Monday, November 30, 2009

Too Clever By Half

Last week, Roger Bybee wrote a column for The Isthmus which highlighted some of the problems Scott Walker is going to face in this, the most recent stage of his perpetual run for governor. One of the points is Walker's hypocrisy:

As a prominent political player with a long track record, Walker faces a major paradox: persuading the public to select a candidate for governor whose anti-government views are central to his outlook. He's even recommended dissolving Milwaukee County government and spreading its duties to the city and other municipalities.

How can a person who sees government as a main part of the problem make it an integral part of the solution?

"It's like saying you want to run the Brewers, yet you hate baseball," quips former Milwaukee County Supv. Roger Quindel.

I encourage the gentle reader to read the full article. It is fairly even handed and objective, and well written.

But not all would agree. Christian Schneider took umbrage with the title, or actually, the subtitle, to be exact, of the piece. Of course, it should be noted that Schneider writes his piece under the WPRI banner, which is edited by Charlie Sykes. And we already know who holds Syke's leash.

Schneider writes (emphasis mine):
Here you have a guy in Scott Walker who clearly thinks government is broken, and there’s too much of it. Is it somehow contradictory of him to seek the governorship to rectify the problems that he sees? Isn’t that how a conservative would most rationally go about affecting change? Would he be more ideologically pure if he stood on a street corner holding a sign that says “down with combined reporting?”
The problem with Schneider's argument is that he doesn't follow the logic to the conclusion, but stops halfway.

Where Schneider states that Walker thinks the government is broken, he fails to properly note that it is people like Walker that broke it. So again, it makes no sense to put someone who breaks things, then complains about it being broken, in charge of something else he could break.

Walker On Walker

Chris Walker takes on Scott Walker as a potential governor. You know Chris W. is doing well when he writes this:
But make no mistake: a state managed by Scott Walker would be a horrible disaster.
and then ends with this:
If Walker wins the gubernatorial election next fall, can we trust that he'll understand what his vetoes will entail at the state level? He's already proven that he can't be trusted with the veto powers in a county government setting. So what assurances do we have that he'll be able to handle that responsibility, much less others, as governor?

Wisconsin doesn't need an irresponsible leader running its highest office. It also doesn't need the politics of Tea Party protesters, or Reaganomics, or Sarah Palin running it either. What it needs is a leader who understands the problems that Wisconsin citizens are facing, who understands how to help people directly, not through helping corporate interests. Scott Walker is not that leader

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Favre: MVP Inspirations?

A couple of things about Brett Favre, who led the Vikings to a 10-1 standing by decimating da Bears.

One, he has one former critic turned fan who thinks he should be the MVP this year:

I've been extremely critical of Favre in recent years simply because I thought he was as much to blame for his ugly divorce with the Packers as GM Ted Thompson was. He also was disingenuous in his failed comeback with the Jets last season. He went from telling the Jets he was retiring to having corrective shoulder surgery to showing up at the Vikings' practice facility.

But even I can appreciate the special stamp Favre is putting on this NFL season. He deserves high praise for the way he's competed and for elevating the Vikings into serious Super Bowl contention. At 40 years old, Favre is playing better than he ever has.

And by better, I mean he's been more impressive in guiding the Vikings to a 9-1 record and control of the NFC North than when he went to back-to-back Super Bowls and won three straight MVPs as an icon in Green Bay. He's also better now than when he took Green Bay to the NFC championship in 2007.

To Favre/Green Bay fans, that probably sounds crazy, but Favre has never been this poised, this sure of himself and -- you can bet -- this motivated. The difference between the Favre we once knew and the Favre we see now is that Favre 2.0 is playing with an amazing amount of control. Throughout his career, Favre has been known as the quarterback who has tried to do too much, or tried too hard to prove he could make every throw. That anxiousness appears to be gone.

And on a different note, the Favres' blog is still sputtering along, with a recent entry by Deanna, including this picture, that makes most Packer fans want to cry:

Court Orders Society To Regress

Lovely. Just lovely.

A Rock County man sentenced to two years in federal prison for shooting a deer while he was on probation for domestic violence has had his case overturned by a federal appeals court.

The case could have far-ranging impact in the gun-rights debate. For Steve Skoien, it meant he'll be home for the holidays.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled earlier this month that, in light of a major Supreme Court ruling about individual gun rights last year, prosecutors need to show that a lifetime ban on gun ownership for those convicted of domestic violence has a reasonable connection to reducing domestic gun violence. That 1996 law, the appeals court found, should not be grouped with other "presumptively legal" firearm restrictions mentioned in the 2008 Supreme Court case, known as District of Columbia vs. Heller.

The opinion by Judge Diane Sykes says that Heller's "reference to exceptions cannot be read to relieve the government of its burden of justifying laws that restrict Second Amendment rights."

Oh, this makes so much sense, since there is no proof that guns are used in domestic violence. Nope, no proof at all. Well, maybe just a little. I see this as becoming a very popular style for wedding cakes soon:

To The Deer Hunters Who Came Back Empty-Handed

A special message to the deer hunters that didn't get to kill Bambi this year:

Hell Comes To Pierce County, Washington

Four police officers were murdered in a terrible crime in Pierce County, Washington:

Four uniformed police officers were shot and killed in a Pierce County coffee shop Sunday morning as they worked on their laptop computers, authorities said.

Maurice Clemmons - a man with an extensive criminal history in Washington and Arkansas - was named as a person of interest. Investigators believe the shooter targeted the officers; witnesses and coffee shop staff were not injured.

Clemmons - who was still at large as hundreds of people watched a procession taking the slain officers from the scene - was a person of interest because of "past run-ins with law enforcement," Pierce County Sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer.

"This was more of an execution," Troyer said. "As cold-hearted as it is, that's exactly what happened."

No cheap shots or politicizing this senseless crime. Just keep the officers and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Rally To Fix Milwaukee County Transit First

Scott Walker is trying to break the transit system. That cannot be allowed to happen.

Please attend on attending a rally this Saturday, December 5th, at 1 p.m. in Veterans Memorial Park in West Allis (70th and Greenfield).

More can be found at Milwaukee County First.

For Dog Lover's Only

If you have a dog, or ever had a dog, you will be able to appreciate this. But be warned, facial tissues are strongly advised.
Grow Old With Dogs

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Follow The Bouncing Furlough Day, Part Deux

It was announced today that Milwaukee County will be rescinding one of the mandatory furlough days. It was reported, off of a press release (I find it doubtful any of the supervisors were in today, and Walker already was tweeting from home), that this was due to previously unrecognized savings from health care costs.

The savings are in relation to the creation of the Employee Benefits Division, which was created due to a proposal by Board Chairman Lee Holloway.

Lack of oversight causing fiscal problems is not something new under Scott Walker's watch. In 2004, there was a justifiable uproar over the Department of Aging running consistently millions of dollars in the red. This was only resolved when Walker caved in and reinstated an accountant to the department, a position that he had previously eliminated.

And we are still waiting for Walker to do something about John Chianelli, whose ineptitude led to the deficit in the first place.

But the skeptical side of me wonders if there might be more to these furloughs than what is being reported. After all, Walker already admitted that the 200 lay offs he was about to do was nothing more than a publicity stunt. How can we trust that there is a real need now for these furloughs?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Biggest Turkey Of The Year

Surprisingly, I'm not saying it's Scott Walker.

Congratulations goes to the City of Franklin for winning this dubious title.

Thanks For Making Us Feel Better About Ourselves Already

Las Vegas Dan, a frequent commenter here, started up his own blog a while ago. It is a cornucopia of opportunities to make one feel smarter, not by learning from what he writes, but in knowing that you couldn't possibly be that bad off.

Case in point: Dan wrote a post attacking Jay Bullock, accusing him of calling Sarah Palin equine fecal matter.

But if you actually look at Jay's post, you would see that Jay is not talking about Palin, per se. He is talking about her polling numbers compared to those of President Obama.

That kind of makes Dan look like a tick turd. But he isn't done there. On Jay's post, Dan kick's off the comment thread with this:
Jay, you really shouldn't call Obama horse shit
Maybe this Dan's attempt at humor. If it is, it is a big failure, especially considering the faux outrage Dan posted about it. And using Dan's logic, that would make him a racist tick turd.

And while I was following the links, I find this comment from my friend Tim, pointing out that Dan mocked Tim's recently deceased mother. (What is with right wingers and mocking dead mothers anyway?)

So, in one post, Dan has shown that he is illiterate, a racist, and an insensitive lout.

That's enough to make anyone feel better about themselves.

Santa Claus Is A Terrorist?

Maybe to the people in Tennessee, which tend to lean to the goofy side anyway:
A package for Tennessee's governor turned out not too jolly for staffers at the Capitol.

Safety Department spokesman Mike Browning says officials evacuated the building for almost two hours Wednesday when the mail room found a package addressed to Gov. Phil Bredesen that contained moving parts.

Turned out it was a mechanical Santa Claus.

The department's bomb squad and agents from the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were called.

The package was destroyed, revealing the Santa from a company in Georgia.

Happy Roasted Dead Bird Day.

Theoretically anyway:

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The War On Thanksgiving

The holidays are upon us once again, along with their many traditions. Turkey and football on Thanksgiving Day, shopping on Black Friday, Christmas trees, lights at Candy Cane Lane and eggnog to name just a few.

Another tradition are the right wingers that build their straw Santa of how there is a war on Christmas. It has already started with people complaining about a Best Buy ad that mentions Eid-al-Adha, but not Christmas. There will also be the obligatory rants about how this store or that has the audacity to be inclusive and say "Happy Holidays" instead of singling out Christmas and ignoring the other holidays like Channukah or Kwanzaa.

But for all their piousness, they seem to be missing the real war on Christianity, even though they use it examples of it in their straw arguments about Christmas. It baffles me on why these holy rollers will complain that some clerk wouldn't wish them Merry Christmas, probably after they have griped for twenty minutes at said clerk about a sales tax the clerk has nothing to do with, but they don't complain about the diminishment of Thanksgiving.

I remember when I was a teen and as a much younger adult, I would end up working each Thanksgiving. I didn't think much of it, since I was involved in jobs that required someone there every day. Just like cops and hospital workers, there are jobs that require around the clock staffing. But I would always find it a bit eerie to go to work and back home and see all the parking lots empty as most stores were closed so that their employees could celebrate this very Christian holiday with their families. My young mind and active imagination could always picture it as if it were some sort of post-apocalyptic world.

Nowadays, most stores are open for at least a few hours, and some, like K-mart, are open for more than twelve hours. I can understand some businesses being open, like gas stations, but why does every business need to stay open all day?

Even if you aren't Christian per se, there is undeniable value to being able to just enjoy a day with family and friends and being reflective on how fortunate you are. It is good for the mind and the soul to be able to do that, if nothing else. But with these stores being open all hours, it makes it harder and harder for families to spend time together.

This should be causing outrage among the conservatives, who purportedly hold both Christian and family values in such high regard. Instead, they choose to rehash the same nonsensical arguments year after year, while ignoring the crass commercialism and the profiteers putting financial gain before families. It's enough to make one wonder exactly which deity they are worshiping: The Almighty God, or the Almighty Dollar.

Popcorn Turkey

I wasn't going to do it again this year, but based on the number of hits I've been getting for it as well as the number of people I've seen reaching the level of quiet (and not so quiet) desperation, as a public service announcement, I will again republish the foolproof way to prepare your Thanksgiving Day turkey:
An oldie, but a goodie...

Here is a Thanksgiving Turkey recipe that also includes the use of popcorn as a stuffing - imagine that.

When I found this recipe, I thought it was perfect for people like me, who just are not sure how to tell when poultry is thoroughly cooked, but not dried out. Give this a try.


10-12 lb. Turkey
1 cup melted butter
1 cup stuffing (Pepperidge Farm is good.)
5 cups uncooked popcorn (ORVILLE REDENBACHER 'S LOW FAT)
Salt/pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush Turkey well with melted butter, salt, and pepper. Fill cavity with stuffing and popcorn. Place in baking pan with the neck end toward the back of the oven.Listen for the popping sounds. When the turkey's ass blows the oven door open and flies across the room, it's done.

Imagine the look on your loved ones' faces as you show off your culinary skills.
WARNING: If you decide to try this recipe (and you won't be sorry if you do) please print out the recipe and follow it exactly.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Neumann Likely To Be Nominated?

Team Neumann, on their twitter feed, has a link to The Kiplinger Letter's website, which has a piece doing a preview of some of the upcoming governor's races. This is what Kiplinger said about Wisconsin:
Wisconsin. Republicans have the edge with former U.S. Rep. Mark Neumann likely to be nominated.

That should get Team Walker sputtering. I'd say Walker issues another warning about lay offs, just to show how tough he is, in 3...2...1...

Also note, it only said nominated, not winning the whole thing. They must have heard about "Battling" Tom Barrett.

It Makes Me Look Like A Fan

Last night, I wrote about Scott Walker's fumbling and bumbling his way through the County budget, where he furloughed the deputies and jailers he said that he wasn't going to furlough.

Today, Mike Tate of the DPW sent out a press release that makes me look like a member of the Scott Walker fan club:
After hasty vetoes of 2010 Milwaukee County budget provisions, Scott Walker admitted that he doesn’t even know what the budget contains. Walker claims he mistakenly added eight unpaid furlough days for the Milwaukee sheriff’s deputies and jailers next year and is seeking legal advice to sort out his mess.

“Wisconsinites don’t expect a lot of foresight from Walker, but he should at least know what is in his own budget,” said Mike Tate, Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chair. “Although, this could explain many of Walker’s past policy decisions.”

In his own veto message, Walker wrote that his actions were meant, “to increase the number of furlough days from eight to 12” while making no reference to an exemption for law enforcement. Walker has since claimed that he meant to include an exemption.
[Source: “Walker, critics argue over furloughs for deputies, jailers” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 11/23/09]

“Pleading ignorance is not good enough for the people of Milwaukee or the people of Wisconsin,” said Tate, “Wisconsin deserves someone who understands the consequences of their actions and has the capacity to think before they act.”
Ouch. But at least I had the cool picture of Walker and his giant veto crayola:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Condolences To James

James Rowen, a man I much admire, has had a terrible loss in his life.

My condolences, thought and prayers go out to Jim, his family and his brother's family.

When Would Be A Good Time, Mr. Walker?

The impeccable Emily Mills' take on Scott Walker being opposed to equality for all Milwaukee County citizens:

Open Memo to Milwaukee County Executive / Candidate for Governor Scott Walker:

You recently vetoed a measure that would have granted same-sex domestic partner benefits to county employees, arguing that, “At a time when we are seeking concessions from employees in both wages and benefits, it is improper that Milwaukee County grant new benefits to any class of employees.”

So when would be a good time for you?

I don’t see you asking that heterosexual couples give up any of their benefits in order to help balance the budget (well, aside from your desire to just cut and/or privatize some of their jobs).

Gov. Doyle, by no means the greatest governor that ever governed, was able to see the inherent justice in at least insuring partnership benefits to those currently denied equal marriage rights in Wisconsin. But you, Walker, don’t seem terribly concerned with the fact that some of your fellow citizens have little to no access to some of their most basic rights. Worse still, you appear to be hiding behind the current fiscal crisis to cover for what I suspect has more to do with either bigotry on your part, or at very least a desire to pander to bigoted voters.

That’s not someone I’m interested in having become governor of my state.

Walker: Executiving Is Hard Work

Scott Walker has been having a tough go of things during the last couple of weeks.

First, he has the popular and charismatic hero-mayor "Battling" Tom Barrett announce that he will be seeking the the Democratic nomination for governor. This spells bad news for Team Walker due to Barrett already have statewide name recognition, especially due to his hero status. Barrett has also proven to be a more effective leader who can get things done, such as when the Private Industry Council was transferred from Walker's control to Barrett's due to Walker's inability to run it, or when Barrett outmaneuvered Walker on the transportation money that had been languishing for years.

Then Walker just passes a budget that has broken all of his previous records by having a fiscal emergency even before it is enacted. To make matters worse, the fiscal emergency was from Walker's own inability to create a balance budget.

Now we are learning that he mucked up the budget even worse than previously thought, breaking a campaign promise in the process:

The savings for applying the county furloughs to deputies and jailers were included in a $3.1 million budget amendment, according to county fiscal analysts. Walker said Monday if the 2010 budget comes up short because of an exclusion for law enforcement personnel, he has authority to assign more furlough days to the rest of the county work force to make up the difference.

"I believe we can do it," Walker said, though he has requested a legal opinion on the issue from county Corporation Counsel William Domina.

County Board Chairman Lee Holloway said that Walker was skewing his interpretation of the final budget provision on employee furloughs to try to cover a mistake he made with a budget veto. The plain language of the vetoed provision was to subject all county employees to eight "floater" furlough days next year, including deputies and jailers, according to Holloway.

There's no dispute that all other employees have to take four additional, date-certain furlough days off without pay.

During a meeting last week, Walker seemed to endorse the same interpretation the board and county budget staff had of the furlough provision - that law enforcement personnel had to take eight unpaid days next year along with everyone else except elected officials, Holloway said.

Under that interpretation, all employees other than deputies and jailers would have a total of 12 furlough days - the equivalent of a 4.6% yearly pay cut.

Walker changed his tune "so he doesn't look bad across the state" while appealing for conservative support for governor, Holloway said. Walker is competing against homebuilder and former congressman Mark Neumann for the Republican nomination for governor.

Supervisor Johnny Thomas, the vice chairman of the board's finance committee, said Walker had stumbled on the furlough issue and was now "playing to his political base" by insisting deputies would be excluded from furloughs.

The question that needs to be asked is: How did this happen?

Was it that his veto crayola was too cumbersome? Was it that he is just that inept? Or is it simply that he has been too busy campaigning and appearing at CRG-sponsored rallies/campaign events that he is not capable of meeting key requirements of his current position?

Whatever the reason, now Walker has given county law enforcement officers four times the furlough days that Barrett gave to the police. Not good for him since he wants to take a law and order enforcement. I also wonder if the other elected officials and department heads will be pointing out that they are also part of the public safety network, especially those involved with the mental health safety network.

So, even though Walker had two weeks to go over every detail and check and double check everything, and has 20 staffers to help him to do so, he still couldn't do it the way he meant to. This is not exactly something that would strike confidence in anyone's heart on his ability to manage the county, much less the state.

GOP Considers Name Change

The GOP is now considering changing their name to The Borg:
Resistance is futile.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

News Flash

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has just figured out that Scott Walker has been running for governor the past seven years.

Stay tuned for their six week series on "Water is wet."

Ode To Skippy

From one of my anonymous readers, in the comment thread to a previous post:
ode to skippy

skippy skippy
youre such a stud
the C.R.G. people
believe your crud

skippy skippy
you must be proud
"I got rid of the janitors"
he screams aloud

I should have got
meters at the lake
before people realize
I'm a fake

standing up for the taxpayer
is his pledge
many people wish
he would jump of a ledge

running the county
is now out of the way
I'm running for gov.
day after day

skippy wants everyone
to think he's the man
bow hunting and harleys
he thinks that's the plan

skippy can't believe
those dopes on the board
fell for his plans
they're all out of their gourd
Heh, CogDis set to poetry. I like it.

O Canada - Part II

They named him "Moose":

O Canada - Part I

Illy-T can get away with anything now, he's merely Canadian, eh.

A Look Into The Life Of A Blogger

My friend, Billiam, was recently off for a long stretch as he recovered from some work-related health issues.

Having too much time on his hands and an abnormal fascination with duct tape can lead to problems:

I bet his cat, if he had one, would be awfully damn glad that he is back to work now. But I bet Bill has been having a lot of luck collecting wallets that "just happen" to get stuck.

Wrong Way Walker Strikes Again

Scott Walker was first for prioritizing the north-south corridor of I-94 over the zoo interchange, and then against it? Why, why, that would be hypocritical!

But what else would we expect from him? No one has ever accused him of consistency or integrity.

Cory Liebmann has the details.

The Shark And The Stand Up Comic

Rick Esenberg has got jokes:
2. This seems to me like an unusual matchup of two relatively personable and "cool" (in the McLuhan sense of being less obvious and more detached from the fray) candidates. Folks like Doyle, Loftus, Chvala, Garvey and even the garrulous Thompson were much more combative and tempermentally partisan. Going negative will be a challenge for both these guys.
Let's see, Scott Walker started out ripping on Governor Jim Doyle. When Governor Doyle dropped out, he made the straw man argument against the unions. He's been ripping on Mark Neumann whenever he can. And has Jay and Seth (Seth! He's alive!) show in their comments in the comment thread, Walker wasted no time going after Tom Barrett within hours of his announcement.

Illy-T also notes that Esenberg has a more-than-somewhat skewed perception of reality.

CCW Will Not Make You Safer

The Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort released a statement earlier this week depicting the violence and mayhem caused by people that were supposedly trained and licensed to carry guns. The evidence is contrary to what the gun nuts would have you believe:
Concealed handgun permit holders killed eight law enforcement officers and 77 private citizens (including 10 shooters who killed themselves after an attack) during the period May 2007 through October 2009 according to a new Violence Policy Center (VPC) on-line resource that tallies news reports of such killings. The web site, CCW Killers, is located at and is updated monthly to include new fatal shootings and changes in the legal status of concealed handgun permit holders facing criminal charges. (Any concealed handgun permit holders who are eventually acquitted of their alleged crimes are not included in the tallies maintained on the site although the facts surrounding the shooting are detailed.)
If the numbers seem low to you, as they did to me, WAVE explains why later in the release:
Because most state systems that allow the carrying of concealed handguns in public by private citizens release little data about crimes committed by permit holders, the VPC reviews and tallies concealed handgun permit holder killings as reported by news outlets. It is likely that the actual number of fatal criminal incidents involving concealed handgun permit holders is far higher.
Even here in Wisconsin, which fortunately still doesn't allow this kind of nonsense, we can see evidence by the people in blaze orange that having more guns does not equate more safety, either for people or for property.

This is something else to keep in mind when preparing to vote next November.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Plaisted Channels His Cognitive Dissidence

Ladies and gentleman, Mike Plaisted:
Scott Walker isn't a County Executive -- he's a cartoon. Every statement, every proposal, every budget he's made since he took advantage of Tom Ament's misfortune to gain an office he never would have otherwise has been an unserious joke, meant only to strike poses for the right-wing base he thinks is going to advance his blind ambition to be Governor. When Walker proposes something, you know it's not going to happen -- the only question is who is going to be the adult that fixes the mess.

Do read the whole thing.

Thought Of The Day

If the right wingers want to hold Obama responsible for the recession after only nine months in office, then it is well beyond time that they start holding Walker responsible for the mess that Milwaukee County is in and stop letting him blame Tom Ament.

Walker Collects Old Political Debt

In a ho hum statement from Team Walker, they proudly announce that Walker now has the endorsement of Rick Graber:
Scott Walker, Republican candidate for governor and Milwaukee County Executive, today announced the endorsement of former GOP Chairman Rick Graber. Graber served four terms as state party chairman and served as Ambassador to the Czech Republic in the Bush Administration. Rick Graber joins the six other former state party chairmen in supporting Scott Walker’s candidacy for Governor.

“I have been proud to watch Scott cut spending and fight for taxpayers in his county and I know he'll bring that same commonsense approach to Madison,” said Graber.

“I am very excited to welcome Ambassador Graber and each of the other former chairmen to our team,” said Walker. “Their support shows the tremendous excitement our campaign has generated and I am proud to now have the endorsement of such an accomplished and respected man as Rick Graber. These former chairmen bring unique and diverse backgrounds to the table and their voices will help drive our campaign to victory in November of next year.”
What the announcement didn't include is that Milwaukee County tax payers have already paid for that endorsement:
However, as noted in the cited section from MJS, Walker refused to go with a lawsuit against the legal firm that was supposed to be giving legal advise about the pension enhancers, Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren.

There were a couple of reasons for Walker's resistance. One reason was pointed out by Bruce Murphy:
He declined to pursue legal action against the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren law firm for the advice it gave county officials on the pension plan. The head of the firm, back when Walker made this decision, was then state Republican chair Rick Graber, who had donated campaign money to Walker.
The other reason is covered by Gretchen Schuldt at her old Story Hill site:
A judge has rejected plaintiffs in a lawsuit related to the county pension scandal have no standing to pursue their claim that lawyers with the Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren firm have a conflict of interest in the case, according to Journal Sentinel.

Reinhart lawyers helped design the pension package and are defending the county in the lawsuit, filed on behalf of county employees who claim the enhancements were improperly enacted, among other things.
If one keeps reading, the gentle reader would see how the law firm is tied up into the whole pension scandal. Yet due to his own political aspirations, Walker refused to seek all of the potential remedies available that he could have used to help the County in desperate budgetary times.
So, Graber gives donations to Walker's failed first attempt at governor. In exchange, Walker stiffs Milwaukee County tax payers for millions of dollars by refusing to sue Graber's law firm, even though they were deeply involved with the pension scandal. Now Graber throws an endorsement Walker's way as a "thank you for not suing us" gesture.

I wonder if Walker will claim the millions of lost dollars from tax payers on his campaign report now.

Also worth a chuckle from Team Walker's statement was the endorsement of Michael Grebe. It would only be note worthy if Walker's campaign chair didn't endorse him, no?

Saturday Funnies

Budget Busters

One of the new (to me, anyway) blogs that I've found and enjoy is Jake's Economic TA Funhouse.

Here's just one reason that I enjoy reading him:
These stats should completely put to bed any illusions people may have about corporations using their profits to help real people, but amazingly, some people are still spouting this "They're the creators of everything and need even more advantages than they already had." What world are these people living on? (This assumes they're honestly this deluded, I think a lot of them are paid hacks) Their idol Gordon Gekko was telling the truth when he said "I create nothing, I own." It's time to demand income taxes at 50-60% on incomes above some ridiculous number (like $2 million), and treat cap. gains the same as income. You do that, it's amazing how much less likely the greed and casino nature of today's corporations gets diminished. It's simple market economics in action.
If this wasn't enough to show you that this guy knows his stuff, from the same post:
Speaking of "What planet are you from?" Silly Scotty Walker is trying to get the endorsement of SARAH PALIN???? I mean, it's not like anyone with any sense of decency or brains would vote for that toolbag, but did he not notice the election results in Wisconsin last November? That 17% victory wasn't all Obama, it was also a lot of people in a thinking state saying "We aren't letting THAT near the White House." Combine that with Scotty's "money is more important than equal partner benefits", and you've just turned off anyone under 40 with a brain.

And that's not going into Walker's disastrous budget for the County. The County's already more or less bankrupt, they're just gambling that somehow the market turns around to make their pensions somewhat funded. But the un-negotiated job reductions, ridiculous levels of outsourcing, and fake revenue sources (you're not selling the Park East next year for that amount, bud), and then joking about fake layoff notices are Goldman Sachs-level shameless douchebaggery. I work in the biz, and we had every bit the challenges that Scotty's boys had, without anywhere near the conflict. We ended up with a more responsible budget that didn't triple our borrowing, nor did we guarantee the municipality's insolvency to hit the year after the exec leaves. There's a reason competent people from my grad school don't sign up to work for the County (at least areas under Walker's control). It's the GOP affirmative action program in full effect.
Yet the Walker backers keep whistling past the graveyard.

Things Will Not Be Picking Up At The Courthouse

This past Thursday, a majority of the housekeeping crew at the Milwaukee County Courthouse didn't show up to work. Thursday was the day after the County Board chose to sell them out in order to support Scott Walker's gubernatorial campaign. I've heard a similar thing happened at other facilities, like the mental health complex.

While I can't condone their actions, I can appreciate their lack of motivation knowing that their careers and their livelihoods were sold out from under them, just so Walker could score some cheap political points that no one will remember in a few weeks. It was probably emotionally harder for the ones that did show up, since Walker had his HR people pouncing on them with pink slips and offering them "other chances" at County employment, even though they are already one of the lowest paid groups.

What I found more interesting is the reaction of the right wing bloggers to this bit of news.

The unemployed Kevin Binversie thought it only verified why the workers should be laid off. If not showing up to work correlated to worthiness, then I'm sure old Kevin would agree that Walker deserves to be laid off too.

Patrick Dorwin said that he'd mail their last checks to them at their home. That'll really show them, since that is what they were going to do anyway. Well, that is what they would do, except they required everyone to go into direct deposit when Walker contracted out for the over-budget-but-still-not-working-right-a-year-and-a-half-later Ceridian system.

But the oddest post was by Owen Robinson, who worried that this won't make them attractive to the private company that would eventually take over. Take it from someone who has seen the county lay off hundreds of people before. The private companies wouldn't hire them because they would be required to offer them the same salary.

Furthermore, based on our observations of the privatized housekeeping at the Coggs Building where I work, the turnover rate is incredibly high, both for the employees within said agency, and even for the agencies that are contracted to do the cleaning. I can't imagine where the County is saving money by having to constantly going through the process of contracting with a new agency and then having to orientate each company to what to do and then monitoring them to do what they are supposed to.

And we have already seen how much more money privatizing costs anyway. So much for them being fiscal conservatives, eh?

Friday, November 20, 2009

How Typical

Scott Walker again makes a promise to do something as governor that he can't even do now.

I Gotta Get Me One Of These

Palin Goes Rogue On Her Own Supporters

Sarah Palin dogged out hundreds of her supporters in Indiana who braved hours in the cold to just have a chance to buy one of her books and have her sign it. The crowd was not pleased:

Daily Kos made a compilation of the news stories covering this:

Nice lady, you betcha!

Wingnuts Are Preparing For War Against US?


Holiday Folk Fair

I've got an extra pair of tickets to the Holiday Folk Fair, which is this weekend.

If you want them, email me. First come, first serve.

ADDENDUM: That didn't take long. They're already claimed.

Believe In Wisconsin?

As I had predicted, there are a lot of Milwaukee County employees looking at retiring before the end of this year or at the very beginning of the next year. They also see how Scott Walker is going to have a scorched earth campaign and that the County will be the earth that gets scorched. They also see it is going to be so bad that some of them are even considering an early retirement even though they will be greatly reducing their benefits by doing so.

Many of them attended a retirement seminar earlier in the week. A number of them have approached me this week to make sure that I was aware that one of the first things that Walker's HR people were telling the prospective retirees was that one of the first things they should do when they retire is look at moving out of Wisconsin.

Nice way to Believe in Wisconsin, eh?

As one friend put it: What good it is to save a couple of bucks in taxes when you spend ten times on the basic services that aren't as good as they in Wisconsin?

My question is whether this was a symptom of Walker having his HR people taking not so subtle jabs at Governor Doyle (we already know that Walker has no qualms about using county time or personnel for campaign purposes), or that they were warning people that they think that Walker actually could win?

Psychotherapist Blows Whistle On Poor Care For Marines

This is just inexcusable:
A civilian psychiatrist says Marines treated at Camp Lejeune had to undergo treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder for nearly two years in temporary trailers where servicemen could hear bomb blasts, war cries and machine-gun fire.

Servicemen tell The Associated Press they had trouble focusing on their treatment. The military says it is looking into the complaints from Dr. Kernan Manion. He says he was fired after complaining about conditions at the base.

Manion says his patients were disturbed by shouting Marines who trained nearby.

Officials said good care is provided and artillery fire can be heard nearly anywhere on the base.

Officials said the eight trailers were used until a permanent clinic was finished in September.

This is what happens when you don't listen to the people that know what they are talking about, and not just being a good parrot.

Thank God we got rid of the previous administration and let us hope that no one like them ever gains power again.

Autistic Boy Allowed To Take Service Dog To School

Another story where common sense overrules bureaucratic nonsense:

Judge Chris Freese sided with the family of Kaleb Drew, who argued that the boy's yellow Labrador retriever is a service animal allowed in schools under Illinois law. They say the dog is similar to a seeing-eye dog for the blind and is trained to help Kaleb deal with his disabilities, keeping him safe and calm in class.

The Villa Grove schooldistrict had opposed the dog's presence and argued that it isn't a true service animal.


The judge ruled that the Drews had presented "clear and convincing evidence" to show Chewey is a service animal that helps the boy function, said attorney Margie Wakelin, who works with Chicago-based Equip for Equality and represented the family.

"I'm very pleased and happy that Kaleb and Chewey are going to get to continue their work together and continue to grow as a team and learn from each other," Nichelle Drew, Kaleb's mother, said after the ruling.

She says the dog keeps Kaleb from running in front of cars in the school parking lot, and helps him with difficulties transitioning from one activity to another by helping him feel calm.

Good for Kaleb and his family. I hope the school recognizes the importance of helping Kaleb grow to reach his full potential.

Walker Is A Failure At Creating Jobs

James Rowen has a brilliant young man guest writing on his site. This young man, John Kovari, takes a serious look at Scott Walker's stance that the only way to create jobs quickly is by lowering the tax rate:

What the evidence suggests is that the economic situation in counties is more complex than simply focusing on the tax rate. Many other factors are in play when it comes to job creation, including proximity to markets, proximity to public services, quality of infrastructure, educated workforce, etc. Economic development depends more on developing these amenities than just lowering taxes and tax rates.

From a quick look at this economic evidence, Walker’s claim about lowering taxes as the fastest way to stimulate job creation seems less valid. Milwaukee County Supervisors might want to keep this in mind when considering Walker's upcoming vetoes on the 2010 Budget.

Another example that Walker doesn't know much about creating jobs is the fact that he was too incompetent to properly run the Private Industry Council, which was wrested away from him and given to the City of Milwaukee and Mayor Tom Barrett, due to Barrett's much better track record of creating and keeping jobs in the Milwaukee area.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Milkosh Or Oshwaukee?

Either way, they're good to kids.

H/T The Chief

About That 2010 County Budget

In a word: Blech!

Here are the results of the veto override votes.

And here is how you can help prevent Scott Walker from doing any more damage to Milwaukee County.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stats, Numbers, And Now Pesky Facts

Last week, I mentioned that Scott Walker's bragging about winning the straw poll in the GOP's 8th District was less than impressive, due to the simple fact that there were only 39 people that bothered to vote.

After having had a chance to further read the article in question in further detail, it became less impressive. Said straw poll failed to include fellow Republican gubernatorial hopefuls Mark Neumann and Tim Michels. The only other Republican gubernatorial candidate that was there was Mark Todd, the first person to enter the race. With no name recognition or budget to speak of, Todd was still able to get 7% of the vote.

The article goes on to have a little chat with each candidate. Walker's piece was the usual misleading confabulation that we have all come to expect from Walker, with little, if any, resemblance to reality.

What I personally found much more interesting was the piece on Mark Todd. It was one of the few pieces I've found that went anywhere near him to let people know who he was and what his ideas are. I will transcribe that section of the article here, since the Waupaca County Post neglected to post it on their website (emphasis on last line mine):
The first candidate to announce his bid for the governor's mansion is also the only candidate to propose turning the governor's mansion into a bed-and-breakfast as a way to generate income for the state.

Todd is an Appleton business owner who says that part of his personal income comes from credit card processing.

"All our money in credit card processing goes to four banks on the East Coast," Todd said. "My suggestion is that we do our own credit card processing here in the state."

Todd said that no private bank in Wisconsin is currently generating revenues from credit card prcessing, so he believes the state should set up its own financial institution to prcess credit cards.

"It would make us less reliant on taxes," Todd said.

He also proposes that the state establish a gift card program that can be used at stores throughout Wisconsin, with the state government collecting transaction fees.

The state could also sell less expensive bonds "that grandma can buy for the kids to go to college," Todd said. "We need to make our government self-sufficient."

Todd also sees opportunities to generate revenues by selling sewage to make fertilizer.

"We don't need to cut jobs or cut wages," Todd said. "We just need to develop incomes and make ourselves self-sufficient.
In other news from the same issue of the paper, it was noted that the Waupaca County government approved a 6% tax hike. Waupaca is a very conservative county, and like most other counties in the state, they found it necessary to raise taxes by even more than the Milwaukee County Board had proposed. This shows how out of touch Walker and his thug enforcers at CRG are with the rest of the state.

Drinking Liberally - Talks of Budgets, Barrett And Beer

'Tis that time again kids.

From our fearless host:

* Drinking Liberally: Milwaukee
* Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave.
* 7:00PM, Wednesday Nov. 18

O friends of lefty and near-lefty persuasion,

The political season approaches! Our mayor, the Honorable Tom Barrett, has announced his plans to run for governor! With Bay View's aldermanic representative the only declared candidate for the Dems, and with the county executive running in the Republican column, Milwaukee is on the ballot in 2010!

Of course it's still 2009, which means there's just nine rounds of Drinking Liberally left before the election! (I'm taking August off. Gotta relax at some point!) That means we've got a lot of candidates to meet, positions to argue and discuss, and most importantly, a lot of beer to be enjoyed!

Our dear host bar Sugar Maple has sixty (60!) American brews on tap. They look forward to having us on the third Wednesday of each month ('cept August) when we mingle at 7:00 for the time-honored tradition of Drinking Liberally.

What candidates shall we meet in the coming months? Todd Kolosso has already surprised us. Whether you're a running for judge, mayor, Congress, or even the ice cream truck, you're always welcome at Drinking Liberally.

See you there!

Jason and the Milwaukee DL crew

Oh, yeah, I'll be there too.

Action Alert : County Informational Picket - Wed. 11/18

Join the AFSCME District Council 48 County Locals for an Informational Picket at the Milwaukee County Courthouse during the lunch hour TOMORROW, NOVEMBER 18TH from 12noon – 1pm. We will be working to send a message to the County Board before they walk into their meeting and consider the overriding of County Executive Walker’s vetoes. We need the County Board to support saving county union jobs and to override these vetoes.

Let’s all send a strong message to stop the assault on public employees.

Here are the details:

What: AFSCME Milwaukee County Locals – Informational Picket

When: Wednesday, November 18th (TOMORROW!), 12noon – 1pm

Where: County Courthouse – 10th street side from Wells Street to State Street

Please stop by and show your support for your union brothers and sisters whose jobs are on the line. Especially if you work at the County Courthouse, please come outside and show your support.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Walker, Through Vetoes, Shows His Inability To Lead

Scott Walker issued his vetoes today, and they are absolutely mind-boggling in their ineptitude and utter foolishness.

First, Walker vetoed a resolution calling for a study into the viability of providing health care benefits to the domestic partners of eligible county employees. Supervisor Chris Larson decried this veto, claiming that it will treat some county employees as second class citizens. My friend and fellow board member at Milwaukee County First, Jason Haas, points out the potential cost, if benefits were to ever be granted, is minimal, especially when contrasted to the gain it would provide for Milwaukee County.

This move by Walker is just another example of Walker's bigotry and his pandering to his extremist right-wing base, disregarding such quaint notions such as equality and promoting the county back to leadership status.

But then Walker really shows how his ideology and political aspirations have caused him to lose all contact with reality and that he is nothing more than a hypocritical fraud when it comes to leadership.

Some of the vetoes that Walker did to the amended budget were completely predictable, even if wrong-headed, like his profiteering privatization schemes, expecting non-negotiated concessions from the unions and discriminating against the poor, the needy, the disabled and the elderly.

It has been shown that the privatization that he insists on pursuing doesn't save the tax payers one penny, but in fact actually ends up costing more than if the jobs had been kept in the public sector. That doesn't slow Walker down though, because union-bashing is one of his handful of campaign stump speeches. Besides, he can steer those contracts to his campaign donors.

But to eliminate things like the pools, the community centers, mental health services, park maintenance, and the Community Justice Resource Center shows that Walker no longer has a moral compass to guide him. These vetoes show that he is more than willing to step on anyone, but especially the most vulnerable of our citizens, in order to pursue his myopic and monomaniacal pursuit of the governor's chair.

Also inexcusable is Walker's veto of the preservation of the farm and fish hatchery. The farm and fish hatchery costs tax payers absolutely nothing, as even the pro-Walker local paper points out:
... Eliminate the county's Farm and Fish Hatchery in Franklin, which is run with inmate labor. No savings.
but provides invaluable services by allowing the Hunger Task Force to feed hundreds, if not thousands, of hungry Milwaukee County citizens.

So if it costs nothing, and yet provides such a valuable service, why would Walker veto this, and not embrace it like most politicians would? The answer is twofold. Walker believes this will play well with his base, which usually doesn't want to be bothered with trivia like the truth. But it also is just another perennial attempt by Walker to open up this land for development, and maybe score himself some big campaign donations.

But the most baffling and most telling, but not most egregious, example of Walker's inability to be an effective or responsible leader is his restoration of the parking meters along the lakefront.

As I pointed out last week, while observing the County Board voting on the amendments, the parking meters makes no sense whatsoever:
Much to the joy of the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and all lovers of the parks and the lakefront, the proposal to put parking meters up along the lakefront was roundly defeated. The clincher to its defeat was the fact that implementation of said plan was to raise $450,000, although it was pointed out that there was no explanation on how Walker’s staff came up with that number. In exchange, UWM informed the Board that it would cancel its lease for parking with the County, resulting in a loss of $94,000. UWM also would end its contract for U-Pass, the bus shuttle service, which is worth $2.3 million dollars.
There is no way under the sun that anyone can call foregoing $3.2 million dollars of guaranteed revenue for a hoped for $450, 000 as being fiscally responsible. The fact that Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporter Steve Schultze didn't call him out on this is another example that investigative reporting is indeed dead.

These vetoes by Scott Walker are not holding to his campaign pledge of fighting taxes. Nor are they politics as usual, as County Board Chairman Lee Holloway states.

They are just another showing of his cynical and hypocritical posturing in his perpetual chase of the governor's seat, and that he will go to any extreme, even doing unconscionable harm to the most vulnerable among us in this pursuit.

Please call your County Supervisor today, and tell them that Walker cannot be allowed to run his campaign off the backs of Milwaukee County anymore.

Seen Outside Of Scott Walker's House?

Scott Walker vetoes domestic partner health care study.

Further Proof That Investigative Reporting Is Indeed Dead

Yesterday, as just about everyone in Wisconsin is aware of, "Battling" Tom Barrett, the hero mayor of Milwaukee, announced that he is in the hunt for the governor's chair.

Reporters, and I use that term loosely, from far and wide, came flocking to get the Republican candidates opinions.

According to Channel 2, in Green Bay, Walker took this approach:
Walker says, “To me, who else is in the race is irrelevant. We're gonna spend our time focusing on what we need to do to make Wisconsin work again.”
This wasn't a fluke. According to WITI-TV, the local Fox station on Channel 6, Walker said pretty much the same thing:
Walker remarked that his campaign started in Green Bay back in April. Adding his message has never been about a candidate, but about getting the state back on track.
Really now?

If any of these talking heads that pretend to be our local media were actually doing their jobs, they would have questioned Walker on these statements.

When Walker first announced, er tweeted, his campaign's kick off, he immediately starting attacking Governor Doyle.

When Mark Neumann announced, Walker and his supporters went after him with a certain savageness.

So naturally, when Barrett announced his campaign, Team Walker, the ever-paranoid lot that they are, immediately sprung, even with an adolescent name-calling press release.

Of course, anyone that follows local or state politics is painfully aware of why Team Walker is roaming the state and the Cheddarsphere like a pack of rabid pit bulls. All they have in their bad of tricks is to attack anyone they even perceive as a threat, since Walker can't very well run on his own record.

The question is: Does Team Walker really think that people will be willing to listen to, much less support, a constant barrage of negativity for a year and a half?

Holy Cow(boys)!

I would never have thunk it.

I did not get to see most of the game due to traveling, but I gotta admit, I didn't think that Pack was going to win today. Congrats to them.

And just for James and Owen:

I know it must be hard to admit that you're a fan of the team that lost to the only team that lost to Tampa Bay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dumb And Dumber - Packer Style

OK, this is too funny:


But I do have a question. With the Cowboys coming in with the leagues leader sacker, and the Packers leading the league in giving up sacks, what is the over/under for Aaron Rodgers eating tundra?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

JB Van Hollen: One Out Of Three Ain't Bad

State Attorney General JB Van Hollen finally got one right.

After blowing it on the open carry opinion piece, and dropping the ball on doing his job in investigating Scott Walker for his fraudulent mismanagement of Milwaukee County's Income Maintenance Program, Van Hollen finally did something I can applaud:
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that attorneys for the Wisconsin Department of Justice, acting as special prosecutors for WaupacaCounty, filed a criminal complaint in Waupaca County Circuit Court against Rory A. Kuenzi of Weyauwega, Wisconsin. The criminal complaint charges Kuenzi with Hit and Run Resulting in Death and Homicide by Intoxicated Use of a Motor Vehicle in the October 23, 2004, death of Kevin McCoy, whose body was found just north of State Highway 54, in the town of Farmington, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.

Investigators from the Wisconsin Department of Justice, in cooperation with the Waupaca County Sheriff’s Department, re-opened the investigation into McCoy’s death which led to the charges being issued. Also named in the complaint is Walter Engel who is charged with perjury for allegedly making false statements while under oath.

The criminal complaint alleges that Kuenzi left an under age drinking party driving his S‑10 truck south bound on Butts Road.

According to the complaint, Kuenzi struck Kevin McCoy with his truck while McCoy was walking along the road. Kevin McCoy was killed immediately from the impact. Kuenzi, with the assistance of another, carried McCoy’s body off the road. Kuenzi then left that location without leaving any information concerning his identity, address, or registration number of his vehicle. Kuenzi did not render any assistance to McCoy. Witnesses at the party indicate Kuenzi was intoxicated when he left the party.
This is a good thing for two reasons. Besides getting another killing drunk driver of the road and holding him responsible for his behaviors, Kuenzi is the main actor in the group of idiots that thought it would be a good idea to use snowmobiles, one stolen, to chase down, kill and mutilate a group of deer last year.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Supervisors Behaving Badly

Earlier this week, County Supervisor John Weishan wrote a letter to Board Chairman Lee Holloway complaining about the performances of Supervisor Elizabeth Coggs, Chairwoman of the Finance and Audit Committee, and Supervisor Paul Cesarz, Chairman of the Personnel Committee.

Weishan called for Holloway to ask each of his fellow supervisors to step down from their respective chairs. His complaints about their performances are not without merit, especially in regards to Cesarz. I don't like the thought of someone with his own personal and ethical issues deciding the fates of workers or trying to support his buddy, Scott Walker, and Walker's cronies, on the backs of the workers.

But then Weishan, for some inexplicable reason, felt that this letter should be published publicly.

This caused a firestorm, with Coggs issuing her own public statement bashing Weishan. Coggs claimed that her committee was inclusive (it was) and pointed a finger back at Weishan for not participating (even though he did).

Supervisor Peggy West chimed in on her facebook page, coming to the defense of Coggs.

All of this is disheartening, to say the least. At a time when the Board should be trying to work together as a whole to address the important issues, like trying to salvage something close to workable out of the budget or trying to resolve the contracts before they are handed their butts in arbitration, they should not be having these spitting contests, much less having them in public.

There Are Numbers, And There are Stats

Scott Walker was bragging about winning the GOP's 8th District straw poll by a whopping 92%.

Very impressive, even I will admit.

What is not so impressive is what they don't report.

According to the local paper from that part of the world, which just arrived today, Walker, along with Van Hollen and a couple of other local politicians, were only able to draw 39 people from the entire district.

There are a heckuva a lot of more than 39 people living in that district.

Now wonder Walker is running scared in his gubernatorial run.

Deep Thoughts

One from grumps:
You wouldn't take your dog to a vet who hated animals or trust your child to pediatrician who hated kids.

So why would you elect a Governor who hates government?
And Harris Kane wonders what would happen if Scott Walker actually had to fend for himself.

Blogging School Drop Out

There are many examples of the right side being too busy eating their own to be very effective in upcoming elections.

We have Sarah Palin going rogue (or is it rouge) in a race on the east coast, causing the Republican to drop out and endorse the Democrat. Meanwhile, Sarah's backing brought on a defeat almost as great as the one she brought to John McCain.

We have Rush Limbaugh and Michael Steele fighting over the title of GOP boss.

As another example of how dysfunctional the right has become, we have Kyle Maichle, author of the North Shore Proponent, who comically claims that Mark Neumann is a career politician, as opposed to Scott Walker, who has never been in the private sector for a short stint in an appointed position in the Red Cross, while waiting for his handlers to find a race he might be able to win.

Blogging Blue tells us that Kyle's math, much like one of Walker's budgets, just doesn't add up.

The Chief called Kyle's lack of logic as mind-boggling.

Kyle comes to his own defense with this bizarre post. The Chief takes his defense apart like any team's defensive line takes apart the Packers' O-line.

Note to Kyle: You might want to pick better talking points. Walker lost his first election at Marquette University, by a 4-1 margin to a write in candidate. Secondly, Walker has also been kissing Rick Graber's ring, much to the detriment of Milwaukee County's finances.

So what does young Kyle's ineptitude and/or lying have to do with anything with the right wing falling apart?

Well, young Kyle is claiming to be named as "Blogger of the year" by the Big Oil funded AFP. It is a telling sign if he is the best that they can come up with, a blogging school drop out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Holloway Finally Calls Out Walker

He should have done this long ago. In fact, he should have done it before he even agreed to accept this fraudulent budget proposal:

If you value our community, call the County Executive and tell him to do what’s right
Milwaukee, WI – On Tuesday, the County Board adopted a responsible 2010 County Budget. The Budget was sent to the County Executive’s Office, where Scott Walker will determine whether any vetoes will be issued. Milwaukee County Board Chairman Lee Holloway released the following statement on behalf of County residents who support a modest 3.8% property tax levy increase and are concerned about vetoes that could negatively impact the quality of life for thousands of families in Milwaukee County:

“If you don’t want parking meters at the lakefront, if you want to keep your neighborhood pools open, if you want to make sure that Milwaukee County maintains family supporting jobs, if you want to maintain safety net services for those who need the help most, if you want to keep existing bus routes and transfer between them without paying a fee, if you want to maintain your parks, if you want to keep the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Kosciuszko Community Centers open, or if you want to repair the Estabrook Dam, then call County Executive Scott Walker, and tell him to sign the budget adopted by the County Board.

“Let him know that he should reflect YOUR values, and not those of a statewide political party. Kindly ask him to put down his veto pen and stand up for what’s right in Milwaukee County. Tell your family, friends and neighbors to all call Scott Walker and ask for a better return on your tax dollars. Ask him to preserve your quality of life and your neighborhood. Tell him to resist vetoing any parts of the County Budget. Your calls will help stop any further damage to our community.”

County Executive Walker can be reached at 414-278-4211 or Tell him to support the responsible budget amendments adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
Actually, both budgets stink and will blow up on January 1. That said, the adopted budget is less damaging than Walker's fraudulent proposal. I will never understand why the Board even accepted it since they knew it was self-destructing.

Why Is Scott Walker Afraid Of Mark Neumann?

Last week, Mark Neumann challenged Scott Walker to a series of debates, suggesting two a month, from now to the election.

Later, Walker's campaign manager, Keith Gilkes, stated that the two Republican gubernatorial candidates have made a number of "appearances" together already, but declined on having the debates.

Anyone that is not a Walkerophile would be able to recognize the fact that there is a huge difference between doing a joint appearance and actually having a true debate.

So what is Walker afraid of?

It can't be actually debating. When Walker was running for re-election for County Executive in 2008 (even though he promised he wouldn't), he had well over 20 debates with Lena Taylor in just a few months leading up to the election. Well, at least they were supposed since Walker skipped a number of them.

Walker even said that he wanted to have lots of debates:
Walker said last week he wanted to debate Taylor as frequently as possible. Several additional appearances are also being planned, said Tim Russell, Walker's campaign chairman.*
So why is he afraid?

The most recent edition of Milwaukee Magazine (not online yet, go buy yourself a copy) might give us a hint. In an article by Marc Eisen, which discusses the chances of Neumann beating Walker in the primary, Eisen writes:
Can he beat Walker? Neumann's face lit up in an interview as he revealed his ace in the hole: the statewide disgust with Milwaukee's economic, social and educational woes. That could doom Walker or any Milwaukee candidate.

"I don't believe they can survive the election without the people looking at them and saying: 'Wait a minute, you guys have been in charge of Milwaukee. Look what's happened there!'"

And that would open the door wide, Neumann believes, for the election of the most socially conservative, yet fervently green governor this state has ever seen.
All one has to do is look at Walker's track record. In the state legislature, his own claim to fame was the Truth in Sentencing, while taking massive donations from private prison profiteers. And he mucked that up, raising our taxes astronomically.

And as County Executive, Walker has been an abysmal failure, from amassing hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance and repairs to our very infrastructure to privatizing whatever the County Board will let him get away with, usually costing more than if it was left in the private sector, to not even being able to manage his own departments and having the State come in to fix his gross inadequacies as a leader.

*Yes, that's the same Tim Russell who was Walker's Director of Economic Development until he bungled that job up so badly. Now he is still on the county payroll as Assistant Executhug.

Yeah, I Said It

I'm calling out the BS from Walker's front group, CRG, and their real motivation.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

But Did She Give Him The Advice He Needs?

JSOnline is reporting that after her book tour stop at the State Fair Grounds last week, Scott Walker begged Sarah Palin for her help in his last desperate stab at the governor's chair. Unfortunately for Walker, he got the brush off, at least for now:
Palin told Walker she would be focused through the end of the year on her tour promoting her upcoming book, "Going Rogue," but would begin helping candidates in January. Walker asked Palin to appear with him at a Fox Valley event to help combat expected fund-raising help the Democratic candidate would get from President Barack Obama.
Undoubtedly, Palin will endorse him eventually, if she sees that she can gain something from using him.

Interestingly, Time Magazine, which first reported the story on their website, points out in more clarity Walker's desperation:

Walker briefed Palin on his front-running poll standing, and his strong fundraising to date. Palin, tired from a long day, engagingly asked Walker what his campaign slogan is, who is involved in his bid, and why he is running for governor. She urged him to adopt a positive, optimistic message and said it was a good sign that Republicans won gubernatorial contests in New Jersey and Virginia earlier in the month by running on such sunny platforms.

Palin said she was going to focus on her book tour through December, but planned to turn to politics and helping party candidates starting in January. Her aide, Jason Recher, another former Bush aide, asked Walker what kind of help he would like from Palin. Walker pointed out that the state's late primary and the likelihood that the White House would raise a lot of campaign cash for its side meant he needed help as soon as possible next year. Walker urged Palin to come on board and do an event with him in the state's Fox Valley area.

Let us fervently hope that she gave him the advice he really needs: How to leave office in midterm to focus on a doomed campaign.

Thank A Veteran Today

Actually, we should thank all veterans everyday.

But can we ever thank them enough?