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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mining Company Finds Gold In Taxpayers Thanks To 21st Century GOP

1. The republican mining bill diverts part of tax proceeds (40 percent) away from local governments and taxpayers impacted by the mine and instead sends it to the state's GOP Donor Center, the WEDC.

2. Under Grover Norquist's order, the bill forbids the state from charging a tonnage tax on extracted resources taken from the land. Taxpayers lose twice.

3. The bill's mining tax will not generate much revenue in the first few years of the mine’s operation. That’s because the mine will be required to pay a tax on its net proceeds, and the significant investments in machinery and equipment required at the beginning of the mine’s operations will reduce the mine’s proceeds and therefore the amount of tax owed by the mine. Some other states, such as Minnesota, tax mines based on their output.

4. A new tax credit for manufacturers, agricultural producers, and mines gradually reduces Wisconsin income tax rates for corporations in these industries from 7.9% down to 0.4% in 2016. That means a corporation, such as a mine, with $10 million in taxable Wisconsin income would go from paying $790,000 in 2012 in corporate income tax to paying just $40,000 in tax in 2016. Who will pick up the difference? Taxpayers.

5. The bill would also cut tax revenue for environmental protection and recycling programs by $171 million per year. Currently, mining operations in the state are required to pay a $7.02 fee per ton of material removed from the Earth. The GOP's bill would waive the $7 recycling fee, dropping the cost per ton to less than 3 cents.

Cutting the existing recycling fee is unrelated to the tonnage-tax proposal Sen. Tim Cullen of Janesville offered that Grover Norquist struck down. Wisconsin is still facing a budget shortfall as a result of massive tax shifts and cuts under Gov. Scott Walker. Another $171 million in tax cuts for businesses would make the budget deficit even more daunting for the state's wage earning taxpayers.


Wisconsin Budget Project - Tax Issues Fly Under The Radar In Mining Controversy

Bloomberg Business Week - Wis. mine bill would slash money for environment

Rock Netroots - Lord Norquist Forbids Wisconsin To Tax Extracted resources

Sequester Will Put GOP "Cuts Create Prosperity" To The Test

Will Boehner Have The Guts To Save 750,000 Jobs?

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin) told FOX News (who else?) that if House Speaker John Boehner "caves" and agrees to tax revenues to avoid the sequester, he will lose his speakership job.

"I don't quite honestly believe that Speaker Boehner would be speaker if that happens. I think he would lose his speakership," Johnson said. "That would be my own personal opinion."

You can figure Johnson was channeling Paul Ryan on that one since they are very close buddies. With his amateurish threat, Johnson ends up daring the trapped Boehner, who could turn it back on Johnson and Tea Party House mutants by saying it is more important to work on a deal to save 750,000 American jobs than it is to save his own. But is John Boehner courageous enough?

Ryan Sequesters Janesville Airport

Here's a pick up from the blog, Because I can. Titled, Ryan Sequesters Janesville Airport, the posting taps a Huffington Post article about how Ryan's drive for government spending cuts may effect the operations of his hometown's Rock County Airport.

Sequester Will put "Cuts Create prosperity" To The Test

WASHINGTON -- The bluntness of sequestration was supposed to be what made it so effective. The $1 trillion in spending cuts over 10 years would hit everywhere and everything. Its indiscriminate, draconian nature would compel lawmakers into finding a replacement.

With the Friday deadline for sequestration approaching, however, the prospect of finding said replacement appears slim.

Remember that the sequester cuts take place over a period of ten years. Despite the ominous warnings, come March 1st or the few weeks thereafter, the sky won't fall. Things will appear business as usual. But as time passes and $10 billion worth of cuts settle in, then another $10B in cuts and another and another, in six to eight months we will begin to see a slow but steady economic decline.

But wait..wait! That's not right. That's not the way it's supposed to be according to the Heritage Foundation/Republican pro-growth mime that we've been hearing for more than a decade. What I've heard from Rep. Paul Ryan and others was that government doesn't have a revenue problem, that it has a spending problem and cutting government spending will unleash prosperity and economic security. I've heard that over and over again. But, if the projected devastating effects occur or if a soft decline or little noticeable impact is felt, that entire GOP spending cut formula will be discredited.

Why? Because for the Republicans to be right about government budget cuts feeding job creation, certainty and prosperity, we shouldn't lose 750,000 jobs over the next year or two. We shouldn't even be satisfied with a flat-lining economy. We should gain 750,000 jobs on top of the gains that were projected WITHOUT sequestration!! Crazy as it sounds, that's what we should expect if there is any inkling of integrity to their "cuts create prosperity" mime.

Please, don't count on that happening. At. All.

Politicus USA - Sick House Tea Partiers Celebrate Sequesters Human Carnage

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Independent Talk Outlets Serve Area's Hungry Population

This is just a reminder that Janesville, Rock County and points beyond are fortunate to have several blog/talk radio outlets independent of the area's Bliss Communication's media apparatus. Some of the folks here are operating simply out of passion and a deep concern to bring us unfiltered local news and commentary. They deserve our support.

They are:

Drive Home With Sly 3PM - Big Oldies 93.7 FM

Discover Janesville with Yuri Rashkin Main Page
Feature: Janesville City Council Forum

Civil Discourse Main Page
Latest Feature: State Of The Union

Monday, February 25, 2013

Video: Ryan Was a Big Fan Of Sequestration Until ...

In government legislation, I've always thought "sequester" or sequestration was a built-in default mechanism that acts as an override in fiscal matters when a more controlled environment fails. Over the years I've heard Rep. Paul Ryan use the term several times but never really gave its potentially disastrous consequences much thought. Until now.

As it turns out, Ryan has been a very big proponent for sequestration over the years. So much in fact, that if "Sequester" was a race horse, Ryan would be considered its owner, trainer and driver. But in this latest sequestration event that republicans have tried to throw back onto President Obama, it is Ryan himself who tries to "urban legend" sequestration like he did his beloved Ayn Rand. Suddenly, the sequester is bad government when it appears that blame instead of credit is its political reward.

Watch it:

To help keep responsibility for the current cuts in proper perspective is the fact that Paul Ryan was not only a huge proponent of sequestration, but also that he was one of only three House Republicans voting for the current sequester AND then later pulling its trigger. Obama signed the sequester mechanism into law as part of the debt deal from 2011, but never pulled the trigger.

What I also don't get from Republicans posting comments in social media is they insist Democrats offer proposals to prevent some of the cuts without raising revenue. They basically want to trade indiscriminate automatic $1.2T in cuts for $1.2T in picking-winners-and-losers cuts. Republicans want to go from Ryan bad to crony-capitalism Ryan worse. Democrats must not accept anything less than dollar-for-dollar in revenue to offset or cancel any cuts.


Politicus USA - Paul Ryan Championed Sequester Since 2004, Now Calls His Own Idea Not Good Government - w/transcripts

Crooks and Liars - It's Not About Fixing The Debt. It's All About Lowering Taxes.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker Cares Too Much

The Journal Sentinel Politifact want to make sure what Gov. Scott Walker said is taken in the right context, just in case somebody might understand actually what Republicans mean by...

Left to right - Chris Christie, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, George W. Bush, Grover Norquist, Scott Walker and Reince Priebus. Foreground - Paul Ryan.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Lord Norquist Forbids Wisconsin To Tax Extracted Resources

Last week, the defacto leader of the Republican party and also its chief scold and whip, Grover Norquist, gave a stern warning to any Wisconsin Republican who dare violate his tax pledge. Norquist's incursion came soon after Sen. Tim Cullen proposed a tonnage tax on mining companies for any extracted mineral resources taken from Wisconsin land.

CapTimes Excerpt:
"For those of you who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, a new tonnage tax is a violation of that pledge."

As expected, Gov. Scott Walker, a Norquist devotee, straightened up to attention and quickly injected that there was no way he would allow the tax.

The tonnage tax — which is already in use with much success in Minnesota and Michigan — would have become a national model if passed in Wisconsin for budget-short states to raise new revenue without taxing its residents. But with Norquist in the picture, the people of Wisconsin have no chance in mining new tax revenue from companies that take from the land.

Despite the loss, Sen. Tim Cullen deserves a hat tip on this one.

Superior Telegram -Norquist, Walker Against Democrats’ Mining Tax Bill

Monday, February 18, 2013

Paul Ryan Still Blaming Obama For The Cuts Ryan Desperately Wants

This should fall under the "you can't make this stuff up" category.

Once again, Rep. Paul Ryan was on a Sunday morning talk show and was completely dismantled in front of a national audience when ABC News host Jonathan Karl confronted Ryan about praising the sequester option in August of 2011 only to turn around and blame President Obama for the sequester cuts.

In his response to Karl, Ryan weaseled ...

"Remember the Super Committee in addition to those caps was supposed to come up with 1.2 trillion in savings. The Republicans on the super committee offered even higher revenues in exchange for spending cuts as part of that. It was rejected by the president and the Democrats. So no resolution occurred and therefore the sequester is occurring."

Republicans offered "higher revenues" on the super committee? Really?? But it was rejected by Obama and the Democrats??

First off, Obama was not on the super committee and had no vote in the matter. Secondly, Ryan is implying Republicans on the super committee were willing to raise "higher revenues" than whatever was at play in exchange for what we can assume were even deeper spending cuts? However, Ryan refuses to raise any revenue at all right now to offset the cuts the sequester will bring?

Ryan also claims Obama "got his" increased revenue. But he forgets to say that was part of a different deal, just like previous "sequesters" and spending cuts were also part of different deals. The super committee was charged with finding $1.2 trillion in savings, and Ryan implies Republicans wanted even more, did not get them, so he voted against the committee thereby triggering the sequester cuts.

Republicans also think they got something on Obama since Bob Woodward claimed the sequester idea came first from the White House. I won't argue with where the idea first came from, but the sequester cuts became operative law ONLY when the Simpson/Bowles Debt Commission failed. That’s when Ryan voted for the sequester “idea” a second time. Again, Obama was not a member of the commission.

Both parties also acknowledge that everyone's fingerprints are all over the sequester option as part of the debt deal. But only the 18 members of the Simpson/Bowles debt Commission had their fingers on the trigger. Once again, Paul Ryan was one of only three House Republicans who pulled that trigger. Not Obama. It is Ryan who desperately wants those cuts to happen. He has repeatedly said so.

The Hill Excerpt:
Ryan added that the cuts needed to happen because Republicans can’t risk losing the only leverage they have when it comes to cutting spending. “I think the sequester is going to happen, because that $1.2 trillion in spending cuts, we can’t lose those spending cuts, that was to pay for the last debt-ceiling increase, let alone any future increase.”

So now we arrive at the point where we know Paul Ryan willingly opposed the compromise necessary to prevent the automatic cuts of the sequester option when he voted against the Simpson/Bowles Commission AND now will not accept any increased revenues to help pay for the costs to cancel the sequester. We also know Ryan is using the threat of the automatic cuts as "leverage" to advance his party's agenda - not the country's.

Speaking of the damage the sequester cuts might bring, according to George Mason University the state of Wisconsin will lose 36,555 jobs. Again, Ryan and Republicans know how devastating the cuts are and they don't care. In fact, they demand that the cuts happen. They pulled the trigger on the sequester - not Obama. They own it. lock, stock and barrel.

Watch the Jonathan Karl / Paul Ryan exchange below...


Raw Story - ABC Host Confronts Paul Ryan On Sequester

Think Progress - ABC News Calls Out Paul Ryan For Hypocrisy Over Looming Budget Cuts

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gov. Scott Walker. Is He Evil Or What?

I’m convinced. Scott Walker is one evil scary dude.

If I told you that I thought a food product was deadly poisonous (whether true or not) and issued a public warning stating so, only to later construct a campaign designed to coerce you into eating the product that I consider tainted ...would you say I’m a nice guy? Well, that’s what Gov. Scott Walker has done in his recent switcheroo on Obamacare and Medicaid.

Let me explain. Unless you’re the President, a governor or a member of Congress, it really doesn't matter what your perception of Obamacare is since you would have little power to enact change beyond the ballot box. That's just the way it is for you and I. What really matters is how a governor of a state perceives Obamacare since the program requires some collaboration between the state and federal government. So when a sitting governor insists that Obamacare is an unhealthy prescription and then proceeds to do everything in his power to delay its implementation and injure its potential, only to later claim that forcing people into it ...into something he worked to destabilize and considers unhealthy is because, he cares too much and "wants to empower the people of Wisconsin to control their own destiny" - I think we have a completely delusional mentality if not a downright evil person on our hands.

With Walker, this is nothing new and I posted the "evil" at the risk of sounding over-the-top or as a scaremonger, but those are his words linked above and his actions deliver that perception.

People of Wisconsin ...this isn't mere political gamesmanship or that Walker "got over" on Obama or vice-versa. There are lives hanging in the balance with billions of dollars at stake for the state of Wisconsin. Regardless of your politics ...we've got a serious, serious problem here. This is wrong in the worst ways.


YouTube Video: Robert Kraig, Executive Director of Citizen Action of Wisconsin explains what's wrong with the Walker/Medicaid situation. Highly Recommended.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Janesville School District Forms Strategic Alliance With Businesses, But No Unions

According to an article posted in the Janesville Gazette, the Janesville school board approved a list of companies and universities that the district intends on forming a "new" strategic alliance with.

The story in itself offers little to no insight as to the purpose and plans of the alliance, but the initial list of names reads like Gov. Scott Walker's local campaign donor list. That comes as no surprise however since the school board is taking direction for the list from none other than Walker's local political action business group, Forward Janesville.

According to the newspaper report, some businesses and organizations on the list have not been contacted, which leads to the appearance that the unions have been deliberately excluded by those creating the list.

Oddly, only one board member had the gumption to even inquire about the proposal before the board voted unanimously to approve it.

JG Excerpt:
(Titled: School board OKs long list of possible partners)

The list comprises many local businesses and other organizations, some of which have not been contacted, Schulte said. Some of the entities listed might not even be interested in forming a partnership or strategic alliance.

Board member Peter Severson asked if Schulte would ask for further board approval for specific alliances with any of the entities on the list. Schulte said no. Severson said he would like to know about the purpose and plan for any alliance. Schulte said the policy states she must keep the board informed about such alliances.

Without laying out a mission statement or purpose, this "alliance" should raise alarms among local taxpayers as to its educational objective and possible political direction. Perhaps it was just a publicity oversight, but the district should also explain why local labor union groups, who should play a major role in workforce development, have not been listed "without contact" to participate in the alliance.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Janesville Writer: With More Power, Sly May Get Last Laugh

One of Janesville's first writers to develop a Web presence independent of the Bliss/Gazette media monopoly is Bob Keith of Cool Dadio Media.

Referring to himself as the Editor; Blogger; Cultural Writer; and, "chief cook and bottle washer," he has also "been around" enough to offer up some plain ol' truth to power when the feeling strikes. In a recent posting, Keith wrote his take on Sly's transition to a new radio station.

DailyDadio Excerpt:
But what of "Sly"?

Well, the radio gods apparently shown down kindly on ol' "Sly." [...] Sly is hosting a show from 3:00 to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on 93.7 FM radio. For those that know his show up in Madison, the format has so far held fairly similar since down in Monroe.

Just between you and me, I am wondering if ol' "Sly" may come out of this mass-canning up in Madison with the last laugh. The power of 1670 AM was weak with around 10,000 Watts. "Sly's" new venue at 93.7 FM boasts 36,000 Watts. These new digs and increased power, encompass "Sly's" old listening area plus a whole new area on the Wisconsin/Illinois state line. Read more>>>

Video: Sen. Ron Johnson Delivers "State of His Own Mind" Speech

Sen. Ron Johnson, who in his first two years in office has never held a townhall meeting for his constituents in-person, continues in that tradition by recording his own little response to the President Obama's State-of-the-Union delivered last night. Johnson, it should be noted, had a dysfunctional ego and warped sense of reality well before he joined Paul Ryan on the Romney presidential campaign tour bus, has now become a full-throated legend-in-his-own-mind circus clown, minus the baldcap and clown nose.

According to an article by Dan Bice, Johnson was making headlines just days before the SOTU at a Republican Party dinner gathering by referring to Liberals, Progressives and Democrats as Socialists and Marxists. Johnson's biggest complaint seems to be that "too many Americans [...] have seized control over American society."

Against that backdrop however, the increasingly poisonous senator's response to the SOTU speech in the video below seems predictable and boring.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Paul Ryan Among Only Three To Vote For The Sequester Cuts Twice.

Some simple notes that might be hard for Republicans to recall. First up is that the Republican-led House passed the sequestration provision as part of a debt deal compromise, 269-161, in August of 2011. Who voted yes? 174 Republicans -including Boehner, Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan. That meant fewer House Dems voted for it - 95 to be exact.

Secondly, President Obama never cast a vote for the Simpson-Bowles Debt Commission. Remember that it was the failure and only the failure of the Simpson-Bowles Commission that triggered the agreed-to sequester. The only statement I recall that Obama did make about the commission was that if Simpson-Bowles received passing approval from its 18 commissioners and passed the House and the Senate, Obama promised to sign it into law. Again, by virtue of his office, there was no vote Obama could cast beforehand to help Simpson-Bowles pass to avoid the sequester.

Among the seven voting against the debt commission to ultimately trigger the sequester were three House Republicans, Dave Camp (MI), Jeb Hensarling (TX) and of course our congressman, Paul Ryan. These three congressmen are also among the 174 House republicans who approved of the punishing sequester provision in the debt deal compromise. This in effect places Ryan among the only three House republicans to vote for the sequester cuts twice.

It's now done and history.

Does that make it Obama's sequester? Hmmm. Not quite.

Update: Only one congressional Democrat voted for the sequester twice - Sen. Max Baucus.


Rock Netroots - Paul Ryan's Budget Proposal Three Times Worse than Automatic Cuts He Call Crippling

Monday, February 11, 2013

The Fire Still Burns: 2nd Year Anniversary Observances Of Walker's Bomb

"This is an exciting time… I told my cabinet about what we were going to do and how we were going to do it, it was kind of the last hurrah before we drop the bomb.” -- Gov. Scott Walker in phone conversation with faux David Koch

ACT 10 Panel Discussion with Rep. Peter Barca

Monday, February 11, 2013
6:30pm until 8:00pm
10 S. Washington Street (beside Larducci’s Pizza)
Elkhorn, WI

Two years later, tens of thousands of Wisconsin families are dealing with the fallout from Scott Walker’s ACT 10 legislation.

Please join Representative Peter Barca, AFSMCE research analyst Martha Merrill and WEAC Vice President Betsy Kippers to talk about the uncertain future of ACT 10 and its effect on the state of Wisconsin.
More details at the Facebook event

February 14 Anniversary
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Library Mall

Two years after the historic Wisconsin Uprising, “the fire still burns!” The struggle to protect quality public education and workers’ rights continues in our state and our communities. Please join the TAA and UFAS (United Faculty and Academic Staff) on Thursday, February 14th starting at Library Mall at 4:30 pm for a march to the Capitol at 5:00 pm.

The Solidarity Sing Along will gather outside the Capitol at 4:45 pm. “The fire still burns” candlelight vigil, organized by Madison Teachers Inc. (MTI), will begin at 5:15 pm.

Source - Blue Cheddar

YouTube - Koch/Walker Audio Tape

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

New Excuses Proposed For Wisconsin's Decline

Let us count the ways from the moment Scott Walker was elected governor.

It all began by smearing the state of Wisconsin as a tax hell by the rightwing Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) during Doyle's time as governor. Then the national housing crash caused a decline in demand, they said. The next big complaint was that there are too many regulations stifling growth. Then Barack Obama caused too much "uncertainty." Then they said the recalls caused too much unrest. Then they said, "if you stabilize the debt, we’re going to have growth," he-he-he. Then we needed to offer more incentives to entice business investment. Then they said Wisconsin has a workforce skills gap.

Now the latest excuse for Wisconsin lagging behind the rest of the nation in job growth is an aging population and a risk averse mentality. Well, that's the conclusion from the conservative-leaning Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance.

Twin Cities Excerpt:
Todd Berry, the president of the Taxpayers Alliance, said Wisconsin's elected leaders trade blame for the poor figures but that even the simplest political debates overlook crucial issues such as demographics, instead focusing more on tax incentives to lure companies from other states.

It sounds tantalizing if only we ignore the fact that Wisconsin has been heading in the opposite direction from the rest of the country for the past two years and there appears to be no let up in sight.

One Wisconsin Now Response excerpt:
"Gov. Scott Walker got everything he wanted over the last two years and the result has been complete failure," said Ross. "Now, his allies at the conservative Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance are trying to change the subject and blame the age of Wisconsinites and their heritage for the latest example of trickle-down economics being a total failure."

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Two Reasons Why Swing States Like To Keep Swinging

It's no secret Republicans in state houses across the country have done all they can to rig district boundaries, defund supporters of the American majority and restrict as many urban voters as possible through a multitude of voter suppression strategies in order to win elections. So following the GOP's national party chairman, Reince Preibus, down that same path of deception and dishonesty was easy when he suggested rigging the electoral system in favor of their party's presidential candidates to win the 2016 Presidential Election. Yes, when your policies and candidates suck really, really bad, sometimes there is no other choice.

Several weeks have passed since then and to my surprise, several key swing-state governors and publicity hound GOP politicians have come out in gentle opposition to Priebus' proposal. Among them Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Rep. Paul Ryan. Walker at first said he was intrigued by the notion of Wisconsin divvying up its electoral votes by congressional district, but later said he’s worried it may reduce Wisconsin’s influence in presidential politics.

Politico Excerpt:
Walker continued: “What may look appealing right now depending on who your candidate was might, four or eight years from now, look like just the reverse. And the most important thing to me long term as a governor is what makes your voters be in play. One of our advantages as a swing state is that candidates come here … that’s good for voters. If we change that, that would take that away and would largely make us irrelevant.”

Sure, Walker wants Wisconsin voters to be "in play." Why he's so concerned about our welfare that immediately after the 2012 Election, he suggested eliminating same-day voter registration. He's such a swell guy. Paul Ryan is no different. In fact they appear to be reading from the same script.

USA Excerpt:
Rep. Paul Ryan doesn't want to change the way the Electoral College allocates presidential votes in his home state of Wisconsin.

"I've always kind of liked the idea of being targeted as a state," Ryan told the Wisconsin State Journal's editorial board. I'd hate to be a flyover state. I'd like to be in the hunt for being a targeted state. I think it's good for us."

But if Paul Ryan wouldn't like Wisconsin to be a flyover state, why does he seem to enjoy a congressional district he all but ignored, essentially flew over during his campaign for the House? If he wants a challenge and voters to experience a good debate, why did he avoid Rob Zerban? If Wisconsin's GOP really enjoyed the sweat from an honest political challenge in a strongly contestable arena, why did they go through all the trouble of gerrymandering districts for easy election wins? As usual, Ryan's reasoning doesn't align with his own reality. It never does.

If there's a puzzle, particularly a political one, the best way I found to solve it is by following the money. Always follow the money. I suspect swing state status brings about $100 million more into a state's economy than the flyovers. Much of this money trickles into the personal caches of the right-wing owned media from campaign ads while locals pick up extra $$$ from travel, lodging, food and drink services. Establishment supporters of swing-state governors have tasted the fruit and don't want to lose it, even if it's every four years. It's sort like their very own mini-olympics. Their raw pursuit of the buck shows how petty and false much of their political rhetoric is. It's mostly just rhetoric.

Secondly, it's very possible Scott Walker, Paul Ryan and others are starting to see an uncontrollable back-fire element beginning to push more voters away from their party's radical policies and candidates. Changing the rules of the electoral college in the middle of game will only make that back-fire even louder and more repetitious. It'll be playing a tune they don't want to hear and thanks largely in part to social media's ability to get the truth out, the Republican Party looks like a party that can only win elections by gerrymandering districts and blocking voters from voting. That's a pathetic dynamic for the future of any political party so the last thing they want to do is build on that growing sense of fraud to gain public office. I could be wrong about this, but the GOP is beginning to realize that the average American voter's sense of decency and fair play will prevail over cheaters, like it did in November. I hope so.


DailyKos - Nichols Unearths Yet Another Republican Electoral College Rig Job

Monday, February 04, 2013

Wisconsin Tax Dollars Creating Jobs In Minnesota

On Friday, Gov. Scott Walker's Administration awarded an out-of-state company a $15 million education services contract. The company, Infinite Campus Inc. out of Blaine, Minnesota will be the sole provider of student information systems to Wisconsin's more than 440 school districts. According to breaking stories on this, Infinite Campus won the competitively bidded process fair and square based on several criteria, including having the highest technical score and the lowest cost.

Star Tribune Excerpt:
But losing bidder Skyward Inc. said the evaluation process was flawed, the Stevens Point Journal reported Sunday. The company also said in a statement Saturday that late changes to the process favored Infinite Campus and put Skyward at a disadvantage.

Considering the way this thing started out, I think most of us knew it was going to end in a bad way no matter what. Skyward you may recall, was the company that lobbied against the statewide student information system, then was offered tax breaks from Walker's WEDC contingent upon it winning the contract for the state-wide system it lobbied against and lastly, Skyward threatened to leave the state if it didn't win the contract.

Twin Cities Excerpt: (June 19, 2012)
If Skyward doesn't get the statewide contract, all of its local deals would end. King said in September that the company, which began in Stevens Point 30 years ago, already has talked with Texas state officials about moving there.

That didn't help their cause. Sadly, Skyward practically became a victim of their own design. You got to wonder if they were taking advice from Bucyrus' former CEO Tim Sullivan to politicize negotiations through the media in an effort to garner public support because this was one major publicity gaffe after another. Throw Scott Walker into the mix and you're only asking for a total break down in ever reaching the mission's objective. On the other hand, I would much rather have a homegrown company serve its homestate, but who can we love in this one? Neither of them make it easy.

This is too simple to even compose an argument about and I would think, we all would think, it should be obvious to those in charge that there must be some unique economic advantage when state tax dollars are spent IN STATE to create jobs that employ state taxpayers!!

There are absolutely no winners in Wisconsin in this deal.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Paul Ryan's National Review Opens Their Playbook For Latinos

Saw this story first posted at the Democurmudgeon. Apparently one of Paul Ryan's biggest national media enablers, The National Review, wrote a editorial suggesting that the granting of amnesty for illegals at this time is a pointless approach for helping Republicans win elections because ...

National Review Excerpt:
While many are in business for themselves, they express hostile attitudes toward free enterprise in polls. They are disproportionately low-income and disproportionately likely to receive some form of government support. More than half of Hispanic births are out of wedlock. Take away the Spanish surname and Latino voters look a great deal like many other Democratic constituencies. Low-income households headed by single mothers and dependent upon some form of welfare are not looking for an excuse to join forces with Paul Ryan and Pat Toomey.

Thank you National Review! A rare burst of honesty always goes a long way when describing what conservatives think. I only hope Rep. Luis Gutierrez of Chicago gets the message.


Rock Netroots - Paul Ryan Trying To Sucker Latinos Through Rep. Gutierrez