Steve Hanson's blog

Walker threatens to cut off all our noses to spite the court's face

Scott Walker

So - the never-ending political circus in Wisconsin continues. If you've been following from home, the US Supreme court will soon consider whether they will hear a case to re-open the John Doe investigation in Wisconsin.  Call it John Doe III. Yup, worse than the Rocky films.  The point of contention here basically is that the state Supreme Court had a conflict of interest when ruling to shut down the John Doe because several of the court justices had received donations from groups with an interest in the outcome.

The recent cache of documents from the investigation that was released by The Guardian has made this more interesting, since it's now a lot clearer that the suspected coordination between the Walker administration and the Wisconsin Club for Growth was much more real than imagined, and possibly included some extra pay-for-play that nobody seems to have been aware of. But hey, it just involved kids and lead poisoning, so - what the hey.

But in a particularly bizarre turn of events, the Governor has apparently decided that rather than just lie low and wait for the outcome, he was going to start throwing his weight around. Walker is adopting a "there's nothing to see here, and if you look I'm going to cause you a world of hurt" attitude.

Because Scott Walker Asked

Scott Walker

We all knew it was going on, and we all knew it was deplorable. But it's always a great day to see the documentation.

Today's lead article on The Guardian's web site is Because Scott Walker Asked, an article based on a leak of the John Doe documentation which has been sealed by the courts. It is not clear who leaked these documents to The Guardian, but it's refreshing to see what it is that the donors to conservatives in Wisconsin have been so keen to cover up for years.  It's what we all expected, but worse to see all in one lump.

Dakota Access Pipeline

The protests at the Dakota Access pipeline site continue with very little coverage in national news. The company building the pipeline has apparently purposely destroyed Native American burial and sacred sites, going out of their way to target exactly the sites the tribes have been trying to preserve.  Today a judge ruled that the construction can continue, overruling an emergency stay in construction.  This is coverage from Democracy Now from yesterday.

It's voting time --- go do it

Ballot Box

Once again it's time to vote in Wisconsin. I know a lot of you are feeling disappointed and not in control of the political process. I understand, ths is part of the reason you've not been seeing a lot of posting here recently, at least from me. Some of the twists and turns of the political sphere of late make it difficult to have anything to say. A country where even a minority of people embraces Donald Trump as a potential leader is frightening.

But - all the more reason to go out and vote tomorrow. Here in Wisconsin we have some actual choices to make in a lot of districts, and some genuine progressive candidates are involved in those primaries.  Here in the 3rd CD we have Myron Buchholz running against Ron Kind. Now I have to admit that I like Ron Kind.   I also like Myron. And I think they are both genuinely good people who have their heart in the right place. But Ron Kind has always been a middle-of-the-roader and one of the "new wave" of Democrats who are trying to both be friends of the corporate world and the working class.  We seem to have reached a point where you cannot do both. Kind's position on trade deals is, I believe, not supportable, and I will be voting for Myron Buchholz tomorrow.  I encourage you to vote your own conscience - but more than that, I encourage you to vote. If we are going to see any meaningful change in Wisconsin, you need to exercise those voting muscles at every opportunity. Make us proud here at Uppitywis. Let's see an astounding turnout that will scare the bejeezus out of the powers that be. Be like the guy in the picture - go to the polls and smile.

Trump campaign also disturbs George Harrison estate

George Harrison

God knows it's hard to be amused by anything at the moment, so I am choosing to be amused by the current flap of the George Harrison estate being incensed that the RNC used Harrison's "Here Comes The Sun" as intro music for Ivanka Trump's speech. The Harrison estate joins a list of living musical artists who do not want to be associated, but in a more Beatle-esque way.

The unauthorized use of #HereComestheSun at the #RNCinCLE is offensive & against the wishes of the George Harrison estate.

More interestingly they followed up with

If it had been Beware of Darkness, then we MAY have approved it!

Seems in fitting with George's tongue in cheek sense of humor. And the song is appropriate, especially the "beware of greedy leaders" line. So I will leave you with his (and Leon Rusell's) performance from The Concert for Bangladesh.

George Harrison: Beware Of Darkness

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times

No, that's not a quote from Melania Trump's speech.  I wrote it myself with a little help.  Though it does have a familiar ring to it. Not to beat a dead horse.

Actually the flap over the speech brings to mind two things. For one, I think it's typical that the big flap from the Republican Convention seems to revolve around these little score-keeping gotcha moments, rather than the big story of the convention. Republicans have gone completely off the rails and are now running completely on a platform of fear, anger, jingoism, and lies. The Trumpization of the GOP appears to be complete, as even Republicans that we thought had better sense are falling in line behind this disaster of a candidate, and repeating his message in lock-step. Some of the worst offenders in all of this are from our own state.  I'm looking at you, Gov. Walker, Reince Priebus, Sean Duffy, Ron Johnson and parrticularly Paul (I Can't Even Remember What I Believe Any More) Ryan. 

29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Community Conversations in Menomonie held a Candidate Forum on June 18th for legislative candidates in the 29th District. All four of the announced candidates participated - Scottie Ard, Randy Knaack, Rob Stafsholt, and Vince Trudell. These are video recordings of the forum, broken into two parts.

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum

Wisconsin 29th Assembly District Candidate Forum part 2

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