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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

Journal Archives

Democratic Party candidates for President 2016: Compare and Contrast

I just volunteered for and contributed to Bernie's campaign. Please join me if you can.


Scott Walker, prosecutors trade pointed swipes on John Doe


Waukee, Iowa — In a swing through the crucial presidential state of Iowa this weekend, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker took the rare step of lashing out at prosecutors who had probed his campaign by questioning whether their tactics were constitutional.

In an equally unusual turn, prosecutors fired back by calling Walker's comments inaccurate, offensive and defamatory — with Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm suggesting Walker could be criminally charged for lying. They said Walker should call for the release of sealed court records so the public could know more about the investigation and raids on people's homes, but Walker gave that notion little heed.


"As to defamatory remarks, I strongly suspect the Iowa criminal code, like Wisconsin's, has provisions for intentionally making false statements intended to harm the reputation of others," Chisholm said in a statement Saturday responding to Walker's comments. In a separate statement, Schmitz said he was surprised Walker would "speak publicly about specific issues which are now before the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a decision."

"His description of the investigation as a 'political witch hunt' is offensive when he knows that the investigation was authorized by a bipartisan group of judges and is directed by a Republican special prosecutor appointed at the request of a bipartisan group of district attorneys," Schmitz's statement said.

Walker's backers can take heart knowing that the majority of the State Supreme Court is co-owned by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Koch brothers.

I've found one real positive in the TPP. Nothing in history has done so much to ....

... expose the trolls here on DU.

Senate Confirms Loretta Lynch as Attorney General After Long Delay

Source: New York Times

WASHINGTON — After one of the nation’s most protracted cabinet-level confirmation delays, the Senate Thursday approved Loretta E. Lynch to be attorney general. She is the first African-American woman to hold the position.

Ms. Lynch, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, was confirmed 56 to 43, with 10 Republicans voting for her.

Her confirmation took longer than that for all but two other nominees for the office: Edwin Meese III, who was nominated by President Ronald Reagan, and A. Mitchell Palmer, who was picked by President Woodrow Wilson, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Republicans have found themselves in a quandary for months. They longed to replace Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., and they agreed that Ms. Lynch was qualified for the job. But they opposed her because Ms. Lynch defended President Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/politics/loretta-lynch-attorney-general-vote.html?_r=0

Walker’s Act 10 Is Wreaking Havoc in the Workplace


Walker’s Act 10 Is Wreaking Havoc in the Workplace
Allegations of nepotism and retaliation at state agency

But Act 10 also radically altered protections for public employees in the workplace. Instead of guaranteeing work rules and protections in union contracts, state agency heads can establish their own policies and workers are only protected by civil service rights.

Four years after Act 10’s passage, its impact is being felt in worksites across the state. In Milwaukee, managers in an office of the state Department of Health Services (DHS) had faced allegations of nepotism and favoritism, as the Shepherd reported in June 2013. Back then, four workers at the state DHS Milwaukee Enrollment Services (MilES), headquartered at the Coggs Human Services Center on Vliet Street, accused Chief Operations Officer Vanessa Robertson of hiring her friends and relatives and giving them promotions and bonuses while passing over more senior and more qualified employees.

Robertson’s son, Gavin, for example, was promoted and given a raise when he had worked just 11 months on the job, selected over employees with years of experience. He was also among a handful of employees who were given a $2,500 bonus, part of Walker’s attempt to raise morale among state workers. In addition to son Gavin, Robertson’s sister, nieces and other friends and relatives work at MilES.


But those allegations don’t tell half of the story. Sources told the Shepherd that the MilES workplace is the site of bullying and intimidation. Shockingly, some workers who spoke out were mailed anonymous letters that featured a photo of boss Robertson along with the message: “Awe, u didn’t get the job But god don’t like ugly.” They say the state police were brought in to investigate but that went nowhere.

Political Stuff

My sister sent me this in email. As usual, she's spot on.

What I've learned from Drew Westen's book "The Political Brain":

The biggest problem liberals have is our ineffective messaging. We use facts and logic to argue our case (the limbic system though neo-cortex to amygdala route), but those who buy into the Republican message are influenced by things that jerk their emotional chain (limbic system straight to the amygdala):
1) fear (especially fear of losing face by admitting they've been wrong);
2) resentment of the so-called 'elite' (which the GOP has defined as 'educated' rather than as 'filthy rich'), and of anyone who gets anything from taxes (public employees and anyone being helped by a government safety net program).

What we have to do is play the GOP cards against them, but honestly. (Don't give them too many facts -- facts don't impress them; fear and resentment do.)

Resentment: Talk about the huge government subsidies to corporations making billions -- and their bosses (the filthy rich). Talk about the legislators who work a handful of days a year, give themselves raises, are being paid nearly $200,000 a year and have gold-standard benefits for life -- from tax dollars (the lazy bums). Talk about the pork going to any state other than the one your 'listener' lives in (their tax dollars supporting others).

Fear: (Fit your argument to the circumstances of the person you're speaking with.) Loss of Social Security and Medicare. Another trillion dollar unwinnable war financed with money borrowed from China. Loss of income to local businesses as the middle class shrinks and low-wage workers can't afford to patronize them. Their children unable to afford college. Their hunting and fishing public property sold to private companies.

Above all, avoid causing them to lose face. Talking to them feels like they're being preached to; talking with them shows respect. Ask them questions and listen respectfully to their answers -- sometimes they actually talk themselves out of what they think, because in order to talk about it, they have to think about it. Create a conversational environment which says that anybody can be deceived by a really slick operator, it doesn't mean they're stupid.

The Democrats' messaging is the major reason we've lost elections, with the result that the GOP winners have been able to rig the election system to ensure they win. We have a lot to overcome now. I highly recommend Westen's book!

Westen's book reviewed here.

Gov. Scott Walker: Answer for Climate Censorship in Wisconsin


Gov. Scott Walker: Answer for Climate Censorship in Wisconsin
Petition by Emily Southard, Forecast the Facts

To be delivered to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

Publicly condemn the measure banning staff from working on “climate change,” recently passed by the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands, and demand that the three board members of the Commissioners of Public Lands reverse the ban immediately.


A Wisconsin state agency has barred staff from working on climate change, posing real threats to the state’s public lands and showing a deeply troubling trend among conservative state governments to establish climate denial as de facto policy.

Sign on to demand that Governor Scott Walker oppose climate censorship — and we’ll hand-deliver the petition to his office next week.

Confused Hillary accidently utters line from Goldman Sachs speech while speaking in public.


“Slowly over time, it’s become more difficult, more expensive, more red tape, unnecessary regulation that has put a damper” on economic growth, she said.

Wisconsin: Resources for advocating for saving the state's land conservation funds


Take Action Today Governor Walker has proposed freezing the Stewardship Program until 2028. The land cannot wait. Nor can the communities that depend on the benefits the land provides. The time to protect our lands and waters is now while they are intact and healthy and the opportunity exists to do so. We are stronger together. In fact, the only way to save Stewardship is to let decisions makers know how important it is to each of us.

10 Ways to Save Stewardship

1. Call your legislators: Dial ‘em up, tell them why the Stewardship Program is Important to you. A phone call is most persuasive, but all communication helps!

2. Write your legislators: Send them your written thoughts. Personal, heartfelt letters are best. Here are a few templates. Also, consider sending them one of these powerful stories.

3. Put the cost of Stewardship in context: Legislators are voicing concern that Stewardship costs the state and taxpayers too much money. Familiarize yourself with these talking points to help enlighten them.

More at the link.
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