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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Orioles VP Delivers Gettysburg-Like Perspective For Our Times


The executive vice president of the Baltimore Orioles, John Angelos, spoke out about the rioting happening in Baltimore (the 1st day) and after expressing frustration over the looting and violence, he gave a deeply profound summary of our elite-controlled government rigging the system against the wage-earning working class population.

It's not perfect, but it's an amazingly good read.

John Angelos Perspective:

Brett, speaking only for myself, I agree with your point that the principle of peaceful, non-violent protest and the observance of the rule of law is of utmost importance in any society. MLK, Gandhi, Mandela and all great opposition leaders throughout history have always preached this precept. Further, it is critical that in any democracy, investigation must be completed and due process must be honored before any government or police members are judged responsible.

That said, my greater source of personal concern, outrage and sympathy beyond this particular case is focused neither upon one night’s property damage nor upon the acts, but is focused rather upon the past four-decade period during which an American political elite have shipped middle class and working class jobs away from Baltimore and cities and towns around the U.S. to third-world dictatorships like China and others, plunged tens of millions of good, hard-working Americans into economic devastation, and then followed that action around the nation by diminishing every American’s civil rights protections in order to control an unfairly impoverished population living under an ever-declining standard of living and suffering at the butt end of an ever-more militarized and aggressive surveillance state.

The innocent working families of all backgrounds whose lives and dreams have been cut short by excessive violence, surveillance, and other abuses of the Bill of Rights by government pay the true price, and ultimate price, and one that far exceeds the importances of any kids’ game played tonight, or ever, at Camden Yards. We need to keep in mind people are suffering and dying around the U.S., and while we are thankful no one was injured at Camden Yards, there is a far bigger picture for poor Americans in Baltimore and everywhere who don’t have jobs and are losing economic civil and legal rights, and this makes inconvenience at a ballgame irrelevant in light of the needless suffering government is inflicting upon ordinary Americans.

~ end

Despite Angelos being a platinum-spoon-fed one percenter, he gets it more than some of the 99ers I've heard in Janesville who support and defend the legislative agenda of the political elite Angelos describes.

With the punishing revenge style social media response trending lately on those who bring truth to power, I would not doubt it if he will be forced to retract the whole thing.

Monday, April 27, 2015

John Doe Prosecutor Won't Back Down, Asks Gov. Scott Walker To Join Him



By now you've probably seen how political operatives juiced up their propaganda last week in hopes of delivering a final crushing blow to the judicial process of the John Doe investigation involving Gov. Scott Walker. Their main defense is built on accusing district attorneys of partisanship by engaging in a political witch hunt to revenge anti-union legislation enacted by Wisconsin republicans and Scott Walker.

There is also no question that for the past three years, special interest conservatives including Walker have repeatedly labeled the John Doe prosecutors as partisans and accused a plethora of Wisconsin law enforcement officials of engaging in what amounts to be an active conspiracy, without producing a single piece of evidence. All they have are just the machinations and memes from desperate but creative political propagandists.

The problem is, they have gone way beyond accusing a law professional or two of unknowingly misinterpreting state statutes or haphazardly overlooking the Constitution. At the same time, their attacks have gone well beyond the typical sniping stage of political theater. They have repeatedly leveled serious allegations against the district attorneys and I think most observers would agree that in this case, they're also past the time to shut up. It's too late for that. It's time to put up. The other point is, those allegations of partisanship and conspiracy against the law professionals should not be left dangling for eternity.

With all that in mind, it appears John Doe Special Prosecutor Francis Schmitz has finally had enough. He refuses to back down from the series of punishing vicious attacks delivered by the faux-media political vigilantes and has now asked Gov. Scott Walker to join him in setting the record straight.

JS Online Excerpt:
"I invite the governor to join me in seeking judicial approval to lawfully release information now under seal which would be responsive to the allegations that have been made," his statement said. "Such information, when lawfully released, will show that these recent allegations are patently false."

Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, the one who is most often framed as the "Democrat" prosecutor by Scott Walker and his political operatives, said he agrees with Schmitz' statement.

"The truth is always a defense, so let's get the truth out in a legal manner, not through lies, distortions and misrepresentations."

And, who would argue with that?

Note: By the way, what happened to the Wisconsin Reporter dot com domain and all their phony articles about the John Doe investigation? It looks like the site has been scrubbed from the Web and its url redirected to its Bradley Foundation parent affiliate, Wisconsin Watchdog.Org.

url = wisconsinreporter.com

ADDITIONAL:

Democurmudgeon - Walker now talking John Doe details, oozing confidence Activist Supreme Court will apparently let him off w/videos.

CapTimes - Morning briefing: Prosecutor suggests Scott Walker could be charged for lying

Saturday, April 25, 2015

PicToon: Koch Candidate Scott Walker



Click image to embiggen.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Parallel In Tactics Seen To Defeat Recall And The John Doe Investigation


Here's an interesting perspective from Truth-Out/Buzzflash about the Koch brothers recent admission to donors that they think Scott Walker could be their candidate. But this segment in the article caught my eye ...

“During the 2012 recall elections, David Koch’s Americans for Prosperity spent $10 million supporting Walker, which included at least 70 paid staffers flown into Wisconsin, plus bus tours, rallies, town hall meetings, phone banks, and canvassers, not to mention the months of TV ads.”

As if that spending wasn’t enough, Fischer reported that “A mysterious group called ‘Coalition for American Values’ poured $400,000 into a barrage of last-minute ads that made a unique appeal: instead of promoting Governor Scott Walker or attacking his opponent, the ads attacked the premise of the recall itself.”

To the surprise of many, Walker prevailed. “CMD discovered that all of Coalition for American Values' known contributions came [from] the Koch-tied Freedom Partners.”

I immediately thought those are the exact same tactics they are using to defeat the second John Doe investigation.

Those alleged to have committed wrong-doing are not debating the allegations or trying to prove their innocence. Instead of promoting evidence contrary to the prosecution's case file, they are attacking the premise of the entire John Doe process and smearing those who carried out due process of the law. That appears to be their final defense against the allegations.

On the other hand, there are some smart respected legal experts that have poured over the evidence made available to the public and believe Scott Walker and his dark money donor base broke state laws as they are currently written.

But just like in the final days of the Recall election, those in question are making the same "unique" appeal to win sympathy by convincing those remaining, for the Recall it was voters, for the John Doe it's public opinion and the state supreme court, to disregard the record and the nuts and bolts of the allegations. That, it's the process that is wrong and they are merely innocent victims of a flawed system abused by partisan operators. The same accusations they made of process and opponents during the recall.

Am I reading too much into this and does it matter? Well, it's the same players involved defending the same prize and they were convincing enough using those tactics to win the last time.

Sorry to say, but with justice out of way in today's politics, that is all that counts.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nincompoop Ron Johnson Dedicated To Destroy Obamacare, Now Leads Bill To Extend It


This comes from a guy who for the past five years wasted one of Wisconsin's congressional senate seats hellbent on destroying Obamacare,
now wants to extend it past the 2016 elections ...ahem, to protect Americans from its damaging effects. For freedom. For the moochers.

I couldn't make this stuff up no matter how hard I tried.

TPM Excerpt:
WASHINGTON — The Senate's top five Republican leaders have cosponsored legislation to extend until 2017 the Obamacare insurance subsidies that may be struck down by the Supreme Court this summer.

The legislation, offered by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), one of the most politically vulnerable Senate incumbents in 2016, would maintain the federal HealthCare.gov tax credits at stake in King v. Burwell through the end of August 2017.

Washington Post - Tea Party Senator accidentally reveals absurdity of GOP stance on Obamacare. [ ... ] The Johnson plan would keep subsidies going — for everybody across the country who would be adversely impacted by a Court ruling — until September of 2017.

Sen. Ron Johnson's Web Page - Johnson Introduces Bill to Protect Americans from Further Damaging Effects of Obamacare: Preserving Freedom and Choice in Health Care

THE IRONY: By extending Obamacare, Johnson IS preserving freedom and choice in health care.

Madison Institute 2015 Spring Forum: What's Left?


The Madison Institute presents Our 2015 Spring Forum

What’s Left? - Reflections on the Decline of Progressive Politics.

A panel discussion with John Nichols, Ed Garvey, Stan Gruszynski, Peg Lautenschlager, Barbara Lawton & Matt Rothschild

Friday, April 24, 7:30 PM to 9 PM

UW-Madison Pyle Center
Room DE 235
702 Langdon St.
Madison, WI

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Partisan Hacks Run Amok With Easily Debunked Story About "Partisan" Prosecutors



Several stories running on the coattails of one posted at the National Review have been making the social media rounds lately. All of them are half-baked attempts using old partisan attacks against prosecutors to neutralize the criminal scandals swirling around Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin.

Besides their obvious politically tainted journalism, the National Review sadly attempts to take advantage of the recent national fervor surrounding the wrongful deaths of suspects at the hands of police officers by pushing Wisconsin law enforcement officials working the case under the same bus. Yes, they do "guilt by association" extremely well and in doing so, further demonize the prosecutors and law enforcement professionals in hopes to finally collapse the John Doe case under the weight of total chaotic nonsense.

But their primary goal to neutralize Walker's scandals on the eve of his expected presidential campaign announcement isn't complete until they whip out the old victim card by re-framing Scott Walker and themselves as victims of a witch-hunt carried out against conservatives by "democrat" partisan prosecutors.

However, typical of the National Review, their expertise in alarmist hack-style writing combined with their sloppy investigative reporting left them with no choice but to omit a key element of the John Doe II investigation from their attack story to make it work as intended. It is the "partisan" element of their rambling story you can easily debunk by simply opening up your browser search box on each web page and input the name "Schmitz." You'll find that name appears nowhere in their text.

Why is that important? Well, because Schmitz is for Francis Schmitz and he happens to be a respected 30-year federal prosecutor appointed Special Prosecutor in the John Doe II investigation.

If you're an informed Wisconsin voter, you probably know Schmitz filed a sworn declaration of statements pertaining to his "partisanship" with the U.S. District Court. Schmitz stated he voted for Scott Walker in the 2012 Recall Election, joined the Republican Party when he was being considered for a judicial appointment by President Bush, has no issue with Act 10 and said he has absolutely nothing personal against Scott Walker.

JS Online Excerpt:
"In my role as a special prosecutor, while I have sought input and counsel from others involved in the investigation, I have made the final decisions on what actions to take and the content of pleadings and other filings," Schmitz wrote.

So, debunking the partisan element of their story is as simple as that. Without including Schmitz, it's not the prosecutors but the writers of those stories who expose themselves as unhinged attack dog partisans. Plus, false stories fabricated through omission is the oldest trick in the book.

My main point should be obvious. If you're going to get partisan over the prosecutors, which by the way is a ridiculous and extremely poor defense against documented evidence of wrongdoing, make sure to include all of them, particularly those in lead roles. Otherwise, you are the partisan you're projecting onto others.

Related:
JS Online - John Doe prosecutors allege Scott Walker at center of 'criminal scheme'

JS Online - Exhibit C: Prosecutors lay out the case against Scott Walker

PRwatch - Was John Doe Raid Led by Republicans?

Friday, April 17, 2015

Local Tax and Spend Fiscal Phonies Lobby Madison On Tax Day


So the local Walker-booster club Forward Janesville held their "lobby" day in Madison on "Tax Day" Wednesday. A very fitting day for their annual junket, although April Fools would have been more accurate.

But did they go to Madison to lobby lawmakers to reform the state aid funding formula making it more equitable for municipalities in the post-2008 recession economy? Nope. How about more funding for public schools? Nope. How about more funding to repair and maintain our existing local roads? Noooo, not at all.

In this story at the Janesville Gazette, none of the pressing needs listed above are mentioned. Instead, as the story goes, they were in Madison to preserve funding for the Interstate expansion and to plant seed for a new idea. Hmmm.

As in previous years, this group of special interest lobbyists was in Madison on behalf of their membership and their all-important and highly political road companies. That's it. Period. These folks are like the Halliburton of Rock County. They need a constant stream of profits and without government collectivist public works, they're completely sunk.

In fact, Forward Janesville was thee central player in a behind-closed-doors deal for the interstate expansion that shifted hundreds of millions in state/federal dollars away from maintenance of Wisconsin's existing rural and city roads. So of course they're pushing local taxpayers for tax and spend referendums. They want that too. That's who they are. It's about their vision and other people's money.

I can hear some folks asking, "but don't you want to expand our roads, build new bridges and infrastructure?" Sure I do, but not at the expense of defunding existing roads, bridges and infrastructure. You want something new? Go out there and create new funding mechanisms first - not steal resources from existing needs. To put it another way, they're saying since we don't have funding or can't afford to maintain the windows on our 100-story skyscraper today, lets build 20 more stories of windows on the top. That'll impress everyone. * eyeroll *

None of Forward Janesville's backward lobby priorities surprises me because all of this comes after they got theirs. "Theirs" being state income tax cuts for their membership, low-wage conservative right-to-work regulations, TIF District modifications, enterprise zones, tax credits, portable and transferable tax credits. They've even set up a taxpayer funded slush cache allowing businesses that created jobs but could not claim the credits because of the way they file taxes, to essentially barter the tax credits for goods or services or sell those credits to their big-profit business pals like they're black market food stamps. Good deal, uh? All legal. They figure, hey, why let that welfare money go to waste.

But there they are in Madison looking to lock up public dollars for the interstate expansion while much greater needs go unfunded and oh, I almost forgot ...their "new idea." It's called Vision Wisconsin. Purportedly spun off from an Iowa program for funding quality-of-life improvements. It certainly appears that Forward Janesville, after stating Janesville faces a "death spiral" if we don't increase our local tax obligations, have taken their high tax demands state-wide.

Keep in mind however this group along with the Janesville Gazette remained silent during the passage of low-wage right-to-work, have shown no support to raise the minimum wage and again are absent on a position regarding the end of prevailing wage provisions. Yet they claim to want to attract young people to Wisconsin?

Had they shown support for the proper side of those top-flight quality-of-life issues first, maybe some folks wouldn't think they're nothing more than tax and spend fiscal phonies.

ADDITIONAL:

RNR - Divide and Conquer Club: Without Higher Taxpayer Obligations, Quality Of Life Could "Death Spiral"

RNR - At The Crossroads, Paul Ryan's Hometown Facing a Death Spiral. But Where's Ryan?

RNR - Local Walker Cartel Gear Up To Provide "Cover" For Political Cronies