Saturday, February 28, 2015

Unintimidated? No, Unmitigated

Remember how Walker was boasting how he took on all those protesters and was now ready for ISIS?

Yeah, he took them on alright:

You just can't make this stuff up, folks.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Walker's Other Qualifications

Stemming from Scott Walker blowing the dog whistle for his extreme fringe base, came the following tweet by Thomas Schaller:

Now that's funny!

But that got me thinking that there could be a million of these that we could come up with.

Stuff like how Walker would be qualified to take on North Korean hackers because he once got his earbuds untangled.

Or how Walker would be able to take on Vladimir Putin because he saw all the Bullwinkle and Rocky episodes with Boris Badenov and Walker is almost as smart as Bullwinkle.

What others can you come up with?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Scott Walker's Bogus Bravado

By now, the gentle reader is fully aware that Scott Walker really put his foot in his mouth this time with a grandiose statement of bravado while speaking at this years CPAC convention (Motto: The black hole of IQs):

“I want a commander in chief who will do everything in their power to ensure that the threat from radical Islamic terrorists does not wash up on American soil,” said Walker, a likely 2016 presidential candidate. “If I can take on 100,000 protesters, I can do the same across the world.”
Yeah, okay. Just call me caliph capper.

Walker's show of faux machismo was met with instant criticism:
“To compare the hundreds of thousands of teachers, students, grandmothers, veterans, correctional officers, nurses and all the workers who came out to peacefully protest and stand together for their rights as Americans to ISIS terrorists is disgusting and unacceptable,” Phil Neuenfeldt, president of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, said in a statement. “Coming together to peacefully protest for freedom, to raise your voice for a better Wisconsin, this is not an act of terror.”


Marquette Law School political science professor Charles Franklin said Walker “may have crossed the line” by linking international affairs and union protests. “But it’s not a brand new thing for him to connect toughness in Act 10 and toughness in international affairs.”
Even the right wing National Review Online didn't let Walker off the hook:
That is a terrible response. First, taking on a bunch of protesters is not comparably difficult to taking on a Caliphate with sympathizers and terrorists around the globe, and saying so suggests Walker doesn’t quite understand the complexity of the challenge from ISIS and its allied groups.

Secondly, it is insulting to the protesters, a group I take no pleasure in defending. The protesters in Wisconsin, so furiously angry over Walker’s reforms and disruptive to the procedures of passing laws, earned plenty of legitimate criticism. But they’re not ISIS. They’re not beheading innocent people. They’re Americans, and as much as we may find their ideas, worldview, and perspective spectacularly wrongheaded, they don’t deserve to be compared to murderous terrorists.
The best line came from the DNC:
"If Scott Walker thinks that it's appropriate to compare working people speaking up for their rights to brutal terrorists, then he is even less qualified to be president than I thought. Maybe he should go back to punting," DNC communications director Mo Elleithee said.
And punt is exactly did when Walker realized he made a major blunder and tried to backpedal from his statement by blaming it on the media:
Walker immediately sought to clarify his comments as he shuttled between media interviews after the speech. His political nonprofit group also issued a statement.

“Let me be perfectly clear: I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling this difficult situation is the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with,” Walker told reporters. Asked if he regretted the statement, he said, “No.”

“You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit,” he said. “That’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.”
Make no mistake in thinking that this was a gaffe by Walker. If there is one thing he does well, it is blowing the dog whistle. The only mistake he might have made was underestimating the level of blow back he would receive.  Even his staunchest supporters are eventually going to pull back if he keeps making one inane statement after another.

But take a moment to think about Walker said.

This is what he says prepared him to take on savage terrorists with missiles, machine guns and a blood thirst:

Walker's other claims to heroism turn out to be just fabrications of his warped mind.

As the gentle reader can see, his claims of the threats he faced were so exaggerated as to being to the point of ridiculous.  But not only were the supposed threats exaggerated, he also conflated his level of success against them.

As this past week showed with thousands of people converging on the Capitol, he did not do away with the unions.

And those savage Solidarity Singers?  They all had their civil and constitutional rights protected by a court of law and are still singing there every day.

In summary, Walker's idea of terrorists are Americans exercising their constitutional rights, people singing and figments of his imagination.  Even worse, he has proven himself to be ineffective against such grave threats.

What again is he going to do when confronted with armed terrorist who are not afraid of killing or being killed?  I mean, besides wetting himself and running away, screaming like a little kid.

Light A Candle For Jeff Simpson

As many of Jeff Simpson's friends and friends of this blog know, Jeff is a cancer survivor.  In 2010, he had a major operation to remove a large tumor.  The cancer was Chondrosarcoma - "an uncommon type of cancer that begins in cartilage around bones."

Sadly, four and a half years later, Jeff has experienced a recurrence.

The good news is that due to Jeff's taking good care of himself and having regular scans, they caught it much earlier this time.  Even then, the tumor is two inches long.

Due to the fact that this particular type of cancer is resistant to chemotherapy and radiation, surgery is necessary.  Jeff will have an operation on Friday to remove the tumor.  While the tumor is much smaller than last time, it is in a difficult location.  Jeff's doctor has compared it to reaching for something in the back of a drawer.  It's difficult but very doable.

While Jeff is experiencing some anxiety, which is utterly understandable and perfectly normal, he is maintaining a very positive attitude and is confident that he will overcome this as he has every other obstacle.

During a time like this, one would expect that people could put aside their differences and out of basic human decency, at least say nothing, if not wish Jeff well.

Unfortunately, in Fitzwalkerstan, that is too much to expect.  On an old post by Jeff, regarding the Knotzies, one of them left a message last week to show how devoid of decency these trolls are by leaving the following comment (which, for obvious reasons, was never published):
Hope that you die of cancer Jeff Simpson 
Nice, huh?

Anyway, we know that the majority of our readers are much nicer and way classier than these fools.

Saying that, please join us at Cog Dis and remember Jeff and his family this Friday in your thoughts and prayers.  Jeff and his family also invite us to join them in lighting a candle at 9 pm tonight in a show of solidarity and well-wishing.

If you wish to donate some money to Jeff and his family, you can do so here or using the PayPal button at the top right corner of the blog site.

Even if you cannot donate, Jeff and his family would appreciate any help that you can offer, whether it's a prayer, a kind word, the lighting of a candle or a decent cup of coffee.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The De-Evolution of the Republican Party

Will Williams Testimony

By Jeff Simpson

American Hero and Wisconsin Treasure, Will Williams spoke up against the RTW bill yesterday:

Thank you Mr. Williams for your service when you were active duty and beyond!  It is unfortunate none of the Republicans on the panel cared what you had to say.  

Scottholm Syndrome

By Jeff Simpson

Rebeccaforreal posted this on her facebook page:

It's a small wonder the Governor's message is resonating across the country: what a study in our president vetoes the Keystone XL Pipeline, killing the creation of thousands of new jobs, here in Wisconsin our State Senate votes "Right to Work" legislation out of committee, moving our state into position to create thousands of new jobs. What a difference 852 miles can make.

To which someone left this comment:

Shari Pes----------wski: God has blessed us with a governor who cares about the citizens and not big businesses.

In case you think your eyes have deceived you let me post that again:

Shari Pes----------wski: God has blessed us with a governor who cares about the citizens and not big businesses.

There really are no words and there really is no hope for WI.  

Randy Bryce Speaks!

By Jeff Simpson

We brought you earlier, the story of how Steve nASS(R- Fraidy-Cat) got scared of people testifying against the bill that his Bosses in ALEC told him he had to pass, so he ran out of the room, cowering in fear.

One of the people they cut off was our friend Randy Bryce. Shame on the people of Senate District 21 for not electing Mr. Bryce!

Here is one reason that the Republicans were so scared - a healthy dose of reality and truth!
My testimony on #WageTheftBill (that was not allowed to be read before the committee due to GOP cowardice)

My name is Randy Bryce. I have been a member of Ironworkers Local 8 since 1997.

I’ve had the privilege in that time to work on many of Wisconsin’s landmarks, private businesses, and, numerous parts of our infrastructure.

Prior to this, after leaving the US Army with an honorable discharge, I had several jobs that had no bright future, but, allowed me to pay my bills. (usually two jobs at a time)
One day, a friend of our family - a physician who had a patient that was the former ironworker apprenticeship coordinator let me know that the ironworkers were taking applications. I hated the job that I was at. It was in a dirty warehouse, and, I dreaded going into work every day.

I applied. I had never done construction work before. After going through the application process, I finally made it onto the apprenticeship list. I’m not going to go into great detail explaining how my apprenticeship went, because I understand that this body has a bill that they’d like to ram through before the rest of the state is aware of how horrible it really is. I’ll be as brief as possible.

Fact is, the ironworker's apprenticeship has the ability to take unskilled people off of the street, and, gives them a career that they are proud of. They taught me everything that I needed to know in order to now have a career that not only takes care of my family, but, has me proudly pointing out every project that I worked on as I drive throughout the state to my son Ben.

That training isn’t cheap. But, WE pay for it through our union dues, and, from contributions from the contractors who hire us. The apprenticeship board consists of 5 union reps, 5 contractor reps, and, a rep from the state who meet monthly. Zero tax dollars are used. After passing the #WageTheftBill (lets not pretend that this bill involves rights or the ability to work) Michigan has found out that it is now lacking with skilled trades workers. They will soon be using tax money to train workers.

This horrible attack on the Building Trades is not good for anyone in the state. It is a blatant attack due to political ideologies. Sen. Fitzgerald admitted such when this idea was first mentioned when he sought to exempt certain unions who supported Republican candidates. (Unconstitutional) Proponents have admitted that it will not raise wages.

I am sure that you are all aware of the Wisconsin Contractor coalition - a group of around 400 private businesses - many of who donated heavily to Republican candidates - who are opposed to this bill. They see it for what it is - the government getting in the middle of how they hire their help.

We make those contractors a LOT of money. They CHOOSE to use us.

If we are not allowed to collect money from members who freely choose to join our organization, who will pay to train us? Why stop at collecting union dues. A college tuition freeze is nice, but, why not let the student get a degree, then pay what they feel it is worth? Why do groups who want to see this passed charge a membership fee? Wisconsin Manufactorers and Commerce charge fees. The Associated Builders and Contractors charge membership fees. Even ALEC charges membership fees - and I recall that taxpayers foot the bill for a few members of Wisconsin’s legislature to belong to that group. Think of all of the extra jobs that they could create if this bill only went a little bit further and actually addressed freeloading for all. Why not let people pay taxes based on how well they feel that they are being represented? (I think we know how that would turn out)
Another aspect of what is trying to be sold is that this bill gives workers a choice. There already is a choice. If somebody wants to do what I do for a living, there are plenty of open shops that already exist. People are free to go work there. They won’t get the same training that our union dues pay for, and, they probably won’t make the same amount of money as a result, but, they exist. Their lessor wages are what I refer to as their “nonunion dues”. It’s the cost that they choose to be paid for not joining a highly skilled workforce.

The ironworkers created the first union in order to pool money together in order to give someone killed on the job a decent burial. Because of what we saw that could be done by looking out for each other, we were able to demand safer working conditions. Our trade is annually listed among the top 5 with regard to having a high mortality rate, but, it is a lot better than it used to be.

The union that I belong to is self insured. We get no sick days or holiday pay. As stated before, we pay to self train. Our instructors are experienced journey men ironworkers.There is ZERO burden on the taxpayer. The 4 year apprenticeship has members graduate with no student loan debt. Once graduating to Journeyman status, one can work anywhere in North America with a network that has been set up to attract skilled labor when an area faces a shortage. We have no seniority. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. Our vacations are taken understanding that we will not get paid for the days that we are on vacation. All of our representatives are elected. All of the decisions that we make are voted on. The general membership is given monthly reports on how every dime is spent. Every dime spent is voted on. Unlike what is taking place this week, Ironworkers local 8 is PURE. DEMOCRACY.

Every single member of the legislature is cordially invited to come view our training facility. When running for state senate, I made it a point to invite members of the opposition party to see what we do.
I am disappointed beyond words at not just what this bill contains, but, how it is being passed. I am proud to be among those who build Wisconsin. My job is construction. This bill is demolition.
Thank you for the opportunity to speak my mind. Because I belong to a union, I was able to take off of work today and not fear that I would lose my job.

Steve nASS (R - Fraidy-Cat)

By Jeff Simpson 

This latest legislative session in Wisconsin, started exactly how you think it would.  A sham hearing, lots of not listening going on and it ending abruptly with the Republicans running out of the room. cowering in fear

Steve nASS gets a special mention for his incredible feat of cowardice, all he was missing was the "Bawk, Bawk" sound effects.

The committee chair, Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, said he was concerned a planned protest would become unsafe.
Nass cited an article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying union groups planned to peacefully protest the end of testimony at 7 p.m., calling that a credible threat to the safety of the people at the hearing
Steve nASS was sprinting towards the exit so fast, you would think someone was trying to collect past due child support from him.  

Who scared Mr. nASS so badly that he had to call the police and run and hide?

She did!

Mr. nASS can never claim to be #unintimidated.  It is amazing his district, as badly gerrymandered as it is, would want such a milksop as its Representative.  

WI Republicans Start The Fast Track To RTW Ruin

Image courtesy of Citizens Action of Wisconsin
The ongoing downward spiral for Wisconsin continues this week as Scott Walker and his Republican allies continue to ramrod through so-called "Right to Work" legislation in an extraordinary session of the state legislature.

On Monday, labor leaders, community leaders and business owners converged on the Capitol to speak with state senators but were denied access.

On Tuesday, thousands of Wisconsinites went to Madison, some driving five and a half hours, to attend the sham of a public hearing. Scores of Wisconsinites did not get to testify but the Republican clowns made sure that out of state special interests got to say their piece:
It's a rare citizen who would rush to testify that the higher wages, benefits, and training that unions bring are a bad idea. Fortunately, the Wisconsin GOP had the full support of the Koch-funded "think tanks" that are a critical part of the right-wing infrastructure.

James Sherk, an attorney for the D.C.-based Heritage Foundation, flew out to pile on. Sherk's innovative legal effort to devise a local right to work strategy and peddle it though the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) was featured on the front page of the New York Times recently in an article entitled "Foes of Unions Try Their Luck at the County Level." The Heritage Foundation received $650,000 in 2012 from the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, which was one of the Koch Family Foundations before it closed in 2013. The Lambe Foundation contributed at least $4.8 million to the Heritage Foundation between 1998 and 2012. See our SourceWatch profile here.

Sherk waxed lyrical over the fact that right to work legislation would "drive down labor costs." Sen. Larson translated for the audience: "You say labor costs. You know, I would call that wages."

Greg Mourad from the National Right to Work Committee, which received $1 million from the Koch brothers' secret bank Freedom Partners in 2012, was not keen to discuss where his paycheck comes from.

"Have you never asked yourself why some of the richest people in the country are spending so much money on your group -- people pushing an extreme anti-worker and anti-environment agenda?" Sen. Larson asked Mourad. He had not. The National Right to Work Committee has been a national leader in the effort to destroy public and private sector unions by pushing anti-union legislation at the state and federal level and by bringing lawsuits, such as the 2014 Harris v. Quinn case in the U.S. Supreme Court attacking unions in Illinois. The three groups associated with the Committee reported over $25 million in revenue in 2012. CMD's Sourcewatch profile of the group can be found here.

F. Vincent Vernuccio flew in all the way from Michigan, where workers were "freed" to make lower wages in 2013. Vernuccio works for Michigan's Mackinac Center, one of the largest state-based think tanks in the nation, and part of the $84 million dollar State Policy Network, a sister organization to ALEC. The Mackinac Center received $1,494,000 from the Koch conduits DonorsTrust and Donors Capital Fund between 2010 and 2012. See CMD's ;SourceWatch profile here.

Last year, Vernuccio masterminded a coordinated campaign attacking teachers in Michigan. Together with the Koch-founded group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) and the National Right to Work Committee, Mackinac released targeted Facebook and Google ads, built webpages, published op-eds in local and state newspapers, and flooded Michiganders with mass mailings and robo-calls -- all with the aim of destroying the teachers' union by creating a mass exodus of members.

There was one Wisconsinite ready to testify. Scott Manley, representing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC), bemoaned the fact that Wisconsin is lagging in new job creation compared to right to work states (the Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks Wisconsin 32 out of 50 states in new job creation). But just a few months ago, during Walker's campaign for reelection, WMC aired TV ad after TV adpraising Governor Walker for the state's blockbuster economic performance.
It should be noted that Manley was also forced to admit that only 7% of the companies he is supposed to be representing actually support this. The vast majority of companies in Wisconsin resent this intrusion into how they conduct their business.

The Republicans and their corporate bosses weren't done making a mockery of democacy.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ran a quick story saying that the unions were planning a protest for the end of the hearing. State Senator Steve Nass, who was the day's ring master, conflated that to a threat to their safety and called an end to the meeting more than a half hour before it was scheduled to end.

Even though this Nass-clown supposedly felt in fear for his life, he did make sure to take the time to take a roll call vote, passing this piece of ALEC written legislation for Wednesday's session. It should be noted that it passed on a 3-1 vote. The other Democrat, Senator Chris Larson, was not given the opportunity to vote.

And as far as that threat goes, there was none, unless one considers dissent to be a threat:
During the meeting, the source for the Journal Sentinel report, Bruce Colburn of the Service Employees International Union state council, stood up in the middle of the committee hearing and told Nass that there was no threat or need for concern. Colburn and AFSCME Council 48 Executive Director Boyd McCamish later told the Journal Sentinel that the newspaper's report was accurate but that they disagreed with Nass' contention that their plans constituted a "threat," calling that argument a "sham."

"There was no threat," Colburn said. "We wanted to ensure that people had a right to speak."

"They used it as a straw man to get out of a very uncomfortable position," McCamish added. "It's an act of political cowardice."

Union supporters reacted with disbelief and anger to the sudden vote, shouting, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" as police escorted Republican lawmakers from the hearing room. A spokesman for the Walker administration and Capitol Police said there was one arrest before the Capitol closed.
It is expected that Wednesday will present with a continuation of this farce as the corporate-controlled Republicans do their masters' bidding in ramming this through. It can also be expected that the Republicans will squelch the speech of the Democrats as much as possible.

The Republicans really, really don't want the people to know what they are about to do to them.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Hey Scott, I See The Signs!

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker was doing what he does best recently, campaigning out of state and telling tall tales. This time to a Christian media convention:

He told a Christian Media Convention in Tennessee that he has not yet decided whether to run for president.  He told the crowd that he's waiting on a sign from a higher power. He says it takes a certain kind of person to want to be president. 
Governor Walker says, "You've got to be crazy to want to be president of the United States. You've got to be crazy. When you look at what it does to a person and a family - you've got to be crazy."
Apparently, the fact that he is the only person in America to have their political organization open up campaign offices in Iowa and New Hampshire (the first two Presidential Primary states) is not sign enough.   

I guess Mr. Walker was speaking in tongues when he learned about the 9th and 10th Commandments.  

Milwaukee Dems Asked To Expel Chris Abele

The gentle reader is already aware that Chris Abele had been on a yearlong mission to rob county retirees of their pensions.  Fortunately, the county board was able to stop him before he created a bigger - and absolutely avoidable - problem for the county and the taxpayers.  Earlier this month, Abele vetoed the board's repair job but they were able to override his recklessness.

However, Abele is not going to be able to just walk away without taking some responsibility for his actions, which he is used to doing due to his father's wealth.

Dennis Hughes, who just restored justice and democracy to Janesville and their school board, has once again stood up to hold Abele accountable for his deplorable attack and maltreatment of these retirees.  Hughes has sent the following letter to the executive board of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County, asking them to expel Abele from the Party for going so against one of the most basic tenets of the party:

It will be interesting to see how the Milwaukee Democrats handle this. It seems that Hughes' request will get little serious consideration. The chair, Marlene Ott, is known to be such an Abele fanatic that she suspends disbelief and ignores reality to support whatever he does, including this attack on the retirees.

Adding to the muddle is that other officers have conflicts of interest, including Secretary Brandon Savage, who has been on Abele's payroll.

Nor can the county party look to the state party for help.  Mike Tate, the soon but not soon enough to be gone chair of the state party, is personal friends with Abele and even has called him a leader and honored him despite Abele's antics.

It's not like the Democrats don't already have enough grounds to take action.

Along with the attack on retirees, there has been Abele's repeated attempts to utterly bust the unions, there has been his decimation of representative government and subsequent loss of democracy and the simple fact that he has donated to the likes of rabid Tea Party Republicans like Dale Kooyenga and Joe Sanfelippo.

Hopefully, the board will be responsible enough to take action now before Abele undermines the party even further and sends them further into chaos.

Home Schooling In Action

By Jeff Simpson 

Idaho Republican Vito Barbieri shows that he somehow muct be related to Glenn Grothman with his brilliant question at a recent hearing:

As the Associated Press reported, Barbieri tried to compare telemedicine abortion procedures to colonoscopies during a meeting of the House State Affairs Committee. But his comeuppance was more thorough than wire reports suggested.
“You mention the risk of colonoscopy,” Barbieri told physician Julie Madsen. “Can that be done by drugs?”
“It can not be done by drugs,” Madsen replied. “It can, however, be done remotely, where you swallow a pill, and this pill has a little camera and it makes its way through your intestines, and those images are uploaded to a doctor who’s often thousands of miles away who then interprets that.”
“Can this same procedure be done in a pregnancy — swallowing a camera and helping the doctor determine what the situation is with the child?” Barbieri asked.
“It cannot be done in pregnancy simply because, when you swallow a pill, it would not end up in the vagina,” she answered prompting loud laughter from within the chamber.
“Fascinating,” Barbieri said. “That certainly makes sense, doctor.”
YIKES!   One might ask how could someone this ignorant be holding elected office, but I doubt thats a question you would ask if you have been paying attention to some of the elected Republicans in WI.
Barbieri has become a national laughingstock, and a quick look at his resume you see where he was given such brilliant information(emphasis mine):

Retired attorney, practicing in California for 20 years. Incumbent state representative. Barbieri owns a catering business and the “Vap-It” electronic cigarette store in Post Falls. In his two terms in the House, he’s been an outspoken tea party supporter and opponent of Medicaid expansion and civil rights protections for gays. Barbieri is board chairman of the Open Arms crisis pregnancy center and clinic in Coeur d’Alene. A home-schooling advocate, he’s called on Christians to pull their children out of Idaho’s “Godless” public schools.

Are we ever going to hold our elected officials to a higher standard?  At this point, I would settle for a basic competency test.  If you think continually handing these guys the wheel of our nation will not have serious long term effects, you are sadly mistaken.  

Hi. I'm Scott Walker and I'm Incompetent. Give Me Money.

In the past week, Scott Walker has shown time and time again that he is not ready to run with the big boys. He has presented a strong case that he can't even answer simple questions that don't match the scripted lines that he worked so hard on memorizing.

Walker has punted a question about evolution. He then fumbled when asked whether he thought President Barack Obama loved the United States. And lest we forget, Walker damn near fainted when he was asked if Obama was a Christian.

So Walker does what comes naturally to him - he tries to monetize it!

Click image to embiggen

Only to Republicans would it make sense to give $1,000 to someone for proving that they are incompetent, spineless and mindless. I guess they didn't have time to film a commercial with Walker looking forlornly into the camera while the narrator says only you can save Koch puppets from the abuse suffered at the hands of the media.

The irony of it all is simply mind boggling.

As bad as this fundraiser email is, it will never top the one he sent out on Black Friday in 2013, in which he told people to forego buying Christmas presents for their children and give him the money instead.

H/T to James Rowen at The Political Environment

Monday, February 23, 2015

Right to Work is Wrong For Wisconsin


By Jeff Simpson

 Mayor Paul Soglin tells how wrong the Republicans are in trying to rush through Right to Work in Wisconsin.  

MADISON (WKOW)-- Saturday Madison Mayor Paul Soglin blasted plans to pass right-to-work legislation in the senate next week.
The Senate is set to hold a public hearing on the bill Tuesday and take a vote Wednesday. The bill would make it illegal to require a person to join an union or pay union dues as a requirement of their employment.
Mayor Soglin says it will hurt workers and credits unions with boosting the local economy.
“In Madison and Dane County where we have one of the most robust economies in the nation, where we are going contrary to the trend in the rest of the state, which is what really needs to be presented in a legislative hearing process, we have strong unions,” Mayor Soglin said.

The Wisconsin Business Alliance, a business group that actually cares about Wisconsin and has some actual business sense, has found out that Right to work isn't popular in Wisconsin.   

I spent this morning calling local chambers of commerce in Republican state senate districts in an effort to get their take on the so-called “right to work” legislation that is scheduled to be introduced at the State Capitol this week.
Since the State Chamber of Commerce, or WMC, is strongly supporting the legislation, I was curious to learn where local business associations stand on the issue.
Specifically, I wanted to learn the answer to this question: Is WMC really representing Wisconsin’s broad and diverse business community when it claims that businesses want legislators to enact “right to work” laws?The answer was astonishing: I could not find a single Chamber in the districts of senators Fitzgerald, Cowles, Moulton, Petrowski, Nass, Lasee, or Harsdorf that supports “right to work.”In fact, I heard statements like these again and again: “We’re not taking a position on that.” “We don’t take a stand on political issues.” “We only advocate for political issues when there’s a strong consensus among our members — and we don’t have consensus on this.”
Let's see, the Mayor of one of the best cities in the country to live is against it, the Chambers of Commerce in every Republican Senators district will not speak in favor of it, so who is for it.  

O yeah ALEC

There is of course a full daily dose of Irony, that the party that was abhorred, by one of Mary Burke's consultants copying his earlier work while writing policy, then introducing as their first bill, one plagiarized word for word from their masters at ALEC.

Of course it would take a media that cared about objective facts and the search for truth to actually bring that up.   It even took one of the Republicans long time donor's and cheerleaders to point out that not a single Republican campaigned on this issue that they are now fast tracking.   

What does a campaign mean when almost none of the major policy departures contained in the budget were proposed or debated during the year-long exchange of policy ideas by Democrat Mary Burke and Republican Scott Walker?
The major issue in that hard-fought and money-drenched contest was job creation. That priority has almost disappeared from the Republican dialogue now coming out of the governor’s office and Republican-controlled capitol. As if to declare victory, the current focus is now about workforce development and filling jobs.
Lest we celebrate prematurely, there are still about a half million unemployed or underemployed adults in the state, many in the central city of Milwaukee; we still have a brain drain of more than 10,000 college graduates; and our wage levels are still in the bottom third of states.
A little digging though and we see exactly where this bill is coming from:



PO BOX 296
OSHKOSH , WI 54904 

Hmmmm I wonder if Robin Vos will recuse himself?   

The President Hunter

By Jeff Simpson 

Apparently we have come out with the sequel to the important 70's film the Deer Hunter.  The Deer Hunter is explained as:

An in-depth examination of the ways in which the U.S. Vietnam war impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small industrial town in Pennsylvania.

The sequel being made before our eyes is a called The President Hunter and stars our very own Scott Walker.   The President Hunter can best be described this way:

An in-depth examination of the ways in which, the absolute lust to be President by their Governor, impacts and disrupts the lives of people in a small Midwestern state - Wisconsin.

Scott Walker, during his "I'm not running but I am really running for President official 2015 National Tour", likes to tell a story.  

 Scott Walker, on tele-town hall, tells Iowans about death threats: "gut my wife like a deer," and "be the 1st WI gov to be assassinated."— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) February 3, 2015
I think we can all agree that who ever said anything about "gutting Tonette like a deer" is one sick f&ck and needs to be arrested and hospitalized.   The person who would say that needs serious serious help.  

What I believe we disagree on is who exactly said that.

See it is out in the public and a story told and retold numerous times.  So someone had to originally say it.   The problem is there is overwhelming evidence that the person who actually said that was ---

Mr. Walker has never ever produced this message in any form, anywhere.   Mr. Walker also has a history of lying about his dangerous situation that protesters have put him in, that would make Bill O' Reilly proud.

Add to that a recent AP story that the Justice Department admitted that there is are current death threat investigations regarding Scott Walker.  

Madison - The Wisconsin Department of Justice has no open investigations into death threats against Gov. Scott Walker, the agency said Monday after Walker's office released more than 100 pages of emails and other documents showing perceived threats made against him over the past two years.
Walker's office released 116 pages of documents Friday following an open records request from The Associated Press.
Anything perceived by Walker's staff to be a threat was saved and referred to law enforcement, said Walker's assistant legal counsel, Teri Hatchell, in a letter accompanying the records. Hatchell said the records were released after consulting with law enforcement to ensure doing so would not jeopardize any investigations.
Department of Justice spokeswoman Dana Brueck said the agency has no open investigations.
Walker's spokesman declined to comment.
Most of the threats in the documents provided to AP come from shortly after Walker took office in 2011, when the Republican governor's proposal to effectively end collective bargaining rights for most public workers resulted in massive protests that lasted weeks. The most recent email was from February 2012.
The threats came in the form of emails, letters and tips from Walker backers pointing to postings on websites such as Facebook.
The records include about 65 messages, including at least 25 from the same person.
That person sent insulting emails to Walker but also left his telephone number.
The Department of Justice previously released details of threats it investigated that were made against Walker and state lawmakers.
Only one case where a person made threats against Walker or lawmakers has led to charges in Dane County. In that case, a Cross Plains woman emailed death threats to 15 Republican state senators in 2011. She pleaded guilty to making a bomb threat and was placed in a first-offenders program.

If Governor Scott Walker can produce and does the message stating that someone actually said that about Tonette, I promise a full apology and correction to the story.   I do not foresee that happening.

If Governor Walker can not, which many suspect and the evidence is overwhelming, then he is truly one twisted individual, to say this about his wife in order to get more support from his base.  

In my mind it would be a lie where people should demand immediate resignation from his position,

What will it be Governor, will you show us who actually made this threat to your wife, or is your silence on this topic the answer we need?

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

When Ron Johnson was named the US Senator most likely to lose his seat to the other party, one just knew that this race was gonna get good.

The Republicans knew this too. When there was even just a rumor of a rumor that Russ Feingold was going to run, they became very defensive and started attacking Feingold.

Now their worst fears have taken a step closer to becoming reality.

Feingold has resigned from his ambassadorship and is returning to Wisconsin. This has strengthened the speculation that Feingold will indeed seek his old seat back. The excitement people are feeling at just the prospect of this is almost palpable.

Besides the thought of Feingold coming back, RoJo has another problem to deal with.

When RoJo ran for office in 2010, he said that any climate change that might be happening was due to natural causes, like sunspots. He was fiercely defended by scientist Willie Soon. It turns out that Soon was on the Koch payroll after all (just like RoJo). Only time will tell if the corporate media will actually call RoJo out on this.

Interestingly, it appears that a third candidate is sending out feelers into this race.

Chris Abele, the son of billionaire John Abele of Boston Scientific fame, has been gearing up to run against Ron Johnson.

On Sunday morning, Abele's good friend and political operative, Dan Adams, was on the Charlie Sykes show ( a local version of Faux News). Adams went on the offensive for Abele, but instead of attacking RoJo, he went after Feingold:

"My losers are Wisconsin Democrats if Russ Feingold is the Party's candidate. I mean, really! Friends, this is the best we're going to do? Another retreaded baby boomer seeking one more shot at redemption?! While the Party bench is light, there must be a fresh face to carry the mantle."
For those that are wondering who Abele is, he is the current Milwaukee County Executive who has picked up exactly were Scott Walker left off.

Abele's claims to fame so far include, but are in no way limited to:
  • Dismantling representative government in the county
  • Taking away local control of services, such as the mental health system. He gave that system to a board of unelected, political appointees with taxing powers. (Can you say taxation without representation?)
  • Trying to make the county a right to work entity
  • Taking away worker's rights and civil service protections
  • Selling county assets to fellow millionaire buddies for cheap in no bid contracts
And this guy claims to be a Democrat.

What he is is a plutocrat's plutocrat. Abele believes in austerity for the little people while he sits in his ivory tower. He has actively fought against a living wage, workers rights to unionize and even tried to charge people to get a referendum question on the ballot.

In short, Abele is a lot like what Scott Walker would be like if he was independently wealthy.

Abele doesn't have much of a chance. He is grossly underestimating Feingold's popularity and grossly overestimating his own popularity, even among other Democrats.

At least between Abele and RoJo, this race will offer lots of entertainment as they flail around.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Call to Action! Rallies To Stop The Wage Theft Bill

There are currently three events scheduled to protest the wage theft bill that Scott Walker and company wants to ram down our throats.

The first one is in Milwaukee on Monday, February 23 at Zeidler Union Square at 5 pm.

The other two are both in Madison on Tuesday, February 24 and Wednesday, February 25, at noon on the State Street side of the Capitol.

There is also this:
The Senate Committee on Labor and Government Reform will be holding a hearing Tuesday, February 24.  Please join us at 9:00 a.m. to testify in opposition of Right to Work.

You can also CONTACT your legislators in opposition of Right to Work. The legislative hotline is:  1-800-362-9472

Sign the petition to stop Right to Work in Wisconsin.
Now is not the time to give up. Other states have beaten back this attack because they never surrendered and never gave up.

Yes, we have been beaten down a helluva lot in the past four years and we will probably get beaten down several more times.

But it doesn't matter how many times we get beaten down. The only thing - the only thing - that matters is how many times we get back up.

And then there is this:
At a gathering Sunday of influential Wisconsin workers and political activists, a unanimous decision was made regarding how to respond to news that the Republican majority in the state legislature plans to ram through so-called “right to work” legislation this week.

Wisconsin’s union and non-union workers have apparently had enough and today every person at the gathering voted in favor of calling for a general strike if the legislation is passed.

The attack on families by the legislature comes just a couple weeks after the release of the Wisconsin governor’s proposed biennial budget, which contains cuts of historic proportions to education, health care, state parks - even an attack on the University of Wisconsin where the governor proposed eliminating  “the search for truth” from the University’s mission statement.

The AFL-CIO (which was not represented at the gathering) is sponsoring a rally at the state Capitol on Tuesday. Groups who were represented at today’s gathering plan to use that opportunity to call for the strike, which they are confident will be honored by a wide cross-section of private-sector and public-sector employees, union and non-union workers, and students.
Are you ready to make a stand for your rights?

Fascism Comes To Wisconsin In A Clown Car

Unless the gentle reader has been living under a rock for the past few days, you are aware that on Friday, State Senator Scott Fitzgerald announced the full scale assault on Wisconsin workers by stating they are going to try to ramrod through a wage theft bill.

Despite all of his transparent lies that he did not want the bill and that it would never happen, Scott Walker gleefully announced that he would sign it after all.  This should come as no surprise to anyone.  Walker made it painfully clear four years ago that this was one of his main objectives:

But taking away workers rights isn't enough for Walker and his cadre of corporate cretins. They want to criminalize our rights:
Requiring anyone to join a union or pay dues to one as a condition of employment would be guilty of a class A misdemeanor under the right-to-work bill draft released this afternoon by Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald's office.

Here is the Legislative Reference Bureau's summary of the bill:

"This bill creates a state right to work law. This bill generally prohibits a person from requiring, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, an individual to refrain or resign from membership in a labor organization, to become or remain a member of a labor organization, to pay dues or other charges to a labor organization, or to pay any other person an amount that is in place of dues or charges required of members of a labor organization. Any person who violates this prohibition is guilty of a Class A misdemeanor."
And even this is not enough for them. Fitzgerald, who is as much a corporate servant as any of these damn fools, wants to insult our intelligence. On Friday, Fitzgerald announced that they are fast tracking this piece of offal, having a hearing on Tuesday and a vote on Wednesday. Then he pulls this stunt (emphasis mine):
"My experience, as leader, is when you have the votes, you go to the floor," Fitzgerald continued. "You don't wait around."

Asked whether he was worried senators might change their minds given more time to consider a vote, Fitzgerald said he worries about that "all the time." He mentioned rumors that some Republican senators would have been targeted with ads in an effort to pressure them not to support right-to-work.

Fitzgerald said he called Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, Friday morning to go over plans for the extraordinary session with her and to ensure there is no perception that the GOP majority is "rushing this bill through."
Who the hell does he think he is kidding?

The reason for them rushing this through now is because there was about to be a ad run educating people about the damage that this wage theft bill will cause. Even without the ads, the unions' efforts to educate the people were having was already quickly cutting through the fascists' propaganda and eroding the bills popularity every day.

karoli was also partially correct in that Walker's desire for this bill was to elevate him in the standings among the fringe extremists on the right. In other words, he wants to sell our rights to his corporate and big money overlords.

There is, however, a second motivation for Walker to do this. When they attacked the public sector workers four years ago, Fitzgerald admitted that it had nothing to do with repairing the budget or saving money (especially since it did neither!):

The only reason Walker tried to kill the public sector unions was a futile effort to keep Obama from winning in Wisconsin. The only reason that they are attacking the private sector unions now is another futile effort in helping Walker try to win his own state.

It won't help though. Polling shows that Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead over Walker in Wisconsin.

Hell, Walker can't even win with his own party. The same polling shows that Paul "Lyin'" Ryan fared better than Walker even after Ryan said he wasn't going to run.

If you are a fellow Wisconsinite, please call your state senator at 1-844-334-3438 or email them or sign the petition. Better yet, do all three!

Walker: I Don't Know If Obama Is Christian

Scott Walker can't seem to stop putting his foot in his mouth, especially when he is confronted with those hard hitting questions like if he believes in evolution or if he thinks Obama loves our country.

One might think that Walker would have learned by now, but one would be sadly mistaken. Walker ended up sounding like a damn fool again when he questioned Obama's faith:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a prospective Republican presidential contender, said Saturday he does not know whether President Obama is a Christian.

“I don’t know,” Walker said in an interview at the JW Marriott hotel in Washington, where he was attending the winter meeting of the National Governors Association.

Told that Obama has frequently spoken publicly about his Christian faith, Walker maintained that he was not aware of the president’s religion.

“I’ve actually never talked about it or I haven’t read about that,” Walker said, his voice calm and firm. “I’ve never asked him that,” he added. “You’ve asked me to make statements about people that I haven’t had a conversation with about that. How [could] I say if I know either of you are a Christian?”
At least he didn't say he didn't know if Obama was American because he didn't see the birth certificate - not yet, anyway.

Ironically, people are starting to question whether Walker is actually a Christian, given that his policies are completely opposite of the teachings of the Bible, especially when it comes to the poor.

Walker went on to whine about all those mean reporters that ask such tough questions. He probably wishes that all reporters would be like his friends at Faux News or on squawk radio, who only ask him how wonderful he is. Walker even had his spokeswoman call to yell at the reporter:
After the interview was completed, Walker spokeswoman Jocelyn Webster telephoned The Washington Post to say the governor was trying to make a point of principle by not answering such kinds of questions, not trying to cast doubt on Obama’s faith.

“Of course the governor thinks the president is a Christian,” she said. “He thinks these kinds of gotcha questions distract from what he’s doing as governor of Wisconsin to make the state better and make life better for people in his state.”
Now, obviously, this is nothing more than dog whistle politics, which is one thing Walker can do very well.

But he is also ending up to seem more and more like Sarah Palin, who couldn't even answer the question about which papers and magazines she reads.

Then again, Walker does have a tendency to use selective knowledge. All throughout the two John Doe investigations into his illegal politicking, his favorite answer has been "I don't know," even though evidence - like spending nearly a million dollars on a legal defense fund - shows that he damn well did know what was going on.

I can't wait until the national media asks him another hardball question, like what the color of his white shirt is or if he thinks Obama is black.

H/T to the bestest blogress out there - Anomaly

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Scott Walker, I Can't Even With You

Are you sitting down? If you're not, you should.

Continue reading at your own risk....

From Larry Kudlow of the National Review, on last week's dinner Walker had, where Giuliani put his foot in his mouth, sponsored by something called "Committee to Unleash American Prosperity," which sounds like some sort of terrifying monster. 

"Noteworthy, Walker argued that when Reagan fired the PATCO air-traffic controllers over their illegal strike, he was sending a message of toughness to Democrats and unions at home as well as our Soviet enemies abroad. Similarly, Walker believes his stance against unions in Wisconsin would be a signal of toughness to Islamic jihadists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin."

What? Firing workers and ruining their lives is the new Republican jobs plan? I mean, duh, we knew that, but what the hell?

I see what Walker is getting at here. Russia is socialist yet still, because at one point in time, almost 100 years ago, they had a revolution that changed their political landscape over the course of the next 75 years, never mind the fact that that all ended in 1991 (or the day Trotsky died in my humble opinion.) He's trying to connect unions and labor rights to someone scary, i.e. Putin, and hoping that sticks in voters minds as some mash up of foreign policy meets job creation. I'm wondering if I've ever heard something so idiotic in my entire life, and nope, I don't think I have. I think this is the cherry on top of the GOP word salad cake. And hey, let's add jihadists into this mix. How does hurting labor unions in Wisconsin send a message to ISIS? Does anyone think ISIS cares? Does Walker think ISIS is so afraid of him, that they love everything he hates, so if he hates working class people enough, ISIS will suddenly support them and then we'll NEED Walker in the white house to fight off those scary labor-loving terrorists? Holy buzzwords, Batman.

Is that how a Walker white house would approach foreign policy? Does he know how fast the rest of the world would be laughing at us? I'm literally just sitting here, sighing and having a hard time wrapping my head over this entire thing. I'm befuddled. That doesn't happen easily.

Let's fast forward to the current labor landscape in Russia. Guess what? It isn't good. Working class Russians are treated like crap by their government. Low wages, high costs of living, and their money is worth nothing. If anything, Walker should being COMPARING himself to Putin, because like all Republicans, he's a religious extremists hellbent on destroying anything progressive. Remember last year when Republicans were in the midst of a total Putin love affair? Not only how he was reacting to Syria, but all the horrible anti-lgbt laws passed under his watch. Seriously, that's so messed up. And what happened with that? Did the GOP break up with him? Or did Walker forget a talking point? Whoops! One must remember that Vladimir Putin is a despot, which to you and I is a bad thing, but to Republicans, that's their favorite kind of dictator (see Reagan on Central America.)

Further into the article:

"He stressed the need for a positive Republican message in 2016, and bluntly criticized Mitt Romney for spending too much time on the pessimistic economic negatives emanating from Obama’s policy failures."

The irony in that statement is too delicious. And if anyone knows about economic failures, it's our dumb governor. I'm so excited to see the way he'll squirm when asked questions about Wisconsin's current debt, or why such a "fiscally responsible conservative" is delaying $108 million dollars in debt repayments, or why Wisconsin is in the hole of debt it can't get out of right now.

The national GOP should be embarrassed for touting this ignoramus. This is the kind of message they want for their 2016 presidential bid. If it wasn't so scary, it would be funny. And it's scary because people believe it, want it, crave this kind of messaging from politicians. But we need to keep fighting against him. We can't stop, and I think that all the hard work we've been doing to fight Walker and his agenda since 2011, will be the cause his presidential aspirations to crash and burn. Our work WILL pay off.

This picture perfectly sums up my feelings while writing this.

WaPo: Walker Is Spineless

As the gentle reader is aware, Scott Walker was recently in New York for yet another fundraiser. Walker was there with Rudy Guliani, who did what he does best - putting his foot in his mouth by accusing President Barack Obama of not loving America.

When asked about it, Walker did what he does best - he punted. Walker tried to dodge the question by saying that Guliani can speak for himself, as could Obama.

On Friday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel again asked Walker about Guliani's idiotic comment and again, Walker punted:
Walker was asked if Giuliani crossed a line by saying – at a Walker reception in New York – that “I do not believe that the President loves America.”

Walker said, “no” to that question.

“I’ve said repeatedly that (Giuliani) can speak for himself. The president can defend that,” Walker said.

Asked, “Do you think the President loves America?” Walker said the following:

“I assume most people in this country love America. And to me I don’t think it’s worth getting into the battle over whether he does or he doesn’t. He can handle that himself. I know I do. And I know there are great people in this country who love this country and who ... feel this country’s exceptional and it doesn’t necessarily align by party. I think there are Republicans and Democrats and plenty of people in between. I’ve never asked the President so I don’t really know what his opinions are on that one way or another.”
The editorial board at the Washinton Post has had enough of Walker's wishy-washiness and called him out on it:
Mr. Giuliani has dived off the deep end before, so there was nothing all that surprising in his latest poison. But as Post columnist Dana Milbank points out, his remarks presented an early test of character for Mr. Walker, and Mr. Walker failed spectacularly. At the dinner, the governor said nothing. Even the next morning, having had a night to ponder, Mr. Walker chose not to lift himself out of the Giuliani sewer. “The mayor can speak for himself. I’m not going to comment on what the president thinks or not. He can speak for himself as well,” Mr. Walker said on CNBC. “I’ll tell you, I love America, and I think there are plenty of people — Democrat, Republican, independent, everyone in between — who love this country.”

Mr. Walker likes to present himself as a man of courage, based on his record in Wisconsin, but maybe facing down public-sector unions doesn’t tell you all that much about the bravery of a Republican governor. On two occasions in recent days, he has proved himself incapable of saying basic truths that might offend some of his potential voters: First, that evolution is real, and second, that an honorable politician criticizes his opponent’s policies, not his patriotism. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) showed his understanding of that principle Friday when he said, “I believe the president loves America. His ideas are bad.”

Any reader of this page knows that we find plenty to criticize in Mr. Obama’s foreign policy. But the questions about his patriotism that emerge from a venomous stew of racism, xenophobia and echo-chamber cable television chatter are ludicrous and say a great deal more about the critics than about the object of their criticism. It was particularly pathetic to see Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), another would-be president, scrambling to steal some of the spotlight of Mr. Walker’s cowardice by issuing a statement titled, “Gov. Jindal Refuses to Condemn Mayor Giuliani.” The only response to that can be, who cares?
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Walker has to maintain the facade of being an intelligent, respectable person with leadership skills for a long time. That is something he is simply incapable of doing.