Rob Ford Files For Re-Election
Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has no plans to ride off into the sunset. Ford, who admitted to smoking crack cocaine in a “one of my drunken stupors” in November and has been accused of a veritable laundry list of other misdeeds, filed to run for re-election Thursday.
Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.
The shrill brigade of his critics say Mr. Snowden has done profound damage to intelligence operations of the United States, but none has presented the slightest proof that his disclosures really hurt the nation’s security. Many of the mass-collection programs Mr. Snowden exposed would work just as well if they were reduced in scope and brought under strict outside oversight, as the presidential panel recommended.
When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government.
--The New York Times, Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower
Wisconsin Ranks 37th in Private-Sector Job Growth
Wisconsin continued to trail the national rate of job creation, as it has for over two years, according to Wednesday’s data. The United States created private-sector jobs at a rate of 1.9% in the latest 12-month period, nearly double Wisconsin’s rate of 1.0%, the data show.
Watchdog Wednesdays: Open Government Resources
Transparency in government is vital to a healthy democracy. Wisconsin has a long tradition of openness with regard to public meetings and records, including what may be the nation’s first state records law, enacted in 1849.
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has put together a great resource guide for understanding the state’s open meetings and public records laws.
We wanted to post a video of this hilarious CNN story featuring current high-ranking Senators living in squalor, but then we found this even better clip of Bill Murray cursing while brushing his teeth and shaving during his “Alpha House” cameo, so we said screw it and ran with it.
Another aide to Scott Walker sends racist tweets
For the second time in less than four months, Gov. Scott Walker has fired an aide for making demeaning comments about Hispanics on social media.
Read more here.
Also note that these tweets were made before Taylor Palmisano was hired for Walker’s campaign, meaning Walker and his campaign staff either knew about these tweets at the time of hiring or were too lazy to even bother checking.
Watchdog Toolkit | WisconsinWatch.org
The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism has launched this project to help residents track the actions of people in power.
Follow the link above for concise tips on how to gather information on:
- Campaign finance
- State legislation
- Corporations and nonprofits
The Googlization of the Far Right: Why Is Google Funding Grover Norquist, Heritage Action and ALEC? | TruthOut
Google, the tech giant supposedly guided by its “don’t be evil” motto, has been funding a growing list of groups advancing the agenda of the Koch brothers.
Organizations that received “substantial” funding from Google for the first time over the past year include Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, the Federalist Society, the American Conservative Union (best known for its CPAC conference), and the political arm of the Heritage Foundation that led the charge to shut down the government over the Affordable Care Act: Heritage Action.
Minnesota and Wisconsin share much more than bone-chilling winters: German and Northern European roots; farming; and, until recently, a populist progressive tradition stretching back a century to Wisconsin’s Fighting Bob La Follette and the birth of Minnesota’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
But in 2010 these cousin states diverged. By doing so they began a natural experiment that compares the agendas of modern progressivism and the new right. Wisconsin elected Republicans to majorities in the Legislature and selected a bold and vigorous Republican governor, Scott Walker. Minnesotans elected one of the most progressive candidates for governor in the country, Mark Dayton of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
Read more here.
President Johnson turns to Jackie moments after taking the oath.
From noon to dusk on November 22, 1963, history went dark, locked inside the closed and crowded cabin of Air Force One. Fifty years later, what happened after JFK died has fully come to light.
What did Wisconsin Republicans do this week?
They continued to attack voting rights:
"On the last night of the legislative session, Republicans, at the very last minute, sprung a new bill to cut down early voting even further. The bill they sprung on everybody last night would force every county clerk in the state to shut down early voting at 5 p.m. on every weekday and offer no voting on weekends at all. So no early voting after work and no voting on weekends."
"The Republicans in Wisconsin came up with a new twist on their voting restrictions. Republicans want you to declare, when you vote, if you are a poor person. And if you say that you are a poor person, that you do not have the right documentation to show to be allowed to vote because you cannot afford to get that documentation, you have to sign a form swearing that you are poor. Once you’ve done that your ballot will be put in a separate pile from everybody else’s and your ballot will be marked as a ‘challenged ballot.’"
And then it all gets even weirder and even worse. Watch the video.
A Koch brothers-funded group threw a boozy tailgate party complete with beer pong to convince young people not to sign up for health insurance.
Yes, you read that right.
My favorite part about it? Creepy Uncle Sam.
"We’re a shadowy political pressure group offering college students alcohol to get them to forego subsidized healthcare for the sake of our long-term political advantage. But we’re pretty sure we’re not the creepy ones.”