Sunday, August 30, 2015

Christian Schneider and the Politics of Rape

By Jeff Simpson 


Bradley funded. Journal Sentinel columnist Christian Schneider is out with a piece trying to tear down Russ Feingold for accepting out of state money:

Instead, Feingold is simply following the old campaign trick of a candidate trying to show strength in an area that represents his greatest weakness. In the past few months, reports have shown that Feingold has been living a double life that would make Josh Duggar cringe; despite decades of railing against money in politics, Feingold himself commanded a political action committee that has raked in millions from special interest groups.

While Feingold has been accepting out of state money from the likes of JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg, after all RoJo did refuse to agree to the "Badger Pledge". Josh Duggar was busy doing other things - molesting his little sisters and his babysitter. 

The parents confirmed publicly for the first time that their firstborn son — who had previously apologized for unspecified “wrongdoing” as a teenager — had molested multiple young girls.
The Duggars, whose family stars in TLC’s popular reality show “19 Kids and Counting,” spoke about the multiple incidents of molestation that occurred in their Arkansas home. According to Jim Bob and Michelle, the victims included four of their daughters, along with a family babysitter.
To be PERFECTLY clear:  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is endorsing the fact that one of its full time columnists has said Russ Feingold raising out of state money for his US Senate run is WORSE than molesting multiple young girls.


After David Haynes just wrote this column asking if Donald Trump has no shamesense of decency, he allows Christian Schneider to tell us that the secret life of Senator Feingold is worse than a child molestors.    

And yet the first reality television candidate has been able to turn the campaign into just another episode of "The Apprentice." He has cheapened a debate that already was bargain basement. In that distorted sense, his candidacy matters more than it should.
Is there a Joseph Welch to crystallize the moment? In an age when everyone has 140 characters to attack your character would it even matter? Am I old-fashioned for thinking that shame and decency have a place?
@realDonald Trump Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency? #trumped #jokecandidate #forshameNot quite the same, is it?
Let Mr. Haynes know, that this kind of partisan rhetoric os not ok.  That we put molesting young girls above politics and this is not ok.  If someone from the left had written this about Ron Johnson the oiutrage would be tremendous.  There is no room for this in our public debate of ideas.  

Here is Mr. Haynes contact information.   It is unfortunate Senator Feingold can not sue him for Slander.

David Haynes contact information - David D. Haynes: Editorial page editor
author thumbnail

Muslim Advocate: Walker is Enabling ISIS

Scott Walker, like many of the other GOP wannabes, insists on using the phrase "radical Islamic terrorism" to differentiate themselves from President Barack Obama. Obama refuses that term because he doesn't want to give any legitimacy to the terrorists of ISIS or al Qaeda.

But Muslim advocates say that Walker's bravado is having a negative effect:
A representative for America's largest Muslim civil liberties advocacy organization said Gov. Scott Walker is "enabling ISIS" by allowing the terrorist group to co-opt the Islamic religion.

"With this, Scott Walker is actually enabling ISIS by characterizing their acts as being Islamic terrorism," said Robert McCaw, government affairs manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "He is taking a peaceful religion of 1.6 billion people and misappropriating it to ISIS, allowing them to wrap themselves in the religion's name and stake a claim to it."

McCaw was referring to Walker's first foreign policy address as a presidential candidate, delivered on Friday at The Citadel military college in South Carolina, during which he referenced Islamic extremists or radical Islamic terrorism 11 times.

[...]

McCaw said one of the best ways to defeat ISIS is to take away the legitimacy it gains by being associated with Islam.

"Scott Walker is enabling ISIS by ceding ideological ground to them that they have a claim to the peaceful religion of Islam," he said. "One of the best ways to defeat them is to take away that claim, take away their legitimacy. That helps take away possible support they might cultivate."
And lest we forget, Walker also put his foot in it when he said that there was only a "handful of reasonable, moderate followers of Islam."

Why Walker and the other Republicans would want to separate themselves from Obama, I don't know. Unless it's because of their jealousy that Obama did what they couldn't do by actually killing the bastard behind the 9/11 attacks.

Walker's Pakistani Punt




On Friday, just before he was to give his first major speech on foreign policy, Scott Walker appeared on Morning Joe on MSNBC to talk about that very subject. But when Walker was asked for specifics about Pakistan, he tried to punt and failed at even that:
In advance of his foreign policy address in South Carolina, Gov. Scott Walker was asked Friday morning about U.S.-Pakistan relations.

His answer was a little fuzzy.

Appearing on MSNBC's Morning Joe, Walker was asked by Bloomberg Politics' Mark Halperin to assess the current state of relations between the U.S. and Pakistan.

"Well, I think anywhere in the world we need to be better. We obviously have challenges all throughout the world," Walker replied. "Heck, we even have challenges with a relationship with Israel, which is obviously one of our greatest allies out there. But we have ongoing challenges in Pakistan and Afghanistan, around the world. Again, it's one of those where strength begets strength, confidence begets confidence."

Halperin pressed Walker further, asking him to specifically rate the current strengths, weaknesses, positives and negatives in the relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.

"Well, I think you look both in terms of Pakistan and Afghanistan, you look at — we talk all the time about ISIS and Al Qaeda. We still have ongoing concerns about the Taliban and their ability to regain strength," Walker said. "That has a relationship between both Pakistan and Afghanistan. We need to make sure that any form, any form of radical Islamic terrorism that's targeted at us or allies is one that we stand firm on. And those are still lingering problems, even in that part of the world."
The gentle reminder is that this non-answer came after Walker boned up on foreign policy.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Scott Walker's Latest Message: "I Will Spend Your Money!"

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker has changed his campaign strategy more times than Cher changes costumes.   This time though, he has decided to campaign on the same ideology as his hero - Ronald Reagan.

Scott Walker has decided to go all in with his latest message  -  "I will spend your money!"

While interupting the work and studies at The Citadel, Scott Walker gave a speech where he exclaimed with glee, that he can not wait to be president so that he can use his Commander in Chief status to start invading countries.

Even though we currently spend well north of $700 Billion on Defense(more than the next 21 countries combined), Scott Walker (never very good at math), has vowed to get serious and really start spending on Defense!

Saying the U.S. military has been weakened by budget measures, Walker called for reversing that trend, saying that defeating ISIS and containing Iran would require a "greater investment of U.S. resources."
Of course, the U.S Resources that he has no problem spending is soldier's lives but that is for another post.  

Scott Walker however, is all in with the spending spree.  He then granted an interview with a local paper in New Hampshire where he used his time to whine about Hillary Clinton and show his complete lack of understanding of the free market.  

Walker also took a jab at Clinton for charging colleges and universities more than $225,000 for appearances, as he froze tuition at Wisconsin state schools for four years.
“I’m doing this for free, by the way,” he said.
Forgetting the fact, there is obviously a DEMAND for Hillary to speak and there is NO DEMAND for Scott Walker to speak, let's take a look at his "doing it for free" statement.

Scott Walker currently makes $144,423/yr with full Cadillac Benefits(way better healthcare plan than yours) and an incredibly generous pension.   Scott Walker, also has complete use of the state plane and the biggest security detail ever in Wisconsin - all paid for by you and I and the rest of the Wisconsin taxpayers.  

So technically, everything that Scott Walker is doing is free - to him, not to us!  Scott Walker, being a career politician has never had much of a sense of money.  He just knows that thanks to us, he wants for nothing.  







Van Attacks Local Control

By Jeff Simpson

The Big Government Republicans are at it again.   This time Rep. Tom Weatherston (R- No one has ever heard of ) and Sen. Van Waaard (R- had to have his senate seat rigged to win) are drafting a bill that dictates to local school board exactly how they have to fill open seats.  

Van  " everyone should have guns in schools" Wanggaard, pleaded his case that this bill is not political, nor is there an agenda behind it.   Then followed up his stement with a political speech and an agenda behind it.   After promising it was not a slam on the teacher's union, proceeded to slam the teacher's union.

“This bill is not a union issue, this is not a slam on Racine Unified,” he said. “This is just a correction in state law.”
Wanggaard’s office issued a brief statement explaining that “this proposal fills a vacant school board seat and breaks a 35-time deadlock on the school board – that is all. There is no ‘hidden agenda,’…it’s time for the Racine Teachers Unions to recognize that education is about student learning and not about protecting their fiefdoms.”

There is a reason they had to slice and dice districts up.  These people are not only unelectable in a fair race, they are virtually unemployable in the private sector.  



Friday, August 28, 2015

AFP Gets Trolled By Koch Puppets Bush And Walker

Now this is funny! (Slightly NSFW - language):



"Who's pulling my strings?"

H/T digby

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back to ALEC, Back to (Private) School

On the heels of a newly passed state budget that again leaves our K-12 public schools behind without ample and consistent funding, I recently headed back to where the school privatization push all began—the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC. 
 
ALEC and its members, including the American Federation for Children (AFC), have become more powerful than our citizens’ voices at the State Capitol.  Despite massive public urging from Wisconsin school superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and students for consistent and adequate K-12 public education funding, Republicans legislators chose to dump more money into an unaccountable private voucher school system.
 
Since Republicans took over our state Capitol in 2011, they have cut $1.2 billion from public K-12 education.  Under this latest budget, 55 percent of school districts will get less general student aid than they did last budget cycle and Wisconsin is spending $1,014 less per public school student than it did in 2008.
 
Yet for the private school special interests, this budget was like Christmas morning, with presents that blew the student enrollment caps off the statewide private school voucher program, diverted an additional $600-800 million from public schools over the next decade and increased per-pupil spending in the statewide private voucher system more than what even Governor Walker had proposed. The cherry on top was the last minute, late night passage of the special needs voucher program, which funds private schools for special needs students without requiring specialized instruction, teacher training or current legal protections.
 
At ALEC’s recent conference, I saw firsthand how these successes have emboldened them.  State legislators were urged to push further for universal vouchers with no income or eligibility limits and for funding parity for unaccountable, independent charter schools.
 
The most far-reaching model bill the ALEC Education Taskforce adopted, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), was pushed by AFC, and recently adopted in Nevada. Public monies are deposited into individual student accounts that parents may spend on any educational system. According to Nevada lead sponsor state senator Scott Hammond, this bill impacts 94 percent of public school students and will open up the floodgates to private schools in Nevada, sending “shockwaves” throughout the country.
 
Though school privatization model policies originating from ALEC have traditionally contained income eligibility limits, their new suite of model bills expanding independent charter school funding and private school vouchers reduce state oversight and accountability measures, contain no income cap and provide the same level of state and local funding per pupil that public schools receive.
 
To make their case, ALEC is now targeting suburban, middle-income families with a new argument that public education is failing not just low-income students, but middle-income students. ALEC’s new goal is to enlist middle-income parents to make a case for public school privatization. 
 
And state legislators are being called upon as the foot soldiers to carry out ALEC’s orders.  As Arizona Senator Debbie Lesko rallied when concluding her remarks in support of Educational Savings Accounts—“We’re here to save our country. That’s what ALEC helps us do.” 
 
Or, more accurately, destroy the foundation of our democracy—quality public education.  ALEC and many Republican legislators in Wisconsin have no vision for public education because they do not want it to exist.   But there is a way to stop ALEC’s destructive policies. With 78 percent of Wisconsinites opposed to public education cuts, it starts with you.
 
There was one piece of advice from Senator Lesko’s ALEC speech that we should listen to —“Elections matter.” 

Representative Chris Taylor

AFSCME Wins Pay Raises For Milwaukee County Workers

On Monday, I exclusively reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele was refusing to give  a small 1.5% pay raise to Milwaukee County workers despite the fact that he was legally obliged to do so.  The excuse that Abele was making for not following the law was that he was "considering the options."

I encouraged the gentle reader to contact Abele and tell him to follow the law and do his job.  At the same time, AFSCME started an organized push to have workers contact Abele as well to demand their lawful pay raise.

It turned out that what he called "considering the options" was trying to wiggle out of giving the raises by claiming that they somehow violated Act 14 - the law that Abele had written for and passed by Republican legislators and Scott Walker which consolidated an unprecedented amount of power in his hands - and therefore was illegal.  Abele was also arguing semantics, claiming that the wording used didn't mean he had to give the raise.

Corporation Counsel head Paul Bargren issued the following opinion that pretty much destroyed Abele's arguments and then stomped on the dust that was left of them:



Faced with such overwhelming proof, Abele reluctantly agreed to give out the pay raises and to follow the other ordinances passed by the Milwaukee County Board.

But he couldn't even do this with grace or class.

In response to the overwhelming amount of people calling his office, Abele had his HR director send out an email to county workers asking them to stop calling and that they would be finally getting their pay raises.

Unfortunately, the email included the same misleading language that Abele gave to the local corporate media rag, which was that the raises were for "most nonunion county employees."

A more accurate and appropriate statement would be that the raises were for county workers who were not elected officials or "employees not otherwise covered by a separate labor bargaining agreement" or "employees that are not represented by a certified bargaining unit," such as the sheriff's deputies.

Abele's passive aggressiveness was a vain effort to try to conceal the truth, which is the fact that AFSCME members were working very hard for months to get this small raise.  Abele is also trying to hide the fact that AFSCME represents hundreds and hundreds of members who will be impacted by this raise.

And the reason that Abele is so reluctant to admit that AFSCME still exists much less is still a strong representative for its member is easily summed up by the famous quote by Thomas Donahue:
"The only effective answer to organized greed is organized labor.”

Another Day, Another Shooting



By Jeff Simpson


While the shooting of the reporter and her cameraman was horrific, I found how the station covered it to be very interesting....
"We are choosing not to run the video of that (the shooting) right now because, frankly, we don't need to see it again. And our staff doesn't need to see it again," Jeffrey Marks, WDBJ's president and general manager, said on air soon afterward. "But we will do full reporting on it later. Our teams are working on it right now, through the tears."

 Personally, I watched the original video once, before we knew what was happening.   I almost watched the "selfie" video, but then decided I did not have any interest in watching two people die.  

I think it is interesting however, because I wonder if this was two people vacationing from Wisconsin, who they did not know, how many times would they have run with all of the videos?


I hope that this causes news outlets around the country to think about that.

I agree they didn't need to see it again....quite frankly when something bad happens to any of us, we don't need to see the gory details, over and over and over again. You can report a story without the blood.

I doubt however that anything will change.

One last piece, there were warning signs.....how did he get possession of a gun?


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Heck Of A Job Brownie!


 Image result for maserati scott walker wedc wi reed hall

by Jeff Simpson


Reed Hall, head of the taxpayer money pit and walker donor effort, WEDC is retiring.


In a statement, Walker praised Hall and said he would work with the WEDC board to appoint a successor.
"Reed has overseen a transformational period at WEDC with a steady hand. Under Reed's guidance, WEDC strengthened its accountability and transparency to taxpayers, improving the public trust, while moving forward the important work of developing economic opportunity for families all around our state," Walker said.

Yes Mr.Hall, has steadily overseen millions and millions of our tax dollars, disappear into the bank accounts of Walker donors.     I wonder which unqualified donor or donor's kid, Scott Walker will appoint next?  Is Cynthia Archer available?

The Big question is will the taxpayers of WI buy him a Maserati to drive off into the sunset?

Mr. Hall should be investigated, not congratulated!  


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Martha De La Rosa Announces Challenge To Deanna Alexander

This came out earlier today:
Martha De La Rosa is proud to announce her candidacy for the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors District 18.

"As a community advocate who fights every day on behalf of working women and their families, I know we can do better to improve the quality of life for all residents in Milwaukee County," said De La Rosa.

Currently, Martha works as the Wisconsin Director with 9to5, one of the largest, most respected national membership organizations of working women in the U.S., dedicated to putting working women’s issues on the public agenda.

Martha De La Rosa is a long-time resident of Milwaukee’s northwest side and a proud mother of two sons, Sean and Seth. She earned her degree in Management from Cardinal Stritch University and has an extensive background in serving the community. Martha is task force member of VISION 2050, a major planning effort that aims to update, reevaluate, and extend the regional land use and transportation plans in Milwaukee County and she was recently appointed to the City of Milwaukee Ethics Board.

"Over the next few months, I look forward to continuing my conversations with District 18 residents about my plans for protecting our parks, prioritizing public safety, and promoting public transit, said De La Rosa. I am proud to have an opportunity to serve the district and will bring a strong voice to build a consensus for the County Board at a time of great change.”

Milwaukee County District 18 includes parts of the far Northwest side of Milwaukee, such as: Timmerman Airport, Granville Station, Millwood Park and Grantosa Heights.

“To my neighbors in the 18th district, I'd be honored to have your support and vote next spring”, said De La Rosa. The General election for Milwaukee County Supervisor is April 5, 2016.
It does the heart good to see people willing to stand up and take on the Abele machine of corruption.

You can help De La Rosa by donating here.

Who Lobbied The Most For The Bucks Debacle?

The Milwaukee Business Journal has an interesting article reporting about who lobbied the most for the massive corporate welfare scheme for the Bucks arena:
Although the Milwaukee Bucks spent by far the most money of any organization on lobbying for arena funding in Madison, the city of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce all devoted more hours to lobbying on the issue.

The city of Milwaukee logged 876 hours of lobbying on behalf of winning legislative support for a $250 million arena public-funding package, according to a report released Aug. 21 by the Government Accountability Board. Milwaukee County lobbyists logged 271 hours and the Bucks devoted 208 hours lobbying the bill.

The MMAC recorded 277 hours to the general arena-funding issue and the specific Assembly bill, said Steve Baas, senior vice president of governmental affairs and public policy.

Marquette University registered 93 hours of lobbying on the arena-funding legislation. Marquette’s men’s basketball team is expected to be a tenant in the new arena.

The figures are for the period ending June 30 and do not include lobbying in July when both the state Senate and the state Assembly approved the arena-funding bill. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed the bill into law Aug. 12.
The gentle reader could expect that MMAC and Marquette would lobby hard since they would only benefit from feeding at the trough of taxpayer money.

The huge number of man hours that Barrett devoted to the debacle is a little surprising, but he was probably looking at his election next year as well as trying to justify his streetcar.

Then there is Emperor Abele:
A spokesman for Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said working on the arena-funding issue "involved a complex and time-intensive process for county personnel." The county "produced many ideas for arena funding and conducted much of the analysis that was necessary to ultimately get a deal done," spokesman Nate Holton said.

"Although the final deal was far from perfect, the county executive is proud that the county’s commitment to getting a deal done ultimately resulted in Democrats and Republicans coming together to produce a monumental outcome that will provide a once-in-a-generation benefit to Milwaukee and the entire state," Holton said via email.
Keep in mind that the only reason Abele thinks that the deal is far from perfect is because he didn't get to stick it to Milwaukee - especially to the poor - as much as he wanted to.

My only question is this: Given that we know Mike Tate was in Madison a lot to lobby for this deal, which faction or factions was he working for?

Abele's Mismanagement Creates Growing Budget Gap

On Monday, I reported that Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele was refusing to give county workers their lawful raise.  I also pointed out that Abele was doing so because he needed the money to cover gaping holes in the budget as he gave away the shop to his cronies and fellow plutocrats.

A report from Milwaukee County's Comptroller confirmed that the county is facing a growing budget gap, most of which can be laid at Abele's feet.

From a press release from Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, who tears Abele apart for his foolishness:
Milwaukee County Board Chairman Theodore Lipscomb, Sr., responded to today’s release of the Five-Year Financial Forecast by the independent Comptroller by saying, “It’s clear from this report that the Administration’s continued mismanagement of the pension system and the Executive’s unilateral negotiations on the arena made the 2016 budget gap much worse. If this forecast had been released just a couple of months ago, before we discovered more errors in yet another administrative pension debacle and before the Executive committed $80 million from Milwaukee County to fund the arena, we would have been in a better position heading into next year’s annual budget.” These two items alone account for approximately $20 million of the identified $26.2 million budget gap.

Lipscomb further observed that the report highlights how holding the property tax levy flat over the next five years could require additional service cuts. Chairman Lipscomb noted, “Milwaukee County has responsibly met the challenge of levy limits imposed by the state, but it would be a mistake for local leaders to continue playing out of the Walker playbook. It’s clear that any plan to flat-line the levy really means we fall behind. The report suggests following a flat levy could lead to $38.6 million in service cuts. The report also focused on the County’s infrastructure needs, stating that without increases for maintaining or improving its capital assets, future liabilities would continue to grow. Overriding numerous Executive vetoes, the County Board has led the way with investments in the park system for capital improvements and routine maintenance. The Parks Director is slated to present a plan by September to utilize $5 million recently allocated to the department to address seriously deferred maintenance and needed improvements.

“We need to move everyone, not just a select few, forward. If the Executive can commit $80 million of public funds into the business of out-of-state billionaires, surely we can invest more in park restoration and transit improvements that benefit all Milwaukee County residents. It is these types of improvements to our public infrastructure that create a higher quality of life for all."
Don't expect Abele to acknowledge the error of his ways, much less apologize for them.

He has too many issues regarding his daddy's success to admit what a failure he is. Not only that, but this pompous ass has delusions of grandeur in thinking that he will be able to buy his way into the governor's office and admitting he screwed up would pop his bubble.

Again, I urge the gentle reader to call Abele at 414-278-4211 or email him at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov and tell him to stop his political posturing and do his job!  (Needless to say, county workers should do this on their own time and using their own phones,)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Scott Walker: Only I Can Meet With The Chinese

By Jeff Simpson


Not far removed from the hard working taxpayers of Wisconsin, sending Scott Walker on a campaign trip to China:

Gov. Scott Walker will lead a trade mission to China starting Friday, and he won't be alone among governors pitching their states' companies there.
Walker will lead a group of business leaders on his first overseas trade mission, a portion of which will involve group meetings with other governors also leading their own trade missions.
The choice of China for the governor's first trip is significant given the size of the market and the growing activity of Wisconsin companies exporting there: China didn't rank in the top 10 among export markets for Wisconsin businesses 10 years ago, but it has been climbing steadily, ranking third in 2012 behind Mexico and Canada.
Wisconsin exports to China totaled $1.5 billion last year, up 12% from 2011. China also ranks third among Wisconsin's agricultural export markets.

Now Chinese President Xi Jinping is planning a state visit to the United States to meet with President Obama and snot nose Scotty is double dog daring President Obama to refuse to meet


Gov. Scott Walker on Monday called for President Barack Obama to cancel Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to the United States, urging the president to show "some backbone."
Jinping is scheduled to visit the U.S. in September.
Walker's statement comes in the midst of plummeting stock prices in the U.S., a result of global concerns tied to China's economic slowdown. The drop is being referred to in China as "Black Monday."
"Americans are struggling to cope with the fall in today's markets driven in part by China's slowing economy and the fact that they actively manipulate their economy. Rather than honoring Chinese President Xi Jinping with an official state visit next month, President Obama should focus on holding China accountable over its increasing attempts to undermine U.S. interests," Walker said in a statement
 Of course when we paid for Scott Walker to go there, he was singing a different tune:


Obama and Xi also had an informal meeting in California in 2013. The same year, Walker led his first overseas trade mission to China, meeting with Xi and opening a trade center to give Wisconsin businesses "expanded access to growing markets."
"In a lot of states in America, we’d like to have that kind of slow growth they are projecting" even in some of China’s slower-expanding regions, Walker said in an interview in Shanghai, Forbes reported in 2013. "We’re still very big on doing business in Shanghai in particular, but throughout the country."


In case you are wondering what President Xi looks like, or what "holding them accountabkle" in Scott walker's world, luckily for us all we have that captured:




DPW: The “Where Are They Now” Edition (a.k.a. Yes, You’re Still Getting Screwed!)

Well, former DPW Chair Mike Tate has made a nice, soft landing Chez Abele. According to Dan Bice at the Journal-Sentinel, he’s helping run Abele’s re-election campaign.  If only anyone—anywhere—had actually asked Abele to re-up for this job, this would make sense. Do people really believe that Mike Tate was hired as a “campaign consultant” for a six-week contract that ends more than a year before Abele is up for re-election? The contract ends on Monday. Clearly, people realize that this was most likely a way to put Tate on the books “legitimately” for “campaign work” unrelated to a campaign, unless Abele plans to run on the same “screw Milwaukee” platform that Walker’s been running on for years. Neither Abele nor Tate is known to let the will of the people get in the way of his agenda, though. People, schmeeple: let them eat Bucks tickets!

Speaking of the Bucks, Tate has been widely reported to be a “key negotiator” on the Arena for Billionaires project, using his connections to people other than you to make sure this arena “deal” got signed. With his help, you can’t be surprised that things turned out this way for you, the average reader, voter, and non-billionaire.  If you are a county worker, expect to bear a disproportionate cost of this “deal.”

In this “deal”, there is no:

·      …Plan for where the money will come from for the local share.
·      …Agreement in writing specifying the number of jobs to be provided, and especially not the number of living-wage jobs to be provided.
·      …Written agreement to have union-only craftsmen and women, or union jobs for positions at the facility once it is built.
·      …Promise of “end-user jobs” in writing, though there is a lot of chatter about how great this is going to be on social media. These are existing jobs. While it’s being built, the people currently employed at the Bradley Center will be out of a job, too. Will these same minimum wage, seasonal, part-time jobs open up as-is again? No assurances of any protections of any kind have been negotiated for the workers.
·      …Explanation for why this would be the first publicly financed stadium to ever turn a true profit. Yes, EVER.
·      …Pledge not to “employ” non-profit groups at the new Arena for Billionaires, a practice that non-profits liked for the fundraising and Bradley Center folks liked because it kept their wage costs down. This practice has taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the low-wage workers at the Bradley Center (and Miller Park, if you want to consider that other stadium bill we’re still paying).


At least we know there are two Milwaukee County residents who will be able to afford the $10 bottles of beer and $13 popcorns: the self-described “good friends” Tate and Abele. Until then, enjoy the stadium you built, Wisconsin, especially you Milwaukee County residents. You’ll be doing it from afar, of course. You won’t be able to afford tickets once these people are done “looking out” for you, Democrats!

Chris Abele - Wage Thief

On July 15th, the Milwaukee County Board passed a number of resolutions which included a 1.5% cost of living adjustment for county workers, a plan to install technology in some buses that would allow them to change traffic lights for greater efficiency and funding to address some of the long term issues of neglected repairs and deferred maintenance in the parks system.

Unsurprisingly, Milwaukee County Emperor Abele vetoed these resolutions, despite his empty rhetoric that he supports the workforce and watches out for the taxpayers.  In his veto message, Abele went so far as to accuse the county board of "raiding" the debt service and contingency funds.  He also called these spending plans to be irresponsible.

Let me repeat that.  Abele thinks that protecting taxpayer investments like transit, the parks and a stable workforce is irresponsible.

On July 30th, the board overrode his vetoes, making these investments in county assets into law.  

They were to go into effect this week.

But an inquiry into Human Resources revealed that Abele is withholding at least the pay raise as he "considers the options."

Abele has only one option - to obey the law and do his job.

What really is a kicker is what Abele considers to be "responsible" uses of taxpayer money:
  • Giving his director of DHHS a $50,000 raise - that's more money than most county workers make in a year!
  • Selling a county building, conservatively estimated to be worth $10 million, for $500,000.
  • Giving the owners of the Milwaukee Bucks $4 million of taxpayer money each year for the next 20 years, so that they can build a new arena
  • Selling 10 acres of county land to the bucks owners for a dollar
  • Selling a county park for a dollar
  • Evicting people at the mental health complex, putting them in unsafe situations, so that he can sell that land as well.
If Abele can find enough money for these debacles, he can find enough money for actually improving the county.  Then again, with these debacles, Abele probably needs our money to pay for the gaping budget holes he has created with them.

What is really happening is that Emperor Abele is taking a page from his good friend and hero, Scott Walker.  Like Walker, Abele is gearing up for a run for governor, building his platform on the backs of county workers, county taxpayers and our most vulnerable citizens.

I got news for Abele.  We are on to you and will not be fooled again.

Abele needs to follow the law and do his job!

Call Abele at 414-278-4211 or email him at countyexec@milwaukeecountywi.gov and tell him to stop his political posturing and do his job!  (Needless to say, county workers should do this on their own time and using their own phones,)

And if Abele continues to defy the law, I certainly hope that Sheriff David Clarke will finally do his job and arrest this scofflaw!  I doubt that this will happen though, since Clarke and Abele are two birds of a feather.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Harshest Of Political Attack Ads

Via digby, who accurately observes that this ad is " actually more mature than most of them ..."

WalkerCare Or WalkerDon'tCare?

On Tuesday, Scott Walker introduced his "plan" to reform Obamacare. By Sunday, during his appearance on This Week with George Stephanopoulos, he was furiously trying to defend it:
STEPHANOPOULOS: Let’s talk about health care. You put out a plan this week calling for the replacement of Obamacare with a series of tax credits for everyone that would be escalating over age. This is what one of your rivals, Governor Bobby Jindal, had to say about that.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL (R-LA), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Scott Walker’s plan actually does create a new entitlement program. It actually does guarantee universal coverage through government subsidies for every American. One estimate this week says it would cost over $1 trillion, and he doesn’t tell us how he would pay for this plan.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

STEPHANOPOULOS: So how much will your plan cost? How are you going to pay for it?

WALKER: Well, he’s just wrong on that, and in fact conservative commentator after commentator from “The Wall Street Journal” to “The National Review” and plenty of others out there have said this is the best plan out there. In fact, it’s one of the only plans out there. They said it’s the best plan, it’s about freedom, it’s about giving patients and their families the freedom to control their own health care decision and to control their own money.

We repeal Obamacare immediately. On Day 1 we send a bill up to Congress, and on Day 1 we get rid of the special provisions for Congress, their families, their staff, and everyone else, to make sure they repeal it entirely, immediately. And then we give people a tax credit for those who don’t have health insurance from their employer. If you get it from your employer, it’s not going to be touched. If anything, your premiums are likely to go down because repealing Obamacare and putting in place our reforms will actually help lower health care costs, not raise them, as we saw under Obamacare.

But we give people a tax credit, it goes up by age. Because before Obamacare that’s what happened. Your health care costs go up over age, the credit goes up over age. We allow people to apply that to the health care plan they want, or not buy health care insurance if they don’t want. But we put the freedom back in the hands of the American people. And for us it’s a simple way to do it that’s cost neutral. It repeals all of the trillion dollars’ worth of tax increases that you see under Obamacare, gives us one of the biggest tax cuts we’ve had in the past 40-some years, one of the best pro-growth plans out there, and we do it by making sure we have a tax system that appropriately acknowledges some of the top tier health insurance plans and by giving Medicaid back to the states where there’s real reform. That makes it cost neutral.
Let's talk about WalkerCare, shall we?

First of all, Walker's "plan" consists is pretty damn flimsy and sketchy, as Jessie Opoien of Cap Times reports (emphasis mine):
Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday unveiled his health care blueprint, the first policy paper of his presidential campaign.

"The Day One Patient Freedom Plan," announced by Walker at a machine parts manufacturer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, would provide tax credits based on age rather than income, allow people to shop for plans across state lines and restructure Medicaid and long-term care services.

"It’s all about freedom," Walker said Tuesday, speaking at Cass Screw Machine Products. "It’s putting freedom back in the hands of patients and families to make decisions about your health care and about your money."

Walker's 15-page plan — five of which are dedicated to campaign logos and three of which make the argument for repealing Obamacare — includes no cost estimates or projections of how many people would be covered, but Walker said Tuesday it would be "cost-neutral" and would amount to "a tax cut of about a trillion dollars."
Hmm, that's more than a little reminiscent of the "job plan" that Walker came out with in 2010. It was a 68 page document written in size 58 font. Maybe when it comes to these sorts of things, he has flashbacks to his grade school days when he tried to cut corners even then.

One of the biggest changes in WalkerCare would be to give tax breaks based on age instead of income and family size - y'know, the things that put the affordable in Affordable Health Care. He also wants to give young people the right to opt out of it - which also makes no sense:
One of the biggest ways it would differ from the current law is by providing tax credits to uninsured people based on their age instead of income, an idea that "doesn’t make any sense," according to University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point political science professor Ed Miller, because it gives tax credits to the wealthy.

Those credits could be used to buy insurance on the free market. Under Walker's plan, people 17 and younger would receive a credit worth $900, while those 50-64 would get a substantially larger credit worth $3,000. Further, anyone who signs up for a health savings account would receive up to a $1,000 refundable tax credit and annual limits on tax-free HSAs would also increase. Everyone in a given age group would be eligible for the same amount of credits regardless of how much money they make.

If the goal is to get lower-income people insured, Miller said that's the wrong way to go.

"The individuals who are low-income simply can’t afford it," he said.
Another big thing is that Walker is saying he would allow states to "innovate" ways to administer his plan. This is the same thing he said when he dropped the bomb known as Act 10 on Wisconsin. What he means is that he would drastically cut the funding the states receive from the federal government and leave it to them to figure out how to make up for the shortfall.

Perhaps it was the fact that Walker's WalkerCare is so sketchy that he was screening reporters' questions about it. He knows the plan is a failure from Day One and didn't want to take the chance of getting caught flat-footed yet again.

The only thing that is even remotely appropriate about WalkerCare is the location that Walker chose to introduce it - a company in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota called Cass Screw Machine Products.