Top Of My Head

Thoughts on everything from Politics to Video Games

Tag: Wisconsin (page 2 of 3)

Recall Governor Scott Walker

Today kicks off the effort to remove Scott Walker from the Governor’s office.  We could’ve saved ourselves a lot of trouble and never voted him to be Governor in the first place, but that’s another story.

So, why remove Governor Walker?

He’s done almost exactly what he said he would do.  We are now all able to carry concealed weapons in this state.  He’s limited the power of those nasty unions.  Wisconsin is now open for business.  He’s created more jobs.

Um, wait, no he hasn’t.

Now, pay attention:  Governors and Presidents do not create jobs.  Small businesses and corporations create jobs.  People purchase items, which creates demand, which creates the need for more employees, which creates jobs.  Companies are not going to hire merely because they’re sitting on millions of dollars.  Most of the large corporations and companies (I am not discussing small businesses, because I don’t have the facts about them) that had trouble are now back in the black.  A lot of corporations are showing record profits on the books.  Thanks to tax cuts, subsidies and other benefits, they aren’t paying all that much in taxes.

They’re not hiring.  Why?  Because there’s no demand there.

Now, that said, I would like to point out that unemployment rate in the state of Wisconsin was 7.4% in January, 2011 – when Scott Walker took office.  With the exception of a brief moment (April, 2011 7.3%), the unemployment rate has steadily grown to a high of 7.9% to 7.8% (September, 2011).

Walker’s campaign was about how we were going to balance the budget and create jobs.  He pounded his Wisconsin’s open for Business slogan until you wanted to choke him with it.  He hasn’t created jobs.  Unemployment has gone up and not down.

Is it fair to judge him on something I really don’t think he could do anyway?  Yes.  Yes, because job creation was his own standard.  He was opening Wisconsin for business.  He was going to create jobs.  Then, he turned away the millions for the high speed rail system and cost the state 4,000 jobs.

And, the lack of jobs isn’t my only beef with him.  He’s made our state unsafe with the concealed carry law.  Sorry, no – I don’t believe that every single person who legally obtains a weapon is sane, rational and knows how to use it.  No, I don’t think being able to carry a weapon into bars and office buildings make us all safe.  Just one example:  Charles Julius Guiteau legally obtained his weapon and he used it to shoot a president.  (That’s one example, from 130 years ago, but this discussion isn’t about concealed carry.)

Anyway, there’s only been 2 successful recalls of governors in US history – let’s make it 3.

RECALL WALKER!!!

And, while I am not affiliated with this group in any manner, here is a link to United Wisconsin’s website.  You’ll learn even more information on the recall effort and why you should support the recall.

Vine Ripened Tomatoes

This past weekend I made Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwiches for dinner.  Cheryl had a craving for them and I was only too happy to oblige.  I’m not big on tomatoes.  I’ll eat them, but given the choice, I’ll pass.  However; I was at M and M Farms here in Racine and Mike gave me three big tomatoes, right from the vine.  (Full disclosure, I created Mike’s website: mandmfarms.biz.)  Anyway, he explained to me the difference between vine ripened tomatoes and grocery store tomatoes.  Grocery store tomatoes are picked while still green and shipped to a warehouse.  Once there, they are gassed in order to “ripen” and gain their bright red color.  The tomatoes at M and M Farms are not.  They’re allowed to ripen on the vine.

While I listened to Mike’s explanation, I didn’t really get the difference.  Ripe is ripe, right?  And, tomatoes aren’t all that good anyway, so what difference does it make?

Well, after this weekend, I can honestly say that it makes a lot of difference.  I can’t remember my mother ever shopping at a farmer’s market, so I’m sure I ate very few vine ripened tomatoes in my life.  But, I can tell you this, I will be making every effort to only eat vine ripened tomatoes from now on.

If you like vine ripened tomatoes and you live near Racine, may I suggest M and M Farms on Braun Rd – west of Green Bay Road?

This morning in Wisconsin

I just woke up this morning to learn that the Democrats only took two of the recall elections. With the whole nation watching, we handed the state right back to the extremists. Sadly, this is the state of our nation. The majority of the people no longer understand the basics of economics. They can no longer think for themselves. They honestly believe that cutting funds to education is better for the state. They’re so glued to their Fox News – which has the largest ratings of any news outlet – they believe what Fox says is true.

The people who believe in consensus. The people who believe in human rights. The people who believe that the rich aren’t paying their fair share. The people who realize that with the slow decline of unions, middle class wages have remained stagnant and will start a slow decline. The people who realize that We the people is becoming We the corporations. The people who can think for themselves and do not need a talking head to think for them. We are becoming and, we really are, the minority in this country.

It saddens me. Just because you’re a majority, doesn’t mean that you are right. For the first time in my adult life, I actually believe that America might just not bounce back. For the first time in my adult life, I am truly and honestly scared that America will fail. It’s really sad. I love my country, but I fear the extremists who are taking it over.

Crap – Concealed Carry in Wisconsin

With everything that has been going on in my life, I managed to miss the fact that Concealed Carry was up for discussion.  Well, it passed – according to Cheryl, I haven’t even seen a news report.  Since I have not read the law, nor seen any of the debate, I won’t say if I was pro or con.  If the one passed was like the one Governor Doyle vetoed, then I’m against.

Now, only the lone state of Illinois is concealed carry free.

I wonder, if they surveyed the state’s residents, how many would support this?  I, also, wonder how many jobs this is going to create?  Because while Walker and friends have been eliminating some rights and passing concealed carry, I haven’t seen the unemployment rate get any better.

Walker Won’t Defend Domestic Partnerships

Can you imagine the Governor of your state coming out and actually telling people that the few rights your relationship enjoys are unconstitutional?  Of course not, don’t be silly.  That could never happen.

If you’re straight, that is.

Governor Walker doesn’t want to defend Wisconsin’s Domestic Partnership law.  Well, it isn’t his job nor the job of Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to NOT defend a law that was passed by the Wisconsin state legislature.  It is their freaking jobs.  Van Hollen should lose his for refusing to defend the law.  This isn’t about his own personal beliefs.  This is about upholding a state law.

Where do these two jackasses get off not defending the law?

Both of them should lose their jobs.  I pay taxes for to pay their salaries and I expect my money’s worth.

And, I’m not getting it.

And, you know what?  I think marriage for straight people is unconstitutional.  I don’t think the government should be allowed to choose who can and cannot get married.  I think if not every relationship is acknowledged – then NO relationship should be.  Marriage is a religious decision and it should never have been afforded civil rights in the first place.

Equality for all or equality for none.

Which is it going to be?

Recall Walker.

Here – Have a shot & Please sign this Recall Petition

Right up front I’m going to say this:  I don’t care which political party buys pretty girls drinks to get them to sign a recall petition.  It is completely and utterly wrong – it isn’t illegal, but not everything unethical is illegal.

That said, I think it’s pretty bad that the recall effort the Republicans have launched against the 14 Democrats is so bad off that signature gatherers are resorting to trading shots for signatures, according to an article on the Huffington Post.  It doesn’t matter what you think of the recall efforts of either side, you should be outraged at the following:

  1. Drunk people are signing the complaint.  Shouldn’t you at least be in your right mind when making a political decision?
  2. There are citizens out there who give so little thought and care to our political process that they are willing to sell their signature for a shot or two.
  3. Not one Wisconsin Paper – as I’m writing this – has bothered to pick up the story and run with it.  A little investigating reporting would be appreciated.  However; that’s not what we’re going to get out of any news organization in this state.  Especially since it makes the Republicans look bad.  Say all you want about the main stream media, but then ask yourself, who owns the station.

Walker’s Anti-Union Success

If the budget was all about balance and not destroying unions, then why – as a friend put it – did “Walker and his henchmen” pull the collective bargaining rights out and pass it?

I’ll tell you why. This isn’t about our great state. It is about Governor Walker making his friends over at Koch Industries happy. Watch who takes over our state owned energy assets and then ask yourself if this was about a balanced budget.

Worse – he campaigned on how he will create jobs. I don’t see anything in this budget that has created one job.

Can you say RECALL, boys and girls?

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Walker’s Budget – Bad for Wisconsin

Even if Walker’s budget didn’t include the restricting of rights for our fellow citizens, it would still be bad for Wisconsin.  I applaud our Democratic lawmakers who have stood firm in their joint refusal to return home.  They are true PATROITS, who do not want our state sold to the lowest bidder, as Walker and the rest of the Republicans want.

Let’s look at the Senate bill, shall we?

Right there on Page 6 is this paragraph:

“Currently, this state owns and operates numerous heating, cooling, and power plants that were constructed by the state to provide heating, cooling, and power to
state facilities. The Department of Administration (DOA) determines the method of operation of these plants and may delegate this authority to any other state agency that has managing authority for a plant. This bill permits DOA to sell or contract for the operation of any such plant. The bill exempts such sales and contracts from the requirement for approval of the Public Service Commission (PSC) that may otherwise apply under current law. The bill provides that the net proceeds
of any sale, after retirement of any outstanding state debt and any necessary repayment of federal financial assistance, is deposited in the budget stabilization fund. The bill also allows DOA, at any time, to petition the PSC to regulate as a public utility any person who purchases or contracts for the operation of any plant under the bill. Under current law, the PSC has regulatory authority over public utilities, including the authority to set rates for utility service.”

Now, take a look at this section (Page 26).

16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).(emphasis mine)

Right there, Walker is giving away our state. It doesn’t mention how much money our “numerous heating, cooling, and power plants” might bring into the state. It doesn’t say how much money the state will make off the sale. And, if we sell off the plants, won’t that mean the state will then have to pay for the privilege of using plants we paid to build and maintain?

And, let’s think who is going to benefit from this no-bid, no approval sale?  Could it be Koch Industries – Walker’s second highest campaign contributor?  You watch – bill passes, Koch moves in – state loses.

What’s next?  Oh, yes,  he wants to take away state employees’ rights to protest the state government.  Take a look, it is on page 5.

“Under current law, the governor may declare a state of emergency if he or she determines that an emergency exists resulting from a disaster or the imminent threat of a disaster. This bill authorizes a state agency to discharge any state employee who fails to report to work as scheduled for any three unexcused working days during a state of emergency or who participates in a strike, work stoppage, sit−down, stay−in, slowdown, or other concerted activities to interrupt the of operations or services of state government, including specifically purported mass resignations or sick calls. Under the bill, engaging in any of these actions constitutes just cause for discharge.” (emphasis mine)

I don’t have a problem with demanding employees to show up for work during a state emergency, but saying that they will be fired if they strike? That’s going too far. We don’t allow private companies to fire striking employees and public employees deserve the same rights as the rest of us.

I want to digress from going over the bill for a moment and point something out.  Someone I know keeps harping on Wisconsin teachers and how they need more competition, etc.  I would like to point out that indeed Wisconsin teachers’ salaries are in the top 50% of the nation.  I would, also, like to point out that so are our children’s test scores.  We pay our teachers more than 50% of the nation and in return we have students who test in the upper 50%.  For what more could you ask?

Then there is the Assembly bill, which has all ready passed.  That’s where Walker takes away the funding for family planning.  In other words, even if you’re poor, you don’t get birth control pills.

Under current law, DHS provides funding for family planning services, including maintaining a state plan for community−based family planning programs and specific annual grants. This bill eliminates this family planning services funding.

(emphasis mine)

According to the Huffington Post, this will save the state a whole 1.9 million dollars a year.  Has Walker thought about how much having unwanted babies will cost the state per year?  They’ll need childcare, food (more money from WIC) and educations.  According to BabyCenter‘s calculator, the total cost of raising a child in the Midwest from 0 to 18 is $243,068. I don’t know how much of that will be paid by Wisconsin taxpayers, but I’m sure some of it will. How about we don’t have the mother become pregnant in the first place? I’m sure we can find other ways of saving 1.9 million. We could always make Walker pay for his own residence and not maintain the governor’s mansion for him. According to State Sen. Bob Wirch (quoted on PolitiFact), it costs one million dollars over a four year term. If Walker paid his own way, we could save $250,000 per year. It would at least be a start.

If this isn’t enough to convince you that Walker and his budget is bad for Wisconsin, well, I just don’t know what else to say.  There are more items, but I’m not done reading the thousand plus pages of the budget.

So, as I’ve said before and I’ll say again, Let’s RECALL Walker!

Walker says we’re broke –

I saw a tweet from Polifact and I thought I’d share it with you, my gentle readers.  (@TopOfMyHead) has shared a Tweet with you:  “TopOfMyHead: Gov. Scott Walker says Wisconsin is “broke.” False, says the Truth-O-Meter. http://bit.ly/f67C33″ –http://twitter.com/TopOfMyHead/status/43332836551438338

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Assembly Passes Budget Bill

The Assembly passes the budget bill and despite Representative Suder’s written statement: “The vote we took wasn’t the easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do”, it wasn’t the right thing to do.  Aside from killing union’s rights for collective bargaining, the Republicans have sold out our state.  The no-bid for state owned energy assets means that the government can sell / lease them off to the companies they deem should have them.

Who gains from that?

Walker’s largest campaign contributor: Koch Industries.

Despite their blanket denials that they will not benefit, Koch Industries will benefit the most.  How will Walker turn down his buddy?  The punking of Walker by Ira Murphy showed that Walker is in the Koch brothers’ pocket and truly believes what is good for them is good for him.

The sad thing is that people who do not understand how the world works, don’t understand just how bad it will be for Wisconsin with Walker as our governor.

By the way, where are the jobs Walker promised?  So far, he shut down the high speed rail which would have amounted to 4000 jobs (yes, some temporary) and Talgo Inc is moving to Illinois killing even more jobs.  So far, Walker has killed unions and not created one job.

Can you say RECALL, boys and girls?

Show us the JOBS you promised, Mr. Governor.  If anyone deserves to be laid off – it’s this lousy state government.

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