Here’s a photo of a 2016 Republican presidential frontrunner

It doesn’t get much better than this – here’s Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s mugshot after he surrendered himself to the Travis County (TX) jail on Tuesday.

Rick Perry mugshot

Yep, he’s definitely a frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Whoops But Mary Burke Is Wrong On This One

I realize that running her gubernatorial campaign on a meme of jobs is a positive attention getter…but Mary Burke is flat out wrong on this one. Prioritize road work based on what would create the most jobs? With our deteriorating infrastructure it seems that the right approach is a priority on what needs fixing to keep the public safe. From JSOnline:

…former Trek Bicycle Corp. executive Mary Burke, hasn’t determined whether she wants to spend more on transportation. But she said she would not rule out any options to supplement funding for highways — including raising the gas tax or creating a mileage fee.

She said she would prioritize road work based on what would create the most jobs and would find new sources of revenue if necessary.

Course there could actually be a discussion on real transit at some point!

Thank You From Marina Dimitrijevic:

Dear Friends,

Thank you.

Last year, I decided to run for the State Assembly because like you, I believe our state is heading in the wrong direction and everyone in Wisconsin deserves a fair shot to succeed.

While we fell short last week, I am so proud of the positive campaign we ran focused on my proven record of results. Thank you to my family, especially my husband Eduardo for your endless support. I truly appreciate the amazing amount of support we received from voters, elected officials, and the working families of organized labor.

Milwaukee needs a strong voice in Madison and I congratulate Jonathan Brostoff on his victory in this primary election.

After speaking with thousands of residents in Milwaukee, I am more energized than ever to continue our progressive victories in Milwaukee County and to take back our state!

With gratitude,


Republican State Rep. Scott Krug threatens to sue blogger for libel

As reported by Jessica VanEgeren of the CapTimes, Republican State Rep. Scott Krug is threatening to sue blogger Michael Leon of MAL Contends after Krug’s feelings were hurt by by a piece Leon wrote regarding efforts by Rep. Krug to support a proposed confined animal feeding operation, or CAFO, that will have at least 1,000 animal units on a property, as well as what is perceived as a “too cozy” relationship between Krug and the Dairy Business Association (DBA), a lobbying group that many citizens believe is actively working to take away the rights of communities to regulate pollution of their waterways.

Here’s the portion of Leon’s blog post that Rep. Krug had his feelings hurt about.

In the Wood and northern Adams counties where the beaches are now closed, State Rep. Scott Krug (R-Wisconsin Rapids and ALEC) still plays his cynical, corrupt game providing political cover for the polluters and assisting Scott Walker, Walker’s DNR and the Dairy Business Association in their project in which one objective is to contaminate and literally toxify Wisconsin lakes and other waters—which means your families’ health is the cost of doing business.

The police state in Ferguson, Missouri (VIDEO)

As reported by St. Louis TV station KMOV, 90 year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein was arrested on Monday during continued protests in Ferguson, Missouri. According to the report, Epstein was placed under arrest with eight other individuals for “failing to disperse.” Here’s what Epstein had to say about her arrest.

“I’ve been doing this since I was a teenager. I didn’t think I would have to do it when I was 90,” Epstein told The Nation during her arrest. “We need to stand up today so that people won’t have to do this when they’re 90.”

And in another account of how zealous authorities in Ferguson have gotten, CNN reporter Don Lemon was physically pushed around by police officers while reporting from the scene of protests.

Here’s the video.

And then there’s the case of Getty photographer Scott Olson, who was arrested by police who said media was “required to be in a certain area.” Here’s a photo of Olson being arrested by police.

Where are all the jobs, Scott Walker?

This graphic sums up Gov. Scott Walker’s failed record on job creation during his first term in office.

Image courtesy Burke for Governor

Image courtesy Burke for Governor

To further highlight Gov. Walker’s failed record of job creation during his time as governor, the campaign of Democratic gubernatorial nominee Mary Burke is out with a new ad hitting Gov. Walker on his failure to live up to his job creation promise. Here’s the ad.

Could Glenn Grothman give Democrats a chance in the 6th CD?

While the race to be the Republican nominee in the 6th Congressional district is far from over, Craig Gilbert of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel thinks that Grothman as the Republican nominee could increase chances Democrats could gain control of the seat.

If his tiny victory margin in Tuesday’s GOP primary holds up, state Sen. Glenn Grothman will be the instant favorite this fall to replace 35-year congressman Tom Petri of Fond du Lac.

But he’ll be a favorite with an asterisk.

Grothman’s blunt persona and outspoken conservatism on hot-button social issues are wild cards in what otherwise should be an easy seat for Republicans to hold.

In style and substance, Grothman is a huge departure from the mild-mannered Republican that voters in Wisconsin’s 6th District have been sending to Congress since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. Petri largely avoided confrontation and controversy. For Grothman, being “politically incorrect” is a badge of honor.

“Democrats have very few opportunities across the country to take Republican seats,” says David Wasserman, who analyzes U.S. House races for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. “But in this case the best thing they have going for them is an easily demonize-able Republican opponent. Why they don’t take advantage of that is a mystery to me.”

Is Grothman “demonize-able” enough to put a House seat in play that Republicans have held for the past 46 years?

While Glenn Grothman may increase the chances Democrats could gain control of the seat in the 6th Congressional district, I’m not holding my breath for a Dmeocratic win in the 6th Congressional district. Mark Harris is a great Democratic candidate, but in a district that favors Republicans by 24%, it would take a miracle for Democrats to wrest control of the seat from Republicans.

Republican refusal to expand BadgerCare costs Wisconsin taxpayers $206 million

Remind me again how Republicans in Wisconsin are so “fiscally responsible.”

Wisconsin taxpayers would have saved $206 million over two years — 73% more than previously estimated — if officials had fully expanded its main health care program for the poor under the federal Affordable Care Act, a new nonpartisan report shows.

If officials decide to change course and expand the program in the next state budget, state taxpayers would save another $261 million to $315 million through June 2017, according to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau. The bureau serves the Legislature and is widely respected by lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.

As if Republicans in Wisconsin refusing to increase access to healthcare for all Wisconsinites wasn’t terrible enough from a moral standpoint, it’s also grossly irresponsible from a fiscal standpoint.

After all, $206 million is a lot of money, and that’s money that could have been spent to improve education, combat poverty, create jobs, or any number of other worthwhile programs.

Public Education in Wisconsin 2014

This letter is a must read for anyone who cares about public education in Wisconsin.

This is written by a soon to be former teacher in the West Allis/West Milwaukee school district..and I actually knew him from my time in the Gay/Straight Alliance club in high say reading this makes me sad is an understatement.I had wondered since 2011 how my former school district had been coping with Act 10 and all those changes..and well here is my answer.and its not pretty…

This job has always been challenging, but teachers are being asked to do more and more while the ever-increasing number of administrators are doing less and less with and for the students, and more and more to police the teachers. When I started in this district we had two prep periods a day and taught five classes, and I still took home many hours of work every week. The district has taken away one of our prep periods, given us a homeroom period and another period duty (and many teachers a sixth class). In addition they now make us spend 45 minutes before first hour in so-called “collaboration.” Well, where I come from, collaboration is where peers willingly work with peers to help each other do their work and solve problems. Our “collaboration” consists of meetings and trainings where administrators go over the ever-changing district mandates and have us fill out forms. I used to be much better prepared for first hour. I used to meet with struggling students before school. I used to find that little extra thing to make my lesson that much better: often, now, I’m lucky to get to the classroom on time. I know administration will say that I should be meeting these expectations after the school day the previous day or before the 7:05 morning meeting. But the truth is that I have a family of my own, and I already bring home enough work that I often feel like I am neglecting them. Thanks to our Governor, our wages and job security are lower than ever, and thanks to district policies, we are working harder than ever while feeling wholly unappreciated. The district often claims they must do these things because of Act 10. The truth is that they only have the option to do them because of Act 10, and they are taking full advantage.

Our work load has also increased in terms of dealing with disciplinary problems. When I started this job, if a student was disrespectful or insubordinate, I could fill out a detention form and put it in the assistant-principal’s mailbox. That’s all I did. The administration would follow up and make sure the student served the detention. Now I am expected to arrange with the student’s parent to find a time when I and the student can stay after school together, and when the student refuses to serve it, the administration often does nothing and sometimes, eventually will give the student a “talking to.”


I find this whole situation just tragic and I know its happening in school districts across the state.Act 10 and cuts to funding has continued to be a disaster to public education in Wisconsin and things are sure to get worse as time goes on.

I’m just so saddened to see talented and dedicated longtime teachers like Mr.Zentner be the casualties in this.

Linda Flashinski: A daughter’s legacy

In 2012, Jocelyn Flashinski took her own life. Jocelyn was an amazing woman who had made a tremendous impact on my son’s life, and upon hearing the news of her passing I shared my thoughts on the impact she had on my son’s life.

After last week’s news of comedian Robin Williams’ decision to take his own life following a battle with depression, Jocelyn’s mother Linda Flashinski wrote an eloquent opinion piece about the impact suicide can have on a family.

When our youngest son was in his early years of middle school, he spent one summer watching the movie “Dead Poets Society” about once every week. I remember asking him why he was so intrigued with it. He didn’t elaborate, but his one-sentence response spoke volumes. “It just means so much,” he said with a very intense earnestness. “It just means so much.”

The passing this week of Robin Williams seems almost more than the nation can bear. From his movies to his comedic standup routines to his TV and radio interviews, the range and genius of this man was profound. Yet he was so human, so kind, so vulnerable like ourselves. We feel we knew him.

Like my son, I also loved “Dead Poets Society,” but I remember my amazement at “Good Morning, Vietnam” as well. How could he do that, I wondered as we left that theater so many years ago? What kind of mind can have that quick wit, talent and compassion? His subsequent movies revealed even more of his humor and depth.

I remember the scene in “Good Will Hunting” when Williams’ character repeats over and over to his client, “It isn’t your fault, it isn’t your fault,” until the patient releases his pain in tears. How often those with depression could benefit from such words. And perhaps on some level, Williams was saying that phrase to himself as well. Perhaps he understood, even early on, his own demons.

In our family, we have the genetics for depression. A commentator said this week of Williams, “He struggled in an ongoing battle with profound depression.” I know the reality of that battle for I’ve seen it and felt it firsthand. I know the reluctance of people to discuss mental health issues, just as some people spoke of Williams’ addictions but not his depression. And I know the helplessness of those who love people in this battle and the futility they feel in trying to ease the pain. There seems so little we can do.

In 2012, our younger daughter died of suicide. Like the nation this week, we also were stunned into disbelief and silence, left with unhealing wounds. Like Williams, our daughter was a person with a quick smile and endearing sense of humor. She was sensitive and kind and, like Williams, she had an intense seriousness about things that mattered — in her case, the work she embraced with her autistic students.

Just as Williams’ family is feeling this week, we knew of her sadness. But her beautiful smile and work made her decision something unbelievable to us and to those who knew her. As a friend said after her death, “She hid her pain well.” This week, I know how the family of Robin Williams feels. Sometimes there are no words. We simply can’t believe what happened.

Williams’ wife gave a poignant statement following his death. She asked that the world remember Williams not for his death but for the humor and the meaning of his work. It is a request I make of myself every single day — that I continue to focus on the joy, the depth and the legacy of our dear girl’s life.

They leave scars on our hearts that time does not erase or heal, these intense, brilliant, hurting ones. And so we thank you, Robin Williams, for all the gifts you have given us. And we thank you, our dear daughter. You are not, and will never be, forgotten.

Your lives mattered.

Linda Flashinski is a writer who lives in Caledonia.

Blogging Blue’s “14 in ’14″

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