Today is

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Code Name For Scott Walker's Political Campaign Fit For a Prince

According to emails found in the latest document dump from Scott Walker's first criminal scandal ... Excerpt:
Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County staff had a code name for his gubernatorial campaign with which they secretly coordinated strategy and messaging nearly every day: “the dark side.”

The winking reference appears several times in emails that are among some 227,000 pages of records released Tuesday by Milwaukee County.

Scott Walker and his county staff knew they were engaging in illegal activity with his campaign and made repeated efforts to conceal that activity from prying eyes.
Read the full story here>>>

Assuming for a moment that Walker's executive mismanagement and failed reforms are forgivable karmic anomalies, why anyone would vote for him based on his obvious lack of personal honesty and transparency alone is way beyond me. That has to be one of Wisconsin's grand puzzles.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Best Hits Rock Netroots Blog Posts

Putting together the most popular blog posts list for 2014 reminded me of 2012 when I had to juggle some of the stories due to the heavy national audience visiting the blog after Paul Ryan was picked to be Mitt Romney's running mate for the White House.

This year, blog posts about Scott Walker's failed budget reforms and political shenanigans repeatedly captured a larger statewide audience to skew the rankings away from area stories that had attracted unusually strong local reader interest, but few from outside the local sphere. So, to achieve some fairness and variety, I included the top non-Walker related blog posts in the list below and mixed them in ranked by their popularity.


#10 Just In Case You're New To Janesville

#9 If Doing Nothing Wrong, Why Does Gov. Walker Need a Second Separate Phone?

#8 Half Of Waste/Recycling Tipping Fees Go To The WEDC

#7 At The Crossroads, Paul Ryan's Hometown Facing a Death Spiral. But Where's Ryan?

#6 Newspaper Misinforms On Referendum While Telling Readers To Get Informed

#5 Wisconsin Rural/City Roads Are Crumbling For The I39/90 Expansion

#4 Collectivism To The Rescue Of Yet Another Janesville Business

#3 Janesville City Council Ignores Resident's Petitions

#2 Exposing Walker's Election Year Tax Cut For The Political Stunt That It Is

Although the number one read blog post is from the first month of 2014, it is still very relevant today and a clear reminder that Scott Walker, almost one year ago, foretold of big changes on the way in states with republican governors after this year's November election. Read It:

#1 Gov. Scott Walker Signals New Bombing Operation After November Election

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

For The Holidays, Watch The Movie You're Not Supposed To See

I'll bet you're thinking the movie I'm recommending to see during the holidays is "The Interview." Sorry to disappoint. It's not.

Despite the national attention from media hounds and political opportunists professing their devotion to free speech after Sony revealed they were being blackmailed by cyber terrorists some believe to be the North Korean government, I for one don't see the entertainment or educational value in the supposed comedy. Believe me, I enjoy humor even when it's poked at me, but a tacky story about killing the dictator of North Korea doesn't melt my snowman during the Christmas season, if you know what I mean.

But if you want to get a sense of defying ruthless establishment authoritarians in the name of free speech, I recommend (stream or rent the DVD) the movie the real robber barons don't want you to see. The film, about the influence of money on American politics with an element of Scrooge behind the folks who attempted to censor it, was accepted by the Sundance Film Festival and competed for Best Documentary. It was also recently named to the shortlist of nominees for a Best Documentary Oscar.

The movie I recommend is "Citizen Koch." If anything it unravels the political maneuvering behind the US Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, explores the Koch brothers and the Wisconsin uprising. Citizen Koch is non-fiction and at least you won't be rooting for murder.

Watch the trailer:


Salon - The Movie About Our Sick Democracy PBS Tried To Kill

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Collectivism Powers Through Yet Again To Bring Jobs and Growth

Great news!!!

Here's another one of those local "economic growth" jobs stories in a very long, long line of stories posted at this blog about government power and its ability to leverage millions in collectivist dollars away from one constituency to give to a select other - that without it, so-called business expansion and growth would NOT be happening. For all the conservative blowhardery about the "free markets" and getting government out of the way, in reality this is the exact opposite from what they preach.

It's a forever thing.

The latest story is out of Beloit where a Georgia-based cardboard/paper packaging and recycling company with more than 4,400 employees in twenty states plans to build a new facility in Beloit and create up to 140 jobs. The company is so successful that they needed a $1.75M "low interest loan" from state government to buy equipment along with another $6M combined in tax credits and other capital give aways. The total "package" from government collectivism blows past $10M.

BDN Excerpt:
Other incentives from Beloit include 35 percent of property taxes refunded over the next eight years worth about $1.1 million; about $1.7 million in land; $200,000 in tax credits; $200,000 in wetland mitigation costs; $350,000 in a matching grant from the Transportation Economic Assistance Program; and $200,000 in site preparation credit. In total the city and the GBEDC incentive package is about $5.6 million.

In addition, state government’s development agency is providing $4.5 million in incentives including about $2.4 million in jobs tax credits, a $1.75 million loan and a $350,000 grant from the Transportation Economic Assistance (TEA) program.

LOL. Why stop there?

I take it they weren't too interested in buying one of those Rock County Alliance shovel-ready sites. Buying? Wait a second, don't start getting crazy on me now.

Obviously there's a dollar value on all this stuff. Those are numbers posted. Someone is paying. But everyone is smiling.
Oink - Oink! Hee Haw!!

Plain and simple. Without those collectivist government leveraged "incentives," funding corporatism ...Doh! My bad, I mean, "complimentary financial tools" projects of this scale would fail to materialize. We are told.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Divide and Conquer Built On The Politics Of Resentment

This incredibly insightful article by Paul Fanlund of the CapTimes describes the psychological misperceptions driving many voters to support candidates for public office who stand in direct opposition to that same voter's values and even their personal circumstances. And how, Republicans and Scott Walker have successfully channeled and exploited those resentments into political victory.

A must read. I hope the newspaper will keep the link open for free access.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Conservative Talker: "Warren Smart." LOLs "Mister Budget Hawk" Paul Ryan

In the audio below, conservative talker Laura Ingraham surprisingly fawns over Sen. Elizabeth Warren's stance on Wall Street as a smart move in defense of the "little guy" against the Big Bank wealth class. Ingraham cracks up bringing Paul Ryan into her narrative and ends with asking "we need to work on what true conservatism is."

Listen in: (less than 2 min.)

Friday, December 12, 2014

Stick The #CRomnibus House Roll Call Vote On Your Refrigerator

If there was ever an up-to-date list of sure-fire guaranteed sellout establishment politicians, whether democrats or republicans, needed for a research project or voting information, look no further than the roll call of "yeas" on the #CRomnibus bill that passed the House on Thursday.

Except for Sensenbrenner and Ron Kind (D-Dembarrassment) swapping votes out of Wisconsin, there were no surprises for me from either party in support of the Wall Street bill. Even though the bill was GOP whipped with three times more repubs than dems voting in favor of it, it was however still very disappointing to see the number of democrats (57) siding with the dirty bill.

Of further no surprise was "Wall Street" Paul Ryan's "yea" vote on the bill since Citigroup is listed in the top 20 contributors to his 2014 campaign committee.

But if you thought the Citigroup tainted bill was terrible or shocked to see 162 republicans voting for it, wait to see what Republicans do when they have an even greater majority next year since most of the newcomers were elected and backed with establishment money.

It's always follow the money.

Watch Senator Warren remarks on Citigroup and its bailout provision:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

To Spur Austerity, State Republicans Propose Lowering "Tax Cheaters" Tax Rate

Funny it was only little more than a month ago how GOP social media tools attacked Mary Burke, claiming the "democrat" either does not pay enough in state taxes or cheats the state out of corporate taxes by paying a lower rate using S-Corp filing status.

But only weeks after the election, GOP legislators (code for WMC/ALEC political hacks) have completely reversed their position. They are now claiming that the state's top tier tax rate - the rate for individuals making more than $240K annual - must be lowered. Not to repeat myself here, but the state's current top tax rate IS the lower rate republicans accused "corporate tax cheater" Burke and other Corp-S filers of "taking advantage of" to not pay their fair share in state taxes.

They needed to win an election.

Company shareholders and individuals filing taxes under “Subchapter S” of the IRS code allows them to pay at the lower personal individual tax rate for their income bracket — not the higher corporate rate. It's safe to assume that most people subject to the state's top tax rate are Corp-S filers. This is the "cheating" tax rate WMC legislators want to lower. Got it?

During the height of the guber-campaign, it was also telling how the state's largest business group, the WMC, told Scott Walker to tone down the "populist" rhetoric regarding outsourcing and Burke's tax filing status. In retrospect, the WMC knew that what Walker was wrongfully accusing Burke of was the WMC's actual legislative agenda in miniature.

I won't bother to get into the admission from the tax cut sponsors that the cut, although laughably framed as an "economic development" proposal, won't be able to generate enough economic development to offset the $250 million budget deficit hole it will create. * facepalm *

They suggest to offset the lost revenue with spending cuts. So yes, what they are proposing to spur is ...austerity. Completely wild-ass and off the rails.


Democurmudgeon - Big Business Bosses demand end to Highest Tax Bracket for the Wealthy and Local Control for Mining...that's all.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Scott Walker Signals Quick Signing For Right-To-Work-Harder-For-Less Ram Session

Beware of the seemingly mixed signals sent out by Gov. Scott Walker, his administration and the lapdog corporate media.

According to this article by the AP, Walker says he has not wavered on his lifelong support for Right-To-Work-Harder-For-Less regulations. His main concern is for the attention it would draw to the state and the distraction it could be for his flailing presidential aspirations.

Star Tribune Excerpt:
Walker also said his position on right-to-work hadn't changed since 1993 when he sponsored the bill.

"My position now is the same as it was two years ago before the recall, the same as it was two month ago before the election, the same as it will be two years from now," he said.

Walker's position is the same as it was on the day he told uber-con billionaire Diane Hendricks of ABC Supply in Beloit "oh, yeah" when she asked if there's any chance Wisconsin will turn into a red state with right-to-work.

With the low-wage establishment all wanting the union-busting legislation to happen quickly, but without the division and chaos Walker started in 2011, it becomes obviously clear that Sen. Scott Fitzgerald's statement about having a legitimate debate or discussion is a set up. It's already been decided.

I expect RTW to be passed on a single overnighter with zero public input when everyone least expect it. That's how a single-party ruled red state confederacy rolls. Their corporate bosses demand it.

Watch it:


Purple Wisconsin - Wisconsin 'right-to-work' shell game (James Rowen)

Thursday, December 04, 2014

"Citizen Koch" Documentary Makes Semi-Finals For Oscar Nominee List

Rock County Progressives will present a screening of the documentary, "Citizen Koch" next week at Basics Co-Op community room in Janesville. Great timing, but they may have to keep a close eye on expected attendance for this event after getting this news.

CapTimes Excerpt:
“Citizen Koch,” the 2013 documentary about how corporate political spending influenced Wisconsin politics in the Walker era, is on the shortlist to be nominated for an Academy Award.

The film, by Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, is one of 15 finalists out of 134 films that could be nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary. The five nominees will be announced in January.

“Citizen Koch,” by filmmakers Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, looks at the fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed unlimited contributions to third-party political groups like Americans for Prosperity.
Read more here

Monday, December 01, 2014

Conservative Newspaper Wants "Progressive" Community For Its Own Backyard

One month after endorsing Scott Walker and Paul Ryan for re-election, the Janesville Gazette posted a second editorial slamming local opposition to funding a poorly planned downtown revitalization scheme and an unaccountable boost in taxes to supposedly pay for street repair.

Ahhh, yes. This is where the cost of rubber stamping asphalt-lined sprawl into farm fields for decades far exceeds the expanded tax base return needed to maintain it. But to the perps, its about a "progressive" community making the tough choices now. They're telling residents to step it up and pay, pay, pay.

The Gazette, strange as it may seem, insist that in order to increase the local quality-of-life to attract young professionals, residents will have to accept higher taxpayer obligations.

JG Excerpt: (Nov.15, 2014)
As our population ages, communities must stay progressive and offer amenities that attract the young professionals that companies need to prosper.

At first I thought, what's this "progressive" thing they mention? Is it "progressive" in the context of supporting something that develops gradually or in stages OR are they advocating for a political concept based on forward evolving liberal ideas?

JG Excerpt: (Nov. 30, 2014)
Our city, however, should stay progressive if it hopes to retain and attract young professionals. Yes, the council must make tough decisions, but “City of Parks” upgrades are quality-of-life improvements that many residents—particularly those who go to the polls—favor. [ ... ] In the meantime, the council should consider raising the wheel tax by whatever it takes to get the city on the path to paying for its street repairs as the needs arise.

Supported by "those who go to the polls." It's political.

Well, that settles the context. The Conservative Gazette believes the majority that go to polls in Janesville are the kind of folks that support upgrades to public works and accept the responsibility to pay the bill. That's the "progressive" they mean. The caveat is ...if they can afford it of course. These "progressive" folks (not a majority, but a significant number) in Janesville are the same folks asshat Glenn Beck called a cancer during a conversation with Rep. Paul Ryan. Ryan agreed, even using his hometown as an example of cancerous progressivism. Ryan of course is the same Paul Ryan the Janesville Gazette repeatedly endorses for Congress.

But for some reason, the WMC-linked conservative Janesville Gazette does NOT want the taxed-enough-already Scott Walker or Paul Ryan crowd screaming limited-government-taxation-brown-bag slogans of "don't spend more than you have" leading the way when it comes to their own backyard. They want progressives to lead the way. That's weird.

In fact, the Gazette calls on the local city council to be courageous, and "make the tough decisions" to raise taxes, for get this ...a ...better ...quality of life! To not raise local tax obligations could lead to an "economic death spiral." Their words. It would all be so believable from the Gazette and from Forward Janesville, if only they had made the tough decision to oppose the regressive Scott Walkers and Paul Ryans. Tough decisions they now require from others.

So my question is: Why don't they want the "conservatism" they so consistently endorse, to lead the way in their own community? What's the problem?


RNR - At The Crossroads, Paul Ryan's Hometown Facing a Death Spiral. But Where's Ryan?

RNR - Why Did Glenn Beck Gasp "Holy Cow" At Janesville? (April, 2010)