Friday, October 31, 2014

More proof WI environment dirtier than when Walker took over

Remember Scott Walker's preposterous claim that the environment in Wisconsin was cleaner now than when he took over?

That lie has been exposed over and over and over again, and now, again today, with this account of more problems in Jackson, WI, where a gasoline pipeline break and subsequent repairs continue to plague local drinking water supplies:
When he started his day early Friday, there was no water pressure, and no water in the line, [Tom] Willetts said. Low pressure was restored a short time later but he wouldn't drink or use what was coming out of his pipes, he said. 
"It looked pretty nasty," Willetts said in describing the thick, brown water that flowed into his home Friday morning.

GTac mining firm helped write controversial WI iron mining law, so...

Why not a local Iron County ordinance to further enable the project?

The Woods Person Blog was on the scene and has the details.

Team Walker cuts breaks for well-connected donors, polluter - - not for Iraq vet

As they say, it's who you know...

You may remember that while in office less than a month, Walker ordered that an ongoing environmental review by the DNR be bypassed - - eventually with a special, one-beneficary fast-tracked bill - - so a prominent donor could quickly fill a twelve-acre wetland for a development near Lambeau Field.

You may also remember that when a GOP donor with a manure spreading business was caught having repeatedly violated a permit and spread excess human fecal matter on farm fields near drinking water supplies in two counties, top Walker appointees in the DNR and State Rep. Joel Kleefisch, the Lt. Governor's spouse, intervened on the polluter's behalf to knock down potentially tough enforcement actions to a few smaller fines.

But Walker refused to issue a pardon for a US Marine Corps Iraq war veteran who threw a single punch defending a friend in a bar fight, and been forgiven by the victim, and has trouble finding a family-supporting job because there is not a shred of forgiveness in our purportedly work-and-family-friendly governor.

Powerful video by the soldier now on YouTube, here

Reliable, final poll shows winnable race for Burke, down by just 1%

I am told the PPP final poll is historically accurate in Wisconsin.

Released today, it has Walker over Burke by one point - - 48-47, with five percent undecided.

With a big Milwaukee and college student vote, this election is there for the taking.

In records coverup, Van Hollen shows one-party perils

As if we didn't need another lesson in the perils of one-party rule, outgoing Republican Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen has found another procedural method of withholding until after Tuesday's election the release of publicly-produced videotapes and records that may put his preferred GOP successor - - Waukesha County DA Brad Schimel - -  in a bad light.

Add this to the list of undemocratic procedures and plans these days in GOP-run Wisconsin:

*  Secret redistricting mocking openness and achieved behind closed-private-attorneys'-doors through confidentiality agreements, and even with some evidence withheld or destroyed despite court orders to the contrary;

*  An iron mining bill drafted with the help of the only company it would benefit, considered in the Assembly without a named sponsor and finally approved after outside, pro-GOP money both helped Walker win the recall election and defeat a key Democratic Senator blocking the bill's adoption;

*  State budgets rammed through containing last-minute amendments;

*  Controversial legislation, like Act 10, rubber-stamped by a GOP-big business obeisant State Supreme Court majority;

*  An independently-minded GOP State Senator Dale Schultz and a barely-too-moderate GOP US Rep. Tom Petri basically run out of their incumbencies by far-right GOP party powers;

*  And, if you take GOP Assembly Speaker Robin Vos at his word, a state elections and ethics board of referees, (the GAB), to be re-made next year into an arm of  partisan, Republican political and electioneering interests.

Yes, it's Fitzwalkerstan - - modeled on former Soviet-era Republics, enabled by a broad propaganda machine and directed by a powerful central committee and chosen leader allowing no dissent.

And a preview of what Republican control of the US Congress and White House would lead to.

And if Walker were at the top...imagine a Diane Sykes sitting on the US Supreme Court, and other Koch brothers' nominees headed for US EPA administrator, Secertary of the Department of the Interior, and other secretaryships, judgeships and ambassadorships.

Republicans have a new meme: they're not scientists

They think it helps them wiggle out of the political consequences of their climate change denial, but they still like playing doctor and deciding which medical procedures women must have - - ultrasounds - - and which procedures they may not have - - legal abortions.

In Dr. Walker's case, add mandatory drug testing for food stamp recipients.

Paul Ryan, the noted urban sociologist from Janesville and heavily-white Virginia suburbia, is particularly expert in "inner city"life.

And family-free, inveterate bachelor Glenn Grothman is an expert in family dynamics.

In other words, these Republicans have only ideology, and so little technical expertise that Scott Walker apparently didn't notice the presence of another Internet account when he was online, on the phone or walking down the hall in his Milwaukee County Executive office.

Clubby White US Senator says peers will enjoy his Presidency

Thank you, Lindsay Graham, for being honest about why he slimes the US Senate and will never be President:
"If I get to be president, white men who are in male-only clubs are going to do great in my presidency," Graham said.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Citizens' win against mega-dairy could presage anti-Walker rural vote

Citizens fighting for stronger DNR regulations to guarantee clean water jeopardized by mega-dairy expansion in Kewaunee County - - an issue discussed on this blog more than once - - have won a significant legal ruling that will indeed force state regulators to finally do their public-service, constitutionally-mandated jobs.

The ruling cites a massive regulatory failure that led to toxic water pollution.

Check out this account by veteran environmental reporter Ron Seely.

And I repeat my belief that the intentional Walker/Cathy Stepp/WMC mismanagement of water, land and clean air resources by a DNR that works for sand mines, big dairies and Chris Cline's well-heeled, out-of-state iron-mining behemoth will produce a surprising anti-Walker, pro-Burke conservationist vote.

Failing to protect constituents' clean water needs could cost one GOP state legislator his seat.

And it should cost Walker his governorship, given the environmental harm on his watch.

Hat tip also to the lawyers, the brilliant, dedicated, no-quit-ever Midwest Environmental Advocates.

JS Editorial minimizes late hit by Walker allies on Burke

The Journal Sentinel editorial board says the hit isn't fatal, but calling it "twaddle" shows board doesn't get it.
No voter should base his or her decision on 20-year-old twaddle from a fired Trek employee who now is a Republican county chairman — all dredged up a week before the election. 
Analogy: Ref to boxer's corner after low blow towards the end of the 15th round in a long, close battle marked by one-sided dirty tactics

'Your fighter's got plenty of time to recover from that twaddle. No one shot is fatal.' 

The least believable piece of the most unbelievable hit on Mary Burke

That would be this zero-credibility denial from the article's only beneficiary known to be in tight control of his campaign, and always in the loop:
Speaking to reporters early Wednesday morning, Walker himself said he was not aware of the article. 

Van Hollen caught playing hide-and-seek with Schimel videos

Your law-and-order party's top cop says his department has lost some videos that a judge says should have been released under an open records request, and now must be released. Pronto.

The same top cop who took two weeks to stop talking about implementing Wisconsin voter ID's which the US Supreme Court had already said were not legal.

So it goes in Fitzwalkerstan, where the game is rigged.

For the record: WI wolf killing grinds on

An unsurprising update about your 'see-no-evil, hear-no-evil' Wrong-Way Walker Wisconsin DNR:

Last-minute smears by Walker allies and other events are dominating the news as October winds up, but in the state's rural areas, trappers and other 'sportsmen' continue to snag wolves with metal leg traps and finish them off with a bullet to the head, the DNR's obviously very loose 'quotas' shows:
ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status

Burke critic's Facebook page shows extremist side

Dan Bice takes a look and reports these items in the lede:
A former Trek Bicycle executive alleging Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke was fired from the firm has a Facebook page filled with postings that refer to President Barack Obama in crude terms, call the first lady a man and liken Obama's "hope and change" campaign slogan to a Nazi swastika.
So why was this source allowed to trip off a last-minute smear that is across all Wisconsin mainstream media? 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WI DNR allowing atrocious behavior by some hunters, anglers

[updated, 11:57 p.m.] I guess the deer hunters in Wisconsin complaining that wolves are killing off the deer can blame another predator:

Other hunters.

And the DNR which is letting them get away with selfish, grubby, destructive and violent scofflaw behavior in the woods and on the waters  - - our waters.

That's what you get when an ideologue like Scott Walker installs politically-inspired and intentional deregulation atop a once proud, science-minded agency where selfishness by polluters-to-poachers and replaces public resource protection.

Look at the stunning DNR data unearthed by the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation and published by Journal Sentinel showing a significant reduction in many enforcement actions:
■ Citations for hunting deer outside of closed season have dropped 85%.
■ Citations for shining deer have declined 44%.
■ Citations for hunting deer from a public roadway fell 20%.
■ Citations for fishing without a license dropped 35%.
■ Citations for operating a watercraft while intoxicated declined 33%.
■ Citations for making physical alterations of fish and wildlife habitat in and near public waters declined by 62%.
So, basically, there aren't traditional hunting and fishing seasons anymore.

It's open season all year-round: go shoot or land whatever you want, and the DNR will look the other way.

The agency is letting the outdoors' equivalent of the two-fisted slopper who arrogated through Milwaukee County Stadium roam the north woods and zoom around on the state's waterways with impunity.

The law-and-order phonies at the DNR are also letting major polluters run wild more often - - though the Journal Sentinel editorial board said just the other day that wasn't necessarily a bad thing in Walker's open for business state.

Trends noted on this blog more than two years ago as reason enough for Walker's recall.

A few minutes after this posting went up Wednesday, righty AM 620 WTMJ talker Jeff Wagner weighed in on the side of lax enforcement, some making a case for what he called warden, or officer discretion.

Discretion is an 85% drop in citations for shooting deer out-of-season, for example?

Hope we don't see that kind of decline in police officer discretion, in, say, OWI enforcement.

What a bumch of rule-breaking enabling fraudsters are these Walkerite officials and their talk radio enablers.

Group funded by Walker-allied Bradley Fdt. is legit news source?

In WI gubernatorial campaign's closing days?

Ridiculous and outrageous, and proving the game is rigged.

And suggesting that the race is closer than the Marquette Law School poll suggests, necessitating a last minute Nixonian move.

People have a reason - - or 700,000 of them - - to vote Walker out

I've stopped updating a summary posting of the people or groups who'd been given a reason to vote against Wrong-Way Walker for his calculating disregard, but this one particularly succinct headline should send any principled, undecided Wisconsin voter still out there Mary Burke's way:
Secret $700,000 Donation Has Scott Walker Scrambling to Address ‘Appearance of Corruption’

Marquette poll shows Walker leading; Dems' turnout assignment clear

WTMJ talker Wagner sees no problem with deer poaching

The midday righty talker sees only anti-Walker bias in today's news about a substantial drop in DNR citations for out-of-season and night time deer hunting.

And the first three callers don't buy into his anti-DNR warden animus.

His analogy is to police officers who use discretion when deciding to write a "nickle-and-dime" speeding ticket.

I'd say, in response:

Is that deer on the ground out of season dead, or not?

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walker ad underscores Wisconsin's fall to the political bottom

Set aside for a moment that Walker signed a bill repealing legal remedies for women seeking damages for second-class wages. Bad enough, for sure.

What does it say about politics here, and specifically about Scott Walker's standing, and his willingness to manipulate voters that he teamed up in ad ad with his Lt. Governor to be praised for supporting equal pay for women.

In 1954, that might have been something to praise.

But this is 2014.

Might as well praise yourself for supporting equal voting rights for minorities - - oh, right, I forgot. Voter ID.

As I said, we really hitting bottom here.

Voters know that Walker stands with groups that want to roll back the clock on women's rights - - to health care, to workplace equality, to family-supporting wages and family-supporting clean air and water.

Which is why I'm hopeful that the crowds we saw this afternoon turning out for the allegedly-unpopular President Barack Obama as he campaigned for gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke is the beginning of the wave.

In a campaign led by Democratic women candidates - - Mary Burke and Attorney General hopeful Susan Happ.

Christie, Walker pose as medical experts, screw things up

[Updated, 9:07 pm.] When you have a medical issue these days, call your local Republican presidential wannabe. Though it's sorta like getting investment advice from Glenn Beck or partying tips from the Palin clan.

Today, it's GOP governor and Scott Walker rainmaker Chris Christie substituting his politically-motivated misinformation about Ebola for good science.

And speaking of Wrong-Way Walker, he's brought his own brand of fact-deficient and medically-unsound interference to political matters in Wisconsin.

Dr. Walker decided that women should not complain his mandating medically-unnecessary and invasive transvaginal ultrasound examinations because he didn't have a problem with it:

"I don't have any problem with ultrasound," he told reporters, according to the AP. "I think most people think ultrasounds are just fine."
And Walker is trying to force food stamp recipients to pass a drug test, though there is no evidence other than Walker's sop to far-right stereotyping that, like the forced ultrasounds, there is any medical necessity to such testing.

Despite a chilly Milwaukee wind, long lines await Burke, Obama

I hope the inside-the-Beltway pundit crowd sees the double lines more than a block long...

...and a Milwaukee neighborhood filled with carloads of people being dropped off to cue up with others who've been there for hours awaiting President Barack Obama and Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Mary Burke this afternoon. To get these shots, we had to park six blocks away, and the North Division High School doors were not scheduled to open for about another hour.

Residents came out on their porches to wave and urge on the crowd. "We're going to vote Walker out," one woman shouted.

Walker set to have "fun" with Chris Christie

According to Wrong-Way Walker, fellow GOP Governor and medical expert Chris Christie is coming back to Wisconsin for yet another round of "fun."

No doubt they'll exchange fun stories both having deputy chiefs of staff that somehow went rogue and did all sorts of unauthorized politicking on public time.

Or as the Milwaukee Journal editorial board put it when endorsing Walker for the second time in 2012:
Overzealous political associates sometimes get in trouble.
Oh, those kids! Having their own fun, setting up secret internet communications systems and closing bridges and what-not. 

Wisconsin proving Obama, Burke popularity

I better get over there:
  1. Folks have been lining up for hours in Milwaukee to see Mary and at !

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Conservation group pushing hard for Mary Burke

I believe there will be a measurable pro-Burke vote in Wisconsin's smaller towns and rural areas over Walker's disregard for basic water and land protections by people living near big dairy farms, sand mines, and, of course, the proposed huge iron mine site near Lake Superior up north. 

Good for the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters for taking the fight to the airwaves with data and passion, below:

WI wolf hunt grinds on

For the record, from the DNR:
ZoneQuotaHarvestZone Status

Wisconsin is killing its wolves
Wolves, before being marinated in Oconomowoc