Saturday, June 25, 2016

ALEC report rates Walker's Wisconsin high on ideology, bad to worse on Real World Results.

It’s now clear Republicans know their voters, because they know they can count on them never connecting the dots between real world facts and their bubble world lives in the echo chamber.

The American Legislative Exchange Council is all about "limited government, free markets and supply-side economics," and they love Scott Walker. 

Wisconsin business columnist and conservative Tom Still took a look at ALEC's new state by state report "The 2016 ALEC-Laffer State Competiveness Index, named in part for supply-side economist Arthur Laffer," and courageously told the truth; the more we're like ALEC, the worse our state output becomes. 
The results of a 50-state index ... put Wisconsin in a positive light for selected economic inputs. The economic output picture painted by ALEC, however, was a bit more restrained.
The positive economic input simply means the adoption of ALEC's pure ideological, supply side, free market political policy in the state. Before we get to that, ALEC first rated us by how much we bought into their mumbo jumbo:
ALEC ranked Wisconsin No. 9 among the 50 states based on 15 factors that included personal income, corporate, inheritance and sales taxes and debt service as a share of tax revenue ... conservative agenda items such public employees per 10,000 population; an overview of the state liability system; the state minimum wage; average workers’ compensation costs; “right to work” laws and tax expenditure limits baked into state law or the constitution.
ALEC then graded Walker's Wisconsin based on how well he adopted ALEC's agenda, described here as the input. You have to ask yourself, did Republicans ever have and original idea? 
The index ranked Wisconsin among the top 12 states for passing a right-to-work law, for keeping its minimum wage low, for not levying an inheritance tax, for passing tax expenditure limits and (perhaps surprising to some in-state critics) its low ratio of public employees per capita. While it wasn’t directly measured, ALEC spokesmen also praised Gov. Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Legislature for passage of the 2011 Act 10 legislation that crippled many public employee unions.
ALEC's Miserable OUTPUT - Cause and Effect: Proof is in the ALEC report, as Tom Still explains:
When it came to measuring economic performance, however, ALEC looked at “outputs” that placed Wisconsin where other rankings often do – toward the bottom of the 50-state class.

Wisconsin’s overall economic performance rank of 41st included a ranking of 35th for growth in state domestic product for the 10 years ending in 2014; 40th for non-farm payroll employment during the same cycle; and 38th in absolute domestic migration ... (which) measures how many people are leaving or entering the state, the so-called “brain drain” phenomenon. It showed a net loss of nearly 67,000 people over 10 years, with the peak coming in the recession year of 2010.

Economists on the political right and left ... generally believe there is a correlation between migration and economic prosperity. When people “vote with their feet,” it’s a sign they are not finding the jobs, wages and opportunities they want. Too many of the people who are being lost to Wisconsin are college-educated and earning higher incomes, which hurts the state’s ability to retain talented workers and to reinvest in itself.
Maybe that's why Republicans want to keep our kids out of college, because they quickly want to leave.

All of this must have pained Tom Still something awful, so to make up for it, he offered the typical Republican solution; tell "stories" "celebrating what's right about the state." You know, Scott Walker's one and only bragging point - the unemployment numbers - and good old American exceptionalism:
How can Wisconsin make itself more attractive to outsiders and natives alike? By building on existing assets; telling a compelling story about its people, companies and culture; and celebrating what’s right about the state – not fixating on partisan divides and what’s wrong.

Walker still handling the Pancakes...You're Fired!!!

Scott Walker's training as a pancake server is not going well. Sadly, since he's not showing any improvement, and we're going to have to let him go.

As I pointed out a little while back; Hands or tongs governor: The way I see it, a few practice attempts to pick up pancakes with a tongs was all that was needed to perfect the technique.

We now have new video, same as the old:

Trump's Golf Course/Brexit Fiasco Stuns Scotland, World.

Republicans love to show Obama golfing during a crisis, no matter what happens in the world, big and small. It's the ultimate in gotcha politics.

As inane and ridiculous as those moments have been, their presumptive candidate for president set a completely new standard in bad photo op moments.

Not only did Trump not think to consult his foreign policy advisers right after the Brexit vote, that was embarrassing enough...:
Trump: "Well I've been in touch with them, but there's nothing to talk about."
...then he got Scotland's position on that vote completely wrong. He even congratulated them for declaring their independence from the EU.

Not a forgivable moment by a guy trying to be presidential. So where are the Republicans now?

Rep. Sean Duffy Stumped!!! House could bypass Obama, and declare war on ISIS, but won't.

I hope Rep. Sean Duffy voters caught a glimpse of their congressman getting caught in a lie.

That's a big problem for Duffy, who doesn't seem quick enough to bullshit his way out of trouble.

CNN's Chris Cuomo highlighted another fabrication in an interview with Duffy, over Obama's supposed presidential overreach and king like power. Like taking on ISIS:
CNN host Chris Cuomo made the interesting comment that if Duffy and his colleagues are so frustrated with Obama’s handling of ISIS, they (the Congress) can declare war on the terrorist organization themselves. Cuomo called Duffy on his bluff after the congressman said that he was confident that taking out ISIS would be a quick and dirty operation if only Obama would put it into place.
Cuomo: “I don’t know what you’re asking for that isn’t done right now. The generals do say they can take out ISIS, but we know what they’re asking for: They’re asking for boots on the ground. You’re part of a Congress that won’t even have a vote on the authorization for use of military force against ISIS.”

Duffy tried to stutter his way out ... Cuomo replied, “If it matters so much, why not take control of it with the power that’s yours?” 
Watch Duffy squirm. Cuomo's simple question should be asked of every smarty pants Republican. Remember, Paul Ryan's mission is to subvert and limit the power of the executive branch by ceding more power to congress. Wouldn't taking on ISIS be the best way to accomplish that? But Republicans don't want to get their fingerprints on something that they know won't succeed:

Sean Duffy has no clothes...again:

Safer Concealed Carry Wisconsin now needs 600 Law Enforcement "boots on the ground" to save Milwaukee, says Sheriff Clarke.

The police state is right around the corner folks, if Sheriff David Clarke gets his way.

Our spend thrift party of punishment, Walker's Republican Authority, really has no concept of money.

Fake Democratic poser, right wing favorite Sheriff David Clarke, kind of made that obvious the other day when he called for the creation of an army of law enforcement officers to secure Milwaukee.

Clarke actually wants "enough boots on the ground," a military reference, to secure the states largest city. JS
Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. is calling on the city to hire 400 new police officers.Clarke also urged Milwaukee County to hire an additional 200 sheriff's deputies.
"I still maintain we don't have enough boots on the ground in this city and county to effectively deal — to effectively initiate strategies. I know that cops matter."
What, our armed civilian militia has ended up making our streets more dangerous to the point of needing 600 new cops? Of course underlying all of this is the cost, which for Clarke and other conservatives isn't a problem since there's so much extra money out still being spent on public services:
Clarke said there needs to be a comprehensive "action plan" to combat violence in Milwaukee. He also demanded an end to what he called "social engineering experiments" like electronic monitoring programs and deferred prosecution and warned that "hot-spot policing" works only on a limited basis because police need to have a constant visual presence in the community.
Ignoring the Constitution when it doesn't fit their desired outcome, tea party losers like Clarke don't seem to mind creating a POLICE STATE "lawfully." I'm not making the following up: 
He urged for "stop, question and frisk" policing, 100 searches per night of homes where those on parole are living and aggressive traffic stops targeting repeat offenders.
"We need to rain holy hell on these individuals — lawfully. We don't need to violate anybody's rights to do this."
Nobody could be this deep in denial and not be a danger to himself and everyone around him.

Getting back to what Clarke's insane plan would cost, he believes $40 million is do-able, but can't explain where he'll get it:
Ald. Terry Witkowski asked Clarke how the city would pay for 400 new officers, estimating it would cost Milwaukee about $40 million annually. Witkowski also noted that state officials have limited the city's ability to increase taxes.

The sheriff said it was the job of city leaders to prioritize spending and come up with funding for public safety. "Right now, I could drive around this city for two hours and never see a cop. They are understaffed and under siege, just keeping up with calls for service."

Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn called Clarke "irrelevant to my work." "I'd love to have 400 more cops, if somebody could come up with a way to pay for them without breaking the backs of Milwaukee taxpayers," Flynn said. "There's no there there."
He suggested Clarke talk to "his good friend" Gov. Scott Walker about restoring money that's been cut from Milwaukee's shared revenue payments. "Just restore state aid and we'll have a discussion," Flynn said.
Perhaps the Public Safety Committee should have asked Clarke's how he's spending taxpayer dollars the Sheriffs Department. That must be an ugly mess of twisted priorities. 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Intentionally Silent Voucher Privateers quietly taking larger taxpayer handouts from bought off Walker Republicans.

One thing that has frustrated me most about the voucher debate was the lack of coverage over the privateers end game; dramatically increased public funding. While most stories brag about the bargain price of voucher schools, privateers have been whining about the disparity, and demanding equal per pupil funding...and more.

Welcome to the real world Wisconsinites! According to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau, vouchers have taken the lead under the Scott Walker Authority:
1. The amount of state money spent on each student using a private school voucher has increased $911: 14 percent since 2010 = $7,214, and $7,860 for high school students

2. The amount of money the state spends on each public school student has decreased $210: 4 percent since 2010 = $5,108.

3. The 2015-16 school year was the first year school districts experienced a loss in state aid to pay for students living in district boundaries who were attending private schools using a school voucher ... per pupil aid dipping below the national average for the first time in history. Previously, state general purpose revenue paid for vouchers. 

4. Voucher school operators are getting nearly $1000 more per student from state taxpayers than in 2011.”

5. In order to make up for state funding reductions, since 2011 Wisconsin communities have passed 667 referenda to increase local taxpayer funding of public schools.
So while Walker and his band of plundering legislative pirates can brag in their reelection ads they cut spending and taxes, individual communities statewide have had to do just the opposite:

Dumb Ron Johnson wants "originalist" Justices, prefers 8-0 decisions on all Supreme Court Decisions in future!!!

It was odd to hear Scott Walker, lackey AG Brad Schimel and Dumb Ron Johnson all declare “victory” over the Supreme Courts actual split 4-4 non-decision over Obama’s executive order on immigration. 

After all, the Republican blockade to nominate a new justice created the courts deadlock.

But the weirdest, most honest and detached from reality reaction was from Ron Johnson. Latching on to the dangerous notion that the Democratic left is an actual enemy of the state, hell bent on destroying American exceptionalism, Johnson laments not having a politically tilted conservative court with 8 “originalist” activist justices all deciding the same thing. 
I know, crazy isn't it. Johnson made the claim like it was just commonly accepted public sentiment:
Johnson Responds to Split Court Ruling Blocking Obama’s Executive Immigration Order“I’m pleased the lower court’s decision that effectively blocked the president’s executive action granting legal presence and immigration benefits for up to 4 million illegal immigrants has been upheld.  President Obama clearly exceeded his legal authority. 

The fact that this decision was split speaks to a larger, more depressing issue — the politicization of the Supreme Court.  
Here's Johnson's mind blowing authoritarian one-party illogic: 
If the court contained only judges instead of super-legislators, today’s ruling would have been 8-0. This split political decision demonstrates why the American people need to decide the direction of the court through their votes for president and Senate in November."
That's the new thinking; we're not talking about impartial justices anymore. Instead, we're supposed to be choosing the direction of the entire court...politically.

State Rep. Gannon, insurance agent, wants businesses to buy "Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act" liability insurance for Gun Free Zones.

Radio's Devil's Advocates Mike and Dom talked with blithering idiot State Rep. Bob Gannon about requiring gun liability insurance for businesses and other gun free zones for supposedly disarming and putting these unarmed people in harms way. WSJ:
Gannon’s proposal, dubbed the “Disarmed Citizen Compensation Act,” would go a step further in discouraging gun-free zones by allowing a victim of gun violence to sue businesses with such bans and recover triple the amount of damages without regard to who was at fault.
Not exactly getting government out of the way, is it, while heaping higher costs on businesses big and small. It's mob like extortion; "obtaining something, especially money (or guns), through force or threats."

Funny thing, the right to carry also means we have a constitutional right NOT TO CARRY. 

But Gannon not only wants to charge us for not having guns in our businesses, he wants to blame us for those possible gun deaths and injuries.

Even more stunning was Rep. Gannon's admitted conflict of interest. He stands to profit from his own bill:
Gannon: "Just so you know, my state business, my other job is selling property and liability insurance." 
Gannon also seems to think financial advisers, fast food restaurants, toy stores, clothing shops etc. now need to be screened by insurers to determine what they're doing to keep their customer safe.
Gannon said if businesses still want to post gun-free zone signs then they should consider adding metal detectors and armed security guards.
Yes, that's what this has come to, where no place is safe anymore. Like Gannon said sometime back:

“Wisconsin does not have a death penalty law, but with significant practice and careful aim, law-abiding citizens can help clean our society of these scumbags.”
Gannon verbally spit on "liberals," protesters, the Democratic House sit-in trying to stop the mass shooting carnage, you know, the kind of things contained in the 1st Amendment:
Mob like Extortion to allow Guns!!!
Gannon: "The reason I put this out today is because we're getting all this baloney with the Democrats singing along again. You see Democrats think they can deal with this violence by having sing-a-longs, and having big food buffets in the House of Representatives in Washington D.C....they do that in Milwaukee too you know, they march around, they sing, and then they stop and have lunch and they think that's dealing with violence...instead of babbling about it on the radio, or in your marching circles, in your sing-a-long at the state Capitol..."  
The Gannon interview will blow your mind, and make you wonder what voters ever saw in this barbaric savage. They should be embarrassed:

“If you’re going to allow somebody to come in and put a bullet in my brain, you should have some liability,” Gannon said.

Ladd Everitt, communications director for the national Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, called the proposal “utterly idiotic”

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Koch's Americans for Prosperity State Sen. Candidate Mark Elliott, unashamed Loyalty buys...?

Why even bother trying to hide it anymore....Mark Elliott on board with "Issue Education Campaign," whatever that (wink, wink) means. I don't think we need to know much more than this:

The Trump Effect....Make America White Again?

Republicans just needed a little practice under our very first black president, to perfect the rationalization, "I'm not a racist, but I am suffering from white-victimhood." 

Sure there's a few bad apples in the Republican Party, but not everyone is racist. The base, the more conservatives "independents" in love with Trump, are just as misunderstood. So what do we make of the picture on the right, is this "one" bad apple or just some poor picked on conservative white decide......
WRCBRick Tyler confirmed that he does not hate people of color, but does believe America "should go back to the 1960s." "(The) Leave it to Beaver time, when there were no break-ins; no violent crime; no mass immigration," he told the news station.
Wow, what a time it was in America. Tyler must have been reading the new "American Exceptionalism" curriculum rolling out in Tennessee schools. But wait, what about the 60's civil rights movement...?
Tyler also posted a billboard for his campaign that features part of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech superimposed on a drawing of the White House with Confederate flags around it, according to WRCB.

Some residents wrote in to the news station stating their desire to have the signs taken down. Tyler said that he respects their First Amendment rights but, "I respect their right to have an opinion. I believe the majority of the people in the county like it." The New York Daily News reported that the sign was taken down.

Who's the Extra Crispy Col. Sanders? Who else, George Hamilton.

If I could afford to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken, I would, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate their mind bending ad campaign of never ending fake Col. Sanders hawking their food.

Things just got weirder. Welcome the "Extra Crispy" cousin of the Colonel, played by the sun drenched likes of extra crispy actor George Hamilton. Check out the extra crispy sun damaged face of a boy in the ad...surreal:
KFC just announced the fourth actor ... Unlike previous Colonels, George Hamilton won't actually replace his predecessor, the comedian Jim Gaffigan. Instead, the Golden Globe-nominated actor will take the mantle of the so-called "Extra Crispy Colonel," a bronze-skinned, beach-bum cousin of the avuncular Southern gentleman whom KFC dream't up specifically to sell its "extra crispy"-style chicken. The sun-baked doppelgänger will make his debut in a series of four commercials:

Kansas' Sec. of State Kobach will break Law, throw out tens of thousands of votes for local and state races, protecting "integrity" of elections.

Republicans are lying bull sh***ers when they say they want to protect the integrity of elections and make sure every vote counts. Don't they always say, one stolen vote is one too many. I guess they weren't talking specifically about just throwing votes away for the heck of it.

Welcome to Kansas, where Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach is about to steal away the vote of citizens who did everything right. Breathtakingly defiant of a court order, upwards of 50,000 voters could get their ballots tossed. ABC News:
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is planning (according to an email he sent out) to use provisional ballots during the upcoming elections and then throw out all of the votes for state and local races cast by the thousands of voters who register to vote at motor vehicle offices without providing proof of citizenship … in the wake of a federal court order requiring Kansas to allow these voters to cast ballots at least in the federal races. 

Shawnee County District Judge Franklin Theis found Kansas law does not allow Kobach to implement a bifurcated voter registration system … Kobach's planned response "flies in the face" of the decision, said ... the ACLU of Kansas.

Kobach (will) allow election officials to go back into those provisional ballots and throw out any votes cast in state and local races and count only votes cast for president and U.S. Senate and House … estimated to affect as many as 50,000 who registered to vote when they got their driver's licenses without providing the citizenship documentation.

U.S. District Judge Julie Robinson noted in her decision last month that the evidence shows only three instances in Kansas where noncitizens voted in a federal election between 1995 and 2013, and about 14 noncitizens confused about their eligibility who attempted to register during that period.
Party of law and order, freedom and liberty, defenders of the Constitution, who constantly remind us that it's a "republic" (power is explicitly vested in the people, who in turn exercise their power through elected representatives) but are always trying to take our votes away. Nice con if you're allowed to get away with it.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

No, "both sides" aren't doing it....

No wonder voters are frustrated. Yet the media wants us to believe both sides are at fault.

Democratic Gun Protest Sit-In "like college kids taking over a campus." - C-Span Caller

Leave it to our sociopathic Speaker of the House Paul Ryan to calmly dismiss the call for common sense gun background checks and revised terrorist watch list, and call the Democratic outrage a "publicity stunt." Well, that's how his party would see and exploit the idea:

The Democratic sit-in was described this way by a caller on C-Span today:
Caller: "...and as to the Representatives taking...basically taking the House hostage....the peoples doesn't have a place on the floor of the House. They can't expect leadership to give into them, when they're basically holding Congress hostage. These are people paid to represent us, and to be there...this is more like college kids taking over a campus and saying, we're going to do this."

An NRA radio show came out with this gem describing Democratic efforts to pass reasonable and popular gun control:
"The NRA radio show considers participants and Rep. John Lewis' gun violence sit-in to criminals and terrorists." 

Our "freedom and liberty" party of cafeteria constitutionalists are starting to rationalize the sit-in this way:

One of the dumbest men alive, Louie Gohmert ignored all the other mass shooting and instead focused on "radical Islam." 

DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp wants department to be more like managing a McDonald's.

The big story to come out of the meeting between the DNR board and Walker's embarrassingly incompetent Sec. Cathy Stepp, is her oddly bizarre comparison to her oversight of Wisconsin's natural resources to her former job as a McDonald's manager.

Apparently, the state needs to pare down regulation to the level of a McDonald's responding to a sudden busload of dollar menu orders. WSJ:
Board member William Bruins said the department has known for five years that the cost in staff time of regulating concentrated animal feeding operations far exceeded the revenue the state budget allows it to keep from fees CAFO's pay. “So in the five years has there been any effort by the department to correct that?” 

Stepp recalled her days as McDonald's restaurant manager as she talked about how state employment rules have hobbled the DNR. Stepp said she could quickly mobilize her fast-food employees when a busload of customers arrived unexpectedly, but the DNR can't react that nimbly to retirements. 
Yea, why can't running the DNR be like McDonald's? My god I wish I were kidding. All of this is happening because Walker and Stepp decided they were no longer going to spend valuable taxpayer dollars on trying to stop the pollution of our lakes, streams and drinking water.
Hat tip to Paulsnewsline
A Legislative Audit Bureau report released this month showing that over the last 10 years the DNR failed 94 percent of the time to take enforcement action against private industries and municipal sewage plants that exceeded water pollution limits, violating its own internal policies. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said money and state work rules complicate things.
But funding cuts were intentional. But it's more shocking to hear the DNR is to "complicated" for Stepp. Only now, under fire for violating her own departments rules...
Stepp said she has discussed those challenges with her boss, Gov. Scott Walker, and it's possible she could request an increase in revenue this year. But Stepp said she is mindful that other state agencies ... are also need money. And the Legislature wants requests for more tax dollars only as a last resort, she said.
Letting polluting go unchecked isn't enough to be considered a last resort.
Some of the problems in regulating water quality stem from employee turnover and job vacancies at DNR, she said. It can take up to two years to train a new employee to work proficiently with complicated laws and rules governing pollution permits, said Patrick Stevens, the DNR's top administrator for regulation of industrial and municipal pollutants. 
Another intended consequence of Act 10:
The department fell far behind in permitting when a huge wave of retirements swept through state government, including the DNR, around the time Republicans took over state government and eliminated most public sector union rights in 2011.

House Republicans Censor Democratic Party Sit-In from Voters.

So much for the 1st Amendment down on the House floor, from out authoritarian dictatorial Republican majority. I guess Americans don't have to see how our government works, or how Democrats are fighting for their constituents. The Hill:
C-SPAN turned to Periscope and Facebook Live for Wednesday coverage of Democrats staging a sit-in on gun control on the House floor after GOP leadership cut off the chamber's cameras.

Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) began streaming the video from the floor after the cameras were shut off. House Republicans, who have control of the feed that streams from C-SPAN vowed to keep it off until the House was back in session. C-SPAN tweeted multiple times that they do not have control of the feed.

In order to circumvent the blackout, C-SPAN began streaming from Periscope, and have also switched to Facebook Live.
Here's a short video clip....

ObamaCare saving $2.6 Trillion through 2020 while Republicans roll out "new"detail free plan to increase insurer profits.

It's a good news/bad news kind of week for the Republicans; the bad news, at least for them, was the $2.6 trillion projected reduction in health care spending due to the Affordable Care Act. 
Projections of U.S. healthcare spending growth have come sharply down since Obamacare’s enactment in 2010 ... $2.6 trillion lower than the original post-ACA baseline forecast through 2020, a reduction in projected spending of almost 13%. This is known as “bending the cost curve”: Americans will be spending more in 2020 than they are now, but the rate of increase looks to be significantly slower than anyone expected. The study attributes much of the change, albeit an indeterminate portion, to the ACA. 

It’s true that growth in overall healthcare spending ticked up during 2014, reaching 6.2%  ... officials say that by the last quarter of 2015, spending growth had dipped back below 5%. If that’s so, the Urban Institute report says, “spending projections will continue to fall and it will become harder not to attribute at least some of the sustained cost containment to the ACA.”
As bad as that news was for Republicans, they did have some good news; Americans will finally get to see their long awaited "patient centered/free market" health care replacement plan for ObamaCare, something I’ve reviewed here in a previous post. In summary:
A series of familiar conservative healthcare ideas … The 37-page plan was originally billed as part of a comprehensive governing blueprint
...Paul Ryan’s latest “comprehensive...blueprint" of the same old reform con, again, prevents the CBO from grading it:
…missing key details and legislative language that would allow independent analysts such as the Congressional Budget Office to assess its cost and impact.
Ignoring the natural aging process and diminished mental capabilities of seniors, Ryan wants them to shop till they literally drop:
…replace the current government-run Medicare benefit with a system of vouchers,“premium support," that seniors could use to offset at least part of the cost of premiums for private health plans.” 
Ryan's supposed "free market" plan oddly takes all the risk out of that marketplace with state high-risk pools, so insurers can make a profit from just healthy Americans:
Ryan himself has advocated turning over coverage for preexisting conditions to state-sponsored high-risk pools. As we’ve reported, this is a scam: high-risk pools have been tried before, and they almost always become ruinously expensive and doomed to fail.
Ryan also wants to allow states to cut health services, adding hoops and blockades for those who truly need care:
…eliminate federal rules that establish who should be covered, such as poor children and pregnant women, and which benefits should be offered. Each state would be allowed to decide who would get coverage.
Just one last chart supporting the ACA reforms:

Trump Con Revealed...

It only makes sense that Donald Trump would spend lots of his money on himself, saving Donald Trump money and making him lots of money at the same time. Wow, maybe he can do that with the U.S. economy. Come on, throw caution to the wind, maybe taxpayers will get a cut? Eh, just a thought. WaPo:
20% of Donald Trump’s campaign spending goes to Donald Trump! He managed to shell out $6.7 million last month, including more than $1 million in payments to Trump companies or to reimburse his family for travel expenses.

Here are some of the campaign's biggest expenditures. Nearly $350,000 of the money spent on private jets went to Trump's own TAG Air … the biggest sum went to Trump's own Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., which was paid $423,317 for rental and catering. The Trump National Golf Club in Jupiter, Fla., got $35,845, while the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Fl., was paid $29,715. His son Eric Trump's wine company received nearly $4,000.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Supply Side Tax Cuts take Time to Work, and No, GOP is not trying to Suppress votes...really.

Remember when Republican gave President Obama 6 months after his election to bring the economy back from the Great Recession? He didn't, and since then his policies have been a supposed failure.

Well, according to ALEC and Republican politicians in Kansas, change and economic prosperity on their side of the aisle takes a whole lot longer because "there's a lot going on," and "tax cuts can take 3 to 5 years to show positive outcomes"...sure they do:
Led by Republican Gov. Sam Brownback and a Republican legislature, Kansas has dramatically cut income taxes on the theory that lower tax rates would spark economic growth. Instead, the Kansas economy has grown at a slower rate than the national average.

While Democrats point to Kansas as an example of tax cuts gone wrong, Republicans are playing a waiting game, arguing the cuts just need more time to produce the intended effects.

Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council, a free-market group focused on state legislation, said that when the tax cuts went into effect, there were no revenue offsets implemented, leading to shortfalls. Williams said these types of tax cuts can take three to five years to show positive outcomes.

“There’s a lot going on, and people are confusing correlation versus causation,” said Williams, vice president for the Center of Fiscal Reform at ALEC. “In reality, there are a lot of underlying problems.”

Yet, state budgets don’t have the luxury of time, according to Norton Francis, a senior research associate at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center.
Kansas is on the cutting edge of Voter Suppression techniques: 
Kansan residents who did not provided proof of citizenship when they registered to vote can cast ballots only in the federal races for president, U.S. Senate and House — but only if they registered to vote at motor vehicle offices. That includes voters whose “motor-voter applications” were cancelled after 90 days because they didn’t circle back and provide the proof of citizenship after initially turning in applications.

Secretary of State Kris Kobach is trying to keep everybody who doesn’t provide documents proving their U.S. citizenship out of the voting booth, but a federal judge says that violates the National Voter Registration Law, commonly called the “motor-voter law,” because Congress designed it to encourage voter participation by making it easy to register when people get their driver’s licenses.

The federal courts ordered Kobach to let these “motor-voter” voters whose registrations were cancelled or suspended to cast ballots in the upcoming federal elections while his appeal plays out. A federal appeals court will hear oral arguments in August, but it is not likely to rule before the elections.
Naked and Raw Voter Suppression: Come on folks, how obvious do you have to get:
Gov. John Kasich vetoed a bill would have required anyone requesting an extension of Election Day polling hours to post a bond equivalent to what the additional time would cost the state. If a court overturned the extension, whoever filed the request would forfeit the bond, which could easily total tens of thousands of dollars. 

“Prohibiting state court judges from exercising their discretion to waive the bond requirement in only these types of cases is inequitable and might deter persons from seeking an injunction to allow after-hours voting when there may be a valid reason for doing so,” the governor said in his veto message. 

The sponsor of the bill, Sen. Bill Seitz, blasted Kasich's action. Kasich's statement that current judicial rules allow bond requirement to be waived, "although rogue judges have ignored the plain language of the rule and done so.

In April 2015, Kasich levied a line-item veto on an item tucked into the state transportation budget that would have required out-of-state residents who register to vote in Ohio to obtain an Ohio driver's license and vehicle registration within 30 days ... discourage more than 115,000 out-of-state college students -- most of whom are thought to be Democrats -- from voting in Ohio by requiring them to spend a $75 or higher "poll tax" on the documents. 

Anti-Concealed Carry Laws Trashed by Activist Conservative Supreme Court.

Believe it or not, before NRA lobbying for the gun industry and right wing fear and zealotry, gun regulation made a lot of sense:
Anti-concealed carry laws not only existed but were ubiquitous from the Colonial period through the start of the 20th century. Forty-five states adopted such laws, with most enacted in the early 19th century. They were a reaction to rising crime and interpersonal violence, especially in the South and the so-called Wild West, where anti-gun carry laws were rapidly put in place when cities and towns were established.

The laws often clearly stated what had motivated their passage. For example, New Jersey’s 1686 law imposed concealed carry restrictions by saying that “no person or persons … shall presume privately to wear any pocket pistol … or other unusual or unlawful weapons within this Province” because the practice induced “great Fear and Quarrels.” An 1821 Tennessee law sought to punish anyone “so degrading himself” by carrying prohibited weapons including pistols. Georgia’s 1837 law began: “An Act to guard and protect the citizens of this State, against the unwarrantable and too prevalent use of deadly weapons.” Alabama’s 1839 anti-concealed carry law was titled “An Act to Suppress the Evil Practice of Carrying Weapons Secretly.” Delaware’s 1852 law targeted “all who go armed offensively to the terror of the people.” The point was unmistakable: Anyone who carried a concealed gun was probably up to no good.

Robert J. Spitzer is a professor of political science at the State University of New York at Cortland. He is the author of five books on gun policy, most recently, “Guns Across America: Reconciling Gun Rules and Rights.”