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Scuba

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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 44,989

Journal Archives

Said on the TeeVee

Seth Meyers

A new CBS News poll shows Chris Christie is ranked ninth out of all Republican presidential candidates. He's just behind Bobby Jindal and just ahead of a gun wearing a cowboy hat.



Jimmy Fallon

New Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that he is open to letting transgender people serve in the military. He said there’s no reason to prevent people from being generals just because of their privates.



Letterman

For the fifth year in a row the Academy Award for best animated short went to Tom Cruise.



Jimmy Kimmel

Alaska today officially legalized marijuana for recreational use. I think they did this years ago. That's how the Palin kids ended up with those names, right?

Right to Work is Wrong for Wisconsin: The Wreck of the Walker Fitzgerald (pic report from 2/25/15)

Tuesday and Wednesday marked new protests in Madison, Wisconsin as the Republican-controlled state government rammed Right-to-Work (for less) legislation down our throats.

Many unions were represented here this week, and the crowd numbers, while far below those of the 2011 protests, were still significant.







Songs were sung, prayers were led, speeches were given, and there were calls for a general strike.







We got support from our brothers south of the border, despite them having their own problems.



As always, Wisconsinites showed both creativity and political awareness in making protest signs.













Labor Rally In Madison Today and Tomorrow

http://bloggingblue.com/2015/02/labor-rally-in-madison-on-tuesday-and-wednesday/


A rally to oppose the Republicans Trash Work (RTW) bill is set for Tuesday and Wednesday at noon at the Capitol:




See you there tomorrow!!

Democratic Party of Milwaukee County asked to expel Cty Exec Abele for attack on pensions

We really need more efforts like this to get these Republican shills out of our Party

from my email ...


Democratic Party of Milwaukee County
170 S. 2nd Street Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204


Dear Executive Board Members:

I am writing to request that the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin act under Article VIII of the Milwaukee County Party Constitution to either expel or censure Milwaukee County Executive and Party member, Chris Abele, for his decision on Monday, February 16th to veto the 14-2 vote by the Milwaukee County Board to protect the pensions of over two hundred Milwaukee County retirees. This decision demonstrates Abele’s true colors and reveals that his personal platform is fundamentally at odds with the beliefs of the Democratic Party.

The 2014 Democratic Party Platform states that “ne of the primary jobs of government is to ensure that everyone can lead dignified, healthy and fulfilling lives.” It states that the Party will ensure that everyone receives “fair and equal treatment under the law” with an explicit understanding that “senior citizens . . . face formidable challenges.” Specifically, the Platform clearly requires that “pension and other retirement funds must be strictly safeguarded and responsibly managed through regulation.”

Over the last ten months, Chris Abele has violated these Party pillars and upended the lives of over 200 retirees by unnecessarily threatening to take away their pensions despite the fact that some of his victims had been retired for over two decades and were living on a fixed income. For example, over 40% of the affected retirees relied on the County’s advice to invest in a pension program using their retirement savings. Had they opted to use cash instead, like hundreds of other retirees, their pension benefits would have been the same, but they would not have been threatened by Abele’s attack. Instead, Abele used the County’s accounting error as an opportunity to collect over $26 million in past pension payments in a self-created pension scandal.

Chris Abele was caught with his hand in the Milwaukee pension scandal cookie jar, but the media coverage regarding his actions has been extremely biased due to the history of pension scandals in Milwaukee and the overwhelming influence of Abele’s family fortune; however, the facts below will demonstrate that Abele’s actions exhibit a fundamental rejection of the principles of the Democratic Party in a naked attempt to catapult himself politically on the backs for elderly retired County workers a la his ally, Scott Walker.

Back in April 2014, Chris Abele was notified of an unresolved pension issue that was left over from the Scott Walker regime. The issue had been dormant since 2007 as the County was awaiting instructions from the IRS about how to resolve their accounting error. Upon this revelation, County Executive Abele directed a letter to be sent to the over 200 affected retirees informing them of imminent changes to their pensions. No further information was provided and retirees were informed that more information would be provided in September, five months later.

Along with the letter, Chris Abele did an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which led to the April 23rd article entitled, "Milwaukee County Demands Pension Repayments Because of 'Buyback' Errors." For those retirees, that article added context to the cryptic letter they received that week. That context horrified the retirees because Abele was essentially threatening to send a debt collector to recoup pension money that had been spent decades ago.

After receiving no additional information from the County Executive or the Pension Board, a group of retirees went directly to Chris Abele's office to demand answers. Their action can be seen here or in this MJS article. The County Executive purposely cancelled his appearance that evening to avoid meeting the retirees.

There was practically no contact or new information provided to these retirees between the May Finance Committee meeting and the December Milwaukee County Finance Committee meeting except for a letter sent in September notifying them that a resolution had been delayed with no future timeline provided.

It was revealed in July, but not explained to the retirees until December, that the County had two options for resolving the buy-in/buy-back situation: Option 1 would be to change three ordinances to retroactively put the pension investments in compliance with the IRS rules.

Option 1 would have no cost to taxpayers and had been endorsed by the Pension Board because the fund had already included the retirees in their actuarial calculations so continuing to pay them would have no impact on other County retirees. Option 2 would be to collect past pension payments and cut the future benefits of over 200 retirees, some of whom have been retired for literally decades.

Option 2 was endorsed by Chris Abele when he stated in the April 23rd article that "I'm going to aggressively try to recover whatever I can." He went on to say that collecting the payments was "important to taxpayers and other retirees."

However, Abele's initial plan to collect over $26 million in past pension payments would have harmed taxpayers because over $20 million of that $26 million would have been uncollectible based on a 6-year statute of limitations on the collection of pension payments and the County would owe the Pension fund the full $26 million if they couldn’t collect that money from the elderly and even the estates of deceased retirees! Therefore, Abele's initial position would have cost taxpayers money when an alternative existed that would do no harm to any of the affected parties and would have allowed the County to honor its obligations. With his expressed reason for supporting the pension cuts debunked, the only logical reason for Chris Abele’s position is his political ambition.

Since the absurdity of Abele's initial plan was revealed last month, the County Executive has proposed a “compromise” plan that would limit the pension theft to only future pension payments. However, his new plan fails to address the contractual liability of the County due to the fact that the benefit was offered to employees by the County and the fact that the IRS mistake was the cause of an oversight by the County's accountants, not the retirees that were given the improper advice. His new “compromise” plan would cause 12 retirees to lose their pensions altogether and more than 25% of the retirees would lose over 20% of their future pension benefits.

Abele’s plan was unanimously rejected by the Milwaukee County Finance committee and “Option 1” was adopted unanimously by the Committee and approved by a vote of 14 -2 by the full Milwaukee County Board, including radical conservative Deanna Alexander.

Chris Abele’s pension theft plan has been completely exposed by the Milwaukee County Board, but his “compromise” is still considered reasonable in the eyes of the public due to the comments of Chris Abele and the biased reporting on the issue by pension scandal profiteers from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Dave Umhoefer) and Urban Milwaukee (Bruce Murphy).

Thankfully, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors voted to override Chris Abele’s veto, but the threat remains of an influential elected Party member willing to damage the reputation of the Democratic Party by actively advocating for positions that are in fundamental opposition to the Party’s Platform.

I urge this Executive Board to vote to expel or censure Chris Abele due to his failure to ensure that Milwaukee County government treats their retirees fairly and equally under the law. Chris Abele has failed to allow over 200 retirees to continue to lead dignified, healthy, and fulfilling lives. He has instead put their lives on hold for nearly a year and placed a dark cloud of financial ruin above their heads in their most vulnerable years. Chris Abele must be held accountable for attempting to break the commitments his County made to these retirees. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to a hearing on this matter.

Respectfully Submitted,

Dennis Hughes
Democratic Party of Milwaukee County Member

My fight-to-the-end, liberal bastion sister is getting demoralized, but keeps hope in her heart.

This is the email she sent me a few minutes ago ...

I have no real hope that, short of a sudden heart attack, we're going to stop Walker. I'm feeling that all we can do is hunker down, save as much as we can, hoping there's something left to save, and take care of each other until the worm turns. He's selected his victims carefully: those resented by the ignorant and angry. But sooner or later he'll go after them too, and the the worm will turn.

"The lowliest worm will turn when trodden upon." ~ Shakespeare

American Values

"Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." ~ Henry Kissinger




"I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels." She does add that she and Henry "have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past." But here's the kicker: At the end of the review, she notes that Kissinger is "surprisingly idealistic":

Even when there are tensions between our values and other objectives, America, he reminds us, succeeds by standing up for our values, not shirking them, and leads by engaging peoples and societies, the sources of legitimacy, not governments alone.


...

She knows what Kissinger has done. She knows what Kissinger represents. There's none of that in her self-serving review. Instead, she hails him as a champion of a values-driven foreign policy. Maybe when he's typing in front of a computer these days—but not when he wielded power. Clinton lets him off the hook and participates in the long-running pretense that Kissinger is a grand old statesman who deserves respect rather than scorn.


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/09/hillary-clinton-henry-kissinger-world-order


“It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.” ~ Henry Kissinger

You know what Republicans really, really hate?

Immigrants
Unions
ACLU
Muslims
Gays
Liberals
Medicare
Harry Reid
NOAA
Professors
Thinking people
Public & Indian Housing
Canadians
Sewer systems
Journalists
Jesus' teachings
Europe
Whistleblowers
Social Security
Progress
Scientists
President Obama
Peace Corps
Lesbians
Social justice
Mosques
Laws
Media
Truth
Creative people
14 year old rapist victims
Housing & Urban Development Dept
Government healthcare
Illegal aliens
United Nations
Diplomacy
Smart people
NEA
Bureaucrats
Postal Service
Empathy
Government
1st Amendment
Any Arabic person
Economic justice
Consumer protections
Artists
Democrats
Social programs
All democratic leaders
14 year old incest victims
Sanity
Public education
14th Amendment
Actors
Wildlife
Federal government
Food stamps
Worker's rights
Change
Student aid programs
Environment
Hate crime laws
The Poor
Department of Education
The vulnerable
Nancy Pelosi
Environmental Protection Agency
Logic
The weak
State government
Unemployed
Food banks
4th Amendment
Progressives
Thinking
Tree huggers
Abortion
Hollywood
Teachers
Census workers
Federal Trade Commission
Endangered species
Reason
Homeless people
Consumer Product Safety Commission
Women's rights
City government
Food & Drug Administration
Intelligence
Environmentalists
Any liberal leader
Movies
College professors
5th Amendment
Regulations
Blacks
Soccer
Compassion
Facts


There's more, but you get the idea.

Wisconsin sturgeon spearing season ends with 6th largest harvest on record

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/outdoors/wisconsin-sturgeon-spearing-season-ends-with-6th-largest-harvest-on-record-b99449581z1-293449931.html



"It was one of those dream shots," Cherney said in a phone interview Sunday afternoon. "It was right in the middle of the hole. Couldn't miss it even if you wanted to." Cherney didn't want to miss it.

And it turned out Cherney's quarry was a record. At 81.3 inches and 137.5 pounds, the sturgeon speared by Cherney was the largest hauled in this season.

...

The sturgeon season lasted eight days and Saturday was picked as the ending date after anglers approached the cap of 878 adult female sturgeon on Friday. The season ended with 911 adult female sturgeon speared.

Lake Winnebago is home to the largest native population of lake sturgeon in the world.

The Progressive: Malcolm X as Relevant Today as 50 Years Ago

http://www.progressive.org/news/2015/02/188012/malcolm-x-relevant-today-50-years-ago



He was born Malcolm Little on May 19, 1925, in Omaha, Neb. He was raised mostly in Lansing, Michigan, where his father, Earl, an outspoken follower of the black self-determination proponent Marcus Garvey, was killed, allegedly by white supremacists. Earl’s death devastated the Little family and eventually led young Malcolm, an exceptional grade school student, to drift into a life of petty crime and drug abuse.

Malcolm went to prison in Massachusetts some years later. It was here where he found himself and his voice when he converted to the religion and worldview of Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam.

...

In a May 1964 speech, he talked about police brutality in black communities. “A black man in America lives in a police state,” he said. “He doesn’t live in any democracy. He lives in a police state.”

In February 1965, Malcolm X again responded in a speech in Detroit to the problem of police brutality. This time, he noted the role of the media. “The press is used to make it look like (the black man) is the criminal and (the police force is) the victim,” he stated.

WISCONSIN: “Expect calls for a General Strike Tuesday”

http://www.bluecheddar.net/?p=41845

The following comes from the post “GENERAL STRIKE” at The Devil’s Advocates Radio Network – Wisconsin:

Madison-A unanimous vote of three represented labor unions and other assembled activists (at a hastily called luncheon #crute was invited to attend) to support a #GeneralStrike .

A General Strike was the only unifying strategy discussed to block Right-to-Work #RTW, $300 UW System cuts, $127 K-12 cuts, killing the Kenosha casino and 10,000 jobs, failure to expand Medicaid, and cuts to Senior-care and disability programs. Expect calls for a General Strike Tuesday when the AFL-CIO rallies opposition to the Republican fast-tracking of #RTW Tuesday at the Wisconsin State Capitol.

GO HERE to learn more about the Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday rallies in response to the hasty unveiling of Right To Work (For Less) legislation in Wisconsin.
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