Donald Trump Needs To Pick Up the Tab On This:

So the taxpayers have to pay for two Secret Service details…one in a public building?

President-elect Donald Trump confirmed Sunday that future first lady Melania Trump and their 10-year-old son, Barron, will remain in New York after he becomes president, as first reported in the New York Post.

I really think that the Trump family needs to pay the tab for the extra protection. We provide a suitable home for the President and his/her family that is luxurious beyond most any of our means…and is secure.

And if this isn’t utter hogwash:

“The campaign has been difficult for Barron, and she is really hoping to keep disruption to a minimum,” an unidentified person “close to Trump’s transition team” told the New York Post in an article published online early Sunday.

I am sure that it is…but they self-inflicted much of that on him…particularly the many appearances he’s made with Mr. Trump since the election. They could have very easily kept him out of the spotlight.

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Scott Walker response to letter regarding Menorah: “Thank You and Molotov”

What a grade-A moron…

One Wisconsin Now dug up an undated letter that Walker sent in response to chairman Franklyn Gimbel’s request that he display a menorah during the holiday season:

Walker told Gimbel his office would be happy to display a menorah celebrating “The Eight Days of Chanukah” at the Milwaukee County Courthouse, and asked Gimbel to have a representative from Lubavitch of Wisconsin contact Walker’s secretary, Dorothy Moore, to set it up.

The letter is signed, “Thank you again and Molotov.”

I’m embarrassed that a man as patently stupid as Scott Walker was elected governor of this state not once but twice.

County aide caught sending political email on County time

This was incredibly stupid on Martin Weddle’s part.

An aide to a Milwaukee County Board member is coming under fire for using the taxpayer-paid county email system to promote a fundraising event for a Democratic group. 

Martin Weddle, a staffer for Supervisor Khalif Rainey, sent a note to County Board employees on May 28 encouraging them to attend a dinner by Emerge Wisconsin honoring U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore. Emerge Wisconsin says its aim is “to increase the number of Democratic women in public office.”

Weddle is currently one of three candidates running for a vacant seat on the County Board. 

Weddle’s note said the event, which was held Wednesday night, cost $125 per ticket and included a VIP reception with Moore. Rainey used to work for Moore, a Milwaukee Democrat. She is running for re-election against former state Sen. Gary George

Some conservatives (County Sup. Deanna Alexander being one) have tried to compare Martin Weddle’s one-time mistake with the pattern of unlawful behavior engaged in by multiple members of then-County Executive Scott Walker’s staff, and while Martin Weddle certainly should have known better than to send out a political email on County time, there’s really no comparison between a one-time mistake and the kind of misconduct in Scott Walker’s office that was exposed thanks to the John Doe investigation.

Memo to Wisconsin Democrats: stop the voter suppression tactics NOW!

There’s been some talk lately across the Cheddarsphere and Facebook that perhaps some Wisconsinites who typically vote for Democrats may be sitting out the 2014 election. I don’t think that’s a very good idea as either a quiet protest of Burke/Tate/DPW, or a threat to coerce stronger progressive issue positions from Mary Burke, but I think a lot of mainstream Dems exacerbate the problem with the set of talking points they seem to have organically developed from within their ranks, and from some of the more blatantly dumbassed remarks that emanate from their incumbent electeds . So in order to attempt, from my tiny pulpit here at Blogging Blue, a rescue from the downward spiral that is currently Dem politics in Wisconsin, I’m going to offer a set of recommendations to you, the Dem faithful. Bear with me. I’ll address my progressive brethren in another post soon, but this one is just for you.

1. Email Peter Barca and Chris Larson, cc Mike Tate, and tell them to muzzle any legislator or candidate or party official who starts telling the press that we’re screwed until 2020, which is when we’ll have our next  chance to redraw legislative boundaries fairly or, in their words, elect a new governor. Tell them to STFU with that stuff. All of those dire predictions are predicated upon analyses of the known electorate and historical electoral trends, which surely have strong predictive power, but these things aren’t absolute. Talking that way precludes any discussion at all of possible solutions beyond conventional political so-called wisdom, like how to mass mobilize presidential year and new voters. And why in the hell would anyone vote if we’re screwed until 2020? Think about it, for Chrissakes.  It’s puny, pathetic, and pitiful. Knock it the eff off.

2. Quit telling people who criticize Burke or the DPW that they’re helping to re-elect Scott Walker. This betrays a  one-dimensionality of thought unbecoming of grown, presumably cerebral, people. And it’s puny, pathetic and pitiful.

3. Cease and desist with the Tea Party/Progressives false equivalency. We are nothing like the Tea Party. The issues we champion, like Medicare for all, progressive taxation, jail time for criminal bankers, living wages, and an end to wars fought for Wall Street profits, are often supported by a majority of the American people, as well as a majority of the people who attend your conventions and pass resolutions and the planks of your platform. Saying that we’re like the Tea Party betrays a one-dimensionality of thought unbecoming of grown, presumably cerebral……. so on and so forth.

4. Quit calling progressives purists and crybabies who whine because they don’t get everything they want. Again, most of our positions on issues have been quasi-codified by your members through the process laid out in your by-laws, so we’re hardly being either pure or whiny when we expect candidates and party officials to be at least familiar with the dust covered platform binder lost somewhere in the back room of the DPW office in Madison.

There you go. Four simple recommendations for at least attempting to stem the boycotting mentality of independent progressive voters which you fear will doom Mary Burke’s chances in November.

You can thank me later.



Bringing it to Blaska

David Blaska, former Tommy Thompson press secretary and the angry, little red pimple on the ass of Wisconsin’s progressive community, just can’t pass up an opportunity to skewer all things “libral”. His most recent  target: homeless people and the Occupy Madison folks who want to help them.

In his ” Blaska’s Bring It “blog he’s posted a piece titled ” Our obsession with the homeless. “  Seems he and his loyal commenters think Occupy Madison’s effort to build tiny homes for the homeless is yet one more of those goofball ideas only Madison progressives could come up with. Really?

Enter Utah. Yes, that Utah.

Utah has reduced chronic homelessness by 74% over the last eight years using a truly novel approach, namely, giving people an apartment. Pure genius. And they expect to end chronic homelessness altogether by 2015. And they’re saving the state money. The approach is getting increasingly more notice from the press, including a recent show by WPR host Kathleen Dunn.

Maybe Occupy Madison is onto something, eh Blaska?

Man, I didn’t know scratching my ass could be so satisfying.


Outstanding Ignoramus of the Month.

This month’s award recognizing an outstanding achievement in rank ignorance is given to state Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton). 

Loudenbeck, in response to a bill put forth by state Rep Melissa Sargent which would allow individual counties access to federal Affordable Care Act money to expand Medicaid for their respective residents, said she needs to see what financial obligations Wisconsin counties would have to assume before she commented further on the bill.

Well then, Ms. Loudenbeck, have one of your staffers pick up the telephone and call the Wisconsin Counties Association. They passed a resolution four months ago, in the words of the Associated Press: “ reaffirming its longstanding position that the state ought to accept federal money to pay for Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act. ”

I’m sure they’d be happy to fill you in, Rep Loudenbeck, and a side benefit is that you’ll be less likely to be in the running for next months award.

Glenn Grothman Wants to Poison You!

A Wisconsin State Senate committee is scheduled to take up Senate Bill 236–a bill that would open the doors to the legal sale of unpasteurized milk from dairy farmers.  The bill, championed by Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), would set up guidelines for allowing the dumber among us to consume a product that was made safe by Louis Pasteur in 1864.

Consider these facts from the FDA…

Between 1993 and 2006, more than 1500 people from drinking raw milk, or eating cheese made from raw milk.

The CDC reports that unpasteurized milk is 150 times more likely to cause foodborne illness and results in 13 times more hospitalizations than illnesses involving pasteurized dairy products.

Raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses.  Listeria, in pregnant women, can cause fetal miscarriage, or illness/death in newborns.

However, raw milk advocates will tell you it “tastes better,” and point to anecdotal evidence of safety by claiming they have never been made sick by raw milk.  You know what I think tastes better?  Not vomiting all over the place and making a mess inside your pants from food poisoning.  Let me be as graphic as possible and tell you that you can do both of these things (at the same time) for hours on end from food poisoning.  It will leave you so weak, you will wish you had the physical strength to end your existence.   I’ve had food poisoning before–and I certainly wouldn’t invite it into my house again because raw milk “tastes better.”

Puppets and Puppeteers: A Moyers Interactive


Who’s Pulling the Strings


Some gristle to gnaw upon:

Ginni Thomas

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Critics have called out her activism as a potential conflict of interest with her husband’s judicial duties since 2000 – while working for the Heritage Foundation, she collected resumes for George W. Bush’s potential presidential appointments even though the court was still considering Bush v. Gore. She remained at the Heritage Foundation during the Bush presidency, serving as its liaison to the White House.

Thomas is a columnist for The Daily Beast and a key figure in “Groundswell,” a coalition of conservative media figures and activists who coordinate messaging as part of a “30-front war” against progressive policy.  


Inside Groundswell

“We’re Failing the Propaganda Battle”

The Groundswellers feel that they too often lose the political narrative to their progressive rivals. One memo that circulated among members declared, “We must reclaim the language and put ‘a face’ on our messages; tell stories. Write articles on 4th grade level!”

Several months after Groundswell kicked off, Steven Sutton, vice president of development for the conservative Leadership Institute and a former chief of staff to several House GOPers, proposed a “strategic message development project” for the outfit. “What is needed,” he wrote, “is an umbrella thematic message under which each specific issue can be magnified and maximized. For those familiar with it, this is an extension and development of theLeesburg Grid (which the Left has co-opted and now uses extensively, and the Right has ignored and allowed to fall into disuse.)”

Sutton suggested using four main themes: Obama and liberal policies fail; Obama and liberal policies make things worse; there is a lack of leadership in the White House; and Obama “puts politics ahead of people/our country/America.” These themes, he contended, “are best used sequentially, rather than randomly/haphazardly/isolated…The most important thing is to think thematically and drive these messages.” Sutton went on:

Issues matter. Details matter. Substance matters. But theme matters more. Substance matters only as it helps to reinforce the themes.



Michael Needham

Needham, a long-time Heritage staffer, works under DeMint as the CEO of Heritage Action for America, the conservative think tank’s young and aggressive advocacy arm. As Zeke Miller reported for Time, the group “has been working day and night for years to bring about just the crisis now gripping DC.”“A team of organizers, lobbyists and 20-something social media specialists are harnessing the power of the Tea Party to drive a wrench into Congress’ gears… It uses a three-pronged strategy to twist arms on Capitol Hill: lobbying members on hot-button issues, ranking them publicly on how they vote, and getting word out far and wide when lawmakers buck the conservative line.”

This week, Politico reported that the Koch Brothers had cut a check for a half-million dollars to Heritage Action, and the same day the group announced that it was no longer backing the shutdown it had worked so hard to precipitate.


And when we say pivot, you pivot:
The Koch Brothers
The Koch Brothers claim they are “neutral” about shutting down the government in an effort to defund Obamacare. This week, Koch Industries’ chief lobbyist Philip Ellender sent a letter to the Senate distancing the company from the shutdown, and insisting that the Kochs wanted to focus on slashing spending rather than Obamacare.
But, as Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Mike McIntire noted in a recent New York Times article, the two “have been deeply involved with financing the overall effort.”
“A group linked to the Kochs, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, disbursed more than $200 million last year to nonprofit organizations involved in the fight. Included was $5 million to Generation Opportunity, which created a buzz last month with an Internet advertisement showing a menacing Uncle Sam figure popping up between a woman’s legs during a gynecological exam.”

 Raul Labrador

One of the most outspoken crusaders against Obamacare, tea party-endorsed Raúl Labrador — elected during the 2010 midterms – also advocates US withdrawal from the United Nations, returning to the Gold Standard and eliminating the Department of Education. In the debt ceiling battle, he has been key in pushing House leadership to the right with his calls to “defund” the law. Labrador has repeatedly insisted that the president and the Democrat-controlled Senate are to blame for the shutdown, not him and his colleagues: “The House is listening to the American people by advocating for a one-year delay of the individual mandate. The Senate, meanwhile, is trying to instigate a shutdown with the hope that Republicans will get the blame. In fact, it will be the Senate that gets blamed for refusing to fix the individual mandate.”
Ted Yoho
Rep. Ted Yoho, a former large animal veterinarian specializing in cattle, took office earlier this year, and is a proponent of blowing the debt limit in the name of defunding Obamacare. “We did a town hall the other day, and 74 percent of people said, ‘don’t raise the debt ceiling,’” he told the National Review. For his part, he thinks Congress should move full steam ahead. He told The Washington Post that he doesn’t want to raise the debt ceiling — ever again. “I think we need to have that moment where we realize [we’re] going broke. I think, personally, it would bring stability to the world markets.”



Conversational Items

Diana Nyad

Conversational item #1: At age 64 Diana Nyad is the first swimmer to cross the Florida Straits without a shark cage. Yikes. But wow. Nyad swam for 53 hours from Havana to Key West. Wow again. An incredible feat for any human being, and an inspiration to all but especially inspirational for women and Baby Boomers. Nyad has been trying and failing to cross the Strait for 35 years, and yesterday she finally succeeded. Where there’s a will there’s a way.



Conversational item #2: Diana Nyad proves that women can achieve Xtreme feats, but perhaps women aren’t so suited for more refined matters – like conducting an orchestra. Or so thinks Vasily Petrenko:

The principal conductor of the National Youth Orchestra and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic has provoked outrage by claiming that orchestras “react better when they have a man in front of them” and that a “cute girl on a podium means that musicians will think about other things”.

When conducted by a man, musicians encounter fewer erotic distractions, Vasily Petrenko claimed. “Musicians will have less sexual energy and can focus more on the music,” he said, adding that “when women have families, it becomes difficult to be as dedicated as is demanded in the business.”

Oh my. Thoughts anyone?


Conversational item #3  from Twisted Sifter’s brief but fascinating glimpse at patriarchy and gender roles in Albania where women sometimes live as men. History is replete with examples of women disguising themselves as men for various purposes, but traditions like the burrnesha are particularly fascinating in that these women aren’t individual “deviants” defying a patriarchal system. Rather, the burrnesha would seem to represent thorough patriarchal immersion.

Conversational item #4 – boys and the color pink. This piece, Raising my gender creative son was just posted by Salon today, and I thought it would be a good topic for discussion. The article is written by Lori Duron and adapted from her book, Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son, released today.

Reading Duron’s excerpt reminded me of Katie Vykoriah’s experience last month at her nearby WalMart. The mere sight of her son wearing a favorite pink headband so provoked the ire of one narrow-minded hick that he actually pulled the headband off the child’s head and cuffed him. Unbelievable. There’s quite a bit to discuss in Vykoriah’s account; here’s an excerpt of the incident:

He rocked that headband.

Soon enough, we were done with our shop and were making our way toward the front. As we passed through the produce section, two teenage girls began giggling and one of them asked, “Is that a boy or a girl?” I smiled and said, “He’s a boy.” I looked on at him adoringly as they continued to giggle.

Out of nowhere a big booming voice rang out. “THAT’S a BOY?!” The man was overly large with a bushy beard and a camouflage shirt with the arms cut off. He had tattered shorts and lace-up work boots with no laces. I could smell the fug of cigarette smoke surrounding him, and there was a definite pong of beer on him.

“Yes,” I said simply, still smiling.

With no notice, the man stepped forward, grabbed the headband off of Dexter’s head and threw it to the bottom of our shopping cart. He then cuffed Dexter around the side of his head (not hard, but that is not the point) and said with a big laugh, “You’ll thank me later, little man!”

Lastly, conversational item #5, though the conversation might not happen on this thread, but a conversational item to be sure…. If you get the opportunity to see the independent film entitled The Mooring released by In House Media this past February by all means do. It’s a horror film, but with more subtext than your average run-of-the-mill-screeching-teenagers flick. The subtext relates to the conversational topics in this post. The performances were brilliant, the screenplay, the production cast and the production itself all extremely impressive. I was pleased to find a production company that can fathom horror without gore in favor of “intelligent suspense.”  If horror’s not your thing,  definitely don’t see it. If horror is within your genre range, The Mooring should be easy to find;  I found it at the library.

Here’s a link to In House Media:

In House Media, Inc

A word on the trailer – it isn’t an accurate synopsis of the film, and must have been a distributor decision (Lion’s Gate); disregard it so your expectations aren’t sullied.