Walker budget deficit not special, but right-to-wreck law is extraordinary

Wisconsin Republicans all the way up to Scott Walker are quickly re-establishing themselves as liars, hypocrites and opportunists of the first rank in their contrary approaches to the state’s current budget deficit and their rush toward a so-called “right to work” law (it’s more like a “right to wreck” law).

Consider just a few facts:

1. Republicans from Walker on down seem unconcerned about the state’s constitutional requirement that a projected deficit obliges the governor to call a special session of the legislature to make fixes to the state budget. That, apparently, would be too embarassing for the nationally ambitious Walker, who paints himself as a fiscal conservative. Republicans in charge of both houses of the legislature have sat silently while the Walker administration insist the budget will magically fix itself without legislative action -- even while Team Walker is busy off camera freezing state employee merit raises, skipping payments on state debt and otherwise racing around in apparent panic trying to close a quarter-billion-dollar gap before July.

Welcome to the new Uppity Wisconsin

Happy Birthday

It's hard to believe, but Uppity Wisconsin will be nine years old next week. In honor of that, and in honor of finally getting the *_)*_)(*( thing working, here is the new Uppity Wisconsin. Sure, I know it doesn't look all that different, but it's a whole new version of Drupal with a whole slug of new potential features (hardly any of which are actually in place yet). Gist of all of this is that it will put us in a good position to move forward .  A few notes:

  • We will now look MUCH better on mobile devices than we ever have (so you should now be able to actually read it on your cell phone or tablet - more adjustments to that are on the way. )
  • We have a lot more control over placement of things - very little of which is now in use.
  • Look forward to new features like petitions, etc. which we have never been able to do very well.
  • We're moving into a version of Drupal that will be supported much longer. Which is good.

This has taken a while to get going, and almost all of the content from the old site has been moved over here.  We're on a new (somewhat smaller) server with some different features. If you see problems with the site, or want to make suggestions, please use the contact form to send me an email.

The main thing I'm trying to say here is that we're moving into new territory, and you can expect that the look, performance, and features of the site will be going through a lot of changes in the next month or two.  May we live in interesting times.

Steve Hanson
Editor

Walker always intended to pass RTW: After all, he is a pathological liar.

Sheldon Adelson and Puppet Scot Walker

Exploiting the Workers of Wisconsin: The Narrative that Scott Walker Needs to Impress his Presidential Donors

 Note: A these comments are part of a more complete analysis of the "Corporate Colonization of Wisconsin" series that will be published on the Middle Wisconsin website.

The current ALEC/Koch/Republican agenda is in the process of just such an exploitation. In order to understand the motivation for such legislation as “Right-to-Work” (RTW) it is necessary to know who has funded the campaigns of Scot Walker during his recall and reelection so that we know who is really calling the shots.

Walker's ties to and dependence upon the Koch Brothers is well known and is the motivation behind the majority of Walker's and the ALEC/Koch/Republican legislation.

“We’re helping him, as we should,” David Koch told The Palm Beach Post in February 2012. “What Scott Walker is doing with the public unions in Wisconsin is critically important. He’s an impressive guy, and he’s very courageous.”

Scott Walker's protests against right to work have a hollow ring to them

As the state legislature barrels forward to create yet another bogus "jobs" bill that will not create jobs, Scott Walker protests.  A little.  Though of course if the bill actually gets passed next week, he'll have "no choice but to sign it because it's the will of the people".

Walker insists that Right to Work is a "distraction" and is not what the legislature should be working on. I suspect this is simply a ruse to appear more "moderate" as he runs for president. The general impression he is currently giving is that he will say or do anything to be president, including completely contradicting his past statements. His continual kowtowing to big money and changing his position on things reeks of desperation, and is unlikely to fool much of anyone once he actually declares and starts to be held accountable. Please remember that this is still "Divide and Conquer" Scott Walker we're talking about - remember this choice conversation with Diane Hendricks?

Lisa Subeck statement on Right to Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: February 20, 2015
CONTACT: Zach Madden, 608-266-7521(office) 920-627-5773 (cell)
Representative Lisa Subeck Statement on So-Called “Right to Work”
“Today’s announcement that Republicans plan to move forward with fast-tracked “Right to Work” legislation is
an insult to every working Wisconsinite.
With no bill yet introduced, Republicans hope to keep the public in the dark as they quickly work to pass a bill
and have it signed by the governor.
The results of so-called “Right to Work” laws are clear. In states with these laws in place, wages are lower;
poverty rates are higher; and the numbers of jobs with health insurance is reduced.
At a time when we should be focused on restoring economic opportunities and raising wages, legislative
Republicans have chosen to move Wisconsin in the wrong direction.”
###

Save SeniorCare, Again!

Save SeniorCare, Again!
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“Please do what you can to keep SeniorCare as is. It is critical to those of us on it.” wrote a rural Buffalo County woman.
 
“I will be 70 years old in a couple of months and not on any prescription medicines. SeniorCare is perfect for me as I very seldom require a prescription for illness or injury, usually going for a year or more without needing one. I should not have to pay the outrageous high cost of Medicare Part D which I would very seldom use and it would cause a terrible financial burden for me that I could not handle on my fixed income.”
 
The rural woman I’ll call ‘Dawn’ signed her letter, “Thank you from a very satisfied SeniorCare participant.”
 
Slipped into the Governor’s state budget is a requirement that seniors sign up for Medicare Part D before they sign up for SeniorCare. The program is a substitute for Part D.
 
To justify his action, the Governor told the Wisconsin State Journal “It’s not about changing benefits; it’s ultimately about changing who pays for it.”

UW Budget Cut protest at UW-Eau Claire

Approximately 300 people, mostly students, braved the cold at UW-Eau Claire on Friday to protest the budget cuts in Scott Walker's proposed budget. Several students and faculty spoke at the rally, and State Representative Dana Wachs finished the rally with a speech defending the University system from cuts. After the rally the group marched around the center part of the campus, ending up at the student center, where many of them made posters and wrote letters to their representatives.

Wisconsin budget cut rally Eau Claire

I want to be Scott Walker's speechwriter.

I am seeking support and recommendations to become Scott Walker’s speechwriter as he embarks on his quest for the presidency.

Admittedly, writing applause lines for a man with his record will be easy but nonetheless, with my background in writing and Scott’s credentials, we would make an excellent team.

If it helps I would like to submit a writing sample. What follows are the highlights of the speech I would craft for a large Republican audience, perhaps at the 2016 Republican convention.

“Fellow Americans, I stand before you as a candidate for the presidency, and, with your support I can bring to the country the same accomplishments I brought to the people of the great state of Wisconsin.

We pared the size of state government by laying off people in the regulatory agencies and cutting the pay of those still working. We found that it was easier to let the industries write their own regulations. The iron mine project is a good example. At the same time it will save us tons of money on the enforcement end since there won’t be any laws left to break.

Walker's just-in-time, stealth budgeting screws state workers yet again

According to Wisconsin President (er, Governor) Scott Walker (R-Hopeful), the state's fiscal condition is simply great; so swell, in fact, that he can dump a couple hundred millions of dollars into a new, privately developed basketball arena for Milwaukee while maintaining tax cuts that mostly benefit the state's wealthy. And, he proclaims, he'll have enough left over so that, in his proposed 2015-'17 budget, he'll return to you another ten bucks in tax savings. Wow. Ten bucks. That will get you half of a sit-down pizza. Don't eat it all in one sitting, though, because it's got to last two years.

Moreover, Kochwalkerstan is so fantastically, fiscally strong that Walker feels unconcerned about increased borrowing -- in the billion-dollar range -- to build more highways and freeways than many of us think we need.

But if that tale of fiscal strength is all true, why trim more benefits for at-risk Wisconsin families, seniors and the disabled? Why whack already stressed public education on up through the UW System by another 400 or so million? Why cut natural land preservation funding? But most telling, why this sudden move, reported in the Wisconsin State Journal today:

Walker Says Wisconsin's Growing Trade Deficit is "Great News"

Wisconsin was once the flagship manufacturing state of a United States that exported far more than it imported. Milwaukee, in fact, was once known as the "Machine Shop of the World" because, you name it, it was made there.

Today, not so much: Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin's manufacturing is a shell of its former self. Wisconsin now actually imports more products from foreign countries than it exports. In 2014, Wisconsin imported $22.2 billion in manufactured products and exported only $20.2 billion worth. That's an imbalance of two billion dollars in a state that that should be leading the nation in trade surplus.

Overall, non-manufactured commodities (mostly agriculture) do help out Wisconsin's trade balance, but this category of exports offer a fraction of the jobs that manufactured commodities bring to the table. And even if you look at Wisconsin's total trade balance (manufactured commodities plus non manufactured commodities), Wisconsin still imports more than it exports, bringing its total trade deficit to about 100 million.

Scott Walker dodges evolution question: 'That's a question a politician shouldn't be involved in'

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