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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Rand, Ryan and GOP Crypto-Cultists Wired Together

Saw this at The Paul Ryan Watch and couldn't resist revisiting it here.

From Wisconsin' Biggest Embarrassment Tries To Debate Ezra Klein-- But Not Ayn Rand

Huff Post Excerpt:

Republicans Must Choose Between Ayn Rand And Jesus
Chuck Colson is one of the lions of the Christian right and the head of Prison Fellowship, which, all politics aside, is the best thing coming from the Christian right and a powerful ministry to a segment of society even progressives often ignore.

But Colson condemned the strong support of Rand in Republican and conservative circles and urged his followers not only to stay away from the new film of Rand's book Atlas Shrugged, but to "stay away from anyone who intends to watch the film." Colson goes on to say Rand and her followers were precisely the types of "cranks" and "crypto-cultists" that his friend Bill Buckley had fought to purge from conservative ranks. He says the "real problem with Rand is the world view her novels and other writings sought to inculcate in her readers... it's hard to imagine a world view more antithetical to Christianity.

Paul Ryan and Ayn Rand do a major disservice to their respective belief systems. Ryan as a Roman Catholic throws his religion's path to prosperity under a bus, a path morally centered on the teachings and work of Jesus Christ.

According to Pope John Paul II, Christianity is the pathway for an individual's highest personal wealth NOT built on the accumulation of capital or possessions, but on a spiritual awakening to apply energy in defense of the cornerstones of human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity. It is justice that must prevail and prosper. This flies directly in the face of Ayn Rand and her cast of cultists.

At the same time, Rand's cold hearted immorality and soulless human disconnect throws atheism under another bus by re-enforcing the false stereotype that atheists lack the personal discipline and clarity of high morals or Christian-like character simply because they don't believe in the existence of deities.

Catholic Social Teaching

Solidarity is undoubtedly a Christian virtue. It seeks to go beyond itself to total gratuity, forgiveness, and reconciliation. It leads to a new vision of the unity of humankind, a reflection of God's triune intimate life. It is a unity that binds members of a group together. All the peoples of the world belong to one human family. We must be our brother's keeper, though we may be separated by distance, language or culture.

Related: Ryan's Worship of Selfishness Ain't Rand With Catholicism

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Janesville Forum on How Ryan Would Destroy Medicare.

Speakers Will Be:

Rob Zerban, Kenosha County Supervisor and candidate for the 1st Congressional District (Paul Ryan's), author of the website, Hands Of My Grandma.Com"

Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin, author of “Rep. Paul Ryan's Budget Plan a “Trojan horse” Assault on American Values”

Tuesday, June 14
6 PM - 6:30 PM, cheese & cracker reception (nonalcoholic potluck)
6:30 PM - 8 PM, speakers & discussion

Basics Food Cooperative
1711 Lodge Dr Janesville, Wisconsin

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ryan Was In Trouble Before Newt and New York

Paul Ryan's unexpected decision to not seek the first open Wisconsin senate seat in 24 years took out whatever air was left in the sails of the state's republican shipwreck skippered by the equally polarizing Scott Walker. Walker lit Wisconsin's political landscape on fire igniting huge protests and with further help from legislative arsonists, continued unabated to scorch and feed opposing constituencies at record speed. The enraged middle-class electorate narrowed what was supposed to be an easy 30 point victory for incumbent State Justice David Prosser down to a nail-biting one point victory. Those in Wisconsin politics know that despite Prosser's win, the state GOP had their ass handed to them.

Reeling from sweeping gains by anti-Walker votes at the ballot box, state republicans are now fighting to keep their sold-out hides saddled in government jobs after they rammed through a series of regressive bills and resolutions aimed at centralizing power, breaking down the will of wage earning taxpayers, re-distributing tax revenues upward to wealthy corporate supporters under the guise of job creation and regulating the electorate with a restrictive voter ID permit. Recalls are well beyond the stage of wishful thinking - they are in progress.

After flippantly claiming republicans are "on a roll" at the GOP state convention, Scott Walker had no choice but to tell loyal partisans to forget about the United States Senate seat Ryan lost confidence in winning and instead warned them that they must work to protect six state legislators from being recalled. Their waning support is simply spread too thin to battle on more than one front. Wisconsin Republicans have the momentum alright, the momentum of desperation.

Those obstacles of association proved to Ryan that the fight to win the senate seat would no longer be on his bank-rolled terms but instead a grueling uphill battle against a well-informed and determined population with all the right momentum. And THAT'S without his kill Medicare proposal.

Now too, the Supreme Court election in Wisconsin gave the opposing forces an inkling of each other's strength. Those working diligently to restore hard fought freedoms and democracy in Wisconsin can now make some adjustments and regroup with growing numbers of converts for the next round of elections. Paul Ryan and his Wall Street pollsters know this. After being spoon-fed election victory after victory during the course of his political career, he wanted no part of this sort of unpredictability.

Yet despite showing no confidence in state GOP politics, Ryan had no qualms about telling others in his party "not to start wobbling" after Republicans just lost a seat to Democrat Kathy Hochul in New York's 26th congressional district Tuesday night. Even Bill Clinton acknowledged that Paul Ryan's proposal to privatize and voucherize Medicare played a major role in the GOP's loss in a traditionally Republican district.

Now I'm not suggesting Kohl's senate seat will be a cake walk for democrats to win - not at all. They'll have to earn it. But the trends are beginning to take shape. Walker lit the state on fire and Ryan's deceptive proposal to "save" Medicare by raising future senior's out-of-pocket costs 500% by transforming the government program into a voucherized private insurance subsidy while cutting taxes for the top is the perfect accelerant for a perfect storm.

Similar but Different

Scot Ross What's behind Ryan's Decision

Ezra Klein asks, Why did Senate Republicans vote for Ryan's plan?

For many of them, the risk of NOT voting for Ryan's plan was equivalent to the risk of not voting for Paul Ryan, which is a warning to any GOPer who dares cross the Wall Street linchpin. Newt Gingrich got a taste of it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Businesses Will Operate In a Socialist State Under Walker

Like in China. But everybody else will suffer under capitalism.

According to a bill being pushed by state republicans, new and existing industrial plants in Wisconsin would receive discounted electric rates from electric providers. Rates would go up for everyone else to make up for the lost revenue. Bill opponents say that's not fair.

Post Crescent Excerpt:
The discount also would apply to businesses that prove they can no longer afford to operate in the state, but only if they receive $500,000 or more in economic development assistance from local governments.

This is outrageous. It flies in the face of years of hard fought energy conservation efforts, punishes the many for the profits of the few and rewards failure. Yeah, we'll socialize your losses even more but only providing previous massive government hand-outs failed to bootstrap your incompetence. This bill is from the "failed business suckling on the government teat is better than no business at all" free market conservative party.

Post Crescent Excerpt:
"Whatever big business wants, big business gets (from Republicans)," Hulsey said. "The rest of us are going to pay higher utility rates, and they don't necessarily create new jobs."

This post was written at the expense of wrongly denigrating socialism.

Janesville Cashes In TIF Surplus Cache To Help Balance Walker's Cuts

In a move not likely to have happened before Scott Walker's budget proposal to cut Janesville’s portion of state shared revenue by 23 percent, the Janesville city council voted unanimously to approve terminating a TIF District ten years earlier than required by law. A total of $1.67 million is expected to be distributed to cash-strapped local jurisdictions within the next 30 days.

JG Excerpt:
The city has a policy of dissolving TIF districts as soon as the bills are paid, “and we waited a little big longer on this one because, quite frankly, it is a hot area and there is still land to be sold,” Grassman said.

It's no secret that Janesville administrators are very fond of enticing well-heeled local developers with tax revenue capital from these legalized slush funds, but to now use the excess money to help plug budget holes created in part by state aid shortfalls to local jurisdictions including the school district is unheard of around here, but a natural response to Walker's budget proposal. I applaud this decision by the city council.

Unfortunately, this also works right into Walker's hands of centralized government. While Walker's budget cuts over $800 million from education and plumps his centralized economic development corporation with $250 million in state tax revenue, Wisconsin communities are making up for the state aid shortfall by shifting local economic development money back into education. This of course will leave communities without the capital resources to seed economic growth.

Knowing Walker's apparent lust for power, I'm also surprised he hasn't demanded all municipal TIF surplus capital throughout Wisconsin be turned over to fill the treasury of his new economic development corporation, or to at least call a moratorium on early TIF terminations. That might be his next move.

But what Janesville did could be the start of an interesting trend to watch for and follow. If other communities start cashing in TIF surplus usually destined for economic development to make up for Walker-induced state aid shortfalls, Walker eventually will be the only authority in town for developers.

Perhaps that is exactly how he wants it.

Monday, May 23, 2011

It's not "Wisconsin is Broke." It's Wisconsin is Broken.

The following are excerpts from the JS Online article State proposal would send $250 million to certified capital companies.

Firms would keep 80% of profit, wouldn't have to repay principal

Legislation that Gov. Scott Walker says will create jobs would provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to insurance companies, while giving control of a $250 million fund to out-of-state financial management companies that would not have to pay back the fund's principal and would keep up to 80% of its profits.

In written testimony submitted for the hearing, Tom Hefty, the former chief executive of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Wisconsin, called the program "the largest special interest Wisconsin tax cut in history masquerading as an economic development initiative."

The $200 million in tax credits would never have to be repaid to the state. The payback, supporters say, would come from the job creation and business growth that would result from the investments.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Paul Ryan Fast Becoming An Anchor Around GOP's Neck

Frum Forum Excerpt:
But unfortunately, the trigger for today’s Journal attack was not Gingrich’s divisive or racially provocative statements. The trigger was actually a wise statement: a caution against committing the GOP to a huge rework of Medicare into a means-tested program that left more and more American seniors to pay more and more of their health insurance costs out of their own pockets.

John Nichols Excerpt:
House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, has turned so "toxic" he can’t get away from the protests that began when he came home last month to try to sell his plan to gut Medicare and Medicaid.

And it is starting to cost him politically. The former "golden boy" of national Republican politics has tarnished his brand to such an extent that, on Tuesday, he had to relinquish his long-cherished dream of running for the U.S. Senate to replace Democratic Senator Herb Kohl.

For the first time in Ryan's spoon-fed political career, he's starting to look over his shoulder.

Atlantic Wire Excerpt:
Some Republicans are daring to show some discomfort with Ryan's budget, despite the Gingrich example. Second-ranking Republican Lamar Alexander says he'll vote for the Ryan plan but prefers one offered by Sen. Pete Domenici with the help of former White House budget director Alice Rivlin. Susan Collins says she won't vote for Ryan's bill, and fellow Mainer Olympia Snowe is leaning against it. Scott Brown said he'd vote for the bill--and his staff scrambled to clarify that he'd merely vote "on" it. Kay Bailey Hutchinson says it'll be a "problem" if she can't vote to amend the Ryan budget, which is likely to be the case. Dick Lugar says he hasn't decided how to vote.

The New Republic's Jonathan Chait described the debate as "a worst-of-all-worlds situation for the GOP."

The Political Environment Excerpt:
Conservative GOP Senate candidates, like Virginia's George Allen, are already distancing themselves from the plan; which incumbents with seats to defend in 2012 want angry constituents showing up at their town hall meetings for the next year-and-a-half?

Ron Johnson might think people will forget his "Yes" vote: prove him wrong.

The Paul Ryan Watch Excerpt:
And here's a short video clip of an interview yesterday with Alan Grayson talking about how the Republicans went tragically wrong by following Ryan down the Wall Street rabbit hole:

Help defeat Ryan in his reelection bid. Rob Zerban will make a far better representative for southeast Wisconsin. Please consider making a contribution at Stop Paul Ryan.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Paul Ryan's New Deal Would Screw District Constituents

From the DailyBeast, Paul Ryan Barbecues His Backyard


The House GOP’s fiscal star touted his “Path to Prosperity” anew Monday. But a Daily Beast analysis of the numbers shows his plan would squeeze the hell out of his own constituents.

The Path to Prosperity would eventually force the 90,776 Medicare recipients currently living in Wisconsin's First Congressional District, or a full 13.5 percent of Ryan's constituents, to shell out a lot more for insurance, or to accept less bang for their buck.

Esther Osmond is a good example. Current estimates show that by 2030, Osmond, an 86-year-old resident of Ryan’s hometown of Janesville, would be paying about 25 percent of her premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Under Ryan’s plan, however, her share of those costs is projected (again, by the CBO) to soar to 68 percent. At that point, Wisconsin seniors like Osmond would have a choice: either buy a Medicare-caliber private plan, which the CBO estimates would cost more than double the projected price of old-fashioned Medicare, or cut back on how comprehensive their insurance is. Reached by phone, Osmond didn’t need to hear the details of Ryan’s proposal before delivering her verdict. She knew them already. “I think it’s crazy!” she shouted. “And that’s about all I think!” Then she hung up.

Medicaid is a similar story.

The Path to Prosperity would convert all federal Medicaid payments into block grants... In Ryan’s district, this would amount to an estimated annual cut of $360 million—which, in turn, would affect not only the 101,500 poor, disabled, and elderly area residents who currently rely on Medicaid for coverage, but many of his other constituents as well. Faced with such a massive shortfall, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services would have to restrict services, limit enrollment, and lower payments to health-care providers—or fill the new funding gap by raising taxes and slashing other state programs. (Kaiser estimates that between 513,000 and 786,000 Wisconsinites would fall off the Medicaid rolls by 2021; proportionally, about 60,000 to 93,000 WI-1 residents would be among them.) Fewer poor people would be admitted to the more than 140 nursing homes and hospitals in Ryan’s district, which would struggle to stay afloat, and some medical professionals might lose their jobs, harming local economies. “States like Wisconsin would be forced to make some very hard decisions,” says Robin Rudowitz, Kaiser’s principal Medicaid policy analyst.

Infrastructure and Schools would also be torched...

District-wide federal spending on bridges and roads would drop by more than 37 percent, or $4.5 million, by 2021; at the same time, federal support for R&D would fall by roughly $600,000—a 28 percent reduction. The biggest short-term cuts, however, would hit WI-1's public-school system, which would watch its federal funding plummet 53 percent over the next eight years, from $72 million to $34 million.

Does anyone benefit from Ryan's proposal? Of course - the wealthy! More at the Daily Beast

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Walker's Local Support Group Wants Teachers To Re-Open Contract

The Janesville Gazette posted an editorial laying out the suggestion that Janesville school teachers owe it to the world to re-open their contract and surrender to Walker's uncompromising union busting demands.

JG Editorial Excerpt:
Here's a message for officials from the Janesville School District, the teachers union and Forward Janesville who plan to meet Friday: Find a way.
Find a way to convince Janesville Education Association leaders and union attorneys that teachers can start contributing 5.8 percent of their salaries toward their pension fund without risking exposure to other concessions in Gov. Scott Walker's budget repair bill.

It takes a lot of nerve to ask only one party to make concessions without offering ideas or anything in exchange and then painting the teachers and their union as the primary suspects for the district's $13.4 million budget hole. Even worse and almost bordering on hysteria is the fact that it is Scott Walker who has cut state aid and prevented local communities from raising taxes, yet it's the teachers the Gazette blames for residents and businesses unwillingness to "donate" to a local fundraising effort to raise money for the schools - money that Walker carved out. The newspaper then tries to turn the tables on the teachers by claiming "businesses are reluctant to donate until they see the teachers union step up and show a commitment to saving quality education." Got that? It's the teachers union and donor fundraising - not the Governor and taxpayers - who are ultimately responsible for funding public education.

But I also think it's bizarre that Walker's local contribution base, the politically active business lobby group Forward Janesville, would be permitted to sit in this meeting after they gave standing ovations to Walker's budget speech at their annual dinner - this while hundreds of Janesville teachers and public sector workers were protesting outside at the dinner function. So the question is: Why should an un-elected special interest group be allowed to participate in this meeting? What is Forward Janesville bringing to the table and more importantly - what are they willing to concede? Will they match teacher concessions dollar for dollar? Don't hold your breath.

JG Editorial Excerpt:
Many teachers say they're not in the profession for the money but instead because of a deep passion for educating young people. Their union must demonstrate that.

You can see where this is going. Instead of rewarding individual teachers with extra compensation, monetary or otherwise, for their often selfless work, the Gazette would rather take teachers up on their personal and individual commitments to kids and reward them with less. Oh, you think you're a care giver in your role as teacher? Well, let your union demonstrate your sincerity - you can start by demanding less. This is insanity.

When concerned but opposing parties get together to forge an agreement, there usually is an exchange of one thing for another, or in this case matching concessions from all parties. The teachers are not in this alone nor are they charged with the school district's budget duties or responsibilities.

It's time to clear the air and tell Walker that his tool, Rep. Joe Knilans, is the wrong tool for the job. Tell him the only way to make things right is to drop the budget repair bill - lock, stock and barrel.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Video: Paul Ryan Throws Grandma Off The Cliff

Ryan's proposal is ...

"unAmerican" -- President Barack Obama

"right-wing social engineering" -- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

From the Agenda Project, watch as the Republican Party throws Grandma off a cliff (symbolically, of course).

Seniors need to realize that with friends like Paul Ryan, who needs enemies?

Agenda Project -- What if someone told you that politicians were the least important part of politics?

Hufcor - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry - Changing The Way We Do Business

HUFCOR Contact: J. Michael Borden. President Jim Landherr. The last time Landherr registered a political donation was way back in 1994 when he gave Tommy Thompson $500, but that wasn't the end of HUFCOR's heavy support to Republican causes as Michael Borden developed a long history of buying political support to help place HUFCOR among the top donors from Janesville businesses to GOP candidates including Scott Walker. HUFCOR donated a whopping $4,350 to Walker.

Total Political contributions: (Post 2008 election cycle)
DEMOCRATIC $350 Source

Rating: FJ+ (5/17/11) Legend

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Joe Knilans Contributors - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry - Changing The Way We Do Business

Assembly Rep. Joe Knilans (44th District), a Republican, is one of Gov. Scott Walkers biggest boosters and an unwavering supporter of the class war Budget Repair Bill.

The freshman republican's term in office got off to a rocky start when it was discovered he did not live in the 44th district, but instead lived in the 45th. During his campaign he made statements that he was living in his brother's basement in the 44th despite Janesville property records showing that his brother's basement was unfinished (uninhabitable). Knilans soon moved to a new location in the 44th District. At the time, Knilans made statements on the Stan Milam Show that according to Dan Conry (WCLO radio host), assured voters he lived in the 44th District while he later acknowledged that he voted in the 45th district in the primary election. Knilans is hoping all of this is behind him as the legislator pushes for tighter voter residency rules including the new requirement disqualifying voters who fail to exhibit a state approved photo ID.

The district Knilans represents encompasses almost the entire city of Janesville. In November, Rock County voted Barrett 53% to Walker's 46% - keep in mind that was when area voters thought Walker was trustworthy. When Knilans voted for Walker's budget plan, he clearly voted against the wishes of the majority of his district.

Joe Knilans Campaign Contributors

$1,220 Mercy Health Systems
$1,000 Amerivest (Beloit)
$900 ABC Supply
$700 Christianson Property Group (Edgerton)
$600 Wisconsin Dairy Supply (Whitewater)
$600 Lycon
$500 Lions Quick Marts
$500 Prent
$500 Rock Road
$500 Westphal Electric
$470 Knight Public Affairs (Whitewater)
$300 Gehrig Hunt Club
$300 J.P. Cullen
$300 Yoss Construction
$300 King Capital LLC
$280 R & R Concrete
$250 Rockton Veterinary Hospital
$250 Damron Chiropractic
$250 Baxter Healthcare
$225 Regal Beloit
$200 Swiss Family Smoke House (Evansville)
$200 Alongi Santa Insurance Agency
$150 DWG Company
$150 Hufcor
$100 Prairie Craftsman Inc.
$100 Angus-Young Associates
$100 Babcock Advertising
$100 Commercial Bank of Whitewater
$100 Weiler & Co.
$100 UBS Financial
$100 Petersen Pharmacy
$100 Tincher Realty (Whitewater)
$100 Reinicke Clinic
$100 Cornellier Fireworks
$100 Carpenter Law office
$100 Van Galder Bus Company
$100 Tomah


Legislator Rating: (5/16/11)

Monday, May 16, 2011

State GOP: Bullets or Ballots Presents Selective Constitutionalism

Local GOPers are making their case of statewide regression for permitless concealed carry. They claim citizens must have unfettered access to gun ownership and concealed carry in order to fully exercise the full breath and intention of the 2nd Amendment.

JG Excerpt:
Sen. Neal Kedzie R-Elkhorn:
“Two versions of concealed-carry legislation have been introduced; one which requires licensing and one which does not. The non-licensing bill—commonly referred to as ‘constitutional carry’ — is the truest measure which allows citizens to exercise their Second Amendment rights, and the bill I am currently supporting.

I really get a kick out these guys with their "constitutional carry" jargon. The 2nd Amendment contains no language as to "concealment" or "carry," but they matter-of-factly call it constitutional.

JG Excerpt:
Knilans said he finds himself in the middle of two concealed carry proposals, one that doesn’t require a permit and weapons training and one that does. But he’s also concerned about trampling constitutional rights. “I’m an advocate of some training, but the Second Amendment doesn’t say you have the right to bear arms if you’ve had training.”

Knilans, much like the entire GOP state legislative caucus, finds himself in the middle of trampling constitutional rights on everything. He's right that the 2nd Amendment doesn't contain any training pre-conditions to exercise our right to bear arms, but the constitution doesn't contain any pre-conditions that voters must present a Photo ID every time they vote either - but that didn't stop Knilans from supporting the anti-voter ID law. But these Tea Party Republicans are constitutional purists - don't let anyone tell them any different.

JG Excerpt:
Rep. Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater:
Wynn is a former U.S. Army paratrooper who characterizes himself as “very conservative” on constitutional issues. He’s cosponsoring Sen. Pam Galloway’s “constitutional carry” bill, which would allow concealed carry without fees or permits.

Wynn said he believes people should be allowed to carry weapons without being registered in police databases and that mandated training and permits for concealed carry would be extraneous and a government overreach.

“It makes people jump through so many hoops that they give up and don’t get a permit,” Wynn said. “Usually, people don’t buy a gun unless they know how to use one,” he said.

Hmmmm. Guns have fewer buttons and are less technical to operate than the average digital camera, yet we call those "point and shoot."

Wynn figures he doesn't want registration or government overreach preventing people from carrying a handgun or slowing down the process, those hoops of discouragement are reserved for union goons, minorities and senior citizen lemmings when they attempt to cast their vote for those rotten Democrats. That's where Photo ID, data base registration and government overreach are absolutely necessary because you never know when some evil socialist coward will pull a loaded ballot out and start firing away.

Of note, the Janesville Gazette made the effort to publicize that Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) declined to comment while giving a local Republican, Amy Loudenbeck, a complete free pass and made no mention of her name or position on this issue.

Just for the record, I believe in our Constitutional right for citizens to own and bear arms, but I'm also one of those backward people in the eyes of the Tea Party or someone like Rep. Paul Ryan because I also believe our Constitution is a living, breathing document that was meant to be more than just the foundation of our country. That it evolves and must be updated **NOT CHANGED** to reflect our present day realities and ever-changing conditions. I believe it is NOT in our country's best interests to promote more guns on the streets and to do so is a sign that we have less respect for the rule of law and less faith in law enforcement. It is a huge step backwards.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Today's Seniors Applaud Ryan's Medicare Proposal

GOP Knilans Listening Session Shows Disconnect and Double Standard

The expensive, partisan and fraudulent Voter ID and concealed carry proposals were the main topics during a listening session hosted by Assembly Rep. Joe Knilans in Janesville.

Joe Knilans you might recall was the Republican candidate who had some very confusing and major residency issues of his own during his campaign and inauguration into the state assembly office that remain unresolved to this day.

Nearly 16,000 ballots were cast in the 44th district for two candidates (Sheridan (D) and Knilans(R)) without a single report of voter fraud. Sadly for Janesville voters, it was these two candidates who could not prove district residency beyond a shadow of a doubt in the very district they were running in during the primary and leading up to Election Tuesday. Yet the winner (Knilans) supports stricter residency requirements and photo ID’s not for legislative candidates and incumbents - but for voters.

Lacrosse Tribune Excerpt:
The purpose of the bill isn’t to prevent voter fraud because voter fraud is virtually non-existent. A partisan Republican Attorney General with every incentive to discover anyone who voted fraudulently or multiple times only unearthed 20 such cases over a multi-year period. Voting twice is a high-risk, low-reward activity, and attempting it borders on the insane.

No, what the bill is designed to produce is a voting election-day demographic more favorable to the Republican party, and the legislation’s $6 million price tag is just the cost of doing partisan business. Republican lawmakers identified a problem, and they intend to solve it. Ruthlessly.

Knilans own candidacy residency failures shows election fraud in Wisconsin was present in the 44th district, but it turns out the voters had nothing to do with it. It's too bad Wisconsin didn't have a strict Politician Photo ID to prove residency in the legislative district they're running for. It would have prevented thousands from casting their votes on one candidate who could not meet the same residency standards he now wants to impose on voters when he ran for office. At least that would have eliminated one fraud.

I've written this before and I'll do it again. There's a war on. Economically, it's on the working poor, middle-class and labor unions. Socially, it's on college students, minorities, women, senior citizens, future senior citizens and the disabled. Politically it's on Democrats, Liberals, Progressives and just about anyone on the Left. And culturally its' on anyone who does not adhere to the "wrapped in the flag" phony rhetoric of self-righteous conservatives. Certainly there are superficial differences between us, there might even be some conservatives and disillusioned republicans among us. But if we can overcome those differences, network and empower ourselves with perseverance and truth and recognize our commonality as the victims in these brutal assaults on our constitutional democracy from the corporate right-wing establishment and Tea Party radicals - we can win this war. But not until then.

Knilans Delivers Vote for Local Cartel

Janesville Republican Chose between Constituency and Party on Budget Bill - Chose party

Friday, May 13, 2011

Political Business Group Pushing For Access Into School District Administration

As reported by our media monopoly the Janesville Gazette, Scott Walker’s local contributor base and cheerleader group, Forward Janesville, wants access into the Janesville School District administrative structure.

JG Excerpt:
Forward Janesville leaders are interested in offering its members’ assistance to the district and want to explore possible solutions that may not have been explored….

The politically active business group already has full access into Janesville municipal and Rock county governments. Now this powerful group of unelected and privileged local elites want the same access into the School District under the guise of offered assistance. They figure…why not?

JG Excerpt:
A blue ribbon committee to consider the district’s finances is another possibility, Beckord said.

Never mind that we already have a blue ribbon citizen panel to consider the school district’s finances…. It’s called the “school board.” With Walker's agenda driven by these deep-pocketed authoritarians and legislative enablers, Wisconsin is firmly on the way to having unelected shadow groups overseeing every aspect of state and local government. That must be their version of “local control.”

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Local Paper Punishes Moms With Monster Story

On Mother's Day Sunday, a day traditionally reserved for family and celebrating mom, the Janesville Gazette ran a Front page headline story on James Humphrey, the fallen local man found guilty of shooting to death another man in a chance confrontation that went disastrously out of control over an exchange of words and gestures.

A letter published in Wednesday's newspaper written by a person identifying herself as a family member of the victim found the newspaper's two-page feature very distasteful and a slap in the face of the victim's mother and the mother of the victim's children. But she went further. She also offered the notion that the guilty suspect's mother did not deserve to have this heartbreak story thrown back in her face either, not on Mother's Day and quite frankly - you don't screw around with mothers.

As a close observer of the Gazette, I find Sunday’s murder story placement a placement of choice. This was not breaking news or time sensitive information delivered for the public's urgency need-to-know. The point is, the Janesville Gazette editors knew exactly what they're doing. They deliberately used the heightened passions surrounding Mother's Day to jack up the shock and loss and teach everybody a family lesson. They believe it's their calling to play with lives and emotions if they can use it to advantage their right-wing social engineering program. In fact, this newspaper truly believes that the more critics they attract from opposing sides of an issue - the better. That's their journalistic benchmark for a balanced nirvana. The element they didn't take into consideration on Mother's Day however is the fact that the perpetrator and the victim’s mom love for their children is a common bond and it's totally unconditional. That's just one reason why they deserved much better on Mother's Day than what the Gazette dished out.

On Mother's Day 2011, the Janesville Gazette recklessly tore at the heart of every mom cuddling their precious little baby and hoping that someday, their child will make a positive difference in the world and in the lives of others. The point is, this story was scheduled for Mother's Day - no other day would do that could chug at the heartstrings the same way with the same effect the social engineers at the Gazette wanted to achieve. Ironically, they'll likely win awards in journalism excellence for their trainwreck "Man to Monster" Mother's Day story.

But it doesn't end there. The soulless Gazette and their WCLO radio barker Dan Conry, another award winning champion of free speech, trash commenters and critics alike who supposedly call into the newspaper's mind-numbingly illegitimate "Sound Off" anonymous feature. This is their monster. Conry says "bravo to the Gazette for printing cowards corner," it's a good recipe for the toxic stew they're selling. Conry then begins his circus act by reading portions of the signed letter sent in by the victim’s kin. But what exactly in the letter offends the liberty-loving free speech corporate tool the most? It's the idea that she plans on exercising her freedom of choice. She writes...

When my family moves back to Janesville, I will be sure to rethink subscribing to your newspaper!

Conry's offended most by the suggestion of withholding purchasing a subscription (boycott) and then describes exercising this free market principle as really an exercise in censorship. He then downplays the suggestion that the murder event was a "tragedy for both families" by sarcastically poking "that's nonsense - that's garbage." Okaaaay. He also plays surprise that advocates of boycotts and critics of his show are indeed "not without education" and "raised the the right way" and "well heeled" who are "professionals" and who are considered "very nice people" that have written letters to the general manager of the radio show saying "Dan Conry shouldn't be on the air." Again Conry implies that such criticism is intellectually dishonest for anyone educated and who understands the Constitution. I mean, everyone knows that boycotts or criticism of the Gazette or the Dan Conry Show doesn't fall under freedom of speech. Why that's socialistic, union thuggery communism and censorship.

Ryan Tells Constituents One Thing - Votes Opposite

With gasoline surpassing four bucks a gallon during Rep. Paul Ryan's recent townhalls, many of his district constituents questioned his votes giving oil companies billions in tax break subsidies. I recall Ryan saying, "sometimes we have to take votes that we don't completely agree with" or something like that. In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, Ryan was again pressed about tax credits and subsidies to Big oil.

ABC News Excerpt:
"Would you back ending subsidies to oil companies?" Amanpour asked.

"Oh yes," said Rep. Ryan. "I think we should clean up all those loopholes. And don't forget, there's a lot of corporate welfare spending that is in our budget put in there by both political parties because of powerful interests. We want to get rid of all that."

Sure, but not right now. After spending months hitting all of his media enablers to spread his message of an impending national debt apocalypse, Ryan yet again continues to say one thing and do another. The congressman voted to block The Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act of 2011, a resolution that would end at least $30 billion in tax subsidies to major integrated oil companies and use the savings to cut tax rates for all companies in order to spur job creation. The problem is Republicans tend to view ending corporate welfare subsidies as a tax increase on the wealthy. In their world, the top 2% don't qualify for "means testing" for government welfare - that's only for the little people. Less than two weeks after re-iterating that he would end these subsidies, Ryan thumbed his nose and voted to continue them for profit-rich Big Oil.

Down With Tyranny Excerpt:
Given the opportunity to do just that by the Democrats in the House, they all danced away from their promises and voted for tens of billions in tax dollar subsidies to go to the most profitable corporations in history. Why? Simple, Big Oil cuts them in on the plunder. They pay "protection money" (billions) to Republican and Blue Dog politicians in return for our tax dollars flowing their way; it's the scam of the century.

Is Ryan just a bold-faced liar when he told Amanpour and his constituents, "Oh yes ...I want to end subsidies to Big oil" or does he cast bad votes for purely political purposes? I think he's both.

Either way, I'm getting the sense now that republicans are building a new extortion cache of tax subsidies and welfare for the wealthy they'll be willing to exchange with Obama and congressional democrats in a hostage deal to raise the debt ceiling or cut Medicare and Medicaid. Similar to what they offered to Obama to extend the deficit ballooning Bush tax cuts. They don't give nothing for nothing. Democrats must not blink this time.

Senate Dems Call for End of Tax Breaks for Big Oil and Pledge Savings To Reduce Deficit.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Ryan's Corporate Machine Demagogues AARP

Rep. Paul Ryan's political machine went on the attack Monday against AARP, calling them a "left-leaning pressure group."

Ryan's Prosperity PAC pushes back on AARP ads against his 2012 budget, framing the organization's message as "intentionally misleads seniors about the Medicare debate," wrote Pat Shortridge, a senior adviser to Ryan's PAC, in an email to supporters.

AARP: Medicare in the crosshairs.


Monday, May 09, 2011

WI Republicans Ramp Up Retrogression Before Recalls

Scott Walker and legislative regressives have apparently launched a new push to ram several years' worth of radical corpo-conservative agenda items through the Legislature over the next eight weeks before recall elections threaten to bring democracy back to state government.

• Strip collective bargaining rights
• Legalize concealed weapons
• Voter ID proposal
• Split the Madison campus from the UW System
• Deregulate the telephone industry
• Political redistricting map
• Expand school vouchers
• Undo early release for prisoners

None of it, including stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights is expected to save money or create any jobs.

More troubling news for Wisconsin municipalities.

Wisconsin municipalities building sewers or expanding sewage treatment plants in the next two years would pay up to $59 million more in interest costs to repay loans through the state's clean water fund, under a proposal approved by the Legislature's budget committee.

$5 million eliminated in bicycle and pedestrian funding

Siding with Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal, the Republican-dominated panel voted 12-4 Wednesday to remove state support for bicycle and pedestrian paths from the $6.4 billion transportation budget. That's a rollback from the 2009-2011 state transportation budget, which for the first time had applied gas tax revenues to bike and ped projects.

Wisconsin Environment Under Attack

The governor and GOP lawmakers have pushed more than a dozen initiatives that would reverse the course set by previous administrations.

Among the changes:

• Trying to eliminate mandatory requirements for recycling and the subsidies to local government that went with it.

• Weakening the state's commitment to wind power by making it more difficult for developers to meet siting requirements.

• Canceling a major state contract to burn homegrown biomass at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

• Delaying costly water pollution rules to control weed-producing phosphorus in waterways.

Voter ID Costly - With $0 Return On Investment

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau estimates the law could cost more than $5.7 million to implement. That includes $2.2 million in costs for the Government Accountability Board (which includes education and outreach), almost $2 million for the Transportation Department (to cover employee expenses and the cost of free IDs) and more than $1.6 million if universities chose to remake student IDs.

Additional Info Voter ID: A research report by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute

Additional Reading: Publius No.9 Walker To Jam Extreme Right Crap Down Throats of Wisconsinites

Friday, May 06, 2011

Walker Ignores Will of The People

I'll admit, the title isn't very creative.

Channel 3000 Excerpt:
Gov. Scott Walker signed a sick leave bill on Thursday. The bill said that statewide employee leave provisions trump local ordinances and prohibits cities, villages, towns and counties from adopting their own.

The Republican measure came after a state appeals court upheld a Milwaukee ordinance requiring employers to give workers paid sick leave.

As far as I'm concerned, Walker signing the bill striking down Milwaukee's sick leave ordinance was much bigger than the law itself or local control angles and issues. It's the idea that a small group of ideologues in a state legislature and an authoritarian governor, most of them not from or representing the city of Milwaukee, can counter and unilaterally over-rule the will of the people not because the ordinance is unconstitutional or illegal, but simply because they disagree with it. That's fascism.

Let this be a lesson to any Wisconsin community that thinks it has the will to empower itself with democratic rule - you'd better run it past Walker first.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Chambers & Owen - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry - Changing The Way We Do Business

Chambers & Owen
Contact: John Owen - At a glance, C & O's political contribution history shows a business innocently contributing modest amounts to both parties. After 15 years of spreading out mostly $100 to $500 donations to candidates and incumbents in both parties, C & O deviated and joined with the big boys when they dropped a single donation of $5,000 on Scott Walker. Soon afterwards, they strung together a series of $250 donations to Tim Cullen (D) (Cullen refused to accept individual donations greater than $250) totaling $4,000! Walker - Cullen? Remember Walker saying, "Cullen, he's a pragmatist, he's not one of us." But it is precisely these kind of contributions that begs the question: What are they buying?

Total Political contributions: (Post - 2008 election cycle)
REPUBLICAN $6,050 ($5,350 - Walker)
DEMOCRATIC $5,500 ($4,000 - Cullen) Source

Rating: FJ+ (5/5/11) Legend

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Is Obama Re-loading Right-Nutters With Osama Photo?

White House will not release photo of Osama's body.

Uh-oh. Here we go again. From birthers to deathers, they need long form proof. I can already hear the carnival barking presidential candidates at Fox on this one.

Wanting a Conversation With Ryan, Disabled Get Arrested Instead

The Hill Excerpt:
Several hundred demonstrators with disabilities gathered outside Rep. Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office Tuesday to protest his budget’s proposed reduction in Medicaid funding.

Nearly 300 members of the national disability-rights group ADAPT — many in wheelchairs — initially lined up outside the Longworth building, and a dozen congregated inside the House Budget chairman's second-floor office.

The American Independent Excerpt:
Tonight, Capitol Police have begun arresting ADAPT members from all over the country, who have remained in the Cannon House Office Building since midday. The ADAPTers want Representatives Paul Ryan, John Boehner and Michelle Bachmann to publicly withdraw their support for Medicaid budget cuts and Medicaid state block grants. Without this commitment, ADAPT has decided to make a point that we are willing to do whatever it takes to defend the right of people with disabilities and seniors to live in our homes, not nursing homes and institutions. It is unacceptable for our own government to treat the 60 million Americans who rely on Medicaid like garbage.

Ervin told TAI that about 100 people have been arrested so far, many of them chanting “I’d rather be in jail than in a nursing home!” He said Ryan sent his chief of staff to speak wit the protesters but that Speaker of the House John Boehner refused to speak to the organization. Representatives who talked to the group and listened to their demands included: John Lewis (D-Ga.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.), and Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Walker Putting a Hurt On Janesville - Conservatives Blame "Madison"

I've seen this several times before in a few recent articles but it didn't click with me until I saw the title to the Walker-endorsing Janesville Gazette's editorial, Hey Madison, let's be fair to Janesville. They blame Madison, whom according to the Gazette, is using old formulas to divvy up state aid that will end up shortchanging Janesville 23 percent of its previous state aid.

When the truth is, Walker and his budget repair legislative tools either didn't think how these old formulas would work with their draconian cuts OR they knew exactly how they would work - they were banking on them.

In their letterized editorial to Walker and state lawmakers, they make no mention in name of Walker's Budget Repair Bill. Although they acknowledge that the new budget measures have torn up the financial books, burned the old way of doing business and are "solving the state’s cavernous budget deficits" They write "we get that." But it's "Madison" they blame, that liberal bastion of progressive bureaucrats for shortchanging Janesville.

They also blame part of the local deficit on the Janesville school district and the city for approving previously negotiated union contracts. Of course!

But as far as Walker and his budget bill is concerned - they "get it."

Monday, May 02, 2011

Babcock Signs - True Colors

Today's True Colors Entry - Changing The Way We Do Business

Babcock Signs Advertising

Contact: David Babcock - A history of steady political contributions dating back to 1999 shows a contributor going with the political winds. Donated to Doyle and Mark Green, Knilans and Sheridan, Cullen and Rick Richard, Republican and Democratic committees, etc... Current election cycle donations tilts Republican with a $150 contribution to Scott Walker and $100 to Joe Knilans.

Political Contributions: (Post-2008)

DEMOCRATIC $750 Source

Rating: FJ+ (5/2/11) Legend

Mission Accomplished - 8 years Later

Osama Bin Laden Declared Dead - Sources: Body in U.S. Custody

Exactly eight years to the day President George W. Bush stood on the aircraft carrier and declared an end to major combat in Iraq comes the report that the man considered the mastermind of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 was shot in the head and killed in Afghanistan.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Is Paul Ryan Channeling Bush's Failed Homeowner Society?

Is Paul Ryan's "Path To Prosperity" just an extension of GWB's Home Ownership Society policy, a policy that played a starring role in the crash of 2008? The following is from GWB's acceptance speech to the RNC in 2004. Eerie.

BUSH: Another priority for a new term is to build an ownership society, because ownership brings security and dignity and independence.

Thanks to our policies, home ownership in America is at an all- time high.


Tonight we set a new goal: 7 million more affordable homes in the next 10 years, so more American families will be able to open the door and say, "Welcome to my home."


In an ownership society, more people will own their health plans and have the confidence of owning a piece of their retirement.

We'll always keep the promise of Social Security for our older workers.

With the huge baby boom generation approaching retirement, many of our children and grandchildren understandably worry whether Social Security will be there when they need it.

We must strengthen Social Security by allowing younger workers to save some of their taxes in a personal account, a nest egg you can call your own and government can never take away.


In all these proposals, we seek to provide not just a government program, but a path, a path to greater opportunity, more freedom and more control over your own life.


RELATED: Democurmudgeon - Ryan's Plan Won't Effect Seniors Right Now? Wrong.