25 December 2008

Glenn Grothman: assigned to cut eduational opportunities for taxpayers.

Hi everyone,

The Republican committee assignments have been made and Senator Grothman has been assigned to Education.

“The Senate Republican team is ready to get to work and hold the Majority Party accountable for their plans to address Wisconsin’s budget deficit,” Fitzgerald said. “We will spend the next two years providing a clear alternative and making our case that economic recovery can only begin by making Wisconsin more affordable for families, employers and entrepreneurs through lower taxes and less regulation.”
Senator Grothman, whose record on education is to cut educational opportunities for the taxpayer every chance he gets, is now the minority party's representative on educational spending?

How do you make education more affordable for Wisconsin taxpayers by shifting the tax burden to our less wealthy citizens?

Yeah, I don't know either.


24 December 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong on campaign reform.

Hi everyone,

Not a lot of news of Glenn lately after his big win. Here's something from Sheyboygan:

An excerpt from Editorial: Pass much-needed reform bills

"Pay-for-play" has also come up recently involving Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who stands accused of a host of sins, including a brazen attempt to sell President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.

The case against Blagojevich is far from over, but just hearing about another politician accused of corruption in one form or another is disturbing.

Like the recent scandals that rocked Madison, the accusations against congressmen in the last few years and now the Illinois governor, should be a clarion call for ethics and campaign reform.

Unfortunately, many reform proposals introduced in the Legislature in the last session failed to even get to the floor for a vote.

These reforms, including a simple one to ban campaign fundraising while the state budget is being debated, would help to restore public confidence in lawmakers and remove the influence of special interests.

Sadly, four of our local lawmakers were among the many who didn't support reform attempts. Reps. Steve Kestell and Dan LeMahieu and Sen. Glenn Grothman were listed as "public enemies" by the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign for voting for only one of seven reforms. Sen. Joe Leibham was listed as a "bystander" for supporting two. [my italics]

Glenn typically doesn't like reforms that keep big money from advertising their candidates into office since it violates big money's their freedom of speech. I'm not unsympathetic with that view, but frankly, being the good neo-con that he is, I'm only surprised that Glenn hasn't suggested we go the whole way: privatize government and let the market take care of elections, the way the Illinois governor has.


07 December 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong on cutting off kindergarteners, again.

Hi everyone,

Something from last week... sorry, had a cold and had to catch up on my grading before resuming gadfly mode.

Oh dear, here he goes again.

Wisconsin Radio Network: GOP lawmaker eyes school cuts

Grothman also remains critical of expansions in four-year-old kindergarten programs around the state. He thinks they're a poor investment, claming there's little evidence they actually help children learn.

Grothman says public schools should face cuts, just like every other state program.

Maybe Sen. Grothman saves up this assault on kindergarteners when he runs out of other stuff... it's come up before in this little blog.

Anyway, here's something I put up nearly a year ago:

I just Googled up a swamp full of data and longitudinal studies by universities and the Federal Government Accounting Office.

The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University has been keeping track of 5 states worth of pre-K education. They've noted good results.

The state of Tennessee thinks it's a great idea and the GAO's data from Oklahoma and Georgia suggest we might think about ramping up as well.

And so on.



Glenn Grothman: smoking restrictions an assault on diversity??

Hi everyone,

The latest treat: Glenn Grothman argues that a ban on smoking in public places demonstrates an increasing lack of respect for diversity.

Uttering the word "diversity" -- by itself -- must have chipped a couple of Glenn's front teeth on its way out of his mouth.

Lawmakers anticipate success for smoking ban

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, agreed, saying, “I believe if you own a restaurant, you have the right to set the rules as in your own house. But over time, our society has developed less respect for diversity, and people want everyone to think and act like they do.”

I was a long time smoker myself. I still miss it and refuse to be one of those "I quit why haven't you?" people who made my life such a misery while I was trying to quit. -- but I was a long time smoker precisely because nicotine is so damned addictive.

The reason why government should discourage cigarette use has everything to do with public health and nothing to do with 'diversity', a concept which, to Glenn, seems to mean a marginal toleration of ELCA Lutherans.

Finally, since finance seems to override morality in Glenn's mind, consider that, typically, in cities where smoking was banned, restaurant profits generally increase. That's because there are more non-smokers than smokers nowadays and non-smokers don't spend their money at bars that allow smoking.


23 November 2008

Glenn Grothman: sometimes hell does freeze over. Is MPS wasting money?

Hi everyone,

Glenn and I agree about, essentially, nothing but tavern licensing... and wasting money. Typically Glenn believes all tax money is wasted. I believe it's only wasted when it doesn't do what it's supposed to do.

Could we find ourselves on common ground? That's probably a scarier thought for Sen. Grothman than it is for me. Anyway, I'd sure like to know.

Is MPS spending too much on students:

“We’ve all heard for years rumors of rampant waste, excessive bureaucracy, and lack of concern for taxpayers’ money,” said Grothman. “Fortunately, Channel 4 News and CRG-Network has chosen to highlight some of the most outrageous excesses. It turns out Milwaukee Public Schools are spending more on consultants than on school books. In a district that always claims to be short of money, the excessive advertising budget and catering expenses are also an insult.”
The link to WTMJ is bad. Apparently news moves on.

But before rushing in to judgment, it'd be useful to know a few things:

1) why does MPS have to advertise?
2) why do they need consultants?
3) are Sen. Grothman's numbers right?

After the Garter Snake business, the prudent move would be to believe MPS first.

Let's find out. Anyone know?


16 November 2008

Glenn Grothman: new assistant leader for the (permanent) minority .

Hi everyone,

Yep, catching up on Glenn now that we've managed to get Mr. Obama elected (and increasing the Progressive/Democratic presence in Washington County to over a third of our registered voters).

Glenn gets a lot of coverage in The Badger Herald.

The state Senate also elected its new leadership this week. The Senate Republicans selected Sen. Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, as the minority leader, Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, as the assistant minority leader, and Sen. Joe Leibham, R-Sheboygan, as the caucus chair.

With Republicans like these, Glenn's job is going to be a assistant leader of a permanent minority.


Glenn Grothman: wrong on more tax cuts.

Hi everyone,

Fresh from his huge victory, Glenn wants more supply side economics. Why not for Wisconsin? It's working so well on Wall Street.

From The Badger Herald

Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said any increase in spending or taxation would be disastrous.

“I think the important thing to do is decrease taxes for business regulation to assist business,” said Grothman. “Anything that results in more debt or more government spending will dampen the business climate.”

He is right about trying not to sustain any more debt, of course, but the real question is HOW DO WE PAY FOR IT?

I say, let's do it in a way that's fair to all Wisconsinites rather than unfairly.


10 November 2008

Glenn Grothman: still wrong on early intervention for autism.

Hi everyone,

Glenn originally said early intervention was too expensive, despite easily Google-able sources from all over America suggesting that early intervention actually saves the taxpayer money in the long run.

Maybe Glenn's problem was simply that the wrong taxpayers were being serviced?

Long Fight Over Autism Care Could End

Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend says he believes Democrats have the votes to pass a bill, if one is proposed. He says he hopes their plan covers only the most effective treatments and isn't unnecessarily expensive.
I suppose it could be that Glenn's values, based on money rather than human beings, are simply the wrong ones.


23 October 2008

Glenn Grothman: DUI enforcement not an intrusion of government?

Hi everyone,

DUI enforcement is not an intrusion of government into our economy?

The Badger Herald - DUI penalties could increase: "Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, thinks the probable results of the legislation will include an increased use of breathalyzers and an increase in mandatory jail or prison time for repeat offenders."


17 October 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong for causing families to strain for a better life in WisconsinIn.

Hi everyone,

For every vote Glenn gets because he cuts taxes, someone in Wisconsin doesn't get to go to college.

In Downturn, Families Strain to Pay Tuition - NYTimes.com


12 October 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong for inciting a culture war.

Hi everyone,

WISSUP advertised Glenn's talk last week... I was, unfortunately, working or I'd've been there.

The details:

Senator Glenn Grothman will be speaking at St. Andrew's Church on MondayOctober 6th at 7pm.

His topic is "It's Time to Get Off the Bench and into the Cultural Battle".

All are invited to come and hear Senator Grothman's urgent plea for help in the fight to save our liberties and Christian values.

I'm still working through the theological propriety of waging a culture war... I don't think you get to do that if you're a Christian -- and if you do, what distinguishes you from Iranian mullahs?


JS Online: Challenge emerges in state Senate race

It did take the Journal a while to notice... no one is accustomed to being challenged.

JS Online: Challenge emerges in state Senate race

Voters will have something new to ponder in this season’s race for the 20th District state Senate race — a choice of candidates.

Independent Clyde Winter of the Town of Cedarburg is challenging Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend).

A little independence from ideology will be nice for a change.


03 October 2008

Glenn Grothman: declares war on the middle class.

Hi everyone,

Glenn still thinks he's acting on behalf of middle class values. I've tried and tried to imagine why he thinks this, and then it occurred to me that I'm making this waaaaay too complicated.

Anyway, here's a little gem from the Daily News:

Monday, Oct. 6 Town of Farmington What: STATE SEN. GLENN GROTHMAN,


Info: Information on the fight for liberties and Christian values.
Sponsor: St. Andrew Church.

I'm not sure when the churches got into the battle against the changing culture of America, but it can't be a good idea. Is there anything here that distinguishes these folks from Iranian Mullahs?

Let me translate this.

What Glenn means is "throw anyone not like me out of the country."

...I'm just trying to imagine what America will look like with only Glenn in it.


26 September 2008

Glenn Grothman: collecting his taxpayer per diem for watching the paint.

Hi everyone,

Political Capital reports:

$88 a Day

Mary Hubler and Glenn Grothman collected per diem this week in the sleepy statehouse.

Per diem is a right.

BadgerCare is a privilege.

Good to know Glenn is keeping his eye on the taxpayers' money -- by spending it on coffee and donuts.


25 September 2008

Sarah Palin and Elitism

Hi everyone,

A provocative insight from Sam Harris.

Sam Harris on Sarah Palin and Elitism | Newsweek Politics: Campaign 2008 | Newsweek.com

Let me confess that I was genuinely unnerved by Sarah Palin's performance at the Republican convention. Given her audience and the needs of the moment, I believe Governor Palin's speech was the most effective political communication I have ever witnessed. Here, finally, was a performer who—being maternal, wounded, righteous and sexy—could stride past the frontal cortex of every American and plant a three-inch heel directly on that limbic circuit that ceaselessly intones "God and country." If anyone could make Christian theocracy smell like apple pie, Sarah Palin could.

Uh, yep.


22 September 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong on infanticide and atheism.

Hi everybody,

In the Sticks and Stones department:

This past weekend, Glenn felt compelled to call me names in a letter to the Daily News.

It is a kind of justice for him -- he's clearly been aching for the chance to try to hit me in public after the last few years of being exposed in this little blog.

Fair is fair.

Now that I'm writing a column he'll have the chance to write lots of letters calling me a baby-killer or a moral relativist or an intellectual elitist or -- oh, there was this one thing:

He'll have to stop suggesting that I'm an atheist.

It's not true and, more importantly, it hurt my mother's feelings.

Glenn probably doesn't know I studied for the ministry. Of course, I was raised ALC (now ELCA) Lutheran. Maybe, in Glenn's universe, being an ELCA Lutheran isn't much different from being an atheist. It's possible we don't pass his Christian purity test.

Anyway, here's the link to Owen Robinson's little ramble. He's a pretty good Glenn-avatar and, as you'll see, he never answers my questions either.


19 August 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong at home, weird in Northern Wisconsin.

Hi everyone,

I just post 'em when I find 'em.

From: Marketplace of Ideas: Gas prices and Madison

"Similarly, Doyle has said publicly that he would sign a bill ending the minimum markup law if it reached his desk. No such bill has reached his desk, in part due to strange votes of people like Sen. Glenn Grothman (R–West Bend), who in 2005 voted in committee against ending the law over concerns that gas stations wouldn’t be able to cover the cost of credit card transactions. It’s not clear what part of the state Constitution stipulates that legislators’ duties include monitoring gas station credit card transaction fees."

And yet Glenn believes government interferes too much in everything -- except, apparently, gas station credit card transaction fees.


16 August 2008

This November, end this blog. Vote for Clyde Winter.

Hi everyone,

The easiest way to stop me in my tracks, is to vote for Clyde Winter this November. Once Clyde wins, we can all stop worrying over the latest nonsense from Glenn since, well, there won't be any more nonsense and, well, I can delete this blog.

And while you're at it, Clyde has listed the other contested elections in our area this year and your way to take back Wisconsin from the party of Grand Old Tax-anorexia.


15 August 2008

Glenn Grothman: now a corked bat.

Hi everyone,

Charlie Sykes is now using Glenn as a corked bat.

Enjoy the article over at Democurmudgeon.


Glenn Grothman: wrong on liberal bias at UW-Madison.

Hi everyone,

Glenn can't even be right the right way.

From our colleague over at FearlessSifting:

UW-Madison becoming more conservative?

Of course, without the bogeyman of bizzaro-world liberalism under everyone's bed to attack, Glenn doesn't really have a coherent position. Strange thing about bogeymen: when you turn the lights on, they disappear.

You know, I'd never thought of Glenn as Don Quixote, until just now... except that Don Quixote was a romantic figure recalling us to an authentic spiritual life, and Glenn thinks every windmill is a liberal plot to force him into the 21st century.


05 August 2008

Glenn Grothman: gets nod from the-government-should-intervene-to-secure-fetal-but-not-childhood-health lobby.

Hi everyone,

As expected Glenn gets the nod, not only from Wisconsin Right to Life but also by Pro-Life Wisconsin's Victory Fund.

From their blurb:

“We are called to stand behind these candidates who are willing to stand behind 100% of the babies,” said Matuska.
Ms. Matuska commits the standard "pro-birth" misanthropy here. Technically, Pro-Life Wisconsin does not stand behind babies who have already been born, but only behind the one's who haven't been born yet.

Once those babies are out of the womb, they're left to the gentle graces of Social Darwinism and the Free Market economy.

I always think of Ogden Nash's poem about cats when this issue comes up.
The trouble with a kitten is that,
it eventually becomes a CAT.
Kittens are cute and always find a spot by the fire. Cats require responsibility and are put out to fend for themselves.

I'm trying to see the difference between this and Glenn's view of children. While inside the womb, they should be the government's responsibility to protect but once outside of the womb, no?

That seems like a contradiction to me.

And so on.


01 August 2008

Glenn Grothman: illegal immigrants can work for illegal wages, but not drive!

Hi everybody,

Whew. Now we'll be safe.

Glenn once again protecting us from illegal immigrants:

Applicants for professional licenses must give immigration status

State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) said the state should verify immigration status by using the federal database.

“Once the system is up and running, the costs should be minimal,” Grothman said.

Will Wisconsin employers who depend upon inexpensive illegal immigrants for labor be happy about this?



30 July 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong, even about water.

Hi everybody,

Wasn't this the same Great Lake Compact Glenn said no one would pass?

Yes, it is.

US House committee approves Great Lakes compact.


Glenn Grothman: wrong on abortion and conservatism at the same time.

Hi everybody,

Glenn, somehow, was included in a Journal-Sentinel Blog on the Senate race between Alberta Darling and Dr. Sheldon Wasserman. Dr. Wasserman, an Ob/Gyn, is a great believer in individual rights. Alberta Darling, once a member of Planned Parenthood, apparently used to be -- but no more. Here's a clip:

Pro-life nod goes to ex-Planned Parenthood official - Dogged: A Watchdog Team Blog: "Barbara Lyons, head of Right to Life, said her group has not previously backed Darling, a River Hills Republican, during her 18 years in office. Lyons noted that Darling had voted with the organization 77% of the time in the past four years, whereas Wasserman, a Milwaukee Democrat, had a 0% rating.

Asked to describe Darling’s abortion stance, Lyons said, “She’s more pro-life than not.”

So what changed?

Darling didn’t return a call. Her campaign Web site doesn’t mention the endorsement.

But Sen. Glenn Grothman, the go-to guy for abortion rights foes, had a theory.

“As we get older, we get more conservative,” the West Bend Republican said. “I think that’s happened to Alberta.”"

A few observations;

1) Wisconsin Pro-Life isn't really pro-life -- they're only pro-birth.

2) "What changed" was that Wisconsin Pro-Life is more afraid of a physician than they are of Alberta Darling -- and Ms. Darling has an urgent need to be elected as a Republican.

3) Glenn, as usual, has it backwards. He's clearly missed the 'continued personal growth' aspect of "getting older". You only become 'more conservative' while getting older when you begin to turn into a fossil. Fossilization of human beings happens when once-living material is replaced by the stony deposits of dogma and empty ritual. If you continue to 'grow' while aging, you become more inclined toward helping others, taking the risk of being liberal with your own good fortune, and leaving people to live as they think best instead of imposing your own morality. Imposing your own morality is a sure sign of fossilization, not growth. What we do know is that Glenn became a fossil while still living on the taxpayer's dime at University... as a young man. That's when it usually happens to people too, not later in life. Not if they're still living flesh. I know Glenn probably didn't see the movie Happy Feet, but it might help him learn to dance and shake off some of the mineral build-up that's induced him to vote for his own dogmatic certainty instead of for people. QED.

Oh, and 4) it's not a theory, it's merely some kind of gastric distress.


17 July 2008

Glenn Grothman: finally running against an opponent.

Hi everybody,

You may not have seen it by now, considering the lousy job the Journal did on important local, state elections, but Glenn will [finally] have to run against an opponent this year for his seat in government.

Independent Clyde Winter from Cedarburg is finally offering Senate District 20 voters a choice for a change.

Clyde is a wizard on the issues, thorough, and thoughtful. He's the kind of person who's avoided the party labels so that he can talk about the actual issues -- because he's interested in the issues and not in the labels.

Refreshing, no?

He was able to get the required signatures in record time and in the heart of Glenn's district. People were clearly ready for a change.

His latest article "Races for Wisconsin Legislature in Ozaukee-Washington counties confound the MSM" did have one bit of info I hadn't seen.

"And G. Grothman, on July 2 had applied for a grant for taxpayer provided matching funds, in apparent anticipation of a challenge"
Apparently that taxpayers money is just fine with Glenn, when he gets to spend it on himself. -- well, it was also okay when the taxpayer paid for 75% of his university tuition.


10 July 2008

Glenn Grothman: Fails to pass muster on government reform, again.

Hi everybody,

It's probably not a surprise but Glenn has, again, landed at the bottom of the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's annual scorecard for responsible government.

He scored at the bottom with Sens. Kanavas, Kedzie, Lazich and was beaten only by Scott Fitzgerald.

As always, by their works shall ye know them. Glenn and his buddies regularly "stood with the special interests and worked to defeat reforms that would restore power to the general public."

Way to go Glenn.

Alas, Pat Strachota also made it to the bottom by voting against reform legislation in lock step with her party's hard liners.

The good news is that we'll have a choice for a change this November: another Republican, a Mr. Wiesolek from Cedarburg and an Independent, Clyde Winter are both running against Glenn for the Senate 2oth, and another Independent, Mr. Dombro will be running against Ms. Strachota in the Assembly's 28th.

Maybe they'll be able to vote for more responsible government.


03 July 2008

Glenn Grothman: still demanding today's college students pay more than he did.

Hi everyone,

Our friends over at Fearlesslysifting unpack more of Glenn's hypocrisy-stream.

Glenn Grothman on the selection of Biddy Martin

I'm amazed Glenn is still harping about graduates leaving the state:

A second criticism of the University is that not enough graduates are filling jobs for Wisconsin businesses. We need more engineers, nurses, and graduates from the hard sciences – not degrees in psychology and sociology.
Or law, Glenn. Do we need more lawyers like you?

The truth is the UW is producing plenty of engineers and hard scientists -- it's just that they can't get jobs in Wisconsin that will pay for the student loans they've had to take out to cover their education. And whose fault is that? The guy who had the state pay for 75% of his education and, as soon as he got into government, passed laws to guarantee that the state would only pay for 25% of the current crop's education. The hypocrisy still sets my teeth on edge.

How much more of this can we tolerate?

We'll find out I guess.


20 June 2008

Glenn Grothman: cutting taxes good for flooding.

Just catching up a bit.

Astonishingly, it turns out that when Glenn cuts the taxes our state uses to help us with disasters, the disasters are worse.

But wait -- since, for Glenn, tax cutting is always good, maybe flooding is therefore good, too?

Yep, that must be it.


Glenn Grothman: agent of the Chinese Communists.

Hi everyone,

I'm only half kidding about Glenn being an agent for the Chinese.

I'm just back from another excursion to the People's Republic of China where they happily spend the money to insure their kids learn English and Calculus by the time they leave high school and where, using this educational infrastructure, they're looking forward to a future in which the US will become the new France -- or maybe Belgium.

In the meantime, Glenn keeps frantically slashing away at our educational system as if this were a good thing.

What do you call a business that stops investing in R&D?

Easy pickin's.

Maybe Glenn hopes to turn over the US for a profit. I wonder if we'll be able to buy stock options before the sale...

Anyway, in the meantime, I note he's conducting mock interviews with himself again pretending to be outraged on behalf of the "tax payers" -- the very people whose economic throat he's slitting.

Maybe irony will be enough to sustain us, even after China gets the rest of our jobs. With Glenn's help, they won't even have to try. We're doing it for them.

More on this as the jetlag settles.


21 May 2008

Neo-conservatism as a racket.

Hi everyone,

And speaking of Glenn, here's an interesting look into the basement of the neo-con cultus.

“Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket,” said Eric Hoffer, via Pat Buchanan.

The Fall of Conservatism: Reporting & Essays: The New Yorker

This does explain why, as time went by, even Barry Goldwater started to sound like a progressive.


19 May 2008

Glenn Grothman: tallying up his votes against Wisconsin families

Hi everyone,

Clyde Winter has once again rolled up his sleeves to provide with a running tally of Glenn's mischief.

Appalling Votes of Glenn Grothman


18 May 2008

Glenn Grothman: standing in the way of kids from working families.

Hi everyone,

Maybe it's just that Glenn doesn't like little kids.

That would make sense.

This doesn't:

From the Wisconsin Radio Network, May 12th.

Wisconsin now has the seventh highest level of enrollment in the nation for those programs. However, State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) says that's no cause for celebration. Grothman is a long-time critic of four-year-old kindergarten, claiming it costs the state millions of dollars for no real benefit to the education of young children. He says those kids would be better off at home with their parents.
If Glenn wants to disagree with all of the major studies about the benefits of four-year-old kindergarten, and with the well understood economic advantages for kids who start education early, and with the idea that kindergarten makes it possible for hard working parents to work a few more hours a week and thus provide for their families... um.... well, then he's nuts.

-- and since no one has said it lately, this is the sort of thinking that makes him a threat to the economic well-being of Wisconsin.


30 April 2008

Glenn Grothman: blaming moms for kindergarden?

Three little items from Glenn's Senate homepage.

Item 1:

Secretary Burmaster repeats the same old line that “communities want and need financial support to improve services for 4 year olds”.
Item 2:
The number of children in this program has more than doubled in the last seven years. This year will be the largest increase of all. It should also be pointed out that during the last thirteen years virtually every school district in the state has gone from half-day kindergarten to full-day kindergarten.
and finally, Item 3:
"It’s sometime said that mothers today all work and this is the reason 4 year-old kindergarten is necessary. Studies I have seen indicate half of young mothers stay at home, work part-time or leave children with extended family. Many of these mothers like taking care of their own children and to put these children in the care of the government should be questioned. Sadly, on a national level some politicians are pushing for more federal involvement in this area as well."

As usual, Glenn is letting his slogans do the work his brain should be doing.

  1. Of course everyone wants financial help from the state to improve their kindergartens. All the major recent studies indicate kindergarten improves children's performance in school (see my previous posts on this). It's the sort of thing that serves everyone's interests and makes Wisconsin a better place to live -- plus, it's way cheaper than prisons.

  2. The program expanded because taxpayers wanted it. They're voting with their feet -- and their kids' feet. If they didn't want it, the program wouldn't have expanded.

  3. I barely need mention the usual whining neo-con sentiments about women who refuse to stay at home to bake cookies. It's clear that Glenn believes women who have to work for a living are bad mothers and a burden to the tax payer.

Earth to Glenn, poor women have always had to work. If they don't, their kids go hungry. Maybe your mother was one of those happy middle class Betty Crocker feminists who complained that she couldn't get a job -- maybe that's why you don't like working women now.

Oh, and apparently middle class women are bad mothers too, if they want to work and start their kids off on the only sure path to economic success: a decent education.

How that could be bad for any citizen of Wisconsin is beyond me.

Frankly, I'm done trying to understand any of your positions anymore. Since TABOR crashed, you've been shooting from the hip... and blanks at that.


27 April 2008

Glenn Grothman: why stop at cutting taxes?

Hi everyone,


From The Badger Herald - Certain jobs hard to fill, report says

In Wisconsin, Senate Democrats tried to pass a measure that would add $5 million to expand a program last session that helps residents acquire skills from technical schools.


Opponents of the bill, such as Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said Wisconsin does need more people with technical skills but disagrees with increasing taxes on businesses.

“They call it the ‘Las Vegas loophole,’ but you would be chasing jobs out of Wisconsin,” Grothman said. “I don’t think raising taxes on business is good way to help businesses in Wisconsin.”

Glenn is not one to let the facts ruin a perfectly good economically elitist ideology... but:

The reality is that Wisconsin ranks around 39th in the US with regard to corporate taxes. [See my earlier posts on this.] We're not even in the top 10.

Another reason for a dearth of engineers is that Wisconsin ranks just ahead of Mississippi in the production of BA's. [Should I repeat that? Our university system is about as productive as Mississippi's.]

One reason for this sad state of affairs is that, throughout his career, Glenn has slashed away at education in Wisconsin. I guess we'll have to attract those new engineers from Illinois or Michigan or Iowa since, if we keep this up, the UW won't be able to afford those programs anymore.

But here's an idea: why stop at cutting taxes? Why not introduce a bill to cut wages as well?

That would attract a lot of new business to Wisconsin. With government controls to keep costs down, we could become the China of the Midwest.

I'm just thinking out loud, of course.


20 April 2008

Glenn Grothman: blogospheric round up for April 20th.

Hi everyone,

While I wait to hear back from Glenn (about Moraine Park Technical College hiring people with bachelor's degrees to teach courses that transfer into the UW System -- yes, really), a few items that popped up on my Google Alerts.

Playground Politics notes:

Seriously, is there anyone who has been a bigger GOP disappointment in the last decade than Glenn Grothman?
Seriously, isn't he the best example of a GOP politician we have?


Political Capital asks the $88 dollar a day question: were our state representatives hanging out in Madison on April 16th simply to collect their per diem?

And finally, The Milwaukee Blog quotes Glenn on immigration:
State Rep. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, said that he does not think that anything is being done either on a local or national level.

"It seems to me that the Bush administration has, for whatever reason, encouraged illegal immigration with their inactivity for the last seven years," Grothman said.
Once again, Glenn has this wrong. Massive political donations from agri-business, which wouldn't last a week in this country without illegal immigration, paid for both that inactivity and the representatives in Washington who've voted for a fence which, the AP reports, won't do the job.

Unless Glenn is willing to pay the higher price for lettuce picked by American citizens at American wages, I don't see why he's worried about illegal immigration.


06 April 2008

Glenn Grothman: another Zero on conservation.

Hi everyone,

Clyde Winter has thoughtfully put together another list of voting patterns, this time on conservation.

Glenn, once again, gets the goose egg.

Why do we elect people who call themselves conservatives but who don't believe in conservation?

How Wisconsin Legislators Voted on Conservation Issues


03 April 2008

Keeping tabs on Glenn's voting record.

Great thanks to Clyde Winter over at Hearts and Minds for another set of eyes on Senator Grothman's voting record.

Thanks Clyde!


30 March 2008

Glenn Grothman attacks Wisconsin values.

Hi everyone,

Glenn Grothman finally shows his hand. I wrote him last week but, so far, no explanation. I think he must be embarrassed.

Last week in his "From the Hill" editorial in the West Bend Express News Glenn said two things that floored me.

  1. He said the university was the enemy of middle class values and, then
  2. he claimed that the UW Board of Regents is raising tuition in order to squeeze out middle class Wisconsinites.
The technical term for the style of argument in Glenn's claim is called "Three Card Monty" or, more popularly, the Shell Game [btw, if you click on the Shell Game link there's a picture of Glenn with his hair done up in corn rows taking money away from some kid.]

Okay, by the numbers:

1. Is the university an enemy of middle-class values? Uh, no.

For most people, (me and Glenn included!) the university is how Americans get into the middle class in the first place. If the university were opposed to middle class values, it wouldn't produce middle class people.

From Glenn's point of view, then, I must be an enemy of middle class values -- but if that were true, then how come I spend every day helping people acquire the skills they need to move into salaried, professional, and traditionally middle class positions? (These people are mostly from farm and blue collar families -- and refugees from once good jobs now sent overseas by the same economic system to which Glenn pledges his allegiance.)

Glenn even ignores the hard facts -- the dollars involved. Economically speaking, the university is a major engine for development in the state of Wisconsin and thus, one of the major contributors to the economics that make our middle class lives possible. The UW trains the people who run our economy. Remove the university and everyone in Wisconsin would end up working for people from other states -- or, these days, other countries.

Want to know what makes this worse? Glenn knows all of this.

Which leads us to the heart stopper --

2. Do the UW Regents keep raising tuition because they too hate middle class values?

No. Senator Grothman himself is the reason the Regents are forced to raise tuition.

The vaporous sloganeering in Glenn's article is hypocritical in ways I can barely describe.

Here's how it works. Keep your eye on the ball.

The Regents raise tuition because the Legislature cuts the UW budget and the money has to come from some place. It isn't going to our salaries (we're among the lowest paid faculty in the country) and it isn't going into slick new offices (the computer in my office is 5 years old, and it works just fine). There isn't enough waste in the system to make up the difference (the UW administration is famously -- and I hate saying anything nice about administrations -- one of the most efficient and least wasteful university administrations in the entire US).

So the money has to come from increases in tuition.

And again, Glenn knows all of this, too.

Oh, but wait... there's more.

The hypocrisy goes even deeper (I've dealt with this before): when Glenn was in college the taxpayers subsidized nearly 75% of his tuition. This was a good deal for the students, but also for the state's economic profile. But Glenn has undone this economic dynamo. After the last 10 years of budget cuts, compliments of Mr. Grothman, the taxpayer now subsidizes only 25% of our students' tuition and now Wisconsin produces fewer Bachelor's degrees than Mississippi.

I guess Glenn didn't mind having the taxpayer subsidize his education, but the kids in school today?... or the adults who have had to go back to college in order to compete in the new, globalized, economy?

Nope. Glenn's votes say "screw 'em."

Glenn's votes demonstrate he doesn't believe todays taxpayers should have the same level of access to the university he did.

Were you able to follow the ball on that one?

Let's review: 1) Glenn claimed the major route to a middle class life (the university) is opposed to the middle class.

[the theme from Dragnet plays]

Dumb da dumb dumb.

And 2) he blames the university for raising tuition when it's really his fault, and the fault of his fellow travelers in the legislature who continually vote to limit access to the university system and, thus, to the middle class life every American deserves.

Dumb da dumb dumb dummmmmmb.

Glenn himself, through his voting record, has limited the ability of hard working, economically threatened Wisconsinites to attend the University of Wisconsin. First he votes to cut the UW budget, which tightens access to moving into the middle class and then, in order to duck the blame himself, he blames the university.

This isn't rocket science: the real enemy of the middle class in Wisconsin is a state senator who votes, every single time, to keep Wisconsin residents out of the middle class.

Did Glenn think his tax cuts would be free? Didn't his dad tell him TANSTAAFL !

Glenn is taking away more than a free lunch, however. He's taking away the economic future of this state. He's taking away your children's future.

...in Wisconsin, at any rate. They can always move to Chicago or Minneapolis.


16 March 2008

Glenn Grothman's greatest gaffs... vol. 1.

Hi everyone,

Our neighbor Clyde Winter put together his collection of Glenn's greatest gaffs.

Thanks Clyde.

The list gets longer every week.

I wonder, often, whether the voters in our district are simply held hostage to single issues -- like choice or taxation -- and are thus blinded to the rest of the package.

I cannot believe that a preponderance of my neighbors are in favor of denying rape victims emergency contraception or letting their property tax rates soar without anyone asking 'why?' (Glenn has turned a blind eye to them for the past 9 years now).

Property taxes have gone up because local municipalities need to plow and salt and provide safe drinking water -- oh yeah, and education and trained workers. All these years Glenn has been loudly trumpeting the self-serving "tax cuts" that, in effect, do nothing more cut the revenue sharing local governments need to avoid turning Wisconsin into Mississippi.... a state that now produces more baccalaureate degrees than we do -- no, I'm not making that up.

You make the call folks.


06 March 2008

Glenn Grothman: Wrong on the Great Lakes Compact.

Hi everyone,

Well, holy smokes. Good to know that as far away as Staten Island New York, Glenn is giving people everywhere an impression of who we are.

Senate approves Great Lakes Compact - NewsFlash - SiLive.com

3/6/2008, 8:15 p.m. EST
The Associated Press

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — The state Senate passed an interstate treaty Thursday designed to keep arid states from pulling water out of the Great Lakes. But it appears doomed anyway in the Wisconsin Legislature.

The 26-6 vote in the Democratic-controlled chamber sent the Great Lakes Compact to the state Assembly, where Republican leaders have raised objections to part of it.

The Republicans run the Assembly, and they aren't happy with a provision that would let one Great Lakes state block a city's request to use lake water. The legislative session is set to end next week, too, leaving little time for revisions or compromises that could pass both houses.

"This is one of those bills everybody knows is not going to pass next week," Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, told his colleagues before they voted Thursday.

I have to say I admire this kind of advocacy, but all the other Americans on Lake Superior, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Erie, and Lake Ontario have said this was a good idea. The Canadians too. Glad to know that Glenn will say "no" no matter how much this isolates us from the rest of the... well, world.

On the other hand, stubbornness for stubbornness sake is not a sign of intelligent commitment, but a kind of psychopathology.

I mention it in passing, and because it's interesting to know that people in other parts of the county now have a pretty interesting idea of who we are. First the Garter Snake crusade, now this.


02 March 2008

Glenn Grothman: autistic on autism?

Hi everyone,

Glenn apparently isn't done saving us money by forcing families in financial straits to care for their own damaged children.

Autism Bill Approved by State Senate
By LaToya Dennis
February 27, 2008 | WUWM | Milwaukee, WI

WUWM: News - Autism Bill Approved by State Senate: "While just about everyone agrees that something has to be done to financially help families with autistic children, Republican Senator Glenn Grothman says the mandate is too expensive.

“The people back home should realize that under the current fiscal environment, this body, the people collectively in this building are in no position to pass the most extreme mandate in the country on this topic,” Grothman says.
The "current fiscal environment" those of us back home live in -- one in which jobs are shipped overseas, in which the tax-burden is shifted from wealthy to working Wisconsinites, and in which the most effective tax-payer funded services (for health care, education, and infrastructure) are continually slashed, is the product of Senator Grothman's voting record. So, Glenn clearly knows what he's talking about.

This must be an example of that new, non-compassionate conservatism introduced over the past few years.

The only thing extreme I see is Senator Grothman.


01 March 2008

Glenn Grothman: treating autistic children too expensive.

Hi everyone,

Turns out if you provide early treatment to people with autism, they can lead productive lives. Of course, Glenn thinks it'll cost too much.

TUESDAY, Feb. 26, 2008, 3:32 p.m.
By Steven Walters
Senate passes autism insurance bill

Madison - The state Senate today voted to require Wisconsin health insurers to cover the treatment of children with autism - a priority of Gov. Jim Doyle.

The bill passed 25-8 and was sent to the Assembly, where its future was uncertain. The Legislature plans to adjourn by mid-March, and legislative leaders said there are no attempts to negotiate a compromise on the issue that can pass both houses of the Legislature by then.

Sen. Judy Robson (D-Beloit), a nurse and the bill's chief sponsor, said 16 other states require health insurers to cover some type of autism treatments. She said one out of every 192 children in Wisconsin has been diagnosed with autism, and that the number is growing.

Robson said autism can be effectively treated if children get treatment early, allowing autistic children to hold jobs and live independently as adults. Many children are now on waiting lists for help.

"This bill will help them get the treatment that they need," she added.

Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) said the bill would mandate some of the most costly treatments of autistic children in the nation, which will raise the cost of health care overall. "One of the big complaints we hear around here is the high cost of health insurance," he added.

The irony here is that he's wrong. Wisconsin ranks in the top 2 or 3 states in the nation for cost effective health insurance.


Weirder still, Glenn seems to believe autistic kids should remain a burden their parents and, later, the tax payers (through expensive social programs) than to treat autism early, when it's less expensive and more effective.

... wait, what?


24 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: privatizing discrimination for the benefit of all.

Hi everyone,

Yeah, affirmative action again. Tricky.

Personally, I'm a ruthless believer in meritocracy but, then, my own circumstances make it easy for me to believe ruthlessly in the value of meritocracy.

Yet, as a ruthless believer in meritocracy I also believe society should help each person achieve their greatest potential, because I believe that helping each person achieve their greatest potential is good for me.

Social road blocks that keep people from reaching their greatest potential are, therefore, bad for me. Personally.

Example: if racial or sexual bias keeps people from becoming great doctors or engineers, then I won't reap the benefits of having great doctors or engineers.

Again, this is about me.

And you.

Glenn introduced a bill this week that attacks a pornographic caricature of affirmative action. It is designed to appeal to our worst, rather than to our best, instincts. Pornography is best defined as something that arouses desire to no worthwhile effect. The proof that this bill is pornographic is the raw-meat-mixed-with-meta-amphetamine effect it has in satisfying the sense of victimization that characterizes its market audience.

The bill raises the difficult but important questions about whether it's appropriate to hand out government contracts and ear marks solely on the basis of race and gender (instead of on the basis of big campaign contributions, say -- the province of generally rich, mediocre, white boys).

Sadly, it also whitewashes the even more awful truth that, for generations, race and gender were precisely the basis for elbowing all sorts of people away from the American buffet: specifically,the 13% of our population with African heritage and that tiny 50% or our population who are missing an X chromosome.

All right. It's tricky. How do you justify discriminating on the basis of race and gender in order to undo the social tendency to discriminate on the basis of race and gender?

The only justification would be to help society break a bad, self-destructive habit -- maybe it would be best to think of affirmative action as a kind of nicotine patch.

Is anyone under the delusion that our society has shaken off this bad habit? Uh, no. Plenty of us still reach for that pack of unfiltered Camels.

Predictably, Glenn once again reaches under his mattress for a fix in the faux-free-market oxycontin of privatization as the solution to all social ills. His faith is sweetly naive. He hopes that removing government from the regulatory business will allow the private sector will handle discrimination more effectively -- you know, in the same way it has handled tainted meat, seat belts, Pinto gas tank explosions, and lead-soaked toy tea cups from China.

I see that our friend and neighbor Owen Robinson is serving up Glenn's gruel with the usual dollop of religious commitment. Good to know that Owen's childhood left him without any social disadvantages. Other than being an Aggie, of course.

The question is, what do we do to get our society over our tendencies to racism and sexism? Glenn's bill asks us to deny our own bad habits.

Maybe all this denial is a good sign. Denial is the first stage of grief.

And so it goes.

23 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: at his best when it comes to beer?

Hi everyone,

How is it that Glenn and I only seem to agree when it comes to selling beer?

JS Online: Regional News Briefs: "Saukville eatery closer to getting liquor license

The state Senate's Transportation and Tourism Committee on Wednesday unanimously endorsed a bill that would allow the Saukville Village Board to issue one Class B liquor license in addition to the nine Class B licenses allowed under the village's quota.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) has said he introduced the bill to help one business, Messina Two Inc., 151 Progress Drive, Saukville, get a license to serve liquor in addition to the wine and beer the restaurant serves.

The bill is designed to help just one business because political reality is such that the Tavern League of Wisconsin would not allow a broader-based bill to get passed, Grothman has said."
I'd love to hear the Tavern League's argument for limiting the number of licenses within any given area -- probably to make sure that the established businesses are able to stay in business.

It's odd, then, for Glenn to be opposed to that kind of quota since, typically, neo-conservatives vote to maintain the economic advantage of the moneyed elites and to shut out -- or squeeze out -- small business people.


17 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: anorexia as educational reform.

Friends and relations,

In the category of unrecognized irony, Glenn thinks that getting rid of bad teachers will improve the health of an educational system he has made a career of starving.

Here's the story:

Bill to get rid of bad teachers passes committee

By Jackie Johnson

A legislative committee votes in favor of the "Every Child Deserves a Great Teacher Bill" (AB-670).

"For the first time in at least 20 years the legislature's advanced a bill making it easier to fire a bad teacher."

Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is a sponsor of the bill. He cites an example in his district where over $200,000 was spent so far, trying to remove a teacher who watched pornography on a school computer. He's been trying for several years to make it easier to fire bad teachers.

"The teachers union, of course, will always fight to keep bad teachers, but we hope other members of the legislature will put the school children first."

Grothman says a child's academic growth can really be stunted without a quality teacher in the classroom. But it's just too hard to get rid of the bad apples.

1) Firing "bad" teachers is so obviously important that the only reason Glenn would mention it is because he's really up to something else. [Closing the schools to save the taxpayers money?]

2) To "fight" in this case doesn't mean fight to "keep" them, but "fight to give them due process so that they don't get fired simply because they piss off the principal and a few of the parents."

The reason tenure exists -- whether in universities or the K-12's -- is to make sure an educator is able to conduct the process of education. Arguably, the real task of all education is to help the individual learn to question what they believe in order to find out whether their beliefs are actually true -- a process that inevitably makes some people furious.

Teachers need to be protected from the natural resistance that arises when they expound on a truth that a majority of the local population (falsely) believes to be a lie [like discussing evolution or global warming say or, increasingly, that America is a democracy].

Glenn is lying when he says that teachers unions fight to keep "bad" teachers. Nobody wants to keep bad teachers. [Unless, using the same syllogism, Glenn would like to argue that the electoral system fights to keep lousy State Senators. Hmmm.] The unions fight to make sure that when they fire someone, due process is observed.

Democratic activity of this kind is increasingly frowned upon by people from Glenn's universe, but it works. Innocent until proven guilty is, still, what we do in the US. For the French, you're guilty until proven innocent. I don't see any reason to treat our educational system like the French.

and, [and here is where the hypocrisy works its way to the surface like a splinter of glass trying to climb out of Glenn's thumb]

3) Glenn's entire career has been about draining the blood supply out of public education, draining it into the sacrificial chalice of "free market economics" and rights for the rich. He's cut funding to the educational system at every opportunity, starving it at every turn. His other latest hooha has been to try to eliminate kindergarten for 4 year olds, despite solid evidence that it gives kids a jumpstart.

Glenn would blame the cafeteria ladies for starving the kids even though he's the one cutting off their mac & cheese.

Now there's a picture.


Glenn Grothman: taking the tough stand on vulgar license plates.

Friends and relations,

This just in, from Kevin Fischer's This Just In, Quotes of the Week.

"I ... don't think the state should be participating in putting something out there that you wouldn't want your average fourth-grader to read."
State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) on the state banning certain vanity license plates.

Here's one I saw in California around 1976, but haven't seen in Wisconsin yet:


I wonder whether it'd go through?

TAXCUTR got past the censors and, given the context, it's infinitely more offensive.

I don't want fourth-graders thinking that TAXCUTR is a good thing when it represents a continuing assault on their ability to become fifth-graders.


Glenn Grothman: does demanding rights for the unborn compensate for denying rights to the poor?

Friends and relations,

Glenn is having his halo tweaked at a Wisconsin "Right to Life" politburo meeting this weekend.

The Sheboygan Press - Right to Life rally to be held on Sunday

Posted February 16, 2008

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, will give a brief presentation, and Audrey Kolosovsky, Sheboygan County Right to Life's Chairperson, will present the 2007 "Friend of Life" Award.

How do you demand rights for the unborn while slashing the programs that will improve their lives once they are born?

-- I don't know either.


16 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: still short-sheeting 4 year olds.

Hi everyone,

There he goes again, cutting off children from programs what would help them compete in the global economy.

Maybe Glenn wants our next generation to be poor and dependent on China and India?

[I was going for sarcasm but, the more I think about it, the more that last sentence looks like a mere restatement of mundane fact.]

Anyway, I posted a note about this back in December but Glenn's still at it:

Wisconsin Radio Network: An attack on 4-year old kindergarten:

Friday, February 15, 2008, 3:46 PM
by John Colbert, WIBA

A state legislator hopes to halt new spending on what he calls a 'dubious' education program.

Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) wants to put the brakes on new spending for 4-year-old kindergarten classes. He says the state is in a fiscal crisis, yet it continues to encourage more and more districts to set up those programs. Grothman says that could cost the state an extra $13 million next year.

Grothman questions the academic justification of putting young children in those programs. He's doubtful of their effectiveness.

Academic justification? Um, so, studies by state school systems and a couple of major universities are doubtful?

Lawyers only believe what their clients pay them to believe. Maybe this applies to lawyers who become state senators.

Here's what I said last time. Follow the links for the justifications Glenn, apparently, is unwilling to examine.
It always helps when you know what you're talking about.

I just Googled up a swamp full of data and longitudinal studies by universities and the Federal Government Accounting Office.

The National Institute for Early Education Research at Rutgers University has been keeping track of 5 states worth of pre-K education. They've noted good results.

The state of Tennessee thinks it's a great idea and the GAO's data from Oklahoma and Georgia suggest we might think about ramping up as well.

Maybe Glenn doesn't want our pre-schooler students to be as well prepared as they are in Tennessee, Oklahoma, or Georgia.

Maybe he wants us to be the new Oakies, migrating with our cows across the dustbowl of Midwestern manufacturing, hoping for a better life in Georgia.

It took me 5 minutes to find all that stuff. What's keeping Glenn?


05 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: not wrong for bending the law.

Hi folks,

Good grief.

Finally, and on Mardi Gras, I agree with Glenn about beer and wine.

JS Online: Proposed state law aims to help just one restaurant: "Proposed state law aims to help just one restaurant

Bill would allow Saukville to grant extra liquor license
Posted: Feb. 5, 2008

For several years, the Messina Italian restaurant owners in Saukville have unsuccessfully worked with two state legislators to change a state law that limits the number of liquor licenses that can be issued.

But last week, state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) took a more parochial approach.

He introduced a bill that would allow the Saukville Village Board to issue one Class B liquor license in addition to the nine Class B licenses allowed under the village's quota."

A bill that subverts established law in order to help a small family business provide good food? Great idea.

Why doesn't he do this all the time?


04 February 2008

Glenn Grothman: wants the law to favor white Wisconsinites, again.

Hi folks,

Yes yes, another disingenuous headline. I know.

Here's the latest from Glenn:

An attack on affirmative action

Monday, February 4, 2008, 4:21 AM by John Colbert, WIBA

A call for a constitutional ban on affirmative action in Wisconsin. It comes from State Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who plans to introduce an amendment similar to one approved in Michigan two years ago.

Grothman says Wisconsin has had a "brazen policy" of giving preference based on race or sex for too long. He says those preferences have resulted in white males not being hired in government jobs, not getting in to the University of Wisconsin, or getting passed over for state contracts.

Apparently, it doesn't keep them from getting elected though, eh?

I'm not a fan of affirmative action for affirmative action's sake -- but diversity in education makes the students' experience more excellent. Wisconsin kids need to be exposed to the rest of the world in their university lives. A student with a broader experience of all the cultures in the American gumbo will be a better American.

So, racial injustice aside for a moment, this kind of proposal is usually personal. I wonder which of Glenn's friends lost a government contract to a minority owned business?

And so it goes.


23 January 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong on sex, again.

Hi folks,

I guess now that Colorado has tossed TABOR into the dustbin of history, Glenn is having to make do with harangues about sexual immorality. Here's this week's "Press Release" playing up his latest nonsense: that good counseling and a common sense approach to birth control in young people encourage sexual predators.

This is like saying "giving people flotation devices encourages predators to drown them."

Anyway, the headline:

Grothman Attempts to Stop State From Encouraging Sexual Predators
Time to End Family Planning Waiver Program for 15, 16, and 17 Year Olds
His argument reminds me of that coffee can down in the basement filled with a useless collection of rusty nuts and bolts and parts from vacuum cleaners they stopped making in the 50's. I'll be using this jumble in Logic next semester to demonstrate the fallacies of complex question, hasty generalization, and appeal to ignorance. Here's a convenient list of logical fallacies and their definitions. See how many you can find.

Here's the crux of the matter: Glenn's point seems to be that using birth control causes adolescents to have sex. This is just stupid -- as anyone who has ever been an adolescent knows.

Biology causes adolescents to have sex, not birth control. We have to deal with that biology, not stick our heads in the sand and wish for Ward Cleaver to deliver us. Besides, biology caused kids in the 1950's to have sex too.


14 January 2008

Glenn Grothman: American Mullah?

Hi folks,

Glenn's off on another one of his social engineering projects and, once again, it's about sex. First he votes against emergency contraception for rape victims, and now he wants to stop waivers that help to prevent unwanted pregnancies in teenagers.

Have you noticed that for Glenn it's always either about sex or taxes?

Glenn is becoming the sort of character you'd invent in an end-of -the-world scifi novel -- the lunatic who'd plunge us into a new Dark Ages because he'd appealed to everyone's worst instincts and greatest fears.

Listen -- American mullahs aren't any better than Iranian ones.

Here's his latest tirade.

Wisconsin Radio Network: Grothman tries again to eliminate free birth control to teens

Grothman tries again to eliminate free birth control to teens

A state lawmaker tries again to get rid of a program that gives young teens birth control.

Senator Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) is once again introducing legislation that would end Wisconsin's Family Planning Waiver program for 15, 16, and 17 year old girls.

"It seems absurd that the state of Wisconsin is paying Planned Parenthood to put 15-year old girls on the pill and then turning around and charging 17-year old boys with sexual assault and making them sex offenders for life when they have sex with these girls."

The Medicaid program that provides health care services to low-income Wisconsin women also provides free birth control for these high school girls without parental knowledge. Grothman cites several recent cases in which young adult males were charged with felony assault after having sex with their younger girlfriends. He wants to terminate this program.

"Not only is it sending a mixed message but it's also offensive to parental rights because these counselors are meeting with these girls without their parents knowing about it."

Grothman points to the contradiction of laws that prevent sexual abuse of kids, while this program allows the Health Department to give young girls birth control, sending a message that encourages premarital sex among teens. Advocates of the program had said if youngsters don't have access to family planning services, then sexually transmitted diseases, unintended pregnancy, and abortions will increase. The supporters claim, birth-related costs will increase the burden on Medicaid. Lawmakers were one vote short of passing Grothman's measure through the state Senate last session.

Whew. Okay, in order:

  1. Glenn hates Planned Parenthood the same way 'the terrorists' hate our freedom. We know that. But here he's using Planned Parenthood as a red herring. Wake up. No one is paying Planned Parenthood to "put 15 year old girls on the pill." Planned Parenthood is simply one of the "qualified providers" the law specifies. "Qualified provider" includes means your own doctor.
  2. Planned Parenthood never (and cannot) "put" anyone on the pill. Those girls make the decision to put themselves on the pill.
  3. The weirdest, most dishonest, thing he does is to tie this into a conundrum in the law -- that 17 year old boys can be convicted of felony sexual assault for having consensual sex with their 16 year old girl friends. That may be something the legislature needs to address but Glenn makes it sound as if 16-year-old-girls-on-the-pill are the cause of 17 year old boys committing felony sexual assault. Right. Young women only want to have sex when they're on the pill and young men only want to have sex because their girlfriends are on the pill. Notice that neither of those options are true.

The real reason Glenn worries about birth control is his belief -- accompanied by a Mullah-like certainty -- that letting girls protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy simply encourages them to have sex in the first place. He has this backwards. Girls who aren't having sex aren't likely to want birth control. Girls who are already having sex are the ones who most need to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

For more info on our, terrifying, third-world levels of teenage pregnancy, follow the link to the Guttmacher Institute.


13 January 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong for cutting off cops from arbitration?

Hi folks,

It's always interesting to me to see stories about Glenn's latest antics picked up by strangely distant, out of town newspapers -- almost more often than he's mentioned here at home.

Why is that?

Anyway, the latest from Winona, Minnesota, carrying an AP story:

Winona Daily News - 6.0

Police chiefs: Arbitration in new budget could foster rogue cops

TODD RICHMOND | Associated Press Writer
MADISON — Wisconsin’s police chiefs want lawmakers to block a provision in the new state budget that allows arbitration for fired officers.

The change could allow bad officers to bypass local police and fire commissions’ discipline and win back their jobs as well as drive up the proceedings’ cost, said Doug Pettit, police chief in Oregon and the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police Association’s legislative chairman. The association wants legislators to put a moratorium on the provision pending more study.

Police union officials called the complaints a smoke screen. The change gives police officers the same rights as other municipal workers, said James Palmer, executive director of the Wisconsin Professional Police Association.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman, R-West Bend, called the change “an outrage.” Pounding his fists on a Capitol railing during an interview, he said arbitration will cost taxpayers more and promised to introduce legislation that would restore the status quo.

Glenn makes it sound like arbitration was made available to dismissed officers simply to spend more of our taxes. That doesn't seem likely, does it?

It seems more likely it'd be a way of evening out disparities in how certain public employees are treated. Other municipal employees have recourse to arbitration -- why not the police? Anyway, as I said, I don't know the reason. Glenn?

In fact it's be worth noting that when State Representative Garey Bies, a Republican, introduced the Assembly Bill (57) to allow for these appeals to arbitration, they had in mind only those cases in which ... well, here:
...if an accused officer is subject to the terms of a collective bargaining agreement that provides an alternative to the appeal process to a circuit court, the appeal process in the collective bargaining agreement applies to the accused officer and not the current law process that involves an appeal to a circuit court, unless the officer chooses to appeal the tribunal’s decision to a circuit court.
So I imagine some further set of shenanigans must be in play. Aren't you guys on the same page?

Regardless, this stands as yet another symptom of what John Dean and other traditional conservatives now understand to be symptoms of neo-con psychosis -- the belief that money is more important than fairness to people.

Glenn is perfectly correct, as always, when he asserts that spending tax-money stupidly is bad -- but he is also perfectly wrong, as always, for putting money ahead of good old fairness.


03 January 2008

Glenn Grothman: wrong for raising fees by cutting taxes.

Hi folks,

Glenn's irritable about the recent increases in fees for vehicle registration, titling, and driver's license renewal and yet, it's his fault.

JS Online: "State drivers must dig deeper"
Increase in fees will fund transportation projects
Posted: Jan. 1, 2008

Madison - Driving a vehicle just got a lot more expensive.

Registering a car will now cost $20 more, titling it will cost $24.50 more and getting or renewing a driver's license will cost $10 more. The new fees kicked in Tuesday under provisions in the state budget passed in October.

Together, the increases will generate $217.3 million over the next 18 months, most of which will be used for road work. Another $56.9 million will be raised from a 30% boost in registration fees for heavy trucks.

The state Department of Transportation will spend more than $2.5 billion, including federal aid, this fiscal year.

Lawmakers were nearly four months late in passing the state budget because of partisan differences, but Republicans and Democrats agreed from the outset to hefty transportation increases. They argued that the fees were needed because road projects are essential to the state's economy.

'To fund the transportation system, we're going to need that additional cash plus more down the road,' said Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston). 'The cost of maintaining highways and building new highways continues to go up because, mainly, the cost of gasoline prices and oil that's used in asphalt continues to go up very fast."

The higher fees came with some dissent, however.

"I don't think these fee increases would be necessary if we would just use transportation funds for transportation projects, stop building outstate projects of questionable necessity and not spend so much on underutilized mass transit," said state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), who voted against the budget."

We wouldn't have to pay for things with fees -- a hidden and regressive kind of taxation -- if Glenn didn't keep cutting the taxes that would pay for all of this fairly and progressively.

Why shouldn't middle class people in Wisconsin expect the state to bring us services we can't afford on our own? You know, like education, safe water -- and sanitation! -- and decent highways? Why shouldn't we expect the cost for services like that to be spread out fairly among all the residents who use them?

Shoot, that's just civilization.

But every time Glenn cuts taxes to satisfy his ideological crack-addiction, fees have to go up -- just like tuition has at the UW universities and, now, like the registration fees.

I know I keep asking this, but why would middle class voters keep electing someone who continually and proudly votes against their economic interests?