Saturday, March 05, 2011

Koch’s “ Stand With Walker “ Bus Tour…

    ….is just another piece of fodder for the media.

    Once again, as mswsm points out over at DKos, the numbers for the supporters which Walker had on this tour just don’t add up. That is, if you do not count the wildlife which makes up more of Northern Wisconsin than people do.

The conservative television channel in Milwaukee announced the fabulous "Stand with Walker" bus tour -- disclaimer and all:

The conservative group Americans for Prosperity will take a pro-Scott Walker blitz on the road beginning Thursday. . . .

"They can't necessarily come to Madison and protest," said Matt Seaholm. "We're hitting everywhere. with the purpose of letting people know that there are people in Wisconsin that are supporting Scott Walker and what the Republicans in the legislature are doing. . . .

Americans for Prosperity is funded by outside donors like the billionaire Koch brothers, who also contributed heavily to Scott Walker's run for governor.

   Now, let us move forward to 2 days after this tour started.

Day 2
This morning in Green Bay area:

The group stopped in Ashwaubenon Friday morning, but they were met with some opposition.

A handful of Walker supporters with Americans for Prosperity are taking their efforts behind the wheel and traveling around the state.

The group's leadership includes David Koch. The businessman contributed to Walker's campaign and is the executive vice president of Koch Industries. He's the chairman of the AFP's foundation board. . . .

Coordinators say so far since the tour began, they've had around a thousand people sign a "Stand for Walker" petition. And they expect that number to at least double by the time they reach Madison on Sunday.

   By the end of this tour, organizers were claiming some 150,000 signatures on a petition which shows support for Governor Walker, but the numbers do not calculate correctly.

So hours after leaving the Green Bay Area with 1,000 signature in support of Walker and hoping for 2,000 by Sunday's arrival in Madison they stopped in Wausau to see 200 supporters. Please note that in 2000 Wausau had a population of 38,426. Then hours later they landed in Rhinelander with 115,000 signatures.

Yep . . . just reported!

Seaholm says the group has a petition with over 115,000 signatures supporting the Governor.

He says Governor Walker has tremendous support throughout the state.

Now Rhinelander is a lovely town and one of the "major" locals north of Green Bay, but it only had 7,574 in July 2009. So where did the 114,000 signitures come from?

Let me rub our collective lying eyes!!!!!

Updated by mswsm at Sat Mar 5, 2011

UPDATE: Rudy VA said in the comments that "Online petition at stand with which is where they claim the 100k+ number. Link includes what appears to be a letter from AFP-W with the details. The petition itself allows for sign ins from any state, but no way to tell if the 100k number is pared down from the world-wide number, or if it IS the world-wide number.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Saturday Satire

   No comments on the weeks events. We will just let the late night talk show hosts say it all.

Conan O'Brien :

"Moammar Gadhafi gave a rambling speech that lasted nearly three hours. So now we know where all of Charlie Sheen's cocaine went."

"People from all 50 states and 14 foreign countries have donated pizzas to the protesters in Wisconsin. Someone asked, "How can we fix things in Wisconsin?" and someone else said, "I know. More cheese."

"Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi described President Obama as an African of Arab and Muslim descent. After the speech, Gadhafi was given his own show on Fox News."

Jimmy Fallon:

"Bristol Palin is releasing a book called 'Not Afraid of Life.' Meanwhile, Sarah Palin is releasing a book called, 'I'm Afraid of Books.'"

"Sarah Palin is going to a political conference in India next month. Palin said she's loved India ever since she saw 'Hoosiers.'"

Jay Leno:

"Economists say that with all this unrest, gas prices could rise to $5 a gallon. The good news is that instead of this money going to ruthless America-hating dictators, it will go to ruthless America-hating democracies."

"The king of Saudi Arabia announced that he is giving his people $37 billion in subsidies and payments. It's not a stimulus package, it's a 'don't overthrow me' package."

"Sarah Palin is going to India to make a speech. She’s hoping to visit some of those Indian casinos she’s heard so much about."

What Walker And Republicans Really Want?

Original Article

Fri Mar 04, 2011

Are US Workers Headed Toward Sweatshop Labor Wages?  by cc

GOP agenda is becoming blatantly clear. Reduce the Middle Class wages, benefits & pride so low that they'll literally work for sweatshop labor wages. GOP absolutely INSIST on Tax CUTS for Top 1% and CUTS in Middle & Lower Class jobs, wages & benefits.

Here's the Deal:
Corporation's hire Lobbyists to Collectively Bargain politicians, whose campaigns they own & fund, to garner awesome Corporate Deals. 

As a result of the Corporate Lobbyist's Collective Bargaining Deals, Corporations are REWARDED to ship US jobs to sweatshops overseas. Here are just some of the

Partial Corporate Lobbyist's Collective Bargaining Deals:
* Corps get more than $92 BILLION of Taxpayer cash YEARLY.
----- Digest that, Corporations who send US jobs to sweatshops overseas GET more than $92 Billion in Taxpayer cash YEARLY.

* Same Corps pay little to ZERO in Federal & State Income Tax

* Same Corps get all the perks of "living" & having their headquarters in the USA - Income Tax Free

* Same Corps Quarterly post Historic Record Profits

* Same Corps pay their management Millions, sometimes BILLIONS, in yearly bonuses.

* Same Corps, in 2008, got $1 TRILLION of Taxpayer cash to bailout greedy bankers & Corps who caused a Global Economic MELTDOWN - ($1 Trillion -Interest FREE & Tax Free)

* Same Corps, in 2008, got BILLIONS of Taxpayer Cash when they played Russian Roulette with the Workingman's home mortgage and LOST ALL THE WORKINGMAN'S MONEY on their Derivative Wall Street Scam.           Read More...

Palm Trees anyone?

Friday Funnies, Early Edition: American Taliban

   This time of the day is a great time to poke fun at the Tea Party and their moron supporters, so HERE are some of the signs that supporters have carried while marching around as if they have common sense. By the way, the Tea Party is at its 2 year anniversary, so send them something intelligent to read or watch.







Thursday, March 03, 2011

About Governor Walker And His Anti-Union Position

Tom Jensen/PPP:

Wisconsin closely divided, but against Walker

On the biggest picture question: do you side with Governor Walker or do you side with the public employee unions 51% of voters in the state go with the unions to 47% who stand with the Governor. On another broad question: do you side more with Governor Walker or with the Democrats in the state Senate, 52% of voters go with the Senate Democrats to 47% who go for Walker. And perhaps the clearest indication that Walker has lost a majority of the voters in the state in this conflict, if only a narrow majority, is that 52% of voters now disapprove of him to only 46% who like the job he's doing. Those numbers are basically the inverse of last fall's election results.

When it comes to broader questions about rights for public employees in Wisconsin the margins are less narrow. 57% of voters think that workers should have the right to collectively bargain for wages, benefits, and working environment rules compared to only 37% who think they shouldn't have those rights. And 55% of voters think that public employees should have at least the same rights they have now, if not more, compared to only 41% who believe they should have fewer rights.

E.D. Kaine:

I’m not sure what all is entailed in ‘loving’ unions. I think it’s more important to understand the benefits unions provide not just their members, but workers across the board. Unions may have all sorts of problems – just like any other organization – but unions do have a legitimate role, and it goes beyond wages and benefits. Union membership provides the middle class with more opportunities to become politically involved and powerful. That’s why it’s so important for people like Walker to bust the teachers unions, and why his poor calculation in this matter may end up helping the Democrats in ways the Democrats never could have helped themselves.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Walker Gives budget Address To A Full House…

   …. but he is so damned popular that he had to bus in some supporters to make himself look good for television (FoxNews)?


Wed Mar 02, 2011

Suppressing Dissent: An Inside View of WI Governor Walker's Budget Address      by lil bird

This afternoon Governor Scott Walker gave his budget address, in which he presented his proposed budget for the next two years. This comes on the tail of the union-busting bill that has had hundreds of thousands of Wisconsinites out in the streets and occupying the Capitol for the past two weeks.

Walker seems to like to pick a fight with the people of Wisconsin, but like many tyrants he goes to great lengths to pretend that the public is on his side. I thought folks might be interested in the reports I heard from the few members of the general public let into the chamber where the address was given.

The Capitol has been on lockdown for the last few days, with very limited entry and exit and thousands of people outside trying to get in. Most of us on the inside have been here for days, and we're certainly not here because we are Scott Walker fans. So, to provide a friendly audience for his speech today Walker bussed in a crowd of right-wing supporters to pack the chamber.

The Governor apparently wanted to be able to claim that members of the general public were also allowed to attend, because he had officers hand-pick 20 clean-cut, mostly older individuals out of the crowd outside to receive special passes to watch his speech. These people were shepherded inside, in some cases without being told where they were being taken.

When they reached the chamber in which the governor's address was to be delivered, these individuals were not offered any of the regular seating already filled to capacity with nearly 200 right-wing activists. Instead they were put in a row of uncomfortable folding chairs behind the normal seating area, and surrounded by state troopers who watched them like hawks the entire time.

After the pledge of allegiance and a prayer, the Governor began his address. The rest of the audience cheered and applauded throughout the whole thing, but those in the back were told not to so much as make any expression in response to what the Governor was saying. One middle-aged woman I spoke with said she was very frustrated with being herded into the chamber and having to listen to the address without being permitted to react in any way, especially given the loud cheering allowed for everyone else.

Near the end of the speech everyone rose to their feet, with most of those in the chamber applauding wildly. One woman in the back stood up with the rest of the crowd but booed softly, at which point the state troopers surrounded her and told her she had to leave. The troopers also rounded up two other nearby individuals who had not been doing anything besides standing, and told them they would be escorted out as well.

One of these two asked whether the address was over, and when she was told that it was not, she said that she had a ticket and wanted to stay. The officer refused. She asked what she had done wrong, but rather than answer the trooper grabbed her, twisted her arm painfully behind her back and told her she was under arrest. He would not tell her why she was being detained, and when she asked if someone could bring her jacket along as she was led out, he refused. She and the others were escorted from the chamber, and then from the building.

Another person I spoke with was one of several who stood and turned their backs at the end of the speech in silent protest. They were also forcibly removed from the chamber by the state troopers, who roughly pushed one short woman because she was not moving fast enough.

That was the situation inside the chamber during the Governor's address today - members of the public being used as props for the Governor's speech but manhandled and arrested at the slightest sign of disagreement. However, despite the Governor's iron-fisted enforcement of approval within his audience, those of us inside the building, but shut out of the chamber, chanted and beat drums so loudly throughout the speech that we could be heard within it. So despite the Governor's best efforts, the voice of the people still made it to the Governor's ears - I only hope that it makes it into the media coverage as well.

    FoxNews will have a great spin on all of the public support that Walker had at this little charade, bet on it.

House Republicans Vote For Big-Oil Subsidies

Tue Mar 01, 2011

House GOP votes unanimously to protect big oil subsidies     by Joan McCarter for Daily Kos

So check this out.

oil/gas donations to congress

That helps to explain this: 0: Number of Republicans Who Voted To Cut Taxpayer Subsidies for Big Oil.

With Big Oil raking in record profits, House Democrats offered a Motion to Recommit to the House Republican short-term spending bill this afternoon making a responsible cut to the budget: putting an end to taxpayer-funded subsidies to large oil companies. Repealing these subsidies would save taxpayers tens of billions over the next decade and even ex-Shell CEO John Hofmeister agrees saying “with high oil prices, such subsidies are not necessary.”

Rep. William Keating (D-MA) offered the motion on the House floor saying “let’s stop sending taxpayers’ money to the most profitable companies in the world.”

...Republicans voted unanimously against the motion, defeating it by a vote of 176-249.

That's your GOP. They're willing to cut that deficit on the backs of the poor, the elderly, women, the middle class, public employees . . . For all of us, it's "so be it" as jobs disappear. But they sure as hell won't endanger the massive profits of their Big Oil friends.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

David Koch: An Op-Ed Line Of Crap…

    ….which is always to be expected by this billionaire conservative moron who wishes to kill off what is left of the middle class and the poor, to an extent. He and his brother would still need the poor workers in America to keep their company going.

   Anyway, the asshat did an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal which is basically his instructions to the lesser equals in the land. His wish list of things that American companies should do with the help of the congress, GOP governors, and whatever.

   Anonymous had a few things to say about Koch’s number crunching and the sources which he used.

    First Koch:

Years of tremendous overspending by federal, state and local governments have brought us face-to-face with an economic crisis. Federal spending will total at least $3.8 trillion this year—double what it was 10 years ago. And unlike in 2001, when there was a small federal surplus, this year's projected budget deficit is more than $1.6 trillion.

   I take it that Koch does not care for the help that government provides for the retired and the poor of America. Let’s not forget the medically needy either.

For many years, I, my family and our company have contributed to a variety of intellectual and political causes working to solve these problems. Because of our activism, we've been vilified by various groups. Despite this criticism, we're determined to keep contributing and standing up for those politicians, like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are taking these challenges seriously.

    Koch’s way of saying that that his familia has done its best to keep the American worker down and that thanks to Republican governors like Scott Walker, the familia can march forward towards victory over the lesser classes. The Koch clan would be more than happy to roll workers rights back a hundred years or so. Of course, all of that sacrifice that the Koch ilk are always spouting off about will not apply to the rich and infamous, only to you and I.


I'm very concerned with numbers and economics, personally, so let's evaluate some of the claims half of the dynamic duo has put into his op-ed:

Koch: "Federal data indicate how urgently we need reform: The unfunded liabilities of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid already exceed $106 trillion."

I haven't the slightest what "federal data" indicates anything in the slightest. However, I do know of a National Center for Policy Analysis article claiming this:

NCPA: "The 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports show the combined unfunded liability of these two programs has reached nearly $107 trillion in today's dollars!  That is about seven times the size of the U.S. economy and 10 times the size of the outstanding national debt."

So, what does the 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Report actually say? Well, it says the unfunded liability is only $5.3 trillion:

Trustees Report: "For the 75-year projection period, the actuarial deficit is 2.00 percent of taxable payroll, 0.30 percentage point larger than in last year’s report. The open group unfunded obligation for OASDI over the 75-year period is $5.3 trillion in present value, and is $0.9 trillion more than the measured level of a year ago."

Furthermore, the Trustees Report notes that even if you extend the horizon out to infinity, the deficit is only $15.1 trillion:

Trustees Report: "The values in table IV.B6 indicate that extending the calculations beyond 2083 adds $9.9 ($15.1 - $5.3) trillion in present value to the amount of the unfunded obligation estimated through 2083. That is, over the infinite horizon, the  OASDI open group unfunded obligation is projected to be $15.1 trillion."

And the final kicker? The report notes that the rather large jump in unfunded liability occurred largely because of the economic downturn:  more

Voting In Tampa Today

    Today ( Tuesday ) some voters will be heading to the local voting booths to cast their votes for the next mayor of Tampa, Florida. They will also be voting for the next crew of crooks for city council.

    Voting in a democracy would be a great thing if one had some competent candidates to vote for. That is not necessarily the case here in Tampa.

     I will go out and vote. For mayor? None of the above. City Council? None of the above.

    There is also a vote on a tax break for new businesses or those that expand. My vote on that issue? Hell No! Businesses that do not pay hardly any tax at all, if any, do not need another “ free ride “ card. Tax breaks for any business is not going to help with jobs here in Tampa or anywhere else. Get over it!

       On the mayor issue. If the voters in Tampa are idiot enough to re-elect former asswipe Dick Greco as mayor once again, you deserve the screwing that you will be getting.  Maybe I will vote for one  of the other lesser of the evils.

Monday, February 28, 2011

U.S. Budget Problems: View From The Chinese

  I bring this view from the Chinese about the upcoming United States budget cut battle only because the Chinese have a more honest look at the crisis than the Americans do.

Budgetary dead wood weighs down hard-hit US [ February 25 2011]

The struggle over the massive budget deficit and debt burden in the US is getting ugly.

US President Barack Obama has come up with a plan to start reining in the deficit, but the Republicans who now control the US Congress have raised the stakes by passing a more immediate package of cuts to government programs.

Top Republicans, some of whom are hoping to become the party's presidential candidate for the 2012 election, are trying to out-tough each other with their calls for bigger and bigger cuts.

If a compromise isn't reached in the US Congress, there could be a crisis as the government is only currently financed through March 4, and might be forced to shut down if the Republicans don't get what they want and play hardball in return by refusing to vote to extend funding.

Meanwhile, in states, cities and counties across the US the budget ax is also being sharpened. Hundreds of thousands of workers, from police officers to teachers and janitors, are set to lose their jobs as local governments seek to balance their budgets.

In Wisconsin, the Republican governor's decision not only to force the state's union workers to pay more for their pension and healthcare benefits but to restrict their union rights has led to days of mass protests and become a rallying point for the nation's battered labor unions.

Even in New York City, whose budget isn't in as bad shape as most, more than 6,000 jobs for teachers will disappear, the majority through firings. There will also be at least 100 senior citizen centers closed, 16,000 day care places for children will disappear, and a whole bunch of firehouses will be shut.

And yet, despite all this, just about anyone in the US who was brought up in China can't believe how generous the US government still is. Heavily subsidized housing, social security payments in retirement, virtually free healthcare for the old and the poor, and food stamps, are all available, especially in a city like New York. If you are at the right age and live in the right state you can still get a lot for free.

You see, despite all the noise from Washington and the state capitals, and the real pain that will be felt in some government programs, the parts of the budgets that are being slashed are unlikely to even begin to solve the country's deficit and debt problem.    read more


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Anonymous Targeting The Koch Brothers

     The group released a press statement this weekend saying that they are targeting the ultra-conservative Koch brothers because of their attempt to undermine democracy in the United States.

   Anonymous Press Release
press Release: #OpWisconsin
Dear Citizens of the United States of America,
It has come to our attention that the brothers, David and Charles Koch--the billionaire owners of Koch Industries--have long attempted to usurp American Democracy. Their actions to undermine the legitimate political process in Wisconsin are the final straw. Starting today we fight back.
Koch Industries, and oligarchs like them, have most recently started to manipulate the political agenda in Wisconsin.Governor Walker's union-busting budget plan contains a clause that went nearly un-noticed. This clause would allow the sale of publicly owned utility plants in Wisconsin to private parties (specifically, Koch Industries) at any price, no matter how low, without a public bidding process. The Koch's have helped to fuel the unrest in Wisconsin and the drive behind the bill to eliminate the collective bargaining power of unions in a bid to gain a monopoly over the state's power supplies.
The Koch brothers have made a science of fabricating 'grassroots' organizations and advertising campaigns to support them inane attempt to sway voters based on their falsehoods. Americans for Prosperity, Club for Growth and Citizens United are just few of these organizations. In a world where corporate money has become the lifeblood of political influence, the labor unions are one of the few ways citizens have to fight against corporate greed. Anonymous cannot ignore the plight of the citizen-workers of Wisconsin, or the opportunity to fight for the people in America's broken political system. For these reasons, we feel that the Koch brothers threaten the United States democratic system and, by extension, all freedom-loving individuals everywhere. As such, we have no choice but to spread the word of the Koch brothers' political manipulation, their single-minded intent and the insidious truth of their actions in Wisconsin, for all to witness.
Anonymous hears the voice of the downtrodden American people, whose rights and liberties are being systematically removed one by one, even when their own government refuses to listen or worse - is complicit in these attacks.
We are actively seeking vulnerabilities, but in the mean time we are calling for all supporters of true Democracy, and Freedom of The People, to boycott all Koch Industries' paper products. We welcome unions across the globe to join us in this boycott
to show that you will not allow big business to dictate your freedom.
We are Legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.
Koch Industries Brands

       As an added note, some Koch Industries products.

Teabagger Rick Scott: We Must Sacrifice…Except For Me?

  Many of you know how I often rag the citizens of the state of Florida for being stupid and/or ignorant. It is nice for me to see that I am not the only resident in the state who thinks that Florida voters are idiots.

2 FL Teabag Lawmakers Hire 60+ "assistants" at $100K+ each!!

by SemDem    Sun Feb 27, 2011 at 09:00

Note:  This is the Part VI of MY STUPID STATE, where I document what happens when a state full of Democrats elect a veto-proof right-wing legislature along with a teabag CRIMINAL governor to lead us. (Once again, yes--an actual bona-fide criminal who literally stole from seniors, who subsequently elected him.)  This is my documentation of my beloved but idiotic state of Florida's slow decent into chaos.

A few weeks ago, Teabag Goober Rick Scott released his budget, which guts children's healthcare and education, along with cuts in every state agency sans one--his own.  The bastard is requesting 420 staffers and a $343 million increase for his OWN budget.

Well of course, you say.  It's Rick Effin' Scott.  Shamelessly stealing from old people for years means its no big thing to kick kids in the teeth while simultaneously looking out for #1.

BUT it's just Rick right?

If only.  Our top two legislators:  the ethically-challenged FL Senate President Mike "Hair"idopolos and the power-hungry FL House Speaker Dean Cannon  where not to be outdone in douchebaggery.

These two teabaggers have backed up their man Rick Scott in every way...all the while crowing about cutting spending and lecturing Floridians on the need for painful sacrifice.

Of course, these lectures are only meant for the working class. You know, the freeloading teachers, firefighters, health-care workers, etc. I think we can all at least agree that we have way too many of these fat cats here in Florida.  And I for one am sick and tired of teachers always flaunting their wealth in my face.

Slash them all, I say.  And apparently they say as well.  (This, of  course, despite the fact that the Florida GOP has put the entire tax burden on the working class while the the super-rich and corporations get off "Scott" free thanks to loopholes and exemptions.  Spare the rich, gouge the workers... oh, and insult them while your doing it.  That's the teabagger way.)

Of course, to help them with all this fiscal belt-tightening, Dean and Mike obviously needed to hire a slew of highly-paid assistants.  These included 61 who are who are now paid over $100,000 each with taxpayer funds.

Naturally, the salaries went up across the board in this tea party legislature.  However, the top aides to Dean and Mike are now raking in $146K and $175K respectively.  In other words, 3.5 and 4 times respectively the amount Dean and Mike are paid!  (Cripes, if we really want to save money, Mike and Dean should quit and let these two "advisors" actually take over their damn jobs.  It would be a lot cheaper for us!)

The video above is laughable, but the money shot is when Cannon talks down to us simple-folk and explains that we obviously "don't understand the experience and qualifications" of the people who are getting these big six figure salaries.  Right--including his new highly-paid spokeswoman who apparently has NO prior experience.  (P.S., if she is the spokeswoman, why is she letting Dean defend her salary?  DAMMIT, Dean, what am I paying her for?) 

Hey Florida?


It's our turn to get angry.  The Awake the State rallies are across the state on March 8!  Click the link to find the closest near you!