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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Tunesday: Smash Mouth - Walking On The Sun

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Paul Ryan Brushes Off Out-Of-District Constituents, Unless They're The Moneyed Kind

In case you missed it, State Rep. Mark Spreitzer (Beloit) sent Rep. Paul Ryan a letter asking the House Speaker to protect programs for rural Wisconsin communities. Spreitzer then shared Ryan's response on Twitter...

Spreitzer nailed it in seven words. "His response is unacceptable. Wisconsinites deserve better."

Yes indeed.

But Ryan's lame response toward out-of-district constituents doesn't jibe well with the Citizens United money equals speech argument. I mean, would Ryan send all correspondence including donations from Diane Hendricks to Rep. Mark Pocan? After all, Pocan is her congressman.

According to this latest story, Ryan set a GOP record fundraising $32.7 million during an off-year and I'm certain the vast majority of the money came from out-of-district constituents who cannot vote to re-elect candidate congressman Ryan. Now, if out-of-district money equals out-of-district speech on the issues as Spreitzer's request did, why doesn't Ryan refer those donations to the congressperson elected to represent those constituents? You know, as a courtesy...

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Janesville Manager Complains City Fees Aren't High Enough

One of the things I hear regularly from Janesville residents is city fees are too low.

OK, we're passed that piece of sarcasm.

But according to an article from the Janesville Gazette, City Manager Mark Freitag wants to institute an annual fee booster/checker mechanism that would flag any municipal fees that may be falling below the amounts charged in peer cities.

JG Excerpt:
The suggested fee increases aren't a response to an expected budget shortfall but the result of a comprehensive look at what the city charges for various programs and services and how they relate to peer communities and inflation, said Max Gagin, assistant to the city manager.

“The recommendations would certainly help our budget in 2018, but it's not necessarily a driving factor to closing a budget deficit,” he said.

It's a practice the city will repeat each summer, he said.

Obviously, the manager's scheme to confiscate more isn't about meeting budget demands, department balances or managing costs and efficiencies. Yet they call their proposal a "comprehensive" look.

So, instead of promoting efficient city services and amenities that are more affordable than in other cities and how that makes Janesville an attractive place to live, the administration thinks Janesville residents are getting off cheap.

But why shouldn't they feel that way? After all, Freitag mismanaged the city into a runaway deficit last year and then later balanced, with the council's approval, the $1M shortfall with $2.3M in 80 fee increases. They all got rave reviews and raises for that one.

On top of that, the city council gave away all of the growth in tax revenue expected from downtown property values for the next 27 years to Forward Janesville's ARISE gimmick ...and few blinked outside of this blog.

Keep in mind that the Janesville city council practically adopted Forward Janesville's "without higher local tax obligations, the Janesville economy could death spiral" mantra.

So, I can't blame the city manager or council for thinking inside the box.

It was all so predictable.


RNR - Top Local Story: The Kleptocracy Is Strong

Friday, July 07, 2017

After Six Years Of Red State Reforms, Gov. Walker Begging For a Federal Bailout

On President Obama:
“What I think we’ve seen increasingly is more of a political agenda, and one in which he measures success by how many people are ultimately dependent on the government. We should measure success by just the opposite, by how many people are no longer dependent on the government.”
- Gov. Scott Walker (Aug, 2013)

Good Times!

According to this report, Gov. Scott Walker will be asking for less federal assistance ...oops, I'm very sorry ...I meant to write Walker will be asking for MORE financial help from Big Government. Much more.

WKOW Excerpt:
"Interstate 94 North/South, the Zoo Interchange and Interstate 94 East/West are high profile projects in southeastern Wisconsin. We propose contingency bonding that would be linked to additional federal funding for mega projects. Wisconsin is well positioned to qualify for additional federal funding to help support mega projects," wrote Gov. Walker.

Gov. Walker suggests appealing to the federal government for $341 million in highway funds, roughly ten times more than the state receives in a normal year.

Ten. Times. More.

Keep in mind Walker is not making this request immediately after a term or two of democratic leadership in state government where he would have a political scapegoat to target for blame. No, his "concession" request comes after six years of single party ruled tax cut growth red state engineering led by Scott Walker himself.

While the MSM continues to call six years of single-party "reforms" that ultimately led to widespread shortfalls in revenue a "budget impasse," Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling did not mince words when she described Walker's request for more federal assistance exactly what it is. "Begging for a federal bailout."

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

One For The Archives: Paul Ryan On Free Choice

Rep. Paul Ryan (#WI01) disputed reports that 22 million people would lose insurance under his health care plan. He said if they're not forced to pay for it like they are under Obamacare, they won't buy it.

Raw Story Excerpt:
“What they are basically saying at the Congressional Budget Office, if you’re not going to force people to buy Obamacare, if you’re not going to force people to buy something they don’t want, then they won’t buy it,” the Speaker opined. “So, it’s not that people are getting pushed off a plan, it’s that people will choose not to buy something that they don’t like or want.”

“And that’s the difference here,” he added.

Is Paul Ryan also suggesting that some taxpayers, in the name of freedom, can exempt themselves from the mandate of paying his handsome annual salary, health care benefits and retirement funding if we don't want or like the product? Sure sounds like it to me.

And, if freedom of choice is so important to everyone's pocketbook as he implies, why hasn't he made it a priority to dismantle that constitutional mandate forcing taxpayers to pay congressional salaries and compensation?

And, why would 22 million Americans, as Paul Ryan seems to imply, want to continue contributing to his health care insurance when they refuse to pay for their own? When given the choice. You know, for freedom.

Conversely, is he suggesting that health care in the United States should be free to all? Just like his? Mandated by law. That's another possibility we can draw from his remarks and build into a valid argument.

I will say this. Why hasn't any one of Paul Ryan's democratic challengers pounced on those statements immediately with the above or something similar?

Here's my other point. Nearly every time Paul Ryan opens his mouth, gifts pour out. That's how this has to be framed. His statements are not based in workable solutions or a sustainable reality, but are founded in fictional books of wrong-headed right-wing ideologies, pledges and theories. Think Atlas Shrugged, Laffer Curve and Grover Norquist.

In short, because Ryan has nothing tangible to show for in his nearly 20 years in office, he plays the rhetoric game for the win. He has to. And he wins. When his challengers don't respond, the voting public silently takes notice. He wins again.

Many voters think that when Ryan's statements go unchallenged - he must be smart. Challengers have to know there is no calvary to rescue them. Don't depend on journalists to challenge Ryan's remarks, most of them won't. When his challengers look the other way or pretend not to notice. He wins again.

So here's some free valuable advice that you can take or leave. With his national stature, ALL THE TIME is the right time to respond to (almost) every statement he makes. When Ryan opens his flapper, it's an opportunity for free publicity you could not afford to pay for at this stage in the game. And believe me - IT IS A GAME. Respond to his name tag on Facebook, Reddit, Twitter AND your other favorite social media sites AND call in to local popular radio shows in the First District of Wisconsin. Do that and more IF you're serious about having any chance to win. Remember, you're campaigning.

Of course you just can't respond willy-nilly without having the ability to back your argument up with sound common sense.

As of right now, I see the same drip, drip, drip rhetoric from Ryan that I've seen in the past that will carry him to an easy victory while his challengers have protested in front of his house, begged him with petitions to change his ways or complain that he's not the guy they thought he was. Get out of the race if that is your strategy. I've seen it all before. He'll win by default. By a large margin. Again.