Sunday, June 30, 2013

King Scott

By Jeff Simpson

While we all know Scott Walker did not have the intelligence, fortitude or work ethic to finish college, we have been given a glance at one of his favorite topics - folklore!

No not the stuff that Christian Schneider writes, but real folklore(you know fables that are at least based on reality)!  We will find out today when Scott Walker signs the most extreme regressive budget that this state has ever seen, that scott walker is a big fan of Robin Hood(luckily Disney made a movie so he could comprehend it).   Unfortunately for Wisconsin, it seems that he picked King Richard as his hero! 

As the nonpartisan Wisconsin Budget project points out...that this budget is "robin hood in reverse":

The Capital Times: How would you sum up this latest budget process?
Jon Peacock: The first word that comes to mind is "disappointing,” but that is such an understatement. Call it a "dismaying" budget because there were so many missed opportunities. Actually, this is a "Robin Hood in reverse" budget in a lot of ways.

"Robin Hood in reverse" because it takes from the poor to give to the rich?
Yes, and near the top is the fact that we diverted federal block grants intended for low-income families, used them to supplant state funding for the Earned Income Tax Credit, then used the state funds to help pay for tax cuts for the very well off.

What are the three worst things in the budget sent to the governor’s desk?
No. 1 would be inadequate support for public schools, coupled with the likely erosion of future support by opening up the vouchers statewide. No. 2 is the magnitude of the income tax cut that will create a large hole in the next biennial budget and insure the continued erosion of state assistance to things like education, which are much more effective in making our state economically competitive. No. 3 is the lack of support for local governments generally, particularly cities and counties. Their aid is frozen and their property tax levies are severely restricted. Those restrictions will fall especially heavily on poor communities like Beloit or Racine where you don’t have growth in the tax base and they will be losing ground to inflation.
That’s a huge reversal from a long tradition in our state of trying to help poorer communities by having aid formulas that try to equalize opportunities across the state. That’s true too for K-12 education, where much of the funding going to public schools is going to categorical aids that get divided evenly among all districts instead of trying to focus aid on districts that need it more. That’s been a gradual shift and a largely overlooked one: that we’re undermining the principal of trying to equalize opportunity.

Anything else?
There was the blown opportunity to restore pubic faith in the legislative process. The public faith was tarnished two years ago by a lot of what happened and there was a lot of talk at the beginning of this session about working across the aisle. We saw none of that in the budget. Worse yet, there was an increase in the number of inappropriate, nonfiscal policies that got put into the budget.
Is this the best we can do?   

The Day TABOR Came To Wisconsin

This afternoon, Scott Walker is scheduled to sign the budget for 2013-2015 at the plant owned and operated by some of his campaign donors.  As the gentle reader is fully aware of, there are so many things wrong with this budget that it would take a year to explain them all.

And that's just the stuff we are aware of.  Lord knows what other insanity the Republicans have sneaked in between the lines and won't be made known until it's too late.

One of the things that we are aware of is that Walker is again going to cut shared revenue to the counties and municipalities. And since he's already clamped down on local governments' ability to raise taxes, he has now shut them down from raising fees to make up some of the lost revenue.

Basically, what he is doing is bringing a version of the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) to Wisconsin.  As the gentle reader might remember, TABOR started in Colorado in 1992, when the Teapublicans ran the place.  There were cries that taxes were too high, that the public sector workers were making too much money, yada, yada, yada.

Things got so bad that Coloradans voted to give themselves a five year reprieve from it, but thanks to the Great Repression and other factors, the time was too short to recover from the damage done.

Per the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, there are some main reasons why TABOR, which uses a population-plus-inflation formula, was such a failure:
Here’s why the population-plus-inflation formula doesn’t work:
  • Population.  The segments of the population requiring the most state services, such as senior citizens and children, often expand more rapidly than the population as a whole.  In Florida, for example (which recently defeated a TABOR measure), the total population is projected to grow by 27 percent from 2010 to 2030, while the 65-and-older population is projected to grow three times as fast, by 87 percent.
  • Inflation.  The inflation measure that TABOR proposals use — the U.S. Bureau of Labor’s “Consumer Price Index-All Urban Consumers” (CPI-U) — is not an accurate measure of the cost of providing state services.  It gauges changes in the cost of goods and services that individual consumers buy, like housing,
  • transportation, and food, rather than the services that state governments pay for, like education and health care.  The cost of providing public services grows much faster than the general rate of inflation for consumer goods, in part because public services are less likely to reap the efficiency and productivity gains achieved by other sectors of the economy.  For example, teachers can only teach so many students, and nurses can only care for so many patients.
Under a TABOR, therefore, a state can maintain health and other services for the elderly (or expand them to meet growing need) only by cutting other areas of the budget, such as education.
Per the Center, the effects on Colorado weren't as advertised either:
Colorado’s national rankings on a number of public services plummeted under TABOR.  For example:
  • Colorado fell from 35th to 49th in the nation in K-12 spending as a percentage of personal income.
  • College and university funding as a share of personal income declined from 35th in the nation to 48th.
  • Colorado fell to near the bottom of national rankings in providing children with full, on-time vaccinations.
The share of low-income children in the state who lacked health insurance doubled, making Colorado the worst in the nation by this measure.

In addition, TABOR failed to improve Colorado’s business climate or economy, contrary to the predictions of its supporters.  Instead it contributed to a credit rating downgrade and alarmed business leaders by undermining the state’s ability to invest in its basic infrastructure and workforce.

Tom Clark, Executive Vice President of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, stated, “For businesses to be successful, you need roads and you need higher education, both of which have gotten worse under TABOR and will continue to get worse.”  Similarly, Gail Klapper, director of the Colorado Forum (an organization of 60 of the state’s leading CEOs), said, “The business community has said this is not good for business, and this is not good for Colorado.”
To bring the point home on how this might affect the gentle reader on a day to day business, I would refer you to this article from three years ago which outlines some of the things that Walker's hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado is facing due to similar acts of austerity:
This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.

More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.

The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.

Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.

Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.

City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won't pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
Walker, with the aid of his fellow corporate-owned Teapublicans won't be happy until they have driven this state all the way into the ground.  The only hope to stop further damage from being done and maybe even reversing some of the damage which has been done is to remove the ALEC-belonging, money-grubbing, corporate-owned Teapublicans and replace them with people who will look out for the best interest of the state and its citizens.

And we already know that we can't count on anyone but ourselves to do this.  Are you ready?

Hey, Tosa, Have You Helped To Reverse Citizens United Yet?

A little more than a month ago, I informed the gentle reader of efforts being made by United Wisconsin and other grassroots groups to reverse Citizens United.

I have received a note from a member of Grassroots Tosa who has been working on this campaign.  They told me that they need about another 800 signatures to get it on the Tosa ballot next year as a referendum.

So far, fifteen states have approved this referendum, sending a clear message to their federal legislators to pass a constitutional amendment to overthrow Citizens United, which eased the way of the corporate takeover of the country on all levels of government.

You can help by signing the petition.  Volunteers are at the Wauwatosa Public Library Monday through Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Anti-Privatization Quote of the Day

People are increasingly fighting back against privatization and all the problems that come with it:
“The fact is, when taxpayers see what they lose by handing over control of their roads, prisons and other services, they don’t want anything to do with outsourcing," says Donald Cohen, chair of In The Public Interest, a resource center on privatization. "We hope that what we’re seeing in places like New Jersey, Texas, Kentucky and Fresno is part of a trend to restore control of services to American taxpayers.”
Would someone print this out and point it out to Scott Walker and his protege, Chris Abele, please.

Nina Turner: Another Shero Emerges

Last week, Texas Senator Wendy Davis became a household name and a national hero when she went eleven hours doing a filibuster on a radical, sweeping anti-women's rights bill.  During that time, she could not eat, drink, use the bathroom, sit or even lean on the table.

Because of Davis, people are becoming more aware of other sheroes around the nation.

One such woman is Ohio State Senator Nina Turner.

Turner first started making waves at the end of last year when she rebranded the GOP acronym and made it into a women's right slogan:

Turner has again made headlines with her fight fire with fire attitude, introducing the Viagra Bill:

"We should show the same attention and love to men's reproductive health as we do to women's," Turner told HuffPost. "And my bill does that."

Specifically, Turner's bill would require men to receive psychological counseling to verify that they have a medical reason for taking erectile dysfunction medications, such as Viagra, before they can legally obtain a prescription for it. It would also require doctors to inform men, in writing, about the potential risks of drugs like Viagra.

The bill borrows language directly from Ohio's controversial "heartbeat bill," which bans abortions after the fetal heartbeat can be detected -- often before a woman even knows she's pregnant. But Turner said her bill is not just an answer to the heartbeat bill; she has been outraged by number of bills and amendments over the past couple of years, including one recently proposed to ban physician assistants from placing or removing intrauterine devices (known as IUDs), a common form of birth control, based on the Republican sponsor's moral opposition to that method of contraception.

"We need to fight fire with fire," Turner said.
Do read the whole article, it lists example of women who are as mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore.

The Republicans have taken on more than they bargained for with their misogynistic, racist and elitist power grabs. What they should be grabbing is their water wings, even though I doubt it will do them much good in the face of the tsunamis of righteous anger and indignation coming at them from all directions.

Rick Perry's Position On Life

After the successful and heroic filibuster by Texas Senator Wendy Davis, corporate puppet Governor Rick Perry showed himself to be true boor:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Yeah, this is coming from a guy that just killed a woman, the 500th such killing in Texas since the reinstatement of the death penalty. This is also the guy that approves of killing juveniles and mentally disabled people, you know, because every life matters.

You can't even say that Perry is pro-fetus because he is refusing the Medicaid expansion that would help poor pregnant women that have chosen to keep their babies.

This is all about power and control, just like rape.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Abele Photo Prompts Walkergate Memory

On Wednesday, Summerfest opened up on Milwaukee County's lakefront.  As is the norm, the local politicians wend their way down there for their photo ops on opening day.

So it was not surprising to see photos of Mayor Tom Barrett or County Emperor Abele down there, but this photo was a bit surprising:

What was also mildly surprising was the caption:
Great to be at the opening of #Summerfest with my friend, Mayor Tom Barrett, and the best Corporation Counsel Milwaukee County has ever had, Kimberly Walker.
First, one has to move past asking why in the world the county emperor would need corp counsel at Summerfest, unless he was planning on a legal issue to suddenly arise.

As noted, the over the top comment isn't too surprising.  Abele has kept Walker on as corp counsel even though she solicited the commission of a crime - namely offering her services to try to circumvent open record requests - as Cory Liebmann pointed to a few months ago.  And even if her email doesn't constitute a crime in itself, it most definitely is in violation of the state statutes of the responsibilities of a lawyer.

Since Abele did not want to do his job regarding Walker, it fell upon the Milwaukee County Board to terminate her.

Responding as he usually does when he doesn't get his way, Abele decided to throw another major temper tantrum.  Among other things, Abele is keeping Walker on the payroll - even though she had been fired - until the veto and override process as been completed.

It is insulting and outrageous that he is clinging onto her job despite her incompetence and her corruption, but he was more than willing to fire a dead man for having been sick with cancer.

But this whole farce of Abele's, along with that photo, did remind me of another photo that was commonly seen here during the Walkergate investigation:

For those who are new here or might have forgotten, Tim Russell worked on all of Scott Walker's campaigns for county executive and his two runs at being governor.
In between campaigns, Russell would serve in Walker's cabinet, in several different positions.  One such position was the economic development director.
When the Board denied Russell's confirmation, Walker refused to fire him and moved him to another cabinet level position.

That continued until Russell was arrested and convicted of stealing money from a veterans fund and was eventually sentenced to prison.

But up until the time of the arrest, Walker would often sing the praises of Russell, just as Abele is doing for Kimberly Walker.  This only adds to the growing list of occasions where Abele seems to be following right in Scott Walker's footsteps.

Which makes it no great wonder that this image is quickly becoming more and more popular with many progressives in the Milwaukee area:

Another Nomination For The Margaret Thatcher Award

Three weeks ago, we informed the gentle reader of White Wisconsin's plan to reward some conservative woman for being Fitzwalkerstan's Margaret Thatcher.

I had suggested that the nomination should go to Justice Diane Sykes, who went on to have a successful career after Charlie Sykes, her former husband, had been caught cheating on him with his current wife.

However, we find that there is another woman who is just as, if not even more, qualified to received the first Margaret Thatcher Award.

That woman would be blogger and writer for Milwaukee Drum, Wonder Woman!

After all, she does have some important qualities that make her a qualified candidate:

  1. She is a conservative.
  2. She is a woman.
  3. She has done work for the community through the The Umoja Project
Perhaps the most persuasive reason is that she is black.  And iron is black.  Margaret Thatcher is the Iron Lady.  Thus, Wonder Woman = Margaret Thatcher.

Another good reason for them to select WW would be the simple fact that it could be the first step for Sykes and his lapdog, Brian Fraley, to atone for their racism and misogyny, not to mention the bigoted game they are playing it when it comes to submissions to White Wisconsin from black writers.

Of course, WW has some strikes against her, in the eyes of Sykes, et alia:
  1. She is a true conservative.
  2. She is a woman.
  3. She is black.
  4. She is intelligent.
  5. She can out write Sykes and Fraley combined.
The more one thinks about this, the more one realizes that WW should really win.  If she doesn't, it's because she doesn't meet one of their biggest requirements - being the white kind of right.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The $880,000 Mercedes Benz

From Vince Megna, King of the Lemon Laws, on his greatest victory yet:

A bit self-serving, but can't blame him for being proud. And it is comical.

Now if only there were lemon laws against politicians...

The GOP's Biological Warfare

I don't know about you all, but Texas state senator Wendy Davis has me fired up more than ever before. Do you think we could get her to run for president?

Look, let's be honest with ourselves. Republicans hate women. Plain and simple. There's simply NO OTHER explanation for their 600+ attempts at regulating women's health care decisions in just 2013. Senator Davis is setting a big precedent for us. No other woman in a super red state has stood up and done what she's done. We women know that we need to be as courageous in order to ensure that our UNALIENABLE rights to our privately made health care decisions, will be forever protected. I can't even believe I'm having to have this discussion again, for what, the zillionth time? At this point, it's just degradation on the part of the GOP. They don't believe women are capable of making decisions other than what to cook and what to clean. They view us as dainty individuals, emotional, delicate creatures. We're only around to nurture and take care of. To cook, clean and look after. We don't need to set our minds on anything other than that. We can't. We're not born to do that. We are inferior beings.

Yeah, right.

In 2014, we need to be extra aggressive in elections. The Tea Party needs to be ousted from congress, senate and state houses. There's just no other way to stop their biological warfare. I have a feeling 2014 is going to be the year of the roaring woman. If it's not, we're the only ones who lose. The fight is on and the GOP has brought it on themselves. I just hope they don't mind losing the war and the battle.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Abele's Tantrums Over Firing Of Corrupt Corp Counsel

Two months ago, Cory Liebmann reported on an email he found from Kimberly Walker, the then head of Milwaukee County's Corporation Counsel, in which she solicited County Emperor Chris Abele to send all emails through her in order to circumvent open record requests:
"Please see the following below... my two-cents worth.  FYI - trying to play this forward in my mind.  With the exception of my email, this email string will not be exempt from open records requests.  Should you wish to preclude its disclosure, please send additional comments, revisions etc., only to me with the names of others who should see it, and I can forward. Just a thought."
Walker's suggestion to avoid open records requests is not unlike when Tim Russell installed  a secret router and email system so that Scott Walker's staff could do illegal campaigning without fear of being found out.

This solicitation to commit a crime was compounded by her failing to perform her job adequately and giving faulty legal advice.

Despite the failings, the unethical and illegal behavior, Abele never saw fit to correct the situation.  If anything, he encouraged and enabled it to continue.  (And Abele wonders why people refer to him as "Walker Lite" and "Lil Walker.")

The inevitable result was that the Milwaukee County Board had to be the adults and voted to terminate Walker's service.

This caused Emperor Abele to have a major temper tantrum and hissy fit.

First he called upon the Imperial Ghost Writer, Aaron Rodriguez, to attack the County Board, and especially Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.  Rodriguez' effort was a predictable failure.  The best that Rodriguez could come up with was to the effect that they hired a law firm where the janitor's sister's boyfriend's babysitter's aunt's ex-husbands stepdaughter's dog gave a donation to Dimitrijevic six years ago.

Rodriguez also tried to ignite some selective outrage by pointing out that the law firm that Board would contract with had a Blue Fist on their webpage.  The horror of it all!

 His rant about that reminded me of this famous scene from the movie "Animal House":

And in accordance with Abele's and Rodriguez' hypocritical nature, there was no mention that Abele and his plutocratic pals at the Greater Milwaukee Committee had hired the union busting silk-stocking law firm of Foley and Lardner. Foley and Lardner is the Abele equivalent of Scott Walker's Michael Best and Friedrich.

Gaining no traction with Rodriguez, Emperor Abele then turned to his own bought and paid for supervisor, Deanna Alexander.

Shortly after the firing, Alexander shot off a press release filled with unsupported and unsubstantiated allegations of having "secret meetings" and making sure that no one told Alexander.  It is not clear at this time whether Alexander wrote this release or if it was another production by Brendan Conway, Abele's spokesperson.

Now it is being reported that Alexander, through the Bradley Foundation's Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, has filed a complaint with the Milwaukee County District Attorney, the state's Attorney General and corporations counsel's office. (Oh, no conflict of interest there!)  The complaint alleged that Supervisor Theo Lipscomb, who originated the movement to fire Walker, and the other supervisors had violated the open meeting laws.

Not once did it occur to any of these fools that Lipscomb might have done what any supervisor would have done and met with the other supervisors on a one to one basis, which is perfectly legal.

Make no doubt about it - this move by Alexander and the other sockpuppets is for no reason other than to try to scare the supervisors into switching their votes and upholding Abele's veto of the firing.

It should be noted that many people have stated that Alexander is over her head on this stuff, which she found out today when Supervisor Gerry Broderick issued his own press release with some interesting questions in it:
Milwaukee County Board Supervisor Gerry Broderick said today that Supervisor Deanna Alexander was disingenuous in filing an open meetings complaint against 13 members of the Board because she herself secretly met with colleagues in seeking the removal of Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic.

The Board fired Corporation Counsel Kimberly Walker last week in a 13-5 vote that Alexander said was “irrational.” The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty filed a complaint on Alexander’s behalf on June 21.

“I can’t help wondering if Supervisor Alexander had these same concerns in mind last month when she set about meeting behind closed doors with colleagues intent upon unseating Chairwoman Dimitrijevic,” Broderick said. “Shouldn’t her failed coup attempt be subject to the same level of scrutiny as the successful dismissal of Corporate Counsel Kimberly Walker? Or is there a politically convenient double standard being applied here?”

Broderick also questioned who was paying for the attorneys involved in the complaint.

“Is she paying for this out of her own pocket? Because that’s what she should be doing,” Broderick said. “If she is getting free legal advice, then she is engaging in unethical, if not illegal, behavior as a public official.”
It will be interesting to see if Alexander has suddenly become expendable to Emperor Abele, who has a long track record of abandoning friends.

Lastly, for now anyway, the sour and boorish Sheldon Lubar, who is one of Abele's fellow plutocrats at GMC, shows his true nature by some very bitter and acidic personal attacks on both Dimitrijevic and Lipscomb in a tantrum that rivals one of Abele's. It must be a plutocrat thing:
In a letter to Lipscomb, Lubar said "you and the rest of your mindless plotters of 13 supervisors should be ashamed of yourselves" for working to oust Corporation Counsel Kimberly Walker. The board voted 13-5 to fire her, with no debate.


In an interview, Lubar criticized Dimitrijevic as "a child... She has no maturity." He compared her unfavorably to her predecessor as chairman, Lee Holloway.
It truly is amazing to see the way these plutocrats act when they are told no. It's also very disappointing that Abele and his apologists act when the person saying no is a strong woman like Dimitrijevic. Their bigotry and misogyny really shines through.

In an effort to sum up the oddness and inanity of the situation, Kimberly Walker was inept, unethical and dishonest.  As a result, she rightfully lost her job.  In a pique of rage, the elitist and arrogant Chris Abele has made his friends, apologists and minions look like fools and boors, possibly gotten them into their own legal trouble.  To top it off, the person that Abele and minions were trying to defend, will have her own name dragged through the mud as her behaviors are made more public than a blog.

The only thing missing from this circus is the clowns at Citizens for Responsible Government issuing their empty threats of recalls.

All in all, Abele should have done as he did with Patrick Farley and just tried to sweep this all under the rug while he was behind.  But by not choosing his battles wisely, he has made things much more difficult for himself and his dwindling allies.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Call To Action! Save Madison Area Technical College

They are in the process of selecting a new president for the Madison Area Technical College.  They have the list narrowed down to a few finalists:
Following an intensive national search, three candidates have been named finalists to serve as Madison College's eighth president. They will participate in a series of forums for campus employees, students and community members.

They are Stephen Curtis, president of Community College of Philadelphia; Jack Daniels, president of Los Angeles Southwest College; and Ann Valentine, chancellor of the Wabash Valley Region of Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana. Forums are scheduled at each of Madison College’s regional campuses and at the Truax campus in Madison. Public/community forums will be held at the Truax campus from 1:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. on June 25-27 in room 142.

Related to this, I found this taped to my cyber backdoor:
This is from the MATC Recall Walker list, and fitting, because we have a small time Scott Walker very close to being president of MATC. His name is Stephen M. Curtis and he is one of three finalists for the job. We have a good chance of stopping him, but only by acting quickly, because the decision is going to be made later this week.
Curtis is known by teachers and staff at the Community College of Philadelphia as an arrogant, autocratic, obstinate person who never listens and hates workers and unions, indeed anyone who dares to have a say at their own workplace. The faculty at CCP voted no confidence in him in 2007 and he has refused to finalize their collective bargaining agreement for over two years. He was fired in early June, just after being named a finalist at MATC. He is a national spokesman for privatizing public community colleges and is working night and day to outsource vital functions at his school, including custodial.

We need to attend his public forum in force and challenge him; a half hour is devoted to Q&A:
What: Stephen M Curtis MATC President's Forum
Where: Room 142 Truax
When: Thursday June 27, 2013 (day after tomorrow!)
Time: 12:45 - 1:45 pm
Madison, you know what to do.

THIS is What Democracy Looks Like!


By Jeff Simpson

There have been a bunch of neanderthal anti women bills rushed through the Texas Legislature recently that would make Andre Jacque proud.  

Texas Democratic Senator Wendy Davis has had enough and is filibustering this ridiculous extremist Anti- abortion bill. 

Watch it here live

Call this amazing woman and voice your support - (512) 463-0110 

Tell Ms. Davis your story here

Tweet her your support #standwithwendy @wendydavistexas

And call your local rep and tell them that THIS is what a true representative looks like and that you would support this kind of courage coming from OUR own legislature!  

*this is the line to get into the Senate Gallery....winds around four floors.  Wendy Davis is NOT alone.  Its time to change our politicians all over the country!  

Laugh of the Day

By Jeff Simpson

H/t Alan Colmes:  

Former double recess appointee John Bolton is thinking about running for President:

Later this year and throughout 2014, the former Reagan and Bush official will begin an informal national tour. He’ll give speeches, huddle with GOP leaders, and push back against the party’s libertarian shift. He’ll make the case for a muscular foreign policy.

Sources say Bolton is also planning to launch a few related groups that will help elevate his argument and his national profile. Whether the efforts evolve into a presidential campaign in a couple years is unclear, but Bolton is, without a doubt, looking to be a player.

 The former ambassador to the UN once had this to say about the UN:

There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.
John Bolton

Do not forget that while the republicans in Congress are very upset that President Obama would actually use the recess appointment:

McConnell, who with other GOP senators filed an amicus brief in the case, welcomed the high court’s decision to take a look at the controversy.
“Last year, the president made an unprecedented power grab by placing political allies at a powerful federal agency without even trying to obtain the Senate’s advice and consent,” McConnell said in a statement.
“A federal appeals court earlier this year reaffirmed what Republicans and job creators around the country have been saying: the president’s attempt to circumvent the Senate with a supposed ‘recess appointment’ to the NLRB was unconstitutional,” the Senate GOP leader added. “It will now be up to the Supreme Court to decide whether the president violated the Constitution, as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found.”
 John Bolton was such an extremist loon that he had to be a recess appointment, not once but twice!  

 President Bush installed John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations yesterday, employing the presidential power to make temporary appointments to break through a wall of Democratic opposition to Bolton's confrontational brand of conservatism.
 I guess if scott walker and paul ryan think they can be president, anyone can be!

Support The Wisconsin Women's Legal Defense Fund

From the inbox:
We are an ad hoc coalition of women and our allies. We are men and women, youthful and seasoned, diverse and mufti-cultural, from organizations and from neighborhoods. We seek to re-frame the debate on "women's issues" and we're seeking your participation to help drive the conversation.

This is the official page from the grassroots movement that led to a rally in Madison on Thursday, June 20th, 2013. After the rally, we delivered bloody coat hangers to the most vocal elected officials on this legislation. Following the deliveries, protesters took the floor of the senate where senators were in session debating the budget. Eight protesters were arrested and this page is to raise funds for their tickets and future activities in this movement. 

Footage from the Rachel Maddow show show's the effect we had on the debate in the Senate: But now we have to keep the pressure up. We need to ensure that the Governor doesn't sign this invasive bill into law. Enough is enough. We will not be violated by our government. We will regain control of our bodies. We will join with other women across the state and country to let our government know that they can not control us and we will not go down without a fight. We need to remind politicians in Madison, that they work for us. That their job is to listen to the people of this state. We also don't have it all figured out yet, so we ask that you are patient. Please like our page on Facebook to stay informed with the latest information. We need work as strategically and intentionally as possible. Thank you for your contribution to this truly grassroots movement. 

Interested in a shirt? Please donate $10 or above and then click on "contact" in upper right corner to send your contact information on how we can get it to you. Please also include your color choice (pink, red or grey) and size.
You can find their donation site by clicking here.

Kicked Off Badger Care

The folks at found some outrageous information last week that Scott Walker released while all eyes were trained on the state legislature passing that God-awful budget.

The found - and shared - the numbers of people kicked off or denied Badger Care for no reason other than Teapublican greed, otherwise know as austerity.

And as horrifying as those numbers are, there's more.  There's always more:
Another part that the Walker Administration tried to sneak passed is the fact that the number of people kicked off of BadgerCare that was revealed last week is 10,000 more people than they originally declared it would be! Do they think we wouldn't notice? Or does the Walker administration believe it can play fast and loose with the facts when it pertains to people's lives? Altogether, this decision to reject federal funds for BadgerCare and force people off has consequences across the state. The only solace is that this decision can be overturned at any time, we can reach out and accept these federal dollars for BadgerCare and we must keep fighting to do so.
They also point out that this does not include the people that are going to lose their coverage due to WalkerCare and the refusal of federal funding.

I would also point out that the numbers might be even worse than reported here.

Remember that the nepotism-plagued DHS office in Milwaukee County has been caught repeatedly wrongfully denying people food stamps.  Do you think for one second that they weren't doing the same for Badger Care?  And do you think that Milwaukee County is the only one in the state where this was happening?

I wonder which will come first - enough people hitting rock bottom that we'll be finally able to start reclaiming our state or we hit the saturation point and the state cannot be corrupted any more.

Banks Complain Credit Unions Are Like Banks

Either these people are completely self-unaware, hypocrites or utter idiots.  Or all three.  But to send out a press release like this one from the Wisconsin Bankers Association:
Taxpayers Should Be Outraged as yet Another Billion $$ Credit Union is Announced
Merger creates state's eighth "mega-credit union"

(MADISON) - Taxpayers should be outraged that Wisconsin may soon have its eighth billion dollar credit union. Pioneer Credit Union and Capital Credit Union have agreed to merge, creating yet another mega-credit union that won't be paying any income tax to the state. That means the average taxpayer will pay more in income tax than these billion dollar institutions. This new credit union will also be larger than 98 percent of the tax-paying banks in the Wisconsin.

Income taxes are collected for a reason. With yet another billion dollar institution still not paying their fair share, this means it is Wisconsin's businesses and consumers which are left to shoulder the burden of supporting the state.

"There is no reason these large, profit-driven credit unions should be allowed to continue to avoid paying their fair share," said Rose Oswald Poels, president/CEO of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. "They clearly have abandoned their congressionally mandated mission to serve those of modest means in favor of seeking larger profits."
OK, so the banks, which nearly collapsed the world economy in their greed, got bailed out with our tax money and used that money to give the CEOs large bonuses who used that money to buy politicians like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan so that they could pass laws further benefiting the banks and CEOs are now carping because someone else is enjoying success.

It's amazing that their heads don't explode.

It's actually no surprise that the banks are squawking.  They're probably hurting a lot more than they are letting on.

Remember that two years ago, there was a lot of union folks that pulled their money out of them, including when the AFL-CIO pulled their money out of M&I (now known as BMO Harris) because of their support of Scott Walker and the other Teapublicans.  Many people - union and nonunion - had gone to the credit unions and haven't looked back.

And a lot of people pulled their money during the Occupy Wall Street and other actions.

Methinks that the banks might be hurting more than they are letting on.

I do know that we at Chez Capper have been receiving a marked uptick in advertising mailers from banks and the one bank we still have dealings with have started making so many phone solicitations to us so much as to be stalkerish.

At least they are starting to see that they aren't too big to fail after all.

Monday, June 24, 2013

THIS is a MAJOR Problem

By Jeff Simpson

I have always felt that politicians and public servants should be given double the penalty of any crime,since they are the ones who set examples for the general public.  Unfortunately, because it is up to politicians to set the punishment, they end up getting off with apologies for serious crimes.  Thus they continue to repeat said serious crimes with no consequences(except of course the death of good government and end of  ethical politicians).

Now we have another problem starting to sprout up that needs to be taken care of immediately.   The private market is one that is done unofficially and off the books,  It is one that helps move minor products: car, guitar, Wii, house, etc...  It helps free up money from one or both parties to then purchase other goods.   It has sprung up such immensely popular websites as Ebay and Craigslist.  It is an essential part of our national economy, and it is under attack!  

This from Milwaukee:

We do not want to see an already WMC depressed economy in WI shut down even further by people being scared to sell goods they no longer need!

WTMJ-TV Thinks They Are Judge, Jury And Executioner

It's not just the Teapublicans and their corporate sponsors that have us involved in races to the bottom.  Now we see that the corporate media is likewise in their own race to the bottom.  First it was Fox 6's Mike Lowe running a sound bite talk show instead of, y'know, reporting the news.

TMJ4 wasn't about to be outdone in sinking to the bottom.

They are now running people's mugshots, whether they've even been charged or convicted in what is obviously an attempt at public shaming, ridiculing and dehumanizing the arrested people:

I highly doubt that they meant this as real news or to be complementary.

Adding to this is their little caption on each page:
Who is committing the crime in your neighborhood? Tune in to Wisconsin Tonight weekdays at 6:30 p.m. to see.
What they are doing is taking it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner in the sense that they have decided that these people need public shaming, just as they did with sandwich boards a couple of decades ago or stockades a couple of centuries ago.

The big problem with that - besides the fact they have no right to inflict punishment, especially on people not convicted of a crime - is that results may vary.

Case in point is from this article pointing out that shaming is not really an optimal solution:
Today, public shaming exercises haphazardly mix the real world with virtual reality. Judge Pinkey Carr sentences you to three hours of public sign-holding, but it’s impossible to predict how many photos and videos the news media and random passersby may produce. Nor can you predict how much notice this imagery will attract. Maybe it will hit the Web but die with little fanfare. Maybe it will become a viral sensation.

Given that the whole point of public humiliation is to turn attention into punishment, an audience of one million is a more severe punishment than an audience of one thousand. What this means, effectively, is that when a judge orders a person to stand with a sign, or even when a police station publishes the mug shot of a prostitution client, they don’t really know what degree of punishment they’re sanctioning. The reason that one photograph goes viral and another does not often has nothing to do with the crime being punished, but rather on what the person being punished looks like, or what kind of news day it is, or which particularly influential blogger or tweeter decides to note the case.

Judges have the power to create their own unique sentences. And courts have ruled that sentences involving public shaming are constitutional as long as they aspire to some other goal, such as deterrence or retribution.

But equal application of the law is a crucial element of our justice system. It’s one of the reasons we have sentencing guidelines. And quirky punishments designed to go viral don’t just fail to meet this standard of the law; they actively subvert it. Their primary goal is to court publicity, and that publicity can’t be accurately anticipated or controlled.

Public shaming may make for good YouTube content. And perhaps it can help end the scourge of restaurant reservation non-compliance. (No studies have been conducted yet measuring its efficacy in this regard.) In the end, though, it’s a tool best left to furious maĆ®tre d’s and frustrated pet-owners. The allegedly impartial men and women who oversee our courtroom aren’t tasked with meting out novelty and entertainment. They’re tasked with meting out justice, and justice works best when it’s delivered in uniform, predictable fashion.
To which I would add that there is an awful lot of vigilantism out there these days. It would not be a great leap for some kook to see one of the people pictured, or someone resembling them in the lunatic's eye, and then catastrophe occurs.

Don't hold your breath for them to stop this anytime soon.  All of the subsidiaries of Journal Communications have even given up their pretenses of being impartial deliverers of the news.  They have embraced their inner propagandist and have let it blossom for the world to see.

Even as we go about claiming our state from the likes of Scott Walker, Robin Vos, Chris Abele and the other corporately controlled petty tyrants, we are going to reclaim the media from the corporately controlled propaganda machines that can no longer even show respect for people.

In the meantime, I would remind these propagandists and hate-mongers to remember that but for the grace of God, go they.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Unintimidating: Walker's Book Flops Before It's Written

Thanks to an astute reader who pointed out that the presales of Scott Walker's book is not doing so well.  From the Amazon page for Walker's book, they already have a bargain basement sale going on:

The page also shows that the book is currently #2,800,147 on Amazon's best seller list.

I couldn't help but notice that they also don't have an image for the book cover yet. Well, as you all know, we at Cog Dis love to help people when we can.  Perhaps they could use this shot:

The odd part is that even though Walker's book is as a big a failure as his budget, he's still doing better than Charlie Sykes.

UPDATED: We have a late entry which would actually fit the title of the book!

Political Discussions On The Internet

Yup, this sums it up to a tee:

WMC Wins - You Lose!


By Jeff Simpson

Many on the right who claim to be "libertarians", justified the big government overreach of ACT10 as needing to stop teachers unions from buying off elected officials. Of course, as they so often are, were incredibly misinformed and their logic was non-existent. All it did(which it was intended to do) was weaken republican opposition. It made an uneven playing field even more tilted to the right! This also makes sense because when your going to focus on Vagina's and not jobs, you need all of the help fixing the game that you can get! However that is a story for another time.  

What really happened here, was bait and switch.   The group that is ACTUALLY extremist AND buying legislators is Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce(WMC)! As Sourcewatch points out:

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) is a business association formed through a merger of the Wisconsin Manufacturers Association, the State Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Council of Safety.

They are a big business lobby group that has unlimited dark money to spend to elect republicans.   The problem though, is their track record is akin to Don Morton's.  The last two elections, they have gotten almost everything they have wanted, in all branches of government! 

It is no coincidence, that the immense success of WMC policies have paralleled the quick downfall of the Wisconsin economy.  

And then there’s the other data. In March of this year, Wisconsin plunged to 44th in private sector job growth. Also, Wisconsin came in as the fifth worst in terms of the erosion in private-sector wages.
Forbes named Wisconsin one of the “worst states” for business in December of 2012. Wisconsin is 44th for overall economic performance and 39th for business climate.

Well they are back and if this is not the most telling  condemnation of the Governor's Budget, I do not know what is.  Here four ex-republican aides and current WMC lobbyists, tell us how great the Governor's budget is and they do it with a passion that is hard to match:

H/T Jack Craver :

 “Gov. Walker introduced his budget in February and, really from our perspective, introduced a pro-growth budget that makes an investment in personal income tax reductions, continues his freeze on property taxes and makes critical investments in our state’s infrastructure system,” said Scott Manley, the group’s vice president of government relations, to begin the video, before asking his colleagues to explain a number of economic policies that he described the organization as being "very excited" about.
 While I do not think this video will pull "Gangnam Style" numbers, it marks WMC's initial efforts into Social Media.  What it really shows is the fact that they feel that they have put enough impediments up actual democracy that they can come out of the shadows and not worry about a voter revolt!  It isalso sad that these are four of the people who are pushing for right-to-work(for less) and merit pay legislation!

For the record, what the budget really means to you:

If Wisconsin had representative democracy that reflected the will of the people – via proportional representation – the state would have a very different Assembly. And a very different budget.
As it is, the Assembly that was elected with a minority of the vote has enacted a budget that fails the majority of Wisconsinites.

Of course this budget is even more devastating to public schools than the last one:

 The plan that Gov. Scott Walker introduced in February had little added funding for public schools; no increase in their revenue limits, which means their budgets couldn’t grow; an expansion of the voucher program, in which state money is used to send students to private schools, based on a flawed formula and a new rating system for public schools; a new voucher program for special-needs students, despite overwhelming opposition from their parents; and a new board that would oversee charter schools, including an opening for independent charter schools, which aren’t connected to public school districts and could be run by for-profit companies.



Greenfield School Districts Stands Up For Its Students

It's good to see people aren't rolling over and taking the crap that the Teapublicans are dishing out:
Greenfield’s interim superintendent David Ewald said the voucher program and other initiatives like charter schools don’t have a proven track record, and questioned the economic feasibility of expanding the voucher program.

“The intent of voucher schools was to give school choice to students who live in poverty,” he said. “But if it spreads, creating another school system in addition to the one we have would be a huge cost.”

On Monday, the School Board is likely to unanimously support a resolution crafted by board member Robert Hansen denouncing the voucher program and expressing the district’s unified opposition to it.

Board member Rick Moze said one of his biggest issues with the voucher program is its lack of accountability.

“As far as I know, it’s the only state-funded program with no regulations,” Moze said.
State Representative Mike Kuglitsch - whom I'm afraid is now my gerrymandered representative and whose only claim of fame is running a bowling alley in the middle of nowhere - showed that he's gotten his head stuck in the return chute once too often with this inane comment:
In a statement earlier this week, State Representative Mike Kuglitsch (R-New Berlin), who district includes part of Greenfield, praised the expansion of the “promising school choice program.”

“Not all students learn the same way, and we must give parents the tools to send their children to a school that best fits their needs,” he said.
The only tool I see in this deal is Kuglitch.

But what does he care as long as he keeps cashing in his two paychecks - the one paid for by the taxpayers and the one paid for by ALEC.

Victimized Homecare Workers to Speak About Perils of the Industry with Top Lawmakers on Monday

Image courtesy of
The gentle reader might not be aware, but a couple of months ago, Deaconess Home Health, a company that provides personal care workers to the disabled and/or the frail elderly in their own homes, was put out of business due to a federal investigation of Medicaid fraud.  Deaconess and agencies like them have workers, often family members of the client, provide assistance in daily living skills - things like bathing, hygiene activities, dressing, cooking and eating.

As a result of the investigation and suspected fraud, all Medicaid payments to Deaconess had been terminated.  This led to the workers not getting paid without any advanced notice that the company was closing.  Nor were the agency's clientele notified that they were closing.

This left both the clientele and the workers scrambling for help.

These jobs are not high-paying jobs at all, unless one is part of upper management.  Many of the workers providing this service live from check to check and cannot afford to be cut off without even a hint of a notice.

Fortunately for them, they have someone trying to help them, per this press release from Wisconsin Jobs Now:
Victimized Homecare Workers to Speak About Perils of the Industry with Top Lawmakers on Monday

MILWAUKEE – Homecare workers witnessing the recent Deaconess Home Health controversy are coming together to achieve justice for all homecare workers in Milwaukee County. On Monday, June 24, former Deaconess employees and workers from other agencies in Milwaukee will meet with top state lawmakers to discuss their concerns for the homecare industry in the city. 

“A major problem for homecare workers is that we face the same issues everywhere we go,” said Sarah Ruiz a former Deaconess worker who plans to attend. “I was fortunate to find another agency, but I still barely make enough money to survive, and I definitely don’t feel fairly compensated for the care I provide.”

WHAT: Roundtable discussion on the state of the homecare industry in Milwaukee
WHERE: Washington Park Senior Center, 4420 W Vliet St.
WHEN: Monday, June 24 5:00 P.M.
WHO: Sen. Chris Larson, Sen. Nikiya Harris, Rep. Mandela Barnes, Rep. Sandy Pasch, Rep. LaTonya Johnson, Rep. Christine Sinicki, Rep. Evan Goyke, Rep. Josh Zepnick, Rep. Fred Kessler, and workers from multiple Milwaukee homecare agencies.
There is a growing need out there for this service, especially as the baby boomers become senior citizens. And the way that Scott Walker and the Teapublicans have been handling issues regarding health care and social services, I'm afraid that things are going to get much worse before they get better.

I thank the legislators in advance for taking time out to listen to the people.

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Innovative Bait And Switch

Once upon a time in a place called Milwaukee County, there was an area known as the County Grounds.  It was a magical place where one could gaze at historical structures knows as the Eschweiler Buildings.  Then one could move just a few paces and stand in wonder in front of a national treasure, The Monarch Trail, one of the few places in the world where Monarch butterflies would naturally congregate by the thousands during their annual migration.

One day, the evil county executive, Scott Walker, had broken his promise to preserve the County Grounds and sold it for a song to a group of wealthy land developers, some of whom belonged to another group inappropriately named as the Greater Milwaukee Committee.

The citizens weren't happy about this and tried to fight it.  But the wealthy developers had promised a big fancy university which would spur high-tech businesses to pop up and grow.  The developers told tales about how the region would be flooded in high paying jobs.  It would be a virtual land of milk and honey - or so the developers had promised.

But once the sale went through and the developers bamboozled the part-time, inept Wauwatosa City Council into letting them do what they wanted, things changed, and not for the better.

Where they had promised to preserve the Eschweiler Buildings, the now wanted to tear them down.

Where they had promised to preserve the delicate habitat of the Monarch Trail, they were now planning on doing construction within feet of it, all but guaranteeing that the area would be forever ruined for the Monarchs butterflies.

And where they had promised a fancy university and lots of well-paying, high tech jobs, they were now talking about building a fancy hotel that would create maybe a few dozen janitorial/housekeeping jobs.

But to build this hotel instead of some high tech business with all the promised high paying jobs, they needed permission of the County Board.

So the County Board met and granted the developers' request, but with the contingency that the hotel would pay the janitors and other employees would make no less than 125% of the poverty level, which comes out to be between $11 to $12 per hour.  Ironically, that's about the same about of money that County Board members will make if the plutocrats are able to complete their retaliation against them.

Then all heck broke loose!

Judging by the way that the even more evil County Emperor Chris Abele, his minions and the wealthy developers were acting, one might have thought that the Board had asked them to sacrifice their eldest born child.

Abele was very upset and, via his court jester, threatened to pull rank via the Plutocracy Law:
Brendan Conway, spokesman for County Executive Chris Abele, agreed, saying it sends a message that the county is negotiating in bad faith. He also questioned whether the board has the authority to amend the deal after the enactment of a state law limiting the board to a simple up or down vote on real estate deals. 
“We’ll need some legal clarity on that,” he said. “If this development goes away, it’s a significant amount of temporary construction jobs and it’s a decent amount of full-time jobs.”
Never mind that it would take two or three of those "full-time jobs" to support a family.

One of Abele's wholly owned subsidiaries, Supervisor Deanna Alexander (or maybe it was Conway again) echoed their shock and horror that the Board would expect the workers to be treated with the minimum of respect:

Even the Illinois-based developer that was going to come to Milwaukee to profiteer off of the land and the workers said that paying the workers two extra dollars made the whole deal - worth hundreds of millions of dollars - not worth it.  Apparently, he really, really, really needs those few thousands of dollars.  He needed to buy a round at the University Club to toast Abele, Julia Taylor and the other GMC members who made it all possible for him.

The thing to remember throughout this all too true tale is that the focus shouldn't be on the County Board who took the unpopular but righteous position of standing up for the workers.

The focus should be on Abele, his sockpuppets and the profiteers who are crying the blues of having to pay people at the rate of 125% the poverty level.  They aren't happy with not delivering on their promises, they are actually wanting to gouge Milwaukee workers and taxpayers even more.

I wish I could tell the gentle reader that this was a Grimm fairy tale, but sadly it is the grim reality that we face.