This is a new thing – a weekly meandering through the news of the week (much of it from Wisconsin) with my commentary and occasional insertion of cat photos. I’ll usually shoot for getting this out Friday night/Saturday morning. Here we go.
Idle No More is Here Sunday
Fascists sure know how to make a sham democracy run on time.
Yet again the Wisconsin state Assembly Republicans veered away from a state statute that protects a citizen’s right to record a government meeting**. “Under the new Republican rules, people who want to observe the Assembly won’t be allowed to use cell phones or computers, or carry in backpacks or briefcases. Visitors in the gallery will also be forbidden from eating, wearing hats, carrying signs or verbally expressing opinions. The vote was 59-37, along party lines.”
AND the body voted to put a predetermined time limit on their own activities.
What does that mean? When they don’t go late, the body politic that has a day job [and so many of them do] can’t watch them speak live on their computers OR drag in their sleeping bags and stay over night and occupy the Capitol building as easily. Not that I know for sure that’s going to happen again but.. .well it did happen once upon a time in 2011, didn’t it? DIDN’T IT??
Paul Ryan loves zygotes
Wisconsin already has the highest binge drinking rate in the nation. And we have Paul Ryan. A connection? I kid but Ryan’s actions certainly can’t be helping the situation:
“Despite the deep unpopularity of fetal personhood bills in 2012, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has again decided to cosponsor the Sanctity of Human Life Act, a bill that gives full legal rights to human zygotes from the moment of fertilization. Ryan, who reportedly has 2016 presidential ambitions…” source=HuffPo
He reportedly aspires to be our president. I reportedly aspire to look at these images daily until we are rid of Rep. Ryan because laughter is reportedly good medicine.
Ron Johnson, Bench Warmer
My thanks go out to The Chief for keeping a close watch on Senator Ron “Pocket Constitution” Johnson. He surmises that, “Senator is being put in his place and that place is on the back bench.”
Robin Vos: Keepin’ it Vile
When Wisconsin Republican legislators play bad cop vs. badder cop, Vos always gets the special designation of worst copper. Regarding a state income tax plan, Brian Murphy of Urban Milwaukee says “Vos wants to make sure Wisconsin’s poor people don’t fall behind other states in this race to the bottom.” in Robin Hood in Reverse.
I see that the Job Creators vs. Pointy Headed Intellectual battle continues. This time it turns on whether the UW will appoint a chancellor that is a businessman*. This article at the Wisconsin State Journal on the battle contains a bonus: the slimmest of challenges to the mythical “skills gap” so frequently mentioned by Walker (and Peter Barca). The paper uses “so-called” in front of “skills gap”. I can hear you saying “That’s all ya got?” Yes. That’s about all we have in The Press to question the existence of something as poorly documented as the weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. So a moment of silence as we savor it:
The tragic plan is back. John Kaufman of Peace and Bread has a good rundown on where we are with a renewed Republican push for an open pit mine in North Wisconsin.
The ALEC Connection
Brendan Fischer of Center for Media and Democracy (and PR Watch and ALEC Exposed and…) lets you know what sort of ALEC-inspired laws the Wisconsin Republicans have in store for their subjects and the rest of us.
Ever want to visit one of those gun shows in person? You have opportunities, Wisconsin. There’s one today in Cornell [in a school gym] and awful soon in Menomonie, Tomah, Reedsburg, Green Bay, and Jefferson. Here’s the listing.
Walkergate AKA “The John Doe Investigation”
As always, Capper does a nice job of reporting on Walkergate. This week the development was the sentencing of one Darlene Wink. The quick and dirty is that she got 1 year of probation, 50 hrs. community service, fines of $1,000 and some, and she can’t take part in political activities while on probation.
The tit for tat continues as we wait for authorities to land The Big Indictment. Exhibit A:
Robert Kraig got a nice editorial into
Pravda Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to let you know what’s at stake if Scott Walker rejects money offered by ACA/Obamacare to expand Medicaid in Wisconsin. His words: “In total, Wisconsin would save at least $495 million over the next 10 years by accepting the federal money to fill the holes in BadgerCare.” source=MJS
The Racine Tea Party Shit Show This Weekend!: “The Racine Tea Party is hosting a public forum on the implications of the affordable care act from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 13 at South Hills Country Club,3047 SE Frontage Rd. The event will feature: Mike Tanner, of the CATO Institute, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville),State Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), State Sen. Leah Vukmir (R-Wauwatosa), and conservative radio talk show host Vicki McKenna.” source=Caledonia Patch
Sandy Relief and Ribble
Duffy, Ryan, Petri, and Sensenbrenner threw our fellow Americans in the East under the bus by voting “no” for Sandy Relief, but Ribble did not. Reid Ribble of the Appleton area is a bit green behind the ears – a freshman Republican elected in the 2010 Tea Party wave. Is he stepping out of the choke-government-gang on the regular? He also worked with Tammy Baldwin on legislation that benefits Wisconsin manufacturers. source=dane101
Surprise Wisconsin Spat ‘o’ the Week
What the? A red Waukesha resident and “think tanker” post making fun of somebody else’s slam on “St. Paddy’s day” turns into a delightful comment war. This is the wild Western Territories again, y’all. - source
You knew state employees were cheaper than outside contractors but…
United States of ‘Murica
What’s extra sweet is this news comes from ever-conservative pollster Scott Rasmussen. “Only eight percent (8%) now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24% in April 2010 just after passage of the national health care law. “
…Unfortunately They Still Control 24 States
“Extreme, anti-worker Republicans will be especially dangerous this year in the 24 states where the GOP controls the governor’s office and both legislative chambers.” Good post with bad news at Teamster Nation.
The two big stories on the big pile of gun stories this week involve Alex Jones going bonkers on the Piers Morgan show and Joe Biden going through the motions with the NRA.
The Alex Jones appearance [here it is - 15 minutes in all ] served to give the scare-monger more followers on twitter and god knows what all – and that is bad. The Biden thing probably also fed the Alex Jones spin machine. And that is bad. A Biden quote: ““Executive order, executive action can be taken, we haven’t decided what that is yet. But we’re compiling it all with the help of the attorney general and all the rest of the cabinet members, as well as legislative action we believe is required.””
Executive order? Tyranny!
And before I bid the gun topic adieu, did anybody happen to tell you that Oh Holy Gipper Ronald Reagan supported both the 1993 Brady Bill and the 1994 Assault Weapon Ban? Maybe it’s becomes impossible to dismiss the tragedy of gun deaths when you nearly experience one yourself. Below is a photo from Unreal Americans that has been circulating widely on facebook this week:
Did I ever mention that I don’t really watch movies? Anyway – this is a list of all of the oscar nominations from LA Times. Would you tell me if you highly recommend any of these films?
Ending on a Positive Note
Back when we were all in the streets protesting and readying for recalls and uncertain of what was to come for Wisconsin, I told myself to be careful for what sort of tone I was putting out there even when I was depressed. I haven’t really tried that post-June 2012. Sorry about that. The least I can do is conclude on a brighter note today. So, I present two things that give me the warm and fuzzies.
And this is also something. A photo from Callen Harty of the finest fiddler in Dane County and perhaps the world, Daithi Wolfe raising fist in customary defiance against The Man during a singing of Solidarity Forever in the Capitol Building rotunda.
Rock on with your bad selves, union thugs.
- blue cheddar
*”BusinessMAN??” you say. Yes. Please review all of the Walker-affiliated chats with business leaders in the state. Many are on video. I do believe following you’ll wonder why I didn’t work in the word “white”.
**Wisconsin has a LAW S.S. 19.90 which states “Whenever a governmental body holds a meeting in open session, the body shall make a reasonable effort to accommodate any person desiring to record, film or photograph the meeting.”