I am a resident of Lisbon for 14 years, active in local politics and a committed conservative supporting free enterprise and individual liberties.
John Podesta, head of the lefty think tank, Center for American Progress, sent House Judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers (D-Mich.), letters calling for the impeachment of Jay Bybee. Bybee is a federal judge and former Bush administration official who wrote an opinion that the enhanced interrogation techniques used on the 9/11 and other terrorist suspects was acceptable within the confines of US law,
Podesta makes the specious argument that Rybee "issued opinions that violate the Constitution and concealed relevant aspects of his legal views and professional conduct from the Senate, Bybee has neither the legal nor moral authority to sit in judgment of others."
Since when is it incumbent on Judicial Candidates to preemptively decide how they will rule on everything put before them and tell the Senate about it? Judges are supposed to evaluate the evidence and facts put before them and make their decisions based on legal merit not political expedience.
Move On.org, the George Soros funded left wing smear machine is also running television ads encouraging people to contact their representatives and encourage them to impeach Bybee.
The truth about the left's call to impeach Bybee is much more insidious than a simple legal ruling that is an anathema to their appeasement policies. The left has proven themselves much more adept at using the courts to force their agenda forward while circumventing the will of the people as expressed through their elected representatives. The right continues to fail to grasp the importance of judicial appointments, naively preferring to focus their energies on legislative solutions.
These CIA memos provide a two-fer that any leftie should be giddy over. Not only does it provide them with the opportunity to come in after September 11 and shoot the wounded; an impeachment, if successful, will create a vacant federal judgeship that Obama can fill with another far left leaning jurist who believes in legislating from the bench.
Having missed out on the protest of the 60's I decided to take a vacation day to attend the tea party in Madison on April 15th. Despite being generally ignored by the mainstream media, this event did happen and it was huge! The crowd covered the entire East lawn of the capital spilling over onto much of the north and south lawns as well.
I was struck by the diversity of the crowd. There were families with children of all ages. A couple I met there were in their late 60's. There were groups of teens and twenty something's. A gentleman standing next to me was dependent on a large oxygen cylinder pulled around on a little cart. A Hispanic woman standing near me at Vickie McKenna's broadcast booth talked about her experiences as a legal immigrant and the opportunities she had been given in this country. She warned Hispanics not to be taken in by tax and spend policies that make people dependent on the government.
There were people of all political persuasions; people who voted for Obama, McCain and Ron Paul and we were all of the same mind. Contrary to what the media would have you believe, this was not an event organized by or dominated by Republicans or ‘right wing extremists". The head of the Wisconsin Republican party spoke and was greeted with a rather cool response from the crowd. Why? If I had to guess it would be because the Republican Party didn't represent most of us. They had failed to control taxes and big government when they had a chance, preferring to move to the ‘center', actually left of center and got us to where we are today. They had the opportunity to protect us from socialism and chose not to.
Who got the big applause? Pastor David King of the Milwaukee God Squad who told a story about how Independence First, an organization that provides services to help handicapped individuals enter the work force , will lose $5million in the proposed state budget. Where is the money going? Renovations to the Bradley Center, an announcement that was greeted with boos from the audience. Right wingers opposed to taking money from a social organization to renovate a playground for a rich Senator's b-ball team?
Who go the big applause? Melika Willoughby, a 17 year old high school student who decried the huge debt load that will fall on her generation as a result of the stimulus spending and the multi trillion budget that was forced through by Democratic legislators and "moderate" Republicans. She spoke about the per person debt level when her parents were born in 1960 of $200 per person, XXX 2when she was born in 1992 and what she is saddled with today, $43,000!!
Who got the big applause! Matt Harter, the 24 year old mayor -elect of LaCrosse who spoke against the runaway spending at all levels and expressed his concern of the impact of this spending on his generation.
Is a black inner city pastor a ‘right wing extremist "? Is a 17 year old girl a ‘right wing extremist"? How about the generation Y mayor elected in the democratic stronghold of western Wisconsin? It seems to me that none of these people fit the liberal mainstream description of the attendees of the tea party.
And how did the media choose to cover the event? Well, if they did not ignore it completely , they felt obligated to run to the head of the Wisconsin Democratic Party, Joe Winicke, who sniffed that the crowd's anger should be focused on (of course) the previous administration . He, of course, conveniently forgets that Jim Doyle has been governor for 6 years now. Doyle has raised taxes and fees EVERY YEAR. In his current budget proposal he sells himself to every special interest that will write him a check and forces us to pay for it. (Check out the sign)
For their part, Obama, Pelosi and Obey have pushed through greater spending increases than ALL THE PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS COMBINED. All this has happened in less than 100 days since Obama, the Democrats and Rhino Republicans have been in control.
So the tax and spend crowd of both parties can obfuscate and lie and twist and turn the truth. But that does not change the fact that government has grown too big, too intrusive and too intolerant of dissent. It is time to remind them who is in charge.
By the way, this was the first time I have ever seen a crowd of this size that didn't leave a single scrap of paper on the ground. Let's see how the grounds look after the next Earth Day rally.
1. Any of the various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
2. The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which the collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved. (Houghton Mifflin Online Dictionary)
During the campaign and since Obama's election, I have often heard liberals make the argument that Obama's comments regarding ‘spreading the wealth around'' do not make him a socialist. Let's pretend for one minute that I would agree it was an unfortunate choice of words, the administration provides us with new examples every day. Two actions by Obama in the past week provide undisguised evidence of Obama's agenda to seize the means of producing and distributing goods. AKA SOCIALISM!
The following is an excerpt from an April 7th piece written by Stuart Varney in the Wall Street Journal .
"Under the Bush team a prominent and profitable bank, under threat of a damaging public audit, was forced to accept less than $1 billion of TARP money. The government insisted on buying a new class of preferred stock which gave it a tiny, minority position. The money flowed to the bank. Arguably, back then, the Bush administration was acting for purely economic reasons. It wanted to recapitalize the banks to halt a financial panic.
Fast forward to today, and that same bank is begging to give the money back. The chairman offers to write a check, now, with interest. He's been sitting on the cash for months and has felt the dead hand of government threatening to run his business and dictate pay scales. He sees the writing on the wall and he wants out. But the Obama team says no, since unlike the smaller banks that gave their TARP money back, this bank is far more prominent. The bank has also been threatened with "adverse" consequences if its chairman persists. " That's politics talking , not economics."
Varney's point is absolutely accurate. Under the guise of bailouts, the government has forced its way into private corporations, and is now demanding control for their ‘generosity'. Imagine the federal government installing their handpicked CEO's and having the ability to access the vast financial resources of the US banking system. Whatever social engineering they are unable to accomplish through legislation can be forced on US citizens through controlling the access to capital!
Not content with merely imposing socialism through seizure of the US banking system, Obama then turned over the financial sovereignty of the US to an international body of central bankers from each of the G 20 states and the European Union. The Financial Stability Board is to ‘set a framework of internationally agreed high standards that a global financial system requires": The standards include ‘regulation and oversight to all systematically important financial institutions, instruments and financial markets" This means that any institution in any country the FSB deems ‘systematically important", may be regulated.
The FSB is also charged with "implementing tough new principles on pay and compensation and to support sustainable compensation schemes and corporate social responsibility at all firms" (source; Dickmorris.com 4//7//2009)
What Obama has signed the US up for essentially a financial United Nations. An international body of saber rattlers forever hostile to US and capitalist interests while catering to petty economic dictators, victimizing the citizens they purport to protect and exploiting their positions for personal enrichment. Morris succinctly summarizes what we can expect.
"The Europeans have been trying to get their hands on our financial system for decades. It is essential to them that they rein in American Free enterprise so that their socialist heaven will not be polluted by vices such as the profit motive. Now, with President Obama's approval, they have done it"
Why is Lisbon Town Administrator Jeff Musche refusing to complete a taxpayer's open records request for telephone records ?
On February 6, I filed an open records request with the Administrator requesting records for all town phones, land line and cellular for November/ December 2008. He responded by providing 40+ pages of useless bills with no detail other than a few long distance calls. When I indicated that I had asked for RECORDS not BILLS, he refused to cooperate further.
At the March 23, town board meeting, I provided him with a document he would simply have to copy on town letterhead and fax to US Cellular. This would give US Cellular permission to provide the records for Chairman Reed's cell phone for Nov and Dec 2008. Musche has again refused to do so, claiming the law only requires him to provide documentation that he has on site.
I have to wonder why Musche is refusing to complete a simple records request, that wouldn't cost the taxpayers a dime to provide. Is he concerned what those records will show?
Musche claims he tried to call Reed for a November 25, 2008 JPC meeting on the Lied's property. This is the meeting Reed had approved only for Lied's. Musche took upon himself to expand the scope to include the entire extraterritorial region. He then published the agenda under Reed's signature without telling Reed he had made the change.
Musche claims he went into another room (why not stay in the conference room where the meeting was taking place?),called Reed's cell phone, got voicemail and hung up without leaving a message. Since this was a connection it should show up as a completed call in the records.
I can think of no other reason for Musche to refuse to provide the records other than that they will not support this story.
You may also want to check with town board members to see if they approve of Musche's stance and ask them why they are not insisting he complete a taxpayer request. Stay tuned to my "Common Sense" blog, for ongoing information.
Does Lisbon Board Bickering Matter? This question was raised by a Sussex Sun article on the March 25th candidate forum.
I would argue that the bickering does matter and would invite Town residents to consider what is behind it.
“Bickering” illustrates significant differences in board member philosophy that will have profound impact on the future of the town. For the first time in a long time we have a board that does not move in lockstep toward a goal driven by special interests rather than the people of Lisbon. I have been attending town budget and annual meetings for several years. Invariably the same people attend; town employees, owners of large land parcels, developers and others who have personal interests in town policy. Many of these same people influenced the board for years to ensure their best interests were kept in the forefront.
While I do have a problem with a board that caters to special interests, I do not blame them for their ability to do so. Their constituency shows up at meetings and votes. Historically average citizens have not taken the time or put forth the energy to pay attention to what is going on until it hits them personally. They get a big increase in their tax bills, a flurry of activity flares up and goes away as quickly as it starts. Few remember, come election time, who was responsible and take action accordingly. Town government often operates almost completely under the radar.
The value of the much maligned bickering is that it keeps Lisbon Town Government in the news and in front of citizens, providing valuable transparency. This is essentially what has happened in the past 2 years as the Lisbon Board has seen a complete turnover.
Now, word on the street has it that Matt Gehrke has sewn up the Good Old Boys Network vote for the April 7 election. Who does this include you ask: the usual, most town employees, former supervisors and town administrator Jeff Musche.
Musche and Reed have been at odds for more than a year. See my previous blog on Musche’s actions to advance his agenda and that of the previous board. Musche’s wife signed Gehrke’s nomination papers. While claiming not to support Gehrke, Musche sent a long letter to the editor blasting Reed and verbalizing support for Gehrke’s positions.
Why would I think former supervisor Bob WIliams supports Gehrke? Williams posted his opinions on Reed on the Lake Country site. Williams wife signed Gehrke’s nomination papers. Williams joined Gehrke in complaining to the DA when Reed had the gall to send a postcard to voters encouraging them to attend the November budget meeting. If you recall , that meeting had one of the highest turnouts ever for a budget meeting. As far as his comments reagrding the cost per voter of the mailing, I would submit it was money better spent than $600K worth of unused sewer pipe sitting in the ground. that Mr.Williams supported.At that budget meeting, during discussion on the budget, Williams also made a motion to adjourn to a later date. Why would that be? Was it because he knew that many fewer people would show up at the rescheduled meeting, leaving all the decisions in the hands of the ‘right people’? And who are the right people? The right people are those who always show up at the meetings,town employees, developers, and those with a vested financial interest in town business.
Finally, whatever happened to Citizens for Openness and Honesty in Government? Remember the group formed to recall Reed due to his efforts to save money by bringing in the Sherriff’s department? When they abandoned their recall effort they promised to oppose Reed this spring. Where is their candidate? Matt Gehrke is their candidate.
Matt Gehrke may be the young guy but his ideas and support base are not new. You can continue to keep the “bickering” alive and continue efforts to keep transparency in town government by returning Mike Reed as Lisbon Town Chairman on April 7th.
"When is Barack Obama going to start acting like the President of the United States rather than a B-list celebrity?
Since his inauguration, Obama has opted for the Paris Hilton presidency model, preferring to jet around the country with adoring groupies while leaving Pork Princess Pelosi to destroy what is left of our economy and the principals this country was founded on and have served us well for more than 200 years.
Why does he prefer to talk about his NCAA picks rather than important issues facing the country? Who cares about his bowling score? Like JLo plugging her latest movie, do we now rely on Obama's appearance on Jay Leno to hawk his latest idea for foreign policy ?
What's next? Jaywalking? Jerry Springer? Judge Judy? Maybe Obama and the missus can take a whirl on Dancing with the Stars? "
The preceding is the text of a letter to the editor I sent to the Milwaukee Journal. Written after Obama's appearance on Leno, it was never published; not surprising given the Journal's absolute infatuation with Obama during the campaign and their continuing reluctance (for the most part) to present any critical analysis of his actions thus far. However that is not the point of this blog. As I reread my letter I thought about a close friend of mine who voted for Obama. For me it was simply a choice between left and far left. For this person, who does lean liberal, their rationale was eye opening and the topic I wish to comment on today.
After spending election night printing nasty bumper stickers, I asked my friend why he voted the way he did. His answer was that he was initially leaning toward McCain as he felt Obama lacked substance. In the end though, the deciding issue for him was the ‘financial crisis' when the first abortion of a bail out was being discussed. ( I love George Bush, this is one of a handful of horrible decisions I will never forgive him for).
Never mind that the entire bailout process was a complete joke and most of our elected officials acted more like Chicken Little than responsible adults with critical issues at hand. My friend was turned off by the fact that McCain chose to do his job rather than continue on the campaign trail. He chose to fly back to Washington and represent the people of Arizona, the people who were paying him, rather than go on with the show. My friend didn't have a problem with the fact that Obama chose to leave the people of Illinois without representation in this alleged crisis and continued to do what was in his best interest, campaign, rather than the job he was actually being paid to do.
One can debate the effectiveness of the entire bailout process and McCain or Obama's effect on it. It would also appear that Obama made the right decision for him, which was to stay on the campaign trail and stay in the spotlight where he is most comfortable.
However, I believe my friend's attitude to be indicative of a much bigger problem that pervades this country. We value form over substance. Entertainment over accomplishment. Selfishness above service. We have no problem paying sports figures hundreds of millions of dollars to hit a ball with a stick or throw one through a hoop, yet we vilify the heads of companies that provide thousands of jobs for making those same salaries, often less. We pay $200 per ticket to see millionaire music stars, yet we grossly underpay the police officers, firefighters and members of the military who risk their lives daily to protect ours. We are fascinated with Brad and Angelina yet oppose changes to the status quo which would reward highly performing teachers for their efforts in molding the next generation.
When did, who is left on American Idol or the latest misadventures of Lindsay Lohan or Octomom rate a place on the evening news? But it does. Even more disturbing, these are often used as ‘teasers' to keep the audience tuned in during commercials and, hopefully, during the real news.
Don't agree with me? Just look at where we choose to spend our money. Outside of basic survival needs our discretionary spending is the best indicator of our value system. Who are among the mostly highly paid people in America today? Sports stars, rock stars, rappers, movie stars.
Citizens are constantly complaining about their property taxes and rightly so in most cases. Yet try to get our citizenry to attend a local board or budget meeting. Certainly do not make the mistake of scheduling it on a night when the Packers are playing or American Idol or Survivor are on. And so we get the government we deserve.
He Marx once said that religion was the opiate of the masses. I would suggest to Mr. Marx that he was focusing on the wrong drug; entertainment has become the heroin of the masses; addictive, expensive and causing a distortion of values.
One of the things I have learned in the 2 years my husband has been Lisbon Chairman is how local government really works. Like most citizens I assumed that we elected people to represent our interests. These elected officials developed the policies that town administrators and employees then carried out. My experience has shown that I was incredibly naïve.
Open meetings laws are written to ensure that elected boards do their business in the light of day, under public scrutiny. Board members are not to congregate in a group that constitutes a majority without a public posting. They are not to call each other or exchange emails to discuss any matter of public policy.
Town administrators and other employees are under no such constraints. They communicate freely among themselves, with all board members and representatives from other municipalities. For those who are so inclined the lack of restraints and availability of communication channels can easily be used to advance their own agenda.
We are seeing this in the Town of Lisbon. Appointed Town Administrator Jeff Musche and Chairman Michael Reed have been butting heads since their agendas diverged sharply after the Waukesha County Sherriff Department was awarded the contract for town police services and the Lisbon Police Department was dissolved.
Musche, a product of the Milwaukee Democratic machine, supports the expansion of government, high taxes, high density and control by the select few. Why? The larger the population and infrastructure of a municipality, the larger the salary and benefits paid to the administrator and the more powerful that person becomes. Board members may come and go, but all he needs is to keep 3 of them on his side and he is in forever.
Since the defeat of the “old guard” including former supervisor Wendy Landry in 2007 and Bob WIlliams and Ron Frickie in 2008, Musche has continued to be their standard bearer ; essentially using his position to advance the agenda of the old board while opposing the changes taxpayers had voted for. He actively supported Williams and Frickie in last year’s election; I saw the signs on his lawn.
Are you aware that, according to state law, the town administrator, elected or appointed, has a vote equal to that of other supervisors when a vacant seat on the board is to be filled? James Stadler’s seat had to be filled due to his resignation last year. Two weeks after the election, the town board met to consider the 5 candidates who had applied. One of the applicants was Bob Williams, who had lost the election to Ron Esser just TWO WEEKS EARLIER! Jeff Musche voted to return Williams to the board!
Was this payback for Williams who, the week before the election, approved the performance review that Musche had written for himself and voted to extend Musche’s contract for another two years? Musche also drafted his own contract, which contains ironclad protections for himself and virtually none for the town.
Are Lisbon town residents ok with this? Are we ok with an administrator who is using his position to advance his own agenda and that of a board that was overwhelmingly defeated over the past two years? If you live in Lisbon let your board members know how you feel. If you don’t live in Lisbon, you may want to take a closer look at how it works (or doesn’t) in your community.
- Bybee Issue a Two-fer for Democrats (7)
- Musings From the Tea Party (17)
- Obama not a Socialist? I think not. (4)
- Lisbon Administrator Stymies Record Request - The letter the Sussex Sun refused to print (7)
- What's Up WIth Lisbon Bickering? (0)
- Does Obama Presidency reflect celebrity obsessed culture? (15)
- Think your elected representatives are running local government? Think again! (7)
- More Common Sense Blog posts