I am not a Crook times three

What do the three GOP leaders have in common?

GWbridgetrio
The trio above is composed of New Jersey Governor – Chris Cristie, Wisconsin Governor – Scott Walker, and former President Richard Nixon. What they have in common is the metaphorical crossing of a bridge to far. The George Washington Bridge closing is just too pregnant with symbolism to pass up – it just begs for a parable. The controversy facing Governor Cristie is not new. It echos back to the classic temptation that has visited the wealthy and powerful throughout human time, the temptation to use power to manipulate circumstances for personal gain, or worse yet, retribution against opponents.

In recent times any political scandal visited on person of power that is met with denial on the part of the accused inherits the suffix “gate”. Of course, this is because of the Grandaddy of all coverups Watergate. If you are now about 50 or older, you will remember the two year long continuous denial of Richard Nixon in a personal way; his stubborn claim that he knew nothing of the break-in at the Watergate office complex in D. C. right up until the day when he was finally threatened with certain impeachment. He was forced to resign his office in shame on August 9 of 1974. This is why the denial of wrong doing on the part of Chris Cristie has already been coined as “Bridgegate”. It is why the on going investigation of Scott Walker in Wisconsin is known as “Walkergate”.

Nixon found himself hopelesslynixon point stuck in a mud of denial of the break-in and yet, he spun his wheels for two years to create a rut so deep and so intractable that any other politician so accused is doomed to follow his Watergate track. Cristie and Walker are doomed to drive down the same road, unable to turn their wheels out of the Watergate rut, until they drive off the eventual cliff of embarrassment, denial, and final resignation. Watergate has become the thousand piece jig-saw puzzle with the final picture clearly displayed on the cover of the box. Just like a sequel movie or TV show the “Othergates” of Christie and Walker are solved by the picture on the puzzle box long before the hours of putting all the pieces together proves the fact. But, oh what fun all the endless mystery and intrigue provide for media pundits, and political junkies! “I found a piece!”

All of a piece

The politicians who find themselves trapped behind some “Gate” or other share some common foibles so that the piecing together of the puzzle becomes traceable and predictable. It might be argued that every politician has a big ego, but the “Gate” politicians have ego’s on steroids – like Chris Cristie and Scott Walker. They need to “be someone” far out weighs their need to serve someone.

This obsessive need could not have been made more clear on the part of Cristie than in his two hour news conference when all of his apologies and administrative actions where deeply based in his personal foible: “It’s all about me.” My staff lied to ME. They blindsided ME. Me. I. Me. I. This is the way “Gate” politicians see the world. Scott Walker’s “Gate” has yet to break loose in the national media, but it appears inevitable that he is the next “Gate” on the horizon. Mark my words. Walkergate is a bridge just waiting to be crossed.

Bring on Walkergate

Cristie’s Bridgegate finally broke months after the bridge closure on the first day of school. It first hit the national press as a weird political anomaly on the Rachel Maddow show. She is the first to admit and credit the bloggers and journalists and specifically Bergen Record reporter Shawn Boburg, who continued to delve into all the tedious research making phone calls, and pouring over documents until the balance finally shifted into one of the major stories effecting national politics of the year.

The same tedious research is Ifgovprestracing through the counties of Wisconsin as the two year long John Doe Investigation continues. The same reference as to the atmosphere necessary for a Watergate, Bridgegate, and Walkergate has been defined in Wisconsin. Yes, the culture of seediness and lawbreaking that pervaded the Walker administration at the time he was campaigning for governor, makes Nixon and Cristie look like naughty children when compared to the vile acts that were documented within Walker’s Milwaukee culture.

Not only did Walker’s Chief of Staff, Timothy Russell, set up a secret email network for Walker’s campaign for governor, but he was convicted of stealing money from a veterans group whose mission was to help families of fallen veterans. Where is the national press?

Finally a Special Prosecutor, Francis Schmitz, has been appointed to investigate the criminal activity surrounding Scott Walker.

For two years Walker has said he didn’t know about the secret email network located within 30 feet of this County Executive Office. He has dodged, ducked and dismissed any knowledge or connection with any criminal activities that were all orchestrated to put him in office and keep him in office.

Even if Cristie did not know about the bridge closure, he is being held to the fire by the press for creating a culture of retribution. Even if he did not know, he is responsible for surrounding himself with staff who would orchestrate such and act of retribution on his behalf.

In Watergate the idea that Nixon could be absolved by “not knowing” was addressed by the Arlo Guthrie song “The Presidential Rag”:

Presidential Rag
Arlo Guthrie – Presidential Rag Lyrics | MetroLyrics
You said you didn’t know
That the cats with the bugs were there
And you never go along
With that kind of stuff no where

Scott Walker’s name is being dropped even more often as a GOP Presidential candidate in the wake of Cristie’s Bridgegate. As he is being paraded out on the Sunday shows, why is he being absolved from the culture of crime he created in Wisconsin’s Walkergate?

Just asking.

Papa John Pizza Affluenza breakout

Papa John CEO, John Schnatter has become the poster boy for New Normal Affluenza (NNA), a virulent and debilitating disease that has papapizzaheartbeen mutating and spreading across corporate America for 50 years (See side bar right).

Back in November Papa Schnatter Pizza suffered an attack of affluenza when his delusional love of personal wealth moved him to make the statement that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees. Not for lack of business, but in order to keep the hours below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require him to provide his employees with healthcare benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Affluenza so skews the perception of its victims so that they believe that it is the mission of the the mass of Americans to contribute to their personal wealth. So sad.

Rick Ungar, Contributor Forbes

It turns out that being a good corporate citizen is as important to selling pizzas as the thinness of the crust or the quality of the cheese.

If you don’t believe it, just ask Papa John CEO, John Schnatter.

As covered—and criticized—in this column in great detail, Mr. Schnatter decided to mix his politics with his pepperoni when suggesting that he would be cutting the work hours for Papa John employees in order to bring them below the 30 hour per week threshold that would require Schnatter to provide his employees with healthcare benefits.

Pizza Pop Delusion is a tough crust to swallow


By: Ted Marzilli BrandIndex

Papa John’s, Applebee’s, and Denny’s were measured with YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score, which asks respondents, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” Results were filtered adults 18+ who have eaten at casual dining restaurants in the past month.

Papa John’s Buzz score high point for the month came on Election Day – November 6th – with a score of 32. Eight days later, the score had dropped 10 points down to 22. A few days later, Papa John’s dropped below Pizza Hut’s score and is presently at 4.

Affluenza

affluenza3

The first outbreak of Affluenza was documented in a film way back in 1954 when it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 the term described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. Today, in the latest ugly outbreak, the illness has been sited as a legal excuse of vehicular manslaughter. The argument is that the wealthy few are killing the rest of us for our own good.

How is that for delusional?
The virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed and the promulgation of the belief that profit driven organizations are living and breathing people, sort of like the “living dead”. Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

Affluenza reaching epidemic proportions among most wealthy

Papa John Schnatter’s delusional behavior is not an isolated case. Other fast food CEO’s have demonstrated similar delusional perceptions of self importance. Zane Tankel (pictured left) holds one of the largest franchises for Applebee’s, applebeestanke2land went on television while suffering an Affluenza breakdown. He went on a self possessed rant to threaten the public with pulling back. He said he would not build any more restaurants or hire any more people if the affordable care act were to force him to provide insurance to his minimum wage workers. Sort of a “Stay where you are or I’ll shot myself in in the foot.” kind of demented threat.

All that happened as a result of his rant was that his “Buzz” (from the Brandindex link above) fell from the 35 points to a pathetic 5 points after his public tantrum.

New Normal Affluenza is spreading through the ranks of the wealthy and we will be reporting on the growing epidemic and possible cures for this devastating illness.

Packer tickets, the Pope, and taxes

Blackout averted as Affluenza reaches pandemic stage

The heartbreak of Affluenza

The first outbreak of Affluenza was documented in a film way back in 1954 when it was a loose term to define wealth in general, in 1997 the term described the overload, debt, and waste involved in the pursuit of wealth. popetaxfootballToday, in the latest ugly outbreak, the virulent strain arrives as an excuse for greed and the promulgation of the belief that profit driven organizations are living and breathing people, sort of like the “living dead”. Symptoms often include some form of fantasy with the most prevalent delusion that all human beings are gifted in exactly the same way at birth. So, it follows that any lacking encountered over the course of life is always the fault of the victim – laziness, irresponsibility, lagging, loafing, lethargic behavior.

Last week the insidious delusional symptoms of Affluenza came to force within the NFL when many were shocked at the sluggish sales of tickets of the Sunday Packer/San Francisco playoff game. The expectation of a quick sellout didn’t materialize, and as is typical Affluenza symptoms, the effect of greed and over reach of the affected “corporate people” involved went unnoticed. Social media was quick to come to the conclusion that people just don’t have the extra $500 cash for transportation, accommodations, and tickets for the game. The Affluenza effected media did not mention the hard strapped status of Wisconsin’s middle class as a factor in the sluggish ticket sales, but pointed to the sub zero cold as the primary reason for slow sales.


By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel

With Ice Bowl-like weather coming, Packers get more time to sell seats

According to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the temperature at game time for the Ice Bowl on Dec. 31, 1967, was 13 below zero. More recently, the Jan. 20, 2008, playoff game between the Packers and the New York Giants was 3 below with a wind chill of 24 below.

The face value of the tickets in the seating bowl is between $102 and $125, depending on seat location. The NFL sets the prices. On the secondary ticket market, prices are hovering at face value.

Many Packer fans just don’t have the cash

Walker’s Affulenza

He stands in silence as 26,200 veterans in Wisconsin are faced with losing Foot Stamp (SNAP) benefits.

He is quick to comment on the fate of thecapdoorlock2 Packer’s on face book, but not a word about the 150,000 people and 4,000 kids at risk of losing access to free/reduced meals.

Further, the cuts proposed in the House would trigger the loss of $170 million to the Wisconsin economy next year.

As is so typical of the Affluenza sufferer – No comment from Walker. Not a word.

His failure to accept the Affordable Care Act as law will take 83,000 people off of Medicaid. Why? So he can show the most conservative base of the GOP that he is tough. Tough enough to let thousands of people suffer to prove a political point.

Yet, we see frequent tweets and face book posts from Walker, “How bout those Packers.”, as some strange pretense that all is well beneath the surface.

Walker Tax reform to provide MORE benefits for the wealthy

Oh, Affluenza in its late stages is not a pretty sight. Even as a promise to create 250,000 jobs by the end of his term through cutting taxes for the wealthy, has faltered, fallen, and failed, a sufferer of Afflenza remains out of touch with reality as demonstrated by Walker’s new push to abolish the state income tax.

Shepherd Express Monday, Dec. 30, 2013 By Joel McNally
Scott Walker’s Scariest Tax Plan Yet

An independent study by the Wisconsin Budget Project found that moving all state income tax revenue onto the sales tax would mean the bottom four-fifths of Wisconsin taxpayers would pay hundreds of dollars more in taxes every year while the top 1% would save an average of $44,000 a year.

Affluenza sufferers are very much like the zombies and walking dead in that they hang together in secret. Most of the legislative initiatives of the GOP in Wisconsin have been developed in secret meetings of organizations like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and financed by dark money – it is necessary to hide the true motives of the wealthy “corporate people”. Walker’s tax reform discussions are no different.

Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is conducting secret meetings where the public and press are not allowed. She explains that, “If you’ve got cameras and reporters with notebooks lining the edges of the room, that amounts to public speaking, and that can make some folks nervous.” – a delusional opinion so typical of the late stages of Affluenza. Sad.

STEVEN VERBURG | Wisconsin State Journal

Video shows businesses lobbying Rebecca Kleefisch for more tax breaks in closed-door meeting

In a closed meeting with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch, business operators argued — sometimes forcefully — for lower taxes and more financial incentives for commercial interests.

A recently released video of the Dec. 9 session at Beloit College shows Kleefisch and state Revenue Department Secretary Rick Chandler extolling state efforts to reduce taxes since Republicans took over state government in 2011, and saying they wanted private-sector ideas for another round of cuts.

“We want to know how we can love you more,” Kleefisch told the group of about 30 executives, managers, accountants and others during the 1-hour, 40-minute session

Blackout averted through the grace of “corporate people”

Our TV blackout nightmare is over.

Sunday’s wild-card playoff game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers is a sellout, ensuring the game will not be blacked out in Milwaukee, Green Bay and Wausau. The Associated Bank corporate person has come through to save the day for fans, and preserve its bottom line. Like any late stage Affluenza sufferer the Associated corporate person spins the message to stifle any accusations of over reach and greed, and launches its corporate self to become a hero!


By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel

“The franchise announced Friday the game had been sold out. The Packers had until 4 p.m. Friday to avoid an NFL-imposed TV blackout in the three local television markets.”