Monday, March 18, 2019

Brian "Hagar" Hagedorn - 1000 AD Hero

By Jeff Simpson

We wrote recently how Wisconsin Law and Liberty (WILL) was nothing more than a well financed WISGOP Apology/Propaganda machineRick Esenberg is at it again, this time he is standing alone on an island.   As so many typical right wing supporters are surprisingly jumping ship, Esenberg alone stands with Hagedorn.  When you make the money Rick makes to be an apologist, there is no lengths you will not go to protect that gravy train.   However, Esenberg while making a jumbled law argument, tipped his hand elsewhere, and probably did not even realize it(emphasis mine). 

And this is just as wrong as the idea that Hagedorn is somehow beyond the pale because he holds traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about marriage.

Let's take a look: 

Christian marriage
Christians believe that marriage is a gift from God, one that should not be taken for granted. It is the right atmosphere to engage in sexual relations and to build a family life. Getting married in a church, in front of God, is very important.
A marriage is a public declaration of love and commitment. This declaration is made in front of friends and family in a church ceremony.

That is simple, most people are happy when friends/family get married in a church in front of family and friends.  Most people, not named Robin Vos or Donald Trump would agree with that.   It is the oldest trick in the book though by taking a sliver of his view and pretending that is relevant to all of his views. 

As we dig deeper, we realize that he holds views that would make Jerry Falwell Jr. say damm. 

Esenberg forgets to point out that Hagedorn also believes:

*  "The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable," he wrote in October 2005.

*  "There is no right in our Constitution to have sex with whoever or whatever you want in the privacy of your own home (or barn)," he wrote.

*  In one titled "Another reason why I hate Planned Parenthood," Hagedorn called it a "wicked organization" that was more devoted "to killing babies than to helping women." He said his litmus test for voting in an election was a candidate's position on abortion.
Hagedorn said he had committed himself to praying and lobbying to stop abortion. He went on to say his convictions on this issue and others were given to him by God.
"The Lord has laid three fundamental passions on my heart: 1) Protecting the dignity and sanctity of human life, 2) Defending and preserving the institution of marriage, and 3) Promoting racial reconciliation in the church and culture," he wrote in November 2005.

*  But he also said in his blog that the NAACP, the national civil rights group, was a "partisan hack" and a "disgrace to America" that should be repudiated by all who want racial reconciliation in the nation.

*  He called the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade "the worst and most unjustifiable decision in history."
"We are now 45 million Americans short. That's right, 45,000,000 human beings," he wrote in January 2006, estimating the number of abortions that had taken place since the Supreme Court ruling legalizing the practice. "For me, I highly resolve again today that these lives shall not have died in vain."

*  “Here’s the bottom line: Mormon theology is blatant heresy,” Hagedorn wrote in the post found using an internet archive. “Mormons are polytheists who believe we can become gods and who believe that both Jesus and Satan are sons of God the Father.”

These views are no where near the mainstream and it is why supporters are running off in droves, from the Wisconsin Realtors Association(who wants their money back) and the US Chamber of Commerce, do not want to touch this race or be associated with Hagedorn in the least. 

As Joel McNally writes, there is positives that come from such hateful rhetoric:

That move proved to be too much even for a majority of Republicans. That’s another positive political sign, along with the growing reluctance of Republican funders to finance openly bigoted candidates.

Now it is up to the people of Wisconsin to reject openly bigoted candidates in the Spring elections.   

Vote NO for hate and 15th Century beliefs and YES for Judge Lisa Neubauer!   

Here at Cogdis, we were able to find an old college picture of Brian Hagedorn in college where he cemented his beliefs! 

Friday, March 1, 2019

Maciver Faces Reality

By Jeff Simpson 
(Matt "not a journalist" Kittle crying with Robin "bitter far right partisan" Vos that an adult introduced a budget in WI for the first time in 8 years).   

One thing that never fails to amaze me in modern day politics, is when someone does something stupid, their best defense is to pretend it never happened.  We saw Scott Walker master that with his perpetually sticking his foot in his mouth(wall off Canada, comparing peaceful protesters to ISIS, etc..) then pretend it never happened.    Luckily for them, the Wisconsin Press Corps is toothless and pandering and they never get called on it. 

Unlucky for them, Capper started a blog a few years ago and invited me to join him. 

The latest situation of faux outrage and terrible memories comes from our friends on the right - Maciver Institute.  Tony Evers refused access to their bloggers at a press briefing, and their feels got hurt. 

 Gov. Tony Evers likes to talk a lot about transparency and accountability.
Those two noble words, after all, were in the first paragraph of the Democrat’s campaign agenda.
“For the past eight years, Wisconsin’s state government has been used to … undermine our state’s rich tradition of transparency and accountability,” the opening lines of the political document state.
But it appears the governor is suffering from selective transparency and accountability. He certainly doesn’t seem to have much time for conservative journalists and critics.
Evers administration made that clear — again — on Thursday afternoon, when his handlers barred MacIver News Service from attending a Capitol Press Corps budget preview powwow behind closed East Wing doors.
This, despite the fact that MacIver has long been a credentialed Capitol news organization in good standing. 
They are credentialed in "good standing" because Scott Fitzgerald and Robin Vos issue the credentials. Does anyone think that a dark money propaganda org, that will write whatever they are told to help the Dems look bad and the GOP look good would not be in good standing with the WISGOP? 

Even Robin Vos apparently felt the need to weigh in (Edit note: i just saw this on Macivers page, could not see it on my own as Robin Vos is currently illegally blocking me on twitter.  Hey Robo - my handle is JeffSimpson7, please follow the law and unblock me):

Robin Vos@repvos
Amazing that @wisgop allow liberals to attend but @GovEvers is afraid to let @MacIverWisc attend?MacIver Institute@MacIverWisc
And thus ends the Open Government Era of the Walker years ... @MacIverWisc not allowed to attend @GovEvers capitol press corps budget briefing this hour despite MacIver's multiple requests and its capitol credentials. MacIver turned away at the East Wing door #wiright #wipolitics 311:38 PM - Feb 28, 2019
Umm Robin, I know that no one ever accused you of being brilliant or even remotely non partisan, but you do not "allow" liberals to attend.  Let me refresh your memory:

It doesn’t appear Walker is interested in improving his own image among certain members of the press, however. In an effort to block access to independent journalists, the entire media group, which was already set up in a first floor conference room, was asked to move to a more secure room on the sixth floor of the building.
The move caused congestion with about twenty members of the press and all their equipment jammed up in the hall outside the elevator. State officials checked the press credentials for a second time before allowing people onto the elevators. Once on the sixth floor, several independent journalists, including Jenna Pope and Arthur Kohl-Riggs, were denied access to the room by four Capitol Police officers.
These enhanced security measures delayed the press conference by 45 minutes.
Once in the room, Scott Walker’s Communications Director and former Karl Rove associate Jocelyn Webster ejected a WCCA-credentialed photojournalist for not displaying her press credentials (even though she is well-known photographer in the Capitol), and scanned the room in hopes of targeting more non-preapproved reporters.  Members of the public who pay for the state-owned building and to whom the governor is accountable as a public servant, were also blocked from attending the press conference.
Almost word for word the other way.   I personally feel that both sides need to let in people with press passes of either persuasion.  I also feel that the politicians should not be deciding who gets a press pass and who does not.   The one thing though that I am certain of, is that no one at Maciver is a journalist, nor are they reporters, they especially are not investigative reporters.    They are in our category of political bloggers, they are in a subset though of the Political Propagandist Bloggers, since they have a nice budget from the Bradley Foundation, so really stand for nothing but a paycheck.   

I also applaud Tony Evers for keeping them out of his presser.   Unless, both sides want to get together and come up with a fair and impartial way to issue press passes, then the WISDEMS need to be playing the same game as the WISGOP.   

For too long they haven't been. 

As a blogger, I say let the bloggers in (I have occasionally had press passes), but I have never once called my self a reporter or a journalist, and if Matt Kittle and his cohorts, continue to do so, maybe they should talk to a therapist about delusions of grandeur, before they get their blogger press pass and are allowed out in public! 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

WISGOP Founding Fathers of Fake News

By Jeff Simpson 

For some reason, The Jussie Smollett story is a story that the WISGOP can not seem to stop talking about. 

From Jimmy Wigderson, to hate talker Vicki Mckenna and the incomprehensible Dan O'Donnell has been obsessed with it.

Now that it is rather obvious that "Empire" actor Jussie Smollett paid two Nigerian-born brothers (one of whom was for a time his personal trainer) to help stage a hate crime hoax in Chicago, one must ask why so many in the media and Democratic Party fell for such a questionable story in the first place.
To paraphrase Agent Mulder in another popular FOX show, it was because they wanted to believe.
They wanted to believe that President Trump has fomented such a hateful environment that his supporters would attack a gay, black Trump critic simply for being a gay, black Trump critic. They wanted to believe that, as CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin put it, "this is America in 2019."
Only it isn't. It's the America that the political left and its media allies have invented. Sadly, hate crimes do occur, but they are dramatically outnumbered by the truly staggering number of hate crime hoaxes that generate similarly uncritical and sympathetic coverage.

They are acting like staging attacks for political point is a new thing.   That it is some deep conspiracy that "the left" has concocted to figure out a way to make The Donald look bad. 

Yes the Donald can make himself look bad all on his own, he needs no help for that

However I want to perform a public service and remind our friends on the right, that making up stories to score political points is something the WISGOP and the right has been doing for years now.   Let's jog their memory.

The all star of fake news is, of course, Christian Schneider.   Schneider, for reasons unknown to anyone,  had a column in the Journal Sentinel for years and helped break the story that Mark Pocan's husband attacked and beat Pocans opponent.  As with many things that Schneider wrote, there was not a lick of truth to his story, so he did what most unethical people do when caught in a lie.  Deleted the story like nothing ever happened.

Not to be outdone by the idiocy, irrelevant ex Senator Neil Kedzie's son got beat up at bartime in Whitewater for being an ass.  Instead of owning up that he raised a son who could not handle his liquor, Kedzie blamed it on Democrats and said that his son was beat up because he had a Romney/Ryan sign in his yard.  Kedzie even had his taxpayer funded staffers calling the Romney campaign trying to get national exposure.  We knew it was fake immediately, because supporting Paul Ryan is punishment enough, no need to throw salt in the wound and hit him also.

Then, that captain of telling fake stories, Scott Walker, even wrote a fake book about all of the times he was harassed on the campaign trail, but stood up to the bullies like the hero he likes to think he is.  The problem of course was the time he told his ghostwriter about that made the book, were all #fakenews.    Walker claimed many things from, protesters surrounding his car at Devils lake and shaking it to getting spit on at his local grocery store.

The one commonality of all of Scott Walker's "protest" stories is that they are never true.

Speaking of the Capitol protests, Matt Kittle from Maciver recently tweeted about the riots at the Capitol.

As someone who not only was at the Capitol protesting almost daily, I took my 7 and 4 year old children at the time whenever I could.   There was nothing resembling a riot.   Three Pinocchios to Matt on that tweet. 

We see that our friends in the WISGOP are the Founding Fathers of fake news and are actual Republicans, yet not a peep from the hate talk/propaganda bloggers trolling through the internet. 

I would say that it seems like many in the WISGOP are auditioning to be guest stars on "Empire" but not sure that Robin Vos and Jim Steineke allow anyone of our African American brothers and sisters to watch! 


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Small Government WISGOP Strikes Again

By Jeff Simpson

Everyone knows that we have appeased our African American brothers and sisters by declaring February(the shortest month of the year) as Black History month so we can appease them and get back to forgetting their history 11 other months a year. 

The Wisconsin Assembly Black Caucus, and specifically Rep. David Crowley, authored a Black History Month Resolution he wanted to get passed to honor the one month a year we have allowed Black History to be discussed. 

Then what in reality is no surprise whatsoever, the WISGOP stepped in to block and edit the resolution. 

The Wisconsin Legislature's Black Caucus, which is composed entirely of Democrats, drafted the annual resolution to honor dozens of prominent African-Americans from Wisconsin. An early draft included Kaepernick, the one-time San Francisco 49ers quarterback who started the movement of kneeling in protest during the national anthem at games.
The resolution draft credited Kaepernick, a Milwaukee native, as an athlete and political activist who "has sought to raise attention to racial injustice and systemic oppression."
But Republicans blocked the resolution until Democrats agreed to leave Kaepernick out. He does not appear in the updated text. A final version has not been approved.

Noted Historians Robin Vos and Jim Steineke, thinking of themselves as Livy and Tacitus, have decided that the Black Caucus was not qualified to decide which Black Americans to honor so in a move of unequaled arrogance, the two white privileged gerrymandered lawmakers offered up a counter-proposal to the Black Caucus original proposal that would be acceptable for the all white GOP gerrymandered caucus

Republicans on Tuesday introduced a different resolution with the same text as the black caucus' proposal, but replacing Kaepernick and Milwaukee Rev. Greg Lewis with Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and former Wisconsin Secretary of State Vel Phillips.
Democrats objected, blocking a vote on the GOP proposal.
Because of their objection, Vos suggested black Democrats were trying to distract from the Assembly's planned vote on a middle-class tax cut plan.
"I know that because we are making headway on actually doing something that’s going to affect every middle-class Wisconsinite you’re trying to figure out any way to talk about something different," he said.   

Ok, we need to let that statement truly sink in.    This guy, who for some reason the Republicans have made their speaker, has decided that the Assembly Black Caucus can honor African Americans, during black history month BUT only as long as he approves of the African Americans that they would like to honor. 

This from a guy who received a whopping 18,711 votes in the last election(his opponent received 10,487 votes).   For contrast, Rep. David Crowley, running unopposed received 20,820 votes in 2018.   Vos, in earning his 18,711 votes has raised $300,000 (about $15.75 per vote).   

Rep. Steineke, was not scared to go on record:

But Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke of Kaukauna reportedly said Republicans wouldn’t support the resolution that included Kaepernick “for obvious reasons,” referring to the former quarterback’s protests during the National Anthem.

To still be upset about his protesting police brutality, two years ago is a simpleton reason to reject this Resolution.  Not only are the protests old news, but it is an issue that has more layers than an onion

That all aside, I would guess that no one in the Republican side of the legislature has any idea how much time and money that Kaepernick has been giving to charity since the protests started. 

This is the results of Republican Gerrymandering,   In Wisconsin with 5.8 million people, an insignificant unpopular childhood, could lead to a person deciding all major decisions and policies in Wisconsin because they received 8,224 (less than 1%) more votes than their opponent. 

8,224 votes have taken us down the far right rabbit hole in Wisconsin.    We are all worse off because of it.   

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

2019 WisDems Party Chair Race

By Jeff Simpson 

The press release came through today that Martha Laning has decided not to run for re-election. 

MADISON -- Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair Martha Laning, who has served in the role since being elected in 2015, has offered the following statement on her decision not to seek re-election in the Party’s June leadership race:
“Four years ago, I ran to become Chair because I knew that Wisconsin Democrats needed a strong party infrastructure, a robust and engaged grassroots network, and a clear vision for what it means to be a Democrat. Like so many people in our state, I was deeply concerned about how the policies of Scott Walker and Wisconsin Republicans were taking opportunity away from our kids, jeopardizing the future of our communities and turning Wisconsin into a state none of us recognized anymore. I wanted to do my part to help.
“Four years later, I am incredibly proud of the Party we have built. For the first time since 1982, Democrats hold all five constitutional state offices, lead by Governor Tony Evers who will put the people first as he champions our Wisconsin values. We re-elected our Senator Tammy Baldwin so she could continue her work improving the lives of Wisconsinites and protecting those that need it most.
“These victories didn’t happen by accident. We launched an unprecedented year-round, every-year organizing program to empower activists across our state to inspire, engage and turn-out Democratic voters. We bolstered our candidate services team to support down-ballot candidates and helped them run competitive campaigns. We ensured the Party had the financial resources to support our ambitious plans.
“Given these accomplishments and the bright future ahead for Wisconsin Democrats, I believe this is the perfect time for me to transition to my next challenge. I will not stand for reelection as DPW Chair this coming June and welcome the opportunity to support new leadership as they take the helm this summer. I remain committed to the Party and to our Democratic values, and I will continue to lead the Party with the same transparency and vigor as we prepare for the next Chair’s race and leadership transition following June’s election.
“It has been an honor to work with so many caring and passionate activists who give their time  to help make our vision a reality. I am humbled to work with a staff that doesn’t see the work just as a job, but as a calling to build a stronger Wisconsin. Chairing the Democratic Party of Wisconsin has been an incredible opportunity, and I couldn’t be prouder of the work we’ve done together to move Wisconsin forward.”

As is typical of past Chairs, taking credit for the wins and not discussing the losses, patting herself on the back as she walks out the door.   

It is great that we won all Constitutional offices, but with the strong winds blowing a blue wave we were pretty much stopped there. 

As Thomas Paine would say: "We have it in our power to begin the party over again.". 

It is time for new ideas, new people, someone who lives and breathes progressive principles.    It is time to take the fight to the Republicans instead of sitting back and allowing Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald the ability to guide the discourse. 

That being said, let me offer up a few names who I personally would like to see run.

1.  Bob Harlow - Regular readers here know. that I was team Harlow in the WI Governors race, as he was the first one in all the way until he dropped out.    Bob is personable, hard worker, enthusiastic and full of great ideas! 

2.  Robert Hansen - The Former chair of the Milwaukee County Democratic party, (of which that has tended to be one of the few places in the state that has had Democratic success.   Hansen, quit his job to work on the Campaign of Randy Bryce and worked part time with Senator Chris Larsen.   Not sure any one person in Wisconsin, who can bridge the gap between the insiders and progressives, between the members and the people who should be members, than Hansen.   In the aftermath of the election while ex aides and cronies were being recycled at an amazing rate, Hansen was left out.   If anyone can do the work and deserves a chance it is Robert Hansen. 

3.   Tim Burns - an unabashed Progressive but it seems like a big step down to run for Wisconsin Supreme Court to running the WISDEMS.   I like Tim, but think he should focus on bigger things (State Senate maybe?) .

4.   Kathleen Vinehout - Kathleen ran for Governor, giving up her seat and is now out of Government. Vinehout might not be ideal, but I always felt she was a solid Democratic Rep for Wisconsin.   I have had some problems with her positions, but not enough IMO to disqualify her.   One of her strengths is, since she has been in Madison for so long she knows who the vipers and snakes are and will do her best to make sure they are no longer relevant in the Party. 

5.  Angela Lang - Angela ran Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC) and in my mind, BLOC was the MVP of the 2018 election.   Let's let her take her vision of community and organizing abilities Statewide. 

2020 is an important election and we need a real leader as WISDEMs Party Chair.  We can not afford to have another two years of "Welcome to the new boss, same as the old boss.". 

Let the games begin. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

WILL - The Republican Apology Machine

By Jeff Simpson 

The latest in far right extremist candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court is Brian Hagedorn.   Hagedorn, as typically the case with Republican Supreme Court candidates, feels that our friends in the LGBTQ Community are less than human

The revelations come after an exhaustive review by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel of a blog Hagedorn kept from April 2005 to August 2006 called “Anno Domini” (Latin for “in the year of our Lord”). In it, Hagedorn, an evangelical Christian, complained that the Supreme Court ruling that struck down Texas’ anti-sodomy law would lead to the legalization of bestiality.
“The idea that homosexual behavior is different than bestiality as a constitutional matter is unjustifiable,” he wrote in October 2005.
“There is no right in our Constitution to have sex with whoever or whatever you want in the privacy of your own home (or barn),” he also wrote.
Hagedorn also talked about complaining to his supervisor at the law firm for which he worked at the time about their posting supportive images and stories from LGBTQ people during Pride month. “What was being sold was not tolerance, but homosexual propaganda,” Hagedorn wrote on his blog. “Moreover, this served to create a hostile work environment for Christians. In the end, I was told too bad.”
Yes if that sounds familiar, if by some horrible event that allows Caveman Hagedorn to get elected to the Supreme Court, one can imagine he, Rebecca Bradley and Julianne Appling, eating wafers, drinking little cups of cheap red wine and watching old sermons of George Alan Rekers in the old offices of Prosser and Gableman. 

Ok lets scrub that and get to the topic at hand.

Now back to the topic at hand.  The Republican Apology Machine. 

It is almost like these occurrences are daily and they have a plan in place to handle these regular occurrences.   It is called WILL  - Wisconsin Law and Liberty, the anti education, Republican apology machine, that makes up "studies" and their head honcho Rick Esenberg.   

Esenberg gained notoriety, when it came out that he agreed to testify, under oath, that the maps that the Republicans drew in private, were Constitutional, site unseen

Esenberg is the Founder and President of Wisconsin Institute of Law and Liberty(WILL) :

An old military adage calls for the cavalry to “ride to the sound of the guns.” As a tactic, it has both its strengths and weaknesses. As a sentiment, it is a call for courageous engagement. At the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty, we hope to answer that call. Through education, litigation, and participation in public discourse, we seek to advance the public interest in the rule of law, individual liberty, constitutional government, and a robust civil society. We strive to do so, moreover, in partnership with like-minded individuals and organizations – often our clients – who are committed to classical liberalism and constitutional government.
We recognize that these ideals are neither Democratic nor Republican, but American. Our focus is primarily, if not exclusively, on Wisconsin – a state that has become one of the focal points of our ongoing debate about the proper role of the government within society and of the courts within government. As a non-profit and non-partisan organization, we litigate in the areas of property rights, the freedom to earn a living, voting rights, regulation, taxation, school choice, and religious freedom. As an educational organization, we strive to advance the debate concerning law and public policy in these and other areas.
Amazingly, the "non partisan" WILL, seems to always run to the rescue of the Republicans exclusively.   This time was no exception, as Rick Esenberg rushed to the "rescue"?

My overall reaction is that this is a tired trope. Brian Hagedorn is an evangelical
Christian (I am not) and he holds views that evangelicals tend to hold regarding
marriage and human sexuality. He is also someone who sees the Constitution as a
document that ought to be interpreted in accordance with its text, history and structure (I
agree) and not as a vehicle for imposing whatever the judge sees as "justice" or "good
policy." If you take that view, decisions like Roe and Lawrence are very hard to justify ­
no matter how you feel about abortion or homosexuality.
On a general level, I think there are two problems with the increasing tendency to say
that certain types of religious people should be excluded from public office or limited in
their exercise of the authority of public office because "the dogma" or whatever it gets
called lives "too loudly" within them. The first is that it is inconsistent with
Constitution's prohibition of religious tests and establishes a regime of religious liberty.
The idea of America is that people of different religious understandings could live
together and participate in self government. There was to be no requirement of a
qualifying orthodoxy and the notion that one can't be a traditional Catholic or
Evangelical Christian amounts to the imposition of such an orthodoxy.
Second, Judge Hagedorn would not be required to recuse himself. The key case here is
called Republican Party v. White. In that case, which struck down a rule that prohibited
judicial candidates from announcing their position on legal or political issues, Justice
Scalia (writing for the majority) explored a taxonomy of bias and made clear that having
a point of view on a contested matter is not "bias."
As for the particular views expressed here, opposition to same sex marriage was the
position of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and about 60% of Wisconsin voters in 2006.
The issue is no longer open for review by the Wisconsin Supreme Court because of the
United States Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell.
Nor can the Wisconsin Supreme Court depart from decisions like Roe and Lawrence.
But the idea that these decisions are constitutionally problematic is widely held. The
problem is that nothing in the Constitution addresses abortion or sexual relationships.
Nothing in the Constitution even establishes a general right of privacy in the sense of
being left alone. The Supreme Court hasn't adequately explained where these rights are
to be found, resulting, for awhile in a cottage industry for law professors who tried to
offer the rationale that the Court did not. To say, as Justice Kennedy did in Casey, that
there is some extra textual right to define the mystery of one's existence is unsatisfying
because it has no logical boundaries. Decisions like Roe, Lawrence and Obergefell are
troubling because, even if we like the particular outcome, they provide judges with
broad authority to undo democratic decision making. The legal criticism of these
decisions is not so much about their outcome, but about who decides. Judges or
Thus, the point he's making about Lawrence is not that gay relationships are like
bestiality. It's clear from the context that he does not think that (he thinks the law in
Texas was not prudent) but that the principle that constitutionalizes the issue has no
logical stopping point. If you have a constitutional right to sexual self­expression, why
might it not be extended to other forms of expression. A legislature can draw that line
because it can make ad hoc decisions but courts rule by abstract principle and have to
try to apply them consistently.
People who are pro­life tend to have a sour view of Planned Parenthood because,
notwithstanding its claims to the contrary, it is very much an organization about
abortion. But a judge can oppose a group ­ say the National Rifle Association or Center
for Immigration Studies ­ and still be able to recognize its legal rights.
I think Brian is a well­trained and careful lawyer who understands the difference
between his religious and political views and what the law requires. To deny that any
such distinction exists is a bad faith reading of what he wrote and fundamentally
misunderstands the role of courts and judges.
So I'd say this stuff is not particularly relevant.

 Heady stuff for a lawyer to voluntarily put out.   Most normal people would pay a few thousand dollars for this.   Of course most normal people are not running for Supreme Court on a platform of whatever Republicans do is lawful. 

So lets look at Mr. Esenberg's statement a little closer. 

 Brian Hagedorn is an evangelical Christian (I am not) and he holds views that evangelicals tend to hold regarding marriage and human sexuality.   

- Some questions,  How did the non partisan WILL and Mr. Esenberg know what Mr., Hagedorn thinks and believes?  Did they meet before this letter was drawn?  If so, will that time be on Mr. Hagedorns Campaign Finance Reports?  Also what views on marriage and human sexuality do evangelical Christians "tend to hold"?   From what I can see, the views they "tend to hold" is everything I do is fine, but I will be preaching and judging every move you make. 

Or should I say, the single greatest cause of atheism today. You know who I’m talking about, right? The type of people who acknowledge Jesus with their words, and deny him through their lifestyle. The ones who preach the importance of traditional family values, all while holding a rally and offering standing ovations for a man who preyed on 14-year-old girls. The ones who look to excuse the despicable allegations directed at Roy Moore by literally quoting the bible, comparing his molestation to Joseph and Mary. I give you the most hypocritical religious group in America, Evangelical Christians.

Of course Mr. Hagedorn will only call balls and strikes.   The Bible says so. 

In that case, which struck down a rule that prohibited judicial candidates from announcing their position on legal or political issues, Justice Scalia (writing for the majority) explored a taxonomy of bias and made clear that having a point of view on a contested matter is not "bias."

An evangelical Christian, believes strongly in:

4. Evangelical Christians are strongly motivated to share the gospel either one-on-one or through organized missions. Emphasis is placed on the Great Commission's call to share with the world the Christian message of salvation through Christ, and to "be publicly baptized as a confession of faith," according to
5. Most, though not all, evangelicals believe there will be a rapture in the end times where the church will be "caught up with Christ before the Great Tribulation, leaving nonbelievers behind to suffer on Earth," states the Pew Research Center. This idea has gained attention through the "Left Behind" book series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, and the related movies.
Of course you can trust someone who feels that he needs to share his version of the Gospel and believes that the end times are coming and people who disagree with him will be left behind in some sort of Thanos finger snap, to put aside what God and Jesus command to rule fairly on sinners and those who will be left behind in the Rapture. 

*   As for the particular views expressed here, opposition to same sex marriage was the
position of Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton and about 60% of Wisconsin voters in 2006.

True it was not very politically expedient, or acceptable in society to be for gay marriage(though I always was), but it dishonest to compare Mr. Hagedorn to these others since, there is a chasm between not publicly approving of gay marriage and comparing it to bestiality.   Only the furthest right wing extremists have ever had that view. 

*  If you have a constitutional right to sexual self­expression, whymight it not be extended to other forms of expression.   

It could extend to bestiality, or it could extend to a man and a woman, a man and two women, a man and women of different races,  a man and a 14 year old girl, a man and a porn star or playboy playmate(sans condom),  or even a man who just decides to grab a woman by the pussy nd start kissing her. 

*  People who are pro­life tend to have a sour view of Planned Parenthood because,
notwithstanding its claims to the contrary, it is very much an organization about

While i get that Esenberg is old school, and has to give a shout out to the anti choice people as often as possible, it is not the least bit surprising that he is wrong yet again,
 Abortions accounted for 3 percent of the nearly 10.6 million total services provided by Planned Parenthood clinics in 2013, according to its annual report.
Some services it provided in addition to abortions were:
4.5 million tests and treatment for sexually transmitted infections
3.6 million contraception related services
935,573 cancer screenings including breast exams and Pap tests
1.1 million pregnancy tests and prenatal services
 *  So I'd say this stuff is not particularly relevant.

Tell that to Matthew Shepherd and too many others! 

In the end, despite Esenberg's poor excuse(and possibly illegal and/or unethical) of an apology, the reality is that Brian Hagedorn is not fit to be a Judge now, much less receive a promotion to the highest court in the land.    It is time we started ending our excuses for every racist, bigot, homophobe who thinks they should run for higher office just because they will vote for what we want. 

We can do better than this as a society and as a community.   I do not expect WILL to ever start caring about the people of Wisconsin, but it is time the people of Wisconsin sent them a message. 

In Wisconsin we expect more! 

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Foxconn Con Job - An Epic Republican Fiasco

A year and a half ago, former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (I still love saying that!) penned a handwritten note with Foxconn promising the company $3 billion dollars for a manufacturing plant they were so supposed to build in Wisconsin and to create 13,000 jobs. Both Walker and Lyin' Paul Ryan immediately made this cornerstones of their reelection campaigns. Ryan ended up quitting and running off with his tail between his legs and Walker was fired in the midterm elections.

Critics immediately raised the alarm, citing the disaster in Pennsylvania where Foxconn just took the money and ran, leaving taxpayers in the lurch.

It didn't take long for the wheels on the Wisconsin deal to come flying off either. First the number of jobs being promised dropped from 13,000 to maybe 2,000 if we were lucky. Meanwhile, the $3 billion in state aid quickly blew up to over $4.5 billion in state and local aid, with Foxconn, sensing they had some real suckers on their hands, kept asking for more and more.

Now, Foxconn is pulling back on the thought of building the manufacturing plant altogether:
Now, those plans may be scaled back or even shelved, Louis Woo, special assistant to Foxconn Chief Executive Terry Gou, told Reuters. He said the company was still evaluating options for Wisconsin, but cited the steep cost of making advanced TV screens in the United States, where labor expenses are comparatively high.

"In terms of TV, we have no place in the U.S.," he said in an interview. "We can't compete."

When it comes to manufacturing advanced screens for TVs, he added: “If a certain size of display has more supply, whether from China or Japan or Taiwan, we have to change, too.”
Indeed, Foxconn has already suspended all construction.

Republican lawmakers, the same ones who ramrodded this hunk of corporate welfare through the state legislature, are now trying to pin this latest failure on Governor Evers, who hasn't even been in office for a month:
"We don’t blame Foxconn for altering plans in an ever-changing technology business. It’s also not surprising Foxconn would rethink building a manufacturing plant in Wisconsin under the Evers Administration," Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald said in a joint statement about the company's plans.

The Taiwanese tech giant attributed its deliberations to high labor costs and not to the election of Evers.


Though Woo told Reuters the company had concerns about the steep cost of making advanced TV screens in the United States, the Republican leaders said, "the company is reacting to the wave of economic uncertainty" brought by Evers.

"Governor Evers has an anti-jobs agenda and pledged to do away with a successful business incentive for manufacturing and agriculture," Fitzgerald and Vos said, referring to Evers' proposal to pay for a middle-class tax cut by scaling back a tax credit for manufacturers and agriculture producers.
Like everything else that comes from the Republicans, this doesn't hold water. It was Vos and Fitzgerald that called for the extraordinary session after the midterm elections to pass a slew of lame duck laws, including the protection of their Foxconn con game.

Last and least, even Walker had to tweet in to try to defend his failed legacy:

What Walker doesn't want people to remember is that as of one year ago, he already handed over more than a billion dollars to Foxconn that had absolutely nothing to do with job creation.

Not only are Republicans no good at leading, but they don't even make good liars anymore.

Cross posted from Crooks and Liars

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Cold Day Catch Up

By Jeff Simpson

Time to catch up on some fun reading.....

1.  You can tell things are boring in Bright Red Oklahoma, because they get to debate on their legislative floor, how much God loves rape and incest.

“Is rape the will of God?” asked Rep. Cory Williams.
Mr Faught replied: “If you read the Bible, there’s actually a couple circumstances where that happened and the Lord uses all circumstances.
“I mean, you can go down that path, but it’s a reality, unfortunately.”

2.  $93,000,000 was spent on the 2018 Gubernatorial race from start to finish.  The WISGOP spent $58/93 Million, WisDems spent 32/93(17 candidates) and Third party candidates spent $32,550. 

While the massive amount of spending by Walker, underscores how immensely unpopular he truly is, the bigger question is, when will we stop allowing this.  While many people are giving their money to make sure kids eat or that the thousands of homeless get meals, the rich amongst us are spending millions buying and trying to buy elections.  Which means the rich set policy and the rest of us keep working to help our neighbors.   It is a never ending cycle that we need to break. 

3.  In Pennsylvania, GOP Rep. Brian Ellis, is being investigated for his own version of constituent services. 

According to the report, Ellis and the woman were at the same bar when she fell down, hard, suffering injuries.
“We want to make it very clear that she was not voluntarily intoxicated. This woman was incapacitated,” the state’s Victim Advocate said on her behalf. “She does believe that she was drugged and that she did seek medical attention the following day because she was in pain and she did indeed have a concussion and other injuries.”
Ellis reportedly knew the woman as a “workplace acquaintance at the Capitol” and “offered to help her get home” but the woman says he instead took her to his residence and raped her.

4.  If you are not reading Jake's Wisconsin Funhouse, you should be.  Here he asks the question not a single reporter in Wisconsin asked while listening to the WISGOP strain their arms patting themselves on the back - When does our State's prosperity start

"Our prosperity to continue?" Doesn't something need to start for it to "continue"? The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, released their final report for 2018 on average hourly wages in all 50 states this week. And Wisconsin ended up 43rd in the US for wage growth last year, badly trailing most of its Midwestern neighbors. 

5.  One of The Donalds staffers, who had unlimited access to the Donald, wrote a book.  While the book depicts a White House that is out of control(to the surprise of no one) what else this book shows, is how ineffective and disrespected The Donald was towards Paul Ryan.   

At times, Trump evinced less rage than a lack of interest. Sims recounts one time when Ryan was in the Oval Office explaining the ins and outs of the Republican health-care bill to the president. As Ryan droned on for 15 minutes, Trump sipped on a glass of Diet Coke, peered out at the Rose Garden, stared aimlessly at the walls and, finally, walked out.
Ryan kept talking as the president wandered down the hall to his private dining room, where he flicked on his giant flat-screen TV. Apparently, he had had enough of Ryan’s talk. It fell to Vice President Pence to retrieve Trump and convince him to return to the Oval Office so they could continue their strategy session.

6.  Maria Butina, Scott Walkers good friend, who he learned Russian to impress, pleaded guilty to conspiracy. 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Accused Russian agent Maria Butina pleaded guilty in federal court today to one conspiracy charge, and has agreed to cooperate with the investigation.

Butina, appearing in court in a green jumpsuit, admitted to one count of conspiracy. As part of the plea agreement with the government, prosecutors dropped the other count in the indictment originally brought against her, and agreed not to prosecute her for any other crimes they were made aware of during their plea discussions.

 7.  26 ways Scott Walker ruined(or embarrassed) Wisconsin.   My favorite:

15. Claimed his bald spot resulted from hitting his head on a sink
Doctors had a laugh with this one.

Bonus read:  crusty old backbencher GOP Rep. Ed Brooks of Reedsburg, finally did something in his career.  Show us he is a racist.   

Monday, January 28, 2019

We Really Do Need Education

By Jeff Simpson

In 1979 Pink Floyd, unknowingly wrote the Republican mantra that unfortunately seems timeless:

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone

In the latest WISGOP attempt to "work the refs" Rep. Dave Murphy (R - Doesnt read Bills he votes on), who unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin is chairman of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities, has decided that a course on the American Presidency (based on a students sharing of the syllabus) is not nice enough to The Donald. 

The course, taught by UW Professor Ken Mayer, had the bad fortune of having former Miss Wisconsin Mckenna Collins taking the class. 

Collins, was so outraged by the syllabus that she took her grievances straight to The Dean, the Chancellor, Dr. Mayer - D. None of the above.   Collins, now that her pageant career is over, is working on becoming a Fox News talking head of reality TV "star", ran right to noted scholar (heavy sarcasm) Tucker Carlson. 

With the massive exodus of advertisers, Tucker was looking for any friend.....

Hey, teachers, leave them kids alone
All in all it's just another brick in the wall
All in all you're just another brick in the wall

What was on the syllabus?  Ms. Collins, posted it on her Facebook(since removed) :

“[Mayer] makes every effort to instill in college students an illegitimate distrust and hate for the President of the United States before the course has even started,” Collins said in her Facebook post regarding the syllabus.
Collins also explained the syllabus made her feel intimidated, stating her belief that Mayer “made a mistake” when crafting the syllabus. She found his language to be “biased, unprofessional and anti-academic.”
The problem is even the UW College Republicans said she was crazy:

Many of our executive board members have taken classes taught by Professor Mayer, and have found him to be an intellectually engaging professor that treats conservatives fairly. In the past, Professor Mayer has openly criticized how the University of Wisconsin – Madison handled President Obama’s visit to campus due to its political nature and ties to the Obama campaign. 
Obviously no one on the UW College Republican Board, has visions of joining The Kleefishs Go Hunting or The Real World. 

Now Ms. Collins replaced the complaint with her victory picture: 

We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave those kids alone

Yes this UW College Student, who the right held up as a true victim of the liberal elite, quoted Martin Luther King, Jr. in regards too her getting her feelings hurt about what a Professor said about the Trump &residency.   The quote, paraphrased from a speech that MLK,Jr. gave after Bloody Sunday , where civil rights protesters were attacked and beaten on the bridge. 

That in no way whatsoever, even comes close to equating to a right wing privileged student being upset because her feelings were hurt when someone criticized the admitted Pussy Grabber.   

That is the true meaning of shame and shows how she is not here to be a serious academic student.   Maybe her next tour of "Table Talk" should be focused on learning some actual history!

Want to know what is really happening?  Check out this tweet thread from Georgetown Professor Don Moynihan:

Hey teachers, leave those kids alone
All in all you're just another brick in the wall
All in…

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Wiggy Wonders What To Do With Himself

By Jeff Simpson

Once again, it is time to check in with the Bizarro Blogger on the Right.  Jimmy Wigderson, the person the racist extremist Charlie Sykes willed White Wisconsin too, when he decided to leave his extremist hate filled ways behind and pretend that he had no hand in the rise of the white trash racism that has taken over our country. 

Wiggy, in the wake of the GOP finally(after being re-elected 9 times) figuring out that Iowa Rep. Steve King is a raving, lunatic racist

There is a line, one that far-right politicians know they must not cross.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, once described undocumented Mexican immigrants as drug mules and likened them to dogs. He supported the end of birthright citizenship and has repeatedly lamented the declining white birth rate. He praised the books and amplified the tweets of neo-Nazis. All along the way, King got the endorsement of Iowa voters in his district, who returned him to Congress every two years since 2003. He received occasional criticism from Republicans insistent that King’s ideas were not their own, while some Democrats said his public comments revealed a bigoted streak, an affinity for white nationalists and an eagerness to make America a less equal place.
All of his previous actions withstanding, it took one simple question by King to pull the curtain back:

 Why was this one moment in the political life of King too much, too far, too outrageous? King’s comment — “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” he told The New York Times — was lacking in all plausible deniability and nuance, devoid of the high and low pitch tones calibrated for certain ears, experts say. It was an endorsement of white supremacy in the form of a rhetorical question. And it came at a time when King’s Republican Party is struggling with its political prospects.“King is not alone in his ideas, not his ideas on immigration, not his ideas about policy,” said Nell Irvin Painter, professor of history at Princeton University and author of “The History of White People.” “But, he is a fairly unusual character, today, in how obvious he is with his racism. The president operates on the side of euphemism, just this side of euphemism, whereas Steve King has used the actual language of white supremacy, the actual words with an endorsement.”

Now to the irony of the situation, apparently Wiggy had a "meeting" planning the "future" of White Wisconsin.   In layman's terms. the Bradley folks told them they cant be paying them to write such BS and get their ass kicked in elections like just happened.   Wingnut welfare only goes so far. 

The question that came out from these meetings was this:

  An easy question should be, what do we do about the racists in our midst? 
As you heard here first in September, no one is more of a racist than Mr. White Wisconsin himself - James Wigderson.  He who called all of the student athletes in the Milwaukee Public School System "little convicts" is asking what should be done with racists in their midst.   

As we have also pointed out, if you could sell the irony that Wisconsin Republicans put out on a daily basis we could actually afford to pay Foxconn what Walker promised them. 

In the meantime, a quick answer to Wiggy's burning question is simple. 

Get rid of the racist editor of Right Wisconsin and put it in the hands of someone who is logical, intelligent and open minded(good luck finding someone).   Then you can have some credibility when talking about the Steve King's of the world. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Republican Post Election Propaganda

By Jeff Simpson

Propaganda, coming from the Government, is something that has a long sordid past in our world.  The Holocaust Museum reminds us that the Nazis used it very effectively.

Propaganda. The word conjures up images of lies, manipulation, and brainwashing. Even in democratic societies with guarantees of freedom of expression, fears of mass manipulation by government, the media, and spin doctors are widespread. During the 1930s and 40s, the Nazi Party used posters, newspapers, rallies, and the new technologies of radio and film to sway millions both with their vision for a new Germany and with frightening images of state enemies.
Propagandists promoted indifference toward the persecution of neighbors, and tried to incite ordinary men to carry out mass violence. Ultimately Nazi Germany provoked a war that cost the lives of some 55 million people, including 6 million Jewish men, women, and children. The legacy of Nazi propaganda lives on in recent incitements to mass hatred and violence.

In America, we have used Government Propaganda to sway opinions, here and elsewhere,  as long as there have been wars.   

In the era of information, nothing has changed.  Especially in Wisconsin where we were gerrymandered into a far right takeover of the state.

Since Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald have picked their own voters, now they want to make sure that you believe what they tell you to believe. 

This ad recently showed up on

Wisconsin Legislature Videographer

Job Announcement Code(s): 19-00062
County(ies): Dane
Classification Title: / JAC: 
Job Working Title: Unknown 19-00062     Videographer
Type of Employment:  Full Time (40 hrs/week)
The salary range for this position is $37,128 - $68,064 per year. Starting salary is dependent upon experience and education. In addition, this position receives the same fringe benefits available to other State of Wisconsin employees. For more information related to benefits, please see:
Assembly Republican Careers; Email:
Bargaining Unit: Non-Represented
Area of Competition: Open
Deadline to Apply:  1/14/2019

Position Summary: 
The Wisconsin State Legislature is currently hiring a Videographer to work for the Assembly Republican Caucus in Madison. Duties for the position include, but are not limited to:
Creating stories, shooting footage, and editing videos to create a final product for caucus members;
Assisting with the writing and production of videos for the caucus and individual members;
Travelling to video shoot locations if necessary;
Managing all television and radio production functions for Assembly Republicans;
Maintaining a YouTube site; and,
Live streaming press conferences.
(Equipment for the position is provided.)
Qualified individuals will possess the following skills, knowledge and abilities:
Effective written and oral communication skills;
Excellent organizational skills;
Creativity in writing, reporting, and editing;
Demonstrated storytelling abilities;
Comfort with shooting on several types of cameras;
In-depth knowledge of video production and editing;
Working knowledge of video distribution and website development;
Ability to stay up-to-date with industry standards and trends;
Ability to perform multiple tasks with efficiency and accuracy within assigned deadlines;
Ability to work both independently and cooperatively, while exercising professional judgment at all times;
Experience using video to impact social media; and,
Proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite.
How To Apply: 
Please send a resume, cover letter, and links to video creations demonstrating how you meet the qualifications of the position above to:

It is funny that it is billed as a "legislature" videographer but you have to apply to Robin Vos.   It is also not the least bit surprising, that the small government wonders, would create a non union position.

Be Ready Wisconsin, Robin Vos and Jim Steineke have hearts and minds to change before 2020, and what better way than taxpayer funded propaganda?   

Sunday, January 6, 2019

American Mediocrity

By Jeff Simpson 

While we as a Nation have had some dark times, one of the shining times in our nation is when President Kennedy challenged our Country in 1961

We have had our failures, but so have others, even if they do not admit them. And they may be less public.
To be sure, we are behind, and will be behind for some time in manned flight. But we do not intend to stay behind, and in this decade, we shall make up and move ahead.
The growth of our science and education will be enriched by new knowledge of our universe and environment, by new techniques of learning and mapping and observation, by new tools and computers for industry, medicine, the home as well as the school. Technical institutions, such as Rice, will reap the harvest of these gains.
And finally, the space effort itself, while still in its infancy, has already created a great number of new companies, and tens of thousands of new jobs. Space and related industries are generating new demands in investment and skilled personnel, and this city and this State, and this region, will share greatly in this growth. What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space. Houston, your City of Houston, with its Manned Spacecraft Center, will become the heart of a large scientific and engineering community. During the next 5 years the National Aeronautics and Space Administration expects to double the number of scientists and engineers in this area, to increase its outlays for salaries and expenses to $60 million a year; to invest some $200 million in plant and laboratory facilities; and to direct or contract for new space efforts over $1 billion from this Center in this City.
To be sure, all this costs us all a good deal of money. This year¹s space budget is three times what it was in January 1961, and it is greater than the space budget of the previous eight years combined. That budget now stands at $5,400 million a year--a staggering sum, though somewhat less than we pay for cigarettes and cigars every year. Space expenditures will soon rise some more, from 40 cents per person per week to more than 50 cents a week for every man, woman and child in the United Stated, for we have given this program a high national priority--even though I realize that this is in some measure an act of faith and vision, for we do not now know what benefits await us.

President Kennedy, pulled the Nation together for a greater vision and a goal that everyone bought into.   This led to many technological advancements and much progress as a nation, and true national pride and acceptance. 

Fast Forward the clock 56 some years later and our President makes this speech:

The Donald does not necessarily want to go to the moon but instead wants to create a Space Force.  A Space Force, with no actual details, plans or even interest in doing anything but giving an unintelligible speech with no thought, interest or actual intent.   

What happens when we go from a President wanting to be an inclusive, advanced nation to one that  wants to punish anyone who criticizes him?

Now that our media has been labeled #fakenews , and the media that is left spends their time chasing The Donald around like a lost puppy, you may have missed this:

BEIJING — China’s burgeoning space program achieved a first on Thursday: a landing on the so-called dark side of the moon.
The United States, the then-Soviet Union and more recently China have all sent spacecraft to the near side of the moon, which faces Earth, but this is the first-ever landing on the other side.
The China National Space Administration said the 10:26 a.m. landing of the Chang'e-4 lunar explorer has “opened up a new chapter in human lunar exploration.

We are not getting beat in the race anymore, we have dropped out of it completely. 

 We used to aspire to greatness.... now we aspire to piss off liberals. 

The first step to solving any problem is to recognize there is one.....

There is most definitely a problem that needs solving! 
Let's hope we recognize and solve it before it is too late!