Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's true: Scott Walker's "False" vettings on rise

We know the story in Wisconsin because we've suffered through more than four years with a Governor who easily and disturbingly cannot tell a straight story:

The PolitiFact service run by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has found that Walker's "False" and more egregiously dishonest "Pants on Fire" vettings now exceed those found fully "True" by more than three-to-one (49-16).

You can read the latest "False" finding here - -
100,000 pro-union protesters were shipped into Wisconsin, Scott Walker says
 - - which is particularly shocking because PolitiFact is catching Walker repeating a falsehood it has noted before.  
You can read his full Politifact record, here.

Want more?

More than Madison Capital Times editor Paul Fanland's insight-filled interview about Scott Walker with Watergate legend John Dean?

Here is a listing of facts not generally known about Walker outside of Wisconsin, with more than 100 links or records referenced.

Germany's renewable energy success exposes WI, Walker failures

And you thought an industrialized economy - - like Wisconsin's - - that has harsh winters and rainy cloudy skies couldn't make great use of solar and wind energy?

Look to Germany, shattering records.

Wake up, Wisconsin - - and America - - about Walker, Wisconsin and its hostility to renewable energy:
Report: Wisconsin utilities lead in fighting solar energy 
Wisconsin lags on renewable energy
Walker kills project to convert power plant to biofuels
Walker wants to end funding for renewable energy
Wisconsin not among wind power leaders
State Commission backs electric rate hikes, 'solar tax'
Wisconsin left way, way behind in wind energy boom 
Walker's false energy statement at Iowa ag summit
Though Walker is campaigning heavily in Iowa, (the wind farm above is south of I-80 in western Iowa), he has not publicized there his ideological opposition to alternative energy in Wisconsin.

African lion killing highlights WI 'sport,' trophy hunting

The unspeakably sleazy poaching of a famous lion in Africa is raising the entire issue of so-called 'sport' hunting for trophies, so greater discussion in Wisconsin about wolf
Wisconsin is killing its wolves
and bear shooting and trapping so heavily pushed by powerful special interest gun and hunting lobbies definitely has a higher need right now.

You might also want to read up on various baiting and hunting training methods allowed by state law in Wisconsin.

Wolf hunting in Wisconsin and other states is currently under a federal court ban, though Congress could lift it.

The principle promoter in the Wisconsin legislature of a wolf hunt rushed into law, and which included the Wisconsin-only permission for dogs in the fray - - even in so-called pre-hunting training - -  was State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, (R-Oconomowoc), a hunting enthusiast.

Menacing model; Walker's closed, corporate government

Scott Walker's Presidential pitch is based on his record in Wisconsin.

So read that record in detail, look at just two recent specifics and ask yourself if you think this is the kind of Presidency that would serve your interests:

a)  Do you want a President who would actively work to block access to public records and foundational, taxpayer-paid government oversight processes - - as he did and continues to do in Wisconsin - - complete with a story that keeps dribbling out without a full and clear and heart-felt assumption of responsibility?

Sound like the approach you'd like to see at the US Justice Department, or in agencies obliged to follow and implement the US Freedom of Information Act?

b)  Do you want a President who would make it easier for polluters to muck up the air and water as head has done in Wisconsin, especially since he has already said he would vastly curtail the US Environmental Protection Agency?

Walker has already installed what he called a "chamber-of-commerce mentality" atop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources - - formerly a nationally-recognized, science-based steward of the environment revered by the likes of giants John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson.

Where scientists have been targeted and laid off and remaining clean air and water specialists now report to a division that serves business?

Where else would you like to see that "mentality" installed nationally on your dime- - besides the EPA?

Interior? Labor? Health and Human Services? The National Parks Service?

The US Supreme Court?

The Walker campaign has to be made by media and analysts and other communications - - into more than his sandwich choices in Philly, a dollar sweater from Kohl's or Harley-Davidson rides in Iowa, with New Hampshire on his touring schedule, too.

Here is one summary of many facts about Walker's record in Wisconsin that are nod widely known beyond state borders.

Justice Prosser is his own judge

And in his own words.

Recuse, reschmooze - - the Wisconsin Supreme Court is an ethics-free zone, so case closed.

Besides -- in a one-party state, there is no such thing as a conflict-of-interest, so who cares, for instance, if say, the Governor and Prosser share big donors, and a campaign manager?

Just ask Prosser. He knows.

Next case.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

WI DNR losing its senior fisheries biologist

Note item #10 on the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board agenda for the upcoming August meeting.

The legendary Will Wawrzyn is retiring. 

Sounds like the public had landed - - but is losing - - a good one:

On this day, though, the river was largely left to the wild things. Only a trio of human anglers worked a mile of river near Miller Park, in search of one of the Menomonee's other gems: steelhead. 
"Can't help but be out on a day like this," said Nick Nowak, 22, of Milwaukee, flipping a spinner into the clear, amber-tinted water... 
As incongruous as it may seem, even urban, graffiti-lined stretches of river host robust runs of migrating trout. 
"You give fish a chance, give them the right habitat, and they will often surprise people," said Will Wawrzyn, a DNR fisheries biologist in Milwaukee.
Fine writer, too. He co-authored this nice piece about dam removal and river restoration. 
Life of all kinds has returned to the Milwaukee River. © Robert Queen
Life of all kinds has returned to the Milwaukee River.
© Robert Queen

April 2005

River on the rebound

Restoring the lifeblood that flows through the heart of Milwaukee.

Kathleen Wolski and William Wawrzyn

WI DNR Stepp's phony finger-pointing

{Updated] Having willingly led on behalf of corporate interests and ideology Scott Walker's demolition of the agency she blustered and mocked her way into leading, DNR Secretary and former builderWisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp proudly shows off her first deer, taken opening weekend last year. In the upcoming TV Special "Deer Hunt Wisconsin 2012, Stepp urges male hunters to take more girls and women hunting. "The secret's out," she says. "Hunting is a lot of fun, so don't keep it to yourselves."  photo courtesy of Wisconsin DNR
Cathy Stepp has followed Walker's finger-pointing lead by claiming that the weakened agency she now heads is just another victim of that bad old state legislature:
..."a GOP-controlled Legislature that has cut funding and reined in regulation. "Here's the cold, hard truth: They run things," said Stepp, a former home builder who was appointed by Walker in 2011.The DNR workforce has fallen 18% since 1995 to 2,558 employees, according to DNR figures.
This beaten-down, doing-'more'-with less Stepp must have an evil stepsister - - the reliable Walker water-carrier - - who likes Walker's erasing the DNR's role by telling the Legislature to cut and curtail the DNR;
DNR Secretary Defends Walker's Proposed Cuts to Agency
Oh, there she is again:
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp defends Scott Walker's changes to advisory board
And not a peep from Stepp in the face of this Walker initiative:
Scott Walker's budget cuts $5.7 million from runoff pollution remedies
Note how Stepp changed the subject and suggested others - - like Counties -- could pick up the slack, and presto! - - problem solved:
On Wednesday, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp told a gathering in Green Bay that fighting runoff pollution was a high priority. She likened counties to "boots on the ground" that get voluntary cooperation the DNR has struggled with... 
"Farmers trust their county conservationists. Farmers don't necessarily trust the DNR..."
Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh), a member of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee, also took a dim view of the cuts.
"You can't have it both ways," he said. "You can't say addressing runoff is a priority and undercut or underfund the very resources that do something about it." 
And before you say things like, 'well, that's how the game is played,' or 'she's just being a loyal appointee,' remember her attitude going in about DNR staff and work:
For example, people who go to work for the DNR's land, waste, and water bureaus tend to be anti-development, anti-transportation, and pro-garter snakes, karner blue butterflies, etc...This is in their nature; their make-up and DNA. So, since they're unelected bureaucrats who have only their cubicle walls to bounce ideas off of, they tend to come up with some pretty outrageous stuff that those of us in the real world have to contend with.

Another rare species' sighting in Wisconsin

That would be a statewide GOP elected official opposing changes to the Wisconsin Open Records law.

What a cat he is!

No lyin' - -
Brad Schimel says records, meetings law should not be weakened
Attorney General Brad Schimel said at his summit on open government Wednesday that public meetings and public records laws should not be weakened. 
The summit has been planned for months by the GOP attorney general but is occurring just weeks after Gov. Scott Walker and Republican lawmakers tried to gut the open records law. They quickly backed off in the face of public outrage. 
"Messing with open government laws is like touching the third rail," Schimel told nearly 200 people at the Concourse Hotel. "I think that lesson has been learned recently."
Now if we could just get that belief in open government extended to saving the Government Accountability Board, since the same GOP partisans who tried to wipe out the Open Records law are openly behind gutting the GAB.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Walker inserting more corporate power at WI DNR

[Updated] Looks like Walker has dropped another of his surprise bombs, this time on the DNR, with what is essentially a department reorganization and split to favor business after losing his budget effort to delete the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board, the DNR's citizen oversight panel.

Further embedding the "chamber of commerce mentality" he said he wanted running the DNR.

Today I am hearing that Walker is eliminating the historically-important DNR water division and assigning its work to the current air division chief Pat Stevens, formerly of the Wisconsin  Manufacturers & Commerce (and the builders and, separately, road-builders associations), so he can control a new, super-resources, business-services division that absorbs water planning and conservation.

For easier obeisance to polluters - - put a corporate ideologue in charge of fewer employees - - thus streamlining policy implementation from the top-down, DNR documents show:
Another Walker blow to science, citizen input and public-interest activities as he leaves behind scorched earth in the state.

Imagine how the DNR would have 'regulated' the massive open-pit iron mine in water-rich NW Wisconsin, had not the plan collapsed internally and in the face of opposition from the feds, the Bad River band and environmentalists statewide.

And the DNR's remake as a defacto Commerce Department dovetails with Walker's discussion yesterday of ending much US EPA oversight if he were President.

Later this afternoon, the Journal Sentinel posted this story:

Some hot-button topics would be placed in a separate unit known as “business support and external services.” Those includes zoning near shorelines, dam safety, wetlands protection and runoff pollution, including runoff from farms. | 4:38 p.m.

Waukesha water users will endure whopping rate hikes for diversion

25% for each of the next three years - - with more to come - - says the water utility, betting that the other Great Lakes states will buy into the diversion arguments communicated by Walker's even more hardened "chamber-of-commerce mentality" DNR and approve Waukesha's diversion plan, triggering more than $200 million in spending.

Is this what Waukesha bargained for, and is what the Great Lakes regional governments had in mind when they negotiated the historic Great Lakes Compact, a water management and conservation agreement?

Ex-DA, a Republican, defends GAB against Walker/GOP attack

How shallow and transparently-powergrabby is the Walker/Boss Vos tag-team stranglehold on the non-partisan Wisconsin Government Accountability Board?

Gerald Nichol, a former judge and Republican District Attorney appointed to the embattled GAB which he chairs by Walker himself, is publicly backing the board and its civil service Executive Director Kevin Kennedy against the GOP's coordinated and spiteful assault.

GOP '16 leaders a matched, 'mostly false' pair

One benefit to the Bucks deal...

Talk radio and the rest of the right-wing whine machine can never again throw out that canard that government in Wisconsin doesn't do enough for business. Take a look at Bruce Murphy's jaw-dropping list of breaks and benefits thrown the owners' way as legislators fall prey to corporate control and Bigprojectitis.

Supporting the deal isn't a question of whether you like basketball - - I do - - or believe the Bucks are a community asset - - they are.

The question is how does a deal like this fit into any reasonable definition of fairness or onto a social as well as financial balance sheet - - which it does not.

Imagine if every business wanting to remain, expand or locate in Wisconsin asked for something similar?

Hillary Clinton opposite to Walker on energy, climate

Good to see Hillary Clinton addressing issues like climate change and renewable energy, since Walker and the field of GOP hopefuls use climate, the environment and clean energy as political footballs launched to please fossil-fuel interests.

Why else would the Koch brothers summon Walker to California, again?

Iowa media - - continually missing the Walker big picture in favor of Harley riding and Kohl's cheap clothes photo ops - - should be pointing out that while their state is a wind energy leader and renewable power job-creator - - 
Wind turbines, Western Iowa, as far as the eye can see, both directions.
- - Walker has blocked wind farms in Wisconsin and has used his Public Service Cpmmission and sway with the GOP-dominated Legislature to block renewable energy applications add new fees on renewable power users.
The candidates' differences can be reduced to a simple image

Monday, July 27, 2015

About that $1 Walker tax cut

Take my dollar, fill a pothole, feed a hungry child another school lunch - -  but don't tout it as anything carrying more than laughable symbolic value. Pandering has fallen to a new, laughable low.

Having decimated the WI DNR, Walker turns to the US EPA

Walker, assuming the environment stops at a state's borders, wants all 50 states to regulate their clean air and water.

Sorry, bub, it's one nation indivisible, as they say.

A ridiculous position, pragmatically, but Walker wants states to more easily de-regulate their environmental resource protections, as he has done by stripping the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources of science staff, institutional memory, public mission, inspection activities and enforcement actions.

The expected conclusions when putting a "chamber-of-commerce mentality" atop the agency.

This approach is straight out of the ALEC/Koch brothers' resource exploitation-by-the-highest-bidder playbook - - note Walker signed the brothers' no-climate-action pledge.

Here are the facts about Walker's water record. And he's already suing the EPA to roll back clean air rules.

File his anti-EPA-as-President role in your Walker-Danger file.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Wi failure to fix roads getting more publicity

Data is rolling in to support what critics, including this blog, have been saying for a long time: Wisconsin's fixation with adding more roads and lanes, regardless of proven need, has led to misspending on what we don't need inattention to the roads we already have.

Even Donald Trump has noticed that our roads are "a disaster."

As 1000 Friends of Wisconsin has been telling us for years.

Here's new data.

Here's a national report from

More recent information.

A 2013 report.


A 2009 story.

And a reference to Scott Walker's key role in 2003 boosting the maximum number of miles of new lanes and wider ramps added to the so-called SE Wisconsin Free[sic]way system, larding on hundreds of millions of fresh public dollars and debt to a bloated, multi-billion road-builders' over-building dream only about half-finished yet.

Remember, the system as 'improved by WisDOT - - with virtually no new commitment to transit - - will get new lanes proposed by unelected, suburban-leaning planners without a single City of Milwaukee representative on its ruling body - - all the way south through Walworth County, north across Ozaukee County to the Sheboygan County line, and west across all of Waukesha County to the Jefferson County line, too - - while I-94 N/S isn't done yet to Illinois and the nearly $2 billion Zoo Interchange mucking up the Waukesha County/Milwaukee County line is years from completion.

And only God knows how much the expansion through or over I-94 in Milwaukee past Miller Park and Story Hill is going to cost - - despite opposition from the Milwaukee city government.

So get used to the potholes and lack of state aids to municipalities already starved of cash by state-imposed spending limits; there's no money to fill and fix what polling your tires and bating your shocks and tie-rods - - in part because the road-builders make more money laying down new concrete and building new bridges and overpasses and adding ramps than there is installing lower-profit asphalt patches.

Short-timer/one-termer Ron Johnson keeps having a bad summer

It make a perverse kind of sense that a so-called independent group would post a false ad on behalf of Ron Johnson - - the know-nothing who thinks climate change is caused by sunspots, student debt isn't a problem because the parents can always be hit up for cash, abused kids should just deal with it and inner city kids are idiots.

To which his answer to all issues will be 'Hillary...Bengazi!!'

Law and order GOP Governor botches state corrections budget

This must have been a drafting error: no self-respecting Republican with presidential aspirations would cause a shortage of corrections officers, would he?

Trump gets his money's worth attacking Walker in Iowa

Trump tells Iowans about the real Walker - - bad budget, bad roads, bad flip-flops - - since until this point, Walker has been free to spin his record there without regard to the facts.

Maybe Trump feels entitled, since he gave Walker $10,000 last year, yet told his Iowa crowd today he'd been insulted by a Walker's fundraiser.

I know Trump won't ask for the return of the donation, but a blogger can dream.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Mother Jones catching on; Walker too mean

Mother Jones finds that Walker is too mean. Even for Texas.

A corollary to the Walker/danger meme, of late.

Maybe wearing cheap clothes from Kohl's and grifting off the Harley-Davidson brand only goes so far - - say, from Dubuque, Wisconsin to Dubuque, Iowa.

Or maybe people expect that from a Donald Trump, but not the preacher's son.

Glad to see that more media are catching on to the real Walker. This blog has been saying that Walker is not "midwestern nice," as he claims.

Here is a recent blog item with a list of reports about Walker.

And about Walker's record:

Start here.

Finish, here.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Game-playing GOP tying pothole repair to Obamacare repeal

Well done, Senate Republicans. Your plan to turn more attention to the anti-establishment GOP candidate Donald Trump and his 'I-hate-Washington' constituency by holding crumbling transportation infrastructure hostage nationwide to a fruitless ideological attack on Obamacare just took a giant leap forward.

Look who and what's trending #1 at

I thought this Dana Milbank column was an important piece, and have been noting that media are catching on to the real Walker story - - so here's a bit of proof about that in the current readership rankings at The Washington Post online

  • 1
    Why Scott Walker is so dangerous

    Want more - - start here.

    Finish, here.
  • Tom Tiffany, Little Rock and Freedom

    A friend spotted the ironies in GOP State Sen. Tom Tiffany's July 24th e-newsletter:
    Christening of the USS Little Rock
    On Saturday, July 18, I was invited to the christening of the USS Little Rock (LCS-9) in Marinette. The Little Rock is a Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ship and is the ninth Littoral Combat Ship made for the U.S. Navy.

    Weakened US gun laws enable another mass shooter

    We learn again that the laws we have in their weakened state - - thanks to the NRA, and politicians like this one who owes much to the group  - - cannot and do not keep guns out of the wrong hands, but keep the rest of us in the crossfire.

    Ron Johnson has disrespected children before

    If you were aghast that GOP United States Senator Ron Johnson would stereotype "idiot inner-city kids," remember that he had earlier shown disregard for children when he opposed a state bill designed to help young victims sue their abusers.

    The bill failed.

    Here's a link to the video of his testimony.

    By the way, Johnson lost that beard he was sporting when testifying sometime before his run against then-Senator Russ Feingold.

    And yes, he got elected statewide in 2010 because the Tea Party was ascendant, proving extremism and ignorance are not barriers to winning an election in Wisconsin these days.

    Consider his belief in sunspot-caused climate change.

    Walker feted at ALEC - - minus dozens of former members

    Yes, Walker spoke at the national ALEC gathering in San Diego with legislative lapdog State Sen. Leah Vukmir at his side, but let's add to the record that, a) Koch interests have been instrumental in founding and funding the right-wing bill-writing mill, and b)  more than 100 US businesses have left ALEC because of public pressure against its extremist and divisive advocacy.

    Here's one story from 2012 with a couple of typical examples of ALEC quitters:
    Coca-Cola Co. and Kraft Foods Inc. bowed to consumer pressure this week and cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative lobbying group that has recently backed controversial voter ID and so-called “stand your ground” laws
    ALEC is a key cog in the right-wing policy machine; it's hardly news that Walker appeared there, nor is the group mainstream.

    WI flavor at The Washington Post online today

    I noted it Thursday, but it's worth another view today:

    Why Scott Walker is so dangerous

    Why Scott Walker is so dangerous
    His technique of scapegoating unions for the nation’s ills is demagogic.

        Put down those water bottles, Chicago

        Your city is now disinfecting the drinking water.

        Dick Durbin says the city is joining the civilized world. Let's not get too carried away, Senator.

        Now get busy keeping predatory carp out of Lake Michigan.

        Ron Johnson explains the Donald Trump phenomenon

        After watching a flyweight like Ron Johnson, Donald Trump probably thinks,  'this man got elected to the US Senate? Votes on judges. Treaties. Runs a Homeland Security committee? If they let him do that, I can be President.'

        Thursday, July 23, 2015

        Walker danger meme

        On this blog:
        Trump is a dope; Walker, a danger
        At The Washington Post - - bigger view:
        Why Scott Walker is so dangerous
        Call it scratching the surface. More, here
        As he runs, Walker must outrun his record; a primer

        GOP Senator Ron Johnson calls inner-city kids 'idiots'

        A United States Senate seat further devalued.

        Of course, a reactionary talk show host is involved.

        Looks like WI DNR got this appointment right

        With the City of Waukesha's long-stalled and controversial application for a diversion of Great Lakes water about to move into local hearings, then to further DNR review, and most likely in several months to additional scrutiny by Canadian officials and the other seven Great Lakes governors, it makes sense for the agency to promote the in-house official responsible for the application's technical reviews to date.

        This email circulated at the DNR today from Mike Bruhn, Assistant DNR deputy secretary:
        Good afternoon DNR Staff,

        We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Eric Ebersberger as Deputy Administrator of DNR’s Water Division. Eric has proven himself an excellent leader with the right combination of personal dedication and technical knowledge we need to advance the work of the entire department.

        Eric has impressive knowledge of water issues and a strong appreciation for the important relationships we have with the many organizations and institutions that have a stake in our region’s water resources.  A prime example is his work on the Waukesha water diversion application, where he has helped us skillfully navigate an issue that is both complex and of intense public interest. 

        Eric Joined DNR as a water resources LTE in 1994, worked as an M&B budget and policy analyst, as a DNR attorney and most recently served as chief of the Division’s Water Use Section, which is responsible for implementing regulatory programs related to the Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.  He holds a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul and a Master of Science degree in water resources management from UW-Madison.

        In addition to his work at DNR, Eric spent several years as a fiscal analyst with the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and we expect this background in budgeting and policy work will be particularly helpful as we focus on maximizing the value we bring to our customers.  In his spare time, Eric enjoys hiking, biking and paddling.

        We are grateful for all he has done to date and look forward to his continued contributions in this new role!  

        Walker dives for deeper cover on Open Records

        The once and future dictator continues his war on the people, whittling away the democracy he inherited but aims to further bend to his personal and partisan career needs.

        As with the WEDC, he's operating as if he is entitled to evade the law.

        Will the State Supreme Court bail him out again?

        Is there really a Wisconsin anymore with independent checks and balances?

        It's our government, not his, and those records he is withholding were created in public offices by public employees we paid to do that work.

        Walker's WI DNR broadening 'just-take-what-you-need' approach

        [Updated] We saw it in the first few days of the Walker administration when he suspended a DNR wetlands filling permit application review on a parcel near Lambeau Field owned by a donor developer.

        Hey, there's the land, someone wants to fill it, and screw the DNR's role to guarantee the public's access to and appreciation of all the state's waters, which the State Supreme Court has declared are inter-connected and finite.

        Read this DNR web page about the state's waters, water law and State Supreme Court's ruling- - and copy it before the Walkerites scrub it.

        Anyway - - the permit review suspension, also carried out with a special state law just to serve that one donor - - was the coming out party for the "chamber-of-commerce mentality" Walker said he installed atop the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

        It has continued throughout his years in office - - eased shoreline and further wetlands encroachment, boosted DNR land sales, industrial cattle operations and aerial manure spraying green-lighted, environmental inspections and enforcement lessoned and lightened, frac mining rubber-stamped, DNR science staff penciled out in the budget.

        Catalogued, here.

        So little surprise that the DNR is now looking to expand permanently a list of activities which will no longer need agency reviews.

        The DNR says these will be so-called 'minor' activities.

        I remember when Walker said Act 10 was just a "modest " proposal.

        Walker at ALEC in San Diego updating progress on its agenda

        [Updated] Your Wisconsin Governor is reporting for duty at the big ALEC jubilee in San Diego, so yes, he's finally figured out where Cali is.

        Leah Vukmir is also gone from Wisconsin to the meeting where's she's a wheel to help get Walker his new presidential bucket list.

        Note: correct location is San Diego, not LA.

        Loose cannon Walker talking troops vs. ISIS, 'thunderstorm' of airstrikes

        Your Wisconsin Governor with military-grade Eagle Scout training under his belt and on his fourth trip to Tennessee this year - - who knew? - - is trying to drown out Donald Trump by getting more bellicose about things he knows nothing about and should never be allowed to control - - like troop deployments against ISIS and even more bombing.

        Not to mention hitting Iran before he learns the floor plan at the White House.

        No doubt all smiles at Camp Rubio

        What US Senator and presidential candidate wouldn't be thrilled with this bouquet?
        Scott Walker again toys with Marco Rubio for veep pick

        Boss Vos sniped at WI Open Records, now targets GAB

        That would be GOP Assembly Leader Robin Vos, the record shows.

        He seems to hate open government; also in his sights - -  the independent Government Accountability Board, the state's ethics, lobbying and elections monitor.

        From now on, he's Boss Vos, controlling turf in the State Capitol and serving Walker who absents himself from his wing, thus further empowering Boss Vos to rum over the State Constitution and the public's right to know.

        Outrage from media and citizens against the Vos-led GAB power-grab should be as intense as was the successful battle to save the Open Records law from the Vos/Walker/Fitzgerald sneak attack.

        The issue is the same: guaranteeing to the people access to public information and spending by a fully-transparent government.

        Because it belongs to us, not to Boss Vos, whose push for closing access to public records would have barred the release of the very sort of bill-drafting instruction Vos used to slip the Open Records attack into the state budget as a last-minute amendment in committee.

        Wednesday, July 22, 2015

        Trump is the GOP and Fox News' Karmic reward

        How sweet it is.

        Fox and the Republican Party have collaborated for years, shouting down while providing right-wingers with a national TV platform from which to loudly broadcast their self-serving, corporate money-worshipping message.

        Now one of that corporate elite - - real estate mogul, political TV pop star and self-serving promoter extraordinare Donald Trump - - will turn the tables and hijack the first GOP debate of the presidential season - - on Fox.

        Republican candidates like their billionaires - - but as check-writers, not rivals who upend the deal and use their money against career-politician check-recipients like Scott Walker (who took $10,000 from Trump), Rick Perry, and the like.

        Sounds fair and balanced to me.

        Precedent for that Milwaukee lion seen hanging around

        Maybe there's a lion on the loose in Milwaukee.
        Lion waiting in Namibia.jpg
        Could be.

        Back in the day there was a lion living behind closed doors on the top floor of the downtown library, and, I'm told, not in a cage. piece roasts Walker, WI road-building

        Wow. Just wow. It's today's must-read.
        The anti-sprawl group Smart Growth American found that from 2009 to 2011, Wisconsin spent only 39 percent of its highway dollars on maintenance, versus 61 percent on new highway capacity that added to its maintenance backlog. 
        As the state has shifted resources into freeway megaprojects, 71 percent of its roads are in mediocre or poor condition, according to federal data. Fourteen percent of its bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, which is actually better than the national average. 
        Walker and his fellow Republicans have killed plans for light rail, commuter rail, high-speed rail, and dedicated bus lanes on major highways, so there is almost no public transportation connecting Milwaukee to its suburbs, intensifying divisions in one of the nation’s most racially, economically and politically segregated metropolitan areas. 
        Yet Walker, who is running for president as a staunch fiscal conservative, has pushed a $250 million-per-mile plan to widen Interstate 94 between the Marquette and the Zoo despite fierce local opposition.
        Yes, there's the 'uniter' at work, and exposed. 

        Walker no 'uniter,' nor 'Midwestern nice'

        Wisconsin knows the absurdity - - and the sly, propagandistic intent - - of that 'uniter' claim.

        Imagine if Donald Trump said the same thing.

        Or Chris Christie.

        National media and perhaps even other GOP candidates would pull out the videos and the box quotes to ridicule, lambaste and otherwise attack its intellectual and historical dishonesty.

        But Walker-the-low-key-preacher's son, the King of Political Passive Aggressive, has consistently been allowed to hide behind one artifice, "Midwestern nice"- - details and contradictions here, and despite a record to the contrary.

        And now wants to play another political Super Hero, The Uniter.

        Walker is every bit as divisive, negative and power-hungry as Donald Trump or Chris Christie, but he's more more likely to sneak up and shape-shift on you because he doesn't make as much noise.

        Jimmy Fallon the other night said we all know Walker - - your buddy who tattles to the teacher.

        Props to The Washington Post's conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin for catching Walker trying to wear The Boy Scout mask.

        If only more media would pick up the ball and run with it.

        Here's the guide.

        Selling the new-and-improved Walker

        His campaign says he's running as a "uniter."

        Clearly, the campaign wants you to forget Walker's "divide-and-conquer" video, his three slash-and-burn budgets, a war against women, cities, open government, the poor and the environment, plus various drafting errors and dropped bombs - - basically his entire record.

        From the Journal Sentinel - - a paper which repeatedly endorsed Walker - - a fresh editorial, headline and accurate image-assignment which the Walker campaign knows it has to overcome:
        The ever divisive Scott Walker
        Richard Nixon's ad and media team had to create 'the new Nixon' to sell to the American people a long time ago.

        So Walker - - the new, new Nixon - - is already testing a new Walker ID.

        Beware of new-and-improved candidates in fresh wrappers.

        Tuesday, July 21, 2015

        Wisconsin government loses a genuine public servant/citizen

        Godspeed, Tia Nelson, cheers for her work well done and boo to the shameful GOP know-nothing hackmeisters who put her through hell.

        Walker will replace her with someone from the timber or real estate or insecticide products industries.

        To know, know, know him is to not, not, not love him

        This post Sunday set off record activity on this blog:
        Walker adds to his 'I don't know' list
        Also for your files: This American Bridge piece with plenty of documentation:
        You know nothing, Scott Walker 
        Mother Jones had its own, 12-point list:
        Scott Walker is running for President. Here's what you need to know about him.
        And note that the Washington Post's Richard Cohen went to Iowa, watched Walker perform, and on Sunday wondered what Walker doesn't know, and why:
        Is Scott Walker ignorant by choice?
        Bottom line: the more you know, and the more you know what others know, the better off we know we are.

        With apologies to the Shirelles, to know him is to not love him.

        From Iowa, best headline of the month

        Courtesy The Washington Post, and columnist Richard Cohen:
        Is Scott Walker ignorant by choice?

        Walker, WEDC boxed in by really, really bad loan

        How bad, given that Walker was the creator and chairman of the scandal-ridden WEDC when it was caught making loans and grants to businesses without rhyme, reason (except politics) and routine paperwork? 

        The Journal Sentinel puts it this way: 
        The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported two weeks ago on the problems with Green Box and the fact that the state's jobs agency lent money to it without adequate financial checks and then continued to work with it on federal incentives even after it became clear that the company hadn't been up front with the state. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. ended up suing Green Box in May to recover its soured loan and grant.
        On Monday, Green Box's attorney revealed in Brown County Circuit Court that the clean energy company won't be able to provide many documents being sought by the company's court-appointed receiver, the Green Bay Press Gazette reported. John Petitjean told the court that county sheriff's deputies executed a search warrant at the company's offices in the past month and removed five truckloads of documents and computer equipment.

        Residency rule heads to WMC/WI Supreme Court

        [Updated] Anything that could remotely undermine Walker, like undoing his party's special-interest attack on cities, and Milwaukee, has little chance of getting past the corporately-reinforced impenetrable right-wing bloc of Gableman, Roggensack, Prosser and Gableman.

        Every time those four corrode democracy in Wisconsin by wielding their Official Walker Rubber Stamp of Approval --  whether validating Act 10 and voter ID or killing the John Doe probe - - the public gets another reason to work harder to end one-party rule in the state and restore the crumbling credibility of the once-proud Wisconsin Supreme Court.

        But props to the City of Milwaukee for making a strong, democratic case for the basics lost in these dark years of Walker-era GOP central planning - - home rule, tax revenues and local control - - especially as it applies to Milwaukee, the state's largest city.

        Here is a link to today's successful Appeals Court ruling, and what will no doubt soon land in the right-wing Supreme Court.

        The attack on Milwaukee residency's rule was the brainchild of anti-city, Republican suburbanite right-wing talk show favorites, like State Senators Alberta Darling of River Hills and Wauwatosa's Lea Vukmir - - reliable water carriers for the Milwaukee Police Association and their members who, for years, wanted to be able to move out of the city which paid them to protect its residents and property..

        The suburbanites' legislative districts and home values directly benefited by the mandated-from-Madison end of the residency rule - - robbing the city of the option to negotiate it - - as Milwaukee public employees moved to the suburbs with solid middle-class salaries and job stability provided by Milwaukee taxpayers.

        And, of course, there is Walker, who loves to stick it to the city that made his life miserable as he used the office of Milwaukee County Executive to launch his bid for higher offices.