Category Archives: Politics

The Ultimate Showman

Everybody’s talking about Donald Trump. The people who love him, the people who hate him, even the people who don’t know who he is because they won’t watch reality TV (which reflects the decline of a once great nation that produced Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin, but now has Fox News, Honey Boo Boo, Duck Dynasty, and an endless supply of Duggars).

Why the avalanche of attention? Because the press is following him closer than ticks on a hound. Why? Because he’s been saying terrible, no good, very bad things which reporters (journalists being extinct) are delighted to repeat as “news,” knowing said bad things will whip the masses into a frothing frenzy of tea-bag-covered flag-waving, which is good for their ratings.

So, when Trump maligns Mexicans, asserts he will build the Great Wall of China – “It will be huge!” – along our border (outsourcing actual construction to China to cut costs), condones attacks on persons of color, or supports banning Muslim immigrants – or banding the ones already here (citizens or not, Constitution be damned), the media ecstatically gives him all the free coverage anyone could ever want, creating an echo chamber which reverberates in the hearts of the ignorant and bigoted across our country.

In other words, The Donald has taken a page out of the Republican playbook by appealing to the lowest common denominator. As HL Menken once said: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” Or, as more accurately summarized in another famous quote: “There’s a sucker born every minute.”

And we are being suckered. Big time. By the ultimate showman. The Republican Party – along with most of America – is taking The Donald seriously. And he’s laughing all the way to Trump Towers.

Trump is a carny, plain and simple, seducing the marks, but don’t blame him – he is merely taking advantage of the grotesque circus the Republican party has become as it veered farther and farther right into territory occupied by lunatics demanding ever more extreme, far-right, religion-based, fanatical positions. The Donald is just telling the party faithful what they want to hear (and what many more believe but have previously hesitated to say aloud). And the party faithful eats it up, as he spews hate and lies and the media amplifies his message to a fever pitch.

Think about this. Donald Trump is, and always has been, a promoter. Of himself. What’s the ultimate self-promotion? Claim to be running for the highest office in the nation. Spout outrageous assertions that appeal to the underbelly of the populace, take advantage of the fear-mongering and hate-filled rhetoric that’s been the Republican mantra for the past decade or longer, hijack the extremist base of the party and make it your own. And know that the result will be free advertising 24/7 that will catapult you to the top of the polls. And make you a household name for years to come.

Another fitting quote? “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” He understands that and uses it to full advantage; why can’t we figure out what he’s doing? Instead, most of the other Republican candidates leap onto the bandwagon, not daring to say anything which might antagonize the base, each trying to out do the other with statements which should shock and alarm anyone possessing even a shred of human decency.

I seem to be alone in suspecting that Trump’s real motivation for his antics is pure self-promotion. Because all that sound and fury ultimately signifies nothing. He cannot win. Whether he gets the nomination or – assuming the Republican leadership will rig the convention so he can’t – has to run as an independent, he will carry the crazies who would follow him to a comet and beyond, while the reasonable minds among us – and many reasonable-minded voters remain despite all evidence to the contrary displayed by Rupert Murdoch – will be aghast and appalled by the thought of a Trump White House and the inevitable garishly overdone re-decorating of a national treasure. Either the votes will be split (assuming a moderate Republican is nominated, which is unlikely in the current political climate) or he will force traditional Republicans to vote across party lines.

The thought that neither Trump nor any of the current crop of mob-inciting clowns will be elected should be reassuring, but watching the surge of animosity against Muslims and refugees and persons of color so easily, so widely, and so intentionally provoked frightens me. We once had forced imprisonment of Japanese-Americans. We had Joe McCarthy witch hunts. We cannot let such fear and hatred rise again, no matter who occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Thank the entertainment business we now call “the media” for the rise of Trump and others like him. Instead of traditional reporting, we have the new wave of yellow journalism, promulgating propaganda, replacing facts with uninformed beliefs and repeating (instead of challenging) the nonsense that Trump or Cruz or Rubio or other contenders just make up, the more outrageous the better.

That’s the problem. They can say whatever they want no matter how false and the media repeats it as if true, their lies gaining credibility like a snowball rolling downhill gathering mass. If Trump didn’t get free advertising for his “Shock and Awe” tactics, if the press refused to repeat his claim that thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center fell, if the media pulled the plug on false or inaccurate claims, he’d have to pay to promote himself – and that he won’t do.

Better yet, what we really need during any political interviews, or debates, or advertising, or campaign appearances, is a brief sound delay, allowing inaccuracies to be bleeped out. (Most of the recent Republican “debates” would be blessedly silent.) Successful fear-mongering requires lies (Weapons of mass destruction! Death panels! Obama will take your guns!) to foster hatred. Let’s foster honest, fact-based discourse instead.

Stupid is as Stupid Does

Dear FreedomWorks,

I don’t know how you got my email address or whether I just pissed off someone with a really nasty temper who then fraudulently subscribed me on some far-right-wing-nut web page so that I would forever have my in-box filled with solicitations for donations from “true patriots” who want to help “take back our country” and give “grassroots freedom-fighters the tools they need to fight Big Government and protect America’s liberty.”

I do have to ask – by “grass-roots” do you mean the billionaire Koch-financed effort to convert the government into a subsidiary of Koch Industries?

Just wondered.

And did you know that when you say “FreedomWorks” aloud it sounds like “Fweedumwoks” ? Go ahead, try it. It really does. (Which, of course, means Elmer Fudd is actually a furry “true patriot” living on Endor. Think about that.)

Anyway, you emailed me a survey. It didn’t ask any sensible questions so I didn’t respond which is why you decided to send it to me again because you desperately need to know what the most important issues are to me!

Far be it from me to disappoint you.

You asked me to “rank these issues in order of importance (1-5).” Those issues were as follows:

  • Stop libtard bureaucrats from ruining our schools and dumbing down America’s kids with things like science and reasoning skills.
  • No gun control because the civil liberties protected in our Bill of Rights must be protected at all costs. If it’s the 2nd Amendment. The rest can be compromised to protect us from Kenyan Muslim Usurpers.
  • Stop government spending we don’t need it look at Somalia no government so no government spending and they’re doing okay all they need are enough guns and thanks to the 2nd Amendment we got those.
  • Defund ObamaCare: Congress must ensure not one more penny goes to funding that fearsome Godzilla of socialized medicine by spending millions of tax dollars on ineffective votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
  • Defending the House: We the Tin-Foil Hat People must defend the House and prevent another round of Speaker Nancy Pelosi because she’s like a damn comet that keeps circling back and we much prefer Ted Nugent even if he runs in circles like a rabid three-legged dog biting his own tail.

I’m not being critical but for some reason these “issues” somehow – how do I say this with delicacy, hmmmm – seem completely insane and don’t reflect any issue of any importance to any rational human being.

However.

Because you desperately need to know what the most important issues are to me, here they are:

1. Climate change. Won’t we all share a hearty laugh when it turns out to be real and we no longer have a place to live?

2. Money in politics. Seriously – fix that and we can fix #1.

3. Emails from billionaire-funded lunatic fringe groups like FreedomWorks. On second thought, #2 will take care of that.

4. Billionaire-funded lunatic fringe groups like FreedomWorks. Oh, wait. Never mind.

5. Billionaires David and Charles Koch. Oh, wait.

6. Wall Street. Corporate Welfare. Income inequality.

Oops.

Damn.

#2 should be #1, shouldn’t it?

I’m sure you and your billionaire backers agree, right?

My World and Welcome to it.

Republican Senator Ron Johnson may be the stupidest member of Congress (a difficult goal to achieve but he may, indeed, be the stupidest one of all time despite what you’ve read about Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, Todd Akin, and others).

Why am I painfully aware of this? Because he’s from Wisconsin, the state with which I also (as you may have guessed) have some small acquaintance.

In fact, he’s so stupid he even has his own website: ourdumbsenator.com, which induces sufficient astonished face palms to cause whiplash.

His latest display of Tea Party genius: using federal tax dollars to sue the federal government to make his office staff pay more for their health insurance. Then giving them raises (funded with federal tax dollars) to pay for the higher cost of coverage if his lawsuit is successful.

Because it’s all about protecting the taxpayer.

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain

There’s a sucker born every minute.”

This may explain why conservatives are so plentiful.

And so easy to trick. All you need is a bible, a flag, and caps lock.

Case in point: an anonymous non-entity (which doesn’t legally exist) calling itself “American Strong” that wraps itself in red-white-and-blue-support-the-troops-god-fearing-patriotism to sell stuff. Successfully.

Company Overview FOR THE PROUD AMERICAN – SUPPORTING OUR NATION’S HEROES!”

MOTTO: I will never forget that I am an American, fighting for freedom, responsible for my actions, and dedicated to the principles which made my country free.”

I will trust in my GOD and in the USA! We are the Land of the FREE and the home of the BRAVE…. We are AMERICAN STRONG!”

And the mindless masses just eat it up.

And don’t stop to question any of it. Really. Just wave the flag and right-wing conservatives salute in unison and agree with every small-minded, bigoted, red-neck comment that follows.*

And rush to buy shoddy merchandise made someplace else** (exactly where, they don’t say, but you can bet if it was in the good ole U-S of A they would say so – repeatedly – and in caps) because after all “American-Strong proudly support our nation’s HEROES & those fighting to preserve our HOME.” So all red-blooded true patriots just have to “Help to honor [those HEROES by shopping] at –www.AmericanStrong.com”.

Because when it’s in caps it MUST be true, right? And it’s sold by that great supporter of all things American named “American Strong” – and what could be more American than that?

Sheesh.

But wait, there’s more.

American Strong claims it “PROUDLY DONATES SALES BACK TO OUR WOUNDED HEROES, MILITARY CHARITIES, FAMILIES OF OUR FALLEN, AND THOSE IN SUPPORT OF THIS NATION’S HEROES.”

ALL CAPS! SO ALL TRUE!

Except … it doesn’t tell you how much it donates – all sales, some sales, or none. Or exactly how “those in support of this nation’s heroes” get a share. Something I’d really like to know because I certainly “support our Nation’s heroes” so American Strong must owe me my share, right? But when I emailed them to ask, for some reason they never answered.

Or – and perhaps I’m being overly suspicious here – is it possible that American Strong keeps all the sales?

Because here’s the fun part … American Strong …wait for it … “is NOT a non-profit.”

You read that right.

But wait, there’s more.

According to American Strong, “American Strong is not a group, or one person. American Strong is the community, and the nation.”

Maybe that’s why it discloses no identifying information. And hides behind a private domain registration. Because listing all 314 million citizens of the nation would be difficult.

BUT … if you buy something, at checkout you get this message: “PayPal securely processes payments for DCFcreative,llc.”

AND … oddly enough, according to government records, “American Strong” is actually the brain child of DCF Creative, an LLC located in Cypress CA. DCF Creative was created by Dustin C. Fedak. Who lives at the same address.

Dustin’s name does not appear anywhere on the American Strong website. Or facebook page. Or anyplace else. Neither does the name “DCF Creative.”

SO … why is it that none of the charming 22,000+ geniuses who “like” https://www.facebook.com/AmericanStrong have thought about any of this?

The answer may lie here: Multiple Scientific Studies Confirm: Extreme Conservatism Linked To Racism And Low I.Q.

*Real comments:

  • “Once again Oprah decided to open her ugly disgusting mouth”;
  • “Not going to see me lower my flag [for Nelson Mandela], but once he is 6 feet under ill gladly lower for those that gave all for OUR nation.”
  • “I question Islam and atheists. The reason it’s frowned upon is because he who resides in our White House is black and a Muslim. It is our RIGHT to question when we think there is something wrong with something.”
  • “Because ‘Happy Holidays’ is for Terrorists”

**Printed T-shirts are merely  “printed” in AMERICA. Which of course includes 2 continents. And a whole lot of countries other than the USA.

And the Answer is:

Rupert Murdoch

The Question: We have children going hungry, income inequality at historic levels, global warming, catastrophic weather, Republicans across the nation rolling back women’s rights on everything from equal pay to sexual harassment to reproductive choice, yet instead of meaningful, in-depth coverage of these or other vital issues we get mind-numbingly inane animal updates. Why?

Actual headlines I just copied off CNN:

Northeast

South

Midwest

West

Dear Texas,

Even though you like yellow roses, you are (and seem determined to remain) a red state. You know who you are and that’s a bible-thumping, state-flag-waving, big-government hating, free-market-loving, regulation-slashing, secession-minded group of Republican cowboys.

I’m cool with that.

You believe in the second amendment but not the first, think prayers and guns should be let into schools but critical thinking skills kept out, and that businesses don’t need to be regulated because as conscientious citizens they will self-regulate.

Your elected officials believe victims of Hurricane Sandy should fend for themselves because that’s what states’ rights, local control, and personal responsibility are all about. Because real liberty means we all must live with the consequences of our choices and if you choose to live in a godless place like New York or New Jersey, when you get devastated by a hurricane of biblical proportions, that’s just the result of your choice (and possibly ordained by God who hates liberals and anybody who isn’t Texan but most especially the heretics who live in places that let gay people marry) and you should pull up your bootstraps and not expect a handout from honest, hard-working people who don’t believe in handouts.

Unless the victims are god-fearing Texans.

Which happened recently when one of those self-regulated businesses blew up, taking a large part of a small Texas town and its residents with it.

After which two Republicans who voted against federal aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy asked for federal aid for the victims in West, Texas.

A request also made by “Lone Star” state Governor Rick Perry who announced that Texas believes in independence in everything but receiving federal tax dollars.

“But we as a nation can’t turn our backs on such terrible suffering” you might say and you are probably right, even if part of the suffering might be because that same governor made so many “business friendly” decisions and, among other choices, reduced oversight and slashed funding to volunteer fire departments  – while giving hefty tax cuts to private corporations.

And that West Fertilizer Company (which owns the plant that exploded) is a private corporation.

Which had been storing 1,350 times the amount of explosive ammonium nitrate that would normally trigger safety oversight by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). But which did not report the potentially explosive fertilizer as it was required to do.

Perhaps because it had a “risk management plan” that said “the company did not believe it was storing or handling any flammable substances and didn’t list fire or an explosion as a danger.”

The same plan that listed the “worst-case scenario” as an “accidental release of [gaseous] anhydrous ammonia.”

The same plan that said “there was no risk of fire or explosion.”

The same plan that “did not cite a possible explosion of ammonium nitrate.”

In a plant that had “no sprinklers. No firewalls. No water deluge systems” or any other safety mechanisms installed.

In a plant that hadn’t been inspected by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration since 1985.

The plant that was storing 270 tons of highly volatile ammonium nitrate fertilizer that should have been reported to the Department of Homeland Security but was not.

So that the volunteer firefighters had no idea they were fighting a fire that could – and did – turn into a massive fireball capable of flattening buildings for blocks in every direction. While they were at the epicenter of that explosion instead of a safe distance away.

Which is why, Texas, I have to ask: shouldn’t this be something your fabled “free market” will resolve to everyone’s satisfaction? With the self-regulating company liable for all the damages and loss of life?

Because, in keeping with your dearly beloved GOP principles, when a private company blows up a town, shouldn’t the private company pay for it? And be held personally – maybe even criminally – responsible?

Isn’t that what a big-government hating, free-market-loving, regulation-slashing, secession-minded group of Republican cowboys would really want?

Thank you and I look forward to your prompt response.

Poor people using food stamps don’t look poor enough; Republicans propose new rules to address concerns

Continuing his party’s laser-like focus on jobs, (Republican) Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman has decided it’s time to reform the federally-funded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program (called “FoodShare” in Wisconsin).

As he announced in his recently released public statement, “Time to Reform Food Stamps,” the primary reason behind reform is that the people receiving assistance just don’t look poor enough to be getting help.

“Observations of people who work in food stores indicate that many people who use food stamps do not act as if they are genuinely poor. Routinely top brand names are purchased instead of generics. Some people claiming to be ‘poor’ might even buy cigarettes – or worse – a beer.

One not-poor person even told me that her cousin’s next-door neighbor’s best friend’s husband can tell who is on food stamps and who is not by what’s in their shopping cart: the ‘poor’ people always buy steak and lobster.

I’ve interviewed people who check out people who pay with food stamps and all felt people on food stamps ate better – or at least more costly – than they did. Food stamp recipients must be getting unreported income, or living with someone with income who social services is unaware of, because it’s apparent that something is wrong. Obviously the average monthly benefit of 116.50 for one person – $26.88 a week! – is far in excess of the amount of assistance actually needed.

And then there’s the issue of appearance. These so-called ‘poor’ people redeem their food stamps with hair that’s been washed and combed and while wearing clothing like you or me instead of rags. While I’m not an anti-poor person fanatic, I’ve always felt that if you can spend money on shampoo and new underwear, you’re not poor.

Another big consideration is weight. Lots of people claiming to be ‘poor’ are fat. Just look at them! In America, unlike other countries, the poor are heavier than the population at large. Poor children are twice as likely to be obese as children who are not poor. Obviously if someone is overweight they get enough to eat – why would they need our financial help to buy more food?

The legislature is always under pressure to increase subsidies for dental care for the poor. It would be doing them a favor to reduce help in that area as well. If they have no teeth, they can’t chew. If they can’t chew, they’ll eat less and thus be able to lose some of those extra pounds – so we could cut back on food stamps and dental care, saving precious tax dollars paid by hardworking taxpayers who aren’t sitting around on their keisters all day feeding at the public trough.

Finally, any program conditioned on lack of income has a certain amount of moral hazard connected with it. Insofar as anything goes in these programs it discourages work. It also encourages cheating to get into the program. We all know that a lack of morals is the cause of a lack of money.

As structured, these programs encourage bad dietary choices, encourage sloth, and insult the hard working because we all know the poor don’t work hard. It’s time for a change.

The easiest way to help poor people to higher income levels is to encourage them to look for better-paying jobs by cutting off their assistance. They’ll be better off in the long run.

Please let me know what you think on this issue. Contact me here in Madison 1-888-534-0058, or in any of the following ways:

Madison Address: P.O. Box 8952, Madison, WI 53708-8952
Home Number: 262-338-8061
E-Mail: rep.grothman@legis.state.wi.us”

Madison WI: Somewhere Deep Under the Capitol

Top Secret Strategy Meeting at Scott Walker HQ:

White Guy #1: Listen guys, I’ve called this meeting today because we have a crisis.

White Guy #2: So what else is new?

White Guy #1: Not funny, #2. Listen, last time we convinced the fools – with the help of Koch money – that “it’s working.” Wisconsin was “open for business” and we were “moving in the right direction.” Those “unions” were to blame for a massive deficit – that didn’t really exist – with their outrageous salaries and benefits. And then we told them how we saved “a billion dollars” by ending collective bargaining. But that crap only goes so far. Now we have another budget that screws the little guy while rewarding the wealthy. We have to sell them on it. But how?

White Guy #3: I think we’re in deep do-do here. I, mean, how stupid can they be?

White Guy #2: I think you’re overestimating their intelligence.

White Guy #1: No way – we were pushing the envelope last time.

White Guy #2: Wrong. Do you seriously think anyone who had even an ounce of intelligence would believe a word of what we say at this point? I mean, we kept telling people Walker was focused “like a laser” on jobs as we pushed through an extremist agenda that didn’t have anything to do with the subject! It was masterful! $2.3 billion in tax breaks to special interests. Repeal the equal pay law, repeal consumer protections, repeal tenant rights, roll back reproductive rights, roll back environmental protections, push through tort “reform” that protected businesses and victimized patients! At the same time, we plunged toward the bottom in job creation and economic outlook! Conservatives around the country were in awe! I mean – Scotty told one whopper after another and anytime he got fact-checked, all we had to do was blame it on the liberal media. Look at his record on politifact! I tell you these sheeple are so dumb we could blame poor people for global warming and the masses will not only believe it – they’ll be buying pitchforks and torches.

White Guy #3: No way. Scotty is restricting unemployment benefits, food stamps, health insurance for the needy – that has no fiscal impact on the budget.

White Guy #2: Way.

White Guy #1. Wait a minute … I think #3 might be on to something. Let’s see. The budget is designed to … hmmm —

White Guy #2: Entitlements!

White Guy #1: What?

White Guy #2: Call them entitlements.

White Guy #3: But that’s not accurate!

White Guy #2: Who cares about being accurate?

White Guy #1: Yes, yes, I’m beginning to understand – entitlements and … dependency!

White Guy #2: Now you got it! And use the word “reforms” – sheeple just eat that up.

White Guy #1: Balancing our budget through entitlement reforms! We’re not depriving the needy to give more to the greedy – we’re giving the poor a hand up, not a hand out! Moving them from dependency to independence.

White Guy #3: What? Are you guys nuts? This has nothing to do with the budget! And doesn’t save taxpayers any money! The real problem is Scotty’s corporate welfare! He’s throwing money at special interests and slashing funding for everything else!

White Guy #2 (to Guy #3): Do you like working here?

White Guy #1: It’s brilliant! Blame those non-existent slackers sucking up our tax dollars! We can use random meaningless words like “Freedom”, “Prosperity” and “Independence.” Or better yet: “More Prosperity,” “Better Performance,” and “True Independence.” And PowerPoint! We can dazzle the masses with PowerPoint! You know – lots of charts and bullet points, but no real information, the mindless masses just LOVE that crap. And we can pay for all of the propaganda with tax dollars!

White Guy #2: I beat you to it. Already have it prepared for release. We’ll start with USA Today. I call it “Government dependence not American Dream.”

How many of us grew up with the dream of someday being dependent on the government?

I certainly did not. The idea just seems foreign to the American Dream.

Sadly, there are some in our nation’s capital who measure success in government by how many are dependent on the government. The massive expansion of Medicaid, waivers of work programs for food stamps and the extension of unemployment benefits may all be well-intentioned, but is more government dependence really such a good thing?”

Guy #3: Wait a minute, none of that is true!

Guy #1: Shut up. Go on, #2.

There is dignity in working hard to provide for a future of your own choosing. In turn, it leads to more freedom and more prosperity for all.

Last Wednesday, I introduced a state budget focused on helping people transition from government dependency to true independence.

Our plans forgo the temptation of the temporary financial incentives from Washington to expand Medicaid. Instead, we crafted a plan reducing the number of uninsured in our state by 224,580.

For the rest, we transition them into the private and exchange markets, where the lowest premium starts at $19 per month.”

White Guy #3: That’s not true either!

White Guy #1: I’m not saying this again, #3. Shut up.

White Guy #2 (continuing): “Our budget plans provide employment training for able-bodied childless adults receiving food stamps.

Going forward, more than 75,000 people in our state will be enrolled in job training in order to obtain food stamps.

In addition, we are looking to double the weekly requirement for jobs searches for those on unemployment from two times a week to four or more.”

White Guy #3: But how are people working full-time going to be able to take job training? And how will people in job training be able to look for work at least four times a week? This makes no sense!

White Guy #2 (ignoring the interruption): “It is important to give temporary hand up to those in need, but for those who are able, we should not provide a permanent hand out. Our goal is simple: transition people from government dependence to true independence.

It’s why we celebrate the 4th of July and not April 15th. In our country, we celebrate true independence because more freedom and more prosperity are what drive the American Dream.”

White Guy #3: But it’s all just a load of bull!

White Guy #2: So what’s your point?

Another Top 10 List

As we head into the election season for, among other things, Supreme Court Justice, a refresher about the job might be helpful.

Top 10 Reasons to be a Supreme Court Justice:

10.You can honestly say you’re one of the Supremes.

9.  Wherever you go you can chant, “Here Comes da Judge!”

8.  Black never goes out of style.

7.  You’re always ready for funerals.

6.  “One size fits all” robes never pinch your waist.

5.  Gavels make great nutcrackers.

4.  You can finally get even with all those people who wouldn’t let you cheat off
their exams in law school.

3.  If you don’t snore, you can sleep with your eyes open and no one will know.

2.  People think you’re smart when you shout out cool Latin phrases like “Carpe
Vitro Veritas.”

1.  Nobody knows when you’re naked under your robe.

Top 10 Reasons NOT to be a Supreme Court Justice in Wisconsin

10. Not allowed to make lawyers walk on hot coals for personal enjoyment.

9.  The other justices make weird faces when you chant, “Here Comes da
Judge!”

8.  Annette Zeigler insists on being called “Supreme Ruler of Planet Barbie.”

7.  David Prosser doesn’t think it’s funny when you flush all his copies of “Mein Kampf” down the toilet.

6.  They won’t let you keep a llama in your office.

5.  Real judicial decorum means you can’t call the Chief Justice a “bitch.” (Even if you can choke people if you want to.)

4. Because, when campaigning for re-election to what on paper is a non-partisan office, even though you are “neutral and independent“, people accuse you of being a party hack just because you attend Republican events, choose the former executive director of the Wisconsin Republican Party as your campaign advisor,  choose as his assistant the former deputy director of the Wisconsin Republican party and most recently Wisconsin political director for the Republican National Committee, have as your bookkeeper the same person who is also Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign treasurer and your campaign donor list is a who’s who of Republican leaders, including Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign chair, who, only by coincidence, was general counsel for the Republican National Committee from 1996 until 2000, was the Republican National Committeeman for Wisconsin during 1984–2002, and was a delegate to Republican National Conventions from 1984 to 2000.

3.  Scott Walker won’t shut up about his trip to Cali.

2.  Even though you deserve it, nobody ever plays the Darth Vader theme music when you enter the room

1.  Prosser is naked under his robe.

Survivor: Northwoods

At a meeting of the invitation-only Libertarian Billionaires Club in an exclusive Palm Springs resort, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) today announced his plan to transform his state’s education system with an innovative initiative, which he claims will give parents and students legitimate alternatives to under-performing, under-funded schools.

In a move Republicans heralded as “bold” and “visionary,” Walker will “level the playing field” when it comes to school funding: Wisconsin students will now battle to the death for state aid.

“When I watched The Hunger Games last week with Tonette and the boys (love that new HD big screen – thanks Diane), I realized how much fun it was to see kids so focused on healthy competition, and how it fit perfectly with my proclamation of 2013 as the Year of Well-Being.

In fact, at first I thought it was a new reality show but then Tonette slapped me on my bald spot and said no you idjit it’s a movie, and, as I rubbed my head, I realized this was really an exciting opportunity for more of my common sense reforms.

So I called a meeting of my Education Policy Advisors at the mansion and, after some hot ham and rolls, we watched the movie together so he would understand my vision. The resulting budget outlines the key provisions which allow students, parents, and schools greater funding parity among all education sectors.

Every child, regardless of their zip code, deserves access to a great education. While it is our goal to help struggling schools succeed, we need to make sure students and parents can choose the best option and make sure each child receives the opportunity for a truly great education even if they come from a poor school district.

To help them help themselves, effective with the new budget:

On an annual basis, each school district will select, by lottery, 2 students (from grades K-12) as tributes who will travel to the MacKenzie Center, which is being reformed into a hunting, fishing, and trapping training facility.

After two weeks of training with a private-sector mentor, they will be released into a fenced private hunting preserve where they will begin their struggle for survival. The entire event will be available for a fee on pay-per-view, with rights sold at my complete discretion for any price – or none, as I see fit.

Viewers will have unique opportunities to participate by donating on-line to my campaign. Sponsors (who did not sign a recall petition) can, for an additional fee, send gifts such as food, medicine, and tools to the young Republican players of my choice. Other donors can choose options designed to enhance the competition, such as ‘release the hounds.’

The sole survivor earns full funding for his or her district for the coming school year.

Because we believe in a hand up, not a hand-out, the hard work of the fallen will not be ignored, preserving an essential safety net for our neediest, while protecting our state’s taxpayers from uncertainty. Their home districts will receive the amount of state aid allocated to the district of each of their victims. So the more you kill, the more you earn. If, on the other hand, you’re a lazy sloucher, our plan will help break cycles of generational dependence and motivate you to work harder to stay alive.

I know those liberal lefties in Dane County will scoff and claim this is unfair, that students from the rich, Republican districts will have an undue advantage, but I say look at the real-life example set by Katniss Everdeen, a poor, white girl from a rural district who won the contest with hard work and the right attitude. With the right attitude, your child can too.”