Saturday, February 27, 2010

How Apropos!

I always knew Walker and bankruptcy went hand in hand:

Teh Google never lies.

Guns Protecting Kids From Reading

Seattle PI:
A teacher was shot and killed at Birney Elementary School early Friday by a man who police said was "infatuated with her," and the suspect was later killed in a shootout with police.

The suspect was arrested a week ago for violating an order to keep away from the teacher. He made bail Monday.

Witnesses said the teacher was shot during a confrontation in the school parking lot at 1202 S. 76th Street about 7:30 a.m., which was before students arrived for the day.

The victim's father, who arrived at the school after the shooting, identified her as 30-year-old Jennifer Paulson.

"We want you to know she was a very kind, merciful loving person," Ken Paulson said. "That's probably why she was a special-ed teacher because she loved so much.

"What happened today was evil. And it was a terrible thing."

Also, Mike Mathias has why guns and alcohol don't mix.

Sick Bastard, Sicker Excuse

This guy, if found guilty, deserves all that he is going to get and then some:
Prosecutors have charged a caretaker who claims he accidentally raped an elderly resident at the nursing home where he works.

Douglas McGregor, 35, has been charged with second-degree rape in an incident that occurred at the Weatherly Inn at Lake Meridian, an assisted living facility for Alzheimer's patients.

The alleged rape took place last week when an employee heard the 71-year-old woman crying in her room, according to Kent police. The employee opened the door and found McGregor standing over the woman with his genitals exposed.

"She was a vulnerable adult and she was in no position to give consent for any type of sexual activity," said Lt. Lisa Price. "This is a heinous crime. This is despicable."

When questioned by detectives, McGregor claimed his sexual contact with the victim was accidental after she broke the button on his pants, exposing him.

If You've Ever Owned A Dog...'ll know how true this is:

Walker's Job Comment: The Gaffe That Keeps On Giving

Earlier this week, Scott Walker gave the Democrats and Mark Neumann a nicely wrapped gift when he made the grandiose statement of how he would create 250,000 jobs by ballooning the deficit.

Everyone had a blast with it. The DPW even created a special "Scott Walker Jobs Tracker" and produced a video, which is available for viewing at Cory Liebmann's site.

Of course, the DPW will need to tweak their site a little. After today, the will have to set the bar at 250,076 and counting.

Walker offered up the feeble defense of saying that former governor TOMMY!!! Thompson had done it, and so could he. Walker even wrote it on his facebook page:

Gosh, I almost don't know where to start.

Well, first of all, 1985-1990 spans six years, not the four that Walker said that he would do it in, just like TOMMY!!!

Secondly, TOMMY!!! didn't become governor until 1987.

Thirdly, if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, from 1987-1990, the number of jobs created was about 175,871.

Well, the fact that Walker can't even count to six helps explain how he could come up with a budget proposal that was $32 million in the red and call it balanced. With the state already facing such an economic mess, do we want someone that can't even do first grade math to be our governor?

And the fact that he doesn't even know Wisconsin history shows that he is not from here and that he doesn't understand Wisconsin's progressive history.

Also, his inability to learn from history also would indicate that he doesn't learn from his mistakes, so we can look forward to many more of these gaffes in the weeks and months to come.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Returning To Serb Hall

Almost two years ago, when I was still working for Jay, I wrote about the death of Serb Hall. At the time, Serb Hall was under new management, and the knob they had hired did his darned best to drive the business into the ground. It was a crying shame to see the biggest and the best fish fry in Milwaukee fall apart like that.

Last year, I wrote about how the Board of Directors had finally had enough and had gotten rid of the twerp. They brought in another new manager who returned the quality of the food and the service back to its former high levels. Unfortunately, it did not seem that the numbers were coming back. Sadly, they laid our friend off due to the lack of business shortly after I wrote that, and without her there, we started going elsewhere for our fix of fried fish.

Last week, I received a call from our friend, who told us that she was going back to work, at least for the Lenten season. With our friend's return, we returned as well.

The quality of the food and the service was still up to snuff and everything was very enjoyable. However, I was sad to see that even though they've been back to their usual high standards, the number of diners was still way down, especially for it being Lent. Well, as long as our friend is working, we will be glad to go there, although I've discovered that I've become addicted to the potato pancakes at the Venice Club.

Another highlight of the night was getting to see Mayor Tom Barrett again. It was his first public appearance since having another surgery on his hand, which was injured when he intervened on behalf of a woman and her grandchild who were being threatened by a drunken thug. Barrett looked good and told me (and about every of the other scores of well-wishers) that his hand is doing well. My wife and I even had a chance to get our picture taken with the future governor.

The low point was when I got home and realized that I missed seeing my friend Michael Mathias, who was also there.

Your Tax Dollars Not At Work - Day 2

In case you hadn't figured it out, I was able to report Scott Walker's fiscal malfeasance this afternoon because today was the second of my twelve twenty-two furlough days.

As I pointed out on Day 1, this isn't saving the tax payers any money. Now the County is $1,200 behind by furlough me alone. Multiply that by the thousands of revenue-generating workers and it becomes painfully clear this idea isn't working. And this doesn't mention that my clients aren't receiving services unless it's an emergency. Then another worker is taken from his or her duties to cover what I should and could have done, if I had been at work. The only way a person could think this was a good think is if he were a drunken sot.

And, of course, the County Executive and the County Board are not only not partaking in the fun, but are actually getting raises, and are exempt from all of the other cuts.

Walker is making sure the County is hemorrhaging money at every turn, as long as he thinks it looks good politically. Why would anyone support such recklessness and duplicity is beyond me.

Walker Slashes Security, Parks, Maintenance

There are lots of breaking news going on around Milwaukee County this afternoon.

I have heard learned that Scott Walker has just given lay off notices to more than 70 county employees this afternoon. So much for his promise to try to avoid lay offs and to maintain services.

These workers include all of the security guards at the courthouse, children’s courts and city campus. Word is that Walker already had contracts in place with a private agency, which the County Board had rejected due to not being cost effective. That would raise a red flag on why Walker is still pursuing something that is a total waste of money.

Also being given notices of lay off to all of fleet maintenance which includes three mechanics and one maintenance worker. These are the people that keep the county cars and trucks in working condition. If you see a county vehicle after the next two weeks, you may want to show proper precautions since they will no longer be properly maintained.

Also being laid off are several workers at the airport, including six maintenance workers, a clerk messenger and a telephone receptionist. This is an obvious set up for a future attempt at privatizing it. The County Board has already made it perfectly clear that they would not allow this to happen, so this will only leave Walker with egg on his face.

Other workers include at least 26 park maintenance workers. These people are the front line workers who do the maintenance at the pavilions, cut the grass, maintain the ball parks, repair broken equipment among other duties. So if you have an event planned in a county park, or you belong to a baseball or softball team, be prepared to come early to cut the grass and pick up the trash before your event or game.

I checked with some members of the County Board and this was breaking news to them as well. So much for his garbage of being willing to work with the Board in resolving the County’s financial woes which Walker created.

UPDATE: More information: Because the way unemployment compensation works for governmental lay offs vs. private sector layoffs, the lay offs could actually end up costing tax payers $1.3 million more than if the workers were allowed to keep their jobs. And that is not counting the inevitable legal costs coming because Walker did it in the wrong way. Again.

One other thing that I have just learned this afternoon is that there was an all day arbitration hearing today regarding the privatization of the housekeeping staff at the Behavioral Health Division. The crux of the issue at hand is that Walker had shown clear intent to privatize the service by sending out RFPs early in 2009 and started on contract negotiations well before the privatization was approved by the County Board. He did this all without talking with the unions to try to find ways to economize the services, as required by the contract that he signed himself.

The decision might not come for a month or so, but if the unions are successful in their arbitration, the privatization contract would have to be set aside, the former housekeeping staff would have to be returned to their positions, complete with full back pay. Furthermore, Walker would be prevented from any further privatization of this service for at least 180 days and not without first sitting down with the union to look at ways of streamlining the system and proving that the union workers could not do it at a comparable cost to the taxpayers.

Obviously, Walker has decided that the title “county executive” really means “king”, and that we are all nothing more than his serfs to do with as he sees fit, even if it means diminishing our quality of life, raising our taxes, and giving our money to his campaign contributors. It also goes to show that Walker does not have the best interest of Milwaukee County citizens and tax payers in mind, but are only using us as pawns for his political aspirations. This sort of malfeasance must stop and stop soon, before he bankrupts all of us.

Cross posted at Milwaukee County First

An Expensive Display Of Futility

Does the Milwaukee County Board even have a clue anymore?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

They're Against Health Care Why Again?

They say health care reform would be too expensive?

I have never seen taxes go up 17% in just one year. And that is one of the lighter gouges Blue Cross is putting on people across the country.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scott Walker: Doing A Bad Job On Jobs

The other day, Scott "Always a candidate, never a governor" Walker made a highly irresponsible statement that he was going to bring 10,000 companies to Wisconsin and create 250,000 jobs if he were to be somehow become elected governor.

Predictably, this outlandish statement raise quite a furor.

Mike Tate, head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, fired away, claiming that Walker had never created a job in his entire time as county executive. With all due respect to Mr. Tate, he is almost as off base as Walker in such a dramatic statement.

Of course, Walker has created jobs. He has made up some high paying county positions to reward his campaign staffers like Tim Russell and Bob Dennik, to name just a couple.

Scot Ross, of One Wisconsin Now, also issued a statement in which he pointed out that Walker's claim meant that all but 900 people would have a job. Ross goes on to point out that Walker's crazy promises included billions of dollars in tax breaks for the top 1% of income earners and big corporations which would double the deficit the state is currently facing.

This would seem to hold true to Walker's standard modus operandi. He has currently saddled Milwaukee County with hundreds of millions of dollars in deferred maintenance and repair costs to our infrastructure. Furthermore, for 2010, Walker created an illegal budget with a $32 million hole built in the middle of it. While the County Board has been able to knock it down a bit, there still remained a hole more than $10 million dollars which Walker has yet to address.

Cory Liebmann also filled in many of the things wrong with Walker's claim, such as Walker's refusal to accept job-creating stimulus dollars, Walker's infamous statement comparing bringing jobs to Milwaukee County to putting lipstick on a pig, and Walker's abolishing of the economic development department.

Heck, Walker's claims were so outlandish that it caused Mark Neumann to finally find the on-switch to his campaign and come out firing both barrels at Walker.

Personally, I think the truth is worse than any of these people realize. If you look at Walker's track record as county executive, not only will Walker fail to bring any new jobs to Wisconsin, if he holds true to form, he will actually increase the unemployment number by tens of thousands of people as he lays off state workers.

Well, all of this flack has caused Team Walker to become very defensive, making claims that are just as laughable as his original one.

Team Walker tweeted that TOMMY!!! had done it during his tenure as governor. I won't even go into whether that claim is realistic, but point out that TOMMY!!! had also jacked up the taxes on the middle and lower classes, ballooned the state budget to almost double its size, and had added thousands of state employees during those years. Is Walker now flip flopping once again? Or is he just talking out of his butt, as usual?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is also covering this volley of reactions, and in a rare act of journalism (probably because it wasn't Steve Schultze doing the reporting) got Walker to admit that his claim was based on numbers from before the recession and from other states:
Walker said his projections for job growth were based on assumptions that were supplied by economic advisers who relied on job growth before 2008 when the economy was stronger. They also measured job growth from successful initiatives in other states like Texas.

They assumed cuts in tax rates, less regulation, tort reform, improvements in education and health care, and rebuilding infrastructure.
At least Walker has finally admitted that he is not in touch with reality. But considering that he doesn't value education or health care and apparently has no experience with rebuilding an infrastructure, based on a recent report, I think that there is still a lot of denial in Walker's world.

The article in the paper goes on to report about Walker's retort to Mike Tate's assertions:
Walker's response to Tate's claims: He would accept stimulus funds under some circumstances. He is worried about cost overruns in President Barack Obama's administration's funding for high-speed rail. He said the state will still be on the hook for about $7 million a year in operating subsidies.
Yeah. We already know all about the county executive's new clothes and how well they cover him on this issue.

But the most pitiful, and most damning, issue was when Walker tried to play the "me, too" game and got slapped silly for it:

Walker also said he has played a role in M7.

As for Barrett's claims of wooing jobs with the help of M7 for Republic Airlines, Walker said: "That was a team win - not a Tom Barrett win." Walker said the county played a role, too.

Over the first five years of M7, the City of Milwaukee has provided $150,000 and the county $25,000.

Pat O'Brien, president of M7, declined to say which unit of government plays a bigger role, but said, "the city has more tools at their disposal," ranging from tax credits to an active economic development office.

This petulant response was in response to something Tom Barrett came out with, in which he pointed out that he is the one that was actually bringing jobs in. When the head of M7 points out that Walker was a big flop in helping them bring in new businesses and jobs, it shoots a really big hole in any mealy-mouthed claims that would have people believe otherwise.

It is ironic that while Walker is going around claiming that he would create jobs if he were to be elected governor, he is busy getting ready to send out nearly sixty pink slips to county workers this Friday. Walker is a man that has no shame or moral compunctions, that is for sure.

In summary, when it comes to jobs, it is abundantly clear that the only job that Walker is really good at is giving the voters a snow job and then no job.

Art Imitates Life

I saw this and it reminded me very much of how Walker treats AFSCME and the County Board:


On The Wings Of A Prayer

Here is an update on the Tosa Common Council's Development Committee meeting held last night.

The Economic Domino Effect

c lick on picture to embiggen


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Walker's Brown Bag Of Hypocrisy

Scott Walker has started a newly rehashed campaign gimmick that he is calling the Brown Bag Movement in which he has three talking points:
  • Don't spend more than you have
  • Smaller government is better government
  • People create jobs, not government
While the County is supposed to be leading is crumbling down around our ears, Walker jumped to action by going on yet another state-wide campaign promoting this silly and hypocritical campaign gimmick.

He started this tour de farce in Green Bay, where you can see in his campaign picture, the crowd is less than enthused:

In fact, they look like they are bored out of their skulls and are only sitting through Walker's spiel because they were told to by their boss. Even more telling is the news video that his campaign has commandeered for their purposes. In it you will see there are empty seats and that many of the workers just aren't buying the stuff he is trying to sell them:

But let us look at his three points and how hypocritical he really is.

Don't Spend More Than You Have

This is really an ironic point for Walker to start out with, considering that his most recent budget for Milwaukee County has three years worth of capital spending in it, based on money that the County is getting from the ARRA funding that he has said he was against.

It is even more ironic considering that the 2010 County budget he proposed was based on $32 million that he didn't have and was not likely to get.

Smaller Government Is Better Government

This is another talking point Walker would have been smarter to have left alone. While there is no doubt that Walker has fully pledged himself to the Grover Norquist theory of ineffective leadership, Walker is a walking, breathing example of pure ineptness.

Walker had shrunk the Income Maintenance Program, during the beginning of the recession, to the point that the state had to come in and take over to save the tax payers from a Walker-induced class action lawsuit.

Then there is also the fact that Walker had abolished the Economic Development Division in his administration, and then wondered why the County was unable to sell any of its properties and had to call on Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee to help them out with places like the Park East Corridor. Walker's administration got so bad that even the Walker-friendly Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had to call him out on his utter failure.

People Create Jobs, Not Government

Walker claims that government does not create jobs, but that was only mere months after he bragged about using stimulus money to create jobs in his "Milwaukee Works" program.

And speaking of stimulus, Michael Rosen had recently pointed out how Walker and the Walker-friendly daily paper were dead wrong in claiming that the stimulus was not working in improving the job situation.

Again, reality comes up to repeated smack Walker in the face.

Even to the casual observer, Walker's hypocrisy and out-right lying is no surprise. He has been that way since he was at Marquette University. It is the way of the beast with Walker.

I just wonder how much longer the media is going to continue to give him a pass before they call him out on his antics.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In The Interest Of Fairness

On Friday, I told of the fact that Scott Walker was considering adding ten more days of furlough to county employees. The problem stems from the fact that Walker issued an illegal budget that did not meet the legal requirements of being balanced. The County Board, instead of taking on the role of being responsible leaders as they have in years past, caved in to the political blackmail that Walker's henchmen at CRG were putting on them and enacted their version of an illegal budget.

On Saturday, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finally got around to reporting what I had already reported. In their story, they tracked Walker down at whatever campaign event he was at at the time and got this from him (emphasis mine):
"It's less about the budget and more about fairness," Walker said. The plan to be unveiled Monday will help address the $10.3 million budget gap, but won't eliminate it, he said.
Well, in the interest of fairness, let me point out some things.

One, all throughout 2009, Walker was putting up many of his cronies and cronies of his cronies up for various step increases and flat out raises, with which the County Board's Personnel Committee blindly agreed to without question. These raises totaled in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and were more than enough to offset the eventual "cuts" that Walker had them take. That is like a store raising it's prices by 30% and then having a "sale" cutting the new prices by 10%. The consumer (or in this case, the tax payer) thinks they are getting a bargain, but they are actually still paying more. I would think that the unions would have readily agreed to the cuts if they were given big honking raises first.

Another thing about fairness is that it is built into federal and state laws regarding labor relations. One of those inconvenient fairness things is that there should be no disparity in contracts. In other words, a governmental body cannot offer one nice contract to one union, but then try to stick it to another union. If the aggrieved union decides to take the disputed contract talk into arbitration, the arbitrator will look at the contracts that said government has made with other unions, as well as the contracts between other neighboring governments and their unions. The arbitrator will then choose which ever proposal is most in line with these other contracts.

In the interest of fairness, I have to point out that this is another area that Walker has failed in.

He has already given the nurses union a raise in exchange for paying more for their health care. Of course, Walker did it as a part of a bait and switch scam he played on them. Walker's negotiator and the nurses have also reached a tentative collateral agreement in which the nurses would be spared all 12 of their furlough days in exchange for giving up their four minor holidays.

Other governments have been able to reach agreements with their unions by sitting down and doing some good faith bargaining with them. One of them is City of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, as Jake points out in his blog (emphasis his):
There's no question Milwaukee County workers have some benefits that are out of whack with what many people get in their jobs. But they also give up some of the pay that would come with it, and do thankless jobs like social work that the majority people are too unqualified and uninterested in doing, but are requirements for the world we live in. Walker could have shown legitimate leadership by negotiating in good faith, and offered items such as required contributions to employee pensions and lowered benefits in the future (or an encouragement of early retirement).

This is what Tom Barrett did in the City of Milwaukee for the 2010 budget (I know, I was there), and got the needed concessions out of most City workers with fewer furlough days, and no major holes in the budget deficit. Now, the City still has structural issues in its budget, but they were lessened in this latest round of negotiations, because THE MAYOR'S OFFICE DECIDED TO NEGOTIATE AND GOT SOME OF WHAT THEY WANTED. Walker has decided to score political points with suburb boys instead of work with the unions, and the County workers have rightfully told him to shove it. The Milw. County union's act is no different than corporations shopping their facilities to local communities, trying to score any tax break they can at the expense of everyone else in that town. Strangely, angry white man radio ignores those people who work for the best deal, I suppose because they have money and white collars, while dumping on people who perform real work and have blue collars that are trying to do the same thing.
Adding to Walker's disparity dilemma, his newly added furloughs only target 1500 county workers, sparing many unions, and even splitting the same locals, such as mine. Some of our local's members would be spared while others, including myself and other vocal dissidents, would have these extra days foisted on them. (Is he just trying to be fair, or is he trying to quash those that would speak truth to power?)

Given these other contracts, and the fact that the unions has made it abundantly clear that they will not cave in to Walker's extortion tactics, it would be the smart bet that the union's contract goes to arbitration. All the union has to do is play it smart and offer a reasonable proposal based on these other contracts, such as a small raise (backdated to early January 2009), an increase in health care costs, and maybe a few furlough days, and the arbitrator would surely accept that over Walker's draconian and off kilter proposal.

The union's opposition to these illegal stunts by Walker will surely lead to lay offs for several hundred workers, but with the backdated raise, at least they would get a small check to help them for a little while.

The lay offs would present another problem for Walker. He has continuously cut and cut staff to the point that it is already having a negative effect on the level of services that the county can provide. The perfect example of this is the Income Maintenance program, which Walker allowed to become so decimated that the State had to intervene to protect tax payers from a class action lawsuit.

Further cuts would jeopardize other programs, like Family Care, mental health services, transit and/or the parks. If Walker chose to do so, he could focus all the cuts in one area. One of these areas would be the discretionary services that the county provides like transit or the parks. Of course, either of those would be highly politically unpopular. But so would any of the other cuts.

In the interest of fairness, I have to point out that Walker has really painted himself into a corner with all of his hubris and political avarice.

In the interest of fairness, I need to point out that not only are Walker and the Board exempt from all of the furloughs, pay cuts, etc., but they are actually getting raises in their salaries.

In the interest of fairness, I also need to point out that if the County had agreed to the Tentative Agreement last year, the one that was worked out in good faith bargaining, the County would have saved millions in dollars in pay freezes and higher health care payments by the workers.

Also in the interest of fairness, I have to point out that Walker's whole idea of balancing his illegal budget through furloughs might not be the best idea. Rob Henken, former county administrator and current president of the Public Policy Forum has a lot of food for thought regarding the wisdom of furloughs, including this (the whole article is a must read though):
It can be argued that as a short-term strategy to help offset temporary recession-induced budgetary problems, or as a response to unanticipated mid-year budget crises, furloughs may make a great deal of sense. But public officials who might be contemplating furloughs as a longer term strategy would do well to carefully cost out and deliberate the full range of impacts.
Unfortunately, the County Board has proceeded to make three serious blunders in one daft act. When they decided to endorse Walker's illegal maneuvering by passing a resolution adopting Walker's proposed cuts and furloughs, they not only failed to follow good fiscal planning, but they also gave Walker a patsy that he can blame for his failed leadership. Thirdly, they opened the door to a long and costly court battle on all of the illegal actions, which only furthers to squander tax payer dollars that could have been better spent on actually providing services to the people, instead of to Walker's gubernatorial campaign.

The saddest part is that no one will win in this battle. The unions will probably lose hundreds of workers whose only fault is working for a county executive who puts his political aspirations before the best interests of the county. The Board loses as they put themselves in the role of Walker's patsy and help him deflect some of the blame that is all his. Walker loses because it will show his true incompetence and will irreparably damage his chances for further political advancement.

But the biggest losers will be the citizens of Milwaukee County. The neediest, the disabled and the elderly will have services delayed even longer, and the tax payers will have to foot the bill for Walker's inane game playing.

Last Stand For The County Grounds

From Milwaukee County First:

We have received an urgent call to action from the Friends of the Monarch Trail and the Riverkeepers:

Our last line of participation in preserving the butterfly habitat is being “fast-tracked” through Wauwatosa .

We need as many people to attend this Economic Development meeting at

Wauwatosa City Hall ,

this Tuesday 23rd! 8 pm.

76th and North Ave.

Everyone please come and support us with your presence!

We will ask questions about the planning process on this land and our watchful eyes will impact their decisions.

Q Why is the habitat plan is being separated from the UWM Proposal-are we being shut out of future discussions?

Q. If this habitat plan is approved by Wauwatosa will we still be able to improve and enhance these concepts as promised by the County Board Supervisors?

The Monarch Habitat is more important than ever. Their numbers are at an all-time-low, there is devastating flooding in their overwintering sites, and the continued loss of habitat will be the demise of this once common butterfly.

See you there!

In what could be perceived as a violation of due process rights due to such short notice, the Wauwatosa Common Council will be having a committee meeting and vote on the fate of the county grounds.

Besides the very short notice and the fact that they have separated the Monarch habitat issue from the rest of the equation is only the beginning of the stink from these maneuvers.

For example, we have learned today that the planned area of development expanded from the original 850,000 square feet to 1,192,200 square feet. That is a 40% higher amount of land that they want to develop than previously stated! Does anybody really think that won’t have an effect on the habitat?

Furthermore, besides lying that they have the money for the development, UWM is also lying about the plan saying it was approved for the entire habitat to be moved eastward, and that “the butterflies will just follow along.” What a load of rubbish!

The Monarch butterflies already have had their numbers severely diminished due to the excessive logging that has occurred in their winter nesting grounds. But to make matter much, much worse, the colony was devastated by a freak winter storm that killed tens of millions of them.

Experts are concerned if they will be able to withstand another devastating blow without getting some help. Destroying one of their major migratory stops in order to build yet another hotel or strip mall is not going to give them the help they desperately need.

Please show up and let the Tosa Common Council know that their decision could have long-lasting and serious implications felt around the world, and that they should not make it in a hurry on a plan that they haven’t had a chance to do more than skim over.

Gun Nuts Protest Against Sane Business Practices

The morning's paper has an article about a group of forty or so gun nuts that think they are making a statement about the Second Amendment. All they really do is show that they are a bunch of bullies (emphasis mine):

Clark said Sunday's gathering was prompted by what members perceived as improper law enforcement action against Sussex resident Joseph Schneider.

Earlier this month, a Wisconsin State Patrol officer approached Schneider at China Wok in Sussex and asked him to take his gun out of the business. Schneider, who said he has openly carried his gun many times at the China Wok in Sussex without a problem, videotaped the encounter and then left the restaurant.

The video clip shows the officer first asking the restaurant owners if they allowed guns in the restaurant. After appearing confused, the employees said no, they did not allow guns.

Just a couple of paragraphs above this snippet, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen*, explained why the gun nuts are wrong:
State law allows adults to openly carry guns, but not in businesses that ask them not to, places that serve alcohol, and not in school zones or public buildings. Last spring, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen re-affirmed in a brief the right of Wisconsin's residents to bear arms openly, saying that those who do so should not be subject to disorderly conduct tickets from local law enforcement.
The original gun man was in the wrong and should have just admitted it. Instead, we have the tin foil hat brigade marching around intimidating more businesses and customers, violating their rights in the pretense of exerting their own.

And to think that these are the same people that complain that society is going downhill and people's rights are being violated...

*None of this garbage would be even happening if Van Hollen would have just done his job and not played politics with people's lives.

Republicans Are Already Doing Heavy Advertising

I just got back late this afternoon from a lovely weekend up north.

One of things that I noted, especially this morning as I was catching the news and Sunday talking head shows is that Terrence Wall must have dropped a fortune already on air time. If I saw his commercial (as can be seen at Blogging Blue) once, it must have been on 20 times this morning. It's a good thing for him that he hasn't paid taxes in the last fifteen years, otherwise he couldn't afford to drive people away by this very early, incessant yammering for attention.

Then when I got home, I see that Mark Neumann is also gearing up for some air time with his first commercial which he calls "Humble Beginnings." It is not as annoying as the Wall commercial and seems to be more or less a standard first commercial. Upbeat and light, but with a tinge of zest as he lays into Scott Walker's career politician status.

But to me, the most interesting thing I noted from the weekend was that I noticed my first bumper sticker for the gubernatorial race. What made it interesting is that it wasn't for Walker, Neumann or even Tom Barrett. The bumper sticker I saw was for Mark Todd. Apparently, neither Walker nor Neumann aren't making much of an impression up state.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Message From The Walker Campaign

Unfortunately, it came on the Milwaukee County website. Isn't there a law against using government property for campaigning?
The public learned this week that a Spanish manufacturing company will be coming to Milwaukee. This is good news because it brings more jobs to our area. A closer look should impact our future decisions when it comes to taxes. The big incentive for them to come here was tax credits - from the federal and state governments.

This is particularly true when one considers the high tax and fee burden in the City of Milwaukee. The credits help to offset that burden.

For years, I have made the point that if we reduce the cost of doing business in our region (in particular, the cost of taxes), it will lead to more jobs. An overall lower tax burden would be good for all of our residents and small businesses - and not just for a large Spanish manufacturing company.

I wonder how long Mark Neumann or Tom Barrett are going to tolerate Walker using County property for his campaign.

While Milwaukee County Burns...

The news, as I have been saying all along, was bound to get worse for Milwaukee County and its citizens. And so it has.

Scott Walker is sending his minions out in about three weeks to deliver lay off notices to 26 parks workers and 29 employees in public works.

On top of that, Walker wants to add anywhere from three to ten days of furloughs, but only for AFSCME workers. That violates two labor laws, targeting a specific group and changing the legal status of full time employees. I would not be surprised to see another costly lawsuit for county tax payers as they are forced to pay for Walker's mistakes.

Also the glitch of the pension system wasn't a glitch, and those new privatized janitorial crews at the courthouse are really cleaning up, but not the floors or the bathrooms.

All that can be found at Milwaukee County First.

But where's Walker has this is falling down around our ears. Well, he isn't here to share our pain or try to rectify his blunders. He is in Florida schmoozing up to the special interests. We know how expensive road building is, thanks to TOMMY!!! Imagine how bad things would get if Walker were able to buy his way into the governor's chair.

This "Sounds" About Right


Now I Can Get The Castle Wired, I Hope

From the Biz Times:
Gov. Jim Doyle and U.S. Deputy Commerce Secretary Dennis Hightower today announced that Wisconsin will invest $28.7 million to expand broadband Internet access throughout rural parts of the state.

The state will receive $22.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (federal stimulus) funds to help provide high-speed Internet access to 467 sites in more than 380 communities in all the state’s 72 counties.

“High-speed Internet access is critical to the success of our state’s entrepreneurs, businesses, students and families,” Doyle said. “This project will create jobs to lay and install fiber cable, for telecommunications contractors and technicians, and in fields like construction, manufacturing, masonry and electrical wiring. Through the Recovery Act, the Obama administration is making major investments in Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure to help our schools and libraries access high-speed Internet.”

Wisconsin is receiving one of several national Recovery Act grants for broadband development. The state’s project will expand broadband Internet access to 74 schools, eight post-secondary schools including two tribal colleges, and 385 libraries. Eighty-four percent of the school districts and colleges receiving the grant are in rural areas.

More than 200 miles of fiber optic cable will be installed, and more than $10 million will be spent on American-made telecommunications equipment and materials.
Of course, Scott Walker will be complaining about this too. In his eyes, students and rural people aren't real people either. Of course, the real reason he hates it is because then I'd have the castle wired and he'd never catch a break.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Barrett's New Web Page

Tom Barrett has a new website for his campaign, and it is rather snazzy in my humble opinion.

It's fresher and crisper than Scott Walker's site, which needs an updating pretty badly. It looks the same as it did the last time I looked at it months ago. I guess that's the problem with being a one trick pony like Walker. It's hard to jazz up the same old same old.

I just wonder what Team Walker will snark about now? Barrett creating too many jobs? Barrett actually getting the city's infrastructure fixed while Walker allows the County's to crumble?

UPDATE: The website, while still snazzy does have a disappointing aspect to it. Namely, Barrett made the same gaffe that Walker did and failed to use a Wisconsin-based company to create the site. H/T Nick Schweitzer

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Walker Suffers From Job Envy

Aaron Rodriguez has one of his usual out of touch with reality posts singing the praises of Scott Walker. He ends his fawning drivel with this:
More interestingly, Walker took a swipe at his Democrat opponent Tom Barrett - aka "Tommy the Taxer". After the brief qualification that Tom is a nice guy, Walker noted that a first term for Barrett is no different than a third term for Doyle. And why not? Both have a history of raising taxes; both have a history of increased spending; and both have a history of being antagonistic or obstructive to businesses. So it's truly debatable in the minds of critics if Barrett would be a worse executive than Doyle. Wisconsin voters really need to take time and evaluate whether it's worth taking a risk on Barrett and possibly plunge from the 7th worst in the nation for doing business to the absolute worst.
This is a rather nice example of how desperate and hypocritical Walker and his supporters really are.

Just yesterday, Tom Barrett gave his State of the City address, and announced a new company coming in that will create 270 jobs. And this is on top of all of the other businesses that Barrett has brought into Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Walker can't name one business he brought to the County. In fact, not only has Walker not brought jobs to Milwaukee, but he actively opposes the things that the business leaders want.

On top of that, Barrett has a balanced budget for the city, while Walker still has a $20 million hole that he built into his budget. This will lead to drastic cuts in county-provided services which will have an effect on all of us, directly or indirectly.

I will stick with the candidate that has a proven track record instead of one who has only a one-track mind, with a train that is derailed.

If You Thought Our Weatherman Got Carried Away...

This makes the weather stick look perfectly normal:

Drinking Liberally With A Special Guest

Jason Haas, the wonderful host of Drinking Liberally, has notified us that tomorrow night is the February edition of Drinking Liberally:

Hello friends, the time has come for me to get the @*$&@#! date right with this announcement. It's D.L. time! We'll be joined by Ryan Alexander from the Barrett for Governor campaign, who will be on hand to meet the good librul drinkers and answer your questions.

As always, we meet at Sugar Maple, 441 E. Lincoln Ave. in scenic Bay View. Look for the huddled band of lefties in our usual place by the front door.

At once we've got good news, such as the announcement that Ingeteam will be building a wind-turbine generator factory in the Menomonee Valley. And we've got bad news, like the county about to lose millions more in funding due to incompetent governance. How will this all play out in the governor's race? Let's talk about it.

See you on Wednesday.

I can't say with any certainty that I will be able to make it, but don't let that slow you down. Go and see what the next governor of Wisconsin will be doing to help bring more jobs to this great state. Maybe they'll even find one that Scott Walker is capable of doing without screwing up too badly.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Team Walker: Milwaukee County's Problems Are Barrett's Fault

A friend of mine, whose husband also happens to be a county employee, sent me an email the other day telling of a email she received from Tonette Walker, Scott Walker's wife. The mailer was the usual "Scott so wonderful, please give money" type of dreck you would expect from a politician's campaign. It was only interesting because it was almost verbatim to a mailer my wife received a few months ago.

My friend sent me another email tonight that was hilarious and still has me chuckling.

My friend wrote that she received a phone call from Team Walker today looking for her husband. The conversation, according to my friend, went something like this (the names have been redacted to protect the innocent):

Team Walker: Hi, may I speak to Mr. County Worker.

Mrs. County Worker: He's not here right now, he is at work. For Milwaukee County.

TW: Oh, well then, may I speak with Mrs. County Worker?

Mrs. CW: This is she.

TW then went through his spiel for a while before she stopped him and reminded him again that her husband works for the county. He responded by asking her for a $75 donation to Walker's campaign.

Mrs. CW reminded TW for a third time that her husband was a county worker, and that he was working today, and that they did not have the $75 because they were trying to deal with the 12 days of furlough that all county employees had to contend with. She then reminded TW that the furloughs was Walker's idea, not theirs.

Mrs. CW also added that she had to take a pay cut at her job as well.

TW came back with the "compassionate" response of lowering his request to $50, " because it would help us to 'get jobs' if we can get Walker in as governor."

My friend went on to write (emphasis mine):
After that, he went on to blame the problems of Milwaukee County on Barrett's spending, which quite frankly whether I happen to agree with Barrett or not, the money problems of the county have NOTHING to do with Barrett, do they really think people are that stupid?!?!?!?!
My friend said that TW kept at it by dropping the request to $35, stating that the race was "just TOO close to call, blah, blah, blah, blah."

My friend ended her missive with this insightful thought:
You know, around Christmastime, when I would get charities call and ask for money, all I had to do was say that I had taken a pay cut, and all of them politely would say, "we understand" and that would be it. This was unnerving, and in fact, downright rude considering I told the guy my husband worked for the county... thanks for letting me vent! If you haven't already guessed, I've traditionally leaned to the right (though not always) as I do take careful consideration in looking at the individual, and I can tell you, this guy is NOT the right choice for WI, I don't care what party he is.
I, of course, asked her permission to share her story with you, Gentle Reader. She not only readily agreed, stating that she thought the story needed to be put out there, but added:
Sure, you can use it. I wish I would have tape-recorded it. The guy also told me he had been laid off and without a job for six months now. How can a guy who's been laid off (and seemingly knows how it feels) ask another person for money?!?!? If I were that guy, I don't know how I could sleep at night. Unbelievable. I wish I would have asked him if he was getting paid to do this.
She added that it was her intuition (which she claims is never wrong) that things aren't going as well for Team Walker as they would have the public believe.

While I agree with her, I also know that things are going to get much, much worse for Walker as the year progresses. Especially if this is the kind of treatment his campaign gives people.

Barrett Shows He's The Big Cheese; Walker Brings The Whine

Today, (Hero) Mayor Tom Barrett showed why he is obviously the best choice to be our next governor.

In his State of the City speech, he, along with fellow members of Milwaukee 7, announced that the Spanish company Ingeteam will be building a plant in Menominee Valley, which will create 270 jobs for us while they build wind-turbine generators. Of course, this is just the most recent of successes that Barrett has had in bringing jobs to the city:
Barrett worked the announcement into his speech's theme of job creation, which has been a continuing focus of his mayoral campaigns and his current campaign as a Democratic candidate for governor. He typically delivers the annual address at a site that illustrates city economic development efforts - including Manpower, which relocated its international headquarters from Glendale to a new $78 million building just north of downtown Milwaukee in 2007, with the aid of a city tax incremental financing district.
Not only does Barrett bring in the jobs, but he does it by showing he is a real leader by bringing in lots of people and groups to get these feats done:
The seven-county economic development organization was short on high-profile announcements until recently, leading to questions about its effectiveness. But in the past few months, the M-7 scored with the November announcement that Republic Airways would double its Milwaukee-area workforce, adding 800 maintenance and call center jobs, after its purchase of Midwest Airlines, and the January announcement that C&D Technologies Inc. would add 150 Milwaukee jobs after landing a $19 million U.S. Army contract.

In his speech, Barrett pointed to the Republic and C&D expansions and played up the role of the M-7, saying the group's founders had to overcome "parochial distrust and a bit of partisan angst" to establish "a new model for job creation in the region."

[Greater Milwaukee Committee President Julia] Taylor called the Ingeteam announcement "a pretty big home run for Milwaukee," and added, "It shows what we can do when we put on the regional muscle."

Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, said the M-7 coordinates city, state and private-sector development efforts, adding, "Five years ago, there was no entity called M-7, and my experience was that we wouldn't have likely won a deal like this without that collaboration."

Even N.E.W. North got into the act. The economic development consortium for northeastern Wisconsin has been marketing that region as a center for the wind power industry, and state and M-7 representatives used the N.E.W. North directory of Wisconsin wind power component suppliers to help convince Ingeteam that Milwaukee would be a viable location for the company's plant, N.E.W. North spokesman Josh Morby said.

Meanwhile, Scott Walker, who often goes around bragging about creating higher unemployment rates, had a little tantrum regarding the news:

While I will give Walker the point that these jobs were driven by the job creation tax credit, he is not being quite completely honest about things.

The job creation tax credit being used is part of the stimulus package. The same stimulus that Walker has repeatedly said was not working and would not work.

In these rough economic times, the choice for governor couldn't be any clearer. On one hand, you have Tom Barrett who has consistently used every tool and reached out to every corner to help bring jobs here. On the other hand, you have Scott Walker who brags about putting thousands of people on unemployment, and refuses all and any help in improving Milwaukee County.

Local Woman To Be On Oprah


A Wisconsin woman who survived a brutal attack by her ex-husband is sharing her story with Oprah Winfrey.

Teri Jendusa-Nicolai nearly died in January 2004. Her ex-husband was convicted of beating her in the head with a baseball bat, then binding her with tape and stuffing her into a garbage can in an unheated storage locker.

Since then, the Wind Lake woman has become an outspoken advocate for women's safety.

Oprah's staff invited her last month to be part of an upcoming show on trusting one's intuition. She agreed, and sat for a taping earlier this month. She was joined by the two Racine County sheriff's investigators who worked on her case.

She tells The Journal Times of Racine the air date hasn't been set, but it should run this month.

The Next Bubble To Burst

Last month, at Drinking Liberally, Nick Schweitzer and I got into a discussion, and made a gentleman's bet, about which would be the next economic bubble to burst.

Nick thought that the next bubble bursting would be the pension bubble, due to the severe economic times putting so much pressure on entities, mostly government bodies, to both meet the needs of the public they serve and honor their contract obligations with their workers.

I disagreed with Nick. Not that the pension issue couldn't be a big deal, but that I did not think that would be the next thing to burst. I argued that the next big thing would be health care.

My thinking is that health care is becoming so expensive people and companies wouldn't be able to afford it any longer, and whenever anyone got sick, they would be forced to chose between taking their chances on the illness or taking their chances in bankruptcy.

I remembered that bet last week when I wrote about insurance rates in California going up by as much as 39%.

Unfortunately, my bet seems to be an even surer thing now. Via Caffeinated Politics, we learn that insurance rates have now jumped in four states. In fact, things are getting so bad, that anti-TEA Party rallies are being planned:

Politicians and even some health insurers, including Anthem, are urging a revival of the stalled effort in Congress to overhaul the health care system, arguing everyone needs to be covered by health insurance in order to prevent such premium spikes.

In Maine, where Anthem dominates the market, its proposal has several consumer groups planning big rallies at two public hearings on the rates, on Feb. 22 and 24.

Under Anthem's proposal, a family of four could be charged up to $1,876 per month if the proposed rates are allowed to take effect in July.

"The rate request should be denied on its face. It's outrageous," said Greg Howard, spokesman for Maine Change That Works. "We are in the middle of ... this record-breaking type of recession, and they're doing what they need to guarantee profit margin."

Not only are these outrageous hikes killing people on an individual level, but it is the biggest culprit on why public sector employees are costing tax payers so much. Without some sort of responsible reform in the very near future, this could very conceivably send the nation further down the economic spiral that we're trying to climb out of.

What I can tell you is this is one bet I'm not looking forward to winning.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Now That's Using Your Head!

Another reason why you can't trust cats:

They're just not too bright

(Found on Twitter)

And for the dog lovers:

Why Would Any Businessperson Support Walker?

Today's business people are supposed to be savvy operators and be able to look out for the best interest of their businesses and themselves.

That's why it makes no sense that a business would support Scott Walker in his perpetual campaign for governor.

Walker apparently rarely listens to some of the region's top business leaders when he has consistently opposed any improvement to our transit system.

Now we learn that when he does have anything to do with them, it can turn out very poorly for the business:
Creative Constructors LLC is suing Milwaukee County to recover $114,000 from a project at General Mitchell International Airport.

The Menomonee Falls-based contractor has tried to recover the money since 2005, when Creative completed the yearlong project at the airport, said Michael LaBonte, company CEO. He said the lawsuit, filed Wednesday, is the first time he has sued a project owner since he entered the construction industry in 1972.

“Any time you are talking about a fair amount of money,” LaBonte said, “it affects me. It takes me a lot of work to earn that kind of money.”

Milwaukee County in early 2004 signed a $2.6 million contract with Creative to expand and remodel a security checkpoint in the airport’s Concourse D. According to the lawsuit, the county changed the price of the contract 58 times and extended its schedule 97 days to add $483,852 worth of work.

LaBonte said the multiple price and timing changes stemmed from incorrect project plans. As crews started preparing the building for the renovation, he said, they found mechanical, structural and foundation systems in places where, according to the project plans, they weren’t supposed to be.

Could you imagine what he would do to the state if he was allowed to buy his way in to the governor's mansion?

Atheists Vs Church Goers

There's no difference when it comes to morals:

People who have no religion know right from wrong just as well as regular worshippers, according to the study.

The team behind the research found that most religions were similar and had a moral code which helped to organise society.

But people who did not have a religious background still appeared to have intuitive judgments of right and wrong in common with believers, according to the findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.
Then again, I'd be much more comfortable trusting Jay Bullock rather than Scott Walker any day of the week.

The Mentally Ill Are NOT Second Class Citizens

Scott Walker and his minion, John Chianelli are again willfully neglecting the mentally ill, allowing them to be sexually and physically assaulted. And they manage to maltreat these vulnerable people while potentially costing tax payers millions in lost funding.

Chianelli needs to be fired and Walker needs to do some serious apologizing.

Full story is at Milwaukee County First.

Could Someone Please Explain...

...why Scott Walker is discussing state issues on his official county website?

Or why said issues, and his response, happens to be the same as his answers as a candidate?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Hey, Scott Walker, Stop Insulting Our Intelligence!

Yesterday, I pointed out an article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which covered the fact that Scott Walker did not want the economy to start improving in Wisconsin.

Buried way down near the bottom of said article was this snippet:

Walker also said Thursday that he would take his seventh annual motorcycle ride around Wisconsin May 15-20 to promote Milwaukee-area tourism. Last year, he did 120 interviews on the trek, riding from town to town on his own Harley-Davidson motorcycle and leading a group of other motorcycle riders.

This year's trek comes a month earlier and puts it just ahead of the state Republican Party convention, which runs May 21-23 in Milwaukee. Walker said he moved this year's bike trip because it got too hot during last year's ride.

Critics have charged that Walker's Harley ride is a thinly veiled campaign trip aimed at raising his profile with voters around the state. Walker says the event is all about hyping Milwaukee, not his political fortunes.

Walker's 2009 motorcycle trip was paid for largely through a $2,800 sponsorship by AirTran airlines. Earlier trips were paid for with county funds.

As my dear, departed mother would say, "I believe you Scooter, even if 100,000 others don't."

Just who does he think he is kidding with this? He's done this tax payer-funded campaign ride for six years and he is just finding out now that it is "too hot?" And since when is the end of June hot? Furthermore, while I don't ride a motorcycle myself, it is my understanding that people prefer the warmer weather for riding, since one rides out in the open with a 60-70 mph wind in your face.

Maybe his is just trying to push the date up so that he can get it in before the Ethics Board ever gets around to ruling about last year's ethics violations.

For the sake of argument, let's say he had a legitimate beef about the temperature, even though we all know he is so full of it that he has brown eyes. Why did he choose to move it to just before the GOP convention? I can't imagine anyone, even Aaron Rodriguez or Charlie Sykes, who can't see through this crap and try to say otherwise with a clean conscious.

But if he wants to move it, fine. Let him have his bike ride in late October or even early November. It's not like he will be doing anything then, and it will take the sting out watching Neumann lose to Barrett in the election.

Glen Grothman Goes National

Just not in the way he would have wanted to.

Related: New Hampshire has the female version of Grothman.

Making Wisconsin Proud

While looking up something for a different post, I came across these from the last two, three days:
  • A guy in Manitowoc was charged with hiding a corpse. Odds are murder charges will be forthcoming,
  • A guy in Green Bay is convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend's puppy by putting it in a hot oven,
  • A guy in Fond du Lac likes horses too much,
  • A guy from Winneconne killed his girlfriend's two cats,
  • Another reason not to eat hot dogs. Do you know what they put in those things?
  • Rory Kuenzi, the thug that tormented and killed the deer in Waupaca County last year, is now up for hit and run charges. Of course, he pled not guilty.
  • Some company in the Oshkosh area has $6000 to waste on a billboard complaining about how bad business is and that President Obama should be impeached. If you have that much money to throw away to complain about how bad your business is, your business isn't do that badly. But the best line was from the attorney representing the company, defending the billboard which reads "Impeach Obama" who said:
    "Wroblewski says despite the billboard's language, he's not suggesting Obama committed an impeachable offense."
What the hell is going on these days? The winter has been relatively mild in the state, so cabin fever can't be an excuse. With nut jobs like these, the tourism people have their jobs cut out for them to try to get people to want to come here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Walker Boards The Crazy Train

Scott Walker, apparently feeling the heat from a recent poll that shows him in a virtual dead heat with Tom Barrett, has decided it was time for him to do some political grandstanding again.

This time his chosen target was the high speed rail that will be coming to Wisconsin, thanks to a large sum of money coming from the federal government.

Walker's advisers must be sleeping on the job if they thing this is going to be a winning topic for him.

Walker does not have a good history of consistency when it comes to taking money from the federal government. He tried to do the same sort of grandstanding with federal stimulus dollars, until the County Board firmly pointed out that he didn't know what he was talking about and was able to get some money for the County, which is going to good uses. Of course, after griping how bad the stimulus dollars were, he took full credit for it in his latest State of the Campaign speech. Walker's flip-flopped on this issue alone so many times, I don't think that even he knows where he stands on the issue anymore.

Walker also ended up getting derailed when Mayor (soon to be Governor) Tom Barrett outwitted and outmaneuvered Walker regarding the federal transit money that was languishing for 17 years.

Walker uses the same tired, old arguments that have been proved to be false allegations time and time again:
  • The train's not faster than driving (Well, yes, yes it is. But it doesn't surprise me that Walker might not know that, since its been year since he's driven himself anywhere.)
  • There won't be enough riders (Even though ridership on the Milwaukee-Chicago line is up again)
  • That it will cost too much (What? Highways are now paid for in pixie dust? I am sure this part has to do with campaign donations from the road builders.)
Apparently, Walker's bright idea on how to fix the transit problem is to have his rapid bus transit system go all over the state. He is not off to an auspicious start though, since his first attempt at that is tens of millions of dollars for a rapid bus that goes to an empty field.

Walker simply does not understand the importance of a good transit system has for businesses or the economy, period. Not only that, but Walker has a history of not having a firm grasp on the concept of economic development either.

Whether Walker has boarded the crazy train or is just that clueless is anyone's guess. But whatever train Walker and his team is riding on, it has surely jumped the tracks on this issue.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Have Such Cognitive Readers

From my post about Scott Walker's handbasket:

Rumors abound with potentially 500 layoffs looming in March. Those 500 employees which will be a mixture of represented and non-represented employees. Let's see they are already forcing twelve unpaid furlough days down our throats which is equivalent to a 4.6% reduction in pay. Unemployment compensation is running at 72 to 92 weeks. With the loss of jobs/services and the huge cost of unemployment compensation the County will be basically bankrupt and core services that are depended upon by residents will be abandoned. Yet the County Executive and County Board are still trying to play hardball with union negotiations. There is a reason its called collective bargaining and not dictatorial bargaining. Anyone interested in the legalities surrounding those issues needs to look up MERA (municipal employee relations act). I suggest the County Board and Executive Walker do just that, maybe a little reality check instead of Fantasy Bargaining Island might clear their heads a little bit. My own feelings are that nothing will be done by this collection of incompetent politicians until the County completely falls apart and the residents finally grasp how they were misled and lied to by this group of carpetbagging politicians.
There will be more about the County's failures to follow the law in the days and weeks ahead. Oh, yes, you know there will be a lot more.

Bad News For Republicans

Wisconsin is predicting job growth in 2010.

B-b-b-b-but I thought we were in an anti-business, stimulus-sucking tax hell that was driving businesses out....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Morning Paws

Just because:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Would The Real Scott Walker Please Stand Up?

Today, on Twitter, Scott Walker and his echo chamber were making a big deal about a CNN clip of Newt Gingrich stating that he thought Walker would win Wisconsin.

Big deal.

First of all, the clip is from four months ago. Secondly, Gingrich has said a lot of things in his time, including marital betrothals of fidelity and undying love to three separate women. We all know how much he meant those.

But Walker raising the Gingrich clip now does set up an interesting question about Walker: Who is the real Scott Walker?

Walker's propensity for flip flopping on any given subject, such as the federal stimulus funding, is legendary. But now Walker is flip flopping on who he even is.

Last June, Walker was proudly announcing that he was going to be on stage with Gingrich as part of Walker's perpetual campaign for governor. That was a mixed blessing for Walker. First, Gingrich did not even endorse Walker at the time. Secondly, Gingrich soon became reviled among the neoconservatives as being "King of the RINOs." Gingrich's sin was calling for moderation and temperance among conservatives in order to keep the Republican Party intact.

A few months after Gingrich's appearance, Walker appeared to be completely shifting gears and was going for the extremist vote instead of the normal Republican one when he appeared at a TEA Party at the lakefront in September. To be fair, there was a sizable crowd at said TEA Party, but they did not come to see Walker. There was something better that drew them in.

Walker's attempts to appeal to the extremist fringe continued when he tries to schmooze Sarah Palin into endorsing him in his perpetual run. But as with Gingrich, Palin also declined his request and just used him for a practice run for her upcoming book tour.

Now we see Walker going back to the Gingrich video (which was actually recorded between his TEA Party and his failed attempt to woo Palin).

Between Gingrich and Palin, Walker is really starting to look pitifully insecure as he bounces from one side to the other, only to be used and then dumped by the side of the road.

But all of this should make any cognitive right winger kind of nervous. How could they possibly endorse Walker when they have no way of knowing if they were going to get extremist TEA Party Scott or Walker the RINO?

Unfortunately for them, Walker probably doesn't know who he wants to be either.

Guns Keeping Us Safe

In Delaware, you never know when those snow shovelers will attack:
New Castle County Police said a man pointed a gun at a neighbor who was shoveling snow on Saturday at the Hampton Walk Apartments. A man told police a neighbor came outside while he was shoveling, pointed a gun and threatened to shoot him if he didn't stop shoveling snow onto his car.

A man, 43, was arrested and charged with aggravated menacing.

And here in Tosa, Michael Mathias has more about those menacing boyfriends.