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Wisconsin Primary

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The U.S. economy continues to strengthen. Last week, we learned that 209,000 jobs were created in July. This increase represented the sixth consecutive monthly payroll gain of more than 200,000—the longest such stretch since 1997. Over the past 53 months, our private sector has produced nearly 10 million new jobs. The unemployment rate has fallen nearly four percentage points from its peak of 10 percent in October 2009, dipping to a six-year low of 6.1 percent in June… With real GDP having grown at a strong 4 percent pace in the second quarter, the economy is now 6.6 percent larger than it was before the Great Recession.

As we know, the economy is not great yet. One of the major reasons can be see by the lack of demand for large base items that comes from the lack of spare change among many people resettled into new jobs now paying less than their old jobs.

Take recreational boats… It does not make sense to increase production of boat building when those extra boats will not be sold because there are not enough people with enough money to buy them… There are plenty of people; just not enough with the sufficient funds they once had left over to pay for that boat on the lake…

boat sales

As you can see, despite the positive job data, we have a distance to go before we reach the esoteric heights where Americans are confident enough to spend money on items requiring additional manufacturing jobs to be created…

Essentially people need to be paid more so they can buy more.

So how do we go about that? Write wages in stone? That doesn’t work, it’s been tried. If wages are not marketable, then they become an entitlement. If I can’t sell myself to a higher bidder, then my personal expansion is out of the question. Likewise, I may be very productive, and that covers my coworkers who are not productive at all. If one gets paid for only showing up, over time, that is all some will do. So writing wages in stone as a policy is out.

Economic graphs made across history show us an interesting trend. Wages were flat though the 1800’s. 100 years of flat wages. When the income tax went into effect, the first rise began. When it was cut, the wages declined. Then with the New Deal, with its increased rates, they again soared. When income taxes reached near 100%, national unemployment was in the negatives because of the very high number of people working two jobs. Only when taxes were cut in ’88, did wage rates begin to fall, to rise when taxes were raised in ’92, climbing all the way until the W. Bush Tax Cuts went in, and they’ve been declining ever sense…

Why? It is debatable because it is a task so huge, that mining data is impossible. But we tracked. It happened. As is the usual human tendency, even when it is something we don’t understand such as patting Betty Grable’s pin up’s bottom every time you fly up to engage the enemy, each time we are successful, we keep doing it…

In theory, if you have money as an employer, which is about to be taxed and handed over to Uncle Sam, putting it into your business makes more sense than handing it over carte blanche. At least in your business, you still have control over it and can steer it in directions you desire. That includes paying ones people. “Hey, Boss? I’ve got a baby on the way, and my wife can’t work. I’ve done a lot for you, can you spare more money a week?” “Might as well,” he says, “I don’t get to keep any of it; Uncle Sam takes everything extra I make”..)…

Which explains why the economy only began to really grow, after January 2013, when the Bush tax cuts on the top .5 of one percent were pushed up to 40% from Bush’s 35% rate…. That extra 5% was the catalyst for the growing economy we see now.

Compare what would have happened if Obama had lost in 2012…..

Romney’s budget plan would lead to a net loss of 554,000 jobs by 2014

A budget revenue-neutral, would lead to a net loss of 1.9 million jobs over the next two years, largely because of deep spending cuts, the report found.

The weaker job growth and outright job losses under the Romney plan are driven by his proposal to cap government spending at 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), a move that implies very large cuts to overall spending.

And just to put a finger on how well this really is? Here is the growth outlook posted by economic think tanks leading up to the election of 2012. One must bear in mind they are probably going to be politically inflated considering when they were announced….

“The budget plans put forward by Barack Obama would lead to increased employment of about 1.1 million jobs in 2013 and 280,000 jobs in 2014, relative to current policy.”

Where as actually, we outdid that. 2.2 million new jobs in 2013…. and so far as of July 2014, this year has already grown…1.6 million brand new private sector jobs…

Those calculations, once poo-poohed by Republicans as being pie in the sky and based on myth, have simply been crushed…

Raising taxes on the top earners… works.
Tax Cuts Don’t (just ask Kansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Florida, and Tennessee.)

Caution:  before continuing understand it is dangerous to take one isolated incident and use it to prove a point.  But, oh, this does it so well.

Remember back when people who loved guns more than children were saying (and still do in the News Journal) that gun laws were attacking people who followed the law, and not criminals?

Well, in Milwaukee, a random road rage incident took place between two conceal and carry gun owners. and they drove all over Milwaukee, on and off freeways and through residential and commercial areas, shooting at each other like John Wayne being attacked by a pack of Apaches (indians, not helicopters)…

Both guilty men were sane, law abiding citizens. Both felt with the Zimmerman defense of a corrupt law, they were quite well within the law to kill because of “threats”, and so a ridiculous gun battle reminiscent of the movie Stagecoach took place all over Milwaukee using cars instead of horses….I mean we don’t even show that in movies anymore; that meme died out with the A-Team!

Proving what reasonable people have said all along and the NRA scared certain chicken hearted lawmakers (bock, bock, bock, you know who you are, Bonini & Lavelle) into disregarding…  All gun owners have a crazy streak.

You have to regulate guns. Period.  You just have too because nobody is safe if you don’t! Period.

When you have two reasonably sane human being who would have nothing ever to do with each other, suddenly go berserk for only one, single, solitary reason: they are carrying a gun, then the problem is the gun.

You have to regulate the gun, not the person. Period.

Anyways, since I must confess this sounds like so much fun, (I think paintball car chases would be so awesome) that we should expect quite a few more to copycat  in the very near future.

But remember this:  it was  because they both felt entitled that the law would support them, they took off and performed this act which fortunately did not kill anyone… But it very well could have. The law allowing guns to be concealed and carried, was the principal cause. not the people themselves.

Regulate guns. period.  And don’t listen to the NRA.  They’re full of crap.

State test results for the first time show voucher students performing “similar or worse” than other poor Milwaukee students, according to the Department of Public Instruction.

After operating side by side, this was the first year the same test was administered to both private and public enabling the cross comparison, prompting Wisconsin Republicans to put bills on the table, forbidding such a comparison ever again. The Republicans propose an easier test be given private schools, and a harder test be given to public schools…

The test results show the percentage of students participating in the 20 year old Milwaukee Parental Choice Program who scored proficient or advanced was 34.4 percent for math and 55.2 percent for reading.  Among Milwaukee Public Schools students, it was 47.8 percent in math and 59 percent in reading.

Inner City Public Schools were up 13.4 points higher in math over private schools.

Among all low-income students in the state, (which is all public education),scores were  63.2 percent in math and 71.7 percent in reading….

Rep. Sondy Pope-Roberts, D-Middleton, the top Democrat on the Assembly Education Committee, said … “The fact that we’ve spent well over $1 billion on a failed experiment leads me to believe we have no business spending $22 million to expand it with these kinds of results,”

Proponents brag vouchers have saved $50 million over 20 years.

Did you read the News Journal in depth article about how much damage the Sequester is going to cause Delaware?  About how people now, because of a vengeful and traitorous party has gummed up Congress on purpose, that now American servicemen are going to be taking a 20% pay cut?

Are you one?  And if not, living here in Delaware, do you know someone who is in the National Guard?  The  Air Force?  Will they stop coming into your business now, in order to make sure they can still keep their house?

How much sales will you lose,  1%?  2%?  5%?  10%? 25%?  50%?  75%?  95%?    Will you also go broke for the same reason?  Because of a vengeful traitorous party that gummed up Congress on purpose, that now, American servicemen are going to be taking a 20% pay cut?

Everyone knows the deal.

“You didn’t vote for Romney; now we are going to f*ck you up….”

Billionaires are sooooooooooooopoooooooooooo much more important than you………

Btw, you can register yourself tomorrow as a Democrat or Independent here…..

I'm Grover And I will be your keynote speaker today
Courtesy of ©2012 Michael D’Antuono oil on canvas 30″ x 40″

In an insightful meeting at the Delaware Republican’s Lincoln Day dinner Saturday night, Grover Norquist, the featured speaker, came to give the locals an idea of what was going on in Washington…..

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,  In his speech, the prime points were that there would be no compromise.  Republicans were dedicated to seeking full sequestration.  They were going to cut spending no matter what was going to happen.  They don’t care if Dover AFB is going to close; its a good thing because the military budget will be cut in half.  They don’t care if Highway funding is going to be fully put all upon the states; sequestration is going to cut the budget  in half.  They don’t care if there will be no beach rebuilding this summer; Republicans are going to cut the Federal budget in half.  There will be no agriculture support payments; Republicans are going to cut them in half.  There will be no Federal Medicare or Medicaid payments reimbursements made to the states; Republicans are going to let sequestration cut them in half.  When heaven forbid, an oil tanker turns the beaches and marshes of Rehoboth to Ocean City Md, into this century’s Valdez calamity, Both state’s will have to use their general fund to clean it up; the Republicans are going to say no to all new money…. Remember the last East Coast hurricane relief?  You were lucky, was the implication. Forget about any more for any storms in the future…

On the revenue side, huge tax breaks must continue going to oil companies and oil hedge funds; Republicans are going to say taxes were raised too much already.  Huge off-shore tax breaks will be maintained by billionaires and millionaires; after all taxes are raised too much already for any more loopholes to be closed.  (If pressed, they might do away with the mortgage interest deduction since that doesn’t affect billionaires; it only affects the middle class so it won’t create any economic impact.. The implication was that Republicans will do that if necessary, but at the bottom of the upper class; that is where they draw the line… )  The clear message was: it is time to make the poor suffer more; after all, the rich have suffered too much already.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

“You can’t have compromise when both parties are going in the opposite directions.”  said Grover.  “It doesn’t do any good to say no, no, no, …yes.  It has to always be no, no, no… no.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

There was little that was new.  Grover did express hope that as the Obama/McCain wave of democratic Senators comes up for a vote this next election, many in traditional Red states, playing a no-gain defense until the new team comes on board, is their best option.. Grover Norquist also made the point that due to the Republican redistricting, the red districts will outnumber the blue in the House until the next redistricting in ten years.

A decade of decadence is a long time.  

Grover did bring up an interesting concept.   That we have red states and blue states and they will be a laboratory of who is right, red or blue… We will see within these experiments whether theology can trump economics, whether philosophy can support a family, or whether an idle belief, can pay the bills….  He seems to believe that side by side experimentation will bode well for the red states instead of the blue.  He is thinking only as a rich person.  We shall see if voters agree with him, if they prefer living in a first class blue state or would rather forebear a third world red state…. His idea will backfire…

He praised Indiana erroneously, calling that a school choice state.  Instead voters threw out their gung-ho school-choice education head and replaced him with a Democrat who is going slow..  He praised Indiana’s privatization plan of the Indiana Turnpike without mentioning this road had not had upgrades to it in over 5 years. It is called the most dangerous Turnpike in America. (The money collected is going to the investment bankers)…  He derided California which has finally achieved a balanced budget.  He praised Wisconsin’s eradication of public unions without mentioning that because of Scott Walker’s governmental pay cuts, the economy in Wisconsin was collapsing while all others were bouncing back from the recession.  So though his scenario as presented painted a glowing picture to those Republicans seated before him, it was full of errors.

But I confess, I agree with his premise.  I too would like to see vindication that in order to run a stable economy you need what’s been missing: a balance between profits, taxation, and job growth and the only way to achieve that is to tax the top echelon much, much more so they reinvest in their state to avoid paying higher taxes…..  As was just done in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland; all economies that are now rising while those of red states are falling or staying the same.

Unfortunately we will have to make the states our laboratory.  We will have no choice but to rely upon the state level to analyze what is working and what is not and then derive from pure evidence, which one of our two parties we need to completely eradicate and do away with…. so government can begin to compromise and to work again.

For on the national scale, Grover promised it: All we are going to have is….. More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

We will have it; because Mr. Norquist said so. He promised it in a keynote address, at Dover Downs in Dover Delaware on February 9th, 2013….

With High Republican Turnout I'm Sure to Be Wellfed Nov. 6th
Photo Courtesy of Soggy Log

They thought he was nuts.

Accountable For Every Student's Progress

You asked for this. Please cut and paste at will.

Barack Obama
President of the United States.
White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr President:

There is something you need to know. I would be happy to tell you in person or get a group of educators to discuss the problems we are having with pursuing your education policy. It is a situation where communication is key.

I want to be clear. We have the same goals. It is just that the methods being prescribed are steering us away from those mutual goals, instead of towards them.

Honestly. This is a case of middle management gone awry. This is a case I feel, where the top and the bottom are on the same page, but those in the middle, are not to be trusted.

As member of a school board, one that is struggling to do it’s best to bring a district from behind, who has achieved progress in a way sort of like you have on the economy where we both started so late and so far behind, that we are being accosted as failures though if one actually took time to account for our progress, as well as yours, we’ve both done a pretty good job… I think for your legacy, you need to hear from us….

We are in Delaware’s Race to the Top. Those of us here and in Tennessee are having the same problem.

The specific problem, is that you and those in the top echelon are not getting the truth. You may actually think we are making progress. As the person most accountable, I think you would want to hear that perhaps the glowing reports you are getting, are not entirely true. This is something obviously which cannot be passed up through the chains of commands, because it involves them.

Truth in reporting is the issue. The truth is that what we are being fed, is not working at the interface where student meets teacher. In fact, the pressure all are being put under to fulfill these arbitrary deadlines, inane quotas, and poorly thought out trackers, actually is taking away from the time we spend with students. I repeat it is a negative influence on the results expected….

We originally approached this with an open mind. We wanted to reform our schools too. But, somewhere up the ladder, things went bad.

The prime issue is that we are being force to follow a system poorly designed. When we bring concerns to the table, they are dismissed and we are treated as inconsequential, and dismissed, accused of being the source of trouble. Instead, we were simply trying to establish an environment of mutual respect, where problems can be discussed and probed, and workable solutions can be found, and tested before implementation. It’s as if someone designed the cooks line of a restaurant and put all the necessary tools on the other end from where they were needed. It seems to make sense to talk to those who actually will be expected to provide results during the planning stages, instead of wondering to use the example above, why all the food always took so long… It can be prevented if we can be part of the planning process.

Our concern is our students.

We sincerely would like to discuss ideas that can keep the good parts of these programs moving forward, and utilize all the tools that we, as highly trained professionals, can apply to this worthy cause.

As every leader should know, the truth will not stay buried. It always surfaces, even if it is after the implosion has occurred, even if it is found by specialists sifting through the wreckage to find the cause. Simply put, we would like someone to listen to us on the bottom: the teachers, administrators, parents, students, and particularly a school board…..

It could positively affect the entire campaign.

Sincerely:

All of the below……

kavips.

Not much has been said about Paul Ryan’s response to Janesville Wisconsin’s automotive plant when it was in danger of failing.

This was a personal issue with Ryan. He grew up there. He had friends who worked there. His town could not survive without that plant. Did Ryan sit by? No, he jumped into action…..

A) The Republican met with company executives to try to change their mind.
B) He lobbied the Obama administration for federal retraining and economic-development funds.
C) He even broke with his party — and his future presidential running mate Mitt Romney — to vote in Congress for a $15 billion federal bailout for GM and Chrysler.
D) Ryan voted for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the $700 billion bank bailout
E) His office sought to secure funding from Obama’s 2009 stimulus effort (which he had opposed) once it was signed into law.
F) He backed a law in 2011 that prohibits federal contractors from paying lower-than-average wages (he supports prevailing wage)
G) He promoted a $200 million incentive package to try to convince GM to retool the plant from producing gas-guzzling SUVs…
H) Ryan was the lone Republican among Wisconsin lawmakers who met with GM officials to make the case…
I) December 10, 2008, Ryan voted to steer $15 billion to the automakers — one of only 32 Republicans in the House of Representatives to do so. One-hundred-and-fifty Republicans voted against.
J) The vote put him at odds with Romney, who argued “Let Detroit Go Bankrupt.”
K) He helped the “Forward Janesville” chamber of commerce and local officials secure a $445,000 grant from the U.S. Commerce Department for economic development and worker retraining.

Sounds very democratic doesn’t it? Sounds like getting government out of the lives of its people just took a big “heave ho”. Sounds like Ryan has a heart after all doesn’t it?

True nonRINO Republicans need to take notice here. Ryan is not your ideological leader. When his district got hit, he jumped the shark on his philosophy and went the other way…. If you want an ideological leader, instead of Romney/Ryan you are better off with Gary Johnson, the REAL republican now running as the Libertarian Candidate.

Ryan’s supporters are taking a different tack… They are saying this shows exactly the reason he’s a vice presidential nominee, and that reason that is because he takes a problem, he dissects it fully, and he makes the best possible decision based on what can get done,” (Republican Representative Devin Nunes, a close ally)

My point? I’m sure the media as well as his political enemies will castigate him for saying one thing publicly and doing another privately. They will call into account his values, his character, has beliefs. The name “flip flop” will become attached to him tighter than it was to John Kerry in 2004. They will say: “how can you cut the very funding you begged for when your town was going under? How can what was good for your town, be so bad for every other town in the USA? What kind of human being can be so duplicitous? How can such a person be fit to carry the Republican Banner forward? We were better off with Palin. At least she practiced what she preached, yeah, it was only in Wasilla, but a least, she practiced it….

They would be missing the point… The point is not that Ryan succumbed in a moment of weakness. We all would do the same. If not, we’d all be heartless bastards.

The rather profound point that needs to come out of this incident and its subsequent discussion, is that when reality struck close to Paul’s heart, when it affected his friends, his family, his home, he instinctively knew deep down inside his heart, that it is the Democrats who have been right all along…

Sure it is easy to say one thing on the campaign trail, where your toadies pull you on, then off, then on, then off the bus, before they throw you under, but when it comes down to protecting what you love, what you know, your inner core… it is the Democrats who have been right all along….

So attack Ryan all you want. But remember…. whenever any Republican has trouble in his own district, he acts just like a Democrat… Why? Because Democrats have been right all along….

Don’t take my word for it… Ask the Republican Vice Presidential Candidate….

(Hmmm. Wasn’t his boss also once called the LIBERAL GOVERNOR OF MASSACHUSETTS?) There is reality that occurs when you have to be responsible, then there is that fake stuff that always comes out of “that party” during campaign years…

Democrats have been right all along.

In a devastating blow to the campaigns of Republicans everywhere, the Catholic Church has shifted all its support to the Democratic Party.

The principal reason? Romney attacks and bad mouthing of those making less than $250 million a year….

In a report issued from Washington today, the Catholic Church said that is is disturbed by the demeaning campaign ad and conversation about poverty by the Romney campaign.

Anticipating Ryan’s nod as VP nominee, the Catholic Church castigated the both of them saying “at a time when millions are struggling financially, it is degrading to talk about the “dependency” of people hurting in this economy, as Gov. Romney did recently.”

“The budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and supported by Gov. Romney”, it said, “balances the budget on the backs of the poor with cuts to Medicaid, Head Start, Pell Grants and other vital programs…”

The Catholic Church even went so far as to castigate Romney and Ryan….. asking them to spend time with the poor in Ryan’s home district, before making such blanket, demeaning, anti-religious, ungodly, and arrogant statements.

“Political leaders would not talk about the poor in demeaning ways or cut job training programs if they spent more time with the people they are affecting with their policies”

The Catholic Church is urging all practicing and non practicing Catholics to vote Democrats into each and every single office open this election cycle.

It is the only way to insure this never happens again…..

“We ask our political leaders to not sow hatred of the poor, but to speak with compassion.”