Democrats Behaving Badly: Playing Walker Bingo At the State of the State

Daniel Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that State Representative Gordon Hintz created a little Governor Walker bingo game and passed it out to Democratic legislators for use during the governor’s State of the State address. Now I am hardly a fan of Governor Walker but he is still governor of Wisconsin until 2018. And if the dems want to have any semblance of respectability going into the 2018 elections…they need to act like responsible adults.

Republicans were not happy that Democrats weren’t focused on the governor’s largely ceremonial talk to the joint session of the Legislature.

At this point I wouldn’t mind seeing them all replaced by dems who want to do the job!

On the other hand:

…the Walker administration did not give them (the Democratic legislators) a transcript of the governor’s talk, the first time Hintz said this has happened. Instead, they were given highlights of Walker’s remarks.

It’s All About Trump’s Ego

Everyone keeps putting forth reasons why President-elect Donald Trump disbelieves the CIA report that Russia is behind hacking the DNC emails and servers. Mr. Trump continually denies placing the onus on Moscow. Some attribute to his lack of experience. Or his lack of understanding how hacking works. Or not understanding how computer security tracks this stuff. Or his coziness with Mr. Putin or the various ties his appointees have with the Russian government. Shrug, maybe so.

But it may be simpler than that…it just might be his big fat ego not wanting to give anyone else credit for influencing the race or affecting its outcome other than ~ Donald Trump!

[and yes his inability to accept the conclusions of our intelligence agencies is particularly troubling]

Bolton Disqualified For State Department Gig

On Sunday, John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W Bush, totally disqualified himself for a state department gig. While President-elect Donald Trump is personally in denial over the reported Russian responsibility for the DNC hacks, Mr. Bolton decided he had to be the fringiest of the fringe in his view on the matter.

Mr. Bolton thinks Obama did it. No, I am not kidding:

The man reported to be Donald Trump’s pick for the number two job in the State Department says the election hacks could have been a false flag operation.

John Bolton told Fox News on Sunday that the hacks may not have been carried out by Russia, as the intelligence community believes, but implied the Obama administration itself could’ve been secretly responsible.

“It is not at all clear to me just viewing this from the outside, that this hacking into the DNC and the RNC computers was not a false flag operation,” Bolton told reporter Eric Shawn.

“False flag” is a term that refers to covert activities undertaken by a government or other entity to advance its own political agenda by making it look as if someone else did it.

Mr. Bolton is a hack. There is no way in hell that the Senate should confirm this guy. Just no way.

Ivanka’s Baubles Bangles and Beads

Apparently Ivanka Trump wore jewelry from her namesake line of jewelry while accompanying Donald Trump for his interview on “60 Minutes”. And someone from her firm sent out info touting it. And some people are making a big stink about it.

Really? I mean Really?

Donald Trump is about to destroy the legacy of President Barack Obama, destroy international trade, destroy safety net and entitlement programs for US Citizens, destroy the economy by removing 11 million working residents, destroy the environment and possibly start the biggest recession/depression since Herbert Hoover and we a getting out of joint over some over priced costume jewelry?

Get your heads out of your posteriors…we have some real policies we have to stand up against…and you are worrying about this?

Donald Trump’s firsts

Just something I’ve been pondering tonight…

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has set a series of firsts during the 2016 election cycle, and I think those firsts are worth noting.

Donald Trump is….

  • …the first presidential candidate in 40 years not to release his full tax returns.
  • …the first presidential candidate to threaten to jail his opponent if elected.
  • …the first presidential candidate to admit on tape to having engaged in inappropriate and possibly illegal sexual behavior.

The fact that Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s standard bearer doesn’t bode well for the future of that party, to say the least.

And When Congress Finally Does Something…they prove Incompetent!

Congress was all full speed ahead damn the torpedoes in passing their Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, known as JASTA, that would allow Americans who suffered a loss on 9/11 to sue Saudi Arabia. Despite the stern warnings from the White House and President Obama’s veto…they went ahead and for the first time in Pres. Obama’s Presidency, overrode his veto.

But then buyer’s remorse set in:

U.S. lawmakers expressed doubts on Thursday about Sept. 11 legislation they forced on President Barack Obama, saying the new law allowing lawsuits against Saudi Arabia could be narrowed to ease concerns about its effect on Americans abroad.

A day after a rare overwhelming rejection of a presidential veto, the first during Obama’s eight years in the White House, the Republican leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives opened the door to fixing the law as they blamed the Democratic president for not consulting them adequately.

“I do think it is worth further discussing,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters, acknowledging that there could be “potential consequences” of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, known as JASTA.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Congress might have to “fix” the legislation to protect U.S. troops in particular.

And of course whose at fault here? As quoted above:

…they blamed the Democratic president for not consulting them adequately.

Out of the 535 members of the House and Senate…there aren’t any policy wonks that know what all this entails? Who know what the risks and benefits might be? How can you pass legislation when you don’t know the ramifications?

So after 7+ years of basically doing nothing and working the fewest days this year in nearly 60 years…when they finally get off their posteriors…they pass a heinous bill and within 24 hours regret it.

And all of us suckers are pretty much going to send them all back to Washington in November.

Bruce Murphy’s Take On AG Schimel’s Hearing Loss:

Earlier this week I commented on Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel’s total tone deafness related to his Department of Justice investigation into the shooting death of Sylville Smith at the hands of the Milwaukee Police Department. I am not the only one feeling this way…witness today’s article by Bruce Murphy over at Urban Milwaukee:

Then there’s the fact the state investigation is using retired Milwaukee police officers in the Smith probe. The AG told the media he doesn’t see a conflict in using MPD officers: “Milwaukee PD has about 2,000 sworn officers as I understand. The likelihood that there would be some relationship between a particular patrol officer, who’s going to be much younger than an experienced detective… is small. And if there is any relationship at all, that officer, that investigator would not be permitted to have any role in the investigation.”

This is not the first time former Milwaukee officers were used in such a state investigation. They were also used in the 2014 investigation of Milwaukee officer Christopher Manney who shot and killed Dontre Hamilton in Red Arrow Park.

At the time, Bies [Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay)] told Fox 6 he trusted the state agents to be impartial, but thought their ties to the Milwaukee department could make the public suspicious: “I would’ve thought that whoever made those assignments maybe would’ve considered those issues and… made a better decision and put a different investigator on.”

In short, perception matters. As it turned out, many in Milwaukee have never accepted the decision that determined Manney wasn’t criminally culpable and there have been periodic protests since then. But the stakes are far higher in the Smith killing, which touched off a near-riot. Whatever the decision that’s made, it’s critical that it looks as fair as possible, with no perception of favorable treatment.

But how “independent” does the investigation look when you have Milwaukee officers investigating a fellow member of the force? Under the circumstances, you have have to ask why Schimel hasn’t simply looked for other retired officers — whether from the Madison, Racine or any other city — to conduct the Smith probe.

But Mr. Murphy goes me one better…and it’s because they have been spending a lot of time following political contributions around the state. But if a perception of bias by the former MPD officers doing the investigation doesn’t bother AG Schimel, why would this:

But questions have arisen about Schimel’s links to Milwaukee police. For starters, he has been a frequent recipient of campaign donations from the Milwaukee Police Association. The police union gave him five donations of $500 between May 2014 and October 2015, as Gretchen Schuldt has reported for Wisconsin Justice Initiative.

What can possibly go wrong here?

Wisconsin AG Brad Schimel is Stone Cold Tone Deaf:

Per a recent state law, a third party agency must conduct the investigations of police involved shootings. Following the killing of a young man in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood by a member of the Milwaukee Police Department, the Wisconsin Department of Justice is investigating the incident. This shooting lead to the rioting and property destruction in Sherman Park on August 13th and 14th, 2016. And despite the fact that both the deceased and the police officer are African American, there is a lot of angst surrounding the incident and the follow up investigation.

Wisconsin’s Attorney General Brad Schimel is in charge to the Department of Justice and therefore the chief officer in the investigation. Needless to say there is distrust between the community and the police department and a lot of concern in Milwaukee on getting this thing right. So who is handling the case on behalf of the WI DOJ? Well apparently an number of DOJ investigators who are former Milwaukee police officers. Yup, that’s the ticket to instill confidence in the community that this investigation is being carefully and thoroughly examined. And I can’t think that there wouldn’t be enough non-MPD experienced investigators to handle this…even if it required some reassignments…but wouldn’t that be the right thing to do?

Well maybe not:

Wisconsin’s attorney general acknowledged Monday that former Milwaukee police officers, now working for the state Department of Justice, are investigating the fatal shooting of a black man by a Milwaukee officer that triggered two nights of violence.

Attorney General Brad Schimel said he doesn’t see a conflict in using former Milwaukee officers in the investigation into the Aug. 13 shooting of Sylville K. Smith.

“Milwaukee PD has about 2,000 sworn officers as I understand. The likelihood that there would be some relationship between a particular patrol officer, who’s going to be much younger than an experienced detective… is small. And if there is any relationship at all, that officer, that investigator would not be permitted to have any role in the investigation,” Schimel said at a news conference in downtown Milwaukee.

He said the DOJ hires many retired officers to work for the Division of Criminal Investigation in the region that they have previously worked. An agency spokesman later said DCI has about 100 officers statewide; of 18 field agents in the Milwaukee office, eight once worked for the Milwaukee Police Department.

It may in fact be possible for former Milwaukee police officers to conduct a thorough and unbiased investigation.

But that doesn’t mean a damn thing…there are times when the appearance of possible bias is the determining factor in who performs the investigation. And in this case there shouldn’t be a single former member of MPD anywhere near this case.

WTF is AG Schimel thinking?

Julie Meyer continues to try to play the victim after primary loss

Nearly two weeks after her loss to incumbent Democratic State Rep. Christine Sinicki, Julie Meyer has continued to accuse Sinicki of attacking Meyer and her family, asserting “Rep. Sinicki has continued to punish her primary opponent’s family and supporters. Beyond the restraining order, Rep. Sinicki has also attempted to use her political connections to have a supporter of her opponent’s campaign fired from their job.”

Julie Meyer’s accusation seems to stem from Rep. Sinicki’s decision to pursue a temporary restraining order against Meyer’s husband Michael Meyer following Meyer’s erratic and harassing behavior during and after a campaign fundraiser held by Rep. Sinicki.

In response to Julie Meyer’s accusations Christine Sinicki’s campaign issued a press release debunking the accusations made by Meyer and providing some much-needed context to the situation involving Sinicki and Julie Meyer’s husband.

“Despite the fact that the fall primary results have been in more than a week, apparently Ms. Meyer and her campaign manager, disgruntled organizer Dennis Hughes, seem to have missed the fact that the race is over. They act as if the campaign is still going on.

“In fact, their continued complaints and protests are so loud, it looks like they are trying to obscure their own bad behavior during the primary campaign they lost. That behavior includes harassment by Ms. Meyer’s spouse, Michael Meyer, of Rep. Sinicki, her family members, and supporters, including local elected officials, at a Sinicki Campaign fundraiser.

“After the incidents at the fundraiser, the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD) informed Rep. Sinicki that Ms. Meyer’s spouse, Michael Meyer, is someone whose menacing behavior should be taken seriously, based on his known history. Acting upon advice by the MPD, she was granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to prevent Michael Meyer from further harassing her family, her supporters or herself during the rest of her campaign.

“After the election, Ms. Meyer asked Rep. Sinicki to agree not to seek to make the TRO permanent against Michael Meyer. Rep. Sinicki asked to talk to her in person, which happened earlier this week. During that conversation, the Representative agreed to her request, with the caveat that if her husband from this point on exhibits any more such behavior, then Rep. Sinicki will seek permanent reinstatement of the restraining order (RO). (This would mean Mr. Meyer would be subject to the conditions of two simultaneous restraining orders, including the instructions in the first one to relinquish and not possess firearms).

“Yesterday morning (Thursday, August 18, 2016) Rep. Sinicki sent Ms. Meyer a text confirming again that she will not pursue a permanent restraining order, and that on advice from the restraining order office she would not attend the hearing scheduled for today, Friday, August 19, 2016, for that purpose.

“As promised, Rep. Sinicki did not attend the hearing this morning, which signaled to the court that she is not pursuing an RO at this time.

“Going forward, Rep. Sinicki hopes that Ms. Meyer will see the wisdom in refusing to respond to any more provocations to cry wolf from Mr. Hughes, who has had his own serious, ongoing problems with harassing and disruptive behavior. He clearly incites much of Ms. Meyer’s “sour grapes” behavior, even to the point of writing her media releases for her. It is time for Ms. Meyer to recognize Mr. Hughes’ input for the bad advice it is, and distance herself from it.

“It is also time for both Ms. Meyer and Mr. Hughes to lay down this pattern of continued outbursts of resentment and bad temper. We need to direct our personal and communal resources to make sure that, in the November 8 general election, we elect leaders who will focus on the good of everyone in our communities. That is how Rep. Sinicki intends to direct her energies between now and Nov. 8th, and it is her hope Ms. Meyer and Mr. Hughes will join her.”

As capper rightly notes over at Cognitive Dissidence, it’s a good thing the voters of the 20th Assembly district saw through the negativity and lies of Julie Meyer’s campaign and instead chose to send Rep. Sinicki back to Madison to represent them.

Rep. Bob Gannon Goes Over His Own Edge

Sometimes you wonder where the party of personal responsibility, small government and local control gets their off the sanity continuum ideas. The latest off the charts wing nut is Wisconsin State Representative Bob Gannon (R-Slinger). His proposal is to put the fear of insurance rates into the hearts of business owners who have legally (under the Concealed Carry Legislation he and his cohort passed some time back) posted their establishments as no weapon areas. What does Rep. Gannon want to do?

Wisconsin’s 2011 concealed carry law creates immunity from civil liability for gun-related deaths for businesses that allow guns on their property.

Gannon’s proposal, dubbed the “Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act,” would go a step further in discouraging gun-free zones by allowing a victim of gun violence to sue businesses with such bans and recover triple the amount of damages without regard to who was at fault.

Obviously this is a threat to many small businesses who would see their insurance rates climb if they didn’t remove their ban on weapons on their premises. So sorry about private property rights and local control and the free market…

And what about personal responsibility? “without regard to who was at fault” says it all. Doesn’t this fly in the face of the meme that guns don’t kill people? Couldn’t this imply that the gun was at fault?

Needless to say this a horrible idea…one that I would be surprised to see the rest of the GOP get behind. They will lose the support of small business and probably insurance companies and agents.

So just hours after this and similar articles came out, I found this story of some interest:

Milwaukee police say Marquette University students were injured when a gun accidentally discharged at the entrance of a restaurant on campus.

A statement from the Milwaukee Police Department says the accident was reported shortly before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday when a man accidentally discharged a firearm near the front door of Sobelman’s Pub & Grill.

The statement says three women and one man suffered minor injuries that didn’t require medical treatment when they were struck by debris caused by the discharge.

The department says the man who discharged the gun fled the area and it wasn’t clear whether he was injured.

So Sobelman’s Pub would be at fault in this case if Rep. Gannon’s idea was already the law? Does that sound even remotely reasonable?

PS (I don’t know what Sobelman’s Pub policy is on weapons on their premises).