Thursday, November 26, 2015

RoJo: Income Inequality Is The American Way!

Ron Johnson, in his last year of being a US Senator, says that income inequality is the American Way and that if you want better income equality, go to North Korea:
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson said at a forum this week that people should look at North Korea if they want to improve the gap between the rich and poor, adding that he doesn’t want to see Americans be “equally poor.”

“First of all, you want really good income equality, go to North Korea,” the Republican senator said at a town hall-style meeting Tuesday at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. “I’m serious. Probably the nation on earth where you’ve got the most income equality is probably North Korea, so I don’t want to see people equally poor.”
In other words, what RoJo is saying is "Don't ask what your country can do for you but ask what you can do for your country's corporate overlords."

RoJo's arrogance and indifference to the common folk stems from the fact that he knows the secret to getting and staying rich - all you have to do is marry into wealth and have your father-in-law create a company just of you.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Popcorn Turkey

With the holidays upon us, we return to many of our traditions - or as with my family this year, we start new ones.  In that light, here is a recipe that I've shared with my readers every Thanksgiving Day, so that you can start your own tradition:
An oldie, but a goodie...

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

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


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

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

Imagine the look on your loved ones' faces as you show off your culinary skills.
Enjoy your holiday!

Paul Ryan's Honeymoon As Speaker Is Over

Remember when Paul Ryan agreed to become Speaker of the House, he said that he would only be if he could be a unifying force for the Republicans?

Well, that didn't last long:
Nearly one-third of the Republicans in the House of Representatives signed a letter calling on party leaders to ensure that a must-pass spending bill block any use of federal funding to resettle refugees from Syria and nearby countries, the bill's sponsor said on Tuesday.

Seventy-four of the 246 House Republicans signed the letter, which was circulated by Republican Representative Brian Babin.

It urges Speaker Paul Ryan and other House leaders to include a provision in an upcoming appropriations bill that would block President Barack Obama's plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year.

Passage of a bill with such language by the Republican-controlled Congress could set up a showdown with Obama, who has promised to veto a standalone bill passed by the House last week setting tighter controls on refugee resettlement.

Congressional aides are negotiating the $1 trillion-plus spending bill, facing a Dec. 11 deadline for it to pass the House and Senate and be signed into law by Obama to avoid a government shutdown.

Ryan's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the letter.
It's not surprising that Ryan did not respond right away. He was probably too worried about killing Bambi to be bothered with saving lives or showing the leadership he falsely promised.

H/T digby

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

So It Begins......

By Jeff Simpson 

We warned you recently, that if we elect and continue to worship far right wing lunatics, that there will be no place for anyone in America, but people in the Aryan race.

Since we posted the story of a "Black Lives Matter" protester being assaulted at a Trump rally, Donald Trump himself came out and said the guy "deserved it".

"Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing," Trump said Sunday morning on Fox News, less than 24 hours after his campaign said it "does not condone" the physical altercation.
Unfortunately for America, it did not stop there.  The White Supremacy crowd that has been unleashed with this Republican Presidential primary, showed up in Minneapolis last night:

 Five protesters were shot late Monday night near the Black Lives Matter encampment at the Fourth Precinct police station in north Minneapolis, according to police.Those who were shot sustained non-life-threatening injuries, said police spokesman John Elder in a statement.
Miski Noor, a media contact for Black Lives Matter, said “a group of white supremacists showed up at the protest, as they have done most nights.”
One of the three counterdemonstrators wore a mask, said Dana Jaehnert, who had been at the protest site since early evening.
When about a dozen protesters attempted to herd the group away from the area, Noor said, they “opened fire on about six protesters,” hitting five of them. Jaehnert said she heard four gunshots

Buckle up America, this is only the beginning.


A quick update on the guy who was assaulted and Trump felt was handled appropriately:

 “It was just a sea of white faces,” he told ThinkProgress. “A lady kicked me in the stomach. A man kicked me in the chest. They called me n*****, monkey, and they shouted ‘all lives matter’ while they were kicking and punching me. So for all the people who are still confused at this point, they proved what ‘all lives matter’ meant. It means, ‘Shut up, n*****.'”On Sunday, the morning after the rally, Trump told the hosts of Fox & Friends that Southall deserved what he got.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing…This was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble.”

Ladies and Gentleman --- your 2015 Republican Party. Reince must be proud!  

Monday, November 23, 2015

Leah Vukmir Comes Clean

By Jeff Simpson 

Much was written over the weekend that while Scott Walker was busy drinking and campaigning for President, he was not doing his job as Governor of Wisconsin(yet still collected his $144,423/yr and Cadillac benefits the WI taxpayers are paying him).

Over his 71-day campaign, Walker's official monthly calendars include 57 hours of state business, or an average of 48 minutes per day. Many days, the governor's only Wisconsin-related agenda item was a brief morning teleconference with his staff.
Walker's office released the records to news outlets late Friday afternoon, when few people would be paying attention to them.
In contrast, Walker blocked off 809 hours over the same time period for other purposes, an average of 11 hours and 24 minutes per day. The calendars note it as "hold time" -- often from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the presidential campaign.
Most of his days consisted of a quick teleconference with his staff, not lawmakers, not WEDC officials, just his staff.  

How do the lawmakers who need to work with Scott Walker, feel about his shirking his duties for 71 days?

Over the final month of Walker's presidential campaign, only three days included more state business than his usual phone call with staff or taping his weekly radio address. Yet Republicans in the state Legislature said this fall that Walker had been accessible.
"He`s been in touch with us. He`s contacted us on a variety of issues," Sen. Leah Vukmir, R-Wauwatosa, said on Sept. 22, the day after Walker ended his campaign.

I have always been afirm believer that when someone shows you who they are, you should believe them.  Senator Vukmir has admitted, one that she has no need to ever talk to the Governor and two less than an hour actually Governing our state is all the Republicans need.  

I guess its no surprise judging by the jobs that we are bleeding out of our communities lately that Governing WI is not very high on their list of priorities.

The question we need to ask ourselves, is do we want politicians that actually govern?  or do we want to continue to elect people like Leah Vukmir who make a mockery of our Democracy and our State?


The Vainglorious Chris Abele

In a futile effort to rebuild the political bridges he has burned and pick up his sagging poll numbers before next year's spring election, Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele is going all out to buy the election.  He has already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on incessant commercials and at least six large mailers - many with multiple pages - each printed in high quality color on heavy stock paper.  Abele has also spent at least half a million dollars in bribe money in buy-partisanship.

In Abele's first mailer, he makes several outlandish claims which I will get into at a later time.  But one of his main themes really stands out:

Without going into each fabrication in this mailer, the common theme is that Abele is claiming that he helped children, women and working families through the Argosy Foundation, a charitable entity that is funded with his daddy's money. However, despite his claims, he is awfully light on the specifics of just how he helped all these people. That is probably because he hadn't helped them out all that much personally. He just used his daddy's money as leverage to force himself on the boards of all these groups.

It's not just me saying it either. Years ago, Milwaukee Magazine ran an article about Abele that was titles "The Billionaire's Son." Part of the article dealt with the fact that Abele's donations to these groups weren't all that altruistic as Abele is trying to make them sound. In truth, they were to feed his own already over-sized ego:
But many individuals active in the nonprofit sector agree with one foundation head that “a great percent of Chris Abele’s -giving is in the category of the vanity giver.” A major corporate CEO is harsher: “When he does [participate], he grandstands.… The Kellners, Uihleins and Lubars all give away a great deal of money every year, and they don’t have to get their picture in the paper. Maybe it’s just immaturity with Chris.”

They and others cite a litany of examples. One involves two $100,000 Argosy Foundation gifts Chris arranged. Rather than the normal protocol, which would be to recognize the foundation as the donor, Chris took credit, too. The 2003 Milwaukee Art Museum annual report lists “Christopher Abele on behalf of the Argosy Foundation” (even though he gave his own smaller gift); the 2003 Boys and Girls Clubs annual report reads similarly. Seeing Abele’s name alongside Argosy’s looked like a quest for attention or at least a need for approval, especially when two larger gifts, $25 million each, remained anonymous.

Abele is like “a moth to the flame,” says a friend who warned him that -“publicity can be a double-edged sword.” When the friend advised Abele to back off a bit, Abele protested that he could “leverage” his celebrity status to advance causes he supports. But it’s hard to see what leverage Abele gets from saying that the one thing he really likes about Milwaukee is that it’s not pretentious, then drops names relentlessly himself. Talk to Abele for a while and pretty soon he’s recounting how he went to Cuba and met with Castro, how he’s importing the entire Yale Drama School faculty as directors for the Milwaukee Shakespeare Company he co-founded or how he talked Tom Barrett into running for mayor. (“Yeah, maybe him and 300 other people,” says a Barrett adviser.)

“He’ll say, ‘George and I did this,’ ” says the friend, “and he’s talking about George Soros [the investor-philanthropist-Democratic activist and 28th richest man in the world]. Well, it was a ‘meet and greet.’ Nobody cares. He doesn’t need to do that. But he wants to be considered important.”
So he dishes out an iota of his daddy's money, maybe attends a meeting or two, and then claims he is some kind of patron saint to Milwaukee's downtrodden while ignoring that many of the policies he advocates is meant to keep them downtrodden.

The gentle reader might have also noticed that while Abele is rather light on specifics on exactly how he supposedly helped all these people before he became county executive, he has nothing to say at all about how he treated these same people after becoming county emperor.  Undoubtedly, that's something that Abele and his handlers don't want people to think about.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

RoJoWho Clarifies The Type Of War He Wants With ISIS

Ron Johnson has already said that he is not satisfied with just banning Syrian refugees but wants to invade Syria and Iraq to rid the world of ISIS because it has worked so well before.

On Sunday, RoJoWho appeared on "UpFront with Mike Gousha," a Wisconsin based talk show, and clarified that he wants his war to be a replication of the first Gulf War led by President George H.W. Bush:
In an interview broadcast Sunday on "UpFront with Mike Gousha," the host asked Johnson for a clearer definition of how many U.S. troops he envisions taking part in such a mission.

Johnson, a Republican from Oshkosh who chairs the Senate's Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, initially hesitated, saying he wasn't a military expert. But he said his model for what the U.S. should do to fight ISIS is what President George H.W. Bush did in response to the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait.

"He very clearly laid out the goal, and then he assembled a coalition," Johnson said. "The U.S. provided about two-thirds of the troop level. Our coalition partners provided a third. Our coalition partners paid for 85 percent of that effort. Now that's a full commitment by the world community toward a goal."

The 1990-91 Persian Gulf War included a coalition of 670,000 troops from 28 countries; 383 U.S. troops were killed.

Johnson said that because ISIS "is not that good militarily," the troop numbers would not need to be as high as they were for the early 1990s effort.

"They are sophisticated in terms of use of social media, of spreading this vile, this barbaric ideology of theirs," Johnson said of ISIS. "Recruiting people to join their jihad, they're sophisticated there, but militarily, it really would not be that difficult — it wouldn't take anywhere near the efforts that the first Gulf War did.

"I've been hearing 25,000 troops, a total coalition of maybe 100,000. I really don't know the exact numbers. But we have to be committed to the goal because every day that ISIS exists, they're going to continue to inspire the type of barbarity that we saw play out in Paris, in Beirut, the downing of the Russian jetliner. This threat isn't going away. It is growing, it is metastasizing. We have to take it seriously."
In addition, RoJoWho wanted to make sure that everyone knew that even after five years in the US Senate, he's still not ready for prime time. He did this by introducing a bill that would require an even more stringent vetting process for Syrian refugees, even though he admits that the current process is "pretty robust."

RoJoWho also said that he wants to "eliminate all threats to this nation," then admits it's impossible to do.

In other words, he has an election coming up that he is probably going to lose so he is throwing the red meat of fear and bigotry to his base in order to get them fired up.

Trump : the Ghost of America's Future

By Jeff Simpson

There was a protester at a recent Donald Trump Rally, and Trump did not find it amusing.

What happened to the protester?

The protester removed his shirt to show a shirt that said "Black Lives Matter" and after being instructed by The Donald to attack, his minions did: kicking, shoving and hitting him.   One even yelled "All Lives Matter", followed by "Keep All refugees out".  

This is a taste of America to come if we hand control back to the Republicans in 2016.  There will be no place for "those people" and if you are not 100% on board with the far right wing agenda, you will be considered the enemy.  

We have seen it over and over.

And before anyone tries to blame it on Trump, do not forget this is the Republican primary full of hard core Republican voters.  If Trump is not in the race, these people are doing the exact same thing at someone else's rally.  

I mean we have known this strategu for years.

Aren't we better than that?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Who Has Abele Placed In Your Neighborhood?

For more than two years, AFSCME and the mental health professionals at the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division have been warning about the dangers associated with Chris Abele's plan to privatize the mental health system and close the mental health complex.

The Milwaukee County Board heeded these warnings and wanted to put safeguards into Abele's plan to relocate all the patients into the community.  Because of this and his desire for no accountability or public knowledge, Abele ran to his old buddy, Republican State Representative Joe Sanfelippo.  After slipping Sanfelippo a few bucks, he got his privately owned state rep to push through a law taking the board out of the loop and creating a puppet board to rubber stamp Abele's plans.

Earlier this year, Abele's secrecy and dishonesty started causing problems.  The citizens of Franklin started protesting a group home opening in their community.  They cited concerns about who might be housed in the group home, whether there would be adequate supervision and security and other such things.  Instead of doing the proper education, Abele and the private agency have threatened to sue the City of Franklin to force them to allow the group home.

But it doesn't end there.  As with all things Abele, there is more.  There is always more.

Apparently, in an effort to avoid another fiasco like the one in Franklin, Abele adapted a new modus operandi, namely, lying about what he is doing.

On Wednesday, Milwaukee Alderman Terry Witkowski and State Representative Christine Sinicki held a press conference accusing Abele of opening another group home which will house sex offenders, despite his assurance that this wouldn't happen:
Ald. Terry L. Witkowski on Wednesday accused Milwaukee County officials of covering up a plan to place sex offenders in a community-based residential facility in a quiet south side neighborhood.

The facility at 429 W. Uncas Ave. could open as soon as Friday, with two sex offenders scheduled to move in, said Witkowski, who was joined by more than two dozen neighborhood residents at a news conference in front of the home.

Witkowski said he received assurances from the county's contractor for the facility, Matt Talbot Recovery Service Inc., and its president, Karl Rajani, that no sex offenders would be placed in the home.

But Wednesday, Witkowski said Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Director Hector Colón called him and said two sex offenders would be placed there.

State Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) joined Witkowski at the news conference and also said she had been misled into believing no sex offenders would be placed in the home.

"This is a residential neighborhood with a park and a lot of young children," Sinicki said.

"We were baldfaced lied to about this."
I find it interesting that the agency that owns this group home is the same one that caused the ruckus in Franklin. It should give one pause to wonder what kind of deal Abele made with this agency.

Abele's staff won't say whether the two sex offenders are on the state's sex offender registry. He then tried to assure people that the two people would not violate the city's law restricting where sex offenders can live.

But given how Abele lied about whether sex offenders were going to be placed in this group home, who would or could believe him on the type of sex offenders he placing there?

These stories should raise a red flag for anyone living in Milwaukee County or in the Southeast region of Wisconsin.

Given Abele's secrecy and outright lying, how can anyone be sure of the safety of their own neighborhood?  Who has Abele placed in your neighborhood without telling you or your local leaders?

Having sat in on some of the meetings with AFSCME to discuss this, I can advise the gentle reader of one thing they can be sure of us.  These aren't isolated incidents.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Scott Walker Reflux

By Jeff Simpson

Because some things are so stupid and extreme they should never be forgotten.   This is one of them 

Walker said UW campuses might be able to tap into their reserves to offset the cuts, but he emphasized “it will make them do things that they have not traditionally done.”
“They might be able to make savings just by asking faculty and staff to consider teaching one more class per semester,” Walker told reporters Wednesday in Madison. “Things like that could have a tremendous impact on making sure that we preserve an affordable education for all of our UW campuses, and at the same time we maintain a high-quality education.”

Vince Sweeney, vice chancellor for university relations at UW-Madison, said the most recent survey data found UW-Madison faculty spend 50 to 70 hours per week teaching and supporting students, participating in research and other activities.
“It should be noted that many also bring in millions of dollars in grant funding that is a direct boost to the Wisconsin economy,” Sweeney said. “Many create their own companies, which go on to create state jobs. We value their work greatly.”

So this happened today:

UW-Madison scientists have grown human vocal cord tissue in a dish, which made sound when transplanted into voice boxes from cadaver dogs — a development that could lead to better treatments for people with voice disorders.
Such implants likely won't be ready for human testing for years. But recreating the tissue, known as a vocal fold, and showing it was functional in dog larynges and not rejected by a mouse model of the human immune system are significant steps, the researchers said.
“We never imagined that we would see the impressive level of function that we did — and that this engineered tissue, created with actual human vocal fold cells, would have such strong potential as a therapy," said Nathan Welham, a UW-Madison speech-language pathologist and leader of the research team.
The researchers reported their findings Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine

I hope anyone who has, or has a family member, with a disease that has benefited the last twenty years thanks to major advances in research, remembers this when they go to the polls next November.


The Mike Tate Watch

Chris Larson vs Chris Abele

By Jeff Simpson 

Watching the Milwaukee County Executive race between current exec Chris Abele and State Senator Chris Larson will be interesting.  

Chris Abele, hired former Wisconsin Democratic Party head Mike Tate to help run his re-election campaign.  

Mike Tate who caused controversy in the last Gubernatorial election, by dismissing Kathleen Vinehout's initial plan to run for Governor by focusing on small donations, and not going after the big donors that many political insiders feel are necessary to winning elections.  

"The reality is that while we will never have as much money as Scott Walker it is not realistic to believe you can defeat him without running a serious, professional campaign that raises enough money to get the Democratic message out,” Tate said in a statement. “The stakes are too high for our families that are struggling under Scott Walkers policies for anyone to attempt a bid for Governor that will not and cannot raise the money needed to run a grassroots campaign that can communicate with voters at their door, via television, direct mail and the Internet. Modern times require modern campaigns."
Unfortunately for the people of Wisconsin, an unfortunate auto accident helped change our history.  

Now Mike Tate has hitched his wagons to what seems would be a candidate right up his alley.  A corporate right of center "Democrat" who has unlimited funds.  

Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele brags that he will pay for his own re-election campaign.
Just look for the Brink's armored truck to pull up any second.

Records show that Abele has already bought $336,495 worth of airtimeon six Milwaukee-area TV stations since Oct. 26. His ads also are all over social media, especially Facebook. And his campaign has sent out at least three slick mailers to voters in the county.

Abele's campaign released two more TV spots on Tuesday, the first on thenew Milwaukee Bucks arena and the other on local bus service, and sent out a new flier as well. Even more direct mail will be on its way soon

 Throw in a five-member campaign staff, polling and consultants — former Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tateamong them — and Abele looks like he could spend as much as $1 million by the end of the year.
The guy who feels that the best way to "fix" our public schools, is to privatize them making no one accountable to the community, is willing to spend one million dollars to bury his opponent a year before the election.

Here is some quick advice to Mr. Abele, give the million dollars to the Milwaukee Public Schools and appoint Dr. Means as a volunteer to your campaign.  Everyone wins.
It will be interesting to see how clean Mike Tate runs a clean race or smears and misleads in his advertisements the way big money tends to do in elections.

  Remember, Chris Larson has always endorsed Mike Tate for chair when he ran, so it will be interesting to see what kind of loyalty Mike Tate shows his old friend.    

For me personally, I see it as a race between someone who likes to work with(and donate too) the extremist Republicans to gain more power(the undemocratic takeover of the Milwaukee County Board and local schools), versus a politician who perpetually gave in to the extremist Republicans(Larson led the way in giving our public education money to the Milwaukee Bucks Billioanire owners).  

Since the last two County Execs have stolen us blind anyway, I would take a long look at Joe Klein from the Pirate Party.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Walker Agenda Still Isn't Working! Part CCXLVI

Last week was one of the worst weeks in Wisconsin history for jobs.  Over a thousand layoffs were announced, putting the state at 10,000 layoffs this year alone and on a pace to double last years dismal numbers.

This week is proving to be no better already.  On Monday, another 277 layoffs were announced by Johnson Controls:
Johnson Controls Inc. will cut 277 more jobs from its Milwaukee-area operations.

The Glendale-based global, multi-industrial company is closing the Milwaukee Business Center at 5055 N. Lydell Ave. The layoffs will begin Jan. 26, 2016, and will continue through the end of June 2016.

Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) announced in September it would cut 2.5 percent, or about 3,000 workers, from its global workforce in an effort to save $250 million annually, as part of a comprehensive cost cutting program. At the time, the company confirmed that some of those job cuts would occur in the Milwaukee area.

The September announcement included jobs affected by plans to indefinitely suspend work at its Project Unity IT program at its office in West Allis. Company spokesman Fraser Engerman said at the time that most of the 197 West Allis workers will find other positions within the company.

The majority of the Lydell Avenue positions to be cut are in accounting and finance. The company had moved about 330 employees from downtown to the former industrial center known as the Lydell Corporate Center in 2010.
But don't worry, folks. Walker and the Republicans have their laser-like focus pinned squarely on legalizing corruption so that their ill gotten income can keep flowing freely.

Ron Johnson Wants To Go To War

Ron Johnson isn't satisfied with the standard Republican talking point of refusing to accept Syrian refugees in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks. Oh no, he wants to invade Syria and invade Iraq for the third time:
Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said Monday the United States should invade territory held by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Johnson said the Obama administration’s approach — attempting to contain the threat using airstrikes without ground troops — is naive given the threat ISIS poses to the rest of the world, including the United States.

“It’s high time that we make a commitment in the world that Islamic terrorists have got to be wiped off the face of the planet,” the Oshkosh Republican said in a telephone interview. “Because if we don’t, every day that ISIS survives, every day that they are not overtly losing, they are perceived as winners and perceived as winning and they’ll continue to inspire adherents to this barbarity.”

Johnson wants the United States to assemble a coalition, much like the one former president George H.W. Bush put together for the Gulf War in 1990 to push Saddam Hussein out of Kuwait.

“It’s not a perfect solution, but you have to start at the head: We’ve got to destroy the caliphate, which means we’ve got to take back the territory, because a caliphate does not exist without the territory,” he said.
There is no word when RoJo is planning on enlisting in the army to lead his invasion.

But rest assured, RoJo's intentions are pure. He wants to rescue all that oil, er, our freedom from the hands of terrorists. Nope, it has nothing at all to do with all of that BP stock he owns, because 'Murica!

It also has nothing to do with him pandering to the paranoia, the bigotry and the xenophobia of his base. After all, it's not like he is losing badly to Russ Feingold or anything.

Meanwhile, twenty years after the Oklahoma bombing, we are still waiting for RoJoWho, the chairman of the homeland security committee, to do something about the greatest terrorism threat facing America - extremist right wingers.

I would advise the gentle reader not to hold their breath for that to happen.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Republicans' Hollow And Hypocritical Response To Syrian Refugees

On Monday, Scott Walker joined the throng of other Republican governors and lawmakers trying to exploit the terrorist attack on Paris by saying that he would refuse to accept any Syrian refugees in Wisconsin:
Gov. Scott Walker on Monday joined a growing list of governors whose states will not accept new Syrian refugees.

"In light of these horrific and tragic attacks, our first priority must be to protect our citizens. Along with governors across the country, I have deep concerns about the Obama Administration’s plan to accept 10,000 or more Syrian refugees, especially given that one of the Paris attackers was reportedly a Syrian refugee," Walker said in a statement. "In consultation with our Adjutant General, who also serves as my Homeland Security Advisor, it is clear that the influx of Syrian refugees poses a threat. With this in mind, I am calling upon the President to immediately suspend the program pending a full review of its security and acceptance procedures. The State of Wisconsin will not accept new Syrian refugees."

Walker joins the governors of states like Michigan, Texas, Massachusetts and Alabama in blocking Syrian refugees from entering Wisconsin for the time being.
In other words, Walker and the other Republicans are turning away tens of thousands of people based on an unsubstantiated rumor.

But that should come as a surprise to no one. When was the last time the Republicans did anything based on facts and truths?

Besides, the Republicans have a tough election year coming up.  How does anyone expect to win if they don't pander to their base's paranoia and bigotry?

But Walker's posturing is just that, emptying posturing. He and the other right wing governors don't have the authority to refuse to the refugees:
The problem for Jindal, Abbott and the other governors opposed to admitting refugees, however, is that there is no lawful means that permits a state government to dictate immigration policy to the president in this way. As the Supreme Court explained in Hines v. Davidowitz, “the supremacy of the national power in the general field of foreign affairs, including power over immigration, naturalization and deportation, is made clear by the Constitution.” States do not get to overrule the federal government on matters such as this one.

Just in case there is any doubt, President Obama has explicit statutory authorization to accept foreign refugees into the United States. Under the Refugee Act of 1980, the president may admit refugees who face “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” into the United States, and the president’s power to do so is particularly robust if they determine that an “unforeseen emergency refugee situation” such as the Syrian refugee crisis exists.

This power to admit refugees fits within the scheme of “broad discretion exercised by immigration officials” that the Supreme Court recognized in its most recent major immigration case, Arizona v. United States. Indeed, in describing the executive branch’s broad authority to make discretionary calls regarding immigration matters, Arizona seemed to explicitly contemplate the circumstances that face President Obama today. The United States may wish to allow a foreign national to remain within its borders, the Court explained, because the individual’s home nation “may be mired in civil war, complicit in political persecution, or enduring conditions that create a real risk that the alien or his family will be harmed upon return.”

Moreover, the Court explained, America could suffer severe foreign policy consequences if the executive does not enjoy broad discretion over immigration matters. “The dynamic nature of relations with other countries,” Justice Anthony Kennedy explained in his opinion for the Court in Arizona, “requires the Executive Branch to ensure that enforcement policies are consistent with this Nation’s foreign policy with respect to these and other realities.”
Again, why let a little thing like reality or the law get in the way of playing to their base's xenophobia and bigotry?

Perhaps Walker is trying to protect us from Muslims like the waiter who risked his life by braving a hail of bullets during the Paris attacks to pull two women to safety?

If Walker and the others were really concerned about our safety, why have they not done anything  for twenty years about profiling white, male former military people like Timothy McVeigh, who killed more people by himself than the terrorists who attacked Paris?  Instead, Walker has made it easier for people like this to commit their atrocities.

Lastly, I am surprised that these so called Christians are willing to take such a stance.  I seem to remember learning as a boy in Sunday School about a seasonal story about Middle Eastern refugees being turned away by cold-blooded fools.

Apparently, Walker missed that lesson too.

Paul Ryan's Proves ISIS Wrong

By Jeff Simpson

ISIS has released a video saying they planned on attacking Washington DC.  

Not sure why.

As new Speaker of the House Paul Ryan(second in line to the Presidency) showed us today what his priority is.  

Apparently, they think higher of Washington DC than the rest of the world.   

Kohler Workers Go On Strike

On Sunday, by an overwhelming 94% margin, members of UAW Local 833 rejected Kohler's latest contract offer and voted to go on strike.  The biggest issues appear to be inadequate pay raises, exorbitant increases in health care costs and the continuation of an unfair two-tier system:
Workers on Sunday cited multiple problems with the company's offer, ranging from what they described as an inadequate pay increase to higher health care costs and continuation of a two-tier wage scale.

In 2010, with the economy still reeling from the worst recession since the 1930s, the Local 833 membership accepted a company proposal that froze wages for five years, increased health insurance costs and established a system that pays newer employees much less than their longer-tenured co-workers.

This time, with area unemployment low and a resurgent housing market benefiting Kohler, the workers wanted more.

"The company has been taking it to us for many years now, and we've had enough," said Eric Koene, 43, of Sheboygan, a Kohler employee for 22 years.

Particularly objectionable, he said, is the two-tier wage scale. If that were scrapped, as Local 833 proposed to do over six years, "this (contract) would pass easily, maybe even 100%," Koene said.
Workers in the lower tier, which are new workers, are making less than 60% of the money as the more senior workers for doing the same job. This was done intentionally by the company to cause worker unrest and to undermine the power of the union.

And it's not like the company can't afford to treat their workers decently.  Forbes has the Kohler family, which has been running the company for four generations, valued at $7.3 billion - yes, that's billion with a "B".

I stand in solidarity with the striking workers.  The company's exploitation of them was never needed and should be stopped.

With the Milwaukee County bus drivers winning their contract to stop the flood of temporary workers and now the Kohler workers standing up for themselves, it bodes well for the future of the state and the country.  If this trend continues, we can finally put a stop to and start reversing the damage done by the likes of Scott Walker and the other corporate sockpuppets who are supported by these greedy CEOs.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Steve nASS Is the Butt of the Joke

By Jeff Simpson

We recently brought you news of the attempt by Representative Kramer and Senator Steve nASS to bully transgendered high school kids.

Knowing Steve nASS has never had an original thought, we see that these Republican Bully bills are popping up all over the country.   So much so, that Saturday Night Live had to take a crack at the loons that keep pushing these ridiculous bills.

Aaron Rodgers Denounces Bigoted Fan

At each NFL football game on Sunday, there was a moment of silence for the people of France who suffered an unimaginable terrorist attack.

Unfortunately, some jerk at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin, took the opportunity to prove to the world what an ass he is by yelling an anti-Muslim statement. (Said fool either shouted "Muslim sucks" or "F*ck the Muslims," depending on which account you listen to.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who came off the field after losing another heartbreaking (for Packer fans anyway) loss, still had the wherewithal and class to denounce the fan who yelled that:
"I must admit I was very disappointed with whoever the fan was that made a comment that was very inappropriate during the moment of silence," Rodgers said. "It's that kind of prejudicial ideology that puts us in the position we're in today as a world."
Sad to say, it wouldn't be surprising if Rodgers experiences some blow back for this comment, given the exceptionally base and crass right wingers that keep coming out of the woodwork in Wisconsin.

I will openly admit that I am not really a big Rodgers fan, but I will say that he displayed a lot of class in that statement. Now if only he would get his head on straight during the games...

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Scott Walker (Dis)Honors Veterans

By Jeff Simpson 

Scott Walker issued this statement on Veterans Day:

America is the land of the free and home of the brave.  The rights and freedoms we enjoy every day in this nation come at a steep cost, one that is paid by our veterans and active servicemen and women.  On Veterans Day, and every day, we honor our veterans for their bravery, and we will continue our work to ensure they have the resources needed to pursue their piece of the American Dream upon return from service.

The rest of the year though he has shown how little he cares for Veterans by passing a Voter ID law where Veterans ID's are not eligible.

Hundreds of thousands of service men and women were honored this Veterans Day. But there's one thing those vets are asking for… the right to vote with their form of identification.
Right now in Wisconsin, a military ID issued by the U.S. Uniformed Service is valid. But an ID issued by the Veterans Administration is not valid at the polls.
“Some veterans are so disabled they can't drive, but they do have a veterans card so it would expedite everything a whole lot better being able to use it,” says veteran Steve Coach.
Tom Yetter, volunteer representative with the Guard and Reserve says it can become difficult for veterans to get proper forms of identification to vote.
“There are circumstances where veterans are disabled or for one reason or other and they don't have a driver's license. Now, they would be forced to go out and get some other form of official government identification, when they already have a government identification card that's very well documented in the first place.
Scott Walker loves having his picture taken with Veteran's, as long as they do not ask him for the right to vote when they come home!  Or treat our flag with respect!


Maybe if Scott Walker was not busy spending $90,000 of Wisconsin taxpayer money a day on his blind ambition, he could stay around WI and actually learn something from the union members he likes to demonize.

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At least he did not have an American hero and veteran thrown downt he stairs in the Capitol for singing.

Sheriff Clarke Writes His Own Rules

By Jeff Simpson

As Republican front runner Donald Trump says "We are a country of laws".

Even a simpleton like Scott Walker gets that.  He knows that since he has a hard time following the laws, he did the next best thing - changed them so he did not have to follow them anymore.

How ever Milwaukee Countys favorite fake cowboy and Justice Rebecca Bradley's top supporter, Sheriff David Clarke, has decided his job is to enforce some laws but not abide by them.

Taxpayer funded Sheriff David Clarke, taking time away from appearing on Fox News,  could not be bothered to park his taxpayer funded SUV on the taxpayer funded street where instead, he parked in the taxpayer funded handicap parking spot.   However there is no story here because Clarke ordered a taxpayer funded police Captain to go park his SUV for him.  The Captain was not aware that he was the Sheriff's personal valet so the SUV never was moved.

Sheriff Clarke though knows this was wrong and will immediately begin an internal investigation into why someone would not follow an order to wait on him.   To our freinds at RightWisconsin, do not worry, Clarke's entitlement is still intact.

As for our gentle readers who are saying to themselves - "Wait I would get a hefty ticket to pay".

Again, Clarke addressed that problem:

When I came out of the Veterans Day event and noticed the vehicle still there and found out that my order was not followed, I ordered a county citation be written on the vehicle. Citation # 755472.
I paid the fine of $35 and since the city parking fine exceeded that ($200) I made a personal donation to an organization that works with the disabled.  That $235 total exceeds the city parking violation. I would rather the money go to a private org working with the disabled than to government. I have copies of all receipts.
I am sure that next time you or I receive a ticket, we can just pay the same amount to any private charity of our choice, no questions asked.  

Who can blame Sheriff Clarke anyway, why would he want any of his hard earned money to go to the Government, it is not like he benefits from it!

Watch these pages for the next event in Milwaukee when they give away free horses.  I wonder if Sheriff Clarke is related to Craig T. Nelson?  

The Most Ironic Thing You'll See Today And Maybe Forever

Boss Abele is running scared.

Facing a tough, grassroots, true progressive opponent in Chris Larson, and having alienated so many people in Milwaukee County, Abele is beside himself with what to do.
And things will only get worse for Abele when and if he ever announces his education privatization czar.

Furthering his problems is that Abele has proven himself to be a gaffe machine, claiming that he is "helping" the African American community by improving the House of Correction, increasing child support and pretending to expanding mental health services.  He has yet to apologize for saying that blacks are all crazy criminals with illegitimate children.

Things have gotten so bad for Abele that his handlers - Tia "I've never won a race" Torhorst and Mike Tate, the disgraced former DPW head - have kept him away from the public as much as possible.

Abele has resorted to trying to buy the election by handing out bribes, er, checks to various groups in an effort to win them over.  He has also flooded the airwaves with the same ad.  And now, months before the primary election, he has sent out two very large, four page, full color, glossy ads in the past week.

It's all an obvious effort to try to soften the blow for when he does announce his education privatization czar and his plans to take public schools and give them to his profiteering pals.

But the mailer that arrived at many Milwaukee homes on Wednesday was perhaps the most ironic and hypocritical thing that I have ever seen - and after dealing with Scott Walker for the past 14 years, that says a lot.  Here is the cover of said mailer:

"The special interests and insiders owned Milwaukee County. One person is helping people to take it back." - Chris Abele

Y'know, that takes a lot of nerve for Abele to make that claim.

This is coming from the guy who refused to come to the County Board's public budget hearing and has willfully failed to appear before the board's Finance, Personnel and Audit Committee seven times (or is it eight now?).  I wonder how Abele thinks that refusing to listen to the people, much less explain how he is spending taxpayer money is helping people take back their government.

This is coming from a guy who paid off Republican state legislators in order to have them pass a bill that concentrated power into his hand. The only thing Abele forgot was to formally change his title from county executive to county emperor.

And that wasn't enough for Abele!

He went back time and time again (every time he didn't get his way), in order to get even more power.  These included creation of his "Mental Health Board" - a non-elected panel of political appointees with taxing authority and the ability to sell any county assets other than parks to anyone he wants without needing to take bids, without any say so from the board and with no input from the public.

And let us not forget that Abele made the push to start the privatization of Milwaukee Public Schools.  He just announced that his new privatization czar is a guy from the exurbs.  Interestingly, both Abele and his new czar admit it's a sham position and is only temporary, making it obvious that the selection is more about political showmanship than an actual desire to improve the schools.

Abele pretends to make a stink about "special interests" and loves to say that "he can't be bought."

The fact is that Abele IS the special interest and is doing the buying - except for now when he is trying to sell us a load of crap.

Now, who does that remind you of?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Forty Years Ago

The Edmund Fitzgerald was lost to Lake Superior when the gales of November came early.  All 29 men aboard were also lost.

The Infestation of the Democratic Party

By Jeff Simpson

It was brought to my attention today, that two long time Democratic party insiders are now working with an extreme right wing organization.  

John Jacobson( who worked for Mandela Barnes and helped others campaign) and Brandon Savage, (who has worked forvarious Democratic campaigns), have hung up their Democratic party badges and decided to throw in with a right wing organizatuon trying to destroy our schools amongst other things.
The Organization is called Wisconsin Property Taxpayers Incorporated.  

While you might not have heard of WPTI, our politicians have as they lead all firms in lobbying time.
In order to save you time and headaches, we picked a few gems from their website and newsletter.

 Through all of the cuts and changes our schools have gone through the past 6 years, many of them supported by WPT

Under additional help and resources

 Wisconsin Family Action
(WFA) focuses on issues that impact Wisconsin’s traditional

Right Wisconsin
For intelligent commentary and analysis of political and daily

Under their agenda:

Restore Bargaining Limits For All Public Employees
Last session, the Legislature entirely removed the caps on school employee salary and benefit increases and allowed state mediators to ignore the taxpayers' ability to pay in wage/benefit settlements. WPT will aggressively encourage the Legislature to enact legislation that will prohibit state mediators from awarding wage/benefit increases that exceed the taxpayers’ ability to pay in the future.

Mining Law Reform
WPT urges the Legislature to reform the metallurgic mining law to create jobs –more than 1,000 at the mine, in transportation and mining related industrial equipment jobs throughout the state, generate $Billions in revenue for state and local governments - and protect the environment.

Even advocating the punish the poor on SNAP benefits bills:

As I mentioned above, the State Legislature will debate a pair of bills on Tuesday that would eliminate potential fraud in Wisconsin's FoodShare Program.

One of the bills would limit the number of replacement cards that a benefit recipient receives in one year, and the other proposal would require a photo ID on "Quest Cards."

Nearly 900,000 Wisconsinites receive just over $1 billion in benefits.

The kicker for the "Voice of Wisconsin Property Taxpayers" is they lobbied IN FAVOR of the steve nASS bring back racist high school logo's bill.    Nothing helps lower property taxes more than making fun of Native Americans.

How do you run a campaign for a Progressive candidate and then come and work for such an organization?  I guess the answer is simple.  Not very well.    

My question is if you feel the attack on teachers and public education was so good, how do you volunteer on the campaign of one of the biggest defenders of public education?  When she loses by a handful of votes, was that because someone who would so quickly jump ship was helping to sabotage the campaign?  What was promised with that?  

This comes on the heels of many of the former Democratic Party power structure quitting and heading to work for union busting, fake Democrat Chris Abele.  

If the Democratic party is infested with people who are just check cashers and have no principles, there is no wonder that in a few short years we turned the state from blue to extremist red.   How many others working in the party, for electeds or in campaigns would be so willing to run to the opposite side for a paycheck?    Is there any vetting process in Democratic circles for hiring?  

It is impossible to get a message of a better future than the Republicans sold to the people of WI when the people getting the message out do not believe it.  

Monday, November 9, 2015

Bradley's Bias

By Jeff Simpson

Rebecca Bradley, was recently appointed(for the third time in three years) to the Wisconsin Supreme Court by Scott Walker.   The fix was in and everyone knew that Walker would appoint his crony once Justice Crooks passed away.  

Interim Justice Bradley quickly let us know she planned on being "independent".

"I am looking forward to working with each of the members of the Supreme Court and I'm going to ensure that the people of Wisconsin and the interests of justice are well served," said Bradley.
Almost immediately after being aappointed, Interim Justice Bradley called upon Controversial Sheriff David Clarke to send a fundrasing letter for her.

"There's going to be a lot of national labor union money thrown against Justice Rebecca Bradley, and the Madison Liberals will pony up too," Clarke wrote. "They see the February 16 Primary and April 5 General Election as two opportunities to seek some revenge against the reform agenda that's been implemented in Wisconsin over the past four years or so...." 
The problem is that just three days before the letter went out, Sheriff Clarke had this to say:

“Let me tell you why blacks sell drugs and involve themselves in criminal behavior, instead of a more socially acceptable lifestyle: because they’re uneducated, they’re lazy, and they’re morally bankrupt. That’s why.”

The first person(that was not related) who Interim Justice Bradley asked to send a fundraising letter for her feels that "Blacks sell drugs strictly because they are uneducated and lazy".  Bradley rewards that with aligning herself with him immediately after saying this.  

Raise your hand if you think Rebecca Bradley would give anyone who is not a white middle class Republican a fair and independent hearing in front of her.  

Thought so.

Here is Ms. Bradley showing her independence at a GOP sponsored fundraiser/dinner.