Category Archives: Scott Walker

Hot Air

Hurt Us, Please!

Who’s the worst state governor in America? Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, whose claims to fame are his gleeful union-busting and obeisant coat-holding for the Koch Boys? Billionaire Bruce Rauner, who virtually purchased the guv’s mansion, office, and…, hell, the whole of Illinois? Can either ever be a fraction as bad as half-term slacker/grifter Sarah Palin?

At least her damage was limited to a truncated 31-month sorta term. She did do one thing spectacularly well and beneficial to the people of her state: She quit.

So Walker and Rauner duke it out in contiguous states for the heavyweight title of rotten. Except a third contender might well wrest the belt from the two. He is Sam Brownback of Kansas.

Brownback

Sam Brownback

Here’s his mortal sin: He claims to have cut Kansas taxes. Actually, he did; only for the wealthy — those who make more than half a million a year. Acc’d’g to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Public Policy, under Brownback’s new tax schedule, unfortunates making less than $23,000 a year (read: the working poor) will pay $197 more a year in state taxes. A couple of c-notes is real dough to someone making $442 a week at best. It’s like Bruce Rauner (2013 income: $67,780,000) having to fork over an extra $5,227,000 to the state, disregarding the fact that even if he had to, Rauner still would have tens and tens and tens of millions of bucks to maintain his lifestyle of Croesus.

That poor sap making $442 bucks a week would have to forgo (choose one or more):

  • Paying the electric bill
  • Paying the gas bill
  • Paying the cable/broadband bill
  • Getting new tires for the car
  • Going to the doctor for that troublesome mole
  • Beef
  • A new pair of shoes, a pair of trousers, a shirt, and six pairs of socks

The list can go on.

And the sick-as-hell aspect of this Kansas mess? A majority of people making $23,000 or less in that state actually voted for the dirty bastard who’s fleecing them today.

They got what they deserve.

The What & The Whys

Prof. Rich Lloyd of Vanderbilt University asks a compelling triad of Q.’s about former Spokane NAACP head Rachel Dolezal:

  • What prompted her estranged parents to publicly out her?
  • Why now?
  • And why is no one questioning this?

Count me in: I wanna know, too.

As for the corporate media, they’re loving this story because they can spin it off in a bazillion different directions, all predicated on this holy land’s singular historical malignant tumor: Blacks ain’t Whites and vice versa.

Jim Crow

As usual, the professional wits and wags are way off on this one. The Dolezal affair has nothing in the world to do with the state of race relations in America. It has only to do with her demonstrable craziness that, quite frankly, borders on the criminal.

As Sigmund Freud never said, Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

 

Hot Air

Choice?

What’s more depressing — the possibility that the 2016 presidential campaign will be between two near-doppelgänger dynasts, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, or the fact that a farceur like Donald Trump’s entry into the race is taken seriously enough that the New York Times covers it?

Clinton/Bush

Pick ‘Em

Me? I’d almost welcome Scott Walker’s nomination by the Party of God because at least he’s an ideologue. He’d offer us a clear choice between him and anybody else in terms of who we want to be as a nation. Then again, I say “almost” because, honestly, I don’t want him to get the nom. I mean, what if he wins the election?

Race War Vs. Class War

With the meme of Gen. Colin Powell decrying the racism within his Republican Party making the rounds again on social media, my pal, the Lake County Republican, poses the following Q: Why does Powell remain a Republican? Why doesn’t he just quit and join the Dems? Now, while the LCR fully agrees that the racists and chronic racism within the GOP are abhorrent, he believes there’s a greater underlying philosophical reason why the Republicans are the better party. After all, the LCR himself hasn’t quit the GOP.

Here’s the LCR’s explanation:

I think it is because the actions of a few [Democrats] are despicable [and] the ethos of the Democratic Party is even worse. They appeal to the base human instincts of envy and resentment of those better off….

This, among other things, the LCR posits, makes the Dems “even more corrosive to the nation” than the racism within the GOP.

That’s quite a charge. My take: I’ll bet Colin Powell himself can’t fully explain why he remains a Republican. It may be inertia. Powell grew up at a time when the most virulent racists and segregationists were Democrats. Harry Byrd, George Wallace, Orval Faubus, and Lester Maddox all were Dems. That, of course, was before Richard Nixon’s Southern Strategy folded the Neanderthal wing of the Democratic Party into the GOP.

Now then. The LCR’s charge that the 99% appeal (which precious few Dem candidates are embracing in any case) is worse for this holy land than the racism that has torn it apart since the early 1800s. Sheer lunacy, my friend. Peeps aren’t screaming bloody murder because others are successful or “better off.” They’re hollering because the game is rigged. The way the system works now, those who have dough get more at the expense of those who haven’t got it. The plutocracy more and more controls policy and legislation via lobbyists and campaign moneys. Too many Richie Rich’s didn’t earn their dough; they inherited it. And far too many millionaires and billionaires didn’t get that way through hard work and the production of goods and services that somehow benefit, y’know, people. They’ve been degenerate gamblers who gamed the system to rake in their dirty dollars.

Mr. Moneybags

A Crooked Game

And both the Democrats and Republicans are responsible for this economic world of shit.

Better Late Than Never

My delayed reaction to Bloomingfoods‘ divorce from long-time GM George Huntington and the subsequent axing of a nearly two doz. mid-level managers at the co-op’s three locations:

Both are good moves, albeit anywhere from two to 10 years too late.

Huntington

Bloom Mag Photo Of George Huntington By Amber Lynn Brown

My rec. for B-foods’ next good move? Shut down the East Side and the Elm Heights stores before tomorrow morning. Concentrate on the Near West site and make it a viable local alternative to the new Lucky’s Market and the to-come Whole Foods Market.

Hot Air

Proclamation

Happy Lincoln’s b-day.

Lincoln

The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.

— Lincoln

Fools’ Paradise

You know, I can’t take today’s Republicans seriously on anything until they all stop pandering to the goosebrains of this holy land. Case in point: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker recently refused to tell a British interviewer whether or not he believes evolution is the real deal.

Creation Museum

A Fairy Tale World

Now, maybe Walker does indeed accept the conventional, non-controversial, empirically demonstrable theory of natural selection by mutation in his heart of hearts. It’s impossible to know. What is inarguable, though, is his unwillingness to offend the willfully ignorant of America.

The Party has to ask itself why it is a magnet for the imbecilic.

Addendum: So, let’s say on some far off day the GOP washes its hands of those who believe their ignorance is as valid as the consensus of the world’s scientific community. As I say, I just may start taking them seriously. I still won’t vote for a Republican, no matter what, until the Party supports the Equal Rights Amendment. So there’s that hurdle to cross.

Atheist Extremism?

So, a lunatic who says he’s an atheist offs a family of Muslims (allegedly) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Ergo, he’s an anti-religious bigot whose hatred of the god-loving has driven him to this craven act.

At least that’s how some of the conventional wisdom goes in the aftermath of Tuesday’s slayings.

In fact, The New Republic‘s religion writer Elizabeth Stoker Bruenig yesterday posted a piece indicting what she considers the unseemly “the New Atheism” as embodied by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Bill Maher and other in-your-face unbelievers for Craig Hicks‘ gunplay.

Hicks

Hicks

The religionists of this holy land can’t seem to wrap their minds around the fact that atheism is not a religion. Hell, it’s not even capitalized. It is a nothing, whereas religion is a something. It’s not a club with rules, rituals, a leadership structure, and a set of taboos. Religions are just such clubs.

Sam Harris, noted rationalist author, is no more responsible for Craig Hicks’ (alleged) atrocity than I am for Sam (Momo) Giancana‘s criminal acts since we both had Sicilian antecedents and spent a lot of time in Oak Park, Illinois.

OTOH, religions regularly teach that those who are outside the club are to be pitied, converted, and even socially ostracized. Many, if not most, religions go so far as to say that when non-believers die the putative creator of the Universe will condemn them to an eternity of punishment. Taking this to its illogical conclusion, extremist Sicilians and Oak Parkers will not kill you for not being Sicilians and Oak Parkers but extremist Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others just may bump you off for not buying their god fables. After all, god so does not not give a shit about the beliefs and comforts of infidels that he’s happy to consign them to the fires of everlasting hell. Why, then, should we, the faithful, care about nonbelievers’ Earthly bodies?

I still insist that Muslims around the world should actively distance themselves from, for instance, the Charlie Hebdo killings. So should American Christians condemn slavery, KKK atrocities, and the Indian holocaust, since those things were committed in their god’s name. And modern-day Germans bear a responsibility to say they despise their Nazi history.

But even if an atheist claims to have killed people of faith simply because they have a faith, I’m not obliged to explain to you that, as an atheist, I’m not as evil as he is.

Again, atheism isn’t our shared club. Atheism is nothing.

Hot Air

Learnin’ — Who Needs It?

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is back on the slicing and dicing trail. This time he wields his machete against the state’s university system that serves 180,000 students and employs 39,000..

Walker, of course, is an early, early, early front runner in the Republican beauty pageant for the 2016 presidential nomination. He came out on top in a Des Moines Register/Bloomberg poll of GOPers yesterday, edging out even Jeb Bush in popularity among likely Repub. voters. That’s the way things stand — this minute at least.

Walker

This Minute’s It Guy

Anyway, Walker’s big news of late has been his desire to slash the state’s financing of the University of Wisconsin by a cool one-third in his next budget. As of now, Wisconsin spends about $1 billion a year on its university system. Walker proposes cutting $300 million from that total.

Criss-crossing the state and even appearing on the nationally televised Sunday morning gasbag programs, Walker adds that professors and other U. teachers just might have to start thinking about teaching more classes and working longer hours. The Guv is falling back on the old Republican canard wherein teachers are sitting around smoking pipes, reading the Socialist Worker, and planning their next wife-swapping get-together.

Scads o’ Republicans these days think all a college teacher has to do is spout some facts and figures for 45 minutes and then go back to plotting the overthrow of god. In addition to the grueling hours major university instructors put in preparing classes, actually teaching, meeting with students, grading papers and trying to keep up with advances in educational theory, many also engage in research in whatever field they’re in. The U. of WI demands that its teachers do research. This is how our breadth of knowledge is expanded. Seems inarguable, right? Wrong. In fact, one of Walker’s coat-holders, speaker of the Wisconsin assembly Robin Voss says, “Of course I want research but I want to have research that focuses on a way of growing our economy, not on ancient mating habits of whatever.”

Cute, huh?

Reminds me of Sarah Palin’s old line — back when she was inexplicably relevant — about university researchers spending our good, hard-earned tax dollars on studying fruit flies. Fruit flies! Imagine that. How inane! Her GOP audiences ate that stuff up. Only the fruit fly studies she was talking about were agriculturally significant in terms of invasive species knowledge, but also were being done by genetics researchers. They use fruit flies because the little buggers’ life span is so short; scientists can learn about numerous generations of mutations within a few weeks. Gregor Mendel would be proud.

It’s one thing for a dingbat like Palin to spout nonsense but when a presidential contender’s loyal lieutenant starts talking like a baboon, things suddenly begin looking a little grim for this holy land.

The Bestseller That Nobody Has

One of the hottest books out right now is Pioneer Girl, Laura Ingalls Wilder’s recently released memoir, complete with annotations. Well, let me amend that: the book is out, but not out. Wait, what? Yeah, PG was released back in November and quickly sold out. Its publisher the South Dakota Historical Society Press isn’t used to dealing in blockbusters. Not when its catalog includes such page turners as County Capitals: The Courthouses of South Dakota and The Mystery of the Pheasants.

One of the big publishing houses would have rushed second, third, and fourth printings off before impatient book buyers could stomp their feet twice. As of this moment, SDHSP has issued no statements about when Pioneer Girl will be available again.

Book Cover

We had a couple of copies at the Book Corner back at the end of last year. They passed through our hands so quickly I didn’t even have a chance to thumb through them. So, if you’re a fan of the creator of the Little House on the Prairie series, you’ll just have to cool your heels.

Magic Pill

Let’s recognize the passing of the scientist who helped women achieve whatever modicum of equality they enjoy today.

The Pill — no other identifier is needed — was created in large part by one Carl Djerassi, chemist, novelist, and playwright. Back in 1951 he and two research partners (there’s that old bugaboo again, research) figured out how to make the synthetic steroid hormone, norethisterone, usable in a tablet taken orally. The hormone effectively prevented ovulation in women taking The Pill daily during their fertile weeks of the month. (The Pill regimen usually includes placebos to be taken during those days when the women is not fertile.)

The Pill

Good ol’ Doc Djerassi — who, coincidentally enough, earned his PhD form the University of Wisconsin — died Friday. He was 91. Like many scientists of his generation, Djerassi escaped from Nazi occupied territory back in the 1930s.

The Pill just may have been the single most important scientific or technological advancement aiding the cause of women’s rights. It allowed women to enjoy sex without worrying about conceiving. It was approved for use by the US Food and Drug Administration in 1960. Next thing anybody knew, women were agitating for things like equal pay, workplace advancement, progressive rape laws, and others. Because The Pill was the first birth control method that women exclusively control every day, their newfound self-dominion inspired a greater desire for autonomy in many other areas.

Djerassi

Dr. Carl Djerassi

Its benefit has extended well beyond women. I know for a fact that The Pill has aided me in my desire never to reproduce. For that alone, the world should give thanks to Carl Djerassi.

Hot Air

Top O’the Nation!

The great state of Indiana comes in number one among the 50 states in terms of total poundage of toxic chemicals released into our waterways. The advocacy group Environment America released a study this month detailing our holy land’s dumping of dangerous crap into rivers, streams, and lakes.

Surprisingly — or perhaps not so surprisingly — the Hoosier State out-dumps even such environmental backwaters as Texas and Louisiana. See for yourself:

Environment America

From The Study, Wasting Our Waterways

Give us credit for working hard at fouling our drinking, bathing, and fishing waters: six of the 10 states on this list have greater populations than Indiana.

[h/t to Hondo Thompson.]

Digging For Fool’s Gold

We on the Left think we’re superior to the grunters, armpit scratchers, and mouth-breathers on the other side.

For instance, we laugh at and about those twin faux scandals — Benghazi and IRS-gate — that are to Republicans as fresh rhino feces is to a gang of dung beetles. The Right, we tell ourselves smugly, is so full of it. They’re just dying to make something out of these nothings. They’re trying and trying and trying, yet nothing of substance ever comes out of the countless congressional hearings (started by the GOP, natch) on the above-mentioned non-crimes.

We know they’re obsessed with these things solely because they want them to be high, impeachable infractions. Those on the Right are like nine-year-olds, stomping, begging, screeching, and pouting in hopes of getting Mom to let them play with daddy-o’s blow torch. It ain’t gonna happen but the kids are going to rave on nonetheless.

Oh, we’d never be so childish, so stupid. Would we?

We might. This Scott Walker scandal looks like a good place to start. Apparently the bete noir governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, and his peeps attempted to coordinate national conservative fundraising groups’ efforts to funnel cash into the Guv’s recall campaign back in 2012. In case you’ve forgotten, Democrats were outraged that Walker had governed the state pretty much exactly as he promised when running for office so they mounted a costly and eventually failed effort to oust him from his Madison manse.

Certain state prosecutors have banded together to say that Walker’s coordination of dollar-begging work violated campaign finance laws the states and the federal gov’t have instituted in an effort to convince the American people that dollars, god forbid, do not equal votes.

Oh, but they do. That’s a topic for another few thousand posts.

Anyway, my sisteren and bretheren on the Commie/Abortionist side of the political fence are salivating over the prospect of Walker being led away in handcuffs like Jordan Belfort. See, we couldn’t beat him in a regular election, we couldn’t oust him in an insanely-ill-advised recall election, so now maybe we can ice him by throwing him in jail.

From Daily Kos

Dem Porn

The investigation into campaign finance improprieties has been going on for two and a half years now. A state judge has found no probably cause for continuing the investigation. One federal judge has ordered the investigation halted twice under the Citizens United ruling. Another fed judge just last month found any legal proceedings in the case to be without basis. Still, the anti-Walker forces press on: they’ve taken the case to the US Seventh Court of Appeals.

Sheesh, the whole thing is starting to stink of Whitewater.

Kids, it ain’t gonna work. Let it go. Let’s focus our efforts on voting him out in November.

Oh, but that would take hard work: ringing doorbells, making phone calls, stuffing envelopes — you know, the kind of things those grunters, armpit scratchers, and mouth-breathers on the other side are good at.

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