This is absolutely nuts.
JOHANNS: They can appoint the entire judiciary of the United States in the District Courts and in the Circuit Courts with absolutely no involvement whatsoever from the minority. None. That’s what their rule change did. Let me take that rule change and think out loud about where we put ourselves as a country. I wonder who was the first United States Senator in our history who came to the floor and said, “My fellow Senators, I have thought about this, I have contemplated it, maybe I have even prayed about it. And I believe the day has arrived to end slavery in the United States. And I will be attaching an amendment to every bill to end that horrific practice. I’ll bet they were a very lonely United States Senator at that point in time. But I’m also guessing that that Senator and tenacious other Senators along the way exercised their rights as a minority and as an individual United States Senator to continue to force that issue. What a courageous, remarkable thing to do.
Watch for yourselves:
This is a bonus…it is the one I intended to post before the Cream tune returned to my consciousness.
This is an anomaly for Cream to start with…a real huh? musical moment. But it got even more huher this evening while gift shopping and among the muzak carols including a reggae version of Feliz Navidad, Anyone For Tennis came on…just because it mentions Christmas for a moment? Some aging hippie music director at muzak is having some fun!
This is absolutely bizarre.
Is it too much to ask that those individuals tasked with writing laws to govern our state can actually string together coherent sentences that are intelligible?
Then again, perhaps Rep. Kleefisch didn’t actually write this press release – maybe that task fell to Ashlee Moore, the Kleefisch aide who recently plagiarized federal legislation and quotes from Congressmen, passing them off as coming from Rep. Kleefisch.
Over at Cognitive Dissidence, Jeff Simpson is on the offensive against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke the issue on the restoration of collective bargaining rights for public employees.
At the root of Simpson’s attack is Burke’s response when asked about Act 10, Gov. Walker’s union-busting, collective bargaining-eliminating legislation by Judith Davidoff of the Isthmus|Daily Page.
Davidoff: So you’d look to repeal Act 10?
Burke:I think there is a difference, and what I’d look at is restoring collective bargaining.
Davidoff: Are there any parts of ACT 10 that you agree with?
Burke: Yes, I do believe [state employees] paying a fair share of health care and pension costs is something we needed in order to be able to balance the budget.
Simpson takes great umbrage with Burke’s answer, going so far as to direct readers to check out Scott Walker’s reelection campaign website if they want to learn more about Mary Burke’s campaign platform.
But here’s the problem with Jeff Simpson’s attack on Mary Burke: what she has said about Act 10 – specifically that collective bargaining should be restored but public employees should contribute more to health insurance and pension costs is exactly the same position taken in 2011 by Marty Beil, the Executive Director of AFSCME Council 24, the Wisconsin State Employees Union (emphasis added).
Earlier Friday, Marty Beil, head of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, said his members would agree to pay more of their pension contributions and health insurance benefits as Walker is demanding. But Beil said his union would never agree to give up decades-old bargaining rights.
Beil’s union is part of AFSCME, the largest state and local employee union in Wisconsin, which represents 68,000 workers for the state, Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and other municipalities. An AFSCME spokesman said Beil was speaking for all the group’s union locals in the state.
“We are prepared to implement the financial concessions proposed to help bring our state’s budget into balance, but we will not be denied our God-given right to join a real union . . . we will not – I repeat we will not – be denied our rights to collectively bargain,” Beil said in a statement.
The answer Mary Burke gave when asked about Act 10 by Judith Davidoff is the same answer Burke gave me when I asked her about Act 10 during our interview, and it’s an answer that’s wholly consistent with the position taken by Marty Beil and AFSCME since the fight over Act 10 began.
On a sidenote, I’ve been as critical of Mary Burke as the next person, but directing folks to check out Scott Walker’s reelection website to “know more of the Mary Burke/ Dem party platform for the coming election” is not only sophomoric, but it does absolutely nothing to help defeat Scott Walker in 2014, and that should be our ultimate goal.
What a moron.
State Rep. Joel Kleefisch really likes the so-called Working Families Flexibility Act passed by the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.
Really, really likes the legislation and the press release associated with it — down to the very word.
The measure would permit employers to provide worker’s comp time in lieu of paid overtime if the two sides agree to such an arrangement in advance. The worker would be able to accrue up to 160 hours of comp time a year.
Not only did Kleefisch decide to introduce very similar legislation, which he is calling the Flexibility for Working Families Bill, in Wisconsin.
But he also decided to swipe quotes from three congressmen sponsoring the federal measure and to claim them as his own in a formal email to all members of the state Assembly and Senate.
As the story about Rep. Kleefisch’s plagiarism came to light, Ashlee Moore, a staffer in his office took one for the team and assumed blame for the incident, but this incident just confirms my suspicions that Rep. Kleefisch isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, so to speak.
Apparently Republican State Senator Bob Rucho of North Carolina’s 39th district is a big, BIG fan of hyperbole and exaggeration.
I endorse Greendale Village President John Hermes in this Tuesday’s special election to replace Jeff Stone in the 82nd Assembly District. From JSONLINE:
Hermes, 56, running as a Democrat, has served as Greendale village president for eight years and was a village trustee for another nine years. Hermes also serves on the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District commission and is vice president of Aerotropolis, a business advocacy group focused on Mitchell International Airport. Hermes is a retired air traffic controller.
He would work to restore civility to government and apply his management skills to solving state problems, Hermes said.
“People are fed up with the public divide,” he said. “We are governing from the political extremes and not getting things done.”
Hermes said local government — including school districts and municipalities — need greater flexibility to grow and excel. Property tax levy limits, which now restrict annual increases to the rate of property growth in a community, are too tight, he said.
And state shared revenue has wilted. The two trends have severely pinched local governments’ ability to function well, Hermes said.
“We need to get back to the day where we are investing in our communities,” he said.
Hermes opposes any expansion of the state’s school voucher program and said the program of taxpayer support for private schools robbed funding for public schools.
The November jobs report shows that the country exceeded expectations by creating 203,000 jobs. The stock market continues to set record highs and private industry is sitting on $1.6 trillion dollars.
The economy is clearly coming back from our low in 2009, but we could be doing far better. The people of the United States need to open their eyes and realize that we have been taken over by corporatists who only care about their own bottom line.
Wisconsin now ranks number one in the country for new unemployment filings. We rank (according to the most generous polls) 34th in job creation. Scott Walker pledged to create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 new businesses in his first term, or he “doesn’t deserve re-election.” Three years into Walker’s term, his administration has only overseen the creation of 88,000 jobs and 4400 businesses. Despite claims that he is “focused like a laser on job creation,” Walker has merely attempted to lure businesses from surrounding states. Much like his budget, he is only moving numbers around and not solving any underlying problems. If a business moves to Wisconsin from Illinois, it may be great for Wisconsin, but a community in Illinois is now left holding the bill. We wouldn’t know that from Walker though. His Twitter feed explodes every time we steal another 10 jobs from surrounding states. Even with this “smoke and mirror” strategy, Walker has not pulled Wisconsin back up to pre-recession levels. We lost 150,000 jobs when the Bush Recession desecrated this country, but Walker has only overseen a growth totaling 88,000.
Furthermore, Walker has rejected the federal money to expand Badgercare and neglected to create a state-run insurance exchange. As a result, we are insuring less people and paying more to do so. The Affordable Care Act allocates money to each state to expand their medicaid programs. Walker’s rejection did not save the tax payers money, it simply sent our tax dollars to other states. Walker’s rejection of the Badgercare money will cost the state $1.8 billion in 2022. The expansion of Badgercare would have created 10,000 jobs, as would the rail project.
Digging deeper into these decisions, we find that Wisconsinites are not only losing their tax money, but are also paying more individually. Looking at the plans on the insurance exchange in the Madison area, a 30 year old non-smoker would qualify for quality insurance ranging in price from 160.00 – 350.00 per month. That does not include any government subsidies which he/she may be eligible to receive. The same individual, living in Minneapolis would be paying between $102.00 and $217.00 per month, before subsidies.
Governor Dayton of Minnesota has worked with the federal government to take full advantage of the Affordable Care Act. He has created an environment that fosters the cheapest insurance plans in the country, and he is just across the river from us.
Competition is a good thing, per the basis of the insurance exchanges, but it has to be used correctly. States should be competing for the best education, health and safety services, highest wages, and happiest citizens. Sadly, governors like Scott Walker are simply trying to cut everything possible (except for corporate profits) in an effort to draw in existing businesses rather than creating an environment for new business to be born.
The states and the federal government should be working together to create a prosperous economy that we all enjoy. Today, they are competing for lower wages, less regulation, and lower corporate tax rates. Under the ACA, states can use their own system, if they prove that it is more affordable and covers at least as many people as the federal law. If Scott Walker truly cared about providing Wisconsin with better quality healthcare at a more affordable rate, he has the freedom to do so. The fact that he doesn’t do so exposes what is truly important to him…politics.
Hear our full thoughts on this topic and many more by listening to Civil Discourse Radio, right here!
So the I came across the following photos of Milwaukee County’s Sheriff David Clarke which have been all over Facebook the last day or so…
When hes not making a fuss about the budget.. or parading on talk radio…he likes to feel likes hes young and hip again!
Apparently Sheriff Clarke likes the young ladies… (also is he serious with that outfit?!)..
In this photo he looks like hes about to head off to prom…
and lastly…I will just post this one without comment…
The ads for electing Chris Moews as sheriff practically write themselves….