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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 47,595

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RIP Tyler, 1976-2015

We lost a loved one this week.

After many years struggling with mental illness, Tyler chose to end his own life.

A gentle man who loved nature and tried to never hurt anyone or anything. A man who despite being a graduate of a prestigious Ivy League university, chose to work at an animal shelter and at a cooperative farm. A tireless advocate for food security for the poor.

Tyler has finally found the peace he could not find in life. We love and miss you Tyler.


Paul Ryan: Why He's Everything That's Wrong With The GOP (The Progressive)


But the idea that Paul Ryan is the answer to the GOP’s troubles is not a healthy sign. A closer look at Ryan shows that he embodies many of the problems plaguing the GOP, causing them to alienate voters and lose elections.


1. Before he put on his “budget genius” costume, Ryan came to power by representing the “partial-birth abortion” crowd, running a lurid campaign with heavy support from the most extreme anti-women’s-health wing of the Republican party in Wisconsin. His Todd Akin-like comments on rape might please his base, but are a big turnoff to women.

2. Ryan moved on from his abortion obsession to become an advocate for Social Security privatization and a chief cheerleader for the War in Iraq - neither of which have turned out to be winners with the public.

3. Ryan’s next stab at seizing national recognition was his famous budget blueprint which earned a loud and public rebuke from Catholic leaders for its harshness toward the poor. That policy document, which landed with a thud when Ryan first produced it, was revived as evidence of his brilliance within the Republican party establishment when he became Mitt Romney’s running mate in 2012. Ultimately, Ryan’s budget vision helped lead to Romney’s defeat, cementing the ticket’s image as a campaign for the 1%, trickledown economics, big tax breaks for corporations and the rich, and austerity for the poor.

Wisconsin: Walker Adds Another Kangaroo To Wisconsin Supreme Court

This is for the seat held by the late Justice N. Patrick Crooks.


Three people - Joseph Donald, JoAnne Kloppenburg and Rebecca Bradley announced their candidacy for the seat. The primary will be in February and the general election will be in April. As predicted, Walker announced today, just months before the election, that he was appointing his political ally, Bradley, to finish the rest of Crooks term:

Gov. Scott Walker announced Friday he is appointing to the Wisconsin Supreme Court conservative appeals court Judge Rebecca Bradley, who is already running to fill the vacant seat. Walker made the announcement at a news conference at the Capitol.

Walker previously appointed Bradley to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court in 2012 and the 1st District Court of Appeals earlier this year. She won re-election to the circuit court position in 2013. He said his criteria for the selection included integrity, an understanding of the law and recognition that the role of a justice is to uphold the constitution and laws of Wisconsin.
This is Bradley's third political appointment in as many years, despite her alarming lack of judicial qualifications.

The two years that Bradley served as circuit court judge was at children's court in Milwaukee, and she didn't even oversee all the types of cases that are there, much less any other type of court proceeding. She didn't even serve for five months as the politically appointed appellate court judge before Walker gave her another bump up today.

That awkward moment when ...

That awkward moment when there are 17 presidential candidates and yet not one Republican wants to be Speaker of the House.


It's legal to take "upskirt" photos in Wisconsin

from my email ...

This year, in my beloved state of Wisconsin, a man was arrested for secretly recording up the skirts of more than 300 unsuspecting women. This act of photographing women’s body parts without their consent is actually common enough that it has a name: “upskirting”.

Despite the silly word, it’s no laughing matter. Victims of this act experience similar effects as those of other sexual assaults, namely fear, guilt, and shame. Wisconsin doesn’t have any laws on the books to punish upskirting. Perpetrators have been given the very petty charges of disorderly conduct, invasion of privacy, and sometimes nothing at all -- if the victim is wearing the “right” kind of undergarment when the photo is taken, the photo is considered perfectly legal under current state statutes.

This is obviously absurd and must be changed. A bipartisan bill to address this issue recently passed the Wisconsin State Assembly, but it has stalled in the Senate. The bill would create a new charge and punishment for upskirting, one that fits the crime.

Please join me in calling on Wisconsin state senators to schedule and pass AB8-SB4. Upskirting goes far beyond invading privacy, and should be treated with the gravity of other sexual assaults. It is non-consensual, unwanted sexual misconduct, and should be punished as such by law enforcement and prosecutors.

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign Denounces Republican Plan to Smash the GAB


MADISON—The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign blasted the bill (link is external) the Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature just introduced to do away with the Government Accountability Board, the state’s ethics and elections watchdog. “It’s a disgraceful move, constructed on a pile of lies, and it’s a recipe for more scandal,” said Matt Rothschild, executive director of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign. “For months now, the Republican leadership has been issuing one lie after another to discredit this agency,” Rothschild said.

“It’s a lie that the staff was going behind the backs of the judges who govern the agency. The second phase audit by the Legislative Audit Bureau proves that, as do the statements of the judges themselves,” Rothschild said. For example, Judge Gerald Nichol, chair of the board, wrote in a letter to the leaders of the legislature on Sept. 29: “I can attest that the Board makes its own decisions guided by the law, not partisan politics.”

“It’s a lie that the Government Accountability Board exceeded its authority in the John Doe investigation. It has such authority by statute and by court ruling,” Rothschild said. He cited Wis. Stat. 5.05 (2m), which states: “The board shall investigate violations of laws administered by the board.” And he cited the Barland decision of the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, which stated that “the GAB has joint enforcement authority with elected district attorneys to investigate violations of the state election laws.”

“It’s a lie that it’s unaccountable to the people,” Rothschild added. “Here’s how the judges on the Board are chosen: First, a panel of appellate judges chooses several retired judges as potential board members to nominate. From that list of nominees, the governor appoints one of the retired judges, and then the state senate confirms the appointment. So there is accountability through each of the three branches of government. And by the way, Gov. Walker appointed or reappointed five of the six current members of the Board, so it’s kind of silly for him or other Republican leaders to be complaining that they’re unaccountable.”

They went to great heights to make this movie ...

Saw "Everest" last night. Decent flick, great scenery, quite informative. Would have enjoyed more of Kathmandu.

Only gripe is all the exposed faces in (supposedly) sub-zero temperatures, but I guess no one would know which actor was which if they were all appropriately covered.

The TPP: Another Trade Scam (The Progressive Magazine)


A cabal of global corporations and their friends in the Obama Administration are waging a wholesale assault on our jobs, environment, health, and even our people’s sovereignty. Their weapon is a scheme hidden inside a scam. Called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the scam is their claim that TPP is nothing but another free trade deal that ties our economy to Brunei, Vietnam, and nine other nations around the Pacific Rim. But of the twenty-nine chapters in this deal, only five are about tariffs and other trade matters.

The real deal is in the twenty-four other chapters that create a supranational scheme of secretive, private tribunals that corporations from any TPP nation can use to challenge and overturn our local, state, and national laws. All a corporate power has to do to win in these closed proceedings is to show that a particular law or regulation might reduce its future profits.

This is big stuff, amounting to the enthronement of a global corporate oligarchy over us. Yet it’s been negotiated among trade officials of the twelve countries and 500 corporate executives in strict secrecy. In March, the President arranged a briefing to woo House Democrats to support the TPP. But he classified the briefing as a secret session, meaning the lawmakers are not allowed to tell you, me, or anyone else anything about it.

A gag order on Congress? Holy Thomas Paine! The only reason Obama is desperate to hide his oligarchic scheme from us is because he knows the people would overwhelmingly oppose it. So he’s resorting to government by sucker punch. It’s cowardly—and disgraceful.

The graphic is perfect.

Great Scott Walker Quotes


"I hate big Government, " says Scott Walker who ordered his personal police force to arrest anyone who sang or held a sign inside the publicly funded Capitol building. These illegal and Unconstitutional actions just cost the taxpayers over $245,000 in legal fees.

"I really hate Government that does not work." says Scott Walker, who spent 1 day in Wisconsin in July(for our friends at RightWisconsin, there are 31 days in July).

" So when they say we either have to raise taxes or cut services, it's actually a false choice." says the Governor who has to delay major road work projects in Wisconsin because we do not have the money, thus costing Wisconsin taxpayers over $160 Million wasted dollars.

Says the Governor who was Chairman of the Board of his signature "jobs"agency, where he gave out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to donors and received little to nothing in return.

Wisconsin: Tues. Oct 6: Hearing on Wisconsin civil service and Vigil to honor Marty Beil


A public hearing on Tuesday, October 6, 2015, in Room 411 South of the State Capitol.

-The public hearing will start at 8:30 a.m., and recess at 11:50 a.m., for partisan caucuses.

-The committee will reconvene at 2:15 p.m., and take testimony until 6:00 p.m., that evening.

-Depending on the number of registrants wishing to speak, the Chairman may find it necessary to utilize a time limit for each speaker. The time limit may be adjusted throughout the public hearing in order to accommodate the number of registrants.

-In the event that more speakers register than time permits to speak, their registrations of speaking for or against the legislation will be changed to registering for or against.

For more info. on the proposed changes, see Joanne Brown’s blog post “End of civil service”


Real wick candles are not allowed to be set aflame on the Wisconsin Capitol grounds. You can bring a flashlight or else purchase electric candles at discount stores.

Candlelight Vigil
Tuesday 5PM
October 6
Wisconsin State Capitol
2 East Main Street, Madison, Wisconsin

“We lost not only a champion of the people today, but a brother, Marty Beil.

To honor him please join me for a candlelight vigil Tuesday Oct. 6th starting at 5:00 on the Capitol Steps (of course coinciding with a hearing to kill civil service, because of course Marty wouldn’t have it any other way!)

Be sure to bring a candle and wear your AFSCME Green!

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