Madison Restaurant Tells Governor Walker To Leave!

I am glad that there are some who are not afraid to tell Governor Scott Walker exactly where he can go.  In this case….out of a Madison restaurant.

After the union-assaulting Wisconsin Governor thought it would be a good idea to step out last Friday night  (Feb 18th) for some food he was greeted with boos and chaos from others who had gathered in downtown Madison.    One of the bartenders working at the establishment spoke of the disturbance that Walker was making by his very presence, and the owner then asked the Governor to leave.

That must have been an unexpected upcommance for Walker.  I bet there was some un-Christian language coming from this son-of-a-preacher-man’s mouth as his shoes hit the sidewalk…….

(I wonder if Walker heard the applause as he was forced to leave?)

Since I have no desire to aim critics at the restaurant I will leave the name out of this post, but plan to be at their eatery this week and let them know I applaud their move.

Love local control…….

Wisconsin Must Recall Gov. Scott Walker

Yes, we can!

Wisconsin has a long and proud tradition of fighting for progressive causes.  What we are now witnessing in the Badger State due to the crass and calculated political machinations of Gov. Walker is both an insult to our heritage, and our intelligence.  We know that ending union rights and collective bargaining for state and public employees is not the way to proceed in this state.  Too many of our families have been engaged in the long history of the labor movement, and way more have benefitted from the results.

This is not a time to cower and be weak-kneed in the face of wealthy and powerful special interests that are using Gov. Walker as their vehicle to get what they want. 

What the outside special interests do not understand is what the badger, one of our state symbols,  is really like in the wild.  The badger is not intimidated, and does not turn and run. 

Neither do the people of Wisconsin!

It is time for all proud, educated, and concerned Wisconsinites to band together and work to remove Governor Scott Walker from the Statehouse.

Yes, we can.

Yes, we must.

For Wisconsin, and for our future, we will.

Damage Done To Wisconsin State Assembly

One thing is now clear after two weeks of protests and political theatre resulting from Governor Walker’s desire to end collective bargaining for state and public employees. 

Grave damage has been done to the Wisconsin State Assembly.  As a result, nothing can ever be the same.  The Republicans who speak endlessly about detesting government have now brought hate to the very institutions they so long have railed against.

I was shocked, and truly saddened with what I  have seen, heard, and read over the past hours concerning how the Wisconsin State Assembly conducted itself in the closing seconds of what was the longest session in Wisconsin’s history.  

I worked in the State Capitol, laboring for the ideals that made my time there memorable.  So it was almost physically painful to witness what happened early this morning  as the Assembly came to the point of ending debate and voting on the budget repair bill.  It was then that needless political chicanery took place from the Republicans.  As I watched the news videos I saw the ugliest thing ever to be seen in the place where I had stood years earlier on the side, and marveled as the process unfolded.  

Today I wanted to cry. 

Is this what we have become?  No one…..NO ONE… can be  proud of any part of this outcome.  It was shameful.   The Republicans had no need to ram the vote in this manner.  After all the hours that had elapsed would it have been so horrible to have conducted the vote in a seemly fashion?  A proper procedural fashion?  The outcome was never in doubt,  so to do it properly would have been bad in what way?

Not only was the passion so high for the GOP to win this one, they were almost gleeful in destroying the internal dynamics that are required to make any legislative body function.  For that we all should feel sad.  This is not a good day for any citizen in the state, regardless of party.

While I have problems with the way the Republicans handled this matter, I am also very distressed that the Democrats shouted in this manner while on the floor.  That they were justified to be angry is not in doubt.  I would have been angry too, but I think the Assembly floor was not the place to make this kind of statement.

As my mom would say, “You can’t put the toothpaste back into the tube.”

Just after 1 a.m. on Friday, Assembly Republicans finally defeated the last of dozens of amendments that Democrats wanted to attach to the bill. Republicans use a procedural rule to bring an end to debate and call a vote early. The vote took just a matter of seconds, so fast that 28 members didn’t even get to vote, most of them Democrats. The bill passed with a 51-17 vote, with four Republicans voting against it.

Democrats and those still left in the gallery shouted, “Shame” and “cowards” as Republicans filed out of the chamber, escorted out of the building by police.

 “This is what corruption looks like. This is just terrible. Now look, you have the right to make whatever motion you want, but people have to be recognized, Mr. Speaker. That’s your job,” said Senate Minority Leader Peter Barca.

 “If you really want to have a vote, have a process, let us debate the bill,” said Rep. Mark Pocan, D-Madison.

Abe Lincoln Is Like Today’s Wisconsin Senate Democrats

Gotta love history!

Abraham Lincoln’s first success in the world of politics came when he won a seat in the Illinois House of Representatives. He learned the craft quickly and by 1840, he was in a life and death struggle with the Democrats over the Illinois State Bank in Springfield. This set the stage for one of the most bizarre episodes in the career of Abraham Lincoln.

   Now it just so happened that Illinois was in deep financial trouble in 1840.  Its bank  had given out more paper money than it had gold and silver in reserve. That’s when the Democrats saw their chance to destroy the despised institution. They agreed to allow it to suspend its obligation to exchange its paper money for specie, but only for the remainder of the legislative session.

That’s when Lincoln determined to keep the legislature in session in order to buy precious time for the bank to find a way to survive, and  that’s how he jumped into the national limelight on December 5, 1840. On that date, the Democrats proposed an early adjournment, knowing this would bring a speedy end to the State Bank. The Whigs tried to counter by leaving the capitol building before the vote, but the doors were locked. That’s when Lincoln made his move. He headed for the second story, opened a window and jumped to the ground!

   For a while Lincoln’s escape denied the House its quorum, but it didn’t last long. He was returned to the chambers and the House voted to adjourn.

   Although Abraham Lincoln wasn’t able to prevent the vote on adjournment that day, his determined antics put him in the media spotlight for the first time. The newspapers couldn’t resist telling their readers of  “Mr. Lincoln’s celebrated leap” from the 2nd story and how it “caused him no harm because his legs reached nearly from the window to the ground.”

 They knew they had not heard the last of Abraham Lincoln. Any politician who was willing to jump out of a window on principle was bound to amount to something some day. 

Has Gay Marriage Lost Its ‘Zing’ With GOP?

With all that has been taking place in Madison, CP has not commented on the decision by the Obama Administration to no longer defend DOMA in the courts.  That is was a most proper decision goes without saying.  That it came too late, in my estimation, also goes without saying.  To defend the indefensible is hardly one of the prouder moments of this Democratic Administration. 

What I did think noteworthy however, even more than the announcement itself, was the fact conservative types in the Republican Party, and especially those who aspire to the White House, were muted and calm when commenting.  It was as if laudanum had been collectively administered to the GOP.    Don’t get me wrong, I appreciated the effect it had on the party of wing-nuts.   I only wonder why more drums of it can not be bought and used throughout the year for this group?

The Justice Department announced on Wednesday that after two years of defending the law — hailed by proponents in 1996 as an cornerstone in the protection of traditional values — the president and his attorney general have concluded it is unconstitutional.

In the hours that followed, Sarah Palin’s Facebook site was silent. Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was close-mouthed. Tim Pawlenty, the former governor of Minnesota, released a Web video — on the labor union protests in Wisconsin — and waited a day before issuing a marriage statement saying he was “disappointed.”

Others, like Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, took their time weighing in, and then did so only in the most tepid terms. “The Justice Department is supposed to defend our laws,” Mr. Barbour said.

Asked if Mitch Daniels, the Republican governor of Indiana and a possible presidential candidate, had commented on the marriage decision, a spokeswoman said that he “hasn’t, and with other things we have going on here right now, he has no plans.”

The sharpest reaction came from Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor, in an interview here during a stop to promote his new book, who called the administration’s decision “utterly inexplicable.”

A few years ago, the president’s decision might have set off an intense national debate about gay rights. But the Republicans’ reserved response this week suggests that Mr. Obama may suffer little political damage as he evolves from what many gay rights leaders saw as a lackluster defender of their causes into a far more aggressive advocate.

“The wedge has lost its edge,” said Mark McKinnon, a Republican strategist who worked for President George W. Bush during his 2004 campaign, when gay marriage ballot measures in a dozen states helped turn out conservative voters.

Merit Selection For Wisconsin Court Way To Proceed

I have long long advocated for merit selection of judges.   

We can no longer pretend there is not a credibility problem with the court.  The electoral process is loaded with ways for special interests to almost insure that a candidate with an agenda is elected.  We all can recognize the reasons that ill-serves our state.  Since the general public has proved unable or unwilling to make better decisions for the judiciary, I think merit selection is an idea whose time has come.

Once again the Wisconsin State Journal editorialized on the matter in today’s newspaper.  How long before my fellow citizens clue into the fact the merit selection has…well…merit?

That’s why Wisconsin should select high court justices based on merit rather than on how good judicial candidates are at waging election campaigns or luring support from special interest groups.

The reputation of Wisconsin’s top court has been soiled in recent years by nasty judicial campaigns, ethics investigations and demands for justices to recuse themselves from big cases involving their campaign backers.

Merit selection — a system of appointing, rather then electing, top justices — would help bring back trust in the state Supreme Court. A panel of citizens insulated from politics would pick finalists for the Wisconsin Supreme Court when vacancies occurred. The governor or some other appointing authority would then pick a new justice from the list. Some states also allow voters to decide whether sitting justices keep their seats at the ends of their terms.