March 31, 2012
Saddle-up folks, the rodeo is ready to begin.
The gubernatorial field may be set, although we have not heard from Peter Barca.
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett jumped in yesterday just a few days before the mayoral election in which he is seeking a third term. Barrett surprised a number of people, including me, with his Friday afternoon email announcement. This will be his third run for governor. His theme seems to be "Bring our state back." Or, "Bring it back," or "take it back," or "make us Wisconsin again." Not exactly the clarion call to "charge," but it is hard to be unique in a broad sweeping news release.
Who will he be? Mayor Barrett says "Wisconsin needs a governor who is focused on jobs, not ideology; a leader committed to bringing our state together and healing political wounds, not pitting people against each other, not catering to the special interests...this is the governor I will be for the people of Wisconsin."
These comments were made as Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel finished his fundraising tour for Barrett.
FAKE Democrat? The GOP has decided to run a "fake Democrat" in the upcoming primary, presumably so the Dems must spend money that could be saved for the general election. This should be no threat, as Democrats have had many fake Democrats, usually called DLC members, for years. Close observers will have little difficulty picking out the genuine from the fake.
It would appear that the GOP will not make it easy for Barrett and others attempting to call a truce while we "heal our wounds." Take it from me, the GOP does not play bean-bags and they will have millions raised from the likes of the Koch brothers, not to mention daily blasts from Charlie Sykes and other radio screamers. Just in case he missed it, the GOP did not give the mayor a grace period. They immediately took aim at Barrett's "record of failed leadership."
Barrett, according to MJS, has $453,000 in the bank and a family happy that he is running for governor.
Tomorrow I will comment on federal Judge William Conley's decision that brought a smile to the faces of Democrats.
If Democrats waste time, money and enthusiasm calling each other out for one position or the other they will hand the recall election to Walker. More than 900,000 voters signed recall petitions focused on Walker not the Democrats. One can only hope the focus of the announced candidates is a positive message while discussing Walker's failures.
March 30, 2012
Operation Enduring Freedom
I would support a new rule that would rename all military ops when a new administration comes in. Instead of "Operation Enduring Freedom," a name that seems more appropriate to Hollywood than Afghanistan, how about "Operation Big Flop"? Or, "Operation If You Think Iraq Was a Fool's Errand, Wait Until You See Kabul."
Romney has accused Rick Santorum of being a tool of big bad labor unions. Egad! Santorum even voted against right-to-work legislation in Pennsylvania. I would think this simply shows that Santorum has some lucid moments not a pattern. One robin does not a spring make.
I get an uneasy feeling when listening to Jeff Toobin or most other pundits as they help shape the public response to Obamacare, that the six-hour Supreme Court argument is a well planned circus. "Same circus different clowns," or perhaps it is same clowns different circus. I could be wrong, and will admit it if the court happens to vote to uphold the law, but everything seems to point to a political decision.
This group stole the presidential election in 2000 in a decision so awful that even the court said that the decision must not be cited in the future. But they got what they wanted. Bush not Gore was sworn into office. Then consider the inane holding that "corporations are people" and their contributions to candidates cannot be stopped or even limited. And now this same team is warming up in the bullpen to take on the most important accomplishment of Obama in three years: health care.
We know how Scalia, Alito and Clarence Thomas--whose wife founded a Tea Party group to stop Obamacare--will vote. They begin with three votes in the pocket. Hope my uneasy feeling is from some bad pink slime not politics.
Three governors gathered in Nebraska for a March picnic. Actually, they were trying to rid us not of pink slime but of the name! Brownback and Perry are my favorites. They want it called "textured beef," and they say it tastes like rabbit meat. (I'm only kidding about the rabbit meat.)
I have another solution for cheap lunches for kids. The NY Times wrote about lots of race horses going down with broken limbs. The injured horses are killed on the track. Why not eat them? "Pass the Man o' War."
Mark Block got at least $200,000 for managing the Herman Cain laugher.
March 29, 2012
What happened to the Irish?
Good lord, where do these Irish-Americans come from? Gore Vidal once proclaimed that U.S.A. stands for United States of Amnesia. Pretty accurate. For the Irish-Americans it is amnesia in Technicolor.
Paul Ryan, Irish as Patty's pig, puts out a budget that will cripple the social compact, drive millions of Americans into poverty, and be responsible for tens of thousands who will lose their homes. But Ryan smiles like a Cheshire cat curling up in the laps of the super rich and claims that he prays every day for our economy to improve. He probably crossed himself as does an athlete on the foul line or batter's box so people would know he is a good person! It is comfortable being rich says Romney--try it you will like it! Apparently he never even read the stories "IRISH and DOGS not permitted." He never knew about "Irish need not apply" signs in the store windows. Nope! Paul Ryan, millionaire, would apparently like us to forget that he is Irish-American and so would I; forget the deaths he will cause, the suffering he will bring to those poor folks, some Irish, but not even a majority. Ryan will bring suffering to German, Polish, Hispanic, African American and Norwegian poor. Is this what his church teaches?
So, where is the church's "Happy" Timothy Dolan? Archbishop of New York, another Irish-man? Did Irish-American Dolan ever break bread with Dorthy Day, an Irish woman we remain proud of? Did he meet with Michael Harrington or even read his book The Other America? The book that inspired JFK and RFK? Could it be that Bishop Dolan also prefers Ayn Rand to the Sermon on the Mount.
Ryan would cut $200 billion from federal Pell Grants; 100 million students will lose Pell Grant money over 10 years. My grandparents on my father's side came to America because their children would get a first rate education. Believe it, now Santorum, Romney, and Newt are telling us, that college education is unnecessary! Over-rated! Only "snobs" think a college degree is essential. Oh my god. Count me as a snob. Please.
Doesn't Ryan have any sense of history? Were his grandparents always rich? Did they buy his way out of the Civil War? You know, when the poor starving Irish arrived in the new world the young men had to join the war effort. Did Ryan escape that duty?
Finally, another Irish-American now luxuriates in the Vatican. Yes, Raymond Burke, who did nothing we know of to help his fellow Irish out of poverty is, quote, comfortable as well. Whoa Nelly!
March 28, 2012
Here a poll there a poll everywhere a poll poll
I remember when people ran for office on a platform. Usually it was a political party's platform, but in the rare instance where a third-party candidate emerged the candidate sat down at someone's kitchen table and drafted a platform. The idea was simple. People have a right to know what a candidate believes and will fight for.
Hard to fight for or against "No one's Senator but yours." John Anderson comes to mind; Ross Perot.
Today the only reason to sit down and discuss a "platform" is to figure out how your campaign will generate support from deep pockets to raise the necessary funds to win. We will post the draft platform of The People's Legislature (TPL). It is not chiseled in stone. There is plenty of discussion needed. Please take some time to read the draft TPL platform and send us your thoughts.
We feel a strong urge to keep moving forward. So fire when ready!
The second thing candidates and the newspapers want is polling data. But most papers assume that the polling data was gathered properly, etc. I have had considerable experience with polls and pollsters and I want to share some thoughts with you. Who conducts the poll, who pays for the poll, who decides when to poll, who gets to write the questions, who decides whether or not to publish or trash-can the results? If you can't answer those questions, don't publish the results.
Why does it matter? Well, friends, the pollsters and the poll spinners shape the race, be it for governor, Senate or president. Imagine if you had your own poll and you are a big fan of Scott Walker. Would you like a poll showing that Walker is doing very well? Of course you would. Do you want to answer questions about the conduct of the poll? Hell no! Will you share your worksheets with the candidates? No. The results of a Walker poll depend a great deal on the questions. ("Do you know that Lucifer, father of lies, is working for candidate X?" If you knew that would you vote for or against Candidate X?)
Why all this attention to the Marquette Law School poll? Months ago, the Bradley Foundation announced through the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) that a partnership with the UW Madison Poli-Sci department had been reached. When we asked through open records who pays, who frames, etc., the response was WPRI! It got a little warm in the kitchen, so the UW dropped out and at least one and possibly two political scientists went on sabbatical or took a leave to reside at Marquette Law School. Why is Marquette more favorable than UW? Well, because Marquette is a private school outside the reach of the open records law.
Voilà! A Marquette Law School poll was created. Actually, MJS treated it as an established entity not a newcomer to political polling. Hard to say who is involved, but certainly oft-quoted Charles Franklin is involved. Are the Bradley Foundation folks involved? Is Bradley paying for the polls or is Marquette? WPRI and UW agreed when they were in the partnership that MJS reporter Dave Umhoefer would get first crack at the data. Does that compromise MJS? Do bears roam the forests?
So, we return to the so-called Marquette Law School poll that shows, according to the MJS, that Walker is doing quite well. His favorable-unfavorable numbers are surprisingly good, he leads Barrett if Barrett opts to run for governor, and he leads all others.
What you are not told by our "not your father's PolitiFact folks" is who is paying for the poll? Who hired the company or volunteers? Who framed the questions? Who decided when to go into the field? Were there other unreported polls? Is the pollster working with a candidate? Are they sharing information with a corporate funder, a union, a candidate?
Aha shouts the JS. Aha! Justice Gableman voted against a Michael, Best and Freidrich client. "Aha! Harumph! "OK." I guess that clears the air.
March 27, 2012
The People's Legislature (TPL)
One of my key evaluation points is the number of good laughs we have at our events. Sunday we had plenty. So, + 1.
My second measure is the attitude of the group. Did they enjoy the TPL and are they passionate about serious reform? I rank our session on Sunday as one of our best; +2. I would have been happier with a bigger crowd but we made plenty of noise, we were able to spend face-time with just about everyone at the Alliant Center, and we had fun. And, believe me, the group is passionate about the Tin Cup idea. So +3. It was a wortwhile step forward. Very worthwhile!
(Hate to say it but the last two TPLs fell a little short on filling the buckets. So please send us a little more. Thanks.)
We also had a non-scientific straw poll. A straw poll obviously cannot be "scientific." It is what it is. The results turn on the feelings at the moment. If taken with a grain of salt our straw poll might help some candidates and could suggest that some get a little more fired up. If taken too seriously, it could be fatal to a candidate. One year the national Dems held a Wisconsin straw poll. Alan Cranston bused in hundreds and won the poll, but that was the high point of his run for president.
But it is fun, so what the heck! Here are the results:
The rest were sprinkled around to Barrett--2.6 percent, Obey 1 percent, etc. I got as many votes as Zweifel: none. The Lt. Gov poll was really "raw straw": no candidates spoke this Sunday but Mahlon Mitchell, who stole the show at the last TPL, ran away with it at 85 percent.
Pocan at 52 percent, Roys at 36 percent took the lead for the second congressional district, but it should be said the crowd enjoyed hearing from Worzola and Silverman as well.
Comments from delegates:
"TPL has helped to make this a wide open primmary. Thanks."
"The Democratic Party should open the windows now and then--some fresh air might help."
TPL is helping to build a progressive team.
The two working sessions, one chaired by Sarah Lloyd, the other by David Giffey, focused on the Tin Cup platform. They were, to say the least, spirited. The draft will go out to you in a couple of days.
We were careful to invite Republicans as well as Democratic candidates. None responded and none came. Too bad. It would have added some Tabasco to the coffee!
March 26, 2012
People's Legislature (TPL)
We picked the nicest spring day in recent years to hold our 4th TPL! A small but enthuisiastic crowd (between 250 and 300) wants action to get money out of politics, and almost everyone endorsed the Tin Cup idea. Good feelings and optimism were part of the day as always at a Fighting Bob event. The four candidates for Tammy Baldwin's seat were superb--all four favor getting money out of politics. It was a good event although not exactly the gubernatorial debate we pushed for. Falk was a no-show as were Barca and Barrett. Kind of hard holding a debate without the candidates.
Doug La Follette was very well received and so was Kathleen Vinehout. Vinehout seemed to gain the most from the TPL.
Ruth Conniff of the Progressive magazine spoke eloqunenty and then co-chaired the meeting. Sarah Lloyd led a discussion group on the Tin Cup platform --stay tuned--and 9-to-5 director Dana Schultz fired up the crowd.
Lots of talk about the "April surprise" that Dave Obey seems to be pushing. Apparently Obey favors Barrett as the candidate for governor, but several people at TPL suggested that quitting the mayor's job a few hours after he is reelected so he could run for governor will be more Palin than Profiles in Courage.
The buzz is that Democratic Party chair Mike Tate is up to his keister in this Obey plan and many in attencance at TPL suggested that people will be angry at any politician that quits while in office to seek a "better" job.
All of the speeches and comments from candidates will be available soon.
March 25, 2012
Place your bets, your hopes, your dreams and probably the future of our planet. The gamble begins! Wisconsin has made up its mind about Walker. The question is whether or not the opposition gets out the vote. Will the enthusiasm grab us again? If so, Walker's money won't make the difference. If not, it will. We take another small step today as we meet to adopt a platform for the Tin Cup Movement. You know, "Put down the tin cup...and run on principle."
We will gather at the Alliant Center, debate, listen to candidates, and vote. Let the people be heard.
As if on cue, I got six fundraising requests Saturday. You know the drill..."Our reporting deadline...a birthday to celebrate...a possible dinner with Obama, help now..." Like you, I am tired of feeling guilty every time I open a letter and realize that no matter how much we give it will only encourage them to ask for more.
When is enough enough? Never. Well, put down the tin cup with us today. Enough!
March 24, 2012
The fault, dear Ryan...
Washington Post this morning: The Supreme Court will take up three days of arguments on health care. "The problem for Republicans, however, is that they don't have a better or even an alternative plan." Can the Supreme Court take this one on the chin? Imagine millions of people suddenly back to uninsurable status because of pre-existing conditions? Or millions of young people on parents' insurance booted out of the house?
I believe the Scalia hard-liners want to throw out Obamacare but ultimately will look into the abyss and let it stand.
"I am sick and tired" (remember who said that? Yup, Fannie Lou Hamer of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic party). She concluded that she "is sick and tired of being sick and tired.") Newt Gingrich said that Obama gives people reason to believe he is a Muslim! Good lord, don't these goofs have anything good to say? I am sick and tired of national figures spouting racist nonsense into the political arena.
People's Convention: The Democratic convention is in North Carolina in September. Host committee for the convention needs to raise $37 million. In Denver four years ago, organizers raised 72 percent of $61 million! Obama wants this to be less expensive. But, as usual, big spenders "will receive the same treats of exclusive access-premium hotel suites, and event credentials."
Here is a prediction: You and I will be urged to give our all to pay for this sideshow. I say nuts! Have a two-day meeting on C-Span, nominate the candidates and get out of town. (Once again, North Carolina is a right-to-work state. Did they have to rub it in?)
Who is John Corzine? Former Goldman Sachs CEO, former Senator from New Jersey, former governor of N.J. and CEO of MFGlobal. We started writing about MF Global and the missing millions as the company was ready to file for bankruptcy. Increasingly looks like John Corzine may have panicked.
SEE YOU TOMOROW AT THE REAL PEOPLE'S LEGISLATURE. 11:00 ALIANT CENTER IN MADISON.
March 23, 2012
What a game!
It says in the newspaper that Wisconsin lost to Syracuse but that isn't a news event. Simply stated, after watching the best basketball game I have ever seen, I conclude that Bo Ryan is the best coach in basketball. And the players? What an effort. The Badgers gave their all to beat Syracuse, a team with great talent, but it turned out that Syracuse had one more point than the Badgers. Just one.
But in this game as in most games, winning or losing doesn't matter in the long run. How you play the game is more important. Behind by 10 near the half, the UW fought and fought and almost did it. The Syracuse coach said it well: "I knew Wisconsin was good but they are really good!
A great way to end a wonderful season. No one will say that about the redistricting game.
Not an Onion: A labor friend called to find out if Tom Barrett, mayor of Milwaukee, is really having a fundraiser with Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago or if that is a false headline ala The Onion? We checked and it is real not Onion!
Lie, cheat and win. A new game in Madison. Three federal judges conclude that the GOP lawyers should be sanctioned. The three judges also concluded that the maps used for redistricting were flawed. They found that the process was not in keeping with Wisconsin's history of open government...drafting was needlessly secret.. They found the statement that the maps were not partisan to be untrue. In fact they found sworn statements by GOP witnesses to be almost laughable.
They said the maps were clearly motivated by partisanship but, hey, OK--go ahead. Don't let us bother you. The result of these shenanigans is to reward behavior that insults the people of this state. The GOP should watch a DVD of the Wisconsin-Syracuse game. Maybe they will find value in open and honest government in the political game.
March 22, 2012
Nice work if you can get it
The corruption of our political system does not end with the election or the huge contributions to elect friends of big business. No siree. Just warming up! The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) just issued a long report that I have not seen yet, but is discussed in the NY Times today.
There are some nuggets: For example, Ron Paul, Mr. self-reliant, paid salaries or fees to his daughter, brother, grandson and other family members totaling more than $300,000. So much for being against government subsidies.
But all that was overshadowed by the Etch a Sketch comment made by Mitt's top aid. The beauty is that the Etch a Sketch company is apparently broke, but whatever it has is owned by Bain! Wow!
March 21, 2012
There he was, arms extended, tears seeming to flow, (I miss Bert Parks. Remember his singing "There she is, Ms. America..."?) Santorum should invent another Bert Parks. Emotions flowing like a flood in Spring, Santorum declared that he favors freedom! How bold.
Because he and his pal, Rush Limbaugh, started the GOP war on women, his views are watched more closely these days. The best scene last night came to us from Santorum's wife. As her nutty husband was acting like the winner of the Indy 500, she peaked around the curtain and told us not to worry because "he won't do anything on birth control." Ah, comforting words, Mrs. Santorum, but not comforting enough. This guy is such an ideologue that we must take him seriously, but thanks for the comforting words that say, in essence, pay no attention, he is just another politician.
Looks to me like Rick will not get the female vote in his own family!
Then there is Mr. flip-flop Romney, who is not allowing Santorum to sneak in and steal the far right agenda. When asked by a young woman in Illinois, OK you don't like Planned Parenthood, where will money come from to deal with women's health? Incredibly, he said, "You are on your own." I am not making this up!
Final point: Paul Ryan, Ayn Rand devotee, is back with yet another cruel budget proposal. About the same as the last one, it should be declared unconstitutional, violative of the 8th Amendment prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
March 20, 2012
'War is no picnic'
No kidding! We figured that out ourselves in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan (thank you just the same) not to mention the sobering slap we took in an "easy one"--Libya. We know that nothing is easy when nations are threatened. Check Syria for details on our inability to end mass murder.
The war is no picnic words came from Ehud Barak, defense minister of Israel (or maybe America, or both--it is so confusing!)
Just as we have finally finished the faux mission of Bush's WMD war in Iraq--10 years of war, a couple trillin dollars and thousands of lives lost--and we hope to rebuild America when Obama's war--Afghanistan--ends, we are told that we may soon be in another war and this one is not even in our nation's self interest. Rather, it might eliminate a threat to Israel. Say again? It might not.
Possibly bombing Iran could drive oil up to $10 per gallon, force us into a land war, plunge us into a depression, cost us hundreds of billions of dollars not to mention thousands of lives! To help us decide we are told that Richard Pearle is back. Sheldon Adelson is very active and has put about $10 million into Newt's campaign to make sure he would bomb Iran if elected, and AIPAC is in full voice as President Obama rejected containment and pledged that we "have Israel's back."
Obama comes very close to givig a green light to Israel to start a war that could easily spin out of control. It is "you start it and we will finish it" sort of talk.
Don't know about you, but I am scared. Romney, Santorum and Gingrich are hawks on Israel and each one tries to out-Israel the others. Christians United for Israel is back with military genius Gary Bauer pushing the war button. Ready for the Rapture? I am not!
Stop the war before it starts! Demand peace not war.
March 19, 2012
MJS catching up on PCB Fox River story
When he was Governor, Tommy Thompson boasted that agreements among corporate and governmental bodies resulted in a Fox River so clean that trophy fish are now caught. See his book: We The People. He forgot to mention that fish from the Fox were so contaminated that the ones caught had to be buried and not eaten. (Where was the truth-o-meter then?)
We blogged yesterday that NCR and Appleton Papers Inc. are refusing to continue clean-up of PCBs in the Fox River over a dispute regarding the share of liability each faces. Lesson for Wisconsin: Get clean-up money in advance before sharp lawyers take over. The corporations want delay not clean-up. While the dispute lanquishes in court, the companies can give campaign contributions to politicians who might be persuaded to forgive and forget. Whoa Nelly!
Tommy a liberal? Stay in and around politics long enough and everything up may look down and vice versa. Tommy a liberal? Yikes. Count the silver after dinner.
I can't wait to hear super-Catholic Santorum's position on Bishoop Burke and the Polish Parish. Should be entertaining.
March 18, 2012
Don't worry, we will leave the mine area as we found it.
Thanks to Bob Jauch and his Democratic colleagues in the Senate, and Senator Dale Schultz, we have time for a serious debate over the proposed iron ore mine. Let's begin at the beginning. Rumors were flying three years ago that there would be a monstrous mine in northern Wisconsin. An out-of-state company moved like cats to gain support for the project before admitting that a mine was planned.
A bill was drafted and introduced in the Legislature in support of the mine. JOBS, JOBS, JOBS was the mantra, but no one would admit who drafted the language submitted to the Legislature.
After lots of shouting, WMC finally admitted that WMC and the Florida-based mining company drafted it. The company opted to remain in Florida, a long way from Ashland. Why wouldn't they come into Wisconsin with gusto to promote the mine? I suspect the answer can be found in the cleanup of PCBs from the Fox River.
Plans call for the cleanup to be finished by 2017, but it is stalled for now. Why? The billion-dollar cleanup is the largest of its kind in the U.S., and guess what. Appleton Papers, the company that dumped PBS into the Fox or years and years, "wants to resolve who is financially responsible" for the massive cleanup.
Last year, Appleton Papers stopped the cleanup project while Appleton and NCR Corporation fight out in court which company will pay. They are in a major dispute over liability. Appleton Paper wrote to EPA, "The government has yet to establish that the company is responsible for the cleanup."
Get the picture? Ah, yes. What happens if Appleton Papers merges with another company? Or files for bankruptcy? Or cries that hundreds of jobs might be lost unless the cleanup is slowed by the government?
Indeed, wonder why Gogebic didn't want to be in Wisconsin to answer questions like, Will you pay for cleanup in advance? Will you enter a contract making cleanup your responsibility?
And the beat goes on. I don't trust Gogebic.
Remember Bishop Raymond Burke when he was bishop of La Crosse? He is the one who told pro-choice legislators that they may not take communion. Burke was promoted to be the Archbishop of St. Louis--a huge job. First thing he did was to order a small Polish parish to turn over its property to the Archbishop. The parish said, "No, that belongs to us not to the Archbishop." Burke was furious at the refusal and told the parish that anyone taking communion at the church would be excommunicated! The parish hired a young Polish priest from Poland, and on Christmas Eve two or three years ago, with the church jammeed with locals, the tension mounted. Would the parish back down? Would Burke? As the young priest walked slowly down the aisle the people stood and cheered. A standing ovation until he reached the altar. They all took communion! So Burke did what authoritarians often do: He kicked them out of the Church.
Well, time flies and the parish went to court. The state court judge ruled that the parish property belonged to the Polish church not to the Archbishop. Good stuff. Meanwhile, Burke has been promoted to Cardinal and resides in the Vatican.
March 17, 2012
I am innocent
Justice Prosser and I have probably never seen eye-to-eye on anything, so watch out for my bias. But bias or no bias it is uncomfortable when judges attack each other verbally--beyond belief if a personal physical attack occurs.
The Judicial Commission recommends discipline for Prosser for violating a Supreme Court rule that requires a judge be dignified and courteous to people.
The commission alleges that Prosser "willfully" violated that Supreme Court rule. You remember the rest but here is the issue in a nutshell reported in WSJ:
Prosser acknowledged placing "his hands on Justuce Bradley's neck but called it a total reflex."
"Did my hands touch her neck? Yes I admit that. Did I try to touch her neck? No, absolutely not."
Hard to accept that story--how can his hands get on her neck unless he was trying?
I would recuse myself if I were asked to decide. Whatever the outcome, something must change within our Supreme Court.
Happy St. Pat's Day! Imagine Mitt is washing down his grits with some green beer, y'all.
March 16, 2012
All tied--bottom of the 8th.
Senator Pam Galloway (R) has resigned her Senate seat. She was facing a recall, but says her decision was based on family illness not the recall. So the Senate is now split down the middle 16-16. After the recall it will be 17-16. Donna Seidel was challenging her and will be on the ballot. She is the odds-on favorite to win the seat.
Take this development and add it to comments from Scott Walker the other day: "My wife would like me to return to the private sector so I could make some real money." One conclusion would be that Republicans are battle fatigued. No time to waste.
See you on the 25th. A good opportunity to regroup. Come and get your tin cup. So far nearly all candidates will be there to convince you.
Hooray for the Irish!
They saved civilization. What more could one ask? I know, how about a modern-day Saint Patrick bringing civilization to politics in America. No more name calling, no more fundraising, no more lobbyists, no more celibacy, no more exclusion of women in the church hierarchy. Imagine how much fun we could have.
Meanwhile, while St. Pat is saddling up the white horse, and the Bradley Foundation is busy, busy. While the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel was sawing wood, the Bradley folks, working with MMAC and the Greater Milwaukee Committee, The Chamber, blushing slightly, quietly announced that the Chamber wanted to shake-up the Milwaukee MATC Board. Reason? To make MATC more responsive to business needs in Milwaukee. Real reason? What they didn't tell the public is their plot to capture the public radio and television licenses when they replace the MATC Board. That is the real prize. They tried to take over several years ago but fell short. Well, they are back at it. Whoa Nelly!
Give this some thought. The Milwaukee Journalwas once a liberal voice in the state. Then the merger took place and the Sentinel won the battle to be the morning paper while the afternoon paper was sent to hospice. The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) entered into a contract with the UW-Madison Political Science Department to have UW conduct WPRI's polls. WPRI would decide when to poll, whether to release the results, frame the questions, provide the spin and agreed that the results would be given on an exclusive basis to Dave Umhofer of the MJS for at least 24 hours. Whatever the results, you can bet that Charlie Sykes on WTMJ would keep us all "informed" -- informed on those issues selected by WPRI.
They agreed that the polling data would not be governed by Wisconsin' Open Records laws. Who would argue with Sykes? Why, good old Mark Belling who probably thinks Sykes is too liberal.
WTMJ radio is talk and sports, sports and talk, right-wing blather almost all day and all night. But don't forget WTMJ-TV: more talk, with Mike Gusha. What does Mike cover? Pretty much what WPRI, Sykes and Belling hand him over the air.
Control for Mike Grebe, head of Bradley, is not enough. He wants total control of the airwaves. He wants to appoint a Sykes-like character to head public radio and television in Milwaukee. Yikes!
So, folks, let's develop a plan. Lambs to slaughter as Grebe and Sykes see it. Hey! St. Patrick. Over here!
March 15, 2012
Climate change? Pass a law!
A Dominican nun in my home town of Burlington often said, "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And Betty Garvey adds, "Legislators have too much time on their hands. We should go to a part-time Legislature." I agree with both thoughts, and if you followed the closing days of this session you will agree. But the idle minds are not restricted to the Legislature. The governor, lieutenant governor and DNR secretary also provide the devil with lots of idle time.
Wolves are off the list of endangered species for the first time in 50 years. So what does the Legislature do? Yup! We will now have a wolf hunting season complete with night hunting and use of dogs for tracking (as they do in bear hunting) and, oh never mind. Let me see, we can hunt morning doves; and soon we will be able to eat cranes; how about cows? A galloping cow could present a challenge.
Joint Finance defeated a plan to build a new train maintenance base. The decision: moth ball two brand new trains and walk away from $71.8 million already invested in them.
Then the idle minds move from wolves to abortion. New rules: Only a doctor can dispense abortion pills and the doc must be in the room when the woman wants one. (Could we not have a doctor in the room at conception? Could answer any questions. Possibly administer a breath test to make sure booze is not a factor.)
Add in the lieutenant governor, who gets into the top 10 commenting on Democrats who correctly say there is a war on women: "What about the rights of the women who have not been born yet?"
Then the legislators really got into high gear. Sex education: must promote marriage. Abstinence: the only way.
Climate change: Pass a law making climate change a punishable offense.
Cathy Stepp. Question: Who pays your salary? DNR and taxpayers or the mining companies? This state produced Aldo Leoppld, John Muir, Gaylord Nelson, Warren Knowles, Arlen Christiansen, the Public Intervenor. How bad could it be now? Cathy Stepp is the worst appointment yet. She should resign.
Why must we exaggerate? Those engaged in the recall effort did a great job at significant personal hardship. When the deadline passed, the Democratic Party (yes, Virginia, there is a Democratic Party) announced with much fanfare that they clearly had the 540,208 needed to recall Walker. To make sure, they took the petitions to a site and reviewed the petitions so they would be accurate.
Huzzah! The Democratic Party announced to hand-clapping and cheers, that over one million signatures would be turned into the GAB! Then the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel counted and found that the total was 931,002, or 69,000 less than a million. Does it matter? I say it does. Had the Dems simply said more than 540,0042 had been turned in the mood would have been just as joyous. Or they might have said, "We estimate we will be close to one million." But the million figure has been repeated and repeated so now the Dems get a black eye for no reason.
The goal should be to gain the trust of the people. Idea: Instead of estimating a crowd of 60,000 last Saturday, why not go with a more likely figure of 35,000?
Just tell the truth.
March 14, 2012
Flat earth advocates advance
I heard Scott Walker in a radio spot yesterday bragging that his promise to create jobs was fulfilled because our unemployment rate is lower today than it was when he took office.
Recall when he ran promising to create 250,000 jobs? Oh boy, I can hardly wait for the PolitiFact folks at MJS to get their teeth into this one! Unless, of course, they found an irrelevant factoid to judge somewhere else in the paper. Walker should have his "Pants on Fire" after PolitiFact buys the kerosene.
Meanwhile, today's WSJ headline says a mouthful: "Wisconsin topped nation in lost jobs in 2011. Wisconsin's losses far out-pacing everyone else."
The all-knowing "educators" called legislators passed a bill that requires schools that teach sex education to teach that abstinence is the only reliable way to prevent pregnancy. You can anticipate an amendment that punishes any one who tells children that sex is enjoyable. I am not making this up. Oh, and schools must promote marriage--presumably between one man and one woman.
The religious promoters of all this nonsense remain silent on pedophilia. Hmmm.
Best comment of this entire Legislature comes from Assembly Representative Janet Bewley: "I feel like I am in an episode of Mad Men."
March 13, 2012
Two judges get the point
Two judges in less than a week have declared Wisconsin's voter suppression-photo ID law unconstitutional. Judge Richard Niess wrote, "A government that undermines the very foundation of its existence--the people's inherent, pre-constitutional right to vote--imperils its legitimacy as a government by the people for the people and of the people...It sows the seeds for its own demise as a democratic institution."
Judge Niess issued a permanent injunction. Get this. GAB director Kevin Kennedy said the GAB will continue training people as if the law remains on the books. That seems odd to me.
You gotta love Cullen Werwie's comment: "It's a shame activist Dane County judges continue to stand in the way of common sense." Whoa Nelly! How about the criminal defense fund, Cullen? Is that just common sense?
March 12, 2012
Vice presidential choices
So you think Mittens, Rickey and Newt are scary? Imagine their choice of VP! Yikes. One publication today said that Newt may pick Texas governor Rick Perry. Whoa Nelly. The hunting park used by Perry for years called Niggershead could be their own little Camp David. Perry, who would be looking for federal offices to close, is a natural for Newt.
Perhaps our own governor could join with Santorum. About the same values. So, why not? If he goes to the pokey I think he could work under the Huber law--office during the day, jail at night.
Frankly, it is a shame that Bishop Dolan can't serve.
The People's Legislature will provide a wide-open scramble. Time is short. See you Sunday, March 25!
March 11, 2012
Now you tell us!
The Wisconsin State Journal wanted a big mine in northern Wisconsin, so it appears the editors kept damaging information buried. Now that mining probably will not happen, the WSJ tells readers that it would have been incredibly expensive and dangerous. Thanks a lot!
Here are some facts just now coming to the surface. Extracting iron from Penokee would be very expensive and tough. One expert said that is why the company proposed a 1,000-foot-deep mine. She went on to say the rock holding the iron was tilted upright by geologic forces at a 60-degree angle. Getting at the deepest sections would require going deep into the earth. That being the case, Gogebic would have to remove an enormous amount of rock from above the iron deposit. Some 83 million cubic meters of rock would have had to have been removed to reach the iron. Yikes!
Most experts also believe the rock sitting on top of the actual iron deposit contains sulfides. When sulfides are exposed to water and air, toxic acid drainage is created. WSJ's editors' response: Hey, don't worryaboutit!
Forget about trout streams and the Bad River. As for the tribes? Oh well. Destruction of wetlands and on and on.
The Cap Times Wednesday print edition is going so well, why not a Sunday version?
Great crowd at the Capitol to celebrate the anniversary of the uprising. WSJ said 35,000, more reliable sources said 50-60,000. Whether it was 35,000 or double that, the fervor remains.
March 10, 2012
JS reports that Governor Walker has set up a legal defense fund. That makes things even more interesting. Too bad for Walker, the criminal defense lawyers won't perform pro bono. Or will they? His office said that the funds would pay for John Doe expenses.
The People's Legislature will convene on March 25 (a Sunday) to explore the Tin Cup Movement. We have invited all statewide candidates as well as the candidates involved in the Senate recalls. Two of the gubernatorial candidates have accepted and will be at the session. See you there!
Here is a new wrinkle in campaign skulduggery. The Republican lieutenant governor in South Carolina plead guilty to spending campaign funds on personal expenses. That's not new. What is new? He fabricated donations to make it appear that there was a groundswell of political support, He lied about $162,500 in factious donations!
He was sentenced immediately to 300 hours of community service, a $5,000 fine and 5 years probation. Talk about getting off easy! Wonder if campaign work is community service? He could lick a lot of envelopes in 300 hours.
Forty seven years since the Selma-to-Montgomery march. Time flies, but racism hangs around. The photo ID voter suppression efforts mock the brave people who marched the 54 miles. Let's hope other states follow the lead of Judge Flanagan and declare the photo ID unconstitutional.
Romney claims he can talk southern (y'all) and eat grits. Let me warn him, grits multiply on your plate right in front of you. Nobody from Michigan eats grits!
The Pope is angry. Lookout Catholics! It is election time and the Church will be busy, busy. He warned us about the the powerful gay marriage lobby in America. He warned that more needs to be done to persuade Catholics to discover the value of chastity. No more cohabitation. No more pre-marital sex. He was silent about pedophilia and the closing of parishes because of the loss of priests. He did not offer to pay taxes on property held by the Vatican.
On Joy Cardin's "Week in Review" yesterday with Dave Blaska, Blaska defended Limbaugh and blamed the Georgetown law student for setting a trap for the GOP. If so, she did a hell of a job! I am so outraged by the "slut and prostitute" claim that I think the election might have been decided by Newt, Romney, Santorum, and GOP leader Rush Limbaugh. If these guys cannot figure out a response other than blaming the victim, they should get a drubbing in November.
March 9, 2012
Story after Journal Sentinel story repeated ad nauseum that deregulation of the mines, dedmanded by the Gogebic folks, would result in 700 new jobs, but nary a story on how much the jobs would pay or who would get them. Nothing said about a union for the workers or a contract until today when JS drops a few bon mots:
JS reports the jobs will pay $82,000. Really? Guaranteed? Who will pay? Will the "Gogebic 700" have a contract? Who will negoitate the contract? If the company does not pay, files bankruptcy or disappears, who is liable?
My head hurts.
Jobs, jobs, lies, and fibs. Did you notice that JS seems to have forgotten that the Tribes have been totally ignored in this process? Minor detail or deliberate slight? Outrageous!
Ya gotta love it. Alberta Darling and other GOP "leaders" claim that Tommy would have persuaded the Legislature to pass the mining bill. C'mon!
So 250,000 jobs is now 259,700 jobs to make Walker's goal, as we have lost ground. Isn't it time to stop the BS? No governor can create 250,000 jobs in four years.
March 8, 2012
When businessman Governor Julius Heil was in office, it is my understanding that he was rarely in the Capitol so the Cap Times began picturing a flag every day. It was at half-mast when the governor was out of Madison and full mast when he was in town. Apparently people got a kick out of it.
Well, the state flag is at full mast so Walker must be home from another fundraising trip. Better start collecting gov; you are going to need all the right-wing-out-of-state money you can stuff in your pockets.
Thanks but no thanks, governor. You claim your bill will help the disabled, elderly and minorities vote?Well, thanks but no thanks.
Here is a test. Yesterday, a public figure said: "If you find people who are not corrupt it is largely because they have not had the opportunity." Was he talking about this country or Afghanistan or both?
Governor Walker promised 250,000 permanent family supporting jobs if elected. As that promise, like fool's gold, slips from his grasp, the MJS and the Walkerites are stating as a political "fact" that the so-called death of the mining bill was the centerpiece of his jobs, jobs, jobs promise. Really? A full .28 percent of 250,000 equals 700 mining jobs! Hardly enough to be the centerpiece of any program, not to mention a promkise to create 250,000 jobs! Who is kidding whom?
Limbaugh. Good lord, how could anyone defend Limbaugh? Let me narrow that a bit. How could anyone with a mother, wife, daughter, niece, grand daughter or sister let Rush get away with his outrageous war on women? Mitt? Not ready for prime time, Romney said he would have used other words. Good night, Mitt. I hope your dog nips you if he gets off your car roof.
Do not doze. The mining bill sponsors are playing possum.
March 7, 2012
Almost too much good news!
I could get used to good news. It has been a while. First, Judge David Flanagan issued an injunction to stop implementation of the unconstitutional voter ID law. Huzzah! This ruling cold make a tremendous difference in this year's elections. And it puts our progressive house in order. I'm sure you will read the decision so I will just give you a couple of the best parts of the ruling: "The law hit disproportionately hard on the elderly, indigent and minorities." This law is a solution in search of a problem.
The ruling sets the stage for the Tin Cup Movement that will be discussed on March 25 starting at 11:00 in the morning at the Alliant Energy Center. The goal is to persuade candidates to refuse PAC money no matter if the PAC is a labor PAC or corporate PAC. Refuse all corporate money given directly or indirectly. Only individual contributions should be accepted.
Imagine the joy if we can turn this battle ship around! We will have come full circle. Recall a governor and chase the PACS out of the temple. Imagine elections run by the people instead of the corporations.
More good news: a bus load of folks from Milwaukee, along with several in cars, headed for Madison to protect the loopy Glenn Grothman/Steve Nass plan to privatize MATC, and permit a corporate board to replace diverse board. But SNass canceled the hearing and the buses returned to Milwaukee! didn't have the votes. Huzzah! Again.
Mining: Nate Feinsinger used to say, "Pray for peace but keep your powder dry!" Good advice. Gogebic threatened to leave Wisconsin. Great! But I don't believe it is over yet. So keep your powder dry. It ain't over 'til it's over, despite the threat that Robin Vos will hold his breath until he dies and then we will feel bad! (He didn't really say that but it sums up he is pouting.)
Keep those messages coming. And, hate to beg, but we need some money to pull off the coup. Please send what you can.
March 6, 2012
Democracy in action!
In a last-minute sneak attack, GOP legislators introduced a bill that will profoundly alter MATC in Milwaukee starting with a new board that will not reflect the make-up of the city or the student body. The diverse board will be replaced with people who look like James Sensenbrener even though the student body is mostly from Milwaukee. The result will be control of MATC by the communities surrounding Milwaukee rather than the City Of Milwaukee.
One would think that such a drastic change would require lots of discussion. Students, faculty, as well as administrators who would feel the impact of the changes oppose the plan introduced by the guy who called the demonstrators "slobs" just a year ago. They started planning a trip to Madison to engage the legislators in debate. They are coming to Madison today to testify. Ah, but the anti-democrats are a clever lot. They will hold the hearing in a secret session. Can you believe it? It's 324 Northeast in the Capitol.
The Mining bill is still on the stove. Reps Robin Vos and Alberta Darling are trying ever so hard to persuade Dale Schultz to join them in risking Wisconsin's ground and surface water with the 21-mile-long, four-miles-wide lake to contain the pollution! Let's call it "Lake Walker."
So far Schultz has been steadfast in opposing the bill that would, among other things, eliminate contested case proceedings and set absurd deadlines for approval while giving a paltry sum of a million dollars a year to be split between state and local bodies. C'mon Alberta, think about future generations just once.
The mining company pulled a rabbit out of a hard hat by reaching a deal with building trade unions. The union members will demonstrate at the Capitol today! The deal? The company will use union labor to build the mine! Whoa Nelly! Save us from our friends.
Big Ohio primary today. No, not the presidential race, but the choice between Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich. The redistricting plan adopted in Ohio created this tough choice. Both are worthy of support.
March 5, 2012
What? No tip?
I think I have now seen almost every fundraising scheme ever used--"Our candidate will be 50 next week--please join the celebration by sending $500 or $50, even $5 dollars but for God's sake send something." Or, "My FEC report is due on Friday--we must be able to show strength in fund raising or the media will not take us seriously--send all you can by COB Thursday" Or, "The Mayor of Chicago is coming to Serb Hall"...finish the thought!
Here is the most recent effort to get into your pocket. This came, not to me, but to a friend: "Attached is the first Democratic Party video spot in opposition to Walker. Please view it and pass it along to friends." Here it comes, sit down, head between knees: Leave a tip of 10 percent or 20 percent to pay to air this (awful) spot. A tip? A tip? Whoa Nelly.
I have a tip to offer. Join the Tin Cup Brigade and stop playing the game handed to us by the Supremes in Citizens United.
JS gets worse and worse with the so-called truth-o-meter. They simply cannot find the jugular so they go for the capillaries almost every time. Today they provide a perfect example of why they should either drop it or save it for some big fish. The PolitiFact folks ask this morning if Walker has solved our fiscal woes or if his deep cuts have harmed Wisconsin.
Wow! Do they still write editorials? They throw numbers around like a three year old in the sand box heaving toys, but reach no conclusion. What is missing is qualitative analysis but JS goes for anecdotes. Real journalism would take too much time.
So, it is "quality be damned" Walker is on track--who cares about public education?
Then it is on to another capillary hunt. Walker says we are the "Badger" state because miners in the 1800s lived in caves and abandoned mine shafts like badgers. As we all learned in grade school, it was the living conditions not the number of badgers scurrying around. But Walker, decidedly not the Education Governor, posits we should return to the badger days of lead mining by approving the environmental disaster the proposed open pit iron ore mining is likely to cause! I am not kidding. Read it.
JS doesn't ask what the living conditions were nor do they touch upon the wages of the miners or the premature deaths caused by lead. Nope! just a BS question if people lived like animals or if animals lived like people.
Today the lead mines are closed. Lead is not good for humans or badgers!
March 4, 2012
While the Wisconsin State Journal (WSJ) prattles on about its so-called independent agenda, neither the WSJ nor the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has said much about the incredible fundraising opportunity given to Scott Walker because the recall process is now in slow-motion. (Recall targets are permitted to raise as much money as they want until the recall process morphs into an election.) Walker has received 50 donations (legal bribes) over $10,000 and one for $500,000. Democrats are in the same boat, but they have little money available for politics. Big, bad WEAC is hurting and so are AFSCME and SEIU. Add up all the money "big bad labor" could donate to a Democrat and it would not amount to pocket change for the Kochs.
So what's the delay, GAB? Walker says he will not contest a single signature, so what's left before the process is complete? A cynic might conclude that the powers that be are stalling to dissipate the momentum of the million who signed petitions calling for a new governor, and to give more time for Koch-inspired fundraising.
More than 30,000 canvassers stood in the cold on street corners and bus stops, urging people to sign the recall petitions. And they did! Incredible! More than one million people signed! Never before had that happened, and it might never again, particularly if nothing results from that explosion last February. Get the horse out of the barn and saddled up.
The WSJ seems to take in stride the incredible threat that the Koch boys will take over our state while warning that union support for Falk might doom her candidacy.
Be careful of pollsters.
Who is Charles Franklin? He is now described as "a longtime pollster and Marquette University Law School political scientist." Really? He once, not long ago, was engaged with the Bradley Foundation's Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. Then he became a Marquette law school University pollster. Is he paid to be at Marquette?
Recall that the Bradley Foundation's front WPRI entered into a Faustian deal with the University of Wisconsin Political Science Department. UW was to do the polling but WPRI had total control--when to poll, questions to ask, spinning results. And agreeing that Wisconsin's Open Records would not apply. I am not kidding. After Fighting Bob.com made an open records request that was granted by the UW, the profs at UW Poli Sci changed the deal. Polling would no longer be done on UW time or equipment and a new group would be formed with at least one major player, Poli Sci prof Charles Franklin. Franklin then supposedly became a professor at Marquette Law School and his new poll is now the Marquette Law School poll.
Franklin is a go-to source. First he was on sabbatical; then he was on leave, and today's WSJ describes his role: "Charles Franklin, a long-time pollster and Marquette University Law School political scientist."
March 3, 2012
Our hopes for peace were rising--no more fighting in Iraq, and Afghanistan is almost done--but before we can uncork the bottle of good stuff Obama races to AIPEC to assure the extreme right-wing Israelis that they can count on him if they decide to bomb Iran! Are you kidding me? This nation would risk blood and treasure because right-wing nuts like Benjamin Netanyahu want us to? How about calling on Israel to give up its nuclear stockpile as a way to get negotiations started? Think about it. Romney, Gingrich and Santorum have promised to bomb Iran if elected. Not to be outdone, Obama says, "I will bomb them before you can." Only Ron Paul says no to another war.
In what can best be described as bar talk, President Obama said, "I don't bluff." Really, Mr. President. "I don't bluff"? How about something like, "I don't participate in pre-emptive strikes against any country." How about saying that Israel damned well better not bomb Iran, and, if they do they are on their own.
I think we have all had just about enough of the GOP war on women. What is going on? Listen to the presidential candidates "explaining" why it violates the First Amendment to provide health care for women. Rush, the intellectual leader of the GOP, calls a strong young woman a "slut" and a "whore" because she wants contraceptives covered in health care. Who speakes up? None of the Republican candidates. Romney: "I would not have used that language"! Whoa Nelly!
Meanwhile, the federal judge who de-humanized women and African Americans with his awful email, has asked for a review of his conduct. Review my eye! This is crazy. Impeach him now! There is no time to waste.
Wisconsin Dems air first anti-Walker TV spot in the effort to defeat Walker and it is, to say the least, disappointing. At a time when Democrats could explain why they offer a much better alternative or go beyond the public union issue at the heart of the uprising, they had a Chicago firm produce a confusing comparison of Walker with Watergate.
Feingold was on Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and other national programs, but did not have enough time to let the country know that in Wisconsin we plan to defeat the Koch brothers' money with a grassroots campaign. Russ did make it clear last night that he has no interest in running for governor.
The Tin Cup Brigade will lead the way.
March 2, 2012
Is there an end to racism?
Many of us shed tears the night President-elect Obama walked out onto the stage in Grant Park. Finally! Finally, we, as a nation, will put racial hatred in a box and seal it. No more segregation, no more Jim Crow, no more poll taxes or lynching or racial preferences. No more segregated schools. No more all-white juries deciding cases against a black person in the South. The dream of King would become reality. Jesse cried, and one could feel the boulder being lifted from his shoulders and ours.
But then there was Judge Cebull!
Federal Judge Richard Cebull, Montana, sent this through the Internet: "The message describes Obama asking his mother why he is black and she is white and her response, 'Don't ever go there Barack!' From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark." And then there was a photo ID required in order to hold down black voting. We became fully aware of the danger of "driving while black" thanks to Gwen Moore. And then there came a George W. Bush-appointed judge with that shameful "joke."
The judge must have known he crossed the line, but instead of resigning he asked the 9th Circuit to review his conduct. Q. Is this guy trying to become a national hero on the right or is he simply a bigoted oaf? Good lord, have we no shame?
Move from Montana and Judge Cebull back to Milwaukee, one of the most segregated cities in America. Unemployment among black adult males is roughly 50 percent. The city cries out for help from the white suburbs forming a sort of Maginot line around the city. Instead of helping to reduce racial tension, Glenn Grothman, in secret meetings, developed his plan: a gut-kick for Milwaukee. The JS reported that there may be a shake-up of the Milwaukee Area Technical College board. How about calling it what it is: a coup to replace nearly all African-American board members with whites.
Remember when Joseph Welsh asked Joe Mcarthy, "Have you no shame, sir?" I would ask Judge Cebull the same question. And you should ask Grothman to justify his outrageous move.
Milwaukee Area Technical College has more students of color than the rest of the state's colleges and universities combined! Yikes! What the hell is going on, Mr. Grothman? (I am just scratching the surface. More next week.)
Perhaps someone could ask Justice Michael Gableman how he sees it.
Yes, The People's Legislature will be Sunday, March 25. We expct a big crowd and several candiates as we develop the "Tin Cup" Brigade! Stay tuned but get ready for the meeting. It will change gow we deal with campaigns.
March 1, 2012
A mine is a wonderful thing to waste
Possibly some great news. The Journal Sentinel reports that Dale Schultz is refusing to be bamboozled into voting for a potential environmental disaster. He explained that when we are dealing with the environment we don't get "do-overs." Imagine that! A thoughtful legislator who looks like a profile in courage this morning.
The JS reporting reminds me of the time the JS turned the paper into a PR machine for state support of Miller Park. The JS hired lobbyists to push for the new stadium and used the "news" pages to act as cheerleaders. The JS doesn't hide their belief that the mine would be good for Wisconsin. Proceed with caution when reading the JS on the proposed mine. Here are the opening lines: "The marquee job-creation bill of the Republican-controlled Legislature appeared all but dead Wednesday..." JS, so quick to use PolitiFact on minutiae, accepts without question that thousands of jobs will be created if the mining regs are all but eliminated.
JS cares more about the promise of jobs to the certainty of the result of a 21-mile long, 4-mile wide, 1,000-feet deep hole that will create a lake of pollution the size of Lake Winnebago!
JS doesn't even look at the damage already done to relations with the Tribes. No serious look at the impact on tourism. Not so much as a glance at the impact on our ground water, air and surface water.
The mining company "estimates" 2,834 total jobs. Not 2,833 or 2,832 jobs! Nope. Exactly 2,834! If you believe that hogwash you probably look under your pillow for a half dollar from the tooth fairy.
The WMC folks and the equipment manufacturers are pushing Schultz hard. Give him a hand. Stop the mine!