December 30, 2010 How about that bipartisan spirit?
President Obama should take a peek at Scott Walker's Bradley Foundation-approved list of appointees before falling for the bipartisan nonsense in Washington. Walker has an opportunity to practice bi-partisanship, but thus far his appointments are hard-right--nary a liberal or moderate in the building. Walker seems poised to go Tea Party all the way! Believe it or not, some Walker folks think he is a possible presidential candidate in 2016. Whoa Nelly! True, they have not identified the country.
JOBS. JOBS: Two respected UW scholars, Joel Rogers and Andrew Reschovsky, were quoted on the Walker promise to create 250,000 permanent, family-supporting jobs. He is already behind by several thousand, but Rogers says 250,000 jobs is not an outrageous number. A normal recovery should create 5,000 to 6,000 jobs a month. Professor Reschovsky agrees it can be done.
OK, Scott, do it! We will do our best to keep track of the new quasi-private agency's successes in creating good jobs.
Did you know? The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute was delighted to announce that the Political Science Department at UW-Madison was partnering with the extreme right-wing WPRI. Poli Sci would do the polling requested by WPRI, help shape the questions, and spin the results.
How did we find out? We here at FightingBob.com made an Open Records request and UW gave us the embarrassing details. One Wisconsin Now blasted the deal and guess what? When we asked for more documents on December 7 the UW declared that there is no contract between WPPRI and the UW! Disappeared! Vanished!
December 29, 2010 Talk about exciting! Scott Walker has been MIA since sending a packet of million dollar bills, 810 of them to be precise, to the White House without so much as a Christmas note. Yesterday was his blockbuster announcement day. The envelope please...he will re-organize the Department of Commerce. Wowsers!
Does it get better than that? Yes. The new, new WMC-sponsored Department of Commerce will have 12 board members and Walker--with no business experience that we know about--will chair the board. Pretty darn exciting I say! Sort of a "Take your kid to work" approach to government.
Don't tell Walker about all the reorganization efforts that have come before this. Margaret Farrow, Jim Wood, etc. All have the same problem. Unless the state government is going to give away our state, other states have the same ideas--how to take jobs from other states. Cannibalism I-A. Problem #2: The Fortune 500 big boys are creating jobs but most are in China or other low-wage countries. So, Wisconsin is competing with other cash-strapped states in a race to the bottom--a race we hope we lose.
No info on his other exciting appointments, but Walker said one would be from out-of-state! Double wowsers!
BOB HERBERT was on target again Tuesday. While the talkers on TV raved about all the spending this Christmas, Herbert pointed out that 15 million of us are unemployed. "The recession has been a cataclysm that will have an enduring effect. It is hard to overstate the dire shape of the unemployed."
If you have been unemployed it is hard to get a new job. If you are over 40, it is hard; over 60, damned near impossible. Fifty million of us have no health care. So, while we can celebrate the level of spending on gifts, few new real jobs have been added.
December 28, 2010 Darn it! Obama rains on Walker's parade!
One could almost feel his pain. Scott Bradley-Foundation-sponsored Walker wanted to be sworn in just as our economy was nearing collapse. (Walker once threatened to file for bankruptcy for Milwaukee County--you know, the county he headed. Problem is his policies would have been blamed so bankruptcy was avoided.) Yesterday the feds, the bastards, gave Wisconsin a bonus of $23 million for BadgerCare! Darn them--why don't they get it? Walker sent $810 million back to help create an economic crisis, but wouldn't you know, now the Department of Revenue projects $57 million more in tax revenue than the preliminary figures.
Could Wisconsin file for bankruptcy? Nope. During the Depression Congress passed a law forbidding states from filing for bankruptcy protection. Darn! But Walker, who has made no appointments yet, might have been setting up a test case. Can't you hear Sykes whispering in his ear, "Hey, Scotty, just create the crisis and file for bankruptcy. Why not? What can they do about it? Send in troops?"
Bye-bye: Looks like the Wisconsin GOP Chair will head the National Republican Party taking right-wing nut Indianapolis attorney James Bopp with him. Get out the party hats.
Governor's salary: No one is certain what a "family supporting wage" would bring in. We know the feds say that a family of four can get by with $17,500 or so, hovering over the poverty line.
Governor Walker gave a solemn promise to the people of Wisconsin to create 250,000 permanent, family-supporting jobs. So, Gov, let's start by paying you a reasonable wage as a benchmark for judging the quarter million jobs you are going to create on the "family-supporting scale."
How about 18 dollars per hour? Assume you work 2,080 hours a year at $18 per hour. Your salary--$37,440 . But like all state workers you would lose all pay on furlough days. And your insurance? Pay it yourself. Cars? You pay market rates. Rent for office? We will pay. Got a deal? Good. Start the clock.
Roe v. Wade. Will RTL Walker challenge? You bet. Stem cell research using embryonic stem cells? You have ALS? Deal with it! Oh boy! This will be a challenging four years.
December 27, 2010 Maybe Coburn ain't so hot!
The MJS editors asked Senate candidate Ron Johnson to name the person in public life he admired most. He named the extremist from Oklahoma, Tom Coburn. (I'm not making this up.) Whoa Nelly. But here is the good stuff. Coburn, on the Senate floor said, "Russ Feingold is my idea of a great Senator. He keeps his word and he is a man of great integrity."
While such praise may sound nice, Russ should consider the plight of a Cub fan when the opposition hits a home run at Wrigley Field. The fan wants to keep the ball but tradition compels him to throw the ball back on the field.
No disrespect toward Russ, but he might think about demanding reply time to tell Coburn his views are, thank you, not accepted so long as Coburn sits on the first responder bill!
Susan Mitchell is back. Susan and George Mitchell have been cheerleaders for school vouchers for years. She is president of School Choice Wisconsin and has been in the forefront of those anti-public school troops led by Howard Fuller and former Mayor John Norquist.
Now that the Sykes clone Scott Walker is about to take office, Mitchell will be calling for expansion of the school "choice" program--statewide. And, because tests show that choice schools are no more effective than MPS schools, Susan Mitchell and Fuller will oppose testing because ignorance is bliss.
They will have to resort to ideological nonsense that "proves" the Fuller/Mitchell line that private is always better than public! Oh boy. Four years of propaganda from the Bradley Foundation on the brilliance of the choice program. Yikes!
I'm still angry that Louis Butler was kicked to the back of the bus by Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell and Jeff Sessions. I was cheering for Reid to win re-election, but darned if I can remember why. Have we gone back to a time when people of color need not apply? Shame on you, Axelrod. Or was it the AG or...
Meanwhile, the Lanny Davis-Mike Espy supported government of Ivory Coast has stepped up the campaign to keep the corrupt president Gbagbo in office. That is important to Davis who is, reportedly, getting $100,000 per month from Gbagbo to lobby the Obama administration!
This morning the Washington Post reports that 14,000 have left the Ivory Coast out of fear! Not nice to see Democrats like Davis and Espy doing well by doing bad! You can bet they will continue to make a fortune.
Aren't you proud we helped by electing DLC's Bill Clinton? The JS has a huge feature on Diane Hendricks of Beloit. A billionaire widow, she loves Paul Ryan, Ronald Reagan and Scott Walker.
Her concern? "Make sure we don't give up our Republic to a socialistic ideological nation." Glenn Beck, where are you? Here is a live one for you. I think, after reading the JS thumb sucker that her philosophy is "no one who can afford to pay taxes should."
She is a big supporter of WisconsinEye, our own little C-SPAN. Now you know why WisconsinEye has not taken off.
December 25, 2010 Merry Christmas!
One FB reader has asked me to "go light" on this special day, and I would like nothing better but it ain't easy, McGee. Okay on the light side, let's start with Paul Krugman, every thinking person's favorite economist. This week he wrote about the "Humbug Express," noting that A Christmas Carol is a dangerous leftist tract.
Early in the book Scrooge said he would not contribute to a poverty relief fund. "I'm opposed to giving people money for doing nothing," he said. But Krugman corrects the record. The quote belongs to Newt Gingrich not Scrooge! Scrooge asked, "Are there no prisons?"
Would-be stand-up comic Tim Pawlenty said, and this is not made up, "Thanks to Obama 'government is the only booming sector in our economy' since January 2008..." Ah but proving that Palin is not the only dumb one, Krugman points out to Pawlenty that Obama was not inaugurated until 2009. Yikes, Tim, get a new writer.
Moving along, we read "Obama Set to Shuffle Staff"! Huzzah! OK! Let's get back to the base! But we pushed the cork back into the bottle....when I read "the president is seeking insight from, guess who...Mother Jones? The Nation, FightingBob.com? Nope: He is seeking insight from business leaders to guide the second half of his term! Yikes! Learn to shuffle to the right. I'll bet a few more White House receptions and the Chamber will be eating from the president's hand.(Look out, Mr. President. Their bite is worse than our bark!)
JOBS: Mr. Privatizer Walker is angry. Turns out all sorts of new governors are saying "_______Open for business." Scott thought that originated with Charlie Sykes or Mike Grebe. Not so. It was generic Madison Avenue fare. (Ohio and Wisconsin have new reactionary governors that are open for business. Both returned millions to the feds so Obama could help California and Florida.)
How is Walker doing on the promise of 250,000 new, permanent, family-supporting jobs in four years? At 177 new jobs per day, he will make the goal. How's he doin'? Well, he is 11,327 behind as he moves gingerly toward the swearing in on January 3. So, Voilà! 250,000 new jobs is now 261,327--but he did announce 100 new jobs (salary not stated) in Wautoma, so reduce the goal to 261,227.
A couple other light ones: Senator Coburn of Oklahoma is holding up the First Responder health bill! I am not kidding. And Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has blocked the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act to save money. (It passed unanimously in the Senate.) Actual cost? Zero. Impact of rape on young girls?
December 24, 2010 Relax. Herb is on the job! Herb Kohl has been in the Senate for a long time. Elected in 1988, he will soon decide if he will seek another term or retire to the Milwaukee Bucks' front office. Meanwhile, Kohl is chair of the Judiciary subcommittee in the Senate, so his voice on the Comcast/NBC merger, net neutrality, and antitrust matters is important, indeed crucial, if we are to have protection from the giants.
I'm nervous that Kohl will keep his head down and be AWOL on the big issues. "Let the market set the rules..."
The chair of the Federal Communicatons Commission will vote in favor of the Comcast-NBC merger and, take heart, the chief spokesman for Comcast assured us that the merged company will be "pro-competition, pro-consumer," and, catch this line, "will operate fairly." "OK, Ole?" asks Lena? What more do we need to feel confident MSNBC will not go the way of the Dodo bird after the merger? What does Amy Goodman think?
Read and wonder. Aaron said, "The FCC passed a so-called net neutrality proposal that appears to be riddled with loopholes that would open the door to all kinds of future abuses allowing companies like AT&T, Comcast, Verizon...to decide which websites are going to work, which are not, and which are going to get special treatment." Ayeyiyiyi! Help, Senator Kohl. Make this your legacy. Save us from AT&T!
Get out now! No, not Afghanistan, but your home if you live in Virginia. The Washington Post reports that Maryland and D.C. have changed foreclosure laws to give borrowers greater protection...Virginia is the opposite. Get this. In Virginia, the home can be auctioned off with less than 14 days notice. Miss the deadline and you are on the streets. Yes, Virginia, Santa Claus died in Arlington. Or was it Richmond?
DLC champion Lanny J. Davis, former chief counsel to President Clinton, is getting $100,000 per month from the rotten government in Ivory Coast to help the incumbent remain in office despite losing the recent election and despite Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's efforts to boot Gbagbo out! Davis is not alone. Former Secretary of Agriculture Michael Espy is also in on the action working with Davis as a lobbyist. Thus far more than 200 have been killed, many tortured. Have they no shame?
December 23, 2010 Even the Wisconsin State Journal?
Sit down before reading this headline over an editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal: "Big Mistake to let Jensen off easy,." The editorial goes on to say, "It is disturbing...Jensen may have dodged a jail cell but he will always be guilty in the court of public opinion."
If there is a revolt in this country, the spark might well be traced to the following article in the New York Times, December 22, 2010:
"IN A SIGN OF FORECLOSURE FLAWS SUITS CLAIM BREAK-INS BY BANKS." The opening paragraphs should get you started. "When Mimi Ash arrived at her mountain chalet here (Truckee, Cal.) for a weekend ski trip, she discovered that someone had broken into the home and changed the locks. When she finally got into the house it was empty. All her possessions were gone...including a wooden box, its top inscribed with the words 'Together Forever,' that contained the ashes of her late husband, Robert."
Who did this? A modern day Jesse James? Dillinger? Nope. The Bank of America "wrongfully foreclosed...threw out her belongings...all without notice"!
Unbelievable? No. Today we learned from the Washington Post that mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac hired a group of law firms to remove home owners from their homes quickly. They paid the firms based on how many foreclosures they could process. Whoa Nelly! Many of the documents filed had problems yet were good enough to kick people out of their homes. Merry Christmas!
And so it goes. Mimi, you are not alone! Feel better now? (This wouldn't be happening had Obama been elected.)
December 22, 2010 It wasn't a dream! Yesterday I wrote that Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) sent out a 16-page document taking power from the Legislature and placing it in the WMC office on East Washington. I thought the document was an attempt at humor by the humorous-less Jim Haney. Or it could be a dream. Neither explanation will do. The plan makes it clear that the power grab will put some meat on the "Wisconsin Open for Business" plans.
Walker denied Mark Miller's opinion "that this is a naked power grab." Walker said it would make Wisconsin more business-friendly. Since business (WMC) drafted the power-grab blueprint, you bet it makes our state friendly. "Wisconsin, take what you want but say thanks," is the more appropriate brand.
WMC's Walker explained, "The power grab is away from bureaucracy," and (sit before reading), "It is putting it (power) in the hands of the people who are elected." C'mon. It goes from state agencies and the Legislature right into Jim Haney's hip pocket.
No wonder Walker has not appointed anybody yet. Those who are appointed must be political eunuchs--in essence, state government would be dead under the Haney/Grebe/Walker plan. Might as well close shop in all other agencies. All the action will be on East Washington. Whoa Nelly! If only this were just a bad dream.
If you want to understand the Grebe/Haney model, visit Milwaukee and ask about the Greater Milwaukee Committee. In essence all major decisions are made by GMC--the Mayor, Common Council, County Board and County Exec? Someone must cut the ribbons. So, sit back and watch. The "Greater Wisconsin Committee" is about to be launched! Good luck!
December 21, 2010 High school with money
A friend made the observation that politics is like high school with money. Some truth to that, but if true then being an officer of WMC is like money in high school and keys to the candy store all at once. Jim Haney is a nice guy, although missing a sense of humor. Or so I had concluded until receiving WMC's 2011-2012 Reform Initiatives yesterday. It must be WMC's idea of a little Christmas cheer.
Suffice it to say that the 16-page document arrived and for a moment I took it seriously and started thinking of people who should be asked to respond, but then it hit me--it is an attempt at humor. Page after page of how corporations can avoid paying taxes; a couple pages on what to do to defeat the Department of Revenue if a WMC member gets caught; and a quickie on how to rescue Governor Walker from his promise to create 250,000 jobs--a number that seemed preposterous, but he repeated it at virtually every stop. He told us to hold him accountable.
Jim Haney took a break from the club christmas party to utter these words aimed a rescuing Scott: "A strong free market economy provides the tax base necessary to support government's role in education, protecting the environment snd caring for the needy."
And here is Haney's life jacket for Scott: "Private business is the engine of prosperity, not government." In other words, Walker the Bradley Foundation's star won't have to create any jobs let alone 250,000. Jobs? That is up to WMC not Scott. So 250,000 jobs? Hey, can't you take a joke? Call Haney.
Yes Scooter, there is a Santa!
Maybe it is the name: "Scooter" as in Liddy. Our Scooter is, of course, a darling of the Bradley Foundation and other right-wing nuts. Our Scooter is Scott Jensen. The judge and the jury found that Jensen knew he was violating the law and should be punished.
You know the story--it was the WPR lead--no need for me to repeat the obvious. But I will share my outrage over the manipulation by elected officials and lawyers for this scofflaw. Convicted of three felonies and a misdemeanor by the jury, he was sentenced to 15 months in prison. But it was not to be. The judge, Patrick Snyder, approved the deal "wholeheartedly." Really. Sit before reading the comments from the judge: "Absent this you may have been the governor of Wisconsin so the price that you have paid is dear." Thanks, Judge.
Scooter's political pal Brad Schimel is the DA in Republican stronghold Waukesha County, and he negotiated a deal with Scooter's lawyers. Not to worry--Scooter hasn't been on th breadline to feed his family. No, this convicted felon was paid six figures by the neo-conservative American Federation for Children and "Jobs First" that contributed $270,000 in legislative races. Scooter had the support of Guided the Friebert-Finnerty law firm, usually thought of as Democrats, the bipartisan establishment got into gear to hatch a plot ending in Waukesha with Scooter singing Amazing Grace. (Keep in mind that Chuck Chvala and Brian Burke served time in prison for the same charges.)
Did I mention that Scooter is white? Ah, unfair? Check the second headline, "Senate deal cuts Butler from federal judgeship." True story. Apparently Justice Butler was too much for that bigot Jeff Sessions of Alabama. And, it appears that Herb Kohl did little to help. A disgrace all around.
Did I mention Louis Butler is black? The Kerner Commission warned we were becoming two societies--one black, one white, separate and unequal."
December 20, 2010 Where were we?
Six days ago Scott, the Bradley Foundation star, was 13,448 family-supporting, permanent jobs behind in pursuing his campaign promise to create 250,000 jobs in four years. (This was not a casual promise. He asked for our votes because he would create 250,000! Nixon's "I have a secret plan to end the war" comes to mind.)
By our count he must create 177 new permanent jobs per day. Add 885 to his total for the past five days, and he is now 14,333 behind. Better get moving Scott! (Walker will, if his past is prologue, fire, furlough, or eliminate thousands of good paying jobs in the public sector as quickly as possible. His dilemma, of course, is that every job he eliminates adds to his burden of achieving 250,000 in four years unless he has a job-share idea.)
It has been cold this December. No surprise to Badgers, but it kept creeping into my holiday cheer and, frankly, ruining that cup of egg nog. What if we were homeless in this weather? Where would we spend Christmas Day not to nention the week leading up to that happy day. Who are these homeless people? Answers dribble out. UW Extension finds our poverty rate is way up. Ten percent higher than last reported. Thirty-five percent of blacks live in poverty this Christmas; 27 percent of Native Americans; 23 percent of Hispanics live in poverty.
Whatever happened to the W-2 promise of good jobs and an educated populace? Was it all bullfeathers? Yes, of course. Add that to the Christmas carol. I'll bet the kids will warm up as they cuddle under the tree.
Get a job in a union factory and you can get out of poverty and order that new TV. Yah, sure Ole! If you work for Mercury Marine, Harley or Kohler, you learned the hard way that you are overpaid with too many benefits. So your union was given a choice--accept lower wages and fewer benefits or kiss your job good-bye. Some choice!
December 19, 2010 Don't Ask McCain
Ultra-conservative Barry Goldwater said, "You don't have to be straight to shoot straight." Just as the old saw goes, "There are no atheists in a foxhole," so no one in combat says before a patrol goes out, "OK. Gays only," or "straights only." Having served in the armed forces for six years I can say no one ever asked or even discussed the issue. Yet yesterday John McCain continued to talk nonsense to the end.
McCain would have us believe "thousands of military" have contacted him with the same message: "Senator McCain, the system is not broken so don't fix it." I for one don't believe him. Demagogues and bigots love to hide behind "the American people" or "anonymous" insiders...Bull!
Mike Mullen, Chair of Joint Chiefs, is on target when he says, "We will be a better military as a result." President Obama: "It is time to close this chapter." Indeed. Take a nap, John McCain.
The Packers will probably lose tonight in part because QB Aaron Rodgers followed teammate Donald Driver's advice last Sunday after a hit to the head. Driver went to Rodgers, the elected union player representative of the Packers, and urged him to remain out of the game. Driver said, "Hey, this is just a game. You have the rest of your life to think about." Hooray, for Donald Driver. Win or lose tonight the Packers should feel pride in the decision to start Matt Flynn.
BANKS: Hundreds, perhaps thousands of M&I employees will soon lose their jobs as Canadians take over Wisconsin's biggest bank with more than 9,000 Wisconsin-based employees. Is that Walker's fault? Or Doyle's? Of course not, but simplistic slogans--or brands--like "Wisconsin Open for Business" are political theater not sound policy.
MJS points out that Walker has not appointed even one cabinet secretary. If M&I needed help, there was no one on the job! Now that is cause for comment. Was Grebe's old law firm involved in the M&I discussions? Where was Walker? Counting deer perhaps?
December 18, 2010 Next window, please
Walker, the Bradley Foundation poster-man, got the news this weekend. M&I Bank, biggest in Wisconsin, with 9,100 empoyees, has been sold to a Canadian bank. Walker's theme or "brand" is, "Wisconsin: Open for Business." Ah, but go to the next window! I'll bet Walker would like that high speed rail now! Open for business but "drive carefully."
December 17, 2010 Steny and Decker
Two Democratic Party "leaders" explain why lots of working people no longer give a damn about politics. Take Steny Hoyer first. He was bloviating for weeks that the leadership--Pelosi and Steny--would fight like hell for a fair tax plan as a sub for the absurd McConnell-Obama travesty with it's Neiman Marcus price tag--$800 billion, all on credit, and all for millionaires! Fight on, oh brave ones! Fight on! The Charge of the Light Brigade comes into my mind, the 1854 battle with poem by Tennyson. They got Tennyson we get Hoyer! Some deal!
All day I listened to NPR with fingers crossed that our heroes would come through. And finally I felt safe in going to bed before the vote, secure in mind and heart that Steny Hoyer would stand at the gates to protect us from a hoard of Gucci slippered millionaires storming the people's home away from home, demanding an end to the death tax! The vote came but not until swearing that they were prepared to ruin their own Christmas to remain in the lion's den and fight for us--you and me. Oh, they warmed the cockles of me heart! I went to bed secure in the belief that Steny would deliver the goods!
But this morning the message from Hoyer was, "nobody likes this bill" but "business groups say it will help--I hope they are right." Thank you, brave heart. Thank you. While you gave a tax exemption of the first $10 million, and kept the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, I hope you had some good brandy to settle the nerves. After all, you gave your all to working Americans. There are few opportunities to demonstrate the sameness of the two parties--rarely performed in the open. This one was transparent, nicely wrapped and ready for stuffing.
Since most members of Congress are millionaires, this was, in a perverse way, a little bonus for Christmas. Who picked up the tab? Don't ask, and I won't tell.
Do you think Nancy Pelosi and Hoyer will tell us why they lost their nerve? Can't be that as millionaires themselves they kind of liked it. Can it?
What should Congressional Democrats do now? Seriously, they should all resign. Force new elections and stand tall!
As for Wisconsin's Russ Decker, his vote to stick it to working people is as stupid as Walker's decision to send $810 million back to Washington. Walker/Decker. Tell us, Russ. What in hell were you thinking about?
December 16, 2010 Ever wonder how GOP does it?
It seems obvious that there are more Democrats than Republicans, yet the Republicans are preparing to take over the House of Representatives and both houses of the Wisconsin Legislature on January 3. How do they do it? Well, one reason is money--they can purchase almost any seat as a result of the awful Citizens United decision. OK, but are there any other reasons?
Take a look at the Wisconsin Senate and Majority Leader Russ Decker for a clue. Decker voted to approve the "no raise" collective bargaining agreements between the state and the public employees in committee on Wednesday morning but, incredibly in the afternoon, in the full Senate, he cast the deciding vote to kill the collective bargaining agreements. The majority leader killed the agreements! Yikes. Reason? Bob Jauch suggested Decker is lining up a job with the Scott Walker administration.
Unfortunately, Jauch's suggestion is believable. Does Decker, the bricklayer, want to go back to construction, or would the friendly confines of the Madison Club be more appealing? One guess.
For 20 years, Decker has enjoyed the support of labor union members and he eagerly accepted their campaign contributions. Yesterday, he apparently told the truth. His idea of loyalty is a one-way street. Shame on ya, Russ. Shame on ya.
In a pathetic defense of his treachery, Decker blamed Doyle for not bringing up the contracts before the November elections! Whoa Nelly! Decker has no substantive reason to vote no--just the timing? C'mon Russ and, Merry Christmas from working people in Wisconsin. Hope you get a good seat at the January 3 swearing in.
Don't Ask Don't Tell: Again, look at the elected Democrats on this issue. It might pass today, but gays cannot be happy with the tepid position of Obama on this critical issue.
How come no one is screaming about Judge Henry Hudson's conflicts? The judge who ruled against the Obama health care mandatory insurance provision lobbied against Obama care and has been paid by Republicans for consulting on health care. Yikes! Get this guy a moral compass--he apparently misplaced his.
I hope that the House Dems take the plunge and vote no! Time for some guts. Stop the estate tax giveaway. If it kills the package, so what? If they go along they are cooked for years.
JOBS: Wisconsin Public Radio, quoting Walker administration officials, announced 86 new jobs in Racine County and 18 new jobs elsewhere following a $1.1 million grant. Eighteen jobs will be created over two years. Taking them at face value, we adjust the job-o--meter by 105 for "new jobs" and yet well below the 177 per day Walker must achieve to meet his promise. So, 105 new jobs, but 72 below target yesterday. So he is 13,448 behind schedule. Go get'em Scott!
December 15, 2010 NewPage and new job count As of yesterday, Scott "the job-hunter/creator" Walker was falling way behind on the new job count promise. We had him needing to create 12,945 new permanent family supporting jobsas of yesterday just to stay on schedule. Not so good--and then our friend Bill Berry sent an email update that NewPage announced it would close its Whiting mill, costing 360 jobs. So, add another 177 to yesterday's blank, plus 360 at NewPage, and Walker-talker is now 13,482 new jobs behind!
Ah, but not so fast. He is creating a "deer count Czar" so add his first new job. OK, Scott! Congratulations Scott! Well done. A new job you can take credit for. Huzzah! The new count is 13,481. (Ya think he may wonder why Mike Grebe and Charles Sykes made him return $810 million?)
What could be worse? A political group calling itself "no-name" or "no labels" so rich guys can run for national office without the constraints of a major party platform, or listening to rich folks claiming they are part of the "militant middle"?
Militant middle, middle-road, party but no Tea, my rear-end. The GOP is trying to figure out how they can please the crazy ones--Rand Paul--while not annoying the hell out of 80 percent of the electorate. And mainstreamers seeking the GOP endorsement are in trouble, so send Romney to "Party Bloomberg." Whoa Nelly!
Hightower's first book was titled There's Nothing in the Middle of the Road but Yellow Stripes and Dead Armadillos. He nailed it. The big money controllers in the Democratic Party created the DLC. The bold idea? Move the party of working families to the middle. the problem is and was that the middle keeps moving to the right and now it is hard to know who is a Democrat!
A few weeks to go and the Grebe-Sykes-Walker trifecta will charge out of the gate. Oh boy!
December 14, 2010 Looking for jobs?
Time to check on the great job hunter, Bradley/Walker. To meet his solemn promise to create 250,000 jobs in four years, he must create 177 per day. We are talking about permanent, family supporting jobs. None have been created that we know about yet, so he is 7,788 behind the number he promised. Add to that the loss of approximately 4,732 rail-related jobs, 300 jobs lost at Kohler, the loss of Talgo and 125 good jobs, and Walker/talker has some work to do. He must create 12,945 jobs just to get on track (pun intended).
OK--Walker/talker made the silliest move ever by sending $800 million back to Washington, but the new congressman from Green Bay, Reid Ribble, apparently supported Spencer Bachus to chair the Financial Services Committee. With headlines about nine men controlling the hedge funds, and all sorts of shenanigans pre-bail out, Bachus said, "Congress should serve the banks"! (What is the definition of fascism?)
How is Walker planning to meet the challenge? He told a news conference last week that his new Department of Commerce will be a public-private arrangement not subject to Open Records. He said companies that are helped will announce the number of new jobs but will not report on the actual number. He must think we are pretty stupid.
The LA Times editorialized that California should thank Wisconsin and Ohio for turning down the billion in high speed rail money that now goes to California. Incredible. Craziest move in Wisconsin history.
December 13, 2010 Almost feel sorry for Walker-Talker?
With only days standing between taking office and the current title "governor-elect," Mother Nature, Talgo, and the oil companies opted to slap Bradley Foundation-sponsored Scott Walker upside the head. Horrendous weather makes us long for the high-speed and safe rail option to the Twin Cities and Chicago; $3-a-gallon gasoline reminds us that trains use very little gasoline and that we are at the mercy of BP and other oil folks, and Talgo now seeks to build the rail cars of the future (outside Wisconsin that is) in Florida, Illinois, California--anywhere but here.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, David Axelrod says, "What me worry?" The tax plan will pass. Oh good. Any other gifts for stocking-stuffing?
As the date for GOP takeover approaches, let's thank Bernie Sanders, Nancy Pelosi, Tammy Baldwin, Dennis Kucinich, Tom Harkin and lots of progresssives in Congress who took on the establishment for us. Keep fighting!
Think about it. Walker slammed the door on the future with glee. Like a little kid he said, in essence, "My ball and you can't have it."
It still boggles my mind. He sends back 800 million bucks, looses another 50-100 million in broken contracts, thousands of rail-related jobs gone! Talgo announces it is leaving...go figure! Walker will never be taken seriously following that bonehead move. Never.
Compare California and Wisconsin. The Democrats won all statewide elections in California, maintained all Congressional seats, expanded majorities in the Legislature. Wisconsin? Just the opposite. Why? I don't know, but one would think the Wisconsin Dems would take a break and discuss.
December 12, 2010 WikiLeaks
The government is up in arms over the WikiLeaks expose. Julian Assange from Australia is the culprit! Damn him! Why must the public stick its nose into "our" business? Why not be patient and wait for the good stuff the insiders want us to see when the time is right?
Take old pal Nixon. Lots of new tapes were released yesterday and the Irish take it on the chin from that no-good SOB. Nixon on the Irish: " The Irish can't drink. They get mean when they drink--sort of a natural trait." (Stop chortling, Hadley!)
Italians: "Just don't have their heads screwed on tight."
Jews: "Aggressive, abrasive, and obnoxious." Tsk, tsk.
Blacks: "They are coming along. They are physically strong and some of them are smart."
Let's see. We elected that bigot to the presidency and he has a library dedicated to him. Assange is in jail. Somebody do something!
OK, $250,000 per family makes you middle class not rich. Don't believe me? Ask the president. Really? So $250K is six times the national average household income but answer this: Why is FICA deducted only on the first $106,000 not $250,000? Or, if you want Glenn Beck to call you a communist or Nazi or both, suggest FICA's 7.65 percent tax should be deducted from all income. Do that and there are no worries about the viability of Social Security.
Dave Obey is on target regarding Walker's decision to kill $800 million high speed rail subsidy for Wisconsin (and the loss of thousands of jobs)! Obey said, "Wisconsin has lost over $800 million for high speed rail that could have put the upper-Midwest on the leading edge of a 21st Century transportation system because of ideology."
Walker will get praise from Charlie Sykes, but will, I predict, lose almost all independent voters.
December 11, 2010 Amtrak
I can't help it. I'm mad as hell at Scott Walker and his job-coach Grebe. (Do any Foley clients have a stake in this fight? Anyone ask?) Reading the Washington Post this morning about plans for high-speed growth of Amtrak makes it obvious that Walker made one of the biggest mistakes in Wisconsin history when he sent $800 million bucks back to Washington to remain Sykes-proof! One can almost hear the Scott Jensen toast at the Madison Club: "To Scott. A man who is a True Red (TR) not a RINO!"
Jobs? Oh yes, that is a problem. We just lost 4,732 rail-related jobs, according to Doyle administration. Talgo is pulling 125 permanent jobs out of Milwaukee. But to hell with those jobs. "I am not a RINO," screams Walker.
The Post reports there were 3.2 million passengers on Amtrak in 2010; 72 percent of the 300 seats were sold on peak segments. Now bullet trains are planned--220 mph--just like in France, Japan and China. Who will be left in the station as the bullet trains pull out? You guessed it. Wisconsin.
Clinton's back! Egad! What to make of the president bringing Bill Clinton to the president's briefing room, and then walking out to attend a party! Whoa Nelly! He condemns liberal purists in the morning and takes a break from the presidency as Bernie Sanders goes to the well for a mini-filibuster and House Dems say, "Hell no, we won't help the billionaires and abandon the working poor." The decision to put Clinton at the podium can only be described as nutty. Glenn Beck and Rush will have a field day!
Democrats in Wisconsin: I am not holding the current Dem Party leaders responsible for the massive loss in November, but how about some accountability? We need more than loose talk about lessons learned. Could we consider some job interviews? A summit of candidates who lost to tell us what happened?
December 10, 2010 Not to worry!
Wisconsin turned from deep blue to deep red on November 2. The Dems lost more in Wisconsin than in any other state. Wisconsin Dems lost the majority in the Senate and the Assembly; lost the two Congressional seats held by Democrats Obey and Kagan; lost the Feingold seat to a novice; lost the governor's chair in a landslide. Some "summer soldiers" would quit given the worst performance by a political party in the entire country, but not Mike Tate and his team! No siree! Tate, who never tells us his salary, annonced on December 8--missing an opportunity to remind us of Pearl Harbor--that he is running again as State Chair of the Democratic Party!
His annouoncement said, "While we sustained significant losses in November, our party is emerging strong and ready---to build for victory in 2012." Thank goodness he is no sunshine patriot!
And, all the members of his team--Schroeder, Jef Hall, Meg Andrietsch--are running for re-election. Huzzah!
Obama: Say what you will about House Democrats, but they certainly made history in the caucus when they chanted, in unison, "F the president!" Wow. Could it get worse? You bet: just wait for the debt-ceiling debate. Think this Obamination was bad, just wait.
He really is a Republican! Charles Sykes, the anti-intellectual talker on WTMJ radio and the Bradley Foundation fellow, loves to spot Republicans who refuse to follow GOP positions. He calls them RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). The threat of being so labeled scares conservative elected officials. It is the way the Bradley Foundation keeps the pols in line.
Welcome Scott Walker! You ain't no RINO! You are a True Red (TR). Your decision to turn down $810 million places you in the TR Hall of Fame. Sort of the Babe Ruth of tough, albeit stupid, moves to prove that you are a true red!
Irony: the billion or so is being distributed to other states. Sort of a Christmas gift from Bradley/Walker to Jerry Brown, the new governor of California, who will get $624 million of our money. Illinois will get $42 million. Merry Christmas.
The cost to us for his ideological purity? Thousands of construction jobs; 125 long-term jobs at Talgo. By our Job-o-Meter, Walker is more than 6,000 jobs short of progress toward his goal to create 250,000 new jobs. His nutty decision to return $810 million means Walker is now 8,000 permanent, family supporting jobs behind! Better get moving, Scotty!
Need more proof that Walker's decision is the political Edsel of this century? Even Jim Sensenbrenner, the multi-millionaire, thinks it is boffo!
December 9, 2010 Here they come! Bill Berry's post on weirdos in Wisconsin got me thinking. Berry focused on our weird college drop-out Scott Walker, who is worried about an accurate deer count rather than counting the new permanent, family-supporting jobs he has created. (He is behind as of today by 6,372.) "Hi, ho, hi ho to count the deer we go, hi-ho-hi-ho hi-ho, hi ho!"
Under his administration, Wisconsin "will take politics out of the woods, putting the deer back in." What the hell is he talkimg about? Reminds me of Bob Kasten, who once earnestly pledged to "make Wisconsin, Wisconsin again." As a friend chuckled, "What have we been? Cheese? New Jersey?"
Then yesterday, Assemblyman Voss, from my home town of Burlington, made infamous by the "Burlington Liar's Club," announced that Wisconsin should become a so-called "Right to Work" state to help create jobs. Huh? I guess more corporations would settle in our woods because if we are "union-free" we can boast of lower wages and benefits" by paying working people less! Give him the Liar's Club certificate and send him back to work. Where? Where else, his very own Rojo's Popcorn stand in Burlington. (Lots of butter, please.)
Vos probably will urge us to stop playing "On Wisconsin." The preferred song will be Dixie! Break the news to Mike Leckrone slowly.
December 8, 2010 Sanity
FightingBob.com and Fighting Bob the Fest/Chautauqua help me maintain my sanity and my belief that we will recover from the November fiasco. Why? Well, I get a time at bat every morning and so many of you inspire me with your superb articles, GuestBlog posts, and letters. You really raise my spirits and keep my hopes alive. Our contributors are a cut above writers in other publications in Wisconsin.
The strong reaction to Obama's deal from FightingBob.com readers makes me appear like a mild critic. Read and enjoy.
Today's GuestBlog post from Ms. Forward is superb--read it and then look at the video staring the Nelson family in the Dells. This is a special family and the production, guided by Sarah Lloyd will inspire you. Growing Stronger in the Wisconsin Dells. You are gonna love it.
Walker the Talker: The Bradley Foundation-guided governor-elect Scott Walker, hereafter identified as Bradley/Walker, still defends his stupid rigidity in opposing the high speed train--not to mention that he will return $800 million to the federal government. Why? Because Bradley fellow Charlie Sykes will condemn him as a RINO (Republican In Name Only) if he keeps the money and joins Minnesota in the development of transportation for the future. Tommy Thompson must be wild--he never returned a dime and as a member of the Amtrak Board he pushed for rail. In other words, he was sensible by comparison with Walker. Bradley/Walker says the insurance company-disguised-as-a-farm-organization, the Farm Bureau, agrees with him. And so?
Hundreds of citizens raised hell last night in Madison in support of high speed rail, but Walker hints he will only upgrade freight! In other words, he will continue his opposition to high speed passenger rail. Jaysus, man, get a life.
Union Busting? You bet! Bradley/Walker is challenging public employee unions to a duel at high noon. "Walker" according to JS, is looking at a range of options that would weaken unions, including, catch this, "eliminating their ability to negotiate with the state." "Put up your dukes," hollers Bradley/Walker. Instead of calling for good faith he threatens and bloviates. Threats not bargaining.
December 7, 2010 Why so angry?
A friend in business looked tired. He said "the only truth is that everyone is angry." Mad at Congress, mad at the president, angry that the economy is in the tank, mad at the banks, angry at politicians, annoyed to learn that the Fed operated like a candy store for banks, insurance companies and big business with little or no transparency.
He said, "How can our government bail out the big banks when foreclosures continue unabated? Are they nuts?"
Then there is Barack Obama. He seems hell-bent to lecture all of us almost all the time. (Don't you wonder who is writing this stuff?) Obama is particularly hard on left-wing Dems. I think he stayed too long at the DLC training program. His condescending tone is finger nails on the blackboard: "It is the right thing to do for jobs; it is the right thing to do for business; it was the right thing..." OK, OK, OK! Stop the lecture and take responsibility for a lousy job of negotiating.
Obama ran on a plan that emphasized "we," and now everything appears to be "I" not "we." I liked it better when it was we. You?
Manpower, Inc. predicts that the Milwaukee area will be a national hot spot for new jobs. Jobs should be up 14 percent in Milwaukee, 18 percent in Baton Rouge, and 15 percent in Seattle. And with the Bradley Foundation's guidance, Walker will abolish the Department of Commerce. But don't panic; Wisconsin will still be "open for business." (Or is it patsy for business?) Catch this. Bradley/Walker will replace the state Commerce Department with a public-private entity that will keep data confidential. Specifically, a company will announce the number of joss it plans to add but not the number actually created! WikiLeaks--help! Now Bradley-Walker is 6,195 short on the FightingBob.com job-o-meter. Think they are nervous? Now he must create 256,195 new, permanent, family-supporting jobs to match rhetoric with reality. Go Scott!
George Voinovich says to "blow up Congress!" I think Obama must arrest him as a terrorist. At minimum, body scans before entering the building.
Friday several FightingBob.com supporters will meet to discuss the post-election strategy. Stay tuned.
No need to add my comments on the Obama-GOP deal. Bernie Sanders, Tom Harkin, Dick Durbin speak for me. I do think Obama should write a textbook on negotiating techniques. In particular, Rule 1... he has a unique way of distracting the adversary by giving up just before the negotiations begin. Rule 2...
December 6, 2010 In deep doo-doo and getting deeper!
First story that grabbed me. The Federal Reserve handed out money like a float in the Mardi Grass parade throws out trinkets to the happy mob. No guidance from Congress needed! Indeed. Let's see--Harley Davidson went to the trough; Minnesota's Ken Dahlberg joined at the feedings; and the banks? Never get between a bank and a handout from the fed. You would get hurt. Trillions of dollars given out to, you got it, save the financial system.
Like you, I am comforted to learn today in the NY Times that the Fed belongs to all of us. Yup! (You and me, apologies to Marlo Thomas, are "free to be.") Lenders to the mega-banks that would not give us a nod if we applied for a loan to stop foreclosure on our home. We are, it seems, too small to save.
Who governs the Fed? Here is the really good news. Please sit before reading. I fear you might pass out in ecstasy. The New York Fed, the heavy hitter, like all the other Fed banks, is part of an "independent" arm of the government. Who governs the Fed?
Three members of the nine-member board are bankers. (One must assume they are really smart bankers. Really smart.) Three members are chosen by other bankers to represent who else? The public! OK, alright. Huzzah! We have a voice! And the final three are chosen by the Federal Reserves' seven-member board of governors in Washington. The chair must come from the group of seven. Of course. Wouldn't have it any other way!
I stop here--read the story. Hint: Two firms got aid from the Fed, outside the awful glare of public light, even as their CEOs served on the NY Fed's Board. The chairman of the NY Fed was a director and former chairman of Goldman. Whoa Nelly. To prison with him. No bail!
Here we go! OK. I was listening to Wisconsin Public Radio this morning. Nothing remarkable about that. Except this: Jim Haney, the auctioneer of our State's Supreme Court who runs WMC, was interviewed about his hopes for business in a Bradley Foundation-guided Walker administration. Haney has won so much from the Legislature and Doyle he had little to say and he didn't say it all that well. But WPR let it go. No alternative from the middle-roaders let alone progressives. That is so-not-like-WPR I had to wonder. Then it jumped out at me. The headline:"A bleak budget outlook for Public Broadcasters."
I have deep affection for WPR so I hope I am off base, but the facts are scary. New Jersey--gave layoff notices to all 130 employees at NJN's public radio.
All subsidies will stop December 31. Other states are looking to cut as well. Utah, Mississippi, South Carolina, Idaho and Virginia. (reminds me of the Morril Act, passed in 1862, to aid states teaching liberal arts and practical education. No states in rebellion could apply. More than a century later Southern Universities are known more for basketball and football than stem cell research.)
How will WPR fare under the knife of anti-intellectuals like Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling, David Prosser, former Foley leader Mike Grebe and our governor-elect? Believe me--they will move in for the kill!
So, why not put the tough questions to Haney? Do you favor public broadcasting? Yes or no, please. I trust that WPR did not make a decision to go light on Haney but vigilance is required.
How about them Dems! Was there ever a doubt that Obama and the Senate Dems would lose the game of chicken? Let the unemployed go hungry to save tax breaks for the rich. Of course Dems lose. Obama never had a chance. He played the game of nice guy vs. Beelzebub!
Should have called the bluff. Why? Because in one month the crazies take over anyway and they will have the run of the joint in a re-run of "Home Alone."
December 5, 2010 OK McCain!
Remember the Straight Talk Express? McCain was seeking the presidency and he named his media bus the Straight Talk Express. And we bought it. I had no idea he was talking about fellow straights condemning gays! C'mon, Johnny.
A little more honest talk would be appreciated. First you said OK if the military brass said OK. But that changed when the heads of our armed forces said OK--time to stop discriminating against people based on gender. "We need hearings," and by god they conducted hearings and I was so impressed with Mike Mullen I was ready to place a bet that repeal was, like hope, on the way! But McCain wanted a survey and a study.
With that in hand and 70 percent of the respondents saying "go for it" Johnny was appalled. Why did only 28 percent respond? Well, just a guess, but the American people are sick of the bull in D.C. It is time! With McCain's wife and daughter on board along with most Americans and all "thinking" ones, McCain seems more determined to star in his own Caine Mutiny than meet the expectations of those of us who once held him in high regard. Captain Queeg--meet John McCain.
Don't ask McCain and he won't lie. Ask and he will. As they say in Green Bay, "An so?"
JOBS: By our count Bradley/Walker is 5,664 behind in the job creation promise. He went to White House with other newly elected governors. Said he raised the idea of applying the $710 million to projects other than high speed rail. An,so? If Walker presses Obama and promises to like him, Obama will give in and permit some of the money to remain in Wisconsin. Frank Rich was on target--If you want to understand Obama, read the Stockholm Syndrome.
December 4, 2010 Are the gods crazy or just the Democrats?
The Republicans, along with the neo-conservative "Blue Dog Democrats," know how to build a deficit. Do they ever! Engage in two of the longest wars in American history with a vow to borrow the money required to fight those wars, created a couple trillion debt; tax cuts for the top 2% piled on more debt. Corporations operating off-shore to avoid paying US taxes cost us billions. Finally, when the debt is enormous, the Democrats appoint a commission peopled with the very people who created the debt! I am not making this up.
Conservative past and future trickle-down economics devotees praise one another for the "courage" to tell seniors, labor, federal employees they must suffer in order to deal with the debt!. Are they nuts? "Oh Senator--you are a patriot---you are the face of sacrifice...you are Bob LaFollette and Teddy R.wrapped into one...how can we ever repay you?"
Just when we need stimulus spending the top 2% take over the narrative--debt will kill us! they bellow. Really? Then how can these folks be believed or a New York minute when they want a $700 billion tax break for the wealthiest among us.
Ah, at least the "White House is deep in negotiations with GOP" goes the headline. OK. How deep? So deep the president takes off for a troop visit! Where does he go? Yup. Afghanistan! We are winning says Barack. Really? Who is paying fir this tragedy?
Jaysus. What does he come back with? You got it--a Korean NAFTA that will kill thousands of US jobs! Good lord. Did we really think he is a progressive? Clinton gave us NAFTA and Obama gives us the Korean shafta!
Meanwhile--Super PACS gave (loaned?) 83.7 million to candidates in 2010. Do they want the Korean free trade deal? You betcha! Do they want the tax cuts for billionaires? You betcha! Who cares about the unemployed? You guessed it--the unemployed care---so does Tom Harkin, Bernie Sanders.
December 3, 2010 Not to worry!
I spent time yesterday with a small businessman, friend, who was worried about the unemployed. How stupid are the Republicans? Money going to the unemployed has an immediate impact. All of it is spent, but Boehner, ignoring this truth, called the push by Democrats to extend benefits "chicken crap." Ya sure, tan man, chicken shit for you wealthy guys supported by the public. But for the family without money for food it ain't crap--it is survival.
And they censured Charlie Rangel?
I am so damned digusted I will be brief. Paul Krugman suggests Obama wear a "kick me" sign on his back. Good idea. Krugman summed up the federal pay freeze this way: "Transparently cynical, trivial in scale and misguided." Can't someone snip the cord between DLC and Obama? Please!
But nothing to worry about in Wisconsin where governor Bradley/Walker will soon create 250,000 new, permanent, family supporting jobs." I Can hardly wait.
December 2, 2010 California has a star
Yes, Jerry Brown is a star and he will soon be sworn in as governor of California. (disclosure: I helped manage his Wisconsin primary when he tried to defeat Bill Clinton and think he is a superstar. Clinton won in Wisconsin by less than two points.)
The new California star is Kamala Harris, the attorney general-elect in our most interesting state. She got 4,434,275 votes--her opponent got 4,361,392. But the real story is that Rove and his killers fear she is a new superstar on the scene. So talented she will be on stage soon and for the foreseeable future.
She is Karl Rove's nightmare. Intelligent, articulate, and very attractive. Some say, a female Barack. No wonder Rove tried hard to defeat her. He almost succeeded. He threw in a small fortune, but she emerged victorious yesterday with more than 4 million votes. She won, Rove lost, she is the future Rove is the past.
The Irish saved civilization. (Don't believe me? It is true--read the book.) But my friend and fellow Irishman Dave Sheridan wrote, "Yes they saved civilization but, sadly, they invested in it!"
So what is going on in Barack's world? It seems to me that he is not only a lousy negotiator, he does not even have an experienced negotiator on staff, so he stumbles forward giving away his chips before the game starts in the hope that the nicer he is the more cooperative the Tea Partiers will become. (And the sandman will handle the debt!) I think he may have decided to pull an LBJ--"I shall not seek nor will I accept the nomination of my party." For LBJ it was Vietnam; for Obama it appears to be debt or a broken system or....
Then there is Alan Simpson and his neo-liberal sidekick Erskine Bowles. Good heaven, kill this monster ASAP. It is in reality, a hybrid--half-DLC half Tea Party. Get serious. Get out of Afghanistan and Iraq, then we will talk.
Let S&B go home for the holidays and while at it, tell the Republicans that they must extend UC benefits and retain the Bush tax breaks given the richest Americans. If they balk let them expire!
WALKER--JOBS--WALKER/Bradley250,000 JOBS. How is he doin? Not tagging him with lost jobs at Kohler, he is now 5,310 jobs behind the average he must meet (177 per day) to reach 250,000 new, permanent, family-supporting jobs. We conclude that "family supporting" is pay at $12-15 per hour plus benefits. Got a better definition?
Better get moving, Scott. You haven't created one job yet. At this pace, well, you get the picture because you painted it by the numbers. You might have said a chicken in every pot, or one million new jobs or tuition-free UW or an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. A campaign promise is a campaign promise. We are watching you, old job-creating man!
December 1, 2010 Seriously? C'mon!
California's prison system, built to hold 80,000 prisoners, is so over-crowded everyone with a conscience (that suggests Thomas, Scalia and Alito are exempt) believes the conditions are so bad that they violate the Constitution. (Naturally, Alito is in doubt. He can't see the link between over-crowding and the Constitution, but then he couldn't see the link between the corrupting influence of corporate money and elections. Perhaps he can't see at all.)
Built for 80,000, the California prison system ranged between 167,000 and 147,000! Counsel for California, while admitting the conditions violated the Constitution, asked for more time to correct the over-crowding. Ruth Bader Ginsburg pointed out that the first suit was filed in 1990. "Do we wait another 20 years?" she asked. Alito would, I am confident, say, "You bettcha!
Meet Me at Chevy Chase Country Club? Somewhere nice--where we won't see or be seen by unemployed would-be-workers. Don't you hate it when you are ready for the foi gras some damned heckler yells an obscene comment about the rich? "I say--hey buddy---get a job!"
GOP to unemployed while refusing to extend unemployment compensation payments: "Drop dead." UC payments average $302.90 per week as the Christmas season comes along. About the price of one bottle of Beaujolais nouveau at the Club. Shame on these bastards!
Feingold: John McCain praised Russ Feingold as one of the best people he has ever met. He is the best public servant and the role model for senators. "The Senate will be worse without him," McCain said. Nice tribute and it raises a point. In 2012, Herb Kohl will be 76--seems like a nice age to retire, watch the Bucks, do some charity work--then Feingold could return to the Senate where he belongs. Make sense?
Seventy percent, yes, 70 percent of military personnel who responded to a Pentagon survey say repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell will have a positive, mixed, or negligible impact on the military. Goodness--they finally caught up with Barry Goldwater!
Give 'em a gun as soon as they can lift one! NRA is upset with Texas. That progressive state says a person must be 21 before concealed carry is legal. Absolutely. Why discriminate? Nothing like a gun fight in junior high school.
$12 per hour: Susan Hagstrom wrote to the Wisconsin State Journal objecting that the paper defines state employees as "haves." With entry-level clerical assistants at $11.98 per hour (roughly $25,000 per year), compared with legisators at $49,000 per year salary, plus $10,000 or so in per diem--the money just to show-up--the legislators are getting about $16,346 per hour. Take a cut, fellows. Take a cut to $12 per hour and see how you like it.
"Is this a private fight, or can anyone join?" -Old Irish saying