Scott Walker’s bald spot is newsworthy?!? Really?!?

Can someone explain to me why Gov. Walker’s bald spot is even something that’s newsworthy?

As Gov. Scott Walker was wrapping up his visit Monday with the State Journal editorial board, he joked with cartoonist Phil Hands that Hands draws his ears too big — but said the cartoonist’s portrayal of his bald spot was accurate.

The governor continued.

The bald spot, he said, was the result of a repair incident in the kitchen when he banged his head on an open kitchen cabinet door while making repairs requested by his wife, Tonette.

She kept telling him to go to the doctor to get the scar on his head looked at, he said. When he finally did, the doctor said his hair would never grow back in that spot, the governor explained.

While the fact that Gov. Walker has a bald spot is most definitely not something I believe to be newsworthy, the fact that he felt compelled to come up with an elaborate (and blatant) lie to explain the bald spot shows just how pathological he is.

With far more pressing (and pertinent) issues facing Wisconsin, Scott Walker’s bald spot is the last thing we need to be discussing.

What The White House Wants To Tell You About Ebola

From my email inbox: An Ebola update from President Obama

Today, President Obama spoke to the nation about Ebola — how the Administration is responding, and what you should know.

The Ebola virus is a public health and national security priority, and the President has directed the Administration to continue to take aggressive measures at every level of government.

President Obama reiterated that, while Ebola is a serious disease, Americans need to understand the facts and be guided by the science: Ebola is not easily transmitted. And we know how to fight it.

Have more questions? Here’s what public health officials want you to know.

What’s the story here?

Congratulations to Zach from Blogging Blue and WKBT Channel 8 News in LaCrosse. Why?

They appear to be the only two media outlets that got the headline correct regarding the recent potential pollution of Trempealeau County drinking water by a frac sand mining company: Frac sand mine may have contaminated drinking water. “

The rest of the media reports seemed to center on this headline: “ Regulators target wrong sand mine company ” . That’s roughly the headline used by everyone from the JS Online, to the Eau Claire Leader Telegram, KARE TV in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune, etc, because Trempealeau County officials originally  issued citations to the wrong company.  But is that really the story here? That regulators cited the wrong company?

I guess I’d like to know how a frac sand mining company forgot to construct the required concrete linings in their waste water ponds. How did that happen? Can such a thing be simply an oversight? Was it a cost cutting measure that operators took deliberately? Are there other shoddy practices going on? Are there any studies available about the dangerous effects of polyacrylamide, the chemical that may eventually find its way into the groundwater? Are there any reasonable projections about if and when that might happen?

With the proliferation of sand mines expected to continue across western Wisconsin in the near future, aren’t these the questions that the media should be asking, and shouldn’t all of us demand some answers?


The White House Feeds Into the Ebola Hysteria With A Czar

Kow towing to the stench of hysteria on Capitol Hill, President Obama today appointed an Ebola Czar. Really?? He’s a well respected medico well versed in exotic and infectious diseases, right? Well no, not exactly. He’s a ‘respected’
bureaucrat with ties to the White House…no really!

In his White House briefing Friday, press secretary Josh Earnest struggled to tell the White House Press Corps what newly-appointed “Ebola Czar” Ron Klain even knows about the lethal virus that has America worried.

After fielding a question from CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta wondering about Klain’s knowledge of Ebola, Earnest spent roughly two minutes beating around the bush explaining Klain’s bonafides, much of which had nothing to do with Ebola, and about his other experience, particularly while managing the stimulus package of 2009.

“What does Ron Klain know about Ebola?” questioned Acosta.

“Let’s talk about…let me re-state why this person…why the president believes it was important to add this person to his team,” Earnest began in his response. “The president wanted somebody who could serve in a coordinating function, to manage our implementation of our whole of government approach to this Ebola situation.”

“To more directly address your question, what we were looking for was not an Ebola expert, but rather an implementation expert, and that’s exactly what Ron Klain is,” Earnest said.

But it gets worse…our czar is replacing the head of the CDC as the face of Ebola concern in the US…we get a connected political operative in place of a real doctor.

Obama, facing criticism from some lawmakers over his administration’s handling of efforts to contain the virus, appointed Ron Klain, a lawyer who previously served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to oversee the U.S. response to the virus.

Klain replaces U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Thomas Frieden as the new public face of the government’s response to Ebola. The CDC chief was strongly criticized for his handling of the situation in Dallas, where the two nurses contracted the disease from Duncan.

So now the President has moved into the anti-science contingency?

Progressive Democrats of America Endorse Rockwood

From my pesky in box…sorry Chris…this almost got lost in the 80 emails I get each day begging for money:

Wauwatosa – The national organization of Progressive Democrats of America has officially endorsed Chris Rockwood’s campaign to become the United States Representative to Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District.

According to its mission statement, Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. The organization seeks to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites – with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests.

The endorsement announcement by Executive Co-Directors Conor Boylan and Andrea Miller states, “Chris will be a progressive champion for our issues if we just make grass roots democracy work, by doing what it takes to insure this victory.”

James Carpenter, the Progressive Democrats of America member who submitted Rockwood for endorsement, gave credit to the candidate’s positions. “As a professional trained in engineering, Chris understands that global warming is real and needs to be addressed immediately,” Carpenter explained. “He understands numbers and recognizes that a Medicare-for-All system can greatly reduce our health care costs. His commitment to reducing wasteful military spending fits right in with PDA’s motto: Healthcare not Warfare.”

“This is wonderful, and I appreciate it very much,” Rockwood said. “Everyone is very excited,” added Robert Hansen, Rockwood’s Campaign Manager. “We now have the best phone bank team in the country making calls for us. That alone is huge.”

The general election for Wisconsin’s 5th Congressional District is November 4, 2014.


For more information on the Rockwood Campaign, please visit Follow the campaign on, and on Twitter @Rockwood4WI.

Ebola: Ask the GOP Where the Hell the Surgeon General Is

Today President Obama fed into the national hysteria surrounding the Ebola virus by appointing a bureaucrat to the inventive pseudo-post of Ebola-czar. But shouldn’t we have an experienced medico at the helm. Maybe get someone involved…like maybe the SURGEON GENERAL?

So where the hell is the Surgeon General? Well apparently we don’t have one because the GOP Senators and NRA are holding up President Obama’s nominee for the post…since November 14, 2013.

When the Sunday morning TV shows needed to talk to an official with the Obama administration about the deadly Ebola virus on American soil, longtime senior advisor Dan Pfeiffer was sent out to reassure the American people.

Don’t get me wrong. Dan’s a nice guy, but when there is a health crisis in this country, I want to hear from a doctor, not a political guy with no health experience at all.

But thanks to the National Rifle Association, impotent Senate Democrats, and an Obama White House unwilling to engage in a fierce battle for one of its nominees, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy isn’t the person who is speaking to the nation.

In fact, November 14 will mark the one-year anniversary of President Obama appointing Murthy as surgeon general, replacing Dr. Regina Benjamin. Murthy had his Senate confirmation hearings in February, but since then? Nothing. All we’ve seen is the kind of bullshit political games that come to define this cesspool known as Washington, D.C., which does more to drive good people away from public service.

What are the crimes Murthy has committed? He hasn’t kissed the ass of the National Rifle Association, and has called for gun restrictions in order to keep more Americans healthy.

That’s right. A doctor, whose job is to treat the sick and to actually keep folks alive and make their lives better, is being delayed ascension to the nation’s top medical spot because he believes that too many Americans are being shot and killed.

And because you have a bunch of weak, impotent, no-guts Democrats who are more focused on their re-election instead of standing up for a medical doctor, Murthy has been twisting in the wind for the last 11 months, and based on previous judicial battles, may never get to serve in the job.

While the usual suspects on Capitol Hill bemoan President Obama’s lack of leadership in the face of this Ebola crisis, exclaiming and expounding on how he is putting the health of Americans at risk…the same spineless no nothings are the ones in fact putting our health at risk by refusing to confirm an experienced medico for Surgeon General. And where the hell are the Democrats who refuse to push this forward? And instead of an Ebola czar, why isn’t the President demanding confirmation of the SG to be the medical face of the Administration. Or why didn’t he name Dr. Murthy the czar? What a circus.

Freakin’ Halloweekend: Spotlight on The Bobby McGees

Freakin' Halloweekend

In anticipation of “Freakin’ Halloweekend” – coming Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 at the High Noon Saloon in Madison – we’re taking a moment to profile and interview some of the bands who will be donning musical costumes for the occasion.    Please see the schedule below. 

What band are you performing as for Freakin’ Halloweekend?

The Bobby McGees as Janis Joplin


Who are your members in your band and are they in other local Madison bands? If so, what are they?

Ellie Erickson – lead guitar – The Sigourney Weavers and Shotgun Mary, and the now unfortunately defunct Croaker

Rick Streed – rhythm guitar – The Drain and Crackity Jones (Pixies tribute band)

Jake Ripp-Dieter – bass – I Saw the Creature

Andrew Schroeder – drums – I Saw the Creature and The Bell Hops

Kevin Knapp – keys – Venice Gas House Trolley

Becky Lipsitz – trumpet

Jordan Foster – trumpet

Meghan Rose – vocals – Little Red Wolf, I Saw the Creature, Damsel Trash


When you were younger (or heck, even now), what band/musician did you want to be (or dress up as for Halloween) when you grew up?

I wanted to be a writer more than anything when I was younger. I wanted to be Andrew Lloyd Webber. Now after being in bands I’m more of a performer. And honestly I’ve already had the esteemed privilege of portraying Courtney Love in Hole for the 2012 Halloweekend. That may be the pinnacle for me. Janis will have to take a close second. I mean, she died before we had enough quotes from her, you know?


What do you think the band you’re being would think if they saw you? Would they be flattered? Outraged? Impressed?

I think Janis and her band mates would be greatly amused, and semi-impressed. I think they would also be high and she would clap a lot and say “ALL RIGHT! ALL RIGHT! ROCK N ROLL MAN!” And then shake my hand after the show and offer me some SoCo.


Are you dressing up as the band?

Absolutely! Woodstock fashion all the way. I’ve got bell bottoms, bangles, red glasses, and a lot of feathers. I already have the hair. Jake is growing a mustache. And Ellie is the epitome of the 60s every day of her life. So it won’t be much of a change for her I don’t think…


What other band playing at FHW are you most excited about seeing?

I’m most excited to see Garbage. Love all the songs they’re doing, number one, and I can’t wait to see Annelies Howell transform into Shirley Manson. I’ve already gotten a taste of it because we’re friends, but I wanna see the full show. She’s gonna kill it. I know Jake is most excited for ZZ Top. We saw the real ZZ Top at Bonnaroo last year and he was beside himself.


What experience do you want the audience to take away from your show?

I want the audience to feel like Janis came back from the dead to give them the best damn show of her life. And everyone to party like it’s 1969.


Tickets ►

FRIDAY 10/31
12:30am The Have Nots as X
11:30pm Junkhead as ALICE IN CHAINS
11pm – 11:30pm Costume Contest Train/Winners
10pm Velcro Fly as ZZ TOP
9pm Red Rose playing 90’s HIP HOP CLASSICS
8pm The Shirley Manson Family as GARBAGE
8PM | $8 | 21+

Saturday 11/1
12:30am No Class as MOTORHEAD
11:30pm The Old Pornographers as THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
11pm – 11:30pm Costume Contest Train/Winners
10pm The Bobby McGees as JANIS JOPLIN
9pm The Little Bitches as THE SPECIALS
8pm Blink One Eighty Boo as BLINK 182
8PM | $8 | 21+

Presented by WORT FM & MadCity Music Exchange

Costume contest with prizes at 11PM each night!

Click here for the Facebook Event

Bolivia’s blooming socialist economy

This is worth a read…

The socialist Evo Morales, who yesterday was re-elected to serve a third term as president of Bolivia, has long been cast as a figure of fun by the media in the global north. Much like the now deceased Hugo Chávez, Morales is often depicted as a buffoonish populist whose flamboyant denouncements of the United States belie his incompetence. And so, reports of his landslide win inevitably focused on his announcement that it was “a victory for anti-imperialism”, as though anti-US sentiment is the only thing Morales has given to Bolivia in his eight years in government.

More likely, Morales’s enduring popularity is a result of his extraordinary socio-economic reforms, which – according to the New York Times – have transformed Bolivia from an “economic basket case” into a country that receives praise from such unlikely contenders as the World Bank and the IMF – an irony considering the country’s success is the result of the socialist administration casting off the recommendations of the IMF in the first place.

According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, “Bolivia has grown much faster over the last eight years than in any period over the past three and a half decades.” The benefits of such growth have been felt by the Bolivian people: under Morales, poverty has declined by 25% and extreme poverty has declined by 43%; social spending has increased by more than 45%; the real minimum wage has increased by 87.7%; and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean has praised Bolivia for being “one of the few countries that has reduced inequality”. In this respect, the re-election of Morales is really very simple: people like to be economically secure – so if you reduce poverty, they’ll probably vote for you.

VIDEO: A public servant shares her story of Act 10’s impact on her family

This is a powerful video.

My own thoughts on the impact of Act 10 on public employees are well-documented, but Monologues of Dissent summed up my thoughts perfectly.

This is my boat, and the boat of so many other state workers who were barely getting by prior to the “modest concessions” and cuts imposed by Act 10. Do not forget on Nov. 4 that Act 10 was NEVER about the budget: it was always about taking away our right to negotiate with our employers for a fair and living wage and benefits. Walker has revealed in the last week that he thinks the very idea of a minimum wage is a sinister government entitlement, and he’s revealed in his anti-taxpayer actions over the last 4 years that he will stop at nothing to deny healthcare to struggling families and line the pockets of his insurance-industry donors.

It’s disgraceful that Scott Walker’s virulent anti-union loathing has overridden any of the compassion, empathy, and concern for his fellow citizens that he may have learned as the son of a minister.

Rita Wittwer speaks out about Democratic Party of Wisconsin, 2014 election

On Monday October 13 Rita Wittwer, the wife of former Democratic State Senate candidate Ernie Wittwer, appeared on WORT’s 8 O’clock Buzz to talk about the Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson, the curious circumstances surrounding the recount in the 17th Senate district, as well as her husband’s loss in the Democratic primary in the 17th Senate district.

The interview is definitely worth a listen.

While there’s a lot of interesting tidbits in Rita Wittwer’s interview, her assertion that the endorsements of AFSCME and WEAC were steered away from Ernie Wittwer and towards Pat Bomhack at the behest of Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson definitely piqued my curiosity the most.

Blogging Blue’s “14 in ’14”

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