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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Rmoney: Education Only For People With Time and Money

Wonkette Excerpt:
While in Virginia on Friday, Romney said that while America may be “the land of opportunity for every single person,” when it comes down to it there is not quiiiiiiite enough opportunity to go around, and education is great, but a person should really only get “as much education as they can afford and with their time they’re able to get,” which is a weird, as well as an evil, sentence.

In Rmoney's America, if you're poor and without an education, you'll be stuck in your station of life forever. At the same time, you're an "elitist snob" if you try to level the playing field so anyone, regardless of race, class or creed, who wants an education can have one.

More from Think Progress

Watch it:

Walker's Correction For Bid-Rigging Still Leaves a Loophole

CBS Excerpt:
Walker told members of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation board that from now on WEDC will ask companies if they are submitting or intend to submit a bid for state work before offering them incentives.

"I think that's a good step to have that internal control," Walker said.


They don't say it, but they leave the door open to give tax credits and other favors to businesses AFTER their bid wins the state contract. As if winning a government contract isn't enough incentive to create some jobs.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Bid-Rigging For State Contracts Coming Soon To Wisconsin

Walker appointee Paul Jadin told The Associated Press his legal team advised him that the offer to Skyward Inc. was allowed because the year-old WEDC isn't bound by procurement laws that forbid bid-rigging. Others in state government think bid-rigging for contracts is either unethical or downright illegal.

Fox 11 Excerpt:
Jadin said he will be talking with Walker about pursuing legislation next year that would allow WEDC to make such contingency offers. He said his agency is still getting a "better handle on what areas we are clearly a state entity and what areas we are clearly private. That's evolving a bit yet."

The public half of the sham operation WEDC is subject to open records and other state administrative laws while the private half wants to legalize bid-rigging for state government contracts. They need to figure out how to keep things separate and hidden because apparently, that's how the private sector works.

Fox 11 Excerpt:
When Gov. Scott Walker found out about the offer the day after he won his recall election on June 5, he said it raised a red flag and he alerted his legal staff. Walker's office then contacted the state Department of Administration, which was in charge of...

When Scott Walker found out about it ...hee, hee, hee ...yeah right. Just like when Walker "found out about" the secret email system to conduct campaign fundraising by some of his closest associates in his MKE county office. Walker makes sure he surrounds himself with willing pawns and wrongdoers, but he's always the innocent victim.

Excuses, Fearmongering and Sour Grapes Are Only Certainty In GOP's Response To Health Care Reform

As a supporter of Medicare For All or a genuine public option at the minimum, I'm still only lukewarm to Obama's health care reform act despite the law being affirmed by the highest court in the land. I also suspect more fall-out from the court’s mixed decision, most notably in its weakening of the law’s Medicaid provisions in the name of states’ rights.

But if I were the republican governor of a state, I'd certainly proceed with the framework of state-run health care exchanges, knowing that the exchanges are a requirement in practically every proposal for health care reform written over the past 30 years.

Gov. Scott Walker however says Wisconsin will not proceed with implementing the Affordable Care Act because the SCOTUS decision he claims, creates uncertainty.

Channel 3000 Excerpt:
In the meantime, Walker says the state will not proceed with setting up a health care exchange as is required.[...]

He said the decision creates uncertainty for Wisconsin businesses and that's bad for job growth. Walker has also said businesses will be bullish about adding jobs since he won a June 5 recall election.

Bad for job growth but businesses remain bullish about adding jobs? Which is it?

But tell that to four (Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and even Tea Party Mitch Daniels Indiana) of the six midwestern states that have all outjobbed Wisconsin in 2011 while instituting that "uncertainty" by building the framework for the state health care exchanges in the new health care law. Add to that the fact that two (California and New York) of the top three states in the country that have had significant increases in employment from May, 2011 to May, 2012 have implemented the ACA almost in it's entirety. While three states with dismal job growth, North Carolina, Alaska and New Mexico have literally banned the ACA. Beginning this week, New Mexico has finally initiated a task force to develop a proposal for creating a state health insurance exchange. So how can the decision be bad for job growth?

Even more ridiculous is to say the decision is bad for Wisconsin. But we'll have to go in circles here for just a moment to tackle that one.

Walker's belligerent failure to implement the law has the same impact on the state as if SCOTUS struck it down. So the decision can't be bad for job growth or create "uncertainty" for Wisconsin businesses if he refuses to implement it. Without implementing the Affordable Care Act, it's business as usual for the GOP and the state of Wisconsin. With the recalls behind us, the state should be gushing in certainty ...and jobs according to Scott Walker.

Conversely, he could have claimed Obama's health care reform was bad for job growth given the poor state employment results of the past year, but only if he had implemented it. He missed that opportunity by fighting it every step of the way. But this is where the rubber meets the road. The GOP's (and Walker's) biggest fear is not that Obama's health care reform fails - but if it would succeed. The idea of course is to never give it a chance.

So using Walker's fearmongering and certainty logic, only states that implemented the federal health care law have "uncertainty," yet those same states have experienced some of the most significant job growth over the past year AND if Walker was right, that should have translated into businesses and workers fleeing those states for Wisconsin.

But we know that's not happening and Walker is playing politics as usual and fabricating more uncertainty by hedging on not implementing the health care plan, with the intention to blame the health care law for all that fails in the state by not implementing it. That's full circle insanity.

Mitt Romney also found himself in a similar foot-in-mouth position earlier this week by saying if the nation’s highest court overturned what he derides as Obamacare, “then the first 3 1/2 years of this president’s term will have been wasted on something that has not helped the American people.”

Boston.Com Excerpt:
Yet the court, with the vote of conservative Chief Justice John Roberts, today upheld the law’s constitutionality.

Accepting Romney’s logic, that would mean that the bulk of Obama’s first term in office was spent on something that helped the American people.

Roberts is not someone Romney can dismiss, either. On his campaign website, he pledges to nominate Supreme Court justices “in the mold of Chief Justice Roberts,” as well as other court conservatives.

Epic backfire.


Political Environment - Who Does J.B. Van Hollen think he Is? The Party Boss?

Think Progress - Sen. Ron Johnson thinks freedom means having the freedom to deny health care to cancer patients.

Democurmudgeon - Tea Party Losers Whine, have Temper Tantrum, call for Armed Revolution.

Crooks and Liars - Republicans Biggest Fear: That Health Care Reform Would Succeed

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Confederacy Shall Rise Again!

Saw this first noted at the Motley Cow. Think Progress detailed the five most regressive policies of the Texan 2012 Republican Platform. Here's just two of them...

Think Progress Excerpt:
The party opposes almost all forms of taxation: The Texas GOP supports “repeal of the Sixteenth Amendment,” which instituted a national income tax, and instead favors a wildly regressive national sales tax that would hit low- and middle-income Americans hardest. It also favors making the Bush tax cuts permanent and repealing the capital gains tax and the estate tax, the latter of which it claims is “immoral and should be abolished forever.” On the state level, it supports abolishing property and business taxes, and property taxes on inventory, and opposes efforts to institute a state income tax, an Internet sales tax, professional licensing fees, and taxes on real estate transactions. Instead, it supports “shifting the tax burden to a consumption-based tax.”

Not to mention what an income blind consumption based tax will do for demand - like kill it. But they want to kill demand because you'll be willing to work for literally pennies an hour just to survive when they also kill the minimum wage. Just sweethearts all around.

They're starting right where they left off in 1859. They want their confederacy back and you know something? We can laugh about it for the moment but they're winning the messaging battle right now. Put it this way. When we say "We The People," we mean a government of the people, by the people and for the people. When they say "We The People" they mean "no government." Corporations are people.

Think Progress Excerpt:
It opposes multicultural education and “critical thinking”: “We believe the current teaching of a multicultural curriculum is divisive,” the platform says, adding that it supports teaching “common American identity and loyalty instead of political correctness that nurtures alienation among racial and ethnic groups.” In Arizona, where Republicans banned multicultural programs, students in those programs actually out-performed their peers. Texas Republicans also believe “controversial theories” such evolution and climate change — which aren’t controversial at all — “should be taught as challengeable scientific theories subject to change as new data is produced.” There’s more: the GOP also opposes the teaching of “critical thinking skills” because they “focus on behavior modification and have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.”

These neanderthals want to keep people segregated and divided - they think it's more peaceful that way. They want to challenge science - but not beliefs or authority? Well, not THEIR beliefs or authority anyways - only yours. Who needs Anders Behring Breivik when we have Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and Ron Johnson?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

WMC: Full Time Excuses, But No Jobs

For more than a decade the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce (WMC) cartel said Wisconsin was a tax hell. Fix that they said and businesses will flourish and jobs will be plentiful in the state of Wisconsin. Then they came out and said they need more “certainty,” tax certainty, policy certainty, regulation certainty, venture capital certainty, currency certainty, pro-growth certainty, incentive certainty blah, blah, blah. Fix that and everything will be all peachy and rosy again. Then they said once the clouds of the recalls are lifted, the “job creators” will be set to go on a jobs explosion like not seen in a generation …blah, blah, blah and another blah.

Just two weeks after the recall was over and the job creators favored and endorsed Scott Walker won the right to finish his term as governor, the WMC wasted no time to tamp down that one-month old campaign speculation of a jobs explosion. Sorry they basically said, it's not gonna happen anytime soon because there's a "workforce skills gap" in the state. That was just a minor inconvenience they forgot to tell us about in their jobs explosion campaign for re-election. Oh well, they never said anything about actually hiring anyone.

According to this article posted in the Janesville Gazette, they claimed it’ll be at least another year before the state will see any significant job growth. Now this week yet another article titled, Knowledge can help solve state’s workforce paradox continues with the skills gap excuse for no jobs. Notice the WMC and Walker enabler Gazette did not use the word “education” – now it’s "knowledge." Well, maybe because Scott Walker just cut $800 million a year from knowledge Doh! …ah, I mean education. You get the picture. It’s one excuse after another excuse after another and another. If excuses were jobs at the WMC, we’d be at full 100% employment.

I attempted to link directly to WMC Web Pages for all of their tax hell and certainty talking points, but after receiving a couple “Error 404” messages using archived url’s from previous stories, I figure why bother with WMC-sourced information when they'd deny everything anyways.

It's always about more for them and less for everybody else.


JS Online - Why is Walker begging for jobs in Chicago when Wisconsin is in the midst of the greatest job explosion not seen in a generation? Besides, don't they know we have a workforce skills gap in the state?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Crony Collectivism, Bid-Rigging. Walker just Another Crooked Politician.

JS Online Excerpt:
Madison - Wisconsin's quasi-private economic development agency offered tax breaks to a Stevens Point company contingent upon it winning a state contract in late March, nearly three months before the offer was rescinded after Gov. Scott Walker's administration said it was inappropriate.

"Quasi-private economic development agency?" Ya' gotta love it. For lack of a better description, Walker pulled out just in time.

In the state budget passed last year, the state put aside $15 million to create a statewide information system. Skyward lobbied against it, arguing that multiple operators should be allowed instead of just one. The company threatened to leave the state if it didn't win the contract.

That is incredible. Just to skim the surface here, Skyward obviously held a tremendous advantage over competitors by bidding on a state government contract that came loaded with tax credit incentives no one else was offered and to top it off, Skyward threatened to leave the state if they didn't win the contract??

What's not to like?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Talk Radio Fascists Want To Pistol Whip Nuns

What was Paul Ryan trying to accomplish when he declared that his government budget novel was based on his understanding of Catholicism? My best guess is he thought that framing it under the umbrella of his religion would shut down all the talk that his budget philosophy is far more closely aligned with Ayn Rand's vision for a future society. He also likely thought Catholics would come to his defense and shield him from further criticism. But people aren't stupid and it looks like it's beginning to back-fire.

Maybe if Ryan would have admitted that his budget proposal is not based in reality or Catholicism but on his own remedy to replace American society with the fairy tale dystopia in Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged," the nuns would not be trying to correct his misguided understanding of Catholicism. Ahh well, that direction would have helped fortify support among his real cult followers, but he probably figured they are already there for him anyways, and the truth is - they are.

As can be expected, Ryan's sleeper cells are coming out of the woodwork after the nuns just like they chased down Newt Gingrich after Gingrich dissed Ryan's budget as just more right-wing social engineering. Remember that one? How dare anyone in the public view muster the courage to stand up to their hero and offer an alternative budget on top? No way are they going to allow that to stick. So now it only figures that rightwing talk radio nutbags would paint those courageous nuns as radical communists and even suggest they should be pistol whipped!! That's right.

On Friday, Iowa conservative radio show “Mickelson in the Morning,” host Jan Mickelson had on Rep. Tom Latham (R-IA) to talk about the Nuns on the Bus tour and the Ryan budget. Objecting to the tour, Mickelson asked Latham whether he had any power to pull over the bus and “pistol whip” the nuns...

Faith In Public Life Excerpt:
MICKELSON: There’s a bus full of nuns headed towards Washington to lobby against the Ryan plan. Do you guys, do you have any power to pull the Nuns on the Bus over and pistol whip them?

LATHAM: It’s always fun to be on your show [Laughs]

Yeah sure's all in fun. But what kind of a scumbag would think about pulling over a bus full of nuns and start pistol whipping them simply for voicing their opinions and beliefs ...and then laugh off the suggestion? Nazi slimeballs - that's who. Oh wait! I can't call them Nazis because they'll send their right-wing media dogs after me and paint me as divisive and childishly ignorant and come down on me with Godwin's law. Sigh.

The Democurmudgeon Blog also noted that Wisconsin trash talker Vicki McKenna badmouthed the nuns calling them a "bunch of radical communist nuns..."

I'd bet they think they're playing nice and just having some fun.

Friday, June 22, 2012

They Really Meant Jobs Explosion In Wisconsin May Take a Generation

I still get a good chuckle every time I read the following quote from Walker's "Forward" campaign Website explaining how the business sector is busting out at the seams with jobs in anticipation of putting the Walker recall behind them.

Scott Walker Excerpt: (May 30, 2012)
Business owners and CEOs agree. In the report referenced above, 91 percent of those surveyed feel that with Governor Scott Walker at the helm of our state government, we are poised for a jobs explosion the likes of which has not been seen in Wisconsin for over a generation.

I'm sure it's any day now.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Huge Walker Donor Needs State Welfare To Grow Business

Just for archival purposes I posted a brief about this story back in April of 2010 from an article in the Janesville Gazette. Back then I thought it quite strange that a billionaire would require substantial state aid to expand their business. Apparently the free markets and her own substantial wealth are inadequate.

JG Excerpt:
ABC Supply's Diane Hendricks said that's what she's facing with one of the companies she and her late husband, Ken, started in Beloit. Hendricks has charged the company's management with growing the company as efficiently as possible, and the result will likely mean a move to Illinois, which offers more appealing incentives.

"Wisconsin just doesn't compete," Hendricks said. "It tears my guts to see the company move to Illinois, but I have to let it grow."

I'm assuming Hendricks was referring to one of her Beloit companies, American Aluminum Extrusion. In January 2011, they announced they would expand their business in Roscoe, Illinois. AAE was set to reap a lucrative TIF district agreement and benefits of $750,000 in Illinois state incentives and tax credits. That's what billionaires need to "let" their businesses grow. More government for themselves.

We also know now that Hendricks expects more government controlled collectivist kickbacks from Wisconsin and Scott Walker promises to deliver.

Timeless Video: George Carlin & Scott Walker Clip Every American Needs To See!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Nuns On The Bus Receive Rock Star Welcome In Janesville

On a sunny but sweltering afternoon in Janesville, the "Nuns on the Bus Tour" pulled onto Main Street to a rousing ovation and a standing crowd of at least 300 people. The nuns got off the bus and proceeded to march into Paul Ryan's office to offer the congressman what they have said is an alternative "faithful budget" created by 65 offices in the Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions. Paul Ryan of course was absent as usual. His staff collected the nuns proposal.

The congressman has definitely found himself trapped inside his own rhetorical constructs when he proclaimed that his government budget proposal was based on teachings of the Catholic faith. The nuns and a consortium of Catholic bishops obviously disagree with the Randing congressman, but Ryan's blind followers now have to ask themselves if his "Catholic-based" budget corresponds squarely with anyone who believes in the separation of church and state. And, if his budget is not based on Catholicism even though he insists it is, will they stand with the bishops and nuns to help set the record straight?

Video: Sister Simone Campbell Talks About Ryan Budget

More Video - Sister Simone's Departure Speech From Janesville

WISN - Nuns on the Bus In Janesville

Monday, June 18, 2012

Update For Nuns On the Bus In Janesville

The "Nuns on the Bus" touring event scheduled in Janesville at or near Paul Ryan's office, 20 S. Main for 3 PM on June 19th has been rescheduled for 2 PM. Everything else remains the same.

Police Push Back Romney Protesters In Janesville

A group of about 30 peaceful demonstrators holding signs and chanting "Romney go home" and "Paul Ryan has got to go" and moving along behind police tape and barricades on Delavan Ave. in Janeville were eventually told at one point that they must return to their original starting point or face arrest.

The group of about 50 began gathering behind police barriers on a grassy knoll public-right-of-way at around 8 AM directly across from the main entrance of Monterey Mills, 1725 E. Delavan. In what appeared to be a diversion, about 30 people (Romney supporters?) left from the front of the building at about 9:30 AM while a Romney campaign worker began dismantling a flag display on a "Romney" pick-up truck parked near the main entrance.

Assuming the event was wrapping up,  about a dozen protesters left while the rest moved about 200 ft east along Delavan road across from a group of parked truck containers blocking the public view of the event taking place in the parking lot. It was at this point around 9:50 AM when  a group of about five local police officers approached the protesters (protesters never made a move towards the officers) and told them they cannot remain stationed in that area despite remaining behind wooden horse barriers and tape. A short discussion ensued between the officers and the protesters, but the police said they are not there to argue over public property or rights. It was move it or else.

Photo: Police telling protesters they must leave the area. Note the yellow barricades and tape.

Author: Did Paul Ryan and Cabal Conspire To Take Down The Obama Presidency?

This story is a few months old already but it seems to have some real sticking power.

The story was described in the prologue of Robert Draper’s book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives,” where he tells of a meeting put together by Fox Cable News pollster Frank Luntz during the eve of Barack Obama's inauguration. The guest list that night (which was just over 15 people in total) included Republican Reps. Eric Cantor (Va.), Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), Paul Ryan (Wis.), Pete Sessions (Texas), Jeb Hensarling (Texas), Pete Hoekstra (Mich.) and Dan Lungren (Calif.), along with Republican Sens. Jim DeMint (S.C.), Jon Kyl (Ariz.), Tom Coburn (Okla.), John Ensign (Nev.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.). The non-lawmakers present included Newt Gingrich and several other political operatives.

The event in the prologue is about what these Republican leaders discussed in a private dining room at an expensive Washington, D.C., steakhouse to plot their comeback. But the problem is that they weren't just plotting their own comeback as much as they were plotting to use the power of their office to deliberately undermine the country, the office of the President of the United States, and target members of the Democratic party for political gain. The revelation is that Obama, beginning with the very first day of his presidency, never had a chance to succeed with Republicans in Congress determined to see him fail.

It's one thing for political parties to work at undermining each other or defeating what they perceive as their opponents, but it's an entirely different thing when a group CONSPIRES to undermine the office of the President of the United States. I don't buy the idea at all that others have done this in the past or that this is okay. I just don't think this has been done before with this scale of planning and boldness. In my view, the president is not beyond harsh criticism or direct disagreement like George W. Bush faced during his terms. The conspiracy described in Draper's book goes way beyond public criticism or personal attacks - at least in my view.

At the end of the night, Gingrich proclaimed, “You will remember this day. You’ll remember this as the day the seeds of 2012 were sown.”

So when does mere party politics overstep the bounds of their oath to office and become an act of treason? The discussion held that night at a steakhouse did not begin or was not perhaps meant to be some sort of a dark conspiracy, but it certainly ended that way.

I totally agree with the writer of an open letter at Open Salon to all the office holding co-conspirators, Where Is The Outrage?


Wonkette - Idiot House Of representatives

Kansas City - Do Not Ask What Good We Do" - stranger than fiction

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Edgerton Considers Turning Schools Into Labor Camps ...Seriously

I thought this story was either straight from the Onion or from the "I couldn't make this stuff up no matter how hard I tried" category. Consider yourself warned. This one could make you vomit.

According to the story in the Janesville Gazette, part of Edgerton’s School District’s spending referendum would create a "public-private partnership" with local manufacturers to allow students to manufacture specialty gears at Edgerton High School under the supervision of Edgerton Gear employees.

Apparently the company, Edgerton Gear, can't seem to find employable blue collar workers in UAW heavy Rock County good enough to train to manufacture gears, but there's a good healthy and strapping young stock of 13 to 17-year olds held captive at the public schools that more than suffice for the job.

As if that isn't bad enough, the school district is expected to pay for a new computerized numeric control lathe and mill estimated to cost $200,000 and if all goes well ...and this just keeps getting worse ...another local company said it would pay an amount equal to the school district for the laborers on what it now spends on employment agencies to find real paycheck earning workers. Afterall, when this program is up and running, why would they need any workers?

I can't go on it yourself here>>>.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Rare Event - Romney, Walker, Ryan Together In Janesville

After Scott Walker got shellacked by Janesville and Rock County area voters in the recall election, the GOP presidential campaign machine (Paul Ryan, Chairman) has decided to schedule Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Gov. Scott Walker together for a visit at a Janesville company on Monday, June 18th.

According to republican sources, this event will be the only campaign stop in Wisconsin for "corporations are people" Romney. The company, Monterey Mills, located at 1723 E. Delavan Drive will be hosting a controlled private meeting with the three pandering politicians beginning at 9 AM. Because the media will be following Romney's bus and reporting on his speeches, people will begin gathering at 8 AM. This event is closed to the public.

A Few Political Cartoons

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Gazette Election Year Propaganda Kicks Into Gear

Two "news" articles posted in the Janesville Gazette over the last few days contained all the subtle hallmarks and style I've come to know from them of their political campaigns.

The first one was a seemingly harmless story about Mitt "failed policies" Romney scheduling a campaign stop in Janesville. Other than making the announcement, the source asked the newspaper not to be named because he was not authorized to speak on behalf of the campaign. There was no time or place posted for his appearance because they'll still need time to sign up some local corporate worshippers and their kids to fluff up the Romney entourage. But it was a short sentence inserted by the newspaper after Paul Ryan's presumed challenger, Rob Zerban, issued a statement about Romney's appearance that caught my eye.

JG Excerpt:
Mitt Romney can try to bail out Paul Ryan, but I believe the voters of Wisconsin will throw out failed incumbents and vote for a fresh start and a better future come November," Zerban said.

That's possible. In today's volatile political climate, no one is safe and that includes Paul Ryan. But the Gazette then snuck their own "opinion" in, in response to Zerban's viewpoint. They wrote, "Zerban might be overstating his case. Ryan holds a huge lead in fundraising and the advantages of incumbency."

Hmmm. Overstating his case? Has that been Politifact checked? A huge lead in fundraising and entrenched incumbency? But isn't that the very reason why voters throw out failed incumbents?

In a recent election, Sen Dick Lugar(R) of Indiana had a nearly 10-to-1 fund-raising advantage over his challenger and was a six-term incumbent - and he lost! He was also endorsed by Paul Ryan! So, voters ARE demonstrating an increased willingness to explore alternatives when they realize that their representatives aren't standing up for their interests and values.

But the real story here is the Gazette. They've used this same tactic on all the previous Ryan challengers over the years. They either offer them a forum, or present them with an issue or a question, quote them and then proceed to debate the challenger's statement on their own after the fact in the absence of the empty-suited Paul Ryan. Ryan is never juxtaposed with a challenger on a level field in the Gazette. He is fiercely protected by the Bliss Com family like a god. They did this to Paulette Garin, and John Heckenlively. They trashed Heckenlively so viciously that even their own radio tool accidentally boasted "stick a fork in him. He's over."

Do they ever ask Paul Ryan the tough questions or challenge him on any of his statements? Yeah rrright.

The other "news" article was little more than a advertisement for the corporatist Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce political action group. This article was buried at the bottom of the last page of the front section on Tuesday. Titled, "WMC working to end workforce skills gap," the content was fairly useless and without substance except to act as vehicle to promote excuses why manufacturing jobs aren't happening anytime soon despite a promised "jobs explosion" expected to follow after Walker wins the recall, the perception that the WMC will work with all stakeholders (hear that UAW? - just kidding.) and that the WMC hopes to be part of a solution in another year - whatever that means.

As long as people keep buying this trash ...good job Gazette staff!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bus Tour: Catholic Sisters Will Visit Paul Ryan's Office In Janesville

Catholic Sisters across the country work every day with people struggling at the economic margins. Meanwhile, the House of Representative has approved the “Ryan Budget” – which will harm millions of the people they serve.

NETWORK has announced an exciting new venture: a bus tour through nine states to highlight the work of Catholic Sisters, meet the people they serve, and learn about the harm that would be caused by these federal budget cuts.

“Nuns on the Bus: Nuns Drive for Faith, Family and Fairness” will make stops in Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia during the two-week tour beginning June 18. They’ll visit social service agencies and offices of members of Congress, highlighting their opposition, as well as the U.S. Catholic bishops' opposition, to the Ryan budget that passed the House.



You can find more information about this event by visiting "Nuns on the Bus" website here.

Find out how the Ryan Budget will hurt your state here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What Happened To The People’s Rage Against The Machine?

I was perhaps one of few political Wisconsin bloggers before the election asking Obama, national democrats and national unions to stay out of our fight in Wisconsin. Call me naïve. Call me self-defeating and crazy, but if this fight was between the people of Wisconsin and our reprehensible Governor, there was no way we could lose. But the fact is, we weren’t facing just Scott Walker. The gods of the GOP came down from the right-wings of heaven onto Wisconsin, they split the skies and divided the state for Scott Walker like Moses parted the Red Sea.

They came down on a leaderless, platform-less and program-less peoples movement and squashed it like a grape. That’s our fault. But we ran against the almighty machine with what some view as a weak candidate and truth is - it was not a blow-out. However, I’m not trying to sugar coat it - WE LOST!

But again, call me naïve. The state Democratic party and the state unions did their parts. The Democratic party, for good or bad, gave us a candidate in Tom Barrett and some organizational capabilities. Hey, the movement did not have its own candidate. The unions gave us the urgency, some funding and showed Wisconsin what was at stake. The movement had no funding mechanism of its own. United Wisconsin ran a nearly flawless campaign for the Recall petition. The rest was up to us. In the end, it’s WE the people, with all of our frailties and fears, political hang-ups and ignorance that failed. I include myself in that group.

But I’m hearing the exact opposite from inside the blogosphere. That it's all Obama’s fault. The national DNC did not come through. The Democratic Party of Wisconsin failed, and the unions are an empty hollow shell of nothingness. We were all supposed to sit back and watch others fight our fight and if we lost - blame them. I don’t buy any it. But that’s all I’m hearing lately and the GOP and their astro-turf allies are licking their chops just hoping we divide and conquer ourselves even further.

The Progressive Excerpt:
(Rothchild: Accountability In Defeat In Wisconsin)
Meanwhile, the movement—a real giant grassroots movement, which flooded the capitol square with more than 100,000 people and which gathered a million recall signatures—is disintegrating.

Actually, it began to disintegrate the moment the leaders (and who were they, exactly?) decided to pour everything into the Democratic Party channels rather than explore the full potential of the power that was latent but present in the streets back in February and March of 2011.

There never were any leaders. I’ve been to two major rallies in Madison and a couple in Janesville and there was nobody regional, local or otherwise presenting a game plan or a platform. Nothing. Zero.

The Progressive Excerpt:
Procedurally, decisions were made (again, who made them?) in a very undemocratic way. Here we had 100,000 people storming the square but there was no effort to include them in any meaningful—or even symbolic—decision-making process. No voice votes, no show of hands, no breaking up into smaller groups and reconvening with a set of demands and desires that flowed from below, no people’s mic ala the Occupy Movement.

We were just protesting. That’s it!

However, don’t underestimate the powers that we lost to and don't believe stories that this was a cakewalk for the GOP. With all of our incompetence and disorganization, we faced the most powerful political machines in the country all at the same time in the RNC, the Tea Party, Americans For Prosperity, over a dozen billionaires, the Wisconsin right-wing media, Chambers of Commerce and several smaller right-wing issue groups brimming with cash - and lost by only a few percentage points. So we must not short sell ourselves either. They treated this election as if it was for the supreme ruler of the universe. They were prepared to move the heavens and the Earth for Scott Walker – and they did. They had their entire national ideology, vision and existence on the line. Unfortunately for us, we only wanted our state back.

The movement in Wisconsin is still alive but in my view it is at an important crossroad. Without centralized leadership, I would much hope to see the formation of local political committees and coalitions to begin looking at local and regional issues, get-out-the-vote teams for local candidates, messaging campaigns and start taking our state back one piece at a time by electing real people for local office. Local, local, local.

Our opposition is light years ahead of us in this, and is the precise reason why they're winning. Need some proof? Janesville and Rock county voted for Tom Barrett in 2010 and rejected Walker by an even greater margin in the Recall, yet during the interim we elected 3 Republicans to represent the area in the state assembly and recent winners for the Rock County Board and Janesville City Council are all tea party/right-wing candidates. Need I say more?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post Recall Thoughts, Links and Excerpts

America's Class War
New Yorker Excerpt:
This overreach may well embolden G.O.P. governors in other states to follow the Wisconsin example. But the tactical blundering of the anti-Walker forces shouldn’t be allowed to obscure what is at stake here. Exploiting public concerns about debts and deficits that have resulted from an economic downturn largely brought on by Wall Street malfeasance, Republican politicians, backed by wealthy individuals and corporations, are looking to cripple the unions and balance local budgets on the backs of low- and middle-income workers.

The above framework was never part of the main message in Wisconsin. People are only now just starting to catch on. Every tax cut, credit and loophole for a millionaire or a corporation is meant to drive a tax shift to place a greater burden of the cost of government, state or federal, on the backs of the working poor and middle-class - until we're all screaming for smaller government. It's a brilliant maneuver if you keep your eyes closed. Apparently, we're still blind to it.

McCabe: When the scapegoating subsides
BDN Excerpt:
LIBERALS DWELL on how Republicans have used social issues like abortion, gay marriage and gun rights as wedges to splinter off low-income rural voters who used to vote for Democrats and now reliably support Republicans. The left overlooks the economic wedge the right has skillfully exploited.

Republicans ask people in places like Clark County if they have pensions, and the answer is invariably no. “Well, you are paying for theirs,” they tell them. Do you have health insurance? No. Well, you are paying for theirs. Are you getting pay raises? No. Well, you are paying for theirs.

For years now Democrats have not plausibly made the case that they will deliver better health or retirement security or higher pay to all but the state’s few government workers. What is the modern equivalent of the GI Bill that offers every family a path to vocational training or an affordable college education? Where is the digital age’s equivalent of rural electrification or the interstate highway system?

WE HAVE one party that is scary and another that is scared.

Should taxpayers pay better wages and benefits for others than they get themselves? How backward of a wedge question is that, and Democrats can't beat it back? I've heard that statement from Paul Ryan at one of the townhalls. Despite nobody checking the irony of the $175,000 annual congressman collecting government health insurance - he agrees. How difficult is it to say that Republicans want a single wage and benefit class for the 99% and single party rule like they have in China and N. Korea? And fit that statement in every time a reporter asks a Democrat about the economy and wage disparity. Republicans have no problem claiming Democrats are turning America into Europe or Greece at every chance they get. The fact is, Democrats don't have a unified messaging or marketing plan like Republicans do.

How Walker Really Won Wisconsin
CounterPunch Excerpt:
Walker was able to capitalize on the frustration over the continued erosion of living standards and insecurity felt by most Wisconsinites. Walker provided a false empowerment to the electorate by transforming them from victims to owners of the system. His campaign rebranded the electorate as “the taxpayer” or veritable stockowners of a company they owned: government. The people would take charge of their lives through a Walker-led movement against government waste by union and bureaucratic “elites.” Walker’s campaign thus took on the hue of a libratory project.

Van Jones: National Democrats Didn’t Do Enough In Wisconsin Recall
TPM Excerpt:
“To the extent this fight is considered a life-or-death fight for the labor movement, and is now being considered a big signal of poor health for the progressive cause, you did not see a commensurate level of engagement and participation from national Democrats in that fight,” Jones said in an interview with TPM at the Netroots Nation conference. “I’m seeing a lot more energy mourning the loss than I saw energy securing the win.”

Authoritarian Populism" and the Wisconsin Recall
Monthly Review Excerpt:
Today's Republican Party strategy is a hyper-charged repeat of the Reagan years. The New Right thrives in crisis situations, since crises provide ammunition for the war against the status quo, always skirting the fact that they themselves are at the direct service of the financiers and corporate executives -- the real parasites. In 2008, capitalism nearly came crashing down on top of us and neoliberalism, so we thought, no longer looked so appealing.

Europe Is Dumbfounded By Walker Victory
Atlantic Wire Excerpt:
The recall victory of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is sending shockwaves through Europe as right-wing and left-wing newspapers marvel at the Republican's ability to survive an election months after stripping the collective bargaining rights of public-sector unions. In European countries, where a much larger percentage of the labor force is unionized, politicians typically face insurmountable opposition from labor groups during wage and work-hour disputes. Today, some of the continent's biggest papers are doing a double-take at headlines from over here.

Andy Kroll, How the Wisconsin Uprising Got Hijacked
Tom Dispatch Excerpt:
Wisconsinites could also turn to one of their own: Robert "Fightin' Bob" La Follette. He created his own band of "insurgents" within the late nineteenth and early twentieth century Republican Party. Together they formed the Progressive Party, which fought for workers' rights, guarded civil liberties, and worked to squeeze corruption out of government.

Ultimately, however, the decision on what comes next rests in the hands of those who inspired and powered the Wisconsin uprising. And with an emboldened Governor Walker, there should be no shortage of reasons to fight back in the next two years. But success, as Tuesday's election made clear, isn’t likely to come the traditional way.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Wisconsin Business Groups Withheld Jobs Ad For Political Reasons?

A few days ago, I posted an excerpt from Gov. Scott Walker's pre-recall campaign statement boasting about how businesses were busting out in a cold sweat anxiously awaiting his re-election before embarking on a "jobs explosion the likes of which has not been seen in Wisconsin for over a generation."

Apparently, no one heard the news so 38 different business groups from across the state are working together to run an advertisement campaign explaining how their networks of partnerships can work for you.

WKOW Excerpt: MADISON (WKOW) -- An advertisement to publicize Wisconsin as a place to do business is scheduled to appear in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and other publications Monday, on the heels of national attention for Governor Scott Walker's successful run in a recall election.

The article also states this ad campaign has been planned for quite awhile but was withheld for political reasons ...awaiting Walker's re-election?? God forbid had they run the jobs ad months ago or if Tom Barrett would have won, they would have been sending the wrong message.

Don't rush in all at once now.


Democurmudgeon - Desperate Walker gets 38 Business Groups to Advertise to save his ass

Friday, June 08, 2012

Nuns Stand with Bishops Against Ryan's Extremism

Belief Blog Excerpt:
Washington (CNN) - American nuns are taking their opposition of the proposed Paul Ryan budget to the American people and embarking on a bus tour through some of America’s most politically important states.

NETWORK, a group founded by 47 Catholic sisters that speaks out on social justice issues in particular, will be hitting states like Iowa, Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia in order to reveal “how federal budget cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, (R-WI), and passed by the House of Representatives will hurt struggling families in these states,” a release by the group reads.

In interviews after unveiling his budget, Ryan said that he applied his view of Catholic social teaching in his budget proposal, a statement that Sister Simone Campbell, the executive director of NETWORK, said co-opted sacred Catholic teachings.

“I think he was so direct in draping himself in the mantle of Catholic social teaching,” Campbell said. “He took the words but he took none of the meaning in the forming of the budget.”

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Get Ready For Divide and Conquer Part 2

I think we're going to see a lot of this out the mainstream media as Walker kicks into the second phase of his divide and conquer strategy. It's a campaign.

Post and Courier Excerpt: June 6, 2012
(Titled: Wisconsin Gov. Walker to mend political divide with brats, beer)

“The first step is just bringing people together and figuring out some way if we can thaw the ice,” he said.

"The first step is we're going to deal with collective bargaining for all public employee unions, because you use divide and conquer." -- Scott Walker speaking to Rock County 5.0 Co-Chair and major contributor Diane Hendricks (Jan. 18, 2011)

Wisconsin Awaits Promised Jobs Explosion Like Not Seen For Over a Generation

Well, it's all settled now.

Scott Walker Excerpt: (May 30, 2012)
They feel that with a reelection of Governor Walker on June 5th Wisconsin’s business climate will improve, governmental interference in business will be reduced and companies will invest in their future by hiring more employees and expanding within the state.

Business owners and CEOs agree. In the report referenced above, 91 percent of those surveyed feel that with Governor Scott Walker at the helm of our state government, we are poised for a jobs explosion the likes of which has not been seen in Wisconsin for over a generation.

Nathan Conrad
Deputy Communications Director
Friends of Scott Walker

Times a'wastin. Let 'er rip!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

GOP and The Tea Party Facing Rejection In Rock County

Make no mistake, this was a crushing blow to Wisconsin. My heart goes out to all the wonderful people working on the front lines in this battle. I also salute Tom Barrett, Mahlon Mitchell and the other recall candidates who gave their all to reclaim Wisconsin. God bless every one of you.

Even though reports show the peoples grassroots were outspent by a minimum of 8 to 1, I'm not going to throw blame around. This was between the people of Wisconsin and an entrenched governor who flauntingly pimped the state to out-of-state special interests. Nothing has changed in that regard. We came up short. Simply put, more voters showed up for the other side. But that doesn't mean we lay down now or anytime. In fact, we have to keep marching forward with even more fortitude on our own principles and values. Theirs are untenable.

The other side will have much to prove. They'll have to prove "no negotiation" and "no compromise" really works. They'll have to show there is no middle ground space to reach across the aisle and they'll have to stand with their divide and conquer drumbeat. In fact, it'll be our duty to remind of that mandate. That is their forward - not ours.

The local scene is even more important. We must recognize now more than ever that there are several insidious local forces constantly working behind our backs.

The revelations of "divide and conquer" and turning Wisconsin into a 'red state' and right-to-work as a strategy for economic development coming from the powerful few right here in Rock County clearly shows a troubling duplicity. Forward Janesville and the Rock County 5.0 have been exposed as little more than double-dealing agencies for local GOP political operatives. Throw in the constant right-wing engineering campaign from Bliss communications and all of their affiliates and we have a situation of serious broken trust within the establishment community. The little people have to watch their backs more than ever. Yet, despite all of those powerful institutions at play to defeat the will of the people, the vote totals in the rematch between Barrett and Walker showed a strong rejection for the Tea Party Express candidate. Barrett won Rock County in 2010 and he picked up twice as many new votes than Walker in the recall.

We're getting our message across and people are fighting back.

This is definitely a substantial improvement and something we can work on to instill the change we require. Remember, all politics is local. The bottom line is Rock County is becoming a solid bastion for freedom and goodwill and we must never rest when freedom is under assault.

There is still much work to be done.


Tuesday, June 05, 2012

News Agencies Project Koch, Hendricks Sweep Wisconsin

Business Insider Excerpt:
Republican Gov. Scott Walker has prevailed in the recall election to unseat him in Wisconsin, NBC News is projecting. He defeated challenger Tom Barrett. Rebecca Kleefisch, Wisconsin's lieutenant governor, has also beaten her challenger in that recall election, Fox News is projecting. Fox News, CNN and ABC News are now also calling it too.

First thoughts: The people have spoken. No compromise, no negotiation is the new model for our nation. Plotting and scheming behind your neighbors back is how we get things done in Wisconsin.

Repercussions will be felt for years.

Divide and Conquer is the way forward. It works!

Republicans: Paying Women Equal Pay Is Too Much Of a Burden

And the beat goes on ...

NPR Excerpt:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans have blocked a bill that calls for equal pay in the workplace.

As expected, the vote Tuesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to advance the legislation. President Obama and his Democratic allies argue that the legislation is needed to protect people who try to find out how their pay stacks up against their coworkers. Republicans said it puts too much burden on employers.

D-Day In Wisconsin, June 5, 2012

Be Part Of History - Vote Tom Barrett and Mahlon Mitchell Today!

Become part of history! Even if you never voted before or are not registered, you can still vote!

Polling Places In Janesville Open at 7 AM - Close at 8 PM

No Photo ID Required

AT THE POLLING PLACE ON ELECTION DAY: If you wish to register to vote at your polling place, you must bring proof that you reside at your present location. For purposes of voter registration, acceptable forms of proof of residence must include:
1.A current and complete name, including both the given and family name; and
2.A current and complete residential address, including a numbered street address, if any, and the name of a municipality.

For acceptable Proof-of-Residence documents, click here.

Check your voting status Here.
Click the link above to visit the Voter Public Access website, where you can check your registration status, as well as find your polling place.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Short Video: What It Really Is All About

Beyond the divide and conquer strategy, broken trust and lies from Gov. Scott Walker, this is what I think many of us including myself lose sight of through all the media hype of the past year. We tend to focus on the margins now and pick at every infraction and false statement but in reality, this was never about a state budget but about defeating us, our neighbors and breaking communities of their free will to support the political party and candidates of our choosing.

Watch it:

Scott Walker: Born Under A Bad Sign

Just to be clear here, I'm not into astrology at all, never followed it and know next to nothing about what a 9° Scorpion means. But while cruising the Web looking for out of the ordinary stuff on our reprehensible governor, I thought this piece on Scott Walker's astrological birth data was just incredible, almost to the point of unsettling. Particularly more considering it was written at the beginning of his assault in March 2011.

Just kicks for some, but apparently there are others who live day-to-day by this stuff ...

Astrology Weekly Excerpt:
According to this website when I enter his birth data it pulls up something interesting about his sun sign (9.1 degree scorpio):

Interpretation of the 9° Scorpio symbolic degree
"A man wears a mask and the disguise of Mephistopheles."
Cheerful, clever, and elusive character. One is highly skilled in simulation and manipulation and keeps one's objectives carefully concealed beneath merry and helpful attitudes. Should the natal chart concur, this degree indicates a brilliant success as a diplomat, an actor, or in any occupation involving the design and manufacturing of costumes.

I googled Mephistopheles and found this link which indicates that Mephistopheles is a demon in German folklore.


Also he seems to have a number of planets in Scorpio which would make sense why he is taking such a "controlling" stance on the bill that is extremely unpopular with the people.


Jeepers Creepers Batman!!

Video: Why Wisconsin Must Recall Scott Walker

A well done video using still pictures and narrating why we must recall Scott Walker on Tuesday. It debunks some of the Right's false outrage to the recall and works on one of the Tea Party's most toxic and wrong-headed tenets - that somehow it's courageous to not compromise and negotiate when just the opposite is true.

In today's ideological-driven political climate, more politicians are taking the easy way out. They're deliberately isolating themselves not to listen, not to seek out common ground, and not to bring people together because to do otherwise, is just too difficult and messy. The truth is, they are simply too cowardly to compromise. That's just one of the reason's why I liked this video, check it out:

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Janesville Gazette Endorses Most Dishonest Governor

Titled, "Walker Deserves Your Vote," the "liberals" at the Janesville ragbloid endorsed the most dishonest and divisive governor in America on Sunday. Filled with complete distortions, omissions and rewrites, the Gazette attacked critics, foes and Democrats for the polarization and shifted blame away from Walker in every instance.
Editorial Excerpt:
Critics claim Walker's budget swiped $800 million from K-12 education and gave it to corporate interests. That's simply not true.
They offered one simple apology for Walker - that he only needs to communicate better. This editorial endorsing Scott Walker was as if coming from Scott Walker himself.

We’ve gone full circle with Walker’s nearly endless list of unforgivable transgressions against the people of Wisconsin only for it to culminate into a viral disease of ultimate personal destruction from those who continue to support him.

The Gazette, Milwaukee Sentinel and other Wisconsin newspapers will never again be able to editorialize with any credibility about a political candidate's record of dishonesty, combativeness or other anti-social behavior simply because they endorsed Scott Walker. This will be the new benchmark for all other editorials and it will be nearly impossible to reconcile with. They sold themselves out - all the way out.

Can you trust anyone who trusts Scott Walker? Can you trust the Janesville Gazette?

Note: The Gazette editorial is not available on the Web as of posting time.

RELATED: Janesville Gazette checks reader's letters with PolitiFact

Saturday, June 02, 2012

PolitiFact: Walker Most Dishonest Governor In United States

I was never a fan of Politifact before and likely won't change my position on them any time soon, but I understand what their appeal is to those seeking extra support and statements to fit whatever their argument is of the moment. That view of Politifact however makes this recent discovery by Uppity Wisconsin even more credible and outstanding.

According to their research from combing Politifact's total case files (I love this kind of stuff, this is what citizen journalism is all about in my view) on their ratings of governors in America, they discovered that Scott Walker is the most dishonest governor in America. That is an incredible finding!

Uppity Wisconsin Excerpt:
While Oregon governor John Kitzhaber led the nation in honesty with 100% of his statements being ranked true or mostly true, Walker edged-out Texas Governor Rick Perry and Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chaffee with only 22% of 51 statements rated true or mostly true.

Congratulations Uppity Wisconsin. Well done!

Clinton Quotes on Walker and Barrett

Clinton told the crowd at a Milwaukee riverfront park that the states recovering from the economic downturn are those in which members of both parties are working together.

On Scott Walker
"Cooperation works; constant conflict is a dead bang loser, and you need to get rid of it." -- Bill Clinton

On Tom Barrett
"You get out of a ditch when people stand on each others shoulders and somebody gets to the top and then reaches down and pulls everybody else up. Real leaders get stakeholders together, listen to their concerns, treat them with respect and make sure everyone moves forward together." - Bill Clinton


Friday, June 01, 2012

Video: Romney's Broken Promises

Watch this short video about Mitt Romney's record as governor and you'll hear the very same hollow promises about jobs, lowering taxes and a balanced budget that we've all seen from the equally robotic Scott Walker. It's eerily creepy.

Has Scott Walker Made America More Dangerous?

It's a sad time when people can openly talk and post about dropping bombs, pitting neighbors against neighbors, dividing families and conquering communities and Homeland Security and law enforcement can do so little about it because a screw-up governor of a state has popularized those terms as his strategy for political upheaval.