James Wigderson: “If Tony Robinson was put away for the time armed robbery should get, he might be alive today.”

Found this on Twitter and thought I’d share, because I’m sure it will provoke a discussion.

Here’s what conservative blogger and Waukesha Freeman columnist James Wigderson had to say about the recent shooting death of unarmed teenager Tony Robinson at the hands of a Madison Police officer.

A terrific moment of irony

So sayeth conservative blogger James Wigderson in his Waukesha Freeman column of last week hilariously titled, ” Free federal money not affordable, Walker health plan right choice.  Wigderson argues that Walker’s refusal to accept federal dollars to expand Badgercare is good policy because federal dollars aren’t really free. He then endorses Walker’s plan to shift almost 90,000 Wisconsinites from Badgercare to federally subsidized private health insurance plans available through the exchange to be created under the Affordable Care Act. His “terrific moment of irony” as he characterizes it, is that Democrats are suddenly afraid to use a provision of Obamacare, i.e. the exchanges.   A terrific moment of irony, indeed.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it costs the federal government $3,000.00 more per recipient to subsidize a private plan than have someone on a public plan like Badgercare, $9,000.00 versus $6,000.00. Walker’s plan costs taxpayers 50% more federal tax dollars per person.

Wigderson supports the refusal of federal money so that more federal money can be spent. Gotcha, James! Free federal money not affordable. A terrific moment of irony.

You just can’t make this stuff up.

Fox News Makes Stuff Up!

H/T Talking Points Memo:

In a recent campaign-trail speech, President Obama delivered a line that was widely construed as a jab at Mitt Romney. But whether it was a direct jab at Romney was at least arguable until a Fox News host pumped it up with three additional words that Obama never said.

“Somebody gave me an education,” the President said last Wednesday in a Elyria, Ohio speech, discussing equality of opportunity. “I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance — just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.”

The “silver spoon” comment in the context of the speech seemed to be a swipe against Romney, whose father George Romney was the top executive of a major car company and a former governor of Michigan. But the President was able to maintain plausible deniability until Steve Doocy of Fox News came along. While interviewing Romney on live TV Thursday, Doocy quoted Obama as saying, “Unlike some people, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth.”

But Obama never prefaced his statement with the words “unlike some people,” as evident in the video of the speech (9:22 minute mark). The words do not appear in the official transcript either.

Regardless, the unspoken words were imputed to Obama in a Washington Post article, a New York Post editorial and conservative blogs after Doocy’s segment.

So Steve Douchey & Fox News makes stuff up, then other lazy media outlets run to print with his made up story?

Here is the video:

which leaves us some questions:

Is there a bigger tool than Steve Doocy?

How funny is it that Mitt still hids behind his daddy?

The biggest question of all is

Are Steve Doocy & James Wigderson related?

Something that’s been bugging me

By now I’m sure some of you know about the “difficulties” Lisa and I have had with James Wigderson and Brian Fraley of the right-wing MacIver Institute, and if you haven’t been following, you can get up to speed HERE and HERE.

What’s curious about everything that happened this week is that Lisa and I seem to have been specifically targeted (at least in my opinion) for posting an opinion column which can STILL be found in its entirety on Citizen Action Wisconsin’s “No Sacred Cows” blog, in addition to having been posted in a second location on Citizen Action Wisconsin’s website. It’s worth noting that Lisa posted the opinion column in question here on Blogging Blue a day after the folks at Citizen Action Wisconsin posted it twice on their site, and yet as I write this I’m not aware of any attempts made by Brian Fraley or James Wigderson or anyone else at the MacIver Institute to contact the folks at Citizen Action Wisconsin to demand retractions/corrections to the very same opinion column we posted here. I checked with the folks at Citizen Action Wisconsin, and they hadn’t had any contact with Brian Fraley or James Wigderson, both of whom wasted little time contacting me when Lisa posted the column in question.

It’s curious to me that the folks at the MacIver Institute seem to take umbrage with certain aspects of an opinion column posted here at Blogging Blue, while they seem to have none of the same concerns about an identical opinion column posted for a day longer on the site of a much larger organization than Blogging Blue.

Curious, to say the least!

At any rate, given the volume of emails I’ve received from Brian Fraley and James Wigderson over the past week, as well as the amount of attention they seem to have been paying to Blogging Blue (at least in my opinion), I’d like to thank them both for being such avid readers of Blogging Blue!

Thanks guys….and keep reading!

A series of FACTS about the MacIver Institute & its employees/associates

Here’s a series of FACTS about the folks working for (or associated with) the John K. MacIver Institute:

FACT #1: Brian Fraley, the Communications Director for the MacIver Institute, is a former national insurance industry lobbyist who was director of the Senate Republican caucus during part of the time of the “Caucus Scandal” in which lawmakers illegally used taxpayer-funded employees to do campaign work. In fact, during the “Caucus Scandal,” Fraley actually retained the services of an attorney, services that he billed taxpayers for (from the 3/14/2002 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel):

Besides Esser, three Senate GOP caucus staffers billed taxpayers for legal fees: former director Brian Fraley, $2,128; John Schulze, $2,720; and Gina Ward, $2,940. Investigators sought documents from Fraley, but attorney invoices for the three provide no other details regarding services rendered.

FACT #2: According to page 9 of the criminal complaint alleging former Scott Walker staffer Kelly Rindfleisch engaged in illegal campaign activities on taxpayer time during the 2010 Lt. Governor race, Rindfleisch was employed by the Senate Republican Caucus (SRC) from March 2000 to December 2001. According to the criminal complaint in Rindfleisch’s pending felony case, on December 16, 2002 Rindfleisch was interviewed by State Department of Justice Agents who were investigating the Caucus Scandal. During that interview with DOJ Agents, Rindfleisch “gave statements regarding her work on political campaigns as directed by Brian Fraley.”

FACT #3: Brett Healy, the President of the MacIver Institute, is the former longtime chief of staff to disgraced former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen – the same individual who was charged with several felonies for his role in using taxpayer-funded staff for political campaign operations. While it’s unclear what exactly Jensen’s role is with the MacIver Institute, he was found to have authored at least two press releases for the MacIver Institute – see HERE and HERE (right click on the press releases, then click on “document properties”)

FACT #4: In 1997 James Wigderson, a regular contributor to MacIver’s “Perspectives” section, was involved in activities that violated Wisconsin’s election laws, as noted by the Wisconsin State Journal on March 7, 2001 (emphasis added):

In settling a lawsuit filed by the state Elections Board, Wilcox agreed to pay $10,000 for his campaign committee. The lawsuit charged Wilcox’s committee and his campaign manager, Mark Block, with colluding with another group to evade campaign finance laws in his 1997 race for the state’s highest court.

Prompted by an investigation by the Wisconsin State Journal, the board charged the committee and Block with working with the Wisconsin Coalition for Voter Participation and its leaders, Brent Pickens and James Wigderson, to run an illegally funded $200,500 voter turnout effort for Wilcox in his race against Milwaukee lawyer Walt Kelly. The postcard and telephone effort was later linked to school choice advocates, most of them from out of state.

FACT #6: In addition to his “efforts” to help Jon Wilcox win a State Supreme Court race, James Wigderson has served as a paid consultant, a campaign manager, and a volunteer on the campaigns of Republican elected officials dating back to 1992. Additionally, after graduating from UW-Milwaukee in 1991, “Wigderson continued his education in 1992 at a National Republican Campaign Committee campaign management college.”

FACT #7: James Wigderson supports Wisconsin’s Republican-implemented Voter ID law, writing, “So far, so good. The law is working just fine[…]” Notably, Wisconsin’s Voter ID law was recently struck down and ruled unconstitutional, while the ACLU has cited specific examples of Wisconsinites for whom the requirement to provide a suitable voter ID “imposes a severe burden on the right to vote in violation of the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause and in violation of the 24th and 14th amendments because it effectively imposes an unconstitutional poll tax on eligible voters.”

FACT #8: The Maciver Institute is staffed by veteran Republican campaign operatives and political insiders, and its board looks like a “Who’s Who” of Republican politics in Wisconsin, including Laurie McCallum, former First Lady of Wisconsin (wife of Republican Gov. Scott McCallum). Among the MacIver Institute’s past board members is Mark Block, a Republican operative best known lately for his blundering work managing GOP candidate Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, but also widely known here in Wisconsin for his involvement in an effort to evade campaign finance laws in the 1997 race for the State Supreme Court (outlined in FACT #4 above), involvement that resulted in Block being fined and barred from working in Wisconsin political campaigns for a period of time.

FACT #9: In 2009 and 2010 the MacIver Institute received $310,000 in funding from the Bradley Foundation, “one of the most powerful philanthropic forces behind America’s conservative movement” according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

And now here’s my opinion….

The MacIver Institute has the right to advocate for or against any ideas or policies it chooses, but it is far from being “nonpartisan;” in fact I’d argue it’s as partisan as any “non-profit” organization I’ve come across. One look at the staff and board members of the MacIver Institute should make that abundantly clear to any reasonable person. In my opinion, the MacIver Institute is little more than an extension of the Bradley-funded, Republican-enabled efforts in Wisconsin to enact policies that disproportionately benefit corporations and the wealthy at the expense of lower income and middle class citizens, as opposed to being an honest broker of nonpartisan ideas and policies.

So there you have it folks…..nine facts and one opinion. Libelous? Hardly, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Why I Love The Republican Party!

Because you just can not make these stories up!

1. As many of you know, BloggingBlue went dark yesterday to protest SOPA. Well it turns out that one of the authors of this insane bill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R- Texas), was caught violating his own bill.

Isn’t it funny when a Republican calls for a law against something only for them to get caught doing what the new law punishes? The latest Republican to commit this kind of hypocrisy is Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, who happens to be the author of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).

Jamie Lee Curtis Taete of Vice.com did some digging to find out if Lamar Smith has been honest when it comes to copyrights. It turns out, he may be guilty of violating one. According to Taete, Smith violated a copyright by using a photograph on his website without crediting the photographer.

2. A Rick Santorum staffer says "It is against God's Will for Women to be president":

Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. […]

“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.

3. In Virginia, Republican Bob Marshall had this to say:

“The number of children who are born subsequent to a first abortion with handicaps has increased dramatically. Why? Because when you abort the first born of any, nature takes its vengeance on the subsequent children,” said Marshall, a Republican.

“In the Old Testament, the first born of every being, animal and man, was dedicated to the Lord. There’s a special punishment Christians would suggest.”

4. The four times married Rush Limbaugh defends the three time married Newt Gingrich and says Newt is the victim!

LIMBAUGH: I got a great note from a friend of mine. “So Newt wanted an open marriage. BFD. At least he asked his wife for permission instead of cheating on her. That’s a mark of character, in my book. Newt’s a victim. We all are. Ours is the horniest generation.” […] That’s from a good friend of mine, “Newt’s slogan ought to, ‘Hell, yes, I wanted it.’”

(ED Note: Newt was already cheating with Calista when he wanted the open marriage.)

5. Finally, closer to home: Wiggy is amazed that they are prosecuting Brian Pierick since he asked if the underage boy he was trolling for was 18. He is also amazed that Bruce Murphy(amongst a myriad of others) disagrees with him:

Conservative blogger James Wigderson takes issue with the complaint of child enticement, saying it “appears that Pierick had no way of knowing the boy was 17, not 18 or 19 as the boy claimed.” I read it differently, as the boy’s text messages make it clear he was worried about his mother and had to sneak out of his house, among other clues. It’s clear, by the way, that Pierick shared all the details of the back and forth texts with Russell.(Murphy’s words)

It’s also clear that Pierick discovered that the boy did live with his parents and was still in high school. However, Pierick did ask the boy repeatedly if he was over 18, making it clear to the boy that they were not interested in someone younger than 18. The district attorney’s office practically conceded that point when the complaint stated that ignorance of the boy’s actual age was not an excuse.(Wiggys desperate attempt at an excuse)

Wiggy does not stop there he lives by the old saying “when in a hole keep digging” So he does:

I’m certainly not condoning the behavior but I still find it hard to believe that the district attorney is prosecuting this case

Dr. Phil always says, “BUT” means, let me tell you what I really mean. So let me tell you what Wiggy really means. Wiggy is actually “condoning the behavior” , hell they did ask if he was 18 and he said almost 19. Thats good enough if, like Newt’s example above, your horny. Besides these guys are very close to Governor Walker so they can do no wrong! By the way have you heard someone threw a beer on Robin Vos’ head?

How much water are you carrying for the local party when you start defending that? is there a big bonus in it for him? Does that ever wash off?

Republican Echo Chamber in Action(Updated)!

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.
Mark Twain!

Mark Twain who lived in the 1800’s said this without even getting a chance to experience(lucky him) the right wing noise machine. The Republican Noise Machine turns Samuel Clemens into a prophet of the first order on a daily basis, and we recently had a shining example.

Former Minnesota Governor and Navy Seal Jesse Ventura, (say what you want about his quirks, his credentials are impeccable), recently fell victim to the echo chamber. A Navy Seal named Chris Kyle, claimed to have knocked out the former Governor for talking bad about the troops. This, like throwing a rare steak into a lions den, set off a right wing blogger and Fox news frenzy. Noted American bad asses like Bill O’ Reilly, Brian Kilmeade and Eric Bolling(amongst many others) jumped on the news and could not have been happier. In our very own cheddarsphere, noted BS artist and local right wing extreme blogger and paid Macgruber propagandist James Wigderson, took time away from the glow of the "its not really working" but that won't stop the “Americans For even more Koch brothers Prosperity” event in Mordor this weekend to “confirm” with glee that this event happened and in the exact words of Wiggy “One idiot down”.

I guess Wiggy and the rest of the right feels that we can only support soldiers and veterans who blindly support right wing causes. The problem though(Surprise, Surprise,Surprise) is that it just isn’t true. Mr. Ventura finally had a chance to put on his shoes!

As for the “confirmation” that James used for his source(which was a tweet), lets trump that with Mr. Ventura’s official facebook page:

Jesse Ventura – The Official Facebook Page
I would like to make it very clear that I am not on twitter. If you see a twitter account that is pretending to be me please help me by contacting twitter and asking them to take it down. Thank you so much for your vigilance and support.

Jesse.

There you have it folks a perfect example of the republican spin machine and how the facts just get in the way of their meme. You can also see how quickly Jim was to parrot the talking point, wonder if there was a bonus in there for him? I wonder if any of the town criers on the right will issue a retraction?

ED Note: Jimmy answered this (kind of but not really) on his own blog, I tried to have a discussion there with him regarding this post but once again Wiggy censored my reply. Apparently the pub is closed.

Here is my initial response that Jim refused to post:

My post had even less to do with Alex Jones than it did with you. It was just the perfect example of the republican noise machine, and how the truth does not matter to them if it can fit whatever narrative they are trying to push upon the American people. I used Alex Jones strictly because he is the person who actually talked to Jesse Ventura. Being the only person who talked to Ventura shows that as loony as he is, he is still more of a newsman than anyone on Faux. Then Fox is not really in it for the news are they?

As for Twitter as an impeccable source, why didnt I think of that? Here are a couple great ones I can start out with now:

1. in this first one ScattWalker was out shopping for vacuum cleaners with Rebecca Kleefisch:
ScattWalker
Salesperson: “Lady, this vacuum will cut your work in half” — Kleefisch: “Great. I’ll take two of them.”

2. This second one is a blockbuster, not only can the Rat talk, he can also type and has a computer where he has access to twitter. O yeah he appears to be part of the sewer local in NY:

ScabbyTheRat Scabby The Rat
New @ AFLCIO: Aim High: A Strategy for Changing Times

I would also like to expand on it some more since JW is going unhinged about Alex Jones making an appearance in the post. Maybe I was subliminally trying to give Ron Paul a bump in the polls but Alex Jones means less to this story than Mike Ellis's sunglasses do to this story. The point is(and jimmy knows this) that this is a perfect micro example to a Macro problem. The republican echo chamber is so well organized and quick and without scruples or ethics that they control the debate. We need to understand exactly how little they care for the truth. I only added The Library and Pub site as an afterthought to show how the right wing noise machine is right here in our own backyard. For everyone to see that like Fox News and National republican pundits, Wiggy does not care about facts, or making our state great again, he cares about Wiggy. Gettng the most “likes” or “hits” are what matters and gets noticed, not an actual story filled with facts or research(Heck he is employed by Maciver Institute of all people) I rest my case.

Now to tie up a couple other loose ends.

1. So the folks at Blogging Blue, who apparently also believe pro wrestling is real, went ballistic.

Jimmy your making things up again, Pro wrestling was not mentioned (way to republican of a sport for me anymore), nor did anyone go ballistic. Sure I compared Waukesha to Mordor but that was funny to me. I will give you a pass on this one since what you all on the right find funny is shooting Wisconsinites and discussing the size of a womans booty, so obviously you don’t get funny!

2. Finally I found it funny that when Lisa tried to have a civil conversation with you, you ranted and raved and popped a chubby over Mark Belling paying attention to you. The problem here is prior to that, you so aptly described Mark Belling.

He is one of the most vile, disgusting media creatures out there. I would be ashamed to be associated with any website that promoted his conspiracy theories.

Since the Vile belling has proven to be racist, sexist and a flat out liar, i would not associate with him either.

PS: Jim you are not banned here(just a quick FYI).

Mark Block-associated organization involved in allegations of illegal campaign activities

Mark Block potentially involved in illegal campaign activities? That’s unpossible!

Herman Cain’s two top campaign aides ran a private Wisconsin-based corporation that helped the GOP presidential candidate get his fledgling campaign off the ground by originally footing the bill for tens of thousands of dollars in expenses for such items as iPads, chartered flights and travel to Iowa and Las Vegas – something that might breach federal tax and campaign law, according to sources and documents.

Internal financial records obtained by No Quarter show that Prosperity USA said it was owed about $40,000 by the Cain campaign for a variety of items in February and March. Cain began taking donations for his presidential bid on Jan. 1.

It’s worth noting that while Mark Block is currently serving as the head of Herman Cain’s presidential campaign, he formerly served as the head of Americans for Prosperity in Wisconsin, and you may also remember Block from involvement (along with James Wigderson) in election law violations relating to the 1997 campaign of former state Supreme Court Justice Jon Wilcox. Block settled that case by agreeing to pay a $15,000 fine and to stay out of Wisconsin politics for three years.