If you grew up in a small town or a close knit neighborhood, you may remember the guys who never left. They were big cheeses in their day, but had nothing in common with those that left the nest and traveled, went on to a higher education or tried sushi.
That's how Scott Walker and Chris Christie sounded yesterday on their tour of Hudson, Wisconsin - on the same day, First Lady, Michelle Obama came to Milwaukee to campaign for Mary Burke.
Poking fun at her economic plan - even though Walker's was an "impressive" two pages with pictures - and bringing up her Harvard education in a way only a college dropout can.
It's an interesting strategy: "Vote for Scott Walker, he's the loser that makes you feel superior."
The best part of of the days activities, was the really awkward photos of Christie and Walker embracing. Apparently the Republican Governors Association has a new secret handshake befitting their juvenile rhetoric:
It might fly with the koolaid drinkers, but for fair minded, independent Wisconsinites, it just looks like a Republican circle-jerk.
Emphasis on jerk.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
It hasn't been a good week for Scott Walker.
It started off okay, as his campaign tried to keep their focus on the baloney plagiarism story. (A guy, as Jeff Simpson at Cognitive Dissidence pointed out, had a ghostwriter for his autobiography.)
Then it started to unravel. A judge threw out the GOP ballot lawsuit, jobs numbers were down in August and Wisconsin was rated one of the worst states for doing business.
Bad enough...and then, the federal court threw out the case to stop the John Doe II investigation. The resuscitation of the election fraud case made everyone forget whatever Walker's camp had been saying about Mary Burke's economic plan.
With the spotlight back on Scott Walker's failures and corruption friendly administration, Scooter is back to playing defense. With 39 days left - that is exactly where he doesn't want to be.
Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Monday, September 22, 2014
NOTE:If you are going to come to Racine to protest plagiarism, don't copy protest signs off each other!
Thursday, September 18, 2014
Van Wanggaard has learned absolutely nothing from being put out on his ass as a State Senator by his friends and neighbors two years ago.
He moved his schtick westward to areas where people didn't personally know him - therefore increase his electability chances - and he's pulling the same crap that got him canned to begin with:
Running from debates.
Wanggaard was scheduled to debate Democratic opponent, Randy Bryce, tonight at Gateway's iMet Center. However, when the sponsors contacted his campaign to confirm all the arrangements yesterday, he was like - yeah, not gonna be there.
Wanggaard's history of ditching debates is legend. He once scheduled a debate with only himself - when his opponent showed up anyway - he wouldn't let him even ask a question.
See, guys like Wanggaard and primary opponent, Jonathan Steitz, love to talk to eachother. The script is so comfortable and narrow: (insert Phil Hartman Frankenstein voice) Schools BAD! Taxes BAD! Fire BAD!
Van doesn't want to talk about Medicaid funding loss, WEDC's malfeasance, the budget deficit which looks like now it will top $3 BILLION. He sure isn't gonna talk about poverty or unemployment - which was pretty likely to come up tonight against Bryce.
So Van did what Van does best: cut and run.
Wanggaard knows he has the votes and he doesn't have to waste his time earning them. It's really a shame Republican voters in his district won't hold him accountable - he's a terrible politician, created by a totally rigged system.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
It's not a very reassuring sign the November election won't be a complete chaotic mess, when Director, Kevin Kennedy, reminds the public that victims of Hurricane Sandy still got to vote.
That's where we are in Wisconsin: comparing a completely routine mid-term election with a natural disaster - now known as "Hurricane Scotty."
Twelve thousand absentee ballots have already been mailed that will now need a photocopy of a photo ID as if the elderly people who can't get to the polls can totally handle getting their asses to Kinkos.
The good news is the Republican party has been mailing out absentee ballots requests like crazy - and those people have to figure out what to do now. Some will get frustrated and disgusted, blaming the guy they were planning to vote for, and skip the entire deal.
The ACLU has filed a petition and the whole thing is a mess. Clerks have to call people and mail back ballots and there is no telling if a court will put a stop to it all.
But, hey! Hurricane victims voted, which is a completely accurate comparison to how Scott Walker has run our state.
Tuesday, September 16, 2014
If we had put ending slavery to a vote, it wouldn't have ended. That is why we have constitutional rights that are not subject to the ignorance of the electorate or the malevolence of the majority.
When times are hard, people look for a scapegoat to blame, and none look harder than politicians who are either out of ideas or members of the tea party who generally avoid ideas at all costs.
"Cracking Down" is the default position of the politician who has failed in the "Creating" department. We crack down on criminals, crack down on immigrants, crack down on fraud. People love this crap, because they know government is inept and run by people they wouldn't make room for in the pew on Sunday.
So, when a politician says they are going to "crack down" on anything - it's music to their ears. Cracking down also sounds cheap - MUCH cheaper than creating something. Creating is expensive and probably means more taxes to be wasted by the people in government they don't trust.
Take voter fraud. Scott Walker said he was going to crack down on voter fraud. Scott Walker was going to make sure bad people could not continue to steal elections...without one person ever mentioning that HE was elected by the same process.
Scott Walker instituted a voter ID law - that had a lot of public support - which only inspired him to make the law that much tougher. It didn't matter that voter fraud in Wisconsin was virtually non-existent. It didn't even really matter that his law was going to cost the state money to implement BEFORE the lawsuits started.
Scott Walker wrote a bad voter ID law and it has cost taxpayers millions of dollars in legal fees.
Now, he's got his new plan which will result in state employees searching the nation for birth certificates which will be obtained and turned into free state ID's for voting purposes to address a problem that never existed in the first place.
It's a lesson in politicking to the masses - who are stupid and mean. It also proves that "cracking down" can be a lot more expensive than one would imagine.
This week, Scott Walker says he wants to drug test people on welfare.
No one wants to pay taxes so that drug users can sit at home taking drugs - which makes it a super popular idea. It is oh, so easy to sell.
The catch is, it's unconstitutional. You can't just test people's urine. It's also expensive. Do people think those tests would be administered by volunteers using free test kits?
States that tried the same thing found two very interesting results:
1. Poor people didn't take drugs. In fact, the number of people who turned up positive was less than the general public that included the sector that wanted the stupid law.
2. They got sued in Federal Court and lost.
Another "crack down"that was expensive to implement, addressing a problem that didn't exist in the first place, while racking up millions in legal fees.
Drug testing the poor is popular, but so is drug testing politicians. We say, you first, Scott Walker.
Monday, September 15, 2014
Boy, Republican Racine County Sheriff, Christopher Schmaling sure is taking his time investigating the voter fraud complaint against GOP sweetheart and fake recall candidate for Van Wanggaard, Tamra Varebrook.
In the meantime, Varebrook got herself a new job: as a Racine County dispatch operator.
Congrats! All the Sheriff's investigators have to do is walk down the hall to ask her a few pertinent questions. How hard could that be? It's in the same goddamn building!
We can't think of one single reason Sheriff Schmaling and the Republican Racine District Attorney, Rich Chiapete could be slow walking their investigation - we can think of dozen reasons.
Let's start with they are Republicans - who like and associate with a bunch of other Republicans who all know Varebrook. Her best friends include right-wing radio hostess, Vicki McKenna (they take fishing trips together) and Americans for Prosperity spokesmodel, Nancy Milholland.
Varebrook has been the go-to girl for the GOP for quite a while.
Tamra appeared in an AFP pro-Scott Walker ad in November of 2011, volunteered and voiced her breathy concern for the integrity of the recall petitions for the Van Wanggaard campaign and then availed herself as a fake Democratic candidate against challenger, John Lehman, so Van wouldn't lose so badly running all by himself without Scott Walker.
Since then, she got VIP tickets for the Paul Ryan/Joe Biden debate in Kentucky, was a delegate from Racine County to the Wisconsin Republican Convention this last year and hung around trying to get Jonathan Steitz elected in the primary against Van earlier in the summer.
She's a busy, busy Republican bee, freed from the social shackles of SSI income - only to find herself working for the Sheriff's department. Her boyfriend is a GOP rabble-rouser and Milwaukee cop, Michael Murphy - so you see there is absolutely no reason at all the Racine Sheriff and DA would drag the investigation out until...maybe after November 4th?
Unfortunately, there are a few people who know Varebrook who aren't being so very quiet about her past voting behavior - but apparently they aren't being asked.
What a system.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Scott Walker (the college dropout) came to UW Parkside yesterday and spoke to students...12 students.
Seriously, the "event" was closed to students save for a few hand picked ones - meaning ones who already agreed to the talking points established by his campaign and wouldn't ask non-approved questions.
Other students interested in the event, were turned away.
Walker went back-to-school (insert all the puns and irony you can) to flout his two year tuition freeze in the UW system. Awesome. Walker had to issue a tuition freeze. See, it's not that he values higher education so much (clearly), it's that he cut $400 million dollars from their budget.
Someone has to make up the difference, right?
What Walker didn't want to talk about was student loan debt - which has actually surpassed credit debt in the U.S.
College loans have topped $1.3 TRILLION and threatens to cripple our economy. Why? Well, unlike home or car loans, student loans cannot be refinanced, a person cannot file for bankruptcy because of student loans and they will deduct that shit from your social security if you haven't paid up when you hit 65.
Never happen? It already is.
Libertarian douchebags are all "don't take the loan if you can't afford it," like they paid cash for their houses and cars. Who do you think is going to buy your house (or any house) when young people are already mortgaged to the limit before they get their first job? Who is going to buy a new car - or actually much of anything?
The least we could do is allow kids to refinance their loans.
So why did no one propose that? They did. Cory Mason authored a bill last year - which Scott Walker and the Republican legislature completely ignored. So, after they were done slashing the budget for UW and technical colleges - they put a teeny, tiny bandaid on the damage with the UW tuition freeze - which of course does nothing for the thousands of students who are mortgaging their future before they can even legally drink beer.
That is why Scott Walker's back-to-school tour is only for a dozen students at a time - there are literally only 12 kids who don't want to talk about other things besides how great he is.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Hint: It's horrible news for Mr. "I Balanced the State Budget."
The Wisconsin Legislature's budget office is projecting a $1.8 BILLION budget shortfall for the next budget cycle.
It isn't a final number - which will come out in October - it could be better than expected. It could also be worse.
It is a fact that Jim Doyle had a $3 billion deficit when he left office - a figure that took him 8 years to reach. It was also probably the main reason he didn't seek re-election.
Scott Walker made that budget failing one of his main campaign bullet points. (Well, and the 250,000 new jobs promise he can't talk about anymore.) After cutting more funding to public schools than any other state, slashing technical college funding by 30% and tearing the state apart - Scott Walker finds himself 2/3rds of the way back to Jim Doyle's shortfall - and he did it in less than 4 years!
Imagine what he could do with another term.
As it looks now, the Wisconsin legislature is headed back to another Budget Repair Bill, which is either going to slash more spending or raise revenue through a tax increase. Walker's "rainy day fund" could help cover the shortfall - but will take a vote from the Legislature and the optics of that are terrible.
In an interesting defection from the usual wall of Republican silence, Senator, Rob Cowles was quoted as saying: "We should have done a better job — that's it." In reference to the tax cuts Walker ordered last spring which more than a couple Republicans thought were too expensive and would create such a shortfall.
Scott Walker had a campaign to run and couldn't be bothered with details like that. When it comes to his job or his campaign, we all know what Scott Walker's priorities are.