Thursday, July 20, 2017

No Lessons Learned

By Jeff Simpson

In the post mortem of the 2016 election, where the "most qualified candidate in history" lost to a carnival barker reality TV show "star",  the results have been analyzed into oblivion.   One of the main culprits that has been identified throughout the spectrum is the highly paid, out of touch, political consultant class.    

It was not just the Democrats side either, 16 other, incredibly well funded (Jeb Bush spent well over 100 million dollars and finished with 3 delegates), and each campaign was run by "experts" the "best of the best".   

The Donald however, not so much! 

And then there was Donald Trump, whose smash success in the Republican primaries was an emperor-has-no-clothes moment for political consulting if ever there was one. Trump spent the primaries boasting about his lack of a super pac or traditional fund-raising operation. He didn’t employ a pollster or chief strategist or speechwriter. His campaign infrastructure was nonexistent; he spent only about $19 million on television ads. His campaign manager was a former cop with no experience in a presidential race, and his press secretary was a 27-year-old fashion publicist. Yet Trump dominated a 17-candidate field that many pundits had considered the deepest bench of Republican talent in decades.
In a profile in Atlantic Magazine, about  political consultants, they point out that it is a 6 Billion dollar industry and all get together yearly in a political consultant convention, where they sit through such seminars as "How to stay out of jail".


Molly Ball of the Atlantic, then talked to Republican, short term, GOP Presidential hopeful(one of the 16 who lost) about his experience with consultants:

Ben carson had never run for office before deciding to seek the presidency last year, so naturally he sought a staff of professionals to guide him through the process. Carson raised more money than any other Republican candidate (not counting super pac funds) during the time he was in the race, only to finish fourth in Iowa and drop out a month later.When I asked Carson in March whether he had been well served by his campaign staff, the mild-mannered doctor didn’t mince words. “We had people who obviously didn’t have, necessarily, my best interest in mind,” he said.What, I asked, did they have in mind instead? “I think that it was a job,” he said. “They wanted a position. A lot of money was made, and a lot of advantage was taken.”
For those on the outside(which is most of us) this is a generic version of how the consultant class works:
Political consultants earn fees and commissions by turning the billions of dollars given to candidates, political parties and “super PACs” — like Mr. Bush’s Right to Rise — into the products and services of contemporary campaigns, especially TV (and Internet) ads.More money means more ads, and more ads means more money. However, media saturation makes it more difficult to grab our attention, requiring more ads, and more money and contributions, to reach the electorate.Consultants want their clients to win, but they also need their businesses to survive. Despite mounting evidence that the effects of TV on the electorate can be uncertain and often short-lived, television remains the single largest expenditure in most campaigns because candidates think they need it to win — and because it is the most reliable source of revenue and the most lucrative part of the consulting business. The economic incentives of the consulting industry are driving up the cost of campaigns.
The consultant class is like a horse, if you leave it with unlimited food, it will eat itself to death.   Unfortunately, no one has out any limits on this group and the gluttony they are showing is part of what turns everyone off about politics.  

As Tim Cullen said, when he decided to bow out of the Governors race, he did not want to spend all day on the phone raising money.  Is it beneficial to society to have our politicians spend their time, fundraising so that they can continue feeding the monstrosity or are there better things for them to be doing(but I digress)?  

Now that we have some history, let's bring this back around to Wisconsin.   The July campaign finance reports just came out and there is one that stood out to me - Representative Dana Wachs.  

Why Dana Wachs?  Because I have been getting emails daily from Mr. Wachs, begging asking for money because he is "the only one who can beat Scott Walker".  

The problem is, Mr. Wachs has not declared that he is running for Governor yet, so why send him money?

Well a quick look at his finance report and we see why - Mr. Wachs is feeding the Beast and feeding it well!

Wachs has spent the following just in the last finance period alone:

*  Rapid Returns -  $11,000 -  a "cutting-edge, direct mail firm", of course in 2017, direct mail is as cutting edge as a reel type lawn mower.

 
* VR Research  - $15,000 .  A firm from Oakland , CA specializing in opposition research, since who would know more about WI than a firm from Oakland. Forgetting the fact that Mr. Wachs has not even declared yet, do we want a candidate who needs to do oppo research on Scott Walker?   Mr. Wachs can just read CogDis and save himself $15/k .

*  Cooke Strategies -  $3000 - A Democratic fundraising consulting firm.  At least she is from Wisconsin, and if you have any questions, you can  - Contat Rebecca - apparently, they are not being paid to edit.  

* Wavecrest Consulting and Analytics -$8000.  This one is my favorite one, because this is Mike Tate's firm.  It is aptly named since Mike Tate is the former head of the WISDEMS, and helped oversee numerous Republican electoral waves in Wisconsin.  

Mr. Wachs has spent almost $40,000 on consultants and has yet to declare if he is running for Governor or going to stay in his safe seat in the Assembly.    

All signs are pointing to another Walker win .....which is why I am all in for Bob Harlow for Governor.  

We need to STOP doing politics the way we have been doing them, and get back to the whole point of public service and that is to serve the public!    To do that we need to stop pretending the Political establishment is most qualified to lead us.  

The Donald won due to anti-establishment fever and  now in Wisconsin we can go the anti-establishment route,except actually elect someone who is intelligent and in it for the right reasons!  

Our politics are broken and it is time to fix them!  






Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Finger On The Trigger

By Jeff Simpson




“It’s incredibly disturbing, the amount of harassment people receive just for expressing a different opinion.” Dana Loesch


Its almost as if people make video's calling for violence and a "clenched fist" against people who they disagree with...

Nah!


Locally, in a recent forum, Milwaukee police chief Ed Flynn, recently blamed CCW for the increase in crime.

One topic that triggered a spirited debate between Chief Flynn and the Police Union’s Mike Crivello was the effect of Wisconsin’s 5-year-old concealed carry law on gun violence in the city.
Flynn says that while "there's a place for concealed carry" for law-abiding citizens, his belief is that the law has put more firearms in the hands of criminals, because of how the state defines a "career criminal."
According to Flynn, the "overwhelming majority" of arrested felons in Milwaukee eventually take plea deals that become misdemeanors - and only convicted felons, or those convicted of three misdemeanors within five years, are barred from carrying a concealed weapon.
"It's an irresponsible law passed by irresponsible legislatures who are more interested in ideological points than saving lives," Flynn said. "And I sure as hell would like some more community outreach about that..too many public officials are silent on it."
Responding to Flynn, Police Association President Michael Crivello said "I have never had a conversation with you, chief, relative to you displaying that we are arresting an overwhelming amount of people, or even one person, that has committed a crime while carrying a CCW."
"The same law says I am forbidden to tell the public when a CCW permit holder breaks the law," Flynn replied. "I'm forbidden by statute."
The Police chief of Milwaukee, saying that the CCW law is irresponsible and causes more crime, while it fits with the actual data, did not sit well with our friends on the right who rely on the ever running NRA stash of money.

Assembly Rep Janel Brandtjen, who grew up on the mean streets of Menomonee Falls, decided she knows best about how to police the city of Milwaukee(so much for backing the badge):

“For far too long Milwaukee’s Police Chief Ed Flynn has been struggling with an ever increasing crime problem in the city. For the past several years, violent crime has been a major problem, with no end in sight. I have long been a vocal critic of the Chief’s failing policies regarding crime. His shortsighted ‘no chase’ policies along with his soft approach on carjacking has signaled to Chicago gangs that Milwaukee is open for business. If Milwaukee is to move forward in a positive direction, we will need leadership at the top that understands the nature of the current gang related crime epidemic. Despite the exploding economic activity of high end condos and apartments all over Milwaukee’s downtown and east side areas, the city continues to decrease in population due to the unsafe environment.

Maybe Ms. Brandtjen could share her intimate knowledge on gangs from Chicago so Chief Flynn could be better prepared to deal with it.    It also is the height of white privilege when you can not understand why people are leaving the city despite(or because of ) the growth of high end condos and taxpayer funded stadiums.

Luckily for Fellow Americans like, Ms. Loesch and Ms. Brandtjen,  The Donald signed a bill making sure they will always have access to guns.

However, next time some unhinged paranoid lunatic decides to start shooting up "the enemy", while it will not be you doing the shooting, your finger will be on the trigger!

Now that precedence has been set that you do not have to be the one actually pulling the trigger to be held accountable!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Seeking Solutions for State Road Budget

By Kathleen Vinehout




A tall man stopped me in the hall of the Capitol. “Can’t you just increase the gas tax?” he asked me. “I’m here to ask my Republican Senator to increase the gas tax. We need to fix the roads.”

He smiled and said, “Hi, my name is Steve. I’m a Republican. I just don’t think it’s conservative to keep borrowing to maintain the roads. We’ve got to pay for what we spend.”

Steve was earnest in his desire to find a solution to the road budget. I’ve heard similar concerns from folks attending my recent town hall meetings.

Many people asked me to raise the gas tax. This tax is the largest part of the road fund, accounting for over half of the fund. The gas tax hasn’t been increased since April 2006.

Prior to 2006, the law required automatic indexing or changing the tax to follow inflation. If indexing wasn’t repealed, we’d be paying seven cents more for fuel according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB).

As Steve and I talked about road funding problems and possible solutions, he shared, “My Republican Senator said increasing the gas tax wouldn’t solve all the problems.”

Increasing the tax by five cents a gallon would generate about a third of the money needed to close the budget gap. This change is a good first step.

Increasing the gas tax by a nickel would cost the average driver of a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon (MPG) about $14 a year. For those of us with old farm pickup trucks getting 15 MPG and driving 16,000 miles a year, we’d pay about $53 more a year.

Most of us are actually paying less in gas tax than we did ten years ago because our vehicles are more fuel efficient. In 2006, the average fuel economy was 20 MPG. LFB reported this fuel economy average will increase to almost 23 MPG by the end of the next state budget. Analysts estimated the average Wisconsin driver will be paying almost $21 a year less in fuel tax by the end of the next budget than we did in 2006.

LFB analysts remind us that drivers paying less in fuel tax for the same miles driven means that “while the state’s roads receive the same impact [wear and tear], fuel tax revenues associated with those miles driven have fallen, making it more difficult for the state to maintain and reconstruct its roads.”

Increasing the gas tax is a change that would be easy for the state to administer. It would put money in the state’s coffers from the folks who are actually using the roads, including our many wonderful tourists from neighboring states.

Finding votes to increase the tax has been difficult and accounts, in part, for the delay in passing the budget. Unlike some states, Wisconsin continues to operate under the details of the old budget until the Legislature passes a new budget.

But a recent memo from LFB suggests there are some warning signs to lawmakers who think they have all summer and fall to answer the question, How to pay for roads?

A delay of three months would mean the Department of Transportation could not proceed with some projects as planned. A delay of four months would affect the ability of counties, cities and towns to plan for the coming year and set their property tax levies. A delay into August could affect how much federal money the state receives for roads.

Fiscal Bureau analysts explained to lawmakers in the memo that the feds redistribute road money not used by states as their fiscal year closes. To be eligible for new money, states must show they are ready to use the money. A delay in passing the state budget would likely limit the ability of the state to comply with the rules feds attach to the money.

Leaving federal money on the table makes no sense. We’ve got to find solutions and get the budget passed.


While raising the gas tax won’t solve all our problems, getting agreement on a modest fuel tax increase would be good first step.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Hop On? Hop Off!

County Executive Chris Abele wants you to help balance his budget! A lot of you probably received an e-mail announcing the ironically named “Engage Milwaukee” initiative.  This is from the office of the same guy who, even though county residents asked for it, wouldn’t put the vote to overturn Citizens United on the ballot. He vetoed this twice, citing cost ($25,000-$40,000, est.). His penny pinching was later shown to be a charade, when he gave raises adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars to his office’s staffers. The two vetoes were an early sign of things to come. Abele’s raises for staff were so large that the County Board had to intervene and get the lawyers involved.  

Fast forward a bit and Abele began to pretend to care about the Mitchell Park Domes, so much so that he wouldn’t come to his own town halls on the subject. And yeah, the same guy who did an end run around the County Board to work with Republicans in Madison to cut board member salaries in half and diminish their power while he was at it. 

In 2017 Abele pushed for a referendum on an increased wheel tax, conducting no information campaign and thoroughly confusing voters who tried to decide what it even meant. His paid campaign consultants were deployed shortly before the election to try to tell folks how to vote, but so many of them have burned bridges with the progressive public that they were ignored at best and excoriated at worst. Abele continues to lack a basic understanding of how community work actually happens, and continues to hire people who lack these skills. But you are still "neighbors" to his office staff.  That leads us to this e-mail from June 14, 2017 from his office:

Dear neighbors,
  
Yesterday, County Executive Abele officially launched the Balancing Act initiative. The website is live and we’d love for you to hop on and try your hand at balancing the County’s budget.


As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions.

Happy budgeting!

In case you were wondering, yes, you did purchase the software for this (Balancing Act software program), before you were also asked to balance the budget yourselves!  Your ability to balance the budget, you will find out quickly, will be pretty limited to exactly what his office has decided can be cut.

Another recent act of love for the people was to go full Trump and take out attack ads on the Chair of the Milwaukee County Board (Theodore Lipscomb). Prior to that, an organization with which he has been connected in the past also did a postcard hit ad on State Senator Chris Larson, who challenged Abele in the 2016 race for county executive. See if you can find the wiggle room in this statement:

Abele said last year he did donate to Milwaukee Works "a long time" ago but has had no involvement with Milwaukee Works recently. Suchorski repeated that assertion last week, saying Abele had no hand in the Larson mailer or any other recent ones. 
"We see the pieces when everyone sees them," Suchorski said. 
Milwaukee Works, headed by local attorney Dan Adams, does not have to disclose its sources of income. Adams has refused to volunteer that information. 
It’s obvious that Abele and his staff think Milwaukee County is too stupid to see how checks are getting circulated here.

Two bad turns deserve another, though.  From the same Journal-Sentinel article: One of Milwaukee Works' other fliers this year targeted Supervisor Sequanna Taylor for missing 11 of her first 15 County Board meetings this year. Adams declined to say how many of these his group mailed. "That's a secret," Adams said. 
Taylor, a parent engagement specialist with Milwaukee Public Schools, did not return calls but responded to the mailer with an epic Facebook post, which appears to have been taken down.
In the post, Taylor said she offered no apologies for doing her MPS job while also representing her district. 
With Abele’s compliance and complicity with Republicans, the County Board of Supervisors positions have become part-time. Abele’s minions then blamed Supervisor Sequanna Taylor for attending to her day job with MPS. If she missd work at MPS you can bet they’d attack her for that (see MPS Takeover Google hits if you want proof of Abele’s attempts to take over public schools).
See a pattern here? Anybody who dares challenge him—or for that matter who regularly defends public education and the real will of the people—can expect to be targeted by people who will do his bidding for a fee. 
Abele’s personal philanthropy via the Argosy Foundation is his best work. Why undo it with ad shenanigans, and personal petty vindiction? Does he really think people will cape for him because of the postcards? Are his advisors so completely unwilling to tell him what the public really thinks of him? Let me be the bearer of bad news: people really think you are bad at this job, and it’s because you are. If you were doing a good job, and were this unlikeable, people would overlook it. But you aren’t and they don’t.  And paying people to take out attack ads for you will never endear you to them no matter how much you pay someone to tell you that message. You can't write your checks out of the bad job you are doing, and you may buy silence, but you can't buy people actually thinking you're doing a good job. You can't buy most people, anyway.

Readers, I urge you to “hop on” and see what you can adjust in this budget. Spoiler alert: you can’t adjust the County Executive office’s budget. None of the items in the Legislative and Executive budget can be adjusted at all, including the fact that the CE’s office line items are $400,000 higher than the entire budget for the Milwaukee County Board.  When you go into the non-adjustable items, it’s easy to see that some offices are supporting statutory mandates, or are subject to state guidelines and requirements on budgeting.  The county executive’s budget is simply non-adjustable because of their own direction. They have left you unable to trim their budget, because of course they have.

Here’s a suggestion: instead of telling us to hop on and help you, hop off your high horse, and get to work with the people who pay you and the County Board of Supervisors. Everybody knows the county is in debt up to its eyeballs, but asking the public to solve problems you’ve contributed to through your own flagrant spending and stonewalling isn’t the way to get the job done.



Wisconsin Walker/Ryan Weekend Catch-Up

By Jeff Simpson 

The states ringmaster was given an honorary top clown distinction when he visited Circus World recently.  Scott Walker even had the opportunity to ride an elephant(insert own joke here).    


Thank Goodness, we only elect the best of the best, because after his big ride, Scott Walker was able to give us this bit of Yoda like wisdom:

Walker said the suspension on the pachyderm differed slightly from his Harley.
“It’s a little back and forth,” he said. “If my bike was back and forth, that would only be if I were taking a corner.”
If you take anything away from this summer of learning, it is that the suspension on a motorcycle and an elephant are different.    Seriously that came out of his mouth, next thing you know he will be advocating walling off Canada

But Wait There is more!   

Our hero Governor, did not take Abraham Lincoln's advice about remaining quiet, and kept right on talking!   

Even though a fire-juggling unicyclist rode a bit wobbly near the governor and his wife, Walker said the show was “spectacular.”
“My wife literally grabbed my leg,” he said about the performer riding a bit too close for comfort. “I was glad I was ready for it, but she wasn’t.”
 He does not call himself #unintimidated for no reason.  He protected his wife from a unicyclist who wobbled when he was in their general vicinity!   That takes some serious steel nerves.   

Now let's go for the trifecta.  

“I don’t think there was a part that wasn’t entertaining,” he added.

Hey Scott, you must not have watched your interviezzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz  

Now we can switch to Wisconsin's other favorite son.  Janesville's own Paul Ryan(R-Photo Op), who as Speaker of the House, is currently third in line for the Presidency and the most visible, kept human being on the planet.  

A quick memory refresher, and we go back to a time, where Paul Ryan was pretending to hold out and not endorsing a guy for President of teh Republican party, who he would never leave alone with his wife.   Then Miraculously, Paul changed his mind, leaving many "never Trumpers" perplexed.   However a quick look at campaign finance reports, we see that Paul had $20 million reasons to endorse The Donald (everyone has a price).  

On August 29th, approximately three months after Paul Ryan endorsed Donald Trump, two of Trump’s largest campaign donors, Miriam and Sheldon Adelson donated a staggering $20 million to Paul Ryan’s super PAC, Congressional Leadership Fund. To put things into perspective, these donations represent approximately 40% of all the donations received by the Congressional Leadership Fund for the entire year of 2016.

However, Paul was able to receive a special unintended consequence that made his year!   Paul Ryan can finally cut Medicaid, like he has always dreamed of doing!    

Later in the interview, Ryan discussed the GOP’s efforts to reduce government spending on health care, specifically the party’s plans to alter Medicaid (the main health insurance program for the poor) by giving the states more control and “capping” the program’s rate of growth. “We’ve been dreaming of this since I’ve been around—since you and I were drinking at a keg,” he told Lowry. The remark drew loud laughter from the crowd.

 Some kids around the keg, talk about women, sports, their careers, movies, etc...but Paul Ryan has been dreaming about cutting public services and hand ups,since he was a kid using Social Security to get through college.  

What is the reason he can not be beat again?  


     

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Walker To Trump: Tweet More!



Trump catches hell almost daily for his asinine, inappropriate tweets, as he rightfully should. But Scott Walker thinks he's not tweeting enough:
Former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker disagrees with many of his fellow Republicans on President Trump's infamous Twitter account.

"Unlike others, I'd tell him to tweet more, to be on Facebook more, to get the message out more, but to be focused," Walker told host Julie Banderas on "America's News HQ."

The former 2016 presidential candidate said he is glad the president has an "unfiltered" way to speak to Americans, but he should be focusing on policy.
Say what?

"Former Wisconsin Governor..."?

Do they know something we don't?

And where does Walker, who has been blasted as being one of the most boring twits out there, gets off on giving anyone advice? Does Walker think Trump should tweet more pictures of steak with ketchup on it?

Has Walker gone insane, that he thinks Trump should tweet more? Maybe, maybe not.

Walker still has his eyes on the White House and he knows that Trump's tweets will only cause him problems if he chooses to run again (presuming he hasn't been forced out before then). That would open the door for an open primary again and Walker desperately wants to get away from Wisconsin while he still can.

Walker lies his butt off while kissing Trump's.



Media Matters caught Scott Walker in another lie, this time about the coverage that would be provided if the Republicans would just leave the Affordable Care Act alone (emphasis mine):
Well, I think the best thing they have to do is keep their promise. You know, Republicans in the House and the Senate ran, just as the president did, on repealing Obamacare. It is collapsing. It is failing. One of the things I wish they'd talk more about is the fact that their own agency, the Congressional Budget Office says that 28 million Americans will lose their health care coverage if nothing happens, if Obamacare continues out there. We don't hear that typically from any of the other media sources out there. We need to let people know that Obamacare is failing. It needs to be repealed, it needs to be replaced with something better, and I still think they’ll get there. The House took a little while. Remember, it was about six weeks between the time when they first thought they’d vote until the end. It doesn't have to be this week or next but it has to be yet this year in 2017.
What Walker doesn't mention is that 28 million people are currently without health care coverage:



Those are people who opt out, who are undocumented immigrants (who are excluded by definition) or because their states didn't expand Medicare, like Walker's Wisconsin.

Also note that the plans he is touting would mean 21 to 23 million more people would be left without coverage.

It should also be noted that under the Republican death plan, more than 200,000 Americans would die from the loss of their healthcare coverage:



What a nice guy Walker is, to lie about these minor issues like that. And to think, this turniphead wants to be governor again so he can take another run at the White House.

Happy Birthday America, It's Been A Good Run!

By Jeff Simpson

Happy Independence Day, we started out with this great American fighting crazy dictators


In a matter of 241 years we went full circle to forcing the Tories out to the Tories retaking over our country and electing this guy!

Here is #45 with his then 15 yr old daughter! 



I think the people who voted for this clown, and now support him blindly(I am looking at you Paul Ryan), owe the rest of us an apology!    I am also tempted to say we should make then wear Big Red T around their neck so that we all know who was responsible for this dark time in our history!

PS:  Capper had a better idea!

T

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's A Big Club and You Ain't In It!

By Jeff Simpson

Fourth of July weekend, and everyone gets together with their friends and likes to have a nice cookout, maybe some Spotted Cow and a burger.  It is always good to take a couple days and relax with friends.  

The members of the Bourgeoisie did just that.  

 Lally Weymouth, the former owner of the Washington Post and currently a senior associate editor there, held her annual summer party.   Being owned by Jeff Bezos has its privileges. 


Ms. Weymouth, at her house in the Hamptons, entertained with a long gold carpet leading to a big tent put up next to her house, where the guests were served, champagne, rare filet and a big chocolate cake w/ice cream (among many other delicacies).  

Ms. Weymouth, whose birthday was the next day, would of course, know many people in Washington D.C., since her grandmother bought the Washington Post many years ago.  

No one should be surprised when a couple of celebrity guests walked in:



Yes , fresh from their offices in the White House, where their father continually calls any mainstream media that criticizes him #fakenews, here are Jared and Ivanka partying with a senior editor of the Post.  

Ok it could just be a random thing, but as we all know --- But Wait There is more!! 

A quick peak at the guest list and who do we see? 



Who are all these rich, almost-completely white people? Here’s a breakdown:
  • Joel Klein: Former Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education; then Executive Vice President of News Corps.; now an executive at New York-based health start-up Oscar.
  • Alan Patricof: Investor; founder and chairman of New York Magazine; a Democrat who supported Hillary Clinton, though he often lunched with Young Jared Kushner.
  • Boyden Gray: Former counsel to President Bush and a main architect of the Clean Air Act; former ambassador to the E.U.
  • Chris Ruddy: CEO of Newsmax; Trump confidant.
  • Katharine Weymouth: The former publisher of the Washington Post; daughter of Lally Waymouth.
  • Mary JordanWashington Post correspondent “currently traveling America writing about the Trump era.”
  • Richard CohenWashington Post columnist.
  • Margaret Carlson: Bloomberg News columnist; the first female columnist at Time.
  • Gillian Tett: U.S. managing editor of the Financial Times.
  • Steve Clemons: Washington editor-at-large of The Atlantic.
  • Robert Hormats: Vice Chairman of Kissinger Associates.
  • Carl Icahn: Billionaire investor.
  • Charles Koch: One half of the infamous Koch brothers and CEO of Koch Industries.
  • John Paulson: An investor and one of Trump’s top economic advisers during his campaign.
  • Dina Powell: The U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategy to Trump, evidently hand-fed to him by Mika Brzezinski.
  • Richard Edelman: Founder of the PR firm Edelman Group.
  • Maria Bartiromo: Anchor at FOX News.
  • Ray Kelly: Former Commissioner of the NYPD.
  • Bill Bratton: Ibid.
  • Jeff Rosen: Legal commentator.
  • KellyAnne Conway:
  • William Drozdiak: A non-resident senior fellow at Brookings Center of the United States and Europe; senior advisor for McLarty and Associates.
  • Steven Spielberg is there too, unfortunately for him.


Nothing like getting hard hitting news coverage from a paper of record after a night of the editor and reporters partying with all of the major players.

While families have been split over the current political climate, the people behind the scenes are eating rare filet and toasting to your foolishness.   


When George Soros and Chuck Koch are toasting together, or Chuck Schumer and Jared Kushner are sharing pleasantries over bacon wrapped scallops and billionaire investors from both The Donald and Hillary are sharing stories of their multiple divorces, all at a party of the editors of the Washington Post....then we know the whole thing is a sham.   


In the end we just turn into Spiculus, fighting for the Emperor Nero's enjoyment.  

George Carlin was dead on:



Saturday, July 1, 2017

We Have Entered A New Circle Of Hell

Isn't this precious?! The Assembly GOP made a short video doing the School House Rock version of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States:



Apparently, they couldn't find enough members that were able to pretend they gave a damn about the Constitution to do the whole song.

Instead of doing a cutesy and horribly off-key song, these twits would be better off actually reading those documents, or having someone read it to them, and then have someone explain the meaning of it, pointing out where they are missing the mark. It should only take four years or so...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Helpful Tips to Pass a Responsible Budget

By Gordon Hintz 

MADISON – As the state budget impasse between the Republican Senate and Republican Assembly continues, Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) offered five budget tips for legislative Republicans to help pass a responsible budget.

1.      Pass a long-term transportation funding solution to address the ongoing shortfall.  As long as transportation funding relies on increased borrowing or delayed projects, budgets will remain difficult. If you continue borrowing, more transportation revenue is spent paying off debt and interest. Plus important building projects in the UW System will be cut in order to manage total state debt.  If you raid the general fund to pay for roads, that funding comes at the expense of other state investments like K-12 public education. If you continue to delay projects, those cost increase, the state spends more on maintenance, and the problem will get worse for the 2019-21 budget. You increased fees to fund our state parks so it is hard to understand what is different here. Just fix it.
2.      Fund your most important priorities first. If funding K-12 education is truly the most important investment, then start there and pay for Wisconsin’s public schools first.  This might mean you don’t have enough money to repeal the state forestry mill tax for $180 million or fund the Governor’s increased school levy credit at the full amount. But if putting dollars in classrooms around the state is really a priority, then there should not be a disagreement.


3.      Don’t create new spending programs when you are unable or unwilling to fund existing ones. If you are struggling to fund K-12 education or the UW System’s existing programs, don’t create new ongoing expenses like expanded taxpayer supported private school vouchers for kids that are already going to private school.  And reconsider the new $3 million already approved for a new redundant public policy school of conservative thought.


4.      Don’t phase in tax cuts you won’t be able to pay for in the future. The manufacturing and agriculture tax credit was passed in the 2011 budget at the last minute, with zero public hearing or input. It was supposed to be gradually phased in starting in 2013 before reaching a total annual cost of $128 million in 2017 when fully implemented. The cost of the credit in the current 2015-17 budget is $517.4 million. Despite modest growth in state revenue, programs were cut in order to pay for the credit, such as the $250 million cut to the UW System.  It is now expected to cost $320.2 million in FY2018 and $334 million in FY2019. Don’t make this mistake again.  Before you consider proposals such as repealing the personal property tax, make sure you can pay for it in the future. Since the Governor’s proposed budget spends $366 million more than the revenue collected, it is unlikely that the state will be able to cover the local revenue loss in future budgets without cutting other state programs.



5.      Don’t use one-time money to pay for ongoing expenses. Spending one-time money from an existing fund balance or transferring money from a segregated account to cover ongoing general fund expenses creates future imbalances.  It is irresponsible to use one-time money during a period of modest economic growth. Raiding the state veterans nursing home fund to pay for ongoing veterans trust fund programs creates future imbalances. When balances run out, the state general fund will have to cover the cost.