Thursday, September 18, 2014

As poverty rises in Wisconsin, Walker intentionally adds misery

[Updated, 10: 18 p.m.] Shocking, depressing census data shows a spike in poverty among tens of thousands of Wisconsin low-income families with single mothers in charge.

Wrong-Way Walker - - the self-proclaimed "original Tea Party in Wisconsin - - has responded by kicking thousands of low-income families off their existing BadgerCare health insurance and refusing to accept an increase in statewide food stamp availability - - and proposing that low-income aid recipients be drug tested before they can feed their children.

Walker has launched an unending volley of missiles the way of low-income women and families:

An arbitrary $20 monthly public assistance wrist-slapping cut and trims to a federal tax credit designed to boost income and make work more attractive. More cuts to health-care services at Planned Parenthood clinics. Mandatory ultrasound examinations.

And now cuts to food stamps combined with the extra, gratuitous pee-in-a-cup requirement - - not based on data but an ideological presumption that the poor are lazy and criminal.

Policies and consequences like these are why I've been arguing for a couple of months in an ever-expanding posting that Walker is a uniquely cold-blooded partisan who clutches to power at the expense of people least able to resist:
There has never been a Wisconsin Governor in our memories prior to Wrong Way Walker who so widely disrespected the time, resources and basic interests of so many Wisconsinites, particularly the state's lower-income residents, just to advance his own political career. 
Conflationists can claim until the cows come home that every Wisconsin Governor has behaved this one-dimensionally, opportunistically, selfishly, coldly - - including his latest  pandering play and ploy for his Tea Party base: mandating drug testing for low-income Wisconsinites who apply for food stamps and other public assistance. 
Few if any Northern states' governors have so eagerly embraced a Nixonian, southern strategy to wield and hold power. 
And has been so habitually evasive, to our knowledge - - for 26 years.

WI DMV showcases voter ID system with Thursday computer crash

And who is surprised at this turn of events?

Reader finds ironies in GOP voter suppression campaign

From the mailbox:

As the Walkerite Wisconsin GOP continues its voter suppression full-court (accidental pun) press, the savvy reader who put together the trifecta of links below notes also that on page two in the last item there is a laughably ironic claim by the suppressionists that they are suing over ballot design to protect "the right to vote."
And he asks, separately, "if you don't think your vote is important, why are they trying to take it away?"

Good news for Walker cabinet secretaries with tattoo-regret

There's new tattoo-removal technology available if you followed orders to help implement Walker's broken promise and got "250,000 new jobs" tattooed on your forehead as the boss said he'd wanted.

PolitiFact declares Walker's jobs-promise "broken"

Something of a metaphor for the last four years, no?
As it became more evident that 250,000 jobs promise would be unattainable, Walker and his supporters began to shift attention from the vow and began to parse the promise. He criticized the data. He argued the recall elections had spooked state employers. He claimed the tally was far higher than it was. He talked about how many jobs were lost under his predecessor.
A complex failure further documented, in depth, here:
There has never been a Wisconsin Governor in our memories prior to Wrong Way Walker who so widely disrespected the time, resources and basic interests of so many Wisconsinites, particularly the state's lower-income residents, just to advance his own political career. 
Conflationists can claim until the cows come home that every Wisconsin Governor has behaved this one-dimensionally, opportunistically, selfishly, coldly - - including his latest  pandering play and ploy for his Tea Party base: mandating drug testing for low-income Wisconsinites who apply for food stamps and other public assistance. 
Few if any Northern states' governors have so eagerly embraced a Nixonian, southern strategy to wield and hold power. 
And has been so habitually evasive, to our knowledge - - for 26 years. 
Or whose fund-raising, special interest servitude and subsequent dismissals of questions about it and its propriety - - and we're talking about an unprecedented millions of dollars, according to recent disclosures - - are so devoid of credibility and transparency. 
And who plays fast and loose with official data, like jobless numbers and state-to-state rankings, to mislead voters rather than inform them...
But I defy anyone to find in the ten previous administrations  - - split about evenly between five Democrats, and Republicans: Nelson, Reynolds, Knowles, Lucey, Schreiber, Dreyfus, Earl, Thompson, McCallum and Doyle  - - and that covers roughly the almost half-century I have spent here - - examples and patterns comparable to Walker's self-interested, game-playing, documented false-speaking and overall manipulative arrogance at the expense of so many other people...

Here is the ACLU fact sheet on voting, voter ID

(ACLU of Wisconsin, Sept. 17, 2014)
1) As of Sept. 12, 2014, voter ID is in effect for the November election.

2) Most voters will need to obtain and show one of the following kinds of photo ID to vote:
  • Wisconsin drivers' license (current or expired since 11/6/12) (If you have this you do NOT need any other “voter ID” card)
  • Wisconsin photo ID card (from DMV) (current or expired since 11/6/12)
  • Receipt from DMV from applying for license or ID card within 60 days
  • U.S. Passport (current or expired since 11/6/12)
  • Military ID (current or expired since 11/6/12)
  • Photo ID from federally recognized tribe in Wisconsin
  • Student ID from a Wisconsin college or university IF the ID has name, photo, signature, issuance date, & expiration date no more than 2 years from issuance date, PLUS proof of enrollment.
 3) Your photo ID does NOT have to have your current address to be valid for voting. (If you need to register to vote you need a document with your current address, which can be – but does not have to be – your license or ID card.)

 4) If you do NOT have valid photo ID, you can apply for an ID for free at the Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). You need to bring:
 5) Military and overseas voters do NOT need photo ID.

 6) Voters who are elderly or disabled and consider themselves “indefinitely confined” to home can vote absentee by mail without photo ID. (Mark item 6 as “indefinitely confined” on the absentee ballot application form:

7) If you run into problems getting your ID from DMV, we urge you to complete this form to provide us information:

8) If you have other questions or concerns about voter ID, we urge you to “Like” Wisconsin Election Protection on Facebook and message or post your questions or concerns there. If you do not have access to Facebook, you can email questions or concerns to and we will respond as soon as we can.

Best news for Walker? High-profile job loss coming after election

Who in the Milwaukee area hasn't been to the Sears store and auto center at what is now Bayshore Mall? 
It's closing in December, along with 86 jobs. Hat tip, Rich Kirchen:
The Sears store and Sears Auto Center in the Bayshore Town Center will close in early December, ending years of speculation on the future of the key parcel on the center’s north end, Fox 6 Milwaukee and the Business Journal have confirmed.
It would be hard to get a comment from Wrong-Way Walker.  While failing to create more than 40% of his promised 250,000 jobs - - after saying he'd tattoo the pledge on his cabinet secretaries' foreheads, too - - he's now too busy shoveling 
'Can somebody ride by on their Trek mountain bike and  throw me a rope?'
to escape the Medicaid and tax-cut budget hole he did create.

Thirty-two states have smaller jobs hole, data show

Wrong-way Walker's policies have boosted us to 33rd in job creation. Great work, klutz:

Another state-enabled dog sacrifice in Wisconsin

We send people convicted of dog fighting to prison in Wisconsin because we enforce laws against animal cruelty, but we also pay hunters with state dollars who'd let their dogs run after bears up to $2,500 for a dog killed by wolves in the chase - - even if the hunter had let the dog run where there was known wolf activity.

Even in areas where bait put out to attract bears also attracts wolves. 

Man's best friend? Spare me. With friends like these...
gray wolf
Courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
This officially-sanctioned wolf-on-dog killing has happened 13 times this year.

And this year's wolf hunt which now allows the use of dogs in those pursuits, too - - thanks to Scott Walker and the Assembly's #1 so-called sportsman, Joel Kleefisch - - (and only in Wisconsin, by the way, just like the money-for-mayhem program) - - hasn't even begun.

Now we learn that the cash-for-carcasses ATM could be hit for a withdrawal for the 14th time this year.  

From the DNR - - 

Bear Hound killed in Bayfield County

On September 14, Wildlife Services confirmed that wolves killed a 3 year old Walker bear hound. The attack occurred in the Town of Washburn, Bayfield County. More information and a caution area map are available on the gray wolf webpage.

Hunters are reminded to use the caution area maps on the DNR website (, keyword "wolf management") to help reduce conflicts during this year's bear dog training and hunting season.

When Christie and Scott Walker campaign together

Yes, it's happening on September 29th, and the Walker-Christie bromance could start off with something like this:
Christie, dusting off his slacks: So we're really meeting in this hole? 
Walker: Yep. No one will spot us here before our news conference. 
Christie:  But the optics suck. I mean, suppose someone actually took a picture of you in a hole like this. And that ladder...
Walker:  Well, it wouldn't be as bad as someone shutting down a bridge for no good reason. 
Christie: Hey, my deputy staff director did that on her own. 
Walker: See no evil... 
Christie: Like you've been saying since that college campaign FUBAR, I didn't know nothing. 
Walker: Deputy directors! I had two that pleaded guilty. Where do these people come from, anyway? 
Christie: Think it's safe to go up now? 
Walker:  I'll go take a look. I wish I'd finished school. I can't remember if there's a piece of the Chisholm trail nearby. 
:Christie: D'oh!
Walker: Don't say that word out loud at the news conference. You know, the optics... 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

ACLU rearguing Voter ID case before full Appeals Court

Props to the ACLU for strongly urging the full US Seventh Circuit of Appeals to stop the Walkerites from carrying out an intentionally tainted election this fall. A lot riding on the appeal, which must be completed by next Tuesday.

Federal lawyers should bring their ID's to disintegrating WI election process

Scott Walker and his allies are deliberately confusing and obstructing voters as the election approaches.

In a democratic society, elected officials should not turn the path to the ballot box into an obstacle course.
Walker and his strategists figure that lowering participation statewide in an off-year election when turnout generally favors Republicans - - as opposed to higher-turnout elections in Presidential years where Democrats have the edge - - could help him win a contest which polling shows is currently tied and keep his Presidential fantasies alive.

Look at what Walker and his GOP legislative allies have done as the statewide election approaches:
Already trimmed the number of days and hours statewide for early absentee voting, even ending weekend voting hours most useful to working people, parents with children, and voters who traditionally voted after a Sunday church service:
This is the second time Republicans have set limits on early voting since Walker and GOP lawmakers took control of state government in January 2011. That year, the Legislature cut early voting from three weeks, including three weekends, to two weeks, including one weekend.
*  Established cumbersome and discriminatory voter ID requirements, despite an absence of evidence that showing a picture ID prevents ballot-box fraud.
It's a remedy for no known problem - - other than buttressing a faltering Governor looking for any edge in a close election.
* Directed tens of thousands of regular voters to get a state ID or facilitate its issuance at DMV offices that in two-thirds of Wisconsin's counties are open less than half-time.
At the voter ID hearing before a gimme federal appeals court panel of judges in Chicago last week, the state's lawyer argued that having to show a voter ID at a polling place was no more difficult or unreasonable than showing an ID he was required to produce to enter the federal building where the hearing was held.
But suppose the state's lawyer had been directed to show his ID at a security station that was closed, and not scheduled to reopen until the following week? And was directed to a security checkpoint in Skokie or Waukegan or only a bus or El ride half-an-hour away? Then what?
Let's hope that ruling can be reversed, as is now being sought.
Helped to throw into doubt the validity of more than 11,000 absentee votes already cast, and more ballots legitimately requested, by applying the photo ID production requirement after the fact.
The governor's race could easily be decided by less than 11,000 votes.
Litigated in the last few hours - - on the flimsiest of grounds - - the design of this year's ballot, throwing more sand into the gears and muddying a process they continue to devalue.
Their goal is to keep using state power they control to gum up the election process, obstruct its accessibility and otherwise discourage turnout.
Call it enhanced voter suppression.
Where are the US Justice Department voting and civil rights attorneys? They need to bring their ID's and clout into the process.

Cross-posted at The Political Environment at Purple Wisconsin,

WMTJ talk show host Wagner hits all-time low

AM 620 WTMJ righty radio talker Jeff Wagner just passed along his first-person account of last week's gruesome beaning of Miami Marlins star slugger Giancarlo Stanton by Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers.

The pitch got away from Fiers a little, Wagner says, but Stanton "didn't do a very good job of getting out of the way."

Now that's classy.

WI Republicans say ballot doesn't make them pretty enough

Not content with restricting access to the ballot box with mandating possession of an ID which tens of thousands of voters can't easily obtain - - by design - - state GOP leaders rolled out today a new tactic to further mess with the process and degrade the turnout.

They don't like the design of this fall's ballot and have gone judge shopping in Waukesha - - capital of the Rogue State of FitzWalkerstan - - to find someone who can better feature their candidates on the ballot.

There are obvious fixes here:

*  Just get rid of the Democratic candidates' names. The ballot will be shorter and simpler and help move the state in a Right direction.

* Voters still beholden to the outdated Two-Party system - - Wisconsin 1.0 - - are free to write in the name of a Democrat.

I'm sure GOP leaders can also get quick federal approval for a corollary process that will require the production by these old-timey voters of a handwriting sample.  Is that asking too much? We all write our names every day.

So just bring that sample to the polls with an affidavit from the State Crime Lab verifying your handwriting sample has at least 29 points of similarity with the signature on the back of two credit cards AND that the signature on the new voter ID you've gotten.

* Or - - a shortcut - - at the polls, just sign a Republican Party of Wisconsin Fitzwalkerstan membership card available from the party worker poll worker who will give you a ballot with all the Repiblican candidates' names in big print.

But don't forget all your paperwork, since your membership card signature will have to match the sample you brought and the handwriting verification, too.

The goal is to make it harder for you to vote and easier for the GOP to cheat.

*  Also look for Walker and Republicans leaders to streamline the process by eliminating the Government Accountability Board the day after the election.

With a state GOP office, central committee fully-funded by outside donors and lawyers handy like those who helped write the redistricting bill in closed-door, private offices, FitzWalkerstan don't need no stinkin' GAB.

New reporting about proposed Kohler golf course on nature preserve

People following the issue might want to check out this detailed update in the Sheboygan media on the status of a proposed golf course that would abut and intrude into Kohler-Andrae State Park on Lake Michigan.

More information, here

The course would be built on a 247-acre Kohler Co. nature preserve behind the tree line. There are horse trails, wetlands, and a portion of The Black River on the site. Four golf course holes would face the lakefront. Kohler-Andrae State Park is to the left - -  south - - of the proposed site.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In Wisconsin, foul regulation leads to foul waters

The Wisconsin DNR has gone easy on industrial-scale dairies at the expense of neighbors, and waters that belong to the public. 

These two stories that ran in the Journal Sentinel in the last 48 hours are all you need to know:

From Sunday:

Dairy farms foul the waters of Green Bay 

From Tuesday:

Door County farm has state’s largest manure spill since 2005

Credit Appeals Court with WI absentee ballot FUBAR

In their rush to please Scott Walker, a three-judge appeals court panel led by his "favorite" Diane Sykes has put into jeopardy the eligibility of more than 11,000 Wisconsinites who had already cast their absentee ballots under ID rules that the judges changed after the fact.

Also yet to be addressed: the dozens of often-closed DMV offices where people without required ID are supposed to get technical help finding their paperwork and then applying for the ID card, too.

Where is due process for these voters?

Walker's 'agenda,' after drug-testing the poor...

I think you can count on more rewards for the rich, also known as 'those who got him where he is today.'

The completely unnecessary and punitive demand for drug-testing public assistance and food stamp recipients was a scape-goating southern-style dog whistle signaled in the midst of a bad run of Walker PR to divert his small-town and suburban constituents.

If Walker is re-elected, the payoffs to his campaign funders will come as part of another 'budget-repair' bill - - this time fixing the hole he's dug by refusing federal Medicaid funding while trimming revenues with tax cuts.

Expect to see the beginning of the state property fire sale for which he already has legislative approval.

Competitive, public bidding is not required - - only rubber stamping by office-holders and processes he controls, including hand-picked water-carriers at the state Department of Administration and Legislative budget lackeys like Alberta Darling installed to grease the skids at the Joint Committee on Finance who are there to implement his extremist agenda.

How better to polish your phony small government credentials, get some quick-fix financing and give some big contributors the favors they expect than selling off publicly-paid power plants, university dorms and choice acreage under the control of the Department of Natural Resources - - an agency already told by Walker and the Legislature to identify and sell 10,000 acres.

I'd also expect Walker to add more tax cuts at the higher end of the scale, and for the few remaining business functions that still contribute to state services, despite the budget problems such cuts have already caused.

Because to Walker, falling revenue only gives him further justification to keep cutting services, like local school aids. In his first budget, he tried to eliminate state payments to localities for recycling and transit programs.

And don't forget the one test Walker's proposals must all pass is the stick-it-to-Milwaukee rule.

Because Milwaukee is the biggest city, with the most Democratic voters, and minorities, and poor people, and stressed public services, any Walker revenue reduction that monley-wrenches local services will have the harshest impact right here and reverberate more pleasurably across Walker's GOP, conservative, talk-radio driven base in Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington Counties.

And yet I feel like I'm underestimating his dark side. After all, who saw Act 10 coming, which he'd hidden throughout the 2010 campaign?

Who'd have thought that he'd be able to implement voter ID and enhance its voting suppression by trimming the hours where those very ID's are available?

Lessons learned.

Put nothing past him.

Dig the new Mary Burke ad

And when you apply for a Voter ID at WI DMV...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bucky walks into the DMV office in Luck, WI...

"I need one of those new ID's," said Bucky to a worker at the door of Bucky's hometown DMV office in Luck, WI. "Big election coming up.  I hear you can help me track down my paperwork."
Bucky was an older Wisconsinite and had voted for decades. But now he needed an ID and couldn't find his birth certificate and some other records.
"You're out of luck," said the worker. "I'm just the custodian. "Like the DMV offices in most counties, this is just a part-time operation, a day or two a week, maybe less."
"Well, I could head down to my sister's place in Ft. Atkinson," Bucky said. "But I don't have a driver's license. See what I mean?"
"Actually, that office is only open two days a month," said the custodian. "And don't go to Wittenberg. That office won't open up before the election."
"But Joel Kleefisch is touting the whole arrangement," Bucky said. "Called it a "collaborative initiative'" with the rest of state government."
The custodian shrugged his shoulders.
"And those judges in Chicago who thought it all over for few minutes last week and gave it their blessing," Bucky continued. "Who the hell's in charge here?"
"Hard to know what these people are thinking," said the custodian. "The election is in seven weeks. They're digging themselves a pretty big hole."

Joel Kleefisch misleads about WI DMV/voter ID services

State GOP Rep. and second-banana/first-husband Joel Kleefisch argues that the new Wisconsin voter ID will be a success because of policy initiatives ready-to-go at state DMV counters statewide:
The DMV is now required to provide ID cards free of charge and we just launched a collaborative initiative between the Departments of Health Services and Transportation, which will give individuals access to certain vital records, free of charge. 
Could someone please let this over-confident elected official know that many, many DMV offices are only one a day or two a week, sometimes even less - - despite the opinion Friday that Wisconsin's statute was OK because it was close to Indiana's already-approved voter ID law.

Wisconsin's DMV offices' skimpy and inconvenient hours are documented here and here.

And here:

  • Twenty-six percent of Wisconsin's 91 DMVs are open one day a month or less, while none of Indiana's are open less than 100 days a year and nearly all are open over 250 days a year.
  • Wisconsin has only one DMV with weekend hours, while Indiana has 124 offices with weekend hours.
  • Three Wisconsin counties have no DMVs, no Indiana county is without a DMV.
  • Over half of Wisconsin's 91 DMVs are open on a part-time basis, while Indiana provides full-time DMVs in every county.

One post linking to blog analyses of Walker/WI GOP strategies

I've put a few of them into one posting.

*  Walker's southern strategy.

*  The Wisconsin Walkerites love Big Government these days.

*  Wrong-Way Walker.

*  Voters will chase after ID at DMV offices usually closed.

*  Giving away Wisconsin's waters.

* The growing list of Wisconsin's manipulated and disrespected.

* Numbers, data games.

* Finger-pointing, excuse-making.

WI GOP now loves 'stick-it-to-Milwaukee' big government

More evidence that Wisconsin Republicans used to be the party of local controls - - 'Get Madison out of our business!' - - but now that they run all three branches of state government they love that big government power.

*  The latest example.  An order from the Wisconsin Public Service Commission - - with a 2-1 right wing majority appointed by Wrong-Way Walker - - micro-managing how many miles of new pipe the City of Milwaukee must replace annually.

Overseeing the PSC's order is a Jeff Stone a former GOP state legislator from a Milwaukee suburb who was rejected in a 2011 run for Milwaukee County Executive on the strength of City of Milwaukee votes for the eventual winner, Chris Abele, because Stone was seen as a clone of outgoing Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker.

* Not to mention the wonderfully-enlarged salaries and pension calculations that come with big government appointments and enjoyed by conservative Walker loyalists across the state government at taxpayer expense.

*  This is same 2-1 PSC majority that bought the argument of Bradley Foundation-supported attorneys and barred the City of Milwaukee from billing WE Energy customers for any share of the costs of moving utility lines if and when a downtown electric trolley system is built.

So the PSC dictated from its Madison perch a kill order for a Milwaukee transportation and development project.

Of course, We Energy would be the supplier of electricity for the trolley system, thus making money for shareholders already benefiting from the company's monopoly status and service territory.

Ditto for electricity sales to the new condos, apartments and businesses that a streetcar will spur along the route - - as it has in cities like Minneapoils-St. Paul that added what Milwaukee cannot build because of ideological and anti-urban politics:
The success of the Blue Line has also helped spur development along the line. At the north end, housing and office projects are planned or underway in the North Loop and near Target Field. Directly adjacent to the Nicollet Mall Station, a 26-story apartment building is being built — the first high-rise in Minneapolis in 30 years. Plans to add offices, green space and apartments near the site of the new Vikings Stadium are taking shape as well. 
East of the 38th Street Station, a 180-unit apartment building, Longfellow Station, is nearing completion. And in Bloomington, plans for a 50-acre transit-oriented development around the Bloomington Central Station are taking shape as the Mall of America continues to expand.
Note that when We Energy lines have to be moved for the widening of a highway - - like the big stanchions along the freeway system which often need relocation  - - that cost is rolled into the project budget and absorbed by the taxpayers.

*  Then you have multiple one-size-fits-all changes to ID, voting hours and absentee ballot availability laid down by Republicans in the State Legislature to put the squeeze on local voting officials in Milwaukee. Walker's southern counterparts will no doubt approve.

* And, yes, there is widespread and destructive Republican disregard for local controls out-state, too.

The 'best' examples of the worst GOP-led big-government-at-all-cost schemes are aimed at letting sand mining companies have their way with local land use and water conservation plans, as well as the closing off of Northern Wisconsin forest land in advance of wrecking an entire watershed for a politically-connected Florida mining firm.

And it's no coincidence that the interests being served first by Walker & Co. are major GOP donor partners, like WE Energy or GTac.

Regardless of their chamber of commerce rhetoric, no one loves big government more than a CEO with legislators and governors and phony regulators at their beck-and-call.

Voters and local officials statewide are being manipulated, but with its big Democratic turnout, sticking it to Milwaukee this way is the GOP's major aim.

Walker clone at PSC micro-manages Milwaukee water piping budgets

That would be former conservative Greendale GOP State Rep. and printing business owner Jeff Stone, now recast as a state water rate policy manager.

The same Jeff Stone defeated in 2011 for Milwaukee County Executive by Chris Abele and the same Jeff Stone who led legislative efforts for voter ID that will stifle city voting.

The same Jeff Stone who got promoted by Wrong-Way Walker from to a fat PSC division head job that probably doubled his big government salary (not to mention a big leap in potential pension levels) only because a state grant scandal forced Walker's first choice - - former State Assemblyman Scott Suder - - to leave the PSC position for a job with the Wisconsin Paper Council.

That's how things work in this administration: Walker's legislative water carriers - - Jeff Plale is another - - become Big Government clerks and any concerns with credentials or credibility is, shall we say, papered over?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

About the poor; let Walker explain

People are asking why Walker would go after the poor seeking food stamp and/or public assistance with mandatory drug testing (among other things).

Without comment, a relevant explanation, in his own words:
Interview: Gov. Scott Walker Talks Faith, Compromise and Helping the Poor

Walker's southern strategy

Paul Ryan and Scott Walker are perfecting the pitch of their dog whistles to the party's tea party base and competing for the same far-right love as the 2016 GOP presidential race takes shape.

Ryan got a head start, (no pun intended), when he said earlier this year that the inner cities were full of lazy black men.

Sure, there was some backlash, and Ryan said he'd been misinterpreted, but Mission Accomplished/Signal Sent, and his cheesehead rival Wrong-Way Walker needed to respond in kind.

So Walker channeled Newt Gingrich's 2012 attack on President Barack Obama as "the food stamp president" by proposing over the weekend that food stamp and public welfare recipients in Wisconsin take mandatory drugs tests before they can eat and feed their kids. 

Walker says it will help the poor find work. 

In fact, Walker is adding a fresh scapegoat - - the unemployed and low-income themselves - - to his excuse-me list of Syrian rebels, Obamacare and recall protesters - - to explain away and distract from his inability to create 250,000 new jobs in Wisconsin.

This time he's suggesting to otherwise law-abiding workers that the poor must be too high or tipsy to get a job.

You just can't keep a good divide-and-governor down.

This isn't the first time Walker has used and abused the poor for political purposes - - remember that he is the one standing in the way of an increase in the minimum wage being raised elsewhere that the WMC says will boost prices - -  like the fast food AM 620 WTMJ talker Jeff Wagner and his pals, through their snickering, demand be kept dirt-cheap.

And In his first budget, Walker kicked at the poor financially when they were already far, far down in the Great Recession - despite Walker foot-stamping spin to the contrary - - as noted several times on this blog, including this summary from two years ago:
Despite the denials, the same Scott Walker budget that contributed to months of job losses statewide also contained tax increases totaling $49 million on lower-income Wisconsinites - - plus a 'just-cuz-you're poor-$20-monthly dunning - - and also cut taxes on some capital gains and business income. 
The Walker machine spun on, claiming in statements and ads that the budget was balanced without raising taxes, even though the information about the tax increases came from the non-partisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, as reported by PolitiFact.

Overall, Walker’s budget included a modest $34 million reduction, mainly through business tax breaks. His plan included $83 million in tax cuts, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, but that was offset by $49 million in tax increases. 
The bureau determined that Walker included three tax increases in the budget. As we noted in our Walk-O-Meter item on the promise: 
"The largest involved a reduction in a state tax credit for low-income working families, known as the earned income credit. A tax credit reduces the amount of tax you owe. 
"In this case, the earned income tax credit is in place for both state and federal taxes. It’s refundable, so individuals with little or no income tax liability may still receive the credit. 
"A second tax increase, the fiscal bureau said, is stopping the inflationary adjustment of the state’s Homestead Tax Credit -- the property tax break that appears as a credit on income tax forms for low-income homeowners and renters. The bureau calculated that change would increase taxes by an estimated $8.1 million. 
Ryan and Walker are showing us that while the GOP apologized for it a few years ago, the so-called southern strategy which worked for Dick Nixon is back in right-wing Republican vogue.

Forty percent of the 860,000 Wisconsinites receiving food stamps live in Milwaukee County: who thinks Walker's food stamp drug testing scheme is aimed at people in River Hills or Whitefish Bay?

Though many formerly-employed Wisconsinites statewide who are still reeling from the Great Recession, and Walker's inability to get the state's economy on track despite holding all the budgetary and policy-making cards, might be surprised to learn that the Governor and his valet Robin Vos want them to pee in a cup to prove they haven't unemployed themselves by smoking dope or having a cocktail with lunch at the club.

Take that, laid-off office administrators, middle managers, sales staff, HR supervisors, small business owners, and the like - - all now under suspicion.

And when the poor and unemployed are done degrading themselves at Walker's direction at some government food-stamp-drug-testing station, office, let the poor chase after the voter ID we tricked the Appeals Court into thinking is needed in Wisconsin. 

Better the poor should spend their time driving or busing around to find a DMV office with the voter ID information and assistance that's actually open than on the job or applying for work.

That subset of the poor is also under a different kind of suspicion - - cheating at the ballot box, like the accusatory billboards posted by a Walker donor, with Walker's advice had said when he was fighting the last time for his political life.

What a dark, vicious loop that is.

Walker's fresh assault on the poorest citizens among us during a re-election campaign - - a politician's time of greatest self-interest - - will be added to a post on this blog documenting the many ways he continues to disrespect or disregard Wisconsin and its low-income residents:

There has never been a Wisconsin Governor in our memories prior to Wrong Way Walker who so widely disrespected the time, resources and basic interests of so many Wisconsinites, particularly the state's lower-income residents, just to advance his own political career. 
Conflationists can claim until the cows come home that every Wisconsin Governor has behaved this one-dimensionally, opportunistically, selfishly, coldly.
If proper eligibility and stewardship and of public money is what's behind Walker's pledge to tighten up taxpayer-paid assistance, maybe there ought to be drug testing for Walker, legislators and their appointees who created and are running the dysfunctional Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, where millions of public dollars have been misspent or misplaced.

The agency was supposed to create jobs but now prefers talking about the jobs it has "impacted," - - deceptively camouflaging how little employment has resulted from all the millions it has spent. Actual number: 5,480, one study shows.

Maybe there should also be drug-testing for the private sector officials who have taken public WEDC financing, grants, loans or credits while 'impacting' so few real jobs in Wisconsin and creating jobs overseas

Here's an example of one company that took millions of state dollars, and which was lauded by Walker, but has brought on only a few people, hasn't put up the promised assembly line and is busy hiring workers in another state from which Wisconsin allegedly had lured the firm's business and commitment.

Right-wing talk radio Monday will give a big ride to Walker's fresh attack on the poor.

The AM talkers provide open microphones for Walker and his legislative allies to gin up fear and anger among their conservative suburban and smaller-town Wisconsin listening audiences.

In fact, the latest John Doe document dump showed Walker routinely sending the shows their talking points.

Attacking the poor from the cushy digs of elected office, or isolated radio station studios is about the easiest, cheapest self-serving effort imaginable - - but a reminder of the depth of that hole Walker correctly found himself in the other day.

CAPTION CONTEST: All right gang, have at it. And keep it clean.