Mar 19, 2018

Trump Still Silent on Serial Bomber Assassinating Black and Brown Folks in Austin

Austin, Texas police chief speaks to reporters after bombing
last week, (Huffington Post)
Last night the fourth terrorist bombing in Texas claimed two more casualties.

Two weeks and four bombs. But there is an element here that makes these crimes even more spectacular: The victims are black and brown, so Donald Trump is silent.

Imagine if the victims were white and lived in small-town Pennsylvania and Wisconsin?

From Shaun King at The Intercept:

Here’s what I know and what makes living in this country so damn exhausting: If the victims were white and the suspects were known to be Muslims, the president of the United States would care. In these cases, however, with no profile of the attacker available and a trail of black and brown victims, it seems like this square peg doesn’t fit into the round hole of Trump’s agenda. 

The United States has a white supremacist in the White House, with an emboldened base of white supremacists cheering this lunatic on.

Mar 18, 2018

Mark Pocan Offers FBI's McCabe New Job after Trump Admin Firing

U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Wisconsin) offers fired FBI
number 2, Andrew McCabe, a new federal job on
March 17, 2018.
Madison, Wisconsin—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan, (D-Wisconsin), has offered the fired FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe a new federal job after Attorney General Jeff Sessions axed the No. 2 at the FBI, the culmination of an eight-month public pursuit of McCabe by Donald Trump, (Pocan, Wisconsin 2nd district, Pocan-Twitter, Slate).

Writes Pocan Saturday morning:

Pocan's employment offer, inspired by NBC News' Andrea Mitchell, was followed by multiple congressional Democrats making similar federal employment overtures.

The McCabe firing is widely regarded as politically inspired by the Trump administration and a possible corruption of federal employee regulations.

McCabe is reportedly a key witness in the federal probe led by Robert S. Mueller investigating possible obstruction of justice crimes by Donald Trump, among other matters arising from possible links from the Russian government and individuals associated with Trump's campaign.

The federal probe began May, 17, 2017.

Trump has voiced malice against Andrew McCabe, going so far as to insult McCabe's wife as a "loser" in a January comment leading many to again question Trump's psychological growth into adulthood, (NBC News).

The Trump administration continues its bizarre, corrupt and malicious pursuit of perceived enemies, as congressional Democrats and good-government groups work to save a functioning federal government.

From the Huffington Post:

In a statement on Saturday, Pocan called his proposal to McCabe 'a legitimate offer,' adding: 'Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity.'

The offer came in response to a tweet from NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell, who suggested that a 'friendly member of Congress' hire McCabe so he could 'qualify for pension benefits by extending his service the extra days.'

McCabe is reported to be considering all options.

Pocan's March 17 press release is reproduced below:

WASHINGTON, DC (March 17, 2018) – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today extended an offer of employment to Andrew McCabe, the former Deputy Director of the FBI, so that he can reach the needed length of service after President Trump fired him just days before he was set to retire.

"Andrew McCabe’s firing makes it clear that President Trump is doing everything he can to discredit the FBI and undermine the Special Counsel’s investigation," said Rep. Pocan. "While Speaker Ryan and House Republicans have become complicit in the President’s destruction of our democracy, we must do all that we can to ensure that the investigation into Russia’s interference in our election is completed and that future elections are safeguarded from these kinds of attacks."

"My offer of employmentto Mr. McCabe is a legitimate offer to work on election security. Free and fair elections are the cornerstone of American democracy and both Republicans and Democrats should be concerned about election integrity," continued Rep. Pocan. "From Governor Walker’s outrageous voter ID laws that kept an estimated17,000 registered Wisconsin votersfrom the polls in 2016, to Republicans in Pennsylvania gerrymandering a map to rig elections in their favor, our electoral systems are under attack. We must take serious steps to not only secure our elections from foreign actors like Russia, but also ensure that the American people have faith that their votes matter."

"Finally, I’d like to thank Mr. McCabe for his years of service to the FBI and our country. He deserves the full retirement that he has been promised, not to have it taken away as a result of the President’s political games," concluded Rep. Pocan.

Last year, Pocan introduced the Securing America’s Future Elections Act (SAFE Act), which would safeguard U.S. elections from future foreign cyber-attacks and interference by permanently classifying the integrity and security of U.S. elections as a key component of critical infrastructure. This important classification would place elections systems in the same category as other critical infrastructure including the power grid, the banking system, and other utilities.

The SAFE Act also addresses election standards to protect against cyber-threats, better voting machines to provide paper ballots, and execute random audits of ballots to thwart interference.

Mar 16, 2018

Wisconsin Governor's Race—Kelda Helen Roys, First Candidate Scratched from My List

Wisconsin candidate for governor,
Kelda Helen Roys airs what
she claims is unscripted and
pioneering campaign video.
Milking it for what it's worth in campaign video ploy

Madison, Wisconsin—Kelda Helen Roys is a candidate for the Wisconsin Democratic Party nominee for governor.

Like every other Democratic candidate, Roys is part of the pack in the latest Marquette University Law School Poll.

Voting for the fall gubernatorial primary begins on June 30.

To break out of the pack Roys is airing a contrived campaign video entitled "Our Girls" that the campaign presents as "groundbreaking" in a March press release.

The ploy worked and this well-conceived PR stunt garnered pieces across Wisconsin, and even a piece in People Magazine.

Roys came out for motherhood last week, and in what the candidate insists is an unplanned, unscripted moment, Roys breastfeeds her four-month-old daughter who is crying and just happened to be on hand for the video shoot that by happenstance discussed infant and child safety.

"I was right in the middle of talking so they just kept rolling figuring they would be able to use the sound," Roys told the Wisconsin State Journal,

Roys elaborated her defense of motherhood, saying that, "I don’t view it as a downside, the fact that I have kids. I view it as my greatest motivator and I think there are parents all over the state that will relate to that because they want the same things for their kids as I want for mine," (Wisconsin State Journal).

Roys told the same story to The Capital Times:

[Roys] also breastfeeds her four-month-old daughter, in a move she says was unplanned.

'I mean, no, other than that I’m a normal person. I’m a mom, I’m a businesswoman, I’m an advocate,' Roys said when asked if she intended for the breastfeeding moment to be the takeaway from the video. 'Like most working parents around the state, I juggle a lot of things and responsibilities, and I wear a lot of hats. When we were shooting the video, my family was obviously there, and when the baby needs to eat I just feed her.'

Roys is bright, progressive and has a lovely family. Moreover, Roys is 100-percent, spot-on the issues.

But c'mon, no one believes this stunt was not planned and the video on infant and child safety was not scripted.

This video is calculating and manipulative posturing.

Does Roys sincerely believe the Democratic Party electorate is stupid?

The Our Girls is below:

Mar 10, 2018

Police Records Kept from Public Show Killer Cop Is Violent, Dishonest Thug

Paul Heenan, at right, during a happy day before he was
gunned down by the cop Stephen Heimsness, formerly of the
Madison Police Department on Nov. 9, 2012. The killer,
Heimsness, was cleared of criminal wrongdoing of course.
Killing people is an acceptable practice of the Madison
Police Department. In 2013, Heimsness, a violent, anti-
social harasser resigned in the face of overwhelming
evidence of unrelated misconduct and dishonesty in
Oct. 2013, 11 months too late for Paul Heenan.
In a piece this week by Dylan Brogan in Madison's
Isthmus, Brogan reports Madison Police officials
knew all about Heimsness' history of dishonest and
violent misconduct and did nothing to get this
homicidal piece of shit off the streets and off the force.
Madison, Wisconsin—The murder of a young person is a trauma that lives on for generations.

I've seen it, and likely most of us are only one or two degrees away from experiencing the shattered lives forever altered by deadly violence inflicted by war, cops or criminals.

I first read about the murder of one young Madison man, Paul Heenan, on February 6, 2013, some three months after Heenan was gunned down in cold blood by a Madison cop.

Someone sent me a petition begun by Madison residents, Nathan and Amelia Royko-Maurer, objecting to the Madison Police killing their young friend, and the continued employment of the killer, Stephen Heimsness, formerly of the Madison Police Department.

This week Dylan Brogan in The Isthmus details the career of the Madison cop who killed Paul Heenan, using records the Madison Police fought to keep from being released.

The police records were obtained though an open records request that Isthmus had to go to court to have released, and Brogan in a meticulously researched piece uses the 729 pages that paint a portrait of a sociopath, the killer Paul Heimsness, as a lying, violent, malignant thug for whom Madison Police went to great lengths to protect, and cover-up Heimsness' violent history of misconduct.

Reading this superior piece of investigative writing by Brogan is a civic duty.

Two reader online comments to the Isthmus piece sum up community sentiment in Madison, and the comments are reproduced below:

This is absolutely disgusting. It makes me sick. Paulie was one of the most amazing people this planet had to offer. He wouldnt hurt a fly. Not to mention Heimsness weighed twice as much as Paulie did. It is ridiculous to think he couldnt handle a completely wasted person half your size. Its your job. But no, his actions went unaccounted and an amazing human was murder by the people we pay to protect and serve our community. I miss you Paulie, there are so many people that do.
- Greg Dellmann
Good work, Isthmus, in fighting the tough, protracted Freedom of Information battle that has revealed in progressively greater detail the many acts of malfeasance - some of it truly dangerous! - on the part of former cop Steven Heimsness, acts that preceded Heimsness's murder of the unarmed Paul Heenan. Not to mention the "Cover Your Ass" machinations that were carried out at the topmost echelons of the MPD. And so a hearty "Bad Boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do!?!" goes out to former Police Chief Noble Wray. Of course I was just being rhetorically inclined; we already know the comfortably retired Mr. Wray will do absolutely NOTHING in the way of making amends.
- Dan A. Goldstein
Cops killing people is the world we live in.

Mar 9, 2018

On Defeating Wisconsin Republicans

2018 is the year Wisconsin Democrats hit the target or
the year democracy perishes in the Progressive State.
Madison, Wisconsin — On June 30, 111 days from now, absentee ballots will be mailed for the Aug. 14, 2018 Wisconsin Fall Primary.

Wisconsin voters will choose a candidate for the Democratic Party nominee for governor.

One hundred-and-eleven days in statewide-campaign time is a sprint.

On March 10, absentee ballots will be mailed for the April 3, 2018 Wisconsin Spring General Election featuring two candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Twenty-four days is a sprint.

The gubernatorial and this Supreme Court race are nearly equal in importance.

Advice for Democrats, progressives and those with a passing interest in the health of Wisconsin:

Repeat over-and-over the message, the fact, Republicans oppose democracy. Republicans work for special interests, against you.

Any voiced defect or criticism in messaging by Wisconsin Democrats should be given a hearing by Wisconsin Democrats.

Now is not the time for Wisconsin Democratic Party tribalism, for Party hacks, for careerism, group-thing, political malpractice, badly performing consulting firms, and all-around fuck-abouts who have exhibited campaign incompetence so potent Wisconsin's Lost Decade under Republican rule, (2011-2019), will take years to recover from.

Wake up. See what the city of Madison is doing in facilitating voting: Badger your municipality to replicate it.

See what Patty Schachtner did in the January 2018 State Senate special election pushing local control and clean water: Learn from it.

Have someone willing to blanket a critical voting area with signs and lit: Give him or her what she needs now.

Don't fuck this up.