Tuesday, 6/5/12, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

37 responses to “Tuesday, 6/5/12, Public Square

  1. All the polls show Walker retaining his seat. Oodles and gobs of money have gone into this election. There are also four republican Senate seats on the ballot. Republicans in the Wisc. Senate lost their majority in earlier recalls, and their numbers could be further eroded in today’s elections.

    I hear people saying how important this election is, that it will tell us how the fall elections will go. I think it’s a matter for Wisconsinites to decide for their state and they’ll do just that today. I also heard that absentee ballots could delay the results so maybe no one will know what happened when this day ends.

    Walker has transferred money from his campaign funds to his legal defense fund. Isn’t that something? A state Governor who needs a legal defense fund.

    I’m not a fan of this big money politics. I don’t think it resembles representative democracy in any way shape or form.

  2. Here’s one of the many articles that says the implications of today’s Wisconsin recall election reach further than just their state and this election.

    ———————

    Analysis: What the Wisconsin recall signals for November’s elections

    (from the link): Wisconsin has about 4.3 million voting-age adults. In 2010, Republican Scott Walker won just over 1.1 million of them to become governor. Two years earlier, Barack Obama won almost 1.7 million votes in carrying the state.

    To win reelection, the president almost certainly will have to carry Wisconsin again this fall, but that gap of more than half a million votes between his total in 2008 and Walker’s in 2010 gives him a considerable cushion to start with.

    Assuming that Walker wins tonight’s showdown and keeps his job – a result forecast by most polls and strategists in both parties – a big question will be whether he has managed to significantly expand the Republican voter base. If he has, then winning Wisconsin a second time will have become much harder for Obama. But if Walker wins without significantly improving on his 2010 vote total, the result probably will say more about the weakness of his opposition than about Obama’s prospects.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-what-the-wisconsin-recall-could-signal-for-november-elections-20120605,0,1351946.story

  3. A new poll released Tuesday by the Pew Research Center shows American voters are more divided than ever when it comes to political ideology. The poll, which began in 1987, marks an 18-point disparity in value-related issues between Republicans and Democrats, up from just 11 percent in 2003. The poll has jumped in recent years: in 2009 it was 16 percent before reaching its highest level this year. One pollster said that “the parties are more polarized than ever before in the 25 years of the poll.”

    The poll also showed that a growing number of Americans identify as independents (38 percent) compared to Democrats (32 percent) or Republicans (24 percent).

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57447073-503544/poll-surging-partisanship-among-american-voters/?tag=cbsContent;cbsCarousel

    • prairie pond

      I don’t know how much it matters how voters identify as D, R or I. What matters is how they vote on specific candidates and issues. So far, the I’s seem to vote R, with the exception of the House in 2006 and Obama in 2008. There seems to be some sort of sea change going on, but it’s slow and hard to tell right now what that change might be.

      It’s a puzzle to me how repukes can take positions that the public clearly does not favor, and yet they win elections by the bushel basket. They try to cut Social Security, a very unpopular move, but they pay no political consequence. Democrats want to improve the plight of all workers, and most of us are workers not owners, but yet they lose elections by the bushel basket, especially at the state houses.

      WTF? People believe one way and vote another? Thomas Frank should be on Mt. Rushmore? Americans really do vote against their own best interests? Democrats can’t message their way out of a wet paper bag? Republicans are losing the policy wars but winning the elections?

      See what I mean? There is something going on, but be damned if I can explain it. Probably, it will be clear in hindsight, but by then, it will be too late.

      I think the Wisconsin recall election is a bigger deal than D’s want to believe or are willing to admit. They need a strategy to counter whatever went wrong in that state, because it could go just that wrong in other states ifthey fail to understand it or counter it.

      • You’re right that at least in Kansas it seems those registered “I” vote “R.” You probably know much more about it than I do and that Kansas fact probably extends nationwide. No matter how we’re registered are there many like me — we aren’t satisfied, we’re aware of the problems but feel there is little we can do. That’s what I hope changes — that feeling of hopelessness, that feeling that makes so many of us just want to give up. We’re tired and these problems aren’t new. We’ve been fighting these same battles all our adult lives.

        I just refuse to quit. It’s important and I won’t give up.

      • prairie pond

        Fnord, what is your secret for overcoming outrage fatigue? I suspect it is something in your personality makeup that keeps you fighting. You’ve exhibited an ability to overcome hardship in other areas of your life, not just in politics. Why do some people have the ability to keep fighting and others seemingly don’t have it? Is it something you develop early in life and if you don’t get it then, you never get it? Is it possible to have it and then lose it over time? Once lost, can it ever be regained?

        Enquiring minds want to know. 🙂

      • Any battles I’ve ever fought were centered around my kids. When I had to decide to be a single mom I knew if I didn’t do something I was going off a deep end and they wouldn’t have a mother. In the hard years that followed again it was the kids who kept me going. It has proven true that everything you give is given back twofold. I’ve had the most rewarding life! Last month in a Mother’s Day card my oldest son wrote:

        Where would I be without you? I owe you for everything I am or hope to become. A very nice woman came up to me today after a talk I gave and said, “You must have been raised well … bet you have one heck of a mother.” I couldn’t agree more!

        Who could not feel valued, who would not soar and willingly tackle whatever life offers up? I’m one lucky woman!

      • prairie pond

        Interesting, Fnord. I had a friend in Texas who said being a mom meant she always had to keep going, no matter what. Whenever I got weak and wanted to quit, she just said, “you should have had kids.” But ya know, some of us were just not cut out to be parents. Dogs are about all I can manage.

  4. LAMENT OF THE BIRTHERS

    To your distress, for the rest of your life, you will bear this:

    That Barack Obama, whether re-elected or not, will always be President. He will always be the man from a mixed race background that became the President of the US, he and his wife will be welcomed throughout the world by nations and their leaders, the most influential members of the arts and sciences will be their acquaintances and companions. He will be regarded and honored as the President who entered office during a deep recession and two wars and turned the country around.

    You will always justify your lack of achievement on the unfairness of every system, your lack of success on the government or regulation, your failure to accomplish anything in a country where impoverished immigrants with limited language skills are succeeding around you on the liberals or the communists or the elites.

    The small satisfaction you garner while spouting derisive comments only exists in your self-delusion and is a pale comfort compared to the reality that exists around you.

    You can try to salve your bitter existence with theories of international Kenyan plots or document fraud, whatever. But that is your future. Your world will always be limited by your small-mindedness, your associates only those that are as poorly adapted to the world around them, your accomplishments non-existent and your life a bitter existence.

    It’s time to move on. In your journey into denial, you’ve already sacrificed your conscience and whatever claim to character you had. Your pretense at a deity derived morality is mocked by your myopic hatred of the ‘other’. Your concept of patriotism is waving a child’s flag on the sidelines as others defend your liberty.

    Bush 41 and spouse are living into their nineties, the Obama’s will too. You’ll see them at the inaugurals, your TV will tell you of their lives and that of their daughters, of their successes and their trips and the books they write and their accolades.

    Make it easy on yourself. Take a deep cleansing breath and just let go, make the best of your situation. Whether re-elected or not, he will always be the 44th President of the US, and your children and their children will read of him in their history books, the first black man elected president of the US. If not re-elected, he will be healthier and wealthier than he is as President, but he is willing to make that sacrifice for you.

    You still live in a free country made more safe and prosperous by your President, and he, the First Lady and their children will always have you in their prayers.

    Taking America forward instead of taking America back.

  5. How did you say that recently, Pond? No matter how much things change they stay the same (or something like that anyway)… 🙂

    • prairie pond

      What I said was “the more things change, the more they stay the same.”

      We, meaning liberals and sane people, are clearly in the minority. With the advent of Fux News and the war on public education, I don’t see us still having those institutions. And from looking at the ballot box results, we are not successfully swaying the emotions of the masses. That’s what I mean about us not being able to message our way out of a wet paper bag.

  6. We all have a stake in this. We just can’t sit back and let the pillaging of our common wealth continue. Government for/of/by a few isn’t America!

    —————–

    US Has Second-Highest Rate Of Childhood Poverty In Developed World, Only Romania Is Worse

    Out of the 35 wealthiest countries analyzed by UNICEF, only one, Romania, had a child poverty rate above the 23 percent rate recorded in the U.S.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/346943/20120530/childhood-poverty-u-s-second-highest-rate.htm

  7. Don’t miss laughing with Borowitz! 🙂

    Canada Bracing for Massive Influx of Wisconsin Boat People
    Coast Guard on Alert

    — snip —
    “Word has gotten around that we have policemen, firemen, and basic school lunches up here,” Mr. McGlindon said. “You can’t blame these boat people for seeking a better life. But we are under orders to intercept them.”

    http://www.borowitzreport.com/

  8. Today at 2:30pm, the US Senate will take up the Paycheck Fairness Act to set us on a path toward equal pay for women.

    • It failed.

      In a 52 to 47 tally the Senate defeated the Paycheck Fairness Act. The vote came down strictly along party lines, with the two independent senators voting with Democrats and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) not voting. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) changed his vote so that he could bring the bill up again.

      • prairie pond

        If Democrats hold the majority, and the two independents votes with them, how could the act fail, even if Reid changed his vote? Some Democrats must have defected. Blue dog bastards.

      • The republicans did some procedural hocus pocus that made 60 votes required, like they always do. A majority doesn’t get anything passed in the U.S. Senate any longer.

        There are 53 in the Democratic caucus (which includes the two Independents), 47 Republicans.

        ALL of the democrats (except Harry Reid) voted for the bill; ALL the republicans (except one who didn’t vote) voted against it.

      • prairie pond

        Ok, now I see. Thanks, Fnord, for clearing that up.

  9. PP posted: See what I mean? There is something going on, but be damned if I can explain it. Probably, it will be clear in hindsight, but by then, it will be too late.
    ——

    I truly believe that what we see from the GOP is what happenes when a Hollywood B-movie actor wins the presidency and then invites these Far Right Religioius Right folks into the inner sanctum of the Grand Old Party.

    Our country is more polarized than ever in our politics – and it is not just that there are two schools of thought – there is a FEUD going on because these Far Right Religious types will NOT compromise – EVER.

    These Far Right Wingers see compromise as a dirty word – as not an option.

    How can a government be run when one side REFUSES to even bend – to even be willing to listen to the opposite side?

    NO, instead of trying to work together – these Far Right Wingers have resorted to lying about their perceived enemies – they even call the other party’s elected officials card-carrying Communists, Socialists, etc. President Obama is labeled as an illegitimate president by these same folks who profess to be such G-Damn good Christianst.

    HOGWASH…..I do no believe these Far Right Wingers have one working brain cell – INSTEAD, they have a constant and deep-seated hate for anything and anyone that dares to question them.

    I’ve never seen politics as bad as it has been in the past 3 years since Obama took office. And there will be HELL to pay if these Far Right Wingers lose….

    you can bet on that one………

    How many of these very same Far Right Wingers have stated their desire to use the Second Amendment to get what they want? Too damn many – IMHO.

    I am scared – but would not be surprised – if a repeat of JFK in Dallas plays out if Obama wins re-election.

    I pray not……but these Far Right Winges have gone TOO FAR and they are not exactly the type to convert now into true Christians…or loyal Americans.

  10. I listened to Rep George Miller (California) yesterday on MSNBC. He was talking as to how the GOP’s plan of obstructionism is destroying the future of our country.

    http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002755052

  11. One last comment about what is going on with the GOP – when the Far Right Religious Right took over and started calling the shots – it is very hard for Democrats to fight against a party that claims to be the Party of God. The Party of Family Values, etc.

    It is very difficult to fight an enemy that uses THEIR God as their weapons.

  12. prairie pond

    Indy, I saw those guys on Jon Stewart’s show last night. It explains what’s going on in Congress, but I still don’t get why voters keep sending their sorry asses back, or why voters continue to give them control of the majority of state governments.

    How bad does it have to get for voters to grow a freakin’ brain?

  13. prairie pond

    Ok, after reading a little more, I see that their premise also includes the fact that the media is complicit in helping the repukes by not getting voters the info that it is only ONE side causing the havoc. I know that is true, that media has become much more conservative. I also know, as a former member of the fourth estate, that simply taking the easy and non-controversial way out by repeating the “both sides do it” meme, is just lazy journalism.

    However, some of us manage to get the truth, so why can’t others? Is Fux news solely to blame? Maybe not solely, but given Fux’s viewership numbers, combined with the corporate consolidated ownership of media outlets, and the publicly traded media’s dependence on Wall Street and the markets, I guess the truth is not readily available. Spin, and the “both sides do it” meme, however, can be found at every turn.

    And even with all my liberal bent, I’m not so sure that “both sides are incompetent” isn’t true. Either the Democrats are controlled by the same people and dollars, or they are so inept they can’t counter the repuke machines. Probably true on both counts.

    Sigh. Even my big mouth can’t counter the mighty republican Wurlitzer. I suppose many other journalists feel the same way.

  14. prairie pond

    This was in the comments section on Rachel’s blog.

    “It was Upton Sinclair: ‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.’ There are many in the media who have a strong interest in understanding very little.”

  15. Sad to say PP – not just their salary depends on his not understanding it – their ratings and their very livelihoods depend on his not understanding it.

    It used to be where a perceived enemy was just defeated at the polls. In today’s CONSERVATIVE’s world – their perceived enemy has to be destroyed at all costs – NEVER to come back to life again.

    There is something very sinister about a party who is so controlled by one idealogical theory that they have to destroy everything and everyone in hteir path JUST to WIN…..

    And like I said above – when that same party claims to have God/’Jesus on their side – who wants to be known as the Jesus Hater?

    I was confronted with this situation at my job about 15 years ago. This Betty Bible made my life a living HELL on that job. There is very little one can do when being bombarded by the Why you hate Jesus bombs everyday.

    And the only thing I did was to tell this office manager that she could not tell our staff that our office was a Christian place and if they did not like it, there was the door (as she pointed towards it). She did this in an all-office-staff meeting.

    From the moment I confronted her – I was her target of hate. She made it her mission in life to destroy me…. I was lucky enough to have a husband that worked so I was not the main breadwinner in the family.

    But what if the next employee was the breadwinner and HAD to work there – or else his/her family would suffer.

    And this Betty Bible had the audacity to call herself a Christian? NOT in my world……

    • prairie pond

      Yeah, Indy. I’ve been on the sharp end of that scorched earth hatred myself. Not enough to get me fired, but the wingnuts behind the scenes wanted to burn me down and salt the earth beneath me. And, of course they were behind the scenes. Not enough guts to take the lead. Funny how they can always find someone to do their dirty work for them.

  16. Pond, isn’t it you always telling us to not underestimate how stupid voters can be?

    Did you see this recent poll from Gallup?

    Forty-six percent of Americans believe in the creationist view that God created humans in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.

    http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx

    Reading through that poll is enough to make you scared shitless! That’s a pretty high percentage of very ill-informed people. Why should we be surprised that they can’t figure out the truth? Their truth is their interpretation of the Bible.

  17. The ironic part is – I am the person that graduated from the Fundamental Baptist College – not this office manager. Every time this Betty Bible quoted Scripture to me – I quoted a verse right back to her that contradicted what she just said.

    She actually told me that I was an evil person that betrayed God.

    WTF…..all because I told her that she could not tell the office staff – in her capacity as th eoffice manager – that if if they did not like the fact it was a Christian office, they could walk through that door?

    There is nothing so vicious as a self-righteous, pompous, self-professing Evangelical Christian when they think they are on some damn mission for God.

    Hell hath no fury as a Betty Bible with her Puritan Panties in a twist.

  18. Religion is man-made but faith is spiritual. These two should never be confused.

    As for those 46% believing in Creationism – I guess that means these folks truly believe in the fact that one couple – ADam and Eve – had all these children and then the entire wold popoulatin came from that one couples?

    If this is true – then isn’t there alot more than just Kissin Kousins going on here? There must have been some brother and sister action going on here?

    Maybe now we know why child molesters and incest are not frowned upon in certain religiouis circles?

  19. fnord – reading what your son said about his mother really made my day!

    If the 2012 election is really about the womens’ vote – then I think the Republicans have a very tough race in front of them.

    I still think these polls are not targeting the right voters – or tehy are not askign the right questions.

    I know alot o fwomen who swear they are not voiting for Republcians – even if their husbands tell them to vote for Romney. A few of these women have even told me that they are tired of being told what to do and when to do it and how to do it. Some of these women are telling their husbands they plan to vote for Romney but they confide in me that they plan to vote for Obama once they get into the voting booth.

    These women say that the voting booth is one place their ‘man’ cannot make them do what they want….

    So, maybe some of these polls are askew because of this tactic? Republican women are telling pollsters they are for Romney but once inside the voting booth – they vote for Obama?

    Wouldn’t that be a big fat kick in the $250 million-dollar teeth?

  20. Walker sent out a rather odd tweet today. ….

    I wonder if Scott Walker knows that Ronnie Raygun was a union leader that used collective bargaining to get health care benefits for his fellow actors?

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/05/scott-walker-ronald-reagan_n_1572087.html

  21. Regarding this Wisconsin recall vote – whichever one wins, does anyone think there will be a time when both sides can come together and actually work together?

    In my past experiences with these EvangelicalReligious Right Republicans – if they win, they become emboldened anbd become even more obxnoixious.

    If they lose, they double down on what they had just done because – obviously – the evil ones won the election and they’re being persecuted.

    Hasn’t this play been done to death before by these same Rabid RRR’s?

  22. This is an interesting piece that explains a little about the spending and also the new taxes attached to the implementation of The Affordable Care Act.

    ————-

    Tax cut ahead if high court voids health care law

    http://nbcpolitics.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/06/05/12068303-tax-cut-ahead-if-high-court-voids-health-care-law?lite

  23. bobwhite

    Wi Gov Scott Walker has made a mess in WI. And he just got re-elected by citizen voters. Who’s to blame? What does that tell us?