On Friday, we reviewed the first half of 2012 in Fitzwalkerstan, from the hopeful beginning, through the mighty struggles and through what appeared to be the Empire delivering the killing blow to the Rebel Alliance.
But there were more than Independence Day fireworks flying in...
July was entertaining for political wonks as the Republicans, thinking they had finally broken the spirit of the people, started eating their own. The race for US Senate was the most entertaining as Erick Hovde, Tommy Thompson, Mark Neumann and Jeffy Fitzgerald started hurling mud and bombs at each other.
But there was a dark side too.
Walker started retaliating against those who stood against him. We also got to see what lies ahead that Walker promised not to raid the pension fund, at least until people stopped looking, got to catch a glimpse of future scandals, current scandals like the emissions testing, and it was revealed how much Act 10 was still costing us. Walker explained all this by saying it was for....jobs!
illegal legal defense fund. And speaking of chokeholds, Walker put one on the justice system when he rigged the judicial commission on the advice of one of Prosser's former aides.
For entertainment, Glenn Grothman wandered around talking about how people voted "inappropriately" for Democrats.
But to keep our spirits alive, we had the antics of Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch, as Walkergate kept rumbling through the slow wheels of justice.
And just as jobs were drying up like the drought stricken land, we headed into the dog days of...
In August, Tim Russell and Kelly Rindfleisch weren't the only ones sweating it out for reasons other than the heat. As they continued to fight against taking any responsibility for their actions, we learned more about the ongoing illegal politicking in Madison.
We also learned that our Lt. Governor was no bigot - she hates everyone equally. We also learned that not only were schools going down, our taxes were still going up. Funny how the propagandists stopped telling us "It's working!" at the same time.
Fitzwalkerstan also became a police state where people could get arrested for exercising their constitutional rights because...jobs!
The worst nightmare happened when, due partially to lax gun laws and the promotion of racism and bigotry, a mass shooting happened at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek.
On the national front. Mitt Romney sealed his fate by picking Paul Ryan to sink his ship. Romney and Ryan worked hard to prove that they were not only complete buffoons, but racist, sexist and unethical ones. In other words, they confirmed that they were Republicans.
This all led up to the Republican National Convention, where the best speaker was the empty chair that Clint Eastwood was scolding. As one small act of saving grace, Romney showed himself to be smarter than Walker by demoting an incompetent communications worker.
And back here in Milwaukee, we got further proof that we had made another horrible mistake in electing Chris Abele, who went about firing people for no good reason, trying to frame other elected officials on false criminal charges and telling voters that their voice is as irrelevant as a Facebook poll.
Obviously, some serious schooling was needed, which fortunately leads us to the beginning of the school year...
September was filled with political debates and stunts, like most election years.
Tommy Thompson, the Republican nominee for US Senate, was spouting off like the drunk at the end of the bar. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan spent their time shooting themselves in the foot and then doing damage control, only to shoot themselves in the other foot.
They weren't helped much by Walker, who helped blow up Romney's race-baiting attack against Barack Obama.
The Republicans' line of "Yes, we did build it!" fell flat when it turned out the only thing they did build was the national debt.
Adding to the fun was the revelation that during the gerrymandering, the Republicans were sniping at each other. Wouldn't you just love to see these fools at a trust-building retreat?
We were also exposed to more of what Fitzwalkerstan is all about when it was learned that Walker was more interested in staying in good standing with campaign donors like the home builders rather than keeping our kids alive.
started arresting the common people who thought that constitutional rights applied to more than just the rich people. this stunt was so egregious that the real police officers and deputy sheriffs felt compelled to call them out.
We also started to get the first inklings of just how corrupt and/or inept Walker's greatest giveaway to the corporate special interests - WEDC - was.
To cover that up and distract people, he decided to make the state slogan all about them, because...jobs!
The biggest news of the month, perhaps even the year, was that Walker's claim to fame, the only thing that he could use for his Teapublican street cred - Act 10 - was struck down as unconstitutional.
But even being shown to be the complete fraud that he is wasn't Walker's biggest problem. His even bigger problem was that he was called on to be the star witness in the Rindfleisch trial.
The stress of all this was causing Walker's hair to fall like the leaves in...
October saw the silly season come into full bloom, along with the autumn leaves.
Mitt Romney started to try the stuff in the back of the Republican playbook which were labeled "Don't even..."
He got business owners to threaten their employees to vote for Romney or else. Romney even went so far as considering dumping Paul Ryan as his running mate in favor of Joel Kleefisch. Well, someone had to be able to take out Big Bird.
Paul Ryan, being the rat he is, sensed that the USS Romney was taking on water and sinking fast, so he scrambled and spent a boatload of Koch money on ads for his Congressional seat. To show he wasn't at all like mean ol' Mitt, he proved himself to be a champ by going where he wasn't wanted and washing clean dishes.
Back in Fitzwalkerstan, Tommy Thompson was in full meltdown as well. When he wasn't busy defending his racist son, he was trying to tell us how he "built Wisconsin," although the only thing he really seemed to have built was his own egg nest.
The propagandists weren't much help either. Brian Sikma and Christian Schneider had to cover up their cover ups on the lies they told, accusing an innocent man of vicious, brutal behaviors. Adding to the miasma that the right was becoming, we learned that Michael Grebe, Walker's campaign manager and head of the Bradley Foundation, was the money man behind the racist billboards that have been littering our state for the past two years.
Meanwhile, Walker was gaining more Ill-Eagle Scout badges as he we learned that his agenda wasn't working. His line of government not creating jobs went out the window when the government stopped creating them. More jobs left the state has his favorite railroad company, Wisconsin & Southern, which had been sold to a Koch Industry subsidiary, took the jobs and the money and ran. And his privatized corporate charity agency, WEDC, took another big dump right on his lap as the scandal involving their money grab grew bigger.
But Walker's biggest problem came when Kelly Rindfleisch, who he personally hired as a county worker and assigned to doing the campaign work for not only himself but his choice for Lt. Governor, Brett Davis, decided she didn't care if he was funding her defense. Rindfleisch took a plea deal and showed the world that she has a lovely singing voice.
crafted a budget that was dumped on workers and the poor alike, decreased public safety, reneged on promises, and had a built-in crony-reward system. Abele then doubled down on his anti-worker stance by praising Walker and the defunct Act 10.
On the bright side, a couple of ruggedly handsome union thugs devised the perfect protest - eating their way to solidarity. People from around the state and around the world started to make the pilgrimage to raise their forks in solidarity.
And speaking of pilgrims of overeating, this leads us to...
With the beginning of November finally came election day. In a rare moment of bipartisanship, people of all political views and affiliations came together to celebrate the end of the endless political commercials.
That bonhomie quickly ended with a temper tantrum from Karl Rove who was finally realizing that all the money in the world can't buy our freedom.
By surprisingly large margins, President Obama won reelection and Tammy Baldwin became the first women senator from Wisconsin as well as the first openly gay women in the US Senate.
On the downside, it took millions of dollars and thousands of work hours to clean up the mess made by all of the exploding Republican heads.
Eventually, the surviving Republicans started to take solace in regaining control of both houses of the legislature, even though they had to rob, cheat and steal to do it.
As the Democrats and the Republicans who weren't still crawled up in a fetal position tried to figure out what the new normal was, life, and the workers, moved on.
The NLRB came down with a decision on the long lasting labor struggles at Palermo's, saying that the company was illegally threatening workers for trying to unionize. It was also discovered that Palermo's had willfully hired nearly a hundred illegal immigrants. The right, which hates illegal immigrants, supported the company that hired them, because they hate workers having rights even more.
The right also went apoplectic when one of their favorite aphrodisiacs, Twinkies, were to be no more. They immediately blamed the 18,000 victims for not helping the CEOs to carry their millions of dollars in lucre out to the waiting limos.
Meanwhile, back in Fitzwalkerstan, Walker went on a tear, again seeking retaliation against the voters for not being willingly subjected to the Republicans' fascist tyranny.
Walker came out and said that he wanted to end same day registration. Alberta Darling and Robin Vos supported this, although none of the three could cite one example of it being a problem. Walker also abdicated his duties by refusing to set up health care exchanges, saying that they don't work and are too expensive, even though he ran government funded healthcare for years and knows how much it saves taxpayers money. Walker attacked the voters and the poor because, y'know, jobs.
What Walker was really doing was trying to distract everyone's attention for the story John Doe was telling.
During the sentencing hearing for Rindfleisch, it was revealed that not only was there more, there was still even more. There was more evidence that Walker was no innocent bystander, but was actively involved and directing the collusion between campaign and county staff.
took a plea deal as well.
Walker begged for it to end there. But in a new precedent, he was overruled by the Walkergate judge.
To help control the message that none of this was really happening, one of the last remaining radio stations that told the truth was put under new manglement and suddenly switched to an all Christmas song format just in time for...
Just like the other eleven months, December was full of moments of outrage and hope.
The anti-tax Walker decided that it's OK to tax drivers by considering making our highways into tollways.
Not to be outdone, Walker's good pal, Scott Fitzgerald, came up with the doozy that the GAB is too political, so to resolve that, he wants to get rid of the judges that make up the board (most of whom are Republicans), and fill it with political appointees. And yes, he is serious.
Joining the race for absurdity, Tonette Walker asked for a half million dollars of taxpayer money to renovate the kitchen in the governor's mansion. And the renovation was to put in a dining area in the kitchen, which isn't even allowed due to health codes.
We also saw companies picking up on Walker's style of "leadership" by subcontracting out jobs that will give them a kickback.
Nationally, things were getting equally as evil and stupid as they were in Fitzwalkerstan.
In Michigan, where the pols said they would never consider Right to Woe union-busting legislation passed it within a few hours. It wasn't because the people wanted this, but because ALEC did.
In Washington, the dumbest senator ever, RoJo, brought shame upon himself for voting against people with disabilities and then claiming that he's still going to try to recall Obamacare, because the 31st time is always the charm.
And speaking of dumb politicians, Paul Ryan, who was, just the month before, the Republicans' great white hype, and who said that his budget would steer the country to prosperity, was nowhere to be found as the nation headed to his dream of austerity on steroids.
In Milwaukee, we were also experiencing the insanity. Chris Abele, who prided himself as also being anti-tax, started gushing over a new sales tax proposal that would only benefit millionaires. Abele further demonstrated that he is indeed nothing more than spoiled rich kid by having the longest temper tantrum in recorded history.
Then as everyone was trying to distract themselves of the madness of American politics by delving into the madness of Christmas shopping, true horror happened.
A deranged man with too much access to too many guns shot his mother before going to an elementary school and killing 26 innocents, including 20 children.
Even has the nation was reeling from this horrendous tragedy, Walker felt so self-obsessed and nervous that he needed to draw attention back to himself. So he came up with his "five priorities" which look an awful lot like the ones he said he was going to do two years ago. It's the priorities that he is not advertising which are terrifying.
But the future doesn't look all bad.
The domestic partner registry was just upheld in court, so the Constitution isn't quite dead yet, despite the Republicans' best efforts.
And there is hope that there will be some dignity and integrity returned to the Wisconsin Supreme Court, if we can get Edward Fallone elected.
But what everyone is keenly watching with bated breath, and the thing that is causing panic among the pachyderms, is the fact that Walkergate is closing in on the real John Doe.
And yes, I too am really looking forward to seeing a picture like this sometime in 2013: