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Free Wisconsin Posts

I am not a Crook times three

What do the three GOP leaders have in common?

GWbridgetrio
The trio above is composed of New Jersey Governor – Chris Cristie, Wisconsin Governor – Scott Walker, and former President Richard Nixon. What they have in common is the metaphorical crossing of a bridge to far. The George Washington Bridge closing is just too pregnant with symbolism to pass up – it just begs for a parable. The controversy facing Governor Cristie is not new. It echos back to the classic temptation that has visited the wealthy and powerful throughout human time, the temptation to use power to manipulate circumstances for personal gain, or worse yet, retribution against opponents.

In recent times any political scandal visited on person of power that is met with denial on the part of the accused inherits the suffix “gate”. Of course, this is because of the Grandaddy of all coverups Watergate. If you are now about 50 or older, you will remember the two year long continuous denial of Richard Nixon in a personal way; his stubborn claim that he knew nothing of the break-in at the Watergate office complex in D. C. right up until the day when he was finally threatened with certain impeachment. He was forced to resign his office in shame on August 9 of 1974. This is why the denial of wrong doing on the part of Chris Cristie has already been coined as “Bridgegate”. It is why the on going investigation of Scott Walker in Wisconsin is known as “Walkergate”.

Nixon found himself hopelesslynixon point stuck in a mud of denial of the break-in and yet, he spun his wheels for two years to create a rut so deep and so intractable that any other politician so accused is doomed to follow his Watergate track. Cristie and Walker are doomed to drive down the same road, unable to turn their wheels out of the Watergate rut, until they drive off the eventual cliff of embarrassment, denial, and final resignation. Watergate has become the thousand piece jig-saw puzzle with the final picture clearly displayed on the cover of the box. Just like a sequel movie or TV show the “Othergates” of Christie and Walker are solved by the picture on the puzzle box long before the hours of putting all the pieces together proves the fact. But, oh what fun all the endless mystery and intrigue provide for media pundits, and political junkies! “I found a piece!”

All of a piece

The politicians who find themselves trapped behind some “Gate” or other share some common foibles so that the piecing together of the puzzle becomes traceable and predictable. It might be argued that every politician has a big ego, but the “Gate” politicians have ego’s on steroids – like Chris Cristie and Scott Walker. They need to “be someone” far out weighs their need to serve someone.

This obsessive need could not have been made more clear on the part of Cristie than in his two hour news conference when all of his apologies and administrative actions where deeply based in his personal foible: “It’s all about me.” My staff lied to ME. They blindsided ME. Me. I. Me. I. This is the way “Gate” politicians see the world. Scott Walker’s “Gate” has yet to break loose in the national media, but it appears inevitable that he is the next “Gate” on the horizon. Mark my words. Walkergate is a bridge just waiting to be crossed.

Bring on Walkergate

Cristie’s Bridgegate finally broke months after the bridge closure on the first day of school. It first hit the national press as a weird political anomaly on the Rachel Maddow show. She is the first to admit and credit the bloggers and journalists and specifically Bergen Record reporter Shawn Boburg, who continued to delve into all the tedious research making phone calls, and pouring over documents until the balance finally shifted into one of the major stories effecting national politics of the year.

The same tedious research is Ifgovprestracing through the counties of Wisconsin as the two year long John Doe Investigation continues. The same reference as to the atmosphere necessary for a Watergate, Bridgegate, and Walkergate has been defined in Wisconsin. Yes, the culture of seediness and lawbreaking that pervaded the Walker administration at the time he was campaigning for governor, makes Nixon and Cristie look like naughty children when compared to the vile acts that were documented within Walker’s Milwaukee culture.

Not only did Walker’s Chief of Staff, Timothy Russell, set up a secret email network for Walker’s campaign for governor, but he was convicted of stealing money from a veterans group whose mission was to help families of fallen veterans. Where is the national press?

Finally a Special Prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, has been appointed to investigate the criminal activity surrounding Scott Walker.

For two years Walker has said he didn’t know about the secret email network located within 30 feet of this County Executive Office. He has dodged, ducked and dismissed any knowledge or connection with any criminal activities that were all orchestrated to put him in office and keep him in office.

Even if Cristie did not know about the bridge closure, he is being held to the fire by the press for creating a culture of retribution. Even if he did not know, he is responsible for surrounding himself with staff who would orchestrate such and act of retribution on his behalf.

In Watergate the idea that Nixon could be absolved by “not knowing” was addressed by the Arlo Guthrie song “The Presidential Rag”:

Presidential Rag
Arlo Guthrie – Presidential Rag Lyrics | MetroLyrics
You said you didn’t know
That the cats with the bugs were there
And you never go along
With that kind of stuff no where

Scott Walker’s name is being dropped even more often as a GOP Presidential candidate in the wake of Cristie’s Bridgegate. As he is being paraded out on the Sunday shows, why is he being absolved from the culture of crime he created in Wisconsin’s Walkergate?

Just asking.

Papa John Pizza Affluenza breakout

Papa John CEO, John Schnatter has become the poster boy for New Normal Affluenza (NNA), a virulent and debilitating disease that haspapapizzaheart been mutating and spreading across corporate America for 50 years (See side bar right).

Back in November Papa Schnatter Pizza suffered an attack of affluenza when his delusional love of personal wealth moved him to make the statement that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees. Not for lack of business, but in order to keep the hours below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require him to provide his employees with healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Affluenza so skews the perception of its victims so that they believe that it is the mission of the the mass of Americans to contribute to their personal wealth. So sad.

Rick Ungar, Contributor Forbes

It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.

If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

Pizza Pop Delusion is a tough crust to swallow


By: Ted Marzilli BrandIndex

Papa John’s, Applebee’s, and Denny’s were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” Results were filtered adults 18+ who have eaten at casual dining restaurants in the past month.

Papa John’s Buzz score high point for the month came on Election Day – November 6th – with a score of 32. Eight days later, the score had dropped 10 points down to 22. A few days later, Papa John’s dropped below Pizza Hut’s score and is presently at 4.

Affluenza

affluenza3

The first outbreak of Affluenza was documented in a film way back in 1954 when it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 the term described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. Today, in the latest ugly outbreak, the illness has been sited as a legal excuse of vehicular manslaughter. The argument is that the wealthy few are killing the rest of us for our own good.

How is that for delusional?
The virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed and the promulgation of the belief that profit driven organizations are living and breathing people, sort of like the “living dead”. Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

Affluenza reaching epidemic proportions among most wealthy

Papa John Schnatter’s delusional behavior is not an isolated case. Other fast food CEO’s have demonstrated similar delusional perceptions of self importance. Zane Tankel (pictured left) holds one of the largest franchises for Applebee’s, applebeestanke2land went on television while suffering an Affluenza breakdown. He went on a self possessed rant to threaten the public with pulling back. He said he would not build any more restaurants or hire any more people if the affordable care act were to force him to provide insurance to his minimum wage workers. Sort of a “Stay where you are or I’ll shot myself in in the foot.” kind of demented threat.

All that happened as a result of his rant was that his “Buzz” (from the Brandindex link above) fell from the 35 points to a pathetic 5 points after his public tantrum.

New Normal Affluenza is spreading through the ranks of the wealthy and we will be reporting on the growing epidemic and possible cures for this devastating illness.

Packer tickets, the Pope, and taxes

Blackout averted as Affluenza reaches pandemic stage

The heartbreak of Affluenza

The first outbreak of Affluenza was documented in a film way back in 1954 when it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 the term described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. popetaxfootballToday, in the latest ugly outbreak, the virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed and the promulgation of the belief that profit driven organizations are living and breathing people, sort of like the “living dead”. Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

Last week the insidious delusional symptoms of Affluenza came to force within the NFL when many were shocked at the sluggish sales of tickets of the Sunday Packer/San Francisco playoff game. The expectation of a quick sellout didn’t materialize, and as is typical Affluenza symptoms, the effect of greed and over reach of the affected “corporate people” involved went unnoticed. Social media was quick to come to the conclusion that people just don’t have the extra $500 cash for transportation, accommodations, and tickets for the game. The Affluenza effected media did not mention the hard strapped status of Wisconsin’s middle class as a factor in the sluggish ticket sales, but pointed to the sub zero cold as the primary reason for slow sales.


By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel

With Ice Bowl-like weather coming, Packers get more time to sell seats

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the temperature at game time for the Ice Bowl on Dec. 31, 1967, was 13 below zero. More recently, the Jan. 20, 2008, playoff game between the Packers and the New York Giants was 3 below with a wind chill of 24 below.

The face value of the tickets in the seating bowl is between $102 and $125, depending on seat location. The NFL sets the prices. On the secondary ticket market, prices are hovering at face value.

Many Packer fans just don’t have the cash

Walker’s Affulenza

He stands in silence as 26,200 veterans in Wisconsin are faced with losing Foot Stamp (SNAP) benefits.

He is quick to comment on the fate of theP1070670 Packer’s on face book, but not a word about the 150,000 people and 4,000 kids at risk of losing access to free/reduced meals.

Further, the cuts proposed in the House would trigger the loss of $170 million to the Wisconsin economy next year.

As is so typical of the Affluenza sufferer – No comment from Walker. Not a word.

His failure to accept the Affordable Care Act as law will take 83,000 people off of Medicaid. Why? So he can show the most conservative base of the GOP that he is tough. Tough enough to let thousands of people suffer to prove a political point.

Yet, we see frequent tweets and face book posts from Walker, “How bout those Packers.”, as some strange pretense that all is well beneath the surface.

Walker Tax reform to provide MORE benefits for the wealthy

Oh, Affluenza in its late stages is not a pretty sight. Even as a promise to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his term through cutting taxes for the wealthy, has faltered, fallen, and failed, a sufferer of Afflenza remains out of touch with reality as demonstrated by Walker’s new push to abolish the state income tax.

Shepherd Express Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 By Joel McNally
Scott Walker’s Scariest Tax Plan Yet

An independent study by the Wisconsin Budget Project found that moving all state income tax revenue onto the sales tax would mean the bottom four-fifths of Wisconsin taxpayers would pay hundreds of dollars more in taxes every year while the top 1% would save an average of $44,000 a year.

Affluenza sufferers are very much like the zombies and walking dead in that they hang together in secret. Most of the legislative initiatives of the GOP in Wisconsin have been developed in secret meetings of organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and financed by dark money – it is necessary to hide the true motives of the wealthy “corporate people”. Walker’s tax reform discussions are no different.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is conducting secret meetings where the public and press are not allowed. She explains that, “If you’ve got cameras and reporters with notebooks lining the edges of the room, that amounts to public speaking, and that can make some folks nervous.” – a delusional opinion so typical of the late stages of Affluenza. Sad.

STEVEN VERBURG | Wisconsin State Journal

Video shows businesses lobbying Rebecca Kleefisch for more tax breaks in closed-door meeting

In a closed meeting with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, business operators argued — sometimes forcefully — for lower taxes and more financial incentives for commercial interests.

A recently released video of the Dec. 9 session at Beloit College shows Kleefisch and state Revenue Department Secretary Rick Chandler extolling state efforts to reduce taxes since Republicans took over state government in 2011, and saying they wanted private-sector ideas for another round of cuts.

“We want to know how we can love you more,” Kleefisch told the group of about 30 executives, managers, accountants and others during the 1-hour, 40-minute session

Blackout averted through the grace of “corporate people”

Our TV blackout nightmare is over.

Sunday’s wild-card playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers is a sellout, ensuring the game will not be blacked out in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau. The Associated Bank corporate person has come through to save the day for fans, and preserve its bottom line. Like any late stage Affluenza sufferer the Associated corporate person spins the message to stifle any accusations of over reach and greed, and launches its corporate self to become a hero!


By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel

“The franchise announced Friday the game had been sold out. The Packers had until 4 p.m. Friday to avoid an NFL-imposed TV blackout in the three local television markets.”

Freedom Works to kill John Doe

A John Doe investigation is a secret inquiry. Just such an investigation has been afoot in Wisconsin since the days when Scott Walker began his campaign to become governor. It continues to this day. The unending, undercover, underground inquisition has rallied at times, and deflated at others; sort of like a death rattle of democracy itself. The invading virus first began to attack transparency and openness and to feed on healthy ideas and human aspirations with a glittery mutation of greed from an Ayn Rand novel. And, what better medium to grow glitter of greed in the eyes of man….than money. “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle….” and all that. Ka ching!

The wolf of the John Doe era came hidden the sheep’s clothing of manipulation of language that was generated to sell, sell, sell. When is the last time you saw a “Help Wanted” sign? A new terminology was created to express the power and control of the owner and expressed itself with “Now Hiring”, “Now Renting”. Thus began the language of “branding”. Eventually this phenomenon hit the political scene with terms like “Freedom Works”, “Americans for Prosperity”, “American Legislative Exchange Council” and “Citizens United” who are “Now Hiring”, “Now Renting” and now offering you just a little bit of the vast abundance they claim to possess.

Wolf hidden in the sheep’s clothing of responsible journalism

The cancer of greed riding on a wave of dark money has spread through the body politic along the organs of over 29 organizations (some listed at right), and most recently has spread into an attack of journalism itself.

Risking prosecution for talking about the latest John Doe, which is conducted in front of a judge but under the strictest secrecy rules, Wisconsin Club for Growth board member Eric O’Keefe told the Wall Street Journal that he was subpoenaed in early October, and that some of the targets “had their homes raided at dawn, with law-enforcement officers turning over belongings to seize computers and files.”

Posted by Brendan Fischer on December 19, 2013 – PR Watch

Why Are the Franklin Center’s “Wisconsin Reporter” and “Watchdog.org” Attacking the John Doe?
Thanks to those unnamed sources, Wisconsin Reporter had a new platform, and used it to recast the John Doe investigation as “an abuse of prosecutorial powers” with “the apparent goal of bringing down Gov. Scott Walker.” The Walker campaign and 28 other groups also reportedly received subpoenas.

“This is a taxpayer-funded, opposition-research campaign,” an anonymous source told the Wisconsin Reporter.

Franklin Center’s Wisconsin Reporter has written 16 stories so far that are highly critical of the John Doe probe and prosecutors (calling its series “Wisconsin’s Secret War”), but these latest revelations raise questions about whether the outfit has a conflict of interest in its coverage.

John Doe target groups

A few of the 29 groups targeted
Walker’s campaign

Wisconsin Club for Growth

Republican Governors Association

Republican Party of Wisconsin

Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce

Wisconsin Family Action

League of American Voters

The language of dark money has moved trough covert and insidious channels from the corporate sponsored legislation of ALEC, through the fraudulent mailings of Americans for Prosperity and now,wolf_Okeefe into portraying the message of greed as mainstream journalism.

The secret investigation of the hoard of right wing groups in Wisconsin holds national implications for the future of Citizens United and if the secret deluge of dark money that flooded the state over the course of the two recall elections can be made subject to the rule of law.

A central character in the Wisconsin Club for Growth dark money web is John Connors, the Franklin Center’s “Director of Special wolfjohn_connersProjects,” who has close ties to many of the groups receiving funding (9.1 million dollars) from O’Keefe’s Wisconsin Club for Growth.

By the very nature of Capitalism the guy with the capital gets the favor. Never before has so much secret money, and the organizations those funds support, moved into the electoral process as was demonstrated Wisconsin in the past two years. So, the outcome of the on and on going John Doe investigation is really much larger than its parts.

It remains to be seen whether the ailing patient of democracy can survive. So far the dark money has not been successful with its manipulation of the press and filings in the courts to stop the investigation. It has been rather quiet of late.

The secret investigation continues to roll on as it has for over two years while the survival of democracy lies in the balance.

The heartbreak of “Affluenza”

Affluenza – the dogged pursuit of more

The term appears to have been coined back in 1954 by a family foundation, but it was popularized into a film and best selling book by Vivia Boe and John de Graaf in 1997. But, the term “Affluenza” rose back from the dead last week when it was used a defense for a rich kid’s excuse for killing four people while driving drunk.

The Affluenza Defense: Judge Rules Rich Kid’s Rich Kid-ness Makes Him Not Liable for Deadly Drunk Driving Accident

By Madison Gray @madisonjgray Dec. 12, 2013 Time

He got 10 years probation for causing a wreck that devastated three families

The Keller, Tex., 16-year-old has a rare condition that a judge believes is best remedied with anything but dealing with the consequences for causing a DWI wreck that killed four people, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

Couch suffers from “affluenza,” according to his lawyers, a term which means that his wealthy parents pretty much let him get away with everything. The defense saved him from a 20-year sentence; State District Judge Jean Boyd bought it at his sentencing on Tuesday and gave Couch probation instead.

Break out of “New Normal Affluenza”


The wealthy are killing us for our own good

Being taken advantage of by all those “corporate people” is just something we less- advantaged folk must put up with. bernie-IphoneSo, what if your loved ones are run over by a wealthy drunk kid? You must take into consideration all the difficulties of being rich. What about all of the trials those “corporate people” must go through in order to provide you with all the “goodies” that surround your life?

Sometimes a single instance erupts to become the prophecy of an age and now, affluenza has arrived as a mutated super virus what will not respond to the antibiotic of common sense or justice. In its first outbreak way back in 1954 it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 it described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. Today, in the latest ugly outbreak, the virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed, and a rationalization form vehicular homicide.

Early warning signs often include the exhibition of Scrooge-like behavior. An example might be foreclosing on the local Building and Loan just before Christmas. Bah humbug! Garlic eaters! Of course, the very fortunate victims are those who have “earned it the hard way”. (You know, like the Koch Brothers who inherited their billions from their Daddy.)

Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

During frequent periods of delusion, the affluenza sufferer is quick to point out these lazy people cannot be helped through the government (the democratic community) with any financial aid. No, they will say, this will soon become “an entitlement”. Typical dialogues of this delusion are characterized by tirades such as, “Helping these lazy people will lead to their permanent dependency.” and “They will lie and cheat to get big screen TV’s.”, and “I saw one purchase lobster tail dinners with food stamps!”.

The latest strain has been labeled “New Normal Afluenza” and has attacked the neurological function of pathwaysAffluenza to the brain in a pattern very similar to a sociopath – a person without ability to feel compassion to another human being. Thus, as has been demonstrated by the judge in the drunk driving case, victims of NNA lack the common sense of emotional unity of one person to another and will make irrational decisions that seek to provide for their own wealth or that of an intimate other wealthy person.

The danger is that victims of NNA are in positions of power in business and government by the very nature of their disease. They are filthy rich. They believe that attainment of wealth is the ultimate yardstick of human success and dedicate every waking hour to attaining power and wealth. Once the afflicted are in power across a wide spectrum of corporate and government organizational fronts, the majority of the people become victims of the new sick leaders at the top.

Medical professionals suggest that a look at the distribution of wealth over a period of years is a good indicator as to how widespread the disease may be on the national scale. When a small percentage of people control over one half the total wealth of a financial community, it may be assumed that NNA is at epidemic proportions.

Walker warns of Burke and “Outside Groups”

Paranoia of the preposterous in the land of the nutty

Out of a wacky week of flim flam sign language interpretation at the Mandela memorial service, and Fox News flip outs over black Santa vs white Jesus – comes Scott Walker’s email to his supporters:

Friend,

Only 18 days until our reporting deadline on December 31st!

I’m going to need your help again.

As you know, Mary Burke has jumped in the race. Mary is willing and able to kick in millions of her own money into her campaign – in fact, in her last campaign she outspent her opponent nearly 12-to-1, using only her own cash.

And on top of Burke’s personal fortune, numerous outside groups have promised to spend tens of millions of dollars on her behalf.

Burke will command a truly staggering amount of money to direct to negative TV ads, deceptive mailings and the best team of hired guns – many straight from the Obama machine – that money can buy!

What is your favorite line? How about, “numerous outside groups have promised to spend tens of millions of dollars on her?”. How could anything be so nuts? This is like a warning from Bernie Madoff to his investors to watch out for a scam!

This is an email from Scott Walker, who crisscrossed the country for months before his recall election raising money from any and every “outside group” who would listen to him. Now, he is attempting to strike fear in the hearts of his supporters that Mary Burke is prepared to do exactly what he did? Oh yes, he needs help alright, but perhaps money is not the help he needs.

Running with it

It is very difficult to read the email of Scott Walker seriously; without expecting to see the words “The Onion” at the bottom.interpretwalker But, it has been that kind of week in the news, so all one can do is roll with it and have a bit of fun.

Jantjie is the man who was signing for the hearing impaired at Mandela’a Memorial service, and was discovered to be a fake and a fraud. Jantjie has said he suffers from schizophrenia and was hearing voices when he was on stage. He said that he saw angels, according to the Associated Press, and that he could be violent.

Running with the “crazy” of Scott Walker employing the logic of warning supporters of the danger of “outside groups” to raise money – would Jantjie be a likely candidate for a job?

Meanwhile at Faux News

Last week, Fox News host Megyn Kelly made comment about a story in Slate.

Written by Alex Kuzio December 13th 2013 Newslow

Slate.com article that argued Santa Claus needn’tmegyn-kelly always be portrayed as a white man, since children of color often feel left out. “For all you kids watching at home, Santa just is white,” Kelly said. “But this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is.”

Shortly after the episode on Fox she was admitted to a psychiatric ward in New York where Doctors who have examined the anchor say that Kelly was suffering from “bizarre delusions” and “obsessiveness.”

The most tasteless reaction to the whole incident came from producers at Fox who said that Kelly’s “insane ideas” were what made her an “effective Fox News host.” “It’ll be tough filling her shoes while she’s gone,” said one producer, “and let’s hope the doctors don’t heal her too well. We’d hate to see her leave cable news for good.”

Welcome to conservative crazy land of Fox News, Scott Walker and the looney logic of crazy cash and money mania.

Walker’s Wisconsin – Human needs met with Silence

The most convincing sign of where Walker stands is his silence

He stands in silence as 26,200 veterans in Wisconsin are faced with losing Foot Stamp (SNAP) benefits.

He is quick to comment on the fate of theP1070670 Packer’s on face book, but not a word about the 150,000 people and 4,000 kids at risk of losing access to free/reduced meals.

Further, the cuts proposed in the House would trigger the loss of $170 million to the Wisconsin economy next year.

No comment from Walker. Not a word.

His failure to accept the Affordable Care Act as law will take 83,000 people off of Medicaid. Why? So he can show the most conservative base of the GOP that he is tough. Tough enough to let thousands of people suffer to prove a political point.

Yet all we hear from Walker is, “How bout those Packers.”

What about raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin?

The minimum wage in Wisconsin is exactly the same as dictated by federal law $7.25 per hour. A single person working full time at this wage would barely clear the poverty line and be eligible for food stamps.

But…oh. Food stamps for veterans, children, and most needy are being cut.

And…83,000 people are being denied health care.

What do we hear from Walker, “How about Wisconsin basketball?”

Meanwhile, the income of people like billionaire Diane Hendricksincome-diane is off the charts. Diane Hendricks, who later gave $500,000 to Walker’s campaign, is the one who asked Walker if Wisconsin can “ever get to be a completely red state and work on these unions and become a right-to-work [state]? What can we do to help you?”

Like all of those in in the top 1% she is making even more money than when she made the statement. In fact, if the $7.25 wage had risen at the same rate as her earnings over the past years, it would now stand at $25.18 per hour.

Here is what Walker has said about raising the minimum wage in Wisconsin:

Not only did Walker have nothing to say, he recently told the Huffington Post back in May the he didn’t recall the specifics of a January 2011 video in which he said he would employ a “divide and conquer” strategy against public employee unions.

What about same sex marriage in Wisconsin?

The governor’s whole plan for the state to come in line with the Supreme Court decision legalizing same sex marriage would fit on a elementary school flash card:

By David Edwards
Sunday, November 24, 2013


Scott Walker: Same sex marriage ban is part of a ‘healthy balance’ of LGBT rights

“We’re also a state that has a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as one man, one woman.”

“We’ve had no problems… limited problems with that,” Walker added. “At the same time, we have a constitutional amendment that defines marriage.”

Walker’s Wisconsin will not embrace the right of same sex couples to marry, but will continue to discriminate, penalize, and deny them the human right that is supported by the majority of people across the country and ruled as illegal by the Supreme Court. Instead, the Department of Revenue will require people, who have chosen to express their love in a way that GOP legislators find inappropriate, to fill out a “special form” to enable “special discrimination” – the Form S is for “special”, “scandalize”, “sanctimonious” or dare I say, “santorum”?

Walker’s impersonal economy and denial of health care

“We have created new idols. The worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose”

Pope Francis

There comes a time to put aside the roller coaster of politics and look at the tracks. We’ve been through the arguments and analysis of the Affordable Health Care bill and law for years now. Is there anything left to be said, demonstrated, or understood? It is the last few minutes of the final quarter of the game and the ACA is winning over the GOP with a double digit lead. The game is lost. Like it or not, the Affordable Health Care bill is now a law. It will not be repealed.

So, what would a good sportsman do? Accept the loss, let the clock run out, and shower up. But not the red state governors. Not Wisconsin’s Walker. The choice is to bring shame and embarrassment to the spectators of both sides by blaming the refs by throwing a political temper tantrum in the final seconds of the game.

The problem is, of course, that healthcare is not a game. It is a life and death service. Denial of healthcare results in pain and suffering. What is worse, the pain and suffering is totally unnecessary – except to prove a point. The refs made a bad call. The federal government is wrong. Obama and the Democrats are wrong. The GOP is allowing thousands of people in Wisconsin and other states to suffer and die to prove the point.

Walker’s Healthcare shuffle nothing short of cruel

The last ditch, cruel and political decision from Walker is to allow some people to be covered while denying coverage for the poorest and most needy. Remember this is all to prove a point. This is all to delay establishing healthcare exchanges in the state. If he did so, all of the populations could be covered and the federal government would foot the bill. It is that simple.

Instead Walker’s choice is to feed upon the powerless and use the most vulnerable people as pawns in a game of political monopoly. His own stance in the base of the Republican party as a strong opponent of Obama, holds more value to his heart strings than the health and welfare of the people of Wisconsin. It is that cruel.

The Bill

Thursday, December 5, 2013 Beloit Daily News
The bill would delay for three months popewalkerremoving an estimated 72,000 people above the poverty level from the state’s BadgerCare Plus Medicaid program.

The Catch

But to pay for the extension, 83,000 childless adults below poverty won’t get Medicaid until April.

The Reason

“We’re living in the world that was created by the federal government.”

All for a chance to blame Obama

Walker would not miss a chance to play out his power and prove how Obama administration’s health care failures now forced him to take quick action the “healthcare shuffle” bill, and called the Legislature into special session.

The Assembly passed the bill on Wednesday December 4. The Senate will vote on the measure on December 19 – just about a week before Christmas. Happy Holidays for 83,000 Wisconsinites who live below the federal poverty line in the land of Walker’s impersonal economy.

Corporate Treason

Treason

It is often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aiding or involved by such an endeavor.Wiki
aleclogo
Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes

Everybody Knows” is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen and collaborator Sharon Robinson. It has often been covered and used in soundtracks.
Everybody knows

Everybody knows

Coca Cola
Pepsi
Kraft
McDonald’s
Wendy’s
Mars
Blue Cross Blue Shield
Proctor & Gambol
Amazon.com
Wal-Mart
Johnson & Johnson
Dell Computers
John Deere
MillerCoors
Hewlett-Packard (HP)
Best Buy
Walgreens
General Electric
Western Union
Well Fargo
Bank of America
Bristol-Meyers Squibb
ConocoPhillips

Treason too strong a word?

The very act of having to ask the question suggests an autocracy is in power. Wisconsin has felt the laws protecting equality of basic human rights slip and slide from women, gay couples, people of color, public workers, and the elderly and ill people. Most of the legislative actions of GOP control were developed and promulgated outside the state. New laws affecting the drawing of vote districts, women’s health, voter ID, and the curtailment of collective bargaining rights for public workers – did not evolve for the good of the people of Wisconsin. They were discussed and written in the offices of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) for the good of large corporations, some of which are listed in the column at the right.

When Scott Walker first took office ALEC was a secret. Today, the national lobbying group has written laws that effect each and every man, women, and child in the state. Here lies the treason. The state government has been overthrown. Laws are no longer being written for the benefit of the people within the state, but elected leaders have conspired to use their power to legislate solely for corporate interests. The reality of real people’s lives are not even part of the discussion for new legislation. The interests of the voters have been intentionally ignored in favor of pleasing the interests of the wealthy campaign donors. Look at the list.

Twisting the Tenth Amendment

Wealth can buy legislative action, thus all record money for lobbying firms surrounding government. Less obvious, but even more insidious is the power of wealth to buy the message. The little person – the nurse, the farmer, the small business owner cannot compete with the the ALEC/Corporate message. Language manipulation has become the most powerful tool in the hands of the new autocracy. Since the media is set up to grab attention in a few seconds, the autocracy takes full advantage of working words to embellish its qualities and hide its true diabolical nature in a tight knit of words that are often tested by polling for effectiveness.

An example of the “talking points” of ALEC regarding the 10th Amendment were discussed in a article in The Atlantic in 2011.

See how the shuffle of words as they might be heard in a news report, shifts the truth of the true meaning of language?

Garrett Epps Jul 11 2011 – The Atlantic

“…part of a new extremist movement that seeks to brand all major federal legislation — not only labor regulation, but environmental laws, gun control laws, and Social Security and Medicare — as violations of the “rights” of states as supposedly spelled out in the Tenth Amendment. Senator Jim DeMint last year phrased it this way: “the Tenth Amendment says powers not explicitly given to the federal government in the Constitution go to the states or to the people.”

Is he right? Let’s look at the text, which reads, in its entirety:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The ALEC Autocracy seeks survival by “rebranding”

Branding is the ultimate marketing tool designed to use words and images to create plastic surgery over the scared, disfigured face of the ALEC autocracy. Much like a black mold, the ALEC treason grew and thrived in the dark. Hardly anyone was aware of its birth or existence before 2010. Finally, it became obvious that many of the laws being passed by GOP dominated legislatures across the country seemed to share the same “brand”. New right to work, voter ID, maskedalec2and anti abortion laws passed by state legislators had little to do with the personality or demographics of the state, but seemed to share a source and to be promoting a common agenda that had little to do with the more prominent concerns of constituents. The source was ALEC. The agenda was that of the corporations that funded its existence. For the first time in history, state legislators where not looking within the borders of the districts they served for legislation to improve the lives of the people that voted for them. Instead, they traveled out of the states to meetings conducted by ALEC. They brought back model legislation to enact laws for the benefit of the interests of corporate sponsors.

Here is the tyranny. It is clearly stated in one of the documents leaked to The Guardian. On page 20 the legislators are expected to sign the “Draft Chair Agreement” which reads:


Draft Chair Agreement p. 20

I will act with care and loyalty and put the interests of the organization first.

Legislators from across the country are meeting in the secret rooms of the ALEC Autocracy and are expected to swear allegiance to ALEC over their own constituents. This has been going on in for over 10 years.

Recently, in Wisconsin, a State Senator Leah Vukmir displayed her aggressive allegiance to “putting the interests of the organization first” when she ordered a reporter attempting to serve a FOIA request, out of her office. The leaked documents reveal that Senator Vukmir is not only a member of ALEC, but she is the “Finance Committee Chair”.

Finance Committee Chair Senator Leah Vukmir has reiewed the financial statments for the period ending June 30, 2013 They are now before the Board of Directors of acceptance.
Leaked ALEC Doc p. 20

Interests of the ALEC Autocracy

The majority of the people in America today are in favor of background checks for gun owners, comprehensive immigration reform, and a fresh look at “stand your ground” laws. Yet, none of these wishes of the majority are in the interests of the ALEC Autocracy, so you will notice all of legislation is at a complete stand still. Autocracy over Democracy.

The “stand your ground” laws were brought into focus with the trial of George Zimmerman for the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The light of attention that was shed on the ALEC Autocracy as the incubator of the “stand your ground” laws passed in Florida. Not good. It sent many of its corporate donors scurrying for cover. The branded mask of benevolence on which Coca Cola, Dell, Johnson & Johnson brands rest began to melt in the disinfectant of sunlight being shed on the ALEC Autocracy for which they were the major tax payers. But, ALEC was not about to give in. Like any good corporate automaton knows, all that is required when one brand is in trouble is to re-brand. The new brand they chose is almost as sacrilegious to Christianity as the ALEC Autocracy is to democracy.

Leaked Documents Reveal IRS Concerns, Funding Crisis At Corporate Lobbying Group ALEC

Ed Pilkington in New York and Suzanne Goldenberg theguardian.com, Tuesday 3 December 2

The Guardian has learned that the American Legislative Exchange Council (Alec), which shapes and promotes legislation at state level across the US, has identified more than 40 lapsed corporate members it wants to attract back into the fold under a scheme referred to in its documents as the “Prodigal Son Project”.

The Prodigal Son Project

Yes. The ALEC Autocracy uses the biblical story of the Prodigal Son. As though the corporate interests who left the home of ALEC to go out in live in the common world of democracy at large, could now return home to the safety of a forgiving father’s arms. Come home and continue to pursue your selfish interests in the home of the ALEC Autocracy. Democracy and working on a level playing field is not for you, my dear belated sons and daughters. We’ve hired a new plastic surgeon who will reshape your branded face along the formula of 501(c)(4) – where your ugly, selfish identity will be preserved in secrecy.

A letter included among the documents from Alec’s lawyer, Alan Dye, warns that “though we do not believe that any activity carried on by Alec is lobbying, the IRS could disagree”. It also makes clear that major potential donors are holding back because they are anxious about Alec’s tax status.

“Alec has been approached by donors who are willing to make sizable donations, but insist that the donations go to a section 501(c)(4) organization,” Dye writes.

Jenna Pope – Princess of pixels

Jenna first caught the eye of many in Wisconsin when she collected the most signatures on petitions to recall Scott Walker. She was out in that cold February Winter daily. She stood with groups on street corners, and gathered in parking lots. She was an inspiration, the very embodiment of the vibrancy of youth, speaking truth to power.

And, of course, there were always the pictures she posted of people and places,jenna pope2 but with gift. Jenna’s eye through the lens captured the passion of protest. Even early on, when she was using a point and shoot camera, her pictures captured the conflict, irony, satire, and grace of human emotion in a way that struck the heart strings. I’ve never met Jenna, but I fell in love with her energy and work.

Would her energy and passion end with the loss of the Recall Election? Not Jenna. She was no one hit wonder. She went on and on. Soon she began shooting magical shots of the Overpass Light Brigade with trailers of neon spilling on to face book and twitter.

And, I remember a face book post when she announced that she was finally able to save the money to purchase her first “professional” camera, with all the bells and whistles.

She moved on to New York City and half way around the world, following her passionate fascination with peoples’ struggles for justice. Jenna tells her story in her own voice, in a much more moving and personal way than I ever could.

She is nearly at her goal of raising $15,000 for her collection of photographs, “Photo Book – An Activist Armed with a Camera”.

jenna pope
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