Posts Tagged: Wisconsin

Walk Through Frozen Midwestern Sea Caves

For the first time in five years, the National Park Service has declared that lucky Midwesterners can safely experience one of about three reasons to allow winter to still exist (the others are daily soup and warm thick socks): the magical sea caves of the Apostle Islands, off the northern tip of Wisconsin in Lake Superior.

In the summertime, people can kayak out there and paddle through the cave system of a few of the 22 Apostle Islands, which sounds, you know, pretty cool. But in the winter, if it's cold enough, everything freezes, and that's when the Apostles get really cool:

By February, an ice bridge might [...]


As Goes Wisconsin, So Goes Hell

"Peterson said he believed it was human excrement."

A padded envelope filled with human feces is a Rorschach test, representing either: a state in democratic revolt against the overreaches of a berserker Republican legislature and governor; a Petri dish for the pushback against corporate ownership of government; or the last doomed charge of organized labor bashing its soft skull against the stone walls of a new era of "it's working" conservative austerity.

Wisconsin has become a place where arguments begin with John Adams' "Facts are stubborn things" and then follow with "The Bible tells us…" It's also a place where a leader who disbands collective bargaining is [...]


Why the Tea Party Hates Occupy Wall Street

Bill Ayers is the human wormhole linking those mythical dirty, un-American hippies of the 1960s to the Obama administration to the also-dirty socialists of the rising #occupy movement. On October 13th, the conservative blog American Thinker giddily entertained the hypothetical of an Occupy Wall Street movement that would "morph into something resembling the radical factions of the late 1960s and 1970s"—when "it will not be just Ayers and [spouse Bernardine] Dohrn with blood on their hands. It will be their young protégé in the White House as well."

For some, the stretch to make the 60s connection is done out of ignorance. For others it is a way [...]


What I Learned in Two Years at the Tea Party

When I started going to Tea Party meetings two years ago, I was sympathetic. Just after attending one in North Dakota in August of 2009, I wrote: "Most tea partiers are not bad people. They're just mad. In many meaningful ways, today's Tea Party attendees' lives have gotten consistently worse for the last 20 years, regardless of which party was in power." I concluded that trying to figure out what they wanted was a dead end because what they wanted was simply to complain—that the Tea Party "is not a group of listen and respond; this is a group of respond and respond."

Two years of Tea Party functions [...]


First Wisconsin Recall Primary Goes Horribly Wrong for Republicans

In yesterday's recall primary election in Wisconsin, the fake Democratic candidates who are actually Republicans lost by huge margins.

But wait, it's not over yet! It's actually not even started. The first full recall election isn't even until next week! Yes, we get to do this again next week even! And it'll be fun: District 12 GOP Primary: Kim Simac vs. Robert Lussow to face Democrat Senator Jim Holperin

Trivia: Kim Simac, the "family values" candidate and founder of Northwoods Patriots ("Standing up for FAITH, Family and Country") explains the fact that she swapped spouses with her ex as "one of those quirky American stories."

District [...]


Wisconsin Democrats Pull Primary Candidates Against Fake Democrats

Welcome to the craziest moment in American politics. So, Republicans were going to force Democratic primaries in Wisconsin, alongside the six Republican state senator recall elections, by running fake Democrat candidates. So the Democrats had selected "placeholder" candidates for those primaries. Today, they announced that, since all the Republican-backed but Democrat-registered candidates have now filed to run, the Democrats won't deign to run candidates against them in the primaries, because it's a crazy waste of time and taxpayer money. Boom! Crazy right? Would you like to know more? Here is our helpful explanation of the whole Wisconsin mess. Related: this is a picture of suddenly-Democrat James Smith, [...]


More People Voted for WI Judge David Prosser Than For Mike Bloomberg

Yesterday's Wisconsin election will surely go to a recount, if the candidate with fewer votes requests it, which seems certain. What's more, the recount is free to the candidates (if not to the taxpayer, heh) if the margin is less than .5%, which, yes it easily is. At this time, David Prosser seems to have 835 more votes than JoAnne Kloppenburg, but there are still votes coming in, and it's anyone's race. Total votes cast, give or take? 1,465,563, with 736,878 going to Prosser at this time. That's pretty amazing, for a state with five and a half million people. For comparison? In the last New York [...]


Scott Walker Goes Shooting For The Presidency

Wow is it cold out. The deer must think the same thing as I haven't seen a thing:

— Governor Walker (@GovWalker) November 25, 2013

"Like riding my Harley and watching the Packers, going hunting is one of my favorite Wisconsin traditions." —The office of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

The attempt to sell Scott Walker as the anti-Chris Christie has begun in earnest. One angle of this is for Walker's new best friend, Washington Post columnist and Walker biography co-author Marc Thiessen to frame the governor as of an entirely different temperament then Christie.1 (Can you guess in what way?)

But an entirely [...]


"Not So Pure Michigan": The Man Who Hates Wisconsin and Ohio

When Wisconsin's tourism bureau launched a war on its neighbor by suggesting Wisconsin is actually the "mitten state," Michigan saw an unlikely ally come to its defense: a 30-something video pro named John Kerfoot.

Since 2006, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has run a branding campaign titled "Pure Michigan." A few years into the campaign, Kerfoot took his camera to nearby Lake St. Clair to shoot a Pure Michigan spoof about the lake's scourge of fish flies, which appear every year in swarms so great that, as the voiceover goes, "visitors are left wondering, 'Why the hell do I live in Michigan?'" (Insert blanket headphones-at-work [...]


It's Cute That New York is Slowly Catching Up with Wisconsin

When I moved from Wisconsin to the Lower East Side in January, I quickly discovered my deep Midwest roots were very uncool. After a few smirks and condescending remarks about how I must be feeling “culture shock” in the big city, I learned not to broadcast the fact that I was raised and educated in, as our license plates proudly proclaim, America’s Dairyland.

It wasn’t always easy. When my date at Max Fish ordered a can of PBR, I didn’t tell him that my grandpa and his VFW friends considered it treason to drink anything that hadn’t been bottled in Milwaukee. When my neighbor wore a Green Bay Packer jersey [...]


How Wisconsin Stayed Republican

In the long-awaited matter of the Wisconsin recall elections, two Republican state senators were indeed recalled. That puts the state at 17 Republicans and 16 Democrats, and, even with forthcoming recall elections, at the very least the legislature will remain with a Republican majority.

Along the way, how Wisconsin politics works has been laid bare. Last week, a supporter of Republican Senator Robert Cowles came out to say that Cowles had told him that the only reason he voted for Scott Walker's anti-union budget bill was that "the governor's office told us if we didn't give them our support, they would run a tea party candidate against [...]


Whoops! GOP Senator Ron Johnson Praises Obama for Great Jobs Numbers

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President's policies have done nothing but accrue massive amounts of debt & cause employment to remain high than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet ReplySenator Ron JohnsonSenRonJohnson

Not only is Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson getting so robotic about his debt ceiling protest talking points that he's now apparently praising Obama for creating high employment—his echo chamber is going along for [...]


Wisconsin, Inc.: New Republican Politics in the Age of the Recall

James Smith said that, at first, he was worried about a backlash. "No one protested my house yet," he said. "I thought that was coming for sure this weekend."

A 25-year-old behemoth redhead, Smith works as a technician at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center. His Facebook page says he's a fan of Rachel Maddow. His real Facebook page describes him very differently. He's a Republican who is running for office in Wisconsin. He's a would-be spoiler.

What Smith doesn't know is that he is being sacrificed, like so much else, by a rogue Wisconsin Republican Party determined to monetize as much of the state as possible before everyone gets [...]


Today, Wisconsin Votes for the Least Victimizing Judge

Today, Wisconsin votes for a supreme court justice, in an election that proves that sometimes what happens in a democracy is not all that dissimilar from what happens in a diaper.

The state's residents have been robocalled so often in the last 24 hours that many are just not bothering to answer the phone anymore. Each side accuses the other of being the candidate propped up by outside money—even as both have had millions spent on their behalf by outside money. Sarah Palin, a resident of Alaska, has made an endorsement in another state's supreme court election. Wisconsin's election has become maybe the greatest single argument for not electing [...]


The Wisconsin Teacher State Guard: A New Tomorrow For Teachers!

From time to time, The Awl offers its space to everyday citizens with something to say.

Now that Governor Walker has proven he's still the right man for the job in Wisconsin, perhaps it is time to offer some concessions to the one-million-plus people who voted for that other fellow yesterday. We know it sounds crazy, but it wouldn’t take much to get Wisconsin working again, in a harmonious way that makes sense to us all. The time is right for an olive branch from the Governor, and that should come in the form of an initiative known as the “Wisconsin Teacher State Guard.”

Teachers have the summer off, [...]


It's Working: Wisconsin's Recall to End all Recalls

Recall is the new Occupy. Today, seven states will see at least 26 separate recalls in 11 jurisdictions. And starting November 15th, a massive Wisconsin-wide petition drive will attempt to fulfill a promise from February to recall Governor Scott Walker. It's a massive undertaking, and there is reason to believe it will succeed, but also reasons it will fail. Once filed, the recall effort will have 60 days to—

Suckers! On the afternoon of Friday, October 4th, a former Walker donor submitted a petition to recall the governor under the committee name "Close Friends to Recall Walker." The filing, which noted it was done "to fulfill my friend's [...]


The Police Are Now Paul Ryan's Private Security Force

On Tuesday, September 6th, Paul Ryan spoke at the Whitnall Park Rotary Club in Greenfield, Wisconsin. For what has become the only way for even his constituents to see the Congressman during his summer town halls, tickets were $15. And in what looked like a polar negative of the healthcare town halls of 2009, Ryan was disrupted over and over again by those (paying) attendees. Three were arrested.

One difference: for this private event, taxpayers of Wisconsin footed the bill, as the Rotary Club used Greenfield detectives to provide security for what was essentially a private fundraising event. It's something the police department there said it has never [...]


Nine Wisconsinites Who Are Screwing Up America

Wisconsin. You've heard of it. Maybe it was a fat joke. More likely it was a cheese joke. A drunk joke? Even more likely it was about drunk fat people eating cheese. Yes, Wisconsin Dells. You've certainly flown over it.

Laugh all you want, Wisconsinites are now a leading force in right wing politics and, maybe more so than any other state's residents, are responsible for our messed-up national state of affairs. Here are nine Cheeseheads who are working hard at this very moment to mess up your life.


The "Wisconsin Freedom Phones" Call Center in the Minneapolis Hilton

"The Wisconsin phone center is open," said Americans for Prosperity President Tim Phillips in his opening remarks on Saturday, just before conservative speakers Michelle Malkin, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann addressed the attendees of the RightOnline conference. Before turning it over to the headliners, Phillips further encouraged the crowd of 1500 to "take a break during some point in the day" and "go over and look at the script, try a couple."

Philips closed by asking everyone if they were "willing to stand with Scott Walker."

Next to the testimony room, on the third floor of the the Minneapolis Hilton, the "Wisconsin Freedom Phones" call center operated for [...]


Scott Walker Gravely Concerned About Workers' Health Care Costs

Here is Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's testimony today at the House's hearing on state's debt—while a judge was ruling that Dane County doesn't have standing to sue the state over Walker's bill that limits collective bargaining. Walker, or as Wonkette calls him, "the Koch Brothers’ dumb little whore from Wisconsin," was not there to talk about how the Wisconsin state assembly voided an ordinance this week that ensured five whole sick days a year to employees of companies that had 10 or more staff. No, he went forth to rail about the high cost of health insurance born by private workers! Yes. He did. He [...]