Friday, May 31, 2013

Journalism Is Dead: Part 12,587

Just check out the headline that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel chose to go with regarding the committee reassignments for Milwaukee County Supervisors:

Dimitrijevic is lucky she is a woman, or they would have ran with "Dimitrijevic won't say if he's stopped beating his wife."

The amazing thing is that the tabloid has taken great pains to avoid covering Milwaukee County Executive Emperor Chris Abele's retaliations against underlings that didn't kiss his ring.  Or the simple fact that his whole usurpation bill stems from the fact that the County Board were the first adults in his life to tell him no.

It truly is a sad thing when the biggest paper in the state is revealed to be nothing more than a glorified conservative blog.

Quote Of The Day

From Facebook:
"Only in the alternate political reality that is Wisconsin today can you take $550 from every school kid in 2011, give them $150 in 2013 and call it 'progress.' Only in this Wisconsin can you open up all 424 school districts to competition from unaccountable, underperforming, taxpayer-funded voucher schools and call it 'reform.' Only in Scott Walker's Wisconsin can you ask taxpayers to foot the bill for three school districts instead of one and say you're putting taxpayers first."
-Angela McManaman, MPS mom and Wisconsin taxpayer.

Wisconsin State Fair, Now With Illinois Cream Puffs!

When one thinks of the Wisconsin State Fair, there are some traditional things that come to mind automatically:
  • The farm animals
  • Fried cheese curds
  • Herb Kohl's milk stand
  • The midway
  • Getting a baked potato
  • The music
  • Racing pigs
One of the most iconic things connected to the Wisconsin State Fair are the cream puffs.

They are so iconic that local TV and radio stations will use them as promotional
tie ins.  Each year, the Fair sells hundreds of thousands of cream puffs during its ten day run.

So now with just two months to go, we find that Scott Walker, who has ruined so many of the things that used to make this state great, has now taken away our cream puffs:
Illinois-based Prairie Farms is the new official cream supplier of the Wisconsin State Fair cream puffs.

The fair needed a new supplier after Golden Guernsey went out of business in January.
It is common knowledge that Scott Walker is an epic failure.

But to not even be able to find one dairy company from Wisconsin that could supply the cream is unbelievable.

But if the Wisconsin State Fair cream puffs are now from Illinois, I shudder to think what the Governor's Auction is going to look like.

Emerge Wisconsin's Woman of the Year - Tammy Baldwin

On Thursday evening, my wife and I had the opportunity to volunteer for and attend
Emerge Wisconsin's event at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center in which they honored U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin as their 2013 Woman of the Year.

Given the fact that I work for Emerge WI, I have been to a few of their events and thought I knew what to expect.  But Thursday's event was such a success that it blew my mind.

There were hundreds of people in attendance.  They came from all walks of life and from all areas of the state.  I won't go into naming all of the politicians and community leaders who were in attendance because I know that I would miss some.

There were the speeches given by Bethany Ordaz, Emerge Wisconsin Board Chair; State Senator and Emerge alumna Nikiya Harris; Emerge Alumna Melissa Lemke; and Congressman Ron Kind.  There were also some very moving videos of other Emerge alumnae and political and community leaders. 

The most moving and passionate tribute came from Congresswoman Gwen Moore, who did the introduction for Baldwin.  As usual, Moore delivered a passionate and uplifting speech that really got the crowd going.

Baldwin, the recipient of many standing ovations, also gave a very moving speech.    She spoke of how Emerge Wisconsin is changing the social and political environment so that women no longer feel that they are unqualified to run.  She talked about how we are in this together and that no one has been successful doing things all on their own.

On a personal note, I have to say that the highlight of the evening was not the speeches or the videos.  Nor was it seeing so many friends and making many new ones.  Nor was even the fact that Baldwin went out of her way to thank my wife and I for volunteering to help with the event.

The highlight of the evening, for me anyways, was seeing the look on my wife's face as she got to meet one of her heroes.  Not only meet her, but to hug her and have our picture taken with her.   

The fact that Baldwin is such a genuinely nice person just made it all the better for both my wife and myself.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Abele Cannot Even Announce New Parks Director Without Flubbing The Job

Milwaukee County Executive Emperor Chris Walker Romney Abele has Abele announced his new Parks Director, John Dargle.  The announcement comes more than nine months after fired the award-winning and very popular Sue Black.  Abele has yet to offer a rationale for the sudden dismissal of Black.

But true to the nature of Abele's reign, this move is surrounded by questions and controversy.

Dargle is supposed to come with quite the resume, including winning the "Gold Medal" for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management.  It should be noted that Black won the same honor in 2009.  It should also be noted that the award was  awarded based on a video and an essay written by one of then County Executive Scott Walker's aides.

At the time of her firing, Abele's administration was dismissive of Black's achievement.  It is more than a bit ironic that this is now one of their bragging points for the incoming nominee.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel points out another article which reports that Dargle suddenly departed his old job two months ago "to pursue other personal interests."  It would be nice to know what those interests were, since just two months later, he is taking the job in Milwaukee.  The taxpayers have a right to know that their money is being invested in someone who will be on the job for more than a few months - like most of Abele's staffers.

And speaking of pay, there has been no mention in Abele's press release or any of the news articles on what Dargle's salary will be.  This is important as well to make sure that he is being fair in his pay scales.  We can't afford any more lawsuits due to Abele's discriminatory practices.

(I have sent an open records request regarding Dargle's salary to Abele's office, but have yet to receive even an acknowledgement of it's receipt.  What are they doing? I get better response from my county supervisor, that's for sure.)

The formal announcement is being held at Kosciuszko Park, which is in Supervisor Peggy Romo West's district, but  Abele didn't bother to invite her, despite all of the time and hard work she has dedicated to the park.  It is not known if the snub is due to his disrespect for the Board or his misogyny.

I also wonder if Dargle is aware that Abele is planning on spinning off the parks into its own quasi-public/private district.  That might not mean long for Dargle's career with Milwaukee County.

Also interesting is that Abele apologist Dan Cody was involved in the choosing of Dargle, at least per Cody's bragging.  Odd thing is, Cody did not mention this in his press release as president of the Park People.  This raises the question of whether Cody was involved as a representative of the Park People or on some other level.

Nor has this been the first time that Abele and Cody have blurred their lines.  It has been reported that Cody was lobbying for the Usurpation Bill, but Cody is not listed as a lobbyist per the state records.  On who's behalf was he lobbying?

With the upcoming shifting of power into the county executive's hands, it would be nice to have one that can do the job with transparency and efficiency.  Abele is failing horribly in both of those areas.

Abele's Misogyny - Not Just For Chairwomen Anymore

It's been well documented that Milwaukee County Executive Emperor Chris "Lil
Walker" Abele has no respect whatsoever for County Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

First his office mockingly refers to the Chairwoman as being a "mean girl."  Then Abele, on Pay Equality Day, shows his derision towards Dimitrijevic by taunting her that she might lose more than half her pay when his Plutocracy Bill is fully enacted.

Well, the "good news" is that his misogyny towards Dimitrijevic isn't personally.  He apparently dislikes most women, as evidenced by the fact that he apparently doesn't think women deserve the same pay as men:
Two women who work as housing coordinators for Milwaukee County are suing the county for gender discrimination, contending they're paid substantially less than a man who formerly did a similar job.

Jean Wolfgang and Dena Hunt are asking for pay raises and $300,000 each to make up for the difference in wages, plus unspecified punitive damages against the county, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court.

They say the county discriminated against them because Damon Dorsey made more money as one of four county housing coordinators than they do — even though Wolfgang and Hunt supervise more employees than he did.

Dorsey held the title of county economic development coordinator but was assigned the duties of housing coordinator. Before Dorsey left the county in October, he was paid nearly $72,000 a year to administer the county's community development block grant program.

Wolfgang, who now holds that post, started at nearly $51,000 and now is paid $66,000, the lawsuit says. Hunt is paid $60,216 as housing and development program coordinator.

"No legitimate reason exists, other than gender, for the pay differences between the male employee, Dorsey, and the female employees, Wolfgang and Hunt," the suit says.

Wolfgang and Hunt are claiming a civil rights violation by the county.
Then again, they too could have had very exorbitant pay increases like Abele's Chief of Staff, Amber Moreen. All they had to do was learn to understand the slightly drunk Abele.

Republicans Maleficence Towards Unemployed Continues Unabated

As we - and only we - had reported on Sunday, the Republicans were planning on launching a double pronged attack on the unemployed in Wisconsin.  They were
going to introduce a set of proposals agreed upon by the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council which would drastically cut benefits for many unemployed and underemployed Wisconsinites.

We also reported that the Republicans would then introduce the parts that the UIAC did not agree upon in Finance, so as they could stay in the good graces of the well moneyed special interests who had bought and paid for them.

And on Wednesday, it came to pass.

The Republicans did their secondary attack on the unemployed.  Per the Wisconsin State Journal, among the new proposals that the Republicans approved without so much as a public hearing include:

  • Someone denied benefits after failing to accept a job offer would remain ineligible until finding a job and earning six times his or her weekly benefit rate. Under current law the requirement is four times the weekly benefit rate.
  • Jobless benefits would no longer be extended beyond their normal expiration date for people who are completing vocational training or basic education courses.
  • Unemployed people who failed to keep their identification number, user name and password secure could be liable for any benefits obtained by unauthorized persons
  • Financial institutions doing business with the state would be required to disclose information about accounts held by people who owe money to the unemployment system.
  • The state would try to collect overpayments made as a result of administrative errors or computer malfunctions. Officials could sue to freeze bank accounts holding money wrongly paid out.
These changes, which the Republicans falsely claim will protect the unemployed, actually will cut benefits by more than $14 million in the 2013-14 fiscal year and by more than another $23 million in the 2014-15 year.

The legal analysis of the proposed changes are here:

Representatives Chris Sinicki and Bob Jauch issued a joint press release which addressed the Republicans malfeasance:

Today the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee approved changes that make it more difficult for laid-off workers to collect unemployment benefits when they have lost their jobs. For roughly eight decades the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Advisory Council, made up of representatives of employers and employees, has set this policy. Today Republicans on the Finance committee unilaterally took those duties upon themselves and defiantly passed anti-employee measures that the UI Council did not agree upon. They’ve forced changes to UI law into the state budget without any public hearing or scrutiny.

Wisconsin’s unemployment program was the model for the nation at its creation. Now, Republicans are seeking multiple changes that would profoundly change the program and tilt the it dramatically against employees.

In response to this Republican sneak attack on employees, Rep. Chris Sinicki (ranking Democrat, Assembly Committee on Labor ) and Sen. Bob Jauch (ranking Democrat, Senate Committee on Workforce Development, Forestry, Mining, and Revenue) released the following statements:

“Under Gov. Walker and the Republicans, Wisconsin has fallen to 44th in the nation in job creation. But, instead of focusing on putting people back to work, Republicans are focused on kicking jobless workers off unemployment,” said Rep. Sinicki. “Republicans want taxpayers to spend millions more on private schools and tax breaks for the rich, but they are kicking workers when they are down in a lagging economy that Republicans themselves created.”

“Rather than working together on bipartisan solutions agreed upon by employers and employees, Republicans are again dividing and polarizing Wisconsin citizens by ramming through measures into the budget that make life even harder for people who have lost their jobs in a down economy,” said Sen. Jauch. “This is incredibly short-sighted because unemployment is intended to maintain the workforce and because it allows people to keep paying their bills, it benefits our whole state economy.”
Indeed, it takes a special level of depravity to cause such widespread unemployment, ruin the economy so we have no chance of any significant job growth, and then viciously and repeatedly attack the people you have already victimized.

But as the gentle reader knows, there is more.  There is always more.

The Republicans are continuing to ramrod through their multi-pronged attack on the unemployed by having the vote on it this coming Monday, instead of waiting until the regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday.  The Democrats have sent a letter to Rep. Dan Knodl, Chair of the Labor Committee, asking him to show some decency by holding the vote at a normal time.

Given how the Republicans only listen to their corporate masters and given how they appear to be in a controlled panic about things, as if they are trying to get as much crammed in before some shoe drops, I would not count on them doing anything even remotely resembling decency.

If they had any decency, they would be focused, you know, on actually creating jobs in order to get the rate of unemployment down.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rep. Taylor Tells It Like It Is

From the inbox:
GOP advances extreme social agenda
Limits on birth control, workers’ rights considered

MADISON – With Wisconsin 44th in the nation in job creation, 45th in wage growth and last in the nation in short-term job growth, Republicans held 14 legislative hearings in the Capitol today. Rather than focusing on job creation, many of the hearings, some scheduled immediately after bills were introduced, advanced what Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) calls “an extreme social agenda.”

“Despite Republican claims that their top agenda is repairing Wisconsin’s economy, today’s legislative activity confirmed the extreme social conservatives have high jacked the legislative agenda,” stated Taylor.

One of the bills highlighted today included Assembly Bill 216, which would allow some employers to prohibit their healthcare plan from covering abortion and include a broad exception to current law that birth control be covered in insurance plans.

“Republicans told voters in 2012 their top priority would be repairing our economy,” said Taylor. “So far, Republicans have failed to fix our economy, and it’s easy to see why. Over the course of the past few weeks, it’s become clear that rather than attacking our sluggish economy and advancing pro-active solutions, Republicans are more concerned with attacking a woman’s access to birth control and abortion.”

Assembly Bill 219 also received a public hearing today. The bill was intended to be a compromise on behalf of both workers and employers to address critical unemployment compensation issues facing Wisconsin. In the ultimate bait-and-switch, at the exact same time the public testified on the bill, Republicans legislators in the Joint Finance Committee slipped anti-worker provisions into the budget, making it harder for many unemployed workers to receive unemployment compensation.

“Beating up on Wisconsinites who are out of work isn’t going to fix our economy and it won’t trick the public into thinking Republicans are more reputable on job creation,” said Taylor. “Republican legislators should focus on getting Wisconsin out of our job slump rather than treating unemployed Wisconsinites and women using birth control as public enemies.”

The Assembly will be in session June 6, 2013. While they haven’t released their agenda, Taylor expects the agenda to be dominated by many of the extreme bills taken up by various committees today.
Is it to soon to say Chris Taylor for Governor?

The Republicans' Long Range War On Women

As the gentle reader already knows, Scott Walker and his Republican cronies in the legislature have been waging a War on Women since they took office two years ago.  They have systematically and maliciously started in whittling away women's rights since day one of their reign of maleficence.

However, they have now heaped insult upon further injury to the women of Wisconsin.

Lisa Mux at Waukesha Wonk has outlined a flurry of bills that will push our once great state closer to a theocracy.

One of the bills, AB 216, was written by Wisconsin Right to Life and sponsored by Representative Andre Jacque (R-Old Country Buffet).  As one might imagine by the bill's author, it is a zealous, discriminatory and unfair anti-choice bill.

Even though it was introduced only days ago, the public hearing for it was scheduled for today.  But because the Republicans aren't even pretending to listen to the people anymore as they follow the orders of their campaign contributors, this hearing was one of nine public hearings scheduled today.

And the results of such overbooking was predictable, as pointed out in a press release issued by NARAL:
ARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin today issued the following statements after waiting two hours to testify before the Assembly Committee on Health. While all pro-choice members of the Committee on Health were present along with Chair Severson and Representatives Stone and Sanfelippo, four members of the committee failed to make any appearance at all during the first two hours.

“In order for a public hearing to happen, there has to be someone on the other side of the table listening and hearing the concerns of Wisconsin citizens. If it wasn’t clear from their rush to schedule these bills for a public hearing less than a week after introduction and while Joint Finance was considering the budget, it is abundantly clear form their failure to schedule them at a time when representatives could actually attend and listen,” said Jenni Dye executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.

“I intended to offer testimony on behalf of NARAL and our nearly 15,000 members across the state,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin board member, Analiese Eicher. “When it became clear that the members of the committee that need to be educated about why these bills are bad for Wisconsinites were not going to be in attendance, I chose to leave and submit written testimony in the hopes that it will actually reach the legislators who couldn’t take the time to be there today."

“I am deeply disappointed that legislators couldn’t take the time to be there today and I hope they will take the time to read the comments we submit. When legislators are willing to listen, we are ready to talk about how to end these unnecessary, divisive attacks on women,” added Eicher.
How can the Republicans even begin to say that they are doing the will of the people when they won't show up for their own hearings is beyond me. Needless to say, they don't really want to hear from the people, hence scheduling nine hearings on the same day.  If the Republicans can't make it to the hearings, they figure the people won't be able to either. This only makes it even more painfully obvious that the Republicans are just going through the motions at this point.

For the record, all four Democrats - Representatives Pasch, Taylor, Kolste and Riemer were in attendance.  Republican Representatives Severson, Stone and Sanfelippo were present.  Absent from their own hearing were Republican Representatives Strachota, August, Kapenga and Peterson.

Severson, chair of the Assembly Health Committee stated that the reason for the absences was indeed the fact that they had scheduled so many hearings today.

Perhaps the most egregious is the fact that bills' sponsor, Jacque, fled the scene of the crime after the first speaker.  Maybe he felt he had to go wage war on the groundhogs or something.

It is sad and disgusting that the Republicans not only want to treat women like second-class citizens, but have such a misogynistic view of them that they can't even bother to show up and face them before taking away their rights.

Well, to be fair, calling the Republicans misogynists is not fair or accurate.

The truth is that they are cowardly misogynists.

Campfire Burgers And The Downfall of Wisconsin

Over the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to get up to the castle for a couple of days.

In an extremely rare concurrence of events, I actually had a couple of hours of free time and few extra dollars, so I decided to drive up to Nueske's.  It had been a couple of years since I had been there, so I had a hankering for a couple of things in particular.  One was I was hoping that they had their off-cut smoked ham steaks on sale (it goes great with mac and cheese).

I was also hoping to get a few packs of their campfire burgers.  Their campfire burgers was basically just lean ground beef with their world famous smoked bacon ground into the meat.  Every bite was filled with bacony goodness.  Just the awesomeness of the thought should set the gentle reader's mouth a-watering, even the vegans.
An inferior bacon cheeseburger

If one grilled them and then topped them with onions (fried or raw), real Sconnie cheddar cheese and some Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, well, friend, that was pretty darn close to heaven.

When I got to Nueske's store, the first place I went to was the freezer chest where they kept the campfire burgers.  But there was none there.  I looked in the other freezers, but none were to be found in any of them.

I asked a clerk if they had any in the back.  She told me that they don't make them anymore.*  As I felt my heart breaking, she told me that they hadn't made them for more than two years.  She said that they decided to stop making them because people kept thinking that the entire burger was smoked, not just the bacon, and so were not cooking them properly.

I looked at her in disbelief.  How can one not know how to cook a burger?  How can one not know that you need to cook a burger?

After I made my purchases, I sat in the car for a few minutes thinking about the loss of campfire burgers.  I realize that there are the occasional story about how foolish people can be.  Stories like a person that didn't realize hot coffee is hot or other similar nonsense.  But to have a whole group of people to show that level of inanity?

Then I remembered that the clerk said that they stopped making them more than two years ago.  Something else happened about that same time when Wisconsinites were overcome with mass idiocy and voted against their own best interests, making Scott Walker governor and giving ALEC the Republicans majorities in both houses.

I don't know what happened back then.  Maybe we were invaded by aliens that zapped the state with stupidity rays, terrorists put something in the water, we just got lazy and too comfortable in our progressiveness.

Whatever the reason, we need to get things in check real soon and start turning things around, or we won't have any nice things left by the time we do.

*The good news is that I have the recipe for the campfire burgers.  Where there is a will, there is a way.  It also goes to show that one should never give up.

African-American Roundtable Speaks Against Partisan Assault on Our Voting Rights

From the inbox:
The African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable released the following statement against LRB 1763, legislation being circulated by Rep. Jeff Stone (R-Greendale) that puts historic barriers on Wisconsinites who wish to cast a ballot and jeopardizes Wisconsin's extraordinarily high voter turnout.

The African-American Roundtable strongly opposes LRB 1763. A democracy is only strong when it ensures that all of its citizens can participate and have a say in their government. For over 150 years, our great nation has worked to increase and expand access to democracy. Now, Rep. Stone seeks to reverse this progress with a legislative package that constitutes the greatest attack on voting rights in Wisconsin since the 1960s," said Mike Wilder the Co-Chair of the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable.

Historically, we have made great strides towards empowering the poor, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities to vote. We should be proud of these expansions that endow all Wisconsinites the right to cast a ballot. LRB 1763 is yet another partisan attack our constitutionally protected right to vote, free from interference and unreasonable barriers. In fact, it includes "new" Voter ID legislation that is incredibly similar to the Voter ID legislation ruled unconstitutional last year. The Roundtable urges our state lawmakers to oppose this legislation, and to focus their attention on job creation. Wisconsin needs more people working, not less people voting," finished Rosalynn Wolfe, Co-Chair of the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable.

Members of the African-American Civic Engagement Roundtable include Citizen Action of Wisconsin Education Fund, Wisconsin Voices, ATU Local 998, The Transit Riders Union, The Advancement Project, The League of Young Voters Education Fund, 9to5 Milwaukee, Wisconsin Jobs Now, Urban Underground, Reproductive Justice Collective, MICAH, Afro World Enterprises, and Center for Progressive Leadership.

A Bridge Too Far

From the very talented Stuart Carlson:

WEDC On Fourth CFO In Two Years

It was recently reported that the WEDC (Walker's Economy-Destroying Cronies) has announced that they had hired a new CFO, Stephanie Walker.  

This is admittedly not a story that usually interests me, but there was something
that caught my eye which I want to share with the gentle reader (emphasis mine): 
Gov. Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature created WEDC in 2011 to help the governor meet his campaign promise to create 250,000 private-sector jobs. But the agency has been beset by problems, including persistent turnover. 
The agency lost its first CEO after just 16 months on the job. Its third CFO resigned last month after just 24 hours on the job.
That's three CFO's in just six months.  When you have a turn over like that, that a pretty sure sign that things are screwed up beyond recognition.

The's report on the hiring is also less than confidence-building:
"We're very excited for Stephanie to join the WEDC team," said Reed Hall, WEDC secretary and CEO. "She brings a wealth of experience in public sector financial management and private sector auditing. That's the perfect combination of talent for a public-private entity such as WEDC and exactly what we need to continue the tremendous progress we've made in reforming WEDC's internal systems and controls."
Think about that paragraph for a minute and what it really is saying.

Reed Hall, one of Scott Walker's cronies, who is the "CEO" of this corruption machine, is praising her "public financial management" and "private sector auditing." 

Now read those terms again and look at them from a Walkeresque point of view.  When one looks at the Scott Walker and his Republican cronies, "public financial management" includes losing track of tens of millions of dollars in loans.  And their definition of "private sector auditing" means things like Herr Environmental having two sets of books and neither of them correct.

Y'know, Walker often blamed his abysmal job creation stats on uncertainty.  I think we can possibly agree on this after all.  And I think we know from whence the uncertainty stems.

And the only way to ease those uncertainties would be to just get rid of the whole kit and caboodle.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Expensive Commute(for us)!

By Jeff Simpson

Membership in the "fiscal conservative" club of WI has its priviledges!   It is so lucrative for republicans majority leader Scott Fitzgerald that he gets paid an additional $14,608/yr just to drive to work!   Honest!  

The trip from N4692 Maple Rd in Juneau to the Wisconsin State Capitol on 2 W Main St in Madison clocks out to 48.59 miles.   Which translates into an extra $14,608 dollars of taxpayer money into Scotty's bank account. 

Good work if you can get it! 

How much money did you get paid to drive to work this morning? 

Are lady "friends" more or less of an expense than wives?

Memorial Day Politics!

By Jeff Simpson

I was excoriated on my facebook page for posting this yesterday, by a couple republicans, who said that Memorial Day is not a day for politics.

Today if you attend a Memorial day parade in WI and some republican politician throws you some candy...GRAB IT. Its the only thing they have done for you in 2.5 years!

I was even told by a de facto right wing member of the legislature - " Memorial Day should never be a day of politics."   

Then I saw this picture on facebook and amazingly none of  people who were upset seemed to be upset about this picture from the Burlington Veterans Memorial Day Parade:


One of my favorite writers William Rivers Pitt had this to say about Memorial Day, and hit it perfectly on the head!

Memorial Day is set aside to honor America's veterans, those who have served and those who have given what Abraham Lincoln called the last full measure of devotion. Indeed, you will not be able to turn your head today without confronting invocations of honor and duty. While it is all well and good to do this, the reality behind what our veterans endure today obscures these pious platitudes with the hard reek of hypocrisy.

Average wait time for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans filing their first claim to receive the benefits they earned: between 316 and 327 days. Those filing for the first time in big cities wait up to twice as long: 642 days in New York, 619 days in Los Angeles, and 542 days in Chicago.

The ranks of veterans waiting more than a year for their benefits grew from 11,000 in 2009 to 245,000 in December, an increase of more than 2,000%. The VA expected the number of veterans waiting - currently about 900,000 - to continue to increase throughout 2013 and top a million by the end of this past March.

There are, on average, 22 veteran suicides a day. “I’m not surprised at the number of us that kill ourselves,” Lincoln Capstick, an unemployed Iraq War veteran in Indiana where the average wait on new claims is 612 days, said to Time Magazine.

So today, as the politicians heap praise upon America's veterans, and as American businesses use veterans as props to boost their sales, remember what their sacrifice has truly meant...and remember that their sacrifice is ongoing, is happening right now, and will continue to happen until this country that so deeply values war finally steps up to care for he and she that has borne the battles.

A nation that does not care for its war veterans has no business making new ones

Nuff said! 

Wisconsin 2013!

By Jeff Simpson

Wisconsin has been consistent under Scott Walker's is just consistently BAD!

Among the states most affected is Wisconsin.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, private-sector wages in Wisconsin fell 2.2% in the 12 months ended September 2012, ranking the state 44th out of 50.The rate was double the drop in the national average.

Wages in the state's government sector, pressured more by government austerity policies than global competition, registered 49th in the nation during the same period.

With the state also lagging much of the nation in job creation — ranking 44th in the most recent 12-month period — it is apparent that Wisconsin is struggling more than many other states in the transition to 21st-century growth industries from its legacy as a bastion of old-line manufacturing.

Is it surprising?  Not at all, all of the signs are there.  The hard core Austerity program just doesn't work.  We have all the examples we need, its in every small town in America(If you can find a small town). 

In Youngtown, Ariz., city officials are contemplating the legal equivalent of shutting down.
The city of about 6,500 people 30 minutes northwest of Phoenix is, for all practical purposes, a small-government, low-taxes, no-compromise kind of place. Youngtown sold its water authority to a private company nearly two decades ago. It’s been nearly three years since city crews, instead of private contractors, mowed the lawn outside town hall. And trash pick-up has never been a city-run operation.

Youngtown was founded almost 50 years ago as the nation’s first all-senior citizen city, where part of the attraction was the absence of a property tax. A 1998 court order forced Youngtown to welcome younger residents. But as the city expanded its police force and other services to meet its changing needs, it never instituted a property tax, the single most important revenue ingredient in most municipal budgets.

Now, faced with a $183,000 deficit that will force the city to drain more than 10 percent of its rainy day fund, officials are considering everything from the historic to the nearly unthinkable, The Arizona Republic reported Tuesday.

Youngtown officials are considering which of the few remaining city services to cut. They’re discussing levying a property tax for the first time in history. And they’re exploring allowing the city to be annexed by a nearby municipality or simply giving up Youngtown’s status as a city and becoming an unincorporated piece of the surrounding county.

OK. It’s not quite like Youngtown is going to become a ghost town, but the officials are literally willing to wipe Youngtown off the map rather than levy taxes. The funny part of the article is when Mayor Michael LeVault says the city government is avoiding “the ostrich option” — “You know, stick your head in the sand and let the next guy deal with it.” Um, isn’t being annexed by a nearby city or becoming an unincorporated part of the surrounding county letting “the next guy deal with it”? Wouldn’t Youngstown’s problems then become someone else’s?

In a sense, Youngtown is the product of conservative policies. The article says that “[I]t can no longer depend on the state and federal governments to round out its balance sheet.” That’s probably party due to conservative shenanigans like the debt ceiling debacle, which set in motion “extraordinary measures” at Treasury, leading to headaches for cash-strapped cities and states. Austerity’s impact on job loss has hit cities and states the hardest, as loss of government jobs increaswa states’ unemployment numbers. (According to EPI’s David Cooper, government job losses accounted for 100% of job losses in 27 states, including Arizona. Meanwhile Washington doesn’t do much about it, as conservatives spend their time cutting school lunches and holding hearings on radical Islam instead of passing bills like the American Jobs Act, with its $35 billion to help state and local governments save 400,000 jobs by rehiring or retaining teachers, firefighters, police officers and first responders.

One last thing, if you want to know why WEDC is such a mess, check out this quote:

Wisconsin appears to have little in common with other states that also showed notable wage losses, including affluent states like Connecticut (46th), which has professional service industries; relatively less affluent states like Alabama (47th); gaming states like Nevada (48th); and mining states like West Virginia (49th).

"There's no obvious pattern," said Ryan Murray, the chief operating officer at the Madison-based Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., an arm of state government.

"If it were all rust belt states," it would make sense to argue that aging industry is the main reason for Wisconsin's weak national standings, Murray said.

Well Ryan, I took a look at it and found the "obvious pattern"!     Look at economics in Wisconsin BEFORE this day and AFTER this day and you will see the pattern!

Maybe the problem is we have Ryan Murray in charge of WEDC! 

That would be Ryan Murray, 30, who in July was named by Gov. Scott Walker to be the chief operating officer of the quasi-public Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state's principal jobs promoter. (Paul Jadin is its CEO.) Murray's resume (PDF) shows him to be conspicuously devoid of any private-sector experience, but well schooled in the political arts

Murray studied political science at UW-Superior and Macalester College (no degree is noted), and then blazed like a meteorite from the 2004 Bush-Cheney presidential campaign through multiple Republican legislative offices to a series of senior positions for Walker, culminating as director of policy and legislative affairs.

Monday, May 27, 2013

"Because He Had Ideas"

By Jeff Simpson

Former War Hero and  Republican Senator, Nominee for Vice President and President Bob Dole made some observations recently about the current republican party!

Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R). (Associated Press)
Former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R). 

The current GOP ought to be “closed for repairs” because it lacks a vision and is unable to strike deals with Democrats, Dole said during an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”.

The Kansas Republican said he was disturbed by his party’s obstructionist behavior on Capitol Hill.  “It seems almost unreal that we can’t get together on a budget or legislation,” he said.

President Obama also deserves blame for failing to reach out to Republicans in his first term and cultivate better relationships across party lines, Dole said.

Asked whether he would be welcomed by the Republican Party today, Dole said, “I doubt it. Reagan wouldn’t have made it, certainly Nixon wouldn’t have made it, because he had ideas. We might have made it, but I doubt it.”
(Edit note: How said is it when someone who committed treason has more ideas than anyone in your party currently?)

Dole is not alone, most republicans feel the same.

 The comments from the one-time presidential candidate reflect broad dissatisfaction with the state of the Republican Party, even among rank and file supporters. Nearly half of self-identified Republicans in an April Washington Post-ABC News poll said their party is “out of touch” with the concerns of most Americans

The Remedy:

Dole said his party needs stronger leadership. “Somebody has to stand up and say, ‘We’re not going to do this,’” he said.
With Paul Ryan and Scott Walker both running hard for president already...Good luck with finding leadership!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Republicans About To Launch Double Pronged Attack On Unemployed

Earlier this year, I warned the gentle reader that the Republicans were gearing up to launch yet another war on the unemployed:
As I had related in my last post, Representative Chris Sinicki told me
that they have no less than 51 changes in store for unemployment insurance.  Furthermore, she said that the Republicans have made it abundantly clear that they plan on ramming these changes through, regardless of what the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, the Democrats or their own constituents have to say about any of this.

Sinicki had already told us that one of the changes will be pushing back the start of unemployment back to six weeks.

Scott Walker also pointed out several changes he wants to make:
These changes, which would need to be made by lawmakers, would include requiring the unemployed to do four job applications a week instead of the current two.

"Common sense changes could improve the (unemployment) reserve fund condition, enhance the integrity of the program, and ensure taxes paid into the fund are used properly," the report reads.

At the bottom of the unemployment insurance complaints from business owners - and the Walker administration's focus - lies the financial state of the state's jobless fund. Weakened by the recession and a lack of past action to raise taxes or cut spending from the fund, the jobless reserve had to borrow from the federal government to keep paying benefits and stood $1.2 billion in the red at the beginning of 2012.

So to pay off the debt, the state already has had to restrict benefits for the jobless and raise payroll taxes on state employers.

Making it harder to get benefits would help with that process by keeping more money in the fund. But Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said he was worried about the unemployed workers who wouldn't receive that money.

"Of the few details available, we know Wisconsin families and those suffering the most from slow job creation may lose important protections in the unemployment insurance program. We can only conclude that there is cause for concern that this administration may remove other common sense protections for Wisconsin's middle-class workers," Larson said in a statement.

The Walker administration also wants to look at:
Requiring more documentation from recipients of jobless benefits to cut down on fraud
Restricting the number of reasons such as illness, travel distance or physical limitations that a person can give to refuse work and still receive jobless benefits
Narrowing the list of exceptions that allow workers to quit a job and then receive unemployment insurance. Wisconsin currently has 18 of these exemptions, such as quitting for medical reasons or moving to a new region with a spouse. According to the report, Minnesota is the state with the next highest number of exemptions with nine.
As noted in the article, the problem arose during the Bush/Cheney recession, which produced a horrendously large number of job losses, quickly draining the fund for the unemployment insurance. As a consequence, the state had to borrow more than a billion dollars from the federal government in order to be able to pay the bills.

The article states that there were two ways to pay off the debt - raise taxes on the companies or cut the spending from the fund.
Well, don't say I didn't warn you.

With thanks to Rep. Chris Sinicki for the heads up, we find that the Republicans had introduced the bill this past Friday and it was immediately scheduled for a public hearing this coming Wednesday:


Committee on Labor

The committee will hold a public hearing on the following items at the time specified below:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013
12:00 PM
300 Northeast

Assembly Bill 219
Relating to: various changes in the unemployment insurance law; license revocations based on delinquency in payment of unemployment insurance contributions; granting rule-making authority; providing a penalty; and making an appropriation.

By Representative Knodl; cosponsored by Senator Lasee.

Representative Daniel Knodl
Here is AB 219 in all it's ugliness.

But there is something that the gentle reader should note.

AB 219, as bad as it is, is strictly what was agreed upon by the Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council.

AB 219, by no stretch of the imagination, contains all the things that the Republicans want to do to the unemployed.  And don't think for one hot second that the Republicans won't go after everything they want.

I have word that the Republicans could very well enter a motion in Finance on Wednesday to add all the crap that was not approve by the advisory council.  I do believe we've seen enough to know how it will go from there without me having to paint the gentle reader a picture.

So let us be prepared.  Not only will be there the frontal attack of kicking the unemployed while they are down, but they will be also launching a sneak attack adding the things that no one but the Republicans and their corporate masters want.

I just find it sickening that the Republicans - who have cause the state to become 44th in the nation in job creation and just had the largest one month drop in jobs in years - believe it is necessary or even desirable to attack their victims a second time. Talk about your sad sacks.

I also have to wonder how the thirteen Democrats who voted for AB 110 feel about themselves now that the people they voted against before are about to get slammed again.

Who's Behind The Attack On The United Council

The United Council of the University of Wisconsin students is the nation's oldest
student association that has a long and proud history of advocating for the students and for social justice.

As is the norm for Fitzwalkerstan, because the United Council (UC) is a good thing, it could not be allowed to remain.

So late on Friday afternoon, when many people were mostly concerned with the three day weekend, the state Republicans decided to introduce and pass a UW-related omnibus.  As most laws, the omnibus bill passed along party line votes.

Among the miasma which made up the omnibus, is a bit that attacks and basically defunds the UC.    Even though the UC had been working closely with the Republican legislators on the UW budget, this had never been mentioned in any of their discussions (emphasis mine):
As United Council’s government affairs director Dylan Jambrek (a veteran Wisconsin student government leader himself) noted on Twitter late last night, not only did the JFC pass a two-year UW tuition freeze yesterday, Republican legislators thanked United Council for their work in helping to bring it about, even as they were plotting to defund the organization. “United Council has worked closely with GOP legislators this semester on the UW budget,” he writes, and “this was never discussed. This is simply a backstab.
So, if this was never mentioned in the meetings between UC and WISGOP, where did it come from?

Rep. John Nygren shed some light on this just before the Republicans performed their betrayal, citing a letter from the council at UW-Eau Claire:
Where did this assault on UC come from, and why is it happening now? One Wisconsin politics blog reports that Republican committee-member John Nygren said last night that the committee received a letter from the UW-Eau Claire student government calling for an end to the funding referenda. Wisconsin student activists I’ve spoken to since yesterday confirm that account.

As to why the student government at Eau Claire — which is, bizarrely, a United Council member campus — would want to cut off funding for their own statewide student organization, that’s an interesting question.

Campuses become members of United Council via referendum, as noted above. At the moment the students of a robust twenty out of the state’s twenty-six public colleges (nine of thirteen four-years, and eleven of thirteen two-years) have chosen to affiliate.

The Eau Claire student government has been unhappy with United Council for some time, and released a lengthy critical report on the organization last year. Dissatisfied with UC’s response, the student senate this spring voted to disaffiliate from the statewide organization. That vote appears to have had only symbolic effect, however, given that the referendum mechanism for UC membership is a matter of systemwide University of Wisconsin policy.

So why didn’t the Eau Claire student government run a UC referendum? Well, it turns out that they did just that, barely a year and a half ago. In the fall of 2011, with nearly two thousand voting, the Eau Claire student body endorsed UC — and a 50% increase in the per student membership fee — by a 65-35 margin, despite a campaign against UC by the statewide group’s critics. What’s more, the turnout for that referendum was more than double that of the student government election that brought UC’s current antagonists to power.

As a result of that 2011 precedent, when the Eau Claire senate took up the issue this spring, the UC opponents on the body declined to even propose a campus-wide vote. Instead they declared that they “did not see a referend[um] as a feasible means to accurately gauge student opinion,” given their expectation that UC and its supporters would be present on the campus organizing for its passage.
Well, that is the usual fascism and Machiavellian scheming that we're used to seeing from the Republicans. But outside of it being the UW-EC's student council, it still doesn't answer our question on who is behind that attack.

This might get a little wonkish, but as a background note, UW-EC's student council was recently hijacked in a concerted effort by college Republicans. The president and ring leader of this group of thugs is one Corydon "Cory" Fish.

So who is Cory Fish? Well, besides being president of the UW-EC's student council, he is also a former intern for Robin "Popcorn Balls" Vos:

Click to embiggen if you like seeing really bad hair.
So now we know where he gets his marching orders from.

Fish is well on his way to being a true Republican.  Not only does he make a good sockpuppet and minion for those in power, but he also is quite sufficiently endowed with the mandatory arrogance and maliciousness.  '

For a case in point, there is the oily and false press release crowing about the impending death of the student's Right to Free Speech and Right to Association, but Fish couldn't resist putting this picture on his Facebook page, adding insult to injury:

Fish also shows that he is a typical Republican coward by having already taken the picture down.

But I gotta tell ya, the picture piques my anger as much as this one of the drunken, adulterous, whiny Randy Hopper wearing the Mighty Green:

I hope that the students at UW-EC wake up and see what has happened and oust the tick turds like Fish in all due haste.

Reclaiming Our Airwaves: Squawk Radio =/= Bona Fide News

Just over a year ago, I told the gentle reader that the Media Action Center had gathered enough evidence to show that squawk radio channels WTMJ-AM 620 and WISN-AM 1130  had violated the Zapple Doctrine, a federal law that requires radio stations to give both sides of a political race equal time for at least the last 60 days prior to an election.

In November, based on the station's violations of the law and refusal to correct their illegal behavior, the Media Action Center filed a legal challenge to the renewal of the license for WTMJ-AM.

After a lot of dinking around by the FCC, including claims of having not received the challenge and/or not being able to find it, things started to proceed.

WTMJ's attorneys responded that they did not violate the law, claiming that the likes of Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner are bona fide news sources, like Walker Cronkite and Douglas Edwards.  As "bona fide" news sources, the lawyers contended that they were immune to the Zapple Doctrine, so that they could cover fundraisers and late breaking events.

Sue Wilson, Director of the Media Action Center, responded to the lawyers' claims in a press release:
Media Action Center filed a petition late in 2012 with the FCC to deny the license because, during the Scott Walker recall campaign, WTMJ's Jeff Wagner and Charlie Sykes shows were proven to have given as much as a half a million dollars in free airtime to supporters of Republican Governor Scott Walker. The station specifically denied comparable time to supporters of his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

The FCC's quasi-equal opportunities rule (Zapple Doctrine) states that broadcasters must give supporters of both major party candidates comparable airtime. Only "bonafide news" programs are exempt so they can cover candidates' events in real time.

"Bonafide news programs are specifically not allowed to politic for candidates," says Media Action Center Director Sue Wilson. "Now is our one chance to make a stand for journalism. The FCC has a duty to the public to draw a clear line between news and opinion.

"If the FCC does not draw a clear line, radio talkers from Charlie Sykes to Rush Limbaugh will be equated with newsmen like Walter Cronkite, and listeners will lose any hope of ferreting out fact from fiction," Wilson added.
I would point out that anyone that thinks Charlie Sykes is a bona fide news source is themselves a bona fide crackpot.

Sykes is nothing more than a megatroll. Sykes has been caught libeling innocent people and then whining about being forced to act like an adult.  Sykes' libel was so egregious that he had almost lost his job.  WTMJ wanted to fire him, but ironically, Sykes went crying to the union which saved his worthless but and allowed him to keep his job.

Even more damning is Sykes' own admission to how bona fide his reporting is (emphasis mine):
When we asked Sykes for support for his claim -- a standard first stop in the items we do -- he quickly backed off.

"The only politically connect(ed) hack I know is going is Jim Doyle (and maybe some of the regents)," Sykes wrote in an e-mail that he also posted on his SykesWrites blog. "My ‘evidence’? Absolutely none."

Sykes went on to label his remark "an off-hand wisecrack" -- "You know, humor, hyperbole, joke."
So he makes up stories out of his arse, and then calls his libelous statements as humor and as a joke.  Yet somehow we are to believe that he is a bona fide news source.

The Media Action Center, working with MoveOn.Org has launched a petition drive for public support.  Their drive is called  "Tell the FCC: Talk Radio is NOT Bonafide News!"

Please sign their petition and get your friends and family to sign on so that we can start reclaiming our airwaves.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

'Everything I Love About Teaching Is Extinct'

A teacher from Illinois gives her resignation notice via a ten minute video.  Although this teach is from Illinois, I have heard many Wisconsin teachers say words to the same effect:

"I was proud to say I was a teacher," Rubenstein tells the camera, after describing how she abandoned a career in public relations to "do something meaningful" with her life. "But over the past 15 years, I've experienced the depressing, gradual downfall and misdirection of communication that has slowly eaten away at my love of teaching."

"Raising students' test scores on standardized tests is now the only goal, and in order to achieve it the creativity, flexibility and spontinaety that create authentic learning environments have been eliminated. ... Everything I love about teaching is extinct," she continues.
I wonder how long it's going to take to start reversing the damage that the Republicans and Corporate Dems are doing.

I wonder how much more of this idiocy and insanity we can take.

The Real IRS Scandal

From the talented Stuart Carlson:

Exposing the Truth About Teaching In Wisconsin

I'm very overdue in introducing this to the gentle reader, but if there is a definitive education-related website that Scott Walker, the Republicans and most of all, the education profiteers don't want you to read: Teaching in Wisconsin.
The introduction page gives you an idea of why the dark overlords don't want you to even know the site exists, much less read it:
If You Are Considering a Teaching Position in Walker's Wisconsin, Please Be Aware:
  • You Will Be a Probationary Teacher Forever.  Walker's Wisconsin is the only state in America where all teachers have lost tenure or career status.
  • At the Same Time that Governor Walker Has Made Billions of Dollars in Cuts to Public Education ( the Deepest Cuts in Wisconsin's History), Governor Walker Has  Proposed Increasing Aid To Unaccountable Voucher Schools By 32 %.  No state in America has made more severe cuts to public education than Wisconsin.
  • Governor Walker Specifically Targeted Teachers With a Rule Change Forever Limiting Teacher Raises Well Below the Inflation Rate.
  • In Walker's Wisconsin, Many School Districts Are Reducing Salaries, Eliminating Benefits, and Increasing Teacher Workload: Use the information on the District pages to find out which school districts are aggressively repealing the gains teachers made over 40 years of collective bargaining by enacting regressive employment rules requiring extended teacher workdays, 60+ hour workweeks, required weekend work, adding weeks of teaching or inservice training to the contracted year, eliminating preparation time, taking away sick days, eliminating retirement benefits, and making severe reductions in salaries and benefits.
  • Governor Walker & his Republican Allies have repealed Equal Pay for Equal Work laws in Wisconsin. This opens the door to paying male teachers significantly more than female teachers as was common in Wisconsin prior to the 1970's.
  • Before You Sign a Contract, Find Out the Amount of the Contract Breakage Fee. Many school districts have imposed massive contract breakage fees (often $3,000+) to limit teachers' ability to leave for a better employment opportunity. A good rule of thumb for job candidates: The most demanding, even abusive districts to work for often have the highest contract breakage fees. Once you sign that first contract, they HAVE you and are going to do everything possible to keep you from leaving for a better career opportunity.
Before you sign a contract to teach in a Wisconsin public school, we strongly urge you to learn more about teaching in Wisconsin through the information that we have provided on this website. In particular, we hope the District Information pages will be particularly useful to you in your job search. We hope that you find the information on this website valuable in selecting the best district to begin or continue your teaching career.
They even have the eye-opening details of what changes that some school districts have made since Act 10. Here's a hint: Not one of them was for the better.

I would highly recommend that the gentle reader take the time to explore the site.  Then share it with your friends, especially those who are already teachers or who are thinking of entering teaching in Fitzwalkerstan.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Walker's Unwanted Campaign Companion

On Thursday, Urban Milwaukee published a rather odd op-ed piece by George Mitchell.

The gist of the rather histrionic and wildly inaccurate column was that he was sorely vexed by Dan Bice, reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.  Mitchell was so beside himself that he even felt that Bice should lose his job because of his coverage of the Walkergate investigation and subsequent trials.

The op-ed struck me as very odd, and not only for its blatant falsehoods and inaccuracies.

Walkergate was closed months ago.  So why was Mitchell resurrecting the ghost of John Doe now?

At first, I though it was Mitchell, who is one of the leading profiteers pushing for the privatization of education, lashing back at Bice for breaking the story on how the Bradley Foundation has spent more than $31 million in the effort to privatize education in Wisconsin.

But then, as I kept rereading the article, I realized what Mitchell was attempting to do.

To see what Mitchell's objective was, first look at what he actually was writing.

First Mitchell starts kvetching about the fact that the paper reported that the authorities had raided Cindy Archer's home and other story lines related to the ongoing Walkergate investigation.  Apparently in Mitchell's pea brain, news should not be reported, especially if it has bad connotations for Scott Walker.

Mitchell then goes on to start whining about the supposed leaks that were happening in the case.  This again is so much malarkey, since some of the greatest legal leaders in the state of Wisconsin, including retired Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske, said that the investigation was on the up and up.  Furthermore, and a point that Mitchell studiously avoids, any "leaks" were actually coming from the lawyers of Walker's cronies as they stood trial.

Then Mitchell gets to the heart of his grievance:
The Journal Sentinel’s stunning malfeasance should not diminish a broader issue, namely, that state law even allowed the out-of-control John Doe to occur.  The chaotic process, overseen by District Attorney John Chisholm and presiding Judge Neal Nettesheim, should prompt a legislative review of the statutory authority that was so clearly abused in this matter.  A supposed premise for secret John Doe proceedings involves the need to protect individuals from selective, incriminating leaks and innuendo.  While many of those vulnerable to leaks have done nothing wrong, they lawfully are prevented from responding in public.  The result, when the likes of Bice and Stanley are involved, mocks what supposedly is an independent, impartial judicial proceeding.
So, what Mitchell was griping about is that Walkergate happened at all and that the paper, and Bice in particular, would dare to cover it.  But  why bring it up now, two months after the investigation was closed?

As I noted, Mitchell is a leading advocate for the privatization of our schools so that he and others like him can profiteer off our kids.  Unfortunately for us, Walker is advancing his cause a long way.

And now Walker is making it even more obvious that he is running for president, despite all of his disqualifications.  Mitchell would be in full support of this, since he could become even more wealthy at our expenses and the expense of our children's education.

However, as Walker keeps trying to find some traction for his national race, he is having a lot of problems.  Walker is continuously getting bogged down in his own abhorrently poor record of job creation and the shameful way he continues to drive the state's economy into the ground.

And casting its shadow over all that is the blatant corruption of him and his administration, such as the recent push to allow Walker to sell off public assets without even going through a bidding process.  Adding to the self-smearing is the fact that his staffers just keep running afoul of the law.

Well, apparently, the specter of John Doe is still tarnishing Walker's already
tainted image.  So, Walker's handlers, like Mitchell, apparently feel that if they smear the messenger enough, that this will blur the fact that Walker and his minions were up to their armpits in illegal and unethical activities.

But their plan won't work.

First of all, Bice and the paper didn't break all the stories and they didn't make up the stories.  We already know the truth and we will keep on telling it.  The John Doe investigation might be dead, but the reasons he existed still are there and thus they can never really kill John Doe.  They can't kill Doe, because Walker is Doe, and no matter how many campaign stops he makes and how fast or how far he flies around to get to his campaign stops, he can't escape himself.

And if they haven't figured it out yet, those of who know the truth, well, we're just not going away.

Or it could be that I'm totally off base and the reason Mitchell wrote his bizarre op-ed piece was to set up a defense for a big story that might be coming down the pike at Walker.