Monthly Archives: August 2011

What Were They Thinking?

Wisconsin recently made history with the unprecedented recalls of 9 state Senators: 6 Republican, 3 Democrat.

The effort to recall the Republicans was a grass roots campaign by thousands of unpaid volunteers working tirelessly across the state for two months to gather the required number of signatures on recall petitions.

The effort to recall the Democrats was initiated by an anti-immigration Utah based group of tea party conservatives which involved hiring people (many from out-of-state) to lie to residents to obtain their  signatures. (At least one of the paid operatives also went on to steal from the locals.) And who, being paid per signature, had a strong incentive to copy names from phone directories and obituaries.

Being good Wisconsinites, residents did not doubt the veracity of the operatives so were happy to sign what they were told was a letter asking Sarah Palin to go away. None of them asked to see it because being good Wisconsinites they know that people don’t say stuff that’s not true.

The recalls were sparked when the Republicans tried to hastily pass a new piece of legislation on short notice. They insisted that just because they were doing it on an accelerated schedule without public hearings and debate and calling the vote at 2 a.m. they weren’t trying to hide anything. The Democrats disagreed, so the Democratic Senators got in their cars and left the state, leaving the Republicans without a quorum and mightily peeved.

Peeved did not adequately describe the mood of the public, which immediately found out what the Republicans were trying to do and boy oh boy was the public ever pissed about it. The outraged masses responded by marching to the Capitol and singing socialist protest songs such as the national anthem and Kumbaya while smiling at law enforcement and handing out cake and cookies.

Meanwhile, many members of the outraged masses decided they wanted do-over Senate elections and started circulating petitions to recall 8 of the Republican Senators.

About the same time, Dan Baltes, a conservative ex-convict wing-nut from Utah, started recall efforts against some of the Democratic Senators, possibly because he is a conservative wing-nut.

Be that as it may [what does that really mean anyway? It sounds good, but what does it mean? And why do people almost always say it in an insufferably snide, patronizing tone that lets you know they think you are a twit], petitions were filed and recall elections scheduled.

Three of the Democrats were being recalled, which meant the Republicans had to find three solid candidates to run against them. And therein lies the question to which I seek answers.

The best Republican candidates they could find were:

1. Kim Simac, a spouse-swapping horse trainer who self-publishes children’s books because, well, she couldn’t get anyone else to publish them so she did her patriotic duty and found a company who would print them for her in China. She says that the fact that her ex-husband married her current husband’s ex-wife is “one of those quirky American stories.” In an amazing coincidence, Kim and her soon-to-be new husband Arthur Simac filed for divorce from their former spouses on the same day (Dec. 15, 1993) in the same county court. No reports on whether they did so while holding hands.

2. Jonathan Steitz, a corporate lawyer specializing in mergers and acquisitions (i.e. layoffs and downsizing to increase corporate profits) at a downtown Chicago law firm who was born and raised in Texas, and lived in Kenosha briefly before moving to England, returning last year to Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. A believer in “limited government” and “a job-friendly environment”, he would slash corporate taxes and business regulations and let the elderly fend for themselves when it comes to prescription drugs because it’s all about personal responsibility.  He thinks that Walker’s devastating cuts to Seniorcare didn’t go far enough. He would eliminate the program entirely. Preferably all seniors as well.

3. David VanderLeest, a divorced man with a lengthy court record, including a bankruptcy, delinquent property taxes, a home foreclosure, an unpaid judgment, building code violations, criminal conviction, a convicted felon girlfriend, and no particular apparent qualifications for office in the way of education or experience, or the ability to write a coherent sentence.

None of these candidates inspired confidence in me as to their suitability for office. And the only platform they offered was the: “Vote for me because my opponent, the evil cowardly incumbent Democrat left the state instead of watching helplessly as the Republicans passed a bill in the dark of night that they didn’t want you to know about.”

I didn’t think this could possibly convince anyone who wasn’t suffering from a recognized mental illness to cast a vote in their favor. And then I saw the results.

Simac: 45%

Steitz: 42%

VanderLeest: 34%

My question is this: why would anyone vote for any of these people?

Exhibit #1: Kim Simac. If her bio didn’t already make you scratch your head, consider her actual comments. With her actual spelling.

“Do you know that we have only spent 100 Billion dollars on missile defense since 1982. That is nothing. We can spend money on junk cars and we can spend money on just about every other ridiculous cause, but we Penney Pinch our security. It is time to contact all our elected officials and let them know that we want money spent of missile defense and we want it done now.”

“The idea that a subject like man-made climate change is a done deal just doesn’t make sense to me.”

“we are going to become more involved in our school district and work to develop a program that would allow creationism to be offered at our high school as an elective.”

“I think that [Richard Nixon] deserves a pardon.” [So – she not only thinks he deserved a pardon – she doesn’t know that he already was pardoned?]

Can’t answer an oral question:

What specific legislation is moving through the Capitol right now that you look forward to – if elected – supporting or challenging?

“I guess I would have to say that with all of the things that I’ve been looking at, I think you just stumped me. All the things I’ve been looking at for all the last couple months here trying to get up on board as a new candidate, I’ve been trying to stay up with the issues, but I would have to say that I can’t name you a single one right now.”

And can’t answer a written question:

Do you support full disclosure of all corporate campaign contribution expenditures on partisan and nonpartisan elections? Why or why not?

“As a Senator when Campaign Finance Reform Legislation is put before the entire Senate I will give it serious consideration.”

Seriously – she received 45% of the vote? Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised: Michelle Bachmann – who keeps getting elected to Congress – has made strikingly similar misstatements (“The big thing we are working on now is the global warming hoax. It’s all voodoo, nonsense, hokum, a hoax.” She supports teaching creationism in public schools, saying that “Evolution has never been proven.”) Perhaps it’s on page 4 of the Tea Party handbook.

Exhibit #2: Jonathan Steitz, a corporate shill with almost no connection to the state of Wisconsin who wants to eliminate essential programs. And who takes money from people who say stuff like this:

“Any people that are decendents of Americasn slaves, would not be alive today if their ancestors would not been have rescued from certian death by the people that bought them and then sold them in America.

“Further more the continued deneial of the compasionate act of giving those people a second chance for life, and the condeming of their benifactors, and the fact that they deneigh that many Americans died for them to even end slavery in this country, is the reason that many white people are to say the least, not impressed with the gratitude expressed to them by blacks.

“White men created America. It is a country that people from virtually EVERY country on the plannet want to come to! The reason so many people hate America is because they are jealous.”

Steitz received 42% of the votes. Does Wisconsin have that many lunatics in his district?

Exhibit #3: David VanderLeest, a man with a lengthy court record who files incoherent court pleadings and dates a felon, got 34% of the votes.

When people entered the booth and cast a ballot for one of these three candidates, what were they thinking?

I want to hear from the people who voted for these people. Especially the ones who voted to keep “family values” Republican Randy Hopper, a middle-aged, married father who took a young lobbyist as a mistress then dumped his wife for the 25 year-old girlfriend and helped get her a cushy state job at 35% higher pay than her predecessor. I mean really? He lost, but he still got 49% of the vote!

So please, inquiring minds need to know (if only to get you the help you need): why did you vote for them?

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Hear and Obey

I know there’s been a great deal of discussion and debate recently about which state has the worst governor but before making your final decision, I’d like you to think about two things.

Exhibit #1: What if the Governor’s spouse is named Tonette?

Is “Tonette”:

A. a backup singer in the 60’s girl group Toni and the Tonettes?
B. an amazing new exercise device that will have you toned and firm in just 30 days or your money back?
C. an award given to Broadway shows and performers each year, commonly called a “Tony”?
D. a 1950’s brand of home permanent?
E. I’m not going to answer because why would anyone make an issue of someone’s name?

Although A, B, and C are equally plausible and D couldn’t possibly be true, the correct answer is “D.” Yes, Tonette’s father named her after a 1950’s brand of home permanent. Which leads to “E” because it’s a vivid reminder that one of the most important jobs a parent has is to give their child a cool but bland name that no one will ever poke fun at but which will make you incredibly popular and assure that everyone from pre-school until death will want to be your friend. Being named after any household product is probably not in that category. (“This is my son, Static Guard.”)

Exhibit #2: What if the Governor thinks God talks directly to him?

Yes, we know that several Governors have announced that they talk to God and that God wants them to run for president (confirming that God certainly must have a wicked sense of humor), but I know of only one governor who not only talks to God – he believes that God talks back.

Yes, welcome to Wacky Wisconsin, the fun state where we never know what Scott Walker will do next, only that it will likely be something even worse than before and if God is behind it I’m really going to be pissed.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m making this up. No way would a grown man with serious political aspirations ever say something that would make him look like a nutcase who should be isolated and treated instead of given unlimited control over the lives and futures of millions of people.

Sadly, I’m not. Our governor is on record admitting he hears voices. Yes, God has told him what to do since high school, including what to wear, what jobs to take, who he should marry, what to have for breakfast (this morning it was oatmeal) and when to run for office.

For example,the day he met his wife: “That night I heard Christ tell me, ‘This is the person you’re going to be with.’”

And when he was thinking about withdrawing from the 2006 race for governor, God spoke again. “This is what you’re going to do [withdraw]. Look at me. Find that point on the horizon, and you’re going to be just fine.” And I’m glad God gave him that advice. But I’d really like to know what made God change his mind just a few years later and tell him to get back in the race.

Or was it really God? What if – and this may be a radical concept – what if he really does hear voices but those voices don’t really belong to God. I mean – has he asked for any identification? Some random voice starts talking to you and you just assume it’s God? What if it’s a wrong number?

Seriously, if I started hearing voices, my first reaction is not going to be – “Wow! God is talking to me!”  My first reaction is going to be, “what the hell?” Then I’m checking my dental work. And then the kitchen radio and the living room television. Nope, not those. So my next reaction would be: ”Okay wiseass, is this Ashton Kutcher and am I being punked?”

And then I’m calling my friend in the CIA and asking him to come sweep my house for bugs and hidden speakers. Because no way am I crazy enough to be hearing disembodied voices with no apparent source, no matter what my in-laws tell you.

And then I’m asking: okay – who is this really and where are you hiding? And if the voice says “I am God” then I’m asking for verifiable proof, something more than a burning bush, something that would let him vote in the 2012 elections because otherwise I’m just not buying it. Even if he does sound like Morgan Freeman.

But Walker didn’t do any of that. He just calmly assumed the voice was God (the Christian one, not that foreign-sounding Allah or Yahweh or the Great Spirit or any other non-Christian deity).

And he never questioned why God would take such a personal interest.

Really? God just picked some random dude in Wisconsin to strike up a conversation with? Does that make sense? Doesn’t God have, like, important stuff to do? Why would he start talking to Scott?  And is anyone else troubled by the whole “I heard Christ tell me, ‘This is the person you’re going to be with’ ” shtick? Is that any way to pick a spouse? A random voice telling you who to marry? If he told you to jump off a cliff would you do that too?

Which gives me an idea. What if – and this is all strictly hypothetical – what if somebody in the right place could get some wires planted in the right places? And then what if that somebody could arrange for Morgan Freeman to do an uncredited cameo? I mean, if Walker believes he must “100 percent” do whatever the voice tells him to do, what if the voice whispered “You must listen to Peter Barca” …

Stupid Criminal Tricks

“Drug agents have arrested a Beloit couple they said was transporting $1.4 million worth of cocaine in large diaper boxes. The State Line Area Narcotics Team said the cocaine was found after an Illinois state trooper pulled the couple over for speeding and incorrect lane usage in Rockford on Saturday.http://www.channel3000.com/news/28871297/detail.html

So if you’re carrying something illegal in your car, wouldn’t you be careful enough to drive carefully?

When Governors Get Punked

Scott Walker took office on January 3, 2011. And immediately became unavailable to anyone who was not a campaign donor.

After learning that Walker would not talk to constituents, or any Democrats, or return their calls, blogger-journalist Ian Murphy began to wonder just who could get through to Gov. Walker.

So on February 23, 2011, he called Walker’s office pretending to be conservative libertarian billionaire David Koch (who had donated $43,000 directly to Walker’s campaign and millions more to other groups running negative ads attacking Walker’s opponent).

Walker took the call.

[Wait a minute! He got punked? A governor who refuses to meet or respond to constituents for months, refuses talk to members of the legislature about government business, will only make scripted, tightly controlled appearances but readily accepts a phone call without question from someone he thinks is an out-of-state billionaire? Who happens to give him large sums of money?]

The call was recorded. A transcript is below. Clarifications and comments are in brackets.

Walker: Hi, this is Scott Walker.

“Koch”: Scott! David Koch. How are you?

Walker: Hey, David! I’m good. And yourself?

[Doesn’t it seem like Scott has met this guy before? Because 1) he wasn’t surprised that Koch would call him and 2) he’s relaxed and calls him David. Not “Mr. Koch” – just David. If billionaires started calling me, I’d be saying: “No way! Who is this really?” And then: “Holy shit! It is? Wow, thanks for all the money and what can I do for you?]

“Koch”: I’m very well. A little disheartened by the situation there, but, uh, what’s the latest?

Walker: Uh, we’re actually hanging pretty tough. I mean, you know, amazingly there’s a much smaller group of protesters almost all of whom are in from other states today.

[He made that part up because 1)  the groups were growing in number;  2) they were always almost all state residents; and 3)  it sounded better than saying thousands of Wisconsinites are really pissed.]

The State Assembly is taking the bill up, getting it all the way to the last point it can be at where it’s unamendable. But they’re waiting to pass it until the Senate’s — the Senate Democrats, excuse me, the assembly Democrats have about a hundred amendments they’re going through.

[The Assembly Democrats are so annoying. They even got upset just because  the Assembly Republicans called the vote early on the budget repair bill to keep them from voting, whining that it was illegal. I mean really, why get upset? There’s nothing they could do to stop it so why even bother coming to work?]

The state Senate still has the 14 members missing [nervy little bastards] but what they’re doing today is bringing up all sorts of other non-fiscal items, many of which are things that members in the Democratic side care about. And each day we’re going to ratchet it up a little bit.

[Nice work by good Christians. What next, arrest and torture their families?]

The Senate majority leader had a great plan he told about this morning — he told the Senate Democrats about and he’s going to announce it later today — and that is: the Senate organization committee is going to meet and pass a rule that says if you don’t show up for two consecutive days on a session day in the state Senate, the Senate chief clerk — it’s a little procedural thing here, but — can actually have your payroll stopped from being automatically deducted —

“Koch”: Beautiful.

Walker: — into your checking account and instead, you still get a check, but the check has to be personally picked up and he’s instructing them — which we just loved — to lock them in their desks on the floor of the state Senate.

[Really? Grown men, elected officials who are vested with the public trust,  plotting and scheming in secret backroom deals? And enjoying it? I mean, really? While receiving tax dollars?]

“Koch”: Now you’re not talking to any of these Democrat bastards, are you?

Walker: Ah, I, there’s one guy that’s actually voted with me on a bunch of things I called on Saturday for about 45 minutes, mainly to tell him that while I appreciate his friendship and he’s worked with us on other things, to tell him I wasn’t going to budge.

[I’m confused. Wasn’t Walker at the same time publicly saying that he was trying to work things out but the Democrats weren’t willing to negotiate?]

“Koch”: God damn right!

“Koch”: Mainly because I thought he’s about the only reasonable one over there, I figured if I talked to him, he’d go back to the rest of the gang and say you know, I’ve known Walker for 20 years and he’s not budging.

[Now there’s real leadership for you. I wonder if he learned that in pre-school: the “you have to do what I say because I’m the boss of you” approach to government. And what is this “gang” thing?]

“Koch”: Now what’s his name again?

Walker: Uh, his name is Tim Cullen —

“Koch”: All right, I’ll have to give that man a call.

Walker: Well, actually, in his case I wouldn’t call him and I’ll tell you why. He’s pretty reasonable but he’s not one of us. [That sounds ominous.] So I would let him be. I think he is in a position where he can maybe motivate that caucus. But he’s not an ally, he’s just a guy. [And of course Walker isn’t because he’s the new Galactic Emperor.] He was in the Senate years ago, he was actually the Senate Democratic leader back in the ’80s and [then Governor] Tommy Thompson hired him to be the head of Health and Human Services. He went into the private sector, made real money and became a little more open-minded, and last fall he got elected to the Senate seat he was in 25 years ago. And he’s kind of one of these guys who he really doesn’t care, he’s not there for political reasons, he’s just trying to get something done. So he’s good to reach out to for me, but he’s not a conservative, he’s just a pragmatist.

[So someone who has no personal agenda, who’s not there for political reasons, who just wants to get things done is “not one of us”? Then who IS “one of you”?]

“Koch”: Now who can we get to budge on this collective bargaining?

Walker: Well, I think in the end, a couple of things. One, if the, I think the paycheck will have an impact. Secondly, one of the things we’re looking at next, we’ll probably announce in the next day or two — we’ve been working with our Republican leaders in the Legislature — we may, we’re still waiting on an opinion to see if the unions have been paying to put these guys up out of state. We think there’s at a minimum an ethics violation if not an outright felony.

[Wow. What is this unhealthy fixation on unions?]

“Koch”: Well, they’re probably putting hobos in suits.

Walker: Yeah.

“Koch”: That’s what we do. Sometimes.

Walker: I mean paying for the senators to be put up. I know they’re paying for these guys to be here — I mean, people can pay protesters to come in and that’s not an ethics code [nobody was being paid to protest but it sounded better than saying thousands of Wisconsinites are really pissed], but, I mean, literally if the unions are paying the 14 senators, if they’re paying for their food, their lodging, anything like that, we believe at a minimum it’s an ethics code violation and it may very well be a felony misconduct in office. Because see technically, it’s not just a political contribution, it is, if they’re being paid to keep them from doing their job, we think that there’s legally an obstruction of justice, but an obstruction of their ability to do their job, and we still got, the attorney general’s office is looking into it for us.

[That was a stretch. Wasn’t true. Didn’t work.]

So we’re trying about four or five different angles. Each day we crank up a little bit more pressure.

[Sneaky scheming again – is Walker a governor or a gangster? And why is it that he’s discussing government business with this guy?]

The other thing is I’ve got layoff notices ready, we put out the at-risk notices, we’ll announce Thursday, they’ll go out early next week and we’ll probably get five to six thousand state workers will get at-risk notices for layoffs. We might ratchet that up a little bit too.

[The hell with the state workers, what do I care?]

“Koch”: Beautiful, beautiful. Gotta crush that union.

Walker: Well it’s one of those that where in the end, and I’ve had not only Cullen — I’ve talked to him myself — I had three or four of my other business leader friends who know him over the years and just kind of pass the message on to these guys, if they think I’m caving, they’ve been asleep for the last eight years because I’ve taken on every major battle in Milwaukee County and won even in the county where I’m overwhelmingly overpowered politically and it’s because we don’t budge.

[Not exactly how it really happened – most people in Milwaukee County say that if Walker “won,”  everybody else in the county lost, but what the hell. Or am I catching a whiff of that new Walker after-shave: “Deluded”?]

“Koch”: God damn right.

Walker: You’re doing the right thing, you stay firm. And in this case, we say we’ll wait it out. If they want to start sacrificing thousands of public workers who get laid off, sooner or later there’s going to be pressure on these senators to come back.

[Excuse me? Isn’t Walker the one sacrificing the workers?]

“Koch”: Beautiful.

Walker: We’re not compromising.

[Maybe he thinks he’s John Boehner. Or Eric Cantor.]

The other thing we may do, ‘cause the senator I mentioned thinks that these guys, you’ve got a few of the radical ones who unfortunately one of them is the minority leader, but most the rest of them are just looking for a way to get out of this. And they’re scared out of their minds, they don’t know what it means. There’s a bunch of recalls up against them. They’d really like to just get up back here and get it over with.

[Is he just completely disconnected from reality or what?]

So the paycheck thing, some of the other things threatened them. I think collectively there’s enough going on and as long as they don’t think I’m going to cave, which again we have no interest in. An interesting idea that was brought up to me this morning by my chief of staff, we won’t do it until tomorrow is putting out an appeal to the Democrat leader that I would be willing to sit down and talk to him, the Assembly Democrat leader, plus the other two Republican leaders — talk, not negotiate and listen to what they have to say if they will in turn — but I’ll only do it if all 14 of them come back and sit down in the state assembly. They can recess it to come back in to talk to me, but they all have to go back there. The reason for that is — we’re verifying it this afternoon — but legally, we believe, once they’ve gone into session, they don’t physically have to be there. If they’re actually in session for that day, and they take a recess, the 19 Senate Republicans could then go into action and they’d have a quorum because they started out that way. So we’re double checking that. Bu that would be, if you heard that I was going to talk to them, that would be the only reason why. We would only do it if they came back to the Capitol with all 14 of them. My sense is hell, I’ll talk to them, if they want to yell at me for an hour, you know I’m used to that, I can deal with that, but I’m not negotiating.

[Great – he’s willing to lie, betray,  and intentionally mislead to get his way. Yup, that settles it: gangster.]

“Koch”: Bring a baseball bat. That’s what I’d do.

Walker: [Laughs] I have one in my office; you’d be happy with that. [Laughs] I got a Slugger with my name on it.

[A gangster who thinks beating people with a bat is funny. Wonderful – we’ve got a sadistic thug as our governor.]

“Koch”: Beautiful.

Walker: But in the end, this is, and I even pointed it out last night ‘cause I’m trying to keep out as many of the private unions as possible. I said, this is about the budget. This is about public sector unions. Hell, even FDR got it. There’s no place for the kind of, I mean, essentially you’re having taxpayers’ money being used to pay to lobby for spending more of taxpayers’ money. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

[Let’s see – once employees earn their salary, it’s their money. Can’t they spend it as they see fit? And wait a minute – how can this be about the budget? He testified to the U.S. Congress that the collective bargaining provisions didn’t affect the budget. ]

“Koch”: Beautiful.

Walker: So it’s, this is ground zero, there’s no doubt about it. But I think for us, I just keep telling my, I call any, I tell the speaker, the Senate majority leader every night: Give me a list of people I need to call at home, shore ‘em up. The New York Times of all things, I don’t normally tell people to read The New York Times, but the front page of The New York Times has got a great story, one of these unbelievable moments of true journalism, what it’s supposed to be objective journalism. They got out of the Capitol and went down, one county south from the Capitol to Janesville, to Rock County, that’s where the General Motors plant once was. They moved out two years ago. The lead on this story is about a guy who was laid off two years ago, he’s been laid off twice by GM, who points out that everybody else in his town has had to sacrifice except for all these public employees, and it’s about damn time  they do and he supports me. And they had a bartender, and they had every stereotypical blue-collar worker type they interviewed, and the only ones that weren’t with us were people who were either a public employee or married to a public employee. It’s an unbelievable story. So I went through and called a handful, a dozen or so lawmakers I worry about each day and said, “Every one of you should get that story printed out and send it to anyone giving you grief.”

[Oops! Except that he distorted the story – and the laid off guy from Janesville, described as “a union man from a union town” was not, in fact, a union member – and the New York Times printed a front page retraction – shown here at the bottom http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/22/us/22union.html?_r=1]

“Koch”: God damn right! We, uh, we sent, uh, Andrew Breitbart down there.

Walker: Yeah.

“Koch”: Yeah.

Walker: Good stuff.

“Koch”: Yeah. He’s our man, you know.

Walker: Well it has been amazing to me, the massive amount of attention. I want to stay ahead, so every day I do a five o’clock press conference, tonight I’m actually doing a fireside chat, which the state TV stations are picking up and I guess a bunch of the national ones too. And in the last couple of days when I do the TV shows, I’ve been going after Obama because he’s stuck his — although he’s backed off now — but he’s stuck his nose in here.

[Wow – make that a rude, sadistic gangster. And he’s “been going after Obama”? In the sense of an annoying gnat or what?]

And I said, you know they asked me what I thought about it, I said the last time I checked, this guy’s got a much bigger budget deficit than we do, maybe he should worry about that and not stick his nose in Wisconsin’s business.

[Ok, so charm is not on a list of Walker qualities.]

We’ve had all the national shows, we were on Hannity last night, I did Good Morning America and The Today Show and all that sort of stuff, was on Morning Joe this morning. We’ve done Greta. We’re gonna keep getting our message out; Mark Levin last night. And I gotta tell you, the response around the country has been phenomenal. I had Brian the new Governor over in Nevada, call me last night he said — he was out in the Lincoln Day Circuit in the last two weekends — and he was kidding me, he’s doing as well as me, he said, “Scott, don’t come to Nevada because I’d be afraid you beat me running for governor.” That’s all they want to talk about is what are you doing to help the governor of Wisconsin. I talk to Kasich every day, John’s gotta stand firm in Ohio. I think we could do the same thing with Rick Scott in Florida. I think, uh, Snyder, if he got a little more support, probably could do that in Michigan. You start going down the list there’s a lot of us new governors that got elected to do something big.

[Megalomania, anyone? I mean seriously, he’s prattling to David Koch about how important he is.]

“Koch”: You’re the first domino.

Walker: Yup. This is our moment.

“Koch”: Yeah. Now what else could we do for you down there?

Walker: Well the biggest thing would be — and your guy on the ground [Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips] probably seeing this, is the well, two things. One, our members, originally the guy that got freaked out about all the bodies here — although I told him an interesting story, when I was first elected county executive in Milwaukee of all places. The first budget I put through was pretty bold, aggressive and the union went nuts on me and got all sorts of grief. But a couple of weeks later I’m at a Veterans Day parade and I’m going down the line and usually unless you’re a veteran or marching with a veterans’ group, politicians all get polite applause but nobody gets up. I come down the line, 40, 50 people in a row, hands up, thumbs up, you know cheering, screaming, yelling, “Way to go, hang in there, Walker.” And then after about 40, 50 people like that, there’s a guy flipping me off. This goes on 40, 50 –

[break in recording]

– right thing, the people who know it’s right will cheer you, they’ll applaud you, they’ll run through a wall for you. And the people who don’t like you, they’re going to flip you off. But stop worrying about them because the other day there were 70,000, probably two-thirds were against the bill, one-third were for, 70,000 people at the Capitol.

[Definitely deluded – I mean, when he left Milwaukee County they couldn’t slam the door fast enough. And who told him one-third of the more than 70,000 people at the Capitol supported the bill? Not counting his fellow party members working in the building, maybe 5 people did – but that’s less than one one-thousandth per cent, certainly not quite the 25,000 supporters that he is claiming.]

All week there’s been fifteen to thirty thousand a day. But I remind all our lawmakers that there’s five and a half million people in this state. And just because a bunch of guys who can jump off of work because of their union rules doesn’t mean the rest of the people in your district are with them.

[Seriously deluded. Did he just say that everyone in the state of Wisconsin who didn’t come to the Capitol – including infants, small children, the disabled, the elderly, and anyone who had to be at work or had a conflict or couldn’t be there for whatever reason – supported him just because they didn’t come protest?]

So the one thing per your question, the more groups that are encouraging people not just to show up but to call lawmakers and tell them to hang firm with the governor, the better. Because the more they get that reassurance, the easier it is for them to vote yes. The other thing is more long term, and that is after this, you know the coming days and weeks and months ahead, particularly in some of these more swing areas, a lot of these guys are gonna need, they don’t actually need ads for them but they’re going to need a message out reinforcing why this is a good thing to do for the economy and a good thing to do for the state. So the extent that that message is out over and over again is obviously a good thing.

[Notice all the non-stop ads across the state by Club for Growth and Americans for Prosperity?]

“Koch”: Right, right. We’ll back you any way we can. But what we were thinking about the crowd was, uh, was planting some troublemakers.

Walker: You know the, well, the only problem with, because we thought about that,

[Dear lord – he actually thought about planting agitators! Someone could have gotten hurt!]

the problem with — my only gut reaction to that would be, right now the lawmakers I’ve talked to have just completely had it with them. The public is not really fond of this. The teacher’s union did some polling and focus groups I think and found out that the public turned on them the minute they closed school down for a couple of days. The guys we’ve got left are largely from out of state and I keep dismissing it in all my press comments, saying eh, they’re mostly from out of state.

[Scary delusional]

My only fear would be if there’s a ruckus caused is that, that would scare the public into thinking maybe the governor has to settle to avoid all these problems.

[Wait a minute – he seriously considered bringing in agitators to make the protestors look bad and his concern is not that it’s unethical and immoral and someone could get hurt but that it might cause the public to think he needed to compromise?]

You know, whereas I’ve said, hey, we can handle this, people can protest, this is Madison, you know, full of the ’60s liberals. Let ’em protest. It’s not gonna affect us. And as long as we go back to our homes and the majority of people are telling us we’re doing the right thing, let ’em protest all they want. So that’s my gut reaction is that I think it’s actually good if they’re constant, they’re noisy, but they’re quiet, nothing happens. Cause sooner or later the media stops finding them interesting.

“Koch”: Well, not the liberal bastards on MSNBC.

Walker: Oh yeah, but who watches that?

[He’s kidding, right?]

I mean I went on just on Morning Joe this morning. I like it just cause I just like being combative with those guys, but, uh. You know they’re off the deep end.

“Koch”: Joe, Joe’s a good guy. He’s one of us.

Walker: Yeah, he’s all right. He was fair to me. I mean, the rest of them are a little out there. Although I had fun, they had Schumer over from New York on, ripping me, and then they had a little clip of a state senator hiding out ripping me, and it was almost too easy. I walked in, Joe asked me a question and I said, well, before I answer that, let me just point out the amazing irony of the fact that you’ve got a United States senator from New York, a senator who by the way is part of a team that can’t seem to balance the federal budget talking about my budget.

[And stupid. But we knew that. I mean really – first off it’s a rude response. And second off – might not the federal budget problem have something to do with the republicans who refuse to compromise, insisting  on their extreme, far-right agenda, saying over and over they will not negotiate?]

At least he’s coming into work to talk about something, although it’s mine. And you’ve got one of these 14 state Senate Democrats who can’t even bother to show up and deal with the budget he’s elected to do something about. And uh, so that kind of tells you the whole story right there.

[Whole story my ass. Didn’t he just say two minutes ago that he wouldn’t talk with them?]

“Koch”: Beautiful; beautiful. You gotta love that Mika Brzezinski.

Walker: Oh yeah.

“Koch”: She’s a real piece of ass.

Walker: A couple weeks ago, I’d known Joe before, but I was having dinner with Jim Sensenbrenner when I came into D.C. for a day to do an event and we’d gone over to do the The Greta Show and had dinner with Congressman Sensenbrenner and right next to us was the two of them and then their guest was Axelrod [an Obama advisor not the ball player]. So I came over, I introduced myself.

“Koch”: That son of a bitch!

Walker: Yeah no kidding huh? [Such a good Christian.] Introduced myself and said I figured you probably knew who I was [Whoa – delusional AND narcistic] since your boss was campaigning against me [as if ] but it’s always good to let ‘em know you know what’s going on.

“Koch”: Well, good, good. It’s good catching up with ya’.

Walker: Yeah, well thanks. This is an exciting time. This is, ya know I told my cabinet, I had a dinner the Sunday uh, excuse me, Monday right after the sixth. Came home from the Super Bowl where the Packers won, that Monday night I had all my cabinet over to the residence for dinner, talked about what we were going to do, how we were going to do it, we’d already kind of built plans up but it was kind of the last hurrah before we dropped the bomb. And I stood up and I pulled out a picture of Ronald Reagan, and I said, you know, this may seem a little melodramatic, but 30 years ago Ronald Reagan, whose 100th birthday we just celebrated the day before, had one of the most defining moments of his political career, not just his presidency, when he fired the air traffic controllers.

[Really? I mean – really?]

And I said, to me that moment was more important than just for labor relations or even the federal budget. That was the first crack in the Berlin Wall in the fall of Communism because from that point forward the Soviets and the Communists knew that Ronald Reagan wasn’t a pushover. And I said, this may not have as broad of world applications, but in Wisconsin’s history — little did I know how big it would be nationally — Wisconsin’s history, I said, this is our moment. This is our time to change the course of history, and this is why it’s so important that they were all there. I had a cabinet meeting this morning, I reminded them of that. I said, for those who thought I was being melodramatic, you now know it was purely putting it in the right context.

[Where does one begin? And comparing  himself to Reagan?]

“Koch”: [Laughs] Well, I tell you what, Scott: Once you crush these bastards I’ll fly you out to Cali [California] and really show you a good time.

Walker: All right, that would be outstanding.

[Wait a minute – now he’s accepting free trips from campaign donors. Isn’t that illegal?]

“Koch”: All right

Walker: Thanks for all the support in helping us move the cause forward, and we appreciate it, and we’re doing it the just and right thing for the right reasons and it’s all about getting our freedoms back.

“Koch”: Absolutely. And, you know, we have a little bit of a vested interest as well. [Laughs]

Walker: Well that’s just it, the bottom line is we’re gonna get the world moving here ’cause it’s the right thing to do.

“Koch”: Alright then.

Walker: Thanks a million! [Several of them?]

“Koch”: Bye-bye!

Walker: Bye now.

Listen to tapes here: http://www.buffalobeast.com/?p=5045

Top 10 Reasons Why Mothers Over 50 Should Be Running Governments

(Michelle Bachmann being an exception – maybe we can give her the job of reminding people to wear clean underwear. It would suit her.)

10. We know how to get people to play nice.

9.  We don’t usually dump our husbands when they get cancer so we can marry someone younger and better suited for photo-ops.

8. Before starting a war, we’d invite the other country over for some cookies and coffee and tell them how much we like their hair.

7. It really bothers us if children go hungry.

6. We know how to teach people to share, take turns, and be fair.

5. Most of us long ago learned how to balance our budgets.

4. We’d impose a “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” campaign rule.

3. We don’t take pictures of ourselves wearing nothing but our BVD’s because why in the world would anyone do that?

2. We would never share a picture of ourselves wearing nothing but our BVD’s because, what? People actually DO that? Are they out of their minds? We need to talk to their mothers.

1. We really don’t like to send our sons and daughters off to war.

How It’s Supposed To Work But Doesn’t

When American voters didn’t do what he wanted, U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (a republican from Kentucky) decided that “the Constitution must be amended to keep the government in check. … We’ve tried elections. Nothing has worked [not even his super mind powers].”

Mrs. Higgins would not be happy with Mr. McConnell. She would make him sit in a corner. But then, she would make a lot of people sit in a corner because of the way they’ve been acting lately. Maybe it’s because they slept through civics and now get all their current events from Fox and Friends. Mrs. Higgins would make them sit in the corner as well. Then she would make them all read the Constitution and a decent high-school American History text book. One from the 1970’s before they got dumbed-down.

And then she’d ask these questions.

Question 1. Who controls the country?

A. The God of white, native-born conservative Christians who have been born again (but only if on American soil).
B. David and Charles Koch
C. John Boehner
D. Lady Gaga
E. None of the above.

The correct answer is “E.”

“A” doesn’t apply if you aren’t a member of that group or believe in the concept of free will.
“B” is getting close to being the answer, although they are working on it.
“C” only thinks he does.
And “D” controls pop culture at the moment but these things can change rapidly. This time next year she might be dancing in a chicken suit outside a local restaurant, regretting that she was born that way.

Question 2. Who is supposed to control the country?

A. Us.
B. Us.
C. Us.
D. All of the above.
E. None of the above.

The correct answer is A through D. That’s right. Us. Meaning anyone who is age 18 or older and eligible to vote. At least this week. That’s one of the things the Kochs are working on.

The state and federal constitutions that none of the people sitting in the corner have read created the state and federal governments and contain the basic set of rules we all have to follow. Or are supposed to. The Koch brothers are working on that too.

The constitutions begat the three branches which begat many things we’d rather not think about but the basic idea was that the system would be the ying and yang and jung of politics, with no one branch becoming too powerful and taking over, like the big kid on the playground teeter-totter who takes over by pushing off the kid that was sitting there and plopping his fat ass down, causing unlucky you (who happens to be sitting on the other end) to rocket into the air where you hold on for dear life but then you’re stuck up there, helpless, until he leaps off causing you to come crashing down at a high rate of speed until the board hits the ground followed by your butt and damn that hurts. But the three branch design is supposed to keep that from happening, keeping the teeter-totter of government fairly in balance (yes I know it only has two sides – try to get past that).

In theory, the legislature passes the laws, the executive branch administers the law, and the courts interpret the law. (Yes, I know this is boring stuff but Mrs. Higgins is watching so sit up and pay attention. Personally, I wish all three groups would take some time off because almost nothing good ever comes from any of them but we live in an imperfect world.)

Way too many of our current elected officials apparently are unaware that constitutions exist and unfamiliar with how the system is supposed to function: an informed electorate voting for honest, intelligent candidates following a vigorous campaign focused on issues and, upon taking office, the winners serving the public good in an open, transparent government before returning to private life after the expiration of their term.

(No, I’m not taking any prescription medication.)

Instead, they believe that it’s supposed to work like this: keep the electorate in the dark and uninformed, have wealthy secretive groups run negative ads misleading the voters while making bland empty promises they have no intention of ever keeping because the whole point is to get elected for life, collude with others to reward the wealthy people and corporations who got them elected with the negative ads, and retire wealthy themselves with a really great pension and insurance package at taxpayer expense.

But sometimes, despite a rigged system, sometimes voters still manage to elect someone who doesn’t understand the way the system is really supposed to work. And that upsets the Mitch McConnells across the nation. They would prefer to do away with voting entirely (and yes, they are trying, but that’s another post). And modify the government so that only one person is in charge and can be that playground teeter-totter bully.  They just won’t tell us when it happens.

(Yes, they think we are so stupid we won’t notice. And maybe we are. It’s already happened in Wisconsin and, based on the recall election results, a whole lot of people still haven’t caught on.)

Who the Heck is This Guy and Where Did He Come From???

November 2010 was not a good election season for most Democrats. Barack Obama had been president for almost a whole twenty-two months and yet, despite winning a Nobel Prize, he hadn’t cured cancer, eliminated the heartbreak of psoriasis or solved the global economic meltdown resulting from eight years of a Bush presidency and two unnecessary wars. The public responded in a completely calm and rational manner: they handed control back to the people who had caused the mess in the first place.

They did it because all across the country, ads paid for by groups with reassuring patriotic names like “Americans for Prosperity” and “Club for Growth” and “Heritage Foundation” assured the voting public that the Democrats were all devil-worshipping heathens led by a Kenyan Muslim terrorist who would your raise taxes, ship your job to Bangladesh, and kill your grandparents by putting them on ice floes and setting them adrift in the Arctic Ocean. And so the voters knew who they should trust. After all, if they said it, it must be true. And the truth should be repeated as often as possible. And emailed to everyone in your email address book. Because the truth shall set you free. And help you take back the country from whoever had taken it from you. Nobody knew exactly who that was, but they knew somebody had taken it, maybe the Chinese who were buying everything, including Idaho.

Anyway, everyone knew it had happened, the Americans for Growth and Prosperity Heritage Club told them so. And clearly, somebody with a foreign name like “Barack Hussein Obama” had to be involved somehow. I mean really. Look at him. Then look at all the guys who had been president before him. Now look back at him. He really doesn’t look like any of the rich white guys who you know you can trust because they told you you could. And he sure doesn’t look like any of the rich white guys who were our founding fathers. Nope – he looks like somebody who might have been born in a foreign country like Hawaii that didn’t even exist when our great nation was born.

For months, non-stop ads by the groups with reassuring patriotic names blasted the Democrats into smithereens, reminding voters that the Democratic candidates not only jaywalked, ate kittens, and watched foreign films without falling asleep, they were liberal elitist union puppets who would destroy the country with bigger government and spendthrift policies, taxing and spending us into oblivion. We were on the precipice of Taxegeddon. We needed a hero, but who? Who would save us in our hour of need?

Then he rode into town: a down-to-earth, guy-next-door who knew how hard you were struggling because of that foreigner in the White House who, after being in office for 22 long months, still hadn’t solved the global economic crisis.

So this guy with his rolled up sleeves who was just like us told us exactly what we wanted to hear: he would bring back prosperity. He would balance the budget without raising taxes. He would create jobs. Lots of jobs. Jobs the voters needed because, after eight years of a Bush presidency and two unnecessary wars, a lot of those voters were out of work because of that no-good foreign guy who promised change but then didn’t change things fast enough.

And the voters knew they should vote for guys like Rick Scott Walker Perry because he wasn’t one of those insider, same-old same-old career politicians who had sold out to special interests. He said so. He didn’t say much else because he didn’t need to. We knew we could trust him.

And so, as in most years, election day came and, as in most years, most of the voters stayed home. But of the people who did bother to go to the polls, a resounding majority voted Republican. A resounding majority in Wisconsin meant about 1 out of 3 registered voters. Or about 1 out of 4 eligible voters. Which the Republicans then announced was a mandate from the people, a mandate that gave them free rein to pursue an agenda that would take the country back from the Chinese, or whoever had taken it, and give it to the people who deserved it: the job creators.

And the people were euphoric and hopeful. And knew that soon they would be fully employed in secure, good paying jobs with a great pension and benefits that would allow them to move out of their parents’ house where they had been living since the foreclosure and into a nice home near good schools in a safe community with clean water, wonderful parks, affordable health care, and cheap public transportation. And every night before they went to bed they thanked the Republicans for giving their country back to them.

And who was this stranger who offered salvation, this soft-spoken man with the reassuring promises? His name is legion, but in Wisconsin he was known by a name that was as American as apple pie, a name that would fit on any 1950’s movie marquee, a name that was blessedly Anglo-Saxon in origin, a name that was the antithesis of foreign, that resounded with white tradition: Scott Walker.

Yes, Scott Walker rode out of obscurity and into the national spotlight, a man of humble origins, who transformed Milwaukee County into a prosperous paradise with a balanced budget, a native son who … what? You mean he’s a college drop-out who has spent most of his adult life on the public dole and will now get at least three government pensions? And caused such a mess when he was County Executive of Milwaukee County that it cost the local taxpayers hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of dollars, and left behind a scandal involving  problems at a mental health complex? That he cut safety inspections, contributing to the death of a 15 year old boy? And he was born in Colorado?

You’ve got to be kidding me!

But he made it seem like he was one of us! That he was a home town boy! A Sconnie born and bred! His bio even says that he “was born on November 2, 1967 to Llew and Pat Walker. He was raised in Delavan, Wisconsin where he was active in sports, band, church and scouting.”  He was even a Badger Boy! And the son of a preacher man! He said he was our savior! He would never lie to us!

Wait a minute, you mean it’s not really a lie if you only imply things? That it’s okay to arrange words to give a false impression? To leave things out to mislead others? That there’s nothing immoral about duping people? That intentionally manipulating the public into believing something that is not and never has been true is perfectly acceptable?

Never mind.

Desperately Seeking Stupid

Thank goodness for craigslist – where guys who want to take pictures of naked women finally have a place to search for the thousands of women who have been desperately searching for guys to take pictures of them naked.

It’s quick. It’s easy. And best of all, it’s free. All they have to do is post an anonymous ad with absolutely no identifying information seeking “models.“ So many guys are looking for women to photograph “for their personal collection” that sometimes it’s the only type of ad posted under “Talent Gigs.” (Yes, I know that removing all your clothing doesn’t require any talent but craigslist doesn’t have a category for that – maybe it should, but it doesn’t).

Talent gigs posted in Madison WI on July 30th:

  • super adult female models needed – (madison)
  • New Models Needed – (Minneapolis) [for “a faceless nude shoot”]
  • pretty ladies needed – (madison west) [looking for “girls (18 yr +) interested in doing some amatuer pictures of the following genres: Jeans and tshirts; bikini; short-shorts”]
  • female model needed – (madison) [“for topless shoot. Safe and fun environment–are you naughty enough? If so, send a pic for consideration!”]

These delusional males are looking for: “lingerie modelling,” “Web Model ,” “Amateur Swimsuit Models,” “Glamour Model,” “petite models,” “full-figured models,” “bra and panty models,” even “golf/caddy models” to drive a cart in a bikini while the “Golf Pro” takes “bikini pics along the way.” Don’t stress because “Knowlage of golf not necessary.”

And of course women everywhere will want to drop their tops and dash right over for a once in a lifetime opportunity like this: “We need black models of all sizes for topless pictures asap!

What the ads all have in common is 1) a guy who 2) wants to take photographs of you 3) without most (or any) of your clothes who 4) most of the time thinks you will do it for free AND 5) thinks you believe he will keep the pictures private and will never, ever share the pictures with anyone and of course would never, ever think of releasing them onto the internet.

So here we have thousands of nameless guys across the country – maybe even around the world – seeking women they don’t know who will take off their clothing so a random stranger can take their picture. And the only thing I can think is: “is any woman dumb enough to respond?”

I mean, here she has to send her personal information and photograph to an anonymous email address which – and maybe I’m really off-base here – doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that this guy is a professional photographer. Or even owns a camera. Or is someone who is not in fact a convicted felon who just escaped from prison where he is serving a life sentence for impersonating a photographer. And he is asking for her personal information. And photos. Which she will be sending to an anonymous email address.

Could any woman be that dumb? Not only to respond to the ad, but to think it might be a way to become a professional model? Nobody could be that stupid – could they?

But then I realize that thousands of guys around the world are posting these ads and I have to wonder – would they be posting these ads if no one ever replied? Yes – I know that lots of guys are that stupid but still – someone must be responding – even if it’s just a lonely Russian lady looking for love. Which would explain a lot.

For example, this guy “I’m looking for full figured ladies–d cup or bigger to do topless pics! Only for my personal enjoyment and nothing else;-) Make easy money in a safe, sane, and fun environment!

Or this guy, who understands that a woman’s head is completely superfluous:  “I am looking for curvy girls (18 yr+) for some topless photos. None will be taken of your face so you can remain anonymous! If interested, send a pic showing your physique.

And this one: “looking to photograph pretty coeds (18-25 years) in the Madison area.

[if you didn’t get that the first time he immediately repeats it]

Amateur photographer is looking to photograph pretty coeds (18-25 years) in the Madison area.

[and in case you didn’t understand what he wanted the first two times he said it which is perfectly understandable if you are dumb enough to respond to his ad]

Are you an attractive college age girl who is in need of some spending money? If so, I am willing to pay to photograph you. Compensation is on a sliding scale that depends on the types of photos, but I am open to everything from bikini/lingerie, to full nudity…..It’s really up to what you are comfortable with and how much you want to make. Nervous beginners are welcome.

Please reply with age, height and picture of yourself. Replies with pictures get priority.”

Or this: “We are looking for Open Minded Female models for adult videos and image work.  We do not care of you have any experience or not, just be willing to open up in front of the camera.” I cannot believe they wrote that: an x-rated nude model “willing to open up in front of the camera.”  Gross. But wait – there’s more: You must provide your age, your height, your weight, your bust size, a contact number, best time to call and a minimum of 3 pictures for us to review. They do not have to be nude but since this is for adult work at least one nude would be nice. 

And then there’s this guy – who is not only NOT offering payment – he indicates the model should be paying him to take naked pictures, because after all, nobody else would want to:

I am looking for a female model for classy nude shots. … I will do a TFCD shoot. (TIME FOR CD) This is the perfect opportunity for anyone looking for shots for a topless dancing carreer … this is a good opportunity for someone. If you have priced these shoots you know im right.

So there you are. Send your personal information and picture out over the internet to you don’t know who at you don’t know where and then … WTF? Are you out of your mind? Why would you do that? Are you trying to give women everywhere a bad name? Haven’t we struggled for generations to be taken seriously, to gain credibility as rational beings and you’d throw us under the bus for a chance like this????

I am looking for female models 18+ for adult pics. Pay will depend in body type and pics that are taken . You need to have your own clothing to model in. Pics will be kept and used for my portfolio so but not posted on the web. If you would like a copy for your portfolio I would also provide that for you. Last time I did this in Dallas I had 230 response so this time please include 3 pics of yourself at least 1 needs to be topless. If you can’t then why are you looking at this post. If you want to show me more you can. I do need your age location cup size and waist size

Step right up, female models, and send topless photos of yourself to an unidentified stranger who will keep them for many personal happy endings, but of course “not posted on the web.” And if you’re willing to do that, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you. In a “safe and fun environment.” Just send your bank account and credit card info to my anonymous email address.

And to the dude seeking “older women, above the age of 35″ for “Erotic Nude Photography” here’s a newsflash. A 36 year-old woman is not an older woman unless you are comparing her to a 35 year-old woman as in “this 36 year-old is an older woman than this 35 year-old.” Other than that, an older woman is someone older, as in aged, as in maybe 65+. And even then some 66 year-old will come along and knock your lights out for calling her that.

Welcome to Fitzwalkerstan: A Layperson’s Guide to Dismantling Democracy

Once upon a time long, long ago, in a country yet to be created, a bunch of rich white guys got together to complain about their unfair tax burden. No, we’re not talking about Republicans (they hadn’t been invented yet). Besides, most of these guys were wearing wigs, stockings, and heels, so today’s Republicans would call them unnatural abominations and pass laws to keep them from getting married. The rest of us think of them as the founding fathers.

The conversation went something like this:

Rich white guy #1: “Like who died and made this dude the king anyway? And why is he the boss of us?”

Rich white guy #2: “Yo, bro, we should have a revolution or something because I am sick and tired of paying these taxes to somebody I didn’t even get to vote for.”

Rich white guy #3: “I mean, aren’t rich white guys entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?”

Thomas Jefferson: “Yo dude, I was so about to say that!”

So anyway, then T.J. (seriously, that’s what his friends called him) wrote the Declaration of Independence and when he finished they said “Hasta la vista baby” to the dude king and a bunch of the rich white guys got together afterward at the local country club to write the Constitution.

But these guys were all up in it about preventing a monarchy because they didn’t want a king to tell them what to do, ever, so they went all radical liberal and created a democratic republic with three branches of government to act as checks and balances so none of them could become Supreme Ruler of the Universe and America was born. And that’s pretty much the way things worked for about the next 225 years. And then one night in 2011, we went to bed in Wisconsin but woke up the next morning in Fitzwalkerstan.

Many people don’t understand that something smells rotten in Denmark  and it’s not the Limburger. (I like Limburger. On rye with raw onion. With a nice, crisp garlic dill on the side. Why anyone calls it smelly cheese I just don’t know. Wait a minute, why are you leaving?)  And it’s not only Denmark, Wisconsin, which is a charming village despite the smell, offering many amenities including a sewer utility.  The smell didn’t originate in Denmark; the smell comes from the stinky things that have been happening in the state capitol.

If, like most of us, you slept through your Civics, American Government  and Constitutional Law classes, perhaps you watched the evening news and wondered why all those people were chanting and walking in circles around the capitol building. After all, weren’t the people inside doing what the majority of the people had asked them to do? And wasn’t Wisconsin now open for business?

Enter Mrs. Higgins, the civics teacher. She is not happy. She says we all flunked and now have to write a 2,000 word essay on elections and open government. And it’s due tomorrow.