Today is

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

VP Joe Biden In Beloit on Friday!

BELOIT - On Friday, November 2, Vice President Biden will hold a grassroots event at Aldrich Middle School in Beloit, Wisconsin to lay out the vision he and the President share to create an economy that’s built to last versus going back to the same, failed top-down policies that crashed our economy and hurt the middle class.

Doors Open: 9:00 am CDT

Location: Aldrich Middle School

1859 Northgate Dr.

Beloit Wisconsin 53511

Ticket Distribution Information for Members of the Public: Tickets are available for the Vice President’s grassroots event in Beloit, Wisconsin. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required for entrance. One ticket per person will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning on Wednesday, October 31 at 9:00AM CDT. To pick up your ticket, visit one of the following locations:

OFA – Beloit Office

314 State Street

Beloit, WI

OFA – Janesville Office

111 W Milwaukee Street

Janesville, WI

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ghouls Will Be Trick-or-Treating In Janesville

Paul Ryan will be campaigning in Wisconsin yet again and according to this story, the "visit" is designed so he can campaign with his kids on Halloween. Titled, "Ryan To Campaign and Trick-or-Treat in Wisconsin." Like ...what's the difference?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Video: What Is It With GOP Men and Rape

Paul Ryan's democratic challenger for Congress, Rob Zerban, spliced together this new video highlighting the emerging GOP party platform regarding rape including Paul Ryan and his support for fellow Republicans Todd Akin, Roger Rivard, and Richard Mourdock, all of whom have made similar statements defining rape and conception.

Watch it:

Help defeat Paul Ryan. Chip in to help elect Rob Zerban to Congress.


Mediaite - Mitt Romney-Endorsed Richard ‘God-Intended Rape’ Mourdock Is Actually A Kinder Version Of Paul Ryan.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Today: Janeane From Des Moines Comes To Janesville

JANEANE FROM DES MOINES defies classification.

Is it an incisive documentary with fictional elements? Or a socially conscious drama with moments of documentary? Director Grace Lee follows the journey of an ‘ordinary’ American who offer us an insider’s look at the American heartland’s ultra right-wing movement.

Join producer/director Grace Lee and actress Jane Edith Wilson on October 25 at 6:30 PM as they introduce their film and host a Q+A session.


Basic's Cooperative - Community Room
1711 Lodge Drive
Janesville, WI 53545

"The film doesn’t really mock anyone, not even the candidates who, when confronted with a person in need looking for solutions, can offer only vague policy statements and anti-Obama rhetoric. With Ms. Wilson’s rare talent for staying in character as the media circus swirls around her, 'Janeane From Des Moines' is actually a commentary on the immense gap between a desperate citizen and the politics she had hoped might help her." - Daniel M. Gold, New York Times

For more information, visit janeane from desmoines .com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Bainport: Protesters Arrested Include Jesse Jackson At Sensata

Bainport, Ill. — The Rev. Jesse Jackson was among 14 protesters arrested today following a march onto the property of Sensata Technologies, the company owned by Bain Capital. The factory is in the final stretch of shutting down for good while shipping its 170 jobs to China. Sensata employees in China can expect to be paid $1 an hour to work twelve-hour shifts.

Bain Capital has become the symbol of economic terrorism in the US. Its founder and former CEO, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, is largely credited for developing Bain's profit model of buying up American companies, loading them with debt, harvesting their assets and then filing bankrupcty or in Sensata's case, shipping jobs overseas. Sensata however was very profitable posting a net income of $6.5M and $130.1M during full year 2011 and 2010 respectively. Both 2011 net revenue and Adjusted net income represent record levels for the company.

Here is what Jesse Jackson had to say about the events taking place in Bainport...

Journal Standard Excerpt:
“There is a war going on today for the soul of our nation,” Jackson said. “We’re at the heart of that war. We have a military surplus; the Chinese have a trade surplus. We have the guns, they have the jobs. It’s not a good trade off. There is something painful about this struggle. Here you are, you workers who have paid the dues, you all sit here as veterans of foreign wars, sit here as hard working, taxpaying, church going citizens. It seems that your best is not good enough and the policies are not fair.” A large crowd gathered at the Sensata plant and chanted “no justice, no peace” and “we will never be defeated.” Police then began arresting people. more>>>


Rock Netroots - Janesville Greets Bain Workers Bus Tour

Rock Netroots - Mitt/Bain Becomes Kiss Of Death For American Workers

Republican Legislator And Media Spin Private Family Matter Into Political Weapon

By now I'm sure with all the media coverage that you've heard the story about Wisconsin State Senator Neal Kedzie's son (Sean) involvement in a mid-morning physical altercation that wound up putting him in the hospital.

The altercation supposedly began when Sean was awakened during the night by the commotion of someone attempting to steal his RomneyRyan lawn sign. He went outside and claims to have demanded the person stop and return the sign. The person complied and returned the sign back to where it came from. This is where the story takes a strange twist because Kedzie's son claimed that at that point another person burst out of the darkness and started beating on him.

One blog, the Hungry Guy asks the same questions I'm thinking...

The Hungry Guy Excerpt:
Why would the one assailant politely replace the yard sign? If this was a premeditated attack, would not the focus be on attacking the target? Would the one alleged assailant really take the time for niceties when he is on a serious mission of premeditated violence?

It could be true exactly as Sean Kedzie described but at this point, I have no idea what really happened. This could be campus frat boy mischief that spun out of control and into a fight. For all I know, Sean Kedzie could have been throwing bricks at passing cars.

But what I do know is what I can gather from media reports and I would think there would be some adults in the room, particularly Sean's father, who would work to tamper down the flames of confusion and misinformation since the alleged perpetrators have not been caught. That's what I first thought when I read that the legislator considers this incident a "private family matter."

Fox11 Excerpt:
"As this was a private family matter, we chose not to remark publicly about it and allow law enforcement to do their job. But we understand these types of incidents will eventually become public and questions will arise, particularly in my position as a state legislator

Yeah right. That ended pretty quick as Kedzie immediately took the low road and turned this "family matter" into a full blown media campaign against his political opponents.

No question, Wisconsin has become a state of suspicion, cynicism and hate ever since Gov. Scott Walker admitted he thought about planting troublemakers among the thousands of peaceful constituents protesting in Madison last year. We know this kind of toxic thinking trickles down from the top and sets the tone for the rest of the state. If we can't trust our own governor, why should we trust Kedzie, his son or what anyone has to say? When our own governor inspires our friends, family and neighbors to divide and fight, we would be careless to not put anything past the republican party in their drive to work everything for a political advantage.

We now know Kedzie is no different.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Things Paul Ryan Would Like Locals To Forget

Okay. I began this posting as a brief top five list but in less than an hour I was past ten. It simply got away from me.

1. That Paul Ryan participated in a conspiracy on the eve of Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration with about 15 other republicans who agreed to use congressional power to destabilize the U.S. economy in an effort to install single-party rule, and make Obama a one-term president. Three weeks after the meeting in Washington, Ryan held a similar meeting in Janesville with Wisconsin operatives to discuss the local strategy.

2. That he proposed larger tax cuts than George W. Bush in 2001 meant to lessen at the time, CBO projected SURPLUSES. Today, he proposes larger tax cuts that he claims will lessen CBO projected DEFICITS. The added irony here is that during district townhalls, Ryan has repeatedly insisted that government does not have a revenue problem, yet his primary solution for nearly every budget problem is to play with revenue rates and loopholes.

3. That the person who inspired him to run for public office was Ayn Rand.

“The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand.”
-- Paul Ryan

4. That he requested federal stimulus funds to foster economic development in his district and like everything else he does, used it as a political wedge or turned it into a political football. After repeatedly claiming he never did request the funds, Ryan reversed and in fact said he did, but not before painting the stimulus as failed policy and the requests as a standard procedure of constituent service.

5. That he refuses to debate his opponents running for our congressional district office. This despite pretending to repeatedly offer challenges to debate his proposals and running political ads showing him interacting with constituents.

6. That he was the architect of Bush’s Social Security privatization efforts. Had he succeeded back then, the system would have suffered devastating losses during the 2008 Bush recession that would have left millions of seniors destitute.

7. That under his watch as representative of the 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin, giant global manufacturers General Motors in Janesville and Chrysler in Kenosha closed their doors, taking with them over 3,500 family raising jobs and another 5,000 jobs from satellite operations.

8. That Paul Ryan insisted, "the country cannot afford the $38 billion cost" was the reason he voted against extending unemployment compensation. But soon afterwards, in a deal to extend the Bush tax cuts for top income earners - he reversed his vote on UC eventually adding another $858 billion in future debt!

9. That Paul Ryan, the guy who often refers to himself as the area's go-to "federal guy" did not participate with local leaders in the district's most important meetings and plans for economic recovery during what was arguably the most stressful time in its history since the Great Depression. He was simply a no show. You're on your own.

10. Strategy sessions have always been important to Paul Ryan, but not the sort of meetings one would think important for a congressman at a time of national economic duress. While Ryan ignored his constituents at home when they needed his help the most, he was sure to attend strategy meetings in California to coordinate the funding of party activities and the direction of the conservative movement. When Ryan wasn't attending Wall Street junkets, he was attending meetings like these sponsored by the billionaire Koch Bros. Ryan is clearly far more concerned about the next election than he was ever about his constituents or the next generation.

11. That as a member of the House Ways and Means and the GOP House budget chairman, he played a leading role in what most observers call the worst congress in the history of the United States.

12. That he is the architect of a plan to end Medicare as we know it by offering seniors a coupon to purchase private insurance, costing each senior an additional estimated $6,400 a year. Ryan's plan is meant to slowly starve the open-ended benefit system and turn it into a giant collectivist network of wealth redistribution for the private-for-profit health care industry. He aims to eventually do the same to Social Security. Yet, he wants the current Medicare system to remain intact for his mom today, but not for the moms of tomorrow.

13. That his budget proposals titled, “The Roadmap for America’s Future” and the sequel, “Path To Prosperity” are actually budgets without numbers, compassion or morality, but instead are right-wing engineered and ideologically calculated manifestos drawn from the fictional nightmare storybook “Atlas Shrugged.”

14. When a 71-year-old constituent couldn't bear to hear Paul Ryan claim that most of our debt in the future comes from our safety net programs while at the same time proposing to cut revenue by giving the wealthy huge tax breaks, the man jumped up and spoke out against Ryan's line of bullshit. The senior was tackled and arrested by police while the immature congressman began mocking the distraught man.

15. That Paul Ryan voted for TARP, not premised on the nuts and bolts of the proposal, but because he claimed to fear that without it, Obama would have swept through a huge statist agenda because there would have been no support for the free-market system. Yes, Ryan turned to the power of collectivism to save the free markets - exactly what Obama supported. Except Obama did not attempt to politicize the crisis or demonize opponents in the process.

16. On March 6, 2012, a man shot and killed himself at the doorway of Paul Ryan's office here in Janesville. Ryan's staff initially denied having any previous contact with the victim but later reversed their position. It turned out Ryan did have constituent correspondence with the man in 2010 and again in 2011 over dealings about a lawsuit the victim filed against the FBI. Details of Ryan's interactions with the man remain guarded.

17. That Ryan, despite coming from one of America's top dairy states, has consistently opposed and voted against the milk income loss contract, or MILC, program, which supplemented dairy farmers when milk prices fell below a certain level. Small dairy farmers are expected to be hit especially hard and say a tough year has been made worse by Republicans obstruction to pass a new farm bill before the old one expired. Ryan's budget also cuts $30 billion in farm subsidies over the next ten years.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Power Of Chalk

This chalkboard sign is on a busy street in downtown Janesville. Its owner has been very creative and keeps its message up to date every few days with current events. Very cool.

In case you don't travel Janesville much, you can check out this artist's collection of previous chalkboard work here.

If you have a suggestion for a new message, you can post it here at Democracy Rocks Facebook.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Whose Ideas Are Foreign?

Mike Wallace: "You are out to destroy almost every edifice of the contemporary American way of life, our Judeo-Christian religion, our modified government regulated capitalism, our rule by majority will. Other reviews have said you scorn churches and the concept of God. Are these accurate criticisms?"

Ayn Rand: "Yes. I am the creator of a new code of morality."

Paul Ryan: "It is that kind of thinking, that kind of writing that is sorely needed right now."

Watch it:

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Walker Borrows $558M, Keeps $342M, Calls It a Surplus

CapTimes Excerpt:
Gov. Scott Walker is touting the deposit of nearly $109 million into the state's rainy day fund, money that can be tapped in an emergency.

The deposit announced Monday comes after the state ended the last fiscal year in June with a surplus of about $342 million. Even though it is less than 1 percent of what is spent out of the state's main account every year, it is the largest deposit ever into the rainy day fund. It marks the second year in a row that a deposit has been made.

But it gets worse.

In May 2011, the state issued additional debt of approximately $558.3 million in GPR (general purpose revenue) supported principal that would have otherwise been paid off in 2010-11 and 2011-12. As a result, that principal will now remain outstanding for a longer period of time and thus incur an ADDITIONAL $156.2 million interest costs on state taxpayers - I mean our grandkids.

Just so I got this straight. Walker borrowed $558M, keeps $342M and then calls it a surplus. He then uses a portion of the borrowed “surplus” to add $109M to build a rainy day fund. Got it?

Scott Walker, like Paul Ryan and many republicans, is an unrepentant Norquister. That means he'd rather cut public employees wages and benefits, shortchange state communities and local taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars, completely defund public education OR put the bill on our children's and grandchildren's credit card before he would ever develop a funding mechanism to raise the revenue so we can pay our own bills. Scott Walker is a jobs killer extraordinaire who has effectively shut down the state's economic pump and ballooned the state's debt all in one fell swoop. He's the GOP's rising star.

Paul Ryan's Brand: Fraud, Hypocrite and Liar

I saw this quote first posted in the Democurmudgeon's comment section on a similar story.

“No, I’m not one [of those] people who votes for something then writes to the government to ask them to send us money." -- Paul Ryan in 2010, when asked whether he accepted any money in his district after voting against the stimulus. -- Quote Source

Of course VP Joe Biden called out Ryan on his stimulus hypocrisy during the debate. Ryan responded, "on two occasions we advocated for constituents who were applying for grants, that's what we do. We do that for all constituents."

You know, I don't think the American people has seen such a high caliber liar on the national stage as Paul Ryan. When do we say enough is enough with his repeated lies, half-truths and distortions? What a charade and a mockery of high government office. How can anyone look at Ryan without busting out laughing?

Watch the congressman with his shit-eating liar's grin at 7:02 and again at 7:16 in the video below after he was repeatedly busted by the VP:

Oh - oh, I almost forgot. Then there's that story about Ryan and his wife pretending to toil over dirty dishes at a soup kitchen. I thought the Root River Siren nailed it with "there you have the Romney/Ryan campaign in a nutshell: Pretending to help while actually doing nothing."

This stuff just never ends when you're a complete fraud.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Rightwing Media Jumps To Romney's Defense On Bainport

The latest story about Mitt Romney's troubles with Bainport out of the rightwing media is that tying Romney to Bain Capital and Sensata is now a "liberal" conspiracy. They imply that because Romney transferred a portion of his Sensata stock to charities, he washed his hands clean of directly earning a profit on outsourcing American jobs to China. Well, except for the fact that Romney owns and controls the charity and that he got to deduct the full value of the stock, at a 35 percent tax rate, which amounted to almost a $250,000 benefit. Second, Romney was able to avoid paying capital gains taxes on the stock price increase. His returns list no cost for the stock, and indicate he obtained them as part of a partnership interest in Bain.

The nutjob media also contends that those in control of Bain Capital are actually democrats and label them as supporters of President Obama. That's right. What they're asking of us is that we should ignore the founder and architect of Bain Capital and still current significant stockholder in Sensata, and instead point to Obama, who has absolutely zero financial interest in the debacle taking place in Freeport, Illinois.

Finally, with the Examiner fabricating their own lies to debunk, such as people believing Mitt Romney owns Sensata. Because they also make an effort to project Romney's troubles with Bain onto Obama, I give the article a full flop on its mission to present the facts.

Everyday Notes - Mitt Romney Gets Tax Break Off Firm Sending Jobs To China

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Today: Rob Zerban Holding Two Listening Sessions In Janesville

Sorry about the late notice here but these events have been canceled for today and rescheduled for next week.

Here's a chance to meet the man Paul Ryan refuses to debate. When you meet Rob Zerban, right away you'll get the impression of an approachable fellow who will not be ashamed to fight for your expectations in Washington. Unlike Paul Ryan, he won't apologize for fighting for and defending constituents seeking assistance from policies and programs or dismiss his support for your needs as being merely a "constituent service." He won't attempt to disempower constituents he might not agree with simply to advance his political career. His business and public service background help shape a fresh new direction away from the past misdirection and failed representation of the ideologically locked Paul Ryan.

Our congressional district was one of the top manufacturing areas in the entire midwest, but since the arrival of Ryan in 1998, we have seen a steady decline in opportunities and wages and longer odds at ever reaching the American Dream. Despite Ryan often referring to himself as the area's "federal guy," we've learned that our federal government was not here for us. Isn't it time to connect the dots?

It is undeniable. Paul Ryan abandoned us long before his district abandoned him, but it's only with your help that Zerban will get the chance to turn our district around. That's the impression I got. So stop in and visit with Rob Zerban. You'll see what I mean.

Saturday, Oct 13
11:00 am
UAW Local 95 1795 Lafeyette St. Janesville

Rob Zerban, Democratic Candidate for Congress, will be holding a Listening Post for Veterans this Saturday October 13th, 11AM at UAW Local 95 in Janesville Wisconsin This event is for Rob to meet with Veterans and to talk about Veteran's Issues. Anyone interested in Veteran's issues will find that this will be a great time to meet with Rob before the November Election.

Saturday, October 13
6 pm
Janesville Labor Temple
1605 Center Ave. Janesville

As the election date draws closer, the chances for Wisconsin voters to meet up and talk to Rob Zerban becomer ever fewer. So come out, meet Rob and get to know him before you vote. THIS IS PAUL RYAN'S OPPONENT. YOU WILL LOVE HIM!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Biden Played Ryan Like a Pogo Stick

For more than the past two weeks, all I've heard from the right-wing echo chamber here in Wisconsin is how the GOP's boy wonder and budget guru Paul Ryan was going to "mop the floor with Joe Biden" in the debate. Just like with Ryan's and Romney's proposals themselves, their blinded sheep offered no specifics or substance in their arguments except for more condescension and name-calling, referring to Biden as a drunk or gaffe central, to put it mildly. Instead, Joe Biden played Paul Ryan like a pogo stick, pointing out Ryan's record in Congress and interrupting nearly every lie and distortion Ryan offered dead in its tracks.

Biden wasn't perfect, but he was very good. Sure, I would have liked if Biden dismantled Ryan's entire budget manifesto right before our eyes, but the VP was there to debate Ryan, not a fictional novel. For the most part, when Ryan wasn't spewing his distortions or inhibited by the truth, he was sitting there with a permanently affixed closed-mouthed stupid smile. The expression of a hollow man with a toxic mentality biting his tongue.


Rolling Stone - VP Joe Biden Was Right To Laugh

The Progressive - Biden Mops The Floor With Ryan

Think Progress - Ryan Told 24 Myths In 40 minutes

William Rivers Pitt - Big Joe and the Joyful Noise

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Janesville Legislator Tells Union-Busting Redstate Groups, He's The "Tool"

Here's a short segment from the documentary As Goes Janesville showing a round table of officials from Forward Janesville and the co-chairs of the notorious redstate "economic development" group Rock County 5.0, Mary Willmer and Diane Hendricks, discussing their plans with several Janesville area state legislators to "leverage" the legislators political potential against another constituency - unions - to advance the group's goals.

In the clip, which I modified for clarity, you'll hear State Assembly Rep. Joe Knilans(R) tell the collection of mostly self-appointed rightwing engineers masquerading as area "leaders" that they are the "minds" and he's the "tool." To his credit, Sen. Tim Cullen(D) looked shaken by what they all had to say. Watch it:

If you saw the documentary "As Goes Janesville" and are hungry for more information and perspective on this subject independent of the local Janesville Gazette media machine, you've come to right place. The following links should be a good start and you can also search this blog by using keywords in the left hand corner at the top of the page.


Rock Netroots - Local Business Group Denies Red State Politics. Pretend Like Nothing Happened

Rock Netroots - Janesville Gazette Admits Cover-Ups Are A Courtesy In Exchange For Access

Rock Netroots - Forward Janesville Puppets Reaffirm Stand For Act 10

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Janesville Event: The Paul Ryan Truth Fest

The Paul Ryan Truth Fest will be held on Thursday, October 11, at the Courthouse, 79 S. Main St., in Janesville, from 3 til 6 pm. Speakers at 5 pm.

At this time of the year, the weather can be somewhat unsettling but Thursday's forecast is very nice with partly sunny skies, breezy and warmer and a high of 62. So it's expected to be a great day for citizens seeking the truth about "Ryan Economics" and his recent disinformation campaign to win the White House by default.

Bring the kids! We'll bob for apples, have some fun, and get the TRUTH out about Paul Ryan to the media and the world.

Listen in on Todd Stoner (Truth Fest host) discuss the event with Yuri Rashkin:

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Simple Follow-Up Questions Challenge Paul Ryan. They Always Have.

Terry Camp, a TV reporter in Detroit, seems to have a decent grasp on Paul Ryan's top priority - cutting taxes - to solve all of society's problems, asked a simple follow-up question to Ryan's long-winded exercise about reducing gun violence. Against that backdrop, also remember that during the Chris Wallace interview a couple weeks ago, Ryan said lowering tax rates was, "more important than anything" else to promote economic growth.

Here's Ryan's solutions to end gun crimes:

"This is why we need economic growth, this is why we need education reform, this is why we need to promote equality of opportunity and upward mobility in society so that people are out of these terrible conditions. So they can get onto lives of self sufficiency. If we deal with those problems – the problems of civil society, the problems of helping our communities — big government doesn’t do that. Big government makes it worse. Those are the kind of reforms we’re talking about. What do you do to create good jobs, to create prosperity, to help charities and people that are in communities to help one another."


"But the best thing to help prevent violent crime in the inner cities is to bring opportunities to communities in the inner cities, to help people get out of poverty in the inner cities is to teach people good discipline, good character. That is civil society. That's what charities, civic groups and churches do to help one another to make sure they can realize the value in one another." -- Paul Ryan

Any studious reporter with a grasp of Ryan's policies was left with at least two choices to ask after those circular comments. The first that immediately came to my mind was: And you intend, using the power of government, to legislate charities and churches to teach good discipline and instill personal responsibility to create the civil society you described?, OR; shorter and to the point about how Ryan's tax priorities will effect these problems, Camp asked, "And you can do all that by cutting taxes? With a big tax cut?"

Either one works for me.

Those were not "statements" by Camp. They were questions accurately drawn from Ryan's bloviations and supported by his previous "tax cuts bring prosperity" rhetoric. Camp wasn't trying to put words in Ryan's mouth. Anyone ...anyone can make the kind of statements Ryan makes without actually stating how they're going to do it.

Instead of answering the question, even a simple yes or no would do, Ryan chose to cut off and attack the reporter. It appears that even Ryan's aides know when the congressman is in over his head when they find it necessary to step in to end the interview.

Watch it:


Blue Cheddar - Journalist does his job. Paul Ryan: “That was kinda strange”

Salon - Paul Ryan’s thin skin. Running with Mitt Romney has introduced him to something he's not very comfortable with: Follow-up questions

Monday, October 08, 2012

Tommy Thompson's "Do Away With Medicare" Plan? Make It Go Bankrupt

According to this AP article making the rounds, Tommy Thompson assumes Medicare will continue to 2024. That can only mean one thing. He rejects Romney's budget plan to add an additional $716 billion in costs to the program. Because if Thompson supported Romney's proposal, he would know Medicare would cost the government more to operate causing it to go broke well before 2024. Under Romney, Medicare is expected cave in as early as 2016.

Romney also promised to cap non-defense spending at 16 percent of GDP. So, if Medicare is getting that $716 billion in additional costs back, Romney would have to double-down on cuts to other programs including defense to maintain his cap OR Medicare ....and that's simply not realistic. The truth is, Romney wants to make Medicare as cost prohibitive as possible to force it into insolvency as early as possible.

Only President Obama's proposal extends Medicare to 2024 without destabilizing the program, giving Congress eight more years to make the necessary adjustments to keep it solvent. However, this is where Thompson separates himself from saving Medicare.

SF Gate Excerpt:
"I am here to save Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security but you have to make some adjustments," he said.

Thompson said under his plan, those on Medicare who are over 55 in 2020 would stay on the program. Anyone under that age limit could choose to go on Medicare knowing it would be bankrupt in 2024 or join the federal health insurance benefit for federal employees, he said.

So Thompson's proposal for Medicare is closer to Romney's endgame, except eight years later. Thompson's attempt to backtrack his comment, "who better than me to do away with Medicare" is both lame and troubling especially now since his idea to make adjustments to "save" the program is by allowing people the choice to join Medicare "knowing" it would be bankrupt in 2024.

Gee, swell guy that Tommy is. Thanks alot.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops Again, GOP Must be Furious

The last time the unemployment rate dropped, yes dropped, republicans had a hissy fit. But according to the most recent numbers from the Labor Department, the unemployment rate fell again sending the rate below 8 points for the first time since the Great Recession began. That this is happening despite a full-bore four year conspiracy by the GOP to destabilize the economy and oppose the President at every turn is absolutely doubly remarkable.

Washington Post Excerpt:
The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday, from 8.1 percent in July, its lowest since January 2009. It is a surprising show of improvement in a job market that had seemed listless in recent months. Unlike in August, the number improved for the right reason: not because people gave up looking for jobs, but because far more people reported having one.

While that headline number — the drop in the unemployment rate — will surely capture the most attention in the final weeks of a hard-fought presidential campaign, the inner details of the labor survey reveal an even rosier picture.

The unemployment rate fell even though more people — 418,000 of them — entered the labor force. Full Story here.

Paul Ryan Outraised In Home District by Congressional Opponent

According to this story from the Janesville Gazette, Paul Ryan's spokesperson, Kevin Seifert, considers Democratic opponent Rob Zerban's request for debates nothing more than a "stunt" and implies that Zerban should explain his positions on critical issues and articulate solutions to the problems facing the nation. Knock - knock. Hello? Hello? Isn't that precisely what debates are for?

But if the latest fundraising numbers reported by the Zerban campaign are any sign of his surging popularity, it is also a sign of rejection for Paul Ryan and his 14 year stranglehold on the district. Perhaps district constituents have already made up their mind on the absentee congressman.

The third quarter fundraising numbers are in.

Politico Excerpt:
Paul Ryan outraised by House opponent

Zerban’s campaign announced Thursday that it raised $770,000 in the third quarter of 2012, outpacing Rep. Paul Ryan.

Ryan’s House campaign raised $566,743 from 2,700 individual donors with a largely absent candidate.

Links to Recent Stories About Our Deceptive Congressman

In These Times - The Billionaire Bandits Behind Paul Ryan

The Progressive - Paul Ryan's Other Race Is No Guarantee

Roger Bybee - Paul Ryan Carpet-Bombed His District's Factories, Then Strafed First Aid Stations.

Think progress - Contrary To Paul Ryan’s Assertion, Most Americans Support The Social Safety Net

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Rob Zerban Delivers Debate Petition To Ryan

Congresssional candidate Rob Zerban delivered 50,000!! signatures to Paul Ryan's office Wednesday morning and handed the petition to his staff.

Paul Ryan claims that he is too busy to come back to debate me and yet he has time to come back to Milwaukee twice in the next two weeks for $1000 per plate fundraisers. Yet again he is choosing big-monied interests over his constituents.
-- Rob Zerban, Democratic Candidate for 1st Congressional District of Wisconsin

CBS News Excerpt:
Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan told a Wisconsin paper this week that he likely won't debate his Democratic opponent in the race for reelection to his southeast Wisconsin House seat.

"The tradition with other campaigns ... was only to do the vice presidential debate," he told the Journal Times ...

So much for Paul Ryan's so-called bold and courageous persona running against traditions - that too is an urban legend. No question Rob Zerban poses a serious problem for Ryan. Ryan will have to "remind" people to vote for him while avoiding to debate his opponent or the notion that a new direction for the district is available.

Video - Zerban remarks on Debate Petition Delivery in Janesville:


Isthmus - Paul Ryan faces well-funded challenger Rob Zerban in Wisconsin's First Congressional District race

DailyKos - Rob Zerban: Paul Wellstone Reincarnated

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Romney Suggests Good Paying Jobs Are a Measure Of Compassion

We should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good paying job." -- Mitt Romney, campaign ad

Is that so?

In my America, getting a job is not a measure of compassion. If it is, Romney implies that workers, blue collar or white, owe our employers much more than the time and labor we do in exchange for a paycheck.

In my America, getting a good paying job is something we train for, qualify for and earn out of respect for our education or experience. Getting a job is definitely a good thing and getting a GOOD paying job is the American Dream. It's opportunity driven by ambition and acquired through good ol' free enterprise. I also don't think my fellow Americans would want their jobs to be granted to them by an employer from out of compassion (such as to get off welfare), or the paycheck we've earned to be viewed as a form of charity. Again, if it is, only someone who views workers as moochers and parasites would expect to be honored as compassionate for paying good wages since it's obviously more than they deserve. Someone like Mitt Romney.

Watch it:

In a new ad narrated with those same Randian codes, Paul Ryan bloviates about a fictional government-controlled society and fabricates a false urgency that "if we act now, we can get this right." What in the world is he talking about? I've said this before. Ryan is living inside Atlas Shrugged and is trying to project our reality into Rand's personal fictional nightmare. Just because he's up front about it doesn't mean he's not certifiable nuts.

The Democurmudgeon takes aim at the Ryan ad. Check it out here.

Monday, October 01, 2012

If Spending Is The Problem, Why Focus On Revenue Neutral Tax Reform?

Since Barack Obama became President, Republicans have insisted that government spending is the number one problem. Right? We're taxed enough already! Cutting spending is the Tea Party mantra, but again only since Obama.

That's all I've heard from Rep. Paul Ryan at town hall meetings. In fact his exact words were something like, "government doesn't have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem," while stressing the "s" consonant sound in ssspending. Kinda sickeningly predictable in a way. Ryan would also have his PowerPoint presentation of Heritage Foundation charts showing 50 year projections of government spending dressed down in red ink as far as the eye can see and how these trends will force his children to live a standard of life lower than what his parents enjoyed. Ryan has repeated this same narrative at town halls for the past several years. It was alot like brainwashing.

So now, why is VP candidate Ryan focused on jumbling the tax rates around when by his own admission, we don't have a revenue problem? Then insist that his tax proposal or Romney's for that matter, is "revenue neutral." Of course revenue neutral means there is no change in the total amount of revenue collected by the federal government. If they're collecting $3.5T in taxes under Obama right now, we can assume they'll collect $3.5T under Ryan's "revenue neutral" tax proposal. Some people would say that Ryan doesn't even have a solution for a revenue problem - if a revenue problem existed. Because his "solution" is revenue neutral!!

Ryan's proposal is just a scheme involving musical chairs with tax rates in a ploy to eliminate our current progressive tax rate system, but built with a single objective in mind - to lower tax rates for the wealthiest income holders. Because Ryan's or Romney's plan is revenue neutral, someone will have to make up the difference. What he calls the broadened base. Yet he has the gall to say Americans will get to keep more money in their pockets of what they earn. Remember, when the very top pays less tax the revenue neutrality will have to be maintained by the rest. There's no way around it.

Yet at the end of the video below, Ryan implies the top will pay MORE tax by closing their loopholes and because more of their income will be subject to taxation - they can lower tax rates for everyone. Yeah, Romney keeps his money in the Cayman Islands now at 14% because he's waiting for the day he can bring it all home subject to more taxation. That's a bunch of hooey. Again, you'll have to go backwards in the video to Chris Wallace pressing Ryan for the deductions, loopholes, spending cuts and costs necessary to offset lowering taxes to which Ryan answers all with "it's revenue neutral."

Ryan has to go circular in his argument because his revenue neutral tax proposal solves nothing. It doesn't raise revenue to pay down the debt and it has no effect on costs and cuts or any he'll commit to.

Oh wait. It'll grow the economy and create jobs. Rrrighht.

Watch it:


Washington Post - Cut Taxes First - Balance Budget later

New York Mag - The Paul Ryan Legend Dissipates

Huff Post - Fox News Ratings More Important Than Discussing the Math