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Saturday, December 28, 2013

According To Paul Ryan's Religion, The Catholic Church Can't Get Anything Right

From subsidiarity to solidarity to capitalism, the tenets of the Catholic Church's including the global views of the Pope always seem to clash with the personal belief system of one Rep. Paul Ryan. Oy vey.

Last year, Ryan had a war of words with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops after he publicly insisted that the draconian cuts presented in his obviously Rand-based dystopian budget were a product of this Catholic faith.

The Bishops strongly disagreed.

Ryan then questioned their authority claiming that they are not all catholic bishops. The bishops fired back stating they are acting in an official capacity and that their views are rooted in Catholic social teaching and do represent the official position of the Church.

Now, after praising Pope Francis for opening a dialogue on Church principles to combat poverty, the congressman condescendingly questioned the Pope's highly critical perspective of capitalism and trickle-down economics.

Salon Excerpt:
But he couldn’t suppress either his right-wing politics or his supreme capacity for condescension for very long. “The guy is from Argentina, they haven’t had real capitalism in Argentina,” Ryan said (referring to the pope as “the guy” is a nice folksy touch.) “They have crony capitalism in Argentina. They don’t have a true free enterprise system.”

Not to drift too far here, but Paul Ryan has supposedly lived in Janesville, Wisconsin his entire life and apparently doesn't know that government at all levels plays the leading role in our local economy. Few major businesses in around Rock County make a move without picking up some form of crony collectivist hand-out. That's a fact. But how would Ryan know? That's free market capitalism to him.

So yeah, those "guys" running the Catholic Church ...can't seem to get anything right.

From Deal Maker To Unmentionable, Paul Ryan Flops Hard

Rep. Paul Ryan's hometown newspaper and major local enabler, the Janesville Gazette, must have searched high and low to find a national article about President Obama signing the two-year budget bill without making mention of the Janesville congressman.

Earlier, the Gazette ran with the national GOP buzz touting Ryan as the great deal maker and even posted their own puff piece on how Ryan will likely be the architect of the framework for future bipartisan deals. But alot has happened since then including a highly critical Facebook post by a USAF veteran to Paul Ryan that had gone viral.

With that, the Gazette posted the politically generic Associated Press article titled, "Budget, Defense Bills Signed By Obama" as their front-page headlines on Friday. In what appears to be a deliberate attempt to separate the pretend "bipartisan" Ryan from Obama and Democrats, the article made no mention of Paul Ryan by name and instead painted the budget as a hard-fought congressional effort with Obama taking full ownership of the deal with his signature.

You may also like:

Crooks and Liars - Paul Ryan: Pope Francis Doesn't Understand Capitalism Enough To Appreciate it

RNR - Divided Government Saved Vet Pensions From Full Tilt Paul Ryan

Monday, December 23, 2013

Divided Government Saved Vet Pensions From Full Tilt Paul Ryan

Crazy logic, eh?

As you can see, that was a Twitter convo from five days ago and it clearly showed to me that conservatives either don't know what's going on within their own ideological platform, or they don't know Paul Ryan. Because what Ryan did with military pensions was conservatism at its most basic level.

Remember back in May of 2012 when Paul Ryan came to the defense of our military during the political maneuvering over sequestration? He not only said that the sequester is bad policy and should be replaced, he invoked September 11th to remind us of the risks should America renege on the "sacred" promises made to take care of our troops.

Military Crippling Sequester Must be Stopped Excerpt:
Sequestration would force the greatest Armed Forces in history to its knees, resulting in the smallest Army since 1940, the smallest Navy since 1916, and the smallest Air Force in our history.

We would risk ceding our special role in world affairs to countries such as Russia and China, who are both vastly expanding their military power.

We would risk breaking faith with our all-volunteer military, reneging on sacred promises made to care for the health and well-being of our troops and our veterans.

We would risk the gains made against global terrorism and risk our ability to prevent another September 11th attack.

That was Paul Ryan's politics speaking. Fast forward to now...

The need to reform Military Compensation Excerpt:
Although the military’s retirement program serves only a small minority of the force—about 17 percent of military personnel eventually qualify for retired pay—it provides an exceptionally generous benefit, often providing 40 years of pension payments in return for 20 years of service.

Conclusion: Current levels of military compensation are incompatible with the overall demands on the defense budget.

Those are Ryan's principles speaking. But it gets even worse. Ryan wanted deeper cuts and it would have been much worse for military veterans if it wasn't for divided government...

Daily Beast Excerpt:
Murray pointed out that Ryan, whom she called “a tough negotiator,” originally wanted $20 billion in increased pension contributions, and she got him down to $6 billion from federal workers and $6 billion from service members...

Remember again how Ryan said the sequester was bad policy and should be replaced?

Hannity Excerpt:
Paul Ryan: That's what this agreement does. Doesn't get rid of the sequester. It actually -- the Democrats went into this saying no sequester at all. Now they've agreed to keeping 70 percent of the sequester during this time. And over the life of the sequester, we keep 92 percent of it. So we see that as a -- we see that as a really good step in the right direction.

Okay, Ryan said democrats wanted to zero the sequester. Yet, it is Ryan, not Liberals or Democrats, who sees keeping intact 92 percent of a sequester he once called crippling as a win, and in fact wanted to add another $20 billion in military cuts for good measure, Murray fought him down to $6 billion. Those are conservative principles speaking. But we're not just talking about budget numbers alone. We're also talking about breaking promises. Those are conservative principles too.

After witnessing what Gov. Scott Walker did to Wisconsin, I now find it humorous to see so-called conservatives blasting away on Ryan for breaking what they view as a promise. Don't get me wrong, I understand our fighting men and women in uniform risk their lives to defend our country and deserve an iron-clad guarantee when it comes to their compensation and pensions. But no one deserves anything less from government simply because of who they are or their job duties. I don't mean less in actual monetary compensation or benefits - I'm referring to the promises conveyed by government and protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

In my view, Walker did worse to public employees and school teachers in Wisconsin than what Ryan did to military vets. Granted, teachers and civilian government workers are not in the same risk category as our revered soldiers, but again - it's the promise that should be no less. Walker and state republicans did not have divided government to negotiate public employee compensation to meet budget demands. Instead, they unilaterally slashed current compensation agreements and broke the promise to collectively bargain future contracts. What did conservatives do? They applauded.

So yes, it's hard to feel their pain when I see Conservatives calling Paul Ryan a Liberal or a RINO for what he did to military vets. He only did what conservatives do.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Paul Ryan Found Gog

It is no wonder why the uniquely entertaining and beloved Onion has gone out of print publication, the competition for their format is fierce.

In case you missed it, somebody at Buzzfeed must of tripped and impaled himself on a spike of heavily stepped on black tar (no pun intended) when they published this absolutely bizarre yet stunningly blank-stare puff piece about Rep. Paul Ryan having an "epiphany" of sorts and finding God.

Replete with an eye-rolling shopped image of Ryan over a glowing profile shot of "The Peoples" Pope Francis, the writer makes the claim that since the epiphany Ryan experienced sometime in October of 2012, he has transformed himself into a "champion of the poor." Honest. Really.

However, since that epiphany, Ryan has sidestepped town hall listening sessions near his hometown in 2013 and instead attended another one of billionaires David and Charles Koch's annual "retreats."

The secretive retreats, referred to as "conservative strategy" sessions by attendees, seemed to have a major effect on Ryan because soon after the August 2013 retreat, he and fellow House republicans plotted to scorch the U.S. economy by holding the federal government hostage in exchange for ransom. The ransom of course being the termination of the Affordable Care Act.

Despite recent denials of their opposition to the ACA, it is well known the Koch Brothers would like nothing less than to see it crash and burn. We now know that strategy has failed far.

Now Paul Ryan is back again with a different hostage - the debt ceiling. But this time he dropped the termination of the ACA from the ransom package and replaced it with yet another Koch trophy - the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Outside of the remote possibility that Paul Ryan had a life-changing spiritual episode, serious Roman Catholics should be offended by the Atlas Shrugging Ryan and his media enabler's attempts to co-opt Pope Francis' authentic humanist approach and growing popularity. Pope Francis appears to be the real deal and not some opportunist using semantics and theater to bring about a false sense of compassion or reforms.

But getting back to Paul Ryan: Is he a champion of the poor?

HAAAAAAAAAAAAhahahaha ...seriousness.

You may also like:

Think Progress - BuzzFeed Declares Paul Ryan A ‘Champion Of The Poor,’ Offers No Supporting Evidence

Rachel Maddow Show - Champion of the Poor?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Mediatrackers Mangles Their Hit Piece On Mary Burke

The hyper-ventilators at Mediatrackers posted an insulting little hit piece targeting Wisconsin democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke. Titled "FALSE: Wis. Gov. Candidate Says Taxes Go Down When Income Goes Up," the Tea Party media manglers, all twisted up in knots over individual progressive taxation rates, kneejerks its own answer to a question Burke was asked.

They write ...

Mediatrackers Excerpt:
When WQOW television in Eau Claire asked Burke to respond to Governor Walker’s openness to potentially eliminating the state income tax, Burke said:

“I think it is too extreme. You know I believe we have to hold the line on taxes. I would do that as governor but we also have to make sure we are making the investments that actually fuel our economy. That’s how you reduce tax rates, by growing it. If you have a bigger pie, taxes will take out a smaller piece of it.”

A very straight forward answer that is nearly impossible to misinterpret ...unless you're Mediatrackers and their bitters.

Burke said eliminating the state income tax is too extreme. Check. She could have ended right there, but she added that if the state makes the proper investments - the economy will grow. Check. When the economy grows, the tax base grows. Check. When the tax base grows, you have a bigger pie. Check. If you have a bigger pie to draw from, everyone's share of the tax burden will be smaller. Check. How do you mathematically make individuals share smaller? By reducing tax rates. Check.

The directional signs are posted everywhere. It's nearly impossible to take that any other way. Mediatrackers knew that Burke was dead on, but they couldn't let it go, well, because their blind obedience to defend Scott Walker and their allied regressive policies wouldn't let it. They continued ...

MT excerpt:
[...] as they noted, the real confusion in Burke’s statement is this line comparing the economy and income to a pie: “If you have a bigger pie, taxes will take out a smaller piece of it.”

"Real confusion." LOL. Burke is clearly talking about the state economy as the pie and the expanding base that tags along as it grows. No confusion.

Not to be redundant, but a growing economy creates a larger tax base to draw from - the smaller the individual contributions should be. It is precisely what real economic growth plans are built to produce - lower tax rates. If you don't have a viable growth plan to expand the economy, much like Gov. Scott Walker - you may as well bring the expanding tax base plan to an end and go with a more static demand-killing income blind sales tax plan. That's what happens when there is zero leadership and no tangible pathways to prosperity.

Desperately looking for something that doesn't exist, the folks at Mediatrackers proceed to make up their own stuff and go off on a tangent about Wisconsin income tax rates to imply Burke doesn't know what she's talking about.

Thing is, Burke doesn't mention individual income tax rates nor does her answer suggest that or attempt to define the state income tax system. She simply says that eliminating the state income tax is too extreme, and that the best way to lower the tax burden is by growing the economy so the tax base pie is larger.

Instead of addressing the content of her answer, they overreact to the context of the question in what amounts to an extremely lame attempt to diminish her proposals. That these rubes insulted her intelligence by claiming she has "learning to do" is simply adorbs.

NOTE: This posting is not an endorsement or approved by any political candidate or party. It is solely the independent perspective of its author.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Local Crony Business Group Salivating Over Prospects Of New Entitlement

According to the Janesville Gazette, the local politically active business lobby group, Forward Janesville, is on the verge of having one of the key elements of their new entitlement society legislated into law (Senate Bill 449) now that Sen. Tim Cullen said he's convinced ambiguities have been removed from the bill.

The bill, a tax "portability" gimmick that would allow businesses who qualify for state income tax credits but could not use them effectively due to no reported profit the ability to transfer those credits to other companies who could use them. The Gazette provided an example of how it works:

JG Excerpt:
Company A might want to lease space from the more established Company B. Company B makes improvements to its facility to accomodate Company A and therefore assumes a degree of risk. As a way to mitigate that risk, Company A - if it doesn't have sufficient income to use awarded tax credits - would transfer them to Company B.

Wow. Where do I begin?

I don't know if you feel the same way, but since when is it government's or the taxpayers responsibility to "mitigate" private business profits/losses or risk? Plus, I have never seen conclusive evidence showing that these tax credits create jobs. Ever.

Secondly, even if we went along with this charade, wouldn't the poor sap who couldn't turn a profit be much further in need of capital to survive than the property owner or developer who's sitting on profits AND collecting guaranteed lease residuals?

It's supposed to be a tax credit for the small business person who jumps though a couple hoops and meets job benchmarks. But if the business fails to get past one of the hoops for any reason - that's life. But then allowing a separate entity to claim the credit because they can jump through the final hoop defeats not only the credit's purpose, but turns it into a travesty. No?

Let's not kid ourselves here. It's the profit heavy fatcats who can afford to lobby for this legislation and its' the fatcats who primarily benefit. Not the little guy.

Third, without knowing more details, how do we know that the little business guy in this deal didn't claim other (greater) tax deductions that dropped his earnings below the tax credit threshold to claim the credit?

Again, going along with the charade, these "special" folks must think they're entitled to unclaimed tax credits that for all intent and purposes, they did not qualify for in the first place. The state can mandate all the jobs they want for the "original" recipient to claim the credit - but that doesn't add any additional sweat to the final beneficiary, nor does it mean the credit created those jobs to begin with. Not even one.

God forbid if some tax credits are not claimed and state taxpayers actually get to keep a few more dimes in our pockets. If we're that flush in money, perhaps the state should open up an unclaimed tax credit lottery so all taxpayers can get a crack at some "free money." Why not?

Lastly, Sen. Tim Cullen said he's been accused of being anti-business because he wasn't on board this farce early in the game. It's really too bad it comes to that and nobody, Democrats included, seem willing to articulate the damage these gimmicks do to taxpayers at-large, the competitive free markets and our sense of fair play.

It's organized greed at its finest.

RELATED: RNR Business Group Pushing For Their Own Entitlement Society (Feb. 2012)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Folks Will Have To Suck It Up For Paul Ryan's Career

It was last week Thursday I wrote about how Rep. Paul Ryan is changing face to releverage his career with the implication that everything he does in Congress is calculated on advancing his career and not for the good of the country.

Days later, the Janesville Gazette issued what I call a cold-war style rebuttal to that in their editorial titled, "Ryan does what he believes is best." They wrote matter of factly ...

Gazette Editorial:
Ryan has never made his political future his top priority. Instead, he always said he would do whatever he believes is in the best interest of our country.

He always said ...that's what he said.

Good grief.

Now just days later again and with a growing chorus of boo's from an unlikely constituency, military pensioners, on a budget deal he wrote - not brokered - with a leading Senate Democrat, Ryan once again appears to be co-opting the outrage against Boehner and himself to his advantage. Media enablers and his feckless tea party apologists are already painting Ryan as a "deal broker" who can courageously face down and lead party opposition to the promised land for a "win." Why?

Because it turns out that the "sacrifices" military pensioners made and how much of the "crippling" sequester Paul Ryan was able to keep intact to get his "bi-partisan" budget deal passed was the perfect feather in his cap for advancing his political career. That is what matters most.

According to this story from Politico, Ryan, now House Budget Committee chairman, intends to replace Rep. Dave Camp as the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. "That is my plan," Ryan told The Wall Street Journal in an interview.


RNR - It Might Come Down To The Tea Party Or Paul Ryan, But Not Together

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Rock Among Wisconsin Counties Seeking Federal Health Care Assistance

Well this was a pleasant surprise ...

Citizen Action of Wisconsin Excerpt:
Following the introduction of legislation by Assembly Representative Melissa Sargent to ensure counties have a say in the issue of Medicaid, the Rock County Board last Thursday became the 19th county to vote to call on the state to take action. Citizen Action commends them for their stance on Medicaid.

The Rock County board’s resolution, like many before it, called on the state to accept the enhanced federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare. Or, as an alternative, to allow Wisconsin counties the option to accept the federal Medicaid funds if they so choose.
More >>> here

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Janesville Gazette Doubles Down on Itself

Did you happen to see Sunday's (Dec.15) Janesville Gazette? The entire local section was probably one their greatest pieces of right-wing social engineering combined with some GOP propaganda that I have seen in almost 10 years. I'm not kidding.

From the front-page headlines and articles implying that Janesville was practically caught off-guard by the GM Plant closing ...pssst, it wasn't ... to labeling the notorious "divide and conquer" group, Rock County 5.0, as the area's "movers and shakers" collaborating magic to turn the economy around, to the editorial stating, "(Paul) Ryan has never made his political future his top priority, that he does what's best for the country." Remember, this is Ryan's hometown newspaper speaking. The entire local section was truly mind-numbing.

Of added interest in their Ryan editorial is this ..."Liberals might have to rethink the notion that Ryan is in the Tea Party's pocket."

OR, perhaps and more importantly ...the Tea Party might have to finally realize that Paul Ryan is not on their side. Never was. Ryan co-opted them just like his media enablers are trying to change minds and co-opt liberals for his political benefit right now.

The Gazette also dedicated an article in what appears to be a bizarre attempt to shift the damage done to Janesville's image by the area's well-documented new normal of "divide and conquer" business politics and race-to-the-bottom economics onto the army of national reporters that came into town following the GM closure. In this article, they gave special mention in their wildly off-based claims to unload some of the blame onto Charlie LeDuff and Mother Jones magazine.

Of course we shouldn't ignore the newspaper's anonymous twice-weekly "Sound Off" column that regularly carries personal cheapshots and partisan attacks against the enemy of the moment. This Sunday's Sound Off was no different.

Finally, this was all topped off by the managing editor's personal "view" describing his frustration toward folks who continue to criticize the newspaper and its editorial positions. He admits that he doesn't "get it." For once I agree with him.


RNR - Newspaper Sells Local Divide and Conquer Group As Community Leaders (Oct. 15, 2013)

RNR - Paradox? Local Conservatives Demand Large Government Role For Economic Growth (Sept. 19, 2013)

RNR - Local Business Group Denies Red State Politics. Pretend Like Nothing Happened (May 18, 2012)

RNR - Government Plays Huge Role In Janesville's Comeback (Aug.17, 2012)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Video: Forum - First Amendment Remedies

State Representative Chris Taylor was the guest speaker at the Janesville Forum on 1st Amendment remedies hosted by the Rock County Progressives on Dec. 11th. Watch:

Watch Part 2 here. Of additional note, beginning at the 12:00 mark of Part 2, Rep. Taylor talks about her experience at ALEC.

H/T to VLS-M for video.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Kleefisch, Walker Officials: Stonewalling Media/Public Is Just Standard Operating Procedure

The first in a series of meetings supposedly about tax reform hosted by the Walker administration was held at Beloit College with area business leaders. I say "supposedly" because we don't know for sure. According to the Beloit Daily News, one of their reporters tried to attend, but was not allowed in until the final segment an hour after the meeting began.

Surprisingly, the BDN delivered a sharply worded editorial soon after the incident.

BDN Excerpt: (Titled: Let the people in on the issues)
OUR ONLY OBJECTION: Kleefisch barred the door to keep the discussion out of the public eye. Everyday citizens could not sit in to hear what the business community wants and expects from the state. A Beloit Daily News reporter was evicted from the room. Blocking reporters from doing their job keeps the press from informing the public about the issues deemed important to growing the economy and creating employment. Read more >>>

This is par for the course from the Walker Administration and now that they were challenged by establishment figures, we can expect Walker's team to double-down even harder on their efforts to stonewall the public on these meetings because to do otherwise would be an admittance of wrong-doing and a surrender to open government advocates.

In fact, Kleefisch’s chief of staff, Casey Himebauch, said the majority of the event is closed to the press to allow participants to speak freely without worrying about what they have to say. Himebauch said, "This is just standard operating procedure."

Remember folks, these meetings are taking place on the taxpayers dime, hosted by taxpayer-paid public officials and recorded using taxpayer owned equipment. The BDN was spot on describing their actions as not the system of government America has embraced and that The Founders, clearly envisioned a free press as a crucial component of liberty and holding officials accountable.

The decision to close the meeting also caught the attention of good government activist Scot Ross, director of the advocacy group One Wisconsin Now. Ross filed an open records request to obtain a copy of video of the meeting recorded by a member of Kleefisch’s staff.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Paul Ryan Changes Face Hoping To Releverage His Career

H/T to the Democurmudgeon for finding this story right here in Janesville. Apparently, a local news station went to Janesville's Hedberg Library and asked a few folks what they thought about the budget deal worked over by local House Rep. Paul Ryan. God, how I wish I was there and they had asked me.

From WISC via Democurmudgeon:

No offense to anyone in the video, but do you think they know that everything Paul Ryan does is calculated for political reasons and not for our best interests?

To be fair, a couple of them do mention how this deal could raise Ryan's national stature - and that's oh soooo important. But would they say that if they knew Ryan threw them under a bus?

Do they know that not too long ago he called the automatic cuts of the sequester "crippling," his words, but now added a provision that whacks Medicare and requires the President to tack on two additional years to the term of the crippling sequester? Do they know that Ryan's stand-alone budget two years ago was three times worse than the sequester he called crippling? Does any of that intellectual dishonesty bother anyone?

And ...this thing about, "everybody gave up something" in the budget deal and that Ryan proved he can work with both sides. Is that a freaking joke?

Do voters in the 1st Congressional District understand that the republican commandments since holding the majority in one branch of the federal government is built on the completely phony premise that the other party, meaning Democrats, must "negotiate" something, must give up something in exchange ...for funding government?

Do they know that Ryan referred to debt ceiling negotiations as "leverage" but since that leverage backfired republicans into shutting down the government, Ryan is now looking for new leverage? Besides the actual physical content of the leverage, leverage for what? To fund government? As far as Republicans are concerned, damn Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution. It doesn't exist, and that's treason in my book.

Ryan, who ran with Mitt Romney for the White House often boasted how he wants to flush opponents out into the field of open debate, and how he would courageously win those debates by highlighting contrasts and sticking with principles, is now doing his best to whitewash the past. In fact, the new narrative paints him as courageously willing to dispense of his previous perfection ...I'm not kidding you, in favor of the merely good.

Ryan has always talked the talk, but never walked the walk against opponents. He also seems to be hoping that attacks from the Left and Right fringes, particularly from the tea party, will push his public image closer to the palatable center. Regardless, like Scott Walker, Ryan is a dealer in snake oil politics. It's always buyer beware ...always.

But I'm also getting sick and tired of seeing democrats surrender loopholes and subsidies to Big Corpse and cut unemployment insurance in exchange for "letting" Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid continue - WITH CUTS ...and then they call it a win. Oh, we HAD to show we can work together to prevent another government shutdown. Are you kidding me Democrats? Tell me you are.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reminder: Janesville Forum on First Amendment Remedies

Forum: Rep. Chris Taylor on 'First Amendment Remedies'

When: Wednesday, December 11, 6 PM

Topic: How the protection of First Amendment rights in Wisconsin is necessary and crucial for remedying the many problems we face in state government.

Speaker: State Rep. Chris Taylor 76th Assembly district, Lawyer

Event Schedule:
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

(*This is an independent event not affiliated with Basics)

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.

The Community Room is to the left when you come in.

RockCountyProgressives. org, also on Facebook

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Blackhawk Technical Seeking Ability To Increase Taxes Into Perpetuity

We can call this, "The Scott Walker Effect."

Without naming names, Blackhawk Technical College officials said losses of state aid and changes in state law in recent years have brought the college to the point of asking local taxpayers to pass a referendum that would in effect, let the college raise taxes each and every year into perpetuity.

JG Excerpt:
TOWN OF ROCK—A survey sent last week to 8,000 registered voters will help Blackhawk Technical College officials decide whether to hold a $4 million referendum.

If officials like what they hear, they'll ask voters for permission to exceed the school's levy limit by up to $4 million every year. That would raise taxes as much as $37 on a $100,000 house each year.

Let's put it this way; taxpayers from all Wisconsin communities are paying more than enough as it is to support the state's public school system and advanced education institutions. Of course that doesn't mean schools are getting enough.

Have you ever wondered how Scott Walker is pulling surpluses and increasing state spending to record levels while the majority of Wisconsin communities struggle to balance flat-lining budgets while making major cuts in services? Trust me, it's not the local's fault or a lack of effort.

The problem is, is that we have a governor and a single-party ruled state legislature whose ideologically calculated budgets have tremendously shortchanged schools and communities statewide while injuring local control with zero-sum restrictions and budget caps as they build up political capital with so-called "surpluses" on borrowed money and laughable $13 tax cuts.

As far as I'm concerned, approving a local tax hike referendum to over-ride Walker's centralized taxing authority is asking not only to double-tax ourselves in the short-term, but to inadvertently create a budget boomerang that will accelerate even deeper cuts in state aid in the near future.

Simply put, we do not need tax-increases-into-perpetuity local referendums. What we need is a new governor and reforms that would bring an end to the GOP's overreaching centralized state control.

Monday, December 09, 2013

Upstart Janesville Business Has a Bizarre Way of Showing Confidence

I didn't know exactly where to file this one. At first it was going to be under either the "you didn't build that" or "thank God for government" categories. But then I thought, what about the "where have all the risk-takers gone?" or Paul Ryan's "you can't dream when you're on food stamps" categories? I guess that's what happens when we have too many choices.

Okay. According to the agenda posted for Monday's Janesville City Council meeting, the upstart private-for-profit medical technologies business venture, SHINE, will be putting the city of Janesville on the hook to accept more risk.

SHINE officials are asking the city to make an amendment to the original TIF agreement so the city, not SHINE, can purchase about 8 acres of land adjoining the development at a cost of about $140,000. A recent review of the project by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission stated SHINE, not the city, needs the extra land to meet a buffering requirement.

According to a story from the Janesville Gazette, SHINE had the land under contract as an option to purchase since March of 2012. That option is set to expire at the end of 2013.

To be fair, SHINE officials said they will purchase the land from the city once the plant becomes operational, but putting the city under pressure at the last minute creates some new doubt as to the confidence they have in their own venture and how much risk they're willing to take.

At the same time, SHINE's founder and chief executive, Greg Piefer, talks about confidence. Is that a coincidence?

JG: While declining to say what's been raised so far, Piefer said he's confident the company will raise what's needed to build the plant and begin production.

I'm not too sure about that if they have to turn to government for $140,000 in sudden assistance for something that amounts to a minor cost overrun.

This nuclear isotopes medical facility has been pegged at $85 million to build topping out at $180 million in full run-time mode. The federal government has popped for $25 million in grants and Janesville taxpayers are on the hook for $9 million far. Those figures do not include state incentives or enterprise zone tax credits. So, I don't know if they're lacking a PR person or they just don't know any better, but I find it incredible at this stage that they are not willing to risk $140,000 to buy 8 acres of land to keep their dream alive.

It now begs the question: Who will SHINE turn to in say 6 or 12 months IF they needed two, three or ten million dollars to finally turn the nut on this project?

I think that handwriting is on the wall. They'd turn to the only bank in town.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Ohhh ...Yet Another Newspaper Article Misleading For Scott Walker

This article posted at the MKE Journal Sentinel claims that Gov. Scott Walker is gaining support for "his" plan to sidestep Obamacare. The writer claimed that Walker made two requests and that one of them might get traction.

You may recall that two weeks ago, Walker asked Sen. Tammy Baldwin to join him in a call to expand Obamacare subsidies to everyone for health care plans that aren't offered on the federal insurance exchange. That big government dependency idea does indeed belong to Walker and is expected to be too costly to be implemented. The writer then implies that another request made by Wisconsin's insurance commissioner is a Walker original.

JS Online Excerpt:
But Monday, Wisconsin's insurance commissioner, Ted Nickel, also asked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to include Wisconsin in a pilot program to help consumers go directly to insurers to buy the health insurance plans that are available through the online exchange.

Except that provision, known as the direct enrollment option, is a feature already written into Obamacare and is available to Wisconsin residents. It just hasn't been able to get any traction because of the program's roll-out problems. So, it's a patented idea that obviously belongs to someone - but not Scott Walker.

So the question is: Knowing Walker's highly publicized opposition to Obamacare, why are Wisconsin's newspapers trying to give Walker false credit for the finer aspects of Obamacare?

Further down in the article, Walker loyalist Rep. Robin Vos continues to roll with the charade.

But Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester) said he liked both Walker administration proposals and especially favored the larger one giving consumers the greatest number of options.

"I like that even better. More choice is good," Vos said.


He likes Walker's proposals for Obamacare? Then why doesn't Walker offer proposals on programs he actually has jurisdiction over Wisconsin's popular BadgerCare program?

If these clowns really want to give Wisconsin consumers more choice, then it's time to accept expanded Medicaid subsidies and use them in a newly revamped Badgercare program made choicier by eliminating all income restrictions. Now THAT is the best option.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Walker's Tools Freak Over His Scrooge Email, Claim Obama Did The Same

On Facebook and Twitter, Walker's tools are in vandal-style damage control trying to deflect the criticism being leveled at Gov. Scott Walker for his atrociously tacky email asking supporters directly to deny gifts to their children and instead send the money to support his re-election campaign.

One resident troll hyper-ventilating over the subject on the #WIunion tag posted two Obama fund raising examples as proof that Obama in the recent past did the same as Walker. LOL.

Pretty simple stuff here ..."ASK for a donation in lieu of gift." It could be for a baby shower, birthday, wedding or Mitzvah. Obama is asking supporters to tell their gift giving friends about this option.

Example #2

Again, much like the first example, this letter suggests that those supporters reaching milestones in their lives consider forgoing gift cards from well-wishers and ask family and friends to instead donate to Obama for America. Nobody is denying somebody else for Obama. This is fifth grade reading comprehension.

No question that most fundraising requests come off a little clumsy, naive and often demanding, but in no way does Obama ask his supporters to deny their children or somebody else a gift in order to donate to his campaign.

Scott Walker on the other hand, asked his supporters (with children) to specifically NOT purchase gifts for their children this holiday season during Black Friday, and instead give that money to him to support his campaign efforts. Big difference.

Of note in these laughable comparisons, is Walker's foot soldiers never point to Obama's campaign deputy or director for being responsible for whatever they think is wrong with Obama's fund raising letters - it's always Obama did it.

On that note, I highly doubt Walker's email was composed by the 23-year-old campaign deputy Taylor Palmisano. Not to take anything away from her, but the email, despite its poor choreography and obvious meanness towards children, was a personalized yet carefully worded summary accurately depicting Scott Walker's economic and social attitude toward others. My guess is Politifact would rate it "True."

Lastly, considering that most of Walker supporters regularly call Obama a stupid and corrupt politician, to put it mildly, I always find added humor in their attempts justifying Walker's actions by elevating him to Obama's standards. Always a hoot.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Gov. Walker's Holiday Email As Outrageous As Act 10 Itself

From Scott Walker Watch, Creator/Artist unknown?
Would you believe it? Gov. Scott Walker, who has the personal wealth of Big Business billionaires tucked into his hip pockets, sent an email encouraging supporters NOT to buy gifts for their children during the holidays, but to use that money instead to support his re-election effort.

Walker Black Friday Email Excerpt:
Instead of electronics or toys that will undoubtedly be outdated, broken, or lost by the next Holiday Season, help give your children the gift of a Wisconsin that we can all be proud of. [...] Donate $5, $10 or $25 to help Governor Walker get reelected and save your children from a future of double-digit tax increases and billion dollar budget deficits.

It certainly looks like Scott Walker would steal candy from a baby if it meant one more dollar in his political campaign kitty.

Actually, his supporters should love the fund raising suggestion because in many ways, it's an austerity built on Act 10. This is where budgets are balanced by taking something away from one, in this case from the children, and giving the spoils, actually "savings" in Walker's eyes, to another - himself.

Sorry kids, but your parents are broke. It's a zero sum game and you knew this was coming, and the "haves," that's you kids, will have to forego your usual entitlement of toys and stuff you never really earned or deserved anyways, during the holidays. That's Act 10 on a Christmas card. More accurately, that's Scott Walker on a Christmas card.

I'm convinced that the core premise of the email was not developed by some over-exuberant campaign stooge, but by I-have-nothing-to-do-with-it Gov. Scott Walker himself.

The really crazy part is, is Scott Walker’s fanatical supporters are batshit enough to do it. Anything for the dear leader.


Cog Dis - The Walker-Grinch That Stole Christmas

Wisconsin Gazette - Scott Walker: Forget toys for the kids and give money to me

New York Times (Blog) - No Comment Necessary: Spend Money on Politicians, Not Gifts

Think Progress - Governor Tells Supporters To Forgo Buying Children Presents, Give Money To His Campaign Instead

UK Mail Online -Scrooged: Wisconsin governor asked parents to make campaign contributions INSTEAD of buying their children gifts on Black Friday

FreakOut Nation - Gov Scott Walker asks supporters to not give children Christmas presents, but donate to his campaign instead