Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Cowards! Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio run from responsibility to reform Immigration policy.

The strategy to block all legislation as a way to hurt the Obama's administration now and historically, is inadvertently turning the Republicans into a party that feels comfortable not really managing anything. They've gotten used to it.

The Washington Post's Greg Sargent took the media on when he tweeted the digs pictured here against reporters who won't ask a simple question.


Ed Schultz took a look at the public's frustration with the growing distance between their elected officials and themselves as the frequency of town halls declined to almost nothing. I've included at the end of the clip Paul Ryan's decision to shutdown a few "Dreamers" who showed up at a recent book signing. Ryan even coordinated a security team to escort curious Americans off the premises.



Because town halls are becoming a thing of the past, any venue works now for citizens trying to get answers. But Marco Rubio is finding out the hard way at such an open meeting:



Wisconsinites take the simple act of voting for granted (until it will be too late to do anything about it), new poll number says.

Despite the media coverage of voter suppression and disenfranchisement with restrictive voter ID laws, the public doesn't seem to think it's something they need to bother with, like it could never affect them now or in the future.

In the new Marquette University Poll, this stunning result stood out. jsonline:
Sixty-three percent favored photo ID as a requirement to vote, 32% disapproved.
That's scary. Maybe it's been too easy to vote. After all, most of us just walk up to a table, sign a book, get a number and vote. No big deal right? Until they ask you for a photo ID.
You don't need any of this anymore!!!

Before voter ID, people were simply asked to bring any number of ways to prove who they were. With the new law, a photo ID is required, making every other form completely useless.

Oh, but there's more:
NY Times: Just how many voters will be frozen out of local and state elections is unclear. For some, the requirements can be cumbersome: Women who married and changed their names, for example, must show not only a birth certificate but also a marriage certificate. An older resident who moved here after decades of voting in another state may have trouble obtaining a birth certificate, or strain to pay the fee to obtain it.  
It's even worse in some states where student ID's aren't accepted, but gun permits are. Anything goes. And none of this includes poll locations, reduced hours and days to vote...the list is only going to lengthen with time.

Burke favored among likely voters, 48.6% to Walker’s 46.5%. AG Democratic candidate Susan Happ 42% to Brad Schimel’s 32%.

Here are the latest quick numbers on the major races in November:
WisPolitics: The latest Marquette University Law School poll found among likely voters, it was 48.6% for Burke and 46.5% for Walker. For just registered voters, 47.5% backed Walker, while 44.1% favored Burke. In July, registered voters backed Walker 46-45, while likely voters supported Burke 47-46.

In the Attorney Generals race; the poll found 40% of registered voters favored Happ, while 33% backed Schimel. 24% were undecided or didn't know. Among likely voters, 42 percent backed Happ, while 32 percent supported Schimel.
Here are few more interesting answers in the poll:

Where's Media apology for hyped untrue "Vets are dying on waiting lists" story.

The Republican narrative on just about every topic of public interest is proving to be not just dangerous to the credibility of the media pushing it, but is souring people on their own governments ability to safe guard their interests. Awareness is one thing, but lying to get attention is another.





The discovery of the Vets waiting list cover-up and falsification of records is without a doubt horrific, but to say veterans died while waiting for treatment, and then running with that story for weeks is unforgivable. In any health care system world wide, you'll always be able to find a number of stories where patients waiting for care got lost in the system and died. But what was done to the veterans department was a politically calculated attack by Republicans to tear away at the Obama administration.
WSJ: The Veterans Affairs Department says investigators have found no proof that delays in care caused any deaths at a VA hospital in Phoenix, deflating an explosive allegation that helped expose a troubled health care system in which veterans waited months for appointments while employees falsified records to cover up the delays. VA Secretary Robert A. McDonald said, "It is important to note that while OIG's case reviews in the report document substantial delays in care, and quality-of-care concerns, OIG was unable to conclusively assert that the absence of timely quality care caused the death of these veterans."

In an interview with The Associated Press, Deputy VA Secretary Sloan Gibson stressed that veterans are still waiting too long for care, an issue the agency is working to fix.

Same Sex Marriage opponents stumped that "the need for a mother and father," "biological reality," "regulate procreation through the state," didn't go over well.

Same sex marriage got its day in court and proponents essentially bulldozed opponents under with logic and reason. In many ways it highlights the sharp conservative activist Wisconsin Supreme Courts approach to almost everything that comes before it. Why weren't the questions raised in the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asked or even considered important to the debate here in Wisconsin? A shocking and embarrassing contrast really between our "justices" and their "judges."

Here's what those involved in the legal challenge had to say:



WKOW's Greg Neumann highlighted the right wing scare tactics that believe it or not, conservative voters fall for hook-line-and-sinker:


Tribune: Judge Richard Posner waited just seconds before interrupting the solicitor general from Indiana, beginning a line of questioning about why children of same-sex couples should not be allowed to have legally married parents, as do children of heterosexual couples. To press his point, Posner told a fictitious story of a 6-year-old forced to go to school and see that he is different from his classmates. “Wouldn’t the children want their parents to be married,” Posner asked, also noting the thousands of children in foster care in Indiana who need to be adopted.  “What do you think is psychologically better for the child?” 

Mike Dean, attorney for Wisconsin Family Action, said the court was not interested in hearing the group's rationale that a child should grow up with both a mother and a father. “This goes back to the fundamental issue. Do we deny biological reality in order to legally affirm felt autonomy? Does a law exist to make people feel better?” Dean said. “That is their choice, but to go and say that therefore society as a whole must agree that relationship is the same as a heterosexual marriage, that is a step that cannot be taken.”

(Posner called) parts of the states' arguments "absurd" and "ridiculous." "These people and their adopted children are harmed by your law," Judge Richard Posner said.

During oral arguments, Indiana Solicitor General Thomas Fisher contended there is a fundamental difference between same-sex and heterosexual couples that allows the government to treat them differently. "Opposite-sex couples make babies," he said. "Same-sex couples do not." But Posner expressed skepticism of the idea that the states were trying to promote procreation. "You allow all these sterile couples to get married," he said. "Why are you doing that if you're so interested in procreation?"

jsonline: Hamilton struck a similar tone ... The Indiana solicitor general defended the ban by linking marriage, as an institution, to procreation and the need for that to be regulated by the state. “Men and women create babies and there has to be a social mechanism to deal with that,”  Thomas M. Fisher said under heavy questioning.  Timothy C. Samuelson, the assistant attorney general from Wisconsin, repeatedly used the word “tradition”  to defend the ban in that state on gay marriage, leading exasperated judges to ask what he meant by that. Judge David F. Hamilton pressed Samuelson, expressing doubt that Wisconsin defined marriage as between opposite-sex people to encourage them to stay together if they have children: "I presume you're familiar with how that's been working out over the last twenty-five to thirty years," Hamilton said to Samuelson, the assistant attorney general. He went on to cite statistics bout out-of-wedlock births, saying Wisconsin's attempts to keep families together seem "pretty unsuccessful."

Posner, noted adopted children would benefit if their parents could claim the tax breaks and other perks of being married. "These children would be better off if their parents could marry, no? It's obvious," Posner said.
And despite the federal tax implications of marriage, our upside down AG wants local control:
Wisconsin Attorney General Van Hollen issued a statement, arguing states should be the ones to decide policies on marriage, divorce and child custody. "I am increasingly concerned about the federal government's reach into, if not domination of, powers guaranteed to the states and the people in the 10th Amendment," his statement said.
Saving the worst for last: Suggesting that some day the state will require mothers with children to marry a man, our own crazy zealot Julaine Appling continued to prove she's no deep thinker: 
After the arguments, Julaine Appling of Wisconsin Family Action noted the issue of same-sex marriage was likely to be ultimately determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Appling said men and women parent differently and children need both a father and mother. "What you're seeing is fatherlessness. What has fatherless done in Milwaukee?" she asked, saying single-parent families had contributed to crime and a lack of direction among young people.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GOP stacked Courts Legislate from the bench, used to legitimize Radical Agenda.

Republicans are having a field day trashing the constitution with win after win in what is now our conservative activist courts, most notably the Supreme Court. They waited a long time for this, so it shouldn't be a surprise to anybody they’re using the court to push and pass everything. It’s almost comical. 

Republicans knew many of the laws they passed would be legally challenged, and welcomed the idea, knowing the courts were theirs to command.  

One Wisconsin Now pulled the curtain back on the GOP scheme to funded the campaigns of all four recent activist state Supreme Court justices:
Today’s state Supreme Court decisions supporting Gov. Scott Walker’s attacks on workers and voters were spearheaded by a four-member majority bloc that was elected through $8 million in spending by two of Walker’s biggest special interest supporters – Wisconsin Club for Growth and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce … extremely active in the Supreme Court races in support of each of the most recent electoral efforts of Justices Annette Ziegler, Michael Gableman, David Prosser and Patience Roggensack. The four were elected to 10-year terms in campaigns from 2007 to 2013.

Gov. Scott Walker admitted he personally solicited contributions for the Wisconsin Club for Growth (WCFG) in 2011 and 2012. During early 2011, WCFG spent an estimated $320,000 plus in advertising surrounding Justice David Prosser's re-election race, and funded the entire budget of another group, Citizens for a Strong America (CSA), that spent over $800,000. 

A Wisconsin Democracy Campaign total of the spending on behalf of Justice Prosser, including his own campaign, showed that spending of WCFG, WMC and the WCFG-financed Citizens for a Strong America, provided 75 percent of the $3.5 million in spending on behalf of Justice Prosser. If the public financing grant obtained by Justice Prosser is removed as "spending," this figure leaps to a jaw-dropping 85 percent. 

A review of spending on behalf of Justice Michael Gableman, shows a similar and stunning lopsided percent from WCFG and WMC. These two entities provided in excess of 70 percent of the $3.2 million spent on his 2008 election campaign to the court.
Don't forget, Justice Prosser put his hands around the neck of one of the more liberal justices to make his point.

Reelecting Scott Walker throws taxpayer money spent on Common Core away, with new taxpayer spending to replace it.

Scott Walker is making it very clear Common Core will be repealed.

That position alone should tip the election into Mary Burke's favor, since taxpayer supported school districts would have wasted millions of dollars the last 3 years, and than need to spend millions more replacing it. For me, replacing something that has the backing of almost every teacher, principle, and superintendent in the state is reason enough to throw the bums out that ideologically just don't like it.

But replacing Common Core would take us back to NCLB, where the state's made up their own lower standards so they would compared well against other states. Of course the college tests are all geared to Common Core, a big draw back to going it alone. Republicans will also have an easier time politicizing the curriculum by making changes to the recommendations of a panel of education experts they commissioned.

Here's Fox 11's coverage featuring Scott Walker:



Without ever mentioning Sen. Leah Vukmir’s major role in ALEC, a right wing bill writing mill that vehemently opposes Common Core, Fox 11 gave Vukmir a chance to throw in her nonsensical reason:
“I’m not saying that common core is all bad. What I’m saying is we can do better,” said State Senator Leah Vukmir. 

 But her Republican colleague State Senator Luther Olsen of Ripon says she’s not getting his support. “These standards are basic standards so even if you come up with new standards, they’re going to be the same stuff. Because … no matter what standards you have, you can call them the Common Core or the Wisconsin can do better standards, or whatever, they’re always going to have those in there. Otherwise, what in the world are you teaching the kids?” said Olsen. 

Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen of Green Bay agrees with Olsen. He says the move to repeal common core is political. “It isn’t perfect, and it isn’t mandatory for the school districts. They can do more, or they can opt not to do it. So I don’t know, making it a big political deal, when school districts have invested a lot of money, a lot of their own money in to Common Core, and now all of a sudden in July of a political year you say you’re against it, before you were for it?” said Hansen. 
Yes, Walker was for Common Core once, before he was against it. But the will to be president is a strong one.

Walker’s Abbott Lab’s attack on Mary Burke covered up his own Failure.

We should have known better. Over the top Republican attacks are usually designed to hide their own similar massive failure. That’s what Scott Walker managed to do against Mary Burke.  

Thanks to a little noticed article in the Journal Sentinel by Dave Umhoefer, we're told Rep. Paul Ryan clarified Abbott’s decision not to expand on land Mary Burke set aside in Wisconsin. From Ryan's deceptively titled book, "The Way Forward," Unhoefer reveals:
On page 190, he writes that he's spent years trying to convince a Fortune 100 company to build in Kenosha County, creating up to 12,000 jobs. The company already owns 500 acres here, is unhappy with its current location and needs to expand, so it should be an easy decision, Ryan writes. 

Ryan says he asked the company’s CEO why he wouldn’t build here, and got this answer: "It's not about Wisconsin. I'm not building anywhere in the U.S. My board won't let me do it." Instead, Ryan writes, the big company is expanding in Ireland because the corporate taxes are lower than in the U.S..
All the while Walker lost Abbott to Ohio!!!
As it turns out, Abbott decided to expand twice; they offshored and expanded in Ireland, and even worse for Walker, they chose to expand in Ohio, all during Walker’s business friendly second year as governor. Under Walker's watch. 

Yes, Walker failed to convince Abbott to expand, despite the available land in Kenosha and our new corporate welfare state. 

Attacking Mary Burke was an intentional distraction only a desperate career politician would use to smear a more credible opponent. 

Hey WIBA 1310, time to take out the McKenna Trash Talk.

Reporter Dylan Brogan chanced upon a classic moment where conservative talker (V)icki McKenna defended law enforcement in Ferguson, MO. She's normally not a big fan of local law enforcement when you drunk and disorderly though...

...so Brogan called her and reminded her of her embarrassing past at a U2 concert 18 years ago, where she took a swing at an officer. I assume she wanted to land a punch. And really, resisting arrest takes a little physical force as well...well, check out the edited report by clicking on it. 

Classy and professional as ever, McKenna (Pyzynski) ranted and raged for a few minutes, threatening Sly and the "troll" caller. This plays well for Clear Channel advertisers, a blathering, incoherent, juvenile name calling talk host with a microphone?

I've included as many names and threats as I could from her podcast. Take it from me, her former partner and 26 year radio guy, she's about as uninformed and immature as anyone I've heard behind a mic, and I've seen some real losers. 

Here's what Clear Channel is proudly syndicating around the state:



Jenny, a caller, said she was entertained by her cheap trash talk. Blunt, straight forward, hilarious? Really?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Walker's clueless act gets world wide belly laugh!

I thought this had the right amount of skepticism.
























Here's Ed Schultz with DPW's Mike Tate and fact buzzsaw Ruth Conniff from The Progressive Magazine cutting through the crap:

"Perp" Walker in deeper trouble: shown illegally coordinating with two national groups that run ads supporting candidates!!!

Maybe one of the big questions involving the now held up John Doe 2 investigation should be about the judges: Why would Reserve Judge Gregory Peterson and Judge Rudolph Randa think to stop the probe when so much evidence is pointing to possible illegal coordination between the Walker campaign and outside groups? Did they really think there was nothing there? 
jsonline: Peterson and Randa — the two judges who have heard the case — concluded nothing illegal had occurred because the groups engaged in issue advocacy and did not tell people how to vote. Schmitz contended that doesn't matter and such coordination can still be illegal if the coordination with Walker's campaign was done with the intention of helping him politically.
Forget the Wisconsin Club for Growth for now, in a new revelation, that the Journal Sentinel now says has been withdrawn from the courts web site:
Gov. Scott Walker's campaign illegally coordinated with two national groups on political advertising in a way that went further than what had been previously known. One group mentioned in the newly available filing is an arm of the Republican Governors Association that has run ads backing Walker since 2010. The other, the Republican State Leadership CommitteeUnlike the Wisconsin Club for Growth, those groups explicitly back candidates in filings with the state Government Accountability Board.

According to prosecutors, R.J. Johnson sought and received campaign strategy from an unnamed representative of the Republican State Leadership Committee. "Need to know what you are up (to) and the content of your spot. We are drafting radio to complement." Johnson wrote.
Once secret, not secret, back to secret again:
The document describing the alleged coordination between Walker's campaign and the Republican Governors Association and Republican State Leadership Committee is from a once-secret filing made in February 2014 … filing is from a trove of hundreds of pages of records that were unsealed Friday by a federal appeals court. Within hours, the documents could no longer be accessed on the court's website after some claimed the court had inadvertently made public some records that were meant to remain sealed. (The documents are available on jsonline.com.) 
From Politico comes this national coverage and two of the 6 "must read passages" from the John Doe document dump that isn't getting a lot of attention here:
-“Our efforts were run by Wisconsin Club for Growth … who coordinated spending through 12 different groups.” Keith Gilkes, who managed Walker’s 2010 campaign and served as his chief of staff until leaving to manage the recall campaign wrote,“Most spending by other groups was directly funded by grants from the club,” he suggested the governor say. “Wisconsin Club for Growth raised 12 million dollars and ran a soup to nuts campaign.” The new filings explain that the main group was a conduit to transfer money to a dozen other groups. Citizens for a Strong America, for example, got $1.52 million from the Wisconsin Club for Growth. The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce association got $2.5 million during the two-year period.
-“Let them know that you can accept corporate contributions and it is not reported.” The quote gets to the heart of the legal issue about whether Walker’s team tried to illegally sidestep state campaign contribution caps.

Paul Ryan Hides from Tea Party, works behind their backs.

Note to the tea party; Paul Ryan would have opposed your cause and the shutdown. He gamed you by not saying anything.

Politically astute, or political coward? I'll go for the latter when it comes to our dystopian loving Dickensian Paul Ryan.

Writing in his book, but not saying that he didn't have the political courage to come out against the tea party's government shutdown, Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer call attention to our cowering Representatives obvious response. Enjoy the word salad serving of obfuscation:



Oh sure, Ryan wanted party unity so much he let his colleagues shut the government down and blow $25 billion of taxpayer money, just so he could save himself the inconvenience of facing a tea party opponent in his reelection. Nice to back his convictions by taking a powerful position against a really bad idea?

I think not, no matter how Ryan tried to avoid the topic by scrambling his answer above.
Bob Schieffer: “In short, the strategy our colleagues have been promoting was flawed from beginning to end. It was a suicide mission, but a lot of members were more afraid of what would happen if they didn’t jump off the cliff.” I guess I would ask you first, why didn’t you say that back then?

Ryan: Because I want party unity.
Democrats slammed Rep. Ryan for his comments, “Congressman Paul Ryan’s misplaced priorities were on full display when he shockingly stated that Republican party unity is more important than preventing a government shutdown,” said Josh Schwerin of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 

Incidental Governor Scott Walker still not aware of Blatant Pay-to-Play, even after $20,000 Donation resulting from $6 million Tax Credit!!!

The sharp political divide in the state has resulted in an extreme conservative backlash against their "enemies on the left," causing them to go into defense mode whenever Scott Walker is criticized. It doesn't matter how serious the infraction or how crooked Walker looks, conservatives have invested too much of their political identities into this administrations "unintimidated" leader. 

So listen for the big yawn from the right. WSJ:


Less than a month after the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. board approved a $6 million tax credit for Ashley Furniture Industries, the company’s owners gave $20,000 to Gov. Scott Walker’s re-election campaign.
In their standard “above-the-law” response...prove it!
Laurel Patrick, a spokeswoman for Walker, said in an email: “Political contributions are in no way tied to tax incentives provided by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Decisions related to investments or awards are contractually required to meet certain objectives.”
And “stand with Walker” supporters continue to ignore the growing cronyism under Walker.

Red State Proof of Citizenship next to Suppress Votes.

The way I see, the proof of citizenship movement to vote is the same as the photo ID requirements popping up in all the Republican controlled states.

Sadly, the Constitution does leave voting regulations up to the states, giving Republicans the advantage to put limits in place. Republicans will either make voting a painfully complicated process or make it a more exclusive function of the elite.

The myth of voter fraud is again the culprit. Two states, Kansas and Arizona (with Georgia and Alabama joining in) are trying to include proof of citizenship (ID) on the national voter registration forms.

The intended result will not be a restoration of confidence, but an even deeper suspicion that the system is rigged beyond control. Once ID is instituted, a new wave of excuses will be proposed to go after election fraud. Election fraud is the real threat. “Reform” will bring about a chance to technologically manipulate the system in ways not yet dreamed of. Sure they might get caught, but like malware and hacking, the tools to cheat are endless.

Democrats continue to focus wrongly on the disenfranchisement of minorities, seniors and students, instead of the more accurate effect on all voters, liberal and conservative. 

The target now by Republicans is the 1993 National Voter Registration Act that requires “potential voters in federal elections simply to swear on penalty of perjury, and perhaps deportation, that they are citizens.” They are now seeking proof of citizenship…a birth certificate. And they may win this one:
StarTribune: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach a Republican, argues that states have the sovereign right to maintain their voter rolls and that the federal voter registration form should be tailored to the requirements of each state. The states contend the availability of a federal form — which requires only that people attest under penalty of perjury that they are citizens — creates a "massive loophole" in enforcing their voter proof-of-citizenship laws.

In June 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not refuse to accept the national voter registration form. But U.S. District Judge Eric Melgren in Kansas in March sided with the states, saying the U.S. Constitution gives states the power to set voter qualifications and Congress has not pre-empted it, even in enacting the voter registration act. 
A really scary concept that may seem wrong on multiple levels, but still makes sense legally.

Fear Mongering the Vote: The following comment is from an elected AG who might actually believe this stuff:
Arizona’s attorney general, Tom Horne, a Republican, sees the dispute over voter certification as a winning issue as he campaigns for re-election. “People are very emotional about illegals voting and diluting their own votes. The federal government has no right to tell us what to do in our state elections,” said Mr. Horne, the embattled attorney general.
The simple argument made by conservatives hides the more complicated real life process to vote:
NY Times: Just how many voters will be frozen out of local and state elections is unclear. For some, the requirements can be cumbersome: Women who married and changed their names, for example, must show not only a birth certificate but also a marriage certificate. An older resident who moved here after decades of voting in another state may have trouble obtaining a birth certificate, or strain to pay the fee to obtain it.  
Republican disregard for the Constitution: The conservative chaos caused by picking and choosing laws Republicans like or don’t like continues:
The states have pledged to maintain dual registries even in the face of further court challenges.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Walker's incredible Flip Flop on counting Jobs!!!

Scott Walker's official jobs count flip flop is now getting to a very ridiculous point in his reelection bid. Way back when Walker originally started losing jobs in the monthly Household Survey, he switched to the quarterly:
jsonline: Walker's office has dubbed quarterly figures based on an actual count of jobs as the "gold standard." For two years, Walker has argued against using the monthly Current Employment Statistics.
Walker claimed: 
"These newest numbers are from the monthly Current Employment Statistics. They are acknowledged across the political spectrum as being less reliable than the Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages." 
Even clearer was this from lackey Walker mouthpiece Reggie Newson, the Secretary of Workforce Development on May 17, 2012:
WISC: "This information is an outlier, as we see...based on the Household Survey and the QCEW data that this information is inaccurate and it cannot be trusted."


WKOW's Greg Neumann just called out Scott Walker on his flip flop, comparing his previous statements to today's, a moment in television reporting you don't see enough of these days:



For "stand with Walker" low information voters, this confusing tactic by the Walker campaign will simply negate any attacks on his actual jobs record. Walker is so sure of this, he's even willing to stand behind his flip flop in his latest ad below, where he throws away the "gold standard" quarterly jobs numbers for the more inaccurate monthly Household Survey. Real balls:



Did he really say "Ellenois?" Walker really thinks Mary Burke shouldn't criticize "the Wisconsin comeback," after all, Republican recoveries are allowed to be much slower than say...President Obama's supposed "disastrous" jobs record which is twice the rate of Walker's.

I've edited together Walker's original jobs promise (Walker-"our critics say it can't be done"), with his opponent at the time Republican Mark Neumann, who couldn't have been more right about this career politician.
Walker: "Saying it can't be done, that's not something that stands in my way!" 
Boy, ain't that a fact:



Here's the current jobs chart:

Oddly, Walker totally avoiding what he calls "legal" coordination with outside groups this time.

While my conservative friend in Milwaukee is on a war path to remove Pres. Obama, a deliberate GOP distraction away from our state's problems, the bad news surrounding Scott Walker's time as governor isn't on his radar. I'm getting the feeling this is true for almost every other "stand with Walker" supporter.

So I guess they’ll never notice how Walker is now bragging that he’s “not” coordinating his campaign with other outside groups, like he did in his recall election. At least that’s what we’re being told. WSJ:
Gov. Scott Walker maintained Saturday he broke no laws in soliciting funds for a conservative group during the 2011 and 2012 recalls, but he said he’s not engaged in the practice as he seeks re-election in November. “Everything we’ve done is completely legitimate,” Walker told reporters Saturday in Madison.

Asked why he’s no longer doing it, he said, “as you can imagine I’m pretty busy with my own campaign right now.”
Too busy for the big donors? Well, would you believe...?
The new documents provide supplemental evidence to prosecutors’ previously disclosed legal theory that Walker and his campaign aides were involved in a “criminal scheme.” Milwaukee County investigator Robert Stelter’s conclusion that Walker solicited donations to Wisconsin Club for Growth and that such solicitation violated and was intended to “circumvent” state law on campaign contributions...
Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant … wrote to Johnson that Walker wanted Wisconsin Club for Growth exclusively to coordinate campaign themes. "As the Governor discussed ... he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging," she wrote.
 Deceptive Walker Phrasing Revealed: Walker has been saying all along that he wasn't a "target," and pointed to a statement from investigators saying the same thing. But what I didn't know before was this:
A lawyer for lead prosecutor Francis Schmitz issued a statement in June stating, “Gov. Walker was not a target of the investigation. At no time has he been served with a subpoena.”

Legal experts have told the State Journal that a “target” of a John Doe probe is someone who prosecutors have enough evidence to file charges against, as opposed to a subject, who is someone under investigation for possible wrongdoing.
Which leaves the question of Walker's involvement wide open. I still don't understand why wanting to run all issues through one group isn't proof of illegal coordination.

Walker gives $6 million Tax Credit to Ashley Furniture so they can kill 1,924 jobs? Corporate Welfare Failing Miserably.

In news that if applied to Mary Burke, would sink her run for governor, WEDC Chairman and Governor Scott Walker continues to dole out taxpayer money just to KEEP jobs in Wisconsin, not create them. Walker made himself an easy mark for extortion when he bragged that he’d do anything to appease big business, even pay them to stay in this now supposed business friendly state.
   
The end result is not just breathtaking, but a warning to voters who would blindly give everything up to private business, our supposed “job creators.” It looks like the loss of 1,924 jobs turns the old "job creator" slogan into vapor. WSJ:
The WEDC board, which is led by Gov. Scott Walker, OK'd Ashley Furniture getting $6 million tax credit, cutting 1,900 jobs … with a condition allowing the company to eliminate half of its state workforce … the award would allow the Arcadia-based global furniture maker to move ahead with a $35 million expansion of its headquarters and keep 1,924 jobs in the state. But it wouldn't require Ashley to create any new jobs, instead granting the company license to lay off half of its current 3,848 Wisconsin-based workers in exchange for an enterprise zone tax credit, one of the most valuable and coveted state subsidies. The company has not been finalized. 
A desperate Walker administration should have expected this predictable corporate threat?
The company has indicated “that if the project is not undertaken it will either downsize or close the Arcadia manufacturing plant completely.”
Not the first Threat: Ashley learned early on closings and job threats worked:
The company faced criticism for expanding its headquarters into a wetland in 2005. The project took more than a decade to obtain the required environmental approvals and resulted in the company spending $1 million to build nearby wetlands more than twice the size of the land it developed. An Ashley Furniture spokeswoman told the State Journal in 2010 that if the permit had not been granted, the company would have moved its headquarters and about 2,000 jobs to another state.
In what can only be described as the best argument against corporate welfare:
WEDC spokesman Mark Maley said, “Obviously, WEDC is very interested in working with one of the largest employers in northwestern Wisconsin to find ways to help ensure that the company can continue to flourish here in our state,” Maley said. “WEDC is committed to doing whatever it can to work with the company and preserve those jobs.”  
Ashley’s new excuse for the state handout (it’s always something); health care costs, which wouldn't be an issue under a national single payer system:
“The company is very concerned with the job retention figure due to health care costs for its employees continuing to rise…,” the memo said.
Saying the obvious:
Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, of Kenosha, said he has concerns “the goalposts keep getting moved.”
Our Secret Welfare Agency: Why didn't Barca take his outrage to the media? Because the board’s actions using taxpayer money is confidential:  
Democratic Sen. Julie Lassa, of Stevens Point, declined to comment, saying “as a board member it would not be appropriate for me to comment on information shared during a closed session.”
In a flippant comment no Democrat would be allowed to get away with:
Walker said … “My guess is a year from now, you’ll see Ashley in the state with a much higher volume of jobs than they have today.”
"My guess?" It’s not just me seeing where this policy is taking us. Check out the following CEO warning and acknowledgement:
Paul Radspinner, CEO of Madison-based Flugen and a WEDC board member who supported the Ashley Furniture award, acknowledged … “If there’s very clear-cut evidence that we can confirm that there’s going to be a huge job loss if we don’t provide assistance … I would certainly look at something like that,” Radspinner said. “But the very last thing we want is a race to the bottom.”

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Paul Ryan seemed bothered by a Seniors questions about Medicare and Medicaid.

Brad Blog ran across this very revealing video of Paul Ryan ignoring a woman's questions about Medicare and Medicaid cuts. Ryan seemed to think she wanted a photo of them standing together at a recent book signing in Florida. What's not to love about Ryan's attempts to weaken a seniors two most valuable programs, while giving tax brakes to millionaires and billionaires.

She's not "sorry, you're misinformed" as Ryan quickly suggests. Ryan may have included normal Medicare as an option, but that doesn't change the fact that the other options will eventually kill the program. And block granting Medicaid, no matter how he redefined lately, basically ends the program, giving states the ability to slash the program down to nothing:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dumb Ron Johnson kills Rail Tanker Emergency Preparedness bill trying to approve Keystone XL Pipeline.

It's dangerous irresponsible behavior like this that has stalled so many bills in the Senate. In a mind boggling move, Dumb Ron Johnson put the breaks on a simple study to deal with tanker disasters. It's a tale of two approaches:  
KUWS-Mike Simonson: An emergency preparedness bill that would investigate the best way for local first-responders to react to a railroad crude oil spill is on hold in Congress. The Response Act would simply form a panel to decide the best way to respond to a rail tanker incident involving North Dakota Bakken crude. Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin says it’s needed in Wisconsin because that oil is transported across 18 counties about 45 times a week. But Baldwin says the bill was derailed at the last minute.

“Regrettably, there was an attempt to politicize the issue by adding an amendment that would approve the Keystone pipeline.”
Who wrote the Amendment?
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson sponsored that amendment. 
To get an idea of what this really means, and the dangerous political game Johnson doesn't even realize he's playing, check out this story reported Friday in the La Crosse Tribune:
The Canadian oil train that derailed in 2013 killing 47 people in Lac-M├ęgantic passed through the Coulee Region on its way to Quebec, according to Canadian safety officials. The ensuing explosions destroyed 40 buildings, and contaminated the city’s downtown as well as a nearby river and lake.

According to the report, the tank cars originated in New Town, N.D., and were hauled by Canadian Pacific through Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit on their way to Montreal … The derailment brought additional attention to the increase in rail shipments of highly flammable crude oil as production in the Bakken formation of North Dakota has soared. 

No Question, Walker pushed illegal coordination with Outside Group.

Scott Walker came right out and said that he wanted to illegally coordinate his campaigns message with the outside group, Wisconsin Club for Growth.
"The Governor is encouraging all to invest in the Wisconsin Club for Growth," said an April 28, 2011, email from Kate Doner, a Walker campaign consultant … Doner wrote to Johnson that Walker wanted Wisconsin Club for Growth exclusively to coordinate campaign themes. "As the Governor discussed ... he wants all the issue advocacy efforts run thru one group to ensure correct messaging," she wrote.
In the jsonline article, this line stood ou
Prosecutors contend candidates and outside groups cannot collaborate on their messaging and strategy. Walker and the club have contended they can, because the club's ads do not explicitly tell people who to vote for or against.
It's not the advocacy ads, it's coordinating the message.

The following should give everyone an opportunity to see who's really calling the shots politically in Wisconsin. And right wing trolls teasing liberals about their obsession with the Koch brothers, explain yourselves now:
In September 2011, Doner sent an email to Walker and others with brainstorming ideas for raising money for the Wisconsin Club for Growth. Among them: "Take Koch's money," "Get on a plane to Vegas and sit down with Sheldon Adelson," and "Go heavy after (corporations) to give."