Thursday, March 22, 2018

Walker's own appointed Judge ruled he must call special elections...Rep. Vos called her an "activist?"

It hurts just trying to figure this out; Republicans are quick to remind everyone that we're a "republic," not a democracy. And yet, not a peep from these proud angry conservative radio talk hosts and their deep red district voters when Walker left two legislative seats empty. Crickets.

Oh, it didn't serve their purpose or wasn't a part of their strategy of winning a sure thing? Seriously. Here's audio from WPR' Shawn Johnson:

Dealing a setback to Gov. Scott Walker and other Republicans, (Dane County) Judge Josann Reynolds - whom Walker appointed to the bench in 2014 - ruled Thursday the governor must call special elections to fill two vacant seats in the Legislature.
Showing just how crooked and wacky the con-game-of-resentment works, Republican Rep. Robin Vos embarrassed himself and his district when he quickly and without hesitation...
...ripped the judge as an "activist Dane County judge" who had injected her "own personal opinion into how we conduct elections." He said he wasn't aware Walker had appointed the judge, but said her approach was endemic to judges in liberal Madison. "It’s something about the water in Dane County," Vos said. "That’s why I try to stay here as little as I can."
It's a Mistake when a Judge rules Against Republicans? Vos is pretty much saying Republicans are "smarter than the rest of the state," above the law, and that the judicial branch is only there to support their agenda. This is so arrogant, ya gotta think something is terribly wrong with these guys. Seriously, who says this...?
Vos: "One thing I've always learned about appointments, you don't always get it right...sometimes even Governor Walker might have appointed somebody who's decided to be an activist judge. Something about the water in Dane County, which is why I try to stay here as little as I can. Ah, makes people feel like they are smarter than the rest of the state. This judge is certainly not."

Former Attorney General Eric Holder, on behalf of the constituents in those cheated districts, went to court:
Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds —  determined Walker had a duty under state law to hold special elections ... failing to hold special elections infringed on the voting rights of people who lived in the two districts. "To state the obvious, if the plaintiffs have a right to vote for their representatives, they must have an election to do so," said Reynolds.
Oh and do I love the judges next comment, centering on the GOP's demand for a strict constructionist interpretation of the Constitution, which Reynolds firmly believes in:
The judge took a shot at Walker for contending he didn't have to hold the election when the statutes are clear and he so often talks about the need for judges and others to follow the plain meaning of laws. 
"I cannot reconcile the incongruity between Gov. Walker's administration's very vocal and consistent policy advocating for strict constructionism and the position taken by the attorney general in this case involving the most basic constitutional guarantee."
I can't wait to see Judge Reynolds Schimel takedown repeated in AG candidate Josh Kaul's campaign ads.
Walker aides contended Walker didn't need to hold special elections because the vacancies occurred not in 2018 — the election year — but in 2017. 

The judge called that interpretation absurd because a seat that becomes vacant in 2017 remains empty longer than one that begins in 2018.

Reynolds noted lawmakers could come in for a special session in the coming months, particularly if the U.S. Supreme Court sides with a panel of three federal judges that new congressional and legislative maps must be drawn.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Leah Vukmir's Deep State Conspiracy!!!

Republican voters now have big choice to make in the midterms; elect Leah Vukmir for trying to manipulate and playoff their anger, or not. They could stay with what got them their legislative majorities and megalomaniac and narcissist Trump.

State Representative and ALEC executive Leah Vukmir running on the "deep state" conspiracy theory suggesting public employees - or "agents" holding opposing political views, are our enemy.

She joins Dumb Ron Johnson who also fears a "secret society," plotting and planning to overthrow their supposed permanent majority.

The Party of Sweet Nasty Revenge: Getting back at your "enemies" is catching on I guess. Two days away from completing 30 years of public service work and getting a well-deserved pension, Republicans now think it's a badge of honor to pull the rug out from hard-working Americans. Heck, they never liked the idea of pensions anyway.

It's those "deep state" liberal Republicans who aren't getting in line with blowhard Trump. Vukmir would be great, like Paul Ryan, as a check and balance to the Executive Branch?
Leah Vukmir ripped into U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan Monday for offering a job to fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe and proposed making it illegal to hire a federal employee to pad a pension.
Then again "Deep State" paranoia may be just what the election ordered after seeing this head-scratching poll:
The Monmouth University Polling Institute found that 74 percent of respondents believe in a “deep state” when it is described as a collection of unelected officials running policy. Twenty-one percent said they do not believe this kind of group exists. Thirty-one percent of Republicans and 33 percent of independents say they believe a deep state “definitely exists,” while 19 percent of Democrats believe this.
But wait, how can that be if...
Pollsters also found that a majority of those polled, 63 percent, said they were “not familiar” with the term deep state, however.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Democurmudgeon Demands You Think Spring

Walker's Reinsurance ploy likely won't get Trump's $150 million Funding help! Hello High Risk Pools!

After mentioning Scott Walker's supposed attempt to prop up the Affordable Care Act, my conservative Trumpian friend in Milwaukee said Walker's move to the middle was a bad idea.

But Walker isn't really budging from his radically right wing position.

To get reelected, grand illusionist Scott Walker is again saying he's trying to repair a problem Republicans in DC created, with his reinsurance plan, at the same time sending his AG out with a lawsuit to repeal the ACA...crazy right? That's what makes this a temporary election year ploy:
Reinsurance: What is it? A reinsurance fund helps insurance companies pay high-cost medical claims, to try to reduce premiums for everyone. In 2014 to 2016, the Affordable Care Act marketplace had temporary federal reinsurance, designed to stabilize premiums in the early years of the marketplace...premiums went up an average of 38 percent for the 225,000 Wisconsin residents.
"State" Reinsurance Con Game: It only looks like Walker is asking for the reinsurance funding Congress just stopped in its tracks. Here's the con: the "state" reinsurance program requires three fourths of money coming from Trump ($150 million) don't hold your breath. But it might get Walker votes and reelected.

What Walker is doing is setting up a move to bring back the states failed high-risk pools. Back in 2017...
Gov. Scott Walker, as part of his election-year health care plan, asked the state Senate to pass a pre-existing conditions bill approved by the Assembly in June amid some political maneuvering.

What’s the debate? The original bill, introduced by Democrats, banned lifetime caps on health insurance, which the Affordable Care Act also prohibits. Republicans stripped out that wording and inserted their own language. The new bill requires insurers to cover people with pre-existing conditions but allows the state insurance commissioner to alter protections, possibly by re-establishing a high-risk pool for such people. The bill is now in the Senate, where Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, introduced an amendment to remove the insurance commissioner provision.
Without the insurance commissioner, no high risk pools or lifetime caps. But nothing is stopping Republicans from passing this. So it's back to the way it was. Keep in mind, high risk pools are funded by you and me, taxpayer dollars. How effective was it? :
Wisconsin's high-risk pool insured about 21,000 people, with critics saying high prices kept tens or hundreds of thousands of others from accessing it. Those applying for the program had to wait six months before they were allowed into it and a lifetime cap of $2 million. Health Insurance Risk Sharing Plan lost $6.9 million in 2011, roughly a third of which was offset by a federal grant, according to the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The same year, programs in the 35 states lost a total of at least $272 million.
 Here's the GOP health care reform scam:
The plan includes $10 billion per year in “state innovation grants,” which are a version of high-risk pools to help sick people get coverage and stabilize premiums but appear to allow for a broader array of uses for the money by states. Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act, however, many of these state plans ended up being so expensive, because they covered only sick patients, that they had to cap enrollment.
Also check this article out as well:

Trump's Billionaire Donor Data Mined Facebook without Users Consent.

When Republicans say they wanted to change the American culture, wow, they weren't kidding. They even said it was the only way to solve the problem of mass shootings.

Yet while they're opposed to the horrors of liberal cultural "social engineering," they never said they were against a more social conservative kind of engineering.

GOP Billionaire helped Steal 50 Million Facebook Users Profiles to Elect Trump: Real Americans like Sheldon Adelson, the Koch brothers, and Robert Mercer continue to build on their conservative empire based on special interest

Republican Marketing, not Ideas, Winning Elections: There's no denying it, fear and division won over even Democratic voters, despite the Democratic Party's economic platform strengthening health care, free college, infrastructure jobs, and higher wages.

Here's one of  the ruthless underhanded reasons why:
(In 2014) Cambridge Analytica had secured a $15 million investment from Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and wooed his political adviser, Stephen Bannon, with the promise of tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior. So the firm harvested private information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million users without their permission, according to former Cambridge employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest data leaks in the social network’s history. The breach allowed the company to exploit the private social media activity of a huge swath of the American electorate, developing techniques that underpinned its work on President Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Today the denials are flying...but with Democratic pushback:

Whataboutism is Back: The "WhataboutObama" contingent quickly pointed to a Guardian article that, no surprise, did not support their case. There's a difference between knowingly using your Facebook account to sign into the Obama campaign, or deceptively completing a Facebook survey that secretly gave permission to use both your information and your friend's for the Trump campaign. Ya think?

Listen to the NPR audio story, and read the NY Times story, which is just amazing:
Facebook has suspended the data analytics firm that the Trump campaign relied on during the 2016 election, saying the firm improperly received user data and then may have failed to get rid of it.
U.K.-based professor Aleksandr Kogan came up with an app billed on Facebook as a personality predictor "used by psychologists." About 270,000 people downloaded "thisisyourdigitallife," according to Facebook, and in doing so gave away their data; some — depending on security settings — even gave away information about their Facebook friends. Although users may not have realized it, the mining of their personal information was aboveboard; just by downloading the app they had — knowingly or not — consented to giving it away. But they did not consent to Kogan giving it away, Facebook says. And when Kogan passed on their data to Cambridge Analytica, he violated platform policies against sharing information with a third party. (Facebook changed its rules three years ago to stop developers from seeing information about people's friends.)
It's all about winning, just like they told us over and over:
According to the newspaper, "the firm was effectively a shell" based in the U.K. and run by foreigners whose contracts with American campaigns — including that of presidential hopeful Ted Cruz — possibly violated Federal Election Commission rules. Around 30 million of those profiles contained enough information to build psychographic profiles.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Where we're not spending the budget surpluses...

Student Protesters Nationwide Smarter than Republican Politicians on Gun Crisis.

It always seemed the gun debate pitted logic and common sense against cliches and imagined 2nd Amendment gun rights that even covered specific gun models.

The Children: For example, here are the fearless articulate messages we're hearing from high school students:

and this...

The "Adults:"
 Now here are the "look over there" distractions being sold first, by Wisconsin's own embarrassing NRA sellout Paul Ryan, who couldn't look or sound more ridiculous:

and this position...where "we has the wisdom."

Republicans are Everything They Say We Are: We have to come up with a new word to describe those blindly hypocritical "real Americans." It's not funny or ironic anymore. How do you have a debate with someone who has no self-awareness at all? For instance...this kid's protest sign and the fact that schools had to cancel their protests due to what, armed threats?

Schools Try to Stop Student Protesters with Threats, Suspensions: Those "constitutional conservatives" out there never did like the First Amendment much. You know, this part...the "right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances" lacks the necessary obedience-to-power Trumpian right-wingers can't get enough of.

First, from the Waukesha School District, in the words of one student there:
As students at Waukesha North march and walk out to create a movement, we are being faced with threats of truancy tickets from an administration which has backtracked their own statements to the point of incoherency. First, student organizers at North were threatened by the School District of Waukesha for any type of advocacy in any way pertaining to them or their students. After the district's statement made national news on CNN, Todd Gray gave an interviewing denying his stance against students taking part in the movement.

Then again, they changed their stance, with principals giving guidelines to something closer resemble an assembly than a protest. Still, we tried to find a compromise. The realization that they were warping our ideas beyond recognition came when we were told we couldn't call it a walk out or a protest. The same administration with the audacity to tell us that The Women's March, a group actively advocating for legislative change so that it's harder for students to get hurt, was using us to push their own agenda, turned out to be using us to warp and quiet the story.
And so many others...
Nevada school administrators threatened to withhold students’ diplomas and kick students off sports teams for participating in the walkout.

Students in Texas were told they would be suspended if they protest gun violence, on the same day a local 14-year-old was charged over a shooting threat..."All will be suspended for 3 days and parent notes will not alleviate the discipline ... A school is a place to learn and grow educationally, emotionally and morally. A disruption of the school will not be tolerated.”

Sophomore Rosa Rodriquez the only student to walk out of Sayreville HS this morning #nationalwalkout Under threat of suspension several hundred others allowed to attend gathering in school auditorium #1010wins

A number of high schools cancelled or postponed their planned walkouts after receiving anonymous violent threats related to the protests. In Broughton High School in Raleigh, North Carolina; Hackensack High School in Bergen County, New Jersey; D.C. Everesthigh school in Weston, Wisconsin; Mukwonago High School in Wisconsin; and Romeoville High School in Illinois, protests were cancelled or postponed because of threats, sometimes in instances in which the threats were found not to be credible, out of an abundance of caution. In one instance, Shikellamy High School’s protest in Pennsylvania was cut short because of the threat of a drive-by shooting. Clearview Regional High School and Clearview Middle School in Gloucester County, New Jersey, were closed entirely because of an anonymous threat.
And finally...a school that forced their students to take a side:

An Ohio high school student has found himself at the center of political controversy after an online post about his suspension for staying in class during the national student school walkout went viral ... he chose not to join his classmates because he didn’t go to a designated area of the school where the non-protesters were supposed to be, he didn’t want to choose a side, and instead stayed by himself in a classroom. 

On social media Shoemaker’s now-viral suspension slip has been spun into a tale about how a liberal school system impeded the rights of a student who supported the Second Amendment, On Twitter, users shared Shoemaker’s photos of the suspension slip with hashtags such as #GunControlNever and #LiberalismIsAMentalDisorder. One person tweeted, “To paraphrase George Orwell, some speech is more equal than others.”
To all the students who suddenly realized they all have truly remarkable power. Their message is so clear and so well-stated that it stands in stark contrast to the mindnumbing nonsense spewed out by Republican politicians.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Walker's "Office of School Safety" not really about guns...

Boy, you can just tell Scott Walker is being forced to react to the nationwide movement to back universal background checks and ban high velocity military style weapons. Students figured it out. They're seeking a plan to "prevent" shooters from getting guns and entering schools, not react TO shooters already wondering the halls.

Oh, and just a reminder, guns were supposed to make us safer? 

Walker's "bold" plan is political gobbledygook meant to sidetrack real gun regulation. He doesn't even mention guns...what guns? In fact, why do anything at all...
 "Walker said he thinks tougher gun laws won't deter people who are willing to commit terrorism."
 Walker's just parroting every other Republican. Remember when Walker repealed the 48 hour cooling off period to buy a firearm?
State Rep. Jesse Kremer.“I understand that opponents of this legislation will argue that the two day period is an essential ‘cooling off’ period; However, I do not consider this a viable argument. If someone is intent on committing the crime of murder, they will find a way to do it — be it with a bat, knife or an illegally purchased weapon,”
Walker deep down doesn't really give a damn, as Dane County Executive Joe Parisi pointed out recently:
 Parisi: "It used to be, that there was an exception in the levy limits that would allow schools to spend more money for safety enhancements like that. Gov. Walker also eliminated that exemption to the levy limit, making it more difficult for schools to do that."
Grudgingly Saving Kids Lives: Spending another $100 million, Walker's answer is to throw more money at the problem, create a bureaucratic office to stall or prevent reform under AG Brad Schimel, and tweak laws and procedures already in place since 2009:
1. Establishing the Office of School Safety under the Wisconsin Department of Justice (two permanent positions (a director and program and planning analyst) and two project positions).
2. Requiring Mandatory Reporting for any threats of school violence.
3. Amending bullying statue to include prompt parental notification.
And blah, blah, blah...
4. Incorporating Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) and Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) into training programs.
5. Strengthening school safety plan requirements.
6. Encouraging cooperation with local law enforcement.
Oops, Walker forgot to encourage universal background checks and a ban on high capacity military style weapons.

Democrats have been on top of this for years, but for some reason, when they want to spend money - like on school safety...well. Instead of Walker's $100 million plan, local governments can spend what they need, but still come in under that amount:
A Democratic proposal to exempt school safety measures from state-imposed limits on property taxes would cost property owners $85 million, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo released Wednesday.
Superintendent Tony Evers also objected to putting the grant program under the control of Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel, who, Evers noted, has signaled he is open to arming classroom teachers. Evers, Shilling and Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz, D-Oshkosh, said Walker is ignoring student concerns about gun safety. "For a plan that is supposed to be about gun safety, I don’t see anything in here that will keep deadly firearms out of the wrong hands," Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling, D-La Crosse, said in a statement.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

DeVos DeBacle

Betsy DeVos has made her elitist career out of repeating a few school privatization concepts that now seem like they're based on actual facts. Like these...
1. The framework for pulling public educations much-needed funding from administrators and teachers is based on the falsehood "schools are failing."

2. The idea that competition from private schools will make public schools better? Ridiculous since district schools have been competing with each other for as long as I can remember. It's one reason families buy houses near the best schools or in the best school districts. 
Ideological Bubble Wrap: Education Sec. Betsy DeVos was not allowed to get away with wildly general talking points trashing public education. The facts made her squirm. Here's a line that couldn't be more conceptually crazy:
DeVos: "We should be funding and investing in students, not in school buildings, not in institutions, not in systems..."
Bullshit. News Flash!!! Students go to "buildings" filled with teachers, technology, and ideas. So behold the Republican style of government and their buyer beware fantasy vision of America. DeVos is another Republican victim of her own bad ideas that predictably, resulted in threats requiring armed security. She could end the threats by rethinking her positions and compromising but not Republicans:

Secretary Devos has cherry picked her data. She is correct that U.S. test scores are stagnant on PIRLS and PISA. They are decidedly not stagnant on TIMSS, NAEP long-term trends, and main NAEP. She is incorrect when she asserts that on international tests “we have continued to be middle of the pack at best” (in each of the international assessments there are many more countries that score below than above the U.S.). It is important for the Secretary get the facts of these matters straight.

Friday, March 9, 2018

School Protection Devices offered up by Wisconsin Inventors!!!

When concealed carry passed in Wisconsin, I told my conservative friend in Milwaukee that not only will firearms change how we personally solve social conflicts for the worse, but it will eventually coerce everyone else to either carry a gun or require armed security at large gatherings. So here we are.

School Security doesn't have to be Costly: The need to shore up school entryways will still cost a lot, thanks to gun drooling juvenile adults that never advanced past their reckless teen years. These are the same rugged individualists complaining about wasteful spending and high taxes. Irresponsible gun laws are now forcing taxpayers to spend more money on schools that have nothing to do with learning.

While high school students advocate passing common sense gun laws that PREVENT school shootings, one student from the dairy state came up with a device we can use in the meantime.

"JustinKase" door jam: A better way to go, for just $95, protects interior classroom doors, and was invented by a Wisconsin Somerset high school student.  His district is snapping them up because they work:
According to a WCCO-TV report, Somerset, Wisconsin, High School Justin Rivard invented a tool called the "JustinKase" that is designed to stop intruders from entering a classroom. More information on the device can be found here.

Gun Shot Detector: An additional option for high schools was developed by a Wisconsin woman in Baraboo, that detects gun shot anywhere in the building:
WISC: Stacy Jax will forever remember Dec. 14, 2012, the day a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School and within minutes, killed 20 children and six adults. “My daughter was in kindergarten at the time and I am a previous teacher,” Jax said. “So putting myself exactly in that classroom was very disturbing.”

Several people in the building heard gunshots, but did not immediately recognize them. She came up with Trinity Gunshot Alarm System, a sensor inside a school that could listen for the sound of a gunshot and then set off an alarm similar to a fire alarm. The sensor picked up the gunshots almost instantaneously, meaning in a real active shooter situation everyone would have seconds longer to react. Those seconds, Hodges said, could make all the difference. “It only takes seconds to fire a round, so if you think every time a gun goes off, that’s another victim, every second does count,” he said.

Both Free Speech and Police attacked by Wisconsin Republican over his own Paranoid Visions and Love for AR15's!

Wisconsin is turning up the Trumpian lunacy by attacking law enforcement here now!!! 
GOP lawmaker lashes out at Capitol Police after investigation of alleged threat ends without charges.
If only a paranoid gun loving Republican lawmaker like Rep. Adam Jarchow could just arrest people when he imagines he's been rubbed the wrong way, you know, send out a warning shot free speech will not be tolerated.
An investigation into an inflammatory social media post by a Houlton man that was flagged by a Republican lawmaker as potentially threatening has ended with no charges. Capitol Police contacted Garry Fay, 60, after an aide to Jarchow alerted them to a social media post in which Fay was critical of Jarchow’s support for an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Fay was reacting to a previous Twitter message from Jarchow in which he stated he loved his AR-15.
As you can see, Jarchow is real sensitive-like when it comes to high school students nationwide demanding a ban on military weapons!

This is the supposed "threat," which was basically shooting off a few rounds...with no mention of shooting at people. Unless that's what guys like Jarchow automatically think:
“Is he saying he wants us to visit his children’s school with AR 15s and lots of magazines to shoot off a few rounds to prove we love the 2nd amendment as much as he does?” Fay wrote. “Then we should shoot up his church and home and finally go gonzo on Congress itself?”

Fay told a police officer he posted the comment because he was disturbed by Jarchow’s Twitter message given “everything going on in the world,” according to a Capitol Police report. The officer responded that Fay’s social media comment could be taken the wrong way and interpreted as a threat. Fay said he didn’t own any guns and never planned to own any. “Capitol Police investigated the incident and determined the Facebook post was not a credible threat.”
Having visited Jarchow's twitter page, man, this guy's got anger issues...keep guns out of his hands. I'm requesting police do that now:
In a series of tweets Thursday afternoon, Jarchow criticized Capitol Police for not contacting him after it concluded its investigation and called it a “bozo operation. I guess now you can threaten the family of public officials so long as when the cops ask about it, you say ‘just kidding. The moronic things people get tickets for and this (expletive) gets zip? Next time I hope he says it to my face.
That a "threat?" Maybe then you can use your AR 15, right? Again, why isn't someone flagging Jarchow's tweets as possible threats so police can take away his weapons?

GOP Hates Weddings!!! What's next, Wisconsinites required to purchase a $100,000 license to buy beer and wine and the store?

Let me start the same way I did for my last post: After combing through The Wheeler report this morning, a few job-killing GOP sponsored ideas stood out. The irony? Since deep-pocketed business interests now control state government, they've decided to use their power to protect themselves and their bottom lines, by killing off other rising business opportunities and development. I did not see this one coming.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin Owns Wisconsin: Let's start with this gem from the summer of 2017:
A proposal in a memo obtained by a conservative group could force brewers and wineries to work with distributors to sell their products instead of selling directly to customers. Opponents say the Wisconsin Tavern League and alcohol distributors are pushing the plan. forward to now, where a simple bill to extend winery hours till midnight completely blew up, thanks to the Tavern League:
As the state Senate convenes, it may consider (an amendment to a) bill that would require event and wedding venues such as barns and galleries to obtain alcohol licenses. For events that want to serve liquor, they will be after the same hard-to-find licenses in Door County valued by some municipalities at $100,000. Due to Door County’s low permanent population relative to the influx of tourists, many municipalities have given out all of their liquor licenses and have none remaining for these event venues to purchase.

Wedding and event planner Carrie Baldwin Smith said,“If this really passes the way it’s sounding, this is going to be traumatic to any place up here.” Baldwin Smith said her clients purchase all of the beer, wine and liquor themselves for the events she manages. While the Tavern League believes the new law will promote fairness, the current system is not much different from going to the grocery store and buying alcohol for a party.
And the bully in the rooms says...
Scott Stenger, lobbyist for the Tavern League of Wisconsin, said the bill will level the playing field for all businesses that want to sell liquor. “That is the whole purpose behind licensure. When there is alcohol being dispensed they require you to be licensed.”
No Representation? No Special Elections Bites Scott Walker in Ass:  Well, this didn't take long:

The current version of the bill before the Senate is limited to the extension of winery hours, but the Senate can consider adding the Assembly’s amendment to the bill.

However, anyone in Door County or throughout the 1st Senate district will have a hard time being heard on the issue. The Senate seat representing Door County is vacant after Frank Lasee left the position in December. Governor Walker has not called a special election for the seat, citing unnecessary cost at the end of the legislature’s session, opting to fill it with the election in November.
This is what happens when you try to game the system. And voters will have nothing to say, no representation. And I'll bet they still vote Republican. Amazing:
Event venues in the county who want to serve liquor may be out of luck should the bill pass. Liberty Grove, Baileys Harbor and the Town of Egg Harbor, all of which harbor popular barn wedding and event venues, do not have any liquor licenses remaining. The same goes for the Village of Sister Bay, which is expecting construction of a 40-acre wedding barn and campus in the village to begin later this year.

Scott Walker's Job Killer: Sinks National Marine Sanctuary between Kewaunee and Port Washington!!!

After combing through The Wheeler report this morning, a few job-killing GOP sponsored ideas stood out. The irony? Since deep-pocketed business interests now control state government, they've decided to use their power to protect themselves and their bottom lines, by killing off other rising business opportunities and development. I did not see this one coming.

Lake Michigans Tourism Jobs Tanked thanks to Trump wannabee Scott Walker: Putting our historically significant offshore shipwrecks and state shoreline on the map as a destination for history buffs and underwater enthusiasts got torpedoed by Scott Walker, the guy who once pushed hard to get the designation. Why? Trump said so, that's why:

Leaders of cities along Lake Michigan said Thursday they were in “disbelief” after Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker pulled his nomination for a national marine sanctuary proposal ... would have blanketed dozens of offshore shipwrecks with federal protections ... “Residents, educators, business leaders, tourism executives, environmental groups, and elected officials from the cities of Port Washington, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, and Two Rivers have reacted with disbelief and disappointment to Governor Walker’s action rescinding his 2014 nomination of the area of Lake Michigan off their communities to be American’s newest National Marine Sanctuary,” the cities' leaders said.
Mr. Unintimidated Scott Walker too Afraid to confront Local Leaders: Another act of political cowardice:  
Greg Buckley, city manager for Two Rivers said he was “shocked” by the governor’s decision, which he said came “without consulting the duly elected community leaders in the lakeshore cities. 

Steps to implement the sanctuary (since 2014), which included multiple meetings to field public feedback, had pressed along steadily until last year, when President Donald Trump signed an executive order effectively preventing the naming of most new national marine sanctuaries.
Here's what the now rejected National Marine Sanctuary in Wisconsin would have looked like:

Here's what the only other National Marine Sanctuary on the Great Lakes, in Michigan, is doing and we're not:

*Scientific research facilities, including a dive operations center.

*Community boat-building center small watercraft workshop.

*Outdoor access to the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Trail and open-air picnic grounds.

*Maritime Heritage Center Gift Shop.

*Hosting approximately 60,000 visitors yearly, the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center is significantly increasing public awareness of maritime heritage resources in the Great Lakes.

One of the dimmest bulbs in our radically right-wing legislature is Sen. Duey Stroebel. Stroebel arrogantly assumes future politicians will never be able to solve their own unique problems so he'll do that for them now: 

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Walker's positive reelection message? "Liberals pushing anger and hate..."

Liberal Anger? The real anger is spewing out of Walker's reelection campaign, showing a total lack of self-awareness. Distracting from his shocking lack of problem-solving and heavy use of resentment, see if you can find his "positive" "optimistic" message?  

Walker above riff-raff Criticism:  So closing Lincoln Hills, doling out a $100 per child bribe, Trump criticism, shoring up ObamaCare, and now begging Kimberly Clark to retain jobs so he won't look bad, does Walker come across as a guy who thinks he's not in trouble? 

Scott Walker's Scrambling over Kimberly Clark Closure during Election Year: And yet, Walker's zeroed out corporate tax rate hasn't changed a thing. In fact, Walker is now "picking winners and losers" with a Kimberly Clark deal that would dish out $8 million a year for 15 years to retain 600 workers...this is the Republican vision of a free market? Why not a 2-year plan to help relocate and retrain the current labor force?
Under the deal championed by Gov. Scott Walker, Kimberly-Clark would be eligible for up to $7.8 million a year ... paid out as cash from the state because the company has no tax liability under current law.
Add to that Foxconn, and I  see a major trend developing for Republicans; taxpayer-funded wages.

So ignore the angry, resentful, hatefilled news headlines and inconvenient facts...: 


Sunday, March 4, 2018

Trump's Bigoted Judge Nominee backed by Wisconsin Bishops and Dumb Ron Johnson!

Let this be a warning for those who think politicizing religion is a good idea.

Roman Catholics believe Justice Anthony Kennedy went off the rail? Diversity means relaxed moral and ethical standards? Same-sex marriage damages civil society? Guess so:

Are they Catholic Social Bigots, just as God intended?
Archbishop Jerome Listecki of Milwaukee, and bishops in Madison, La Crosse, Green Bay and Superior ... said they "are troubled by the assessment that Gordon Giampietro is not receiving a fair hearing because of his Catholic faith. The teachings of the Catholic Church in the areas of marriage, family life and human sexuality are very clear. Catholic's (sic) who practice their faith understand and are able to articulate them. We believe that Catholics are capable of offering fair and impartial decisions when applying the law."
What did he say?
1. Giampietro said Justice Anthony Kennedy's ruling, "It's not really legal reasoning" that Kennedy "went off the rails years ago" in a decision striking down sodomy laws.

2. On March 25, 2014, Giampietro wrote that “calls for diversity” are “code for relaxed standards (moral and intellectual).”

3. In a July 24, 2015, interview on (faith radio's) “The Lydia LoCoco Show,” Giampietro was sharply critical of the Supreme Court decision affirming the right to same-sex marriage ... “worse” than the court’s Roe vs. Wade “because of the damage it does to civil society.”

4. In the same interview, he took aim at birth control pills, describing them as "an assault on nature."
Bigots are Unbiased and Fair, and not really bigots, even if they have to say so themselves? 
Commission member, Rick Esenberg, defended Giampietro and said the nominee did not have bigoted views. "You may disagree with the position of the Roman Catholic Church with respect to the nature of marriage, but the other thing Gordon has made clear is if he sits as a judge, he'll apply the law and not his personal religious views."
Sen. Tammy Baldwin has it right, again:
A spokeswoman for Baldwin said adding that the senator's objections to the nominee have nothing to do with his Catholic faith:
“These extremely troubling statements were not provided to the (commission) when it considered candidates for this vacancy. Both what was said, and the fact that it was not disclosed to the commission, raise serious questions about whether this nominee would be able to serve as a fair and impartial judge on a federal court.”

Yay! Scott Walker solving school safety problem he created!

Well, Scott Walker wasn't exactly rushing to protect Wisconsin schools from the next lunatic exercising his 2nd Amendment right to high-velocity high capacity weapons:
CapTimes: Walker said he has had several conversations with lawmakers who are drafting a comprehensive school safety legislative package. Walker could call a special session to bring lawmakers back to the Capitol. 
NRA Money? Lot's of it? Walker not Influenced? Like the Supreme Court said in Citizens United, money does not corrupt:
Walker, who received about $3.5 million from the National Rifle Association for elections in 2010, 2012 and 2014, disputed the argument that contributions from gun rights groups influence policy. He noted that he differs with the group on whether to give firearms to teachers.
Opposing that obviously crazy idea to arm teachers now qualifies as a brilliant decision by our governor? The bar is that low now? 

Walker will Solve Mental Health Failure He Created with Funding/Job Cuts: Maybe we should crack down on the mentally ill?

Yet the party deemed not responsible enough to govern had a few suggestions...
An effort by Senate Democrats to allow schools to exceed their revenue limits to implement school safety plans was blocked by the Republican majority last week. Democrats have also proposed reinstating a 48-hour waiting period for handgun purchases, banning the sale of bump stocks and banning anyone with a domestic violence misdemeanor conviction from owning a firearm.
Nutty right? Next thing you know they'll want to spend hard-earned taxpayers money protecting kids. Dane County Executive Joe Parisi appeared on WKOW's Capitol City Sunday and reminded us what might be keeping many school districts from acting:
Parisi: "It used to be, that there was an exception in the levy limits that would allow schools to spend more money for safety enhancements like that. Gov. Walker also eliminated that exemption to the levy limit, making it more difficult for schools to do that."

Make no mistake, Scott Walker and the Republicans own these mass shootings and the civil decay gun madness brought with it. In fact, Republicans are now trying to blame the gun carnage on gay marriage, liberalism, socialism, the pill, video games, movies, and racial equality...not guns.

Sure, let's change human nature first, got it.

Yet guns keep killing people and Republicans keep pushing myth after insulting myth. Dare we even look at the evidence?

Dog-whistles Gone, NRA Justice Candidate Screnock said of Rebecca Dallet: "What she's calling values is a liberal activist agenda." Wow!

The first candidate debate for the Supreme Court came and went without a single headline declaring candidate Judge Michael Screnock the wildly conservative activist we thought he was, all brought to us by the deep campaign pockets of the NRA and Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce lobbyists. 

Why reporters didn't jump all over the comment featured below is stunning. No, seriously, you won't believe it.

Screnock first suggested he and his big monied conservative financiers had a lock on "Wisconsin values" like "honesty, integrity, hard work, follow the golden rule....those are values," because liberal Wisconsinites don't also have those same values? If that wasn't bad enough, Screnock dived headfirst into Trumpian cesspool:
Screnock: "What she (Dallet) is calling values, is a liberal activist agenda. She's talked about workers rights..."
Ouch? Workers in Amerca have rights? Who wants that? Guess the corporate takeover of our courts is nearly complete:

After 8 years, Scott Walker decides he wants to Fight CWD to get reelected.

Better late than sorry?

Frustration with weakened state environmental protections is causing some Republican voters in Wisconsin to ponder something that was unthinkable 10 years ago — voting for Democrats.

Hunting and fishing enthusiasts, lakefront property owners and neighbors of large farming operations are among those who have grown unhappy with the long list of changes enacted by Republican Gov. Scott Walker and the GOP majority in the Legislature.
Dwindling numbers of deer hunters and deer killed are hard to hide:
Alan Hovarth, a retired paper mill manager who lives in Superior, said he has watched in dismay as a politicized DNR muzzled its scientists while avoiding tough decisions about the spread of chronic wasting diseasethrough the deer herd and hazardous pollution from the expansion of animal feedlots.

“I supported Gov. Walker initially — I was a strong supporter — but I’ve come to view some of these things that are being done as being detrimental, and that is of great concern to me,” Horvath said. “Their agenda is more important to them than allowing a healthy discussion.” Horvath said he will look more carefully at Democratic candidates than ever before
Here a look at 8 years worth of Walker's environmental teardown: Pretty much under the direction of the Assemblies environmental wrecking ball, Tom Tiffany. Keep in mind, this list is from October 2015:
(1.) Make it easier to destroy wetlands. (2.) Block homeowners’ ability to challenge large farms and frac sand mines when they believe a cluster of their high-capacity wells is drying up lakes, streams or drinking water. (3) Seek federal approval to extend by up to 20 years the deadlines for full compliance with limits on phosphorus discharges that promote weed and algae growth in lakes and streams. (4) Slow purchases of conservation lands while mandating land sales and banning local zoning rules that are more limiting than state standards for shoreline development. (5) Insisted it can’t legally limit the expansion of mega farms despite an order to do so from a judge who said ”massive regulatory failure” had tainted Kewaunee County drinking water. (6) Reduced the number of pollution violations it sends to state lawyers for court action and the number of wildlife citations it issues. (7) Delayed for years studying how small dust particles from the frac sand industry affect the health of neighboring residents. (8) Written emergency rules to decrease analysis of potential environmental harm and public hearings on sources of pollution when reviews of similar projects have been done. (9) Received warnings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that air and water quality protections are inadequate or out of date.
But here's the clincher and focus of this post:
Allowed deer herd growth favored by hunters in areas with chronic wasting disease despite the advice of some scientists who say less deer density will slow the disease’s spread.
Scott Walker Checks off another Failure on his Reelection Repair Checklist: More study, and more watching and waiting. Walker still doesn't plan to do anything, but this do-nothing CWD plan sure comes across like he's trying:
Increased surveillance, increased sampling, carcass movement restrictions and local community involvement are just some the goals outlined in the recently updated Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources CWD Response Plan. Implementation of the plan as part of Gov. Scott Walker's Chronic Wasting Disease Initiative has already begun. The updated plan will be the guide for CWD response and management over the next five years. 

CWD Spreading...where's the Deer Czar Now? Since the DNR no longer relies on science, Walker is depending more on local volunteers to simply help out...:
...promote voluntary landowner surveillance testing permits, encourage the reporting of "sick deer" at the local level...
Hunters Start to Panic!!!: Gee, ya think? At least their "small government" pal Scott Walker is saving them a few bucks on their tax bills: 
The Tomahawk meeting (came) just a month after CWD was found in a wild deer in Lincoln County. It was killed in between Rhinelander and Tomahawk and it is the only wild one in North Central Wisconsin testing positive for CWD. "Obviously I'm concerned," said Jim Blankenhein, who lives just a few miles from where the deer was killed. "It makes me a little nervous." Blankenhein was one of about 50 people who showed up to the meeting. When it's been established in a population for any length of time, population's really drop off," said Chuck McCullough, a DNR Wildlife Supervisor. "If you have CWD in a population of wild deer it seems like it's a one-way trip downhill."

And then there's this additional Walker precaution:
They're hoping to have the help from private land owners along with collecting road kills and being notified about sick deer. The DNR is doing the collection in March to test them as soon as possible.
Previously I wrote this...This was Scott Walker's plan by design way back in April 2015:
Governor Scott Walker doesn't want the state to pay to remove deer carcasses along state highways, which means counties could have to foot the bill. Last year the DNR removed nearly 24,000 deer carcasses from state highways across Wisconsin.

The Governor's proposed budget eliminates $700,000 a year for the DNR to remove the carcasses statewide. Under the proposal, responsibility for clearing the deer would fall to whatever government agency is in charge of the roadway. Or they may be left uncollected. The nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau cautions, "dead and decaying deer on the roadside are unsightly ad can dampen Wisconsin's reputation as a tourist destination."
Walker posted the following budget veto, because thanks to tax cuts, we don't have enough money to fund removal of these disease-spreading carcasses...nevermind putting off road repairs: