Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the things Scott Walker’s campaign doesn’t want the public to know about:
Here’s something almost no one knows: Where his main campaign headquarters is. His staff is trying to keep that a secret.
But it’s not like this is the only thing Walker’s team wants to keep top secret.
His state office does not post his schedule ahead of time, releasing a monthly calendar only to those who ask. And the campaign doesn’t announce fundraisers and won’t provide a list of previous out-of-state events.
It’s also not like Walker, a first-term Republican, is hanging around his campaign HQ all day. Most of his campaign work takes place outside Wisconsinborders.
We have been studying Washington politics and Congress for more than 40 years, and never have we seen them this dysfunctional. In our past writings, we have criticized both parties when we believed it was warranted. Today, however, we have no choice but to acknowledge that the core of the problem lies with the Republican Party.
The GOP has become an insurgent outlier in American politics. It is ideologically extreme; scornful of compromise; unmoved by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition.
When one party moves this far from the mainstream, it makes it nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country’s challenges.
”—Thomas Mann, Senior fellow at the Brookings Institute & Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, in the Washington Post (via herblondness)
We have turned school testing into a huge corporate profit center, led by Pearson, for whom $32 million is actually pretty small potatoes. Pearson has a five-year testing contract with Texas that’s costing the state taxpayers nearly half-a-billion dollars.
This is the part of education reform nobody told you about. You heard about accountability, and choice, and innovation. But when No Child Left Behind was passed 11 years ago, do you recall anybody mentioning that it would provide monster profits for the private business sector?
The recipients are: Madeleine Albright, John Doar, Bob Dylan, William Foege, John Glenn, Gordon Hirabayashi, Dolores Huerta, Jan Karski, Juliette Gordon Low, Toni Morrison, Shimon Peres, John Paul Stevens and Pat Summitt.
“I’m not a pollster. I don’t know if the American people want to hear about policy. Perhaps they prefer gauzy generalities. Perhaps they’re more interested in what candidates think of America than what they want to do for America. But if this is what the general election is going to be like, then it’s not going to be a clash of visions. It’s going to be a clash of adjectives.”—Ezra Klein: Vote for Romney. He loves America. (via andrewgraham)
The New York Times published a letter to the editor today from a political science student who thinks the only reason people are recalling Gov. Walker is because of “unpopular” legislation, and doesn’t believe recalls should be used for that purpose.
The Times invites people to submit letters in response, and will publish some of the letters in its Sunday Review. The original letter and details on how to submit your response are linked above.
“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”—Gaylord Nelson, former Wisconsin Governor and Senator, and founder of Earth Day.
In September 2005, a senior Wal-Mart lawyer received an alarming e-mail from a former executive at the company’s largest foreign subsidiary, Wal-Mart de Mexico. In the e-mail and follow-up conversations, the former executive described how Wal-Mart de Mexico had orchestrated a campaign of bribery to win market dominance. In its rush to build stores, he said, the company had paid bribes to obtain permits in virtually every corner of the country.
The former executive gave names, dates and bribe amounts. He knew so much, he explained, because for years he had been the lawyer in charge of obtaining construction permits for Wal-Mart de Mexico.
In his budget repair law, Scott Walker limited the bargaining power of unions to cost-of-living adjustments. The law also included provisions that vastly expanded Walker’s own executive authority. Now, Walker is using his expanded authority to “reshape a rule to lower inflation-based raises that public unions can negotiate by 30% or more for teachers in public schools and technical colleges.”
“Nearly a million prisoners are now making office furniture, working in call centers, fabricating body armor, taking hotel reservations, working in slaughterhouses, or manufacturing textiles, shoes, and clothing, while getting paid somewhere between 93 cents and $4.73 per day.”—Sweatshop labor is back with a vengeance. (via motherjones)
According to newly-released data from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, 2,312 full-time school staff positions were eliminated during the 2011-2012 school year. For teachers in particular, 1,446 positions were cut.
According to Scott Walker’s spokesman, Cullen Werwie, this offers “proof that Governor Walker’s reforms are working.”
Although rates of gun ownership, like rates of violent crime, are falling, the power of the gun lobby is not. Since 1980, forty-four states have passed some form of law that allows gun owners to carry concealed weapons outside their homes for personal protection. (Five additional states had these laws before 1980. Illinois is the sole holdout.) A federal ban on the possession, transfer, or manufacture of semiautomatic assault weapons, passed in 1994, was allowed to expire in 2004. In 2005, Florida passed the Stand Your Ground law, an extension of the so-called castle doctrine, exonerating from prosecution citizens who use deadly force when confronted by an assailant, even if they could have retreated safely; Stand Your Ground laws expand that protection outside the home to any place that an individual “has a right to be.” Twenty-four states have passed similar laws.
“You’re going up against the grain. You’re going up the hill. But you can’t downplay the potential and possibility of these creative folks here in Wisconsin.”—Cornel West, interviewing Mahlon Mitchell. It’s a beautiful interview and I highly recommend listening to it.
“He’s an interesting case study of someone who has talked more than he has listened, lectured more than he has developed relationships with his colleagues, and now he’s having a tough time because of that behavior in advancing his policy goals. It’s kind of like watching a temper tantrum by a 2-year-old in the middle of the grocery store.”—A "senior GOP aide," referring to Sen. Ron Johnson. Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin is reportedly planning on firing most of his Washington D.C. staff.