Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Now What, GOP?

Now that Donald Trump's debate never happened, and with only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on the Virginia ballot, and with Fox News not knowing who to pimp now that they have gone through each candidate they found favorable as a flavor of the month, only to be left standing there dumbfounded, I ask this--now what, GOP?

Are you going to send Mitt Romney against Obama? We know you all hate him.

Are you going to send crazy man Ron Paul against Obama? You all think he's crazy, don't you?

Are you going to allow gay-bashing Rick Santorum against Obama? Rachel Maddow commented last night that she just knows the Santorum bubble on Fox is about to happen.

Regardless, you are in a losing situation here. None of those guys has a prayer in 2012 and I think you know that by now. Furthermore, one ray of hope you had--voter suppression--is being met with a hammer by US attorney general Eric Holder.

So while we on the left will not take anything for granted, we like our chances right now putting Obama against whoever you do. Now, if we can win back the House, maybe we can actually forge some change instead of having you guys block everything. But that's for another post on another day.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

We Know Who Is to Blame

It's comical watching the GOP in action these days. They do everything possible to try and pin blame on President Obama, in particular the Tea Party contingent. So the Senate passes the payroll cut tax extension for 2 months, and House Speaker John Boehner agrees to it, only to have his caucus work him over and force him to say they now want a full year extension...knowing full well it will not pass, hence trying to tell the American people that it's Obama's fault.


So 60 million Americans have to fork over a grand in 2012 because of these douchebags, who continue to only look out for the uber-wealthy instead of everyone else.

Thankfully, we are all seeing through this crap now and Obama is re-itering that to all of us too. Boehner and the GOP, meanwhile, are being exposed more and faster, and it's high time that more of them get voted out so we can right the ship that is our nation's economy, in 2012 and beyond.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Quick, what's the first thing that pops into your head when someone says "Newt Gingrich?" Some version of this smug man saying or doing something offensive, that's what. And it's comical that Newt claims he's going to run a "positive" campaign in an effort to earn the Republican presidential nominee in 2012. Positive by what standards? The guy is a ticking time bomb, because he just can't help himself--he's a douche. And you can't take the douche out of the Newt, no matter how hard you try.

So just watch. Newt will either have his bid go up in flames in epic fashion, or he will lose badly in a general election to President Obama. Still, just think about what those debates might be like--the even keeled, well-spoken, and good intentioned Obama against the volatile, scummy, bad-intentioned Newt. And yes, I said scummy. And yes, I meant it. And yes, he IS scummy--just ask his sister or his first two wives or Mitt Romney or Nancy Pelosi.

Frankly I don't see it happening. I think Mitt will still get the nod somehow, and if it's not Mitt, it will be Chris Christie, no matter how many times he can hold press conferences to state the contrary.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

GOP is Scared

For those of you who wondered why the heck nobody was doing anything about the fact that the 1% are trying to rob the 99% of everything, you now have your answer--they needed to be pushed to the brink of losing everything before swinging like a punch-drunk fighter. It's kind of the spirit of this blog, and it's the spirit of the Occupy movements everywhere. And the best part? The GOP is scared. The Republican presidential nominees are all spewing nonsense about needing showers and jobs, when their party is part of the reason those people need jobs in the first place.

I also snickered at Frank Luntz' admission that he was afraid of the movement. He knows, as this article mentions, that it is a way for him to strike fear in GOP governors and high-ranking officials, and to make money by advising them. The thing is, though, he and they should be scared, for real. Because this movement is spreading and growing tentacles on top of tentacles, and it's not going to stop until the big banks and fraudulent lobbyists and congressmen admit that they have screwed everyone for the past three decades.

We are arming ourselves with knowledge, and more than anything, we have the power of far more people than money and/or the Tea Party can ever buy to organize. So be afraid, GOP. Be very afraid.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Threaten, Schmeaten

I keep hearing about how those of us circulating recall petitions for Scott Walker are being threatened by right win bullies. Seriously. These thugs are calling some high profile lefties with death threats by phone in the middle of the night, threatening those with petitions for Black Friday shoppers with guns, threatening with words on social media, and just doing what they do best--being bungholes. They know they can't win this fight. We have people power and as Mike Tate, head of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin said on The Ed Show Monday night, we have real democracy and the truth in our collective back pocket. No amount of Koch bucks that pay for attack ads and fund threats (yeah, I said it) can beat people power. We are too strong and we are going to win this fight. So threaten away, bungholes. Because you and the 1%, and also the minions who blindly follow you in pursuit of who-knows-what, are gonna lose this time. This is our Super Bowl, and with the 300,000 signatures (valid ones, not ones that your people collected and burned, Kochs) being collected so far, we're well on our way of the ultimate goal of 1 million.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Like It or Not, This is War

The right wing has figuratively declared war on the left, and as the right becomes more radical, they are becoming angrier and more belligerent, and crying and whining if they can't continue to funnel money to the top 1% who fund their elections.  But it's not just the lawmakers.  It's their idiot followers, and the mainstream media which is owned by right wing interests, it's the Koch Brothers and Karl Rove and Grover Norquist. 

How else do you explain the fact that they support Herman Cain as a potential commander-in-chief, when he knows less about foreign policy than my four-year old son?  Or that they think the alleged sexual harassment cases against Cain are fabricated, but annihilate Bill Clinton or Anthony Weiner for what they did?  Or that a freshman congressman like Joe Walsh can preach "fiscal responsibility" while being delinquent on his child support payments? 

And of course, now city leaders are colluding to drive the Occupy movements out, resorting to police brutality.  Imagine if police had done this at Tea Party rallies.  Just imagine that, and imagine how they would discuss that on Fox News.

In Wisconsin, we are now able to collect signatures to recall Governor Scott Walker.  Click here, by the way, to download a petition.   But right wing scare tactics and dirty tricks are being employed once again--the United Wisconsin website was hacked yesterday after they launched earlier in the day to spearhead the recall efforts.  Folks are planning to gather signatures and burn the petitions.  Read more about that on the awesome Brad Blog

I try every time I post a blog here, I start out thinking I'm going to write calmly and stick to the facts.  But it's hard to do that when the other side plays so dirty and continues to try and rig the game and rig the system and rig the way we live our lives.  It won't happen for much longer, folks.  We are fed up and we're not going to take it anymore.  Somehow, some way, justice will prevail, and we will get back to having the country our founding fathers wished for us--a true democracy. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

BIG Victory in Ohio

I was among those who snickered a few months back when Ohio Governor John Kasich claimed that he wanted to return to the bargaining table with unions, rather than put SB5 up for a vote.  Nevermind that making it "Issue 2" on the ballot to repeal "SB5" is confusing and that the right wing exercised more voter suppression tactics with their, ahem, criminal measures with robo calls.  Seriously, they had a call that told people yesterday to vote "tomorrow".....what these bastards won't do.  It's surely amazing.  

But not nearly as amazing as the fact that SB5 was repealed by about a 2 to 1 margin, and unions will not be stripped of their collective bargaining rights in Ohio.  This is recognized as a national victory, as it means the left is tired of the radical right agenda and is pushing back--big time.  The Occupy movements are doing the same.  I will also be doing something to hit these bastards where it hurts--by closing our bank accounts in favor of a local UW credit union.  I'm going to find another insurance company that isn't State Farm, because they are big players in the ALEC radical agenda.  This is how we're going to take our country back, people, one day at a time, but in yesterday's case the day was a big one.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Legendary Pushback

Fighting back is something that is happening every day now. We've seen the banks and Wall Street steal our money, we've seen the mortgage companies do the same with regard to Wall Street, and we've seen lawmakers who are bought by the wealthy and corporations literally passing legislation that squeezes the middle and lower class even more, in order to give more tax breaks to the "job creators."

Of course people are pissed. We've been pissed for a while but now that we've seen Congress in gridlock simply because the Republicans want to see President Obama fail, we realize his jobs act won't ever pass. We also realize that state governments are corrupt and passing legislation almost daily that sticks it up the collective ass of the middle class (no rhyme intended but hey!)--in particular making it hard or impossible for likely democrats to vote at all. Those state houses are influenced by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which is (surprise surprise) funded by the GOP-friendly Koch Brothers and corporations like State Farm.

So yeah, people are freaking pissed and are getting more and more ornery by the day. That's why there are huge swells of occupation in cities across the country; it's why folks are taking their money out of banks; and it's why folks like me are planning to switch from State Farm to a more progressive (hint hint) insurance company. If we can't get them to change policies, we'll get them where it matters even more--in their motherf--king wallets.

The change is happening, people. Look around, get involved, and together we can take back what is rightfully ours.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Right Wing Spin

One thing I have noticed since becoming hyper-aware of politics everywhere, and since having a better understanding of the right wing and their protection of the upper 1%, is that right wing pundits either lie or give twisted answers to questions rather than to answer them directly.

This is particularly hilarious when there are left wingers and right wingers debating each other. Chris Hayes' show on weekends on MSNBC is great, but I don't like having to hear the right wing perspective. You can get that on Fox. But he asked a pointed question to his conservative guest on Sunday (forgive me for not looking up his name or remembering it), and it was something along the lines of, "Why are the Republicans blocking every piece of legislation that President Obama puts on the table and are they purposely trying to make him look bad?" We all know that's exactly what they are doing, but when one of them is asked a question like that, then tend to re-phrase the question, and spin the answer with something like, "Well to answer that I have to......." and proceed to blame the economy or whatever on Obama. I've seen veteran right wing campaign dude Michael Steele do this on Rachel Maddow, where he halfway admits that the GOP is all about crashing the economy on purpse, but halfway dances around it.

Look, that turtle Mitch McConnell has come out and said that his goal is to make Obama a one-term president. And it's a shame they won't allow a relatively low-cost plan to rebuild infrastructure and create millions of jobs to pass--that instead they keep floating their own plan of giving tax breaks to the wealthy and to deregulate more (you know, because that isn't what caused the current housing and Wall Street messes, right?).

Luckily, the cast of characters they are trotting out there to potentially oppose Obama is kind of hideous. And once they realize they have no shot to keep Obama out of a second term, they will then resort to something they have already shown cards for--voter suppression. And they will spin it that there is rampant voter fraud in this country when the truth is that there is not. Truth wins. Remember that as you watch these jackasses try to spin giving more money to the rich at the expense of the other 99% is necessary for fixing a bad economy that they claim is all Obama's fault. Right.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My Anger Is Bubbling

Here are a few observations I have had in the little while since my last post here.

I am having difficulty processing anything any Republican says. I mean, when I saw highlights of the GOP debate last night, and even as they showed Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich frolicking onto the stage, I got aggravated. I mean, I despise them with every fiber of my being--not as people. No, I don't really hate anyone (well, DeSean Jackson of the Eagles is close, but I digress.....). But I hate what these GOPers stand for. That is, they want to dismantle government and funnel as much money from the bottom and middle to the top as possible, and they keep coming up with excuses why they want to or have to do that. Or why Americans have to accept this as their "jobs plan," because really they have no jobs plan. Okay, I'm digressing.

I had a hard time watching the recap on The Ed Show on MSNBC last night because Ed had Martin Bashir and some right wing lady from North Carolina. I can't watch because I'm not interested in hearing the right wing point of view anymore--I already know what they stand for.

Same goes for Up with Chris Hayes on weekend mornings. Okay, so I am more interested in football on the weekend, but Hayes and his producers always have some right winger on there to debate from their side.

And inevitably I hear and see guys like Mitch McConnell bad-mouthing President Obama, blaming him for the bad economy when in fact there have been a record number of filibusters in the Senate when Obama tries to do something good. It's all the grand plan they have--do whatever it takes to make Obama look bad, and screw the American people if they, well, get screwed.

The douchebags who debated last night apparently talked more about repealing Dodd-Frank. They seriously want less regulation so that there can be more "free market" nonsense. Which really means that they want more things to happen like what happened on Wall Street that has people protesting all over the country and all over the world. It's frankly mind-blowing to think how evil these people are and how they are trying to hoodwink America into believing they will make this country better. They never will if they get into office, and hopefully they won't ever get into office again anyway.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How Much Fight?

That's the question today. How much fight do you have in you?

Right now, there are occupations of Wall Street and also many other city hubs around the country. The 99 percent are pissed that the 1 percent have all the cash and control, and it's high time we started taking it back.

I feel like occupying Wall Street is the beginning of a real American Revolution--not like the one where we took our country from the British. The one in which we take it back from the radical right wing that threatens to turn our country into a corporatocracy--or, as they and the idiots at Fox News would want, a country in which we have a king and we all bow down to him.

EHHHHH. Wrong answer, Bill O'Reilly. Wrong answer, Rush Limbaugh. Wrong Answer, Hannity. Wrong answer Cantor, Boehner, McConnell, Paul, Bachmann, Walsh, Gomer, Perry, Romney, Walker, Scott, DeMint....need I go on? Hey righties, that EHHHHHHHH you just heard is the buzzer. It's not real loud right now, but it's getting louder as we organize. We're coming for you.....not to hurt you physically, but to silence you and take back what is rightfully ours.

Me personally? I'm not on Wall Street yet. But I'm fighting by writing and spreading the word. We can't give up our democracy quietly, but that's what those righties are trying to do.

So how much fight do you have?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Rude Pundit Always Nails It

As I was scouring the web looking for something to write about this morning, I found an article by a dude I consider to be one of the unsung heroes of the left--The Rude Pundit, Lee Papa. I don't think I could ever put into words how he did today to compare the Republican agenda to an anaconda's devouring a furry little happy animal. I bow to you, Rude. But once you get past how much he nailed what the GOP is doing in this country, it's hard not to feel like you are the furry little animal, which is precisely the point he wanted to make. Every day, the right wing nutbags are chipping away at the fabric of what has made this country great, and setting us back decades and maybe even centuries in the process. The only saving grace, I believe, is that, thanks to technology, it's easier for us on the left to unite and to call the bastards out before they are able to take over the White House in 2012. There is plenty of time to block them, and to start knocking out the Tea Party members of Congress one by one, provided they haven't succeeded in rigging every election from now until the end of time.

Monday, September 26, 2011

They Are All Liars

The GOP all have their talking points--the president and the administration are spending money and are so reckless that it's killing the economy. They may have slightly different variations of rhetoric, but for the most part they try to compare notes and say the same things. Their message is primarily that more taxes kill economic growth, that we need to have free enterprise with little or no regulation, and that cutting taxes for the rich creates jobs. And they are prepared to block Obama's jobs bill because Obama wants the wealthy to pay up a little. They also are prepared to block funding for FEMA that is needed for victims of Hurricane Irene and of recent wildfires and tornadoes, unless there are spending cuts.

Yesterday on "Up with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC, Hayes and Ezra Klein from the Washington Post grilled representative Tom Graves from Georgia about why he'd want to cut a large sum of money from a green vehicle initiative that would wind up killing jobs in Michigan in order to fund FEMA some more. So on the one hand, he says the administration cannot create jobs, and on the other, he's proposing cuts to kill jobs. This is a sickness that the Republican party is infiltrated with, and it's a sickening sickness at that. When they say they don't agree with Obama and his administration and that their way is best and they will, dammit, cut cut cut--they are lying through their teeth that it will "create jobs," because they know damn well they just want Obama to fail, and that they plan to keep lining the pockets of their wealthy friends and/or campaign contributors.

So you Republicans might know this phrase, because one of you said it out loud at a State of the Union Address a few years ago--"YOU LIE." And you know it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Real Class Warfare

I love how Republicans keep using the talking point that when Obama wants to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans that it's "class warfare." Obama called them out by saying he thinks it's unfair that hedge fund managers do not pay the same tax rate as plumbers and teachers. My man Ed Schultz just said Obama "threw a brick through a window," and he's right. It's comical how guys like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan and John Boehner keep saying that raising taxes kills job creation. To those guys, I say, "PROVE IT!" You can't!!! You freaking can't!!! I'm sorry right wing idiots, but Obama's jobs plan will work, and you know it will. You are just afraid that he will look good and so you keep spewing your nonsense. And your nonsense, where you keep wanting to cut programs that benefit the middle class or the poor so that you can keep giving more money to the rich, is the real class warfare. It's on, Republicans. It's on.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Heartless Bastards

Thank goodness for smart pundits like Rachel Maddow, who pointed out last night that while on Monday night the Senate filibustered Harry Reid's bill to increase funding for FEMA, they passed it 61-38 last night. Rachel then listed the Republicans who voted no, all 38 of them. I froze the frame and noticed, among others, that my senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin voted no. So did Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul and Jim DeMint. And on and on.

I thank Rachel, because today you can't find this story in the mainstream media. Instead, it's all about how the GOP took back Anthony Weiner's House seat, and how it spells doom for Obama.

Really, that's what you're going with?

Well, two things....first of all, Johnson and his scumbag cohorts in the tea party are heartless, that's not strong enough. They are heartless pricks who would rather give more tax breaks to the rich, big oil and Wall Street than help those in need in our country. And they continue to obstruct Obama's very reasonable and affordable jobs plan too--the one that includes repairing a bridge from Indiana to Kentucky. McConnell was calling Obama's plan political campaigning and the same old, same old, right as the bridge so many of his constituents use every day is indefinitely shut down until repairs can be done.

But that wasn't the other thing. The other thing is that this disaster relief bill has to pass the House, and it won't, because there are all of those obstructionist tea party douchebags there too. The ones that represent those other heartless pricks who applauded executions and death at the last two GOP debates. These are twisted people we're talking about, and even more twisted politicians who represent them and who, even more frightening, aspire to be our president.

These are scary times, people. Look up fascism. There, I just did it for you. This is where the Republicans, led by the tea party, the Kochs, ALEC and a whole bunch of federal and state legislators, are trying to take this country. Democracy is under assault, and we must fight back to protect it.Link

Monday, September 12, 2011

A "Love" Note To Republicans

We are on to you. We know that you are attempting to make this country single-party rule the way the Soviet Union did with communism for 50 or so years. We know that the Koch brothers, ALEC, Roger Ailes/Ruper Murdoch/FOX News, and most every Republican lawmaker at the state and federal level are attempting to destroy the middle class as we know it, or as we once knew it.

But here's the thing. You have awoken a sleeping giant in the form of a groundswell of folks like me that were politically apathetic for most of our adult lives, and that are seeing you for what you really are--frauds. The liberal base is angry, and we're tired of you giving tax cuts to the wealthy and telling the rest of us we need to "cut, cap and balance" the budget(s). Meanwhile, you own large portions of the media, you rig state and federal judicial systems in your favor, you steal elections, and you do dirty, scumbag things that harm what now passes for democracy in this country. And you've brought scads of innocent bystanders, particularly those who are vulnerable and those who worship Jesus and guns, and brainwashed them.

Well, you guys had better think about what you're doing. Because we are educating ourselves, and we still have the ability to do the one thing you worry most about--voting you the hell out of office. You can try as you may to use voter suppression techniques too, but it won't be enough. We're going to win, and you're going to lose.

And we're going to take back our damn country.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More Scary Stuff

A week after New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made fans of some on the left when he talked boldly toward FEMA about the help those in his state needed after Hurricane Irene, he's back in the news for the wrong reasons. Brad Friedman of Brad Blog once again proved that he is one of the best investigative journalists out there, and I'm glad he bats for our team. Brad uncovered some dirt that Christie's staff wanted no part of, and that is that he was the keynote speaker at the Koch brothers' Colorado right wing gathering in June.

This is some scary shit--basically that once behind closed doors with no fear of who might be listening through the walls (and some even scarier truths about how pink noise was piped in to protect against this), Christie bragged about some of the things he's done to benefit the right wing agenda of those who are bankrolling him. He's like Tony Soprano in a legislative position. And I'm telling you guys, this is going to get ugly the more the people of New Jersey read about it.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The War on Voting

I highly, highly recommend Ari Berman's Rolling Stone piece on the GOP's war on voting.

In case you aren't aware, Republicans have been trying to suppress voting in almost every state, and even in 2008 when Barack Obama won in a landslide over John McCain, only two-thirds of those registered showed up to the polls. That's alarming in itself, but with Republicans winning way too many midterm elections in 2010, they (led by groups like ALEC and the Koch brothers) have been passing legislation in record fashion by waging their own war on "voter fraud." In Berman's article, he references the fact that only a teeny-tiny percentage of actual voter fraud cases have been reported, yet the GOP keeps touting this as a major problem. So the laws that are going into effect do things like requiring proof of citizenship, photo IDs and proof of residence; closing DMV locations to make it harder to obtain a license; sending out fake absentee ballots with incorrect information; making it difficult to register; and closing certain polling places to make lines longer and disenfranchise voters. Of course, this is all to skew voting toward the GOP--the less people that vote, the more it is in their favor. Also, they are clearly making an effort to keep minorities, the elderly, and students--all groups that tend to vote Democratic--from voting.

In addition to ALEC and the Kochs and right wing governors like Scott Walker and John Kasich, the article references Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Excuse my French for a minute, but this douchebag is one of the people spearheading this "war on voting." He has been fighting illegal immigration for years, and his latest claim to infamy is requiring proof of US citizenship to vote in Kansas.

Thankfully, many left wing groups are fighting back, and begging the Justice Department to investigate this war on our democracy that has to have our founding fathers turning in their graves. Seriously. And with only fourteen months before the next presidential election, it's super important that we get the word out early and often and try to expose the GOP for what they are doing here--and what they are doing is criminal, plain and simple.

Monday, August 29, 2011

When in Doubt, Blame the Prez

The Republicans have made it clear that they have one goal--to make Barack Obama a one-term president. I had a heated debate with a tea party fellow a few weeks ago, and this fellow kept telling me that both parties participate in political gamesmanship like this--driving voters away from the other guy, which includes but is not limited to re-districting, filibustering and doing things for political gain and not for the general welfare of the American people.

But here is the difference--liberals would never threaten to drive the economy off a cliff. Liberals would never sign a pledge with, say, a union boss, that puts said unions over the people they were elected to serve. Liberals would never ignore their own disapproval ratings and continue to say what they stand for is what the American people want even though they know that is a crock of shit. And most of all, even if the other party was occupying the White House, liberals would never disagree with everything the president does or says just to disagree.

The fact that Republicans want Obama out of office so bad, that they have to constantly resort to below-the-belt jabs and have such a wildly offensive disrespect for him should tell you all you need to know about Republicans. The hypocrisy is also maddening--for example, it's okay for George Bush to talk about terrorists and that we're gonna get those bastards yadda yadda yadda before saying, "Now watch this drive" and then hitting a tee shot. But if Obama is seen on the golf course at all, as he was in Martha's Vineyard last week, he's spending too much time golfing and not enough time working.

I could spend a week giving you examples of this, but instead I'll ask you to look ahead to next week. Obama will unveil his new program to create jobs, and it's expected to have a large infrastructure component--one that will require the government to spend a little to make a lot, and in the process make our crumbling bridges and broken highways better and safer. And the Republicans will block it--claiming that we shouldn't be spending at all in this economy, and instead we should just keep giving more to rich people who "create jobs." But really what they will be doing is not allowing Obama to have any level of success whatsoever, especially success at giving the economy the shot in the arm it desperately needs.

So get your popcorn ready, America--next week will continue to show us why the Republican party is so very dangerous to us all.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Americans For Prosperity: Criminals

In some ways, I have no problem with Republicans being Republicans or conservative. Heck, there has to be another side, right? I especially understand Republicans who have boatloads of money and assets wanting corporate-friendly lawmakers in office to support their views that less taxation and less regulation leads to more money in their pockets, some of which is funneled back into elections to keep these lawmakers in office.

But here is where I have a problem--if you are not independently wealthy, and you support Republican and conservative and tea party ideals--well, I'll come out and say it--you are an idiot. Because those ideals mess with our democracy and the fabric of what made our country great. Don't let them tell you that taxes and regulation are bad for our country--those things are only bad for their bottom lines, not yours. You will benefit with the rich paying more in taxes (their relative contribution to the US Treasury is at the lowest percentage in years and corporations like GE paid no income tax in 2010) and helping to lower our deficit, which in turn will help our economy get out of its rut because the rest of us will have more money to spend, which will spur demand and create more jobs. For the record, the Bush tax cuts did not create jobs and trickle down economics is a fraud, but that's for another story. Luckily we progressives are fighting back and taking to the streets as we did here in Madison a few months ago, and as we are prepared to do at the polls in Ohio in November to repeal Senate Bill 5.

And you know, I'll even go so far as to say that I don't mind healthy debates with Republicans. But here is where I really have a problem--the Koch Brothers, aka billionaire business moguls Charles and David Koch, are lynch pins for a group called Americans for Prosperity. Here are a couple of the dirty tricks Americans for Prosperity has recently employed to try and game elections and strike fear in ordinary people--especially those who are less fortunate.

They tried to rig the Wisconsin state senate recall elections by sending out phony absentee ballots that had the wrong return date listed on them. They put phony eviction notices on the homes of folks in Michigan, scaring them into thinking that the building of a bridge to Canada would cost them their homes. Instead the Kochs and AFP were scaring these folks so that they could continue to support their billionaire pal Matty Moroun, who happens to own the current bridge from Michigan to Windsor, Ontario.

And then last week, also in Michigan, with governor Rick Snyder (what is it with conservatives all being named Rick?) facing push back and potential recall, and with concerned citizens circulating petitions to repeal Public Act 4, which essentially lets state governments take over city and county legislatures as they see fit--Americans for Prosperity used robo calls claiming that those circulating petitions are identity thieves who will use signees' personal information to steal from them. The end game here, of course, is the hope that these folks won't sign the recall petitions out of fear, and the bad guys will win--no recalls, more power for them, more money in their pockets, more power for Republicans, etc. etc. etc.

There are no doubt hundreds, maybe thousands, of examples of this criminal activity. And groups like AFP must be stopped, and must be exposed for the frauds that they are. But what's more, if you are a conservative and think that this activity is okay--well, as I said earlier, and I stand by this--you are an idiot.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Backpedaling in Ohio

Lately as GOP lawmakers face historic pushback for some of their overreaching with regard to union-busting, they are finding their approval ratings plummeting. In some instances, Republicans are being recalled from office as they were in Wisconsin last week. Of course, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker now claims to want to work with his democratic pals from across the aisle. And yesterday Ohio Governor John Kasich, perhaps on the heels of Wisconsin's elections, backpedaled on Senate Bill 5, the union busting bill he rammed through the legislature around the same time Walker rammed his through. Now Kasich, like Walker, wants to work things out with union bosses and state house democrats who pushed back with angry protests and then petition signatures which forced a November election vote on SB5.

My response to Walker and Kasich's backpedaling? Let them trip over their shoelaces. Those guys both had their chances to "negotiate in good faith," but instead took obnoxious stands that had the message of claiming fiscal responsibility and that this had to happen or else. I don't trust Walker to negotiate and I don't trust Kasich to do so either. I hope the people of Ohio leave that bill to a vote and defeat it as soundly as it appears will happen. Of course, you know the Koch brothers are going to pump millions of dollars into that election too.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Victory in Wisconsin

Don't believe everything you read, especially from much of the mainstream media which fawns over the GOP for some reason (note: some reason is that they are being influenced/owned/financed by right wing factions). So when Scott Walker, the Brothers Fitzgerald and state senators like Alberta "Thank You Kathy Nickolaus" Darling spout off that they have won the overall battle of this summer's recall elections, they couldn't be more wrong.

Last night, Democratic incumbents Bob Wirch and Jim Holperin staved off recalls by Walker and company as the GOP feverishly tried to win back at least one of the two seats they lost last week. Last month, Green Bay's Dave Hansen also staved off a Republican challenger, but the GOP failed to go tit-for-tat when they could not garner signatures for three more recalls. Then, in the recall elections of last Tuesday, Democratic challengers Jessica King and Jennifer Shilling won their two elections over Randy Hopper and Dan Kapanke, respectively. So the final tally on the recalls is Democrats 5, Republicans 4, and since a two-seat advantage was gained, that means Walker's GOP holds a one-seat advantage in the state senate.
(We won't even mention winning the three primaries in which Walker ran fake Dems--our tax dollars hard at work).

Of course, he's not happy about that, because as The Nation's John Nichols pointed out, moderate Republican Dale Schultz voted against Walker's union-busting bill in March. And this is why Walker suddenly talked about wanting to reach across the aisle to work with both parties a bit more. Remember when the Wisconsin 14 kept trying to negotiate with Walker, and his response to them was to send state troopers to their houses, and to ram his budget repair bill through anyway? Oh, but before that he found time to talk to billionaire corporate campaign donor David Koch for 20 minutes....wait a minute, that wasn't David Koch, was it? It was a blogger posing as Koch, a call that will go down in the history of one of the great moments for liberals.

Walker won't "work with" the other side any more now than he did then, because, well, he's a scumbag. And like other GOP power-grubbers (a pre-requisite these days to hold any Republican public service position), Walker has one goal--to funnel money from the bottom and middle to the top, and to keep some of that money flowing into his own campaigns and right wing initiatives--not to "create jobs with tax breaks" as they keep claiming. So like we progressives did last week by making statement to the GOP in Wisconsin, we're turning our attention now to Scott Walker, who we can begin collecting signatures on later this year or early next. We're coming for you, Walker, and that door is gonna hit you so hard on the way out, that no Koch brother who rubs your ass will ever be able to get the bruise out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

How Dangerous is ALEC?

Stacks of magazines tend to pile up in the summer months, but yesterday I finally picked up the issue of The Nation with ALEC Exposed on the cover. If you are not familiar with them, ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. The group has been around for decades, but once the 2010 midterm elections shifted control of the US House of Representatives and many state governor seats, they threw a hail mary--ALEC went for it, and by went for it, I mean they decided that the time was right to rapidly ram legislation through state governments.

And make no mistake, they are right wing and radical in every sense of those terms. And they are responsible for drafting legislation in states like Wisconsin, New Jersey, Ohio, Michigan and Florida to bust up unions, privatize education, suppress voters, and decrease the size of government. In short, everything the right stands for --and so if you're looking for the playbook from which it seems the likes of Scott Walker, Chris Christie and John Kasich are drawing plays from, this is where you should start. Also, as you might expect, the Koch brothers and other corporate heavyweights have a huge hand in what ALEC is about.

Thankfully, folks like us are catching on. And part of the reason we're catching on is by reading publications such as The Nation, The Progressive Magazine and Brad Blog; and also with the help of initiatives such as Alex Exposed. Please read this and pass it on to everyone you know. If we can continue to educate ourselves on how radical groups like ALEC are threatening the fabric of our democracy, and learning how we can combat them, we have a chance to squelch them. And it's extremely important to do that before the 2012 elections.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Grover Norquist Sucks

No doubt you have heard the name Grover Norquist quite a bit lately. He is not a member of Congress, yet he has more power than any of them, and you might argue he has more power than President Obama. Norquist is a president himself, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. His signature claim to fame besides his group's mission, is that he once said that he didn't want to eliminate government--he only wanted to shrink it to the point that he could drown it in the bathtub.

Members of the Tea Party are disciples of Norquist, as most, if not all, of them have signed Norquist's infamous pledge that they will not ever vote to raise taxes of any kind--not even corporate tax loopholes--EVER. And when the Tea Party held the economy and the President hostage a few weeks ago, and when Obama got backed into a corner and agreed to a deal with no new revenues, Norquist's name came up quite a bit. MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell sparred with Norquist recently on Morning Joe, and Norquist is snarky and acts like the kid in the sandbox who pushes the other kids into a corner and tells them they can have a small corner while he and his rich friends can have most of the sandbox. And he makes right wing members of congress sign a pledge making this legal.

Chris Matthews also sparred with Norquist on his show, Hardball.

Here is the danger in this as I see it. Norquist and his corporate lobbyist friends and the Koch Brothers spend gazillions of dollars on campaigns to get Tea Pary folks elected. Those folks get elected because Fox News and other right wing farces pull the wool over voters' eyes, and enough democrats stay away from polls, allowing Tea Party candidates into office. Those people tell our President that he cannot raise taxes, ever, and they would instead prefer we default on our obligations. They say he can't do it because of their pledge to Norquist. But the problem is, they have an obligation to their constituents--all of their constituents--to never put us in a position of possible default to protect some tax loopholes or to protect taxes for the rich, period. They also have an obligation to their consitutents and to the country that they should be willing to compromise on raising revenues, especially when so many spending cuts are on the table.

Anyone who voted for those Tea Party freshmen should be ashamed of themselves unless they are wealthy. Slowly, they are sucking the life out of our country and our democracy as we know it. They suck, but Grover Norquist sucks more.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Dark Day in Wisconsin. Or Is It?

I can't think of a better day to start this blog. Yesterday in Wisconsin, the GOP (which in my mind stands for Greed over People) won four of the six seats in the historic recall elections. That means that they barely hung on to a majority in the state senate, currently with a 17-16 majority. It's hard to stay positive, but there are a few observations to take away....

I just heard John Nichols from The Nation and from here in Madison on The Bill Press Show, and he reminded the guest host that Republican state senator Dale Schultz is a pro-labor guy who voted against Scott Walker's union busting bill back in March, and that we now have a 17-16 advantage as it relates to that. It's also encouraging that it came down to one race--Sandy Pasch vs. Alberta Darling in the Milwaukee suburbs (where once again county clerk and noted Walker cronie Kathy Nickolaus is being accused of tampering with votes), and Nichols also mentioned today that Walker's approval rating currently sits at 34 percent. And hey, we won two seats in very strong Republican districts.

But of course, the Koch Brothers and corporate special interests funneled a record $8 million into Darling's campaign, and if Walker is up for recall in January, you can bet they will spend maybe ten times that to try and keep their puppet in office. It's important then, that we progressives continue to fight on the ground and punch Walker's anti-union and anti-middle class agenda in the face. As with all Republicans and in particular the Tea Party, there is a common and concerted agenda to break unions, and to funnel more money and power from the bottom to the top, so that all that's left are a few kings and queens ruling us "peasants."

That's what they want, and it's not going to work, because our country was founded on democracy--and while they can try to take that away, ultimately they simply won't. I, for one, as this blog's description states, am going to punch back, and punch back hard.