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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

WISGOP Suffer Major Setback In Their War On Democracy



Wisconsin Republicans probably won't be able to silence the voices of over 200,000 people in the spring elections.

At the end of last year, a right wing front group for the Bradley Foundation filed a lawsuit against the Wisconsin Election Commission, demanding that nearly a quarter of a million people be purged immediately from the voter registration.The Republicans were in a panic because the spring elections were just around the corner and they know that when people vote, the Republicans lose.

But the Republicans thwarted themselves while creating the election commission so that it was very partisan.The commission decided to hold off doing the purge due to an appeal filed by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul and a federal lawsuit filed by the League of Women Voters.

The Republicans, in an state of utter desperation, launched a three prong attack against democracy:
  • The front group filed a motion with the original court to find the election commission in contempt
  • They also filed a petition with the Wisconsin Supreme Court to bypass the appellate court and take the appeal directly, since they had a 5-2 conservative majority
  • Republican legislators filed in the federal lawsuit, asking for it to be dismissed, even though the legislators have no standing in the lawsuit
On Monday, the original court sided with the Republicans, finding only the three Democrats on the commission in contempt.He ordered the commission pay a $50 a day fine and that the three Democrats need to pay a $250 per day fine.But because the commission consists of appointed citizens who were acting in their official capacity, the taxpayers will be the ones ultimately footing the bill for this blatant act of partisanship.

The ruling was not a complete surprise since the judge presiding on the matter, Paul Malloy, was appointed by former Republican Governor Scott McCallum.Malloy also has a history of controversial statements and stunts, trying to present himself as a tough on crime type of judge.

Also on Monday, the state supreme court decided not to intervene in the appeal, leaving the matter to go to the appellate court first, despite the conservatives majority.This happened because on of the judges recused himself because he is up for reelection in the spring and would be directly affected by a decision.A second conservative justice betrayed his special interest masters by siding with the two impartial justices in deciding against the case.

State Republicans were outraged that justice was being done, demanding to know what kind of service they were getting after spending so much money on them.

On Tuesday came the major blow.The state appellate court issued an order to immediately stay the circuit court order, meaning that the targeted voters will remain in the registration for now.Furthermore, because the spring primary elections are only a few weeks away and the general elections - including the presidential primary - is on April 7, it is extremely unlikely there will be any changes before then.

And even if the Republicans prevail when it gets to the Wisconsin State Supreme Kangaroo Court, there is still the federal lawsuit hanging over their heads, so there is a change the voters will get to keep their voices through November as well.

In summary, the Republicans lost two major battles in the past two days and will get to pay for it with their tax dollars.Now excuse me while I go savor this moment and wait for the Republicans' heads to start popping.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

WISGOP Thwarts Themselves Again



After taking over all the branches of government in Wisconsin in 2011, the Republicans immediately got to work to secure their power and punishing those who tried to hold them accountable.Unfortunately for them, their incompetence has sprung up on them time and time again.

In 2018, Scott Walker lost his bid for reelection by a narrow margin.Normally, he would have been able to call for a recount, but the Republicans had changed that law,making it more difficult to get a recount.And thus, Walker was unable to challenge the vote and is becoming more and more irrelevant every day.

Another thing that the Republicans changed was abolishing the Government Accountability Board (GAB), which acted as a watchdog on Wisconsin elections and investigating any possible infractions of election laws.The Republicans had their undies in a bundle because it was the GAB that approved the John Doe investigation into Walker.They cried that it was all political and a partisan attack.What they wouldn't admit is that board consistent of retired judges, all of whom were Republican.

To replace the GAB, they created the Wisconsin Election Commission, which was comprised of six people, three Democrats and three Republicans.So much for not wanting the watchdog to be political.

This has become an outstanding issue now which again is biting the Republicans in the ass.

The Republicans, through a front group, filed a lawsuit to have nearly a quarter of a million people purged from the voter registration because they might have moved, based on a voter caging stunt.It was purely coincidental [end sarcasm] that the majority of the caging happened in areas that vote Democratic.

The judge granted the petition and went a step further, saying the purge should happen immediately.

Unsurprisingly,the three Democrats on the elections commission are blocking the purge from happening, citing an appeal by the commission and the fact that the League of Women Voters have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the purge:
The Wisconsin Elections Commission deadlocked Monday over whether to remove the voter registrations of more than 200,000 people in response to a judge's order.

The commission's inability to reach a consensus means the voters will stay on the rolls for at least the time being. An appeal in the case is ongoing and the commission faces a separate lawsuit that is trying to make sure people are not pulled from the rolls.

The three Republicans on the commission sought to take many of them off the rolls, but they were blocked by the three Democrats on the commission.

It was the second time in as many weeks that the commission broke down along party lines over the lawsuit, which has drawn national attention because of Wisconsin’s top-tier status in the 2020 presidential race.
As one could expect, Republicans are having meltdowns all across the state, accusing the Democrats in general, and specifically the three on the commission, of breaking the law, being anti-democratic. etc.

At the rate they're going, it won't be long before the Republicans end up suing themselves.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

The Return Of The Walker-Grinch


If one was to believe Scott Walker, he is a true Christian and a champion of Christmas.He goes on Twitter, copying and pasting Bible versus and he shows just the right amount of faux outrage about whether it's called a Christmas tree or a holiday tree.

But his behavior quickly belies that false front.

Six years ago, on Black Friday, Walker sent out a campaign fundraising email that took the world's breath away by basically telling people to take Christmas away from their children:
Friend,

Instead of venturing into the cold this Black Friday, stay in and give your children a gift that will keep on giving.

This year, we are celebrating the Holiday Season with a Black Friday special that is better than any deal found in stores. Donate $5, $10 or $25 to help Governor Walker get reelected and save your children from a future of double-digit tax increases and billion dollar budget deficits.

Instead of electronics or toys that will undoubtedly be outdated, broken, or lost by the next Holiday Season, help give your children the gift of a Wisconsin that we can all be proud of. ...
Now, Walker is at again.



He wrote a barely intelligible essay in which he politicizes Christmas by portraying Santa Claus as a socialist and then painting Christmas as a nightmare.Here is a sampling of his insanity:
Imagine if Santa were a socialist.

Everyone would get the same thing for Christmas. There would not be any creative or handmade gifts. Each would be a bland, standard-issue, non-offensive, gender-neutral gift designed by a bureaucrat in the North Pole.

In fact, Santa would no longer be male and most likely would be gender-neutral. All references to him or his in the stories about Santa would be removed so as not to offend anyone. No more white hair and beard as Santa would not want to be confused with a boomer.

Gifts would be given regardless of whether someone was naughty or nice. There would be no regard for Christmas Spirit or work ethic. It would not matter if you believe in Santa Claus or not, everyone would receive the same gift.

And about half of us would be paying for everyone else’s gifts. Forget about charity. Santa would have a comfy government job and many of us would pay much higher taxes to cover the costs of all of the gifts given out each year.

If Santa were a socialist, he would get around to delivering gifts about as fast as most socialist nations get around to providing essential government services — which means you’d probably get your presents some time next summer. Clearly, he and his helpers would not be working on a holiday — even at time-and-a-half — and certainly not if it wasn’t spelled out in their contract. So you can kiss Christmas Eve goodbye.

Santa’s helpers would be called vertically challenged and uniquely eared. All references to “elves” would be branded as insensitive. Those who used that language would be shunned.

Rudolph and the other reindeer would be banned over the next decade under the socialist Green New Deal. Like cows, they pass gas, and the democratic socialists’ plan would eliminate all of these animals who flatulate.
In all honesty, Walker probably didn't write this or at least not by himself because all the words are spelled correctly, which is beyond Walker's capabilities.

Walker ends his little diatribe by simply stating that Santa isn't a socialist so everything is just dandy.However, he doesn't say what he thinks Santa is.Knowing Walker, he wishes Santa was a capitalist, which is just silly.

In Walker's world of a capitalist Santa, only the worthy kids would get presents, meaning white children of wealthy parents who donate to him and other right wing causes.Children with brown or black skin aren't worthy.Neither are children from poor families.These little urchins don't deserve anything nice.

In Walker's world, Rudolph and the other reindeer would all be dead, shot by wealthy campaign donors, who had the heads mounted as trophies in their dens.The few presents that would be delivered each year would be done with fleets of gas-guzzling, smoke-belching trucks and vans.

In Walker's dream world, the elves would be alive but severely malnourished and sickly, because a decent profit margin can't be maintained by providing such luxuries.In other words, the elves would be the victims of the rebirth of slavery.

In Walker's world, you can forget about even seeing Santa.He doesn't have time for that claptrap.He's going to be off golfing at Mar-A-Lago with Trump and hiring lobbyists to give him bigger and bigger tax breaks even though he's never paid any taxes in his life.

But fortunately, Walker is full of shit.Santa doesn't charge for presents and he doesn't discriminate.Santa makes sure all children have the best Christmas they can, regardless of their skin tone or socioeconomic backgrounds.

The elves would be well taken care of of because Santa knows that productivity is highest when the workers are happy and healthy.Hell, he'd probably let them unionize.Likewise, the reindeer would also be well fed and well taken care of because he wants the reindeer to be happy.An unhappy reindeer won't fly.

But Santa isn't real in either scenario.If he were real, people would be able to see through Walker's bullshit and would never have elected him or anyone like him in the first place.Also, if Santa were real, Walker and his ilk wouldn't be getting presents or even a lump of coal.They all would be receiving jail sentences.

Friday, December 13, 2019

WISGOP Just Can't Get Enough Voter Suppression



Republicans really, really hate it when people vote.They know that the more people that vote, the worse things will go for them.But instead of coming up with policies that the people would support, the Republicans would rather just squash the voice of the people.One would be hard pressed to find where this is truer than Wisconsin.

There was the sordid gerrymandering which was done in secret which boxed in Democrats so badly that even when they receive the majority of voters, they still have a minority in the legislature.

The Republicans also passed a Voter ID law so oppressive that it's caused an estimated one percent reduction in voter turnout:
How much did Wisconsin’s voter identification requirement matter in 2016? We conducted a survey of registered nonvoters in the counties surrounding the cities of Milwaukee and Madison to estimate the number of registrants who experienced ID-related voting difficulties in the 201 presidential election. We estimate that 10 percent of nonvoters in these counties lack a qualifying voter ID or report that voter ID was at least a partial reason why they did not vote in 2016, and six percent of nonvoters lacked a voter ID or cited voter ID as their primary reason for not voting. Theoretically, we argue that voter ID requirements ‘‘directly’’ affect voters who lack qualifying IDs but also ‘‘indirectly’’ affect voters who are confused about their compliance with the law. We find evidence of such confusion, with many respondents mistakenly believing that they did not have th necessary ID to vote when they actually did. Our analysis permits us to calculate bounds on the possible turnout effect in 2016. Most of our credible estimates suggest that the voter ID requirement reduced turnout in these counties by up to one percentage point.
For their latest stunt, the right returned to one of their favorite things - voter caging.

The misnamed Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty - a Bradley Foundation front group - filed a law suit demanding that nearly a quarter million voters be purged from voter rolls because they may have moved because they didn't respond to a letter within a month to voter caging letters.

Oh, and in what I am sure is just pure coincidence (not really), these voter caging letters just so happened to not be sent out in an impartial manner, but to target Democratic areas and areas with the highest African American populations, like Milwaukee and Madison:
The letters went to about 7% of Wisconsin's registered voters, but were concentrated more heavily in some parts of the state than others.

Milwaukee and Madison — the state's Democratic strongholds — account for 14% of Wisconsin's registered voters but received 23% of the letters.

Across the state, 55% of the letters went to municipalities where Democrat Hillary Clinton out-polled Trump in 2016.
This decision will be almost certainly appealed immediately but don't hold your breath for a better outcome.  The right wing special interest's control five of the seven seats on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

The real kicker is that these right wing snowflakes are the first to scream about changing the will of the people when something like holding a criminal Republican president* accountable for his criminal behaviors.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

RoJo, Already An Accomplice, Wants To Be Witness and Juror In Trump's Impeachment

Image courtesy of One Wisconsin Now


Ron Johnson (R-Trump's Back Pocket) is fully embedded now into Trump's Ukraine scandal.As the gentle reader recalls, RoJo started out with saying that he saw no problem with Trump asking other countries to investigate the Bidens, whether it be Ukraine or China.Just days later, RoJo admitted that Trump was withholding money allotted to Ukraine to extort them into investigating the Bidens.

All this was enough for ethics experts to call out RoJo's mishandling of the situation and said that he should recuse himself from any future impeachment hearings.

I have little doubt what the experts would say about the fact that RoJo was further involved in the Ukraine scandal than previously known:
Sen. Ron Johnson met in July with a former Ukrainian diplomat who has circulated unproven claims that Ukrainian officials assisted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, a previously unreported contact that underscores the GOP senator’s involvement in the unfolding narrative that triggered the impeachment inquiry of President Trump.

In an interview last week, Andrii Telizhenko said he met with Johnson (Wis.) for at least 30 minutes on Capitol Hill and with Senate staff for five additional hours. He said discussions focused in part on “the DNC issue” — a reference to his unsubstantiated claim that the Democratic National Committee worked with the Ukrainian government in 2016 to gather incriminating information about Paul Manafort, then the chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign. Telizhenko said he could not recall the date of the meeting, but a review of his Facebook page revealed a photo of him and Johnson posted on July 11.

“I was in Washington, and Senator Johnson found out I was in D.C., and staff called me and wanted to do a meeting with me. So I reached out back and said, ‘Sure, I’ll come down the Hill and talk to you,’ ” Telizhenko told The Washington Post on Wednesday.
But wait, there's more.There's always more.

RoJo, who had shown remarkable memory for when certain meetings happened, who was there and what was discussed, suddenly developed big gaps in his memory:
The group returned from Ukraine and debriefed Trump and key aides at the White House on May 23. Sondland testified this month that Trump urged them to talk to Giuliani about his concerns about corruption in Ukraine, guidance that opened the informal diplomatic channel used to facilitate the alleged quid pro quo.

Johnson denied Sondland’s version of events last week, saying he had “no recollection of the president mentioning Rudy Giuliani” at the May 23 meeting.

“Ambassador Sondland said that was when that all began. I have no recollection of that at all,” Johnson told The Post in a brief interview on Capitol Hill.
But what comes next would surely make the heads of those ethics experts implode at the sheer audacity of it - RoJo said that he was 蓝导航地址永久发布going to recuse himself from any impeachment hearings:
Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin said Tuesday that his close involvement in Ukraine issues would not cause him to recuse himself from a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

“I represent the people that elected me. Those individuals deserve a voice and my vote in the process. I would never even consider it,” Johnson said of recusal, speaking in a brief interview at the U.S. Capitol with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Johnson also said he would be happy to provide his first-hand knowledge of events and conversations involving Ukraine to U.S. House members conducting the impeachment probe, which centers on the question of whether Trump improperly pushed Ukraine officials to investigate Trump’s Democratic political rival, Joe Biden, and Democratic activities in the 2016 election.

“That would be up to the House” if it wants to hear from him, Johnson said. “I wouldn’t resist. I’m always happy to tell the truth.”
In other words, RoJo sees no problems with being an accomplice, a witness and a juror all in the same case.If Mitch "The Turtle" McConnell had one shred of decency left in his corrupt soul, he would have already taken action against RoJo.But we all know how likely that's going to ever happen.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

This Is What Solidarity Looks Like!

Image from Massachusetts Teachers Association
After years of unsuccessfully trying to negotiate a new contract, the teachers of Dedham, Massachusetts have voted overwhelmingly to go on strike.The amazing thing about this is the fact that Massachusetts has had a law for 100 years banning public workers from striking:
In Massachusetts, strikes are unlawful for public sector workers. That didn’t stop the Dedham Educators Association (DEA) from walking out this morning after an overwhelming 248- 2 (out of 280 members) strike vote last night.

The educators in this Boston suburb are crying foul about health insurance costs that eat into their salaries, and district demands for more time on the clock and in professional development without any increase in compensation. Teachers are also demanding contract language that allows for real enforcement of sexual harassment policies.
The last straw for the teachers was when Superintendent Michael Welch tried to pick a fight with DEA President Tim Dwyer.Apparently Welch never heard of the union motto that "Injury to one is injury to all."

And the teachers weren't alone when they hit the picket line.The community is supporting the teachers and students have joined them on the picket line.But that's not all:
Cross-union support has been strong. The Massachusetts AFL-CIO, Electrical Workers (IBEW), nurses, and Teamsters have all been on the line, at rallies, and sharing their support on social media. Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren all released statement of support. And Massachusetts Representative Joe Kennedy, who is running for Senate against Markey, even showed up at a rally for a few minutes.
And it's already working.After a rally that drew 500 people - and an order by state labor officials that the school district start bargaining in good faith - the teachers and school district sat down at the bargaining table for the first time in months.

But before sitting down at the bargaining table, there was another strong showing of support and solidarity.

And the DEA isn't the only union enjoying a show of solidarity.

The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) got a major boost from the Teamsters, who said that they won't deliver to the schools while the teachers are striking:
When Teamsters Local 705 official Juan Campos heard that the Chicago Teachers Union was going on strike, his first reaction was to text union stewards, reminding them that Teamsters honor strike lines of other labor groups.

He also encouraged them to display their red-and-white buttons that state: "Teamsters don’t cross picket lines.”

Campos, the secretary-treasurer of a local that represents about 17,000 workers including UPS drivers in Chicago, said that’s important to him because “today it’s them, tomorrow it’s us.”

“We stand behind the teachers union 100% and believe they should fight for every form of benefits and relief for the children they are seeking,” Campos said.

“Our drivers are not delivering any goods across any picket lines that are manned by the teachers,” Campos said. He noted they do have to abide by the law, which means if there’s no line, they must deliver.
It really warms this old union thug's heart to see such a strong showing of solidarity. We just might be able to pull this country out of its downward spiral after all.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Makes A Dog's Day in Wisconsin Or Wisconsin Hates My Dogs


October is National Adopt-A-Dog Month, aimed to promote adoption over buying a puppy mill dog.Along those same lines, Tuesday was National Make A Dog's Day, which iscelebrated by:
Visit a shelter, find a loyal canine companion and make a dog’s day through adoption! If the timing isn’t quite right, all are welcome to stop by a shelter and volunteer. Just by taking a shelter dog for a walk or bringing them a new chew toy, you’ll make their day. New blankets or treats are always welcome, too. Check your local shelter’s website for a list of needs. Each shelter takes donations, and their requirements vary depending on the time of year.
And if you already have a dog, you can do things that are extra special for them - things like taking a long walk or car ride, getting them a special treat or toy or just spending extra time with them.

For us, we have Beau (the brown and white on the right) and Lou.Both are rescues from the Wisconsin Humane Society.Beau is an American English Coonhound Mix. He had been through two homes and numerous shelters in nine short months of life until he found his way to us.Lou is a Tennessee Walker Coonhound.He came in as a stray, thus we have no history on him.But judging from his initial behaviors and his fear of so many things, he obviously had a rough life before finding his way to us.As it is, it took him a long time to understand that this was his furever home and to trust us completely.

For our boys, we make sure that every day is National Makes A Dog's Day.We are always trying to make up all the bad they experienced before we rescued each other.Sadly, not all the coonhounds in Wisconsin are treating as well.

In Spring Green, Wisconsin, a couple of people have started a puppy mill, in which they will breed coonhounds with the sole purpose of selling them for research testing.This has caused an outrage on an international scale, with people around the world calling and emailing to express their anger and stating they will boycott the entire region as long as they are allowed them to operate this cruel business.

Fortunately, there are several dog advocacy groups and rescues taking actions as well, led by the wonderful group, Dane 4 Dogs. They have already successfully petitioned the government to have a referendum on whether this type of facility should be operating in their community.

I personally have been in contact with some state lawmakers about this as well.They were already working on a bill that would outlaw puppy mill dogs from being sold commercially and are now working on adding an amendment to include banning the selling the dogs for research.

If that wasn't bad enough, the State of Wisconsin also has a law on the books that sanctions the use of hounds in bear hunting.To train the hounds, the hunters allow the dogs to run freely through the countryside, to find the bait laid by the hunters.Unfortunately, bear country is also wolf country.The hounds often run into the wolves, leading to a fight in which the wolves and the hounds are both losers.In the past five years, scores of hounds, just like Beau and Lou, are literally thrown to the wolves.

James Rowen, one of the state's leading environmental bloggers, has been tracking this for the past five years.He continuously points out that the only ones who make out are the hunters, who get reimbursed $2,500 for every dog that is killed or maimed in these wolf-hound encounters.In the past five years, scores of these noble hounds have been killed.The hunters collect their checks and then just pick up more hounds, often from shelters down south, where they are both plentiful and very inexpensive.

These stories make me eternally grateful for Beau and Lou and that we saved them from this sort of fate.I am also eternally grateful for other hound lovers, like @Tegan_G, who shared the remarkable story of how she found an abandoned hound puppy on the side of a country road and rescued him.The puppy, who is cute as hell, became an instant internet celebrity known as Larry the Puppy.

I am also grateful for Tegan and Larry because they led us to Larry's baby brother, Bandit, whom my wife and I will be adopting in a few weeks, once he is old enough and has been cleared by the vet up there.  He is a Black and Tan Coonhound.



Sure, it will make our small house a little "cozier" and make our budget a little tighter, but our hearts have more than enough room for him already.And it sure beats what might have been in store for him otherwise.

Hopefully, as the Blue Wave continues to sweep the state and the nation, lawmakers will see the wisdom and compassion to fix these laws.After all, dogs are people


Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Ethics Experts: Ron Johnson Has None



As reported last week, Ron Johnson, Wisconsin's Dumb (and corrupt) Senator, dismissed Trump's Ukraine scandal because RoJo said that Trump denied it and, gosh darn it, that was good enough for RoJo!

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel followed up on this by asking various ethics experts on how RoJo handled this whole sordid affair.The experts all said what we already know, RoJo really dropped the ball on the whole thing.Furthermore, because of the way RoJo handled this mess, he should recuse himself form voting, if the impeachment should reach the Senate for trial.Since the paper has it behind a paywall, here are some of the excerpts:
Four ethics experts say Johnson — a member of a branch of government that exists, in part, to provide a check on the president — should have also alerted other senators, explored holding an oversight hearing or even told federal investigators.

One expert says he didn't see anything improper about Johnson's actions but all five contend Johnson should not have taken Trump at his word when he assured Johnson the allegation was false.

"Yes, clearly this should have been reported to the FBI," University of Wisconsin-Madison political science professor David Canon said. "What did he expect the president to say? 'Ah, you are right, sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.'"

[...]

And his role in the matter may mean he should refrain from voting if Trump's removal from office comes before the Senate, two experts said. Johnson plays a central part in what happened because he asked Trump in August whether the aid and investigation were linked.

“You don't have somebody be a witness in a trial and then serve on the jury,” said Hui Chen, an attorney who has worked on compliance issues for the U.S. Department of Justice, Microsoft and Pfizer.

[...]

"I think it was a deep mistake for Senator Johnson to take the president at his word and not instead pursue other channels, including alerting his colleagues for congressional oversight purposes," said Ryan Goodman, a professor at New York University School of Law who served as special counsel to the U.S. Department of Defense under President Barack Obama.

“I think his missteps here have implicated himself, because he's become a fact witness in the case,” Goodman said of Johnson. “And I think as such the appropriate thing for him to do may be to recuse himself from the Senate trial.”
I think the gentle reader gets the idea.

What hasn't been reported anywhere else is the fact that RoJo does have a history of covering up crimes committed by fellow Republicans.

In 2011, then Wisconsin State Representative Bill Kramer sexually assaulted a woman who was an aide to RoJo at the time.The woman went to RoJo and his Chief of Staff, Tony Blando, and toldthem of the assault.Neither man told the police or any Republican Party officials about the reported assault.The woman eventually came forward and told police of the assault.

Even then, RoJo tried to play stupid, if he was indeed playing, denied any knowledge of the incident.He also denied that the woman had told him about it.It was only after the woman reported to the police that she had indeed informed them about it that RoJo's memory started to come back to him.

It's high time and then some that RoJo is also put under investigation for his own ethics violations.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Ron Johnson Permanently Attaches His Lips To Trump's Arse



Just a couple of days ago, Ron Johnson (R-Trump's Arse) tried to minimize Trump's attempt to use his office for political gain and extort Ukraine into investigating the Bidens.

Not that Trump has given up all pretense of trying to even pretend being innocent, asking China to also investigate his political opponents while ON CAMERA., RoJo simply shrugged and embraced Trump's criminality in a full body hug and permanently affixes his lips to Trump's arse (emphasis mine):
"I don't think there's anything improper about it," Johnson said. "We have proper agreements with countries to investigate potential crimes. I don't know what may or may not have happened with China and the Bidens, but I think an awful lot of those investigations can actually occur here in America."

Despite Trump's rhetoric, there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by Biden or his son in either China or Ukraine.

[...]

In Middleton, Johnson said there are a number of unanswered questions regarding Hunter Biden's business dealings in China, and that the American public, Democratic primary voters and Trump have a right to know about it.

"If there’s some scandal sitting outside there, whether it’s in Ukraine, between Vice President Biden’s son or in China, I would think they’d want to know that before they start casting their ballots in the Democratic primary," Johnson said.
RoJo not only condoned Trump's illegal and unethical behavior but spelled it out for even the most idiotic of the Republicans.

Then again, given RoJo's own past, he has no problem with someone using the power of their office for political or personal gain.

But as the gentle reader is probably expecting by now, there's more.There's always more.RoJo wasn't done showing what a moron and liar he really is:

After playing dumb on a letter he cosigned in 2016 urging Ukraine's leaders to clean up the corruption in their government, RoJo actually said this:
"I don't engage in hypocrisy," Johnson said. "I'm looking at getting the truth, I'm trying to be supportive of eastern European countries."
The hypocrisy and self-contradiction just speaks for itself.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Ron Johnson's Very Bad And Utterly Bizarre Day



In 2018, US Senator Ron Johnson (R - Russia, NRA) proved that he was a Russian asset when he spent the Fourth of July in Mother Russia, kissing Putin's butt while pretending to be patriotic. Immediately upon returning from his little junket, he offhandedly dismissed any and all concerns about Russia hacking our elections.

And we already knew that RoJo was a puppet for the NRA, receiving the fourth highest amount of money from the fascist organization during the 2016 elections.

Now, RoJo is the subject of a complaint filed with the FEC that his campaign was illegal coordinating with the NRA, possibly using Russian money:
The nonprofit and nonpartisan organization Campaign Legal Center has filed an FEC complaint alleging the NRA’s coordination with Republican Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin in the 2016 campaign through a shell corporation called Starboard, which illegally funneled potentially millions from the NRA in in-kind contributions. "There is substantial evidence that the NRA funneled millions through a shell corporation to unlawfully coordinate with candidates it was backing," Brendan Fischer, director of federal reform at the CLC, said. "The NRA using inside information about a candidate's strategy to create 'independent' ads supporting him creates an unfair advantage and it violates the law."

The NRA's lobbying organization as well as its PAC had a contract with Starboard to create ads not just in Johnson's 2016 campaign, but also to help Republicans Tom Cotton, Cory Gardner, and Thom Tillis in 2014. Which means that those three, now running for reelection in 2020, also had illegal help from the NRA in their elections. That's not much of a problem for Cotton looking ahead because it's Arkansas. But Colorado and North Carolina are a different ball of wax.

How much of the millions the NRA was laundering through Starboard was actually Russian money laundered through the NRA? It spent a record $55 million on the 2016 elections; $30 million went to Trump, $25 million to other Republicans. That's the money that it actually had to report, though most of it came from the PAC arm, which doesn't have to disclose the identities of its donors.
Ah, but there's more.There's always more.

On Monday, RoJo showed some very erratic behavior, which might one wonder about his mental acuity.

First, he tried to distance himself, ever so slightly, from the Orange Shitgibbon:
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said on Monday that he thinks President Trump has changed the presidency, but signaled it isn't necessarily in the right direction.

"I think so, not necessarily toward the positive either," Johnson said during an interview in Wisconsin with WTMJ.
RoJo immediately regretted his statement and tried to going back to kissing Trump's ass by blaming Bill Clinton for also damaging the office.

Just to make sure Trump knew that RoJo was still the faithful and loyal lackey, he kept piling on by accusing the DNC of working with Ukraine to get dirt on Trump.He also tried to smear former Vice President Joe Biden, for good measure.One can't be too careful or too stingy when kissing Cheetolini's ass.

GOP Sens. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Charles E. Grassley of Iowa sent a letter to Attorney General William P. Barr asking for more information about whether Ukrainian officials sought to undermine Mr. Trump’s campaign. They also want to know more about 2020 Democratic presidential front-runner, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden’s interactions with Ukrainian officials.
“Ukrainian efforts abetted by a U.S. political party to interfere in the 2016 election should not be ignored,” the senators wrote. “Such allegations of corruption deserve due scrutiny, and the American people have a right to know when foreign forces attempted to undermine our Democrat processes.”
Yes, the gentle reader read that correctly - Ukraine. You know, the same country that Trump tried to coerce into helping him, leading to a probable impeachment:

I could almost, key word is almost, feel bad for RoJo.One can't have that much exposure to Trump's enormous butt without eventually it having some detrimental effects on them.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Democracy Returns To Wisconsin, WISGOP Has A Meltdown



Sean Duffy's officially left Congress on Monday.He was resigning reportedly to stay home with a baby he and his wife were expecting in October, which had already been diagnosed with special needs.

On the same day, Governor Tony Evers set the special election to replace Duffy:
Gov. Tony Evers on Monday called for a special election in January to fill the vacancy in northern Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District. The announcement came the same day U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Weston, resigned the position.

“Our rural communities have been directly affected by unproductive trade wars, political attacks on health care and public education, and economic uncertainty because of the volatility we’re seeing in Washington, D.C.,” Evers said in a statement announcing the Jan. 27 special election. “The people of Wisconsin’s 7th Congressional District deserve to have a voice in Congress, which is why I am calling for a special election to occur quickly to ensure the people of the 7th Congressional District have representation as soon as possible.
If a primary is needed, it will be held on December 30.

The Republicans immediately sprung into action by mewling about it, making broad and baseless accusation and, of course, fundraising:

While Evers said the special election date was chosen in order to fill the open seat as soon as possible, Mark Jefferson, executive director of the Republican Party of Wisconsin, was critical of the governor’s selection.
“(Evers) called for a special election on a Monday over the holidays in order to shield his party from rural voters during the spring election,” Jefferson said in a statement. “Governor Evers knows the problems that come with holding an election in 26 counties during the holidays, but he doesn’t care. Clerks are already burdened by existing end-of-year priorities such as budgets and property taxes, along with reviewing nomination papers for local offices.”
They also added gripes about the cost of having the special election.

Their complaints is foolish.The spring elections would be actually more beneficial to the Democrats, since that is when Wisconsin's presidential primary is.There is guaranteed to be a much bigger turnout in the spring than over the holidays (if a primary is needed) and in the dead of winter.

But not all Democrats are pleased about the choice either, as Ruth Conniff of Wisconsin Examiner, reports:
The January election date is not ideal, according to at least one Democrat, U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Black Earth).

“If you have a primary or a general around Christmas … you get terrible turnout because real people don’t think about primary elections, they think about the holidays,” Pocan said in a conversation with reporters on Sept. 4, during which he was asked what would be the best election date in the 7th district for Democrats.

The best way to schedule the election, he said, was to “piggyback” the dates on already-scheduled elections, with a primary in February and a general election in April. “You don’t want to add elections,” Pocan said. “We like elections; most people don’t.”

“If you start putting a bunch of elections, especially at Christmas time or in other months, you’re not going to get turnout and that doesn’t benefit anyone,” Pocan added. “You should want as many people as possible to participate.”
One of the real reasons that the Republicans have their undies in a bundle over this special election is because they know that the party choice to replace Duffy, State Senator Tom Tiffany, is a strong Trump supporter and with Trump failing and flailing fast, they're afraid it's not going to go well for them because it would be an early referendum on Trump.

The other reason they're upset is because they are pining for the good old days, when they didn't have to worry about the voters.Y'know, like that time that Scott Walker was so scared of giving the people their voice that he refused to hold special elections in the beginning of 2018, until he was ordered by the courts - numerous times - to set the dates.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Dave Zweifel Commemorates Jeff Simpson



Last Friday, Dave Zweifel, Editor Emeritus at The Cap Times, dedicated a whole column to the memory of Jeff Simpson.

Zweifel starts by reminiscing how he first met Jeff, who had won a silent auction for the chance to sit in on an editorial board meeting with a prominent state or local politician.  (Jeff picked Russ Feingold.)

Zweifel then wrote a segue that would have made the buttons on Jeff's shirt pop off in pride.

As I said when I spoke at Jeff's funeral, Jeff was very happy and very proud of writing at this here blog and having his voice heard around the state.  Keep that in mind at this bit from Zweifel's column:
Jeff did join in the Feingold interview, and when he left, I thought that might be the last I heard of him. How wrong. He soon appeared as a regular blogger, espousing his strong beliefs in local, state and national politics, taking on those politicians he felt weren't representing the people they served, but instead the moneyed interests who contributed to their campaigns.

His blog drew many readers and was most recently found on Cognitive Dissidence, a popular statewide site which is frequently linked on our daily online opinion round-up, the State Debate.

Meanwhile, he got himself elected to the Monona Grove School Board, and became an outspoken advocate for public education and the need to support public school teachers.
Zweifel finishes his column by reproducing Jeff's last blog post, stating that "It says loads about Jeff's life and the kind of person he was."

I couldn't agree more.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sensenbrenner Finally Announces Long Overdue Departure From Congress


To many people's surprise, U.S. Representative F. James Sensenbrenner finally announced on Wednesday that he would not seek reelection in 2020.He had fed at the public trough for more than half a century - 10 years as a state legislator and 40 years in Congress. Many people, including myself, had long thought that the only way Sensenbrenner would leave was when they carried him out in a box.

Sensenbrenner denied that his announcement had anything to do with fear of losing or for health reasons but that he wanted to go before redistricting occurred in 2022:
Sensenbrenner said he is not retiring for health reasons or because he is worried about a re-election challenge. He is at least the 15th GOP member of the U.S. House to announce retirement this year, a group that includes Duffy.

Sensenbrenner said his decision was also unrelated to serving in the minority, where he has spent virtually half his congressional career, and unrelated to the turbulence of Donald Trump’s presidency.

[...]

“I’ve said all along I’d know when the right time came and I’ve come to the conclusion it has,” he said. “There is nobody running against me. Nobody can say they’ve pushed me out. I am doing this on my terms.”

Said Sensenbrenner:

“You can see the end of the line sometime. Being able to do this on my timetable rather than after a redistricting in 2022 will allow me to go out on a high note … This is just me feeling the time would be coming in the next few years, and I think this is the best time for me personally, and for both the Republican Party and for me politically.”
I don't know but it sure sounds to me like he's scared of what could be coming down the road.

Some of the "highlights" of Sensenbrenner'scareer include:
  • Creating the oppressive Patriot's Act
  • Being a "House Manager" during the impeachment of President Bill Clinton
  • Referring to First Lady Michelle Obama's "large posterior" and "big butt"
The gentle reader shouldn't lose a moment's sleep worrying about Sensenbrenner's future.He's got millions of dollars stashed away from not only being overpaid as a politician but from being an heir and former stockholder of Kimberly Clark.

The gentle reader also shouldn't hold their breath in hopes that the district will turn blue in 2020.His district is so badly gerrymandered by the Republicans, that it is strongly red (R +13).It also lies mostly in the WOW counties, which produce the highest Republican turnout in the state and the country.I just hope that whoever the Republicans decide to run isn't as big as a goof and idiot as Glenn Grothman.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Jeff's Last Post


Before he died, Jeff Simpson with the help of his wife, wrote one last blogpost.  But instead of posting it anywhere, they gave it to their pastor to read at his celebration of life last week.  When the pastor read it aloud to us, I knew I had to ask for it, not only because of what Jeff said, but also because it was pure Jeff.  With the help and full permission of his wife, I present to you Jeff's last post, edited only to fit the format:
In my nine plus years of battling cancer, I learned a few lessons that I feel the need to share. The first is, as the late Coach Jim Valvano famously said, “Don’t Give Up….Don’t Ever Give Up.”In my time fighting this dreaded disease, there were some very dark times and yet with so much to fight for, I never considered giving up.

The Second lesson is Build Your Army.No one accomplishes anything alone in this world. You have to build your army and be willing to accept help. MY army was incredible, it consisted of my amazing family, my incredible medical team at UW Hospital, the Cottage Grove and Monona Grove community, My Gilda’s club support group, my Messiah Lutheran family and of course Jesus.With that strong of an army, who can stand against me?

Third is Be Active in your community. It is important that we all do our best to make our world a better place and the best way to do that is right out your front door.Run for local office, attend local meetings, volunteer locally, shop locally when you can.Help your neighbor with tasks if you are able. The best way to change the world is acts of service and kindness with your neighbors, let the goodness trickle up.

Fourth and final – Be Nice.As the Bible states “and the Greatest is Love"We have become so polarized as a nation and state and there is too much anger and hatred in the world.I know in my time, I was in the middle of many of these battles, but I truly tried to engage civilly and with all people. We need to stop treating each other as enemies and instead look upon them as the human being that they are and find common ground.

Also a couple more requests – Lets cure Cancer, we have brilliant minds in this world, this disease is horrible and we need to stop it..Let’s get money out of politics also, so the good of the people will be the main policy driver not the profits of the corporation.Support your Public Schools.They are staffed with people who really care about all kids, so support them the way they support the community. Finally, live your life with passion and every day will have blue skies!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Vos, WISGOP, Still Complete Jerks Towards Paralyzed Democrat



Wisconsin Republicans, led by Speaker Robin Vos, are still befouling themselves in their treatment and attitude towards State Representative Jimmy Anderson, a Democrat who was paralyzed from the chest down when a drunk driver smashed into the car that Anderson was riding in.

It started when Anderson made a simple request to appear via telephone at some Assembly committee meetings when his physical disabilities and health concerns won't allow it.Vos denied him this right guaranteed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accused Anderson of "grandstanding" in his request.

Bad enough, right? But as with all things Republican, there's more.There's always more.

Anderson circulated a letter to each and every fellow state representative to ask Vos to allow Anderson his request for this accommodation.All 36 of Anderson's fellow Democrats signed the letter willingly.However, not one Republican would sign the letter.This includes Republican State Representative Barbara Dittrich, who prides herself as being a long time advocate for those with disabilities.

But Vos still wasn't done.Apparently concerned that there might still be some lingering doubt, Vos wanted to make sure that the world knows that he is a complete and utter shithead.

Vos did this by trying to play the victim card.Yes, you read that correctly.Vos tried to portray himself as the victim, stating that Anderson was only making the request to make him look bad:
Vos told WISN's Jay Weber he believes the timing of Anderson's public appeal, which included speaking to a Journal Sentinel reporter, was meant to undermine the announcement of Vos taking over as president of the National Conference of State Legislatures.
But Vos didn't say it even that tactfully.What Vos actually said was way worse and about as callous and petty as I have ever seen:
"(This) does not seem like an accident to me," Vos told a conservative radio show host Thursday. "Everything they do is political and trying to make the other side look bad."
So in Vos' deranged mind, Anderson purposely went out and got hit by a drunk driver, an accident which took the lives of both his parents and his brother and leaving him paralyzed, just in order to make Vos look bad years later.And that doesn't mention all the physical and emotional suffering that Anderson apparently went through willfully, just for the chance to embarrass Vos at some future time.

Belatedly realizing that his bluster, bullying and pettiness were hurting his aspirations to be governor, later tried to backtrack, saying that "some accommodations" were likely but refusing to specify exactly what those accommodations would be.

The smart money is on that there will be only minimal, if any, changes made and that Vos only said that in a lame effort at damage control.

Vos is as sick and deranged as they come.