Today is

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Walker's Wisconsin Falling Faster And Harder

According to this recently updated article, Wisconsin is ranked 44th in job growth. But even more unsettling is wages fell faster and harder than most of the nation. When ranked by the percentage change in all private-sector employment, Wisconsin ranked 45 out of 50 states.

Video: Brother Ali - Work Everyday

Work Everyday (Lyrics Excerpt)


People stressing here’s the question
How they get people drinking tea in a recession
It’s deception how absurd is this
How are so many poor people conservative?

A pro artist I put it in the good music
A con artist job’s to make you look stupid
Lookie here I’ll teach you how to look through it
First thing you need to know every con got a hook to it

They seduce you with a little wealth
Say you could have some of these crumbs for yourself
If the government doesn’t make us help anyone else
You stuck a red sign on your foreclosed house

Make you think you’re taking back your nation
Then they turn it over to a major corporation
Those companies took the jobs overseas
And you handed them the wallet out your pocket for free

More lyrics here.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Is Hardcore Walker Newspaper Beginning To Waver?

From a newspaper that endorsed the likes of Bush/Cheney, McCain/Palin, Scott Walker, David Prosser, J.B. Van Hollen, Paul Ryan, Ron Johnson, Romney/Ryan, Tommy Thompson, Ryan again, Walker again and Ryan, Walker, Ryan, Walker, Ryan, Walker …forever and ever, comes this little jab at Walker (and at themselves) in their endorsement of Tony Evers for State School Super.

Editorial excerpt:
Evers’ opponent in Tuesday’s election is state Rep. Don Pridemore, R-Hartford. He’s an extreme demagogue who sees nothing wrong with Walker’s budget plans.

Is the armor breaking? Are pigs flying?

But wait! A couple weeks ago, the Gazette was also miffed by Walker's crazy ass decree meant to pit casino tribes against each other by granting any one of them the power to veto any new off-reservation casino proposal in the state of Wisconsin.

Unable to show any leadership of his own and unwilling to take a position he would have to stand with at the next juncture, Walker continues to divide and conquer others for his own benefit. That's all he does and he does it well. But this time because it may effect the casino development in local Beloit and the Gazette's own personal pockets, the Gazette's editorial asked, "If Walker opposes casinos, why not simply say so?

You mean like if Walker opposed collective bargaining, why didn't he simply say so during his campaign in 2010? Yeah, if only we all knew. Well, it's a little late but better than never I suppose.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Janesville Administration Talking About a Different Economic Development Strategy?

In the aftermath of the sudden resignation by Janesville's director of economic development, the Janesville Gazette asked city officials why he will be receiving his normal salary until July 1, the effective date of his resignation. Let me repeat, "the effective date of his resignation."

With the absence of additional information about his employment contract and other "agreed to" stipulations at the time of the apparent mutual termination, the newspaper still tries to make hay of his continued salary. Oh well, that's what the Gazette does.

But one statement from the Assistant City Manager told of the city embarking on a different path for economic development. That should be big news.

JG Excerpt:
“We’re trying to move forward with economic development, and based on our strategies and what’s been accomplished in the past, we wanted to move forward in a different direction,” Winzenz said. “The decision was made to move in that direction, and in reaching that decision, Vic decided to resign his position.”

There are several issues here but I'll poke at just two of them. Who is "we" wanting to move in a new direction? The city manager who might be on his way out in a week or two? The city employee administration? The city council? It's possible I may have missed the council meeting or newspaper article announcing a change of this magnitude in the city's economic development, but I doubt it. It would have been a major story around town and since there is no mayor of Janesville or figurehead, they really should have explained who is calling the shots on this. But we don't have an independent newspaper that asks the tough questions either.

Secondly, what economic direction can be different than the one Janesville has been heading in for the past four years since after the GM Plant closed?

Don't get me wrong, this has the potential to be good news. Janesville and Rock County wage earning taxpayers have been held hostage by the tax-shifting legislative agenda of the politically active Forward Janesville and Rock County 5.0 business groups without creating any real new jobs. So any different path might be welcome.

Sure, some "connected" building owners and businesses have picked up tax credits and forgivable loans, but I have yet to see proof where those re-distributive tools were responsible for creating additional jobs. Now, when I hear the words "economic development" repeated by local officials, I think of the "elimination of democracy."

According to the story, city officials will be holding a strategy session with representatives of FJ and Rock County 5.0 in a couple weeks to define that "new" direction of the city’s economic development efforts. That could be very bad news as they could be doubling up on those failed trickle-down policies. So I'm not holding my breath.

On the other hand, I am forever the optimist. If there is any real truth to Janesville heading in a "different" direction from past strategies in economic development, I can't wait to hear more. Because if it's a strategy away from the currently administered development by elimination and away from the steady beat down of constituencies, this could be a positive new beginning. In that case, I would be one of the first to notice AND also one of their biggest boosters.

But again. I'm not holding my breath.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Will Paul Ryan's Local Supporters Demand, "Cut Us More!!"

The Janesville Gazette ...God bless their hearts ...already had two major articles about the possibility of the Rock County Airport being listed among the airports whose control tower could lose government funding as a result from federal sequestration cuts. Well the guessing game is over. On Friday, the FAA released their list and the Rock County tower is among eight Wisconsin contract towers scheduled for closure beginning on April 7th.

The Gazette did play into the fear game about public safety in their recent editorial mentioning how airplanes might fall from the sky as one reason why the flow of government funding must remain uninterrupted. Oh, and of course the tower's value to ...economic development. They want that tower to remain funded and open.

At least one commenter at the Gazette seemed to be as puzzled as I am over the newspaper's position on the spending cuts ...

Comment posted at Gazette:
Who did YOU vote for? The Gazette endorses Republicans by a wide majority. This is what you all want if you want the sequester (austerity) budget. Remember that the austerity budget is the starting basis for Ryan's budget with even much larger austerity measures to kick in. This is the budget the Republicans unanimously voted for. The Gazette strongly endorsed Ryan so I wonder if they will step up to the plate and take responsibility for helping to kill the economy in Janesville through their prediction is a pretty strong "NO - NOT ME".

That’s a home run in my book.

It's absolutely true. The folks running the Janesville Gazette, Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 are all fierce defenders and supporters of Rep. Paul Ryan, who not only was a key trigger man of the sequester, but whose own budget proposal is three times worse than the automatic cuts effecting the airport's control tower. Oh, never mind any of that. Sure, that's silly partisan stuff no one takes seriously, but the fact remains they endorsed Ryan for EVERYTHING in the last election.

BUT THERE THEY ARE jumping up and down over relatively small cuts that their rock star candidate insists isn't enough, but desperately need as a down payment for balanced budgets and to wean us off of government dependency. That's right, it's about upward mobility according to Paul Ryan AND Gov. Scott Walker. These bold spending cuts will result in strong economic growth, jobs and prosperity.

The hypocrisy from the so-called "spending is the problem" conservatives is simply mind-boggling. If they really do believe in themselves, why aren't they asking for more and deeper cuts right here on themselves? Don't be shy about the windfall of prosperity, we know you'll share it.


Think Progress - Economists Disagree With Paul Ryan’s Claim That ‘Debt Is Crushing Our Economy’

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Earth To Chairman Ryan ...Come in. Chairman Ryan

Congressman Xavier Becerra had this to say about Paul Ryan and his budget.

Politico Excerpt:
“Earth to Chairman Ryan. Come in, Chairman Ryan,” Becerra said at a press conference Tuesday. “Come back to Earth, because people want to get to work. People want to make sure that the earned benefits that they pay for are there for them when they finally need them, and I think what we have is a budget on the Democratic side that reflects the reality of people on earth.”

Ryan, who chairs the House Budget Committee, said he disagreed with Becerra on the characterization of his budget.

Surprisingly, Paul Ryan went on to say that the GOP wants the earthling vote too.

Isn't it time to send Ryan back to where he came from?


CapTimes - John Nichols: Paul Ryan? No, Congress should listen to Mark Pocan

AlterNet - Welcome To Ayn Rand Planet

USA Today - Ryan's Budget Narrowly Passes GOP-controlled House. No Democrats Voted For it

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Janesville's City Manager On The Way Out Next?

Just days after the sudden resignation of Janesville's economic development director comes word that Janesville's city manager, Eric Levitt, has been listed as the finalist for the city manager's job in Simi Valley, Cali.

Ventura County Star Excerpt:
Eric Levitt, 45, has been city manager of the Wisconsin city for more than four years. Janesville has about 63,000 residents.

Simi Valley is conducting a background check of Levitt and no contract has yet been offered.

If hired, Levitt would succeed City Manager Laura Behjan, who retired last month. Behjan temporarily succeeded City Manager Mike Sedell, who retired in July after 17 years on the job.

Apparently, he's been looking for a way out and I can't blame him one bit. I'll be saving further comment until after a decision has been made.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Benefit Or Burden? Janesville's Economic Development Director Resigns

Here's a story from the Janesville Gazette about the City of Janesville's Economic Director (initials V.G.) resigning abruptly from his approximate $100,000/annual job.

It stirred my interest for several reasons. One among them is the fact that it was a same-day resignation/termination supposedly based on personal reasons. Unfortunately, that explanation can cover almost anything, but it's the rest of the twisting story that convinced me that there is more at play here than meets the eye.

The resignation takes on a politically motivated aspect with the "non-partisan" Janesville City Manager, Eric Levitt, sending what appears to be a bizarre memo that same day to the city council (JVL city council is majority FJ and RC5 tools) in defense of the city's work with the notorious Rock County 5.0 business cartel and the equally secretive inter-governmental agency, the Rock County Alliance. At that point, why Forward Janesville is NOT mentioned in this memo becomes a puzzling omission in the story.

Lastly, the city manager states that he might not want to replace V.G. with another economic development director anyways and suggests instead he may want to "contract" with outside organizations (no kidding), or spread the director's responsibilities among several others within the department. Apparently, all of this came bubbling up on the same day and because the Gazette is unwilling to ask the right questions or poke holes in the veneer, you can just about draw any conclusion your imagination allows out from the story.

So what's going on here?

Last week, I observed and wrote about a noticeable change in the area's "divide and conquer" philosophy for economic development as drawn from the Gazette's publicity story about the business cartel's annual lobby day in Madison.

As noted in the posting, for the first time in years, the Gazette made no mention or caption in their report identifying the private special interest groups' Rock County 5.0, Forward Janesville or their officials participation at the event. Instead, the newspaper wrote about teams and "civic leaders," included a caption of City Manager Levitt and named several area legislators as "united" in pushing the legislative agenda of the special interest group. I felt the group's dominating presence in the newspaper's previous lobby day articles compared to their obvious absence today was a significant change in their strategy, if not a new media direction.

Keep in mind that the right-wing engineers running the Rock County 5.0 believe Wisconsin's high standards of worker's rights, wages and government regulations are burdens that must be eliminated while they promote government collectivist hand-outs and tax credit legislation for themselves under the guise of job creation.

The resignation of the city's economic development director however brings an additional association. In this newspaper article from last year, V.G. was seen actively participating in Rock County's 2012 "Lobby Day" event along with officials of the Rock County 5.0 and Forward Janesville. For this year however, V.G. was not mentioned or captioned in the Gazette's Lobby Day story from two weeks ago. This, only to be followed by his resignation/dismissal and a defensive posture from the city manager. Is there any connection? I don't want to read too much into it except that it does follow an expected pattern.

It also confirms that recent movements occurring in their "divide and conquer" strategy show that they have battened down the hatches and are in full battle gear. What this means is Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 are calling the shots and have acquired so much power that they have legislators and local public employees doing their bidding and lobby work and because they've successfully reversed the pursuit, folks working in local government appear to be in subservient fear of losing their jobs more now than ever.

There is little doubt that a major part of the business cartel's philosophy is the elimination of any perceived burdens on their self-interest economic development. If that perception has any merit and I think it does, the director's position of Janesville's economic development department may have been designated as one of those unnecessary burdens.

Note: As in the past, I've used only the initials of the resigning economic director as a courtesy to his privacy from name-searching web crawlers.


Rock Netroots - Economic Development Group Sees No Value In Economic Development Center (Nov. 2010)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Beloit: Forum On Campaign Finance

Common Cause in Wisconsin is holding a free public forum on campaign finance and election reform issues (e.g., Redistricting, Disclosure of interest group spending, Voter ID) at:

Beloit College - Science Center Atrium
801 Pleasant Street
Beloit, Wisconsin

...on Monday, March 18th from 6:30-8PM. The event will include introductory remarks by panelists, and then a lengthy Q&A with the audience.

** Event is Free... and so are the cookies! **

Forum panelists will include:

State Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville)
Former State Sen. Tim Weeden (R-Beloit)
Bill Barth, editor of the Beloit Daily News
Poly Sci. Prof. Georgia Duerst-Lahti
and CC/WI Exec. Dir. Jay Heck

More details on this event can be found at Common Cause Wisconsin

Friday, March 15, 2013

Walker Sees Debt More Inviting Than Grover Norquist

I saw this story about Gov. Scott Walker borrowing a billion dollars to avoid a tax increase first at the Democurmudgeon.

It is in that context of borrowing "to avoid a tax increase" that really popped my memory from a few months ago when Walker gloated how the state will finish with a $342 million surplus resulting however from a budget that required $558 million in borrowed money.

But this latest mathematical narrative about borrowing a billion is even more spectacularly insane if you consider that Walker is borrowing while claiming the general fund is awash in enough revenue that it can afford a $343 million state income tax cut. Where's the rationality? Well, there is only one possible explanation.

To recap, in the last biennium Walker borrowed $558M, kept $342M and called it a surplus. To be fair, it should be noted that in January the $342M surplus has been upgraded to $484M, but keep in mind both the amount of borrowing and the polarizing class war budget act Walker imposed on the state just to reach that one-time surplus.

As one political blogger recently termed Walker's Act 10 budget fiasco a "one-trick pony," the effects from it are one and done. It's also beside the point but worth noting that the $484M "surplus" (borrowed money) is a moving projection from which Walker took $109M from and added to the state's so-called "rainy day" fund.

OK. Now we enter into the next biennium and this time Walker wants to borrow $1 billion to shore up the state's sagging transportation fund. Oddly, there appears to be some resistance to the borrowing.

JS Online Excerpt:
Members of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee had raised concerns about the borrowing in Walker's budget. "I'm not comfortable with the level of bonding," Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) said. "It's inconsistent with the message I ran on and the majority of this body ran on."

Is that so?

Well Hello Rep. Kooyenga. Do you recall signing the Grover Norquist tax pledge? You know you did. That means just like Gov. Scott Walker, you took a vow to never raise taxes on individuals or corporate profits under any circumstances, even if the alternative means borrowing massive amounts on the grand kids credit card. Got it?

Not surprisingly, this new borrowing proposal comes less than two months after Walker and leaders in the state Assembly, Vos (R-Rochester) and Suder (R-Abbotsford) shot down tax and fee recommendations from a bipartisan transportation committee meant to shore up the state's transportation fund. Yet at the same time, Walker is proposing a $343M state income tax cut?? It doesn't add up and it doesn't make sense until ...until we realize that Scott Walker, Vos and Suder also signed the Norquist pledge. That's why they rejected the committee's proposals outright. They had to.

On the messaging side, Scott Walker desperately wants that $343M income tax cut talking point for his campaign even if he has to borrow twice the money to do it - which by the way he practically does!

Here's a simple perspective on what just happened. When Walker increased state spending in the last budget, what was Norquist's response? Nothing. When Walker again proposes increasing state spending by $3B for the next biennium, again what did Norquist say? Not a word. Dead silence. But when a state legislator proposed a tonnage tax on extracted state natural resources, Norquist immediately injected himself into Wisconsin politics and warned pledge signers the tonnage tax would be in violation of their oath. Walker of course was one of the first to bow to Lord Norquist and reject the idea.

Now Walker wants another billion to maintain state roads and instead of raising the revenue through progressive tax mechanisms, he proposes borrowing the money. And from Norquist? ...crickets. See, Norquist's pledge was never about spending because spending is inevitable. The pledge is not about stopping (over)spending money we don't have AND it was never about preventing borrowing. Never was. It's all about preventing progressive taxation to raise the revenue necessary to avoid mounting debt. Again, government spending is inevitable. It's gonna' happen even under the best of circumstances and best of intentions. Therefore, signing the Norquist pledge is a promise to ensure that government fails to meet its fiscal obligations regardless of intentions. It's a guarantee to make sure government doesn't work. Period.

Hey everyone. See? Government is in debt, it can't pay its bills and it doesn't work. It's all government's fault. It's a failure.

I don't blame Grover Norquist for this as he is merely one man with a crazy idea. I do blame every D.C. congressional, state governor and legislator who were too cowardly to raise the revenue necessary to pay the bills and instead signed a pledge to one man who would rather jeopardize our state and nation's future by building an unsustainable mountain of debt that is sure to collapse on all of us.

Our nation's $17 trillion debt did not have to be that way. The same goes with Walker's billion dollar debt proposal. It's not the spending. It never was. It's the borrowing stupid.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Forum: Wisconsin Women’s Health & Reproductive Justice

On Sunday, March 17 at 6 pm,

the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Rock County will host an evening with former Democratic Wisconsin state legislator Kelda Roys. She will give an update on “Wisconsin Women’s Health and Reproductive Justice”. The UU Fellowship meets at the First Congregational Church at 54 S. Jackson Street in downtown Janesville. Entrance by parking lot.

While in office Rep. Roys served as Vice-Chair of the Committee on Health & Heathcare Reform and takes great interest in safeguarding women’s reproductive rights, health care, consumer protection, children’s health, government accountability, workplace safety, economic justice, fiscal responsibility and election reform and access to the courts. Prior to being elected to office, Kelda Roys served as Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Wisconsin.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Republicans Are "Principled" Extremists

Beginning from the eve of his first inauguration in 2009, republicans have spent most of their time doing all they can to undermine the presidency of Barack Obama, even going as far as to take a legislative wrecking ball to the U.S. economy just to make him look bad. Despite their efforts including a meat cleaver sequester, the economy and Obama seem to be plodding along on a upward trajectory. Still, after all of their underhanded efforts, Obama is able to keep his chin up after having recent talks with these treasonous rats and included them among principled people who want what's best for the country. Amazing.

They're principled alright, but they are out of touch and far too extreme, and hardly doing what's best for the country.

Huff Post - Krugman: Paul Ryan's Budget Plan Has Gotten Even Crueler - Was That Possible?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Janesville Newspaper Shows a Change In Divide and Conquer Strategy

In case you missed it and you probably did, the Janesville Gazette published their annual story about Rock County’s so-called “lobby day” held at the State Capital.

For the first time in recent memory, the Gazette, who by the way is the major contributing media sponsor for the area’s infamous divide and conquer business groups, Rock County 5.0 and Forward Janesville, made no mention whatsoever of the groups or any of their officials in the article.

But it was also very disappointing if not embarrassing to learn that not one county official, elected, employee or other, came forward with a resolution requesting Scott Walker implement Obamacare’s health care exchanges. Or a proposal to restore state aid for public education, local roads or a state grant for the county’s overburdened Blackhawk Technical College. That is the Rock County message I picked up from area voters in the last election.

Instead, the newspaper built the story around “civic leaders” and teams who remain united in promoting the business group's old school government-dependent tax-shifting corporate welfare legislative agenda. For a city and county that rejected Scott Walker and Paul Ryan’s collectivist-driven trickle-down economics, you sure couldn’t tell it by this story.

Which now leads me to the following questions. Why did the Gazette omit the names of the groups and their officials from the story? Was that the newspaper’s intention? ...the group’s idea, or both? Were officials from the groups even present at the event? Does it matter if the newspaper identifies those who are present? Sure it does since their agenda was obviously present.

If so, why did the newspaper deliberately try to prevent the public from connecting the agenda to its owners? Could it be that the group's government reliant business model of tax credits and entitlement runs counter to both Ryan's and Walker's phony small-government campaign talking points? Could it be that Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 have bought so much power and own so many legislators including Gov. Scott Walker, that they no longer even have to show up at a lobby function that they actually invented?

I think the newspaper owes local folks answers to those questions and more. But don't hold your breath.

Previous stories on Rock County's "Lobby Days"

Rock Netroots - Business Groups Pushing For Their Own Entitlement Society

Rock Netroots - Forward Janesville Puppets Reaffirm Stand For Act 10

Rock Netroots - Interstate Expansion Comes At Higher Taxes For Maintaining Local Roads

Saturday, March 09, 2013

FISA/Patriot Act Senators Standing Up For Civil Liberties Was A Sick Joke

It was apPAULing alright. Appeasing Rand Paul and grandstanding an issue none of them had any right to do.

My barometer for judging Washington DC politicians on their statements and record regarding civil liberties is based on several key positions. Outside of racial and economic platforms, of those positions are the civil rights that fall under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Patriot Act and finally those for members of the LGBT community and same sex marriages.

What I found doubly amusing here was the fact that most of the Republican senators who stood with Rand Paul's filibuster act voted for both FISA and the Patriot Act. That's right.

Of the 14 republicans that stood with Rand Paul, the nine that voted for extensions of both FISA and the Patriot Act are: Barasso, Chambliss, Cornyn, McConnell, Moran, Rubio, Thune, Toomey and Wisconsin's very own dysfunctional Sen. Ron Johnson. Mister pocket-constitution himself. Civil Liberties, huh? Giggle-snort.

If civil liberties was the cause, these senators had no right to stand with Rand Paul ...AND Paul's public record on LGBT and same sex marriage clearly shows he had no right to stand up in the name of civil liberties!

By the way. There is however one Congressional who opposed both FISA and the Patriot Act extensions during Obama's terms AND whose support for civil rights within the LGBT community goes without saying - that congressional is Sen. Tammy Baldwin. If anyone has the right and authenticity to filibuster for 21st century civil liberty causes - it is she.


New York Times - (May 26, 2011) House Votes Extension Of Patriot Act

House Clerk - (Sept. 12, 2012) House votes to Extend FISA

Bungalow Bill - (Feb. 17, 2011) Senators Voting to Extend Patriot Act

Irregular Times - (Dec. 29, 2012) Senators who Voted To Extend FISA

Janesville Forum: Importance Of The Supreme Court Election


The Rock County Progressives present...

Forum: The Importance of Supreme Court Election

Speaker: Lisa Subeck, Executive Director of United Wisconsin, Common Council Member of Madison

* Additional Speaker: Rep. Janice Ringhand, 45th Assembly District

Wednesday, March 13, 6 PM-7:45 PM

6 PM-6:30 PM cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM- 7:45 PM, speaker & discussion
Basics Food Cooperative
1711 Lodge Dr, Janesville, Wisconsin

Directions: from Madison route 90 until 1st Janesville exit, south on Route 26 past route 14, look for Toys R Us on the right, right on Lodge Drive, on right across from Toys R Us.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Mining Violations? A Judiciary Is Necessary Before You Can Prosecute

The billionaire owner of the mining company, Christopher Cline, at the center of the proposed mining legislation in Wisconsin is facing prosecution in Illinois for violating EPA pollution laws. His companies have racked up 53 violations over the past three years.

JS Online Excerpt:
Kimberlee Wright is executive director of Midwest Environmental Advocates, a public interest law firm based in Madison.

She said the story of Cline-owned mines in Illinois could have ramifications in Wisconsin.

Gogebic, she believes, is likely to encounter environmental problems, and she worries that the Wisconsin DNR won't be able to adequately regulate a mine that would become one of the largest in the nation.

"They don't have the staff and they don't have the resources now," said Wright, whose firm often challenges environmental permits that have been approved by the DNR.

Not only does Wisconsin have inadequate staffing at the DNR to handle environmental challenges, but any violations that show just cause will likely be struck down since the sell-out majority-led GOP state legislature has advised the courts to allow for adverse environmental impacts.

Without ever facing viable prosecution in Wisconsin, Gegobic Taconite will likely build a spotlessly clean record of lawless environmental mayhem and destruction from legislation other states will follow.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Paul Ryan: Our Rights Come From God. Says So Right There In Government Document.

There was a time not too long ago when my photo shops and cartoons of Rep. Paul Ryan linked with Atlas Shrugged or Ayn Rand filled the majority of the first several pages of Google images. Well not anymore. Since Paul Ryan was chosen by Mitt Romney for his running mate, nearly all the images in the top pages are now either from heavy hitting national publications or syndicated cartoonists. The last time I looked, my work has been relegated down the line to pages 3 or 4 at best, with a straggler image popping up to the top page on occasion.

Anyhow, while surfing Google images a few days ago I came across this rather unassuming graphic of Paul Ryan from the blog The Provocation that in my opinion says a mouthful about Rep. Paul Ryan's simplistic thinking process.

I probably would have highlighted the words, "according to the Declaration of Independence" but it's really not necessary. I mean thank God for the Declaration, right?

The Provocation Excerpt:
Ryan just doesn't get it. Where the rights come from is immaterial. Whether we recognize and protect them isn't. Protecting them is the role of government. Indeed, the Declaration itself states that government's role is "to secure these rights" - not to undermine them. That's why we have laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act, which Paul no doubt opposes on the grounds that it's inconvenient for big business.

That nails it to the floor boards in my view.

But still, it's both a comical and circular hypothesis Ryan attaches to and between God and government. As the blog post's title states, "Ryan's Idea of Government's Role Doesn't Come from the Founders." Yet, YET Ryan forms his belief about our rights coming only from God based on the inescapable quandary that that concept in of itself is granted by government. Yep. It says so right there in the Declaration of Independence that our rights come from God.

Paul Ryan. God. According to Government.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Mike McCabe Presentation at UW-W Today!


Mike McCabe of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign will speak about the problem of Big Money in elections. McCabe's speech is titled, "The System Isn't Broken - It's Fixed."

WHEN: MONDAY, MARCH 4th beginning at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Timmerman Auditorium in Hyland Hall
809 W. Starin Road on the UW-Whitewater campus


Free parking available across the street from Timmerman-lot 7

The Wisconsin Democracy campaign is a non-partisan watchdog group that tracks money in Wisconsin politics and works for clean, open and honest government.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Mining Bill Allows Companies To Harm Environment With Impunity

Saw this story first at the Political Environment.

The following statement by State Sen. Tom Tiffany, (R-Hazelhurst) practically guarantees mining companies immunity from legal challenges on adverse environmental impacts.

Political Environment Excerpt:
"If the law is challenged and ends up in court, the judge needs to know it was the Legislature’s intent to allow adverse (environmental) impacts. That way, a judge can’t find fault if the environment is impacted.”

Kinda' flips the term "legislating from the bench" on its head into, "benching from the legislature." ...elections have consequences. Jaw-dropping consequences.


CapTimes - Mining Bill Author Admits It Will Cause Environmental Harm