While Johnson Was Trying To Kill Sex Abuse Bill, Diocese Was Trying to Kill Sex Abuse Suit On Statute of Limitations Grounds!

Yesterday, I wrote about how Johnson testified before the Wisconsin State Senate to kill a bill that would have lengthened the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases involving children.

Amazingly, Johnson not only opposed extending the limitations, but also argued that organizations, (such as the Green Bay Diocese where he served on the Finance Council), shouldn't be sued at all, saying that only pedophiles themselves should be held accountable and organizations that reassign, instead of arresting, employees they know to be pedophiles shouldn't be held accountable because they might be "...severely damaged, possibly destroyed...",

Today, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that while Johnson was testifying, the Green Bay Diocese was attempting to kill a law suit against them, arguing that the victims had exhausted the time limits of the statute of limitations: (relevent part in bold)

The Nevada Supreme Court has declined to dismiss a sexual abuse lawsuit involving the Diocese of Green Bay and a now-defrocked priest who is in prison for assaulting two Wisconsin brothers, paving the way for the

On Fence-Straddling, Or, And Now, A Few Words From Blanche Lincoln

Those of you who’ve followed my work over a period of time know that I’m usually the one suggesting moderation and keeping everyone in the big tent, and, even in this most difficult year, I’m the one telling folks that sometimes you just have to hold your nose and vote for the candidate that sucks less.

And even though the last thing I’d ever want is a Speaker Boehner or a Leader McConnell (or even worse yet, DeMint), the fact remains that there are two Democratic Senators I would actually vote against, even if the candidate that sucks more does win...and those two are Arkansas’ Blanche Lincoln and Nebraska’s Ben Nelson.

One of those two is up for re-election this year, and thanks to a particularly ridiculous vote by Senator Lincoln, we found ourselves in a bit of an email exchange, which is what we’ll be talking about today.

New Video Shows Ron Johnson Saying Church Officials that Protect / Reassign Predator Priests Shouldn't Be Held Accountable

Earlier this year Ron Johnson testified before the Wisconsin State Senate on behalf of the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council, which has ultimate decision power in deciding whether to settle abuse law suits and can even overrule a diocese's bishop decision in how to proceed. 

Johnson was there to oppose the so-call Child Victims Bill, which would have made it easier to go after child predators.  Under current law, many children do not come forward until after the statute of limitations has expired-- this law would have made exceptions in such circumstances.

From the Green Bay Diocese Finance Council perspective, this meant that many more child victims of predator priests would come forward and that they would be forced to deal with more law suits.  And more law suits mean spending more money, which Johnson and the Finance Council obviously opposed. 

Usually, though, such institutions will try to kill such legislation quietly behind the scenes.

Ron Johnson Testifies Against child Abuse Victims, Opposed Child Victims Act in wisconsin

We Work Together or We Don't Work At All

Late Wednesday the rain started and when it stopped downtown Arcadia was flooded.

At about 4 am Thursday morning, civil defense sirens sounded. The mayor declared a state of emergency.  Three hundred and forty three homes and businesses were damaged. One thousand people were evacuated.

Around 11 am I received a call from General Dunbar, the head of Wisconsin Military Affairs, assuring me the Governor instructed him to use all available resources to assist in the disaster.

By midday the Governor declared a state of emergency.  Responders rescued flood victims with boats from the Department of Natural Resources.  And officials brought in the National Guard.

Guard members assisted with rescue and staffed check points.  They deployed equipment to assist with evacuation.  The Guard sent four cases of MREs, potable water and a heavy equipment wrecker.

The Red Cross opened an evacuation center at Arcadia National Guard Armory. Over 20,000 sand bags from Wisconsin Military Affairs were filled by a sandbagging machine from Camp Douglas. Hundreds of Ashley Furniture employees assisted with sandbagging and other relief efforts.

Wisconsin State Journal of Loutish Rightwing Partisanship Again Embarasses With Unwelcoming Obama Headline

Here's how the Wisconsin State Journal welcomed the President of the United States to Madison, with their frontpage headline:

Obama's Visit Sure to Snarl Streets

Then, later toned-down the online version to:

Obama Visit Poses Plenty of Logistical Problems

Still, both headlines are inappropriate for the front page on the day the President is visiting. This, of course, is the latest in a long, long string of loutish headlines and obvious overall rightwing bias by the State Journal.

I guess I don't understand the State Journal's strategy. Almost all of the Wisconsin State Journal's customers are in the left-leaning Madison metro area.   One would think that in order to sell newspapers and not alienate their subscribers (such as myself) that they would tone-down their partisanship. 

'Happy and the River' on Oct. 3

Exciting news (at least to yours truly) that in connection with the Wisconsin Books Festival, a new play about the St. Croix River and Gaylord Nelson, who saved it and preserved it as a wild and scenic river, will be performed in Madison. It was written for the Festival Theater in St. Croix Falls, and members of that company will perform it.

Details: Happy and the River, Sunday, October 3, 4-5:30 The Playhouse, Overture Center for the Arts

This performance is made possible by the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Supported by the Wisconsin Arts Board, the Wisconsin Humanities Council,and the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co.

Happy and the River tells the story of Gaylord Nelson and the events and environment that inspired him.

Am I high tech, or what?

I don't own a Kindle and much prefer holding a printed book, but the University of Wisconsin Press has dragged me into the 21st Century by releasing my political biography of Gaylord Nelson in digital form. Here's what they say:

Over the past two years the Press has been building an e-book publishing program geared toward the institutional and library market. This summer we are very pleased to begin to offer our books to individual customers as well! The Press is making e-books available via Amazon’s Kindle store, the UW Press website, and independent bookstore websites, in addition to institutional library vendors.

Here's the Amazon link.

If you haven't read it, you now have one less excuse.

Feingold ripped for nonexistent 'ad'

I believe it's called reductio ad absurdum -- where you carry what seems to be a reasonable idea to such an extreme that the conclusions become laughable. At least that's what I remember from high school debate class.

Political "fact checking" has reached new heights -- or, more accurately, new depths -- in 2010. Media outlets trip all over each other "checking" facts, mostly in television commercials, and then making a big show of misinforming the public about what's true and what's false. The media get it wrong more often than the campaigns do, but that doesn't stop their posturing as arbiters of the truth.

The right wing in Wisconsin has even started its own "fact check" called, most apppropriately, PolitiCrap, because that's what it is. (They did not intend the irony.)

Now comes the Appleton Post Crescent, giving Sen. Russ Feingold an editorial thumbs down for a campaign commercial that doesn't exist.

Says the Post Crescent, Thumbs Down

To U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, for a misleading campaign ad.

In the ad, Feingold contends: "I've been outspent by my opponents every time I've run for U.S. Senate."

...For a guy who's staked his political reputation on integrity, the ad's a black mark.

There is no such ad. What they paper's referring to is a comment by Feingold in a TV interview. It never ran in a commercial.  [UPDATE: The paper has changed its online story to say "a misleading campaign claim" rather than ad.  They're still wrong.)

But even if it had run in a commercial, it happens to be true.

Ron Johnson Pays Half As Much In Taxes As He Claims

Ron Johnson told George Will recently that he longed to go back to the Reagan years, when, "for a brief moment we were 72% free." This is, of course, a reference to the top Federal income rate being 28% during the Reagan years. (Which was 60% before Reagan and is now... SHUDDER... 35% and is set to go up to...SHUDDER... 39.6% next year.)

There is a big hole in Johnson's story though: He's not paying anywhere near 35% of his income toward Federal taxes. In fact, he's paying about half that number.

Ron Johnson had a gross income of at least 1.46 million in 2009 -- it was probably much more, but since he has refused to release his taxes, we don't know for sure. The only information we have to go on is his senate personal financial disclosure forms. But, for the sake of argument, let's assume that his gross income was actually 1.46 million. Of that, 1.46 million, only $650,000 (his salary from the plastic company) was taxed at the highest income tax rate of 35%.

The rest of his reported $230,000 was almost entirely from stock dividends, which are not taxed like ordinary income.

Best moment in gov debate

Tom Barrett telling Scott Walker that Jim Doyle isn't running, and if Walker wanted to run against Doyle he should have done it four years ago, instead of dropping out at the behest of the Republican party bosses.

There's only one person here who's run against Jim Doyle, Barrett said (I'm paraphrasing), and I ran against him eight years ago because I thought I could do a better job.  The party bosses tried to get me to quit, too, but I had the courage of my convictions.

Unlike you, Scott Wanker, you weenie.  (That's a paraphrase,  too.)

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