Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Cowardly Ryan

The biggest problem is the cowardly Ryan is currently the Ringmaster.   

By Jeff Simpson

Paul Ryan has had a rough 2016.   Ryan has went from mega rich under the radar career politician, to Speaker of the House for the Republicans, to being completely shamed by the Republican nominee for for President, Donald Trump.

The problem with Paul Ryan's year/career can be pointed out in one glowing example.

A.  After FBI Director James Comey, strangely, held a press conference to say, he would not be bringing charges against Hillary Clinton over her email problems.   Big Government Paul Ryan (R-Wall St.) has decided he has seen all of the evidence he needs (the D behind her name) and wrote a letter to the Director of National Intelligence and ask that Secretary Clinton's access to classified information be revoked.

The letter can be read here.

B.  Now fast forward to July 28 and we see a completely different Paul Ryan.  One who is not so interested in holding up the Constitution or Rule of Law when  certain other people (anyone with an R after their name) break it.

 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he hoped Russian hackers would be able to find missing emails from competitor Hillary Clinton’s personal email server.Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you find the 33,000 emails that are missing. I think you’ll be rewarded mightily by our press!” Trump said during a news conference Wednesday.

Speaker Ryan recently called out Donald Trump for being a racist, but textbook racism did not seem to bother Mr. Ryan as he still strongly supports The Donald for President.

Surely, borderline treason will cause Paul Ryan to pause right?  Not so much!

Almost as soon as Mr. Trump spoke, other Republicans raced in to try to reframe his remarks and argue that Russia should be punished. A spokesman for Speaker Paul D. Ryan termed Russia “a global menace led by a devious thug.” The spokesman, Brendan Buck, added: “Putin should stay out of this election.”

A spokesman pointing a finger at Putin and completely ignoring The Donald's role in this is hardly courageous.  

In case you were wondering, The Donald will soon start receiving national security briefings.   I wonder if Mr. Ryan will call for an end to that(I am kidding, I know the answer)?

On this very day, Paul Ryan released a new campaign ad, laughingly called integrity. because he has a primary battle against a real conservative - Paul Nehlen.

The one real moment is where Mr. Ryan is praying.  Luckily at Cogdis we got an inside tip that Mr. Ryan is praying that people keep focused on the The Donald sideshow and not look at the incompetent circus he is running from the main stage!

Support Paul Nehlen August 9th!  

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha, White Out

By Jeff Simpson

What a week it is turning out to be, and it is only Monday.   First off, Speaker Paul Ryan (R- Wall St.), Instagrammed this pic that he was so very proud of.  

While Paul Ryan (R-Wall St.) usually likes hanging out with Billionaires, this is even a bit much for the Dark Knight. 

While Bruce Wayne can not handle the White out, Republican Congressman Steve King sure can:

Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King (R-KKK) is sick of being questioned about white men, What have any other races but white males ever contributed to society(stop dont answer that. we do not have all day!).  

Capper himself even pointed out that Sean (Pay me more) Duffy has shown his love for Trump because it was about time that white men in America had a voice in our Government!

Let's here from their speechwriter.  

In Case You Were Wondering, if both sides were the same?  Here is a pic of the Democratic class of interns:

Now just in case this election season is not scary enough....let me seal the deal!

Sorry for your insomnia!

Ann Coulter Makes Holocaust Reference About Bernie Sanders

We all know that Ann Coulter is an attention-seeking, vile, wretched excuse for a person.  But on Tuesday night, she went way over the line when she sent out this tweet regarding the Democratic National Convention:

This tweet would cross the line in anyone's book (except maybe a Republican's), but it goes way beyond the pale when one remembers that Sanders is Jewish.

Is it any wonder why she is such a big fan of Donald Trump? He's almost as disgusting as she is.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Getting Real with State Senator Gary George

State Senator Gary George is not a dumb guy. He's held several leadership positions in state government and is held in high regard by people on both sides of the political aisle. He is challenging the much-beloved US Representative Gwen Moore in the upcoming election, but some of his answers at a recent Community Brainstorming session were just plain weird.

When asked why he is running in Rep. Moore's district, when running in another district without an elected representative who is African-American would broaden representation in a state governed mostly by white people, he said it was where his mother lived and where he grew up. Fair enough, but the guy's primary residence is in Grafton. It has been for 26 years.

His grand plans for reducing crime include building more prisons and jailing more Black people. How will this be accomplished? By bringing in US Marshals! Yes, that was his actual answer according to those in attendance.

Other strange comments included him taking credit for creating the School Choice program. He said he was THE founder. No matter how you feel about that topic, does anybody really consider him to be the founder of this program in Wisconsin? It was hard to take the guy seriously, according to the people in attendance.

Also, check out the Wiki page for him, where he's gone against the community more than once, sided with Republicans (sometimes in tie-breaking situations that ultimately hurt his district in a big way), and the countless ways he keeps getting involved in all kinds of weird stuff (like overthrowing the government of Laos in Southeastern Asia).  Just. Plain. Strange.  It seems like this run against Rep. Moore is one more instance where he's off base about "his" community. Then again, most folks in Grafton probably do think the answer is more incarceration and more law enforcement, so he's not alone there. Just uninformed like they are.

Those in attendance on Saturday saw Rep. Moore list her accomplishments and while some of it was procedural and more relatable on a federal level, she is present, she is responsive, and she doesn't shy away from the challenges of CD4. Let's keep someone with true presence in the district and a record of serving it in office.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Sean Duffy: Trump Speaks For White Men

US Representative and former reality TV star Sean Duffy is all in for Donald Trump because Trump speaks for the underprivileged white man:
During a CNN interview this morning, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) acknowledged the Trump phenomenon for what it is — identity politics for white men.

While opining about Trump’s RNC-closing speech, Duffy said, “There’s a viewpoint that says, ‘I can fight for minorities, and I can fight for women,’ and if you get that, you make up a vast majority of the voting block and you win. And white males have been left aside a little bit in the politics of who speaks to them.”

Duffy’s implication is that in Trump, white guys have finally found a candidate who speaks to their concerns.
The article goes on to point out just how underrepresented white men are in Washington, DC:
Whether or not they’re effectively communicating to white male voters, white men are certainly still well represented in Congress. When the 114th Congress was sworn in in January 2015, 80 percent of members were white males. By contrast, white guys only make up roughly 31 percent of the American population.
Oh, the horror!

And if anyone knows about being a poor, underprivileged white man, it's Duffy.

It was Duffy that pointed out how he is struggling to survive on only $174,000 a year. Duffy has it so bad that he had to drive a used minivan:
Displaying that delicate sense of empathy characteristic of conservatives, Duffy whined about his $174,000 congressional salary and his “used minivan.” When the man pointed out his salary was “three times what I make,” Duffy reassured him that “I have more debt than you.” “I’m not living high off the hog,” he added:
Constituent: But a hundred and seventy-four thousand, that’s three times — that’s three of my family’s — three times what I make.

Duffy: Well our budget…I moved to cut by 5 percent. I did. You know what, I have no problem..let’s have a movement afoot. I walked into this job 6 weeks that I worked incredibly hard for. And I can guarantee you or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you.

With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I’m living high off the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I..I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I’m not living high off the hog.
Well, OK, it's $$174,000 plus an exorbitant mileage reimbursement, all the taxpayer money he can squander and all the graft he can carry in the back of his minivan, but still...the struggle is real!

H/T Scarce

Friday, July 22, 2016

Merrick Garland Deserves a Vote—For Democracy’s Sake

By President Barack Obama 

For more than 40 years, there has been an average of just over two months between a president’s nominating someone to the Supreme Court and that person’s receiving a hearing in Congress. It has now been more than four months since I nominated Merrick Garland,chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit—and Congress left town for a seven-week recess without giving him a hearing, let alone an up-or-down vote.
This is much more serious than your typical case of Washington dysfunction. And if we allow it to continue, the consequences of congressional inaction could weaken our most important institutions, erode public trust and undermine our democracy.
Every Supreme Court nominee since 1875 who hasn’t withdrawn from the process has received a hearing or a vote. Even when the nominee was controversial. Even when the Senate and the White House were held by different parties.
But Chief Judge Garland isn’t controversial. He has more federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court nominee in our history. He is widely respected by people of both political parties as a man of experience, integrity and unimpeachable qualifications. The partisan decision of Senate Republicans to deny a hearing to a judge who has served his country with honor and dignity is not just an insult to a good man—it is an unprecedented escalation of the stakes. It threatens the very process by which we nominate judges, regardless of who our next president is. And it should concern every American who cares about the rule of law and upholding the institutions that make our democracy work.
Here’s why. Historically, when a president nominates a Supreme Court justice—regardless of when in the presidential term this occurs—the Senate is obligated to act. Senators are free to vote their conscience. But they vote. That’s their job.
If Republicans in the Senate refuse even to consider a nominee in the hopes of running out the clock until they can elect a president from their own party, so that he can nominate his own justice to the Supreme Court, then they will effectively nullify the ability of any president from the opposing party to make an appointment to the nation’s highest court. They would reduce the very functioning of the judicial branch of the government to another political leverage point.
We cannot allow the judicial confirmation process to descend into an endless cycle of political retaliation. There would be no path to fill a vacancy for the highest court in the land. The process would stall. Court backlogs would grow. An entire branch of government would be unable to fulfill its constitutional role. And some of the most important questions of our time would go unanswered.
This is troubling for two reasons. First, a functioning judiciary—at every level—is essential to the business of the nation. For example, last month, a deadlocked Supreme Court was unable to reach a decision on several major issues, leaving the law itself in limbo. Across the country, judicial vacancies are leaving some lower courts so overwhelmed they can barely make it through their dockets. Twenty-nine judicial emergencies have been declared by lower courts across the country. This has real implications for jurisprudence, real financial costs to the judicial system and real consequences in the lives of people awaiting the outcomes of those cases.
Second, treating the Supreme Court like a political football makes the American people more cynical about democracy. When the Supreme Court becomes a proxy for political parties, public confidence in the notion of an impartial, independent judiciary breaks down. And the resulting lack of trust can undermine the rule of law.
So here’s an idea. Democrats and Republicans in the Senate could agree to give Chief Judge Garland a hearing when they return from their extended recess, while also committing to give every future qualified Supreme Court nominee a hearing and a vote within an established time frame. It’s a good idea that my predecessor, President George W. Bush, suggested during his time in office. This reasonable proposal would prevent the confirmation process from breaking down beyond repair, and help restore good faith between the two parties.
In my travels around the world as president, I have seen how hard democracy is—how it takes more than a proclamation or even an election. Democracies depend on the institutions we build, the rules upon which the nation is founded, and the traditions, customs and habits of heart that guide our behavior and ensure that political differences never override the founding ideals that bind us. And it is on us—all of us—to preserve and protect them.
Now we need Congress to act. We need senators to demonstrate that, once again, America has the capacity to rise above disagreements and maintain a fidelity to the values that, for 240 years, have made this extraordinary experiment a success. That’s what the American people deserve—and it’s what makes ours the greatest country the world has ever known.

Mike Pence WIll Save Us(From Mulan?)!

By Jeff Simpson


Mike Pence actually blamed Mulan on liberal propaganda to get Women on equal footing in the military!

“Despite her delicate features and voice, Disney expects us to believe that Mulan’s ingenuity and courage were enough to carry her to military success on an equal basis with her cloddish cohorts,” wrote Pence. “Obviously, this is Walt Disney’s attempt to add childhood expectation to the cultural debate over the role of women in the military.”

“I suspect that some mischievous liberal at Disney assumes that Mulan’s story will cause a quiet change in the next generation’s attitude about women in combat and they just might be right,” Pence continued. “(Just think about how often we think of Bambi every time the subject of deer hunting comes into the mainstream media debate.)”

But wait- There's more!

Its not just that women can not handle it, its that they will want to sleep with their commanding officers(emphasis mine).

 “It is instructive that even in the Disney film, young Ms. Mulan falls in love with her superior officer! Me thinks the politically correct Disney types completely missed the irony of this part of the story,” writes Pence. “They likely added it because it added realism with which the viewer could identify with the characters. You see, now stay with me on this, many young men find many young women to be attractive sexually. Many young women find many young men to be attractive sexually. Put them together, in close quarters, for long periods of time, and things will get interesting. Just like they eventually did for young Mulan. Moral of story: women in military, bad idea.”


Thursday, July 21, 2016

Just Exactly Who Did Scott Walker Endorse?

It was a little bit more than surprising when Scott Walker agreed to speak at the 2016 Republican Convention in Cleveland on behalf of his primary nemesis, Donald Trump. After all, after Walker was forced to drop out of his own presidential bid after a scant 70 days, Walker did everything he could to derail Trump's campaign. He urged other candidates to drop out so voters could focus on defeating Trump. He also led the charge to push for a Ted Cruz victory in Wisconsin.

When Walker spoke on Wednesday night, he delivered the promised hypocritical smear of Hillary Clinton. But that quickly turned into Walker's kick off stump speech for his own 2020 presidential bid.

He again trotted out the same dog and pony show, telling everyone in the crowd how he was a legend in his own mind. He boasted of a non-existent economic recovery, fictitious lower unemployment numbers, his completely false claim of cutting taxes for anyone but the rich and, of course, "bravely" staring down the protesters and unions. (At least he didn't compare them to terrorists...this time.)

Walker stump speech was just the end of Walker already schmoozing up to the delegates from the early voting states:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose 2016 bid collapsed despite stellar fundraising, is doing his own tour of early state delegations, and meeting with some of the nation’s biggest GOP donors. Attendees at a Wednesday event sponsored by his political committee left with the impression that Walker was positioning himself for another White House run.


Addressing a delegation of North Carolina Republicans over breakfast Wednesday morning, Walker didn’t allude much to his future ambitions. But he didn’t miss an opportunity to remind a battleground-state crowd of his own political successes in Wisconsin, which he noted hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since Ronald Reagan.

“Common-sense conservative reform works even in a blue state like Wisconsin,” he said.
What this means is that Walker become even more of an attention whore, traveling around the country selling his snake oil. He's probably already writing his speech blasting Trump (and President Clinton, of course) after he loses in November.

Unfortunately, it also means that he will continue to tighten the screws on Wisconsin workers and taxpayers as he panders to his major campaign contributors.

Cross posted from Crooks and Liars

Laura Ingraham


By Jeff Simpson 

An interesting tidbit from Charles Pierce on Laura Ingraham:

  CLEVELAND, OHIO—It says something about the crowd gathered here that Laura Ingraham, a famous radio terror, was invited to speak at the Republican National Convention, and that she got a wild ovation at the beginning and at the end of her remarks. Her theme was "Respect." She told a touching story about watching TV back in the 1970s at her Momma's knee and asking why people were burning the American flag."Honey," said Momma Ingraham, "that's because their parents didn't teach them about respect."
When she was at Dartmouth, she edited the Dartmouth Review, during which time she arranged to surreptitiously record a meeting of the campus gay students association. She then outed the members in her magazine and sent the tapes to their parents. She later changed because one of her brothers came out, but fck that, too.
Back in 1995, in a truly embarrassing piece in The New York Times Magazine, there was this darling anecdote about Ingraham's evening in some DC bar.
As we sat in the bar of the Tabard Inn knocking back big glasses of Sambuca ("Should we all sing 'Kumbaya'?" suggested Ingraham), she entertained us with stories of her adventures in El Salvador during the mid-80's. What was she doing there? I asked. "Subjugating third-world nations," she said with a dry laugh.
In the course of the proxy wars launched illegally and luxuriously financed by everybody's hero, Saint Ronnie Reagan, some 20,000 Salvadorans were killed. Archbishop Oscar Romero was gunned down while saying Mass. Four American nuns were raped and slaughtered.
"Subjugating third-world nations."
Yeah, right.

She has a career in politics because why exactly?  Is there anyone on the right with an actual moral compass?

By the way this is how Ms. Ingraham ended her speech last night!

'Nuff Said

RoJo Loses Big Money Backers' Big Money

It's been a rough couple of days for Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson. First, the National Republican Senate Committee pulls back on their ads for RoJo, then the Koch Boyzzz follow suit:
A conservative group funded by the Koch brothers that is backing Sen. Ron Johnson canceled $2.2 million worth of ads it had planned to run to help the Republican in August and September, a blow to his re-election campaign as he tries to win a rematch against Democrat Russ Feingold.

Feingold has been outraising Johnson and leading in the polls in the closely watched race. Democrats are hoping to pick up the Senate seat as they try to regain majority control in the Senate.

The super PAC Freedom Partners Action Fund ran about $2 million worth of ads attacking Feingold in May. It was slated to run another $2.2 million in pro-Johnson ads over the next two months, but a Democratic media tracker said Wednesday that they had been canceled.

"We are realigning our television advertising strategy to ensure maximum impact across key Senate races," Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis wrote in an email. "We will continue direct citizen outreach through our grassroots activists, volunteer phone calls, digital media and direct mail. Last weekend alone network grassroots organizations made almost half a million contact attempts to targeted audiences."

The bad news for Johnson comes a day after he spoke in prime time at the Republican National Convention, a late-reversal from his long-held position that he was going to skip the gathering to campaign in Wisconsin. It also comes the day after the National Republican Senatorial Committee said it was delaying until October $1.3 million in ads it originally planned to run over the next two months.
To put it in perspective of just how bad this news is for RoJo:
Johnson has benefited from spending by outside groups, which had outspent Feingold's campaign by about $5 million to $1 million from the April 5 primary through late June. In addition to Freedom Partners, the ads benefiting Johnson have come from Americans for Prosperity, another Koch brothers group, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Let America Work and the Judicial Crisis Network.

"Senator Johnson has always relied on the Koch Brothers and these outside groups to run his campaign for him, so this must come as a disappointment for their model legislator," said Feingold spokesman Michael Tyler in an emailed statement.
To put it another way, the money that these two groups just pulled out from underneath RoJo's feet is more than a third of what he spent in 2010.

It is not surprising that these groups are pulling back on RoJo, seeing how he has consistently been lagging behind Russ Feingold in both the polls and in fundraising.

I, for one, am going to enjoy watching RoJo flail about the next few months as he goes through his political death throes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Pre-Convention State of The Party

By Jeff Simpson

I have written before about the state of the WISDEMS party in WI.  From their disappearing acts, to their complete silence on issues that matter, to what went wrong in the Wisconsin Primary.

It is time for a check in as the Fall election cycle starts to really kick in.

The first thing, that we need to understand is this election cycle is not like any other election cycle in our history.  The Trump Phenomona is something that, while was created by the electeds in the GOP party and we should have seen coming, no one did.

Simple case in point. At one point this ended a presidential run:

while this gained Mr. Trump more and more supporters:

The first thing we need to do is never start a sentence with the word "Historically".  

Second thing is we need some self reflection.  After the last election drubbing of 2014, the WISDEMS got togther and came out with a report explaining why they lost.  Unfortunately it was what you thought it would be, one with vague recommendations and no self reflection.   

Lets take a quick look at some highlights: 

*   The committee not only recommends a stronger rebuttal to the basic Republican argument, but to proactively identify and present a different argument.       Two plus years later we are still waiting for that argument.

*   A common point of contention is that the party and our candidates have delivered a flawed message based upon the actions of Governor Walker. Essentially the critical view of that message has been, “Governor Walker is bad for Wisconsin and we aren’t him.”     Find me an instance where Mary Burke or most candidates running criticized Scott Walker in the last race?  Martha Laning, our current state chair ran an ad with the theme "Republicans have great ideas" while running for an Assembly seat.   

*  To understand the crux of the issue of Rural Wisconsin, we sought out and reviewed qualitative academic studies done in Wisconsin.   Yoo Hoo, they are not that hard to find, go talk to the people in rural Wisconsin.   Looking at them through academic studies?  really? 

*  We need the conversation at the rural gas station in the morning to shift from the bad things that government is doing to a discussion about how government is working to enhance rural lives.  If you really think that rural Wisconsin 2016 is the same as life in Mayberry in the Andy Griffith show then you really really need to get out and talk to people.   WOW.  

Candidates: A common perception in Rural Wisconsin is that “candidates don’t come here.” This is a difficult conundrum as the logistics of campaigns make it impossible to be everywhere.   So says the consultants we pay big money too,  Bernie Sanders seems to have made it to more rural parts of WI during his campaign here

*  The 72 County Strategy, much like Howard Dean’s original plan, is not about winning all 72 counties,   'Nuff said! 

Now the recommendations:

*    Do not be afraid of primaries, hold the internal party units to the constraints of party rules and understand we do not control the decisions of outside forces.    The party has compeletely ignored this recommendation as when Jimmy Anderson announced a run against Robb Kahl(who later dropped out), Gordon Hintz became unhinged.  In Madison, Progressive Jacob Wischmeier, decided to challenge Lisa Subeck in a PRIMARY, and the Democratic party challenged his signatures.   We also see where Myron Bucholz has challenged Ron Kind and Mandela Barnes has challenged Lena Taylor and yet both were denied the VAN and shut down by the party.    

 When possible, hire campaign staff who have a background in rural organizing or if possible give those staffers additional time to shorten the learning curve.  Great idea I look forward to that actually happening.   

 Look for opportunities to build new relationships with community groups that have similar progressive interests to the Democratic Party to create a larger base of support.   With the aggressiveness that local party leaders have against anyone who questions them, the complete lack of outreach or interest in people with Democratic ideals who have yet to join the party and the lack of interest in engaging with the million Wisconsinites who signed the recall of our Governor, shows me that relationship building and increasing support is not even remotely in their plans(but it sounds really good). 

Despite the current electoral status of Wisconsin, history shows us that we not only have a road forward but the path to a new progressive era is entirely possible. We heed the advice of the late Congressman Robert Kastenmeier on this topic: "Don't give up the ship...there are better days ahead."    Apparently wishing so, while on the same path as previous elections,  will make it so.

Now the things they ommitted!  

* Leadership:  Not a word about how much leadership has let the party down.   Mike Tate was in charge for 6 years and in that time, the Democratic Party lost seats in almost every election and went from having control of the Governor's office, the Assembly and Senate to being so far in the minority that they are no longer relevant in any debate.   

In the whole time Mr. Tate was ahead of the party, it seems as though he was able to work mostly on advancing his own career.   Mike Tate allowed union busting Chris Abele prime speaking spots at Democratic dinners and in turn Chris Abele then hired Mike to help run his campaign against Democratic Senator Chris Larson.   Quid pro quo at its finest.  Then Mr. Tate did not just hekp Chris Abele win the election, he smeared Chris Larson, his old friend, often.  When you have someone in charge who will turn on his friends and allies for a few pences, then you can expect to have an organization with no ethics.   Heck even Rick Nielsen had more loyalty to the Party then Mike Tate.  

* Party Insiders:  After the Democratic convention, and after Bernie sanders won he Wisconsin Primary handily, Kristen Hansen unleashed a series of tweets@KHansen1724 aimed at Senator Sanders and his supporters:  

 - Can we get hair and makeup into this Sanders event? Thanks.
-  There's only 1 Democrat running for POTUS -  @HillaryClinton. I'm done pretending this is a primary. It's a hostile takeover. #fightback
-  Things I am no longer doing: pretending the Dem race isn't over, being nice to Bernie Bros, nod and smile at misogynists. #emancipation
- You know why we have superdelegates? Because people who are NOT Democrats and don't give a shit about the party can run AS Dems and fuck us.
 - Dear Sen Sanders: I will not let you destroy our party. You were never with us: 'It will be a contested convention'  Ok
I am not sure if that is the new inclusive message that the party is looking to send to win elections or not but there was no apology and she was so proud of these tweets that she has them still up.   

*Democratic Party of WI: The current state of the party shows major signals that even more dire election results are ahead.   If you pull up the WISDEMS website under the "Our Candidates" tab, you see a picture of Senator Russ Feingold and no one else.   Apparently no one explained to them that the 's' after candidate, means plural = more than one.   We have important races all over the state, local and nationa,l and the WISDEMS are only aware of Senator Feingold.  

Secondly go to the "news" section and what do we see there?  Under the latest from our party section:

The Latest from Our Party
November 24, 2015
Democratic Weekly Radio Address: "Happy Thanksgiving"

For those of you scoring at home, it is currently July 18,2016.  I guess nothing that is newsworthy has happened since last Thanksgiving.  

The Political Establishment in WI:  Tune into a Sunday political TV show and who do you see?  The same people week after week, Bloggers David Blaska, and Christian Schneider, For some un beknownest reason, Joe Zepecki and Sachin Cheda, etc...   All on, talking like this is a similar election to the one before and the one before, etc...   All bringing nothing to the table but the same ole drivel.   

   Against this backdrop, I attended a forum on building the Democratic bench recently, which The Progressive magazine co-sponsored, along with Emerge Wisconsin, New Leaders Council and Wisconsin Progress — three groups that are doing the hard work recruiting and training candidates to try to take back citizen control of our government.These groups’ efforts are unimpeachable. They are in the trenches trying to get smart progressives to consider public service, and they are supporting their campaigns and achieving some victories.
Actually these groups efforts are fine but hardly unimpechable.  As entrenched political organizations, while they do some good, they really have just become employment factories for political lifers.   

For instance, Scott Spector was running Wisconsin Progress unril Senator Tammy Baldwin called upon him to be her chief of staff. Which will be a nice job for him for a couple years before he founds a political consultancy/lobbyist firm where he will go and make quadruple his salary now.  

As Matt Taibbi recently pointed out, with the political lifers, winning is secondary to continual employment.     A Former head of the local Jefferson County Democratic party disliked a Democratic candidate running in Assembly District 38 because 10 years prior he had a messy divorce (with no actual charges filed against him and he ended up with full custody of his children).  The head of the JeffDems at the time was able to get this candidates blackballed from various fundraisers and from any help at all within the party.  He ended up putting up a good race but slightly losing.  The irony here is that the woman who was upset with him and got him blackballed, actually had charges AGAINST her for Domestic Violence but felt the need to be judge jury and executioner, all be herself. Now we have Representative Joel Kleefisch who has bills written to stop all stem cell research, while the former head of the JEFFDEMS is now in charge of one of these unimpeachable groups.    

Their main focus is raise lots of money, and only talk to Democratic Voters.  Which is a terrible way to bring more people into the party and has not led to many election victories.  

Then Ms. Coniff saw the only way out of the Democratic funk was by Hail Mary's" - 1. Getting someone charismatic to run for Governor and 2.  Win the lawsuit against redistricting. and hoping new districts would be much more fair.     

That is the self defeatist, lets look at historical attitude that we are so used to seeing, and one that will help us continue our landslide.    

Now that we have acknowledged much of the problems, let's look at some solutions. 

Unlike the bloodsuckers of the political consulting world, that have consulted us right into the minority(I am looking at you Nation Consulting), I am giving election advice for free.   

Some can be run this election cycle yet and some needs to be systemic changes.  Here are 9 observations, bits of advice that could be used to take our State back.  

1.  Go on the offensive at all times!   Quick, name all of the times you can think of that Scott Walker or the WISGOP have apologized?  When calling protesters ISIS(no)?  When Bob Gannon was writing racist press releases and flipped off the Democrats on the Assembly floor(no)?  There is not a time that the WISGOP will ever apologize. 

2.  Have each others backs at ALL times.  Yes, Gordon Hintz flipped out when someone decided to run for the seat that he felt Robb Kahl owned(Kahl ended up not running again), but when Hintz went unhinged, he tried to throw most of his base under the bus.  That is not what having your back means.  Hintz did not have a word to say about anyone else who had primaries and in his rants did not say a bad word about the GOP only the Dem base(most of which had nothing to do with the situation).   

When I say "have each others backs", I am thinking specifically of when Senator Dave Hansen retweeted a stupid tweet and was mercilessly attacked by the Wisconsin right wing echo chamber.   On the same day that Republicans at a Donald Trump rally were yelling "Sieg Heil" the right wing echo chamber was outraged over Senator Hansen's retweet.   While it was a dumb thing to retweet, Senator Hansen ended up closing his twitter account, but while he was being attacked, not a single Democrat stood with him. It was shameful.   Hard to build party when you so quickly throw your peers under the bus.  

3.  Update the website: There has unexplicably been a picture of Russ Feingold on the front page of the Democratic Party of Wiscosnin website for months now.   There should be a page you can go to and find not only your Assembly Rep, but your State Senator and if it is a Republican, who on the Democratic Party is running in your area, with a picture, a short bio and a link to their website.  If there is a primary then all candidates running should get the same treatment.  

Secondly update the news!   Coordinate with the party.  Rep. Kolste just write a very good op-ed that we picked up at COgDis.  Those should be written more often by all the reps, and they should be featured on the website when they get published. 

Finally, tell stories(more on this later).  I would send someone with a video camera to drive around Wisconsin and tell us stories of what is really happening, not the "Its Working" crap we get from the GOP.  

4 Stop Talking about all of the races you plan on LOSING!  How many times have you seen one of the rare appearances by someone from the Dem Party asked about the upcoming elections and they talk about the bare minimum that we could maybe possibly win.  Case in point: 

Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, highlighted three seats as pickup opportunities for her party: Senate District 18, an open seat; Senate District 12, now represented by Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and Senate District 10, represented by Sheila Harsdorf, R-River Falls.
Democrats would need to win all three to wrest control of the Senate — something Shilling isn’t willing to pledge.
“I always like to under-promise and over-deliver,” Shilling said. “This is a several-election-term plan that we want to implement.
I'm Sorry Jen, when have you over delivered?  Maybe when you start talking about all of the races that we are GOING to win, That will help build up some momemntum and enthusiasm from places that normally do not vote Democratic?  Who wants a quarterback that goes into the season saying "I can see us maybe winning three games?"  

5.  Stop letting the Republicans get away with their extremist, incompetent ideology!  Scott Walker, spent $7 Million dollars in about three months campaigning to the most right wing of his base and ended up with 0.0% support.   One of the straws that broke the Right wing camels back, was because he actually said that walling off Canada was a "legitimate issue".   I have yet to hear a Wisconsin Democrat bring that up.   

For example, look at Chris Larson's recent run for Milwaukee County Executive, or anytime he is in the news actually), he get referred to every time by the right wing echo chamber as "sticky fingers" Larson.  Why would the Democratic party not take advantage and bring up the Canadian wall every single time the get asked about Scott Walker?   Almost every GOP member running for office this time has statements/actions in their past that equate the Canadian Wall and yet the Dems never call them out.   

6.  Fire Nation Consulting from all inner workings of the party.  I know that candidates are free to hire whoever they want.  I also know that candidates are strongly encouraged who to hire and who not to hire. Over the years, they have been very strong advocates for their bank accounts and not much else.   Just stop it with them.   If they want to volunteer on campaigns fine, but in terms of sending them ANY money from anyone with D behind their name....just stop!    

7.  Stop the Madison/Milwaukee V the rest of the state debate.  As someone who grew up on a small family farm and has lived in Milwaukee and Madison, I am confused as to which issues matter to Madison/Milwaukee and not to rural areas and vice versa.  People in WI want much of the same things, a good education for their chidlren, opportunity, healthcare, a family supporting job, a chance to go on a vacation a year and have a house and a car that works.  There is some nuance between different areas and people on their main issues but in the end we all want the same things.  

8.  Do not fear the Republicans but watch what they are doing and learn.   They have more money than the Democrats and while they govern horribly, they do win elections.   In the recall elections, I knew it was over when the Walker campaign stopped campaigning on issues and focused on the recall itself.   The last couple months, their ads were strictly focused on - "while me dont like Scott Walker, we do not think he should be recalled".  We did not even need to see their internal polling, it was obvious his internal polling showed that as the biggest issue.  In the meantime, the Democrats responded with calling Scott Walker a rockstar.   The results speak for themselves.

The Donald easily won his primary because he ran as anti-establishment.   People are sick of the same people doing the same things over and over and also being perceived as above the law.   Senator Sanders also made huge inroads running against the estbalishment.   Look at how they campaigned here, Senator Sanders, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, had open speeches all over the state, while Hillary Clinton had private events where people in the inside could get in and take selfies for their facebook page.   Its great for them, but she also got creamed on election day.   Think about that.  

9.  Do Not Be Afraid of Progressive Populism. Actually, Progressive Populism is the ONLY thing that will beat Scott Walker in the next election.  It has nothing really to do with charisma(although that does help).   People in Wisconsin, did not take to Senator Sanders (and he won handily here) because of his sparkiling personality, award winning smile and ability to tell jokes.  Senator Sanders won here because he was saying what the people in WI have been desperate to hear.    Ms. Coniff pointed it out in her article, but did not recognize it for what it was.  

But what do you say to young people who are willing to devote their time to local community service when, at the state level, there appears to be very little infrastructure to bolster the opposition against a right-wing juggernaut?
I asked the panelists at the forum this question, and they looked pained. But then they started talking about some of their favorite candidates, and about the dedication of these young teachers, farmers and community activists to local issues. Most get involved in public work by running for nonpartisan offices, and at the very local level, they make common cause with their neighbors — including conservatives — on doing what’s best for their communities.
It occurred to me that if we can bring that community spirit up the chain to higher office, it would fix a lot of what has been going wrong in our state.
What do you say to young people willing to devote their time?   This:

Tell them that you understand that the Government, the economy is not working for them.   That you recognize that the scale is tilted heavily against them and that is not the American ideal.  Tell them that we have to stop letting Wall St and multi national corporations purchase our politicians.   Tell them everything Senator Sanders had to tell them because he reached them.   Not only did he reach them, he transcended the urban and rural areas(see point 7) and won 71/72 counties.    

However it is not to late to save our state.   The people of Wisconsin are starving for a change! 

Republicans Are The New Black

In case you somehow missed it, on Monday, the #NeverTrump faction of the Republicans were denied their right to vote at the 2016 Republican National Convention.

On Tuesday, Donald Trump became their official presidential nominee.

Now they know how it feels to be black or poor in a Republican state.

Irony is not dead.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Walker Brings The Hypocrisy To Cleveland

One could say a lot of things about Scott Walker.

He's incompetent. He's a liar. He's corrupt.

All of which is true.

But the thing that Walker excels at is hypocrisy. He keeps surprising even me with the heights of hypocrisy he can reach. And once again, he outdoes even himself in that category.

Walker sent out a campaign email blast talking about what he is going to say at the Republican National Convention this week. Unable to find anything nice to say about Donald Trump, the candidate that he is supporting, he has decided to take potshots at Hillary Clinton and the alleged email scandal.

However, the level of hypocrisy in the email* is simply breathtaking (emphasis his):

This week I will be speaking at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and here is why:

I would not give Hillary Clinton the password to my phone – let alone security clearance to classified information.

She is wholly unfit to be President.

As you will see on Wednesday, I will not hide my frustration over the recent decision by federal prosecutors not to charge Clinton for her use of a private email server while serving as Secretary of State.

You and I both know that any other American would face consequences if they did what she did – or if she was still in office, she would have been fired or prohibited from access to classified information.

But now she wants to hold the highest office – once again proving that in Washington, there is one set of rules for the elite and another for everyone else.

If she was still in his cabinet, Obama would have to fire Clinton. Instead, he campaigns with her.

Voters do not want the status quo in Washington, D.C. and they are sick and tired of Washington insiders rigging the system for other Washington insiders.

During my speech I will remind the American people that a vote for anyone other than Donald Trump is a vote for Washington insider Hillary Clinton.

President Obama recently pointed out that for the past eight years GOP governors have fought his agenda. He is right (for once).

As Governor, I have fought his Big Government agenda every step of the way and Wisconsin is better for it. On Wednesday, I will be proud to show the American people that there is an alternative to the Washington way … and our conservative successes in Wisconsin are proof positive.

Thank you for your unwavering support for our conservative agenda, Friend. I would be honored if you would tune in to my speech at 10:23PM EDT, on Wednesday, July 20th.

Thank you,

Scott Walker
My, oh my. What a fine topic for Walker to speak on.

But somehow, I just don't think that Walker will talk about how he used private email to conduct government business, both as Milwaukee County Executive and as governor.

Another thing that I doubt Walker will mention is that prosecutors looking into Walker's own email scandals said that Walker was the center of a criminal scheme:
Prosecutors allege that Gov. Scott Walker was at the center of an effort to illegally coordinate fundraising among conservative groups to help his campaign and those of Republican senators fend off recall elections during 2011 and '12, according to documents unsealed Thursday.

In the documents, prosecutors lay out what they call a "criminal scheme" to bypass state election laws by Walker, his campaign and two top deputies — R.J. Johnson and Deborah Jordahl.

The governor and his close confidants helped raise money and control spending through 12 conservative groups during the recall elections, according to the prosecutors' filings.

The documents include an email in which Walker tells Karl Rove, former top adviser to President George W. Bush, that Johnson would lead the coordination campaign. Johnson is also chief adviser to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a conservative group active in the recall elections.

"Bottom-line: R.J. helps keep in place a team that is wildly successful in Wisconsin. We are running 9 recall elections and it will be like 9 congressional markets in every market in the state (and Twin Cities)," Walker wrote to Rove on May 4, 2011.
In fact, the only reason that Walker hasn't been indicted yet is because the same dark money groups he has been collaborating with filed lawsuit after lawsuit to stall the investigation. Add to this that four of the state supreme court justices were greatly aided by and obligated to these same dark money groups and it's no surprise that they sided with their benefactors, stopping the investigations for now, pending a decision from the United State Supreme Court.

Since Trump and the Republicans were desperate in trying to get people to even come to the convention, much less speak at it, I guess they had to take what they could get. But I don't see how such a hypocritical sleazeball is going to help their cause at all.

*Here is a screencap of the email:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Paul Ryan Panic

By Jeff Simpson

We have brought you the story that Paul Ryan (R-Wall St.), has a serious challenger this election cycle and how it would be very important and strategic for the Democrats in the 1st Congressional district to cross over in the primary on August 9th and vote for Paul Nehlen.

There is starting to be real panic by his owners that the people of Wisconsin are ready to give Paul Ryan the pink slip that he so richly deserves and has helped thousands of his constituents also get.

Let us count the ways:

First off, the party establishment hacks at Mediatrackkkers are attacking Mr. Nehlen almost daily. The latest poor attempt at a smear job, was when Brian Sikma wrote an article ripping on Mr. Nehlen for doing something Paul Ryan has never done....having a job in the private sector.

Paul Nehlen is running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District attempting to oust House Speaker Paul Ryan in the August primary. Central to Nehlen’s campaign platform is his opposition to current or proposed trade deals that, he argues, send U.S. jobs oversees for the benefit of crony capitalists and the coffers of political campaigns they support. But a review of Nehlen’s work history finds that the firebrand opponent of existing free trade deals actually managed a Chinese factory that exported its product to U.S. markets – products that were once made by American workers.

This just in....Paul Nehlen once had a job....story at 11!

But wait there is more:

Some guy who used to work at mediatrackkkers was upset that we wrote a story about the primary!

Nathan Schacht‏@SchachtNathanFake conservative Paul Nehlen turns to Dems in primary against @SpeakerRyan. … #wiright #wipolitics

(Edit note: I have never once met or talked to Mr. Nehlen. As is par for the course, this accusation is made up).

Then Mr. Schact keeps it up:

Nathan Schacht‏@SchachtNathan

.@Dailytakes, looks like @pnehlen has been a bust at fundraising. At least we won't have to see him on real TV.

Only in right wing world does half a million dollars make someone a "bust". However a quick look at Mr. Ryan and we see why his peers and owners like to consider half a million dollars a "bust".

Ryan raised $15.6 million in second quarter through joint fundraising committee

House Speaker Paul Ryan raised nearly $15.6 million in the second quarter of 2016 through his joint fundraising committee dubbed “Team Ryan.”
The operation has now raised $37.9 million since Ryan became speaker Oct. 29, according to the campaign.
The joint fundraising committee includes Ryan for Congress, the National Republican Congressional Committee and Ryan’s leadership PAC, Prosperity Action PAC Inc.
Ryan’s campaign said he:
*has transferred $25 million to the NRCC since becoming speaker, including $5.4 million in June. That transfer is the second largest by a GOP speaker, trailing only the $6.3 million he sent the NRCC in March.
*sent 83 checks to members of Congress during the second quarter totaling $425,000. He’s now given out more than $735,000 since becoming speaker through 147 donations to members.

FEC Filing, Q2 #wi01, Paul Ryan. Raised: $1,425,611 Spent: $1,751,760 COH: $9,751,503

Paul ryan is setting records on fundraising, and has 10 million dollars in the bank already. Someone really, really wants him to be back in office. Even at tens of millions of dollars, he is a good investment for his owners on Wall St.

That is also why Democrats must cross over. 

If Ryan wins the primary what do you think will happen to whoever wins the Democratic Primary? They will be buried in money with ads telling us how badly Paul Ryan wants to creat jobs and this time he really will...honest!

By the way remember when the family man, Paul Ryan would only take the Speaker job if he got to spend time with his family?

What has the guy who adamanatly opposes the Family Leave act been doing with his time?

Ryan earlier this summer unveiled his multi-plank policy agenda "A Better Way." He spent the entire week before the convention talking about it on TV appearance and to reporters on the Hill, and he'll continue to advocate for it in the coming weeks.
Ryan has hosted over 71 delegation-driven events across the country in 43 cities and 18 states, all while juggling being home with his family in Wisconsin on the weekends. His team says they're just getting started.
Notice the one thing that seems to be missing from his schedule?

If you guessed "HIS JOB" then you guessed correctly and you get a fabulous no-prize(unless you vote for Paul Nehlen, then everyone wins).

Friday, July 15, 2016

And The Walls Come Crumbling Down

By Jeff Simpson

Scott Walker came into office with a record and it was NOT a good one.

When Scott Walker was Milwaukee County Executive, a parking structure collapsed on Jared Kellner, killing him in front of his family.

Scott Walker could have taken the road less traveled and realized that our infrastructure is crumbling and worked to fix it.  Instead, he chose the Scott Walker way - he put his campaign staff in charge of the county government to make sure this child's death did not affect him politically.  

The voters then gave Mr. Walker a promotion to Governor, somehow not expecting him to bring the same incompetence he brought to Milwaukee County statewide.

Since Scott Walker has been in office, our infrastructure has been deteriorating.  Our roads are now ranked third-worst in the nation in terms of quality.

Wisconsin's roads are the third-worst in the nation and the potholes and other problems that plague them cost drivers in some cities almost twice the national average in repairs and associated costs, according to a new study of the state's highway system.
Wisconsin drivers are paying TWICE the national average in car repairs thanks to our crumbking infrastructure!  

 Poor roads in the Milwaukee area cost drivers $700 a year in extra vehicle repairs, according to the study; in the Madison area, road conditions cost drivers an additional $615 in annual tire wear, maintenance and accelerated deterioration. Nationally, substandard road conditions cost drivers an average of $377 per year, the study found.
For those of you scoring at home, that is not your normal wear and tear on your car costs, that is over and above those costs.  Thank Goodness, Scott Walker's saved us $3 over the last two years.  

 Scott Walker being the thinker that he is, has a plan to deal with our crumbling infrastructure - Do Nothing.  
 Madison — Wisconsin's roads likely will face longer delays before they get repaired because of an ongoing funding dispute in the state Capitol. Gov. Scott Walker told reporters Thursday he would not support increasing taxes or fees to pay for highways unless corresponding cuts are made elsewhere in the state budget. He also said he didn't want to rely too much on borrowing for roads — something his fellow Republicans who control the Legislature already are reluctant to do.

What kind of strategy is do nothing?  well its worked for Mr. Walker his whole career so I hope no one is surprised.  

BUT WAIT, there is more!  There is always more.  

As if Scott Walker and the GOP were not showing their incompetence enough, they put through the last budget with $0 for capital repairs.   In prior years, they had $100 Million dollars for  major maintenance, repairs and renovations to campus buildings, utilities and related infrastructure. 

To give you a quick overview of the UW System:

The University of Wisconsin System is one of the largest systems of public higher education in the country, serving approximately 180,000 students each year and employing more than 40,000 faculty and staff statewide.A map of Wisconsin that shows all UW institutions
The UW System is made up of 13 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges campuses, and statewide UW-Extension. Together, these institutions are a tremendous academic, cultural, and economic resource for Wisconsin, the nation, and the world.

UW System at a Glance

Enrollment: Approximately 180,000
Institutions: 13 four-year universities, 13 freshman-sophomore UW Colleges campuses, Statewide UW-Extension
Annual Budget: $6 billion
State Funding: $1.2 billion
Gifts, Grants and Contracts: $1.5 billion
Economic Impact: $15+ billion annually
Degrees Awarded: More than 36,000 annually

A world class university system that was founded in 1848, which consists of 26 differemt campuses and 1900 buildings,  needs no imrpovememts or projects done 168 years later?  To make matters worse, this was in the biennium budget so the $0 was for two years!  
Looking at just one campus — UW-Oshkosh — gives a glimpse into the wider challenges faced across the system: ■ The Buckstaff Planetarium has been shut down for two years because it needs $966,000 in infrastructure and interior renovations to resolve asbestos issues. The asbestos-laden insulation sprayed on the planetarium's dome began to become brittle and fall down. Classes had to be moved.■ Multiple buildings constructed before current Americans with Disabilities Act requirements were put in place need renovation to enhance accessibility.■ Three buildings have roofs that need to be replaced.■ A small elevator installed in the late 1960s in the Kolf Physical Education building needs to be replaced; it has broken down during basketball games and trapped fans inside. "As we continue to push these projects down the road, they become more and more expensive, and the list will continue to grow," said Lori Worm, vice chancellor for administrative services at UW-Oshkosh.The school did allocate $250,000 this biennium for a system that would recover wasted heat from a campus bio-generator and use it to heat the Student Services Center. That money was diverted from academic uses.
No wonder Mr. Walker sold his house, and took a bath on it, He has no idea what happens to buildings or what needs to be fixed.   That comes from never holding a real job in his life.   That and  the fact that he likes to run up bills and not pay for them, led him to be the worst possible Governor for one of the most successful Universities in the world.  

We now know why Scott Walker was not chosen to be Donald Trump's running mate!  Scott Walker could not even build a fence on his own, so he had no chance of building a wall between the USA and Mexico.  

Plus, Scott Walker was much more interested in walling off Canada, than Mexico!