Monday Links from The Political Carnival
Another guest post by the one, the only Will Durst who's having a little fun with the annual Silly Season O' Awards, aka, the ever popular "Who are you wearing?" Moments of Superficiality. We here in Hollywood-adjacent areas and elsewhere refer to these awards events as "Why do even unemployed celebrities get free swag worth thousands while the rest of us unemployed slobs get eviction notices?"
But I digress. Will Durst offers us a mostly political version as only he can:
2014 POLITICAL ANIMAL AWARDS
For all those who have spent the last couple of months shoveling out a car, you should know we’re at the tail end of awards season. And best be advised to hunker in a bunker wearing a Kevlar overcoat, because gold plated statues are being tossed about like air kisses at a gown fitting. Like clouds of bathroom hair spray during Oscar Nominee Luncheons. Like jaded eyes at a press screening of Transformers 4.
We here at Durstco are not too proud to jump eyes wide shut headfirst onto the shiny awards bandwagon with a great flying leap and sticky squid tentacle sleeves to prevent overshooting. In our dubious presentations, eligible recipients are the phony, pompous and duplicitous. Elected officials predominate but anyone in the news qualifies as a nominee.
Finally, we’d like to thank our friends and family and everybody like us and us. And all you kids out there growing up different, trying to hang onto a dream. Because without dreams, you’re like a Rottweiler without a spleen. So now, running the risk of spraining a wrist patting ourselves on the back, here they are; the 2014 Political Animal Awards.
THE WE’LL CROSS THAT BRIDGE WHEN WE COME TO IT AWARD: Chris Christie.
BEST DISAPPEARING ACT: Mitt Romney.
WORST DISAPPEARING ACT: Bill Clinton.
THE CHRIS CHRISTIE BIG SHOES TO FILL AWARD: Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
THE LET’S ALL HOLD HANDS AND SING KUMBAYA AWARD: US President Barack Obama.
THE LET’S NOT ALL HOLD HANDS AND SING KUMBAYA AWARD: Russian President Vladimir Putin.
THE “OH GOD NO, NOT YOU AGAIN” AWARD: Ted Nugent.
THE THINKING THROUGH HIS WRONG BRAIN AWARD: French President Francois Hollande.
THE WHY WON’T ANYONE RETURN MY CALLS AWARD: Michele Bachmann.
THE DUMBER THAN HE LOOKS AWARD: Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.
THE NOT AS DUMB AS HIS HAIR LOOKS AWARD: Donald Trump. Again.
THE GROCERY SHOPPING WITH SALMAN RUSHDIE AWARD: Edward Snowden.
THE IF HE WAS A HORSE, THEY WOULD HAVE SHOT HIM 10 YEARS AGO AWARD: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.
BEST MAKE OVER: The Vatican.
THE PIXIE DUST AWARD: a gift from we Baby Boomers to all the Gen Xers who start turning 50 next year.
THE WE ARE THE EVIL EMPIRE AWARD: The US Defense Department for using drone strikes on American citizens.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE SPOKESPERSON EVER FOR FAMILY PLANNING AWARD: Kim Jong Un.
PROOF THAT SOME SPECIES EAT THEIR YOUNG FOR A REASON AWARD: Justin Bieber.
THE MANNEQUINS R’ US LIFELIKE AWARD: Wresting it away from Al Gore, John Kerry.
MENSA’S SMARTEST MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Pussy Riot.
THE WON’T EVEN STEP FOOT IN AN OLIVE GARDEN AWARD: Amanda Knox.
BEST ACHIEVEMENT IN TECHNICOLOR: House Majority Leader John Boehner.
THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN AMERICA AWARD: For the 3rd year in a row… Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s doctor.
BEST ACTRESS: Hillary Clinton for her convincing portrayal of a woman unsure of her role in the 2016 Presidential race.
THE HEY GUYS. I’M STILL IN THE ROOM AWARD: Vice President Joe Biden.
THE YOUR FIFTEEN MINUTES WERE UP THIRTY MINUTES AGO AWARD: Anthony Weiner.
THE LEAST LIKELY TO WIN THE NAACP’S WOMAN OF THE YEAR AWARD AWARD: Megyn Kelly.
THE TED CRUZ MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD: Ted Cruz.
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about his new CD, “Elect to Laugh” and calendar of personal appearances.
What will Gov Scott Walker do to endear himself to voters next? So far a state appeals court rejected challenges to the WI John Doe probe targeting conservatives. Then Walker wouldn't reveal whether 86 grand that his campaign used to pay attorney fees was connected to said John Doe case. And to further convince us how disconnected to reality he is, Gov Scott Walker of Wisconsin said "he senses no gay marriage movement."
But now we see that he is actually endearing himself to some voters after all. The upper-incomiest of residents of Wisconsin owe Gov Scott Walker another big, sloppy, wet kiss.
But before we go there, as Julie Andrews sang in "The Sound of Music," let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. There's this law that Congress passed back in 1969 that called for a federal alternative minimum tax, because "155 affluent Americans had actually paid no federal income taxes." Wisconsin thought that was such a good idea that they passed their own version of the AMT back in the '80s.
The measure is designed to capture at least some revenue from individuals who have so many deductions or credits they otherwise would owe no income tax at all.
Why, what a splendid and fair way to level the playing field!
But Wisconsin Republicans had second thoughts. After all, they have a group crush on the wealthiest, filthy-richest residents (read: political donors) and wouldn't want to ruffle their currency-lined feathers.
[T]tucked into Gov. Scott Walker’s $504 million basket of tax cuts are significant changes to the state’s alternative minimum tax that could deliver some $50 million in savings to roughly 30,000 filers by 2016 and beyond, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo. [...]
[T]he alternative minimum tax changes will mainly benefit the wealthiest in Wisconsin, including factory and farm owners already benefiting from another huge tax break passed specifically for them in 2011. [...]
If all three provisions are adopted, revenues would be reduced by an estimated $11.3 million in 2013-14, $25.5 million in 2014-15, $40.5 million in 2015-16 and $50.8 million in 2016-17 and thereafter, according to the LFB.
So to those who have their eye on Potential Presidential Candidate Walker, I ask that you please share this news with your fellow not-filthy-rich voters. They're sure to appreciate who he gives hand-outs to and who he doesn't. Indeed, it seems the "makers" are the real "takers," and everyone else can eat cake.
And now, this happened, courtesy of Wisconsin Public Radio:
Gov. Scott Walker won't say whether the $86,000 his campaign recently paid attorneys was connected with the latest John Doe investigation. [...]
The previous John Doe investigation, which concluded last year, resulted in the arrest of several former Walker aides who worked for him before he was elected Governor.
That should go over well when he announces his 2016 presidential run. Or maybe, if we're lucky, he'll entertain the nation with his best Chris Christie/Sergeant Schultz impression: "I see nothing! know nothing!"
Then there was this amusing headline from htrnews.com: Walker says he senses no gay marriage 'movement.' What?
First, where does Scott Walker get off suggesting he has any sense? About anything? Oh, but I kid, that was just a play on words that popped into my noggin.
But that doesn't change the fact that he is as in-sense-itive (read: tone deaf) as the rest of his GOP buddies. Did it slip Walker's little pea brain that marriage equality is here to stay, and that he and his fellow GOPers are relics of some black and white TV, Wonder Bread, the-little-woman-baking-cookies-in-high-heels-and-an-apron, real men don't date other real men past? Relics with very little national voter appeal?
Psst! Scottie! Take a gander at this:
Polling shows increased support for legalizing gay marriage in Wisconsin and dozens of lawsuits have been filed across the country challenging similar laws.
Speaking of attorneys, should you ever need one, Barry Scheck is one of the best. He tops a list that we provide, found at the very bottom of the right sidebar.
Remember the WI John Doe probe into former Scott Walker aides and associates? Meet WI John Doe Probe II.
MADISON, Wis. — A state appeals court on Thursday rejected an effort to shut down a Democrat-launched secret investigation into conservative groups, ruling that the court-administered dragnet did not overstep its authority as targets of the probe have claimed.
In effect, the decision keeps alive a two-year John Doe investigation into dozens of conservative organizations amid allegations of illegal campaign coordination during Wisconsin’s recent partisan recall elections.
Eric O’Keefe is the director of the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which is one of at least 29 conservative groups targeted. O'Keefe himself is a target who previously threatened to sue prosecutors if they don’t drop the investigation, claiming they are “violating the constitutional rights of private citizens and must be held accountable.”
Feeling the heat, are you Eric?
Meanwhile, in other news, Gov. Walker raised $5.1 million in the second half of 2013. Walker’s campaign says most of the donations came from supporters who contributed $50 or less.
To fake-quote Jerry Seinfeld, "Who are these people?"
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker sure loves to push the talking point of a voucher school in every pot, because, see, that's just the kind of corporatist he is. But back in August 2013, I posted this: Wisconsin families who already have kids at taxpayer-funded private schools are still sending in voucher requests. I wrote:
Wisconsin gets a lot of voucher requests for their private schools. However, there appears to be a teeny weeny little glitchette. Families who already have kids at those schools are still sending in voucher requests. Gee, ya think someone should take a second look at Gov. Scott Walker's cherished privatizing efforts?
The answer to that question is still "yes." Why? Here's one more reason, courtesy of JSOnline:
A small private school participating in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program abruptly closed in the middle of December, but not before collecting more than $200,000 from taxpayers this academic year to educate students who now attend other schools, state officials confirmed.
LifeSkills Academy, a K-8 school that had dwindled to 66 students... "They moved out, as people say, in the dead of the night," Father Carl Diederichs of All Saints said. [...]
LifeSkills received $202,278 in taxpayer-funded voucher payments from the state this year, and more than $633,248 in voucher payments in 2012-'13, according to the DPI. The school joined the voucher program in 2008-'09 and collected more than $2 million in total public payments to educate children.
Pretty bad, huh? It gets even worse. Test scores showed that, out of all the students who went to LifeSkills school o' voucher, only one-- count 'em, one-- was proficient in reading or math in 2012-'13. That's some track record.
And it gets worse: The Department of Public Instruction cannot "recoup public money spent by voucher schools that do not finish the year." That's a big hunk o' cash to lose, right taxpayers?
So, Gov. Scott Walker, how's that privatization thing workin' for ya?
Apparently the Heritage Foundation and Scott Walker are bound and determined to dig their heels into that heap of elephant dung they've created. They're clearly oblivious to the world around them, as well as to Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."
And apparently #2, they are bound and determined to lose elections. Running to the right? Really, GOP? As President Obama would say, "Please proceed."
Here are two headlines from today's Los Angeles Times:
President and Michelle Obama visit hunger strikers near the Capitol and discuss possible ways forward on the stalled immigration overhaul.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, met with the group for about 30 minutes in a heated tent near the steps of the Capitol to discuss the immigration bill that has stalled in the House.
Despite the importance of the Latino vote, divisions among Republicans leave immigration reform at a standstill.
Changing the way the party talks about immigration is about all House Republicans have to show for their efforts over the last 11 months — and even that effort has notable exceptions. [...]
In fact, the House's most visible immigration-related action was a measure to defund an Obama administration program to defer deportations of young immigrants, a vote that increased Latino animosity even though it failed to become law.
Now stop and think about that contrast, GOP. Who do you think Latino voters will overwhelmingly support... again? Take a wild guess.
Republicans furrow their collective brows and write Very Important political autopsies about softening nothing but their words, and then their (in)actions continue to speak volumes.
So does their timing.
The Political Carnival T-Shirt
Modeled by @suzannegypsy
Lt. Col Barry Wingard is the lawyer for Gitmo detainee Fayiz Al-Kandari. For their ongoing story + related topics, please click on the link below:
Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
The Political Carnival is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Photographs on The Political Carnival site (please read):
Photographs from other sources sometimes appear on TPC for humorous or illustrative purposes. As it is not our intention to use these images in any inappropriate manner or to infringe upon any rights held by others, anyone holding legal rights in the use of these images who wishes to have them taken down please contact us immediately requesting such removal, with which we will comply promptly.