Saturday, April 18, 2015

Is this getting ridiculous or what? Photo ID for Food Stamp Purchases?

Yea, let’s keep dumping on the poor lower paid worker using food stamps. It feels so good.

They've always said, “busy hands are happy hands,” and nowhere is that more evident than in our own “small government” republican legislature (it’s small “r” republican now because they’re  not a legitimate party, just a bunch of taxpayer supported petty bullies too weak to make in the private sector).

And GOP voters continue to betray their “small government” credentials (assuming this myth was ever true in the first place), by not asking why they’re seeing an array of convoluted regulations when government was supposed to get out of the way. 

I've got a feeling it has more to do with conservative voter envy over "the lifestyles of the poor and downtrodden." These dummies are still getting mad over “large screen plasma TV’s,” despite the fact no one’s made a tube TV for decades. Here's another retreaded unoriginal idea from the right wing:
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, says the proposal is an effort to crack down on waste, fraud and abuse and to make programs like FoodShare more efficient. But detractors say it would shame those living in poverty, with no discernible benefit.
The only thing stopping republicans right now are federal laws preventing these onerous added layers of “special scrutiny.” It’s all about equal treatment under the law. If charge or debit card customers don’t have to show a photo ID, why would someone on food stamps?  These idiotic ideas would be on the fast track if the GOP ever turned programs like this into state run block grants, free of government fairness “strings.”

Kremer is a sick paranoid.  
Penalize the poor, deduct $3.50 worth of food. 
"It sickens me to see all of the fraud and abuses … From some of the tenants in our rental homes that make more than I do and can't afford rent to the people using Quest cards at Potawatomi or using these benefits to purchase steaks for their dogs because dog food is not covered. They are there as a crutch and a lifeline, not a lifestyle."
Let me see if I've got this right; government always screws things up and can’t do anything right, but it can do a great job running big government food stamp pantry outlets?
Kremer also wrote in his "term paper" … limiting the use of QUEST cards to privately-run food pantries overseen by the government. " 
Heck, republicans want to create a federal regulation requiring the photo ID. The argument is this: It would crack down on the sales of cards on social media or the black market. But that's a lot of BS too: 1.3 percent in 2009-11.

And this will blow your mind: Talk about irresponsible public policy. Kremer is willing to make this malicious change, knowing the law is flawed and unworkable:
The central problem is that an EBT card is issued to the head of a household, but all members of that household are allowed to make purchases with it, per federal law. Kremer acknowledges that the ability for other household members to use a card presents a problem for his bill. "The way we’ve drafted the bill is it would still be head of household getting the card with the photo ID on it, but everyone else in the household still would have to be able to use that card," Kremer said. "So it’s kind of, yeah, a double-edged sword. It works in some cases and won’t in others."
But screw it, right Kremer, because that's just too much work to try and solve.

But we know what this is all about really, and this feigned "we're just worried about fraud" thing has gone beyond credulity:
A 2013 move to put photo IDs on EBT cards in Massachusetts prompted complaints from the USDA that the state was using the requirement to improperly cut benefits and similar concerns were raised when Maine implemented the requirement in 2014.

Scot Ross, executive director of the liberal group One Wisconsin Now, flagged the bill as an "appalling" move … He said Wisconsinites are struggling financially in large part due to policies passed by Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican legislative majority. "Shaming a mother in poverty who's trying to feed her kids isn't going to make her less poor. Basing policies on ridiculous allegations isn't going to solve any real problems," Ross said. "Jesse Kremer needs to provide the evidence to back up his call for this despicable policy, and if he can't, the first thing he should do after apologizing to the people of Wisconsin is resign."

Friday, April 17, 2015

Really, Justice Abrahamson is making the State Supreme Court the laughing Stock? Not the Tea Party Kangaroo Court?

Just guessing but the court became a laughing stock when the nation read about how one particular conservative justice (David Prosser) decided to choke a liberal justice (Ann Walsh Bradley) over a simple disagreement. Or when he spewed profanities and threats at the chief justice. Ya think?
   
Add to that this amazing self-promotion; swing vote Justice Patrick Crooks ripped into Chief Justice Abrahamson for challenging the new constitutional amendment allowing the conservative majority to oust her...just after throwing his hat into the chief justice ring. Would I kid you?

National laughing stock? No doubt about it.   
(Crooks) had hoped she would act with more dignity after voters approved the change."I think it's not only sad, it's unfortunate. I won't give you my view of the merits of that lawsuit, but I will tell you I think it's something that should not have been done. We've become a little bit of a laughingstock, or at least she has."

In the interview, Crooks said he was considering seeking the position of chief justice himself after some of his colleagues talked to him about it. He declined to name them.
Laughing stock? My god yes. Just as interesting, Republicans have also pushed capping the age limit to eject Abrahamson, setting it at 75 or 80. That would be bad news for Crooks:
The 76-year-old justice also held out the possibility of running for re-election next year, despite suggesting to his colleagues last year that he would not seek another 10-year term.
One Party Authority over Everything: Am I the only one who’s noticed how the conservative activist justices have wreaked havoc on the court since becoming the majority, and then have the nerve to complain about all that havoc. Didn't you know, it's those minority liberal justices again.
  
So wouldn't it be better if the conservatives took over the court, becoming team players, where one philosophy rules the day? None of that dissent stuff. Crooks said exactly that…be amazed:
Crooks distanced himself from Abrahamson, saying he had a "very different" judicial philosophy than her. Regardless, he argued the decision on who should lead the court should be about who is best able to bring members of the court together, not a "philosophical tug of war." He said he felt he could serve that function. "I view the job of chief justices I think very differently than Justice Abrahamson does. I think that the chief justice is a first among equals. I think the approach that's appropriate is that you're a team player and you try to get everyone involved in the team."
Conservative voters would never tolerate tactics like those listed above from the Democrats. Like for instance; Republican politicians actually promise to nominate only conservative candidates to the courts; only conservatives have the higher calling from God and the founding fathers; “Corporations are people too” lobbyists are encouraged to spend, and win in those decidedly corporate friendly courts.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Republicans/Walker not on the same page as Wisconsinites by a long shot.

We've heard it from Republicans for years; they’re doing what the public elected them to do. Elections have consequences. Not a positive sounding message. Really, the public wants this?

The public is saying no.

Is this enough to get conservative voters to “throw the bums out,” and go with a Democrat? We can only hope.
Gov. Scott Walker's approval rating of 41 percent is its lowest in three years, according to the latest Marquette Law School Poll … the public overwhelmingly opposes Walker's proposed cuts to K-12 education and the University of Wisconsin System, the poll shows.
How could a guy get it so wrong? The media never seems to ask that one simple question. Walker and the majority Republicans can try to adjust the original budget, but that doesn't change the governor’s out-of-touch and out of whack priorities. And the public doesn't like it.

Walker’s promise to do for the country, what he’s done for Wisconsin, is not really a good thing:
Those polled who said Wisconsin is headed in the right direction -- 43 percent in the recent poll compared to 51 percent in October.
And Dumb Ron Johnson isn't fooling anybody either, according to the poll.
And former Sen. Russ Feingold, a Democrat, outpaces the man who defeated him, Republican Sen. Ron Johnson 54-38 in a hypothetical matchup for 2016.
Hyperbolic BS about their Success: This is common theme for Republican governors running for president. Almost all of them are tanking their state economies with over-the-top tax cuts, forcing their legislatures to make draconian, just to pay their existing bills. And they want to do that nationwide?
The poll also showed widespread opposition to Walker's proposal to cut $300 million from the University of Wisconsin System: 70 percent oppose the proposed UW System cuts. Lawmakers have also suggested possible restoration of a portion of the proposed cuts.
Like that’ll be enough to make things right? Or how about this no brainer:
$127 million from K-12 schools: 78 percent oppose the school cuts, which Franklin called an "eye catching level of opinion." 
Buying Walker’s tax cut bullshit for just $5 a year…don’t think so. Scottie actually thinks this silly statement explains away everything:
He said there has been “little or no talk” about how the budget lowers property taxes and caps UW System undergraduate tuition. The budget lowers property taxes on an average Wisconsin home by $5 in each of the next two years. “Those are all really positive things and really nobody is talking about those things,” Walker said. “They’re only talking about things where there might be some level of disagreement.”
The master of understatement…yes, funny thing, we’re talking about a very disagreeable budget.
The poll also found that 60 percent of those surveyed opposed Walker's plan to make the Department of Natural Resources board advisory only, putting more control in the hands of the administration.
Gee, who could have predicted such opposition. Certainly not Walker, who seems surprised:
Republican leaders of the state budget committee announced this week they removed that proposal from the budget.
Last, but definitely not least: 
In a potential 2016 matchup, Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, leads Walker 52-40.

• 54 percent oppose, and 37 percent support, lifting the 1,000-student cap on vouchers statewide, as Walker has proposed.

• 48 oppose Walker's plan to kill funding for state tests linked to the Common Core State Standards in math and language arts.

• 44 percent oppose making those on Senior Care drug coverage use Medicare Part-D while 30 percent support the idea. One quarter of those surveyed had no opinion.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dumb Ron Johnson loses ObamaCare lawsuit!!! Court to Dummy: "He could not be accused of participating in an illegal scheme if he declined to participate."

Poor Dumb Ron Johnson. Once a fool always a fool...
A federal appeals panel sided with a lower court Tuesday to throw out a lawsuit over Obamacare brought by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and one of his aides.
Even funnier than some of the things Johnson's says is the judges decision to throw the suit out. I just love this:
A three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago on Tuesday unanimously agreed: "Respectfully, we do not see how Senator Johnson's reputation could be sullied or his electability diminished by being offered, against his will, a benefit that he then decided to refuse," the panel wrote. "He could not be accused of participating in an illegal scheme if he declined to participate."
Yikes, did I detect a little sarcasm? Of course, like the clown we know him to be, Johnson had a quick unintentionally humorous comeback:
In a statement, Johnson expressed frustration at losing for a second time because of a "legal technicality." "We've lost a battle in court, but we will continue to move forward in our effort to return sanity, fairness and balance to government on behalf of the American people."
 Isn't it the court moving forward with sanity, fairness and balance?

Walker tax cuts a wash? Maybe, as Wisconsinites vote to raise area taxes to fund their schools.

Just how disconnected are the Republicans from reality as they cut, cut, cut taxes?

Well, just take a look at the number of passed school referendums; these are tax increases. While Scott Walker and the Republicans can brag about their cut taxes, communities all over the state are raising them, pretty much negating any savings.  

It's odd to think this doesn't send them a message. Taxpayers get it, they understand, and they're a whole lot more responsible than their own elected officials.

The Republican obsession over tax cuts and their feigned concern for the taxpayers doesn't come close to the public's desire to spend money wisely, and not to mention educate the next generation.
Wisconsin voters approved ballot initiatives in 43 school districts (in April 2015), voluntarily raising property taxes in order to fund academics or improve infrastructure in their districts.Wisconsin voters approved ballot initiatives in 27 school districts (Nov. 2014).Wisconsin voters approved ballot initiatives in 25 districts (April 2014).
Since the Walker authority took over, Wisconsin schools have seen rapid declines and increases in all the wrong places. The graphs below, from the Wisconsin Budget Project, prove that. Thanks to our already high ranking in the country, actual declines may not be as noticeable, at least, right away.

Obama's Affordable Care Act getting better all the time.

The numbers are looking great for the Affordable Care Act, and that means everything the Republicans said about it were wrong. 

But conservatives have a knack for flat out ignoring the truth, counting on their voters to never know the difference, and they'd be right. One of the biggest twists on reality should be coming in late June, when the supreme court could decided that despite the ACA's tax credits going to both state and federal exchanges (what congress intended) - it really wasn't what congress intended.


Opponents of the law argue that its literal language only allows the government to subsidize premiums in states that set up their own online insurance markets. Most have not done so, defaulting to the federal HealthCare.gov.

Supporters say that while some provisions may be confusing when read in isolation, the intent of Congress was to help consumers in every state pay their premiums. 
So the progress we've made with the ACA, despite being premised on the flawed private insurance industry model may go up in smoke, thanks to what is decidedly an activist conservative court of justices legislating from the bench.

Here's another chart that no Republican can argue with...which is why they won't acknowledge how wrong they were about ObamaCare being a "job killer:"



Monday, April 13, 2015

Walker embraces Bush failed and disastrous Preemptive War Policy, with Dumb Ron Johnson's support.

If there ever was a failed policy, and an outright scary one at that, it was the Bush/Cheney preemptive war policy. It made the U.S. the global bully. It also went horribly wrong, spreading al Qaeda throughout Iraq and spin off groups like ISIS.

What, learn from the past...never!!! Scott Walker apparently wasn't paying attention when we were fighting two wars on the credit card, a common problem on the right, where petty distractions have run amok.

Walker made it clear, preemptive, never ending war is coming. Walker mentioned watching the horrific ISIS videos. Maybe it's just me, but I never felt the need to watch a caged prisoner burned to death or get others get beheaded. Guys like Scott Walker had to watch, and take in the moment. And like your typical conservative terror junkie, it motivated him to breathlessly fear monger an already paranoid tea party gun toting audience.



While Sen. Tom Cotton thinks bombing Iran, for just a couple of days is cool (it won't result in any kind of military blowback?), our own frightened Dumb Ron Johnson is taking Walker's side; war, war, war. Wipe ISIS off the map:
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said his preferred method for dealing with ISIS is to "wipe them off the face of the Earth" as he blasted President Obama for being too soft on the issue.

"For me, defeat is, you know, defeat. Get rid of them, kill them! Wipe them off the face of the Earth. Wipe that evil, that barbarity off the face of the Earth. President Obama's definition of defeat is 'Let's kind of just contain this thing, kick it down the road and let the next guy or gal take care of it.'"
Johnson even thinks we should have stayed in Iraq. Both Bush and Obama tried to keep some military presence in Iraq but backed away when told our soldiers would be exposed to the whims of Iraqi law. Johnson is unaware the facts, as usual:
Johnson also blasted Obama for pulling U.S troops from Iraq, saying "the war had been won" but that the U.S should have stayed to build a stable democracy. Obama, Johnson said, "bugged out," causing U.S. casualties and money spent to be "wasted." Johnson told WisPolitics.com afterward that he would not vote to authorize troops to fight ISIS in Syria and elsewhere because he doubts Obama's commitment to success. 
As an added bonus, here's my little tribute to that grating Walker "head-bob & believe" gimmick:


NRA Myths Busted & Gun crazy convention goers were sitting targets for armed attackers (yet nothing happened).

It appears our fanatical gun drooling concealed carry bots don't even trust their fellow armed and obsessed "law abiding citizens:"
The National Rifle Association will hold its annual convention April 10-12 in Nashville. Here's a breakdown of what you need to know:  "16 acres of guns," according to an ad for the event; All guns on the convention floor will be nonoperational, with the firing pins removed, and any guns purchased during the NRA convention will have to be picked up at a Federal Firearms License dealer…
Media Matter's hit the nail on the head by throwing the NRA's own talking points back at them. Funny, gun hobbyists have not yet responded to this obvious hypocrisy:
NRA To Host "Marquee" Event In A "Gun-Free Zone" After Describing Such Places As Advertisements For An "Insane Killer" - NRA's Wayne LaPierre Recently Fear-mongered About Terror Attack On Gun-Free Mall.
At the same time, new research is backing up what has been painfully obvious to many of us; guns kill people, and don't make us safer. What a revelation...from MotherJones:
New Harvard Research Debunks the NRA's Favorite Talking Points: 
Anyone familiar with the gun debate has heard the talking points of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights advocates: "Carrying a gun for self-defense makes you safer." Or: "If only more ordinary citizens were armed, they could stop mass shootings" ... these arguments don't stand up to scrutiny. After the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, commented on another long-running assertion from the gun lobby: "There is no evidence that having more guns reduces crime," he told the New York Times.
Here's a little background, and a graph showing some of their findings:
Hemenway says that some in the media have continued to treat such assertions as legitimate points of debate. That leaves the public thinking, "Okay, so there's disagreement on this," he says … so he set about surveying a wide range of experts on guns. The Harvard team has completed nine surveys so far, with about 100 researchers responding to each: They show that a clear majority of experts do not buy the NRA's arguments (see the growing dataset here). 






Illinois Tornado captured in Rochelle IL, live...

Did you ever see a tornado close up? You will now...




NRA's LaPierre rally's gun toting cowards with unmistakable racist dig at Obama.

From Media Matters, this bombshell of a comment:







Hillary's edge? Her Scooby Van U.S. Tour....

Take that Scott Walker...


Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Truth about Scott Walker's Cowardice and Deceptions!

Esquire columnist Charles Pierce writes the way I think every reporter should, in that they should be calling a lie...a lie.  How novel. The endless stream of political nonsense we’re getting now would not exist if we had only held candidates to one simple standard; don’t lie.

Let's look at Scott Walker's deceptions and rank cowardice through the eye's of Charlie Pierce, truth teller.

Deception: This is real reporting, from the best Scott Walker critic out there. Think about it; when it's the truth vs the Republican agenda, how could it not sound partisan? 
Pierce: "Consider, for example, today's piece in Tiger Beat On The Potomac, in which is discussed the early days of the campaign of Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage their Midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin. What he says on a number of important issues -- labor rights, women's rights, the environment -- while he is running for an office has little or nothing to do with what he actually does after being elected. The man is an unprincipled scoundrel.

He's used to wrapping his policies in a soft blanket of moderate rhetoric that can leave room for interpretation. When he sought re-election in 2014, Walker didn't brag about his efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. Nor did he mention his opposition to abortion in all cases, including rape and incest. Instead, after signing a bill with a provision that would likely have shuttered a Wisconsin abortion clinic had the courts not tossed it, Walker ran an ad where he declared "there's no doubt in my mind the decision of whether or not to end a pregnancy is an agonizing one." And he said the bill leaves the final decision on abortion "to a woman and her doctor."

This would be what many of us would call a "lie."

It was textbook Walker. But the language of the ad also underscores one of the factors Wisconsin insiders believe has contributed to Walker's early struggles on the national campaign trail—his tendency to create his own reality. First of all, this "problem" is not going to mean fk-all to the Republican base, because the Republican base is filled with crazoids, Bible-bangers, and people with short-wave radios for brains. All they know is that Walker knuckled all the people of whom The Base is terrified.
Piece wasn't done:
He's a half-bright messianic fraud with the political instincts of a wolverine and the integrity of a gaboon viper … you can already see forming the notion that Walker's fundamental mendacity can be washed in the blood of the Lamb and repurposed as a clever campaign strategy.

Scott Walker's Cowardice Exposed: This goes out to Brian, who asked me why no ones pointed out how Walker hid from the protesters at the Capitol, and then the public during his statewide private appearances, the opposite of being "Unintimidated." Pierce explains:
It is not an idle observation to note that Scott Walker was not at his house when the loud people showed up … keep in mind Scott Walker's entire campaign is going to be based, not on his achievements as governor, because there are none, but on his reputed "courage" in taking on the angry mobs of English teachers back in 2011 and 2012.

There are a number of things to remember when he trots this fairy tale out a couple of gozillion times … At the time of the Wisconsin protests of 2011 , Walker was not half as brave as he is today while sitting in the various green rooms. Most of the time, he hid in his office, or among friendly audiences, or behind the Capitol Police force that he and his pet legislature empowered to restrict in entirely new ways the free speech rights that existed within the capitol building in Madison. People were busted in the capitol for singing (see above), for holding signs, and for reading books in the legislative galleries. 

At the height of the protests in 2011, Walker rescheduled the annual lighting of the state Christmas tree from noon, when the capitol is busiest, to 8:30 in the morning. To cover his cowardly maneuver, he invited World War II veterans to watch, so he could hide behind them, too.

They were his constituents, singing in the Capitol rotunda. They were his constituents, petitioning their government with their grievances. He could have met with them, or some of them, or any of them. He was their governor, too, at least in theory. Instead, Scott Walker hid in his office, hid with the deep pockets of his political puppet masters, changed the rules so he could hide behind his personal police force, hid this very week behind his aging grandparents and in the soft confines of Fox News, and is now pitching a book about how "Unintimidated" he was, the essential mythology on which he is out there now running for president. You should clip and save this, because, apparently, we are terrified by this man, who never saw a lifeboat from which he wouldn't throw a child to save himself.
I found this comment on the WSJ story "Walker Strikes Hawkish Tone" to be right on:
The little weasel who hid in the tunnel between the Capitol and the parking garage for most of the Wisconsin Uprising is now "hawkish"? The uneducated career politician who lacked the ability to negotiate with a teachers' union is now an expert in multinational nuclear talks in the Middle East? The "fiscal conservative" who has given Wisconsin a projected two year budget deficit of $2 billion has now declared he has created a budget "surplus"? Why is anyone paying attention to Walker? $$

Justice Abrahamson's Lawsuit brings much needed focus on GOP scheme to "Get Shirley!!!"

The Republican idea of calming the states highest court, by replacing the supposed divisive more liberal leaning Justice Shirley Abrahamson, is a fiction mentioned at Dominique Paul Noth great blog site that critiques the new constitutional amendment. Here are a few blunt but true little known facts you won't get in the newspapers about our justices:
Rotating the fate of justice among conservatives assumes their politics make them collegial and it sure hasn't.  Law clerks current and former have stories to tell. The WMC’s chosen heir as chief justice, Patricia Roggensack, “can be a more difficult piece of work than Shirley ever was,” one told me.  Michael Gableman is openly scoffed at by his colleagues as a lesser intellectual who needs “simple things explained to him at length.”  David Prosser is seen as an unpredictable gadfly “bouncing off the walls of procedure.” And so forth. 
Abrahamson's lawsuit was quite detailed too, a fact not mentioned or analyzed by reporters. PolitiFact rated "Mostly False" the idea voters reelected her as chief justice because "the term “chief justice” in never on the ballot." That may be true, but her campaign certainly did without question:
It's not like we didn't know what the
GOP was up to...
And her ability to seize on legal holes in regulations ... Such as the continuing argument that Wisconsin voters didn't know what they were voting for back in April 2009. As the lawsuit details with evidence, “Wisconsin’s Chief” was a central statement in every piece of campaign literature and even in ads run on conservative talk radio. “Fair. Independent. Wisconsin’s Chief” was the slogan and voters would have to be living in a cave to not know they were choosing the chief justice for the next 10 years. Her campaign committee was called the “Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson Re-election Committee,” and the tagline “Wisconsin’s Chief” was everywhere.

“It was clear that a vote for her was a vote to continue her in the office of chief justice,” the lawsuit details. “...that theme of continuity in the chief justice position and would not have sought re-election if there was a question she would not continue in that role.” 
Aside from the Republican attempts to declare her too old by capping a justices age on the court, a bill still on the sidelines, the GOP authority has abandoned any subtleties in their push to remove her:
Several legislators cited state Sen. Tom Tiffany as one example of a politician assuring the press and centrist lobbying groups it was not about Shirley while assuring WMC supporters it definitely was.   

Even their own right-wing commentators took their leaders to task for not admitting this was the “Get Shirley” amendment. 
That's right, right-wingers were extremely obvious about the Republican constitutional amendment:
But let's not pretend we all don't know what's going on here. By one read: Republicans in power are using that power to hunt out and destroy pots of liberal opposition. By another read: They are unrigging the game. Maybe it's both. But just because it's political doesn't mean it's wrong. In this case, anyway.

Specifically, voters will be asked today whether they want to change how the chief justice is appointed. They should make that change.
Why conservative voters didn't think it was also odd to see big money spent on this change is anybodies guess, but the silly idea the change would bring "democracy" to the court is just plain comical, and effective:
Supporters of the change — including Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s group Vote Yes for Democracy, which spent at least $600,000 to get it adopted — argued it’s undemocratic to have the position go automatically to the justice with the most experience.
And yet nationally, people were shaking their heads in amazement:
Justice at Stake, a national judicial watchdog group based in Washington, issued a statement following adoption of the amendment saying a “siege of special interest money” and “big money hardball politics” led to its adoption.

While 22 other states use some sort of similar selection process, changing from one system to another and replacing the current chief justice is unprecedented, said Bill Raftery, an analyst with National Center for State Courts based in Williamsburg, Virginia. “There’s nothing comparable,” he said. “This has just not happened before. ... It’s exceptional and unique.”

Friday, April 10, 2015

Holy crap, Sheriff David Clarke is Insane, literally!!! And he's allowed to carry a gun?

Why Milwaukee keeps electing this friggin' lunatic is beyond me. You can read his comments here, or if you're feeling up to it, watch in disbelief as this showboating instigator of gun violence in Milwaukee panders shamelessly to the drooling gun toting freaks afraid of their own shadow:
Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke stirred up the audience at the National Rifle Association national convention on Friday with an outlandish “proposition” involving the Great Seal of the United States, Right Wing Watch reported.
“You know, the one with the American bald eagle holding an olive branch in one claw and arrows in the other. We should take those arrows out of the eagle’s claws and replace them with a semi-automatic rifle, preferably one that shoots M-855 ammunition.”
With a total disregard for history, this “law enforcement” official doesn’t get the symbols of “peace and war:”
The seal, which was first used in 1782, is kept in the Secretary of State’s office. According to the State Department, the olive branch and the arrows “denote the power of peace & war.”
“There is nothing else I would rather hold in my hand when fighting government tyranny than a Bible in my left hand that I use to swear to uphold the Constitution, and in my right hand a Winchester rifle, a symbol of freedom and liberty in the United States of America.” 
 Jaw dropping that someone like this is in charge of anything:



Walker's "Bain Capital" takeover of Wisconsin.

Like Mitt Romney’s time at Bain Capital, Scott Walker sees himself as a “turnaround specialist.”

Politics and business are so closely tied together now that holding office is no different than being a corporate CEO.

Applying the same concept to state government, Walker is clearing a path to the White House in the same way business clears a path to higher profits. I thought Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi came the closest to describing the similarities when he wrote about Mitt Romney. Like Walker’s transportation borrowing and his “divide and conquer” strategy for unions and taxpayer support for the public “commons,” the philosophy is identical to the corporate model:
The new borrow-and-conquer economy was morally sanctified by an almost religious faith in the grossly euphemistic concept of "creative destruction," and amounted to a total abdication of collective responsibility by America's rich, whose new thing was making assloads of money in ever-shorter campaigns of economic conquest, sending the proceeds offshore, and shrugging as the great towns and factories their parents and grandparents built were shuttered and boarded up, crushed by a true prairie fire of debt.
Walker takes Bain Capital approach to state economy: With massive amounts of corporate spending and really dirty politics, Walker stayed on as Wisconsin CEO and turnaround artist. Like Bain Capital, Walker is stripping away everything; public jobs, the UW, parks, transportation and costly environmental protections from the state budget, while providing a huge return for corporate donors. Declaring success, Walker will then move on to a better job leaving Wisconsinites behind to face the consequences of his actions.

This wasn't a concept I came up with. Credit former candidate for state supreme court justice and Marquette University law professor Ed Fellone. Listen to his response (1:05 min. in) to Walker's budget and conservative pundit and financial planner Keene Winters on WPR’s Joy Cardin Show:



Taibbi also wrote this, again reminding me of Walker:
Obama ran on "change" in 2008, but Romney (Walker) represents a far more real and seismic shift in the American landscape … the frontman of an economic revolution, in which transactions are manufactured instead of products, wealth is generated without accompanying prosperity … while American communities fall apart. It's a vision of society that's crazy, vicious and almost unbelievably selfish, yet it's running for president, and it has a chance of winning. 

Common Core Math for Dummies (Parents)

Voxdotcom put this nice video together for those dumbass parents that continue to whine about not getting math 20 to 30 year after they left school baffled by math. Leave all of us on Facebook and twitter alone...please, we think you're dumb:



I get a slew of conservative tweets everyday, but on this subject, I thought this one might blow a few minds:


Oh sure, as a father of two boys, 12 and 16 years old, I have contempt for parents? I'm assuming conservative support of clueless really dumb parents is another example of "American Exceptionalism?"
 
I was directed to this self help book, thanks to a tweet from Christopher, that just might be a big help to the conservative twitter crowd:


Thursday, April 9, 2015

Walker's Wisconsin ruled by "No Climate Tax Pledge" to Koch's, and banning Climate Change Science.

It's all becoming so much clearer now, after I stumble on a curious Scott Walker reference and link in a recent Huffington Post story.

The nationally embarrassing story making the rounds? The Walker administration's copy cat Florida policy banning any mention of climate change at a Wisconsin state agency.

But that story has a history, like this one from the Cap Times' Steven Elbow back in July of 2013:
Scott Walker among signers of Koch-backed 'No Climate Tax Pledge:' You’ve no doubt heard about Grover Norquist’s “Taxpayer Protection Pledge.” Well, there’s a new pledge in town … This pledge is called the “No Climate Tax Pledge,” but it might as well be called the “Koch Brothers Protection Pledge,” since it was devised by a group co-founded and backed by the billionaire brothers.

Signers of the pledge, now numbering 411, promise to "oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue” ... They include all Republicans, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, U.S. Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner, Sean Duffy and Reid Ribble, state Sens. Leah Vukmir, Alberta Darling, Rep. Glenn Grothman and Mary Lazich, and state Reps. Dale Kooyenga, Don Pridemore, Jim Ott and Bill Kramer.Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch … for ideological reasons and because of the state's wealth of frac sand.
While Walker didn't openly suggest banning all references to climate change, he's made it clear the idea itself has no place in his government. These losers are okay with not playing it safe, you know, just for the heck of it. If they're wrong, they will be taking us down with them.

From Ed Schultz, Sen. Chris Larson and the Progressive's Ruth Conniff help the nation understand just how bizarre our Humpty Dumptyish state treasurer really is about climate change:



Here's Chris Hayes with the only person on a panel of 3, not to vote for the climate change ban, Secretary of State Doug La Follette:



Attorney General Brad Schimel wasted no time blowing any credibility he might have had left after his fumbling bumbling campaign for the top cop spot. Is he not a real life Homer Simpson?



Sheriff Clarke admits he's not a Democrat after all and Justice Prosser is a Republican working for big business. Thank you.

From the Vicki McKenna show, via Sly's podcast, conservative and phony Milwaukee Democrat Sheriff David Clarke betrayed every Republican secret.
1. Clarke whined how Democrats dared to challenge activist Justice David Prosser's reelection to the supreme court and came within 2,000 votes of defeating him. Clarke's angry tirade revealed...
a. Prosser is a Republican lackey who had..."the machinery of the Walker campaign and Republican Party behind him." Gee, doesn't sound like a fair impartial guy to me?

b. Clarke complained the Republicans, yes, Republicans, "should have fielded a candidate...and kickstart all of their mechanisms like the Manufacturers group and whatnot..." Again, Prosser is a Republican legislator on the bench working for big business, and isn't the least bit impartial.

c. But here's the surprise...Clarke really isn't a Democrat, just deceptively runs as one: "...because we've got a 4 to 3 margin. When I say we, the conservatives on the supreme court." Thank you David.

DNR hopes to kill scientific research that is "not being well aligned with program needs." "Policy would drive science instead of the other way around."

I didn't think it was possible to go beyond Scott Walker’s proposal to eliminate 18 scientists at the DNR; 
"Wisconsin DNR mulls dissolving … the agency’s Bureau of Science Services."
We saw it in the way the deer herds are now being managed; by hearsay and the desires of special interests groups, not research and science. 
Critics, both inside and outside the agency, say such a reorganization would rob the state of impartial science that should guide critical natural resource management decisions … management would more likely be driven by policy decisions and politics.
This is all politics and an outright taking of our government, driven by colluding lawmakers and businesses that have their own plans for Wisconsin’s great outdoors. Since no one believes anything the Democrats say (unless it’s backed up by at least one agreeing Republican), let’s go back to President Theodore Roosevelt, who’s on the mark warning about what is happening right now should be enough:
"It is also vandalism wantonly to destroy or to permit the destruction of what is beautiful in nature, whether it be a cliff, a forest, or a species of mammal or bird. Here in the United States we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping-grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy forests, and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals -- not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at last it looks as if our people were awakening. We have become great because of the lavish use of our resources. But the time has come to inquire seriously what will happen when our forests are gone, when the coal, the iron, the oil, and the gas are exhausted, when the soils have still further impoverished and washed into the streams, polluting the rivers, denuding the fields and obstructing navigation."
Cathy Stepp’s DNR has outright admitted that the latest is “an effort to address the legislative perception of research not being well aligned with program needs.” Not clear enough yet? What happens when science says something is a bad idea, like iron mining? It’s called “biased:”
State Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst criticized a bureau report on environmental concerns surrounding the now-defunct plan from Gogebic Taconite to build an open-pit iron mine in northwestern Wisconsin. He said the report was biased against the mine. Tiffany also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that he was not supportive of the bureau doing research related to climate change because the science behind global warming is still “theoretical.”
Side-note: Isn't it bizarre how Republicans say climate change is theoretical, but then stop all the research that could turn that theory into fact? 

So who needs the
...hundreds of papers that, among many other things, evaluate the removal of phosphorus from Wisconsin lakes, the impact of lakeshore development, how timber cutting might affect breeding birds, fish surveys in the spring to help determine the health of the state’s fisheries … monitor air pollution levels and study the potential impact of practices such as frac sand and iron mining.
There is only bright spot: environmentalists could be big winners in court:
Dave Clausen, former chairman and member of the state NRB, which sets policy for the agency, said moving researchers out of an independent bureau and into other divisions will destroy objective science in the agency. He said researchers … would more likely be told to do research that only supports the division’s goals, even though those goals may be driven by a political agenda. In other words, he added, policy would drive science instead of the other way around. 

Clausen added that the lack of independent science could come back to haunt the agency if its management decisions are challenged in court. “When you start making decisions on hunter or user whimsy, you lose your ability to defend yourself,” Clausen said.
What makes the cuts to the DNR so surprising:
The DNR, for example, by its own admission, is more than 20 years behind on a state wetlands inventory
They've only been able to inspect 20% of the sand mines due to staff shortages. Republicans are bad managers and bad at budgeting, since they cut the taxes that would have paid for some of this.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Losing Climate Change battle, Republicans Ban Issue at Agency overseeing Public land.

Big government Republicans have decided to win the climate change argument by simply not letting anybody talk about it. Ta-da.

This was a big enough story for even Bloomberg Business to cover because it was so bizarre. We really are becoming the laughing stock of the nation.

State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who ran on the pledge to eliminate his position, caused a stir his first few days when he banned the New York Times, saying "We live in Wisconsin and we don't need a subscription to this publication." 

Adamczyk summed up the ban this way:
It just seems silly that we would have to. But I’m not the one that’s been engaging on this topic for years.”
This from a guy trying to destroy his own office. By the way, who would vote for someone promising to blow things up?
Discussing climate change is out of bounds for workers at a state agency in Wisconsin. So is any work related to climate change—even responding to e-mails about the topic … Wisconsin’s Board of Commissioners of Public Lands overseeing an agency that benefits schools and communities in the state, enacted the staff ban on climate change. 

The board’s executive director, Tia Nelson, the daughter of Gaylord Nelson, the U.S. Senator from Wisconsin who established Earth Day in 1970, had spent on-the-job time working on global warming in 2007 and ’08—at the request of the governor. “It honestly never occurred to me that being asked by a sitting governor to serve on a citizen task force would be objectionable,” she said.
This is becoming standard operating procedure for Republicans, who believe banning speech will silence their opponents and make it all go away:
The measure affecting a small number of Wisconsin state workers follows an alleged effort by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to stop employees from using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in official communications.

The move to ban an issue leaves staff in the unusual position of not being able to speak about how climate change might affect lands it oversees. “Having been on this board for close to 30 years, I've never seen such nonsense,” Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette, a Democrat. 
Nonsense and "silly," banning topics Republican oppose just substantiates what I've been saying all along about right wing authoritarianism. Not quite the vision of the founding fathers: 
State Treasurer Matt Adamczyk, a Republican who sits on the board said that if Nelson receives an e-mail asking about climate change, “she can forward it to us”—the board—“and we can all look at it. I would prefer that we didn’t have to prohibit stuff like this. It just seems silly that we would have to. But I’m not the one that’s been engaging on this topic for years.”
Yes, silly, and the ultimate in big brother big Republican government.