The Madison Fire Department has issued a statement saying the whole welding-of-the-windows thing isn’t true.
In other news, Senator Scott Fitzgerald (of the Family Fitzgerald) made a motion to cut off the copy privileges of the Democratic Senators’ staffers. Yes, you read that correctly; he wants to deactivate the codes staffers use for the copy machines, (so… they’ll have to scan stuff more often?). That’ll show ‘em, Scotty!
Most people blew off that article at the time because a) Holloway’s transition to County Exec was a mess anyway and b) despite plenty of evidence to suggest his shadiness, apparently it wasn’t well-enough established yet that Scott Walker lies. A lot. Like all the time. But now that his pattern of lies is becoming more commonly-known, I wonder if the issue would raise more eyebrows. I’ve never seen this topic covered beyond the Journal Sentinel, and Holloway certainly didn’t make a smooth transition so I doubt we’ll ever know the truth, but I can’t help but wonder. Will people ever be able to take what he says at face-value again?
Of course, Washington knows all about tribalism, as both sides giddily await a possible shutdown of the government. But Walker’s excesses show where this leads. It leads to hypocrisy: He called President Obama’s health-care reform an “unprecedented power grab,” but once in office he launched his own grab by attempting to end collective bargaining for public workers. It leads to falsification: He claims he campaigned on ending collective bargaining, but a Politifact analysis found that he did no such thing. And now, it’s leading to fantasy. Walker told the faux Koch that “before we dropped the bomb,” he showed his Cabinet a picture of Ronald Reagan and proclaimed that “one of the most defining moments of his political career [was] when he fired the air traffic controllers.” That, Walker said, “was the first crack in the Berlin Wall.” And now, “this is our time to change the course of history.”
If elected officials are going to legislate against the will and the best interest of their constituents, they should be held accountable. Although Scotty can’t be recalled yet, Republican Senator Alberta Darling can. Darling chairs the Joint Finance Committee and has been an outspoken advocate for Scott Walker’s “budget repair” bill. The Shepherd Express has a great piece on her sharp turn toward the right and the recall effort that’s brewing. The website www.recallalbertadarling.org also has more information.
It is small as protests go these days in Madison. A line of advocates, activists, and people with disabilities, some in wheelchairs, maneuvers its way through the slush Thursday, past honking horns and over puddles, from Capitol Square to a squat, nondescript office building at 149 E. Johnson. “Our homes, not nursing homes!” the protesters shout. Bringing up the rear on crutches, his right leg amputated below his knee, is John Nousaine. He has driven down from Superior to join this mission.
…right-wing ideologues have exploited crises to push through an agenda that has nothing to do with resolving those crises, and everything to do with imposing their vision of a harsher, more unequal, less democratic society…
What’s happening in Wisconsin is… an attempt to exploit the fiscal crisis to destroy the last major counterweight to the political power of corporations and the wealthy. And the power grab goes beyond union-busting. The bill in question is 144 pages long, and there are some extraordinary things hidden deep inside…
This is not the Senate vote, the Dems are still in hiding. But it wasn’t without craptastic drama:
After much buildup in the 61-hour debate — of Republicans wanting things to be over, and Democrats railing against Republicans who they said would cut off debate — at about 1 AM Speaker Pro Tempore Bill Kramer (R) announced that he would hear a voice vote for a roll call on final passage. Immediately, the majority Republicans shouted their ayes, and the Democrats were booing, as they tried to be recognized to demand a separate motion to cut off debate.
Then Kramer called the vote. Within seconds, the digital vote system on the wall announced 51 ayes and 17 nays, and voting was suddenly closed. With a total of 96 members, that got to a majority for the bill but left 28 members who hadn’t had a chance yet to vote.
At that point, the Democrats got up, chanting “Shame! Shame! Shame!” and similar exclamations, as the Republicans filed out of the room.
Why does the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the largest paper in the state of Wisconsin, insist on presenting data from Rasmussen as if it were factual? Rasmussen has been widely discredited for using shotty methods of data collection. In particular, the recent poll regarding Wisconsin would not have passed Statistics 101. Continuing to publish bad data from an unreliable source costs the paper credibility. If the paper insists on reporting these polls like they’re newsworthy, it should at least err on the side of full-disclosure and inform readers of the controversy surrounding Rasmussen’s methods and/or present Rasmussen as partisan rather than non-partisan so that readers can get a more realistic sense of how (in)accurate this data is. Either the Journal Sentinel lacks a fundamental understanding of sound surveying methods or it is purposely trying to mislead people and is well on its way to becoming the Fox News version of a newspaper.
Scott Walker Understands Power: Voter ID Bill in Wisco
Ezra Klein wrote a must-read piece on the proposed voter ID law.
Thought Scott Walker’s effort to reshape the balance of power in Wisconsin began and ended with his initiative to yank collective-bargaining rights away from public-employee unions? Think again.
I really encourage you to read this. If this passes, Wisconsin will have the most restrictive voter ID requirement in the country, making it harder for people (and research shows, bills like this disproportionately impact people who are among the most vulnerable in society as is) to vote and ultimately suppressing democracy. I can’t urge you strongly enough to read this article, inform yourself about the bill, and brush up on the ugly history of creating obstacles for people to vote.
“Mr. Walker has rejected union concessions and won’t even negotiate. His true priority is stripping workers of collective-bargaining rights and reducing their unions to a shell. The unions would no longer be able to raise money to oppose him, as they did in last year’s election, easing the way for future Republicans as well.”—-The New York Times. "Spreading Anti-Union Agenda"
Only 3 types of ID would be allowed: Wisconsin drivers licenses, Wisconsin IDs issued by the Department of Transportation, & military IDs;
Other forms of ID, including passports, government issued IDs, and student IDs would NOT be permitted;
In Wisconsin, research shows that the people least-likely to have the types of identification required — and least-likely to be able to obtain such ID — include: the elderly, people with disabilities, low-income individuals, and students;
State IDs (but not drivers licenses) would be available for free to avoid essentially imposing an illegal poll tax (I have yet to find anything that estimates how much this would cost the state…anyone?);
Kevin Kennedy, director of Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board, estimates that it will cost his agency $2 million to train poll workers and conduct a public information campaign, (what’s up, budget crisis?);
Republicans want this implemented by the April 5th election. Coincidentally, Republican Jeff Stone, author of the bill, is running for Milwaukee County Executive, a position that will be filled in the April 5th election.
“In the course of our work we have never found any evidence to support allegations of organized, large-scale vote fraud or dissuasion. Before we do anything that alters existing access to voting we should make sure we do it for a compelling reason based on a clear need.”—John Chisholm, Milwaukee County District Attorney, regarding the idea that widespread voter fraud is the true motivation behind the voter ID legislation.
Charles and David Koch, who co-own Koch Industries Inc. and whose combined worth is estimated at $43 billion, have been recently tied by many media outlets to Walker’s push to eliminate collective bargaining rights for public workers. The two have long backed conservative causes and groups including Americans for Prosperity, which organized the tea party rally Saturday in support of Walker’s plan to strip public workers of collective bargaining rights and recently launched the Stand with Scott Walker website.
Stay informed about the voter id bill presented by Wisconsin Republicans. Such bills have historically been used to make it more difficult for people to vote, a move which not only suppresses democracy, but one that often targets the most vulnerable people in society, as well. Not surprisingly, one of the Wisconsin representatives jamming this bill through advancing this bill is Republican Jeff Stone, who is running for Milwaukee County Executive in an April election.
A paper in Tucson provides a good overview. You may be wondering why I have to cite a paper from Tucson. I have had it up to here with the janky reporting of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; it is unacceptable for that hot mess to be the largest paper in Wisconsin.
I am secretly a nerd for statistics. I am especially in love with fivethirtyeight so I’ve been trying to keep an eye Nate Silver’s reaction to Wisconsin-related polls as of late. Check out his latest post, linked above. Results from Rasmussen’s recent poll should be disregarded and… Nate Silver straight up wrote that their work should be viewed with “extreme skepticism going forward.” Oh, snap.