Yesterday, the Wisconsin state Senate Committee on Public Health, Human Services and Revenue held a hearing on a bill authored by Senator Glenn Grothman (R-WTF) that would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board to emphasize that “nonmarital parenthood” contributes to child abuse and neglect (and to distribute informational materials that specifically emphasize as much.)
According to Senator Grothman, Democrats, leftists, and the Pro-Bastard Lobby want more children to be born out of wedlock, because it leads to more Americans suckling from the government teat — and you know how librulz love that: Continue reading
This week, my neighboring state of Indiana became a “Right to Work” state — which sounds oddly like it’s now a better place to work, rather than part of a larger, nation-wide effort to gut unions and strip away the rights that the labor movement has battled for decades to establish (and from which we all benefit, whether or not we are union members – as but one example: Planning to enjoy a two-day weekend this week? Thank a union).
Are unions perfect vessels of workers’ better angels? No. Nothing humanity does is. But I figure unions are an awful lot like democracy: A terrible mess that is immeasurably better than anything else on offer.
Posted in Election 2012? Oy vey!, Emily L. Hauser, Political Shenanigans, Ratfvckery, What the Crap!?
Tagged BILLY BRAGG, INDIANA, Michigan, Ohio, ORGANIZED LABOR, POWER IN A UNION, RIGHT TO WORK, Wisconsin
What a Koch-knocker
Hey Wisconsin! Scott Walker thinks you’re stupid.
Scott Walker wants you to forget that he slashed the budget, lied about his reasons for doing so (Spoiler alert! – it was never about the budget), and then stealthily passed a
budget repair union-busting bill (despite Democrats had fled the state to forestall the passage of that bill), all in the name of union-busting.
Oh, and let’s not forget about that prank call in which Scott Walker thought he was talking to David Koch, and proceeded to demonstrate how throbbing a Koch-knocker he is.
Well, all of that happened about six months ago, and I reckon Scott Walker thinks that we’ve all forgotten about it. We’ve moved on. No big whoop.
Not so fast, pal.
Sarah Jones at Politicusa has a must-read story about the effect that Walker’s Koch-infested union-busting budget bill has had on job creation. Needless to say, it’s not good news for Walker:
You mean an election with major consequences for the future of American democracy occurs in four days?
Surely the media must be all over that story.
To get yourself up to speed, here’s a good high-level rundown of the Wisconsin recall election process at WaPo’s The Fix, to which I would normally refrain from linking — but fortunately this piece is written by Rachel Weiner.
There’s been shenanigans aplenty, from ignoring court orders, to meddling with voter ID requirements, to GOPers running fake Democrats to force primaries, to allegations of multiple felonies for campaign collusion, but it all culminates in two successive Tuesdays of recall elections.
What can you do right now to make a difference?
Because of course he is.
Wisconsin’s new Voter ID laws require voters to present a state-issued photo ID card at the polling booth. It’s a pain in the ass, but doable, right? Just head to your local DMV, wait in line for eleventy-three days, and presto! You have an ID card!
Not so fast.
Now, Scott Walker’s Wisconsin criminal syndicate has devised a plan to make it reaaaaaally hard for Democrats to obtain the requisite ID cards. It’s quite stunning in its boldness, really: Wisconsin is planning to close DMVs in Democratic districts and use the money it will save by doing so to expand hours at DMVs located in Republican districts.
Posted in Balloon Juice Cross-Posts, Obama 2012: Yes We Will!, Please Die in a Fire, Political Shenanigans, War on Voting, What the Crap!?
Tagged die in a fire, Oops! I Crapped My Pants!, Republican crime syndicate, Republicans are asshats, Scott Walker, SNL, voter suppression, Wisconsin, WTF!?
Um… yeah… about that…
Of course this isn’t racist. It’s a veritable celebration of African culture. This Teabilly is expressing his admiration for Obama’s latent Kenyaniness.
Isn’t that right, Andrew notsoBreitbart?
What the hell, Wisconsin?
Apparently Scott Walker took Sarah Palin’s book title a little too literally; he has gone rogue.
After splitting the bill and jamming it through both houses without Democrats present, Wisconsin Republicans are now taking the position that the law goes into effect on Saturday even though just last week, a judge issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) enjoining any implementation of the law while the court considers several lawsuits challenging it. Here’s what happened as far as I understand it:
The Republicans jammed the bill through on March 9. Walker signed the bill on March 11. Secretary of State La Follette designated today as the date of publication. After the court issued the TRO, La Follette told the Reference Bureau (a non-partisan legislative bureau which publishes bills) that he was rescinding the publication date. The Reference Bureau published the law today anyway calling the publication “merely procedural,” and stating that it was required to publish the law within 10 working days of the governor signing the bill, on the date designated by the Secretary of State. (If La Follette rescinded the publication date, then why did the Reference Bureau publish it anyway? Inquiring minds want to know.)
In any event, and despite the Reference Bureau calling the publication “procedural” and categorically stating that publication does not equal implementation, the question becomes is that true?1 Is publication implementation or is it just a procedural measure? It’s a question the courts will have to answer.
Of course Walker and Cronies (specifically Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald) are claiming that the law has been published and therefore goes into effect tomorrow, which makes exactly zero sense since the judge enjoined its implementation. Fitzgerald is claiming — stupidly — that because the TRO does not reference the Reference Bureau specifically, that the TRO does not apply to the Reference Bureau.
That, comrades, is the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard. Essentially, the assholes in Wisconsin are trying to do an end-run around the court’s order. It’s pure gamesmanship, not likely to pass muster, and more than likely to piss off the court.
In non-legal terms, it’s BULLSHIT. The bullshittery becomes apparent when one reads the court’s order:
We ain’t dead yet!
To commemorate the birthday of healthcare reform, Ron Johnson (Asshole-Wisconsin) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that is so fraught with bullshit, it compelled me to use the word “fraught” in this very blog post.
To put it another way, it’s a crock. It’s a crock of shit with a shit demi-glacé; that’s what I’m sayin’, y’all.
Calling the Affordable Healthcare Act the “single greatest assault on our freedom in his lifetime,”1 Senator Johnson went on to spin some yarn about how his daughter who had a heart condition (she’s alive and well having been treated under her father’s private insurance) would have been murdered by Obama’s Death (Panel) Eaters, and how sad is that?
I don’t even want to think what might have happened if she had been born at a time and place where government defined the limits for most insurance policies and set precedents on what would be covered. Would the life-saving procedures that saved her have been deemed cost-effective by policy makers deciding where to spend increasingly scarce tax dollars?
Carey’s story sounds like a miracle, but America has always been a place where medical miracles happen.
Nice try, dipshit. The ACA doesn’t set precedents on what will be covered; it sets minimum limits on what private insurers must cover. I mean, if health insurance companies are going to take your money, shouldn’t they spend it on health care? I know. It’s crazy talk. I must be out of my mind.
From Jonathan Chait over at The New Republic:
That’s the argument. Johnson implies that procedures like this don’t happen elsewhere. Does he have any data? No. Does he have any reason to believe that the Affordable Care Act would prevent private insurance from covering procedures like this? No. That doesn’t happen in countries like Switzerland that have systems like the Affordable Care Act, and it doesn’t happen in the socialist hell of Massachusetts.
Indeed, one of the reasons for the law is that private health insurance often contains lifetime caps on coverage, or arbitrarily throws people who develop expensive conditions off their plans, and therefore keeps people from getting procedures like the one Johnson’s daughter received. But asking someone like him to actually take into consideration the actual needs of the tens of millions of Americans without health insurance, as against the completely imaginary threat to his only family, is asking far too much of Johnson’s intellect or moral reasoning.
But enough talk about Teabilly assholes.
It’s a celebration, bitches! Let’s look back on what Obama said one year ago today: Continue reading
Posted in Angry Black Reader Participation, Balloon Juice Cross-Posts, Body/Health Shenanigans, Obamacare? No, ObamaCares!, Political Shenanigans
Tagged ACA, healthcare reform, It's a celebration bitches!, Louis CK, Obama, poll, President Obama, Republicans are asshats, Ron Johnson, Teabillies, Wisconsin
I find myself struck by the enormity of the times we’re living in.
I don’t know what will happen next, but when my grandchildren learn about the early twenty-teens, it’s clear they’ll be taught that this was a time in which humanity — turned.
Of course, there’s the ongoing upheaval in Middle East and North Africa (MENA), while here in the United States, we have the right’s astonishing over-reach on unions. In both cases, I don’t think anyone on the ground has a clear sense of the direction we’re all going, but given the sheer quantity of dynamics and cross-dynamics, both here and abroad, I believe we’re likely to wind up in some pretty unexpected places.
In terms of workers’ rights and the American electorate, I genuinely believe that this is one of those moments in which people are woken from their slumber, and the GOP’s business-led right-wing will face tremendous push-back in the coming years. You don’t try to tell Americans that teachers, cops and firefighters are our enemies — are what stand between this country and fiscal security — and expect it to fly for long.
In MENA, well, who knows? Forty-one percent of Egypt’s eligible voters (the highest turnout in history) just voted to accept constitutional changes that some credible opposition voices wanted to see rejected. Good for Egypt? Bad for Egypt? I don’t know, and I would suggest that anyone who says they know for sure has delusions of grandeur. Issandr El Amrani (who blogs at the always interesting The Arabist) wrote a really helpful piece for Time : Egypt’s Referendum: What the Nation’s Historic Vote Means, concluding “This time, even if it was far from perfect, it meant something.”
And Libya? Truly: No one knows. It bears repeating: No one knows, no one knows, no one knows. The sheer cacophony of controversy surrounding the decision to declare a No Fly Zone should serve as our most powerful indicator that no one knows what the future holds in that part of MENA (though I will grant you that there are some, such as POTUS, who should surely have a better grasp on it than the vast majority of us). Continue reading
Posted in Emily L. Hauser, Musings, Political Shenanigans
Tagged Egypt, Japan, Koch Brothers, Libya, MENA, Michigan, Ohio, unions, Wisconsin