If he answered, “Blue has a shorter wavelength?”

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It’s an interesting question: what, precisely, would it take to get those stoic, fingers-jammed-firmly-in-their-ears Walker supporters to renounce the man they’ve come to fetishize over the past year and a half?

I’ll only bring up the repeal of equal pay for women and the decimation of the public education system to acknowledge that they won’t be the issues to sway these die-hard spendthrifts who know that you don’t get something for nothing, but hey, why not try it anyway?

How about cronyism? That always seems to work the folks on the far right into a particularly righteous lather.  Oh, they sure won’t like this story about the oft-drunk-driving son of a political donor – a lobbyist, no less! – who was given a cushy job starting at around $80K per year, despite the fact he has no college degree nor is in any way “qualified”, whatever that means!  But wait, this is “just the way these things are done in government” comes the incongruous rationalization from the Walker-backers.  Government is by nature corrupt, so duh!, is the apparent argument, delivered without so much as a hint of self-realization.

Fundraising on the public dime – surely that will get them irate.  There’s nothing worse than a road worker taking a drink in the shade to ward off heat stroke without even having the courtesy to call each and every tax payer and ask their permission to “take five”.  Yet this story, despite having the rather convincing advantage of being true, is dismissed as yet another political attack.  You can get convictions in unfounded, politically motivated prosecutions?!?  If that is the case, the dems really ought to try more of this.

Going after the sacred, time-honored tradition of deer hunting?  Now, I can think of nothing, saving climbing the Lombardi statue at Lambeau Field and crowning him with a big steaming dump, that would shake to the core even the most hardened and cynical Walker supporter.  Maybe that would do the trick, if anyone had heard about it.  Unfortunately, the first page of results on Google when searching “deer czar wisconsin” are all liberal media outlets, from Daily Kos to Wonkette.  You’d think a story involving a significant change to deer hunting in Wisconsin would’ve attracted the attention of more traditional news outlets, but then apparently you just don’t know anything about traditional news outlets, buddy.

And so, it seems, the question of what could possibly lead a Walker supporter to change his or her mind seems largely rhetorical.  Or maybe it’s the sort of question that can only be answered with another question.  Or maybe it’s an unanswerable question, like why is the sky blue?  If you think that question is answerable, please be patient, Governor Walker has given us the tools to disabuse you of that notion.

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If I had a hammer…

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Pointing out the failings of Scott Walker and the policies he advocates can feel at times like a spirited game of Whack-a-mole, and other times like a Sisyphean exercise.  Time is short, and the amount of information great.  In the spirit of alacrity, in the less than 10 days before the June 5 recall election, I’ve decided to highlight other bloggers of note – ones who have compelling arguments and can back them up with facts – rather than squander time trying to distill this information from different sources into a post of my own.

First allow me to refer you to this excellent article, brimming with facts and links to sources, which investigates one of Walker’s many lies: Wisconsin never had a $3.6 billion deficit, and it’s not fixed.  This post highlights Walker’s habit of conflating statistics, grabbing numbers from column A of one report and column B of another report that uses entirely different methodology, tossing in a health dose of fairy dust, and serving up the ensuing number salad to an eager and drooling public.

I think this penchant for finding numbers that suit him, or if he can’t finesse those, then just making them up, is one of the weaknesses Walker has that ought to be set upon. The others being his “divide and conquer” approach to civil society, his DNR shenanigans which are upsetting to people of all political persuasions (deer hunters don’t like being called Maoists), and the omnipresent dark cloud of John Doe that hangs over his head wherever he goes.  Keep hammering away on these points; they are, I think, the most likely to cast some doubt into the zealotry of Walker-worship that seems to have infected large swaths of the state.

A very well written and reasoned post. This would be a wonderful thing to share with your more conservative friends and family members.

Baron von Reed

Dear Friends And Family Who Lean Politically To The Right,

From time to time, I get impassioned and write you one of these open letters. At the moment, I’m not impassioned. I’m exhausted.

There’s a statewide election coming up on June 5, however.

If I wait until I’m impassioned to say what’s on my mind, the moment may have passed.

If you’re not from Wisconsin, you may skip to the bit at the end that says “Love, Doug”.

If you are from Wisconsin, please read this letter with an open mind. We’re all tired from the last 18 months of political strife, so I will keep it brief and free from name-calling.

I don’t like name-calling. I’m tired of the bickering and the divisiveness. Neighbors don’t speak to neighbors. Family reunions get tense. I’ve damaged some long-term friendships with people who don’t even live in this state.  Those of you…

View original post 1,342 more words

Recalling Walker, volume 3: Climate change no one can deny

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With June 5 fast approaching, it is becoming increasingly rare to find a person in Wisconsin of voting age who hasn’t yet made up their mind as to how they plan to vote in the recall election.  The likelihood of swaying those who have, whatever the quality of their reasons, made up their minds is slight.  And so we must make our case to those precious few undecideds, once we’ve flipped over the stones under which they’ve apparently been hiding.

The truth, unfortunate though it may be, is that many people – and undecided voters especially – vote with their gut.  Facts and figures and statistics and budgetary numbers won’t serve to sway them, and given the dizzying rounds of volleying economic numbers as of late, I suppose it’s hardly fair to fault them.  So we must make our case from an emotional point of view; mind you this is not an abdication of the facts, but rather it is embracing the fact that there is, even beyond the hard numbers, a solid case to be made for recalling the Governor.  This case is, I think, best made by highlighting not the economy, not civil rights or a war on women, but by sitting back and letting Walker’s leadership skill speak for itself.  And, luckily, Walker and his sycophantic pep-squad have lately been feeling generous.

DIVIDE AND CONQUER

This 30 seconds of video does more to hurt Walker than two hours of patient explanation until you’re blue in the face.  A governor job is to lead a state, not divide (much less vanquish) it.  Even the undecideds have likely heard Walker’s self-congratulatory statements lauding himself for trying oh-so-hard to work with those across the aisle.  This video cuts those lies down in short order.

I wasn’t present, but even I feel dirty after that.

WALKER’S LIST

To all but the most hardened extremist, this cynical attempt at class warfare will have the opposite effect as was intended.  The idea of drawing up a list of “enemies of the state”, though a Wisconsin tradition, is bound to be found as distasteful and puerile to the average Wisconsinite.  If you had to choose only one thing to focus on until June 5, it would be this list.  Wisconsin, suddenly infested with Gadsden flag waving tea partiers though it may be, is still a place that prides itself on being neighborly, and neighbors simply do not stoop to such levels as these.

JUDGE WALKER BY THE COMPANY HE KEEPS

The John Doe investigation, though Walker and his subordinates and fawning groupies continue to discount it as a political ploy, has produced a few shocking revelations (such as embezzlement from veterans and sexting teenagers) that no one has even bothered to dispute.  After such discoveries, the real political scandal of fundraising for Walker on the taxpayer’s dime seems almost quaint and innocuous.

HOW MUCH IS TEN BUCKS REALLY WORTH?

Finally, the undecided voter might be asked whether the average of ten dollars which they’ve saved on property taxes has been worth all the vitriol, all of the families divided, the negative to anemic job growth (depending on whose numbers you feel like using), the McCarthyite tactics of the past year; whether the change in the political climate from civilized to vulgar is worth the price.

Make no mistake, Tom Barrett is no messiah come to deliver us from evil.  He just a competent, realistic public servant.  He’s not the Second Coming, he’s the Silkwood Shower this state so desperately could use.

Brave dullards anonymously post teacher salary info because teachers cause foreclosures or something

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Just a short post to tide everyone over while I’m working on a more all-encompassing piece regarding the state of education in Wisconsin under Scott Walker.

In case there was any doubt regarding the extremist element working hand in hand with Walker’s “educational reforms”:

Although these salary figures were obtained perfectly legally through an open records request, the objective of publishing them is both clear and far from noble:  to demean and intimidate those teachers audacious enough to imagine they had a right to participate in politics. Apparently, at least as far as the people who published this list are concerned, taking up teaching is akin to taking your priestly vows.  Imagine the dust-up if word got out one of these teachers was using contraception!

How much harder have these so-called “concerned” parents made the jobs of these teachers?  How much work and effort and time and patience have these teachers spent working with their kids, in some cases dealing with their disruptive behavior fostered and nurtured by their parents utter disdain for education, viewing it as commensurate to brainwashing?  These folks are just another example of the by now familiar emotionally immature, latter-day patriots obsessed with rights but utterly lacking in responsibility.  In this ridiculous screed, their lack of attachment to reality is laid bare: they blame teacher compensation for the 300% rise in foreclosures since 2008.  Because there sure isn’t anything else that happened around then that could explain all the foreclosures.

In what other profession are people so subjected to this sort of harassment?  Movie stars and billionaires, I’ll grant you, but certainly any thinking person agrees that a teacher hardly lives a comparable lifestyle to anyone like that.  They already receive the lion’s share of the blame more rightly reserved for underachieving kid’s parents, and now this ham-handed piece of political theater.  Mind you, it would be such an inconvenience for these people to actually sit down and have a civilized talk with the teachers to air their concerns.  Much more constructive, I’m sure, to anonymously publish personal information in the local newspaper.  I pity the poor children offered this callow example of adult behavior; especially now as their best teachers begin to look toward greener pastures elsewhere.

If only these punters could be troubled to notice their children’s teachers are – very nearly to a (wo)man – hard-working, deeply committed human beings, and not do-nothing fat-cats.  They are people who are part of a union that agreed in principle to every one of Walker’s financial demands.

If only these brave list-makers could hear the facts over their shrill and frantic fear-mongering.

Recalling Walker, Volume 2: Divide & Conquer

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The evidence is clear: Scott Walker lies. A lot. And I’m not referring here to the garden variety brand of lies told by politicians since time immemorial; things like ‘cutting taxes always leads to job growth’, ‘the government has no intrinsic worth’, ‘a quarter of a million jobs will be created by such-and-such point in time’. No, these are lies of a more specific and conspiratorial nature.

Walker has insisted ever since his “Budget Repair Bill” (which, curiously, failed to repair the budget), that he had campaigned all along on curtailing union rights.  While he did mention it in private a few times…

…he kept it hush-hush on the campaign trail; in fact, going so far as to say he planned to negotiate with the unions:

If those who “Stand with Walker” have no qualms about his lying to advance his political agenda, rather than submitting it to reasoned and sober debate in the light of day, it certainly brings into question the moral compass of those supporters, as well as their fitness to participate in a democracy. Rushing through bills, under the auspices that you know what’s better for Wisconsin than the state’s citizens do, amounts to something little more civilized than a putsch.

And his statement to the odious Diane Hendricks – who has at length proved that the death of a loved one does not necessarily impress upon the survivor what the truly important things in life are, and that (at least some) people can never truly have enough money – absolutely begs the question: divide and conquer who?  The individual unions against each other, the nearly half a million union members against each other, union workers against non-union workers?  One can’t help but think of the image of the hapless McCain, shaking his head in bewilderment, as his 2008 running mate traced a swath through the country edifying those Real Americans who were self-evident in their support of her.  Anyone inspired by this style of we-won’t-negotiate-with-terrorists-and-they’re-all-terrorists leadership, I truly do pity, as I imagine they will at some point have found themselves to have spent their lives in service of thankless, self-appointed demi-gods who had not even bothered to notice they were there.

Recalling Walker, volume one

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I view it as both a pity and a personal failing that I did not get around to publishing something like this earlier; with the recall election less than a month away, I fear this information will be far too late for many. However, any documentation of the worst and most dangerous Governor of my home state of Wisconsin is surely a good thing.

For this particular article, I won’t go into documenting all of the many, many, many, many, many shortcomings and outright failings of Scott Walker; I’ll take another tack and ask “What good has Walker done?”, an obvious rhetorical question if ever there was one.

I’ve yet to hear – and it’s not from lack of listening – even one reason to support Governor Walker that is both a) articulate, and b) based in reality. No, more often than ought to be tolerated in a representative democracy, Walker-backers will recite with disconcerting word-for-word precision a litany of talking points, unable to be bothered to alter the verbiage even a little bit, at least to give the illusion that they’ve given any serious thought to the matter.

The two most common “reasons” (kind of sullies the root meaning of the word, no?) I’ve heard put forth are: ‘Walker balanced the budget’ and ‘Walker took on the greedy unions’. I’ll take these on in order.

Walker balanced the budget’:

This claim is usually, in fact, in my personal experience, always, stated as a self-obvious fact, no evidence to back up the claim need be given. As is usually the case when evidentiary requests are scornfully dismissed, this claim is patently false. In other words, this claim is articulate – it is clear and concise in terms of Walker actually doing something – but it is not based in fact: http://thewheelerreport.com/releases/January12/0118/0118richardslfb.pdf

Yes, in spite of the fact that Walker supposedly “balanced the budget”, surprise, surprise: maths is hard for the WI GOP.  He keeps needing to move money around and redirect funds meant for other things (usually those bothersome and whiny poors, see 3rd ‘many’ above) to plug up holes as his budget continues to be chipped away at by the rigors of reality.

‘Walker took on the unions’:

This claim is sort of the opposite of the first claim: it is based in fact, no one can question the fact that he initiated and conducted a planned attack on collective bargaining rights. But here the claim is not articulate. Ask a supporter to clarify what it means to “take on the unions” and you receive, through much teeth-gnashing and foot-shuffling, little more than the results of a sort of Rorschach test for the conservative individual’s personality – often a rich tapestry of persecution complex, fear of ridicule, anxiety regarding the unknown and/or unfamiliar, and the like. Generally variations of the theme of fear – what a shock, who would have thought it?  That, and the odd certainty that if only employees were willing to settle for much less compensation, their employers would be so touched as to reward them with more.  What a beguiling notion.

A third claim, the talking point all the rage among Wisconsin teabaggers at the moment has to do with Wisconsin adding 20,000 jobs over the past twelve months rather than losing 30,000, as standard metrics indicate.  Even if Walker’s numbers hold true, they are statistics in a vacuum – how do these numbers compare to the numbers from other states?  Who knows; no other state has released these numbers yet.  And that’s point, really; just throwing out a number that can be parroted ad nauseam, context be damned.  Because if most other states added 40 – 60,000 jobs or more in the same time period – and the country seems to be heading in the direction that this is a likelihood – once again Wisconsin’s job numbers don’t look so hot and Walker appears less than competent.  To say nothing of the fact that the numbers Walker is flouting are a measly 10% of the quarter of a million he was promising while being one-fourth of the way through his term; judge him by the economy, he has been rumored to remark (although I prefer to judge him based on his contempt for rules and the company he keeps).  I could also go on about the quality of jobs being “created” under his suspect environmental, pay scale, and giving-away-taxpayer-money-to-corporations-like-it’s-penny-candy policies, but I’ll save that for another day, lest I be accused of ‘moving the goalposts’, as I recently was, for having the gall to desire not only quantity but also quality in the growth of our economy, for insisting upon a solid foundation of sound economic policy upon which the much vaunted “job creators” – these apparently very meek and timid titans of industry, our economic saviors – might construct these jobs, less the edifice crumble and scatter to the shifting economic winds.



Letters to the Semi-Literate

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This online reference journal isn’t just going to be all dry facts and pie charts and choking down dry pie crusts and stuff like that.  No, sometimes things bother me to the point that I sit myself down and write a legislator to let them know exactly how incompetent I feel they are.  I mean, not knowing something like that has really got to gnaw at them, right?  Anyways, as I write these things, I’m going to go ahead and post them here too.  Below is the latest letter I’ve written to my state Rep. Dean Knudson, an affable oaf of a fella, the sort of guy who actually honestly sincerely seems to believe in the magic of voodoo economics.  Bless his heart, you almost don’t know whether to box his ears and berate him or just give him a Christian side hug and tell him not to worry his little head and everything will be all right.

04/25/12

State Representative Dean Knudsen

PO Box 8953

Madison, WI 53708-8953

Dear Dean,

May I call you Dean? From the familiar tone of your letter to me, I feel conducting our correspondence using first names as wholly appropriate. You really come across as the kind of guy I could have a beer with, perhaps at one of our state’s fine taverns or sports venues.

Imagine my delight at being asked to weigh in with my opinion on the issues of the day, especially in this era when it has become commonplace for disinterested legislators to subcontract their job of crafting law out to third-party think tanks of dubious distinction and spotty (at best) track records.

Now, I hope you’ll forgive me if this letter is a little more than you would care to read. You asked that, given the fact that you have to vote yes or no, you should like me to limit my reply to these two options. Now, I’m sure someone esteemed as yourself, having attained such a high position in the august seat of power that is the Wisconsin State Legislature must have the intellectual interest in learning the reasoning and hearing the supporting arguments that form the foundation of your constituent’s opinions; after all, not all opinions are arrived at with the same degree of prudence and contemplation. You’ll forgive me, I hope, if rather than filling out your issue-encompassing eight question survey, I take a few moments to jot down a rough outline of my opinions for you:

In your first question, you asked which of the following methods ought to be used by state lawmakers to balance the budget. Mind you, as a pragmatist, I would have liked to check the box indicating “Combination of all the above”, however, I worried that between my mailing and your receiving this letter, some nefarious ne’er-do-well might intercept it and misconstrue its meaning, thinking that I would favor some ridiculous ratio as 99% spending cuts, 0.5% tax increases and 0.5% increased borrowing. Obviously, it would be nice to assume that such an extreme simpleminded policy proposal of the sort I just delineated could be dismissed out of hand. But sadly, Mr. Knudsen, these are sad and troubling times we live in, and I just don’t feel safe taking something like that for granted. I mean, in a world where a woman can be considered pregnant a full two weeks before conception, it makes a man question even his most taken for granted concepts of reasoning and logic.

At the top of your spring newsletter you offered a quote from President Barack Obama: “The last thing we want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession”. Mr. Knudsen, from our perspective here in Wisconsin, I can understand your mistaken perception that we are in the middle of a recession; I mean, have you seen the latest job numbers? Wisconsin, long lauded for its well educated and hard working labor force, leads the nation in job loss. No small wonder the people have gotten all “recall-y” lately!

Now, I’m not going to go into a long economic screed on what methods need be employed to turn around Wisconsin’s sagging economy; I merely ask that we take a level-headed, calm and rational view at the numbers. Clearly, no thinking person can argue that what we’ve been doing for the past year has been working. In fact, quite the opposite seems to be true: it has been an unmitigated train-wreck (sorry, I hate to bring up a sore subject like trains). Our Governor Walker said at the start of his term that we ought to judge him by how well his economic policies work. Who would have thought that taking hundreds of dollars every month out of the pockets of tens of thousands of middle class people as we were coming out of a recession would be so disastrous? Oh well, live and learn, as they say. And our property taxes did indeed go down, to the tune of an average of 50 dollars per year! That’s like a couple of cups of coffee a month. OK, that’s a bit underwhelming, but I’m sure our Governor meant well.

Your second question asks about the possibility of a property tax freeze, turning the issue of whether or not to raise property taxes over to a direct election, rather than having citizens vote elected officials to office to make these decisions; you know, sort of how things are typically done in a democratic republic. While this example of elected representatives cowardly dodging the hard work they were elected to do is commendable, I think I can do you one better: start all elected officials off with a base salary of zero dollars per year, with each pay raise approved only by voter approval. Feel free to share this idea on the floor – I think we’re on to a winner here.

The third question I will quote verbatim, as it is quite technical: “Do you support requiring state employees to contribute 5.8% toward their pensions and no less than 12.6% toward health insurance?”

Now Mr. Knudsen, I would never accuse you of being disingenuous, so I hope I’m safe in assuming that you are grossly misinformed and/or very incurious about the facts. Perhaps you have not taken the time to read the literature you received from the state regarding public employee compensation. Compensation, in case you aren’t familiar, is a tricky word that basically means what someone gives you in order that you will do the work for them that they want you to. I don’t know, you may have many more important things to do than to figure out what your health coverage liability is if, Heaven forbid, a family member comes down with cancer or twisted ankles or dementia. I thought I’d bring a particularly salient portion from the “Careers” section of the state of Wisconsin Dept. of Employees Trust Funds web page to your attention:

The fringe benefits offered to State of Wisconsin employees are significant, and are a valuable part of an individual’s compensation package.

I’m sure that right now you are as shocked as I was when I first came across this information. I know that certain members of the Wisconsin legislature have an aversion to math, but I hope that you are not among them, because it can be helpful in illustration. See, if “X”=salary and “Y”=benefits, total compensation (there’s that tricky word again!) would equal X+Y. By forcing teachers (who I’m sure you will agree are among the hardest working citizens we have. Well, maybe not as hard working as moms. But here I just had a thought: what about teachers who are moms? The mind boggles.) to use part of their salary to pay for their benefits, what we produce is in actuality a pay cut. Allow me to illustrate: Before Act 10, compensation (don’t panic, stay with me) is X+Y. After Act 10, compensation (it gets less scary the more familiar you become with it, right?) is X-(X x 0.058)-(X x 0.126) + Y. Of course, I’m oversimplifying a little here, but if you’re having trouble following this, don’t be afraid to ask a teacher for help. That’s what they’re here for.

On to question four. Would I support the creation of a scholarship for special needs kids to go to the school of their choice, public or private? In a word, no. Not with my tax dollars. We may or may not be in a middle of a recession here, for Pete’s sake.

Question five addresses the issue of tenure in a rather unlettered and confused way. If there’s one thing I have heard repeatedly – not to mention loudly – it is that government tends to mess things up when it inserts itself in issues it knows little to nothing about. On the whole, I am not against a balanced proposition that takes all of the factors you mention (length of service, classroom effectiveness, and educational degrees of teachers) into account; what worries me is the people who are determining what constitutes “classroom effectiveness”. I’m referring to yourself and your colleagues here, Mr. Knudsen. I would indeed sleep easier if I knew that the folks determining, to borrow a phrase, “is our children learning?”, were themselves required to demonstrate at least a passing familiarity with math, science, literature, and the like. Questions on the kind of legislator test I’m envisioning would be of the simple “yes-or-no” variety – quite a bit like your survey, actually! Sample question might run along these lines:

Approximately how old is planet Earth?

A) 6,000 years old

B) What are you serious? It’s like 4,000,000,000 years old

Name the scientist who discovered radium.

A) Curie

B) Jesus

Where do babies come from?

A) After a female’s egg is inseminated by the male’s spermatozoa, the fertilized egg gestates in the female’s uterus for a period of approximately nine months.

B) Sluts

Question number six mentions that tuition has been capped at 5.5%, and asks whether the UW system should have increased flexibility in determining the tuition rates charged. Since all tax increases are bad, I’m going to have to assume the same holds true for tuition increases.

Your penultimate query asks about restoring the tax reciprocity between Minnesota and Wisconsin. Sure, why not?

Your final question asks my opinion regarding construction of a new Stillwater bridge, nominally to increase activity for the local area. I say yes, with three caveats:

  1. The biggest benefactors of this increased activity contribute in a meaningful way to the funding.

  2. Call it the Houlton bridge. Have some Badger pride. Let Stillwater be associated with the crappy old one.

  3. If care is taken to mitigate any environmental damage to the St. Croix river. Call me a dreamer, but I like the idea of being able to eat the fish I catch.

Well, Mr. Knudsen, that about covers it. If you made it this far, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to either read this or have it read to you. But before I let you take your leave, you did have one other question at the bottom of your 2012 Legislative Survey. You asked me to rate, on a scale from one to five (five being highest) yourself, Governor Walker, and Barack Obama.

With regards to Mr. Obama, who, judging by the fact you chose to feature a quote of his so prominently in your newsletter, you obviously hold in the highest esteem, I’m afraid I can’t agree with you completely. True, he passed the Ledbetter Act and killed Osama bin Laden, but I just am frankly disappointed with the way he bailed out Wall Street while placing no restrictions to ensure that they wouldn’t just turn around have reenact their little economic meltdown shenanigans all over again in a year or so. I guess he deserves around a three.

On to Governor Walker. He is simply the worst Governor we’ve ever had by a long shot. It’s not even close. Even by his own standards, he is a self-admitted abject failure. It’s a shame you don’t allow for negative numbers on your scale.

As for you, Mr. Knudsen, I honestly don’t know. I remain completely unable to name even one thing you’ve accomplished. There is a graphic entitled “Wisconsin’s Checklist” on the back of your newsletter, with all manner of vague notions listed and then checked off, but no indication as to who deserves the credit – or blame – for these purported actions. But if you made it this far in my letter, why don’t you just go ahead and mark yourself down for a “2”.

Regards,

Badgitator (Ed. note: not actual name)

Special Purpose

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The purpose of this site or blog or online journal – yeah, I like that; this online journal is one of simple selfish convenience.  See, I deal with a lot of, well…I guess you’d have call them trolls.  As I’ve gained experience dealing with them, I’ve found the best way to shut them up or shout them down is to come at them hard with credible and verifiable information – links help – from non-partisan sources.  Of course, these are people generally lacking in common sense, so their definition of non-partisan may be non-attainable using the common sense definition of the word, but I feel it’s best to not cite as your source an obviously or arguably liberal content provider, such as Crooks & Liars, DailyKos, Wonkette and the like.

This online journal will be a repository for all of the credible and verifiable information I find useful in these endeavors.  If this resource can be of any help to anyone else, I’m only too happy to share.

Some may ask whether a website like Snopes has already done what I’m attempting to do now.  In a superficial way, probably they have, but refutiate does not aim to be an impartial arbiter in political disagreements.  No, this is a resource designed to be helpful for those with a liberal slant.  I will strive to be as objective as is humanly possible, but the aim is for all documents, videos, source material, and supporting arguments to be drawn strictly from accurate and verifiable sources, built on a solid foundation of fact and reality.  If any of the conservative persuasion find this information helpful, that’s nice, but it’s a purely unintentional side effect.  But feel free to dance around like a jerk anyways.