Patterico's Pontifications

2/21/2011

Doctors Playing With Fire in Wisconsin

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 7:57 am



[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

Update: Althouse has a retrospective of highlights from the protests.

I got a few requests over the weekend to talk about the doctors handing out fake doctor’s notes on the street.  Here, for instance, is Breitbart proving that he really didn’t need O’Keefe or to hide cameras; apparently he could walk up to them with his semi-famous face, cameras pointed at them, and they would still engage in lawless activity:

Via Big Government, of course.  Ann Althouse made her own video where she asked a “street doctor” whether this was dishonest or not.  It’s always fun to watch a person trying to rationalize their behavior in real time.

And Instapundit has a few links to stories about things like street “clinics” created to hand out notes (here and here).  I am willing to bet we will see even more of this today, as well as at Althouse’s blog.

So how many ways can these doctors get in trouble?  Let me count the ways.

The first thing to get is that this is very likely to be fraud.  If we assume that these doctors handed out fake notes, and we assume that teachers will hand those notes in to 1) keep their jobs, and 2) obtain pay for the time they have taken off to strike, then that is fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and/or accessory to fraud.

So first the state ethics board could make an issue out of this.  Now most state agencies don’t have all the time in the world to investigate every single alleged violation of doctor’s ethics.  I would go as far as to say that they probably have never gone after anyone for a fake doctor’s note before.  But the very brazen nature of this conduct might make them willing to make an example out of them.  Bodies like this do not like open lawlessness.

Second, naturally there could be criminal liability for the teachers and doctors.  Depending on how the statute is written and the specifics of their conduct, the doctors could be guilty of fraud themselves.  And even if not, they are likely to be seen as accessories or conspirators with the teachers who would definitely be committing fraud.

Third, they face potential civil liabilities.  If the state gives money to a teacher because of these notes then the state would have a cause of action against the teacher and any accessories or co-conspirators.  Doing a (very) quick check of state law, Wisconsin doesn’t appear to have civil conspiracy statute, but they do have a common law rule prohibiting civil conspiracies.  But that depends on a state willing to sue, which might be not be forthcoming if local school administrators are sympathetic to the strike.

Finally, someone brought up the concept of Qui Tam.  Qui Tam statutes are special statutes that empower private citizens to sue on behalf of the government for damage done by the government.  In that case the citizen suing on behalf of the government is called a “relator,” and is often referred to as a “private attorney general.”  Like if I filed a federal Qui Tam, it would be styled United State ex rel Aaron Worthing v. __________ (whoever is being accused of bad behavior).  And if I file such a case and win it, I get somewhere around 30% of the monetary damages as a reward and incentive for bringing suit, and the Federal Government would get the rest.

Now, there is no state statute that seems to apply here.  There is a statute involving “False claims for medical assistance,” that allows for Qui Tam actions, but that would only apply to programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

But on the other hand, the federal government gives tons of money to our schools.  For instance, this administration has repeatedly claimed to have “created or saved” teachers’ jobs.  If any part of a teacher’s salary comes from the Federal Government, or if in any way a teacher’s continued employment results in federal spending in a given school, and there is fraud involved in that, then that would likely fall under the federal false claims act which deals with all false claims for which federal reimbursements are made.

And the beautiful/horrible part about all of that is that you cannot be guaranteed that you will benefit from any prosecutorial discretion.  Even if no federal or state official was interested in coming after you, you are constantly surrounded by people who would be able to bring a suit on their own (sadly, though, the statute won’t allow a person to sue in a qui tam merely because they heard about the case in the press—sorry readers).

Oh, and as for the doctor on the Breitbart video, you might have thought you were clever when you asked Breitbart to turn off the camera, but in some ways you screwed yourself even more.  What you showed there is what lawyers call “consciousness of guilt.”  You might want to ask your attorney friends about that one.  I am sure that any lawyer friends you have will do a facepalm when you show them the video.

I don’t typically give legal advice on this blog, but here’s a freebee, to all the teachers and doctors involved in this: cut it out.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

84 Responses to “Doctors Playing With Fire in Wisconsin”

  1. “Crooks and Liars” (a name you can trust LOL) was indicating over the weekend that these “doctors” were stooges paid by Breitbart.

    No matter, their “excuses” are an invitation to dismissal, permanently.

    Bill Maher (03e5c2)

  2. bill i would love a citation.

    i am getting the feeling that the site name, “crooks and liars” is not meant ironically or accusingly, but descriptively.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  3. That’s been my experience with them.

    narciso (28df0c)

  4. Aaron,

    Malfeasance, fraud, making knowlingly false statements to government officials

    Can any of these apply

    EricPWJohnson (862059)

  5. i am getting the feeling that the site name, “crooks and liars” is not meant ironically or accusingly, but descriptively

    I’ve long felt that way about such autobiographies as…
    * “Great American Hypocrites” by Glenn Greenwald
    * “The Worst Person in the World” by Keith Olbermann
    * “The Assault on Reason” by Al Gore

    John Walsh (a2a019)

  6. at 00:32 of the Breitbart video, he is holding a clipboard attached to which is a piece of paper with other “patients'” names on it.

    Isn’t that a HIPAA violation?

    Not sure there’s any need to stretch here – surely there are HIPAA violations committed when standing in a public square gathering and distributing PHI

    John Covert (901d26)

  7. john

    yes, but hipaa’s remedies are poor. the fear of hipaa v. the danger of it, are seriously out of proportion.

    but good catch.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  8. Let’s not forget that the notes mean that the teachers will get paid for the days they are out! They are not even willing to sacrifice their pay!

    Sticking it to the taxpayers again: Six Million for Fake Notes?

    Patricia (3aa1fd)

  9. So I guess you approve?

    “16.896 Sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants. (1) Notwithstanding ss. 13.48 (14) (am) and 16.705 (1), the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state. Notwithstanding ss. 196.49 and 196.80, no approval or certification of the public service commission is necessary for a public utility to purchase, or contract for the operation of, such a plant, and any such purchase is considered to be in the public interest and to comply with the criteria for certification of a project under s. 196.49 (3) (b).”

    http://rortybomb.wordpress.com/2011/02/21/the-less-discussed-part-of-walkers-wisconsin-plan-no-bid-energy-assets-firesales/

    Bernard F. (d80b5a)

  10. Bernard, it’s really amazing how the shills for the teachers unions refuse to argue about their actual cause.

    You, for example, just shove in some completely unrelated issue and assert that anyone opposed to the unions must support everything Walker supports. I have no idea about the merits of this other issue, but your argument has absolutely no merit. It’s dishonest and ugly, just like practically everything surrounding these greedy unions. It’s time to start tracking down the names of the teachers who missed the last 4 days of school in order to terminate them in June.

    Defrauding the state out of sick leave while defrauding the voters of their government while screeching nonsense like Bernard’s? That’s a great opportunity for Republicans to show leadership. No collective bargaining for any public employee.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  11. Speaking of frauds speaking on behalf of frauds;

    http://cubachi.com/2011/02/21/obama-defends-planned-parenthood-calls-sting-manufactured/

    narciso (28df0c)

  12. “Bernard” eats boogers.

    JD (d48c3b)

  13. Patricia,

    That’s exactly it: Are we supposed to really believe these people are so utterly committed to this attempt of Gov. Walker’s stripping away of their rights that they are even unwilling to be honest in their absences and use Personal Days and/or Personal Business days (paying for it themselves) but instead continue feel perfectly free to suck off the public teat via their collective bargaining rights getting paid for the time away???

    The great irony is this is precisely *why* the public is disgusted with the power the unions have – we see they use it for dishonest and self-serving purposes and get away with it! The irony is so rich it is not to be believed.

    In other countries, people are willing to die for their freedoms and rights. In Madison, Wisconsin, they are not even willing to have their paycheck docked for a Personal Day/Business day.

    For the children!!

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  14. ZOMFG! Koch Brothers!!!!!!

    JD (306f5d)

  15. Excellent legal analysis of some of the problems presented. Also, as discussed here, the doctors’ malpractice carriers may have concerns:

    Finally, I wonder what carrier is covering this groups malpractice insurance. You can’t just set up shop, see everyone on the street and pretend everything is great. This type of action opens these folks up to an incredible liability risk and without required documentation in a medical record or follow up they are sitting ducks to an opportunistic lawyer. If I were a betting man, I would wager that their malpractice insurance is obtained through the Universities Family Medicine Department. I would expect these rates to rise significantly if not dropped outright for this negligent behavior. You see, once you enter into a contract with a patient, you are responsible for them, even if it is on a streetcorner. Hope they didn’t miss a stroke in progress or the ever so rare zebra, dermatomyositis.

    Read the whole thing, especially the Update.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  16. Wow! I thought I’d been following the Wisconsin teacher riots pretty closely, and understood what they were yelling about, but I guess I was completely wrong.

    Bernard informs me that the teachers are rioting in Madison because they are so fiercely concerned about the sale or contractual operation of state−owned heating, cooling, and power plants.

    Who knew that Teachers Unions were so passionate about public utilites?

    Pious Agnostic (291f9a)

  17. Pious – it took them 5+ days to come up with their BUNNIES! talking point.

    JD (306f5d)

  18. Apparently at least some of these docs–whether they are “paid stooges of Breitbart” (RFLMAO to that one) or not are on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin Med school. Their names got out (everything gets out in an Internet blogger world), and the docs were stunned to go home and read their e-mail. Their inboxes were full of stuff and it wasn’t pretty.

    But these docs aren’t too bright. One of them said something to the effect that “When does something like this get political?” Well putz, you go ahead and participate in a political protest, and a smart boy like a doc should be able to figure out that it’s all political.

    Mike Myers (0e06a9)

  19. Pious, JD, you’d think if that was their best distraction they would just make something up. I guess it’s going to be public utilities Hitler, though.

    I love how cool and collected Walker has been about this. He’s a model leader that a lot of other governors will be smart to emulate when their budgets have to be saved.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  20. The doctors involved didn’t realize that the prevailing opinions in the “Peoples Republic of Madison” are not shared by the majority of Wisconsinites, let alone many outside of the state. I’m sure they were caught up in the “mob mentality” of relative anonymity that once existed before phones that take pictures.

    Had they thought for a half-second about their politics as critically as they do reading a medical journal, they would have understood that the majority in Wisconsin was with Walker and the Repub state senators, that’s why they were voted in.

    Among the signs and interviews:
    Walker=Hitler,
    “one day they came for the unions, the Jews will be next”

    MD inh Philly (3d3f72)

  21. “However, the data indicates that state and local government employees in Wisconsin are not overpaid. Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability reveal that employees of both state and local governments in Wisconsin earn less than comparable private sector employees. On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers. “

    http://crookedtimber.org/2011/02/20/are-wisconsin-public-sector-workers-overcompensated/

    Bernard F. (d80b5a)

  22. How ’bout a nice class action suit against the union and doctors on behalf of the hundreds (thousands?) of parents who suffered financially as a result of the sick-out?

    Unanticipated daycare expenses. Loss of income and/or vacation time. The numbers have to be huge. All due to teachers violating their contracts and doctors violating their oaths.

    Blue Ox (ff919a)

  23. Walker’s reamrks have basically been, “I said this was what I was going to do when campaigning, in November after we won, in my state of the state address, they shouldn’t be surprised.

    MD inh Philly (3d3f72)

  24. Bernard, does that take into account the shorter work year, or the retirement package (95% funded by the taxpayers)?

    I doubt it. But OK. Let’s assume you’re right for a moment and all these teachers can get better work elsewhere.

    They are free to do so.

    No collective bargaining for public employees. They jeopardize things we need, such as education for the past several days, for personal gain.

    but I don’t grant your claims. I suspect an awful lot of Wisconsin’s citizens would love a job like the teacher’s have, with their retirement and pensions and job security. Imagine a job you can just leave for a week without any repercussions. I’ve never had a job like that.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. Walker’s reamrks have basically been, “I said this was what I was going to do when campaigning, in November after we won, in my state of the state address, they shouldn’t be surprised.

    Comment by MD inh Philly

    It’s amazing that the people opposing this process call themselves democrats.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  26. Would the fact that Wisconsin received $600+ million in school aid expand the group of Qui Tam plaintiffs?

    Bernard F — It doesn’t matter how much the teachers are paid in relation to the private sector or other states if Wisconsin can’t afford it.

    DRJ (fdd243)

  27. Blue Ox

    On Bennett’s radio show this am it was stated at least one person lost her new job when she had to unexpectedly stay home with her child. FWIW.

    MD inh Philly (3d3f72)

  28. So Bearnard, do you approve of the lying of both doctors and teachers involved? Should the taxpayer be paying for these teacher’s dishonesty in getting sick notes for days that they clearly are not sick?

    And what do you think of doctors that would so easily behave in an unethical manner – would you trust them to care for you? Do you think this dishonesty and readiness to sign off on something dishonest helps bolster their credibility as a physician – because as we all know, ethics can play an enormous part in the decisions of a physician.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  29. Dustin

    > No collective bargaining for public employees. They jeopardize things we need,

    And don’t forget that woman whose baby died as she waited for the NY Sanitation workers to plow her streets.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  30. DRJ cuts to the chase.

    Wisconsin is out of money, and need to cut everything. We can’t let special classes destroy important societal functions like our legislature or education system in order to have an advantage with funding.

    What matters is that Wisconsin cannot afford what these teachers are extorting.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  31. And never, ever, ever forget that the same people gleefully willing to pervert medical ethics to suit their own political beliefs are the biggest proponents of government run healthcare.

    Blue Ox (ff919a)

  32. Anyoine recognize the style of “bernard” ?

    JD (6e25b4)

  33. Anyoine recognize the style of “bernard” ?

    Chrissyhooten?

    Darth Venomous (c8614a)

  34. I would like to see the actual wording of the section of the employment contract that requires a doctors release to return to work after being off sick.

    Many people think the purpose is to have a doctor verify that the person was in fact sick when, in actuality, it is a certification by the doctor that the person is able to resume normal duties.

    In other words, the doctors note is not about being sick, it is about being healthy enough to return to work. It is a release to return to work, not an excuse for being off work.

    Huey (ddf1a4)

  35. huey

    not where i work it isn’t. it is both verification of authenticity of illness and ability to resume work.

    that is because we serve patients here, and we need people to be here as reliably as they can. in that way it is very similar to education.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  36. Fred Thompson has a great quip on his Facebook page about these doctors and their phony sick notes: “Wonder if this is some of that medical waste, fraud, & abuse that Obamacare was supposed to fix?”

    JVW (1a2602)

  37. On an annual basis, full-time state and local government employees in Wisconsin are undercompensated by 8.2% compared with otherwise similar private sector workers.

    If they are so poorly paid, then let them seek employment elsewhere. I’m guessing the reason they’re working for the government is that they are not capable of working anywhere else.

    Some chump (e84e27)

  38. Comparisons controlling for education, experience, organizational size, gender, race, ethnicity, citizenship, and disability reveal that employees of both state and local governments in Wisconsin earn less than comparable private sector employees.

    In other words, after manipulating the data, the liars managed to prove that an average $100K/year salary and benefits were below the averages in Wisconsin. Of course, one assumption was making a Masters in Education the equivalent of a law degree or a MS in Computer Science….

    iconoclast (c91a7c)

  39. Aaron Worthing is right. Public employees are prone to take paid sick time when they are not sick, either because they just want the day off without asking for supervisor approval, or because they cannot accumulate sick time for the purposes of a cash-out at retirement (thus they have no motivation to accumulate unused sick time, unlike, e.g., unused vacation time). Most of the public employee contracts I have seen require a doctor’s note at the discretion of the employer. A sick-out with teachers is especially egregious because the employer has no way to “cover” the absent teacher’s classroom.

    mike (e351a4)

  40. A sick-out with teachers is especially egregious because the employer has no way to “cover” the absent teacher’s classroom.

    Depending on the number of vacancies to fill, they do have coverage: most districts in California (and I suspect in other states, too) have any number of riffed teachers who are now working as subs in their districts. There is also a regular pool of substitute teachers that work on-call and as needed until they get an opportunity to be permanently hired on. So to some extent, there is coverage. I know a good number of subs who only wish there would be a sickout so that they could have more consistent work.

    (Of course, it’s also true that a number of riffed teachers will not sub because they make more money on unemployment and would rather stay on unemployment and wait it out to see if they get re-hired…)

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  41. Comment by Dana — 2/21/2011 @ 3:31 pm

    It appears there is a rather large pool of available employees for those awful jobs described by Bernard.

    I suggest firing every teacher with a fraudulent doctors excuse and hiring one of these subs. The next step, of course, is to start laying off teachers based on teaching ability–as judged by parents and principal–and replacing them with subs. It will be remarkable how quickly the remaining teachers “get it” after that.

    iconoclast (c91a7c)

  42. One enterprising soul with some school district could examine the thousands of photographs of these demonstrations, identify the participants from his district, and then check on which of the identified participants turned in a doctor’s note.

    Bam! Clear evidence of an attempt to defraud the government.

    Since Wisconsin has a Qui Tam law, it wouldn’t even have to be someone with the school district; simply an enterprising soul who lived in the district who happened to be able to recognize the teachers could do it, though he might have problems getting access to the records of doctor’s notes submitted.

    Wisconsin could have a substantial number of teaching jobs to fill.

    The Dana who would smile if this happened (132cf8)

  43. The ironic thing is that many subs can’t get hired on as permanent teachers because permanent teachers will keep working and working (even past the sell date) until they reach the magic 95% of their salary in retirement – some even stay on working for free! This prevents the young, optimistic, fresh and eager teachers from getting a position.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  44. (sadly, though, the statute won’t allow a person to sue in a qui tam merely because they heard about the case in the press—sorry readers)

    I know for a fact that some time in the last two terms of the SCotUS there was a case involving Qui Tam suits based on government reports…

    I’ll try and dig up the Federalist Society SCotUS-cast on it…

    Ah, there it is…

    I’ll let Aaron listen to it again, and see what he thinks about whether we should start chipping in for the lawsuit…

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  45. http://host.madison.com/ct/news/opinion/editorial/article_61064e9a-27b0-5f28-b6d1-a57c8b2aaaf6.html

    In its Jan. 31 memo to legislators on the condition of the state’s budget, the Fiscal Bureau determined that the state will end the year with a balance of $121.4 million.

    …Unfortunately, Walker has a political agenda that relies on the fantasy that Wisconsin is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.
    Walker is not interested in balanced budgets, efficient government or meaningful job creation.
    Walker is interested in gaming the system to benefit his political allies and campaign contributors.
    To achieve that end, he has proposed a $137 million budget “repair” bill that he intends to use as a vehicle to:
    1. Undermine the long-established collective bargaining rights of public employee unions, which have for 80 years been the strongest advocates for programs that serve the great mass of Wisconsinites, as opposed to wealthy elites and corporate special interests. As Racine’s Democratic state Rep. Cory Mason says, the governor’s bill is designed not with the purpose of getting the state’s finances in order but as “an assault on Wisconsin’s working families and political payback against unions who didn’t support Gov. Walker.”
    2. Pay for schemes that redirect state tax dollars to wealthy individuals and corporate interests that have been sources of campaign funding for Walker’s fellow Republicans and special-interest campaigns on their behalf. As Madison’s Democratic state Rep. Brett Hulsey notes, the governor and legislators aligned with him have over the past month given away special-interest favors to every lobby group that came asking, creating zero jobs in the process “but increasing the deficit by more than $100 million.”

    Bernard F. (d80b5a)

  46. You know that paper would embarass Pravda back in the old days

    narciso (28df0c)

  47. Scott

    No, the News Media is specifically cut out as an example.

    http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/31/III/37/III/3730

    The best you could do is try to say this. “But I first heard of it at Patterico’s and it is just a blog and doesn’t count as the news media.” that’s worth a shot. But I am betting that this excuse has already been tested and failed.

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  48. bernard

    i am sure that same paper opposed the stimulus, too, right?

    Aaron Worthing (73a7ea)

  49. Comment by Bernard F. — 2/21/2011 @ 4:52 pm

    You. Are. F**king. Stupid.

    Long reply short, the tax cuts don’t take effect until July 1st, so it is impossible for them to cause a deficit for the current fiscal year.

    Stop getting your information from Maddow.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  50. Bernard quotes the Cap Times, which gives as its own subtitle, “Your Progressive Voice

    I do appreciate it when people provide the links to debunk their own points. Very thoughtful.

    As narciso implies, the Cap Times covers the news from the perspective of the “Peoples Republic of Madison”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


  51. It’s amazing that the people opposing this process call themselves democrats.

    It’s that postmodern liberal reasoning process, Dustin. You know:

    War is Peace
    Ignorance is Knowledge
    Freedom is Slavery

    Our “leaders” hiding from an actual vote — hey, that’s democracy in action!

    IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society (c9dcd8)

  52. I love it. Doctors employed by a state University enter into a conspiracy to help public school teacher defraud the government entities that employ them. And ultimately the taxpayer.

    I can see why the lefties would hope agianst hope they can somehow advance the story that these are paid Brietbart stooges. Because in a short video they put on an excellent piece of street theater exposing exactly what public employee unions are.

    Conspiracies to rip off the taxpayer while avoiding any actual work.

    Steve (49173f)

  53. Bernard, if public sector employees in Wisconsin are underpaid, then I guess Wisconsin taxpayers will find out when they try to replace you.

    I’m sure they’ll be shocked at their inability to find others to do your jobs.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  54. I hope your Ed-school graduate has dental insurance, Bupkis. He needs his teeth cleaned in the worst way.

    PatAZ (6b2e01)

  55. You all know who “Bernard” is.

    JD (d4bbf1)

  56. Oh good grief, JD, if you tell us it’s Mr. Yelverton, I want my time back that I wasted responding to him.

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  57. Ding ding ding !!!!!!!!! We have a winner. Same form. Same BS. Same pattern. The stench oozes from that one.

    JD (d4bbf1)

  58. Sometimes it seems that some people forget that Americans are Americans. Sure, there are plenty of ‘right-thinking’ folk who make a living on implying their fellow citizens are fools or worse.

    What they forget, though, is a whole lot of decent people really matter. Sometimes they may vote this way or that, but they love the country, their children and their neighbors. Sometimes they can discern the difference between what is popular amongst a few fellow believers and what may be right for the nation.

    Yet, they have to endure the slanders of those who hold them in contempt for not thinking properly.

    It’s an old game. Regular people relying on common sense are not stupid. Those who choose to condescend based on credentials are another matter.

    Ag80 (7a9f97)

  59. I don’t understand why the various unions can’t see that the optomistic tax revenues when the housing/land boom was going on through out this nation has effectively dried up. Maybe it is time to roll back some of the benny packages, pay raises, and special deals back a few years when belts were a little tighter during the previous recession that was the segue between Clinton into Bush.
    I also think that on a whole most of the modern conservaties are missing a point with this Wisonsion debate and the debate on the size of the federal government on a whole. Lets just forget about how many teachers in the class rooms, or cops on the beat. Instead we should concentrate on getting rid of the numerous bureaucrats that support that lone teacher or cop. Those are the true people protesting, those who have the cushy white collar desk jobs. The ones who make sure that everyone has thier annual “How to be a racist,rapist,homophobe, anti-Christian” training. The ones who tell some poor fireman that cause he wasn’t in a duty status when he suffered the injury, the state’s insurance isn’t going to pay for his hosptial stay and treatment beyond what the law requires. The ones who tell some poor parent cause they didn’t file in triplicate 360days in advance that the child in question was special needs, let alone go to an state approved special doctor for that diagnoses then that child will have to spend a year struggling in a standard classroom instead of special studies class. The bureaucrat who approves a child to go back to her abusive home, even though the other welfare officers have marked the forms up saying no, simply cause it isn’t cost effective to keep the child in the system.
    I remember reading some thing a few years back that stated for every police/fire officer you see on the streets there was something like 2.5 bureaucrats doing jobs that could in all essance be taken over by computers or haven’t been needed in over 3 decades since the revolution in world events has rendered thier job obsolete.

    Charles (4f8b94)

  60. JD, how do you know it is him? By his ISP? By analyzing the number of syllables he uses in every 3rd sentence? By sensing ripples in “The Force”?

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  61. I suspect he is tipped off by the voices in his head.

    Scott Jacobs (d027b8)

  62. It’s really not hard to pick out fellow travelers, it’s just hard to figure out why they try. You know as if they matter anymore.

    Ag80 (7a9f97)

  63. MD- experience.

    JD (d4bbf1)

  64. You’ve got it, Dana, they are spoiled brats, not freedom fighters.

    Patricia (3aa1fd)

  65. My family, on both sides, hailing from the Madison area, I’m multipli-related to educators, one inimately so, retiring early after 39 years on a pension of $70K–20 years ago.

    Now that the boomers are modifying their summer cabins into year-round domiciles the suck will become a WI-swallowing blackhole.

    Don’t sweat $3.6 Billion over the next two, chickenfeed.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  66. #62 Agreed. Do these supervisors also have strong-arm unions backing them? How many layers of bureaucrats is the obama health plan supposed to create?
    One wonders why there is such a need for supervisory drones. And also why they seem to be catered to endlessly. Throw in the boards who basically rubber stamp rate increases for utilities.
    When there was a class room shortage here in S. Fl., the result was temporary classrooms for kids and palatial digs for more administrators. How did we babyboomers survive in public schools without teachers’ aides and far fewer and much less well-paid office drones. Corruption by public officials is endemic to South Florida.
    The current supt. of school for Palm Beach county went down to the wire with his lawyers “negotiating” a severance package. With five minutes to go, they had to agree that Mr. Johnson could be subject to prosecution for some naughtiness of people under him that he purportedly covered up. So instead of being fired he walks away after resigning with a tidy package of $428,000 including health insurance for himself and wifey into 2014. Oh, he has to help his replacement for a few months also. Why is it that these assclowns get golden parachutes and why are they worth so much to begin with, especially since taxpayers pick up the tab? I don’t much care if an Olberdouche or Chrissie Matthews is overpaid if private business does the negotiating and paying, but just what makes public unions and the deals they can coerce so sacrosanct?
    I was reading some blog sob story by a teacher who claims he is available to the students from 615 am until late at night. Boo hoo. Many teachers and professors I know do as little as possible. One prof regularly missed his Monday evening duties when Monday Night Football season was in session. And its always like they think they are precious and irreplaceable. That aforementioned Olbermann was picked up by algore’s network, which has very abysmal ratings. Who justifies an inflated ego salary? We saw that the new Senator from Minn. had a very lucrative contract with Air America despite its lack of funds and listenership. If Congress pulls the plug on the publicly supported propaganda arms of the democrats, why should anyone but libtards complain? One wag tells me he gets his unbiased news by listening to the BBC.

    Calypso Louie Farrakhan (798aba)

  67. I absolutely agree that there are all sorts of serious problems of immorality, misjudgment, and deliberate, craven fraud here. Like DRJ and those she’s linked, I also immediately wondered about the med-mal liabilities they could be creating.

    However, naught but mild slaps on the hand — probably along the lines of a day’s pay, but no nasty note on their “permanent records” — will be administered. They won’t be for fraud or any other serious offense, but for something like “failure to maintain appropriate medical records and privacy.” And that will be all. The medical board has already said (my paraphrase from memory, too lazy to find a link) “Gee this is serious, we’re going to look into it and now it’s a personnel matter so this is the last you’re going to hear from us about it.”

    Now if some note recipient dies tonight of a crackling pneumonia that a stethoscope diagnosis might have picked up had any of those “doctors” actually done the most rudimentary of medical exams, said doc — and his employer, but wow there are course and scope issues — is looking at a bigtime lawsuit. (MD in Philly, you can adjust my hypothetical to something medically plausible if need be, I’m sure you get my drift.) But that’s unlikely, and I’m certainly not hoping for it (because that would violate the New Civility Rules). And it would only punish maybe one or two docs, and the financial burden would still probably be picked up by someone’s insurer, meaning another cost to be passed through ultimately to all healthcare consumers … sigh.

    So I think these scofflaws will get away with it. And that does indeed bug me.

    Beldar (c23585)

  68. Aaron, I don’t know much about qui tam, but doesn’t it require a showing of something that was non-obvious, i.e., a secret that was being successfully concealed until the whistle-blower (a/k/a qui tam plaintiff) blew the whistle? These guys were about as open and obvious as you could be, and only those already willing to ignore things like lawbreaking and fraud (when done for The People and Social Justice) could fail to notice what they were doing.

    (You may have already covered this when you said people can’t recover for what they’ve read about in the press.)

    Beldar (c23585)

  69. Oh yeah, part of the handslap will be the loss prevention guys saying, “Don’t ever do this again, we could get sued for a missed diagnosis!” And they’ll all say, “Oh, we’re very sorry, pass the donuts.”

    Beldar (c23585)

  70. Like I said, give the greedy enough rope and they’ll hang. Go on GOP, crush the unions, see where it gets you with the voters.

    In Wisconsin, where budget shortfall is being cited as a reason to take away benefits from teachers, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations in the state pay NO taxes, and the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981.

    From Citizens United on down, the agenda is clear. Gotta pay back the Koch brothers for their big investment. Leave no CEO or millionare behind. Americans aren’t too bright but you can only fool them for so long.

    Charles (774b03)

  71. In Wisconsin, where budget shortfall is being cited as a reason to take away benefits from teachers, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations in the state pay NO taxes, and the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981.

    Which has jack shit to do with public employee unions, whose members do not work for those corporations.

    Michael Ejercito (64388b)

  72. In Wisconsin, where budget shortfall is being cited as a reason to take away benefits from teachers, according to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations in the state pay NO taxes, and the share of corporate tax revenue funding the state government has fallen by half since 1981.

    You mean that a state with out of control unions is not having a thriving business environment? And your reaction to this is that we should tax corporations more and give the money to hacks who steal (as this post proves)?

    Why?

    Also, how many of those corporations not paying taxes made a profit? Your argument seems cherry picked rather than rationally justifying public sector unions. Since unions fund politicians and politicians don’t have the same incentive as businessmen to stay solvent, and since public sector work is essential work (or should be eliminated anyway), public unions are awful ideas.

    That has nothing to do with some dumb Koch conspiracy theory.

    You guys are fighting for many that isn’t there anymore. You should have made these arguments before the election. You lost the election, and thwarting the democratic process is a much bigger issue than the union issue was. That alone is the most important reason Walker must win. If he fails, this tactic of shutting down a legislature will erode our democracy.

    Take a side that isn’t anti-democracy, Charles.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  73. Dude,

    In case you haven’t noticed, the reason all 50 states in the union (and the federal government) is having issues, isn’t from people not paying taxes. Rather it is from the every shrinking tax base that is there to support everything from the large pension plans to the healthy pay for some upper level bueracrats that only hold a job to make sure that everyone is a racist, sexist, anti-christian, homophobe. If not that then to make sure all the metrics on who is producing metrics are being produced in a timely manner.
    Seriously, take a look around and ask if you can do your job without half or 3x.25 of the bosses you have right now. If you can’t say that then you are part of the problem.
    Raising taxes on this shrinking base isn’t going to be helpful since it will cause a flight of brains and jobs from the state. Then where will that leave the Badger State? How soon until the number of people taking is 99% of the population and there is only 1 person paying taxes to support the government? At what point does it become fair for a non-union worker (like maybe a mom and pop resturant or store) to not be allow to take any of thier pay home since it will be sucked up by taxes?

    SAP (4f8b94)

  74. Wisconsin
    (To the tune “Chicago” by Graham Nash, a good ol’ protest song)

    So the Dems have left the state
    And they just don’t seem to care
    Won’t you please come to Wisconsin just to vote
    In a land that’s known for freedom
    How can such a thing be fair
    Won’t you please come up from Rockford with the vote that you can bring

    We can change the state
    Rearrange the state
    It’s budget- will get better

    You union thugs sit yourselves down
    There’s nothing for you here
    Won’t you please leave for Chicago, go back home
    We voted for Scott Walker
    And he’s the boss around here
    Won’t you please go to Chicago or else join up on our side

    We can change the state
    Rearrange the state
    It needs it- if you believe in voting
    It needs it- if you believe in elections
    It needs it- if you believe in budgets
    Those union rules and regulations
    Who needs them, send them out the door

    One day our gov’ment will get to work
    I hope the day comes soon
    If those dems come to Wisconsin, show their face
    From the bottom of the State House
    To the mount of Bascom Hill
    Won’t you please come to Wisconsin, or someone else will take your place

    We can change the state
    Rearrange the state
    It’s budget- will get better

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  75. Comment by MD in Philly — 2/23/2011 @ 5:02 am

    Heh heh heh. Well done, MD.

    no one you know (325a59)

  76. Thanks, noyk. (Though I don’t think verse 1 is up to verses 2 and 3).
    I think the piano part to the song is pretty simple and I tried to talk my daughter into doing a YouTube with me- Selena Gomez or Miley Cyrus on her own- Yes (Lord, help us) But no 60’s hippie songs with dad…oh well.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  77. Meet your puppet masters

    Charles (ed90c4)

  78. Please charles. Gov. Walker is doing exactly what the people of Wisconsin elected him to do. Unlike many politicians, he is actually doing what he said he would do during his campaign. Last checked, campaigns are run by public contributions.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  79. This Koch brothers business is just the latest attempt to find a villain. It failed with the Tea Party because we are the Tea Party. So they go to the secret conspiracy rich people angle again. Kinda uncreative.

    As MD noted, Walker campaigned on this and was elected to do this. This is democracy Charles is opposed to.

    Wisconsin’s government spending has drastically outpaced its private sector growth. Of course people in private business aren’t happy with being saddled with unfair burdens.

    The truth is that unions are the puppet masters, funding democrats hugely and hating that Citizens United has leveled the free speech playing field.

    Charles: which do you think is funded more in this country? Public schools or the DoD? It’s actually the former. There is an industrial public union complex that is bankrupting our society, and you already lost the argument and have shown you don’t mind shutting down democracy to avoid the consequences.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. It has been brought to my attention that a sufficient number of people reading this blog indeed have next to zero recollection of important events and popular culture references from the 60’s. So look at this before you read the spoof. The original is about the 1968 Dem. convention in Chicago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56A1bOrK0vI&feature=related

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)


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