Monday, September 30, 2013

Secret To Success

By Jeff Simpson

H/T Political Capital who shows us a sure fire secret to success - Get away from Robin Vos

Speaking of Vos and Michelle Litjens, Samantha Vos is a student at Concordia University School of Law, in Boise, Idaho.

Robin Vos tends to leave things in ruins ...good for Samantha for getting out from under Robin Vos' suffocating incompetence.   From illegal voting to future lawyer.   Kudos!    

Imagine how much better as a state, Wisconsin will be when we are able to do the same!   

Scott Suder IS the New Wisconsin

By Jeff Simpson

One of my absolute favorite writers in WI is Ruth Conniff, who recently received a well deserved promotion to editor of The Progressive Magazine.  

I usually love her work, and make a point to read all of her columns. 

Today I vehemently disagree with what she wrote about the recent United Sportsmen controversy.  

What does United Sportsmen have to do with all that?

Since it was formed two years ago, the group has spent a lot of money lobbying for a wolf hunt, easier access to wetlands by developers, and the massive open-pit mine proposed by Gogebic Taconite in northern Wisconsin -- including a measure to keep hunters and other outdoorsmen off the land where GTAC wants to build its mine.

Doesn't sound like much of a conservation group, does it?

Oh, and it sent out a mailing, along with Americans for Prosperity, supporting Republicans in the 2011 recall elections.

Former Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder, who is about to start making a big salary as a Walker appointee to the Public Service Commission, carefully crafted grant language to exclude real conservation groups from getting the $500,000 state grant. If you were a chapter of a larger, national organization, you were not eligible for the money.

Suder rigged the grant for United Sportsmen. But also, by writing the rules the way he did, he jeopardized $28 million a year in federal wildlife management funds.

Talk about not upholding Wisconsin values.
This is where I disagree.  

This is EXACTLY what Wi values are now.

Until we prove otherwise in an election, reward donors, punish enemies and grab for taxpayer cash are the new WI values.  

Good Government, responsibility, fiscal conservatism, bipartisanship, wanting to benefit all, hard work and earning your pay, are all Wisconsin values of years past. 

As they say that ship has sailed.  

If you don't believe me, just do an Open Records request for a typical say in Scott Suder's life. 

The lobbyist for a self-described sportsmen group offered free fishing excursions to then-Assembly Majority Leader Scott Suder just days before an affiliate of the group secured a now-canceled $500,000 grant from the state, newly released records show.

Suder, an Abbotsford Republican, went on the Lake Michigan outing with the head of the United Sportsmen of Wisconsin in August, about 21/2 months after he engineered money for the grant into the state budget. Also scheduled to be on the Aug. 22-23 trip were a lobbyist and a former lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. The former NRA lobbyist, Darren LaSorte, is also a board member of the foundation affiliated with United Sportsmen.
Don't worry Ms. Conniff, Rep. Nick Milroy agrees with you.   

"Public officials are held to a higher standard," Milroy said. "The people who elect us expect more of us than this."

No Mr. Milroy, unfortunately the people of Wisconsin no longer do.  

Let Milwaukee County Lead On A Living Wage

On Labor Day, Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen announced that he was going to introduce a resolution that would require any company or agency contracting with Milwaukee County to pay its workers a living wage.

At that time I noted that the City of San Francisco was paying the highest minimum wage in the county at $10.55.  Even though they are paying this rate, none of the doom and gloom predicted by the corporate special interests have occurred.  The city still stands and hasn't burned to the ground by suddenly homeless people when all the jobs went away.

Likewise, the State of Washington raised their minimum wage at the beginning of 2013 and they are not only surviving but they are thriving.  Then again, they had to raise their minimum wage to keep workers from fleeing their state for greener pastures:
The increase translates to $310 a year for the average affected worker. The minimum wage will rise in nine other states, including Northwest neighbors Oregon and Montana. The minimum wage in British Columbia went up last spring to $10.25 (Canadian) an hour.

The hike in low-income wages results from a 1998 ballot initiative, championed by organized labor and opposed by some business groups, that provides annual rate adjustments to keep pace with the rising cost of living.

“Washington’s modest annual minimum wage increases have proven incredibly valuable in promoting economic growth and protecting the real value of low-wage workers’ paychecks during the weak post-recession recovery,” said John Burbank, director of the Economic Opportunity Institute.

“Congress should learn from Washington’s example and pass a federal minimum wage increase with annual cost-of-living advances to promote consumer spending and help cash-strapped workers make ends meet,” Burbank added.
And now we see the entire state of California has just raised their minimum wage as well:
Calling it a "matter of justice," Gov. Jerry Brown put his signature on a bill that will hike California's minimum wage to $10 an hour within three years, making it one of the highest rates in the nation.
The legislation signed Wednesday at a ceremony in downtown Los Angeles will gradually raise the current minimum of $8 an hour to $9 on July 1, 2014, then to $10 on Jan. 1, 2016.

The increase is the first to the state's minimum wage in six years and comes amid a national debate over whether it's fair to pay fast-food workers, retail clerks and others wages so low that they often have to work second or third jobs.

Brown called the bill an overdue piece of legislation that will help working-class families and close the gap between "workers at the bottom and those who occupy the commanding heights of the economy."

The governor was joined by state legislators and business owners who supported the measure, saying increased wages would boost the state's economy.

The state Senate approved AB10 on a 26-11 vote Sept. 12, and the Assembly followed hours later on a 51-25 vote. Both chambers voted largely along party lines.

Miguel Aguilar, a worker at a Los Angeles car wash, thanked the governor for signing the bill.

"We work really long hours," said Aguilar, who has a union contract. "Now, with the increase in the minimum wage, we'll be able to sustain an income that can support our families."

Supporters said the bill by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Watsonville, would help workers left behind during the recent recession.
Imagine that, actually putting money back into the hands of the public to help improve and maintain the economy. I wonder what Scott Walker would make of this? He's so far has only taken money from the people and given it to his wealthy campaign contributors and benefactors. The only thing he has given the people is a lot of lip service.

I would also ask Supervisor Bowen to include county workers in this resolution.  Thanks to the cuts by County Emperor Abele, there are county workers who are now eligible for public assistance.  This should not be allowed, especially if they are asking contractors to do the same.

Then again, a living wage shouldn't be for just county workers or the workers of county contracted companies, but should be across the board for all workers in the county and the state.  A living wage isn't just an economically good thing, but it is also the moral thing to do.


By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker is still upset that Ryan Braun "lied to us as fans".

The Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun won't be getting Gov. Scott Walker's endorsement, at least not any time soon.
Walker said he and his two sons, Matt and Alex, all big Brewers' fans, were disappointed and angry "that he lied to us as fans."
In a telephone interview Tuesday, the GOP governor said that "it was bad enough that he broke the rules, but the fact that he didn't immediately fess up to it, that he dragged it all out...It's not just what he did, it's that he strung us out for so long."

Which is very interesting, since WMC recently spent over $800,000 to flood the markets with this ad:

Scott Walker did not let Kurt Bauer do all of his lying for him, he even jumped in himself:

 Gov. Scott Walker announced in a press release Tuesday that Wisconsin is now ranked second in economic growth for the first time in the state’s history, according to data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia’s coincident index.
While a second place rating is great....the problem is that Scott Walker is lying to us as Wisconsinites.  See it is a fairy tale and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia made sure to let us know:
 Top officials with the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia are warning Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce and others that they are misusing a monthly index produced by its top economists.
Walker in recent speeches has been touting figures from the “Philly Fed,” claiming they show Wisconsin’s economy as No. 2 in the nation. WMC has been using the same number in a series of advertising buys, thanking Walker for putting the state on the road to prosperity.
But officials with the Philly Fed, who have been following the situation in Wisconsin, issued a statement Friday saying it’s a misreading of their "Coincident Indexes" to try and compare one state to another.
They say the index — which is comprised of several different economic statistics including housing starts, unemployment claims and wages — isn’t designed as a ranking. The Fed does not calculate a ranking based on the index and never has.
Walker and WMC have also been quoting the Philly Fed’s “Leading Indicator," a 6-month forecasting of the Coincident Index for each state, to say Wisconsin’s economy is projected to show the second-largest improvement in the country.
“We do not consider state rankings based on the coincident and leading indexes to be valid,” says Paul Flora, Senior Economic Analyst at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in an email to the Cap Times.

The fact is Scott Walker's main promise of 250,000 as "the floor, not the ceiling" is one that has never had a chance to come true.  

While he has been a miserable failure at creating jobs in WI, Scott Walker has been successful at one thing - lying. 

 Scott Walker is the "most untruthful" Governor in the US.   

Instead of not voting for Scott Walker because he has been a mess for the WI economy, how about we vote Scott Walker out because he has no idea how to tell the truth?   
Let's hold the Governor of the State of Wisconsin to a higher standard than we hold the left fielder of the Brewers!  

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Solidarity Sing Along - Milwaukee Style

As advertised, AFSCME District Council hosted a fundraiser for the Solidarity Sing Along on Saturday.  The purpose of the fundraiser was to assist with legal costs, open record requests and other necessities for the people that would participate in the Solidarity Sing Along in or around the Capitol Building, who are being made political prisoners by presidential wannabe Scott Walker and his henchmen.

The turnout was good and we netted more than $4,500 to help with the fight against their political persecution, the most raised by a single event for the Sing Along.

Here are some pictures that I took of the day's event:

There is no mistake where the union stands.

The official SSA t-shirt

Lane Hall of the OLB and Trenchant "I solemnly swear I am
up to no good" Tracey

Get yer SSA t-shirts and bumper stickers!

Intermission between singalongs

DC 48 Executive Director Boyd McCamish
speaks to the crowd.

Rep. Evan Goyke prepares to speak to the group.

The ever fabulous Kelly Albrecht

Sing Along!

Unintimidated: The Book
Coming October 31st

Rep. LaTonya Johnson and some union thug.

Marty Beil tells us how to be a union thug.

It's Milwaukee! Gotta have the brats!

But we also have a taste of Madison with Ian's Pizza

Those dreaded union bosses: Biel, McCamish and
Phil Neuenfeldt of the AFL-CIO


Friday, September 27, 2013

Elizabeth Coppola for 21st Assembly District

 Elizabeth Coppola for State Assembly

By Jeff Simpson

Elizabeth Coppola is running for the open assembly seat in the 21st district.  This is a very important race, because it gives the people in the 21st a chance to actually be represented in Madison.  

Ms Coppola is running to make a difference in Wisconsin and help turn our economy around, not running to be in office until she can use her position to cash out!  We have had almost three years of republican complete control and while our economy flounders, their pocketbooks have been greatly expanded.    Honadel, whose only "accomplishment" in his time in office, was putting his name on the mining bill that Chris Cline authored(which of course would get him kicked out of any credible university), says he is NOT going to work for GTAC(stay tuned). 

On Tuesday November 19th, the people in the 21st district have a choice.  They can vote to send Elizabeth Coppola to the Assembly to represent Wisconsin or continue with ALEC placeholders.   

Let's make Elizabeth Coppola - Representative Coppola

To do that, she needs YOUR help  

You can donate here(every $5 helps)

She also needs help with doors and this weekend is the perfect weekend to do so.  The Badgers do not play until Saturday night, the Packers have a Bye and the weather will be perfect!   

Everyone in the area can attend this event!!

 Please join Grass Roots at South Shore in supporting Elizabeth Coppola as she kicks off her campaign for the 21st Wisconsin Assembly seat which covers South Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and part of Franklin Wisconsin. The election will be held November 19, 2013.

The kickoff and door to door canvass begins at 10 am this Saturday September 28, 2013 at the UAW Hall 74355 S. Howell Ave, Oak Creek WI. Join Wisconsin State Senators and Assembly Representatives from around the state as we kickoff Elizabeth Coppola's campaign. If you need to come later the UAW will be staffed all day long. For additional information please contact Dale Nook or 414-690-0311.

Abele: I'm Too Busy To Do My Job

Last spring, a judge ruled that an City of Milwaukee ordinance which regulated taxi cabs was unconstitutional:
At issue is the city's ordinance, which took effect Jan. 1, 1992, that imposed a hard cap on the number of taxicab permits allowed in the city. Under the ordinance, the only way to get a taxi permit was to purchase one from an existing permit holder. There are 321 permits, fewer than the number of permits in 1991. Documents in the case indicated there is just one taxi for every 1,850 residents in the city, fewer than in other large cities.

When the ordinance was enacted, Milwaukee aldermen argued that they did not want to hold annual hearings on taxicab permits. And they reasoned that the system they created would pro vide an incentive among permit holders to improve their business.

In her decision, Carroll said the ordinance violated the state constitution's equal protection and due process clauses. She said the actions of the city's Common Council in 1991, in effect, handed a valuable commodity to taxicab company owners.

A permit is now valued as high as $150,000.

"The city, in essence, gave permit holders a significant asset," Carroll said. "That is where the problems come in with this law."

Sanders said the ordinance, which he called arbitrary, prevented cabdrivers from pursuing their right to a living and "enriches the privileged few."
Shortly after this ruling, there has had been some discussion of the county taking over the regulation of the taxis. This talk reached the level where Supervisors Russell Stamper II and John Weishan introduced a resolution in August to do just that:
Milwaukee County Supervisors John Weishan Jr. and Russell Stamper II today unveiled a draft resolution directing County Executive Chris Abele to negotiate an Intergovernmental agreement between the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County for the operation and regulation of taxicab service.

Weishan, co-chairman of the County Board’s Transportation, Public Works and Transit Committee, said the measure was designed to lower costs of taxicab service while increasing service, especially in under-served areas.

“This draft resolution is meant to get a discussion started over taxicab service not only in the City of Milwaukee, but in all of Milwaukee County,” Weishan said. “We believe that through inter-governmental cooperation we can better serve the public, increase the availability of taxicabs and cut costs.”

On April 16, a Milwaukee County Circuit Court judge ruled that the City of Milwaukee’s taxicab ordinance, which set a cap on taxicab permits, violated the State’s constitution. The Judge Jane Carroll said that limits on the number of taxicabs was arbitrary, anti-competitive and unconstitutional. On April 25, the County Board adopted a resolution supporting a City of Milwaukee’s Common Council measure seeking to repeal the city’s cap on issuing new taxicab permits. Abele signed the County Board resolution on May 2.

Under Weishan and Stamper’s proposal, all operation and regulation of taxicab services would be transferred to the County. A negotiating team from the County would work with the City to develop more innovative regulations governing taxicab operations.

“This is a natural addition to intermodal coordination county-wide,” Stamper said. “It will help to increase competition and lower costs to the consumer. It will enhance the quality of service and help to serve areas where service is unavailable or difficult to obtain.”

Under the resolution, negotiations between the City and County would be completed by Dec. 31, 2013, and would be implemented by June 1, 2014.
This resolution came up before the Milwaukee County Board for a vote on Thursday. On Wednesday, Milwaukee County Emperor had one of his yes people send out an email to each of the supervisors, begging them not to pass the bill. Abele asked them to vote against this resolution because it was a bad bill.

Abele's rationale for opposing the taxi resolutions was because he was too busy to do his job. The following is a copy of the email he sent, which I attained via an Open Records Request:

In advance of the Board's consideration of the taxicab resolution on Thursday, I would like to share with you the County Executive's perspective.

The County Executive appreciates the intent of Supervisors Weishan and Stamper in attempting to improve the policy environment for the provision of taxicab service in Milwaukee County. He is also interested in exploring opportunities to advance shared goals more efficiently and effectively. Because he understands the Supervisors’ concerns, he is committed to engaging in conversations with the City to gauge their interest in transferring this service, as well as further analysis to better to understand the scope of work the County would be responsible for, the cost to operate the service (including startup costs which presumably would be paid for by the County) and any possible revenue. Further, the County Executive commits to giving the Board an update on progress by December 31, 2013.

The resolution, which mandates the County Executive negotiate with the City, is inappropriate and premature given competing priorities and the budget process and timeline. The County currently does not provide licensing services and does not have existing capacity to do so. For example, the City has over 4 departments that play a role in the complex licensing process, including the Licensing Division, Treasurer's Office, Milwaukee Police Department, Department of Public Works and others.

I ask that Supervisors reject this resolution and allow the administration to do the necessary analysis before deciding to move forward.

Please contact me with further questions.

Thank you,


Raisa Koltun
Office of County Executive Chris Abele
Phone: 414.278.4338
Abele had months to prepare for this, but chose not too. Perhaps he was too busy holding fundraisers for Republicans and sending drunken emails to realize he had a job to do.

Despite Abele's mewlings that his job is too hard for him to do, the resolution passed 14-4, which would be enough votes to override a veto if Abele decides to go that route.

I would point out that in the pre-Act 14 days, this issue would have been settled with a staffer of the county board and a staffer from the executive meeting with their counterparts from the city and working something out. One of the many bad decisions involved with Act 14, the Usurpation Law, was that only Abele could negotiate contracts. But because of Abele's ineptitude and incompetence, this could end up being delayed, underfunded and bungled in a thousand different ways.

Then again, Abele might be resisting the resolution in order to protect his BFF Joe Sanfelippo, whose family has profited greatly by getting a monopoly on the taxicab business in Milwaukee.  Sanfelippo was a useful sockpuppet for Abele and his plutocratic pals at the Greater Milwaukee Committee by agreeing to put his name on the bill they wrote in order to get Act 14 passed.

The lesson here is that putting too much power in any one person's hands is bad news - especially if that person doesn't know what the hell he is doing.

To be fair, a competent person would have a lot of difficulty with the responsibilities that come with Act 14, but with Abele that is a series of bad things waiting to happen and are currently happening.

Instead of worrying about legalizing rubber duckies, the state legislature needs to correct this bad decision by repealing Act 14 before the damage Abele does becomes insurmountable.

Andre the Duck


By Jeff Simpson

Andre Jacque has taken time out of his battle to give fetus's and zygote's driving privileges to take up another very important fight( No it is not jobs, don't be silly).  Andre Jacque has signed up to fight for rubber duckies everywhere!   

MADISON (WKOW) -- A Wisconsin lawmaker is proposing to legalize plastic duck races.
State Rep. Andre Jacque circulated a proposal Thursday to legalize the races. 

Non-profit organizations commonly race the little plastic ducks with numbers on the bottom as fundraisers. Participants usually buy a raffle ticket corresponding with a duck's number. The first to float across the finish line wins.

Without Ernie Jacques support rubber duckies all over the world would be in danger.  


Is Van Hollen A Paul Ryan Man?

It is common knowledge that Fitzwalkerstan Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is a political hack who abuses the power of his office to advance the Teapublican agenda.  Whether it's from joining in the frivolous lawsuit against Obamacare to defending fellow Teapublicans from having to follow the Freedom of Information Act to not prosecuting any of the high levels of corruption in the state, one could count on Van Hollen not to do the right thing.

So when the news broke that an appellate judge had ordered that the emails and documents related to the Kelly Rindfleisch case should be released, one might have expected that Van Hollen would argue against that or at least ask them to remain sealed.

Surprisingly, Van Hollen said that his office would not request the documents be sealed:
The Department of Justice will not seek to seal emails and other records that are to be added to the case file in an appeal by a former aide to Gov. Scott Walker when he was Milwaukee County executive, a department official said Thursday.

But the former aide, Kelly Rindfleisch, could seek to keep those records secret, and the judge in the case has not explicitly said whether the records will be made public.

Appeals Judge Patricia Curley on Wednesday ordered that the emails and affidavits be filed with her as part of Rindfleish's appeal within 15 days. Curley did not specify whether the records must be filed under seal, but documents in case files are ordinarily public records unless a judge orders that they be sealed.
Why would Van Hollen not ask for the documents to be sealed? He must know that they would at best be embarrassing to Scott Walker.

Is Van Hollen a Paul Ryan guy and is hoping to sabotage Walker's presidential aspirations? Or maybe he is tired of squawkers like Charlie "White Wisconsin" Sykes always ripping into him and this is Van Hollen's way of getting back at them?

Whatever Van Hollen's motivation might be, this could get real interesting real fast.  It might be time to make a run to Pick'N'Save for some more popcorn.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Walkergate: Poetic Justice

Recently there has been a few people raising the hue and cry for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to push for the release of the Walkergate documents which had been sealed during the John Doe investigation and subsequent trials.

There are two major problems with that course of action.

First, who in their right mind would trust the corporate media to be the holders of this information?  There is no reason to believe that they would make all of the transcripts, emails and other documents available to the public.  They would pick and choose which ones to release, with their own spin, in order to protect Scott Walker and other key politicos.

Secondly, there ought to be no reason to rely on the corporate media to get the documents released.  These documents are property of Milwaukee County and as such, it would be the onus of Milwaukee County Emperor to demand the release of the documents.  The fact that he hasn't done so in all of these months should raise eyebrows.  Was it because he was simply too busy hanging with his plutocratic pals at the Greater Milwaukee Committee to do his job or maybe was he helping provide cover to Walker as a political favor to get Act 14 - the power grab bill - passed?

It turns out that their foot-stomping was for naught anyway.

The paper already had submitted a request for the records to be released and have now filed a lawsuit to get their corporate hands on them.

But even that might be moot - at least in part - thanks to one of Walker's political operatives, Kelly Rindfleisch.

Rindfleisch was the person that Walker had hired to be his Deputy Chief of Staff to replace Tim Russell, who was moved out of the executive's suite.  As it turns out, Rindfleisch was doing little county work and spent most of her time campaigning and fundraising for Walker and for Brett Davis, the guy Walker wanted to be his Lieutenant Governor.  After a lot of legal maneuvering and game-playing, Rindfleisch was eventually found guilty of illegal politicking and was given a slap on the wrist.  But even that slap was held so that she could appeal the conviction, even though she had entered a guilty plea as part of a plea bargain.

Ironically, it was because of Rindfleisch's appeal that now a great deal of the emails and other documents have been ordered to be released.  Even more ironic is the fact the order came on a request by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen:
An appeals court judge ordered the release Wednesday of numerous documents in the closed secret investigation of aides to Gov. Scott Walker, including the personal emails of convicted aide Kelly Rindfleisch.

Also to be filed with the Court of Appeals are the search warrant for seizing records from Walker's office when he was Milwaukee County executive and a transcript of the secret hearing over that and other warrants. The search warrant was issued on Nov. 1, 2010, the day before Walker was elected governor.

Appeals Judge Patricia Curley ordered the filing of the records within 15 days as part of Rindfleisch's appeal. The office of Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, sought to include the records in the court file as it fights Rindfleisch's contention that the warrants were overly broad.

The release of the records would give a glimpse into the 21/2 year John Doe investigation of Walker aides. A John Doe proceeding is Wisconsin's form of a secret judicial investigation of potential crimes or public misconduct and is similar to a federal grand jury investigation.
Walker must be having conniptions about all this. Not only is there a good chance that said emails will hurt both his gubernatorial and presidential campaigns, but to have it done by one of the state's biggest Republican hacks has to be absolutely galling to Walker.

And given how much information Rindfleisch has given us already, having unedited access to her emails and other documents is surely to make a lot of people wince, including her BFF Andrea Bloom, her other BFF Jim Villa and Keith Gilkes, whom we've learned had almost as much control over Walker's executive staff as Walker himself did - to name just a few.

Perhaps the most ironic and delicious part of this is to remember that it was Walker who has been funding Rindfleisch's legal defense.

Just think about that for a minute.

Walker was helping fund Rindfleisch's legal defense so that she wouldn't roll over and rat him out.  But now, because of her legal defense, he is about to be exposed anyway, despite all the money he spent on trying to cover it all up.

Talk about poetic justice.

As a final note, there is one more person who cannot be too happy about this turn of events - Milwaukee District Attorney John Chisholm.  As more information comes out with all the arrows pointing at Scott Walker, people are going to again to question why he suddenly halted the Walkergate proceedings and why he let Walker off the hook.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I Will Not Give You Healthcare Sam I Am...

By Jeff Simpson

 "This is like taking a history class from Abbott and Costello." - Charlie Pierce on Cruz's "filibuster".

Tonight, Ted Cruz is taking part in an historic fake filibuster.  It is as fake as the grassroots portion of "tea" party.  The Canadian Cowboy is so adamanat that you do not have healthcare, that he has labeled anyone who thinks that Obamacare should not be defunded(most of the nation) as "nazi appeasers".

This is the guy that the really far right wing of the republican party holds up as some sort of Canadian super hero:


Check out what minor league right wing talk show host Tony Katz had to say about Mr. Canada:

We are witnessing our Republic in action. Thoughtful questions, honest answers, total transparency. No wonder @joanwalsh hates it. #DefundIt

I know your curious as to the wonder, that Northstar was giving the nation:

 Yes the hero to the right, is reading a story written by a true progressive about the idiocy of someone who is so stubborn all he can do is say no.

"Every time Ted Cruz talks about Christianity an angel coughs up blood."  John Fugelsang
 John Stewart couldn't pass up a shot at Cruz either:

At least John McCain likes him!  So does Peter King.

Quote of the Day

The gentle reader might remember Ryan Ekvall, the corporate propagandist that stalks and smears young women and practices McCarthyism on Kindergarteners.  Today, he brings us the quote of the week:
...Wisconsin Reporter detailed in a previous story, sometimes conflates things lawmakers say, which leads to misleading articles with incorrect ratings.
Um, yeah.

Paul Needs Our Help

By Jeff Simpson

Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.) just signed a book deal to discuss the "state of conservatism".  How paul ryan is qualified to talk about conservative values is anyone's guess, but I guess anyone can write a book


So let's help our fellow Wisconsinite by suggesting relevant book titles for him! 


Mandela Barnes For Governor

By Jeff Simpson

Everyone knows that the Democrats do not have a candidate yet for Governor.  Some people think it is a good strategy to wait as long as possible to declare, and some of us think that we need to get candidates out early talking to voters since we have a decided money disadvantage.   

However I think we are missing the boat on potential candidates so let me bring one to the forefront!

Mandela Barnes for Governor

 Mandela Barnes was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from John Marshall High School. He went on to attend Alabama A&M University and after college he became an organizer and moved back home to Milwaukee. He had served in a number of capacities before being elected, including the Mayor's office and as a youth and workforce development specialist. In 2012, he was awarded with the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's "Grassroots Organizer of the Year" award.

On November 6th, 2012, Mandela was elected to represent the 11th Assembly District

Plus, Representative Barnes has been there.  He has spent time on Food stamps and has not forgotten!

State Rep. Mandela Barnes (D-Milwaukee) says he keeps a reminder of his days receiving food stamps.

Barnes was interviewed last week by liberal Madison-area talk show host John "Sly" Sylvester about statements made by state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who said food stamps were making some young people dependent on government.

"When I was on food stamps, I had a job. And I tell people that all the time. I am not ashamed to say that there was a time where I received food stamps," Barnes said on WEKZ-FM (97.3).
"I still have my Quest card, actually, in my bathroom, so when I wake up and brush my teeth in the morning, I'm reminded it was not that long ago that I was in that position.

"That's why I feel my opinion is very valid.  I was employed when I received food stamps. My hours were cut at the job that I was working. And the funny thing is, the place I worked provided job training, which is the irony of it all."

Listen to his interview with SLY here

Voting Issues

From the incomparable Stuart Carlson

Pantzlaff Plays Scapegoat For Failed Money Laundering Scheme

Andy Pantzlaff was the figurehead for the sketchy group called United Sportsman of Wisconsin, which turned out to be nothing but a money laundering operation that would have taken taxpayer dollars attained through a corrupt dealing by Scott Suder and Scott Walker and used it to funnel it back as campaign donations.  When the story broke open, Walker quickly distanced himself from the group and called off the grant - for now anyway.

Now we find that Pantzlaff has resigned from the state board that he sat on, which he used to channel the money to his group (no conflict of interest to see here, folks):
The head of the politically connected sportsmen’s group that won — and quickly lost — a $500,000 state grant after misrepresenting its tax-exempt status has resigned from his post on the state’s Sporting Heritage Council.

“With much regret I resign my position on the SHC,” United Sportsmen of Wisconsin president Andy Pantzlaff wrote Monday in a brief email to Scott Gunderson, the executive assistant at the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Sporting Heritage Council advises Gov. Scott Walker, the Natural Resources Board and Legislature on fishing, hunting and trapping issues. The 12-member council focuses on recruitment, retention and increasing access to resources and outdoor opportunities.


United Sportsmen has since issued a statement saying Pantzlaff had not consulted with the group’s legal counsel and “was mistaken about the exemption process.”
I would advise the gentle reader to not become too excited over this news. It is not justice being done. It is a red herring to distract one's attention from the fact that justice is indeed not being carried out.

For if there was justice, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen would have stopped being the pathetic partisan troll that he is and would have arrested and charged Pantzlaff for attempted fraud. He would also have arrested and charged Suder for his role in the corruption.

Instead, Van Hollen is too busy trying to figure out a way to help divert the Freedom of Information Act, claiming that it somehow does not apply to ALEC-owned politicians.

In fact, I would not be surprised if we learn that the grant money was doled out to a group called Wisconsin's United Sportsmen who was controlled by a man named Randy Pantzlaff.

All of which Scott Walker will do his best Sergeant Schultz - and what might be one of the few true statements Walker has ever made - "I know nothink!"

ALEC's Achilles Heel: Unions Help The Middle Class

Last night, I explained that unions were the answer to the hostile corporate takeover that is happening to our state and to our country.

And right on cue, Think Progress confirms this:
The middle class brings home a substantially larger share of aggregate earnings in states that have high rates of union membership than in those where fewer workers are organized, a Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) analysis of Census data shows. Amid very high and still increasing income inequality, union density appears to offer some buffer for middle-class Americans.

By comparing the share of total income that went to the middle 60 percent of the population in each state to the level of union membership in each state, CAPAF’s David Madland and Keith Miller found that the states with the lowest rates of union membership return below-average shares of income to their middle-class residents. The income figures come from new Census data, and the union density figures come from In the ten most-unionized states, the middle class brought home 47.4 percent of total income. In the ten least-unionized states, that income share falls to 46.8 percent.

Given the size of the state income figures at play here, that 0.6 percentage point gap translates to billions of dollars. Madland and Miller note that in Pennsylvania, 0.6 percent of aggregate income for 2012 “would have equaled over $2 billion, or almost $700 per middle-class household.”

The finding shouldn’t surprise anyone. The rise of inequality over the past three decades tracks closely with the decline of union membership. Stronger unions mean stronger advocacy for policies that support workers, not just on the job but with regard to fiscal policy decisions that help set the path for what level of income inequality there will be.
The Political Carnival has more:
As TP points out, and as we have in many posts, as unions get stronger, they increase their ability to stand up for workers. When that happens, not only does it improve work place conditions, but in the long run, income inequality is reduced.

And since the very rich make way more than the rest of us, leveling the playing field benefits the entire country, the health and welfare of more Americans, and the economy.
Unless you like to work in unsafe conditions, get paid poverty level wages, get harassed by management just because they're having a bad day and getting passed up for raises and bonuses because you're not married to the boss' child, there isn't really a valid excuse not to want to be in a union.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hey Rocky, Watch While I Pull A Jobs Number Out Of My Hat!

You might not be able to tell it from the Democrats right now, but 2014 is an election year.

But Scott Walker sure as heck knows it.  And he's scared.  He's got nothing to run on.

Taxes? They went up.

Poverty? That went up.

Corruption? That went up so much it blew the roof off the place.

Jobs? That's about the only thing that didn't go up.

So what is Walker to do?

Well, he's going to do what comes naturally for him.  He's just going to make things up and lie about it:
Now, with Walker's next election a little more than a year away, and the latest census job numbers due out later this week, Walker is highlighting a different metric.

“Rankings that come out are typically based on quarterly numbers that come out from [the Bureau of Labor Statistics], which are a six-month lag,” he says. “What we're trying to look at is not six months ago … but where are we going to be in the next six months.”

Walker is talking about the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Leading Index, a complex prediction of where state economies are headed based on several factors, including housing permits, interests rates, and hours worked in manufacturing.

Marquette University's Charles Franklin says it's telling that Walker is moving away from a hard job count that's easy to understand to a much more complicated estimate that's hard to explain. “Politicians are not economists,” he says. “What politicians care about is the perception of how the economy is doing rather than the best or most reliable measure.”
It's interesting that he's trying to seize on a momentary blip on the Philadelphia Federal Reserve's Leading Index. As Jake at his Economic TA's Funhouse points out, that's not even a very cheery picture when looked at in the big picture.

Sadly, we won't be able to count on the corporate media to hold him accountable as he pulls these random numbers out of thin air.  However, something tells me that despite the regurgitated talking points that the media will present as news, this is still going to come back to bite Walker in the ass.