Monday, December 31, 2012

Frank Lasee's Late Entry For Idiot of the Year

Although it's going to be damn near impossible for anyone to top Glenn Grothman for the Idiot of the Year, Senator Frank Lasee has put up a respectable entry to be the king of fools.

Last year, Lasee's entry for this dubious title was claiming that windmills are a health hazard.

This year, he's taken his game up a few notches with this piece of utter stupidity:
Recently, there have been reports that the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation misplaced a $56 million dollar loan portfolio because of a problem with their software and borrowers have fallen $12 million dollars behind on loan payments to the state.

Thankfully the software problems are being fixed and the WEDC is under new management.

Unfortunately, some of the $12 million in late loans, like the $2 million left on a loan made to Flambeau River Biofuels by the old Department of Commerce, probably won’t ever be recovered by taxpayers. We need to be more careful about how we spend taxpayer money.

Next session there will be talk about a venture capital bill in Wisconsin, and even here there are people that want to give a small appointed committee the ability to dole out (I mean “invest”) hundreds of millions of taxpayers dollars to get in the business of picking winners and losers with our money. This is a bad idea.

There are private venture capital firms in Wisconsin. One solution could be to partner with them on projects they are willing to risk their money on, under the same terms and conditions they have.

This is a lot different than what some in the legislature want to do, which is give that committee of appointed officials the ability to risk taxpayer money like the Federal Government has.

Either way, making a venture capital board with the ability to dole our money as they see fit is not a good idea. People have biases and they are going to push their own agendas, just like the President did by investing in Solyndra and the Chevy Volt. A select committee shouldn’t ever have the power to write checks for private businesses on the taxpayer’s dime.

You might be wondering, “Seeing how the government has wasted money playing venture capitalist, why would you vote for it at all?” The reason I would be willing to vote for a 60-40-percent split is because venture capital firms have a vested interest in making sure that they invest their money wisely and making a profit. If there truly is a lack of venture capital available in Wisconsin, then we the state, can and should make a profit, not lose money on poor risks.

Venture capital firms have to do their homework before they invest, otherwise they go broke, and that isn’t the case for members of an appointed government committee that can vote money to their friends and not pay any real consequences.
First of all, Walker's Economy Destroying Cronies (WEDC) did not "misplace" the tens of millions of dollars. One misplaces their car keys, but not that large sum of money.

What they did is give that money away to their friends and to Walker's campaign contributors and walked away without intending to keep track of it. And it should be noted that Walker himself is the Chair of this board, and the reins of the agency was given to Walker's hand-picked political appointee. I don't recall Walker stepping down from the governor's seat nor do I recall him being arrest in the Walkergate investigation - yet. So there is no new management.

And if Lasee was really concerned about being responsible for taxpayer dollars, making sure they weren't doling out the money to their friends, he would be calling for WEDC to be dissolved and abolished, since these private/public ventures never worked and never will.

And now this moron is suggesting we give even more taxpayer money to vulture venture capitalists. He's correct in saying that they do their homework and only go where there is a profit. But the way that Lasee and company can't even wipe their arses without screwing it up, I think we all know where the profit will be coming from and who will be collecting it.

The real kicker comes in at the end:
Conservatives need to show that we are serious about letting the free market work, and that it will create private sector jobs. The answer lies in getting government out of the way, not by throwing more of our taxpayer’s money at it.
If Lasee wants the free market to work and to get the government out of the way, let them do it without any taxpayer money. We'll see how long that lasts.

Top Ten 2012!

H/T Julie Lassa!  

As I am preparing to celebrate the New Year, I had the chance to reflect on everything that has happened this past year.  2012 - what a year!  It was a difficult task limiting myself to just ten but here it is  - my list of "Top Ten GOP Lowlights of 2012".

10)  GOP Senator Glenn Grothman, who became mildly famous (or infamous) for calling Wisconsin protestors and union members "slobs", named Senate Labor Committee Chairman.

9)  Gov. Walker declared "Wisconsin Open for Business" then reneged on Wisconsin's multi-million dollar contract with Talgo which cost Wisconsin good jobs and damaged the state's credibility in honoring its contracts.

8)  Tea Partiers encouraged retaliation against citizens who signed recall petitions against Governor Walker and GOP Senators.  Many of these same Tea Party "patriots" had no problem targeting Senate Democrats for recall after we had the courage to stand up and fight for working families.

7)  The GOP's newly created Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation fails to track tens of millions of dollars in business loans for over a year.  Gov. Walker responded by, of course, blaming it on former Democratic Gov. Doyle and his administration.

6)  GOP Senator Alberta Darling claimed Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney would have won Wisconsin if not for thousands of fraudulently cast votes.  Shockingly, she can't back up her statement when asked to provide proof.

5)  Gov. Walker showed how much he cares for foreclosure victims when he siphoned tens of millions of dollars from the state's foreclosure settlement to "balance the budget".

4)  Gov. Walker claimed his administration created nearly 100,000 jobs since he took office - Politifact broke out the extinguisher when they rated his claim, "Pants on Fire".

3)  GOP Senator Glenn Grothman commented that, "Money is more important to men," after he voted to eliminate equal pay for women.  This is after the GOP said "there is no war on women" and they confirmed it when they also eliminated funding for women's health centers.

2)  GOP Representative Roger Rivard, when asked to respond to a question about sexual assault, said his father told him that, "Some girls, they rape so easy." 2012 Highlight: Voters easily voted him out of office.

1)  Gerrymandered district maps give the GOP control over both the Senate and Assembly, even though Wisconsin went "blue" in re-electing President Obama and electing to the US Senate progressive Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin. 

What did she miss?    

Hostess Never Planned On Staying In Business

Last month, when Hostess shut down operations, the CEOs and the right wing immediately blamed the striking union workers. I corrected their misperception:
The story of Hostess is nothing but an example of capital vultures pulling a Bain job on the company and its workers, then blaming the unions for their treachery and theft.

This is the kind of life that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan was promoting and Scott Walker is still pushing. This is their idea of being successful and being business friendly.

Hostess would have shut down whether the unions capitulated or not. In fact, it was only the huge concessions the unions had already made that kept it around as long as this. Without those concessions, the executives would have taken the money and ran years ago.
Now, as the capitalistic vultures are planning on cashing in even more on the company's demise, new reports show that this was indeed planned for all along:
Hostess Brands Inc. began contingency planning for a liquidation more than a year before irate bakers went on strike, court records show.

The bankrupt Irving-based snack maker has consistently said that a strike by the bakers — members of its second-largest union — pushed it into liquidation mode. The bakers have countered that the company’s woes predate the strike.

Clearly, planning for a possible liquidation predates the strike and even predates union votes in the fall on the company’s last best and final offer.

A 32-page document filed last week in Hostess’ bankruptcy case shows that in July or August 2011 the company hired a consultant who estimated that the liquidation value of the company’s assets, on the high end, was about $522 million. The report is dated Aug. 30, 2012, and parts of it have been reported earlier.

A different consultant said in court recently that the company’s assets, including its popular brands such as Twinkies and Wonder Bread, could fetch $1 billion.

Hostess said it expects to file binding “stalking horse” bids for many of its brands in January, followed by a four-week auction process to allow competing bids. Sale closings for many brands could come as soon as mid-March, Hostess has said.
Oh, and it wasn't the union's fault either:
While the dissolution of Hostess may have taken Twinkie lovers by surprise, for some following the case, it had been a strong possibility for months. There were too many issues that even warmer union relations would not have changed.

Hostess was loaded with debt even after its predecessor company emerged from bankruptcy court in 2009. And it faced an even greater debt load when it entered bankruptcy court in January.

Even after the new bankruptcy case was filed, it needed a cash infusion. GE Capital, a key lender, has said repeatedly it wants its money back. No one stepped up to offer the cash needed to help the company emerge from bankruptcy protection or to fund much-needed capital improvements.

Also, consumer tastes have been changing while Hostess’ product lineup has remained largely the same.

“So many things had to break right for Hostess to successfully emerge from bankruptcy, beyond labor negotiations, that Hostess knew it made sense to plan for liquidation,” said Jeffrey Freund, general counsel to the bakers union.

Last year, Hostess selected FTI Consulting to look at potential proceeds and costs of a “forced liquidation” of the company’s assets following a worker strike, according to the court filing.

In November 2011, FTI prepared an analysis that also showed potential proceeds under an “orderly breakup” of the company through the sale of Hostess’ brands and assets as going concerns. Those sales would be followed by a liquidation of all remaining assets.

The “forced liquidation” was estimated to bring in up to $450 million, with $336 million available for distribution to those with claims, once the liquidation costs were subtracted.

An “orderly breakup” was estimated to bring in up to $521.7 million with $410 million available for distribution.
What this is saying in a nutshell is that the vultures figured it was time to finish off the company and take their money and run. So they planned ahead of time to file for bankruptcy and how they would make maximum profit out of the deal. Then they set up the unions by offering a contract that they new the unions couldn't accept and bargained in bad faith to make provoke a strike. They used the strike as an excuse to implement their plan of killing the company and reaping their profits.

These vultures will probably be rewarded with high position jobs in other companies where they will feed like the parasites they are. Meanwhile, 18,000 people have gotten the shaft due to the greed of these few reprobates.


I was about to sit down and write about something completely different when I noticed that this here is the 5,000th post for Cog Dis.  How appropriate at the change of the year.

Five thousand posts are not bad for a blog that's only 4 1/2 years old.  That comes to just about three hours a day.

I can't take credit for all of the posts, just most of them. ;)

For the proficiency, I need to thank my co-authors; Jeff Simpson, Meg Moen, Shane, Keith and Bert.  And our family is about to grow as new authors are coming aboard.

And we are well on our way to 1.5 million views.  That is really good for a blog that's not a stand alone one.   And not bad for one with 4.3 regular readers either!

For that, I have to thank you, gentle reader.  Without you, we'd just be whistling into the wind.  You are the ones that make this truly a blog of the people, for the people and by the people.

The last few years have been rough for Wisconsin.  And the next few will probably be no better and most likely, even worse.  But we stood in solidarity and made it this far.  I look forward to continuing to stand in solidarity with the good people of Wisconsin as we continue to fight to take our state back - one fish fry, one voter, one Walkergate conviction, one bad law - at a time.

But again, thank you.

And Happy New Year!

PS: What? You thought you'd get away without the obligatory "please help support Cog Dis" line?  Think again.

All donations are gratefully welcomed.

Cory Versus The Bank

My good friend and fellow lefty blogger, Cory Liebmann, has hit upon tough times, like the majority of us. Worst yet, he is now being victimized by Bank of America and all of their unethical dealings. In part of his effort to fight back, he's taking it public:
I bought my first home in 2001 via a VA Loan. Over that time I've weathered a job slow down, a job loss, the bank induced Great Recession and so much more. Now after over a decade of being a good homeowner, I'm facing the very real prospect of being homeless.

This process is demeaning, frightening and deeply humiliating. Sharing it openly is the only way that I can try to cope with it.

I don't know if I will make it through but I am using this space to detail my own struggles to save my home from a Bank of America foreclosure. I hope it helps give policy makers, wonks and other advocates a real and unvarnished view.
We at Cog Dis wish Cory the best of luck and give 'em hell!

Conservatives are Back at It

From Americans for Tax Fairness

WISGOP's New Standard For Citizenship

We always knew that the Republicans, especially Wisconsin's breed, were anti-American and only wanted to cause mayhem and evil, but they even have it in their platform.

As pointed out by an astute reader, they have set as part of their official platform that citizenship should go to only those that commit to destroying the country (emphasis mine):
We believe the United States should grant citizenship only to those who want to embrace and defund American values and culture.
They love money so much that they are willing to sell out America for it.

And no, I don't think that is a typo.

And for the record, here is the screencap of it:

The Grothman Spectacle

State Senator Glenn Grothmann used his downtime during the holidays to do what all good republicans do, criticize and demean someone else's beliefs and celebrationsThis press release is too precious to edit so here it is in its entirety!
Why are hard-core left wingers still trying to talk about Kwanzaa - the supposed African-American holiday celebration between Christmas and New Year’s?
As has been well publicized, Kwanzaa is not some African or African-American tradition. It was invented in 1966 by Ron Karenga, a 1960s radical leader and founder of something called the "US Organization". This group, often referred to as the "United Slaves" is even more radical than the Black Panthers. The United Slaves killed two Black Panther members and Karenga himself wound up going to prison for assaulting some of his own members. Karenga was a racist and didn't like the idea that Christ died for all of our sins, so he felt blacks should have their own holiday - hence, Kwanzaa.
Of course, almost no black people today care about Kwanzaa - just white left-wingers who try to shove this down black people's throats in an effort to divide Americans. Irresponsible public school districts such as Green Bay and Madison (and who knows how many others, see links below) try to tell a new generation that blacks have a separate holiday than Christians. Waring Fincke, left-wing West Bend lawyer and vice chair of the Washington County Democratic Party, encouraged people to learn more about Kwanzaa in a column in July. Fortunately, almost all black people ignore Waring Fincke and his ilk and their efforts to divide Americans.
But why do they do it? They don't like America and seek to destroy it by pretending that its values as expressed in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, don't apply to everyone. Mainstream Americans must be more outspoken on this issue. It's time it's slapped down once and for all. With tens of millions of honorable black Americans in our country's past, we should not let a violent nut like Karenga speak for them. (By the way, after getting out of prison he was hired as a professor at California State Long Beach. When are we going to stop funding left wing nuts at our public universities?) The churches ought to be particularly appalled since Karenga thought Christmas was a white religion and was trying to draw black people from it. Be on the lookout if a K-12 or college teacher tries to tell your children or grandchildren it's a real holiday.
Now the "America lover and Constitution follower" (ok stop laughing) State Senator from West Bend wants you to report anyone that would consider Kwanzaa a "real holiday".  Although he is not clear on who to report them too.

Everytime Grothman opens his mouth, he embarrasses the State of Wisconsin and this is absolutely no exception.   Kwanzaa is of course a "real holiday" one that is celebrated by millions of Christian Americans and Canadians

 Kwanzaa is such a "real holiday" that the US Government has released multiple stamps celebrating Umoja!

West Bend should be ashamed to keep sending such an insensitive, racist, unintelligent, know nothing, lives with his mommy clown to represent them in OUR state Government! 

H/T Glenn Grothman Watch for the picture!

Vos Gives "Cheater's Proof" A Whole New Meaning

Robin Vos continues to show that the only time he had a good head on his shoulders was when he had a beer dumped on him.

A few days ago, Vos wrote an editorial about the results of November's election, which the corporate media giant, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, gladly reproduced unquestioningly.  Why should they?  After all, if they're willing to stand by Christian Schneider even when he gets caught in bold faced fabrications, surely there is nothing that is beyond their lack of integrity.

Vos is trying to convince he readers that the election results somehow had nothing to do with the gerrymandering that they did behind closed doors and with political operatives involved in the process.

Vos writes:
Unfortunately, rather than do any soul-searching and examine why their message was rejected by voters, Democrats have tried to shift the narrative. We're now told that Assembly Democrats really "won" the November elections by virtue of having collected more total votes in all 99 races. Democrats then argue that Assembly Republicans only achieved their majority through redistricting. Despite losing fair elections that aren't in dispute, and despite facing a 60-39 GOP majority in January, Assembly Democrats say they have the "real" election mandate.

Simply put, their argument is absurd. This is like arguing that if the Green Bay Packers ended the season with a losing record but scored more points than their opponents cumulatively, it would equate to a successful year. If a coach tried to make this argument, he probably would be fired.
The only ways the Packers would be able to score more cumulative points is if they had all their points in one or two games and lost the rest 3-0 - which is as unlikely as Vos having a healthy relationship with someone - or that someone was monkeying with the system.

But Vos wasn't done:
One of many examples of the ticket-splitting phenomenon is the 51st Assembly District in southwestern Wisconsin. Romney captured less than 40% of the vote in this district represented by Rep. Howard Marklein (R-Spring Green). Despite being a top target of the Democrats in this past election, Marklein won with 51.9% of the vote, a 12-point swing from the presidential race.

Campaign messaging was important in this race as well. Like our candidates throughout the state, Marklein touted a forward-looking agenda committed to job creation and cutting waste, fraud and abuse in government. Conversely, his opponent ran a campaign mired in the past, focusing on divisive issues and failing to articulate a vision for Wisconsin.

Voters spoke clearly in November. They want the Legislature to work to create jobs and rein in wasteful spending, and they cast their votes decisively with Assembly Republicans to get that done. Assembly Democrats can either continue with their sour grapes or work with Assembly Republicans to strengthen Wisconsin.
Well, that's a bigger load of poppycock than the first section.

Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Tommy Thompson were all echoing the party lines that the state Republicans were chanting, but they got their arses handed to them. So the messaging had very little to do with it. In fact, one could say that the message was soundly rejected because they lost.

Further proof of this is the fact that when one breaks down the numbers, the only reason Ryan was even able to hang on to his congressional seat was because of the gerrymandering. Even his hometown rejected Ryan and his message. The only thing that saved him was the fact that the Republicans, through their unethical and illegal gerrymandering, had given him a large chunk of Walkersha County.

The clincher that Vos is deranged is his comment regarding creating jobs and reining in wasteful spending. Given the crappy job numbers, the stagnant state economy and the laundry list of scandalous waste of taxpayer dollars - such as WEDC - their plan is most definitely not working.

It would be morally and ethically wrong, not to mention a sign of mental instability, for anyone who had the best interests of Wisconsin in mind to even come close to endorsing the Republican agenda of fascist tyranny.

What Vos is trying to do is justify the giant crap sammich that they have in store for the state and its people during the next legislative session.  But if Vos thinks that we will passively allow them to just shove their garbage down our throats, he is even sicker than I thought.

The Walker Agenda Is Still Working! Part CLXIII

Scott Walker is already retraining his laser like focus on job creation, with the predictable results:
The Waukesha pharmacy at 407 Pilot Court will be closed, eliminating 78 jobs, according to a company filing with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

However, a “significant number” of those affected employees will be offered jobs at Omnicare’s Milwaukee pharmacy at 5185 S. Ninth St., company spokesman Ed Lloyd told BizTimes. Others will receive outplacement services and a severance package, Lloyd said.

Omnicare is a provider of pharmacy and related services to elder care and other specialized health care settings.

Omnicare said it expects to begin the elimination of the Waukesha jobs on Feb. 22 and will continue until the closure is completed in March.
Gee, do you think the fact that Walker has slashed funding for Badger Care and Family Care?

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Walkergate: Kelly Rindfleisch - Trendsetter

As the gentle reader already knows, Kelly Rindfleisch took a plea deal for her role in Walkergate, in which she was spending at least half her time as a Milwaukee County employee working for the campaigns of Scott Walker and Brett Davis.

Even though she got a sweetheart of a deal for her guilty plea, and even though Walker and WISGOP were funding her legal defense, and even though there is a mountain of evidence against her, she is still in the process of appealing the conviction.

Oddly enough, that seems to be a trend now.  Even though the crimes committed by Walter Ellis are much more violent and abhorrent, he wants to do the same thing as Rindfleisch:
Walter Ellis pleaded no contest last year to charges of first-degree intentional homicide and first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison. In a recent filing to the state's high court, defense attorney Richard Hart said Ellis only pleaded no contest because he didn't think he'd be able to get a fair trial.

Ellis had asked for a change of venue, citing the national publicity his case drew. He also wanted the cases to be tried separately, saying jurors might use evidence in one case to draw inferences in the other cases. The trial court judge denied both requests, and a court of appeals agreed with the judge's logic.

Hart has now filed one last appeal, this time with the state Supreme Court. The justices will decide in the next few weeks whether to take the case.
Even Ellis' attorney admits it's a long shot for this to go anywhere.

But can the same thing be said for Rindfleisch?

Given the corrupt natures of David Prosser, Annette Ziegler, Michael Gableman and Patience Roggensack, one cannot be too sure. Especially with very interested special interests supporting them in each of their elections, including Roggensack's race this spring.

 It's very conceivable that they will again listen to their masters instead of paying heed to the facts of the case and the law, like they did with Act 10, and summarily overturn Rindfleisch's conviction.

NRA's Wayne LaPierre Is Shooting Blanks

From Mother Jones:
As the scope of the massacre in Newtown became clear, some news accounts suggested that mass shootings in the United States have not increased, based on a broad definition of them. But in fact 2012 has been unprecedented for a particular kind of horror that's been on the rise in recent years, from Virginia Tech to Tucson to Aurora to Oak Creek to Newtown. There have been at least 62 such mass shootings in the last three decades, attacks in which the killer took the lives of four or more people (the FBI's baseline for mass murder) in a public place—a school, a workplace, a mall, a religious building. Seven of them have occurred this year alone
Along with three other similar though less lethal rampages—at a Portland shopping mall, a Milwaukee spa, and a Cleveland high school—2012 has been the worst year for these events in modern US history, with 151 victims injured and killed. More than a quarter of them were young children and teenagers. 
The National Rifle Association and its allies would have us believe that the solution to this epidemic, itself but a sliver of America's overall gun violence, is to put firearms in the hands of as many citizens as possible. "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun," declared the NRA's Wayne LaPierre in a press conference a week after Newtown, the same day bells tolled at the National Cathedral and the devastated town mourned its 28 dead. (That day a gunman in Pennsylvania also murdered three people and wounded a state trooper shortly before LaPierre gave his remarks.) LaPierre explained that it was a travesty for a school principal to face evil unarmed, and he called for gun-wielding security officers to be deployed in every school in America. 
As many commentators noted, it was particularly callous of the NRA to double down on its long-standing proposal to fight gun violence with more guns while parents in Newtown were burying their first graders. But more importantly, the NRA's argument is bereft of supporting evidence. A closer look reveals that their case for arming Americans against mass shooters is nothing more than a cynical ideological talking point—one dressed up in appeals to heroism and the defense of constitutional freedom, and wholly reliant on misdirection and half truths. If only Sandy Hook's principal had been packing heat, the argument goes, she could've stopped the mass killer. There's just one little problem with this: Not a single one of the 62 mass shootings we studied in our investigation has been stopped this way—even as the nation has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of recent laws has made it easier than ever for ordinary citizens to carry them in public places, including bars, parks, and schools. 
Attempts by armed citizens to stop shooters are rare. At least two such attempts in recent years ended badly, with the would-be good guys gravely wounded or killed. Meanwhile, the five cases most commonly cited as instances of regular folks stopping massacres fall apart under scrutiny: Either they didn't involve ordinary citizens taking action—those who intervened were actually cops, trained security officers, or military personnel—or the citizens took action after the shooting rampages appeared to have already ended. (Or in some cases, both.) 
But those facts don't matter to the gun rights die-hards, who never seem to run out of intellectually dishonest ammo. Most recentlythey've pointed to the Portland shopping mall rampage earlier in December, in which an armed civilian reportedly drew his gun but thought twice about potentially hurting an innocent bystander and ducked for cover instead of firing. The assailant suddenly got scared of this retreating good guy with the gun, they claim, and promptly shot himself dead. Obviously.

Tea Party Asininity

Recently Secretary of State Hilary Clinton fell and received a concussion thus making it impossible for her to testify on the Benghazi mess.

This made the loons on the right go crazy....and everyone became doctors!

This from one and done loser Allen West and crazy John Bolton:
“I’m not a doctor, but it seems as though – that the Secretary of State has come down with a case of Benghazi flu,” West said on Fox News on Thursday morning. Rep. West, a Tea Party favorite, was defeated in his bid for re-election by Democrat Patrick Murphy last month.
West's comment followed a similar remark by John Bolton, the former United Nations ambassador under George W. Bush, who called Clinton’s concussion a “diplomatic illness” during an earlier Fox News interview.
The imbeciles on Fox and Friends:
DOOCY: If she runs for President in four years, this is not helpful to her, the fact that there were these systemic failure and management failures. Where the people in the field are asking for help and they’re saying ‘Sorry, we don’t have enough money.’ That’s not acceptable.
KILMEADE: You’re saying in four years she should recover from the concussion. That should be a long enough period –
DOOCY: That we didn’t know about until it was time to go to Capital Hill. [CROSSTALK]
KILMEADE: That’s a long enough period of time, after having a concussion, to remember everything.
Well as it turns out, the crazies on the right are once again dead wrong(who knew) and Secretary Clinton has serious medical trauma which includes a blood clot.

It turns out Hilary Clinton did not have "Benghazi flu" after all but we now know that the loons on the right are inflicted with "Tea Party Asininity"!   Not sure if there is a cure for that but they seriously need to be quarantined from having contact with anyone else, ever again!! 

Have I ever mentioned that I see many similarities between the "tea party" republicans and this other group that is making headlines in the US?

God Bless Us Everyone...

And death to all gays!

 I love the republican party!   
In Mississippi, GOP state Rep. Andy Gipson posted a message on his Facebook page which calls for putting gays and lesbians to death.
On May 10, Gipson made the following post:
“Been a lot of press on Obama’s opinion on “homosexual marriage.” The only opinion that counts is God’s: see Romans 1:26-28 and Leviticus 20:13. Anyway you slice it, it is sin. Not to mention horrific social policy.”
Later on in the thread, Gipson posts a comment about how homosexuality is “unnatural” and causes “disease.”
According to Leviticus 20:13, “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”
By referring to this Bible verse on his Facebook page, Gipson is in fact, calling for killing homosexuals. And he isn’t apologizing for it either.
When called on the carpet to apologize for his hate posts...He did what all good republicans do.  He doubled down!
After receiving an email petition from UnityMS calling for him to apologize, Gipson responded on Friday by posting the following message on Facebook:
“To be clear, I want the world to know that I do not, cannot, and will not apologize for the inspired truth of God’s Word. It is one thing that will never “change.” Anyone who knows me knows I also believe that all people are created in God’s image, and that all people are loved by God, so much so that He gave us the truth of His Word which convicts us of the reality and guilt of our sin, and He gave us His Son Jesus who paid the full penalty for all our sins, by His grace through our faith in Him as we repent of our sin. John 3:16. It is this message that I preach every Sunday. I sincerely pray God will reach someone through this message.”
As of Saturday, Gipson seems to have removed his offensive posts, but has not apologized. You can view his page here.
As we talked about yesterday, just what book are they reading?  

Seems to me like the current republican party has a lot in common with another group that we see often....

Solidarity Fish Fry, Week 12: Good Cod, Y'all!

Last Friday was the twelfth week of the Solidarity Fish Fry and it was another fabulous week.

When I arrived, I noted that Randy Bryce, the Count of Cod, was there with his beautiful wife, Fay, and his handsome son.

Fortunately, they know we're coming now and so they made up extra food for the rest of us.

I had the distinct pleasure of dining with Annie Wacker and John Kaye, our newest author, Shane, and my good friends, Milwaukee County Supervisor Jason Haas, his wife, Stacie, and their dashing son, Ellison.

Stock photo of Sup. Haas

The Progressive Democrats made for a strong showing as well:

But the surprise solidarity eater was none other than Representative JoCasta Zamarripa and her companion, Delila:

The waitresses and other staff again expressed their appreciation of our support.

I have also learned that the negotiations appear to be heading towards an end, but it is not known whether it is for good or bad.  We will keep you informed.

But until there is word otherwise, we will continue to hoist our forks in solidarity with our brothers and sisters at Serb Hall.

We'll see you there this Friday for lucky Week Thirteen as we ring in the New Year with another Solidarity Fish Fry.

Disaster Averted!

Just think we could be ready to have Mitt Romney/Paul Ryan sworn in soon and our country would be in great peril.   Luckily they took a well deserved beating on election day and we will never have to worry about either of them in power ever again!

As a perfect case in point why Mitt/Gilligan were the absolute worst people to ever run a country, especially to run a country trying to recover from a recession.    I offer up exhibit #1!

When Mitt was at Bain "Vulture" Capitol, he made a trip to China where he fell in love with the way they do business!

 When I was back in my private equity days, we went to China to buy a factory there. It employed about 20,000 people. And they were almost all young women between the ages of about 18 and 22 or 23. They were saving for potentially becoming married.
And they work in these huge factories, they made various uh, small appliances. And uh, as we were walking through this facility, seeing them work, the number of hours they worked per day, the pittance they earned, living in dormitories with uh, with little bathrooms at the end of maybe 10, 10 room, rooms. And the rooms they have 12 girls per room.
Three bunk beds on top of each other. You've seen, you've seen them? (Oh...yeah, yeah!) And, and, and around this factory was a fence, a huge fence with barbed wire and guard towers. And, and, we said gosh! I can't believe that you, you know, keep these girls in! They said, no, no, no. This is to keep other people from coming in.
This is the republican way that 56 million Americans voted for....but as we know, reality gets in the way of republican talking points!  

The factory that Romney fell in lust with, was probably trying to keep family members of the forced workers from trying to save their children.  Reality Bites Again!
Oregon resident Julie Keith was shocked when she opened her $29.99 Kmart Halloween graveyard decoration kit to find a letter, folded into eights, hidden between two Styrofoam tombstones.
Coming all the way from unit 8, department 2 of the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China, the letter written mostly in English read,

"Sir: If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."

The letter went on to describe 15 hour work days, no days off, and pay at 10 yuan per month ($1.61 US Dollar) if any. It also described the 1-3 year average forced labor terms without trial, and the large amount of Falun Gong practitioners in forced labor, a banned spiritual group.

Read the letter here!

I wonder if there are any republicans in office who would offer up their young daughters to work for 15 hour days/7 days a week for $1.61 A MONTH.....what is Tagg's job anyway?  Maybe Tagg could run over there for a month and job shadow!   Is that really a vision that they see in America.  Do 46 million people want this to be our way of life?  It is kind of hard to cut the salary of someone making $1.61/Month.

At least they are not unionized because unions are out of date....

This is also the kind of working conditions that our own Senator Ron Johnson called "creative destruction" for his love of shipping jobs to China.

Brilliant minds on the right......

The Words Of A Hero

Lieutenant Brian Murphy was the first officer on the scene at the mass shooting at the Sikh temple last August.

Murphy was shot several times as he tried to help the first two victims he came across.

He has written his thoughts on his experience of that horrible day.  It is well worth the read, but be warned it does have a graphic quality to it.

To me, the key part was not the actual events but what came afterwords as he reflected on his feelings and the way others treated him:
I get card after card after card saying, "You're my hero." So I think about that word.

There was a guy in my neighborhood growing up, George. He joined the FBI. That's what I wanted to do when I was a kid — work for the FBI. So back then, I thought, He's my hero. Because he did something that I wanted to do. Then Tom Seaver became my hero. He pitched the Mets to the World Series in '69. That was awesome. Those were my heroes as a kid, because as a kid you don't have a great concept of what being a hero really is. And it's gotten watered down a lot since. Now you can become a hero on YouTube. I look at all the cards and think, If I'd only caught one round, would I still be a hero to those people? Maybe not. Am I a hero because there are so many bullets in me that if you shook me up and down I'd rattle like a piggy bank?

That's not a hero. That's luck. There's a difference.

The people who were inside the temple that day have the right to see it differently. The ones who ran into the pantry when he was coming after them. They can say, and only they can say, "You saved me by being there. You're my hero." They can say it because he was gonna kill them, and when he saw me, he left them alone.

I was just doing my job.

Fitzwalkerstan 2012 - The Year In Review (Part Doh!)

On Friday, we reviewed the first half of 2012 in Fitzwalkerstan, from the hopeful beginning, through the mighty struggles and through what appeared to be the Empire delivering the killing blow to the Rebel Alliance.

But there were more than Independence Day fireworks flying in...


July was entertaining for political wonks as the Republicans, thinking they had finally broken the spirit of the people, started eating their own.  The race for US Senate was the most entertaining as Erick Hovde, Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann and Jeffy Fitzgerald started hurling mud and bombs at each other.

But there was a dark side too.

Walker started retaliating against those who stood against him.  We also got to see what lies ahead that Walker promised not to raid the pension fund, at least until  people stopped looking, got to catch a glimpse of future scandals, current scandals like the emissions testing, and it was revealed how much Act 10 was still costing us.  Walker explained all this by saying it was!

David Prosser tried to set up an illegal legal defense fund.  And speaking of chokeholds, Walker put one on the justice system when he rigged the judicial commission on the advice of one of Prosser's former aides.

For entertainment, Glenn Grothman wandered around talking about how people voted "inappropriately" for Democrats.

But to keep our spirits alive, we had the antics of Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch, as Walkergate kept rumbling through the slow wheels of justice.

And just as jobs were drying up like the drought stricken land, we headed into the dog days of...


In August, Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch weren't the only ones sweating it out for reasons other than the heat.  As they continued to fight against taking any responsibility for their actions, we learned more about the ongoing illegal politicking in Madison.

We also learned that our Lt. Governor was no bigot - she hates everyone equally.  We also learned that not only were schools going down, our taxes were still going up.  Funny how the propagandists stopped telling us "It's working!" at the same time.

Fitzwalkerstan also became a police state where people could get arrested for exercising their constitutional rights!

The worst nightmare happened when, due partially to lax gun laws and the promotion of racism and bigotry, a mass shooting happened at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek.

On the national front. Mitt Romney sealed his fate by picking Paul Ryan to sink his ship. Romney and Ryan worked hard to prove that they were not only complete buffoons, but racist, sexist and unethical ones.  In other words, they confirmed that they were Republicans.

This all led up to the Republican National Convention, where the best speaker was the empty chair that Clint Eastwood was scolding.   As one small act of saving grace, Romney showed himself to be smarter than Walker by demoting an incompetent communications worker.

And back here in Milwaukee, we got further proof that we had made another horrible mistake in electing Chris Abele, who went about firing people for no good reason, trying to frame other elected officials on false criminal charges and telling voters that their voice is as irrelevant as a Facebook poll.

Obviously, some serious schooling was needed, which fortunately leads us to the beginning of the school year...


September was filled with political debates and stunts, like most election years.

Tommy Thompson, the Republican nominee for US Senate, was spouting off like the drunk at the end of the bar.  Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan spent their time shooting themselves in the foot and then doing damage control, only to shoot themselves in the other foot.

They weren't helped much by Walker, who helped blow up Romney's race-baiting attack against Barack Obama.

The Republicans' line of "Yes, we did build it!" fell flat when it turned out the only thing they did build was the national debt.

Adding to the fun was the revelation that during the gerrymandering, the Republicans were sniping at each other.  Wouldn't you just love to see these fools at a trust-building retreat?

We were also exposed to more of what Fitzwalkerstan is all about when it was learned that Walker was more interested in staying in good standing with campaign donors like the home builders rather than keeping our kids alive.

Even worse, Walker found a brown shirt to take over the role of the captain of the palace guards, who immediately started arresting the common people who thought that constitutional rights applied to more than just the rich people.  this stunt was so egregious that the real police officers and deputy sheriffs felt compelled to call them out.

We also started to get the first inklings of just how corrupt and/or inept Walker's greatest giveaway to the corporate special interests - WEDC - was.

To cover that up and distract people, he decided to make the state slogan all about them,!

The biggest news of the month, perhaps even the year, was that Walker's claim to fame, the only thing that he could use for his Teapublican street cred - Act 10 - was struck down as unconstitutional.

But even being shown to be the complete fraud that he is wasn't Walker's biggest problem.  His even bigger problem was that he was called on to be the star witness in the Rindfleisch trial.

The stress of all this was causing Walker's hair to fall like the leaves in...


October saw the silly season come into full bloom, along with the autumn leaves.

Mitt Romney started to try the stuff in the back of the Republican playbook which were labeled "Don't even..."

He got business owners to threaten their employees to vote for Romney or else.  Romney even went so far as considering dumping Paul Ryan as his running mate in favor of Joel Kleefisch.  Well, someone had to be able to take out Big Bird.

Paul Ryan, being the rat he is, sensed that the USS Romney was taking on water and sinking fast, so he scrambled and spent a boatload of Koch money on ads for his Congressional seat.  To show he wasn't at all like mean ol' Mitt, he proved himself to be a champ by going where he wasn't wanted and washing clean dishes.

Back in Fitzwalkerstan, Tommy Thompson was in full meltdown as well.  When he wasn't busy defending his racist son, he was trying to tell us how he "built Wisconsin," although the only thing he really seemed to have built was his own egg nest.

The propagandists weren't much help either.  Brian Sikma and Christian Schneider had to cover up their cover ups on the lies they told, accusing an innocent man of vicious, brutal behaviors.  Adding to the miasma that the right was becoming, we learned that Michael Grebe, Walker's campaign manager and head of the Bradley Foundation, was the money man behind the racist billboards that have been littering our state for the past two years.

Meanwhile, Walker was gaining more Ill-Eagle Scout badges as he we learned that his agenda wasn't working.  His line of government not creating jobs went out the window when the government stopped creating them.  More jobs left the state has his favorite railroad company, Wisconsin & Southern, which had been sold to a Koch Industry subsidiary, took the jobs and the money and ran.  And his privatized corporate charity agency, WEDC, took another big dump right on his lap as the scandal involving their money grab grew bigger.

But Walker's biggest problem came when Kelly Rindfleisch, who he personally hired as a county worker and assigned to doing the campaign work for not only himself but his choice for Lt. Governor, Brett Davis, decided she didn't care if he was funding her defense.  Rindfleisch took a plea deal and showed the world that she has a lovely singing voice.

And back in Milwaukee, County Executive Chris Abele found Walker's playbook and adopted it as his own.  Abele crafted a budget that was dumped on workers and the poor alike, decreased public safety, reneged on promises, and had a built-in crony-reward system.  Abele then doubled down on his anti-worker stance by praising Walker and the defunct Act 10.

On the bright side, a couple of ruggedly handsome union thugs devised the perfect protest - eating their way to solidarity.  People from around the state and around the world started to make the pilgrimage to raise their forks in solidarity.

And speaking of pilgrims of overeating, this leads us to...


With the beginning of November finally came election day.  In a rare moment of bipartisanship, people of all political views and affiliations came together to celebrate the end of the endless political commercials.

That bonhomie quickly ended with a temper tantrum from Karl Rove who was finally realizing that all the money in the world can't buy our freedom.

By surprisingly large margins, President Obama won reelection and Tammy Baldwin became the first women senator from Wisconsin as well as the first openly gay women in the US Senate.

On the downside, it took millions of dollars and thousands of work hours to clean up the mess made by all of the exploding Republican heads.

Eventually, the surviving Republicans started to take solace in regaining control of both houses of the legislature, even though they had to rob, cheat and steal to do it.

As the Democrats and the Republicans who weren't still crawled up in a fetal position tried to figure out what the new normal was, life, and the workers, moved on.

The NLRB came down with a decision on the long lasting labor struggles at Palermo's, saying that the company was illegally threatening workers for trying to unionize.  It was also discovered that Palermo's had willfully hired nearly a hundred illegal immigrants.  The right, which hates illegal immigrants, supported the company that hired them, because they hate workers having rights even more.

The right also went apoplectic when one of their favorite aphrodisiacs, Twinkies, were to be no more.  They immediately blamed the 18,000 victims for not helping the CEOs to carry their millions of dollars in lucre out to the waiting limos.

Meanwhile, back in Fitzwalkerstan, Walker went on a tear, again seeking retaliation against the voters for not being willingly subjected to the Republicans' fascist tyranny.

Walker came out and said that he wanted to end same day registration.  Alberta Darling and Robin Vos supported this, although none of the three could cite one example of it being a problem.  Walker also abdicated his duties by refusing to set up health care exchanges, saying that they don't work and are too expensive, even though he ran government funded healthcare for years and knows how much it saves taxpayers money.  Walker attacked the voters and the poor because, y'know, jobs.

What Walker was really doing was trying to distract everyone's attention for the story John Doe was telling.

During the sentencing hearing for Rindfleisch, it was revealed that not only was there more, there was still even more.  There was more evidence that Walker was no innocent bystander, but was actively involved and directing the collusion between campaign and county staff.

And even as the right was trying to do damage control on the implication of Walker, Tim Russell, Walker's faithful lieutenant and special friend, turned on him and took a plea deal as well.

Walker begged for it to end there.  But in a new precedent, he was overruled by the Walkergate judge.

To help control the message that none of this was really happening, one of the last remaining radio stations that told the truth was put under new manglement and suddenly switched to an all Christmas song format just in time for...


Just like the other eleven months, December was full of moments of outrage and hope.

The anti-tax Walker decided that it's OK to tax drivers by considering making our highways into tollways.

Not to be outdone, Walker's good pal, Scott Fitzgerald, came up with the doozy that the GAB is too political, so to resolve that, he wants to get rid of the judges that make up the board (most of whom are Republicans), and fill it with political appointees.  And yes, he is serious.

Joining the race for absurdity, Tonette Walker asked for a half million dollars of taxpayer money to renovate the kitchen in the governor's mansion.  And the renovation was to put in a dining area in the kitchen, which isn't even allowed due to health codes.

We also saw companies picking up on Walker's style of "leadership" by subcontracting out jobs that will give them a kickback.

Nationally, things were getting equally as evil and stupid as they were in Fitzwalkerstan.

In Michigan, where the pols said they would never consider Right to Woe union-busting legislation passed it within a few hours.  It wasn't because the people wanted this, but because ALEC did.

In Washington, the dumbest senator ever, RoJo, brought shame upon himself for voting against people with disabilities and then claiming that he's still going to try to recall Obamacare, because the 31st time is always the charm.

And speaking of dumb politicians, Paul Ryan, who was, just the month before, the Republicans' great white hype, and who said that his budget would steer the country to prosperity, was nowhere to be found as the nation headed to his dream of austerity on steroids.

In Milwaukee, we were also experiencing the insanity.  Chris Abele, who prided himself as also being anti-tax, started gushing over a new sales tax proposal that would only benefit millionaires.  Abele further demonstrated that he is indeed nothing more than spoiled rich kid by having the longest temper tantrum in recorded history.

Then as everyone was trying to distract themselves of the madness of American politics by delving into the madness of Christmas shopping, true horror happened.

A deranged man with too much access to too many guns shot his mother before going to an elementary school and killing 26 innocents, including 20 children.

Even has the nation was reeling from this horrendous tragedy, Walker felt so self-obsessed and nervous that he needed to draw attention back to himself.  So he came up with his "five priorities" which look an awful lot like the ones he said he was going to do two years ago.  It's the priorities that he is not advertising which are terrifying.

But the future doesn't look all bad.

The domestic partner registry was just upheld in court, so the Constitution isn't quite dead yet, despite the Republicans' best efforts.

And there is hope that there will be some dignity and integrity returned to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, if we can get Edward Fallone elected.

But what everyone is keenly watching with bated breath, and the thing that is causing panic among the pachyderms, is the fact that Walkergate is closing in on the real John Doe.

And yes, I too am really looking forward to seeing a picture like this sometime in 2013:

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Better Re-read The Bible!

The right wing extremist owners of Hobby Lobby(The Greens) are willing to be fined rather than give their hardworking employees healthcare

Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.

This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake. The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.

When the Greens pay their employees who build their business $8.36/hr and their best paid employees $11/hr and still whine about providing them with health care...then maybe they should re-read the Bible or at least have someone who understands it explain it to them!  

Here is a start Matthew 25:36

 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' 37 "Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' 40 "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' 41 "Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' 44 "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' 45 "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' 46 "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

The Greens seem to think that giving their employees healthcare, will force abortions.  They are wrong!  

I recommend giving your business to Michael's!

Compare/Contrast - Wisconsin State Journal

The Wisconsin State Journal continues its effort to run itself and our Constitutionally limited democratic republic into the ground!  

Compare when an insignificant figure like Jeremy Ryan pulled yet another stupid stunt - it made local headlines

The local right wing bloggers then salivated over such an important story, Waukesha Wonker Wiggy is disappointed that Ryan is not dead yet.

Contrast that to yesterday's news:

Wisconsin's own insignificant Senator Ron Johnson pulled yet another stupid stunt - it made no headlines as he voted against relief for Hurricane Sandy Victims