Sunday, September 30, 2012

Harvey Dent Returns!

Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.) channels Harvey Dent once again!   This time he channeled the clean cut, yet psychotic Batman villian who lives by the flip of a coin, all before most people had their first cup of coffee(and on the same show even).

1.  Here is Paul Ryan on "Fox News Sunday"(emphasis mine):

 “We've had some missteps," said Ryan, also noting many conservatives' concerns that the campaign is failing to project a clear message to voters. "But at the end of the day, the choice is really clear, and we're giving people a very clear choice."

Watch some more and this is what you would have seen:



 WALLACE:  But I have to point out, you haven’t  given me the math. 

RYAN: No, but, well… I don't have the time…  it would take me too long to go through all the math,....

Yes Paul, it is very clear if you went into specifics, of what you planned on doing to our country you would get voted off the island!   Ann Romney was wrong, when she said all we have to worry about is Mitt's "mental health" , it looks like we have to worry even more about his running mate's!  



I VOTE For Women

Wow! This is one powerful video!



And if you have forgotten already, Romney and Ryan are not women friendly!

Doonesbury Vs. Ryan

Why doesn't this sound far-fetched like it should?

Click on image to embiggen it.

Wisconsin Woman Starring In New Obama Ad

I take great pride in telling the reader that Madison native Sarah Zepnick, my little sister and one of my dearest friends, appears in the fifth ad for Barack Obama.




You might not have seen it yet since it's not airing in Wisconsin at this time. But if you watch Rachel Maddow, you would have seen this about two weeks ago:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Readers of Cog Dis who have a sharp eye and a good memory might have recognized Sarah from this picture, in which she took part in honoring the late and never forgotten Diane Echelberger, aka @PewterGryphon, before she succumbed to cancer:



I cannot begin to express how proud I am of Sarah and how honored I am to be her friend.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Ironic Walker Email Is Ironic

Earlier in the week, I received an email from Scott Walker's campaign asking me to donate to Tommy Thompson's campaign. This in itself is not unusual as that both parties do that sort of thing.

Although it does bring to mind that Thompson's campaign funding is supposedly rather anemic at the moment. Apparently he doesn't want to spend his millions on the race like Eric Hovde was and the Kochs aren't willing to try to buy the election for him like they did for Walker.

But what struck me the most about the email was the ironic way it started:


Really, Walker?

Mr. Divide and Conquer is mewling about attacks now? Mr. "Dropped the bomb" feels things are a little too rough? Mr. Louisville Slugger is afraid of facing the heat?

If that email had any more irony to it, it would be lethal.

Changes Made In Milwaukee County Board's Annual Budget Public Hearing

From the County Board:
The Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors is proud to host the Annual Budget Public Hearing on Monday, October 29th in the Bradley Pavilion of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, 929 N. Water Street in Milwaukee. Doors will open at 6 p.m.; the meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The Board hosts the Public Hearing on the County Executive’s Recommended Budget, including amendments by the County Board’s Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee, to hear questions and concerns related to the annual budget.

“The Board looks forward to this Annual Budget Public Hearing as it represents some of our most important work: listening to the people of Milwaukee County,” said Board Chairwoman Marina Dimitrijevic. “The Marcus Center, a well-known home of expression and ideas, makes a strong statement about the communication and transparency that the Board prioritizes as the branch of government closest to the people of Milwaukee County.”

The Board encourages attendance and testimony. All speakers will have two minutes to address the Board during the hearing.

Owned and partially funded by Milwaukee County, the Marcus Center is centrally located in Milwaukee’s vibrant downtown.

Free parking, including handicapped accessible stalls, will be available in the Marcus Center structure, located one block north of the Marcus Center, between East State Street and East Highland Avenue. The entrance is one block west of Water Street.

A skywalk crosses State Street from the parking structure to the Marcus Center. Hearing attendees can access the skywalk from the parking structure by taking the stairs or elevator in the southeast corner of the structure and going to the third floor (roof level).
It is unfortunate that the Board felt compelled to make such a choice.  It alienates and ostracizes many Milwaukee County citizens.

In the old forum of the Washington Park Senior Center, which was located in the center of the county, parking was convenient and immediately next to the building.  It was easily accessible for all people, including the elderly and disabled.  The new location is going to be a deterrent for many people to make it to the hearing.

The only question is whether this was an intentional act or whether it was just someone not thinking things through.

Cross posted from MCF.

Milwaukeee County Transit System: Parent-Ruined, Kid-Disapproved

During his tenure as Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker went about systematically ruining the transit system.  Even though all reports on the transit system pointed out that system would eventually fail if it did not have a dedicated funding source, Walker openly and actively opposed any such measure.  Instead, he repeatedly did the worst things he could do, raising fares and cutting service, every year.

This only dropped the number of riders and pushed the system closer to collapse.

Now that he is going to his father's "alma mater," Walker's son, Matthew Walker is just figuring out what havoc his father has caused:



Sadly, as governor, Walker the elder has shown even more disdain for the Milwaukee County Transit System by cutting funding from the state by millions of dollars.  Furthermore, he has made it clear he has no interest in doing the right thing by establishing a dedicated funding source or allowing Milwaukee County to do so.

And it appears that while the current county executive, Chris Abele, claims that he is not raising fares or cutting services, the system is not expected to fare well after 2013, when the bottom drops out.

And given Abele's inability to keep any credibility, it is doubtful that many people will understand who really caused the tanking of our regional economy.

Cross posted from Milwaukee County First.

Caption This!

I really can't decide....


Is that the process that they used to come up with the Romney/Ryan plan or is that just a metaphor for how Republicans treat the taxpayers?

Romney's Private-Sector Experience

Remember this when Mitt Romney or any of his zombies squawk about his "private sector experience":



We cannot allow Rob Me to do the same thing to this country which he did to these companies.

Do You Know Where Your Governor Is?

Yes, folks, it's time for everyone's favorite game - Do you know where your governor is?

With his state having less jobs than when his policies and budget took effect, and with a budget in "crisis" because he needs to finish paying back the road builders, do you know where Scott Walker is today?

Is he creating jobs? Is he finding a way to balance the budget without bankrupting the working class?

Hell, no!

He's out pandering to teahadists in New Hampshire!


*******MEDIA ADVISORY******

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Romney Press Office
September 28, 2012
857-288-3610

Governor Scott Walker Attends Events In New Hampshire

Boston, MA – On Saturday, Governor Scott Walker will address the New Hampshire GOP Convention at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire. He will then attend an “Earn It” Victory event at McIntyre Ski Lodge in Manchester, New Hampshire. The following events are open to the press.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Event: Governor Walker Addresses New Hampshire GOP Convention

Location: Pinkerton Academy
5 Pinkerton Street
Derry, New Hampshire

Program Time: 12:50 PM EDT

***

Event: Governor Walker Attends Manchester “Earn It” Victory Event

Location: McIntyre Ski Lodge
50 Chalet Court
Manchester, New Hampshire

Program Time: 2:20 PM EDT

What I can't understand is how Walker would know the first thing about earning anything. Everything he has had or done has been bought for him, first by his in-laws and then by the Bradley Foundation and the Koch Brothers. The last time Walker tried to do anything on his own was when he went to Marquette University. And we all know how that ended up.

Maybe New Hampshire has some tough fraud laws and Walker could start up a second legal defense fund, eh?

Everything Wrong With Voter Id Laws In Under Two Minutes

Under The Romney/Ryan/Thompson Plan...

...we'll all feast like royalty! Or something like that.


Walkergate: John Doe Comes Loaded For Weasel

With all the excitement stemming from the fact that the trial for Kelly Rindfleisch is finally coming up in just two short weeks, it's easy to forget that there are areas of Walkergate that are also still in play.

Just this past Thursday, Brian Pierick also had a day in court. Pierick is the long time partner of Tim Russell who is charged with child enticement and causing a child to expose their genitalia for purposes of sexual gratification. He was busted as a tangent to the main Walkergate investigation.

The hearing on Thursday was regarding a motion to suppress a statement Pierick gave to investigators.

Pierick is the third Walkergate defendant to try to get something suppressed. And just like with Rindfleisch and Tim Russell, his motion was denied.

I should point out that Russell is named as a co-conspirator in the Pierick case, but has not been charged for that particular crime. Yet.

And speaking of Russell, there's been some minor actions there as well.

The prosecutors have filed a number of documents, including a witness list, a "Notice of Intent to Use Certificates Pursuant to Wisconsin Statutes 909.02(12) and Wisconsin Supreme Court Order No. 04-09, 283 WIS.2d XV (2005)," and proposed Subpoena Duces Tecum, which is a subpoena for a document.

This is the second time that the DA's office has filed one of these. Apparently not everything had made it into the Dumpster O'Fun after all.

They were probably able to file the witness list so fast because it's probably very much like the one they filed for the Rindfleisch case.

Also, keep in mind that while all this behind the scenes action is taking place, somewhere off stage, Darlene Wink is warming up her vocal cords to keep her part of the plea bargain.

And since we've been discussing Pierick and Russell so much, I'll just leave off with this visual reminder of things yet to come:



Friday, September 28, 2012

Baldwin - Thompson Debate

Well, that was....something. Tammy knows her stuff. She didn't allow Thompson's unnecessary rude and gruff behavior to throw her off. Her answers were spot on. She did well, in my opinion. Thompson on the other hand...well, when you're that far down in the polls, I suppose that tends to make someone a bit cranky.

First, something that drove me NUTS the entire debate was his answer on Medicare. As we know, it's incredibly popular within the Republican party to drop to their knees and bow to Paul Ryan's idea to dismantle and be rid of Medicare as we know it. Thompson is no friend of Medicare. Just a few weeks ago at a speaking engagement, he drove home the idea of doing away with Medicare.

View the clip here.

No, Tommy, we don't want you to get rid of Medicare. Elections are won or lost by this very idea. I think this is a big reason why so many Republicans, including Thompson, are doing so poorly in their races. Talk about taking away Medicare and it's like you've kicked the hornet's nest. So for him to suggest during tonight's debate that he wants to strengthen it, is hilarious.

The other problem with Thompson's debate performance, was the way he treated Congresswoman Baldwin. Tammy couldn't have been more polite and gracious towards Thompson. He on the other hand, acted like a bully on the playground. Rude outbursts, answers full of venom, genuine disdain for her. Wonder why we have such a partisan gridlock in congress? It's because of people like Thompson. My jaw dropped (for the millionth time during the debate) when he screamed at her for her answer over the invasive fish question. "YOU AREN'T BLAMING ME OR BUSH!?" I don't know a child who would get in someone's face like this. Is he having hearing aid problems again and he wasn't sure how loud he was yelling or what?

Wisconsin, we have a serious decision to make. Do we want Thompson, a crony millionaire who bends to his lobbyists and does the bidding of his corporate and special interest overlords? Or do we want someone who genuinely cares about us? Congresswoman Baldwin has proven for the last 14 years that she has OUR interests at heart. She is someone who will take all of us to Washington with her, just as she always has done. Vote for Tammy Baldwin on November 6th. We can't gamble Wisconsin on Tommy Thompson.

THEY WILL

Register and Vote, because they are hip!  Will you?

 


With the Supreme Court choosing to pass for now on the suppressive unconstitutional republican Voter ID law, that means it will not be in effect for our upcoming election on November 6th.   So make sure and VOTE while we are still able too!   You can pledge to vote here, or register to vote here!  Wisconsin still has same day voter registration, but if you have time register ahead of time.  

Vote early if you must, but make sure and vote!   I personally  like to vote the day off and take my kids with me.   However you do it - Vote!   

See you at the Polls!   


Time to Party Again - AFP Style

Some unemployment news broke recently that pertained to Wisconsin and the Nation. H/T Think Progress:

New data released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the private-sector added 450,000 more jobs as of March 2012 than previously thought. This means that the economy has crossed the threshold and more jobs have been created than lost during President Obama’s term.

While things are looking up nationally, the outlook in WI - Not so much!

 The employment picture in Wisconsin so far this year has been grim. Whereas the country has seen year-on-year (y/y) job growth above 1.0% each month through July, the Badger State has seen y/y declines every month. As of July, Wisconsin payrolls had shed 0.8% since the same time last year. Although the state's important manufacturing sector is creating jobs, expanding at a 1.3% pace since July 2011, many other sectors continue to decline. The already beleaguered construction sector continues to be pummeled, shedding 7.7% y/y in July because of continued weak demand for new single-family homes and a lack of public infrastructure projects. And contrary to the trend throughout most of the country, where professional and business services has been a stalwart of the recovery, that sector’s payrolls have declined 0.8% here. In addition, leisure and hospitality services jobs declined 6.7% from their July 2011 level. The finance sector continues to suffer as well, dropping 1.8% y/y in July. Although the state's jobless rate has remained below the national average, it continues to climb, with July bringing more bad news, when it climbed to 7.3% from 7.0% in June.
Of course, the jobs in Wisconsin are few and far between:

 The August unemployment rate (preliminary) has risen to 7.5% from 7.3 in July, and from 7.0% in December of 2011.

With this gloomy Wisconsin economic report & outlook, what has the Koch industry extremist group, Americans for Prosperity,  have to say about it?  

Let's PARTAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!


Americans for Prosperity - WI present...
Freedom Fest and Concert with:

WI DNR Secretary - Cathy Stepp, President of the NRA - David Keene, Doctor Deer - Dr James Kroll, Rockstar of Radio - Vicki McKenna, celebrities from the Outdoor Channel and many more.
Entertainment by Jerry Schmitt Band
Saturday, October 6th, 2012
Kalahari Resort
1305 Kalahari Drive
Wisconsin Dells, WI
10:00 AM - 10:00 PM CT
**Tickets include lunch, evening buffet and concert!**


Invited guests details coming soon...

The news coming out of Wisconsin though, is not just we lost a few jobs, it is that the whole outlook does not look good, under Scott Walker and his minions for quite some time.   News that bad to Wisconsinites, really needs to be celebrated by more than just an incompetent secretary and hate radio squawker.  Americans for Prosperity is going all out to celebrate the bad news. 

AFP is bringing in the big dogs - failed country music singer Lorrie Morgan




Nothing like a Lorrie Morgan concert to celebrate the fact that the Governor they so blindly support, has massively failed the people of Wisconsin

Well, Hello Wausau!

Here at Cog Dis, we not only break the news, we make the news.

Last weekend, I posted the raw footage, taken at great risk of life and limb, of Sean Duffy trying to boost morale of party members at a WISGOP strategy summit.

That post, and the video, was picked up by Robert Mentzer, Opinion Editor for the Wausau Daily Herald.

First off, I'd like to thank and commend Mr. Mentzer for the reference. That is something that most media outlets don't do.

When I broke the story of Sean Duffy and his supporters, including his wife, Rachel, harassing his political opponent at a teahadist rally two years ago, several media outlets picked up on my story, but not one gave me the credit for breaking the story or citing me has their source.

That said, I also want to point out a snippet from Mr. Mentzer column which I found to be not only interesting but insightful:
I recommend that you take a listen to the tape because it’s interesting. But I admit that part of me wonders what we really get out of these sorts of illicit-seeming secret-hidden-camera videos. We assume that something a politician says in a closed room is more true than something a politician says in the open, but why should that necessarily be the case? It’s not as if this video — or, for that matter, the Romney “47 percent” video — captured the politician alone with his thoughts, or speaking to trusted advisers. Closed doors or not, both men were speaking to an audience, and if I know politicians that means both were still feeling that magnetic pull to pander and self-aggrandize.

The presidential race in Wisconsin is going to be tight. It’s going to be a 1 point to 2 point race either way. That could easily be true. But it also is exactly what you would want to tell a room full of activists for your side, isn’t it? Seems to me we’re left back where we started, not knowing quite what to make of what’s on that hidden camera.

Another Victory For Unions!

The war that Piggly Wiggly has been waging on its workers is finally over!
Piggly Wiggly Midwest has agreed to pay more than $570,000 in back pay to 500 union employees at six of its Wisconsin stores as part of a recent settlement reached with the National Labor Relations Board.

[...]

The deal also includes new collective bargaining agreements with the union representing Piggly Wiggly employees, reinstating discharged workers and the previously announced decision to keep open a south-side Sheboygan store that had been slated for closure.
The unions had to file more than 120 charges of unfair labor practices over the past several years. Charges included multiple counts of bad faith bargaining, arbitrary and unilateral changes to wages and working conditions, unlawful firings, and an illegal attempt to get the workers to de-certify their union.

This victory shows the importance of unions in these days, despite the right's arguments that they are obsolete and no longer needed.

Unless these workers are all independently wealthy people who just happen to like to bag groceries for minimum wage, a single worker would not be able to afford the time or the money that it would take to defend their rights against bullies like the management of this grocery chain.

And the argument that the unions are just greedy people is ludicrous. They need the stores to thrive for them to thrive. They are fully aware that bankrupting the store would only hurt themselves as well. The unions are only trying to get a fair wage for their members and to protect their rights.

On the other hand, if it weren't for the unions, and the laws that they have fought for, there would be nothing to keep the greedy CEO's from ruining their workers, especially in the current economy where things are slowly turning around to a more positive outlook, but where there is still a dearth of family-supporting jobs. The current mindset of too many companies, especially the big ones, is that their employees are expendable tools and not people just trying to make it.

And yes, the same goes for the public sector workers, who just had a big win with the Act 10 rulings.

Hopefully, some day not too far off in the future, the self-described masters of industry will realize that they would be nothing without labor, and that it would be mutually beneficial for both sides to pull together and move forward instead of having to fight each other and have both sides lose ground.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mitt Baby

The caption post we did recently was kind of fun, so here is another that is just priceless. Have at it:

Quote of the Day

"The only thing that limits you is your God given talent and your own effort. We need to have that dynamic economy return. You do that by drawing the economy and giving people a hand up, not a hand out. Teach a man how to fish, he can feed himself for a life. Don't simply feed fish." Paul Ryan(R- Wall St.)



Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Mitt's Harvest!

H/T David Corn and Mother Jones!

Here is Mitt talking about his plan for Bain Capitol, to "harvest companies(and jobs)":







Campaigning for the presidency, Mitt Romney has pointed to his stint as the founder and manager of Bain Capital, a private equity firm, as proof he can rev up the US economy and create jobs at a faster clip than President Barack Obama. Last year, while stumping in Florida, Romney declared, "You'd have a president who has spent his life in business—small business, big business—and who knows something about how jobs are created and how we compete around the world." His campaign spokeswoman, Andrea Saul, has said that Romney's Bain days afford him more expertise than Obama to "focus on job creation and turn around our nation's faltering economy." Romney has even claimed that during his tenure at Bain, "we were able to help create over 100,000 jobs." In his acceptance speech at the Republican convention, Romney smacked Obama for having "almost no experience working in a business" and tied that to the sluggish recovery.

But at Bain, Romney's top priority wasn't to boost employment. As the Wall Street Journal recently noted, creating jobs "wasn't the aim of Bain or other private-equity firms, which measure success by returns produced for investors." And, the newspaper reported, Romney's 100,000-jobs claim is tough to evaluate




WAKE THE F*%K UP

Listen to Samuel L. Jackson talk to President Obama supporters:

"In Corporate Fitzwalkerstan"

There is an old adage that goes, "Truth is stranger than fiction."

In Fitzwalkerstan, that could be the state motto.

Let me explain.

On Wednesday, Scott Walker took time from his usual begging for money for his legal defense fund and nervously watching the Kelly Rindfleisch trial to do his favorite thing: Grandstanding for the media.

The topic du jour was the unveiling of a marketing initiative to promote the business friendly climate he has created and why businesses should locate and/or expand in Fitzwalkerstan:
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) today unveiled its marketing initiative to brand Wisconsin's business climate and promote the benefits of starting, expanding or locating a business in Wisconsin.

An integrated marketing campaign introducing the "In Wisconsin" brand will be launched next week in key business-focused media, featuring five world-class Wisconsin companies that have set standards in their industries through innovation and leadership.

"Over the past year we've enhanced Wisconsin's business climate with regulatory changes and powerful incentives for businesses to grow their operations and expand their workforce," said Gov. Scott Walker, who announced the initiative today at a WEDC press conference in Madison. "As a result, Wisconsin has already improved its image as a business-friendly state, as evidenced by recent state business climate rankings by Chief Executive Magazine and CNBC. The In Wisconsin marketing initiative takes the next step by actively promoting the state's benefits to business leaders, both those already here and those considering a relocation or expansion in Wisconsin."

The "In Wisconsin" brand promotes the state's pioneering spirit and heritage of innovation.
Yeah, right.

One would be accurate to describe this as a textbook example of Walker's usual hypocrisy and outright lying, especially when one considers the fact that the head of WEDC, Paul Jadin, is bailing on the group to go out to the private sector.

The hypocrisy reaches nearly toxic levels when one factors in that Walker's failure is so utterly complete and of such epic proportions that he has scrubbed all references of his promise of creating 250,000 jobs from his campaign website.

Ah, but as the gentle reader already knows, when it comes to all things Walker, there's more. There's always more.

Walker had added an amazing amount of chutzpah to his hypocrisy with this particular example of showboating.

Just hours earlier, we learned that the Feds had slammed into WEDC for illegal behaviors and violating their very own policy:
In a strongly worded Aug. 12 letter to Department of Administration Secretary Mike Huebsch, federal officials said two state agencies failed to follow federal law and their own policies in issuing economic development grants.

Among the findings:

  • The state gave out aid worth $20,000 per job created to Kapco, a company with a plant in Polk County — twice as much as its own policies allow./LI.
  • Officials failed to check the financial soundness of two companies receiving $1.4 million in federal grants.

  • Eleven out of 20 loans using Community Development Block Grant funds awarded since Jan. 1, 2011, are "forgivable," despite the fact that the state's own policy calls for allowing businesses to get no-payback loans only in "extraordinary circumstances."

  • Questions remain about an $8.6 million chunk of CDBG funds withdrawn under unusual circumstances late last year.
The HUD monitoring report, obtained by the State Journal, covers activities stretching back to 2007.
And then there is this:
HUD said some of the problems resulted from the "hasty" transfer of duties from the former Department of Commerce to the new economic development entity without a formal written agreement. The monitoring apparently was triggered by an announcement in February by Walker that four communities had received $9.6 million in CDBG funding. "At the time these awards were made," HUD said, "WEDC had no legal authority under the CDBG program to award or administer the CDBG funds." The federal agency ordered Wisconsin to hire a high-level administrator for monitoring, oversight and compliance, saying DOA currently lacks "adequate staff or experience to adequately oversee ... the new activities that are being undertaken by the WEDC." Among the most serious findings are that the state failed to perform required underwriting — the process of determining the financial soundness of a company — before giving $390,000 to Gilman USA LLC, a machining company in Grafton, and $1 million to Morgan Aircraft in Sheboygan. The aircraft company's website said it is developing a vertical lift technology that "combines the operational advantages of a helicopter with the range and speed of a fixed-wing aircraft." In the case of Gilman, "WEDC staff indicated that the underwriting process was skipped in order to accommodate the business' timeline," HUD said. "In the case of Morgan Aircraft, WEDC staff indicates that an updated underwriting was performed, but not placed in the file. HUD staff requested a copy ... but it has not been provided."
In other words, Walker was handing out taxpayer money willy nilly to these various companies through WEDC, even though WEDC wasn't even a state agency and without having even done the most rudimentary investigation to make sure the companies provided a suitable and stable company. Adding to this mess is the fact that Walker knew all along that WEDC wasn't a legitimate agency to be handling this money. He had been advised as much by the Feds in a previous letter and through a conference call with them. The real kicker is that Walker willfully kept this information from the WEDC board, which he chairs:
Walker, who chairs the economic development board, defended the decision not to inform the board of the matter, saying the federal government "routinely" corresponds with the state. "It's one where the Department of Administration is still waiting to hear back from HUD in terms of whether the things they're proposing are acceptable to them," he said. "And if those are things that need approval from the board certainly we'll have a special meeting of the board." The Republican governor made the comments Wednesday when asked about it during a news conference announcing WEDC's new branding program for the state. Walker said discussions with HUD are in the "early stages," even though they have gone on since at least May. In addition to Walker, the board consists of four lawmakers and eight businesspeople. Vice Chairman Dan Ariens and other board members from the private sector did not return calls Wednesday.
Mike Ivey reports that Walker has had issued with HUD money for a long time and that the Feds have been warning Walker about these issues for over a year. Actually, Walker's problems with HUD funding goes back even further, even before Walker became governor. When Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, he had put Tim Russell (remember that name?) in charge of the county's housing division. The result of this corrupt couple was that the taxpayers of Milwaukee County facing the possibility of having to pay back more than a half a million dollars. Fortunately, with no thanks to Walker, the county got off light:
Milwaukee County has repaid the federal government $229,000 for a portion of Community Development Block Grant money that was improperly spent as part of an overhaul required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The amount probably represents a small fraction of spending in the past decade that HUD says violated federal rules. But HUD is only enforcing the rule starting with 2011 allocations. The payback was ordered because the local programs primarily served City of Milwaukee residents or the county couldn't find documentation showing how the money was spent, according to county and HUD officials.
Now, I haven't had the time to research all of this, but I can't help but wonder how many of these companies are also campaign donors to Walker. I wouldn't be at all surprised that one would see what the real driving force behind the WEDC truly is as well as what Walker means when he says Fitzwalkerstan is business friendly.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Melissa Sargent: Another One Of Those Uppity Women!

Even though it's 2012 for the rest of the world, there are still some in Fitzwalkerstan who think it's still 1912. Just ask Melissa Agard Sargent:
For her supporters and detractors alike, Sargent's children loom large. A resident in her district once told her she was a bad mother for campaigning instead of spending time with them. This sentiment is voiced more often than you might think, says Sargent, who cites women's rights as one of her issues, and who started knocking on doors in her campaign for county supervisor with her newborn son slung in a carrier on her chest. No male candidate or elected official has ever been questioned about doing this work instead of staying home with the kids, she notes, which "makes it a fundamentally flawed question.
But then there's this:
But she is driven to public life as well. "I love Wisconsin and care so much about my community. I want to be able to be proud of Wisconsin again," she says.

She says her constituents want elected officials who act with integrity and pursue policies based on middle-class values. These include "decent, solid quality education on all levels, clean air and water, open spaces for recreation, land conservation and resource protection."

Looking to her work in the state Assembly, Sargent says Wisconsin needs jobs that support families and offer health care coverage.

"We need to concentrate on job creation, as [Gov. Scott] Walker says from his throne," she says. "But we are the most job-losing state in the country. We need to invest in small- and medium-size companies, not huge corporations."
I had written about her adventures with the Capitol Police when the protests were going strong in early 2011, but I didn't fully recognize what an amazing person Sargent is.

Read for yourself.

They Weren't Counting On Tanya Lohr

The esteemed Dominique Paul Noth does an excellent job reporting how Tanya Lohr has already changed the face of politics in the red belt and hopefully will change it more. Here is an excerpt of this must read article:
Whatever vestiges of truth in such fear of progressive ideas, the clich├ęs don't fit the families you meet from Port Washington to West Bend and farms in-between and villages to the north, and it is there that Lohr reflects the concern about family, community and restoring local control and input.

Lohr comes from these people, from large clans of kin and neighbors devoted to hearth and kids, willing to pitch in, proud of their self-help roots and educational advances and hardly deaf to the spirit of cooperation. A devoted mother and teacher for 17 years, she is hardly a novice to the realities of their lives. It is Grothman who represents an anti-community spirit and "keep away from me" approach to life more than any party label.

Past patterns don't consider Lohr's mastery of the communication and technological revolution that is overtaking the nation. It may not be fast enough beneath the presidential election to change outcomes. No one should pretend that Facebook, Twitter and the rest don't also bring disturbing elements of intrusiveness and triviality, much less turning older thumbs into slabs of jelly.

But the social media that is as natural to Lohr as swimming and clearly alien waters to Grothman has also changed the immediacy and imagery of relationships and how people know and deal with each other.
And this is too good not to point out as well:
Cheerfully she meets hostile voters and charms them into listening to her common sense approach to governance. "You win," they tell her in the end, ready to reverse a lifelong habit of voting. The direct honesty and conversational touch that keep ninth graders in line and devoted to her in West Bend classrooms ("I like them right back," she says) work wonders at the doors.

All this has made her the queen of the Internet. The Huffington Post headlined an analysis of her race "Beauty and the Beast" (guess which is which) and had readers rolling in the aisles describing Grothman's positions in his own words - money means more to men than women; women shouldn't get equal pay or value in the workplace because they leave to do such terrible things as have children; women pregnant out of wedlock lie about their needs because of society's stigma; single parents should be a condition of criminal child abuse investigation; alternate energy standards should be reduced; early kindergarten should be eliminated; most education of women is a fraud; Obama wants more welfare because that translates into more lazy voters for him, and on and on -- leaving traditional Republicans aghast that this is the guy they have let speak for them in the legislature.

Lohr not only wins the publicity battle hands down. Her use of social media lets voters daily follow the campaign. She clearly adores her husband of 10 years, Andy, also a teacher, their two teenagers from his first marriage (Mallory and MacKenzie) and their young twins, 6 year old Elena and Eadrick.
Like I said, it's a must read.

Is America Ready For A Male Secretary Of State?

From Foreign Policy:
But beyond just the raw stamina needed to robustly represent the United States at home and abroad, others wonder if a man would simply bring the same skills to the table as does a woman. In numerous studies, women have been ranked as more emotionally intelligent than men while enjoying a greater ability to empathize with their interlocutors. Both men and women consistently rate women as better listeners than men. While some level of stereotyping is likely at work in these findings, there is much to argue that women are more culturally attuned and adept at interpersonal skills than their male counterparts. What skills could be more important for a good diplomat?

The pro-women camp doesn't just hang its hat on the touchy-feely side of diplomacy. Certainly, when thinking about secretaries Clinton, Rice, and Albright, there are many who have questioned their policies and abilities from both the left and the right. That comes with the territory. But one would be hard-pressed to find someone who argued that any of these three secretaries was too soft for the job. I don't mean to be too blunt about it, but are there any men out there right now who would bring the same level of toughness to the position? Because of a desire for political correctness, can we risk appointing a man to this job when we are unsure if he will be tough enough to stand up to tyrants in Iran, North Korea, and Cuba?

It is also important to note that secretaries Albright, Rice, and Clinton have all been able to give total commitment to their jobs, at some level of personal sacrifice. Albright was divorced long before her diplomatic career reached the highest levels. Rice never married or had children. Clinton enjoys the relative freedom of being married to a former president of the United States, who is a very active globe-trotter himself. Putting it delicately, some wonder whether a man with more "traditional" family commitments simply would have the time, energy, and focus required to be fully effective as secretary of state. As many a family-minded man has learned, in the demanding and competitive world of modern diplomacy, you just can't have it all.
Do go to the article and read the whole article. Then read the comments. Sometimes satire is too subtle and is simply lost on people. I'm not sure if that makes me want to laugh or cry.

Walkergate: Three Strikes And Yer Out!

During the course of her trial, Kelly Rindfleisch and her attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, have tried every trick they could think of to delay her trial.

They tried to appeal on the venue. This was denied.

They tried to appeal with universal immunity. Again, this was denied.

Undaunted and/or desperate, they tried to appeal for a third time. This time, there argument was on whether the evidence in the form of all of her emails should be denied.

And for the third time, they were denied.

The Appellate Court ruled that they did not show good cause for why her case, already eight months old, should be further delayed.

It should be noted that while the Appellate Court has denied her motion for now, the State still has to respond by October 1 and the court hopes to rule by October 15, the date her trial is supposed to start.

Regardless of whatever deal she may or may not have cut with Walker's people, she must be feeling pretty damned scared right about now.

I would also like to see some sort of report on how her legal bills are being paid and who is paying them. Given his disregard for the law, how do we know that it's not Walker illegally footing the bill with his legal defense fund?

Those People

This will leave a mark:




Is it any wonder the Republicans, including Lyin' Ryan, are backpedalling away from him as fast as they can?

Hear, Hear!

From the Cap Times:
The Madison School Board decision to immediately re-enter collective bargaining negotiations with its employee unions was right and necessary.

Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas' determination that Gov. Scott Walker's collective bargaining law unconstitutionally penalized and harmed teachers and municipal employees has cleared the way for a restoration of sanity, not just for Madison teachers and school employees but for educators across the state.

And responsible school boards will seize the opportunity Colas has given them to re-establish normal relations with their employees and the unions that represent those employees.

Walker has over the past year and a half tried to peddle the fantasy that the only way to improve education, expand the economy, and generally get Wisconsin on track is to effectively end more than 50 years of relative labor harmony in Wisconsin.

The governor is wrong. Ridiculously wrong.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

Quote of the Day

“Stop it. This is hard. You want to try it? Get in the ring. This is hard and, you know, it’s an important thing that we’re doing right now and it’s an important election and it is time for all Americans to realize how significant this election is and how lucky we are to have someone with Mitt’s qualifications and experience and know-how to be able to have the opportunity to run this country.”  Ann Romney

Yes we should all love Mitt Romney, he is a true leader,  and all ladies are naturally attracted to him, they just can not help it

Next time you address Mitt Romney, "He would rather you just say THANK YOU!"  





Tommy Thompson - Small Government Conservative

Tommy Thompson, the "small government conservative" legend, believe in limited government and privacy UNLESS he holds stock in companies that want to intrude on your privacy!

Whatever increases Tommy Thompson's personal bank account is ok by him!





Of course the whole verichip device and program goes against everything the Thompson supporters pretend to believe in, but that has not stopped them from (semi) supporting him. 

What Do Republicans Do When They Get Desperate?

Remind people that the republican party is the party of white people:

Mitt Romney has done it the whole campaign:





Now Scott Brown in MA is sending out his staffers to play the race card:







The GOP Southern strategy is alive and well, its time to retire that old tired strategy the way the NFL has dropped the WING T.


Ryan Fever: Catch It

Anyone who has read my blogs the last couple years, knows that I am a big fan of snark.   Roger Simon of Politico, is also a fan of snark and just took it up to a WHOLE new level with a story about Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.) .

After checking out this quote from an Iowa Republican:

“I hate to say this, but if Ryan wants to run for national office again, he’ll probably have to wash the stench of Romney off of him,” Craig Robinson, a former political director of the Republican Party of Iowa, told The New York Times on Sunday
 
 
 Dan Senor, one of Romney’s closest advisers, has kept a tight grip on Ryan, traveling with him everywhere and making sure he hews to the directions of the Romney “brain trust” in Boston. (A brain trust, rumor has it, that refers to Ryan as “Gilligan.”)

 But on Saturday, the day after he was booed, Ryan broke free. Appearing at a town hall meeting at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, Ryan showed the glitz, the glamour, the razzle-dazzle that he was supposed to bring to the campaign in the first place.
He did a PowerPoint presentation for the crowd. According to the National Journal, be began thusly: “ ‘I’m kind of a PowerPoint guy, so I hope you’ll bear with me,’ Ryan told the audience as he began clicking through four slides, which showed graphs depicting U.S. debt held by the public from 1940 to present, debt per person in the United States, percentage of debt held by foreign countries and a breakdown of federal spending. He then launched into a 10-minute monologue on the federal debt.”

A word about PowerPoint. PowerPoint was released by Microsoft in 1990 as a way to euthanize cattle using a method less cruel than hitting them over the head with iron mallets. After PETA successfully argued in court that PowerPoint actually was more cruel than iron mallets, the program was adopted by corporations for slide show presentations.

Conducting a PowerPoint presentation is a lot like smoking a cigar. Only the person doing it likes it. The people around him want to hit him with a chair.

 Ryan Fever. Catch it!!

As for Ryan Fever, here is a crowd that actually has it.  They were chanting "Ryan Ryan Ryan" and mitt had to grab the mic and remind them that HE is the actual presidential candidate:





 
 

The Wisconsin Press Should Be Ashamed

It turns out that the Wisconsin Press, taking advantage of Chief Erwin's crackdown on free speech, has had one of the full time protestors charged with harassment.

A Capitol police incident report indicates that the criminal charge against Jeremy Ryan, 23, stems from events in early July.

Gwyn Guenther, president of the Wisconsin Capitol Correspondents Association, told Capitol police that Ryan was repeatedly outside the Capitol press room, yelling and disrupting employees, according to the police report.

Guenther also told Capitol police that, at one point, Ryan sang a song mocking her late father, longtime political journalist Dick Wheeler, according to the report.

"I support everyone's First Amendment rights to do freedom of speech, but we have to look at some of the things that are happening here and how people are presenting this First Amendment," said Capitol Police Chief David Erwin.

WISC-TV contacted Guenther for comment but she declined

So Chief Erwin has decided that the first amendment only applies when it is convenient and Gwyn Guenther has decided as a reporter that she has nothing to say about a very important news story.  

Shameful and disgraceful. 

It is no wonder that the state of Wisconsin and politics is the mess it is when our media has so blatantly neglect their responsibilities!

A quick refresher course:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
 Before the righties get their panties in a bunch, this is not an endorsement of Jeremy Ryan.  Its ridiculous to sing a song about someones recently dead father, whoever it is.  However, there is no law on the books that says being a douchebag is illegal.   If there were, Robin Vos and paul ryan would be roommies in Gitmo.   There is also nothing that resembles a journalist in someone who gets a person arrested for what they have to say.  

Chief Erwin has proven himself to be head of the palace guard and disgraces the uniform he wears.  Gwyn Guenther has also proven that she is just there to take dictation and disgraces the profession of journalism.   236 years of people who have been actual independent journalists that have come before her are truning over in their graves at the way the press acts these days!  

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Yoo Hoo! Erwin! Huebsch! You Got Some Explaining To Do!

On September 12, Representative Chris Taylor sent a missive to Commandant Erwin and Secretary of Maladministration Michael Huebsch asking for some dialogue on the latest outbreak of brownshirted and particularly cowardly fascism going on in the People's House.

On September 20, she had to second a second missive since the miscreants wouldn't respond.

Finally, On September 21, Huebsch responded with a letter denying getting the first missive and trying to make their irrational behaviors seem rational.

Today, Rep. Taylor was joined by a few friends in her response, calling Huebsch out on his lie (they did get the first communication) and confronting him on his dancing around the issues.

Read, enjoy, and then contact Sec. Huebsch and tell him as the People's Servant, he is obliged to respond quickly and honestly.

Huebsch's number is 608-266-1741 and his email is Mike.Huebsch@wisconsin.gov.

Tell them capper sent ya.

Quote of the Day!

Today's Quote of the Day comes from Missouri republican and Senate hopeful, and very good friend of Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.) Todd Akin.

When asked the best way to contact your congressman:


“I’ll tell you, it sounds sort of self-serving to say it but if you go out and somebody is working on campaigns and you find out that you like them, you think they’re a good person, you go help on their campaign, that gets their attention,” he continued.

“I’m in a three way primary for the U.S. Senate. I’ve gone to people and asked for their support, their help, or their endorsement and some people say yes. They write me a decent check. I remember that… You remember who’s helping you. That’s one way that people get to know Congressmen and Senators.” Todd Akin.




Claire McKaskil is his opponent!   

Who Better???

Occassionally, republicans speak the truth.  When they do, we need to listen.   This time, surprisingly, it was Tommy G Thompson!

H/T Think Progress:

"[W]ho better than me, who’s already finished one of the entitlement programs, to come up with programs to do away with Medicaid and Medicare? Let’s block-grant what the state has, and allow the states to determine what’s going to go into Medicaid. And Medicare, let’s wait until everyone that right now is under 55 reaches 55 by age [sic] 2020, and give them a choice whether they want to purchase health insurance with a subsidy from the federal government, or stay on Medicare." Tommy Thompson.


H/T Brinmat @ Kos for the better video:



When you have made millions of taxpayer dollars over the years, I guess he does not need medicare(but I am sure he will take every cent he can get).  

Instead of asking "Who better to get rid of Medicaid and Medicare", let us ask ourselves,

Q.  Who better to get rid of Tommy Thompson and preserve Medicaid & Medicare? 

A.  The people of Wisconsin and Tammy Baldwin

Scott Walker Loves The Union!

Piggybacking on what Capper pointed out yesterday about the righties love of the union, here comes ScottWalker! 


After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs

Oh, Were You Campaigning There?

I received the oddest email on Monday. It was from Mark Neumann and read thus:
Since the beginning you have been one of my top supporters and a true friend in my campaign to defeat Tammy Baldwin for U.S. Senate.

And as someone who is not particularly comfortable asking others for financial help, let me just say that I’m honored and humbled by the support you have given me.

Unfortunately, when all the votes were counted on Primary Election Day, we came up a bit short.

But now is not the time to hang our heads.

I continue to stand by our conservative principles of limited government, low taxes, and traditional family values as much today as I did during the long days and nights of the campaign.

Thank you for supporting me in my bid for U.S. Senate -- I couldn’t have done it without you!

Though we didn’t win the day, our campaign will have a lasting impact on our politics.

We showed the political class that rolling back the Obama agenda of the last four years is priority #1 for the conservative grassroots.

The spirit of limited government that gave rise to the Tea Party Movement is spreading to Americans in all walks of life.

Now that the election is over, I’ve had many suggestions about how I can help promote our conservative values going forward.

But before I do anything, I need to take care of those people who helped me in this campaign.

You see, in the last few weeks of my hard-fought campaign, over $152,000 in bills came in.

I wasn’t counting on having unpaid bills at the end of my campaign. As you know, I ran a lean campaign that pinched every penny we could.

But this money is owed to vendors and small businessmen who took a leap of faith and helped my run for U.S. Senate.

They put their money on the line believing in me and I want to make them whole.

I hope you understand my dilemma.

I don’t have any money left in my campaign account to pay these bills. I must turn to my supporters for help.

I need to know if you will help me retire these late campaign bills.

I can’t stress enough how important it is that I take care of these outstanding bills before I do anything else.

It pains me to say it, but I need your help now like never before.

Asking for money is one of the hardest parts of running for the U.S. Senate.

But it’s simply what I must do to pay those people who stuck their necks out on the line for our campaign. The small businessmen who put it all on the line are solid conservatives like you and me.

Thank you and God Bless,

Mark Neumann
Dan Bice had some of the same questions that I did:
But Neumann seemed baffled by a question about why he was hitting up his donors during the general election.

"Nobody asked me that question before, so I'm not really sure I thought it through," Neumann said. "It seems to me if I've got people that are owed money, my job is to figure out how to get them paid."

Asked if he is concerned he might take money away from Thompson with the solicitation, Neumann said, "Absolutely not." He said he didn't know how many people received the email.

Neumann brushed aside any suggestion that he pick up the tab for the last-minute campaign expenses. In the primary, Neumann reported a net worth between $6 million and $18 million.

"I don't think it's your position to evaluate my finances, but say whatever you want," said Neumann, who finished third in the four-way primary.

Of course, it's not the only time in recent history that a Republican has started asking for money while their fellow Republicans are scrambling for cash. Don't forget that Scott Walker was happy enough to horn in on Tommy Thompson, Paul Ryan and all the others to fill up his own treasure trove.

So much for party unity.

Fumbling Hypocrites

On Monday night, the Green Bay Packers lost to the Seattle Seahawks on a rather controversial call made by the scab referees filling in while the unionized refs are out due to a labor dispute.

For kicks and giggles, I took a look at what some of the most extreme anti-union right wing nut jobs are saying about the game.

Fred Dooley was so upset he posted about it twice, putting the blame specifically on the replacement refs and questioning the integrity of the game.

Freedom Eden so far has the lead with three posts complaining about the game, blaming the replacement refs and even cheering on the players exercising free speech. Needless to say, she doesn't show the same support for the teachers or other workers in the state.

And I would be remiss if I did not point out crazy, old Dad29 that somehow ties the game in with Roe v Wade.

But my favorite so far is by the lefty and venerable James Rowen, who points out the anti-union Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's hypocrisy, going so far as even calling the scabs scabs.

Isn't it amazing how one doesn't appreciate what they got until it's gone?

What makes it all the more shameful is the fact that the right wingers are incapable and/or unwilling to learn from the lesson they were given.

Walkergate: Rindfleisch To Fall On Her Own Secret Router

We learned at the end of last week that the prosecutors had filed their final pretrial papers in preparation for the jury trial of Kelly Rindfleisch, who has been charged with four counts of illegally doing campaign work while working in her Milwaukee County office as Scott Walker's Assistant Chief of Staff.

Among the papers filed was the potential witness list. And heading that list was none other than John Doe Scott Walker himself.

Monday was the final pretrial hearing for Rindfleisch.

As one might have expected, the Honorable David Hansher is tired of all the stalling and game playing by Rindfleisch and her attorney, Franklyn Gimbel, and denied the defense's umpteenth request to stay the hearing pending yet another appeal.

Gimbel also asked, via a Motion In Limine, to have the Court suppress Rindfleisch's statements that she had made to the caucus scandal investigators regarding her knowledge of it being illegal to campaign while at work as a public employee. In other words, she wants to claim that she didn't know it was wrong to do this, despite being granted immunity for doing illegal campaigning during the caucus scandals.

I don't think the judge will grant this wish either, but even if he does, it won't help her case at all. First of all, there is the fact that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Secondly, the Milwaukee County Ethics Board sends out regular reminders of ethics rules and conflicts of interest. So even if the defense argues she didn't know it then, they cannot argue that they didn't know it during her time as Walker's henchwoman.

The judge is expected to make his ruling on October 11, the same day that they are to do the deposition of the mysterious and still unidentified "Timothy L."

But, as you might expect, when it comes to anything related to Walker - say it with me - there is more. There is always more.

Steve Schultze of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that Gimbel said that the DA's Office tried to get Rindfleisch to cooperate with their investigation, which she refused. Read this excerpt of the article carefully (emphasis mine):
A former top aide to Gov. Scott Walker resisted prosecutors' efforts to get her to implicate others in a longstanding John Doe investigation, the aide's attorney said Monday.

Prosecutors sought cooperation from Kelly Rindfleisch, who worked as Walker's deputy chief of staff in 2010 when Walker was still Milwaukee County executive, said Franklyn Gimbel, Rindfleisch's lawyer.

"They tried to get her to turn on somebody in authority, but she declined," Gimbel said in an interview. "They were looking for information on people up the food chain," Gimbel said.

He declined to name them.
Now, there weren't many people above Rindfleisch.

On the Milwaukee County side, there was the Chief of Staff, Tom Nardelli, who so far doesn't seem to have anything concrete to do with Walkergate. And above him was Scott Walker. That's it.

On the campaign side, there were more names, including Brett Davis, whom Rindfleisch was working for as a fund raiser. There was also Cullen Werwie, who was Davis' campaign manager but has also been given immunity. Then there was also Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager and Walker again.

But of greater interest is WHY would Rindfleisch decide to fall on her own secret router rather than save her own butt.

There's only a few reasons that would make sense:
  • She really doesn't think she did anything wrong. The problem with this is that she was already tied up in the caucus scandal and does know better, unless she is so psychotic she just can't differentiate wrong from right.
  • She is expecting to be pardoned or have her sentence commuted. All I can say to that is if that would happen, the reaction across the state would make the protests from 2011 look like a family picnic.
  • She's being paid off. It might make it easier for her to take her punishment if she knows that there's a big bundle of cash and/or a high paying job waiting for her when she gets out of prison. Of course, it would be her mistake to trust any of them, but that's her problem.
  • She's such a zealot that she would gladly sacrifice her freedom in the name of "the cause" or for Dear Leader Walker.
That last possibility is truly a frightening prospect. How full of hate are these people that they would give up their lives just to get more money and/or power, even if it would destroy the lives of the working people of state? And people wonder why I refer to them as teahadists.

Justice cannot come quickly enough to the lot of them, especially to the "people up the food chain." It's truly a matter of public safety and for the common good.