Today is

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Budget Monster Heading Doyle's Way

The WMC has succeeded in stopping the Wisconsin state budget. If you recall, it was only a few weeks ago when the special interest group was given access to the state legislature to present their position against Healthy Wisconsin. They got their wish but they want more.

In Wisconsin, state Republicans don’t fall too far from the borrow-and-spend budget tree their brethren in past GOP Congresses grew from. It is beginning to appear that Wisconsin republicans, threatened by the pay-as-you-go balancing democrats are hellbent on either shutting down the state or producing a budget that guarantees another deficit. Whatever they think they’re doing, I hope they keep doing it. I couldn't write the script any better for them. Excerpt:
Doyle said Friday that approach would transform the Legislature into the U.S. Congress, lurching from one financial crisis to the next. He also said Republicans have not shown where they'd get that $4.8 billion.
The Republicans agree in principle (minus Healthy Wisconsin) to nearly the same amount of spending the democrats asked for but cannot figure out where they're getting the money from? And they're blaming Democrats? It doesn’t make sense. But hey fellas, instead of collecting the money in taxes to pay the bills, hold some craft and bake sales every day. That ought to satisfy the WMC. Fight tooth and nail against the tax on Big Oil profits too, we can all relate to that.

The late budget already looks deliberate if not a desperate political ploy by the Republicans to slow down or hold back state Democrats recent bump in popularity. That's obvious.

Sending the Governor another flatlining budget monster requiring a surgical veto knife to balance won't work either. Been there, done that, and besides you've already gone to that well too often. I can’t wait for the 2008 elections.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Floating Referendums Can Restore Sinking Confidence

Now that the dust has settled from the UAW strike, people in Janesville can get back to the main issue of the day - the decision to build a central city-wide aquatics center.

Back on September 23rd, the Janesville Gazette editorialized that residents should drop the referendum idea regarding the $5 million project. On the surface I agree with the idea that we elect leaders to make decisions and should let them do their jobs. But now it’s only a matter picking and choosing sites, bells and whistles which most agree should be left up to the council and committees. However, we've gotten way ahead of ourselves, the problem here is that the initial decision to go ahead with planning a new aquatics center is what most are opposed to.

Again, most are questioning the logic and authority to move forward with the spending and the planning in the first place. Recent observations of neglected city-run parks and existing pool facilities also makes the addition of a multi-million dollar aquatics facility to the city’s maintenance inventory seem like a folly.

The Gazette noted their editorial rejected the referendum idea and did not endorse any pool plan. But they did not reject the administration's initial plan to move on a new facility either, it can be safely assumed at this point their position is pro-new water facility.

But this argument is not about the aquatic center in the Gazette’s eyes. Janesville in their view is run just like the growth doctor ordered – a small council of seven volunteer citizens elected at-large, a city manager whose duty and position is relegated to little more than bean counting, and citizen committees handpicked, approved and indoctrinated by the very administration they are charged to oversee. Some might say I’m bashing the city council and manager. I’m not. Most of them, but not all are dedicated people doing a decent job with what they have - I just strongly disagree with the agenda and the non-representation process. In an earlier posting, I’ve said that Janesville operates essentially leaderless, but again that has nothing to do with city hall personnel. It’s set up to be leaderless – it’s the process. The power players love it.

The continuous suggestion of a referendum on nearly every major new project is a vote of no-confidence in city leadership, plain and simple. This is what the Gazette wants to shut down.

Janesville, like many cities across the U.S. has taken the pro-growth route as the priority in nearly every decision they make, when they should be making decisions based on everything BUT growth. When things are working right and decisions are based on quality and not quantity, the environment, affordability, long-term durability, access, adaptability, future expansion and enjoyment - growth will follow.

Unfortunately though, if it comes down to a referendum for the aquatics facility, the pro-growth club will be out in full force just like they were with the school referendum. The power players including the chamber of commerce will have to spend money to run ads in the paper. The Gazette will run articles about peer cities with pool facilities, growth charts and quality of life issues till you turn blue, while those against the aquatics expenditure inherently don’t have the media resources or the organization. The growth people will prevail.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
We generally don't favor referendums for making tough decisions. They cost money.
I know this will sound like surrender but considering the way things are set up in Janesville, we’re better off trusting the council to do the right thing. This way there is a chance however remote, they might opt for smart choices including to restore, renovate and maintain the recreational facilities we have. Either way, opposition to future spending projects and corporate welfare growth enticements will fall on deaf ears in city government at least until some people with a new and different perspective are brought in, and the system is changed.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Globalists: Pushing Americans Off A Cliff

Tuesday’s Janeville Gazette contained two editorials. One, a rather neutral if not outright shallow editorial about the nationwide GM-UAW strike. The other, an open letter to Gov. Jim Doyle blaming him for what appears to be their own (GOP) party endorsement inadequacies.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
So are Democrats really bargaining in good faith? Not in our book.
The paper also ridicules Senate tax increases as tough to swallow but then approves of the $1.25 cigarette tax increase because studies have shown taxpayers are forced to pay up to $500 million annually in medical costs directly tied to smoking.

The newspaper then urges residents to remind those stubborn (taxpayer protecting) Republicans of these numbers. The Gazette editors are convinced of this, so therefore it must be true.

But the UAW strike editorial is far more telling once again of the newspaper’s position with the local autoworkers union. Reminding readers of GM workers pay and benefits as if something to be ashamed of, and questioning the wisdom of the strikers.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
Local GM workers get hourly pay and benefits that most Janesville residents can only dream about. Why, many residents wonder, would they be so crass as to strike given GM's perilous finances? Do they want to chase more jobs overseas?
Not once in this lightweight editorial did they make any attempt to explain or defend the union position as the only position workers must take if they want to have any chance slowing the exodus of manufacturing jobs. Not once did the editors question the wisdom of CEO's, executives and upper management taking HUGE pay increases and bonuses when concessions are required to save the company.

Corporatists and investment profiteers are committed to the globalization agenda and will blame anything they can for turning their backs on American workers. If it's not health care costs, it's the unions, if it's not the unions then it's government regulations, and if it's not government regulations it's pensions, entitlements, competition or anything else they can think of for workers to forfeit to "save their jobs." Experts have said GM is holding all the cards, but the only one that matters is the turn your back on America card - the exit card - so it's entirely up to them whether this strike continues.

Some industry observers think the UAW's position is a bluff or just political theatre. I wouldn't be so sure.

Paul Ryan Votes Against Expanding SCHIP
The Excerpt:
"More government-run, big-bureaucracy health care that pushes people out of private coverage isn’t the answer to our health care crisis,” Ryan said
Ryan....explaining why the current free market system of healthcare has failed but should not be tampered with, particularly by the government.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Negotiating With The Budget Boogeymen

In an effort to lead the way past all the partisan bickering, Sen. Judy Robson has once again stepped up to the plate with her willingness to cross party lines and initiate efforts necessary to finally craft a workable state budget with the help of Republicans. But despite capping off a compromise where Democrats are willing to drop Healthy Wisconsin from the budget operating table in exchange for increased revenue, among them a tax on big oil profits, state Republicans still appeared hostile to any reconciliation.
LaCrosse Excerpt:
“I am providing you nothing in return,” Huebsch said at the meeting.
As much as I can respect Robson’s willingness to extend concessions in the name of progress, it still takes two to tango.
LaCrosse Excerpt:
“No more reasons why we can’t get the budget done,” Robson said. “I hope this will be the beginning of the end of this budget stalemate.”
Not when you're dealing with the boogeymen.
Bush Seeks $200 Billion Surge In War Money for military-industrial complex. Bush can’t let the words of spokesmen Osama bin Laden go wasted when they are still fresh in everyone's memory. Congress will rubberstamp it or forever be labeled “defeatists” and “cut and runners.”
Rise in Gasoline prices
In May of this year, I predicted gasoline prices would NOT fall in September or October because it's NOT an election year. Just lucky.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gazette: Teaching Can Be Rewarding

Today's Gazette editorial titled Higher education is better option close to home seemed innocent enough until they dropped this line.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
With the shortages of math, science and special education teachers and those teaching bilingual courses, a teaching degree can be rewarding.
Remember the Mr.Miffed fictional editorial in a January edition titled “Teachers need reality check on benefits?” That one editorial was and is the best example of the Gazette’s position regarding teachers wage and benefit "rewards."
JG Mr. Miffed Excerpt(From January 21th):
Teachers also must realize that us taxpayers are finding fewer good jobs with generous benefits these days. Look at out many jobs GM has squeezed out at the plant. And new jobs seem to be service work – low paying jobs at big box stores, burger joints and the like. Again, teachers need a dose of reality. I support your efforts to get them to share health care benefits.
But only after they trash-can teachers healthcare and benefits, eagerly endorse GOP politicians who would rather exclude oil profits from taxes than give education the funds necessary to keep good teachers close to home AND write editorials equating a career in teaching with flippin' burgers for a living. Yeah, if you can survive all that, a career as a teacher in Janesville can be really rewarding.


Mattel Apologizes to China:
Proof these guys will say anything to keep the cheap labor and wild-west business practices in China intact. Don’t want to rock that boat – no sir! That’s “free markets.”

Worth less than a Looney
Look at the bright side. If the dollar keeps falling, American companies won’t be able to afford taking their jobs overseas. AND I don't think there's anything left for America to lose under Bush. He has left no stone unturned.

From bad to worse. How to destroy an economy in ten easy steps.
Fed Cut Starts Borrowing cycle all over again. Fed Chief Bernanke taking us in the direction of “loose” money and a cheaper dollar, the same misdirection Greenspan chose that put us in this dilemma in the first place.

With all the hype surrounding Greenspan in the past week I would agree that he was smart and a legendary double-talker. But Greenspan supports privatization, trade agreements (genuine free markets need agreements?) and selling treasury notes to force globalization complicity under the guise of indebtedness. Most in our Congress legislate this tangled web and more. America is spiraling down while the rich are getting richer. I may be the only person in the world to say this, but to put it as nicely and bluntly as possible….......Alan Greenspan is a screw-up.

Student tasered by Jethro Bush’s University Police for “inciting a riot.’ Demanding that Bush be impeached should start a groundswell of enthusiastic citizens to march on the White House. But nooooooooo. Governor Jethro will be pinning medals of bravery on the premature reactionary taser cops for Christmas.Betrayal is the perfect theme and ultimate truth for what Bush and his hand-picked supporters are doing to the country. It’s too bad MoveOn linked up the Petraeus name to this…...that was sooooooo republican. In fact it was Republican!! MoveOn may have gotten the idea from none other than Rush Limbaugh when Rush, earlier this year referred to Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as Sen. Betrayus for his anti-rape Iraq stance.

Evansville Plans Community Center

There really isn’t much to say about the Evansville Community/Senior Pool and Recreation Facility as reported in the Janesville Gazette. It sounds fantastic!! All the right moves, keywords and media presentation – million dollar donation, downtown location, non-profit group, game room, craft room…..the list goes on and on.
JG Excerpt:
"With the costs involved, we're hoping to shrink that to one pool because it's very costly for a small community," she said. "We're trying to be as frugal and realistic as we can."

They’ll need more than a million dollars but what a start!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gazette: Still Re(a)d All Over

Last week, Media Matters published a report, "Black and White and Re(a)d All Over: The Conservative Advantage in Syndicated Op-Ed Columns," an analysis of nationally syndicated columnists from nearly every daily newspaper in America. It is worth noting that this report described Wisconsin's newspaper media as "progressive" in general. But you wouldn't know it living here in Rock County.

By now, the Janesville Gazette subscriber and advertiser base in Rock County should be aware of the newspaper's editorial endorsements, Republican leanings and right-wing economics. Some readers still make weak attempts to link the paper up with democrats or even left-wing organizations. Subscribers also mistake the idea that since the Gazette recently has been publishing some off-color cartoons from the fringes, that it somehow helps balance their conservative editorial slant. It doesn’t - don’t be fooled.

Cartoons are meant to draw specific reactions with adjacent articles and othertimes are deliberately presented to stir up the base. I use them here, but this is a blog, it’s not a subscription-based mainstream media outlet. There should be a difference.

I would rather see newspapers present balanced news reports with a more open and honest centrist editorial view than one that has has an extreme political editorial right or left, only to think if they present cartoons or other views from the opposing extreme, they are achieving some form of balance. The Gazette seems to be heading in this direction.

But back to their syndicated political columnists. For being a relatively smaller paper, the Gazette has quite a few of the national columnists. So I thought it would be fun ranking their ideological differences in this simple chart. Sure, my analysis is not scientific, but it does represent about ten years of steady reading.

From my perspective, I’ve decided to put values on progressives from 0 to 100, 100 being the liberal extreme, and conservatives from 0 to –100, -100 being the conservative extreme with zero of course being the center. MediaMatters for instance labeled David Broder as a centrist. Not in my opinion. He leans to the right, not heavily but enough to consider him a conservative.This is not in any way connected with MediaMatters. And again, it is not scientific, but I will stand by my perspective. I separated McNally and Milam from the rest because their columns are usually Wisconsin only. It’s worth noting the Gazette carried Molly Ivins up until her passing. Although she was one of the most knowledgeable critics of the Bush Administration and a progressive, I would not have considered her extreme – but about a positive 50.

It appears the Janesville Gazette may be only one progressive columnist away from achieving Op-ed balance or they can permanently drop one of the full-time conservatives writers for the same effect. This excludes their ownership and editorial staff ideological position which of course would require much more drastic measures to "balance."

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Strive For Better Pay And Benefits - Support Unions

Things are fairly quiet in Janesville considering the midnight hour is just around the corner regarding UAW and teacher union contracts.
JG Sound Off:
On GM Workers:
Go fight, Janesville GM workers; at least your pay and benefits are equitable to the work that you do. Try being a teacher. -- anonymous
But you know it’s coming. Anarcho-capitalists, conservatives, Republicans, libertarians and corporatists living, working and residing in Rock County are licking their chops at the thought of UAW union concessions. They can’t wait. The first thing their media enablers will do is draw up charts and peer statistics comparing percentages of any new UAW wage and benefits concessions to others in the area – but primarily to teachers unions. This will go on for months.

There is a lot riding on the negotiations not only for GM workers in Janesville or the teachers unions but for everybody else – even the seven dollar and hour workers will lose if union workers must sacrifice. Don’t give up without a fight and all workers regardless of union affiliation should be supporting their cause.
JG Sound Off:
On Teacher Contract:
Only “about 200 of the 800-plus teachers came to the meeting” Page 7A, Thursday. This shows most don’t care enough about their contract to attend a meeting. If you expect public sympathy on this contract, forget it. -- anonymous
To the contrary, that was a great turnout. For one thing it showed that enough teachers are concerned enough to make a stand and show support for their leadership. Any more and I’d say they have a problem. So, one out of four ain’t bad. Try to get one out of four Janesville residents to show up at City Hall to stand up against council rubber-stamping. You’d be lucky to get one brave soul out of 62,000.
JG Sound Off:
On Health Care:
If we get the government involved, it will be like the motor vehicle division or the post office - go stand in line and wait. -- anonymous
This rant or one with the same message is printed at least once a month in the paper. But this person may have a point. You mean it will be affordable for everyone? But universal health care IS NOT government-run health care. The actual health care will still be provided by private enterprise competing for your business. The only reason why people don't stand in line and wait for health care now is because the lines aren't clogged by all the people who need help but by only those who can afford it.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Greenspan Reverses Truth About War

Congressional Republicans "swapped principle for power," he wrote. "They ended up with neither. They deserved to lose." And though he urged Bush to veto bills to exercise fiscal discipline, the president did not follow through, and that was a "major mistake."
Since we know Greeenspan wasn’t implying that Bush veto security and war effort expenditures it becomes clear that Greenspan thought Bush should veto domestic spending, otherwise known as discretionary non-military spending. Which in this case under Bush was being slowly diverted anyways to the war or outright defunded. It becomes reasonable to assume that Bush created deficits with his tax cuts, annual Iraq war appropriations and “loose” money induced inflation. In other words, Bush did the exact opposite of what should have been done but what Greenspan was proposing was even worse. He wanted to go much further and basically suffocate federal spending.

By far, the most important statement with any merit in Greenspan's book is…….
War for Oil “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.” – Alan Greenspan
No double-talk here, just plain easy to understand English. Can you imagine all the snide remarks coming from the right after that one? ...... Why does he hate Bush? Why does Greenspan hate America. Why does he hate our troops? The right-wing blackballers of truth must have stepped in quickly because less than two days later, Greenspan is claiming that securing Iraq oil was not the administrations motive.......IT WAS HIS?!
Greenspan Backtracks:
The fiscal guru quickly backed off that assertion by suggesting that while securing global oil supplies "was not the administration's motive," it should have been. He said when he made the argument that ousting Saddam Hussein was "essential" because of the threat he posed to U.S. oil interests in the region, White House officials told him "Well, unfortunately, we can't talk about oil."
Is that like trying to assasinate Hugo Chavez as an “essential” action because of the perceived threat he poses to Bush Administration oil interests in the region? The more Greenspan talks to reverse the truth, the more he ends up just burying himself.It also turns out that Greenspan's Federal policy over interest rates may have been was a huge contributing factor in the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage industry. Of course, just because Greenspan gave greedy lenders an inch, doesn't mean they should have taken a mile.
Petraeus Report:
Without guaranteed access to Iraq's oil, we absolutely could not maintain our military and economic dominance of the world. Vice President Cheney has known this, even spoken publicly about it, for many years. And why else would he have convened a meeting of Big Oil representatives within his first month in the White House to pore over maps of Iraq's oil fields, as if that were the top priority of the administration?

Monday, September 17, 2007

State Tax Ranking Game A Game

Sunday’s Janesville Gazette Editorial "Alliance’s report on state finances could cut rhetoric," focused on the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance report on comparing tax burdens of "peer" states.

I don’t know how the costs of the war in Iraq figures into this but as of now, it’s $7,300,000,000 and counting. In 4 1/2 years that amounts to over $1.5 billion a year for Wisconsin alone. Are these deferred costs rolled into future debt or are they cuts or shifts in Federal spending? Or is this revenue just mysteriously sucked out of the economy. One way or another, IT IS A TAX. The cost burden for the Iraq war was not mentioned in the editorial, yet it differs from state to state. Perhaps it's part of some meaningless nonsense that will just add to the rhetoric.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
200 MILLION The drop in Federal dollars coming to Wisconsin between 2004 and 2005.
What exactly is between the years 2004 and 2005? New Years Day? Is this in addition to $1.5 billion shifted to Iraq?
Wistax Excerpt:
If the state is ranked using it’s four principle taxes – individual and corporate income, property and sales…..
Whoa…hold it right there. If anyone has been following any of my observations here about corporate taxes, it should come as no surprise in the state of Wisconsin that corporations don’t pay taxes. They merely shift the taxes into the costs of goods and services they sell. Whether it be the late Leona Helmsley, Janesville Gazette editors or State Rep. Neal Kedzie just to name a few, they all repeat the same talking points when a federal or state agency proposes some new or additional tax on corporations. It's almost funny the way they all immediately jump to the defense of poor people when taxes on profits come up. They just don’t believe government can impose a tax on corporations or profits without the little people paying. They should know.

Knowing this, Wisconsin must be ranked 50th in actual tax collections from businesses NOT passed on to the little people. It is a game.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Not much to snag and nothing new from Bush/Petraeus
Iraq War about Oil:
AMERICA’s elder statesman of finance, Alan Greenspan, has shaken the White House by declaring that the prime motive for the war in Iraq was oil.
Where would he get such a looney idea? Why does Alan Greenspan hate America? Why does he hate Bush?

Bush Vows Troop cuts? or…Bush prepares for troop reductions? The MSM flood our senses with the idea that this is a concession of sorts from Bush. His new troop plan is the same as the old plan. If we're lucky, by the end of summer next year, there will be nearly 5,000 more soldiers in Iraq than there were in 2006. He could have also said given the right circumstances, we could be out of Iraq by 2067 or when the oil runs dry or.....whichever occurs first!

Headline: The Mystery behind surging Oil Prices All the greed, speculation and manipulation…… and they're still calling this a mystery?

The Swamp Excerpt

Quote of the Month
General Petraeus is a decorated combat veteran. It is an absolute disgrace for anybody to vilify a man who has served his country in war" - Swift Boat Veterans for Truth
The Republican base slammed the New York Times and whined about the MoveOn ad. The ad was tame compared to the vicious attacks and verbal outrages they perpetrate against Dems and anti-war supporters everyday.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

If Bin Laden Lived In America

After surfing some right-wingnut blogs for the past few days, I couldn’t help shake my head in amazement and chuckle out loud on the common thread about how Usama bin Laden is a democrat and, those on left won’t face up to this truth after viewing his latest video.

But these folks typically ignore the facts and prefer to buy into the propaganda and judge a terrorists motives and intentions only by their shallow likes and dislikes. Their logic would place us in a war of personal preferences and not against an ideological enemy. They throw in bin Laden’s flattering quotes about Noam Chomsky as proof but completely ignore his religious references to Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary’s ties to Islam. If Chomsky makes UBL a lefty, then Jesus makes UBL a Christian.

In this latest video, the right prefers to ignore UBL’s rigid Islamic ideological policies, but swear up and down this is a religious war. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
"There are no taxes in Islam, but rather there is a limited Zakaat [alms] totaling only 2.5%." -- Usama bin Laden, September 2007
This statement clarifies UBL's policy and completely disqualifies Republicans and their lackeys attempts to associate Usama with democrats. There is just no way, just no way any tax and spend democrat would survive in Usama’s right-wing religio-world. But this sounds like Utopia for Conservatives, Republican types and IRS abolitionists.

This is all propaganda and war supporters have bought into it hook, line and sinker.
Professional? Gasbag:
It's irrefutable: If bin Laden lived in America, he'd be most inclined to vote Democrat.
Fair enough. Whether you’re the Pope, Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush or Usama bin Laden, if you want to end this dirty war in Iraq – Vote Democratic. But who really cares whether bin Laden would vote democratic or rails against capitalism, or thinks George W. Bush is a failure, or maybe enjoys eating pizza or his likes or dislikes? He’s a terrorist!!

What is more indicative of UBL, if I may throw in an equal supposition is: If bin Laden lived in America with the same religious convictions, sexist ideas, tax policy, political philosophy and general views of world domination he has today but only marginalized by an American upbringing, guess which party he would be in? And more importantly, who would vote for him?

The same people who voted for George W. Bush – that’s who!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Illegal Immigrants: High Value - Low Pay

It’s nice to get back to basics once in a while and write about the things that compelled me to start this blog in the first place.

Sunday’s Janesville Gazette ran an article about the Federal government's drive to finally begin enforcing employment rules employers were obligated to follow but ignored in their quest to hire cheaper and cheaper labor.

The article Somebody is going to pay was an explanation of the potential consequences from the expected rule enforcement on employers of illegal immigrants and contained commentary and opinion supporting a business-only view without regard to national or social security issues. Not a problem if presented in the op-ed section of the newspaper, but unfortunately the Gazette pasted this as frontpage headlines of the local news section. The journalist was then able to morph an obviously one-sided opinion piece loaded with conjecture, assumptions and warnings into a news event targeting primarily consumers and local employers.

Participants in the story also were allowed to stray by mixing definitions and issues of illegal immigration in with legally documented workers.

I’m not taking anything away from the supporting cast but every perspective and opinion offered fell in line with a no-amnesty, pro-temporary worker visa policy as the solution to the problem when there are alternatives. How they can reconcile the importance and high value manual labor brings to the economy with poverty level pay is difficult to understand. If our economy must rely on millions of poverty wage undocumented workers in order to survive – then we have a failed economy. That is the real story here.

Monday, September 10, 2007

WMC Likes Things Just The Way They Are

This is a list of Rock County businesses and individuals who have signed a petition drawn up by the WMC to stop the Senate (democrats) state budget. You can view the entire list here.
The folks below say there are ways to grow our economy and create jobs better than what the democrats have to offer.
Sunday’s Janesville Gazette headline story, Wages just aren’t keeping up reports on the census results of growing the economy "their way." Poverty in Janesville has DOUBLED and the average median household income has gone DOWN in a period of only seven years. Worse yet, the most current trend showed the largest increase in statewide poverty ballooned since 2005. But the WMC doesn't want anyone especially the democrats to screw around with this. They must figure "hey, why ruin a good thing."
JG Excerpt:
Is there a solution out there? "Boy, I don't have an answer to that one, I wish there were." -- Kennedy Elementary Principal, Niel Bender
We might not have the answer but after 15 years of "Contract with America" topped off by the last six years of Bush-style trickle-down economics, wrong-headed trade agreements, outsourcing jobs, shipping in labor, privatization for profits, misguided tax cuts and massive foreclosures on Bush's ownership society, we know what clearly doesn't work. IT'S TIME FOR NEW DIRECTION.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Bin Laden – Bush's Number One Salesman

I really thought this murderous nutball was quietly evaporated by an airstrike a year ago but that Bush kept his legacy alive to bolster support for his war.

If the video is authentic, Usama is living proof of George W. Bush's failures during the past six years and ironically, his best salesman. Bin Laden is far right, an heir to a billion dollar fortune, wants to escalate the war and hates democracy, but he's also savvy enough to tell Americans what they want to hear about greed and capitalism - looks like the GOP found themselves a new presidential candidate.

Friday, September 07, 2007


Bush knew Saddam had no WMD The intelligence was ALWAYS RIGHT.
After cutting his ties to bathroom solicitor Larry Craig, we now learn that Mitt Romney’s national finance committee co-chairman Alan Fabian was charged with mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice. This is strange indeed – a republican presidential candidate’s potential future cabinet getting busted BEFORE they have a chance to further wreck the country.
CEO gets $31.9 million for four months!!!
Driving Ford into the ground.
When Ford CEO Mulally was asked last week about criticism of his compensation, he said that leadership counts. Ford could hire steal me for $25 million for a whole year and they will not lose $12.6 billion like they did under Mulally. I’m sooooo confident that if they do lose more, I’ll return half of the $25 million.
Bush Fuzzy Math

Allan Sloan from Fortune magazine stated Bush’s projected deficit of $158 billion is padded with billions in borrowed money making the deficit really closer to $448 billion.

But Sloan may have missed something – those nasty little annual “one-time appropriations” the president requests to keep the soldiers in Iraq are NOT included in the national budget. Although the budget includes about $50 billion in anticipated spending on the wars in Afganistan and Iraq, Bush has consistently gone over that figure by an average of $60 billion a year, putting the “real” national budget deficit for 2007 at $508 billion.

I can hear Bush defenders already. But when Bill Clinton padded his budget figures with borrowed money, at least his produced a surplus.
After convincing Americans that they should not fear his warrantless eavedropping with “you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” assurance. Bush now wants to grant legal immunity to telecommunications companies that are slapped with privacy suits for cooperating with the White House's warrantless eavesdropping program. Why? They should have nothing to fear if they have nothing to hide.
Rove warning Bush back in 2000 about choosing Dick cheney for his vice-president is like Freddy Krueger warning the boogey man that hockey-mask Jason is lurking in the closet.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Gazette Professionals Clean Up Troha/Ryan

Man charged in slush fund case.......The title just couldn't get any more generic. One can only imagine the Gazette newsroom on red alert scrambling to smooth the edges on this latest newsflash. But in related reports about Troha donations from March 1st of this year, the Janesville Gazette was not shy about throwing out Gov. Doyle or the Dems to the sharks.

There are now at least three different versions of the most recent events involving Troha cohorts and their connections to Rep. Paul Ryan. The Gazette hardcopy article was quite different than either the Associated Press article written by Scott Bauer or the one written by John Diedrich of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Some of the differences were:
1. The Gazette put the donations total from Troha to Gov. Doyle at $200,000. The MJS wrote “over $100,000" and the AP said it was closer to $22,000.
2. Although technically correct, the Gazette reported no other co-conspirators were named or charged, while conveniently leaving out that Rep. Paul Ryan was named in the documents.
3. The Gazette asserted Gov. Doyle has refused to return any of the money, while the other articles correctly reported that Gov. Doyle intends to return any money he received illegally.
4. The Gazette and AP put donations to Paul Ryan at $58,000 while the MJS claimed over $100,000
5. The AP article omitted the Young, Oberstar, Ryan trucking connection completely while the Gazette did mention it, but attempted to wipe the slate clean by implying that since Ryan donated the money to the Kenosha Boys and Girls Scouts, no quid pro quo existed.

The Gazette did disclose that their hardcopy article was a combined effort of the Gazette Staff and the Associated Press. Unfortunately, the Gazette print copy is not online as of this posting.

Opinion: Ryan, along with the other two congressmen appear as the only ones whose actions were effected by the donations. However, nothing new will probably come against politicians from the latest allegations simply because there are too many on this train, including George W. Bush. But if no charges were never intended to be brought against the politicians, I can't help the thought that Paul Ryan, a republican, was intentionally mentioned in the documents possibly to help lift the aura of partisanship from within Biskupic's office.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Troha Associate Charged - Ryan Named

With the exception of Paul Ryan, no other politicians are mentioned.
JS Online Excerpts:

U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic and the FBI have been investigating a deal first reported in March by the Journal Sentinel's No Quarter column in which three congressmen, including Ryan, helped push through legislation in 2005 aimed at helping the trucking conglomerate formerly owned by Troha.

With the exception of Ryan, politicians aren't named in the documents.

Ryan and the other two House members - Don Young, an Alaska Republican, and Jim Oberstar, a Minnesota Democrat - received numerous donations from Troha and his family. Troha's old firm also is paying Troha consulting fees through 2010 for getting the measure signed into law.

Authorities also have been investigating a $25,000 contribution that Troha gave to the National Republican Congressional Committee in March 2006, just weeks after Ryan met with federal authorities to complain that they weren't moving on the application for a proposed Kenosha casino, then being spearheaded by Troha, No Quarter reported.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Republicans Play April Fools On Labor Day

The Janesville Gazette pre-Labor Day editorial was one of the oddest editorials I've ever read. They dwelled on some of organized labors greatest achievements and identified some of the most offensive corporate policies and practices that have eroded workers rights and leverage, only to throw their support in with union opposition at nearly every legislative turn.
JG Editorial Excerpt:
The UAW likely will need to swallow more concessions to keep the U.S. companies afloat. It's laudable that union leaders seem to realize this and are working with, rather than against, the automakers.
Union leaders have always worked for an amicable agreement with their corporate counterparts, but the changes that have taken place over the years have placed this sense of cooperation into an unhealthy role of submission.

It is now clear that the only reason why GDP growth has not been reaching the paychecks of the most productive workers in the world is traceable to the corporate offensive against organized labor that began years ago under Ronald Reagan.

Times are changing again, people are smarter and they are beginning to realize the consequences of all the broken promises of failed trade agreements and labor concessions resulting from years of submitting to a false center. It is no wonder that while unions have declined over the past 30 years, so has our sense of national unity.

The certain rise of American organized labor should be greeted with wild enthusiasm. It is the only movement that transcends racial, occupational, educational, economic and religious inequalities. Labor is one of the remaining few organizations that canvass neighborhoods and mobilize co-workers for progressive ideals and a higher quality of life.

Contrary to right-wing history revisionists who give union-hating Reagan credit for transforming the Soviet Union into Russia, it was Poland's Solidarity Labor Union that gave rise to the fall of the Berlin Wall. Anarcho-capitalists hate them, Republicans despise them, corporatists loathe them and communists and fascist dictators would like to kill them.

Before the Gazette editorial staff can answer the question: Have we much to celebrate this Labor Day? - they need to first ask themselves if "they" are part of "we"?

Side-by-side: Two labor articles - eerily similar.

Pro-Union - Economic and Policy Research Published Aug.31, 2007
Anti-Union - Janesville Gazette Published Sept.2, 2007

Rep. Paul Ryan, voted against the EFCA and supports NAFTA and CAFTA, but here in Janesville, Ryan’s publicists over at the Gazette tout him as just “one of the guys” over at the GM plant.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Gazette Operatives Working "just in case"

After whining about Sen. Judy Robson’s open letter promoting a Buy Local movement to help boost the state's regional economies in their Wednesday editorial, the Janesville Gazette then crafts an open letter of their own promoting one of their political endorsements, Rep. Neal Kedzie (R) about a pet policy issue completely out of focus relative to the pressing state budget battle. But just three days earlier......
JG Editorial Excerpt:
If policy issues are contributing to the delay, remove them from the budget process and consider them separately after a budget is approved.
Unlike Kedzie, Judy Robson doesn't have an entire newspaper editorial staff working on her behalf. This is quite a trick by the Gazette, stuffing their editorial column with political propaganda and having people pay to read it. I only wish I had it that easy.

But by deriding Robson and the importance of the “Buy Local” subject matter, the Gazette gave us all a better understanding of their true feelings towards their own. Ironically, today's issue contains an article about "local" although not in the same context.

Icing on this cake: The Gazette posts Kedzie's original too-important-to-ignore-at-budget-time "bully" proposal on page 9A of today's paper, the day after they editorialized about it.

Worth Noting Again: For the second time, not one comment about the state budget impasse or the Janesville teachers negotiations in the anonymous Sound Off column of the Gazette, while the newspaper runs stories and editorials about both issues almost daily.

And then we have Stan Milam’s column about the budget battle where he writes of a alternative scenario that closely mirrors one I posted here Thursday morning.

But there are some serious differences. Milam’s “just in case” proposal avoids the obvious linkage of Republicans with “funding cuts,” and he suggests school districts can cut “their” spending not as a result of his no-fault Republican funding cuts, but as a reaction to “increased costs.” So, not only are we winding down assuming the same level of funding, Milam's corrective measure serves up a double-whammy by reducing school spending while simultaneously facing increased costs. Sort of like President Bush’s idea to cut taxes during wartime – only worse. And No.2, Milam, actually believes that school districts could craft workable budgets by ignoring all the realities of increased costs, to just continue at the same level of funding just to “see” what K-12 education would look like. But whatever you do, leave those football and basketball programs alone, take a more honest approach. Heh-heh.

In the end, Milam returns back to the commitment that eventually, the Republicans state may simply cut back on funding. Some experiment, huh? His “just in case” plan ignores reality and – personally, at this time I think it’s much safer to ignore the Republicans.