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Monday, January 31, 2011

Blog Will Be Under Reconstruction For Several Days

For the past year I've been receiving an email every now and then from readers claiming they have trouble viewing the page. Most of the complaints were about dark backgrounds and text?, and words and links (font) too small to read or the missing header link bar or other elements. I knew I had a hodge-podge of HTML when I converted from one sidebar to two in blogger's old template about two years ago, but things are getting further out of hand now with all the different browsers in the market.

So, I'll be working on switching over to the "new" blogger template with layouts for most of the week and I probably won't be posting much for the next several days. The conversion will be a work in progress so if things look a little disjointed or blank - not to worry - it's not your browser or computer.

Thanks for your patience.

Sporting Goods Retailer Won't Bite On Jerk Bait

Gov. Scott Walker and the republican-led state legislature said Friday they would move quickly to enact a bill that would allow a developer to build on a wetland near Lambeau Field, even as the retailer envisioned for the development announced that it would not build on such a site.

It's really hard to get any more jerky-er than that. No wait.

Bass Pro Shops is believed to be the retailer that Neenah businessman John Bergstrom is developing for the site. Bergstrom, a donor to Walker's campaign and a committee member for the Packers, had been asked by the team to pursue a commercial project to complement the drawing power of Lambeau.

It pays to contribute.

What others are saying...
Cognitive Dissidence Excerpt:
Much to the dismay of environmentalists, conservationists and sportsmen alike, Scott Walker decided to give special dispensation to a campaign donor so that said donor could pave over some wetlands to put up a shopping strip mall. More>>>

Mondo Media Excerpt:
The environment-raping Republican juggernaut in Madison met an unexpected bump in the road yesterday when the intended tenants of John Bergstrom’s wetlands pave-over in Green Bay announced that they would have nothing to do with it. "We don't build on wetlands," said a spokesperson for Bass Pro Shops, an apparently successful hunt-and-fish-and-gun retailer that car-dealer Bergstrom wanted to bring to the wetter vicinity of Lambeau Field. More>>>

Brew City Brawler Excerpt:
Walker, suspecting most companies are like Menards in not giving a shit about the environment, is apparently unaware that Bass Pro Shops is led by a moonbat who's received all sorts of conservation awards from groups like the National Wildlife Federation. More>>>

Uppity Wisconsin Excerpt:
Bass Pro Shops just gained a customer in me and in thousands of other Wisconsinites who value wetlands. We're quick to criticize and boycott companies who do the wrong thing. It would be nice to recognize some responsible behavior. More>>>

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ayn Rand Suckled On the Government Teat

The latest on Congressman Ryan's hero, Ayn Rand, who was known for her self-righteous philosophical assaults against government aid and collectivism.
Boingboing Excerpt:
Noted speed freak, serial-killer fangirl, and Tea Party hero Ayn Rand was also a kleptoparasite, sneakily gobbling up taxpayer funds under an assumed name to pay for her medical treatments after she got lung cancer.

An interview with Eva Pryor, a social worker and consultant to Miss Rand's law firm of Ernst, Cane, Gitlin and Winick verified that on Miss Rand's behalf she secured Rand's Social Security and Medicare payments which Ayn received under the name of Ann O'Connor (husband Frank O'Connor).
I felt this comment hit the spot just right.

mgfarelly - As delicious a hypocrisy as this is, I can't take pleasure in gloating at someone's financial/medical struggles, even someone as philosophically bent as Rand. The real sadness here is her deluded adherents and fans, with their "Going Galt" mantra. Their demands to slash and burn any form of social safety net will leave them, and their children and grandchildren, more vulnerable than Rand herself.

But what can you expect from a philosophy founded entirely on selfishness and greed?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Board OKs Accountability, Control And Efficiency For One County Office

It is with disappointment and regret to find that the Rock County Board unanimously approved changing a democratically elected county administrative office into a political appointment. I suppose the majority of the board thought they were doing the "peoples" work after getting the results on a referendum from this past November.
Referendum Question
Question: 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?
The results of that non-binding referendum was Yes 25,441 - No 19,775. Those voters counted. The incumbent coroner, Jenifer Keach, received 34,642 votes. It does seem like the voter's wishes for the coroner have been discounted.

To be sure, county board members in the past have gone on the record saying that a change to an appointed medical examiner was nothing personal, nor was it a reflection on the job performance of the current coroner. Hmmph. That's interesting.

Here were the three commonly held reasons promoted through the local media encouraging the public to vote "yes" on the referendum:

" 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."

...administrators within government should be held accountable only to government, not the's more efficient that way."

...the board needs to gain control of the office. "We have no supervision over the"

If those are the indiscriminate reasons why voters chose to change a democratically elected county office into an appointed position - so be it. The voters have spoken. I'm good with that. But then what about the other six county offices that share the same political scrum as the coroner's office? Where's the same concern about accountability, efficiency, control, supervision or partisanship for the other offices? Why should Rock County residents settle for anything less in those offices? Remember, the folks targeting one office for reform claimed it was nothing personal.

Unless of course there's a fourth reason why some voters may have chosen to discriminately dismantle the office...

In what first began with politically motivated complaints to discredit the coroner, the campaign of false accusations by a handful of misguided and misinformed political pawns has grown into a full-blown personal vendetta misinformation media circus conspiracy designed to defraud county voters out of their right to elect their own coroner...

So this is easy. I'm making a request of my readers to help me persuade the voters of Rock County to contact county board members and their local newspapers and let them know the reasons why they voted "yes" in the coroner/ME referendum. If the reasons are numbers one, two or three, then county residents must not be cheated out from applying those standards in all administrative county offices. We deserve no less. All county administrative offices must then be dismantled and reformed with newly appointed officials and by-laws. But if the reason is number four and I suspect it is, then the county board will likely ignore those indiscriminate wishes supported by the referendum results and allow the lack of oversight and accountability to remain festering in the other offices.

You might not agree, but the public trust and perception in our county government is at a crossroads. The only way to prove that discriminately applied political revenge and personal hate had nothing to do with the media campaign to wrest the office away from voters, is to prove the moral prudence of efficiency, control, supervision and accountability have everything to do with it indiscriminately across all county offices.

Of course the bottom line is, is democracy and the public trust has been beaten into a pulp in Rock County on nearly every front.

On second thought, contact all the supervisors.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Paul Ryan Blew a Golden Opportunity

As a self-described critic and observer of Congressman Paul Ryan, I can appreciate that he did not grandstand his class-war lemon "roadmap" on national TV. Of course if he had, he would not have only come across as the flim-flam man some folks believe that he is, but viewers would have assumed that republicans have a plan. I suspect party advisers knew how the public would react to it and nixed the idea.

In retrospect however, Ryan blew it. He had the rare chance few people get in politics to clear the air about his own reckless spending, job killing legislative positions and deficit ballooning tax policies. He chose not to. He could have explained to everyone in plain English how we got to this point. He could have said that although he doesn't agree with the President, he could have related how the economic stimulus worked but may come up short in some communities not because of poor intentions, but because the wounds inflicted over the past twelve years are much deeper than anyone thought. He did not. He could have suggested that members of both parties in congress would do well to drop the hyper-partisan vernacular and come together for the good of the government and the nation. He did not. He could have identified his own personal ideological hang-ups of liberalism vs conservatism, rich vs poor, left vs right, individualism vs. collectivism, democrats vs republicans, private vs public, trickle-up vs trickle-down, gays vs straight, up vs down and on and on. He did not. He could have said that he is making a personal commitment to lead a new way not built on party surrender or blind cooperation, but on a path of solving our budget problems without the conflict of those unnecessary obstacles. He did not. He could have said we’ll win or lose elections based on our wide party and ideological differences, but we will solve our problems as Americans. He did not.

As a nation, we need to cut costs in health care any which way we can. We need to produce a balanced budget sooner rather than later and protect our jobs, the golden years safety nets and the economically disadvantaged. This is a matter of life or death for many, it is a crisis - but instead Ryan has applied his ideological hang-ups as the core foundation to obstruct the policies of those he opposes. Ironically it is Ryan, the new budget director, who is working the numbers not with basic math and common sense but with an ideological calculator.

Paul Ryan had the golden opportunity to transcend the bitter and divisive electioneering of career politics and show America a new and different generation of fresh and bold leaders. He did not. He had the chance to prove me and many others wrong about his party politics and his person. Unfortunately, he did not.

Related: Paul Ryan is not who you think

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First Thoughts On SOTU

Obama's speech was visionary, uplifting and dare I say "progressive." What am I saying? It was absolutely outstanding! Kinda' confirmed my feelings about where Wisconsin is headed - backwards. I also liked the way he touched on education and school teachers. School teachers are nation builders in other countries, here they're treated like welfare scum if they expect a paycheck comparable to the work they do. Or that we should at least be celebrating the winners of science fairs and other booksmart competitions just like we celebrate Super Bowl champions. Yeah, like that'll go over well with republicans. He proposed some cuts to discretionary spending and said he won't sign a bill containing even one earmark. Both "cutting" remarks seemed to have drawn a scowling silence from the congressional caucus. We'll see how that works. I also liked his view of our democratic process and how long and sometimes heated and intense debate is the hallmark of our democracy. I wouldn't want it any other way either.

In his rebuttal, Paul Ryan made the usual tired and uninspiring remarks buried within a series of false and assuming statements not any different than from your average Fox News contributor. Very partisan and authoritarian with just the right dose of fearmongering. Instead of moving forward together, he brings up what he sees as the failed stimulus and policies of Obama and democrats over the past two years and how it will double the size of the federal government within a generation. Although I recognize that these guys have won the election, I've never seen such a successful bunch of losers like this in my life. But it was fun watching Ryan restrain his usual stiff-necked smirky bobbling head and cheesy fast-talking car salesmen-like demeanor. It must have been the worst ten minutes of his life. Two words can best describe the content of Ryan's speech - cheap plastic.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Paul Ryan Is Not Who You Think

Washington Post Excerpt:
According to the Congressional Budget Office, Ryan's plan would result in annual deficits of between 3.5 and 4.5 percent of GDP between now and somewhere after 2040, with a balanced budget coming only around 2063. This would add at least $62 trillion to the national debt over the period. (My estimate is conservative mostly because the independent Tax Policy Center says Ryan's tax reforms would produce far less revenue than Ryan required the CBO to assume.)

Ryan doesn't dispute these basic facts (though I believe this is the first time his actual debt numbers have been called out). When I asked him at a recent National Press Club event how he could put out a plan that didn't balance the budget for decades and added trillions to the debt, and still call himself a "fiscal conservative," he offered an evasive digression on how this just shows how tough the demographic challenge is.
That sounds like Paul Ryan.

Plus, the Paul Ryan I know has voted for a stunning amount of debt in his first twelve years in office. Just consider that he voted for the Iraq War ($1.2+ trillion through 2012), the GOP's Medicare Part D boondoggle ($200B+ 2004 through 2008) ($725B+ 2009 through 2018), and the recent tax cut ransom package ($858B). Throw in TARP (originally pegged at 700B) and the first round of the Bush tax cuts ($2.3 trillion over 10 years). All in all, just those few pieces of legislation resulted in adding $5.98 TRILLION to the national debt. I categorize this as debt because Ryan and the GOP majorities never legislated tax policies to pay for it. This doesn’t include the first stimulus or other major incidentals. Ryan voted for all of it and played a significant role in adding almost the same amount to the nation’s debt that it previously took over 200 years to accumulate. Not one single democrat in congress can boast voting for the same string of spending bills and as much debt as Paul Ryan has over the span of the past twelve years.

Fiscal hawk? Fiscal conservative? Oh please, stop.
Even after assuming entitlement reforms that most Republicans think would be politically fatal, Ryan's red ink never stops flowing.
Ryan's "Roadmap" is a twisting and winding 20,000 word novel that could be summed up in just a few sentences. First, it dramatically increases taxes on the working and middle classes and cuts taxes for the wealthy. In addition, he continues to play up the "individuals" control of their health care as the manifest destiny for his Roadmap when in reality, his plan is little more than a Wall Street prospectus whose endgame ultimately calls for the government to subsidize private health care insurance control – not your health care. That’s straight up. Ryan’s plan subsidizes the private health care insurance industry while the much maligned government-run plan subsidizes you. He's clearly fighting for the middle-man.

Ironically, Ryan vehemently complains that one of the unintended consequences of Obamacare will result in employers dumping their employees out of their employer health insurance plans. Yet, that is precisely a key feature in his Roadmap. In fact, Ryan considers the final termination of employer linked plans a huge step forward. Unless I suppose, it's the unintentional consequences of a competing plan. Well, that's different then.

Lastly, he disingenuously implies that his plan will save Social Security for generations while he diverts 33% of the payroll taxes away from beneficiaries in a system that he swears 100% of the payroll taxes can't cover. So which is it?

Paul Ryan is a budget novice who will bury our country in a fiscal hole.

Related: Capital Times Ryan will say whatever Wall Street wants him to say

Maddow On Ryan and Bachmann, SOTU

Monday, January 24, 2011

Walker's Administration: Open For Business But Closed To The Public

In an extremely rare burst of candid criticism towards a GOP politician, the Janesville Gazette blasted Gov. Scott Walker for initially closing off the media from a meeting he held last week with the area's campaign contribution base, the Rock County 5.0. In today's Gazette editorial (not available online), the newspaper explains that only after some well connected local people made several phone calls, was the media permitted to attend the meeting. Walker must not have known that the Gazette is the propaganda arm for the wealthy road building group.

The newspaper however spares Walker personally of the blame and instead points the criticism towards his "handlers." Now the question is, who's giving the marching orders in Walker's administration?

Thanks to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, you can view Walker's quick reference scorecard for deciding who wins and who loses in upcoming economic development decisions here.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Columnist Kathleen Parker Should be Disqualified

In her most recent column, Kathleen Parker attempts to diminish the latest public outrage against Sarah Palin as mere hysteria provoked by over-sensitivity and then suggests that anyone who invokes Hitler or Nazism is asking for trouble in free speechery.
Burlington Free Press Excerpt:
You want real trouble in free speechery? Suggest that someone is Hitler-esque or a Nazi, as Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen recently did. Cohen was trying to make the case that, in his view, Republicans have created untruths about health care reform that have become credible through repetition.
Baloney! Trouble starts when someone begins drawing gun sight crosshairs on congressional districts and repeatedly use words like, "don't retreat - reload." That's trouble. But it really doesn't hit home until someone guns down the targeted district representative and kills six others and doesn't retreat, but is only stopped during reloading. That's real trouble. But the really big trouble in free speechery doesn't begin until defenders of the "crosshairs and reloading" start demonizing people simply because they connected the words and imagery to the actions. Excuse me for relating the two - but people died. Sarah Palin, Bachmann, Beck and their band of idiot-worshipping idiots need to deal with the consequences of their rhetoric.

At the same time I'm fully aware of the negative connotations behind Nazi imagery and invoking Adoph Hitler. It's taboo in America as it should be, but its use is not targeting someone for murder. I've heard so-called conservatives and their sponsors repeatedly lie about and demonize the American policies of their opposition with references to Marx or socialism, even linking up the goals of American democratic policies with the body counts under Stalin or Mao. It is rhetoric with an intention no less disturbing than invoking Nazism, yet I don't hear about anybody disqualifying the authors of those words. Elected public officials, talk show hosts and columnists use it all the time. People shrug. Yet, as much as I detest the language and references of American policies to communism and body counts, it's not murderous rhetoric. Much like invoking Nazism, it lacks originality. But so what.

We are led to believe that the biggest outrage about our current problem in free speechery is the fact that some folks are finally picking up the incendiary devices and throwing them back. It's not. The biggest outrage is that Parker and others are only now crying foul.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Michelle Bachmann Earns Nazi Label

On the floor of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) not only called out to repeal President Obama, but characterized the health care reform law as "the crown jewel of socialism."

In the video below, Nazi Bachmann employs several key tenets of Joseph Goebbels principles of propaganda to near perfection.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Insurance Rep Will Deliver GOP Response To Obama's SOTU

Paul Ryan, the GOP's budget czar and private insurance representative masquerading as a U.S. Congressman has been picked to deliver the republican response to the president's State of the Union speech on Jan. 25.
JG Excerpt:
Boehner and McConnell say Ryan was selected because he’s "known for his thoughtful and detailed critiques of big government policies."

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It's About Time The Nazis Are Outed

It's about time.
Daily Caller Excerpt:
“They say it’s a government takeover of health care, a big lie just like Goebbels. You say it enough, you repeat the lie, you repeat the lie, and eventually, people believe it. Like blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing, blood libel. That’s the same kind of thing,” Cohen said. “The Germans said enough about the Jews and people believed it – - believed it and you have the Holocaust. We heard on this floor, government takeover of health care. Politifact said the biggest lie of 2010 was a government takeover of health care because there is no government takeover.”
Cohen has to know that when you have the right message and strike the right tone - people will come after you. Why are people so offended by the truth?

Rep. Cohen put the authors and owners of the constant drumbeat of lies and deception in the spotlight with his comments Tuesday night. All of the right-wing radio talkers, conservative commentators and columnists, Fox News Channel hosts and contributors along with state legislators and members of Congress and all of their supporters that have constantly drawn parallels and false equivalencies with the sole intent to demonize President Obama, Democrats, Liberals and generally the entire Left-wing spectrum of American politics and policies with those of Karl Marx, Socialism and Communists meet all the standards of Goebbels propaganda concepts and collusion for the victorious glory - of Nazi-ism. There is no denying it.
Daily caller Excerpt:
When asked if it was appropriate to compare political opponents to Nazis, who orchestrated the murder of more than 10 million people, he dismissed the premise, saying, “I don’t think anybody should have drawn that comparison.”
Yes - NO! Don't waver on this Rep. Cohen. Many on the right make no apologies for linking up the goals of American democratic policies with the body counts under Stalin or Mao. Why then would anyone be offended or apologize for anyone if the Right's goals are interpreted and described as a return to the gas chambers?

Just like Goebbels materially aided Hitler's rise to power in 1933, the relentless repetition of lies and propaganda tremendously advantaged the GOP's rise to power in 2010. There is no running away from it. I really don't understand why most fundamental Americans haven't noticed this sooner with the right. It makes us look like Johnny-come-lately in the language and rhetoric war that they have been waging and winning unchallenged for the past two years. The truth is, when you take away their lying references to socialism, communism or Karl Marx, the right have absolutely nothing of substance to run on.

The labeling of the haters and liars on the right as Nazis needs to go viral and mainstream. It needs to be maintained and repeated as often as necessary. We've got two years of demonization to catch up and level with. Conservatives, their sponsors and supporters need to be asked repeatedly if they are Nazis. If they deny it, ask them what they are afraid of.

When I hear a so-called conservatives or their sponsors demonize the American policies of their opposition with references to Marx or socialism, or claim that America is on the road to European style socialism, I'm going to ask them (calmly and respectfully of course), if they're a Nazi. When I hear Socialism - I'm coming back with Nazism. When I hear Marx, I'll counter with Hitler. It's not only fair, it's the right thing to do.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tax Credits For Jobs Should Go To Workers

Yahoo Excerpt:
The deal would extend a $4,000 tax deduction for every job created for companies that have less than $5 million a year in gross receipts, Rep. Robin Vos, R-Rochester, told The Associated Press.

Also passed on a partisan vote was a bill to eliminate the corporate income and franchise taxes on businesses that relocate to Wisconsin.
Just swell.

The current narrative out of Republicans is that there are plenty of jobs. Really. The problem in their view is Americans who are fit to work would rather collect unemployment benefits than work. Paul Ryan believes this. That's why he voted against extending unemployment benefits when it stood alone for passage in Congress. Once the GOP were able to hold the unemployment bennies hostage in exchange for tax cuts for the wealthy, Ryan then voted for it. Ryan of course believes that the best incentive for the unemployed and people without health care is punishment. Take away those bennies, make them hungry for a job, put their backs against a wall and they will get a job and hunt for affordable health insurance.

So, why are state governments offering cash and tax incentives to wealthy individuals and businesses when many of these folks are sitting on hundreds of millions of dollars if not billions in collective wealth? Why not instead offer currently unemployed workers and those still collecting unemployment benefits a $1,000 annual cash pay-out when they find a permanent full-time job and are able to terminate their benefits early? Do this every year for the first two or three years. Why not pay an additional $2,000 cash pay-out to those who are able to leave state-run health care and join their employer's group plans? Wouldn't that be worth it? Actually, it would be a bargain for the state. Plus, putting extra money in workers pockets would increase consumer spending and demand for goods and services instead of padding the profits of wealthy businesses. If Republicans really believe the jobs are out there and some people only lack the incentive to work - then they should create the means to reward - not punish - those they want to inspire.

But, if state government continues following the backward “regressive” ideology now prevailing in Madison under Scott Walker and the republican legislature, Wisconsin will increasingly resemble a banana republic corporate welfare state – a business climate in which the state’s most profitable industries pay little or no taxes not only grow ever dependent on the government hand-outs, but will shamelessly demand the back door tax credits remain permanent in order to stay economically viable with their local competitors. Where income and property tax reduction is impossible for the wage slaves and modest home owners because they will be the “stakeholders” forced to pay into the ever-expanding welfare state slush funds for the wealthy rather than be allowed to keep more of their money in their pockets to support free market demand principles for job creation; where the most important revenue streams to businesses for job creation are no longer generated from the products and services they sell, but in the circular tax revenue process developed and lobbied by corporate governance to recapture the lost profits they believe incurred by overpaying the spoiled and lazy American worker; and where the spirit of free market risk-taking and good government is smothered by a massive web of crony capitalism from an all-providing corporate owned centralized government.

Welcome to Wisconsin.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Local Media Circus Goes Nuclear Defending Legislator's Residency

Like running a thread through a needle, the Janesville Gazette knew exactly what to publish when the City of Janesville issued their results of a city code inspection on a city council candidate's remodeled basement. The basement in question is where State Rep. Joe Knilans claimed he was domiciled since June of last year. On the city's property website, it was listed as unfinished square footage.
JG Excerpt:
While the drywall walls were not taped and mudded, that is not a code requirement, he said. Price inspected the property Tuesday and will mail a letter to the home's owner, Michael Knilans, outlining his determination.
Why bother? Once the city chose to issue their inspection determination through the media, what is there left to outline? Let's not kid ourselves here, there's more. It should be obvious to those following the basement residency story about legislator Joe Knilans that the Gazette published only part of the city's judgment. Would it have been too much for the newspaper to ask whether the work was done with the necessary permits? Nah's nobody's business.

Unfortunately, the city and the Gazette both have a history of heavy media filtration and playing cat-n-mouse games when it comes to informing the public. In this case, it's hard to figure which party is at fault for the incomplete information, but history dictates it is the Janesville Gazette and their selective lack of curiosity and partisan journalism that is to blame for the perpetual spread of missing information. Simply put, it was the newspaper's job to ask the questions and publish the city's response, not the city's to offer unsolicited.

Speaking of partisan journalism, the Gazette and their supporting cast of political operatives have gone nuclear in their attack on the democratic party for daring to keep Joe Knilans' accountable or to question statements he made during his campaign about his residency.

The democratic party got slammed for being upfront and open about their partisanship and concerns, while their complaint is raked over the coals instead of being allowed the right to the due process it deserves. Nobody has to agree with the democratic party or their intentions, that is not the issue here. But partisanship should not be allowed to diminish the validity of the complaint or impair the ability to achieve due justice, at least not until all the facts are in.

Instead of addressing the questions about his residency and statements he made during his campaign directly and with substance, Knilans, including the editorial staff at the Gazette have decided to attack the complainant and deflect the issue any which way they can. Their goal appears to not allow Knilans to stand alone on his own merit against the complaint.

While the Gazette slams the complaint for it's partisan undercurrents, the newspaper itself answers back for Knilans with nothing but partisanship, hypocrisy and deflection. Stan Milam for instance, in a column published in the hard copy Gazette, claims to be irritated by partisans who criticize the other side for doing the same thing they supposedly were guilty of in the past. Yet Milam's then justifies whatever wrongdoing Knilans has been accused of by rerunning Mike Sheridan's, John Gard's and Martin Schneider's residency problems, as if they have anything to do with Knilans current predicament or the complaint. Deflect, deflect, deflect.

The Gazette editorial on the other hand, implied that because the Governor, state houses and attorney general are all republicans, justice will not likely prevail for the democratic party's complaint. Who's the partisan?

State Sen. Tim Cullen (D) perhaps offers the most backward yet comical defense for Knilans that I’ve heard yet. He suggests that the problem was created because Knilans home unluckily happens to be outside the district. Hello, hello? But that – it’s a border districting problem created by Janesville’s growing population - not necessarily a problem Knilans himself had contributed to. Hello? It’s worth a chuckle.

The other popular narrative used in the legislator’s defense is that everyone knew he was living outside the district. That’s not entirely true. Plenty of folks heard that Knilans was domiciled in his brother’s basement (inside the district) almost three months before the primary. Just ask radio talker Dan Conry, he knows this for a fact. Or how about the defense that everyone in Janesville knows how hard it is to sell their house. It's true, everyone knows. Everyone but Joe Knilans. He thought his home would sell in just a few short months. He had to think that to believe he would be living in the district he ran in by the time he was sworn in.

Oh well look, I realize everything I’m bringing up here sounds extremely petty if not juvenile. That's because it is! These aren’t my defenses or opinions on his residency situation. These are statements from newspaper professionals and their political operatives whose sole purpose is to destroy the due process the complaint deserves and turn the simple complaint into a personal attack mudfest. This is their baby.

A side story to the Gazette's intentionally fabricated political mudfest and perhaps driving the newspaper's animosity is the fact that an outside media source entered the Gazette's turf when an ungazetted reporter challenged the legislator's basement living arrangement with the city. The Gazette was clearly upstaged while at the same time having their selectively partisan journalism exposed to the world.

As a bystander trying to sort through the spitballs repeatedly thrown by the Gazette, justice will likely never be served for Knilans or the democratic party so long as third parties like the Gazette are allowed to poison the discourse and damage the process. Their purpose is not to publish the news, but to change it.

We're used to it in Janesville.
Question For The Week
Why does it seem like the same group of partisans pushing for voter ID have no problem when a legislator can’t produce a valid ID to vote in the district that he represents?
Note: This posting is the independent perspective and opinion of its author and is NOT affiliated with any political party, political candidate or media source.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Nazi Radio Must Not Hide Their Hate

Politico Excerpt:
Conservative talkers like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity are rallying their listeners with a very old — and very successful — battle cry, accusing the left of trying to curb their free speech.
Not from this Lefty. I for one insist that the right-wing talkers continue their daily ritual of bomb-throwing and ignorance. We must not let it fester under cover or become artificial. It needs to be drawn out into the light.

Bliss Com's Dan Conry for instance is a card-carrying foot soldier for the right-wing echo chamber ruled by phlegm master, Rush Limbaugh. Once the choking reflux can no longer be contained by Rush, the bile soon flows through the rest of the AM borg where it is carried and regurgitated by the likes of Conry sitting in the WCLO radio room. Conry has not been shy about his hatred for the left, progressives or democrats here in southern Wisconsin and neither has Bliss by hiring him. He has called nearly everyone not going along with their brand of extremism a Socialist or Communist.

In a recent post about Conry, I insisted that he must not hide his bigotry or cave in to his GOP establishment pay masters to "tone down" the rhetoric. God-fearing fundamental Americans need to hear the real right-wing talkers in all their naked glory. Some might think all the attention is ultimately very good for talk radio. That it's just entertainment. We'll see. Particularly if that's true on a local scale and what effect it will have on advertisers and a community the size of Janesville when Conry's victims decide to throw some of the entertainment back.

By choosing Conry, Bliss Com has clearly gone on the offensive and made their extremist views local and more vocal. We're just beginning to warm up to Conry so I hope he does not go soft on us. There are already signs that he's trying to isolate liberals by gravitating towards the center. Don't "wimp out" on us - keep those guns blazing.

"I tell people don't kill all the liberals. Leave enough so we can have two on every campus - living fossils - so we will never forget what these people stood for." -- Rush Limbaugh

"My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building." -- Ann Coulter

"I'll tell you who should be tortured and killed at Guantanamo -- every filthy Democrat in the U.S. Congress." -- Sean Hannity

"To fight only the al-Qaeda scum is to miss the terrorist network operating within our own borders ... Who are these traitors? Every rotten radical left-winger in this country, that's who." -- Michael Savage

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over you... I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good... Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God, to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." --Randall Terry, former head of Operation Rescue.

They offer no apologies.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Are We At War?

Government Health Care Favored By Repealers

Not only do republicans love employer sponsored government subsidized health insurance, they don't want us to know how much they love it.
Reflector Excerpt:
Voting 191 for and 238 against, the House on Jan. 5 defeated a Democratic bid to require members to publicly disclose whether they will continue to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Nearly all House members and their families receive health coverage under this taxpayer-subsidized, privately operated plan, along with millions of civil servants and federal retirees and their spouses.

Wisconsin Vote
Nay WI-1 Ryan, Paul [R]
Yea WI-2 Baldwin, Tammy [D]
Yea WI-3 Kind, Ronald [D]
Yea WI-4 Moore, Gwen [D]
Nay WI-5 Sensenbrenner, F. [R]
Nay WI-6 Petri, Thomas [R]
Nay WI-7 Duffy, Sean [R]
Nay WI-8 Ribble, Reid [R]

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Telecom Huckster Is Back, Here We Go Again

Remember Thad Nation? He's the guy who ran the fly-by-night consumer fraudster outfit known as TV4US (We Want Choice) a few years ago when AT&T pushed their way through the Wisconsin State legislature to break down and destroy local control of cable TV franchise agreements. Back then, Nation claimed Wisconsin residents would see TV cable rate reductions as much as 40% and even played on the emotions of Packer fans to help seal the deal on the state's corporate written (VCA) "Video Competition Act." The lobbyist controlled state government of course passed it. So, how’s your 40% cut in cable bills been working for ya?

But, do you know what happened to Nation's cable consumer advocacy group TV4US soon after the state passed the VCA? Why they folded up shop and disappeared as quickly as they arrived. Poof! That's right. Right into thin air.

Well, Thad Nation is back. This time at the helm of an astro-turf front job called "Wired Wisconsin," purportedly to be a project supporting individual consumers interested in technology, broadband and telecommunication issues. Sounds great - no?
JS Online Excerpt:
These figures are in line with the economic impact we have seen after other Midwestern states passed modernized telecom laws this past year. A Wired Wisconsin report, based on data compiled by Technology for Ohio’s Tomorrow and the Illinois Technology Partnership, found that Ohio and Illinois have seen more than $1 billion in combined investment and 28,000 new jobs in the past few months alone. -- Thad Nation
But this time, Thad Nation isn’t promising telecom, phone or internet charges to drop, instead he claims that if Wisconsin can change their telecom laws, it could generate hundreds of millions of dollars in investment and thousands of jobs—all without cost to the state. He knows jobs, jobs, jobs is the hot topic. Dare I say, don't believe a word of it. Oh, despicable me.
JS online Excerpt: ( AT&T Cutting Jobs)
"If they get it, their obligation to keep the landline business running and viable is diminished because the legal oversight is gone," Orton said. "I can't help but think that is the corporate strategy because the money in AT&T is on the wireless side of the business."While AT&T said customer service would not be diminished under deregulation, Orton disagreed. "People in rural areas would get the brunt of the service cuts, including farmers, small-business owners and senior citizens who depend on landlines," he said.
Either that or landline rates will skyrocket to justify keeping them on the books.

Brace yourselves folks, we're in for another long ride. But don't flatter yourselves as the driver or a passenger. No way. Think more in the terms that we're the ones being ridden.

Cap And Screw - Paul Ryan's Backward Budget Strategy

Last week, Meredith Viera asked Rep. Paul Ryan which federal programs he intends on cutting.
Daily Kos Excerpt:
"That is what is gonna happen in the appropriations process down the road. So I can't tell you the answer to that because, as a budget committee person, we simply lower the cap and then those things go down. We're gonna be reducing all domestic discretionary spending. I can't tell you by what amount and which program, but all of it is going to be going down, and the aggregate amount will be back to 2008 levels before the spending binge occurred. -- Paul Ryan on the budget
Less than a year ago, Ryan advanced this description of the Democrat's budget strategy on health care reform.
NY Times Excerpt:
"Yet the Congressional majority went at this goal backward: with the force of the federal government, cover all Americans — then figure out which screws to twist to contain costs." -- Paul Ryan on Health Care reform

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Did Knilans Also Commit Voter Fraud?

Graeme Zielinski, Communications Director of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, clarified the party's case on Joe Knilans ineligibility to occupy the 44th district seat during a call to Bliss Com's Dan Conry Show. Here was a key exchange from the segment.

Conry: I can tell you right now for a fact several months ago, the previous host of this show, Stan Milam, had Joe Knilans on and it was at that time, I believe it was May or June of last year where Joe did say “I am now domiciled in my brother’s basement.” So, if we go to intent which I believe the statute shows cause if you show intent and cause…

Zielinski: Wait a second then, if that’s the case, why did he vote in the 45th? He committed voter fraud then if he's saying he was living in the 44th District since June. He can’t vote…

Conry: So, in other words he should not have voted for Amy Loudenback?

Zielinski: Yeah, if he was living in the 44th. He voted in the 45th District. So, you have to establish residency for ten days prior to voting in a district and you also have to establish residency for ten days prior to representing the district and taking the oath. You can't have one without the other.

A must read!! Janesville Gazette Editorial - Partisan AG Will Back Knilans
First the apologist Gazette attempts to draw equivalencies between Knilans and Sheridans' entirely different residency situations and between party officials and legislative Democrats. Then they confidently suggest because partisanship will overrule professionalism in the AG's office, justice will not likely prevail for the democrats complaint. This is a bizarre, petty and a laugher editorial, just what I'd expect coming from the illegitimate Janesville Gazette. I couldn't make this stuff up no matter how hard I try. Remember folks, they charge money for their product!

BDN Editorial - More ethical challenges from the 44th

Tea Party Knilans Talks About Voter Fraud (2nd half of video)


Can Knilans Survive The Kris Kringle test?

Legislator's Basement Digs May Not Meet City Code

Why Did Knilans Run For Office Outside His District?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shooter Was From The Wing Of Crazy

From the beginning I was unsure of whether the shooting in Tucson was politically motivated or not. But right away, I thought, does it matter whether Jared L. Loughner was Left or Right, Conservative or Liberal, a Nazi or a Communist? Not to me. Did it matter that his primary target was a politician? Yeah, I think so. But did it matter that the politician was a democrat, or a conservative democrat, or a blue dog democrat? Or someone who was formerly a republican? I don't think so. Loughner read the Communist Manifesto, Wizard of Oz and "We The Living," a book written by the anti-progressive Ayn Rand. What does that mean? Not much. He also enjoyed reading Mein Kampf. Giffords is Jewish. Does that matter? Nah. He probably didn't know she was Jewish.

From the early reports on the shooter's personal life, Loughner could have possibly been leaning left up until a few years ago, when it appears that something, very possibly the anti-social justice right-wing media, sent him off the rails and he veered far-right. From the little information I gathered about him, I'd say he was an off the grid anarcho-libertarian at the time of the shooting. Who knows what he is today - or tomorrow. So, without getting much in the way of facts, right away I thought this guy's political wing was as unstable as his mentality.

But he shot 19 people killing six. That's what matters. That's what makes him crazy.

As more facts begin to trickle in it's beginning to look like politics had less to do with it. That can change too, but that is precisely why I blame right-wing radio, Beck, Palin, Bachmann, Limbaugh and the Tea Party for what happened on Saturday in Tucson.

Here's why:
It was only the Republicans who recently openly advocated the use of "Second Amendment Remedies" in their campaigns and referred to opposing members of Congress as "domestic enemies." What were they thinking? They were thinking "crazy." It was the tea partiers alone who flaunted their guns - and it was only their leaders who drew gun sights on their opponents. What were they thinking? They were thinking "crazy." It shouldn't be too hard to figure out that when it came to Palin and Beck using their ultimate psychological weapon, politics was no longer part of the picture. Crazy was. I'm talking about their use of intimidation, veiled threats of violence and raw hate for political advantage. Their shared political goal was merely the innocent passenger. Their high charged rhetoric was the vehicle and it was exactly that kind of rhetoric that just begs for retaliation from the other side.

On many of his programs, Glenn Beck has said he expects retaliation. He expects a bloody revolution and he expects the left-wing to start it. At the fraudulently named "Restore Honor" event he hosted last year, I fully believed the self-hating rodeo clown expected to be shot on the stage. He expected armed violent outrage against his rhetoric. He knew he was pushing all the right buttons to set off even good thinking and politically stable Americans into a rage. He also knows that there are many Jared L. Loughners out there. Same with Palin. Same with Bachmann. Same with Limbaugh. They are all members of the wing of crazy - the nutwing party. They know that the more people outraged by their crazy talk - the better. Sooner or later, the bluster and boldness of making right with might was going to sink in among a few. What happened on Saturday was coming home to roost at the door of lunatic radio talkers Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and others of their ilk - no matter what. It shouldn't have surprised anyone. It was only a matter of time. Crazy is as crazy does.

Gasbag Rush: Left is accusing “majority” of being “accomplices to murder”... which is a Limbaugh abstract for saying he believes that the majority of Americans are just like Jared Loughner.

"What a baby this Rush is. A 9 year old among others dies, and all he can do is think of himself as a victim." -- blog commenter

"Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin" Markos, Dailykos

The sheriff got it right.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

How's That Re-Load Thingy Working For Ya,' Sarah?

Fox Nation Excerpt:
I hate to say this, but the blame game is already under way.

It began within hours of Saturday's horrifying shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and nearly 20 others, even before the gunman was identified.

One of the first to be dragged into this sickening ritual of guilt by association: Sarah Palin. Last March, the former Alaska governor posted a map on her Facebook page with crosshair targets representing 20 Democratic lawmakers she was singling out for defeat after they voted for President Obama's health care plan. One of them was Giffords. -- Howard Kurtz
Poor Sarah. Oh, boo-hoo.

Video: Beck Mocking Pelosi Over Fear Of Violence (July, 2010)

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Messagers Of Murder

Which Constitution Does Paul Ryan Uphold?

"So, we used to hear this kind of talk in the past, we're hearing it alot more these days. It's this sort of notion that the Constitution is a living, breathing, fungible document. (that) It’s words are really sort of obsolete, the principles behind it are yesterday, principles, we need new ones. The whole notion comes from this, sort of the fact that they question the original basis for it, which in the Declaration of Independence, it says that our rights come God and nature's God, from nature and God, not from the government."
-- Rep. Paul Ryan, Jan. 6, 2011
This begs the question: Which Constitution does Ryan uphold? The original text, which by the way the republicans deliberately omitted sections from in their phony house exercise to demonstrate their fidelity to it, or the evolved one that has been fungibled with 27 amendments over the course of 220 years?

And, if Ryan and the GOP really believe our rights come from God, why didn't they grandstand a reading of the Holy Bible in the House instead?

But I don't believe what Paul Ryan said should be taken too lightly. If Ryan or other congressmen do not believe in or uphold all the amended sections enacted by a majority of previous congresses and states, they should be removed from office. According to his interpretation, the modern fungibled Constitution he swore to uphold in his oath as a member of the House of Representatives is not the one he claims to believe in today.

Related: Caffeinated Politics GOP Helped Prove Constitution a Living Document

Friday, January 07, 2011

Can Knilans Survive The Kris Kringle Test?

Remember the movie, "Miracle on 34th Street" where a branch of the federal government, the U.S. Post office, was called into a courtroom and asked to supply evidence for the existence of Santa Claus. They proceeded to dump bags of mail filled with millions of letters on the judge's bench all addressed to a Santa Klaus everyone understood was living - on the North Pole.

Can lawmaker Joe Knilans survive the same test? What is the address the U.S. Post Office recorded and recognizes to deliver Knilans' mail in the 10 days prior to being sworn in? What address does his current Wisconsin driver's license show?
JG Excerpt:
The network (NPR) reported that because Knilans has been sworn into office, the attorney general's office would likely pass on it's findings to Republican leaders in the state assembly to determine if Knilans is qualified to serve.
They mean pass on their duty to uphold the law. Why do we need an attorney general if they're willing to give the decision to a political cartel? Wisconsin is going down the

I also don't buy into the argument that everyone knew Joe lived outside the 44th district or knew fully what that meant going into election day. It was not general household knowledge and it can be said that those who knew he lived outside the district assumed by the time he was sworn in, that he would be living inside the district. They assumed they were voting for a lawmaker - not a law breaker.

Audio - Andrew Beckett Reports

Capital Times - Declare The 44th vacant, hold special election.

Glenn Beck No Longer Tolerated In New York City

I saw this report first at Democurmudgeon's Blog about Glenn Beck being tossed out the door in the nation's largest media market, New York City.
WOR (710 AM), one of the city's two biggest talk radio stations, said this morning it is dropping Beck's syndicated show as of Jan. 17 and replacing him with a familiar New York name: Mike Gallagher. "The reason is ratings," said WOR program director Scott Lakefield. "Somewhat to our surprise, the show wasn't getting what we wanted."
This is a strange coincidence. Just last week the Janesville Gazette's tinfoil hatter Dan Conry, was explaining exactly why people like Glenn Beck (or himself), don't last too long in the Big Apple.
Dan Conry Show Excerpt:
"I grew up in a democratic household, I grew up in a very liberal city. I grew up in a very liberal background. You don't exist in the city (NY) that I lived in if you're a bigot, if you're a racist, if you're a homophobe, if you have no tolerance for anybody."
They can be nice and blame it on low ratings but I think Conry's explanation, who by the way has first hand experience on this, is what really is at the root of Beck's departure.
Sound Off Excerpt: Gazette's anonymous column)
On WCLO talk-show host
Two suggestions for him. First, he should investigate the school districts' revenue shortage; second, please stop calling elected officials Irish pals, buddies, partners or my friends.
Yeah, Dan. What's up with that? Much better to use names your army of screaming lunatics can relate to, such as those people, gay people-liberal-drug addict-drunks, left-wing socialists, communists, Marxist morons, union thugs, etc., etc. First of all, the Sound Off comment is a complete farce most likely sent in by one of Conry's supporting interlopers or Conry himself in an attempt to straw man and defuse the outrage he fueled by demonizing and stereotyping anyone who doesn't agree with his right-wing idiot-ology. Others suggesting Conry "tone it down" are merely saying "hey, it's okay to be a morally bankrupt class-war-waging psychopath, we can relate, you just don't have to tell everybody." I say Conry should just be his own natural self.

The only thing worse than a raging bigot at the mic is a phony raging bigot at the mic.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

MLK Commemoration At Blackhawk Tech

Just a little reminder.

The Martin Luther King Commemoration event is this Saturday, January 8, 2011, 3pm – 5pm, at Blackhawk Tech, on Martin Luther King Rd, between Beloit and Janesville.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Legislator's Basement Digs May Not Meet City Code

WKOW Excerpt:
A Janesville official said the basement residence of a newly sworn-in state lawmaker will be checked to ensure it meets building codes.

Rep. Joe Knilans (R-Janesville) represents the 44th Assembly District, even though he was unable to vote for himself because Knilans did not live in the district. Knilans said he is leasing a basement room in the 44th District in order to satisfy residency requirements. The basement room is in the Winchester Place home of Knilans' brother, Janesville city council candidate Michael Knilans.
City assessor records describe the basement as unfinished, and Janesville's building and development services manager, Gale Price said he wants to verify the room has required exits, windows and fire safety features.

In this recent Gazette article, Knilans sounds like he's attempting to pre-empt anyone from holding him accountable by reshaping any legitimate inquiries as little more than playing "gotcha" politics.

Complaint Excerpt:
11. That if Knilans is required to vacate his basement residence due to building code deficiencies, he will not have been a legal resident of the 44th Assembly District for ten days prior to taking office as required by Wis. Stat. § 6.02.
12. That the State of Wisconsin has a substantial interest in maintaining the integrity of its public offices and ensuring that representatives to the State Assembly maintain a legal residence in the district they represent.
View entire complaint here.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

How The Janesville Gazette Can Help Rock County

This is absolutely crucial. Start publishing the truth.

Become an "Ambassador of Truth."

Stop rearranging and diluting articles and rewriting titles, headlines and stories to advantage your own social, political or economic agenda. Stop being a marketing firm for the republican party. Stop becoming the front man for political operatives and don't allow yourselves to participate in personal smear campaigns. Instead, expose them. The truth will always win. You are supposed to be a newspaper, isn't it time to start acting like one?

When a Fortune 500 company requests $225,000 in a forgivable loan for "restructuring" from modest Janesville tax payer coffers, investigate for five minutes on your own and report your findings without omission. Tell taxpayers that they are a publicly held company with $460 million in cash on hand at least a few days before the public hearing. It might not have changed the outcome. But tell the truth, so I don't have to.

When a politically active business collective demands that government stay out of their business yet forms an economic development group with strong governmental "connections" to help leverage their private projects - Tell people the truth, so I don't have to.

If government officials make a decision to protect the people or the environment, or don't approve a request for taxpayer assistance to billionaire developers - don't slam them for being "anti-business." Defend government for staying out of businesses way. Promote means-testing and hardship qualifiers for venture capitalists and entrepreneurs like they do for individuals requesting welfare assistance. If they are gaming the system - expose them - even more so if they're wealthy. Start promoting private venture capital and bank loans for for-profit enterprise. Don't mix or confuse pro-business with pro-jobs. They're not the same. Wean yourselves off of government assistance and privileges and become an agent for the free markets. Start telling the truth, so I don't have to.

Stop lying for your own personal, profit and political benefit. Stop using your printing presses to spread misinformation. Start printing the whole truth. Don't worry, the people can handle it. Of course you should apologize profusely for your past transgressions. But that could take months, so we know that won't be forthcoming. But start printing the truth and people will notice it - immediately! People are generally a forgivable lot.

Don't start telling people that Janesville streets are lined with gold - because they're not. Don't start telling people they can catch their daily quota of lunker Walleye every day from the Jackson St. bridge - because they won't. Start telling the truth and the optimism will flow naturally.

Think about it Gazette. It's never too late to make or add another New Year's resolution. Start publishing the truth. Become an Ambassador for Truth.

Note: I'm going to blow my own horn here for the second time in nearly five years. Tell your friends and co-workers about this blog. Get involved in the conversation. Bring up some of the issues and viewpoints I write about when you're with family and friends. Even better, bring up my blog if you strongly disagree with my politics and viewpoints. Prove me wrong. If others are dismissive for partisan or personal reasons, ask them where they draw their opinions from about the local media or politics. You will likely be surprised by their answers. Above all, be respectful. It might not seem like it in today's corporate marketed personal gain liar lobby environment but in the end, the truth always wins.

Greedy Workers Ruining Capitalism In Communist China

They want better wages.

Some are holding out for increases up to 20%. That'll bring their hourly up to $1.65 an hour range for many.
Crooks and Liars Excerpt:
In China, local minimum-wage standards are rising incrementally as factory workers are increasingly eager to get a piece of the modified-capitalist pie. Beijing just announced a 21-percent boost starting in 2011, following a similar pay hike last summer, and several other provinces, like the trade hub Guangdong, have followed this trend in their recent wage reforms (though this doesn't necessarily mean that the laws will be followed).

Raising the wage floor is partially an effort to stimulate economic growth via consumption. But perhaps more importantly, it reflects the governent's concerns about escalating labor unrest, along with the private sector's anxieties about retaining workers and staving off rebellion.
Remember when senate candidate "Red" Ron Johnson said, "the climate for business investment is far more certain in communist China than it is in the U.S. here." To this day Johnson has absolutely no idea what he's talking about on nearly every subject, but ...he's our senator. Just months after that statement however, Master Lock of Milwaukee is now claiming that the business climate in Wisconsin is far more certain than in Communist China.
JS Online Excerpt:
In a new twist, however, it's China where Master Lock's costs are rising disruptively. The company has responded by pulling production back to Milwaukee, where the manufacturer of iconic padlocks was founded in 1921.

"In order to keep people in factories, they now have to pay them higher wages or they go somewhere else," said David J. Hofmann, director of the InterChina Consulting group in Washington. "This is a new phenomenon."

Salaries for managers and engineers soar even faster. China is spawning a massive urban middle class that wants cars, their own apartments and the wages to pay for them.
What? American business capitalists can't even rely on the oppressive certainty of communist governments to grow their wealth? Is nothing sacred? The apocalypse must be near.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Gazette Dirt Tops Local Stories For 2010

Here are my picks for the top ten local stories of 2010.

1. COUNTY CONSPIRACY - Easily the top story of 2010 if not the big local story of the last decade has been the long-running smear campaign orchestrated by the Janesville Gazette and a group of county political operatives against Rock County Coroner Jenifer Keach. In what first began with politically motivated complaints to discredit the coroner, the campaign of false accusations by a handful of misguided and misinformed political pawns has grown into a full-blown personal vendetta misinformation media circus conspiracy designed to defraud county voters out of their right to elect their own coroner and by extension to eventually wrest control of all county offices away from the ballot box.  Even to the final day of the year, the Janesville Gazette continues to publish statements and allegations that have been thoroughly debunked by your favorite local blog and other independent sources.

Related reading, Law Firm Mishandled Investigation - Signs Of Conspiracy Abound and After Keach Wins primary, newspaper reveals hate for primaries.

2. SENSELESS MURDERS - I'm not a big fan in making stories about murders, "top stories." I would prefer that the lives of those taken away from us much too early were celebrated to help heal open wounds. But it is with a sense of relief that the two men suspected in Janesville's most notorious murders, James Humphrey and James Koepp, have been caught and are now sitting behind bars. I've made a promise to myself when I started this blog that I would not be commenting on local crime or sex scandals unless it is pertinent to the political, media or educational context of a story. I intend on keeping that promise. A total tragedy for all the families involved.

3. REPUBLICANS WIN - The biggest political news story of the year next to the media conspiracy campaign against Rock county voters has to be the success of republicans sweeping popular democrats out of office at almost every level of government. Despite the "liberals" on the Gazette staff selecting the republican's electoral success as the top third and eight story of the year, they somehow neglected to include pictures of Joe Knilans, Evan Wynn, Ron Johnson or Scott Walker in their "Top Stories of 2010" photo collage they pasted on the front page of Friday's paper. That was strange.

4. ROCK COUNTY ECONOMY - In my book has to be the reality of Rock County's hard hit economy, rapiding declining property values, exploding number of foreclosures and joblessness. 2010 will likely be viewed as the transitional year from hope to the destitution that will settle in, by the end of 2011. The chances for Janesville ever landing a 90-year-long global powerhouse like GM with family supporting union wages are long gone. Unless something major good happens, I fully expect the decline of the local economy and wages to be the number one local story for New Year's Eve 2012.

5. TEACHERS TARGETED AFTER SCHOOL EXPANSION - After helping ramrod a $70 million school expansion down the throats of taxpayers while burying reports of long term enrollment decline, the Janesville Gazette and their drive-by supporters have turned their sights on the districts' school teachers for negotiating modest raises in a 4 year contract. Seven months ago I observed that the Gazette and their political base are closing in on victory after a decades old local "cleansing" campaign against living wages, decent benefits and organized employee unions. The battle is nearly over. In their view, the school teachers collective bargaining power is hopefully the final remnant of any leverage the working and middle class might strive for in Janesville. The more anger they can manufacture against employee wage and benefit leverage - the better. With Walker and republicans now in charge, it's all downhill from here.

6. CHILD POVERTY GROWS - Rock County has the second worst child poverty rate in the state. It stands at 20.2 percent.

7. DEFICIT SPENDING HYPOCRITES - Don't underestimate the power of Paul Ryan's hometown cronies or the ability of the local wealthy business collectives of Forward Janesville or the Rock County 5.0 to push through deficit spending government contracts of up to $1.5 billion for the interstate I39/90 expansion. With all of their corruptible candidates winning office in November, Wisconsin is now essentially a banana republic.

8. LOCAL WAGES DECLINE - Published in August by other news sources but given very little press in the Gazette media monopoly, was the report that the average hourly wage for private sector Janesville employees dropped from $23.27 in 2007 to $18.82 in 2009, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wages.

9. WEALTHY CAPITALISTS TURN TO GOVERMENT WELFARE - As more small towns and other local communities across America face the prospect of having their modest tax revenue treasuries looted by wealthy venture capitalists and stockholder assisted corporations under the guise of job retention or creation, none have hit home as well as the time when W.W. Grainger, with $460 million in cash on hand, requested a forgivable loan of $225,000 for "restructuring" from Janesville TIF surplus funds.
Watch City Gripped By Fear Market Enterprise

10. WCLO STOOGE - I wasn't going to include this at first, but Dan Conry, Bliss Com's political radio stooge who replaced Stan Milam, has recently been making huge strides polarizing the Janesville community by cheap shotting a local candidate for non-partisan office, in Glenn Beck style. Conry regularly labels and demonizes left-wing democrats, progressives and liberals or just about anybody who disagrees with him as a Socialist or Communist and often denigrates himself in weird babbling tirades to justify denigrating his guests or callers. Expect this story to grow in the coming weeks.