Watching Wisconsin's heart break

Broken Heart

I am in my office today trying to work and at the same time listen to the testimony at the budget hearing in  Milwaukee on Wiseye.org. It's difficult to do CMS upgrades and listen to the heart of Wisconsin breaking  at the same time. Person after person is testifying against the draconian provisions of the budget, telling very personal stories of how they and their organizations will be impacted by the proposed budget. Individuals with health problems, education professionals, people of faith, and others of every persuasion in life are testifying about how the massive budget cuts will affect the elderly, the poor, the ill, students, teachers, and others. 

THE FACELESS FEW: In campaigning gov's absence, inner circle runs Wisconsin...badly

John Torinus used to be the business editor of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and is a respected voice in Wisconsin's business community. For some years he's been CEO of Wisconsin-based Serigraph Corp., an innovative business that was way ahead of the curve in health care reform for its employees.

Torinus is a reasonably conservative fellow and one smart cookie. So political insiders and business leaders across the state should sit up and take notice, because, increasingly, Torinus is calling out the Walker administration and its leader, for gaps in leadership. Widening gaps.

Farmers say Budget Damages Farm Research, Schools and Conservation Input

Kathleen Vinehout
March 18, 2015
 
 
Farmers say Budget Damages Farm Research, Schools and Conservation Input
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“It’s very important that we are here today,” the farmer from Independence told me. “In fact, it’s more important that we be here than anywhere else.” Here was in my Capitol office. Local farmers were visiting as part of Ag Day at the Capitol.
 
The weather that day was dry and warm. It was perfect for getting early spring chores done. Instead, these farmers drove hundreds of miles to meet with their legislators.
 
They were on a mission to change parts of the state budget that hurt rural communities. The first thing on their mind – in every group that visited – was rural schools.

Monarch Scott Walker's use of the Royal We

Walker and the Royal “We” 

Although Scott Walker’s quotes are usually ‘word soup” of the same sophistication as Sarah Palin, his content is more distressing because it reveals an arrogance when referring to himself in the plural.  The royal “we" is often referred to as the majestic plural.  (It is pluralis majestatis in Latin and literally means "the plural of majesty").  The royal “we” is the use of a plural pronoun to refer to a single person holding a high office, such as a sovereign (e.g., a monarch or sultan) or religious leader (e.g., the Pope or a bishop).

The Royal We

 Notice how often Walker uses the royal “we” in the following statements.  An initial assessment of the speech pattern would be that he is delusional and does, in fact, view himself as a Monarch, Sultan, or Pope. This could very well be true.

More stealth law-making at work - update and good news!

Top Secret

The executive session for tomorrow to vote on AB1 in committee has been cancelled.  This may be because Thiesfeldt has not been able to raise enough support within the GOP for the revised bill. It may also be in part due to the response he has received from citizens.  In any case at least for the time being this version of the bill is dead in the water.

The state GOP continues its parade of "bad ideas in legislation" as they work to pass yet another stealth bill. Changes to AB1 regarding punishment of school districts for not receiving good letter grades now removes all power from local school boards and hands it  over to the superintendent.  Foolish you, you probably thought that electing local officials actually meant something. This bill is being shoved through, and will possibly be voted on tomorrow in committee. I'm including the text from an email I received this morning.  It's from Sondy Pope, and I hope you will consider taking action as outlined below:

Walker's "Say Anything" Campaign Tanking at Home: Job Approval at Only 43%

PPP polling just released a poll for Wisconsin and... well, you better sit down, Scott:

  • Walker's approval rating down to 43%, while a whopping 52% disapprove. 
  • In a presidential match-up, Walker would lose to Hillary Clinton by a 52% to 43% margin in his home state.  (Hmmm... those numbers are familiar.) 
  • Rand Paul would actually do better in Wisconsin if he was the GOP nominee, only losing to Clinton by a 48% to 42% margin.

A RTW clue-train for Scott Walker

Bloomberg News reported today that at his signing ceremony for the Republican Party's new right-to-twerk-us law, Scott Walker praised the measure while insisting it wasn't his idea:

At a bill-signing Monday, Walker said the push for the right-to-work bill, passed last week by the legislature, came from lawmakers themselves.

“Our leaders here led,” Walker, 47, said during a ceremony in Brown Deer, Wis. “It was the leadership you see here who drove the train on this.”

Legislative Season Brings Many Capitol Visitors

Kathleen Vinehout
March 11, 2015
Legislative Season Brings Many Capitol Visitors
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“I’ve never done this before,” the young woman told me.  She came to my Capitol office for the first time to talk about issues important to her and her profession. She was one of about two-dozen groups that recently visited.
 
People imagine a legislator’s job as debating on the Senate floor. But much of my time is spent listening and learning. Here’s a sample of visits from a single day.
 
My day started working with my staff to distill the important decisions of the state budget into a PowerPoint for use at Town Hall meetings. Budget choices include what happens to local schools, the UW, health care, local government, public safety, state parks, our environment, agriculture, roads and bridges.
 
Soon into my budget work, my staff interrupted saying, “There’s a group waiting for you.”

WI Company That Claimed Unions Hurting Earnings Had Record Earnings Last Year

Today Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will sign the Orwellian-named "Right-to-Work" legislation at a company whose CEO recently threatened to move the company's few remaining Wisconsin jobs to Mexico if the union-busting bill did not come to fruition. 

The clear point that Badger Meter's CEO Rich Meuusen is making is that the unions are hurting the company's earnings so much that they would have to send jobs to Mexico to keep the shareholders from going to bed hungry.  

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