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Member since: Thu Dec 23, 2004, 11:30 AM
Number of posts: 4,412

Journal Archives

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley: Act 10 is 'textbook' example of unconstitutionality


The majority opinion of the Wisconsin Supreme Court upholding a law curtailing collective bargaining rights of public employees dilutes the right to freedom of association by opening the door for the state to withhold benefits and punish individuals based on their membership in a labor union, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley and Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson say in a dissenting opinion.

The 28-page dissent (PDF, starting on page 102) in a lawsuit brought by Madison Teachers Inc. and Milwaukee Local 61 of AFL-CIO accuses the court majority of ignoring “over a century’s worth of jurisprudence and undermin(ing) a right long held sacred in our state.”

The majority of the court issued a long-awaited 90-page opinion Thursday — written by Justice Michael Gableman — that reverses Dane County Circuit Judge Juan Colas and declares Act 10, Gov. Scott Walker’s signature legislation, to be constitutional.

Bradley writes in the dissent that the majority ignores the plaintiffs’ claim that Act 10 infringes on the constitutional right to organize into a collective bargaining unit, and erroneously focuses on the right to bargain as a collective bargaining unit, and then determines no such right exists.

Cargill employees stunned by Milwaukee plant closure (approx 600 lose jobs!!)


MILWAUKEE-- Richard Rice says he never thought after 29 years and 11 months with the same company, he would lose his job.

"I don't know what I'm going to do now," he said, shaking, "this is just some shocking news all of the sudden."

Rice still remembers his first day working at Cargill.

"I started September 4, 1984," he recalled.

Next month would have marked Rice's 30th anniversary at the Milwaukee beef harvesting plant.

"They had it on the board that we were supposed to work Saturday this week," said Rice.

Rice says he was blindsided by Wednesday's announcement at the end of his shift.

"Just now, one hour notice," said Rice, stunned, "that's no 60 days there, 60-minutes!"

Rice is just one out of an estimated 600 employees who will lose their job when the plant closes on August 1.

No real forewarning! These employees had virtually no chance to prepare!! Horrible!!

Journal Communications sold to Ohio ownership group (Blogging Blue)


Earlier tonight new broke that Journal Communications, the parent company of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been purchased by the E.W. Scripps Co. out of Cincinnati.

Two storied media firms, Journal Communications Inc. of Milwaukee and E.W. Scripps Co. of Cincinnati, announced Wednesday evening an agreement to merge their broadcast operations while spinning off their newspapers into a separate company.

Under the deal, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel will serve as the flagship of a new public company, Journal Media Group, which will be headquartered in Milwaukee.

Meanwhile, Journal Communications’ broadcast assets, including WTMJ radio and television, will be folded into Scripps, with the headquarters in Cincinnati. The E.W. Scripps Co. name will be retained and the firm will remain controlled by the Scripps Family.

Leaked Docs: How a Secret FreedomWorks Donor Sought a Return on Its "Investments"


Internal records show how a Switzerland-based businesman oversaw millions in contributions to the tea party group.

For five years, FreedomWorks has proclaimed itself a leading tea party group fueling the conservative grassroots and fighting establishment Republicans. The organization touts its small-dollar donations from everyday activists, but it also has received substantial funding from corporate donors and one-percenters, most notably Richard Stephenson, a FreedomWorks board member who founded the Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Documents obtained by Mother Jones—including emails, financial records, and fundraising pitches—show that CTCA, in addition to Stephenson, gave money to FreedomWorks, and that Stephenson's son, Shawn, a Switzerland-based businessman, had a central role in overseeing the Stephenson family's support of FreedomWorks. The goal, Shawn Stephenson noted in a September 2010 email, was "creating a tsunami of change directed at DC that is and will be historic." But the documents also reveal that the Stephensons and CTCA expected real returns for the money they pumped into FreedomWorks.

In numerous emails, CTCA officials said they anticipated their FreedomWorks donations would produce tangible benefits for the company. For example, they hoped that FreedomWorks would help CTCA hone its online marketing and outreach skills. (CTCA is a privately held chain of hospitals that treats advanced-stage cancer patients. It reaches new customers largely via TV commercials and digital advertising.) As Shawn Stephenson put it in 2010, "I know there will be benefits that all of CTCA will gain through the work that Freedomworks is pursuing."

A spokeswoman for CTCA declined to comment for this story. FreedomWorks and Shawn Stephenson did not respond to detailed requests for comment.

Richard Stephenson, who founded CTCA in 1988, is a longtime supporter of libertarian causes. Described by a former FreedomWorks employee as "hard core" and a "true believer," Stephenson served on the board of Citizens for a Sound Economy, a corporate-funded advocacy group co-founded by the Koch brothers that fought the Clinton administration's health care reform plan and other initiatives. In 2003, due to internal bickering, Citizens for a Sound Economy split in two. The Kochs broke off to form Americans for Prosperity, and Stephenson, former House majority leader Dick Armey, and the libertarian activist Matt Kibbe launched FreedomWorks.

Louisiana Republican Flees Interview When Asked About Obama's Birthplace


A Republican congressional candidate fled her interview with a major election-forecasting group after being asked why she believed global warming was a hoax and whether President Barack Obama was born in the United States, according to a new report in The Washington Post.

In the Post, David Wasserman, the House editor at the Cook Political Report, detailed his strange encounter with the "frightening" and "fact-averse" Louisiana State Rep. Lenar Whitney.

Whitney, who is running for Louisiana's open sixth district, gained some prominence in June when she released a campaign video blasting global warming as a "hoax" and the press as "lamestream media." Wasserman said he pressed Whitney on the issue of climate change only to find her unable to answer his questions.

"But it’s not unreasonable to expect candidates to explain how they arrived at their positions, and when I pressed Whitney repeatedly for the source of her claim that the earth is getting colder, she froze and was unable to cite a single scientist, journal, or news source to back up her beliefs," he wrote.

Wasserman said he attempted to "change the subject" and ask whether she believed Obama was born in the United States. Her aides then ended the interview.

Alabama Officials: Pray That EPA Doesn't Disrupt God's Coal Industry


Two Alabama officials on Monday asked residents to pray that the state can help block the Environmental Protection Agency's new regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, AL.com reported.

Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh (pictured above) slammed the new regulations.

"We will not stand for what they are doing to our way of life in Alabama," she said during a press conference at the Alabama Coal Association.

Later in the conference, Cavanaugh asked residents to pray for the state.

"I hope all the citizens of Alabama will be in prayer that the right thing will be done," she said.

Cavanaugh, along with other Alabama officials, will testify at an EPA hearing on the regulations in Atlanta on Tuesday.

PSC commissioner-elect Chip Beeker said that Alabama's coal was created by God and charged that the government shouldn't interfere with God's plan, according to AL.com.

"Who has the right to take what God's given a state?" he asked.



Sending jobs away from the Badger State (MSNBC vid)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ran his entire campaign on the promise of bringing jobs back to his state, yet it turns out he’s been outsourcing jobs all along. Ed Schultz and St. Rep. Peter Barca discuss.


Sending jobs away from the Badger State (MSNBC vid)

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker ran his entire campaign on the promise of bringing jobs back to his state, yet it turns out he’s been outsourcing jobs all along. Ed Schultz and St. Rep. Peter Barca discuss.


Pakistan mob kills woman, girls, over 'blasphemous' Facebook post

Source: Reuters

(Reuters) - A Pakistani mob killed a woman member of a religious sect and two of her granddaughters after a sect member was accused of posting blasphemous material on Facebook, police said Monday, the latest instance of growing violence against minorities.

The dead, including a seven-year-old girl and her baby sister, were Ahmadis, who consider themselves Muslim but believe in a prophet after Mohammed. A 1984 Pakistani law declared them non-Muslims and many Pakistanis consider them heretics.

Police said the late Sunday violence in the town of Gujranwala, 220 km (140 miles) southeast of the capital, Islamabad, started with an altercation between young men, one of whom was an Ahmadi accused of posting "objectionable material".

"Later, a crowd of 150 people came to the police station demanding the registration of a blasphemy case against the accused," said one police officer who declined to be identified.

"As police were negotiating with the crowd, another mob attacked and started burning the houses of Ahmadis."

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/28/us-pakistan-islam-murder-idUSKBN0FX0GF20140728

Outside Money Drives a Deluge of Political Ads


WASHINGTON — An explosion of spending on political advertising on television — set to break $2 billion in congressional races, with overall spots up nearly 70 percent since the 2010 midterm election — is accelerating the rise of moneyed interests and wresting control from the candidates’ own efforts to reach voters.

In the first full midterm cycle where outside groups have developed a sophisticated infrastructure, the consequences are already becoming apparent: a harshly negative tone dictated by the groups and a nearly nonstop campaign season that could cause voters to tune out before Election Day.

“They have become a shadow party that’s effectively impossible to dislodge, and they will shape, if not control, the dialogue in key races and therefore nationally,” said Sheila Krumholz, the executive director for the Center for Responsive Politics. “All of this sets the stage for 2016.”

The phenomenon, which is playing out in races across the country, is particularly pronounced in several competitive Senate contests — in places like Alaska, Colorado and North Carolina, among others. In the Senate races alone, the number of political television spots from outside groups is nearly six times as much as it was at the same point in the 2010 cycle. In fact, more political ads from outside groups have already aired during the relatively slow summer period of the 2014 Senate contests — roughly 150,000 spots through mid-July — than ran throughout the entire 2010 Senate elections.
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