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TopCommentsRedux

Jon Stewart's announcement that his last night on the Daily Show will be August 6 has started a mourning process. He's seemed so incredibly perfect for the show and engaged a young audience into caring about current events. There are never any sacred cows, forbidden topics, and ridicule was dispensed where it was deserved.

Everything was up for grabs - and satire. Things that seemed so baffling at the hands of most journalists, like campaign finance, were easily and brilliantly presented. The Daily Show ended up doing the job that "real" journalists in traditional media have increasingly ignored.

The sad announcement:

His snark filled "fake news program" was more the real deal than most of what we received from traditional media sources. I'm not sure I could have survived 8 years of President Cheney without The Daily Show bringing me a smile amidst all those tears.

Often, no words were needed. Just seeing his reaction to the ridiculous said more than volumes of words ever could.

Here's Jon on Ferguson focusing on the Fox (not) News coverage:

Brilliant! And there's much more below the cheese curl.

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Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) speaks at the 42nd annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, MD, February 26, 2015. Potential Republican presidential candidate Walker told grassroots conservatives on Thursday that his battle
Running a non-stop Presidential campaign
It's about stinking time that Wisconsin Governor Emperor Scott Walker (R-ILoveBillionaireDonors) begins to pick up some of the security costs for his non-stop Presidential campaign instead of mooching them off the backs of Wisconsin taxpayers. After all, this is a guy who keeps on talking about "the hardworking taxpayers" and protecting their money from being "wasted" (except for subsidies and tax breaks for his mega-rich donors and their businesses, but .... shhh about that - it's a secret).

Since his re-election as Governor, he's been jetting all over the country and visiting as many foreign countries as he can to beef up his foreign policy bona fides. His massive security detail, which got even more massive after protests began in February, 2011, is costing "hardworking taxpayers" a bundle - so much that even the Walker-Loving Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has paid attention to the spending. A recent trip to England cost Wisconsin taxpayers over $138,000 and all Walker did was make a fool of himself by ducking questions from the media and then just simply ducking the media.

Taxpayers will not pay the travel costs of Gov. Scott Walker's security detail on political jaunts as he steps up his out-of-state trips in preparation for a likely presidential run.

State tax dollars will still pay for the salaries and benefits of the State Patrol troopers who guard the governor and his family. But the governor's presidential campaign in waiting, Our American Revival, will pick up the officers' travel costs when Walker attends political rallies, fundraisers and other events related to his likely White House bid.

...

On official trips, however, tax dollars will continue to cover the troopers' travel costs.

Wisconsin taxpayers will still be on the hook for all costs that Walker can pretend to claim involve "official state business". That includes all his foreign travel. But openly political travel costs will now be covered by Walkers PAC and one can imagine that ways will be found to stick Wisconsin taxpayers with as much of his travel costs as possible.

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TopCommentsRedux

Thanks to a picture and post on social media, Chester finally has a new home after 5 years of waiting for his forever home.

The post on Face Book went viral.

On April 1, his picture holding a handwritten note describing his situation was placed on the Face Book page for the North Fork Animal Welfare League. He arrived at the Long Island, New York animal shelter after being in several other shelters, but continued to be ignored.

The sign read:

“Why doesn’t anybody want me? I’ve been waiting 5 years. Everyone at the shelter tells me what a good boy I am. So why has no one adopted me? I promise to be good and love my new family. Please maybe you are my new family... I sit and wait for you to come.”
Good news below the cheese curl.

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U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) listens to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton respond to questions about the September attack on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya during a hearing held by the U.S.Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill i
Latest poll isn't good for Rojo.
Couldn't happen to 2 more deserving people IMVHO.

I realized something was up when I actually received a reply to an email I sent to Wisconsin's Junior Senator, Ron Johnson (R-IBoughtMySenateSeat):

Dear Ms. (my name was listed),

Thank you for contacting me regarding my decision to sign the open letter to Iranian leaders.

I signed the letter because it told the truth - a truth that needed to be conveyed. The deal being negotiated with Iran regarding its nuclear program will have grave repercussions for the region and the world. Aside from the immediate danger to the region and Israel, if Iran procures or develops a nuclear weapon, its Arab neighbors will also procure nuclear weapons and no region in the world will be more volatile and dangerous for the world and America. Iran must not acquire a nuclear weapon. Not now, not ever. That has long been this nation's position – and the position of the United Nations. Any agreement with Iran should not grant Iran the right to enrich uranium.

In my mind, the importance of a deal with Iran causes it to rise to the level of a treaty between nations that would require Senate ratification. Unfortunately, President Obama has chosen to "go it alone" and does not plan to seek congressional input or approval. The letter I signed merely states that taking this approach limits the deal's long-term enforceability and viability. It might have been better to address it as an 'open letter' without directing it to anyone in particular, but I stand behind the content and the direction of the letter.

Thank you again for contacting my office. It is very helpful to hear the views of the constituents I serve. To date, my office has received more than 1,500,000 letters, emails and phone calls. My mission is to provide information to as many people as possible concerning the enormous financial and cultural challenges facing America.

Please see my website at www.ronjohnson.senate.gov for additional information. It is an honor representing you and all the people of Wisconsin.

Sincerely,

Ron Johnson
United States Senator

Despite numerous emails and contact forms, this was the very first response I've received since Rojo has been in office for over 5 years.

It was followed by another email telling me that he's been all over the state visiting with folks just like me. Titled "Ron in Your Neighborhood", it listed a few things he's been doing. No, he's really not in my neighborhood and likely won't be.

Ron Around Wisconsin

2,300 Wisconsin business owners held a Telephone Town Hall with Ron to talk about health care, taxes and regulatory reform.
Ron continues his Supper Club Tour. Look for him at your favorite Fish Fry!
Ron Made a surprise phone call to the 8th grade class at Assumption Catholic School in Durand, WI to answer their questions.

This from a man that hasn't done a town hall since his campaign.

Well, when your approval rating is 38% and Russ Feingold is at 54%, it's time to at least pretend to care about the peons.

Rojo will be running for re-election next year and he's worried. The previous poll, done a few weeks ago, showed his disapproval at 52%. Not good for a guy who hates government so much that he ran for office. Even his Republican colleagues don't like him.

His record is awful, he repeatedly embarrasses himself and his state, and he's got the personality of a starving pack of hyenas. He has accomplished absolutely nothing in his over 5 years in Washington. His first utterance to everyone he meets is "Don't ask me for anything".

Russ Feingold
Here's the man we need as Senator.
I'm anxiously waiting for Russ Feingold (54% favorable in the poll) to officially announce that he's running for his old Senate Seat.
Johnson's lag behind Feingold is a sign "that (Feingold's) not been forgotten, nor has the public seemingly turned against him in his time away from the state," said Charles Franklin, director of the poll.
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TopCommentsRedux

A demonstrator holds a sign during a nationwide strike and protest at fast food restaurants to raise the hourly minimum wage to $15 in New York, December 5, 2013. Fast-food workers in hundreds of U.S. cities staged a day of rallies on Thursday to demand h
Fast food workers, Wal Mart Workers, service industry workers, and far too many others have been fighting for a wage increase for years. The last time the minimum wage was raised was on July 24, 2009. Even then the increase was tiny - a raise from $6.55 to a mere $7.25 per hour based on a 3 step minimum wage approved by Congress in 2007. The previous minimum wage, $5.15 per hour, had not been raised in 10 years.

Think back on how much the prices of basic goods and services have increased in the last 18 years. They have long deserved a raise; a meaningful and long-overdue raise. A raise that enables them to pay their bills, buy groceries for their families, and maybe put a few bucks aside for the inevitable rainy day. Instead, what they've gotten is wages so low they need social programs to keep body and soul together and the continued humiliation that crass politicians inflict upon them as though their poverty is entirely their own fault.

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This guy has no shame. I don't know why.
It cost Wisconsin taxpayers $138,200 for Scott Walkers trip to England recently. Promoted as a "trade mission", it was really about pumping up Walker's naked foreign policy resume.

Instead of being a chest-thumping triumph, it turned out to be a huge embarrassment as Walker punted questions on evolution and generally made a fool of himself.

For any potential political candidate, a trip abroad requires substantial resources both in dollars and in staff time setting it up. When those resources can be provided by taxpayers, it frees up political staff and funds for other priorities.

"It's unconscionable that Scott Walker is spending ($138,000) in taxpayer funds on a trip abroad to promote his presidential campaign," state Democratic Party spokeswoman Melissa Baldauff said. "And he's headed overseas again. ... Since releasing his budget, Scott Walker has been seen in Wisconsin about as often as a warm sunny day."

In another sign of the rising importance of international issues for Walker, the governor met recently with the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Speaking to conservative commentator Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday, Walker said he had been talking with officials from the country's Arab allies about President Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with Iran.

(bolding is mine)

And he's about to leave on yet another foreign trip, which will cost taxpayers plenty as he ramps up his Presidential campaign.

It's been Walkers entire history in elected office - using each position to set himself up for his next, higher political goal. When he was Milwaukee County Executive, he used taxpayer money to travel the state, ostensibly to "promote" Milwaukee County. Trust me, the only thing he was promoting was himself. He got that state-wide name recognition, too, at OUR expense. Using that taxpayer funded statewide name recognition helped him become Governor.

Now, he wants to be President. Guess who's going to be handed the bill for all of THAT travel to promote himself while pretending to be promoting Wisconsin. You only need one guess.

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Thu Apr 02, 2015 at 07:00 PM PDT

Top Comments: F**k Cancer Edition

by Puddytat

TopCommentsRedux

While watching the outstanding Ken Burns documentary, Cancer: The Emperor of all Maladies on PBS, I was reminded of all the people we're lost to that horror. Most recently our dear friend Cedwyn who I met and spent time with after Netroots Nation was over. Her flight home was leaving later in the evening and I was spending 1 more night in Detroit to rest before my drive home started in the early hours of the next morning. Her great big smile was magic.

We dined at a fine restaurant at the hotel, spending far too much money quite gladly for a wonderful meal, excellent service, and the continuing pleasure of each others company. We had spent the afternoon walking, sitting, talking, smoking and enjoying the time and nice weather.  All seemed well with the world.

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Of course the former head of the Wisconsin Republican Party (current head of the national Republican Party) doesn't want to talk about Scott Walker's private email system since his emails were part of it.

Republicans are very busy creating an enormous conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton's private email account. Reince Priebus, head of the Republican Party even says it's a "criminal act" despite the fact that she turned over 55,000 emails. On top of that, every work-related communication she sent was archived automatically when it was received at the State Department for the person it was addressed to.

But, if Reince really wants to talk about private email accounts, let him start by talking about Scott Walkers use of private email to conduct both official business and campaign work. Let him address the fact that there was a secret router and personal lap tops used in Walkers' Milwaukee County Executives office in order to skirt legally required archiving and hiding the extent of campaign and fundraising work done on the taxpayers dime. And then let him talk about the top aides to Scott Walker convicted of misconduct in office for using a taxpayer funded office and salary for campaign work.

Remember, Priebus was head of the Wisconsin Republican Party during that time. His own emails were among those gleaned from the seized computers of Walkers staffers in the first John Doe Probe. The emails themselves had to be forensically extracted since they were deleted and, in some cases, computers were wiped.

Those emails continue to plague Scott Walker as batches of them have been released to the public after the first John Doe Probe concluded. It doesn't matter how often Walker spews the "it's old news" meme. To the public, this is brand new news on what was going on in Walkers office at taxpayer expense.

The racist email exchanges were publically embarrassing, but not unexpected given Walkers history. The "nobody cares about crazy people" email in response to reporting about how Walkers brutal budget cuts were likely responsible for a death at the Mental Health Center showed the callousness of Walkers staff toward the public. And, despite Walkers repeated claims that he "knew nothing", it became more obvious that not only did he know, but participated in the use of private email accounts to skirt archiving laws.

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TopCommentsRedux

No, this isn't the Spam I'm talking about
Sometimes spam is hilarious.

We've all had to deal with a variety of unwanted ads, offers, and bogus emails since the inception and popularity of the internet. Some email services, like the one I use, allow users to set high security for their email so mail from people on their contact list is allowed to enter the inbox. The rest get sent away to a "suspect email folder" for review. Just looking at the list of those suspected emails is dismaying.

Most of it's crap - an ever increasing pile of it since a new email domain (tmail.com) came on board a few months ago. It's all pretty much the same, too. Big time promises of cheap penis pills demonstrate that they don't have a clue about who they're sending their ad to (lady puddytats have no need of penis pills).

Or offers of credit card monitoring, credit scores, miracle cures, cheap printer ink, life insurance, gift card offers, notices that "you've won" a contest you never entered, along with a plethora of requests for donations from groups you can never get away from after you e-signed one of their petitions or politicians/groups you donated a few bucks to years ago. Trying to get off one of those email lists is like trying to leave Hotel California (you can check in, but you can never leave no matter how hard you try).

Email icon
You've Got Spam!
One of the funny ones I got today offered training to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. Clearly not a clue who they sent that one to either. If I thought it was legit and not fraudulent, I might think about informing them that I got my Bachelors Degree in Nursing in 1973 and I'm still a Registered Nurse.

On the bright side, though, no more Nigerian Princes offering to share their money with you. Either they've discovered that we're "on" to them or they've finally figured out how to get their hands on their vast fortune without our help.

But that's not the only kind of spam we have to put up with these days. We've got all kinds of spam right here on Daily Kos and a lot of it shouldn't be missed. Follow me below the cheese curl for more.

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Kelly Rindfleisch, former top aide to current Wisconsin Apocalypse Bringer Scott Walker, has pretty much worn out the appeals process on her conviction for Misconduct in Office (campaign work done in a Milwaukee County office on taxpayer time). Now, Fox (not) News is calling her a "political prisoner".
By this time next week, Kelly Rindfliesch could become the first political prisoner in what many see as a Democrat-led secret war on conservatives.

But while prosecutors driving the state's politically charged John Doe investigation push for Rindfleisch to begin serving a six-month jail sentence immediately, her attorney says he plans to ask a federal court to intervene.

Rindfleisch and political activist Eric O'Keefe, who is pushing back against the prosecutors as a target in the so-called John Doe II, spoke with Wisconsin Reporter in an exclusive after the state Supreme Court declined to take up Rindfleisch's appeal.

(bolding is mine)

I call bullshit.

Kelly Reindfleisch and the rest of Scott Walkers County Executive staff stole from Milwaukee County taxpayers by doing campaign work in taxpayer funded offices while on the taxpayers dime. They worked with personal laptops on a secret router so none of their activities could be archived (legally required) and so they could keep their campaign operations secret.

As a Milwaukee County taxpayer, they stole from me.

Presenting them as victims of a witch hunt or liberal plot to discredit Scott Walker is propagandizing a lie. Walkers aides broke the law, stole from a veterans fund, and used official County offices literally as their campaign headquarters rather than doing the business that they were being paid to do.

Time for Kelly Rindfleisch to do her 6 months in prison plea bargain time. She should have known better, anyway, since she only escaped charges in the 1990s (for doing the exact same thing) by cooperating with prosecutors in the infamous Caucus Scandal that led to the demise of the careers of so many politicians who thought they would get away with it.

When you're in a public service job, do the job. Not campaign work. You're lucky the judge accepted that cozy plea bargain deal in the first place and then allowed you to stay out of prison while your case was being appealed. You've tried every way you can to avoid it - even claiming (laughably) that your 1990s immunity deal in the Caucus Scandal applied to your decades in the future criminal acts. Time to stop whining and go to jail.

I'm so mad I could spit fire.

Discuss
Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.
Things haven't been quite so rosy for Wisconsin absentee Dictator Governor Scott Walker (R-I ♥ Billionaires) this week. Bwahahahaha!

Even better, the media is noticing (yes, even here in Wisconsin!) that either Walker or his staff have been doing nothing but stepping on rakes this week. Couldn't happen to someone more deserving.

He fired a recently hired campaign aide because the head of the Iowa GOP whined about a few tweets. Well, she "resigned" will be the "official" story (full details available from Rachel Maddow- video from the show isn't available). Even the RW has a problem with that.

And as Jonah Goldberg wrote in The National Review, throwing Mair "under the bus for this, suggests not only that he’s got some problems getting ready for prime time, it also suggests he can get rolled by the Iowa GOP establishment. What happens when he gets to Washington?"
Even Erick Erickson, the outspoken editor-in-chief of the conservative website RedState.com, said that the governor had "botched" the episode and that it played into a narrative that he wasn't ready for prime time.
But, as Scott Walkers long sleeved, pale blue shirt campaign costume will tell you, it's Walkers way. He panders to power. Always. Forever. Their wish is his command. While pretending to be a "strong, bold leader", he'll kiss the butt of anyone who he thinks can help him achieve his ambitions.

And lie? Of COURSE! He's skillful, pliable, bendable, will do or say whatever it takes to get his goal. Remember, this is a guy who pretends to be a moderate when campaigning for County Exec or Governor and turns hard right wing after the election is over. The "I say what I'll do and do what I say" meme is pure, unadulterated, Walker bullshit. He never reveals what he will do.

With Walker, it's government by surprise. During his 2010 campaign he promised to negotiate with state workers over their contract. AFTER the election, he busted their unions. During his 2014 campaign he said he was uninterested in banning abortions or imposing Right to Work (Mooch) on private sector workers. AFTER the election? He's already signed a Right to Mooch bill less than 2 weeks after it was introduced and now is drooling in anticipation over signing a 20 week ban on abortions.

So, yes, he's been folding like a cheap suit when faced with the demands of Iowa Republican Caucus voters. Flip-flopping like a mackerel, even his pals at PolitiFact Wisconsin, who bend over backwards to find a scintilla of even perceived truthiness where Walker is concerned, have repeatedly given out Full Flips and Pants on Fire.

Then, there was the hoo-ha Walker created with his often told fable about being the first person to touch the Reagan Bible. The Curator of the Reagan Library related that it was Walker, and not Nancy Reagan, who insisted upon holding that Bible during his visit to give a speech. A few days later, after the truth hit the fan, folks at the Reagan Bible flip flopped on their own statement to back up the Republican Primary frontrunner (I wonder how many calls from the powerful that it took to get them to throw themselves under the Walker bus?).

Don't forget, there are powerful people behind Walker. The Koch Brothers, Club for Growth, among others have already received plenty of bang for the bucks that have gotten Walker into power and kept him there. If they have to step on some "little people" and toss them under the bus, so be it. In whatever political office Walker inhabits, he's THEIR humble and obedient servant who always provides them with a massive return on their tens of millions of dollars of "investments".

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Wed Mar 18, 2015 at 07:00 PM PDT

Top Comments: Cluelessness Edition

by Puddytat

TopCommentsRedux

We hear the word all the time. "Clueless". According to Merriam Webster:

Full Definition of CLUELESS

1:  having or providing no clue (a clueless case for the police to solve)

2:  completely or hopelessly bewildered, unaware, ignorant, or foolish (clueless about what they want)

Often, we misuse the word to describe people who simply refuse to know or believe something. Example: Most Republicans are clueless about climate change.

Nope, they're not. They simply prefer campaign cash, partisan approval, and other benefits they get from the pretense of cluelessness. We do them a favor by going along with the ruse they're trying to sell.

Join me under the cheese curl for a very old example of real cluelessness that will bring a smile.

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