Kyle and her husband moved to Brookfield in 1986. She became active in local politics and started blogging in 2004. Her focus is primarily on local issues but often includes state and national topics, too. Kyle looks at things from the taxpayers' perspective in a creative, yet down to earth way, addressing them from a practical point of view.
We averted the so-called fiscal cliff this week with mixed results: some say Republicans caved on raising taxes, some say Republicans protected most taxpayers, some Democrats thought Obama lost. I was surprised that Conservative Senator Ron Johnson voted for it and pleased that Senator Marco Rubio and our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner didn't. But honestly, with our poor GOP leadership and under the no floor debate, lame duck, back room negotiating circumstances, I don't know how this could have been resolved in a positive way. If Republicans had voted it down, Obama would just have come back later to play the role of hero by enacting a middle tax cut, knowing he had already turned up the tax heat on all those evil rich. We would have needed more proactive leadership in Congress and have been discussing this all year long, not just in the eleventh hour.
The only positive thing to come out of the deal was that the Bush tax rates were made permanent for 98% of American earners. (Permanent as long as Republicans hold the majority in the House, that is.) But even this is Kabuki theater because our tax burden is still going up with other tax increases already in place as of Jan. 1st and new revenue increases via eliminating some deductions that were part of the fiscal cliff deal as well.
With the Bush tax rates now at least set for the 113th Congress, Republicans could for once in their lives go on the offense and get the message out that our out of control spending cannot, cannot continue. Republicans could redeem themselves by presenting a united front in the House and Senate and standing firm against increasing the debt ceiling by another 3 trillion dollars as the president wants.
But this will only work if they start talking about it now and are willing to draw the line in the debt ceiling sand and say, no further.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Pat Toomey talked about this on Jan. 2nd. McConnell said, "'We have an immediate opportunity to act: the debt ceiling,' McConnell said. 'Washington’s credit card has reached its limit again, and the Senate majority must act on legislation early in February—rather than waiting until the last minute, abdicating responsibility and hoping someone else will step in once again to craft a last-minute solution for them.'”
Toomey was more emphatic, “'[Obama] got a $2 trillion debt limit increase just 17 months ago — blew through all that,'Toomey said on Morning Joe.'We will only solve this problem when we finally get the spending under control. And the debt ceiling, and after that, the continuing resolution expiration — those are the vehicles that give us the opportunity to insist on making progress on the real problem.'” He "suggested" a "partial government shutdown" may be necessary to make the point. That's where truly necessary spending is continued and funded via tax revenue income; non-essential spending is stopped.
Getting the Republican message out is a problem with the pro Obama Praetorian press ruling the media markets. Maybe Republicans could hire the same people who created Senator Ron Johnson's ads for his senate campaign. Johnson's ads were short, concise, and explained just what was at stake with our out of control spending. We really need messaging like that in the GOP. RNC, are you listening?
I urge you to contact your legislators and tell them to stand firm on the debt ceiling. We have less than a month to do this.
Contact your Representatives and Senators
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
They call it the Fiscal Cliff. Falling off it is seen as disastrous to the U.S. economy and will cause us to fall back into recession. (Did we ever leave it?) If we do nothing to avert the cliff, we fall off on New Year's Eve.
But what is the Fiscal Cliff? Primarily, it is the end to the Bush Tax Cuts they band-aided back into law in December of 2010. It also includes expiration of the Payroll Tax Cut, which has little support from either side of the aisle. If you remember, it reduced the Social Security payroll deduction from 6.2% to 4.2% so workers would have a bit more take home pay. (Did you even notice?) However, it also reduced the amount of money flowing into the Social Security coffers--a bad idea for an entitlement already facing solvency issues. The $700 billion or so Doc Fix, military reductions, and some token spending cuts also part of the mix.
Our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner wrote, Don't trade a cliff for an iceberg. In it he points out,
Currently, the US debt is on track to reach 187 percent of GDP by 2035. But unlike Greece, there is no "Germany" to bail us out. If our debt reaches this level, an international economic crisis would ensue.
The President and Congressional Democrats have called for a “balanced” approach to reducing the deficit.
But their approach has been anything but balanced. The President’s “offer” included $1.6 trillion dollars in taxes and $400 billion in spending cuts. That’s neither balanced nor helpful for our economy. When spending on entitlements is 62 percent of our budget, the President’s focus on tax increases is not going to cut it.
We can’t solve our debt problem without economic growth, and tax hikes could cost 710,000 jobs according to an independent Ernst &Young study.
It is not often a state gets a do-over, but it looks like Wisconsin will have another opportunity to woo Gogebic Taconite to open an iron mine--with its 700 good paying jobs--in Ashland County.
With Republicans gaining a healthier majority in the State Senate, passage of the Assembly's mining bill for streamlining of the mining approval process is likely. And with a passed mining bill, Gogebic Taconite says they are still interested in Wisconsin.
Because State Senate Republicans are no longer dependent on their weakest link, Sen. Dale Schultz, they should be able to pass the streamlined mining approval bill. Ironically, now that passage seems inevitable, Democrat Senator Tim Cullen now invokes Thomas Jefferson's appeal for "broad support for sweeping change"! In Sunday's paper, Cullen made his plea for not ramming through legislation with a slim majority.
Cullen's plea, however, seems very out of character with Democrats' actions, both in state and in Washington. After all, didn't Cullen join with the other Democrat State Senators when the 14 fled the state to deny the Senate Republicans from having a quorum during the Act 10 battle? And though he flirted with leaving the Democrat caucus in July, 3 days later he rejoined them with a promise of chairing 2 newly created committees--one being Mining.
As for Democrats in the U.S. Senate, didn't Harry Reid tweak and torture Senate rules to pass Obamacare on the slimmest of majorities? Hardly following Thomas Jefferson's appeal for broad support for sweeping change! Cullen stood with both Obama and Tammy Baldwin in the last election, so I guess that shows how much Cullen really values Thomas Jefferson's words of wisdom.
Since the introduction of iron mining would be a great boon for all of Wisconsin, I would like to think Democrats could put partisanship aside and do what is best for the state. Keep in mind the mining bill includes environmental protections, and iron mining is akin to quarrying, which goes on all over our state, it is not toxic strip mining. And the 700 jobs? Those are promised to be 95% union jobs, certainly a boon to economically challenged northern Wisconsin.
However, putting partisanship aside doesn't seem to be the direction state Democrats wish to move in: they just named Democrat Chris Larson as their Minority Leader. (Larson is a true liberal, believing that reducing government is reducing democracy!)
No doubt a passed mining bill will end up tangled in the Madison courts, just as our passed Voter ID and Act 10 have. But at least we should be able to jump the first hurdle of passing the mining legislation. The court battle will have to be overcome another day*.
*Note: Wisconsin has an extremely important State Supreme Court race coming up in April 2013, where we must reelect Justice Pat Roggensack.
Walker: With new bill, mining company will return
Best mining bill would have wide support
UPDATE: Sen. Tim Cullen rejoins Democratic Caucus
Democrats elected Chris Larson as state Senate leader
Sen Chris Larson Says, "Reducing Government" is Reducing Democracy"
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
The importance of the upcoming WI Supreme Court race to Republicans
Wisconsin Justice Pat Roggensack
Sixteen Democrats and one Republican in Wisconsin's State Senate put a stake in the heart of the mining industry in our state on Tuesday, when the Senate version compromise bill was narrowly defeated by 1 vote. If Republican Dale Shultz or even just one Democrat would have voted in favor of this bill, Gogebic Taconite, G-Tac, wouldn't be leaving for more mining friendly, and also iron rich, Minnesota and Michigan.
It seemed any hope of streamlining the mining approval process with a mining reform bill was dead, because the Senate session ends on March 15th. But yesterday and today it seems there just might be a glimmer of hope to revive this job-rich bill.
DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp spoke on both the Mark Belling Show yesterday and Vicki McKenna's radio program today. She emphasized how the Senate Mining Bill did not circumvent DNR rules as opponents said; it just set a timeline, a shorter deadline, for a mine's approval process. Each specific mine proposal would still have to meet DNR, Army Corps of Engineers, etc. requirements.
So what wasn't to like? The failed Senate mining bill added improved wet land creation in its language over present legislation, it was backed by 9 private sector unions, and G-Tac assured 95% of the jobs created would be union jobs.
Vicki also emphasized today that iron mining is NOT strip mining, but pit mining. We are familiar with pit mining in almost every area of Wisconsin because it is the same type of mining that rock quarries use. The G-Tac mine pit would be 15 acres in size, about the size of the square block I live on. Once all the iron ore was extracted, it would be restored. In fact, beautiful Lake Wazee, the deepest inland lake in Wisconsin, is a good example of the aftermath of a former taconite quarry or pit mine.
If Democrat Senators like Tim Carpenter (608) 266-8535 or Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 will rethink their votes, since their districts could benefit from the increase in jobs at mine equipment builders Caterpillar or Joy Global in Milwaukee, the mining bill and the mining industry in Wisconsin could be saved. If not, we have just secured our place in the race to the bottom for the most unfriendly mine locations in the world.
So it is up to the residents of this state to make one last plea to their Senator to change their mind on voting for mining in Wisconsin. Hopefully, they will reconsider. If just one Senator does, the mining bill could make a miraculous recovery and all of Wisconsin will benefit.
Find your State Senator here. Be polite; you are making an appeal.
Gogebic drops plans for iron ore mine
And now we know
Hurley residents decry 'devastating' collapse of Wisconsin mining bill
Wisconsin Tea Party Reaction to Mining Debacle
Past Post: Wisconsin Senate mining bill took wrong turn, now better
Wisconsin's Assembly passed AB 426, a Iron Mining Bill, in January. It essentially was designed to speed up the expensive, long drawn out 3-year DNR approval process to a 360 day maximum permit deadline.
Wisconsin's Senate came up with their version earlier this week, however, theirs was far worse than the long, drawn out process we presently have. Among other bad stipulations, it added a new $2 per ton tax on top of the present 15% of net proceeds tax. Since the mine would produce from 8 to 16 million tons a year, that new stipulation would cost the mining company from $16 - $32 million dollars of additional expense. So that Senate version of the the good Assembly Bill 426 would be far worse than the unfavorable process we currently have in Wisconsin.
Thankfully, many Wisconsinites contacted their State Senators, urging them to support mining in Wisconsin and not vote for this terrible Senate version, with its unfriendly business taxes and regulations. So many people called and emailed that Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald disbanded the Senate mining committee, scrapped the Senate version, and sent the clean, better AB 426 Assembly version to the Joint Finance Committee, which will send it directly to the Senate floor.
So people, you made the difference. We are still not out of the woods though because the Assembly version can still be amended in the Senate. They can still add on the poison-pill provisions, but at least this way, those promoting those bad ideas will be known and each Senator will have to take a stand if they are for or against mining jobs in Wisconsin.
Just how unfavorable is Wisconsin for mining companies to do business here? Here is a little test:
What do Zimbabwe, The Congo (DRC), India, Bolivia, Honduras and Wisconsin have in common? They rank among the top 10 bottom scorers of 79 locations throughout the world--Antarctica excepted--friendly to the mining industry.
The Fraser Institute surveyed the opinions of mining executives, exploration managers and mining consultants from around the world and found Wisconsin scored the worst in Environmental Regulations and 2nd worst, only to Hugo Chavez' Venezuela, for "Uncertainty concerning the administration, interpretation, and enforcement of existing regulations". (Click link and scroll down to look at graphs)
How did this happen to Wisconsin? We're the Badger State. Badgers because they dig and burrow!
Wisconsin, with our flag depicting a miner standing to the right of the shield and sailor to the left, state products representing the state's major industries adorning the shield and badger on top: "In four sections surrounding the shield are representations of the states main industries: Agriculture, mining, manufacturing and navigation. The cornucopia and pile of lead represent farm products and minerals. (My emphasis)
Updates below. Please READ the post before commenting. Castle Doctrine gives the property owner immunity against an intruder. That means someone who is inside.
Hitting the Debt-Ceiling has been in the news for months now. Though in theory we surpass our borrowing limits on Aug. 2nd, we don't have to default on our loans as the President threatens because the Treasury can choose which bills to pay--the essential--and which to not pay--the non-essential.
Our government had prepared to shut down those non-essential services, such as the National Parks, back on April 8th. (I was well aware of that possibility, because we had plans to leave on a 15 National Parks and Monuments vacation in the southwest on the very next day--April 9th!) The shutdown never happened however, because Congress passed a stop-gap measure near midnight on April 8th.
Then there was discussion that the debt limit would be reached in mid May. They got through that crisis by tapping into the Federal worker pension fund and using the $200-some billion that flows into the Treasury every month. But now we are hitting our borrowing limit, the debt-ceiling, again.
We have enough revenue; we just spend too much. Yet the President's solution to his debt crisis is to raise the debt-ceiling limit and increase taxes on the rich. (Maybe he is channeling his inner Herbert Hoover?) The words cut spending don't ever seem to be in Obama's vocabulary.
Our economic recovery is in the doldrums. It has even been called a growth-less recovery by Obama's former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and the President sees raising taxes as our only solution?
Raising taxes on anyone right now is NOT the solution to our debt problem. Instead, we need to Cut , Cap & Balance our spending and live within our means by cutting spending and debt and passing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would include a "spending limitation and super-majority for raising taxes, in addition to balancing revenues and expenses".
Take a moment to sign the Cut, Cap & Balance pledge and then contact your Senators and House Representative and urge them to pass the Cut, Cap & Balance Act of 2011 introduced on Thursday by Senators Toomey, Paul (Rand), Lee, Blunt, Vitter, Sessions, DeMint and our own Ron Johnson. The CC&B Act currently has 21 co-sponsors.
Let your representatives in Washington D.C. know your views on the debt-ceiling problem.
Find your U.S. Senators by last name
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (202) 224-5323
Wisconsin's U.S. Senator Herb Kohl (202) 224-5653
Find your U.S. House of Representatives member by state
House Representative James Sensenbrenner Washington D.C. (202) 225-5101, Brookfield (262) 784-1111
President Obama would like to settle our debt problem now, before the summer recess in August, and with enough spending cushion so the borrowing ceiling/spending issue doesn't come up again until after the 2012 elections. This spending crisis is too important to just push on down the road until after November 2012. Make the calls!
One version of Conceal Carry passed the Wisconsin Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. So will these signs soon be seen in various public places in our state as they are in Arizona, a state that allows Constitutional Carry?
We recently spent a few weeks in Arizona and I admit, at first those signs were a bit of a surprise. We soon became accustomed to seeing them though, and we also adjusted to seeing someone's firearm peeking out from a jacket or even openly holstered on the hip.
One Navajo woman, at dinner with her family, had a belt on with bullets sheathed around her waist and a derringer where the buckle would be! (That was on the Navajo Nation--they have their own regulations there.)
We also visited some folks we know in Phoenix and found that the husband carried. He frequently went target shooting to keep his skills honed.
Did I feel threatened by the people carrying? Not at all. In fact, since I was a bit unnerved knowing armed illegals travel at will in the southern portion of that state, it was somewhat comforting to know that many Arizonans pack a piece.
Concealed Carry will pass in some shape or form here in Wisconsin. The question is what version--Constitutional Carry like Arizona and 3 other states or Concealed Carry with a permit as Utah does along with 43 others. Wisconsin is one of 2 states in our Union that doesn't allow Conceal Carry in any form.
I am torn as to which type of Conceal Carry law we should have. Before President Obama, I would have said sure, by permit is fine. But since our President is so eager to over-regulate firearms, including by means "under the radar" as he recently told James Brady's wife, Sarah, I don't know.
Since any responsible person would go for training before carrying a firearm, and background checks are done at the time of purchase*, I think I could be OK with Constitutional Carry. Criminals will disregard any regulations for permitting or background checks for purchase no matter what the Conceal Carry law states.
If you are thinking of carrying, you should check with your homeowner's insurance carrier to see if you need some extra liability insurance. The insurance issue was raised by one of the attendees at the Kooyenga Town Hall meeting.
In Arizona, we saw the "Firearms are prohibited in this facility" signs posted at numerous National Park Visitor Centers. National Parks recently changed their policy and now allow concealed carry of loaded firearms in the parks, using the gun regulations of the respective state.
We also encountered one of those signs at the Courthouse in Phoenix, a beautiful building I would have liked to have toured but was prohibited from entering.
At long last, Wisconsin's Voter ID bill passed the Senate yesterday and now awaits Gov. Walker's signature. Hallelujah. No doubt it will end up in court, but Sen. Alberta Darling mentioned yesterday on Jay Weber that though she preferred passing 2 separate bills, at least the bill is severable. (The Voter ID portion, which has been upheld by the courts, can be separated from the more controversial portions of the bill.)
Voter ID will be in place for the 2012 elections. I wonder what those elections will look like with Voter ID in place and the end of mandatory Union membership for State workers. (Unions fund Democrat candidate advertising with their dues.) Though the Budget Repair Bill is stuck in the doldrums of the Madison court, the Republicans could just incorporate it into the overall Budget bill.
By the way, Voter ID does not eliminate same day registration, but that turned out to be the better avenue. If we had eliminated same day registration, we then would need to implement MotorVoter laws, which ties obtaining a drivers license with registering to vote. I don't think registering to vote should be such an autopilot arrangement. My understanding of same day registration is that it still requires an approved photo ID. If the person doesn't have this, then they cast a provisional ballot (sealed in an envelope) and are given an opportunity to bring back their photo ID for their vote to count.
Past Post: Call Wisconsin Legislature to move on Photo Voter I.D.
Rep. Dale Kooyenga Town Hall
I didn't know what to expect. Would protesters be there? Would the room be packed as Town Halls had been before the November elections? As it turned out, there were 6 of us there--8 in all if you count Dale and his assistant William Neville. The 6 citizens in attendance consisted of 3 men I didn't know and Elmbrook Schools Superintendent Dr. Matt Gibson, Elmbrook Board President Tom Gehl, and little ole me.
The discussion was informal, with Kooyenga sitting with us in a circle of sorts. One man was talking about the concealed carry legislation when I cam in. Kooyenga briefly talked about the Combined Reporting changes, some which are addressed in the budget bill. Dale said rather than repeal the whole law, they would be looking at lowering the corporate tax rate.
Incidentally, did you know there is now a CPA Caucus? Kooyenga and his fellow CPAs now have their own group. He said they are working on a constitutional amendment to require a balanced state budget, applying business accounting principles to the state.
Dr. Gibson stated his support for the Governor's budget and appreciation for Kooyenga meeting with them regarding the coming budget changes. However, Gibson was looking to influence the per student dollar allocation. He mentioned working with the Fair Aid Coalition that represents property rich districts like Elmbrook (donor districts), who contribute to other school districts through their property taxes. Gibson said he was looking at increasing taxing authority as a possible solution to Elmbrook's shortfall.
It does seem like there might be some wiggle room in the state aid formula, "Some Republican legislative leaders say that they are working on a plan to lessen aid cuts for some Wisconsin schools. The legislature’s budget committee will take up the issue Thursday." I don't know if Elmbrook is included in that group, but it shows there could be some adjustments coming.
You can sign up for Rep. Dale Kooyenga's Legislative Wisconsin Capitol Update by contacting his assistant William Neville at William.Neville@legis.wisconsin.gov
Petitioning Waukesha School District subdivisions can't join Elmbrook School District
Don't know if you saw this, but those 3 subdivisions to Elmbrook's west lost again at the state level in their quest to be included in the Elmbrook School District. I blogged about this in February of 2011 in What? Families who HAVE 4K petition to join Elmbrook WITHOUT 4K?
BrookfieldNOW reported in Neighborhoods lose bid to join Elmbrook, again that "The state's School Boundary Appeals Board last week denied the request of nearly 200 property owners in the Black Forest, Summit Lawn, Emerald Ridge and Shire subdivisions to leave the Waukesha School District and join Elmbrook.
Many newly elected Republican Congressmen ran on a pledge to defund ObamaCare; reelected Republican Congressmen voted against ObamaCare over a year ago. On January 19th of this year, all of the House Republicans (plus 3 Democrats) voted to overturn ObamaCare.* However, unless these Republican Congressmen sign a pledge to vote NO on the Continuing Resolution up for a vote next Wed., March 17th, ObamaCare's implementation will be funded and next to impossible to repeal or defund in the future.
You see, $105 Billion was stuck here and there within the bill to fund ObamaCare's implementation WITHOUT Congressional Appropriation! In other words, this money ensured ObamaCare would proceed regardless of who won the November elections.
This is why it is essential that we call Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Chair Rogers and tell them to VOTE NO on the Continuing Resolution vote that includes this ObamaCare funding. Tell your Congressman to sign the pledge to VOTE NO on the Continuing Resolution if it contains ObamaCare funding. If enough Republicans sign that pledge, Boehner will have to take that ObamaCare funding out. (Congressional contact numbers below)
Last month, Congressman Michele Bachmann blew the whistle on the $105 Billion dollars to fund implementation tucked in the ObamaCare bill, which passed in early 2010. (No wonder Speaker Nancy Pelosi said we have to pass to bill to find out what is in it!)
Last "[Wednesday] former Congressman Ernest Istook testified before the House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee about the $105 billion slush fund in advance appropriations liberals tucked inside Obamacare. The $105 billion bypasses the traditional yearly budgeting process and is spread throughout the 2,700 page legislation. It took the Congressional Research Service (CRS) seven months to identify all the disparate funds and it was not until February (11 months after the bill passed) that all of the funds could be totaled up."
Republicans have the position of strength here--the upper hand. The Continuing Resolution must be passed if we are to keep funding the Federal Government and avoid a shut down on March 18th. Instead of always negotiating weakly from a position of strength, like they did with extending the Bush Tax cuts, urge them to stand strong here? Ask them to honor their pledge to repeal and defund ObamaCare. Tell them to sign the pledge.
House Switchboard (202) 224-3121
Speaker John Boehner (202) 225-0600
Majority Leader Eric Cantor (202) 225-4000
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (202) 225-5101
Find your Congressman
H/T Conservative Mark Levin spoke with Congressmen Michele Bachmann and Steven King last night from about 19 minutes to 30 minutes into the broadcast. Listen.
Mark Levin surge: Call Congress, Vote NO on Continuing Resolution
I think we could all use a little comic relief, so when I saw this caption on the Drudge Report, I had to snicker: Paul wants government hands off his toilet.
That's right. Newly elected Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky (Rep. Ron Paul's son) asked, "If the federal government can support abortion rights, why can't it also support light bulb choice."
I don't mean to diminish the serious side of Rand's inquiry, but it is a good question.
If you have shopped for incandescent light bulbs lately, you probably noticed that some higher wattage models are becoming scarce. (My personal favorite is the 150w large white globe bulb. It gives a nice even bright light for open ceiling fixtures, and because of its large size, the filament doesn't overheat--it lasts a long time. I can only find them at my trusty Elliot's Ace Hardware store.)
The article went on to suggest it was better not to "get [Paul] started about his toilet".
Rand Paul said, “'Light bulbs, refrigerators, toilets, you name it. You can’t go around your house without being told what to buy. You restrict my purchases. You don’t care about my choices. You don’t care about the consumer.''' (I would add phosphate dish-washing detergent to that list--you know, the kind that actually works.)
Last week, State Senator Joe Leibham and Rep. Jeff Stone introduced a Photo Voter I.D. bill, a measure that most Wisconsinites agree is long overdue. It would be great to have this in place for the spring election, when we select a new justice for the State Supreme Court. But to do that, the bill needs to be scheduled for joint hearings a.s.a.p. That's where your phone call comes in--contact numbers below.
While I am pleased to see Photo Voter I.D.'s introduction, I think we could do much more to protect the integrity of Wisconsin elections from voter fraud. But at this point, all the bill deals with is the requirement that voters present an approved photo I.D. when they go vote. At present, it does nothing to stop same day voter registration or allowing a 3rd party, such as ACORN, to conduct voter registration drives.
Considering the Wisconsin Senate and Assembly both have Republican majorities, can we please clean up these other two potential voter fraud provisions too?
Those critical of the Photo Voter I.D. requirement say that requiring a Driver's License or State Photo I.D. would discourage voting if the person didn't have an approved I.D. This is a stretch, since most people over 18 years of age drive have a driver's license. In the odd case where an 18 year old doesn't have a drivers license (as was the case with my own offspring) a State I.D. was obtained. The bill has a provision to provide the appropriate I.D. for those who cannot afford one.
Last November, I volunteered to be a poll watcher with We're Watching Wisconsin Elections and was assigned to 2 different inner city polling places. I was very pleasantly surprised to see that the majority of voters during my 2 shifts voluntarily showed their photo I.D.s to the poll workers checking them in. Though the driver's license was not asked for, the voter usually started getting it out of their wallet as they approached the table. Sadly, some other voters needed someone to vouch for them as for their change in address.
Since I voted absentee that election, I did wonder if there would be some designation on the voter roll at my own polling place. I checked later in the day and thankfully, there was a notation next to my name. But not all City Clerks are as efficient as our Kris Schmidt! This is an area where fraudulent votes could be cast that Photo Voter I.D. would eliminate.
We need to get this legislation moving through the Assembly and Senate pronto. If it is to be in place by April's election, it must be passed and signed into law by February 15th, according to W.W.W.E.
Call your State Representative and Senator:
- Ask them to co-sponsor the Photo I.D. Bill
- Urge leadership to schedule joint hearing of both the Senate and the Assembly to expedite the Photo Voter I.D. Bill
- Make it clear to your legislators that you want to have Photo Voter I.D. in place by April 5th, 2011
- Explain that other election reforms need to be proposed and passed as soon as possible, but it is important to implement Photo I.D. NOW!!!
Last December, the Senate put coal in most American's Christmas stockings by voting for ObamaCare on Christmas Eve. At least the specter of the "Death Panel" seemed to be out of the picture and removed from that legislation.
If you have been paying attention to our Lame Duck Congress these past weeks, you know that thankfully, Cap and Trade, the carbon capping global warming legislation didn't pass in the Senate.
Yet starting on January 1, 2011, End of Life planning (the politically correct term for death panel) will go into effect, and on January 2, 2010, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions (which include water vapor) will be capped--limited.
Neither of these actions were approved of through legislation by our elected representatives in Congress, so how is this possible?
Regulation via Obama's Cabinet and Czar bureaucracy, "...regarding Obama's czar-mania, this White House has bypassed the Senate advise-and-consent role and unilaterally created a two-tiered government. It's fronted by cabinet secretaries able to withstand public scrutiny (some of them just barely) and then managed behind the scenes by shadow secretaries with broad powers beyond congressional reach. Bureaucratic chaos serves as a useful smokescreen to obscure the true source of policy decision-making." (My emphasis)
Beyond Congressional reach is the key to Obama's regulation without recourse, and it needs to stop.
As the New York Times reported on Christmas Day (the ultimate news dump day), "When a proposal to encourage end-of-life planning touched off a political storm over “death panels,” Democrats dropped it from legislation to overhaul the health care system. But the Obama administration will achieve the same goal by regulation, starting Jan. 1. "
From 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life: "Yes, the "death panels" charge is somewhat crude, but combine cost-based rationing with end-of-life counseling and, well, here we are."
End of life decisions are important to think about, after all, the death rate is 100%--1 per person. Death is something we all have to consider.
Having gone through this process with both my parents and just this week witnessed with a close relative, these discussions should take place, and they do between the doctor, patient, and family--period. What I object to is the financial incentive--payment--for doctors who advise their Medicare patients about end-of-life care and forgoing "aggressive life-sustaining treatment". The government shouldn't be in the mix.
Since hospitals usually give out a power of attorney for health care form before surgery, the patient can decide what procedures should take place should things go wrong, and doctors already discuss different avenues of treatment and their outcomes, why do we need this change?
As for limiting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (which includes water vapor), this is being enacted without legislation on January 2, 2010! "This move represents an unconstitutional power grab that will kill millions of jobs—unless Congress steps in."
President Obama has taken advantage of a Supreme Court decision in 2007 that ruled the EPA was in effect the highest authority in the land. The Clean Air Act becomes the avenue for this regulation and trumps the legislative process.
If Obama can't legislate, he will just mandate, "...President Obama was asked about the voters' repudiation of cap and trade. He responded: 'Cap and trade was just one way of skinning the cat; it was not the only way. It was a means, not an end.' " So Obama will achieve his goal without the consent of the governed.
One of the things on the new Congress' to do list would be to "overturn the EPA's proposed greenhouse gas regulations outright". Wouldn't that be refreshing? Another would be to repeal ObamaCare.
Undoing the damage that has been done via mandates and unconstitutional legislation is a huge job in itself. They certainly have their work cut out for them. I wish them well.
More Reading: Obama's Czar Fetish
Obama Returns to End-of-Life Plan That Caused Stir
Wall Street Journal: 'Death Panels' Come Back to Life
WSJ: How Congress Can Stop the EPA's Power Grab.
I voted today.
Brookfield's City Hall had a room all set up, complete with voting booths, for those of us who need to vote early. (If you enter through the north entrance, you CAN'T miss it!)
Here I was all set to just quickly make my one mark on the ballot and vote straight ticket (Republican of course), but the ladies manning the voter rolls informed me there also was an Advisory Referendum question on the back of the ballot. That was news to me.
It is a separate question; you must complete the line for a Yes or No answer. It isn't on every county's ballot, but Brookfield is in one of the 52 counties that chose to include it on their ballots.
For your convenience, they had an explanation of the Advisory Referendum question posted on green paper in the room and at each voting booth.
The actual question reads: "Should the Wisconsin Constitution be amended to prohibit any further transfers or lapses from the state’s segregated transportation fund?"
The reason for asking is to hopefully put a STOP to RAIDING the fund.
The intent of our gas tax and vehicle registration fee money was to have it go into the Transportation Fund for road improvements. But since 2003, Wisconsin has siphoned off more than $1.3 BILLION from that fund, to pay for other non transportation related programs and projects in the state. This has got to stop. Our infrastructure is suffering.
"[St. Croix Highway Commissioner Tim Ramberg] pointed to reports that show $1.3 billion has been diverted since 2003. Over $850 million of that was replaced with borrowed money, but the net loss to the transportation fund was over $435 million." Raiding funds was one of Doyle's budget balancing tricks.
To get an idea of how this raiding has affected Wisconsin counties, read Referendum seeks to ban raids on state transportation fund.
This is only an Advisory Referendum, meaning if passed, it still needs to go through the amendment process where an amendment to the state constitution must pass 2 separate sessions in the legislature before going on the ballot for Wisconsin voter approval.
Getting a Constitutional Amendment through both houses of the legislature for those 2 consecutive sessions is not that easy. You may recall that the Constitutional Amendment for Voter Photo ID nearly made it through the last phase of the legislative amendment process. It would have made it to the voters, to decide the question once and for all, had it not been for the Senate Democrats in 2009. Read Dems Block Photo ID: The Roll Call. To save you the trouble, yes, State Senator JIM SULLIVAN voted NAY on bringing Photo ID to a vote. (Leah Vukmir voted YES in the State Assembly.)
Hopefully this advisory referendum on the Transportation Fund will pass. Too bad they didn't also include that Transportation Funds couldn't be used to study commuter and high speed rail in this referendum. But we may not need that language after all if Scott Walker is our next governor.
This is an important election. If you are in doubt as to if you will be able to make it to the polls on Tuesday, vote early. In Brookfield they certainly make it easy.
District 7 residents, on Election Day, remember you now vote at St. Lukes Catholic Church on Greenfield Ave. and Davidson Road.
Last week, President Obama made an impassioned Rose Garden speech about passing unemployment benefit extensions, complete with visual aids: 3 unemployed individuals. He appealed to the Senate (Republicans), "It's time to stop holding workers laid off in this recession hostage to Washington politics...It's time to do what's right, not for the next election, but for the middle class. We've got to stop blocking emergency relief for Americans who are out of work. We've got to extend unemployment insurance.”
If you didn't know anything more about this, you might think the Republicans were being heartless and unfeeling. At least that is what the President and most Democrats* hoped you would think.
In actuality, Republicans were just following what the President himself signed into law by Executive Order in February of this year. Remember PAYGO?
In case you don't, Paygo was a budget tool that simply said that Congress must pay for what it spends. In other words, if new spending is proposed, it must be offset by either cutting somewhere else or adding new taxes. (Even Paygo is pretty much smoke and mirrors as far as any real cuts go.)
In Obama's own words about Paygo (my emphasis), "Now, Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.... After a decade of profligacy, the American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility. It’s easy to get up in front of the cameras and rant against exploding deficits. What’s hard is actually getting deficits under control. But that’s what we must do.”
If you dig deeper than the mainstream media into why Republicans were against extending unemployment, you find out that Republicans were in fact willing to extend benefits to 99 weeks, BUT ONLY IF THEY WERE PAID FOR!
Rep. Camp said it well, "I support, and Republicans have supported, extending unemployment benefits, but we must not do so at a cost to the deficit, to the economy and to future generations. Our inability to get our fiscal house in order isn't just damaging future generations; it is wreaking havoc on jobs today."
So we find most Republicans* wanted to utilize unused Stimulus funds to pay for the unemployment benefit extension, which was in accordance with the President's own Paygo law.
Since Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi even said that unemployment benefits were "one of the biggest stimuluses to our economy... It creates jobs faster than almost any other initiative", wouldn't this bill seem a perfect use for those unused funds? They could extend the unemployment benefits without raising the deficit, which is what the President asked for with Paygo in February and still touts as recently as the G-20 last month.
But most Democrats didn't want to use Paygo. Of course we didn't hear anything about heartless Democrats blocking the passage of unemployment benefits because they wouldn't use existing Stimulus funds.
The President himself didn't want to pass it using Paygo, which is why when it comes to Obama, don't pay any attention to what he says about controlling spending. No, it makes better political hay to slam those unfeeling Republicans for not wanting to help the unemployed by increasing the deficit (even though it could be avoided).
The President is absolutely correct when he said, "American people are tired of politicians who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk when it comes to fiscal responsibility." I know I am.
I just wish he followed his own advice.
*The House and Senate version passed with some crossover votes on both sides.
In Sunday's paper, Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold is quoted as saying he is against the 2,300 page Finance-Overhaul bill. He "is expected" to vote against it. Wow, I thought. He must really be worried about November.
I read on to see he is against it because "It doesn't do the job", it doesn't go far enough!
Yesterday, I heard Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, along with our other 2 token Republicans from Maine, will vote FOR the bill. (Groan) Now, don't get me wrong, I am glad Scott Brown won his Senate seat. He certainly will vote more often with the Republicans than Teddy Kennedy ever did. But he isn't a Conservative.
As for Feingold's departure from the Democrats, often vulnerable legislators are given permission to vote against the party if they are facing a tough reelection, if there are enough votes to secure passage. So 3 Republicans saying they will vote FOR the bill explains a lot about Feingold standing up and saying he will vote NO. This seems to be one of those cases.
Senate Republicans are against the bill because, "it would drive up the costs of credit and harm the U.S.'s competitiveness. They have also complained that the bill does little to address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac"--the real Mastodon in the room. (Elephant is far too small an animal for the problems at Freddie and Fannie.)
Like the Senate Republicans, "Feingold's two GOP opponents, Dave Westlake and Ron Johnson, both have said they would vote no on the financial reforms," citing too many regulations, too much bureaucracy and concerns over the "key factor in the financial crisis - problems with mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."
Plus, how many Senators even read, much less understood, 2,300 pages of amended amendments and regulation?
Now the last caveat is Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson who said on Monday "...he had not decided whether to vote for the bill because of concerns over whom the White House would name as head of a new consumer-lending regulator".
Since Let's Make a Deal has been going on to woo the Republicans--Brown, Snowe, and Collins each got a deal--maybe Nelson is again hoping for a special sweetener for his vote? He probably will cave in after his 5 minutes of limelight.
But I hope and pray Nelson is against the bill. Then there would be enough to filibuster. Then we would also see the true cloth Feingold is cut from.
Senator Robert Byrd of Virginia died early this morning. He was the longest serving Senator in U.S. history. Most people remember Byrd for his early KKK membership, and as the Charleston Gazette noted, his 14 hour filibuster and vote against the landmark Civil Rights Act in 1964. (By percentage, more Republicans voted for it than Democrats.)
Still, for Democrats, he was a solid liberal vote, and recently, with close votes in the Senate, a much needed vote. When ObamaCare was on the Senate floor, there was concern that Byrd's demise might put the bill in jeopardy.
And that was the first thing I thought of this morning--what will Byrd's vacancy mean to say, Elena Kagan's approval or Cap and Trade's passage? Kagan's hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee start today. If Republicans filibustered, "Democrats would likely have the 60 votes needed to override it," but that was written before Byrd's vacancy. The outcome will probably depend on how quickly these items come up for vote and how soon Virginia replaces Bryd.
Politico answered my question. According to Virginia law, the governor appoints a replacement, and the governor is a Democrat. The article did mention the Financial Reform bill though. It passed both houses but still needs the reconciliation vote. Although Scott Brown (R-Massachusetts) did vote for the original bill, he "said he might vote against the version that emerged from the reconciliation of the House and Senate versions because it adds a $19 billion bank tax."
You may be in summer mode, but our Congress is on full tilt. The Disclose Act bill might come to the House floor Thursday. If not, then after the July 4th recess. Yes, that means calling your Representative! Our Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner's number is (202) 225-5101.
The National Rifle Association, usually synonymous with Conservative values and protecting our Constitutional rights, seemingly had a weak moment when it appeared they crawled in bed with the Democrats to secure an exemption with the DISCLOSE Act.
The Disclose Act will circumvent the Supreme Court decision last January that allowed 501C4 groups, like NRA or 501C3 groups, like National Right to Life to communicate with their members and run political ads 90 days prior to election time.
Today is the first day of summer according to the calendar, though most of us have been in summer mode for weeks now. I am already having that summer is slipping away feeling.
I know I shouldn't be panicking about it. At least my 14 or so tomato plants are growing nicely, the pole beans popped up over the weekend (I was late on planting those), and my perennial bed is growing like a jungle.
Sadly, I don't have time to beat the flowers back into submission, because today I start ripping the tile off my kitchen back splash. That leads to Spackle-fest to restore the damaged area. (I love Red Devil ONETIME Lightweight Spackling Compound for the final few coats. It is much finer and feathers out nicely.) After that I must wash the remaining walls and ceiling and prep for painting by repairing the cracks, holes, and dings. Finally, the actual painting with Sherwin-Williams oil base paint. (I love that stuff; it wears like iron. Do wear a professional respirator though.) That little project should keep me busy for weeks!
We still haven't committed 100% to a summer road trip vacation. If we go, it will probably be to Yellowstone. Part of me wants to take my grandmother's advice, which is, go while you can. The other part of me is hesitant for a variety of reasons. Fiddlee-dee-dee, I'll think about that tomorrow. Right now I need to find my chisel and start popping tiles off the wall.
How about you? Any great travel plans or projects planned for the summer?
Of course I am still watching some national and local issues. The Drudgereport.com is always a good source. Beforeitsnews.com is a bit out there but interesting--especially on the BP oil spill.
Government control of the Internet by the FTC (tax and regulate internet, govt. funding of newspapers) and FCC (access) and DHS (controlling actual information) is something that should concern us all. There is an actual bill, sponsored by Lieberman, brewing in the Senate on this.
...But right now, I have to take off my political hat for my painter's hat. Happy summer!
Pres. Obama's oil spill action plan: Ignore, delay, blame, demand, overreach and Cap & Tax (nothing on containment/clean up)
Last night Obama declared from the Oval Office, "We will fight this spill with everything we've got for as long it takes." But it doesn't seem like many Americans are buying that sales pitch. Even Democrats and Liberals are shaking their heads over his inaction so far and hum-drum Oval Office spiel. How will he make sure this never happens again? By talking it to death? We are now at day 57.
Never one to let a crisis go to waste to implement more government control, regulation, taxes, and now even overreaching to dictate how a foreign owned company should spend its money and use its stock dividends, President Obama is using the BP oil spill to push his Cap & Trade tax agenda. He says we need "...to move forward on legislation to promote a new economy powered by green jobs, combat climate change, and end our dependence on foreign oil."
Amidst his floundering in the Gulf he is touting alternative energy like wind and solar as a way to end oil spills--as if America can thrive without oil? Since Cap and Trade deals mainly with electricity generation, how will wind and solar end oil spills? America only uses oil to generate about 2% of our electricity. Maybe he would like to lead the way by converting Air Force 1 to solar panels?
In an email he sent out yesterday, the President wrote, "Many businesses support this agenda because shifting to clean energy creates opportunities for entrepreneurship." I am betting those businesses are involved in writing the Cap and Trade legislation or will benefit from the Carbon Credit exchange or an increase in wind and solar use? Companies such as BP--Beyond Petroleum or GE?
I think it is clear that the President squandered his Oval Office clout to peddle his Cap & Trade Tax bill. Most aren't buying it. No matter, his EPA can do what the Senate won't.
As for the spill, from what I have seen, Obama's first action on the spill was to ignore the event. The 11 workers who died as a result of the explosion on April 22nd were barely noted. At last, Obama went to the gulf on May 2nd. "The visit, which White House officials said on Saturday would be within the next 48 hours, signaled Obama was anxious to be seen to be paying close attention to the cleanup and containment of one of the worst oil spills in U.S. history." "Anxious to be seen" seems to be the key phrase there.
The President has visited several times since then but does not have much to show for it. Obama did authorize the deployment of 17,500 National Guardsmen; so far, only 1,600 have been deployed. Gov. Jindal just announced he will be using Guardsmen to build a barrier.
The Jones Act still has not been lifted (as it was after Hurricane Katrina) which would have allowed the Dutch and others with their offers of containment booms and salvage tankers into the area to at least contain and suck up some of the oil. Our own government had their own disaster plan that included the use of containment booms. Trouble was, the U.S. never purchased those emergency booms! In other oil spills, booms are put in place and then tankers come in to suck the oil/water mixture into their holds. They then then separate it later. But you need to contain the oil to do this. There are some booms in place but not nearly enough.
There are some things that just are not adding up with the BP accident. I am sure there is plenty of blame to go around. Let's face it, a blow out a mile under the sea is a problem that won't correct itself. Where was the discussion by the President on how to clean up or keep the oil from the shores? The one thing that is clear, Obama will use the spill to push for green energy, regardless of its negative impact on the U.S. economy!
More reading: BP Accused of Repeated Shortcuts
Sen. McConnell: Obama 'Holding the Gulf Hostage"
Gov. Bobby Jindal Orders National Guard to Build Barrier Wall Off Louisiana Shore
Cap and Trade: A New Disaster Waiting to Happen in 2009
The Spill, The Scandal and the President, How Obama failed to crack down on corruption of Bush years and let world's most dangerous oil company get away with murder.
Obama's Uncertain 'Battle Plan'
UPDATE: Ron Johnson confirmed today he will run for US Senate against Russ Feingold! This is indeed great news for Conservatives in Wisconsin. I reminded Feingold of this fact when I called today asking him to vote NO on Cap and Trade. (See bottom of post.)
What a great Earth Day; I got my wish and more: NO GLOBAL WARMING Bill, NO VOTER FRAUD PROTECTION Act, and NO RTA. I almost can't believe it.
And why did I receive such a great gift? Because of all the calls, emails, letters and visits to our State Legislators. You know, the calls that don't work.
Bottom line? We were spared these bills thanks to those of you who did waste your time calling and going to Madison. So THANK YOU.
Another thank you goes to Talk Radio* for getting the word out.
Republican Senate Leader Scott Fitzgerald mentioned yesterday** that it was the calls that made the difference. For example, in Democrat Jim Sullivan's office, the call record was running 10 to 1 AGAINST the Voter (Fraud) Protection Act.
The same was true in the Assembly. Representative Leah Vukmir stated, "Thanks to your calls and emails, we managed to stop some of the worst legislation of the session. ...The calls and email from constituents sent a very clear message through the halls of the State Capitol and legislators became very wary of taking bad votes on these bills."
I have to think the other sobering moment for our more liberal legislators was the size of the TEA Party crowd last Thursday (April 15) and the number of attendees who stopped into their representatives offices to leave their vote NO sentiments. (Photo: Tea Party attendees look up their reps. office number inside Capitol.)
Of course the Liberal Legislative Phoenix could always rise from the ashes to call an extra session and try and revive these top 3 bills (and others), but at least for now they are dead.
Some bad bills did make it through Madison. Maybe the worst being the Ethanol Mandate 408 / SB 279, which I think requires increasing the total % consumed for ethanol to 50% by 2015 and for bio-diesel to 25% by 2015. Nobody likes the stuff and since it is harmful to most engines and yields abysmal mileage, I don't see how this will work.
Increasing those covered under BadgerCare via BadgerCare Basic Plus also passed. (FYI, Medical Marijuana and the Green Cleaning Product mandate failed, but so did AR-21 to have Wisconsin challenge Constitutionality of ObamaCare. Raw Milk passed.)
So we cannot rest on our laurels. We must stay involved. Work for conservative candidates so we can Remove the liberals, Repeal the bad legislation, and Restore good LIMITED government!
Imagine the kind of government we would have today, if people were always this engaged at the State and Federal level?
Representative Leah Vukmir and Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner will be holding a Town Hall meeting at the Elm Grove Village Hall on May 1st at 9AM
Past Posts: Wisconsin Legislature's last stand - Global Warming, Voter Fraud, RTA - Call now!
News from Rally against Vote Fraud at Milwaukee City Hall
Follow the money: Why are Potawatomis pushing Clean Energy Jobs Act?
Call Now! We cannot afford Gov. Doyle's AB 649 Global Warming/Clean Energy Jobs Act
*I often listen to Jay Weber and Vicki McKenna. When legislation is pending, Mark Belling** is also helpful.
It was a l-o-n-g day, or should I say night, for Wisconsin's Assembly. They worked through the night and still were at it this morning, I heard on Jay Weber this morning. Remarkably, the bottom line is the 3 worst bills, Voter Protection, Global Warming, and Creation of RTA, weren't voted on. (Keep those calls coming--see below.)
The Voter (Fraud) Protection Act, AB 895 / SB 640 did not come up for a vote as expected, nor did the Global Warming Bill, AB 649 / SB 450. It seems the Democrats were too busy duking it out all night to bring them to the floor. (Thank heavens!)
The creation of a RTA was dealt a severe blow by my Representative, Leah Vukmir, who I am dubbing, Vukmir the Valiant. Vukmir pretty much killed the bill with an amendment that would require a binding referendum for Milwaukee County voters to approve raising the sales tax by .05% before a RTA could be created. She was joined by Democrats David Cullen (Wauwatosa, West Milw.) and Tony Staskunas (West Allis) in that amendment. It passed 52/46. That was encouraging.
This also puts Senator Jim Sullivan, who represents pretty much the same area, in an opposite position of his Assembly counterparts.*
Speaking of the Senate, it seems the Senate Democrats don't think they have the votes to pass Global Warming and Voter Protection. Since Leader Russ Decker wants to spare his Senate Democrats from voting on something they can't pass, these might not come to the floor either. (Oh, I hope, I hope.) At least that is what Jay Weber and J.R. Ross indicated on Jay's radio program this morning.
If you remember, I wondered yesterday if that was the reason Jim Sullivan was now against the Voter Protection act.
The other hot topic was what to do with Jeff Wood, the Democrat with 3 DUIs. The Assembly voted to censure him, not expel. (It's all about protecting the majority--they might need him to vote on Thursday.) "Disgusting"
The Assembly worked almost 24 hours straight, thankfully, they have to call it quits for the day. Voter Protection, Global Warming (being pushed hard by the Potawatomis) and RTA, among others, could all come back on Thursday.
The Senate isn't in session today but is meeting later this afternoon at 3pm to set the schedule for Thursday, their last day? Of course, the Senate could go into extra innings, so to speak. But at least for now, it is not as dire as I had thought.
But don't count these bills dead yet. Both houses could pull it together and pass it all.
Keep calling! The only reason these things haven't passed so far is the pressure from the public! Senator Jim Sullivan - District 5, (866) 817-6061 or (608) 266-2512.
If you don't live in Brookfield, find your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO, especially if your Senator is Jeff Plale-District 7, (608) 266-7505, John Lehman-District 21, (608) 266-1832, or Tim Carpenter-District 3, (608) 266-8535.
*Thanks Jay Weber and J.R. Ross! Listen to the first few minutes of each part of the 2nd hour for more details. Hour 2: Part 1 and Part 2.
This week might mark THE MOST COSTLY week in the Wisconsin Legislature; the week our Representatives and Senators vote on several very controversial bills. Our Legislators are wrapping up their last week in Madison for this session, rapid firing 80-some bills to the floor a day.
Oh, if we could just send them home today!
It is difficult to say which are the worst bills of the lot, but the Global Warming, now called Clean Energy Jobs Bill AB 649 / SB 450 is coming to the Assembly this morning. It is thought there are enough votes to pass the Assembly. This bill is not only costly in terms of increased utility costs for all Wisconsinites, it also will cost our state in LOST JOBS. NO manufacturing company will want to locate or stay in a state that has higher utility costs than its neighbor.
From Brookfield's Representative Leah Vukmir: (My emphasis throughout) "The legislation has been widely panned by business groups representing a large sector of Wisconsin's economy and scholars alike. By going it alone to curb global warming, Wisconsin stands to lose tens of thousands of jobs and increase energy prices for consumers - from the gas at the pump for your car to the natural gas to heat your home."
From Brookfield's Representative Rich Zipperer: "If enacted, this bill will require power companies to invest approximately $15 billion in new equipment, and it will increase their fees by $700 million annually. All of those mandated costs will be passed on to energy users, increasing the cost of electricity for families and businesses. Independent studies have suggested such increases will drive over 40,000 jobs from our state as companies move manufacturing facilities to states with lower taxes and lower energy costs."
In the Senate, passage is not such a sure thing. If you live in Senator Jim Sullivan's District, give him a call: (866) 817-6061. I spoke to the aids in his office last week, and they said he was still reading through the amendments. Some of the Senators, like Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 are in swing districts and also facing stiff reelection. Call them!
Even worse than the Global Warming Bill, is the Voter Protection Act AB 895 / SB 640. This one has been dubbed the Voter Fraud Protection Act by many.
Rep. Vukmir calls it the Vote Fraud Encouragement Act:
"[A few] weeks ago, a group of Democrats introduced legislation that will discard and rewrite nearly all election law in Wisconsin in favor of so-called reforms to encourage higher voter turnout and address alleged "voter intimidation".The legislation can only result in government-encouraged vote fraud."
"In a letter to legislators, Attorney General, JB Van Hollen said that the legislation would make fraud more likely", because for one," 'It populates the registration list with unregistered voters, increasing the potential for fraud, when our desire should be to have an accurate list that is neither over inclusive nor under inclusive.' "
"Additionally, a last-minute provision added by Sen. Lena Taylor would allow national, not-for-profit, community organizations [like ACORN] to access sensitive citizen information from state databases."
When I stopped in to see Senator Sullivan after last week's TEA Party, his aid, Ashley, informed me that Sullivan was OPPOSED to this bill. This came as quite a surprise since when I had called the week before, he still was undecided. This change makes me wonder if, as with the State Budget, Sullivan was given permission to vote no, because he is facing stiff competition from Vukmir? Or, are there not enough Senate votes to pass and so no one in swing districts wants to be seen as supporting if they all aren't supporting? Or, is he truly against it? (I hope it is the latter.)
Anyway, the Voter Protection Act is THE MOST IMPORTANT of all the bills flying through Madison this week. If this passes, I believe it significantly reduces the chances of fair elections and encourages voter fraud.
There is also the RTA, which will add another .05% sales tax to Milwaukee County. Senator Sullivan favors creation of a regional RTA, which would include that .05% tax for Waukesha, Ozaukee, and Washington Counties too.
Other bills include: Ethanol Mandates, Expanding Hate Crimes, mandating Licensed Dietitians be the only ones who can give aid at a health food store, and my favorite travesty, National Popular Vote.
All we can do at this point is call our Senators and Representatives and tell them to vote NO!
I know we are all weary with all the calling, but hopefully, it is the last week!
Sources: VCY Homefront Legislation pending for the week
Rep Vukmir's Legislative Update
Rep. Rich Zipperer's Taxpayer Alert
Remember the polls on ObamaCare? Numbers opposed ranged from around 47% last summer to 57% in December. Those supporting ObamaCare stayed around 35%. The results varied depending on how the question was worded and who was sampled. Those of us who value our freedom of choice and keeping the government out of our medical care kept asking ourselves, who are these people who want ObamaCare?
Well, now that ObamaCare passed, we find out why the support numbers were so high: Some people thought ObamaCare was FREE!
Yes, it is true, Health care overhaul spawns mass confusion for public: (My emphasis throughout) "Two weeks after President Barack Obama signed the big health care overhaul into law, Americans are struggling to understand how — and when — the sweeping measure will affect them.
Call before 9:45am! State election law reform AB 895 automatically registers voters & hampers poll watchers
Bill AB 895 is whizzing through the State Legislature at an alarming speed, considering the negative impact to voters in our state. The bill is still in committee for another hour. They plan to vote on it at 9:45am, today, April 1st. (No, this is not an April Fools joke.) CALL COMMITTEE MEMBERS NOW!
If you live in Wisconsin, more likely than not, that question is answered, no, ...unless you live on a dairy farm. If you don't live on a dairy farm, a consumer must go through ridiculous contortions to procure raw milk.
Some years back, it was legal to get raw milk if you were part owner of a dairy cow. Then that was deemed unacceptable. Some creative consumers and farmers then entered into a I know nothing relationship of just come into the cooler room, pick up the milk, leave the money in the secret spot.
All of that subterfuge is about to change. The Wisconsin legislature is entertaining allowing the sale of raw milk once again in our state: Modified raw milk legislation moves ahead: "The legislation [Senate Bill 434] is expected to be voted on by the full Assembly and Senate before the session ends in April." I am amazed that in this Nanny State environment the bill is moving forward.
I grew up drinking raw milk even though I did not live on a farm--I was a city girl. The Golden Guernsey dairyman delivered it to our house every week. (Remember milk chutes?) The certified milk came in glass quart bottles and was not homogenized*. It was delicious. The Golden Guernsey Dairy Barns that produced our raw milk were VERY clean and subject to a rigorous testing schedule.
Raw milk advocates cite it is a healthier choice because it is a living food. Conditions such as asthma, allergies, eczema and even Autism are said to improve if raw milk is consumed. Those conditions are certainly prevalent today. Raw milk opponents say it is dangerous because it can carry bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella. I don't know if that was the case in the 1950s and 60s. Back then I just remember brucellosis being mentioned as a risk factor.
But is pasteurization a guarantee of safety? If you remember what we learned from the debate on whether to irradiate beef against E. coli, irradiation did not prevent post irradiation contamination. The same is true for pasteurization. Pasteurizing milk does not and cannot prevent post-pasteurization contamination, as evidenced by the periodic recalls of listeria and other bacterial contaminated pasteurized dairy products on the news.
The Real Milk website had an interesting paper on Raw vs. Pasteurized milk. I confess I did not read all 70 pages, but if this is a subject that interests you, take a look. Response to the FDA Anti-Raw Milk Point-by-Point Presentation "Between 1980 and 2005, 41 outbreaks were reported to the CDC attributing 19,531 illnesses to the consumption of pasteurized milk and milk products. This is 10.7 times the number of illnesses attributed to raw milk during the same period."
The key to raw milk safety is the cleanliness and quality of the dairy farm you are purchasing the milk from. The cows should be grass fed. The barn should be very clean (as was the case with Golden Guernsey). A smaller operation is probably better than bigger. The focus of their dairy should be selling milk raw. (I would not consume raw milk from a traditional dairy farm because their cleanliness standards are not the same.)
Are there risks involved? Yes. Are there benefits? Yes. Are there risks to consuming pasteurized milk products? Yes. Everything we do carries risk.
So, do some research and decide for yourself. I doubt any mainstream doctor would advocate consuming raw milk, but there are many D.O.s and Holistic type Doctors and Dentists who do. Interestingly, many of the voices I hear advocating raw milk do not approve of consuming pasteurized milk!
If this issue is important to you, contact your State Legislators: Assembly, Senate. We allow drug sales that carry benefit and risk; we allow selling cigarettes and alcohol that pretty much only carry risk. Shouldn't we be allowed to decide for ourselves on raw milk?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I in the health field. Outside of a college nutrition, physiology and anatomy, and genetics class, I have had no formal training in the health field. I do however use holistic and natural medicine practices for myself and family.
Look at California, where raw milk is legal: "Except for a brief hiatus in 1990, raw milk has always been for sale commercially in California, usually in health food stores, although I can remember a period when it was even sold in grocery stores. Millions of people consumed commercial raw milk during that period and although the health department kept an eagle eye open for any possible evidence of harm, not a single incidence was reported. During the same period, there were many instances of contamination in pasteurized milk, some of which resulted in death."
Real Milk Website
Raw Milk Is Gaining Fans, but the Science Says It's Dangerous
*Homogenization is thought to contribute to heart disease because the process makes the fat molecule so small, it passed directly through the gut into the blood stream.
For the majority of Americans, yesterday's narrow margin of victory on the ObamaCare vote marked a very sad day in our history. Amid shouts of Vote No from protesters outside, Bart Stupak sold out, as did most of the anti-abortion Democrats, giving ObamaCare 219 yes votes. (There were 34 Democrats who voted no along with all of the Republicans.)
The President was obviously pleased. He said, "Another stone laid in the foundation of the American Dream" and unbelievably, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quipped, "No money exchanged hands"! All I can say is that often dreams turn into nightmares.
I have to hand it to those who trekked to Washington DC for their one, last-ditch effort to persuade lawmakers to listen to the people. But in the end, the majority of Democrats did not care what most of us thought.
So now what?
Conservatives have been cautioning that repealing ObamaCare legislation would be very difficult. But at this point, fighting back is all we have.
Several states have already begun the process of suing the Federal Government over ObamaCare. Idaho, Virginia, South Carolina, and Florida have set the wheels in motion. "Texas, Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, Washington, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Alabama are expected to join the campaign."
Other states will probably push to retain the rights of their residents to contract privately for their own health care coverage and "prohibit enactment of any law that requires any person to obtain or maintain health insurance coverage or to participate in any health care system or plan," as Wisconsin is trying.
On February 22, 2010, Senate Joint Resolution 62 was introduced by Wisconsin Senators Leibham, Lazich, Kapanke, Darling, Grothman, Lasee, Hopper, and Shultz, along with 23 Representatives.
The road ahead will be difficult. We already cannot afford the government programs we currently have. ObamaCare will add even more to the deficit. Moody's has been warning that America's debt level will move us "'substantially' closer to losing its AAA rating".
The big question today is, will the Democrats have the votes to pass the Slaughter solution, which passes the Senate ObamaCare version, on Sunday? We still don't know. The WHIP counts are unreliable.
Some hearty Americans are not giving up the fight though; they are gathering in Washington DC this weekend to protest ObamaCare. Actor Jon Voight, Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann (among others), along with the American Grassroots Coalition are planning a rally on Saturday. Obviously, not all of us are able to pack up and go, but more power to them.
There are pleas to call the Democrat Representatives who are still undecided. Code Red has a list. If you have tried to call, you know the Capitol switchboard is being flooded with calls. Lots of people call, but there are many more who don't because it is too much hassle or they can't get through.
But there is one more thing everyone can do, if they want to, and that is pray. Pro-Life groups of course have requested prayer, so have secular conservative talk show hosts, but there was even a prayer request from a very unexpected source: a Democrat blog!
Yes, it is true. The Democrat HillBuz duo went to church this week to ask for Divine intervention against ObamaCare, and they are begging readers to pray:
What better name for a procedure that butchers the U.S. Constitution than the Slaughter Rule! This is the latest attempt to pass ObamaCare without actually following the process outlined in our Constitution that both the House and Senate must pass the same bill to become law. It is enough to make James Madison roll over in his grave.
From Senator Mitch McConnell in the Wall Street Journal: [My emphasis] "Democratic congressional leaders have floated a plan to enact health-care reform by a procedure dubbed "the Slaughter solution." It is named not for the political carnage that it might inflict on their members, but for Rep. Louise Slaughter (D., N.Y.), chair of the powerful House Rules Committee, who proposed it. Under her proposal, Democrats would pass a rule that deems the Senate's health-care bill to have passed the House, without the House actually voting on the bill. This would enable Congress to vote on legislation that fixes flaws in the Senate health-care bill without facing a Senate filibuster, and without requiring House members to vote in favor of a Senate bill that is now politically toxic.
President Obama has sunk to a new low with his latest strong-arm tactics to convince 10 key House Democrats to change their ObamaCare NO vote to YES when it comes their way again. The 10 NO Dems were invited to the White House yesterday for some Presidential persuasion, because the President needs them to change their votes to keep ObamaCare dream alive.
The most egregious example of strong-arming being the Obama administration just happening to recommend Congressman Jim Matheson's brother, Scott, a judgeship for the Tenth Circuit court. How about that? Now Matheson, who voted twice against ObamaCare in the House, is now undecided!
From the Weekly Standard, Obama Now Selling Judgeships for Health Care Votes?: "Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit."
Talk about brazen. No attempt to have put this in the works back in November for future influence? This was not the only time there appears to be influence peddling: "The timing of this nomination looks suspicious, especially in light Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak's claim that he was offered a federal job not to run against Arlen Specter in the Pennsylvania primary. Many speculated that Sestak, a former admiral, was offered the Secretary of the Navy job."
I heard about Obama's push to persuade the 10 Dems on Mark Levin last night. He is asking for a Levin Surge, that means a calling campaign. Senator Jim DeMint urged doing the same. Many people think their calls don't do any good. May I respectfully disagree that the only reason we haven't passed ObamaCare yet is because of your calls and presence at Town Halls and Congressional offices!
I join Jim and Mark in urging you to call the 10 Key Dems and politely ask that they stand firm on their NO votes. Call one, a few or better yet, all 10 Congressmen: Jason Altmire 202-225-2565, Allen Boyd 202-225-5235, Lincoln Davis 202-225-6831, Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin* 202-225-2801, Frank Kratovil 202-225-5311, Betsy Markey 202-225-4676, Jim Matheson 202-225-3011, Heath Shuler 202-225-6401, John Tanner 202-225-4714, Scott Murphy 202-225-5614
The normal Conference process of melding the House with Senate bill into one that then is voted on again by the House and Senate has failed. Even if they did have a final bill, the election of Scott Brown to the Senate makes a 60 vote majority unlikely.
How many times have we heard from the Democrats that the Republicans are the Party of NO? How many times do we hear that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans?
Well, if you watched any of yesterday's Obama summit, you now know differently. The Republicans utilized their 110 minutes of speaking time to their best advantage, compared to the President repeating the same old / same old for 119 minutes and the Democrats prattling on for 114 minutes.
My favorite Democrat prattle was the one where Rep. Louise Slaughter told the story of one constituent who was forced to wear her dead sister's false teeth as a reason to pass ObamaCare. Trouble is, ObamaCare has nothing to do with dental care!
Contrast Ms. Slaughter's moment in the limelight with Congressman Paul Ryan's 6 minute synopsis of the Republican's idea of health care reform vs. the Obama plan [YouTube]. Ryan skillfully reminded the President of his pledge to not sign a bill that adds one single dime to the deficit.
Ryan then gave some facts on how ObamaCare does not reduce the deficit, and how it double counts offsets. He stated that in the first 10 years ObamaCare really runs a $460 Billion deficit and in the next 10 years, a 1.4 Trillion deficit. Clearly the differences were pretty stark.
It is true that Republicans in the past often went along with irresponsible spending, but compared to the Democrats this past year, they now look like tightwads.
But on a far more serious front, consider the 2 parties positions on abortion. Here the difference is night and day with Democrats being pro death and Republicans being pro life. I would beg to differ with those saying there is no difference between the 2 parties, because it makes a HUGE difference to the unborn baby.
And that difference goes back to the differences in health care reform, with the Democrats allowing taxpayer money to fund abortion and the Republicans opposing.
More reading/viewing: Louise Slaughter: dead Sister's Dentures
Heritage Foundation: The Four-Minute Guide to the Seven-Hour Summit
More Boor Than Cure, The summit persuaded nobody. It probably wasn't meant to: Lamar Alexander, "It's not appropriate" to rewrite the rules of 17% of the U.S. economy through what is called 'reconciliation.' [51 vote procedure] Don't go 'jamming it through.' 'Let's start over'."
If you have never called a State Senator about a bill before, call about this one! * Why?
BadgerCare Basic Plus, Wisconsin's own version of a public option health insurance plan, has been called worse than ObamaCare for Wisconsin. So call before 11 am today, Feb. 25th to voice your opposition.
Now you would think at a time of raging billions of dollar deficits in Wisconsin that the Democrats in the legislature would hesitate to bring yet another expensive entitlement program to the floor. But then again, I said, you would think.
I heard Mark Belling say Wednesday, that the bill was on the Senate floor on Tuesday for a vote, but Decker pulled it back to committee after a few amendments failed to pass. He knew he didn't have the votes. (Lena Taylor was absent.)
But BadgerCare Core Plus will return to the State Senate floor, Thursday, Feb. 25th, at 11 am. That is why it is so important to call your State Senator before then--especially if he is Jim Sullivan or the other key Senators facing tough reelections.
In a nutshell, BadgerCare Plus Basic is a very inexpensive public option health insurance plan. It costs only $130 a month. It covers major medical, generic drugs, and a few other things. It is a no frills type policy. It also covers pre-existing conditions.
Now how on earth can our state offer this insurance at such a low price? They got a $1million dollar Federal grant to pay for it. Even with the grant, how can this work? How can this pay for itself as the pro Democrats insist? Rep. Mike Huebsch writes, "Enrollment in the state’s healthcare programs exceeds 1 million for the first time in Wisconsin history – about 18 percent of the state’s population." We cannot afford adding more.
There are 18 Democrats and 15 Republicans in the State Senate. Since 1 Democrat already said she isn't voting for it, that leaves just 1 making or breaking this bill. That is why it is so important you call! (Find your State Senator)
If you haven't called the key State Senators, you still have a chance before this is voted on. Senator Jim Sullivan (866) 817-6061 Remind State Senator Sullivan that he is facing a tough reelection race this fall from Rep. Leah Vukmir.
Senator Jeff Plale Co-sponsor of the bill, (608) 266-7505 He campaigned on a tax freeze and as a moderate.
Senator John Lehman (608) 266-1832 Or (866) 615-7510 Like Sullivan, he is facing a tough reelection.
Private insurance companies will be put at a disadvantage since they are not allowed to offer such a stripped down policy. They also are not allowed to reimburse Doctors and Hospitals at Medicaid rates--that means private payer rates go up to compensate.
According to Doyle pushing BadgerCare Plus-worse than Obamacare for Wisconsin-Call your legislators,
It is often said that politics makes strange bedfellows. Or as I often say, if you wait long enough, you will eventually find an issue you agree on, even with someone at the other end of the political spectrum.
Well yesterday, Governor Doyle and I had our first common ground victory when his veto on the bill to take the right to appoint the Secretary of the DNR from the Governor held, with a 58-38 vote. (They needed 64 yes votes to override; the 38 no votes came from Rep. 34, Dems 3, Ind. 1)
That seems a bit strange, that Gov. Doyle and I would want the same thing, doesn't it? Well, this is even stranger. About 3/4 of the Assembly Republicans voted against the veto override.
Here are some reasons why: (my emphasis)
We've been hearing about President Obama's desire to have Republicans take part in his February 25th televised bi-partisan summit to resurrect ObamaCare. The President says he wants the Republicans to come so he can listen to their ideas on health care. Really?
He and the Democrats in Congress haven't listened so far, why should they do it now? According to Rasmussen, 61% say Congress should start all over again on health care. Only 28% think we should work with the present ObamaCare bill. Why should we try to revive ObamaCare?
Yet the pressure for Republicans to come and make nice-nice is huge. Many of them fear being dubbed "The Party of NO" But it's OK to be the Party of NO when it's because you kNOw ObamaCare will be a disaster for the American people and economy. I don't want my representatives to compromise with tyranny.
Plus, if someone invites you so he can listen, and they already have their bill in hand, are they really wanting to listen? I think the invitation is more of a Come into my parlor said the spider to the fly invite.
From what I can glean, House Minority Leader John Boehner was firmly against any kind of meeting to compromise on the Democrat's ObamaCare bill. No matter how they try to wrap up that bill, be it adding the pretty paper of tort reform or a bow of shopping across state lines, the package still amounts to the government taking over our health care!
If you want Republicans to stand firm against attending the televised ObamaCare summit, you better let them know. Yes, that means calling.
Come on, it's not that bad. It only takes a minute to dial and say something like, I would like to encourage/ask Representative or Senator ------- to NOT attend the President's Health Care Summit on Feb. 25th and stand firmly against the present bill in any shape or form. Please start over from scratch.
Contact numbers: The House seems pretty set on not attending but encourage them anyway:
Congressman John Boehner (202) 225-6205
Congressman Eric Cantor 202.225-2815
Congressman Mike Pence (202) 225-3021
The Senate leadership doesn't seem as resolute on not attending or starting over from scratch. They need to hear from you.
Senator Mitch McConnell Minority Leader (202) 224-2541
Senator Jon Kyl
The President wants the public to see that Republicans are there with him on ObamaCare reform. Let's face it, many Americans do not bother to follow the issues. If they see everyone playing nice/nice on TV in this photo-op, they might think Republicans approve of the government's takeover of our health care system.
True healthcare reform is too big an issue to tackle in one bill. In my opinion, it should be worked on issue by issue, not passed in some 2,000 page monster. For example: Start with just tort reform. Then allow shopping across state lines for health insurance. Make reducing Medicare fraud and waste a separate measure. These changes have all been suggested by Republicans.
The only reason we haven't passed ObamaCare thus far has been the opposition from the American people bothering to put the pressure on by attending rallies and making calls. So, make that call. What do you have to lose?
Sign the petition to Stand Firm
More reading: Obama's Health Care Summit Sham
Tea Party Express/American Grassroots Coalition: Health Care
Past Posts: Being "stubborn as a mule" can be a good thing
The Party and power of kNOw prevent mortgage cramdown
Have you heard about this new bill in Madison, AB 751, The National Popular Vote Bill? I doubt that you have unless you listen to Vicki McKenna or WVCY. The Public Hearing is today.
But don't feel like you have been asleep at the wheel, the bill was only just introduced 2 days ago on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010. Also on Monday, they announced the Public Hearing for today, Wednesday, Feb. 17th at 1pm.
Think they are trying to ram this one through below the radar? (I heard Vicki mention it yesterday. She also talked about it today in her first 45 minutes. Do listen to the first hour for Wed. Feb 17. I then Googled the bill number and found WVCY's Homefront blog page on it.)
The actual bill proposes "entering into an agreement among the states to elect the president of the United States by means of a national popular vote."
Now at first blush, that might not seem like a bad idea, to just count the popular vote. But think about it. If popular vote alone decided elections, the most population dense states would dictate who our president is. The top 3 states being California, New York and Texas. Urban areas would decide for us all. Even if you factor in the top 10 states, like Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, etc. Wisconsin is still not a player. So what about the other 40 states in the Union?
If this change goes through, why would any presidential candidate bother coming to Wisconsin?
An even more insidious aspect of this bill is that
it calls for a Constitutional Convention (Correction, it doesn't call for it ) it SIDESTEPS the Constitution to make the change from the Electoral College to Popular Vote. (More on that below the legislator info.)
CALL YOUR SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE! Find your State Legislator
Ask them how this would help Wisconsin residents have any voice in presidential politics?
Brookfield's Representatives: Rich Zipperer (608) 266-5120 and Leah Vukmir (608) 266-9180
List of Representatives on the Committee of Elections and Campaign Reform: (From Homefront)
Rep. Jeff Smith (Chair) 1-888-534-0093
While driving home yesterday, I heard the Potawatomi's latest ad supporting the Clean Energy Jobs Act. I don't know why I didn't think of it before, but it came to me, why are they pushing this so? In other words, if we follow the money--what is in it for them? Would they maybe be leasing land for windmills?
I emailed radio talk show hosts Vicki McKenna and Jay Weber when I came home to see if they knew. (Didn't hear back.) Later on, I Googled for some info and found this surprise:
Saturday, January 23rd, Congressman Sensenbrenner is holding 2 Town Halls: one at Pewaukee City Hall at 9am and another at the West Allis Public Library at 1pm.
The Liberal Political Action group MoveON.org sent out an email alert asking members to attend the Pewaukee Town Hall to show support for health care reform.
Monday, Senator Russ Feingold held a Listening Session at WCTC in Pewaukee. The lecture hall was packed by the time I got there, standing in the hall room only! I asked the security guard how many people the room held. He replied, about 350, plus the people standing at the sides and seated in extra chairs. There were maybe 30 more outside in the hallway. The guesstimate was over 400.
At first some thought the room was packed with Obama supporters, but as the questions were asked, it became clear from the response that most people were against ObamaCare. Just how many would be affirmed later.
It was rather difficult to hear out in the hallway as Feingold's mike wasn't as loud as the attendees' microphone. I wrote down the questions as best I could and the key words or essence of the response from the Senator. Words I am not sure of are in brackets. My questions and answers are not direct quotes but will at least give you a flavor of the meeting. Topics of questions will be in bold, so you can easily skip to the ones you are interested in or skip to the conclusion at the bottom. My favorite 3 questions are in red. Feingold did not always give a response to the question or statement.
Well, it has been an interesting morning. Fox News, New York, is looking for the woman at Sen. Feingold's Listening session yesterday at WCTC, who was wearing a purple (actually it's blue)* beret.
I was there and heard her excellent question on the Constitutionality of the health care bill, but I couldn't see the woman who did the asking.
The reporter said her name is something like Anna or Hannah, but that is all she knew. They were running a clip of her question all day, she said.
If you know someone who was there in the lecture hall, or if you know who the astute questioner is, PLEASE let me or Cindy Kilkenny know?
By the way, the YouTube clip on Cindy's post shows a man asking the very thing I wanted to know.
Hey, our own Senator Russ Feingold says he will be listening on Monday, Janurary 11th, at 12:15pm, at WCTC. Amazing. He hasn't heard us so far, but on Monday, he is ready!
Other listening sessions have drawn 200 to 300 in attendance, I heard. I also heard Vicki McKenna say that he estimates the crowds were split 50/50 in favor and against ObamaCare. I find that very difficult to believe. So, I will go see for myself.
The listening session will be held in the Lecture Hall of the Business building at WCTC, at 800 Main Street, Pewaukee.
Regardless if you attend or not, still give him a call. Senator Russ Feingold: Milwaukee (414) 276-7282, Washington D.C. 202) 224-5323.
True, he probably won't listen on the phone any better than he does at a listening session, but I have to believe the calls are making a difference. Entrenched Congressmen like Chris Dodd and Byron Dorgan aren't calling it quits because of all the positive calls their offices receive!
Eight different times, on Jan 2008, 1/20/08, 11/14/2008, 8/28/08, 3/1/08, 11/27/07, May 2008, and 4/25/08, presidential candidate Barack Obama promised that his ObamaCare negotiations would not be held behind closed doors. Instead they would be televised on C-SPAN. He promised negotiations would be "transparent and accountable" so the American people could watch them. He even chided the Clinton's for their closed door health care discussions during the Clinton era.
But like so many promises made by President Obama, the reality is quite different from his promises. At present, President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Harry Reid are negotiating behind closed doors to mesh the passed House and Senate versions of ObamaCare. No C-SPAN, no transparency, except Pelosi saying they are close to a bill.
This in itself should raise the ire of every American because this Conference Committee melding of the bills is always done in Congress and subject to more discussion and scrutiny. Considering the bill affects 1/6th of the American economy, you would think they would follow precedence. But not with President Obama's administration.
I guess we just must chalk up his broken C-SPAN promise as another, I was for it before I was against it? Was this the change you hoped for?
From The Heritage Foundation's Obama's Other Broken Health Care Promises:
- Individual Mandate: ...Obama:'Now, under any mandate, you are going to have problems with people who don’t end up having health coverage...' Both the House and Senate bills now contain an individual mandate. According to the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, under the Senate plan, 19 million Americans would pay $29 billion in taxes/fines and still receive no health care in return.
- You Will Not Lose Your Doctor: ...Obama promised the American people: 'No matter how we reform health care, we will keep this promise...If you like your doctor, ...keep your doctor...If you like your health care plan...keep your health care plan.' Again, the President’s own Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services confirms that the current Senate health bill breaks this promise. Seventeen million Americans will be forced out of their existing health insurance. [Even more woes for Medicare/Medicaid patients--see Mayo clinic link at bottom.]
Unfortunately, ObamaCare health care reform has become a matter of being the best bill money can bribe. It seems the only way the Democrats can cram it down our throats is to offer big buck incentives to hold-out Senators to reach the magical 60 vote majority and then vote in the dead of night.
Senator and Doctor Tom Coburn said it best, "This process is not legislation. This process is corruption, and it's a shame that that's the only way we can come to consensus in this country is to buy votes."
If bribes weren't bad enough, Senate Leader Harry Reid scheduled the final vote on the eve of Christendom's most significant holiday: Christmas Eve. The timing of his vote is a slap in the face to Christians.
All I can say is that our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves at the dirty tricks some legislators have sunk to.
What can we do? Really nothing, except pray that just one of those 60 Democrats would change their vote? Something in the spirit of A Christmas Carol, where the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future visited Ebenezer Scrooge prompting his change of heart, that 1 or 2 Democrats would be convicted or have troubling dreams of what America will look like in the future under the tyranny of ObamaCare.
Or, we need something to keep a Senator or 2 from voting on the Senate floor Christmas Eve. Not anything serious, just a well timed emergency appendectomy or something?
Unless we get a reprieve, we probably will have a signed Senate bill on Christmas Eve. Talk about coal in our stockings!
The only shred of hope we have of defeating ObamaCare after that is to hammer our legislators while they are home in their districts over Christmas break. The House and Senate versions still must go through conference committee to come up with the final version. My hope would be some Congressmen would reconsider, seeing that over 60% of Americans DON'T WANT OBAMACARE.
God help us, everyone.
Americans for Prosperity is hosting a Code Red Rally today, at our nation's Capitol at 1:30pm. Patients First is also organizing buses for the day. Both groups are helping people organize for one reason: to tell the Senate to "keep their hands off our health care".
All I can say is more power to them.
As AFP stated, "The number 1 reason Congress has taken this long on this issue is YOU," the protester. I have to agree. It is only the growing outcry of average Americans who attended Tea Parties and Town Halls and now Capitol steps rallies that have delayed what President Obama hoped would pass last summer.
What a time to be taking time off work or from the scurry of Christmas preparations to go to a rally! The weather certainly isn't conducive to spending time outdoors either. But people are concerned about the government federalizing 1/6th of our economy by taking over the health care industry, so they will show up. I will be watching Drudge and sites like Michelle Malkin for updates today.
Harry Reid's ObamaCare bill changes moment by moment. Yesterday, the pundits were declaring it in critical condition, because Lieberman wouldn't vote for something that included the public option of expanded Medicare. Well, that no longer seems to be a problem. The goal is, after all, to just get anything passed.
Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska earlier said he wouldn't vote for something that included taxpayer funded abortion... well, maybe now he would... for a price. The compensation arm-twisting is in full force. Malkin wrote, "A Hill source says to pay attention to Sen. Ben Nelson. He is reportedly being threatened with closure of an air force base if he doesn’t fall in line and will be offered a “blank check” bribe bigger than Sen. Landrieu’s."
The CBO was to give their score of Reid's bill, but which one? The one that includes expanding Medicare? The one that covers abortion? The one that allows importing prescription drugs? This bill changes faster than a runway model!
Senate Republicans are balking. WSJ: "Republicans decried the Democratic deal making, and urged the majority party to slow action on legislation they contended will undermine the U.S. economy."
Senator John McCain summed it up well, "'Whether expansion of Medicare is in or out...doesn't affect the core problem with this legislation, which is that it does not reduce costs' and increases the size of government."
Those of us who stay home can at least call our senators along with the key players:
Sen. Russ Feingold, up for reelection! 202-224-5323 Feingold said last weekend that he was "opposed to dropping the public option completely and that he was not yet committed to supporting the bill."
Sen. Herb Kohl: 202-224-5653
Find your Senator here
Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska: 202-224-6551 Nelson didn't want taxpayer money to fund abortion but now is threatened with an air force base closure in his state.
Sen. Byron Dorgan of North Dakota: 202-224-2551 Dorgan is pushing for re-importation of prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, which would go against the drug companies deal made earlier.
Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut: 202-224-4041 Very early on, Lieberman said that because of the economy, he didn't think this was the time for a government insurance company or opt out provision. He is being threatened with loss of position if he doesn't vote for it. Even his wife's breast cancer cause is catching flack.
Sen. Olympia Snowe: 202-224-5344 Who can figure out where she really stands, but she and Collins the weak links among the Republicans.
Sen. Susan Collins: 202-224-2523 Collins is the other wishy-washy Republican.
Late Saturday night, I checked Drudge to see if there was any news on the Senate healthcare procedure vote and found Historic health care bill clears Senate hurdle. The opening paragraph revealed a strong media bias. (My emphasis throughout):
"Invoking the memory of Edward M. Kennedy, Democrats united Saturday night to push historic health care legislation past a key Senate hurdle over the opposition of Republicans eager to inflict a punishing defeat on . There was not a vote to spare."
The article then quoted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's absurd comparison that the Republicans trying to squelch debate on his health care bill was like preventing debate on ending slavery or granting the right to vote!
"Imagine if, instead of debating whether to abolish slavery, instead of debating whether giving women and minorities the right to vote, those who disagreed had muted discussion and killed any vote," Reid said. (By the way, Republicans championed abolition.)
Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell summed up the real reason for opposing Reid's ObamaCare. McConnell "said the vote was anything but procedural -- casting it as a referendum on the bill itself, which he said would raise taxes, cut Medicare and create a 'massive and unsustainable debt.'"
The bill does create MASSIVE and UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT. That is the REAL reason for opposing ObamaCare, not to just deliver a defeat to the president! Someone has to be the grownup here and say, no. Bottom line is, we cannot afford this legislation.
By the way, Sen. Mary Landrieu corrected the perception her vote was purchased for $100 million in aid to her state; it was really $300 million! She held out for a better deal.
It is ironic that Harry Reid views his health care legislation in terms of abolishing slavery or granting rights when in reality it will*:
- Create 3,425 new mandates for individuals and businesses
- New mandates will be managed by 111 NEW bureaucracies
- Creates massive and unsustainable debt
- Fails to cover 12 million Americans
- Costs closer to $2.3 trillion over 10 years; $6.4 trillion if impact on private sector is factored in
- Mandates taxpayer funded abortion
Don't you love it? The rumor was, not to worry, healthcare was dead in the senate. Oh, by the way, they will begin proceedings at 10am and take vote on a motion to proceed to debate* (cloture) at 8pm this Saturday! And the arm-twisting is in full force.
Arm twisting? Yup. Can you tell me what a $100 million dollar Medicaid subsidy for "certain states recovering from a major disaster" has to do with a health care bill?
Plenty, if you must have Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu's support to make ObamaCare fly. Cloture on the motion to proceed requires 60 votes. Sen. Harry Reid needs her. From ABC News: (My emphasis)
Sunday's news, Health Bill Passes House, sickened me, especially because the vote was so close. Although there was little hope that the Pelosi version of ObamaCare would fail, if ever there was a week that might give a House Democrat pause to rubber stamping Pelosi's ObamaCare legislation, you would think the recent turn of events would do it.
For Democrats, last week was not a good one:
- Tuesday's Republican victories in Virginia and New Jersey
- The expose' of falsely reported stimulus jobs
- Congressmen and Senators challenging ObamaCare's Constitutionality
- Rep. Michelle Bachmann's impromptu "House Call on Washington" rally on the Capitol steps attracted about 20,000 citizens
- October's 10.2% unemployment numbers (highest percentage since 1983)
- President Obama's flip response to the Ft. Hood murders (Video).
Wisconsin's State Assembly will vote on bill AB 458 today, Thursday, Nov. 5th. This bill would seriously alter Wisconsin's current human growth and development (sex education) statutes. If passed, AB458 would remove local school board's control over how sex ed is taught in each district.
Assembly Republicans were able to temporarily block the vote on Tuesday, but it will come to the floor today, the last day the Assembly meets for the year.
Considering the countless hours Elmbrook's Human Growth & Development curriculum committee spent on evaluating our proposed HG&D program, the state usurping our and other school board's local control, disregards the sacrifice of time and talent these committees invested in their programs. The bill disregards the right of local boards to make decisions for their districts.
I urge you to call your State Representative and tell them to vote NO on AB 458. My Rep. is Leah Vukmir 608-266-9180. Rep. Rich Zipperer 608-266-5120 represents the west side of Brookfield. (Even though the Republicans are against this legislation, I still call to voice my support for their position.)
What is so bad about the bill? Senator Glenn Grothman explained on Jay Weber's radio program Wed. morning how AB 458 would change HG&D instruction in Wisconsin (should it pass) Here are my notes:
- We would have to do [teach] it in a way that doesn't create any bias against those sexually active.
- It would ban abstinence centered and abstinence only teaching like Thiensville['s program.]
- This would force districts to allow Planned Parenthood into the classroom for condom demonstrations, starting at age 12.
- It would normalize teen sex, which is illegal according to state law for children under age 16.
Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner will be discussing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's ObamaCare Health Care Reform bill today and tomorrow, all 1,990 pages of it!
Paul Ryan will be at the Franklin Library* today, Friday, Oct. 30th, at 11am, for a press conference.
Jim Sensenbrenner, along with State Representative Leah Vukmir, will be at the Elm Grove Library** at 12:30pm on Saturday, Oct. 31st. This was a regularly scheduled Town Hall meeting, but somehow, I think the discussion will be primarily about the Pelosi bill. Since Vukmir was a nurse, she will be able to add some insights into this so-called health care reform bill.
Not that Nancy Pelosi is rushing the 1,990 pages of regulation and spending, but the plan is that the House will vote on this toward the end of next week. (Can anyone even read and understand those 1,990 pages by then?)
I heard Paul Ryan on Mark Belling's show yesterday, hour 2. Give it a listen. It is a very straight forward discussion which begins at the beginning of the hour. Here are a few highlights:
- Pelosi's bill cuts $526 billion from Medicare, WITHOUT affecting services! (Why don't they do that now?)
- About 64% of Seniors will lose their Medicare Advantage private plans option.
- Pelosi's bill includes $572 billion in INCOME TAX INCREASES. This would put top earners and small businesses, who file on their personal returns, into a 54% tax rate. "Capitalism can't work" at this tax rate.
- Employers will be able to ditch their approx.15% of salary designated for providing health care and just pay the 8% penalty. This will dump private insurance company group coverage, provided by employers, to the government plan. (Which underpay doctors and hospitals, like Medicare/Medicaid.) So much for you being able to keep your plan. You can't keep a plan your employer is no longer offering!
- Pelosi's plan covers illegal aliens and abortion. Without any amendments to prohibit this coverage, all will be covered at taxpayer expense.
- The bill CLAIMS to be budget neutral, in fact, they promise it will REDUCE the deficit by $104 billion.(If you believe that, I would like to talk to you about The Great Pumpkin.)
I don't often have reason to say, Thank you, to our Wisconsin Senators Herb Kohl and Russ Feingold. But after yesterday's Motion to Invoke Cloture on the Motion to Proceed to S. 1776 failed, I do! Both Kohl and Feingold voted against the Cloture Motion.
In all, 12 Democrats joined all the Senate Republicans in rejecting this ram through tactic. (Check for other naysayers. Of interest to me was now Democrat Arlan Specter voted Yea, Rino Republican Olympia Snowe voted Nay.)
The Heritage Foundation's, A Whole New Health Care Ball Game explains why that failed vote was important. You see, it was the first floor vote test on Obamacare. Up until this point, the votes were just committee votes: (My emphasis throughout)
"You have to read all the way to page A-25 in today’s New York Times to learn about it, but the Senate took its first floor vote on Obamacare yesterday and the White House lost. Big. The NYT reports: 'Democrats lost a big test vote on health care legislation on Wednesday as the Senate blocked action on a bill to increase Medicare payments to doctors at a cost of $247 billion over 10 years. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, needed 60 votes to proceed. He won only 47. And he could not blame Republicans. A dozen Democrats and one independent crossed party lines and voted with Republicans on the 53 to 47 roll call.'”
The failure to move forward with S. 1776 (the "Doc Fix"), as presently written, does not mean that the Senators are necessarily against increasing payments to doctors treating Medicare patients. It just means that they did not approve of the tactics of shifting $247 billion from Obamacare Health Care Reform to S. 1776 without any means of paying for it:
"The Obama administration is trying to add $247 billion in deficit health care spending one week, and then turn around and claim their health care plan is deficit neutral the next. The trickery has come in for some heavy bi-partisan criticism. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he thought the tactic is a “mistake”, and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) told Politico: “I am for the fix, but I don’t think we should blow the roof off the deficit — not at a time when we are already running record deficits.”
Here is a little quiz to start your day: Which mainstream health insurance provider rejects the most claims?
Would it be those evil private insurance companies that President Obama and the Democrats criticize? Or Medicare, the one ObamaCare's public option will be modeled on? The one the AMA* supports?
From BigGovernment, AMA Endorses Largest Denier of Health Care Claims
"Beverly Gossage, Research Fellow for Show-Me Institute and founder of HSA Benefits Consulting wondered which insurance companies rejected the most claims. She found her answer in the AMA’s own 2008 National Health Insurer Report Card. The chart below appears on page 5 of the 16-page report."
I can't decide which title is more appropriate for this post. Chicago being eliminated on the first round of voting is horribly embarrassing, considering it was the president who made the pitch to the Olympic committee and presidents usually don't do that sort of thing.
It was bad enough that Obama spent millions of taxpayer dollars to go, but he also spent precious time to make the trip. He is after all the same president who for months said he was too busy to meet with our General McChrystal to discuss Afghanistan war strategy. (Obama did finally squeeze in a 25 minute meeting while en-route to Copenhagen.*)
The most devastating expenditure of Obama's ego-trip to Denmark was his squandering of world political clout. I believe that when a leader sticks his neck out for a cause, it better be an important one. Being rejected right out of the gate was a huge slap in the face.
What is most interesting to me is the reaction of the news media that cannot understand how their darling could have come up empty handed. It reminds me of the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. The media has all been fawning over their Emperor for so long, bolstered by each other and the Democrat Party, they failed to notice he was naked--totally devoid of any real experience or solutions to our many problems.
What I hope will come from this insult is that it will wake up Senate and House Democrats who still support Cap and Trade (Tax) and ObamCare, despite their constituents' opposition. I hope they will realize that it is a little difficult to ride on the Obama-euphoria coattails in the 2010 elections if the president is really naked.
Are you particular about which doctor or dentist you see? I am. I believe in a Holistic, natural approach to medicine. A doctor needs to treat the whole person, not just prescribe medication for an isolated symptom. The goal is health, not just making an unpleasant symptom go away.
Some people don't care; any M.D. or D.D.S. will do. But I will pay a higher deductible, co-pay, and/or coinsurance fees just so I can be treated by who I want to see. I pay extra, because it is very important to me. Fortunately my insurance plan allows me to choose.
So when President Obama promises over and over again, "You'll be able to keep your health care plan, period," and "...you like your doctors, you like your plan, you can keep your doctor, you can keep your plan. Nobody is talking about taking that away from you."
Yet he was forced to clarify his promise, "It seems he wasn’t saying 'no one' will take away any American’s health insurance – he was saying the government wouldn’t. Which is not to say that the government wouldn’t create a situation where such a thing would happen."
He also admitted that he hadn't actually read the House bill, which spelled out that in effect, we would lose our doctor and health care plans under his reforms.
Since Obamacare is really just an expansion of Medicaid/Medicare-like plans, I asked my doctor if she took Medicaid/Medicare patients. She said no, unless they paid her directly.
Reason? Medicaid/Medicare insurance requires too much paper work and often doesn't pay enough to cover the services. My doctor is not alone; same is true of my holistic dentist, my former chiropractor, and another holistic doctor I know of. Patients can pay out of pocket, of course, but their government insurance plan is not accepted. My doctor did say she would discount her fees by 25% if the patient paid cash. Other doctors may make similar arrangements.
So how can the President promise that we can keep our doctors under his plan? The language of the House bill states that any change in your current private plan will bump you into the government plan. Since private plans are likely to change somewhat every year, we won't be able to keep them for long.
"What health care legislation on Capitol Hill says": (My emphasis)
- "If you get your health insurance from a large employer, you will not be able to keep your current health insurance. After 5 years, large employers will be required to offer only government approved plans. Government approved plans will not offer treatments that the government refuses to approve because they cost too much relative to the government's determination of value.
- "If you buy your own health insurance from a private insurer, you will lose your insurance if either you or your insurer changes your plan. Need a higher or lower deductible or to add or subtract a family member? Too bad. After the law passes, private insurers will not be allowed to issue any new individual plans.
In the story, The Wizard of Oz, there comes a time when Dorothy and the troubled trio return to the Great Oz, "a disembodied and imposing head with a booming voice," to reap their promised rewards.
While talking to the Great Oz, Toto pulls back the control room curtain to reveal an old man, a mere mortal, at the controls of the projection booth. Dorothy realizes that the Great OZ is nothing more than an artificial projected image created to impress the residents of the Emerald City. That is when Oz says that famous line, "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."
That is the fanciful story called The Wizard of Oz. The man behind the curtain is the reality; the projected imposing head isn't.
America's fantasy story is that the government can provide health care for everyone, including 12 million illegal aliens, and do it better than the private insurance industry can.* Oh, did I mention it wasn't supposed to bankrupt us?
The Emerald City had Oz; he made promises he couldn't keep. We have our our own wizard, The Wizard of Obmamacare, a.k.a. President Obama. Our Wizard is promoting and promising health care reform miracles.
There was no real Oz in the story. He was just an image controlled by a mere mortal, bound by the constraints of the real world.
There isn't any reality to The Wizard of Obamacare either. He may promise anything he wants, but his promises are still bound by the constraints of the health care bill H.R. 3200 as it is written. The bill is the man behind the curtain.
When asked a specific question regarding the outlawing of private insurance in section 102 of the bill, President Obama admitted, "You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about." He had not read all of the bill--not even that very imortant section.
It was after that stunning admission that he in effect inferred, Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain--the written bill. I say that because he later promised again, “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.”
Of course, our President has a tendency to say anything. Remember he also said that health care reform would reduce costs. He also promised not to implement health care reform if it would result in higher deficits.
I am encouraged that some Representatives are balking at rushing into approving this devastating bill. I am concerned when I start hearing about compromise measures added to get the thing passed. Legislation of this magnitude needs to be carefully considered, not blindly approved. It needs to be scrapped, not amended.
In case you didn't realize, Toto in my Wizard of Obamacare story is anyone taking the time to read and find out what HR 3200 actually says. Totos would include the legislators who take time to read the actual bill, talk radio hosts and conservative bloggers who delve into the details, and now even some media is pulling back the curtain.
Dorothy could be the American public and Congress who are losing confidence in the Wizard of Obamacare and the Wizard of Obamaeconomics. I hope the Dorothys wake up before it is too late.
Contact your Representative!
*Does health care need reform? YES. But it is not an all or nothing proposition needing to be approved by Aug. 8th or anytime soon!
More reading: Does the House Plan Outlaw Private Insurance?
Obamacare: You Will Lose Your Current Insurance. Period. End of Story.
MayoClinic's reaction to House Tri-Committee bill
Obama health-care claims disputed
While evidence mounts that the planet is NOT warming, the US House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade (Tax) Bill anyway, by just 5 votes. The Cap-and-Trade Tax bill then went to the US Senate.
Believe it or not, 30 sexual orientations, including ped o phelia (spacing done to avoid google search) will be protected under the new Hate Crime law, S. 909. The list is posted on American Family Associations web page. I don't care to go into describing these, as most are too disgusting, but 2nd on the list seems to be the dangerous practice actor David Carrnadine might have been involved with when he was found dead in the closet.
The list was taken from the "'Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders', which is used by physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, and psychiatrists throughout the U.S. It is considered the dictionary of mental disorders."
The disturbing thing is that all of these 30 perversions were deemed as needing special protection under the Hate Crimes laws by those crafting the bill in the Senate.
I believe all crime is a hate crime. A person doesn't murder someone or beat them up because they admire them. So why do we need special sentencing if the victim is one of these 30 sexual orientations? The United States already has laws in place to "punish violent crime."
The AFA cited this example, given by Rep. Gohmert, of how this legislation, if passed, could impact us. "If a mother hears that their child has been raped, and she slaps the assailant with her purse, she is now gone after as a hate criminal because this is a protected class," said Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas."
The other result of this bill would be to halt any opposition to homosexuality. "If the legislation passes, pastors could be prosecuted under the federal inducement statute for preaching the biblical view of homosexuality. For example, a person could commit an act of violence against a homosexual individual and blame it on the pastor's sermon. Similar laws have been used to prosecute religious speech in the U.S. at the state level and abroad." I have heard this is already the case in Canada.
The US Senate is to vote on S. 909 any time. We need to contact our 2 Senators about voting against it. Need talking points? Herb Kohl 202 224-5653 and Russ Feingold 202 224-5323.
We have all heard about the Jim Doyle recall effort by now, but there is another Recall Jim effort afoot: The Recall of State Senator Jim Sullivan! I am wondering if this attempt to recall Jim will have any affect on Sullivan voting for the $62.2 billion dollar budget that just went to the Senate?
The Democrat controlled Assembly passed Wisconsin's budget, with a 50 - 48 vote (big sigh), at 5:20 AM on Saturday. Voting pretty much ran along party lines, with the exception of 2 Democrats joining all of the Republicans in voting NO.
My State Assembly Representative Leah Vukmir sent me the following report on the budget session and vote. (Contact Rep. Vukmir if you wish to be added to her email alert list.) Republicans were able to make a few changes, but most of the bloated budget passed and is now heading to the State Senate. She urges, as do I, that you contact your State Senator and the Senate Majority Leader, Russ Decker, "and let them know how you feel." (Contact info at bottom of post.)
Here is the "Good News" according to Rep. Vukmir's report: (My emphasis throughout)
- They agreed to drop the Joint and Several liability provisions from the budget.
- The Milwaukee County sales tax proposal was dropped from the original 6.6% to 6.25%.
- Assembly Democrats, at the request of the U.W. System, removed a $28 million budget earmark for building a U.W. Madison School of Nursing.
- They also agreed to eliminate various other earmarks from the Joint Finance version of the budget.
UPDATE: Good news! The Assembly Democrats removed the Joint and Sevedral Liability Law reform from the state budget yesterday. I would wager that decision had something to do with negative constituent phone calls and emails? Don't relax just yet, as Boots and Sabers cautioned, "It’s not over yet, though. It could still be stuck back in by the Senate and end up in the final version. Keep vigilant!" (Thanks, Vicki McKenna.)
Curiosity won out last night, and so I went to Brookfield East's library for Sen. Jim Sullivan's Town Hall meeting. I didn't know what to expect; I have never been to one of his meetings. Would I be the lone conservative amongst liberals?
Great news! Wisconsin State Representative Jim Ott has put all of his Hot Air Reports on the subject of global warming / climate change online. You may also subscribe to his weekly reports just by emailing him at Rep.Ottj@legis.wi.gov and requesting that he send you the reports via email. (I did need to include my home address in the email.)
If you have been following Governor Doyle's proposed budget at all, you know that it is filled with tax increases, unwanted new government programs, new fees, and a whole host of other overreaching legislation.
Or I could title this post: Of MULES AND MEN
http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#all/1205e1ef555f02fd Jim Ott's latest hot air on cap and trade
Bill of Attainder, a bill intended to punish a certain group of individuals.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123716798764436701.html Everyone hates ethanol. blends over 10% harm engines, etc. good
From the Desk of:
David Martin, Executive Vice President
MEDIA RESEARCH CENTER
MARCH 6, 2009 Eileen,
Late last week, the Senate passed the Broadcaster Freedom Amendment by a vote of 87-11. And while the liberal media rushed to declare the Fairness Doctrine dead, they all but ignored the “Durbin Amendment” that essentially primes the pump for silencing conservative speech through backdoor FCC regulations!
Eileen, the liberal media would have you believe that the Fairness Doctrine is dead—that the gag order against conservative talk has been once and for all lifted.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Click here to listen to MRC founder Brent Bozell’s message to you on this latest attempt to hijack our Free Speech Rights.
++ A Stealth Attack on Your Free Speech Rights!
Eileen, the Durbin amendment requires the FCC to “take actions to encourage and promote diversity in communication media ownership.” Upon closer look, this “stealth” attack on Free Speech Rights is far more insidious because it empowers the government to
censor and control the airwaves through backdoor policies that create a vast array of new avenues by which the FCC can silence talk radio.
In other words, the Durbin amendment poses a much greater danger to our free speech rights because it expands the governmental control and censorship threat in ways we never before imagined!
++ Your Efforts More Important Than Ever
Given what just took place on Capitol Hill last week, there is little doubt that we are headed for a showdown over our Free Speech Rights Over the next 36 hours, we’re urging EVERY member of our MRC Action Team to alert friends and family about this stealth assault. Urge them to join with you in defending this God-given right by signing the petition here Time is short. Through this Durbin Amendment, liberal members of Congress now have a way to muzzle the conservative voice on the airwaves – we believe they will waste little time moving it forward.
Eileen, we cannot allow this backdoor assault to go unchallenged!
That’s why we’re counting on you to help us rally an additional 10,000 citizen signers of our Free Speech Alliance petition this weekend alone!
As always, thank you for standing with the MRC.
P.S: Forward this message to 30-35 friends today. Urge them to join with you by clicking here.
+ + Help the MRC maintain it’s frontline position in the battle to preserve Free Speech Rights by making a tax-deductible gift today.
It is said that politics makes strange bedfellows. The lawmakers backing legislation to bring back line-item veto power to the president would be an example of that phenomena.
A new study from 2 professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Department on Mathematical Sciences, "found that the Earth has been cooling since 2001 and projected that due to 'global variation' the climate would continue to cool for the next 20 to 30 years."
Ever notice how you can never totally kill a bad idea? No matter how many people contact their representatives requesting a NO vote, and the measure is defeated, the bad idea never goes away. It may lie dormant for awhile, but almost always it comes back.
Camille Paglia http://www.salon.com/opinion/paglia/2009/02/11/stimulus/
Governor Doyle will be delivering his budget address very soon. We will be preparing our first legislative survey based on the agenda that the governor delivers in his Executive Budget.
I have set up a confidential, online survey system that will provide you with the opportunity to share your views.
Phone: 608-266-9180 or 414-453-0024EMail: Rep.Vukmir@legis.wi.gov
So much for tolerance. A Radical Michigan Gay Group Attacks Christian Church Service on Sunday. Yup, those gay people that Christians are to be so tolerant of, acted in a very intolerant, disgusting way during a church service.
Obamas first priority exec offshore order etc.
Would you like to go to the polls on Nov. 4th and have everyone view your ballot? Not too many people would. The right to a private ballot is important to Americans.
Last week, I was at US Bank; a CD had matured. I asked the banker, does US Bank have money to lend? Could I get a loan if I needed one? He said, Yes, it was no problem. (I have a good credit score.)
http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2008-10-01-food-labeling_N.htm Food now gets label of origin
http://www.daveramsey.com/media/pdf/the_common_sense_fix.pdf The Common Sense Fix
Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three step Common Sense Plan.
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the
world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
things.The Common Sense Fix
Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country,
but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support
any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following threestep
Common Sense Plan.
a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the
world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a
6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the
balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a
chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or
the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of
foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable
for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that
encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while
working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and
executive team members as long as the company holds these
government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming
executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.
II. MARK TO MARKET
a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III
bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down
bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on
failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.
III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock
market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in
the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping
the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the
economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement
investments that go up instead of down.
This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.
I heard both Congressmen Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner interviewed on Jay Weber's radio show this morning. (Hour 4 Part 2).
Since I trust the opinion of both of these men, I was curious as to why
Ryan voted YES and Sensenbrenner NO on the latest bailout bill.
There is lots of chatter today about how Sen. John McCain squashed the soon-to-pass bail out plan. (So much for the Dems. calling him Bush 3)**
Yup, it is true. Former President Bill Clinton appeared on Good Morning America this morning and defended John McCain. (Politics makes strange bedfellows!)
Remember the story about the Trojan Horse? The Greeks gave a huge horse statue to Troy. The unsuspecting Trojans brought the gift into their city. During the night, the Greek warriors inside the horse came out and took the city. Hence the saying, Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. The gift ended up being the undoing of the citizens of Troy.
—President Ronald Reagan
I told you about Randy Melchert, candidate for the Wisconsin State
Assembly--24th District. Although that is not my district, his "Melchert Plan"
to lower area gasoline prices by 10% is appealing. I don't have to live
in the Menomonee Falls/Germantown area to be in favor of that!
Traditionally, the days between July and September are called the Dog Days of Summer, not because of the heat and humidity causing you to pant like a dog, but because of the appearance of Sirius, the bright star in the constellation Canis Major.
I just heard this announcement on the news: Bush to Lift Executive Ban on Offshore Oil Drilling. (This would be the moratorium his father enacted.) He will be talking about this decision from the Rose Garden at 12:30pm today.
When I think of oil spills, my mind goes immediately to the Exxon Valdez. Remember that one? In my mind's eye I can still see volunteers trying to wash off animals and rocks with toothbrushes and Dawn detergent.
President Bush urge[d] Congress to end ban on offshore oil drilling today: (My emphasis)
Today is your last chance to weigh in on the Governor's Global Warming Task Force.
Oil companies have made a lot of money and some in Washington think they should get a bigger cut. The Senate recently tried to snatch some of those profits with their attempt to resurrect the Windfall Profits Tax bill. Thankfully, the Senate Republicans stopped that piece of legislation ...for now.
The Windfall Profits Tax Bill was blocked by the Republicans Tuesday:
Just in case you missed this from the weekend news, the Sunday Journal reported in its Congress Following the Vote column,
Last night I heard Senator Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) on the Mark Levin Show. They were discussing S. 2191, the Senate "Lieberman/Warner Global Warming Bill and the disastrous effect this would have not on just the country as a whole, but the individual." (My emphasis throughout post.)
If you've ever planned a road trip, mapping your route ahead of time makes a big difference: which way will allow you to travel with the least amount of traffic, major city rush hours, or road construction? Often a little planning ahead can save hours being stuck in a traffic jam. Certainly there is no sense to chart a course leading to a bridge closed for repairs. No reasonable person would say, the only bridge ahead is closed, but we'll make such good time before the bridge, we'll pick that route anyway.
Yet this is what our government is doing by ignoring the coming Social Security/Medicare crisis. Politicians don't want to deal with that reality. They know it is going bankrupt, but their attitude is, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. "There is a growing, bipartisan consensus about the greatest threat to our nation's long-term economic prosperity: the explosion of entitlement spending." (Ryan)
It is watering restriction season for Waukesha County, but in Brookfield, lawn watering, pool filling, and car washing* is restricted whether you are on a private well or municipal water every day of the year.
Yesterday, I caught a bit of Mark Belling's show. He was talking about needing a photo ID to make a bank transaction. That got me thinking about how many times I need to show my drivers license more than the average person.
Question: Who is the number 1 oil producer? Number 2? Number 3?
I admit it. I was surprised when Elmbrook's $62 million dollar referendum passed last April 1st. Usually, it takes 3 referendum tries before one will pass.
The Assembly narrowly approved the state budget bill fix, 51 - 46. So now what?
Is it any wonder we are in the financial mess we are in with the state budget? The Senate passed the budget fix yesterday, the Assembly may vote on it today. Contact your State Assembly Representative and let them know your opinion anyway. They could use your support. (Contacts are at end of post.)
I heard the state is close to "balancing" our state $527 million budget deficit. Problem is, there are no real budget cuts, just plenty of bookkeeping tricks. Only 1/5th of 1% of the total budget is considered a cut.
Wednesday, I caught a few minutes from Mark Belling's last half hour on the radio. He read this Wall Street Journal piece, The Biofuels Backlash. It is yet another condemnation of the whole biofuel fiasco--the food crisis, pollution, excessive water use, price supports, etc. You know, the usual complaints... (Let them eat and drink ethanol).
Marie Antoinette's "Let them eat cake" is quoted a lot these days in regard to ethanol and rising food prices. There are many interpretations as to what she meant by it--some debate whether she said it at all.
Just heard this on Mark Belling, Sensenbrenner co-sponsored a bill to end ethanol mandates:
Congressman Sensenbrenner brought up Senate bill S. 2191, the Lieberman/Warner "America's Climate Security Act of 2007" at his Town Hall meeting Sunday. He described it as a "disaster for Wisconsin."
Former Presidents of the United States are expected to be just that, Former Presidents. Their days of power are to be over once they leave the White House. Sometimes they are called upon to be good will ambassadors, but they are not to give their 2 cents on important issues. Certainly, they are not to meddle in foreign affairs unless asked by the current administration!
Dead In The Water: The State Legislature is finished for this term so those hot button bills, that never made it to the floor for a vote, are considered dead right now. I caught a snippet of Mark Belling's show yesterday and he mentioned a few of them that died in the legislature this session.
Oh, I am getting so tired of all this watchdogging, calling, and emailing our officials, but the alternative is to let these bad bills pass. This one is not just about a huge amount of money; our national sovereignty is at stake.
Yes, the bad ethanol mandate bill that just won't die is coming back to an Assembly near you.
My State Assemblyman Leah Vukmir sent me the following email today, which I am pleased to share with you.
UPDATE: Senate Bill 380 sponsor Senator Olsen removed his name from the bill and will abstain from voting for it due to a perceived conflict of interest. Vicki McKenna of WISN radio was kind enough to send me that tidbit. Senator Olsen, by the way, is a republican, which just goes to show we need to watch them all. She also sent this lint to an Ethanol piece Mark Belling wrote 2 years ago when this was heading to the senate. Very interesting.