Tag: absurd

Katrina Shankland knows more about the NFL’s player salary structure than Scott Walker does

AUTHOR’S NOTE: The author of the blog post is a New England Patriots fan who lives in Illinois, and Wisconsin State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point) is, like the vast majority of Wisconsinites, a Green Bay Packers fan. Anyways, the Chicago Bears are a bunch of losers.


At a recent private, invite-only “listening session”, Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, while claiming that the NFL’s free agency system should be a model for paying public school teachers, demonstrated that he has no knowledge of how the NFL’s player salary structure works. Here’s what Walker said:

If the Green Bay Packers pay people to perform and if they perform well on their team, (the Packers) pay them to do that…They don’t pay them for how many years they’ve been on the football team. They pay them whether or not they help (the Packers) win football games.

Wisconsin State Rep. Katrina Shankland (D-Stevens Point), the Assistant Minority Leader of the Wisconsin State Assembly, issued this brilliant response to Walker’s absurd claims about the NFL player salary structure and absurd comparison between NFL player salaries and Wisconsin public school teacher salaries. I encourage everyone who is reading this blog post to read Shankland’s statement in full, but I’ll summarize three points that Shankland made in her statement:

  • NFL teams often have a total player payroll that is well under the league’s salary cap, whereas public school districts in Wisconsin are barely able to make payroll thanks to Walker’s funding cuts to public K-12 schools in Wisconsin
  • NFL players have a strong labor union representing them, whereas Walker and his Republican allies severely weakened Wisconsin public school teachers’ unions by restricting collective bargaining rights.
  • For the third point, I’ll directly quote Shankland: “…the NFL does pay their athletes regardless of whether or not they win games. Ask the Chicago Bears about this.”

For those of you who are wondering, the Chicago Bears compiled a record of 6 wins and 10 losses, and failed to make the playoffs, in the 2015 NFL season. Oh, and NFL players do not lose a penny of their base salary if their team loses a game.

The salary and unionization structure of NFL players and that of public school teachers in Wisconsin are not identical by any rational person’s imagination. I applaud Katrina Shankland for having a far better knowledge of the NFL player salary structure than Scott Walker does.

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Right-wing Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel columnist Christian Schneider claims that Russ Feingold is worse than a child molester

Christian Schneider, a right-wing columnist for the right-wing Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, compared Former U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), who is running for his former U.S. Senate seat, to child molester and Ashley Madison member Josh Duggar in this column:

Of course, Feingold’s (Badger Pledge) isn’t meant to be taken seriously. Typically, all of a campaign’s money is spent a month before election day — all of a candidate’s ad buys are complete and campaign literature has been printed. (Further, with YouTube and social media, traditional television ad buys are becoming less and less relevant.) What if a third-party group runs an ad with two weeks to go, while the actual campaigns are broke? Who is coming after them — the Russ Feingold Collection Agency?

Instead, Feingold is simply following the old campaign trick of a candidate trying to show strength in an area that represents his greatest weakness. In the past few months, reports have shown that Feingold has been living a double life that would make Josh Duggar cringe; despite decades of railing against money in politics, Feingold himself commanded a political action committee that has raked in millions from special interest groups.

(emphasis by Monona Grove (WI) school board member and Cognitive Dissidence blogger Jeff Simpson)

While money in politics is a serious problem, and politicians in both major parties are guilty as sin of being part of the problem and/or being hypocritical about it, comparing Russ Feingold to a child molester like Josh Duggar is absolutely absurd. What Schneider did was basically claim that using a political front group as a benchwarmer for political operatives is somehow worse than child molestation. While big-money politics is a very serious problem in this country, child molestation is absolutely repulsive.

Schneider’s bizarre comparison between Feingold and Duggar reminds me a lot of disgraced former Democratic Party of Wisconsin (DPW) spokesman Graeme Zielinski comparing Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s legal defense in the first John Doe investigation to the legal defense of serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer.

It’s bad enough that Russ Feingold has had to deal with borderline anti-Semitic remarks by DPW Chairwoman Martha Laning (trust me, Laning wouldn’t have complained about Feingold’s last name if his name were a more common last name like Smith or White), who has been trying to sabotage Feingold’s campaign. It’s even worse that the right-wing corporate media in Wisconsin is making unbelievably offensive remarks comparing Feingold to a child molester.

I urge people to contact Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial page editor David Haynes at dhaynes@journalsentinel.com and call for the Journal-Sentinel to fire Christian Schneider over his offensive remarks about Russ Feingold.

Scott Walker panders to anti-immigrant extremists, wants to waste taxpayer money on a Canadian border fence

Just like Phil Mickelson literally did, Scott Walker metaphorically fell on his ass on immigration.
Just like Phil Mickelson literally did while playing golf, Scott Walker metaphorically fell on his ass on immigration.

Scott Walker, in a desperate attempt to pander to the far-right, anti-immigrant extremists fueling the Donald Trump presidential campaign, has suggested erecting a fence along the border between the United States and Canada at the expense of American taxpayers:

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker is putting a new twist on the topic of securing the border, a staple among the GOP candidates running for president, by pointing north.

Walker said in an interview that aired Sunday that building a wall along the country’s norther border with Canada is a legitimate issue that merits further review.

Republican candidates for president have often taken a get-tough approach on deterring illegal immigration, but they usually focus on the border with Mexico. Walker was asked Sunday morning on NBC’s “Meet the Press” whether he wanted to build a wall on the northern border, too. Walker said some people in New Hampshire have asked the campaign about the topic.

While Republicans have long been high on anti-immigrant bigotry and lunacy, this is one of the most absurd ideas I’ve ever heard from a presidential candidate. Canada poses extremely little risk to U.S. national security, and erecting a border fence along our border with Canada would be nothing more than a giant waste of taxpayer money.

This is what desperation looks like.

Scott Walker compares progressives to right-wing terrorists and touts junk science about Ebola

Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker compared progressives and labor union members to ISIS, a right-wing Islamic fundamentalist terror group at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an annual gathering of conservatives in the United States:

We need have someone who leads and ultimately will send a message that not only will we protect American soil, but…freedom-loving people anywhere else in the world. We need that confidence,” (Walker) said. “If I can take on a hundred thousand protesters, I can do the same across the world.

First off, regarding Walker’s claim that his political base consists of “freedom-loving people”, a claim that he’s made multiple times since he’s made it 100% clear to the people of his home state of Wisconsin that he wants to be president, Walker has made it clear to me that, if elected President, he wants to continue the Republican tradition of supporting freedom for people in foreign countries while taking freedom away from the American people. That’s not freedom-loving, that’s hypocrisy!

More importantly, I found Walker comparing progressives and labor union members to a group of Islamic fundamentalists who have beheaded Americans in the Middle East downright offensive and absolutely absurd. The 100,000+ people who descended on the Wisconsin State Capitol four years ago to protest the union-busting bill now known as 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, or Act 10 for short, weren’t out to kill anybody; they were out to voice their opposition to driving down wages and busting unions. To compare progressives and labor union members to a group of right-wing terrorists is false equivalence, pure and simple!

Additionally, as progressive blogger and possible 2016 Wisconsin State Senate candidate Chris “Capper” Liebenthal pointed out, Walker also claimed at CPAC that Ebola, a deadly virus that spreads through contact with bodily fluids, can be cured with aloe, a common ingredient in shampoo and skin moisturizer. In reality, Walker’s claim is false, since there is currently no cure for Ebola (although research to find a cure is ongoing), and methods of treating Ebola are currently very limited. I certainly wouldn’t want Walker making health care decisions for me or anybody else!

Scott Walker has made one absurd claim and comparison after another since he’s made it clear that he wants to be president. What’s next for Walker? Claiming that the U.S. should appease Israel more often because Robin Vos and Scott Fitzgerald helped him implement a far-right agenda in Wisconsin? Claiming that he can take on Vladimir Putin and Russia because he watched the movie Rocky IV? Claiming that he can take on Kim Jong-un and North Korea because he mandated forced ultrasounds for Wisconsin women who want to have an abortion? Walker frightens me!

Scott Walker’s barbaric budget eliminates the Wisconsin Idea and forces UW System faculty to work without pay starting in mid-2016

Wisconsin Governor and likely Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker’s barbaric budget includes, among other things, the destruction of the University of Wisconsin System (UW System), Wisconsin’s network of two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

First off, the third Walker budget includes a provision that would eliminate the search for truth, which is effectively the current primary mission of the UW System, and the Wisconsin Idea, which outlines the mission of the UW System to serve the people of Wisconsin, from the UW System’s mission statement and would replace it with a mission statement that effectively makes serving Big Business interests the UW System’s primary mission. While Walker has tried to claim that the budget provision removing truth and the Wisconsin Idea from the mission statement is a “drafting error”, I think Walker’s claim is hogwash for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve made plenty of drafting errors as a political blogger, but I’ve never managed to rewrite the entire mission statement of a state college or university system in one of my drafting errors. Two, I firmly believe that Walker included that provision simply to pander to the far-right Tea Party crowd in states like Iowa and New Hampshire, both of which hold early contests for the Republican presidential nomination, only to backtrack from it after he submitted the proposal to the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature and Walker got questioned by the media over it.

Secondly, there’s something very unusual in Walker’s budget proposal:

If you look at the “FY17 Recommended” column in the “Full-Time Equivalent Position Summary”, you’ll notice that not a single penny is appropriated to full-time faculty member salaries. If Walker’s budget were to be enacted in its current form, starting in July of 2016, when Wisconsin State Fiscal Year 2017 begins, professors and other full-time faculty members at UW System colleges and universities would be required to work without pay. While most college professors work because they love teaching higher education and conducting research in order to make their communities, state, and country a better place to live, I’m almost certain that very few, if any, college professors would work without any pay at all, even though most college professors are interested in doing much more than earning a paycheck. Forcing UW System college professors to work without pay would significantly hurt Wisconsin’s economy, especially areas of Wisconsin in or near a UW System institution, and is, to put it mildly, absolutely cruel. Walker has yet to give one of his absurd explanations for eliminating UW System full-time salaries in his latest state budget.

Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how barbaric Scott Walker’s latest Wisconsin budget proposal is. As a Illinois resident, the thought of Walker being anywhere near the White House gives me nightmares.

Scott Walker compares immigration reform to union busting, has no immigration reform plan of his own

Republican Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who will likely run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, attacked President Barack Obama, who is legally prohibited from seeking a third term in the White House, over, among other things, Obama issuing a lawful executive order on immigration:

Gov. Scott Walker criticized President Barack Obama’s handling of a range of national and international issues, including immigration and foreign policy, in his annual end-of-the-year interview with the Wisconsin State Journal at the Governor’s Mansion Monday.

Walker, who is mulling a run for president in 2016, joined a lawsuit earlier this month seeking to block Obama’s executive action sparing as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation. Obama announced the action in November, saying it was an important step to fix the nation’s broken immigration system.

Perhaps the most moronic comment that Walker made in his interview with the Madison, Wisconsin-based Wisconsin State Journal newspaper was his bizarre comparison of immigration reform and union busting:

Citing his controversial 2011 measure to all but end collective bargaining for most of the state’s public workers, Walker likened Obama’s executive action on immigration to trying to “invoke Act 10 without the Legislature.”

For those of you who are not familiar with Wisconsin politics, “Act 10” refers to 2011 Wisconsin Act 10, a state law that was enacted by the Republican-controlled Wisconsin State Legislature in violation of the state’s open meetings law, signed into law by Walker, upheld by courts controlled by far-right supporters of Walker and his destructive agenda, and stripped Wisconsin’s public employee unions (except for what few public employee unions supported Walker in his 2010 gubernatorial campaign) of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights. Walker is a total moron for comparing immigration reform to stripping collective bargaining rights from public employees.

Furthermore, Walker has no plan whatsoever to reform the broken immigration system in this country:

On how he would resolve the problem of the estimated 12 million immigrants living in the United States illegally, he said he’d “leave that up to the people who are running for federal office or in federal office to decipher.”

I find it hypocritical and downright asinine that Walker, who is considering running for federal office, has no plan to reform the immigration system in this country, and then turns around and says that he’d leave the issue of immigration to those “who are running for federal office or in federal office”. He’s already passing the buck on immigration, and he hasn’t even officially entered the presidential race yet!

In addition to immigration, Walker also criticized Obama over the fact that Obama hasn’t (yet) started a full-scale war with the Islamic fundamentalist terror group ISIS and over Obama’s plans to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba. In other words, Walker wants to return to the failed George W. Bush-era hawkish/neoconservative foreign policy of fighting multiple full-scale wars at the same time that drive up the national debt and is whining about a lack of democracy in Cuba while, at the same time, he’s trying to destroy democracy in Wisconsin and the rest of America.

Make no mistake about it, America can’t afford four years of the Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush-Scott Walker police, surveillance, and military state. America needs Bernie Sanders to run for the Democratic presidential nomination, because he’ll bring real progressive leadership to the White House.