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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 03:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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Bwahaaa Scott Walker says he consults with God, but his office can’t provide documents to prove it


After Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made another reference to God speaking to him in a speech before bankers in January, Freedom From Religion Foundation member Edward Susterich made an open records request of his office for evidence of his communications with the Lord — and his office replied, officially, that it could find none.

Governor Walker has never been shy about flashing his religious credentials, regularly telling audiences about the nondenominational evangelical church he attends, the Baptist preacher who raised him, and his belief that he only runs for office when “called” upon by God to do so.

As he told the bankers in January, “[a]ny major decision I’ve made in my life, politics or otherwise, I’ve tried to discern God’s calling on.”

As noted in Raw Story’s report, Freedom From Religion Foundation member Edward Susterich (who also happens to be a regular reader of this blog) filed the open records request demanding the governor “provide a copy/transcript of all communications with God, the Lord, Christ, Jesus or any other form of deity,” and Gov. Walker’s office was quick to respond that they did not have any records responsive to Susterich’s request. What, God couldn’t be bothered to send Gov. Walker a quick email?

Snow Warning!!!

Policy Setting

Now, the military-industrial complex dictates our foreign policy. Wall Street dictates our economic policy. Big Oil dictates our energy policy. ~ Alan Grayson

Please discuss.

Couple hits paydirt with Lombardi's West Point sweater bought at Goodwill store


A couple ran a successful sweep through the racks at a Goodwill store last June in Asheville, N.C. Sean and Rikki McEvoy of Knoxville, Tenn., bought a vintage West Point sweater that was on sale for 58 cents. It turns out the sweater was once owned by Vince Lombardi, who coached at the U.S. Military Academy from 1949-'53 before earning fame with the Green Bay Packers.


■ The sweater is up for sale at Heritage Auctions. The bid as of Monday evening was $20,000.

■ The McAvoys didn't know what they had found until they stumbled across a documentary about Lombardi that included a picture of the coach wearing a similar sweater.

■ The couple looked closely at the sweater and found a tag that read "Lombardi."

Scott Walker defers debt principal payment to balance books

Fiscal responsibility, my ass!


Madison — Gov. Scott Walker's administration in May will skip more than $100 million in debt payments to balance the state's shaky budget, bringing the total such payment delays to more than $1.5 billion since 2001.


Also Monday, Democrats called on Walker to take federal money to expand Wisconsin's health programs for the needy and save the state up to $345 million over the next two years. Walker's budget proposal takes the opposite tack and keeps with his policy of avoiding a full federal expansion of health programs in the state.

The Legislature will not have to sign off on the delay of the debt payment, because it involves a kind of short-term line of credit that in this case is not subject to lawmakers' approval.

"He effectively wants to borrow money from the future to pay for his tax cuts today," Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) said. "That doesn't sound fiscally responsible to me."

Scott Walker budget again declines federal money for Medicaid expansion


Democrats said Monday that Walker's approach means that state taxpayers today would pay $241 million more over the next two years to cover fewer people in the BadgerCare Plus health plan. Citing a second report by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, they said that taking the added federal money could help the state avoid significant cuts such as the one Walker has proposed to the University of Wisconsin-System. "Those resources could be used to achieve Wisconsin's goals, whether avoiding the damaging cuts to the UW System or strengthening our public schools," said Rep. Daniel Riemer (D-Milwaukee), who is co-sponsoring a bill to require the state to accept the federal money.

At the heart of the issue lies the question of how Wisconsin should handle the federal Affordable Care Act, often called Obamacare, which sought to persuade states to add health coverage by promising to pay all of their short-term and most of their long-term costs to do so. Walker has declined that offer, part of his strategy to limit the state's involvement in the Affordable Care Act, and his 2015-'17 budget proposal would continue that approach. GOP lawmakers who control the state Legislature are likely to back the governor.


The governor said in 2013 that the great majority of those adults losing their BadgerCare would receive subsidized coverage by buying it on the private market or through an online federal marketplace created under the health care law. So far, only about one in three has done that.

Under Obamacare, federal taxpayers would have paid 100% of the cost for the adults that the state is bringing onto BadgerCare if Wisconsin hadn't dropped its coverage of the adults with somewhat higher incomes. The federal government's share eventually would drop to 90% of the cost. The decision to reject that federal money is estimated to have a net cost to the state of more than $100 million in the current two-year budget. The extra federal money would have allowed the state to cover an estimated 84,700 more people through BadgerCare.

Punishing the weakest citizens is red meat for Walker's base.

The Progressive: Greek Elections a Victory for Europe


European officials are finally acknowledging that democracy matters. After their initial hostile reaction to the new Greek government’s pleas for a review of the country’s crushing debt, EU leaders finally seem willing to compromise—for now. The hardball approach of Greece’s new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, may have unnerved them.

“Do we really want Europe to break apart?” he asked. “Anybody who is tempted to think it possible to amputate Greece strategically from Europe should be careful. It is very dangerous. Who would be hit after us? Portugal? What would happen to Italy when it discovers that it is impossible to stay within the austerity straitjacket?”

His tough talk is popular in Greece. “Thousands of Greeks took to the streets of Athens on Wednesday to support their new anti-austerity government which was locked in tough negotiations with eurozone partners in Brussels,” Reuters reports. “A poll on Tuesday showed 75 percent support in Greece for the government’s stance.”


“Alexis Tsipras, the new prime minister, summed it up when he said, ‘Democracy will return to Greece,’ ” Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, tells The Progressive. “Greece has had a six-year depression directly prolonged and deepened by very wrong decisions over which it had little or no control. The election is an attempt by the citizenry to regain some of that democratic input that they have lost to unaccountable European authorities.”

Thank you for the hearts, DU, thank you so very, very much.

Is there a downside to Homeland Security being shut down?

Republican legislators are on the hot seat due to their budget shenanigans putting the funding of DHS at risk. So what?

Wisconsin: Walker Says Wisconsin's Growing Trade Deficit is "Great News"


Wisconsin was once the flagship manufacturing state of a United States that exported far more than it imported. Milwaukee, in fact, was once known as the "Machine Shop of the World" because, you name it, it was made there. Today, not so much: Milwaukee and the rest of Wisconsin's manufacturing is a shell of its former self. Wisconsin now actually imports more products from foreign countries than it exports. In 2014, Wisconsin imported $22.2 billion in manufactured products and exported only $20.2 billion worth. That's an imbalance of two billion dollars in a state that that should be leading the nation in trade surplus.

Overall, non-manufactured commodities (mostly agriculture) do help out Wisconsin's trade balance, but this category of exports offer a fraction of the jobs that manufactured commodities bring to the table. And even if you look at Wisconsin's total trade balance (manufactured commodities plus non manufactured commodities), Wisconsin still imports more than it exports, bringing its total trade deficit to about 100 million.


So, I was pretty much knocked of my chair when Scott Walker recently went to London and bragged repeatedly about Wisconsin's foreign trade triumphs. He even sidestepped the now-famous evolution question by saying "I love the evolution of trade in Wisconsin."

And in a press release on the same day, he described Wisconsin's "evolution of trade" as "great news." Truly "great news" on the "evolution of trade in Wisconsin" would be turning around a failed trade policy that has translated into a trade deficit that has cost Wisconsin hundreds of thousands of good jobs.
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