Welcome to Walker’s Wisconsin

To WI Governor Scott Walker apparently ‘Open For Business’ only means his wallet because he sure isn’t doing much to attract employers to the state. In fact the state has lost over 2,000 jobs since his inauguration. Unless you count rewarding an Illinois businessmen who donated stealthily to your campaign by paying him $1.25 million in moving expenses to move his business just over the state border so he too can have their taxes paid by WI citizens, while employing out of state workers who can now enjoy the added expenses of gasoline, commute time and wear and tear on their vehicles. Oh and still paying income taxes in the state they live in, just over the border in Illinois.

Sorry… We’re Closed: Since Walker Sworn-In, 19 Plant Closings and Mass Layoffs Have Cost Wisconsin 2,207 in Lost Jobs

According to Wisconsin law, businesses employing 50 or more persons in the State of Wisconsin must provide written notice 60 days before implementing a “business (plant) closing” or “mass layoff” in the state.

According to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, 19 companies have given notice of plant closings or mass layoffs to 2,207 workers since Walker was sworn-in on January 3, 2011.

Meanwhile, Walker has taken a victory lap for “creating jobs” by paying an Illinois company $1.25 million to move their address a few miles north to Wisconsin. As discussed earlier, this doesn’t create jobs or tax revenue: All the Illinois employees will just have a slightly longer commute to work and because of Illinois-Wisconsin tax reciprocity agreements, will continue to pay taxes to Illinois.

These numbers of course don’t include the loss of potential jobs from a now canceled wind-farm development, Walker’s turning down of the high speed rail project and accompanying funds nor the departure of Talgo a maker of train cars that had already set up shop here in anticipation the now non-existent rail project.

Advertisements

The GOP’s War on The Middle Class, Families and Seniors

During the last election cycle the Republican party again ran on the same old platform. Less Government, lower taxes(for the top 2%), lower deficit, less spending and the claim that only they can create jobs and solve the economic crisis crippling so many Americans. Their opponents were drowned out by the repeated and often wholly dishonest commercials paid for by their new corporate sponsors courtesy of the Supreme Court. What has the GOP spent it’s time on since taking over the house in November?

Well let’s see……….Speaker John Boehner thrilled house Republicans by bringing styrofoam back the Congressional cafeteria and eliminated the use of the bio-degradable products that were in place before. Oh and they’ve spent $1.1 million dollars and an entire week taking turns reading the Constitution aloud for new members.

They’ve called Emergency sessions to de-fund things like National Public Radio.

They’ve secretly been planning a war on the elderly and neediest in our society to pay for the breaks given to the banks, wall street and corporate America. They’ve held numerous press conferences repeatedly telling Americans they are going to have to work longer, give up Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid because the debt is just too high.

Yet at the same time Oil Companies were again rewarded with another tax break hidden inside a ‘transportation’ bill. They’ve also spent their time introducing a bill requiring the Internal Revenue Service to police how Americans have paid for their abortions.

All of this in an effort to keep the scale balanced as it has been over the last ten years so the Top 1% can control 42% of our country’s financial wealth.

They’ve demanded cuts to theWomen, Infants and Children Health and Nutrition (WIC) program by $750 million and Head Start by $1 billion.

Also cutting $50 million from a block grant that pays for prenatal healthcare for 2.5 million low-income women and healthcare for 31 million children each year and dedicated countless hours declaring war on women and children by defunding Planned Parenthood and cutting pregnancy prevention funding by 317 million. This is your Pro-Life GOP America.

A recent chart compiled from IRS and Tax Foundation data suggests the rich have been paying fewer taxes as compared to the middle class for over 20 years.

They want 30% cut to the EPA including $1.4 billion from clean water and drinking water and $1.3 billion cut from community health centers taking away primary care from 11 million patients.

Now about those jobs they’ve been working to create with things like eliminating $1 billion in funding for high-speed rail.
How about adding jobs with a cut of $786 million to invest in renewable energy and alternative energy resources.

All when Americans are again footing the bill with enormous gas prices due to Wall Street’s endless speculation game.

Meanwhile always talk of more war, meaning more money for the billionaires and corporations that have been profiting by billions from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. While having the nerve to demand tax cuts for their wealthy financiers while attempting to frame as cut for all and an increase on the wealthy as an increase on the little guy. The don’t need our help anymore America.

They’ve made their largest profits in the last 18 years in 2010 when just two years earlier former President George W. Bush insisted Americans had to bail out the banks to save themselves. Well, when do WE, the workers get a bail out?

So no jobs have been created, no talk of how these cuts could possibly create jobs, Americans will expected to work longer, give up their retirement, go without health-care, pay enormous gas prices and somehow we’ll all be better off?

It’s a desperate attempt to cripple Americans leaving them strapped for money, angry, desperate and ready for a change. You see they think we’re stupid. They think we won’t notice who it really is that is sticking the knife in their side. They’re desperately counting on us to ignore what they’re up to and accept this is just what it is. They expect we’ll get angry at the guy in the White House and decide to vote him out in 2012. They expect us to roll over and ignore the attack on the middle class, women, children, the elderly and the most in need. They think we’re too stupid to know what they’re up to.

But America is catching on. In several states they are now faced with newly elected, corporate funded Republican governors hell bent and financially obligated to bring the war on Americans right to our front door. States like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and countless others have introduced budgets that eliminate many of the same thing the GOP in D.C. is attempting to dismantle. Many going as far as to attempt to end bargaining rights for the very public servants that maintain our society.

Teachers, Firefighters, Police Officers and countless other public employees are under attack in this country. Accused of being free loaders, lazy, slobs, greedy and anything else the GOP talking points may be. Millionaire Rush Limbaugh even called them ‘whiny’ for caring about their rights and fighting for their jobs.

So there you have it folks, the corporations continue to reap huge profits, get big breaks, tax cuts or in some cases pay no tax at all and it’s now up the middle class to carry the burden of running this country.

Within an hour, the rally spontaneously turned into march. Despite lacking a permit or any prior planning, as many as 1,000 people walked the four blocks to the White House--in the middle of the street. From White House, it was onto the Chamber of Commerce building, which is across from the White House on Lafayette Square.

Americans are beginning to fight back. This isn’t your corporate funded tea-party this is a real movement regardless of party of choice or who they voted for.

Protests have popped all across the country in response to the GOP’s continued assault on education, health-care, women, children and the elderly. After weeks of protests against Governor Scott Walker’s mission to destroy collective bargaining in their state, protesters led by Firefighters have begun withdrawing their money from Madison’s M&I Bank upon discovering the bank took bailout funds which it then used to donate to Walker’s campaign for Governor.

Wisconsin resident Jeff Skiles, the co-pilot in the famous “Miracle on the Hudson” landing removed his money from the bank as well. When folks in the Washington D.C. area learned Walker and the WI Senate Republicans were to be awarded at a big D.C. fundraiser hosted by corporate lobbyists for recently ramming through a bill to end bargaining rights for state employees, they came out in droves. The protesters seized the lobby of the building then later marched to The Chamber of Commerce. As of Friday Mach 18th a judge in WI has issued a temporary restraining order against Walker’s bill while determining if the laws were broken in the passing of the bill.

For more information on the GOP class war peruse some of the items below or check out these pages on Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan. Check back soon for more on the other states battling the attack.

This Is What Class War Looks Like: A National Campaign, State by State
The wealthiest 5% of Americans control 72% of America’s financial wealth. The bottom 80% control only 7% of the nation’s financial wealth. The richest 400 Americans have more combined wealth than the poorer HALF of all Americans. That means 400 people have more wealth than 150,000,000 people combined. American corporations saw record profits in 2010. Nearly 80% of all economic gains made in the past thirty years have gone to the richest 1%. In the 1970s, the average CEO made 30 times what an hourly worker made. Today, a CEO makes 300 times what an hourly worker makes.

Meanwhile, unemployment remains around 9%. Underemployment is much higher. Wages are stagnant. The cost of necessities like food, gas and healthcare are soaring.

If you were among the beneficiaries of this trend, if you had more financial wealth than 375,000 of your fellow citizens combined, if you made 300 times what one of your hard-working, middle class employees made, and if you saw the everyday struggle that middle-class and working class families go through, and if you were a humane, reasonable human being, your heart would go out to them. You could conclude that it was time to share the wealth. You would conclude that you are not worth more than three hundred of the people whose blood, sweat and tears really make your company successful. No humane, sane, reasonable and compassionate human being could honestly believe they were worth that much more than a fellow American.

Certainly no one who believes that “all men are created equal” could believe such a thing.

Wall Street Front Group President Sneers At Protesters
On Friday, two dozen protesters gathered outside of an event for the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association, where U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue gave a lunchtime presentation about the economy.
U.S. Chamber operated as a front group for banks like J.P. Morgan and Bank of America to kill Wall Street reform.
The local CBS affiliate in St. Louis noted that, while Donohue gave a speech demanding more deregulation of the economy, the protesters outside called for better government oversight of Wall Street.

Asked about the massive protests against Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI), Donohue said that public servants have “over bloated” compensation:

Donohue turned truculent when asked whether events in Wisconsin are weakening unions and the right of workers to collective bargaining. [….] He went on to express his concerns that public sector pensions are “out of control” and that public workers compensation is “over bloated.”

Entitlements and interest payments will equal total government revenue in a little more than 10 years. Meanwhile, cuts to non-security discretionary spending are occurring in a part of the budget with practically zero projected growth as a share of GDP.

Who’s Waging Class Warfare Now?
Why is it that class warfare is only something middle-class liberals are accused of waging?

How can Republicans get away with this when they are so much more effective at actually waging class warfare than the Democrats? How is giving a $400 billion tax break to the top 2% of American incomes and then cutting $60 billion from programs that benefit the poor not class warfare?

Busting middle-class unions in the midwest. Cutting federal programs that primarily benefit the nation’s poor. Refusing to restore reasonable tax rates on the wealthiest two percent of Americans. Those actions sound like class warfare to me?

Rupert Murdoch, the Koch brothers, and a number of other billionaires are bankrolling the Republican assault on America’s middle and working classes. When members of the wealthy class use their power and resources to inflict damaging policies on the less wealthy, that’s class warfare that has real impact.

If we hadn’t given tax breaks to the rich for the past 10 years while at the same time doubling “defense” spending, we would not have a budget “crisis” now. Those are facts that cannot be denied by the charged rhetoric of class warfare.

“Reduce capital gains tax rates? — That’s the war cry of the rich in the class war.”
That’s what we should say every time anyone advocates a lower capital gains tax. So far, conservatives have almost monopolized the “class war” meme. Rubbish. They get away with it partly because “capital gains tax” is an arcane enough concept that it makes most people’s eyes glaze over. One of the best tests of whether someone is rich is whether or not he perks up when he hears those words: “capital gains tax”.

Why is that? Because really rich people make most of their money as capital gains. Some of that happens because of gimmicks — tax shelters — that dress up regular income so it gets taxed as capital gains. But a lot, perhaps most of it, is because the usual way to get really rich is to own something that becomes fantastically valuable — something like Microsoft, or the mineral rights to an oil field. It’s perfectly fair to call the increase in value of an asset like that capital gain.

What’s not necessarily fair is to tax that kind of income at a fraction of what you pay on income earned from the sweat of your brow.

Some in GOP grow tired of right wing
Many of the critics are close to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who struggles more each day to keep his majority unified as a three-month spending showdown threatens to spill into April. The House passed $6 billion of spending cuts Tuesday, to bring the total cut to $10 billion.

“Yep, it is surprising,” Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson said of the difficulty convincing hard-liners that the leadership is cutting large amounts of spending. “I mean, this is three weeks; we’re cutting $6 billion. You know? It is surprising. This is the only time in my life where I can cut $6 billion in a three-week period and be called a liberal.”

Ohio Rep. Steve LaTourette, an appropriator close to Boehner, said Republicans are seeing a “constant tension” between “the Democratic Party that talks about cuts but doesn’t want to cut anything, and then you have my side, that wants to cut anything that moves.

“That creates this dynamic tension, and you have people in my party that are angry that we are not adding riders, or shutting down the government, things like that, but this is exactly what people expect us to do — find cuts and continue to talk,” LaTourette said.

Other Republicans are quietly complaining that a few bombastic members of their conference who regularly appear on TV create an outsize perception of pressure.

The GOP claims the government is broke; False Motives
In Wisconsin, the Republicans are trying to bust the public service unions, while in Washington they have their sights on bigger game. Using these scare tactics, congressional Republicans want to roll back 80 years of social programs intended to provide a social safety net beneath our capitalist economy. But more than a safety net, these programs are part of our social infrastructure: environmental protection laws, Head Start programs for underprivileged children, Pell grants to send young Americans to college, programs to hire and equip police officers, NPR and the National Endowment for the Arts, national parks, and scores of other programs.

One target offers a particularly vivid example of the GOP scorched-earth policy. The Republicans have hated Planned Parenthood for decades, branding it “America’s largest abortion provider” even though it uses no federal funds to provide that medical procedure. Last month the GOP budget-cutters voted overwhelmingly to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, including its contraception, cancer screening, sex education, and prenatal care programs. Writing at Salon, Rebecca Traister described the GOP war on Planned Parenthood this way: “But this isn’t simply about the question of abortion itself. What … the House of Representatives did today was devalue women’s lives, women’s rights, and women’s ability to participate fully in the democracy.”

Fat Cat CEOs And Their Conservative Servants
In the fight for capital investment, CEOs invest in themselves rather than their companies. No wonder there is a major disparity of income. The workers on the factory floor take pay cuts and furloughs; CEOS take that savings and put it in their pockets.

According to a report by the Wall Street Journal,;

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the biggest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate CEO pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

When we speak to conservatives, they will tell you that those tax breaks create jobs. They will tell you that the “savings” in taxes will be used to hire more people, build new factories, buy more supplies or increase the pay of existing workers.

It seems to me that the CEOs are taking those tax breaks and shoving them in their own pockets. Profits in corporate America are at an 18 year high, yet many working class people are taking pay cuts. The Republicans do not talk about the disparity of income in this country, because they don’t care about it. In fact, it is their policies that have caused it.

Republicans Set Out To Impoverish Real America Though Shared Sacrifice
Americans are beginning to understand that Republicans want everyone to share in the sacrifices except the wealthy and corporations. Conservatives traditionally force minorities to make sacrifices, but they have broadened the scope to include the poor, elderly, children, and now working-class families in an effort to spread the pain evenly. For one thing, sacrifice means giving something up voluntarily and sharing denotes all parties giving equally. Republicans are forcing 98% of Americans to give up services their tax dollars pay for, but they are not asking the wealthy or corporations to make any sacrifices whatsoever.

In Congress, Republicans are finding it difficult to force Americans to sacrifice for corporations and the wealthy because the Senate and White House are controlled by Democrats. In Republican controlled states though, governors and legislatures are forcing the masses to sacrifice everything to ensure corporations receive all the tax dollars and control of the government. Republicans are not using subterfuge and deceit to hand over control to corporations, and in many cases, Republican governors are flaunting the fact that they are giving corporations a free ride while forcing everyone else to make bigger sacrifices.

In many Republican controlled states that are facing budget deficits, governors have proposed funding cuts to education, law enforcement, and aid programs for the poor and elderly in an effort to reduce budget shortfalls. The same states are experiencing depressed tax revenues so they increased taxes on the poor, retirees, public employees, and the middle class. With all the spending cuts, added tax revenue, and shared sacrifice by 98% of the population, states should be on the road to recovery, but any savings or added revenue is being doled out to corporations to perpetuate the shortfalls. To add insult to injury, Republicans argue that the spending cuts, elimination of services, and corporate entitlements will create jobs as they lay off thousands of employees.


Fox’s Rupert Murdoch Got Himself In a Bind in the UK?

For all he’s done to destroy real journalism here and fan the flames of hate for the almighty dollar we can always hope this is the case.

“As scores of new victims emerged to allege they had been hacked by the newspaper, MPs voiced fresh concerns at the police handling of the affair and the role played by senior executives at News International, News Corp’s UK subsidiary and the ultimate parent company of the News of the World, the Sun, the Times and the Sunday Times.

Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic, it emerged that News Corp was facing another problem. Last week 400 rabbis from all the main branches of Judaism in the US bought a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal, calling on Murdoch to take sanctions against News Corp’s Fox News subsidiary. The rabbis were incensed at the way that Fox commentators regularly referred to those with whom they disagreed as “Nazis”.

“You diminish the memory and meaning of the Holocaust when you use it to discredit any individual or organisation you disagree with. That is what Fox News has done in recent weeks,” the ad read.

The placement of the ad was even more poignant and shocking as it was published on Holocaust Remembrance Day. It came partly in response to comments by Murdoch’s brash Fox News leader, Roger Ailes, who had compared executives at National Public Radio to Nazis after they sacked a commentator who made ill-advised remarks about being scared of flying with Muslims.

But it also focused on the most controversial figure in the pantheon of Fox News personalities: Glenn Beck. Fox’s biggest star repeatedly uses Nazi and Hitler references to describe figures he does not like.

[snip]

Coming at a time when News Corp wants regulatory approval to take over British satellite broadcaster BSkyB, both the phone-hacking scandal and the row with the rabbis are damaging not only to the company’s reputation but its bottom line.

Liberal commentators have used both to question whether Murdoch should be allowed to own more of the British media landscape.

Murdoch must have hoped the BSkyB deal would have been waved through by now, but the culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has postponed making a decision to see if remedies can be found to avoid a long Competition Commission inquiry.

[snip]

As Murdoch waits in regulatory purgatory and hedge fund managers push BSkyB’s share price north — a move that could see News Corp having to stump up as much as £1bn more than it expected — the media giant’s investors are said to be growing restless.

A full News Corporation board meeting is believed to have been scheduled for Wednesday. The phone-hacking scandal and the BSkyB deal are expected to be high on the agenda. Bin Talal, who simply “does not lose money” according to someone who knows him well, is likely to pay very close attention to what is discussed.”

[snip]

Why News Corp is so eager to bag BSkyB was plain to see last week, when the broadcaster reported pre-tax profits of £467m, up a stunning 26% on the previous year.

But for Murdoch, BSkyB’s profits came with a sting attached. As analysts at City brokers Charles Stanley Research note: “Our best guess is that clearance [for the News Corp takeover of BSkyB] will be granted, although perhaps only after a lengthy further investigation by the Competition Commission and/or the implementation of certain ‘remedies’.

[snip]

The phone-hacking scandal and the BSkyB deal are expected to be high on the agenda. Bin Talal, who simply “does not lose money” according to someone who knows him well, is likely to pay very close attention to what is discussed.

Worryingly for Murdoch, who is used to his investors taking a back seat, the prince is a far from passive backer. As a sizable investor in bombed-out banking giant Citigroup, bin Talal has been vocal in calling for its management to improve the firm’s fortunes, warning its chief executive last year that the “honeymoon was over”.

Murdoch may soon find himself receiving similar encouragement if the BSkyB bid falters. It is an unpalatable prospect for an autocrat.

Read the Full Story Here at The Guardian

Related Story:Phone hacking: show of unity can’t hide cracks in News Corp


Michael Steele and Bill Maher on Sarah Palin

“She thought that Sputnik was so expensive in 1957 that it caused the Soviet Union to collapse in 1991.”

“No, no, no, no”

“It’s just so colossally crazy, anyway I gotta move on.”

“Please, please do.”

WATCH IT HERE


WI Seniors Think Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) Medicare Plan is Nuts

“That guys nuts. He is crazy. They’re nuts. He’s a multi-millionaire and he doesn’t give a damn about us.”


Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin: America’s Historians

“It didn’t matter the color of their skin, it didn’t matter their language, it didn’t matter their economic status. Once you got here, we were all the same. Isn’t that remarkable?”

“We also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States”.

“I think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forbearers who worked tirelessly–men like John Quincy Adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country”

That’s congresswomen Michele Bachmann on speaking on January 21 to an anti-tax group in Iowa.

Wikipedia reminds us that:
The Founding Fathers of the United States were political leaders and statesmen who participated in establishing the American Independence by signing the Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American War for Independence, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some other key contribution. Within the large group known as the “Founding Fathers”, there are two key subsets: the “Signers of the Declaration of Independence” (who signed the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776) and the “Framers of the Constitution” (who were delegates to the Federal Convention and took part in framing or drafting the proposed Constitution of the United States).

Most historians define the “Founding Fathers” to mean a larger group, including not only the Signers and the Framers but also all those who, whether as politicians, jurists, statesmen, soldiers, diplomats, or ordinary citizens, took part in winning American independence and creating the United States of America.American historian Richard B. Morris, in his 1973 book Seven Who Shaped Our Destiny: The Founding Fathers as Revolutionaries, identified the following seven figures as the key Founding Fathers:

Benjamin Franklin born October 18, 1785 died December 1, 1788
George Washington born April 30, 1789 died March 4, 1797
John Adams born March 4, 1797 – died March 4, 1801
Thomas Jefferson born March 4, 1801 – died March 4, 1809
John Jay born September 26, 1789 – died June 29, 1795
James Madison born March 4, 1809 – died March 4, 1817
Alexander Hamiltonborn September 11, 1789 – born January 31, 1795

What Mrs. Bachmann seems blissfully unaware of is that The Emancipation Proclamation wasn’t made until 1862. The adoption of the 13th Amendment didn’t take place until 1865. James Madison lived longer than any founder, but he died 1836. She also seems unaware of the fact that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison actually owned slaves as did some of the other founding fathers. More importantly as you can see above, all were looonnnng dead when slavery was abolished.

“That was another one of those WTF moments, when he so often repeated this Sputnik moment that he would aspire Americans to celebrate. And he needs to remember that what happened back then with the former communist USSR and their victory in that race to space, yes, they won, but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union.

So I listened to that Sputnik moment talk over and over again, and I think, No, we don’t need one of those. You know what we need is a “spudnut” moment. And here’s where I’m going with this, Greta. And you’re a good one because you’re one of those reporters who actually gets out there in the communities, find these hard-working people and find solutions to the problems that Americans face.

Well, the spudnut shop in Richland, Washington — it’s a bakery, it’s a little coffee shop that’s so successful, 60-some years, generation to generation, a family-owned business not looking for government to bail them out and to make their decisions for them. It’s just hard-working, patriotic Americans in this shop.

We need more spudnut moments in America. And I wish that President Obama would understand, in that heartland of America, what it is that really results in the solutions that we need to get this economy back on the right track. It’s a shop like that.”

And that was former VP candidate Sarah Palin somewhere in another Galaxy called Fox criticizing the President’s SOTU address by attempting to point out that our President of The United States doesn’t know his history.

Mediate Columnist Tommy Christopher points out the obvious problems with Mrs. Palin’s understanding of history and analogy best:

The Soviet Union’s launch of a satellite that was only slightly more advanced than Balloon Boy 1 is not the model of success to which the President’s speech urges us to aspire, but rather, the flood of research, innovation, and achievement that it spurred in a then-complacent American psyche. The negative consequences of Sputnik to the Soviet Union, then, would only serve to reinforce what the President said.

Even in twisting the meaning of the President’s analogy, though, Palin twists history to suit the view from her front porch. While it’s tough to pinpoint a single reason for the dissolution of the USSR, the space program isn’t one of them, at least not in the substantive way that Palin imagines. The Cold War arms race is the factor that most closely tracks here, and while the Sputnik 1 launch was a shot across the bow in that war, it was a drop in the arms race bucket.

Palin then goes on to suggest that what America needs is a “Spudnut moment,” explaining that there’s this successful small business in Washington state, and that America needs to do…what? Have lots of successful small businesses? Stop preventing successful businesses like The Spudnut Shop from being successful? Palin never really explains how this is supposed to work, but I think the equation goes something like this: “Sputnik moment” + “Something that sounds like Sputnik but isn’t”=WIN!

Still, a closer look at the story of Spudnuts reveals that the shining example she uses, The Spudnuts Shop in Richland, Washington, is part of a larger story that reinforces much of what President Obama said.

The Spudnuts Shop is, indeed, a successful small business, as attested to by recent profiles on Food Network’s Unwrapped and the Travel Channel’s Donut Paradise. In a way, they’re also the embodiment of the innovative spirit that President Obama is trying to rekindle. The shop’s founders saw the early potential of the Pelton Brothers’ innovative use of potato flour in doughnut-making, and got in on the ground floor with a franchise back in 1948. Spudnuts became something of a craze, eventually growing to over 600 locations in the US and elsewhere.

However, the good times didn’t last forever, and the Richland Spudnuts Shop is one of only about 40 surviving Spudnuts locations. The Pelton brothers sold the company in 1975, at which time those who had paid for franchises could no longer get the original Spudnuts recipe. The parent company went out of business a few years later, but a handful of owner-operated shops continue to use the Spudnut name.

The success of the Richland Spudnuts Shop, by all accounts, is due to the consistently hard work and exceptional service of its employees, as much as to the spud-rific goodness of its doughnuts. There was no “Spudnuts moment” for the Richland shop; there were 60 Spudnuts years (and counting).

These are just two of the people that believe they are qualified to be the next President of The United States and one of them sits in Congress right now making decisions on our behalf.


TLC and Ann Coulter Help to Highlight Sarah Palin’s True Character

This week former VP candidate Sarah Palin’s eight episode campaign commercial series on TLC will come to end. The two hour finale is set for Sunday evening and should tie up any loose ends as to what we know about Sarah Palin.

There’s been a lot of commentary and discussion in the political and entertainment world as to just how well Sarah Palin presented herself to America with this experiment. Most have come to the conclusion that Sarah did a great job of showcasing who she is and it turns out she’s nothing like she’s presented herself over the last several years both to Alaskans and those in the lower 48.


Hunter becomes the hunted as Palin critics say she can’t shoot:

Not only did this week’s show portray field-sports in an ugly light, say critics; it also fuelled scepticism about whether she actually knows one end of a rifle from another.

Ms Palin took no fewer than five shots to hit the beast which wandered on to the hillside where she was eating blueberries with her 72-year-old father, Chuck Snr. However it was her lousy field-craft, rather than wonky shooting, which raised the most questions about whether she really ought to call herself a “lifelong hunter”.

The Conservative blogosphere, usually a forum for cheerleading on behalf the Palin cause, was awash yesterday with suggestions that her outdoorsy image is an elaborate charade.

“I turned on Sarah Palin’s Alaska and she just shot four maybe even five times at a caribou and missed,” noted a typical comment on the Fox News host Sean Hannity’s website. “Needless to say I’m not impressed with her ability to handle a firearm let alone aim it and hit.”

Among the basic items of protocol blithely ignored by Palin as she set off into the wilderness in a Rambo-style headband was her failure to take practice shots, or check the sights of the rifle, which duly turned out to be off-kilter. She failed to carry her own weapon, relying on her elderly father and his companion, Steve, to lug it around. When a beast eventually wandered into range, Ms Palin left Chuck Snr to load the rifle, and discharge spent bullet casings.



“What a joke,” wrote one viewer on Palin’s Facebook page. “I was a fan before the show. No one who is a true hunter lets others carry their rifle or can’t load their own shells. Sarah, you are a phony.”

The Awl, a website which collated reactions to the episode, noted that, while being passed the firearm, Ms Palin immediately moved her finger inside its trigger guard, a breach of basic safety rules. After missing the caribou several times, she then appeared to panic and shot at the beast while it was still moving, a technique usually avoided by all but the very best marksmen.

On leaving her hunting camp one morning, Ms Palin pointed to the horizon and declared “Let’s go west.” There followed an awkward pause. “That’s east,” noted her father.

The cognoscenti was meanwhile perturbed that the fact that Palin seemed scared by her weapon, a small gun described by Chuck Snr as a “varmint rifle”. Several times during the episode, she anxiously asked: “Does it kick?”

Even Chuck Snr’s handling of his weapons drew criticism. “I was surprised to see him using the gun as a walking stick,” noted one user on the Free Republic website.

“I do like the woman but think she needs some serious range time. I had the impression it was her first time firing a rifle.”

What Palin’s show says about us

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Most of the show’s escapades bear scant resemblance to the activities of most outdoors-oriented Alaskans. In fact, about half of the Palins’ “adventures” are guided trips aimed at mass-market tourists. You won’t find many Alaskans on those theme park rides, which require no skills beyond a pulse and the ability to open your wallet.

Of course, there are sequences that feature Palin tagging along with working Alaskans. However, posing for hands-on scenes guided by loggers or commercial fishermen (including her husband, who’s obviously a top notch outdoorsman) doesn’t help. Alaskans would be a lot more impressed if she proved she could gut a caribou or set a gill net on her own — skills at which many bush-wise Alaskan women excel — and still keep those immaculately manicured French nails intact.

The caribou hunt episode provides a centerpiece of the series’ excesses, as well as Palin’s ineptitude. According to script, it’s Palin’s turn to replenish the family’s dwindling freezer with wild meat — from an Alaska point of view, all good. But the logistics of the trip defy common sense. Instead of hunting within reasonable distance of home, her party flies 600-plus miles to a remote camp in multiple chartered aircraft. This isn’t subsistence but the sort of experiential safari popular among high-end, non-resident sport hunters. For all that, Palin ends up with a skinny juvenile cow caribou. Boned out, we’re talking maybe 100 pounds of meat, at a staggering cost per pound.

Faced with that hapless animal, this darling of Second Amendment supporters nervously asks her dad whether the small-caliber rifle kicks. Then, even more astoundingly, her father repeatedly works the bolt and loads for her as she misses shot after shot before scoring a kill on the seventh round — enough bullets for a decent hunter to take down at least five animals. (Given Palin’s infamous tweet “Don’t retreat, reload,” we can infer she plans to keep her dad close by.) Later, Palin blames the scope, but any marksman would recognize the flinching, the unsteady aim and poor shot selection — and the glaring ethical fault of both shooter and gun owner if the rifle wasn’t properly sighted. Instead of some frontier passion play, we’re rendered a dark comedy of errors.

When Sarah Palin took us on a hunting/camping trip with her dad Chuck Heath on the latest episode of Sarah Palin’s Alaska, she said hunting was necessary to “fill her freezer!”:

“For many people in remote areas of Alaska, there’s no grocery store nearby, we just got to get out and hunt,” enthused Sarah.

HollywoodLife.com researched the logistics and cost of Palin’s hunting trip which resulted in a bagged caribou, and discovered that it was a mighty expensive way to feed the Palin family, at $42,400 for the trip.

The grand total to charter a Dehavilland Dash plane from Era Alaska to travel round trip from Wasilla’s Palmer airport to Deadhorse, Alaska was $37,600. In Deadhorse, the Palins switched to a 6 seat Cessna C207 Skywagon which they flew into the Kavik River Camp, at $1200 for the round trip, according to Lori Goodman, director of sales and marketing of Era Alaska, the company which chartered the planes for the Palins. Once in Kavik, the Palins spent two nights at the Kavik River Camp at $250 a person per night, for a $750 total.

Finally, the Deltana Outfitters flew them individually on a Piper Supercub airplane from Kavik into their hunting spot at a cost of $350 per hour for three hours each way, for a total of $2100, according to Deltana.

The grand Palin total to bag a caribou and get it back to the Palin homestead added up to $42,400, or $141.33 per lb. of caribou meat. Sarah shot and killed a female cow which may have weighed up to 300 lbs.

Just to put this is perspective, the Palins could have filled their freezer with ribeye steak at $10.99 a lb. from Alaska’s Mr. Prime Beef, which is based in Anchorage and ships anywhere in the state.

She Can’t Fish Or Shoot A Gun, Ctd

Sarah Palin’s attempt to cast herself as a true Alaskan, in love with the outdoors, fishing, hunting, is, of course, a lie. Her first ever appearance in the Alaskan press, long before she was governor or even Mayor, was in the Anchorage Daily News. It tells you all you need to know about a woman who wanted to be a beauty queen rather than the wife of a fisherman in the boondocks:

    Sarah Palin, a commercial fisherman from Wasilla, told her husband on Tuesday she was driving to Anchorage to shop at Costco. Instead, she headed straight for Ivana. And there, at J.C. Penney’s cosmetic department, was Ivana, the former Mrs. Donald Trump, sitting at a table next to a photograph of herself. She wore a light-colored pantsuit and pink fingernail polish. Her blonde hair was coiffed in a bouffant French twist. ”We want to see Ivana,” said Palin, who admittedly smells like salmon for a large part of the summer, ”because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

    Desperate for glamour and culture. That’s not exactly Palin’s message today, is it? But what she realized between then and now is that she could use Alaska as a means for her to gain “glamour and culture.” Notice how she admits she smells of salmon and wants to get past it to something Trump-like. Well, she has now, but only by exploiting the mythology of where she was born. How many beautiful clothes can she now buy with TLC’s moolah? More than she could steal from the RNC. Levi got her exactly:

“She says she goes hunting and lives off animal meat – I’ve never seen it,” said Mr Johnston, 19. “I’ve never seen her touch a fishing pole. “She had a gun in her bedroom and one day she asked me to show her how to shoot it. I asked her what kind of gun it was, and she said she didn’t know, because it was in a box under her bed.”

Levi’s Vindication: The Self-Exposure Of Sarah Palin

From the opening credits, Palin’s not actually leading, as the show’s stirring theme song (Follow Me There) suggests. Instead, she’s tucked far under the wings of professional guides, friends, or family members — in a curious subtext, almost all males.

They instruct and coddle her along, at one point literally hauling Palin uphill on the end of a rope. Even post-production editing can’t hide a glaring, city-slicker klutziness.

Sarah Palin Breaks the Law and Has No Common Sense

In Sarah Palin’s Alaska, her TLC TV show, the children are clearly unrestrained in moving vehicles — in clear noncompliance with the statutes of the state of Alaska. The reality of her show is that Sarah Palin is a lawbreaker. What she so contemptuously shows is that she and her family are above the law. She has demonstrated values that are illegal, nonsensical and reckless.

Alaska law says that a driver may not transport children under 16 in a motor vehicle unless the child is properly secured according to state child passenger safety law. Children who are not yet one year old or who do not yet weigh 20 lbs must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat.

It is quite clear that from 4.12 onwards that Piper is jumping up and down in the RV while the vehicle is in motion, so she cannot be safely belted up. From 11.07 Trig is also seen standing on the sofa seat without a seatbelt.

There is no doubt that Palin has disregarded state law — and it is a primary offense. Glaringly, arrogantly, and unapologetically. She can argue, if she wants, that seat belt laws are burdensome and intrusive — but maybe she should have changed the laws before she quit as governor! Aren’t commonsense conservatives all about the rule of law? Does this mean because I don’t like speed limits I can do 125 mph in school zones? Or I won’t pay taxes because I don’t support endless wars?

As far as I am concerned she has been caught red handed. But it’s not the first time. Fellow reader, mxm, pulled this little excerpt from the September 7, 2008 edition of the Washington Post:

    WASILLA, Alaska — One Friday in June, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin joined the chief of the state prison system on a tour of the Point MacKenzie Correctional Farm, a 90-minute drive north of Anchorage. It was a routine visit but for the presence of the governor’s infant son, Trig.

    Palin held her baby in her arms as the warden drove a short distance around the facility, said corrections director Joe Schmidt, who sat next to Palin. A few days later, the governor got a warning from her public safety commissioner that someone had complained that she did not strap Trig into a car seat for the ride.
    Palin dismissed the complaint as petty, and the commissioner, whom she appointed, took no formal action. But the incident shows the degree to which family and politics are bound together in Palin’s career.

So we come to conclusion that Sarah Palin’s show doesn’t necessarily show her behaving in the manner of an experienced fisher, hunter, hiker or grizzly-mama or even law abiding citizen but instead as someone who’s rather uncomfortable in those settings, nor does it appear much experience. Wasn’t a surprise here, but anyway……now others know too. But we also have other ways to judge Mrs. Palin’s true character and cojones. Does she really walk the walk of not only a special need’s mother but also that of an advocate for those with special needs?

An issue that has been recently overlooked is that another conservative commentator has publicly used the word retard to criticize a reporter they disagreed with this past week. The GOP’s own verbal agitator Ann Coulter posted the insult Dec 30th on her twitter while encouraging people to watch Republican Christopher Barron be interviewed by a “retarded” MSNBC host.

“Great video: head of GOProud interviewed by retarded person on MSNBC,” Coulter wrote, providing a link to this interview, in which Barron of Republican gay rights group GOProud defends the group’s conservative credentials to Cenk Uygur, after invitees of the Conservative Political Action Conference boycotted the event over the inclusion of Barron’s organization.

As Business Insider points out, Coulter’s use of the “r-word” — which she leveled at Uygur after he questioned Barron’s decision to identify as Republican — may put former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, whose youngest child, Trig, has Down Syndrome, in a tight spot.

Palin called for Rahm Emanuel to be fired earlier this year after he addressed a group of people as “f*cking retards.”

“I would ask the president to show decency in this process by eliminating one member of that inner circle, Mr. Rahm Emanuel, and not allow Rahm’s continued indecent tactics to cloud efforts,” Palin said.

Following Rahm’s comment, Rush Limbaugh also fired off an attack using the word, an action that earned him a (much less passionate) rebuke.

Yet so far not a word from Mrs. Sarah Palin. Wasn’t even mentioned during her recent radio spot on Laura Ingraham’s radio show. Not a word. Laura didn’t ask and Sarah didn’t bring it up. Wonder why?

Can we assume that Palin hasn’t heard about this?

Or do we assume that again Sarah Palin only has criticisms for those on the other side?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin might be afraid to counter someone like Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter because she’s afraid of their power?

Should we assume that Sarah Palin thinks Ann Coulter used this word as satire, therefore making it ok by Sarah’s standards?

What about when she criticized Down Syndrome actress Andrea Friedman’s portrayal of an independent woman with Down Syndrome on the show The Family Guy?

Was that only because her character’s mother was also portrayed as the Governor of Alaska so Sarah thought they were really making fun of her?

Why does Ann Coulter get pass?

Why does Sarah Palin talk about the joy of having Trig, but never what it is like to raise him?

Just what does it take to raise a special needs child Sarah?

Does she know?

Why does Rush Limbaugh get a pass?

Why was it so easy for Sarah Palin to leave town for five days immediately after Trig had surgery?
That she has gone so far as to use and thereby abuse a child with Down Syndrome whose interests are clearly in seclusion, careful nurturing and care, and constant parental attention, tells you a huge amount. So does this:

    Her young son, Trig, was to have an operation — routine but still worrisome — on the Friday before [mid-term] Election Day, and so the mother was loath to commit to anything. Trig’s procedure went well. That evening, Palin’s political adviser, Andrew Davis, pulled an all-nighter arranging for her to make a Saturday drop-in on behalf of John Raese, the West Virginia senatorial candidate who was trailing the Democratic nominee, Joe Manchin, the popular governor. Raese’s wife, Elizabeth, had issued a personal plea to Palin to save the day.

Yes, she left her two-year-old with Down Syndrome after a “worrisome” operation to campaign half the world away the next day, to save a far right candidate who lost. But she didn’t leave Trig behind on a late-night stop in her red-state tour to promote her last book.

Why is Sarah Silent on this?


%d bloggers like this: