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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 42,329

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Unlike Jeb Bush, Scott Walker won't make emails public

Well, Walker no doubt has more ugly shit to hide. Bush knew better than to put his dishonesty in email.


Gov. Scott Walker won't follow Jeb Bush's lead by voluntarily releasing all of his emails from his first term in statewide office. "I don't see any reason why to do that," Walker said at a Milwaukee press event on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, Bush said he would make public some 250,000 emails from his two terms as Florida's governor and publish a new e-book in the "interest of transparency." Bush made the announcement a day before, saying he will "actively explore the possibility of running for president."


Of course, thousands of Walker's emails have already been made public as part of a secret criminal investigation of his aides and associates during his time as Milwaukee County executive. But those records cover the period only up until November 2010, when Walker won the governor's seat the first time. Last year, additional emails were released — some accidentally and some intentionally — as a result of a federal lawsuit challenging a second John Doe probe of the Walker campaign and conservative political groups in Wisconsin.

Those records showed an out-of-state company hoping to set up a mine in northern Wisconsin gave $700,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a nonprofit closely tied to Walker, during the 2011 and 2012 recall elections. Walker has said he did not solicit the money and doesn't think he knew about the donations.

Nate Silver calls 2016 for Jeb Bush

By a 5-4 vote. Actually he only polled Justice Scalia.

Hillary Clinton not aware that the US already has laws banning torture.


“There’s no doubt that at home and abroad America is at our best when our actions match our values,” Clinton said as she was honored at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights gala in Midtown Manhattan.

“Yes the threat of terrorism is real and urgent - scores of children were just murdered in Pakistan. Beheadings in the Middle East. A siege in Sydney. These tragedies not only break hearts but should steel our resolve and underscore that our values are what set us apart from our adversaries. I am proud to have been a part of the Obama administration that banned illegal renditions and brutal interrogations.

“Today we can say again, in a loud and clear voice, the United States should never condone and practice torture anywhere in the world,” said Clinton, adding that it should be reflected in “both policy and law … if that requires new legislation, then Congress should work with President Obama to quickly enact it and it should not be an issue of partisan politics.”

This is at least a step forward from last week, when she said torture was OK if it was "very rare".

In her own words it's OK if it's rare, and we shouldn't prosecute the torturers...

In her own voice ...


Where is Hillary Clinton on torture?
12/09/14 04:32 PM By Alex Seitz-Wald

Now a private citizen herself, Clinton has not spoken often on the subject since stepping down as secretary of state early last year. But during a conversation at the Council on Foreign Relations sponsored by HBO in June, Clinton called for the release of the Senate report, but said she did not support prosecuting CIA interrogators.

“I am hopeful it will get released,” Clinton said of the report, which was hung up in negotiations between the administration and Senate. “I was not one of those who thought it was necessarily wise to ignore everything that had happened. I thought we needed more transparency … I think the American people deserve to see it.”

But Clinton continued that she “didn’t want people to be criminally prosecuted, people who were doing what they were told to do, that there were legal opinions supporting what they were told to do.”

In new her memoir about her time helming State, “Hard Choices,” Clinton adds: “There was no denying that our country’s approach to human rights had gotten somewhat out of balance” after the Bush administration. She also praised Obama’s order “prohibiting the use of torture or official cruelty,” using the term the Bush administration refused to use for the harsh interrogation tactics.


In an editorial board meeting, she added that there “are very rare” circumstances when an exception to the no torturing rule would be needed, and “if they occur, there has to be some lawful authority for pursuing it.”


Tiny religious sect takes control of American government.

But if we pay people more it will kill jobs and cause prices to go up. Right?

Voucher school receives $4.6M in taxpayer dollars; only 2% of its students read at grade level.

The looting of our public school budgets continues ...


The two schools this year stand to receive at least another $4.6 million in voucher payments if enrollment holds.


Academic performance at the schools is very low. Last fall at the academy, only 2% of the students could read on grade level. Only 3% could do math on grade level.


This fall, the DPI received complaints via email from a former Ceria M. Travis employee who named several staff members teaching in 2013-'14 who did not have bachelor's degrees. She said the academy had sent DPI degree credential information for employees who weren't actually the ones teaching. "The teachers in K4-1st grade don't have a bachelor's degree," the former employee wrote to the DPI. "Instead they lied and said that staff members who do have degrees were teaching the class."

Another former employee said she once witnessed an on-site visit by the accrediting team where employees with degrees, such as a security person, were ushered into a class to act as a teacher while the person teaching, who didn't have a degree, was told to act as an assistant.

Wisconsin: Government Accountability Board not corrupt enough. Republicans plan makeover.

I've posted previously about the GAB, especially Director Kevin Kennedy's efforts in lobbying FOR the use of Diebold electronic voting machines and outsourcing parts of our elections to Accenture (See Andersen Consulting, Enron).

I've posted about how the GAB allowed Kathy Nichols to create her own vote-counting system in Waukesha County.

But even those bad behaviors aren't enough for our Republicans in Madison. They'll "reform" the GAB all right, and further erode the agency's ability to assure clean and fair election.


“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.


In other activities of the GAB, the audit found over 90% of lobbying groups and over 85% of campaigns filed required reports on time. But GAB staff did not consistently track or enforce penalties for late reports and violations of lobbying laws. Staff did not have written policies when making exceptions to the assessment of penalties. The oversight of the GAB could not be completely evaluated by the LAB because an Attorney General’s opinion this summer limited release of documents to the auditors. The action of the Attorney General affected auditors’ ability to review complaints investigated by the GAB. Over 1,900 complaints were received but auditors could examine less than a third of these complaints.


Administrative rules took a backseat to agency duties at a time of great demand on the GAB’s strained human resources. During this time period, the GAB repeatedly asked for additional staff and was turned down by the Governor. More than a quarter of its state funds were cut since 2011. At the same time the GAB faced unprecedented challenges: historic recall elections; the enactment of 31 separate pieces of new legislation and lawsuits affected the agency, including several over photo ID. To make compliance more difficult, a 2011 law changed the length and complexity of the rule-making process leaving many agencies – not just the GAB - with delayed or eliminated permanent rules.


But lawmakers can’t starve the agency, load it with additional work, and then complain staff isn’t doing the job fast enough.

I mean why should the media bother to cover a couple hundred crackpots?

Published on Dec 13, 2014
View from 6th Ave and 29th St. Approximately 90 minutes of footage. #MillionsMarchNYC

Stopping by a woods on a snowy (and foggy) evening ...

Warm, moist air moved into Wisconsin over the weekend, creating dense fog over the cooler snow. Took this shot in the late afternoon at Hartman Creek State Park.

Wisconsin: The next Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin? Jeff Smith interview.


After the disastrous results of the 2014 election here in Wisconsin, many Democrats here in Wisconsin have called for Democratic Party of Wisconsin Chairman Mike Tate to step down from his position. Many (including yours truly) have criticized Tate for what’s seen as a lack of success in helping Democrats across Wisconsin win elections, and as a result a number of individuals have begun preparing to challenge Tate when his term as DPW Chair is up. It’s been speculated Tate may not seek reelection when his current term is up, but there’s no doubt that whether Tate seeks another term or not there will be no shortage of candidates vying to replace him.

One such candidate is former Democratic State Rep. Jeff Smith of Eau Claire (pictured, above), who told me during a recent conversation that he’s “pretty far down the road” towards formally announcing his candidacy and that he expects to make a decision shortly after the holidays. Smith noted that while other individuals have expressed interest in vying to become the next DPW Chair, he believes his abilities and experience make him the most well-prepared of anyone considering a run for DPW Chair.


Smith also cited his strong roots in a largely rural part of the state as something that would benefit the party, given the difficulty the Democratic Party has had in bringing rural voters who largely support Democratic Party issues into the fold. “Voters like the issues that Democrats support,” Smith noted, “but they still vote Republican,” adding that the Democratic Party of Wisconsin needs to figure out how to engage and educate those voters to bring them back into the Democratic Party “tent.” Smith added that it’s his belief the Democratic Party has focused on winning votes in urban centers for too long, and he noted that in his experience staff were often sent by the Democratic Party to work in the Party’s Eau Claire office with orders to only send volunteers or do phone banking in the city of Eau Claire while largely ignoring the rural areas surrounding the city.

“The Party can’t continue to win by engaging urban voters only,” Smith told me, adding that the Democratic Party can win rural voters back by listening to them. “All people want is someone to listen to them,” Smith said, noting that the results of referendums in which Wisconsinites opposed corporate personhood and the idea that money equals speech, supported the state accepting federal Medicaid funds for BadgerCare, and supported an increase in the minimum wage show that Democrats are on the right side of the issues but simply lack the right message to convince voters to vote for the Democrats who will address those issues. As an example
Smith cited the fact that many rural voters care deeply about preserving their community schools, as many small rural communities are faced with the prospect of losing their community schools due to education funding cuts. “Many people are concerned about losing their community schools, yet they continue to vote for the very Republicans who cut education funding,” Smith said.
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