Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Wild, Wild, West

By Jeff Simpson 

Recently in Houston, a man was carjacked, and (un)luckily for him, a "good guy with a gun" was handy to help him out.  However, as the saying goes, "with friends like this, who needs carjackers?". 

According to police, a carjacking at a gas station in Valero Saturday night left one man injured, but it wasn’t the intended target when an ammosexual attempted to go “full-Rambo” and stop the crime-in-progress. Rather than call police, the unnamed GGWAG leaped into action and opened fire on two men who jumped another man at the gas station. He didn’t manage to quite hit his targets, but the unnamed shooter managed to land one blow — to the victim’s head. The carjackers managed to escape with the unnamed victim’s pickup truck.
The  shooting (and carjacking) victim was taken to a nearby hospital, where he remains in stable condition. The stolen truck was located a mile away, but the suspects managed to escape and are still on the loose. In true “Good Guy With a Gun” fashion, the shooter did not wait around for police to arrive, and is being sought for questioning.

Now in Michigan, at a Home Depot store, someone allegedly was shop lifting, and we all know the punishment for possibly shoplifting is death.  That is if we are lucky enough to have "good girl with gun" handy to mete out the deserved punishment.

   Police say a customer witnessed two suspected shoplifters leaving the store and fired shot at their SUV.Police say the customer does have a concealed weapons license. Officers say she did shoot out one of the tires on the SUV.
It is not known if she will face charges in the incident.

How she does not get charged with two counts of attempted murder is beyond me,

In Portland, days after a mass shooting at a community college that left 9 dead, two men were walking around schools with assault rifles over their shoulders.  

The list goes on and on and on.

As the righty sooth sayer, Bradley Foundations own Christian Schneider says:

When Wisconsin passed concealed-carry, it became the 49th state to do so. And upon passage of similar laws in other states,exactly none of them became the open firing ranges concealed carry opponents feared.
Nope never happens.  As Schneider says:

The question is, how wrong do these people have to be before we stop believing them?

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Republican Bully Squad

Jeff Simpson

As a member of the Monona Grove School Board, we are always in the process of updating our Policies and Administrative Rules.  We recently updated Administrative rule 411, Nondiscrimination Guidelines Related to Students Who Are Transgender and Students Nonconforming to Gender Role Stereotypes.

The key part here is this(emphasis mine):

Restroom and Locker Room Accessibility:  In most cases, students shall have access to the restroom or locker room that corresponds to the gender identity that the student consistently asserts at school and in other social environments. The following guidelines related to restroom and changing areas generally assume that the student has a special concern or is in some way uncomfortable with consistently using the facilities that correspond to the biological sex that the student was assigned at birth.

The District highly recommends, but does not require, transgender students and/or their parents/guardians create a “School Plan for Transgender/Gender Nonconforming Students” with a school counselor or other student services staff member, with the support of a school administrator, to address restroom/locker room choices. In any gender-segregated facility, any student who is uncomfortable using a shared facility, regardless of the reason, shall, upon the student’s request, be provided with a safe and non-stigmatizing alternative. This may include, for example, addition of a privacy partition or curtain, provision to use a nearby private restroom or office, or a separate changing schedule. However, requiring a transgender or gender nonconforming student to use a separate, nonintegrated space threatens to publicly identify and marginalize the student as transgender and should not be done unless requested by a student. Under no circumstances may students be required to use sex segregated facilities that are inconsistent with their gender identity. Where available, schools are encouraged to designate facilities designed for use by one person at a time as accessible to all students regardless of gender, and to incorporate such singleuser facilities into new construction or renovation. However, under no circumstances may a student be required to use such facilities because they are transgender or gender nonconforming. If a transgender student makes any request regarding the use of locker rooms or any similar type of changing area, the request shall be assessed on a case-by-case basis with the goals of: (a) facilitating the transgender student’s access to the district’s physical education curriculum and other relevant programs; (b) ensuring adequate student privacy and safety; and (c) minimizing stigmatization of the transgender student. The physical layout of the facility and the degree of undress required when changing for the applicable activity are examples of factors that will be considered in making the arrangements. There is no absolute rule that, in all cases, will require a transgender student to access and use only the locker rooms and other changing areas that correspond to the biological sex that the student was assigned at birth.

This is standard issue rule, with many other districts adopting the same/similar rule.   We adapted thsi rule because it is our responsibility as an elected school board.   We adapted this rule because we care about ALL of our kids and it is the best way to protect our trans-gendered and questioning youths. We adapted it to send a message to our youth that you are safe in our schools.

Unfortunately, we were mistaken.  

We have the ability to protect our children from threats inside the school.  We do not however. have the ability to protect our children from the legislators at the Capitol.

Transgender students would be barred from using school bathrooms or locker rooms assigned to the gender with which they identify, under a bill being proposed by two Republican lawmakers.
Rep. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Sen. Steve Nass, R-Whitewater, are proposing to require school boards to designate bathrooms and locker rooms as being for one gender exclusively, and to require the state Department of Justice to defend  school districts in lawsuits alleging the policy is discriminatory.
Less than a week ago, Madison lost one of its bright lights when 16 year old Skyler Marcus Lee, a local transgendered high school student and fierce LGBT activist, lost his battle with depression and took his own life.

Apparently Rep. Kremer and Senator Nass have decided to bully all transgendered children in Wisconsin.   Because no school board worth its salt, would ever pass such a bullying, regressive mean spirited rule, Kremenass knew they had to completely usurp local control (again).  To top it all off, knowing that their bill in mean spirited and discriminative, they also put provisions into the bill that the taxpayers of Wisconsin will cover all of their bill writing incompetence.  

While these are the faces of cowardice and evil:

This is the bright light that was too early extinguished.
Lee Skylar Marcus

The question is will the rest of the state of Wisconsin stand up to cowardly bullies like Kremer and Nass so that the Skylars of the world know that they are supported and loved?  Or do we continue with the Scott Walker signature, of Divide and Conquer politics?

We all have a choice to make....choose well Wisconsin.

Until we do:

If you are a trans or gender-nonconforming person considering suicide, Trans Lifelinecan be reached at 877-565-8860. LGBT youth (ages 24 and younger) can reach theTrevor Project Lifeline at 1-866-488-7386. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 can also be reached 24 hours a day by people of all ages and identities.

(No) Justice Troupis

By Jeff Simpson

If you want to know just how far the State of Wisconsin has fallen since Scott Walker has taken over, it can be summed up in two words - Justice Troupis.  

Jim Troupis was the Republican lawyer, and taxpayer leech in Wisconsin for the first five years of Scott Walker's reign of errors.   Troupis was not only Justice David Prosser's lawyer(which he did much of pro bono), but also the lawyer for the Republicans during the redistricting, where every elected Republican in office signed a secrecy agreement while gerrymandering the state.  

A Troupis appointment would be the dictionary definition of political cronyism and show how little respect that Scott Walker has for the law or the state of Wisconsin.   

In true Crony fashion, Troupis, who was recently appointed to a judgeship, refuses to talk to anyone about his application to fulfill Justice Crooks open seat.  

Troupis was a longtime go-to attorney for Republicans and served as a lead attorney for Justice David Prosser's campaign in 2011 when there was a recount. Walker this May appointed Troupis to the Dane County bench, and Troupis said then he would not run for a full term on that court.
In an interview last week, Troupis declined to say whether he was considering running for the state Supreme Court next year. He did not return a call Monday.
Jim Troupis has went on a "freedom tour" of local bars, to discuss how Republicans love Freedom and Democrats hate freedom, and on these tours he has partnered with well known legal scholar and dog whistle expert, Vicky Pyzinski.    

Have you ever wondered WHY liberals seemingly reject the fundamental concepts of liberty while purporting to stand for freedom?
Radio talk show host Vicki McKenna and constitutional attorney Jim Troupis will answer that and many other questions at "The History and Future of Freedom", an event hosted by We the People of the Republic on Thursday, October 10, 2013.
Tracing the history and development of freedom that gave way to our Founder's visions, McKenna and Troupis will explain America's unique brand of liberty. From the Greeks to the recall elections, two opposite and competing ideas of liberty have been and remain at war for the heart and soul of western civilization. Which will emerge victorious? It depends on YOU!This event will take place at Rex's Innkeeper (301 North Century Avenue, Waunakee, WI 53597). Doors will open at 6:30 PM, with the presentation starting at 7:00 PM and lasting until 8:30 PM.
All are invited to attend this event. With FREE ADMISSION, there is no reason NOT to come! Bring your family and friends for a fun and educational night out!
BEST replacement for late Justice Crooks would be JUDGE JIM TROUPIS. his knowledge of & passion for the Constitution has NO EQUAL.

If that does not inspire certainty that Troupis will be impartial in the law and just "call balls and strikes", nothing will.   Apparently nothing says freedom like making elected reps sign secrecy agreements, or not letting the minority party in on how you are gerrymandering the state.  

While I am sure Troupis and his hate talk am radio echo chamber will be upset that anyone would dare question his qualifications, remember when Judge Sumi was considering a run for Supreme Court herself and Troupis felt the need to weigh in:

Troupis was disappointed Judge Sumi is considering a run. "It's obvious she was talked into it because of Act 10," Troupis said. "It should be about competence and qualifications, and clearly the only purpose of her running is to open that pro-union stuff."
Dismissing a highly competent and qualified woman because she does not do exactly as told, that has to please Scott Walker.  But wait, there's more:

It was Troupis, who gave Scott Fitzgerald the laughable advice of being able to legally arrest the 14 Senators who went to Illinois in 2011.  

First by filing a frivolous lawsuit in Oconoto County, saying that Senator Halperin's absence from the Senate chambers was hurting tourism.

Then following that up with the threat to carry 7 month pregnant at the time democratically elected Senator Julie Lassa "feet first" into the Capitol building to vote on ACT 10.  

Apparently arresting Democrats and assaulting women were the ideas that sparked Troupis "Freedom" conference.   I am certain the Founding Fathers would be right there wanting to arrest fellow legislators who left to make sure that a bill that was never campaigned on was passed with no discussion.   #freedom.

I miss the days when the Democrats were just incompetent and not out and out corrupt like the current batch of Republicans!  

It is really sad that they have such little respect for the people of Wisconsin and the Institutions that they have been charged with Governing.  

Here is Mr. Troupis' extreme partisan resume.    

Paul Ryan Calls GE's John Rice A Liar

 Image result for Paul Ryan eating

By Jeff Simpson 

We recently brought you the story of how, because the Republicans in Congress(Thanks Paul Ryan and Jimmy "fit and trim" Sensenbrenner) refuse to allow a vote on reauthorizing the export-import bank, GE is closing up shop in the Republican stronghold of  Waukesha and heading to Canada where they can get the help they need.    

"We believe in American manufacturing, but our customers in many cases require Export Credit Agencies financing for us to bid on projects. Without it, we cannot compete, and our customers may be forced to select other providers," GE Vice Chairman John Rice said in a statement.

Paul Ryan(R-Wall St.), never one to own up and take responsibility ever, had this to say.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said Monday he doesn't think the shuttering of the Export-Import Bank was the only reason General Electric Co. says it will stop manufacturing engines in Waukesha and move that work to Canada.
Instead he pointed to American business tax rates and government regulations that induce U.S. firms to move their operations to other countries.
"I think it's horrible that these workers are being laid off at GE and I can't help but think that there have to be other reasons. Canada has a 15% tax rate and we have a 35% tax rate to name one reason," the Janesville Republican said Monday afternoon following a town-hall meeting with constituents at Snap-on Tool.About 350 jobs will be lost at the Waukesha plant, where GE Power & Water, a division of Fairfield, Conn.-based GE, builds engines used in the petroleum industry.
The company says it will move the production to a new $265 million engine factory to be built in Canada during the next 20 months.
In its announcement, the company blamed Congress for its failure to reauthorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank, an institution that finances sales of U.S. industrial equipment to overseas customers. 
While calling GE Vice Chair Rice a liar, Ryan also shows his complete ignorance in economics and current events.   Thanks to tax policies championed and enacted by Mr. Ryan, GE actually pays NO CORPORATE taxes!  

Apparently, Paul Ryan is such an ideas guy, he is going to find a way to lower a 0% tax rate.  I look forward to seeing how he accomplishes that.  

However now that he has offended one of the top exec's of GE and shown his true ignorance, maybe ts best if we let the adults in charge negotiating with GE and trying to keep them in WI.  

Image result for Paul Ryan shower curtain

Monday, October 5, 2015

Great Scott Walker Quotes

By Jeff Simpson

I found this fun website recently which is a tribute to our very own former Governor, Scott Walker. I am not sure if Mike Huebsch or Cindy Archer are the creators and administrators of the website but one of them has to be.

They count down the Top Ten great quotes from Scott Walker.   Here is a sampling:


"I hate big Government, " says Scott Walker who ordered his personal police force to arrest anyone who sang or held a sign inside the publicly funded Capitol building.  These illegal and Unconstitutional actions just cost the taxpayers over $245,000 in legal fees.

"I really hate Government that does not work." says Scott Walker, who spent 1 day in Wisconsin in July(for our friends at RightWisconsin, there are 31 days in July).

" So when they say we either have to raise taxes or cut services, it's actually a false choice." says the Governor who has to delay major road work projects in Wisconsin because we do not have the money, thus costing Wisconsin taxpayers over $160 Million wasted dollars.

But wait there is more!

Tues 1 Scott Walker key to success how many people

Says the Governor who was Chairman of the Board of his signature "jobs"agency, where he gave out hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to donors and received little to nothing in return.

Those are definitely some great quotes, but more along the lines of why he crashed and burned in his miserable attempt to be the next President of the US, not in terms of his poorly perceived competence as a legislator/Governor.

Bob Gannon Knows (Nothing)

By Jeff Simpson

In the wake of yet another horrible mass shooting tragedy, where the shooter claimed nine victims and injured many others, it brought many people on both sides of the gun control debate out of the woodwork to offer their opinions.  

One that stands out is Wisconsin State Rep. Bob Gannon (R-no one has ever heard of before), who posted this on his "official" facebook page.

Bob Gannon
October 2 at 8:48am

Real Gun Control
In the wake of the recent shootings at a junior college in Oregon, President Obama quickly stood at the podium and proclaimed that this is the fault of the N.R.A., and that we need stricter gun control legislation.
What Obama ignored was the testimony of the students and educators at the school that they were defenseless in this incident as the school was a “gun free” zone. This means that only criminals will possess personal protection at these locations, and the law abiding citizen is an easy target.Last week I joined other legislators at Yellowstone Lake State Park and took part in shooting sports at their beautiful firing range. This fantastic facility was built in conjunction with the Wisconsin D.N.R., a local shooting club, and that group the president blames for every gun toting criminal operating in our country, the N.R.A.
Rep. Gannon states that, “Yes, the group that the president blames every time something bad happens with a firearm is actually the group advocating and investing their dollars to train others in the safe usage of firearms.
Real gun control comes from a solid stance, a confident grip, and hours of practice preparing yourself in the event you’re put into a situation where a person with evil intents needs to be stopped. With practice, and less gun free zones, America will be a safer place”.

Raise your hand if this next sentence surprises you.  Bob Gannon has his facts completely wrong and has no idea what he is talking about.

But not only was UCC not a gun free zone by law, there were also people who brought guns onto campus at the time of the massacre.
John Parker Jr., a veteran and student at UCC, spoke with MSNBC and revealed that he was in a campus building with a concealed handgun when the shooting started. He suggested other students with him at the time were also carrying concealed handguns.

Oops....I am sure that Mr. Gannon, realizing that he was completely wrong in trying to make his right wing political, I love guns point, when the error of his statement was pointed out to him, he apologized and corrected it.  

Wisconsin Rep. Bob Gannon (R-Slinger) said that he had based his statements on media accounts and the student handbook of Umpqua Community College, which he said discouraged students from carrying firearms.
"The first media reports made it that it was a gun-free zone," Gannon said. "So drop it, that's not the story."

Don't bother Bob Gannon, Bob Gannon knows what he knows and NO amount of those silly facts will ever get in the way of what he knows.

Besides as he says, while making light of the deaths of these college students:

Real gun control comes from a solid stance, a confident grip, and hours of practice preparing yourself in the event you’re put into a situation where a person with evil intents needs to be stopped. With practice, and less gun free zones, America will be a safer place”. 

Luckily, for those of us, who do not live in the West Bend area, we can actually use Google to fact check his statements.  

As a matter of fact, just recently in Houston, some poor guy without a gun, was being car jacked at a gas station.  Luckily for him, a nearby "Good Samaritan" with a gun, decided to get involved and promptly shot the victim in the head.  

Houston police responded to a shooting call around 11:15 p.m. Saturday at a Valero gas station on Jensen Drive at Reid Street in north Houston. Officials say two men jumped another man in the gas station parking lot and took the victim's Chevrolet pickup truck. Police say a witness then pulled out a gun and began shooting at the suspects, accidentally hitting the carjacking victim in the head.
We all know how proud of this "Good Samaritan" we are, so I hope he stayed around to get his just rewards for being such a strong defender of the 2nd Amendment....

 The victim was transported to a nearby hospital where he remains in stable condition. Police say the witness who shot at the suspects picked up shell casings and left the scene.

No thanks allowed, and not only does he hate crime he apparently also hates pollution.  What an heroic young man.

As readers of our blog know, but wait there is more.

As we see in a dateline investigation, after hours of training, the people being trained to only shoot the "bad guy" when being put in controlled, live experiments, were so nervous they could not unholster their gun and even shot the wrong people(again).

I guess maybe Bon Gannon needs to add a couple more steps to his regiment, on how he is going to protect the people of the great state of Wisconsin with his gun.

* solid stance
* a confident grip
* hours of practice 
* Open your eyes 
* Do not Pee your pants.   

As always, sometimes life(and elected reps like Bon Gannon) are so ridiculous all you can do is make fun of them.   No one does that better than a comedian.  

I do not think that Bob Gannon was purposefully lying, when he made this statement(although keeping it up on his facebook page and not apologizing are inexcusable), but he definitely takes the cake for ignorance.   Mr. Gannon brags about being a twin to Glenn Grothman.

Had an hour long meeting with Glenn Grothman today, following his public comments at Commerce State Bank. Glenn and I are two peas in pod when it comes to policy & politics. 
We NEED to do better than to keep electing anti intellectuals like Mr. Gannon.  

Here is Mr. Gannon, fresh off of putting all of his great ideas, from having such a strong grasp of the issues, in the trunk of his new red sports car.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Milwaukee County Buildings Have Bed Bug Infestations

As the gentle reader may have seen on the local news, the Coggs Building (where I work), a Milwaukee County-owned facility that houses the county's aging and disability services, has a bedbug problem:
City of Milwaukee inspectors confirmed Friday that a government office building is home to a bedbug problem.

The Marcia P. Coggs Center houses several government agencies. It continues to be business as usual, however, as there was heavy foot traffic during the afternoon.

A food vendor selling brats and sausages set up across the street from the entrance of the Milwaukee County Human Services area. Getting a quick lunch with her kids Andrella Jackson said she has an expectation the facility is clean.

"It should be, knowing that kids and everybody are coming in here," Jackson said.

But doubt has been cast on hygiene following a release from the Department of Neighborhood Services.

Its inspector says an extermination group found a bedbug hotspot in a cubicle. The inspector describes it being near a waiting room.

Full treatment of the building is happening this weekend. Until then pheromone traps have been laid out, according to a press release.
What has not been reported is that there is another infestation at the Vel R. Phillips Children's Court Center.

Now, I don't blame Milwaukee County Emperor Chris Abele for the infestations per se. There are many different ways that the bugs did get into these buildings.

I have to wonder how much the fact that Abele went with a cut rate cleaning company to do the cleaning has to do with this.  I cannot remember the last time that they even vacuumed.  And even when they do vacuum, it is with an old, beaten up machine that doesn't do a very good job and they definitely don't do the whole building when they clean.

But what I do fault Abele for not telling staff or the public who have to come to these buildings of the risk. Who knows how many people have taken the bed bugs home with them?

Abele also was wrong in the way he handled the situation, as reported by TMJ4:
The I-Team has learned the City of Milwaukee is looking into a complaint of a "severe bed bug outbreak" at the Coggs Center.

The complaint was filed Tuesday. The I-Team has learned since then that the Department of Neighborhood Services has been trying to get inside to investigate the complaint, but according to the DNS, they've been unsuccessful.
Not only does Abele not warn people that there is a bed bug infestation, but then he refuses to allow city inspectors into the building!

One has to question whether Abele's refusal to allow the inspectors in the building, much less his refusal to warn the public and the workers is due to his being nervous about his reelection next year or, as we saw when he presented his budget on Thursday, he just as a general disdain for anyone who is not filthy rich like he and his buddies are.

Demand A Plan

Enough is too much:

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Scott Walker To Help RoJoWho's Campaign

Russ Feingold just got the biggest gift of his political career, one that will increase his lead over RoJoWho even more.

Scott Walker said that now that he failed at running for president, he will spend his free time helping Ron Johnson's failing campaign:
With his run for the White House behind him, Gov. Scott Walker says that now he’ll be free to campaign aggressively for U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson win re-election to the U.S. Senate in a rematch against Democrat Russ Feingold.

The question for Johnson is whether that’s good or bad news.

A Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday showed that Walker’s approval rating has fallen to a new low, Johnson remains unknown to more than a third of registered voters and Feingold — a former U.S. senator — has a 14-point lead in the race that won’t be determined until November 2016.

Wisconsin’s Johnson-Feingold race is critical to Democratic hopes of recapturing majority control of the Senate, and they would seem to have the edge considering the election comes in a presidential year in a state that hasn’t backed a Republican’s White House bid since Ronald Reagan.

Even worse for Johnson: No Republican has won a Senate seat in a presidential election year in Wisconsin since 1980.
So this is going to be a matter of the incompetent leading the inept, or more accurately, the disliked leading the unknown.

And to show that RoJoWho and the other state Republicans are none too bright either, they think that Walker's help will be a good thing:
Johnson backers said Walker’s commitment to being involved in the race can only be a benefit. And whether Walker is campaigning for Johnson or not, the Republican apparatus he helped build the past five years will be in place to spend money on the race and help get out the vote, they said.

“Any time you have the governor back full-time in the state, that’s a good thing for all of us,” said Republican Assembly Majority Leader Jim Steineke. “Scott Walker has always done a good job getting out the base and getting out our supporters.”

Johnson, who had not endorsed Walker when he was running for president, welcomes his support in his re-election campaign, said the senator’s spokesman Brian Reisinger.
Johnson “has no doubt Gov. Walker’s continued efforts to move Wisconsin forward will benefit our state, as well as Republican chances in 2016,” Reisinger said.
Methinks it's time to pop some popcorn. The circus is about to start.

Wisconsin, AFSCME Mourn The Loss Of A Labor Legend

On Thursday night, Wisconsin and the AFSCME nation lost a legendary labor leader, Marty Beil:
Marty Beil, one of Wisconsin’s most influential and memorable labor leaders, died peacefully last night at his home in Mazomanie.

Beil recently retired after more than 40 years as a prominent leader of AFSCME, the public service employee union that was founded in Wisconsin and has grown to 1.6 million members nationally.

Beil served as executive director of the Wisconsin State Employees Union, AFSCME Council 24, since 1985.

“I was one of the fortunate, whose job was really my passion,” Beil wrote in an email to AFSCME members announcing his retirement.

Though seen as a forceful and dynamic leader, Beil wrote that he understood the union’s victories and accomplishments were never his alone.

“All of you and the thousands of workers who went before you were able to make life a little better for themselves and their families through the union, and I like to think that I played some role in that,” Beil wrote.

Beil, who was 68, began his career in 1969 as a Wisconsin probation and parole officer. He quickly became active in the union. In 1973, he became president of his statewide Local and a member of its bargaining team. In 1978 he was elected Council 24 president, a position he held until being selected as the Council’s executive director.

As director, Beil has served as chief negotiator and spokesperson for Council 24 through a period of rapid growth. His high profile as an outspoken advocate for public employees earned him appointments to high-level committees and commissions from governors of both parties, with the notable exception of Wisconsin’s current governor.

Beil noted that AFSCME in Wisconsin, which has recently unified into one Council instead of three, is restructuring for the long haul, a process Beil said he was confident will succeed.

“What excites me is the involvement and commitment of young workers to meet the challenge and assume leadership roles in our new union. These determined, savvy young leaders will re-energize and move our union forward into the future,” he wrote.

Paul Spink, a long time member of Beil’s Local and now president of Council 32, said the following:

“Marty was a fiercely dedicated and passionate activist and leader for public employees and the services they provide for more than 40 years. The labor movement is stronger today because of him. We are all devastated by this loss, but we will carry on and never forget his passion or commitment to the cause of economic justice.”
AFSCME International President Lee Saunders issued the following statement:
We are devastated today at the sudden and tragic loss of Marty Beil, a fierce and courageous advocate for working people in the state of Wisconsin and across our nation. Brother Beil’s work was his passion, and his passion was fighting for workers’ rights and social justice – fighting to ensure that everyone in our nation got a fair shot at the American dream.

Throughout his long and distinguished service, Marty Beil improved the lives of thousands of AFSCME members and their families. By leading AFSCME Council 24 through the darkest days of the attacks on working families in Wisconsin, he helped light a spark that reignited our labor movement. In turn, people across this nation rose up in defense of workers’ rights. He helped change the conversation in this country about what it means to respect the dignity of working men and women.

Brother Beil spoke truth to power. And he backed his words up with actions. He never asked or expected anybody to make sacrifices that he wasn’t willing to make himself. A generation of labor activists learned from him and were inspired by his determination and unwavering courage, and their commitment and passion is his legacy. Today, our union is stronger than ever because of Marty Beil’s dedication and lifetime of service.

The thoughts and prayers of our entire AFSCME family are with Marty’s wife, Susan, his children, Natalie, Audra, and Nick, and his granddaughter, Trinity.
Being an officer in my Local and active with the union, I had the opportunity to meet Marty a few times. He always emanated a powerful presence but treated everyone as equals. Marty could be a very gentle man but would roar like the bear he resembled when angered by injustices done to members and friends of labor.

To show what a leader Marty was, and still is, even while our hearts are breaking from the loss, all of us who loved Marty and was loved by him, are pledging to continue the fight to restore and preserve the economic and social justice that Marty had fought so long and so hard for.

For Marty, we will fight and we will win.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Milwaukee Co. Exec. Chris Abele Puts Bucks Before Blacks

On Thursday, Milwaukee County Emperor Executive Chris Abele presented his proposed 2016 budget to the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors. Let's ignore for the moment the facts that he was a week late and held a sketchy public/private/campaign event the day before, presenting the budget to a select, invite-only group of supporters.

During a question and answer session, Supervisor Khalif Rainey asked Abele what his budget would do to help the African American community, the largest such community in Wisconsin.

Abele's answer would have been worthy of a Fox News panelist, a squawk radio host or a GOP presidential candidate:

Abele proudly replied that in his five year tenure, he increased spending for social programs, such as more programming at the House of Correction (an extension of the county jail), child support enforcement, social services and mental health services.

In other words, Abele apparently thinks that most African Americans are criminals, unwed mothers, welfare queens and/or psychotic.

To add insult on top of insult, near the end of Abele's answer, he finally got to job creation and job training:
"Do I wish that instead of $400,000 on that one [job creation program], it was four million? Yeah."
What makes that statement particularly egregious is the fact that while Abele is claiming that he couldn't find $4 million for a much needed job creation program, he had no problem finding $4 million a year to help his fellow plutocrats build a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. Piling it on even further, Abele is planning on getting that $4 million by going after the poorest of the poor, including the African American community that he is abandoning.

To further demonstrate his disdain for the African American community, it is also Abele that made a deal with Scott Walker and Republican state legislators to make him the privatization czar for the Milwaukee Public Schools.

Needless to say, when Abele made his tasteless and insensitive comments, the supervisors were taken aback. Shortly after, they expressed their outrage at Abele's comments.

Supervisors Rainey and Martin Weddle issued a joint press release:
“The County Executive all but said he was doing nothing for the African American community in Milwaukee County when he addressed the Board,” Rainey said. “I asked him for specifics, and he came back and said he was increasing funding for social services and the House of Correction, among other things. Is that what he thinks of the African American community? That they need more social services and better accommodations at the House
of Correction?

“Chris Abele has no plan for dealing with the crisis in the African American community, and his comments not only reflect a lack of sensitivity, they reflect complete ignorance as to what is happening in Milwaukee County.”

Milwaukee County’s African American community is the largest in the state, Rainey said, and he added that he was “outraged and deeply discouraged” by Abele’s comments.

“The keys are jobs, equal opportunities and economic development, not social services,” Rainey said. “Does he think social services and the House of Correction only serve African Americans? How can we make progress in this community when leaders such as the County Executive show such ignorance and disrespect to the real needs of African Americans and other minorities?”

Rainey said he was especially angered by Abele’s comments about adding funding for the House of Correction. “Does he think only African Americans are housed there?” Rainey said. “What he said today reflected a prejudice that cannot be tolerated in the leadership of Milwaukee County. Chris Abele should apologize to all Milwaukee County African Americans for his comments, and he should ask himself what he really thinks about an important part of Milwaukee County. He apparently considers the African American community a drain on Milwaukee County. How dare he?”

Supervisor Martin Weddle said: “It’s plain as day to see that not enough is being done to help the African American community get jobs, not just now, but for as long as I can remember,” Weddle said. “As our funding for African American cultural institutions and services continues to decrease, and as job growth in the community continues to lag, we will continue to experience severe difficulties. Chris Abele clearly does not recognize the
needs of a community in crisis.”
Supervisor Supreme Moore Omokunde also issued a press release expressing how he felt offended by Abele's remarks. Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. blasted Abele for being missing in action on African American issues and demanding an apology.

Being the son of billionaire John Abele, the 258th richest man in the world, Chris Abele has never known what it is like to struggle. If he had a problem, he would just throw his daddy's money at it until it went away.

Even though Abele has lived his life atop an ivory tower and is more than a bit of a pompous ass, it is no excuse for his callous disregard for a large part of the population he is supposed to be representing. It does, however, go a long way in explaining why Milwaukee is the most segregated community in the nation.

If the gentle reader wishes to contact Abele to ask him to explain himself and/or demand an apology, you may reach him at 414-278-4211 or via email at

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Feingold Widens Lead Over RoJoWho, Walker Sinks Even Lower

The most recent Marquette University Poll came out Wednesday and it's not good news for the Republicans - the people are starting to wake up.

The biggest news is that Russ Feingold expanded his lead over RoJoWho, the unknown senator:
Feingold is up 50 percent to Johnson's 36 percent, in the poll conducted Sept. 24-28.

That's close to the margin shown in April, about a month before Feingold officially announced his candidacy. Feingold then led Johnson 54-38 percent.

Last month, the race tightened slightly, with Feingold still in the lead carrying 47 percent to Johnson's 42 percent.
Pollsters are saying the numbers are bouncing around because they don't know either candidate, despite the fact that Feingold had been a senator for 18 years and RoJoWho for six. I would think the jump is more likely because that now that Scott Walker dropped his doomed presidential bid, and is no longer getting a flood of coverage, people are starting to pay more attention to these other races.

And speaking of Walker, he continues to sink in the polls, dropping from 39% to 37% in just a month:
Gov. Scott Walker's approval ratings took a sharp hit during his short-lived presidential campaign. A little more than a week after exiting the race, he still has a way to go to repair his image with Wisconsin voters.

Walker's approval rating among Wisconsinites is 37 percent, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Wednesday. The poll is the first since Walker ended his presidential campaign on Sept. 21, conducted Sept. 24-28.

That's a slight decrease from last month, when his approval dipped below 40 percent for the first time in the poll's history. In the only Marquette poll conducted during Walker's official candidacy, Walker's approval rating was 39 percent among Wisconsin voters in the poll released Aug. 20.
Even more significant is the fact that 62% of Wisconsinites are over Walker and don't want him to run again while only 35% would support another run. That comes to just the base Republican core who would vote for a rancid potato as long as it had an (R) after its name.

As for the rest of the GOP clown car, Trump took over the driver's seat in Wisconsin, despite Walker's pointed pleas for other Republicans to drop out so that they can beat Trump.

And while Hillary Clinton leads Bernie Sanders by 12 points, both Clinton and Sanders destroy the Republicans in a head to head match up:
When including voters' first and second choices, Biden bumps ahead of Sanders into second place. By that measure, Clinton has 69%, Biden 55% and Sanders 51%.

In head-to-head matchups, Clinton leads the best rated Republicans, beating Bush 50%-38%, Rubio 48%-40% and Trump 50%-36%.
It's nice to see that Walker's run for the presidency is starting to pay off by dragging the rest of the Republicans down with him. It's about time Walker did even one useful thing.

The Newfound Racial Sensitivity (?) of the DPW Old Guard

We are giddy!! For the first time ever, we at Data, Facts and Logic are seeing white DPW members-- especially past consultants, staff, and their closest friends-- up in arms about what they saw as a racist video. The video was taken at an event where DPW Chair Martha Laning spoke. She detailed how exciting it had been to be at a speech by President Obama, watching it with a largely African-American audience, imitating what she had heard David say and how he said it.

Never mind that the offense taken was mostly by white people. Never mind that most of these people have had years-- raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars of working people's money over that time-- without doing a thing to improve the lives of people of color who mostly vote a straight DPW ticket. Never mind that these people crying crocodile tears were some of the same who tried to sabotage the Laning/Bowen campaign and even the delegate nomination process in some counties so that their preferred candidate would win. Never mind that when Jason Rae stood up in front of a group of mostly African-American Milwaukeeans and said he knows exactly how they feel because he’s gay and experiences what they experience, none of these born-again crusaders for racial justice corrected him. (The comment did not go unnoticed by attendees. It definitely cost Rae votes.)

Former DPW staffer Graeme Zielinski suggested that the new DPW team should endorse the Black Lives Matter movement. At a safe distance, everybody previously connected with the party became an enlightened keyboard gangster on race, an all-white team advising the only DPW leadership team with an African-American man on it. Whitesplaining is real. Just think of the power these people could have wielded in the cause of challenging racism in Wisconsin if they had given one small damn about it prior to Dan Bice's release of the video (provided by Republicans). Maybe the highest incarceration rate for black men, the worst black infant mortality rate in the nation, the highest segregation rates, and some of the worst urban poverty rates in the nation could have gotten them worked up-- even once-- in the past five or six years? Nope.

The message was never clearer to us at DFL than it was when Mike Tate decided to share some words about Jennifer Epps-Addison leaving for California.
"I have to admit we don't know each other well, I don't think either would say we are friends. We've been in a number of meetings together, often on opposite sides of the room. I always sensed she felt I was too ‘establishment’ or that we didn't share the same values or goals. What I have always believed is that in general Jen and I have the same values, vision and hopes for our society. We may share different views on strategy and tactics. I'm not one for protesting in the streets or holding signs. After I gave my last speech as party chair in June Jen came up to me and asked where the Mike Tate had been that spoke that night about Black Lives Matter or the fight for 15. I felt like saying, hey I've always been here. We're fighting for the same things using different tactics.”
How is silence while an unarmed African-American man is gunned down in a public park, or not joining in the fight for a living wage for workers until you use it in your final speech using different "tactics?" How is doing nothing when you hold a position of power a helpful "strategy?" "Protesting in the streets or holding signs" may be something you can't be bothered to do as a white man, but they have given disenfranchised people a voice for decades, a way to confront racist authorities, a way to keep the narrative going. The total silence on these and countless other issues that are life-or-death matters to Wisconsinites of color did not go unnoticed. This trickle-down racial equality theory that the DPW operated under for years is no different than the right wingers passing off tax cuts for corporations as benefiting their lowest ranking employees.

The Martha Laning video will hurt her in these early days. We at DFL can’t excuse or explain Laning’s ignorance about why this imitation shouldn’t have been done. It’s still the first time we’ve seen a Wisconsin DPW leader get publicly enthusiastic about working with the African-American community in Wisconsin. So far, she seems to mean it. Most of us will take a sincere but stilted attempt at working together over no attempt at all. It's not tactics, it's not strategy, it's action. We’ve got work to do. Get out from behind your keyboards and do it, if you mean it, or at least get out of the way.