But remember, according to conservatives the minimum wage is a “living wage”

Just something to ponder the next time you hear an elected official spouting off about how there’s absolutely no need to increase the minimum wage.

Did you know?

Dom’s Domain: the post-debate breakdown

Over at Dom’s Domain Politics, Dom has an excellent writeup of Friday’s debate between Gov. Scott Walker and challenger Mary Burke, with Dom rightly noting Burke won the debate hands down.

There are smart ways to discuss wages, Ebola, abortion, environment and drug tests without attacking Walker and just giving voters a chance to hear different positions on important topics.  None here. It took Burke statements in the debate  to pursue other deceptions – like Walker’s claim that the state has a work problem not a jobs problem or how his concern for inner city violence hardly meshes with  his $76  million cut in shared revenue that massively hurt city police departments.

The game table may have looked stacked against Burke, but she was unaffected, comfortable with all comers and actually managed to dismiss how often Walker tried to drag Jim Doyle into the debate. This is happening a lot, as you will see below.

She clarified fiscal issues as Walker didn’t. How  if you haven’t paid your bills or if you delay moneymaking projects you could have a surplus state budget today and a $1.8 billion projected deficit for tomorrow. She revealed his only first in the nation – the biggest cuts to education funding among all the states.  

She not only won and outdid him on insights into economic repair, she topped with more believable conviction their common and politically required optimism about Wisconsin’s future. She seemed determined to make inroads not only with her base but also with people who previously believed in Walker, not by attacking him but by exposing that his approach to tax cuts was ham-handed economic ineptitude.

Dan Sebring: conservative majority on U.S. Supreme Court conspiring against Scott Walker

This is bizarre, even for a fringe candidate like Dan Sebring.

Republican Dan Sebring, who is running to represent Wisconsin’s 4th District in the House of Representatives, told ThinkProgress he suspects a political motive behind the Supreme Court’s recent ruling putting the state’s voter ID law on hold.

“The United States Supreme Court said we can’t implement it for this election,” he said at a Milwaukee County Republicans party this week. “My personal feeling is that this is a play to steer the outcome of the gubernatorial election so that Scott Walker wouldn’t have a chance of getting on the ticket in 2016 for the White House. I think that’s what they’re trying to do.”

I’m not sure what tortured logic Dan Sebring employed in order to surmise that the conservative-led United States Supreme Court is conspiring to keep Scott Walker from running for president in 2016, but Sebring’s comments were telling in that they made it abundantly clear that Republicans believe they can’t win an election in which they don’t rig the rules to disenfranchise groups of voters (the poor, the elderly, minorities) who tend to vote for Democrats.

MJS editors wonder: What if we lived in a Wisconsin without Act 10?

This is worth a read…

If Walker could travel to that other universe — the one where he negotiates with unions instead of breaking them — here’s what he would find: The budget deficit is closed through negotiated employee concessions, cuts to programs and a little fiscal magic. There are no new taxes. There are no angry protests around the state Capitol, no nasty threats aimed at Republican legislators. Democratic senators remain in Madison; they do not not run off to Illinois. They don’t have to; they are working with the governor. There are not 15 recall elections, either, and Walker, though disliked by Democrats, is no target. The Democrats know better.

Very few people in this strange land have ever heard of Eric O’Keefe, the head of Wisconsin Club for Growth. The group does not coordinate with Walker’s recall campaign because there is no recall election.

Imagine: labor peace, a balanced budget, a successful governor, a new kind of Republican who works with his political foes instead of crushing them. It’s easy if you try.

But alas, in the universe Walker created, we have Act 10.

As the editorial rightly noted, any deficit in the state’s budget – which was the reason Gov. Walker gave for “dropping the bomb” with Act 10 – could have been dealt with by working with public employee unions, instead of seeking to destroy the unions as Gov. Walker did. As noted in the editorial, Massachusetts passed a law giving mayors and other local officials the authority to set co-payments and deductibles for their employees after a 30-day discussion period with unions, a measure which led to $250 million in savings for towns and cities in that state.

The fact is, no matter what Gov. Walker and his supporters may say about Act 10, his motivation for Act 10 wasn’t fiscal in nature (as he admitted under oath to Congress) and had everything to do with eliminating a potential obstacle to his political aspirations.

Milwaukee County to release more John Doe emails

Hold on tight…its gonna be a fun Tuesday:

Milwaukee County officials are planning to release thousands of emails prosecutors collected during the first secret investigation into Gov. Scott Walker’s former aides and associates when he was county executive

A spokesman for Chris Abele, the county’s current executive, says Abele’s office will make nearly 16,000 emails and attachments that prosecutors seized from county and personal computers available Tuesday.

Abele’s office has already made tens of thousands of documents related to the probe public and expects to release even more material beyond Tuesday’s release.

Its awesome that the County Executives office is releasing these to the public in a timely manner before the election.Kudos to them.

What kinds of interesting things do you guys think this next batch of emails will hold?

Wisconsin “Jobs Coalition” attacks Democratic Assembly candidate….but not on the jobs issue

Recently the “Jobs First Coalition,” a dark money organization, sent out a nasty mailer attacking Democrat Dana Duncan, who’s running to unseat incumbent Republican State Rep. Scott “CAFO” Krug in the 72nd Assembly district. Because the Jobs First Coalition is registered as a 501(c)4, its funding sources don’t need to be publicly disclosed, but as noted by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, the Jobs First Coalition has received at least some of its funding from tobacco giant Reynolds American – to the tune of $60,000 in 2013.

Here’s a copy of the mailer in question.

Dana Duncan mailer

According to its website, the Jobs First Coalition is “devoted to making the creation and retention of family-supporting jobs the top priority of government and community leaders in Wisconsin,” but for a group that is “devoted to making the creation and retention of family-supporting jobs the top priority of government” it seems to do very little to advocate for the creation and retention of family-supporting jobs. Instead, the group seems to be spending a lot of time attacking Democrats on a host of issues not at all related to job creation, just as it did in 2010 and 2013.

I attempted to contact Bob Reddin, the registered agent for the Jobs First Coalition, to hear his explanation for why a group focused on jobs spends so much time attacking Democrats on issues not related to jobs, but I have yet to hear back from him.

Co-chair of Republican National Committee: Wisconsin voters are dumb

This is sure to help Republicans build their base here in Wisconsin.

Speaking at a Republican Party field office in Waukesha on Monday, the co-chair of the Republican National Committee talked up the closeness of the governor’s race in Wisconsin and the need to get Scott Walker supporters to the polls.

Sharon Day, the co-chair, told the audience, “It’s not going to be an easy election, it’s a close election. Like I said, much closer than I can even understand why.

“I don’t want to say anything about your Wisconsin voters but, some of them might not be as sharp as a knife.”

Day appeared at the rally with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.

Then again, perhaps Sharon Day does have a point….after all, a majority of voters in Wisconsin did vote to elect Scott Walker governor in 2010, which in hindsight seems pretty dumb.

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?


Blogging Blue’s “14 in ’14”

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