Grab bag of blogging: If the bumper sticker bleeds, it leads | Wisconsin union-busting theories | Team Scooter | Elizabeth Warren

Republican State Representative Robin Vos thinks this bumper sticker image of Scott Walker with a train flying through his head is “indecent”(the first sticker design was more gross. Check it out.). WPR’s Joy Cardin will chat about the Democratic-sponsored sticker and more on her radio program’s 8-9am tomorrow,  Friday 12/31.

In good taste or not, this sticker is “sticky”: I’ve seen it crop up on facebook, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, and I’ve heard about it on the radio. If you click on the image, you can get your own and make it sticky on your car’s bumper. The Wisconsin Democrat website link to this sticker is no longer functioning as of 12/31/10. But here’s a similarly themed sticker from an independent artist!

Union Boogey Man. Quick fact for ya!: Wisconsin ranks 43rd in the number of  state employees per resident.

So I was wondering why our state employees pose such a vast threat for Scott Walker and Wisconsin.  A few theories:

A. Scott Walker wants to bankrupt Wisconsin to kill unions and privatize that workforce. From a Nov. 11 Newt Gingrich speech:I also hope the House Republicans are going to move a bill in the first month or so of their tenure to create a venue for state bankruptcy..you need to sit down with all your government employee unions and look at their health plans and their pension plans and frankly if they don’t want to change, our recommendation is you go into bankruptcy court.”

B. Unions are a strong political and funding force of “The Left”

C. Union wages bring up wages for all workers, and Walker’s business friends don’t like that. According to the Sunshine Review, the average national hourly wage of public employees last year—$39.66—was 45 percent more than the average hourly wage of $27.42 paid in the private sector [Note-I think that’s skewed high since it includes Federal employees]

D. Wisconsin may have a disaster brewing in its Employee Trust Fund.  Experts like Mike Shedlock say the fund is dangerously over-leveraged. He says fund managers did it to come up with 8% returns:a profit out of sync with the market reality. ETFs are also predicted to have their turn at a bubble. The state will either outright fail baby-boomer retirees or fulfill obligations through unpopular tax hikes or some portion of both.

Cathy Stepp at a Racine tax protest. She threw in a shot at President Obama for regulating carbon dioxide emissions. "My own breath will be regulated?" she asked.

There is no “I” in TEAM. Here comes Scott walker’s staff and heads of departments. How about this comment on the new DNR chief:  “Putting Cathy Stepp in charge of the DNR is like putting Lindsay Lohan in charge of a rehab center,” said Brett Hulsey, an incoming Democratic state representative from Madison. …Stepp said Thursday that her past criticisms of the agency should not affect morale at the agency.

Well, it’s nice she cares about morale.

I see that welfare-to-work reformer Eloise Anderson is back again to work as Department of Children and Families. Under Governor Tommy Thompson she was Administrator of the division of Community Services 1988 – 1992. She said in 1996 about the welfare reforms of that year: “By emphasizing work, welfare reform will lead to cooperation between a father and a mother, and create an interdependence for the well-being of the children, which will lead to cultural mainstreaming and stronger families”

I wonder how Eloise’s worky mainstreamy stuff worked out for families [distorting a Palinism there]. My first reaction is “Dear Eloise: The economy is not as good as when you peeled people off the welfare rolls in times past. Proceed with caution.”

Elizabeth Warren: A woman to watch. I do love a good industry watchdog. Don’t you? She’s the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau designed to in Warren’s words, “be a new cop on the beat that will end big loopholes in the regulatory system [on financiers and bankers]” I know she’s not out of the woods yet. Last we knew her boss Timothy Geithner hated her. Maybe it’s because when she had the chance, she grilled him quite mercilessly on the sloppy bank bailouts:

Are you a fan of Elizabeth Warren yet? If you’re up for it, 1 more 4 minute video of Elizabeth on how we need to regulate loans to favor the consumer HERE.

Grab bag of blogging, Dec 1: High-speed rail | Republican recipes | NYTimes studies Palin | Die already, DADT | Melee at Isthmus

What’s up with Wisconsin’s rail?: This haunts me. Madison’s Mayor and Common Council President Mark Clear have told the city’s Economic Development Committee to keep its mouth shut and let the mayor diplomatically broach the subject of high-speed rail with Gov-Elect Scott Walker.  And by “diplomatically broach” I mean wait around for Scott Walker to meet with him. I agree with Julie Stone who says: “I think we’re losing a battle of publicity, not politics.”

And what are those Republicans cooking up?: Jack Craver of Isthmus lists 8 actions Wisconsin Republicans will likely implement with their total control. None of which looks capable of creating 250,000 jobs. Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee went on Public Radio and pledged to keep Republicans to their knitting: ““It’s been a little troubling to hear that one of the first things they’re doing is trying to derail the high speed train project that’s expected to create 5,000 jobs in Wisconsin. That also should be part of the agenda to make sure that project is on track so we keep those jobs in Wisconsin.

Repubs are surely coming in demanding photo I.D. voter registration requirements. I fear eventually they will turn their attentions to the Pro-Life Wisconsin agenda:  opposing abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk, halting embryonic stem cell research, and opposing any artificial birth control.

Palin still here?: New York Times figured out Palin just won’t die or go away, so they did an exhaustive 7 pager on her. We learn that Palin is too secretive and controlling for her own good, she’s an organism hated as much by the Republicans as by me, and she’s rented office space in Iowa — prepping for primary action in 2012.

Cut the DADT crap already: President Obama calls on Senate to act ASAP and repeal “Don’t ask don’t tell” so he can sign it into law. From the study: “We have a gay guy. He’s big, he’s mean and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay,”-quoted member of special operations force.

Gentlemen, start your melee!: Bill Leuders, Dave Blaska, and Jack Craver had a spirited discussion at David Blaska is not telling the truth. I see even Emily Mills popped in! Afterward, I hope they had a beer together.

The past and the future of Wisconsin Public Radio

Just back from visiting an Open House event at Vilas Hall studios

Joy Cardin broadcasts 6am-9am weekdays.

where some of my heroes do their work.

I found out that the first Wisconsin Public Radio broadcast was a morse code weather report for farmers first broadcast in 1918. The morse code was transcribed and posted in public and in many Wisconsin locations, an operator would transcribe the report and call farmers personally to deliver the weather news. That show evolved into a 30 minute farm report, which would later evolve into Larry Meiller’s show. This is why his is the longest running radio show in the nation at 92 years!

I was able to thank Michael Feldman for his story Madison: the Election at Home in person. And he was able to tell me he feels sad for Russ Feingold. More than one audience member was very thankful for WPR’s great journalism, and Norm Gilliland had some true Old Time Radio fans in the house.

As for the future of WPR, a web site overhaul is in the works. It will  offer more ways for them to push stories and music at you – assuming you opt-in to that. And they will be providing more news through two additional employees to come on at the La Crosse and Eau Claire stations.

I sat through 4 discussion panels, and the repeated themes brought up by the  audience were, “We’re worried about the future of public radio given our new Republican leadership” and “We are so glad to have public radio”.

Our state’s public radio service was an important window to the world when I was growing up in rural Northern Wisconsin in that time BEFORE we had satellite, cable, and internet.  I am also so glad we have our public radio.

To find Michael Feldman’s blogging, you can try him HERE or on his Whad ‘Ya Know facebook notes page.