Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Twenty-six churches in Racine are getting together each Saturday during lent to fast and pray for BadgerCare expansion in Wisconsin.
That's gotta burn "preacher son's" britches, don't you think?
Called "Fast 4 Fairness" they are not only organizing fasts, but signing people up for health care and circulating a petition which they tell us is already in the hundreds of signatures - after just the first weekend.
They want Scott Walker to take the federal money offered to expand Wisconsin's Medicaid program which will kick nearly 80,000 people off on April 1st. If Scott Walker won't do it, they want the Racine County Board of Supervisors to ask for the money for the county instead. $96,000,000 worth.
The Siren loves feisty faith leaders who show pretend "churchy" types what real compassion looks like.
Here's the bottom line: Walker's bogus plan in Wisconsin covers fewer people and costs taxpayers more. His decision was strictly political - he wrote the hospitals in the state a $30,000,000 check to cover unpaid bills the folks who no longer have BadgerCare would cost them.
With the highest unemployment in the state, highest infant mortality of African-American babies in the state, rampant STDs and pollution at higher percentages than most other counties - it is no wonder so many churches got together to protest.
Nineteen county boards in Wisconsin have voted to say they want to expand BadgerCare - maybe Racine will be the 20th.
The next fast will be Saturday, March 15th at Atonement Lutheran Church. Beginning at 9am with a 10am interfaith service. Health care enrollment will be from 9am to 1pm. Bring your friends and join them won't you? Lets help them make statewide news.
Monday, March 10, 2014
The Republican Governor's Association - you know that group Scott Walker's buddy, Chris Christie is the head of?
Daniel Bice, at the Journal Sentinel discovered yesterday a couple featured in an ad they are running under the banner of "Wisconsin Families Struggle" aren't actually struggling. In fact, they are flush.
Now, Walker supporters are all - what's the big deal? This isn't news. Well that's all they can say these about about almost everything Scott Walker.
The Siren has lent a hand in the past finding people for ads and mailers for a variety of Democrats and we can tell you when looking for a business owner, a person looking for a job, whatever - they were people accurately described by the literature. Always.
Why? Because words matter. Not everyone in the political world subscribes to this idea, but they should.
The policies of elected officials affect real people - if you can't find someone to be in your ad who makes that visual point then you shouldn't be making it.
Here's another thought: poor people and struggling families aren't hard to find in Wisconsin - they are all over the place. Why use people who in real life are moderately rich to depict the struggling class?
Because it was easier? Because no one cares? Because THEY don't care?
Take your pick.
Friday, March 7, 2014
Does this guy ever tell the truth about anything?!
Turns out Paul Ryan's tale of the poor kid who wanted his school lunch in a brown bag like the rest of the kids was a lie.
He attributed the story to Eloise Anderson - but it wasn't her story - it was from a book.
That's not a totally big deal - but this part is: the story was about a woman who befriended a poor kid who did indeed wish for lunches in a common brown bag. However, the woman in the story stayed in this kids's life for years, offering friendship and food and even money sometimes.
Hardly the "Let Them Eat Dignity" story that Paul Krugman correctly chastised Ryan for telling.
Ryan's assertion that the parent's of poor children somehow don't care for their children by allowing them to eat a free lunch is repugnant enough to be concerned about the fate of Ryan's soul in the afterlife. What is much worse in his message is it is kinda okay not to worry about feeding hungry kids because it will result in more self-determination and dignity later.
For that, we sure do hope there are some fire for all of eternity for Ryan.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Here is SE Wisconsin, we already know what a perverse little bastard Paul Ryan is.
Make people pay to see him? Check. Arrest seniors mad about his social security plans? Check. Slither into town past dumpsters instead of using the front door where the great unwashed might see him? Checkarooni.
His "makers vs. takers" bullshit has made him the kind of posterboy for meanness a gal like Ayn Rand could really admire - if she wasn't rotting in her atheists grave.
To the rest of us, he's a doofus who went to a second-rate university, got a bachelors degree, interned in DC so he could meet a millionaire's daughter, hitched his wagon to her money and rode it all the way to Congress.
Basically he sucks - and he doesn't care the people back home are taking the economic tailpipe while he sips expensive wine with hedgefunders and lobbyists in Washington. Nothing new here.
However, today making his debut at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee), he courted the wild-eyed fringe of his party by telling a story about a kid who didn't want his free government lunch because he was poor - he wanted one from home in the brown bag like the others kids, because those kids had someone who cared about them enough to make it for them each day.
Don't you love sweeping narrations on poverty and class summed up in one anecdotal story about a kid he didn't even know? Who needs fucking public policy experts, social workers and educators to give thoughtful accounts about hunger when we have Paul Ryan and his bullshit story about a made-up kid who'd rather go hungry than have a free lunch?
Anyway, that got everybody rolling today, but he actually said more that was much worse and of course the astute Paul Krugman picked up on it. Here it is:
“The left is making a big mistake,” Ryan predicted. “What they’re offering people is a full stomach and an empty soul. People don’t just want a life of comfort. They want a life of dignity, they want a life of self determination.”What a fucker. What an absolutely, morally reprehensible motherfucker. A full stomach and an empty soul?! Yeah, that's what Jesus said you fetid piece of shit. Screw that kid with no lunch - he'll be that much more determined when he grows up...if he makes it.
BTW, the folks at CPAC - the right-wing freaks who adore guys like Ryan? How did they take Ryan's particular vision of compassion?
They gave him a standing ovation.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Walker trolls want voters to believe the use of a private email system in the Milwaukee County Exec.'s office is really no big deal.
Eeeeeeverybody does it. Right?
Well, no. They don't. In fact, it's illegal.
So imagine for a moment you are a newly hired kindergarten teacher. Dream job, everything you wanted.
One small problem, however: you also have a side business cutting grass. Damn, that teaching gig kinda cramps your grass cutting ability - you can't cut grass at night, dawg.
So in order to do both, you get the kids to start raking and edging for you instead of finger-painting and learning the alphabet. A few of the really enterprising kids begin scheduling new customers and getting other kids to do some fertilizing and weed killing too.
Now, you're cooking. Kindergarten teacher pay and a booming lawn care business to boot. You don't have to pay the kids, because they are supposed to be in school with you anyway. How awesome is that?
Awesome until their parents and the school principal find out - which is why you kept it secret in the first place.
You weren't supposed to be running a side-business out of your classroom, using students as your side-business staff.
That's basically what Scott Walker did - and did it enthusiastically, while trying to keep it a secret.
Instead of doing his job, he was running a lawn care business called "Scott Walker for Governor" and the people he was paid to supervise were helping him cut grass instead of doing their jobs - which was run Milwaukee County.
Nice grass, bad county.
How bad was he running the county while trying to be Governor? Poor people in Milwaukee sued him for neglecting their needs - which was his fucking job all along.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
|Photo Credit: Republican Party of Waukesha County|
As the Siren toils away at her computer, Assembly leadership in Madison is meeting to determine the fate of icky boobie toucher, Bill Kramer.
The outcome is already known. They will strip him of his Assembly Majority Leader position - for two very good reasons that have absolutely nothing to do with his douchey frat-boy behavior. First, Vos doesn't like him - and that is a crime in search of incriminating evidence.
When Kramer left town to party with ALEC cretins, using his elected position as an excuse to be a dick to nearby women, he gave Vos ammunition to ship him back to the minor leagues.
See, Vos didn't want Kramer for the Majority Leader position.
Second, and perhaps more importantly, Kramer will be demoted because the Wisconsin GOP has to do SOMETHING that looks like ethical oversight. After nearly four years of fucking and sucking and stuffing their pants full of dollar bills, they look like the extras from "The Wolf of Wall Street" even to their own supporters.
Women do not like Scott Walker. He does not poll well with them and white women did not like him in the recall election nearly as much as their husbands did. Walker went on to sign a few really fucked up pieces of legislation not favorable to women after that - pay equity repeal and forced ultrasounds - to name just two.
Walker isn't going to talk about the email dump - he can't without incriminating himself. He has essentially taken the 5th on it and that's not going over very well. He's staring down the gauntlet with Mary Burke and her money in November and Hillary in 2016 and he's no friend to women. Gulp.
Now comes Bill Kramer - Madison leadership and a total jizzwad. If Walker and company didn't toss him under the bus for trying to touch some boobies - they could lose the women's vote permanently. Don't get the Siren wrong, we are not defending Bill Kramer at all.
His behavior isn't new - it is however, convenient.
We don't think his buddies currently deciding his fate in Madison are all that outraged - worse antics have routinely been tolerated for years. They will take the opportunity to look grown up and concerned and then in a little while when things die down - they will quietly let him out of the dog house.
No doubt, even if he steps down from the Assembly (which we wouldn't bet on) they will make sure somebody hires him. Republicans take care of their own - even when they shouldn't.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Well, that's interesting...
Yesterday, The Cook Political Report downgraded the race for Governor in Wisconsin from a "Likely R" to a "Lean R."
Unlike a few other such political rating systems - Cooks is the first to weigh in the impact of the 27,000 emails and Scott Walker's refusal to discuss them. Author, Charlie Cook was one who seemed to nail the anti-recall sentiment (as opposed to the pro-Walker sentiment) that carried the Governor to a win in June, 2012.
He correctly described Wisconsinites aversion to the recall process - an assessment that holds true almost two years later.
So, where Wisconsin has gone from a "Solid R" to a "Likely R" and now to a "Lean R" with 8 months left until election day - that isn't very good news for the GOP. Mary Burke is still largely unknown and a refreshing blank canvass vs. Walker's lagging jobs and corrupt staff problems.
Oy, and the emails - he just won't talk about them. Even his supporters (who desperately want to believe he has nothing to hide) are getting nervous about it.
It will be really interesting to watch the polls in how Scott Walker measures up not to Mary Burke, but to John Kasich - two guys who are very similar - but Kasich decided to expand Medicaid in Ohio and of course, Walker did not.
Their individual trajectory may be most telling as we get closer to November.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Scooter was able to sneak back to the state and attempt to deflect questions about "those emails" and pretend they were old news while one of his appointees lost his job just this week - 'cause that's how irrelevant those old emails are.
Never worry, the fun and games with those emails are far from over. So let's talk about that Arizona bill...
Did you know that Wisconsin has one just like it, which has already been introduced, has sponsors and had a hearing late last summer?
The main difference is ours, SJR 38, is a state constitutional amendment and would have to pass the legislature twice in two years and then be voted on by the public. Sounds hard - but that's how they got the same sex marriage ban on our constitution.
And THAT was before the GOP gerrymandered the shit out of our state - so don't laugh too hard.
Introduced by Rep. David Craig last May, SJR 38 has a fair number of co-sponsors that won't be much of a surprise: Representatives Jacque, Bernier, Thiesfeldt, Sanfelippo, Ott, Tittl, Stroebel, Brooks, T. Larson, Born, Kestell, Kapenga, Nass, Hutton, Krug, Endsley, and Pridemore (of course) and Senators Liebham, Grothman, Kedzie, Lazich and Moulton.
The Wisconsin joint resolution says pretty much the same thing as the controversial bills in Arizona and Kansas - you can use your "sincerely held religious belief" to do or not do just about anything you want.
Deny a customer a prescription? Sure! No soup for the gay boys? Of course! It's your religion. By all means, let's codify that into our state constitution.
Craig says he was inspired to introduce this legislation because a high school student was prohibited from displaying an artwork depicting a holy bible in a public school exhibition - so naturally, that meant he needed to alter the wording of our 167 year old constitution. He's a do-er.
What he didn't count on was the wording of his bill was so broad that "right of conscience" could mean almost anything that any nut or hater wanted it to - including not serving gays or minorities in your restaurant, refusing to issue marriage licenses for interracial couples, or start your own religion which says you don't have to pay taxes or wear pants.
This broad and naive wording was the same kind of trap that caught 3 Arizona State Senators unaware - after they voted in favor of SB 1062 and had to go on national news to say they changed their minds.
SJR 38 has not really gone anywhere - but it did get voted out of committee and it could get taken up if someone wants to. The Siren thinks it is worth asking Craig and his list of sponsors exactly how they feel about this amendment in light of the Arizona controversy and do they still support it?
H/T to Aaron Camp and Heather Asiyanbi who wrote about the bill at the time.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
It happens almost in an instant and there is no turning back. Scott Walker, who represents the goals and values of his supporters is suddenly revealed to be a relic, a guy with a view of the world so out of step it looks almost delusional.
Scott Walker says "he senses no significant movement" in Wisconsin to support marriage equality.
It's a remarkable statement because it is so completely unbelievable, so disingenuous that it strains all rational credibility.
Even the most ardent opponent of same-sex marriage acknowledges the world is changing quickly on this matter. The hold on "traditional" marriage is slipping away, state by state, one courtroom after another. States who overturn their bans on same-sex marriage hardly make earth-shattering headlines like they did mere months ago. The war is over and the world did not end.
Walker's insistence the appetite in Wisconsin is somehow different than in Utah or Iowa is nuts.
Given Wisconsin's draconian "marriage evasion" law - making it illegal to go to another state to marry under penalty of prison and big fines - is a bridge too far even for fair minded teabillies.
Yet, Walker has set himself up to defend it.
Scott Walker says he thinks marijuana use is worse than alcohol.
The Siren's centenarian grandmother doesn't even believe that. It's a preposterous notion that anyone with a chronically ill family member would enthusiastically refute - without even delving into DIU's in our state.
With Colorado looking to have generated over $130 million in marijuana sales taxes and a project billion dollars in sales next year - a lot of states are taking notice.
Ask any Wisconsin taxpayer whether they would prefer generating revenue for the state with toll roads or with a marijuana sales tax? We challenge you to find the majority for toll roads and yet toll roads have suddenly made a comeback in Wisconsin.
Fifty year old ideas to solve millennial problems.
Most states have settled their Indian mascot controversies with not much more fanfare than coming to realization that people don't wish to offend other people. It's not okay anymore.
We understand in 2014 the name of the that Washington football team is a racial slur. Times have changed.
Not Wisconsin. Not Scott Walker. We made it harder to challenge Indian mascot names and images - just in the last few months.
It is remarkable that someone not yet 50 years old could represent ideas so out of step with modern reality. Scott Walker doesn't appear "traditional," he looks crazy.