Wednesday, October 26, 2016

National media reports show Wisconsin GOP-led voting suppression

[Updated from 5:30 p.m., 10/25] Our intentionally-corrupted state with Scott Walker at the helm is leading the news today. 

From The New York Times:

MADISON, Wis. — It seemed a clear victory for voting rights advocates in July when a federal court invalidated much of Wisconsin’s restrictive elections law, concluding that it discriminated against minorities by requiring voters to produce photo ID cards that blacks and Latinos too often lack. The remedy was straightforward: Henceforth, the state was to “promptly issue a credential valid as a voting ID to any person” who applied for one. 
But this month when Treasure Collins visited one of the Wisconsin motor vehicle offices that issue IDs, she found something entirely different.
And today, separately from a story spreading across the Internet originating in The Nation:
A City Clerk Opposed an Early-Voting Site at UW–Green Bay Because ‘Students Lean More Toward the Democrats’
Walker policies and allies are throughout these stories.


Updated with past articles

*  Behind closed doors, Republicans were giddy over voter ID's partisan opportunities.

*  In a separate interview, Glenn Grothman, a former Wisconsin GOP state senator promoted to the US Congress said the voter ID law would help a Republican presidential candidate win Wisconsin this November.

And Wisconsin Republicans and their allies have acknowledged using suppressionist laws and tactics for partisan benefit:
Deep in a trove of leaked documents made public this week was the latest example of Republican candor over voter ID laws — this time in Wisconsin.
There, as a tight race for election to the state’s Supreme Court came to a close in April 2011, conservative leaders wondered aloud how to respond should Justice David Prosser Jr. — a reliable opponent of legal challenges to the agenda of Gov. Scott Walker, a Republican — go down in defeat.
A senior vice president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce, Steve Baas, had a thought. “Do we need to start messaging ‘widespread reports of election fraud’ so we are positively set up for the recount regardless of the final number?” he wrote in an email on April 6 to conservative strategists. “I obviously think we should.”

New WI DNR land sales have timber, streams, trails, hunting perks

[Updated] It was just yesterday that I again posted information about purportedly-surplus public lands sales in Wisconsin authorized by the GOP-led State Legislature - - a policy still drawing substantial opposition - - and today from the Wisconsin DNR run since January, 2011 with a 'chamber of commerce mentality' management team installed by Scott Walker and implemented enthusiastically by agency secretary and former developer Cathy Stepp - - 
Wisconsin 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
- - comes another email notice about a new round of listings, so feel free to check them out. I noticed that several include trout stream frontage, snowmobile trail crossings, timber cutting and hunting opportunities.
Fifteen of these approved properties are now being offered for sale and have been posted for bid as Auction #16825 on [EXIT DNR].  The bidding process for these parcels will close Monday, Nov. 28, 2016 starting at 10 a.m. 
Parcels available for purchase are located in Adams, Bayfield, Florence, Green Lake, Iron, Langlade, Price, Walworth, Waushara and Vilas counties, and range from 4.3 to 122.6 acres.  All properties are accessible by a state, county/town road or easement.  
For more information regarding the department’s land sale program under Act 20, visit and search keywords "land sales."
Here are two examples:

181c.jpg70 +/- Acre Wooded Parcel w/Snowmobile Trail Easement(s) near St. Germain WI

- Address: 
Juve Rd, St Germain, WI 54558 
- Property Details: The Northern Hardwood stand on the parcel provides habitat for forest interior bird and animal species and management has been done to improve the timber quality on the parcel. There are three snowmobile trails approximately 3,225 feet long intersecting the property, which are maintained by the St. Germain Snowmobile Club. This parcel is accessible from Juve and Pedycort road, with three vehicle pull off locations along snowmobile trails which the public uses to access the property.

192c.jpg82.2 Acre Wooded Parcel w/Stream Bank Easement near White Lake, WI
- Address: Near Miller Lane, White Lake, WI 54491 
- Property Details: This parcel is accessible through an access easement to Miller Lane. An easement conveyance requirement that extends 66 feet from each stream bank which will allow public access and spans the entire length of the stream on this property will be part of the QCD required by DNR at closing. The property is forested lowland and has approximately 5,000 feet of two-bank frontage on Dalton Creek, a class one trout stream.

Walker's Trump endorsement, Day 98

While others have withdrawn their Donald Trump presidential endorsements based on his words and deeds, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has not

Walker made his endorsement on July 20 - - "absolutely," he said," ninety-eight days ago. And counting.
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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

More questions raised about WI DNR's sale of public lands

[Updated] Remember when the Wisconsin Legislature told the Department of Natural Resources to designate 10,000 acres of public land to sell off - - ostensibly to raise some revenue - - and former developer & current agency Secretary Cathy Stepp's 'chamber of commerce mentality' DNR eagerly swung into action?
Wisconsin 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
Back then, reports indicated sales could pick off small, disconnected and otherwise underutilized parcels:
Most of the land in the first sale is isolated and not located in property boundaries where there is high public use...Other parcels are landlocked, with no current public access.
It turned out that some of the acreage was primo waterfront property and at least one big Walker campaign donor almost got a sweetheart deal before whistles were blown.

Little wonder that the DNR is easing regulation on or soft-pedaling reviews of donor-run industrial-scale feedlots and a controversial high-end golf course along Lake Michigan which could be allowed if the DNR says OK to take a piece of an adjoining state park.

Anyway, the sales are continuing and people's attention has shifted to other things, but someone with knowledge of central Wisconsin land use and values raised an interesting question by focusing on another prime DNR parcel listed for sale in Waupaca County, where land with good hunting is in short supply and can sell for $6,000 an acre, and even $6,800, for the best hunting acreage.

The source's question: why should high-income residents get to buy such nice acreage which now belongs to the people?

Here's a link to the current sales information and the specific parcel, FL1312, describing a nearly 39-acre site with trapping and hunting opportunities, four parking stalls, additional improvements and even a trout stream running through it.

At $6,000 an acre, the possible selling price is close to a quarter-million dollars - - and who knows, perhaps more - - if my source's knowledge of property values there is accurate.

And while I have no reason to doubt the acreage value, and if it were off by say, 10% or even 25% - - the parcel's sales price is going be beyond the reach of most Wisconsin residents whose per capita annual income is about $27,900, and about $28,600 in Waupaca County, census data show.

Sound fair to you?


My source further explains how removing hunting land from DNR/public access makes other problems worse:
The growth of the deer herd in that county is out of control. The lack of public hunting land is part of the problem. 
Private owners control so much land in Waupaca County that the DNR will never get the herd reduced as owners love high deer densities. 
So they just shoot big bucks and refuse to shoot does.  
Waupaca's deer herds of 80+ deer per square mile result in more car crashes and the risk of CWD spreading.  
The DNR's policy of reducing public hunting opportunities will just make the problem worse.
Sound smart to you?

In WI Senate race, deep differences on environment, climate change

I'd noted yesterday the climate change denial history of incumbent Wisconsin US GOP Senator Ron Johnson, and a friend suggested I post something laying out the contrast between his positions and beliefs and those of challenger Russ Feingold, the Democratic candidate and former Senator trying to reclaim the Wisconsin seat.

Good suggestion, so let me put up a link to Feingold's voting record and related items, and then a link here to this comprehensive piece from Huffington Post, with this excerpt:

Johnson is a true denier. He has a 100-percent record of voting against clean air in the database, earning him the “dirty-air villain” title, and a mere 7-percent lifetime score on the League of Conservation Voters’ scorecard. Johnson has consistently voted against action on climate change, against clean energy and in favor of the Big Polluter agenda.
Johnson does not accept the science of climate change. His Senate website states, “Man-made global warming remains unsettled science,” despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that recent warming is very likely due to human activities. Johnson is so far outside the mainstream that he’s even claimed sunspots are the cause of global warming.
Feingold an Environmental Champion
By comparison, Feingold earned a 95-percent LCV score for his 18 years in the Senate. Feingold consistently voted in favor of environmental protection, was a leader of the opposition to Arctic drilling and voted against the Bush-Cheney energy bill.
As a Great Lakes senator, Feingold showed particular leadership of water issues. Year after year, Feingold sponsored the Clean Water Restoration Act, to preserve Clean Water Act protections for millions of miles and acres of streams and wetlands. It’s the same issue that President Obama addressed with a new clean-water rule just this week, a rule that theSenate will likely try to kill soon. So far, Johnson hasn’t added his name as a cosponsor, but he’s expressed concerns about the rule, and this may soon provide a stark policy contrast between the two Wisconsin politicians.
Feingold on Climate Change
When it comes to climate change, there’s a stark contrast as well. Feingold accepts the science and has consistently voted and spoken out for action.
Feingold has said, “Climate change is real and we need to address it.” In 2003 Feingold sponsored so-called “4P” legislation, which would have used the Clean Air Act to reduce four pollutants at coal-fired power plants, including carbon. When the Senate was working on a comprehensive climate plan in 2009, Feingold was part of a group working constructively to ensure that states like Wisconsin — which are heavily dependent on energy-intensive manufacturing and coal-fired electric power — would reap the benefits of climate action. Feingold opposed efforts like those from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) that would have undone the EPA’s endangerment finding and stopped efforts to address carbon pollution, explaining that “the Murkowski resolution would have stalled our march toward energy independence through more efficient vehicles, alternative fuels and renewable energy, all of which can spur new American jobs.”
With Wisconsin predicted to suffer a wide range of climate impacts on its agriculture and forestry industries, on its coastal and urban communities, and on the health of its residents, the state needs a leader who will work to act on climate.

Rigging ballot access in Green Bay, WI discovered

Ballot access cheating was proposed by officials who were out to depress certain votes in Green Bay, Wisconsin, The Nation reports - - and while the story echoes GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump's wild accusations about voting fraud, the plan was to use the election-staging power of the city clerk's office to cut down UW-Green Bay student balloting because a GOP state legislator had asked, and the clerk believed the kids were voting Democratic.

Documents cited by The Nation show the clerk asking state election officials if she could refuse to open an early balloting site on campus:
 “UWGB is a polling location for students and residents on Election Day but I feel by asking for this to be the site for early voting is encouraging the students to vote more than benefiting the city as a whole,” she wrote on August 26 in an e-mail to David Buerger, counsel at the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. “I have heard it said that students lean more toward the democrats…. 
You see- - there's made-up voting fraud, and there's real election fraud that begins with GOP Gov. Scott Walker's pushing unneeded voter ID, then GOP legislators drafting redistricting maps in secret, then passing GOP-inspired limitations on balloting hours so restrictive that a federal judge had to remove them, then creating the blatantly partisan Green Bay ballot box blockade plan to keep certain people from unfettered voting - - and in Wisconsin, the ruling Republican Party has mastered using state power all of these mechanisms of election obstruction.

Or rigging, as Donald Trump might call it.

It's more than a little ironic that the local clerk involved in the Green Bay ballot access mess was appointed by the city's GOP Mayor who, separate from the student balloting scandal, has recently pleaded guilty to a series of campaign finance law violations.

Walker's Trump endorsement, Day 97

While others have withdrawn their Donald Trump presidential endorsements based on his words and deeds, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has not

Walker made his endorsement on July 20 - - "absolutely," he said," ninety-six days ago. And counting.
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Monday, October 24, 2016

End Ron Johnson's climate change denial, 2010-'16

In the beginning, in 2010, there was ignorance:
A global warming skeptic, Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as many scientists believe. 
"I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change," Johnson said. "It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."
In 2013, there was voter education:
The League of Conservation Voters is investing real money — $2 million — in a TV ad campaign targeting a handful of Republican lawmakers for their climate denialism. Here is a first look at the ad targeting Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin over his outsized comments about climate change.
Ron Johnson, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg 
Now, with Johnson having made no progress, it's time to hold him accountable:
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is downplaying concerns about climate change, saying "civilization thrives" in warmer weather and people will adapt.
After all, how many reasons do you need? 
Wisconsin GOP US Senator Ron Johnson took another shot at Democratic opponent Russ Feingold for having obtained a Harvard Law School education. 
He's done it before, describing Feingold as a "little maverick" who went to Harvard, and, gasp!, Oxford, which is you go if you win a super-prestigious Rhodes scholarship. 
Before I get to the Harvard matter, wait, what? "...little maverick guy..." 
How much contempt can one insecure office-holder bring to one interview wrapped in basic anti-intellectual GOP outsider labeling... 
This attack on Feingold and college education is clearly GOP focus group, campaign consultant-tested-and-scripted, with the worst of divisive motivations, because Wisconsin has a very large percentage of voters without college degrees, and Johnson is demagoguing right at them. 
With Scott Walker right behind him, keeping to his Trump endorsement - - and given cover by the state's largest newspaper which refuses to make him adhere to any measure of accountability - -  leaving Walker free to work hard to keep Johnson in the Senate where he could block Hillary Clinton's agenda.

Surrounded by Harvard grads, Ron Johnson disdains Harvard

[Updated] Wisconsin GOP US Senator Ron Johnson took another shot at Democratic opponent Russ Feingold for having obtained a Harvard Law School education.

He's done it before, describing Feingold as:

...a Washington elitist, someone who went to Harvard and Oxford, who has bamboozled folks here in Wisconsin that he's this independent, little maverick guy that has their best interests at heart."
Before I get to the Harvard matter, wait, what? "...little maverick guy..."

How much contempt can one insecure office-holder bring to one interview wrapped in basic anti-intellectual GOP outsider labeling?

With that Harvard, ick, thrown in?

Update - - This attack on Feingold and college education is clearly GOP focus group, campaign consultant-tested-and-scripted, with the worst of divisive motivations, because Wisconsin has a very large percentage of voters without college degrees, and Johnson is demagoguing right at them.

With Scott Walker right behind him, keeping to his Trump endorsement - - and given cover by the state's largest newspaper which refuses to make him adhere to any measure of accountability - -  leaving Walker free to work hard to keep Johnson in the Senate where he could block Hillary Clinton's agenda.
Ron Johnson, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
But back to Johnson, and his Feingold dog-whistle:

You know, Harvard - - that school where multiple US Supreme Court Justices and US Presidents got degrees - - including Republican President George Bush, current Chief Justice John Roberts, and the late Justice and GOP hero Antonin Scalia.

I guess the one thing you don't want on the resumes of the people we send to the Senate to pass laws and vote to approve judges is knowledge of the law.

And remember Johnson's praise of Scalia when the Justice passed away last year? 
“This is a profound loss for America. Justice Scalia’s wisdom and his understanding of our Constitution made him an irreplaceable voice for liberty on the Supreme Court. In choosing another justice for the court, we must look for his kind of unwavering devotion to freedom and the rule of law that is the foundation of our nation.” 
You wonder if Scalia got any of that "devotion to freedom and the rule of law" which Johnson was praising where the Justice went to law school?

Not to mention that seven of Johnson's GOP Senate colleagues and presumed elitists received degrees there, too, a Harvard publication says:
*Tom Cotton ’99, J.D. ’02 (Ark.); Michael D. Crapo, J.D. ’77 (Id.); Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, J.D. ’95 (Tex.); *Ben Sasse ’94 (Neb.); *Daniel S. Sullivan ’87 (Alas.); Pat Toomey ’84 (Pa.); David Vitter ’83 (La.)
I mean, look at that list. The far-right heavyweight and almost GOP Presidential nominee Ted Cruz is on it. And the up-and-coming firebrand Tom Cotton! If you apply Johnson's credentials 'analysis,' that group is disqualified. 

But wait, there's more.

Johnson's committee assignments, include Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Budget, Foreign Relations, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and Commerce, Science and Transportation, and everyone who knows DC knows how important are the Capitol committee staffers.

I wonder if key staffers with Harvard degrees upon whom Johnson relies for expertise, hiring and legal opinions - - there's that legal thing, again - -  and other decisions and resources which keep assist Johnson looking Senatorial and re-electable know of his disdain for their alma mater? I found these names in twenty minutes on Google, and no doubt there are more:

Christopher Ford, Chief Legislative Counsel to US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Harvard grad.

Dan Kowalski, Deputy staff director, Budget Committee, JFK School of Public Policy, Harvard.

Nick Rossi, Deputy Staff Director at U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, & Transportation. Harvard Law grad.

Brian Callahan, Staff director, Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Harvard law grad.

Beth Grossman, chief counsel, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Harvard law grad.

Harvard, ick!

Better yet, Ron Johnson, ick.

Walker's Trump endorsement, day 96

While others have withdrawn their Donald Trump presidential endorsements based on his words and deeds, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has not

Walker made his endorsement on July 20 - - "absolutely," he said," ninety-six days ago. And counting.
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Sunday, October 23, 2016

JS blast at Trump raises these questions

The Journal Sentinel slammed GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump for claiming a rigged election was underway and failing to agree to accept the election outcome should he lose.

But the editorial continued the newspaper's pressure on GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan to withdraw his endorsement from Trump while not making the same demand of GOP WI Governor Scott Walker whose endorsement preceded Ryan's and is now in its 95th day.

Why the double-standard?

Another question: Will the newspaper editorially urge readers not to vote for Trump, or endorse Hillary Clinton?

The paper had said a few years ago that it was getting out of the candidate endorsement business, but reserved the right to get back in if it chose.

Nearly every newspaper nationally making Presidential endorsements has recommended Clinton, including many papers which always side with Republicans.

Even the Journal Sentinel's current parent company's lead paper - - USA Today - - broke with its tradition and urged readers not to vote for Trump.

Whither the Journal Sentinel?

And since I'm raising the question, and if I were in the prediction business, which I'm not, I wouldn't be surprised if the paper went the 'no Trump' route, or offered a tepid endorsement for Clinton 'balanced' by a 'send-Johnson-back' pitch, regardless of Johnson's zero contribution these last six years and the Presidency-Senate gridlock which a Clinton presidency and Johnson Senate seat retention could assure.

Dam removal shows value of citizen-gov't partnerships

Another big step in on the agenda Monday towards restoring the natural flow of the Milwaukee River, as the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District will close in on removing the disintegrating, useless, obstructive and watershed-damaging eyesore otherwise known as the Estabrook Dam which the Milwaukee County Board had unwisely retained.

Thanks to the strong grassroots work by Milwaukee Riverkeeper - - which like Midwest Environmental Advocates which is fighting for clean water statewide or Friends of the Black River Forest for stalling the bulldozing of a water-and-dune-rich nature preserve adjacent to Kohler-Andrae State Park along Lake Michigan near Sheboygan - - for rescuing Wisconsin's environmental commitment and the land itself which have been under continuous assault since Scott Walker inflicted his donors preferred 'chamber of commerce mentality' atop and deep within the Department of Natural Resources and degraded the agency's effectiveness and mission.

Here are the MMSD's Monday meeting details, provided by Milwaukee Riverkeeper:

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) full Commission will meet Monday, October 24, 2016, at 9:00 am. The MMSD Commission will need to approve the plan to accept a temporary transfer of land from the Milwaukee County to ultimately demolish the Estabrook Dam. The plan was just recently approved by MMSD Committees on October 10, 2016.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper will be there to tell the MMSD Commission that "we support removal of the Estabrook Dam," and we hope you will be too! 

MMSD is located at 260 W. Seeboth Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204. Tell staff that you are there to attend the Commission meeting, and MMSD staff will direct you where to go.

Walker's Trump endorsement, Day 95

While others have withdrawn their Donald Trump presidential endorsements based on his words and deeds, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has not

Walker made his endorsement on July 20 - - "absolutely," he said," ninety-five days ago. And counting.
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Saturday, October 22, 2016

The politics of geography: In WI, hipsters not welcome

Interesting column in The New York Times about where liberals are congregating - - California and San Francisco, for example, not Iowa and Davenport - - and why some states with fewer new liberal immigrants are tough to turn blue.

Says the Times piece:
Go Midwest,
Young Hipster
I don't see that piece being sent around the Walker network, unless it's with the message line - - 'Move along - - not here!'

I've long felt that attacks by the 24/7 GOP partisan Scott Walker on Wisconsin cities and the UW System, along with other actions like disconnecting Madison from Amtrak services through the Midwest, discouraging transit, solar power, wind energy, unwinding the state's environmental legacy and diminishing the concept and reality of the commons, for example, are intended keep the state safely Republican by making the state unattractive to students, millenials, urbanists and newcomers of all varieties who, with their liberal backgrounds and open minds, might come here for college and, later, to take a job, raise a family, or open a business because they found Wisconsin attractive.

Wisconsin is a purple state.

I put nothing past Walker, his mentors and funders at the Wisconsin-based Bradley Foundation, and the entire GOP machine that controls all three branches of government, to do anything they thought might turn Wisconsin's electoral college votes safely Republican red.

WI annual $$ report incomplete, off-projection 20% - - ho hum

Big sections are missing from the state's annual financial report, the projected balance is off by $77 million or about 20%, and Jim Doyle gets some of the blame because he initiated the reporting system which has some bugs not yet smoothed out.

Other than that, nothing to see here, says Walker's administration department.

Because, remember: Wisconsin is run like a business now. All the i's are dotted. T's crossed. The agencies are accountable because the conservatives who run them are vessels of personal responsibility.

Walker's Trump endorsement, Day 94

While others have withdrawn their Donald Trump presidential endorsements based on his words and deeds, Wisconsin GOP Governor Scott Walker has not

Walker made his endorsement on July 20 - - "absolutely," he said," ninety-four days ago. And counting.

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Partner to spouse: Why are out-of-state pols barraging us for $$?


The debt-ridden, perpetual candidate Scott Walker sold them your email address, suckers:
Gov. Scott Walker continues to chip away at his presidential campaign debt a year after dropping out of the race, with almost half of his campaign income coming from renting out his collection of supporter emails.

Shed no tears for the GOP

Media are filled with GOP caterwauling over what Donald Trump and his band of merry alt-right enforcers have done to the Republican Party and its chances of winning the White House and hanging on to the Congress.

You know what? Talk to the hand.

Republicans have no one to blame but themselves - - especially those hyper-loyalist partisans like Scott Walker and Paul Ryan who are sticking with Trump without principle so as to position themselves to pick up the pieces should he be fully ostracized come election day.

But like careless homeowners who let the basement mold get of control and find the entire structure infested and uninhabitable, honest Republicans should take ownership of this self-inflicted disintegration and acknowledge they brought it all on themselves.

They fell hard for Ronald Reagan and his divisive and negative message that government is the problem - - then elevated it into an ideological and self- defeating Holy Grail that favors people at the top and big-money power - - but is at odds with the real world that is about to send Donald Trump and the party which said 'come on in' packing.

They enabled and embraced and patronized a squad of talk radio hosts nationally and locally who amplified Reagan's corrosive, tear-down-the-public-sector message day in and day out, twisting it into an attack on policies aimed at extending democracy and equity more fully to low-income, female and minority citizens who are voting more heavily Democratic.

Republicans and their propagandists stood in unison with GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and similarly obstructionist leaders in the House of Representatives to block from day one every initiative proposed by the nation's first African-American President, and, worse, did nothing to tamp down Donald Trump's long, racist 'birther' assault on Barack Obama's citizenship and legitimacy in office upon which Trump's political career was based.

They morphed that meme of illegitimacy into a web of voter ID and other restrictive laws at the state level to suppress minority voting and make the party and government access even whiter, less-inclusive and more self-rewarding.

They invited in and exploited the Tea Party and the Koch brothers-funded  'grasstops 'movement' - - read local boy-turned-failed RNC chairman Reince Priebus' giddy embrace of the Tea Party on behalf of Scott Walker, here - - so the party cannot honestly be surprised that the monster its leaders helped create moved en masse to a Trump candidacy that overwhelmed the GOP which nurtured it.

Or that Trump has picked up and re-spun in this campaign the GOP's phony voter fraud meme by darkly predicting balloting irregularities in major cities with large urban and traditionally Democratic minority populations - - cementing as the party did with its one-dimensional undermining of President Obama its identity as the party of racial intolerance.

No wonder David Duke finds the Trump-era GOP a welcoming organization.

The GOP loved Trump the TV star at the beginning.

Republicans couldn't get enough of him.

People tuned in to watch the ratings'-smashing GOP debates.

He brought in voters.

He bashed the government.

He said our leaders were stupid.

He ripped President Obama and the Clintons and immigrants and Muslims and nasty women who didn't like the smell of his breath.

Make America Great Again.
Trump's coded, dog-whistling version of We Want Our Country Back (for you know who!).

It was talk radio talk/GOP talking points, tough guy talk, 24/7. 

And Republicans blistered their collective hands applauding Trump The Wonder Attack Dog - - and all his tricks.

But now...the reckoning.

He's gone too far - - surprise, surprise - - for some editorial writers and Republican office holders and millions of moderate, non-ideological, open-minded voters, and it appears as if the piper is about to be paid and the GOP is wringing its sore hands - - save for one finger pointed Trump's way.
Bad Donald. Bad Dog.
Republicans should point that finger at themselves.

Or at least talk to the hand.

No suspense in WI; GOP cowards stick with Trump

GOP Presidential nominee Donald Trump has rampaged through tolerance and decency for more than a year, but even refusing to release his tax returns or agreeing to honor the results of the upcoming election which polls say he will lose is enough to convince Wisconsin's GOP elected leaders - - Walker Ryan, Johnson, Duffy, Fitzgerald, et al - - to display a little backbone as have others across the country and take back their Trump endorsements.
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These party-first, country-second leaders have tossed a few shoulder shrugs and mild words Trump's way - - but it's small talk with no urgency or principle behind them in the face of completely unacceptable behavior and contempt for the democratic process by the nominee of a major tier-two political party.

Oddly, the Journal Sentinel blasts Trump for his refusal to accept the election result, admonishes Paul Ryan for not withdrawing his Trump endorsement but doesn't apply that demand and standard to Trump's other Wisconsin enablers - - Scott Walker, Ron, Johnson, Ryan Duffy and others.

After the GOP's 2012 loss to Barack Obama, the GOP issued an "autopsy" to explain its failure and set a newer, more tolerant and inclusive course for 2016 to match the face and expectations of the nation.

No doubt that drafting is already underway with a working title inspired by the state where the GOP was founded:

Profiles in Cowardice.