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Sat Mar 14, 2015 at 07:00 PM PDT

Top Comments: Manufacturing Poverty

by Puddytat

TopCommentsRedux

It's been over 50 years since President Lyndon Johnson declared a War on Poverty, committing Federal Government attention and resources to the longstanding problem of poverty in America. Last year, the 50th Anniversary was "celebrated" by well known granny-starver, Paul Ryan in a special report from his House Budget Committee. Don't bother to read it, however, you've heard it all before from Congresscritter Ryan: we're spending too much, getting too little, and the real solution is to privatize Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, get those lazy moochers out of their government hammocks and deregulate everything in sight.

Should you need a refresher on the War on Poverty, please read the excellent summary here.

Programs Created from the War on Poverty:

-- Social Security expanded for retirees, widows, children, and the disabled.

-- Medicare and Medicaid

-- Food stamps (now called SNAP)

-- Head Start

-- Subsidizing school districts with high poverty

-- Jobs programs

-- Office of Economic Opportunity (dismantled by President Nixon)

-- Work-study programs for college students

Since then, the Earned Income Tax Credit has been added along with a Child Tax Credit to aid working families.

What Paul Ryan doesn't tell you is that our growing poverty, encompassing 15% of America (the largest amount in at least a generation) is being systematically manufactured to grow it even larger. It's been a long road for the oligarchy and their bought and paid for political puppets, but looking back, it's been very systematic and destructive towards the people of this country.

Join me before the orange doodle to untangle the mystery of how they did it.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

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Gov. Scott Walker (R-FitzWalkerStan)  not so popular back home these days
With Scott Walkers latest extremist moves, obvious lies, and flip flopping on long standing positions to align himself with Iowa Republican Primary voters, his reputation in Wisconsin is more than a little dinged up.
In the automated survey (taken March 6-8) of 1,071 registered voters, 43% approve of Walker’s performance and 52% disapprove, a decline in his rating from before the 2014 election.
(item in italics is my addition)

Well, that's expected when you lie about wanting Right to Work, a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, flip-flop on long-standing issues to pander for Presidential Primary votes, get a national outing by non-pandering media, and spend the vast majority of your time jetting from place to place speechifying and courting donors for a Presidential campaign you repeatedly assured Wisconsin voters that you weren't interested in.

The PPP Poll also finds more bad news for Walker.

Overall only 35% of voters in Wisconsin want Walker to run for President, compared to 58% who don't think he should run. Those findings are pretty much par for the course for a Presidential candidate in their own state- voters are rarely enthusiastic about their native sons aiming for the White House.

Walker's approval numbers have also significantly dipped over the last few months though. Right before the election last fall we found him with a 49/47 approval spread. That's now dropped to 43/52. His numbers with both Democrats and Republicans are pretty much where they were four months ago. But he's seen a large decline with independents- where he was on narrowly positive ground with them before the election at a 48/45 spread, he's now dropped down to 36/57. The new right to work law is likely part of what's causing Walker problems- only 42% of voters support it, pretty much mirroring his approval rating.

(bolding is mine)

But Walker is doubling down on his White House bid by massively increasing his staff. He has to win the White House in order to outrun the pile of debt he's been massing in Wisconsin; the same strategy he used to outrun the debt he ran up in Milwaukee County - leaving it for the next guy to deal with as he moved to his next, higher political office.

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A smirking Scott Walker (R - Wisconsin Dictator) signed and then proudly held up the Right to Work Mooch Law that was rammed through the majority Republican Wisconsin Legislature less than 2 weeks after it was introduced. (I can't post the photo since it's under copyright, but please go to the link to see it for yourself).

Maybe that smirk is because Walkers Big Lie worked. Even through January of this year Walker claimed that Right to Work legislation was "a distraction", that "it won't come to my desk", and that it wasn't needed. It was the Big Lie that he repeated all during his campaign even as video evidence of his Divide and Conquer Strategy was available.

Nope. He lied and denied. And got away with it.

To add insult to injury, he made sure to wear his campaign costume which I'm going to make famous. Yes, the long sleeved pale blue shirt with sleeves rolled up exactly 3 times along with a red tie. It's the "man of the people" image he has carefully crafted when he needs to go out and fool the public.

Overhauling more than a half century of labor law in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker on Monday signed so-called right-to-work legislation banning labor contracts that require private sector workers to pay labor fees.

In a matter of weeks, Republicans pushed through the measure making Wisconsin the 25th state with such a law, giving a victory to manufacturers in the state and a blow to organized labor and some construction firms, which had opposed the measure.

The passage marks a shift in the GOP governor's position that comes as he pursues an all but certain presidential run. Walker said repeatedly during the intense battle over Act 10 — his 2011 law that repealed most collective bargaining for public workers — that he would not let legislation affecting private-sector unions reach his desk.

In spite of Republican claims that RTW laws are aimed at "choice" and "freeeeeedum", their main aim is to destroy unions in a clever strategy of ensuring that workers can receive union benefits for at no cost to themselves (legalized mooching off dues paid by others). Federal labor law requires that unions represent ALL workers in contracts, negotiations, contract enforcement, representation during disciplinary hearings, etc. Right to "Work" laws, however, says that workers can get all of those union benefits for free because they only have to pay union dues if they "want to".

Walker signed the bill at Badger Meter, a private company that will financially benefit from the end of unions. Walkers public appearances in Wisconsin are always in private facilities in front of hand-picked audiences, usually employees who are monitored by supervisors to ensure that they applaud loudly and demonstrate support for Walker.

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TopCommentsRedux

Those of us who write diaries know that some diaries "catch" and some just don't. Some that were just dashed together get noticed and find a wide audience. Others, written over days or even weeks just slide down the recent list relatively unnoticed. It's awfully hard to see that happen to something you have worked on for a long time.

It happened to me yesterday with something that's been in process for months. Maybe it was the timing of publication, other items that were more interesting, or some factor I haven't considered. In any event, it sunk the Titanic.

Today, though, while considering what I was going to write tonight, I decided to give that diary a second chance. Consider it recycling. Like tossing the jar the spaghetti sauce came in into the recycle bin so it can live again and be useful rather than sit in a landfill taking up space unnecessarily.

That second chance comes after the cheese curd.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

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Hello there.

I'm Wisconsin Governor Scott Walkers long sleeved, pale blue shirt. I'm the shirt he puts on when he has to go out and pretend to be just a regular guy - like when he's campaigning or feels the need to look open, hard working, approachable, trustworthy, and even (blush) honest (yes, that's the hardest "sell" of all).

You've seen quite a lot of me in the past with my long sleeves rolled up 3 turns. Even when the heat and humidity is so high that trees are wilting, I'll be there in all my long sleeved pale blueness to give Scott Walker that "man of the people" appearance he needs whenever speaking to the little people and pretending to care about them.

You're going to see a whole lot more of me in the future so I thought we need to get better acquainted.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Here I am
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talking to voter on campaign trail
Here I am again
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker listens to his introduction from the side of the stage at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Jim Young  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4MRCP
Here I am behind a curtain before speechifying
Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, MD, February 26, 2015. Potential Republican presidential candidate Walker told grassroots conservatives on Thursday that his battle
Here I am in Iowa during his CPAC speech
.

I've even done ads. Here's one from last year (take note of the tie, too):

I work especially hard doing ads because it takes extra special long-sleeved-pale blueness to distract from all those lies.

Here I was all the way back to 2010 making all that BS look and sound good. I hope you noticed that Scott Walker wore the same tie back then, too, but I'll let the tie tell his own story one day.

Poll

Would you like more confessions?

65%43 votes
16%11 votes
3%2 votes
3%2 votes
0%0 votes
1%1 votes
4%3 votes
0%0 votes
6%4 votes
0%0 votes

| 66 votes | Vote | Results

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Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker listens to his introduction from the side of the stage at the Freedom Summit in Des Moines, Iowa, January 24, 2015.  REUTERS/Jim Young  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4MRCP
Keep your eye on the man behind the curtain
Call The Pope - it's a miracle. Media has finally caught up with what I've been saying about Scott Walker.
When White House hopeful Scott Walker talks to potential voters, he hawks himself as a leader who tells people what he will do and then does it.

But the line has a snag. As a candidate for governor, Walker didn't spell out or even mention some of the measures that would become key achievements in office.

(bolding is mine)

Finally! I've pointed this out every time Walkers actions conflict with what he's said or campaigned on. And now, after media spent such a vital role in endorsing him, stenographing Walkers talking points and beating up on his opposition, ensuring he "won 3 elections in 4 years", they've finally noticed that he doesn't do what he says he's going to do.

His 2010 promise to be "lazer focused on creating 250,000 jobs" was literally the only thing he promised. All his ads, campaign speeches featured that promise exclusively.

What did he do? He took away collective bargaining rights from every public employee in the state (except those unions that endorsed him), defunded Planned Parenthood, mandated women wanting to terminate a pregnancy have an invasive and unnecessary ultrasound (making services even more expensive), forced women wanting medication induced pregnancy termination to have an unnecessary doctors office visit for each dose of medication rather than use the already safe video conference, impoverished cities by slashing state shared revenue and prohibiting them from raising taxes to maintain service levels, took nearly $2 billion from our public schools, threw 80,000 Wisconsinites off Medicaid by reducing eligibility from 130% of poverty level to 100%, rammed through voter suppression measures and secretly drawn gerrymandering the entire state to ensure 1 Party Rule into eternity, and so much more - all bad things.

Some "lazer focus on jobs", huh?

Even back then, Wisconsin media didn't notice that the things Walker was doing had no effect of jobs. They just kept on 'splaining away how Walker was working on his promise. Any day now those jobs will just magically appear and we will be saved! And they 'splained away our diminishing wages and economy. Any day, now, Walker will save us. Right??? Right??????

Ditto his 2014 campaign where he called abortion restrictions and Right to Work Mooch Laws something that didn't interest him. Well, toss that right under the bus as soon as the campaign is over. He's NOW all too pleased to sign both of them the minute Republicans finish ramming the bills through the Legislature they rule with an iron fist.

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TopCommentsRedux

Stuff happens, like tonight. No diarist. Good thing I have a draft of possible future TC topics, including one partially written.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

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No, it's not going to happen here!
It's been a depressing time here in Wisconsin, but I have good news today at last.

No Massive Strip Mining in Wisconsin

Thank you, Environmental Protection Agency! Due to the fear of having the EPA step in, foreign corporation Gogebic Taconite has put its plans to build an enormous strip mine in northern Wisconsin on hold.

In statement, President Bill Williams said that the company would continue to investigate the possibility of developing the mine, "but cannot justify maintaining an office in Hurley without a prospect of immediate action."

"Our extensive environmental investigation and analysis of the site has revealed wetland issues that make major continued investment unfeasible at this time from both a cost perspective and given the uncertainty of recent U.S. EPA actions, such as the events concerning the Alaskan Pebble mine," Williams said.

The Pebble mine has been delayed by concerned raised by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Yeah! Opposed by concerned citizens and Native American tribes, this is a big win.

This was the mining corporation that recently released John Doe Probe documents revealed contributed $700,000 to Wisconsin Club for Growth, a dark money group that was coordinating with Scott Walkers campaign. Shortly after the contribution they were allowed to write legislation that literally eliminated environmental laws in Wisconsin paving the way for open pit mining.

After passage, they imported heavily armed SWAT-like "security guards" to patrol their testing sites despite not having any permits for those activities. Naturally, the state didn't prosecute this criminal act, but awarded permits as soon as the illegal activity garnered some media attention.

Well, there goes another big Walker donor, but I'm sure he'll ensure they're rewarded in the future for their investment of big money. Walker always gives his donors a great big return on the money they funnel in.

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No, I doubt he's waiting for a sign from God although he repeatedly promotes his rah-rah flag-waving patriotic and fundamentalist religious bona fides .

Here's the sign he's REALLY waiting for.

Dollar sign
This one, too:
Coin with dollar sign on front
Despite his holier than thou memes on his faith and "son of a preacher man" and Eagle Scout bio, the higher powers he really prays to look more like this:
For a guy pretending to be "considering" running for President he sure has hired a lot of campaign staff along with an Iowa strategist. He's also costing what he repeatedly calls "the hard-working taxpayers of Wisconsin" a whole lot of money as he travels the country with his obvious Presidential campaign.
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UPDATE: This atrocious bill was just "passed" by the State Senate with the public shouting "shame, shame, shame....". The session was abruptly adjurned ny Sen. Lasich (R-TeaBagger) after a nearly party line vote.

Republicans in Wisconsin have been ramming controversial matters through the Legislature since the Red Tide of 2010. This week, they've put away their battering rams and started using a team of bulldozers to push Right to Work Mooch legislation through.

Last night, they abruptly ended committee testimony by citing "threats". They moved to such a fast vote that 1 of 2 Democrats was having a conversation and was bypassed for his vote by the Committee Chairman. It wouldn't really have mattered since, of course, Republicans control that committee just as the control everything in State Government.

Republicans had planned to end public testimony at 7 p.m., but shortly before 6:30 p.m. committee chairman Sen. Steve Nass (R-Whitewater) said he was cutting off the meeting abruptly because of what Nass called a "credible threat" in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. That story said union demonstrators were planning to peacefully disrupt the committee vote by raising their voices if Republicans didn't let everyone from the public testify.
Yes, the "credible threat" they didn't specify was the fact that people were going to get loud. Of course, it falls in line with their reference to protesters as thugs and terrorists.

They don't even care how things look any more.

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Sat Feb 21, 2015 at 07:00 PM PST

Top Comments: We Got Played Edition

by Puddytat

TopCommentsRedux

Considering how often we write Top Comments (someone does it every night 365 days a year), where do all the ideas come from? All over the place. Tonight mine came from here, a comment I submitted as a Top Comment, but added to a list of topic ideas I try to keep when my Top Comments Muse is on vacation (or hiding).

Hats off to translatorpro for the idea that sent me on a search for more. And that "more" was depressing. Prepare yourself for disappointment.

But First, A Word From Our Sponsor:

Top Comments recognizes the previous day's Top Mojo and strives to promote each day's outstanding comments through nominations made by Kossacks like you. Please send comments (before 9:30pm ET) by email to topcomments@gmail.com or by our KosMail message board. Just click on the Spinning Top™ to make a submission. Look for the Spinning Top™ to pop up in diaries posts around Daily Kos.

Make sure that you include the direct link to the comment (the URL), which is available by clicking on that comment's date/time. Please let us know your Daily Kos user name if you use email so we can credit you properly. If you send a writeup with the link, we can include that as well. The diarist poster reserves the right to edit all content.

Please come in. You're invited to make yourself at home! Join us beneath the doodle...

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Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker gives a commencement speech at Concordia University of Wisconsin Friday, May 16, 2014, in Mequon, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
Wis Gov Scott Walker (R-Dark Side of the Force)
So much dump, so little time....

Flippity Floppity

After bullshitting telling voters that he didn't want to extend his public employee union busting record to the private sector and maintaining that lie during the early part of this year, Scott Walker is now anxiously awaiting Right to Work Mooch legislation to be quickly rammed through the Republican dominated State Legislature.

After saying in his re-election bid that he wouldn't push so-called right-to-work legislation, Gov. Scott Walker voiced support for it Friday and committed to signing it, acting after GOP leaders fast-tracked the proposal for a Senate vote next week.

Walker as a lawmaker sponsored the labor legislation two decades ago and as governor was careful to never say he would veto it, but as recently as September he also said that he would not be "supporting it in this session." That changed Friday as Walker's fellow Republicans in the Legislature made clear they would act on the issue at a time when the governor has won a second term and is now spending more time outside the state pursuing the presidency.

"Governor Walker co-sponsored right-to-work legislation as a lawmaker and supports the policy. If this bill makes it to his desk, Governor Walker will sign it into law," spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said.

Walker, falling in the Presidential polls he once led, seems to be going full bore for the Republican base to bolster his standing as he travels the country to kiss the rings of billionaire funders. It seems that he wants the State Capitol to be surrounded by tens of thousands of protesters again. I'll bet he's already unpacked and dusted off his "union thug", Big Union Bosses, and other phrases from 2011 and has put the Wisconsin National Guard on speed dial so he can again pretend that his opponents are scary and violent. He's already re-telling the fables about made up "attacks" and "threats" on himself and his family.

Maybe he should stock up on Depends, too. He'll be crapping his pants just as much as the last time he pretended to be "unintimidated".

Skipping State Loan Payment

While pretending in his recent State of the State address that Wisconsin has a budget "surplus" (in his dreams - we have a larger deficit than the one he created in 2011), Scott Walker doesn't have enough money to pay for the massive borrowing he's done, so he'll just skip a loan payment due in May.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, facing a $283 million deficit that needs to be closed by the end of June, will skip more than $100 million in debt payments to balance the books thrown into disarray by his tax cuts.

(bolding is mine)

“They need some cash,” said Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, a nonpartisan research group that examines taxes and government spending. “This is kicking the can down the road.”
This is exactly what Walker did in Milwaukee County when he was County Executive. Massive borrowing with the bills left behind when he moved to the Governors Mansion in Madison. We're going to be paying for Walkers "party" for a long, long time. He's going to leave Wisconsin with similar piles of debt in order to finance all his tax breaks and subsidies to the rich.

In skipping payments due, it looks like we're soon going to be in the same shape as Kansas where Republican Governor Brownback's partisan agenda has led to the state being downgraded in credit worthiness.

Of course, this is NOT, I repeat NOT, being covered in the Walker-loving Wisconsin media. I had to find it in Slate and Bloomberg.

Nice going (not), Walker.

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