Restless Scott Walker considers sending force against any "unrest" from Milwaukee's black community over Dontre Hamilton

Milwaukee County Supervisor David Bowen

Gov. Scott Walker reportedly likes to think of himself as a Ronald Reagan Republican. However, Reagan was a political moderate compared to Walker's brand of far right-wing policymaking. It's increasingly evident Walker is much more of a Richard Nixon analog. Nixon, like Reagan, was a moderate compared to Walker's ideological stances on numerous policy issues. But in two overriding aspects, Walker and Nixon are almost political twins.

The first aspect is Walker's willingness to engage in evidently illegal activity. Both created secret communications systems and strived to hide the flow of campaign donations to their coffers. All of which led to felony convictions against Nixon staffers and Nixon's resignation, evading impeachment; and, in Walker's case, two John Doe investigations that already have resulted in criminal convictions among his Milwaukee County executive's staff.

Walker is so Nixonian in this regard that, when GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush recently announced he'd make public all emails from his tenure as Florida's governor, Walker declined to make a similar move, saying he didn't understand why any candidate would do that.

Saudi si, Cuba no: Scott Walker clears it all up for you

After joining in the all-but universal Republican cacaphony over President Obama's normalizing of diplomatic relations with Cuba, Gov. Scott Walker was asked by reporters whether it isn't inconsistent for the US to continue isolating Cuba while continuing normal relations with Saudi Arabia, a nation that arguably has equal or greater involvement with state-sponsored terrorism and human rights abuses. News reports described Walker as "reluctant" to say much about the Saudis or to declare whether he regards that oil-rich country as a free and open society.

The presidentially minded Walker cleared it all up in his usual, non-incisive, incomprehensible political-speak:

"They’re making a few moves right now, but those are things that could be easily altered, at least in terms of Cuba. In terms of Saudi Arabia ... those are things I guess folks at the federal level would ultimately have to comment on in terms of whether there’s consistency or not. The difference, I think, is Cuba, that’s a policy the U.S. has had for some time, where to change that, I think there has to be substantial change in terms of the positions that the Cuban government has."

Huh? Quick, get an English teacher on the horn to help parse Walker's word salad.

Flashback: Ron Johnson on Russia, "Sad Fact is that Sanctions Haven't Worked"

Last May, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson appeared on CNN's State of the Union and dismissed Obama's plan to deal with Russian aggression with more economic sanctions, saying, "the sad fact is that sanctions haven't worked."  Johnson then went on to suggest that the only way to deal with Putin was militarily, saying, "Vladimir Putin is only going to respond to action, strength and resolve."

Now, seven months later, Russia's economy is going up in flames and the fire hydrants necessary to put it out -- IMF loans and other international help -- are locked down tight, because of the economic sanctions Obama and other world leaders imposed on Russia.

Don’t Let Government Accountability “Reform” Mean Return to Corruption

“I promise you that two years from now, when we are sitting here, the GAB will not be in the current format,” Assembly Speaker Robin Vos told a crowd at a Madison luncheon as reported by the Wisconsin State Journal
 
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) was created seven years ago to prevent corrupt practices in state government. The agency had its beginnings when the existing ethics and election board failed to stop lawmakers from using public resources for campaign purposes in the 2002 “caucus scandal”.
 
A recently released Legislative Audit Bureau (LAB) audit of the GAB provides insight to the activities of the GAB. The audit also spurred a partisan attack on the agency crippled by underfunding and unprecedented challenges.
 
Auditors confirmed that GAB officials complied with many legal duties but, among other findings, did not promulgate required administrative rules, adequately track late reports or consistently assess penalties.
 
Local government administers elections with oversight from the GAB. Many actions of the agency are working well. Municipal clerks are trained using a variety of methods to allow on-line attendance.

MARGINAL THINKING DEPT: Boo-hoo! Walker made state taxes fairer for everyone, insists apologist for the wealthy

Except for its Sunday edition, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is cutting in half the space it devotes to opinion, the most deleterious effect of which will be to reduce the number of independent community voices commenting on issues of the day. But one feature that won't be affected is a column by Christian Schneider, former conservative political operative who is the newspaper's most prolific, resident thinker.

"Thinker" might be putting it generously. Schneider seldom hits the mark, except in the narrow context of regurgitating right-wing talking points. He did it again in a recent column (linked below) complaining that politicians to his left unfairly paint Scott Walker's state income tax cuts as going mostly to the wealthiest ten percent or so among us. As, ahem, they indeed are.

Breaking no new conservative ground, the column wouldn't be worth reviewing except that it follows the right wing's increasing tendency to reveal what its policies really are all about -- not so much a matter of candor as of arrogance. In this case, Schneider says he is going to ignore the actual value of money -- what economists call the "marginal utility" of it -- and focus simply on tax rates. Which neatly demonstrates Benjamin Disraeli's 19th Century dictum that, "There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damned lies, and statistics." Schneider writes:

Serving Wisconsin: Retiring Senators Offer Wisdom

Serving Wisconsin: Retiring Senators Offer Wisdom
by
Senator Kathleen Vinehout
 
“There is a yearning outside the Capitol for common sense, cooperation and compromise,” Senator Tim Cullen told his fellow Senators. “You all know how to do this if you’ve been married for more than 15 days.”
 
As 2014 comes to a close, so do the public careers of several extraordinary Senators. I listened carefully as these public servants delivered farewell speeches on the Senate floor. The wisdom shared by three great men comes from a cumulative 80 years of experience that spanned four decades.
 
“We came because we care,” Republican Senator Dale Schulz told his colleagues. “I ran for public office because I felt called.”
 
“We’re on this earth to help others,” said Democratic Senator Cullen who also served in Governor Thompson’s Republican administration as Secretary of Health.
 
“Our obligation is to empower the people; not to avoid them because they are of a different political persuasion,” said Democratic Senator Bob Jauch. “We are the caretakers of the public trust.

Unlike Burke, Media Gives Ron Johnson's Business & Finance Claims a Free Pass

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Mary Burke had similar resumes when they ran for statewide office:  Both had business backgroundsand both had the primary qualification of being wealthy enough to self-finance their own campaigns.

Both also owe their business backgrounds to being hired by the family business, and both got their wealth the old fashioned way... they inherited it.  Burke, through her father (bicycle magnate Richard Burke), and Johnson through his father-in-law (plastics magnate Howard Curler).

Citizen Koch on short list for Academy Award

From The Cap Times:

Citizen Koch,” the 2013 documentary about how corporate political spending influenced Wisconsin politics in the Walker era, is on the shortlist to be nominated for an Academy Award.

The film, by Carl Deal and Tia Lessin, is one of 15 finalists out of 134 films that could be nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary. The five nominees will be announced in January.

Congratulations to Carl and Tia - yet another reason we're proud to have brought the film to Western Wisconsin.

Minnesota expecting a state budget surplus of a billion dollars. Wrong-way Wisconsin GOP leadership expecting quite the opposite

Who's minding the store? In Wisconsin it's the supposedly ever-so fiscally prudent Republicans. In neighboring Minnesota it's those supposedly ever-so profligate spenders, the Democratic Farmer Labor Party (that state's equivalent of the national Democratic Party). And here's how things have worked out between the two states.

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker and his GOP majority in the legislature are facing a projected state budget deficit of $2.2 billion, and possibly more, despite "balancing" the state budget during Walker's first term. Meanwhile, Minnesota's Democratic governor and legislature are looking forward to a $1 billion surplus. The  difference in fiscal obligations in the two states amounts to about $540 for every resident of Wisconsin. From the Twin Cities Daily Planet:

Released Thursday, the November Budget and Economic Forecast shows the state with a projected $1.037 billion available for the upcoming biennial state budget.

Wisconsin GOP's creative destruction set to proceed with "right to work for less" nonsense

So Republicans have dropped another bomb on Wisconsin. The first was when newly elected Gov. Scott Walker suddenly announced in 2011 that he would pursue a measure to grab back hundreds of millions of dollars in public worker compensation while enfeebling most public employee unions in the state. Now it's the turn of State Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield), who recently told the Associated Press that he expects to introduce a "right to work" bill.

This has been coming along ever since, in an unguarded moment, Walker was caught on video assuring billionaire businesswoman Diane Hendricks that her dream of Wisconsin as a right-to-work state only had to await his “divide and conquer” strategy. Now that it's clear Republicans will consider enacting such backward, noxious legislation, let's revisit the big, stinking, noxious hypocrisy underlying this particular GOP goal.

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