Thursday, December 24, 2020

Hey Mom, I'm On The Radio!



 I'll be on the air with Tony Castaneda on WORT-FM out of Madison at about 8:30 AM.  If you're not near a radio or out of their broadcast range, you can catch it with their live streaming at their website. And if you can't catch it live, they have it in their archives for a couple of weeks.

We'll be discussing a sort of year in review for Wisconsin, especially about the Republican's failure to do one damn thing about the COVID-19 pandemic except for being obstructionists.

Monday, December 21, 2020

Republicans Demand Their COVID-mas Tree



Wisconsin Republicans have been having a conniption fit over the Holiday Tree for over a decade.  Before Scott Walker was elected, it was inclusively called a Holiday Tree.  When Walker was elected, he made a big deal of making sure people knew that he was changing the name to "Christmas Tree." When the current governor, Tony Evers, was elected, it went back to Holiday Tree. This, of course, sent Republicans into a frenzy.

This year, their faux outrage hit new levels when Evers announced that since the Capitol Building was closed to the public due to the COVID 19 pandemic, there would be no tree by any name this year.  The move makes sense.  Why go through the hassle and expense of finding the best tree, chop it down, move it to the Capitol Building, get it inside and erected and decorated if no one was going to be able to see it?

It makes sense, that is, unless you're a Republican.  State Rep. Paul Tittl and Shae Sortwell bought a cheap artificial tree and erected it on the ground floor of the Capitol.  It was promptly removed by statehouse operations workers because they did not have a permit for the display.

So Tittl bought another cheap artificial tree, which met the same fate as the first one.

Now Tittl has scheduled an event for this week to put up a third tree, decorate it and sing Christmas carols. All lawmakers, legislative aides and other statehouse workers are invited. Tittl claims to have applied for a permit this time, but the committee that would approve such permits and which is led by one of his Republican colleagues, won't be meeting again this year.

This would be hilarious in its pettiness if it wasn't so outrageous on two counts.

The first offensive thing about this scheduled event is that these same Republicans banned people from coming to the building in 2013 to participate in a Solidarity Singalong.  At the singalongs, people would sing union protest songs regarding ACT 10 and other anti-worker laws.

Republicans were so outraged by the singalongs, they ordered the Capitol police to arrest the participants.  The police were arrest everyone and anyone, including disabled vets and little old ladies.

This practice was later ruled in court as being unconstitutional.

The even more outrageous part of this whole debacle is that the Republicans have not met for over eight months to take any action on the COVID 19 pandemic. Nearly 4,500 people have died from the virus. The total number of confirmed cases is more than ten times that number.  But the Republicans did not deem it a problem worthy of their attention much less taking any action.

But not to have a Christmas tree that no one will even see?! That simply will not do! I'm surprised that they haven't contacted Trump to ask him to send in soldiers to protect their cheap tree.  They'll probably decorate the damn thing with ornaments that look like little COVID viruses.

It's good to know that we Wisconsinites are less important than a fake tree that started out as a pagan symbol and was taken when the Romans usurped Samhain as a holiday.


Saturday, December 19, 2020

RoJo Dons His Grinch Costume To Block Two COVID Relief Bills



Ron Johnson is having a helluva week and can't get enough of making an ass out of himself.

It started when he held a sham hearing about the elections, using debunked conspiracy theories to lay the groundwork for future voter suppression laws.  Then he couldn't decide whether he would keep a campaign pledge to retire at the end of this term or if he was going to run for reelection.

Now, just a week before Christmas, RoJo dons his Grinch costume and single-handedly blocked not just one, but two, COVID relief bills that would have sent $1,200 to Americans who made less than $75,000:
But Johnson warned that lawmakers were continuing to take a "shotgun approach" to coronavirus relief.

"By and large, the initial relief packages here were a shotgun approach. We had to move fast, we had to do something big, we had to make sure that markets wouldn't seize, that financial relief could be sent to people very quickly," Johnson said. "And so we passed over $3 trillion in financial relief. I knew it would be far from perfect. It was far from perfect, but now we've had far more time and anything we consider for this additional package that we’re considering now, that’s being debated, that’s being discussed, that’s being negotiated ought to be far more targeted."

Johnson said he instead supported a program targeted for small businesses.

"What I fear we're going to do with this bipartisan package and what the senator from Missouri is talking about is the same thing, is a shotgun approach," he said.
I'm more than a little surprised he wasn't pushing for another big tax cut scam for the wealthiest of the wealthy instead.

After all, this is the same doofus that said "stimulus bills don't stimulate the economy," and wanted to lower regulations and tax breaks.  

We all know how well that turned out, don't we? 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

RoJo Is Unsure Whether He'll Keep Campaign Promise


Politico is reporting that our dumb senator, RoJo, is unsure if he'll seek a third term or not:

Ron Johnson is embracing President Donald Trump as tightly as possible as he decides whether to run for reelection to a must-win Senate seat for Republicans.

Johnson, a steadfast Trump ally who has endeared himself to the president with his various investigative pursuits, is defending his approach, even as he faces a possible reelection campaign in a state that President-elect Joe Biden won in November. And Democrats are taking notice.

The Wisconsin Republican, who says he has not yet decided whether to seek a third term in 2022, has used his perch as the chairman of the Senate’s chief oversight body to investigate Trump’s political foes — from Hunter Biden to Hillary Clinton and the slew of Obama administration officials who launched the Russia probe — and is set to hold a hearing Wednesday on alleged “irregularities” in the election even as he recognizes Biden as the president-elect.

The fact that RoJo is even considering another run is not surprising in itself.  I mean, after all, he only pledged to retire in 2022.  In the ten years that RoJo has been in the Senate, I'm still waiting for him to keep  one promise or even show a minutiae of scruples and integrity.

To be honest, who knows why he is even considering another run.  He's not done anything to endear him to the voters.  He is part of the Trump syndicate as well as a Russian asset.  He's repeatedly abused his authority by conducting political witch huts against Trump's opponents.  Most egregiously, he actively participated in the biggest lie of the year by denying and minimizing the dangers of COVID-19.

It should also be noted that it has been rumored that RoJo has been contemplating a possible gubernatorial bid. I doubt that his chances would be as good as getting reelected to the Senate, which is not saying a lot.

Even though RoJo might not be aware of how vulnerable he is, the Democrats sure do.  In fact, one Democrat, Tom Nelson, has already announced he's exploring a run for RoJo's seat, even though there's still two years to go. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

WISGOP To Launch Yet Another Attack on Democracy

 


So far, democracy, and the election results of 2020 are still standing, despite multiple prongs attacks from all sides.  Although to be honest, the would be assailants, aka Republicans, more resemble the Bungling Brother Circus clown act than a serious threat.

Trump filed lawsuits on both the state and federal levels.  However, his attorneys are incompetent and failed to file the lawsuits properly with each court.  The federal case was rejected outright.  I suppose it didn't help when the attorney, Sidney Powell, submitted blank forms with the petition and outright lied on the parts she did fill in.

The cases on the state level are still pending, but they have only until Monday to resolve them.

Two other cases filed on the state level were denied a hearing by the Wisconsin Supreme Court.  

The best part of the three state level cases being rejected by the Supreme Court was that each was due to Brian Hagedorn siding with the liberals and the Constitution rather than doing whatever his right wing special interest funders to him to do.  This sent almost every Republican into conniptions and made several heads explode.

Currently, Kenny Paxton, the Attorney General of Texas, has filed a federal lawsuit against Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia in an effort to force them to order their electors to vote for Trump despite the fact that Biden had won each of those states. The common belief is that the only reason Paxton filed this lawsuit in the first place is that he fishing for a preemptive pardon from Trump for all of the misconduct while in office that put him under a federal investigation.

But now the Wisconsin Republicans are throwing everything they can - including the kitchen sink - in an effort to enforce fascism and kill off democracy.

Robert Spindell, one of the Republicans on the Wisconsin Elections Commission, which is supposed to be administering and protecting the elections, attended a MAGA "Stop the Steal" rally on Monday.  Not only did he attend, he spoke to his fellow Trumpanzees, using the same twisted logic and nonsensical talking points that is so popular among Republicans these days:

While he did not give any specific examples of voter fraud in Wisconsin, Spindell implied, falsely, that it had happened.

“There’s no evidence vote fraud did not occur,” Spindell said, calling for election officials to prove a negative. 

Also, another member of the commission, Dean Knudson, has filed a complaint with his own commission against Governor Evers for certifying the election results as he is required to do per federal and state laws.

In the center ring of this circus of clowns is State Representative Ron Tusler, the chair of the Assembly's election committee, has scheduled a hearing about the elections for Friday.  Tusler has said that he is "unsure if Biden won the state."  To support his point, he spewed out all the same claims and conspiracy theories that have already been repeatedly debunked.  

To further cement his place in the museum of bad clowns, the hearing he is overseeing is making a mockery of itself.  The witnesses that have been called include a Bradford Foundation-sponsored radio squawker and hack writer; a former right wing Supreme Court justice who was voted out; the two tainted election commissioners mentioned above; and a cast of thousands of no-name right wing puppets.

Notably absent are any nonpartisan election officials and any Democrats.  

In other words, it's not exactly going to be a real hearing but more of a organized right wing echo chamber like Parler but in real time and in person instead of an anonymous antisocial social media platform.

This would be hilarious if it were not for the fact that they are going to try to use this parody of a hearing to change election laws for future elections and even try to change the 2020 results, if they can figure out a way to get it past Evers before Monday, when the Electoral College collects and counts their votes.

The question that I want answered by the likes of Tusler, Joe Sanfelippo and the others would be whether they consider their own election as fraudulent and resign from office because no one is sure they legitimately won their seats.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Trump's Legal Strategy: Winning By Losing


 A couple of days ago, I had reported that even before the partial recount was completed, the frivolous lawsuits were flying in fast and furious.

In the short time since then, Trump has managed to add to his losses.  On Thursday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court chose not to accept Trump's case on a 4-3 basis, because state law requires for his legal team to have filed the lawsuit in circuit court first.  Even before ink was dry, Trump had filed appeals in both Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

What was disconcerting about the decision was not just that three of the four conservative judges had chosen to disregard the law and the constitution, but their irrational reasoning behind their decision.  In her dissent, Justice Rebecca Bradley, a Federalist disguised as a Supreme Court Justice, wrote this:

In a separate, scorching dissent, Justice Rebecca Bradley maintained that leaving legal questions to the Elections Commission "deals a death blow to democracy."

"The majority's failure to act leaves an indelible stain on our most recent election," she wrote in a dissent that Roggensack and Ziegler joined.

Later on Thursday, the Supreme Court also declined to hear the lawsuit filed by Wisconsin Voters Alliance, citing the ridiculousness of trying to have the entire election declared null and void.  

On Friday, the Court also declined to hear the case filed by Dean Mueller because he did not like the absentee ballot drop boxes, was declined without explanation.

The latter two were decided by the same split of 4-3.

Also on Friday, it was learned that Trump's lawsuit filed in federal court faces a dubious future.  Federal Judge Brett Ludwig, who was appointed by Trump, expressed skepticism and questioned why this lawsuit had even been filed since they wanted the legislature to be given control of the 10 electors.  When Trump's attorney explained that they needed to find the election results to be flawed to that they could take it to the legislature, Ludwig turned up the heat on Trump's team:

Trump attorney William Bock said the president needed the court to determine the election that Biden won by about 21,000 votes was flawed so that the issue could be handed off to lawmakers. 

Ludwig remained dubious that such a question was one a federal court could decide. 

"I get the argument but I have a very, very hard time seeing how this is justiciable in the federal court," Ludwig said. 

He added that Trump's lawsuit was "really bizarre" because it asks to "remand" the case to the Legislature, noting that remanding a case typically means returning it to a lower court for reconsideration. 

"I think the term 'remand' might be inartful," Bock responded. 

Ludwig put Trump in a bigger bind by scheduling the next hearing on December 19th, only four days before the electoral college meets to finalize their count.

As stated before, even if Trump would manage to turn the vote over, it wouldn't matter. Biden would still have enough to be the official winner.

But before you laugh and call Trump a loser, you should be aware that he is actually winning.  In my last article about this, I pointed out that these lawsuits were just a vehicle for him to put the squeeze on his supporters because he's gonna need as much cash as possible to pay off all his campaign debts and to fund a legal defense against all the civil and criminal lawsuits he will be facing on January 21at.

And it is working out for him:

.President Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee have raised more than $207.5 million in the weeks since Election Day, his campaign said Thursday, as their claims of voting fraud have generated a financial windfall that could be deployed in future political ventures.

Whoever said that crime doesn't pay hadn't met Trump.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

The Recount Is Done, Now The Frivolous Lawsuits Fly




Trump's partial recount is done.  It only cost Trump $34,000 per vote for the 87 additional votes that Biden had gained over him. Governor Evers certified the final count on Monday.

Now the frivolous, and sometimes illegal, lawsuits are flying in fast and heavy.

Even before the final results were certified, MAGAts had already filed two lawsuits with the Wisconsin Supreme Court, each one looking for the results to be declared null and void and control of the state's 10 electors to be handed over to the Republican-controlled legislature:
: Besides the Trump campaign, Trump allies have also filed lawsuits challenging the election result.

One filed last Tuesday by the conservative Wisconsin Voters Alliance asked the Wisconsin Supreme Court to toss out the results of the presidential election and replace the will of the voters with electors appointed by the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature.

Another lawsuit filed by a Chippewa County resident called on the Wisconsin Supreme Court to stop certification of the presidential election based on an argument that ballot boxes used to collect absentee ballots are illegal.
It should be notes that the group that filed the first lawsuit had already filed a similar lawsuit in federal court even before the recount.  It was summarily dismissed as frivolous.

The second lawsuit isn't going to go anywhere either. Almost every county used the ballot boxes and there is no way to differentiate those dropped off in a ballot box to other votes cast.

Then Trump filed not one, but two lawsuits.  One was filed with the State Supreme Court and the other was filed in federal court.   If you thought the first ones were ridiculous, wait until you get a hold of these.

You ain't seen nothing yet.

In the state lawsuit, which should have been filed in circuit court instead of with the supreme court, Trump is asking for more than 220.000 voices to be silenced for various reasons. Each one is laughable, especially since he has only until December 8th to get his challenges resolved..

Suddenly, Trump doesn't like early voting and especially loathes absentee ballots, even though he's encouraged people to use both and voted absentee himself.  Trump also complains about the Wisconsin Election Commission, which the Republicans created over eight years ago.  It should be noted that Trump tried the same thing in other states and got absolutely nowhere with them.  I'd expect the same thing to happen in Wisconsin.

The federal lawsuit is so flawed and so ridiculous, it would be surprising if it's not rejected before it's even heard.  To give you the first clue where this is going, it was filed by former Trump attorney Sidney Powell, whom Trump has distanced himself from with all haste.

The first error is that Wisconsin Secretary of State Bob Lafollette is listed as a defendant even though he has nothing to do with elections.  Adding to that, the lawsuit also lists Derrick Van Orden as a plaintiff, even though he never gave permission for his name to be used.

Other errors in the lawsuit include these:

According to a report from Riley Vetterkind of the Wisconsin State Journal, Powell made several mistakes in the lawsuit. She referred to the "Wisconsin Board of State Canvassers," which does not exist, and asked for security camera footage from a convention center in Detroit, Michigan.

And if the cases were somehow accepted by the courts, the defendants could always just call on Bill Barr as a witness. Barr has stated that no significant voter fraud had been found and certainly not enough to change any results.

But I don't think Trump is seriously trying to get the state's election results overturned.  Given his track record in other states and the very limited amount of time he has, he has to know that he doesn't stand a very good chance with these lawsuits either. And even if he did manage to get Wisconsin overturned, Biden would still win the election.

Furthermore, he does know that he faces a world of hurt after he is out of office and will be in a world of hurt, facing a ton of legal issues, both criminal and civil.  Also he is still fundraising like crazy.  That would indicate that he is trying to build up as big a treasure chest as he can as a sort of legal defense fund for when his world come crashing down on him and his family.



Blogging News and Notes


 I am painfully aware that I've been really slacking off for a long time now. I feel like I've let myself down, I've let the late Jeff Simpson down and, worst of all, I've been letting you, gentle reader, down.

Well, that is not only going to change, but it's going to get better than before.

I have taken up a slot at Crooks & Liars as a contributor for several years.  I have been fortunate enough to become part of the regular staff, which I have gratefully and gleefully accepted.  So, the bulk of my writing will be there now.  On top of that, as part of that gig, I will be leaving my comfort zone of Wisconsin-centered stories and taking on the bad boys all over the country.  Can world domination be far after?  

Oh, don't worry, I'll still be writing here, especially the Wisconsin based stories.  So keep this site bookmarked.  But also, please bookmark Crooks & Liars as well.

And finally, from the bottom of my heart, thank you to my 4.3 readers who've stuck it out and waited for me.  Just make sure you let your most hated Republicans and other no-gooders that capper is back and there's going to be trouble. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

WISGOP In Complete Meltdown Mode Over Election Results


 Unless the gentle reader is living in a cave with no contact with the outside world, they are aware that Republicans are having a very difficult time accepting the reality that Trump lost the election a few weeks ago.  It is unfathomable to them that the majority of voters would reject Trump, who is their lord and savior.

And there are none worse than those in Wisconsin.  Even before the election, they followed suite of Trump by throwing around baseless conspiracy theories of voter fraud, election fraud and other easily debunked lies.

Then, at Trump's request, Wisconsin needed to do a recount.  But instead of doing the entire state, Trump singled out just two counties, Dane and Milwaukee.  This was not by accident.  Dane and Milwaukee Counties are not only the two biggest Democratic strongholds in the state, but they also are the home of the two largest minority populations.

Since the recall started, Republican observers have done their best to obstruct the process.  They complained about not being close enough to see the ballots and myriad of other details.  But despite supposedly not being able to see the ballots, they managed to find enough to challenged tens of thousands of these ballots. Even if they managed to win half of the challenges, it would be enough to change the outcome of the state's election.

The gentle reader should be made aware that this wasn't just an act of desperation on the Republican's part, but their actual stategy, as outlined by James Wigderson, a right wing blogger who said the quiet part out loud:

The plan is to challenge enough early absentee ballots and mail-in ballots to randomly draw down enough ballots in Milwaukee and Dane Counties to give President Donald Trump the lead in Wisconsin. 

To throw out the early absentee ballots, the state Republican Party is claiming that every person needed to fill out an application before. receiving a ballot to vote early in person. However, they are not challenging the early votes anywhere else but in Milwaukee and Dane Counties.

Because there is no way to connect the ballot with the early voter, a ballot would have to be drawn at random to be thrown out.

In addition, the Republicans want to throw out the ballots of the "indefinitely confined." Legislative Republicans included that provision in their voter ID law to avoid disenfranchising elderly voters. A lawsuit prevented Dane County from abusing that provision, but not before thousands followed the bad advice of County Clerk Scott McDonell. It's no irony that the GOP would now use the law to protect the elderly vote against elderly voters, it's the plan.

Meanwhile, a Republican State Representative, Joe Sanfelippo, actually had the gall to suggest that the whole election results be tossed and that the electors be put into the hands of the Republican-controlled legislature.

Now, a conservative group, Wisconsin Voters' Alliance, has taken Sanfelippo's bizarre train of thought even further by filing a lawsuit with the Wisconsin Supreme(ly Corrupt) Court, asking that the election results be declared null and void.  The difference this time is that their lawsuit is based on the supposed undue influence of Mark Zuckenberg donating money to certain areas to help get the election done despite of the COVID 19 pandemic:

The lawsuit, brought by the nonprofit Wisconsin Voters Alliance along with a number of individual voters, makes a number of unsubstantiated and far-fetched claims about Wisconsin's elections process, some of which are similar to those made by President Donald Trump's campaign in the ongoing recount in Dane and Milwaukee counties.

Central to the lawsuit is the allegation that several Wisconsin cities — Madison, Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee and Green Bay — unlawfully accepted $6 million from the Mark Zuckerberg-backed Center for Technology and Civic Life to help conduct the Nov. 3 election.

The group particularly objected to the cities' work to promote absentee voting, which it characterized as an effort to help President-elect Joe Biden's campaign. Biden won the state by more than 20,000 votes, according to county canvasses. The result is scheduled to be certified Dec. 1.

Wisconsin's political parties both chose a slate of electors in October. The political party whose presidential candidate is the certified winner in Wisconsin will get all the state's electoral votes.

I'm more than a little surprised they didn't include their favorite bogeyman, George Soros.

This same group had filed another lawsuit in October in federal court asking that the money be blocked, but the federal judge had rejected their request because "the plaintiffs failed to show a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of the case."

 The not so hidden irony in all of this is that there is little reason to believe that this group isn't funded by conservative special interests dark money themselves.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Trump Files For Partial Recount In Wisconsin Because Black People Voted

 


Trump has been threatening for weeks to call for a recount in Wisconsin, citing baseless conspiracy theories and ridiculous claims.  On Wednesday, Trump carried through on his threat. Sort of.  His campaign filed for a partial recount, targeting only two counties, citing the same silliness:

The recount petition, signed by Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Monday, alleges "mistakes and fraud" were committed all over Wisconsin but particularly in Madison and Milwaukee, cities with large numbers of voters for Biden. The petition does not provide specific examples of mistakes or fraud. 

Trump claims his campaign's observers at Milwaukee’s central counting facility were required to stay 30 to 35 feet away from tables where ballots were being counted and that once his observers are closer to the counting, mistakes and fraud will be found. 

Everyone knows that a recount is bound to fail because Biden leads by more than 20,000 votes.  Hell, even former governor Scott Walker said it's going to fail, and Walker could be the only person in a room and still not be the smartest one there. 

But Trump isn't really looking to win a recount.  He is doing this for three primary reasons:

  • To raise as much money as he can to help pay off his campaign debt
  • To bog down the election process and cast further doubt on its integrity
  • Because a large number of people of color voted
The last point is self-evident that Trump decided to only target Milwaukee and Dane Counties, which are the two strongest Democratic bastions, have the largest population and the largest number of Black and Latino people.

It didn't take long for Democratic leaders to call out the Trump campaign on this fact, but was best said by the City of Milwaukee Common Council in their press release:

The Trump Campaign is seeking a recount of the votes cast in Milwaukee and Dane counties on November 3rd, in what is a clear attempt to somehow cast doubt on the outcome of the election in Wisconsin by looking for evidence of non-existent voter fraud.

The recount, focused on Wisconsin’s most diverse counties where by far the state’s largest populations of Black and brown people reside, is not only without merit, it is RACIST and despicable!

We expect the recount to find no significant issues nor anything that will change the vote totals in any major way.

To seek to delegitimize and disenfranchise voters after a clear and sizable election result (where you lost fair and square, Mr. President) is, in our view, purely evil.

Friday, November 13, 2020

WISGOP: No Democracy For You!

It is no deep, dark secret that Republicans hate, hate, hate democracy.  But the actions taken - and not taken by them regarding the 2020 elections is absolutely appalling, even for them.

It was not surprising that the number of absentee ballots being cast in Wisconsin was staggering.  Everyone saw it coming.  Democrats and Republicans alike were urging people to be smart during the COVID 19 pandemic and vote absentee and to get their ballots in early.

But when the elections clerks asked for some help, not only did the Republicans do nothing, they actively fought against any common sense efforts to make the counting of the millions of ballots more efficient.

When the clerks asked for permission to start counting the day before the elections. The Republicans said no.

When the clerks asked to be able to run the ballots through the machines, the Republicans again said no.

Well, the all too predictable happened and Trump lost not only Wisconsin but also the presidency.  He immediately launched the mother of all temper tantrums and started to wildly spew baseless claims of voter fraud, election fraud and all sorts of shenanigans.  

Wisconsin Republicans were all to happy to repeat these asinine claims, citing problems that stemmed directly from their own unwillingness to improve the efficiency of this election.  Robin "It's perfectly safe" Vos went so far as to order the Republican controlled assembly elections committee to do an investigative audit of the elections to find the fraud that wasn't there.

If these accusations were accurate, you just have to admire the cleverness of the Democrats, who, based on these blatantly false accusations, were able to swing enough votes to seize the presidency while still losing ground in congress and not changing the state legislature enough to make a difference.

But State Representative Joe Sanfelippo, who sits on the committee, took it 50 steps further.  Sanfelippo made the absurd - and highly illegal - suggestion that the results of the election just be scrapped or that the electors change their votes to be in favor of Trump:

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos has called for an Assembly committee with subpoena powers to oversee an investigation into potential fraud surrounding alleged “concerns surfacing about mail-in ballot dumps and voter fraud” in Wisconsin. And the vice chair of that committee, Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin) says the committee may need to overturn Wisconsin voters’ choice of Joe Biden and conduct a new election or order electors to vote instead to give the state’s 10 Electoral College votes to Donald Trump. Legal experts say either action would violate state and federal law and is beyond the power of the committee.

“If an investigation shows these actions affected the outcome of the election, we need to either declare this past election null and void and hold a new election or require our Electoral College Delegates to correct the injustice with their votes,” Sanfelippo said in a statement Monday. He claimed — without providing evidence —  that there was insufficient voter purging by the Wisconsin Elections Commission and that clerks in Dane and Milwaukee counties “colluded” to keep unverified names on voter lists and began voting too early. Those allegations were “just the beginning” Sanfelippo said.

Realizing how insane they sounded, Republicans started to back pedal away from this.

Robin Vos, who was dead sure that fraud had been committed, changed his tune and admitted that they weren't going to find enough problems to make a difference in the final results.

The assembly elections committee chair, Representative Ron Tusler, politely threw Sanfelippo under the bus before speeding off:

As chair, Tusler makes it clear the committee’s goals are different.

“Joe’s statements are not the statements of our committee,” he says. “They are of a single representative and his feelings and his concerns about this election.”

First, says Tusler, information needs to be gathered, which is where witnesses — some of whom may be subpoenaed although he said that power may not be utilized — come in. 

“I think that we, at this point, need to try to preserve the election that we have,” Tusler says. “I think we need to look into a lot of issues. And if there were some massive amount of fraud, it should be the case that we can remove that fraud from our results and our results just are different than they currently are. If there isn’t a vast amount of fraud, then there isn’t any reason to take that kind of drastic action.”

The worst part of all this is that we now have to wait another two years before we can try to correct the situation by voting out these democracy-hating, fascists.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

This Is Why You Need To Vote!


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel found it newsworthy to post an advisory article for people not to transport their snowmobiles on top of cars:

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation would like to remind everyone to not transport a snowmobile on the roof of a small car, like say, a Toyota Corolla. Sure, that might be a no-brainer, but someone in Polk County was caught trying it. The Wisconsin DOT shared the image on social media and warned, "Do not try this at home." "Our friends at the Wisconsin State Patrol stopped this vehicle Sunday on US 63 in Polk County because this isn’t a safe way to transport a snowmobile," the Facebook post said. The Wisconsin DOT recommended safely hauling winter equipment in a trailer or in the bed of a truck.
My first question would be how the hell did they get the snowmobile up there? 

My next question would be who the hell does that sort of thing? But the answer occurred to me as soon as the question did. They would be same people who think wearing a mask is an infringement of their rights; that the rich getting richer is more important than saving lives; that the pandemic is all just fake news and that COVID-19 is no worse than the flu; etc, etc, etc. 

Evem worse, this wasn't the only time something like this has happened. 

 And these people vote?! Make sure that you vote too, or we will have these idiots ruling the country again!

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Missouri Trump Supports Came To Kenosha To 'Pick People Off'

 


Two MAGAts from Missouri, Michael M. Karmo, 40, and Cody E. Smith, 33, were arrested by federal agents in a hotel near Kenosha. In their possession were a AR-15, a 12 gauge shotgun, a 9mm handgun, a homemade silencer, lots of ammo, several knives and some pot. 

That's not the surprising part. It's almost a given nowadays that any MAGAt is also a gun nut. 

The really outrageous part is why they had come all the way up from Missouri:
A law enforcement agency alerted the Kenosha Police Department to the two men, and Kenosha police alerted the FBI that Karmo and an unidentified male were traveling to Kenosha to "look and 'pick people off.'" 
[...] 
In an interview with law enforcement, Smith claimed they attended a rally for President Donald Trump "outside of a high school in Kenosha" and wanted to see "proof of the rioting." In his interview with law enforcement, 
Karmo said he and Smith were roommates for about four weeks and were part of the 417 Second Amendment Militia. He also claimed to want to see what "Kenosha was like at night," and the group planned to go to Portland to see what was going on and were willing to "take action" if police were defunded.
Apparently, our homegrown domestic terrorists aren't good enough, they have to ship them in from othere states. 

Undoubtedly, they were partially inspired to be copycats of Kyle Rittenhouse, the 17 year old that gunned down and killed two people in cold blood and injured a third person. 

But this is the kind of crap the country has to deal with mostly because of Trump's decisive, racist comments. It would not be surprising if Trump soon praises these dirtballs as "American heroes," offers them pardons and invites them to his next rally as guest speakers.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Why I Voted For John Weishan For Milwaukee County Register Of Deeds

Due to COVID-19 and Trump's absolute failure in addressing the global pandemic and because of the Wisconsin Republicans not only failing but making the issue worse, my wife and I took the wise route of requesting absentee ballots for the upcoming elections early on. We received, filled out and mailed in our ballots a month before next week's election on August 11. 

When we received the ballots, it was a bit anti-climatic to find that the only contested primary race was for the Milwaukee County Register of Deeds. Not the sexiest race to be sure. The race is between the "incumbent" Israel Ramon and Milwaukee County Supervisor John Weishan. 

Ramon was appointed to the position of May 2019 by Governor Evers at the strong urging of  Chris "Boss" Abele.  The previous Register, John La Fave, stepped down in disgrace during a federal investigation into questionable dealings with two companies, Superior Support Resources, Inc. and Fidlar technologies. Earlier this year, La Fave entered a guilty plea in his dealings with Superior Support Resources.  These dealings were as corrupt as hell:
La Fave, in short, has agreed to plead to orchestrating a scheme to set up a personal slush fund so he could pay vendors of his choosing without having to abide by county rules. It does not appear that he pocketed any of these funds. 
The charging document puts it this way: "At La Fave's direction, Business A held much of this money on account for La Fave to use outside of the county budgeting and procurement processes." 
In his deal with prosecutors, La Fave has agreed to admit that he "obtained and attempted to obtain at least $89,000" through the scheme. That sum amounts to a special fee, similar to a bonus, that Business A was paid for its role in managing the invoices for third-party vendors. 
The documents do not identify the contractor, but it must be Superior Support Resources Inc., a Brookfield company that processed documents for his office. An affidavit for a federal search warrant last year said La Fave asked Superior Support for false invoices over several years.
Fidlar is still under investigation. 
Despite Fidlar's possible involvement with another corrupt scheme with La Fave, Ramon approached the Milwaukee County Board last year asking for more money to give to Fidlar. Wisely, and following precedent, the request was shot down first by the Finance Committee and then by the Board as a whole.

The Milwaukee County Register of Deeds won't have the funds to complete a contract with Fidlar Technologies after the County Board declined to release the money because of the ongoing criminal investigation into the dealings of the office's former leader.

"This, I think, is a terrifically dangerous vote, if we vote for this," said Supervisor James "Luigi" Schmitt, chair of the county finance committee, during Thursday's meeting of the County Board of Supervisors.

Schmitt cited the ongoing investigation and said the board has stopped contracts over much less serious matters.
Now, I'm not accusing Ramon of any misdeeds like those his predecessor made, but to make such a request is very unwise and ill-advised.  It continues to cast a cloud on the Register of Deeds Office when they can least afford it.

This is why I voted for Weishan in this primary.  We need someone who has shown discipline and has a thorough understanding of how the County works.  He will be able to restore integrity to that office and build the confidence that is so desperately needed now.

Despite Ramon's claims of restoring integrity and transparency, he has failed in the year and a half that he has held that position.

I encourage you, Milwaukee County voter, to ignore the establishment protecting one of its own and make the the wise decision of casting your ballot for John Weishan.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Wisconsin Gets A Face Mask Order, Republicans Have Meltdowns



In May 2020, the Wisconsin Supreme Kangaroo Court ruled in favor of the COVID 19 pandemic and immediately put an end to Governor Tony Evers stay at home order. 

Predictably, people went nuts, threw personal safety and personal responsibility out the window and commenced to party like mad and go on vacations, usually to the scenic areas of Northern Wisconsin. 
 Also predictably, the number of new cases of COVID 19 began to climb at an every accelerating rate. When the Supreme Court issued their decision, new cases were averaging about 100-125 cases per day. On Thursday, Wisconsin saw it's first day of over 1000 new cases. 

Despite the pandemic growing further and further out of control, even in the most rural counties, the Republicans did nothing but campaign and sit with their thumbs up their asses. 

Finally, on Thursday, as Wisconsin hit its first 1,000+ new cases in one day, Evers took action and issued a health emergency declaration and a mandatory face mask executive order. Suprisingly, many businesses, especially bankers, supported this measure. And just to help keep the Republicans on their heels, Evers went on the offensive:
But Democratic lawmakers and Wisconsin bankers praised the order, saying it will help reverse a worsening outbreak in the state and provide uniform rules for businesses operating in different counties. 
Evers said he decided to issue the orders as a way to get on top of a virus outbreak growing out of control in recent weeks. 
"We tried their way. Folks, it’s not working," Evers said Thursday of Republican lawmakers' successful lawsuit to remove state-imposed restrictions on daily life.
I'm sure that the timing of Evers' order was not accidental. The order goes into effect Saturday, August 1. That's the same day that Jill Karofsky takes her seat on the Supreme Court, narrowing the right wing majority to 4-3. But if Justice Brian Hagendorn had sided with Evers on the stay at home order. If he stays consistent, that would give Evers a 4-3 decision in his favor. 

Adding to this complex 3D chess game is that any court challenges are likely to be unsuccessful since the state Republicans also tightened their power grab by passing a law stating that they could dismiss and executive order with a majority in both houses of the state legislature, which they currently have. 

As the gentle reader probably guessed, the Republicans started having conniptions and hissy fits over the order. As much fun as that was too watch, their reasoning for these temper tantrums was purely a laugh riot. 

My personal favorite is the ones claiming that it's an infringement of their rights. Yet these same people don't have an issue following similar expectations such as wearing clothes, using seat belts or other common sense safety measures. 

Some are arguing that the few local governments that have passed their own face mask laws are sufficient. But doing face mask laws in this piecemeal way is absolutely useless. It's like saying that it's OK to pee in certain parts of a swimming pool but not in others. 

Others are only upset that it doesn't follow their laws on how such orders should be issued, revealing that they are more concerned about politics and getting into power struggles than saving people's lives. 

One such fool is State Senator Steve Nass, who is well-named since he truly is An Ass. Nass is calling for a special session to end the order, despite the fact that the Republicans had more than 100 days to get off their asses and actually take care of business before now. Making an even bigger ass out of himself is the twisted logic he used in calling for this special session and projecting his party's failures on Evers:
Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) called on Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to immediately call the Legislature back into session to pass a joint resolution ending Evers’ emergency declaration. 
"Governor Evers actions today are nothing more than a political stunt to create a partisan fight with the Legislature," Nass said in a statement. "This is not about improving public health. Today’s emergency declaration is all about the November election and the weak performance of Democrats in this state."
While the state senate majority leader, Scott Fitzgerald, had expressed that he is considering calling a special session, it is questionable at best whether it would go anywhere. 

Being a little more political savvy than usual, Speaker of the Assembly Robin Vos is trying to distance himself from taking such an action:
Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, said there are constitutional questions about Evers' new public health emergency and mask order but signaled he would not be suing the governor over them. 
"I understand the necessity of doing all that we can to control the spread of COVID-19. We all know it’s serious," Vos said in a statement. "Local governments have been responding appropriately and increasing precautionary measures as needed. But Wisconsin shouldn’t have a one-size-fits-all mandate." 
Vos said a statewide mandate "doesn’t build public support when there are questions surrounding the metrics and the constitutionality of this mandate." 
He said legal challenges from "citizen groups" are likely coming.
Vos probably recognizes the fact that taking such an action just three months before the elections would probably cause a major backlash and be political suicide for the Republicans. And since he wants to be governor, Vos wants to be a bit more careful as that in the 2018 elections, all the state wide seats went to the Democrats. Fitzgerald and the other senators feel much more safe in their gerrymandered districts than Vos would be. 

Just as the Republicans ceded their self-proclaimed title of being the party of law and order and the family party, they are surrendering their false claim of being the pro-life party.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Wisconsin Covidiots Gone Wild!



Wisconsin, like every other state in the nation, has its fair share of Covidiots. Just on Friday alone, three stories regarding these Covidiots broke, and each one is amazing in its stupidity and craziness. 

The first Covidiot is Mark Whitfield, former general manager of Noah's Ark, one of the state's biggest water parks, which is located in Wisconsin Dells, one of the state's biggest tourist attractions. Sauk County, in which Noah's Ark is located, is considering making face masks mandatory. Whitfield wrote an email to the county supervisors to oppose such a law which displayed a cornucopia of crazy:
“No one has died of the phantom China virus since March,” Whitfield said, adding that Sauk, Columbia and Adams counties have been “free areas” of the state since mid-May. 
Whitfield also believes Sauk County’s “economy would collapse” if a mandatory mask mandate was put into place. Whitfield said the county should not be in the business of mandating what citizens can wear in public, referring to the possible policy as a “slippery slope to someone mandating women wearing hijabs.” 
Whitfield cited religious and medical reasons for why he personally did not support the policy. 
“I also have a religious problem with it… the mark of the beast,” Whitfield said.
Whitfield's letter, besides being cringeworthy, is also in direct opposition to the water park's policy regarding COVID-19. 

Unsurprisingly, Whitfield's covidiocy cost him his job

Running a close second to Whifield is Pastor Matthew Trewhella of Milwaukee. Trewhella compared mandatory face masks to the Holocaust. Equally disturbing is the number of people that applauded that insanity:
A Milwaukee pastor compared mandatory mask wearing to the Holocaust, and was applauded by resident attendees, during a Brookfield City Council meeting July 21. 
“The Jews didn’t one day get called to the edge of the railroad and be told to get onto the box cars," said Pastor Matthew Trewhella of Mercy Seat Christian Church. "There were a thousand little acts infringing upon their liberty prior to that." 
Mercy Seat is based in Milwaukee, but the congregation has been meeting in Brookfield since Milwaukee established a mask mandate. 
[...] 
Moments before exiting the room, Trewhella said, "that’s how tyranny operates until one day, the final solution takes place and the box cars are there."
Sadly, it's not the first time Trewhella presented with such a high level of inappropriateness. He also once said that he had no problem with people using force against someone seeking an abortion. 

Lastly, and perhaps the most frightening, is The Kiltie Drive In, in Waukesha County, which stayed open despite five employees having tested positive for COVID-19:
The Kiltie Drive-In in Oconomowoc has stayed open despite five employees testing positive for the coronavirus this month, according to an employee. 
Additional employees are not reporting for their shifts because they are uncomfortable working in the conditions, said the employee who fears retaliation and spoke to the Journal Sentinel on condition of anonymity. 
The Journal Sentinel has confirmed the source works at The Kiltie, a seasonal drive-in known for its distinct red sign above the canopy and classic sundaes. 
After one employee tested positive, two workers showed symptoms of the virus two weeks ago, the employee said. The two workers’ coronavirus tests came back negative and they returned to work. 
Since then, the employee said, four more employees have tested positive. Despite staff voicing their concerns to owner Drew Howie, the business has remained open. Ages of those who contracted the virus are between 14 and 26 years old.
I shudder at the thought of how many people may have been exposed by the owner's irresponsibility and the government's lack of leadership. Unsurprisingly, the county is also seeing a spike in positive cases.