The Weekly Cheddar

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Here is another installment of “The Weekly Cheddar” which is my round-up of the major political news of the state. If I’ve left out something, never fear. You can leave a comment at this post about it or tweet something to me at @bluecheddar1.

A lot of this Wisco news this week ain’t just bad, it is nasty bad. That’s why I’ll let you know right now that we managed to score some good news too. Look for it at the end of the post.

Scott Walker is playing a shell game with Wisconsin’s healthcare money
The question is – do you trust him to reject over $4 billiion in Medicaid money for poor people and fulfill his promise to replace it with something else?
More at Scott Walker finds an alternative to Medicaid: Obamacare
By MSNBC health reporter Geoffrey Cowley

State senate president Mike Ellis is hoping to grease the skids for more legislation that boldy violates the Wisconsin constitution
Or at least that’s what it looks like to me.
See more at Greasy legislative pig

Scott Walker unveiled a plan to make food stamp recipients get job training
Is this just free labor for Scott Walker’s corporate friends at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC)?

Here’s a video playlist covering almost the entire Mining Bill Listening Session held in Ashland, Wisconsin February 9, 2013
You can go there and just hit the PLAY button at the top.

Move to collect DNA at every single felony arrest gets legs again
There was a failed push to do this under Gov. Doyle in 2009. At that time A.G. Van Hollen had cold feet, telling M.J.Sentinel “”Part of the reason why I’m reserved on the bill is because I, like many people, do realize that there comes a point where we cross a line,” and “As we start to collect DNA samples from more and more individuals under more circumstances, you come closer to that line.” Now he’s on board.

It seems that the ’09 push was inspired by a goof-up on the DNA collection of a suspected Milwaukee serial killer named Walter Ellis. Here’s an editorial on that which can give you some backstory.

Press release from Scott Walker’s office: Investing in Wisconsin: Protecting the Innocent and Seeking Justice for Victims

A Closer Look At The Iron Ore Of Northern Wisconsin via WORT FM’s 8 o’Clock Buzz
Brian Standing interviews Thomas Evans from the Wisconsin Geologic and Natural History Survey. 20 minute interview.

And now for more irritation: Grover Norquist opposes a Wisconsin tonnage tax on mining ore
Norquist put a letter on his Americans for Tax Reform site Wednesday to oppose a tonnage tax on any ore that might be extracted from Wisconsin. Local governments have complained that the GOP bill’s planned net tax – which would share 60% with local gov’ts – would not yield revenues to locals for years. A tonnage tax would give them money more quickly.
You may remember Mr. Norquist from his vow to make government so small it could be drowned in a bathtub.

Check out this AP title: Tribe threatens state’s mining plans
By this title, plans for the largest open pit mine in the world near Mellen, WI do not threaten the largest body of fresh water in the world downstream: Lake Superior. Honest question, here — Have we ever seen the AP write a headline in the opposite direction?: “State’s Mining Plans Threaten Tribe”?

DNR plans to turn Poynette’s cherished environmental education center for kids into a public/private hunting/fishing/trapping outfit
Or in other words “Hey kids. Quit observing animals and kill them”. To be a bit more accurate, the center’s mission will shift to also serve adults in the new plan.
Here’s a letter in opposition: Friends of MacKenzie and the WWF Oppose DNR Decision to End Environmental Education for School Children at MacKenzie

““We believe Wisconsin will be the first state to focus on training long-term mentors for recruiting adults, families and children into hunting, fishing, and trapping,” said Kurt Thiede, DNR land division administrator.” – from the DNR’s 2/12/13 press release.

Death highlights increasing problems at state-run veterans home – STEVEN VERBURG | Wisconsin State Journal
That’s the King Veterans home Steven is writing about. I wrote about that back in 2012 in the piece,
Staff stretched to breaking point at King Veterans Home – WI’s Largest Nursing Home
Somebody seems to be running Wisconsin’s largest nursing home into the ground.

Wisconsin Legislators Push for Forced Transvaginal Ultrasound Bill by Robin Marty
By the way, you can donate to NARAL to help defeat this right HERE.
The author @RobinMarty is a great follow on twitter. She keeps up on the state-by-state attacks on reproductive freedoms in America.

Civil War Proposed in Wausau?
“WAUSAU, Wisconsin— At a state conference this past weekend, the NRA helped distribute a newspaper that called for Wisconsin secession and a new civil war….” And by the way, Walker visited that convention last Friday to speak. It’s not quite fair to say all those NRAers are ready to take up a civil war but… are we supposed to completely ignore this wild-eyed stuff?

Now for the good news
What a cavalcade of awfulness this week’s news is. Still, even in this week, there are glimmers of good stuff to be found.

For example, ACLU has filed a lawsuit against Wisconsin’s Department of Administration over first amendment violations in the Capitol building – which I wrote about here.

Plus Ian Murphy wrote about that “compulsively lying, arrested adolescent Muppet whose sheltered mind is still blown by Atlas Shrugged and Stairway to Heaven” who is otherwise known as Paul Ryan.

We also have a Walkergate development: there are signs that Brian Pierick divulged some juicy information to get his sentence reduced.

I don’t have much time to describe the February 14th gathering at the Capitol to mark 2 years of protesting Walker (where I cowbelled to my heart’s content). But at least I can leave you with this fine photo by Callen Harty. I hope to do better later today.

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