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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 43,209

Journal Archives

Ron Johnson: A Working Single Mom Should "Find Someone to Support Her"

This man is an idiot and should not be taken seriously. Sadly, he is a US Senator, whose role seems to be mainly embarassing the good citizens of Wisconsin.

http://www.uppitywis.org/blogarticle/ron-johnson-working-single-mom-should-find-someone-support-her

U.S. Senator Ron Johnson, you know-- the guy who got rich by finding someone to support him, has a pearl of wisdom for all the working single moms out there: If she wants to "increase her take-home pay” instead of having yet "another child out of wedlock" to increase her welfare windfall, she should instead "find someone to support her." (see video below)

Johnson is quick to admit that he stole this incredibly sexist riff comes from his uber-misogynist pal, U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman. But some things are so awesome, that you just have to use them yourself! Some variation of this single mom marrying the government instead of a marrying real man has become a central talking point of Johnson's stump speech as he gears up for re-election 2016.
Good luck with that, RoJo.

As anyone who works and has kids would expect, Johnson and Grothman's modern redux of the "welfare queen" has been rated "Mostly False" by Politifact and was given "Two Pinocchios" by the Washington Post's fact checker. Why? Because it is a ridiculous notion to suggest that when you’re a single parent, working below the poverty line, that you would intentionally have another child to get more government assistance and "increase your take-home pay." Obviously, food stamps, health care and other government assistance don't come close covering all the expenses that come with having a child and what Johnson and Grothman fail to grasp in their misleading calculations of "income," is that children actually eat and children actually get sick-- the "increased income" they're talking about comes in the form of increased benefits that all (in most cases literally) get eaten-up by the children.

Which is why, as we still struggle to climb out of the Great Recession, during which a record number of people (including families headed by single moms) needed help in the form of food stamps and other government assistance programs, the birth rate in the United States came to a screeching halt. It's also important to point out that in the current generation of children, more than half will spend at least part of their childhood in a single-parent household and although most of these single-parent households are headed by women, most single women with children don't receive government assistance that we typically think of as "welfare."

House GOP votes to increase oil spills in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma

https://twitter.com/TeaPartyCat

House GOP votes to increase oil spills in Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Oklahoma.


BREAKING: Mitt Romney tells donors he's considering a run for president in 2016, and has a "whole new series of gaffes planned".


FOX NEWS: Ronald Reagan created 22M jobs during the Clinton Presidency. Now Mitch McConnell has created 11M jobs for Obama.


After Obama proposed offering free tuition at community college, Ted Cruz introduced a bill raising community college tuition to $1 million.

Wisconsin: More on the legislature's hostile actions toward our public schools ...

from my email ...

Dear Friend of Education,

I am emailing you today to inform you of an important piece of legislation concerning education in Wisconsin that was recently scheduled to receive a public hearing in the Assembly Committee on Education (the Committee). The bill, 2015 Assembly Bill 1 (AB 1), is the first legislative order of business proposed by the Republican Party and has raised great concern with many education leaders statewide.

I wanted to make you aware of this proposal, and I would encourage you to testify at the public hearing scheduled for Wednesday, January 14th at 10 AM, or contact the members of this committee to convey your thoughts about this piece of legislation.

Find below a link to AB 1 on the state’s legislative website. Also find below a link to the Public Hearing Notice issued by Committee Chairman Jeremy Thiesfeldt as well as a listing of members who serve on the Committee.

As always, if you have any questions about this or any matter before the State Legislature, do not hesitate to contact my office.

Sincerely,

Dianne Hesselbein
State Representative
79th Assembly District

A copy of Assembly Bill 1 can be found here:
http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2015/related/proposals/ab1.pdf

A copy of the Public Hearing notice can be found here:
http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/raw/cid/1152050

Find below a list of members of the Assembly Committee on Education:

Rep.Thiesfeldt@legis.wisconsin.gov (Chair)
Rep.Kitchens@legis.wisconsin.gov (Vice Chair)
Rep.Jagler@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Knudson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Rodriguez@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Brooks@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Horlacher@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Murphy@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Quinn@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Hutton@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Pope@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Sinicki@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Genrich@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Barnes@legis.wisconsin.gov
Rep.Considine@legis.wisconsin.gov




Previous thread ...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/108413974

X-post from Wisconsin: School Superintendent writes staff about legislative action in Madison

from my email ...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dear Staff, an update of what our legislators have in mind.

The new year is upon us and our elected officials have begun discussion and action regarding how they can help prepare students of Wisconsin to compete at a world class level. This is an intention I, and all educators, should be supporting, in my opinion. Sounds great.

They are very concerned about accountability it seems. While I have never worked in a “failing school” during my career, they must be more prevalent state-wide than I am aware. Otherwise, why would this be the first priority order of business which the leadership takes up? They have expressed that they want to assure that any discussion of accountability incorporates accountability standards. Sounds great.

One surprising recommendation is to disregard the performance standards (as presented upon the School Report Card) agreed upon by the Accountability Design Team and replace them with letter grades. Relabeling schools that “meet expectations” as “C” letter schools could attach a negative connotation to schools which in fact are meeting performance expectations. Perhaps that is just an oversight which they will revisit.

A newly formed Academic Review Board is proposed to make decisions relative to identifying schools in Wisconsin which are deemed failing schools. There will be thirteen members on this team. As it stands, currently eight of these members will consist of representatives from voucher schools or charter schools or appointed by the leadership party, which is on record as strongly favoring both charter and voucher schools. Most likely another oversight.

The tests used to assist in the determination of success status will not be uniform. Apparently, all Public Schools will use the same test, however, non-public schools will get to choose from a menu of assessments for accountability purposes. It has been a while since I have had a test and measurement class, but I recall that if you are going to make comparisons between treatments it is imperative to have consistency relative to how scholars are assessed. Another oversight?

The definition of accountability, as reflected in early discussions, does not revolve around providing schools with the training, resources, and means for interventions relative to students who are not succeeding. Instead, public schools which receive failing grades from the Academic Review Board will be transitioned into for-profit Charter Schools. This decision will be made independent of the regard of local school boards. Private schools would be allowed to continue running, but would receive a funding penalty. Not the even playing field I was expecting to see.

Of course, nothing being discussed at this time is surprising and it is hoped that the recommendations will be impacted by the obvious. I am unsure how this accountability bill as outlined will lead to improving education in Wisconsin. Unless the assumption is that public schools are failing our communities and need to be replaced by private entities. It does not provide a means of fairly comparing public and non-public school performance. It does appear to be an avenue for “for-profit” schools to gain access to public funds. I am unaware of the history of success of such entities which would lend support to such an intent.

In truth, I have no concerns relative to the performance of our scholars on any form of assessment. We are a strong academic performing school district which will continue to demonstrate success in the future. We have highly educated, professional, and competent educators and support staff who have made a commitment to serving all students enrolled in our system. Like most public educators, I do not fear competition or comparisons when the playing field and means of comparison are uniform. I honestly believe we have an outstanding product which our pubic considers exceptional. I do have a concern regarding decisions impacting our public schools that have much more to do with political statements than that of providing a quality educational product. I do have concerns regarding “punishing” educators and schools for patterns of failure when such bias, inconsistency, and hidden intentions are apparent at the onset.

I am sure there will be much discussion to come!

Wisconsin School Superintendent writes staff about legislative action in Madison

from my email ...

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dear Staff, an update of what our legislators have in mind.

The new year is upon us and our elected officials have begun discussion and action regarding how they can help prepare students of Wisconsin to compete at a world class level. This is an intention I, and all educators, should be supporting, in my opinion. Sounds great.

They are very concerned about accountability it seems. While I have never worked in a “failing school” during my career, they must be more prevalent state-wide than I am aware. Otherwise, why would this be the first priority order of business which the leadership takes up? They have expressed that they want to assure that any discussion of accountability incorporates accountability standards. Sounds great.

One surprising recommendation is to disregard the performance standards (as presented upon the School Report Card) agreed upon by the Accountability Design Team and replace them with letter grades. Relabeling schools that “meet expectations” as “C” letter schools could attach a negative connotation to schools which in fact are meeting performance expectations. Perhaps that is just an oversight which they will revisit.

A newly formed Academic Review Board is proposed to make decisions relative to identifying schools in Wisconsin which are deemed failing schools. There will be thirteen members on this team. As it stands, currently eight of these members will consist of representatives from voucher schools or charter schools or appointed by the leadership party, which is on record as strongly favoring both charter and voucher schools. Most likely another oversight.

The tests used to assist in the determination of success status will not be uniform. Apparently, all Public Schools will use the same test, however, non-public schools will get to choose from a menu of assessments for accountability purposes. It has been a while since I have had a test and measurement class, but I recall that if you are going to make comparisons between treatments it is imperative to have consistency relative to how scholars are assessed. Another oversight?

The definition of accountability, as reflected in early discussions, does not revolve around providing schools with the training, resources, and means for interventions relative to students who are not succeeding. Instead, public schools which receive failing grades from the Academic Review Board will be transitioned into for-profit Charter Schools. This decision will be made independent of the regard of local school boards. Private schools would be allowed to continue running, but would receive a funding penalty. Not the even playing field I was expecting to see.

Of course, nothing being discussed at this time is surprising and it is hoped that the recommendations will be impacted by the obvious. I am unsure how this accountability bill as outlined will lead to improving education in Wisconsin. Unless the assumption is that public schools are failing our communities and need to be replaced by private entities. It does not provide a means of fairly comparing public and non-public school performance. It does appear to be an avenue for “for-profit” schools to gain access to public funds. I am unaware of the history of success of such entities which would lend support to such an intent.

In truth, I have no concerns relative to the performance of our scholars on any form of assessment. We are a strong academic performing school district which will continue to demonstrate success in the future. We have highly educated, professional, and competent educators and support staff who have made a commitment to serving all students enrolled in our system. Like most public educators, I do not fear competition or comparisons when the playing field and means of comparison are uniform. I honestly believe we have an outstanding product which our pubic considers exceptional. I do have a concern regarding decisions impacting our public schools that have much more to do with political statements than that of providing a quality educational product. I do have concerns regarding “punishing” educators and schools for patterns of failure when such bias, inconsistency, and hidden intentions are apparent at the onset.

I am sure there will be much discussion to come!

Snowshoeing today along the Waupaca River (pics)

The Tomorrow River flows out of Portage County in NE Wisconsin, fed by a wonderful aquifer. The water is as pure and clean as in the neighboring – and appropriately named – Crystal River. When the Tomorrow hits the Waupaca County line it becomes the Waupaca River, tumbling through the small city of Waupaca where it spawned mills nearly two centuries ago. The city still relies on small industry (and some not so small) if not on the hydro power the river once supplied.




This week Wisconsin has been blasted with frigid temperatures, combined with high winds to create brutal cold. Overnight temps were double-digit below zero and highs during the day capped out at plus-2. Wind chill has been as low as minus-35.

And we finally got a little more snow. Light, fluffy snow typical of what one sees in very cold weather. Hard to tell how much as the wind was piling it up here and there, but perhaps 5-6 inches.

We got a real break on temperatures today – it was a balmy plus-4 when I left the house. Cabin fever was a real threat if I didn’t get out.

I embarked from River Park, a City of Waupaca park on the east side. The trail meanders along next to the river for perhaps ¾ mile. I chose the river bottom as a good place to stay out of the biting wind. This is a primitive trail, but not difficult. The out-and-back distance of ~ two miles took me 90 minutes, with many stops to take pictures. My snowshoe tracks were the only sign of human presence.



Slow sections of the river are frozen over after this frigid spell ….



But faster sections remain at least partially open …




Deer take advantage of the footbridges. I hiked around to avoid damaging the bridge decking with my snowshoe cleats.



Tracks are easy to spot in the fresh snow. I saw tracks from mammals as small as shrews and as large as whitetail deer, and from birds small as chickadees and as large as turkeys.



No fundies beyond this point …



This loop turns the out-and-back stem of the trek into a “lollipop” hike. Leopold is, of course, a legend in Wisconsin.



Basic gear … gators to keep the pants dry, snowshoes, and my sticks (trekking poles) which serve three purposes: They help one keep one's balance; they make a great mono-pod for the camera; and – for snowshoers – they allow you to back up! Use the tip of your poles to push down on the tips of your snowshoes, thereby lifting the back end up so you can step backward. Very useful for a photographer who wades into a tight spot to get a shot.


X-Post from Wisconsin: Walker & company legislating liberal justice off the State Supremes

In my email, from former Wisconsin Atty General Peg Lautenschlager ...


Hello, FdL Democrats.

You may have read the various articles about Wisconsin Republicans' latest attempts to stifle the will of voters.

Despite laws to prohibit and deter voters from going to the ballot box--voter ID, limited early voting, limited registration opportunities, etc.--Wisconsin voter still spoke loudly in 2009 and resoundingly reelected Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to an additional ten year term.
At 81, Shirley is still twice as smart and works twice as hard as most of us, yet extremist legislators are forwarding a bill that creates a mandatory retirement age for judges to force her from the bench. If they can't manipulate the electorate, they will simply spit on the electorate.

Please share this, the link below, and other articles with all of those who are committed to an independent judiciary and respect for the will of the voters in Wisconsin. And, of course, email or write your legislators now.

Thanks, peg



More ...

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/01/12700/wi-gop-targets-respected-chief-justice-abrahamson

For almost 40 years, Wisconsin's judges have been working without a mandatory retirement age. But all of a sudden, some state GOP leaders have decided that this is a major problem.

As the Wisconsin Supreme Court prepares to take up multiple cases involving the “John Doe” criminal investigation of potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker and the "independent" issue ad groups that have bankrolled the Republican party, Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) has decided that the time has finally come to put senior judges out to pasture, saying that he plans to introduce a bill in early January. "75 is the age that I would set, however, there are 132 legislators here. There may be some that would prefer to set that at 77. I wouldn't be surprised if there's discussion about 78 or 80," Knudson told Madison's WKOW TV.

...



Today, (Abrahamson) is 81 and as sharp as a tack. In recent years, as right-wing justices have taken the majority, she has authored a series of important dissents. On Wisconsin's voter ID law, Abrahamson wrote that: “Today the court follows not James Madison — for whom Wisconsin’s capital city is named — but rather Jim Crow, the name typically used to refer to repressive laws used to restrict rights, including the right to vote of African-Americans."

On a challenge to the passage of Walker's Act 10, which overturned Wisconsin's 50 year tradition of good faith bargaining with public sector workers, she chided the majority for giving in to political pressure, writing that: "Trust and confidence in the integrity of the judicial branch as an institution is critical at all times but especially when a case has high public visibility, is mired in partisan politics, and is emotionally charged . . . There is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers."



This is a blatant and power grab. These radical right-wingers are destroying our state at an astonishing pace.

Wisconsin: Walker & company legislating liberal justice off the State Supremes

In my email, from former Wisconsin Atty General Peg Lautenschlager ...


Hello, FdL Democrats.

You may have read the various articles about Wisconsin Republicans' latest attempts to stifle the will of voters.

Despite laws to prohibit and deter voters from going to the ballot box--voter ID, limited early voting, limited registration opportunities, etc.--Wisconsin voter still spoke loudly in 2009 and resoundingly reelected Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to an additional ten year term.
At 81, Shirley is still twice as smart and works twice as hard as most of us, yet extremist legislators are forwarding a bill that creates a mandatory retirement age for judges to force her from the bench. If they can't manipulate the electorate, they will simply spit on the electorate.

Please share this, the link below, and other articles with all of those who are committed to an independent judiciary and respect for the will of the voters in Wisconsin. And, of course, email or write your legislators now.

Thanks, peg



More ...

http://www.prwatch.org/news/2015/01/12700/wi-gop-targets-respected-chief-justice-abrahamson

For almost 40 years, Wisconsin's judges have been working without a mandatory retirement age. But all of a sudden, some state GOP leaders have decided that this is a major problem.

As the Wisconsin Supreme Court prepares to take up multiple cases involving the “John Doe” criminal investigation of potentially illegal campaign coordination between Governor Scott Walker and the "independent" issue ad groups that have bankrolled the Republican party, Rep. Dean Knudson (R-Hudson) has decided that the time has finally come to put senior judges out to pasture, saying that he plans to introduce a bill in early January. "75 is the age that I would set, however, there are 132 legislators here. There may be some that would prefer to set that at 77. I wouldn't be surprised if there's discussion about 78 or 80," Knudson told Madison's WKOW TV.

...



Today, (Abrahamson) is 81 and as sharp as a tack. In recent years, as right-wing justices have taken the majority, she has authored a series of important dissents. On Wisconsin's voter ID law, Abrahamson wrote that: “Today the court follows not James Madison — for whom Wisconsin’s capital city is named — but rather Jim Crow, the name typically used to refer to repressive laws used to restrict rights, including the right to vote of African-Americans."

On a challenge to the passage of Walker's Act 10, which overturned Wisconsin's 50 year tradition of good faith bargaining with public sector workers, she chided the majority for giving in to political pressure, writing that: "Trust and confidence in the integrity of the judicial branch as an institution is critical at all times but especially when a case has high public visibility, is mired in partisan politics, and is emotionally charged . . . There is no liberty if the power of judging be not separated from the legislative and executive powers."



This is a blatant and power grab. These radical right-wingers are destroying our state at an astonishing pace.

Presidential hopeful and college dropout Scott Walker claims to have a Masters Degree

http://bloggingblue.com/2015/01/gov-scott-walker-talks-about-his-non-existent-masters-degree-ahead-of-presidential-run/

As he prepares for an all-but-certain presidential campaign in 2016, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is saying even though he didn’t graduate college he’s got a kind of master’s degree — just not the traditional kind you and I might expect.

“I’m like the majority of people in America,” Walker told Hugh Hewitt. “I’m someone who went to college, had the opportunity in my senior year to go and take a job full-time, which was not the only reason I went to college, but one of the biggest reasons was to get a job.”

Then he got married and started a family. “Like a lot of folks in America, you know, your family and your job take the time away from you finishing it up,” Walker continued. “I’ve got a master’s degree in taking on the big government special interests, and I think that is worth more than anything else that anybody can point to.”

Scott Walker is correct in saying that he’s like the majority of people in America in that he does not possess a college degree, and many Americans may find Scott Walker more relatable because of his lack of a college degree. What’s more, while a college degree is not a requirement to be wildly successful in our country, without seeing any polling I’d expect a majority of Americans expect their president to have a college degree. After all, more than showing an aptitude for learning, a college degree demonstrates an individual has an ability to follow through to the completion of a goal.

Better Know A Bigot



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