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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't Forget To Give Them The Finger On Tuesday

4,427 American soldiers lost their lives in the War on Iraq. 31,929 were wounded (20% of which are serious brain or spinal injuries). About $900 billion of US taxpayers' funds have been spent through Sept 2010.

If our country has anything to show for this horrendous loss of American life and treasure, it is in the hope and promise that Iraqi's can vote for their government officials in a real and durable democracy. In America, we seem to take that privilege lightly, almost willing to forfeit it just to avoid it, or if we can only push the responsibility onto somebody else.

There are some huge stakes hanging in the balance this Tuesday. The corporate politicians and their 24/7 Xstream media are hoping they made you sick enough not to bother to vote. We can't let those who drove our country into the ditch win by default - simply because we feel turned off by the campaigns or just don't feel up to voting.

Without you, there's a good chance the wrong candidates will win. Please give them the finger on Tuesday, figuratively speaking of course.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Paul Ryan Gets Schooled On SS Self-Employed Tax Credit

A self-employed phone-in caller (identified as Patricia) to the Gazette’s radio show explained how she is collecting Social Security and also holding two part-time jobs to make ends meet.

As a self-employer, she said she is paying 100% of the SS payroll taxes (12.4 Social Security plus 2.9 Medicare). With that, she then asks Rep. Paul Ryan if he (people making $100,000 or more) would be in favor of also paying 100% of the SS taxes from his earnings to help shore up Social Security – pay the full 15.3% like self-employed people pay.

Paul Ryan distorts this as a suggestion to lift the cap – which he is opposed to, and then trails off about how lifting the cap would be another tax increase and hurt small business and the self-employed. But that was not what she was asking.

The caller, Patricia, immediately responded, “That person (self-employed) also gets a tax deduction for half of that.” Ryan bellowed, “no they don’t – they pay full payroll taxes.” The caller then explained to the congressman that the self-employed get to claim half of the taxes they paid into Social Security as a credit. Ryan, “I’m not sure what you’re talking about …(radio host) never heard of that.”

Patricia reiterated that if you’re a self-employed person you pay the full 15.3 because you pay both the employer and employee portions, but when you pay taxes at the end of the year you get to deduct half of that from your gross income so you get a tax break.


The automaton Ryan then repeats his same old fixed talking points again claiming it will penalize the self-employed and it would only buy 6 years of solvency for Social Security and repeats it as a massive tax increase on self-employed people, bla, bla, bla.

However, the caller’s suggestion was superb in my view because it had absolutely, absolutely nothing to do with making any tax rate changes on the self-employed – those precious small businesses Ryan seems so quick to defend. Their rates would stay the same. She was asking whether employees only making over $100,000 could pay the same SS tax rate as if self-employed, to help shore up SS and also be eligible for the self-employed tax credit (for the break).

For someone who portends to be a guru on Social Security and taxes, Ryan got his clock cleaned.

On a separate note. One thing that needs to be said, especially for my younger readers is, when Paul Ryan claims that many suggestions about Social Security, Medicare or taxes are his ideas or that he alone proposed them - that's not true. Most if not all of them have been tossed around in Congress for decades and plenty more are ideas and suggestions from concerned citizens just like Patricia. He only takes those that fit his Randian ideology and compiled them into the roadmap.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Newspaper Wynnbags Slam Hixson For Supporting Family Initiative

It never ceases to amaze me as to what minor issues the Janesville Gazette (and a few select other newspapers) will hold against a candidate or incumbent for government office once they find themselves in a position grasping for straws and making stuff up.

Such was the case when the Janesville newspaper criticized State Rep. Kim Hixson in their endorsement for Republican Evan Wynn.
JG Excerpt:
How else do you explain his proposal to require companies employing 50 or more workers to provide 16 hours of paid time off so employees can be more involved in the lives of their schoolchildren?
I believe the Gazette is referring to 2009 AB116/SB86 - School Conference and Activities Leave. Hixson voted "Yes" when this WMC opposed legislation passed in Assembly (52 - 44). But he was not a sponsor of the bill.
State Of Wisconsin Excerpt:
But let's pretend Hixson sponsored the bill for the sake of Gazette editorial legitimacy. Shall we?

How dare he support working parents taking off an hour or two from their jobs to watch their kid perform in a school play or participate in parent/teacher conferences or character building sessions during school hours and believe they should not be punished with lost wages. Schoolchildren, especially during a poor economy, should know better than to expect to see their working parent share in their once-in-a-lifetime family bonding special events. Those privileges are only afforded to the privileged. The audacity of Hixson. Sheesh!

Even worse, the Gazette's editorial endorsement of the republican also implied that most of our area's unemployment is generated out of spite - out of the spite employees should expect if they vote for a candidate (Hixson) who believes businesses should pay their fair share of taxes. How is that working out for those of you who have lost jobs? is their thoughtfully Palinesque retort.

The newspaper also thinks it's refreshing to hear when a anti-guv health care candidate thinks people (school teachers in this case) should be forced away from their private health care plans and moved into ... you guessed it ... state employee pools if it means saving money.

The working class is in a race to bottom with these compassionate conservatives - they just want to soften the blow by making sure we all hit bottom at the same time.

Republican Candidate Issues "For Sale" Sign To Lobbyist Group

Note: This posting was not authorized by any political party or candidate.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Newspaper Masquerades Advocacy Group Position As News Article

Tuesday's Janesville Gazette contained a stand-alone article promoting the opinions and position of the Finding Forward Coalition, an advocacy group pushing for a "yes" vote on an amendment to the state constitution that would fundamentally change the way tax collections are allocated.

Many supporters of FFC's segregated funds referendum claim the government is "stealing" our money from the transportation fund to pay for other purposes.

The fact is, is the money collected as taxes legally granted to state agencies and districts doesn't belong to any private or public sector interest groups but to only the people of the state of Wisconsin. Excluding growth accounts like pension funds, arbitrarily locking up or shielding specific tax collections ignores economic realities and will hamper state officials enough into budget micromanagement eventually forcing them to raise taxes and fees elsewhere. It's sort of like budgeting for only your cable bill while the mortgage bill is left shorted.

For Wisconsin or other states to approve of an amendment to constitutionally segregate tax payer collections for special interest groups whether it be for roads, schools or sports stadiums is downright criminal, and is integral if not a major part of what is wrong with our country today.

It also seems that the folks demanding smaller government, less taxes and balanced budgets are the same folks who will abandon those principles as long as they get a guaranteed share piece of the pie. It's bad enough government and special interests are hand-in-hand scratching each other's backs, but this referendum has the potential to constitutionalize crony capitalism. Voting "Yes" is just another small but alarming step in the wrong direction.

I'm also concerned about the language and wording in these referendums as they are almost always designed to coerce a "yes" vote from the electorate, even when knowing they will result in the most destructive and self-defeating interests of democracy. The American people are generally an affirmative people when it comes to considering even small incremental steps of perceived forward progress. It's obvious referendum authors are taking full advantage of voter's goodwill.

I urge my readers to vote "NO" on both referendums placed on Rock County's November 2nd ballot.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Video: Tea Party Randroids Exercise Freedom

Outside a Senate debate last night, a progressive activist named Lauren was thrown to the ground by Tea Party thugs holding "Rand Paul" signs. As one held her down, another stomped her head -- producing an audible crunching sound.

Rand Paul's Senate campaign put out a statement condemning the violence on "both sides." What?? That's NOT ok -- we need accountability, not false equivalency.

Sign statement condemning TEA Party violence.

Newspaper Endorsement For Ryan As Empty As His Record

The Janesville Gazette said endorsing Rep. Paul Ryan was an easy choice don't laugh...

1. He understands the problems we face.
2. His breath of insight into the issues.
3. His knowledge.
4. He has risen to prominence
5. He debates policy on national talk shows.
6. His "Roadmap to America's Future" novel.
7. His "Young Guns" book.
8. Obama called his roadmap "detailed" and "legitimate"
9. He wants an "adult" conversation.
10. He acknowledges his party's failings.
11. He fears we're at a tipping point.
12. Newspaper agrees with his economic liberty and fiscal conservatism ideology.

But, something was dramatically missing. I mean, where's the substance? Where's his record?

Here's a few trick questions.

After twelve years in Congress, what has Paul Ryan ever done for the country? Okay, forget that one. What has he done for Wisconsin? Nothing, nada, zip, zero. What has he ever done for his district? Oh' my gosh, anybody? Take a wild stab at it...please! Something - anything. Well, if the vested editors of Paul Ryan's hometown newspaper could not find one substantive accomplishment to shamelessly grandstand for district readers - I don't suspect much different from anybody else.

Of course the Janesville newspaper's endorsement for Rep. Paul Ryan was no surprise. Admittedly, there was no way the editors or even moderately advanced citizens could possibly mention even one district accomplishment simply because there are none. That's right. So, the Gazette scores a point for not fabricating something on that issue.

But it really is not enough to just say that Paul Ryan has done nothing for the country or his district. I wish it were that good. Instead, Congressman Ryan has been a very polarizing figure on the national scene and in his contacts with the "little people." His rubber stamping votes during the GOP-led Bush era were directly responsible for exporting large swathes of his district's manufacturing sector and sending working class wages and benefits on a race to the bottom. His Roadmap is without question a calculating class-war heist designed to protect the wealthiest from paying their share of the country's snowballing debt. In short, Ryan has been a pretty big negative for the country and our district.

Their editorial however confirms the notion that Paul Ryan is a classic example of representational corporate government - Republicorps. That is to say, he represents corporation's needs to the government through his employment as our congressman, then takes those instructions back home under the umbrella of government to convince the people of those special interest needs - all under the guise of "your" choice.

In case you never noticed, Paul Ryan is not the one listening at his townhalls. Instead, he's the one doing most of the talking. He's slick at presenting a sales pitch to a captive audience - he's the salesman and a fairly successful one at that. His ballooning corporate funded campaign chest proves it.

Ryan's interactions and conversations with district media enablers like the Janesville Gazette are closely guarded, yet what little real information they convey usually revolves around disseminating his corporate DC "government" message back home to the people. While most others in Congress engage and connect with their constituents and frame a consensus in order to articulate their particular district's positions on the issues and their fiscal expectations into the halls of congress, Ryan is working in the exact opposite fashion. He's well schooled in a marketing plan fully approved by his Wall Street masters - and is charged with selling it to the rest of the country. Just consider that when Ryan initially unveiled his roadmap - he presented it first to the barons on Wall Steet for their approval. They applauded.

With that, Ryan's opponent John Heckenlively promises to represent the people, that promise alone is plenty more than Ryan has ever done. But with only a few hundred dollars to support his campaign, he is obviously a huge underdog to defeat the million dollar corporate suit. He will be swallowed whole by the big-money, big-spending establishment congressman.

Yet, despite the gi-normous lack of legislative and district accomplishments, his ideological hang-ups, broken math, hyper-partisanship, his class war road map propositions and all of the parochial incompetence and representational failings buried within his empty shell of spit-shined and greased armor, the Janesville newspaper concludes," Ryan is obviously the right person for this district."

Monday, October 25, 2010

Get Informed On Differences Between Coroner And Medical Examiner

Jenifer Keach offers her unique perspective as our county coroner and presents some very good arguments in this thorough if not almost neutral analysis comparing the differences between the offices of coroner and medical examiner.

Highly Recommended!
Coroners and Medical Examiners: A Comparison of Options Offered by Both Systems in Wisconsin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Newspaper Cheapshots Nass Opponent

Last week, the Janesville Gazette published what amounted to a question and answer campaign ad masquerading as a news article for incumbent Rep. Steve Nass (R) 31st District.

The funny thing was, was the Gazette deliberately gave the impression that Nass's challenger, Leroy Watson, a Libertarian, refused to cooperate (only Nass' answers were published), yet ran with instead quotes from Watson accusing Nass of not answering any questions. Of course that makes Watson sound like a loon.

In addition, the Janesville Gazette writer did not offer any explanation why Watson was not given the same respect to respond to the questions. Nor did the newspaper claim Watson refused to answer the questions. The Gazette must figure the misinformation is worth it just for some cheap entertainment value.

But Leroy Watson has a point about the people not knowing exactly where Nass stands...
Vote Smart Nass Rated ZERO:
Assembly Member Stephen L. 'Steve' Nass refused to tell citizens where he/she stands on any of the issues addressed in the 2010 Political Courage Test, despite repeated requests from Vote Smart, national media, and prominent political leaders.

This candidate has demonstrated 0% courage during the test.

Vote Smart Leroy Watson
This candidate has demonstrated 100% courage during the test.
View where Leroy Watson stands on the issues here.

Note: This posting about media bias and disinformation is not a political endorsement.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bush To Ryan – Heckuva Job Brownie

In a new book, Former President George W. Bush revealed that not privatizing Social Security was his greatest failure during the eight years he served in the White House. Bush of course hand-picked Rep. Paul Ryan for that dastardly mission.

Ryan is now said to be updating his Roadmap for a stronger "Kill the middle-class 3.0" presentation.
"Instead of helping seniors," explained House Speaker Pelosi's office to the publication, "Republicans, backed by their allies on Wall Street, are threatening to privatize and cut Social Security, just as they tried to do under President Bush."

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ryan's Home Base Scoring Big Dollars Through Stimulus And Letter Marks

I know, you see a chalk board and you might think Glenn Beck was here. Sorry to disappoint. But I couldn't help myself putting our local situation into perspective after I watched Keith Olbermann's video (at the bottom) on congressional districts capturing stimulus dollars through "letter" marks while their GOP representatives publicly slam the "Obama" stimulus as a failure. Olbermann was describing the 1st congressional district recovery to a tee.

With Republicans and the Tea Party, the big problem facing us is the deficit. It’s immoral they say, to spend money we don’t have. No, that’s not right – first we have to extend the Bush tax cuts because the worst time to raise taxes to pay down our debt is during a recession. Deficits can wait until we get the economy back on track - right? But maybe it’s not the deficit that’s the problem – maybe it’s the stimulus spending! That’s it. It’s the democrats fault. But that's not right either because local Republicans claim we need infrastructure improvements. Well, we can still blame democrats right? I mean afterall, they're the ones earmarking the spending.

But does anyone ever wonder why Rep. Paul Ryan’s name doesn’t pop up on the “A” list of deficit spending stimulus congressmen? Primarily it’s because Ryan’s biggest local contributors and support base don’t ask him for anything but tax cuts and smaller government. But don't be fooled, Ryan's home base contributors lobby for state dollars and state tax credits like there is no tomorrow. The catch here is they're not stupid - they do this through state democratic legislators. If state democrats were smart, they'd have Ryan sign his position statement on all state spending requests for his district before moving forward on them. You know, spread some of that inter-governmental love around. But that's another story.

The Rock County establishment base, mostly old money self-described GOP “conservatives,” Rand-roids and "ancient" progressives with a smattering minority of country-conservative democrats make up the boards and membership of Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0. Both of these groups, huge, huge Paul Ryan supporters, are also the driving force lobbying state and federal government to deficit spend up to $1.5 billion on the I39/90 interstate expansion. Where’s Ryan? When he’s not plugging his book, he’s out on the trail telling folks Republicans must not "buckle in the knees when it's time to cut spending" like they did the last time they held the majority. But that doesn’t reflect on his support base because remember, Ryan's their smaller government and tax cut guy.

If Republicans win the the majority, Ryan promised to lead a shock and awe campaign to go after government spending which by the way, if true, makes it doubly important for his home base to lock up that $1.5 billion road job now before its too late. Secure the plum first then tax cut the profits afterwards. Socialize the debt on the working tax payers. That’s their ticket to prosperity.

A few months ago, these same Ryan groups also participated in a local economic summit with Obama’s counsel on economic recovery. The groups drew up a request of eight earmarks…”letter” marks totaling over $40 million and instead of presenting their wish list to their congressman Paul Ryan, where it actually belongs –- they presented it to the Obama White House official. Hey, they have Ryan’s "war on spending" image to protect.
JS Online Excerpt:
So far, $3 billion in federal economic recovery funds has come to Wisconsin; of that, $300 million has been targeted to the congressional district that includes Janesville.
In January, it was reported that Rock County was awarded more than $2.3 million in National Emergency Grants to support workers hardest hit by auto layoffs over the past 15 months. These are also “letter” marks requested and granted through the president’s administration.

Finally, Ryan’s name doesn’t pop up on the “A” list of deficit spending stimulus congressmen because he also receives plenty of help from the Janesville Gazette monopoly to cover up these local connections and further protect his image. They are all in the loop on the receiving end of the deficit and stimulus spending, and they are all in the loop for Ryan's smaller government and tax cut prosperity. It's win - win.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ron Johnson: Wisconsin's "Hollow Man"

Video: Ron Johnson - The man with no plan

Intentionally Deceiving Wisconsin Voters
Politico Excerpt:
So he watches his words, ignoring the fact that he's already making the trade-offs conventional politicians make to win office. It will be different once and if he wins, he promises. Then, his true feelings can take voice.

Uppity Wisconsin
No WI Candidate in Modern Times Has Been So Inaccessible

Vote "NO" To Keep Your Right To Vote For County Office

Rock County Office Referendum
"Should the County of Rock exercise its authority under Article VI, Section 4(2) of the Wisconsin Constitution to replace the existing elected Office of Coroner with a County appointed medical examiner system, effective January 2015?"
My recommendation for County Of Rock Voters isn't just no...its' HELL NO!!

Don't be confused, just because during the primary election you had the right to vote your choices in for the general election, and still retain that right for the county coroner's office on November 2nd, doesn't mean it'll be there next time. If you vote "yes" on the county referendum, chances are high that the county board will strip that precious right away from you and hand it to a politically appointed panel of bureaucrats. That's not accountable democracy - that's pure authoritarianism.

Don't be fooled either by the county's language in the referendum or the Gazette and their affiliated henchmen that this is about changing to a medical examiner. It's not. It's about stripping your right to vote away in a malicious game of revenge politics. Few people in the profession would give Rock County tax payers the bang for the buck Jenifer Keach has without changing to a pathologist. That's a guarantee.

The Janesville Gazette not surprisingly suggested voters should surrender that right for several reasons. Among the reasons is for more government control...
JG Editorial Excerpt:
"The office of coroner has no accountability to anybody in Rock County other than the voters..." county board Chairman Russ Podzilni told us.
Exactly!! And if Rock County voters want the coroner to remain accountable to them, we must vote "no" on the referendum. That's a given. But Podzilni's statement is not entirely true. The coroner, like every citizen of the United States, is subject to all state and federal criminal laws including city ordinances. So our county offices including the coroner do not have some extraneous immunity from punishment for criminal actions like Podzilni has attempted to imply. She's just not subject to somebody's whims, itches or opinion of her personality, office duties or management ability as it should be.

Podzilni has also proven to be one of a small group of county board authoritarians aiming to disempower voters regarding county offices. In this article published in the Wisconsin State Journal, he admits, "the main issue is control."
JG Editorial Excerpt: makes no sense that the coroner's office is partisan. Partisanship creates a political scrum every four years. It makes no difference whether the person who certifies a death is a Democrat or Republican.
Exactly!! Again. It should make no difference to anybody whether the coroner is a democrat or a republican. However, it should also make no difference for the county treasurer, DA, clerk or sheriff either why single out the coroner when all elective county offices share the same scrum? Why the selective partisanship from the Gazette?

The Gazette also brings up the League of Women Voters who ironically have concluded that policy administrators within government should be held accountable only to government rather than to the voters. I don’t know what political principles their position is built on, but it certainly is not democratic or progressive. Stripping away the established right to vote for an existing office? Authoritarian regressivist….emmmm, perhaps. This coming from an organization who has steadfastly fought for women’s right to vote appears to have gone full circle from their proud and accomplished past – and now support disempowering themselves. It's more efficient that way, they said. Considering the bizarre rhetoric and irrational logic used in most of today’s political debates and discourse – I regret to say the LWV appears to be no different.

Despite the editors claim that the majority of journalists are liberal,
does anyone really think the Gazette is a Liberal or Progressive newspaper? Don't bet on it because you'd lose your shirt.

Consider this, what genuine liberal or progressive would deny the people's right to referendum? None. But the Gazette has taken issue with the county board for even considering the referendum in the first place. The newspaper believes the county board should literally just take the office away from the voters at will. The newspaper, including a few county board members, have shown a bold-faced disregard not only for the citizen's right to vote, but for our ability to select qualified candidates. They think we're a bunch of dum, dum, dummies.

Analyzing their editorial becomes almost a needless exercise when one begins to look into the deep-seated misinformation campaign institutionalized by a disgruntled former employee and several members of the county board that the Janesville Gazette has metastasized into a campaign of personal destruction against our county coroner. I wouldn't wish what they have done to her on my worst enemies.

On the other hand, I can understand many voters who really don't care who the Janesville Gazette endorses or whom or what I support – I totally understand that. This posting isn't about being a democrat or a republican or who our coroner is. But for Pete sakes man, vote to keep your right to vote. That is what this is all about.

Vote "NO" on the Rock County referendum.

Gazette Wants To Kill Wisconsin Primaries!

Gazette Smear On Coroner Unprecedented

Media Circus Monopolizes Politics Around Coroner's Office

Chicago Politics - In Janesville?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Republicans Should Buy Private Health Care Insurance On Their Own

Why didn't I think of this. Hat tip to Citizen Action.
Citizen Action Excerpt:
Ribble is challenging Congressman Steve Kagen, who has refused to take Congressional health care until everyone in the district has access to similarly high quality and affordable coverage. Ribble has made no such commitment. Ribble is running on repealing national health care reform, which requires Members of Congress to take the same health care plan offered to the public. Ribble has also campaigned on the idea of “decoupling” health care coverage from work, which would force working families to buy coverage on their own from the insurance industry without the new consumer protections included in the new health care law.
This challenge should be given to every House republican incumbent since every one of them voted against Health Care Reform and also every "repealer" candidate who voiced their support for Paul Ryan's "Roadmap." Under the guise of offering employees a false choice for their own individual account, Ryan's roadmap gives workers a government subsidized voucher in place of employer-based group health care insurance in an effort to decouple employer responsibility from this benefit.

Johnson, Duffy, Sensenbrenner, Lee, Ribble and Ryan just to name a few from Wisconsin, should make the commitment to purchase their own health care insurance without any employer or government assistance, whether they are elected or not, or forever shut their lying two-faced hypocritical mouths.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Janesville's Cash Cow Not For Everybody

During a Janesville city council budget session last week, it was announced that the Rock County Humane Society asked for $173,000 more than last year for operations for a total of $290,000 from city of Janesville taxpayer coffers.

Soon afterwards came a high level of dissonance, sharp criticisms, straw man arguments and accusations of extortion against the not-for-profit public service animal shelter from the council members.

The following is a sample of some of their comments.
Council member Russ Steeber:
"They've got us in a predicament,... the Humane Society is doing us a disservice. This is a humongous increase, they could have spread this out over several us stuck between a rock and a hard spot," he said. "It really is unthinkable that they would do this to us. They know that we need their services, but they've got us by the short hairs and taking us for a ride." It's almost criminal... They are forcing the fact that they have the only ball game in town, and if you don't play with their rule - you're stuck.

The citizens of Janesville will suffer because of their lack of management and control of their costs...They're still using it as a tool to extort us from money, like I said they're the only game in kind'a sucks."
Council member Tom McDonald:
Who actually disagreed with most of Steeber's comments but..."if we find out they're making a profit off of this, then I'll come a little closer to your camp of criminality and extortion."
Council member George Brunner:
"I really think the Humane Society has lost focus, they found cash cows" in the cities of Beloit and Janesville. I'm really starting to question whether or not the Rock Humane Society is a not-for-profit operation because of the idea of having cash cows out there." ...I'm just a afraid with the humane society asking for this huge increase, that the trend will continue and where does it end?"

Council member Bill Truman:
"I agree this is getting out of line. It's getting close to criminal."

Council member Yuri Rashkin:
"I think this is a public relations disaster on their part no matter whether the building is falling apart around them, it's not creating any good will whatsoever.""One question ... Is the Rock County Humane Society in this situation trying to take advantage of their unique position or are they trying to cover the costs that have increased?"

Council member Frank Perrotto:
"We're all outraged!"
Oh, the outrage!!

Yet, where was the outrage when W.W. Grainger, a Fortune 500 company with shareholders and $460 million in cash on hand, asked for a 1000% increase in the form of a $227,000 hand-out from modest Janesville tax payers to pay for "restructuring?"

Well, that's different huh? That's one of them thar' good-steward-public-private-community-partnerships-TIF-district-forgivable-loan-slush-fund-hand-out-whatcha-ma-callits. THAT'S what that was.

The Rock County Humane Society doesn't qualify for any of that - they're one of those not-for-profit do-gooder outfits with plenty of volunteer help. They practically operate in a socialist vacuum, so how could costs and needs ever go up - right?

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Are TIF District Maps Privileged Information In Janesville?

Apparently, the Janesville city administration does not offer access to public viewing of the city's nearly two dozen TIF districts on the city's website. It's possible I may have missed it labeled under a different name, but after searching the planning and development sections and the maps link, I've come up empty.

What's the deal with that?

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Scott Walker Is Looking For A New Job

What a damning indictment of Scott Walker's managerial ability and toxic executiveship.

"If after eight years under leadership of Scott Walker, people in Milwaukee County are talking about bankruptcy for the county, what would happen if he served four years or eight years as the governor of the state?" -- Tom Barrett

Friday, October 15, 2010

Fire Paul Ryan Now - Before It's Too Late!

It's no secret that Congressman Paul Ryan's "Roadmap" will dismantle Social Security and Medicare, restrict affordable access to health care, slash taxes for the wealthiest Americans, and raise taxes on working middle class families. In fact, Ryan's privatization plan would cut Medicare by 76% and reduce Social Security to levels not seen in the U.S. since the time of when nearly half of all seniors lived in poverty. These projections are considered a best case scenario under his proposal.

Ryan you might also recall, is the republican who has demonized nearly every aspect of the new health care plan ironically on the cuts and shortages he claims the plan will impose on the system. Never mind that if Ryan's plan took into effect, the solvency and promise of the system would be a mere afterthought since it would be the middle-class - our babies, children, seniors, mothers, fathers and the elderly who would collapse from the roadmap's violent cuts and launch the private American health system into an inflationary seizure. Only the extremely wealthy - Ryan's base - will afford health care.

Sadly, as a black mark on Ryan the person, he is also deliberately using our genuine concern for the national debt as an emotional wedge against Social Security, Medicare and Obama, a national debt that has accumulated over the last decade largely due to wrong-headed tax cut policies during major war time expenditures and GOP-led pork spending -- all under his rubber stamp. It's time to pay the piper but instead, Ryan's ideas amount to a collective defense for lifting the nation's debt burden from the wealthy.

The funny part here is, Ryan, like many republicans and their enabling media, has been able to use their own distortions of the newly minted health care plan as a convincing battering ram against democrats while insisting that his own slash and burn plan is not representative of the GOP's official position. Ryan gets the best of both worlds while his district constituents are falsely led to believe he's holding the answers to our fiscal problems. He most definitely does not and informed citizens and legislators know it.

In fact, it's quite the opposite so much that he's doing all he can to make sure the incoming class of Republican House members are indoctrinated with his "roadmap" scheme.
In an interview with the National Review, Ryan said he'd attempt to win over new GOP members with the help of a freshly minted, fully updated version of the Roadmap. "What we need to do is quickly bring them up to speed," Ryan said, adding that "dozens" of House candidates have privately confided in him that they support the plan.

"Reinforcements are coming," he said.
Ryan is not concerned about his district's plight or working together, his main concern at the moment is whether his roadmap will garner more supporters after this election. Every republican house candidate on the election trail should be confronted and asked whether they are the ones who privately confided in Ryan that they support his Social Security privatization and Medicare killing plan. This should be question number one in any public debate or media appearance.

At the same time, I blame the Democratic Party for not pouring money and bodies into a major effort to defeat Paul Ryan during the past several election cycles, but I also don't expect the democratic party now to be held responsible for letting Ryan's future shock manifesto gain momentum - I blame us.

I also realize what I'm writing here isn't new information, but if republicans are rehired in November, this election will be used as a victory referendum against Progressives and as a mandate for Ryan to continue his crusade against the middle-class worker. They must be stopped.

The choice this November is clear. If you vote for Paul Ryan, you will be casting a vote to destroy Social Security, Medicare and the American dream of a secure and achievable retirement. That is straight up. On top of all the unemployment, slashed wages, cut benefits, outsourcing of jobs, foreclosures, rising personal debt, declining net worth and property values, stock market volatility and stolen private pension accounts, you'll be able to chuck it all because - by voting for Paul Ryan you will be voting to destroy the only and last salvation to keep your head above water. The economics of suicide will begin to look more promising than the struggles imposed under Ryan's plan. I know that sounds over the top but there is no other way to message my sincere intuition and distrust towards Ryan's wrong-headed roadmap.

Of course he doesn't care what a single blogger writes, what you think or what his constituents think - he's marching to his own ideological drumbeat. I also realize with the way our economy is going that some people don't need much more to push them over the edge to kill themselves. This isn't scare talk, fear-mongering or meant to push anyone to that point. It's just the way it is.

I admit, Congressman Ryan has a huge messaging advantage over a backwater blog such as this, over other citizen media initiatives or the democratic candidate challenging him for the district. His choreographed appearances on Fox Cable News along with his highly visible role as a U.S. House member obviously gives him the upper hand, especially since his supporters own and operate the biggest and loudest megaphones. There's even a good chance that after a blog posting such as this, Ryan's corporate sponsors might dump another hundred grand into his campaign chest just for the spite. Fundamental Americans must not let any of that change what's really at stake.

No other district of voters in America holds as much importance for the survival of Social Security, Medicare and inevitably our country more than the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin. If Ryan wins another election -- the point of no return will inch ever closer. There is no good reason or excuse to re-elect Paul Ryan.

Yet ironically, the fate of our country is in our hands - not Ryan's. I don't think I could emphasize that enough. This could be historic. From a humble citizen to all of my readers and your families and all your friends - for the sake of yourselves, your children, your grandchildren's future and mine, our country and our souls, I implore you to fire Paul Ryan on November 2nd while we still have the chance to do so.

This posting is a direct shout-out to any of Ryan's supporters including the congressman himself to step up in this discussion as grown-ups and challenge any of my assertions and criticisms in simple terms so everyone can understand. Enlighten me.

Don't tell me to come up with competing ideas - Social Security, Medicare and our progressive tax system IS the American idea. Your roadmap is in opposition to that idea - it's not the other way around. Don't point me to your Roadmap for answers, I can recite your map back to you in several different keys. Don't pull numbers from the CBO or cut-and-paste from other web pages - just plain old common sense English right off the top will do. Of course I don't expect a serious response in any way or fashion, but I KNOW YOU READ ME CONGRESSMAN - I KNOW YOU HEAR ME.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Media Tool Hope Americans Too Stupid To Vote In November

The Janesville Messenger, a proud member of the local monopoly of media propagandists that includes the Janesville Gazette and their affiliated radio stations are in full campaign mode saturating the Rock County area with GOP electioneering hackery.

The victims of an educated citizenry penning the editorial in Sunday's Janesville Messenger (Page 6) seemed to have gotten their underwear all bunched up after President Obama stopped in Madison last week reminding folks not to forget who really drove the country into the ground.

Titled "No 'civic duty' to vote," the way they see it is, is that the majority of Americans MUST be ignorant since Barack Obama won the presidency. What else could explain it? And since they believe most voters are either clueless or too stupid to vote intelligently - they should embrace the civic duty on election day ... by staying home.

Democrats must not let republicans win by default. That's all the hope republicans have - it's all riding on the premise that America won't show up to vote.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Introduction: Janesville's New WCLO Wingnut

It's been only a little over a week since Bliss Communications new talk show host, Dan Conry, replaced the politically affable but water-carrying Stan Milam in the Gazette's WCLO radio echo chamber. At first I thought it might take awhile to peel back the layers of feeling his way around niceties and plastic neutrality. Not so with Dan Conry. There's no sense in giving him the benefit of the doubt any longer.

During a recent political debate, Republican candidate for county sheriff Gary Keller referred to county deputies as "brown shirts." Despite Keller later clarifying the statement, the Janesville Gazette sensationalized Keller's poor choice of a single misspoken word into a weekend long series of articles. Even the newspaper's "we the people" blogger refused to accept Keller's clarification in a nearly incoherent posting titled Lies! Lies! Lies! LOCAL TOO! Laughably unbelievable.

And what does Conry have to say? He just tags along with his media masters distortions. Conry said he was outraged, stunning, absolutely stunning, he would have went into road rage, scorched earth, "I would have done the whole village." That, over a candidate claiming some constituents referred to sheriff's deputies as brown shirts? No question Keller made a poor decision when he chose to use that descriptor, but to go ballistic over it?

In this podcast after the brown shirts farce, Conry has no problem himself calling innocent folks, blue collar, white collar, families, kids and seniors pedaling their way around Janesville's streets and bike paths, "communists." Bike path users are communists? Moe-Larry-cheese, Moe-Larry-cheese. Yeah really, you lit Conry's idiot-fuse again. When he hears about bike trails, we're gonna have a bunch of communists wearing their tight shorts taking over traffic...with their communist manifesto's....

I assume Conry is collecting a paycheck for this trash.

But it didn't end there.

Conry is praying for a sea-change in power in a few weeks. So what's he calling for from government after the election? Solutions? Jobs? Unification? Cooperation? Not a chance. Like every good conservative he parrots one of the latest GOP hollow narratives - he's calling for investigations. Yep, local investigations on mayors, city councils and county boards and the like. Government investigating government. THAT is what conservatives offer. Never mind that Conry is now working for the area's self-described government (eyeroll) watch-dog. Did he call out on his media bosses to step up and investigate government? Please - don't make me laugh. This particular segment about local investigations eventually devolves into knee-jerk defamations against Rep. Barnie Frank. Yep, he somehow finds a spot to fit Frank in there - out of the blue. "Barnie Frank should be locked up!" he says. The call-in speaker said "he's a criminal!" Conry agreed, "Yep!

No substance - just garbage.

Look, I did not expect much different from Bliss Communications in their search for a political commentary radio host. The folks at the Gazette were not looking for a locally informed independent critical thinker who would challenge the power. They were looking for someone to send a message, a specific right-wing message AND to look out for their business and programming interests. They got it in Dan Conry, who admits he's got a man-crush on Wall Streeter Paul Ryan and considers progressives-are-a-cancer Glenn Beck - his buddy.

WCLO got exactly what they wanted - a far right-wing self-winding republican automaton - the cuckoo in the cuckoo clock.

Monday, October 11, 2010

"Lost Our Way" Ryan Was Only 3% Off Course

Rep. Paul Ryan has referred to the final Bush years (110th Congress) as the time republicans "lost our way." During that period, he voted with them 92.1% of the time and 90% of the time when voters in 2006 said they've had enough of a GOP-led congress (109th Congress).

During the party of "no" know nothing, Ryan has re-affirmed his lost ways and voted with a majority of his obstructionist colleagues 95.2% of the time during the current Congress.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

MSM Writes Feingold "Defends" Health Care Vote In Debate

Considering that senate candidate Ron Johnson has often said the main reason he entered the race was to help repeal the law - Feingold was in relatively good company at the debate last night.
USA Today Excerpt
A new AP poll finds that Americans who think the law should have done more outnumber those who think the government should stay out of health care by 2-to-1.

Anti-Government Candidate's Business Boot-Strapped By Government Programs

A fresh AP report details how senate candidate Ron Johnson's businesses have used prison labor and saved $10,000 per year per worker by letting taxpayers pick up their health care costs.
Seattle Times Excerpt:
Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, who has campaigned against government subsidies to business, employs up to nine prison inmates at his plastics factories whose health care costs are paid by the state, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
As noted by illusory tenant - $10K times nine inmates times twelve years equals $1.08M. Government health care, Ron Johnson has often shouted, is the "greatest assault on [his] personal Freedoms in [his] lifetime."

With more news trickling out almost weekly detailing how self-made millionaire Ron Johnson created jobs and padded his profits, it's getting to a point now where his campaign should start identifying which government programs his business could have applied for - but did not benefit from - just to provide some balance.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

GOP Kleefisch Running Scared - No Debates

620WTMJ Excerpt:
Kleefisch spokeswoman Jill Bader said Tuesday that she won't debate Nelson because the Tom Barrett-Nelson ticket is only interested in running away from their records and using false television ads to distort Scott Walker's record.
THAT doesn't make any sense. What Jill Bader probably meant to say was ... Walker would prefer Kleefisch not debate because their campaign doesn't need two people out there who don't know what they're talking about and he would rather use false television ads to distort Barrett's (and Nelson's) record. There...that's much better - makes sense too.

Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor Tom Nelson reissues debate challenge, calls opponent's refusal to debate, "evidence of the Scott Walker campaign's arrogance and clear disregard for voters."

Democurmudgeon: GOP re-invents "invisibility" to win at all costs

GOP Count on Voters Being So Angry That They Forget Who Caused Them to be Angry.

Are we stupid enough to rehire the arsonists?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Racine Journal Times Hides Paul Ryan's Ideological Rantings

Suddenly, the Racine Journal Times is interested in fairness after they let career campaigner Ryan post his broken logic unchallenged (no comments allowed) for nearly two years. His commentary was a smorgasbord of statement and record contradictions, voodoo economics and Randian dyspepsia.
Racine Journal Times Paul Ryan's Page:
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, is being challenged for the First Congressional District seat by John Heckenlively, 46, who is secretary of the First District Democratic Party. Ryan's page that appeared on this web site has been suspended in the interest of fairness.

Homeowner In Tennessee Burned By Taxed Enough Already?

When I first heard that Obion County (Tennessee) officials ordered their firefighters not to put out a residential fire because the owner of the property failed to pay the $75 annual fee, my first thoughts (for some reason) were hearing Dick Armey say, "if Social Security is such a great program, why is it mandatory?" followed by Rep. Paul Ryan's perspective that in this particular election cycle, we will choose one of two different paths.

Despite all of its disturbing absence of conscience and morality, Olbion County officials unwittingly put one of those two paths on display. Let's just say that social justice and American compassion were nowhere to be found.

As ThinkProgress has noted, there are currently two competing visions of governance in the United States. One, the conservative vision, believes in the on-your-own society, and informs a policy agenda that primarily serves the well off and privileged sectors of the country. The other vision, the progressive one, believes in an American Dream that works for all people, regardless of their racial, religious, or economic background.

I don't know the homeowner Gene Cranick at all, but after watching this interview (video below) with Keith Olbermann, I couldn't help but sense he got a first-hand taste of living in Paul Ryan's Dickensian America and Ayn Rand's guilt-tripping label of a freeloading "parasite" when he felt he had to defend himself as "working hard for everything I got." If anything, Cranick sounds more like a person who has sadly bought into the taxed enough already argument when he consoled himself thinking that part of his taxes going to the local fire department should have sufficed.

Still, nobody deserves to watch their house burn down while firefighters stand idly by simply because they didn't pay the government's fee - even if the homeowner didn't pay it because he thought he was "taxed enough already." Obviously, the choice to "opt out" whether intentional or not should have never been available.

It will be interesting to see how his homeowner's insurance company responds to his situation. Very sad indeed.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Before "Kenyan" Won, Where Was The Tea Party?

Even Tea Party speaker Paul Ryan noticed.
JS Online Excerpt
Ryan first spoke at a tea party rally in 2009 in Madison and recently spoke at a rally in Racine.

"These were not traditional standard Republican rallies," he said..."Before this cycle, before 2009, I had never seen those yellow flags, 'Don't tread on me.' It's definitely different, the enthusiasm is palpable."
Letter: Where was the Tea Party During Bush's Term?

Leonard Pitts Jr.: Where was Tea Party's "anger" during Bush years?

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Rock County: Second Worst Child-Poverty Rate In The State

Unreported in the Janesville Gazette over the weekend.
Wisconsin State Journal Excerpt:
Rock County was listed with the second worst rate, 20.2 percent. The relatively small survey sample taken from Rock County means the actual rate could be as low as 14.3 percent or as high as 26.1 percent, but economic data overall show it is clearly among the areas with the greatest economic problems, said Bob Jacobson, spokesman for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families.

"They have taken such a hit," Jacobson said.

"So many things spin off when a big auto plant closes," he said. "There's so many businesses that get affected, from the plant's suppliers to the businesses that rely on plant workers as customers - restaurants, drug stores, all kinds of retail."
The Gazette, always keeping things in proper perspective, instead headlined in Sunday's paper that the city's two golf courses have taken a financial hit over the years and how city officials are tackling the challenge to boost revenue and maintain a high quality level of service while still being price competitive.

(Sorry, no link available at time of posting.)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Ron Johnson Shows His Values - Profits Over Victims

I have no doubt Republican senate candidate Ron Johnson has a genuine disgust for pedophiles and holds faith-based organizations in high regard for the work they do. That is not the issue here.

What is the issue is Johnson's Randian inspired testimony in opposition to state legislation to remove the statute of limitations that prevents victims of child abuse to sue their abusers. In other words, if it is later discovered that a non-profit institution or faith-based organization knowingly put a child in the care of a person with a history of predation, and that child becomes another victim, Johnson says that organization should not be held liable. Even more disgusting is that Johnson's defense logic has roots in Ayn Rand's morally bankrupt ideology where anyone, even a defenseless child victim of a sexual predator, would be labeled as parasitic non-producer simply by seeking financial damages from a so-called producer.

I can't believe this guy is still considered a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Johnson: Victims Can Cause Economic Havoc

Friday, October 01, 2010

Adult Conversation Elusive With Childish Congressman

Participating in a conversation with Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in the video below, Rep. Paul Ryan was barely able to contain his giggling juvenile pomposity while she was attempting to initiate the discussion on a respectful and mature level. With eye-rolling condescension and finger pointing, he continued to break in when it was her turn to rebut, deliberately destroying any chance to hold even a two-minute conversation.

What an embarrassment to Wisconsin and my fellow men.

Congressman - grow up!

The video posted on Ryan's youtube page carried a reverse directional message, is a classic example of Ryan's bold image marketing propaganda to marginalize his own disconnect and immaturity by highlighting it as the opposite.

Titled deliberately ironic, "Paul Ryan's attempt for an adult conversation on debt & entitlement reform."