_wtaq-blogs-jerrybader The Bader Blog

  • Feedin' a Nation

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Not the classic prose of Paul Harvey that we celebrated during the Super Bowl, but a pretty good effort nonetheless!

  • Wait, What????

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    The radically liberal "One Wisconsin Now" thinks runaway student loan debt is a threat to the economy. So do I. I, of course, believe we need to re-think the way we hand out student loans. I think a student should have to make the case that his or her course of study provides solid collateral; that is, make the case that they have a good chance of finding gainful employment with the degree they'll earn with the borrowed money. And colleges and universities need to make the case their degrees should cost as much as they do. Not OWN(I find irony in the word that acronym creates); they blame, of course, the bankers who make the loans. And in an even more hysterical act of irony, they use run away debt to...wait for it...raise money:

    One Wisconsin Now

     

    Student Loan Debt march

    Great news, Jerry...

    A major, national progressive organization has given us a $10,000 challenge grant to continue our work on the trillion-dollar student loan debt crisis.

    But we need your help.

    By making a contribution today, you can make your money go twice as far, because they'll match -- dollar for dollar -- every donation up to $10,000.

    donate

    We've done groundbreaking research that has appeared in state and national publications on the dramatic impact student loan debt has on not just students but on our entire economy. Just this week the Federal Reserve confirmed what we've been saying, the trillion dollar student loan debt crisis is a risk to our economy.

    We need your support to continue our fight to raise awareness about the crisis, call out the banksters that have exploded student loan debt and hold policymakers accountable for offering real solutions.

    We've got so much more to do.

     

    Can we count on you to help us get the job done?

    Thanks for all you do.

    Scot

    P.S. The trillion dollar student loan debt crisis grows by $3,000 every second. There’s no time to waste, and if you kick in today, we’ll be able to double your contribution with a matching grant from a major national progressive funder!

    Change your email preferences.
    © 2013 | OneWisconsinNow.org | All rights reserved

     

  • Why No National Spotlight on Kermit Gosnell?

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    This is a cowardly piece. It raises the question but doesn't have the courage to answer it honestly. There is NO question the MSM is ignoring this because they don't want to cast a negative light on abortion. This piece tries to duck the point:

    Why? Several readers of The Times say it's because the liberal media are trying to protect their abortion rights agenda. I don't like trying to guess what's on the minds of the editors and reporters who decide what to cover; "the media" are still a collection of individuals who compete with one another. Reporters and editors make news judgments for themselves, not for the group. On the other hand, there's a herd mentality among the major outlets, which is why some stories become national causes and grounds for societal soul-searching even though they're not, objectively, all that extraordinary.

     Yes, there is a herd mentality, and the media is still traveling in a herd in this case; the herd is simply moving away from a story it doesn't want to cover. And who leads the MSM heard? The New York Times. The TV networks use it as their Bible. On the other hand if ONE MSM network had the courage, others would have followed.

    And the trial has had gripping, gruesome testimony. The reality is this is a powerful story. Sickening, but powerful. And most of the national media is pretending it isn't there. Yes, an abortion clinic that was really a house of horrors doesn't fit their narrative. Women weren't much safer than the babies they carried in Gosnell's slaughterhouse. And remember, the MSM has accepted the "abortion equals women's health" mantra. The real bias in the MSM is the bell that goes unrung. The media has no intention of ringing this bell, not even softly.

  • Serial Killer

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    That is precisely what Gosnell is. And every bit as grisly in his craft as was Hannibal Lecter. But I must tell you, I find the early portion of this piece unsettling in its own right:

    Some pro-lifers are prone to regard all abortionists as monsters, bereft of a moral sense or sympathy for dead fetuses. That is nonsense.

    The truth is that many limit their practice to relatively early abortions precisely because they find late term abortions troubling. Some limit their practice to the destruction of fetuses at 12 weeks’ gestation, others 15 weeks, still others 17. They do so because they share a moral sense with their pro-life opponents. It is a sense, rooted in a common human nature, which compels all of us to sympathize with beings that look like newborns.

    Let's stipulate that not all aboritionists are as monstrous as Kermit Gosnell. But the notion that other abortionists are basically decent people because they can't kill an unborn child once it presents as a newborn is ridiculous. No, they may not be the sociopath Gosnell is but they share no moral sense with their pro-life opponents. They're doctors, they know that fetus is a human being. And they kill it. They're moral sense appears decent only in comparison with a monster.

  • The Green Bay School District's Freak Out Moment UPDATE: EAG Responds

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Why wait for somebody to say what they're going to say about you before you respond? That seems to be the Green Bay Area School District's belief system. The Education Action Group made some open records requests of the district. The district now has an idea of what EAG is looking for. So they've fired this preemptive strike:


    From: Amanda Brooker <aebrooker@gbaps.org>
    Date: Wed, Apr 10, 2013 at 7:15 AM
    Subject: Education Action Group open records request
    To: Amanda Brooker <aebrooker@gbaps.org>


    This week the Green Bay Area Public School District was asked to provide additional information to an open records request we fulfilled in January for cell phone and credit card statements as well as copies of our check registry requested by the Education Action Group based in Muskegon, Michigan.

    As a public institution we fully support the public’s right to seek information and ask questions about all aspects of our operation.  However, we question the timing and the intentions behind an out of state political group, paid by proponents of voucher expansion, taking advantage of open record laws to review the district’s spending.

    Based on the timing of the request, it also appears that the EAG may have had a heads up that the district would be part of the voucher expansion budget proposal.

    The open records request was received in our office on November 5, 2012 (see attached). Additionally on February 7 of this year, EAG was part of the Americans for Prosperity bus tour to promote vouchers around our state, and spoke here in Green Bay in support of voucher expansion. Coincidentally, one of the key leaders of EAG was a speaker at this event. The details of the 2013-15 budget were released on February 20, 2013.

    Because we are not familiar with the Education Action Group, we did a bit of research on the organization. We found a number of links that caused us concern including EAG’s own website.http://eagnews.org/

    Further exploration resulted in finding a summary of their political and financial connections to a number of nationally known organizations funded by the DeVos family and other anti-public school groups and individuals (see EAG Exposed: http://eagtruth.wordpress.com/).

    This week, EAG indicated that they would be releasing a “report” on the information we provided to them.  They asked for further information on a number of spending items such as expenditures for Domino Pizza and funds paid to area golf courses, clearly looking for expenditures they can highlight to paint our district as poor stewards of tax dollars.

    We spend our dollars on behalf of the children we teach.  For example, our food service department contracts with Domino’s Pizza for our high school and middle school lunch program to provide pizzas that meet federal nutrition guidelines.  Since our golf teams practice at golf courses and the district does not have a dedicated golf course, we pay area courses for the use of their facilities.

    The issues facing the education community are serious.  We intend to engage in a discussion on the important policy initiatives in the state budget.  It would be our preference not to spend additional time responding further to this request from an outside group whose intention appears to be an attempt to try and embarrass us in order to satisfy a political agenda.

    I love this part:

    It would be our preference not to spend additional time responding further to this request from an outside group whose intention appears to be an attempt to try and embarrass us in order

     

    There is a reason I've nicknamed Brooker "Stonewall." It would be her prefence not to spend time responding to ANY open records request. The School District sends out an email trying to tarnish a group that wouild have the temerity to make an opens record request. Yes, that's the type of transparency we've come to expect from the Green Bay Area School District.

    UPDATE: EAG sent out a release this morning responding to the district's release:

    Green Bay school officials issue a panicky press release in advance of EAGnews spending report
    District officials trying to minimize embarrassment by attacking EAGnews
     
         MUSKEGON, Mich. – It’s called spin control.
     
         When you know bad news is about to break, and it might make you look pretty bad, you try to mitigate the damage by offering denials and excuses in advance.
     
         Officials at the Green Bay Area Public School District have it down to a science.
     
         We recently sent an open records request to the school district, asking for copies of all credit card statements and the check registry for the 2011-12 school year. Next Thursday we will publish a report, based on our findings.
     
         Green Bay school officials aren’t waiting for our report. Today they issued a press release, seeking to discredit our organization and spread doubt about the legitimacy of our findings. The old-fashioned term for their current strategy is “kill the messenger.”
     
         It sort of makes you wonder what they have to hide, and what they’re so worried about.
     
         “As a public institution we fully support the public’s right to seek information and ask questions about all aspects of our operation,” the press release said. “However, we question the timing and the intentions of an out-of-state political group, paid by proponents of voucher expansion, taking advantage of open records laws to review the district’s spending.”
     
         “It would be our preference not to spend additional time responding further to this request from an outside group whose intention appears to be an attempt to try to embarrass us in order to satisfy a political agenda.”
     
         There would be no way to embarrass the Green Bay district over its spending habits if all of its spending is legitimate and excusable. That will be up to the public to determine.
     
         As for the district’s “preference not to spend additional time responding further to this request,” all we can say is, oh well. The Green Bay school district is operated with tax dollars, and everyone has a right to know how it spends those dollars.
     
         Our records request was not an effort to pick on the Green Bay district. We’ve been seeking similar information from school districts throughout the nation for the past year, resulting in many eye-opening stories about wasted tax dollars.Those stories can be accessed by clicking the “Where Your School Dollars Go” archive at EAGnews.org.
     
         Now we’re taking our effort to Wisconsin. We’ve been inspecting financial records from several districts throughout the state and will be publishing stories in coming weeks about each district, including Green Bay, Madison, Kenosha and Appleton. A fifth story will include spending information from several other districts.
     
         We’ve been responsible about this project. In every case we’ve given school officials an opportunity to explain various expenditures before we publish our stories.
     
         We recently contacted Green Bay school officials, to give them a chance to explain their spending habits. Instead they issued their panicky press release, and thus far have not offered explanations.
     
         Be sure to check out our story on Green Bay school spending next week. Based on the advance reaction of school officials, it’s bound to be pretty interesting.
     
    -###- 
     
  • How Disruptive Students Impact Learning in Wisconsin Classrooms

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    This study attempts to quanitfy the impact disruptions have on academic achievement.  From the executive summary:

    Ultimately, this report concludes that Wisconsin must honor its commitment to make a public education available to all of its students, but must not do so at the expense of the vast majority of pupils who do not engage in disruptive behaviors.  Similarly, teachers must be supported and allowed to teach in an environment where their focus can be on student learning, not discipline. 


    "...teachers must be supported and allowed to teach in an envrionment where their focus can be on student learning, not discipline."  Allow me to translate: at some point rotten kids shouldn't be allowed back in the classroom. Not being able to control unruly kids or purge them from the class room is the most legitimate point teacher's have about the difficulty of their jobs. And yes, parents are often the problem. I know of a situation where a parent came and took their child out of after school detention when the teacher left the room. If parents want to believe their little darlin' would never do such and such, then they can deal with educating them.

     

     

  • Not Johnson, Johnson...

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    I have to admit, this is an easy mistake. And when I heard the news about CEO Johnson, I wondered if this might happen, if not exactly in this way. This also illustrates that the people who set up TV graphics often have no idea who the subject of there work is. And neither Ron Johnson is a "household name." Senator Johnson is known to political junkies. I couldn't have picked CEO Johnson out of a lineup.

  • How Afraid Should Conservatives Be of Losing Free speech Rights?

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    Very afraid, but then again so should liberals. They just don't realize. In addition to Nutter wanting punishment for words published, there is this piece by Mark Steyn where he points out that winning the culture war on gay marriage isn't enough for the left, they want to punish the loser with silence. And for the Trifecta there is this piece from Saturday's Wall Street Journal about punishement meted out for questioning a college's diversity tolerance. How's that for irony?  Any one of these stories on their own would be disturbing. Taken in the aggregate, they truly are frightening. Liberals have long-desested hearing conservative ideas in public, mostly because they have no coherent argument against them. It's why on the one hand they consider Rush Limbaugh irrelevant and on the other hand dangerous. They want to pretend he doesn't matter, but hate that he does.

    As you digest the full court press against conservative free speech, consider the liberal reaction to the news that Pastor Rick Warren's son committed suicide. The left, so seething with hatred over Warren's religious beliefs that they would spew this kind of hate during the Warren family's time of grief. And so clueless that one day the power they're tried to wield to silence the right could be turned on them.

    One of my favorite movie lines is one I use oftein in commentary. It comes from Jurassic Park when Ellie Sattler tells John Hammond that the control he thought he had over prehistoric creatures was an illusion. He didn't lose it; it never existed. Liberals, sooner or later, will discover that censorship and thought control are a lot like a T-Rex. There is no fence high enough or strong enough to contain it to one small area.

  • Turnonyourown.org

    Posted by Jerry Bader

    My, my, my, my, my....As the listener who shared this with me points out, even Moveon.org admits they can't blame Republicans here. Be still my heart....

    Dear MoveOn member,

    We've just gotten some really bad news—and need your help to respond. 

    According to multiple reports, President Obama is planning to propose Social Security cuts of $112 billion over the next decade when he unveils his budget next week.1

    Politically, this is a terrible idea. Social Security is such a popular and successful program that even Republicans didn't touch it in their budget.2

    And as a policy matter it's even worse. Social Security doesn't add one dime to the debt, and according to the AARP, a typical 80-year-old woman will lose the equivalent of three months worth of food annually under this plan.3

    There's still time for President Obama to reverse course and stop supporting these cuts, but that's unlikely to happen unless progressives push back in a big way. We're aiming to raise $200,000 to launch a rapid-response campaign to convince President Obama not to support cutting Social Security. Can you chip in $5?

    Yes. I'll chip in $5 to help convince President Obama not to support Social Security benefit cuts.

    President Obama knows he can't move forward on his second-term agenda without strong support from the progressive base. So if MoveOn members are vocal in opposing this plan, we have a real chance to change his thinking.

    And because House Republicans didn't propose cutting Social Security in their budget, it would likely take cuts off the table for the year if President Obama didn't propose them.

    If we have to fight the president on this, we will. But it's going to be a battle. Here's what we have in mind:

    • We'll make a major public media announcement to draw attention to the fact that progressives are prepared to split with the president over Social Security cuts.
    • We'll help elevate a video ad campaign from Clinton economic adviser Robert Reich.
    • We'll run a massive online advertising blast in Washington, D.C., that'll get noticed by members of Congress and the administration itself.
    • We'll launch a campaign to flood the White House with phone calls.
    • We'll make sure that champions of Social Security in Congress know we have their backs by publicly thanking them and organizing thank-you events in their districts.

    MoveOn members overwhelmingly oppose cutting Social Security benefits, but it's never easy to go up against a president we all worked so hard to elect. So please chip in today so we'll know we have the resources to go big: 

    Yes. I'll chip in $5 to help convince President Obama not to support Social Security benefit cuts.

    Thanks so much for your help. 

    –Anna, Manny, Angie, Matt, and the rest of the team

    Sources:

    1. "Obama Budget Said to Include Earlier Debt Reduction Offer," Bloomberg, April 4, 2014 
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=288722&id=65434-25330429-2ynQKQx&t=4

    2. "Paul Ryan's Budget, Simplified: Save the Rich, Spare the Old, Forget the Poor," The Atlantic, March 12, 2013 
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=288723&id=65434-25330429-2ynQKQx&t=5

    3. "AARP to Congress and the President: Don't Cut Social Security," AARP, December 18, 2012 
    http://www.moveon.org/r?r=285712&id=65434-25330429-2ynQKQx&t=6

    Want to support our work? MoveOn Civic Action is entirely funded by our 7 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.