Friday, November 30, 2012

Don Pridemore - Part 2

We brought you yesterday the story of Don Pridemore who thinks he is qualified to be State Superintendent of Public Instruction(honestly this is Not satire).

There is more to the story of Don Pridemore then we brought yesterday, so wanted to get this one record also.  

Don Pridemore was a proud sponsor to Glenn Grothman's single parent act, and he was not scared to outcrazy Grothman(yes I did not know it was possible either):

Remember earlier this month when another Wisconsin lawmaker thoughtfully suggested that maybe single parenthood should be considered a factor that may be indicative of child abuse? Pridemore was a co-sponsor of the bill that would've made it a crime for a person to dare try to raise a child on their own outside of the pillowy soft Magic Zone of marriage. But what about women who are being abused by their husbands? Shouldn't they have the option to extract themselves from an unhealthy situation? Nope, says Pridemore. And he's got some expert abused spouse marital advice as well: "If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help."

So, the solution to divorce and spousal abuse is just remembering why you love your abuser? Did he learn about love, relationships, and psychology from tragic early country songs?

In addition to being a ladyhating idiot, Pridemore ignores the fact that men can be victims of physical or emotional abuse as well — and the fact that a poor quality marriage can be a contributing factor to child abuse. Let's get those bitches married, the way God intended! Come hell or high water or emergency room visits or a life lived in a state of utter terror!

Then of course, there is ALWAYS more:

 . A new wrinkle has surfaced as the bills’ co-sponsor, Representative Don Pridemore (R-Heartless Scumbag) has gone on the record as opposing divorce even in the event of a abusive spouse.

So if you are a woman regularly being beaten by your husband, you are a bad mother if you seek a divorce.
“If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” said Representative Don Pridemore.

This attitude represents a profound misunderstanding of the realities of spousal abuse. Once the real abuse begins it doesn’t just go away. Power taken is not easily relinquished and that’s what abuse is about: power. Such a dynamic is extremely unhealthy for a child. A boy watching abuse can grow up to be an abuser, his view of women distorted. A girl can grow to be a victim, her sense of self worth destroyed. That’s abuse, not the fantasy of single parenthood being damaging to a child.
And health experts agree. reports:
Dr. Geoffrey Swain of the Milwaukee Health Department is also a professor at the UW-Madison.  He says surrounding a child with an unhealthy marriage can lead to not only abuse, but depression and anxiety.

“To the contrary one of the risk factors for child abuse and neglect is poor quality of marriage,” said Dr. Geoffrey Swain.  “Marriage actually has nothing to do with it, it’s the quality of the relationship that matters in terms of the child’s health.”

How does Scott Walker feel about the big government republicans telling people how they should run their lives and women to suck it up and remember "the good times" while being beaten and abused?

How do women who have been in this situation before, and most sane people who want to live their lives without BIG republican Government interference feel?  

Not sure what job Don Pridemore is ACTUALLY qualified for, but State Superintendent of Public Instruction sure is not one of them(of course neither is assemblyman).  

Good God! Maybe There is Hope After All.

We have been bringing you tales of republican craziness, almost too many to count.   It has been brought on by the rise of the "tea party" and way to many legislators come from this movement. 

 Despite the fact that they took a resounding defeat in the most recent election, the "tea party" groups have doubled down on crazy, even going so far as to want to nullify federal law and arrest anyone who tries to implement it!

These extremists groups have gone so far as to want to secede from the United States, heck here in Wisconsin, despite being laughed at statewide, one of their own crazies thinks he should be State Superintendent of our Schools. 

Fixing this craziness is not something the democrats can do, it has to come from within the republican party.  Luckily there are signs that this is happening.   An open records review of the emails that the "loony party of six republican's, who want to arrest federal officials, for implementing Obamacare show that the craziness might just be confined to elected officials and a few others!  

For the six lawmakers, most of the email came from citizens giving their views on the issue.
“As a soon to be constituent, a life long republican, and a firm opponent of Obamacare, I am nonetheless embarrassed by your absurd nullification comments. Good god!” one man wrote to Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield).

“I worked for you. You are a reasonable and good person and I am genuinely surprised at this,” another man posted a message to Rep. Erik  Severson (R-Star Prairie) on Facebook. “Instead of focusing on how to make the best out of a bad situation, you think (it’s) better to arrest implementors of a federal policy upheld by the US Supreme Court. … It may suck, but as Americans, we accept the results of elections and move forward. This is disgraceful.”

Most of the emails opposed the lawmakers’ stances, but some backed them.

They still have to overcome the right wing hate cabal on the radio and the incredibly disingenious, illogical and ridiculous echo chamber on the right, but at least you can see that there are some signs of hope!  

Walkergate: John Doe Rides A Harley

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been decrying the foul corruption of Scott Walker and his underlings since my first days as a blogger at folkbum's rambles and rants. Among the first things and top things that I had continuously harped on was Walker's "Executive Rides," thinly veiled campaign tours which he pretended were trips to promote tourism in Milwaukee County.

These "Executive Rides" have long been a thorn for both those of us who want clean government and for Walker himself. I say they've been a problem for Walker because he has been so inept and so corrupt, he kept tripping himself up every time he took one of these trips.
Image by Stuart Carlson
In 2005, when Walker was making his first gubernatorial run, he started to get called out for using county funds to promote his campaign bike rides.

The water got a little hotter when he was busted handing out $19,000 worth of goodies to people. He gave these goodies to the media in order to win friendly press and to non-media types who were supporting his campaign.

After Walker got bumped out of the 2006 race, things settled down for a little bit, although he was still using taxpayer dollars to promote himself on these Harley Davidson rides.

When Walker started gearing up for his second run for governor, so did his "Executive Ride" related antics.

In 2009, he got Air Tran to sponsor part of his campaign bike ride, which in itself was illegal. But he also had his scheduling secretary book reservations for the people that wanted to come along. Even though she was a county employee, he had her use her personal email to make the arrangements.*

Walker claimed that the illegal corporate donations were to save taxpayer money on his campaign rides, but the truth was that he was still using taxpayer dollars laundered through groups like and The Milwaukee 7, both of which Walker was a board member.

It was later learned that Walker had given Air Tran a contract for a much larger space at the county-ran Mitchell Airport about the same time they were making the announcement that they were sponsoring his bike ride.

That same year, Walker made a stink about two county supervisors who went to Washington, D.C. to see Obama's inauguration, calling the expense "mind-boggling." What he didn't mention is that these same supervisors came back with millions of dollars in stimulus funding. This was a much better deal than the thousands of tax dollars spent for his bike rides which only paid out in campaign contributions for Walker.

The year 2010 brought even more audacity from Walker.

Instead of taking his campaign bike ride at the end of June like he normally did, that year Walker moved his bike ride up to mid-May. He claimed that he did this because after years of this stunt, it was suddenly too hot at the end of June to ride a motorcycle. Just because this new dates for his campaign ride just so happened to end as the same time the Republican Convention was strictly coincidental, or he tried to get us to believe.

By now, the gentle reader is probably wondering just how the hell Walker was able to get away with all of this for all those years.

Well, the answer is pretty simple.

Walker was the person who appointed the people to the Milwaukee County Ethics Board.
In late spring, after the Ethics board had their quarterly meeting, Walker would run his bike ride past his hand-picked chairman of the board, who would rubber stamp it. By the time got around to reviewing the proposal for the ride, it had already happened, so the board would just approve it.

However, 2010 brought things that were too big for the Ethics Board to rubber stamp.

The Democrats got smart and finally sent someone to tag along to videotape Walker's trip. They got some interesting videos, too.

They got one where Tim Russell was seen unfurling Air Tran banners, even though he was supposedly acting in his official capacity as a county employee. In another video, Russell, sporting an Air Tran t-shirt, is arranging a photo op with local Republican politicians, including Senator Luther Olsen. Please note how Walker had to correct the group to say "Tourism" instead of "Republican" as the photographer had told them to say.

The Democrats took their videos** to the GAB, who then directed them to take it to the Milwaukee County District Attorney. Remember this the next time Walker tries to claim he initiated the Walkergate investigation.

And as a fun side note, the 2010 also featured a rider named Judith Rhodes-Engels, who is more infamous for being Senator Scott Fitzgerald's campaign fundraiser and close confidante.

So, why do I bring all this up?

Well, I was reminded of it when it was reported that a Harley Davidson dealer named Christopher Brekken filed a frivolous lawsuit against Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf, the main prosecutor handling Walkergate. From said article:
The suit, filed in Barron County Circuit Court in September, claims that Brekken could not produce or obtain the very specific information that had been subpoenaed, and he told Landgraf he could not.

But a bench warrant was issued for Brekken in October 2010 that required him to travel to Milwaukee that November to again affirm under oath that he couldn't find out the full credit card number used by specific person on a specific date at Rice Lake Harley.

In quoting the subpoena, the lawsuit redacts the name, date, amount and partial credit card number.
This does raise some interesting questions and opens the door to some even more interesting speculation.

Since Landgraf knew the identity of the person making the purchase, the date on which the purchase was made, one could logically conclude that he also knows what was purchased.  The only thing he apparently already didn't know was the full credit card number.

This leads me to believe that he found a receipt for a purchase made at that specific dealership.  The receipt would have the date, the amount and the name of the person making the charge.  However, all but four numbers would have been blocked off.

We know that the DA's office did very thorough raids on Walker's executive offices in the Milwaukee County Courthouse and on Tim Russell's county office and his home.  The receipt most likely came from one of these places and the purchaser was most likely either Walker or Russell.

And let us not forget that Russell already has a history of misusing government credit cards for personal purchases.

I don't know if we'll ever know who bought what, or whether it, whatever it is, was bought using a county credit card.

But it does show us just how thorough the DA's Office has been and how corrupt Walker and his gang has been, as if we need further proof of either of those things.

*This is something that has recurred in his time as governor, where he would have potential contractors submit their bids to his staff's personal email. He did this in an obvious attempt to elude open record request.

**Scott Wittkopf has two more videos that even I hadn't seen before.

To Rep. Scott Suder - Legislator of Wolf Slaughter

Representative Suder,

My name is Meg Moen. I am not in your district, but I am writing to you today because of your legislation that legalized wolf slaughter in our state.

I am greatly disturbed by this law. It nauseates me. I'm not sure if you are aware of not only how important wolves are to our ecosystem, but how close they've come to extinction in our lifetime. I know that you are bound to your rigid conservative ideology and controlled by money and special interests, but there comes a time when we must be adults and do what is right.

I know you consider people who are against your law, people who respect Wisconsin's wonderful wildlife and outdoors like the Humane Society of the United States, "radical" (which is beyond ridiculous and falls into laughable) but I think it's time you sincerely take a look at the hard scientific data, and reverse course on what is bound to be a tragic outcome for a species that is already in danger of going extinct. Wolves have been on and off protected species lists since 1979. It has taken from then until now for their numbers to grow. This months hunt has killed near 200 wolves. If we keep this up, it's only a matter of time until the Timber wolf is gone for good. In doing away with this law, we should be strengthening penalties on hunters who kill wolves illegally, as there were 15 illegal wolf killings in 2010, and to hunters who taunt, tease, and inhumanely capture wolves and hold them in captivity.

What really sickens me about this as much as the kill itself, is the show of blatant disrespect you, Scott Walker and the rest of the GOP have shown towards Native Americans who have been asking the Walker administration to think twice about this. Wolves are an integral part of Native American culture and beliefs, yet, instead of respecting those beliefs, you toss them aside and do what you want. We saw this during the mining debate last year. It's the utmost in impudence.

I am very sincere in my words here. I am hoping that as a tax payer of this state, you'll listen to me and the plethora of other outraged Wisconsin residents. Please give real thought to the excruciating consequences this assault on the wolf species will have. So many worked so hard for so long to ensure that wolves had a safe place to live so they could bring up their numbers. We cannot regress now. Wolves are too important to Wisconsin. They are an important piece of Northern Wisconsin and they are so important to Native Americans. We need to continue to make progress, not regress. We don't want wolves back on the endangered species list.

To everyone who might not have signed my petition yet urging Scott Walker and Cathy Stepp to end this hunt, you can do so here. Please share it with everyone you know!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Walkergate: Four Down, One To Go, ? Pending

About five years ago, my friend and mentor, Jay Bullock, gave me the opportunity to enter the world of blogging by inviting me to his site, folkbum's rambles and rants.

Even from those early days, I was calling out Scott Walker and his faithful friend and confidant, Tim Russell, for their cronyism and corruption.

During the past five years, I pointed out the repeated acts of corruption from Walker and Russell. I took a lot of grief for it too. I was smeared by the worst of them, from Charlie Sykes on down. I was told that I had "Walker Derangement Syndrome." I was called a liar and had my life threatened more than once.

I even had people try to get me arrested and when that failed, fired, for doing exactly what Walker and his people were doing, even though I wasn't.

I told everyone and anyone who would listen to keep an eye on Tim Russell, that he was the weak link in Walker's chain of corruption.

And lo and behold, I received some degree of vindication when Russell, as well as four others, were arrested and charged with various crimes for Walkergate.

Russell was charged with embezzling tens of thousands of dollars from a veterans fund and two political funds. He used that purloined money to pay for vacations to Hawaii and the Caribbean. He also used some of the money to take a trip to meet and schmooze then presidential candidate Herman Cain. He also used some of that money to pay for things like Scott Walker's campaign website.

On Thursday, the matter involving Russell came closer to closure when he finally accepted a plea bargain. In said plea deal, Russell admitted to all three counts, although he will face punishment for one charge, the one involving stealing from the veterans fund.

In exchange for his guilty plea, Russell gets basically three things:
  • He won't get charged with misconduct in office,
  • He won't have to testify against anyone else, and
  • Prosecutors will recommend only 30 months in prison and 30 months of supervised release.
Those are pretty big things.

If he was charged with all of the possible misconduct charges, he could have easily been in prison for the rest of his life. And while the judge is not constricted to follow the prosecutor's recommended sentence, it does carry a lot of weight. For the one charge, Russell could serve as much as ten years in prison and pay a hefty fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 22, 2013, which coincidentally is the same day that Russell's partner, Brian Pierick, has his motion hearing regarding his Walkergate charges of child enticement.

There are a couple things from today's event that needs to be addressed.

One is the quote given by Russell's attorney, Parker Mathews:
Russell "is looking forward to finally bringing these matters to a close and continuing to put his life back together," said Parker Mathers, Russell's attorney. "I also make note that this agreement does not require Mr. Russell to testify in any other matters, and that means a lot of good people are not going to have to testify for the defense and can bring a close to this story." He would not elaborate.
The Walker apologists will undoubtedly latch onto this and try to spin it that this means that Walkergate is all but over, just like they've done over every other development in the Walkergate investigation for the past year.

But don't you believe them.

The DA's Office isn't going to let Russell - or Kelly Rindfleisch or Darlene Wink, for that matter - get off so easy when they could have gotten them for so much more unless they are really going after bigger game. They could have easily taken any of these cases the full length and had each of them put away for a long, long time.

What it means is that Russell already gave them the information they sought and that the next round is going to go in a different direction than the illegal campaigning. Something much more serious with bigger players.  Possibly the bid rigging and strong arming for campaign contributions.

To put it in other words, the five people originally arrested and charged are not the end game, but rather just the beginning.

The other thing that I need to point out is something that is so outrageous and egregious that it made me do a spit take:
The governor's campaign spokesman, in a written statement, said: "Gov. Walker strongly condemns the actions taken by Tim Russell which took advantage of all the volunteers who worked so hard to honor military members and veterans with an annual recognition event."
The hypocrisy and the falseness of this statement is breathtaking.

Just think about it.

Scott Walker and Tim Russell have been friend for more than 25 years. Russell has worked just about every one of Walker's campaigns in those years. And when they weren't in campaign mode, Walker would give Russell some cushy job, whether he was qualified for it or not. To say that Russell was in Walker's inner circle is almost an understatement.

These two men know each other inside out as well as one person can know another.

Yet Walker was only able to offer condemnation of Russell's actions. One would think that after having known Russell for so long and having worked with him so closely day in and day out for all those years, Walker would have expressed feelings of shock, of dismay, of sadness and of betrayal.

But Walker expressed none of those feelings, only condemnation.

Walker didn't express them because he didn't feel them.

And Walker did feel those feelings because he knew all along what was happening.

It was Walker who was using Operation Freedom, the program that the veterans fund was to be used for, as a thinly veiled campaign stunt. And even though Walker was fully aware that Russell had been fired from the state when he used a state credit card for personal purchases, he willfully put control of these funds directly into Russell's hands, through a front group controlled by Russell.

I think that the only thing that Walker was really condemning was that Russell got caught.

So, the end result of the day is that we now have four of Walker's top aides convicted of felonies, one more with a trial pending and only God and the DA's Office knowing how many more are about to come in the next round or rounds.

So buckle up your seatbelts and get a good grip on your popcorn. This ride ain't anywhere close to being over.

Solidarity Fish Fry, Week 8: Two Months Already?

Just making a public service announcement to remind the gentle eater that Friday, November 30, is the eighth week of the Solidarity Fish Fry. It's a little hard to believe we've taken this two months already. It's still so new, so exciting and so much fun, that it hasn't worn thin yet...except for the management at Serb Hall who is trying to bust the union there, using every dirty trick in the book.

I'm thinking that this week might be another exceptional one.

I've heard that some very important people, like the Goddess of Labor, Annie Wacker and Wendy Strout, executive director of Emerge Wisconsin is going to make another appearance. I've also heard that there is a chance that finally some local pols, both from the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County, will make it this week.

That leaves only one more important person, the most important person, to come.

That so very important person is you, dear gentle eater.

Take time from your busy schedules and please come to Serb Hall on Friday and enjoy their fish fry or their buffet. Just make sure you ask for a union waitress, such as Victoria, Michelle and Sandra.

It's a win, win, win. We support a union shop. We support our union brothers and sisters. And we get a belly full of fish.

Oh, yeah, and tell them that Cog Dis sent ya. They just love that.

And stay tuned for some exciting news coming soon.

Don Pridemore

Don Pridemore has filed papers to run against Tony Evers for the position of Superintendent of Wisconsin State Schools.  

Don Pridemore bring an interesting resume to the statewide office leading education.   Let's take a peek!

Pridemore is one of the more conservative members of the state Assembly. Last year, he proposed legislation that would require those arrested or charged with a crime to show proof of citizenship if the police officer who stops them has reasonable suspicion to believe they are not here legally.

In Deep RED State Arizona, Russell Pearce, the author of the immigration bill that Pridemore modeled his after,  who has strong ties to Neo Nazis, actually LOST his seat in a recall election(the first in Arizona's history).      But wait there is more:

 Pridemore also has supported the "constitutional carry" concept, based on the belief that the 2nd Amendment allows people to guns without regulation. He says that means people should be able to carry concealed weapons without getting a permit.

Of course, "constitutional carry" is just bowing to the NRA and has absolutely NOTHING to do with the US Constitution.    It is just really bad policy..  In case you forgot or havent read it, here is the actual 2nd amendment:

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

But wait, there is more, boy is there more:

 Pridemore was one of nine Republican state lawmakers who said they agreed with the positions of the tea party-aligned group Campaign for Liberty which advocates for arresting any federal officials who try to implement the health care law, passing a "right-to-work" law and legalizing the sale of raw milk.
One would think taking the FAR Right Extreme  "tea party" group Campaign for Liberty seriously would be enough to disqualify him, much less wanting to ARREST any government official who tried to implement a national law(Obamacare). 

Then there is the fact that Senator Ron Johnson points out WHY Don Pridemore is NOT qualified to be in our Government.

"You can really gauge a man's character by who he surrounds himself with and who supports him" said US Senator Ron Johnson who was ironically showing his support! 

However, the ONE reason that really disqualifies Don Pridemore from being taken seriously to run our schools, is his propensity for Grammatical errors in a simple 111 word press release announcing his run!

Obviously we are broke and can not afford spell check, so allow me to help!  

For more information contact:
Bill Savage – 414 218 0959
November 28, 2012

Madison- State Representative Don pridemore Pridemore(R-Erin) has filed papers to form a committee to explore to the possibility of running for the position of DPI Superintendant Superintendent this coming spring.

“The status quo is simply not working. After spending billions of dollars on education in Wisconsin, we have not moved the needle a bit. I believe it’s time for a fresh set of ideas”,  ideas," Pridemore said. “Our children’s education has suffered as a result and I believe it’s time to change that.” that," Pridemore added.

Pridemore went on to say that he expects to reach a decision on the race very soon. (Pridemore went on what?  where? what kind of race? what kind of decision? in only 111 words dealing with one subject can we please be a little more specific?) 

Finally, why or why, would Don Pridemore not put in the press release that he is an "Amateur Judge, ABATE Chili"?

Hey run with your strengths!  

Lisa @ BB has her own take on this!  

H/T Bill Savage also, his incredible incompetence here has left an opening for the whole state to make fun of his boss.  Brilliant way to start a campaign.  That will look good on your resume!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CLVIII

Today's economic news from Fitzwalkerstan is mixed.

The good news, if you believe Scott Walker, is that exports are expected to break the state record.

The bad news is that the top two exports are our jobs and our tax dollars:
Wisconsin business leaders say the state is headed in the right direction, yet one in five plans to cut staff in the next six months, the largest percentage in more than three years, according to a semi-annual survey conducted by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.

Twenty percent said they plan layoffs in the first half of 2013, the highest since June 2009, when 41 percent expected job cuts.

One in four chief executives, or 24 percent, said they will add employees, down from 44 percent a year ago and 62 percent last June.
It's enough to make a person sick, but don't you dare, because they're also taking away your healthcare coverage:
Health care is the No. 2 business concern, after the economic slowdown, the poll showed.

With 13 percent saying their health insurance costs have increased more than 20 percent in the past year, up from 8 percent a year ago, more employers say they are dropping health coverage for their workers. Five percent say they do not offer health insurance now, and 9 percent say they will end health benefits, up from 2 percent a year ago.
So, we're losing even more jobs, our healthcare coverage and our tax dollars. How do the folks of WMC, one of Walker's major supporters and drivers of his agenda feel about this?
CEOs were gung-ho on the state, though, with 93 percent saying "things in Wisconsin are going in the right direction" and 40 percent describing state government as "very pro-business."
Where's John Doe when you really need him?

Wisconsin Legislators Jetting Off on Corporate-Funded Trip to Develop Special Interest Legislation

From our friends at PRWatch:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 28, 2012
CONTACT: Brendan Fischer,

MADISON, WI -- Several Wisconsin legislators are attending this week’s conference of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) at the Grand Hyatt in Washington D.C., and likely doing so on corporate-funded “scholarships,”, which the Center for Media and Democracy believes violate state ethics and lobbying laws. The three-day meeting, held November 28-30, will bring state legislators together with corporate lobbyists and special interests to craft “model” bills – many of which will likely be introduced in the ALEC-majority Wisconsin legislature in the session that begins in January.

Earlier this year, CMD filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board alleging the “scholarship” program that allows corporate interests to fund legislators’ travel and hotel expenses to ALEC meetings violates the state’s gift ban. Neighboring Minnesota banned the so-called “scholarship” program many years ago. As detailed in “Buying Influence,” an October 2012 report by CMD, DBA Press, and Common Cause, between 2006 and 2010 Wisconsin legislators received at least $116,700 in corporate-funded flights and hotel rooms.

Those corporate-funded gifts correspond with a surge in ALEC-inspired special interest legislation. Some of the most controversial legislation introduced in the Wisconsin Capitol in recent years has ALEC roots, including parts of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union Act 10, the state’s unconstitutional voter ID law, efforts to bar suits for Wisconsin deaths from FDA-approved drugs and devices along with other so-called tort “reform,” and the “Title Pledge Act” whose introduction resulted in $24,000 in campaign contributions to Wisconsin legislators from ALEC member Loanmax. It also includes the Special Needs Scholarship Program Act, which was promoted in Wisconsin by ALEC member American Federation for Children. Former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen represents that Betsy DeVos-funded organization at ALEC meetings.

This month’s annual ALEC meeting caps a year of controversy surrounding the organization’s political agenda and its tax-exempt status. ALEC came under particularly intense scrutiny for its national drive to promote the “Stand Your Ground” gun law that for weeks shielded the killer of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin from prosecution. A bill that shares some of the operative provisions of that ALEC-approved law dubbed the “Castle Doctrine,” also passed in Wisconsin last year. Similarly, ALEC has faced intense controversy over its role in legislation to make it harder for American citizens to vote, through restrictive “voter ID” legislation.

ALEC has been the subject of multiple IRS complaints alleging that it has violated its charitable 501(c)(3) status by acting primarily as a conduit for corporate interests to lobby state legislators, thereby allowing these special interests to write-off their lobbying expenses as a charitable deduction. And in recent months, five Wisconsin legislators tried to shield their ALEC-related emails from open records requests, and only released the records to settle a state lawsuit filed by the Center for Media and Democracy and Common Cause.

The ALEC State Co-Chair for Wisconsin in 2011-2012, Rep. Robin Vos, has been promoted to Assembly Speaker, and one of the other state legislator Co-Chairs, Rep. Scott Suder, is Assembly Majority Leader. There is precedent for leadership within ALEC leading to leadership roles in Wisconsin government. One ALEC State Co-Chair in the previous term, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, became Senate Majority Leader in 2011-2012, and his 2009-2010 ALEC State Co-Chair, former Rep. Mike Huebsch, became head of the Department of Administration.

Sen. Leah Vukmir is the third ALEC State State Co-Chair. She also sits on the ALEC National Board of Directors, and is the public sector chair of the ALEC Health & Human Services Task Force, serving alongside a lobbyist for the insurance industry. The press and public are barred from the ALEC’s task force meetings where legislators and lobbyists vote to approve "model" bills.

Dozens of other Wisconsin legislators are also ALEC members.

Which of these state legislators are in DC this week? Which ALEC firm bankrolled their flight? What corporate-sponsored bills will they be bringing back to Wisconsin?

When Sen. Fitzgerald was interviewed after ALEC’s 2010 post-election meeting, before ALEC was engulfed in controversy, he told press that he had never seen such enthusiasm for so-called “right to work” legislation, a bill Governor Walker subsequently promised billionaire Diane Hendricks he would push after his “divide and conquer” efforts to tie his (ALEC-related) union-busting to the budget bill. What will ALEC legislators enthusiastically bring back to Wisconsin to push with their newly regained majority in the state Senate after their secret meetings with corporate lobbyists at the ALEC meeting this week?

We urge state reporters to ask Wisconsin legislators about how their travel was paid for this trip, who paid for their dinners and parties in DC, and what bills they discussed as part of the ALEC agenda for 2013 at the ALEC meeting this week.

Walkergate: Overruled!

As I'm sure the gentle reader has heard by now, the Honorable Neal Nettesheim has said that Scott Walker's statements that Walkergate would end this week was "pure conjecture."

Of course, the gentle reader already knew that, since they read it here first, second and third.

Since this news has come out, Walker has taken a much different tone:
Speaking to reporters Wednesday in Madison, Walker stressed that he had no "inside track" on the investigation and said he had just been expressing a hope Tuesday.

"I didn't say I had any knowledge of it when the person asked me a question," Walker said. "I said, like most people I would be happy and hopeful that it might be done this week," Walker said.

In spite of the continued investigation, Walker said he hadn't lost track of his priorities.

"It hasn't stopped us from doing our job," he said of the probe that has convicted several of his former aides. "I think most people - not me - but most people in the state would like to think it's going to end at some point. My focus hasn't changed."
As a commenter had so correctly pointed out:
Since Walker "is not the focus of the investigation" and is only "cooperating", why would he care how long the investigation lasts??...we know the answer...
The next logical question for the reporters to ask Walker is exactly just what is his focus on. His pipe dream of becoming president? Or just raising more money for his legal defense fund? Or getting enough bail money lined up for when the time does come?

And speaking of his legal defense fund, does anyone else suspect that Walker's "Talk With Walker" tour, in which he talks to business owners - most of whom are also campaign contributors - but not to the actual citizens of Wisconsin, is nothing more than a shakedown to get them to contribute to his legal defense fund?

It reminds me of the "Executive Rides" he took when he was Milwaukee County Executive and used county resources and personnel to go campaigning.

Given Walker's propensity to doing the same things over and over, regardless of they're unethical or illegal, it sure does seem likely.


Because they don't want to talk about Scott Walker's ties with Walkergate, the Republicans have been focusing on their conspiracy theories about Ambassador Susan Rice.  They're trying to do a preemptive strike, afraid that President Barack Obama will nominate her to be the Secretary of State.  They say they don't trust her and accuse her of lying about the death of four Americans.

I'll be more sympathetic to their complaints once they publicly apologize to the American people and to the world for not questioning the lies told by Condoleezza Rice.  That cost the country thousands of American lives and untold hundreds of billions of dollars.

Frickin' hypocrites.

Cardin's Kidding

Today Joy Cardin of Wisconsin Public Radio, wanted to have a discussion about same day voter registration.   When talking about voter registration in the state of Wisconsin, the go to person is obviously Andrea Kaminski

Unfortunately Joy Cardin spoiled the show by bringing on (as counter point to the non partisan) Kaminski, hyper partisan Kevin Binversie.  

That is like ordering generic potato chips as a side with your Filet Mignon. 

Show can be heard here

I wonder what Cardin has planned for tomorrow's show? 

Dr. Oz and the guy who played Ronald McDonald discussing the 7 warning signs your body is aging too fast

What's Your Name Again?

I Love This

Multi Multi Millionaire Mitt who spent his whole life trying to become President of the United States as some sort of birthright!

  Yet in the end, Willard ended up with an extremely poor VP choice, and 47% of the vote(the same 47% who feel entitled to 'gifts' and wont take personal responsibility for their lives obviously).  

The person who ran for the republican nomination for President for six years and made it through a brutal primary season as THE  absolute best, most qualified person in the republican party, to run for President.  The Mitt Romney, who was endorsed by the Wisconsin State Journal AND Senator Ron Johnson, just picked up another award! 

Least Influential person in America(H/T GQ)! 

 “Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian’s impression of a white person. Thank God the election’s over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson’s pampered money Dumpster.”

 Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian's impression of a white person. Thank God the election's over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson's pampered money Dumpster. Good-bye, Mitt. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life quietly ensconced at Lake Winnipesaukee, blissfully ignorant of the plight of anyone who doesn't have $300 million squirreled away in the Bahamas.

Read More

 Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian's impression of a white person. Thank God the election's over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson's pampered money Dumpster. Good-bye, Mitt. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life quietly ensconced at Lake Winnipesaukee, blissfully ignorant of the plight of anyone who doesn't have $300 million squirreled away in the Bahamas.

Read More
1.  Mitt Romney
 Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian's impression of a white person. Thank God the election's over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson's pampered money Dumpster. Good-bye, Mitt. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life quietly ensconced at Lake Winnipesaukee, blissfully ignorant of the plight of anyone who doesn't have $300 million squirreled away in the Bahamas.

Read More

1.  Mitt Romney
 Was anyone inspired by Mitt Romney? Did anyone vote enthusiastically for Mitt Romney? Of course not. Voting for Romney is like hooking up with the last single person at the bar at 4 a.m. The only successful thing he did this year was embody every black stand-up comedian's impression of a white person. Thank God the election's over. No more endless photos of Mitt staring winsomely off-camera with that attempted smile on his face. No more glaring campaign mishaps week after week after week. No more labored media efforts to make him look like anything other than Sheldon Adelson's pampered money Dumpster. Good-bye, Mitt. I hope you enjoy the rest of your life quietly ensconced at Lake Winnipesaukee, blissfully ignorant of the plight of anyone who doesn't have $300 million squirreled away in the Bahamas.

Read More

Walkergate: Abandon All Hope Ye Who Are John Doe

Scott Walker thinks you are dumb.

Or to be more accurate, Walker hopes you are very dumb.

Walker is trying to use one of the oldest plays in the book to mislead people regarding Walkergate.

First, he has operatives start a whisper campaign.  Let's say something like that Walkergate is dead.

These whispers reach the ears of the corporate media, who then reports it as fact.

Then Walker's echo chamber echoes it until it gains legs.

Then Walker comes out and says something like this:
Immediately after speaking at the dairy business meeting, Walker said he didn't know whether the John Doe investigation would wrap up with Russell's plea hearing, saying almost everything he knew was based on media accounts. He said there seemed to be a growing sentiment that the investigation was coming to an end.
Fortunately, the gentle reader already knows better.

He can get away with this to a certain degree because he knows that, contrary to another one of his whisper campaigns, Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm and his staff are professionals and will not release or leak any information illegally, even in order to defend their reputation.

What Walker is trying to do is bury the Walkergate story. It just wouldn't do to have the future Republican presidential candidate weighed down with the fact that he is the subject of a John Doe investigation. That really puts a damper on the flow of campaign contributions.

So Walker has been going around telling anyone and everyone who will listen that " It's gone on for two years. Hopefully, after this week, it will be over."

The first order of business is to point out that it took four years to convict Blago, and his case was not nearly as complex or as vast as the corruption in Walker's administration and campaign. It probably took over a year just to gather the evidence from the purloined computers and the Mystery Dumpter O'Fun's contents.

Along the same line, Walker also repeated the line of "We started it." Even if you give him that point for the sake of argument, Walker would still need to explain why he stonewalled the investigation he allegedly started.

And presuming that Tim Russell's plea bargain finally goes through this Thursday, Walkergate is far from over.

First of all, there still would need to be Russell's sentencing hearing, Darlene Wink's sentencing hearing and the whole trial for Russell's partner, Brian Pierick, who is facing two charges of child enticement. That trial won't even start until the end of January, two full months away from now.

So not only is Walkergate not done, the first phase of Walkergate isn't even over yet.

But, as you know, there's more. There's always more.

There's is still a rogue's gallery of reprobates and miscreants that need to be accounted for.

We also know that there are many aspects to Walkergate besides campaigning on taxpayers time and embezzlement. Things like pay for play shakedowns and bid rigging.

Then there is the claim that Walker is making in denying that he is a subject of the Walkergate investigations.

State law clearly states that the DA is under no obligation to tell a person if they are the target. However, if the person is not a target of the investigation, the DA may publicly state that the person is not the target, like Chisholm did with Andrew Jensen and Michael Maistelman.

Obviously, Walkergate was a factor during the recall. If Walker really wasn't a subject of the investigation, Chisholm would have given him a letter clearing him so that it wouldn't interfere with the election. Yet Walker has produced no such letter.

Another way for a person to know they are not the target is if they are granted immunity, but that is a matter that happens in a public hearing. No such hearing happened and thus we know he wasn't granted immunity.

Lastly, while Walker might hope that this is the end of this John Doe, there is a courthouse full of John Does waiting to step up. I'd say that there is a pretty good chance that at least some of them have Walker's name and the names of his underlings on them.

With a new budget starting on New Year's Day, there's no reason to believe that we won't be seeing the start of the next phase.

On the bright side, Walker made his statements to a group of dairy farmers. Of all people, they are used to the sight and smell of manure.

Moral Bankruptcy!

Political Hack:    A political hack is a negative term ascribed to a person who is part of the political party apparatus, but whose intentions are more aligned with victory than personal conviction. The term "hired gun" is often used in tandem to further describe the moral bankruptcy of the "hack". Charles Krauthammer is a quintessential example of a political hack.

Our favorite political hack and Magyver lackey, Jimmy Wiggy is incensed that newly elected Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson replaced Senator Lena Taylor on the Joint Finance Committee with Senator John Lehman.  By rewarding someone that supported him, over one who did not, is a political tactic that we have been able to track back at least 5000 years.  

By the way, why does Larson hate African Americans? State Senator Lena Taylor is not happy. - Wiggy

See the thing is while Mr inclusive James W. ran to Lena Taylor's defense,  he hasn't always been so kind to her.

@jwigderson on Lena Taylor 3/24/08:"It takes an impressive effort 2 be that dumb and still be able to dress yourself in the morning"
OOPS, I guess Mister W is not so accepting of African Americans after all.

But as we like to say here....but wait there's more:

The Joint Finance Committee, is a committee that has 16 members, and (for some silly reason) the majority party(Republicans) get to pick 12/16 members.   

How many republican members of the JFC are African American?  - 0

How many republican members of the JFC are minorities?  - 0

How many posts has Jimbo written about the lack of minority representation on the republican side of the JFC?   -   0  

Not only that, I counted up the times that  the staunch extreme republican from Walkersha, who has a man crush on Jim Sensenbrenner,  pushed for African American(or any minority) representation in Congressional Committee's  -   0  

How many minorities or women did the republican House of Representatives  appoint to leadership roles?  - 0

How many times did Wigs complain about that?   0 

Hypocrite or Liar?

I report - You Decide!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ixnay Again!

We brought you the story yesterday of how Pulitzer Prize Winning Author Tom Ricks was brought on Fox news to push right wing propaganda and he did not play along!  This caused the interviewer to immediately cancel the interview and go to commercial break.  

Fox was universally criticized for their actions, so they tried to save face.   Unfortunately for them, there was no face to save.

Fox News Channel executive vice president Michael Clemente then made the interview rounds to let everyone know that Mr. ricks apologized for how he acted. 

The problem with that of course is that Mr. ricks never did apologize, Mr. Clemente was lying!  

“When Mr. Ricks ignored the anchor’s question, it became clear that his goal was to bring attention to himself -- and his book," Clemente told THR via email. "He apologized in our offices afterward but doesn’t have the strength of character to do that publicly."

But that's news to Ricks, who told THR in his own email that he never offered an apology to Fox — privately or publicly.

"Please ask Mr. Clemente what the words of my supposed apology were. I'd be interested to know," Ricks said. "Frankly, I don't remember any such apology."

When the VP of Fox News is not scared to tell a bold faced lie why wouldn't everyone on the network do the same?  

No wonder our friends on the right wing blargosphere also like to lie....its company policy!  

Never A Dull Moment When You're A County Worker

This has been the most bizarre year for me at work.

Besides the usual stuff of being attacked and assailed by Scott Walker and his doppleganger, Chris Abele, things have been "interesting" at work.

In June, there was a lot of water damage when repairmen left a hole in the roof of the Coggs Building and a thunderstorm hit.

A few days later, a five alarm fire broke out in a store across the street from the Coggs, causing the building to be evacuated and closed for three full days while water and fire damage crews cleaned up the mess from the smoke and the water damage.

Then in the last few months, we've had two evacuations due to fire alarms being set off by people burning microwave popcorn.

Then they found stagnant, fetid water in a sub-basement area that they missed back in June.

Today, we were again evacuated, but no one is exactly sure why.  The paper said that it was some sort of threat made via Facebook.  The radio said it was a bomb threat.  I also heard that it was a man with a gun angry at a girlfriend.  

I don't know what it was about.  No one does.  But that is not surprising.

Chris Abele really needs to learn to be more open - and more honest - with the public and with the workers.

Wisconsin's Wolf Kill - Rancid Policy

Humans have yet to find a peaceful, equal coexistence with animals. But that doesn't mean that while we are trying to find it, we have the right to cast a cruel gaze on those who are on four legs because we don't think they matter, or that we're more important. That idea is wrong and dangerous. It can change the future of animals on earth as we know it.

At one time in Wisconsin, the timber wolf population was extremely dire, even being listed as an endangered species. By 2004 (although the timber wolf has faced problems for many years before 2004) it was put on the list of "protected wild animals." From 2004 until 2011, the timber wolf went on and off different endangered and protected animal lists. I want to make this clear - I'm not too opposed to hunting deer (not that I personally would do it.) Deer hunting is great for our state's economy and it brings in money we desperately need, since King Walker has no plans to raise taxes on the 1% or create jobs. But I think when it comes to animals that were once state and federally endangered, I can't believe hunting is even in the picture. And I'm not the only one who feels this way. The Humane Society of the United States and other animal groups are threatening legal action if these wolf hunts do not stop. Act 169, the law Walker signed legalizing the hunting of timber wolves, is the worst thing to happen to them since being endangered. If these hunts continue, no matter what DNR secretary and Walker sheep Cathy Stepp says, the wolf will go right back to where it started. Its numbers will dwindle until it's almost gone. There is an entire delicate ecosystem that gets disrupted when one animal dies out. A food chain wrecked. It reeks havoc on our earth. 

Thankfully, Native American tribes here in the state helped keep 85 out of the designated-for-slaughter 116 wolves from being killed during this years hunt. As we saw with the whole mining fiasco, Scott Walker and his ilk are very disrespectful to the wishes of our states many tribes. Stepp essentially told the Chippewa tribe "too bad, so sad" when they argued that they have rights to many of the wolf packs in Northern Wisconsin. In fact, she has been fighting tribes every step of the way over this and other issues pertaining to hunting in the state. Here is her DNR all upset that the Chippewa were granted permission to hunt deer at night, regardless that the DNR has permitted legal wolf hunting at night to Wisconsin hunters.

But this is what I find most ironic about this entire thing. Act 169 also lays the groundwork for the use of dogs to track down wolves. Now, we're not talking about taking your dog pheasant or duck hunting. We're talking about ON PURPOSE using your dog to go find wolves. One of the main complaints against wolves is that they are attacking dogs. A small number of pets are killed each year by them. If the fear that wolves will eat your dog is so great that it requires slaughtering them, why are you using them to track and bait the wolves? Not to mention, that seems like animal cruelty to both the dog and the wolf. The law allows for up to 6 dogs per licensed hunter. Here's a tip - if you don't want wolves eating your dog, then don't use your dog to bait them. It's like waving a pork chop in their face and not expecting it to bite your hand.

The reality is is that wolves, bears, coyotes, hawks, fish, even the raccoon who eats your garbage, were all here first. We kicked them off their land. Because urban sprawl and climate change are growing at rates that seem to be faster than the speed of sound, animals are becoming more and more displaced. They are losing their natural homes in large numbers. We have no right to punish them for it. We need to learn to coexist now more than ever. If we're going to survive together, we need to learn respect our wild counterparts.

"The Earth does not belong to man; Man belongs to the Earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
-Chief Seattle

"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by people from the cruelty of human kind" -Mahatma Gandhi

 "A good deed done to an animal is as meritorious as a good deed done to a human being, while an act of cruelty to an animal is a bad as an act of cruelty to a human being."
-Prophet Mohammed

 "If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." 
 -Francis of Assisi