Saturday, January 31, 2015

Giving Walker credit for channeling actor Judge Reinhold

When I saw this posting Friday night on jsonline - - 

Walker wants $1.3 billion in transportation bonds

Under the Republican governor’s plan, bonding for transportation would rise by about 30%, but the state’s overall borrowing would drop. 

Updated: 9:59 p.m.

- - two things about debt and financing came to mind.

* First (click through the title):
MONDAY, OCTOBER 7, 2013 
Walker Adds More Debt Which The Right Called "Fiscal Crisis"
*Second
This YouTube clip: (R-rating, very apropos)

Friday, January 30, 2015

As iron mine stalls, 20,000+ hog farm to locate in same watershed

So water rich NW Wisconsin is supposed to trade the open-pit iron mine now stalled by plummeting demand and a host of environmental and legal barriers for a giant pig farm moving from Iowa that would bring a different kind of pollution close to Lake Superior?

Sign the petition against it - - for delivery to local officials - -  here.

UW development arm needs to tell its story now

[updated from 12:39 p.m.] The UW knows its faculty, grant-attraction and spending creates jobs and boosts local and statewide economics. It has the data to expose Walker's 'one-more-class' snarky superficiality as nothing more than a talk radio throwaway.

But the UW needs to get its economic development people busy telling that story in down-to-earth language and through human stories that put a face on the reality - - and then get that content and contact information to every newspaper, civic institution, chamber of commerce, local government and resident with an email account, now.

Walker and his allies are running a campaign against the UW, and the system must respond like a candidate suddenly hit with a barrage of negative ads even if it finds the fight distasteful.

On Walker's UW plan, Journal Sentinel editorial buries its lede

The headline on the editorial says be "skeptical," but paragraphs 12-15 carry the message:
So, to Walker and legislators:
Stop!
And create a blue ribbon commission to examine best practices around the country before you act. The commission should include all interested parties, including academics, business, labor, legislators and citizens.
Do that now, before legislation is debated in the state Capitol.

Again, Walker runs against DC by visiting, hoping to relocate there

We've noted here, - - or just Google the Tea Party twin opportunists Ron Johnson or Glenn Grothman - - the contradiction driving Wisconsin politicians who denounce Washington, DC while enjoying media there - - media that continue to shy away from asking Walker tough questions about his record and history.

Two takes on WI GOP plan to run Milwaukee from the 'burbs

This was mine, yesterday.
Milwaukee suburbs could see improvements based on city suggestions
Nice that Republican legislators Senator Alberta Darling from River Hills and Representative Dale Kooyenga from Brookfield have opened their minds and hearts to help Milwaukee address the socio-economic problems made even tougher in Milwaukee by decades of suburban economic and racial exclusion. 
Surely the suburbanites will welcome an infusion of concern and ideas flowing the other way, as the 'burbs have their problems, too, and folks in the city can help supply answers. 
But the award goes to Dom Noth, with more bite to the bytes. I bow to him.
ANOTHER DARLING BILL AND JS EDITORIAL TOO SILLLY TO TAKE SERIOUSLY
I just wasted 10  minutes reading the Darling-Kooyenga New Opportunities for Milwaukee legislative proposal in its slick 25-page  brochure presentation I fear was paid for with taxpayer money, money that could probably have fed a few hundred people. 
You know, the plan dumped in surprise on city leaders about how totake over Milwaukee education and create corporate tax free zones. It was not shared with MPS leaders and teachers. It makes it seem as if these two legislators bled their feet in the snow dragging their tired dutiful suburban GOP bodies from black house to house to understand the inner city, never pausing on their rounds to talk to anyone who remembers them -- and never, as far as I can tell, with people who have children in public schools or families that really wanted to chat about the poverty destroying their neighborhoods. 

Best news in Mitt Romney's withdrawal as 2016 GOP candidate...

He can use all his money and connections and experience to continue his new anti-poverty agenda.

GOP: Road-building, other projects drive push for wage-cutting laws

GOP Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told WMTJ righty talk radio this morning he was confident that the Wisconsin Legislature would pass the so-called 'right-to-work law' and other bills that would end the required use of union-scale wages on all construction projects in the state with a dollar or more of any public funding.

That would include projects in the state capitol budget, like the proposed $197 million palace for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation in Madison, for example.

Fitzgerald said he thought these measures would pass before the legislature adopts a transportation budget to lower road-building borrowing costs, given that the transportation budget is facing a deficit separate from the rest of the state budget.

Cutting back these projects to what is affordable, or focusing on fixing the pot-holed roads is not on the table to systematically reduce WisDOT spending.


So the Operating Engineers who drive big road graders and stood with Walker when other unions opposed Act 10 are about to join the long list of people and groups manipulated by Walker for his partisan and personal advancement.

The high-profile union endorsement is still on Walker's website:
Oct 31, 2014 8:49:00 AM
Sussex -- The International Union of Operating Engineers Local 139 (IUOE) has endorsed Governor Scott Walker for re-election, Local 139 President and Business Manager Terry McGowan announced this morning alongside Governor Walker at Waukesha Metal Products in Sussex. 
“Thanks to Gov. Walker, not only are our men and women meeting the needs of a growing state economy by building roads and bridges, but Wisconsin is home to the largest number of distribution contractors, which enables us to supply affordable services of natural gas, electricity and telecommunications,” McGowan said. 
“Operating Engineers also partner with their contractors to provide reliable sanitary sewer systems, wastewater treatment facilities and make it possible to provide clean, safe drinking water to Wisconsin homes. Wisconsin furthermore is home to some of the largest, cross-country pipeline companies, which allow us to be a partner in creating energy independence for the nation. 
“The Wisconsin Operating Engineers have been involved in the extraction of minerals from the earth for over 100 years, more recently in the industrial sand market,” McGowan continued. “We very much look forward to having many of our members continue to work in this growing industry and we are hopeful that someday they will be involved in extracting the richest iron ore deposit in the country right here in Wisconsin.”
The state could shave millions from the billion-dollar boondoggle aimed at Milwaukee's west side when I-94 is expanded by scrapping the project's expensive double-decked bridgework, but Fitzgerald is saying that cutting workers' wages is the way to keep all these road-building costs down.

I'm not sure why anyone would take the time and spend the money to become a union electrician, for example, if contractors can supply workers building a state office building willing to accept, say $9/hr.

Anyone can be Walker's pawn these days.

Combine this with Walker's refusal to raise the minimum wage, the limitation on public sector raises to 1% annually through Act 10, his fresh attack on college teachers which will cut for the second time (Act 10 being the first) the incomes and career paths of many young educators with modest salaries and big student debt, and his rejection of some food stamp and Medicaid assistance and you see the broad and deep reduction implemented by the Walker and the GOP in living standards for Wisconsin's working people.

If you cut construction workers wages - - and much of their work is seasonal - - you are absolutely setting these people up for food stamp and other public assistance applications at the very time the Walkerites have restricted those programs, too.

As I wrote last month, these economic daggers will force people to move out of Wisconsin.

This all from the Koch brothers' anti-union playbook - - small government enforced by big government power - -  and Walker is their tool because he needs their billion dollars to run for President.

Walker '16?

Walker talks about casino without mentioning Jim Doyle

Given his reflex to blame Jim Doyle, the omission here is really noteworthy. I guess he's already running to the middle.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

UW-Madison lazy faculty ranks only 6th worldwide in patents

Those slackers should lock up their unproductive labs and start grading more pop quizzes.

Walker '16.

Milwaukee suburbs could see improvements based on city suggestions

Nice that Republican legislators Senator Alberta Darling from River Hills and Representative Dale Kooyenga from Brookfield have opened their minds and hearts to help Milwaukee address the socio-economic problems made even tougher in Milwaukee by decades of suburban economic and racial exclusion.

Surely the suburbanites will welcome an infusion of concern and ideas flowing the other way, as the 'burbs have their problems, too, and folks in the city can help supply answers.

*  Transit disconnects. The municipalities and counties surrounding Milwaukee need far better transit services, especially for their young people and seniors. The suburbs should push for the reinstitution of  regional transit authorities which the Republican legislature recently eliminated, and should plan and finance both additional bus and, why not?, new light rail services, across the entire region - - and certainly to bring suburbanites in and out of Milwaukee.

City dwellers would not treat these suburbanites as strangers: the interactions would good for everyone.

*  Affordable housing. The suburbs have a crying need for housing which working families can afford, and many urban housing choices can be duplicated in the suburbs. Key zoning changes would single-family homes on lots that are not designed for McMansions, and multi-unit structures which some suburbs have fought tooth-and-nail should be encouraged.

*  Higher-performing schools. Some suburban schools underperform teaching students about our increasingly multi-cultural state, country and world. City schools have the experience to provide new partnerships; better transit connections could help cement these new relationships, connect with transit improvements and affordable housing outside of the city, too.

I've spent hundreds of hours in our neighboring communities and the housing, educational and transit deficits there should be acknowledged, attacked and ameliorated by open-minded planning and enthusiastic approval of laws and codes to make life in our region better for everyone.

Reince Preibus coup: RNC junket to Israel planned w/ US hate group

Wisconsin's very own conservative super-strategist, super-Scott Walker backer and just-reelected whiz-kid chairman of the Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus managed to book an all-expenses trip for his committee and others to Israel - - fine so far - - but it planned it in league with a US hate group traveling party, according to the authoritative Southern Poverty Law Center, (SPLC) - - not good at all. 

Bad staff work, or bad allies?

U.S. NGO: Evangelical 'hate group' funding Republican National Committee trip to Israel
Evangelical political operative planned 9-day freebie trip for national committee members, on behalf of the conservative Christian AFA group which blasts Muslims, gays.
This story has been percolating in national media for six weeks.

More here: 
In a letter to SPLC officials, the American Family Association (AFA) has disavowed a series of racist and bigoted statements made by its chief spokesman in recent years.
The repudiation of Bryan Fischer’s statements came just two days before members of the Republican National Committee (RNC) are scheduled to embark on a trip to Israel sponsored by the AFA.
Last week, the SPLC wrote to all 168 members of the RNC urging them not to accompany the AFA on the trip because of the group’s long track record of bigotry and hate. The SPLC has named the AFA as a hate group due to its history of making false, demonizing statements about the LGBT community, including Fischer’s contention that gay men were responsible for the Holocaust...
Fischer has claimed, for example, that black people “rut like rabbits”; that the First Amendment applies only to Christians; that Hispanics are “socialists by nature” and come to the U.S. to “plunder” the country; that Muslims should not be permitted to build mosques in the United States; that an underground railroad is needed to protect children from gay parents; and more.
Additional material, here.

UW getting fresh taste of Walker's divide-and-conquer manipulation

[Updated] Now it's the UW, and particularly the faculty, experiencing again Scott Walker's divisive 'leadership.'

(The headline and text have been updated to more accurately reflect that UW personnel already took Act 10 hits, so this is a "fresh taste" of the back of Walker's hand). 

His talk radio-inspired slap at teachers whom he claims are not working hard enough pits taxpayers against them, and students against their professors, and faculty against administrators who must not be cracking the whip hard enough on the lazy teachers they've hired.

Everybody is in a swirl, and Walker just heads off to the next interview to pitch his plan nationally, which is what he told righty radio talker Charlie Sykes yesterday was his intention.

Walker did the the same divide-and-conquer dance on the backs of state and local public employees, and when he told upscale suburban voters in the 2012 recall election that Democratic opponent and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett would turn the state into another Milwaukee, and when he said public assistance recipients needed to be drug-tested.

It's the same sleazy, small-man tactic: one group needs to be demonized to motive his base.

Divide-and-conquer is his self-promoting means-to-an-end-game - - manipulative, cynical, negative.

For UW employees - - as public employees - - it's another hit on top of the Act 10 cuts and restrictions already levied on them.

Former Nixon administration lawyer and Watergate scandal whistle-blower John Dean wrote a book about soulless right-wingers whom he called conservatives without conscience.

And said Scott Walker was more Nixonian than Nixon.

Walker is again proving Dean correct.


The 'sell assets' crowd says O'Donnell Park is sellable "surplus." Surplus?

Talk about sour grapes after a deal for O'Donnell Park with Northwestern Mutual fell through.

C'mon, people: this is no way to manage public space:

A resolution to put O’Donnell Park up for bid to private developers was introduced Jan. 27 at a meeting of the Parks, Energy & Environment Committee of Milwaukee County’s Board of Supervisors. 

It was a substitute for a resolution requesting bids to repair a small area of O’Donnell’s roof and to explore increased programming and income options for O’Donnell Park.)  It will be presented to the full board Thursday, February 5 at a 9:30 a.m. meeting.

The resolution to offer this 147-year-old public park to for-profit bidders was sponsored by Anthony Staskunas, Deanna Alexander, and Steve Taylor, who voted for it in committee. A few highlights:

  • Approving the resolution will mean O’Donnell Park is “declared surplus,” a term applied to property no longer of any use to the County, such as outdated vehicles or vacant buildings.
  • An RFP would cover “the entire O’Donnell Park Parcel” with “full redevelopment of the southern half of the parcel” and redevelopment on the northern half “consistent with the parks-only provision of the existing deed restriction.”
  • Until O’Donnell Park is sold, “any revenue generated by the Parking operations shall be used to first pay off debt related to O’Donnell Park, then towards cash financing of any needed repairs, and then any excess shall be added to the Parks Department’s budget…” 
  • That’s an immediate $1.3 million slashing of the parks’ maintenance budget, taking place mid-year in the budget cycle. It will mean major cuts to upkeep of all parks.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

He who is not qualified to talk about 'one more class per semester'

I had believed up until the last 24 hours that the only political issue raised by Scott Walker's departure from Marquette University 36 credits short of graduation was his inability to fully explain why he couldn't stick with a significant task.

But after he announced his proposed historic cut to the UW system and  I saw this headline
Gov. Scott Walker to UW faculty: Consider teaching one more class per semester
...I decided he's the wrong person to judge university teachers and the work they put in. 

Maybe if he had considered taking one more class per semester, he'd have the depth that comes with the degree and the satisfaction of filling out a commitment that would better guide executive decision-making.

Just another candidate bashing Washington, desperate to get there

Scott Walker attacking Washington while running like crazy to get there is like a temperance crusader with a Johnny Walker trust fund.

Further hypocrisy noted earlier:

 retweeted
. says the 2:10 video put out by is not about him, but about ideas.

Note to Walker: experts say across-the-board cuts 'stupid...coward's way...lazy...'

Here's one frame for the $300 million type of cut Scott Walker is lobbing the UW system's way: 
Federal budget officials are turning against across-the-board spending cuts in favor of a more refined approach, a new survey finds...
a majority of budget officials indicated they would opt for a more targeted strategy...
Participants used “words like ‘stupid,’ ‘coward’s way out’ and ‘lazy analyst’ to describe across-the-board cuts,” the report on the survey results stated. “

When Walker speaks; check your dictionaries, The Google

Attention, wordsmiths, historians and observers of our Governor and his language as Walker says school aids in his budget will remain "largely intact."

Set aside the billion dollars he cut from schools in his first budget, or the $300 million cut he's announced for the UW system - -  and remember he also said that Act 10 was a "modest, modest proposal." Love the repetition, a sure tell if there ever was one that a spin was underway.

Also, when it comes to facts vs. language, remember that his first, purportedly 'no-tax-increas"; budget allowed for a "modest" UW tuition increase...of 11%...and also raised three taxes - - despite his denials.


Wisconsin, national politics under false modesty alert

 retweeted
. says the 2:10 video put out by is not about him, but about ideas.

Oil pipeline bigger than Keystone headed North-South in WI

Let's hope Dane County can rally around a David-and-Goliath stance on behalf of the environment and public health against a pipeline company with a history of oil pipeline spills and the business compliant Wisconsin DNR.

A Dane County zoning committee may require the Canadian firm Enbridge  - - a company which has had major oil pipeline spills in Wisconsin and Michigan and elsewhere - - to provide spill and clean-up insurance before being allowed to increase to 1.2 million barrels a day - - 50% greater than what is projected in the higher-profile Keystone XL line - - the amount of thick, toxic tar sand oil it wants to pump the full length of Wisconsin.

Here's a map of the route - - Superior to Delavan.

The project would double the existing capacity of Enbridge's Pipeline 61 across Wisconsin farms, forests and waterways - - the Soviet-style numerical designation further sanitizes the project's visibility and consequences - - and, as you might expect, is getting your typical Scott Walker administration easy pass and reflexive green-light from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board.

The New York Times recently elevated the issue's significance.

Props to grassroots organizers statewide and in Dane County for working against great odds to keep from happening here what took place in an Arkansas neighborhood when an Enbridge pipeline broke there in 2010.
45283_608923342469399_106063063_n.jpg


Funding cut plan is Act 10 for UW, Walker tells Sykes

The analogy was Sykes' as his first segment wound up today with Walker on the line, but Walker agreed whole-heartedly, touting Act 10's "tools," if you get his drift.

Sykes then segued to claiming UW system faculty do not teach enough classes - - which disregards research, writing and other essentials for a fully-formed, great university - - so say "Hello" to Act 10/2.0

Lazy teachers are ripping off the people who pay their salaries.

Walker keeps fueling a politics of divide-and-conquer resentment - - yet managed without any internal filter on contradictions or hubris in the same talk radio segment to praise himself extensively for "leadership" on the arena.

Walkeropathy.

Gov. Molotov wades into foreign policy, wins "Pants on Fire" rating

Gov. Molotov strikes again, but this time, when conjuring documents that do not exist, he can't claim his error was due to a typo or an intern's proof reading.

Get used to it, America. We've seen it here for years - - both the results of briefings by talk radio: and Walker's penchant for false speaking. PolitiFact finds "False" is Walker's most frequent rating.
Pants on Fire!
"Documents released from the Soviet Union" show "the Soviet Union started treating" President Ronald Reagan more seriously after Reagan fired the air traffic controllers.
— Scott Walker on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 in an interview

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Milwaukee historian John Gurda had Walker pegged

[Updated] Scott Walker finally has the gerrymandered right-wing Republican Wisconsin Legislative majority he needs to inflict a long-term, ideological punishment to the University of Wisconsin.

For the right, it's a daily double, as Walker's proposed $300 million historically-deep budget cut, combined with frozen tuition, will trigger layoffs and cutbacks that will also hammer the urban Democratic strongholds where UW system schools attract students and faculty, expand the culture, and create jobs.

Look at this prediction Tuesday from the UW-Milwaukee:

If the budget proposal put forth by Gov. Scott Walker to cut $300 million from the UW System passes, three months from now, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee could face layoffs, building closures, a hiring freeze, or a slowdown on the admission of the new freshman class, according to the powerful UWM University Committee.
Ah, but Walker and his Tea Party allies do not like the routines of academia - - liberal debate and scientific inquiry - - so they are fine with using the state budget to lower the quality and appeal of higher education in Wisconsin by basically privatizing the system and ending The Wisconsin Idea - - the UW's guiding principle that sprang from The Progressive Movement against special interest control of public policy and institutions.

Get ready for an onslaught of applications and transfers, Minnesota.

We've seen this sweeping, creepy Walker certitude before - - from his blockade of Amtrak service denial, to a rejection of Medicaid and food stamp funding, to his pro-fossil fuel dismissal of green energy projects, and imposition of harsh restrictions on women's health care access, to name but a few - - and no one did a better than Milwaukee historian John Gurda who pegged Walker in a March, 2011 newspaper column that prepared us for a manipulative Governor and his expanding Walkeropathy.


Gurda's words stand the test of time as Walker's legal and budgetary axe looms:
As this icy ideology takes legislative form, Walker has positioned himself as Wisconsin's ideologue-in-chief. Here, you sense, is a man who has not been wrong one day in his life, a true believer so sure of what's right for him that he just knows it's right for all the rest of us as well. He governs with a reptilian calm, unmoved by protest and unblinking in the bright light of national scrutiny. For a guy who won his job with barely 52% of the vote, Walker exhibits a chutzpah bordering on hubris, but no matter. In his monochromatic view of the world, no action is reckless if it's right.

Groups petitioning Congress for stronger wolf protections

Feel free to read what a Wisconsin group and the Humane Society, and others, have to say:

January 27, 2015

Groups Petition to Reclassify Gray Wolves to Threatened Status under Endangered Species Act

Proposal presents a reasonable alternative to congressional delisting and a path to national recovery
Animal protection and conservation organizations petitioned  the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to reclassify gray wolves under the Endangered Species Act as threatened throughout the contiguous United States, with the exception of the Mexican gray wolf which remains listed as endangered. If adopted, the proposal would continue federal oversight and funding of wolf recovery efforts and encourage development of a national recovery plan for the species, but would also give the Fish and Wildlife Service regulatory flexibility to permit state and local wildlife managers to address specific wolf conflicts.

Betting that Walker avoids big deficit, broken jobs promise on Fox

Don't look for much more than big manipulation in this TalkingPointFest, but do expect to see Walker on Fox - - big surprise, there - - forget about a big, growing state deficit and failed and broken jobs-creation promises. (Though we wonder when national media will do a better job looking deeper at Walker?)

 
  1. Looking forward to joining tonight to talk about how America must go big & bold!




Walker had national campaign web address before State of State Speech

This little detail from the Cap Times coverage of the unsurprising announcement of a Walker-for-President 'fund-raising committee confirms the point I have been making for weeks - - even for months - - that Walker's national ambition supersedes his continuing interest in Wisconsin:
The domain records for the committee's website, OurAmericanRevival.com, indicates it was purchased on Jan. 12, the day before Walker delivered his State of the State address.
The manipulation continues.

Karma bites Palin, unprompted, serving Walker

[Updated] Right-wingers like Sarah Palin have long mocked President Obama's rather unremarkable use of a TelePrompter - - so it was perfect karma the other day that Palin's rant at the Iowa Tea Party Fest was made even more incoherent because her Teleprompter malfunctioned and she had to wing it
The Republican Party’s most treasured rabble-rouser was forced to improvise part of her speech at a Tea Party conference in Iowa Saturday after her teleprompter apparently broke in the middle of her delivery.  
Palin, who was speaking at the Iowa Freedom Summit, launched into a multitude of brief nonsensical tirades in the moments to follow, causing attendees of the conservative grassroots convention in the early voting state to stop clapping their hands and start scratching their heads.  
“'The man can only ride you when your back is bent,” Palin said — one in a series of unusual one-liners she ad libbed after her teleprompter froze. “So strengthen it! Then the man can't ride you, America won't get taken for a ride, because so much is at stake.”
[Wednesday update] Republicans can't get away from this Obama/TelePrompter meme: Walker told AM 620 WTMJ righty talker Charlie Sykes this morning that Americans were tired of Obama using a TelePromoter for the last six years. But will Walker use one at his budget address?

On a more serious note, running Palin and fellow joker Donald Trump on stage only makes people like Scott Walker look better, shields his true nature and distracts from his record.



Shame on anyone who fell for Walker's 'full-term' pledge

The national exploratory campaign committee website Walker rolled out today - - serving as a fund-raising vehicle, among other things - - didn't get brainstormed and built yesterday.

Some media and voters were hoodwinked about the real intention underlying that plan of his he parsed during a debate with Mary Burke to serve out a second full term.

Though media can reclaim some of its credibility by getting to the bottom of a 2007 summit where influential right-wingers anointed Walker as their candidate-in-waiting.

And here's a list of items to pursue.

No charge.

More bad news for Caterpillar, a shrinking WI employer

The company's shares took a hit today. We'd noted Caterpillar's continuing layoffs at its South Milwaukee plant and Dom Noth's solid reporting about what has been happening there.

A related issue: there is less demand for iron ore mining rigs and excavation equipment, so with a glut of iron ore on the market, there is less demand for what might be dug out of the Penokee Hills.

Hence, that project is less attractive or feasible, too, though the company wants you to believe the problem is government regulation.

Scott Walker fulfills right-wing's WI dream w/savage UW cut

!3% f.u. to the UW.

Take that, liberal elite Madison-based Democratic institution.

Essentially, Walker will do to the UW system what he and the right have done to public schools: cut the funding, diminish the teaching profession, lower the overall standard and advance a preference for charters and privatized influence.

Why would an ambitious high schooler,  top-shelf grad student, or young professor come to the UW if the system will have little money to invest?

The system campuses get more 'freedom' - - that multi-purposed right-wing mantra, from Freedom Fries to the Freedom to choose your taxpayer-subsidized private school - - the freedom to fight each other for pieces of a block grant not tied to need or dreams, but to the rate of inflation.

It took a long time to create and nurture the great UW system, but will take just a blink in time to trash it.

It gave the state and world the outreach and service motto, creed and practice "Wisconsin Idea."

Just replaced by Scott Walker's "Dim Bulb." Flip the switch to the right.

Think small, Bucky,

Walker '16.

Monday, January 26, 2015

A billion reasons for Walker's Koch calling

That's the kind of money that keeps a candidate on the road and Wisconsin in the rear view mirror.
Koch-backed network aims to spend nearly $1 billion on 2016 elections
Also expect a Walker attack on income inequality if fellow Tea Partiers Ted Cruz, Rand Paul or Marco Rubio get any of the money.

GTac mine in NW WI on hold, spin not withstanding

The GTac mine people can blame Pres. Obama and conjure all sorts insurmountable barriers to their environmentally-devastating open-pit, mountain-top-removal, Lake Superior-watershed-polluting, toxin-spewing plan, but we know that they know this mine at that spot in this decade or more is not an economically-feasible venture.

And one after which they will not throw more good money after the bad $700,000 they already wasted on Scott Walker - - and which will resurface the more that Walker exposes his record to national media looking to find out what he and his friend John Doe have really been up to these last few years.

As with the poor-people's mandatory drug-testing proposal Walker is now abandoning, he got personally and politically what he needed from the mine: campaign money and PR as an alleged job-creator while his signature, 250,000 new jobs plan and promise was cratering.

The sooner the plug is pulled on this environmental-and-cultural disaster-in-waiting, the better. 

Ald. Puente throws Ald. Dudzik under the streetcar

Ex-cop and Northwest side Milwaukee Common Council member Robert Puente has left lead streetcar opponent and Mayoral candidate Bob Donovan alone among his colleagues not condemning South side Ald. Joe Dudzik's inflammatory anti-city rhetoric.
Banned in Milwaukee
Do these look like rape or killing chambers to you?

WI tech leader hopes Walker's UW overhaul not punitive

I was struck by a few lines in Wisconsin Technology Council President Tom Still's weekend column about budget and structural changes which Scott Walker apparently intends to send the UW system's way.

The Council is a non-partisan, non-profit amalgamation of private and public sector sector groups and networks that advise government and promote science and technology advancement in Wisconsin.

I suggest you read the piece in full, but I'll excerpt just a few lines that caught my attention.

The second paragraph: 
Here’s hoping the debate is an honest effort to improve the performance, accessibility and accountability of the state’s largest higher education system, not a political exercise driven by perception rather than fact.
The close:
The coming debate will test whether the Capitol wants to reform higher education in Wisconsin or punish it. The former is an ambitious goal; the latter could harm efforts to build Wisconsin’s knowledge-based economy.
And, finally, these two remarkable paragraphs in the middle of the piece which shed light on Wisconsin's brain drain and could frame the "honest" debate which Still is hoping for:
A recent report by the Milken Institute noted that Wisconsin is already 37th in state support for higher education among the 50 states and 31st in state spending on student aid. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ranked Wisconsin 47th in the percentage decline in higher education spending from 2008 through 2013. It’s hard to build a stay-at-home, knowledge economy workforce without investing in young people. While most research dollars come from external sources – federal government, private foundations and private industry – state dollars help pay for the basics that attract outside dollars.
Reports show that college graduates in Wisconsin can expect to earn less than their counterparts elsewhere, which makes it harder to keep the best and brightest home. For example, average engineer salaries for job postings in Wisconsin are 11 percent lower than average engineer salaries nationwide, according to January data from Indeed.com. Wisconsin companies might want to consider paying what it takes to attract and retain talent versus blaming the UW System for not launching duplicative engineering programs.



KFC doing its part to raise your health care costs


And you wonder why the US health care system is burdened with disease and costs and distractions not seen anywhere else?





On drug testing, Walker's big bold wimp out

Walkeropathy outbreak. The emperor just lost another of his empty suits:
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Backing Down From Food Stamp Fight
Asking the Obama administration for permission to drug-test aid recipients before they get their food stamps or unemployment assistance is certainly different from Walker's initial tough-guy promise to establish and enforce it.

Walker got out of the manufactured issue what he needed at the time - - a 2014 campaign signal to deeply conservative voters motivated by resentment and ignorance.

Bottom line, as I've said often: He will unleash his peculiar Walkeropathy, a thoughtless and self-centered disrespecting manipulation of anyone or anything at anytime for his own career advancement.

His personal, partisan appropriation of state power could be aimed at central city voters one day, low-income women the next, then at Native Americans trying to shed a school district's insulting logos when his timing called for it.

His target might be a pristine watershed or a state office building or public, DNR-managed acreage eyed by his donors.

Or public school teachers, then your snow plow operators or prison guards or recycling program or local bus system. 

Whatever he needs, whenever he wants it - - so if keeping his foot on the neck of low-income and out-of work Wisconsinites met his campaign's needs on a given day, so be it.

Heads up, American.