in the video clip, which by now, is known to be of a miscarriage – not an abortion.

Daleiden admitted that it was a miscarriage – but told CNN that it “didn’t matter” – as long as it proves his point. Egregiously, Daleiden did not have the distraught mother’s permission to film the event or use it. “We used it to illustrate exactly the kind of late-second trimester baby…fetus that we’re talking about in these cases of organ harvesting.”

In other words, Daleiden, Cunningham and the rest are perfectly willing to present blatant fabrications in order to advance their agenda. Furthermore, Fiorina knew that the video was misleading and depicted a miscarriage rather than an abortion. 
In an amazing example of projection - pot calling the kettle black - Fiorina flipped GOP tactics upside down, blaming Democrats and the media for attacking her:
Fiorina accused the women's health organization of pushing "propaganda" against her while being "aided and abetted by the media."
Ah, shame on the media for covering the story, a story that made Fiorina a top Republican candidate for president? Wouldn't you know it, Fiorina is now poking at the media with an ad that keeps this story front and center:
Fiorina's campaign released an online ad that again includes the image, with the claim that "Carly Fiorina won the debate. Now come the false attacks." This, despite the fact that the baby was miscarried, not aborted, and that the image comes from a hospital procedure unconnected with Planned Parenthood. Pew Research Center found in a Sept. 22-27 poll that 60 percent of adults in the U.S. wanted a budget deal to maintain funding for Planned Parenthood. But among Republicans, 66 percent said any budget deal must eliminate the money — 78 percent among those who identify as "conservative Republicans."
The House Embarrassment Hearing: In one clarifying moment, Americans saw up close how Republicans can work the bullshit, as described by the Washington Post's Dana Milbank, and shown in a compilation of clips that will never be forgotten:

At this point Republicans may wish to consider aborting to protect the health of the party. Chairman Jason Chaffetz (Utah) made the startling confession that “without the videos, we can’t have a good discussion about them.” But we can shut down the federal government over them?

Chaffetz flashed a chart showing that since 2010, the number of abortions at Planned Parenthood has surpassed the number of its “cancer screenings and prevention services.” But no such shift occurred. The fine print on the chart showed that the number of abortions (327,000 in 2013) never came close to reaching the number of cancer screenings (935,573 in 2013) at any point.

Richards said the chart “absolutely does not reflect what’s happening.”

“I pulled those numbers directly out of your corporate reports,” the chairman said.

In fact, the chart said the source was the antiabortion group Americans United for Life — which Richards pointed out to Chaffetz.

“Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that,” the chairman said. 
Chaffetz is following the radicalized GOP tactic of doubling down on the lie, despite good questions by CNN's Wolf Blitzer:

Walker gets Media Cover again for Civil Service Lie.

Wisconsin media is at it again!!! Here's State Sen. Jon Erpenbach, who like me, must have fallen hook-line-and-sinker for another Scott Walker word salad lie:

Thank you PolitiFact Wisconsin for giving Scott Walker cover for something he all but etched into stone about our untouchable civil service law, which he is now going back on. When Walker "led some to believe" he wouldn't change civil service, that was actually his intention and lie:
On "Fox News Sunday," Walker said: "There is no state that has a better civil service system in terms of protections. That does not change in this. Worker rights will be maintained even after our bill passes."

...his "fireside chat," the governor said: "It’s important to remember that many of the rights we’re talking about don’t come directly from collective bargaining. They come from the civil service system here in Wisconsin. That law was passed in 1905, long before collective bargaining, and it will continue long after our plan is approved."  

Walker repeatedly cited the strength of employee protections in Wisconsin’s civil service system, and said his 2011 law wouldn’t change the protections. That led some to believe Walker wouldn’t try to change the civil service system. But we found no evidence that Walker made such a pledge, and there have been indications in the past year that he might seek changes.
PolitiFact even disproved their own point when they wrote the following, which also contained statements by the Walker administration there would be no changes:
In June 2014, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that in recent months, Walker administration officials had said multiple times they weren't looking to change the civil service system ... And a spokeswoman for Walker's Department of Administration said at the time that Walker had no interest in changing civil servants’ protections.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Republican are saying America can't stop the Mass Shootings!!!

It's unsettling to know the truth now about the Republican Party's disinterest in trying to stop the gun carnage sweeping the U.S.. The community college in Roseburg, Oregon is just the latest.

click to enlarge
Their outrageously ridiculous, but widely accepted solution - getting tough on mental illness - never materialized. Now, they're not even bothering to offer any hope at all.

In the WPR Joy Cardin radio interview below, Steve Prestegard, conservative editor of the Platteville Journal, said outright there is nothing we can do to stop these mass shootings, so why try. This echoes Carly Fiorina's throw-in-the-towel attitude about climate change. Majority Republicans no longer have to struggle for excuses, or even feign concerned anymore.

That's American exceptionalism? That's that can-do attitude from the worlds superpower?

John Nichols counters Prestegard's shocking surrender with hope and determination that something can be done. Nothing exemplifies Republican politics today like the sharp contrasting discussion below:

UPDATE: This is now a national Republican trend. The days of pretending to help the public are over. Let's start with my favorite "solution" from Scott Walker:

Huffington Post: According to Everytown for Gun Safety, a group pushing for reforms to reduce gun violence, (said) it was the 45th shooting at a school in 2015. Everytown was formed in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary ... There have been 142 shootings at schools since December 14, 2012, the date of that incident.

Republicans are not only content to let the gun carnage continue, but they are already letting people die by taking away their health care: 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Suddenly, Republicans don't like those greatly expanded Bush "free speech zones" when it effects them.

The idea that Republicans have principles is laughable. This newer, more radicalized party's one goal now, is to win their politically motivated game. Nothing else. Forget public policy. Principles, what principles?

Which brings me to those old George W. Bush "free speech zones" they loved so much. And it makes sense too, because conservatives have hated the right to protest for years. It's an ongoing battle to finally "win" the 60's anti-war/civil rights protests.
Many universities created on-campus free speech zones during the 1960s and 1970s, during which protests on-campus (especially against the Vietnam War) were common

It was during Bush's presidency that their scope was greatly expanded. The Bush administration has been criticized by columnist James Bovard of The American Conservative for requiring protesters to stay within a designated area, while allowing supporters access to more areas.

The American Civil Liberties Union has asked a federal court in Washington D.C. to prevent the Secret Service from keeping anti-Bush protesters distant from presidential appearances while allowing supporters to display their messages up close, where they are likely to be seen by the news media. 
Now that "free speech zones" appear to be blowing back on libertarian/conservative protesters, the right wing outrage has this from radio bullshit artist Vicki McKenna, in her "you've got to be kidding me" Facebook moment:
Right wing propagandist, The Blaze, abandoning principles?

Daily Show in Madison for "Are all cops Racist?"

Loved this bit on the Daily Show, especially the idea of a "black Twitter."
In a segment "Are All Cops Racist," Madison Police Chief Mike Koval is interviewed on Comedy Central. The portion with Koval begins at about the 4:40 mark.

Leon Varjian will be missed....

A Madison legend, and one of the funniest and innovative guys around, Leon Varjian died of a heart attack. WSJ's George Hesselberg:
Leon Varjian, a jester with a rubber face and keen insight into what tickles Madison’s funny bone, was found dead of a suspected heart attack Tuesday at his residence in Wood-Ridge, New Jersey. He was 64. Varjian was a longtime mathematics teacher at Midland Park High School in New Jersey, where he was once named math teacher of the year.

Whether it was the placement of 1,008 pink plastic flamingos on Bascom Hill, an amazingly realistic copy of the Statue of Liberty (head, arm and torch) on Lake Mendota, or hosting a Halloween toga party for 10,000 people, the enduring quality was a willingness to go overboard. He adopted the Madison Muskies baseball team as a cheerleader, and with Mallon introduced, in falsetto, the talking mice of the “Vern and Evelyn Show.”
 Here's a clip from that their show:

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Walker, Republican no tax pledge sinks existing road work for a total of 5 years.

Like I’ve always said, spending cuts will never be a substitute for budgeting. And now we’re about to pay dearly, wiping out any savings. Brilliant.

You see that road work up ahead, well it might be there for the next 6 years, along with the traffic tie ups and detours. I can’t imagine what they’re going to do with the snow at some of those sites.

Scott Walker wanted to borrow big time for transportation, which was bad enough, but “no tax” pledge Republican legislators ran out of money thanks to past and present tax cuts. Now many of the existing road construction sites will be delayed till 2021, believe it or not. jsonline:
The state Department of Transportation is delaying five major road projects because it doesn't have the money for the work under the state budget crafted by Gov. Scott Walker and his fellow Republicans in the Legislature.

The delays — including on some stretches that already have orange barrels on the road — could end up being longer because legislators for years have been unable to come up with ways to find new revenue for highways … will likely have a cascading effect that will push off work on future projects.
Tightwad Republicans will now run up the costs for taxpayers who though they could freeload for awhile.
The delays will cause the cost of the projects to rise because of inflation. Estimates of the added costs are expected in February. Work on the projects won't stop, but it will slow down.
The guy pushing a bill attacking civil service protections for Walker isn't to happy:
The delays surprised Sen. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), who told WHBY-AM this month he did not expect any delays on Highway 10/441 in the Fox Valley. The highway is being expanded and reconstructed between Highway 41 and Highway 47.

But the $482 million project is one of those the DOT is pushing back, putting off its completion until 2021. Construction began last year, so drivers will have to put up with road work on that stretch for at least seven years under the revised schedule.

62% don't want Walker back as governor, 37% disapprove!!!

Perhaps it was the national media who exposed the real Scott Walker to Wisconsinites. Maybe voters found out how irresponsible news outlets statewide were for giving Walker a pass on almost every important misstep.

Or maybe voters were stunned by the yard sale of publically supported investments Walker needed to unload to pander to conservative voters in Iowa. jsonline:
Gov. Scott Walker's job approval rating dropped to 37%, even after he left the presidential race, according to the Marquette University Law School Poll. Walker's disapproval rating was 59%. The overwhelming majority of those polled — 62% — would not support a 3rd Walker term, while 35% would support the move.

Among Democrats, Hillary Clinton leads with 44%. Between Republican Sen. Ron Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold … Feingold is leading Johnson 50% to 36%. The phone poll was conducted Sept. 24 to 28 with 803 registered voters.
Graphics from the Huffington Post and Journal Sentinel:

Duffy to defund Planned Parenthood by passing Federal law based on fiction.

Republicans were so successful expanding government regulations based on voting myths, they're firmly convince the same tactic will work against Planned Parenthood. It kinda takes the pressure off solving real problems.

The now radicalized Republican Party: Let's take a look at one glaring example.

Former naked MTV star Rep. Sean Duffy decided to exploit the discredited Planned Parenthood videos created by the anti-abortion front group with the nonsensical name "Center for Medical Progress."

So none of this matters...?
During yesterdays 5 hour "hearing" that took pot shots at Planned Parenthood's president Cecile Richards, Congress thought it best not to bother the so called "professionals" from the Center for Medical Progress. Surprised?

Despite the statewide investigations that turned up no wrong doing by Planned Parenthood, Duffy doubled down on the original lie as if that alone would make it true. Stephen Colbert called it truthiness.

Duffy's mind blowing Rube Goldberg attack on Planned Parenthood, the so called "Women’s Health and Safety Act," will amaze you. Duffy's word salad below allows states to block Medicaid funding to providers that perform abortions:
No outrage about the government cover-up?
"This is not a debate about abortion or even non-abortion, pro life or pro abortion. Those who are even pro abortion agree that these tactics are unacceptable. They have no place in our society, and that federal tax dollars should actually go to fund an institution that harvests baby body parts for sale is absolutely asinine."
Yes, if only it were true…Duffy continues with his “objective” analysis?
"Some states want to refuse this tainted money being used by an awful organization that profits from selling aborted children’s organs, but the Medicaid law and CMS is forcing them to fund abortion providers against the state legislature’s wishes. Health care doesn't mean Planned Parenthood, and Planned Parenthood doesn't mean women's health care. You talk about defunding women's health care? There is no less money. There is the same amount of money that goes to women's health care. That's a false argument."

Duffy says the bill makes abortion providers not fall under the “free choice of qualified provider” provision, so excluding abortion providers from Medicaid funding would not count as “limiting healthcare options”, which is not allowed under Medicaid.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

One Day!!!! Walker in Wisconsin just one day in July on official business.

Talk about putting all his eggs in one basket, Scott Walker really did abandon Wisconsin to run for president, especially in July. One-Day-Walker.

It's so pathetic to hear pundits and GOP leaders nonchalantly admit, like it's no big deal, that Walker needs to "reacquaint himself with Wisconsinites?" Oh, that's all.
WPR: Walker's official calendar for July, released to The Associated Press under the state's open records law, shows Walker spent one day in July in Wisconsin on official business after launching his presidential run July 13. The visit was to attend a Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board meeting and to sign a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Walker canceled campaign events to spend another day in Wisconsin to visit with the family of Carson Holmquist, a Marine killed at a Navy-Marine reserve center in Tennessee.

"Job Creating" Wisconsin House Republicans and Dumb Ron Johnson...Job Killers: GE moves Waukesha plant to Canada, wiping out 350 jobs.

Republicans are to blame for losing 350 jobs in Waukesha, and probably more when you consider suppliers. This isn't on the Democrats. Thank Wisconsin GOP House members for sending 350 jobs to Canada, where economic policy is more predictable.  Here's what Paul Ryan said:
Ryan has said he opposes the bank in principle, calling it a "strange collusion of big business and big government."
Sounds like someone doesn't know what they're talking about, again. We always said this guy was no economic policy wonk...believe us now?
Blaming Congress for its failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution that finances sales of U.S. industrial equipment to overseas customers, General Electric Co. says it will stop manufacturing engines in Waukesha and move that work to Canada. About 350 jobs will be lost at the Waukesha plant. 
Job creators? Think again. Opposition to the Export-Import Bank never did make any sense, and here's why:

...a limited but important role helping American companies, large and small, export their products in a global market distorted by the government credit activities of competitor nations. The bank’s overarching mission is to boost American-made exports and therein spur growth in jobs and income. 
Republicans have been exposed as "job creating" frauds. jsonline:
Critics have contended that Ex-Im exemplifies crony capitalism ... the data do not support the notion that Ex-Im’s activity is more politically driven than market oriented. While opponents of reauthorization have emphasized that only 25 percent of Ex-Im authorizations are for small businesses, that amount reflects the actual makeup of U.S. trade. Furthermore, large companies that seek Ex-Im financing often produce high-value goods such as airplanes or mining equipment, the export of which often benefits numerous small business suppliers involved in production and export.
Job Killing Republican legislative nonsense has real world consequences:
Republican members of the House blocked a reauthorization vote. 

GE says the Waukesha plant has more than 400 U.S. suppliers and, in Wisconsin alone, suppliers receive millions of dollars in revenue from the plant. "We believe in American manufacturing, but our customers in many cases require Export Credit Agencies financing for us to bid on projects. Without it, we cannot compete, and our customers may be forced to select other providers," GE Vice Chairman John Rice said in a statement.
And because conservative voters instinctively hate unions, the real impact on the community described below will be ignored:
International Association of Machinists union. spokesman Frank Larkin (said) "The Ex-Im Bank was one of those rare government programs that worked as intended: It protected American jobs and returned a profit to the U.S. Treasury. Killing the bank means thousands of U.S. jobs will be needlessly sacrificed for an extreme political agenda."
Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin's comments will also be ignored:
"The failure of the House to act is now costing Wisconsin jobs. When American businesses have a level playing field, they can compete against anyone. The Export-Import Bank is an important tool that helps us create that level playing field…”
One GOP Ex-Im Bank supporter, Rep. Reid Ribble not only echoed Baldwin, but accidentally told the truth about his party:
“It would be a withdrawal simply for ideological reasons. Conservatives have this ideology that government should leave it to the private sector, but there are types of exports where the private sector won't pick up the financing of that business," Ribble said. "Companies will be forced to leave the country and take jobs to countries where there is export-import bank financing if we don't offer it."
But Dumb Ron Johnson wants to use these continued job losses (disaster capitalism) to make his point about higher corporate taxes:
" is a wake-up call concerning our nation's increasingly uncompetitive tax and regulatory systems."
The LA Times wrote this today:

The decisions by GE, its second this month, and other large and small companies are paving a way to conduct business in a world without the Export-Import Bank — a world in which U.S. jobs are permanently lost. Barely two weeks ago, GE said it was shifting 500 jobs from four U.S. states to Europe and China to make the production of turbines and generators eligible for export aid from those countries.

Last month, Boeing Co., said it could lay off several hundred employees at its Southern California satellite division because a customer that needed Export-Import Bank financing canceled an order.

ProGauge Technologies Inc., a small Bakersfield manufacturer of oil industry equipment, is awaiting word on a bid for a multiyear project in the Middle East worth as much as $40 million. Chief Executive Don Nelson said that if the company wins, he will do most of the work in the unnamed nation because it would be too expensive to obtain the required delivery guarantee without the help of the Export-Import Bank.
Excuses Excuses: But conservative think tanks and ideologues are now saying businesses are always leaving the country for something, so what the heck if we lose more jobs:  
Companies move jobs out of the U.S. for many reasons, including lower taxes, said Dan Holler, a spokesman for Heritage Action for America, a conservative group that has helped lead the opposition to the bank. GE, for instance, already has 7,000 employees in Canada, a country with a much lower corporate tax rate than the U.S. has, he said.
But why listen to me, Democrats or even a few Republicans:
Milwaukee businessman Bill Maxon has no question where he stands on the issue. Maxon runs a small company that makes machines used in mixing and placing concrete. Exports account for a large percentage of his business, and he says the bank has played a part in making that happen. Maxon said he's at risk of losing a deal in Argentina because he can't get U.S. Export-Import Bank financing for the customer.

"Unfortunately our Chinese competitor is probably going to get the deal, and it's specifically related to the availability of financing," Maxon said.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sorry Trolls, Kim David now realizes she was acting like a Republican all along!!!

The knee jerk reaction of Republican Facebook and Twitter trolls has always been fun to watch, but this time it's almost laughable: Switching to the Republican Party, supposed Democratic clerk Kim Davis sure acted like a conservative clown. So what's the surprise?
4 times married Davis protects marriage?

What did raise a few chuckles was her excuse for changing parties; The Democratic Party abandoned her? Really, it was their fault. Who knew Democrats had for years have supported gay marriage...certainly not Davis.

I wonder what other cliff the trolling crowd of misfits will jump off of next:

And wouldn't you know, she's even inspired a new app (Windows please?):

Fight Kim, Defeat Kim, Condemn Her.

Battle against bigotry and achieve equality for all. Join us in a battle for the ages. On one side of this virtual battle field littered with shredded paper and sadness, festers Kim an agent of civil discrimination. On the other side, the warriors of love, the soldiers of acceptance, and the army of equality.

- Become a soldier for equality,- Toss marriage applications to damage Kim. Each level has a specific amount of applications that you must hit her with in order to send her to jail. Miss just one and you will lose.- Hurl divorce papers at Kim causing her to slow down, making her an easier target!
50% of all proceeds will go to LGBT charities.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Republicans winning Climate Change lie in Red State pubic schools, while World takes it seriously!!!

When Pope Francis talks about climate change, he knows what he's talking about. The truth is, Pope Francis "graduated as a chemical technician," a scientist. I doubt the current crop of Republican critics trashing the Pope can say that, and many have admitted "they're not scientists."

Republicans wear their lack of knowledge like a badge of honor, using it as an excuse to believe in whatever it is they want to believe, devoid of science. It's worked out so well getting Republicans elected, that they're now taking that anti-science philosophy into our public schools.
Smithsonian: See Where Climate Science Conflict Has Invaded U.S. Classrooms - Conservative politicians are introducing bills that promote teaching climate science as controversial

Conservative legislators with a history of targeting evolution education have begun to take aim at climate science as well, encouraging educators to “teach the controversy” using some of the same tools and techniques that fuel continued support for intelligent design. Most of these measures have failed—for now. But two have passed, in Louisiana and Tennessee.

That’s not happening in other countries, like India for instance, who seems to think environmental health will reduce poverty and increase critical thinking, two GOP non-issues:
Every one of India's 1.3 million schools, as well as all of its 650-plus universities, are required by a Supreme Court order to educate each young Indian about the environment and sustainability. 

Driving the program is a belief that teaching these topics is key to addressing India’s many severe ecological problems, from polluted air and water to a disease-spreading lack of sanitation. Taking on issues like how to adapt to a changing climate, or how to protect the environment while also reducing poverty, can help develop critical thinking skills, argue many sustainability educators. With interest in teaching about sustainability growing in many parts of the world, the handprint has been exported to nations including South Africa and Japan.
The U.S. is going in the opposite direction, which should be scaring the daylights out of every voter. Teaching the "controversy" just perpetuates the lie:
Doug Lombardi, a science education researcher at Temple University, said “There isn’t a climate change controversy, not from a scientific perspective.” It's not just a matter of scientific accuracy—at stake may be the ability of future generations to deal with creeping temperatures, sea level rise and the other consequences of climate change. (But) more than 40 percent of teachers frame climate science as controversial. 

That discrepancy mirrors a gap between scientists and the general public. Surveys of working climate scientists have shown that 97 to 98 percent of the most active climate researchers support humanity's greenhouse gas emissions as the primary driver of recent climate change. No major scientific organization, from the American Association for the Advancement of Science to the National Academy of Sciences, disputes this view.

Meanwhile, results from a Pew Research Center survey released in July show that only half of the public believes that climate change is mostly due to human activity.

The Internet winds through Wisconsin...somewhere.

The internet has finally been mapped out, and as you can see in all its blurry detail, it winds through Wisconsin. The story here is a little confusing; researchers at the UW claim mapping out the location of the internet will improve security, and promote a more robust infrastructure. Okay, I'll suspend common sense for awhile. You can click on the image to enlarge, but you won't see much....(PNG captured from the actual research paper):

It may not look like much at first glance, but a map created by University of Wisconsin computer science professor Paul Barford and about a dozen colleagues took around four years to produce. He believes it could make the Internet more resilient to accidents, disasters, or intentional attacks.

The map shows the paths taken by the long-distance fiber-optic cables that carry Internet data across the continental U.S. The exact routes of those cables, which belong to major telecommunications companies such as AT&T and Level 3, have not been previously publicly viewable, despite the fact that they are effectively critical public infrastructure, says Barford.

The Department of Homeland Security is making the map and data behind it available through a project called Predict, which offers data relevant to Internet security to government, private, and public researchers. “Our intention is to help improve security by improving knowledge,” says Barford. “I think the map highlights that there are probably many opportunities to make the network more robust.”

Friday, September 25, 2015

Wisconsin's Republican Science deniers in House pass bill disavowing the social cost of carbon emissions, block Democratic attempts to keep it.

Just like what we're seeing in Wisconsin, our one-size-fits-all Republican Party agenda is taking aim at our clean water and air, getting it ready for privateer plundering. Roll Call:

SCALED-BACK ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEWS: The House passed bill (HR 348) to scale back the National Environmental Policy Act as a regulator of large construction projects in the U.S. The bill disavows the social cost of carbon emissions; sets a two-year deadline for completing environmental reviews; requires lawsuits challenging reviews to be filed within 180 days; limits the number of reviews per project; authorizes states to prepare alternative environmental assessments and allows agencies to accept secondary rather than original analyses of environmental impacts.

The CBO says the bill would apply mainly to the three federal agencies with the largest construction budgets -- the Department of Transportation for road and transit contracts, the Department of Defense and Army Corps of Engineers.
Every Wisconsin representative voted to ignore the devastating health effects and premature deaths caused by carbon emissions, actually writing it into law. Paul Ryan, James Sensenbrenner, Glenn Grothman, Sean Duffy, and Reid Ribble.

Even worse? They rejected attempts by Democrats to again include the social cost of pollution:
SOCIAL COST OF CARBON: The House defeated an amendment to HR 348 (above) allowing agencies to include the social cost of carbon-dioxide emissions in environmental reviews conducted under the National Environmental Policy Act.

Voting to save lives and keep our air and water clean: Mark Pocan, Ron Kind, and Gwen Moore.

Rubbing it into the face of their own constituents: Ryan, Sensenbrenner, Grothman, Duffy, Ribble

Stand with Walker backers more gullible than nations conservative voters.

Republicans nationwide saw Scott Walker's Wisconsin as small potatoes and not a trickle down experiment they could brag about. It's also possible I'm giving too much credit to a party hypnotized by the showbiz bloviating of agenda free Donald Trump. The one thing Walker's fall does prove is how completely out of touch conservative talk radio is in the state. Believe it or not, he's nothing like they said he was:

The two graphs below details Walker's drop:

Huffington Post: Since money is (often) the name of the game in politics, the above graph is another important snapshot of Walker's campaign. Although the Badger State Republican raised more than $20 million, it was all tied up in his super PAC.

Super PACs can collect unlimited sums of money, but are restricted on how much contact and coordination they can have with the candidate they back. Walker's super PAC could spend money on ads supporting its candidate, for example, but couldn't cut checks to his campaign staff or pay for his travel. Walker's official campaign committee hasn't yet released fundraising totals (those numbers are due to the Federal Election Commission Oct. 15), but news outlets reported he wasn't bringing in any cash.

As Politico noted, Walker's exit may point to the limitations of super PACs' true power over the nomination process.

Jeb offers black voters "hope," but for a price?

Jeb Bush offers "free stuff," like advice:
"...our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division, 'Get in line, we’ll take care of you with free stuff.' Our message is uplifting, that says, 'You can achieve earned success. We’re on your side.'"

Nevada Education Savings Accounts: 6,000 parents devising 6,000 different ways to teach kids! What could go wrong?

Nevada is a voucher dream come true for conservatives and profit driven privateers a like, who see our kids as exploitable commodities until they're not anymore.

But as a parent, you have to ask, "do you have the time for something this costly, convoluted and crazy?" It's not like you can make up the time if you get it wrong. Oh, and it's costly!!!

Freedom and liberty loving Nevadans can now get their own "education savings account" with $5,700 of taxpayer money in it. Oh, and if the school or customized plan costs more in fees, supplies or transportation, you're on the hook for the rest. Nice...and expensive. 

And what could go wrong giving every parent the power to devise their own educational reform program, mixing and matching classroom time, online courses, home schooling and religious instruction just the way they see fit? 

I'm will enjoy watching all of this unfold from the comfort of Wisconsin, where our state constitution forbids tuition of any kind from being charged in our public schools. I still can't figure out how taxpayer vouchers can be spent at tuition charging private schools, since that turns the voucher into tuition, but that's a whole different topic.

Here's what total privatization looks like, for those who apparently have a whole lot more time than I do staying on top of my own kids, to create their own public school system at home. And you thought making sure they had their homework done was enlightened:    
1. Nevada allows virtually all parents of K-12 students to opt out of public school but use their children’s state education dollars for a customized education, including private or religious schooling, online classes, textbooks, and dual-enrollment college credits.

2. The money goes into an education savings account (ESA), and dollars not spent by the parent in a given year roll over for future spending – until the student finishes high school or opts back into public school.

3. The private and religious schools accepting ESA funds are not prohibited from discriminating based on race, gender or disability ... can use their admissions rules, including competitive pretesting, transcript evaluation and letters of recommendation ... free to select students based on who they decide fit their religious or secular mission, culture and program. Nevada public schools have to educate all children with disabilities and those children whom private and religious schools choose not to admit or decide to remove from school. 

4. ESAs are designed to be a “subsidy” by more affluent families who can already afford to send their children to selective private and religious schools. Conversely, ESAs are insufficient for students from low-income families, and those who need more costly English language instruction or special education services.

5. The law offers 100 percent of state funding (about $5,700 annually) for students with disabilities or whose families are below 185 percent of the federal poverty level ... For all others, it offers 90 percent. There is only a handful of private schools in Nevada with tuition low enough to be covered by $5,710.

6. Participants will have to account for expenses and take an annual test in math and English that is nationally norm-referenced, meaning their score can be compared with peers around the country. They need not be comparable to Nevada public school tests.  

7. For parents, the appeal is that they can combine online, private, and even some public courses to tailor an education that suits their child. 
And because the $5,700 may not be enough for most students, parents will "self-ration," to save money, and elected officials don't have to work so hard or take responsibility: 
For state policymakers, it’s attractive because parents are incentivized to spend wisely and carry over savings, and that “puts downward pressure on prices,” says Lindsey Burke, an education policy fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington. Because the ESA per student amount does not cover the full cost of tuition at private and religious schools, families must have the personal means to cover any remaining tuition. This will also include the cost of fees, uniforms, books, transportation and other expenses associated with private and religious schooling.
But do Americans hate their public schools, or is privatization really about placating a small minority of like minded anti-government voters?
While some opponents might worry about a steady stream of students leaving public schools, that hasn’t been the case in Arizona. Out of about 250,000 students who are eligible, about 1 percent applied for the 2014-15 school year, and currently there are about 1,200 participants, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Education told the Monitor.
To put even this in perspective:
Lawmakers in nearly two-dozen states have made education savings accounts or private school scholarships available to families. Yet only 350,000 of the 50 million students in the U.S. are participating. (To put this in perspective, imagine you visit the reigning World Series Champions, the San Francisco Giants, for a game this summer and only 290 seats in their 42,000-seat ballpark are filled.)
I mixed and matched stats from these two sources: Christian Science Monitor and DianeRavitch.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Even Stephen Colbert couldn't resist Walker's presidential Parody!

My god we elected this guy to a second term...

"And though he may be quitting, he leaves in the most noble way possible. By asking others to quit, too."

Only when in the minority, Justice Scalia wonders, "Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?"

It's more than a religious tradition. Marriage is a complicated governmental process that sets up property, personal and monetary obligations, backed up by law. If the government decided that certain Americans were blocked from accessing these laws, then we’ve got a problem with equal protection.
The majority held that state same-sex marriage bans are a violation of both the Fourteenth Amendment's Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause.
The conservative Justices pretzel logic never got that concept, and wanted to continue to treat gay Americans differently: 
Chief Justice John Roberts wrote Addressing the Equal Protection Clause, Roberts stated that same-sex marriage bans did not violate the clause because they were rationally related to a governmental interest, preserving the traditional definition of marriage.
“Governmental interest” doesn't include equal protection? I’m sensing a massive amount of BS.
I’m bringing this up again because in a recent article featuring Justice Scalia’s crazy rants against the decision, he never even mentioned “equal protection.” In fact he spouted the same talking points as tea party flame thrower Sen. Ted Cruz (ironically, Cruz served as a law clerk to  William RehnquistChief Justice of the United States in 1996), arguing the justices are just a bunch of unelected lawyers telling us all what to do. I have deeper, more thoughtful conversations with my conservative friend in Milwaukee.

Here are the low-lights from conservative activist Justice Scalia. What is this guy doing on the bench?  
At a Tuesday speech at Rhodes College the justice blasted the decision, calling it the "furthest imaginable extension of the Supreme Court doing whatever it wants" … "threat to democracy" … “Ruler of 320 million Americans coast-to-coast. Saying that the Constitution requires that practice, which is contrary to the religious beliefs of many of our citizens. I don't know how you can get more extreme than that. I worry about a court that's headed in that direction. Do you really want your judges to rewrite the Constitution?" 

He bemoaned that the court was made up of no more than "lawyers" who are "terribly unrepresentative of our country. What is it that I learned at Harvard Law School that makes me peculiarly qualified to determine such profound moral and ethical questions as whether there should be a right to abortion, whether there should be same-sex marriage, whether there should be a right to suicide? It has nothing to do with the law. Even Yale Law School doesn't teach that stuff."