Today is

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wausau Labor Organizers Relent - Union-Busters Can March In Parade

Wausau Daily Herald Excerpt:
In an email statement issued shortly before midnight, Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said everyone will be permitted to march in the parade "because we don't want to have community groups and school bands affected."

I still ask: Why in the world would union-busting anti-labor Republicans want to march in a parade with their victims? Isn't that sadistic?

A little history from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding how Labor Day came to be... here.

Rep. Duffy Just Another Con-Man

Titled,"House freshmen push bills that benefit big donors."

USA Today Excerpt:
•Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., is the lead sponsor of legislation that recently passed the House that would curb the powers of a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He has received nearly 40% of his political action committee donations this year from the financial services and insurance PACs. The bureau, which has broad authority to protect consumers from financial fraud, is backed by consumer advocates and opposed by banks.

Duffy spokesman Brandon Moody said his boss wants to rein in regulatory overreach and protect small banks "suffering under onerous rule-making requirements."

Here's the line that all Congressionals and their staff will memorize and parrot. Our own Congressman Paul Ryan has used this expertly in the past to squirm out of accusations of foul play.

So repeat after me...

"Campaign contributions play no role. People give to me because they support my ideas, my principles and my issues. They are not contributing to me because I'm doing what they ask."

Yeah, rrright.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Invite Dale Schultz To Wausau Parade

Wausau Daily Herald Excerpt:
Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke confirmed Monday that no Republican lawmakers are welcome to participate in the organization's Labor Day parade -- a departure from procedure in previous years. [...] The Republican politicians in our area don't side with us, but now they want to make it look like they're on our side."

The Wausau Mayor said the Marathon County Labor Council violated the non-partisan provision of the contract, but who is he to dictate the decision without due process? Proper public notice used to be a huge legal requirement in Wisconsin. I guess that's all changed now with Walker and the Republicans since they have turned everything political and partisan in Wisconsin.

Parade organizers should invite state Senator Dale Schultz (Richland Center), the lone republican to vote against Walker's union-busting bill. That would prove it's not a partisan issue and likely satisfy the non-partisan provision in the parade/city agreement.

Illinois Republican Can't Explain How Bush Tax Cuts Creates Jobs

Here's the zinger...

Question: When the Bush tax cuts took effect in 2003, the unemployment rate was 6.2%, now in the ninth year of those cuts, unemployment is 9.1%, so where's the evidence that these tax cuts created jobs?

Watch it:

Here's yet another Republican getting dismantled by his constituents at a townhall.

Four Charts To Email To Your Right-Wing Brother-In-Law

Almost everybody has a Right-Wing brother-in-law or cousin plugged into the FOX-Limbaugh lie machine and keeps sending you emails about the terrible job Obama is doing.

From Campaign for America's Future comes these three nifty charts showing that Obama's policies either significantly slowed or reversed deficit trends and job loss trajectories legislated into law during the GOP-majority Bush era.



Stimulus and Jobs

I added this next chart showing what is driving our deficits, just for good measure.

Cause of Deficits

More False Things

These are just three of the false things that everyone "knows." Some others are (click through): Obama bailed out the banks, businesses will hire if they get tax cuts, health care reform cost $1 trillion, Social Security is a Ponzi Scheme or is "going broke", government spending takes money out of the economy.

Read full story here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Video: Thom Hartmann Tackles Crony Capitalism's Crowned King

This really should get a lot more press than it has been getting.

Thom Hartmann explains recent reports showing how Rep. Paul Ryan uses our congressional house seat to advantage campaign contributors like S.C. Johnson with corporate tax breaks and loopholes.

Due to Paul Ryan's bold-faced crony capitalism, fast becoming a hallmark of his tenure in Congress, Hartmann suggests Americans should consider sending Ryan a handsome campaign contribution someday to write legislation that would actually benefit the country. If the price is right, Ryan will do it.

Except, we'd have to get in line.

Watch it:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Karl Rove 'Crossroads' Exposed As Internet Hate Machine

"Anonymous" has struck again, this time leaking a confidential internal directive from Karl Rove's shadowy, billionaire-funded American Crossroads GPS outfit. It allows a rare glimpse into the inner workings of the Rove electioneering machine. I usually would post an excerpt or two and comment but this time believe posting the full contents can only do it justice. This is very powerful stuff clearly showing as to what extent the Right will go to lie, cheat and steal from the American people. We are in the fight for our lives.

H/T DailyKos

From: KR

To: All Internet Operatives and Interns

Re: Internet Operations -- For Immediate and Aggressive Implementation


Hello Gang,

You've all been working hard, and it's paying off. Obama's numbers are plummeting as I type this. Congratulations all around. But we can't afford to be complacent now.

I just want to briefly go over a few Mission Points with you.

1. Main mission: Infiltrate all liberal web sites, posing as disaffected liberals with liberal-sounding user names, icons and signatures. (Reference Bernie Sanders, Dennis Kucinich, FDR, Smedley Butler, Bill Clinton, etc.)

2. Express. Disappointment. With. Obama. (Whining pays double!) (jk!)

3. Push primary challenge. Push third party. Push Green. Push Socialist. Push write-in voting. Push non-voting to "send a message."

4. Effective memes/talking points:

"Obama is a DINO."
"Obama is no different than a Republican."
"Obama has sold us out."
"It feels good to vote your conscience."
"It feels good to stick to your principles."
"Don't be trapped into voting for the lesser of two evils."
"We need to punish Obama and the Democrats by not voting."
"We'd be better off with a Republican in the White House."
"Obama is a war-mongering, torturing, corporatist shill."

I simply cannot emphasize this point enough: No meme is too extreme or radical. "Obama is worse than Bush!" "Obama is a war criminal!" Remember: the reader thinks he is reading the opinion of a fellow liberal. It's all about peer suggestibility, people. Keep expanding the Overton Window. The more you push a radical notion, the more likely a slightly less radical notion becomes acceptable. Someone else said it this way: "The bigger the lie, the more likely people will believe it."
So take it over the top. Absolutely nothing is outside the realm of plausibility. "Obama is an alien from the planet Negron." I like it!

The libs are disappointed that Obama hasn't turned America into a socialist paradise by now, but they're lazy and spoiled, not savvy and proactive like us. They think that by whining on a liberal web site they're engaging in some sort of "activism." They're "holding Obama's feet to the fire." They actually believe that DC policymakers or their staffers somehow have the time to read every ridiculous liberal blog. They don't get it that the only ones reading their whiny little rants are--wait for it--other liberals. So they're actually doing a whole lot of heavy lifting for us with all their dis-motivating buzz-kill, and we want to encourage them as much as possible. When your enemy is engaged in a circular firing squad, pass them the ammo!

Look, we suckered all those nutjob Christian fundies out of their votes and their money. LIberals are almost as easy to fool!

You've done great work so far. At this point, many of the liberal blog sites are virtually indistinguishable from RedState. (And can you imagine us on RedState trashing our own candidate? Riiiight.) On most liberal sites, anyone praising Obama is hounded and laughed out of town. Seeya later, blackwaterdog! We, with the help of the libs, have made it uncool to approve of or admit to liking Barack Obama on a liberal web site! Obama-trashing is now in vogue! Is this a great country, or what?!

Remember, in 2000, the Greens helped us put George in the White House by chanting that Al Gore was the same as Dubya! That George W. Bush was the same as the biggest liberal around! And libs bought that! They've obviously got a serious masochistic streak, so let's hand them a whip! (Can you imagine what America would be like today if we'd had that commie wuss Al Gore in the White House for eight years? Gives me goosebumps!)

The Internet was liberals' most effective weapon against us, for spreading lies and motivating other libs to vote and volunteer and donate, but not any more! Now the only effect of liberal blog sites is to sap enthusiasm and deter liberals from voting, period. We have monkey-wrenched our enemy's strength and turned it into a liability. The Republican Party owes Karl's Keyboard Kommandoes a huge debt of gratitude. You were instrumental in keeping Democrats home last November, and look what happened: we took back the House! I only wish I could thank you all in person. Mmmwahhh!

I know most of you work at home, but here at Crossroads I sometimes hear you guys yelling across your cubicles. "Hey, rec me on Kos! I'm owning those liberal schmucks! That's another Prius-load of Dims staying home! Spurn, baby, spurn! It's a beautiful thang!"

Gotta love that energy!

But we can't let up now. Now is the time to work even harder to sow and fertilize discontent out there in lib-land. The debates have begun and soon a front-runner will emerge for the libs to focus on and sling their mud at, instead of their own guy. (Go Ricky! Either or both! The Ricky/Ricky ticket! Anybody but that grotesque, hideous beotch from the Klondike!)

If Obama manages to steal a second term, he could be an unfettered loose cannon and inflict irreparable damage on our Republic. Two words: Supreme. Court. We just can't afford to let Obama pack the SCOTUS with liberal activist judges.
The long-overdue Citizens United decision means that finally our friends in business will no longer be muzzled from speaking out politically, so now our voices will have the full force of our resources behind them. Here at Crossroads we're poised to spend $20 million for ad campaigns spreading the truth, and the sky's the limit.

And we also have to acknowledge the work of our fellow patriots at the RNC and Heritage and CFG and AEI, etc., and all the private grassroots blog-warriors out there as well, such as the excellent Advantage Consultants. You guys are our Republican Underground, freedom fighters prosecuting our mission in the trenches on a daily basis. And don't think we don't recognize your commendable job of scrubbing all the filthy liberal lies out of Wikipedia.

Here are some helpful answers to your Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Some libs are wise to us. A Rand Paul staffer got caught on Daily Kos last year. What if I am called out as a mole or troll?
A: No problem; actually an opportunity. Simply accuse the accuser of being a troll for Obama and the DNC, of trying to stifle dissent. (Libs are suckers for that kind of stuff.)
Say, "It's not a crime to criticize the president!" Or, "So I'm not allowed to say anything bad about Obama?" It's a straw man that works every time. Try this: "Nobody's gonna shut me up! I'm gonna keep on speaking out! Attica! Attica!"

Q: What do I do if the libs confront me with Obama's accomplishments? What if they start rattling off all the liberal crap he's foisted on the American people?
A: Just come back with the "warmongering corporatist torturer" bit (I know--he's a piker, he sucks at it, but some of them will actually believe that). Mere laughing dismissal is often very effective. Usually all it takes is an LOL. Call your attackers "Obamabots." Accuse them of mindless fawning, of worshipping their "saviour." Dismiss the positive, accentuate the negative. Reference Paul Krugman and Glenn Greenwald. We know Obama hosed us on the debt ceiling deal, for example, but the libs think he sold out. That's the spin we want to push. And it won't hurt to ramp up the vitriol and nastiness. We want to make every liberal site an unpleasant place to visit.

Q: What if some of this criticism does reach Obama's radar and he starts going even more leftist or tries to kick Republican butt? Won't that backfire on us?
A: Nothing would be better! Bring it, O man! We've already managed to inform a big chunk of the electorate that Obama is in truth an angry, racist, America-hating communist. If we can goad him to the point where he stops playing rope-a-dope with us and starts acting like the thuggish, belligerent, socialist dictator we know him to be in reality, we win. We want nothing more than for him to lose his temper and get all pushy and uppity (I love that word!) and uncompromising. Heck, if he gets uppity enough, we might have some traction on an impeachment move. Admittedly, it's frustrating that he has kept his cool no matter what we throw at him. His phony act of being so consistently goddamned adult and steady and reasonable and sober and bipartisan is what has made all our people in comparison look like stubborn, childish, maudlin, jingoistic, perverted, hypocritical, narcissistic, grandstanding, demented, ignorant, freak-show corporatist whores who don't give a shit about America. And they're not. Not at all. Nope. Not all of them. No way, Hozay!

Q: Is our work really that effective? I mean, how many people actually read these liberal blogs?
A: Your work is very effective, or we wouldn't be paying you. True, the people who visit these liberal sites might be a tiny percentage of the population, but they are the most political, the most likely to get involved in organizing, volunteering and fundraising. In other words, the core. If we can raise enough doubts among the core, and constantly reinforce those doubts through peer suggestibility, we will in essence drive a stake through the heart of the Democrat party. And that is a good day's work, my friends!

Q: He got Osama bin Laden. How the hell do we spin that?
A: Easy: "Obama assassinated a foreign leader without a trial." "Obama should be tried for murder before an international court of law." "They didn't even read bin Laden his Miranda rights, or offer him counseling!"

People, the bottom line is that I don't care what you do, or what it takes. We get it. The libs don't. We know it's all about votes, and the money and enthusiasm and volunteering that gets votes. The guy who goes to the White House in 2013 will have either an R after his name, or a D. Do we want the party of Barbara Boxer and Nancy Pelosi and Sherrod Brown in our house, or do we want the party of Grover Norquist, Rupert Murdoch and the Koch Brothers? So, all eyes on the prize, which is: Keeping those godless, America-hating libs away from the voting booths!

We want to make this the new theme song of the Democrat party:
(To the tune of the In-N-Out jingle)

Sit it out!
Sit it out!
That's what a Dem-ocrat is
All about!

Onward to the Hundred-Year Majority!

And remember: The month's top poster wins a dream lunch with KR!

Yours in liberty, free enterprise, and purity of purpose,



Breitbarts' Big Government Pokes Ryan Protesters

After reading, Paul Ryan’s Office Calls Cops On Jobless Protesters and Paul Ryan Protest Enters Day 4 and Jobs Protest Against Paul Ryan Maintained All Week and Police Block Protesters At Paul Ryan’s Office and Protesters At Ryan’s Kenosha Office Kept Out Of Building and Police Break Up Ryan Office Sit-In, But Return and Protesters Converge On Rep. Paul Ryan’s Office In Janesville and Paul Ryan’s Office Locks The Door On Unemployed Constituents and Jobs Protest Against Paul Ryan Expands to All Four District Offices and on and on, the political huckster Breitbart’s “Big Government,” apparently upset that the protesters may have interfered with the ability of Ryan’s staff to work on Wall Street's behalf during his absence, came to his rescue by poking fun at the unemployed constituents and claiming the protest action is fizzling.

Let's show them how to "fizzle" on Thursday, September 1st when nurses will be holding a Soup Kitchen and Speak-Out Event at Paul Ryan's Janesville office.

Janesville Soup Kitchen and Speak-Out!

Soup Kitchen and Speak-Out!

Thursday, September 1 · 5:00pm - 7:00pm

US Congressman Paul Ryan's Janesville Office
20 S. Main Street
Janesville, WI

Please Join Nurses for a Soup Kitchen and Speak-Out!

Buses Leaving from Madison:
3:30pm: Memorial Union; 4pm: GEF Bldg (King + Webster St)

We'll bring a much needed dose of reality to US Congressman Paul Ryan, while feeding the people that Wall Street and its political lackeys have devastated and turned their backs on.

Tell Congressman Ryan “Where It Hurts” in Janesville!

While Wall Street banks got bailed out of the financial crisis that THEY caused, Main Street towns like Janesville are suffering!

Deep cuts in social services, further corporate tax-breaks and schemes to privatize Medicare and Social Security will only result in the further devastation of Main Street.

Urge US Congressman Paul Ryan to support a Tax on Wall St. to bring quality jobs, housing, healthcare and education back to Main Street!

Buses Leaving from Madison:
3:30pm: Memorial Union
4pm: GEF Bldg (King + Webster St)
(Returning approx. 8pm)

Please call Jan at 510-757-5925 to save a seat on the bus, or for endorsements or questions.

Endorsed by: National Nurses United, People's Rights Campaign, AFSCME Local 1077

Friday, August 26, 2011


Do you stand with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley?

From One Wisconsin Now:
Make no mistake, and we said it to the media: the Sauk County District Attorney’s decision that there was not a crime committed by Justice David Prosser prosecutable in a court of law in no way make Prosser’s physical conduct against a fellow Justice acceptable.

Please Sign OWN's letter: I stand with Justice Ann Walsh Bradley.

Not A Good Day For Marco Rubio

The same day after letting 90-year-old Nancy Reagan slip from his arm and almost crash to the floor, Tea Party Sen. Marco Rubio delivers a Ryanesque "hammock" speech about how Social Security weakened us and made us lazy. Wildly dumbfounded and amateurish, Rubio describes a time when "if someone was sick in your family, you took care of them. If a neighbor met misfortune, you took care of them. You saved for your retirement and your future because you had to."

This must be why Marco Rubio voted for Paul Ryan's kill Medicare bill because Ryan's proposal will force our children, grandchildren and neighbors to take care of us in our old age and they'll have plenty of excess cash left over to save for their own golden years. Oh, it'll be a glorious life!

Watch it:

Think Progress Excerpt:
Indeed, prior to Medicare’s enactment in 1965, “about one-half of America’s seniors did not have hospital insurance,” “more than one in four elderly were estimated to go without medical care due to cost concerns,” and one in three seniors were living in poverty. Today, nearly all seniors have access to affordable health care and only about 14 percent of seniors are below the poverty line.

If you are not a member of the Fortune 500 family and are under the age of 55, your life is in danger

If Rep. Paul Ryan doesn't wind up completely pulling the rug out from under your senior years, this group certainly will.

Think Progress Excerpt:
ThinkProgress previously reported on the network of front groups advancing the “Health Care Compact,” a massive deregulation idea to turn over federal money used for health reform, Medicare, Medicaid, and other health programs to state governments along with the power to use that money however they see fit, even if it has nothing to do with actual health care. The idea, hatched earlier this year by a political operative named Eric O’Keefe, is designed to dismantle major safety net programs and energize Tea Party activists into the 2012 elections.

Republican: Young People Aren't Worth Minimum Wage


"It's very discriminatory, particularly for young people. They're not worth the minimum" -- State Rep. Carol McGuire (R-NH)

Republicans Yearning For Pre-20th Century Era

Horse and buggy, guns and chickens for check-ups.

In the same vein of Marco Rubio's recent babbling, Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is also yearning for Ryan's regressive future. A future where the sick and elderly can bargain for care with baked goods and chickens for check-ups. Like they used to in the old days. Again, this must be why they all (GOP) voted for Ryan's "Path," a path that's little more than a legislated time-warp wormhole back into the 19th Century.

With video - Sen. Tom Coburn Laments Life Before Medicare and How Guns Might Help Congress Work.

Multi-Millionaire: The Middle-Class Should Be Furious At The Rich

Another multi-millionaire says the rich should be paying more taxes. Registered Republican and co-founder of H&R Block, Henry Bloch knows his opinion is not popular with many in his party.

Like Warren Buffet, Bloch believes current tax code gives too many breaks to the rich. He also has strong opinions about how much these tax breaks really contribute to job creation.

"That's so baloney," Bloch said. "Rich people don't create jobs. Companies create jobs."

Full Story Here.

Wall Street Picked Up $1.2 Trillion In Secret Loans From Fed

Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s unprecedented effort to keep the economy from plunging into depression included lending banks and other companies as much as $1.2 trillion of public money, about the same amount U.S. homeowners currently owe on 6.5 million delinquent and foreclosed mortgages.

The $1.2 trillion peak on Dec. 5, 2008 -- the combined outstanding balance under the seven programs tallied by Bloomberg -- was almost three times the size of the U.S. federal budget deficit that year and more than the total earnings of all federally insured banks in the U.S. for the decade through 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Trump: American Blood for Arab Oil

Can We Open Our Mind To Those We Strongly Oppose?

It's called hitting the nail on the head

First of all, repeat after me Jack -- there is no tea party. The so-called "tea party" is nothing more than the far right-wing of the Republican Party that's been with us for ages now, with big monied corporate interests along with your sorry excuse for a "news" channel along with Fox promoting them. – Heather , Crooks & Liars

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Where is Paul Ryan?

Wisconsin Jobs Now - The “Where Is Paul Ryan” Sit-In Activists Locked Out Of Kenosha.

Crooks and Liars - Where is Paul Ryan?

Video: Ryan's Office Threatens Kenosha Protesters With Arrest and Investigation

In this video taken near Rep. Paul Ryan's constituent office in Kenosha, police officers are shown stating that the owner of the building signed a formal complaint against the district constituents. (The owner of the building is listed as South Harbor Professional Center.) The officer told district constituents they were not allowed inside the building at all on orders from the building owner. The officer declared it is the building owner's prerogative who is allowed to enter the building, apparently regardless of whether the congressman's office is an official public entity or not. By extension then, if an owner of the leased (constituent office) building happens not to agree with the viewpoints of the constituents, the building owner can effectively bar those constituents from the building and limit their speech to the sidewalk.

After further questioning, the police admitted Ryan's staff also signed the complaint.

Paul Ryan's Kenosha Constituent Services Center
5455 Sheridan Road
Suite 125
Kenosha, WI 53140
Phone: (262) 654-1901
Fax: (262) 654-2156

In an unrelated incident, Ohio Republican Congressman Steve Chabot had police seize a citizen’s camera after he tried to record one of Chabot’s answers at a tax payer financed town hall meeting. At the end of the meeting, the police confiscated two video cameras.

Here is the Chabot story from Progress Ohio.

Youtube: Chabot Sensors Townhall - Police Seize Cameras

Politicus USA Excerpt:
It is outrageous that in Rep. Chabot’s mind a citizen does not have the right to film a public event on public property that he and other taxpayers are funding. Rep. Chabot and the other House Republicans who are finding creative ways to mute or exclude their constituents are afraid to engage in democracy. These events aren’t town halls. They are monologues, and Rep. Chabot is abusing his position to keep them that way.

Both of these incidents (Ryan's and Chabots) are stunning examples as to the levels of government-sponsored intimidation and harrassment Republicans will rise to in an obvious effort to censor the citizenry and control opposing speech.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Janesville Rally - Where Are The Jobs?


“Where’s Paul Ryan and Where Are The Jobs?”

Wednesday, August 24th AND Thursday, August 25th

Congressman Ryan’s Office
20 South Main St, Janesville

1:00 – 5:00 PM

As we ask Congressman Ryan,

“Where are you? And where are the jobs?”

Since last week, unemployed constituents of Congressman Paul Ryan have been waiting in his Kenosha office to ask him a simple question: Where are the jobs you promised?

Congressman Ryan, meanwhile, is nowhere to be found.


Rock County Progressives Facebook

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rocked By Walker - Janesville Considers Higher Taxes and Fees

According to this report from the City of Janesville, due to fiscal constraints with Scott Walker's draconian budget the City’s funding from the State will be reduced by almost a million dollars.

So City officials have created a survey asking residents to weigh in on some of the options they are considering to deal with the lost revenue. Among the considerations are reductions in police, fire and emergency service and the introduction of a vehicle tax, new charges on seniors and downtown businesses paying to maintain downtown parking lots and snow removal.

JG Excerpt:
Over the last couple years, the city reduced about $500,000 in salaries by eliminating jobs or holding jobs open, Levitt said.

But have they reduced salaries? Not that I know of.

City officials apparently have not yet received the message or don't fully understand what the election of Scott Walker really means to them. You didn't think that the ALEC-written Walker/Fitzgerald/Koch agenda was only meant for school teachers and unions, did you? Everyone will have to do with less and that includes you. The ratcheting down of wages and benefits in the private sector over the past decade was merely the preliminary groundwork to raise the wage-envy temperature of the average taxpayer against the public sector and government. Walker even alluded to this when he described public sector workers as the "haves." While the plutocrats continue to enjoy record profits at the expense of their workers, they knew their wage-earning employees were also taxpayers who would not let the taxes collected from their ever declining compensation continue to support "union" class public sector wages and benefits that they no longer can relate to.

Walker and his class war Tea Party conservatives knew his budget proposal would pit brothers against sisters against brothers and create a never before seen friction between neighbors and communities. In the beginning if you recall, he was prepping for a National Guard response to the expected public's outrage. They knew all along this would start a taxpayer driven class war.

So the City of Janesville is not alone in this wage envy battle and public sector workers of all stripes should consider themselves targets of this new and regressive economic contract. Unless you are a card-carrying member of a Fortune 500 family or one of their bought and paid for politicians or employees - you are one of us - a person made to feel lucky to have a job, if you have one at all.

The temperature within the Janesville School District is even higher than at city hall. Here the Janesville School Board is looking for ways to find $2.1 million to balance this year's budget.

It turns out the Janesville School District's current deficit of $2.1 million was a charade. This article published Aug. 24th states the school district actually has a surplus of about $3 million. The Walker class war budget won't begin effecting the district until next year, when the district is expecting a $9 million deficit.

Saying it might be just a matter of additional cuts or taxes doesn't quite tell the whole story. The relationship between the school teachers, the school board and administration continues to suffer at the hands of the Pro-Walker Janesville Gazette, while the propaganda machine pummels the local teachers union with anonymous sources in their weekly "news" articles and Sound Off column.

Last year, I wrote that the Gazette and their political base was closing in on victory after a decades old local "cleansing" campaign against living wages, decent benefits and organized employee unions. In their view, the school teachers collective bargaining power is hopefully the final remnant of any leverage the working and middle class might strive for in Janesville. With the Walker union-busting budget, that battle is nearly over. The more anger they manufactured against taxpayer supported public employee wage and benefits - the better for their agenda. Taxes are bad. Taxes pay for government­. Government is bad. Government enables the people and everyone knows we can't have that.

Over the past few months, Bliss Com, the Gazette and their affiliates have started to soft-pedal their GOP politics and anti-union rhetoric a little. They cut loose the bomb-throwing Dan Conry from WCLO while the Ayn Rand worshipping Janesville Messenger appears, for the moment at least, to have halted their vicious attacks against Democrats and have embarked on a phony community outreach campaign all in the name of making amends towards compromise and bi-partisanship. It's too late. Besides, before compromise can be reached on genuine bi-partisan proposals - many reversals would be in order first.

It is as if they are all taking their marching orders directly from Scott Walker himself. They know the tide is changing and they don't want to lose any of the gains they've made on the working poor and middle-class.

This tells me more than ever before that ...this is our time.


Walker increased spending by $1.1 billion, property taxes are projected to rise an average of 2.6% while communities are shortchanged.

Ryan Repeatedly Attempted Rewarding Campaign Contributors With Loopholes. Mere Coincidence?

This is a series of excerpts from the Huffington Post article, Paul Ryan Tries To Create Tax Loopholes For His Biggest Donors reposted here for archival purposes.

CONTRIBUTION - S.C. Johnson & Son, one of Ryan's biggest donors [...] is based in Ryan's district and manufactures popular cleaning products like Pledge and Windex, donated $41,092 to the congressman between 1998 and 2012, according to

ATTEMPTED PAYBACK - Ryan introduced two bills in May 2005 that would have granted the company special exemptions from tariffs. Specifically, his bills sought to suspend duties for imported components of "unique air freshener products … assembled by S.C. Johnson in the United States," Ryan said during floor remarks at the time.

ATTEMPTED PAYBACK - A year later, Ryan put forward another bill to reduce the duty on S.C. Johnson cleaning appliances "capable of dispensing cleaning solution into a tub or shower enclosure using a button-activated, battery-powered piston pump controlled by a microchip."

CONTRIBUTION - Ryan [...] was a member of Delta Tau Delta and, in 2004, received the fraternity's alumni achievement award. A year later, Fraternity & Sorority PAC began giving donations to Ryan that, by 2010, totaled $24,500, according to

ATTEMPTED PAYBACK - During those same years, Ryan sponsored or cosponsored three bills that would have allowed college fraternities and sororities to accept tax-deductible charitable contributions for the construction of more housing.

CONTRIBUTION - The National Wholesalers Association, his second biggest contributor, gave him more than $72,000 between 1998 and 2010, according to

ATTEMPTED PAYBACK - During those years, Ryan cosponsored five bills to cut taxes for beer brewers, reduce beer taxes to pre-1991 levels and repeal occupational taxes relating to distilled spirits, wine and beer.

At the same time...

Ryan has also opposed efforts to close offshore tax loopholes. He voted against an amendment in 2006 that would have barred funding for contracts with U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid paying U.S. taxes. In 2004, he opposed an amendment that would have prohibited the Export-Import Bank from approving direct loans to U.S. companies incorporated offshore to avoid U.S. taxes.

Read full HP story here.


Democurmudgeon - When Loop holes get government out of the way they’re "pro-growth" reforms, according to Paul Ryan.

Of course! When Ryan proposes tax loopholes and less government oversight. Those are pro-growth reforms and jobs creating incentives. But if Democrats proposed the same, that's crony capitalism and government corruption.

Fox4KC Excerpt:
Bill Black, an economics professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City says the rich have been given so many breaks that their taxes are now about one-fifth or one-sixth of what they once were.

Monday, August 22, 2011

GOP Star Paul Ryan Is On Vacation

Read about Paul Ryan and hammocks here.

After working tirelessly on a ideological-based calculation to create the largest government subsidy in the history of the world and turn over trillions more in guaranteed Social Security payroll taxes to the whims of Wall Street hedge fund managers while cutting taxes for the wealthy and cash-bloated corporations, the ayndrogynous Paul Ryan is now resting comfortably during his summer break vacation.

Democurmudgeon Excerpt:
(Reposted at The Paul Ryan Watch)
Rep. Paul Ryan has decided during this hot "climate change" summer, he doesn't have to hold any more of those pesky, loud and negatively covered free town halls. And if he’s does schedule one, you’re charged $15 bucks for a catered meal. You must buy the food to attend.

That didn't sit too well with about 100 constituents who picketed his Kenosha office last week Thursday. As reported through several sources, during the protest about half a dozen unemployed protesters entered the offices and refused to leave until they were granted an audience. Ryan staffers ended up calling the police. According to the report, they rioting moochers, union thugs and hecklers left peaceably. No members of Ryan's staff were arrested.

Dane 101 Excerpt:
In an attempt to schedule a personal visit with the man who represents me to congress I sent him an email explaining how I wanted to talk with him about his job creation policies. I went on to explain how I wanted to share with him how his decisions are negatively affecting my ability to provide stability to my family. I use to make $42,000 a year, I can’t find a job offer over $10 an hour now…

He emailed me back, an automated response of course, stating how busy he is during his August recess and how he will not have time to take my appointment, but I am welcome to join a conference call at the end of the month.

Huff Post Excerpt:
Ryan has boasted that he hosted lots of town hall meetings during the summer recess of 2009.

"I had 17 and shattered attendance records at my town halls," Ryan said during an appearance on MSNBC.

Ryan's position now seems to be that since he had 17 townhalls during his hyper-partisan demagoguery tour in 2009 targeting Obama and health care reform, it's your tough luck that you haven't found a good paying job in the district since. He's certainly not going to allow constituents, rightfully upset with his class war legislation and district joblessness, treat him with the same respect he treated Obama. He's got an election to win.


Wisconsin Jobs Now coverage of district's job crisis.

Youtube video of protesters.

The Paul Ryan Watch follow-up on Ryan's absence.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Justice Lacks Judgment To Recuse Himself. Asks Litigants Opinion

What is wrong with this picture?

Madison - Supreme Court Justice David Prosser asked the parties in a lawsuit over campaign finance rules Thursday whether he should recuse himself, saying he could be impartial but acknowledging some legal experts who had said he should pull out.

Why not ask the parties in the lawsuit how he should rule on the case before it comes to trial too? Is Prosser mentally stable?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rip Rap

Pro-Ryan letter writer says future generations would be hurt under his plan.

"Ryan has proposed a fix to the Medicare program so future generations will be able to participate in it and no one older than 55 would be hurt." -- K.P., Franksville (Janesville Gazette)

Pope Decries Profits over people.

"Man must be at the center of the economy, and the economy cannot be measured only by maximization of profit but rather according to the common good."

Click here to stand with Warren Buffett and demand the tax cuts on the rich be rolled back.

Jon Stewart On Warren Buffett

For those who have been too busy hating to notice

For those who insist that Obama did not produce a budget, click here.

Here's another great big lie - that Paul Ryan has the only plan out there. The Progressive Congressional Caucus developed a gutsy budget proposal that balances the budget through a blend of higher taxes and cuts to discretionary spending and defense. Click here for more.

What would Molly Ivins Say About Rick Perry?

Another good read.
It ain’t called disaster capitalism for nothing

Koch Brothers Exposed
The goal is wealth transfer -- from the public sector to the private sector through privatization of the school systems. But first you must systematically tear down the system, defund and legitimatize it, blame the parents, the teachers, the unions -- and then you have opened the door for "the solution," which is to bring in the corporations to run things using a "business model." It is all about greed and nothing about education. And it appears to be working.

Despite vicious attacks and misinformation campaigns against unions, they're still trusted more than mainstream media, Congress and Wall Street.

Cepeda Excerpt:
A February 2010 Harris poll found that the public had about as little confidence in organized labor as they did in the mainstream media and big business -- only a few points above Wall Street and Congress.

Anders Breivik Holds “Savior” Mentality Common In Mainstream American Conservatives

Breivik's lawyer has said he has confessed to the terror attacks, but denies criminal guilt because he believes the massacre was necessary to save Norway and Europe from Muslims and punish politicians who have embraced multiculturalism.

Remembering when Ryan thought the debt was too small

Where should I begin? Just to keep this in the modern era, I'd say with heavy military action imminent immediately following 9/11, the Bush administration should have raised taxes to at least pay for the war effort. They did not. Instead, they went in the opposite direction and cut taxes.

In the beginning, Bush himself thought a tax cut for the wealthy was out of order but went along with it after being convinced that deficits don't matter. They took a CBO projected $6 trillion surplus and turned it into a $6 trillion deficit. It took a $12 trillion spending spree to accomplish that reversal! But at that time, Rep. Paul Ryan felt that in order to cut down on the projected surplus, the Bush tax cuts must be made even deeper. Remember too that Ryan strongly believes in voodoo economics. That tax cuts generate more revenue but somewhere along the Laffer Curve he felt if the Bush tax cuts were made even deeper than suggested, the surplus projected would be less large. Ryan's main fear was that if the too large surplus was not eliminated, the government would pay off the entire national debt and start buying up private industry. Really, this is not a joke.

Keep in mind Ryan is now the House Budget Chairman.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fitzwalkerstan Loses 12,500 Private Sector Jobs in July

Fitzwalkerstan's unemployment numbers continue to rise in a free fall under the leadership of Scott Walker.

Government Creates 4,300 Jobs

JS Online Excerpt:
The government sector, which includes state and local public agencies, added 4,300 jobs. And so the cumulative loss of non-farm jobs in July amounted to 8,200.

The state's unemployment rate rose to 7.8% from 7.6% in June. All the figures are seasonally adjusted.

Points to Default Threat By Congress For Job Loss

JS Online Excerpt:
"Wisconsin is not immune to the national economic slowdown this summer, and we are seeing the effects of the national economy in our July numbers," Department of Workforce Development Secretary Scott Baumbach said in a statement. "The wild market fluctuations during the debt ceiling negotiations, the European debt crisis and other factors contributed to a great deal of uncertainty, which may very well have affected Wisconsin's job numbers given our state's ties to the national economy."

National unemployment rate drops from 9.2% to 9.1% over the same period of time.

Would Democrats Gaining The Senate Taken The Steam Out Of Walker's Recall?

It's possible. I'm certainly not speaking for anyone other than myself, but just throwing that thought out there. Obviously, most Wisconsinites are not comfortable with heavy-handed one-party rule, particularly even more so governed by the party that advocates "no compromise." But knowing the inherent check-and-balance nature of good government Democrats and Progressives, there may have been the possibility that a sense of relief and/or satisfaction would have released some of the pressure to recall Walker had Democrats taken the Senate.

Instead, his recall now seems even more inevitable.

WaPo Blog - Walker’s recall remains goal for Wisconsin Democrats

United Wisconsin - Walker Recall

Scott Walker Watch - Recall Petition

Wealthy Republicans: We Want It All

Shared by a reader, I too thought this piece written by Paul Fanlund (Cap Times) was simply superb.

Beginning with the billionaire Wryly brothers for using offshore havens to hide more than $500 million in profits from insider stock trading, to showing how Wyly's activism exemplifies how some of the wealthiest among us are obsessed with buying influence to further shake off tax and regulatory constraints, to showing how Conservative (GOP) tacticians have worked to dismantle Wisconsin's progressive tradition through slanting future elections by destroying unions, distorting political boundaries and suppressing voter turnouts.

Fanlund asks why? And what more do they want?

Read more here

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Video: Scott Fitzgerald Fears More Recalls - Signals GOP Disappointment

Unable to defeat even one Democrat recalled, Fitzgerald acknowledged disappointment and believes his party supporters are not embracing the idea of more recalls.

Paul Ryan: Running and Hiding

According to the latest on Rep. Paul Ryan, you'll have to pay $15 to get the chance to ask him a question in person during the August congressional recess.

Ryan's absence in official face-to-face townhalls during this break is significant because he is the architect of the legislative gimmick gutting Medicare and other vital programs while protecting tax breaks for millionaires and corporations. Yet, he recently said the public needs to be better educated about his proposal. How does he propose to do that without townhalls? I suppose he feels his constituents are little more than an angry mob of illiterates.

But this reminds of the time when Sen. Herb Kohl scheduled a private meeting with the Rotary Club to discuss education appropriations for Blackhawk Technical College in Janesville back in 2009. I bring this up because although Kohl's meeting was closed to the public, the event was not billed as a townhall nor was it a pay-to-attend event. It was a pre-scheduled luncheon the senator was sharing with existing Rotary Club members. You couldn't pay to get in.

Even with the private restrictions surrounding Kohl's invite, the Janesville Gazette mischaracterized Kohl's luncheon as a discussion on the contentious healthcare reform bill. The newspaper made no mention whether it was an open or closed meeting. When constituents arrived at the door to attend, they were told it was a closed meeting - they were rightfully furious.

Excerpt: (Aug, 2009)
“We have a right to hear. We have a right to petition our government,” Al Teal said.

The Rotary Club in Janesville eventually opened the doors to accommodate as many constituents as safely possible. Sen. Kohl quickly recognized the mix-up and went into townhall mode fielding questions from the crowd.

In contrast, Ryan's Rotary Club event is not billed as a private membership-only club luncheon but as an event inviting the general public and charging $15 a head to hear the antagonizing congressman talk about budget issues over a meal of meat and potatoes. Big difference!

The Whitnall Park Rotary Club even touts Ryan's "Path to Prosperity" in their Web presentation of the event and bills it as a plan to spur job creation and to lift the burden of debt.

By outsourcing congressional townhall events to third party control with registration sign-up and an entry fee, Ryan can eliminate most of the "riffraff" while still allowing reporters and TV cameras in for a positive local story. This is beginning to look like a fully choreographed campaign stunt.

This outrageous offensive to restrict public contact is about as wishy-washy as everything else Paul Ryan says and does. Is his health care plan for seniors a voucher? A coupon program? Premium support or a subsidy for Big Insurance? Likewise, is this a private luncheon? A townhall meeting? A pay-per-view event or a campaign fundraiser? What is it?

On a separate note: Look to the video in the left sidebar and listen to Randi Rhodes reduce a Tea Party hack into a babbling buffoon over the influence of money in government. Lots of talking points. Check it out!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Wisconsin Democrats Survive Recalls, Defeat Tea Party

Will the corporate mainstream press write up Tuesday's Democratic wins as victories over Scott Walker's class war budget repair bill and a final vindication for the 14 Dems standing up for the wishes of their district constituency? Somehow I doubt it.

If they can factitiously write up Democrats taking two legislative seats away from Republican's during the last recall election as vindication for Walker and a victory over labor unions, certainly they have the wild imagination to rewrite this one as well. What are they paid to spin around this time?

If Walker loses 2 out of every 6 GOP districts that he carried during the General Election, he will lose in a landslide during his recall. I realize that's a big "if" but the recall process is looking better with each passing day.

JS Online Excerpt

District 22 - 100% Reporting
Wirch Dem 25,541 58%
Steitz GOP 18,838 42%

District 12 - 79% Reporting
Holperin Dem 23,756 54%
Simac GOP 20,150 46%

Prent Corp - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry - Changing The Way We Do Business

Prent Corp.
Owner: Joe Pregont
Prent is connected at the hip with (Walker $1,000) GOEX. Dependable political contributor donating exclusively to Republican candidates since 1991. Delivered $5,000 to Scott Walker, $500 each to JB Van Hollen and Joe Knilans.

Political Contributions: (Post 2008 election cycle)
REPUBLICAN $6,000 ($25,600 since 1991)

Rating: FJ$ (8/16/11) LEGEND

Monday, August 15, 2011

Buffett: Stop Coddling The Super-Rich

Reuters Excerpt:
Billionaire Warren Buffett urged U.S. lawmakers to raise taxes on the country's super-rich to help cut the budget deficit, saying such a move will not hurt investments.

"My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress. It's time for our government to get serious about shared sacrifice," The 80-year-old "Oracle of Omaha" wrote in an opinion article in The New York Times.

"I have worked with investors for 60 years and I have yet to see anyone - not even when capital gains rates were 39.9 percent in 1976-77 - shy away from a sensible investment because of the tax rate on the potential gain," -- Warren Buffett

Forbes tries to downplay Buffett's editorial by claiming he left out the effect of Berkshire Hathaway corporate taxes. Buffett was clear that he was addressing his individual income and payroll tax.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Is David Prosser A Bagman For Attorney/Client group?

JS Online Excerpt:
A Philadelphia philanthropist and his wife gave Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser $100,000 this spring for his recount effort, and three others gave a combined $100,000, records show..........[...]...........More than $75,000 went to the Troupis Law Office, which is headed by Jim Troupis and has a major First Amendment case before the court Prosser sits on.............[...]...........Troupis, one of the key attorneys for Prosser's recount, is representing tea party groups and other conservatives in a case they brought last year to halt state regulations on political speech. The case will be argued before the court on Sept. 6.

Whatever you do ...don't connect the dots.

Impossible to make this stuff up.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Romney: Corporations Are People. What about Unions?

Watching this video of Mitt Romney shilling for corporations offers the chance to see if his statement can hold up to rhetorical substitution.

Romney: Corporations are People

Why not substitute government for corporation? Government is people! Of course it is. Everything government spends ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes? In whose pockets? Government of the people, for the people and by the people. People’s pockets! There you go.

When somebody says they want to redefine what government is and does, they really mean that they want to redefine what people are and do.

What about unions? Unions are people! Of course they are. Everything unions do and spend ultimately goes to people. Where do you think it goes? In whose pockets? People’s pockets! Unions are people too.

If corporations are defined as people as per Romney's explanation or even the Citizens United ruling - then so are labor unions and political parties. Scott Walker then discriminated against union people and people's rights with his class war budget bill.

This "corporations are people" comment by the well-oiled mitt is growing legs. Sarah Palin agrees with Romney and Rand Paul takes it into Galt's Gulch with We are all corporations!!

Two Worthy Actions On The Radar Screen

Take Action to Stop the Cycle of Election Fraud in Waukesha County!

Wisconsin Wave

During the Tuesday, August 9th recall elections serious questions were raised about the integrity of the electoral process in Waukesha County. While not as startling as the violations that occurred during the Supreme Court race last spring, these reports of voter suppression, intimidation, and results tampering continue a longtime trend and are alarming enough to require immediate attention.

Please call Eric Holder at 202-514-2000 or email him at

Tell him that only an independent, federal investigation can determine whether or not there were fair elections in Waukesha County on August 9th and in past elections. Will you take action on this issue today?

More information here.

Rebuild the American Dream

Momentum is already gathering behind the Contract. Yesterday, joined by 100 members of the American Dream movement, Rep. Jan Schakowsky unveiled her "Emergency Jobs to Restore the American Dream Act" in Chicago. It would create 2.2 million jobs by putting people to work rebuilding infrastructure, teaching our children, and protecting our communities, and pay for it by taxing millionaires and billionaires.


Click here to show your support for this proposal.

Americans who are willing to work hard and play by the rules should be able to find a decent job, get a good home in a strong community, retire with dignity and give their kids a better life. Every one of us...has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That is our covenant, our compact and our contract with one another...

1. Invest in America's Infrastructure
2. Create 21st-Century Energy Jobs
3. Invest in Public Education
4. Offer Medicare for All
5. Make Work Pay
6. Secure Social Security
7. Return to Fairer Tax Rates
8. End the Wars and Invest at Home
9. Tax Wall Street Speculation
10. Strengthen Democracy

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Scott Walker Wants Bi-partisanship? That's Rich

Here's a cream puff by the Journal Sentinel claiming Scott Walker wants bi-partisanship.

Scott Walker wants bi-partisanship? Is that before or after he breaks Wisconsin in half with a class war budget and only days ago signs on to a highly divisive and hyperpartisan redistricting map? After he is finished kicking the working poor and middle-class in the face, why doesn't he have them all arrested for getting their face in the way of his boot? Why the apparent act of congeniality now? Because Republicans know momentum and history are on our side.

Wisconsin won't be scott free until Walker is kicked out of office.

All Six Republicans Appointed To Super Congress Committee Are Norquist Pledgers

The so-called "super" congressional committee appointed to achieve a bipartisan and balanced approach for driving down the nation's long term debt has been poisoned with Grover Norquist ideologues.

Think Progress Excerpt:
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today their picks for the fiscal super committee created by the debt ceiling deal, naming Sens. Jon Kyl (AZ), Pat Toomey (PA), Rob Portman (OH), and Reps. Jeb Hensarling (TX), Dave Camp (MI), and Fred Upton (MI) to the body.

All six Republicans have superseded their oath of office with a pledge to Grover Norquist never to raise tax revenue for any reason under any circumstances. All but 13 Republicans in Congress (Senate and House) have signed the pledge.

Pledge Signers

Politico falsely assumes, Super Committee lineup gives hope for deal.

Tea Party Induced Stock Market Crash A Paul Ryan Downgrade

Give "Capper" at Cognitive Dissidence the credit through all the other distractions for noticing the troubling relationship between the recent Tea Party/S&P driven stock market dive and Paul Ryan's scheme to shift SS payroll taxes to the highly volatile investment markets. That the markets have proven to be susceptible to congressional brinksmanship and political posturing makes it even less the infallible pillar of trust that is crucial to its existence.

Cognitive Dissidence Excerpt:

You will remember that Ryan, the Republicans' shining star, has, as a key part of his budget from hell, privatizing Social Security and allowing people to invest it in the stock market themselves [...]Even the bullheaded Ryan has to realize that only the extreme lunatic fringe would want to invest their retirement into the market right now. Read more here.

Or invest even a year or two ago. That's twice in the past three years and three times over the past ten years that stock market volatility has eaten away at modest gains. These are precisely the economic times Social Security was meant to protect vulnerable seniors from.

If I recall accurately here, Ryan's Social Security proposal guarantees recipients a return equivalent to a minimum standard SS benefit which means that during times like these, not only would participants lose hard-earned dollars to the profit-takers on Wall Street but government will also have to go into more debt and borrow to restore minimum guaranteed benefits. Under this scenario, Ryan's proposal transforms Social Security into a generous subsidy for private investment firms. But with losses like these, its participants would find themselves enrolled in little more than a welfare program.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Republicans Lose Two Seats In Recall

It would have been nice if the results were one district better, but this still was a phenomenal victory for Democrats considering all six districts were republican strongholds.

Incumbents don't "win" recalls, they can only survive them or lose.

With Democrats taking two state senate seats from Republicans, that’s two seats more that they didn’t have before the recall election. Job well done! This particular selection of districts for recall however was very challenging and an uphill battle from the beginning for the working class. I suggest any near-future legislative recalls should be attempted in districts where the voters have plenty of buyer’s remorse like in the three (pre-redistricting) assembly districts in Rock County occupied by Joe Knilans, Evan Wynn and Amy Loudenbeck.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Bittersweet. Dems take Two. Walkersha County Strikes Again!

With Pasch slightly ahead and all votes counted and tallied from other counties, Waukesha County officials claim they need an extra hour to report results. They're special.

As of 12:27 AM, they were reporting only 84% of the vote. Darling taking the lead 34,840 votes (54%) to Pasch 29,821 votes (46%).

Journal Sentinel Results are split Both sides see victories in hard-fought contests

Ed Show In Madison - Recall Watch Party In Janesville

This is it! Karl Rove against America. Scott Walker against the working poor and middle-class. Americans for Prosperity against American society. ALEC against clean government. Citizens United against the people's democracy. The Koch Brothers against the State of Wisconsin. The Tea Party against ... well, normal sane people.

Watch the Ed Show Intro:


Everyone welcome!

Tuesday, August 9 · 8:00pm - 11:00pm
Time Out Pub & Eatery
101 E. Milwaukee St. Janesville

Created By Lisa Buening Sheldon
Watch the election results!

S&P Joins In On Scaremongering Brinksmanship They Decry

Downgrading the U.S. credit rating and offering their reasons is one thing. But now the S&P is engaging in "IF" ultimatums and remedies the U.S. must take otherwise face a further downgrade? I think this is dangerous talk economically speaking, even if they are carrying water for republicans.

Politico Excerpt:
If the fiscal position of the United States deteriorates further, or if the political gridlock becomes more entrenched, then that could lead to a downgrade," John Chambers said on ABC's "This Week."

These republican-like scaremongering tactics add much credence to the mounting evidence that the downgrade was a conscious political strategy by the agency to damage Obama in exchange for political favors.

What is interesting though in S&P's downgrade report is they believe that because Republicans pledged to never raise tax revenue, the Bush tax cuts will likely NOT expire at the end of 2012 but instead be renewed. This is the key explanation to their long-term outlook remaining negative. No revenue.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Democracy: It's in Your Hands

The foundation of Wisconsin, it's people, awoke democracy from it's brief slumber this year. In past years, many had dismissed their personal responsibility. Some had placed blame for state troubles upon others exonerating their own inattentiveness.

Many are inclined to look at elected representatives saying, "It's their fault" rather than turn to the mirror and realize, "Hey! It's my fault!" Elections are consistently treated like popularity contests with attention to attractiveness in the media and an unquestioning belief in what is sold to us rather than taking the time to examine difficult issues, challenge what is presented, ask the right questions, and openly share with others. Widespread apathy and denial of personal responsibility may explain the present disfunction of government at all levels because, we the people, are the democracy we crave.

Democracy is a political system that begins and is nourished at the individual. It requires us to be individually responsible for being informed about public policy at all levels. It stipulates participation in the civic process. It demands we be tolerant and selfless for the common good.

Democracy calls us all to work toward mutual benefits; to work for unity while respecting differing values and opinions, and preserving the fundamental rights of individuals under our state and federal Constitutions while we practicing tolerance on an unprecedented, unlimited scale.

Democracy dictates nonviolent conflict resolution in a secular sphere where each and everyone is respected. It invites civility in exchanges on public issues where uncompromising fanaticism only discredits and debases intent. Personal responsibility is at the heart of long and stable democratic societies.

I first volunteered for political campaigns before I was eligible to vote. For nearly 40 years while my family relocated through 5 different counties within 2 neighboring states, I served consecutively as an elected political party officer in 4 different positions. My most recent office in Rock County was held for over 20 years. Resigning once, I came out of retirement for yet another 11 years when no one else stepped forward to do the necessary tasks. For far too long, too many have shirked their own role in keeping our democracy a vibrant, living philosophy always expecting "someone else" would just "do it".

In 2010, Wisconsin fell to an omniscient situation; a singularly bought-and-paid-for political ideology that culminated with those in power telling us they knew all that was needed to justify themselves and their actions no matter how it was destroying everything that defined the Wisconsin we love. The people of Wisconsin witnessed the integrity of our state damaged beyond recognition through unlimited corruption, and many political leaders lost all credibility. Legislation is now shaped by the highest bidder rather than by social need, accountability is compromised and totally ineffective, the justice system has been sold and politically manipulated, and most dire, in spite of all their numbers the citizenry remained too weak and ineffectual to check those causing the devastation.

The people know this is NOT what democracy looks like.

In our hearts, we know the political, religious, and economic freedoms provided to American citizens coexist with our promise to be responsible with active civic participation to safeguard those rights for ourselves as well as future generations. When the electorate is not paying attention, not participating, and not making informed choices, they reap the consequences. It took the demise of so much Wisconsin had always valued losing all we held near and dear, for the devastating consequences of inaction to stir many into personal involvement.

If we shy away from public discourse about "touchy" political topics, how will we really know one another to build a strong commonality? If we're fearful of creating controversy, how can we move forward with the truly good and unique ideas that would otherwise die from neglect and want of champions. If we retreat from action, how will future leaders be discovered and ascend?

The call has now gone out for individual responsibility where different ideas, different approaches, and different preferences replace all the apathy. Wisconsin is still a place where we all have a voice that is not just heard but welcomed by the people even if those currently seated in power still refuse to listen.

Labels of liberal or conservative are inclusive but certainly not exclusive when it comes to participation for the collective good. Do not let the cognitive dissonance of those in positions of power reign unchallenged as they tell you what you should think, believe and do. One person CAN change the world but it's far easier and much more fun when there are more sharing the many tasks. Everything you do affects our mutual world, and you, yourself, are responsible. You cannot say it wasn't your fault if you weren't participating. If you weren't paying attention, your languor was a factor.

We will only be able to restore and revive legitimate Wisconsin governance through shared participation developing relationships of common understanding, trust and collective commitment. These are not just "wants" but prerequisites to a functional democracy.

We have seen unbelievable and even miraculous citizen heroism in recent months but preemptive involvement by more people may have prevented our current challenges. Democracy has never been self-sustaining. Your participation is required to restore the best of Wisconsin's honest, transparent, and much revered heritage. It is our duty to make sure the vibrancy and vitality of democracy continues unrestricted and celebrated joyously.

Your choices today will have consequences tomorrow for democracy is, and always has been, a work in progress. In spite of whatever your level of involvement, you are a most important person in our world and how you act either reinforces or diminishes how we are all governed in Wisconsin. It either assists those who are already active or it places your share of duties upon them. Whether it be through philanthropic service, through civic development projects, by social enrichment endeavors, or even simply by staying informed and educating others, choose your task and engage it.

Do not let the Wisconsin’s forward momentum drift and die by neglect. Democracy is in our hands. It’s future and vigor is depending upon you.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Reporter Dares Question Paul Ryan About His Budget Plan

Al Jazeera recently launched a program called Fault Lines, a half hour long news program that analyzes the political and economic divide, the "Fault Lines" that run through the world.

This week they released an episode focusing on "The Top 1%" which explores the growing wealth gap in the United States that has expanded by leaps and bounds over the last 30 years. It asks "How did the gap grow so wide, and so quickly?

Dane 101 Excerpt:

(Reporter's Perfectly Reasonable Questions Were Rude)

Wisconsin's very own Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, makes an appearance in the episode when the discussion turns to his budget plan. When the Al Jazeera reporter asks Ryan if his plan is undemocratic "given the fact the majority of American people oppose cuts to so-called entitlement spending" and "why he won't talk about tax burden for the richest in the country given the fact that wealth is so concentrated?" The reporter said the only answer Ryan gave was her "questions were rude."

In the video excerpt below, watch for Ryan's pompously smirky response to the reporter's question:

Watch full (25 minutes) "Fault Lines" episode here.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Republican Congress Signals Shrinkage - S&P Downgrades U.S.

The handwriting was on the wall.

Some excerpts from the S&P statement:

Think Progress Excerpt:

[...]The political brinksmanship of recent months highlights what we see as America’s governance and policymaking becoming less stable, less effective, and less predictable than what we previously believed. The statutory debt ceiling and the threat of default have become political bargaining chips in the debate over fiscal policy.

[...]It appears that for now, new revenues have dropped down on the menu of policy options.

[...]The act contains no measures to raise taxes or otherwise enhance revenues, though the committee could recommend them.

[...]Compared with previous projections, our revised base case scenario now assumes that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, due to expire by the end of 2012, remain in place. We have changed our assumption on this because the majority of Republicans in Congress continue to resist any measure that would raise revenues, a position we believe Congress reinforced by passing the act.

This is a damning indictment of the ideological calculator Republicans and their Tea Party mutants signed up for when they superceded their oath of office by pledging to nitwit norquist never to raise tax revenues under any circumstances. The message is clear to the S&P. Why can’t others see it?

As long as these sloven miscreants remain uncompromising on tax revenues, the outlook on the long-term rating will remain negative. The more they cut spending, the more they signal shrinkage. Like everything else lacking in government today, we needed a "balanced approach" of cuts and revenue for growth and to get the budget and debt on solid footing.

Michael Moore was right. America is awash in money. Even the S&P knew we had to start pumping it out of areas that are beyond floodstage in order to wet the seeds of job growth laying in drought.

Rock County Factory Farm Applying For Disaster Area Bonds

Faced with rejection through a town referendum, the factory farm setting up shop on the eastern edge of Rock County shifted financing away from the town and instead applied for bonds through the Public Finance Authority. The issuance of these bonds are not subject to referendum.

JG Excerpt:

Tuls is seeking up to $15.6 million in Midwest Disaster Area Bonds. The project qualifies because Rock County was declared a disaster area after substantial flooding in 2008. Tuls was not affected, but the bonds are intended as an economic development tool to replace lost tax base, Sabatke said.

That's a strange way of putting it afterall, won't the area qualify for federal disaster aid only AFTER the factory farm is up and running?

Rock River Times Mega-dairy Dangers:
Another suggestion: if you live within two or three miles of a mega-dairy (or where the animal wastes will be applied to fields, it’s very important to develop a baseline test for your water quality BEFORE the mega-dairy starts up and the wastes are land-spread. Without a prior water-quality baseline, any legal claims seeking damages compensation for debased water quality will be very hard to collect. Wisely, there ought to be a concerned environmental group that could advise citizens what to test for … and, better yet … find a qualified laboratory that would offer significant group discounts.

Adams County - Family Farm Defenders files lawsuit to Stop Proposed Mega-Dairy (Adams County)

Friday, August 05, 2011

'Jobs Not Cuts' Rally Set For Paul Ryan's Janesville Office

Make it a full day in J'ville! Rally at noon then potluck picnic 4-9 (6pm food, 7pm speakers) at Riverside Park, North Pavillion).

While Congress embarks on another August recess, many in Paul Ryan's district have been looking for work since the LAST August recess; or longer. We need good paying jobs, jobs where the weekly take home pay exceeds the price of a bottle of Paul Ryan's favorite wine. On August 10th we'll go to his Janesville office and ask, "Where are the Jobs?"

"Jobs Not Cuts" Rally

Congressman Ryan's District Office, 20 S. Main St. (Map)

Janesville, WI 53545

Wednesday, August 10th, 12:00 PM

Sign up here for event.

From Chuck Ogg, Rock County Progressives

Republicans and Tea Party Using Disaster Capitalism To Ram Agenda

“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it's an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -- Rahm Emanuel

The recent debt-ceiling deal shows that Republicans and Tea Party Randroids have taken Rahm’s quote and made it their own – with a cherry on top.

When I look back at TARP through the lense of today's GOP operators in the debt deal, Democrats had a golden opportunity to use the Wall Street crisis as a hostage by demanding a ransom – the ransom being the raising of the income cap on Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes to the level of the annual salaries of congress – around $175,000. With the additional boost in participants, they could have also reduced the payroll tax by a half point or so. They did not. Apparently, taking ultimate advantage of a poor situation is not in our DNA. One way or another, TARP just like the debt-ceiling crisis, was going to be approved. It was just a matter if anyone cared about not letting a good crisis go to waste.

Instead, Democrats tackled that one crisis issue of TARP head-on and never once thought about Rahm’s rule. The most Obama was able to get out of the deal was his using of TARP funds to save hundreds of thousands of middle-class American jobs by reinvesting in a restructured GM and Chrysler. But that was not part of the original deal to get the votes to pass TARP. TARP passed under Bush, and Obama never really took a hostage in exchange to save GM.

The public got its first taste of discernible republican "disaster capitalism" or shock politics in December of 2010. Obama was skewered and cooked when he attempted to re-instate the unemployment compensation extension and raise tax revenues by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire. After the ransom was paid on that deal, Republicans wound up keeping the Bush tax cuts while handing Obama a dead and mutilated hostage worth about a NEGATIVE $900 billion over two years.

Now enter the next big national crisis.

Irresponsible Republicans took what should have been an informal increase in the debt ceiling limit, an event that has occurred routinely for decades and seven times under GW Bush, and turned it into a crisis threatening the nation’s ability to pay its bills. Instead of demanding Congress pass a one-page debt ceiling hike through 2012, Obama played along with their charade and attempted to corner the rigid Republicans into a compromise offering even deeper spending cuts for a slight tax revenue increase. No way would Republicans go for that since almost all them have superseded their oath of office with a pledge to one man, Grover Norquist, to never raise taxes. Ever.

In the end and yet again, Obama "compromised" with himself and shot the tax revenue increase ransom in the head while the terrorists released the hostage (debt-ceiling increase) in exchange for cutting trillions in active tax revenue dollars out of the U.S economy.

On two recent occasions now Republicans have brought the entire country down to the lowest common denominator, the potential for catastrophic shock, to achieve their goal. After the dust cleared, Obama leaves me scratching my head wondering if he's the inside man for them.

I totally agree with the observation that Republicans have mastered the art of political terrorism. They are not working for the good of the country, instead they are gauging the enemies weakness and strengths (anybody who opposes them) to formulate a legislative hostage/ransom plan to push through an ideological agenda. They know what the next hostage looks like and they know what the ransom demands will be. All they need is a crisis, or the framework to fabricate one. The problem is – do the Democrats even understand what’s going on? Asking whether they are fully prepared to repel this dastardly scheme seems like a punchline for a cruel joke.

Pelosi vows Dems won't get rolled again. Thanks for the boost in confidence.

Confirmation Of Disaster Capitalism Shock Politics - QUOTE

“The lesson from the debt ceiling brinksmanship is that it worked. I think some of our members may have thought the default issue was a hostage worth shooting. Most of us didn’t think that, what we did learn is this – it’s a hostage that’s worth ransoming. And it focuses the congress on something what must be done” – Sen. Mitch McConnell Republican Senate Minority Hostage Taker.

Here's yet another spin-off of Rahm's quote being expertly explained by Kimberly-Clark's CEO Thomas Falk at a recent Senate finance hearing. This video uploaded by the Democurmudgeon also noted that not one eye brow in the hearing room was raised. Disaster capitalism now appears to be the lay of the land.

It’s seems almost unconstitutional if not downright ludicrous to consider the idea of a “super committee” controlled by K street lobbyists to formulate government spending cuts, but I have to agree with Lawrence O’donnell on this one. On today's show he suggested any congressmen who signed a pledge never to raise tax revenue under any circumstances be barred from serving on the committee. That would leave only 13 Republicans who did not abandon their oath to their office.